Thursday, July 31, 2008

Don't Let Just Anyone Knock You Up

In the newest chapter of the book I'm going to write about being smart about who you let knock you up, the midget's biological father has now made our financial situation even crappier. See, for the last three years the midget has had health insurance through her step-mother because her father is required to provide health care if it's available through his work. At the time, it was available through his employer, but it was cheaper for them to go through his wife's employer.

Fast forward three years and he's quit his reliable, good paying job with benefits to go work for minimum wage and no benefits, and due to the state's financial woes his wife has also lost her job. Normally I wouldn't care, and might even feel some petty, malicious glee, but this means my little drama queen loses her health insurance.

Now, because I'm sick and can't work, I do get Medicaid through the state, and so does she, so it's not like we'd have to wrap her in bubble wrap to keep her from breaking an arm or something. She still gets to go to the doctor and the dentist and would have access to emergency care and all of that. It wouldn't be the best care, but she'd have something.

So, where's the problem? Well...the midget, brilliant, beautiful, funny girl that she is also deals with ADHD. Not like the kind of kids whose parents just don't want to parent them, but the kind of kid that is really, really smart but she can't just can't sit still or stop talking or actually focus for more than a few minutes. We had a really hard time with the idea of putting her on medication. It was the last thing I wanted to do, especially before the pediatrician talked us through it and I did the research.

Now, everyone's heard of Ritalin and lots of people have heard about Adderall. They're first generation drugs and have tons of icky side effects, not the least of which is heart disease. So, her doctor recommended Concerta, which is the same class of drug as Ritalin, but more refined with more even results. It's also extended release which means its effects last for the whole day, while Ritalin requires two to three doses during the day.

So, Cass has been on this medication for over two years and is doing really well with it. She hasn't had any bad side effects, and it's worked wonders for her in school.

Well, this being a great drug, it's fairly new and of course there is no generic and therefore it's not covered by Medicaid. Which means either we pay the $147 for a one month prescription, or we start going through the medications that Medicaid does cover, all of which have the same side effects. And all of which are as likely to work as not. And school starts in three weeks, so we'd have to start the school year with her trying new medications to see what works. Not fun.

Now, getting back to where it's the sperm donor's fault we're facing this issue. He told me two weeks ago that her coverage ended on the first of August, but that we were going to work on something to get her covered. So, a week and a half went by with me saying, "What's the story on her insurance, what are we going to do?" And he kept saying, "We'll get her covered through a private plan. I'll look into it." Then on Sunday, he tells me that he can't find coverage because of her pre-existing condition, ADHD.

Except that the insurance company's website (her current insurance) makes it clear that so long as the "pre-existing condition" has been covered by a credible insurer. So, since I wanted to go through that carrier, anyway, I pointed this out. And of course at that point he decides to finally tell the truth, which is that he never meant to insure her at all, that we could put her on Ritalin or whatever works and that it's not his problem or responsibility.

So, I talked to the insurance company about the situation to find out what our options were in terms of continuing her coverage and of course I find out that if her insurance lapses for even a few days she will become uninsurable because of her pre-existing condition. So, we really can't have her go without insurance, because what happens when I get better and go back to work and have to get her insurance, but I can't because of this pre-existing condition. She's only eight, we're talking years where she can't get sick or injured, she can't have her medications, (because she also needs prescription allergy meds).

I explained all of this to her father, and he just doesn't care. It's not his problem. I finally lost my temper and told him that Jamie and I would take care of it just like we do everything else in her life, and that he could go on playing at being a part time weekend father and stopped talking to him about it.

We went ahead and filed the paperwork and applied for insurance coverage for her. It's going to end up costing us more than we can really afford to spend, but I just can't see not having her medication, or face a future where she may be not covered by any kind of health care. In all likelihood we'll have to stretch our dollars farther than is possible. Jamie is talking about selling her drums to finance the first six months of her insurance.

This idiot we call her father would rather keep his drums, guitars, guns and play time and money rather than care for his daughter. I could happily say "Screw You" and we want nothing to do with you, but that would be highly unfair to her because seh loves her dad.

So, we suck it up, buy her insurance and just make the best of it. I hope her father come sot her senses, but I'm not holding my breath.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Great Books?

Lifted this off of my dear friend The Archaeogoddess' blog. She's read a few more of them than I have, and I have to say the list is oddly lacking in several great books and there are a few I question being given the title of great books.

Apparently The Big Read thinks that the average adult has only read six of the top 100 books on their list.

