Archive for the ‘HEALTH’ Category

Why Medicare is so expensive?!!??!?!   Leave a comment

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Things are getting crazier EVERY day!! I was reminded of the Marx Brothers, Abbott & Costello, the Keystone Kops, Laurel & Hardy, etc. today. (For those of you old enough to remember them—mmmmm—wonder who is their equal today?)

After not being able to call any of the medical offices about my going to the hospital on the 14th I finally was able to connect with the nurse practitioner who was handling the aorta/hospital/heart paperwork for the 2 cardiologists–she was surprised that my insurance gave me 3 days for the procedure but she didn’t tell or say anything about THE procedure EXCEPT the machine (WHAT MACHINE???) is broke and that she would get back to me Wednesday—no, Thursday–and we will go from there!!!

WAIT!!! That was only the beginning of the day!

I called my pulmonary doctor’s office to check if they got the referral for my appointment on Monday September 27 at 1:45 PM and if he had scheduled the CT exam on Monday September 20 at the Broward hospital and if a referral was needed for that—I, also, explained what was going on about the hospital the previous week and I don’t know if I will be able to keep the following 2 appointments. Their response????? What CT exam??? What appointment with Dr. Singer on the 27th at 1:45 PM?!?!? I checked the calendar on my computer desk and I checked on the calendar in the kitchen–both verified the appointments!

Wait!! Round 2!

I decided to call Michelle, my primary doctor’s office manager, who is really on top of everything–no, she didn’t know about the hospital appointments because neither cardiologist or the nurse practitioner had informed her about it or what was going–all she had was the appointment for the neurologist in January 2022! When I asked her about the CT and Singer appointment she told me they never inform her what is going on and that my insurance never informs her about referrals. She added that the only time she knows what other doctors are doing is when I tell her or I bring in their reports or if I call her for a referral for doctors that I know need one for me to see them .And now Act 3!!!Take a look at the pill bottles above and the dosage of each.  I went to CVS to pick up 4 prescriptions and, since I was there, get my annual flu shot. No problem with either–well with one of the meds. My insurance covers most of my prescriptions except for Eliquis, Breo and Prasugrel. When I got the Eliquis I saw there was only 1 jar with 60 pills (taking 2 a day)–I explained to the woman behind the counter that I usually get 3 months supply as whether I get 1 month or 3 months it costs me a total of $9.60 which is why I take the 3 month supply.When I got home–instead of taking a shot of scotch or eating a carrot cake–I had a cup of tea, made my entry about the flu shot and took out the pills to put them away.  When I first started taking Eliquis I was taking a 5mg dosage once a day but between that, aspirin and Prasugrel I was bleeding profusely when I hit myself on anything so the cardiologist stopped the aspirin and cut the Eliquis dosage down to 2.5 mgs.

Do I really have to tell you??? Yes, it was the 5mg dosage not the 2.5!! First of all at 5mgs the pill is too small to cut in half and second of all IN FLORIDA THE LAW IS ONCE YOU TAKE A PRESCRIPTION OUT OF THE DRUGSTORE YOU CAN NOT RETURN IT!!!

I called Tim, the pharmacist, and explained what happened but he said there was nothing they could do about. By the way Michelle who I mentioned before gave me sample 20 boxes—14 tablets of 5mgs each–when my primary mentioned to her I was now on it.

I now have 14 boxes left with 196 pills for a total of 376 pills of 5mgs each which will go to waste and that is a waste!!! I will call Michelle and see what she can do as far as maybe giving them to patients who they are prescribed for, at least the boxes if not the jars!

Do I have to mention that I didn’t even have a chance to call my dental insurance and/or insurance
caretaker to look into that whole replacement business–I left messages and they are supposed to call me back—I’m waiting!!

More of the farce to take place tomorrow I am sure!!

Posted September 7, 2021 by greatmartin in HEALTH, LIFE EVENTS, medicines

Annual doctor’s rant!!   1 comment

I believe I told you that on June 1 I went to Broward Hospital for am MRI and they ‘lost’ my denture and bridge—okay, the hospital agreed to take care of all the expenses for the replacements–briefly since mid-June I have been going to the dentist at least 3-4 times a month to have the new bridge adjusted and still doesn’t fit right–I can’t eat in public with them–today I had another appointment, another adjustment plus I now was getting an infection on my gums–I decided to discuss with the dentist starting from scratch with a new bridge model and he beat me to it saying they would take a new impression of my bottom teeth and go from there–then came up I would have to pay the difference between the one they made and the new one–I counted to 50 before I said anything–he said he would talk to their accountant and get back to me and I very, nicely, said it was their mistake and asked why should I be paying anything  and, aside from that it is they who should be talking to the hospital about any more charges–right now who pays is on hold as he waits to get the new material for the new bridge BUT that is nothing!!

