A Boomer Lifestyle Blog

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Too Hot to Trot Down Here

I've been playing catch-up tonight, reading about half the posts I have missed since my daughter borrowed her computer back from me.  I just can't read or write on my phone. 

Speaking of.  I got my lens measured last week and cataract scheduled for June 25 and July 9 in addition to several follow up appointments.  I'm quite excited and have been working very hard (most of the time) to keep my numbers in line,

The weather has been so hot that walking Buddy has been difficult.  Even in the 7-7:30 range I just am not feeling our lovely long walks.  The little goof ball was been openly complaining as he sits near the door and barks at me.  I guess it's a good thing if he has taught himself to go outside when he has a call of nature.  However, I'm not sure when we are still in the house if he is trying to trick me or not.

Things are fine here.  Son has planned a family vacation at the end of June.  I'll have to see how my eyes are.  I'm not sure that sitting around the pool with the grand girls is the best idea between the two surgeries. 

I saw the neighbor kid that painted the ladybug rock.  I was surprised to see it was a little boy.  (Very sexist of me). He was sitting in his yard playing a card game I didn't recognize while someone sat on the porch with what looked to be twins.  I think there is another family about two doors down that has twins also.  I'm not sure what is in the water around here. 

Son got moved into his new house and he is so ecstatic.  It is not only his first house purchase but also a small castle.  I didn't warm him about paying a house note in the lean years.  He asked my opinion but in a way that let me know he wanted my approval.  Of course, I approved with a don't forget to think about ... addendum. 

Daughter and her girlfriend/partner are going through the process of applying to be foster care parents.  Naturally, I gave them the same approval with a reminder to think about certain things. 

Well, I that is part of what has been going on.  I'm just trying to save up all my mental energy for the cataract surgery so I will be calm and relaxed.  Hope I'm able to get a little pool time in before the end of summer.  I forget how long they said not to get my surgery eye wet. 

More later ....

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Cold Showers and Crafts

The hot water boiler has been out since last Friday.  Plenty of cold water.  I've been taking cold showers and they are AWFUL  I tried sink baths for the dirty parts but I don't feel clean enough.  I remember hearing somewhere that the prisoners at Alcatraz had only cold water for showers.  Now if you've been to San Francisco you know they have very nippy weather.  To me it is different than cold, it sinks into your bones.  Anyway, I've felt very sorry for them - and for me - having to take cold showers.

I did order supplies for a new craft project.  I put the wooden beaded necklace on hold until I could get some more information from someone who had actually dyed the beads.  Now I am going to try punch needle with embroidery floss.  It is easier to show you than explain it.  I have to get some fabric and an embroidery hoop next.  I did something similar many many years ago.  I'll post some pictures later on. 

 My son closed on his new house this week and will be moving this week/weekend.  I offered to keep the grand girls whenever he needed.  Of course, that was before I knew about the water.  Hahaha. We'll just go over to my daughters if they do come.  Since it is the long Memorial weekend, I am hoping they don't show up for the whole three days.  Hahaha.  Does that sound mean?  I love them but three days is a long time. 

The Grand Son came over to visit last weekend.  I haven't seen much of him since he got an apartment with two friends.  However, I had some birthday clothes for him so he found the time!  I dearly loved my Grandmother but I remember when I didn't have time for her.  That's ok.  Like most kids, he'll come back around when he is settled. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Medicare Supplement Information

I just read on my phone that the Medicare Supplement Plan F will not be available to new Medicare enrollees after 2020.  Plan F is the super duper coverag3e that pays off all your medical bills (not prescriptions though).  It is around $200 month now (prices are set at a state level so you may be able to get a better deal). 

I bought the AARP/UnitedHealthcare plan.  If you remember I had trouble finding a supplemental insurance company that would take me with diabetes.  Because my diabetes is so bad and can lead to all kinds of ailment, I bought the super duper policy.  My rationale was that one hospital stay would pay for several years of the coverage. 

I'm just throwing this information out there for anyone that may be interested or know someone that might be interested. 

