kshandra: Butterfly-shaped pewter paperweight, engraved with the Serenity Prayer (Serenity)
I heard from the house manager at Cielo House this afternoon shortly before I left work. She's going to follow up with me tomorrow to confirm an intake appointment on Thursday...

...with an eye toward starting treatment on Monday.

I'm 99% certain that isn't going to happen; we're going to need to go through the same back-and-forth I did with La Ventana regarding insurance, financial aid, etc. But at the same time, the prospect of things moving so quickly, after such a very lengthy process the first time around, is a little terrifying. As I said to [personal profile] gridlore earlier tonight, "I'm suddenly behind a team of runaway horses."

Updates to follow.
kshandra: Butterfly-shaped pewter paperweight, engraved with the Serenity Prayer (Serenity)
An intake counselor from La Ventana called me back today...

...and recommended I seek treatment elsewhere.

It's not as bad as it sounds, actually. )
kshandra: Rich Uncle Pennybags, pockets turned out and palms upturned, over a background of Monopoly money (Broke)
Well, shit.

The credit card receipt says "No Refunds - Store Credits Only."

Definitely going to ask for the pupillary distance when I pick up the glasses next week, though, and save that somewhere so I don't go through this mess again.
kshandra: Rich Uncle Pennybags, pockets turned out and palms upturned, over a background of Monopoly money (Broke)
My health insurance policy does not currently cover vision care. It's been a few years since I got my last pair of glasses, and they're scratched badly enough over my focal point that trying to wear them at the computer has gotten to be problematic, so when I saw a LivingSocial deal come up earlier this week for $150 towards the cost of glasses, plus a free pair, I jumped on it. My last set of frames were $80, and it's only been three years, so I figured that even with the couple of bells and whistles I wanted (scratch coating, auto-darkening lenses) I should be able to get out of there for relatively little cash outlay.

When I asked to be shown their more economical frames, and was told "Oh, these are fairly economical - they're only $220," I began to doubt this. Even after picking both sets of frames from the "free pair" racks, it still cost me $315.

I should've just paid for the exam (an oh-so-reasonable $59) and left. I may yet call them back and ask them to cancel the order and get a refund.

How in the name of whatever you consider holy can there still be people in this country who don't think we need health care reform?
kshandra: Graffiti of hands ripping open a dress shirt, Superman fashion, to reveal the word FAIL (FAIL)
I missed this coming in on Wednesday night because I was at a training session where mine wound up being the laptop plugged into the projector so I couldn't check my mail, but I was going through and cleaning up the various marked-as-unread messages in my inbox this morning...

Probably still triggery for some, albeit in a different direction )
kshandra: Butterfly-shaped pewter paperweight, engraved with the Serenity Prayer (Serenity)
Yesterday's assessment went really well. [personal profile] gridlore came with me, and was a marvel - volunteering information when I was trying to clarify or had obvious mental blocks (like the fact that I was predominantly raised by my great-grandmother, who was a single mother of two during the Great Depression, and as such had her own set of Issues about food), without making it seem like this was all his idea and I was just along for the ride. The psych who did the assessment is going to talk with my primary physician, get some corroborating information, start pounding on my insurance company, and then circle back to me next week so we can set a game plan.

And then Doug and I went to dinner, and he had two huge beers (probably three pints' worth in two glasses)...and once he was drunk he gave me the most amazing pep talk, talking about how very proud he is of me for doing this, and how he knows I'm going to be fucking well terrified at points, but that he'll be there to support me, and so will all my friends, and how he knows I can do this because I'm so bloody GOOD at everything I set my mind to - when I can just. fucking. STOP sabotaging myself.... He probably went on for twenty minutes, including acknowledging at least once that he had deliberately gotten himself this drunk because he knew he couldn't have said half of it to me otherwise, and I cried a lot and laughed more than a little and we held hands and smiled like fools and it was absolutely everything I could have hoped for.

