kshandra: "DONE!" written in purple stencil-font lettering at a 45 degree angle (Done!)
Saw my doctor this week about changing my diabetes medication. The one I was originally prescribed, while it had worked beautifully for me when I was first on it four years ago, had done nothing but cause me severe gastrointestinal distress (leaving-work-early severe on more than one occasion), and it never went away. If I tried taking it during my meal, I had massive bloating; if I took it more than X minutes after I ate, it was cramps and worse. One of my fellow coworkers is a diabetic himself and had been telling me for several weeks "Look, it's none of my damn business, but you need to get off of that stuff," and I finally did something about it.

Of course, me being me, and compliance being something I struggle with on the best of occasions, having one of my meds revolt on me meant that taking any of the rest of them rapidly went out the window, as well. So the labwork I had done this weekend is going to be a mess, but I'm braced for it.

Anyway, tonight I took my first dose of Januvia; I've got four weeks worth of free samples, and we'll see if my insurance will cover the script outright or if I'm gonna have to fight for it. (It looks like the manufacturer has a copay card for it, as well, so I've got options if it comes down to that.)
kshandra: White text on a blue button: "Better watch now, because things could go wrong in a hurry." (Keith - Better Watch Now)
So, thanks to an Invisible Internet Friend I got a referral code for a free week of Blue Apron meals. I made the first one of them yesterday...and while the food was AMAZING, it was a rather horrifying lesson in just how out of shape I am.

None of the steps in the recipe was all that difficult, but the fact that they were supposed to happen simultaneously meant there was no way for me to stop and let the pain reside before starting in on the next ingredient. [personal profile] gridlore was listening to me make my way around our really-not-that-big kitchen and almost stopped me in the middle of cooking. (Sadly, said kitchen size means that getting something like a lab stool on wheels so I can sit while I cook is most likely a non-starter.) We'll make at least one of the other two recipes before the ingredients go bad, but I've cancelled the account going forward.

(For the record, the recipe in question was their Lamb & Beef Stew. I am absolutely keeping the recipe card.)
kshandra: Close-up of a single lit candle against a black background (Candle)
So the news about my grandfather has gone from "days, maybe hours" to "not as bad as all that" to "he may not make it to next weekend." And I've spent much of today in conversation with [personal profile] gridlore, [personal profile] murphymom, and my sister, trying to work out whether going this weekend is viable. And I realized in the midst of that discussion that part of why I was stressing so much over making this work is that I didn't get to see Aunt Mary that one last time (which in itself carries residual guilt from blowing off Nana's last birthday...jesus, twenty years ago now).

Mom has multiple things keeping her from making the trip this weekend (not the least of which is she's moving on the 7th, to the second - third? - housing arrangement she's had since the fire in May). Amanda has said that if money is the only thing keeping Doug and me from making the trip, tell her how much and where to wire it. Knowing I get paid on the 9th has certainly been part of my motivation for waiting till next week to drive down, but more of it is thinking I was going to need that much time to collect the spoons the trip is going to take (both in terms of the emotional weight of the journey and the simple fact of trying to do it all in 72 hours). There's a definite chance that if I do go this weekend, Doug won't be in a condition to go with me, which sucks, because he was hoping to stop on the way back and visit a dear friend from high school who has at least as many health challenges as he does, and they may not have many opportunities left, either.

And I fucking hate that I have reached an age where having to think in terms of "the last time I'll get to see this person" is going to become a regular occurrence.
kshandra: "DONE!" written in purple stencil-font lettering at a 45 degree angle (Done!)
After a discussion with [personal profile] gridlore, I made arrangements at work to start coming in late two days a week so we can hit the Y in the morning. It's become abundantly clear that if I try to leave it for after work, it just ain't gonna happen. The plan is for Tuesdays and Fridays.

