First, we’ll take a look at the past.
In the recent past — yesterday, in fact — Steve celebrated the 65th anniversary of his natal day. Here’s a picture of him with a couple of party guests:
In keeping with the Cat Farm’s well-earned reputation for housing party animals, we partied hearty. Some of us, heartier than others:
Going a little further into the past, here’s a fascinating slide show of the Baltimore that was. I don’t remember all of the places shown, but I do remember an astonishing number of them. There’s even a picture of the General Motors Assembly Plant on Broening Highway, in Canton, where my father worked for many, many years, as a spot-welder. This may be of interest to those who ask where Surebleak “came from.” It came from Baltimore, folks.
Putting our gaze now firmly on the present and near future, I have today received a notification from the people who review our health insurance provider’s “formulary” that they will no longer be covering my thyroid medicine — levothyroxine. They will be requiring me to accept an alternate — synthroid. I think this is the first time in my life I’ve ever received such a notification from a health insurance company. On the other hand, I’m fortunate in that I don’t take very many medicines, so maybe this is A Thing.
Here’s what’s funny, though. When I first started with the underachieving thyroid, my doctor prescribed synthroid, which I liked as much as anyone can like a drug they have to take for a chronic medical condition. Such relationships are, at best, complicated. But! The insurance company at the time did the thing that I’m Very Familiar with, that being the notification that they weren’t paying for any fancy-schmancy name brand medicines. The generic would do me — and all the rest of the people in the network who took thyroid medicine — just fine. If I wanted to, I could continue with the name brand medicine, but I would pay full price for it, which I couldn’t afford, so it was levothyroxine for me.
. . .which, at the time — we’re talking years ago, here — I thought didn’t work as well. Pooh-pooh, said the insurance company, generics work just as well — in some cases, they work better! — than name brand medicines; stop making a fuss.
(Honestly, I was required by the day-job to attend two presentations about medications given by our then-insurance-company, and the Utter Contempt displayed for name brand medicines was really off-putting. You’d think name brand medicines were one step below Mrs. Pinkham’s Medicinal Compound. What’s with that?)
In addition, this change comes at an. . .interesting time, when we’re trying to work out exactly the right dose of thyroid meds I need to function correctly, using levothyroxine, which will no longer be available to me, starting, um, today. The letter from the formulary counsels me to get with my health care provider and have her write me a prescription for the new drug. Which. . .OK, though that does raise the issue of cost. It’ll be hard to beat the price I paid for my last refill of levothyroxine, which was $0.
So, all of that. Time for me to get to work, since I’ve already done the vacuuming.
On deck today, Author Commentary for the final chapter of Shan and Priscilla Ride Again, and more work on Droi, which will eventually be part of The Gathering Edge.
Why, yes, even in the midst of All This Excitement, we’re writing a book. Because we’re just that awesome.
In order to reward the two people who managed to read all the way down to here — I offer two songs.
The first, which brings you the title of today’s blog post, Excellent Birds, Laurie Anderson and Peter Gabriel. Here’s your link.
The second comes from the Irish Rovers, Lily the Pink. Here’s that link.