And then we took a leisurely drive home so we could look at Christmas lights, including the one house up the road from us that I really ought to get pictures of because my GOD it's unreal. How you get that many lights on a single-story house that can't be over 1000 square feet, I can't tell you. (Though it does involve giving up the use of the garage for the month so they can put a display in the driveway. I kid you not.)
kshandra: Butterfly-shaped pewter paperweight, engraved with the Serenity Prayer (Serenity)
My assessment is scheduled for next Thursday at 3pm.

I told my boss I'd be out for the afternoon (this makes two days in a row, as I'm seeing my primary physician on Wednesday)...he told me "I think you should take it with pay."

The support I am getting is the best sort of overwhelming, and I thank you all.
kshandra: Butterfly-shaped pewter paperweight, engraved with the Serenity Prayer (Serenity)
I'm awaiting a phone call from the intake counselor at La Ventana.

My doctor recommended I seek out a clinic, as I need more than just a change in diet and exercise - I need to change my entire approach to food. I am not (strictly speaking) a binge eater, but I have a relationship with food that can only be called dysfunctional. I'll note for the record that this clinic does promote Health At Every Size, which I was thrilled to hear in my conversation with their Outreach coordinator last night, because I'm never going to weigh what the actuarial tables think I should. But my weight is keeping me from doing things I love, and that is not acceptable.

Getting this far was an ordeal I don't care to repeat, involving multiple emails via a contact form we ultimately discovered was broken, and a voicemail message left for their outreach coordinator that amazingly only included one F-bomb and no tears. (The lack of response to my email led me to wonder if they weren't using some bullshit tough-love approach and were expecting me to prove how much I wanted this; had that turned out to be the case, [personal profile] gridlore would probably be putting out the begging bowl to raise my bail.)

Depending upon what is determined by my assessment, and what my insurance will cover, I may actually end up in what is called a partial hospitalization program - seven hours a day, five days a week. It frightens me past the capacity for rational thought to consider what that will do to us financially, but money doesn't fucking well matter if I'm dead, now, does it? (They do also have a half-day intensive outpatient program, but I need to approach this from the perspective of what's best for me, if not my wallet.)

I'll post if I make it in, and if journaling turns out to be part of their approach, I may copy those entries here (if I do, they will be cut-tagged, with a keyword in the subject line, and comments will be disabled).

Speaking of comments, I'm leaving them enabled here, but they will be screened, and I make no promises that I will answer any of them. Geek Answer Syndrome or attempts to "reassure" me that I don't need to lose weight will be deleted with extreme prejudice.
kshandra: long-haired woman silhouetted against a stormy sky (Bad)
...'cause I'm gonna need it to tell you just how AWESOME life is right now. :-P

I am phenomenally broken today, exacerbated by the fact that it was too fething hot in the apartment to even think about sleeping until 0115 this morning; I've actually lost count of the number of times I've teared up and/or flat-out started crying. (Doctor's appointment is already booked. I've been non-compliant on all my meds, brain and body, since before Worldcon, and I already knew that I needed to get back on the horse. Will be discussing an embryonic workout plan, as well; if [personal profile] gridlore and I are going to London in 2014, I have three years to lose 200lbs, because I'd like to survive the trip there and back.)

I've got a W101 LAN party to look forward to tomorrow night...and then Paul's memorial service the next morning, so I'm not going to get to ride that high for as long as I would have liked.

I think I'm spending large portions of the rest of the weekend reblogging MLP macros on Tumblr.

I'm leaving comments enabled, but please don't try to engage me in discussion right now. The metaphorical silverware drawer is empty.
kshandra: long-haired woman silhouetted against a stormy sky (Bad)
We're overdrawn again. The ISP and my cellphone both hit the account at the same time; picking up the TamiFlu scrip on Thursday sent us over the edge.

There should be an unemployment check downstairs in the mailbox; I didn't leave the house yesterday, so I don't know. That check was supposed to be both car payments (with a little wiggle room), but I have to hold it aside for the rent (which auto-debits from our account on the 1st) 'cause Christ only knows how long it's going to take [livejournal.com profile] gridlore's disability to be approved for these two weeks - not to mention actually getting a check.

I've been avoiding this, but I don't see another option at this point.








