Wednesday, September 14, 2016

August Recap

Happy September. Hope your August was good. The weather was still in the 90's here the last few weeks but that all changed yesterday and are back in the 70's now. Looks like we have out first taste of fall. We finally got to go to Hudson Garden's last month. It is a place I have been wanting to visit for awhile now. The Denver Botanic Gardens is still my favorite but it was nice to see something different. This is one of the photos I took that day. This is the entrance to the Rose Garden. Unfortunately there were not many roses to see it was still beautiful though.
Sorry for the delay in posting this month. My doctor drama continues and has left me feeling very sad and discouraged. Emilia and I went to see the primary care doctor I talked about in my last post. It did not go well. She was very concerned with Emilia’s cholesterol results that were done at the other Dr's office in May. That doctor never said anything about them being high. When I looked at them they were only a few points off but this Dr. was very concerned about it which I thought was odd and freaked Emilia out. She wanted Emilia to alter her diet and exercise more. She also had her walk around the office with this pulse thing on a couple of times because she had mentioned how she gets light headed when she bends down. Basically all it told her was that she needs to exercise more. Crazy?
As for me she didn’t really listen to anything I said. She felt I did not have an autoimmune disease because all the blood work was normal and wanted me to go to an orthopedist instead of a rheumatologist this time. I told her that I did not want to do that and wanted to go back to Denver Arthritis where I was first diagnosed with inflammatory arthritis instead which she agreed to butI felt really frustrated with her because she was basing everything on blood work. She didn’t care about family history or my other health problems either. All she really cared about was my shoulder. She felt it is was a rotator cuff tear but that made no sense because I have never done anything to cause something like that. I also had a sore on my tongue that had been killing me the day before that which she saw but never said anything about it. When I mentioned it to her she was not concerned about it. Here suggestions for the fibro were to give the Gabapentin more time but I have been taking Gabapentin on and off for years. The only other things she offered me for it were Cymbalta and Savella neither of which I was interested in trying. I do not do well with those kinds of meds. She also didn’t know much about the LDN and was not able to help me with that at all. They did more blood work before I left that the last rheumy I saw wanted me to have to make sure the antinflamatories I am taking every day now are not causing problems. I got the results the next day and everything came back within the normal range again except my sugar was high but they didn’t feel that was anything to be concerned about because I had not fasted. I eat very little sugar though. I left there feeling hopeless and discouraged again.
 Later that night I was talking to my mom about what happened and telling her I had one doctor left on my list. She is in the practice that my mom goes to and I use to see a doctor there as well. She was the one that diagnosed my migraines over a decade ago. I stopped seeing her because she had run out of options for me. Anyways my mom told me she had just gotten a letter in the mail that the doctor I wanted to see now was leaving the practice. I decided to try Googling her to see where she was going and found out she was opening up a new Concierge practice with 2 other doctors. Concierge/Direct medicine is something I have considered in the past so I filled out a form to get more information. The next morning I got a call from the Dr. herself. I did not answer because I didn’t recognize the number but I called her back later. We talked on the phone for quite a while. She told me she was leaving the current practice because she wanted to be more involved in her patient’s care which is something I am definitely looking for. They are not opening the practice until October but was willing to see in her current office which my insurance would cover. In the meantime I called the old rheumy’s office to try and get an appointment but was told I would need to get records from the last rheumy I saw before I could see him again. I thought that was rather odd. They were suppose to try and get the records for me since I couldn't get anywhere with that office but they would not release them. I also got a call from the compounding pharmacy asking how I was doing with the LDN. I told them it made my pain worse and they suggested I try a smaller dose so they were going to try and get the Rheumy that prescribed it for me to write a prescription for a smaller dose. 4 days later the rheumy’s office called me to see what was going on and said they would ask the doctor about it she was out of town until Monday though. Once again it was taking forever to get something done there. It should not have taken 4 days for a response. Emilia and I went to see the concierge doctor. She did not agree with what the other doctor said about Emilia’s cholesterol which was good. She said it was perfectly acceptable for a person her age and not to worry about it. As for me she basically did nothing different than the other doctors I had seen before and was still in agreement with the Fibro diagnosis which I was not happy about. We talked about me going to physical therapy once to get some exercises to help with the range of motion and to help strengthen it. She did not know enough about LDN to rewrite the script for me. I told her about how hard it was for me to get an appointment with the rheumatologist but she did not offer to call over there to make it any easier to get in which I thought was odd since that is what a concierge doctor is supposed to do. I tried to make it clear that I wanted a doctor that would not give up on me like the others have done in the past and she said she wouldn’t. She gave us a packet to take home with all the information about the concerige practice, said she looked forward to being our doctor and to call her with any questions about it. I still left there feeling something was not right, When I got home I looked at the packet and saw that once you signed the contract there were no refunds if things did not work out. That did not sit right with me especially because of how expensive it was. I decided to start making a list of questions and think about it some more before I committed to anything. In the meantime I kept calling the rheumatologists office to get an appointment. I finally got one in October after numerous tries and speaking to someone else that finally allowed me to make the appointment even though the right referral and notes from the last rheumy was not there. I also made an appointment to go to physical therapy like we talked about. It ended up being a free consultation session thankfully. It was going to cost me 80.00 out of pocket because of our lousy insurance that does not cover anything until you meet the deductible. The guy that I met with was supposed to have expertise in Fibro but he told me that fibro is basically a diagnosis they give when they can’t find anything else wrong which I tend to agree with. Unfortunately he was not very helpful though. After evaluating where my pain was he made it worse and I walked out of there in more pain than I came in with. He also never helped me off the table and the exercises he gave me just made things worse. The following week the concierge Dr. called out of the blue to see if I had gotten the appointment. I told her I finally did and how hard it was for me to get it but she did not seem to care much about that. I also told her the referral was still not there. She said she would take care of it. I will still be calling to see if has been done before I go. In the meantime I told her about the physical therapy session and how it made things worse. She then told me that I would need to go about a doz times for it to work which was odd because I made it clear to her when I saw her that I was not doing PT long term basically because I don’t have the money or time for that and it made things worse. I also told her that I was not in agreement with the fibro diagnosis and thought it might be myofascial pain instead especially since my pain is usually 1 sided but she was not really in agreement with that either. She was relying on the rheumy for another opinion. I then told her that I had some questions about the new concierge practice but that I would call here another time about it basically because I had not finished writing down my questions yet but she said we should talk about it then because the next day was her day off. I thought that was odd because she had no problem talking to me about it on her day off before. I tried to remember what I wanted to ask but it was hard because I had nothing written down and I was not expecting to talk to her then. Basically the conversation ended with her pushing me to take antidepressants (Cymbalta) for the pain even after telling her that I do not do well on those kinds of meds and she never brought them up before. Then she coldly told me if I was not going to do those things she suggested that I could "just live with it". What kind of doctor says that? I was so caught off guard by what she said that I basically just ended the conversation saying I didn’t know what I was going to do now. All she said in response was to hang in there. When I got off the phone with her I was devastated and broke down in tears. What I thought was going to be the answer turned out not to be again. As bad as it was at least she showed her true colors before I paid her all that money. I just don’t understand how doctors can treat people like that. After crying for hours I started to think about what I was going to do next. Part of me just wanted to give up but I knew I had to keep searching for something/someone to help me. I tried contacting the 2 other doctors that were going into the concierge practice with her to see if they would be willing to talk to me and maybe be a better fit but they never responded. I have a feeling she told them not to talk to me. After that I started to look for more holistic options like myofacial massage and a search for a direct medicine doctor which is a bit different from concierge medicine. I found out there are only 3 direct medicine practices here in Denver. I was able to speak to each of them on the phone before I made an appointment and am going to meet with the one that was most willing to help me soon. I am really hoping this will be the answer I am looking for. I am not getting my hopes up yet though. All I want is a doctor that will treat me with kindness and compassion and will respect what kinds of mediation/treatments I am comfortable taking/doing and what I am not. I don't want a physician that just prescribes meds. I want someone that can look at the big picture, try to find the cause and think outside the box. Most importantly I need a physician I feel comfortable with and can come up with a plan to try and find things that might help. At this point I am just looking for someone that really wants to take the time to help me figure this out and try to give me a better quality of life with chronic pain. I don't think that is to much to ask but for some reason it is really hard to find. If you have read this far sorry it was so long but I am hoping that by telling my story it will help someone else that is going through something similar and if anyone has any suggestions or ideas for me would love to hear your thoughts too. 
In the meantime things in my Etsy shop have been slow but Emilia and I have been working on adding Halloween items to the shop. This is one of the girls sets.
These are for the boys.
I also got this great photo from a buyer of her son's photo shoot featuring my nautical party decor. Isn't he cute?

