Anyone with a good recipe for cockatiel?
Bird brain is about to have his life ended abruptly if he keeps attacking my dad and me.
Anyone with a good recipe for cockatiel?
Bird brain is about to have his life ended abruptly if he keeps attacking my dad and me.
Meaning, I’m not dead yet.
I lived through the most recent sinus thing, even though there were times when I thought I’d rather not. I should be used to sinusy ailments by now. At 46, I’ve had approximately 10,000 sinus infections — or something near that number. It never ceases to surprise me when it happens, though. Le Sigh.
On to better things!
Like pitching woo in a canoe!
Also, I find it disturbing that the thrift store was trying to charge $47 for a pair of pants that are barely worth $4.70. In other words, I did NOT buy them.
Yes, I am holding an ice bag to my head in hopes that whatever small animal that crawled into my left maxillary sinus would get too cold and evacuate said space. I am miserable. The ice helps only a bit. The cough and cold medicine helps some. Positioning helps on occasion. Mostly, the hammer I’m about to attack my face with seems to have more promise than anything else in ridding me of this God-awful pain.
In the meantime, there’s another post about to appear that should keep you busy for 45 seconds. After that, you should probably start sending money and flowers to cover my funeral expenses.
It’s been lovely.
Except for the sinus stuff.
Just checking in to say howdy.
Been having a rough adjustment with the meds. Trying hard to just get through most days. Keeping my eyes fixed firmly on “normal”. I see it. It’s on the horizon.
In the meantime, what are y’all up to?
There is nothing so good as a restful night’s slumber.
As I inch back toward baseline, I am grateful for those who put up with the wreck that had been me without meds, me in pain. me cranky. Baseline, folks. It’s within sight!
I spell it h.y.d.r.o.c.o.d.o.n.e.
And “cymbalta”. And “ambien”.
It’s been almost two freakin’ months without meds. Can you guess who’s already taken her meds?
Blue fingers? Check
Six pounds of fudge? Check
Kitchen floor? Clean as a whistle
Wait…what? You didn’t know about the blue fingers? Dudes! Dudettes! Food coloring. From painting cookies at my mom’s last night.
Cookies are done done done. At least hers are. I’m still harboring delusions of making one batch here at my dad’s.
Big news: my dad got the okay from his physical therapist to try driving. He did and he felt good doing it, so he’s been out for the past couple hours. I think he really needed to have that freedom of being able to move about independently. I’m proud of him for giving it a go.
Now he’s back home and likely going to make a mess in the kitchen I just cleaned. For this, I’m actually quite grateful.
Bigger news: the attorney’s office called today to let me know they got the insurance company to approve my doctor/meds (which had already been done, but not really). Bad news: the insurance company still hasn’t informed the people who handle the pharmacy side of things. So, still no meds in hand, but we’re getting ever closer.
Biggest news of all though: Mojo is going into the Air Force.
I’ll let that sink in for now.
I guess it pays to sit in someone’s office and cry for 45 minutes.
Monday, following my tearful doctor’s appointment, I walked over to the attorney’s office. He happened to be there as I was talking with one of his assistants, noticed I was in tears, and asked me to hang around until he was finished with his client so he could talk with me. I did. And all that bullshit I was hearing for the past month of “oh, he’s working on that for you” became obvious that no one had worked on it at all. However, since I was there, sobbing like a child who’d had his lollipop stolen, he got on the phone and started working on things right away.
Today, I got a call. Not from an assistant, but from the attorney himself. Things are happening. Granted, I’m still likely a month away from medications, but at least something‘s happening.
I go through this every couple of years with the insurance company — them denying some part of my treatment and throwing my whole pain management routine off. It’s so difficult to explain what this does to me. Let me try.
Every single day of my life is spent trying to minimize the amount of pain I have. Normally, I have medication I can take at the end of the day to help keep it to a dull roar. I also normally have medication on hand if I have breakthrough pain that isn’t kept at a manageable level with Tylenol. This is all day, everyday. I don’t get a break on weekends or holidays. Everything I do revolves around keeping my pain at a livable level. When things are relatively well-controlled, I get to lead what passes as a normal life. I can do things. I try hard not to OVERDO things because that sets a whole cascade of trouble in motion. Without medication, my day is spent trying to keep a thousand angry bees in a bag with nothing more than my bare hands and sheer will. Or at least that’s what it feels like. Except that it hurts more than bee stings. And once I’ve maxed out on Tylenol for the day, I got nothing else in my arsenal to fight the pain further. If Tylenol doesn’t do much for me when I’m on all my other meds, you can pretty much guess how well it works for me when I don’t have other meds on board. Yet it’s the only option I have at this point. I can’t take anything in the ibuprofen or similar NSAID family. I can’t do homeopathic. And I don’t do illegal drugs.
