Author Archives: foothillbilly

About foothillbilly

Male 59, living quietly in Central Ohio. I have excellent friends and have led a varied life that seems to interest people.

The Bureaucracy of Health Insurance

So I keep reading how poor people waste money. I don’t know those people, but I deal with health insurance that wastes both money and time. In my case, it’s Medicare, Medicaid, and Molina.

So this week, a good doctor discovered a mistake made by a not-so-good doctor many years ago that affects my breathing. I could complain about all the doctors between who have not paid attention to my issue, but that’s not my point here. The good doctor knows what to do about this. I need relatively minor surgery. I easily understood the problem and solution, and I agree. So why did we not schedule that? Insurance! It is necessary that I take a course of antibiotics, even though there’s no infection. Otherwise, the surgery will not be approved. That makes no sense in the real world, but some bureaucrat doesn’t trust my doctor nearly as much as I do. Or maybe someone, somewhere, just insists on making a few bucks for a pharmaceutical company whether I need the product or not. What really worries me is that this puts my approval for the surgery off until next year. Health insurance is a politcal football, and I hope I don’t get kicked around by some new rule.

2017-12-23 Medicine bottle

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It’s been a long year

 

So, as you can see, my appearance has changed since I last wrote here. I have glasses I like much better, and I’m without a mustache (for more than a few days) for the first time in over forty years.

I don’t have pictures of my new bike here, either. I bought another folding bike, and this one is an e-bike.

That is, it has a battery and an electric motor to give my riding a boost. Given how I lost endurance in the humidity last summer, I felt I needed the help, and I got my hands on enough money in August. This really helps! I took the pictures above in a park about ten miles from home, and I rode the bike both ways!

I decided to deliberately buy a low-end e-bike as a “starter” unit (they’re not nearly as cheap as a low-end “regular” bike), and that’s what I got. That’s okay so far.  For anyone who has trouble riding up hills or going longer distances, this is a game changer. I’m sure that what I have is not the best e-bike a person could own, but it might be enough for me. If you want one, I’d be glad to talk (or email or DM or whatever) to you about the topic. The biggest point I can make so far is the same as it is with other bicycles. Make sure it fits.

I continue my work on health issues. I finally changed my primary care. The new doctor (nurse practitioner with a doctorate in that) is, at the very least, much more willing to actually do things. She also communicates, in both directions, better than average and is not afraid of me as a “complex” patient.

If you ever saw my mother’s hearing aid, you’ll recognize this.

2017-10-27 hearing aid

That is the “demo” version of a hearing aid I’m working toward getting. It’s a lot like Mom’s hearing aid because it’s a bone conduction aid, which is the right kind for my hearing loss. I can tell you from having the demo for a week that it does me a lot of good, even in a big, loud crowd. Those cute little in-the-ear units you may have seen advertised on TV are not what I need; this is. Here’s the twist. That band holding the aid to my bone is outdated. Nowadays, the unit is called a BAHA, or Bone Attached Hearing Aid. It uses a titanium “abutment” that is implanted in the bone behind the ear. That’s what causes the delay in getting these, but also what makes it so much better than the old ones. I’ll have surgery the first of the year. After three months for the unit to bind to the bone, I’ll get the aid and a remote control. That would have been a fantasy for Mom.

My breathing improved immediately when the humidity dropped, as it always has. That gave me a nice break for a couple of weeks, then the Ohio weather changed, as it always does. Now that it’s colder, I’m still breathing well, but my sinuses are doing their usual winter antics. I’ll make a point of it that this is easier than the lung stuff. Anyhow, there’s more.

I have finally been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, or at least a “high A1C” (same thing). I am using medicine for this and trying to drastically change my eating habits. If you know me, you know the bad news is that I have a big job ahead with eating better. The good news is that I feel better a good bit of the time. For right now, I’m improvising. My eating is stranger than ever for right now, but the job of improving is under way.

On yet another topic, I’ve gone back to work on my family tree. My 23andme DNA test came back 100% Northern and Western European, about half of which was British Isles. I find that hard to believe. If any of my close relatives have had that test or have it in the future, I’d love to compare results.

Be Happier by Studying Happiness

Here’s a study of what people do that makes for more happiness. Hint: getting really rich doesn’t really help.

Happiness seems to be on everyone’s mind. Yes, we’re on a quest to be happier and we’re trying to game the system. No, it may not actually be helpful to overall happiness, who knows. But we’re curious, right? I decided that I will start this post as my one stop shop for all the quality […]

via Happiness research: everything useful we’ve managed to gather so far — Thinking Clearly

A Nation of Believers?

After signing an executive order earlier this month that seeks to relax restrictions on the political activities of tax-exempt churches, President Trump said the order was an important affirmation of the American identity. “We’re a nation of believers,” he said. Trump is right in one sense — 69 percent of Americans say a belief in…

via Way More Americans May Be Atheists Than We Thought — Features – FiveThirtyEight