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Category Archives: Money

Resolution

So, it’s a new year. And while I have tons of ‘resolutions’ (aka intentions of improving things such as excercising more and being more frugal which I was going to do anyway, regardless of the date, and which I was working on before New Years too)… I have one resolution.

 

A brainwave idea, more like.

After ordering 230 euro’s worth of sale items on Asos, all of which I can use, really… I decided to quit clothes shopping for the rest of the year.

At first it was a guilt-driven idea, but when I think about it, it’s a good idea. I need to shop less, I need to spend less money on it, and a year is about long enough to get it out of my system and find a new way to deal with it.

I am allowed to buy underwear as needed, and socks and pantyhose (these tend to rip too often).

Receiving clothes is OK.

But, no clothes, no shoes, no accessories. I can MAKE stuff out of things I already have. I can learn to use a sewing machine to alter stuff, if my mum doesn’t hit me over the head with a roller pin out of frustration if I get it wrong again. (Really, how hard can it be?)

It’s a challenge.

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Posted by on January 2, 2014 in Brilliant ideas, Dear Diary, Money

 

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Vicious!! Health insurance in Holland…

Apart from some gloriously good news I’ll post about later (too little time!) and a pending Liebster award post (how do I get the thing to go in the side of my blog?)… I got a rather nasty letter from my health insurance.

And I am vicious. Because, essentially, it comes down to this: the ONLY drug that helps me is being made inavailable to me because of some CRAP idea that I WANT all of this. This is a society that does not accept people who are different. This is a society in which, like in the US, there has been negative propaganda against ADHD, obviously not backed by anyone who actually HAS ADHD.

It took me a few hours of time I could have spent doing something actually constructive, to find a health insurance that will cover Concerta, albeit with just too much hassle and Orange Tape. Before anyone talks about the US to me: when talking to a few of my American friends complaining, it turned out that my health insurance AND deductible were higher than theirs. I’m paying 140 euros something for it every month. My contraceptive pill isn’t covered.

Then, the Dutch government decided to make a deductible of 350 euros mandatory by law for everyone with health insurance, given that health insurance itself is mandatory, this means everybody has to pay the 350 euros IF they need health care. Now, a deductible (Direct translation from Dutch: ‘own risk) is something you’d agree to if there actually was a chance you’d not have to pay it. A deductible is fine on car insurance, because you intend to not crash it. A health insurance deductible is reasonable in an otherwise healthy individual who actually has 360 euros to spare. If you’re chronically ‘ill’, or simply don’t have an extra 360 euro’s laying around somewhere…. that law-regulated deductible simply comes down to a fine for being sick. I paid my ‘sickness fine’ alreaddy, so now I can start saving up for the 360 fine I’ll get in 2014 because I still haven’t managed to go back and be born without ADHD.

Now, in my last calculation, given my massive decrease in income and my massive increase in health care expenses since I rented this place last year… it comes down to this: I won’t be able to afford my home due to health care costs.

So, I already was chronically pissed at the Dutch health system. I am pissed when I see patients struggle, people not accepting the care they’re offered because they don’t have an extra 350 euro’s. I am pissed when I see the minister of Health, mrs Schippers, ‘having an opinion’. Some of these opinions include ‘Light conditions such as ADHD, pneumonia, simple urinary tract infections and poor hearing shouldn’t be covered by insurance at all’. Light? Excuse me? I’ve actaully written ‘pneumonia’ on death certificates! And a simple calculation showed that treating my ADHD would have been A LOT cheaper than treating the shit that followed from not treating ADHD. Also, my Concerta actually leads to massive savings for society in the long run: it’s cheaper than having me on disabilities. A LOT cheaper. I’m using myself as an example here, I can think of a shitload of scenarios in which financial unavailability of health care cost a lot more than the actual health care… but that’s in some other minister’s file I suppose. Or even in her own file: treating something early or preventing it altogether usually is cheaper than treating the complex serious illness later on. Or maybe that’s just my simple doctor-logic.