One of the medications I’ve been on for the past year and a half or so is Cymbalta. It’s an anti-depressant that’s been approved for use in chronic musculoskeletal and neuromuscular pain. It was a bitch to get used to. I was sick for a full three months plus when I first started taking it. The only reason I pushed through and kept taking it was because it absolutely made a difference in my pain level. Plus, I was losing weight. Yeah, it wasn’t pleasant, but it was, in my mind, worth it. Anything that decreases the level of pain I was feeling was worth it.
With drugs like Cymbalta, you’re not meant to suddenly stop taking them. You’re meant to taper off if you need to stop for any reason. Why? Because even with tapering off slowly, “withdrawal symptoms and signs can occur on the discontinuation of such medications as clearance of drug can occur at a rate faster than the brain can readjust to the absence of medication”. In other words, no matter how slowly you taper off, you can still have severe withdrawal symptoms. When you stop the medication abruptly, you’re shocking your system even more. There’s no way to counter the affects. SSRI (and SNRI) discontinuation syndrome is kind of a big deal.
“Common responses to dose reduction or cessation include dizziness, electric shock-like sensations, sweating, nausea, insomnia, tremor, confusion, nightmares, and vertigo.” Can you say check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check, and check? I’ve experienced every listed symptom and more. Nobody tells you about these things when you start taking the medications, they only tell you NOT TO DISCONTINUE THE MEDICATION ABRUPTLY. In severe cases, the body cannot handle the withdrawal and shuts down completely. For me, it’s been a struggle to deal with the pain and then, to top it off, I get this shit. The depression and anxiety (mind you, I was not depressed…I was placed on the medication to help manage pain) have set in since I’ve been off the meds have been overwhelming. Sitting in the doctor’s office and the attorney’s office crying are the least of my problems, but it’s a big enough problem on its own.
I don’t feel strong enough in any way, shape, or form to deal with this on my own. Yet, I have no choice. I have to power through somehow. But when you combine the physical pain with the depression, anxiety, and lack of sleep, it’s a no-win situation for me. The job I was supposed to do last week? Between what I’ve been going through and the guy who wanted me to shoot changing the compensation on me, I didn’t do it. I had to make a serious judgment call and that was to not go. I couldn’t even consider carrying around my gear and standing for hours without a break while I was already hurting because — you guessed it — I had no way to combat worse pain. No amount of money would have been worth it. Okay, maybe a couple grand would have been worth it because I could have paid for the meds on my own (they’re not inexpensive; the Cymbalta alone is a few hundred bucks each month). But that’s not what was offered to me and I couldn’t afford to risk exacerbated my back.
This puts me in a horrible position: I needed the job to have a little bit of money so I could buy Christmas gifts (or even supplies to make gifts) and I needed to pay the two bills I have each month. This does not include payments on a loan from a friend (who has been magnificent about all this). I can’t pursue jobs of any sort as long as I feel like this and not being able to pursue work means I can’t afford to pay for the meds out of pocket either. So I end up sitting here feeling like a fucking loser who can’t do anything. Guess what happens then? Oh yeah, the depression and the anxiety worsen.
Isn’t my life so amazingly glamorous and fun?
That the insurance company lets this happen is unconscionable in my book. I know I’m not the only person they do this to. But because it is happening to me, it’s…just…the worst! I don’t know how I can get around this. I don’t know how to deal with anymore. Beyond the crying, I mean.
The other difficult part of this is trying to do the best I can for my dad. That’s the whole reason I’m here: to take care of my dad. I feel like I’m letting him down in so many ways. I do my best to keep things taken care of at the bare minimum, doing more when I feel up to it, but it doesn’t feel like it’s enough. Thankfully, all the work we did before my dad got home has made it easier to maintain a basic level of cleanliness. It just doesn’t feel…enough. I also cannot — CANNOT — allow my dad to see me upset. Not as upset as I feel. He takes that on and personalizes it, which isn’t good for him. So I hide it. But I’m crumbling.
