Thursday, April 23, 2009


I woke up after a good night's sleep feeling much better. The heavy congestion in my chest was gone, and I felt a lot stronger. Marty also slept well, and he says he is feeling a little better, although still sick. I wanted something different for breakfast, and asked him to cook some Wheatena for me (a wholegrain hot cereal), which I ate with a little bit of honey.

Lisa arrived at eleven to give me my massage; we talked about the symptoms I've been having, and decided to concentrate on things that would give me more energy. I think it worked; I've been out of bed several times today, unlike the last few days, when it was a real struggle. Kathy wants me to try to be out of bed as much as I can, but some days it's just impossible.

Ann arrived in the middle of the afternoon (Marty had gone out), and she did some things like straightening up things in the kitchen and helping me get things off the bed, which had gotten piled up with stuff again. A little while later my friend Susan arrived with the chicken coconut soup we both like so much from the Thai restaurant. She made a pot of our favorite tea--lapsang soochong--and said that the tea canister was almost empty. The other day when we were out I went to the tea store with Marty and stocked up on all the other teas I drink regularly, but I didn't think to check thelapsang soochong, since I don't drink it that often. Susan said she'll bring more next time she comes.

Since there were three of us we sat in the dining room, drinking tea (I used my fancy china teacups) and eating our soup and talking. Susan thinks I need to write an appeal to the insurance company, with supporting letters from Dr. Meyer (my primary care doctor), and Dr. Forrow, detailing the amount of expensive, hospital based services I'm likely to need if I'm denied continuing hospice care. She also thinks we might be able to find a sympathetic Boston Globe columnist, which would put additional pressure on the insurance company.

Meanwhile, I'm still trying to determine the date I become eligible for Medicare. The person I called at the Social Security 800 number said the five months of retroactive payments don't count (which means I wouldn't become eligible for Social Security until October), but I sent an e-mail to my cousin Jon, who works for Social Security, and he said that they do count, which means I would be eligible for Medicare in July. I need to get a definitive, official answer, because the sooner I'm eligible for Medicare the sooner the insurance company will no longer be involved.

I will start working on the appeal letter tomorrow; right now I'm tired and think I'll start getting ready for bed.

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