Friday, June 21, 2024


Hello from rainy Minnesota where we have considered building an ark. We have had well over 4” of rain this week and more is on the way. It’s feast or famine around these parts, it seems. It’s been such a rainy spring but I am hoping it tapers off because we really don’t need more rain! Here is how the week shaped up. 

A book I am reading this week is ‘After Annie’ by Anna Quindlen. The first sentence is ‘Annie died right before dinner.’ That reminds me of the opening lines of Everything I Never Told You (Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet.) In this case, Annie dies from an aneurysm, leaving behind a husband and 4 kids, the oldest of which is 13. This is very much a character driven novel so do not read this if you need plot! But I am enjoying it (although enjoying seems like the wrong verb to use given the subject matter).

The high of my week was a fun day at the zoo on Wednesday with Paul! I had the day off for the Juneteenth holiday and it was finally not raining! It was the busiest I had ever seen the zoo so I guess everyone else that was off for the holiday had the same idea. We were there for over 5 hours so we saw a lot including 2 amazing bird shows, one of which featured other animals. I really enjoyed some 1:1 time with Paul. It’s a way more low key experience to take him versus taking both boys.

The wing span of this vulture was incredible!

Enjoying the splash pad! It was only 67F but Paul was still all about the splash pad.

Getting up close and personal with a tarantula.

The lows of my week was: dealing with another ridiculous bill from CVS - $1,900+ this time. That’s an improvement from the $4k bill I got about a month ago but come on! Why is this so difficult? I have insurance! I was told I met my deductible in March when I paid around $1k. This is what it took to take of this: 

1st call: CVS Pharmacy where they tell me the co-pay insurance company denied the claim because I allegedly did not meet my deductible. They can't help me and say I need to call the co-pay company. CVS IS THE WORST but I can only use CVS or it will be out-of-network so my hands are tied here.

2nd call: Co-pay company tells me that all they can determine is that I haven't met my deductible but they have no other info besides that so they said to call my insurance company.

3rd call: The insurance company tells me I have met my deductible but it happened on the same date that this stupid $1,900 bill is associated with so I am incredibly confused because I had paid over $1k in early March to allegedly meet my deductible to pay for this stupid medication. But the guy I talk to said I actually need to talk to the pharmacy - which is the first phone call I placed at the start of this whole maddening process. 

4th call: Back to CVS Pharmacy where they tell me that I still owe $1,900 toward my $3,200 deductible despite the fact that they said my previous $1k+ payment would meet my deductible. I give up and fork over my HSA card. 

All that said - I know the infusions are even more expensive than my injectable drugs were but they are handled by a clinic so I am hoping that the process is more straightforward since the devil that is CVS is not involved. 

A show we are watching is ‘Welcome to Wrexham’ on Hulu. It’s a series about the purchase of a sort of failing football club in Wales by none other than Ryan Reynolds and some Rob guy who wrote for ‘Its always sunny in Philadelphia’ which is a show Phil loved but has assured me is ‘not safe for Lisa’. I’m in it for Ryan Reynolds and the underdog story. 

For workouts I did the first workout of Caroline Girvan’s Fuel series which was very high impact/HIIT-like. That’s not really what I need out of ST workouts right now so I either need to redo the Iron program or find something else. I ran 4 miles on Wednesday morning, will take today off since my first meeting of the day is at 8:30 and I can't run and be presentable that quickly for a zoom. I'm going to see how I feel on Saturday morning and maybe do a strength training workout of some sort if my hand feels ok (I get an injection in the tendon this afternoon), and then will run 6 miles on Sunday.

The best money spent was on happy hour with a good friend that I used to work with, which was another high of my week! I hadn't seen her for over a year which is ridiculous considering we work 1 block apart but work has been busy for both of us and it's hard for me to plan social events when I am gone so much for work travel.

