Tag Archives: General Health

Back from the Dead … Sorta

I have been so bad with getting a post onto the site. My body has been giving up on me lately with the flu/colds going around the area and I finally got sick. After our return from the cruise at the beginning of February, I was sick for a week, got better for a week and then have been sick again with another strain since. I did end up going to the doctor this second round and got a really high yield antibiotic because of the secondary infection that crouped up into my lungs. It was NOT fun. I did get a good cough syrup with hydrocodone that actually suppressed the cough and a 12-hour antihistamine to dry up my head. It really made life bearable the past two weeks.

I’ve also taken my Aunt’s advice and I started taking Airborne to help with the cold. I’m not sure if it’s helped or not but I do know the nighttime formula has Valerian root in it and I sleep very soundly with it. The vitamin C can’t be bad and all the other goodies too. The best part? My FSA (flexible spending account) covers it so I can get reimbursed on it. “Vitamins” aren’t normally covered so this is a bonus in my mind.

To help with my migraines I am on an anti-seizure medication called Zonisamide (formally Zonegran). I have found that I do have some of the Topamax “Dopamax” effect with this drug and it affect my word usage when talking to people and concentration levels when I’m at school. I think I am going to be stopping the medication soon because I want to come back to normal.

I read a blog called Violent Acres and it’s a journey of a mysterious woman through her life of cynicism and blunt kiss my ass love. So, basically, I love it (and she swears a lot). She just had a post about her returning from the dead oddly enough (interesting how we both chose similar titles…) and she made an enlightening comment:

“I??ve said this before, but humans need pain to appreciate life. People need contrast.”

I’ve kind of had this philosophy before but she plainly states it and it kind of explains why most people I know with chronic illness seem to appreciate life differently. I know that when I get a migraine, that first minute when I feel the pain breaking away is like a new life. It’s a breath of fresh air. Weird, huh?

Snow, Sickness, and Salt

The past week has been all about snow, me being sick, snow, shoveling, salting, snow, and more snow.  Wisconsin (and probably elsewhere) got dumped on with the snow this past two days and I’m done with the snow already.  🙂  On Monday I could tell I was getting sick and by Tuesday morning, I was in hell.  It started with a scratchy throat and that migrated into the plugged ears and burning eyes with the fever.  I had been back to work for one day and I already called in sick which made me look like a real winner.  Then on Wednesday I still wasn’t ready to go back to work.  We ended up getting 20 inches of snow.  Tazz was sick as well so we both stayed home and slept pretty much the whole day.  Yuck.

I can deal with headaches and crap like that but being sick just plain SUCKS.  Nothing is comfortable and even your bed which is like the number one safe zone turns into a stink pit after two days of being sick.  We did the smart thing and changed all the bedding and kept using new cups so not to reinfect ourselves with the same crap we’ve had.  I, against my better judgment, bought the tissues with the antiviral stuff in them to prevent the spread of the junk.  We’ll see if that helps.

I’m hocked up on cold medicine right now.  I’m looking forward to a normal week of weather.  Only nice thing was both nights of school were canceled this week.  I was not caught up at all from my vacation so I am going to use this weekend to get caught up.  We’ll see if that really happens.

Back to the Snow

We’re back from the cruise and we had SO MUCH FUN.  The entire trip went without a hitch except we didn’t get to go to the Grand Cayman Islands because a 43 year old man had a heart attack and we had to turn the ship around.  The Coast Guard ended up air lifting him off the ship and we lost about 10 hours, making it impossible to meet the time requirements for docking there.  We found out later on he made it safe and sound and was recovering.  We’re also recovering and I’m getting back into the groove.

This trip also brought up something I hadn’t really expected.  I knew that I would be somewhat disconnected from the world since the Internet connection was really expensive on the ship.  We ended up paying for 100 minutes ($55!!) of time to send quick e-mails, etc but it was still not like “being online.”  What we didn’t expect is the actual feeling of being disconnected from the rest of the world.  We didn’t know what the weather was like back home, what the stocks were doing, any of that.  While we had CNN in the room, we rarely paid any attention to it.  I usually would pull out the iPhone and check the weather – something I couldn’t do without it costing a LOT on the ship.  We got ashore in Florida and it was like I took a hit of smack when my phone turned back on.  Talk about being an addict.

And, as if to add to my habit…  Apple is replacing my squealing laptop with a brand new one.  The part that has been making the high pitched squeal the past 19 months has been very hard to locate and the one they did get after a long backorder was broken.  Apple rocks.

Guess I should also mention the headaches were so-so throughout the trip.  I tried to limit the alcohol consumption after the first night which seemed to limit the amount of Ibuprofen, etc I needed to take.

