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TAM1

Three Years Out

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TAM1

This coming Friday, January 31st, will be three years since Len's passing.  An amazing and demanding time of change in every way where not one part of one's life is left untouched. I'm scheduled for left hip replacement on February 4th and am preparing for this and will take 5-6 weeks off to rest and recover. I was transferred to the main office last week and was not prepared for how that place has changed in six years, and comments such as the following, and others, I won't miss, "Hey Grandma! Your'e walking like an old lady with that cane.  Oh, yea, you ARE a  grandma!"  I honestly have not had any real time "off" in the last three years so this will give me a chance to sort through and do extra life recovery.  I asked that the surgery date be advanced and it was as the physical pain is extreme and walking is difficult. I've sensed Len lately, though Missy is ever-present. 

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KayC

Tam,

I can't imagine going through something so big as that...alone.  My prayers will be with you as you recover.  I pray it will be a time of healing inside and out as you're off work.

I'm sorry you heard such a comment, no one should talk so disrespectfully.

I'm glad you feel your Missy always with you and have sensed Len also.  I pray it brings you some comfort.

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foreverhis

@TAM1  Gosh, and here I've been freaking out over having to have my 10 year colonoscopy alone.  The not-eating-food for 2 days; the, um, prep; the grogginess and then getting the results; the aftermath.  I know friends will be happy to drive me and bring me home.  They'll bring me food and stay with me, but it's not the same at all.  No one and nothing can fill the gaping hole in my life, but then we all already know that.  I've put off and may never have an ear surgery follow up I've needed for 4 years because I don't have my love to take care of me for 2 weeks afterward.  At first we postponed because it's not life threatening and his cancer was critical.  Now I just don't have it in me to care enough to figure it out. 

And yet here you are being incredibly brave.  You're facing major surgery and have made the experience something to look at in a positive light.  You're using the recovery time to help you feel better physically and emotionally.  I'm kind of in awe of that.  You will keep us updated, won't you?  I can't help but think that your physical recovery will only be part of it, so reach out day or night because you know everyone here understands and will be worried about you.  Of course we will be sending you prayers and good thoughts always. 

I don't know your co-workers, so I can't guess their overall behavior or motivations.  But I wonder if they know that those kind of comments can constitute a hostile workplace under EEOC regulations and laws.  The thoughtlessness and petty meanness of some people simply astonishes me.  I learned the value of kindness and consideration a very long time ago, even before I met my husband.  The thing is that, while he could be stubborn and strong willed, he was the kindest person I've ever known.  I put in his obituary that one of the things he will always be remembered for is his generous heart.  I don't think I told him that nearly often enough.

Please take care of yourself both physically and emotionally.  I'll be sending you comforting hugs this Friday and next week.

Edited by foreverhis
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KayC

@foreverhis  I just went through that...going through the prep alone all while being pestered by a stalker, NOT fun!  My friend went with me, wasn't sure I could drive home but we even stopped to get something to eat on the way home.  I was so appreciative of her being there, it took all day since we're quite a ways from the city/doctors.  Wishing you well as you go through this, I have to go every five years and it's all too soon for my liking!  And it's nothing like facing major surgery.

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Rhonda R

I broke my hip in a car accident in 2002.  After my surgery, I was laid up for 10 weeks.  Prepare yourself to be frustrated.  We soon forget that going to the bathroom or getting a drink of water takes much more time than it used to.  I was home alone most of the time as well.  My ex-husband worked and coached basketball so he was never there.  Remind yourself again and again to be patient with yourself, this won't last forever but at times it's going to feel like it. I look back now and it's a blip in my life.  I wish you much success on your road to recovery. 

My co-workers and I would talk that way to each other jokingly but we have been officed together since 1996.  Not much is off limits with each other.  We also work in an environment where you need to learn to laugh at the uncomfortable.  If I was in serious pain, they would probably be a little more supportive than that. 

Three years?  I'm at 20 months and it just hit me the other day that I haven't held him in 20 months.  I didn't think I could live one week without him and now here I am at 20 months.  I don't know how I got here, much of it is a fog.  I think around 18 months out, I accepted his death and things changed after that.  I still miss him and wish he was with me but I have given up trying to turn back the clock and change the circumstances, because I know I can't.  I'm interested to hear how you are handling things three years out. 

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foreverhis
16 hours ago, KayC said:

Wishing you well as you go through this, I have to go every five years and it's all too soon for my liking!  And it's nothing like facing major surgery.

