Thursday, November 05, 2015


Lately I have been having this excellent meal for dinner several times a week: one egg mixed with one-quarter cup of egg whites scrambled in one tablespoon of avocado oil, with half an avocado, and three-quarters of a bunch of greens sautéed with four or so cloves of garlic. (As the mono faded, the garlic in the latter dish gave me a headache a few evenings in a row, but it isn’t doing that anymore.)

My manual osteopathic bodyworker Jack once told me that putting avocados in the fridge “stop-actions” them. I would say that it “slow-actions” them. The ripening process continues, but much more slowly. Since it is now crucial to have a ripe avocado ready to go while at the same time not having any become overripe, I’m now often found standing in front of the open refrigerator worriedly palpating my avocados.


After my recent experiments regarding how to discourage fruit flies, as seen in and around the outdoor compost bin shared by everyone in my apartment building, my two main conclusions are:

—It’s impossible to rid the inside of such a bin of fruit flies unless perhaps someone cleans it out with soap and water weekly, and who has the time or the inclination for that?

—Given that we are going to have fruit flies, the key objective is to keep them out of the faces of human visitors (so that one or more of those visitors doesn’t resort to the use of some highly toxic product). What seems to be working well is a cotton ball soaked in an essential oil that the fruit flies find disagreeable—lavender, tea tree, eucalyptus, lemongrass—and suspended near where the faces of depositors will be. The fruit flies avoid the area of the cotton ball, and so are not right in people’s faces. As a bonus, the lemongrass oil really smells great (to me). I can’t explain why fruit flies hate it so much.


Post-mono, I received seven medical claim statements, some of which said my plan starts paying after I meet a $2000 deductible, while others said $4000. I thought I would call and inquire, and then decided not to bother—I was sure it was all proper, if mystifying—but I had some other questions, so I did call and learned that the difference is whether a provider is in network or not.

One of the claims that said $4000 was for my colonoscopy doctor. “Why would my primary care provider send me to a doctor who is not in my network?”, I wondered aloud. This is the same doctor I saw for my first colonoscopy three years ago, so this seemed curious. The claim specialist, who was wonderfully helpful, offered to look up this doctor and discovered that she is in my network.

Similarly, my very own primary care provider and ob/gyn had also been coded as out of network; plus I had been charged for the visit to my ob/gyn, though it was my annual preventive visit and supposed to be 100% free. The claim specialist said she’ll get all of these things switched to in-network, which should erase some bills and result in a refund or two.

Then I got to thinking that that $473 facilities charge for the colonoscopy might also have been based on an incorrect notion that the facility was out of network for me, and sure enough, that charge was supposed to be $180, not $473. Since they collected this payment the second I walked in the door, a refund will be forthcoming. So, good thing I did delve into all of this. It was a fair amount of work but not quite as fatiguing as having mono itself.