Tuesday, January 13, 2009

"Please Stay On the Line" Edition

Greetings, Pixies! This week's whine-a-thon is brought to you by the Department of Consumer Dissatisfaction. Our adventure this week involved the following:

Me: I need to schedule a mammogram. Last week, I faxed a letter, my doctor's referral, and my insurance information, and I haven't heard back.

Phone Person [irritated]: Ma'am. This is a call center. We cannot make outgoing

Me: OK. How can I schedule my mammogram?

PP [irritated]: Patients are supposed to call for appointments. But first, your doctor needs to send a referral.

Me: My doctor sent a referral; I sent a copy of that referral; then my doctor sent another referral.

PP [condescending]: You need to check with your insurance company to see if it is approved.

Me: [??? breathe.] I need the mammogram. My sister has breast cancer. I haven't had one in years. How can I schedule it?

PP [chirpy voice]: Oh, I can do that for you! Our next available appointment is January 30....

I try not to lose patience with phone people, but it was hanging by a thread. Is there some kind of hidden crisis with people scheduling recreational mammograms? Or what?

In antiwhines, daughter turned 20! One of the adopted feral cats is finally letting me pet him! [For his next trick, we are working on the purr.] Football season is over, more or less!

What's cooking with you?

ETA: Maybe I'm prickly or something, but is anyone else bothered by the outgoing prez declaring a state of emergency because there is gonna be an inauguration?


liz said...

Kathy, I'm so proud of you for scheduling the mam. I need to do that too. Which leads me to the stressful list of Now It Can Be Told!

1. Schedule full physical.
2. Schedule Mam.
3. Schedule eye exam.
4. sign lease on town home in different precinct from the one in which I live (DONE!)
5. Get utilities at new place put in our names.
6. Register to vote at new place.
7. Smile.
8. Have MM's b-day party.
9. Move.
10. Schedule cleaners/painters/yard folk to get our house ready for renting.
11. Smile some more.

kathy a. said...

Woot! We knew it would be something big. But holy cow, Liz, you're supposed to smile AND move AND schedule all those people???

liz said...

Yes. I don't know why I don't just go ahead a schedule a nervous breakdown while I'm at it.

Madeleine said...

Do you like massage?

Item 0. Schedule massage.

esperanza said...

Smiling, mammograms, and moving are mutually exclusive. It's a rule. And woo hoo for Mr. Liz.

As promised, no whining about boobs, pumps, or bras. Instead:

* The Sweet Baboo got a "CD player" for Christmas (not from us, nor anyone related to us). It plays nursery rhymes and animal sounds. She loves it. It is sucking every last brain cell right out of my head.

* I finally got up some motivation, got rid of some cold germs, had appropriate weather, the stars aligned with Venus, etc and decided to take said Sweet Baboo for a walk this morning. You know, exercise. Stroller had THREE flat tires (it's a jogging stroller). Because all my brain cells are gone, it took most of the day to fix all three flat tires, as well as a spoon from the kitchen.

* Daddy and Baboo still have cold symptoms. I am well. I'm tired of other peoples' snot.

Maybe I'll come up with an antiwhine tomorrow.

kathy a. said...

Sending a virtual case of tissues to the Esperanza clan. STAT!

KLee said...

I also need a mammogram. But here's the fireplacing part, pixies! My area has a "mobile mammogram bus" that can come around to our local schools (ours tries to do it twice a year) for on-site mammograms, because they know: a) education at this level is mainly made up of women, their target audience; and b) because they know we're all so busy dealing with everyone else in our families that we rarely take the time to take care of ourselves.

The catch? Oh, you knew there HAD to be one! My insurance doesn't cover said lovely come-to-me features because it is run by the OTHER major hospital in our area. Instead, I have to schedule time off from work, away from my kids, to go across town to have my boobs mashed into the width of a sheet of paper instead of having it done conveniently in the parking lot of my school at no detriment/time off/spending of precious sick days by me.

Yeah. Because that makes SO much sense.

Maybe I'm just ornery and prickly these days too, but my kids are being loud, obnoxious, and rude; my feet STILL flipping hurt; and pardon the intimacy of this next statement -- I had to poop this afternoon, and I swear it must have been freaking SQUARE. And I felt every damn corner on the way out.

I need a milkshake, but I'm on a damn diet. I've lost some weight, but I'm trying hard not to obsess about numbers and "how much" because that always sabotages me. And I have to lose weight because I'm afraid if I don't, I'm headed for diabetes and shut-in territory.