Thanks, Kay.  I know it will be fine.  How horrid to have to deal with that and a stalker at the same time.  My husband had to have his every 5 years too because of family history.  Ick. 

I have to admit yesterday started me thinking, "Girl, you are a weenie.  Tam is going through major surgery and you're whining and worried about your colonoscopy?"  I had three major and two minor surgeries while my husband and I were together.  He was a trooper taking care of me, even though I could hear him sigh at times when I was being a bit of a bad patient.  One was corrective surgery on both feet.  I was in a wheelchair for 6 weeks and then restricted for another 6 weeks out of work.  He built a ramp into the house, moved furniture, helped me with all the necessities, and even built a cool platform for the bathtub so he could help me in and place my heels into these little foot rests.   One day, about 9 weeks into recovery, I had pretty bad cabin fever and was less than nice about it.  Bless him, he decided to take the day off, make a picnic, bundle me and my walker into the car, and go for a day trip to a camping/day area a couple of hours away from home.  He helped me walk around for a while, we sat out in nature, had lunch, talked, walked a little more, and then he drove us home.  I wish I had thanked him just a little bit more for always being there, even when I was somewhat bitchy about whatever medical issues I was facing.  I wish I'd kept those times in mind a bit more when he had his own bad days fighting his cancer.  I know that I was a good wife and caretaker, but there were times I was so exhausted, so afraid, and so emotionally wild that I kind of lost it.  Still, I would have taken care of him forever if it meant he could be with me.  I know he knew that.

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KayC
1 hour ago, foreverhis said:

Tam is going through major surgery and you're whining and worried about your colonoscopy?"

Nothing is minor to us now because we no longer have the support of our spouse going through everything with us.  Yes, TAM is going through something so much more, but that also doesn't lessen your going through what you are.  It's all hard.  TAM is an inspiration to us though, for sure!

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TAM1

Today was my first day home from work and I'm really thankful that my doctor wrote the note for this as the nurse told me, "We don't normally do this. Most people work up until the day before surgery."  Well, I'm NOT most people!  I don't believe any of us are! The hardest thing about being transferred back to the Ventura office was that it was sudden, because someone had left.  So the work and attorney I had gained back last Spring was assigned to someone else again with no experience and I was moved back. No one had prepared my new work area that was far back in a corner that it was full of trash and old files, and once again I was assigned to an area of legal work I do not know as the previous secretaries dumped what they had been working on on my desk and the demands began.  The restroom was far away on the other side of the building so walking with a cane and being uncomfortable was difficult, much less getting up to leave to go to lunch. It just hurt too much physically, and then emotionally, to hobble along the hallway. The original plan was for me to stay in the Westlake Village office, go out for surgery, and return. The original plan was to be out three weeks on the 100 hours of sick leave they give, but my doctor added in his note that my return date is March 9th. What I lack in sick pay will be covered by vacation time, of which I have a quite a lot. Some of the secretaries were angry that I am taking so much time off so being away from that is positive. 

I've had so many people tell me, "Just call or text me if you need any help!"  I did that today because I needed some medication picked up.  I needed to bring some groceries and laundry up from the car. And I would never think of asking someone to take the kitchen trash up the five flights of stairs because it's not a glorious errand.  After hours of not hearing from anyone, I went down to my car and carried the things up the stairs, got my mail, and put everything away. And tomorrow I'll pick up the prescription and a few other items that I realized I need - like apples and other fresh fruit. I'll figure out a lot tomorrow and the days ahead. I'd prepared for this time, taking time off work, having surgery, being alone. And that is exactly what I'm doing now - sticking to the plan.

This will be another part of this journey of loss but with a significant time to consider life and do some needed healing. Perhaps it's that most of the healing has been a solitary process. 

And, yes, I cried today and am now. 

 

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Rhonda R
13 hours ago, TAM1 said:

"Just call or text me if you need any help!" 

This is one of the hardest parts of being on your own.  It takes a lot to ask for the help and then when you finally do, no response. 

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KayC

TAM, I am so sorry no one responded to your plea for help.  I know what it takes to reach out for help, but then to not get it...beyond reprehensible.  I've been there.  I didn't realize you had all the stairs to deal with, that makes it so much harder for you, I'm so sorry.  We will be praying for you as you make your way through this.  And I hope your friends are more on the ball after your surgery than they were just now.  Some people don't take it seriously before surgery.  Do you live in a city where they deliver groceries and Rxs?

