Thursday, January 30, 2014

My Lupron Insurance Battle

Remember how back in November I mentioned I was having issues with the pharmacy filling my Lupron prescription?  No? Here is a link if you want the details, but basically the doctor had called it in to the pharmacy in September, and it took them TWO MONTHS to get the thing approved.  Which was annoying, but I figured it was worth it to know I was approved, right?   But there was a snag. I had my injections in November and December, and low and behold, the insurance company denied both of the claims.  DENIED.  And they were ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS EACH.


So what the two month preapproval hold up was about we will never know.

But anyway, when I got the second denial I once again called the pharmacy to basically say, "WTF" to which they replied "we are working on it..." and "any day now it will be approved..." .  After awhile I got annoyed with the pharmacy and went directly to my insurance company, thinking I could cut out the middle man.  I called the insurance company for the first time on January 6th, but they were closed for cold weather.  Fine.  I called again.  A lot.  I would venture to say I have called at least 15 times during the month of January.  Do you know how much time I have wasted on hold with these people??  TOO MUCH.

So day after day, as weeks begin to roll by, I am waiting for these injections to be approved.  My doctor faxes my records on the 8th of January, so now over three weeks they have had these records either in imaging or under review.  I was suppose to take my next injection on January 14th.  It came and went with no approval of the previous injections and no preauthorization for the four more I need. 

Nobody has answers.  There is supposedly nobody I can talk to at the Insurance company, they say nothing can be done to speed up the process.  Just keep waiting.  Meanwhile my endo has starting kicking back in, causing so much pain and discomfort it makes me cry to even try to talk about it.  And I am getting more and more angry.  How is this fair?  I feel AWFUL, and yet I can't take the medication I need, which the doctor has prescribed, because my INSURANCE company can't decide if it's necessary.  Really?  But they paid for my surgery for this same condition, no questions asked.  It makes no since.

Except for the fact that it will cost them thousands of dollars.  And they are a business after all.

As of today I am over two weeks late on my next injection.  I was up all night miserable. I am so angry.  I called my doctor and they are getting involved in the fight, plus they had a sample of the medicine they offered to give me today.  I went right over and got it.  I hope it makes me feel better soon.  And I hope they can help kick my insurance company into gear before another four weeks slips by.  You would think that would be plenty of time, but this has been a problem since September.... the system is broken, and I am suffering.  Literally.


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

My New Favorite Show (That You Should Be Watching Too)

Oh guys, we are seriously hooked on Sherlock over here.  Do you watch it?  DO YOU???  Because if you don't let me tell you a secret, IT IS AMAZING!

I know I am late to the Sherlock train, but with all the internet hype, I had a funny feeling I would possibly get a little obsessed with it, and go on all night benders of "Just one episode..." that would lead to total exhaustion and homework procrastination for weeks on end.  Which is why we opted to stay clear.  I know how I get with a new show, and there is just no time for such an obsession right now.

Or so I thought... a couple of weeks ago some people at work were talking about the show and I asked how many seasons were already out.  The girl says two, and I think "Well that's not bad..." and the she says "But there are only three episodes per season."   Six episodes, one and a half hours each, but still.... that's only nine hours of TV watching to get caught up on this show everyone is talking about... 

It was starting to look possible.  So last week Nick and I decided to give it a go... aaaaaand we are done. 

Not just with the first two seasons, but also with the first two episodes of the third season, which is airing now.  And all of a sudden my reason for starting the show, that it would be nine episodes and done, has become a curse.  Because now I have ONE MORE EPISODE before we are done with season three and have to wait AN ENTIRE YEAR for a new season. WHAT THE HELL??  I am not ready to be done...the show is cleaver and funny, and... well... I just love them both so much...

So watch Sherlock.  It won't take long, then we can complain together about the long wait until season four.


Monday, January 27, 2014

Grief While Grieving

So hello.

