The War On Drugs

I thought the war on drugs was about hard core stuff like heroin and cocaine, but I’m willing to bet either of those would be easier to get than the prescription medications that keep me breathing. For that, insurance companies cooked up a special hell called the “specialty pharmacy.” Mine is CareMark.

churchlady

CareMark exists in a place where there are lots of phones that no one answers. I think because they are busy recording messages for the phone tree that eventually leads you right back where you started, without ever having a human interaction. This is a problem because I have to order my meds every 30 days, to be sent overnight, or I don’t get them at all. We can’t run down to the local pharmacy and grab an emergency supply. The really good, expensive drugs are in Ft. Knox somewhere and I’m pretty sure only 2 people know how to open the vault.

CareMark’s automated system actually calls me every month to remind me to refill my three prescriptions which of course can only be accomplished by speaking with a real human on their end. So I follow the instructions to speak with such a being, and typically have little luck before I land back in that same ugly phone tree.

The saving grace, I guess, is that CareMark Humans call me on a regular basis. The nurses call to see how I’m feeling (because they care, deeply) and to remind me how important it is that I keep plenty of medication on hand, and never miss a dose. The pharmacists call for the same reason. Apparently the nurses and the pharmacists only speak to patients, and not each other, because they are always shocked to hear that I just got off the phone with someone else on their end. Wherever that mythical place might be.

When the CareMark Humans call me to emphasize the importance of never missing a dose, I say “great, let’s order more now to be sure I don’t run out!” I mean honestly, no one is more interested than me in ensuring I don’t miss a dose. They say they too are interested in that, but in the next breath tell me it’s too early to order another 30 day supply. No one on their end seems to appreciate the irony of this when I point it out.

When I finally, finally get a Human and the timing is right to reorder, I have to answer a series of questions including confirming that I have taken a pregnancy test because apparently these drugs cause horrendous birth defects. I laugh and say “I’m 51, and I have spent my entire adult life not getting pregnant. Never wanted to be responsible for a miniature human. Trust me, I’m really good at not getting pregnant.” And they say nothing. Because they have a box they have to check off. So I sigh and tell them I have taken the pregnancy test. More silence until I also add that it was negative.

And every single time I manage to speak to a CareMark Human, regardless of whether I called them or they called me, I have to run through my DOB and shipping address to prove that I’m really me. As if someone would willingly put themselves through this torture if their life didn’t depend on it.

rage

But there is other Human interaction. CareMark sends a nurse to my house, usually when I start a new med or change the dosage. They take about 15 minutes to listen to my heart and lungs, take my blood pressure, and talk me through the complex process of taking three pills a day. They then spend 45 minutes at my kitchen table writing up notes and asking me endless questions about my medical history. As if that isn’t on file in a million places. Of course the nurse has to run the gauntlet too. First, no coming in through the front door because my cats will try to get out, so he has to come in through the garage and mud room using our patented airlock system. Once inside, there is Janet. Janet looooooves the nurse. She loves all his stuff too, which is why she immediately gets to work licking his stethoscope and rifling through his papers.

Janet and Nurse Kevin

Janet and Nurse Kevin

My nurse is a good guy but Janet is a pest. Short of locking her up I can’t keep her away from him and his stuff. So in between trying to work around her and write up his notes, he reminds me repeatedly that he is “more of a dog person.” I believe him.

So there really is a war on drugs, and even pets are getting involved. I have to get back to the front lines.

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Tricky Tuesday: A Day For Groundhogs And Assorted Animals

The two big events of the week, the Iowa caucuses and Groundhog Day, have me thinking. It’s sort of a Freaky Friday kind of thing, where everything is switched up and it’s hard to distinguish the top GOP candidates from the rodents who pop up and predict weather.

