Long Time, No See

Hello there, friends!

If you have been following me on The Thousand Teeth, please adjust your bookmarks/rss feed/whatever you are using. I’ll be blogging over at http://lisaholcomb.net from now on. There are a few new posts over there already and another one will go up later today specifically about RA. Go try it! 🙂

Jaws

Some mornings I get up, pour myself some cereal, then can’t eat it because it hurts my jaw too much. That same jaw pain will keep me from talking on the phone, flossing my teeth, and even smiling as much as I normally do.

Insurance and payment woes

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks hanging out on the phone talking to various people at Orencia, and Caremark Mail Order Pharmacy, the local hospital, and two of my doctor’s offices.  Back and forth and back and forth.  “Please will you give me this information?”  “Please will you put this information into my account?”  “Please will you just let me pay for Heaven’s sake?!?!”  It’s been such fun.  Delightful, even.

 

For one of the annoying things, my doctor’s office held onto my Orencia support card, promising to give Caremark the info when they called in the prescription.  Alas, they did not.  Caremark was not paid by the support people and I was not paying them because I thought the support people were and the doctor’s office people said that they never hold onto those cards and have no idea why I thought they had mine. “I have a note on my piece of paper from that appointment.  I wrote down that you took my card.  I can’t help that you no longer have it.”  So onto calling Orencia, where I was transferring three times and made to recite my entire lineage practically to get the numbers…well, two of the three numbers.  I didn’t have an actual card in hand, so I had no idea there were supposed to be three, which the Caremark lady assured me that there were.  So again with the song and dance and transferring around to get the final number.  Then calling back Caremark yet again with the numbers, only to be told that I called one day too late and that my shipment would never arrive by my next infusion appointment.  So I call the doctor’s office again and find out that mysteriously my appointment is not until next week, contrary to the appointment card I have in my hand (and also, I’m the second one mis-scheduled  this morning).  So yay?

 

The other annoying thing was at another doctor’s office.  This particular office houses many doctor’s, more than they have office clerks for out front.  There are always lines, always delays, and they always tell me that they’ll bill me by mail because there’s a line for the one and only credit card machine in the building.  Seriously, I will buy them another machine myself, it is so very annoying.  Anyways, I only see this doctor about once a year for my annual exam, so I don’t think about them much.  Until the phone calls start.    Someone called and wanted me to come into the office to pay.  No, they wouldn’t take payment by phone; they weren’t the billing office.  I needed to COME IN.  So I got in my car, drove up to the still ridiculously busy office, and attempted to make a payment…where once again I was asked to pay by mail.  I even offered cash.  They don’t like cash. *sigh*  So I go home.  I get another call from the same woman asking me to come in and pay.  At this point I’m feeling testy.  I refuse.  I am not driving up there again to be thwarted by the office staff.  No.  A few days later a woman from the billing office of the main hospital calls me and asks for payment.  I say “Really?  You’ll let me pay?  Please let me pay!”  The woman laughed hysterically at that.  I told her my story and she was astonished.  She also said she’d investigate getting that office another credit card machine.

 

Anyway, that’s my crazy month.  What’s going on in yours?

 

Do you read…

….my personal blog? The one not about RA? I have a particularly lovely post over there today, if you’re interested: Little Rituals

Everyone’s got something wrong

English: Hand sanitizer with aloe.

 

“Bad times have a scientific value. These are occasions a good learner would not miss.”

 Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

It’s been one of those weeks where you just know the universe is trying to teach you a lesson.  If only I knew what it wanted me to know.  My husband’s sciatica has gotten much much worse, so he’s limping around and in so much pain he can hardly sit down.  My eldest son had a light cough last week and this week is having to have breathing treatments because it’s looking like he has walking pneumonia.  I have a double sinus infection and an ear infection and I’ve started coughing, too plus I can feel my last infusion wearing off already.  Now our youngest says his throat is very sore.  Only my middle son is left unscathed.  You don’t want to come to our house this week. 😦

 

What’s a wife/mom to do?  I’m too exhausted to think at this point.