In 2008 I had a pig aorta valve replacement–it has, generally, a 10 year life span–last November I told my new cardiologist (that’s a  whole other story) that I was concerned about the valve and was thinking maybe it was time to do something about it–long story short–since we discussed that I have seen the cardiologist maybe a total of 3-4 times for not even a total of 60 minutes plus I was introduced to another cardiologist in the office who I met twice, once when I was sedated for and/or after a test at the hospital–this is when a doctor I have never seen said I need a pacemaker on June 9th!! Next I heard I had to see a neurologist and no one in the cardiologists office knew why but I was set up for one in January 2022!!!!! 2 weeks ago I got a call from the heart doctor’s nurse practitioner telling me that she would get everything straightened out and that she was able to get me an appointment with a neurologist at Broward Hospital for September 14th and she would get back to me.

Keep in mind I was the only one who said anything about a valve replacement (heck I won’t go into the new cardiologist taking me off warfarin blood thinner that I had been on for 21 years with only ONE problem over 10 years ago and putting me on 3 blood thinners causing me to bleed profusely twice in the past month) and then I came home this afternoon and opened this letter–no discussion about it–no talking about scheduling it–getting the letter on the start of a long holiday weekend–no instructions about preparation—nada, nothing, nil.

And as I read the letter I could feel my blood pressure going up and then I talked to myself, decided to rant and rave and now I am calm, cool and collected but still don’t know what is happening! LOL

Posted September 4, 2021 by greatmartin in HEALTH

Have a cuppa   1 comment

In British English, a “cuppa” is acup of tea!In 1972 when I entered Transactional Analysis Therapy one of the first things pointed out to me was that I had an addictive personality. Part of that was an all or nothing at all attitude whether it be on a diet or not, whether it be drinking a case of diet cola a day, smoking 2-3 packs of cigarettes a day, drinking alcohol until I was drunk or as it has been not smoking a single cigarette since July 2008 or not a drop of alcohol (not even in cooking because though it may evaporate my thinking would be, “Oh well, I had wine I might as well…….”), not a sip of cola, diet or otherwise, since science came to the conclusion in interferes with losing weight—hey, I need an excuse for the weight gain, though my doctor doesn’t buy it!I didn’t drink any coffee until I was in my twenties and then it was coffee every moment I was awake and not drinking alcohol!

I used to be a iced tea drinker but not too often and then I found out that I was becoming addicted to Aleve PM and Lorazapam for no reason at all as I didn’t need help to sleep. I did stop drinking regular coffee except 1 cup when I woke up or when I went out to eat, filling in with decaf.
I read an article about chamomile tea (which I still don’t pronounce correctly!) and decided to give it a try. I used 2 teabags to a cup plus a sweet ‘n low (okay, another addiction!) and a ‘shot’ of lemon juice. I stopped the Aleve and Lorazapam and all was going good.A few weeks after I started the tea I noticed The Dollar Tree was selling the chamomile tea plus others like peppermint which was caffeine free so I bought a couple of boxes and started to have 1 bag each of chamomile and peppermint (plus the lemon juice and sweet ‘n low!) If that wasn’t enough a few weeks ago they were selling a variety of teas and Winn-Dixie was having specials on tea from both Bigelow and Celestial but it was the new teas from The Dollar Tree that got my attention and, all of a sudden, during the day I was having the following:1) Herbal Helpers Detox Boost which had Tumeric, Chai Masal, Rosehip and Hibiscus plus green tea  2) Herbal Helpers Immunity Boost which contained Corlander, Ginger, Cinnamon and Clove 3) Herbal Helpers Energy Boost containing Aswagandha, Licorice and Cinnamon.  All contain natural antioxidants and none caffeine.

After checking out what the various herbs were—come on–do YOU know what Aswagandha is?!?!—and going to their web site: I started a routine of having the various teas at home and winding up the day with the chamomile and peppermint mix.Of all the teas the only one I didn’t like was called “Get Burning” which has a touch—too much of a touch—of chili pepper spice and black pepper which has too much of a ‘kick’. It also is made of Rooibos–an herb only available from South Africa–which sounds interesting and I would like to try without the other herbs and spices mixed in it.

