Thursday, June 28, 2012

Hallelujah Healthcare Reform!

Two months ago, I voiced some of my opinions on the healthcare in our country. Two years ago, I wrote about my frustrations with being denied insurance repeatedly.

I'm happy to know that our president and the majority feel the same way, as today marked the passing of Obama's new health care reform law.

The biggest clincher in the new law, for me, is the fact that now insurance companies cannot discriminate or deny coverage to those with underlying conditions. Obviously, those are the people who need it most, and instead we have been repeatedly kicked while we're down.

I was just venting to my dad and best friend last week about how trying to stay on top of my medical bills is a full time job, in addition to actually BEING sick, which is another full time job, on top of my actual job. What happened to taking care of the sick and injured?

I'm eager to see how this all unfolds and I hope things turn for the better.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A week in the life: Filling a prescription

Just a run-down on my life and what it takes to get a damn prescription filled...

10:30am Arrive at doctor's office
11:00am Talk with doctor
11:20am Pregnancy test with nurse I'm not pregnant! Phew, what a relief...
11:45am Blood test with phlebotomist (We sang Wicked)
12:00pm Prescription given
12:30pm IV meds started (I watched viral videos on YouTube)
1:30pm IV meds finished
2:00pm Leave doctor's office
2:15pm Drop Rx at pharmacy
2:25pm Head to pick up older kids from school
On way Eat banana and cashews
2:40pm Make phone calls for film job (while waiting for the Dawdle Twins)
2:50pm Retrieve 8 and 10 year olds, drive to preschool
3:20pm Retrieve 5 year old, head to dance lesson
3:45pm to 4:45pm Girls' dance lesson
5:00pm Home, start dinner
6:00pm Eat chicken and vegetables
7:00pm Head to LA
11:45pm Pull over on I-5 to empty guts Yum!
12:00am Check into motel, continue emptying guts More yum...


4:00am Wake up, empty guts, go back to sleep
8:00am Receive call from pharmacy, prescription can't be filled My life is hard!
8:05am Decide to be alive today
8:30am Call doctor's office, leave message
8:35am Call insurance, leave message
9:00am Shower
9:05am Doctor's office calls, leaves message
9:10am Insurance calls, doesn't leave message
9:15am Get dressed; call doctor, leave message
9:20am Call insurance
10:00am Still on hold with insurance; eat apple and almonds
10:01am Doctor's office beeps in, hang up with insurance, doctor's office says to call insurance
10:03am Call insurance
10:40am On hold with insurance again; pharmacy calls, ignore; insurance says to call pharmacy Here we go...
10:45am Vow to kill everyone; pack up and hit road
11:00am Call pharmacy, leave message
1:00pm Blow tire on I-5; use time waiting on roadside to call doctor, insurance, and pharmacy, leave messages Seriously?!
2:00pm Continue on to LA
4:00pm Arrive in LA
4:01pm to 6:01pm Nap in car in Griffith Park (Meet a coyote)
6:30pm Change clothes in McDonald's bathroom We fancy, huh?
7:00pm Eat black beans from the can
7:30pm Head to Viper Room
8:00pm Meet up with people at Viper Room; listen to live music
12:30am Leave Viper Room
1:00am Arrive at Royer's house
2:00am Zzzzzzz

10:00am Awake
11:45am Yet to get up, answer PR emails
12:15pm Finally get up
12:30pm Run errands with Royer; eat eggs, grains, spinach
3:00pm Back to Royer's; make phone calls
4:45pm Shower
6:45pm Head to Blank Theatre for Young Playwrights Festival
10:00pm Head to Al's, get gas on way
11:00pm Get to Al's; Zzzzz

7:45am Peel self from bed I want to die
8:30am Eat eggs
9:30am to 1:30pm Pride Parade
2:30pm Thai with Al
4:00pm Get to Al's; upload photos; answer personal emails
4:30pm to 5:30 Nap
5:55pm Head to Sidewalk Studio for Tennessee In The Summer
10:00pm Drive to SF
3:30am Arrive home; Zzzzzzz

8:45am Wake
9:00am Call doctor's office, leave message I hate everyone!
10:00am Pharmacy calls, violates protocol and tells me root problem
10:30am Call doctor's office, leave message outlining problem (THEIR mistake!)
11:00am Eat oatmeal and banana
11:10am Throw up oatmeal and banana
11:30am Do PR work; still in bed
2:45pm Get out of bed; head to pick up 5 yo from preschool
3:30pm Talk to nurse at doctor's office; feel like idiot; get mad
4:00 to 5:00pm Nap with 5 yo
5:30pm Eat eggs and cantaloupe
6:00 to 7:00pm 5 yo swim lesson
7:00pm to 8:00pm Bathe and bed kid
9:00pm Zzzzzz
11:00pm Wide awake; stalk social networks
1:00am Zzzzzz

9:00am Up; eat eggs
10:00 to 11:30am Physical Torture Bike riding!
12pm to 2:30pm Do PR & writing work
3:00pm Eat Salad
3:30 to 5:30pm Park with 5 yo; call doctor's office, leave message
6:00pm Call doctor's house, talk to doctor, says problem will be fixed in morning It'd better!
6:30pm Dump kid with her dad; eat quinoa and chicken
7:00pm Bed; watch hours and hours of Glee til I pass out

10:00am Roll out of bed; eat oatmeal; call doctor, leave message
11:00am No word from doctor Uuuuuuuggggghhhh
12:00pm Drive to doctor, corner nurse, gain access to file, change my birthdate from December 1995 to correct date March 1985 (wtf?!); dial pharmacy and hand phone to nurse Great record-keeping, Guys!
1:00pm Problem corrected, prescription in process of being filled If you want it done right...
1:30pm Buy groceries at Trader Joe's
2:45pm Oil change
3:30pm Pick up 5 yo
4:00pm PICK UP PRESCRIPTION! It only took 9 years!
Everything after this point is irrelevant...

