Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Couch to 5K-ing

There are a handful of things I flat out dislike - things like biting into popsicles (hair on my arms is standing up), getting stuck behind slow walkers, Sally Kern, elevators, and of course, running.

I've always been more of a brisk walker, yoga doer, and ballet dancer than a runner or any kind of athlete. The lifestyle change that came with graduating college has forced me, however, to change my ways. I don't have the luxury of a gym within walking distance, or dance classes as part of my curriculum, and I am concerned about what kind of shape my heart is in due to a lack of aerobic activity.

By some bizarre act of God, I have committed myself (along with my nearly-husband) to complete Couch to 5K, a nine-week program designed to get my out of shape behind, well,  in shape and ready to run 3 miles.

We just completed week 4, and I am shocked to say that I am kind of enjoying it while having my butt kicked at the same time.

The first couple of weeks, my internal, and sometimes external monologue was as follows:

   "Oh my God, how many more minutes do we have to RUN?"

   "This stitch in my side hurts so bad - what if I'm having a stroke?!"

   "I swear I have asthma like I did when I was in kindergarten. THAT MUST BE WHY I CAN'T BREATHE."

  "Thanks for the 110 degree weather Oklahoma City. I totally LOVE sweating like this. YEESH."

Okay moving on.

Perhaps it was the 75 degree evening, or just the fact that I'm progressing on this program, but tonight I actually -gasp- enjoyed my run. Okay run/walk, but whatever.

I can just feel my heart, and my legs getting stronger, and rather than feeling defeated like I used to when I would attempt a run around the neighborhood that inevitably ended after 15 minutes of wheezing and walking, I feel a sense of accomplishment that overshadows even the fact that I may have inhaled a bug that i quickly coughed back out again on one of tonight's sprints.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Another Weird Story About Insurance

In case you didn't know, I have a very, very common name. My last name is in the top five most common last names in the United States, and "Rachel" is not exactly rare either. I've always had issues with other people having my same name. There was another "me" at the gym I went to in my home town, my dance studio, my college and there is one at the allergy clinic where I get my weekly shots. I'm  used to giving my middle initial and DOB to avoid a mix up more often than not.

With all of this in mind, I was still surprised last week to find a letter in my mailbox addressed to Rachel A. Chavez. It read:

     "Dear Mrs. Chavez,

      We have changed your name from Rachel A. Williams to Rachel A.         Chavez per your request. Your new insurance card is   enclosed."

Umm EXCUSE ME Blue Cross Blue Shield? I requested no such thing.

So I call them to explain, and of course they are very apologetic. They said they received a faxed request from me to change my name (no they didn't), but can't currently access said fax to verify. Basically I tell them that fax is not from me and that I'm totally freaked out about my privacy and whether or not I would even be legitimately covered were I to present my insurance card to my doctor. I am assured that they will fix this problem, and send me my new Rachel Williams card stat. Phew.

Fast forward a week and a half. I get a voicemail from BCBS. They let me know they have changed my name back, and my new insurance card is in the mail. They have also received my faxed marriage license, that I signed "Rachel Williams-Chavez" but they still just put Williams on my card per my request.

Again, Umm EXCUSE ME? There is no way that is my marriage license. What the hell BCBS, I thought we figured this out? 

So I call them again, and they pull the marriage license, compare it to my file and guess what? NOT MY MARRIAGE LICENSE. Different DOB, address, social, phone number, email, everything. Shocking!  Again, I am assured it is fixed.

To add fuel to my angry fire, I get put on hold for 15 minutes waiting to talk to claims about any issues there, and when I finally hear a human's voice, my iPhone drops the call. Brilliant. And basically, that is my horror story of BCBS transitional health insurance.

I am quite unnerved that someone was so careless regarding my records. Putting that license in my file was a blatantly careless mistake, and one that put my health care in jeopardy and my privacy on the line. I will continue to be nervous about my records for as long as I use them, which won't be much longer since my new-job insurance will kick in soon.

To put things in perspective though, the real tragedy here lies in the lives of my future children, who will probably have really strange names as a result of this horrible experience with Blue Cross Blue Shield.