I have long maintained that Ted Cruz resembles nothing so much as a ferret. But it turns out that ferrets aren’t rodents, they are weasels. Donald Trump resembles more of a groundhog or other rodent. So in my mind I’ve narrowed the field down to weasels and rodents. From now until further notice when I say Weasel, granting all due respect by capitalizing, I am referring to Ted Cruz. And when I say Rodent, I am of course referring to Trump.

Both the Weasel and the Rodent foster hate for anyone who isn’t a gun-toting, white, Christian, heterosexual, but the Weasel has to at least nuance his agenda. Not a lot (!), but some. Not so the Rodent. He even ridicules his own followers, who are apparently deaf, dumb and blind. When a candidate says that he could randomly shoot someone in the street and people would still be loyal to him, the loyalists might want to stop for a moment and realize he is saying they are idiots, to the roar of their own cheers. [What do we want? An Asshole! When do we want him? Now! Why? Because!]

In my worldview, neither the Weasel nor the Rodent have even the slightest redeeming quality. But I will give them credit for one thing—they have made the rest of the party seem reasonable by comparison.

Anyway, just for fun, I challenge you to pick the top GOP candidates out of a line-up:

donald ferret groundhog ted weasel

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Stand By For Adorable Cat Post

As I have mentioned before, ad nauseum, we have four cats: Jack, Janet, Chrissy and Mrs. Helen Roper, who just goes by Helen other than in very formal settings. And now I realize it’s just been ages since I wrote about Cat Antics. I would be remiss if I didn’t share…

A while back I wrote about Janet’s “magic paws” technique, but I wasn’t able to get good video of her in action. Well, I finally, finally captured her in the act of, I guess, trying to open a door with sheer will and perhaps a prayer. I always think of her saying “Open Sesame!” when she uses this maneuver, but I guess we’ll never really know what, or if, she’s thinking.

Of course we’ve had little time to focus on Janet’s antics lately since we noticed a problem with Helen. Helen has always been a little bit of a love biter. Or OK, maybe just a biter, but only when she’s super annoyed. She’s annoyed nearly all the time. She had a habit of walking around with her mouth wide open, looking for things to bite, mostly the other cats. And that’s how it is that we had always seen a lot of her teeth. But recently Dan looked in there and noticed an entire tooth is missing. Just gone. Not just any tooth either, we’re talking about one of her front canines. The ones that look like fangs. As a side note, how come there aren’t feline teeth? One more example of our biased dog-centric society. I blame the right wing, and possibly those nuts in Oregon. But I digress.

Back to Helen’s mouth–there is no soreness or redness, and she’s certainly not off her chow, so it’s hard to say how or when this happened, or if it even matters. Still, it’s disconcerting. And it could be my imagination but she seems a tad bit grumpier than usual. Just a tad.

helen

My brother CJ is a dentist, in fact in his own mind he is actually a world renowned dentist. But at a bare minimum he is qualified to opine on the Helen tooth situation. Unfortunately he is a sissy and won’t stick his hand in Helen’s mouth since she keeps trying to bite it. He’s a dentist; he must get bitten all the time, right? His fully informed professional comment, without examining her mouth, is “I guess she’s OK.”

Today is CJ’s birthday, so I probably shouldn’t post a blog that disparages him. But what kind of little sister would I be if I didn’t? That folks, is the question. Also the Helen tooth thing. That is also the question.

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Why Martha? Why?

Look, I’m not a Martha Stewart hater. Well, not a super vigilant one anyway. I will admit I have questioned her “fashion” choices, with good reason. But when I came across this magazine cover, well, it took my breath away. And made me nauseous. And made me once again question Martha’s judgment.

martha

I mean, seriously? The woman is delusional. First of all, she has been airbrushed to within an inch of her life, or at a bare minimum has been drinking shots of formaldehyde (kids, don’t try this at home). Second, no one over the age of, say, 10 should ever be dressed this adorably. Ever. Third…WTF? Is she supposed to be an Ice Queen? Maybe she was going for tongue-in-cheek but it feels to me more like indigestion-in-esophagus.

