Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Basically OFF TOPIC: Some TV Ramblings and Life Stuff

Yep, that's me - a fly on the leaf of life ... or something to that effect. I know I'm akin to a fly on the wall of the Big Brother 10 house, but ...! While this post contains some TV stuff, it's mostly off topic, so read on at your own risk. (Yes, I took this photo a while ago.)

I've been watching a lot of television since I'm around home so much this summer. I was a bit irked at a show I saw on truTV during the wee hours a few nights ago. It was something about psychics solving cases. Wow, did they skew the case. It happens that I'm familiar with the case on the show -- a killer up in Albany when I was still living there. Lemuel Smith killed two people in a religious shop, then murdered a woman in her car at the Colonie Center mall. I happened to catch a shoplifter at my workplace just when they discovered the body and the shoplifter ended up going free due to it. Psychics did not solve the murders -- police work and a police dog did. They also didn't mention that Smith went on to murder a female guard at Green Haven prison after being incarcerated. By that time I was living in that area! What a crock the show is!

On another truTV show, I think it was one of the Cold Cases or Forensic Files ones, I noticed the initial screen with text had police department spelled as "police deptartment." Who does these things? Maybe it was American Justice. It was a show with actor Brian Denehy (sp?) hosting. Whatever. Very unprofessional. If they need a proofreader, I'm available! Although I'm lenient with online stuff, it really bothers me to see stupid mistakes on professional broadcasts from the local news to shows like this to commercials.

In other TV stuff -- I saw an episode of I Want to Work for Diddy. Yikes! It's like The Apprentice on meth or something! I don't want to work for Diddy. I don't have the energy and I wouldn't put that much effort into working for anyone other than myself.

In personal stuff -- my across the hall neighbor was cooking something the other night (at 3:30 in the morning, mind you). For some reason he decided to go to the supermarket at that hour. When he returned home, he opened his door and smoke poured out setting off the apartment building's fire alarm. I went to my door and smelled smoke, but my door wasn't hot, so I opened it. He was in the hallway gasping for air, but told me there was no fire -- just food in the oven and he put it in the sink. I stuck towels under my door and was thankful I didn't have to pack up the cat and go outside in the middle of the night. Then I peeped out my peephole at cute firemen who came and set up big fans. Dang, if I burn food, I will NOT open my door and set off the main alarm! But I've never seen such smoke -- I couldn't even see across his living room. I hope he never does that again.

In health stuff -- I heard back from Blue Cross Blue Shield. Sigh. Even if it's deemed medically necessary (as it is in my case), they will not pay for any more physical therapy than the calendar limit of 20 visits a year no matter the situation or even if there's more than one surgery, etc. I haven't told my PT yet. I have an appointment on Wednesday, will tell him then, and pay him for my two uncovered visits. I guess I'll have to quit the PT even though my new knee needs it. My next follow-up with the orthopedic surgeon is this Thursday and I'll let him know it was denied. I still have some strength and balance issues, along with pain now and then. They increased my dosage of Coumadin/Warfarin this past week. I'm increasingly tired once again this past week. It has to be related.

With the exception of one teeny thing, I've been enjoying my Thursday outing routine of late. You see, that's my blood draw day for my Coumadin dosage. (That's the teeny thing I don't like.) In the beginning, I was depending on Union County Paratransit to take me to the next town over. But I found they really aren't all too dependable. So, for the last several weeks, I've been walking to the train station to catch the train there. It's a bit shy of a half-mile walk.

On the way, I first stop at the Jamaican store I used to frequent a lot in my travels. The counter man is always happy to see me and hear how I'm doing. But, no ... I don't buy any chicken feet or curried goat. Then I stop in at the corner store near the station and visit with the Indian couple who run it -- they were kind enough to deliver when I was housebound. I then stop quickly at the Greek donut shop next door to them, usually getting just a bottle of water and checking in because I know I have calories planned ahead. It's always great to see these business owners and they're very pleased with my progress. I love the diversity of the bunch and they think of me as a friend more than just a customer. It's a good feeling.

Then I go to the train station, looking for Roofus the cat as I get there. So far no sightings, but I noticed they recently tarred his main travel roof. That and the heat of the day might be why I'm not seeing him. Then, as I travel on the train, I visit with my conductor friends on NJ Transit who, like the shopkeepers, seem to be very happy to see me and make me feel good about my progress.

Once in town near LabCorp (my vampires), I usually sit and finish my bottle of water in a teensy park with a huge clock and shade trees. I sit on a "Fanny Wood Day Committee" bench. Then it's off to my quarter-mile walk for the blood draw. I have a standing order there and once they even sneaked me in when they had to close for lunch.