If you don't use PayPal, but are willing to drop a dollar in the hat by other methods:

Douglas & Kirsten Berry
5751 Almaden Road, Apt D
San Jose, CA 95118-3613

Comments disabled. I feel bad enough about doing this; I don't think I can handle a discussion of why.
kshandra: figurine of a teddybear seated at an office desk, looking at a computer (Default)
It was pointed out to me that it's been something on the order of a million years since I last posted anything at all, and even longer since I last posted anything public. Some of that is because I've been dealing with Weird Shit (and while I wouldn't call it resolved by any stretch of the imagination, I'm at least getting to a point where I can move the fuck on), but mostly it's because it's been a billion degrees out and I haven't wanted to think. Apparently the weather gods didn't get the memo that I'm not going to the Burn this year, so I didn't need the pre-event acclimation cycle this year....

I leave for Montreal in just over two weeks. This is so very Not Real.

In other news, I've apparently turned into the poster child for Zocor. I've been on simvastatin for two months, now; I went in for labwork at the beginning of the week, and my combined cholesterol count has dropped from 299 to 167. I have NEVER had a count that low (the first lipid panel I can remember having drawn, 20ish years ago, was over 200).

And now I really need to get my ass to bed, 'cause I'm supposed to be in Pacifica at 11 for a fresh coat of purple.
kshandra: long-haired woman silhouetted against a stormy sky (Bad)
(Originally posted using TxtLJ)

Hi, LJ. I swear I'm not dead. I'll turn this into a real post in the morning, okay? Cool. G'night.



Oh, right, it's morning now, isn't it?

Let's see. )
kshandra: long-haired woman silhouetted against a stormy sky (Bad)
(Some of this may be triggery for people, and I apologize for that in advance. But it's important enough to me not to put it behind a cut tag.)

[livejournal.com profile] gridlore and I had more than a little bit of a rude awakening last weekend, at the concert. When we failed to acquire priority parking along with our tickets, I blithely stated, "Oh, that's okay, we'll just take BART." It's certainly convenient enough; there's a walkway connecting the two. Distance not being my strong suit, however, I never quite grokked just how long the walk was from the station to the arena.

Here's a map for the uninitiated. Pay no attention to the blue line beyond that first white dot; their walking directions are a very rough beta, and it shows. But Points A and B are as close to accurate as makes no difference. Now, remember that Doug had had a really long, tiring week at work, was fighting some sort of bug, and had been dealing with random muscle cramps in his legs for a day or two.

I still couldn't keep up with him. And 2/3 of the path from the station to the Arena is DOWNHILL.

I never actually burst into tears, but it was a very near thing. When I could breathe enough to speak, I told him "Now you understand why I've been so insistent that I need a scooter for Montreal next summer."

But goddamnit, this is no way to live.

I always swore that as long as the rest of my health wasn't being affected, I wasn't going to give a damn about my weight. If I lost some, fabulous, but if I didn't, it wasn't the end of the world. Obviously, that's no longer the case. I have a doctor's appointment in two weeks, a follow-up for the medication she put me on in October (which I have to confess I've not been very compliant with over the holidays). When I go in, I'm going to talk to her about a more aggressive weight loss plan...

...

...and this time, I'm no longer ruling out surgical intervention.

With the exception of the few of you on my f'list who have made that decision for yourselves, I simply cannot convey to you how UTTERLY FUCKING TERRIFIED I am right now. I've got a lot of research to do in the next few months, and a lot of work. It's going to be difficult as hell, and I'm sure I don't need to tell any of you about the voice in the back of my head saying "...but what if I fail?"

For once, there's a simple answer to that question: If I fail, I condemn myself to gradually decreased mobility, the loss of my ability to do so many of the things I love...and ultimately, I die. Yeah, I know we all do - but if there's a way for me to make it happen later, rather than sooner, I need to do it.

I owe it to [livejournal.com profile] meglimir. To [livejournal.com profile] smileystickman. To [livejournal.com profile] peaberry. To [livejournal.com profile] banesidhe.

TO MYSELF.