A bunch of stuff including picking out a gown and kicking it with 5 yo and BFF

7:00pm Take first pill!!!

Needless to say, I was supposed to start this new med last Monday, but didn't start until Thursday. I'm now nearly a week in. Luckily, my stomach problems seemed to exit scene when the curtain closed on the Voriconozale. No more vom fest! I feel shaky and creaky all over, and I have a splitting headache, but all least I can eat again!

I'm heading out of town as soon as I post this, to, get this: The Daytime Emmys. It's been a whirlwind of a year leading up to this, kicked off last summer when I had a section of my jaw removed. That surgery precipitated numerous events that eventually led to now, and I am so honored and excited for this opportunity!

"In the end, some of your greatest pains become your greatest strengths" -Drew Barrymore

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

On The Road, Again: LA

I'm getting better at sussing out places and things I can eat while traveling.

I think I did pretty well in LA this past weekend:

Thankfully, because if I ever see another almond...

"Goin' places that I've never been.
Seein' things that I may never see again,
And I can't wait to get on the road again."

Sunday, June 10, 2012

How I'm still doing it

The question I am asked the most in regard to my health is "how do you do it?"

I mostly shrug or laugh this question off. I make light of it, because it puts others at ease, and because it is a means to distract myself from the weight of the question.

Sometimes, I say "I don't know," because honestly, I don't. There are times I am bewildered that I was able to peel myself from my bed at all that day, so your inquiry is just as baffling to me as it is to you. I really wish I knew!

I wake up each day with every intention of combating whatever beast is running at me, but sometimes I find that instead of a sword, I've been equipped with a shoestring.

Many times, on those kind of days, I simply tie a pretty bow around my woes with that string, tuck it under my pillow, and admit that my only triumph for the day will be my ability to sleep through it. On those days, the only way I can survive, is to admit defeat, roll over, and go back to sleep.

Most of the time, however, I am not offered that choice. I have physical torturists to see, flesh to be punctured, children to pick up from school. On those days, I tie that string around my waist and pull myself forward. If I haven't the strength to do it myself, I ask if someone else can pull me. And if no one is able to, I tie it to a remote control car and whip out the remote. I am constantly, daily, looking for new ways to do things- more efficient, less tiring ways to get what I need to get done, done. Sometimes the remote control runs out of batteries, but I'll at least try.

Then there are the days I wake up with a blowtorch in one hand and a chainsaw in the other. I charge at the day, full speed, and slay every dragon in my path. But, I can't plan those days. They don't always happen when they should, despite how hard I will them to be. I never know what each day will throw my way and I never know if I will be hitting home runs, or striking out.

My main line of defense has always been and will probably always be my ability to make fun of any situation and myself.

"The only way to get through life is to laugh your way through it."
-Marjorie Pay Hinckley

So that is how I'm still doing it. By laughing my way through.

"Through humor, you can soften some of the worst blows that life delivers. And once you find laughter, no matter how painful your situation might be, you can survive it." -Bill Cosby

And that's the only answer I know, the only solution I can give, because sometimes life is hard, and sometimes it downright sucks. Sometimes it just won't let up and sometimes you can't even stand up, but you can still laugh your way through and that's the best you can do.

"If you can’t find humor in the shit life heaps on you, you really will grow miserable."
-Sherrilyn Kenyon, Born of Night

If you can laugh, you'l always make it through.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Flashback: Nose knows

Remembering, not so fondly, two years ago, when I had to protect my raw nose every time I went outside...

Cute, huh?

Monday, June 4, 2012

Anti Antibiotics

Yup, I'm anti antibiotics. I was over-prescribed them as a kid and I was wrongly prescribed them as a an adult. They were a HUGE factor in my contracting Aspergillosis.

Antibiotic resistance has been called one of the world’s most pressing public health problems, repeatedly, by numerous health outlets.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has a website dedicated entirely to educating people on the facts of antibiotic use and abuse. I highly recommend you educate yourself so you don't end up doing harm to your body, or to your children.

My three month old niece was prescribed a 10 day dose for a double ear infection and I was appalled. First of all, antibiotics do nothing for ear infections. Secondly, her immune system is still forming itself and can be altered by antibiotics. Thirdly, antibiotics will kill off her good intestional flora. Furthermore, she already has some tummy issues, so she needs that flora! Fourth, 10 days is a huge dose! The only thing she needs is pain relievers if her pain gets to be unmanagable, and a few days to allow her body to heal itself.

I've talked a lot about my chronic ear infections on this blog. I've had them since I was a kid. When my niece was born everyone commented that she has my rosebud-looking ears (they look like rose petals because there is no curl on the edges), it seems she really did inherit my ears, poor thing. I have been given antibiotics to treat these infections my entire life, and guess what? They never did jack shit for my ears! The sure did screw up a whole mess of other stuff, though! If I can spare my niece, what I've learned from my experiences will be worth it.

This is what I have found to actually help. It is inexpensive, effective, and you don't need a prescription. It is the ONLY thing that had worked for me. I've mentioned it before, but here's a refresher:

Boil olive oil with garlic cloves in it. Allow it to cool to a warm temperature. Strain out the cloves. Lie on your side and pour the warm oil into your ear canal. Let it sit for 15-20 minutes. Repeat with the other ear. For children dip cotton balls into the oil and place them in the child's ear. Try to drip some down into the canal. Sit for however long your child allows. 5-10 minutes should work. You can also grill onions and put them behind the ear. Garlic and onion are natural germ killers and pain relievers. Do this 2 or 3 times a day. It works! And a plus, your ears will sparkle and shine!