Kage Baker was a firm believer in the power of nagging. It was like social erosion, in her opinion: keep up a slow, low-key but constant reminder to some obstruction that it was in her way, and eventually the bugger would crumble. “My vegetable wrath shall grow/Vaster than empires and more slow,” as she was fond of mis-quoting Andrew Marvell. (To His Coy Mistress http://www.luminarium.org/sevenlit/marvell/coy.htm)
And as Kage never gave up on something she wanted, but was severely allergic to confrontation, nagging was her metier. She was good at it; had ambush timing down like a prima ballerina in a pas de deux – always in the right place after a decorative swoon or a delicate retreat. Parents, siblings, mail order catalog clerks, editors … all learned she would not be denied. In a subtle, lady-like way, she was remorseless.
So I learned from a mistress of the art. That has been especially useful the last week or so, as I have battled the rusting and mismatched gears of Medi-Cal and Social Security. I have called every day: on days when no one answered, I left messages. I’m not entirely sure how effective it was – as I never got the same agent twice – but the file with my name on it must have gotten thicker and thicker …
If you keep this up long enough, desperate operators start giving you secret information. Like, there is a way to get out of the automatic robot messaging system and into the queue for a live operator. It takes a while – your hand and your ear will go to sleep – but it works from anywhere in the tiers of the robot system, he he he. Also, there is an ombudsman’s office, where they are dedicated to getting rid of naggers as quickly as possible without actually saying NO.
So, I spent about 3 hours on the phone today, going from office to office. I managed to confirm many essential details and processes, and I know that my appeal to be restored to a version of Medi-Cal that actually works is right where it ought to be now. But! I also got a two-week temporary waiver! I am restored to straight Medi-Cal! And by the time it lapses, either the permanent waiver will come through or I will get another fortnight’s grace. They were really eager not to have to talk to me every day …
The most important thing it means is that my surgery can now, yes, be scheduled. My doctor’s office and angelic secretary Pat have confirmed the information, and should have a date for me within days. I may spend New Year’s in hospital, but at this point – I am almost looking forward to it.
So far, I win. Phase 2 is nearly complete, and Phase 3 is heaving on the horizon.
Details as they continue to occur, Dear Readers. And thank you for all your prayers and energy. Invictus!