Thursday, February 23, 2023

Stress and resistance

When we teach oppression and struggle without also teaching the joy of resistance...we miss the mark.
~Jania Hoover

Hi y'all! Welcome!

The Poetry Friday round-up is here today. Please leave your links with Mr. Linky below!

Last night, I heard about something really unfair that had happened to a middle schooler I know (let's call him Will). One of his classmates thought it would be "funny" to tell the police that Will was planning to commit a violent act, and the police showed up at their house at night, scaring everyone. The police believed Will that he was not planning such an act, but since then, Will has been ostracized from his friend group and the student who called in a false police report has not yet gotten in trouble. I wish I could help because, honestly, I am well-and-truly tired of justice not being served.

I'm sure we could all brainstorm a passel of situations that we would like to see fairly resolved. Today's poem is about something that I would like to kick butt about, but I'm having to be patient-ish. It was written by my older daughter, Ariana.

Things my health insurance has told me since denying my medications
a found poem
by Ariana Yeatts-Lonske

- the next step of the appeal process is the external review
- the external review has already begun
- a peer to peer call is the next step
- we don't have your name in the system
- what medication is this about again?
- how do you spell that?
- how do you pronounce that?
- you can speak to the person who made the decision
- no one, not even us, can speak to the person who made the decision
- a pharmacist made the decision
- only a medical director could make the decision
- yes, the denial letter is signed by us but we don't have anything to do with this
- let me transfer you
- let me put you on a brief hold
- your medication is already approved through May!
- your medication has already been denied the maximum number of times
- someone on your care team should know the answer
- you need to ask your doctor
- you need to ask your insurance
- no, I don't know Dante
- I can't see anything here
- if you have any questions, call us

We can't only be stressed...we've also got to laugh about it. You have to rejuvenate for kicking butt another day. A little more about joy as resistance: Let 2023 be the year of disabled joy by Lucy Webster and The Black Joy Project. (You've probably heard about the benefits of journaling.)


Linda Mitchell said...

Oh sister...and sister's eldest, you are singing my song. I have struggled and struggled with just feeling stressed out about all kinds of things. This included a great many things that relate to young people. This week, I am telling another story. Apologies to Tabatha as I've told the story of how her blog sparked it already in Laura Shovan's February Poem Project. I am sharing again--with my poem. Peace to you Tabatha along with thanks and a promise to find something to laugh about asap!

Denise Krebs said...

Tabatha, I'm glad you and she were able to laugh a bit, rejuvenating for the resistance to come. Take care of each other. Thank you for the links about disabled joy and Black joy. You are a peach; thanks for hosting this week.

Michelle Kogan said...

Thanks for sharing Ariana's poem, I hope that it will reach an even larger audience. Recently I heard on NPR's 1A radio cast a report on exactly what you are talking about. They talked with a few folks one person who has been on cancer meds for a while and was just denied his meds.

Among there speakers one was there from:
the Patient Advocate Foundation: maybe you are familiar with them already, if not maybe they can help.

Here's a link to the show I heard:

Fighting back against health insurance denials

Maybe you're familiar with this already, but I wanted to pass it on if you aren't.
Thanks for hosting!

Alan j Wright said...

Your post has a David and Goliath feel to it Tabatha.Resistance is a double edged sword it seems. I love Arianna's poem- such a clever construct. Found poetry at its best. Thanks for hosting. I identify with your struggle.

Matt Forrest Esenwine said...

Oh, good grief, I feel so bad for her! And my wife, who's a NP, goes through much of the same thing, so she knows how frustrating it is - she's had more than one angry conversation with insurance companies who think they know more about the patients than she does! Thanks for hosting!

Linda B said...

I saw this on FB, too, Tabatha, & have told others about Ariana's horrific challenges with the medical community Sadly, nearly everyone has a similar story to say. I hope Michelle's (above) links might give another path for help. Both of your connections, Ariana's poem, & the links about joy as resistance feel both right and uplifting. Best wishes for something good on its way. Thanks for hosting!

Bridget Magee said...

Mind blowing - the middle school boy's very scary experience and Ariana's ridiculously frustrating insurance experience! But Ariana made lemons out of lemonade with that sweet and sour found poem! Thank you for hosting, T. Here's to holding out hope that justice will SOMEday be served. (And insurance companies actually do their job!)

Marcie Flinchum Atkins said...

This poem! This hit me hard. So horrible. And the middle school kid--what a heartbreaking story. I hope both of these situations have good endings.

Sara said...

This poem is a powerful indictment---everyone suffers, no one is in charge. I hope she shares it widely and it cracks open the door to change. And I'm holding out for justice for "Will"---that is awful. Thanks for hosting in the midst of this, and for being a platform and a voice for those who often don't have one.

mbhmaine said...

This post is a bit of a trigger for me, Tabatha. I've already typed and erased multiple responses. I can get so angry remembering some of the things that happened to my dad during his cancer treatments. There's so much unnecessary pain in both situations you share. I mean, life already has enough challenges without adding more, right!? I think it speaks so highly of Ariana that she can create within the midst of struggle and I hope that somehow Will finds his own refuge or outlet within his situation(and that the other student faces serious consequences!) How awful! I'm rooting for both of them!

Mary Lee said...

After copying it into my notebook, I'm just sitting a minute with the quote you began your post with. "...the JOY of resistance..." Of course there has to be joy. How else can one go on, whether it is in the face of a prank accusation that has upended a life, the indignities of the U.S. healthcare system, a disability, or systematic racism?

