2014/08/03

Rollercoaster

Da Goddess @ 22:05

Life is like a rollercoaster these days. I start feeling a little better, steadier, and back off the meds a bit. And then the pain creeps back in. It’s frustrating. So I slowly add back in a med at a time, limiting them so I know which helps more than the others.

It’s a tough endeavor to break the pain cycle and do it effectively. And do it so it doesn’t fall off quickly, setting off on the cycle all over again. I really don’t know how to make it stick at this point.

Granted, I’m not in tears 100% of the time right now. That’s GOOD. But there’s a huge uptick in pain to the point where it’s threatening to cause, at the very least, welling up.

Heat packs. Ice packs. Meds. Up and walking. Then back to the big comfy couch or the recliner. That’s the pattern at this point.

I’ve slept a lot over the last 10 days. The sleep isn’t always very restful and the dreams are weird. That’s the nature of pain. I just go with what feels best and hope more of it will increase my odds of healing me enough to take me to a level of pain I can live with.

So that’s where I am right now. If you need me, you’ll likely find me on the sofa or in my chair, heat or ice pack in place, meds on board. It’s not exciting or glamorous, but it’s what I got to work with.

2014/07/28

My Life as a Slug

Da Goddess @ 20:48

So here I sit, for last — gah, I gotta do math? (I’ll show you!), however many days. My back has been miserable. MISERABLE. But I’m slowly getting back to feeling better. Not normal. Just. Better.

The meds are doing what they’re supposed to do. It still hurts, but not as much. Each day is a tiny bit better than the last. However, there are some crazy fun (NOT!) side effects. Side effects like constipation. Side effects like swelling in my legs and feet. Side effects like constipation. Oh, I already mentioned that? It’s that bad. If I take anything, anything at all, I chase it with stool softeners. Doesn’t matter what it is, it could be Benadryl, I will still take stool softeners with it. Because it’s like there’s a boulder in my gut. I keep waiting for my own mini-ressurection. I mean, I remember this from when I had surgery years ago. The dachshund, the “broken” toilet bowl, the barking. (I tried finding that post but it’s gone, gone, gone in the lost archives, I guess.)

Anyhow, it’s not fun, this constipation thing. It is, however, somewhat exciting because each time I go to the bathroom it’s a bit like playing Wheel of Fortune.

I’ll let you just think on that for a bit. No need for graphic details from me.

Basically, my lack of movement (actual physical movement) is contributing to my other lack of movement. All that comes down to my back and the medications and my general feeling of noooooooooooooooooooo! It’s just how life goes sometimes.

While I started off with a full head of steam for this post, it’s quickly dwindled to a mere trickle as I wandered off to find my dachshund poop post. I’m easily distracted these days. I don’t remember where I was headed other than to complain how crappy (or not) life is at the moment. I’m sore. I’m tired. I’m stopped up. I’m cranky. Blah blah blah.

P.S. I had to laugh last night as I watched a show and one of the people kept saying her mother had “installed a love of cooking in me.” At least twice I yelled at the screen, “it’s INSTILLED! INSTILLED! INSTILLED!” but the woman didn’t seem to hear me. I have lots of time to ponder such things at length and it’s not as fun as it sounds.

2014/07/23

After All This Time

Da Goddess @ 18:36

I am alive and, well, not kicking, but definitely close to screaming. It’s been a bitch of a day, a bitch of a week, a bitch of a month. But things are looking up.

Got meds straightened out. Got adjuster drama straightened out. Got new meds for pain that’s not controlled by regular meds. And I got myself some circus peanuts to help ease the pain and frustration of all the bullshit I’ve been dealing with lately. Circus peanuts work wonders. As do Bullseyes (caramel and cream candies).

Also had to send more documentation for LD’s enlistment to his recruiter. Oy vey. So much to do. And it’s now done. I’m toast.

Now that all is done, I’m going to lie down and hope for some good rest.