Monday, May 20, 2019

Canadian Drug Update

Jim and Sandie shared some information with me on https://www.pricepropharmacy.com/ which sells Canadian drugs to Americans.

Once again, I'm stymied.  They do not carry the Toujeo I need and the online chat mentioned that there was a problem with mailing medication which has to be kept refrigerated. All insulin has to be kept refrigerated although they have cold packs you can buy and I would be willing to pay the extraw price if it were available. Dadgummit. 

I found the site to be very user-friendly and it had some good information about diabetes, which I mostly knew, but needed to be reminded.

It's worth a look if you take expensive medications.  Jim and Sandie also have a friend that gets credit for referrals so talk to them about that information and help another with referral credits. 

Thank you for all the suggestions.  I have researched everything you guys have shared with me and will continue to do so.  If you happen to hear any suggestions from someone with diabetes, please add them to a comment on any post and I will do my research. 

I'll say this.  I do feel better for having researched this problem.  Knowledge is strength, even if you do not get the result you wanted. 

Good Rx and Drug Price Research

At Peg's urging I did check with Good Rx to see if I could find any deals on my insulin.  I had done this many years ago, but like auto insurance, it pays to check each year. 

Long story short.  I take two insulins every day.  Toujeo is a long-acting insulin taken once a day.  Novolin-R is a short-acting insulin taken before each meal.  The dosage of Toujeo stays the same each day.  The Novolin-R has a base dosage but is bumped up by a formula depending on my blood glucose readings before each meal.  The Toujeo is a slow release insulin meant to keep my sugar balanced all day.  The Novolin-R is meant to address any high readings of blood sugar and cover the set number of carbs allowed for each meal. 

I did check Good Rx and as I remembered they have a caveat:
  • I am not currently eligible for prescription coverage from any state or federally funded programs, including but not limited to Medicare, Medicaid, VA, DoD, or Tricare
There you have it.  And why?  Why should the US Government not get the best price?  I have to wonder if it is because the 1% and the Stock Market depend upon the stock in US Drug Companies to make lots of money.  Why else would the same drug be cheaper in other countries?  Debra mentioned, and I have read multiple articles about, US Citizens going to Canada to buy their insulin.  I haven't priced airline tickets lately but I'm wondering what the comparison of an airline ticket vs. the donut hole price of my insulin would be.

Sanofil, the maker of Toujeo, does have a discount card for uninsured, again excluding Medicare. Good Rx has a coupon for $308.17 for the uninsured Toujeo user.  Why then is the US Government through Medicare paying $1,500?  It is the damnest thing. 

I must just face the problem that the drug will cost more and adjust my meager budget.  It is a shame to go into the increased electricity bills for the Hot Houston weather and the increased Insulin bills at the same time but there is no choice.   I will survive. 

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Will the Insulin Problems Never End?

I received a copy of my monthly statement from the Medicare Drug Insurer last night.  I had just looked online last week when I pulled that snafu and ran out of Novolin-R late in the evening and had to go to Walgreens for an expensive refill.

I didn't look at the total of the amount Medicare had paid, and only looked to see the extra $100+ Walgreens had charged over the price at Walmart.  Truthfully though, I'm extremely lucky to be able to get one of the original insulin drugs over the counter at Walmart.  They have some kind of deal with the manufacturer of Novolin-R.  Once again, you have to know this to get the deal.  My doctor said Novolin-R is not nearly as good as the one she would like me to take, but understands that I am caught between a rock and a hard place.  I only wish the other drug, for which there is no generic, of course, was equally available.

So I decided to give the statement a good read.  As my doctor has been increasing the amount of insulin I take every 3-4 months, it had been on my mind that this would affect the bottom line of my insurance coverage before I reached the dreaded Gap period.