Your posts are always so thought-provoking, and this one is no exception! Thank you for being an active Eye-Opener, for living your blog name and encouraging us to do the same.

Carol Coven Grannick said...

So many personal, family, and friend experiences mirror this found poem...and it's so important to share it as widely as possible. As a poet involved in the patient safety movement personal stories of frustration, mistakes, danger are actually so important to share. (There is, indeed, movement afoot in organizations that matter that will encourage patients and families to share their stories with the ultimate focus on accountability.)Thanks so much for sharing this!

Irene Latham said...

Tabatha, I love you. Thanks for all you give us. Ariana's poem is so powerful in the face of powerlessness. That last line! xo

Heidi Mordhorst said...

Stories like these (and daily similar ones that play out more than daily even in our "good" schools) ignite my righteous ire so hot I had to take myself out. Constant outrage and the injustice, the pure apparent unfixableness of so many situations, is hard to live with, and for me, the function of the gotta-laugh moment, the joy, is to remind me in my body that one little crusader such as myself can't fix it all. Or even maybe any of it. Wield joy.

jama said...

I don't know whether I would be able to summon a sense of humor if facing a similar situation. The feelings of powerlessness and injustice are overwhelming. Kudos to Ariana for her found poem; sorry she has to deal with the frustration. Also feel bad for Will. Thanks for hosting this week.

Janice Scully said...

How horrible for that child at school! And your daughter’s experience is so familiar and frustrating. Such a discouraging list. More than ever, patients have to advocate for themselves and persist in spite of a system that feels so deaf to people’s needs.

Liz Garton Scanlon said...

Oooof I feel this post. "Let me transfer you" ... let me pass this problem on and on and on... Posting here allows it to be received. Hugs...

Margaret Simon said...

Isn't it just so maddening? I'm glad your daughter could write out the list to get a more lighthearted view of the ridiculousness of systems that do. not. work. I recently had to cancel my credit card due to fraudulent charges. I had a 30 minute call with the Ring doorbell service insisting there must be something they could do to continue my service. (We have a wood duck currently sitting in the nesting box where the camera is.) Finally he suggested we cancel our service and take a 30 day free trial. There is usually a solution, but why the hell do we have to insist over and over and over. And does this happen to men? I wonder.

Karen Edmisten said...

Oh, Tabatha and Ariana, huge hugs. This is beyond frustrating. Kudos to you both for looking for some laughter relief, but truly, it's just so blatantly wrong and unjust. And nonsensical! It stupefies me to think that an INSURANCE COMPANY can make a vital medical decision. There is nothing normal or just about our healthcare system.

I was recently at my daughter's IBD support group and one of the members got switched to a new drug not because she or her doctor requested it but because the insurance company suddenly decided the drug she's been on for ten years — the one that's been keeping her in remission — is no longer covered.

Ariana, I'm so sorry you are going through this! My hugs make nothing better, but know that I'm sending them.

Kay said...

I can so relate to Ariana's experience, unfortunately, since my daughter has a chronic condition. She/we have gone round and round too many times. I'm glad she could find a creative outlet for the unfair frustration.

JoAnn Early Macken said...

Oh, how I recognize your frustration from justice not being served! Here in Wisconsin, we face a state Supreme Court election that could lead to an end of horrible right-wing policies and the gerrymandering that keeps horrible right-wing politicians in power. Thank you for hosting, and thank you for your thoughtful post.

JoAnn Early Macken said...

Whoops! I left the wrong link at #23. I've added the correct one at #24, but I can't see a way to remove my mistake. I'm sorry!

Carmela Martino said...

I'll be contemplating the "joy of resistance" today. Thanks for sharing. I, too, can relate to Ariana's frustration. I'm glad she found an outlet through her wonderful poem and hope she finally gets her meds approved. I keep thinking about Will, too. May his situation improve to, and justice be served!

tanita✿davis said...

Oh, Friends.
As I change pharmacies for the third time - because we can't fill that scrip, because that drug can only be filled by a specialty scrip, because we can't send it to you by that time, because we can't use that coupon - I feel Ariana's and your irritation, frustration, and reluctant amusement. Geez, SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE. Making art out of annoyance is a respected and time-honored tradition, so KUDOS.

Additionally, I wish I could give Will a fierce hug and issue a fierce correction to the one who wronged him. A crime was committed and it's unimaginable that so far, it's just "Oh, well, boys will be boys."

And hugs. We're all in this injustice and nonsense together. Fingers crossed that something resolves for you all soon. Here's to stubbornly mining the joy out of the unyielding stone of life.

laurasalas said...

Oh, Tabatha--I hurt for your daughter and mine, both going through supreme healthcare challenges. Kudos to your daughter for making art out of crap. xo

Carol Labuzzetta said...

Healthcare is so broken. As a former nurse, I am glad I am no longer part of it. One has to stand up for your rights and the rights of those one loves - without question. I am finding this with my parents as they age. So many broken systems. I hope your daughter's problem gets resolved. It is good to write about frustrations, as you well know! Hugs.

Susan T. said...

That's a horrible situation but a fabulous poem. My favorite line is "no, I don't know Dante."

I so hope your daughter can get the medication that she needs.

Patricia Franz said...

You know when the written word hits the mark when it makes you both laugh and cry. Thank you for sharing your daughter's words. She's already an old soul.