Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Comparative Costs of Carelessness

A few weeks ago, I noticed a small corner of my big toenail breaking off. But I was too busy to clip the nail right then. Then I noticed a mega-huge-uber-sick-disgusting number of little bugs in the kitchen. I sprayed and squashed, and finally emptied the cupboards and called the exterminator. So I was a little bit busy with taking the kitchen apart and putting it back together. And figuring out how to feed the family without having a useable kitchen. Oh, throw in a baby shower that I was in charge of, and a daughter's 12th birthday on the same day, just for kicks! Oh yeah, I was also in the process of taking our dryer apart and fixing it and putting it back together (make that learning how to put it back together) . . .
So the dumb toenail became ingrown, and I bought Dr. Scholl's ingrown toenail pain relief treatment or something like that for around $10 at Wal-Mart. Sounds smart, no? Just say no! I spent 10 days in pain, and finally went to the urgent care clinic. The doc there could not remove the nail because I had a big bleeding growth of infected tissue covering a shockingly large portion of the toenail. So he burned some of that lovely tissue off, and his nurse dressed my wound. I was instructed to soak the toe in epsom salt solution 3x a day, and to take antibiotics prescribed for me. So I've shelled out a $50 co-pay at the clinic, and a $27 for prescription co-pays and first-aid items at the pharmacy, when I make an appointment with the podiatrist, who says that I have to come back when I've been on the antibiotic for several days. I go back and pay $45 co-pay to be told that the infection is not gone, and so he still can't remove the nail, and so I get to take a stronger medication and come back in another week. So I spend $14.20 on more first-aid-type items, and the pharmacist says he does not have my medicine in stock. So I am going to get to spend another $45 at least twice to get my foot treated and for the follow-up visit. And I'll probably have to spend $20 on the antibiotic co-pay.
So what are we up to now? $10+$50+$27+$45+14+$90+$20=$256 plus all the opportunities I missed out on while hobbling around . . . not to mention the price of yeast medications to combat the least fun of the side effects of antibiotics . . . So what's the take-home lesson? Wear shoes that fit you right, clip your toenails straight across, and if you notice a corner breaking off the nail, STOP everything and trim the darn thing.
Oh, and in the interest of full disclosure, I should update this post here. I went to the podiatrist for the removal of the nail, and the strangest thing happened. It was all going rather smoothly, until the nurse could not open a bottle of some chemical that the doctor needed. It's the stuff they use to deaden the nail-growth area below the cuticle. At this point, I've already had the offending toe deadened and tourniqueted (is that a word?) for a few minutes. The nurse could not get the lid off, and then the doctor couldn't either. So chances are, I'll end up with another ingrown nail. But the pre-existing dagger is now happily gone. And I can dance!

Kitty-Cat Comedienne

Louella (3) said she wanted our neighborhood-prowling kitty-cat Chester to come home. Knowing that this fat old cat prefers to hang out on the other side of the street, where the older folks feed him and tend not to pull his tail, or chase him screaming down the street, I said, Oh, when do you think that Chester will come home? She said, "Fursday".

Friday, November 21, 2008

How Do I Help You Help Me?

Recently I had a lot of frustration around getting medical treatment. Hubby has a new job, and new health insurance, but the insurance cards had not yet arrived by mail. So even though I had an appointment to see my doctor, and the pertinent insurance information written down, I was told that I would have to pay for the visit. They had a policy, the staff member said. She had asked three people. She had tried. Having suffered foot pain for 10 days, I could not wait another week 'til my cards would probably arrive. I could not justify writing a check for $95.00 for an office visit, and so I walked out of that office, determined never to return there, not for myself, or for any family member.

I drove down the street and parked in front of an urgent care clinic. I hobbled in painfully, slowly, and approached the counter. A lady in maroon scrubs asked me something nicely enough. I said, "I hope you can help me. " I proceeded to explain about my failed visit with my doctor, and I showed her the written insurance information that I had in my hand. She looked at me with her chin down, and she POINTED TO A SIGN ON HER OFFICE WINDOW. No smile, nod, or repeating what she'd heard. She merely POINTED TO THE BLASTED SIGN! It said, in a nutshell, YOU WILL PAY BY LIMBS IF YOU DON'T SHOW US THE MAGIC CARD. I said, "There must be somewhere I can go."

A lady in the back office had overheard, I guess, and started prompting the one at the window. The window witch explained to the hidden one (Glenda the good witch, perhaps?) that I didn't have my card, and that I ONLY had the group number. (This by the way, was a LIE. I had other pertinent information, but she obviously did NOT care.)

Window witch wrote down three items of information that I needed to acquire before being seen, on a pretty purple sticky note. She shoved a slip of white paper toward me with a pen and a great deal of purposeful force. The form I was looking at asked the reason for my visit. I shakily wrote down my symptoms, then reviewed the sticky note. Window witch suggested that I call my insurance company or my husband and get the numbers. Perhaps because my mind was befuddled with pain and frustration, I did not think to say, "Oh, OK, thanks! May I please use your phone, since you've been so very kind already?"

