5 Things You Should Do When You Receive a Medical Bill:

1.  Call the doctor’s office

If you do not understand what you are billing for, ask the doctor’s office. Although we rely heavily upon computers and information technology, we cannot take for granted the information we are being given is correct. Not only do people make mistakes, in this day and age in the ever changing world of health care, but computers do too. For that very reason, it does not hurt to call the doctor’s office and go over statement to be certain the amount due, in fact, your responsibility.

2. Call the insurance company.

Remember, you are a subscriber to your insurance plan and are entitled to a detailed explanation on how your visit was processed. There is a Member Services telephone number printed on the back of your insurance card. Don’t be afraid to use it and interrogate the insurance company like a parent wanting to know where their child had been because of broken curfew. Compare notes with the representative to the statement in hand for inconsistencies. * If there is an inconsistency, ask the representative to conference call you in with the doctor’s office to insure you are all on the same page.

3. Take Notes

Jot down the names of everyone you spoke with and ask for a reference number for the phone call. It is not unusual for a medical claim to come back to haunt you after having been reassured things were resolved. Computers and people make mistakes. If you come across another statement you have all your references together to them where to go…. To speak with whomever it concerns, of course.

4. Ask Questions about that particular service

Often you may end up having to pick up the tab for certain services that aren’t considered part of a doctor’s office visit. For example, when a patient sees the doctor and the doctor runs a necessary diagnostic test every time a patient comes to monitor their health, this might generate additional copayments or a deductible charge weeks after a patient was seen. IF you happen to be a frequent flyer type of patient, it wouldn’t hurt to look over that portion of what you may be held responsible for down the road.

5. Make a payment plan

If you’re like me, and are not part of the 1%, you can get taken aback at the cost of your stint in the hospital, MRI Center, blood lab, etc. To avoid collections and all other nightmares that follow, request a payment plan. A small percentage monthly beats 100% of nothing and all providers dig that. If you’re on a fixed income, apply for hardship and they will certainly work with you. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose.

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Over the Moon for Olive Oil

As I continue my research and education on skin care I came across a myriad of reasons why everyone should make a concerted effort to care for their skin.  The skin is, after all, the largest organ on the human body and it also absorbs everything you put on it into your blood stream.  What you put on your skin largely contributes to the level of toxins in your blood, thus possibly having an impact on your health.  This is terribly alarming. 

At risk of going off topic, I strongly recommend you do research on the amount of toxins you are exposed to daily and the possible adverse effects of products you use on your skin like lotions, makeup, hair dye, after shave, perfumes and of course body soaps.  Soaps comprised of chemicals essentially defeat the purpose of cleaning the body if they are effectively contaminating your blood stream. 

So… what do we do about it?

I’ve long since gone organic after reading countless articles and studies that support the claim we are unwittingly absorbing toxins into our blood stream every day.  Aside from Witch Hazel, and Coconut Oil..  I have become a huge fan of olive oil.  Olive oil has many healthy benefits to your skin.  It has many uses aside from cooking with it.  Some of the major beneficial properties include healthier skin and anti-aging properties.  Organic olive oil based skin products really make a difference and it’s also very good for hydrating the skin and removing make up.  It is also sensitive skin friendly.

I tend to be on the go with a life mantra of “there aren’t enough hours in the day.”  It is quite important to make sure I make the most out of my daily routine.  It makes perfect sense to incorporate an organic skin product with an active ingredient that has multiple uses.

  • Removes dirt and makeup without over stripping the face causing break outs

  • Sensitive skin friendly

  • Positive effects on blood stream if it sinks into the skin – even better

  • Repairs and maintains skin health

Loveyouoliveoilsoaps

http://www.loveyouoliveoilsoap.com

You’re winning all around if you can get these benefits out of one product – particularly soap.  I prefer all natural handmade products with ingredients that are beneficial to over all health which is why I am taken with Love You Olive Oil Soap.  Aside from being made from love, you’ll be loving your skin by cleansing it with ingredients that promote health rather than contributing more toxins to your body thus compromising your health.  You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.  You can purchase these soaps online via the website.  Love You Olive Oil Soaps are $7 each or you can get a bundle of 4 for $20.  

