Writing a book, keeping it pure

My ‘better living through chemistry’ lifestyle, even though I see myself as a willing, compliant patient (maybe that’s the problem) has gotten me into some scrapes, side effect wise. Chronic Dry Eye, Chronic Pain from Tardive Dyskinesia, TD itself, loss of libido, cognitive impairment especially with regards to computer stuff, weight gain and have been beating back Diabetes Type 2 for the better part of a decade. I can’t take injectibles like Victoza, because they cause other side effects. I’m trying to write a book that’s helpful, authentic and accurate, but am always taking stock of my anger. There’s only so much rage on the page that people are willing to put up with. Anger is exhausting to read and offers little redemption anyway, don’t you agree? I’ve had bipolar for 30 years, have stayed out of the psych ward for twenty, but I’d go in if I felt I had to in order to stay safe. I’m paying a biochemical price for that. The trick of this game is to make it out alive…to make it through one more day.

Faceless, Corporate CVS/Silverscript Part D Denying coverage of longtime medicine

I hate dealing with these huge corporations. They don’t care. We are numbers to them and they’ve decided my life is too expensive for them. Denial of benefits. Denial of expedited appeals process. Third party arbitrator that they own.

It happens to everyone. A medicine you really need is suddenly no longer covered. In my case, CVS deemed it not medically necessary for me to have Relistor, a drug I take when I really can’t go. I take tons of meds because of Tardive Dyskinesia and a microdose of Suboxone for Chronic pain, part of Tardive Dyskinesia.

Then I do an expedited appeal, and I’m denied again, and now……I’m sent to what’s supposedly third party arbitration, and it’s a phone number that nobody answers. Then I call Silverscript back, file a grievance and ask them when I will hear back on the grievance and they say, well, maybe thirty days. Then I ask about this third party arbitrator, Maximus, the one where no one answers the telephone, and there’s no timeline on when I might hear back from something I mail or fax. Just unbelievable.

 

I ask you…where do I lodge my next complaint?  This story about denial of benefits has been told time and again…..But I’m going to write about it….I just don’t know where.

 

Ryan Murphy (and “Pose”) Redux

  There was an incredible story in “The New Yorker” about Ryan Murphy. I’m super stoked about his upcoming show on FX, “Pose.” When I behold his work, whether it was the compassionate view of a person with a personality disorder in “American Crime Story: Versace” or Sarah Paulson as Marcia Clark in “‘The People vs O.J. Simpson,” and for me it began with the show “Nip Tuck” about two plastic surgeons in love with the same woman…I can rest easy when I think of Ryan. I can put down the cudgel, the heavy gavel I hold.

 

Ahh. I’ll relax and let Mr. Murphy speak for the marginalized. He is soooo good at that. And his workforce is 50-50 diverse….and also…it didn’t come easy for him. In his early career, not everyone ‘got’ him. Some people made fun of him. He’s even produced pilots that didn’t get picked up by that network, for someone like him, that’s like someone rejecting YOU.

In other entertainment news, Julia Roberts elder brother, Eric, I learned has been in 700 movies. He does a ton of Russian movies. Also Lifetime movies. and “Queen Sugar” is back on OWN. Oprah and Ava again!

1st Literary Agent Rejection Letter-Is it A Form letter? You tell me what U think!

REJECTION LETTER!

 

I recently did a public speaking event on my topic (Tardive Dyskinesia awareness, prevention, treatment and my experience with it) at the American Psychiatric Association (APA)’s annual shindig in New York City. The first manuscript of my book is not yet finished, but since so many literary agents are in New York, especially the city, I figured I’d send my colorful flyer with color picture and a sample of my work, 3 short chapters. Eventually, I’ll get around to ‘test marketing’ those on here. I reached out to 12 agents and five publishers. I got one agent auto-reply from a lady at a mid-level firm, and I got this one from a rep at Folio, one of the top ten literary agencies, (from what I can tell) BTW, Both of these literary reps expressed an interest in medicine/health/current affairs and psychology.  My work falls squarely into all three, plus women’s health and women’s issues, since Tardive Dyskinesia affects women 2-4.5 times more often as it does men. It also prefers minorities. Anyway, here’s my very first letter of rejection ……………..

