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Cold snap

We had a lovely taste of spring a couple of days ago, when the daytime temps jumped up to nearly 60. It was pretty warm in our house for those few days, but I refused to open a window or completely lose my mind and turn on the A/C, because I wanted our house to absorb as much warmth as possible in preparation for the inevitable cold snap. And here we are…in the midst of the cold snap. And right before the snap, we ran out of propane. February was a bitterly cold month, and we have some drafts in our house, which explains why our propane did not last the 8-9 weeks we projected it to, and instead only lasted 6 weeks. Fortunately, the house has stayed pretty warm, and even today, on day 3 of no propane (the propane delivery truck comes tomorrow, yay! I miss my oven, haha. But we get by with a slew of electric appliances, including a double burner, an electric skillet, two griddles, a crock pot, a turkey roaster, and a toaster oven on steroids), it’s still not bad – about 65°. Once upon a time I loathed warm weather, but now I’m all for it because warm weather means not having to worry about heating the house.

Luna is staying in Alyssa’s bedroom until her spay and vaccination appointment on Monday. I’ve asked the vet to please scan her for microchips, but I won’t be surprised if nothing turns up. As I explained in my last post’s comments, puppy mills and unwanted cats are a big thing around here. I would be very, very surprised if Luna has an owner, especially since we’ve all seen her roaming around the neighborhood since late fall (it wasn’t until this past week that Luna would allow Alyssa and one of her friends close enough to pet her). We’re not happy about going back to a 6-cat household…more like resigned. Dan and I both believe in people needing to take more responsibility for stray, unfixed, and unvaccinated cats, and we’re instilling these values into Alyssa and Ryan, too. Hopefully Luna is the last stray… aside from the indoor/outdoor cat next door (the one that would beat up Felix before we took him in) we haven’t seen any others. It’s taken a couple of years, and the euthanasia of dying kittens, and more recently a dying mother cat, but slowly and surely we, with the help of our next door neighbor, are cleaning up after the irresponsibility and heartlessness of other people. At least in our neighborhood. :/

Today I had my post-op follow-up appointment with my surgeon. When she came into the room she immediately exclaimed over how good I looked in comparison to when she last saw me. She said she was shocked at how sick I looked, how dehydrated I was, and overall just how bad off I was. She explained more about the surgery and what all they did (cut out about a 2″ section of perforated intestine; re-connected the top of my small intestine (jejunum) to the bottom of my stomach pouch; did a “leak test” on the new connection; and washed out my abdominal cavity several times to prevent infection and abscesses from the leaked gastric contents). She said she was honestly surprised that I didn’t end up with an infection, but of course was relieved: obviously her thorough washing of my abdominal cavity combined with the four days of IV antibiotics and then two weeks of a daily regimen of two different oral antibiotics did their thing. And it was a blessing that all I had when my intestine perforated was a tiny sip of water, and nothing more after (I remember now the doctor at the first hospital ER telling me, “DO NOT EAT OR DRINK ANYTHING! YOU CANNOT SWALLOW ANYTHING!”).
After amusing anecdotes about operating on me in an ophthalmology OR, and having a team of somewhat incompetent nurses, and a complaint from one of the techs accusing her of being too “mean”, she prescribed me more Pantoprazole – a six month supply, so I can just refill it every month until my next follow-up rather than pay out of pocket for costly office visits each month in order to get additional refills. She also prescribed me additional painkillers. As it turns out, the reason I’m STILL in significant pain despite being three weeks post-op is due to her and the other surgeon having to cut through a lot of muscle on the right side of my abdomen in order to access my abdominal cavity and shove all of the necessary tools in there. And, it was a 5 hour surgery. I’m still really swollen and bloated on that side (I can practically rest my right arm on the right side of my abdomen), and the pain sucks… it’s constant tenderness and achiness that gets a lot worse some days, and it wakes me up at night. It’ll be nice to sleep comfortably tonight – I’m really looking forward to that.

