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Ahh, a day at home....

February 25th, 2014 at 05:45 am

Today I'm working from home. Nirvana. I have an eye doc appointment toward the end of the day and I lose less time at the office if I can simply work from home; luckily, I have an accommodating boss.

The eye doc appointment is a field vision test, which basically tests your peripheral vision where you push the button whenever you see flashing specks of light in all areas of a black field.

They're doing this because probably 2 years ago after a routine exam with an optometrist, she said my eye pressure is on the high side of normal. This had been flagged by another optometrist years earlier, but his tack was to watch and monitor. This one recommended I see an ophthalmologist, which I did. High eye pressure is a red flag for glaucoma. Doesn't mean I definitely have it; I could just have somewhat higher eye pressure than most. But the field test will establish a baseline for me I guess. Believe it or not, glaucoma can be treated with eye drops, although it's symptomless, so it's important to get your eyes checked regularly.

While I certainly want to make sure my eyes are ok, this does sort of remind me of other encounters I've had with the medical establishment which wind up costing a lot of time and money for no real benefit.

That was pretty much the case about 5 years ago when I wound up having an ovary removed. Although I had no symptoms, my gyno said the "mass" she felt around one of my ovaries had gotten a little bigger. She had mentioned a "cyst" in the past, and so I never became that alarmed until for some reason she got my attention when she said it had gotten bigger. Her approach was also to keep an eye on it, but I was concerned enough to seek a 2nd opinion, from an oncologist at Yale, which was basically my undoing, because OF COURSE he was going to recommend surgery, that's how he makes his money. He said there was no way to tell if this "growth" was malignant or not until they cut me open. So now the fear of a cancerous growth made me undergo a totally (in hindsight) unnecessary major surgery. Let me tell you, abdominal surgery is not an easy recovery, and not only that, the surgery messed up the smooth and rounded appearance of my lower belly. I have a scar that runs 6 inches down from my belly button.

I'm just bringing this up because it seems to me there's a lot doctors don't know, and their tools seem to be largely limited to 1. surgery and 2. powerful medications that often do more harm than good. If you mention something like good nutrition and antioxidants, they smile politely and move on.

I hadn't really planned on this being the focus of my post today, but I suspect the whole glaucoma scare may be along a similar vein. I guess it's better to be safe than sorry, and perhaps the doctor's desire to avoid malpractice suits spurs him to be more thorough than perhaps is really warranted. At least I have insurance. This is the sorry state of our health insurance system in America today.

I always look forward to the end of the month because I enjoy (!) doing my end of month expense and investment reports. I also get to make my first of the month transfer to savings, and since I'm not tracking these savings on a special 5-year spreadsheet, I can literally see my long-term progress, which is highly motivating to me.

That being said, I can tell you that as of now I have a ways to go to meet my end of 2014 savings balance. At the growth rate cited above and with my regular contributions, my balance should be $623,000; as of end of January (see profile at left), my balance was just $571,000. a shortfall of $52,000. So I have 10 months to make up that shortfall! I GUESS it could be done, even though my minimum contributions for the rest of the year may only be $8,000 ($800 a month).

I just don't know if 6.5% overall return is doable. Here's an interesting report about 2014 markets: http://www.russell.com/documents/corporate/2014-global-annual-outlook.pdf


I was thankful to have finally gotten my mail delivered again yesterday after a week of suspension because the mailman couldn't reach my mailbox due to all the snow along the roadside. I am expecting the first of 3 installment payments from a new client.

All told, there are 3 new freelance projects that could start any day now for me; two of them are big jobs while there's one involving editing a legal report, I could knock out in a weekend.

I'm also anxiously awaiting my IRS refund of about $1,000. I filed real paper forms that I mailed. I prefer to do the taxes myself, and all the free software programs they make available on their website seem to take charge and walk you through the whole return, but not in the way the return is laid out in the IRS forms and booklet, and having already filled out those forms, I would have liked to do the same online, but none of those other companies offering tax return services seem to do that. They want to do the calculations FOR you, and I'd rather do it myself, thank you. I did file my state tax form online and already got the small refund ($119) associated with it.

Today since I'm home I plan to call the woman who is part of the close-knit hiking group the man I'm dating belongs to. I haven't spoken to her in several years so I'm sure she'll be surprised to hear from me, but she does live right here in town and there was a time we were friendly. I'd like to hear more about what she thinks of...oh heck, it's tiresome to keep referring to him in other ways, so let's just call him by his real name....MIKE.

5 Responses to “Ahh, a day at home....”

  1. CB in the City Says:

    I had a hysterectomy about 10 years ago. Supposedly the doctor gave me the "bikini" incision (meaning it's way low on the belly) but the scar went keloid and it was pretty ugly. Just commiserating with you that my lower belly is mucked up, too. However, unlike you, I was desperately in need of the hysterectomy and haven't regretted it at all other than the scar it left.

    I hear you on the unnecessary medical spending, though. When I was recovering from my ankle break, I was told to come in for a follow-up after two years. Two years later, the doc and the whole office were surprised to see me, as apparently nobody really follows that advice! It cost me $80 and I was a little annoyed. I asked him every question I could think of to get my money's worth!

  2. Carol Says:

    Once you have a baseline( for the field vision), they can watch for years if all goes well.Good luck.

  3. scottish girl Says:

    "abdominal surgery is not an easy recovery"

    I totally agree, I'm still recovering from mine.

  4. snafu Says:

    Is there any family history of Glaucoma? Does your mom know if anyone in the extended family lost their vision? It is critical to have eye pressure medically monitored. By the time the headache stage emerges you are in danger of losing vision.

    Am I correct to assume the mass removed was benign? As a cancer survivor I too am regularly told 'surgery is advised as a preventative.' I deeply resent having to submit to the medicos every 5 years for 'evaluation.' I do so in hopes it will prevent woman from being subjected to 'preventative' Angelina Jolie medico fear mongering.

  5. PatientSaver Says:

    No family history, just eye pressure that's "on the high side of normal." Every thing today was fine, including the eye pressure, so I guess it varies. He wants to see me in a year.

    Yes, the mass was benign.

    I am confident my new vegan diet will help keep me healthy.

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