2014/07/22

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Da Goddess @ 03:12

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2014/06/19

Arm & Hammer Got it Wrong! Simply Saline is Ruined

Da Goddess @ 04:24

Here’s the deal: the moment I discovered Simply Saline (under the Church & Dwight label), I became an ardent devotee. At the first sign of congestion, I’d grab my dispenser and get to clearing out my nasal passages. Considering how bad my sinuses have always been, this was a godsend! I could cut my infection time in half. I could function. Part of the beauty of Simply Saline was the fact that it was just what it said it was: simply…saline. No added ingredients. No preservatives. No funky taste/smell. Nothing to gunk up the body for those with ultra-sensitive mucous membranes. Perfect for babies. Perfect for adults. I told EVERYONE about it.

Before Simply Saline, I had tried just about everything else on the market. I tried making my own saline solution. None of it worked. The other stuff sold in stores contained ingredients that caused me further irritation and/or adverse reactions. Whatever I tried to make at home was never right; it didn’t matter if I followed the directions given to me by doctors because it was never right. Never.

And then came Simply Saline. The clouds parted. The sun shone brilliantly as if God Himself blessed our union. I was in love. I had relief. Simply Saline made it possible for me to stop taking one of my decongestants. It was a miracle.

But now Arm & Hammer only sells Simply Saline with added ingredients.

Original recipe: Purified Water; 0.9% Sodium Chloride

New recipe: Purified Water; 0.9% Sodium Chloride; Sodium Bicarbonate

People with certain medical conditions can’t use products with sodium bicarb. It can cause increased blood pressure; it can decrease the effectiveness of aspirin; it can cause alkalosis; and it can cause edema, congestive heart failure, hyperosmolar syndrome, hypervolemic hypernatremia, and “in patients consuming a high-calcium or dairy-rich diet, calcium supplements, or calcium-containing antacids such as calcium carbonate (e.g., Tums), the use of sodium bicarbonate can cause milk-alkali syndrome, which can result in metastatic calcification, kidney stones, and kidney failure.”

So, really, why would a company that has a great product that can be used by everyone suddenly change the formula and reduce their consumer base? It’s bad business. At the very least, they really should have an additive-free version of their product in addition to the new formula. Loyal customers who loved the original version would be satisfied and they could still make money. As it stands now, I’m sick and I’m angry. Angry that I can’t find a product that has always served me well.

Arm & Hammer, this is just bad business practices. There was nothing wrong with the original Simply Saline. It was a great product that was very effective. Shame on you for not giving your customers a choice.

2014/06/12

Mumblin’ (the) Word, Hummin’ (the) Tune

Da Goddess @ 22:16

After a full week of feeling like shit that started with sinus crud, moved into glandular crap, and consistently headachey, I’m finally starting to feel a little better. Still fatigued. Still headachey, still congested, and still a bit enlarged in the glands, but definitely moving in a more healthful direction. Lots of sleep this week. Lots of pain that refused to go away. Lots of watching movies I’d likely never watch otherwise. Lots of tv shows to catch up on. Lots of trying out of new shows (the best thus far are Jennifer Falls on TVLand and Gang Related on Foxx. Also, really love Murder in the First on TNT. We’ve also been watching Penny Dreadful on, I think, Showtime. It’s weird, but good. Sadly, we only have one more episode of the season for Game of Thrones, which I’ve come to love beyond all reason. About a month ago, we watched from the very first episode of the series through to the current season and I am so very much into the stories and the characters. I may even need to buy the books.

Gotta have something to do while my voice recovers, right? And you know me, I’ll take books any day.

Also, I’ve spent the past couple days watching a hummingbird nest. YES! Baby hummingbirds! Mama was there one day feeding the two little ones and now I check on them at least three times a day, just to see how they’re doing. I get my camera and my 70-300mm lens out, zoom in as far as I can and take photos. I’ll post some later. It’s really amazing to see baby hummers! They’re adorable. I knew there were somewhere in the vicinity when I had a mama come after me whie I was cleaning the litterbox. I just couldn’t find the nest. Probably because it wasn’t where I expected it to be. But I know where it is now. And I study them throughout the day (between naps, cups of steaming hot tea or soup). I can’t wait to see them finally emerge and test their little wings. I wish I had video mode on my camera for that!

