Sunday, May 12, 2013

Journey to Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation aka: TMS (Part One)

Shortly after the beginning of the year my therapist mentioned a new(er) treatment for depression.  She gave me the pamphlet that contained basic information, told me a little bit about the seminar/training she had went to, and told me to give it some thought.

I'm pretty certain it wasn't an hour after she gave it to me that I made the call to the clinic.  They were doing consult/intakes at no charge.  At this point in the game...I had NOTHING to loose.  A day or two later I received a phone call from the intake coordinator (or whomever it was) and made an appointment for a day or so later.

I went home the evening after making the appointment and googled TMS Therapy.  I asked on my FB Blog page if anyone had heard about it.  I had a few responses.  Nobody that really had any knowledge.  I read and watched the information on the Neurostar website that was provided in the pamphlet.  It seemed very promising.  The video in my opinion was very cheesy and fake.  I came across the following videos from an excerpt on the Dr. Oz show.

Please check out these videos to learn more:

*Fair warning* Dr. Oz is a bit over the top.  Which he is with many things.  However, this is one of the best descriptions and "real" videos I've come across so far.
Dr. Oz  Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation: nA Cure for Depression? Part One

I went to the appointment at the TMS Center.  My husband went along.  It was rather tough in many ways.  Telling a complete stranger, someone that I had no trust in about me....and why...I was wasn't very easy. I will just say that much.  And add in that my husband was with me.  It just was tough.  In many ways.  Any intake is tough.  Plain.Cut.Simple.Dry.  Little did I know then....that would be the easier part of this entire process!!!

I left with very little hope that anything would come of that appointment.  I knew the treatment wouldn't be covered by my insurance.  The gal was a bit more optimistic than I was.  There were bits and pieces of holes that needed to be cleared up.   Over the next week I received a few phone calls to get more information on my insurance coverage.    I am acutely aware with what my insurance will and will not pay for.  And I knew that this clinic was out of network.


I received a phone call about a week or two later telling me they had a financial assistance program and I could apply for a scholarship.

I filled the form out immediately upon receiving it in an email and sent it back the very same evening.  

A few weeks later I received a phone call telling me they would like to offer me a scholarship.  The gal was going to email me the information immediately after talking to her.

It was awesome assistance.  However, it still wasn't feasible. I tried to figure out every way imaginable to make it work.  I knew I was sliding down a very slippery slope. And needed help soon.

It wasn't long after that my husband had his little mini meltdown (in my ever so humble opinion that is what I will call it).  He was faced with having surgery, the possibility of having prostate cancer, and in general he was sick of my shit.  I am sick of myself. I can't imagine what those who live with me must feel like.  I am/wasn't faking it very well.  I know that things were bad.  And they weren't getting any better.

My husband was adamantly against using our tax refund towards partial payment for treatment.  I spoke to my mom about borrowing the money from them.  It wasn't going to be an option.  I let the clinic know that we could not do it right now.  We have tapped out every single penny and then some with taking out a loan with my shoulder injury.  And any more debt was not feasible at this point.

I didn't hear anything again for about a month or two.  Just a quick call letting me know that they had received a denial from my insurance company (not a surprise...I knew it was not going to be approved) and they had filed an appeal.  However, it could take about a year for the appeal process.  She informed me they had requested my medical records from my psychiatrist and therapy notes from my therapist.  A day or so later I saw my therapist and she informed me she had received the request.  She was not going to send all  13 years of treatment notes.  However, did I agree with her sending a letter instead.  I firmly believe that is/was better idea.  Treatment notes can be subjective to whomever is reading/writing them.

Okay.  Fine. I left it at that. I think that was the beginning of March.
Until I got a phone call...not quite a month ago...on a day that I had not gotten out of bed. 

There have been several days that I've not gotten out of bed in the past few months.

It's been rocky at best.
However, treatment has started.
Over the next few blog posts I will write what/how it came about.

1 comment:

Judith Fraley said...

That was really a tought one but you made it through. These are just challenges that we all face. Everyone has a different story. I am glad that you were able to start with your own treatment. While for me, it can wait. (or so I thought). Thanks for sharing.