Golden Years

2020 and 2021 paved a new way for those ‘Golden Years’ to be interpreted, and I think I can safely say they were challenging. 2022 was supposed to be much better, but since life is a journey we are still dealing with some of the same issues plus a few new ones thrown in.

This year also dealt us, like many others, a medical challenge. One thing we learned – don’t stop looking for a solution after the first doctor tells you to basically go home because you are in your senior years and have other medical issues.

I worked in Human Resources for many years and lived with the term ‘age discrimination’ bantered about, responded to and documented numerous complaints, and sat in several court rooms as the company representative. I’m sorry to say, ‘I usually know it when I see it.’

As we age, there is a certain amount of age discrimination encountered in our daily living and that can include a few in the medical community. Do not accept it and make your concerns known to the appropriate people with documented facts. Then move on because with a little research you can find other cutting edge people in the field who will provide options.

None of us are living forever, but we do want the best quality of life that we can enjoy. With that thought always foremost in your mind, talk to family, friends, and check reviews for doctors who may be able to assist you in reaching that goal.

Since we are talking about the medical community, there is also another part of that group worthy of note which is their billing department.

Sometimes there is an unexpected issue that finds its way to you that includes what those in the medical billing community refer to as a ‘surprise billing.’ Yes, that is the real term. We just had that wonderful experience as well, and I can tell you that if you persevere with documentation and they can’t explain their ‘surprise bill’ item by item to you or your insurance company, they end up having to write it off.

Some times, these Golden Years are hard work. 🙂

In between, I’m still gardening, sewing and enjoying the cooler fall weather. Mother Nature is gifting us with some much needed rain today. I know the tourists aren’t happy since it is a long holiday weekend, but those of us who live here with our current drought situation sure are. ☔️

* If you ever wondered where the term ‘Golden Years’ came from, it appears to have originated in 1959 in a Sun City retirement advertising campaign.

** The two notices below are not because my writing is copyright worthy or multiple sites are standing in line to reblog my posts especially since I took the reblog button off as an option. It’s just one site that continues to reblog my posts. Yes, they give me credit, but I’d really like them to stop. My blog, my conversation, my friends.

Copyright © 2022 – All rights reserved.
Please do not reblog. Thank you.

Please do not reblog NewEnglandGardenAndThread posts. Thank you.

About Judy@NewEnglandGardenAndThread

Master Gardener who enjoys gardening, quilting, photography, and traveling.
This entry was posted in Gardening, New England and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

59 Responses to Golden Years

  1. Lovely images, and good thoughts to ponder. I learned the hard way that we often need not only a second medical opinion, but a third one as well. No one is going to advocate for you but you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ally Bean says:

    I spent yesterday attempting to organize our health files, understand what the heck is covered. It was anything but golden. Love the wild flock of turkeys photos. While I dislike why you’ve been forced to say it, I adore your “My blog, my conversation, my friends” declaration. 🤨

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is that time of year for us too, October, when we are inundated with insurance information and must wade through it. It’s like being assigned a yearly project including all the research and then throwing a dart and hoping you hit close to the center. I was at a loss what to do to get them to stop reblogging so that at least made me feel better. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Murphy’s Law says:

    Ahhhh, The Golden Years, known in this house as The Rust Years! Senior citizens need never worry about their brains slowing down if they are dealing with doctors, their staffs, medical billing departments and scheduling departments. You have to stay on top of your game to maneuver through the miles of red tape and road blocks they put up, not to mention understanding the gobbledygook they speak.

    And the “surprise billing” practice is enough to give you a coronary. You are so right Judy to ask questions, question the answers, check your bills more than once and exhaust all avenues before you agree to anything or sign on the dotted line. Your life may very well depend on your own due diligence.

    On the brighter side, a napping bee, chickens enjoying watermelon, a butterfly , your gorgeous wall hanging and that hummingbird all put a smile on my face. It was really neighborly of you to plant the blackberry bushes for the wild turkeys! 🤗

    Happy Labor Day my friend. Hope the most laborious thing you will do today is watch the rain fall. Well, maybe eat some chocolate too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • In this age of advanced technology, we had adapted to online billing versus paper. This experience tore that option up, and we went back to paper billing, and if needed paying by check at least with this entity. The turkey don’t just eat the berries which I’d understand, but they eat the branches. They could at least leave me the branches. 🙂 Chocolate for lunch dessert.


  4. Oddment says:

    So “golden years” was invented by someone trying to sell us something. Gee, what a surprise. And it was probably someone 25. Your ability to fight the medical establishment is amazing, and also, I’d bet, exhausting. As though being sick or being in pain or being scared isn’t enough, there has to be a financial labyrinth to navigate. It’s so frightening. Thanks for the warnings!

