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Thursday, August 22, 2019

 

Tough Week-Physically and Emotionally

This has been a really, really tough week.

We're still crying.  Girls are still grieving/looking for Pepper and puking.

While Lucky is housing her food, she's made herself slightly (sorry about the TMI) constipated from the sadness.  Sunshine has lost her appetite and just keeps crying and looking at the back of the reclining sofa into the hole where Pepper "hung out".  Sunshine puked several times.

Last night, after showers, Lucky puked all over Steve first and the sheets right after.  There we were at 4 a.m. stripping the bed, starting the laundry, comforting our little one and hoping to get even a few more minutes of rest.

Monday, poor Bryce had a 24 hour virus, Lily (our grandpup) had to go to the vet, Aidan fell off his bike and sprained his arm, Sam got Bryce's virus and for good measure, I had a 14' wood/metal pole at Bed, Bath and Beyond fall on me.

Yep, I needed that  NOT!  Thankfully, Steve's catlike reflexes saved me from getting knocked out completely.  I did wind up with my entire right chest side getting bruised and a deep abrasion and a cut on my thumb.

So sore I can't move in bed, but happy to say this was so much less painful that getting knocked out would have been.

If that wasn't enough, our wonderful and caring vet gave us a paw print keepsake of Pepper.  We love it so very much, but there we were two old people crying more.

Here's hoping next week will be so much better than the one we just went through.

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Friday, August 16, 2019

 

5-1/2 Pounds of Love/Heartbreak

This is our very last photo of the most sweet and wonderful tabby, otherwise known as Pepper.
We loved him from the moment Sarah brought him and his little deformed front legs home and plopped him into my lap.

Just as loved as our late Goldie/lab Sunshine, we fell head over heels for him.  Sunshine thought of him as her very own baby.  She loved him until we lost her September 18, 2011.  

Today, unfortunately, Pepper has crossed the rainbow bridge to join his canine mom.  At 16 he leaves his own babies Lucky and Sunshine, his grieving parents, sisters and brother and 4 children who have loved him as much as he loved all of us.

Even though it's only been a few hours, there's a painful, empty hole in our hearts and our home.  

Steve and I were there with him, holding him, kissing him and sobbing.  Never has 5-1/2 pounds felt so heavy or large to lose.

We are heartbroken.  






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Friday, August 09, 2019

 

So Many Changes

School started back up this week.

More importantly-Jackson turned 6!  My sister and niece were in town so we were thrilled to have them here to celebrate.

Jackson wanted pizza.  Mom and Dad were just off their shredding/photo diet and could actually enjoy having some.

But, what to do?  We needed a place that would cater to kids (ages 3-1/2 through 12-1/2) and adults, several who have certain food intolerances.

Sam found the best place-Mellow Mushroom.  For those of you who don't have them in your state and may have never heard of them-this restaurant was created by "Dead Heads".  And for those of you who don't know the term-people who are huge fans of the late great Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead.

They have a full bar, gluten free pizza crust available, vegan choices, regular items of all kinds and a happy hour that works on so many levels. Plus, very high industrial ceilings that make the entire place so noisy that no one can hear an unhappy child or unruly adult.

Thankfully we all arrived before the dinner crowd.  A party of 12 wasn't NOT a problem.  By the time we left there was a wait.

After dinner we headed to the birthday boy's home for his spiderman cake (made beautifully by Sam and the birthday boy) and ice cream.  This year he could read the cards himself.  By 8:30 we were all exhausted and all 3 grandsons had to get ready for their first day of school.

Always fun to have a family gathering-extra special when it's a celebration.

We hadn't seen Dylan and Aidan for about a week and were we shocked!  Dylan is hitting every bit of 6'!!!  How did I get a grandson old enough to be 6'???  Aidan isn't too far behind either, probably 5'7" at the least.  Oh and Dylan seems to have the beginnings of a mustache sprouting!

Jackson is over the 4' mark-easily.  Bryce is somewhere around 40" herself.

How did I, a mere 5'1" on my "tall" days, get such tall kids?

Oh well, doesn't matter.  You know why?  Because I'm still "The Boss".

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Saturday, August 03, 2019

 

House Was Shiny, For a Moment

After a very lengthy discussion Steve and I (okay, it was mostly me) came to an agreement:  We were getting a housekeeper to come in once a month.

