As you know, I am trying to establish new exercise and mindfulness habits. Today, I did the daily mindfulness practices for the week, a body scan (basically paying attention to each part of your body while doing relaxation breathing) and a “mindful meal.” During the meal, I tried to experience all of the flavor, texture, smells, etc of the food as I was eating it instead of just gulping everything down while I am fiddling with my smart phone or with my computer. (I don’t do this at family meals, just lunch.)

When my 9:30 testing case cancelled at the last minute, instead of driving straight home, I thought “I was going to take a walk around my office after I was done with this testing. If I go home now (testing takes a couple of hours and I didn’t have anyone scheduled until the afternoon), I know I’m bound to go inside and start working instead of going for a walk. I’m going on the walk now.” So I walked over to Red Cup Espresso. Gina and Samir made me a delicious latte, which I carried with me while I took a walk for an hour and a half. By the time I got back to my office, I felt great.

I drove home and started some cooking. I am also trying to prepare healthy meals ahead for freezing as part of my new eating habits. When it’s John’s turn to cook, he usually gets take-out. I’m trying to avoid that kind of food. It’s either fattening or unsatisfying or both. He has been working at top speed on building a deck so he is not going to be cooking frequently again any time soon. I also wanted to put away some food for my friend, Brian who had major surgery for sarcoma on the 13th. He will be coming home from the hospital soon.

When the mail arrived I noticed that there was an envelope from our insurance. We get a lot of these as you can imagine. I opened up the envelope and it was the Explanation of Benefits for my $28K hospital bill (please save rants about hospitals overcharging people for other venues) for my mastectomy. They said that they were paying $0 because the hospital had not obtained a pre-authorization. Aaaaaah! I took a deep breath and then went through John’s stack of mail because I know I had seen a pre-authorization for the mastectomy. I got the pre-authorization letter, a pen, and the Explanation of Benefits form. I let my fingers do the walking and called my insurance. The customer service representative was quite nice. (I do a lot of talking with insurance companies for my job. This is not always the case.) I asked her why the claims were denied even though I had a pre-authorization letter. As it turns out, insurance had already been in contact with Swedish Hospital about this. Apparently, they had a question about one of the charges and when that happens, it holds up the entire claim! As she noted that this inquiry had been made a couple of weeks ago, it would have been nice had they written something about this in their notes instead of just writing that the whole thing wasn’t covered. Phew!

Good thing I’m good at breathing!