Wednesday, October 5, 2022

October Days

Lois Mango
(sharing her planter with the Pineapple plant)

Both Monday and Tuesday have been sunny warm days, with the daytime highs around 86F or 87F;  very much to my liking!  The forecast for Wednesday is 90F. 

On Monday, I spent a relatively quiet day.  I did my meal plan options for the week, walked for a bit in the driveway, took another walk around the garden checking on things and taking some photos, took the trash cans to the curb, flea combed Dancer and gave him his flea medications, chatted with friend R, video chatted with my daughter, emailed a friend, and checked my medical insurance account online (and spent the rest of the day, stressing about it because they had denied the claim!)  

I had leftover milkrice with seeni sambol and some chicken curry (from the freezer) for brunch; dinner was leftover sauteed chicken and salsa rice.

Apple Seedling

Today, Tuesday, I did some paperwork sorting in the morning; I was looking for a specific statement which I had set aside to file, but, had not actually filed, yet.  Once I found it, I called the medical insurance people and spoke to a customer service rep and she gave me some instructions as to what I need to do.  I need to contact the hospital medical billing department and ask them to send the bill to my primary care physician's office and, apparently, the doctor's office needs to submit it to the insurance people for them to process it!  I guess the hospital billed them directly and that is not how their protocol works!  

I tried calling the hospital medical billing department as soon as I got off the phone with the insurance customer service.  It was around 4:30 p.m.  But, although their letter, sent last week, stated that the billing department hours were from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., when I called, I received a recorded message that the new hours were from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  So, I will call them, tomorrow.  Then, I will need to call the doctor's office to alert them to the fact that the hospital will be sending them the bill and what they need to do!  I know the letter the hospital sent me said I don't need to do anything yet, but, the amount being billed is rather substantial and I want to be proactive and not wait until I get billed to act on it.

In between looking for the document and calling the insurance customer service, I brought in the trash cans and accepted some homemade gata (Armenian cookies) and a piece of cake from neighbor S!  The gatas went into the freezer to be kept for my daughter when she next visits me.  

Brunch was two slices of toast with peanut butter; dinner was the last of the salsa rice, some chicken curry, and cucumber slices.  I had some of the cake that S had given me for dessert.  

In the evening, I relaxed by renewing my rice-filled neck warmer:

Renewed Rice-Filled Neck Warmer

I had made it a few years ago, in May 2019, to be exact, using some fabric I had in my stash:

Original Neck Warmer

That fabric was looking a bit faded and stained, so, I re-covered it, today, using another piece of fabric I had in my stash!  I like the brighter fabric. 

I am grateful for:
- Having access to medical care
- Having medical insurance 
- Customer service assistants
- S bringing me gatas and cake
- My fabric stash

Joyful activities include checking on the garden and renewing my neck warmer.

On the To Do List for Wednesday:
- Call the medical billing department
- Call the doctor's office
- Tend to the garden with M
- Start the car
- Put in a grocery order
- Vacuum

How is your week coming along?


  1. The new fabric is so beautiful! It really caught my attention. And it's another use for rice lol!

    1. Thank you, Lyssa. Yes, it is another use for rice! :D

  2. How very frustrating for you to have to make all those calls to get something medical sorted. Let's hope the music they play while they have you on hold is fairly pleasant. I like your renewed rice neck warmer, such vibrant colours. We have 3 rice/bean warmers which these days seem always in use :)

    1. I felt more anxious than frustrated, but, I called the hospital billing service and they assured me that they are in contact with the insurance people and to disregard the letter! Which leaves me wondering why send out that letter in the first place and just cause stress and anxiety? I guess they were covering their behinds in case of lawsuits and I understand that. Anyway, I am hopeful that things will be resolved. :)
      Thank you; I like that bright fabric! It was given to me by a former neighbor. I chilled the rice pack in the summer and used it to cool off on those 100F and above days. :)

  3. I wondering if the new insurance hours are because they can't hire enough people to work the extended time. I have found several services cut back these days because they can't find people to work. The insurance almost always gets worked out, but it can be stressful until it does. Good luck.

    1. I'm sure the hours were cut back because of the lack of staff. They probably staggered work hours, earlier, but, now, everyone comes in and goes home at the same time.
      I called the billing department, today, and they assured me that they are in contact with the insurance people and told me to disregard the notice! I was very relieved! I'm very hopeful that it will get resolved, but, if not, at least I tried!

  4. Let's hope that the medical billing gets sorted out without too much hassle for you.

    Lovely S has supplied you with treats again. I hope you enjoy the cake and also the gatas when your daughter is home again.