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TAM1

People have their own lives, agendas and "busy-ness." I'm going to drive to the Vons at the beach today because it's an easy store to get to and shop and get a few simple things done and that's it. So long as I get to the hospital and get home, I'm good.  My neighbor down the way offered to have me stay in her guest room - it's on  my mind. 

 

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TAM1

I woke up from a dream this morning where Len and I were attending a St. Patrick's Day party (which we did many times as it was a big day!). We had come in separate cars. In this dream I asked others where he was and would be told, "He's out back with the men."  Our purses were put in safe-keeping but at the end of the party mine was gone. Everyone looked everywhere but it could not be found. I asked about Len and was told he went to another party down the way so I went there but did not find him but some time later as I was standing and wondering what to do, he showed up with another woman on his arm. Len had lost two marriages due to his infidelities and even in his 70s, The last few years of his life I found he was meeting women in hotels on what he called "road trips" to visit "friends and family."  When I told him I knew because the hotel called our home phone to tell him "Cynthia is running late," he was shocked.  During this dream, I lost sight of him at one point and went looking for him and would see him walking at various places, then realized he had gone home.  I was then left alone with no purse, no phone, wandering around. 

After waking up I felt unsettled and the thought came to me that I'm OK, that I'm not lost and wandering. Three years out I'm in a much better place in many ways, just need to continue to heal my mind, soul, body and emotions. 

 

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KayC
20 hours ago, TAM1 said:

My neighbor down the way offered to have me stay in her guest room - it's on  my mind. 

I hope you take her up on it!  At least until the first part is over and you know what you're dealing with.  I remember after I had my gallbladder out, coming home with no one to look in on me, couldn't eat the foods I'd prepared ahead of time because they gave me different instructions upon leaving, no one to fix or go get food for me, and couldn't bend down or stretch so I literally went to bed hungry.  The one meal someone brought in was on my "can't eat" list but I was so hungry I ate it anyway.  The worst part was not knowing if I could get back up from the couch or toilet when I sat down.  I brought the phone with me.  And having to build fires, a neighbor had said he would, but didn't.  My son and his wife came after a week but it was more work having company and having to clean house, cook, etc.  My daughter brought me Christmas dinner, it was two days after my surgery.  If I had someone to help i'd take them up on it at least for a while.

19 hours ago, TAM1 said:

The last few years of his life I found he was meeting women in hotels on what he called "road trips" to visit "friends and family."

I am so sorry.  Sometimes stuff like this, the "unfinished business" is very hard to grapple with after they die.  We are left alone to try to reconcile things.  You are right in that you are not lost and wandering.  You are a capable person and you're going to be okay.  Yes you'll continue to have the emotional pain of grief as we all do but it softens in time as we do our grief work and begin our healing.  (((hugs)))

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TAM1

I'm 7 days post total hip replacement today. I was sent home from the hospital with inadequate pain medications and ran out yesterday.  My doctor pushed through an authorization last week stating that the medications were a medical necessity and insurance finally covered the medication - otherwise they would only pay to "allow" 7 pills at at a time or I could pay for the entire prescription myself (which I was willing to do). I have a call into my doctor, along with a message on their patient site and and will call in the morning. 

Coming home from the hospital the pain level was a new experience for me. The wound is still mending and swollen which is expected. I joked a few months ago about being given a stick and told to "bite down on this" as part of pain management. No joke here!  And there is no "management" being done here. 

I got a little "down" yesterday morning and I guess this is to be expected - but not the physical pain. There is no reason for this and there still is a medical necessity. I'm not saving the "extra" pills to sell on the streets and becoming an addict isn't one of my life's goals. 

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TAM1

I'm thankful for the help of family since getting home from the hospital. One thing about this is that people actually "see" my personal space and part of the comments are about what I don't have. I don't have a new TV and it's not big - it's the one Len and I had so it's probably 5-7 years old. My 13-year-old nephew did not understand and said, "I wonder why my grandpa didn't make a new TV stand appear like he does sometimes. If that was my TV I'd kick it and yell at it." But he's 13, so I understand. I still use a folding bookcase I bought at Pier 1 about 5-7 years ago. I have not bought a bed and since moving here six months back, I've been slow buying stuff. My place is orderly and clean, though. I could run out and buy all of the stuff on the "easy" credit offered by the various furniture companies and others. But I just can't.  I have a new computer still in the box but due to physical limitations pre and post-surgery, I decided to put this up when I'm able to do so. So, to family who were in my place this week, it's a mystery to them and my sister even mentioned a friend has a bed she wants to give away. I reinforced the couch cushions with a 5-inch layer to bolster it post-surgery for need and comfort. I bought an apartment sized refrigerator upon moving in here since the place did not provide one - I own this. 

