<< Back to all Blogs
Login or Create your own free blog
Layout:
Home > Category: Medical Issues and Spending
 

Viewing the 'Medical Issues and Spending' Category

Another Diagnosis

November 11th, 2019 at 03:58 pm

Well, for once this diagnosis is not for my daughter, it is for me. I have been officially diagnosed with fibromyalgia on top of my rheumatoid arthritis. So my compromised immune system is even more compromised than they thought. I have always felt my immune system was non-existent.

She's going to have me get an MRI on my hands to check for something. To be honest, I was having a hard time focusing on what she said because of how much pain I am in today and I also have a cold so my head is just too full to think.

I have crashed and burned with NaNo. I just have so much pain in my hands I don't want to type for long periods of time. I am thinking about getting a voice to text transcriber and try writing that way, but I haven't even begun to look into the cost of those things.

After my appointment with the rheumatoligist, I went to the lab for a blood draw. They took four or five vials. She's running tests for more things and doing a repeat test the insurance likes to have done every year.

I'm so tired. I slept well last night, too, but every bit of me just wants to crawl back into bed at 4:00 in the evening and forget about doing anything else, like making dinner, for the rest of the day. I wish I could find a way to not be so exhausted all of the time. It makes me not care about money at all. Just spend it and get take out is not an attitude I like coming from myself, but it is there more and more often. Ugh.

Virginia Mason Update

November 1st, 2019 at 10:52 pm

We had the consult with the VM hepatology department for my daughter's liver tumor and it looks like we just get to play wait and see some more. Since DD is at no risk of getting pregnant in the next few years, and because her Prednisone dose is so low they do not think it will encourage tumor growth we just watch it for now. They don't generally like to operate until the tumor is 5 cm and hers is 2.7 cm. They are going to have her liver enzymes checked and in 6 months she will get another MRI and then in a year another one, just to keep monitoring it.

I'm not getting great sleep right now so I've been doing a lot of crashing during the day. I think I'm still worried, because to me a tumor has no business being in her body. And maybe it just takes me back to my own. I have lived with systemic diseases for all of my adult life and now my daughter is having to do the same thing and sometimes it is just so much to handle.

Okay, well, I've been procrastinating doing NaNo all day, so now that I've gotten this post taken care of, it is time to get to work.

Purchasing and New Medical for 2020

October 27th, 2019 at 07:00 pm

I ordered a couple things off Amazon last night. I bought a 4 pack of 100 ct dye free Ibuprofen. I can, on occasion, find one bottle at Walgreens. We all would prefer to have our own bottles, but that has not been the case. I don't know why they never have it in stock or keep so little in stock, but it is getting frustrating. We have four Walgreens in town. One would think they would have more than one bottle between the four of them. They all carry it.

Then I bought some lens wipes for our glasses. I have been really unhappy with the Walgreens brand of wipes lately. I've had a lot of issues with them either being completely dried out, or being drenched so much that you have to then use a dry wipe afterwards. The brand I am trying had five stars. We'll see how good it is.

I did manage to get another package of the breakfast sausage I like and pick up a couple packets of hot dogs yesterday, too, along with some milk. I spent $20.18. I almost bought grapes, too. They had a sample of these yellow grapes (technically white, but they were very yellow) and they were very sweet and at first I liked them, but then I got this weird aftertaste up in my palate that was like almost burned caramel. I asked DH if he got it, too, and he said yeah, and he didn't like it. So we put them back. I am glad they had samples. I wish more stores would put out fruit samples, especially when bringing in something new.

I did get my steps in yesterday, but I don't think I will today. I'm having a bad joint day with the shakes in my hands. They were so bad that I had DH season the roast and put it into the Instant Pot for me. I figured if I did it, we'd end up with floor flavored seasoning, not my favorite. LOL

MIL says she will cover our hotel costs and food costs for going to Virginia Mason. That will be a relief. With having to buy the dishwasher I didn't want to have to spend an additional $300 for this visit.