I'm screening all comments on this; I've had to leave the post public, so certain important people in my life who *gasp* don't have LJs can see it. I'll probably unscreen the non-spam comments eventually, but I make no promises regarding responding to them...because honestly, I don't know what I can say at this point.
kshandra: figurine of a teddybear seated at an office desk, looking at a computer (Default)
...only this time I was the patient.

In short: Fell down roughly 1/3 of the flight of stairs outside my apartment. Managed, somehow, to avoid hitting my head on the concrete step at the foot of said staircase. Impressive goose-egg on the right side of my scalp nonetheless. Drag myself back UP the stairs (after the downstairs neighbor who I woke with my screaming helped me sit back up), burst into tears once inside the apartment again. [livejournal.com profile] gridlore comes out of the bathroom in a panic as I manage to explain. Establish what hospital takes my insurance, get down to car with no further incident.

Blessedly empty ER. Pleasant triage nurse takes vitals, starts paperwork, finds me a room. (Almost all rooms at Good Sam SJ, only one or two curtains.) Admin comes through with more paperwork, great attitude. $100 copay, which for once in our lives we can afford. Chat with doctor, orders X-rays. Gurney & gown both on the small side; wheelchair to X-ray was not, mercifully. Amused by the laser sight on the machine. 3 films, cold room.

Back to bed; doctor confirms sprained wrist. Nurse in fabulous purple scrubs brings wrong splint, returns with right one. Cleans multiple abrasions (Doug admits to schadenfreude), loads me into splint. Scrip for vicodin. Total time to discharge roughly one hour. Breakfast, then home. Back to bed shortly.

Those of you I have plans with this weekend, I'll be in touch when I wake back up.
kshandra: figurine of a teddybear seated at an office desk, looking at a computer (Default)
This is ridiculous. My doctor's appointment was at 4:15. They haven't even put me in a room yet...

EDIT, 2/14: When my doctor finally got in to see me, she told me there had been a major scheduling snafu, and all of their appointments had been booked for 15 minutes that day - including the full physicals. So she'd been running ragged all afternoon.

And I'd love to take the first appointment of the day, rather than the last...but when [livejournal.com profile] gridlore has to be at work for 0600, it's easier for me to just come into the office early, work 0700-1530, and have my eight hours out of the way before the appointment. I could take an 0800 appointment, but the thought of having to go to the office afterward and make up a full shift just makes my brain hurt.
kshandra: figurine of a teddybear seated at an office desk, looking at a computer (Default)
My hands are badly chapped. This tends to happen every winter, but combine it with the fact that I'm washing my hands almost hourly because of TMI ), and, well.

I'll just be over here watching my skin turn bright red as the lotion seeps into all of the cracks.
kshandra: long-haired woman silhouetted against a stormy sky (Bad)
(edited from an email I just sent my boss)

[livejournal.com profile] gridlore's appointment with Kaiser was yesterday afternoon; they called us at 0624 this morning (yes, I checked the timestamp) with the labwork results. His potassium levels are apparently through the floor, with a corresponding rise in some muscular enzyme whose name Doug didn't catch. (The doctor who called asked if Doug had fallen recently. His comment? "I'm a delivery driver – I land on my ass about once a week.")

They actually wanted him to come into the hospital today; as all of you already know, Doug and I leave as soon as I get out of work today for the con. So he’s been advised to get "three bananas' worth of potassium a day" (about 800mg) and hydrate like crazy all weekend, and we'll go in as soon as I manage to get the car unpacked on Tuesday.* I'm incredibly grateful they were willing (and able, frankly, in light of some of his previous medical stunts) to cut him that much slack.

I have no idea what kind of access I'm going to have during the con (it's my understanding that there simply wasn't room in the hotel for a netlounge this year, though I think [livejournal.com profile] murphymom is bringing her laptop), so this may be the last you hear from me until Tuesday. I'll update you then with whether Doug was admitted (I expect he will be), how long they expect he'll be in, etc. For today, let me apologize in advance for any lapses in judgement, bad attitude, or the like, as, well, I’m rather brittle at the moment.

Thank you all for your patience and understanding.

