Colonoscopy goes smoothly, without a hitch

My first colonoscopy — I am a baby senior — and no polyps. Can you believe NO POLYPS‽ I am amazed. I was all ready to name them: Paul, Philip, Polly…

This milestone was easier than I had been told it would be, yet slightly disappointing. The pineapple flavored Nulytely was surprisingly palatable, and though the purging made my butt sore, I did lose two pounds! I must say, though, that after 27 years of interpreting colonoscopies, I was profoundly disappointed to learn that I did not have to fart before they sent me home. Yeah, they changed the gas they use before it was my turn! Here I spend two-and-a-half decades looking forward to loudly and proudly releasing a medically necessary fart only to be told I would not be called upon to do so. Progress!

Published in January 2019 after being written in November 2017.

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Why I am hating health insurance right now

The first year of Obamacare, I went to great pains to choose an insurance company my doctor took, only to have him tell me in 2014 that he didn’t take it. Last year, I once again went to great pains to choose an insurance company my doctor took, only to be told when the year began that he did not take it. I had to have my insurance broker — whose services I engaged the second time around — tell them that, yes, indeed, they had signed a contract to take my insurance. When I finally saw my doctor after over a year without insurance he took, I overheard him say to one of his associates “he has some Obamacare thing.” That “Obamacare thing” was a company I had never heard of — Meritus — which is now bankrupt.

So now I have to switch health insurance plans yet again, and neither one of the two doctors I listed in my application takes a single one of the 69 plans available to me— from bronze to platinum. One of them, a specialist, told me on the phone that they are still working out contracts. Really?? Seriously?? You’ve got to be kidding me. We are halfway into the 45-day open enrollment period, people!! My insurance dies on December 31st. The site says they do not yet have all the data from providers about who will accept which plans, and the doctors I go to tell me they do not yet have access to all the information they need in order to know which plans they will accept.

Health insurance companies cannot seem to make decent websites or mobile apps, either. In the last few years, I have had Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, Health Net, and Meritus. None of them had a website that allowed me to do what I needed to do. What is more, when I look at the App Store to see which insurance companies make the best iPhone apps, what I find is that every single insurance company app is rated one out of five stars. The typical reviews are: “crap,” “useless,” and “crashes.” And don’t even get me started on

And then there is cost. I was spending over $500 a month before Obamacare on a COBRA plan I kept after quitting a job. I was thrilled to find my first Obamacare plan for just over half the cost of my COBRA plan. The next year, the best I could do was a plan for $328. This year, it looks like the best I can do is a plan for $336. In two years, cost has crept up over 25%. If that keeps up, I’m going to back to spending over $500 a month by 2018.

Do I hate Obama? No. I voted for him two terms in a row. But I sure hate health insurance right now. Ugh!



Been sick

I’ve been suffering so much with allergies the past two weeks that I’ve had to call in sick to work several times. It’s hard to interpret when your nose is running, you’re sneezing, clearing your throat, coughing, hacking, feeling tired, feverish, etc. I’ve been taking Claritin (which I take every day) and generic Mucinex (guaifenesin), which helps with the coughing (and is a lot more pleasant to take than cough syrup). I tried taking cough syrup with the cough suppressant dextromethorphan, but that makes me feel lightheaded and disassociated, as if I’m floating in a bubble– and not in a good way! I don’t even feel safe driving when I’m taking dextromethorphan! Blech! At least the guaifenesin is free of unpleasant side effects, and it seems to help break up the congestion. Anyway, sickness is a part of life; one could even say it’s a part of health. I believe that we need to get sick every once in a while to allow our systems to clean out and recharge– as long as we get the rest our bodies are telling us they need.

I don’t like to call in sick to work, but I do it when I need to. It’s never convenient for the workplace, but you know what? They’ll manage. If I don’t stay home and rest when I’m sick, I won’t get better. If I’m contagious and I go to work, I’ll get other people sick and the business will lose even more money than if I had stayed home. I just try to give my employers and/or clients as much notice as possible so that they’ll have time to find a replacement. I hate to lose the money by not working, but one has to budget for being sick, and that’s what the bank is for.

Looking on the bright side, being sick always reminds me to appreciate being healthy! What a joy it is to breathe freely, feel energized, and be relatively free of pain and discomfort! 🙂