PGE, rebates, doctors and other stuff
As usual, here I am with my random meanderings......
It is rainy today. Nothing new there. And April showers do bring May flowers don't they? Hope I have some flowers out there after all of this winter flooding........
And the rain is supposed to continue through next week....The upside is that my water bill stays down as long as nature keeps doing the watering for me. :)
Last night, for a reason that is still unfathomable to me, I decided to go through my PGE bills from the last 7 years. I think it was prompted by the fact that PGE offered a 20% rebate to anyone that could bring their gas bill down this winter by 10% over last year. Being the thrifty person I am, I was determined to get that rebate. In Jan, my bill was down by 20%, without my doing anything. I then had the smart(or so I thought) idea of calling PGE to ask what more I could do to save on my already low bill. They recommended turning the heat off when I was not home and at night. I took their recommendation and only ran the heat for 3 - 4 hours at night. My bill went up! and was up again in March! It seems that more energy was required to heat a cold house for those 3-4 hours/day than to keep the thermostat at 68degrees constantly. Ugh! Not only did I pay more due to this bad advice, but I was constantly cold and I missed my rebate. Bad all around. Double Ugh!
After that, I reviewed my bills and discovered that I had been incredibly consistent over the years. My average usage of gas had gone down since 2002 (seems that 2001 and 2002 were cold winters also) until this year. This year went up a little but really not significantly since the starting usage number was already low. It didn't reach the 2001/2 highs. My electric has been even more consistent - the average exactly the same for 4 years until I got DSL and then went up 3KW/day and stayed at that average the last 3 years. I am now turning my computers off more often and have dropped the usage slightly but, perhaps, I should wait and not do that until an electric rebate comes around so that I could actually have a chance of qualifying for it.
Well, enough on PGE. I am sure you all have your own stories to tell.
This fun exercise took me until 5:00 in the morning. How time flies when your having fun (or doing something stupid?)?
I was supposed to go to lunch today but my lunch date had a sick child - more of the nasty cold going around. It was just as well since I was pretty tired anyway.
Already being awake and at the computer, I decided it was a good time to schedule all of my new Drs. appts. I know. I know. You thought 91 days at the doctors' office last year was enough (not counting hospitalizations, surgeries and days that had more than one appointment) but, no, I am not done yet! I am sure that set of Ginzu steak knives is out there somewhere if I just keep going to more appointments. But wait! If you order now, you can have a colonoscopy too! Oh boy!
So, what did I schedule today? An appointment with my gynecologist who I have never seen since before I started this whole process. She happened to be on vacation when I first went in with my "breast complaint" and so never had the oppportunity to be a part of this wonderful party. Dr. K, my breast surgeon, recommended I make an appt with my gyn to explore and answer questions I had related to my hormone levels now that I have finished chemo and natural balancing of the estrogen/progesterone/cortisol/testosterone. I am not talking about hormone replacement therapy but rather a natural balancing to put me back where mother nature meant me to be. I am not even sure if Kaiser recognizes or supports this but will sure fight to find out. If not, I will be off to an outside doctor but want to avoid the cost if at all possible.
Next appointment was with my primary to follow up on my blood tests, cholesterol and detailed thyroid levels (my thyroid appears fine but women should get a more granular check of T4 to show any potential problems). I also sent an email asking if he could schedule my colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy (same thing?) or whatever the heck it is they do to check colon cancer since it is recommended to do immediately for all breast cancer patients regardless of age.
Thank goodness for Kaiser's online system. I was able to make my appts. and send my emails right through their system without having to hang forever on the phone.
Next, was an appt with my dentist. Annual, x-rays, teeth cleaning and follow-up to see what damage the chemo has done. With any luck, everything will be okay.
And finally, an appt with my eye doctor since it is now 2 years since I have had my eyeglass prescription updated and think that I can't wait any longer. Oh, to have the money to do Lasik or some other kind of surgery to fix this astygmatism. For now, just have to die the death of the many cuts by spending a little less (comparatively speaking - it is still a lot of money) at a time while spending more than the Lasik in the long run. I don't mind the look of the glasses. Its just the pain of carrying them around, cleaning them, putting them on and paying for new lenses every year.
I am thinking that took care of all the new appointments except for the follow-up with the plastic surgeon which I will be scheduling real soon now.
And, on another topic, why didn't anyone tell me that the first class postage rate went up 2 cents on January 8? Like a fool, I have been mailing bills, bills and more bills, legal documents, etc. since then using my old 37 cent stamps. So far, it seems as if the post office has been very forgiving and delivered my errant letters. After a shower, I am off to the post office to buy 2 cent stamps and cure my cheating ways! Thank you Uncle Sam. Thank you USPS for getting my bill payments to my creditors! Could you just manage to get my social security approved and my check to me so that I can pay this nice, new, higher postage rate along with my higher PGE rates and all of my other nice bills? I would be so grateful!
And on a sweet/sour note, I learned yesterday that my eyebrow lady, Melissa, is moving to Boise, Idaho. I am so happy for her but so sad for me. Now, I know that it seems quite frivolous to have your eyebrows waxed regularly but it was such a necessity for me. I have the kind of eyebrows that need to be plucked daily and the shape, much as I tried was never quite right and the hairs too long. Melissa shapes beautifully, waxes, plucks and trims and makes my eyes and eyebrows look like a movie star. Others have tried before her but not with the results she produces. She is truly talented. If only I could find a hairstylist as good as she is at eyebrows. I feel beautiful every three weeks after seeing her. I Don't do anything else regularly but the eyebrows are a must. I will miss her. And she is a wonderfully good-hearted, truly nice person. :(
And, on other happy/sad news, a friend and good supporter of mine through this breast cancer journey has received some bad news herself. Her radiated breast has started scarring up and shrunken to 1/3 its size. The scarring has moved under her arm and she can't lift it anymore. The doctors are working on it but, ultimately, are thinking mastectomy is the only solution. Understandably, she is depressed, scared, confused, frustrated and angry. Losing a breast is scary and reconstruction even more confusing and scary. I sent her the book Reconstructing Aphrodite which my sister, Susan, had given to me (not the same book - another copy) when I was told I needed a mastectomy. It is a beautiful book with wonderful, artistic photos and stories of women and their reconstructions. My friend emailed me that she loved it and was able to sit with her husband and go through it and for the first time understand reconstruction, the process and how beautiful it can be even with all of the scars. It helped cheer her during this difficult time and, for that, I am happy and thankful.
And, that, is all I have for the moment. Never fear, there is always something more to come. :)