What? I’m a Pit Bull?…


I have been called Savvy Grammie and sometimes Pollyanna.  One day when I was surfing the internet, there it was; What DogWhat? I'm a Pit Bull? Are You? It is like the great vortex that sucks you in and before you know it you are taking the test! When I completed it, my jaw dropped to the floor and as I reached to pick it up, I read, “You most resemble a Pitt Bull” I was horrified! I kind of think of myself as a gentle soul, a bit of an introvert, and I could in no way see how they could set me in line with these powerful, active dogs. I am such a klutz and when it comes to excelling at extreme sports….NOT!!  Once I calmed down and began looking at the character of the dog, I could see some slight similarities. The Pit Bull is loyal, competitive, protective and if they must fight then they bite down till they get to the other side. Yes, I can see I am all those things when it’s needed. I just hate it when I get sucked in like that.

The Savvy Grammie moniker was hung around my neck because anywhere I worked seemed like they would all come to me for answers. I am the mother of 6 children and now have 9 grand children. I am the encyclopedia, dictionary, and tutorial program all mixed up in one. Besides that I am the best darn researcher around.  Pollyanna on the other hand is there because I believe that if you do what you can things will work out in the end. Yes there are occasions when they don’t. That’s where I say, “The tree that doesn’t bend breaks.”

I have a patio out front of my house. Almost every morning, I make a pot of coffee and go out and sit and read and drink coffee till the first neighbor drops by.  I either do that or I have a basket I load up with cups, coffee in a thermos, and some goodies and go see a friend who can’t come to my patio. Ar either place we discuss all the ills of the world and the challenges we face each day. They have definitely increased in number and see if together we can figure out some solutions. Never hurts. They say “Two heads are better than one.”

I do a variety of things. I’m a foodie that’s loosing weight. Inch by Inch life is a cinch! I thought if what I’m doing helps our household then surely there are others out there this would help.

I learned how to make ice cream without an ice cream maker. Yumm!! My grand-daughter says it’s better than any in the store. I make yogurt and cottage cheese in my crock pot. I do other things that have nothing to do with skills in the home also. I just waded through the medicare Forrest of horror. Whatever things I need to face, I just dig till I find an answer. Next thing I know they will be calling me Digg Dug!! We just joined a medication mail order group and I’m still questioning that. I feel a little singed around the edges.  I have some thoughts about politics. I have a list a mile long.

I’m going to lay out the welcome mat and just see who comes to my door and what kind of solutions we can provide. I hate to let experience go to waste.  Hope you will come so we can talk.

Hope to visit again soon.

Jan

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Aside

Finding Our Way Through the Maze


Medication Box

Medication Box

Hi there,

Today is going to be a serious blog. It’s about finding the right way to make good decisions and what you may need to know to do that. The decision I’m talking about is picking your Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage Plan. Hindsight always makes things clearer so I wanted to tell my story. What things did I needed to know to make it turn out much better.The last couple months we have had a few challenges. My husband and I are on Social Security early because of disability. We have Medicare and every fall all seniors on Medicare sign up for the medical prescription program and it has progressed and now it extends to cover Dr. and Hospital bills which is called Medicare Advantage. We were very resourceful and gathered information on the two plans available to us in our area and made a decision. We felt good! We had a nightmare of a year in 2011. The first of December we signed up for our plan. The plan included a mail order medication program. That sounded like a good decision because:

  • Mailed right to your door
  • $0 Co-pays on generic medications
  • Reminders when to refill

We pay less money because of lower copays and less gas money. We input all our medications into the system to make sure they were on their formulary. We were delighted to find they covered all but 1 medication. We sailed through Christmas feeling pretty good and relaxing a bit since our experience in 2011 was almost more than we could take. We had a very rough year.

January 1, 2012 our plan took effect. They told us to make an appointment with our Dr. Have him send all our prescriptions to the mail order program. Step one right? We waited for everything to fall into place. My husband’s medications came back pretty quickly. Mine was a different matter. He has normal aging conditions for the most part. My dosages are irregular and not in the normal range because I am seriously ill. As soon as they received my list, all kinds of warning signals went off. They started calling the Dr. office and telling him they needed clarification. What puzzled me was that they didn’t phone him once with a complete list of questions that needed their clarification but there was repeated calls in a three-week period.Every time that happened it put the order on hold and it was as though it went back to step one  They said once it was clarified , it would be a week to ten days before it would be sent. It was a worrisome time as I was nearing being out of my medications.

The persons who answered the calls had no idea about medical things, couldn’t spell the medications, and had trouble finding anything on the computer. This definitely made the whole process painfully slow. I started on the 5th of January and it took till February 16th for me to get all the medications. I had been out of almost all of my medications two weeks by the time they arrived. Here are a list of question you should have your Doctor answer and choices you should make:

  • Get the physical prescription and send it to them yourself
  • Have your Doctor send a statement that you have not had any drug interactions with the current prescriptions
  • Ask the Doctor if the doses are within the normal prescribing guidelines
  • Don’t give them a payment method but have them invoice you for the purchases.

Mail Order Prescription Plans can be very beneficial.  If you are fairly healthy then you it should be fairly simple. If you are seriously ill the list above should help.

Because of the extreme cost of my medication I have to calculate the cost of my medications to the Insurance Company. I never could get a price quote. Since I am seriously ill and on many medications, I have to know when I’m going into the donut  hole. Just in case you don’t know what that is, here is a quick overview of the Donut Hole or Coverage Gap.

Last year basically I was in the donut hole by the middle of the year and at that time you pay the full price for some and a percentage on others. Needless to say we struggled most of the year.I know, this is a long, drawn out donut hole saga. How things proceed this year had to be very important and so I ask them about the cost to the Insurance Company.

Once I had the invoice, I was able to see and be able to calculate when I would reach the dreaded donut hole.

I don’t know about you but the whole situation made me nervous and a little bit crazy!

I am back on the medications for a week now and slowly getting back to normal. I haven’t been feeling very well but things are looking up. In a couple of months I will figure out the next step in this crazy challenge.

I’m thankful for my insurance and  This year is going to be better. Keep in mind what I said about how they look at your prescriptions and what questions to have answered so that it goes much smoother. Hope this problem never crosses your path but if it does then I hope some of my tips will be of help to you. Thanks for coming to visit. Hope your path is wide and clear of big rocks!  🙂

Journey Along the Garden Path

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