 

  1. Sent my husband off to the massage therapist and now on to the chiropractor.  Next it’s back to the doctor.
  2. My eldest is seeing the doctor again today for more special breathing treatments (though we had to get him up at 11pm and 5am to do them at home, too).  We’ll find out today if this is bronchitis or pneumonia.  I’ve already got emails out to his teachers to send missed schoolwork home to us.
  3. I’ve given up hope of having my infusion next week, though I need to call in and let them know so they can give my appointment away.  I’m using hand sanitizer by the bucket-full.  I’ve canceled as many of my commitments this week as I can.
  4. Sent my youngest off to school with throat lozenges in his pocket for lunch time.
  5. Pray that my middle kid remains germ-free and remind him he has hand sanitizer in his backpack pocket (and maybe put some in his lunchbox tomorrow, too).

 

Throat Lozenges

Our other new best friend (Photo credit: incurable_hippie)

 

TMI update

Heard back from my lady doctor, who I didn’t even have to see!! Her hospital got an app that let’s us email questions & get email answers & test results. It is fabulous! So anyway, my hormones are out of whack & I’m doing a low dose birth control pill to see if that helps. It’s been funny having people try to explain BC to me as if I’d never experienced it before. In the past I’d have blushed, but I have finally gotten a bit more mature and just moved on with a breezy “Oh yes, I know about that.”

🙂

Another sinus infection

I’ve been fairly fortunate with my Orencia infusions insofar as side effects go.  I’ve been on it since October and this is my first sinus infection.  I’ve felt a couple trying to start in the past few months, but I’d been diligent in the past about rinsing my nose out as per the doctor’s orders and resting up.  Not so, this time.  I was super busy last week with book fair (oh how I love talking to kids about books!) and PTA events (serving BBQ at the Fine Arts Night my kids were singing, dancing, and signing at) and a kindergarten field trip to the planetarium (Did you know there are kids out there scared of outer space?!  I had no idea.) and the church’s regional weekend (I signed on to do crafts, which is far and beyond easier than working in the kitchen), so I wasn’t really ever home long enough to do more than eat, sleep, and change clothes.  Hence the sinus infection.  😦  So tomorrow I go in for yet more antibiotics and hope that this clears up before my next infusion.  I also finally get to check in with my OB/GYN about the menstrual issues.  I had blood work drawn last week for this appointment.

TMI, perhaps

Menfolk beware: this is a post about feminine things.

 

La canne feminine auXVIIIe sicle

Not this kind, but space provided for the squeamish. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ladies, do any of you RA’ers have any experience with early onset peri-menopause?  I’ve been having wonky periods (light, late, non-existent, all of the above! And no, not pregnant.) after years of having heavy, cramp-filled ones.  I’ve called the doctor about it, but her nurse just passed on the info that I’m too young for that (which is not what I’ve read in my online research), but that I could come in next month for some hormone level tests.

So if you have any information you’d like to pass on, please do below in the comments or you can email me at:

a w a m i b a @ g m a i l . c o m (without the spaces).

Thanks y’all!

 

Stress+RA=Swelling

I subbed up at the school yesterday as the librarian.  Some days are quite quiet up there, but Tuesday’s are her big day: 6 classes back to back with a little break to eat & shelve books in the middle.  The regular teachers like to use library time as a place to park the kids while they go off and do other things, so it’s all up to the librarian to get the kids through a lesson and finding books and checking out and then time in the computer lab.  (Some teachers do stay close by, but busy.  One actually stayed and helped, which I LOVE her for.)  By the time the third period had gone through my hands were swollen up big enough that the bigger sized rings that I was wearing were too small for me.  (I need to remember to get them out of my wallet still.)

 

Anyhow, my day wasn’t over then.  Middle boy had dance class, then both the older boys had piano lessons, then we came home and did all the days chores (we’re trying out choremonster.com, by the way.  It’s a bit of a beast to set up, but the kids are LOVING it so far), the dishwasher overflowed all over the kitchen so we had to clean up that, and my husband finally came home from the meeting at the middle school that I was supposed to attend (but was too tired to).  We ate leftovers for dinner.  Yeah.

