Thursday, March 28, 2013

Thank You Thursday

Dear Express Scripts,

Thank you for taking something as simple as prescription drug coverage and making it as complicated as possible. You have made filling my existing prescriptions both time consuming and confusing. You have created all these extra steps and even forced my doctor to get involved.

My drugs say they need to be stored at a room temperature but somehow you feel it is appropriate, no absolutely mandatory, to send them through the mail where they will bake for hours in some mail truck before reaching my mail box. Great! You say you are not forcing me to get my prescriptions by mail but you will penalize me financially if I do not. I'm not sure how that leaves me with any options but then again I'm pragmatic and logical, whereas you are not.

Dear Burning Love,

Thank you for making me laugh. You are a fun and clever spoof of the Bachelor/Bachelorette series. These shows are a total guilty pleasure for me. I know they are ridiculous and bit exploitative but I still get a kick out of them. As much as I enjoy the "real" version, I actually enjoy this comedic version more.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Whimsy Wednesday

Whimsy today comes from the great Jerry Seinfeld:

I'm totally with him on this...

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Online Exchange

The wait is over. The American Headache and Migraine Association (AHMA) is now up and running. Teri Robert does a wonderful job of introducing the AHMA here in this blog post. To me this sounds like a wonderful way to centralize resources for those of us living with chronic headache disorders.

As much as I want to be a part of this group I have not yet done so for one simple reason, membership fees. The fee is not exactly high, we're talking $15 per year. The real issue here is paying for something online. I NEVER use my credit card online because it makes me more vulnerable to theft. I know, I know, exchanging money online is excessively common. You know what else is excessively common? Identity theft.

I can't say for sure what kind of payment options are available through the AHMA because the website doesn't even address it until after you've gone through the application process. When it comes to money and safety precautions I need to KNOW in advance what precautions are being taken to ensure the safety of the transaction. I need to have choices other than credit cards for payment. I need to know that all parties take my privacy as seriously as I do. The stakes are just way too high for assumptions and chance.

Monday, March 25, 2013


Booooo! Stupid heavy wet snow in March. Booooo!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Come On Spring!

Spring is now several weeks behind schedule here in the greater St Louis area and it is starting to really irritate me. The only tolerable seasons are Spring and Fall as far as I'm concerned. It is only during these two times of year that the temperature is actually moderate, something my head greatly appreciates. But here we are on March 22nd and high temps are still hoovering around freezing, snow is in the forecast and the trees haven't even begun to bud. Last year at this time the fruit trees were already in bloom, stores had opened their outdoor garden centers and I was able to enjoy going out for walks.

How I long for Springs actual arrival, which unfortunately can't be predicted by the calendar, astrology or even a groundhog. Each day of Spring that Winter steals from me makes me increasingly irritated with Winter. The great benefit of living in a place like this is that all 4 seasons are supposed to be distributed fairly evenly throughout the calendar. Come on Spring! I need you to show yourself, like yesterday.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Thank You Thursday

Dear Gap,

Thank you so much for providing great ways to save money. Like all other retailers you like to get excited and spend a much of money promoting your 20% a single regular priced item mailers. But for the thriftier, savvier, more patient customers you can actually offer amazing deals. One of my favorite purchases from you was a pair of jeans for just $7.00! Come on, you can barely buy a used pair for that price.

Just this week, armed with an email coupon for 40% off your entire purchase, I headed to the Gap Outlet where you were having a huge sale. Shopping only the special sale priced tables and the clearance section I found 6 great shirts (3 short sleeve, 2 long sleeve, 1 turtle neck). These regular cotton shirts are a staple of my stay-at-home wardrobe. They are comfortable, they wash nice and they layer nicely under a sweater when I have to run to the store. The grand total, after tax, just $29. At an average of less than $5 per shirt I am one happy camper.

Saving money is one of those things that really makes me feel good inside. We all know the mark up on clothing is ridiculous. I refuse to pay retail. Heck, I won't even consider a sale price of less than 50% off, mostly sticking to 75% off or more. Thank you for helping me make that possible.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Whimsy Wednesday

Today's whimsy is a Bugs Bunny clip...I love me some Bugs. Enjoy

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Beauty Then

Remember back in the 1980s when you could be a beautiful woman without acrylic nails, overly shaped eye brows, perfectly sculpted hair, push up bras and bleach-white teeth.

