The following was written the other day:
Back in 2012, and I think also back in 2011, I had sleep studies done to see if I had sleep apnea. They were ridiculously expensive and Medicare wouldn't pay for them. I had another one around the beginning of this year, too. I finally managed, though, to get the info I needed. My sleep doctor ordered a CPAP for me back in January, and Medicare told me I had to get yet another fucking sleep study they wouldn't pay for, before they would pay for the CPAP. Which is really stupid, because I had all the information already; my blood oxygen goes down to 70% without a CPAP, when I sleep.
But my coverage has changed since then. I got on a program that pays my Medicare premium for me, letting me keep an extra $100 per month (which came right in time! I would have had to move out if it hadn't!), and at the same time I had them increase it from A to A and B.
A month or two back, it occurred to me that there might be different rules now I had better coverage, so I checked with Medicare, and sure enough, they will pay for my CPAP. The only requirement now is I have a sleep study every 7 years. (Plenty of time to either cajole them into paying for it, or saving the money to pay for it myself.) So Dr. Hagen re-ordered the CPAP for me after I explained everything that had happened, and I got a call yesterday from the place that has them. I go in on Thursday to pick it up and get shown how to use it.
I also had to go to my shrink to get refills of my anti-depressant pills. While I was there, I asked about female hormones, since I had found you could get them in pill form. She referred me to Crystal at the same clinic, whose job is to look up stuff like whether Medicare will pay for stuff or not, like she did to find out about the CPAP for me. Crystal later called me back with a number to call. I called that number, and got instructions on how to begin. In order to see the people who are apparently the only people in Portland for hormone stuff (at least who take Medicare), I will have to change my Medicare to “Med Advantage” and my Medicaid (which I had not known I had at all) to “Family Plan,” before I could even come in to see them. Which, she said, would not entail any premium increases.
When I told Brooke about possibly getting on hormones, one of the things she said was to think about if I wanted to change my legal name. Which, I admit, has been a tricky issue for me for a long time. I started going by a shortened form of my Traipahni name (Fay from Fayanora Ahnabahn Tahlahmorgk) almost 15 years ago because no human names really clicked for me, not even the name I would have had if I had been born a genetic girl (Cassandra). For a while, I have wondered whether I would stick with my given name, or go with some form of my Traipahni name. I even considered “Fay-Anne Aura Arts.” I know I want to keep my last name; it is uncommon and it suits me, as I am an artist. I've never had an issue with my last name. My first name, yes, but not my surname. My only issue with going with something like “Fay-Anne” is becoming F. Arts rather than my current T. Arts.
I was thinking about it today, while signing a check, and had the sudden thought of “maybe I should keep my current initials at least.” Which led almost at once to another possibility: Tempest Alexandria Arts. (Inspired by Meriel Tempest, the name of Lyria's daughter.) The name instantly struck a chord that no other human name has before. So now I'm wondering, if I were to change my legal name (which I would like to do), if I should go with that. The only issue is, all my friends know me as Fay, even offline ones. So I've been thinking about things like Tempest Alexandria Fay Arts, Tempest Alexandria Fay-Anne Arts and the like.
But there's another possibility: I could change my legal name to Tempest Alexandria Arts and be known by two names, one human name and one shortened version of my Traipahni name (like I already am); be known both as Tempest and as Fay. (But never as “Tempy”; I associate that with Temperance Brennan of the TV show “Bones.”) This makes a lot of sense to me, since on Traipah the Ah'Koi Bahnis, at least in some cultures, tend to give their kids “nest names,” those kids later choosing an adult name for themselves, but still probably being known by friends and relatives by both names. Of course, with a cool name like Tempest, I wouldn't mind being called by either name.
But yeah, I really like Tempest as a name. It reflects the chaotic side of me, the powerful and wild Shao'Kehn side of me. And at the same time, keeping a feminized version of my given middle name honors my dad's choice of names for me, and the history behind it. (But I could never do the same for my first name; I dislike all versions of it, for myself.) Ha! And really, changing it from Alexander to Alexandria gives it a different historical meaning as well, referencing the Library at Alexandria. (No jokes from the peanut gallery!)
Okay, I've thought about it. Unless I think of something better, I really really like Tempest Alexandria Arts as a new legal name.
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I went to Norco and got my CPAP today! My appointment was at 3. I got there at 2:30, the guy wasn't ready til about 10 or 15 minutes after 3, and it was almost 4:30 when we finished. It's a lot smaller than I thought it would be. The machine, the mask, the tube, the power supply, and a couple other things fit in a bag like a smallish camera bag.
The thing almost seems to read my mind. With the CPAP at the sleep study, I kept struggling because the thing would blow air in at a constant rate, which made it difficult for me to breathe; I kept having brief panic attacks and having to rip off the mask to breathe right. But this one is awesome! This one pumps more air in when I inhale. There's air going in all the time, just more when I need it. And it's so LIGHT! I barely felt it. I almost fell asleep in the chair while using it there, even though there was no water in the humidifier.