Showing posts with label biologics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label biologics. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The "NEVER ENDING" Saga of Rhia, Autoimmune illnesses, cellulitis, abscesses, and feeling the pain, disgust, frustration for others like myself that seem to NEVER get a break

This is a post I sent to a friend on Facebook... she also is just having one hell u va time, dealing with "crap", illnesses, and all that entails when you feel life NEVER gives you a break! I realize some of it I've already posted, but believe me... I feel it is totally worth repetition... so others KNOW they are NOT alone!

 
 
 
  I SO, SO, SO can empathize with you and how you feel. It has been so much the same for myself. Between the already issues with Lupus, RA, and so forth, then the accident last year in March that my husband was in, now he has left and moved back to WA state.. we are filing for a divorce and honestly I am NOT sure to this moment WHY? Then I need lower back surgery, then my Mom in the midst of me finding out what was wrong with my hips and legs, which was my back, she comes down with a severe hip issue, that also turns out to be her lumbar spine also. She is 80 years old, and they do NOT even want to discuss surgery on her...but they are trying with medication, PT and supposed to do some epidural injections on her. About the time we got those scheduled her last living sibling, a younger sister, passed away of a rare stomach cancer, she had been fighting for a couple of years, then BOTH of us come down with some kind of stomach virus, & I spent several weeks of it seeming to come and go, and even got ill Sunday morning...I was so upset, I felt "fine" was dressed, and was about to walk out the door, and my stomach felt "odd" and sure enough, I almost did not make it to that bathroom and was sick to my stomach again, out of the blue... then I have been dealing with a "lump" on my mid left thigh now for about 9 weeks... my PCP thought it was cellulitis, and of course with my immune system being so compromised, he immediately put me on TWO antibiotics, which helped some, but after 3 ROUNDS of them, 7 days each, he wanted me to have a surgeon look at it, and cut it out...well, I had a hard time finding a surgeon close enough that took my insurance, finally did, but he could not see me for over a week! So, all of a sudden this "lump" that showed no signs of an outside infection... has not been red, warm, or appearing to be infected on the outside, but a week before I was to see the surgeon I woke up to it being very red, warm, and appeared to almost be trying to burst open... so I quickly called mt PCP and told him... so he put me on another round of the antibiotics until I could see the surgeon. Well by the time I saw the surgeon which was last Friday, it has abscessed inside, and he had to "CUT" it open, and let all of the infection out of it! He also sent some to be cultured, and I must have had "two layers" of infection. One kind of shallow, but another much deeper. Now he did this in his office, just injecting lidocaine in it, which hurt like hell and burned worse...and I am "tough"... nothing usually bothers me... but then I had to take the bandages off twice daily, after getting home, and "clean it out" with Q-tips and peroxide... when I took the bandage off the first time on Saturday, OMG I have a HOLE in my thigh deep to it almost feels like it is to my bone, and wide... like 2 inches deep and that wide... I almost could not do it, but I knew I had to.. so I did that and then finally yesterday, it was not quite as painful so I took a shower and used antibacterial dial liquid body wash which I had already been using, and he said to allow the soap and water to get into it, and clean it out... I did, and it hurt some but not all that bad... but then this morning, I began to take off the bandage and it again looked awful to me... it is still draining a bit... but I see him tomorrow thank goodness... now he did not address the "other lump" on my right thigh, almost in the same spot as this first one. It came up after my PCP began me on antibiotics, but I never said anything about it, thinking that medication would take care of it also... well it is still there, a bit larger, and I fear it may be the same thing. I had told the surgeon's nurse Friday, but I guess he forgot about that once he was working on this other one. So, I've got to point it out to him... it is just like the other one... it shows no "outside" appearance of an infection, it is just a lump under the skin.... to top that off my Rheumy wanted to put me on a new RA Medication, but before we could change I had to do a whole entourage of blood work, TB testing, Hepatitis, etc... well all was "okay
accept the TB test... that particular test has to be done just a few hours after the blood is drawn or it can come back not accurate... so mine came be "indecisive"... so I needed a damned chest Xray to show the test was just off... well I could not again find anyone close that took this stupid insurance, so I finally was just going to pay our Urgent care to have it done. Well, the order got misplaced that my Rheumy sent them..then due to this lump, my Mom, my Aunt passing away, I got delayed in doing the X-ray... so when I went out to have it done last week, they had NO order, or they just could not find it, and when I called and had my Rheumy fax it, it was for 2 views instead of one... so I did not want to have to pay double if it was not necessary, so I had to get hold of my Rheumy... and have them fax a new order for one view... I FINALLY got that done, and now due to the lump, the infection, the delay of the Xray... I've not had any RA meds in like 9 weeks or more!!! So, my RA, is so bad.. And within all of that is even more crap that has and is happening... and I am just frustrated, upset, disgusted, mad, and all the things you feel... it is like some of us NEVER get a break... EVERYTHING in my life has always been "complicated".... and it is just too old... for sure....there are days I want to crawl under my bed to never return.... and between all of that... my Pug has also had stomach problems and been sick to her stomach off and on also....

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

RA, Lupus, Chronic Pain - the Complexities of Living With an Autoimmune Illness and/or Chronic Illness - How Do you Live with the all too often feelings of "guilt" of not fulfilling your destinies...

As you can see the very "title" of this post is complicated, to say the least. As I've had to succumb over the past almost 3 weeks of cellulitis, strong antibiotics that totally messed my entire digestive tract up, to the addition of a "stomach bug" that is going around here locally, I find myself full again of guilt, of shame, of feeling as if I am letting my obligations down as an advocate, a "voice" for others, of my own writing, my blog, my Mom, and everything else that I've had to "put on hold" due to once again the "arrows" of dealing being chronically ill.

There is NO EASY part to being ill with some disease that is so often "invisible", that drags you down within a few moments totally catching you off guard. One moment I maybe feeling great and within hours I can be immersed in sickness, more medications, doctors visits, and so forth that drive me to the sofa, rather than here online, or out and about doing all of the other things that are SO crucial to me in life.

I cannot even begin to count the numerous times that I have the sinking feeling of "letting these diseases" rule and ruin my life. Being ill with something such as an autoimmune disease(s), you feel as if those totally reign over and above any and all plans, decisions, and destiny that you have for your life. They control the very essence of daily living. From whether I feel like going to do shopping and errands, take my Mom out, or to a doctor's appointment, washing my car, cleaning my home, taking care of ALL the things like my flowers, my lawn, having the energy to even re-pot a plant, or give the pups a bath... sometimes just giving "me" a shower can be overwhelming.

No one ever gave us 150% PROOF from the moment we take that first breath that life will always be filled and fulfilling... and that we will live and love without illness, with out difficulties in life, and sometimes the "hopes and dreams" we have had turn into a totally different way of being, that we ever expected. I have not done a "real investigation" but I would bet the number of relationships that "withstand" the all too often complicated life of living with someone chronically ill, that remain SIDE BY SIDE together... is quite low. I am most assured, as with cancer patients, sometimes a spouse, or dear friend, even a family member can reach a place they just can't cope with all of the complex nature of constant doctors, meds, surgeries, procedures, sudden illness... is can certainly be like the "elephant" in a 12 by 12 foot square room, quite OVERWHELMING...

I sometimes see the frustration even in my physicians faces, when I come in with something that is so complicated and complex, they themselves may not be sure what step to take next.

I am not one to "gripe", "Whine", complain, or even remotely think the "my medical issues" are "worse" than other people's... Pain and/or Chronic Illnesses mean different levels of frustration than others. I have had so many people tell me first of all that I am the "strongest" person (emotionally and mentally) they have ever seen... yet, honestly I don't feel that way. What I try to do, if at all possible, is to put "my feet" in that other persons shoes... if you can remotely imagine what someone else is going through, all too often, it makes your health issues seem small  - and I am NOT discounting that yes, I am have several very serious health problems, and have been through some extremely difficult and serious surgeries, procedures, medications and at times any and all of us, including my own physicians, maybe puzzled and perplexed about certain things that happen to me as far as on a medical level. "Who woulda thunk it"? that I would come down with "cellulitis".... and in fact, we "think" - my PCP and myself, that I had a case of shingles about 7 weeks ago or so... they had cleared up by the time I saw my doctor, but the small scars were still there, lined up almost in a row after row inside of my right knee, and when I explained what they had been like, he said that it more than likely had to be shingles... nothing else as far as some type of a rash would have came up in that kind of specific "pattern" as they did... and I have this uncanny "act" of I will be on a medication for one thing, and it so happens, I may come down with something totally unrelated, yet the medication I am on, will help that also. The "shingles" were that way... I had asked my PCP to be put on a daily dose of Valtrex. Since I started the journey with Lupus... I constantly am fighting fever blisters... not so much now in my mouth, but the corners of my mouth were almost a constant bright pinkish, with a bit of blistering it in. He would give me a "high dose" for 2 days, it would clear up, and then a few days later come back... well I had not even taken the "daily doses" but possibly a day, and all of a sudden here comes this "rash"... well the Valtrex would be exactly what he would have given me for the shingles... thus there you have it...

I am really down and out though since all of the illness, back stuff, Mom's back, and so forth, have kept me from writing here on my blog as much, have slowed once again my completing of my 3rd book to a snail's pace... and have just "thrown me" for a loop when it comes to ALL of the things I truly NEED to be doing... but as my Mom and I both said earlier this morning... it ALL happens for a REASON... so there must be at least a "billion" reasons that I get thrown off course, and my sails catch a wind into foreign waters, all too often.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Orencia - CELLULITIS - and other known biologic medications, for RA, Lupus and other Autoimmune Diseases"....

