Bitter Cold Break

I have been on a small hiatus from writing on the blog lately.  I have fussed about this before, but maybe it bears mentioning again.

 

My insurance policy I had last year decided they no longer would cover my Methotrexate in November. I was also still dealing with the broken foot which is, quite possibly, the most painful injury I have endured in my life. youknow19

 

I have also complained a great deal about the side effects of Methotrexate and I promise you now, I will NEVER do that again. You see, you don’t realize the extent that a medication is helping until you abruptly quit taking it and your disease kicks into high-gear. No, Methotrexate is certainly not a walk in the park, but MCTD and RA mixed with mending bones and the wonderful winter we’re having this year are far worse than a Methotrexate hang-over (for lack of a better word).

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In Alabama, where I live, it is extremely rare to see snow. We have no idea how to handle snow here and our entire state shuts down at the mention of it. So for it to have snowed twice in one year is kind of a big deal. Years ago, I would’ve loved it. It’s exciting to experience snow when you aren’t accustomed to it. But when your bones ache all over on good days and alarmingly alert you of unstable air outside on not-so-good days, they darn near give up on snow days.

 

Another problem which I still haven’t found a resolution to is cold feet. I have written about this before. I am so determined to find a good solution to this problem but I am starting to feel deFEETed. I know that isn’t how you spell that.

 

My feet will be cold for so long that they pure hurt. And then when I have finally found the perfect combination of cover, sock, heating pad, and position to warm them they quickly go from Jack Frost to Satan’s den. There is no in between.

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The morning of the last snow day we had I awoke thinking I may be running a fever. I thought this because I couldn’t get warm. I couldn’t get warm because our heater decided to take the day off. Not only was it not heating, it was blowing cold air. I think it took the better part of the week for my body to warm up from that problem. Luckily, my husband is friends with the local AC/Heater repair guy.

 

I couldn’t tell you the technical name for the thing-a-ma-do-hicky that is broken on our heater, but I can tell you that it works intermittently now and that if I want to fix this it’ll cost around $500.00. Considering the fact that in Alabama we typically need heat at night and air conditioning during the day and that it still works some of the time, I can not justify that expense right now. If it ain’t broke (completely), it doesn’t need fixin’ right?

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With all of this being said, I have had a lot more going on this winter which I will save for another post since they have been few and far between.

 

My son has the flu so I am off to spray some more Lysol. Ya’ll pray that we keep it from spreading to the rest of the family and pray that he gets well soon.  He says he’s never been this sick in his life and coming from him, that speaks volumes!

 

Writer’s Block

I will make this short and sweet. I haven’t blogged much this month. It has been an eventful month, but not much to talk about.

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You may have noticed my last blog was a rant. I’ll be the first to say that it wasn’t even a grammatically correct rant. I was pissed. I still am, but I have calmed down just a hair. I’m not sure if it is because time has passed since I wrote that post or if it is because my GP felt the need to up my Zoloft to 100mg a day. Whichever the case, I’m tired of fussing with it. It does absolutely no good.

It is starting to look like that is all I do when I blog. I fuss, I post about pain, I post about being sad, mad, hurt, etc. I know that gets old for my readers to read over and over and over again.

 

I’m very sorry if my meltdowns, rants, wines, and for the most part, saying what I wanna say out loud but cant offends you. I’m sorry if it is hard to read. You should try living it. I’m just saying.

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I should add in here that another reason, aside from my broken foot, football season, and dealing with doctors and insurance and mixed connective tissue disease, is because it’s also TV SEASON!!! All kinds of new, GOOD, shows are coming on. Along with the returning greats that we spend the offseason wishing was on.

 

Here is a list of my all-time favorites:

 

Grey’s Anatomy

The Walking Dead

The Talking Dead

This is Us

Law & Order SVU

Chicago Fire

Chicago PD

Once Upon a Time

Vikings — which I hope is soon coming on even though with Ragnar gone it will never be the same

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But let me let you in on a secret show I found which I absolutely LOVE!33497f8ffe9b554ee4ae1d693b4b15ee--season--fangirl

 

It’s called Offspring. It is about a woman who is an obstetrician in Australia. She has a sister and a brother, both trying to find their way in the world since they didn’t do the college thing,  Nina is her name, She is trying to find love. She is married to a man who is creepily obsessed with her, And then her Mom’s house is a madhouse at all times. Her father knocked up a nurse that works with Nina and her parents are still married, but it appears to be an off again, on again sort of thing.