And this, my friends, is also why I’m failing to post regularly unless I prep posts ahead of time. I’m unraveling. And I don’t know what to do. I’m all out of ideas. Unless it involves sitting in someone’s office and crying uncontrollably. I can do that. I can put in the face time and make everyone uncomfortable. Do you think I should see if the attorney will go to the insurance company’s office with me and watch me cry? (I’m not allowed to deal with them myself since I’m represented.) Do you think the adjustor would care?
The insurance company…the attorney…all of ‘em.
I feel yucky. I’m hanging up an out of service sign on my day.
You don’t mind, do you?
I know the weather is messing with my sinuses a bit, but I’m thinking the lack of medications for my back and neck is really taking its toll. My neck pain has been increasing to the point where the majority of my day is spent wishing it would pop. The pain, the dizziness, the nausea are overwhelming. My lower back, well, let us not speak of what’s happening there.
It’s been three weeks since the abrupt cessation of meds and each day is worse than the last. No luck with the insurance company yet. And I keep pestering the attorney. I’m so OVER this shit. So over it. Can I be done now?
My one ear is ringing. My other ear is numb and deaf. It’s congestion. And it blows.
See what I did there? Congestion…blows…hahahahaha!
Yeah, I amuse myself.
Now where’s my free healthcare so I can feel better? Cuz, you know, they’d have to take care of my back pain, too.
Remember that little incident from yesterday? Yeah, me, too.
Well, it appears it wasn’t just me not knowing the second lid was in the pot. Nope. I’ve now dropped several things. Thankfully, nothing else has broken. *Thank you, God!* Well, my spirit…my spirit has broken.
This is usually the end result when my back is phasing up into a hella bad cycle. Now, having been off my Cymbalta for two weeks, I shouldn’t be surprised. But I am. Because you couple that with no Vicodin and ever dwindling sleep and it’s a wonder worse hasn’t happened.
Do I call the attorney every day? Yes. Twice a day? Sometimes.
I figure if I call and bug them, they’ll call the insurance company and bug the people there. At some point, someone will cave in and stop fucking around with my med approval.
TWO WEEKS. Two weeks of people messing with me just because they can legally do it.
And this, my friends, is why I’ve either been close to tears or in tears for the last 10 days.
P.S. The good news is this: I only broke ONE of the bowls yesterday. Upon looking back on photographic evidence (yeah, I took a couple photos), the carrots simply flew out of their bowl. It was only the flour mixture bowl that shattered like a young man’s ego after getting turned down by the girl everyone said was a sure thing.
P.P.S. Someone wanna send me a reminder at 13:30 to call the attorney back? I’m going to bug the shit out of everyone in that office until I get results.
P.P.P.S. Once I get back on the Cymbalta, who volunteers to hold my hair for me while I vomit? Cuz that’s what’s gonna happen for at least a week.
On Thanksgiving, my lil sis cut herself. And I heard my big sis had hurt herself as well. Little Dude said, “Mom, it’s your turn now.” I told him that was a horrible thing to say. It was virtually guaranteeing something would happen.
I managed to get through Thanksgiving unharmed. I managed to get through Friday unharmed. I managed to through Saturday unharmed.
Today is Sunday. And it was my turn.
I was making beef stew for my dad. Cut all these beautiful carrots and set them aside in a bowl. Got my onion cut. Got the meat and cut it into nice strips and then into squares. Dredged the meat in a flour/garlic salt/pepper mixture and threw it into a hot pot to sear. Everything was looking beautiful and smelling great. I added the onions to the meat. Then I threw in two cans of vegetable broth. My mouth was watering over the delectable aroma. I decided I needed a bigger pot since I still had to add veggies and potatoes and the biggest pot available was one my sister had put up on the top shelf of one cupboard. I grabbed a chair, climbed up, and grabbed the pot.
Rule #1: never let the tallest person in the family put things away that the shortest person in the family will need to use.
Rule #2: Store lids (especially glass ones) separately. At the very least, put them off to side. There were TWO lids in this pot. I didn’t know it was there. I couldn’t see it.
One of the lids slipped off the stack and went slamming into the counter. The bowl with the carrots shattered. The lid shattered. The bowl with the flour mixture shattered. The two drinking glases — the most fragile things on the counter — survived.