    I like the way your neck warmer is divided into pockets. Is that the sort you put in the microwave to heat up? Mine is one big pocket and the rice or wheat or whatever it is all collects at one end, so I might try to add compartments like yours to see if that makes it better to use.

    Lois, the pineapple and the apple seedling are all looking good so fingers are crossed for their survival. xx

    1. Thank you, Eileen; I called the medical billing people and I was reassured that they are in contact with the insurance people and I don't have to do anything at this point. I feel very hopeful - I was getting stressed out, earlier!
      I enjoyed the piece of cake that S brought me; the gatas, as I mentioned, are in the freezer for my daughter. :)

      Yes, I microwave the neck warmer in the colder months (in the summer, I put it in the freezer!) Having the dividers hold the filling in place - I didn't measure and space the pockets evenly, but, one could do that, too. :)

      Thank you for the well wishes for Lois and her friends! :D Hope the winter will be mild for them. I think the apple seedling could do with a stake to hold it upright, don't you?

  5. Have a great day. Regine

    1. Thank you, Regine. Wish you the same. Hope you are feeling well, today. :)

  6. Hope that after all your hard work, the billing gets seen to (and paid) correctly. It does sound as if the process benefit from being streamlined quite a bit! I feel sorry for anyone who is unwell and anxious having to go through all that.

    Your rice bag thingy is really good. I have seen them before and bought them as presents, but I never thought of making one. How silly! I assume you just used normal rice? I approve of the new cover. (I bet you are relieved to hear that!)

    1. Thank you, Lady Ella. Yes, I called the billing department, today, and they were very reassuring, saying they are in contact with the insurance people and I should disregard the notice! There have been many complaints from people who have major illnesses having to deal with insurance matters. I had my daughter help me figure things out when I was having chemo treatments and I was getting billed for services I was sure I had already paid for! It was a bit of a mess!

      Thank you; the rice bag neck warmer has come in really useful! They are easy to make and yes, regular rice (or beans). My daughter was given one filled with cherry pits. I'm glad you approve of the new cover! You liked the tote bag I made with the same fabric (some time ago). I remember you asking me if I still had that bag and, at the time, I said I think I decluttered it, but, I found it tucked into a pocket in the car! :)

  7. I'm glad to read the medical billing office was reassuring. Surely it'll be sorted out soon. The rice bag cover is lovely and cheerful! And it's good to see Lois is looking healthy and growing!

    1. Thank you, Celie; I was very relieved to hear that it was being handled! The old rice bag cover was looking rather sad! I used it over and over again when I had my sciatica pains! Lois is looking good, isn't she? :D

  8. I hope the medical billing is sorted out soon for you. Your neck warmer is very colourful and such a good idea for the coming winter months.

    1. Thank you, Eileen; I was told today that I didn't have anything to worry about!
      I use that neck warmer all winter long! I find that I don't feel as cold if my neck is warm - I have several scarves and I knitted a sort of cowl thing to put on, too!

  9. That letter from the hospital won't let you rest, will it? Your neck warmer looks pretty with its new cover. I have something similar with wheat in it.
    Yesterday I had a nice surprise on the way back from the mailbox. I found a good sized giant puffball in the front yard. It was fresh, nice and white inside and I sautéed some slices in butter to have with our salmon. There is some left which I will cut up and add to a stir fry today.

    1. I worried about that bill, Bushlady, until I spoke with the medical billing department, eventually. I think I am able to put it aside, now. :)
      My daughter was given a neck warmer thing with cherry pits in it! Wheat would work well, too, I'm sure. :)
      Oh, how nice to find a giant puffball ready for harvesting in your front yard! Well done!

  10. I see in your comment responses that the billing department has told you not to worry as they've resubmitted it.
    I can understand why you were so anxious about it all. Medical treatments can be so costly and I'm sure it was worrying to you when you opened the advisement from them.
    I hope it all goes through now without anymore hiccups.
    Do you get a periodic notice from your insurance company advisng you of what claims they've paid?
    I have a small rice pack ( I actually think I have pearl barley in it lol) but seeing yours makes me want to make a larger one.

    The pineapple and mango plants look good.

    1. Yes, I can finally put the medical billing issue aside (for now, at least). This was a fairly large bill and I was hoping that I didn't have to pay it out of pocket (I would have, of course, if I had to). Yes, I get the notices from both Medicare and the insurance company about what claims were received and payment status. The insurance company's statement said "claim denied", which is what got me worried in the first place!
      I like my long rice pack because I can drape it around my neck and shoulders to keep me warm and, when I had my sciatica pains, I used it for my leg!
      I hope the pineapple and mango plants, and the apple, too, will do well over winter!


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