Sunday, August 19, 2018

The Little Things

I called my dad tonight. Earth shattering, I know. I was cleaning up the kitchen and took the time to set the coffee pot to brew that special elixir for when I need to wake up in the morning-an hour before last friday and several hours before I would normally crawl out of bed.

I programed the coffee maker, but instead of the set button pushed start. A few seconds later I hear it starting to brew. I immediately shut it off. What to do? Let it finish brewing and rewarm in the morning or leave it half-brewed and let it finish in the morning? I was frustrated. What to do?

I called my dad. Funny thing. Instead of sitting at home, watching the ball game as I'd expect, he and mom were eating dinner. At a restaurant. Sheesh, sorry dad, but this is what happened, what should I do? Let the coffee finish brewing and reheat in the morning or stop it, even though it already started, and let it finish in the morning?

Like I said. Earth shattering.

Sometimes, sometimes when life is difficult, when you've had too many major decisions to make, you fall apart on the easy ones. You look to your your dad, or mom for help. It's like you are a little kid again and you just want them to fix everything for you.  Sometimes though, they can't. But it is who you turn to.

It's funny, the coffee pot I have is the one my mom and dad bought me years ago. I quit using it in favor of cold brew coffee-less acid and superb for creating a most perfect latte. But after a last minute trip to visit my mom and dad in July, I began to rethink my coffee habits. Every morning Dad and I drank fresh brewed coffee and sometimes reheated the next day. My stomach felt better with the black elixir, hot or reheated than when I drink lattes.

The phone call was probably not about the coffee at all. It was about the connection, the love. I want to know I am doing okay, that I haven't failed at everything, that it is okay to reheat the coffee even though I was going for fresh brewed. It's okay that I have to get up at an ungodly hour, its for a good reason. Did I mention someone I know was driving his motorcycle home from work on Thursday night, hit a deer, and yesterday passed from this life? Two boys lost their father. I don't know what today or tomorrow holds. I'm thankful that I know who holds my hand. I'm thankful that I can call my dad and ask him about coffee.

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Miss You

I miss being here. I miss being real. So much has happened in my life and I miss being able to share my experiences. There is light at the end of the tunnel, and I just might come back and start blogging again. I need to process and what better way than here. I miss connecting here. I miss me.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

No Title

Sometimes, you look for a friend, and there is none.

Sometimes, you need a listening ear and there is none.

Sometimes, you are at the edge, you wonder if anyone cares, and there is no one.

And then...

there is a whisper....

He is a friend,

He is a listening ear,

He cares,

He is more than someone,

His name is Jesus.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Seasons

October, how did we get here? The days are hazy, blurred together. Is summer really over?

The sun is setting. Darkness on the horizon. Brilliant colors, proclaiming death is on the way.

Shorter days, darkness descends, I'm not ready to let go.

Look, beautiful flowers, leaves changing to red, gold, yellow and hues of Autumn mix.

Darker and darker comes the night.

Where are the long, bright days of summer, so filled with life?

Death is upon us. Cold, dark, dreary. I shake it off, as if I could.

It's cold. Shadows long. Leaves blowing, crackling in the wind.

I hate you Fall. You can't fool me. You blow in cold, dreary, darkness, death.

I hang on to summer with all my might. I can't. I will embrace the blinding light of winter snow, but for now, I suffer dark.


Friday, June 23, 2017

Not Having Fun

I arrived as usual, fifteen minutes early. I signed in, while the two people at the desk were dealing with patients checking out. I sat down and waited. Must be lunch hour as I was the only other person in the waiting room. I waited.

I checked my phone, perused my surroundings of advertisements for skin care, all the while, the two receptionists chatted about lunch. From what I gathered, lunch had been provided and they carried on about how it tasted, how salty certain items were. I learned one of them couldn't tolerate salty foods and had swollen joints from arthritis and had to be careful. Blah, blah, blah. I was surprised neither had bothered to call me to the desk for check in.

I've been seeing this doctor for 10 years, when I had my first bout with skin cancer. Initially the visits were every 3 month, now twice a year. My doctor works on a tight schedule. I've never been kept waiting. In spite of this, I've never felt rushed while in his office. We talk. I know about his family, and he about mine. We are the same age. He is very caring.

It feels like I've been waiting much longer than usual. I hear whispers. "Did you check her in?"
"No, I think she signed in, though." I hear shuffling of papers. More whispering. I figure they will call me up any moment to ask for my insurance card and ID. The back door opens and I hear my name called.

It doesn't take long before my doctor appears. First thing he does is ask how my family is doing. We chat for a moment and he asks the name of my grandsons and says he will be praying. He then goes to work zapping spots on my skin that look suspicious. Right on time, he finishes. We say good bye and I'm ready to leave with my skin on fire.