I wish beauty today wasn't so unnatural. I don't have the time, energy, money or interest in doing all that it takes to be a modern beauty. Oh well. There are worse things :)

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Big Insurance Switch

My husband recently started a new job; a great job. Part of what makes this so great is the health insurance they offer. The insurance coverage is so good that I made the scary move to sign up for it. Part of me was scared that they would never take me on but there was no qualification questionnaire. A bigger part of me was scared that, without the full safety of the healthcare act provisions regarding preexisting conditions to be enacted in 2014, leaving my old insurance would leave me vulnerable to being uninsured. Faced with the HUGE cost savings being offered along side the lure of having much better coverage the decisions was made to switch despite my fears.

Now with my new card in hand I am gearing up to make the phone call to my old insurance company to officially cancel today. As excited as I am about the possibilities of the new plan I am still very nervous to cut the ties with the old insurance company. Fearing any number of unfortunate scenarios that could befall us and lead to being uninsured and in real financial trouble I am angry at the systems that make us all so vulnerable.

Fingers crossed and prayers I go.

Friday, March 15, 2013

All Of You Out There

Living with a couple chronic pain conditions is a constant struggle physically, mentally and emotionally. Every day I struggle to manage my symptoms and the accompanying stresses. Some days I manage fairly well and others not-so-much. But none of my days are easy anymore, none of my days are free from pain and nobody in my life can really understand what I'm going through. It's not their fault for only experience can lead to real understanding.

There is a loneliness in knowing that my friends and family don't get it. That's a big part of what has been so great about blogging over these past few years. I love reading your blogs and I so appreciate all of you who read mine. I love the exchange of ideas, the sharing of experiences and most of all just knowing that there are others like me out there.

As small as my world is these days, it would be a whole lot smaller and more difficult without all of you out there. Thank you.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Whimsy Wednesday

Today's whimsy comes from Jimmy Fallon and Michelle Obama: The Evolution of Mom Dancing.

Have yourself a smile :)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Come On, Doctors!

Today's episode of The Doctors was really irritating. They have called the episode "Women's Embarrassing Questions: Uncensored!". So the one female doctor on the panel, who happens to be an OB/GYN, has been joined by two other practicing female docs. All three donned pink lab coats and were sitting on pink chairs. The all female audience had also been forced into matching pink t-shirts with the letter "V" printed on the front. Heck even the set was all decked out with female stereotypes from potted lilies to the various shades of pink lights.

They started off dancing around the actual terminology saying things like "down there" before settling on calling it "V". Immediately following this declaration they talked about how important it is to use the correct terminology. Yet there they were, perpetuating the problem.

Some of the content of the episode was actually pretty good but why do they feel the need to present it like this? Do they think we can't handle words like vagina? Do they think that we won't listen unless they draw us in with the color pink and the promise of fun? And why has pink been assigned to the female gender?

I am tired of all the boxes in our culture. Why can't we all just be who we are, like what we like, enjoy what we enjoy? I don't need to be pandered to. I just want to be treated with kindness and respect, treated like an intelligent woman, especially by doctors. Come on!

Monday, March 11, 2013

March Migraine Blog Carnival

The March Migraine Blog Carnival is now available. This month's topic is Migraine Coping Toolkits. Check out all the great posts.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Weapons of a Migrainista

The constant fight that persists between my migraines and me is exhausting. But in the 7 years or so since the fight began my weapons have been sharpened and I've become more adept at using them. I am by no means an expert with them but I get a whole lot of practice. Here are some my weapons I use most frequently:

Darkness: Like so many of us with chronic migraines, light sensitivity is a big issue. I do everything I can to control the kind of light and the level of brightness of all light in the house. We've installed room darkening curtain to control the sunlight. When it comes to lamp light I make sure I have low wattage bulbs and keep them out of my direct line of vision from all the places I sit regularly. The TV and computer screens are both back-lit so adjusting their brightness levels is an easy way to make them kinder on my eyes. In addition, I've found that I need to always have another light on when using these electronics. The contrast between a dark room and the glow of the screens is too harsh and painful.