Now, it’s time to go back to sleeping. Gotta heal up. Life won’t wait for me. Gotta get back to my Rear Window activities asap.

2014/05/30

Weeping Willow

Da Goddess @ 14:47

Celia did her typical, “oh my God, you MOVED! I must now jump up, startled, and claw you as I run away” last night.

The scratch wasn’t too bad. In fact, it was just barely there, with a droplet of blood. However, since then, it’s been weeping clear fluid. Not sticky. Not dripping like a leaky faucet. Rather every few minutes there’s enough to wipe away. Over night, it soaked through a bandage and my jammie bottoms. It dries mostly-clear. It takes hours for the fluid to turn even anywhere near semi-straw-colored.

It’s weird.

The more I move around, the more it flows. I think it’s related to some slight edema as opposed to anything else. It’s. Just. Strange. I feel like a damn weeping willow.

In other news, my pharmacy sucks. My new adjuster is cool. And I think I’ll be switching pharmacies because I don’t want to keep pestering my adjuster when it’s the fault of the people at the pharmacy causing trouble now.

Thank God it’s Friday!

2014/05/06

Rebooting

Da Goddess @ 21:06

I’m so very exhausted and sore from two weekends of faire that I’m declaring the next few days as Reboot days.

Talk amongst yourselves. Enjoy. Topic: Cats. Domestic Lovebugs or Feral Terrorists.

2014/04/24

Oh, Booger

Da Goddess @ 02:00

Guess who’s being jerked around again on meds?

Last month, I had to get paperwork faxed to the insurance company to indicate that my pain management doc is writing my scripts because the primary doesn’t do that. Took forever to get my meds approved, but it finally happened.

This month? “You were never approved for pain management. And, oh, by the way, you have a new adjuster for your case. Her number is blah blah blah blah blah. Also, you have to have your attorney take care of this.”

First off, my case was settled and stipulated for continuing medical, so pain management is included. Also, I don’t really have an attorney any longer because see last sentence. As far as that new adjuster and the phone number? Went right back to the same woman who told me I had a new adjuster.

I’ve finally started to acclimate to the meds after two months and now it looks like I’ll be off all of them again, which means I’ll have to deal with the SSRI discontinuation syndrome bullshit. As well, I have faire this weekend and I need the meds to get through all the standing, moving, and activities that go along with the event.

Can you say “pissed”? I knew you could.

fuckshitpissdamn

I shouldn’t have to go through this every fucking month. My body shouldn’t have to deal with the ups and downs that come with medication adjustments every few months that the insurance company decides to play games.

The doctor’s office is doing what they can to help push the scripts through for approval, but it doesn’t look like it’ll happen before I leave.

Arrrrrrrrrrgh!

2014/04/03

My Glamorous Life Part 8310

Da Goddess @ 02:35

My day started off wrangling cats, giving them fresh food and water, then struggling to hold Celia and get her 1 cc of antibiotic down her throat. Fletch was a bit easier, but only just barely. He tried gagging and acted as if he were about to throw up the whole dose. Afterward, Fletch forgave me almost immediately, as he is wont to do. Celia, however, tried to make herself invisible and if I did see her? Well, the evil eye only partially covers the look she gave me.

Then I had to race in for a shower. I had a doctor’s appointment in the afternoon and there were other things to do before we left. Fletch came into the shower to play a little bit before I finally kicked him out because it was all business today and no play. I finished up and called for King Arthur as it was his turn. I’m wandering around, gathering all the things to get dressed and the phone rings. It’s a couple hours before the appointment and I’m surprised to hear it’s the doc’s office. My original appointment was on Tuesday, which they rescheduled at the last minute (thank God! I was wiped out). This call was all about “do you think you can get an MRI and some x-rays done before your appointment today?” I ask first if they’ve been approved by the insurance company. I’m on hold forever and then am told they have been. I then let the gal know where I live and how long it normally takes me to get to the office, “a stop for the scans will mean I won’t be on time for my appointment.” I’m told not to worry; that the doctor will wait. I’m thinking maybe someone was supposed to send me on Tuesday for the scans and forgot.

