Thursday, September 30, 2010

Some Stuff I'm Thankful For

Tuesday evening I got a call from the Maxillofacial doc's office, he apparently had an emergency and needed to reschedule with me. SO we made another appointment next week at the same time. So the wait continues. Turns out it all worked out for the best as I ended up having a really tough time sleeping that night and I woke up with a pretty ugly migraine. I would have had a really tough time pulling myself together for that appointment. I guess it all works out how it ought to.

I never got on top of yesterday's migraine and after waking up with another one this morning, I suspect that I'm moving into a block of days with that pattern. It happens. In the meantime I think I may need a thankful list:

1. Our king size bed giving my husband and I plenty of room to stretch out.
2. Clouds, rain and cooler temperatures - finally the relief of fall
3. Great new and old comedies in prime time
4. Shelter, food, shower, laundry and other creature comforts.
5. Wonderful husband

What are you thankful for today?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Some Rain In The Way

The end of the month is quickly approaching and we are working so hard to get the remaining stuff out of our storage unit before the 1st so we don't have to pay again. My body is pretty sore as a result of all this lifting and moving stuff. Obviously I leave all the heavy stuff for my husband but it just doesn't take much to cause trouble for my neck, arms and hands. I'm going to be paying for this for a while. Unfortunately the weather is not cooperating with rain yesterday, today and expected through Thursday (the last day of the month). It does look like we'll have some dry-ish weather on Wednesday before late afternoon and evening hours but that is also the day I have my appointment with the maxillofacial guy downtown and PT after that.

I'll have to make some time today to get all my papers together for this jaw appointment. Seems like I've been waiting most of the year for someone to look at my jaw MRI and tell me what's going on and what, if anything, can be done about it. I'm a little nervous about getting downtown on a weekday morning. There is never any way to know what's going to happen traffic wise so it's hard to know how much time it will take to get there. And this hospital is in a location I'm not familiar with so there is the potential for getting lost too. Hopefully Wednesday morning will be free from accidents between here and there and we'll just drive right there.

Alright, back to work here.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Missing My Pattern

The pattern that has developed this year with my migraines seem to be changing. It used to be that the time between ovulation and when my period starts was the best time. It was the time when I had the fewest migraines and it was harder for them to be triggered. This month isn't playing out the way it ought it. I ovulated more than a week early and I've had a migraine every day since.

I'm pretty frustrated about this change. The only upside to my migraines this year is that I've had this predictable pattern and could kind of schedule things around it. I still got migraines, but fewer of them. I feel like I'm only left with a hope that is just an odd month and my body will return to pattern next month. But I'm a worrier these days and so I worry my body is actually returning to how it was last year and the two years before that.

Then I worry that if I'm returning to the previous years of no-pattern it is because my remaining ovary is under attack by my endometreosis. After all, this pattern only emerged after having the destroyed ovary removed in January. Hanging onto this last ovary is pretty darn important as far as I'm concerned. I'm just too young for menopause.

Additionally, I just don't want to return to the unpredictability of prepattern days. I never knew what was going to happen.

Have any of you experienced a loss of your pain pattern ever?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Angry Over Insurance

I woke up in fairly good spirits and without much pain this morning and started getting ready for PT. My decision to open the mail with my spare 10 minutes was the wrong one. The correspondence from my husband's insurance company quickly had me tense with stress and anger. By the time I made my way through the traffic between here and PT a migraine was already taking hold.

My husband had gone to the dermatologist earlier in the month and paid his $50 co-pay before seeing the doctor. It was a simple office visit and that should have been the end of it. The doctor's office billed the insurance company $60 for the simple visit. The insurance company then decided not to pay the bill but to give us a $20 discount for associating with them and then notified us that we will be responsible for the remaining $40. So the doctor's bill was $60 and with his insurance we are supposed to pay $90. Ummm, NOOOOO!!!

First of all, the office visit is only supposed to cost us the co-pay. Second of all, even if there was more to it (which there wasn't!), we already met the deductible, the physician is in our network and so the insurance company should have paid the majority of it. Instead we are supposed to pay $90 for a $60 bill and the insurance company pays nothing? Ummmm, NOOOO!!!!

Come on bureaucrats, let's think this one through. What's wrong with this picture?

The last thing I want to do is deal with this kind of crap. If the insurance company won't be reasonable hopefully we can just work with the doctor. After all he just wants his $60. I refuse to pay more than what the bill was for and I curse the insurance company who would allow this to happen!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Wore Out

Yesterday was a very productive day starting early with PT. I find that I can function really well after PT but almost always feel pretty sore the following day. So yesterday when I returned home I continued with the consolidation of our storage unit into our apartment. Over the weekend my husband and I brought a book case and a small wardrobe up. I spent all day rearranging our stuff to take advantage of this extra storage space and empty out our closet to prepare it for box storage. I was pretty wiped out by dinner time so I spent the evening watching new fall shows.

By the way, Lone Star on Fox is fabulous! I highly recommend you catch it on hulu if you missed it last night.