Maybe she’s been sniffing hot glue in her garage. I don’t know. But this is the problem with people important enough to own a magazine bearing their name; no judgment whatsoever. Someone at this photo shoot really needed to put an end to it. And if not at the photo shoot, at least editorial should have nixed it. I understand these people work for the woman, but someone needed to tell the Empress there was a problem with her new clothes. It’s worth the risk of getting fired if, and only if, you care whether or not she makes a fool of herself. So my only conclusion is that when Martha left the meeting to go check on her pot roast, the rest of the staff giggled and watched the whole thing go off the rails. Possibly went out for drinks afterwards to relish the moment.

So I need a solemn promise from my family, friends, readers and potential future lackeys; when I achieve Global Domination, and start my own magazine, It’s A Jill World After All, I am counting on you to hold me somewhere between being an egomaniac and looking ridiculous. Despite my baser instincts. I’m counting on all of you; stop the presses.

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Bite This!

What ever happened to the customer is always right? A couple weeks ago I ordered dinner from a delivery service, Bite Squad. I truly hardly ever order out anymore but I wasn’t up for cooking. About 45 minutes after I ordered they called and said they couldn’t get a hold of anyone at the restaurant. Okey dokey.

I’m not sure why it took 45 minutes (which is 92.3 minutes in Hunger Time) to let me know, but I went ahead and placed an order with a different place, an Italian restaurant I’ve frequented in person and know to be reliable. The only problem is that my favorite pasta dish there comes with prosciutto, and I have this whole vegetarian thing going on. When I order it at the restaurant it’s never a problem to 86 the oink (in my head I think of that as restaurant talk but really I have no idea).

pig

Now I’m really hungry. OK, honestly I’m always hungry but this time it was real.  Anyhoo, food came quickly but when I opened up the carton my pasta was absolutely laden with prosciutto. Yuck. Inedible. I called the restaurant and they were very apologetic and immediately said they would refund my money. Well handled. I went back to standing in front of the freezer to see what might constitute a meal now that two delivery efforts had failed.

A few days later, I noticed that no refund had come through on my credit card. I emailed Bite Squad “support”, and a chipper gentleman quickly responded that they were happy to issue a credit to my Bite Squad account. I let him know I would only be happy by getting a real credit on my real credit card. We went back and forth a couple times until he consulted his manager (which I’m picturing as a 12 year old sitting in his mom’s kitchen running an online empire) and they graciously agreed to actually refund my money.

But, a few days later, still no refund on the credit card. Now I’m annoyed, and of course really hungry, and even though that is now irrelevant, I think it’s worth mentioning. So I email the alleged “support” people again, and an overly perky gentleman replies that they realized they really can only issue a credit to my Bite Squad account, because I used a credit to make the purchase, referring to the “credit” from the first order that evening, that was canceled. Arrgh! WTF? I responded with, honestly, a not so nice email and mentioned the power of social media. Then I started Tweeting like a deranged, and frankly, hungry, bird. They Tweeted a response to the effect of “contact support” which really hacked me off. We went a few rounds.

I’ve just received an email saying they’ve reconsidered and now are willing to offer me a refund, which will take up to 5 days to post, which is interesting since it took 0 days to post the original charge. But OK. We’ll see. We shall see. But note this—Bite Squad bites. And I no longer work so I can make it my full time occupation to seek revenge for poor service. Let’s just hope I don’t have to.

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The Day After The Two Days Of Blizzarding

Well, we lived through this thing. Shocking. When all was said and done it snowed for 30+ hours straight and accumulated to about 2’. Time to take stock of how we fared…

We didn’t lose power, although we were definitely low-energy. After all my concern about getting enough kidney beans to make chili, turns out I was out of cumin. Great. But we had plenty of other food so really I just had to let the whole chili thing go and move on with my life. I think with some therapy I will be able to process the loss.