    As for those turkeys, I can only send sympathy. With that many, your poor blackberries didn’t have a chance. It’s depressing, as is the way others ignore your request to not be reblogged. Your wallhanging and flowers, however, are wonderfully cheering.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That ‘surprise billing’ came nine months later, just out of the blue. It took hours tracking things and people down, but I sure was happy when they had to write it off. Those turkeys mosey on through once or twice a day. They come every fall, but this is the first year they’ve really done any damage. I’m not sure what I’ll learn or be able to do differently, but I’m thinking.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Joyce says:

    So, we work and save frugally all our lives to ensure a comfortable retirement only to spend most of our money on legit medical expenses and most of our time fighting to correct billing mistakes? I tried for years to pretend that wouldn’t happen to us, but now, with my husband’s expensive heart meds, it’s creeping into our lives, too. Sure, we can pay for them, even though I’d rather spend the money elsewhere, but my sympathies lie with the patients our RN daughter tells us put off appointments due to financial hardship until often, and sadly, it’s too late. What a complicated mess for us all! I’m glad you’ve got the background to know what’s going on and the skills to fight your own issues. I’ll bet many just give up and pay up. Your thriving mini farm must be a therapeutic escape from that quagmire of medical madness!

    Liked by 1 person

    • We have some excellent doctors and we even have one miracle worker, but when you meet one that doesn’t meet those standards he sure stands out and the quicker you get away the better. Learning about ‘surprise billing’ was a real eye opener. I have eye drops that are so expensive it would make you laugh it is so ridiculous. I’m grateful too I can afford them, but you’re right there is something wrong with the system when drugs like these and Insulin that have been around for many years are not allowed to be generic. Yes, working outside relieves a lot of stress and allows me to appreciate nature and its goodness. Please thank your RN daughter for her devotion and sacrifice. The American public would not have made it through the last couple of years without her and all of her other many dedicated medical professionals.


  6. Marilyn says:

    I always enjoy your blogs. They are full of information and are uplifting. Enjoy your rain. I know you need it.

    I just finished a puzzle called Quilting Room. It made me think of you, Linda, Sue and other winter friends that quilt. Look for a picture on FACEBOOK.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ah, medical issues. I hope whatever issues you have are not too serious and your surprise billings are resolved. Yes, we have to be our own advocate, ask questions, and talk to friends. I had a surprise diagnosis this year but I had good doctors and it is all taken care of for now. It must be really annoying to have someone reblog your posts. I hope they will stop!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. A few years back at age 88, my sis-in-law fell and shattered her shoulder joint. There was the “do we replace it” discussion as it would heal as is but she wouldn’t have range of motion. She wouldn’t be able to comb her hair. I went along to the doc apt and we all agreed the best option was to replace it even if she didn’t last another 20 years (average age of a joint replacement or so they say). Every older person should have someone to advocate for them. Love the pics!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Applause to you for stepping in and helping with the decision making. There is a certain level of quality of life we all hope to maintain and combing one’s hair definitely falls into that category. I think more retirees look at ‘aging in place’ at home and that requires certain basic skills. I hope your SIL is doing well.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Sorry about your billing experience, Judy. That can happen at any age, so you always have to check everything. It happened to my mother-in-law at the Cleveland Clinic, which we would have hoped would be above that.

    On a happier note, I love your photos today although too bad about those turkeys loving berries. As for reblogging, I have mixed feelings. I haven’t thought about taking away the button. I always try to go to the place that reposts and comment, saying thanks for liking my post enough to reblog and inviting readers to visit my site. I might think about removing the button.

    Happy Labor Day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are right, bills need to be checked at any age. I did find it easier when I had paper to look at and make notes on. That’s probably my generation, but that’s okay. I always took it as a compliment if someone reblogged a post. Then one site started reblogging everything I wrote ‘unless’ it contained anything remotely political or pertaining to a current event. That gets old and it started to creep me out. I can delete followers if I think it is a scam of some sort, but I have zero control over who is following their site.


  10. Beautiful photos, kind attitude, and ♥️ for all the rest. I’m thinking that at least here in America where aging is considered a deficit (and money is ever at the center of the health culture, too), every generation goes through as much nonsense as love. 🌷

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m sorry about your medical issues and hope you find a doctor that helps you out.
    I detest the billing surprises! It happens more times than I care for.

