Monday Morning Opening (or, Ramblings From a Tired Mind)

She’s baaaa-aaaack!

I’m going to throw this up as a somewhat rambling morning thread, since I’ve spent bits and pieces of the last 24 hours going through PL and ATiM threads to get caught up. I’ll just throw out there that moving is the pits, but it does tend to clear out the rubble!

What a weekend! Starting on Thursday, when I went offline due to moving and associated intertubes interuptions, I’d like to make a few quick hits to get up to speed:

NoVA: An absolutely wonderful post that I’m going to re-read and comment on later. I really appreciate the time and effort you put into writing this, and I just wish that 12BB would get her fourth point of contact over here to read it. Does anybody know why she seems to be boycotting us?

lms: I can’t make a direct connection, but it really burns me up that healthcare insurance works the way it does. It’s one of the few perks that we (state) government lackeys have, and one of my last bills for my ex came in at $17K for a less than 72 hour stay in a hospital. I’m not paying it for several reasons, but part of it is that they don’t seem to be able/willing to break it down. . . you can’t convince me that they provided $17K of care to a man who didn’t need divine intervention to make him better (I’ve seen what they do: stick an IV in his arm, pump him up with vitamins and let him sleep it off. For $17K??????) And because I’ve got such great insurance that’s what they’d “bill” me. . . except I don’t have to pay anything other than the deductible, because they’re passing the cost on to people like you. It doesn’t make any sense to me.

Troll: Your PT was done at a physician-owned practice, which goes against many ethical guidelines in the PT world (my ex spent several years working at the Federal level on practice guidelines and scope of practice rules.) While it isn’t illegal, it’s considered unethical in many ways for PTs to work directly for orthopods, so it doesn’t surprise me that you were less than happy with your tennis elbow rehab. Having said that, I had a similar injury that just couldn’t be rehabbed, no matter what was tried. About five years later it spontaneously got better. . . so I hope that happens for you!

okie: Sounds like you ran a marvelous event–congrats! If it makes you feel any better, I failed to get the starting pistol to the Honorary Chair who was starting our Race For the Cure last May because I was trying to figure out why our trash cans hadn’t been delivered. There he was (County Mayor), reduced to saying “Bang!” at the start. . .

Who is Mike? And I see that shrink has changed his name again (to mdash?).

And, finally, I have to say that these people strike me as idiots.

What else is happening this morning?

Michigoose

40 Responses

  1. Americans hiking in Iran? Yep. Idiots, or spies.Mike = mnteng, molecular biologist at USF Medical School. Tax lawyer friend of mine fought a 3 day $48K bill for "observation" of his daughter in a hospital when she could have been "observed" at home and got it down to that magic $17K. The fight lasted more than a year. Would have cost him $45K if he had hired counsel, probably.Good morning! I am late to the gym, Outta here for now.

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  2. I think I might have been banned over at PL; either that or some glitch is sending my comments into ether purgatory. There's a fine kettle of fish!I am jammed today so probably won't be around a lot. I saw some comments about the two released hikers, though, and wanted to mention that I heard one of the boneheads say upon their release that they oppose holding of political prisoners in both Iran and the U.S. I haven't seen anyone else mention it.

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  3. "but part of it is that they don't seem to be able/willing to break it down."I've got a podiatry bill I haven't paid for a year for the same reason. I keep explaining–there are two $400 charges where I don't know what they are and you don't tell me what they are. I'm not going to pay those.

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  4. I also heard the Clash, Police on My Back this weekend. Now it's stuck in my head, which is okay for a couple of days … running Monday Tuesday Wednesday …

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  5. "I heard one of the boneheads say upon their release that they oppose holding of political prisoners in both Iran and the U.S."He is a bonehead. America doesn't hold it's political prisoners in the United States! We outsource.

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  6. @Mark–a molecular biologist?! Oh, excellent! We science geeks may lord it over you lawyer types yet! Woohoo!@qb: doubt you've been banned, you haven't been incendiary enough yet. But it would be something of a badge of honor, no?? Good morning!

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  7. Oh, goody, 37th just made an appearance on PL. Won't be going back over there to check on things for a while–glad I did last night!