My balcony has some nice bird feeders, a watering station for them, plants and a few chairs. I can even walk out there with my walker during recovery. I've had one friend up to visit and she was entranced by everything and she is one of those who others say "has it all." 

And honestly, after I'm healed and have fewer folks checking on me, I'll continue on buying pieces as I have done. I did sense the deficiencies others saw in what I don't have and refuse to give into being embarrassed though this business has bothered me some and I began to wish those who do come in would stop "looking".  And such things are part of family conversations about "Aunt Teresa." It feels rude, like staring at an oddity or something we don't normally see, and that I was taught not to do decades ago. 

It's good to come here no matter the hour and "talk."  Thank you to everyone.

 

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KayC

Teresa,

I can relate to your having people in your home, it's been years since my family has been.  I have a 32" t.v. my son got me years ago and I'd never go into debt for something I didn't need.  I commend you for that!  I'm one that reads Dave Ramsey's column and read his book years ago.  People are well ahead to handle their finances as you are...this is an "instant" world where no one can seem to wait/save for anything!

I'm sorry you are going through so much pain.  It seems the pendulum has swung the other way with pain medication.  Instead people suffer needlessly.  As if it's not hard enough being laid up while healing!  I hate that they dole out the pain medication as they do, my sister went through it, only getting 5 pills at a time and it caused her to vomit so she wasn't holding any of her medications down!  That was a horrible time in her life and it lasted for a long time.  I hope you have something you can at least tolerate.  Keep on them, they should be more reasonable.  :(

 

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TAM1

All of this twists the heart and mind in various directions and it would be so easy to become angry and embittered. Situations like this require a sort of personal "triage" - so I showered this morning, made coffee, found another physical therapist for next Wednesday morning who is not part of my orthopedists's practice and is responsive. If they can't be responsive to the medical necessities then I won't permit them to handle anything else. Pushing back helps to balance things. 

This morning I broke out in shingles - stress does that. My neighbor Alana picked up the antivirals for me and I began taking these.  She is also going to bring her mini-schnauzer Beverly over later to be a presence on the balcony as an aggressive cat has been there for the Bird & Buffet in the mornings. 

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foreverhis
10 hours ago, TAM1 said:

I got a little "down" yesterday morning and I guess this is to be expected - but not the physical pain. There is no reason for this and there still is a medical necessity. I'm not saving the "extra" pills to sell on the streets and becoming an addict isn't one of my life's goals. 

Hi Teresa.  Damn it, just damn it!  I'm sorry but I had to swear for you.  I'm glad your family is helping you and I'm glad you have an accessible balcony because fresh air is so important for our mental state (IMO).  But that you are having so much trouble getting the pain relief you need is, well, pissing me off on your behalf.  It's not just the incision and inflammation around your hip and the surrounding area.  It's bone pain, which is the absolute worst.  When I had surgery on my feet, I could not imagine pain worse than that--worse and weeks longer than childbirth.

Society in general has no freaking clue about pain management.  All people hear is that if you need or take any sort of narcotic/opioid, you are a drug addict.  My husband and I both had long-term medical conditions that waxed and waned with mild to severe pain.  We had to educate so many about the difference between "addicted" and "dependent."  When you take opioids because you are in pain, the chemicals go to work and (hopefully) help reduce the pain.  I just love it when people say, "You shouldn't need to take this."  They're right, I'd rather not need to take it and I'd much rather not be in pain without it.  They're not doctors and they aren't me, but they're happy to be judgmental with absolutely no knowledge.

It's a proven medical fact that being in severe pain increases healing time and affects our mental state.  I am sorry that you've had so much trouble getting what you need.  It sounds like maybe your doctor understands, though I could wish he'd written you a bigger prescription from the start.  There is no excuse for insurance company employees to decide they know more than your actual doctor.  You are 1 week post-surgery and the insurance company thinks you should be out of pain?  I bet they'd change their tune in an instant if it was them recovering from major bone surgery.

