My PT (physical therapist) gave me my dismissal notice today! Which for normal people would be no big deal but for dramatic Dora over here they were harsh words to bear. Apparently, there have been some changes to Medicare. There is now a cap to the number of visits I can have. I’ve mentioned before how much I enjoy physical therapy. So this hit me hard. My word, there is an entire category dedicated to physical therapy on this website! I’m really about to have a little breakdown.
Well we decided together that August 15th would be my last day. My pride wouldn’t let me cry in front of my therapist, but I sure felt like sobbing. It felt like a boyfriend was dumping me. I guess I’ve grown fond of my time there. I mean I consider it an outing. I buy cute clothes just to go there. Don’t get me wrong I generally get out a bit more than some of my fellow MSers, so I really shouldn’t complain. Plus, this just means I have time to return to water aerobics.
I guess I got kind of attached to the friendly people at PT. But as we know change is always just around the corner. To be honest, therapy was beginning to get a little harder for me. It was especially difficult to see how I wasn’t improving. For example, things I could do in the beginning of therapy I can no longer do, like walk with a cane. For goodness sake, I can barely use my trusty walker. Yep, it’s mostly my scooter these days. Quite frankly, that kind of scares me. At 37 years-old, it makes me wonder, “What will my 40’s look like?”
But then again I guess even abled-bodied folk wonder about things of this sort as well. Nobody knows what the future may bring. There’s really not much I can do about it anyway. Plus, all of my spiritual/health gurus say worrying about tomorrow doesn’t help.
But damn, can I at least get a little preview?
We miss you! Hope your back to water aerobics. Love reading your blog, keep it up.
Dana, Thanks. I haven’t made it back yet but soon after my trip this weekend!
You inspire me, Nicole.
Keep Persevering and pushing forward…as we all must do.
Liz, Thank you. Persevering is my constant goal.
Wow, that stinks. I hate feeling “dismissed… I’m still doing yoga at home. Funny, the whole future thing. When I had trouble with my legs, I thought “well at least I can still blog”, now my feet are better but my right arm is giving out. Guess we just gotta go with the flow….I think this is the absolute hardest part. Not knowing how long or which body part is going to funk up.
Hugs and love your way.
Yes, MS takes the old saying, go with the, to a whole new level!
Sorry to hear about the cap. Is it a cap on treatment category such that you could have treatments modified, even if only on paper, and still qualify? On a similar vein, is it a treatment cap on the initial cause of the need for the therapy such that a doctor can describe a new ailment with similar treatments?
Sorry, I am just trying to understand exactly how the cap is structured to understand if there is a way around it. I know with our kids, we have had times where our kids qualified for the same treatments for two different conditions. We’ve used that when one ran out.
In any event, stay strong. I am convinced MS ages me faster than normal. As you pointed out “healthy” people have many of our concerns. They just aren’t in concentrate form. Some just get to water theirs down with time to make the taste slightly less bitter, but we all drink the same nectar or sewage of old age. Which of those two we drink is chosen, at least in part, by from which perspective we approach the cup.
Well lived, I believe it’s a cap on # of visits. As I understand it, if I were to break a leg and needed PT afterwards my insurance wouldn’t cover it. But excellent point you bring up.
Just read your post and I’m sorry about your PT, I’m sure your friends at water aerobics will be glad to see you again. I’m just getting acquainted with medicare this year and so far it’s been ok although I haven’t reached any caps of any sort I will be pushing it soon as I secure an evaluation for bariatric surgery tomorrow. I appreciate your work and obviously empathize with you and your fans who have MS yet I confess that I have done little in the past 6 years since my diagnosis to ensure my continued mobility. It has been the exposure to your site and your writings that have caused me to reconsider my lack of effort and to stop taking my current mobility for granted. So…with inspiration from your work and a friend of mine I have totally changed my diet and am evaluating facitities to begin working out. It just so happens that the local YMCA offers water aerobics 5 days/week and the instructor has MS. So I guess the writing is on the wall and perhaps I’ll enjoy it as much as you and possibly avoid the need for PT for years to come! Ha, who knows, I agree 110% with your spiritual gurus. They are right but dang wouldn’t it be nice to get just a glimpse of the future! Hang in there and keep fighting the good fight….as always appreciate your work and please keep up the writing 🙂
Tim, Thanks for reading. I wish you the best of success on
your surgery. Sounds like you’ll be moving soon and making all us MSers so proud!
Update on the surgery is that Medicare actually pays 80% yet that leaves almost $3800.00 which of course United healthcare doesn’t want to cover. And mine is a regular policy as opposed to a supplemental plan! Oh well let the games begin, looking at having an attorney get involved possibly given that I don’t have 4k laying around 🙂 However the change in diet is going remarkably well and I’ll be pursing joining the YMCA this week which I hope will also relive some of the boredom you mention in another post. So keep up the good fight and as always, I appreciate you and your work!