OF course all of us know that "biologics" in total can cause infections, cancer, especially lymphoma, TB, and other some "serious" side effects. But, I NEVER have had "CELLULITIS" before in my life. I "thought" originally this cellulitis on my left thigh (top) was from possibly a sliver of tree bark that I thought happened about 8 weeks ago or so while I was cutting some branches up. But, the more I think about it, the more I "see" that both thighs at that particular place is where I usually take my Orencia Injections. It is so happens, about 3 day ago or so, I noticed a "small" (like possibly pea size) "lump" on my right thigh almost in the same spot. Of course it could be any number of things, but I am beginning to wonder if the injection type of Orencia that I had in that last "box" may have no been contaminated... because having "bacteria" on the skin OR on the needle in itself, can of course cause cellulitis... and the "medication" in itself, can also cause it also. I am almost "overly" cautious when it comes to my weekly injections. I use a couple of alcohol preps, wash my hands first with antibacterial hand soap, then make sure I clean the skin well around and out from where I put the medication. Yet, I am leaning towards the possibility of the "injection" needle in itself as I said above possibly being "contaminated"... anyway, the huge lump is definitely going down now. It is now about the size of a "little smokie" LOL... or I guess the very top portion of my thumb to the first knuckle size approximately. NOW though, after having the severe intestinal issues with the antibiotic I had here, while waiting on the doctor over last weekend to call me in the two for a 2nd round, which is Omnicef, that is the culprit of causing me to have SEVERE problems with not being able to "keep" anything in my digestive tract. I FINALLY thought I had the "gripes" I think as it can also be called, have basically stopped (I pray) BUT I woke up very nauseated this morning. I took some of my meds for it, and thought I would be okay in a bit... but a bit earlier I began to be sick to my stomach and was "throwing up" and all I had at the time in my stomach was some green tea iced... so if it is NOT "ONE" end, it's the other... Gosh I am so sick and tired of being so SICK< SICK< SICK!!!!  Anyway, I am trying to get myself back on schedule with everything, but getting so nauseated this morning put another damper on my schedule returning to whatever "normal" is for me.... If YOU or ANYONE you may have heard talk about getting "CELLULITIS" from "Orencia" or another biologic, please post and let me know... I would like to see if there are others here that may have had the same type of issue...

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Trying to find "balance" between being a "Patient" and a "Caretaker"... a writer, a blogger, an Author, an activist, an Ambassador... and battling Lupus, RA, Sjogren's, Lumbar spine problems and chronic pain

I WILL BE SO GLAD WHEN THIS WEEK IS OVER!!!!!!!!!! I has been something everyday this week and today once again. AT noon Mom has an MRI on her lumbar spine. She HATES MRI's because of like many of us the noise and being so confined & be still... so I hope she makes it through okay. They did tell me that there is a doctor there at all times, & if a patient is extremely anxious, he can administer a really light sedative just to make them feel a bit more calm... where was that the last MRI I had??? I am not "fussing" about helping Mom out at all. That is not the meaning of this post. I know for her it is very difficult to go through all of this. In fact she missed PT yesterday.  Even though she has the schedule hanging right up on her calendar, she got confused I guess, so I went at 1:45 to pick her up, and she was not ready..... and when I said something about PT, she said today?? I said yes  - Mon. Wed and Fri.... all of this along with the medication I think the pain doctor gave her to take at bedtime so she can sleep, (she had not been sleeping due to the pain for weeks) it may have her a bit confused. She so rarely takes anything but basically blood pressure meds, potassium, Lasix, and Crestor... so having other meds in her system, I think has her kind of fuzzy.... hell I am FUZZY MINDED ALL THE TIME (LOL)!!!! Anyway she does know I am picking her up at noon today for the MRI... and then tomorrow she goes for the PT again. What I am seeing and thinking, if she goes a couple more times to PT, just about all they are doing for her, and some of it she is doing at home a couple of times a day anyway, she could probably go twice a week, and be fine. She can do the rest of it at home... and I do know she has been doing the exercises they showed her... I think that in itself, just not having to run out 3 times a week in this horrible heat, may help some. It is honestly so danged hot here, and we have a butt load of humidity to make things worse... I can't even stand in my kitchen giving the dogs their medications without sweating... insane. I have been turning the A/C off early when I first get up, then back on about 11 am or so, but I went and turned it on the "humidity" setting for now to dry out this "sticky, damp" feeling.... anyway, things here are nuts... I take my last round of antibiotics today for the cellulitis.... but the lump is not gone... so I am not sure if that is okay and the medications will continue on to work to get rid of it, or if it will just be a lump there for awhile, OR if I need more antibiotics.... I HOPE NOT the 3rd! They have really put me into one helluva tail spin with my stomach. Plus make me feel so tired and fatigued... on top of what my usual is, and I am just drained about all of it, but I don't want to wind up in the hospital either.. Mom will go in for the injections once the MRI is done and our pain doctor has the results. I figure sometimes next week, which will mean a VERY EARLY trip to Dallas, and way up Central Expressway to a surgery center on Greenville Avenue... so I don't look forward to that one either. I've just made this trip myself for my injections, and then the discogram a few weeks back... so once again, off to Dallas...

I am still quite puzzled as to why after all of the MRI's, CT's, X-rays, and tests on my lower back all these years, that not one test ever showed me missing the "lamina" that I was born without.... I've always said I don't think some of these scans and so forth are nearly as accurate at times... I can't think of one of them that was very accurate on me.... every time I've had a surgery, once the surgeon is actually looking inside, there has been a great deal more damage than what any "scan" ever would show.... even with my neck surgery, shoulder... knees... any of them... in fact I believe it was my cervical spine, the severe damage was in a "hidden" spot that the CT could not pick up from my understanding... so that makes me wonder how many of us suffer and doctors do these tests, and they don't look so bad, so they think we are just "making it up"... or it is not bad enough to warrant surgery and so forth. I have certainly fought with one doctor for 2 YEARS before they finally fixed my left elbow. I had about 19 steroid injections in it, before I found a doctor that did surgery right away, and sure enough the tests didn't show all of the damage....

I've also now am having issues with my right hand and fingers worse, but both hands and fingers. I've got swelling that is usually not where it is now, and I can barely stand to type for very long, and they hurt almost all the time. Always something... so to all have a good day.... I've got to do a few more things and then get ready to take Mom for the MRI.... more to come

"I feel as if I should have a full-time TV "Reality Show".... called "Chronic Illness/Pain patient - Caregiver This is MY LIFE! REALLY!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Not my "usual" type of Post but I feel I it's a very important one... When Government, Big Pharma,Medications for "Chronic" Illness/Pain play a hand in your treatments

As I've said in Facebook about this post I am putting up now, I almost NEVER talk about anything "political" or "religious" on FB nor here on my blog.

Not that both subjects are a very important portion in my life, but it is more about how "personal" and private those subjects are to many of us. Not that I don't share some things "religious"... in fact I just posted over the last two weeks, that I have decided I needed to step back into fellowship on Sundays with one of our local churches.

I had talked about being raised kind of "Catholic" and "Baptist". My Mom was Catholic and came from a Czech background. So, when I would visit my Grandparents or go stay over the weekend with some cousins, I usually went on Sunday's to church with them.

My Dad was Baptist. He in fact was one of the "founding" members of the church that is way less than a block from my parents home, and through the years, for the most part that was where he was on Sunday mornings. I went with him many Sundays, in fact probably any time I was at home on Sunday morning, I went with Dad to that church. So, I had "leaned" towards being "Baptist" most of my Adult life, although I don't like to judge anyone else's faith. Faith, Hope, Praise, Glory... all words we so need in the days we face ahead, as a country, as a nation, and as a World.

Anyway, to finish that piece, I went this past two Sundays to one of our Methodist Churches and really enjoyed it. I feel I maybe going back and am even thinking about getting involved in own of the Sunday School classes where I would "belong"....

And as far as "government" actually I speak OUT a GREAT DEAL about our Governmental bodies, both House and Senate. When it comes to anything to do with chronic illnesses, arthritis, RA, Sjogren's,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLx8bLeDdJs&feature=youtu.be

Since any of these chronic illnesses lead to disability, to losing relationships. to causing severe pain, from physical, mental and emotional... we do not have near enough "research", medications, treatments, and the list of the needs when it comes to these most complex and complicated often almost "invisible" diseases, it MUST be that our government helps to play a role in getting many more specialists, more INSURANCE that COVERS treatments, rather than "denies" every claim. It is NOT the patients fault we are ill. It is also NOT our fault that the medications for some of these are astronomical. We are not the ones who "dictate" these costs. Yet, every day you see yet another new "medication" on the market for Lupus, RA, Diabetes, and so on and so forth... with the costs so expensive there is no way a patient can afford to pay for some medication that is 2,000.00 and MUCH MORE for a MONTH"S worth. I was looking at my medications (that happen to be MANY) due to Lupus, RA, Sjogren's, chronic pain, heart problems, and so forth. If I had to PAY out of my pocket for any of them... I surely would NOT be able to do that at all. So, where do you turn? You need these medications to "give you your quality of Life"... yet there is no quality of life if YOU ARE GOING BROKE to pay for your treatments.


I plan on adding more to this, but for now I want to get it posted.... so more to come on this subject...


Monday, January 26, 2015

New Year - New Revelations - New "lease" on Life, still all wrapped up in an Autoimmune Illness World and How to make dreams come true...

I have under my own terms "swore off" procrastinating about the writing of my 3rd and in fact 4th book. I had a very good email come in this morning from "Create A Space" that had an article about how to "put off" the writing of a book. We can make up a thousand and one excuses, especially if you a chronically ill, or like myself chronically ill, dealing with some symptoms that can really make daily life a challenge. To top that off, now I am kind of the "whole deal" of being a care taker for myself and for Jim. Even though within a short couple of months it will be a year since that fateful car accident, that sent me reeling through a "time space" that still I am not so sure of how I got through it all.

