Well, at least it looks as if I have finally stabilized health-wise, although the rest of my life…

By Christopher Green

Not so much.

But really, how stabilized can anyone be in these churning, gut wrenching times.

Now, now, I am not going go off and get all political on you, that’s not the thrust of this blog. But you have to admit that the uncertainty level is pretty high right now.

That’s all I wanted to say about that. This isn’t the time nor the place to discuss politics. If you really want to see where I stand politically, check out Democraticunderground.com and look for WCGreen.

But getting back to speaking of things that are not stabilized, I got a hefty bill from the Cleveland Clinic this week. They say I owe $ 1,600 for some treatments I had back in March. The letter said that they had turned this situation over to a collection agency.

But here comes the rub, so to speak. This really is the first I have heard about this unpaid bill.

I signed up for the on line payment option but I just can’t get on the site. I called and asked them to return to paper billing way back in August and the bill I got in the mail early this week was the first bill I got from them since March of this year.

And I have been using computers since the late 80’s. For some reason, I can’t get a copy of my bills on line.

The thing is they had my insurance all messed up. They listed Medicare as my primary insurance even though I make it a point to show them that my UHC is my primary and that Medicare is my secondary at every stop I make as I wind my way through the Cleveland Clinic maze.

I think that they, meaning the people in the billing area, automatically make Medicare as the primary no matter what anyone says.

And so, because allegedly some people have been arrested for not paying debt, it’s in my best interests to get this straightened out. Although I would get free medical care while in prison.

So yea, I have that to deal with.

As I reported in the last blog entry that was concerned with my health, the other one was what it was, a vanity post, I have had a little bit of setback. Nothing serious, but I was having a problem making it to 20 minutes on the bike.

I was able to up my reps on the sit-ups and push-ups, but I could only get about 16 or 17 minutes before I was down below the 90 percent oxygen threshold.

(In case you forgot, the 90 percent blood oxygen is where I should stop. If you get down below that threshold, you simply are not getting enough Oxygen to your brain and you may start making bad decisions. I carefully monitor my O2 levels with a Pulse Ox so I don’t get below that level. It’s amazing how far they have come with the technology surrounding the Pulse Ox. Just 7 years ago, the devise used to measure your Pulse Ox had to be wheeled to the patient. Now, you can buy one of them at Walgreens for 25 bucks.)

I digress. Being that I am a gadget guy and an accountant, I love messing around with technology that allows me to quantify my illness. When it comes right down to it, I guess, this is one of the diversions I have constructed to keep my mind from dwelling on the harsh reality of living with a severely compromised respiratory system.

If I can measure it I can see progress or decline so I know where I am at any given moment. And for me, at least, if allows for a little peace of mind. I guess it’s the semblance of control that I have because of all the measurements that keeps me stable.

Far too often people in a situation like mine that requires a lot of medical attention get overwhelmed by all the information that keeps coming at them.

There was this scene from the very first Soprano’s show that stuck with me. Most people probably didn’t even catch it. The guy running the crew that Tony was part of was in the hospital fighting off cancer. I don’t remember his name.

Now the whole room was filled with balloons and flowers and people coming in and out. They even brought some strippers into cheer him up. But all the boss could think about was taking his temperature. He was so fixated on that task that he wasn’t paying any attention to anything other than his temperature because he was afraid of getting an infection.

Not even the silicone enhanced girls from the strip club could get his attention.

I related to that even though that show came on way before I was in the shape I am in now. For me, a temperature signaled a downward trend in my health.

Now, I have a blood pressure cuff, a pulse ox and one of those thermometers that you swipe across your forehead with. I keep track of my vitals.

Today is a good day. BP is normal, Temp is steady and the pulse ox is right where it should be.

Now if I can just get control of the billing process….

I might not get a chance to blog again before Christmas. So if I don’t update, I want to wish everyone that has been keeping up with the blog a very happy holiday season filled with comfort and joy…

Peace out.



3 Responses to Well, at least it looks as if I have finally stabilized health-wise, although the rest of my life…

  1. Anne says:

    Sorry to hear about the problems with the Cleveland Clinic – have you touched base with the doctors office you go to the most – maybe they can intervene – and there should be a patient’s advocate there who may be able to help. Unfortunately people who work there often don’t have a good attention to detail – was once having two MRI’s done- by two different doctors – at same place with consecutive appointments but different prescriptions for them- one doctor never got the results – they sent both to one doctor and she had no idea what to do with the other result – a year later it was straightened out. This is minor compared to your situation but would reach out to your doctor and ask them to help sort it out.

    Wish you and Laurie a very merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    PS – no need for me to look up your political leanings 😉

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