So of course Doug was up half the night dealing with body!fail, and I had to go on my own today. :-P

There was a circuit-training class starting just as I finished with the treadmill, so I didn't actually get on any of the other machines, but I was able to get my Fitlinxx account reactivated, and dropped off our annual financial aid paperwork*. Besides, when I checked in on Swarm I discovered that this was the first time I'd made it back over since before we went to Istanbul, so twenty minutes of walking was probably as far as I should push myself, anyway. (It wasn't as bad as my first aquatic therapy session, at least, where I sat huddled in the locker room wrapped in my towel for half an hour afterward, barely managed to pull my jeans on over my swimsuit, and then went to sleep for three hours as soon as I got home. But my hips are decidedly NOT happy with me this afternoon.)

* My phone rang from an unfamiliar number while I was writing this up; turns out they need ALL of our most recent tax return, and not just the part I turned in this morning. Feh.
kshandra: long-haired woman silhouetted against a stormy sky (Bad)
One of the friends I made in the heyday of pundit fandom wrote an amazing dystopian AU several years ago called The 28th Amendment, taking place in a world where McCain (with Huckabee as his running-mate) won the 2008 election, only to die two months after the Inauguration; the titular Amendment "states that America is and always has been a Christian nation and her laws must therefore be in harmony with God's Laws", specifically outlawing marriage equality and abortion. The story includes Real-Person Slash, which I've grown less okay with as I age, but that's really beside the point here (save that some of you may not want to read it if that isn't your cup of tea). The 28th 'verse has been haunting me in these final weeks leading up to the election, for obvious reasons.

The author tweeted this morning, wondering how she had woken up in her own story.




I almost couldn't get out of bed today. I finally managed about five minutes before I was supposed to be at work, because, as Doug put it last night, "babies are still pooping," and we need my paycheck more than ever now. There's been a fair amount of gallows humor in the office, and I imagine the mood will be even more somber as our drivers (black, Latin@, and Asian) return.

Copied from a comment I left elsewhere on DW:

[personal profile] gridlore will die, no two ways about it, without the Medicare expansion. He'll die, and I'll wind up having to file bankruptcy because there's no way in HELL I can afford his medical care. (Assuming I can afford my own, which isn't guaranteed, despite having coverage through my employer. So maybe we'll BOTH be dead, and it won't fucking matter anymore.)




We'll go on. We have to. I just wish I had the first idea how.
kshandra: The Burning Man effigy, lit in blue neon, arms by his sides; an orange half-moon is visible over his shoulder. (BurningMan)
[personal profile] gridlore and I are in agreement that this was our last year tent camping for That Thing In The Desert. We've done some basic research and determined that we are looking for a used 13' travel trailer (something like a Scamp or a Casita). For health reasons, we are specifically looking for Deluxe models with an onboard flush toilet.

We're not going to be doing any serious shopping until February when our tax refund comes in, but expect lots of stupid questions from us once we get to that point.
kshandra: The Burning Man effigy, lit in blue neon, arms by his sides; an orange half-moon is visible over his shoulder. (BurningMan)
Back when [livejournal.com profile] dafydd and I were still together, it was common (perhaps even traditional) to hear him declare in early September, "Well, time to go fix what Burning Man broke."

He only ever said it about his truck. [personal profile] gridlore and I aren't that lucky.

As noted in his own journal, Doug broke three metatarsals in his right foot while we were starting to tear down camp on the final Monday night of the event. I asked, more than once, if he wanted to go to Medical; he declined, and I was too brain-fried, despite having veto power, to insist on it.

It was Wednesday morning before he finally admitted "Okay, this isn't just the neuropathy; something's fucked up." Fortunately, Renown was a direct shot up 2nd Street from our beloved Grand Sierra, and everyone we worked with there was terrific. They got him splinted up and sent us on our way with crutches and both print-outs and digital copies of his X-rays. (They offered him The Good Drugs, as well, but we would have had to fill the script while we were still in Nevada, and we were already nervous about what Medicare was going to do with this visit. Fortunately, Doug had had the good sense to pack the rest of the meds he'd been given for last month's procedure, so he wasn't in complete agony.)