Okay, I am doing the addiction thing again but all these are supposed to be good for my health and I am asleep before my had even hits the pillow. Mmmmm—wonder what my cardiologist will think of my mixing all these herbs with my meds???

Meanwhile want to come over and have a cuppa???

Posted August 23, 2021 by greatmartin in HEALTH, Teas

One of THOSE days!!   1 comment

Hope you didn’t jump too far out of your seat when the pictures came up!Yesterday when I woke up I had a little red in the corner of my left eye but wasn’t too concerned. Last night it was all red but I thought that might be due to my rubbing the eye even though I tried not to. Just before I went to sleep I looked at the eye and it was as if there was a ‘label’ over it and all I had to do was peel the label off but I wasn’t about to chance it.

Today I was concerned and instead of going to the ER or asking Allen to take me or Mac if I could borrow his car I decided I would go into the walk-in clinic at CVS which is covered by my insurance.

I did the estimated cost of uber versus lyfte versus yellow cab and, as always, the latter was the cheapest. With the CVS I decided I would take the cab, called it, picked me up in 10 minutes and I was there for $4.55 + tip. I was going to ask him to wait but didn’t know how long it would take and rides seem to be readily available for a Saturday I went in. I thought maybe I would have a 5-10 minute wait and started filling in the information until I reached “There are no more appointments available for July 10, please pick one for tomorrow while they are available.” An appointment for a walk-in clinic?!?!? WHAT?????

I went over to the pharmacist and he couldn’t (?) wouldn’t (?) do anything so I went back to the ‘walk-in’ clinic and made an appointment for tomorrow. No way was I going to go to the ER! I called for a cab, got the same driver and came home!

Long story short—or at least shorter–when I got home I called my insurance and immediately apologized to the representative who answered the phone, telling her I knew it wasn’t her fault and continued to tell my story. After I asked who could I talk to who might be able to get something done she said the best she could do is send in a grievance for me and, possibly, get my cab fares refunded!

My poor Aetna insurance rep is going to come into work on Monday to hear my ranting and raving even if the ‘walk-in’ clinic does something about the eye at tomorrow’s appointment!! Besides the red-eye there is still the pacemaker problem pending–and now I will drown my sorrows in carrot cake!!! Carrots being good for the eyes might be the medicine I need!

Posted July 10, 2021 by greatmartin in HEALTH

UNBELIEVABLE!!   1 comment

When I woke up Monday morning I was sort of concerned about my right where they had put in a stent to open a blocked artery last Wednesday.It was red, swelling, felt warm, painful and because I am taking 3 blood thinners I wasn’t really concerned about a blot clot but ?????????????

Took Allen to the airport and asked Rion to come along as I wanted to go to the ER on the way back and I was concerned about driving if they gave me some muscle relaxer, pain killer or antibiotic that may make me drowsy.

We got there about 9:30 AM and at 11 AM they put me on a bed in the hallway in the ER section. A little after 12:30 PM they took me for a 10-15 minute ultrasound and said the results should be fairly quick and finally at 1:30 PM I went to the nurses station and asked if they could find out anything and within 10 minutes ‘my’ nurse handed me a batch of papers–well 11 to exact–and said I was discharged and should see my primary doctor within a week to 10 days–at 2:08 PM (see bottom, right hand corner of  photo!The diagnosis was ‘puncture wound’ followed by a list of home care, mainly the possibility of pain killers or antibiotics and then came the ‘kicker’—seek photo below with has “When to seek medical advice” or go to the second sentence in this post!!!


Posted June 15, 2021 by greatmartin in HEALTH

Hospital June 8-10, 2021   1 comment

Won’t go into the whole story but I went into the hospital on a Tuesday at 9 AM for a test and before I knew it, or was told, I had a stent put in just above the wrist area, into a clogged artery and woke up to be told not to move my right hand! And that I would be in the hospital overnight which turned out to be 2 nights so what to do?

Sure, take pictures of the food, the room, the menus, the outside view, the nurse’s chart and the arm!

Here I am 5 days later and don’t understand why the arm is redder, more swollen and hurts more than it did Wednesday! I have been given an additional blood thinner making 3 I am taking so, sensibly, at least to me, I reason that I can’t have a blood clot!

Was thinking of going to the ER but for a couple of reasons–illogical ones–I will wait and call the doctor tomorrow.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, we are having our early evening rain which will make the humidity rise and going out means fogged up glasses!

