Two Things

How to put this delicately?  Anything ingested has the potential to affect the color of your output.  Funny post up at Whitecoat’s blog.   Beets, as mentioned in the post, can tinge a person’s urine red – quite startling the first time it happens.  Excess Vitamin C yields an extra strong yellow.  Sulfasalazine:  almost orange.  But one of the comments made me laugh and reminded me that it’s not just urine that can change color according to diet; we discovered this alarming fact during our study of ancient Rome a few years ago.

We started by taking a good look at the geography of the region.  Nations have distinct geographical features that significantly affected where and how the people live.  Now we can zip around in cars or hop on an airplane, but for most of history people had to walk everywhere.  It was a major undertaking to cross mountain ranges.  By noting the geography, we can learn a lot about what life was like for ancient people.  After learning about the geography of an area, in hopes that they’d remember the lessons longer than ten minutes, my students made a salt-dough map of the region.

The activity helps kids (and their parents) solidify the things they’ve learned before diving into a study of what the people were like.  My children never worked together on their salt-dough maps; everyone did their own.  After working so hard on the project, they wanted to save it forever.  We had three salt-dough maps of ancient Egypt, and three salt-dough maps of ancient Greece.  By the time we got to our study of ancient Rome, I was dreading the maps.  Yes, it’s a great learning activity, but we had no place to store the finished products!

I decided that instead of salt-dough, we’d use cookie dough to make our maps.  Everyone still got all the educational value and fun, but it would be easy to part with the finished product.  Food coloring easily turns the dough the desired yellow/green/blue colors needed to distinguish different features.

You know where I’m going with this, right?  I think we used an entire tube of blue food coloring to make the Mediterranean Sea.  What I found later in the toddlers’ diapers was really scary!  Like I said in the first paragraph, it’s not just urine color that’s affected by what we eat.


Thank you so much for all the support.  I was able to go online and download my entire 215-page benefits book.  Normally we’re only given a few pages of summary, not the whole thing.  It quite clearly says that orthotics aren’t covered for me.  It sucks, but it is pretty clear.  The podiatrist wrote a letter saying that I need them:

but they’re not covered:

I’d like to see a clause added that says that if the insurer tells either the patient or a doctor that a procedure/test/treatment will be covered, then that approval is binding and they’re not allowed, after the fact, to deny the claim.  This seems reasonable to me, but that’s not the way it works.  Argh!

With insurance policies, employers have options on what coverage they want to provide for their employees.  The same thing happens when people buy a private policy.  Although we might wish for coverage of anything and everything we might possibly need to ever see a doctor about, that’s not economically feasible.  Nobody ever buys an insurance plan that says it will pay for everything.  Instead, the details are spelled out clearly:  these things will be covered, these things will not be covered.  The problem is that most people want everything and only find out what’s excluded when they’re told “no.”

The timing on my denial letter is fortunate.  Denying coverage of medically necessary things while at the same time telling someone that you’re going to raise their rates is not good business practice.  Not if you want to keep the client’s business.  I’m not the only one to need something that should reasonably be covered only to discovered that it’s excluded.  That was not the company’s intent and they are in the process of looking for a new insurance policy.  My letter is being included in the talks taking place this week.

I realize that they might look at all the options and decide that what they have is the best deal, but it’s nice to know that we’re not blindly locked into something that doesn’t meet our needs.