Bits and pieces

That’s all I have, bits and pieces. You all have such interesting lives or at least you have the skill to make them look interesting. Why, if I didn’t have your lives to live vicariously, the litter box and my annual physical (today) I’d have nothing. Well, that’s not entirely true.

I’ve been felting. There’s wisps of wool all over the third floor here in the Brickhouse. I’ve been thinking of starting up a little Etsy business and then putting sort of an “ah, shucks, you don’t have to buy anything” squeeze on my friends and acquaintances. But how many of you, seriously, could use hand felted and lined knitting needle cases? Four. Maybe. I’m also doing wallets and scarves, table runners and mats. It’s all just too craftaculous. Reminds me of when I spent a 12 year old summer making glorified sit-upons with the comics and magazine section of the Sunday paper.

Speaking of crafts, a couple weeks ago several people commented on the odd item in one of my photos. Faithful friend, Judy (Kenju), thought it was a flying saucer. It was Teton, my turtle. While polymer clay is not my thing, when I found this guy in the little gift shop at Grand Tetons. I couldn’t believe the skill and artistry. I still can’t. He is SO beautiful.

When I was in the Tetons, I climbed to an elevation of 13,280 ft. with Abby, who was 12. I was 47 years old. Two years later, I did the entire down/up of the Grand Canyon (while Swiss octogenarians in lederhosen skipped up and down beside me). Today, exactly ten years after the Teton ascent, I’m going in to see my internist for a routine check up. This will undoubtedly result in a trip to 4 specialists and cost me (my insurance company) thousands. Here’s my little list, written on the whole foods magnetized shopping list so I won’t forget. Usually, I make a mental list and then when she says, “So, how ARE you?” I smile affably and say, “Uh, fine!” and leave feeling as though I had entirely too little time to complain and whine. Now, since I’ve openly admitted that I can no longer remember anything, plus I no longer have much dignity, I make a shopping list of complaints. It reads:

-mammo requis

– going deaf right side?

-dry. HRT? (also HF, < drive, <sleep

-Vitorin. Does drug suck or what? NYT, AMA say yes. Why am I taking this?

-thumb falling off. Arthritis?

-hate front desk nurse. 3 days for script refill, rude, says dumb shit. Complain.

-bone density time?

Some list, huh? I am going to ask her about that bone density test last thing and place it strategically in the conversation in such a way that she might forget about telling me to get a colonoscopy. That’s the plan.

Speaking of health insurance, lots of you had feelings about that when I wrote about Abby’s plight. Well, she’s REALLY better now and back to work but not before she again had to go to the ER. And this is a child who has previously gone years without feeling the need for a doctor, but she was very frightened by the level of bone pain and weakness and thought she should be checked. There was nothing they could do for her except tell her to wait it out, take more meds for pain (which she doesn’t/won’t) and charge then another 1200.00.

Here’s the Catch 22, the insult to injury if you will. Today, when I go to the doctor, I will pay 20.00 co-pay and the billing person will zip off a bill for about 980.00 to my insurance company. That will include a physical, a pap, a blood and urinalysis (note to self: don’t pee between now and then). BCBS will send them back a check for 273.00, saying basically “we think that’s sufficient for this visit and that’s where we have profiled the costs.” My doctor’s office will say, “Swell, thank you very much” and write off the rest. If the person sitting next to me has no insurance they will hand her a bill for 1000.00 and she will be expected to pay it in full. In other words, the uninsured are billed at the highest possible rate with no reduction for being a big conglomerate like BCBS. And so, Abby and Misha, without insurance, got socked at the highest possible level of billing and because they are good do-bees they are working an extra job to pay it while (actual figure) 96% of uninsured visits to the ER go unpaid. What kind of system is that? That’s rhetorical.

Well, there was something really special I wanted to share with you but now I have to segue into getting fresh and clean for my doctor, who I suspect of not really caring about me all that much. It’s a giant humming office at Northwestern Medical Center. I guess as long as she takes good care OF me, that’s sufficient.

I promise I will put that special thing up for tomorrow, which happens to be Friday Ark day- I’m even taking my camera along with me this morning.


15 responses to “Bits and pieces

  1. Good luck out there in Medical land.
    Don’t forget your list.

    That turtle truly is beautiful.