My plans this weekend include not much again. If it isn't raining, one of us will take Paul to an event at the local rec center tonight. It's supposed to be rainy tomorrow morning so I'm hoping to convince the boys to go to the library. We are going to try dropping Taco's nap this weekend to see if that results in better bedtimes/later starts to the day. So if the rain clears out, I will take the boys to a local wading pool/splashpad/park and give Phil some time off to do whatever he pleases since I'm traveling next week. Sunday we are planning to go to the lake where Phil is a member of a swim club after my 6 mile run. They have a swim course set up several times/week, including Sunday mornings. Last year Taco had no interest in the water so we didn't join him but he seems more interested this year so I am hoping this can be a standard Sunday morning activity. Sunday is the nicest day of the weekend so hopefully we will be outside quite a bit!

Bonus photo:

I caught this action shot of Paul rolling a yahtzee on Tuesday afternoon! He was so proud of himself. He has rolled yahtzees the 2 times we've played so he is going to have really unrealistic expectations about how often that happens! Yahtzee is a really great game for his age as it gives him the chance to work on his math skills, which is his favorite subject!

How was your week?


Life of a Doctor's Wife said...

All this fun time with Paul! Hooray! What a great way to spend the day off.

The insurance thing is maddening, Lisa. MADDENING. Who has the time or energy to participate in the circle-spinning of calling everyone who just be DOING THEIR JOBS. Omg.

I hope the injection today goes well and that you get a dryer than predicted weekend!

Nicole said...

I love character driven books, they are my favourite, so I immediately put that book on hold. Thanks in advance Lisa! There is no way I'm going to remember that you recommended it by the time I actually get to read it, so THANK YOU now!
Oh my god, that insurance thing. THIS IS INSANE. I am frustrated on your behalf!

Emily said...

Lisa, if I were you I'd just redo the Iron program, and focus on progressive overload/lifting a little more weight each time you go through. The workouts are varied enough so it doesn't feel too repetitive to do again! I have now done the Iron Series I think four times. I have done several of her other programs but I have not enjoyed any of them nearly as much, mainly because as you say the others all have a HIIT or other kind of cardio day. Of course there's always the option to do a program like Epic II or Epic Endgame and skip every fifth day--I did enjoy both those programs just not as much as Iron. I also liked Beastmode which is short (but again, skipping the fifth day).

Elisabeth said...

Your zoo looks amazing and what a nice memory of time spent with Paul <3
It can be a completely different experience to do certain things with only ONE CHILD (especially if the child you has with you tends to be the more...ahem...compliant one; I promise Taco's time will come, too. It WILL GET EASIER).

The insurance situation is just awful. As if you didn't have enough things on your plate. I continue to pray the infusions helps and this horrific flare goes away!!!

Birchwood Pie said...

I'm making a note to check out After Annie. I loved Every Last One so much, so I've been on the lookout for another Anna Quindlen.

I found Fuel to be pretty tedious after a while. I'm not good at the HIIT stuff, so it was time spent doing stuff that wasn't contributing to my fitness - exactly NOT what the goal of working out is. I really liked Epic Endgame and if you're like "yes but those aren't 30 minute workouts"...what I did was to skip the 100 rep finishers which gave me good solid 30-ish minute workouts without the ridiculousness.

Grrrrr insurance.

Jeanie said...

Quindlen is a wonderful writer but that one is new to me. I'm glad you had a good day for the zoo. We haven't had much rain but when we do, it's intense. (Basement flooding, of course -- well, not flooding, but water.I was wondering about the Wrexham show -- might put it on the list. As for CVS, can't believe the hassles you're having -- and sounds like no satisfaction. That's the kind of thing NPR is always doing a story about in their medical Morning Edition segment about once a month. Why can't companies talk to each other?

We're still in the Dome. I was going to go to the lake today but realized I couldn't leave till I get bloodwork done and since fasting was needed will do it tomorrow. Of course, tomorrow it is supposed to pour all day. Maybe Sunday, which cuts short my time, but I really need to get some stuff up. Always something. First world problems. No one is bombing my city.

San said...

What a fun zoo day with Paul. The vulture looks so cool up close and look at the wing span! I can imagine Paul was more excited about the splash pad though. Haha.

