The cruelest vmail I've ever had
Yesterday I got a voice mail. I reeled in shock. I blogged it, then I unblogged it - why share all my troubles with the world, after I just made them laugh so hard with Sex in Politics
? Today, I reblogged what I wrote yesterday...
"Hi Michael, this is Ivonne Turner from Unumprovident. We have made a decision on your long term disability claim. I've put the letter in the mail today. If you have any questions after you receive it, please call 877-851-7637 ext 4867"
Her voice was professionally neutral. She didn't tell me any details. Am I Approved? Denied? Delayed? I felt like Shroedingers cat - except that Shroedingers cat had less stress, and probably slept better than I do.
If it goes down one way - I get enough cash to catch up on the mortgage - get some more therapy and tests - let the meds kick in fully - and continue on the road to recovery I'm on.
If it goes down the other way - I thought - if I get denied - I may be forced to declare bankruptcy and shortly thereafter - have no place to live. Worse - have no place to logon.
I don't write about the amount of time I spend curled up in a ball - but I did that a lot this winter. In recent weeks I've managed to find a diet, meds, and an exercise regimen that help. I've identified a whole bunch of the invisible monkeys on my back. And I've slept better.
I thought - only a week ago - that I was going to make it out of this abyss. Writing Beating the Brand - writing about what my thought process has been like for so many months - helped me and my shrink identify what was really wrong. I'm still at the bottom of the abyss, but daylight breaks through now and then.
Frankly I've hoped if I kept practicing writing in english - an editor would land an advance on me for "An itinerant account of adventure through the Internet Explosion" - and I'd never, ever have to look at a line of C again.
Sunday and Monday, I helped paint a neighbor's house. It felt good. There was a time, not too long ago, when I couldn't focus long enough to stay at such a tedious task for more than 20 minutes. I had pride, and joy, in doing that job, right.
After talking with Evan on Thursday, he felt compelled to write something profound about protecting the commons.
I felt compelled to write something outrageous, and funny. Many of America's greatest humorists - Mark Twain, H.L. Menken, Tom Wolfe, H.S. Thompson, PJ O'Roarke - were often deeply depressed. I may not be the former - I certainly qualify for the latter.
I wrote about Sex in Politics. The day I can't crack myself up will be a really bad one. It hasn't happened yet. I hope you laughed reading it as hard as I did while writing it.
And I wrote a few hours ago:
Today, I got a call back from Unum Provident, after I called them, repeatedly.
Despite representations in writing to me from John Motroni and Janet Vreeland and in corporate documents from MontaVista - that the elimination period for Long Term Disability was 60 days, Unum Provident claims that the elimination period was actually 180. Janet tells me that:
I've asked Christy at Advanced Professionals to work with them asap. We have a contract that states the waiting period is 60 days but I don't think Unum shows that correctly in their database. We thought this was corrected months ago. I'll contact you as soon as Christy straightens things out.
Thanks, Janet. You're a tribute to the HR profession.
Unum Provident disqualified me from even that for another reason that I will fight, when I get the strength.
I really don't know what I'm going to do, and I'm going to go back to bed and spend some time curled up in a ball. Until then, I'm kind of looking for advice. Actually, I could use some jokes. I haven't been able to crack myself up today, yet.
After I posted that I went and curled up in a ball in bed with a 14,000 pound pillow
over my head. Not 10 minutes after that Christy wrote Unum...
HI Jennifer Silliman -
Can you please look into the below message from Michael Taht from MontaVista Software? He is currently out on disability and has not received any payments yet. When he called the Unum 800#, Yvonne Turner told him that the Monta Vista waiting period was 180 days. As you know, there was an issue where the contract stated a 90 day waiting period and we had Unum correct the contract to say 60 days. I have no idea why he would be told that there is a 180 day waiting period and why he has not received payment. Can you please look into this ASAP and let me know what is going on?
...mail from me elided...
And there things sit. I heard the mail truck come but I couldn't face it - more bills
- I thought. I dreaded the idea of leaving my house to even get as far as the mailbox, and rolled over and got some more sleep.
I also thought - it's nice to have two more people playing on my team while I'm on the bench. I finally got up - to feed my cat...
Still couldn't laugh... then... I got a whole bunch of email that did make me laugh - I'll get to that in the next blog entry - and one also lectured me:
Betting the farm on an insurance company was a suckers bet. I'm suprised at you. They will fuck you anyway they can. Once, only once, they forced me to take 5K so I'd sign their fucked up papers. I signed, my neck still hurts, always will. All I asked was that they pick up the bills. They wouldn't do it, picking up the bills implied responsibility. Liars, cheats and thieves.
Dance with the Devil, the Devil don't change.
You've been curling up in a ball for years, it won't work now anymore than it did before. Dope won't work, Drink won't work, Sex won't work, and avoidance sure as shit won't work.
If you need to take care of something, you need to take care of it. Procrastination has been dogging you since I've known you and it complicates your live exponentially.
Whatever it is you need to do, you need to do. Tomorrow you could be dead, and no, that isn't better.
I got a little angry at being yelled at by my friend for a while, but then I refocused it (as was his intent) and felt balanced enough - with a little laughter in my head and a little rage in my heart - I staggered outside to get the mail.
Yep - a big internet bill I have to pay by the 21st... and surprise! A postcard from a friend in Oregon - she said the kayaking is great and it's cheap to live there. I can see the rocky craigs above a green river, and a red and yellow raft floating downstream.
Thanks A-K, you warmed my heart, too.
Two things I learned today:
Sometimes - no matter how much you dread something, you may get pleasantly surprised by something else, if you face the thing you dread. You don't have to face it immediately, but you should face it sooner rather than later. Get it over with. Move on.
Secondly - friends will help
Thanks for the help, reminders, lectures, and laughter, everybody.
What can I do today that's actually constructive, now that I'm out of bed? I have something to write about where Uncle Bill's Helicopter
landed next on it's flight... but I think it's time to work on weeding my garden.