November 27, 2015

It's fall, because the leaves are falling???

Scotland castle

Last weekend I went to visit me Mum in the rehab hospital.  She fell and broke her hip and ended up with a partial hip replacement.  She has been in the hospital or rehab since Sept. 23rd, or maybe the 27th.  She had to have 3 surgeries ~ the main partial hip replacement, the surgery to remove infection from her incision, and the surgery to remove the drain from the incision repair.  She moved to the facility she is in on the 20th, and was informed by the case manager at the new facility that she will be discharged on Dec 7th because the insurance (Medicare) simply won't pay anymore.  I have 2 thoughts on this: 1. It will motivate her to really work with the physical therapists to make the most of the time she has left there, and 2. because she still has a lot of mobility problems, it might be a really big mistake.  I suppose that there must be some limits, but I think discharging someone who might very well fall again because they simply aren't strong enough is asking for trouble.  Truthfully, I am very concerned at how she will handle being at home with just J*, her care giver.  There will be in home rehab until she is strong enough to actually go to the facility.  She is very lucky to have the money to pay for a nurse aide to come several times a day.  I suppose we will just have to see how it goes.  She may go home, but I have serious doubts that it will work.  I have a feeling that she will end up in a nursing home, and then discover that she wished she had worked harder to stay home.  I hope she proves me wrong.

We had a very nice Thanksgiving with Mom last Sunday.  I had called my sister about 3 months ago and suggested I come the weekend before Thanksgiving to have it with her a week early...all before she fell.  Since I really needed to go see her anyway, we stuck with this idea, and it went really well.  It is tough though, to see her so fragile.  I need to do some research on renting or buying a hospital bed and check into the home health care situation.  

This is the point where I feel overwhelmed with guilt that I live so far away and my Sis ends up with all the hard stuff.  Not that there is much I can do about it.

Our own Thanksgiving was delicious.  As son #2 usually gets a turkey from work at Thanksgiving, I opted to have ham, and save the turkey for Christmas.  I like turkey, but don't really want to roast 2 in 4 weeks, and what to do with all the leftovers?????  

I hope you had a wonderful time with your family and friends!

Love, 365

November 17, 2015

Flying the "friendly" skies.........

 


In less than 48 hours I will attend the cattle call line for boarding my flight to San Antonio.  I thought I had scheduled the flight to take off at 8:20, but it's 7:20.  Oh, that's am, not pm.  Yesterday Romeo and I had a little pillow talk and discussed when I need to be at the airport.  And asked me if I wanted to be there 2 hours early.  I strongly stated one hour before is enough for me, thank you very much.  The sad part is he was serious.  Sheesh.
I may not have mentioned that I have suffered from motion sickness since......forever.  The first time I went to a dental convention with my previous employer, I became so sick I thought I might never recover.  It was truly horrible.  They even took me from the plane to our van in a wheelchair.  And yes, I still feel sorry for the person I was sitting next to when I had to use the barf bag (which I always check to make sure I have one when I fly....sad huh?).  I haven't done it since then, which was nearly 18 years ago.  I now take meclizine starting 24 hours prior to the flight, and make sure I drink some ginger ale (the only thing I drink on an airplane).  I don't anticipate getting sick.  But, what is interesting is that I now have injectible migrane medication, which would help me if I do get sick.  The tricky part is that it is injectable, and because I don't want to spend more time than necessary in the security check, it looks like I will put it in my checked baggage.  I tried calling the airline, then they directed me to the TSA...where I was left on hold for over 20 minutes and hung up in frustration.  The box doesn't have a printed Rx on it, and although I have the print out of the prescription, I worried that it would be confiscated, although it probably wouldn't....just the idea of losing $85 of medication makes me want to cry.  Although certain none of this worry is necessary, it just gives my life a sort of preverted meaning....lol.
Stupidly, I have to go to Phoenix from Albuquerque to get to San Antonio.  Once I had to fly to Las Vegas from San Antonio to get to Albuquerque.  And yet it sure beats 10 hours of driving.

Love, 365


November 12, 2015

I think it's only Thursday......

Yeah, all us dental receptionists look like this......not.   Sheesh.

After Ami invited her readers to list what they did on the average afternoon (go here), I wrote a rather long comment and she mentioned I should write more about work.  Which is rather a slippery slope in some ways.  If you've been reading my blog, you know that at my previous job a patient found my blog, by stalking me on the internet....then I received a scathing talk down from my boss asking me "Did you say this" ~ "yes", repeat 5 or 6 times, etc.  Surprisingly I didn't get fired.  Anyway, my current position is wonderful, so I suppose I won't exactly be the same.  Lol.  

I was thinking today about how much I enjoy my "new" job - I guess it's still kinda new, since I've been there 9 months.  Because I don't have any sick leave or vacation time.  Or pension options.  =sigh=  

Any who, I still am amazed that most ~ probably over 85% of patients just don't have a clue about thier insurance.  And that's sad, because dental insurance is a lot easier to understand than medical (still mulling over the Cobra option myself, lol).  So, when you have that third dental cleaning, please don't call the office and yell at someone because you have to pay it yourself.  Here's just a little dental insurance primer:

PPO ~ preferred provider organization: you have a lower copay for stuff IF your dentist participates.  If your Dr doesn't participate, you would have a higher copay.  For example when you have a filling done, it could cost a little more (like $10), or a lot more (like $100).

