Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Uninspired or Unfocused?

We've almost made it through the first month of 2017. I'm sitting here wondering if I'm uninspired by my life as it is, or simply unfocused. Don't get me wrong, plenty of stuff is going on, whether outwardly or behind the scenes, and unless I put it here, it simply goes into my (rapidly fading) memories. I'm not feeling a sense of urgency to talk or even write about stuff that mostly makes sense if you are present in the moment. I could twist it into funny anecdotes, even kinky anecdotes, but why bother? Apathetic is a good word for this. I've reached homeostasis in my life. Every system is predictable. Just where it should be. My "road" isn't "bumpy", it's paved and straight as far as the eye can see. There are a few places coming up where I might turn, like an interesting looking diner or two with an unknown menu, but even though they are getting closer, I'm not feeling the urgency that I normally would. Don't let the calm demeanor fool you. I'm totally out of control. It's a self driving car, and I'm snugly buckled up in the passenger seat. I can yell STOP!!! all I want to, but it's not like it's going to stop just because I want it to.

Since I can't quite tell you where I'm going, I'll share where I've been. January 16th, I saw my Ortho doctor using my new insurance plan. He ordered New PT because my new coverage didn't cover my old PT. He also ordered an MRI. Neither of them are things I'm looking forward to. I got a call Friday to (finally!) set up those appointments. Because I'm physically unable to drive (trust me, I tried and I frightened myself!) I have to depend on Shilo, and his schedule (graves) affects when I can go anywhere, and if you keep in mind that I have his time limits, plus the ones imposed by the places I need to be seen, it's a scheduling nightmare. My MRI is on Sunday the 5th. I use google calendar, so I put it in and sent Shilo (who was dead asleep) an email. He neglected to write Superbowl on that day, so I forgot. 6 hours later, he asked me why I would plan something on Superbowl Sunday. Maybe because it wasn't on the calendar? I'm not a mind reader, and every day melts into every other day unless I schedule something. I only know it's Saturday or Sunday because Stitch is here, and there's the Wednesday alarm to move the car for street cleaning, and Thursday to unlock the gate so the pool can get cleaned. A few weeks ago, when Shilo had the plague, I moved the car. That convinced me once and for all that I cannot drive the car. The Super Bowl can get recorded on the DVR. Problem solved! The next day, I get my new PT assessment. A week later (2-13) I see the Ortho doctor again to discuss my options in detail. Am I the only one who is disturbed that it will have been 4 weeks since he ordered everything until I see him again? Or, rather, that I had to wait 3 weeks for everything to be taken care of? Then I remind myself that my copay is only $10, so maybe I have no right to complain. Driverless car, here I go!

I also saw my GP last week on Monday (1-23) for a routine appointment to check my labs (blood sugar and A1c) and as I've said before, I dropped about 40 pounds since my accident, so he couldn't say I've been misbehaving, but I also know that I'm not taking my metformin the way I'm supposed to (once a day instead of twice) so I told him that before he could even discuss the numbers with me, my numbers, in case you're wondering, were good. Right where he wants them, and my blood pressure is good as well. I was almost breathing that sigh of relief when he asked about my frozen shoulder and how that was progressing (going nowhere fast crossed my mind) and I told him I was off the opiates and NSAID's for pain. I was going to leave it at that, but Shilo asked me if I was going to "come clean". I smiled tersely at Shilo, and told my doctor about using edibles, which turned into a discussion about CBD's, THC and smoking. He asked me if I get high, and I told him that I have no pain, but never feel high. Thankfully, Shilo said nothing about that one episode. I'd rather forget it if I could. Live and learn. It turns out that my doctor is very open-minded about the benefits of medical marijuana, and he said it was better than me taking pain medications every 4 hours around the clock.

I haven't had that discussion with my Ortho doctor, and I'm avoiding it if possible. He seems rather old-fashioned, and having that discussion might prevent me from having the treatments I need. We'll see what happens in February.

