Trauma, Drama, and challenges this week… …wish me success!

Morning Trauma

omron pedometerI can’t find my Omron Pedometer.  It is gone.  And I’ve gotten used to wearing it every day.

In fact is now part of my “morning routine” to put it on.  Which is a problem.  What I’m doing in this “Journey to Health & Fitness” is one, by one, setting up good habits, rituals, routines, replacing old patterns of behavior with new, better ones.

And to do that requires repetition.  Lots of repetition.  And until the “new” becomes “habit” and the “habit” becomes ironclad rock solid do-it-without-thinking-about-what-you-are-doing type behavior, any deviation can be deadly and devastating.

And it bugs me.  A lot. — I’m actually AMAZED at how much it is bugging me.  I’ve rouned up all the usual suspects and put them in the line-up:  under the edge of the bed, under the edge of the desk, under the edge of the kitchen cabinets, inside the pocket(s) of the clothes I wore yesterday.

I’ve even canvased the neighborhood (literally) — I went out on my balcony and the bridge that crosses the court yard and looked at the sidewalk and the stairs to see if I could see it lying there.

2014.05.03 4.50 AM -- My Come to Jesus moment

2014.05.03 4.50 AM — My Come to Jesus moment

In a bit I’ll put on shoes and go look in my truck to see if it fell out of my pocket yesterday when I went on an errand.  And I’ll check the laundry room to see if it fell out there while I was doing clothes.

BUT IT bugs the crap out me that I am not wearing it!

Recording that little number into the spreadsheet each morning from the day before was an act of validation.  It is/was actual numerical quantifiable proof that I was indeed MOVING my body!


I hope I find it.  I don’t want to have to buy a new one.  Buying a new one isn’t in the budget.

Doctor Drama

I have this wonderful Doctor: Karen King

Unfortunately I was not able to choose her as my Primary Care Physician when I got insurance this year through the absolutely WONDERFUL implementation of the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act.  (Read my blog post about it here)

Why? I hear the teeming masses asking…

Well, because Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas is a nincompoop of a company.  I thought I was choosing a plan from them that included my preferred doctor.  It turns out that I wasn’t and the source of the confusion is a direct result of incomplete / unclear information on the BCBS website.

I served for three years on the Insurance Selection Committee at my last job so I am operating from a base of experience and knowledge when it comes to the ins and outs of health and dental insurance policies, selecting them and understanding how they work.  I did my bit.  I looked, I read.  I choose. THEN BCBS says “oops our bad” your doctor isn’t on the list.   And of course it was past the open enrollment period so I was stuck on the plan and had to go with the “best of the rest”

Let me make this clear:  My personal experience is:

  • Federal Government and everyone I interacted with when I signed up using the website gets a grade of A+
    THEY WERE AWESOME! — Check out their website.  They have a lot of valuable information about health care and health insurance.
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield gets a grade of D because they took TWO MONTHS to get me my welcome packet and my insurance member card.  They TOOK TWO MONTHS (late Feb) before I was in their system and was able to actually USE my insurance for which I was paying monthly premiums.  It does not surprise me that the first place they got me “into their system” was their billing and payment departments.However it was not until early Feb before I showed up there!  BCBS was completely unprepared to handle the influx of new customers who signed up with them because of the Affordable Care Act.In my mind they are on probation.  Since they have had me in their system, service from them has been adequate — barely — but they are going to have to prove themselves to me and I’m going to seriously consider switching from them to another company when open enrollment comes around again: which is the POWER of the new marketplace system.  No one, not even an employed person, is tied to a single insurance company.  You can now move.  And a bad company will eventually go out of business.  — BCBS of Texas — Are you listening!!!!!??????

