Time Keeps On Ticking

….and this second day of October has me counting on my fingers.

I have about two and 1/2 years left on my retiree health benefits which my union won for us while I was working. Now it is a question of what needs to be done, and if so, when should it be done. I have a cataract in each eye, and I figure if I play my cards right, they will be ready to come out soon. I think of the course of physical therapy I just completed for my encapsulated shoulder.Every time I get a prescription delivered in the mail and see what my co-pay was, well, the party will soon be over.

The only thing I feel ok about is that before I am medicare eligible, I have to get on a COBRA for my health care. God willing my wits will still be with me and I’ll be able to read what is out there and what is offered.I shudder when I think of older people who have to go through the paperwork and maybe, just maybe, their wits aren’t about them. It is so easy to see how there are so many schemes, frauds and arrests in the daily paper regarding people and their medical care.

I guess the secret is to stay well enough so you can take charge of it.

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Consumer/Patient Aware

Remember the still ongoing fiasco with my cellulitis and eczema chaser?

Hah!

I got the “Explanation of Benefits” statement from the insurance company today.I opened the letter and oh,what a shocker, I found out I owe $396 and change to the laboratory who ran the blood work that was drawn from me in the Infectious Disease doctor’s office.It would seem that although the technician who pulled the blood was participating, the lab was not.

I collected my thoughts, counted to ten, and called the insurance company.

Explaining to them that they had my long recent referral trail, the fact that I had to go IMMEDIATELY to an infectious disease doctor would constitute an emergency.The physician wanted lab work done and said that he could do it there, so who am I to argue? The insurance company agreed, and long story short, they will either pay the lab or cut me a check so I can pay the lab directly.

If you NEED to get lab work done, my friend, take it from time. As the song goes, “The times, they are a-changing…” Assume nothing. Do what I am going to do EVERY time from now on. I want to know if the lab is in my insurance network.

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Happy Birthday

I had the opportunity to call an old co-worker of mine and wish a happy birthday.

It’s funny, but we hadn’t spoken in six months, and although we are now coasts apart, it’s like we just spoke to each other yesterday. It was good to touch base and catch up, as we both have moved on a bit and it was good to hear the pace we are keeping ourselves at post-retirement.Our health has caused us both issues, but thanks to an excellent union health plan, we are managing to get through things ok.We left things where we did in January-we’ll keep in touch.

If you have someone who had a birthday, or is an old friend, or both, call them. It might be the boost in each of your days.

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It Was Thirty Years Ago Today**

** with apologies to Lennon and Mc Cartney

It was thirty years ago today,
The city of Philly started giving me pay….

Nah, I can’t twist those lyrics that badly, especially since I like that song.

But…

On this day in 1911, a dispatcher in the New York Times office sends the first telegram around the world via commercial service.On this day in 1977, NASA sent the Voyager II, an unmanned 1,820 pound spacecraft into orbit.On this day in 1984, I became a full-time employee of the city of Philadelphia.

Thirty years.**shaking my head**

I can’t believe it.

I am truly blessed, especially in the day of companies relocating, folding, high unemployment….

My nephews Matthias and Gregory weren’t even born yet.My parents were both alive and I was living in the home I grew up in.I was probably**gulp** 80 pounds thinner and a lot more optimistic.I know I was scared. I left a small publishing house to work for the city.And now, thirty years later, I work a half city block away from the home of that first post college job.

Full circle? Yup, it certainly seems that way.

I thank my brother Bob for kicking my butt into getting this job.Without this job I’d probably not be here writing this blog.My medical plan from this job got me into a protocol for my first cancer.Without it, I might have died.When I started this job, my Mom asked me to call her in the morning when I got to my desk so she didn’t have to worry about me here in the city. Toward the waning years of her life, I called her every morning to make sure she was ok.The circle of life strikes again.

It’s funny.I appreciate being my age, but that melancholia can envelope you when you stop to think about back then.I’d like to think I have learned from my mistakes I have made, and with what I have learned, stare the future down and say ,”Here I come.”

Thank God!

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