Health insurance advice

As a public service, I’d like to explain a few commonly used health insurance terms. The term “allowed amount” is a euphemism for “whatever we want”. The “allowed amount” is a value you will never know in advance, understand in hindsight, or be able to use to predict future bills.  This holds true even if you a masochist who thoroughly scrutinizes your “EOB,” which stands for “Explanation My A$$,” because it explains nothing and makes sense to no one, ever.  If you don’t believe me, try calling the billing department, who also doesn’t understand it and will not be able to tell you what amount you will have to pay next time, other than X% of the whatever-we-feel-like-it allowed amount.  Do not fall prey to reason and think that a physical therapy appointment will cost approximately the same amount each visit, or that it surely would never be billed for 3 times the amount an MRI of your brain, because you will be wrong.  In no other realm would a fiscally responsible person ever agree to pay a percentage of an unknown amount.  But I suggest you just go with it if you don’t want to spend 50% of your allowed amount of time on earth on the phone to nowhere.


As I’ve already passed my half-century birthday, I’ve decided to adopt some new policies about how I live the rest of my life, including:

  • I am not going to follow all the rules. To quote a song, “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.”
  • I’m denouncing the American way of putting commas and periods inside
    quotation marks no matter what. The British way of putting them inside only if Continue reading

Ready or not

I’m doing this all wrong and I know it.  This blog is not ready to be a non-secret blog that people actually know exists.  Here are some reasons I should delay publicizing it:

  • I should have amassed a bunch of posts, ready to go, so there’s not a delay between posts.  I have amassed nothing.
  • I never got to the point of really understanding WordPress (i.e., understanding it at all), and there were such long periods of time between posts that I would forget everything I had learned. If my common core math calculations are correct, I actually may know less than nothing about WordPress now.
  • I shouldn’t have dead fish as my header image.  As my husband pointed out here, having a dead fish header is just plain weird.  I should have learned how to replace my header with a different image, but now I can’t even remember how I got that image there in the first place.
  • (Insert a bunch more valid reasons to delay here…)

Here’s why I’m doing this anyway:

  • Tomorrow is my birthday and, after half a century, I can’t think of a better time to take this step toward the edge of my comfort zone.


I am not procrastinating!

My husband says I should stop worrying about whether I have the right WordPress theme and just write.  I feel like he’s accusing me of procrastinating, and I don’t want him to be right about anything right now because I’m still mad at him because of a tiff we had about Adobe Lightroom, which I’m sure is a bone of contention in every family.

(Did you catch my pun in the last sentence?)

I don’t remember how our argument started but he was trying to get me to learn Lightroom by watching video tutorials.  I just wanted him to learn by trial and error or Continue reading

I’ll bite your fingernails too

I am going to a writer’s workshop and I feel like an impostor.  I once went to a lecture at a podiatry conference and it didn’t trouble me in the least that I was not a podiatrist.  I didn’t terrorize myself with thoughts like, “What if they ask me where I stand on custom versus over-the-counter orthotics?” or “How many plantar fascia releases have you done?”  And it should have troubled me because there are rules Continue reading

I am a nut job

It just hit me a minute ago how crazy this whole thing is.  I confided in a friend that I started a blog that I kept locked down and didn’t post to for almost a year, and then I unlocked it but didn’t tell anyone about it (and still didn’t post it to it). As I was telling her about my secret blog, I thought, “Who does this?!  This is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.”

That said, considering I haven’t told anyone about this blog, I am not sure how anyone even stumbles upon it.  But apparently it’s possible, as evidenced by the fact that 5 people in South America have tripped over this website.  Or maybe it’s just 3 people, from 3 countries, and one guy fell in twice (did I get the math right?).  Anyway, to the guy from Brazil:  Drop in anytime!


I told my friend about this blog.  I think this is Step 1 in my 12-step recovery from being a closet non-blogging blogger.

Epilogue to the eulogy

Months after writing the last post, I saw it again and I thought it read a lot like I was dying. If there’s one way to let your readers down, it’s to have them think they are reading a terminally ill woman’s blog, but then she never dies.

So, for the record, I am not going to die.  I mean, we’re all going to die, but I’m not planning on dying soon (and I hope I didn’t just jinx myself…).

So let’s be clear:  I’m planning on sticking around, amassing one strange disease and/or symptom after another.  On the upside, the radiology techs all know what kind of music I like and I heard one of them talking to the radiologist about reserving one of the scanners just for me, which is really sweet.  Also, I’m really making strides in overcoming my claustrophobia thanks to all this exposure therapy AND it’s really helped with my gratitude.  Next time I have to get in my space capsule, instead of thinking my usual, “Oh f@&#, I don’t think I can do this. What if I panic?!  I think I’m going to panic!” I will be thinking, “Awe-some!  It’s so great to do this without feeling like I’m spinning 300 miles per hour.  What a pleasure!”

So it’s all good.

Oh, one more thing.  Even if I were to get “sick”, which, as I said, I’m not, I don’t want this to turn into a blog about a sick person.  When someone’s sick, suddenly the expectations are so high that they turn into this amazing person who, to their last breath, is only thinking of others and doing good deeds.  That is just not a good fit for me.

The Cussing Cure

I stopped cussing when I had kids as a way to lie to them and make them think I’m someone I’m not.  Lately I have cussed in front of them a few times, surprisingly with much less remorse than I used to have when I’d slip up.  I actually think it’s time they know the truth:  They come from a long line of cussers, some of whom elevated cursing to an art form.  They should also know that cussing can be a form of coping. Continue reading

To blog or not to blog, that is the question

I wrote this on January 9, 2015, before I signed up for this top-secret blog:

I really appreciate the feedback from people who have suggested I write a blog.  Here are some of my thoughts about it:

  • Often I get the suggestion that I write a blog after I’ve written something humorous. I do enjoy writing humor, but the thought that I must regularly be humorous in a blog would surely rob me of the little sense of humor I have left.  I just don’t think I could be funny on demand.  Also, I don’t always want to be Continue reading