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. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


I'm taking a poll and asking the question how concerned are you about the recent cases of Ebola in the US?  

Here in Oklahoma there is probably greater concern since we are only a short drive from Dallas where the two confirmed cases have been hospitalized.  We recently had a patient quarantined in Okla. City which turned out to not be Ebola.

I think we are going to have to prepare for the fact that we will be having more confirmed cases here in the US.  Unfortunately the situation was not contained in West Africa at the onset and as people travel to the US we have to prepared to deal with the possibility of another exposure.

A lot of people here have asked why travel is still being allowed out of the countries where so many people have Ebola.  What I've read is that would actually make the situation worse and harder to contain.  Some even said the US should close their borders.  That really made me laugh since we can't even control the border between us and Mexico.

Hopefully we are feverishly working on a vaccine but even if we get one (which I think we eventually will) there will be another virus down the pike that we will have to contend with.

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Blessing of the Animals

Yesterday we attended The Blessing of the Animals at our church.  Ron has wanted to take Bella to be blessed for the past 3 years but this year we finally did it.  Ron even had Bella groomed for the occasion.

Bella waiting for her blessing!
The animals loved the clarinet and the service.

Bella being blessed by Reverend Normile
 I wish I had taken more pictures of the other animals.  There were guinea pigs, dogs, a turtle, and a very fat cat named Cat Stevens.

Not a single dog barked or cat hissed.  It was very interesting how calm and cool the animals were.  When Dr. Thurston started playing the clarinet they all sat transfixed on the music. 

Ron was a very proud dog owner.  Bella was definitely the smallest dog there but she was so calm and well behaved.  She made her Grandpa very proud.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Cancer Update

Hooray.....Ron is still cancer free...15 months and counting.  His doctor told him he's a walking miracle.  We didn't have time to celebrate because we were helping twin #2 but maybe we will get to do something this weekend.

My daughter is doing well but has a lot of rehab ahead of her.  Fortunately the pain seems to be well controlled and she's just loopy but not hurting.  Her sister is helping her today so I'm back at work.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A lot going on today.  Twin #2 is having shoulder surgery this morning and Ron gets his latest CT scan results this afternoon.  Because I don't have any leave left (because of my surgery) I wasn't able to go to the hospital with my daughter.  Fortunately her twin sister and her husband are with her but it's not the same as being there.  I know she's in good hands though.

A life long friend of my husband's was recently admitted to the hospital in kidney failure.  His kidneys have shut down because of his use of Aleve.  He takes one pill every other day but that was enough to cause the damage.  I don't know how long he's been taking it though.  Yesterday that began dialysis treatment but he was told the kidneys may wake up tomorrow or never.  

So, between Ebola and Aleve there is always something to worry about.  

There seems to be a shortage of the flu vaccine this year.  We have only received 1/2 of our order this year and there is no guarantee that we will get the rest.  We used what we received to vaccinate all our patients but we are waiting to vaccinate the staff.  We've had one confirmed case of the flu (our Director of Nursing) so far here at the hospital.  She called yesterday to advised us of her diagnosis.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

I saw the surgeon last Thursday because the knee pain just kept getting worse.  I went in with my Web MD diagnosis which he listened to quite respectfully.  Then he said, "Now, are you ready for me to tell you what's really wrong with you?"

What?  I'm wrong?  But the internet does not lie!!!!

Then he proceeded to show me the x-rays of my knees......both knees bone on bone.  

Whoa......what about my diagnosis of tendonitis?  I'm not ready for anymore surgery.  

We finally agreed on a treatment plan that involves no least for now.  More physical therapy to strengthen the muscles in my right leg and he prescribed a compounding medication where they take 5 drugs and put them together into a topical cream.  Only problem is my insurance denied it so I'll have to pay out of pocket to the tune of $169.00.  Then if all this doesn't work he will start cortisone injections to keep me going until they don't work anymore. we go again.   I'm going to be nothing but a bunch of metal parts when I die.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


May your troubles be less

May your blessings be more

May nothing but happiness come through yourdoor !

May God Bless you and Keep you and Shine his Face on yours!