Dealing with doctors again for our homework

The 3 Stooges have yet to send us a correct bill. I keep telling them that once they send us a correct bill then I will pay them in full. But since payments we have already made seem to just disappear into the ethernet for weeks at a time they aren’t getting their nearly $1600. I have the money, but they can’t seem to get the balance right, the last bill was nearly $2,000 even though they had received payments from us, Medicare and BCBS that some how are on the statement, but not deducted from the balance.

Some of you who are on fb with me already know all this. But for the rest of you. We finally (after over a week) got the CTscan results on dh, sort of…

Yes he definitely has a lump in his abdomen, but they don’t know what, or even for certain exactly where it is (inside or outside the bowel) so now we are in waiting mode again as we wait for them to get his biopsy scheduled, then of course we will have to wait on those results. So we still need prayers and good thoughts.

On a brighter note dh and I went to SDC again this last weekend for their Worldfest, we had a good time, but probably won’t go back to SDC until much later in the year. This trip was further under budget than the last one, so that “excess” will be paid on the mortgage this week. Those little bits really add up.

All in all it was a normal week, or what seems to be normal for us lately, around here. Jan who will be glad when the doctor realizes she is right that this lump thing has to do with a hernia repair 15 years ago in OK

You should do it!

I got this idea from an email newsletter. What is “it”? In this
case, it was a physical fitness e-mail. So it could be walking
continuously for 10 minutes. It could be walking a mile, or running a
5K. But I’ll expand this…
“It” could be:
-signing up for music lessons
-signing up for a tennis class
-taking a language class
-discovering a new hobby

Something that gives you a goal and gets you ‘outside the box’. I
think mine will be “Placing a Craigslist ad – bass player looking for
a band/gigs”

You should do it!

I will tell you it made my day twice that first day and

then again when she called to say BCBS said I was right. The first time when I wiped the smile off her face after she talked down to me and told me I didn’t know how to read a bill. Then when I showed her what bcbs said we owed. I was nice I didn’t do a victory dance, at least not where she could see me, nor did I return the favor of talking down to her. Dh said he was proud of the way I handled it. This is the first time in a long time he has actually seen me in action, he generally just sees the results

Homework hmmm….

I think I finally got the 3 stooges straightened out, at least she called and agreed with my numbers last week.

On a how dumb do they think we are front: dh received not one, but 2 phone calls on the 16th that were automated calls claiming to be the IRS and that we were being sued for back taxes.

Since IRS NEVER calls, and he knew we did not owe back taxes he knew it was a scam, so he simply ignored the demand he call them.

On a better note the same day I received a notice from Wells Fargo we had over paid on our escrow and we should have a check in the next 10 days. So I went to their webpage separate from the email and yep looks like we will be getting about $375 and our required minimum monthly payment will go down about $25.

Of course we will turn right around and put the check and monthly savings against the principal of the first mortgage to bring that down faster and save a bit more on the interest.

On the spending front we paid in nearly $9000 in taxes all in one chunk from the savings account we had set up for that per our TMMO training. It hurt to send the tax man that much when we are down to owing right around $17,000 on the first mortgage…think of the difference that money would have made on that loan …whine… Detroit Harmonie is a nonprofit organization.

Of course now that the tax man is fed we will dispense with the few remaining doctor and hospital bills then hit the mortgages hard and fast. We both are really looking forward to that.

Sunday we bought a Sodastream Jet on sale to carbonate the homemade soda syrups I have been making cheaper than buying cans of seltzer water like we have been doing.

Our family is hooked on sodas, but we figured out is more the carbonation than the cola we crave. So we now drink more fruit based lower/no sugar carbonated water. My next purchase will be a brita filter or similar filtering system. Any recommendations? The filtered water on our fridge has a nasty taste to it we can’t get rid of or we would just use that.

We went to a local herb fair Saturday and purchased heirloom tomatoes, peppers and herbs for a container garden this year.

Health front…we MAY know what dh’s mass is and if we are right it should be good news, we won’t know for certain until after the biopsy, which the hospital still hasn’t scheduled, so please continue to hold good thoughts.

Right now dh is home due a very nasty head cold he is really feeling really rough today…ds and I think it is the stress of not knowing for certain on the mass that is keeping him so ran down.

Our big entertainment for the week was a wienie and marshmallow roast here at home. It was fun and cheap to do.

So that is it from here on the ranch in ne OK

Jan who is excited to be going hard after the mortgages soon in OK

Lesson taught:

Never argue numbers with a math nerd over a bill, especially one that has drank the Dave Ramsey koolade.