I take care of:  laundry, dishes, all the cooking, grocery shopping, cleaning the counter tops and sinks and dusting.

Steve is supposed to do all the hard floors and the couple of carpets in the bedrooms.

This shouldn't be an issue, except for the fact that my "perfect" and "wonderful" husband hates to clean the floors.  And me, being me, hate dirty floors with a myriad of dog/cat fur all over the place.  Plus, when our old guy chooses to use his litter boxes (please, don't judge us, we make allowances for our elderly until they're in pain) there's litter on the already overly offensive bamboo flooring.

For those who don't understand-I will not, cannot and should NOT have to live with gross floors.  Steve, who isn't here a lot of time since he works, doesn't seem to notice or care!

It's not just the looks!  Would you want to have your grandkids, kids, friends and you walking on the flooring that not just has fur but (sorry about the graphic language) vomit, pee, #2 and just everyday garbage????

Well, as silly as it sounds, I just can't stomach it.  I also don't have the joints to take care of cleaning them myself.  Just sweeping it all has my hands/shoulders screaming at me for a pretty long period of time when I try.

So, I asked my friend Tracy who does her home, the cost, etc.  Wasn't too bad.  I called and the nice woman came out within a couple of days.

Nice job, clean house!  Floors, bathrooms, kitchen, etcetera-all clean at the SAME TIME!!

Can I get a woot, woot????

Then we made the next month's appointment and off she went.

I decided to enjoy the lavender scent and cleanliness from my La-Z-Boy that Adam and Sam gave me for a birthday about 8 years ago.  I put up the footrest, opened my latest Stephanie Plum and said, "Aaahhhh".

In less that 30 minutes, I swear to you all-Pepper looked me straight in the eye and glared.  That wasn't all though, he decided to defile the bamboo.  Grrrr.

And to add insult to injury, not just Sunshine, but Lucky as well thought it would make be happy to vomit.

Double sigh with lots of gentle head nodding.  I put my footrest down, got the paper towels and the Lysol cleaner and cleaned up my fur babies messes.

I suppose I have nothing to complain about really, at least I had the fleeting moment to enjoy.

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Saturday, July 27, 2019

 

Something Old, Something New

It was with much trepidation that I caved and got a brand new smartphone.  Anyone who has read even a few of my blogs knows that I'm not at all thrilled with technology of any kind.  But alas, I didn't seem to have a choice.

About two months ago my three year old Samsung Galaxy 7 started showing its "age".  Mostly, the battery kept dying in a very fast way.  I'd take it off the charging when the girls got me up at 5:30 a.m. and by 7 (without actually doing more than turning off the alarm) it was down to under 50%!

I realize that I'm not exactly out and about for hours on end, but this was becoming a bigger hindrance by the day.  Steve, knowing my disdain for having to re-learn poultry things like a phone and other technologic appliances, took me and the phone to a nice gentleman at "YOUBREAKIFIX".

He untethered me from the gizmo and put it through diagnostic testing.  My phone had been declared "healthy and working at 100%".  Oh yeah?  Explain the fast drainage when I'm rather OCD about closing the few links I open on the darned thing?

Whatever (my favorite saying at this point).

Two days later, Steve was surfing that tech store I hate to enter and told me I could get a new phone just like his and it would be more than affordable.  Only thing, I had to bend my stupid swollen RA riddled knees and drive to the store because they only had 2 left at that price.  I hate driving, especially when my knees are having flares that no amount of NSAIDs, lidocaine patches and ice packs will dull.

But off I went.  The nice young man, who was named Adam (Adam's a wonderful name for a great male) told me he'd basically make my new phone into my old phone and I wouldn't have a bit of problem learning the few new items.

I thanked him profusely as my Diflucan/gabapentin brain can only handle so many new things a day without completely shutting down.

Then Steve had to do whatever it was that the phone needed:  I think it was new alarm sounds, trying to get me to give up the creepy laughing toddler laugh when an unknown number called and show me how to use the pro thingy on the better camera.  Don't ask me what else because I'm pretty sure numbers were involved and I did my usual glazed over look.

One thing that I do kind of like is the Samsung health app that Steve put on.  Only thing is that it isn't all that accurate since I don't walk around with the phone on my hip.  Let's face it, my late great pedometer was tiny where as the smartphone is about 3x6.  Not a look for a short person.  Found out the hard way that putting it in Lucky's stroller was no way to tract that 2-1/2 mile walk.