The House I live in has been sold. The company that purchased it is working with us to assist us in relocating. Shilo has been handling business, so I'm only told what I need to know. I've been really calm about this since I found out a few weeks ago, It's easy to be calm when you realize everything going on around you is completely out of your control. I'm still the Dominant, Mistress, and Head of Household, but my job is to heal and make decisions if necessary, and the decisions are being made for us. I'm strangely removed from all this. Saying "Okay" has become second nature. I'm being taken care of. No panic, just waiting for it to come.

Speaking of being removed, there was an upheaval where I receive my mental health care. In the past year, I've had 3 changes in therapists/psychiatrists. Normally, changes would put me in a tailspin, but with the way 2016 was, it barely registered with me. Other than my long-term doctor retiring in January last year, I never really formed an attachment with any of the people. I mean, how could I even begin to trust someone who might not be around the next time I had an appointment? In December, I was given what will hopefully be a permanent doctor. I saw him yesterday for the second time, and while he's not unpleasant, all he wants to know is if I need refills on my antidepressant. I spent less than 10 minutes in his office which was long enough for me to tell him I was fine on the antidepressants, the house was sold, and I felt oddly removed from it all, but I wasn't depressed. He seemed satisfied and reminded me to make an appointment on my way out. He seems even more removed than I feel. It would be a lie for me to say I don't care, because I do, but not enough for me to make a scene in a mostly unoccupied Mental Health Clinic. I did think to tell him that I've been on the same medication since 1997, and that it works, and that if I ever have a problem, I'll call him, so please if I call for him to realize it's serious. He barely glanced at me, but at least he pronounces my unusual name correctly, so I can't complain. ::YAWN::

I really am mostly pain free with the edibles, although because I have a really sharp sense of smell, I'll tell you that I reek of pot, but I'm the only one who can smell it. My right arm movement is limited, but I've mastered the use of using paddles with my left arm, and Shilo is back to receiving funishment spankings. We even filmed over the weekend. A friend cut my hair last week, so now I can do almost all my hair care with minimal assistance. When I showered Monday morning, other than the shampooing, I stood up and did it without asking for help to get scrubbed. The chair is in there if I need it, but I'm trying to be as independent as possible. I also attended the munch in Lake Forest this past Friday night. My kink activities will be limited to weekends until I'm able to drive again, or deemed "recovered" whichever comes first, but I'm not holding my breath.

I also spent Saturday going through all the things I inherited from Daddy W. His ex-wife brought it to me a week after he died, but I was in so much pain then that I barely remember what I had been given. I guess she kept his knife collection, but I have his paddles, favorite floggers, a neon wand, and other goodies.

I guess I'm inspired and focused after all. It's just that I am in a position where I'm not in the driver's seat, and there's someone driving for me, but the driver changes frequently. Insurance company, Ortho doctor, GP, Shilo, the real estate people. Yadda yadda, yadda...

Also, because I know they will see this, I miss my boyfriend and his girlfriend. Hugs and kisses to them!

Monday, January 23, 2017

One Week Ago

Let me start by saying that this wasn't a horrible week at all; however, the rain and cold has made me stiff and uncomfortable. I committed myself to only use/take edibles between the hours of 8AM to 5PM so I could avoid adverse interactions between it and my current medications. I also avoid edibles when I see my Ortho doctor, so he can see where my pain level is and my abilities without the benefit of pain relievers. Enough background.

I saw my Ortho doctor a week ago (Monday morning) and presented him with the report from my Physical Therapist. Because of my new coverage, seeing him was only $10 vs. $60, so that was a plus. The x-rays he took showed just a faint line where the break on the ball area of my humerus was, and a slightly bumpy area where the break between my elbow and shoulder was. The bone healed nicely in spite of the severity of it. I consider that a plus. Unfortunately, my inability to use my right arm properly due to the frozen shoulder and possible nerve damage still means I have a long recovery ahead. Options were discussed.