And how are you doing?? :O)

Posted June 13, 2021 by greatmartin in HEALTH, LIFE

From my apartment & along the walkway   Leave a comment

After getting the notice about the Heart Catheterization and Ventriculography test being changed from Monday to Tuesday I had to call to change the transportation and, not that I was rattled, but when asked for my address I told the schedular to wait a minute at which I point I had to look at my address card for my address!! Of course, at my age, the immediate thoughts of dementia, Alzheimer’s, etc., quickly pass through the brain and so I did my ‘cure’!

I sat at my dining room table looking out the window for an hour and then took a walk down to The Point and all was well with me!No matter what time of the day–or night–Mother Nature calms me down! The full moon disappearing behind the leaves of ‘my Wilma Tree’ was the best meditation! Also, if you look at and count the people in the canoe in the next to last picture you will see 8 people without an orange floating device around their neck, or on them, you realize we live in a crazy world of crazy people!  By the way in the picture before that, you see a motorboat tugging another canoe back to the landing they came from—at least the last guy in the crowd is wearing a floating device around his neck.

Heck, a test where ‘a tube is placed in your heart to look at the blood flow to your heart and how well your heart is pumping’ is nothing compared to how people put their lives in danger every day! LOL

Posted June 6, 2021 by greatmartin in HEALTH, LIFE, LIFE EVENTS

Doctors, appointments, Insurance, rides and more!   1 comment

I really thought things would start looking up today as I had an appointment with the ‘cardiovascular surgery team’ to set up the day I would go into the hospital for the aorta heart valve replacement of the 13-year-old pig valve I have that is really not working up to par which is why I was getting short of breath very quickly. They were to give me instructions of what to expect including an overnight stay, cutting out the blood thinner for a few days before, recovery time, etc. WRONG!!

It seems because of the delay in meeting with them—not MY fault!– the insurance referrals not only ran out of appointments with them but they would need to redo the CAT SCAN and another test as insurance would not approve this procedure based on the ‘old’ (March29!) tests! Yes, we have to now schedule the 2 tests before we can schedule the aorta operation because that will decide whether they will enter through the thigh, the chest or the heart with the balloon. They will call me with the appointments for the tests at the hospital–you know–the hospital that lost my bridge that I still haven’t had the new one fitted properly.

I was then handed a pamphlet and wouldn’t you know the first page I open to is page 20 which is entitled “What Are the Risks?” and the first listed is Death, followed by major stroke or major vascular complications, life-threatening bleeding event, heart attack and on and on and on. All that doesn’t bother me because the 14-15 meds I am taking already list the side effects that I can die, among other things, from taking them!

So far I have accomplished 0 and to add insult to injury I had arranged a free ride with my HMO. The driver picked me up at 10:30 AM for the 11:30 AM appointment and I was there by 10:45 AM.  I won’t get into having to be up in the middle of the night so I would be ready but the injury added to the insult was that I was finished with the ‘team’ at Noon and my ride didn’t come to pick me up until 1:30 PM and I finally got home at 1:50 PM!!

I know, as a rule, the drivers are great at picking you up early enough for the appointment but they are bad news as far as picking you up to get your home! Allen would have gladly taken me but I figured there was nothing major and their parking situation is horrendous but I didn’t want to bother him and knowing the driver might be late to take me back I had a book to read while I waited but, come on,  3 hours and 50 for a 30-minute appointment!??

I may be a patient but how patient is a patient supposed to be? (Okay, I thought that was funny.)

Now I wait, patiently, for one of the team members to call me with the test dates–I may be breathing regularly by my 22nd birthday!

Posted May 10, 2021 by greatmartin in HEALTH, LIFE, LIFE EVENTS

Storm and health update!   1 comment

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The picture was taken this morning and it was like this until about 4 PM and we got a light rain but now the sky is darkening with clouds so who knows what the evening will bring. We fared pretty well but a lot of areas near us were flooded. As usual, the entrance and exit to Gateway were swimming pools but never had that stairway waterfall that I thought we were getting–the water stopped right at the edge of the first step. The water on the property dried up pretty quickly and now those dark clouds are leaving! Bette Davis, our weather person, says showers for the rest of the evening but drier days ahead–and Bette wouldn’t lie!

I went for a chest/lung X-Ray on Monday and took the disk to my primary. He said he couldn’t be 100% sure until he gets the report but my lungs look clear. Now I have to wait until the 30th and see what is causing the blood in the phlegm.

