Thoughts on Being a Non-Smoker & Insurance Companies are the Devil.

I have been a smoker for years – I’m not sure exactly how many. As anyone who knows me well can attest, I have this problem with time. I don’t process time as well as people should, and I can’t mark it well – I can’t really tell you if something happened a week ago, a month ago, or a year ago. My vacation last week felt like eons. Stephen King calls it “pretty pony time,” and uses the term to describe how children view time – remember when a summer seemed like a lifetime? Still does, to me. I never grew out of that.

Regardless, I’ve been a smoker for as long as I can remember. I knew it was bad for me, I hated wheezing and coughing, but it wasn’t easy to quit. I’d try, and succeed for a week or two, sometimes only days. Then I’d be back to the cancersticks. It wasn’t even really enjoyable anymore, usually – it was just something I did.

I decided to try Chantix, because I’d heard so many success stories – although I’d heard some horror stories too. Both were right, for me. It did kill my cravings, and even when I did continue to smoke, it stopped having ANY pleasure at all, even the remnants of feel-good that were left after so many years. It just tasted bad, stank, and burned my lungs and eyes. I put them down after about nine days on the medication.

However, it gave me horrid insomnia, and when I was able to sleep, crazier-than-usual, technicolor dreams (that part, I didn’t mind so much). It also sank me into a deep, dark depression, which was no fun for me or anyone around me. I stopped taking the medicine after three weeks.

I have now been “quit” for about six weeks, according to the calendar (if you ask me, it feels like a year!).


Friday night, Rhys needed to fill a migraine prescription. The pharmacy advised us that he has not been covered “since September.” Shock! He has most certainly been covered, under my insurance! I called their customer service – they were closed all weekend. This morning, I discover they are still closed. Fine – I called our company’s Benefits hotline, who informed me that they never received his paperwork from last year and that he had been dropped. Their timeline is as follows:

May 08: I added Rhys to the insurance.
June 08: They see that I called (to confirm that they had received all the paperwork, which they stated they did), but the rep and manager stated that the person I spoke to hadn’t added any notes, so they didn’t believe that the call was, as I asserted, a confirmation call.
June – November 08: Nothing happens.
December 2nd, 08: They drop him from coverage because they state they hadn’t received paperwork from back in June.

That’s a bunch of bullshit. Now, they have to mail me something, which they state will take 7 business days. Then I fax it in somewhere. Then I go through a 30-day appeals process through my company. To hopefully get him re-covered before we leave, so that he doesn’t show a lapse, which is apparently a kiss of death for future insurance policies. In the meantime, anything we need for him is out-of-pocket, with a hopeful reimbursement before we leave, which I don’t view as likely.

These are related stories, I promise.

After dealing with Insurance, our unhelpful HR staff, and my helpful bosses, and not really coming to any solid conclusion, I was teeming with stress. Overflowing. Not zen. Not serene. About to destroy people.

I decided I would have a cigarette.

So I went outside, bummed one, and took a puff.

A. It didn’t actually do anything for me.
B. It tasted bad.
C. It hurt my lungs. I couldn’t actually inhale the whole way.
D. The person I bummed it from is a little annoying and kept chatting away at me about inane things.

I put it out after a few attempts at puffs and walked in, disgusted by the stench of the clouds of smoke. I don’t really have any regrets about it. I try not to have regrets about much.

I have no interest in trying another. I think I really am a non-smoker now. At least SOMETHING good came out of the fiasco this morning.

My mouth tastes like an ashtray. Yuck.

About rhysfunk

Rhys Martin was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1981. In 2009, he sold everything he owned and left the country, living out of a backpack for ten months. He discovered a passion for photography while traveling throughout Southeast Asia and Europe. After returning home, he looked at his home town and Oklahoma heritage with fresh eyes. When he began to explore his home state, Rhys turned his attention to historic Route 66. As he became familiar with the iconic highway, he began to truly appreciate Oklahoma’s place along the Mother Road. He has traveled all 2,400 miles of Route 66, from Chicago to Los Angeles. He has also driven many miles on rural Oklahoma highways to explore the fading Main Streets of our small towns. Rhys has a desire to find and share the unique qualities of the Sooner State with the rest of the world. Cloudless Lens Photography has been featured in several publications including This Land, Route 66 Magazine, Nimrod Journal, Inbound Asia Magazine, The Oklahoman, and the Tulsa World. In 2018 he published his first book, Lost Restaurants of Tulsa. Rhys loves to connect with people and share his experiences; ask him about enjoyable day trips from Tulsa, locations along Route 66, and good diners or burger joints along the way.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Thoughts on Being a Non-Smoker & Insurance Companies are the Devil.

  1. Eagle says:

    Welcome to the fold. Oddly enough, when I feel stressed and pressured I take a deep breath.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s