 

Weighing In On Self Worth

I had the pleasure to meet a remarkable young woman by the name of Mar Ortiz a few years ago.  She is now a reality television star on a show called Big Women: Big Love .  Recently, she found herself catapulted into an arena that is as courageous and inspiring as it is absurd.  A photo and a statement… would soon be a platform of debate.

I love my love handles!

I scrolled upon this photo in my Facebook feed and I commended Mar because there is nothing more beautiful than being comfortable in your own skin.  As this picture went viral and people began commenting, I was actually appalled at the thought that anyone would even suggest that Mar was “glorifying obesity.”  That’s absolutely absurd!  It is becoming harder and harder in this day and age to “be beautiful.”  What is beauty? Is it running around scantily clad?  Is it looking like a superhero? Is it systematically butchering your body parts to resemble a celebrity?

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It’s absolutely ghastly and unnerving for someone to be scrutinized for appreciating their God given body.  That concept within itself has been so lost in translation for some time.  In a world of Photoshop, filters and plastic surgery … what’s so bad about posting a picture and being content with yourself.

Love yourself at any size or glorifying obesity?

Not everyone is petite, tall, thin, or even full figured.  What is wrong with enjoying what you have and working it with confidence and acceptance?  We must be careful with the type of message we are sending and be wary of it being lost in translation lest we raise a generation of self-loathing anorexics with a skewed perception of what beauty truly is.

From the outside it is very easy to point and shake a finger at people who put themselves out there.  On the other hand.. “out… there..” are many people who maybe suffering for various reasons that are not afforded the opportunity to attempt to fit into this highly unrealistic ideal of beauty.  In addition to what they are facing, they should not be made to feel that they cannot be happy within themselves or pleased with their appearance because it is seemingly is not acceptable to the norm.

Self-acceptance should be celebrated and woman like Mar empower others.  In turn they should be supported and not blasted for simply being happy with who they are and proud of their appearance.

Knock, Knock

I had a GNI (Girls Night In) evening last night and rented a movie called “Knock, Knock” starring Keanu Reeves.  I must admit I knew nothing about the movie prior.  I had never seen a preview trailer but was gripped by the concept of the plot because it is something that does occur but hardly ever reported or talked about.  Apparently this film is a Sundance film that premiered earlier 2015.   It is centered around a topic we are conditioned to avoid talking about.  Rape.  Moreover, MALE RAPE.

A new study reveals that men are often the victims of sexual assault, and women are often the perpetrators. – Hanna Rosin

There are a lot of myths and misconception about rape itself…  When we think about rape, we automatically assume it is a crime that is committed against women and children.  The statistics on adult male rape are not accurate simply because male rape is seldom reported.  There is an overwhelming shroud of shame that comes along with rape that is unfathomable among male victims due to the misconception that arousal equals consent much like the misconception of a woman warranting sexual assault because of her attire.

In asking 40,000 households about rape and sexual violence, the survey uncovered that 38 percent of incidents were against men. – Hanna Rosin

Self blame, particularly for a male in a such a predicament, can be a psychological oppression that can fester as a result of being unable to speak out based on the general consensus.  An erection is a physiological response to stimuli which is no different from when a doctor takes a mallet to a person’s knee.  The real damage emerges when the adult male victim tries to wrap his head around what transpired.  Sometimes, sexuality maybe called into question of the perpetrator is male as well.

It is extremely crucial we raise awareness and educate ourselves on the topic and educate others so that they are empowered.   This can happen to anyone.  No one deserves violation regardless of their attire, state of sobriety, or physiological response to stimuli.

