Thurs. Dec. 29: Of bait-and-switch and unneccesary costs

Thursday, December 29, 2011
Waxing Moon
Windy and cold

Thanks for all the good thoughts for my mom. She’s very sore, but okay. Of course, she felt worse yesterday (the day after is always worse than the day of, once the body’s shock wears off). But I took her to acupuncture, and it helped a lot — certainly more than any prescription pain killer would have, and with no icky side effects. She feels a lot better with treatments that actually promote healing instead of just blocking the problem. We both realize how lucky she is that it wasn’t a lot worse — she could have broken an arm, a leg, a hip, or even her neck.

She rested, while I spent the rest of the day running errands, which included buying a large piece of upholstery fabric that can be hung over the damaged wall if it’s not fixed before the party. JoAnn’s pulled their usual attempt at bait-and-switch (refusing to sell at the discounted price on the tag because “the computer said it’s too big a discount and corporate blah blah blah” — I made them sell it to me at the price advertised, per state law. There’s a reason I hardly ever go into that crappy store.

Got home, unloaded everything — fabric, groceries, pharmacy run, etc. (her pre-op medications for the eye surgery were ready) — and by then, it was time to cook dinner.

Got a little work done, but not much. Must get much more done today, including the finishing touches on a new forum.

I’d love to just sleep for a bit. But I’m up early for yoga class this morning (which I desperately need), and then there are MORE errands and then I’ve got to take my mom to her regular doctor for a follow-up –which means waiting at least an hour and a half in the waiting room, because heaven forbid the office runs on time (yet when my mom was in ER, the doctor certainly didn’t walk across the street to find out what was going on, but regularly disappears on “emergencies at the hospital” if you’re in the waiting room at the office). The MA healthcare system is much better than the one in NY — but there’s still room for a lot of improvement.

Costs CAN be kept down. For instance, a regular doctor visit, which means driving to the next town over and sitting in the waiting room for an hour and a half for a five minute visit — is ridiculously expensive, even though Medicare and the supplementary insurance pay it, between them (and they certainly take enough out of my mom’s Social Security, several hundred dollars a month, so it’s not like Medicare is “free” the way the dipshit Republicans keep pretending). “Overhead” is not a valid reason to charge that much. It’s not like any tests are ever run in the office — she’s shuttled around to another location for anything else. It’s five minutes of chat, blood pressure, and a step on the scale. That’s an office visit. I know how to run an office, and I’ve certainly worked in enough medical offices over the years as a temp to know they don’t pay the staff enough to justify the price of a so-called “office visit”. And it’s not like the office furnishings and location are that fancy (thank goodness, or I’d really be annoyed). Acupuncture is less than 1/3 of the cost (closer to 1/4), she is actually treated by the doctor for a solid forty minutes, and comes out well on the road to healing, feeling better both mentally and physically. She’s also taken in to her appointment on time. The only reason we’ve ever waited more than five minutes is because we showed up early. Yes, it’s out of pocket (my pocket), but there are tangible results, and the payment/time ratio is much more in alignment.

I have so much to do before Costume Imp comes up next week, and so much to get everything in shape for the party. Somehow, it will all get done. Not quite sure how, but it will. The cats are being really sweet, and Tessa, in particular, loves to “help”. That means it takes longer to do things, but the laughter is worth it.

Onward.

Devon