Today I am vicious because I ran into my new Health Insurance contract again. Because too many people needed it, they decided to cover less of the medication not covered by the ‘basic’ insurance. Our Health Insurance Institute thing (College voor Zorgverzekeringen) decided some medication is simply ‘luxury’, one of them is Concerta. I might as well add, as far as we know ALL health insurance companies have made profit over 2013. Of course, being able to avoid rebound 4 times a day, with rebound setting in within a 15 minutes, is a complete luxury if you’re working in an unpredictable field where rebound may lead to serious mistakes. Also, the lower risk of abuse, the improved emotional stability (reboud is a rollercoaster), the increased compliance… all luxury.

Right. So, now they only cover it up to 500 euro’s a year. Given my high dose of Concerta, that’s about 3 month’s worth. And regardless…..  That’s around 40 euro’s a month that IS covered, (and you still need to pay the deductable). For 40 euro’s a month, I wouldn’t need an insurance to cover that. Basically, they’re not covering the drug I need.

Had I been treated with Concerta as a teen (and ADHD coaching), chances are I would have skipped the comorbidities… And in the past 10 years that would have been cheaper, net.

They don’t fucking want to cover it.

Because this society is full of bullshit.

Now, for 2014, I get to do it all again.

 

Oh, what do you know? The additional insurance does fully cover it if I were to try and treat my ADHD with anthroposophic medicine or with homeopathy!! Or acupuncture. (SCREAM!)

 
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Posted by on November 20, 2013 in ADHD, Health, Money, Rant, Work

 

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A rainy Sunday afternoon…

Sundays at work always seem a bit weird. Given that we’re doing business 24/7, that means that EVERY Sunday is weird. That would make weird ordinary, but that’s not the point. Came in this morning with a lot to do, but now there’s nothing and I’m thinking we might as well have done the case we turfed to others, but then again, when we turfed it, we did it because we had too much to do. Or so it seems. And now we’re being phone jockeys.

Autumn weather is crazy weather, and you need to pack an umbrella and your sunglasses. Looking at the rain gives you time to think. Somehow, rain calms me down as long as I’m somewhere not getting wet. If I’m getting wet, it makes me angry.

Rain

Rain

Things are going on, I’m still leaning towards my Godzilla with PMS side and I hate that side of me. It’s the downside of an ADHD brain combined with a very insecure life so far. Something goes wrong and I’m immediately flooded by thoughts in all their ADHD glory: impressions, images, feelings. Cognitive behavioural therapy has been tried with me thrice, but that’s based on people who think with words and one thing at a time. Or so I think. It does NOTHING to curb the flood, much less if there are strong emotions involved. So, we pick up the pieces later, embarrassed and all.

I’m perfectly capable of handling the cognitive part, once I’ve resurfaced. It’s really very much like being rolled by the waves when swimming in the ocean. I’m a good swimmer, but sometimes it still happens. Just like in the actual ocean, you’re much more likely to get into trouble if you struggle. My best tactic has been to simply roll with it, hold my breath (well, obviously, underwater) and figure out what’s up and down ASAP when I feel the worst blow is over. Remember to always check the coming waves as you emerge! Tip: your chest is filled with air and will move upwards. (Skinny girls don’t float….)

beachwaves

I’ve always been alone in these waves, nobody but one of my therapists has witnessed it ever. That has been fairly recently, I took some time to defrost. And now, TDH has witnessed it. I didn’t really want him to, but I’m here, and he’s close to me… and sometimes he’s been the one triggering it. And it’s weird, because I have no idea how to deal with this. I mean, I always saved the drama for somewhere nobody else could see it.

I am scared of my own past, scared of it happening. I’m not really a fear-type, but I’m terrified. I suppose I can only be terrified because I fully understand how bleak and cold and painful it was. And while I may be doing ‘better’ I think the emotional wounds need more time to heal. My schemes? Trauma response? My ongoing ‘battle’ with my worth as a person doesn’t really help: I feel like I don’t really fit into society because it’s custom made for the same-mass; being different doesn’t float well. I am still being told, sometimes less subtle than other times, that I need to change to ‘adjust’ to a world made to fit someone else. I am being made ‘less’ because of how I am wired, for the greatest part how I am biologically wired. I don’t understand why I can’t be accepted for who I am, simply because I love people for who they are. It’s kind of like bra shopping: I wear a 28F, a size hardly ever sold in stores. Instead of helping me find a fitting bra, the message is: ‘why don’t you just wear the available sizes? We have ALL sizes! 32A-38D!’. Because, quite frankly, they are uncomfortable and don’t fit and offer no support.