 

10 hours ago, TAM1 said:

One thing about this is that people actually "see" my personal space and part of the comments are about what I don't have. I don't have a new TV and it's not big - it's the one Len and I had so it's probably 5-7 years old. My 13-year-old nephew did not understand and said, "I wonder why my grandpa didn't make a new TV stand appear like he does sometimes. If that was my TV I'd kick it and yell at it." But he's 13, so I understand.

Honestly, I don't understand a 13 year old thinking something should magically appear or telling you that he'd kick and yell at a TV that wasn't good enough for his preferences.  I know that's tough age, but he's old enough to know that we don't get everything we want every minute that we want it.  A working TV that's only 5-7 years old is hardly "old," but then again we're in an age where everything is seen as disposable and easily replaced.  My husband had a 12" TV when we married.  I had an ancient 19" inch.  Eventually, we bought a 32" LCD together.  We bought a 55" LED HDTV about 6 years ago, in part because our eyes were older and in part to save energy.  There are all kinds of things I need to either sell or give away, and there are many things I need to buy, but both emotionally and physically, I just haven't been able to yet.

How disrespectful for your family to be commenting on the physical possessions you don't have.  Do they not understand that the "possession" you are missing is your love Len and that physical "things" aren't much in comparison?  Don't they realize that you've had challenges far worse than whether your TV is old or that you don't have a new bed?  Still, at least they are there helping with your immediate needs and that is certainly a good thing.

 

10 hours ago, TAM1 said:

My place is orderly and clean, though.

Our home is smallish and older, but the view is worth it.  When we moved in, we knew there would be big stuff down the road, but it didn't "need" anything at the time. We did or had done many things over the years.  Now there are projects that shouldn't wait much longer.  The small open kitchen is horrible in so many ways I can't even describe it.  The best I can say now, after 23 years, is that the range and oven are gas (my one non-negotiable) and it basically functions, though with no dishwasher.  We are in desperate need of new flooring and upstairs shades.  The list goes on.  Many people, including family, say I "should" do this or that expensive option.  I remind them that I'm on an even tighter budget than we were before, that I have other priorities, and that, as my husband and I always made sure, everything is clean, tidy, and maintained as best as possible.

 

10 hours ago, TAM1 said:

  And such things are part of family conversations about "Aunt Teresa." It feels rude, like staring at an oddity or something we don't normally see, and that I was taught not to do decades ago. 

It is rude!  Your family might want to consider focusing more on your physical and emotional needs and less on what you do or don't have.  It kind of sounds like they feel your "deficiencies" somehow reflect on them, make them look at you as abnormal, or make them uncomfortable.  Much like our grief unsettles others, your lack of possessions unsettles them somehow.  Maybe it's because they see it as another area where they want you to get back to "normal" without realizing that the normal you had will never come back.

 

I'm sending you warm, comforting hugs and my very best thoughts that you get the pain relief you need as you continue recovering.

Edited by foreverhis
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foreverhis
39 minutes ago, TAM1 said:

This morning I broke out in shingles - stress does that

Oh no!  I take it this isn't your first shingles rodeo?  I've had them four times myself, so I think it's safe to say that I really do know how you feel with them.  I'm glad you got on the antivirals right away.  They've helped me a couple of times. 

Yep, stress really does make everything so much worse.  Severe pain is stressful.  Argh!

I'm sorry you have one more thing to add to your recovery.

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TAM1

The doctor’s office called and the written prescription is ready for pickup at their office until 5:00 today. The laws do not allow them to fax the prescription. Had to step back a bit - I need someone to pick this up, take this to the pharmacy to be filled. Once again insurance will only release 7 pills at a time. I can request the doctor to submit a medical necessity authorization or just bypass and pay for the bottle of 40 tablets at $56.  I begun contacting available people. 

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KayC
20 hours ago, TAM1 said:

Pushing back helps to balance things.

I'm proud of you.  I'm a fighter too, was born a preemie so I think that's when it began.  My sisters all wonder how I get the results I do...I fight for what's right.  You don't always get there with some though, but I set boundaries and stick to them.  I'm so sorry you got the shingles!  As if you don't have enough to deal with, stress requires you deal with more yet?!

Your neighbor sounds nice.  I hope her dog staves off the predator cat.

20 hours ago, foreverhis said:

There is no excuse for insurance company employees to decide they know more than your actual doctor.

