Calcium Rich Foods

Moving into the third day of my meds its interesting what foods are calcium rich. Since I can’t have calcium rich foods 2 hours before or after I take a pill its interesting what foods do and do not have calcium in them.

Most of the time the calcium thing is not a problem. I can wait the two hours after breakfast and be fine with not eating until lunchtime. Its the after dinner snack/ dessert that is interesting.

Cheez-its do not have any calcium, even though they advertise that cheese is smashed into their crackers. Cheetos do have calcium and Cheese Goldfish crackers have twice as much calcium as Cheetos. Figs have lots of calcium in them, so does orange juice, kale and spinach. Butter does not have any calcium, nor do bananas.

Peanut butter does not have calcium, almonds and almond milk has lots of calcium.

I feel like I am back to when I had massive food allergies (they’ve gotten much better over time) and had to intensely read labels to catch any signs of allergens.

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A Bug Bite

So I woke up Sunday with a giant red welt on my right calf. A giant bite that seemed to have a ring around it. Commence freaking out about lyme.

Luckily (?) since my doctors office lost my labs I had to go in Monday to have my blood redrawn. I was able to see the doctor before my labs and she didn’t think it was lyme, but it did have a circle around it. So she put be on doxycycline, a hardcore antibiotic that will cure up the bite (it could just be infected) and tackle the lyme if it is there. She had them run a blood test for lyme too.

Doxycycline is a giant blue pill that has to be taken either 2 hours before or 2 hours after you eat. And you can’t have any calcium with it, it prevents your body from absorbing the good fighting medicine. So that means that 2 hours before and after a pill no calcium rich foods. No almonds, orange juice, yogurt, ice cream, chocolate, spinach…..

So, I got to skip my normal breakfast of yogurt and fruit today and had nut butter on raisin bread with a banana . And I put Reddi-Whip in my coffee instead of half-and- half…for some reason Reddi-Whip though made from cream has no calcium in it…..

Now it is day two of pills (out of 10) so lets see how this goes. Good thing is the pills can clear up your skin and help prevent malaria…..d

Another problem, this time not insurance!

Last month I had to go in for a blood test, after waiting three weeks for results I finally called my doctor to see what was going on. Turns out, they lost my blood….

And by lost, the sent it to the wrong lab with no label. Even though I told them what lab to send it to. They just did a “oops, our bad” and then told me to come in for more bloodworm. I told them I didn’t think that would be possible since they billed my insurance for it and now it wouldn’t be covered. Because you guys know how much I love to argue with Aetna over bills…..

Called Aetna today and they said that it “should” be covered but my doctors office should call them to say they screwed up.

Why can’t I even get a simple blood test right?!

For all the Frustration…

For anyone that has ever wanted to pound the phone (or their head) on the counter after dealing with insurance companies, claims and bills…I give you the health insurance stress doll!

Now for sale here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/230473925/health-insurance-stress-doll-with-hand?ref=shop_home_active_21

Always remember…

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Taxes and Medical Expenses

I finally filed my taxes today. Just a friendly reminder to everyone that you can deduct some medical expenses.

Make  sure you have all of your claims, receipts and documents in order before starting. Deductions are broken down between doctor and dentist visits, eye care expenses, lab work, pharmacy, hospital visits and your premiums.

I recommend printing out everything before hand and checking things off as you go, Do not round up or down, put down every last red cent and hope for the best!

Your membership is important to us and other lies

So, I get this letter the other day from my insurance company. I had complained to them in February about how they told me I could go to Walgreens for my flue shot and then did’t want to pay for it because they meant that I could go to any *other* Walgreens, just not the one that I went to.

Their letter spends 4 paragraphs talking about things like:

Our primary goal is to be helpful in all your medical needs. We apologize for any frustration you may have experienced. We appreciate your input, which we anticipate will enable us to provide better service in the future.

Your membership is valued and I trust that you will not hesitate to contact us when you need assistance. We strive to provide you with prompt, accurate service in a manner that will demonstrate to you that your concerns are important.

