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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The good, the bad, the ugly this week


I was assessed in speech early in the month, then the lead speech-ist was on vacation for a week, so I got the assessment this week. Those women have the patience of Job. It’s the memory thing again, and their solution is for me to practice remembering something from a five line paragraph, then a slightly longer and a slightly longer and so forth and so on.

In the assessment I did well in regurgitating two concepts, three words, simple stuff. But a five paragraph story that had the reader telling me to remember about ten or fifteen words to repeat later didn’t go well.  Actually, without guilt, I recalled none of them. I find such exercises utter crap, and totally unrelated to what I want to remember. I want to remember important stuff, like what I’ll blog about today, or tell the doctor tomorrow.

The lead assessor said she kept notes on index cards. Fine for her, I suppose. Her assistant posts sticky notes.  I’ll be in the next county and the sticky note at home. It hit me: the notepad on my phone. I didn’t learn to make tabs on it for nothing. That was Monday, and I have opened seven tabs and used five, already.

Under “Blog” I typed a wonderful line about the Brexit talks in Belgium: Europe appeared with stacks of paper. The Brits have coffee and cookies. I also typed a line that cracked me up, but maybe you had to be there. When I showed up at outpatient therapy, long, long ago last May, my right leg was substandard weak and discouraging. I whined and moaned weekly about the state of it. On one of the machines this week I could lift five pounds with it. “Look! Look!” I shouted at Rhonda, the therapist. “Why didn’t you tell me I could do this again, way back when I started?” Rhonda rolled her eyes.  If threatened, yes, they probably told me weekly.

And finally, the scalawag doctor who prescribed the AFO spring release brace for my right foot, and the equally scali orthotist who made the device really are shameful. The American tax payers paid a thousand plus dollars for this brace. The company has “adjusted” the brace three times. In an eyeball to eyeball confrontation this week, the fellow shouted, “We’ve had this discussion before. Yes, your toe drags. Yes, your heel catches. The wrong brace was made.”

I asked how they would make it right. First, someone else had to verify to him that my toe dropped and my heel caught. That would be my physical therapist. “Tell her to call me and I will give her the new script numbers for Medicare to pay for a new brace.”

I am truly disgusted. Dana will call tomorrow and we’ll get the numbers. Of course, I went straight to the internet. There is the exact brace I’m expecting to get. It costs sixty dollars. I ordered a women’s small right. The last thing I will do, when the dust settles, is write a letter to Medicare. This needs reported.

Oh, yes—we got the band uniform today. First practice tomorrow.  Here’s last year’s demo of the uniform. 


23 comments:

  1. I hope it isn't as hot there as here. Poor Laura if it is. If they give you even one good piece of advice that helps, then it will all be worth it. Try a little sing song ditty when trying to remember something. I read it helps.

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  2. Medicare checks my memory and my mental health once a year. I generally get so p@@@@d off that I find myself wanting to give fake answers. I have no short term memory, never did.

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  3. Oh, I hope your health improves. But, if you can write such a detailed blog post, you are doing fine in my opinion.

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  4. Why doesn't medicare ineptitude surprise me anymore?

    You are amazing!

    Band time already?

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  5. People who are supposed to be helping too often don't. What ever happened to compassion? What ever happened to efficiency? I buy my compression stockings on the internet too. With my insurance from work before I retired they cost me $75. That was my co-pay. Online I pat around $30 for 3 [air. They are made by the same company and are the same stocking! I hope you have good luck with the brace.

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  6. By the way my co-pay was $75 for one pair.

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  7. Hard to think it is already time for band practice to begin. Did she go away for band camp yet?

    betty

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  8. They just arrested a large group of people, many of them doctors, for Medicare fraud. I am so grateful for Medicare, it has been a lifesaver for us, and I hate to read about greedy people who want to rob the system.

