Monday, November 13, 2017

Movin on....give me your money!

Good afternoon! Sorry that I did not post more this week, but it has been pretty chaotic....yes, more chaotic than normal.
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So, what's up? Well, not the northeast temperatures. It is downright frigid here AND we attended an outdoor fund raiser last night that put frost on our noses and toes.
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Really? A fundraiser?

Oh yes....

Fade to black......

There is an organization in my town that helps individuals with cancer. They buy wigs, offer massages and facials for pain management, pay for rides to and from chemo, and sponsor nurse navigators. I attended one of the fundraisers years ago and did not like it. It was stuffy....what do I mean by stuffy?Image result for rich people gif

Well, it was a formal event where people wore tuxedos and gowns. If you know me, you know that this is not my scene. I am casual and like my fundraisers that begin with "beef" and end with "beer." This was not the case. So, it was one and done. Plus, I attended the fundraiser alone since the tickets were so expensive and attire was formal, there was no way Dad was coming along.....
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Fast forward ten years and BP Grandmom has to see an oncologist and needed chemo. She was greeted at the cancer center with all kinds of gifts, gift certificates, and the wig voucher. Knowing that she was going to lose her hair was awful for her. She is a private person who prefers to keep her business to herself. When a person loses their hair from chemo, the body screams "look at me! I have cancer...." Then people start rubbing their head or make stupid comments like...."hey, it won't be the cancer that kills you. My Aunt Effie was hit by a bus after her last clear Pet Scan....know what I am sayin'?" Yeah, we know.....Image result for rich people gif

And so, the wig was styled to look like BP Grandmom's own hair and her confidence was restored.

As I thought about the fund raiser and the organization, I felt that I should reach out to the committee and thank them for their generosity and kindness. Plus, I now knew where the money was going and it was not to build a wing on a hospital or into the salary of a highly paid nonprofit CEO. In my letter to the Chair, I told her that if she ever needed assistance, I would be there by her side and promote the cause.Image result for fund raising gif

And so, my volunteer work with this organization began and I do not regret it...although Big Sis might....Yep, I pulled her into the committee work too. At first she was reluctant, then she got to know the good folks and their selfless acts and she was in....Of course, I was not done. I also pulled Tink, Dad, and Big Sis's girlfriend...Oh yeah...and I am still not done....Image result for pulling a person gif

On to the was outside at a winery. Mind you, the temperatures never got above 40 degrees. However, the committee planned for it and had fire pits. fire places, portable heaters, blankets, and scarves. People were told to dress for the outdoors. And so, once we were set up, which took a few days, the party was on.Image result for outdoor party gif

Rather than having it catered, the organizers brought in food trucks, which were a great idea. All of the food was portable. One truck had won an award for its food....multiple types of tater tots...that's right....a tot truck....I had to try them even though I don't like potatoes (I am probably the only person in America to dislike potatoes.). I have to say....the tots were a-maaaazing! Yep, best tots I have ever eaten and will probably wear them on my thighs for the next few months.  The were calorie worthy, if you know what I mean.....Image result for food trucks gif

For dessert, we had s'mores. Yep, the organizers had put together packages of marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers. They also had bamboo sticks and we sat around the camp fires and roasted marshmallows. It was a truly fun night.Image result for smores gif

The best part was that Tink and Dad volunteered. She sold raffle tickets and he parked cars. They loved it. I loved that they supported me and the cause. It was such a family affair as Betty, Wildcat, Dr. G also attended the event. All in all, it was a success and we made lots of money for the cancer patients.

Now, can we sit back and relax? The answer is "nope!" We have to plan next year! My vote is to keep it as is and forget about the high heels, pearls, and sparkling attire. Give me a s'more with a glass of wine anytime and I will follow you anywhere...I mean it.....I love food and naturally, a glass of squished fermented grape juice.Image result for fund raising gif