* Oy, but y'all should see the car. I commented more than once yesterday that I felt like I was driving Fibber McGee's Closet; Doug correctly noted that if I were, everything would fall out whenever I opened the door. So far, so good.
kshandra: figurine of a teddybear seated at an office desk, looking at a computer (Argh!)
Yeah, I know - it's my journal, they're all personal notes. But that's the subject line under which I sent the following out to the Baycon staff list (or at least I attempted to; I got a response back from Michael Siladi, but never actually saw my message come back to me on the list), and I figured consistency was probably a good idea here. Minor edits have been made for purposes of reposting to LJ.

As those of you who read [livejournal.com profile] gridlore's LiveJournal already know, he is out on Workman's Comp leave this week for what was initially diagnosed as a strained lower back.  He's concerned, however, that this may be something considerably more serious, as it has had a profound affect on his mobility in a very short time.

How does this affect the con at all?  Well, there is a non-zero possibility that he will be attending in a wheelchair.  He'll be able to stagger up the minimal stairs from ground level to a presenters' stage, but in his current condition there is absolutely no way for him to cover the amount of ground involved in getting from point A to point B at a convention (with the inevitable stops at L, Q and X along the way) in either a timely or non-painful manner without mobility assistance.

Those of you who remember when Doug was first diagnosed with Hodgkins Disease in '95 will remember how he struggled with his hatred of vs. his need for special treatment, and it's all coming back around now. So if you see him in the hallway, ask if he could use a push to his next panel, and don't avoid the elephant in the living room that is his limited mobility, but don't dwell on it either (unless, of course, he starts in on an animated discussion of it).  If you have questions regarding anything you need to know for the con (Programming and ProgOps, I expect you may have a few) or things you can assist with personally, feel free to email either or both of us.

<end of quoted material>

This is also likely to have a profound affect on the [livejournal.com profile] tas_baycon party; if you find yourself with ANY time to help us with set-up during the con ([livejournal.com profile] aurictech, do you check in Thursday or Friday?), please come find one of us.

(crossposted with minor edits as relevant)
kshandra: long-haired woman silhouetted against a stormy sky (Bad)
I printed out my letter to Aunt Mary last night and put it in the mail today. The relatives with her POA are staying at her apartment during all of this, so I figured I would call and tell them to expect it, and to go ahead and read it to her if she wasn't able to do it herself.

It's worse than [livejournal.com profile] murphymom let on (or perhaps worse than she gathered from her phonecall); Aunt Mary hasn't opened her eyes since they admitted her on Thursday. The doctor doesn't expect her to wake again.

It was actually a pleasant call, despite the reason for it; it's probably been a couple of years since I last talked to Uncle Roland and Aunt Barbara, and it was good to hear their voices. They've got the arrangements well in hand; the family plot is at Forest Lawn (Nana, Grandpa, and Uncle Alfred are there already), and they'll be going over some time this week to confirm as many of the details as they can in advance of the event. I gave them my phone numbers, and Aunt Barbara joked that it was a good thing I have a different last name, because she wouldn't have been able to fit me in her phone book under her last initial. *watery grin*




I wrote the following on Tribe last night and wanted to share it here, too.

She's ready to go, too - has been for a while. "99 - isn't that terrible?" she'll say on the phone to me. And I can understand it up to a point; she's outlived her husband by a decade, outlived all her siblings...outlived several members of the generation that followed hers, as well. But when she asks me not to cry for her when she's gone.... I've told her that I'll be crying for everyone she leaves behind, and I think she's okay with that.

All I want is for her to see that next birthday in two weeks. And to share it with her. I deliberately blew off what turned out to be my great-grandmother's (her sister's) last birthday; she'd been suffering from dementia for several years prior to that, and my last visit with her was too painful for me to face again. But Aunt Mary has been in excellent health for her age up to this point, and has kept all her wits so far.

I just want to hear that laugh one more time....


My math was wrong; the 31st is three weeks away. It feels much, much longer.




I suppose I should start practicing; Mom spontaneously sang a verse of "Amazing Grace" at Nana's gravesite service, and Aunt Mary asked her to do the same for her. And I'll be there, this time (I couldn't afford the trip to LA for the internment, and the funeral up here had been hard enough on me), so I want to help.

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