Stuff of the Day: Can I Get Health Care For My Checking Account Balance? Edition

Update of the Day: I didn’t post anything yesterday because while I was at work, due to the time missed for my Dermatologist appointment, I was really busy, and once I got home, I was just really tired, didn’t feel like doing much of anything on the computer, and just sat/laid in bed watching TV, catching up on House, Chuck, Heroes, and Reaper.

After Monday’s frustrations and stress with the electric mess, Tuesday was another joyous day of hurry the hell up and wait.  I had a 2:45 appointment with the Dermatologist, so everything I did at work that day was harried and busy and just didn’t give me much time for slacking off productivity improving “zoning out.” I was informed that the Dermatologist would probably eat up the rest of my afternoon and wouldn’t be able to get back to work.  It actually took slightly less time than that, I got out of there right before 4:30, dropped my prescriptions off at HEB, and headed back to work and had around 25 minutes to pick up support emails that came in while I was sitting and waiting.  

Oh yeah.  Those prescriptions.  Three of them.  Apparently, I have Rosacea.  Damn my Northwestern European heritage, the Curse of the Celts.  Why couldn’t I get more love from the Comanche side of my blood for my face/skin/complexion?  The Dermatologist wrote me three scripts. An oral antibiotic (Doryx, etended, time-release Doxycycline – why some older, cheaper tetracycline won’t work, I don’t know), and two different face gels, Metrogel and Finacea.  I didn’t know how much these were going to cost me.  I figured they probably wouldn’t be the lowest-cost per my prescription plan, at $15 each, though maybe the antibiotic might be.  I figured, “well, probably be like $90 for these, maybe I’ll get lucky and it’ll only be $65.  Nope.  $50 each, the max cost for a monthly supply per my CareMark coverage.  When she cute girl at HEB rang me up, I let out something like a cross between an audible gasp and gutteral profanity.  When the signature screen asked me “Is this amount: $150 ok?” I commented that I really didn’t want to click  Yes, it’d be lying.  No, it’s NOT ok.  But, resigned, I paid it.  

Today, on  the next page of happy medical adventures, I spent even more time than yesterday at the Opthamologist’s office.  They’re really big on the waiting there.  Face time with someone of medical value in scrubs?  Maybe 15 minutes total, and that’s probably pushing it.  Time in the office? Almost 2 1/2 hours.  I came out of there with my eyes numbed, tinted with yellow dye, and massively dilated.  With another prescription.  I haven’t been to the pharmacy to pick it up yet, but I hope it’s not another $50.  My checking account balance has just been taking hard shots all week long, and it’s only Wednesday.  So many potential plans have just dried up, and now it’s going to be a lean 3 weeks at least until my second pay check of May on the 15th, and I’ve already got additional expenses delayed until then.

At least I’ve got something to look forward to this weekend.  Might post something about that later, might not.  For now, it’s a secret. 🙂

Link of the Day: LED Hard Drive Clock

Spam of the Day: “We sell the best alarm-clocks for your small buddy down there.”

Funny of the Day: Obama’s First 100 Days, per Facebook

Pics of the DayKamamara Matsuri or the Festival of the Steel Phallus

Quote of the Day: “Always take a job that is too big for you.” – Harry Emerson Fosdick

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Stuff of the Day

Update of the Day: So far, it’s been just a lovely, happy, jolly day.  <- Insert sarcasm there.  It wouldn’t have been so bad, really, if I wasn’t dealing with yet another bureaucratic SNAFU.  I’ve had hassles with insurance, hassles with my 401k, and now today, I get a call from my apartment complex asking about my electric service, saying that TXU called them, saying the power was still being billed in their name, that it has been for the last 2 months, and I owed like $240-something dollars.  Or maybe it was $280, I’m not sure.  I knew I didn’t owe it, I’ve had Bounce Energy, already gotten my first bill, paid it, and have my second bill sitting on my desk at home.  Provided proof of my service to the complex, called Bounce and had them fax over proof of residence/proof of service.