Comfortable Spot: Having a comfortable spot to rest, recoup or just ride out the worst of my pains is important. For now, this is my spot on the couch. I have a warm blanket, a soft pillow, an ottoman to stretch my legs out, and a table to hold water and pills right next to it. A comfortable spot sounds like such an obvious and simple thing but I like to think of it as my base of operations. It is from this spot that I blog, watch TV, write my grocery list, rest between household tasks and curl up when the pain gets the best of me. 

Laughs: Laughing may do nothing to actually reduce my migraines but it certainly is a great way to take my mind off the pain and all the crap that comes along with it. The remote is my ticket to many laughs. It is through this simple device which I access Family Guy, Saturday Night Live, South Park, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Arrested Development, Burning Love...etc. etc. Our remote even lets me access YouTube on our TV screen. These laughs are great during the day when I'm alone but the best laughs I have are the ones I share with my husband. 

Pet Therapy: I've said it before and I'll say it again, having a devoted furry friend to pet and snuggle with does wonders for me. My sweet little Gypsy wants nothing more than to be with me all the time. She lets me tell her all about whatever is going on. She's always ready to snuggle and hang out. She gets me out of the house and walking regularly. She is so loyal and so loving. I truly feel lucky to have her by my side through all of this. 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Thank You Thursday

Dear Wireless Keyboard,

Thank you for being occasionally useful. If only occasional usefulness was what we needed in a keyboard you would be just perfect. After the port for wired keyboards decided to stop working we were sure you were the right solution. For some reason your batteries and connections get gummed up with acid and drain far too quickly rending you quite useless. Come now, my remote control batteries never leak and last a whole lot longer too.

I fear your occasional usefulness will soon lead to my husband wanting to trade the whole operation in for a new laptop. The best I can hope now is to hold the whole thing off as long as possible. Perhaps if you could become useful more frequently that would help too.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Whimsy Wednesday

Today's whimsy is classic 90's R&B: Boyz 2 Men Motown Philly:

It's just a fun upbeat song and always makes me smile.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

In Like A Lion

As February came to a close I was feeling a sense of relief as it had been a particularly difficult one for me. In addition to the usual migraines and fibromyalgia my body was also struggling as I titrated off one of my meds. Emotionally I was struggling as well, feeling more overwhelmed and frustrated than usual. I knew things would get better. They always do. Fingers crossed and prayers said that March would be better.

Instead March has come in like a lion. A lion that is stabbing my head, thrashing my poor body, twisting my guts and taking me to the limits of my own sanity. I don't feel myself but I suspect these are growing pains and not my destruction.

My fingers are crossed that March will continue to follow the old adage and this terrible lion will turn into a sweet little lamb by the end of the month. May this particularly difficult period provide me with a great lesson and some measure of relief.

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Big Cell Phone Switch

After years of refusing to text, I have at long last joined the rest of the world. Admittedly, a big reason for the hold out was about the cost. Just having a regular old cell phone that made phone calls cost about $40/month. If you wanted to have web access and a texting plan, well you had better be prepared to shell out more like $100/month. Certainly there are variances in price depending on the carrier but they are all in the same ball park - way over priced.

Then I discovered the no-contract, pre-paid cell phone section of Target. It's come a long way over the past 5 years that we've been overpaying for cell service. Our contract is up and my husband will be getting a free phone from his employer next week, so I went to Target and picked out a smart phone. At a savings of more than 50% I was able to get a plan with unlimited texting and data and 1200 minutes of talk. So not only is it MUCH cheaper but it also offers more features. Our previous plan didn't have any texting and had much fewer minutes that my husband and I shared. 

I can't even believe what a great deal this is. I want to kick myself for having overpaid for our cell phones for so long and getting roped into a lengthy contract that tied our hands from making this switch sooner. I honestly can't think of one benefit to having a traditional cell phone plan - heck you can even go pre-paid with the i phone if you want. All the major carriers have these less expensive plans: AT&T, Sprint, Virgin Mobile, Verizon...

Don't mean to sound like a commercial here but I'm really blown away. This will save us so much money and that always excites me.