    Your wall hanging is lovely. My daughter’s (Baby Girl) chickens and turkey love watermelon too. I didn’t know they ate anything but their seeds, and scratching’s from the yard. Who knew!!?? 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Nancy says:

    Hi Judy! Happy Labor Day!
    And yes… I had a friend who had to be an advocate for her father. They had go to another doctor as the first doctor just said it was because of age. Long story short… he had a simple procedure done and his health got better. And they nixed the first doctor!
    I enjoyed hearing from you on this wet Labor Day but it was badly needed here as well.
    Your pictures were a joy! And I’m sorry your berries got eaten by those Turkeys!
    I didn’t know you had chickens??
    Oh… I think the commenting has been resolved. Cross your fingers!
    Happy Labor Day!
    PS… where do I turn off reblog? I may need to go look for that in Settings.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We’ve seen doctors we liked better than others, but this is the first time we ever ‘nixed’ one but this one we sure did. Yes, it rained all day yesterday and it’s still coming down this morning. With the drought conditions, I’ll take it and smile. My daughter has chickens, and we live on the same property so I get to feed them and enjoy some of their fresh eggs. The LOVE watermelon. Reblog can be found by going to My Sites → Tools → Marketing → Sharing. I always took it as a compliment if someone reblogged a particular post, but this site took it way too far.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Just when we start to need medical care most, they throw up walls to make accessing it more difficult. When healthcare is about profits rather than people, that is to be expected, I guess.

    I love your “my blog, my conversation, my friends” line. I don’t know why some mystery bloggers think it’s okay just to grab our words and stick them on their site – credit or not.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This year has been interesting. We found the worst doctor we’d ever had the misfortune to meet, and then met a great one. This time of year always makes my head hurt when we have to review insurance plans for our area for next year so this ‘surprise billing’ was more paper work and research. I won’t give that site credit by listing their name, but I have found it interesting that two bloggers I follow have taken their sites ‘private’ just this week.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Eliza Waters says:

    Sorry that you’ve had medical issues, Judy. I’ve been struggling for the past year with similar challenges, and though western medicine is great when you need to mend a bone or life-threatening situation, they are quick to write you off with a ‘bandaid prescription’ rather than looking into the root cause of the problem. My naturopathic physician has saved me more than once because the focus is on finding the cause and assisting the body to do what it knows how to do.
    Yes to the welcome rain… may there be more gentle rain in the coming weeks to catch us up. Our waterfall has been dry since July and even the river is the lowest I’ve ever seen it in 3 decades of living here. I’m ready to settle into fall.
    I really like your wall hanging and seeing all the wildlife in your garden.

    Liked by 1 person

    • In a lot of cases, there isn’t a lot of discussing a medical issue. I can imagine it would be beneficial in many areas to have someone looking into a root cause and going from there. We live not far from a reservoir, and it sure is down right now so this rain can keep coming as far as I’m concerned even if it means I’m inside. We usually see a few turkeys wander through this time of year, but this is a big rafter. It is so big I took the time to register them on a NH site looking to count wild turkeys. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Good for you! I have my stack of bills to write checks for today and I must remind the medical ones of dates and check #’s showing I already paid.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Su says:

    I’m sorry you’ve had to deal with medical and related billing issues, and hope for the best results for you. I’m also glad you got some welcome rain, and hope you get more in the next couple of weeks. But then I hope you get three mostly dry weeks, as we are going to be road tripping through New England in late Sept/early Oct!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Life’s journey always provides learning opportunities, and we learned from this year’s medical experience that is for sure. I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed that the weather is great for your New England trip so you can enjoy the leaves, mountains, lakes, light houses, and fresh lobster. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Lots of important advice here. I have a sister who advocates for herself in a manner medically that I sometimes feel is too extreme (i.e. emails, letters, even faxes to the doctor’s office). She’s also insistent to the point of exhaustion that all of her doctor’s be in contact with one another. While I’m uncomfortable with her approach, I can’t argue that it’s resulted in her getting some stubborn health issues addressed properly.

    I subscribe to the Kaiser Health Network (KHN) weekly email of health-related articles. Included is usually one that’s part of their series on surprise billing. The details are always horrifying, and I realize that I too could become victim of it now matter how good I think our insurance coverage is.

    A bee sleeping. 🙂 – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

    • I always carry a medium sized notebook to take notes because sometimes I can’t remember a specific point after the fact, and I have been known to take other reports to an appointment in case they weren’t aware. I know which doctors to do that with as some are very in tune. I got to use my letter writing skills and cc capabilities with this guy. This ‘surprise billing’ came nine months after the fact with no explanation why or anything. One of the things included was a $44.50 syringe. It took a lot of time to get out from under it, but it sure was sweet to not be forced to pay it. That bee was snoring. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  18. It took me a LONG time to finally get a doctor who “gets” me — and us. I’m on a new medication that makes me kind of sick, but it also makes the pain in my spine diminish to almost nothing. It’s a NSAID which is something I have to be very careful taking, but the pain was getting to a point where I couldn’t move anymore. So now, my stomach is miserable all the time, BUT I don’t hurt. He explained that he felt that I had to get some get of significant relief before winter because he though one more cold, damp winter was going to be one cold damp winter too many. And that even with the stomach issues, being able to actually move was the more important issue.

