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I really loathe dealing with Aetna member services. A call that should have been a five minute, yes or no thing took more than half an hour and left me without an answer. The person I talked to seems to have completely misunderstood what I was asking.

So I get to ask Cordelia's pediatrician to give us a referral for the blood tests the out of plan specialist ordered today. It's nothing very complicated. We're just trying to rule out underlying causes for ongoing fatigue before we write it off as a medication side effect. (Even though it probably is because it started when she started the medication several months ago.) None of the tests are things that ought to be controversial, just thyroid checks, vitamin levels (D, B12, and Ca2+), a comprehensive metabolic panel, and a CBCPD.

I was hoping that we could go to Taubman tomorrow for the blood draw because my parents could drop us off there on their way to Kellogg after lunch. Going on Friday will mean a bus trip. Going next week... Well, Cordelia won't be home until 4:15, so our options will be very limited. I think East Ann Arbor (not on the buses) does blood draws that late, but getting there would be nasty given construction and the time of day. Taubman's likely open until 5:00, but it's also awful to get to at that time of day. And I don't want to take Cordelia for a blood draw when she's dehydrated after more than 8 hours outside.

I don't think I'm going to manage the other urgent call today. I've got 40 minutes until that office closes, and I'm utterly fried. My head's hurting, and I want a hug and someone telling me that I did a good job to just get the Aetna call out of the way.
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Drat. I finally got all the insurance claims ready to mail, and I missed today's pick up. It's so unpredictable when the mail carrier will come by, that it's easy to think I'm in time and not be. I'm going to try to get Scott to drop the envelopes at the post office on Green Road when he wakes up. If he wakes in time, we'll be going out that way anyway to visit the bank. (He thought I'd already done the bank trip. Which explains why he looked at me funny each time I mentioned that we needed to go. Except-- Why on earth would I mention it if I'd already been?)

I need to remember that kiwi lime scented VO5 conditioner is something I'm allergic to. I forgot to record the scent that was a problem last fall, so Scott bought it again, and I used it again. I smelled it before putting it on, several times, and it wasn't a problem like that, only after it was on my hair. The scent got stronger at that point.

Cordelia's giving me a hard time about getting DVDs of things that I could watch streaming. I keep pointing out that I just don't think to turn on the TV unless I've got a DVD in hand. She took that as me not knowing how to stream things and was quite patronizing about it. I know how. I just don't think to do it 90% of the time, and when I do, it's generally at a point when I can't use the TV. (Streaming on my laptop makes doing other things while I watch considerably harder.)
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My sleep was only middling last night. I was stressed out at bedtime and didn't end up turning out the light until much later than usual because I wanted to unwind a bit. I used the c-PAP for part of the night. It had been my intention to use it all night, but I took it off in the middle of the night. I don't know why. I remember doing it and that it seemed important to do so, but I can't remember why.

I decided to make use of being up early to do a chore that I've been putting off for months. I pulled all of the books I've already read off the shelves in bedroom (two shopping bags filled to the top) and consolidated the other books as much as I could. I've dusted some of the shelves. I don't know that the dust quite made it to the dust bunny stage, but I at least had dust mice.

I want to clear enough space that I can have one shelf for library books. Having them in six different places isn't conducive to remembering to read them. I also want space for my thumb splints and some place level to land my laptop over night when I've been using it in there before bed.

I need to figure out what to do with the jigsaw puzzles. I like puzzles, but we don't really have a place for me to do them. Setting up a card table isn't really feasible for space reasons, not unless I'm going to finish the puzzle in a single afternoon while I'm home alone.

Scott scheduled today as a vacation day so that he could deal with two medical appointments. The way work schedules things, that means he has tonight off. Their book keeping considers third shift to be on the day that it starts rather than on the day it ends. This is partly so they can say that third shift works M-F instead of Tu-Sa. At any rate, his first appointment is at 11 and the second at either 2 or 3. Right now, the plan is for him to shower and then try to nap for an hour before the first appointment.

We need to wash Scott's work clothes today, and I'd like to change the sheets and run a load of laundry for us and maybe for Cordelia. I need to shower, too, and I'd like to nap if I can. Oh, and it's trash day. Great fun.

Tomorrow, my parents will be in town briefly because my step-father has an appointment about that growth in his eye. They suggested that we go to lunch. I'm pretty sure that they were hoping to see Cordelia, but they never did much to build a relationship with her, so she's got zero interest. She'd go along if she had nothing else going on, but she's not going to skip part of her volunteering in order to see them.

Scott gave me a ride to and from my appointment yesterday. I wouldn't have asked, but I was feeling really miserable due to cramping. He took the opportunity to pick up an interlibrary loan book that had come in for Cordelia.

My psychiatrist suggested that I try to find some sort of online, at home work to earn money to help while we're financially strapped. I'm looking at that as a huge can of worms. There's not a lot I'm able to do because of not being able to commit to regular hours or even to a set number in a week. Also, most of the online work options aren't things I'd be good at or aren't things that my anxiety would permit.

I'm also concerned about the possibility that earning money, even sporadically, might affect my disability status with either Social Security or my long term disability insurance through my former employer. The LTD insurer is always looking for any hint that I might not be disabled. I might be able to work for a while before I wrecked myself, and that might well be long enough to lose the LTD insurance payments and the medical insurance that goes along with the money.