I left, came home, called my dad the babysitter, and called my insurance company, but not without great frustration just getting the Internet connection here at the house to work. Without that connection, I cannot even use the phone. My prayers must have been answered, because I got through to a very helpful person at the insurance company, who gave me all the information I needed, and who even had a sense of humor, bless her! Further blessings to this point include my parents taking care of my 3-y-o while I hobbled around town trying to get some help, and the kind police officer who had pulled me over before this whole ordeal began, having mercy on me and issuing me only a warning for speeding. (See, bending my foot to press the gas pedal down while my heel rested on the floorboard aggravated my painful toe, so I had changed my foot position so that my whole foot was resting firmly on the pedal.)

So I ate lunch and returned to the clinic, where Window Witch had evidently been lulled into a spell of civility (perhaps she'd had time to lunch?), or who was possibly magically entranced by my newfound numbers! In any case, she gave me the traditional tome to complete, and I was so ridiculously grateful!

Soon, I was seen by a nurse briefly, who took my vitals, and led me to a small exam room. She then instructed me to remove my shoe, and as soon as I had done so, she said, Actually, let's go to another room.

. . .and then I was finally seen by a doctor, who burned some kind of infected-tissue-growth on my big toe, and pulled some of it off. Thank goodness the nurse had put some kind of numbing agent on my toe first! I only wish she had used about 10 times as much. I had to use my breathing techniques from childbirth. That was alarming to the doctor and nurse, who kept asking me if I were OK. I kept telling them I was fine, alternating crying and laughing. And breathing deep and hard.

They gave me lots of instructions, and then I was discharged with lots of papers, including two prescriptions. As I was leaving, the nurse directed me to exit through a different door than the one with which I was familiar. I walked out and saw the longest hall I've ever seen in my life.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Grateful and Glad

I'm so loving the sound of my efficiently-running dryer, freshly cleaned and repaired :)
It's been so long! It made this awful sound for a while, and then the rear drum seal came out, and it had been taking like 3 cycles to dry a load of clothes. Now I'm here to tell you the truth about dryers. They DO EAT SOCKS! I know, because I took mine apart, and found the eaten but not digested evidence. We had about a dozen little socks in there, covered with lint and marked with black grease.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Bookworm Award Meme

I found this meme on a cool blog called
book:thirty Time to Read
which I found thru Dallas' whose I found thru Naomi's, and anyway, I chose to join in the fun.

This is how it goes. Pick up the book closest to you, and turn to page 56. Then copy the 5th sentence, and the following 2-5 sentences. (Poetic license says I can count any way I choose ;)) Then post those lines, and tag 5 blogfriends. Feel free to post in the comments here below, and/or in your own blog, and let me know if, and where, you do.

My closest couple of books were too short, so I pulled Milton Lomask's The Spirit of 1787 The Making of our Constitution down and found a page 56!

This has been a fun excuse to pick a book off the shelf that I would probably never have read otherwise :)

"Our sufferings," a 1787 Fourth of July orator told his Massachusetts audience, "have arisen from a deeper foundation than the deficiency of a single constitution. Even if Massachusetts had a perfect government, he said, its citizens would still be plagued by troubles "should our National Independence remain deprived of its proper federal authority."
Here was the voice of Federalism rising in a land that ony a year before had been almost entirely Antifederalist.
So swift was the change in public opinion during 1786 that historians tend to disagree as to which of the three larger developments of that year brought it about.
Was it the ferocious battle of words on the floor of the Congress over the Jay-Gardoqui treaty negotiations?
Was it the action-the daring action-of a few nation-minded men in the closing hours of the Annapolis Convention?
Was it the armed outbreak in rural New England known to us as Shay's Rebellion?
Or was it-as logic suggests-all three?

This selection seems appropos at this time of political activity and interest and unrest. So now I tag my blogfriends:

Libby at Homemaker to the Rescue!
Sonny at firstsons
Sue at borrowedlight

Have fun y'all!

Friday, November 14, 2008

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

This is not a short list. But it is definitely limited. The more things I think of, the more things I think of.

1. white beads, cold and smooth, printed in blue with Asian design
2. Aaron Neville songs, especially I Hold You Up
3. Josh Groban music, especially Petit Papa Noel
4. Mormon Tabernacle Choir's Sunday morning broadcast of Music and the Spoken Word
5.Writer's Almanac and Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor
6. Bugs:Poems by Mary Ann Hoberman
7. Rick Walton's children's poetry
8. Poetry Speaks to Children book and CD
9. folk music and folk dance
10. warm fuzzy socks
11. warm fuzzy newborns and their wonderful smell
12. daffodils
13. avocados
14. knee socks that stay up
15. three-quarter-length sleeves
16. the color teal
17. pockets
18. backpacks
19. Og Mandino
20. C.S. Lewis
21. Carol Lynn Pearson
22. zippers
23. Lloyd C. Douglas' Magnificent Obsession
24. journals
25. pens, especially fine-point pens with purple ink
26. the French language

Now I dare you, my reader, to make your own favorites list. What makes you smile?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Just Shoot Me!