Oh well, live and learn.

It also somehow knows what I eat, my oxygen intake, my pulse and heart rate and a bunch of other stuff that seems to be items I should know.

The app also talks to me!  That woman is kind of pushy too.  Don't know her name, but she keeps telling me that my "workout has paused".  Out of nowhere she will say, "time to move".

I appreciate that.  Who couldn't use a little push on the exercise front?



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Thursday, July 18, 2019

 

It's a Sad Party

More on last week's rant about Medicare and Prolia.  Yes, now I'm in the mood to name names.  Mainly because I'm disgusted, frustrated and disgruntled.  Plus I now have these following wonderful nurses to join my "party":  Angie, Amanda, Kim and finally Taylor.

The nurses thought they had figured out a back door-send me to an infusion center and then Medicare would pick up 80% of the cost.

Medicare told the infusion nurse, Taylor, that the would have paid for the Prolia if I were over 65!  When did disability start having an age?

Even though she didn't have to in any way, Taylor asked if she could speak with my doctor/nurses and then try her persuasion on both the government and the pharmaceutical company?  I told her, Of course!"  I also told her that I had totally lost hope and while I hoped a miracle would happen I've decided to not hold my breath.

All three nurses pretty much told her the same.

Adam was past incredulous.  He got on the computer.  After two hours he found that it wasn't advisable for me to drive to Mexico and bring it back.  Canada had it for literally half the price, but because it has to be kept at a certain temperature and they couldn't guarantee that any shipping company would comply I'd have to go to them.

By the time I'd be through paying for the flights, the hotels and the food plus the obvious cost of the Prolia and a nurse to inject it-I'd be pretty much even past the original $1,522 shot cost.  Only difference is that I'd get to see whatever part of Canada I had to go to TWICE a year!

Basically, my medical team is disgusted.  They can't put me back on the last drug as it wasn't working well enough to try it again.  The new drugs coming out are either as expensive or even more so.

The result?  Keep taking my calcium, Vitamin D3 and exercising.  Oh, don't let anyone hug me too hard and watch out for places and lots of people who might bump into me hard enough to break yet another bone in my anatomy.

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Thursday, July 11, 2019

 

$$ Makes the World Go Around

For the last two months I have been battling the government, exorbitant prices of drugs and the frustrating work of trying to get anyone and everyone to listen to my words.

I have severe osteoporosis.  Why not?  I've had it for years.  It was diagnosed way back in 2006 after I broke my foot.  I was put on the typical first drug of choice.  You can read that as "cheap and hopefully works for you".

Problem was that it did NOT work for me!  Nope, went from plain old osteoporosis to "Don't let anyone hug you, do anything risky or be in crowds-you could break."  From there I was put on #2.  Took it for about 3 years when they realized that I was really BAD.  So on we went to expensive but last ditch effort drug #3.

This was okay until we changed insurance a couple of years ago.  New company is all for my taking this medication-and they'll let ME pay for the entire bill:  $1,522 a shot TWICE a year!

Here's the conundrum:  If my disability were first in medical insurance, medicare would pay 80%.  Still pretty darn high, but not literally thousands of dollars.  Trouble is my main insurance is through Steve's program and therefore medicare doesn't want to help.  I found this out after over 8 hours of phone calls to medicare, the company who makes the drug and the various "help" programs who informed me that they had allotted all the money for RA patients and none was left for me.

Can you spell FRUSTRATION?????

The rheumatologist's PA tried every which way (can be read as she covered exactly the same ground I did) and was told no one could help.

I am now two months overdue.  My latest bone scan actually said that my femur bone has improved, my hips are the same as 5 years ago and my back is slightly worse.  But that's still better than altogether worse.

Despite the ground I personally covered in time, frustration and, by the end, total anger the outcome was that the PA is calling up the drug company yet again and pleading my case.  There was mention of her telling them that of 3 drugs this was the one that at least wasn't making me worse and wasn't this a good thing to use in promoting its use?

I pointed out to her that this guilt trip had already used.  I wished her luck and said, "I'm not holding my breath.  Also, if you do talk to someone, ask them how long it will be before the little improvement that took 3 years to make is undone."

I'm not using any drug names but let's just say that if Blythe Danner were me, she'd probably not be any happier than I am and not touting how much better her osteoporosis is after only two shots a year.

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