Honestly, I am not sure I truly have resolved all of it in my own head, heart, and soul. I question my own illnesses, and as of late, have developed more symptoms, that truly have started to concern me. I am not so sure that they are from the autoimmune illnesses, I am already diagnosed with. I have this "gut" feeling... that my "gut" feeling (n pun intended), along with the nausea, the extreme fatigue, all of the lower back pain, leg pain, of which even woke up me at 4 am this morning, and sent me rushing to get some medication, and then even though I really wanted to get up early, I remained on my sofa bed until about 7:40 a.m. That had not been my normal behavior for the many months that followed Jim's car accident. I rarely slept. Some days I wished I could go "find" those nights and use them to further the writing of my books.

I am trying to properly place myself where I desperately need to be in order to get this book written by the end of the year. Yet, if I don't heed the advice that I read just this morning by a group of very good writers, I will continue to "put off" the book and never get it written.

So, over the next few months, I will definitely keep my blog "fresh". I won't allow myself not to publish things and write events and so forth here. You, my audience is extremely important to me. So, the last thing I want to do is lose you due to me not posting and keeping current information here, because eventually my heart tells me some of you will be the "audience" that helps my 3rd book to take off enough that I can give a good portion of those proceeds to a couple of very important charity/non-profit organizations that I feel are crucial to the findings about everything autoimmune. From the very beginnings, to the fight going on admist researchers, grant money, patient and clinical trials, standing up to our Congress both state and national to get them involved in such a crucial matter to all of us here in the USA, and the incredible work of those in many of these non-profits who are no longer just "charity" organizations.

They are SO MUCH MORE than "charity" types of businesses. They are the very operatives that go in "fighting" for us as patients, as caretakers, as family members dealing with these illnesses, and to get the funding needed to battle, and win the raging war over how the ruthless diseases destroy so many lives. Whether through loss of jobs, family problems, endless medication and doctor bills, fighting with insurance companies, pharmacies, and the list is endless of the daily ordeals we go through to try and "get well"... or at least feel better, find remission, and a state of "no more disease" to have to contend with.

I promise to do my very best to keep this blog fresh, full of new posts and information while I dig much deeper inside of my own heart, brain and soul to complete this 3rd book. And I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, I WILL accomplish that.


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Old Enough to be a "Grandparent or maybe even a Great Grand Parent" and having babies??? PLease someone explain!?

Okay, maybe this is just me, but, I was reading an article out of my AARP magazine and it was talking about women OVER the AGE of 50!, I am talking about one woman who is 60 years old... having KIDS!!! They are waiting until they have made a half century here on the planet, then go in, have IVF and not only have 1 child, but often have TWINS!!!! Now, I do know my Dad was the "baby" of the family. He had 9 older brothers and sisters, some of them half brothers and sisters, and his Mom had him fairly late in her life. I am thinking she may have been in her 50's. Back then, in the 1st place, my Dad's father, outlived two wives. The 3rd one also was a widow, and had lost her husband, and her and my Grandfather had been friends when they were very young. My Grandfather left Tennessee, was here in TX, and lost two wives. Somehow he went back to Tennessee for a visit or something, and met up with this lady, that he had known back in their teens and 20's... She also was a widow... and had lost her husband. So, when Dad was born, his Mom was already well into her 50's early I would say, and my Grandfather was over 60.

My Dad and a couple of his brothers came along after the both of them had other kids by other marriages, so they were spread apart somewhat as far as age.

But, in the days to read that a woman decides either she wants a kid, gets married, and then discover they want a baby!!!!!! At 55, 60 years old??? Are you kidding me???

I am continually telling my daughter who is now 30 herself that newborns are for the younger generation. Most people over 50 years old, first of all may not have the health needed, or could have severe complications during birth, for the baby or Mom, or both. There are just so many things to take into consideration... and then the nights of no sleep, or very little, babies with colic, and my nerves are already grated down to a very fine thin line, how the heck does a woman in their
50 years plus have enough of anything to make a little child have a great life...


I know there are exceptions to every rule. And there are some women that are up in age, that could conceivably be able to carry a child full term, no complications, and delivery a healthy baby. But, think about the years a woman has been through and all of the changes that our body's go through. From the time we are very young, hormones begin to evolve and we step from one phase of our lives into another one it seems with each decade. In our teen's we are almost too young for having children. Then in our 20's through about 32 or so, most likely is the time our own bodies can take the carrying of a baby, the delivery, and all of the changes we go through after delivery. It is not an easy task for any woman, no matter what age, plus no matter how well and easy the pregnancy goes. It still takes its toll on us, physically, mentally, emotionally, and energy wise. Then we live usually for at least the first 15 years of that child's life in an emotional "thunderstorm" of worry, resolve, hoping, praying, and trying to keep our kids safe, happy and healthy. Even after they are graduated from High School, and either make their way out to spread their wings and soar to A and M like some of my friends in high school were very fortunate that they did get grants, to help along with college tuition and so forth. Even when our kids leave home, marry, go to work, and have their own kids, it is just more like we are continuing to "walk them through" the years of their lives...
Thus the notion that I felt lousy for one reason or the other, and I went into a doctor at 45 or more years old, and he told me I was expecting... I would either faint, kick his butt, or kick my own... or tell him it had to be an Immaculate Conception  HAHAHAHAHA.... as for myself, I had my tubes burned, severed. separated and all the "works" at 35 taken out to a more than partial hysterectomy. I did not want to take any chances on birth control failure when I had two kids, a boy and a girl... already fairly well grown, and headed out of their own.
The very last thing I ever wanted to even imagine was something go "south" and find out I was expecting...

Needless to say, I didn't know whether to laugh, cry, both, run screaming, or tell someone at AARP those women needed a good look at the funny farm... because they had lost their minds.... ;)

By the way, there is a new thing AARP... if you are a member, and enjoy the perks... I know one of mine is being hooked into Walgreens. I do get a great deal extra points at times, there are other things like discounts and so forth it provides. Now the latest thing they have on their site, is where you can do these small "trivial" games. Some of them are quite entertaining, plus I learned some things I didn't know. So, I appreciated that little factoid.

So, go to the main AARP website, and on the front page there will be a link to it. I have already about 6,000 or more points accumulated.. you can use them for discounts on trips, eating out, gift cards, flowers, shopping, motels, and so on.


I will warn you they are a it "addicting".... I started off with a couple of them, then found myself wanting to learn more, so I was playing more of those than I intended to....

















Sunday, November 9, 2014

Some of Life's Little Disappointments - Especially When It Involves People, Promises and Illness

I've been on what some might call a "tear", "Rampage", "soap box", "griping session", or just plain bitchaaaching and griping over the past couple of weeks.

As this age, one would think by now, I would totally understand PEOPLE will let you down, disappoint you, make you feel less than, not as good as, or like you are some 3rd "rate romance", in some "motel rendezvous" - Touche' as some would say. A title to a song by Sammy Kershaw if my memory or what's left of it serves me correctly. Well, someone may have actually recorded it before him, but I do remember liking his version, especially with his voice singing it.

I am NOT "literally" speaking of any "incident" involving some 3rd rate romance or any kind of motel rende-anything... but the "feeling" you must have when you feel like you have some how it "bottom" of the pile of humanity. Those that seem to be sitting on top of you, and not even caring they are smashing your
"innards" onto the floor just beneath you.

I will say, taking totally up for ME, I've in all honesty, sick, not sick, felt like crap or not, kind of like "sickness and in health" have worked my butt off the past two years and honestly more, as a voice, advocate, volunteer, activist and Ambassador for the things I hold near and dear to my "stance" about humanity. I am definitely and maybe even a bit defiantly cut from a "different mold" than some. I would think that from the time I was about 4 years old, I totally became different than many kids, and later on, than many adults I have known or heard of. I have kind of "beat and whistled" my own horn and drum so to speak. I rarely go for the "normal" of anything. I've never felt being "normal" was anything but basically boring. And who in this day and age of almost being able to do anything... the SKY literally is the limit... would want to spend their life normally boring??? I did for years, OR I tried to "think" I was going with the general flow of those around me. Well, hell, I can attest that now I realize where I went, what I did, who or whom I met, saw, spoke to, and how I decided many years ago to live my life... was for many NOT considered anything but normal.


Sometimes I have to wonder if that is the reason I am "chronically ill".. as silly as that sounds, let me explain further. For those of us that are fortunate enough to have very little issues with our health, then you truly cannot possibly put "your feet in someone's shoes" that are chronically ill and/or in chronic pain. If you have been one of the people that rarely missed a day of school, went on to college, and the same happened, then you went out into the working world, got a job, and you just never miss work because of illness, surgery, and so forth. I have to wonder if that is even the "norm" now days. Maybe it is because I am a fully fledged "chronic illness" survivalist, that knows rarely a day that everything physically feels ALL RIGHT! It is usually one, two, three or more things happening to me physically, that effects my emotional and mental health also. If you awake to pain every morning of your life... you know without a shadow of a doubt (unless some miracle happened in the night) that you WILL awaken with some kind of ache, pain, or something that kind of makes your start of the day, a bit slower than many. For those like myself, that have to run to your desk (well almost more like crawl) take all of the "early morning" medication that you HOPE will give you a reprieve from pain, illness, or whatever maybe happening on any given morning of the week or weekend... so that is in itself is your 1st priority. Then you dive into go and turn on the coffee pot, and probably take a look at the MANY things on your list or lists that you either NEED to, HAVE to... get done... or more like what you can possibly PUT OFF until the next day or later in the day once your joints, bones, hips, shoulders, neck, feet, ankles, thumbs and probably the rest of you are kind of "lubricated", jump started like a small car battery, & then after the brain fog lifts... you maybe able to begin your day.

ADDING THIS FROM TODAY SINCE IT KIND OF GOES ALONG WITH THE ABOVE... NOVEMBER 9TH 2014...

