Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Are We There Yet?

No, not there yet. Complicating the "am I still sleeping to heal?" question is the daylight savings. I really wish we stayed on Daylight savings time all year. My mental health is so much better when I leave work in the light. Still and all, the transition is brutal and I've conked out on the couch after work both yesterday and today. At least last night, I then tossed and turned a lot. We'll see if I can sleep tonight. I have hopes even though I slept clean through the new Dirty Jobs episode.

I picked up my mail today and had 3 oversized packages, two small and one medium sized. One is my regular arrival of face lotion from Amazon. Olay Total Effects with SPF15 and no scent is $14 on autobuy, mailed to my home or $17-$19 in the store and rarely on sale. The next was a free book! I recognized the town it came from, but only in that "I've heard that name before" way. I have the memory of a spastic gnat recently because it was offered last week, which I remembered as soon as I opened it up. (I like the first 20 pages.) The last and biggest package was a surprise care package from a friend for my recovery containing little stuff, a tea I like, some books, and a caramelly-hint-of-cocoa booze to use as ice cream topping. (That last thing may have contributed to the couch nap today...) It was not lost on me that 2 of these things arrived because of the now defunct book club. I can't tell you how many times I automatically typed my shortcut into the browser. Sigh. Thanks gals!

As to the healing, the throat is still itchy, but not painful as such. I'm back on all foods including citrus and hot sauce. I can still hear better than I used to, judging by the volumes I'm using. There's still a tickle in the back of my throat that feels like a wayward stitch, but there's nothing there I can see and not stitches. It's the first sensation I remember from waking up out of anesthesia, and still there. I'll ask the doc on monday at my 2nd postop, monday, if there's something we can do.

Speaking of docs, I had to have an office visit for my first prescription from this doc of transdermal scopalomine. This is the anti-motion sickness patch worn behind the ear. I used one (or 2, rather) for my SEAL fitness camp in 2004 (Jeez, was that 5 years ago????) and they worked great and I had no side effects. Hopefully I will continue to have no side effects (no dry mouth beyond normal, no enlarged pupils, etc...) since it's my best shot of enjoying my Grand Canyon adventure - in a helicopter! I don't remember if I mentioned it here already or not but the lead pilot for this outfit is the brother of my former diving buddy. (Was that back in 2004 also? Jeez!) That means I've been working up my nut to do this trip for about 5 years and it'll happen in a couple weeks. Whee! Beats the pants of a mule tour and steep cliff trail edges, I have no doubt.

I did want to rant a little though. My last urology appointment was only covered about 10% by my insurance, sticking me with a $400 tab to learn that while there's something wrong with me, no tests can confirm that, tell me what's wrong or how to fix it.. The policy costs about $4500 a year (total contributions), and my out of pocket costs went up 50% this year in the form of $30 copayments instead of $20. What, you couldn't have gone to $22 or $25 first? So the brief meet-n-greet with the doc was $30, and I have no clue in advance if the insurance covers it or not. Then the anti-motion-sickness patch will cost $10-$30 for 4 patches (max 12 days), unless the actual cost is less than my copay (unlikely when compared to other med purchase experiences). So that's $40-$60 and 45 minutes out from work, in addition to the cost of the helicopter trip, to get souped up dramamine without the side effects. All because I'm such a demanding person, I want to be awake for the experience.

That seems like an awfully steep opportunity cost. On the plus side, if this works for me, I can just call in a request from here on in when I feel like whale watching, and it means not wasting the cost of a helicopter trip. But damn, that's a lot of money for something that should be a trivial expense. It's more than a week's worth of lunch with a dinner out. It's a couple months of impulse buy runs to the bookstore or Amazon. It's more than I spent on most people's christmas gifts. It's more than I've spent at iTunes cumulatively. It's about what I'm willing to spend sponsoring friends who need charitable contributions, when I can't contribute time or glass for auctions. Speaking of which, it's also an hour in the glass studio - where I would like to go if my right arm tendinitis doesn't keep me from maneuvering safely. It's no wonder that, the last I read, 50% of American bankruptcies are from health care costs and 75% of those people were insured at the time of incurring crippling debt, if even stupid stuff has significant impact on the discresionary - or necessary - funds.

But still, it's a pretty good day. Not a numerically cool one like 3-3-9 or 3-6-9 or 3-9-9 like we just had, and with the additional minor aggravation of our email and document database being down for half the afternoon the day before an audit and 3 days before shutdown, but still ok. (Why the program doesn't have an "are you sure you want to mail a 60MB file to "all"? " prompt before sending if it'll crash the system, or an easy compression program, I'll never know.)
  • I got my prescription and my awesome pharmacist will have it filled tomorrow.
  • I remembered to get gas before running out of it. Could have been a baaaaad day, but wasn't. The reminder light helped. (I think it helps me more because I almost never let the tank get low enough for it to come on, so it registers more strongly as "not the same" than if I ran it that low every time.)
  • Care package! And just when I needed more "Zen". How cool is that?


Junior and Orion said...

That is really crappy coverage at the doctor! Shall we send some used cat litter to the insurance company to let them know how we feel about it?

The helicopter ride sounds like loads of fun!!!!!!!!

Beki said...

My dad tried to gift me with a helicopter ride over the beaches along the Gulf of Mexico in NW Florida for my high school graduation eons ago but I was too chicken to accept. I now wish I had done that ride with my dad for the memory even if I had been scared spitless at the time. I hope you have the time of your life seeing the Grand Canyon by helicopter and enjoy every second of it---if not when it is happening then at least after you get your feet back on terra firma!

Sorry about the insurance. Been there, done that and still paying off the bill.