Tuesday, March 26, 2013

I love insurance

So my orthopedically old shoulder and I had an MRI today. It was supposed to be two weeks ago, but of course something crazy happened with insurance, and I had to reschedule.

Let me tell you about insurance. Some of you may remember that they refused to pay our hospital bill when Grace was born. Our insurance switched from one company to another on the day she was born, which has apparently never happened in the history of the world, so no one knew what to do about it. It didn't get taken care of until eight months later. EIGHT MONTHS. Do you know what would happen if we didn't pay a bill for eight months?

I'm pretty sure there was some kind of hang-up with Emmy's birth, too, but I don't remember. I was surviving having two kids who couldn't even walk yet.

And then this past year, two doctor visits were deemed unnecessary by my insurance and were therefore not paid for several more months. One was a physical; the other was a well-woman exam.

I have had it up to HERE with insurance. And we have one of the "good" companies. On paper, we have fantastic health coverage. In practice, it's more like pulling teeth. Which we also have insurance for.

So. The day of my shoulder appointment a couple of weeks ago, I got another appointment scheduled for an MRI. When I called the hospital to pre-register, our insurance came up as not existing at all. We were uninsured as of February 28th. I gave birth to a baby cow right there, screamed at the wall, and then called Jeremy.

He called a bunch of people, and finally we got it straightened out. Our health insurance was still through his old office in Wisconsin, which we moved away from over two years ago. It was switched over the day that I called the hospital to pre-register for my appointment. Apparently this has also never happened before in the history of the world; I wonder what they would have done if I'd been in a car accident and had gone to the ER.

So I had to call my doctor's office again to schedule an MRI again, and you all know how I feel about the telephone. The lady at my doctor's office, she is kind and well-meaning, but I do not think she has very good verbal comprehension. I have the same problem on the phone. It's part of the reason I hate talking on it so much. I sometimes feel like I'm listening to a language that doesn't exist yet. I call it telephone Aspberger's. I'm always taking offense at innocuous comments, or laughing at really inappropriate times, or not understanding any words coming at me through the earpiece.

HOWEVER. I have never attempted to hold a job which required me to communicate over the telephone. This lady, it is her job. So it was very frustrating to repeat, over and over again (I wrote it down ahead of time so I would not be confusing), "I was there a couple of weeks ago. Dr. Lee told me to schedule an MRI at the hospital through this office. My appointment fell through because of an insurance mix-up. So I need to reschedule, please." I have dealt with her in person before, so I know she is not stupid. But I felt like I was talking to a three-year-old.

Finally, FINALLY, it got scheduled for today. I was all excited, imagining it like an episode of House, but it wasn't. The hospital was almost as nice (there is a water feature in the outpatient waiting room that is absolutely mesmerizing, the lighting is pleasant, and the heat is at an adequate temperature for someone with no shoes on), but otherwise it was completely boring. I almost fell asleep. I would have fallen asleep if I hadn't drank four cups of coffee this morning. First it was the itchy skin, and then I had to pee. There was no TOCK TOCK TOCK TOCK like on TV. Mostly a loud, electronic hum, with a few beeps here and there, and a subtle yet soothing vibration. I felt like a swaddled baby in a buzzing rocker.

The tech wasn't allowed to tell me anything about what he saw (as I expected), but he did say that their specialist was in that very morning, and since I had an early appointment, the results would probably be done tomorrow. That doesn't mean I will necessarily hear about it tomorrow, but hopefully my doctor will.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

I'm old

"Orthopedically speaking, 30 is old." That's what my doctor said to me today, regarding my shoulder. He is the kind of doctor where this made me laugh instead of indulging a more violent impulse. I've done something to the rotator cuff, but it's probably not serious. However, any exercises involving shoulder movement are out. That pretty much eliminates any of the major upper body exercises. Just when I was starting to get some meat on my chicken wings.

MRI tomorrow or Thursday to find out what's really wrong. Is it weird that I'm mostly just excited about experiencing an MRI?

I'm so glad I took up running last summer. I still suck at it, but now I've done it enough that it's a reliable form of exercise.