I know I disappeared for the week, but I am really doing okay.  I didn't want you all to think I like fell into a pit of grief or anything.  Not that I have not been sad, I have been, but in a lot of ways I have been more sad this week over Missy... and in some ways that feels wrong, but I think even Pa would understand.  I looked at my Pa, surrounded by his wife, his children, his grandchildren and his great-grandchildren and while being sad over this great loss to our family, my heart broke a little more over my sister's life being cut so short.

So, maybe I have actually been struggling with grief this week.  As we approach the year anniversary of losing Missy we were back at a church, surrounded by flowers, friends and family.  And as we celebrated our Pa, and our hearts broke over this loss, we were reminded of how familiar grief is to us.  And that was hard.  It's just all hard.
Missy and Pa
I found this picture of Missy and Pa when looking for pictures for his service.  I adore it.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

My Pa

My grandfather passed away very peacefully yesterday, surrounded by his loving family.
Mamaw and Pa's 60th Annivrsary

He was a tinker and a trader, loving nothing more than working in his garage and haggling for a great deal.  He loved his family, taking such pride in his wife of sixty years, his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.   We will spend this week celebrating his life and being together.  As sad as our family is, this is all made a little easier knowing that Missy and  Daniel were waiting to meet him on the other side of this life.  I can only imagine his joy at being with them again.

All good thoughts and prayers are welcome and appreciated.
Rigney Christmas

Friday, January 17, 2014

The Pizza Disaster

So last night w had a pizza disaster... let me tell you about it.

Nick makes an excellent homemade pizza.  The process of making this pizza is sorta time consuming, but it's worth it.  Especially to me since he does pretty much all the work.  The homemade crust has to be prepared the night before and sauce at least an hour ahead of time.  The cheese must be freshly grated and...well, that's it.  But it feels like it takes awhile, especially on work nights. 

So yesterday I came in and found Nick already working on the second day preparations for our pizza dinner.  I had tried to assist with the dough prep the day before, but for some reason it wasn't working for me, and eventually I just walked away and let him do his thing.  But last night it felt like I should help.  I grated the cheese and sorta stood around watching him... you know, doing my part.

We got the first pizza in the oven without any issues, then he went to work on the second. When he was done he showed it to me proudly and said "Looks good, right?? I am getting really good at this!"  We then opened the oven and I did my one job, I pulled out the rack a little so he could slide the pizza off his tray onto the pizza stone.

We smiled at each other, proud of how adult and accomplished we are as the pizza slid perfectly in to place. It was a thing of beauty.

Then I pushed the oven rack back in.


Somehow, I can't even explain it, the rack tilted down.  I guess it somehow missed it's track or something?  It has NEVER happened before.  NEVER!  And I have been using this oven for nearly ten years!

But, it happened last night.  With Nick's perfect homemade pizza... slowly, the pizza started to slide off the stone, gaining speed with each passing second.  And as if stuck in slow motion I tried to lift it back up, but the momentum was against me.  The Pizza was going down... it was... well...
Yeah.  The bottom rack caught it.  It looks so sad.

And the bottom of the oven was...
Right. The entire top of the pizza.  Sizzling at 500 degrees. 

I actually gasp, and say "OH NO!  Something AWFUL has HAPPENED!!" as Nick turns to see what could have gone wrong.

We both stare into the oven, me wide eyed, mouth hanging open.  He says "I am a little upset.  Let's not talk for just a second."

To which I reply "OHMYGOD I AM SO SORRY!  How could that happen?? I just?? I... don't know... the pizza... it just... slid..."

He cut the surviving pizza into slices and made his plate.  I just stood there.  Like I was in pizza disaster post traumatic stress.  What the hell.  How does pizza just FALL OFF THE BAKING STONE?

Finally he cracked a smile and said "Now we know where Henry gets his pitiful frown... he gets it from his Mama!"  I think I looked pretty upset because then I got a hug and an "It's fine!  You just killed the pizza, that's all".  To which I just shook my head and laughed.  I did.  I killed the pizza.