Although the plot scenario has been exaggerated for entertainment purposes, the principles of power and control are present.  Manipulation into self blame are all present as well.   There are a few links below for more information if you would like to get a comprehensive understanding on rape, sexual violence, and the general misconceptions.

RANIN

When Men Are Raped

Rape Myths and Facts

 

Choice

No one says you have to be the same person you were yesterday. No one says you have to be the same person you were just five minutes ago. Changing is a choice. The choices you make can shift your paradigm and although you remain in the same environment among the same people, you can be a different person and therefore have an entirely different experience than before.

 

If you choose to be happy, you will notice the distinction in how you deal with unhappy people. Moreover, they will notice it too.

“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” – Paulo Coelho

If you choose to live your life looking through the windshield rather than the rear view mirror, you will notice new opportunities and encounter new people that will yield new experiences.

You have to be the catalyst of the change. It must start inside. It must start with you.

Like ripples in water a single simple choice undulates and echoes throughout the universe. Not only does a simple choice affect you, but those around you in inconceivable ways. If you choose to say hello to someone versus just walking past them can possibly make or break their day setting off a social butterfly effect.

The most difficult part of the process is simply making the choice.

“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Requiem for Responsibility

I came across this post from a positive and motivating good friend of mine.

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As I read it over again, I reckon this schpeel applies to us all.  There is a silent social epidemic of entitlement that is stifling and strangulating our ability to connect with one another on a healthy basis.  This social epidemic of entitlement has infiltrated our professional and interpersonal relationships.  Responsibility evades us when we feel as if we are owed something whether it is praise, validation, favors, special treatment, retribution, immunity to rules and laws etc.  Nothing good can ever come from feeling entitled.

You are important and you are needed.  It’s too late to sit around and wait for somebody to do something someday.  Someday is now and that somebody is you!

Every single soul has a special super power.  Every single soul has a contribution to make to other souls.  It is our individual responsibility to identify our special power and use it to impact the lives of others.  No one can do it for us.  That is just how we are built.  Without purpose, we end up shits creek and possibly for some, before a judge reciting something similar to the above. 

It is up to you to decide to take responsibility for yourself and your individual power.  Learn it, use it.  It is far more rewarding to do so than to sit back and wait to receive what you feel you are entitled to receive.

When All Else Fails in Your Closet

Every woman comes out the womb screaming she has “nothing to wear.”  To quote the great philosopher Usher Raymond, these “situations will arise in our lives but, you’ve got to be smart about it!”

The little black dress

36 Chic Little Black Dress Outfits - Style Estate -

36 Chic Little Black Dress Outfits – Style Estate –

It always makes a big statement. It does not matter if it has been in heavy rotation for years like your favorite song on your iPod playlist. Add some accessories to the deal or a pair of textured or bright colored shoes and “Voila!” a whole new look.

The Classic White Shirt

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Paired with your most flattering jeans, this combo is the little outfit that could – and will – hit the mark every single time. Play up your hair and face.  Be sure to add a Boss Lady handbag or clutch and no one can tell you squat; unless of course, you actually do at the gym in which case is a total score!.. “Goal!”

The pencil skirt

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Adding a blouse or tank top makes a nice and easy ensemble to pull off that can coincidentally look like you’ve pulled out all the stops.  You can throw in a belt over it to seal the deal.  Whether you throw on a leather jacket, cropped denim jacket, or a bolero jacket/sweater … you’re good to go.

The Blazer

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The blazer can be worked into a casual outfit to transform a day look into night.  If you’re in a t shirt and jeans, add a blazer and some heels to complete a fun and stylish look.  It works every time!

The Fourth Decade

This post awesome!

Amanda Mininger

One of my closest friends turned 40 today. I’ve been thinking about this one, trying to figure out why we put this much significance on a birthday, why we decorate this particular mile marker with lights and flowers and well-meaning phrases full of pith, borrowed from antiquity or Sex in the City, one of the two. I’ve had this conversation before with friends in their late 30s and early 40s, and we all say the same thing: “I don’t feel 40. I don’t know what it’s supposed to feel like, but whatever it is, I don’t feel it. Does it mean we have to wear longer skirts now?”

