Sunday, October 26, 2008

Gave talk in church today

Gave a talk in church today on being kind to your spouse. Bonnie Jean spoke as well on the same subject. This ward always assigns speakers in pairs. It went very well. I was a little amused to get assigned that one given that our relationship pattern is far from typical. But that doesn't tend to matter as much as one would think. I told Bonnie Jean afterwards "hope they don't take too long to ask us to do that again, that was fun."

Of course I've been told from time to time that I have an odd sense of fun.

Finally got the title

I was greatly relieved yesterday to receive the title of my new car in the mail. The dealer was stalling and acting as if they didn't even have the title until just a few days ago. Who knows what was going on. I have half a mind to report them to the state DMV for failing to deliver a title within 48 hours on the sale of a vehicle without a temporary tag. But I've got it now in any case.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Strep throat

On Thursday I missed work because I woke up with massive headache, dizzy so much I had trouble standing, sore throat so bad I couldn't talk much, swollen lymph nodes, and a fever of 101.6. I figured it was just a head flu or something but BJ thought it was strep so went to the doctor to have it tested.

I love this town for sick appointments. I can get a same day sick appointment without pressuring the doctor or needing to use the emergency room. With all my fun medical issues I've had recently I still have yet to have entered the emergency room once.

The doctor said it was such stereotypical symptoms that he didn't even feel a need to test it just wanted to give me the antibiotics and send me on my way. I thought it was a little funny. He didn't percicely say stereotypical strep, just that it was obvious I was responding to "strep or something" and that even if a strep test came back negative he'd still prefer to treat it as if it were positive. I'd rather be a good citizen and not take antiobiotics I don't really need or just because I want to do something. But what do you do when the doctor just assumes that no matter what the lab says its just best to use them anyways? Oh well, they actually seem to be working. As of this morning I actually feel practically back to normal.

Friday, October 10, 2008

New Car

Latest car shopping venture has been a success. We've just purchased a 2003 Toyota Corolla for just under 4000$... with about 230,000 miles on it. The nicest thing about that is we spent less than half, almost just a 3rd of the budget we set aside for it, and the car would kelly blue book for much much more than that. Seems to be in good shape, but does need some basic repairs.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I hate my insurance/medical stuff continues

So I've been having some medical fun recently. My pharmacy insurance refuses to cover many medications they consider "routine" unless they are ordered from the insurance directly. But there's no convenient way to find that out until after filling it the first time at the local pharmacy, which they will cover. Its not based on how often you take it, its based on their list of what they consider routine. So recently I started a "routine" medication. Instead of telling me that directly they sent me a letter advising me my medication required preapproval or they'd charge me full price for the medication I had already filled with preapproval already obtained. I called my doctor repetitively asking them to get with my insurance to give another post approval, but they didn't call me back with anything useful, basically said we don't know what they're talking about either. Finally I called the insurance and they said oh we're sorry, when we send preapproval required letters what we really mean is buy from us or else. I asked if they could manage the transition to buying from them, they said no. So I called my doctor and asked him to send in a prescription to the insurance. He didn't do it. Later on trying to check if he had, I was logging into the insurance website and lo and behold, there was a button for initiate this order on our side. So I did.

But in the meantime with all these delays I ran out of medication and it was labeled on a big red sticker DON'T SKIP DOSES. So I called the pharmacy to see exactly what the "or else" of buying the medicine locally actually was. It was no coverage, but they suggested the insurance might make an exception. The insurance claimed not only under no circumstance would they cover me locally, but tried to tell me the local pharmacy wasn't even allowed to sell me a partial month supply without me getting doctors permission first. Called the pharmacy back, and they said no, they were happy to sell me the drug for $10 a pill for any amount I chose under 30 days. But, the pharmacist also said all I really needed to do was tide myself over with an over the counter substitute in the meantime and I'd be fine.

I really hate feeling like I'm fighting every step of the way just to get my medications. My doctor did contribute to the problem, but every single time I've interacted with the pharmacy insurance they've told me something that wasn't right.

So, getting back to my life, today I finally managed to get in the surgery follow up visit I had to skip when my insurance was canceled. I think I've freaked out the doctor. As I told him of every symptom aside from bleeding had continued he asked me if my insurance would cover this sort of thing. I asked him what he meant. You know its time to worry when he answers "I mean they wouldn't cover me sending you to the mayo clinic."

He clarified he might not have to do that, but he very well might like to. So I'm scheduled for another surgical operation where they just look around with a camera to see what in the world is going on. Then we go from there.... wherever that might be but apparently not to the mayo clinic because my insurance won't cover it.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Finished Dune

Bonnie Jean and I finished reading Frank Herbert's Dune Thursday. It was a beautiful story. I have to admit, science fiction was really my first love in reading, I've just spent so much time in fantasy because there's more quality "youth fantasy" where authors don't feel a need to spill their obscene fantasies onto the paper to fill up space. Science fiction tends to be either children's books like Tom Swift and Danny Dunn (I've poured myself over every single one of those they had in the local libraries growing up) or adult. But with some help from Bonnie Jean I've started finding my way through the variety and beauty of adult science fiction. I've nearly read the entirety of Le Guin's Hainish cycle, discovered Roger Zelazny, read all of Card's Ender series (though I didn't like the shadow sequals, they were annoying), and now I've discovered Frank Herbert.

I've been thrilled to discover the local library maintains a list of all the Hugo and Nebula award winning novels on their website, but subsequently disappointed to find they don't have many of them. They didn't even have Dune, which won BOTH Hugo and Nebula, till just recently. I think someone stole their copy or something because they have many of the sequels.

Hopefully I will continue to find good authors and good books to fill my leisure hours.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Frantic work day

Today we have discovered yet one more way in which my work day can be crazy. The most basic work day for me is handling follow up calls-mostly large billing research/rerate issues. The most normal work day for me is handling follow up calls while coordinating the assignment of follow up calls to all my teammates. Recently announced and hotly begrudged (there was talk of striking) is a recent announcement that our team will also handle the "I want to talk to your manager" calls (you didn't really think you were talking to a manager did you?). I've protested my concern that I do not want to be doing the previous 3 items at once. But today we added another piece to the pie. I am now part of a special group that any agent on the floor can send a message to if they have a question about anything.

So relive this moment with me from earlier today. I am trying to work on my own follow up, calling a customer to politely raise some concerns I had about assertions in a billing dispute they called us for. Then, in the follow up team's chat room 2 people ask me for more work at about the same time. I tell them please wait I'm on a call, but I have to keep an eye on the chat or I'll lose track of the crowd that were waiting to ask but didn't want to be the first to do so. Then I get two chat requests from different agents asking me to help them with their calls and since the answers are ones that I think will be quick I try to answer them at the same time I am on the call. So I am keeping track of 5 people trying to ask me to do something at the same time and actively responding to 3 of them.

Now that was borderline insanity multitasking overload for me. And this was a polite call I was having, not the crazy I'm-going-to-yell-at-you-for-an-hour-because-you-shut-my- phone-off-for-nonpay-the-same-month-my-grandfather-died.

So lets hope I won't get manager escalations, have to handle my own callbacks, manage the workflow for the team, and answer random questions all at once. My team leader may think I'm a superb multi-tasker. I may have been well known for being on a call and people would walk up behind me and ask me a question and I'd type the answers on screen so I wouldn't have to stop talking making me approachable anytime no matter what, but this is insane already and could get a lot worse.