Day 569: Ain’t that peculiar?

Let’s start today’s post with another song I love:   “Ain’t That Peculiar,” performed by Marvin Gaye and written by Smokey Robinson and some of his Miracles.

Here’s the version I’m used to:

(found here on YouTube)

And, ain’t it peculiar that — even though I love that song and a capella music, too — I just found, for the first time, an a capella version of it?

(found here on YouTube)

According to the Wikipedia page about “Ain’t That Peculiar,” the song is “about the torment of a painful relationship.”

The painful relationship I am most aware of —  right now, in my life — is the relationship between me and

  • my fears,
  • doubts, and
  • too-harsh inner critic.

This is on my mind, at the moment, because one of my patients got turned down by an insurance company for long-term disability, even though she cannot work, due to her depression.  I’ve heard that initial turn-downs are a matter-of-course, these days. I have to believe that our appeal will be successful. But I just found out, yesterday, that all her treaters, including me, have to submit all supporting arguments by this Friday, or her appeal will be denied.

Ain’t that peculiar?  It is to me.

This situation affected my sleep last night.  Right now, I am afraid that the other treaters (the medical doctor and the medication prescriber) might not be available to help me document our case well enough, before Friday.

Ain’t that peculiar?  Both of them,  most likely, will be able — and eager — to help.  However, they haven’t responded to my email from yesterday yet, so I am expecting the worst.

Ain’t that peculiar?

The treater who prescribes the anti-depressant medication is somebody I know pretty well and respect a lot.  When we first spoke about the disability turn-down, I discovered that we both, automatically,  blamed ourselves, because we each felt our documenting notes could have been better.

Ain’t that peculiar? Anything anybody writes could be better, including medical notes. We are not to blame for the disability turn-down.   We can (and will) provide more evidence. And we both hope we will do a good enough job, with the appeal.

I am really focusing, this morning, on worst-case scenarios, about this disability case. Therapists specializing in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) might say that I’m catastrophizing about it. These therapists might say that I am blaming, minimizing/maximizing, negative filtering, fortune-telling, mind-reading, comparing, personalizing, name-calling, and experiencing every other CBT distortion on this list.

Ain’t that Peculiar?  I AM a therapist who uses CBT in my work.  And, there are many good things for me to focus on this morning, including:

  • More and more people coming to my therapy groups,
  • My patients expressing gratitude for what they are getting,
  • My feeling much healthier these days, after some scary medical experiences this year, and
  • Lots of positive and hopeful developments, in my personal and work life.

And yet, I am focusing, this morning, on worry about this woman and her getting turned down for an extension of her long-term disability, by an insurance company that might initially turn down most disability requests.

Ain’t That Peculiar?

Yesterday, besides thinking about these things,  I also took several photos, which is not so peculiar.

Do you see any peculiarities here?

IMG_7283 IMG_7284 IMG_7288 IMG_7289 IMG_7291 IMG_7294 IMG_7296 IMG_7299 IMG_7300 IMG_7301 IMG_7302

Last night, when my son and I were waiting for a stand-up comedy show to start, I showed him the photos I had taken that day. I asked him if he found anything peculiar about them.  Some he did, some he didn’t.

Ain’t that peculiar?

Then, I took these photos:

IMG_7304 IMG_7305 IMG_7307

At this point, I don’t even know what is and isn’t peculiar, myself. I just know I have to get ready for work.

Thanks to Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, people I work with, my son, Cheers, and to you — of course! — for any peculiarities you might bring with you, today.

NOTE added at 2 PM, the same day: I spoke with the insurance company and found out that I had been misinformed. We have more time to appeal.  Ain’t that peculiar?

Categories: inspiration, Nostalgia, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 35 Comments

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35 thoughts on “Day 569: Ain’t that peculiar?

  1. Not to “catastrophize”, but I would say you’re just being realistic in anticipating an ordeal with an insurance company. Now I have to go listen to Marvin’s a cappella version. Best of luck in this.

    • Thank you, very much. I added a note at the end of the post: I found out we have more time for the appeal, so it’s not as much of an ordeal as I feared. I am taking your luck and running with it.

  2. Huh, peculiar-arities, don’t get me started. But it isn’t peculiar to love this song by Marvin or by Smokey. It’s a great song and the a capella version is spot on.
    I had great hopes when your current Prez was voted in initially that his health bill was going to produce something like our NHS in the UK (but better).where Insurance Companies didn’t make decisions about treatment, that was left up to the Doctors. Where someone incapable of work could be granted access to a Sickness Benefit ( a Disability Living Allowance) via some kind of medical group funded by the Government through taxation. Something not ties by the constraints of a Company concerned about profits.
    Well, looks like I was wrong and the Insurance Comanies stay in charge and can still make decisions like the one that’s bothered you.Can still end someone’s treatment because the pot of money has gone.
    Now ain’t that peculiar?
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

    • I haven’t quite figured this all out, I must admit, because of all the recent changes, plus my balancing what I think SHOULD be with what is (and with what might be different in the future). In any case, I’m so glad, David, that your visits and comments are the complete opposite of peculiar (that is, happening frequently and becoming familiar in a wonderful and comforting way).

  3. Ann, I think that your list of cognitive distortions is misleading you in this situation. They are only distortions if the thinking is distorted. Your thinking is accurate. The insurance company has already turned down this patient once. The other medical professionals are caring but slip-ups do happen – and life also happens — funerals, root canals, accidental amnesia. Friday is only a couple of days away. The insurance company is making it harder for all of you with their short deadline.(Probably intentionally.) A successful outcome for this patient is not guaranteed.

