March 9, 2016 Best Laid Plans
So, I decided that two weeks was too long to not be able to hear out of my left ear. Several people said it was probably an allergy so I took decongestant/allergy medication for three days and it didn't help, plus my outer ear was numb and I was worried about nerve damage or something. Monday morning I left Borrego Springs at 6:10 am, heading north to Indio. I was armed with a list of thrift stores, the address of the date store (the kind of dates you eat), directions to the campground and tennis garden and the name and location of a 24-hour urgent care facility that was in UnitedHealthcare's network.
After a quick stop to get healed, I would enjoy a day of shopping and relaxing and the next day, tennis! That's where the plan goes awry because the urgent care facility would not accept my insurance card without my Medicare card and of course it was safe at home since I had not needed it in the last three years because I have an “Advantage” plan. In this case it was a “Disadvantage” plan. They would not call United to verify my coverage, I was surrounded by coughing, snuffling sick people, and could tell it was a lost cause and if the staff was so unfriendly, what would the doctor be like? So I left and decided to just go to the E.R. I explained to the young “greeter” what my problem was, both physically and insurance-wise. She said they were not allowed to discuss insurance, that I would have to see a doctor first and then after treatment he or she would talk insurance with me. Seriously?! Picturing big bucks and an insurance battle I decided to cancel my plans and head home to CO where I knew I would get good care.
I arrived home Tuesday night after driving a total of 18 hours in two days. Wanda ran like a champ through occasional rain, gusty winds and tumbling tumbleweeds. I walked into my house and said out loud, “Wow, you are BIG!” Unloaded just a few things, heated up some soup, poured a glass of wine and sat down to watch the final episode of Downton Abbey on my Apple TV. Sigh.......it is always good to get home.
This morning I got in Goldie, my car, and said, “Wow, you are SMALL!” I was able to see the doctor this morning and all is well. Turns out it was a big-ass wad of wax causing all the problem. The nurse was able to flush it out (I was kind of embarrassed but she said it has nothing to do with hygiene) and afterwards the doctor said my ear drum looks fine and they will call me in a week to check up on me. Oh, and today when I gave the insurance gal my Medicare card with my insurance card (I dug it out of my safe this morning and put in my wallet, social security number and all), she said, “Oh, I don't need that, you have an Advantage plan”. Gotta laugh!
Even though I had to miss the early rounds of the tennis tournament, I have my memories of Rafa from last Saturday to keep me warm. It was a great trip and I had a wonderful time visiting Susan and Jim and meeting so many wonderful people in Borrego Springs. I can't wait to see where we will Wanda next!
P.S. It turns out the no one I know who planned to go the tournament this year has actually made it. My friend Suzan V. hurt her back a couple of weeks ago and had to cancel which caused Susan A. to decide not to haul her trailer to the campground just for herself. Jessica was coming but she postponed her trip until later in the tournament, and that may not happen either. Is the universe trying to tell us something?