Breakthrough Yesterday!

Health: All my doctors agree that UC Health is the only reasonable regional choice for my surgery, but they are not in my HMO Network, so getting around that has been the focus of my attention for the past week. There was a major breakthrough yesterday! A Project Coordinator at UC Health called me, following-up on UC Health’s refusal to accept my referral (due to the insurance issue). It turns out that their Esophageal Disease Center has established a streamlined process for obtaining out-of-network referrals from all major insurers. He has taken the lead in expediting “Gap Exception” approval from Humana, working closely with my Primary Care Provider’s Practice Manager.

So, it appears that I don’t need to be on the phone 2-3 hours a day anymore! However, I’m still taking personal responsibility for keeping all the doctors and other participants updated with the latest status. I’ve decided to name them Team Doug, and have offered to name them in my blog if they wish. I’m also asking them if they are willing for me to publish photos.

Fitness: One big factor in my favor is that I’ve been working-out much more the last few months, trying to get into shape for longer backpacking trips. My insurance covers fitness memberships, so I joined Anytime Fitness in Columbia-Tusculum (very near my house) in November. The franchise owner is Charles “Mr. Clean” Sippial, who runs a tight ship, while being one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. Here he is in action, keeping his equipment clean and germ-free:


Charles in action!

Friends: It’s great to have friends, and for the first time in my life, I’m blessed with multiple groups of friends! I moved around a lot in my career, never staying put long enough to put down deep roots. I’ve been in Cincinnati more than 16 years now. The earliest group we picked-up with is the “Arthur’s Group”, that used to get together at Arthur’s tavern every month on First Fridays. It’s more occasional now, and the locations vary. Jen’s sister has hung-out with this group for decades, so that was our connection to them. A few of us got together last night at the new POP (Post Office Place) bar in the East End:


At POP: Front to back: Jen, Steve, Mike, Bill, Debra and Mark

Unfortunately, we’ve lost three from group due to illness in recent years (including two from cancer): Our beloved Allison, her husband Lee, and dear Brother Gayle. They may be gone, but they are certainly not forgotten!



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