Thursday, December 7, 2006

What is mid-life?

To my patients, most of which are in the 70 to 80 age bracket I still get called girl sometimes, giggle.  To the new nurses on the floor, some not old enough to legally drink,  am the senior old fart nurse.  What is middle age these days.  Years ago I would have been a senior as the life spans where so much shorter.  I would have looked it also as the health care was worse.  Now I still look pretty good but am feeling the senior aches and pains and Arthur Itis has become a frequent visitor.  In my family I am probably in my twilight years, maybe on my last leg but I don't feel like it.  So what does everyone think?  When does middle age start and end.  Am I an official old toot yet?

   Got my exercising out of the way early and am doing the type of cleaning I always leave to the last day.  Prograstination is my middle name.  I did get all my packages sent which is a good feeling.  It cost me an additional $40 just to mail them out.  Might have to do the gift certificates next year but that seems so impersonal. 

    I also got a bill from my Doctor for surgery.  Man that ticks me off.  Do you really ever reach your deductable anymore.  I go to the web site and it says my balance is zero, but I still get bills.  $300!  I used to think when a doctor agreed to accept your insurance that meant they accepted the payment from your insurance as payment in full.  Oh so trusting. 

    I pay around 600 a month for insurance, 2000.00 out of pocket per person, 600 for lab and other tests, 20 dollars for each visit.  Its official, I am now one of those people you hear about about who can't afford health care.  And it is going up Jan. 1st. 

   I am no longer going to the doctor after this year unless I am near death, and even then I will think really carefully about if my life is worth the cost!  I have refills on my meds good for a year with my asthma doc, can still get refills on phone for my fluid pills from my regular doctor and hopefully after next year the damage to my lungs from the chlorine will be better and I won't need the medicine anymore. 

   The only people who can afford to see a doctor these days are the seniors like my MIL because she has medicare plus a suplimental, the poor and illegal aliens, and the very rich.  Those of us who fall in the middle just don't go anymore.  I see more and more patients who don't take their meds because they can't afford to.  They are labeled noncomplient by the doctors but that isn't the reason, who can afford to keep up with the bills.  If I didn't have a pharmacy plan I wouldn't take my pills at $114.50 a month!  Ricks would be $200.00 a month.  What happens when I retire?  Off our meds we go.  Ho Ho Ho. 

   Remember the old days.  I had a great family doctor.  He had a small office uptown and it was staffed with the woman at the desk, a nurse and him.  Eventually he got a partner and they each had a nurse.  The total visit would be maybe $15.00 which in my case usually included stitches, did I mention I was a tom boy?  I always got a sucker. 

   Well I have to go,  my  son keeps calling.

   Just got off the phone with my son.  My granddaughter broke her elbow.  Ouch.  Yesterday she fell at daycare and put her arm out to break the fall, it broke alright.  They iced it all day and last night they called me to see what I thought.  She could move her fingers and everything but couldn't lift her arm up to scratch her tummy, she put the phone down to use the other arm.  I told them I though she might have broken it and just because she could move her fingers didn't really mean anything.  It could be just sprained though.  It is so hard to tell with kids but I thought it should be checked out.  Well my DIL's parents, probably her dad, didn't think it was necessary.  This morning she was still in pain so my DIL took her.  The elbow is fractured and she has to have surgery to get it fixed.  Poor baby.  There goes her dancing!

  I was just speaking of insurance.  How terrible is it that along with being worried about your child they now have to worry about paying a huge surgery bill.  Times are bad all over.


lanurseprn said...

Poor baby. I remember at age 8 my son broke his arm. The doc mentioned that if it didn't heal right they'd have to do surgery. That kid worried himself sick for months waiting to hear if it's healing right.  It finally did....big sigh of relief....but it's so scary for the kids to hear the word "Surgery."  I feel bad for her.

As far as health insurance....we were pondering the need for it the other day.  We get a lot of illegals and minorities in our hospital. They don't have health coverage.  Probably 60% of our patients don't.  They STILL get treated, though.  I thought the regulation was to stabilize them and send them to a county hospital. But, it isn't.  They treat them!  And eat the costs.  They'll discharge them explaining which of the hospitals they have to go to next time.....and they show right back up at ours.  Makes me wonder.

Middle aged...Hmmmmm....according to our paperwork at work, the middle adult is aged 46-64.  After that it's older adult.  I guess we're both middle aged, huh?

Hope you're having a good day.

hopefulniki said...

I know exactly what you mean.  I just got through some female troubles recently and thought I was going to have to have a hysterectomy.....wanted one, doc said no.  Fibroids and simple cysts.  Monitor, monitor, monitor.  Tests up the wazoo.  Mucho dollars in medical bills.  Still paying them.  All deductibles and copays.  Owe about $500.   Too bad we can't be like Canada!!!  Thanks for the the way.  Already using them...have been since beginning of mess.  YUCK!!!

I did the same thing to my daughter when she was two.  She had broken her collarbone when I was at work and she was with my grandmother.  She's a drama queen and didn't seem too bad so I waited to take her to the doctor.  She was still complaining after 3 days so I finally took her in.  Boy, did I feel like the worst mother ever!!!   I cried, I felt so bad.  The only time she would cry was when I was trying to dress or undress her and she had to put her arm over her head.  I thought it was just bruised....BAD MOMMY!!!!


candlejmr said...

First of all, I am not going to be "older age" until I am 90, ok????  (lol...yeah, right, I am feeling "older age" right now and I am 45!!!)

Health Insurance is a JOKE.  We are not even getting the proper medical care anymore because everything is regulated by the insurance company.  If the test isn't covered, the doctor doesn't order it!  

You know, the things that go on in our world today...sometimes I just sit and shake my head in disbelief.