Never mind the fact that I'm tired of looking like a train wreck and shopping for clothes at Ali the Tentmaker's.

liz said...

KLee, I am sending you hugs. And your insurance company definitely needs a visit from the cluestick posse.

kathy a. said...

KLee. Get a milkshake, you earned it. Then we'll conspire about those People who make mammograms a pain in the boob to schedule....

Elizabeth said...

Very exciting Liz, but more so for me who doesn't have to actually live through it.

So my huge combination whine/antiwhine is this:

My mom now seems to have tumors on her liver, which was already failing from long-term hepatitis (diagnosed about 2 1/2 years ago). Bad news. BUT, this means she's got a pretty strong likelihood of getting a transplant in the foreseeable future, which would have good odds of fixing both problems.

So mixed feelings, added to my regular mixed feelings about friendly but shallow relationship with her. Sigh.

kathy a. said...

((( Elizabeth ))) oh, wow. Many good thoughts with you.

liz said...

Sending hugs and hopeful thoughts to you and your mom, Elizabeth.

margalit said...

Last week was too overwhelming what with the war and all. Sorry, and I missed you.

Klee, your insurance company needs a cluepole, the larger family size version of a cluestick.

Let's see... my other group blog is in desperate need of some new writers. Ones that are RELIABLE and can remember to post once a week on their day. How freaking hard it is to remember one day a week? Obviously too hard. Anyone have teens and want to blog about the anonymously on a weekly basis?

The Dept of Mental Health in MA just got decimated. They lost 1/3 of their employees. Unfortunately that means that ALL help to college bound and young adults is now gone. My son's college advisor? Laid off. She's 8 months pregnant. Her husband was laid off, too. And now there is absolutely NO impetus to get the kid on the stick to get his college stuff ready. The kid is helpless and hopeless.

My daughter is smoking so much pot in HIS room that he reeks of it, the whole upstairs reeks of it, and I'm about to put her in rehab. This is ridonkulous.

It is freezing and I'm now ready for spring. I can't take much more of this. It is glare ice on our driveway and sidewalk.

Pepper was spayed this week and the day we took her was the day of the huge fire truck ran into building accident...right up the street from the Animal Hospital. OMG, it was unreal. I didn't even know the city HAD that many cops.

I found out that my daughter's math teacher was missing for three full weeks of instruction and the school did not provide a sub. She missed three weeks of trig. Guess when her midterm was? Monday. If she passes it, it will be a miracle.

I'm having terrible insomnia.

The war is taking a whole lot out of me. Tonight there was Hezbollah shelling from the north (Lebanon, probably) into my Uncle's town. I'm not handling the firestorm of criticism against Israel. Especially by folks that don't know what the hell they are talking about.

I want to move so badly but alas, more money is being cut from State budget and you know what goes first. Services for the poor, the destitute and the handicapped. It's so wrong.

Coughing up a lung, too.

Sue said...

Hugs and best wishes for Elizabeth. How awful!

KLee - I just went through a whole fireplacing mess with insurance people, so I hear you. It is so frustrating and unfair. Keep fighting. You can borrow my superhero cape if you like...

What? You don't all have superhero capes? Um, oh.....that's awkward isn't it? My my.

Kathy a. - the state of emergency is stoopid, but not as frustrating as the smug interviews being given DAILY by outgoing prez and his nasty sidekick in which nothing, absolutely nothing, was their fault.

I really really really hope that a war-crimes tribunal will wipe those smirks right off their faces.

Madeleine said...

Elizabeth, sending hugs and a mug of hot tea. Also, the magic time machine that moves you immediately past the waiting-for-transplant phase.

Margalit, sympathy on the terrible budget cuts and their ramifications. Also, front row seat to fire truck accident! That's gotta be worth some kind of award.

Madeleine said...

For my whine, I think I'll keep it simple and whine about dog pee in the snow. Is there any site more disgusting than those dribbling yellow spots in a snowbank?

Apologies to any dog owners I am offending. I am *so* not a dog person. And My Love thinks we should get a dog. Snort. I'm standing firm on that question. As my mother said to my step-father, who was overjoyed when President Bush Senior banned broccoli from the White House, "You are not the President."

For those of you following our game at home, My Love was planning a surprise party for me. I had a feeling something was up, but he did a great job of lowering my expectations so that he could exceed them. I was alternately deeply touched and annoyed. At any rate, we had a lovely weekend, and I was pampered for my birthday, and I'm trying not to whine about the amount of money he spent throwing the party. We had a great dinner with our two sets of local friends who feel like family, the kids got along nicely, and I got a couple of terrific presents!