Now it is Monday and I have to get ready for class tomorrow. I decided after last year's course was a dismal failure that I would revise, revamp, and re energize the content to add some sparkle and glamour. I think this is what millennials crave as opposed to good old fashion discussion on theory and content. They would rather look at their computer screens than debate the pros and cons of theory and practice. And so, I spent several months during the summer working on leadership 2.0 and still have students staring at me wishing for an earthquake that would suck me into the basement of the building.
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Fine! I will keep my leadership theories and concepts to myself and continue to preach to the open computer screens. After all, it is their money and if they decide not to participate and listen, then they might as well dig a hole and bury their cash. Image result for fund raising gifI don't want to hear another word about how expensive college is. After all, you pay a huge tuition bill and then choose not to listen or participate.  To me is is a foolish investment. In three weeks when the semester is over and they have a low attendance participation grade, I will finally hear their voices as they complain to me that they did not receive full credit.   Yep, this is my life...... to the gym....


Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Movin on.....Time for a telethon

Good morning! It's Tuesday so I am headed to work and class. What's going on? Got to make this a quick one......

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As you know, the big leftie is struggling to regain his health and vigor, which come back slowly with MG. He is doing everything that he can including speech therapy, exercise, eating right, meditating, and trying to get enough sleep. However, since he is on prednisone, he cannot sleep. I find sleep to be one of the most therapeutic methods to regain strength and health but when a person cannot sleep, issues arise. Now that we gained an hour, everyone's sleep patterns are off...especially his. Image result for im sick gif

With that said, we are still waiting for his insurance company appeal to come through. Currently, it is week four and the appeal is sitting on someone's desk at Independence Blue Cross. So, what are his options?Image result for letter of denial gif

Option 1: Wait for the appeal to be granted. This can take months. In the meantime, he continues to have problems swallowing and speaking.Image result for letter of denial gif

Option 2: Be admitted into the hospital and he can have the medication be given to him there. He would also have to have other treatments. Now, however, he wants to get this medicine as soon as possible.Image result for letter of denial gif

Option 3: Pay for the medicine myself. Image result for no money gif

Yes, option 3 is out there. As I see him struggling, I am considering it more and more and more....The cost is the price of a used car. Basically, I would buy the used car and take a hammer to it and destroy it. This is fine as long as I know that it is money well spent. Do I have this kind of money? Hmmmmmm.......Let's consider this.....

Think, do I find this kind of money? What to do...what to do.....

More options!

Option A: my usual find...sofa cushions. I would check under my sofa cushions as well as my neighbors. naturally, I would ask them.
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Option B: I could do what two college students did to me on Saturday afternoon which was to ring my doorbell and ask for money for pediatric cancer. Who does that??? Yes, who knocks on a grouchy old lady's door when she is semi enjoying a rare Saturday afternoon at home and sweetly ask for the contents of her purse to save children from cancer??? To follow up on that question, which grouchy old lady who was trying to enjoy a rare Saturday afternoon at home gives complete strangers the contents of her purse to allegedly save children from cancer? You get one answer on that last question.

Option C: Have a telethon like Jerry Lewis's to solicit donations to save the big leftie's voice....Yes, I watched the JL telethon every Labor day weekend and donated money....who didn't? Just a quick note...he was pretty grouchy in his 90's, donchathink?Image result for jerry lewis telethon gif

Option D: Rob a bank....Yep. I have never considered this option before and will probably eliminate it from the list. I would have to wear a mask and it would wreck the hair. Plus I would feel claustrophobic. Also, I am one of the unluckiest people, so I would get caught before I left the bank, be tackled by the security guard, and possibly hit my head and knock out my teeth. My mug shot would have a black eye, missing teeth, and flat hair. it would go viral in seconds. Can't take the chance on this one.....too vain, ya know?
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Option E: Wait out the insurance company and be supportive. Send a zillion prayers to heaven and offer a hundred novenas to St Jude, patron saint of lost causes and St. Rita, patron saint of the impossible. Image result for no money gif

Option F: Try to revive the money tree in the backyard. Yep, it died years ago when I had kids. Image result for money tree gif

Perhaps I could use a combination of all options. After all, the best ideas often come from the whackiest minds. My mind is one of the whackier. Image result for no money gif

OK, 'nuff said. We are playing Jeopardy in class today. There are dozens of vocabulary words and what is better than engaging them through a game? Yet, this can backfire since I happen to know that none of them actually read the assignments before coming to class. How do I know?

