January 17, 2024
3 mins read

The Other Worldly Report

Elder orphan. Oh my God. No longer a boomer, a category that didn’t depress me, but elder orphan? I fit the bill because I have no offspring and often not a lot of support. I do fine though. I sure could have used some help trying to decide if I wanted to change health plans during the open enrollment for Medicare this year. Do I switch to a company that’s new in the area but has no premiums? Do I stick with what I know? I think they make this so complicated with all of the options that a lot of us just give up. I need a subtract option for all the ads for these things! I’ve been on a drug called Synthroid for hypothyroidism for about eighteen years. When I tried to refill it a few weeks ago, I was told that the pharmacy was waiting for a PA, a prior authorization for insurance purposes. WTF? Eighteen years on this stuff and you need authorization that I should be taking it?
I was totally out of these silly blue pills, and I told them so. No matter. Frustration set in and even though I had not raised my voice on the phone, I was accused of it by an oversensitive, little pill of a man on the other end of the phone. I was having the conversation in my car so maybe there
was an echo. Trust me. I’m Italian and you will KNOW when I raise my voice.
I was the one who felt expired and tired. That same week, I went in for fasting blood work. I was already pissy from not having my morning coffee. I was told that my standing blood order had also expired. My doctor had not renewed it. Was there a message here?
Which brings me to my next ridiculous health fiasco. My toenails have changed color. Could be from using nail polish even though I haven’t used it in a while. The doc suggested Jublia. One would think, by that name, that this is a mood enhancer which I am needing right about now. But it’s not. It supposedly treats fungal infections. Dear Lord, I didn’t look like I had
one of those. Now I need an antidepressant. The thing is that this stuff only has a 30% kill rate, and you need to take it for a year, forty-nine weeks to be exact. And it’s more expensive than the Synthroid I can’t get. But I gave in and ordered it and received at tiny bottle that held less than a
small bottle of eye drops. The cost was $75 for something that might last a month, depending on
how many yellow toes you had. Even the gal at the specialized pharmacy I had to order from sounded shocked. But she said the “normal” cost was $600. WHAT??? Yep, you read that right. If I wanted to gamble and enlist in this, without a guarantee, the cost to me would be close to $1000. To someone without insurance, it would be over $7000. Who would take those odds?
I might be an elder orphan, but I still think I am pretty tough. I have survived a lot in this lifetime and defied the odds of
some pretty serious medical conditions. I was dropped on my head as a baby (in all fairness to Mom, I back-flipped out of her arms on to a silver box which I dented), choked multiple times after putting things in my mouth that didn’t belong there like bobby pins, jacks, plastic packaging, etc. I tried the bobby pin in the electrical outlet too and survived with little black fingers which coordinated well
with my bruised blue head and red choking face. I have survived being thrown out of a Volkswagen bug with a Porsche engine at age sixteen, with my hair knotted up in a raspberry bush and gravel embedded in my shoulder, but nothing more serious than that. My boyfriend, the pompous race car driver, had a concussion and was bleeding profusely, but not me. At 19, Mom and I walked away from an accident on the 405 freeway in Southern Cal after spinning through all of the lanes and ending smack up against the guardrail, facing in the opposite direction with just one flat tire and one scratch on the Mustang.
After way too much alcohol at a bar in Sunnyvale when I was years underage (but had a great fake ID) I ended up with the front end of my Pinto in a ditch at 1:00 am after trying to make a U-turn on a frontage road. I sat there and cried until I saw headlights. Three big guys got out of their car. I started to panic and thought, “This is NOT good.” They all picked up the Pinto and put it back on the road and said, “Have a nice night.” Seriously. Felt like an episode of (Not) Touched by an Angel.
I watched a show on Amazon this week called Immortal about people who couldn’t die. Doubtful that I am one of those because if I eat too much turkey I pass out. Tryptophan is my Kryptonite. Goodnight. But I often ask myself why I am still above ground. Makes me wonder if I really need health insurance, blood tests, and prescriptions after all.
Also makes a good case for yellow toes.

Robyn Justo is the author of The Expiration Date and Losing Locality. She is a freelance writer in Pacific Grove, California. She has written for the Macomb Observer, Senior Wire, Hopelessly Romantic, Kinetics Magazine, Go60, Living Aloha, and various other newspapers throughout the country. Robyn was a sales and marketing executive in the high tech and advertising fields for many years. For a necessary balance (and to keep from tipping over), she has always had a foot in both the spiritual and three-dimensional worlds.

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