Thursday, January 20, 2011

Winter Time

Walking towards the grocery store after finally finding a parking place in the very full lot, I met a young woman coming towards me from the store laughing and shaking her head. “Is it bad in there?” I asked knowingly. “Bad!” was her reply. Everyone was stocking up before the predicted snow tomorrow. The kids are all hoping for another snow day.

I’ve not blogged because it seemed to me that all I had to tell about was the same repeated activities I wrote about last week. Only this week it was Gerald’s brother Garry that had surgery on his shoulder, but he didn’t have to stay at the hospital over night. That was good since Ginger gets very anxious when evening comes if Garry is not home as soon as she hopes. Their daughter Vicki took him to Cape Girardeau for the surgery while Ginger’s aide Alice stayed with her. We were relieved to find by a phone call to Vicki that he had done well while she was waiting for him to be out of recovery.

Tonight I found out that Vicki had been reporting the day’s events on Facebook—but I didn’t know it as I did not have time to get on the computer. I was busy with numerous details of life that seemed to pile up over the holidays. I have finally faced going over my medical bills, Medicare reports, and insurance papers saying, “This is not a bill”—a huge stack of papers and unopened envelopes. I know I should be very grateful that Gerald and I are relatively healthy and our bills our tiny. I really am grateful and ashamed that I gripe.

But I get in a foul mood trying to figure out all those papers and what they mean. I am not smart enough to understand them. It is not enough to pay a deductible when I leave the doctors’ offices. Little bills seem to dribble in—maybe for $7 or $3.02 or $13. And these come from so many sources—doctors’ group practices, medical centers, anesthetist, labortories. The medical organizations are like the banks—using names that I cannot keep track of, so I have to look at dates to figure out what the bills and papers are about. From far-away cities, the bills come in months after the actual health care.

I look back with fondness for my uninsured days when I wrote a small check using the name of the doctor at the end of an appointment and that was that. Although I could not afford medical care now without insurance, I dislike having insurance corporations involved with my health care. I do not like their making money from my trying to stay healthy. As I sit at the dining room table writing checks, I grow more and more frustrated trying to figure out what all my bills mean, and I envision their executives riding around in private jets, eating expensive meals, and not caring that I have to spend 44 cents on a stamp to pay $7 for something I thought was already paid for. As I said, I am ashamed I am griping, but I know the complexity of today’s medical care is not cost efficient nor well thought out.

Brightening my mood this week, however, was the discovery of my mother’s scrapbooks that I had forgotten all about. I was trying to clean up a far bottom shelf in my office and found them, and that was the end of my straightening. Now they are all out of place instead of stored away where I had forgotten them. I stayed up way past my bedtime two nights in a row feasting on the information and memories in her scrapbooks and marveling at the diversity of her interests. I thought I might write more about them, but again it is way past my bedtime, and I better hush.

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