Our customer service reps are fully trained in all areas and are there to be helpful in your questions. We strive for excellence and are consistently monitoring our calls to try and alleviate any problems that may arise.

We take all complaints seriously and use them as opportunities to improve member satisfaction.

Here is my reply…

Your primary goal is to suck time out of my life. Your reps consistently tell me different things depending on who I talk to. Please stop with the automated “you call is important to us”, replace it with “you have to stay on hold as long as we feel like it because out on line support is crap and will tell you to call us and what other choice do you have really?”.

Your service is neither prompt nor accurate. How can three reps tell me that a doctor and hospital are in network but the fourth one tells me that the first three lied and its my fault and I should have known this?

Upside is, I have another reason to write my senator…

Secret Insurance Form…Shhhhhh!

Another call to customer service with another promise to fix a claim leads to the same old bill being sent from the hospital. *Sigh* So, Friday I had to call my insurance company (AGAIN!). about two claims. One is going to be fixed because my doctor submitted the claim as an “office visit” not a “preventative care visit”. Make sure you know that anything preventative should not be charged, or if it is charged, it should be a visit and not a specialist visit.

I also chatted about my visit at Comer. Apparently, once again every other customer rep told me there wrong information (all six of them) and now I had the “real” info….The doctor is in my network, but not the hospital and I would loose any appeal that I would open. But, just like in the incredibles he couldn’t tell me to go on the website and click on a bunch of tabs leading me to manual claim sheet. All I have to do is fill out the sheet, fax it to Aetna, they will submit it to the doctor, he will submit my office visit instead of the hospital and my $500 bill will be reduced back down to a $60 co pay.

I am trying this and I hope it will work out, if nothing else, its dealing payment….

Licorice Pudding

So, I have a love for licorice. Really good licorice, salty licorice, chewy licorice. For the longest time I couldn’t find really  good licorice and then there was a licorice explosion! And then I found out I can’t have licorice with my jaw- too chewy.

Licorice pudding to the rescue!!!

I use this recipe http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Licorice-Pudding-237683   and substituted some salty licorice candy from Papabubble along with the Panda candy. I let the pudding set overnight and today I made some biscotti using the recipe from King Arthur Flour (I pumped up the almond extract and added some ground anise seed). That recipe is nice and soft, like Stella Dora without all the crunch.

Delicious and almost as good as the real thing!

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Can one go a week without calling your insurance company

To answer that above question….no…one can’t. It all starts with getting an e-mail with the super happy smiling lady stating “YOU HAVE A NEW CLAIM!!!!”. Oh joy! Why the smiling happy lady Aetna? Why not a picture of grumpy cat or Eeyore instead? That would make sense, I don’t want some insane person smiling at me when all I have to look forward to is gnashing of teeth and a painful phone conversation over lunch the next day.

This time is was yet again…..my bill to see the NF specialist. I called last October to make sure he was in my network (I had checked on line but wanted a verbal confirmation) and was told yes the hospital was, yes the doctor was, no referral needed and it would only be a $60 co pay. Then I get a bill for $500….What the what……I called and was told they have the wrong insurance info and was put through a conference call with the hospital and my insurance company to fix it. Then I received another bill for $500….not fixed Aetna..not fixed at all! So I call Aetna again and explain the past phone conversations and would they please fix this.

First the person can’t find my information, then they don’t know what the date is, can’t find the doctor and straight up tell me that he isn’t in my network. REALLY?! Because he is. Your Doc Find told me he is, 2 of your employees told me he is and you are changing your minds again! I am so blanking mad I will be writing to the CEO about this. It is beyond ridiculous.

On top of that, when I was doing my happy dance about the Loyola bill being fixed…..Well, they fixed it back to the higher amount that I will still refuse to pay. Why. Why. Why?!

After ever phone conversation I just feel like chucking my phone at the ground like that little kid int he Nationwide commercials. Or slamming it against the wall and screaming like Sandra Bullock does in “The Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood”…..