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Perspective… and Biscuits

By Melanie Olsen
April 12, 2019

Here are a few facts: MS takes up a bigger piece of our lives than we would like. It has given us a different perspective. But it will not take our sense of humor.

Recently, my husband and I got yet another denial letter from our insurance saying they won’t cover the sleep medication that is finally working for my husband. I know he is not alone in the battle for sleep; the tossing and turning, the burning, the pain, the inability to stay asleep, and then, weighing all of that against the feeling of being hung over the next morning with every other sleep aid he’s tried.

I pour over the fine print of the “not deemed medically necessary” letter. And I’m fighting back frustration because for the last two weeks, taking half of the already tiny dose of the sample prescription the doctor helped us get, Mike has been feeling so much better. He is sleeping. Not a fitful sleep, not a drug induced groggy sleep, but actual rest. It’s not a miracle, it’s not a cure, but it is a tiny step towards “better than yesterday.”

“Don’t get angry,” I tell myself. I’m so thankful that his main prescription is covered by our plan. This is just one more step, so I start writing down the list of drugs he must “fail” before this one is approved. Then I can start Googling the names. Has he already tried that one? Is it the same as this other one?

As I fill out the “Authorized Representative Information” on the external review sheet, an e-mail pops up from one of our son’s teachers. It seems that part of a group assignment was to come up with proper group punishments. It also seems that the teacher did not see the humor, or validity, in our son’s group’s decision that eating three Popeye’s Chicken biscuits without a glass of water was a serious punishment (Google it, it’s actually a thing). She is not impressed.

I get it. I really do. It’s her classroom, her assignment and he should take it seriously. I am not happy about our son giving off the perception of a flippant attitude about schoolwork, but, honestly, I’m having a hard time getting wrapped up in worry about this one.

Maybe standing by Mike’s side as he has battled this disease has made me worse of a parent, but as I sit here and work out the math of how we can pay out of pocket for this prescription, I’m having a difficult time grasping the seriousness of an ill received biscuit joke. Don’t get me wrong, our kid will march into that classroom and apologize to his teacher about not taking the work seriously, and he will redo the assignment, but if this is the worst thing that happens today, this week, this month, then we’re all in pretty good shape.

Melanie Olsen

Melanie is a freelance writer, mom and very proud wife of a husband who lives with MS. When not sitting at the computer, she’s spending time with family, working in the yard and travelling as much as possible. Follow her story on Facebook and Instagram.

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