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Well, they stare at me for two hours, do not answer my eloquently posed questions, and are working on either their Facebook pages or buying shoes while they are supposedly listening to my monologues. Wish I could get them to speak....but the reality is that I have a class full of introverts. Image result for teachers gif

And you know introverts; they hate to speak. Soooo, Jeopardy may fail today in a big way. In fact, I might look back on this class as an epic fail...just like when I grew my bangs out....another epic fail.
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OK, gotta run......


Monday, October 30, 2017

Movin on....weed whack your weeds!

Good morning! Sorry that I have not written in the last 6 days but my stupid allergy/cold/tonsillitis/whatever it is was dropping my energy level to a low simmer. Plus, I am helping to raise money for a cancer organization with Big Sis in honor of BP Grandmom. Yep, she beat it....
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Fade to black....

Last year, BP Grandmom was battling a very odd cancer. She underwent chemo and lost her hair and vitality. A local organization gave her a wig, massage, facial, blanket, and other items that helped her to battle. Image result for low energy gif

Well, guess what? She did so well, she sees her MD every few months.

Based upon the generosity of this organization, Big Sis and I are now working to generate funds to help other cancer patients. By the way, they also offer nurse navigators and rides for patients who need them. This is a grass roots organization where the money goes to local people. Therefore....I'm in....Image result for lemonade stand gif

My big job for the fundraiser in two weeks is to find volunteers to register people, sell raffle tickets, and keep things going. Guess who I tapped on?

Well, if you are thinking my students, win a slightly used wig!

Yep, I made the announcement in class and some of my minions are going to help with the fundraiser. Do I give them extra points in the gradebook? Hmmm....tough call.......Probably not. The goal of volunteering is to do it selflessly. That is, you expect nothing in return. Right? Image result for lemonade stand gif

Ok, here is what they will receive.....  my eternal gratitude and a great letter of recommendation when they apply for a job. How does that sound? Much better than a point or two on their participation attendance grade.

Anything else going on?

Hmmmm...Tink starts her new job tomorrow. She is going to be working in a bakery. Guess what? She gets a discount! Yep, I like this job although my hips and not-so-petite bottom will not. Will have to join the Biggest Loser again in January. It's my fall back diet. Every January, I join the battle with he rest of the gang and we work out and eat salads for two months...get weighed.....and buy new pants....yep...who says my life is not glamorous?Image result for making cupcakes gif

We are also waiting for word from the insurance company to see if the Big lefty will receive his medication. Since it is 10/30 and we change insurance on November 1, it does not matter if the insurance company approves it or not, because he will be on another plan in the same company. We took out a plan just for him so his records would not be lost. Hopefully, the appeal will take hold with his new "gold" plan. Yep, we bought the best and shiniest plan that they had to offer. After all, this guy is on more medications than BP Grandpop.  He has them lined up on his bedside table, has his watch alarm on to remind him when to take his pills, and sees a doctor or speech therapist at least once a week. This is pricey...not just pricey.....but costly....Image result for sick gif

Did I say "costly?" I mean exorbitant.

My thoughts are with those individuals who are sick and do not have health insurance. Yes, I know that it is mandated, but even if it is, I can count on both hands the number of people that I know who make too much money for Medicaid and too little for Obama Care. Therefore, they are penalized on their tax returns. Can anyone say "insurance reform?

Also, if we had socialized medicine, the big lefty would not receive the care he needs. He would have to wait in a long line. The system we have now is broken but effective. Let's look for ways to help those without funds and ways to improve the system.  'Nuff said.

Update on the southern house....we got a citation from the home owners association asking us to clean up the construction site. It is  bothering the neighbors. Hmmm....that's right....the neighbors do not like looking at my weeds as the construction workers trample them. I was going for a southern hillbilly look, but am told that shabby chic is not working. Soooo, we had to hire a company to weed whack the weeds. Can anyone say "Cha ching...cha ching...cha ching?" Image result for money tree gif

OK, I gotta work. I am on a dissertation committee and have put off reading the 300+ page document until now. I am almost motivated to download the document...almost....I'm close to it....I can see the email and attachment, but cannot get myself to read it...I am useless on some days.....
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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Movin on.....Lights out

Good morning! It's a windy and slightly rainy day and I have class in an hour. It should be interesting since I have received word that there is a power outage on campus.