Meanwhile, I keep looking down at my own right shin and wondering WTF is going on...

As noted in the tweet above, I finally stopped trying to grin and bear it on Sunday and took myself to Urgent Care. The doctor I saw said I should get an ultrasound the next day to rule out a possible abscess, and come back to see him once the test was done.

15 minutes after calling me to schedule said ultrasound, they called me back and said "We're cancelling that appointment, the doctor wants you to go to the ER instead."

Where I spent two hours and $200* to get diagnosed with leg pain. Dude, I told you that when I walked in here.

I spend the next two days faithfully taking the Motrin they gave me, then email my primary physician for a follow-up appointment when I don't see any improvement. (I'd also had truly atrocious blood pressure readings on both Sunday and Monday, and figured the sooner I got that seen to, the better.)

Gratifyingly, they called me this morning as I was getting ready for work, saying they could fit me in. Confusingly, my BP was back to what passes for normal for me (136/84 - not great, but miles better than the 209/95 they got in the ER on Monday). Reassuringly (if a bit frustratingly), my doctor said "Yeah, it's a contusion, and where it is will take a long time to fully heal. Keep it elevated, heat or ice depending upon what feels better."

In the words of the National Enquirer's old gossip column: "...and how was YOUR week?"




* It was going to be $250, but when I stopped by the cashier's office after today's appointment, they gave me a Prompt Payment discount. File under "linings, pewter."
kshandra: Animated: Film-style countdown clock, indicating "Next Mood Swing in 3...2...1..." (Mood Swing)
Talk of mental health and eating habits behind the cut )
I still owe folks an actual post about the trip; our postcards have finally started arriving (postmarked 2 May - our own fault for asking the front desk to send them rather than finding the post office, which was apparently right by the Ayasofya), and once I've got them all back and in order, I'll be able to order my thoughts a little better.
kshandra: Cartoon: Garfield face-down in his cat bed, a single Z in a word balloon over his head (Z)
There are a bunch of half-started posts in my head - seeing SW:TFA twice in a week, winning tickets for Brian Setzer on Christmas Eve, all the lovely things I got for the holiday (including fic!) - but one of the UNlovely things I got for the holiday was a nasty-ass bronchial thing, so my rattling lungs and I are going to go back to bed, instead.
kshandra: Animated text: Closing paragraph from the 01/08/11 Special Comment - icon made with http://wigflip.com/minifesto (Default)
As I noted to [personal profile] gridlore this morning as I staggered out of the bedroom, I certainly don't sound any better today, not least because this cold has moved out of my head and into my chest, but I feel significantly more functional than I have all week. And my [livejournal.com profile] holiday_wishes presents have started to arrive, which has been keeping my spirits up when I've been otherwise miserable.

Thanks to everyone for your well-wishes.
kshandra: Cartoon of a young girl, a purple streak in her hair, at a computer; the text reads "dear blog, I HATE EVERYONE!" (I Hate Everyone)
A bout of very public drama on Facebook Tuesday ) has done nothing to help my overall mental state. On top of this, I'm badly overdue for a replacement mask for my facehugger, so I've been waking up several times a night when the vents pop open and the pressure changes (to say nothing of the extra noise). And it's been more than 12 months since I got the machine, so my prescription has expired, and the company I got it from can't send me any new supplies until the scrip has been renewed. I found a store online that would sell me one without it, and I should have it by Monday, but having to pay out of pocket for it annoys me.

It's been a real struggle not to eat my feelings every night.
kshandra: Porcelain figurine of a dragon embracing a smaller dragon; the smaller one is pointing to the larger one's heart (YouTouchMyHeart)
There's a (not-quite) full tank of gas in the truck, some extra groceries in the fridge, and enough money in the PayPal account that I can get cash back off a small purchase tomorrow and get the checking account out of the red before I get dinged for their "Extended Overdraft Fee" or whatever the hell they called it. Once that's done, I should still have enough left that I can finally put in the 2014 Upgrade disk I got from Quicken and start following my money more closely again, and then renew my membership at the therapy pool after the 15th (when it becomes $30 rather than $50).