    You might not remember words from one of those gotcha tests, but no one is going to pull the wool over your eyes, Joanne

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  9. It seems to me that you are remembering the important things.
    I did one of those word tests yonks ago. Epic fail. And I beat myself up about it - until I forgot that too.
    Sigh on the Medicare rip-off. I hope the new brace is JUST what you need.

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  10. Amazing how they keep stuffing around with that wrong brace, while you can buy exactly what you need online, cheaper. I hope it fits well and works.

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  11. HarI Om
    I would fail majority of those recital type tests Joanne... They are only uesful if the memory has already been trained that way. And only then if it was recently. I get severe clanks of short-term these days and the way I cope is indeed to keep notes; not on the phone cuz it it's a stupido, not a smarty pants, but I DO carry a small notebook and pencil. Yes one has to remember one has noted something down but after a bit of practice it works! What I notice in my experience is that angrier I get at myself/situation, the worse it gets. As to the leg brace, it disgusts but doesn't surprise me. Fair bet similar nonsense is happening over here. Toot toot Laura! Band time again. Gracious. Huggies you two. YAM xx

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  12. keep on fighting for what should be yours...its us grouchy ones who live longest!!
    Glad you are seeing progress

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  13. The cell phone is a great device for more than the phone. Let's hope this brace does the trick.

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  14. You remind me of those magazine articles exhorting us all to be advocates for ourselves. You're the poster girl. Keep it up!

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  15. O.K., so here's something I don't remember... what kind of instrument does Laura play? I am amazed that band is starting already, but here, we don't return to school until September. I suppose they give you those tests because it is something which can be measured and reported on. If it was just some kind of conversation, it would be too subjective. I guess you just learn how to play the game. -Jenn

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    1. Laura plays trumpet, and is so happy to have the routine picking up again. They have band practice tonight and then once or twice a week until school starts August 15.
      It's not easy, but I'm digging down for what I want from the therapists.

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  16. people in the medical profession used to care I think, back when for profit health care was against the law in this country, back when people became doctors because they wanted to help. Now people enter the medical profession because it's a path to a high income. imo. anyway, insurance companies certainly do think that Medicare and Medicaid is just for robbing the treasury. that memory thing though, I find just writing stuff down helps lodge it in my brain. I make a list and forget to take it with me but I can think back to making the list and then remember the stuff on it. if I don't make the list, just try to keep all the errands and stuff in my head, I will forget something or two.

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    1. I believe this whole cognitive really is a waste. But, I'm helping another nice young girl achieve her master's degree in speech. I did learn to use my phone for notes, and that's smarter than smart. They have no other problems I cannot solve.

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  17. I'm glad you are not afraid to ask questions.

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  18. I'm not sure those tests are a good measure or a good tool. I suppose they have to use something.

    Good thing you already were familiar with your phone's smart functions! That's a good way to keep track of things. I still rely on paper notes, but heaven help me if one goes missing. And I have to remember to actually stick them somewhere I'll see them, usually the cupboard where I get my breakfast ready.

    The difference in brace price and suitability is scandalous. Why could they not get it right the first time around? What has happened to expertise?? I hope this one works properly and fits comfortably.

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  19. Dear Joanne, this posting--at least the latter part of it--makes me angry at all that's happening in Washington right now with health care. We hear about our country--USA--being "THE BEST" in everything. The Promised Land. God's Country. But our health care system is broken. The pharmaceutical industry is a greedy octopus. And so many of those in Congress don't really care about others--just their own tight group. I find myself despairing when I watch the PBS Newshour each night and hear the lies. Well, that's enough of a tirade. I'm glad you are taking care of yourself and that you have the fortitude to ask questions and seek answers. Peace.

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  20. Cool uniform! I hope we can get a single payer health system. when my daughter was a student in Germany she had an operation to remove her gall bladder and it was covered by her national insurance and the result and care were excellent.

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  21. You remind me of those magazine articles exhorting us all to be advocates for ourselves. You're the poster girl. Keep it up!

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