Of course today I woke up with a migraine and plenty of soreness from yesterday's activities. Mostly I've been resting to prepare for tonight's premiere's and PT again first thing in the morning.

Have you been watching the new shows? What have you liked? What are you looking forward to?

Friday, September 17, 2010

In Times of Crisis

In life we all have to deal with crisis situations from time to time. I've learned over the years that there is a big difference between the immediate crisis and then the effects or fallout of the crisis. I feel like during the crisis I'm pretty good at focusing on the facts, being logical and behaving rationally. I guess this is a result of the fight or flight response our bodies do naturally.

After is so much harder. Once my brain gets the time to think about what has happened and what it could mean the stress sets in, worry takes over, sleep is disrupted and my muscles go crazy. I probably don't have to tell you that these responses lead to more pain and tougher to treat pain. For me it's the migraines and muscles spasms.

One thing I try really hard to do during these times is to rely on what I know and not what I feel. I know I need to keep hydrated and eat as much as possible. I know I need to rest and breathe properly. I know that I need help and support and I know where to get it. This is SO hard to do because the emotions are so darn strong and often run contrary. Interestingly enough when my pain flares up it actually seems to help me with this part. It sort of forces my hand into taking care of these things I can control so that I can deal with the rest of the crap.

Another thing I feel is really important in dealing with a crisis is to allow yourself the time to sit with those feelings. We have to give time and recognition to our emotions just as we need to give time to our physical needs. I try to set aside time just to do this. Early on it takes up a fair amount of time (and can be exhausting, which can help with the sleep) but as time passes so does the amount of time it consumes and as that happens I've always found myself moving forward. One foot in front of the other - we must keep moving.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Boxes, Boxes

I've been going through the stuff in our storage unit and repacking the squished cardboard boxes into plastic containers. It's a big task and it has started to take over our living space. I'm kind of at the point where I'm ready to start stacking my containers in a corner and out of the way but need to wait for my husband for that task.

I'm already looking forward to this project's completion. It will be a 2 or 3 weeks I think before our living space normalizes again. Of course this is so slow because of my limitations.

Going through all of this stuff has me thinking about things I haven't in a while. Mostly inconsequential stuff like miniature gulf - I haven't done that in years. Then I found that we own video tapes of movies that we can see streaming instantly on Netflix for free. We even still have 2 or 3 of some of our movies - why do we still have more than one of anything? Some of the stuff we own is just silly.

Have you ever found crazy stuff in your home, not really sure why you have it still?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Nerves About Bed Bugs

I'm totally freaked out about this whole bed bug thing. Seems like we can't go even a week without coverage on one program or another. Thankfully they are not dangerous but they are so very gross and so numerous. EWW!!! My husband and I don't do a whole lot of traveling and spend even less time in hotels so I don't know that we are at a high risk but it also seems like the risk areas are spreading and it really only takes one hitchhiker bug to create a huge problem.

We have planned a short trip to the mountains in October where we and our dog will stay in a cabin. The more coverage I see the more concerned I get about this trip. We'll be smart about it of course and inspect everything before we actually stay. Last night I actually had a nightmare about it. The thing that is stressing me is that we will actually be there before we know if this is going to be a bed bug free environment or not. I don't know what we'll do if there are bugs once we get there. We had to prepay for the stay and I'm certainly not going to stay if there are b.bugs. I don't want to ruin our first vacation in 3 years but we can't afford to just search out and pay for another place to stay.

I'll have to give a call to the rental place and see what their policy is for handling this kind of situation. Better to be prepared...I think that's the only way my mind will be eased. Well, eased about the upcoming trip anyway. I understand that they are a traveling bug, but hopefully that doesn't mean if my neighbor brings it home with them that they could travel into our apartment on their own.


Monday, September 13, 2010


So we've decided not to move. I was pretty excited at the thought of getting out of this apartment and having more space but it stopped making sense over the course of the last week and now I'm excited about the new plan. The new plan is to go through all of stuff in storage and decide what we really need or want to keep and what can we sell. The stuff we're going to keep we hope to find enough room for in the apartment so we can just do away with the storage unit.

I'm excited to downsize and I'm excited to save money. Two very wonderful things if you ask me. I absolutely love the idea of living simply with super maximized smaller spaces. To my surprise I've even been thinking about designs that would fit our life and the ideals of simplicity and space economy. This move feels like a good step in the right direction to that end.

Plus this is a great excuse to spend more time at my favorite store in the world, IKEA.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Some Awards

I should have done this sooner - you know how it goes though, right?

Over the past couple of month 4 of my wonderful followers have gifted me with blogging awards. I wanted to take a minute here and thank Wendy Burnett of Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired and Jamie Valendy of Chronic Migraine Warrior who have both given me the One Lovely Blog Award.

I also wanted to thank Shalunya of Gypsy Shalunya and Jessica of Painfully Speaking who have both given me the Versatile Blogger Award.

