Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I'm Back....Sort of!

     My last post was November 14, 2011. I can't believe so much time has gone by. I haven't been lollygagging. 

     My bronchitis morphed into pneumonia and I ended up in the hospital with all kinds of complications. I am home now, not able to work, with an IV still stuck in my arm. A nurse comes once a day to work the IV. One more week to go...

     Like all other illnesses, this one came at a bad time. I missed my trip to visit my kids in Kentucky, and Thanksgiving was non-existent. 

 With Christmas coming up, I know why Scrooge said "Bah Humbug." It is hard to get excited when you don't feel a part of the shopping, decorating, etc. 

     Not to mention the fact that I am out of sick days, so will not get paid for my days gone. Hmm. New wrinkle, one I was not prepared for. But this is where I always inject my Jeanne Kraus perspective. There are a lot of people who do not have jobs, homes and families right now. I am so grateful for my family and friends, my wiener dog and 2 kitties. The rest will all work out, maybe by even my next blog! So here's to 2012!

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Neophyte's Guide to Travel Insurance

     I think that I have written on my blog that I am your basic travel virgin. Oh, I go places now and then, mostly then, but don't travel far and wide like many of my friends. So, to my credit, this was my first Travel Insurance experience. You can see by the picture of Ashlee and Cory, why I wanted to see them. They are adorable, are they not?
My Ashlee and Cory! Love them so much!

Original Loopholes
     I must say I am rather confused. I thought that Travel Insurance would help if I had to cancel my tickets due to unforeseen circumstances. That is why I bought it. In case I could not fly to see Cory and Ashlee this weekend. Travel Insurance is the Land of the Original Loopholes. I did not pass the test. So for those of you who have not stepped into No Man's Land, let me remind you of what I have endured... Well we had to cancel our trip to Louisville this weekend. The powers that be were conspiring against us on this one. 
       First of all, I have been plagued with a major cough for a couple of weeks. I have been to the doctor twice, tried a number of medications and today I had a chest x-ray. It did not look good for the trip. 
Talking to Insurance People
     Secondly, my daughter-in-law, Ashlee :) had a death in her family. Her stepfather's grandmother passed away this weekend. Between my illness and the loss of grandmother, it just seemed like the trip needed to be cancelled. We had no doubt about that. But the insurance company, while very sympathetic, had no provision to help us with the fees we would incur from the cancellation of the flight.
     The customer service rep was lovely. She tried every combination of our situation but my wheezing and grandma's passing meant squat to the insurance company. I began to feel like George Costanza on the episode of Seinfeld where he tried to get a deal on a flight by getting a death certificate of someone he had never known. 
     Here is my advice if you ever plan to get travel insurance...
     1. Read the entire plan. Go over it with your attorney.
     2. Make sure you don't have an pre-existing conditions. (this leaves me out because I AM a pre-existing condition)
     3. If anyone dies in your family make sure it is a close relative and it would be helpful if the family you are going to visit lives out of the U.S. That is an advantage for your claim.
     I tried to do the right thing. We cancelled as soon as we could. 5 days before the flight so that they could re-book those seats. Ah well.
     I now have extra time to read all the paragraphs in the policy about "Exclusions." In the meantime I am sad we cannot go, but it is good for me to rest and get well.  I thought it was humorous at the end of my conversation with the customer service agent. She finished telling me that my policy that I had printed out was worth nada other than the ream of paper it took to print. I had just made my only snide comment of the conversation. "Now I can see how the insurance companies make their money."
     Then she asked me to complete a survey. I did.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Trading Places

     How many times have your watched a loved one who is ill and think to your generous and loving self, "I wish I could trade places with you right now, to make your life a better one?" That thought has entered my mind as my sister, Diana, has endured one setback after another in her quest to get to surgery to remove a cancerous tumor on her leg.
     The good news for her is that it finally seems to be happening. I am happy to report that her tumor seems to be responding to the radiation. Seems to be a little smaller and weaker in our professional opinions. And...she is back to being able to eat, a big worry for us, since she lost 10 pounds. It is great to hear her voice happier and stronger when I call.
     The bad news is that I, once again, am trying to one-upmanship her in the sympathy department. It seems that I have had an asthmatic condition for quite a while, which accounts for my shallow breathing. As the pulmonologist pointed out succinctly, "Your breathing is lousy." So I am taking some inhalation therapy to see if it helps. So far I am coughing like a...coughing person, I guess. In addition, my little toe somehow must have gotten jammed somewhere when I was not looking, and is turning bruised and purple. How do you get an injury like that and not know? Is there going to be a time soon when we are both healthy at the same time? Stay tuned. Meanwhile enjoy a funny little video that made me laugh.It turns out that it is the Voca People, who portray aliens ( I thought they were match-heads) and are quite a sensation.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Shopping for Shoes

Shoe Lover Closet
     Well, I must admit that I am not one of those people that goes crazy over shoes. In fact, if I could, I would go barefoot all the time. The first thing that goes off on walking in the house is the shoes. (The second is the bra, if you don't know that already.) So shoes don't mean a lot to me.

Chinese Foot Binding
     My feet were never meant to be encased. They are rather odd looking. I am not sure what a doctor would say about them but they look as though I lived in the Chinese foot-binding culture for a period of time during my formative years. 

All I know is that when I visit a new doctor, he/she stops at my feet and looks at them again. Then they look at me and write something down on their chart. I have never asked what they wrote. Sometimes it's better not to know.
     I cannot wear heels and most shoes are uncomfortable on me. So when I find a shoe I like, I buy it in every color and wear it day after day until it begs for mercy. My latest pair are begging to be let go into that great shoe heaven in the sky, where all good soles eventually end up.
     So I headed out to the nearest store that carries my brand. I don't want to divulge the name brand but it rhymes with "fetch her." Those are the only shoes I wear for comfort. And there is only one model of those that I like. And it seems that everyone else likes it too because the stores never have it.

     Anyway the store was wild today. You would have thought it was the week before Christmas. I spied one salesgirl who was being "owned" by a needy woman who wanted to tell her about her trip to Disney World. So I proceeded through crowded aisles, trying to move through a sea of people, many of whom were on cell phones not talking about shoes. Since there were no sales people, other than the trapped one, visible, people were getting creative to get help. One man was lifting his little daughter by the legs way up high and she could reach boxes off the high shelves. I wanted to rent her for a bit but she was in high demand. Another lady started to climb a ladder and lo and behold! A sales man appeared to tell her not to climb the ladder.
     "Only the sales staff should climb the ladder!" he exclaimed.
     "Fine!" she said. "Find me a salesman." Message received: If you want to get a clerk, start climbing a ladder. If you have a crutch or cane with you, carry it up the ladder also. You'll get help darn fast.

Soles for Shoe Heaven
     After a few more minutes of aimless bumping into people, we left. I came home, found the shoes on sale and ordered them online.  Once I ascertain that they are truly the ones I want, I will order them in every color and I am set. My current pair will make their way to Shoe Heaven.