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  8. Well, I certainly haven't approached some of what is going on over there. I mocked BM a couple of times after he jumped in and started snarking about how obviously intellectually superior to me he is, how unschooled and ignorant I am etc. I had commented to a post by bannedagain Obama is as lacking in business experience as the bloggers bannedagain was critiquing (there I go, hating again). I now know from BM that I have no regard for education. It was so steeped in hilarious irony I couldn't resist snarking back. But, no, it wasn't bannable. I'll email you why it was so funny to me.Do they send you a "banned" email or anything when you are whacked? Or do your comments just stop appearing? Anyone know?

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  9. Good morning all. Glad you're back michi.Simon Johnson says don't look to the IMF to save the World.A potential recession in the eurozone and a weak recovery in the United States does not make for a world crisis. Beware people who demand that the world be saved – usually they are making the case for a bailout of some kind.Don’t get me wrong — a serious crisis could still develop. There are plenty of warning signs regarding the situation in Greece and its potentially broader impact. According to the IMF’s Fiscal Monitor, also released last week (see p.79) Greece’s general gross government debt is now forecast to rise to nearly 190 percent of GDP in 2012, before falling back towards 160 percent by the end of 2016. At this point, Greece needs a global growth miracle – and there is no sign of this on the horizon.If Greece pays less on its debt than currently expected, this will push down the market value of other sovereign debts in Europe. As The Economist argued recently, the government debt of some large eurozone countries has unambiguously moved from the category of “risk-free” to “risky” in the minds of investors.Germany, France, Italy and their colleagues need to sort out how to bring the situation under control – to decide who will definitely pay all their debts and who needs some kind of restructuring. About a quarter of the world’s economy therefore remains in limbo, beset by repeated waves of uncertainty. And financial market fear can spread to other places, including the United States.Complaints may be heard this weekend, but there is no one at the IMF meetings who can persuade the key European players to move faster in their decision-making. The politicians will take their own time – prodded periodically, no doubt, by the financial markets. Do not expect a fast resolution or, therefore, a quick turnaround in the global economy.

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  10. Just what Greg needs now that BM has taken over, 37th. At least his stamina has diminished since the early days. Either that or he only gets computer privileges once a month.michi, regarding the insurance issue, for the first time in the 61 years I've been alive, my cost sharing just possibly out-stripped our ability to pay if either one of us suffers a serious illness. It's a little scary.

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  11. Oops I thought I was responding to lms. Oh well.Michi, you should know, if you don't already, that we lawyers claim a special privilege of being experts at all subjects with which we come in contact. We hire scientists as expert witnesses/consultants and proceed to boss them around. I've learned a lot of molecular bio the past few years. ; )

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  12. lms–I'll be honest, I'd never really thought about healthcare and its cost until the last few years. And then it was mostly to get an ironic chuckle over the fact that women are more expensive to insure than men (ha! Haven't needed a doc other than my annual physical in going on 20 years, knock on wood), but I have to say that–having seen what is considered billable on several statements over the past few years–insurance reform is way past due!

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  13. " I mocked BM a couple of times after he jumped in and started snarking about how obviously intellectually superior to me he is, how unschooled and ignorant I am etc"Sounds like a compelling argument."Do they send you a "banned" email or anything when you are whacked? Or do your comments just stop appearing? Anyone know?"I honestly doubt it. They do not have their shtuff together on the tech-side, and spend more time (if you look under the hood) wiring in social networking and advertising than figuring out how to manage the thing that attracts a lot of their audience.

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  14. "my cost sharing just possibly out-stripped our ability to pay if either one of us suffers a serious illness"This is why I always advise people not to get seriously ill.Of course, it's not just ability to pay. You get sick, go to the hospital, they start cutting you up and next thing you know, you're dead! Sometimes (no offense to the medical profession), I feel a little bit like the Baron Von Munchausen about doctors. ;)I've been to the doctor several times over the past several years, and I think, let to my lonesome, even I would have ended up at the podiatrist. But the rest, my wife pressures me.

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  15. @qb: I'd figured out the part about lawyers considering yourselves experts. Just don't make Mike and me start folding, spindling and mutilating your DNA. . . because we can, you know! :-Dbeach has also gone after Chris for not knowing physics, shrink for being stupid, and bernie for being naive–you're in good company!

