Previously I mentioned that I was challenging Kaiser Permanente's group-therapy-only policy:
I lost that challenge and the appeal to the state. It was not deemed "medically necessary" and Maximus, investigating for the state, seemed to think I was only passively suicidal (such as not taking care of my heart health at times). That was not correct but there is no appeal.
I have particular issues with group therapy and while I've tried it in the past, I find that I get too attached to the group members and when it ends, grief takes over and erases whatever benefit I got from it in terms of depression relief. I have some pretty severe abandonment issues going back to childhood.
Additionally, I am not able to attend their all day depression program five days a week. My body won't tolerate those hard chairs, my pain level will increase greatly, and I don't have the stamina. If I could go sit in a chair all day for five days per week I could hold down a job. Kaiser told me, "we have the same chairs for everyone" as if that magically changes my body into one that can withstand hard chairs with zero lumbar support. Kaiser, we don't all have the same bodies.
I also tend not to share the most deeply personal things with a roomful of people who have no legal obligation to keep confidentiality. I have tried a number of anti-depressants over the years. My body can't tolerate them. My stomach is so hyper-sensitive that the SSRIs and SNRIs cause severe pain as my esophagus goes into spasms. Others are off the table because they would increase my heart rate and blood pressure, not desirable in a heart patient. My last psychiatrist concluded that I should rely on talk therapy.
Individual therapy on a weekly basis has stabilized me during previous bouts of suicidal depression. I have always responded well to it when I have a good therapist that I trust. Kaiser offers it monthly which just isn't enough. You spend most of that time trying to catch up and it takes forever to get to know and trust the therapist.
That also leaves me alone with my suicidal thoughts for the rest of the month. To fight off the intense suicidal feelings, especially while dealing with chronic pain and my feelings about having to accept medical treatments and procedures after a childhood of unneeded tests and surgeries (from my Munchausen by proxy mother) I need weekly support for now. This year I received two new diagnoses and I am struggling to deal with new levels of pain and integrate the care for them into my already complicated regimen of meds and self care practices. The medication for my gout is conflicting with my sensitive stomach, for instance. Apparently it causes stomach bleeding in some and I've experienced pain. I'm trying to figure out natural methods to accomplish the same goal: lower uric acid in my blood. It's taking time to find the right regimen for me. Meanwhile I'm not able to wear my lymphedema stockings with the gout pain in my feet. At times the pain is pretty extreme. And over time I've faced the fact that I also have fibromyalgia now that I have all of the classic symptoms. But I've resisted adding that officially to my chart though my doc and I have carefully talked around it so he gets why I'm reluctant to do so. It's still a controversial diagnosis in some doctors' minds and when I move back to Santa Cruz someday I'll have different doctors. I hate to give a bad impression right off the bat.
These are just a few of the things that are causing me to have increased suicidal feelings and thoughts right now. At times they are quite severe along with my pain level. It seems so very tempting to avoid all of the pain and surgeries I know are in my future (my c-spine will need more surgery in several years and I have cataracts). I hate doing fundraising for myself with a passion. It's taken a few weeks since the state (through the company Maximus who made the final decision to support Kaiser) sent me their IMR decision.
However many therapy sessions I can raise funds for will go a long way towards helping me adjust to these new challenges. We are hoping that next July when our insurance comes up for renewal that the ACA will have brought insurance rates down so that we can return to an insurer who pays for weekly therapy.
Currently we can afford one therapy session per month with a non-Kaiser therapist that helped me back in 2008. I was acutely suicidal back then and he managed to bring me out of it. Kaiser therapists are over-scheduled with patients so it wouldn't be possible to pay them directly for extra sessions. This therapist, Craig Clark, knows me really well and I think that knowledge is vital for my treatment. He also has expertise with those who suffered childhood abuse and those issues are mixed in with my chronic pain issues.
We pay $100.00 per session, once a month. [Rent here is well over half our income so with only Dave working things are very tight.] That leaves a gap of $300./month for three more weekly sessions though even one or two more per month would help. If you would like to contribute (no amount is too small--I have donated five or ten bucks myself to causes like this) there is a paypal button below.
If you'd prefer to send a check, please send me a private message and I'll give you my mailing address. I just didn't want to make it public.
Prizes for donors:
1. Super secret advance memoir excerpt that has not been posted anywhere, signed, for top donor.
2. Kuan Yin trinity statue for second highest donor. This is wooden and has two folding doors that open up to display the trinity.
3. Personal collage made specifically for you for third highest donor.
All donors: Signed copy of previously published piece.
If you have items to offer to donors at certain dollar amounts, please let me know in comments. I have friends who've published books, for instance. (I do have many awesome friends.)
I will post updates as funds come in and report back regarding how many sessions I am having and how I'm doing with it. I thought about using one of those fundraising sites but I'd rather do this in a more low key and personal manner. The therapist's name is Craig W. Clark MFT.
Thank you all so much. xoxoxoxo
ETA: Total as of Oct 28 is $430.00 from 9 donors, I've already had one therapy appointment with funds from your donations. I have another scheduled Nov. 4th. Nov. 18 will be paid for from our funds and donations will cover early December's appointment. This round of fundraising will end November 20 at midnight and I'm hoping I can raise enough for sessions in late Dec/early January. If I still need extra therapy appointments the next round would start mid-January with new prizes. Thanks for spreading the word and pitching in. I'm usually on the other side of these and I'm heartened by the generosity of my fellow humans. I will ask for receipts and post pics of them for accountability.