My writing might be marketable, but I think that would wreck me, too, because there'd need to be a lot of it, and I'd need to figure out how to sell it and work at making sure that people saw it and... I'd stay awake all night worrying that I had or hadn't done something that would just wreck everything. Also, the sort of writing that might bring in money within any sort of helpful time frame would likely be some sort of ebook porn short stories. I can write porn. Sometimes. I can even write it quickly. Sometimes. I just... I write dark and complicated, and sometimes, I can't write at all for days or even weeks.

My psychiatrist also said that, if I'm still exhausted the next time I see her, we can talk about stimulants because insurers will cover them for people with sleep apnea who have been using a c-PAP for at least two months. I'm not entirely optimistic. Provigil (modafinil) didn't help me at all, and I suspect that caffeine has more of a psychological effect for me than a physiological one. Well, if I've recently had caffeine, sleeping is harder because I have to get up to pee every twenty minutes, but I'm not sure that counts.

It's frustrating that she's the only medical professional I'm dealing with who understands that the things that the other doctors are worried about all derive at least in part from fatigue/exhaustion and from anxiety and pain making sleep difficult. And each of those things makes all of the others worse.

I did some edits on my second Pod Together fic yesterday, all things that my partner requested. I'm hoping that the changed text will be easier to read. I still need to do one check on the pronunciation of the name of a minor character. I think I remember how it was pronounced, but I don't want to rely on that.

I also wrote about four hundred words on chapter 7 of Auguries of Innocence. I need to go back to the early part of the chapter to lay some groundwork for the things that just occurred to me as necessary. It's all about a character who hasn't been in any of the previous chapters, so I don't need to tweak anything earlier in the story. (This is an advantage of using point of view characters who don't think the way that most people do, Draco because he's unmoored in time, and Luna because she never did.)
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I'm feeling so very, very overheated right now. I know that part of the problem is that the only way I can get caffeine right this moment is by making and drinking hot tea (cold brewed will take about twenty hours, so it's not an immediate option). Well, I could spend a couple of hours going to the store to buy something. Decidedly not worth it to.

I'm at home alone right this moment. Cordelia had a volunteer shift at the downtown library this morning and plans to meet up with friends at the Traverwood library in the afternoon. She'll go home with them, and we'll pick her up at 9:30, after movie night with her friends. Their current plan is to watch Grease.

A couple of nights ago, I cooked the remaining ground turkey in the instant pot with some great northern beans and turkey bacon. I added chicken broth and some herbs/spices. I think I misjudged that because it almost gives me reflux. It doesn't actually; I can just tell that I'm near the tipping point.

I've managed the two most urgent phone calls, but neither matter is resolved yet. The second call is almost certainly going to end up with me having to call a different doctor's office about parameters/limitations for Cordelia's knee in high school gym. I was hoping not to have to because that's the doctor that wanted us to do surgery. The first call went to voicemail, so nothing's resolved until I actually manage to talk to the person.

The other call I should make is to Shar Instruments to ask about buying a viola and whether or not we can do it on installments. Of course, buying a viola kind of requires us to be fairly sure Cordelia's done growing. She's only grown half an inch in the last year and a half, and she's in the height range where all the women in my family tend to fall (5'1 to 5'3"). It's just that everyone in Scott's family is tall, so Cordelia's still hoping she'll get taller.

I'm trying to decide whether filling out insurance forms is more important than starting to write right this moment. My procrastination levels are set to 11 at the moment. The forms are important, very much so, but would there be any harm in having Scott fill the dratted things out this evening?

I have given our old crock pot to our cleaning lady. She'll actually use it, and we haven't touched it in years. The stoneware inserts are really too heavy for me at this point. I don't think this is the sort of thing that's worth holding onto for the years until Cordelia moves out and might want it. Plus, I'm pretty sure she'd rather have an Instant Pot instead.
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Cordelia’s PT yesterday involved a lot of exercise rather than just stretching and loosening the muscles in her thigh. Her PT homework is also aimed more at strengthening this time than at stretching. The therapist asked her where she stands on surgery. She says she hasn’t decided yet but that she very much doesn’t want this to happen again. She is pretty adamant that she doesn’t want the more extreme surgery, but I think that, if her aunt says it’s a good idea, we might talk Cordelia into it.

The insurance company tells us that our out of pocket for the basic surgery will be $1000. If we do the more extreme version, it will be $2000. We’re not telling Cordelia that because she will panic. Right now, we’re thinking to draw the money out of an investment account that Scott’s parents set up for Cordelia when she was born. I don’t know how much is in there or what the penalties will be for pulling money out before she’s of age, but… This really needs doing.

I’m still waiting to hear back from the choir teacher at Skyline about potential accommodations at Interlochen camp if Cordelia’s on zero weight bearing or even just using crutches when camp time arrives. Not being able to bend her leg will likely be a transportation issue as it’s unlikely that the buses they’ll be using have seats that will allow for that without her either sticking her leg into the aisle or taking up multiple seats. It’s a four hour-ish drive up to camp, so I’m not willing to ask Scott’s parents to drive her up and back (and they are often out of state during August anyway).

One nice thing— The forms for camp specifically say that cabins will be assigned by a child’s ‘consistently asserted gender identity,’ and there’s an option to request a gender neutral cabin. I’m more than a bit off put by the other cabin options because ‘all biologically’ male or female sounds exclusionary. Does that mean that trans and agender and so on kids are only allowed in gender neutral cabins? But the form asks about gender identity with a fill in the blank and doesn’t ask if the child is trans. Cordelia checked no preference on the cabin options. She says she won’t be fussed unless she’s stuck with only boys.