Well, it seems, Bounce has the wrong ESID for my apartment.  Which means I’ve been billed, and have been paying for, someone else’s electricity bill.  Which also means that the amounts I’ve been billed for currently, are almost certainly wrong.  The way my luck goes, the correct amounts will be higher. :/

It is, indeed, higher.  The two bills I’ve received from Bounce, for the wrong ESID, totalled less than $80.  What does my complex want me to pay them (not counting since the end of the current bill they have, or the “5 to 7 business days” Bounce says it’s going to take to get this sorted out and have them properly handling my electric bill, like I thought they have been for the last 2 months?  $228.16.  TXU’s billing Windscape at 18 cents per kwh.  With Bounce, I’d be paying 11.8 cents per kwh.  My proper bills would be higher than the two I’ve gotten so far, but nowhere near totalling 228.16. 

This is really crappy timing.  I’ve got 2 more Doctor’s appointments the next 2 days, with those copays, plus whatever it’s going to cost for any prescriptions I end up with out of those.  I’m past angry.  I’m at sort of a simmering resigned rage.

Link of the Day: Mayan Apocalypse of 2012 May Have Scientific Basis

Spam of the Day: “The Queen and Her Jester – Role Play of the Month”

Pic of the Day: Sexual Positions (for the lonely and loveless)

Quote of the Day: “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage”. – Anais Nin

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Stuff of the Day

Update of the Day: Maybe just a tiny little trace hint of ketones in my urine this morning.  

So, I finally get semi-industrious last night, and try to go install the water filter I bought like 2-3 weeks ago.  The primary thing for which I borrowed James’ cordless drill/driver.  I clear out all the cleaning supplies, trash bags, etc., out from under the sink, and worm and maneuver myself up under and into there to get at the hoses running from the cold water valve to the faucet.  After all this contorting and work, I discover . . . the hose is larger than the one that came with the filter.  Like, 1.5x the size.  Thus, to my dismay, the filter I bought . . . yeah, totally won’t work with the plumbing for my kitchen sink in my apartment.  

Now, the reason I bought the under-sink in-line filter, was because the sink itself is really shallow, and the faucet head arcs out in a very low arc, giving maybe 7 inches, if that, of clearance between the bottom of the faucet and the sink.  I’d originally planned on just an on-faucet filter, but if I go with one of those, I’ll lose around an inch to an inch and a half of clearance, on something that’s already a small space.  I suppose I could replace the entire faucet assembly, but that’d be a lot more work than I’m comfortable with right now, would run a much higher risk of being noticed by the complex . . . and I think I’d still have to come up with some sort of adapter or something to go from the weird size of tubing from the valves to the faucet.  Oh, and it’d cost a lot more money.

So, I don’t know, maybe I’ll have to go with a filter pitcher or jug or something.  Not really happy either way.  If Midland water wasn’t so terrible, I wouldn’t care so much.

Called Dr. Doctor’s office this morning, to try to get her to pick up the ball she – or someone – dropped and get my damn prescription sorted out with the insurance company and pharmacy so I can start the treatment I apparently need.  Haven’t heard back yet.  I’m going to give them another 10 minutes or so, and call them again if I haven’t heard anything.  And then every 2 hours until 1, at which time I’ll start calling every hour if they haven’t taken care of it.  Ridiculous crap.

So, finally, Dr. Doctor said to come in and see her, briefly, she wouldn’t charge me.  I went in for an 11:10 a.m. visit.  Waited about 5 minutes, then got in to see her, spent slightly more than 5 minutes on the phone (she kept saying if it took more than 5 minutes she was going to charge me for a visit, and said she was watching the clock).  She griped at me for being impatient with her staff, then apologized to me.  Supposedly the pre-approval is taken care of, and I should be able to get the actual script filled now. 

Link of the Day: Geocities to (finally) close. – Amusingly topical, as I decries Myspace as Geocities 2.0 on Twitter today, and apparently that’s the funniest thing since suicidal clowns.

Spam of the Day: “Prepare for every possibility” – Uhm . . . how, precisely?

Funny of the Day: “We’re fucking marketable

Pic of the Day: I didn’t realize cameras were required for that, Pentax.  I’ve been doing it wrong?