So… what does all this have to do with the price of Tea in China?

really_yay_lolcatsWell, friends, neighbors, faithful readers, and the odd cousin or two (and my Mom… who just started reading my blog)… Well, I got some GREAT NEWS this week which, because that is the way these things work, will overflow into next week:

  • GOOD NEWS #1 — My preferred doctor, Karen King, the awesome the fabulous, the wonderful, best doctor on the planet, who I’ve been seeing for almost 15 years, is NOW ON MY INSURANCE PLAN!  Yay!   According to the insurance person at Dr. King’s office, Dr. King got the letter of acceptance from BCBS this past week to join the HMO plan that I have, but it will be a few weeks before everything is finalized so that I can switch back to her for my PCP.
  • GOOD NEWS #2 — My current PCP (primary care physician) finally got me the three referrals to specialists which I’ve been trying to get since MAY!  SHEESH!When I asked the referral person at the office what was the deal she said that they had been overwhelmed by the influx of new patients and were just now getting caught up.  Well that’s fine, but it would have been nice if they’d informed me of that instead of having me call repeatedly and get no response from them!!!!!!   SHAME ON THEM! for making me have to call and call and call and finally threaten to come over and stand in front of their counter and not move until I got them to do what they SHOULD have done months ago!  It was only when I started to get pissy on the phone that they moved me into the “priority pile.”Doctor KittyIn complete fairness, they’ve been awesome since that point but it should have never gotten to that point in the first place.  And I could have been more forceful and pressed the issue before this past week, HOWEVER, one of the things I needed the referral for is to assess my current depression medication which I believe is no longer effective.  And when you are dealing with depression, sometimes things in your life are simply too overwhelming to “deal with” even things as important as doctors and health.

    But, at least I have the referrals now and can make appointments with the specialists.   Yay!

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful.  VERY GRATEFUL!

    Without the Affordable Care Act, I would not have insurance at all.  My monthly premium after the government pays its subsidy is $56 per month for both Health and Dental Insurance.
    Without the Affordable Care Act, I would not be getting any of the medications and treatments which I need.

    So speaking for the 7.3 million people who have signed up and who have gotten insurance and who have made their monthly premium payments on time since Jan, well Thank you President Obama and all the folks who worked so hard to make this happen.  Did you catch that number?  7.3 million people in the US now have healthcare who did not have it in Dec 2013! (read the full article here)

    So..  President Obama and the folks at — A+
    Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas – C-
    The very nice lady at my current PCP’s office: A (thank you!)
    Whoever dropped the ball at my current PCP’s office and caused me to wait so damned long!  — F-
    And to the State of Texas in it’s infinate wisdom who decided to NOT expand medicad NOR to create a State Insurance Exchange: D-  I’d give Texas an F, except for one reason.  Because Texas declined to do its duty to its citizens and create a State Insurance Exchange, it made it possible for me to go through the Federal System which, having dealt with both Federal and State bureaucracies, well the Feds are MUCH easier to deal with.  Texas absolutely sucks when it comes to its social safety net.  I’d much rather deal with the Federal Government instead.

  • GOOD NEWS #3  (maybe) — I found a drug assistance program called “Alcon Cares” for low income people for an allergy medication I need: Patanase.   According to the application instructions, I qualify.  So, once I submit the form, I should get a six month supply of the drug mailed to me at no charge!  Yay!  Of course I won’t know for sure until they process the application, but I’m hopeful.
  • GOOD NEWS #4 (maybe) — It looks like a drug which the evil Blue Cross Blue Shield, SHAME ON THEM! in their infinite wisdom decided that I shouldn’t have unless I wanted to pay full retail price, may actually be covered by them.  A very nice staffer at my “best of the rest” doctor’s office is working with BCBS to get it approved.   According to this very nice and helpful and friendly lady, she submitted the denial to BCBS’s review panel and I should know what the BCBS review panel says next week.  I hope it is approved because it costs $127 per month.  If the insurance does not cover it, I can’t afford it.