AND HERE I GO AGAIN... STILL ON MY "SOAP BOX"....


As if I were not busy and stressed enough I decided to take the Defensive Driving Test again... just for the 10 percent off my insurance but all and any discounts help for sure. I am doing it all online which is great. But, damned I don't remember it being as long as it is now. It has been a long time I guess since I took it last. So, they have probably added more to it due to cell phones and all of the new technology in cars that can help and also hinder with distractions.... so now I am in the middle of that, along with waiting for Geico to answer a question before I change policies, and then I had paperwork to come in for another thing I am in that has to be done every 7 months, I have three appts next week, the dentist, blood work and my heart doctor, plus my last Arthritis Foundation Ambassador meeting for my year of training is Tuesday afternoon, so I find out it if I've done everything to be an Ambassador, plus possibly did the extra things in order to be a "Platinum Ambassador". I found out the article that I've sent to our newspaper goes in (either it went in yesterday and wouldn't you know I did not get my paper) or it goes in tomorrow. I had an email from the new editor of the paper. I had sent it in about 3 weeks ago, and heard nothing. So, I resent the email, and still did not hear anything. I went down there early last week with a copy of the email and the article. The woman told me then they were having a change of staff, thus the delay. Well, I got a very nice email from the new "editor" who told me he was going to make it a "Highlighted" Article in the "Life Style Page" with my photo on it and everything! So, it is in the works also... but through all of this, then have have a "week" reprieve from APPTS!!! - only to have ONE EVERY DAY OF THANKSGIVING WEEK!! I HAE TO HAVE my pain pump refilled 2 days before Thanksgiving, Mom and I see the PCP the Monday of that week, and then I have to go back to Dallas to see my Rheumatologist the day BEFORE Thanksgiving... when ahe the heck am I supposed to have any time for a holiday... sometime next year I guess!!! It is insanity, and that week will be nuts anyway, due to many being off the entire week, kids out of school, parents possibly taking a few extra days off... I hate to think about Dallas Traffic... especially during the week of a major holiday... nuts, they already can't drive on normal days, much less during holiday time... I dread it... MY problem is also I am not feeling very well at all... I thought a few days ago I might be either coming down with something, or had a flare coming, ... and I just have not had the energy I really need to get over all of these doc visits, taking care of the house, grocery shopping... speaking of... I went Friday for my "stock up" we are OUT OF everything grocery trip... and I knew it would be a load. I took in about 7 or 8 reusable bags knowing I would probably fill them full. Well, I got about 3/4 of the way through my list, and I was hurting so badly in my lower back, my right hip and lower back, and side began to just hurt like hell. My feet were hurting like they do in the mornings when I first get up, and I was just almost not able to push the basket around. I had to LEAVE off part of my list, get in line, check out, get them to carry the bags to the car, and go directly home. I was a total wreck, by the time I drove home, got 7 bags of groceries that I could barely lift into the house, and then had to put it all up... myself... Jim helped by helping me empty the bags and sort stuff out, but he can't bend over, reach up, get on a chair etc... so of course I still had to get everything put away, and was grateful I saved 46.00!!!!!! in coupons... but it took me a couple of hours to print some, cut all of them out and organize them, then get them and me to the store, and get them out and double check them as I bought items to make sure everything was correct and check out....then of course as I said above get them home, put up etc.... I have and continue to discover between the time it takes me to get ready, shower, hair, makeup, then to get everything prepared lists, coupons and so forth, put myself in the car, get to the store, and walk through a huge store then get everything home... it takes all of my SPOONS for the Day and then some... and IT SUCKS!!!!! It sucks to feel ill, it sucks to feel old, it sucks to look old, and it just all sucks right now.... I cannot seem to get myself organized enough anymore to keep me from taking 5 times as long as I used to before the illnesses....

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Sharing the Excitement of the Coming Months! (Trying to Ignore the PAIN of these Illnesses - RA, Lupus, Sjogren's, MS, Myasthenia Gravis, Perniscious Anemia and the list grows)

I have been trying my best to "brave" the chill in the air, knowing that means several things. Shorter days, cooler weather, Fall colors and Autumn leaves coming down. Holidays here before we know it, cooking, baking, and the smell of Thanksgiving, pumpkin pies, rolls, wonderful home made quick breads, and spices like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and those "pungent" aromatic hints that Winter is here, Christmas, and before we know it,  2014 will be a memory, and 2015 shall be in full swing.

My bones, joints and most of my body HATE the cold, aching, throbbing feelings that are the "bad" stuff following along with the good.

I LOVE to bake! I have always loved to bake anything sweet. From cakes, pies, cookies, cobblers, and the calories that go along with fudge, peanut brittle, and the confections that almost feel like they are going straight to my hips as I just think about them.

Alas, the fight against pain, fatigue, and stress versus the fun of baking, cooking, and the heavenly sweet potatoes, gravy, ham, turkey, stuffing.... and yes it makes me hungry just thinking about it. But l know that I must start early - each year even earlier than the last if I truly want to make all of those goodies, getting them all packed up with bows and in beautiful sacks, boxes or containers to give out to our neighbors. I recall the first year not too long ago when we did it, I had made like 5 different types of quick breads, fudge, fruit cakes, candies and cookies with ribbons and cards tucked away for remembering our neighbors and to bring good cheer to those who surround us with their friendship truly is throughout each year. We have wonderful neighbors. They do some great things for us during the year and we try to reciprocate with the baking and cooking.

It is also getting close to that time we make our "New Years Resolutions"  or more like rather than "resolutions" trying to set "goals" for 2015. Of course after March 26th, 2014, and all that transpired on that one fateful day; as I sat gracefully awaiting Jim to arrive in Washington DC, those words still ring in my head that "your husband has been in a very severe car accident". He was "ran over" by an 18 wheel tractor trailer...

At that very second, I knew that ALL of my "goals" for 2014 just were blew out of the window, thrown in the street, and ran over by a bus... train and then hit by a plane... Of course goals were the very last thing on the agenda once all of that hit.... every and any plans I had made for this year went out the window, bath water, tub, soap, and almost the baby... if you take the old saying to heart. ;)

So, the very last thing I want to do for 2015 is make "grand plans" only to be on the floor again, cleaning up the mess. Lord knows this year has been a ball of twine, rolled and knotted, with no signs of ever getting it ready to crochet a sweater from.

Thus, I with much hesitation begin thinking about my "gifts" for 2015. My hopes are that I do get to put as much of myself into the throws of activism, ambassadorship, volunteer work, and advocacy for all of us. We definitely NEED many, many more "educated" people when it comes to the world of Arthritis "101"!!! As a friend of mine and myself had an email conversation a couple of weeks ago, it continues to overwhelm me just how many people in our world, very well educated at that, do NOT get "ARTHRITIS" & all of our Autoimmune issues.

Many of the specialists we go to that are supposed to BE SPECIALISTS in these fields and have the knowledge to HELP US. YET, many of them are NOT educated, especially on the latest of technology, advancement in medications, & having so many clinical trials that have came into play, BUT we still don't have many of the answers we continue to search for.

I believe as "patients", loved ones, and close friends, we are "drawn like moths to a flame" when it comes to anything we can "throw" at an arthritic illness, autoimmune illness, chronic pain and/or other medical issues. We tend to spend more time researching these new ideas in science.

From a supplement, to an older drug used for malaria, to a brand new biologic making its debut in the news. We have made some head way by turning back the clock, starting over at the beginning of when it first arrived.  I am not sure if I believe in some of the stronger more advanced biologic medications. Some of the side effects that seem to be almost worse than the diseases, illnesses and syndromes themselves.

So, as I am contemplating the things that so far have been "diced, sliced and served up" on my "plate" for 2015, my hope is that I will be able to continue to do those, along with find the place where my "voice" is for my next book. I had made myself a wager, that I would at least complete 75% of the 3rd book by the end of this year. Alas, as I began stating in this post, never will I again allow myself to get so overly thrilled with the idea of finishing the 3rd book that I forget the many factors that can "over throw" your ideas. And if they can, and do... they will.

I pray that I DO get to write that book. It maybe the last one I complete, but I will be always trying to strive to write daily, no matter to be published something once again. Life begins where it wants to... sometimes and then it takes you further and further into the realms of distant waters, surrounding you with ocean waves and not one iota of land in sight. After days and days  the clouds roll away, the thunder and stormy waters return to a calmness, and "Voila'" you are back on the correct path again, with the sun shining on your face.

Cherish those moments.... never let anyone or anything keep you from "your own dance".....

:I will be adding my "list" of things I would love to see me get my "teeth into" firmly.... not as in a vampirical status, but in the place that I can "taste" what I have been put here to do... help others...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     










Sunday, September 28, 2014

Two Days of Insanity....

As just about anyone knows who follows my Facebook and blog site, you know about the accident that happened on March 26th 2014, to my husband Jim. Most of you knew I was in Washington D.C. at the time with the Arthritic Foundation, for the Annual Summit on Capitol Hill. It was my very first time to be in DC, as well as my first time to get the opportunity to voice my own personal struggles, along with all of our struggles, involving autoimmune illness, medications, lack of doctors, especially Pediatric Rheumatologists, and so forth. There has not been nearly enough done about these illnesses, ranging from not enough doctors, not enough research, not enough knowledge to those who have the illnesses or know someone that does, whether family, caretaker, friend and so on.

