Monday, June 16, 2008

The New Do

Somewhere down in clause 2.2.3, subsection 2a of our medical insurance, under "Durable Medical Equipment", you'll find an entry for a Cranial Prosthesis. Do they really have to call it that? If it just said "Wig", wouldn't every English speaking human understand what it meant. The insurance company website has green fields with trees, patients (sorry...members) laughing, doctors in white jackets and some tag-line about caring, compassion, health...blah, blah, blah. I don't know, it just seems kind of hypocritical to me to talk about all that big corporate compassion shit, and still, they expect you to feel good about getting pre-approval for a "cranial prosthesis" for your wife. Just call it a wig! That way, I can go to the pamphlet (that I had never read up till this point) and go to the index of "Shit I'm covered for", under W, and see Wig = "Up to $500". That'd be so much easier.

Don't get me wrong, our insurance has been fantastic (fingers crossed) and nothing in Linda's treatment has been denied (fingers crossed) and we get to go see who we want, when we want. Still, the word "Cranial Prosthesis" in subsection 2a, under "Durable Medical Equipment" in clause 2.2.3 made me realize that we are just a number in some vast private health-care system and, aside from our team of oncology doctors who really do care about us (more specifically Linda), we are a series of claims and "explanation of benefits" forms to the industry. One of my biggest fears is that someday the insurance company computer will flag us as 'non-profitable' (which I'm sure we already are...I've seen how much this treatment costs) and we will be denied. That day hasn't come, but if it does, we've always got that passport with the Queen and Maple Leaf on it as a safety net.

From the day Linda first lost her hair, the option of a wig was always on the table but it took her 3 months of do-rags before she finally decided she wanted one. I think she just got fed up with all the awkward staring. So with a prescription in hand and a girlfriend by her side, off they went to the wig shop. As a side note, it was a good idea to take a woman along for advice. Don't ever ask a guy if something looks good as he is programmed to always say 'yes', even if it looks like a group of sparrows nesting on your head.

Linda would kill me if I posted some of the photos of the hair she tried on that day. The fact that she thought it'd be funny to have us draw all over her head before she went to the shop is phenomenal. In true Linda form, she thought of the kids and I first and turned what was probably a difficult thing for her into a fun activity for everyone else. (btw I Photoshopped my kid's names out of the photo).

Linda got her wig and wore it for a couple of weeks. She donned the do for a few 'occasions' where a do-rag wasn't quite appropriate. You must realize that in April and May, the temperatures in Texas are already in the low 90s so having a nylon/polyester wig on your head isn't all that comfortable. Also, the hairstyle wasn't quite the same as her own, so Linda never felt comfortable wearing it. In the end, Linda was more comfortable in her do-rag and preferred the awkward looks of 'that lady has cancer' over the awkward looks of 'that lady has really bad hair'.

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