Tim,yMan I really send you much success with the insurance company! Today I did laughter yoga. So not so bored tonight. I’m so flattered I made your grateful list!
Nicole, I feel bad you are in this position. I would write my representatives and complain about the cap. It is inhumane to do this to you. Our medical system is so flawed. I am in an MS group with a large number of people that don’t live in the U.S. They can’t understand why we don’t have universal health care as most modern nations do. A woman I know in Scotland had her home remodeled to make her life easier. A handicapped kitchen and bath. The government paid for it. Many countries take care of their sick and poor. We unfortunately in the U.S. don’t have this luxury.
WOW! I can’t even imagine.
Hi lisa have a friend that lives in canada, and yes they have free health care BUT they are taxed a lot. My friend pays 300 a month in property tax and taxed 30% from earnings then 11% in purchase tax. Heaven forbid we ask americans to pay a cent more in taxes they jusy wont have that even to pay for free healt care for others. Sad but true
Sorry to hear it, Nicole. Get yourself back in that pool ASAP! Ever since I first went on Medicare in 2006 I’ve been limited to 12 PT visits a year, which I always do over a short 6-week span. At the start of the 6 weeks they ask me my goal, and I try to think of something. This last time I said I wanted to regain my balance so I can at least stand without falling. A lot of my trouble is balancing with the brace on my right foot. I’ve never gotten the hang of walking with the brace, I go right over on my face. Of course over the course of the 6 weeks of therapy, nothing ever gets any better.
Thank God for water aerobics. When I could no longer lead the neighborhood power walking group, I started leading a water exercise class, using what I learned in PT. The power walking grouped helped and encouraged a lot of people keep fit. Especially young moms who didn’t work, and whose kids were in school for a few hours a day. Now I help a different category of people, including some with MS, as well as arthritis, various surgeries. Come rain or shine, come hell or high water, I am in the pool 5 mornings a week. In winter I wear a wetsuit.
Just an aside: 3 weeks ago I fell right after getting out of the pool, before I sat in my wheelchair. I felt like and IDIOT and it took 2 lifeguards to lift me off the ground and carry me. My right ankle swelled up like a melon, but X-rays don’t show any broken bones. They say I tore a ligament, and they say I need surgery. I meet with the surgeon next week.
Yes, I’m going right back to water aerobics! Hopefully with no incidents, Sorry about your aerobic fall.
Good morning my strong MS Warrios! Nicole im not even worried abot you not getting your pt. Lol ive read your post and i see u are a fighter! And u will win this war also. Lol .i try to believe the saying ‘move it or lose it’ but does it work in our case? People do pt to strenghten there muscles but in our case its not the quality of the muscle its our brain telling that muscle to move. Right? I just dont know, i think we shld focus on what we can do. I think ill focus on my upper body strengh to help with in non mobility of my legs. Am i making sense?
dee rob, Yes you are making sense. That’s one of the reasons I lift my dumbbells at night!
Oh man, I’m sorry to hear that. I know from reading your posts that you enjoyed the PT time. I hope you enjoy the water exercises just as much!
Melissa, Me too!
I feeL your pain…been there done that! It just amazes me that in order to continue with PT, they must see “improvement”. Well duh, we have MS, a PROGRESSIVE disease, with improvement being a long hard WISH! Don’t they understand that movement, stretching, etc will HELP keep those muscles working for us & for those who can no longer MOVE be sOMEONE cause of the ravages of MS, that this is key to our daily lives? Of course there is no improvement, we didn’t have knee surgery we have MS! Someone at Medicare needs to address this NOW & not 10 years from now!
Kim, well said! They did’t use to have this on hospital based PT.
Nicole you are always in my prayers
I feel for you because you expressed how helpful PT was for you. I am also being discharged from PT this Wednesday after three months. However, they told me that I can wait, I think it was, thirty days, have doctor prescribe therapy again, they could then come back. It may be part of Medicare’s policy. I had home visiting PT.
I hope you find a way to be able to return to PT or find something else that will help you.
Take good care!
Arletha, I hope I have. I got something up my sleeve.
I meant to say, ‘anything can happen to anyone, at any time, MS OR NOT’
Faye, I like that.
I always try to remind myself that ‘anything can happen to anyone, at any time’
I have always thought this way, long before my MS diagnosis.
I go thru stages too, thinking about the ‘what if’s’ regarding my MS, and what ‘could’ happen.
Hang in there 🙂
Faye, Thanks. I have too!