Friday, March 27, 2009

Such is life (or suck?)

No pictures in this post, just venting and ranting.

My travel wheelchair broke nearly 3 weeks ago in the Milwaukee airport. I was on my way to Ohio, the first of two back-to-back trips. I had to leave it in my car and do without. The Detroit airport is so huge, I was beginning to think my legs were going to give out on me. I was travelling with a co-worker who didn't seem like he wanted me along for the trip. So I tried to make it as painless as possible for him, which wound up biting me in the ass instead. By the end of the trip I was in too much pain. Then I had another trip to Madison, which thankfully did not involve airports. It did, however, involve an old old building with no elevators, a huge flight of stairs up and down, and a hotel room WAAAYYY down the hall from the elevator. Pile on more pain. BLAH.

My nice comfy primary wheelchair needs new batteries and tires. About 4 weeks ago it started leaving a daily or twice-daily drip of oil on the floor at my desk. (the nice, comfy - but old - primary chair lives at work since my van got smashed up over a year ago and I can't get a loan for a new one so I can't bring it home with me anymore. bah.) So now I have to fix or more likely replace my fave chair. :(

I have worked with a place called The Wheelchair Guy for my travel wheelchair for a couple years now. So I called them up to find out about getting a new primary chair. Guess what. They are not a provider in my secondary insurance's network so they can't work with me. (Different funding source for the travel wheelchair which is not my insurance.) So I dig up the provider directory and there it says "for durable medical equipment, your doctor will have the list of providers." BAH! So I make an appointment, and went in to see him yesterday.

Doctor seems unprepared to tell me where to go. Doctor asks nurse to call a place about 20 minutes away, to see if they accept both my primary and secondary insurance. They said yes, they do. So he writes up a prescription for a wheelchair and tells me to contact the place.

I go to the place today. Guess what. They only sell manual chairs. UGH. They refer me to another place about 5 minutes away from them, and off I go. Get to the other place, lady inside confirms that they do indeed accept both of my insurances. Ok so far so good. Then she points me to a small collection of used electric wheelchairs and scooters. I'm like... uhmmm... none of these are going to suit my needs at all. Asked if we could talk about new chairs. She says "well we're getting out of the business of electric chairs, and we don't carry new ones anymore." AIEEEEE! Ok, can she refer me to some place in southeast WI that does? "oh, yes," she says, "there's a place in West Bend that's very good." I ask what is the West Bend place's name? "The Wheelchair Guy," she says. GRRRRRRRRRR

I said they won't take both of my insurances, so she made a few calls and got me the name of yet another provider that was another 20 minutes down the road. At this point I am very tired, giving up for the day. Going home to do my own research to see what chairs are out there, etc. Never thought trying to do something about my wheelchair would turn out to be such a run-around.

While at the doctor yesterday, talked about some other problems I seem to be having including a headache that has been long-lasting and constant - about a month now. He asked a bunch of questions, did some initial assessments, and is sending me off for an MRI of my noggin and a digital-video-recorded swallow study next week. Said something about having to rule out brain tumors or neurological damage before deciding what to do about all the weird things going on in my upper-body region. Not sure what I'm hoping for on all that. I'd like to know why all these things are happening but sort of worried about what might be discovered.

Sigh. The rant is long enough and my hands are tired. laterz...

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Spring Forward

Which just means we all lose an hour of sleep.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Big Sky WiFi

After having dug to a depth of 10 feet last year, New York scientists found traces of copper wire dating back 100 years. They came to the conclusion that their ancestors already had a telephone network more than 100 years ago. Not to be outdone by the New Yorkers, in the weeks that followed, a California archaeologist dug to a depth of 200 feet, and shortly after, a story in the LA Times read, "California Archaeologists Find Traces of 200 yr-old Copper Wire, concluding that their ancestors had high-tech communications 100 years before the New Yorkers" One week later, The Great Falls Tribune, a local newspaper in Montana, reported "After digging as deep as 300 feet in his flower garden in Great Falls, Jack Kooker, a self-taught archaeologist, reported that he found absolutely nothing. Jack has concluded that 300 years ago, Montana had already gone wireless.