Time is fleeting; how do I spend it?

Word came, after dinner yesterday, that another long-time friend has died. Although I had known her personally about 20 years, she had known my family, and other friends, for a lifetime, having grown up and lived in the same small town where I grew up. We had a connection, a bond, and we worked very well together. She lived an amazing life, leaving a great legacy of family, friends, and good works. I will miss her.

If you are of a certain age here in the United States, your doctor’s visits are covered by Medicare. Medicare allows so many medical visits, procedures, followups, etc. Then, if you are very fortunate, you have additional medical insurance through previous employment and part of retirement packages. Terry and I have three insurance coverages, so that by the time the last billing amount comes due, it’s all been paid. I am very grateful. BUT, that also means doctors have no hesitation in ordering every test, procedure, and followup appointment.

This morning I called and cancelled a six-month followup with my general practitioner, whom I really like and who does a good job. I feel fine. My blood pressure is holding. And, when looking at my calendar for the next six weeks, I can see that I have no time for appointments or other tests that my doctor is apt to order, “just to make sure…”

As I previously wrote, the pace is quickening. I have things that I really want to do, priorities that give me pleasure, people with whom I want to spend time. And no where in there is the desire to sit in a medical office.

19 responses to “Time is fleeting; how do I spend it?

  1. “Then, if you are very fortunate, you have additional medical insurance through previous employment and part of retirement packages.” Really? There is no package, not even full COLA increases, limited to under 1.7%. I wish…

    • I’m missing something here…maybe I needed to explain better…along with Medicare, I have medical and prescription insurance with my teacher retirement, Terry has the same with his military retirement. Sometimes it’s hard to get a medical provider to understand that we have THREE insurances, and they will all pay.

      • Nope. I don’t get anything for medical beyond Medicare, and plan B, which I pay for. I get partial cost-of-living increases (limited to below 1.7%) but no other retirement benefits, and that is from my original PERS before the state gutted it. For the last years I taught, my retirement was through another system, which runs dry after 20 years from retirement, no COLA at all. So 25 years has earned me two retirement checks: the original one which supports me till I die and the much smaller one that runs out at about the time I will most need it.

        Oregon is not the worst place to teach based on pay and retirement. This is why public education is crumbling—legislators who send their own children to private schools have been defunding public education for decades. And the SE has been a deliberate underpaid trainwreck for almost my entire life, and worse than that for people of color.

        Oh, dear. I have ranted all over the place.

      • It’s okay to rant. It does seem unjust after all those years in education. I was fortunate to work for a district with a strong union. My medical insurance comes through the district and they do tend to fiddle with it but my contract guarantees it for life. I also have dental insurance in that package. Terry got optical insurance for us through Tricare, the military insurance. We are very fortunate.

      • Ah, well, and I subbed in the district for eleven years before I was hired and taught the college writing classes for four more—forty years I worked in the district. I had no idea anyone anywhere received medical after retirement. sigh

      • It’s in our contract. We weren’t always paid real well, but the benefits were top-notch. Over the years, pay has really increased. When I retired 12 years ago, after 22 years with the district, I was close to $100k a year.

  2. I schedule yearly checkups with each of my doctors. In between those appointments, I feel like if there’s no real need for me to go in I’m clogging up their calendar and having the insurance pay for an unnecessary visit. (Which will ultimately result in higher costs for me and everyone else.)

  3. I have still not scheduled my annual wellness visit with my doctor, which is covered by Medicare, but I figure I’ll be seeing her when I get sick, which I hope is not soon. 🙂

  4. So true, and if you’re not experiencing any particular physical problem, I’d stay away from doctors (and hospitals! LOL).

  5. Glad you have such good health insurance coverage — it really matters. Preventative intervention can be important too, when appropriate. I’ve always tried to limit my medical appointments, too, and still do though they have become more frequent as I’ve become older.

  6. This age and stage of life requires paying attention to our energy–and how we want to use it. It seems you are doing a good job of that.

  7. We have only Medicare and Tricare (military). It’s actually not quite enough. The military medical care has come down lately. They can’t seem to hold on to their doctors. We’re planning to look into getting additional care from Kaiser… maybe.

    We are of the age now that we’re suddenly losing relatives, classmates, friends… It’s so sad. My aunt is on hospice care. Art’s cousin just lost her husband during surgery. I’ve lost friends and relatives younger than me. Art is 5 years older and still has so much he wants to see.

    • Didn’t your school retirement package come with health benefits? I have lifetime health insurance which pays secondary to Medicare. Tricare pays anything left over.

      • Every time I read “school retirement package,” I think: What retirement package? Ha!

      • I am so sorry that it’s a traumatic trigger for you. I wish all teachers could have great union representation. Right now our district also has the best superintendent it’s ever had. He came through the district pipeline, beginning as a substitute teacher. He cares about all the employees.

      • Sorry for whining.

        Unions gave American workers safer job sites, a 5-day and 40-hour work week, sick pay, and other benefits we take for granted. But for over a generation now, unions have been demonized by the right. It’s time we recognize again what we owe to union organizers for health and safety.

        [And I do envy you your superintendent.]

      • Feel free to vent. What better place than with someone who totally understands how bad so many educators have it. For a few months my daughter went to work at a not-for-profit school in an inner city environment. Tough place for anyone, but expectations were too high and benefits too few. She didn’t even have health coverage. Our children deserve better than that. The turnover was terrible so no consistency for children who needed it. I’m always beating the drum for unions.

  8. My husband says it’s related to “Christmas bonus.”

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