I’ve never really mentioned this before… but due to being born with Cerebral Palsy, I’m in constant, high level pain- each and every day. I deal with the pain using oral medication, and most recently, after badly bruising, or tearing the right shoulder rotator cuff, Lidocaine pain patches.
I have been saying for years, that I am in constant pain, and I know people don’t know what that means, and even I didn’t know what that meant, until I got the patches. Recently, right after I got the patches, I put one on my shoulder and one knee, and was suddenly, inexplicably, toally pain-free.
The shock to my system was unforgettable. I was light-headed, and I nearly passed out from the lack of pain. I have been telling people for years that I am in constant pain and through no fault of their own, friends have been nodding their heads and making sympathetic noises like they understood. Hell, I didn’t understand until the day I put a pain patch on, and I was pain free. Having that experience was incredible. I never realized how much pain I was actually dealing with until it was gone!
So now, I’m real careful when I use the pain patches. I make sure I’m not anywhere in which I need my full concentration, because when I apply the patch, it gets rid of the pain so well, that I may feel lightheaded from the lack of pain. The human mind is a wonderful thing. It allowed me to cope with all the pain I was going through, but when that pain is taken away, my brain kinda went “Irk.” and that’s all she wrote. I have nearly passed out from the lack of pain, but not totally.
I need to replenish my supply of pain patches, but they are expensive. Not initially, but in the long run. They are only $56 out of pocket expenses for me, but they count as $700 toward my drug allowance deductable that I am allowed each year under Medicare. I have a limit of $2800, each year. Then after I spend that much, I am in the ‘donut hole’ where Medicare doesn’t cover much of anything, until you have made Out of Pocket expenses of over $4,000, and then Medicare will cover 95% of your medical bills for THAT year. Sound fun, huh?
So, the cost of the pain patches comes out of that allowable, although, the computations, are for the full $700, and not just the $56 copay that I have to pay.
Now, this is the DRUG allowance. This is not considering the durable medical equipment, or the hospitalization allowances. Those are different, and I’m actually pretty well covered there. I should be, as I opted to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, and I have heard that they are illegal under the new Health Care act that President Obama signed into law, which I think is stupid… it gives me extra things that I may or may not use… like no deductibles on durable medical equipment. Anyway, so my drug allowance is $2800, but everything else is pretty much ‘prove that you need it, and you can have it’.