We are getting new medical in January. It's Regence Blue Cross/Blue Shield. Cadillac insurance. It will cost a little less, too. The deductible will be the same, $3000. And there will be a FSA of up to $2700. I'm not sure of all the details yet, but apparently you could write a check in January if you needed to for the full amount and they'd just take it out of the paycheck through the year as you go. It does have to be used up by 2 months into the following year, but I can't even remember a year when we didn't have $2700 in medical expenses so that will never be a problem.

I don't know what the out of pocket max is, or the per person deductible yet. DH is going to see if they have a .pdf or a print out so I can go over it. Dental and vision will stay the same as they are different programs. Although I am thinking about bumping up to the better dental because DH needs to get a crown and I need to repair a chipped tooth.

I wonder if the HSA can be used for dental or just medical. I'll have to have DH ask.

Sore Today and Working on My Novel Again for NaNoWriMo

October 26th, 2019 at 05:20 pm

Yesterday and today were rough days physically. I had my last physical therapy session yesterday and they really put me through the ringer. They had me fill out a form at the end which was the same form and I filled out in the beginning and then compared them and the changes have been dramatic.

Things I didn't even realize had changed, like being able to pick up a grocery bag from the floor instead of having to have it put on the counter for me or standing at the sink for fifteen minutes, that kind of thing. A lot of other things have gotten easier, too. My core strength, my leg strength, my range of motion. I am walking further distances unaided. Not to say that I don't use my cane at all, I do on a particularly bad day, but for the majority of the time, I haven't had to in weeks.

I'm pretty sore today, but I also took my shot yesterday which tends to exhaust me, so I just stayed in bed for most of the day and spent some time writing.

I have set a goal to try to finish the first draft of my novel in November. I've never done NaNoWriMo before because for the last several Novembers things went to heck in a handbasket. This is the first time I don't think it is going to. I don't know if I will do it officially or unofficially. I mean, there is all the stuff with my daughter's liver, but the appointments for that will be limited and then if we have to stay a few days after surgery that is a ton of writing time for me that will be pretty much uninterrupted. But mostly I am just back in the mood to work on it again.

I am halfway through seventeen chapters and 44,270 words in and I am aiming for 100,000 to 115,000, so under halfway. The goal in NaNo is 50,000 in 30 days or 1666.67 words per day. I tend to write 4000 to 5000 every other day when I am motivated. I usually need a day off in between due to my hands not being able to handle that kind of typing daily. Maybe I won't finish, but I will get a lot closer to the end and if I finish in December I will be happy.

Then I will edit the second half (the first half has been edited a lot already) and then set it aside for a few months before reading through it again, editing again, and then have a couple of beta readers go over it before figuring out the next step. I don't know if I will try the traditional publishing route or just get an editor to go through it and help me improve it and then self-publish. I am investigating both ways.

Then there is the issue of I think what I have written might really be the second book in a trilogy and not the first, so I might have to figure out if that is true or not and write the first one before deciding on publishing.

I also have to decide if this is a YA novel or not. I don't want it to be, but many of the characters are under 18. More of the characters are adults and have as big of a role as the children, though, but it does revolve around the teens and kids and their power as they grow up. But in the sequel most of them will be adults. Ah, it's a boggle. I'll just have to finish it first, and go from there.

DD Update and Ordered Sweaters on Sale

October 23rd, 2019 at 03:57 pm

The doctor wants to remove my daughter's liver tumor, but we have to go down to Seattle to have it done. He wanted to send us to the UW, but I explained the problems we've had with the doctors there and the identity theft stemming from their hack. I asked about Virginia Mason instead and he was happy to do that. They have a good hepatology department.

He said the issue is the steroids that she has to be on for the rest of her life for secondary adrenal insufficiecy will continue to make the tumor grow. It is not cancerous, but can still cause problems and pain. Also estrogen will make it grow. And a lot of time when women get pregnant it can cause it to go so fast it could burst. Her estrogen is under control with Norplant and she doesn't ever plan to have kids because of all her health issues.

We have an appointment for her to be seen on Wednesday of next week. They could have seen her tomorrow, but that doesn't leave us enough time. We'll go down the night before and spend the night. Maybe we actually will be able to have this surgery done by the end of the year. Then it will be 100% covered by insurance. Keep your fingers crossed and pray for us that this will happen.