Later he sent a picture to Boo telling her how I murdered half of dinner.  Then he sent:

"Rest in Peace-a"


Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Last First Day

Yesterday I had my first class of the semester, which means I attended my very  last first days of school* EVER.

It feels sorta like a big deal.

I have two classes this semester, I need to defend my capstone, and... that's it.  There is no long laundry list of things that need to happen or be squeezed into an already busy life.  After this semester, I am done.  I  graduate with a Master's in Public Health.  Hopefully with a 4.0 GPA. And I am as proud of this as I am of anything I have ever done. Truly.

 I know I am not done yet, so you will get another post like this in May, hopefully with a picture of me in a cap and gown, but as I approach the finish line of this life goal, I look back and am amazed that I have made it here.  To the final semester of a very challenging program, while working full time, being a wife and a mama, plus attempting to have some sort of a social life with friends and family.  42 credit hours, 14 classes in total.  A capstone project.  A 200 hour practicum.  It's been a challenge, and I am not sure I have always done the best keeping everything balanced, but yesterday as I walked to class I realized that this was it.  The last semester.  I am actually going to complete this huge thing I started four years ago. I am on the home stretch.

Yeah.  It's a big deal. And I am pretty excited about it.

*Unless I take another class someday, which is totally possible...but for dramatic effect, we will call it the LAST FIRST DAY EVER!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Link for Life

Nick has been playing the new Zelda game, The Wind Waker HD, for a couple of months now.  Henry ADORES watching him play.  Not that I can blame him really.  I got so into watching him play Zelda Twilight Princess that I would actually ask him to play, just because I liked it.

But Henry has developed a die hard love of Link and the Wind Waker story.  So much so that Santa brought him his own hat, shield and sword for Christmas.  My Aunts also decided to go Zelda themed for Christmas and got Nick and Henry matching shirts.  Unfortunately they didn't come in in time for the holidays, but that turned out just fine because my sick boy got the biggest thrill out of his new shirt yesterday.  He put it on as soon as possible, and right when Nick walked in from work Henry came in and told him he must get his Zelda shirt on ASAP.


Later Henry went into the bathroom and I guess he saw himself in the mirror because we just hear him yell "I LOVE MY ZELDA SHIRT SO MUCH!!!!"

He then asked to sleep in it, AND to wear it to school tomorrow.

I think we are raising ourselves a second generation Zelda enthusiast.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Back! (From the Trip I Forgot to Mention...)

We decided at the last minute to take a quick trip to South Carolina this weekend. Surprise!(I realize this isn't that interesting to most of you since it isn't like we just popped in at your house, but still.)  Nick's mom (aka Nana) was going to come in from Florida, and Henry has really been missing her and Grandpa since they moved, so we decided we would meet them there.  It helps that we have lots of family we adore there, so win/win.

The trip was nice.  I managed to take exactly one picture:
Winter 2014
As you can see, it's of Henry.  Whom I could photograph at any time.  So... not my best photography outing.  But this trip wasn't really a picture taking trip, it was just a spend time together trip. And that was accomplished.

Winter 2014
When we woke Henry up on Sunday to come home he said he was sick. I didn't believe him, which I need to learn my lesson on.  The kid doesn't fake sick.  He did okay for the six hour car ride home, but once there he informed Nick he just wanted to be covered up with a blanket, and then promptly fell asleep without dinner.

Winter 2014
We worried a little, hoping he would feel better in the morning and the worst was behind us.  It was not behind us.  The puke started at 11pm.  And lasted...for rather a long time.  So today Henry and I are home and he is recovering.  I thought he was nearly back to 100%, but then he started to look a little pale and fell asleep on the couch again so... time will tell.

*the last two pictures are just from me playing with my new camera.  Again.  Still.  If you are wondering if Henry is getting tired of me taking his picture, than answer is yes...

