"Peanut butter" & insurance stupidity - searching for a cognitive reframe to reduce flooding

Justmehere

Sponsor
Something happened today and I could use feedback on how to reframe my thinking.

It isn't the first time or the last time this situation has happened. It's not trauma. It's not good. It's a lot of stupid people doing stupid things. Organizational malfunctions. What happened is something now under legal investigation. Because of that... I'm going to make up a hypothetical that maybe gets at the issue I'm having in my thinking instead of the actual situation. I'll make it silly on purpose. This is probably the weirdest post ever, but I'll give it a try anyhow. I'm struggling. There has to be a different way to look at a situation like this than to the trauma links of where my head goes...

Basically, in this silly hypothetical...

1.) Let's say I'm deathly allergic to peanut butter. (I'm not. but again hypothetical.) My HMO insurance decides in order to access needed medical/mental health care I must eat a peanut butter sandwich every time I'm at the doctor. If I do not eat the sandwich, then I get no access to care. They will not pay. I can not self pay for all care.

2.) They agree in writing I am deathly allergic to said peanut butter. The allergy is not refuted.

3.) I ask as an ADA accommodation this peanut butter eating requirement is waived, in the name of staying alive and equal access despite my life altering disabling peanut butter allergy.

4.) They agree to waive it.

5.) I show up for approved covered medical care.... and there is an insurance subcontractor demanding I eat the peanut butter or I am not allowed to get into the medical office.

6.) The care is needed. Insurance agrees. Subcontractor agrees. They demand I eat the peanut butter or no care all the same.

7.) The doctor is angry. The doctor even leaves the office and provides care in the parking lot and doesn't bill insurance just to get around peanut butter idiot. Doc needs to do test inside the facility, but peanut butter idiot is saying no no she has to eat the peanut butter first or she can't get the test. Doc is exhausting all advocacy options with insurance.

8.) I plead my case, doc and I provide medical proof I am allergic yet again, and the demand stands. Insurance claims helplessness about who they hire as subcontractors ("we have no control over what they do") and allows the subcontractor to place this requirement on every access point to care for me and everyone else. ("Others do not have any issue with it.")

9.) I get a little suicidal one day and just eat the peanut butter to go into the medical office and get the medical test. I subsequently go into allergic shock. Get hospitalized. Never got the original test and health care need addressed.

10.) I went back today. Peanut butter dude at the door. They say "if you don't like it then you can choose to not get care." (This is actually what was said word for word.)

Yeah ok super silly hypothetical insane situation that would never happen in real life... but it gets at the pattern. (And it's an example my doc used who is alarmed/frustrated... because the real situation is really pretty nutty.) I was again required to do today by insurance the very thing that would kill me. My doctor objected. I did not do it. I just simply didn't get the medical care I needed. I handed over all the documentation and costs to the investigators, and I think the issue will eventually be solved.

For now, I have to endure without losing my mind. The problem is.... my head keeps thinking "they are demanding I die" and I'm going to very dark places with it. It is bringing me back to moments during trauma where I was forced to do what I did not want to do and was very harmful to my body. I am searching for a reframe. I have to figure out how to experience this situation with insurance as not a reliving of trauma of the past. It's not trauma, it's insurance stupid. But it is really getting to me that they agree the requirement is life threatening and against medical advice, and they told me to do it anyhow or else get no care. It's bringing up flashbacks of a knife to my throat and demands to do what I never wanted to do with my body. Or else.

I have to find a different way to think about all of this. Ideas?
 

Friday

Moderator
For now, I have to endure without losing my mind. The problem is.... my head keeps thinking "they are demanding I die" and I'm going to very dark places with it.
It's not trauma, it's insurance stupid. But it is really getting to me that they agree the requirement is life threatening and against medical advice, and they told me to do it anyhow or else get no care. It's bringing up flashbacks of a knife to my throat and demands to do what I never wanted to do with my body. Or else.
LMFAO 🤣...Cha, but that’s PTSD for ya! Triggers & Stressors AREN’T usually trauma. They’re usually bullshit, stupid, normal life stuff. Like perfume. Or a time of day. Or carpet. Or someone else driving the car (I know mooooooore people with PTSD who can’t stand to be in the passenger seat, not because they have MVA trauma, because someone else has your life in their hands & it flips certain switches). And then we eedjits overreact & start responding to the present as if it’s the past... and it all goes downhill from there.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m 100% with you in not classing normal life stuff as trauma. It’s not. It’s not even trauma adjacent... except in our noggins.