I bundled up to within an inch of my life and went outside for approximately 2 minutes before realizing I was insane. The kitties have maintained their vigilant patrolling of the house. Dan got cabin fever and made brownies. From long-expired mix, as is his wont. It’s a good way to ensure that I won’t touch them.

Our snow blower actually worked when we needed it, so Dan had a toy to keep him occupied. In typical Dan fashion, he carefully monitored the radar maps on his phone and timed his first run through for when the wind and snow would be at their lightest point. He put his hands on his hips, stood up a little straighter, and made manly man declarations about what needed to be done.

Media naming of the storm has been haphazard. Meteorologists officially dubbed it Jonas, which I think is a really dumb name for a snow storm. I’ve seen Snownin᷉o, Snowtastrophe, Snowpocalypse, but mostly just Blizzard 2016. I appreciate the simplicity but it certainly lacks imagination.

I couldn’t help but get sucked in to the LIVE NONSTOP COVERAGE OF ______ (whatever that particular media outlet is calling the storm). The reporters were very hyped up Friday, with predictions of dire storm consequences. That kind of stuff gets them really jazzed. So their coverage at the beginning of the storm was somber. Too somber. One reporter said “I know it’s tempting to just enjoy the snow. It looks pretty. But don’t. This is going to be a deadly storm.” I immediately ceased my enjoyment of watching the snow blanket my yard and instead contemplated my own demise, at the hands of this Deadly Storm. I was still pretty unclear on the details of how the storm was going to kill me, personally, but the reporter looked so sincere I took his word for it.

There were a lot of hashtags being thrown around, because events don’t exist anymore unless you come up with a clever name and put a # in front of it. The very, very worst was Fox5 News, which insisted on using #thewinterawakens. I couldn’t help but picture the Social Media Marketing Team at Fox5 triumphantly presenting that bold idea to the higher ups. If I had to guess, since it was a dismal failure, what the Team is saying now is #blametheintern.

Anyway, I hope everyone in its path survived The Great Snowstorm of 2016; the one that almost took my life, and at a bare minimum the one I bravely endured without a pot of chili. #howdidiforgetthecumin

snow1 snow2 snow3 snow4

 

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Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It…OMG Noooooo

As recently as last week, yours truly was whining and complaining that it did not feel like winter. I know, it’s shocking to hear that I was whining and complaining, but every once in a while it happens. And then suddenly the news was filled with the impending doom of A WINTER STORM OF EPIC PROPORTIONS. Smiling news anchors cheerfully report that the world may indeed be coming to an end. At least in our part of the country.

I live right outside Washington, D.C., so I’m guessing that the rest of the country would say “good riddance!” if we were to dissolve into one big slushy mess of slimy politicians. I get it. But some immensely talented humorists/writers live here as well (hint, hint) and that would be a loss to at least a dozen mildly interested blog readers. Epic.

So we are doing what we can to plan our survival tactics. First and foremost, food. Lots and lots and lots of food. Therefore when I went to my neighborhood supermarket yesterday, it appeared that thousands of others flocked there as well. And as far as I can tell, we were all there to buy junk food (duuuh) and kidney beans, to make vats full of chili. I make a mean vegetarian chili, but it is absolutely mandatory that I have low sodium kidney beans to pull it off. Naturally they stock those on the top shelf, which by the time I got to the store had been ravaged. Sadly, I could see a row of cans at the very back of the shelf, but I had no means to get to them. I whimpered pathetically for a few minutes but no offers to help. That means I will only be able to make half a vat of chili with the stuff I have on hand, and I guess half a vat is better than none.

All I can say is heaven help us if there’s ever a real crisis, because the city’s supply of Oreos and other essentials will be wiped from the shelves in record time. When I finally got my groceries pulled together, I came around the corner and found this:

grocery (2)

A mere 45 minutes later and I was on my way! Once home I flipped on the TV to find that out local NBC affiliate has a whole new Type of Snowfall Early Warning System. Check this out:

snowfall

They were reporting that over the last hour they had upped the forecast from Problematic to CRIPPLING. Certain Death and Destruction. Surely only the strong will survive. That does not include certain humorists/writers. At least I’ll go down in a pile of under-beaned chili and cookie crumbs.