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I would love to tell you it is a nice family oriented show like Parenthood or This is Us because it is. BUT (and this is a huge but) there are some very adult words and a good bit of sex that goes on. It is a great show to watch when your kids are away or paying no good attention to what you are watching. You can thank me later if you try to watch this show, I would have to say it took me the entire first season to decide if this was my new go to show. And by the end of season 1, you are hooked. Hooked to the point that you are dedicated ONLY to watching all 7 seasons. I finished them in about a week.  And now I want more, and I want it NOW!b41252aed7d3ed8084361b7583fec174

 

My Ambien is finally starting to kick in and I have spent much of the end of this post to stop and backspace my typo’s out. So what I will do here is save what I have written, add photos tomorrow. and proofread it before I post. I do this often so that I can make sure I make sense anymore.

Health “Care” Don’t CARE

insurancelottoThis is going to be a rant and for those who don’t agree with my views here can just keep the little opinions to themselves. Unless you have a way to combat the situation I am in, don’t tell me I am wrong about the way I view insurance in this country and my states ability to figure the stuff out. I am not, nor will I ever be, a politician.

 

Here’s the thing. Obama “Care”, in theory, is okay I suppose. But it lacks all of the loopholes and what-ifs criteria or knowledge to keep it going or to have ever been rolled out in the first place. Sure, we all want free healthcare. Who doesn’t want free stuff? Here’s the thing. I don’t care how bad you are at Math, free doesn’t add up any kind of way when you are talking about healthcare. NONE!!  People need to understand that if there is something they are getting for free, it’s only free to them because somewhere someone is working their butts off to pay for it. That may be in the form of taxes, donations, or just anything else you can think of that one would use to fund programs which help sick people.  But it isn’t free.

 

So in my fine state of Alabama, the Republicans fought the whole Obamacare thing tooth and nail and they won. But still, its people lost.  We lose every day.  The Alabama Republican party said they won’t raise Medicaid to cover the ones living in poverty. No, in fact, they would like to take more away from Medicaid and Medicare. But they think that by us not expanding our Medicaid then we aren’t on the Obama”Care” bandwagon.

 

That would be fine and dandy you would think. But no, instead it is worse. Worse than worse. Worse than most other states in these United States of America. Let me tell you what the insurance company does.

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So Blue Cross says their rates are going to skyrocket because of Obama “care” and because of all of the preventative services that they are now going to have to cover free of charge. Not only will your rates go up, but so will your deductible and out of pocket costs.

 

Here is a breakdown of how this goes down and you tell me that it shouldn’t be illegal to do people this way and I will tell you what I think about you.

 

My BCBS Bronze level Family plan which is provided to me through my husband’s employer who pays an estimated $800/month for the premium doesn’t cover diddly squat. Nothing, I mean NOTHING, is free. Not even preventative. Last time I checked, colonoscopy’s were preventative procedures, but not anymore apparently.

 

I go to the doctor more than most people. I take more medications than most people. And if you have been keeping up with me, I am clumsier than most people as well. This makes for a fairly hefty dollar amount of bills for my needed health care.

 

It is now. At a minimum, I have been to some doctor somewhere at least once a month, usually far more than that. So imagine my surprise when I found out that I still owe nearly $12,000 of my deductible. We were told in the beginning that our deductible was $14,000 for the two of us. Now I am learning that it is more like $20,000. The break down on that is $14k for me and $6k for my husband.

So even with those high deductibles, I was under the impression that I should be nearing the end of that given my frequent flyer miles. Again, wrong. Wrong again! You see, the insurance companies have it rigged to where you will NEVER go anywhere near your deductible. They do this clever thing.

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Let me explain:  If you have ever looked at a statement from BCBS You will see where they tell the providers that they only approve for certain procedures to be billed out at x dollar amount rates. Then the rest is between you and your doctor. They can either bill you the difference or they can just change the charges to only bill for what the insurance company approves. But here is another catch, unless you have met your $20k deductible, you will be being billed no matter what. So now, not only is your health probably in the gutter but so is your credit.

And here’s another kicker, those discounted rates that you think are the only thing that saves BCBS a little face are really the devil in disguise. They have them discounted down so that you will NEVER reach that asinine deductible which would be when they actually start to pay a little bit of your health care. It really should be illegal.

 

Just this week I got a letter in the mail that they will no longer cover Methotrexate along with other medications I require. They don’t have a reason why it is just not going to be covered. So bam, there goes my little life. This methotrexate keeps me alive people. It keeps me from killing myself. Not in a suicidal way, but physically, That’s what autoimmune disease does. Methotrexate is supposed to be a medicine used to stop your body from thinking that your immune system should be battling it out with the rest of your body.