Quote of the Day: “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is a little voice at the end of the day that says… I’ll try again tomorrow.” – Anonymous

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Of Course, Nothing Can Be Simple

So, I go to my local HEB to get my prescription filled, and figure I’ll grab a few things while I wait.  I make sure they have my number this time, so I don’t spend 30-40 minutes in the store before finding out that something’s amuck with the script.  In about 10 minutes, they call me, informing me that it requires pre-authorization from the Insurance Company.  So, I call the insurance company, in the store.  While I’m talking to them (irritating lengthy system of voice menus it took me a while to bypass and get to a human), the store pharmacy calls me AGAIN to tell me the same thing.  :/

Anyway, to cut a lot of cruft out of this recounting, I’ve got to call Dr. Doctor in the morning and get her to call the insurance company to request pre-authorization.  *mutter*

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Stuff of the Day: Eggsplosion Edition

Update of the Day: So, after going months at this job with almost no issues with being here on time, I’ve had a rougher time of it lately.  I resolved to fix that after being 40 minutes late one day (when I lost my phone, which was shut off, jammed between my bed and the wall), and I’ve been experimenting with some different alarm schedules.  Yesterday didn’t go so well.  This morning was going better, I was probably going to be at work right on target (3ish or so minutes “early”), though I could still have gotten up and moving 5 or 10 minutes quicker.  Then, as I was scrambling eggs in the microwave for breakfast – something I’ve done lots of times before with no issues – there was this loud popping sound emanating from said device.  It startled me, of course scared Baby into bolting into another room and into hiding (just as I’d given her a little bitty bit of half and half), and as I yanked open the microwave, I discovered what had happened: an eggsplosion.  The roughly 3/4 done scrambled eggs had popped somehow, and small little bits of soft eggy fragments were all over the inside of the microwave.  Not wanting to leave this as it was (and wanting to finish cooking the portion of eggs that remained in the container, so I could actually eat them), I spent probably 10 minutes cleaning up the inside of the damn microwave (which was nigh spotless before) so I wouldn’t have little stone-hard bits of crisped egg baking onto the interior.  So, I went from on-target, to walking in 4 minutes late . . . to an admonishment about slipping on that lately and instruction to fix it waiting for me.

Still no ketones in my urine this morning.  Irritating.

Went back to see Dr. Doctor this afternoon.  Waited for an hour and ten bloody minutes, and finally poked my head out of the room’s door to ask them if they’d forgotten about me, when finally she came in to see me and talk to me.  One of my hormone levels came back low on my bloodwork.  So that gets to get treated.  I was offered two options – come in every 3 weeks for a shot, which would result in big spikes and then falling levels of said hormone, or a gel that’s rubbed into the skin (and I guess permeates it and get into the bloodstream, like patches?) applied daily.  Opting for the latter, which the doctor thinks is the better option of the two (though more expensive) I’m going to get that filled tonight and get to start this treatment tomorrow morning.  Yet another thing I need to budget time in the morning for.

Oh yes, and she set me appointments for seeing both an Opthamologist and a Dermatologist.  I “possibly” have Rosacea, and I “possibly” have schleritis, but she’s worried about the way the redness on my skin is and how only the outer portion of my left eye seems inflamed, and listed an autoimmune condition in the tissue on my face as a possibility.  Probably not, but maybe.  Now, being someone who has watched every single episode of House broadcast, a little part of my mind started to freak out at the word “autoimmune.”   Lovely.  All of these office visits, and probable prescriptions to go along with, will of course cost me more chunks of money. 

Link of the Day: Worst. Ninja. Ever.

Spam of the Day: “Forearm Forklift – Your Solution to Heavy Lifting”

Funny of the Day: Bringing the “A” Game

Pic of the Day: Finger Arm Lickin’ Good?