Then it's calorie time on the way back to the train station. I stop in each week for my treat at Dunkin' Donuts -- a small coffee Coolata with no whipped cream and either a breakfast sandwich or donut. I sit, sip, and leisurely read the paper. I never had time for that in my life during work days! From there I take the train further east one stop to Westfield where I do any banking I might have to do and stop in at Trader Joe's and/or Stop and Shop. From there I take the bus home which stops right in front of my apartment building. (No, that bus doesn't stop near my vampires -- it's the Dunellen/Manhattan bus.)

All in all, I look forward to my Thursday outings as of late. It's good exercise for my knee and, with the exception of the blood draw itself, I find it so pleasant and peaceful. Plus, I like coffee Coolatas!


Anonymous said...

Jackie, it is just horrible that insurance companies decide the therapy that you need. That decision should be made by the Physical therapists and/or doctors. The healthcare situation in this country grows worse by the day.

Our thoughts are with you as you continue your recovery.

And our thoughts are with MEB as she continues her recovery.


joy n said...

I agree. Insurance companies and drug companies are getting away with murder.

Well, at least you have your serene moments in the park and you had the occasion to peek at cute firemen through your peephole.

lynn1 said...

Have you considered filing a complaint/request with the NJ Insurance commisioner regarding getting more Pt coverage.
I can't guarantee you would be successful but I seriously think it is worth a shot.
If you can provide documentation that your Dr and therapist feel you need more Pt but your insurance company says no, the insurance commisioner might be able to convince your insurance company that they need to reconsider.
Many people don't realize that even if the insurance company says no there is still a chance to get what you need from them.

Nana in the NW said...

Jackie--I will start on a positive comment.....

I LOVE your off topic accounts of your life. I sit here reading it and picturing your town in my mind....you walking through the neighborhood shops and sitting in the park. What a great way to relieve stress and enjoy the world around you.

As for that insurance co.....grrrrr. I really don't understand them. They would rather pay for future surgery or re-occurring injuries than therapy to make sure your knee is totally healed the first time!!!

Meb--sounds like you are recovering nicely. Just don't get too bored and try to get back to your "normal" life too soon.

Sharon--how is your neck doing? Sounds like the med. the dr. gave you helped with the virus.

zoe--good to see your name again. The funny thing about relatives....your glad to see them come and even happier to see them leave!

tom's--hope the move wasn't too stressful for you :)

jennasmom--is your little girl starting Kind. this year? My grandkids go back to school in 3 weeks(I'm ready!).

As for me--I finished my scrapbook(album) Sunday night. I think it turned out really nice...can't wait to give it to my friends. My house painting is almost done. We only have the shutters and gutters to do.

Nancy in NJ--you asked about the color. I got samples of the green shade my hubby picked out(just to show him it wasn't the right color). When I put it on the house I loved it! The main house is a Willow green and the trim is a dark forest green(not hunter). The colors fit the style of house and neighborhood.

I am loving watching the Olympics. Boys gymnastics stepped up to the plate, having lost their best gymnast, and took bronze. And swimming--Go Michael Phelps!!

Did you hear that the little girl who sang during opening ceremonies was lip-syncing?? It wasn't even her voice. The Chinese officials said the real girl wasn't pretty enough to be on TV!!?!

Sounds like my granddaughters are starting World War 3 in the toy room--time to play referee.


RBennie said...

Bah humbug on insurance companies! You spend years and years paying for health insurance - and mostly not using it - and then when you really need it, they don't come through for you. If there are any other actions you can take to fight this Jackie, I think you should.

On to more pleasant things, your Thursdays sound wonderful, except for the getting poked part of course. It must be really gratifying to know so many people care about your progress.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you on the insurance companies! How would you like this, my sister wasn't feeling well and they did a cat scan on her, and upon seeing the results sent her by ambulance to the hospital. She had a biopsie (sp?) and she has cancer. what type they havn't determined yet. Two weeks later she gets a $23,000 bill that the insurance company says it won't pay because the procedure is unjustified! And she works for the hospital!! Go figure. Your not feeling well and now you have to worry about this!
Good luck Jackie, and thanks for your updates! Love to read them
Sue S.

Anne said...


I felt like I was walking with you; you have such a wonderful way of describing things.

Put your magic pen to paper and take on that damned insurance company. Appeal - Appeal - Appeal!
Contact your job's HR department and ask them to appeal on your behalf as well. A little teeny hint to them (the ins. co.) that you just might go public will go a long way - the squeaky wheel always gets the grease.

Just because insurance companies like to think they rule the world doesn't make it so...They do not get to decide when your recovery is complete.

LOL maybe we should start a little letter writing campaign....

Susan in FL said...

I agree that insurance companies are sometimes unreasonable. But on a PRACTICAL note - try to get your therpist to write out an agenda and/or a regimen for you to follow ON YOUR OWN at home. I asked for this when my back was bad four years ago and my insurance ran out. The therapy center folks prepared a big notebook for me with all the exercises in it as well as a schedule to follow for the next month with number of reps, etc. This was a tremendous help for me.

Jackie said...

