Thinking…

This attitude button is something I’ve been thinking about for a while.

Could I do more?  Instead of wishing I felt better, would it work to just get on with living regardless of how I feel?  If I already feel crummy, I might as well get something accomplished!

I’ve been thinking about what I might do differently.  Better balanced meals?  More time with my family and less on the computer?  Get back to exercising daily instead of sporadically?  In the midst of pondering what changes to make, I read a couple interesting blogs.

First, Wren (RheumaBlog) got all riled up.  Yes, I know I should probably eat better, and I could even lose a few pounds.  I told myself I’d get right on it – right after all the Christmas cookies and candy were gone.

Then Helen (Pens & Needles) decided to set some goals and start eating better.  I can do that.  As soon as I have more energy.  After the cake has been eaten.

Then Dr. Rob got mad at Congress - there’s a lot of that going around.

The real problem is that congress is thinking of short-term political gain while sabotaging the long-term…  

Then I realized something: I do the same thing in my personal life.  I am trying to eat better and exercise, but that brownie in the break room looks awfully tempting.  A little indulgence now won’t hurt in the long-run, will it?  I start playing that damned Bejeweled game on Facebook instead of working around the house…

Living my life making decisions based on my immediate feelings is the same stupidity that infects congress.  I indulge for personal gain in the short-term and let tomorrow’s crisis build.  I have had people younger than me have heart attacks and die; do I really want my last night on earth be spent playing Bejeweled?  Worse yet, if I survive and keep acting in this way, do I really want the measure of my life be how many brownies I eat or what my high score is on a game?  It’s not that I don’t realize I should spend my days better; it’s just human nature that thinks in the now in ways that harm the future.

Ouch.  Food and time management in the same post.  Maybe we could just point fingers at Congress.

As I pondered the topic further, the Arthritis Today e-zine had an article that pointed out one of the things I’ve been thinking about:  now that I’ve figured out what this stupid disease is (sort of), it’s time to move on and live my life while I still have one.

Believe it or not, yesterday I found yet another pertinent post.  Whitecoat, who usually blogs about emergency medicine, had an interesting take on living with disease.

Please go read the links.  Let me know what you think.

99 Cents

Every once in a while, persistence pays off.

As I’ve said before, it bugs me to pay $10.99 for a prescription when my insurance booklet quite clearly says that my co-pay should be $10.  Sure, it’s just 99 cents.  But a contract is a contract, and it’s my 99 cents.  It adds up, month after month after month.

The pharmacy says it’s not their problem; they just charge what the computer says should be charged.  If I have any questions, I should contact my insurer.  The insurance company says it’s not their problem; prescription pricing is too complex for patients to understand (and, by implication, I should quit bothering them about things I’m too stupid to understand) so I need to just pay whatever the computer says to pay.  Why does everyone bow down and kneel unquestioningly at the altar of the almighty computer?

A year ago I spoke to my insurance benefits administrator.  He didn’t quite understand, and I finally decided that the time I’d invested in trying to get everything straightened out was worth more than the ninety-nine cents we were quibbling over.  It was easier to pay the extra money than to keep beating my head against a wall.

Having recently reviewed my medical costs for the past year, I tried again.  “The “9″ key and the “0″ key are side-by-side on the keyboard.  Can you get someone to check and see if it’s possible that the data entry clerk made a typo?”  The benefits administrator finally listened – probably because he figured that I was going to keep hounding him about that stupid 99 cents until I got some answers.  He wrote down the name of the drug and promised to see what he could find out.

A few hours later he called me back with some cockamamie story that boils down to “the insurer doesn’t want to admit that anyone made a mistake because then someone would have to refund money to everyone who’s been paying that extra dollar every month, but it’s fixed now.”

This happened just in time to affect the price of my refills.  Two hours after the final phone call, the pharmacy charged $10 for my prescription.  Like I’ve said all along that it should be.

 Vindicated!