Meltdown

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The past few weeks have been unsettling, stressful and just a pure roller coaster ride, all the college visits, all the information to take in and steering the kid towards making the right decision, he’s got offers from 6 colleges, all solid choices (he kind of quickly put aside both NYU and Fordham as it’d mean he has to live home, though I do know that deep inside, he’s still thinking about them – I hear you, kid, yes, you need to go away to fully experience college, and, yes, we’ll miss you terribly but will adjust eventually, and so will you). One school definitely stands out among the rest, it has everything he’d need to get both excellent education and actual hands-on experience – he can literally get lost in a complete techie paradise there, but it is still his choice, not mine (though I do know he loved the school too). Keeping in mind that it’s his life is oh so hard in trying not to overstep your parental boundaries even if you know what’s best for the kid.

On top of the college thing, I’ve been in a months-long (4 months to be exact) adjustment period trying to bridge my part-time therapy practice from being in a joined group setting to a complete solo. It’s a long beuaracratic process mostly due to Medicare and other insurances re-registration. Then I also had to set up my own billing settings, as nowadays hardly anybody sends paper claims anymore, it’s all electronic – that necessitated finding a good vendor that offers both billing software and room for clinical notes, so, found that at TherapyNotes site, designed specifically for mental health. Only to discover that I still needed to fill out yet more paperwork to link my billing page to Medicare – I almost lost it, but I had to do it nevertheless. Then, finally, last week, I was able to send a first batch of claims to Medicare – then saw them all being rejected this week! That is when I did lose it, we are talking a complete and utter meltdown! After I wiped the tears and snots off, I called National Government Services that manages Medicare billing for New York, and they proceeded to tell me this: “you need to fix loop 2320-segment SBR 09- must NOT be MA or MB”. I do not have any kind of billing training or even admin degree, I’m trained in psychology, not in morse code or whatever that is!  WTF does that mean?? Is that even in English? It looks like a spy code! Yeah, I lost it even more after that! I called TherapyNotes, apparently somebody translated the code and told me what to fix on the billing settings. I resubmitted claims again, I’m waiting to see what happens now?…

On another waiting game note, it’s been over 3 months, and Emblem Health is still “processing” my updated information. People, I have no idea what it is that you’re “processing” and how much time you still need to do whatever it is you’re doing with my paperwork. But, in NYC, GHI is one of the major insurances that clients carry as it’s a prime choice, along with Blue Cross Blue Shield, that all government agencies, unions and other major institutions offer to workers – so, in a mean while, I have no choice but to say to all the potential clients who call for services “please join
me in a waiting game till I’m finally able to bill your insurance”!

Did I just completely bore you to death with all the details? Do you feel sorry you even started to read this post? Well, you should’ve guessed from the title – it’s a Meltdown! :)

What’s Cooking This Week

I don’t know what you all like, but, when I’m stressed, I need some comfort food, and, at different times and stress levels, it may require many things. It does often mean the food must come in one bowl and preferably eaten with a spoon, with minimal effort to actually chew the food. Bonus points if you’re curled on a couch and hiding under a blanket while eating, it just helps the process.

Turkey Bacon and Squash Apple Quinoa

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1 package (10-12 oz) of dry quinoa, rinsed

1 package of turkey bacon, cut into small pieces

2 large apples, grated

2 – 2 1/2 cups of cooked squash

1/2 tsp each marjoram and coriander

1/4 tsp of nutmeg

salt, pepper, olive oil

fresh herbs for garnish

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Cook the squash beforehand (or used store-bought). The best way to cook it is to cut it in half, scoop the seeds out, brush each half with olive oil, place face down on a baking sheet and bake at 375F degrees till you can run the knife through, then cool it off and scoop out the insides.

In a small Dutch oven or a pan, heat up some olive oil and cook turkey bacon about half way through. Then add squash, shredded apples and all the spices (do not overdo it with salt and pepper as you still want the sweetness of apples and squash to stand out). Cook for another 1 – 2 minutes. Then add rinsed quinoa along with about 2 – 2 1/2 cups of water, cover, reduce heat and let it simmer.

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Stir once in a while until all the water is evaporated and quinoa is soft. Garnish with any chopped herbs, I used chives.

Get a spoon, hide under a blanket and treat the meltdown mood with some good food. Chase it with some ice cream if necessary.

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Enjoy!