So I could go on and on and on and on about this because there is more. But it is bed time. And I have worked myself into another tizzy being mad about this. It is just such a hopeless feeling.  Your body is crapping out on you, you break a foot, you can’t afford to fix it, and NOBODY cares! Amazingly the word “care” is included in almost every phrase you can think of when it comes to health care today…  Ironically, NOBODY CARES!

 

I’m Good, How are You?

I’m Good, How are You?

It is something we all say every day. Someone asks, “how are you doing?” And I almost always say, “I’m good, how are you?” And as those words are coming out of my mouth I always think to myself, why are you saying this. You aren’t good, you’re a wreck. You hurt ALL the time, the medicine sucks, you want to do things that you can’t, you’re down on yourself because of that, you don’t sleep good, you’re just plain out not good.howudoing

 

So why do we ask people? Why do we take their reply of “good” as truth? Most of the time the questioner already knows you are involved in some type of battle if you indeed are. But when we say we are good the conversation moves on. Or if it is brief in nature a simple “good, so nice seeing you”. And you both move on.

 

Sometimes I change my reply up because I am simply sick of telling people that I am fine when I am NOT.  Let me tell you when you unload all of the details of why you’re not fine the look on the other persons face is always like a deer in the headlights. The result of this is that we feel like raging idiots for having just dropped all of that out of our mouths.

 

I think we need to try to get out of our feelings one minute and the next I want to shout it from the highest building. Silent sufferers be silent no more. Enough is enough, ROAR!!! We should do that but we don’t.

 

painInstead, we turn to WordPress or the like and become avid writers in hopes to get some things off of our chest. We also want to search for someone else who is suffering the same way that you are. We want validation that we aren’t crazy. This is another side effect of disease or medications.

I think it is a great way to do this. But even then, times get low. Your readers aren’t reading, you have no new followers, you aren’t even interesting anymore. -Maybe. Or maybe life just gets in the way.

This past week has been filled with life getting in the way of writing. Work, being Mom and caring for my son who has injured his arm. He pulled his UCL. It is torn slap in two.

 

As of now, he won’t require surgery. They say that because he isn’t a pitcher or a quarterback, he won’t need his UCL. He is going to do rehab to learn to use the other muscles to compensate for the broken ligament.

 

I understand what they are saying. I realize surgery usually causes more damage in the long run. I have had ligaments repaired myself. I don’t wish that pain on anyone, especially my son. But don’t tell me that because he isn’t the QB or a pitcher he doesn’t need it.

 

He needs the dang ligament or it wouldn’t be there, thank you very much. And he isn’t less important because of the position he does or doesn’t play on a football field. He is one of the most important people to ME!  He may not be using that arm to toss balls around, but he has already signed with the Army. I am pretty sure his service there will be more beneficial to everyone than throwing a darn ball around would.wolffelling

 

So this is the rant I have for the week. I am dealing with a ton more pain than usual as well. Swelling everywhere, pain everywhere. And toughening up my outside so that I can hide this pain like a champ and not unload on anyone who asks me “how are you doing”. The art of hiding this is a job in itself.

But I’m doing good, how are you?

 

 

 

It’s Football Season Ya’ll

lovebamaMy favorite time of year is finally here. I have to admit, I hibernated at the end of last years football season.  I take Alabama football seriously.  And by seriously I mean, insanely so.  I have a selection of lucky shirts, socks, pants, blanket, underwear, and even where I choose to sit and in what position is of great significance to whether The Crimson Tide wins or loses.  If the combination of attire and position isn’t working and we are doing badly in a game I have to change something, if not everything. I get mad at anyone else who isn’t playing along with my mind games too. Alabama performed badly for an entire half of one game last year and ya’ll, it was entirely my husband’s fault. He wore the wrong hat.

tidecomingI am fully aware that all of these shenanigans are insane. I don’t care. It is something that I have done for as long as I can remember.  And I know I’m not the only one who does this stupid stuff. I mean one of the things that my husband and I really hit it off on when we first started dating was Alabama football and our silly rituals. One of us got stuck watching the remainder of a game in the bathroom.