Maximum ~ represents the total amount of $ they will pay out for your dental care in a 12 month period.  Which could be a calendar year or a benefit year (like 7/1 to 6/30).  Sometimes your exams and cleanings aren't part of the maximum, but most times everything is is paid out from your maximum.  If you don't know what your maximum benefit is, you might want to pull out the paperwork and actually look at it.  
~Sorry, but it does get old when I ask if you have insurance, you say "yes" but then have no idea what company it is.  Most people don't get cards for dental like you do with medical.

Deductible ~ This is an amount that insurance will subtract from the first claim submitted when you have some kind of treatment, like periodontal or filling or extraction.  It could be $25 or $50, all the way up to $250.  95% of the time it is $50.  

There is a lot more....but please!  Don't yell at me because your company opted for a crummy insurance plan.  Or, worse, because you had three different levels of coverage and chose the cheap one that doesn't cover root canals or crowns.  I suppose it's the ol' "don't shoot the messenger" issue.  

Well, gotta run.  I hope I enlightened you a little bit.  Next time you're at the dentist, remember that we truly want to help.

Love, 365


November 7, 2015

Of prescriptions, Cobra coverage and living without insurance......

I you want to know more, go here.


     This Friday I had an appointment with our new family physician.....I had waited 3 months for it, and of course as you may already be aware, Romeo was laid off 2 weeks ago and our insurance expired at midnight of his last day of work.  I discovered that his employer did not take the insurance premiums out at the front end but the back end.  I suspect it is to prevent a flurry of Dr's appointments and lab work ~ exactly what I did, assuming we had coverage until the end of the week.  
     I still had not heard anything about the Cobra plan, and armed with the knowledge that I would pay $95 for the visit, headed off to discuss a more direct treatment for the occassional debilitating migraines I get.  You know, the kind where I have to call Romero or our son to come get me because I can't drive...I also was so out of it I couldn't even explain where I was on the UNM campus.  
     The Dr. is a very nice man, and quite understanding.  The nurse asked me a bunch of questions about my health, then announced she was putting in lab orders for blood work, which I promptly explained I would not get because I currently don't have any insurance.  She looked at me with disdain.  I should have said that I would be happy to get the recommended tests if she wanted to pay for it.  Ha ha.
     Together we decided on an injectible treatment, which he said might be rather expensive, but he looked online and said he saw an option for $65, which I agreed I could manage.  However, when the pharmacy called to tell me it was ready and I asked how much it was, they said it was $175.00, and after some rather boring back and forth discussions with someone at the Dr's office, they finally offered that I could print up a coupon from Good Rx that would discount the medication to $85.  To say that I was skeptical is an understatement.  But, I took the coupon I printed and did get it for $85, which really beats the pants off of $175.  I hope that Good Rx can keep up the good work, because otherwise I could not (or would not) pay that much more two doses of migraine medication.
     The Cobra info came in on Friday afternoon, and it looks like it would cost $850 for 3 months, and apparently is not quite the same as the previous coverage.  I need to find out more about what is covered, and also check with the folks who did my mammogram and ultrasound for the total cost.  I doubt seriously that the vision coverage would be included as part of the medical, but I need to ask that too.  
     My Mom is doing better, and sounds much more her normal self on the phone.  While enjoying happy hour with a friend, I mentioned the Sundowner syndrome Mom experienced following her pain medication treatment and anesthesia, and she immediately said "Oh, she has dementia"...which I had not recalled being part of her diagnosis.   I have read that experiencing the symptoms following surgery is generally a temporary affair.  Truthfully I was quite taken aback with her quick diagnosis....but to be fair, her husband has early onset alzheimer's, and she knows a lot more about tha than I do (and ever hope to).   Still, given my experience with Mom ~ albeit from a distance ~ I would say she is not suffering from dementia ~ at least not now, which I am thankful.

     Now I want you to ask me if I've been working on my research paper.  My answer: not at all.  :-)

Love, 365



November 1, 2015

Sleepin' in.....

Google images.......

If you'd like to read a funny and well written article on the "fall back" time change, go here....plus it includes bacon, and who doesn't like bacon????

I am sitting in the living room watching Bill Maher being interviewed on Sunday Morning ~ one of my favorite shows, although Romeo isn't much of a fan.  

Daylight savings time is very controversial in some circles.  Some discuss the waste of time (ha ha, bad pun), but I would say that the  majority opinion of my friends is that we should keep DST all of the time.  Then there's Arizona, that collectively opposes DST, and does not participate along with the rest of us.  So, when you're flying in, it can take a minute or two to figure out what time it will be when you arrive in Phoenix.  

For myself, I enjoy DST.  I like having more light in the evening for walking the dog, or doing a few chores in the yard.  I don't enjoy losing that precious hour of sleep though.  It must take me a week to feel my normal self after the "spring forward" time change....so when the "fall back" comes around, I'm enjoying retrieving that hour.....no matter that I waste it sleeping.  Of course, I won't enjoy coming home Monday night and have the sun setting as I drive home.  But as I have so recently re-experienced, along with the sweet must come the bitter. 

Love, 365

It's been lovely......

Hot tubs at 10 Thousand Waves, Santa Fe I was going to post some photos from FB's "Memories and Photos in New Mexico", ...