  2. Your turtle is great. I, too, have to make a list before I go to the doctor. Not all doctors charge uninsured patients at the highest rate. My doctor gives a discount for a cash payment at time of service (or they used to — they’ve been bought by the Catholics since I’ve had insurance). My doctor always offered me samples of things — gave me samples of antibiotics one time for an ear infection in a kid so I didn’t have to pay for them. They never made me feel like a low-life for not having insurance and worked to try to reduce my out-of-pocket expenses. Small town living does have it’s benefits! Still, how glad am I that we have insurance again? VERY!

  3. Schedule your colonoscopy for July 22, which is when I am having mine. Then we can send text messages back and forth about the indignity.

  4. Good luck with the medical stuff today. Yuk. My doctor has been nagging me to do the bone density test.

    Given the fact that when I got preggers with our son we didn’t have health insurance, I am lucky I had a doctor that set up a payment plan and worked with us. As did the hospital. Some really do try to do the right thing. Our family doctor here is the same way – she’s Indian and when my husband recently spoke with her about what her office charges were for folks w/o insurance, if he should decide to go back into contract work instead of the benefits offered by his current employer, she said she works with everyone.

  5. love the turtle – i have a cat by the same artist.

    Hang in there with the doctor. You’re so right about everything, not that that is much consolation.

  6. And people are surprised when they hear that the #1 reason for bankruptcy filings is due to health care bills…..*bangs head on desk* sees doctor – has insurance but banging head on desk is not a covered injury – no matter, I still get the bill discounted to insurance rates.

  7. There is an ancient form of self-care, meditation, and exercise that negates the need for doctors. It heals arthritis, as well.
    Namaste, darling Do-Bee!

  8. Could Bonnie be writing about YOGA perhaps? 😉

    Don’t forget the list!!! *she reiterates as one who has done such*

    The turtle is beautiful and the tales of your climbs inspires me. If Kel and Michael make it to the Grand Canyon, I’d love to meet them there and do the whole up and down thing. I’ve never even SEEN it.

  9. Pardon me for being blunt, but if you don’t schedule a colonoscopy, you are just plain stupid. I didn’t have one until I was 60, and after it was all over, the doctor said, “See you in ten years.” According to her, it takes 10 years for a polyp to become cancerous. A lot of pain and suffering could be avoided if people had it done…and you have insurance.

    Great turtle.

  10. The turtle is gorgeous and he IS sort of saucer-shaped! Thanks for the mention.

    I know all too well about BCBS and high doctor’s/hosp. charges. All I can say is hurry up to turning 65.8 and take Social Security, sign up for Medicare and hire Hum*na to expedite it. You’ll be better off then.

  11. Back again. Thanks for the visit and I am glad you two got some laughs. When I received the email, it was prefaced by saying that if China couldn’t get it together well enough to use English signage – they probably couldn’t run the Olympics either. Of course, I didn’t point out to them that almost all of the stuff on is Japanese.

  12. Hey, thanks for stopping by! And sorry, this really is how long it takes me to respond to things.

    I could use a case for my knitting needles. I only use circulars, and nearly all the cases I see are for straight needles, so I would possibly buy one, if you made it.

    Also, yes the kittens are all spoken for (thank Heaven), but Jackie would have been an excellent choice for you, she’s a cheerful and friendly little grummit.

    Finally, insurance: ARGH. Just, argh. Even in Europe, the people who run these organizations are the scum of the earth.

  13. I agree with Beverly on both items — bring up to your doctor that the results of a study published last week showed that fasting for 24 – 36 hours beforehand gave as good a view as when the bowel prep was done with that nasty bowel prep stuff, which causes, in my opinion about 5,000,000 times more suffering than “the procedure,” which is what the receptionist called it when she asked, “Are you here for the procedure?”

  14. Odd. Speaking of doctors, that is. For quite awhile I was going to one or more doctors almost every day. Then I got through that and now I haven’t seen a doctor in about three months, and don’t forsee a visit any time soon. Am I getting better, or is this the calm before the Procedure?

  15. Sweet blog! I found it while searching on Yahoo News. Do you have
    any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News?
    I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there!

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