Challenges on the Fitness Front this coming week:

challenge small versionThis is going to be a challenging week on the fitness front.  I’ve got several ongoing activities which I wish to continue and there are three new ones that need me to pay some attention to them:

Ongoing Activities:

  • Deal with the Doctor Drama
  • Continue working on my “September Objective # 8” which is to drink 1 glass of water daily (just water, not tea, not milk, not any of the other liquids I drink… just plain old H2O)
  • Continue to do things around the apartment which total 30 minutes of activity a day (that accelerates my heart and increases my breathing rate)

New Activities starting this week:

  • Start counting calories and basic nutrients — I have a software program called Perfect Diet Tracker which I found (after doing a lot of research and reading reviews and trying out the trial versions of about a dozen different programs).  It is essentially a food journal.  So starting this week, everything that goes into the mouth and through the tummy is being recorded.  Perfect Diet TrackerThis is a BIG DEAL!  And it isn’t easy.  It is, especially right now at the very beginning, a HUGE undertaking.  Because everything has to be either weighed or measured.  Then it has to be entered into the program.  Any item that isn’t already in the program’s database of foods has to have it’s entry created.For those items I have to either grab the food container the item came in and use the nutrition label or I have to go out on the wild and wooly Inter-Webz and find the information.   I started this morning.  Wish me Success!
  • Start a weekly “weigh-in” at Jenny Craig — For the record, I’m not going to be buying their food.  Their program does work, I did it once before.  But… I can’t afford it.  It is good, but expensive.  HOWEVER, I got a call from the Jenny Craig center this week where I used to go and they let me know about a special that Jenny Craig was running:  members who had let their memberships lapse could rejoin at no cost — yeppers ZERO COST if they came in to the center this month.oliver-twist-can-I-have-some-moreWell, “zero cost FREE” sounds good to me!  So I called and set up my first appointment for this coming Friday.  I’ll get the full “new member” treatment: intake evaluation, they’ll take my “before” photo there in the center, and they’ll set me up with my own personal adviser.Not too shabby for ZERO COST.  Of course next year, I’ll need to pay for the renewal of $49 but hey, for the next 12 months it is FREE. Did I mention that this is free?  LOL  So, each week I’ll go in, get weighed and the adviser will chat with me about what I did good the past week and what I’m going to focus on the coming week and then they’ll ask if I want to buy any of the very good for you, very tasty, and expensive, Jenny Craig food.

    And I’ll look pitiful and needy and say “I’m sorry, but I can’t afford it…  *sniff*  *sniff*”  — Kinda like that kid from the Dicken’s story..  “Please sir, can I have some more?” 

    Click on the link to check out all the awesome products avaialble featuring this design.

    This design available at TxCowboyDancer Designs

    But the cool thing is that I can go get weighed there each week and if  I need some advice on diet or nutrition, well I can ask.  And it gives me access to the Jenny Craig support forums and the diet/nutrition information there.

    Because… what makes the Jenny Craig food such a good choice for folks like me AND makes it very expensive at the same time is that when you sign up with Jenny Craig you are basically getting your own “personal fitness counselor,” your own “nutritionist” and your own “personal chef” — and all that costs money.  Which they make by selling you food.

    BUT THE DIRTY LITTLE SECRET that they don’t want you to know is that you don’t have to buy the food.  And they really don’t “high pressure” you into buying it either, not in my experience anyway.  If you want it, fine.  If not, then your annual membership gets you all the other stuff.

    So, next week I should have that “Before Photo” from Jenny Craig as well as my “official Jenny Craig” starting weight.  Wish me success!..

So there you have it.  An overview of this week’s destinations on my “Journey to Health & Fitness”

See ya on the dance floor!


P.S. I found it!!!!!  Yay!

ai haz a happee! ©While I was typing this, I took a short break to fold some laundry which I did yesterday (towels and sheets) and TAH-DAH!

My Omron pedometer was in the basket of laundry mixed in with the sheets.

I feel MUCH better!   Woot!


Happiness abounds!

All is right in the world!


About TxCowboyDancer

Professional Dance Instructor teaching Country, Ballroom, Swing, Latin and Line Dance. Eleven time Country Dance World Champion.

Posted on Sat, Sep 20, 2014, in Misc and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. You’re on your way to success, drama and all! Good goal setting.


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