I’m pretty sure I didn’t check off all of my dailies on Habitica yesterday. I haven’t opened the site to look yet. I think, if I did miss, it would be two dailies and not more than that.

I’m making slow progress on deleting my LJ entries (I’ve promised not to delete entirely until mid-May). I’ve just got 2016 and 2017 left, but that’s more than nine hundred posts.

I’m now scheduled for OT again, starting tomorrow morning. The location isn’t particularly convenient, but I should be able to get the A-Ride for it because it’s definitely not on the #22 or #23 route. It’s on the other side of town entirely. I’m not sure what that particular bus route is called now; it used to be the #6. My current plan for tomorrow is the A-Ride to OT then walking two blocks to the stop for the AAATA shuttle that runs from Wolverine Tower to central campus. My appointment at UHS is two hours after my OT appointment is scheduled to end, so even if I have to deal with bureaucratic nonsense afterward, I should have more than enough time. I’ll pack a lunch to carry with me so that I can eat while I wait for the bus.

Okay. Time to call and schedule the A-Ride. They should be open for business now.
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Aetna says they can’t give me any sort of idea about coverage for potential knee surgery without specific procedure codes. Scott and Cordelia weren’t out long enough for me to try to track down procedure codes because it would mean at least two more phone calls. As it was, they came in the door while I was still talking to Aetna.

I didn’t do any writing yesterday. I’m hoping today will be better, but I don’t know if it will be. I’ve got a headache and have since I woke around 8:30. How bad it is varies from moment to moment, so maybe I will be able to write later. I really want to because I hardly wrote anything at all on Monday, maybe 100 words if that.

Cordelia’s PT went okay. Scott and I are both now clear on what exercises she should be doing and how often, so she won’t be able to tell us that she doesn’t have any exercises that she’s supposed to do. I’m not sure why she’s so set against doing exercises. None of them take more than five minutes at a time, and most of them are only once a day.

I’m worried that my laptop isn’t going to last the two plus years until we can even start thinking about replacing it. A lot of things simply aren’t working right, and it’s heating up more and faster than it used to. I’m having problems with programs that are integral to the OS— Mail, Messages, Calendar— and things are freezing (temporarily) more often. I can’t, for example, load a webpage while Time Capsule is running a backup. I also have problems if I start trying to load a web page at the moment when iTunes is switching from one song to the next.

I’ve already hit the edge of the OS updates that my hardware will support. This laptop was made in late 2008 and so is almost ten years old (we bought it refurbished somewhere between two and five years ago).

We’re still paying off this laptop and the nearly identical one that Scott bought for Cordelia at the same time. Given that Scott is taking financial comfort right now in the idea that he could raid his 401K if things get worse… Well, yeah. We’re not buying new-to-us Mac laptops any time soon.

But maybe I could get something else if I ask everyone to give me money for my birthday and Christmas this year?

It’s been years since I used a computer that wasn’t from Apple. Would it be hard to move to using a cheaper, non-Apple laptop? Mostly, what I need is a calendar, word processing, email, chat/IRC, and a couple of web browsers. Being able to transfer my music would be nice but not a deal breaker if I couldn’t. (My old laptop still works, after all, and it would probably be fine just for playing music.) It would be a deal breaker if I couldn’t open my old files, though, or if I lost my email archives. Oh, and I’d want to be able to network with our printer, but I assume most (all?) laptops should be able to do that.

I don’t generally play games or stream video or muck around with photographs, so I’m not worried about anything required for those that isn’t also required for the things I listed above. I’m not wedded to any particular word processor; mostly, what I want is plain text. Page/word counts are nice, but I can do without both.

Scott and Cordelia use Mac laptops and both have iPhones and iPads. I don’t have either an iPad or an iPhone and don’t expect to, so cross compatibility isn’t really an issue.

I don’t have any idea how to do the basic research I’d need to do to look into this. I’m not sure if Scott will be willing to help me because I’m pretty sure he sees it as a failure on his part rather than as a result of me spending more than half my time on my laptop.
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Yesterday, the forms for my annual long-term disability review came in. This is the LTD I have through my former employer, and they’ve always been more difficult to deal with than Social Security. I’m going to have to get the medical form to my psychiatrist so that she can fill it out. My next scheduled appointment with her is after the deadline.

There’s a longish form that I was supposed to fill out by hand and really couldn’t, not with the osteoarthritis, so I typed the questions into a document and then typed my answers. Typing is infinitely less painful than trying to use a pen/pencil. I thought about waiting until Monday to call and ask if they have the forms online so that I could type my answers that way, but I knew that waiting would mean worsening anxiety, so I wrote a draft of my answers last night. I’m letting it sit right now so that I can go back and add things that slipped my mind.

I considered having Scott write answers I dictated, but there was so very little space on the paper for my answers. For example, "Please provide us with a detailed description of your present illness or injury. Please list all physical and/or psychiatric/psychological symptoms, complaints, limitations." has three lines on the form, and I have twelve different things I need to list and detail. Each of those would take at least two lines and likely more.

Not counting the form and DW/LJ posts and emails, I did no writing yesterday. I just couldn’t focus enough to manage even a single sentence on We Are Where We Began, and opening something else seemed too hard.