I love my friends. I need to see them more often.

Madeleine said...

Erm, "site" should be "sight." Sigh. So Gen X of me.

liz said...

Whine: a friend of mine is unhappy with the news. I did try to tell her before it hit the papers, but she's not great about returning calls.

Madeleine said...

Liz, unhappy about the decision, or unhappy about being the last to hear? Either way, not such friendly behavior.

kathy a. said...

oh (((( margalit )))). i'm so worried that the cuts are going to destroy so many programs that families rely upon.

in my state, the controller is about to start issuing IOU's instead of checks -- not sure yet if this will just be for contractors, or if it applies to programs and/or all state employees as well. last i heard, creditors were not accepting IOU's for rent, utilities, etc.! hell in a handbasket time.

liz said...

Madeleine, since she hasn't called me, I can't tell. It seems, from her comments on local politics blogs, that it may just be because she didn't hear it from us. But it may be the other.

margalit said...

Liz, did I miss the reason why you are moving? Because I have not a clue. But then again, memory of a 2 year old due to insomnia. As in I suck!

Elizabeth said...

margalit, you need to click on the "smile" link in Liz's comment.

JenR said...

hugs to the sick, those with sick family members, and those with irritating insurance companies. And everyone else too :-)

An antiwhine for me this week. The new crib seems to have magical baby sleeping properties. Since we ditched the recalled crib, the little guy has only been waking up once per night, then actually sleeping til 6 am. Yay! After almost 11 months of waking up every 2-4 hours, no whine I have can compete.

kathy a. said...

Woot, JenR!

Sue said...

JenR - can I send my cats to your magical sleeping crib? They have been waking us up at WayTooEarly O'Clock.

Genevieve said...

Many hugs to all of you, especially kathy a., klee, Elizabeth, margalit, and anyone else I may have missed (too bleary-eyed to scroll back up, but I read them all and sent thoughts y'all's way).

and yahoos for liz's nowbloggable news (though hugs too for impending stresses of moving etc.) and JenR's magic soporific crib.

whine: dad and stepmom are visiting, to see the kiddo's show tonight. Nearly 20 people coming on Sunday. So last night I came down with the stomach plague that is literally decimating the show (actually literally almost double-decimating, I think - 32 cast members, 5 people out sick yesterday). I am desperately trying to prevent giving the plague to the kiddo. Also, I have something big due Friday, but spent most of today on the couch - will go back to Westlaw now.

Genevieve said...

antiwhine: new president by next Wednesday Whining time!!!

Sue said...

*passing the Gravol, pepto and whatever else might help to Genevieve*

So sorry about the tummy plague. Blech.

kathy a. said...

Seconding Sue's sentiments.

At least Sunday is a few days away, and hopefully you will be well, Genevieve, and most of the cast will be back in action. Tonight, though -- every person for his/her self.

Sarah at ratatat said...

Wishing you well, Liz. What a journey -- good luck!

And curses to arcane rules involving insurance companies and mammograms...a cluestick is needed indeed.

So glad the birthday party worked out for Madeleine. And many more!

Yay JenR! Sleep is so good. Magic cribs are magical. We set up the baby's big crib (we had been using a older smaller IKEA crib, bigger than a bassinet, but IKEA sized--anyway, that goes downstairs because baby is outgrowing the bassinet that was her daytime sleeper) and as if to show me that she could be an even better sleeper, she fell asleep without being rocked, patted, nursed, really anything.

I am reduced to whining that I am afraid she'll be a boring conformist with no insomnia problems?

Get well soon, Genevieve. Don't let it get you!

Seriously, my whine may be that I think my mom wants me to get a job. She retired this week. A nice anti-whine. She has discussed getting a new part-time job, but is sort of feeling chicken. And we have discussed having her watch the kids (after school) when I go back to work (in 3-4 years). And I am just conflicted. She is quite nice about it--if I weren't kicking the idea around, I don't think I would notice (or bristle at) her subtle hints. Maybe it is a dream to think of opting back in in this economy anyway. Oh my. I hope we can back-burner this one until weaning.

Can't wait until next week--new president! I always joked I spent the Bush years barefoot and pregnant, so it would be fitting to get to work in the Obama era.

amy said...

crap. i've missed wednesday. bah, i'll have to get the hang of remembering the whine on workdays. (i started back today. it's gonna be a looooooong semester.)