Monday, July 14, 2008

Who put the "fear" into interferon?

In about two hours I’ll be back on immunotherapy. There’s a reason the drug is called “inter-fear-on.” Its side-effects are ferocious at times, as I've noted in many of my earlier posts. It’s been a huge relief both physically and emotionally to have had a break from therapy, and I hate the prospect of the long road ahead: 40+ weeks of shots three times a week.

Much to my amazement, the insurance company did relent and is allowing me to self-inject at 100% coverage. In the process of gearing up for a second-level appeal last week, I had a productive conversation with the grievance coordinator at Regence. I told her that I was taking things to the next level, and requested that she send all documentation from the original, adverse determination. I got a phone call the next morning from a Regence pharmacist, who told me the company had, in fact, reversed itself and would cover self-injections at 100% (instead of only 50%). The company’s own policy manual is at variance with its original decision in my case, and they finally seemed to understand some of my argument. Regardless of their reasons, I’m greatly relieved that I can now give myself the shots, which permit me some mobility in coming months. This should also make it easier to manage any side-effects, as I can inject myself immediately before going to sleep at night.

My leg is slowly healing. I’m glad it’s been warm so I can wear shorts, which are way more comfortable than pants. Going naked would be even better, but the neighbors (or my kids) might call the cops.


Steve said...

That's good news on the injections, Peter--unless God is gearing you up for diabetes. Let's hope not. We're praying for good results and few side-effects during the next round of interferon. Maybe there won't be any adverse effect at all. Take care--

Anonymous said...

I am so happy I was able to both spend some time with you and be around when you planned your next attack on the insurance company. Bouncing your ideas against a dummy sometimes helps.