In the meanwhile no one bothered to notice that were getting a dusting of snow right at rush hour last night. A Barely Conversational amount according to our new scale of measurement. Not even enough to cover the grass in my yard. Still…my brother Barry called in a report from the Beltway that was not good. Not good at all. His average speed was, well, imperceptible, and people were abandoning their cars! WTF? It begs the question, where do these people go? Have they been teleported somewhere? And how will they get their cars back? I mean, you can’t just stroll down the side of the Beltway. Also, those people I wrote about recently who can’t be bothered to turn on their headlights in the rain have now adopted a practice of driving with their flashers on. According to Barry, who is a very reliable source, it’s become A Thing.

So I’m grateful that Dan and I were both snug at home when the roads came to a screeching halt, over a dusting of snow. Directly from this morning’s Washington Post:

An inch of snow, icy roads unleash 9 hours of traffic chaos across D.C. region

“Horrible.” “Pathetic.” “Painful.” “Unbelievable.” “One inch of snow did this.”

From every corner of the region and into the wee hours of the morning, from every highway and byway, motorists vented their anger and frustration that they were still out there — at 1 a.m., then 2 a.m. and still at 3 a.m. — because of ice and untreated roads, from a modest early-evening snowfall that came and went in a few hours.

So Conversational Snowfall was actually Crippling Snowfall. We’re going to need a thesaurus to come up with a category for the storm coming tomorrow. Perhaps we go from Crippling to Epic to Life Altering to Abandon All Hope. I’m going to go take cover now.

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The Cold Truth

Dan and I enjoy a little travel here and there. Last year we decided (and by that I mean I decided and told Dan what he wanted) another trip to Paris was in order. Due to various work and family obligations, February was the perfect time for said vacation.

Then there was a problem. Airfare. Airfare had gone through the roof and was outrageously expensive, particularly for going to Paris in February. The only reasonable price quotes were from Icelandair. Seeing as I don’t give a rat’s behind which carrier we use (I am what is known as a price elastic travel consumer, for those of you who remember that econ class from 30 years ago). I took a closer look.

Iceland tourism has apparently been lacking, and in an attempt to boost the economy of the 12 people who live there, Icelandair started running these crazy sales to Europe. Icelandair was happy to book my ticket, and the digital assistant casually notified me that I could stop in Reykjavik on the way over or on the way back, at no extra charge. I thought to myself “what kind of moron goes to Iceland in February?” then I remembered that I am that kind of moron! So just out of curiosity I did a little googling on what one does in Iceland, in February, and discovered that it is a great time to see the Northern Lights. Well there you have it, bucket list item and here was my opportunity. I informed Dan that he had decided to go to Reykjavik for a couple of days on our way to Paris. He was shocked that he decided that but went with the flow because it’s just easier. To sweeten the deal I showed him pictures of some kind of world famous ice sculpture festival that would be taking place while we were there.

Did you know Northern Lights have to be chased? I certainly didn’t. I naively thought that all I would have to do is look up at the sky and there they’d be. Nope, that would be too easy. So the 12 people who live in Iceland operate SuperJeep tours to chase down the elusive Lights and push tourists out of the SuperJeep and onto a glacier so their dumb asses can see them. Being a dumb ass myself, I immediately booked a tour. And as long as I was booking stuff anyway, I booked a SuperJeep tour of Iceland. I promised Dan he had made a good decision.

Day one would be filled with a little exploring on our own. The first thing we discovered is that our hotel was located next to Iceland’s most famous and sought after eatery; a hot dog stand. How lucky!

Iceland's Best Hot Dogs! Apparently worth the wait...