In other news, Woman Within is having an online 50% off sale through the 24th, so I went ahead and ordered 4 sweaters that I've been waiting on for a good sale. I saved $127.50 on the sale. It came to $143.59 with sales tax and shipping. 2 of the sweaters are for me (finally getting something for myself!). WW is a plus size website and catalog that starts at size large and 12/14.

I have liked everything I have ordered from them save one, a long sleeved nightgown where the cuffs were too tight and the sleeves were too short (and I have short arms). It was supposed to be full length, but went halfway up my lower arm. It was one of those billowy nightgowns, so I ended up cutting off the sleeves and just using it as a swim suit cover up for walking from the main locker room to the pool, because I really liked the blue and green plaid.

I took off the bottom ruffle and shortened it by a foot and removed the ribbon. I turned the sleeves and extra fabric into handkerchiefs for when my nose is too sore for regular tissues. So it didn't go to waste. It is flannel and soft. It no longer looks like a nightgown at all. But like I said that was the only bad thing in years of ordering from them. I could have sent it back, but didn't want the bother. That was back when I still had access to my sewing machine.

I haven't been sleeping well the last few nights. I have dark circles again for the first time in ages. Really dark ones. Like black eyes on the third day dark. Hopefully I will sleep tonight.

DD's Liver Tumor and My Jury Summons

October 21st, 2019 at 08:36 pm

I got a call from the gastro doc's office today. DD had her second MRI with a different contrast last Wednesday. The results came in on Friday. Well, they called me today and said they wanted her to see the doctor. She usually just sees the P.A. But they wanted her to see the actual doctor and they wanted her to see him tomorrow.

I am trying to not freak out. It is seriously hard to even get an appointment with just the PA, like six weeks out usually, so I was surprised they were able to do this so fast. It makes me worry that her tumor has grown. Maybe he just wants to schedule a biopsy or maybe he wants to do surgery. I don't know. She's been in a lot of pain in that area lately though.

I would just like them to take it off her liver. Preferably by the end of the year so that it is completely covered since we hit our out of pocket max back in June or thereabouts. If it is in Jan we will have to come up with $4500 for the deductible and out of pocket max. We will have about $2000 by then, unless MIL gives us more money. We would have more if it weren't for the glasses for three of us and the dental work for three members of this household who don't take care of their teeth like I do.

The new lenses for DD and myself came in today. We had problems with the coating coming off in patches, so they sent for new ones and then just popped them into our frames when we went in today to get them.

I got summoned for jury duty. This is (I think) the 20th time in 30 years. My doctor is writing an excuse and will have it for me tomorrow. I have numerous health issues that will prevent me from serving, plus I'm practically a full time caregiver for my disabled daughter and I do not need this right now when we're going through this liver tumor thing.

I wish they would quit putting me in the pool. I have known people who are in their 70's and 80's who have never once been summoned. I have always listed my illnesses and disabilities. They should keep them on file and realize I am not a good candidate. They always accept the doctor's excuse.

If I was able, I would love to serve, but as it is, it would cause so much pain to sit for that long without moving and I would have to be on painkillers and muscle relaxants, which would keep me unfocused. Not a prime jurist at all.

New Fitness Tracker and Physical Therapy Update

October 7th, 2019 at 06:39 pm

I went ahead and used some of my allowance that I have been saving to buy a new fitbit. It cost $108.50 with tax. I ended up getting the white one since my son has a black one. It's easier to not get them mixed up if we accidentally leave them in the bathroom after a shower that way.

I really like it so far. I especially like that it tracks the heart rate since the doctor wants me tracking my heart rate since I've had some incidents of racing heart. If I can just look down at my wrist when that happens I can know immediately what is going on.

I also like that I can read my text messages on it or get buzzed when someone is calling me. I keep the volume on my phone turned off most of the time because the ringing can sometimes trigger a migraine. I've tried a ton of ring tones and there is just something about the pitch coming out of the phone that does it. I also keep it in my purse so I wouldn't feel it vibrating if I set it to that.

It's also waterproof so when I go to the pool I can keep it on. That's what I liked about my last one. I hope this one last longer. It is better constructed.