Almost December

YuleTis the time for holiday music, watching neighbors fall off their roofs putting up lights, making cookies, and spending your nights shopping online.  Well, at least, that’s my indication it’s almost December!  I’m looking forward to the holiday season this year because it’s been particularly stressful with school and work.  Listen to me complain; I brought it on myself!!

I’ve been spending my past month going back and forth with my insurance company to get my prescription for Prilosec filled.  It has been an utter nightmare.  I need a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) for my stomach acid problems.  I’ve been on them all; Prevacid, Protonix, Nexium, Prilosec, etc.  Well, Anthem, my newest insurance provider, allowed me to get Omeprazole, the generic for Prilosec.  Overjoyed, I got my doctor to submit a prescription for 2 pills a day because my problem is particularly fun.  Anthem, being the best insurance company around [sarcasm], asked for a Prior Authorization to be completed by the doctor.  This is their way of making sure the doctor really meant to fill out the prescription the way he did.  Insurance companies know better than doctors, remember this fact.

So anyway, I ended up getting the first prescription approved and got my 180 pills for three months.  I went to go refill the prescription and low and behold now the insurance company doesn’t want to fill it.  Long and short, I’ve been told I have to use Protonix which is a brand name medication and much more expensive.  I’m fighting out with them right now for a prior authorization on that too because of the quantity limitations on Protonix.

My good friend Kelli at my doctor’s office has been helping me from their end on this.  She called me today and hooked me up with two months of free samples of Protonix.  Hopefully by then the stupid insurance company grows a brain.  What a mess.

How is someone with mental problems/slowness/etc supposed to manage themselves when dealing with things like this?  I’ve been bounced between my doctor’s office, the mail order pharmacy, and the insurance company a lot with no single point of contact.  It’s frustrating and stupid.  I’m reading more and more about stomach medications like Protonix coming off of covered medication lists on insurance plans which scares me.  Until affordable generics over the counter become available, this is going to suck.  Prilosec OTC would cost me $40/month or more even by going to a discount chain and buying in bulk.  I was getting Prilosec generic for $10/month.  Which one makes more sense to you??

Enough Already!

Back in July when I agreed to take upon myself extra [paid] work from a third client, I thought it wouldn’t be an issue.  Now after three months, I’m glad to say it’s almost over for that client with me.  This week alone I’ve put in 11 hours of overtime working at home.  The extra money will be nice, but my homework has been getting the back burner.  I finally told the account manager that I do not want to take on any large projects with the client and I want to be down to one client full time.

I think I have a condition where I need to be stressed.  I had an entire year off of school and took that time to job hop.  Now that I’m in a stable job I think my body said – LETS STRESS OUT AGAIN!!!  I have always liked school and learning new things.  I had taken a year off after highschool and it made it clear to me that I’m going to be a perpetual student.  My goal is to teach night school once I get my graduate degree.  Then I won’t have to pay to be in school hee hee.

My headaches have been on and off this week.  I had gotten nauseous yesterday for no reason and I believe it was a headache coming on.  Tylenol seemed to help.  As I type this (while in class :O ) I’m feeling a little bit of ice in my left temple.  Nothing too substantial but it feels like someone dragging a cold screwdriver over my skin to say I’m here bitch and ready to stick ya!!  Let’s just hope the drive home goes well.  It took me an hour and fifteen minutes to get to school and I wanted to go hide in the back seat.  I heard that affects your driving though.

Good Bye, Damn Sofa

Back PainWe’re finally getting rid of our crappy sofas and getting our La-Z-Boy sofa and chair delivered this evening.  I’m very happy about this because my back is killing me.  I admit it, I spend a lot of time on the couch.  I’d much rather work on homework and “work at home” on the couch with my laptop on a portable desk.  My back, however, tells me otherwise and is complaining loudly today.  I hope this ends the torture of the cheap-and-looks-good-but-sucks sofa experience.  I’m also excited that if I have a bad GERD/stomach acid incident that the recliner in the sofa will make sleeping possible without gagging.

We decided to postpone our camping trip for this past weekend until next year.  I am overwhelmed with homework and “work at home” work that this weekend would have been a stretch.  I think I still would have gone but Tazz recognized my brain starting to sizzle so we stayed home.  I still took off a half day on Friday and we went to see a movie and had dinner.  We spent the evening Saturday at my mom’s where I brought Crock-Pot beef stew and we had a campfire in their back yard.  I always enjoy doing that at my parents’ house.  🙂

I’m off to take something for my neck/upper back.  I look like a troll right now hunched over.  Fun.