Did I mention that I have come to hate the term/word "Options?" Options used to be a nice word. Coffee or tea? Cake or pie? Cook dinner or go out? Walk or drive? Nowadays, Options consist of choosing the least disagreeable choice of two unpleasant choices. Do we stick in a long needle and give me a cortisone injection, or do we go in and do arthroscopic surgery and break up the scar tissue? Honestly, neither one sounds fun, but the chicken in me likes the idea of getting the surgery done. I'm already in pain, so the idea of being "out" while it gets fixed once and for all just seems more pleasant. I've been told that cortisone injections are the preferred method, but I'm more scared of the needle than being cut open. The first few days and weeks after the accident I was in so much pain that I was screaming in pain and crying constantly. I don't go into hysterics, the tears just keep rolling down. I'm a silent crier. It's a way of self-preservation for me. If I'm not heard, I can't be found (Don't ask) Sunshine will sob loudly, but not me. Yeah, so those are the ugly options.

Not so fast! Before either of the options can be done, I will need an MRI and more PT. Because of the new coverage, I don't know how long it will be until the MRI or PT will be scheduled, but I'm not holding my breath. It seems it all has been a case of hurry up and wait. In the meantime, I see my GP for a routine visit this afternoon. It should be fun. I'll try to be better about my updates.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Progress Report and Insurance Woes

Let's start with the Insurance. Calling it "Insurance woes" isn't exactly right, but it's easier to write than Insurance confusion. Go far enough back in my writing, and you'll discover nearly everything about my annoying preexisting medical conditions (diabetes, sleep apnea and others) You'll also find out about my accident in late July, and all the resulting problems and complications. 2016 wasn't kind, and I'm truly hoping for a better 2017 in spite of how much of the problems from 2016 have followed me into 2017.

Let's go back to that pesky medical insurance. My PT was ordered by the Orthopedic Specialist in hopes that my frozen shoulder (a result of my right humerus being broken in TWO places and a complication related to my diabetes) would improve. Every visit to the Orthopedic Specialist or PT cost us (the Household) $60. I was supposed to go to PT three times a week, and I saw the Orthopedic Specialist around five times last year. You can do the math. Well, when I went to my first PT appointment, my Physical Therapist looked at my copay, and reduced my appointments to once a week. Still, this meant that Shilo had to take on extra shifts at work to fund this. He didn't mind, because my health was always a priority for him, and he walked into our relationship knowing full well about my health at that time. I was actually going into liver failure at the time due to NAFLD. (http://www.liverfoundation.org/abouttheliver/info/nafld/) I hadn't been diagnosed with diabetes yet, that came as a surprise later. Let's just say he knew everything, and he accepted me and all my baggage, including my 5 adult children and Stitch. Anyway, you get the picture. The cost of my 4 prescriptions a month ($180) and CPAP supplies ($600 a year) and that's just me. I went from being self-sufficient to a burden overnight due to my accident. Visits to my GP were another $40, and I went about 4 times last year. Then there were the ambulance and ER charges etc. from the accident (too much to quote here) Fortunately those last charges were billed, so it wasn't straight out of pocket at the moment. We'll be paying that off for years to come.

We've established that even with medical insurance, I'm expensive. I had also become a burden, because I lost my independence. I needed help using the bathroom, eating, dressing, bathing, hair care, Everything. Neither Stitch or Shilo complained, even when things got ugly. They preserved my dignity as much as possible, cleaning me as often as I needed, dressing me up, and Shilo drove me wherever I needed to go. All with minimal complaint. Fortunately, due to the PT, I can now take care of nearly everything independently, except I still need my hair washed, and the occasional help getting dressed and putting on shoes and socks. I can't scrub my back using the brush without help and I have a long way to go. More on that later...

So, in November, in the midst of all this confusion, Stitch was given the opportunity to add me to his new Medical Insurance with no extra cost to him. The best news was that ALL doctor/medical visits would only cost $10 effective January 2017. Even the cost of my medication would go down to just over $20 month for all of them! At one point, my medication was costing us $180 a month. This was a reason to celebrate!

So, Monday morning was my final PT appointment before I see my Orthopedic Specialist on Monday morning next week. I was so excited about having to only pay $10 instead of the usual $60. Well... until I was told my new insurance didn't cover the PT provider because it was out of network. Fortunately, I still have the other coverage for another month, so I was able to pay $60 and get my final appointment and assessment. I need the surgery (DUH!!!) because my Range of Motion is still lacking in many areas. I could originally lift my arm straight up to 90 degrees, and now it's up to 115 degrees, so that's a huge improvement for me, but it means I can't reach above my head with my right arm, and I'm too young to be this limited. Also, my right elbow can't flex outwards at all, and trying makes me cry. Nevermind that any BDSM play is next to impossible if I use my right arm.

