an update on me (LONG)
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|Fri, 08-27-2010 - 12:47am|
it's been awhile since i've checked in, so let me catch you all up to speed.
we did an IVF cycle in june that was a BFN. it was our first since noah, and our third of four total that our insurance covers. since february, my arthritis (which i've lived with for 30 years) has been getting progressively worse, and may, june and july were probably the worst months of my adult life, arthritis wise. hands down, the worst flare up i can remember since i was maybe eight years old.
anyways, so IVF failed, RA was out of control, and i have just felt all over the place. after my IVF failed, i called to switch rheumatologists, which i've been thinking about doing for sometime. the new doc wanted to run a bunch of new blood work and gave me some shot that she said would give me relief a few days and last a few weeks. well, it didn't work. on top of that, the office called a few days later and said my hemoglobin and hemocrit were low and i was very anemic.
now mind you, i'm always kind of borderline anemic, because i have hererditary blood disorder that causes anemia. but the doc was concerned that i may have internal bleeding, and ordered me to stop one of the meds i was taking and re-do the blood work in two weeks. i stopped the med, and continued feeling sh*tty (never really stopped).
right around this time, we have our open enrollment mtg at work. now - i work for a non-profit that is basically funded by state grants, aside from any donations we take in (which isn't much). if you aren't aware, the state of illinois is the definition of a hot mess, and my program is basically getting a 14% cut in funding this year, which amounts to more than $200,000. so we're not in very good shape, and therefore, insurance costs are going up significantly. they are raising co-pays to $40, dropping their portion from 70% to 65%, and offering a second PPO option in addition to the PPO i'm currently on. the new PPO isn't an option for me, because the pediatrician does not take it. the HMO is not an option because th RE does not take it. so, in order to keep all of the 10 or so doctors between me and noah, we stick with the current PPO, which is great, but the family cost is going from $500/month to $740/month. i am basically working to pay for insurance now...
in the meantime, i'd been researching reproductive immunology(RI), because of my history of RA and fertility problems and whatnot, and decided to make an appt with dr carolyn coulam in chicago for a consultation. now, i LOVE love love my RE and everyone at the office, and really don't want to switch doctors, but want to explore all my options. from what i've read, dr coulam is one of THE gurus of RI and i really want to do what she suggests, and what she suggests is a battery of immunological testing. however, they only work with this ONE lab, that does not take insurance, and you have to pay the fees up front and then try to negotiate with insurance. well, the testing costs $1350, and my out-of-pocket deductible is $1000, so insurance *might* pay 30% of the remaining $350, which is $105. and the blood work might now even provide any new information!! so now i have to figure out how to justify spending $1200 for bloodwork that might be meaningless...
and we're at a weird place with our IVF insurance coverage, and i feel like i need to save my pennies and dollars for the very real possiblity of having to pay for cycles beyond the one we have left. i know i have no right complaining about paying for cycles, since i know i'm among the minority who have insurance coverage, but we are NOT in the financial position to pay for IVF. if IL didn't have the fertility coverage mandate, i don't know where we'd be.
i'm having a hard time knowing what to do next. i am finally feeling better, RA wise, but only because i'm taking steroids right now. i want to move forward with my cycle. i want another baby so bad it hurts. i am dealing with the anemia - saw the hemotologist today and he thinks the low hemoglobin was related to my RA flare and not due to internal bleeding or iron deficiency (as another doctor suggested).
so that's that. thanks for letting me vent. any thoughts, advice or ideas are welcome. :)