Whatever cause for contemplation there is, I’ll take the bait. I know that, at minimum, turning 40 gives us permission to take stock and see where we are, to ask of ourselves: What have I learned (if anything?) What have I…

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Why You Can’t Live Without Witch Hazel

Witch Hazel has become one of the most important items in my medicine cabinet.  It has multiple medical and aesthetic uses.  Topically, it can be applied for minor skin rash, irritation, bug bites and sunburn.  It can also clear up acne, blemishes, brighten skin, shrink pores and eye bags.thy-045178-1

I have used it for years now.  I cleanse my face and splash Thayer’s Witch Hazel with lemon on it and let it air dry before I apply makeup.  I use nothing else.  I have not had a break out since.  It gives a natural dewy glow without over drying your skin or leaving it greasy.  At night, I also put some on a cotton swab to remove eye make up and I dab a little extra under my eyes so that I do not wake up looking too tired or worn out.

There are many other uses for Witch Hazel.  Please check out some articles listed below for further uses.

17 Genius Uses of Witch Hazel

Uses for Witch Hazel

So, I said to myself… Self…

How do you view yourself? Is how you view yourself congruent with who are? How can you tell?

These are self-assessment questions everyone should ask themselves periodically – particularly when their lives are on the verge of change. Are the same formulas still working for you? What is your current level of inner peace? Are you happy? Are you sleeping well at night? Is your load heavy? How can you lighten it?

 

Self-assessment can be a scary thing. Sometimes we do not want to look back or within but looking back and looking within will provide the clues and tools necessary to move onward to your next destination. Looking back a year ago today… where were you? What were your biggest fears and concerns? What were your accomplishments? What goals have you set since? Have you achieved them? Who had been helpful and supportive when needed along the way?

 

In life we can accumulate a lot of things like methods of doing things, people and paradigms that are no longer suitable. Once a bipedal adult, one reckons the fastest was to get around is not on all fours as a quadruped. This is no different from maturing and shedding old thought patterns, influences and extracting lessons from experiences had that help shape you to become who you are while honing your skills to identify and circumvent recurrences of not-so-pleasant situations, experiences, and people. This too, like handwriting, is a skill that takes practice. It is a difficult skill at first because looking back and looking within can dredge up feelings that are unpleasant.

 

Feelings are what make us human and perhaps, so incredibly beautifully flawed. Good feelings are better than any possible high known to man. Bad feelings… well… I know I do not stand alone when I say I’d rather break a bone than feel bereaved or dejected. The reality is, there is no avoiding it; and often, it comes without warning. Not dealing with feelings and filing them away in the back of your mind is like cleaning a loaded gun with the safety off – someone, is bound to get hurt – either you are someone around you. Unresolved feelings can hinder your progression in various areas of your life. Keeping yourself extrinsically occupied will not diminish those buried feelings within.

 

It is frightening to go searching for those old dingy feelings, but it’s less disastrous to find them and purge them than allowing them to emerge spontaneously. I heard a lecture by Bill Johnson called, “The War in Your Head” and he said something profound,…

“every response in life we have is either out of LOVE or out of FEAR.  The source of our words, responses, our directives in life… the things we choose to pursue, the things we choose not to pursue are either because of love and fear.”

So,… ask yourself, what do you love? What do you love to do?  What would you love to do?  What are you afraid of? What are you holding on to so tightly that you’re afraid to lose?

 

This is the precipice of self-assessment and therein is keys to unlocking who you are, where you’ve been and where you’re going. Defuse the pain of past experiences by extracting the lessons you’ve learned from them and set out to love more. This way you can make room for new experience and new people. Identify your sources of love and support and avoid sources that provide contrary influence. Keep moving and keep checking.