I really appreciate the recognition from these wonderful bloggers. If you haven't already you might want to check out their blogs via the links on their names.

Part of the reason it has taken me so long to address these awards is the passing along aspect. I follow a number of blogs and was a bit overwhelmed by the task. I think what I want to do is pick 5 blogs to recognize for each award. I follow and really enjoy all the bloggers who have nominated me but they have obviously already received these awards so I will pick different blogs to pass this on to.

Here's a list of the blogs I would like to give One Lovely Blog Award to:

50 Is The New 40

Getting My Life Back One Bead At A Time

Jasmine's Cove

Migraine Puppet

The Mud and The Lotus

Here's a list of the blogs I would like to give the Versatile Blogger Award:

No Extended Warranty

Oh My Aches and Pains

Mo is Blogging...I Think

Inner Dorothy

Transform Your Chronic Life

Chronic Babe Blog Carnival

The latest ChronicBabe Blog Carnival is now available HERE
The topic is Health Care Reform
I highly recommend you check out the great information and perspectives
in this carnival.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Good Weekend

I went into the weekend that was without any plans and ended up having a rather busy one, by my usual standards. My husband and I spent most of the day Saturday looking for a new place and then on Sunday we got the opportunity to see Twelfth Night in DC. The Shakespeare Theater here was doing online lotteries for free tickets for this show. The previous weekend I didn't enter because my in laws were in town and so this weekend was our last chance. There was only the one matinee show on Sunday (For my head I knew I needed a matinee) so I entered just the one day and won! I LOVE going to the theatre and there is all kinds of great theatre here. Unfortunately, the ticket prices are just too steep so we haven't been to any shows. These free tickets were a real thrill for me.

Monday was a pretty tough day but it was all worth it.

With Labor Day finally over the fall series and season premieres are ramping up. It has been a long summer with not much on, especially August. As usual there are several shows I have real doubts about (but will give a try) and several that look like they'll be pretty good. Either way, I'm just looking forward to having something to watch while my husband works and when I don't feel well enough to be doing much else.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Health Reform Surprise

I got a disturbing letter from my insurance company late yesterday in the mail. Here's a portion of the letter:

"Because you enrolled in your plan on or before March 23, 2010, your health plan is considered 'grandfathered'. This has certain advantages. For example, your plan does not have to adopt some of the requirements of health care reform. Your plan's 'grandfathered' status allows you to keep your current health plan.

If you want all of the health care reform benefits, you can move to a different health plan after September 23, 2010. However, if you change plans:

- a personal health history may be required

- the new plan may have a higher premium (due to health care reform benefits)

- you will no longer be in a 'grandfathered' plan"

What the hell?!? I had no idea some of the health care reform benefits didn't apply to existing plans. Obviously I can't change plans. I can't imagine they would even give me insurance knowing what they know about me now. If they did I certainly wouldn't be able to afford it. I can barely afford the yearly increases now.

The language in this letter is irritating. Talking about the advantage of the "grandfathered" policy being that I don't have adopt some of the health care reform benefits. Seriously? They call that an advantage - for me? I see how it could be an advantage for them, but I fail to see how that could possibly benefit me.

The thing is, I don't even want to change plans. Considering my current health situation I'm in an ideal plan (in relationship to other plans out there). It is pretty expensive but there is a yearly cap that I always reach in the first quarter of the year and then I'm covered at 100% after that. Additionally, there is tremendous flexibility in where I can go and who I can see. I wish it included mental health care and infertility treatments but overall I'm glad to have the coverage I have.


Now I'm just left wondering - what benefits will I not be eligible for? Is this even true? Can they really deny me rights because I've had my insurance plan for several years?

I'll have to add a call to Blue Cross to my To Do list for Tuesday and see what I can find out about what benefits I'll be missing out on.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Awareness Wish

I understand September is pain awareness month. Like many of you, I'm more than aware of pain - I have a close personal relationship with it. Because of that I've become very aware of those who are unaware of how real it is and how it impacts all areas of life.

My wish for this month's activities around the country is that those helping professionals, friends and family members who don't get it can experience an increased understanding of pain issues. The effect, positive or negative, from our loved ones and the professionals we depend on for help is profound.

I'm very thankful for the really positive support from my husband, other family members and friends. I hope you all enjoy positive support from at least some of the people in your world.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

More PT

Back to PT again this morning. The exercises they have me doing at home are simple and small movements designed to strengthen my neck. I honestly don't feel like I'm actually doing anything productive but I certainly don't know anything about physical medicine. Instead the real challenge lies in relaxing my muscles between movements and during stretches, and of course being on my back on the floor. This is a good way to spark a migraine.

Yesterday was my first day on my own doing the exercises and I quickly learned that I was going to need to buy a timer. I have 11 exercises that are 30 seconds each. I wasn't able to concentrate on breathing properly, relaxing my muscles and counting evenly. The only timer I have is on the microwave and I will never be able to get up set the microwave timer and get back down in the correct position and properly relaxed in a timely manner. Only to get back up 10 seconds later to reset.