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read
3) Underline the books you LOVE.
4) Reprint this list in your own LJ so we can try and track down these people who've read 6 and force books upon them

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen Loved the book, loved the play!
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling Last I checked, this was seven books, not one.
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible Been meaning to get to this for a long while, but haven't yet determined which version I want to read, I know I don't want to read the King James version, but that rules out only one version of many.
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens Must say I second the Archaogooddess in my hatred of all things dickensian
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare I've read Hamlet, Macbeth, As You Like It, Much Ado About Nothing, The Taming of the Shrew and many of the I'm not there yet, but I will be.
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy I have tried and tried to read this and just can't do it.
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma-Jane Austen Here the Archaeogoddess and I differ greatly. I love Jane Austen while she...erm...doesn't.
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis This not being included with the Narnia series perplexed me as well as the Archaeogoddess
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell I have no idea how I missed this book. Seems like everyone I know (Archaeogoddess aside) read this book, how she and I missed it is beyond me
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown I read it, but I'm not clear on why this is considered a great book.
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding Loved, loved, loved this book.
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy I was ready to slit my wrists to get out of finishing this book. I hated this book with a vengeance but was forced to read it by the most frightening sophomore English teacher ever. There was no getting around her assignment of books for book reports.
68 Bridget Jones' Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker I'm not sure why this ia a great book, why everyone loves it so much. It was boring, verbose and pompous.
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett I have no idea how I missed this book
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens The only Dickens novel that didn't make my brains leak out of my ears.
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker The Color Purple is a good book, but if you're only going to read one Alice Walker book then I recommend Posessing the Secret of is indescribable.
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte's Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad Way better than Apocalypse Now
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute Should have read this, but chose not to, as did another of member of the same class who then originated the term freak shampooing accident
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare Wouldn't this be part of the complete works?
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo 38, which is two more than I told the Archaeogoddess, of course counting has never been my strong suit.

Still, I object to some of these books and question the lack of others. For instance, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, or Wizard of Oz, Role of Thunder Hear My Cry

I've spent my entire life with my nose stuck in a book, so it's hard to believe that I've only read about a third of these books.

I'm already trying to brainwash the midget into reading. She reads well, but doesn't have the passion for books that I have. A lot of that, I know, has to do with the quality of her childhood versus the quality of mine. I needed books to escape into, and she doesn't.

So...if you've only read six of these books like the "average" adult, then get out there and start reading. Because while this is not the list of books I find essential, it's a good start.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

A Change of Tune

I have always lived too much in my own head. My mom is fond of saying that I overthink things to death. Nobody faint, now...but I'm going to agree with her (actually both of them as both of my moms have made that observation more times than I care to count).

Never before have I had so little to distract myself from picking myself to bits. The last six months have been more of the same as the last few years, but amplified. I am more alone, more often than ever before in my life. A lot of that has to do with my illness, and a lot of that has to do with the midget getting to a point in her life where not only is my entire attention to her not only not entirely necessary, it's also entirely unwanted by her. I swear, the child can sigh and roll her eyes in a way that irritates me more quickly than overt action or speech by anyone else on the planet. (And here I pause and offer an apology to both of my moms because I know damm well from whom she gets her brand of hardheaded sarcasm.)

So, I have this here inactive blog and many empty hours on my hands. It stands to reason that assembling these thoughts in some sort of order would give me something to do, if nothing else. Besides, it might keep me from strangling this child who becomes more like me with every day that passes.

In fact, this is really all that separates our personalities. Even at her age I was given to an overabundance of introspection. Which clashes oddly with that need I have to throw myself under the bus wheels without thinking things out. I tend to overthink everything but that which is in my own best interest. It's a personality trait that makes me difficult in my own charming manner.

So, my goal for myself is to write daily about whatever it is that I'm mulling over that day, whether it's stuff in my own head or stuff about the outside world. I can't say that it will make for the most interesting or comfortable read, so I'm not sure that I'm going to invite tons of people to come read what I've written. So, if you're here reading this it's likely because what I wrote in this blog prior to now was mildly entertaining, or because you know me well enough to know that I'm given to fits of action in amidst all my inaction. Either way, you are certainly welcome to read and comment or not as you see fit. It's not like I've got all that many secrets. Most of what I'm ashamed of has had witnesses aplenty, so hiding now serves me no purpose.

Which brings me to my favorite quote..."If you can't be a good example, you'll just have to be a horrible warning."