So far I have hit my steps every day since I got it. My steps aren't super high, though, since I am disabled. But I am doing more each day and have already been able to reset my step goals once.

We have finally started working on walking at physical therapy. For the first 8 weeks it was strengthening and stability exercises. At my session on Friday we started working on walking. Since I started using the proper walking technique I am doing so much better and able to walk further without a cane. My goal for this week was to walk to the end of the block and back, which is actually a typical block since our block is two blocks long.

Plus I got my new shoes and they are really nice. They cost $80, but they are 4E in width and for the first time in my life my feet don't feel jammed into the toe box. They also have a high front of the foot and Velcro(TM) fasteners which are easier on my arthritic hands.

When I get orthotics they will fit in them, too. I am hoping to be able to get them made this month. They cost $400, though, and insurance does not cover them at all. My PT, my Chiropractor, and my Podiatrist think it will make walking easier and help me to not have so much pain because I'll be in better alignment. I have been thinking about it for a couple of years now and am ready to get them.

I have a PT appointment tomorrow and I hope I will show a lot of improvement. I have been consistent with doing my exercises and I think it shows.

Bits and Pieces

April 10th, 2019 at 10:31 pm

It rained all day so I didn't get any gardening done. Actually, I didn't get much of anything done. I did take DD to the doctor and DS to the gym and I read a lot. This is the first time since I got so sick that I have been up to reading for a decent length of time.

My new regimen of eye vitamins seems to be working quite well. I take 5000 IU of vitamin A, 450 mg of vitamin E, 200 mcg of selenium, and Bilberry Ginkgo Lutein complex. The spots had been getting darker again for a while, but they are back to a light yellow/brown and are far less noticeable. I don't know that they are smaller, but when they aren't black they don't seem to interfere so much with things like reading.

I took my third Enbrel shot tonight. Again it seemed like things weren't as good after the first five days, but that could just be soreness from gardening. The brain fog seems to be gone, though. I have more energy, but not as much as I'd like to have. I feel capable of doing things, though. I have to remember to call the mail order pharmacy for the next set of shots in about 5 days. I found out my co-pay for the drug this month is $30. Not bad for a wildly expensive drug.

I really need to schedule a hair cut. My hair is back to length it was when it was at its longest. It just grows so fast. But it is getting caught in my armpits when I raise my arms and then bring them back down and it pulls my hair and hurts. And DH sometimes leans on it and that is not good, either. I am thinking of cutting off about a foot and getting to one inch past my chin. Which will really be at my chin because it bounces up with my loose curls. I will basically be getting it cut to the length of my bangs by doing that. I have money in the personal care envelope, so it is just a question of making the appointment and doing it.

I go to the doctor tomorrow. I think I still have a sinus infection going on. The pressure is out of my ears, but I still have a pretty bad headache above my eyebrows and the back teeth and jaw hurt, which is also a sign of sinus infection. I think the ones in my face are also in play, but not as badly. I just want to get this thing cleared up so I can maybe enjoy the spring.

I spent $1.09 on a candy bar today, but that came out of my allowance envelope. I have been trying to avoid having sweets in the house, but clearly today was not going to be one of those days. I kind of felt like a PMSing teenager needing chocolate. Sometimes I swear I'm menopausal even though I had a hysterectomy in 2003 and went through all that stuff when I was 33 to 35. I wonder if that is even possible because if I were normal, this would be the age I would have started peri-menopause. Like I need that on top of all my auto-immune issues.

I tried the cheese wrap today. It is called Folio's and it was the Parmesan one. Apparently they make a cheddar cheese one, too. I did find out some more info about them. They are only available in west coast Costco's, but they are available nationwide at Aldi's, though not really because Aldi is not a nationwide chain.

I used one wrap, 2 slices of deli turkey, some rather hot stone ground mustard, and some cucumber slices. It was great and surprisingly filling for its size. I imagine after swimming I would need two, but on a normal day one is fine for lunch. I did add more cucumber slices on the side, though.

I have found some youtube videos on how to make your own Folio's, which I may try, as homemade would be cheaper, but if it is too fiddly to make, I don't mind shelling out for these, because they are good and it makes my life a little easier.