Scramble, scramble, scramble. KA looks up the address of the imaging center and we set off. It takes us roughly 30 minutes to get there. I’m in. It takes me about 20 minutes to fill out paperwork and change and be led into the MRI room. As they’re setting up, I’m on the table, I’m off the table, I’m back on the table, oh wait a minute, we have to do this a different way, etc. Finally, the first scan is 20 minutes long. Set up for the second scan is about 10 minutes and the scan itself is 25 minutes long. No worries. Oh, wait. X-rays! Guy’s not ready for me yet. Then it’s rush, rush, rush, turn this way, turn that way, hold still, turn this way, hold, turn again, hold, turn and…oh, wait. We need to get the next tray. Hang on. Turn, hold, turn, hold, turn, hold, bend this way, hold, turn, hold, bend that way, hold, turn, hold, lean back, hold, turn, hold, open your mouth as far as you can, hold, okay, you’re done. Yay!

By this time, the doc’s office has called the imaging clinic and rescheduled my appointment AGAIN. Fine. I’m in pain at this point and really didn’t want to be in and out of the van and be examined with the push here, pull there, stand up, sit down, twist and shout, do the watusi, now buh-bye, see you in another six weeks. Instead, I simply call the office, confirm the reschedule (for next week), and off King Arthur and I go to the Olde Ship for supper. I order a Scottish Bridie for my meal. He gets meatloaf. Both are delicious. And both of us end up with leftovers.

We have one stop officially left on our list. We have to go to the one store where my blouse has finally come in. KA bought me a pretty blouse that ended up being too big. So instead of us shipping it back, we took it in to the store and did a bit more shopping, blah blah blah. Anyhow, the blouse was in and we were in that part of town, so in we went. He found me a cool t-shirt that hadn’t been there last week or ten days ago or something. We hasten out of there (because to stay longer would only mean spending more money and we just don’t need to do that). I ask for only one more thing before we head home: dessert. Krispy Kreme. We hit the drive-thru and then head for home.

At this point, we’ve been out of the house for almost 5 1/2 hours. And just as we get about 2 or 3 miles from home, the rain starts. Perfect timing! Our crazy day would have been impossible if the rain had come sooner.

Once home, we both get into comfy clothes and sink into our chairs. I pop a couple Tylenol and pray they do the trick until it’s time for my vicodin. They do well enough and it’s relatively quiet until it’s time to do meds again. (These, by the way, are pre-op meds for the cats who will be going in for their teeth on Friday.) Fletch is a snap. I pick him up, put the syringe in front of his face, he opened his mouth, and bing bang boom it was done. He got his treats and I went back to my chair. I pointed to the towel I had out for Celia, noted the meds were ready to go, and told King Arthur he was on his own. He wasn’t. I got the meds in her mouth, but he held her this time! (I have a rather deeeeeeep scratch on the outer part of my palm from her the night before.)

And here I am. It’s almost 03:00 and I’m just catching up on e-mail, blogging, a couple tv shows, and am slowly but steadily making my way to bed. I’m beat. The cats are beat. King Arthur is beat (he’s been in bed for a few hours already as he’s able to fall asleep quickly, whereas I am not so much).

Again, my glamorous life. Don’t you wish your life was just as cool?

2014/03/25

Playtime

Da Goddess @ 23:55

Fletch is feeling so much better! He’s still a little congested, but he’s back to chasing me down the hall after I come out of the shower. He’s back to playing in the shower. And finally, he’s back to chasing his feather.

I guess we can’t really call it much of a feather as it’s only an inch of feather that’s still attached to the dowel. But he loves it even more this way, I think. King Arthur and I go cat fishing with it. Fletch, for his part, usually goes crazy for it. The other day, it was just a couple minutes of trying to stop it as it went by. Now, he’s back to actively chasing it. Running after it. Trying to anticipate where it’ll be next. Leaping for it. Catching it, rolling around with it, and then carrying his catch with pride, parading around the house with his sweet little strut, head held high. Sweetly, he brought it back to KA while playing. Showing off his catch? Bringing it as tribute? Who knows? It’s just damn cute.