Iceland’s Best Hot Dogs! Apparently worth the wait…

Except of course that we’re vegetarians. Oh well, on to the much anticipated ice sculpture festival! Sadly, we then learned that someone had gotten the dates wrong, and the festival was yet a week away. What had Dan been thinking?

But day two was more promising. A super warm SuperJeep picked us up at the hotel and off we went. We stopped at a waterfall and I sent Dan out into the frigid conditions to take pictures so I could see everything just as if I had been there.

I'll stay in the SuperJeep, thanks

I’ll stay in the SuperJeep, thanks

According to Dan, we made lots of interesting stops throughout the day while I stayed in the warm SuperJeep. I’ve seen the pictures-it all looks beautiful!

Waterfall with less wind, ice and snow

The weather kept getting worse though. And by worse I mean white-out blizzard conditions and sub-zero temperatures. Who could anticipate those conditions in Iceland in February? I soon became very alarmed that I couldn’t see where the driver was going. I mentioned, super casual, that I feared for my life, and the driver and Dan laughed at me and told me I was being ridiculous. I pointed out that absolutely everything was white-the road, whatever was next to the road, the air, the sky—and the driver assured me that he knew these roads like the back of his hand.

Umm, where did the road go?

Umm, where did the road go?

And so I prepared to die. I got a little sad thinking that I would die in a SuperJeep in the middle of a foreign country, in a blizzard, and it would probably be spring before anyone found our bodies. [Spoiler alert: this did not happen].

Dan told me I was not only being ridiculous but outrageously dramatic too. Fine I thought to myself; when we’re all dead he will have to admit I was right. I spent some time feeling smug and forgot to fear for my life and before I knew it we were back at the hotel. Of course death still loomed large because in just a couple hours we were scheduled to go back out to chase the Lights.

Two hours later, as we sat bundled up so tightly we could barely move, our friends from SuperJeep called and told us that the tour was canceled because what with the blizzard and all, it was impossible to see the Lights. I sent Dan outside to confirm that it was indeed still snowing in a blizzard-like fashion. We agreed to try again the next night, which would be our last night in Reykjavik. Dan and I planned to spend the next day at the Blue Lagoon, a hot spring complex with healing mud of some kind. But in the morning the blizzard-type weather continued. And we remembered that I can’t breathe in the cold. And discovered that we would need to ride a bus, in the blizzard, for over an hour each way to get there. So it became less desirable. Like, a lot less desirable. Suddenly walking across the street for lunch seemed like a much more manageable plan, and that’s what we did. In the course of crossing the street we took in all the sights and sounds the city had to offer. In other words, a hot dog stand and a couple of shops and restaurants. But hey, what else do you really need?

You can probably guess that with the blizzard raging on, SuperJeep canceled our second night Northern Lights Chase. And I couldn’t help it, I just had to question Dan’s wisdom in dragging us there in the first place. But of course I’m not one to whine and dwell. Mostly. And all was not lost; we wouldn’t see the Northern Lights but we were headed to the trés bien City of Lights. Umm, after some serious de-icing of the plane…

Perfect conditions for take-off

Perfect conditions for take-off

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Hospitals 201: WTF, Continued

In the continuing saga of last year’s hospital stay…

Big build hospital (done in 3d)

