Thursday, October 30, 2014

What's your cure?

I was reading yesterday about ways to cure the hiccups.  I had no idea there were so many methods out there to cure them.  

Here are a few of the ones I found:

Try the open-mouthed swallowing method. Open your mouth and keep it open for a couple of minutes. If you feel the need to swallow, do so, but try to keep your lips apart when you do.
  • Keep gulping every few seconds, especially when you feel a hiccup might be coming. A couple of hiccups might escape, but with continuous gulping, hiccups should be gone within 3 minutes.
  • Make sure you are not wearing anything tight around your chest. If you are, loosen it.
Imagine breathing in a figure eight. As the out-breath reaches the end, slow the breath and twist it around so that it becomes the in-breath. Then simply create a figure eight of continuous breath.
  • The hiccups will subside almost immediately. It usually works within 10 cycles.
  • Another way to visualize this is to inhale as much as you can hold, then exhale all but a small amount of air. Continue doing this for 15-20 seconds, or until the hiccups have gone. 
 Employ the rotation method. First, pinch your nose together. Then, spin around in a clockwise direction, while singing "Row, row, row, your boat."

Put your earlobes to good use. About time, right?! What are they there for anyway? Drink a normal-sized gulp of water, but don't swallow! Leave the water in your mouth. Then, pull down both your earlobes and tilt your head back. Swallow and tada! Hiccups, vamoose! 

Trust me this only touches the surface of the number of cures I found.  But...I don't use any of these sure fire cures.  I found what works for me in the 1st grade when I sat next to Alan Barker, the  the cutest, brown haired, boy in my class.  

Now, you ask what he has to do with curing hiccups?  Well, I'll tell you.... Whenever I would get the hiccups my mother would say, "Guess who I saw today?  Alan Barker."  

She usually didn't have to go any further than saying his name for my hiccups to vanish but sometimes she'd elaborate by saying he asked about me or his mother told my mother I was cute.  It really didn't matter because usually just the mention of his name would do it.  For some weird reason this continued to work even into adulthood. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A day at a time!

My hip surgery was on June 11th and I’m still getting random EOB’s from my health insurance.  The one we received for the surgery was $43,000 which they negotiated to twenty something thousand.  We received another EOB yesterday for the rental of the compression machine.  We had the machine for about 6 days and they billed the insurance company $3,000.  My insurance company does not pay for durable medical equipment and so I’m waiting to see if we are going to be billed for the $3,000 which seems very exorbitant for a 6 day rental fee.  After all I didn’t BUY the machine.  Even though I have a secondary insurance through Ron’s employer they will not pay either since the claim was denied by my primary insurer.   What a maze to fight through.  So frustrating!

My knee is feeling better.  I guess the compound medication is working.  I can walk further and am having less pain and stiffness in the morning.  It took about two weeks before I began noticing any difference.  Too bad insurance won’t pay for the medication.

We attended a meeting on United Healthcare Advantage plans last week.  It was informative.  I signed Mike up for a 0 premium plan that will at least give us a backup to his Indian health coverage.  The plan will also pay for his Silver Sneakers class at the gym.  That will save him $40.00/month just on that alone.  And on his limited income that is a good deal!

Finally my older brother is receiving some help with my niece.  She has been hospitalized for the past 3 weeks and they are going to try a program where someone will go to her apartment every day to administer her medication.  Because she has been non-compliant in taking her meds she had another psychotic break.  If this plan doesn’t work her psychiatrist has recommended she go to a group home.  My brother said she can’t go because she would have to break her lease.  I said, “So what”!   They can’t get blood out of a turnip.  She would probably lose her deposit but she’ll lose it anyway because she has destroyed the place but they can’t hold her to the lease.  She’s mentally ill and she doesn’t have any money to get.   She says she wants to go to a group home because she can’t take care of herself.  It really would probably be the best thing for her and my brother.

Life is hard sometimes.  It’s just the way things are.  We just have to take each day as it comes.

Monday, October 27, 2014

St. Vincent

Ron and I had a movie date yesterday to see St. Vincent.  I had heard it recommended on the Ellen DeGeneres show and though I had no idea what it was about I wanted to see it.  I was not disappointed.  Bill Murray was a big surprise!  The following is a short synopsis I found online.  Don't want to give too much away because it is a movie worth seeing.

"Maggie (Melissa McCarthy), a single mother, moves into a new home in Brooklyn with her 12-year old son, Oliver (Jaeden Lieberher). Forced to work long hours, she has no choice but to leave Oliver in the care of their new neighbor, Vincent (Bill Murray), a retired curmudgeon with a penchant for alcohol and gambling. An odd friendship soon blossoms between the improbable pair. Together with a pregnant stripper named Daka (Naomi Watts), Vincent brings Oliver along on all the stops that make up his daily routine - the race track, a strip club, and the local dive bar. Vincent helps Oliver grow to become a man, while Oliver begins to see in Vincent something that no one else is able to: a misunderstood man with a good heart."

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Death Book

The topic on elder story yesterday was pre-planning for the inevitable end.  I am always surprised by just how many people are uncomfortable about the subject let alone actually doing anything to prepare for it.  I on the other hand started thinking about this when I was 26 years old.