So for the reframe on this? I’d START with reminding myself I’m triggered.

Which also means my Avoidance is running hot & heavy (which, for me, means in addition to triggers-stress-ish-ness fun? I’m likely to be extra suicidal for a spell, because my stupid brain does nothing by halves, and jumps to the most extreme all-or-nothing conclusions). Sigh. I know it’s trying to help me out; first in Being Alert!!! to this situation being JUST LIKE (nooooo, no it isn’t...brick wall bang head) this here other situation, and after not only alerting me to the danger smugly provides me with a solution. (Here. For yoooooooou. Because I’m helpful.) Aaaaaargh. My brain annoys the f*ck outta me, sometimes. First misreading shit, and then wagging its tail wanting a treat -or at least a belly rub- for “solving” the problem it’s alerted me to.

Brain. For the love of all that’s... No. Just no.

Especially for complex triggers & stressors that not only depend on cognitive distortions and core beliefs in order to exist, but that create a feedback loop that self perpetuates them? (Rather than normal triggers and stressors that spike and fade) There are a Lot of other things that I do / I’m learning to do / and that help... but I start out with handling them like I would any other trigger & stressor.
 

Friday

Moderator
There are a Lot of other things that I do / I’m learning to do / and that help... but I start out with handling them like I would any other trigger & stressor.
One of those things... is running down the 10 most common CDs, identifying which ones are in play, and reframing/challenging the premise of those as they apply to the situation. (Just a couple/few to start brainstorming, mostly because I only have 1% of my battery left)

Disqualifying the positive -- You reject positive experiences by insisting they "don't count" for some reason or other. In this way you can maintain a negative belief that is contradicted by your everyday experiences.

- The doctor who not only advocated for you, but treated you in the parking lot... clearly doesn’t want you to die, and moreover thought you were important enough to get creative for you, and confrontational with others.

- How resourceful & resilient you yourself are, and how capable are making even worse situations come to heel.

Jumping to conclusions -- You make a negative interpretation even though there are no definite facts that convincingly support your conclusion. (Involves mind-reading and fortune-telling.)

- You want me to die. You’re demanding I die.
> Nope. You’re a petty bureaucrat who can’t understand that the reason the rule exists is to keep people safe, so you’re demanding it be applied to everyone, at all times. Because you really are that dumb.

- You want me to die. You’re demanding I die.
> Pfft. Bigger, badder, & better people than you have actually tried to kill me. I’m hardly going to take you seriously, having told them to f*ck off.

- etc.
 

whiteraven

MyPTSD Pro
Yeah ok super silly hypothetical insane situation that would never happen in real life... but it gets at the pattern. (And it's an example my doc used who is alarmed/frustrated... because the real situation is really pretty nutty.) I was again required to do today by insurance the very thing that would kill me. My doctor objected. I did not do it. I just simply didn't get the medical care I needed. I handed over all the documentation and costs to the investigators, and I think the issue will eventually be solved.
This sounds very, very familiar to me. I've had similar repeated experiences like this except the medical people never objected.
I have to figure out how to experience this situation with insurance as not a reliving of trauma of the past. It's not trauma
So...I'm confused. This sounds exactly like trauma to me. It's repetitive, it's harmful, folks are standing aside instead of helping...how is this NOT trauma?
 

Justmehere

Sponsor
I very much discount the positive. I've been focusing on hanging to it better and my mind is shifting out of the ugly space a lot better.

I have this script playing over and over and have in my head... when it comes down to it, its various versions of, "Bad things happen because I'm bad."

Very little of life works out so simply.

I walked into a situation with a volunteer matter, something I'm in a middle level leadership role, and there was a mess of epic levels of this same pattern with a project that didn't involve me personally with a government office. Somehow, I walked into a committeee made some motions, started a thing, and walked out. Nothing was solved, the blind continued... but I was me who can at least fake, "I have survived bigger and badder asshats than you" showed up. It worked for allow me to be in the mess and be above the mess. It wasn't personal. Others were rattled. I wasn't. Genuinely.

Where is that version of me when I need to not be rattled in my personal life?
I finally figured out the difference between to two situations. In my personal life (healthcare and etc) I expect fairness or simplicity in bad things happen because I'm bad... not the system is bad. I jump to bad things happen because I'm bad/a failure/etc because I'm trying to find control.