**If you are curious about the two blurry fingers, they were dancing.  (Obviously.)


Thursday, January 9, 2014


Someone got a rather epic haul of pirate paraphernalia for Christmas this year.
He's pretty proud of the pirate ship he built and printed!

 Ships, costumes, gun, sword, a treasure chest,  movies, books, legos.... it was a pirate explosion!  And I was worried that he would get it all, then be totally done with pirates.  Like, a pirate overload resulting in a new disinterest in the subject all together. But luckily...

The love seems to be going nowhere anytime soon.

The battles with his new pirate ships are epic, commonly taking place on a blue rug that is OBVIOUSLY the high seas.  The treasure chest is hidden, then discovered after using the sword and gun to fight off bad guys, and the map, compass and telescope to find our way.  The hat is a favorite, replaced only to switch roles and put on his Link hat and shield.

Then a new world opens up.  Still with pirates, but now he is the mighty Link, looking for treasure chests and using his shield for protection.  Always on the hunt for a princess.  Walking into a room with his green hat on, saying  "Hi Mama, it's Link.  Where did Henry go?"  and his face lighting up when I say "Oh hi Link!  We have missed you!  Henry was just here... now where did he run off to??"


It's a fun time in the Bio Girl house.  His imagination is inspiring, and it has become one of my very favorite things about him.  I sit back, watching him so completely engrossed in his own make believe world, and I pray he never loses his ability to imagine, to dream, and to live in his own created moments.  How do you teach them to keep doing that?  If anybody knows, send the secret my way.  Because I want this stage, these imagination fueled days of pretend play, to go on forever.


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Seven Days

I don't want to alarm anyone, but I HAVE WORKED OUT SEVEN DAYS IN A ROW.

That's right.

 I was about to claim it was a lifetime record, but that might not be true.  I WAS on that track team in middle school...  Still, I doubt I ever ran on the weekends.  So... LIFETIME RECORD!

 If you are curious, my "workouts" include a collection of different exercises.  On nice days I ride my new bike.  Something that, I must admit, has turned out to be a touch harder than I expected.  I remember back in the day (around the track years I think) when I could ride my bike FOREVER.  Really, like I never really remember getting tired from bike riding.  Maybe if I went up a huge hill or something, but as soon as the ground leveled I was good to go.  So imagine my surprise when I discovered riding for fifteen minutes would leave me so breathless that I had to rest five minutes before I could speak in complete sentences.  I also discovered that my street, which I used to believe to be perfectly flat, is actually at a deadly incline.  An unseen to the natural eye deadly incline... don't let those fool you.  But by the third day of bike riding I was able to go a respectable distance in 20 minutes and was able to talk when I got home.  IMPROVEMENT! 

On bad weather days I am mostly using the Wii U Fit for my exercise.  I am doing a lot of the yoga and dance, plus a little balance and strength training.  (Using the words 'a lot' rather loosely... I am maxing out at 30 minutes of exercise a day).

All in all, I feel really good about this entire 'move more' resolution I set for myself.  I know it's one week, but that's a week more than I did last year, so it's a start!


Friday, January 3, 2014

The Woods

Today our city is covered in a couple of inches of snow.  I should really get out there with my new camera and take some pictures, but instead I am taking them where it's warm
this is my favorite view anyway.
Silly faces and all.

Earlier in the week the weather around here was a completely different story.  So different in fact, that we headed out to a local park to let Henry play with his new toys and let Mama play with her new camera...
We're going on a bear hunt, it's going to be a good one...
My heart
With mama
Do you yield?
Because it's pretty
Oh the places you'll go...
Us again...
Playing with the exposure...

So in sum, I love my new camera... and my sweet family.  We are still home, enjoying an extended holiday break. Monday we head back to real life, but for now, we are loving the peace of our extended break from reality.


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Resolutions 2014- Reviewing and Renewing

Happy New Year everyone!  I was sort of down most of yesterday, but today I must admit I am happy to close the door on 2013.  It was a difficult year, and here's hoping that 2014 goes a little easier on us. 