 

And today we do it all over again!  Though with less after school craziness.  So glad today is Wednesday.

A less dramatical cross-post

Sorry for all the cross-posting lately if you are someone reading all the blogs, but this is the way things are right now.

Last week I hosted a girls game night with my little group of friends. We never did actually get to the games, but we had a good time eating snacks, drinking wine, and catching up on things. 🙂 It’s a nice group of gals, most of us are some kind of writer or artist. 🙂 We’ll try an actual Gaming game night another time (soon, I hope).
The next night we had a Robert Burns Night with my parents where we read the poetry of Robert Burns (well, Nick did, but that’s because he had the best Scottish accent) and had some traditional Scottish foods (but not haggis).
Saturday I got the bad news about my friend and had a complete meltdown and stayed at home and cried and drank wine and watched movies all day. So cathartic.
Sunday the kids practiced basketball while I fixed up my desk area where the by-hand writing goes on.
IMG_2892
It is tidier and makes the writing go better since I’m not scrambling for pens or notebooks. I’ve tidied up my computer so I know where the files I’m currently using are and I’ve set up a profile for everyone else so I can have mine be whatever I want and don’t have to worry about boy eyes on my things and them getting confused by the voice control setup that I’ve been using.

I have been writing this week. Lots of writing and writing related stuff going on. Working on two novels and a few sad poems. I’m enjoying flipping through old notebooks and files of writing from a couple years ago to see what I would’ve written had I not fallen off the writing track. It’s fun putting stories together again and for that I am very very happy with the universe.

Monday I got a call to work, but had stuff to do at home that desperately needed doing, so I said no and got all my stuff done. Tuesday I also got a call, but had to say no because I was taking David to Dallas to have his X-rays done again and to see if he needed another shoe lift or what. He doesn’t need a new shoe lift, he needs surgery. Oh yay. Probably next summer, but we’ll do another set of scans between now and then because it’s more data for the computer to look at and more data means more accuracy and more accuracy means a better outlook and that could mean putting the surgery off another year and another year could mean a stabilizing of the irregular growth, which could lead to no surgery. So we’re waiting.

IMG_2894

Wednesday I was all ready for the call to work. I got up, made myself lunch, dressed in subbing clothes….and no call. Of course. So I did laundry, cleaned the kitchen, and let myself have 2 hours of lovely writing time. It was glorious.
Yesterday was my friends funeral. It was a good one, I think. I sat with my friend Dana. They had to add extra chairs on the sides to accomodate all the people. The first person who spoke was a bit conflicted, but Shannon’s sister and dad and regular pastor got up and said some wonderful, understanding things about the nature of depression and the challenges of living with this disease. It was all very heartening and uplifting. I couldn’t stay to go to the graveside service, as I had a PTA meeting. The meeting was very short, which was unusual for us this year. I spent the next couple hours doing work for the next months worth of activities and went to get the kids.
We’re trying out Choremonster.com for our chore rewards website right now. It looked fun and came highly recommended and the kids are excited about it, but I’m finding it very trying. I had to set up each kid separately with separate logins and separate jobs and separate rewards and I have to log back in every single time they finish something to approve it and it is constantly sending me emails telling me to “Hurry quickly!” like I don’t have anything better to do than use this clunky interface to approve each child’s chore. AIE. Plus there’s no calendar to look at or afix things to. You have to just know when things are going to fall on (plus there’s only a few options for days and I need a “every third day” option since I have three people).

Today is finally a regular day. Kids to school, library volunteering, lunch with Nick, an afternoon of chores and errands. *sigh* But I have two kids asleep on the couch and one asleep in my bed. So where am I typing from? Ben’s bed. It’s comfy. I have a dolphin pillow and my old comforter from college and extra blankies, too. Mmm. I might fall asleep here. 🙂