Monday, March 30, 2015

It beats the alternative, part 2

I'm at that stage in life where I pay money to find out I'm OK even though I'm not as good as I once was or would like to be. 

Less than a month after my eyes got excellent reviews during my mostly routine visit to the optometrist, I was visiting an opthalmalogist to find out the source of some flashes and floaters I began experiencing midway between those visits. The conclusion after tests that will cost me about $200 (toward my medical deductible) is that I have a posterior vitreous detachment. 

The good news is that it isn't a retinal tear or detachment and probably won't become one. The frustrating news, part 1, is that I have to get rechecked, again with dilation, in about a month anyway.  The second part of frustrating is that the doctor says even though this diagnosis probably won't turn into anything serious, it is unlikely my eyes will get back to where they were two weeks ago.   

In other words, it's just a part of aging. 


After that appointment, I stopped by two other medical providers' offices to get information I needed to finish filing claims for my flexible health expense account, for which the claims period ended March 15 and the filing period ends tomorrow, March 31. Procrastinator that I am, I was feeling good about finally  getting all of these issues  resolved. 

But when I returned home and logged on the claims site, I noticed some of my most recent claims had been denied. After a lengthy time on hold, I learned I'll probably end up losing significant unused funds in the account. 

Progress is that in my frustration, instead of just sitting and sulking, I went for a walk and prayed and counted my blessings. 

I'm grateful that miscalculations in my flex account won't mean I can't afford my next meal or tank of gas or medical expense, even though it does mean I had unused funds in the account that are forever lost to me. 

I'm grateful that I have insurance, a job and money that allow me to get my concerns about my eyes and other issues checked out. (My former tendency was to self-diagnose and seldom seek a medical opinion, and it is tempting to revert back to that, especially as my checkups come back negative. This is still a confusing area to me.)

I'm grateful that praying on a late afternoon walk on an early spring day can change my heart and attitude. 

I don't know where the unused funds in that health account end up, but I can  write them off as the price of learning -- if I don't repeat the mistake that involved a good dose of procrastination. (I waited until the last minute to file all the claims, instead of filing them as the expenses came in, in which case I would known there was a problem.)

In all these things, what happened beats most common alternatives I can think of. 

And there is one other bright and interesting aspect. For me to come up short of using all my flexible health expenses account meant 2014 was a good year healthwise. But less than two weeks after that period ended, I'm already tallying unexpected expenses for 2015. 

My hope and belief is that some of this -- especially the quicker rebound in my attitude -- will push me toward more healthful and productive choices. 

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