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Showing posts with the label health

Wading into a Bureaucracy

My mother-in-law received two new I.D. cards (with different numbers) from BC/BS, which I figured was something that needs investigation. I'd also received a form to fill out that made no sense to me. And in addition, about a month ago her mail from them had started going to the nursing home rather than to me. Bright and early this morning I thought, "I'll kill three birds with one stone." Ha. Ha Ha. Step 1: Go to the website. It has my address for mailings. Hmm. Step 2: Call BC/BS Got a very nice lady who said she has my address for mailings. After some back and forth, she told me I needed to call Blue Care Network, which isn't the same as BC/BS. Step 3: Call BC Network. Got another nice lady who was able to correct the mailing problem but had no idea why MiL got two ID cards (plus the new one BC/BS had sent). She said I had to talk to Blue Care Advantage. Step 4: Call BC Advantage. Got a woman who re-checked the address for mailings, so we're pretty

Take Two Frog Stones & Call Me in the Morning

Being a student of history, I find myself wondering about what advice was like back in the day. We live in a world where everyone wants to tell us how to eat so we can live to be 100, what to wear so we appear cool and confident, and how to survive the next attack, the next storm, or the next epidemic. Advice from our parents' day now seems quaint and often wrong. The ads that told us real men smoke Marlboros. The Singer instruction manual that advised women to put on a clean dress and makeup and style their hair so they'd be "prepared" for sewing. The general view that a woman should not work once she became pregnant and should stay in bed for two weeks after the birth. Really? So I wonder, did the Tudors get advice from their doctors about how to live to be forty? Of course they did; people have always hoped some "wise" someone could tell them how to achieve good health and avoid early death. The "frog stones" in the title were ground up a

What Old Age Is For

The question of why we have to get old has always bothered me. Why do wrinkles have to appear? Why do our bodies fail us? Why do our minds get fuzzy and our thoughts impossible to hold onto? Why can we start for another room and forget the reason for the trip on the way? The answer I've chosen? To teach acceptance of ourselves the way we are right this minute. When you're twenty, healthy, and quick-witted, it's easy to look down on those who aren't any of those things. We feel indestructible, and we're often impatient with those who are less so. When you're forty, you work hard to stay healthy, to look twenty, and to keep those wits sharp. But at sixty you begin to realize it's a losing battle. No amount of work or study can alter the facts of time's passage, no matter what modern gurus claim. We get older. We get old. That's not to say we have to give up, but we need to acknowledge that our physical and mental faculties will decline--are d