I spoke with someone from the state -- they're not sure an appeal would be successful. My BCBSMA used to cover many more visits. 20 visits is nothing for a knee replacement. And what of folks who have more than one health crisis within a year? I'm really depressed about this. I had a delayed start due to the blood clot and now I'm just plain out of luck and out of PT visits.

Jackie said...

I'm already doing that, Susan -- have been all along. My PT thinks I'm as far along as I am due to working at it at home, too.

Donna in AL said...

On the smoke issue: My friend was cooking dinner Aug.5th when a storm knocked out the power. They decided to just go out to eat. Upon returning home an hour later, they saw smoke billowing out the windows. Their pot of peas had burned, including the pot and the skillet with cooking oil had caught on fire. The back of their stove was melted! Besides the stove though, the only damage was the smoke. The insurance company brought in a cleaning company to wash everything on the walls, the bed linens, the furniture, ceilings etc. They had to paint the ceilings in four rooms and the walls in the kitchen, dining and entry. They even have to paint the eaves where the smoke got into the attic and came out the eaves! Had they had cabinets OVER their stove, the house would have burned to the ground!

Nana, the schools here started back last Thursday. What happened to starting on a Monday, like, the one after Labor Day?

Margo said...


You should contact Chris Cuomo (sp?) on Good Morning America. He has helped out some people with stingy insurance. I think he has a link on the GMA website for insurance help. I don't remember what they call the segment but national attention seems to get the insurance companies to listen.
It's worth a try.


Nana in the NW said...

donna in al--my hubby told me he heard schools had started in al.....I didn't believe him!! LOL That is soooo early. The kids must get out by Memorial weekend. We start school the Wed. after Labor Day.

lynn1 said...

I don't know if schools have started in AL but they have here in Louisiana and also on the gulf coast of MS.
They kids usually get out of school the betwqeen the 25th and the end of MAy.

meb said...

Jackie... I hear you about no more PT payments. I just discovered that everything that happens to me from now on out is a 20% co-pay. Where that money is coming from is a mystery.

But you sound like you have a great day out and to be able to visit with your "friends" on your journey is amazing. It is great to see people we know and whom we haven't seen for a while and have them be interested in your recovery.

I might as well take this time to tell everyone that I'm going to be going to see my family next week, so if you don't hear from me, never fear, I'll be 'BOCK'...

I'll probably be lurking until then and may make a comment here and there, but for the most part, I'm preparing for the trip and I'm a little slower than I usually am.

Thanks all.... Later.

Sydney said...

I can;t believe those insurance co's -- or I CAN. maybe something will budge if the doc chimes in after your next visit. Even 10 more would be a help.

I'm also sorry you are still in pain and feeling yucky at times due to the...er... RAT poison. I think we'll all celebrate the day you get sprung from that gunk.

I'm with Nana on loving reports of other things you do besides BB -- and love Newsy bits etc...TO me there's nothing better than lazing in a local coffee shop for as long as you want to, reading the paper and eating something sinful.

MEB-- YOu are feeling well enough to pack and travel? I may be a wussy but I can't imagine doing much for weeks after 85% of my insides had been taken out. Amazing! Can't wait to hear what you did.

Nana, the house colors sound really pretty.

monty924 said...


I enjoy your off topic posts so much and your photography. Only you can make a fly look beautiful. I'm hoping Roofus is just chilling in the building or in a shady spot and we see him back up to his ole self soon.

Libra seems to be having a more relaxed fun time the past day or so. I guess she's resigned to the fact that she's going to sequester. It sort of reminds me of James (BB6 and 7) when he finally knew his number was up. He was more pleasant to watch. ;)

Auntie Leigh said...

Jackie...love reading your "off-topic" and just wish the insurance was not clouding the otherwise sunny skies in NJ. Your neighborhood sounds so ethnic and interesting. Must be fun. I guess i won't chime in with any advice since all the bloggers seems to have covered it pretty well. And isn't it amazing to see posts from MEB already? What a fantastic and fast recovery she has made.
Sure hope that BCBS will reconsider their decision. Let's use the combined force of all of us bloggees hoping and praying that the insurance decides to do the right thing!!! <3 (that's supposed to be a heart but it does not really look much like one, does it?) Bye4now

joy n said...

BTW, Jackie, that is SOME fly pic! That shot could get published. How on earth did you get so close?

Anonymous said...

Nana in the NW --

We have one more year of preschool left! She just turned 4 end of April. Have to enjoy this last year before we have a big girl. Oh, excuse me. She is ALREADY a big girl! LOL


Anonymous said...

I work for an insurance company and ususally when getting a knee replacement they have you go into a skilled nursing/convalescent facility for the first couple of weeks. During that time the pt/ot is not against the 20 visits. It is usually when you are out of a facility when it counts against those visits.

I should know my mother had one in May and she has a medicaid hmo and had that option and she was in a skilled nursing facility for over a month. of course she has 35 visits for pt but still the 35 visits didn't start until she went to a pt office.