I felt my voice there and since then has been integral in helping to move forward and fight against illnesses such as RA, Lupus, Sjogren's, MS, FM, CFS, and the gamut of Autoimmune illnesses that we do not even realize exist. A new factor for me this year had been that I have "pernicious anemia", which is an autoimmune illness. Rather than being "anemic" my body does not absorb enough out of my food, and keep it going in my body as it should, thus I take B-12 supplements, which by the way, it is the B-12 it effects as far as the autoimmune part of this. Of course I am on a HUGE daily dose of Folic Acid" which is B-6, due to one of the medications I take. It depletes the body's Folic Acid, so I must supplement it daily with about 400 Times the amount a normal person would need. I found out that much of my horrible sores, thrush, and mouth ulcers were caused from a lack of Folic Acid. Once I began using it daily, at a high dose (it is water soluble so you can't get "too much") my mouth is not nearly as bad about having all types of sores, ulcers, sore throats, thrush and so on as I had before.

I had not given much thought that due to the "nature" of what all has transpired that I would not be able to "voice" the everyday thoughts I feel surrounding what all happened, has happened, and what may or may not happen over the next year. In a way, that makes me very sad. The very one outlet I have to things in life, from illness, to children, to Mom, marriage, and my own frustrations with illness, I always knew I could come here and "talk" about what was happening and not at the time had to "censor" what I spoke about when it came to life. Yet, now I feel this heavy burden, although never was my fault, and I never gave any idea to it, I am may not speak about all of what is happening as the time over the next few months go by, So, if I avoid that subject it is certainly not because it is forgotten, or it is not still a huge everyday part of my life, but because life is as it is, I have to "alter" my own voice, as far as my posts, and not speak, unless it is in a very general sense of what happened. Most everyone that comes to my blog, for the most part are people that are close to me, enough that they already know the ongoing saga from March 26th, 2014. So, there is really not a "need" for me to tell others, but more of a need for me to be able to "release" my ongoing revelations about that being what it seems life as it is right now evolves around. You tend to get up when the "rooster" crows with the thoughts of it spewing out of your brain, and then all day long it seems every thing, every where, all that you do is a reminder of the nightmare of having something so horrible happen in your life. Each time I close my eyes, that is a last thought, and each morning I awake with it as a first thought, and all through the days you tend to live out in thought of it. Then while you sleep the PTSD hits, and it can also happen during waking hours. All of you who have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder know exactly what I mean... you spend your days trying to knock it off your shoulders and in the night, you try to take it out of your dreams, so you can at least have some peace during your sleep. Good Luck. Many people and I have even had the thoughts that "things" would be better as time goes by. Memories fade, time helps to heal the damage physically, mentally and emotionally. I can tell you that this... time has NOT erased, nor has it made it any better. If anything, each passing day the building up of being totally in damnation by all that is occurring around you, only grows larger, nothing fades. From the very 1st phone call, till the last piece of daily mail, to the questions, and I mean just daily questions, how are you, how are you getting by, how are things??? Questions, that sometimes I wished I could just say things SUCK! Things are worse, no better... life has lost its luster filled wonder, my dismay of voice, of writing, of being so caught up in something that I did NOT even have anything to do with, is running rampantly through my life and through my very veins, like the blood my heart pumps with every beat. You DON'T heal, not that quickly... you DON'T stop feeling guilty over something YOU DID NOT DO! You don't find a quick fix... there is none... so I plunge myself into trying to write, I plunge myself when I feel like it, trying to throw out all of the stuff in this house that are reminders of what life used to be like. I DON'T want to even remember a "good" or bad moment... I don't want to have to fear the past, present, or the future. I am sick and tired, of hearing, feeling, and being sick and tired. I am sick of bitching, griping, moaning, groaning and crying. I am sick of listening to others try to tell me it will work out, it will get better, because right now nothing seems better, everything seems out of sorts, out of whack, and I have lost all patience with those who think they can "fix" it for me. There is NO FIXING what is permanently broken.
My mouth and teeth for example. Let's get on that band wagon and have a talk about those. Of course not one dentist could fully assure me that my mouth would be better when all of my teeth that Sjögren's destroyed, when pulled out and dentures put in would be 100% better. I knew that. I am far from a moron, or from a dreamer. My "dreamer" stage left me a long time ago, after my job, and my life almost fell apart in Seattle. He threw enough sand in my eyes, and did enough damage to my heart, that I no longer am the "dreamer" I had been. I truly feel that is why the poetry I used to be able to write, sometimes 7 or 8 daily, don't come anymore. When Steve, did what he did, after bringing me over 3,000 miles away from my "home" and family, with promises that I would have a wonderful life in Seattle, to only shoot all of those good feelings down within a year or a little over after me getting settled in, with his cheating, lying deceitfulness... dreaming ... as far as being a dreamer, left. That is when a "new voice" emerged and my writing became totally different. It will never be as it was when I was that creature of wonderment, of discovery, of believing people truly cared.... he literally took his hand, reached in and pulled all of that from my heart, and threw it into the Sound at Seattle... for there is where all of those wonderment of feeling lie... in the Sound of Seattle... I can still at times feel the winds blowing across as I looked at the beautiful city, when I walked daily on Alki, loving each day there, and breathing new life, wanting and knowing a new glory would emerge.


I don't want to sound like I am that unhappy being here around my Mom, kids, and Grand Kids... and I am not putting down our lives, or feel "cheated" in some way as far as why we are here, and why we will probably continue to be right here, probably in the same house till Gabriel's horns blow. Yet, "cheated" from living life as I felt we would I can say is a terrible disappointment. Kind of like FINALLY after years and years... of not being able to say I was a "published author".... I got that opportunity... not only once but TWICE I can say I have two published books, and even have a "check" from the seller for two of them that actually sold! I am so tickled about it, I am not going to "cash" it, but frame it and put it on my wall by my computer and desk. Even though it is a mere little over 6.00, it still means that it is priceless to me. It gave me a tiny glimmer of "normal" and that a minute bit of my "hope" and Faith could actually coming back to me. Which is far from where I've been in the past 8 months or so. I had given up on normal forever, and as far as the glimmer of hope and faith; believe me it has been fading fast in the background of all that has taken place since 2005 and actually a bit before then.

As I had titled this post "Two Days of Insanity"... there were reasons for the title. I thought about "re-titling" the post, but whatever it is "called" will not change the meaning of the post in itself. I have been trying to squeeze in lots of my own personal advocacy and activist work, over the months, but between being gone to so many different appointments, taking care of all that needs to be done here at home daily. from taking out the trash to running to the market, it seems my time either is gone, or the energy that I did have in my "spoons" for the day are used up.

That should "stick" with me more than it does. When others ask me how I am doing, feeling, whether they mean illness wise, emotional wise, from autoimmune illnesses, to his issues with spinal cord injury, I really should say well I began this day with 8 spoons, getting showered and dressed took at least 2, maybe 3. By the time I had coupons ready, a list done, and ads matched up there flew out at least one at the very, very least. THEN I am looking at having at the most 5 spoons left. Well, by the time I run errands, get through the market, which here seems to be a nightmare any day of the week, or have to go and do something at Mom's,or it is laundry day, or I have to find and fix something for dinner, if I had already used up the left overs.... so I can contest, by then there are OVER 5 spoons used up, and my day is not over yet. 

I still have dishes to do, right now we are fighting "sugar ants", which I was raised here in TX, so here we called them "piss ants". Don't ask me why, but I always gathered it was because they were so extremely tiny... they will sniff out one crumb, and within an hour invade an entire bowl of dog food, if you are not watching. I decided to try something "harmless" to the dogs... so I read putting back soda around their bowls would stop the ants. They won't go into the baking soda. So, guess what? Both dog food bowls have baking soda surrounding them. Knowing my "Chi_Weenie".

Then I also read ants hate tea bags, like after you brew your tea, let the bag air dry and put it in the corner of a shelf where you have stuff it won't hurt and where you have seen ants. Hell I even bought the "good" any bait traps, and I am still finding ants in stupid places. I guess they are either hungry or thirsty. But, dammit I am sick of trying to keep from spraying Raid and getting the heck rid of them. Even though about a week ago, I bought "Raid" for ants mainly with a get this "Lemon scent". I hope the hell someone does not think it is furniture polish!!! And I sprayed it on a rag, and wiped down the splash boards window sills, everywhere and everything I could without getting it around food or anything else. And even after doing that, wiping, vacuuming, and spraying where I could. Plus I leave nothing "open". Anything from chips to bread, goes in the fridge. If it is something that possibly will attract an ant it goes in plastic or glass containers with lids on them. So, that the hellish little devils you would think would move on. I am NOT a fan of any kind of "bug".... from a spider, mosquito, I don't care what it is, if it is "creature" of any kind, it does NOT belong in my house. So, I am a real stickler for spraying the yard, all around the outside perimeter of the house, and then I keep the roach baits and ant baits out and update those about every 6 months. The ONE thing I cannot get rid of and that I despise so badly is those little freaky looking "newt" lizard looking things. They just make my skin crawl. Oddly enough all my life here in TX, before I went to Seattle in October of 2001, I had NEVER seen a "newt" or whatever at any of my homes... never... no kind of lizard thing. I had a mouse once, and actually had a possum climb up our pipe that came into the house to the water heater... and she actually took her scared butt down, got by the steps of our front porch and stayed there for weeks with babies clinging to her. It was weird. But no damned things like that. So, the first time I saw one in our home we live in now, I had no clue what the heck it was. Weird almost a pink iridecent looking thing that ran fast, looked like some kind of strange lizard, and I was hell bent to rid my house of those little bastards (excuse my French)... so here I go online to find out what to do to get rid of the damned things. We had gotten just about rid of the few mice in the attic, at the time they put that insulation down that is kind of like shredded looking newspaper. Other than that an occasional water bug, which won't last long here. or a spider that I also despise, thus I just knew I would find something to rid my house of those things. They certainly were not the cute little "GEIGO" Gecko... and even if they were I don't want them in my house....