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  16. Chris depants BM on physics, I think. Very strange.Kev, I'm seeing a podiatrist for the third visit later today. I have several problems now conspiring together in my right foot, including numbness/pain. Did your podiatrist do you any good?

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  17. Yes, he did. As an amateur at the game (physics), but a fairly well-read one, it was a thing of beauty.Good luck with the podiatry thing–they can work wonders with the right diagnosis. They inhabit one of the specialty niches that I think are real (too many bones in the foot to not specialize in it). Be well!

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  18. BM = beach_music, right?

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  19. Yep. I just can't call him that. . .

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  20. I wonder if it's in reference to the actual genre of music. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beach_music

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  21. El-Erian uses the car analogy way too much in his assessment of the global economy and markets for my taste, but it's still worth the read.There were three culprits for last week's market dramatic sell-off: first, yet another downgrading of the outlook for global growth, including in the form of a stark warning from the Federal Reserve on "significant" downside risks (and, for an institution that selects its words very carefully, significant translates to something nearer to horrid); second, recognition that this situation increases the challenges facing policymakers who, for the large part, have been MIA for way too long; and third, a worrisome amplification of the crisis in Europe.

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  22. "Kev, I'm seeing a podiatrist for the third visit later today. I have several problems now conspiring together in my right foot, including numbness/pain. Did your podiatrist do you any good?"In my case, podiatrists have been worthless except for getting custom orthotics, which help (mostly because it's so hard to find a rigid general purpose orthotic, and Dr. Scholl's just does not provide the necessary support). Also, the last guy I saw did suggest gout as being the problem, which did seem to be the case, which eventually led to a prescription of allapurinol from my GP. That turned out to be useful. However, he also stuck me in a shoe boot (that I know, from having worked at a medical supplier, should cost no more than $40 and probably closer to $17) that apparently cost $400 (with zero warning) and which made my problem so much worse that I almost passed out from the pain in the hallway at work . . . My experience with the medical profession kind of like my experience with contractors: very spotty. Wouldn't want to be without the access, but there are often a lot of false leads and bad advice. But I've never been impressed with any of my podiatrists. But, it's hard to find the guy who just "gets it". I went to a skin doctor once who paid no attention to what I was saying, and immediately went to biopsy on the area of my complaint (a spot that wouldn't heal on my calf). I mention that it tended to be bleedy, but he just went and took a big chunk out, at which point, since it was a blood mole (apparently, a mole formed by a vein at the skin surface), and I started spouting blood. Took some serious bandaging. In the end, it fixed my problem, so I can't complain too much. But when the doctor comes in, ignores you, and proceeds to carve a chunk of flesh out of you . . . Doctors are like spouses. It's hard to find the right one for you.

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  23. I popped in at PL this morning (I had to see 37th Rising!). The constant "this comment as removed by the post moderator" . . . I dunno. Makes me think of the Mall of Memphis.I loved that mall as a teenager (it opened in 1981). It's now an empty field. In the mid/early-90s there were several robberies and murders in the mall parking lot. The natural reaction was, of course, to beef up security. But how they did it will never cease to make me pause in awe and wonder of the tone-deafness of it.More mall-cops wandering around in golf-carts? Nope. Klieg lights and prison towers throughout the parking lot, making the mall resemble a giant retail prison, or a concentration camp. It was crazy. I went a few times after the change, and it was such an unpleasant shopping experience, I simply stopped going. The way WaPo is tackling moderation kind of reminds me of that. But that may just be me.

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  24. Speaking of feet, I broke my right one so severely 5 1/2 years ago it required surgery. I went to an orthopedic surgeon, not a podiatrist, who specialized in feet. Not sure that's relevant though. One of the construction workers building our warehouse left about 6 4X4's laying around and I tripped over them in the dark. A broken collarbone, foot and 3 herniated discs later………..is the reason I only get to parade around on old Sally (my son's horse) who only has one speed, a slow crawl.The worst doctor I ever went to though was a pain management guy, no thanks.