We intended to go to the bank yesterday morning to move some money from Cordelia’s account to ours to cover some of the medical stuff for her, but we completely forgot. Scott thinks next weekend will be soon enough.

Cordelia’s got an orchestra concert this week, one with orchestras from all the local middle schools. She’s getting together with some friends for a couple of hours this afternoon to practice. Because her school is small, they’ll be performing with the other tiny middle school rather than on their own. Cordelia’s class went to the other school once, and the kids from the other school came here once. Cordelia says they sound really good together. The teacher for the other school’s orchestra is the woman who taught Cordelia in sixth and seventh grades.
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I got part of the Aetna hoop jumping done yesterday. I’m not sure if I can do the rest today or not. Waiting until Monday isn’t a great option because they have to mail me something and then I have to fill it out and mail it back. I realized, after making an unnecessary phone call, that I had mixed up what the Medicare refusal of payment was for. Unfortunately, that means that I might actually be on the hook for $5500. I think that the only problem is that the company didn’t bill Aetna before asking Medicare to pay, but I’m not sure.

Scott and I started listening to a new to us podcast last night and got through three episodes.

I need to shower and to watch a library DVD that’s due tomorrow. Cordelia has an essay to write that I’ve promised to proofread and provide moral support for. I should make banana bread or throw out the bananas. I’d like to take down the Christmas tree, but Scott and Cordelia are decidedly unenthusiastic.

Scott plans to do the grocery shopping today. I haven’t finished the list yet, though. I’m trying to think of food that I can put on there that will take little to no effort for me eat. I’m going to be pretty exhausted for the foreseeable future, and that makes me have problems with simple food preparation like opening a package and microwaving something. Almonds and dried fruit are good options, but they’re horribly expensive, and it’s hard to convince Scott that they’re worth the money. They also have the advantage that I can eat them when Cordelia is wanting my attention and not wanting me to get up and go to the kitchen.

Cordelia and her friend did go downtown yesterday and managed to get themselves back, too, with only one call to ask me what bus they needed and where to catch it. Cordelia hasn’t quite got the idea that, generally speaking, one can get the bus home on the opposite side of the street from the stop where one got off the bus coming into town. I have to check to see if the bus company’s app is working now because something of the sort could be useful for Cordelia. The last time I checked, they’d withdrawn the app and had a new version 'under development.'
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Scott ended up getting home 35 minutes before we needed to be at the dentist. He called to say he was on his way about two minutes before I had intended to call a cab. Both Scott and Cordelia are cavity free, but the hygienist thinks Cordelia’s not doing a good job flossing.

We stopped at the downtown library long enough to return a few things and to pick up my holds.

I slept badly last night. I was simply too warm and kept waking up. I didn’t get back to sleep after Scott got up. By the time I could have, it was too close to when I had to get up. I’ve had a sore throat all day, too. It’s the type where it hurts to swallow rather than a true sore throat, but it worries me a bit.

Scott’s father came at 10:00 to put some shelves in under Cordelia’s window. That took about an hour and a half. He and Cordelia have now headed north for cookie decorating.

I’m trying to figure out what to do for lunch. We’re pretty low on easy to prepare food, and there’s a limit to how much cheese I’m willing to eat. I’d order something delivered, but I think Scott and I will be eating out tonight, so that seems unwise. I want to be cautious about what I eat for lunch so that I can lie down after.

Our pharmacy called yesterday to say that we don’t currently have valid prescription coverage. Scott is making inquiries at HR about that because we ought to have coverage. Maybe there’s new information we need or something. I will need to call the pharmacy to see if they still have my secondary prescription insurance on file. I’m pretty sure that that would cover the medication as it’s a commonly prescribed generic.
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I woke with a headache again yesterday. I’m not sure if the problem was the firmness of the mattress or the fact that I was using a feather pillow or just what it was.

We ate the free breakfast at the hotel and then packed up our stuff and headed for Lawton to have a second breakfast with my parents. We ate the free breakfast around 8:30 and the second with my parents around 11:00, so I just treated the second breakfast as lunch. The restaurant where we ate with my parents only did breakfast food, so I didn’t have many options, pretty much just pancakes and various side dishes. I ended up having bacon and hash browns because I’d had pancakes the last three days. The bacon was sweet. I think it had maple syrup added as part of the curing.

We got home a bit after 2:00, I think. From that point onward, it was mainly a day of household chores. Cordelia spent most of her time in her room. She was talking to her friends via her iPad and, probably, watching something or another streaming.

I got notice from my tertiary medical insurance saying that they refuse to cover the cancer related genetic testing I had done in November and that I’m on the hook for $5600. I’m boggled because there’s no sign that my primary or secondary insurance were billed and because I signed something saying that the company was absolutely, under no circumstances to do the testing if my out of pocket cost would be more than $100.

We stayed up much later last night than I wanted to. I kind of want to go back to bed now, so I may end up doing that. The only plans for today involve Scott and Cordelia going to the mall. One of the friends Cordelia wanted to take along is sick, though, so I’m not sure what will happen with those plans.