I fight this with my insurance all the time.  They want to "go over my medicines with me."  I tell them I went over them with my doctor already, do they have a medical degree?  No of course not.  End of discussion then.  I always refer them back to the doctor.  But they put pressure on the doctors.  My doctor said I didn't need my Diabetic test strips.  I told her I do and proceeded to give her a detailed reason why I do.  She prescribed one a day, not enough, especially since some of them are defective, but better than nothing.  I have ins., they're supposed to cover it, why should I have to pay for another thing out of pocket when I don't have to?  I know it's just the stupid ins. putting pressure on her.  They have too much power.

20 hours ago, foreverhis said:

I remind them that I'm on an even tighter budget than we were before, that I have other priorities, and that, as my husband and I always made sure, everything is clean, tidy, and maintained as best as possible.

Exactly.  People forget that I lost my maintenance man when George died.  I also lost half our income.  I lost the person I would make decisions with.  It's all on me now.  They have no clue how hard it is to always be on your own, pay for everything, make every blasted decision and I have to "make due" with what I have.  This instant gratification society that always demands more isn't helping!

Teresa, I do not understand how treatment for shingles should be doled out!  I'm so sorry.  Can you pay for the bottle and get reimbursed by insurance?  God they life difficult!

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TAM1

Late yesterday my neighbor went to the Ortho office to pick up the envelope that had the prescription, when she got to the pharmacy it did not have the prescription. I called the Ortho and was told she had picked up the wrong envelope. I document everything and caught a lie and confronted this. I’ll write letters to my doctor about this at another time. 

My sister texted me and was able to get the prescription and will be here shortly, with OJ and coffee. This will be a sleeping day. 

This sort of business strikes at a person’s basic trust in doctors and those who decades were looked up to for their basic integrity and competence. 

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TAM1

Boy! Do I feel puny! This “warrior” needs to regroup. This is my time to heal - not just physically, but also emotionally from the last few years. To gain my bearings - whatever they are. I’m thankful to and for the many of you who have followed me along. The distances mean nothing,

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TAM1

KayC - I'm a fighter also and have had the same questioning you have had.  Without that questioning, things would not get done nor made right.  I felt like a wreck yesterday and even my sister said, "I had no idea what was going on."  So I'm putting all that behind me, deleting the many texts, writing out 2020 Goals & Accomplishments which includes physical therapy and post-op next week. 

In this time, I'm learning to accept help and as my son has said, "Accept help.  Don't be proud!"  Others have said, "You are such a strong person - don't try to do this alone." "You are the strongest woman I know."  So today, just now, I feel OK about friends and family bringing groceries, medications, coffee, food, picking up mail, checking in to see how I am, sitting outside and visiting.. It's a new feeling, because I've pushed through for so long and I am done. I don't need to do a "Sherman's March" through life to be ok.  I know there are others who care for and love me. 

So, if you are praying for me, prayers are answered. I've seen some mighty works.

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foreverhis
2 hours ago, TAM1 said:

The distances mean nothing,

Isn't that amazing?  When I first came here I was doubtful that people so far away could help me.  But then I realized that distance doesn't matter.  What matters is having people we can talk to who truly understand, who "get it" in ways no one else can, and who never, ever judge me for how I'm feeling, thinking, or acting.

I'm glad we can be here for you now.  I really hope the antivirals knock back the shingles so it's not one of those really bad flare ups.  And I'm glad your sister is able to get those pain pills to you.  Seriously, the insurance company will only approve seven at a time?  What a crock.  It's so important to break pain cycles because every time you have to start over, it affects your health and recovery.  Once again, I say "damn it" on your behalf.

Kay is right, the insurance and pharma companies have far too much power.  Imagine telling someone with diabetes, "Oh, you don't need to check your blood sugar."  What, we'll just wait and see if you go into a diabetic coma or hypoglycemic shock?  So we go out and spend money on items that should be covered by insurance or we pay absurd prices that other countries don't.  One of my long-time generic topicals went from $18 co-pay to $45 co-pay to its current $170 co-pay over less than 3 years.  Funny, but my income didn't go up 1000% during that time.  That doctors are knuckling under and making medical decisions based on insurance company policies made by non-doctors makes me so angry.  I'm lucky that our doctor is still a bit old fashioned about patient care, even though I know he's overworked.

Teresa, I hope you get the pain relief you need so you can rest, regroup, and regain your strength.  It's clear to me that you are strong underneath it all or you wouldn't have made it this far.  Right now is a good time for you to focus on you and the heck with everyone else.

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