In February 2007 on the advice of the good people at The Spa, we applied for disability from the US Government.  At the time, with our heads spinning, we weren’t even sure what that meant.  Now, one year and eight months later, we still aren’t sure what it means but we’ve been approved for Medicare.  “Yay!” you’d think we’d say.  But wait.  There’s more.

When I told Becky, our wonderful patient advocate, about our approval to Medicare her reaction was (and I quote) “oh, no!”  While it’s difficult to get a good read on the future, fuzzy as it is, her take is that we might (her word was “probably”) be better off keeping the ol’ status quo since Humana is paying the bills.  To boil it down, change is bad in the medical insurance world.  So, never one to let stones unturned when my wife’s life is involved*, I asked her to dig in and figure out what’s the best choice for us.  After a myriad of conversations with her and knowledgeable folks at The Spa, I’ve come to realize that Medicare is a mess.  A mess I don’t really want to be a part of.

* Call me crazy.

Now how sad is that.  After having Humana behave in what I firmly believe to be a surreptitious manner, the government sponsored… wait… the program we pay for out of our weekly pay checks, is WORSE by way of mediocrity and regulation.  Let me rephrase, in case you don’t like poorly-written run-on sentences.  I’m likely to chose Humana, the insurance that has taken deliberate steps to screw us, instead the government-approved insurance, paid for by you and me as required by law out of our own paychecks.  Lesser of two evils.  Weird, sounds like I’m talking about the elections.

In other news, Maggie visited The Spa today to have blood work done.  It was just a checkup to see how her white and red blood counts were doing.  Well, apparently not so good.  (Quit worrying, Moms!  Just keep reading.)  Both her white and red blood cell counts were down so she was given Neupogen to get those really important white counts back up ASAP.  She’ll have another shot tomorrow and tests again Friday.  We’re also going to ask that she get a shot of Aranesp to get the ol’ red blood cell count back up, too. Maggie’s been really feeling tired lately which is easily attributed to a low red blood cell count.  Maybe this will help.  Or, just maybe, we’ll have to eat more steak.  I wonder if Humana or Medicare covers prime filet?

Meanwhile, she’s working her tail off.  It seems every day she has a hearing or a mediation or some other important dress-to-impress meeting.  And she’s just kicking ass in every scenario. I’m so proud.   I hate to play the whole “I told you so” card but, well, I’ve lived this life for a while now and I can say without any hesitation that she’s a really, really, really good debater. Those poor bastards on the other side of her arguments are just ill-prepared, no matter what their experience or education.  And, best of all, she’s all smiles.  When she calls me after a <fill in the right phrase for a butt kicking here> she’s very happy.  Even if it didn’t go perfect, she’s seized the opportunity to turn as much of it into good as possible.  And her clients love her.  Go figure.  I’m so proud.

Starting today, it’s chemo free week. These are always good weeks.  Our schedule is filled to the brim.  Happy hours, dinners, lunches, meetings – we gotta fit it all in.  Only the fun stuff, though.  The boring, crappy or dull stuff be damned.  Next Friday we start the cycle again.  Boo.  And Monday we get another CAT scan.  It’ll be good to see how things are progressing.

Until then we continue to celebrate our life.  We are lucky to be busy with the things we love to do.  And we are doubly lucky to bring the things we love to do home to each other.  Nothing beats having fun than sharing that fun with the person you love.

10 thoughts on “Medicare

  1. Embrace every opportunity is what I say! Enjoy each other’s company and live life to it’s fullest in these moments of drug-free-ness (the Reagan’s would be proud)! I say eat steak every day, with a side order of spinach (lots of iron)…it’s much cheaper than those awful drugs and it certainly is tastier.

    Lots of love, prayers, hugs and kisses from North Texas!

  2. I second what Carrie says! The Humana mess, the Medicare mess, the elections, the economy … they are what they are … whether we pay attention to them or not. So … it’s FREEDOM week! Celebrate! Have a steak (with spinach), cake and ice cream … and a parade … with balloons, and anything else that tickles your fancy!!

    Many hugs, happy thoughts, prayers everyday, and much, much love!

  3. yah! At least there is some good news without all this financial mess or shall we call it a debacle.
    I think of you both all the time.
    Have a great week off and enjoy.
    Love and happiness.

  4. Wow! Maggie, you sound terrific. How cool is it to be an attorney?! I’m almost 41 and am working on my “dream profession” (nursing, thus Carrie’s student).
    You guys are doing a great job embracing every little-bit-of-good in your lives. If only everyone lived like that.
    God Bless you both!

  5. Having been on the other side of Maggie in Practice Court, let me say I feel sorry indeed for her opposition! Have a great week, guys!

  6. You know me, I say eat meat for every meal!! Hell, eat whatever you want lots of cake, and ice cream and taco bell burritos etc… You two have a fantastic week of fun and no drugs!

  7. Dear Maggie:

    Thank you very much for the blue ribbon pin of 10/08/08. You mother, Mary K., brought it with her when she came to visit me. I will always remember you by this special, thoughtful gift.

    I hope all works well for you and Chris, and remember, God blesses us with each new day, a gift from God.

    Love always,

    Aunt Pat Valente
    Daly City, CA

  8. Chris:

    My heart goes out to you and Maggie. Please go to the website Everything is listed there

    Paula (Alicia’s Mom)

  9. It would be okay if you can have double coverage. Medicare part D SUCKS!!! Most of my patients can’t even afford their own chemo because of the 20% co-pay for chemo. Many have chosen to stop their treatments just for that fact. I don’t know how it works in Texas with Humana, but double coverage should be okay if Humana picks up the rest of the bill.

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