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This power (duh). What it really means is that I have to work without a net. That internet sources, no Powerpoint slides, no You Tube informational videos. it's all left to me with some laryngitis to carry the class. Image result for no power gifCan anyone say "Group work?" Now all I have to do is figure out what kind of group work so I am not accused of making them do busy work. ..ah, the life of a I sit my box of Puff Plus with lanolin Kleenex on my desk and fill the trash can with dirty tissues. Image result for group projects in class gifI love having an audience when I blow my nose. Oh, how I love online education....Image result for group projects in class gif

How is the big kid? Well, we are still waiting to hear back from the insurance company about his medication. In the meantime, he signed up for his own insurance plan to stay on Independence Blue Cross, per advice of doctor. This also means that we have yet another big monthly bill until he goes into remission and can go back onto the family plan.Image result for group projects in class gif

Tink was offered another job last week which makes two jobs in two weeks. Follow that one?

She has her options and  weighing the pros and cons of each. She favors the job that pays less (naturally......) and will have to submit her resignation to the other job after working two shifts. In other words, she is turning in her apron.

Why is Tink job shopping? Welll........

Fade to black.....

She was offered a great job last year on a local campus. She started off on the day shift and was moved into the evening shift. She would get home after midnight. The dogs whined and barked as they missed her. Then she would stay in the car for a few minutes after she drove to the house and the dogs would go crazy at 1 am....Then, she would be up until three am and sleep until 2 pm, then go to work. This job was not conducive for a healthy life style for her or for us. Naturally, I would be waiting for her to get home and have to get up early in the morning. So, it was not conducive for a healthy lifestyle for me either. She begged her manager to give her the day shift and was ignored. She was also promised health insurance which never materialized. Eventually, we decided to pull the plug on this career path and move down another one. She then got a part time job at the health and racquet club which she loves but does not offer benefits. Hey, it is time to get your own benefits so I can start saving for my long term care facility in the mountains of Wisconsin (does Wisconsin have mountains?).....just sayin'.....
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And now, she is going into a new position and is excited about her future. Me too! After all, what do we want as parents? Well, if you ask me.....
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We want for our children:
1. To be nice and kind
2. To love God and neighbors
3. To do good works for others
4. Be productive
5. Be independent
6. have their own benefits and 401K plans and savings!
7. Have someone to love them and for them to love back.
8. To pay for their own cell phones, car, and insurance premiums
9. To live dependently....oops, did I write that one twice? uh, my bad.....Image result for group projects in class gif

OK, I have to figure out what I am going to do in class with the lights out......


Friday, October 20, 2017

Movin on......Oh Danny Boy

Hi All! Shout out to Ice for making me laugh and being a good friend. She is one of a kind and a freak athlete....Pickle ball queen, paddle, name it. I bet she is even tops in games like Scrabble and Monopoly. Doesn't matter if she wins or loses, she's tops in my blog!Image result for athletic woman gif

On to our second opinion for the big leftie at a large prestigious hospital in Baltimore. Can you guess where we went yesterday?
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Yep, Big Rig and the big guy filled the BPmom-mobile and pointed the car south to discuss treatment options with another specialist. Why? Well, we want to be assured that his neurologist, Dr. B is the expert the world proclaims him to be. And so, equipped with nothing but a bottle of water, we hit the road. It was a no-Skittles trip. Got to lose some summer weight.....Image result for no candy gif

When we pulled into the hospital parking lot, I got a familiar do this an awful lot for such a young man. After all, if you remember from baseball days, he needed four opinions from all over the east coast to figure out how to treat his shoulder. Now we seek a way to regain his old life, vitality, strength, and spirit.Image result for feeling strong gif

Looking at this enormous institution, I felt that we were going to get lost, sit in an uncomfortable chair for hours on end, and finally be seen next Wednesday. Yet, that was not the case. In fact, we checked in, got a visitor bracelet, and took the elevator to the 5th floor. After waking down the hall, there were kiosks that looked that ATM machines in which we had to register. After signing in and getting a number, we sat down in a room that reminded me of the DMV. You know the place that you go to to renew your drivers license.....So, we sat with the rest of the neuro patients and families, again with the thought that we were going to spend Thanksgiving there, when they called his number, and walked us into another waiting room, where we sat again and made small do you think about the Yankees' chances? Do you really like Devil Dogs better than Yodels? And finally debated on the merits of a leaf blower versus using a rake to get rid of the dead leaves on the lawn.

