Monday, June 19, 2017

Back to Reality

We had a lovely week at Disney World. We had dinner with Cel and Andy for her birthday, and spent an afternoon visiting various resorts and kind of dining-around-the-hotels. It was a lot of fun. Sunday we had dinner with Fred and Marianne and it was, as always with them, totally enjoyable and just good for my soul. 

We saw the new Pandora World. Liked it fine, but I wasn't impressed. I didn't get the "other worldly" feeling it was supposed to invoke. Maybe I'm just an old grouch? We did the Navi river cruise ride, and while it is visually beautiful, there is nothing to it- just riding, sedately, through pretty backgrounds. There was some pretty neat new versions of audio-animatronics but nothing to wow with. I'll re-evaluate when we get a chance to do the Flight ride. 

We did very much enjoy going on our favorite rides in each park. We always enjoy just being there. 

It rained, a lot, while we were there. We've never had that much rain at WDW before. So, we found a new activity that was rain proof- checking out some of the lounges in the hotels. Our first visit was to the Territory Lounge in the Wilderness Lodge. We had cheese fondue and it was wonderful. The Mizner's Lounge at the Grand Floridian is a small room behind the Orchestra, on the second floor, overlooking the lobby. We spent a delightful evening feasting on their cheese plate and creme brûlée all while listening to the orchestra do Glenn Miller sets mixed among the Disney Music. It was terrific!

Now we are home and back to "normal"- doctors visits, cleaning house, catching up on laundry. I have to hurry because in only 9 days we leave for first, Asheville, NC and The Biltmore, then Ocean Gate!! Life is very good!!!

Thursday, May 25, 2017


The level to which I HATE insurance companies cannot be described at this moment.

United Health Care's Medicare Part D prescription plan is as big a scam as their HMO healthcare coverage. I almost died many years ago from a United Healthcare HMO doctor refusing me access to specialists. We dumped their coverage immediately after that, and paid for the good coverage ever since.

Now, UHC Medicare Plan D is trying to force John off a needed medication and onto a MUCH cheaper one. Only problem??? The NUMBER ONE (#1) CONTRA-INDICATION FOR THIS MEDICATION?????? CANCER!!!!!

They have resorted to an entire collection of lies to make this happen. We did not know until dinner time on Monday that this drug requires prior authorization. The NICE lady at the UHC phone line told me that, told me how to begin the prior authorization request, and WARNED me that they would probably try to force John onto the cheaper pills.
Tuesday at 2 o'clock I called the number for John's doctor, but I called the wrong office- he sees patients at Moffitt, but also sees non-cancer patients across the street at the USF medical center. The nurse manager at USF made notes for the doctor about my call, then called the nurse manager at Moffitt to bring her up to speed.

Yesterday, Wednesday, John got a call from UHC that his medication was being denied and he would have to switch to the cheap one. He called originally, but they got him both confused and upset because they "didn't know anything" about my phone call Monday. So he put me on the phone.

The first LIE was that he was being denied because of the doctor's failure to respond in a timely manner. She then stated that it had been more than 72 hours since they had submitted a request to our doctor and he had ignored it. Well, this was me going nuclear time #1. Oh, they submitted a request more than 72 hours ago?? How did they do that when the request process had only been initiated 48 hours ago, and oh, btw, did they really submit claims over the weekend? Because that was when more than 72 hours was. Then she claimed that their rules were "72 hours or LESS"!!!! That one really got me going. 72 HOURS OR LESS???? Could that mean they could make it , say, TWO HOURS IF THEY LIKED?????

So, my loud and sarcastic and "that voice" (my kids call it the "stupid salesperson voice") resulted in a complete change of course.

Now, John's Doctor HAD called in. And.... he had refused/been unable to answer any of their questions!!!! He had said "I DONT KNOW", or "I DONT HAVE THAT INFORMATION" TO EVERY QUESTION THEY ASKED ABOUT JOHN!!!! So, NOW the reason for the denial was the doctor's refusal to cooperate, or his incompetence. As you can imagine....AT THAT POINT I STARTED YELLING!!!

I demanded to speak to a supervisor, and the young chit refused saying "THEY WILL ONLY TELL YOU THE SAME THING"!!!!! She finally caved after one of the better dressing downs of my life.

At first the supervisor tried the same thing, and I proceeded to explain that she was slandering the head of a major research team at one of the leading hospitals in the country and I would be notifying him and the hospital of that fact. She suddenly thought that it was unlikely that he had really said those things, but mysteriously, the person who had (supposedly) entered that information had neglected to sign off, so there was "no way" she could determine who had made such a mistake. Yeah, "mistake"- keep calling it that.

She went all nice and helpful then. Told me she was going to send another fax request for the authorization form. Told me she was going to send it keyed as urgent. I asked what that meant- and forced her to admit that "urgent" meant that IF THE DOCTOR DIDNT COMPLETE AND RETURN THE FORM IN 22 HOURS- YES, THAT IS TWENTY TWO HOURS!!!!!!- they would AUTOMATICALLY reject it!!! I explained, as if I was talking to a VERY stupid 4yo, that his doctor saw patients in 3 separate offices and John's records were only at one of those offices, and that I had no idea which day the doctor was at which office, until she finally agreed to send it keyed "standard" which gave the doctor 14 days. Then I checked on where she was sending it, and she was, of course, sending it to the wrong office. She "didn't know" that Tampa General in South Tampa was "different" from the Moffitt Cancer Center. Yeah, right!!!!!

