Published 10:00 am Sunday, February 26, 2017

Duplicate Bridge Club

Duplicate Bridge Club played at four tables Feb. 14 at the Senior Center in Austin. Winners were Larry Crowe and Bill Momsen, first; Gene Muchow and Ron Peters, second; Edna Knobbe and Rick Stroup, third; and Vandy Newman and Bud Higgins, fourth.

Duplicate Bridge played at five tables on Feb. 15. Winners were Dave Ring and Stan Schultz, first; Loren Cleland and Bud Higgins, second; Vandy Newman and Ron Peters, third; Joyce Crowe and Gene Muchow, fourth; and Gail and Ray Schmidt, fifth. Players were from Adams, Rose Creek, Austin, Albert Lea and Mason City.

Email newsletter signup

Duplicate Bridge is open to all players. Players are encouraged to call 507-437-2750 if they need a partner.   

Women Veterans of Freeborn County

The regularly scheduled meeting of the Women Veterans of Freeborn County met at 11:30 a.m. Feb. 1 at American Legion Post No. 56 in Albert Lea.

Women veterans present included Judi Olson, Sandy Maiden, Joan Paczkowski, Pat Johannsen, Deanna Luedtke and Julie Hamson. Special guests from the veterans office were also at the meeting.

Ruth Perry is  in the hospital again this month. Members of the group wished her a speedy recovery. There was a picture of her in the Oak Park paper.

Minutes of the last meeting were handed out and the treasurer’s report was read.

The group discussed various personal interests and collectable items.

Ron Ruehle gave the group an update on the Veteran’s Choice program. He said the program is not working very well overall. It seems to be working fairly well in remote areas. However, Mayo Clinic Health System doesn’t accept it. Veterans still have to go to Minneapolis for specialty issues. After the Veteran’s Choice program ensures that a veteran is eligible, a representative with the company has 48 hours to find the client an appointment. According to Ruehle, the list of medical facilities that will accept Veteran’s Choice is growing.

According to the group, members are encouraged to have politicians put some pressure on Mayo Clinic Health System and could put some pressure on Mayo Clinic themselves in hopes of getting them to accept the program.

Members are encouraged to carry Medicare Part B or some other supplemental insurance. Hearing aids and glasses can be obtained free for veterans. Veterans can make their own appointments. It usually takes about a month to get the test, they then go for a fitting and the factory makes the device within 30 to 45 days. There is no cost if the hearing aid is gotten through the VA.

All veterans should enroll in the VA system even if they don’t use it. The VA even has benefits for long term care, such as hospice care.

The State Soldier’s Assistance Program is not through the VA. It is a separate entity funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs. They have a one-time grant to assist veterans with special items such as appliances, dentures, ramps, rental deposits, phone service, a new furnace or just about anything else that is desperately needed. The grant is based on need — not necessarily on income.

The Minnesota VA is one of the top three in the country.

The VA has most medications for $8 to $9. Not all medicines come in generic form.

Luedtke read an article, “How to Talk to Your Doctor.”

Highlights included studies have reportedly shown that the doctor lets the patient talk for a whopping 23 seconds before cutting them off. Suggestions were given on how to hopefully get the doctor to listen more to the patient’s concerns.

According to a press release, those suggestions include:

• Make a human connection. Doctors are people. Ask how his/her day is going.

• Stay on message and get to the point. Oversharing takes time away from medical concerns.

• Tell the whole truth. Tell the doctor about your fears, frustrations, sexual dysfunction, sleep problems, etc.

• Rehearse before you go to the appointment. If you’re embarrassed about something, write it down and rehearse it before you go in.

• Don’t accept, “It’s just aging.” If a symptom interferes with your daily life, be specific about the change. Ask if there is a test that may be more definitive. Once the doctor is halfway out the door, they are thinking of the next patient. Address your concerns in the first few minutes.

• Explain what you can afford. Most doctors don’t know anything about your out of pocket expenses. Don’t be afraid to ask for an alternative to a medication that may cost less.

• Have that end of life discussion. Talk to the doctor about what you want if you are near death and make sure there is a document in your file that explains your wishes.

• Don’t go it alone. Take a friend or family member with you. They can help you remember what to ask and remember what the doctor said afterward.

• Don’t be afraid to make a switch. If the doctor rushes you, doesn’t listen to your concerns or fails to answer your questions, look for a new doctor.

Items for the food pantry were collected and Maiden volunteered to deliver them to the food pantry.

Johannsen made the dessert that was shared by the group.

The next meeting will be at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at American Legion Post No. 56. The group encourages all women military veterans to join the group for an informal lunch, discussion and camaraderie.

For more information, call Luedtke at 414-520-3982.