Well, after the news about my PT provider being out of network, I realized that there might be further problems, because my Orthopedic Specialist might not be in my network either. I tried the website, but it was increasingly frustrating for me, so I gave in and called and spoke to Customer Service. The first option was to see if I could get Continuity of care. NOPE! Next step was to see if the new insurance had my soon to be ending HMO available. Another NOPE! The final option was to see if they had any HMO available with my PCP and Orthopedic Specialist in the same network. YES!!! All this confusion took only 20 minutes to solve, but I felt like it had taken much longer. I called there on the verge of tears, but the Representative was so polite and patient with me that I soon relaxed, because for the first time in quite a while, I felt like this woman cared about my medical concerns. I was the priority, not the Insurance Provider.

My next step was to call my PCP and tell them about my new Insurance coverage and request an expedited referral to my current Orthopedic Specialist because of my new Insurance. It had to be expedited due to my appointment being in a week. My next step was to call my CPAP company and change to my new Insurance info, and order supplies. I'm not sure how much my coverage is, but my previous insurance didn't cover my supplies. I'll find out how much the coverage is when my supplies arrive.

I know that this isn't kinky in any way, but once I'm all better and healed, I'll be able to do all sorts of kinky things, and there's nothing kinkier than a woman who can do everything for herself.

Things are looking better and even though surgery will be necessary, and many more months of PT, I won't be such a financial burden on my Household, and that's the best I can ask for right now.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017


Pick and Choose!

On The Vanilla Front

My youngest and his wife just had their second child (my first grandson!) at 11:36AM PST on January 2nd. They named him Nyjah Justice and he was 9lbs 6oz with a head full of dark hair. I'm happy and proud for so many reasons, but the primary reason is because this time last year they had been separated for 8 months and were on the verge of a divorce. Jonathan's cancer enabled them to see how precious life was, and they decided to try to work things out. I'm not sure if the pregnancy was planned, but I know they're happy and that's all that matters.


I was feeling well enough to go out, so Shilo and Stitch got me ready dressed and pretty for a NYE party at a local dungeon. I paddled Shilo into the New Year, mostly using my left hand.

Home Issues

Things got settled concerning the repairs and who was going to pay for them. Between needing a new water heater and having a gas leak repaired under the house, I was a nervous wreck, but at least we got past it. We're still looking for somewhere to move, but they must accept Donna as part of the deal. Still holding out for a miracle so we don't have to move.

Pain Management

I'm doing okay. Went to the dispensary 2 days ago to get more edibles, and discovered they were OUT. I wasn't pretty. I wasn't angry, but I was desperate. Mostly because I had found something that actually works. The bud tender suggested Weedmaps.

Weedmaps has a listing of both doctors and dispensaries with user reviews. Admittedly, most user reviews are useless unless you think "Good chronic" is a review that's helpful, but I digress... What is useful is that each dispensary has a "menu" which is extremely helpful. Click on the dispensary, and you'll have the address and hours it's open. Scroll down a little, and it will show the weed menu. I don't smoke, so I click "ALL CATEGORIES" and choose EDIBLE. It will have a list of all current edibles available at that spot. Highest priced items on top. You can change it so lowest priced items are on top, or you can search for a specific item using the search feature. I used that and found a place nearby that had what I wanted (or so I thought) It turned out it was a slightly different product when I got there, but I bought several packages of it. I haven't had any ill effects, so I'm happy. The strength was higher per item, so I have to take less. Unfortunately, it took me 2 days to realize why I was sleeping all day, but at least I wasn't tripping or high.


New grandchild (my third!) but first grandson. I'm very happy.

Problems with my house aren't completely solved, but the immediate problem/issue was solved. Still a little stressed, but hopeful it works out.

I went to a dungeon and played for the first time since July. Sad I didn't see more people I know, but I know GRUE is coming up so I understand why. No GRUE for me this year.

I learned how to navigate a website to find dispensaries. I also learned to never run out of edibles and plan ahead.