Now I have to figure out what I’m going to do with the largish stack of romance novels that I acquired at Lowry’s. I both want very much to read them and don’t want to deal with them at all. I have three library books that are due tomorrow that can’t be renewed. I haven’t started two of them at all. The third is a graphic novel, so I think I should be able to finish it. I’ve got five CDs that I would like to finish in time to return them tomorrow, but I rather think I won’t end up managing it. That will mean that I have about a dozen CDs that I would like listen to before next Sunday. And I’m not even going to look at the DVDs…
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Yesterday’s appointment was with the gynecologist to see how I’m doing without the IUD. We concluded that we really can’t tell yet, so she wants me back in six months. The nurse tried three times to get my blood pressure and couldn’t manage it. I pointed out that I had my blood pressure taken last week when I saw the genetics counseling people. That number was in the shared records, and it having radically changed in the last nine days seemed pretty unlikely. The doctor decided that that was good enough. I suspect that the fact that I have never once in forty nine years had a higher reading than mid-range normal was also a factor. They have records on me going back to 1985.

Oh, and apparently 0-1 drinks of an alcoholic nature per year is considered the same as not drinking at all.

I had to go down into the basement of UHS to find the business office because they were insisting that I pay a $50 copay. That $50 is what Aetna requires, but Medicare and Blue Care generally pick up enough that I don’t need to pay anything at all. And, right at the moment, UHS owes me eighty some dollars that they’ve collected from me and shouldn’t have.

It was rainy enough when I got done with the appointment that I didn’t mind going straight home quite as much as I would have. Most of the portals near UHS were already held by our team, so I reinforced the ones I had time to get to before the cab came.

I got home before Cordelia did but only by about two minutes. She only had one friend over rather than the two I expected. The girls watched Once Upon a Time while I stayed in my bedroom with my laptop. I was feeling moderately awful most of the afternoon with gas and other intestinal issues. I got a little bit done on my UCon game anyway.

My thumb is still giving me trouble. Picking up my laptop or a basket of laundry hurts like hell, so I’m trying to find work-arounds. Both heat and cold make the ache decrease, so I’m alternating.

To do list )

Should I sign up for NaNo? I’m 95% sure that I can’t write 50000 words during November, but trying might be worthwhile. I don’t know. I also like the idea of social support for writing, but I’m not sure I’d do anything with it.

I’m also wondering if there would actually be interest in a community for writers of darkfic (and if I’d actually be together enough to be able to moderate such a group given how fraught it could be.). It would need mandatory cut tags, I suspect, and fairly robust tagging.
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Yesterday, Cordelia was scrambling, trying to find a copy of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace that she could show to her new-to-Star-Wars friends on Friday. We don’t own it because Scott loathes it. Cordelia put a hold on a DVD copy at the library, but there were several people ahead of her and no copies currently available. She was going to try to get it from Netflix, but her current DVD wouldn’t have started the trip back to them until today, so the timing was tight. I looked around online to see if there was a cheap copy that I could buy that would arrive in time.

Then it occurred to me that the library pretty certainly had the movie in Blu-ray as well as on DVD. For watching here, Blu-ray is an option. It’s not at any of the other girls’ homes at present, but Cordelia’s plan was to show the movie here. Sure enough, there were five copies of the Blu-ray on the shelves at various branch libraries. I had Scott pick up the copy at Traverwood on his way home. It wasn’t much out of his way. He, of course, told me we needed a lead lined box to keep the thing in and that he’d check it out only with the understanding that it would leave the house again. I pointed out that, if we wanted a copy of the dratted thing, a used, former library copy would not be what we’d go for.

Last night, I lost the Ingress portal that I’d been holding for about six weeks. I’d hoped that nobody would find it, but… Whatever. Holding onto a portal is more than 90% luck. I enjoyed seeing the days tick over and add up, but it was a pretty minor enjoyment.

I tried another Stash tea sample today— Spice dragon red chai. It’s a rooibos based chai, caffeine free. I’m generally iffy on rooibos, but I quite liked this. It only has four ingredients: cinnamon, rooibos, ginger root, and cloves. The spices were at the right level of strength when I steeped the bag for about five minutes. I don’t think that steeping longer would have made things nasty, though.

Scott has changed the temperature settings for the house, putting things back at 80F. I’d had things set at 78F for quite a while. Scott has been having problems with being too cold at night; specifically, his feet got cold enough that he had trouble sleeping. Sadly, at 80F, I had trouble sleeping. I was warm enough that I got itchy and did a lot of tossing and turning. I rather think that it’s easier for Scott to get his feet warm than for me to cool off. We’ll have to negotiate tonight.

I’m trying to decide whether or not to take a walk. It’s quite cool today, but my ankle tends to get cranky after long walks. It doesn’t tend to bother me while I’m walking, just later on. That makes judging how much I can do kind of difficult. I need to get out and move around, however.

The Fluoridex sensitivity toothpaste is working well, so far. I’ve used it the last four nights as a supplement to my regular brushing and flossing, and my teeth haven’t started getting sensitive again (three days without Gel-Kam is generally long enough for me to have problems with heat, cold, and sweet). I don’t know that Cordelia has tried the stuff. She’s just after the fluoride and doesn’t have problems with sensitivity (I asked her specifically), so we may end up wanting to buy her a different kind than what I use as she doesn’t need the potassium nitrate.

I think we’re going to have to budget to get me a new bite splint. The current one is twenty five or so years old and has a rather large bit that’s on the verge of breaking off. I clench rather than grinding, so I’d hoped that this bite splint would last a good bit longer, but there’s a thin spot in it because I have one upper tooth that comes down farther than all the other upper teeth. Some time last year, that tooth broke through the splint, and now there are cracks from that point. The dratted thing might last another six months, but it also might not. Most dental insurances only allow a person one bite splint in their lifetime, so it’s very likely that we’ll have to pay the entire out of pocket cost for a new one. It’s remotely (very remotely) possible that our current insurance will cover it because it’s a different insurance than what I had that paid for the current one.
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Scott says it looks like our out of pocket for Cordelia’s knee may be $700 (he wasn’t clear if that includes the ambulance. I think it doesn’t, and I know it doesn’t include the $50 copay for her upcoming orthopedics appointment). A large chunk of that is the MRI. For some reason, they’re giving him all of her billing information and not me.