Well, guess what ladies and gents! It is almost impossible to get rid of them. Undoubtably they are not effected by bug sprays, roach baits, spraying the outside all the way around the house, including the porches, and those damned things are just not subject to any of the poisons or baits. Well, I figured out they "hide" in the grooves of the siding and the frames of the windows and doors. They also hide behind out two front porch lights. Plus I would bet they are in the insulation of our walls. So, everything I read said leave them alone, they eat bugs and are harmless. They maybe harmless but they sure as hell don't look or move as if they harmless. They creep me out just about more than anything other than a snake.

Anyway, how I ever got off on that tangent I am not sure other than the one thing that came to mind, is one of our "storm windows" on the  kitchen window has just "popped loose" and was hanging there by a couple of screws. I almost fainted! If that sucker falls out and breaks we are in deep crap. They are not cheap, and we still need to buy all the ones that go over the windows in our music room. There are I believe there are 5 of those at about $80.00 plus a piece, because they are made to specifically fit the windows. We were going to get the man who put up all of the rest of them to get us those for a bit cheaper rate, and then he would put them up  ... of course something else always comes up thus we did not have the money or time now and again to finish them.. and they need to be done... those old windows back there do not even have any of the push pins and the stuff you put around the windows to seal the glass in.... the glaze is just about out of all of them, then we had hail knock a hole in one while Jim was in the hospital, so I have it all put together with cardboard and lots of duct tape... 9,999 uses for duct tape, a wire coat hanger, and WD-40!  

More later.... got to get dressed to take my Mom to shop...

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Some Updates on the Wreck, Jim's Progress, My own Illness, with the pneumonia, teeth etc. and life

As you can tell, we are still reeling in many ways from everything over the past several months. Jim is home, and he is doing quite well. Honestly, much better than I, Him and I think even his doctors thought he would by now. He still is suffering from some abdominal pain, but more when he eats, and all of that pushes against those ribs. He had about 19 broken, at least on in two places. So, as he drinks water during the day, eats and so on, it seems due to the "lack" of nerve feeling, and then the "SOMEWHAT" odd places he right now has no feeling, the pain is better, but he is still dealing with some, especially when he is very tired, or after outpatient Rehab a couple of times a week.

Anyway, it seems I have been able to kind of "open up" for the first time in a very long time today and "hear" my own "voice" again... as far as my writing goes. Honestly, I truly felt I had lost all of it this time. For many reasons... first of all, my mind was not here, just the shock of the wreck, the plight of my own fall, my teeth, or lack of them, a continuous flare, not knowing where Jim would be, whether he would even walk again was a huge question right after all of the damage, the surgery, and everything there... more spinal cord damage was there, than initially thought... so there were many things holding me back from being able to truly "write" what I was concerned about. I even was ashamed of myself about feeling not up to truly doing my volunteer and advocacy work, which I love. But, I realized that will and is coming back now... it was just everything going on that those things were temporary. I am already putting a foot forward, baby steps, in trying to get myself settled back in my duties of volunteering, advocacy, and ambassador things.

but, since there have been a few more updates over the past week or so, I thought after posting to Facebook, I would also post here... I HAVE t get myself back into my blogging. It is so very important to me... and I feel my blog will continue to be somewhat the same, but I feel I will be adding more things in the realms of spinal cord injuries, rehab, and I will be adding more information about things such as Baclofen, which they use for SCI's and MS also. I have also been dealing with more other realms of medical issues, that also will tie into the autoimmune illnesses too. So, if you see me taking a bit of a different track, know I am "adding in" not taking away at all.

So, I will "paste" a couple of my FB posts below from today. They have updated information that some of you maybe interested in.... much more to come (this has not taken all of my will power yet)... even though it such made a dent in it this time.....


Facebook posts below from today and yesterday.....

Hello all..I've been trying to get here to update everyone on Jim's homecoming and first f/u with his back surgeon, and then my situation. But it seems too much to do, too little time to do it, and feel like hell... all three make for some frustration. The back surgeon was VERY pleased with Jim's recovery process! In fact, I think he was almost overwhelmed at that fact, that since they have NOT gotten Jim's wheelchair out to us yet, that he walked the entire way all day on Thursday with his cane!!!! :):) The wheelchair is actually just for LONGER walks, like through a huge store, or to the doctors where like Baylor it is a nightmare sometimes to walk to where your doctor is, etc. He is going over to Rehab twice weekly in Waxahachie, then doing his other exercises etc, walking here at home. He has now began to have some spasticity issues, which usually show up about 8 to 10 weeks after a spinal cord injury. So, we had asked about Baclofen, and he said absolutely. He thought he might already have been put on it, while in Rehab. But the symptoms of it did not really begin until about a day or so before he was to come home. So, we were not sure at the time if that was what it was or not. But, it is and just like someone with MS... it should help immensely. From there we had to go have my pain pump refilled. Which now they can do in their office, thus not the nightmare of outpatient at the hospital, much quicker and much LESS expensive. My lung X-ray last week on Thursday came back and appears the pneumonia is gone, even though I am still wheezing, and rattling. But. they thought it was more of an asthma development, and put me on another inhaler, and I am already on Singular, plus a huge 60mg dose for 5 days of Prednisone once again. But the next day, of course never happens while you are AT the doctor, I got up to about 4 massive ulcers on the bottom of my mouth and something in my throat that hurts like hell. I have a tooth (more than one) that HAVE to be pulled, but no way he could work in my mouth as it was, thus I am trying to get some of it healed up for Monday, so I can get the ball on the roll. I am thinking having these rotten teeth, what few I have left, could be also causing me to have the other issues, almost like a constant flare. Also, I still have not gotten to have my 2nd round of Rituxan due to the pneumonia, thus one ankle the right one swells up horribly, and the pain is back in my fingers, thumbs, toes, ankles and feet with a vengeance .... but I also run the risk of having further mouth infection, if I am on it, when having 5 teeth at a time pulled, and going through all of that, and trying to not have a flare, BUT moreover NOT getting dry sockets and infections. So, I am in between a rock and a hard place. The pump is filled through September, yet my pain over the past week has been terrible. I think just ALL going on, and as I said I seem to be in a constant flare... anyway, so between the two of us, lots going on. We kind of have to grin about it, because it seems both of us are dealing somewhat with the same issues now when it comes to our physical bodies.... We saw the Xray of the surgery, right after it was done that night. He has a set of 7 fusion bars, so he beats me by 4...LOL! funny but not, talk about looking odd though... I know when I saw mine, it was like WOW, that looks like something I would work on the house with, nuts, bolts, screws and bars. So, for all of you that have been with us through every step of the way, I again and Jim too, appreciates every one of you.... we also both ask for your continued thoughts, well wishes and prayers. We have a long way to go for both of us.... but as I told him yesterday, from what I watched about 6 weeks ago when he was at the hospital, versus what I see now at home.... I now see much of the "normal" parts of Jim more and more each day! :):) He is still in pain, but he is determined to be able to walk without the cane, which may or may not happen. But even if the cane stays, honestly he is a walking miracle. Between the both of us and all we've been through, my pain doctor was almost in tears. He did not know how badly things had been since he was me earlier in the year for my pump refill. And I had forgot to mention I had fallen that same night of Jim's surgery also... We are truly blessed, but I admit these last few weeks, sometimes I have to truly "hunt" for those blessings... the pneumonia and all of my own weakness, pain, my mouth, the ulcers, my throat, a huge swollen ankle.... I have to make myself STOP every once in a while, and truly THINK just what a blessing we do have.


AWESOME NEWS!!! OUR LAWYER FILED SUIT AGAINST THE 18 WHEELER COMPANY THAT RAN OVER JIM. It was official yesterday! And THEY LOCATED THE CAR! We thought it may have already been crushed, BUT the company that bought it from the auction, still HAS IT! So even better! OUR PICS were GREAT BUT NOW they have their own Professional inspector that can see it up close and personal!!!!!! :):) This is truly incredible news....

I so appreciate all of the "Thumbs up" and support.... as things began, you really do not think in the "monetary" terms of something such as this. But, now as we see the bills coming in, we think about having to buy the car, time lost for his work, time and money on Rehab, traveling, doctors, medications, pain and suffering, the issues of me "losing" my care taker in many ways, modifications to the house, you name it... now this part begins to set in.... and even though I am NOT ONE for believing in "suing" as some do... under these circumstances, I truly believe if all is as we have seen and heard, this company should be responsible for ALL of it. They have refused to even speak to our insurance company or our lawyer. Even turned away certified letters, or even allowing the lawyers to speak .... they have told "lies" as far as we know about the happenings of that event... as far as even having the driver of the 18 wheeler say he was NOT in a wreck, and he was not driving that truck that day. It was also picked up and towed away by guess who? Their own company, very quickly, even before the investigation got underway after the accident... thus they are refusing to cooperate in any fashion at all. That tells me... they are hiding something, or they would be out telling the story as "they" saw it.... as far as the two (without a driver's license due to NO INSURANCE anyway) in that Tahoe they are already out of the scene. They also would not cooperate at all, and basically "disappeared" along with the so called "witness" that just happened to walk out on his porch about the time our car went sailing under the Tahoe, (due to the 18 wheeler shoving the car under it)... anyway, that person suddenly disappeared also. My insurance refused to pay them a dime... and closed that part of this weeks ago. So, the portion now is the 18 wheeler tractor trailer business who owns the vehicle... As I said I do NOT believe in suing ... and honestly, probably may honestly think about having a "side suit" in for my own losses due to losing Jim as my caretaker. It has caused my own health, mental and emotional status harm... and our lawyer is the one who even mentioned it. He said that it may take longer to try and get that all in order and settled, but we should think about it due to my own pain and suffering, health issues, and the fact that now we may both be facing totally disability... and "no" outside caretaker. My Mom sure can't... bless her heart, she is doing more than she should right now at home I think because she hates to ask me... yet she should allow me to do some of what she is trying to do before she winds up accidentally hurting herself. Thus, it is up to the both of us, possibly later on some in home health care... and like I told Jim, I don't know where my own health issues may take me... I may face being on a cane, etc... in the future... the progression of the Lupus, Sjogren's, RA..... etc. has been extremely bad in the past 6 months.... so we both maybe having to use assistance to walk etc... anyway, just another "piece of the pie" of life... when things like this happen. You don't want to face these parts, but there comes a time you have to.... it sucks... but it is one of those "necessary evils"...