On the subject of medications: the whole healthcare system is so confusing and infuriating. Please tell me why I would pay $175 out of pocket for a 1-month supply of Pantoprazole, and $24 for 30 Dilaudid tablets. But, if I have a prescription discount card (not an insurance card, just a run of the mill “prescription discount” card), I only have to pay $28 for that same Pantoprazole prescription, and $14 for the Dilaudid prescription. Arghhhh. Don’t get me wrong: I’m relieved that I had the card, remembered the card, and that it reduced the total so significantly. But seriously, one little card can do all that?! The prices of medication should be the same across the board, regardless of what health insurance or prescription discounts you have, if you have any at all.

Man, the ending of Daylight Saving (NO S ON THE END! AHH! *twitch*) is messing with us. We didn’t have dinner until 7:30 (normally we eat no later than 6:30), and it’s now 8:07pm and the kids aren’t in their bedrooms yet (they go into the bedrooms for quiet time at 8, and bedtime is at 8:30).

Speaking of kids…Ryan is back to blue again. :)


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7 replies to “Cold snap” - Go to comment form

  1. I can’t believe how BIG he’s gotten! Compared to the photos you showed me at BlogHer, it’s a different little dude!

    And I hope you continue to heal and get better. That operation sounded like no joke, and I’m so glad you’re okay.

    Your doctor sounds amazing :) You’re lucky to have her! And the prescription cost you described is killing me. We’re lucky up here to have lots of stuff covered if you need it, but the last little while my company insurance hasn’t been active, so I’ve paid out of pocket. And it’s only my birth control, which is $20/month (never mind your crazy costs). Take care of yourself okay? Love from Canada!

    • He’s growing like a weed. Alyssa too! It seems like every time I blink they’re a little taller, and a little heavier (Ryan still likes to sit in my lap). :) The operation was…ergh…scary. I was terrified beforehand, but more scared of dying, so that kept most of the “outward” signs of fear away… plus I was doped up on heavy pain meds and vomiting. I was impatient to just get INTO the OR so I’d get knocked out quickly and wake up with it all over with.

      My surgeon is really nice. :) She performed my original gastric bypass surgery, and I’ve gone back to her for the subsequent surgeries – gallbladder removal, small bowel resections, and now this. Anything abdominal related will go through her, since she’s rooted around in there several times and knows exactly what’s what, lol.

      Prescription medication is hit or miss with cost… even when we had health insurance we only had very minimal RX coverage. Some might cost us only $3 or $10, but then others, like an inhaler I was prescribed several years ago, are over $100. It’s just crazy. We really need a better healthcare system… I’m moving to Canada! ;) $20 for a month’s supply of BC is a great price. Here in the states, without insurance, you’d only get that price if you go to Planned Parenthood, and even then it’s income-based, so it could still be a little more.

  2. I’m sorry you are still in pain, but I’m glad that they gave you pain management! Our healthcare system really is screwed up regarding medications. I don’t understand why they need to jack people around the way they do…and I used to work for a hospital! The amount of markup we put on some of our products was just insane. In some instances the cost of the drug for us to get it from the manufacturer was mere cents per pill, and we would mark it up some $8. Totally infuriating!
    Shasta recently blogged about: Pregnancy Week 39

    • Pain meds are the best, but only when you need them, of course. ;) I know I talk about them lightly, but honestly that’s only because in the past five years I have been on a LOT of pain medication at different times due to surgeries and abdominal issues in between. More than the numbing effects of pain medication I like being lucid and functional. ;)

      Price mark-ups are nuts… from a couple of cents to $8? Talk about a huge profit! I mean, I’m all FOR profits, obviously… but crazy inflation like that is what leads to so many issues with being able to afford things.

  3. The weather is quite nice today. It’s in the 70s. I’m going to enjoy it though because I know that by May it’s going to be creeping on up into the 90s with 90% humidity (I live in MS).

    I hope you feel better soon!
    Nikki recently blogged about: My first attempt


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