Now, on to the point of this post...  my annual New Years Resolutions! (or goals, since some of them aren't exactly resolutions per se...).  But first, we must review my results for last year.  Looks like I only set three for myself, instead of my usual five.  Last year at this time was very very difficult, so I am going to cut myself some slack on these lackluster resolutions.

1. Spend as much quality time as possible with my family. This first resolution sorta tells you where I was at last January 1st.  We had found out Missy's treatments weren't working and our time was limited.  At the point of this post, I did not realize exactly how short that time would be.  But, without going into a lot of detail and getting too emotional, I would give myself a gold star for this resolution.  I would always like to spend even MORE time with our wonderful family, but this year was filled with amazing family time, and it was definitely made a priority.

2. Finish my capstone for my Masters Program.  Hahahaha! I had no what I was putting on my shoulders when I set this goal!  It's sorta insane... AND YET I ACTUALLY ACCOMPLISHED IT!  The details on last years post said I wanted it ready to be defended, and although I am not 100% there, I actually finished writing my last section yesterday, and it's ready for final review.  This is TOTALLY close enough and I give myself a SHINING GOLD STAR!

3. Spend more time outdoors.  Wow... I am pretty good at remembering my resolutions and keeping them in mind throughout the year, but I am shocked to see this on here.  Like, I WROTE THIS?  Interesting...   Let's see... we DID actually go camping this year.  We also went on an extremely enjoyable hike, and we spent rather a lot of time at soccer this fall.  Plus, as I think back I know we did go to the park and spend time outdoors, but when I read this resolution I feel like I still like the idea, and that there is more we could do to move in the direction of getting off the couch and being outside.  So... I give myself a soft pass.  (translation: GOLD STAR!) Overall we did pretty well considering I forgot it was a goal.

Now, let's move on to this year!  Clearly I am mentally in a different place this year compared to last, because keeping these resolutions to five is going to be a challenge... Let's go.

1.  Move more.  I really really REALLY have a strong desire to be healthier this year.  And my number one goal for feeling healthier is actually moving my body more.  I have been wearing my Wii U Fit meter for a couple of months now and it's depressing.  So I got a bike for Christmas and I plan to ride it.  And when I can't ride my bike, I want to find a way to work in some exercise.  Maybe not every single day, but regularly.  Enough so that I don't feel like a slug.

2.  Lose Weight (and keep it off).  So cliche, right?  And Actually this was on the list in 2012 and I did very well with it.  But this year sorta through my eating patterns in a lurch.  I am not even apologizing for it, I mean, I am a stress eater.  It was a stressful year.  But I want to get it in check and be happier with my body.  So, 20 pounds by June 1st.  Keep it off through the end of the year. 

3. Graduate with my MPH.  This is sorta a cop out resolution, BUT I AM TAKING IT.  I mean, I am totally on track for this to happen, but it's HUGE on my to do list for 2014, so I want a gold star (and a diploma) when it's all said and done. 

 4. Reduce the amount of time looking at my phone and be with who I am with.  A tough one, but it needs to be on here.  I have noticed more and more how Henry notices when I pull out my phone.  I want it to stay in my pocket.  There is a time and place for social media, but when I am in the middle of quality family time, that is not it.  If everyone is doing their own thing I won't feel guilty to check in, but if Henry or Nick wants my attention, I don't want Facebook distracting me from them. 

5. Read 35 Books.  This isn't an insane number for me, I actually have read 30 this year and read 48 the year before, but I really like setting a reading goal, so here it is.  Hopefully I can find 35 books I enjoy as much as the ones I read this year

So that's it!  I actually have at least three more that I would like to put on the list, but these are the ones I am choosing to focus on for this year.  No need to try to make myself perfect all in one year, right?  We will evaluate again on January 1st 2015 and see how I did...