bras…

I feel like I’m untangling the hurts, trying to figure out how to get my life healthy. Yesterday we had a look at my crappy financial status. I completely flipped; completely overwhelmed. It was worse than I thought, and I may have to find another solution to my living situation even. Having ADHD is expensive; it’s the main change. Of course, I always had ADHD, but given that our government doesn’t believe in ADHD and thinks short acting methylphenidate is the shit and everyone should be fine with the cheapest contraceptive pill (I think that one made me sick…), I’m stuck with some pretty high medical expenses. If I get into the training programme, I’m going to need my Concerta more than ever, and having to deal with the 3-hourly waves that come with short-acting methylphenidate, (nevermind the rebound when forgetting it) probably won’t be the best thing for me.

I also realised just how much I have to give up. For example: fashion. I really enjoy my style time, but I can’t afford it. My gym membership. I have absolutely no idea how I’m going to manage my fitness without it, because I can’t go running any more due to my allergic asthma… grass pollen allergy. My head immediately gets flooded, the prospect reminds me of my desolate past. I got into debt trying to escape from the hell that was my life. I tried to comfort myself with stuff and whatever because I couldn’t have love, safety, friendship, someone to care for me when needed. It didn’t work, but it was a distraction. And then there’s the thing about the Marshmallow test: turns out that kids who have experienced broken promises will eat the marshmallow: you can’t count on getting another one if adults can’t be trusted. As a kid, I lost things quite a lot. ADHD. The idea was to teach me responsibility by letting me replace lost items with my pocket money, because that’s how it works in the real world. The lesson I learned was that months and months worth of pocket money gets taken away for something I truly could not help. Nobody helped me find ways to remember my stuff.  This has been disastrous for my personal finances throughout life: I had learned to spend my money so I could at least get SOMETHING out if it, as soon as I got it, because I never knew when it would be taken away, leaving me with nothing. (Of course, this is just one of many ‘issues’). Of course, life’s a bitch and this thing comes back to bite me.  Is it fair? No. My dad was right about one thing: life isn’t fair. Of course, that’s something I figured out long before he told me that.

Nobody taught me how to prevent this mess either, and I’m pretty much left to my own devices when it comes to getting out if it. Nothing new: if I had 5 cents for every time someone told me I should be able to do something which I failed at (most often due to ADHD, sometimes due to not having learned something, sometimes due to having glasses making it impossible to bat the ball because you’ve got a massive blind spot right where the bat is, sometimes due to hypermobility and also sometimes because I actually SHOULD be able to do this but simply failed)… well… I’d have enough money to solve this problem and a few more, perhaps even start a scholarship. I’ve gotten plenty tips that go right back to the obvious. It’s like telling a bulimic they’ve got a strict food budget. Yes, I know about budgeting, I’ve tried about 20 times to keep track of it, I understand that this is not helping…. But guess what: somewhere between intention and outcome I massively fail. I’ve even set up several master plans to live on a tight budget…. it lasted a week.

But, that’s not the point. My overwhelming emotional reaction had little to do with failure or the previous intents. It’s simple: the prospect of a really tight budget triggers rather traumatic memories. My struggle with debt started about three months into university, when I needed shoes but had no way in hell to afford them. I walked those shoes through. It became evil after that. It was the incident where I handed my father a minimum budget, and him cutting it back even further. I felt so desperate! It left me with too little to eat from, never mind actually doing something other than study. ‘But your sisters work’. My sisters weren’t in med school, living in student housing. It’s from a lifetime of barely being ‘allowed’ anything I enjoy, and knowing better what it’s like to be deprived than what it’s like to have my needs met. It’s from being reminded of painful loneliness, and the rats I never really could afford but who healed me in so many ways. And it’s about being scared to have to deal with that again, scared to be facing a bleak, dull, lonely life again. I won’t be able to afford doing fun stuff more than a few times a year, and there’s nothing I enjoy more than doing fun things with friends.  Just a few things. It’s completely irrational, and yet, I am having a hard time convincing myself that this can be different.

Regret is a complicated thing if you know you would have done things differently had you known how. And it’s not about the fucking money, yet, it is.

Poor piggy

 

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2013 in ADHD, Dear Diary, Money, Work

 

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