  1. Patient settles into a routine of blood draws at 4:00am, followed by EKGs at 9:30am, The Price is Right at 10:30am, and gurney rides to imaging soon after lunch. Late afternoon is spent trying not to think about how parched she is and how there is a giant water fountain right outside her room. Patient has dim memory of normal life.
  2. Patient eats an entire bag of jelly beans. Patient doesn’t even like jelly beans.
  3. In attempt to escape, patient begs, pleads, cajoles, stomps foot, threatens and briefly holds nurse hostage. Just briefly! Calm down it wasn’t that bad; in fact I’m pretty sure nurse was on a break anyway.
  4. Patient is amazed at array of hospital services. Social worker swings by, possibly concerned about hostage situation. Librarian comes by with handfuls of uplifting information about heart failure and diagrams of the cardiovascular system. Patient cannot tell if diagrams are upside down or not. Gets bored. Chipper hospital pharmacist comes by to announce they are out of half the meds patient needs. Funeral director comes by. Patient becomes introspective and gets religion.
  5. After six solid days of endless hospital stay, doctor finally takes patient to OR for right heart cath. Doctor has difficulty threading catheter into artery because patient is dehydrated. Doctor scolds patient for being dehydrated. Patient quietly plots her revenge.
  6. Nurse summons orderly to take patient from recovery back to her room. Orderly looks at patient and says “She needs a ride? She can’t walk up there? Shhhht.” Nurse looks like she will kill orderly. Patient notes orderly looks exhausted and offers to give him a ride instead.
  7. Carefirst reauthorizes patient’s PH meds after receiving bill for $50K weeklong hospital stay. Through clerical error they reauthorize through 2039. Patient optimistic about Carefirst’s longevity prognosis.
  8. Patient bids nurses a tearful goodbye, with promises to return for a visit
  9. Patient’s cats glare at her when she resumes her rightful spot on the bed. Patient promises cats she will leave them everything in her will. Cats still annoyed.
  10. Patient notes it’s been a rough run, but if she ever starts blogging again, she’ll have plenty of material
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Hospitals 101: Explain Again Why I’m Here?

Back to me, me me and my boring health crap. See if you can follow this…

The condition I have can either be primary or secondary. Mine is primary, and causes heart failure. But you could also have heart failure that causes the lung disease (PH). In order to diagnose the thing, one is subjected to a right heart catheter, which I wrote about many moons ago.

Last spring, my new doctors decided to repeat my right heart cath because they were bored and it’s funny to see me helpless on an operating table. Or maybe there was a real reason, but whatever. The heart cath showed that I was in heart failure. Duuuh. When Carefirst saw the bill, some clerk somewhere decided that they shouldn’t be paying for a bunch of expensive PH drugs when in fact I was in heart failure. They cut off my PH meds which has a tendency to cut off my breathing. So we had to prove that my PH is primary, and the way to do that is to admit me to the hospital, drain off every excess ounce of fluid around my heart and lungs, and repeat the heart cath.

hospital

The hospital stay is memorable for so many reasons…

  1. The patient must output significantly more fluid than what she consumes. So the goal is to pee like a maniac all day via the magic of IV diuretics, and yet be a camel and plod through with no water
  2. When patient consumes little water but pees like a maniac, the kidneys become unhappy. The kidneys shut down in protest
  3. The doctors ask the patient why she is in kidney failure and the patient, who is a smart ass, says “because I was getting bored with heart failure and wanted a change of pace”
  4. The doctors work every day to find the exact balance between heart failure and kidney failure, which must be terribly abstract unless your very own organs include said heart, and said kidneys
  5. Kidney sounds funny if you say it over and over again
  6. The nurses inform the patient that she is in the same room Dick Cheney occupied when he had his heart surgery. The patient immediately begins burning sage and chanting soothing prayers
  7. The lovely gentleman from food services is very concerned that the patient orders meals without any beverage. Offers to bring soup. Patient declines. Offers to bring coffee. Patient declines. Offers to bring lemonade, iced tea, root beer, mango smoothie. Patient, with her dry throat cracking, declines.
  8. Patient notices that days and days have gone by with no glimpse of release. Patient despairs and gnaws on chocolate bar to make up for the lack of Jello, which is considered a liquid. Patient realizes ice cream is a liquid and puts down spoon.
  9. In a fit of boredom, patient quietly joins gaggle of residents as they make their rounds, until someone notices and yells at her to go back to her room. Patient pouts.
  10. Patient wonders if gaggle is the correct term for a flock of residents. Wait…is it flock or gaggle?

That’s enough hospital talk for one day! Hospitals 201 coming in my next post…whether you want it or not…

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