Tuesday we received a call from dh’s doctor that he wanted to see us on Wednesday. This rattled us a bit, but we went in with a positive attitude, albeit an anxious one. I am the official dispenser of the Pollyanna pills after all.

We arrived about 15 minutes early, as per our normal habit, and was immediately told that dh had to pay a co-pay before he saw the doctor. We told them no, the visit was 100% being paid by insurance.

The head stooge of the 3 stooges was called and she came down waving a printout in her hand to prove me wrong. LOL! Silly woman.

She started off declaring we owed them a whole lot more than we do. I told her immediately she was wrong and gave her the correct number. Then the woman made what could have been a near fatal error had I been a person given to violence. She talked DOWN to me, told me I was wrong and she was going to PROVE to me I didn’t know how to read a bill.

You guys can guess how it went from there. No I didn’t stand on a desk, in fact dh will tell you I was very calm and polite to her. I suggested she show me how she came up with her numbers and informed her that IF I had been warned I was going to be attacked in such a manner I would have brought copies of the bills she had sent me and I could immediately show her where payments we had made were missing.

She insisted no payments were missing, that I was simply WRONG.

We went to a private room where she proceeded to rattle off numbers at me for each visit. So much for this charge, so much for that one, they had “wrote off” (her term for their contractual agreement with Blue Cross and Medicare) this amount, BC had paid that amount etc.

As she went I, being the math nerd I am and quite frankly quick with numbers, ran the numbers in my head at first, correcting her as she went on her totals. She Informed me we needed a calculator because her numbers didn’t agree with mine at nearly every turn and she was certain she was right because she was doing hers on paper and I was doing mine in my head. Uhhh, there is a reason I won math bees in our school growing up and I’m not so old yet that I can’t still do it.

I pulled out my cell phone, pulled up the calculator and handed it to her and said “why don’t you use this?” She couldn’t run the calculator, so I did for her. Guess which one of us was right. It certainly wasn’t her.

As we progressed I soon realized what she was trying to pull because she kept referring to our payments as “co-pays”, as if they were what we had to pay besides what insurance had paid them. Only I knew they had billed BC and Medicare for full amounts and had been paid accordingly based on those numbers.

In one of her “rerunning her calculations to find her mistakes moments” I quietly told dh to pull up the BC account on his phone. I had grown bored with the stooge and was there to see the doctor about whatever was so important he needed to see us asap.

Once dh had it pulled up I opened the file on the date we were currently discussing and quietly pointed out the line that said how much we owed the doctor. She said $35, it said ZERO. I offered to pull up the other disputed dates as well, but she realized I had her. She backed off immediately and said she would check with their insurance person to verify this.

I told her while talking to the insurance person she should also have them check on why there were two duplicate claims (for a total of 4 claims) filed on one office visit. She denied that happened, I showed her different on the website.

She just called me a few minutes ago and well, it seems I MAAAAAY be right. Duh! Lesson taught, lesson learned. She had “found” all the missing payments and they weren’t exactly co-pays like she thought….

We were finally allowed to see the doctor once I showed her the zero owed amounts. He wanted to do a further exam and then showed us the CT scan so we would be more knowledgeable of what was going on. I appreciated that. The mass is larger than dh and I expected.

The doctor says he has zero idea as to what it is and he will make certain we get a biopsy as soon as possible, but at this point he couldn’t venture to say, based on size, shape, location etc what it is. The three of us nervously joked about what it could be “furball”, since we have 5 indoor cats, missing kidney and similar jokes to just ease the tension. We do know a few more things. Not only is dh’s single kidney in good shape, so are his heart, lungs, prostate and bowel his bones too. There is just this kidney sized lump in his lower abdomen. So now we wait for the biopsy appointment and then for 2-4 weeks for testing on the sample they will take to get a definitive answer. It’s going to be a long month. Prayers please.

Jan who hopes the stooge gets a calculator she knows how to run soon in OK

After a process of elimination

I am being referred to a cardio doctor today. I was also perscribed potassium to go along w/ the lasix I’ve been taking. By the way I’ve had swelling on and off – my legs and feet. sometimes it’s been so bad I could hardly walk. We should be getting down to figuring this all out w/ the cardio doctor coming up!
At last today is my first day joining this blog. It’s the last place i thought I would find myself….but here I am.
Take care

I have been posting the same message in a lot of heart forums

that i subscribe only because I am uncertain what to do since the health system here is not that great. Does anyone know if the following is anything to worry about for someone who had the bypass in November of last year- swelling in the right foot resulting in excruciating pain and also symptoms of shivering/feeling cold. He also says it seems like gout however the whole foot is swollen and not just the toe.