Celia has been mostly crawling into my lap, looking for love. I got three little love nips from her today; something she hasn’t done in ages. They’re very gentle, but pointedly firm in telling me she wants MORE LOVES. She gets ‘em, too. Her congestion is still there. Kind of juicy and loose, which is good. We’re taking a wait and see attitude on this one since she’s not overly lethargic like her brubby was. She had one day that was slow and that was it. Fingers crossed that she spontaneously heals once she’s been loved up enough. Yes, part of me thinks she “got sick” just to horn in on the attention Fletch was getting. Why not? It’s what kids do!

Tomorrow turns a little into playtime for us for a change. We’re heading down to SD to get some furniture at my sister’s. It’s my mom’s dresser and vanity/bench that once belonged to her parents. It matches absolutely nothing else in this house, but it’s family and it’s important to me. KA tried to find me something that matched what he has and I had to tell him I didn’t want anything else. I want something that holds meaning. He understood.

After we get done there, we’ll stop by and see my mom. Tried to get my dad to come to lunch with us, but he says he may be busy. Oh, well. Next month.

Had more time on the phone today with attorney and claims adjustor and pharmacist and doctor’s office as we attempt ONCE AGAIN to get my meds approved. You’d think this would be old hat by now and I wouldn’t have to fight it every month. No such luck. Tomorrow is my day off and away from all the crap. I’m just going to enjoy the drive with my honey, visit my family, and come home very tired to cats who will have missed us and WANT TO BE FED! They always want to be fed.

My life is so glamorous! I wouldn’t change it for anything.

2014/02/26

Medicated Day #2

Da Goddess @ 09:38

Oh yeah! I forgot to mention: I’m back on my meds!

It’s taking some getting used to, but YAY!

The new doc is totally old school. No-nonsense, very direct, and a mover and a shaker. Last week’s appointment was followed with an appointment to their in-house pain management guy. THE VERY NEXT DAY! Took until Monday to get my meds (insco snafu, per usual), but now that’s all taken care of. I see the pain doc in a month and the other doc in a month and a half.

Oh, and get this: their office called me on Saturday to set up my appointment with the pain management doc. I told them I’d already done that and they were surprised it had already happened. Surprised, but happy. Just like me. And doubly happy they called to make certain I was getting the treatment I needed.

Whew! I think I need a nap. I done worked myself into a frenzy with all this excitement.

2014/02/12

Order in the Court

Da Goddess @ 12:37

Headed back to court in the morning. Fingers crossed that we finally get the judge to impress upon the ins co to quit playing games and get me into a doc, cover my meds, and basically quit screwing with me all the way around.

It’s exhausting. My body can’t take this. Forget the pain. Forget the insomnia. Forget the strain on my relationships and my mental well-being. Let’s just get me to the point where my heart no longer skips beats and it doesn’t feel like I’m going to pass out every time I stand up or turn my head or blink (side effects of the cessation of one of the [spendy] meds [I can't pay for out of pocket and, anyway, no longer have a script for]). We won’t even mention the weight gain. We won’t. Let’s just say I need to be back in with a doc and on meds and leave it at that.

So, prayers, please. Thanks.

2014/01/30

Clear Horizon

Da Goddess @ 15:12

At least, I think the horizon is clear. Maybe clear-ish. Clearing?

Whatevs.

My voice is creaky, but I can talk. My throat hurts, but only in a slightly scratchy way. My sinuses are congested, but not to the extreme. My head hurts, but it’s a cushioned, spongy rattle now. And only one eye burns at a time.

That’s progress, right?

2014/01/27

Shhh!

Da Goddess @ 08:10

I’m on day 2 of a throat so sore that I can’t talk without feeling as though it’ll burst into flames or rupture, bleeding uncontrollably. My rattly headache (which I originally typed “deadache”…paging Dr Freud!) is now down to an occasional thumping.

So, please, let’s keep it down to a dull roar around here. Don’t make me come in there and yell at you!

Sigh.

Time to return to endless movies and other recordings mixed with intermittent sleep. These days I’m sleeping in bursts of 30 minutes to 2 hours. I’ll take it when I can get it.

Hopin’ you’re all feeling better than this.

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