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October Expenses-Scary! October 31, 2009

Posted by Admin in Blog Math, Cancer, Diary, Health Insurance, Money.
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  • ER visit week of 10-5-09:   co-pay before entering the treatment room $100, Dr. fee $266-my percentage of 20% after “negotiated adjustment” =  $34.02, IV drugs ?
  • Co-pays for 2 Office visits for cellulitis and 1 for DNA Test results: $60
  • Flu shot (regular)-no separate bill yet (I think)
  • Plus antibiotics (2 different types), extra pain meds (neither of which worked) $40
  • DNA test-not yet paid by insurance company $3100 (my maximum will be $350) but I haven’t been billed yet because the insurance company is hassling the lab that performed the service (the one that said they had my back). Classify this one as: “hanging over my head”
  • Regular Rx renewals $39.91 (for three months each)
  • Office visits for Ovarian Cancer research study: annual ultrasound of ovaries and CA 125 blood Test : FREE (classify this one to rule things out). More on the CA 125 test in a future post.
  • Bill for September dentist (annual exam, X-rays and cleaning) $45.40 out of pocket (insurance paid $181.60)
  • Co-pays for two therapeutic lymphedema massages: $60

Scary total: $513.00

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Weekly Expenses October 30, 2009

Posted by Admin in Blog Math, Cancer, Diary, Money.
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This week’s expenses were not as scary as Halloween week could be. I had a regular massage for my back and my lymphedema on Monday.  One side effect of blogging is that I spend more time in front of the computer. This causes my shoulders to hunch over and my chest muscles to contract. The massage helps to loosen them back up. (But I probably need to get back in the pool.)

Co-pays this week only $30.00 for the massage. I ordered a refill of the other prescription I take by mail. A three-month supply is around $19.00. But I overpaid the company last month so it won’t cost anything-they already have my money! Great for cash flow-but poor planning, nonetheless.

Weekly expenses: $30.00

Monthly total coming this weekend-that might be scary!

Health Care Quote of the Week-Sean Hannity October 29, 2009

Posted by Admin in Diary, Health Quote of the Week, huh?.
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Well, I hate to promote the Fox Network in any way, but this one slipped through. Conservative columnist and author Michele Malkin was interviewed by Sean Hannity this week. The subject was her new book; but Sean wrapped up the interview in a way that seemed to make Michele speechless: (or maybe that was the editing!)

Hannity’s Freudian slip: “These are the critical weeks if you don’t want health care”.

It can be seen on video courtesy of Media Matters here.

Interactive Redux-Thank You! October 29, 2009

Posted by Admin in Diary, Healthonymous.
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Thank you to those of you who have made comments or rated the posts! To RSS the blog, please scroll all the way to the bottom right hand corner.

Even if I haven’t responded to your comment, please know that they are read and may influence a future post!

Flu: US vs. the UK Who wins? October 29, 2009

Posted by Admin in Health Insurance, Healthonymous.
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Brits 1 US  0.

In this post, I am comparing Flu.gov to the National Pandemic Flu Service websites. You may recall my post on the Flu Friend program provided by the NHS in the U.K.

If you live in America, you can visit Flu.gov and use a “Self-Assessment” tool, which is for “informational purposes only”.  It is not a substitute for your health care provider or your insurance company, that would interfere with the “free market” or some such thing.

Bottom line-you can check your symptoms and then what? It says to:

  • Call your Doctor
  • Go to a walk-in clinic
  • Call 911

But if you visit the UK site called the National Pandemic Flu Service, it is a different story. Their purpose is different:

This service will assess the patient’s symptoms and, if required, provide an authorisation number, which can be used in England to collect antivirals from a local Antiviral Collection Point. (also known as a pharmacy in the patient’s neighborhood)

(It’s good in all of the UK-just localized by England, Wales, Scotland and N. Ireland.)

The site lets you know that you will need to know 4 things about the patient. (There is a culture difference-in America it is a self-evaluation with only two questions for the individual. In the UK, they understand that someone else might be caring for you).  I could not go further in the assessment because I could not state that I was in the UK and might have the flu or be caring for someone who might have the flu.

The UK wins hands down-plus for the web-phobic you can call a number staffed by live people and they might also give you that ID code for anti-virals-in other words they do diagnose over the telephone.. One of the anti-virals  is Tamiflu. About $10 per dose- in the US.

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So in the UK, the system is designed for the convenience of the patient, and here, for the convenience of whom?

Flu Animation video from NPR October 28, 2009

Posted by Admin in Video.
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This 3:39 video is a great animated illustration of how a virus gets into our bodies, then replicates very quickly. Unless a big white cell slurps up the virus. Well, that is what they made it sound like in the video!

The narrator is NPR science reporter Robert Krulwich-I think he used to be on TV, but he is another one of those people whose face I don’t know, but I do know his voice.

I’d Give My Left_____for Affordable Health Care October 28, 2009

Posted by Admin in Healthonymous, Humor.
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I thought I would check back with rockthevote to see what they were stressing now in the health care debate. They have plenty of places to comment and make contact with your MC-Member of Congress.  And an interview with a guy named Pete Wentz-guess I’m supposed to know him. Help me out, please!

But I visited the “merch” part of the site (the place that the  Car Talk guys would call their Shameless Commerce page.)  My favorite T-shirt is this one-that states a simple truth, “I’d give my left ______for affordable health care!

Then it occurred to me-I already did!

Molly Ivins Post as a Wordle October 26, 2009

Posted by Admin in Cancer, Women.
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a pink Wordle (even though it is black and white)

http://www.wordle.net/. Images of Wordles are licensed Creative Commons License.

Don’t know Wordle? Here it is!

It’s Still a Pink Month…some history October 25, 2009

Posted by Admin in Cancer, Women.
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Six more days of Breast Cancer Awareness Month! The first time I had cancer, there were no pink ribbons,

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Danskin triathlons, no tamoxifen or test for the breast cancer gene mutations, no Race for the Cure, no Susan Love books; the Susan G. Komen Foundation had been established, but I didn’t know about it.  No internet either.

No Save Second Base or the site I found last week-Save the TaTa’s!

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How did I do my research back then? (more…)

Quote from Molly Ivins on Cancer October 25, 2009

Posted by Admin in Cancer, Health Quote of the Week, Humor, Women.
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Bonus quote of the week!

I miss Molly Ivins’ humor and speaking truth to power. Here is how she began an essay in Time magazine  (2-18-02 issue) about cancer:

Having breast cancer is massive amounts of no fun. First they mutilate you; then they poison you; then they burn you. I have been on blind dates better than that.

Been there, done that, got the (pink) T-shirt.

Would Molly Ivins be involved in the health care reform debate right now? Yes, and I would love to know what she would have said.

For another appreciation of Molly Ivins by Maya Angelou, read on.

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