This makes our budget a lot tighter and the spending no unnecessary money thing more essential. I think it also makes figuring out what to do about me overheating a low temperatures a lot more urgent. I really don’t want to spend the summer in the basement, and I’m not sure it will be better down there than up here with the fans going. I really don’t know. It’s not all that much cooler down there than up here, maybe a matter of ten degrees. If we raise the daytime temperature upstairs, the basement will be warmer than I’m good with, too, and without the option of a fan.
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Scott is fasting today, but he doesn’t start the clean out solution until 5 p.m., so he’ll be running errands this morning. I need to make a list of the things I want him to pick up. I feel a little bad sending him to the grocery store, but it’s better to send him today than to run out of stuff before he can go on Thursday. Mainly, we need a loaf of bread because I can’t get Cordelia to eat anything but toast for breakfast.

I don’t think any of us slept well last night. Scott had bad dreams. I was too cold with just the sheet and way, way too warm if I added a light blanket. Cordelia was awakened half an hour early by Scott’s cell phone alarm.

Cordelia has a field trip today. Half of the seventh graders are going to the local food bank to do some work. The other half of the class will go on Thursday. Cordelia was supposed to go Thursday, but she has PT, so the teachers offered to let her go today instead. She will have to tuck her hair completely under a hat or wear a hairnet, and she thinks hairnets must be horrible, horrible things.

Aetna sent us a form yesterday, demanding to know if there was any way at all they could shift financial responsibility for Cordelia’s injury to someone else. They sent it addressed to Cordelia with 'confidential, to be opened by addressee only' which kind of annoyed me. I mean, I ignored that and opened the envelope because she’s twelve, but… I ended up having to call instead of filling out the form because the form didn’t allow for her having been injured on someone else’s property without it being an option for us to sue them. I got cut off the first time I called, but once I got a person, it took about forty seconds to clear things up. Suing a public school is a non-starter.

We’re going to have to make and stick to a budget. The added burden of the car payment is really hitting us hard. Scott says his credit card bill was as high last month as it normally is right after Christmas. I can save about $20 a week by not buying chocolate or bubble tea. I don’t want to, but maybe I should. Those are luxuries. May is normally a pretty expensive month for us because it’s a big month for birthdays with me and Cordelia and both of Scott’s parents.

Cordelia has decided that she can walk to and from school on her own today and on any day when she doesn’t have orchestra. I thought it was coming because she hasn’t actually needed me for anything but carrying the viola for the last week or even two. For this morning, I’m just as happy because it means that I can shower before I get dressed and then nap.
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I am behind on answering comments. That may mean that some don’t get answered. That may mean that some don’t get answered until after we’ve all forgotten what the exchange was about. I’m torn because things that need just a 'Thanks!' are really, really easy to answer but I also feel that they don’t necessarily rank high on the list of priorities to answer. I’ve been tired and headachy, so the mental wherewithal to respond intelligently (or even coherently) has been lacking. I’m also giving priority to answering family emails and things that relate to medical stuff.

The patient portal for Cordelia’s pediatrician is truly terrible. I tried to send a message to her doctor, and it kept sending while I was in the middle of typing the subject. I didn’t hit return or tab or anything, just typed letters. I skipped the subject the third time and managed to get a message in, but the stupid thing won’t send without a subject, so I had to fill that in eventually. I also scheduled Cordelia for a dermatology appointment during spring break. The form for that kept glitching with drop down menus that wouldn’t actually allow me to select things and required fields that I couldn’t click on, so I’m not actually convinced it went through.

Cordelia tells me that she’s helping write a letter, on behalf of the Gay-Straight Alliance at her school, asking the principal to designate at least one gender neutral bathroom. I hope that goes through. I’d rather like to see all the bathrooms be gender neutral. None of the bathrooms have urinals, so that’s not an issue. I don’t think any of the bathrooms have tampon/pad dispensers either, even though they could be very useful for the girls. And, having such a dispenser wouldn’t be something that would make a bathroom not work as gender neutral.

Cordelia says that there’s a kid in her class who identifies as gender fluid and that they have given general permission for everyone to use whatever pronouns they want to. Cordelia uses masculine pronouns. I suspect (but didn’t ask) that that has to do with how the kid publicly identified when they first met. The kid has changed name to the more or less gender neutral 'Chris.'

I should note here that I’m terrible at remembering the preferred pronouns of people on DW/LJ. Because of that, if I’m not absolutely sure how someone identifies, I default to 'they' because I’m hoping that’s the least offensive way to be wrong.

After we did the weekly trip to the library, Scott took me to the nature center near our house, and we walked around a little bit. I was extremely wobbly by the time we got back to the car, but I did manage some walking around. Scott’s goal was to have me visit some of the Ingress portals that are a little way into the woods. I hacked them (and got keys for all of them!). Scott currently holds all of the science center portals except the one I own.