He looked at my foot and says it looked better–less red and not as swollen. If he says so! I am taking a new antibiotic, bathing the foot in Epsom Salts and, in the evening, keep it raised while I watch TV though the later the day gets the more swollen and redness appears. The doctor did say it would take a total of 10 days to really show major improvement—not that I am keeping count but today is day 7!

All in all no complaints–well one–the schedule of the new antibiotic. I take it every 12 hours and it has to be either 1 hour before eating anything or 2 hours after eating. I don’t have any problem with the latter but waiting to have coffee, orange juice and an apple for an hour after waking up can drive me crazy! I can’t even go back to sleep as I am not supposed to lay down for 10 minutes(!) after I take the med. Then I have another med that I have to take before I take any other meds in the morning and I have 12 other meds I have to fit in during the day! Got my chart made! :O)

As I said, all in all, no complaints as all these meds are keeping me alive, in good health and none are debilitating!

Posted November 10, 2020 by greatmartin in HEALTH, MOTHER NATURE

PAD—Part 3–the end   Leave a comment

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(Last full-length picture of me in shorts–5-6 years ago!)
I don’t remember the first time I had to stop completely walking to the Gateway Theatre as the pain in my calves was just too much! Each time I walked to or from the theatre I had to make stops because of the pain though it lasted very briefly and I could walk again but, eventually, it was taking too much time and pain to walk the mile.Since 2001 I had been going to see Dr. Arison every 6 months and he would make me come back the following week to have a scan taken of my legs and then would call me the following Saturday to say everything looked the same. Every 6 months he would ask me about how far I was walking before I felt pain and he would say that I should just walk through the pain!  (I won’t say what my reaction to that was!) Little by little, it would be less and less until 5 weeks ago, I decided to actually count how many steps I was taking before the pain hit and I was really surprised that it was only 200 steps! I knew I had an appointment with him on August 10 and decided to wait until then to discuss it.I told him what happened with my counting of steps, my finding it a chore to walk down to Karen Bay, not feeling any pain except when I was walking, even in my apartment, along with panting for breath when I walked, especially walking upstairs. He had a trainee with him and he had her take all the vitals and at times I wasn’t sure whether he was talking to me or her but finally after all that was done he started talking directly to me saying that he didn’t think it was the aorta valve, which I had brought up, and that when I went to see my primary doctor in September he could check it out.Dr. Arison then said I had 4 choices starting with losing some weight–he had noticed I gained weight since I first started to see him 19 years before though he knew I had lost 16 pounds that January. The second choice was to start walking every day and no matter how bad the pain to just keep walking as soon as I stopped and the pain went away. The third choice was to go into both legs and either replace the stent(s) or move them around to get the blood flowing more freely. The last choice was to do nothing and he said eventually that would mean amputation either of one or both legs. He said that wasn’t to scare me but to let me know what was ahead. He added that if either or both legs experienced pain when I was just sitting or when I was sleeping or increased to such a point that I felt I couldn’t walk anymore that I should call him immediately.What struck me as odd was that for the first time he said nothing about doing a scan and why I didn’t ask him the reason I still don’t know! He said that choices number 3 and 4 were ones he didn’t want to do and wouldn’t do number 3 because of what was going on in the hospitals in South Florida right now and at my age it was even more of a risk. Regarding number 4 it was not an option as far as he was concerned. Obviously that narrowed my choices down to number 1 and/or number 2.
I have been walking every day down to Karen Bay and back to my apartment at 2 in the afternoon and sometimes in the late evening. It is not really enough steps but it is a start. I am also aiming to walk back and forth to the Gateway Theatre whether it opens again or not. I have started to lose the extra pounds I have gained aiming for a half to a pound a week with a number in mind that I want to weigh when I go see my primary doctor on September 23.
When you look at me doing whatever I do whether walking or not you would never suspect that I have PAD, COPD, diabetes, a valve replacement, Afib, now and then attacks of gout, ED, etc., and take 15 meds a day but thanks to them and the squad of doctors taking care of me at the age of 84 I really don’t have a complaint in the world. Okay, so I don’t like the color of my legs or all the ‘bruise’ marks I show on my arms and upper torso due to the blood thinner but that is all ego and I can live with that–more often than not!!
All I have to do is get up every morning—well, late morning–and I am a happy guy!

Posted August 17, 2020 by greatmartin in HEALTH

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