I’m not okay, but I’m okay.

Do you know how sometimes you’re reading a really good book and then all of the sudden it starts to get boring and you want it to get better and you hope it will but it doesn’t and so you stop reading.  Has that ever happened to you?

I know it’s been a while since I’ve written and it wasn’t intentional. I just found it really hard to write anything.   My ability to over share and my quirky sense of humor have just been missing.  I’m not one to dwell on the things that I can’t change because I prefer to be the ray of sunshine in as many peoples day as possible, but lately, I’ve just been blue.

Im blue

I’m kidding, but not about feeling blue.  In fact, I’d say if I’m being completely honest, I’m slightly depressed.  But in order to get to my point and speak the truth I guess I need to start from where I left off and throw in a few facts from several years ago.  Buckle up, it’s a long ride.

Back in February I flew to Tennessee to meet my mom and I hung out with my family for a few days and then Mom and I drove back to Florida.  I had tapered off the steroids that my doctor had prescribed before I left Florida and while I was in Tennessee strange things started happening.

I started getting shooting pains up the back of my neck.  It feels like what I would describe as an electric shock that only last for a few seconds and then stops and then comes on again randomly.  I had gotten that same pain before, only it was back in 1994 when I had my first symptoms of Neurosarcoidosis and it was in the side of my face and my doctor called it Trigeminal Neuralgia although at that time he had no idea why I would have it and I’m pretty sure he doubted me.  A couple of years ago I got the same type of pain in my throat with the same sensation of an electric shock and I was told it might be Glossopharyngeal Neuralgia.

The neck pain wasn’t the only thing, there was also the pain in my shins that continued despite not running and icing constantly and I began forgetting things.  The forgetting things actually started before I left for Tennessee and I was forgetting things like how to get to the bank and the store when I was actually driving to them, even though I’ve used the same bank and gone to the same store for years.  And I forgot why I was in the store after I had gotten there several times.    And there were other things like eye pain, relentless pressure behind my eyes that would not stop and the need to pee a bazillion times throughout the night, skin rashes, bruises, thinning skin, and strange swellings that popped up here and there.  I just felt like I was falling apart and it scared me.  Luckily I had my Mom here.

So, after returning from Tennessee I saw my pulmonologist and explained the symptoms to her. She said that I could possibly be experiencing occipital neuralgia among other things but she was mostly worried because my blood pressure was very high, 178 over 115.  She also said that I may need to go back on medications if my symptoms were returning because my blood pressure and my calcium levels were really high.  She ordered an MRI of my brain and then she referred me to a rheumatologist and told me to get in there as soon as I possible could.  She also referred me to a neurologist but I couldn’t get in to see them until April so I’m still waiting on that one.

I got the appointment with the rheumatologist within a week and I explained to her that I had been diagnosed with chronic compression syndrome but that I hadn’t run and my legs still hurt very badly.  I also showed her where the pain in my neck is, where there is now a large swelling, and I told her about all of the other pains as well.  She listened to everything I had to say and then examined me.  Then she ordered a bone scan with contrast and an MRI of my cervical spine.  She looked at my past MRI’s and said that she wasn’t convinced I don’t also have MS, but I don’t think I do and I’ll discuss that with the neurologist in April besides I think Sarcoidosis is called a mimicker of diseases for a reason and I think it’s rearing its ugly head again.  Anyway, off I went to schedule the tests.

When I got to the scheduling department and handed them the orders they told me that the MRI of my head which had been ordered by my pulmonologist had been denied, but they scheduled the bone scan and put in a request for the MRI of my neck.  They also recommended that I call my insurance company to ask why the other MRI had been denied.  And thus began a cycle of me visiting all kinds of specialists, the specialists being concerned enough to order more testing and then me getting denied by my insurance company for any tests my doctors have ordered, other than blood test or x-rays.

In fact since February, I have been denied for 3 MRI’s, 1 Cardiac Ultrasound, a PET scan, and a recommended stay at the Mayo Clinic as well as the University of Florida.  The latter two are actual hospitals with sarcoid specialists who actually know a lot about this disease and could help me, but unfortunately my insurance company will not pay for any of it.

Blue cross blue shield sucksIn the meantime, when the results of my bone scan came in the doctor’s office called me and they told me it appeared that I have several stress fractures in both lower legs and one in the upper leg.  Typically to determine what is causing the increased tracer on the bone scan the doctor will order additional testing, such as an MRI or a CT scan which will show the damage in more detail, you know where this is going right, my insurance company isn’t approving any of those so my doctor ordered regular x-rays which didn’t show her anything.   So all we know is I have some stress fractures.

So that was that.  I’m just sitting here with some stress fractures in both legs, and as far as the pain in my neck goes, I’ve had a migraine headache every day of my life for 51 days straight.  FIFTY ONE DAYS!  Some days they are bearable, other days I can barely function but I have to keep going because I have an insurance company to fight with and it has seriously become a part time job.  And one that I will never be paid for.

This has all been super frustrating and I have spent hours and hours dealing with insurance people and seeing doctors who are also frustrated because they are limited in the testing they can do.  And sure, I can appeal with help from my overworked doctors but that isn’t really helping.   When I challenged the last MRI denial I was told that I wouldn’t be approved for advanced imaging unless it was absolutely medically necessary as stated by my doctor.  So the doctor resubmitted her request as medically necessary and the insurance company got another ‘specialist’ to say it wasn’t medically necessary.  Mind you, this specialist has NEVER seen me but that’s how the system works.

