Thursday, June 07, 2012

Summer Driving with Extra Care and a Prayer

 Accidents happen. We can't prevent all of them. And when we have a close call, even when it turns out okay, sometimes we get all shaky...and grateful.

Yes I - whose son was hit by a car a little over a year ago - came close to hitting a pedestrian yesterday. It was way too close for comfort...and yes, I was shaky...and grateful.

And so, I'd just like to remind us all, drivers and pedestrians, how careful we need to be.  I was making a left turn (where there is no arrow), paying attention to the cars in front of me, figuring out whether they were going to go straight across or turn left (or whether someone might go right, because when people make right turns at that intersection, they rarely stay in their own lane). And the pedestrian that I didn't see until it was almost too late was crossing where there is no crosswalk, just as though there was one.  Well, the son who was with me at the time saw her before I did and said "Whoa!" - and I heard him and I saw her - and I swerved. It only took a tiny swerve to clear her safely, but...  It scared me so badly! 

And I hate to think what would have happened if I had been holding a cell phone to my ear. Would I have been able to swerve quickly enough?  But I'm not going to go on about cell phones, because this wasn't about that; I had a momentary lapse.  I have driven accident-free for 44 years and I had a moment.  But that's all it takes.  It has reminded me to watch so carefully when making a left turn...and to watch for pedestrians everywhere. And now that the weather is nice, they do seem to be everywhere.

Also, when you're the one walking, please be careful and watch for cars, whose drivers may not always see you if you don't.  I hesitated to post this story because I didn't want to scare my friends who are blind, but listen, although you may be in more danger in some ways, yet in other ways, you compensate because you are more savvy than many other pedestrians. You know how to cross.  You learn where to cross. I've always thought there should be some kind of Orientation and Mobility lessons for sighted pedestrians. And also, when I told yesterday's story to my son who is legally blind, he knew the intersection I was referring to, and he was adamant that the pedestrian was crossing illegally and unsafely. Unfortunately, people do that a lot.

I would like to share a prayer for drivers which I've been saying since I was a teenager. (I don't know the origin of it.)  If anyone has a prayer for pedestrians, please feel free to share with us in the comments.

The Motorist’s Prayer

“Grant me, O Lord, a steady hand and watchful eye
that no one shall be hurt as I pass by.
Thou gavest life. I pray no act of mine
May take away or mar that gift of Thine.
Teach me to use my car for others’ need;
Nor miss through love of undue speed
The beauty of the world
That thus I may with joy and gladness go my way!”

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Beware of Medical Bills or How I "Saved" $50

"Save a copy of the medical bills you have paid," I often say. "And keep your insurance company's Explanation of Benefits that they send you". 

So I receive a bill for co-pays...a bill for $65.  My co-pays for this doctor were $10 per visit and recently went up to $15 each.  As I looked at all the dates of this bill, I had that feeling:  the "I know I paid most of these already" feeling. But, although I never actually throw away my medical bills, I might as well, for all the hope I had of finding them.

But we live in an electronic age.  So I went to my bank website and looked for that payment.  I don't even remember how I found it but I did.  I had paid it last September (before the last $15 charge), and they had deposited it.  So I called the doctor's office to tell them...and they gave me credit for it.  It was all that simple.  If it hadn't been that simple I would have mailed them a printed copy of the electronic picture of my check.  It would have still been simple.

I just wanted to share this to remind you. Medical office billing is not infallible.  They get busy. They have new people to train. They have turnover.  They change from one medical billing software to another.  There are any number of reasons why they could make a simple mistake.  So it's up to us to keep an eye on those bills.

And if you can't find the paperwork you thought you had, don't be too quick to panic.  Maybe you have a record of that transaction some other place, in some other form.  It's always worth a look.