Question for those of you on "daily prednisone"? What dose do you take if you are on a daily dose of it? I have been on a maintenance dose of 2.5 daily, which honestly I cut down, it is supposed to be 5 mg. daily.... but the doctor told me as long as I was feeling okay, the lower the better... BUT when the doctor put me on the 60 mg tablets (2 20's daily) for 5 days... the swelling in my ankle is almost gone, and I've noticed some of the fatigue better, and anywhere I have any type of inflammation going on, even with the "asthma" issue, that is so much better. BUT we know that another "necessary" evil, is this "wonder drug", prednisone, or the "corticosteroids" .... they do magic... but they also can freaking wreck your body at larger doses for an extended time if taken. So, now I face another dilemma... do I ask to have an "increase" of like 10 mg daily.. or so ... I fear I will blow up like a balloon and have MORE issues caused from the prednisone... gosh this crap sucks. 




Wednesday, March 19, 2014

More on RA- Critical News when it comes to how it Systemically Effects the Body...

There are several great links, article and information that is critical to know about  RA and how it can Systemically Effect the Body. Many people think of "Rheumatoid Arthritis" as "arthritis", which is TOTALLY WRONG!  "RA:(Rheumatoid Arthritis) can effect just about every part of the body... starting at the joints sometimes. Yet, it can cause horrible fatigue, heart problems, liver and kidney problems, problems with the brain, with they eyes, with the ears... and so much more. That is why you see so many of us trying to "get the word out" and spread the news these are serious illnesses that when you delve into them, you find they can be "deadly". Lupus, which is another Autoimmune Arthritis,  can even be worse, damaging skin, bones, the heart, liver, the lungs, causing severe fatigue, brain fog, and leading to heart problems and stroke problems. Women and/or men with RA have a 50 percent chance HIGHER in have a heart attack or stroke.

When I saw these a moment ago, I wanted to post them. They go along with the WAAD14 and all of the information, research, and activist roles we are in with the IFAA, the Arthritis Foundation, WEGO  and many others out there trying to get better research that would lead to a earlier diagnosis, earlier treatment, less sign effects & catch these illness BEFORE they do GARVE Damage as they have on many of us.                          


http://www.medpagetoday.com/resource-center/rheumatoid-arthritis/expert-interview/a/44104


http://www.medpagetoday.com/resource-center/rheumatoid-arthritis/early-diagnosis/a/44107



http://www.medpagetoday.com/resource-center/rheumatoid-arthritis/



http://www.medpagetoday.com/resource-center/rheumatoid-arthritis/Infographic/i/38228?xid=nl_mpt_DHE_2014-03-17&utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=DailyHeadlines&utm_source=WC&eun=g773630d0r&userid=773630&email=rhia@ravishingrhia.com&mu_id=5952786

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Do Your "trust" your Own "instincts" Over some of the Medical Professionals (AutoImmune Illnesses or Not)

Being Caught in an Upheaval Between An Insurance Company, A Physician's Office, My Own Autoimmune "Flaring" Body, A Pharmacy, and What to Trust? Myself, My Doctor... Any of us... we are all susceptible to "Medical Mistakes"... And How do We Avoid those? Or Can We?

I will always be one of the first to admit, "no one" is perfect. We don't live in a "perfect world". Everyone of us are human beings. It matters not whether we are highly educated professionals, or a Mom or home maker. Whether you are the President of the United States, a banker, lawyer, and of course a DOCTOR, even though we want to "think" these people are more "immune" to errors, and yes they should be, we live in a "too fast" paced world, that for the most part offers "little" time to try and "double check" every thing we do in a day's time. 
I will also say that for the most part, I "trust" my physicians. If I didn't then I would and I have moved on before. If you "lose faith" in someone whether it be your physician, a banker, or anyone you do business with, must confide in, or within the very people that you have to rely on to sustain daily life necesseties, where do you turn to, and where do you go from there?

 I was so totally hopeful that the new year would bring "hope", a new vision, less symptoms, more ability to help make changes in this system of errors when it comes to ALL of the horrid evils of autoimmune illnesses, medications, insurance, or lack thereof, doctors, pharmacies, and the entire realm of what the hell is happening to cause such grief with those that seem to just NOT care about patients, about their own people, and how we are supposed to try and "cope"? Each day seems to be worse, not better. Things seems to go from hoping it will be "less complicated", to more red tape, and less reasoning with any human beings when it comes to the health rationalizations of life. Never have I seen such a lack of regard for "humans" from the medical world. I sound like I am on one of those "rampages". But, it is very difficult NOT to feel that way, when each place you turn to, each physician, each pharamcy, every phone call to your insurance company, every email you send... each medication, every step you make, turns around to slap you in the face, and make you wonder is any of the struggle worth it? I cannot possibly be the only one feeling the overwhelming stress of things getting worse when it comes to our health, and our health care workers. More and more I see doctors who are supposed to have taken an oath to "help humans", turn their heads and watch people become more ill. When you are reading daily, that those in dire need of medications such as the biologics trying to cope with THOUSANDS of Dollars of out of pocket costs due to this once again "tier system" of how we are "told" we can have medications, it makes me literally sick! Who, and mostly NONE of us with chronic illnesses can afford to pay $5,000.00 a MONTH out of pocket to get the one medication that may help keep you able to just live your life?  It is total insanity. I realize I am NOT the only one! That makes it even more difficult to deal with. Day after day, month after month, rather than watch "head way" being made, what we see is a government that absolutely DOES NOT care about their own people! Anyone that can take office, and turn their backs, to line their own pockets, in the name of cutting benefits so much that in 2015 Medicare Advantage Plans will CUT paying physicians/medical professionals (the "term" used in the original article was "insurers". That is so it does NOT sound like it is our doctors/medical professionals that are getting cut - another "loop hole for them) 20%! How can I (WE) even begin to rely on that kind of nonsense? What happened to taking care of your own people? It is very obvious greed, greed, greed and more greed fills our nation and our world. I was going to put this up on another "friends" feed, but there is no reason I should "push" my own issues off on those that may not feel the same way. The entire dilemma that has prevailed over my life in the past 3 months, is one that sounds like it belongs in a tale of horrors. Even when I "KNOW" for a fact everything I am "saying" is true; as I go back to either read it or email the ordeal to a friend, it is so hard for me to say "yes" this is really how it is! Where did we as a nation and world go so horribly wrong? When did it get to where "money and power" rule over it all? And where do you really find answers? I of all people, have always been able to "stand" within the power of faith and hope. I don't pretend to "cram" my own beliefs down anyone else's throat. Never have, never will. Everyone has their own personal and private feelings when it comes to how they view hope, faith and all of what might be considered "religious" in nature. But, the problem I feel is the "lack" of it all. There is little hope left. Medically speaking, is just one issue. Turn on your news every day. What do you hear that gives you any kind of true hope? Because we are finally backing out of wars, where we probably may have stayed out of them in the first place? Thousands that die daily due to lack of water, lack of food... and now we face yet another HIGHER scheme of things on the very thing that sustains us? FOOD!? Why? Because we lack water, we are facing drought circumstances that we have never seen in our own country since before the 1800's.... how can our "elected" officials sit around on Capitol Hill and justify the ridiculous insanity of "cutting" benefits for those that can barely afford to buy decent food to sustain us, much less "pay" for medications that although should be considered a "necessity" become things that are more a luxury. 
Those of us on a "regular salary", or disability, or making minimum wages... even those making a bit better salary, cannot possibly afford to pay THOUSANDS, even HUNDREDS of DOLLARS a month out of pocket for medications! I often wonder whose fingers are in whose pockets? If you could be one of these "minute" insignificant "bugging" devices that could fit in a clock on a wall, or under a lamp in some of our places in government, in our local doctor offices, within the pharmaceutical companies in the world, in the very places that things such as "lack of caring" goes on, how shocked would we be? How shocked would you be, just like a dear friend of mine told yesterday on her FB page. Her doctor wants her to have a "special type" of MRI on her heart. Yet, when the doctor calls the order in at the hospital, he is told, "that procedure" can't be done there. Now you tell me, if he is a doctor and he is that has been dealing with a hospital, outpatient or whatever type of facility in the same area for any length of time, he knows "what procedures" that place can do or can't do. Doctors are around for the most part long enough to know whether they need to send a patient to a "special facility" for a specialized type of MRI on the heart or not. SO, why all of a sudden does he get this type of information, that he must relay right there to his patient? He has to tell her that "I'm sorry"... for "some" reason, I can't get it done at that hospital? Then do they fully expect for us to say, Oh, Okay, well, if you find some place that it can be done, give me a call? How ridiculous does that sound? 
Just as ridiculous as a NURSE in my own PCP office, that has been seeing me now for well over 4 years, "hide" and NOT intervene as that nurse basically is allowed along with a "PA" there to tell my husband "well, if you don't like my care, take "her" meaning me, to the ER! What the hell kind of doctor is that? Talk about losing confidence in your physician! Then he is not even courteous enough to "check" on the situation and try and find out what the hell went wrong, and why the hell would ANY "PA" get her "feathers so ruffled" due to a patient and her spouse being concerned and just questioning why a certain treatment would be given, when there is a very strong chance that very type of medication is exactly what got me in the situation I am IN in the first place? If a doctor, or PA, or nurse, is that big of a "chicken" and they are NOT willing to try and get hold of the matter to straighten it out, and thus TAKE CARE OF THEIR PATIENT, who should have been NUMBER ONE, then how the hell do you trust any of them? If this had just been one incident, or a "new doctor" or someone "not familiar" with my complex case, I "may have" been able to justify a portion of their lack of brain power and intelligence. But, when you cannot even have your physician call you, return a call from you, trying to find out what the heck is going on, why would I bother to put my life in this medical "so called" professional's hands? 