Annie, Turmeric the spice is vitally important for your mother!

I know it is cheap and simple but if you do some research on the net you will find that it boosts the immune system and more importantly acts as a blood tonic and THINNER. Combine that with ginger 50-50 and thrown in some really hot cayenne about 5% of the mixture. I mix it with my daily low fat yogurt but you can encapsulate it as well. When I mix it with the yogurt I do it at the very top of the container so that after I eat it, I can eat some yogurt mixed with oat bran and fresh fruit. Oat bran is very important to keep the cholesterol level down.

I eat this everyday.

Don’t depend entirely on the cardiologist, as he will likely scoff at this but I know it works because I have seen the results under a microscope on many people, myself included.

You might also think about EECP treatments for your Mom as well. If you don’t know what they are, mention it to your cardiologist and do some research on the net as there is a lot of coverage there for it. Basically it helps generate growth factors and stem cells to grow new blood vessels. I think this not only helps the heart but other organs as well. I know it flushes the kidneys real good and quick, because even urinating before treatment, you have to afterwards as well. That is several hours of kidney work rolled into a one hour session, so you know that the blood is really moving through all the organs quickly.

A cardiologist in Turkey told me he uses it for stroke and if he can get the stroke patient on the machine during the stroke, there is often no damage from the stroke. He told me they also use it for congestive heart failure. I did EECP in Turkey and Germany, but the treatments in Turkey were better. I liked living in Germany better however.

Anyway, use the ginger, turmeric and cayenne as it has no adverse effects, not even risk of adverse bleeding as it allows the clotting process to function unless you take abnormally high amounts. You only need a couple of grams a day of mixture. The cayenne increases circulation and may increase heart rate a little.

Hi Annie

I am very sorry to hear about your Mom. I do not have any experience in what she is going through so I am sorry, I don’t have any advice or suggestions.
I will keep your Mom in my prayers. Please keep us posted.

My name is Annie, and I just joined this Blog and really need help

My mother was admitted to St. Joseph’s hospital in Tuscon with labored breathing and high pulse. She was diagnosed with pneumonia and has excessive fluid build up around the heart. She was tentatively diagnosed heart disease.

Her treating cardiologist is telling us that they cannot do definitive tests to diagnose exactly what happened until the pneumonia is addressed, but she thinks that she suffered from congenitve heart failure, possibly a myocardial infarction (am I spelling this correctly?). They did an ultrasound of her heart and lungs, which led to the diagnosis of pneumonia.

They are telling us that due to her pneumonia that they cannot get a blood draw, due to low blood pressure or pulse (I have to speak to the cardiologist again to get clarity on this).

I have many questions and am hoping that this group and help. I’m just starting to research this on the web. I’ve asked about the nurse to patient ratio in the ward that she’s in and they tell me it is 1:7.
She is very, very weak. I am trying to make sure that they have a complete list of medications that she is taking to avoid the possibility of a drug interaction. They are administering a diuretic medication right now to decrease fluid around her heart. Her heart is enlarged, apparently. My mom also has IBS and Hepatitis C. They do not have her in intensive care, which makes me nervous. Firstly, I need to know:

1) What questions should I be asking her cardiologist?
2) What kind of tests should she be given to accurately ascertain the condition of her heart?
3) What courses of treatments are there once a diagnosis is given?
4) Are there any medications that I should watch out for as possibly problematic, or that might result in bad drug interactions?
5) What kind of second opinion should I ask for? From another cardiologist?
6) Are there any other questions I should be asking?
7) What shall I ask them about not being able to get a blood draw from her? This makes me suspicious, frankly.

My mother does not have private health insurance. She lives in a nursing home and her medical care is provided by Medicare.

I am in California and thus trying to coordinate care from long distance until I get there. Naturally, I am very very terrified right now. My uncle died in a Tucson in hospital a few years ago due to pneumonia gotten in hospital, and he received substandard care, which contributed to his death. My father also died of heart failure in 1998, mostly due to lifestyle factors.

Thank you for reading this, and any and all suggestions and help are welcome.

I’m very holistic in approach to medical care, so am wondering, if she recovers, what can be done as a complementary adjunct to her acute care.