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  25. Yeah, much familiar sounding. I went to my podiatrist with a big toe that was numb and painful and worsening, as well as a long-standing heel issue, together starting to cause overall foot and joint pain. I broke that toe about five years ago, and it never felt quite right afterward, so naturally I had a theory about what was happening now. He did only a physical exam and twice had me where some padding and arch support (not really needed) and take it easy for ten days (twice) to see whether that would resolve it. Well, not really. We just proved that if I take it easy it gets better but doesn't go away. No x-rays or scans or anything. I guess that's okay; no wasted tests and unnecessary costs, but it seems to me we need to cut to the chase and see what's going in in there. It just seems like complete trial and error.

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  26. lms, that's horrible. That contractor must have been red faced. Mine wasn't nearly like that. I was just carrying my daughter down the stairs and talking on the phone and somehow rolled my big toe over and put all my weight on it. I knew from the loud pop/crunch it was broken.My first thought was, oh my gosh don't drop her (I didn't). A microsecond later, oh my gosh, when did I get so clumsy I could step on my big toe with the same foot and snap it!

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  27. It definitely laid me up for awhile qb. The worst of it was that we were in the middle of moving my parents closer to us and about a month away from moving the business to our new warehouse. I wasn't much help with either, other than manning the phones, lol.

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  28. that awful lms — i broke my collarbone last summer. fortunately it was on my off-hand side so the sling didn't keep me from too much. my wife would probably disagree.

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  29. "The way WaPo is tackling moderation kind of reminds me of that. But that may just be me."The often inscrutable reasons or standards make it a little ridiculous. But then Greg has managed to attract a gaggle of nonstop insult artists.

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  30. All, thought I'd pop in quickly while I can. My electricity has been more off than on for the past week. Can't figure it out, no storms or any such. I'll be back when I can.There are some awful foot stories in this thread. Sympathies to all!!! (qb, I broke my big toe once and was completely amazed at how such a small thing so impacts balance and walking. They did nothing for me except splint and crutches. I felt silly on crutches just for that but could barely walk without them. Good luck.)

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  31. It tests your mettle if you know what I mean. I survived obviously and only a little worse for wear. Two excedrin in the the morning, two ibuprofen for lunch, one tylenol pm at bedtime and a lot of swimming for exercise. My dogs would like me to walk a little faster but at least I get them out every day. I have the same gait as old Sally now. NoVA, how's the med/pac stuff going, no pressure lol.

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  32. I have no idea why this song has been rattling around in my head for the past couple of days (I'm feeling happier than I have in years), but it seems to go with today's theme of pain. Foot problems are the worst–it's what we get for being upright bipedal beings. I've been blessed with good biomechanics, but two of my cousins have had to deal with major foot pain (and, Kevin, my Dad was diagnosed with gout which later changed to a diagnosis of pseudogout. Both equally painful as far as I could tell).I'm getting sympathy pains in my toes now. . .

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  33. okie, we had the same problems here last week off and on. Power and cable trucks in the neighborhood all week. They're repairing a bridge about a half mile from us and it's also where the phone lines go underground so even phone service has been sketchy off and on. Good luck.

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  34. Feet are critical. As I have learned from gout, just a very sharp pain in your foot can make it almost impossible to walk.

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  35. I need to clear that MedPAC stuff off my desk. I keep pushing it aside — but i'll finish it up today.

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  36. Anyone have a great idea for a new thread or at least the time to post it?

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  37. I wish someone here could explain the ramifications of neutrinos perhaps moving faster than light.BB, can you do that post?

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  38. Yeah, don't look to me for a scientific post, haaahaaaa, especially one on neutrinos. I majored in biology (lightweight) but that was forty years ago. And the entire time I would have preferred to be majoring in art.One thing I like about the new site is that we can self monitor. I was having a discussion with McWing the other night and said something tactless and was able to delete immediately. McWing saw it though and made a joking reference to it and so I asked him to delete his comment, which he kindly did, and voila, I appear to still be the same old reasonable me.

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  39. I've got a new post up

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  40. Some of the billing complaints sound a bit like a consumer complaint issue that I dealt with a for a hospital client. To make a long story short, the bill looked like something had been billed twice, but there were fees for pathology and the actual procedure, so the bill was legit. The problem was that the insurer blamed the hospital and the hospital blamed the insurer with neither really providing an explanation. And stuck in the middle was this consumer who was told nothing and probably getting dinged by the credit agency while trying to resolve this issue. Just a total mess.

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