In the rest of life, I have better acceptance things are effed up and it's not my fault or really under my control? Not sure. I don't do helpless. When I get scared, I seek control. Anything to not be in danger or to at least not be at the whims of others.

This is such an important topic for my life right now. I really appreciate all the feedback. I feel like for the first time in time some, I'm making real progress on it.
 

grit

MyPTSD Pro
The interesting thing about trauma is that survival can be creative process; hence how we evolve to new heights and overcome those who bent on invalidating and oppressing us.

I would make a friendly disposition of relationship with peanut people by using humor and basically faking the peanut allergy is not as bad as it seems so bear with me (provided the peanut allergy has no chance of ever changing) and use my amazing ability to be fake!

No sarcasm. I mean it. Outwit them since I can clearly see their limitation, I would not want to limit my imagination to their level. Use words opposite of how you feel...if you can to a point...of course this is difficult just the way it is already.
 

GrayOwl

MyPTSD Pro
Are things better today?

I really have to agree with everyone's comments.

Awareness of "triggered" - OMG - that is such a huge factor!

If I can catch myself as "Trigger Mode" kicks in I can engage so many more tools and defense mechanisms!!

Progress. Not perfection. That's all I can do.

The medical/insurance industry is total dysfunction. Outwit them. Outthink them. Be creative. And then more creative.
Some days it's like spitting into a hurricane.

Back in March I was travelling and ended up in the ER in Des Moines Iowa - hundreds of miles from my home and doctors. My insurance just recently changed and I now have new deductibles and rules. They prescribed a med for me that allowed me to mitigate the pain long enough to get home and see my doctors in my system(without doubling up on the floor in pain frothing at the mouth). I had to sign up for XYZPLAN because my new insurance plan didn't cover scrips yet. I was prescribed 6 pain pills for $400.00. Under XYXPLAN they were $7.00. Yes. Seven. As in seven dollars. XYZPLAN only covers 7, 28, 30 or 60 count prescriptions. I was prescribed 6. No pharmacy in town would give me 7 pills - the script was for 6 - and 6 only. Six pain pills were $400.00. Period. The ER could not reach the doctor to change the script and nobody else would.
I told the pharmacist to fill the prescription. Twenty minutes later she went on break. I asked her assistant for my prescription. I got my six pain pills. I told her I was under the XYZPLAN plan and gave her my prescription code. She rang it in as seven pills. Apparently their system does not cross check - which I assumed was probably the case. She told me to pay $7.00 - yes - Seven - and the rest was covered under the XYZPLAN plan. I got my six pills - paid for seven - which was $393.00 less - and went on my way. Possession in 9/10ths of the law. Or in this case 10/10ths.
I feel I am entirely entitled to bend Darwin's Law to my advantage - not become a victim of it.

Everything in our medical system is dysfunctional and triggering.
I really hope you are navigating well and things are better.
And remember..... Against the onslaught of laughter, nothing can survive!
Keep smilin 😊

(I substituted XYZPLAN for the real name. We don't need legal or copyright problems.)
 

grief

Sponsor
It's not trauma, it's insurance stupid.
i do understand why the impetus is there to avoid classifying these things as related to trauma or traumatic in any way. and understand your desire to consider this to be a trigger rather than a unique circumstance of its own. and it is very likely a trigger for all the reasons that you have said. but it is not minor, and it is not stupid, either. people do die over these things.

i happen to be from canada so this kind of thing is very alien to me. i still remember being rejected from insurance for a pre-existing condition. and i kept saying, "but i am literally trying to use insurance to treat this f*cking condition?!" they were like "yeah, and you can't do that." (lmao.) it was definitely traumatic at worst and an insane, enormous trigger at best. and it still affects me to this day, literally to this day.

because now it's something cemented, you know, people can just decide not to help you. and that, combined with ptsd from being hurt by other people deliberately and now even in normal life people can just decide out of nowhere that you no longer qualify for receiving life-saving medical treatment for no reason. not stupid. not strange. it's just, unfortunately, "ordinary." that this is something ordinary is the f*cking traumatizing thing.

people should not be experiencing stuff like this. when your life is on the table people around you should unanimously f*cking care about it and do what they can to make sure that you remain alive and healthy.
 
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