    In this case, I think that your worry comes from a healthy place. You’re anxious, but your anxiety is motivating you to take action and it’s appropriate, given the suffering that this patient will experience if the appeal fails. Somebody has to help this patient — and you are stepping up, taking some of the responsibility You aren’t assuming that other people will do that, even though it would be less stressful for you if you did. Your worry is also a sign that you care for this woman and are looking after her. She’s depressed, vulnerable, and no doubt very anxious as a result of being turned down by the insurance company. She probably warrants and benefits from your concern. In her life, maybe you are the only person lying awake worrying about her right now. She’s fortunate to have a therapist who cares and worries in a reasonable way. Its not like you’ve taken to bed and pulled down the blinds. You went out with your son to see a stand-up comedy show. You took photos. You wrote something for us. You’re looking after yourself. You are pretty amazing, actually.

    If an insurance company’s automatic first response is to turn down disability claims for mental health issues, then its agents are making life harder for vulnerable people and increasing the workload for doctors and therapists. Their goal is to save money, not to be heroic. Reading your blog almost every day, as I do, I find it impossible to imagine that your notes wouldn’t have been excellent, as you are compassionate, insightful and you express yourself very well. It must be hard to walk the line between giving full notes and protecting the patient’s privacy. In my opinion, the insurance company will try to exploit that if they can. Don’t let them rattle you, no matter how this turns out. You’re supporting your patient emotionally and in practical ways and you are the ally she needs. You can’t ensure the outcome. That is peculiar, but it’s a peculiar failing of the health care system, not of yours.

    (I hope I’m not being too opinionated here. I’m worried about you!)

    • You are not being too opinionated. You are being helpful, compassionate, insightful, and all those great qualities you see in me. I do need to tell you that I made a slip-up here — that is, I took the information about the deadline being this Friday at face value, at first. Once I called the insurance company today, to register my protest, I found out that was erroneous. In actuality, we have more time to appeal. Phew! That was a relief.

      Your beautiful comment (and worry and concern) will help me let go of what’s not helping me, as I and the rest of the patient’s team move forward, doing our best to help.

  4. Gene Phillips

    Many thanks for including the a cappella version…so great! Yes, many things are peculiar and catastrophizing is something with which I am pretty familiar, especially when an acute situation has arisen from my procrastination or indecision.

  5. It’s not peculiar, it’s terrible, that Insurance America’s first step is to always turn down a disability claim instead of judging every one on its merits from the start. That’s what I think today, Ann.

    • Actually, Mark, now that I’ve written this blog post, I’m wondering whether everything I wrote was fair and/or true. The insurance company, when I called them, was more reasonable than I expected. Time will tell, about the outcomes.

      Sometimes I can’t figure out what’s going on with insurance companies and other complex systems. Ain’t that peculiar?

      • You’re not the only source that I’ve heard the “all first-time-requests fail” story from, Ann. That just wastes everybody’s time and money if it’s true.

      • I would agree, Mark. Thanks for the additional data.

  6. I love your posts! The photos are an awesome snapshot of big city day to day. I’m sure this isn’t what you were going for but there is something RED in each and every photo…my favorite being the red dress in the bus reflection. Can’t help it, it’s what popped out of my head when I finished looking at them.
    Am I peculiar? I probably don’t want to know the answer to that lol
    Your patient is lucky to have someone who cares as much as you do.

    • I don’t think you’re peculiar, Melissa. Red is one of my favorite colors, so I am very happy you brought that to my attention Thank you for your kind appreciation. I am lucky to have a reader as caring as you.

  7. Glad you have more time to appeal Ann and I don’t find it peculiar at all that you were worried about her getting turned down. You are a good person with a good heart that wants the best for all those whom you work with. Ain’t nothing peculiar ’bout that. <3
    Diana xo

  8. Is there really a Cheers bar? Is Norm really there?

    • Norm is there, as a cut-out. The Cheers bar was based on the Bull and Finch Pub in Boston, which has now changed its name to “Cheers.”

  9. Man, you do tend to catastrophize! And I find my made up word peculiar, but apt! :) and since I do it too, I’m going to start using my made up word when I find myself in a situation where I catastrophize!

    • If you and lots of other people are using that word, it’s not made up anymore. Ain’t THAT peculiar? Thanks for being such a loyal reader and commenter, Kate.

  10. UGH with the insurance companies!
    As for your mind on this ordeal. That says how much of a caring person you are. :)
    Glad that there is more time for the appeal & hope all goes well.

    • Thanks, RoSy. This comment says how much of a caring person you are, also. Now I am glad, grateful, and hopeful.

  11. I find that just about everything is peculiar when dealing with insurance companies. Pressing 1 for this, 2 for that and sitting on hold for unreasonable amounts of time …. only to be given yet another number to call …. peculiar indeed. I certainly hope your patient wins her battle.
    Thanks for sharing the videos …. I’ll be humming today!

  12. Good luck with that case. I hope you can get it resolved. :-)

  13. amusez798387

    Ann-talk to me about disability , I have probably helped more pts get this, deservingly.

  14. Phew, I was getting worked up on behalf of your client and your anxiety, then I got to the last line. Hope the appeal goes well in the end. I love the a cappella version of Ain’t That Peculiar and that was quite some note about the apology for …when I was hungry. This afternoon I was telling a friend about all the things that I failed to achieve in the book I will be publishing in December, now Ain’t That Peculiar.

    • That is peculiar, Hilary, to focus on perceptions of failure. Peculiar, but not uncommon. I am so glad you read this post and stuck it out to the end!

  15. Pingback: Day 572: Tell Her You Saw Me | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

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