My disability insurer had decided that I need to be evaluated by their own psychiatrist to continue my benefits. Had that been explained to me, then I would have been able to prepare myself mentally, but that was never said to me. Instead, I returned home from vacation with a required meeting set up for today with their therapist-in Boston.
I called right away to see if I could a) change the appointment time; b) change the appointment location. I was told by my case manager that I was required to provide 5 days notice. I told her that I was out of town and did not receive what they had sent in the mail. I also told her that I do not drive beyond 15-20 miles from my house. Her reply was that it is not their problem that I was on vacation for 3 weeks and that driving was not a requirement of my job, therefore I had to figure a way to get there or lose my benefits.
If you know me well, you can only imagine that I handled that kind of attitude with grace and kindness…uhuh. Suffice it to say, she was trying to see what she could do to change the appointment (‘oh, we’ve already paid the therapist’). When questioned about why they wouldn’t just seek the advice of my therapist that I’ve been seeing for 9 months I was told that it is their right to have their own folks ‘evaluate’ me. So Parker took off the morning to drive me to Boston to see ‘their’ therapist.
When we pulled into our spot on Beacon Street, a gold Chrysler 300M pulled into the spot right behind us. I think my stomach fell to the floor as I fled towards the building. I hadn’t encountered a car that looked like mine yet and the timing couldn’t be worse. Mine was consequently destroyed (as it should be).
So I walked into the therapists office a little in shock. I was already seriously worried about having to talk to a complete stranger about everything, but seeing the 300 really pushed me over the edge. I had not seen my therapist in 3 weeks because we had been on vacation and then she was. Last Saturday I had my first little panic attack since the accident. I was angry. Here I was paying into insurance and they were doing what was in their best interest, not my own. By the time I walked into that office I was a mess. An angry mess, but a mess.
Let me tell you about this ‘evaluation.’ Instead of calling my therapist and asking whatever had triggered this whole ‘evaluation’ in the first place, they will be using the following information to determine if I will continue to receive benefits – a 300+ true/false questionnaire with questions like, ‘do read mechanics magazine,’ or, ‘do you want to kill yourself or anyone else.’ Talk about getting to the point! Then I had to do what the therapist called a cognitive review or something of that nature and read sentences or draw pictures. He then asked 5 questions about depression (in which he was very leading) and reviewed a questionnaire that I had filled out. This is supposed to take the place of meeting with my therapist one on one for 9 months, double sessions, once a week? Are they serious??
He didn’t pry, but asked questions about the accident, which frankly, I don’t really talk about. Imagine telling a complete stranger in the span of 2 hours every minute detail about the worst 7 seconds of your life. It took me months to talk to my therapist about it. My favorite part of it all was when he asked me the 5 depression questions and told me that I scored high. Wow, big freaking shock there you ass! And then he went into the benefits of meds to which I shut him up. It’s just not for me.
I’m angry that my insurance company put me through this. I had a shit day. I had a shit weekend leading up to it. And now I have to wait a week to find the results. I felt forced to sit in that room and answer absurd questions from a stranger. I hope that none of them ever loses a child and have to go through what I did today. Screw you Mutual of Omaha.