WAIT, I’m completely unarmed, literally

Anybody else out there feel like this,

three day weekend hangoverI think I have a three day weekend hangover, is that a thing?

Yeah, the struggle is too real.  Anyhow, how was your weekend?  We had a pretty busy one.  In case I didn’t mention it and I probably didn’t, we were in Nokomis.  I actually ran a few miles and walked a heck of a lot because you know, the heat, it’s almost unbearable.  Speaking of which, on Saturday while I was struggled to run a few miles on the Legacy Trail, these two passed me.

Amish rollerbladers

They were so fast it was hard to get a good pic but that was two Amish women on roller blades and they whizzed right by me at a breakneck speed.  I don’t know exactly how fast that is, but if I went that fast on rollerblades, I’d break my neck so it was that fast.  And in case you couldn’t tell, they were in long dresses.  Seriously.

On Saturday MacGyver was working on a project for his parents so I hit up some garage sales and then went to pick up my mother in law so we could continue shopping.  You may not know this but I love to shop. I even went back out after dropping off my mother in law and doing a quick check on the dogs.  I think I finished up around 6:30 in the evening but only because I got hungry.  Hunger always wins.

The next day MacGyver went to work on his project again and I felt sort of guilty that he was working in the hot sun….okay actually, I spent too much money the day before so shopping was not an option.  I decided instead to mow the lawn, run the weed eater and then weed and mulch.

But first, I cleaned our fountain.  I think I did something wrong though because two days later it still looks like this,

fountain mishap

Too much soap perhaps?

I also planned on washing the dogs.   I managed to get Hank washed but I didn’t make it to Boomer because while I was pulling a limb out of our humongous dead oak tree, I inadvertently pulled down a wasp nest.

wasp stingswollen armOne of them got inside my glove and stung the crap out of me.  It swelled up so bad that tiny little blood vessels in my skin burst.  It looked a lot worse than it actually felt.  It just itched tremendously however I still managed to make it to dinner with my in laws and some friends because, I’m a trooper.

The next day MacGyver and I decided we needed to tackle the dead tree before heading to my in laws for the holiday and I mean, what better way to treat that sore arm, right?

MacGyver climbed up on a ladder and used a pole saw to cut the huge branches and then used the chain saw to cut them into manageable pieces.  My job was to stack all of the big logs and put all the smaller ones on a trailer to haul off later.  I raked up all the smaller pieces and we burned all of them in the firepit.

We were able to take out about a quarter of the tree before 1PM and it went really smooth until I dropped one of the logs and it landed on my right hand.  The left one was still swollen from the bee sting and looked like this,

left arm

Check out little Hank photo bombing like a champ

And then I managed to drop a log on the other arm,  so now the right arm looked like this,

bloody right arm

Again, it looks way worse than it actually was.  I still managed to make it to my in laws for afternoon and we had a beautiful day.  My arms just look a little like chopped meat but my lawn looks great and we’re almost completely prepared for hurricane season so there’s that.

We’re back in Clearwater and I’m working this morning and typing is sort of a challenge when both of your arms are hard to move.  Thankfully, I love a good challenge.  And hey, you don’t need arms to run, so I’m good.

arm punHow was your weekend?  What did you do for Memorial Day?  Ever been stung by a bee?

Coo Coo Ka Choo

Last night MacGyver and I rented a few movies from redbox because the 3 streaming services and huge amount of cable channels that we have obviously don’t fulfill us.

Too much TV

Anyway, we rented The Mule and A Star is Born.  Yeah, I know, I’m late to the party but I finally watched A Star is Born.  I did like it, a lot, but I had forgotten what happens to the guy in the end and even though it happened a bit differently in this version I still hate the way it ends.   The Mule was good too but it was more MacGyver’s speed and not so much one I watch on my own.

I ran for a few little miles on Sunday.  I walked a lot too but I think it’s going to take a lot more time than normal to come back from this latest injury so I’m just going to take it slow and listen to my body.   MacGyver and I are doing quite a bit of bike riding along with our weight lifting so at least I’m getting some good cardio.

I don’t think I mentioned it on the blog before because it made me sad but last year we released our rescue birds.  They were ready and I knew it and I wanted them to have a happy life living the way they were meant to be but it was still sad to see them go.  I raised Woody from just after hatching and Squeakers wasn’t much older so I grew quite attached.  After we released them I sold all of the supplies and cages and everything because I just don’t think I’m cut out for rehab.  I get too attached and that’s not good because you have to release them.

That’s why when MacGyver found a little dove this weekend, I was very wary of taking him in but Oscar the Osprey has been hanging out all day catching fish and eating other small birds so I was worried the dove might not make it.

It was a good call.

coo coo ka choo

At first I thought it was a mourning dove but it turns out he’s not.  He’s a diamond dove.  Diamond Dove’s are sold as pets which means I can legally keep him.  I haven’t decided what we’re going to do but for now we’re protecting him and I’ve named him Coo Coo Ka Choo.

He’s still a little skittish around us so we’re just letting him feel us out and when it comes time, I guess he’ll let us know what he wants to do.  In the meantime, he lives on the lanai.

diamond dove

I think he might be binging me good luck because this morning I got a call from the immunologists office.  I had an appointment scheduled for May 20th to try to find out why my immunoglobulin G Subclasses are deficient and they called this morning to let me know that they have an earlier appointment.  TODAY.  So, I’m off.  Wish me luck.

Do you have any pets?

Have you ever had a pet bird?

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?