I upgraded some of Scott’s resonators, the level 1 and level 2 resonators, specifically. Any one person can only place so many resonators of a given level at a portal (and that varies according to their level). I’m only level 4, but that’s enough to upgrade a 1 or a 2 at least a bit. Scott is level 8. I placed some shields on Scott’s portals, too, because I’ve got a lot of them and really don’t get out enough to do anything else with them.

Of course, someone from the other faction rolled through between 3:00 and 4:00 a.m. The park closes at 11:00, and several of the portals can only be reached by walking into the woods. I’m not sure if the deer cull is over yet or not, but I think that wouldn’t have been happening on a Sunday night, so they weren’t potentially being lethally stupid, at least. Whoever it was didn’t capture all of the portals they cleared and didn’t heavily fortify the portals they were able to capture. They only placed two or three resonators per portal. I’m not sure I’m physically up to getting there, but the notion is tempting. I can’t fortify anything very heavily, but I could capture the unclaimed portals and ask Scott to finish them out later.

It’ll probably take another two to three weeks for me to advance to level 5. I expect I’ll reach a point where advancing is more effort than I’m willing to put in because, at a certain point (I think after level 8), you have to do more than accumulate points in order to advance.

Scott’s current intention is to try to get me out for five minute walks as regularly as he can. I suppose Ingress is as good an excuse as any, and getting out will be good for me. The biggest difficulty right at the moment, apart from tiring easily, is that I overheat very fast. Wearing a cotton shirt on top of a tricot nightgown makes me sweat a lot. I took my coat off while we were walking at the science center even though it was only about 45F.

Scott opened the envelope for my long term disability paperwork yesterday. I was going to wait until I was ready to take it in, but it turns out that it’s a good thing he opened it. The new monitoring company only gives me fifteen days from the date on their letter to get everything back (the old company allowed thirty). They also wanted a heck of a lot of information from me that the old company never wanted. I’ve filled all of that out, but I keep worrying that I’ve said or not said something that will mean they take away my LTD benefits (about $1000 a month, backup health/dental insurance, access to the clinic where Scott and I have been going forever, and a few other perks of technically still being an employee of the local university). I mean, I don’t think they could take away my benefits as long as the federal government still considers me disabled, but Social Security hasn’t bothered to review my status in about eight years, so… I suspect they looked at the fact that I’ve been trying different medications for anxiety since I was about 22 and that not a single one of them has worked and pretty much assumed that nothing else is likely to work, either.

I had to laugh, though, they wanted a list of every doctor I’ve seen in the last year. That’s a long list, and I still haven’t managed to dig up the name of the guy I saw for five seconds about my broken foot/sprained ankle (he said, "Yep. Broken and sprained," and turned me over to a PA to do everything else). That’s kind of borderline on being within the last year, though, as it was March of 2015, so I’m not sure I need to do that work. I also decided that they really didn’t need the names of the radiologists who dealt with my mammograms or whoever did my biopsy. And I can’t find the name of the surgeon/breast specialist I saw last May who left the program before we did the follow up mammogram in August.
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Because we were out of dinner type foods (Saturday is shopping day) and because Scott needed to be prepared to go to work at 3 a.m., we got carry out Chinese food from a place near us. He was kind of appalled by how much it all cost, but we got four entrees, three large and one small, and three vegetarian spring rolls, and two bigger appetizers. (I’m not convinced that the crab cheese had even homeopathic quantities of crab, but Cordelia likes those a lot, and she’ll get two meals out of the side of steamed dumplings.)

UHS won’t give the shingles vaccine to anyone under the age of 60. Scott thought maybe he could squeeze in going there when he’s taking a half day for his sleep disorders clinic visit. He hasn’t tried talking to anyone else, so it remains to be seen how that will go. Apparently the CDC says shingles shots should come at 60, but not everybody agrees. Our insurance will cover it at 50, and, given that shingles can happen at any age, sooner seems better to me. Doing it at 50 doesn’t seem to weaken the effectiveness as far as I can tell from cursory research. It’s just that the odds of getting shingles go up as one gets older. Wikipedia claims that a person who lives to 85 has a 50-50 chance of getting shingles some time during their lifetime.

I have an appointment at UHS on Monday for the pneumonia vaccination. I was extremely surprised to get in so soon. I had to wait weeks for an appointment for my last DTAP. I’m also a little confused. The Aetna handbook we have says they cover the shot, and the Medicare website says that Medicare doesn’t (except under Part D). The UHS website says that Aetna doesn’t cover the shot and that Medicare does. I’m a little worried that will mean I’m left holding the bag on paying for it. I do have a third layer of insurance that might pay for it, but finding out what they cover is challenging. The UHS chart says 'call insurance company' instead of yes or no on the coverage.

I expect I’ll nap later today. I woke up around 7:30 and simply couldn’t get back to sleep. I hadn’t slept all that well, either, so I’m kind of dragging a bit. (And the phone just rang with a robo-call that started out "Congratulation!" before I hung up. I’m sure I won a Disneyworld trip or a cruise to the Bahamas. If I hadn’t already been up, that would have woken me thoroughly.)

We’ve been invited to Easter dinner with Scott’s sister’s in-laws. Part of me really doesn’t want to go, but I really want to keep good relations with that part of the family, and Easter is hugely important to them. We went last year when I had a broken foot and sprained ankle and had to use a walker and not put weight on my right foot at all. (That made buffet style food… challenging. I sat while Scott made my plate according to what he thought I liked which missed some things I actually would have liked.)

