With the new year… it brings changes.

Living On Oxygen for Life

And now for something new… drama! I realized this past weekend that I had a letter on my refrigerator which I’d slapped under a magnet back in October 2017. Of course, you all know me by now to think… “oh dear, that can’t be good!” If you’re anything like me, you stick important things on the fridge, right? You know, things you DO NOT want to forget. Especially if it’s from the health insurance company.

This important document I have stuck on my refrigerator informs me of a change for the new year. Don’t worry… I was thinking the same thing.. “but these people never give THAT much of an advanced warning.” Am I wrong? Of course not! So I put it on my refrigerator so I wouldn’t forget.

Well, I forgot all about it because my brain just doesn’t retain all the things that have happened since October. Life was happenin’ around K and me. How was I supposed to remember that my Specialty medicine for my Pulmonary Hypertension was going to be dispensed through a different pharmacy? This is the medicine that I have to get labs done every month to even get a refill of this stuff.

I can only say that it’s truly inconvenient and very stressful for a patient, who must take this life-sustaining medication, to have to make this transition at all. It hasn’t been a smooth transition to the new pharmacy because I never have an available refill of this medicine due to needing lab work done every month prior to calling…then wait as I listen to at least 5 minutes of elevator/on hold music, for a refill.

Now I’m stuck within the slow grinding process of the new paperwork and out of medicine. They are supposed to call me when the pharmacy is finished “processing” my account to set up a delivery date. Meanwhile, I’m at home with no one other than myself to blame and feeling like I am slowly suffocating. I’m very short of breath and it’s a constant reminder to never let this happen again.

It’s pretty hard to juggle everything that has been going on in mine and K’s life lately and to have this slip from my memory makes everything seem like a crisis to handle right now. So, when my husband asks me to handle something for him, I start feeling a little buried right now.

For sanity’s sake, I made myself step back to calm down. I’m making a list to prioritize what “crisis” I should handle first because when I start feeling buried, everything feels like a crisis. From there, all of this mess will start to look clearer. I hope! haha!

Staying on top of your health care…

Living On Oxygen for Life

I can’t stress to you enough the importance of staying on top of your health issues and insurance coverage.

If you haven’t already, read through your health insurance information. There are different kinds of insurance coverages out there. If you are on Social Security Disablity with Medicare, some states offer Medicare HMO plans instead of being on just straight Medicare. If you have extensive health problems, such as what I have, the Medicare HMO plan benefited me the most when it was the only thing available to me. (ie: my husband didn’t have his health insurance benefits yet)

Medical coverage changes yearly. So, it’s important to read your manual when you get it by mail. If you can’t understand what you read, either get a family member to help you or call the 1-800 number. It’s the Customer Service’s job to help you. No question is too silly to ask and ask them until you understand what you are needing to know.

In the U.S. there are other insurance plans out there, such as PPO’s, HMO, Pay-per-Visit (I think that’s what it’s called), Medi-gap and Medicaid. If you have a PPO and Medicare, it’s important to know which coverage is the Primary insurance policy. Read the fine print and call each company and find out before you go to the doctors. Believe me, screwing up the billing is a pain in the rear!

Staying on top of your health care is so important. It’s also important to make sure that all your doctors are communicating with each other to give you the best of care. If you go see, for example, your cardiologist and he recommends to see your pulmonologist, then he should be sending your PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIAN (ie: Family Doctor) a letter stating how the appointment went and what the test results were if you had any done. In the past, doctors use to do this automatically. But now, I’ve noticed, this doesn’t seem to happen. I’m always asking the doctor to send my primary care physician a letter concerning the appointment that I’m in at the time. My PH doctors actually ask ME to whom I want them to send a letter. I tell them, my cardiologist and my primary care physician so that one hand knows what the other is doing… so to speak. In my case, my lungs affect my heart and my heart affects my lungs and all of these problems can have an effect on my only kidney I was born with. Yes, I was only born with one kidney. So, I really have to be on top of things and so do my doctors.

Admittedly, it’s a lot of work. However, it’s worth it because I want to live as long as possible and have my life to be a quality one. The other thing I want to mention is that someone, a spouse or a close family member, needs to be aware of all your health issues. This is in case something drastic happens and they need to make decisions for your health care because you are unable to do so. A good thing to have is an Advance Directive, Living Will, or even a DNR document. Do a Google search for these documents based on the state/country you live in. Planning for the future can give you peace of mind.

In other news, I have been really excited about cooking Thanksgiving but now we have been invited to go to K’s aunt’s Thanksgiving dinner. I was thinking that we were going to be able to cook our own Thanksgiving dinner the following weekend but that Saturday, K has to work and then we leave for New Orleans! (unless the weather turns bad!) You heard me right! Another fun road trip with my pup, Rocco and Klondike–the road trip mascot!! So, maybe a Christmas dinner will have turkey instead. Tomorrow, I’m going on a date night. How exciting!!