I was able to go visit [livejournal.com profile] pentaclemoon last night for her birthday and stay up far too late chatting (okay, snarking) with her, [livejournal.com profile] cruz531, [tumblr.com profile] myrkrida, [livejournal.com profile] thesylvan, and [twitter.com profile] KobaltBleu, and spent the drive there and back working my way through the WTNV archive (I've just finished "A Story About You"). I paid for my late night by spending the day dead for tax purposes; I finally got out of bed for good about an hour ago, and am now making clean-out-the-fridge sourdough bread pizzas for breakfast/lunch/dinner/whathaveyou.
kshandra: Animated text: Closing paragraph from the 01/08/11 Special Comment - icon made with http://wigflip.com/minifesto (Default)
I finished both the program at Cielo House and my physical therapy in the third week of June. I am incredibly grateful for my time in both programs, and grateful to all of you who helped make it happen. (I'm also very grateful I'm NOT in treatment currently, because I absolutely would not have the bandwidth.)

I actually find myself hoping [personal profile] gridlore's treatment team will recommend aquatic therapy for him, as well. (There was a peer group of recovered stroke patients who were visiting the floor today while I was there; I mentioned the center where I'd just finished my PT, and one of them brightened up and said "I did my PT there, too!")
kshandra: Cartoon: Garfield face-down in his cat bed, a single Z in a word balloon over his head (Z)
Though I sure feel like I gave it the old college try.

Started slowly reacquainting myself with food on Thursday; the process continued on Friday, when I was feeling well enough to return to work. Vague references back here, but still TMI ) Part of me is really missing seeing folks at con, though I was never planning more than a day trip, but all things considered it truly is best that I'm home.
kshandra: Animated text: Closing paragraph from the 01/08/11 Special Comment - icon made with http://wigflip.com/minifesto (Default)
Woke up at 1am with what I suspected was food poisoning. At 8 this morning, [personal profile] gridlore drove me to Urgent Care, where I did singularly disgusting things in the name of medicine (no, I won't tell you) and was informed that no, I have an elevated white cell count, and here's Cipro for the infection and Zofran for the nausea.

12+ hours later, I am still miserable, though I finally have some painkiller on-board (the doctor offered me Vicodin, but that seemed counterintuitive with the symptoms I'm not telling you about). I've emailed to cancel my second PT appointment for the week, and need to email Cielo and tell them I don't expect to be back on solid food tomorrow, so making up the clinic hours I'm missing right now is unlikely. Work tomorrow is anyone's guess.
kshandra: Portrait of Lumpy from Pooh's Heffalump Movie (Heffalump)
So last night was my first night with my face-hugger. (The icon is chosen quite deliberately; not only did I go with the mask that only covers my nose, the straps are remarkably similar in color.)

How did it go? I couldn't tell you; I was asleep at the time. But [personal profile] gridlore says this was the first night in YEARS that I didn't. snore. (I can tell you that my back is SERIOUSLY not happy with me this morning - I wasn't as completely immobilized as I had feared, and reaching up to take the air hose with me as I'm rolling over seems to have become instinctive pretty quickly, but Doug tells me I moved around a lot less than I normally do.)

We shall see how it goes from here.
kshandra: long-haired woman silhouetted against a stormy sky (Bad)
Because it's not just the cost of the treatment facility. It's copayments for the doctor's appointments they've wanted me to get, and the labwork those appointments have generated, and physical therapy, and and and. (In the interest of full disclosure, I have been using some of the money raised to cover the PT costs; it's all part and parcel of the same process, but since it wasn't something I explicitly stated I was raising the money for, I've felt dishonest for doing it.)

And now I've been diagnosed with sleep apnea and need to be fitted with a face-hugger.

There are days I question the value of it all.
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.

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kshandra: Animated text: Closing paragraph from the 01/08/11 Special Comment - icon made with http://wigflip.com/minifesto (Default)
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