Dear Allison,
I want to thank you personally for giving me the opportunity to read your work. I understand the querying process can be difficult at times, and want you to know how seriously we consider each project we receive at Folio. I am sorry to say, though, that unfortunately I do not have a place on my current list to take this on.
Please keep in mind that every agent has different tastes and sensibilities and more or less bandwidth to take on new projects at any given time.  And this is a crazily subjective business. What does not work for one agent may work perfectly for another, and I encourage you to continue your search for someone to champion your work, and trust you will find the agent (or publisher) your work absolutely clicks with.
Please know I wish you all the best,

Jeff

 

Jogging my memory re “Prozac Poopout” and other antidepressants I’ve tried

So, I’m writing this book “Heroine Chick: How I went from Sick and Side Affected to Becoming my own Personal Paramedic.” It’s about the Twin Freaks in my life, “Prozac Poopout” (antidepressant fatigue with several of them, not just Prozac) and Tardive Dyskinesia. During the three years when TD was uncontrolled, untreated, time, I had a couple more of these “Prozac Poopouts,” a term unkind to Eli Lilly’s product, who just happened to be the first SSRI on the scene, therefore, the first to “Poop Out.” I’ve had all sorts of antidepressant therapy over the last 30 years of bipolar, but recently, I got ahold of some old pharmacy receipts. My trip down RX memory lane reminded me of something I don’t remember: At one point, I’d been on Cymbalta. I don’t remember that!!!! I only filled the prescription 2x so it must not have worked for me. Also, I tried a Tricyclic, another type of antidepressant I’d forgotten that I’d tried. Only filled that script once, so it must not have worked well either.

The Silver Lining of it all:

For all my problems  with antidepressants only lasting for a fixed periods of time, I am grateful for some of the newer mood boosters. When one stops working, we switch to another, and some of the latest innovations dig me out in four days or less, not four to eight weeks. One time I was depressed for an entire year straight. Anyone relate to that?

Cat- Astrophe Solved!

She was missing. She is mute. We couldn’t find her. We used DBT to think, “Ok, what’s the worst case scenario?” Mike thought she had gotten out. She’s cute enough (a delicate calico kitten) someone might want to keep her for their own. I was pretty sure she was either hiding or trapped in the house. Mike was SURE she was NOT in the house. In the end, we opened one of his sock drawers and she jumped out. God were we ever relieved!!!!

 

Faceless, Corporate CVS/Silverscript Part D Denying coverage of longtime medicine

I hate dealing with these huge corporations. They don’t care. We are numbers to them and they’ve decided my life is too expensive.

Denial of benefits. Denial of expedited appeals process. Third party arbitrator that they own.

It happens to everyone. A medicine you really need is suddenly no longer covered. In my case, CVS deemed it not medically necessary for me to have Relistor, a drug I take when I really can’t go. I take tons of meds because of Tardive Dyskinesia and a microdose of Suboxone for Chronic pain, part of Tardive Dyskinesia.

Then I do an expedited appeal, and I’m denied again, and now……I’m sent to what’s supposedly third party arbitration, and it’s a phone number that nobody answers. Then I call Silverscript back, file a grievance and ask them when I will hear back on the grievance and they say, well, maybe thirty days. Then I ask about this third party arbitrator, Maximus, the one where no one answers the telephone, and there’s no timeline on when I might hear back from something I mail or fax. Just unbelievable.

 

I ask you…where do I lodge my next complaint?  This story about denial of benefits has been told time and again…..But I’m going to write about it….I just don’t know where.

 

Cat- Astrophe Solved!

She was missing. She is mute. We couldn’t find her. We used DBT to think, “Ok, what’s the worst case scenario?” Mike thought she had gotten out. She’s cute enough (a delicate calico kitten) someone might want to keep her for their own. I was pretty sure she was either hiding or trapped in the house. Mike was SURE she was NOT in the house. In the end, we opened one of his sock drawers and she jumped out. God were we ever relieved!!!!

 

Desperately Seeking Slater (author Dr. Lauren Slater) “Blue Dreams: The Science and the Story of the Drugs that Change our Minds”

does anyone remember the Madonna film “Desperately Seeking Susan?” Well, I’m desperately seeking the author of this book…can’t seem to find a way to contact her electronically …and I am pretty sure she’ll be at my upcoming conference. BTW,

I just read this book.  If you are a woman with a mental health issue or are close to someone with same, you must read this book. Audaciously, she weaves memoir and science, something many authors say can’t be done.

Then…if this isn’t stranger than fiction…..She’s got all my diagnoses, eating disorder, borderline, adhd, memory issues, bipolar, and more. She’s got all my side effects…too….which if you’ve ever followed my blogs, are legend. She’s a wonderful author and if you’ve never read one of her books, “Prozac Diary” is wonderful and even deals with Prozac Poopout, a topic some publishers won’t touch with a ten foot pole.

Anyway, I’m about to go to New York to speak about Tardive Dyskinesia at the American Psychiatric Association