Quote of the Day: “Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger

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Stuff of the Day

Update of the Day: I just had my first bits of food, all day.  I’d been fasting since late last night, only water, for this appointment I had with Dr. Doctor today.  Got grumped at a bit, got an appointment set for an opthamalogist on the 29th to check out my left eye, a recommendation to see a dermatologist as well, and had 3 vials of blood drawn for lab work.  Lab work went over my per-visit limit, so a $30 visit turned into a $139 visit.  This is before I even go get prescriptions filled.  Right there my thoughts of maybe picking up a refurb iPod Touch from Apple died, at least for now.  Still, I suppose it’s better to be right and well and have a tech toy or two fewer.

Link of the Day: Russian Hairdresser Turns Would-be Robber Into Sex Slave

Spam of the Day: “Cobras process is fast and easy”

Funny of the Day: Way better Mac vs. PC ad

Pic of the Day: Pie Charts Adjusted to Reflect Perception

Quote of the Day: “Never knock on Death’s door: Ring the bell and run away! Death really hates that!” – Matt Frewer

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Semi-random Thought

The health care and the clothing industries need to get together, and introduce a stealth fat-tax.  

Why?  Because presently (with the exceptions of grossly larger food bills for whale-class folks), it’s more expensive to be healthy and slender and fit, than it is to be out of shape and overweight.  This is fundamentally fucked up.

Huge money industries are passing a stupid tax on to us as a whole because they’re going for shorter-term profits instead of more financially responsible and beneficial long-term ones.  It’d be cheaper for them, in the long run, and in turn, cheaper for us as a people, if they fiscally encouraged being healther and fitter.  I’m saying these things with absolutely no active research, no cited facts,  no specific figures to back them up. See if my chain of thought makes sense to someone other than myself:

Eating healthier costs more than eating cheaply and less healthily/unhealthily.  Yet being less healthy makes a person a higher health risk, be more expensive to care for medically.  

Bigger clothes, for the most part, cost the same as smaller clothes.  This one really makes no sense to me.  A Small shirt costs the same as an Extra Large shirt, but there’s significantly more physical material involved (which, at some point, equates to more time or labor involved as well – more stitches to sew, longer to cut, etc.  It may be a small amount per garment, but with thousands as a multiplier, it’ll add up).  Sometimes that same-cost-as thing extends up beyond Extra-Large.  Kohls, one of my more tempting places to look for clothes at, have no price differences between Small and XXL.  The only place that I can remember, offhand (I’m sure there are more), that differentiates a little here, is Walmart, where for “extended sized” it’s $2 more for some things.  This one really makes almost no sense to me.  Sure, I’m sure some folks in our quick-to-offend, self-absorbed, hypocritical, prudish society would be quick to bitch and moan about “size discrimination” or some such idiocy – but it’s a basic fact, there’s physically more (or less, depending from which side you approach it) actual, real, phsyical goods there.  Where else do you see people buying  different amounts of things for the same price?  Certainly not food – 9 chicken nuggets costs you more than 6 chicken nuggets.  Not gas – 3 gallons costs more than 2 gallons.  A queen-size mattress will certainly cost more than a full-size mattress.  

This concept is almost as if garments are being treated like intellectual property or entertainment.  You’ll pay the same ticket price for that 86 minute mediocre brainless comedy as you will for the 140 minute thought-provoking, emotion-rending drama.  280 page mass-market paperbacks may cost the same as 560 page mass-market paperbacks (not always, but it can and does happen).

So, the healthy, fit guy buying a large shirt for $20 is paying more for his clothing – per ounce, or square inch of fabric, or whatever metric you wish – than the guy who’s less healthy and bigger (we’ll presume same height for each and similar bone structure) buying the XXL shirt for $20.  

This just all seems stupid to me.  By not financially incentivizing being in better shape, healther, etc. – which tends to cost less, overall, medically –  it’s a sort of tacit encouragement for people to be lazy unhealthy drones, who have higher risk of health problems, higher cost of treatment, and thus, by aggregate, drive up the costs of health care for everyone.

But no, let’s continue overcharging the people who need less physical clothing for the same degree of decency and protection, and let’s continue profiting on cheap, processed, refined flour based and other cheapo carbohydrate laden foods.  Drive that carb addiction for short-sighted profit!

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