So, this year I am in the market for a new “lucky” Alabama shirt. I am guessing the luck wore off of all of the other ones in the final game of the year last season. The national championship game. The cause of my hibernation for a little while. I guess I am a sore loser. Alabama fans, myself included, have become spoiled. God bless Nick Saban. I don’t know what we will do if he decides to retire anytime soon. Being a hard core Bama fan has had it’s up’s and downs. Prior to Nick, we had several Mikes to enter and be ran out of the Alabama family. None of them would ever add up to Bear Bryant.  We had some good coaches and we came through every now and then, but not enough to make National Championship t-shirts and memorabilia expire.  Our 1992 National Championship car decals and shirts were good for 17 years. (mine weren’t due to size issues)bamacrew

If you are a football fan then you either love Alabama or you love to hate Alabama. That is part of the deal that comes with being legendary. I am good with it. What I am not good with is losing and knowing we should have, could have, would have won a game that we lost. The BIG game. The one that determines who is the best.  It was decided last year that Alabama was not the best. And that chip on the shoulder of those big boys will shine this year. It won’t (I hope) happen again! But I must do my part. I must find the winning combination attire.

alabamaweekAlabama football is not the only favorite of mine. My Choctaws started their season with a win Friday.  My teenage boys both play. They didn’t play this game. The youngest is having to pay his dues as a youngster on the Varsity team and the oldest hurt his shoulder in a scrimmage game week before last. He is okay, he will play this week. So, I have a dilemma… Alabama’s first game is against FSU. FSU and my Choctaws have the same tomahawk chop and chant. I know that if I partake in this Friday night, my luck significantly changes for Saturday night.  OH MY GOODNESS, I AM CRAZY!

flareflareIn other news, I feel like crap. T-Total, poo. I guess I am having a flare. The pain associated with these abbreviations is constant. It’s hard to tell if the pain is just getting on my nerves or if I am having a flare which is more painful than the constant pain I experience. Last night, winter came. I have been waiting on winter for 7 seasons now. It finally came, and now we have to wait an entire season to see what else winter does.  And guess what fellow Game of Thrones fans. Now that winter is here and leaving us hanging for an entire season, we now know that the next season will be the last. What the what? I realize the budget for a show such as this can get pricey. I realize the actors now demand better pay. I understand every drawback HBO seems to have. But what I don’t understand is the business decision to end the best show HBO has ever produced. I guarantee they have gained more subscriptions solely because of this show. I know that HBO is NOT cheap. I know they’re making money and significantly more because of GOT!

Last night, winter came. I have been waiting on winter for 7 seasons even though the raven and John Snow can go back and forth from Winterfell in one episode. It finally came, and now we have to wait an entire season to see what else the slow walking, dead winter does.  And guess what fellow Game of Thrones fans. Now that winter is here and leaving us hanging for an entire season, we now know that the next season will be the last. What THE wha—-at?

I realize the budget for a show such as this can get pricey. I realize the actors now demand better pay. I understand every drawback HBO seems to have. But what I don’t understand is the business decision to end the best show HBO has ever produced. I guarantee they have gained more subscriptions solely because of this show. I know that HBO is NOT cheap. I know they’re making money and significantly more because of GOT!

They better have some huge, expensive tricks up their sleeves to appease the humongous fan base for their final season. HBO, you have been warned. got

July’s Abscence

warriorI haven’t been on here and written much on my blog. I have a lot of reasons why. The first reason is METHOTREXATE! This medication is the Devil and creates the atmosphere of Hell inside your body. I know that its intention is to suppress my immune system and keep it from fighting my body, but it is starting to feel like it kills whatever your immune system hasn’t already battled.

I’m hoping my body will eventually get used to the medication and the bad effects will somewhat diminish.  I start to recover and feel a little better around Friday. So for Friday and then Saturday morning I am back to normal, or my version of normal which still includes pain. Then Saturday I take these 4  Methotrexate pills and the battle begins again.

methcanOn top of the awful side effects of this Satan derived “treatment”, I have started working. I love my job. I am able to work around my schedule and it isn’t a hard job to learn or do. I feel like I should be working during any spare time that I have because I never know when I am going to be unable to interact with the world around me or go down for the count with this disease and side effects.