The weather here is magical. Mid-fifties and sunny today, and the girls and I spent all morning outside. I think my optimism over the shoulder thing has a lot to do with all the sunlight I soaked up today. In MARCH. I hope if we ever have to move again, it will only be farther south.

Emmy surprised us the other night by sauntering out of her room, belly-first, and announcing that she had to go potty.

She's still in a crib.

Or was. We converted it to a toddler bed the next day, and shenanigans ensued. However, she seems much more malleable than Grace was over learning to stay in bed. After a disastrous night and naptime the next day, she slept so hard last night that she fell out of bed onto the floor and was still sound asleep there 12 hours later when Grace woke up.

"Mom. MOM." I woke up to Grace standing over my bed (I don't care how cute your kid is, it's super creepy when they do this, no matter what time of morning it is).
"Emmy is ASLEEP. On the FLOOR."
"Mom. MOM. That means she GOT OUT OF BED."

Grace is so serious about perceived transgressions. I hope she channels this into something beneficial, like becoming a judge (in court or on American Idol, I'm not picky), instead of starting her own Westboro.

"That's okay, honey. She's asleep. I'm sure she didn't do it on purpose."
"Oh. Okay." I can't tell if she was disappointed or relieved. I was still too sleepy.

Emmy's mood was so improved today that she streaked through the house for ten full minutes growling (a happy growl). I worked this to my advantage.

"Emmy. How do you feel today? Are you happy?"
"Do you know why you're happy?"
"I slept last night."
"Do you remember yesterday? Were you sad yesterday?"
"Do you know why you were sad?"
"I didn't sleep."
"Okay. Do you want to be happy or sad tomorrow?"
"So do you think you'll let yourself sleep tonight?"

It kind of worked. It only took her an hour to shut up tonight. Baby steps.

Update: At 6:00 this morning I woke up to the sounds of Emmy being drawn and quartered.

OR what really happened is that she was choosing that particular moment to scream about the toy we had to take away from her when she got out of bed some eight hours earlier. But it really sounded like the former. When do children grow out of the disproportionate screaming stage?

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Cat Pee Lady

I ran 3 miles in less than 30 minutes today. I know that's pretty average, but I am inordinately pleased. I barely squeaked to the 30-minute mark sometime last fall (and almost died) before we all started getting sick/injured/abducted by aliens, and everything since has been a slog. Today was easy. It felt great. I wanted to keep running, but I was out of time.

Both children are growing like bamboo shoots. Or maybe more of a Little Shop of Horrors plant. They have been voracious eaters lately. I feel like they're both a year old again; I used to have days where I would clean out almost the entire refrigerator trying to find more and more and more food to give them for lunch. They eagerly eat things like green beans now. Emmy ate an entire chicken breast and half a pound of green beans last night at supper (I only made a pound). She ignored her potatoes completely, which is baffling.

Maybe this is actually Invasion of the Body Snatchers II: Extreme Eaters.

My washing machine is making me crazy. I've had to clean it every few months with a good hot wash (our hot water is scalding, so it's not that) or two with bleach, or OxyClean, or vinegar, or tea tree oil, sometimes all of those in succession. I wash my clothes with hippie detergents, no fabric softener, vinegar for clean rinsing, baking soda. If the water looks at all cloudy on the last rinse cycle, I run another rinse cycle (yes, I know, I'm kind of weird about laundry).

I have tried non-hippie detergents as well, along with borax, washing soda, and Calgon.

I have called maintenance about it, and three different maintenance guys have told me there is nothing wrong, even after taking the tub thing out and looking on the very inside. So you might think I'm losing my marbles. I think I might be.

But my clothes sometimes come out smelling like cat pee. No one in this house pees anywhere but the toilet anymore (allegedly). We don't have a cat. I wash workout clothes every two days or so.

The worst part is that sometimes the smell doesn't emerge until my body heat gets into the clothing. At the gym. Where I'm among people. Who think I have 80 cats and don't take care of them or myself.

The one thing I have not tried yet is Affresh. If I can find that, I will try it. But I just cleaned the washer out a week ago, and that smell is back, so it's happening more frequently. I feel like my nose is growing a superpower or something.

I do not want to be known as the cat pee lady.