I've written an email to a friend of mine explaining the total amount of crap I went through over the past about 7 days! I am going to post most of it here, and I know you are going to think I have to be making this story up! But, BEFORE I get more into that, let me tell you what just happened! Here it is BEFORE 8AM in the morning. My phone rings, and guess what? It is from LEXINGTON KY! NO NAME on caller ID, just that town name. A "woman" announces she is from "Humana" and asks for my Humana ID number!.... in the first place, it is BEFORE 8 AM CENTRAL TIME! IN THE 2ND PLACE, WHY WOULD I (I did NOT call them) give out my insurance ID number to someone I have NO idea is, what they want, and why they would call ME at this time of the morning? I told her I WOULD NOT give out that information, and in the 2nd place I AM SICK! Where were they this past two weeks when I tried to get them on the phone and get my ENBREL??? You sure can believe I jumped through 50 hoops to get anyone on the phone, it took them 10 days or longer to even get medication to me that I should have had 7 weeks ago or more. I probably WOULD NOT BE SICK, if HUMANA would have DONE THEIR JOB! Now, I hang up, and I call THEM BACK! Guess what they tell me... THEIR OFFICE IS CLOSED! NOW how can "they be closed" when they just called me and asked me for my ID number? Ever since I FINALLY GOT MY ENBREL LAST THURSDAY, I have had A PHONE CALL EVERY DAY SINCE FROM THEIR PHARMACY wanting to TELL ME HOW THEIR NEW SERVICES COULD HELP ME!!! THEY COULD FREAKING HELP ME BY DOING THEIR DAMNED JOB, GETTING ME my medications and not delaying me to the point that I am almost to the place of being ill enough to go to the hospital! THIS is the very KIND OF CRAP THAT I HAVE HAD MORE THAN ENOUGH OF! 
How funny it is WHEN I NEED THEM... forget it... you cannot get anything off of their website (although they always say go there), you can't get anyone on the phone, but boy they surely can call you day, night and weekend to tell YOU about HOW THEY CAN HELP YOU!!! 

Now, back to the Other issue at hand.... I've told most of the story... from this, I did NOT get my Rituxan.... due to HUMANA NOT wanting to pay at they should... the entire 'BIOLOGIC" ISSUE. So, when I am severely ill, with flares 6, 7, 8 weeks later, at my doctors office... and the PA decides even though I say nothing about any type of "infection"As far as I was concerned showed no and had no signs of a "sinus infection. Yet, she insists on giving me an antibiotic, after I am already very immune compromised due to NOT having my medication, having 2 flares, and she gives me of all things "Omnicef"! Now I am not sure how many of you check out medications. I am sure for the most part, all of us, or the majority of us with these autoimmune issues DO watch what we are given as far as medications. In the first place, many of our "autoimmune medications" do NOT mix well with other meds. It can cause all types of complications, thus we are probably for the most part pretty good about double checking medications, especially "new" ones we are given. BUT, as I say, what about those that are elderly, or they don't have access to look up medications, or they just "trust" what their doctors say, and take the medications. We are supposed to be "pro-active" about our own health. Yet, as I have found out, being pro-active with some physicians is just like stabbing yourself in the foot. They HATE patients that are educated! They DO NOT want to be questioned, and they fully expect US to believe them hook, line and sinker, without any disagreement. 
Well, even though I did NOT think I had this "sinus infection" I began the antibiotics a week ago, tomorrow. I took 2 that day, and Friday morning I took one. By Friday evening, something was just not right. I could tell my stomach/intestines/colon were not "happy". Of course antibiotics, many of them can upset your stomach. Sometimes if you "eat" with them it is better, but sometimes you are NOT supposed to eat with them. This happened to have been one that still I was quite disturbed over getting. Without being extremely ill with signs of an infection, it still did not seem right I would be given such a broad spectrum, high powered medication. I even mentioned that it had been YEARS since I was given these type of meds. The ONLY time I've taken them is when I go to the dentist and I am having work done. He prescribes "2" for me to take one hour before I go in for dental work. He does that due to me having "knee implants", shoulder implant etc.... Dental work "can" lead to an infection sometimes of those types of implants. BUT mine have been in place long enough now, that really it is not a huge concern. In fact the other dentist that does other dental work on my teeth, says that taking those now is kind of "old school". He does not even prescribe them, unless the implants are very new, less than a year old, or there is major dental work, that could possibly lead to a greater chance of infection. So, even with two dentists right here in town, there are two totally different opinions about giving this even when it could be "slightly necessary". Well, within 24 hours of taking these antibiotics, I began to have what I consider not just slight diarherra, but what I consider a type of "colitis' symptom, due to the medication 'Killing out" all of the needed bacteria in the colon. I went through this in 2010. After several abdominal surgeries, due to an issue with my gall bladder, and a collapsed bile duct, that landed me in the Methodist Hospital in Dallas for over 6 weeks... I got this type of colitis. I will NOT go into the gory details of it all, but I will tell you that I had NO CONTROL over it. I literally woke up wrapped in blankets, cold, and was covered from head to toe with diarrhea... this happened night after night... and I was so ill, I could barely even stand... the nurses would try and put me in the shower, half cold water, and had to clean me up, head to toe, several times a night (and I was NOT eating anything)..I was totally being fed with an IV line...

Well, that experience all came rushing back into my head once I realized that the antibiotic I had been put on is one of the worst for causing this type of colitis.....

Here is more information on it:   http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/antibiotic-associated-diarrhea/basics/definition/con-20023556

this is just one article. There is LOTS more, just do a Google Search if you would like to found out more....

Needless to say, I was very FAMILIAR with the signs and symptoms of this potentially can be "deadly" type of colitis.  It is NOT something to mess around with, especially if you already have a severely compromised immune system. At this time, mine is certainly severely compromised. So, as you or anyone in my situation would do, of course you are going to "question" why would you try and put me on yet another "same family" of antibiotics that COULD be causing this? Here they are as  I have in a redundant way said trying to treat me for a "sinus" infection, and I am worried about this type of bacterial colitis! thus coming back to me on the phone Monday morning and saying the PA is calling in "Keflex" was not what I expected to hear at all. I thought I was going to hear at the very least they would put me on Flagyl or Vancomycin, and then also possibly do the "test" to see if I indeed had this type of bacterial colitis. Never did I expect that she would in an almost flipant manner tell me that "the PA went to school, and SHE knows better"! Well, ummmm let's see here... did I excuse anyone of NOT knowing their job? NO what I was "questioning" was "what she was treating me for and why?"... Are you giving me "more antibiotics" thinking okay well the "sinus infection"??? Yes, again, the nurse NOT taking the message stating THE PATIENT IS CONCERNED ABOUT whether she has a colon problem, a stomach bug problem, or is it antibiotics causing this.... not one word of "can we try to see who is asking what" and "why" one person in an entire office can't put two plus two together to get a proper message through.

Now comes another issue in all of this. For six WEEKS, I have non-stop tried to get through to Humana about the Rituxan, what the deal is, why they are NOT paying as they said they would.... and  you can bet I heard everything but the right answer. Most of the time, I was either speaking with someone who has NO CLUE about a "code", about it being used for RA, or even what it was used for. After I finally drove the infusion center, and my Rheumatologist's office nuts trying to get SOME TYPE OF BIOLOGIC to take.... knowing that each day that passed meant me having more and more change of a severe flare, I worked my fingers to the bone trying to get medication, it was days and days and days and more days of waiting, paperwork, more waiting, more paperwork.... and then FINALLY last Thursday it comes in. I take it about the same time I the appointment to try and get the flare under control, before it got worse.

NOW, every freaking day, sometimes twice a day, and like this morning BEFORE 8AM my time, Humana (wow they really exist) CALLS ME! They leave messages, they want to talk to me this morning BEFORE 8AM, and the "woman" asks for my ID number before she even told me who she was,  or what she wanted. I politely, told her I was SICK, and they sure as heck did not make any connection with me while I needed them, yet now all they do is call day and night with their stupid automated calls, wanting to have me "call" them back"... for what????  there is NOTHING they can do or say now that will "fix" what I did need, when they cared to not even answer me back or call me back.

Yet, the huge looming question remains, how the heck do "we" fix this? Unless you have money, power, people you know.... and whatever else it takes to "get" what you "need" out of this kind of issue.

I am so totally disgusted with all of them.... and as far as how to "handle" any of getting these issues fixed... I am at the place, that I honestly don't see that anything will get better for us... only worse.....

With my "current health" as it is, and NO support from the very physicians that SHOULD be giving me support, I may not be able to make the very trip that I've looked so forward to and that is to go to DC in 4 weeks to give my "story", just so others someday do NOT have to deal with these things. Yet, I can't go if I am too ill to go!

I am so totally and utterly upset over the entire ordeal, that I am to this place that I am ready to give up! WHY! should I FIGHT for something that I have NO WAY of  Winning???? As far as I am concerned ALL of my efforts, ill or well.... sick, or feeling good are all for none.... This battle is just not one to win....

I am not sure I even want to continue to post on this blog, or FB, or participate in any type of organization anymore.... It seems it causes more aggravation, All I see is doubt and dismay in others eyes, and I hear it in their voices and I see it in what they are going through....

For me, I am beginning to feel and see this is a no win situation.... and for others they may have far better luck than I... but I know when it is time to throw in the towel....