As this was happening, I tried to grab the lid. All I got for my efforts was a handful of shattered glass and a profusely bleeding thumb. My big concern was having glass embedded in my thumb. I couldn’t tell. I was holding it under gently running cold water, trying to see if there was any glass. I couldn’t move it because the water would catch one of the flaps of skin and I would have to fight back the urge to curse. Yes, I restrained myself.
My dad tried to come out to the kitchen to see if I was okay and I had to tell him to get out because there was glass EVERYWHERE! Can’t have a diabetic with peripheral neuropathy, a walker, and recovering from knee surgery wandering about in a glass-strewn room. Somehow or another, he managed to get out to the garage and haul in his shop vac for me. God bless my dad! Then he went to get four of the eight boxes of bandages he has for me. He kept asking if I was okay and he wanted to see the thumb to make sure there was no glass still in the wounds. Did I mention my dad doesn’t do blood? It makes him woozy. And here he was doing his best to make sure I was okay.
Gotta love dads!
He called my sister to ask her for a broom (of all the things he doesn’t have at the house!!). My sister shows up with a vacuum cleaner and rags.
A few hours later, the glass is gone. The stew is almost done (moments away…mere moments). The floors have been scrubbed (kitchen, living room, hallways, bathrooms). I grabbed a glove and covered my hand so I could clean both bathrooms while my sister did her thing. And laundry is almost done.
It was my turn. My turn to get hurt. And from the way the stew smells, it was totally worth it.
I slept little last night.
I’m fighting with the insurance company over medications they won’t approve because they said the doctor wasn’t approved. Um, I couldn’t have gone to the doctor unless they’d approved it. So, I’m days into not having meds and feeling it acutely. One of my meds, you don’t just stop taking it. If you do, you end up screwing up your whole system. Guess who’s dizzy and fainty and all that? *Raising hand…weakly* Shit, it was hard enough to adjust to the med when I first began to take it! Once we get this straightened out, I’ll have to go through all that again. On the bright side, perhaps I’ll lose as much weight this time as I did last time. That would be the only positive to take away from this situation.
Physical therapy came super early for my dad this morning. He also slept poorly. I could hear him in the other room, tossing and turning. We finally got him sleeping this week and then this happened. Perhaps it was just the anticipation of the early appointment. And maybe it was the late nap he had last night. Otherwise, he’s doing really well.
The Asshole Alert Warning System went to RED this week. So long, jerk. Don’t need anyone like that in my life. Don’t need someone threatening me or my family for doing absolutely nothing. Sadly, said jerk seems to forget what I know and who I know. I’m not the sort of person who retaliates just to be a bitch, but I can throw those shoes on if necessary. You don’t go from friend to enemy on a whim, and you certainly don’t threaten someone and their family after they’ve been your friend and had your back during hard times. I don’t like to be the sort who blows the whistle, but I can do it if necessary.
Hostess Brands is dead. It was announced today that was shutting down production in all its factories, laying off most of their 18,500 employees. 1) Forget the snack food side of this, Hostess is actually 24 companies. They make more than sugary stuff. 2) The communities losing such a big employer can’t recover in this economy. 3) If you’ve never experienced what it’s like to be the child of someone who’s been laid off, you have no idea just how bad things can get. Not just for the family, but for the person who is suddenly out of a job. I watched my dad go through this and it just about killed him. Sadly, this is more the rule than the exception anymore. People are losing jobs left and right and families are being pushed to the brink.
And that’s some of what’s on MY mind today.
Ah, happy times.
P.S. Updating my Flash player, I should NOT have to go through extra steps to opt out of having Google Chrome installed. I’m installing Flash. If I wanted Chrome, I’d go download it myself.
I think I’m done ranting.
Dad got home today and was very surprised by the changes in the house. “It looks like I have a brand new house!” Not a new house, just an improved one. And we still have a few more projects to tackle before we consider this *done*.
Thus far, he’s settled in and is comfortable, which makes me happy. My big sis and I left him alone long enough to run out and do some shopping for him. One of our big challenges will be getting Dad to eat healthfully while he’s recovering from surgery. 1) Most older people have decreased flavor receptors. 2) He’s had so many changes in health over the last few years, he can’t eat much of what he really loves. 3) He’s been preparing all his own foods, most of which are microwavable and not as nutritious as they need to be. So, what do we do? We get creative. And we offer food even if he says he’s not hungry.
The house is safe. Dad’s home. We all had a nice afternoon together. And we’re calling it a success!