Thursday, October 15, 2009

Mommie is DOWN and Falling Apart

I very rarely use this blog to whine about my own life. Oh sure I rag on the stupidity of others and I do my fair share of exposing frustrations, but today I am using the blog to chronicle a behind the scenes look at my failing health.

First I will start by letting you in on a well known fact- when kids go to preschool they get sick. It is the nature of the beast. The beast being runny noses, coughs, and general blech from head to toe. It is no secret that these germs infest the entire home and thus create a vicious cycle of snot starting with the kids and ending with the parents. Lather, Rinse, Repeat. We are so there. Jeff and I have had crud for going on ten days. We have been doing the zinc lozenges, sinus nasal rinse, Vick's Vapor rub, Honey and Lemon gargle, and popping antihistamines like candy. We are both just barely functioning at any given point in the day.

After two visits to Urgent Care and a round of the z-pack Jeff seems much better but my creepy crawlies have morphed into a double ear infection, and pneumonia. I am now packing round two of the bigger gun antibiotics and a heavy duty codeine cough syrup for night time use only. I have been coughing up small aliens and my upper lip looks like I have had a bad chemical peel. I should be back to normal by April.

Over the last few months I have noticed a rapid decline in my vision. I wear contact lenses to correct my sight but my prescription has changed for the worse every six months for about 3 years. Until recently my eye doctor and I have chalked it up to hormonal issues as a result o pregnancy but lately, my focus is completely off even while wearing my most current contacts. I knew in my heart (mommie radar?) that something was not right. I had that gut instinct that my sight issues were beyond the power of my corrective lenses. Yesterday between coughing and sneezing I had my appointment with a top opthamologist in town.

My consultation should have taken 30-45 minutes so I was a bit alarmed that I was being seen by every person in that busy bustling office going on two plus hours. I finally passed and failed enough exams and screenings to get to the chief man on the totem pole. The good news is that my eye condition can be fixed. The bad news is that I have Keratoconus which explains why I can't see even with my contacts. Keratoconus disorder -is a progressive thinning of the cornea that manifests when the central and inferior areas of the cornea thin and gradually bulge outward,forming a cone-like shape. This abnormal curvature changes the cornea's refractive properties causing varying degrees of blurred vision and distortion of objects. Occasional tissue swelling may occur which can, in time, lead to sight-impairing cornea scarring and loss of clear vision. Treatments vary from hard, rigid contact lenses to cornea transplant. Fortunately, my surgeon is one of only two local doctors that perform the intact procedure to surgically correct the problem without the need for an actual transplant.

So now because I do not have enough to worry about, I get to play the ever so fun pre-authorization insurance game with our carrier. I am basically at the mercy of our health insurance for the sake of my vision. The surgery is expensive. It is not $1500 expensive, it is TEN TIMES THAT- PER EYE! The alternative is to try hard, rigid contacts (been there done that) or to just pay out of pocket. Yeah, right, we have twenty grand just sitting in our checking account and I was wondering what in the world I could spend it on. As if. I am getting really good at negotiating with Anthem BCBS and I am a borderline expert at documenting the facts. Anyone want to play the game I like to call, DO NOT mess with Momma Bear?

In between upper respiratory issues and near sightedness I am falling apart. I am sleep deprived, worried about the various viruses that have plagued us times four, and if that weren't enough my pathology report came back BAD on the irregular mole I had removed from my back. If it weren't for my new found rock hard abs I would be a total loss.

The end is somewhat in sight- I am supposed to go on a MOMS retreat starting Saturday night. I just need to heal all the young people so I can leave and actually enjoy myself. Momma Bear needs a break.


Kirsten said...

oh i hope they're well enough for you to leave. sounds like you need it! you have my best wishes that it all turns out right! the good news now is that somewhere around kindergarten or first grade their immune systems really crank it up and colds become much less of a nuicance.

O'Brien Bunch said...

Well heck, Helene! Did you walk under that same ladder that attacked my foot a week ago? Bad bad luck. Things can only look up from here. If if makes you feel any better, (aw heck--you have codeine-what am I thinking?) we have all been sick for a month, too! Hope you get to enjoy your retreat.

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