I am so sorry you have to deal with all this insurance crap... this should be easier and it's still mind-boggling to me the amount of co-pays and deductibles are part of the process. No wonder so many people can't afford it and then it's always a battle with a gazillion phone calls. Sigh. I hope it's going to get easier (and cheaper) for you with the infusions.

Hooray for getting together with a friend. It's ridiculous sometimes how much time passes between friend dates.

Coco said...

I like a book with a strong opening! I haven't gotten back to fiction yet, but have been saving a long list of reads for when I'm ready.
sorry about your crazy bill again, so frustrating, I hope you got used to it, unfortunately, so it doesn't stress you out too much (it would stress me out thought)
I had a great week with a camper in my officer, Sofia, which I really enjoyed.

Jenny said...

That sounds like an epic zoo day! I kind of feel the way about tarantulas that you feel about rats/mice, so it's funny to me that you're so casually like "here we are closeup with a tarantula!" Eek.
I think Caroline Girvan has another series called "Tempo" that I tried. As far as I remember, it was mostly strength- I don't like the HIIT style ones either. But you can't go wrong with repeating Iron.
Good luck this weekend! I hope you get some decent weather.

Anonymous said...

I always enjoyed Yahtzee as a kid! We found another version called Kit and Caboodle (by Gamewright) that uses animal classification: mammal reptile insect, etc. Instead of Yahtzee, you spell out “Kit & Caboodle.”
Paul might like it.

Mom of Children said...

OMGAWWWWWWD The insurance issue sounds so annoying!!! I've dealt with Cigna many times and I was rage vomiting pea soup like that movie. I hope people start doing their jobs. Human factor and all but we don't need this kind of unpleasant emotions.
I need to get Yahtzee for L - I am not big on board games, but I think she'll like it!
My week was quiet! And enjoyable. The heat wav here in NJ is tremendous but as I write this, a nice thunderstorm just passed through the area. We needed it!

NGS said...

I can't even deal with the insurance issues. As if your RA isn't stressful enough!

I have a confession to make. I think Caroline Girvan is too hard-core for me. Her workouts are great, but they're frequently too hard for me and I have to do accommodations or skip days and it sort of makes me feel like a failure. I have moved on to Sydney Cumming's Summertime Fine series and it's a happy medium for me in that it's hard enough that I am SORE the next day, but it's not so hard that I can't complete workouts. That's all. I feel like I've let the internet down in not adoring CG as much as I should.

Grateful Kae said...

We have had so much rain too! We got hit with a big storm in our area last night and there have been flood warnings etc. A friend posted a video of water literally just pouring into their basement through some kind of a gap in the egress window, I guess. Yikes. Another posted a video of their son standing in knee deep water in their front yard! Fortunately we don't seem to have that much right at our house, though we have one spot in our basement that is prone to leaks, so we always watch it and get nervous about that.

I would NOT like that strength program with all the HIIT. Maybe I'm just a wimp, but those types of workouts feel too hard for me in an unenjoyable way. haha. I have also decided over the years that they flat out just are not necessary in order to be in shape. (Used to do similar ones on beachbody...). I just got back into the gym Thursday for the first time post vacation. I'm still doing the Lift with Sohee program. I'd recommend it since it has a home version and also a quick 30 minute turbo option, but I feel like many of you guys who are used to the video format tend to prefer that- which I get! It is nice to just follow along and not have to think at all. Plus the videos can be fun! I personally like doing my own thing and just following the prescribed program in the app or written in my notebook so I can use my workout time for podcast listening. :)

Stephany said...

GAH. That insurance stuff is so frustrating. All of those phone calls that all led to "welp, idk what to tell you! If you want this medication, gonna have to give us $2k." Like, thankfully you have the ability to pay for that but my heart hurts for people who cannot. UGH. What a mess.

I love that Paul loves Yahtzee. And he loves math, too? That must make his math major mama very proud!

Anne said...

How do you have any hair left after tearing it out over the **** CVS debacle? Seriously, they need to get themselves together. Hope the billing for the infusions, at least, is more straightforward. Sheesh.
Paul time! Love it!