At the checkout desk, I'm asked for my $30 co-pay. Nope, I inform the receptionist, I have new insurance and I know full well that my co-pay is considerably more. As I'm retrieving my insurance card, she informs me that there is nothing in my chart about a new insurance. I explain that nobody checked me in. She argues that someone most certainly did and his name is right in my chart. Nope, it never happened. She takes my card, shakes her head, and hands it back.

"We don't accept this insurance. They should have told you when you checked in."

"Nobody checked me in."

"Well, you will have to pay the cash price because we don't accept this."

As it frequently happens, I fight back tears. Can I have one day that I don't cry? Just one? I take a deep breath.  Sounding annoyed, the receptionist says, "I will have to check with your provider. I don't even know what the cash price is. Everyone has insurance. Go sit down while I try to find him."  I take a seat in the waiting area again.

 I struggle to keep from crying. I don't understand why this is so hard. Obamacare, the affordable care act was supposed to provide for everyone. What has this provided for me and my family? Huge, hefty payments every month but not much coverage.

She returns and calls me back to the desk. I swipe at the tears. "Well, he is just going to charge you for an office visit, but not for any of the procedures." Silently I hand her my credit card. "Be thankful you didn't have any biopsies done today, " she snaps, "those would have been very expensive."  I don't know how to respond. She then questions me, "did you know we didn't accept your insurance before you got here?" Seriously? To cover someone else's mistake she's trying to blame me? I am made to feel as if I am taking advantage. As if I came into this office with the intent to get free services knowing full well my insurance was worthless here. I reply, "I had no idea. Nobody checked me in." Her disbelief was obvious. She took my payment and I left.

Once outside, I could not hold back the tears. I was thankful. Thankful for a doctor who knows me, who canceled the charges I couldn't afford. A doctor who cares. Ultimately, the receptionist's mistake most likely saved me a lot of money. It was yet another humiliating experience with my laughable, I mean affordable care insurance. I hope to not have too many more of these.



"Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you." 1 Pet. 5:7

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Laughable, Except It Is Not

After dinner, I took Ethan and ran up to the store to retrieve my meds from the pharmacy. I knew my doctor had sent over 6 or so prescriptions and I didn't need all of them right away. Unsure which ones my insurance (via the afforable care act insurance) would cover, I chose two that I needed right away and figured the rest would have to wait.

At the counter I explained my situations to the pharmacist. I could not afford all of the meds my doctor prescribed yesterday, so could I just get pick up two? After I told him the first of the two, his brow furrowed. Click, click, click on his computer. After a few minutes, he said, "your insurance doesn't cover that one." How is that possible? It is a generic. It's only been generic for a few years. It wasn't that long ago when I had to pay out-of-pocket, until-I-met-my-deductible and spent $1200 for a 3 month supply. This is generic, how expensive could it be?

I told him I'd have to pay the cash price then. How much would that be? Again, after much clicking on his keyboard and re-asking me my birthdate, etc., he replied, "$1400."

Hot tears filled my eyes. I swiped to hold them back. I glanced at Ethan, and I could tell he was concerned. "I don't want that one." I told the pharmacist. Choking back tears, I attempted to tell him the one other medicine I did want, knowing already that I would have to pay the cash price.

Click, click, click, okay, that one was only $200. Wait a minute! I paid out-of-pocket for that one and the pharmacist gave me a discount last month and it was more expensive then. WTH????

Struggling to find the words while wiping away the tears, I told him yes, I did want that one. Well, it wasn't ready, it will be 30 minutes. But he did have 5 other prescriptions ready for me. No, I don't want any others. If  I wanted to spend money I'd have done everything I could for the first one. No, put the others back. I don't want them. I really want and need the one I can't afford.

Ethan is patting me on the back. I feel badly that I have upset him. I try to finish my shopping but can't stop the tears running so freely down my cheeks. I keep thinking someone is going to stop me, to ask me if I am okay. Nobody does. But I see them looking. Ethan tried many times more to reassure me. I try to reassure him. Gramma is okay. She's just sad. Sad and frustrated. But it's okay buddy. Here let's get ice cream. It will be okay.

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Life

"God of our life, there are days when the burdens we carry chafe our shoulders and weigh us down; when the road seems dreary and endless, the skies grey and threatening; when our lives have no music in them, and our hearts are lonely, and our souls have lost their courage.

Flood the path with light; run our eyes to where the skies are full of promise; tune our hearts to brave music; give us the sense of comradeship with heroes and saints of every age; and so quicken our spirits that we may be able to encourage the souls of all who journey with us on the road of life, to Your honor and glory"
Augustine