    I can actually walk up a few steps like a normal person these days. Eating is icky, but I CAN move. And he is the first doctor I’ve had who “gets” that no matter what else you fix, if you don’t minimize the pain, I was not going to feel better. Everyone else seemed to think I should just “deal with it.” I did deal with it. I just gave up trying to do anything.

    I’m not getting younger (don’t we wish!), but at least I can stand up and walk almost like a normal person.

    We have been pretty lucky since we switched to Blue Cross Advantage as our Medicare carrier. When I had my heart surgery, they “forgot” to charge me anything. I went in, was in intensive care for a week and had massive surgery and came out of the hospital owing NOTHING. They didn’t charge me. I was waiting for the “real” bill to come. It never came. I finally called them and tentatively asked them if I had missed a bill and they said, “Do you WANT us to charge you?”

    “God NO,” I said and hurriedly hung up. Some carriers are better than others.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so glad you are moving without that pain but sorry your stomach doesn’t like the medicine. The medical billing system is always interesting. Sometimes the bigger the issue the less you pay. I don’t get it, but I sure didn’t get a big bill arriving nine months after the appointment with zero explanation. It took me a fair amount of time to question it, but I’m glad I didn’t have to pay it. Take care, and I hope you head into the winter feeling good.


  19. BERNADETTE says:

    It is true that there seems to be a dismissive attitude in certain parts of the medical community.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. germac4 says:

    It is interesting to read your blog post, and also read some of the comments. Although our health system is different here in Australia, it is also complex, and the very few times I have needed doctor’s care, I needed Paul to help navigate the system, (as he has worked in it)…heaven knows how people manage if they have little IT knowledge.
    I loved all your gardens photos, the Monarch caterpillar is an absolute beauty, as is the butterfly on the Zinnia.
    So sorry to see those wild turkeys in your garden, we have birds that look as if they are training to be turkeys, (Choughs) and they are JUST as destructive.
    Happy gardening for autumn.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Here, these days, every doctor’s office has an online ‘portal’ they want you to use and one office even wants you to pay ‘before’ you go for the appointment. It does take some maneuvering to get through it and not come out on the short end. Normally, the turkeys stroll through picking bugs, but they have demolished two of my blackberry bushes. I always think about deer browsing, but this year it’s the turkeys. Happy September to you too.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. I hope all is well with you and your family now, Judy. Health issues are a worry at any age but I know from my parents’ experience that it becomes more worrying as you age. Our system here in Australia is quite different from yours, but it’s worth remembering about the surprise bill.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Years ago, you saw one doctor, but these days everyone has a specialty so in addition to the primary care you have to see individual specialists for each different issue. We’ve been lucky over the years and have found some very good practitioners, I guess we were due for a ‘dud.’ Yes, remember ‘surprise billing’ because it was a lesson learned for us and thought it was worth sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Eilene Lyon says:

    It’s such a shame that our medical system has turned into what it has become. I’m learning to scrutinize bills – even at restaurants. It’s appalling how careless and/or deceitful some people can be.

    At least you have your lovely yard and wildlife to brighten the days.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gardening and being outside in nature has certainly been a wonderful way to spend part of every day. We have an EZPass account for tolls which we have never had a need to check. Recently, we received a bill for not paying a toll including a penalty and another pending penalty if we didn’t pay it. I had to send a detailed inquiry as to how this was possible since we had transponders in each vehicle. No real explanation provided, but they wrote it off. Technology is a wonderful thing, but as we all know when it doesn’t work there is quite a snafu for lack of another word.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Dan Antion says:

    As we age, the need to be our own advocates becomes more and more important. What drives me crazy, is the time involved in fixing these errors.

    Sorry about the persistent reblogged. That’s annoying.

    I hope you have a great week,

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Dawn says:

    You have been through such a long, challenging ordeal, Judy! So glad that you were finally able to work it out. So proud of you! During challenging times we certainly appreciate our peaceful, healing hours in our gardens.
    This evening, we both got our new vaccines. The pharmacist said they were very busy giving vaccines all day. Hoping for healthy Autumn and Winter months ahead!!
    Take extra good care, Judy!💗

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, most of us will be lined up for the new vaccines. I’ve never had so many shots in such a short amount of time. I suppose up next will be the report telling us the side effects of getting that many shots. 🙂 I’ve been thinking of you as I redo a long bed. I’ve been actually pitching plants that didn’t produce during this past gardening season. I dumped five rose bushes among many others the other day and for a moment I felt guilty, and then I smiled and gave them the heave ho. 🙂 I normally move discarded plants to the property border but we have a huge septic project going on, and I can’t even get to the border. Life will go on and hopefully the new plants will fare better in our changing climate. Fingers crossed.

      Liked by 1 person

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