So I'm realizing how blind I have been. I'm seeing pictures of myself taken earlier this year. I have a hard time accepting that this fat woman in the picture is me, and yet it looks suspiciously like a ripe pregnant me of years ago. Yikes, and ouch. So I look away from the picture, look back, and think, "Why didn't someone just shoot me?! Oh yeah, they did. Just with a slightly more compassionate weapon, the camera." So I'm going for a walk today.

When I was in elementary school P.E., I had this awesome coach. He taught us about all kinds of health and nutrition and exercise and everything. He told us a story one day that I have never forgotten. It was about a man who was so depressed that he had decided to end his life. Not being interested much in pain, he chose to kill himself by wearing himself out. So he ran. He was in very bad shape, so expected to run until he collapsed, and that would be the end of him. So he ran, and collapsed, and woke up. Every day for a while, he tried again to wear himself out by running to exhaustion, but every time that he did, he just ran a little bit farther, and he actually started feeling better. So he became healthier and happier. Now that I think about it, I wonder if that story was true, and if so, if it was about someone my coach knew personally . . .

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Know any good Lawyer Jokes?

I've been blessed with opportunities to see humorous things. I'm grateful my eyes were open.

The other day, I was driving down the street in my hometown and I saw a police officer who had pulled over a driver. The flashing lights got my attention. I figured the driver must have been speeding, but as I got closer, I realized it wasn't just any old car this citizen was driving. It was a larger, commercial-type vehicle, so I did a double-take and saw this printed on the window in huge white letters:


No kidding. I bet the officer had a good time with that one.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy Birthday, Sis!

Dear Libby,

You were born the day after Halloween. I had been so looking forward to witnessing your birth, that I left a slumber party early so I could go to the hospital. I was so disappointed when I learned that I couldn't watch you make your grand entrance after all! But I'm so glad you made it out alive :)

I was 12 years old, and I so enjoyed holding you and singing to you. We had to wash up with special Phisoderm soap before we could hold you in our laps while sitting on the couch. Did we actually wear shower caps?!

We used to sing, "When it's Libby Libby Libby on your lap lap lap, you won't want to put her down for her nap nap nap!" Do you remember the jingle from the canned food commercial? ("When it's Libby's Libby's Libby's on the label label label you will love it love it love it on the table table table!").

I used to love dancing around the room with you in my arms when you were a little bit bigger, but still a baby. I think the music and motion calmed you down better than anything (when Mom wasn't home, that is).

You used to love to hold Mom's soft knit t-shirts, and you had a special place in all our hearts, because you were the soft little baby with the big blue eyes and dark brown hair.

I remember once I arrived at the church after a week of being away at Young Women's camp, to find that Mom and Dad were not there to pick me up. They had made arrangements for the Bennett family to take me home with them instead, because you were in the hospital. I think that was when you had swallowed a dime, and had to have it removed. What a miracle that the little coin, just the right size to choke you, hung vertically in your esophagus for weeks, even while you coughed every night!

Or was that the time that you had pneumonia? You had your scares and trials in those early months, and we are so grateful that you pulled through so healthy and strong.

Then before you know it, I was away at BYU, and would write you letters, and you wrote me back. You were starting elementary when I was starting college. I think I still have some of those pictures and notes. You were so loved by Grannie.

I remember when you and D were engaged, and then your wedding. Mom came from the bride's room in the temple and told us (me and L, I think) that you looked just like a queen. We have lots of good pictures of you and D outside the temple, and of the whole party.

You and I only attended two of the same schools, and years apart. It's been so good to be back home, closer to you, to be a little part of your life. You've been a wonderful aunt to our children, who adore you and now your family, too. I'm so happy for you, that you have such a beautiful son and loving husband.

I admire your honesty and strength. You're generous and talented! I love hearing you and D sing together . . . we should have another sing-along. Remember staying up late when we all still lived in Utah? Playing games, pigging out, and singing songs . . . those were the days!


Tick, Tock, Ticker

I found this cute thang on the net today. Check it out at http://bf.lilypie.com/qaCZm5.png
or just click on today's post title (I hope that works).

I've been thinking a lot lately about when my child will wean, and whether I have to do much more than distract her in order to accomplish weaning, and whether I really want to. I was talking to a friend yesterday who had experienced something similar. Her last child was a little older than mine is now when she was wondering what had to happen in order for him to wean . . . did it have to be pregnancy, as had been the case with her older children?

That opens another whole can of worms. I've been meaning to lose 50 lbs for some time now. This fifty is not taking off on its own. Evidently I'm making it feel right at home, too darn comfy, right where it is, which by the way, is mostly very inconvenient and unsightly!