So we got off the phone, after almost an hour, with her promising total cooperation.

Today I called the nurse manager at the Moffitt office. Did she get a fax or email request for a prior authorization for John's medication?

I shall leave you to guess the answer while I begin to work my way up the chain on the phone with UHC. Oh, and while I find the correct person to read the above. Do you think they will be happy to hear from me?


Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mother's Day!!

It has been a lovely Mother's Day. We went to Roy's Tampa for Brunch and it was delightful. Roy's may be my favorite restaurant ever. We've been to Roy's Waikiki each time we've been to Honolulu and enjoyed it immensely. 

Today we had a tasty treat that i can't remember the name of, but its kind of like a sweet hush puppy, and comes with 3 dipping sauces, one chocolate, one like the cream in an eclair, and one strawberry. For appetizers we both chose the lobster bisque, which is savory rather than sweet like usual, and really good. We both also ordered almost the same entrees- he had Roy's Benedict with filet mignon and I had the crab cakes version. Both were terrific, although we neither of us loved the cheddar-bacon biscuits. John finished all of his- I only managed one of the two crab cakes, so we know what John will have for lunch tomorrow, if it lasts that long.

We took the very long way home, all streets and back roads, no highway, and enjoyed seeing parts of Hillsborough and Pacso counties we had never seen before. Fortunately, John really enjoys driving and I love riding and looking around, so just one more way we are a good match.

All in all, a lovely day!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

What a Wonderful Week!!!

We had a wonderful week!! 

John and I with our son at Disney World. It was just terrific!! The best part was that John did so well. He got tired, sometimes really tired. He had to sit down and rest at regular intervals. BUT, he did it. He was able to keep going every day, go on rides, enjoy our meals. Even watched some movies during our down times at the condo. He is still a ways from fully recovered, but he is so definitely moving in the right direction. 

Sunday, April 16, 2017

40 years!!!

So, this was our dessert tonight! Dinner at Roy's Tampa both to celebrate our 40th anniversary and our return to Honolulu in June 2018. Wonderful meal, the staff was marvelous, and it was a truly lovely and memorable evening. 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Cross Stitch Excitement

Its been busy around here. DH has golfing buddies visiting and it's been a lot of running for/with them. John is enjoying their company but really starting to get tired. Me, too.

  I am also getting tired easily. I saw the cardiologist yesterday, mostly because of brother Paul's recent heart attack, but also spurred by ongoing fatigue. It could well be the Fibromyalgia, in fact that's the most likely cause, but I don't want to start the headache of playing with meds unless necessary.

As for the "happy cross Stitch"? Well, I bought the Hawaiian Mandala design, by Chatelaine aka Martina Rosenberg, many years ago. I've bought multiple Chatelaines designs, as they are gorgeous and Martina is a friend. She and I go back well more than 20 years; I remember when she released her first design, cute little penguins. But I've never gotten around to actually doing one. Now, I am going to do it!

  The kits to make a Chatelaine design are frightfully, yes, I use that word advisedly, frightfully expensive. And, the bigger the project, obviously the more expensive. The Hawaiian project is HUGE. It is chock full of all kinds of beads and all kinds of silk threads, and all kinds of other specialty stuff- this is sooooo not Aida and DMC. So, it is very expensive. Well, I did that "does anyone owe you money" thing at the PA treasury, and guess what? I did have money laying around in a state vault or whatever. So I filled out all the forms, and waited and waited...... And, I finally got my money and it was almost enough to get the whole Hawaiian Mandala kit- so I ordered it today!!!

Here is a picture of the design done on black. I've tried it on dozens of fabrics in that gizmo The Viewer, where you can see how a project looks on various colors and types of fabrics. I have determined that I will be doing mine on a sunshine yellow color- it makes every thing pop! So try to imagine that.

If you want to check out all the other incredible designs by Martina- she really is amazing and her designs are incredible!! - just go to  

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Quiet Sunday evening

So, here we are. Start of another week. And, it's Masters Week!! 

This is a big deal at our house. The TV will be mostly set to the Golf Channel. Dinner for next Sunday is pre-determined. And yes, I know it's Easter, but when it comes down to Easter Dinner (which is also predetermined) vs Masters' Sunday dinner, well, Masters' Sunday dinner wins. 

We take The Masters really seriously around here. As in glued to the TV. Family tradition for more than 30 years. 

Last night we discussed the fact that the magnolia trees here in our part of Florida have not yet bloomed, so it is very unlikely that there will be any way up north in Augusta. We will be watching the first show tomorrow to see if the azaleas are in full bloom. The landscaping at Augusta is so amazing it is an important part of the whole Masters experience. Even for those of us who only get to see it on TV. 

It's going to be a good week!