When I complained about this to the insurance company they reminded me that since the doctor ordered the tests, I could still have them, I’d just have to pay for them myself.  So I asked the customer service lady if she had any idea how much some of those scans are she recommended I start a GoFund me page, you know because apparently the 750 dollars they receive for my actual insurance EVERY SINGLE MONTH is not enough to justify any advanced imaging.  They say it is covered in the benefits but they require prior authorizations and that’s where they get you, because they never approve anything.  When did it become okay for insurance companies to determine my treatment as opposed to my doctor?

health insuranceAnd that has been my life thus far in 2019.

Don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t all been bad around here, it’s just that since February every time I sat down to write I just couldn’t.  And then one day I went back and read some of my post from the early days and I was really proud of some of those post.  Some were really funny and some were really informative.   It was really interesting until I got to the last few months and it then it went downhill.

I feel like since the first part of 2019, and maybe some part of last year, a lot of my posts were boring and I sounded like someone I don’t even know.  It felt like I was just posting about the mundane and ordinary things but trying to make it sound interesting because I didn’t want to share the whole truth, and it felt so fake.  I had somehow turned into the very same type of blog that I hate.  I had become that book that starts out really good and then gets boring and never recovers.  So I stopped writing and I promised myself that I wouldn’t post again until I felt like writing about, not only the good, but also the bad and ugly and if I don’t feel like writing at all, I won’t force it.

And now that I’m back I hope you won’t get bored of all my diatribes regarding my insurance company and doctors, but I’m sure I’ll write a lot about both of them in the coming months but it doesn’t mean that’s all I will talk about.   It just means that some days are better than others and you might get me on a funny day, an informative day, or a pissed off day but rest assured, it’ll be real.

On a scale of 1-10 how happy are you with your health insurance company?

Have you ever been denied for a medical procedure or test that your doctor ordered?

Slippo the Hippo

I have literally been working my ass off, as if that were even remotely possible, and it’s not.  Trust me, it isn’t.  I’ve been blessed in that way.

big big booty

I get it from my mama

But seriously y’all I’m so tired and I needed a break and so did MacGyver and even though we did go to our house in Nokomis last weekend it wasn’t exactly the break we were looking for since we had to deal with the whole ‘a friggin tree fell in our backyard and left debris all over the god damn place’.  See that was NOT exactly a break.

And then, I had a slip.  A nip hip slip!

oh the pain

Actually, what had happened wuz….

I was walking the dogs yesterday after my run, and of course the bastards decided to chase a cat, but they had different ideas of how to catch it.  Boomer went left while Hank went forward and I landed on my left butt cheek.  Hard.

So, all day yesterday my left hip which had been a little tweaky now feels like someone is stabbing me every time I sit down which means my piriformis is screaming at me.  And guess how we get that better.  Go ahead, guess!

We Rest!

i need self help

Does anyone know where I can pick up a self help book?

Fortunately, MacGyver and I are headed to our little cabin.  Unfortunately, there’s no electricity, or running water, or cable TV.  I do have a sweet ass personal running trail that was specifically built for me so that I’d have something to do while we’re out there……………

Kill me now.

What are you’re weekend plans?  (I’m going to steal wifi and blog from the cabin, stay tuned.)

Tuesday tips, how to have a successful running blog

As one of the most unsuccessful running blogs in the world I gets lots of email from people who ask me what it takes to write a successful running blog.

Wait, what?

So today I’m going to tell you exactly what you need to do if you want to become a successful running blogger and have legions of readers and fans.  No, really.  Read on.

The first thing you need if you want to have a successful running blog is a really good name.  Think fast and strong, something like ‘super fly felicia’ or ‘blazing fast belinda’.  Because if you want people to read your blog, and most importantly subscribe to it, it starts with the name.  No one wants to read a running blog written by ‘the turtle from Topeka’, just sayin.

Nope

Everybody wants to know your times.  No one reads just to hear all about your training and then not to learn how well you raced.  Ever.  If you run fast or slow it doesn’t really matter, actually, scratch that.  People do want to know how fast you are, so if you don’t run fast you better at least improve because everybody likes to see improvement.  If you’ve been running for six years and still run the same 5K time, you’ll need to do something drastic to keep (or grow) your readership.

I suggest you qualify for the Olympic Trials.  Yeah, that should work.

run bitch

No one wants to see you sweat but we want to hear about it.  All the successful running blogs make sure to constantly talk about how profusely they sweat and then post pictures of themselves so dry Death Valley pales in comparison so, do that.  Nothing says successful runner like a face full of makeup, curled hair and running clothes.  Trust.

We also want to know what you’re eating and we want you to make us feel like we eat too much so be sure to post pictures of lots of salads and veggies and throw in some fruit with some protein powder too, we love to know how healthy you are as well.

french fries?Oh no gurl!  No successful running blogger ever eats a French fry!  Ever.

Run all the races.  We want to hear about ALL the races so you’ll have to run them all, each and every one.  As soon as you finish the latest 5K, get back to the start line and finish the 10K and the marathon.  And don’t forget to post your times.

Be sure to tell us how to properly train for whatever race we might be running and tell us when to take rest days.  Of course you don’t have to practice what you preach because we don’t want to actually see you taking a rest day.  Nope, we want our running bloggers to be super human.  We want you to run ALL the time.

Whatever you do, do not get injured.  If you get injured you’ll have absolutely nothing to write about.  Unless, you get Meb or Shalane to guest blog for you and then all will be instantly forgiven.

And if you become a top running blogger that should be easy, right?

easy

And there you have it, my tips on how to become the most successful running blogger ever.

And now it’s your turn because I’m sure I’ve left something out.

What else should one do to become a successful running blogger?

How does one become a successful (any subject) blogger?