Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Day 1526

Another stressful day. We've known for some time that Dash has a lipoma in his neck. These fatty tumors are very common in dogs and most of them are benign. When I took Dash for his antigen shot today, his vet thought that the lipoma had grown a bit and wanted to run some tests to make sure it wasn't malignant. She aspirated cells from several sections of the tumor and sent them off to a pathologist for analysis. We should know the results before the end of the week. If the growth is a normal fatty lipoma we don't need to do anything. If the cells are abnormal or malignant, more tests and even surgery may be required.

I certainly hope the growth isn't cancer. We have had two dogs that have had cancer. Spot, our first Dalmatian, remained cancer free after some serious surgery that removed six inches of his intestines. Gretta wasn't so lucky. She died two days after a surgeon tried to remove a cancerous lobe from her liver. She didn't even make it home from the surgery center. Hopefully, the growth in Dash's throat is benign. It is in a difficult place, right next to his carotid artery. It would take a very skilled surgeon to successfully remove it.

If any of you have had to switch to Obamacare, you have my sympathies. I'm on Medicare now, and even though the government has had decades to work out all the kinks, Medicare is still a huge mess. I'm almost certain that Obamacare will be worse, since it's brand new. I found out today that even though I enrolled in Medicare over six months ago, none of my claims have been processed. Apparently Medicare still thinks my "employer" is paying for my health insurance, not realizing of course that I have been my own employer for over twenty years. The group insurance plan I discontinued last June when I enrolled in Medicare is still listed as my primary health insurance and Medicare is listed as secondary insurance on Medicare's own website. After calling three different numbers and sitting on hold for almost an hour, I finally ended up talking to someone who understood my problem. They have an entire department dedicated to resolving these type of problems because they are so commonplace. I think it's called the Coordination of Benefits Department. The lady I talked to was very nice and told me that she had updated my records to indicate that Medicare was now my primary insurance. She never told me how the group plan I discontinued over six months ago had gotten into the system however. Evidently mistakes like these are quite common when you are self-employed. When I asked if there was anything else I needed to do, the lady casually mentioned that I needed to have all my doctors submit their claims again. "But you already have all their information," I said. "Can't you just reprocess it?" No can do, the lady told me. The doctors will have to start over and resubmit all their claims. They'll have to wait ten days before they do this too. That's how long it takes for the government databases to be updated with the new information they entered today.

A can light in the bathroom ceiling burned out this morning. I got a ladder and looked at the fixture, but couldn't find anything wrong. I hate to call an electrician because they will charge me $300 or more to do something simple that I could do myself.  I hate to do this job myself either. If I remember correctly, the last time I tried to fix something up on the ceiling was when I managed to get my neck out of joint and had to go to physical therapy for three months. Whatever happened to the fixture also managed to ruin one of my fancy new LED light bulbs. These LED bulbs are supposed to be indestructible and last forever. Apparently not.

Maybe tomorrow will be better. I can't think of many good things that happened today at all.

Bailey is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day