You heard this coming, right?  With my next refill of Toujeo which charges Medicare $1560 for 54 days, I will reach my Gap period.  The normal coverage period ends at $3,820 in drug expenses and the Gap period lasts until $5,100 has been incurred.  If you know Medicare coverage, they have a fancy formula for what they pay and what you pay while in the Gap period. I tried to figure out what it would be: 70% of the negotiated price, less 5% paid by Medicare, then 25% paid by me???  Too complicated for this old brain to figure out.

The only good thing is that with the price of my insulin I should get through the Gap period faster than most.

Tut.  Tut.  Tut.  In what world does this make sense.

On the other hand, my friend's mother has Alzheimer's.  She is living with my friend and her husband and trying to run away daily and becoming frightened over so many things.

There you go.  There is always someone who has it worse.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Sharing a Post

I read a really good post by Leslie at OnceUponATimeHappilyEverafter about helping her Mom maintain her dignity as she becomes more dependent upon the help of others to maintain her personal cleanliness. 

Some of you may have already gone through something similar with aging parents.  I had not so the information was appreciated as I plan for and think about what my aging will entail. 

I'm one of those people who like to be "mentally prepared" with Plans A, B and sometimes C.  This post will just add information and choices when I have to put the "Plan" into action.

Hahaha.  Goodness knows.  By the time I'm in disposable panties, they may come in multiple color choices of high waist, low rise and high cut thighs.  I'll be the one in tie-dye disposables.  We Baby Boomers are big business as we age. 

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Foreign Films

You know I'm a weirdo already, right?  This will add to the list.  I like foreign films.  You know, the kind with subtitles.  And no, it has nothing to do with my poor hearing, although I can see a time in my future when I might have to keep the closed captioning on all of the time. 

Anyway, I was watching a Swedish film this morning and all of the female characters had long blond hair.  I'm sure many of you, like me, went through a period in your younger days when you wished you were blond.  For me, the California Surf Bands played a major role in those high school years.  Barbara Ann played on the lunchroom school jukebox every day.  Jan and Dean and the Beach Boys were everywhere and I wanted long blond hair and a Woody (the car/station wagon) with a surfboard on top. 

Now Houston is about an hours drive from Galveston (as in Glenn Campbell's Galveston, Oh Galveston).  But, as far as a beach like California goes, it is a long way from desirable.  However, it is all we had so, me and my 1950's Ford, beach towel, baby oil and a gaggle of girls would sneak down there.  Of course, I was not allowed to drive that far.  Teenagers, what can we say.

Back to the point of this blog.  I never did get blond hair no matter how much lemon juice I put on my brown mop.  A little orange was achieved at some points, but never have I reached a blond stage. 

So looking at all the Swedish blonds on the program made me think of this craving to be a blond.  I have to say, I still wish I had seen myself as a blond at least once.  But there you go.  Another unfulfilled item on the bucket list. 

And yes, I know I could get a blond wig to try on but really, the face looking back at me would not satisfy that 16-year-old craving.  Oh well, it could have been worse.  My Mom could have caught me driving to the beach and I would have been headless, blond or not. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

A Look at the Neighborhood

Here is an interesting transformation I've been watching. 

This cute little yellow cottage has been completely gutted on the inside.

In this close up you can see all the way through the house 
to the addition in the back.

This is the same addition from the side street.  I have seen many 
of the cottages in the area that have undergone a similar
renovation.  I don't quite understand the need for so 
much space but the kids tell me I am out of step with 
the times. 

Lastly here is a ladybug some child has painted and placed
on their mailbox.  I am trying to think of some way to let
that child know someone has seen the ladybug.  Any ideas?

Saturday, May 11, 2019

I've got a Question

Does anybody wear a necklace or bracelet made out of wooden beads? Are they are natural wood or dyed wood?  I am thinking about making some necklaces out of paracord and wooden beads.

If you or anyone you know has worn this kind of jewelry I'd love some feedback of any kind.  What size beads?  How comfortable was the weight of the beads?  Really anything you might know about it.

I found some information about using the same dye I used to ice dye on the wooden beads so I thought I would try.  You know I'm always looking for a new craft to fill my day.

Here are some examples:

Emily Green necklace