Cordelia’s class may end up not doing their overnight field trip due to a shortage of parent chaperones. I keep trying to think of how I could manage it, but I really don’t think that I could. I wonder if looking for some responsible college kids to volunteer would work. Or, heck, I’d pay a college student $50 to do the overnight in my place. It wouldn’t be minimum wage since the trip lasts twenty six hours, but it would be something. But I haven’t got the slightest clue where to start looking for such a person, and I don’t know if school district rules/state law would allow it. The trip is supposed to start a week from Monday, so time is very, very short.

I think I might be able to sleep again now. Of course, I’ve had a good bit of coffee and water, so I’ll likely be up every ten minutes. I really don’t know. Sleep would be good, but almost sleeping and then having to get up is worse than just being up.
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The bread is in. I think the timing will work.

I managed, thanks to [livejournal.com profile] velvetwhip, I managed to open the clinic listing. The print on it is tiny, and the program I used wouldn’t let me edit to enlarge it or copy the text to paste into any other program (I couldn’t even highlight things). I suppose I should be glad I could print the damned thing. The program I used to open the file is only a temporary fix because it has a three day free trial and then costs $$ that I’m not willing to pay for something that I’ll use very rarely.

Sadly, of the two clinics actually in Ann Arbor, one doesn’t carry either the shingles vaccine or the pneumonia vaccine. The other carries both but will not bill insurance; it’s cash or credit card only. There’s one clinic in Ypsilanti, and I haven’t tried that one yet because three phone calls in one day is already pushing things. There’s a clinic in Canton that might, kind of, sort of, be on Scott’s way home from work. It is, at least, on Ford Road, and I know he drives on a bit of that on his way. There are three in Plymouth that might not be a huge extra trip from where he works (I haven’t actually checked the maps yet).

Right now, I’m planning to hand Scott the list and let him do the rest of the calling. Tomorrow, I’ll schedule myself for the pneumonia vaccine at UHS and just deal with paying for the cab. $22 is a heck of a lot better than $250.

Scott says that he’d rather get shingles than pay $250 for a vaccination, but I think he’s coming down on the wrong side of things on that one. I don’t think he has any grasp of what shingles is like.
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I called Aetna. They will only cover shingles and pneumonia vaccinations at clinics because they’re covered as 'medical expenses' rather than as 'pharmacy expenses.' A vaccinating pharmacist can’t bill something as a medical expense unless there’s a clinic attached to the pharmacy.

The woman at Aetna said she would try to pull together a list of clinics/offices in our area that might have hours we could manage and then email it to me. Unfortunately, she sent it in a format that I can’t open, .xps. Oh, and it’s encrypted, too, so I have to jump through half a dozen hoops just to view the message that I can’t open.

Looking up xps on Wikipedia leads me to believe that I will need specialized software to open that sort of file because I’m not on a Windows machine. My impression is that it is software that must be purchased.

Help forums for the Mac suggest opening the file via Google docs, but I’m not sure how I can do that (or if the information, being four years out of date, still applies). There’s an app for opening such files, but it’s rated 1.5 stars which doesn’t inspire any confidence at all. And this article suggests other software for the Mac that can open .xps files, but the first choice is $30. The other recommended bits of software are the badly rated app for $10 and something else for $99.

Even if I could find free software to do the job, I really, really shouldn’t have to download new software in order to open a list of clinics.

I have emailed Aetna back to ask how on earth they expect me to open a Windows only format. Lord knows when they’ll get back to me.

I may have to give in and do my vaccination at UHS and just pay for the cab ($22). Scott, however, doesn’t have that option. I think he has one vacation day planned in May that’s not going to be eaten by other medical stuff. That is, of course, my birthday. Going to UHS for a shingles vaccination would be a grand way for us to celebrate. ::bangs head::
the_rck: (Default)
The dermatologist wants to see Cordelia today, so I'm pulling Cordelia out of school in about an hour, bringing her home, and calling for a cab. The person doing the scheduling said they'd fit us in whenever we can get there but that it was better before 4:00 because the dermatologist has surgery at 4:00 and that will take 45 minutes to an hour. She can see us after that, if necessary, but she'd rather see us before. If we're lucky, Scott will be able to pick us up after the appointment and save us the $17 cab fare.

I've already called the school to let them know I'll be coming. Hopefully, Cordelia won't have trouble getting her assignments from her classmates (the teachers now have a policy that they won't give out information on missed assignments. It has to be gotten from classmates. I'm not sure that's a good policy at any age. I don't recall even my college professors doing anything of the sort).

I've managed to struggle into my compression top. I wasn't sure I could because I've never done it without help. I kept on the bra I had on because I was afraid I'd fail to get the compression top on and then be unable to put the bra back on. Hopefully, this will mean that walking to the school and then riding in the cab hurts less. Now I have to find socks and put them on. That's challenging because it involves bending so that my thigh presses into my breast. Ow. At least I dug out my loafers and can just step into them.

I also rescheduled Cordelia's dental appointment to December 21st or 22nd. I forget which. It's the first Tuesday of winter break, anyway.

Now I have to call Aetna. They've apparently lost track of the fact that I have secondary and tertiary insurance (they're primary). I don't know why it matters that they know, but the folks at the Cancer Center say that it does matter and that they can't tell Aetna. I have to. I don't know that I'll call today. I may wait and do it tomorrow because I've done a lot on the phone today, and that's exhausting.

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