Because I was a single mother I wanted to make sure I had things in order in case anything happened to me.   My children were too young to make such decisions so I knew I had to put information somewhere so it would be available to whoever had to take care of things.  That's when I made my "Death" book.   I put everything in this binder including appointing a guardian for my children.  I had talked to an attorney about how I wanted my children to go to my parents because their father wasn't in their life and I didn't want him to just show up and take the kids.  I found out I couldn't prevent that from happening but I could appoint a guardian over the girl's money....anything they received from my estate.  Well, I knew that if the money didn't come with the girls their dad would probably not want them and he'd leave them with my parents.  It was a gamble but I felt better about it.  

So that was my motivation to get my end of life affairs in order.  I have kept that book up-to-date ever since.  It was a relief when the girls turned 18 because I knew then they would be of age to make decisions for themselves.  I would go over the book with them every few years so they understood what all the documents were and what they would need to do in case something happened to me.  I know they thought I was morbid when they were younger but this year they each asked me to put together a book for each of them that they can complete for themselves.  This is what they want for Christmas.   

I guess I don't look so crazy to them anymore.

Well, my need to be prepared for all situations is a little over the top I guess.  I even have a "death" book for work.  I made a book explaining everything I do so that if I suddenly died anyone would be able to follow the instructions in the book and do my job.  I just don't want to leave anything undone.   OK....maybe I am a little extreme!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Dry Eyes and Dry Kidneys I'm blowing away..........

Well, had my appointment with the diabetic doctor yesterday.  I spent the month checking my blood sugar every day fasting and before bed.  I thought my numbers looked pretty good but my A1C had gone up slightly.  It was 6.3 in January and now it is 6.6. The goal is under 6.5 or better.   I also learned I'm anemic, have low oxygen in my blood and have dry kidneys.  Hmmmmmmmmm

I've got to go get an iron supplement and I'm drinking 3 leters of water every day.  He also wants me to have a sleep study done to see if I have sleep apnea.  I don't think I do but hey who knows.  I asked Ron if I snore and he reports no.

Anyway, I'm good to go for another 3 months.

I can't believe it is already almost the end of October.  Where does the time go?  The days just seem to fly past me.  I'm trying to get my Christmas list put together and I think I could get it done if I just put a little time into it.  I remember when I made most of my gifts but I don't seem to have the time or the inclination to do that anymore.  Maybe I just ran out of ideas.

Mike called us last Saturday and said he was going to wear a tie to church, a red tie.  Ron and I thought awhile and wondered if he was going to wear it with his yellow shirt.  We decided to wait and be surprised.  Well Sunday morning Mike came walking out wearing a yellow shirt, red tie (tied in a sailor's knot) and sporting a lavender sport coat that belonged to our dad.  The coat was at least 4 sizes too big!
Ron helped get Mike's tie tied right but we didn't say a word about the "brightness" of his attire.  Sooooo now I'm going shopping for a sport coat for my brother and I think a white dress shirt. (just to be safe)

I've purchased so many clothes for Mike over the past 5 years but somehow they come up missing.  Sometimes he just gives his clothes away to Goodwill. 

Friday, October 17, 2014


I have been on the go this whole week.  I had early morning meetings, late meetings, doctor appointments and had to get lab work done this morning.  I'm pooped!

Our weather has been unusually warm for mid October...85 yesterday and not really seeing any signs of fall yet.  Trees still have their leaves and they haven't even changed colors.  It will probably happen overnight one of these days soon.  The weather man predicted a very wet and cold winter for us.  It's hard to imagine when it is still so warm outside.

I have no plans for the weekend other than doing a little fall cleaning.  Ron and I are going to a presentation sponsored by AARP on Medicare next week.  We are trying to learn as much as we can about supplemental insurance and what we need before we retire.  It's all so confusing.  A former co-worker was here yesterday and she was saying it takes her entire state retirement just to pay for her health insurance.  That doesn't sound very encouraging.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Infection Control

Well, my anxiety has heightened slightly since yesterday and since the 2nd healthcare worker has contracted the Ebola virus.  I believe it stems from my lack of confidence in the healthcare system in general.  Maybe that's because I work in a hospital and hear too much.  

My first thought about the healthcare workers that contracted this deadly virus is I question what the hospital's overall protocol was for infectious diseases.  This virus is transmitted by contact with bodily fluids.  They are saying there was no protocol in place for dealing with it and I don't understand that.  There should have been standard protocols in place to deal with ANY infectious disease.

When my mother was in the hospital every room on her floor had an isolation cart parked outside the door.  That was troubling since it meant that there was a lot of cross contamination going on in that hospital.  My mother contracted MRSA and C-diff (Clostridium difficile colitis) while in the hospital.  Evidently it was rampant on her floor and throughout the hospital.  What we observed was that we (Ron & I) were the only people gowning up and wearing gloves when we went in her room.  The staff would just come and go (basically ignoring) the cart parked outside her door.  One day a nurse told us that we didn't need to bother gowning up since we were probably already carriers of MRSA by now.

So, my confidence in hospitals and their infection control rates and ability to not cross contaminate is very low.  That's why I sure hope the CDC can now get the situation in Dallas under control.