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Then she appeared....yep....there she was...the doctor....she looked my know, like she was celebrating her 29th birthday for the last thirty years and proceeded to ask him question after question. She was so thorough, I think she was also able to procure his debit card pin number. Image result for woman doctor gif

After 30 minutes, she concurred with Dr. B and his plan of treatment. She did offer a few important pieces of advice such as "Do not....repeat.....DO NOT CHANGE INSURANCE COMPANIES!"
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Why do I bring this up? Welllll....

Fade to black....

My place of employment is switching health care insurance to another less expensive, cheaper, crappier, stinky insurance carrier. Why? Of course it is about money, but now that the big leftie has a preexisting condition, he may be un-insurable. OK, not un-insurable, BUT our current plan has covered almost every bill except the medication that will put him in remission. As such, we sent an appeal with data to support he will benefit from the medication and not have to have the three days 8-hour infusions once a month. Makes sense, right? Well, not to the insurance company. Image result for health insurance gif

And so, my coverage changes in two weeks as we wait for the appeal to be resolved. IF he moves to the new, not-so-good plan, his bills will not be covered like they are with our current plan.

Soooooo, he has to stay on it and not move which means, we pay out of pocket for it....

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Look, I'm OK with this. It's only his life that I am trying to save, not a stubbed toe or hang nail. He needs this medicine and by-jingo, he is going to get it.

Fast forward to today, he called Dr. B's office to see if the insurance company accepted the appeal and the nurse told his that he would have to wait two more weeks, which means that he will be on the new insurance plan that we are buying. Following this?

The issue is....once he changes insurances, the MD may have to re-write the appeal which according to our new doctor is a bear, beast, a lot of work, and crappy, all at the same time. She also said that it was not fair to the doctors to have to redo the appeal....

OK, I nodded, he will stay on this plan if I have to eat cereal for the rest of my life....with skim milk, of course......

Then I had another thought....hey, it's not fair for the doctors to have to write another appeal. Ok, I get it. Not fair to the docs....uh huhh.......

Then I hit the roof of my SUV as we drove north on I-95....not fair to the doctors! Hey, what about my kid? What is fair about what is happening to him? How about the insurance company denying medication that will lead to remission? Is that fair?

How about the rest of the masses in the waiting room as they patiently waited to be seen as some idiot with a violin played Danny Boy? Yeah, that's right, when we left the examine room, there was a string quartet playing Danny Boy to the neuro patients who were waiting with awful diseases and know Danny Boy......

"But when ye come, and all the flowers are dying,
If I am dead, as dead I well may be,
You'll come and find the place where I am lying,
And kneel and say an Ave there for me.
And I shall hear, though soft you tread above me,
And all my grave will warmer, sweeter be,
For you will bend and tell me that you love me,
And I shall sleep in peace until you come to me!"  

Is there no self awareness with some of our do-gooders? Why not play a Johnny Cash song? How about Frank Sinatra? Beetles? Elton John? Metallica? Danny BOY???! Sheesh, talk about depressing!Image result for health insurance gif

Ok, back to the SUV traveling north. After I spewed nastiness about insurance companies, doctors whining about having to do extra work to write compelling appeals, I settled down and made a phone call to Blue Cross. Yep, we are going with the Gold Plan and if this does not work, then BP mom is headed into the city equipped with my appeal and lawyer. My boy is going to get that medication if I have to buy it on the black market, like they did in MASH. Remember when Hawkeye and Trapper went to Tokyo to buy medicine from the black market and landed up giving them Henry Blake's antique desk for the medicine? No? Well, they did.

I will give the black market my desk, laptop, cell phone, lucky Villanova basketball, class ring, and SUV. They are just things. I am working to save my son.Image result for health insurance gif

More later!