That feeling. The one where the doors are about to close, and you have to make a decision. Are you going to fight your way out… or give in and let them trap you?
The pile of bills and papers on my desk increases by the moment. I am usually more on top of it than I have been these last few weeks. When I say bills, don’t misunderstand. We can pay our bills just fine. The ones I am referring to are the countless ones from doctors and hospitals who have billed incorrectly, or have not billed our insurance carrier at all. I am not the type to write the check until they have exhausted all options. I need to get to the bottom of that pile. Make those phone calls. Do their job for them.
I could say I lack the time, and to some extent that would be true. They want to speak during business hours. I am available ideally, from about 8 PM until 2AM. But, I think I also to some extent lack motivation. It would be prudent to address this cycle of bills before our next round of appointments next month. Meghan has a few critical appointments during the winter break, and a few at the beginning of December. Not to mention the eye doctor that I still haven’t rescheduled. And the orthodontist – UGH, have to call the dental carrier too!
I am used to this to some extent. I have never known any different. It has been my whole life and Meghan’s too. Only during the last year did it get a name. But the reality is still very much the same. Constant appointments, hoping for no new tumor growth anywhere, followed by a cycle of bills that need to be rebilled and corrected. It always works out. But it does get a bit old.
This month it has been especially hard to focus. Hurricane Sandy rocked Staten Island so hard that you would have to be living under a rock to be unaffected. We are guiltily grateful that we were safe and blessed – but it is hard to get the images out of your mind, or the reality of the people that need help. We all do what we can. Certainly a time to “Pay it Forward” here.
Then there is my dears sweet Grandma. Grandma fell on the day of the hurricane, and spent the week recovering from head trauma in ICU. She is home now, improving daily. She is walking with a walker, weary of her time in bed, and anxious to move as much as she can. She is such a fighter. I am so incredibly impressed by her determination, but that is nothing new. At 92 she is blowing expectations out of the water. She is amazing, and inspirational.
And, so is my Pop. He loves Grandma so very much that it is almost breathtaking to watch. I have had the privilege of spending lots of time with them these last few weeks, and I am inspired.
I was lucky enough to spend the night on Thursday. After everyone was ready to sleep and I was settled in on the couch, Pop brough his chair over to Grandma and held her hand as she fell asleep. True love at its best.
Today, a VERY kind nurse. A stranger to us, but a friend of a dear friend came and took the stitches out of Grandma’s head. Like an angel sent to us, she lovingly removed the sutures, and later thanked me. She was awed by the love she witnessed between my grandparents. She would take no money. She just was so thrilled to help. She was our angel on earth today, saving us a potentially dangerous trip to Urgent Care.
Grandma doesn’t have Cowden’s Syndrome. As a matter of fact I am increasingly certain I am the first in my family to inherit the PTEN mutation that causes Cowden’s Syndrome. That genetic defect was handed over to my daughter as well. But Grandma doesn’t have it. I am sure. What she has is an intense, loving, fighting spirit, and a desire to be well. That – I did inherit!
The piles are larger than I like. They are everywhere, and I admit to feeling a bit stressed about the lack of control. But, I am smart enough to be aware of the blessings around me. To be thankful, and have a heart full of gratitude. For it is the little things that make all the difference.