Another side effect of the disease and/or medications is my inability to sleep. I don’t quite understand it, but I can be so tired and want so badly to go to sleep, but when I lay down I CAN NOT get any sleep. I take Ambien, which is obvious if you have read any of my late night posts. But I ran out of them this week and I was also out of refills. I contacted my primary care physician Monday to inquire about a refill. I had an appointment with them Thursday.  They wouldn’t call the medication in until I was seen. I understand it is a controlled substance. But they have been prescribing this to me for nearly two years. By the time I got there on Thursday I was ill. I was mad at the world. I was mad because I was tired and I couldn’t sleep. breakdown

I started my conversation with the doctor by telling her that I was sorry, but I can’t think straight because I haven’t slept in 3 days. She assured me that she would be sending my Ambien in along with some other stuff she was going to try since my insurance wants $480 a month for Lyrica.  Again, I ended the conversation reiterating my need for my Ambien TODAY. She again, told me I would get it.

I had a late appointment. The pharmacy closes at 7:00 pm. I went to Walmart to get this promised medication and it had not been sent it. All of the other medication had. I called the doctors office again. I was told that the doctor had to sign off on it since it was a controlled medicine. The doctor I had seen was a practitioner. Well, 7:00 rolled around and still no sleeping medicine. At this point, I could spit fire and nails. I literally cried right there in Walmart.

I am not a crier. I just don’t cry in public usually. I am the type of person who will wait until everyone’s asleep and then lay in bed and cry.  I know I shouldn’t keep my feelings bundled up to myself, but I feel as if I appear weak if I cry in front of anyone. Don’t ask me why.

In addition to me not being able to get the Lyrica, my rheumatologist advised me to quit taking the muscle relaxers and Neurontin and didn’t give me any refills of them either. Nor would she refill my Ibuprofen. Ibuprofen is fine, I can get that OTC. The other two, not so much.

So here I am, in pain, now sick from the Devil medicine, with absolutely NO pain medication, NO sleep medication, NOTHING! To say I had a come-apart would be an understatement. Mixed connective tissue disease and rheumatoid arthritis are enough for me to have to deal with. I am going through a lot with it. Is it too much to ask the doctors to DO THEIR JOB? It is so aggravating.

methotrexatepFinally, around 4:00 pm on Friday my Ambien was called in and I got some good sleep last night. My spirits are up a little more today. But today is a Methotrexate day so we’ll see how long that lasts.

I hate to be a Debbie Downer in my posts, but I felt a need to rant and vent about it.

I hope you all have a great weekend!

Talk to the Hand

I feel the need to post about the joy of motherhood. It is so rewarding, yet so frustrating at times. I know at some point these kids are going to realize they aren’t know-it-all’s, but until then, I guess we’re just going to argue about it. Constantly. At what point do you decide that continuing to argue is doing absolutely no good?

I feel as if I am failing at teaching a lesson if I allow them to believe whatever asinine thing started the discussion. But they’re so hard-headed. And it needs to be pointed out that when you have a chronic illness you are already dealing with so much of your own crap, that your tolerance level for these aspects of life is significantly low.

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Men, namely my husband, will tell you, “I wouldn’t put up with that crap.” I have a different way of viewing these things. Yes, I don’t think that it’s right for the kids to talk back, and the tone in which they use is a pre-cursor to how the situation is going to unfold. But we want to raise kids to be leaders and think for themselves. Sometimes this means allowing their opinion to be heard, but it doesn’t make it okay for them to treat you like a registered dummy.

When I was growing up there would be no questions. I would be backhanded for this type of backtalk. Not all of it, but most of it. In this day and age, people don’t do that for fear of getting in trouble. I don’t share in that fear, but I do fear it because I’m not built like most humans. If I were to backhand one of mine, that hand would hurt for days if not weeks. With this disease, I bruise easily. I hurt more with a whole lot less effort. I also don’t move near as fast as I used to be able to.

My youngest has figured this out. The oldest has figured out that I’m almost certainly not going to inflict spankings or anything resembling one on him. They’ve figured it out, but are they taking advantage of it?

 

IMG_3433It really does hurt my feelings. I can’t say that to them because I try to hold the majority of my pain and suffering inside and out of their sight. When you have very little energy and are fatigued every minute of the day, you oversleep for everything, you have to skip cooking dinner multiple times a week, you start to lose the respect of your family. It’s not fair. And there seems to be no way to combat it without explaining what you’re going through. Likewise, there seems to be no way of explaining without sounding like a cry baby or an excuse maker. It’s a battle that isn’t capable of being won, it seems.

I know all parents struggle with whether they’re doing the right thing in certain aspects of their parenting journey. I am not trying to insinuate that I’m the only person struggling with this because I am also sick. I think this post is more of a rant. A rant to let everyone know that we are all struggling with this parenting thing. I just have an added aspect to mine.

 

Here is a video that I found to completely compliment this post.  Enjoy!