 That's all for now I hope the rest of your September is a good one and hopefully I will be back next month with better news to share then.

Monday, August 8, 2016

July Recap

Happy August. Hope your July was a good one. The weather continues to be hot here. We have been in the 90's for weeks. I am okay with it because I am inside with ac most of the time. It did cool down late last week into the 80's which was nice.  My zinnias are continuing to do well in the heat though. We had a little visitor that really likes them too. Isn't it beautiful?
I went back to my primary care doctor that I talked about last month but it turned out to be another horrible experience. She was the one that told me to come back for a follow up but had no idea why I was even there. She also had a bad attitude towards me the minute she walked in and it just want down hill from there. I tried to talk to her about a few different things including not being able to get the rheumatologist she sent me to see to respond to my phone calls or emails but her response was cold and unhelpful. I tried to continue but
I finally had enough and said to her that she was making me very uncomfortable and her response was I was too complicated of a patient, there was only so much time to deal with me and she had nothing else to offer me until I had a diagnosis. She then told me I was welcome to see someone else in the practice but when I asked her if they would be more willing to help me than she was she responded with we all tend to think alike. At that point I told Emilia we were leaving and got up and walked out. She never did anything to stop me. Needless to say I was very upset after that and left the office in tears. I thought doctors were suppose to try and help their patients?? I still have not been able to talk to the rheumy she sent me to I have only been able to talk to her assistant. I did find out that the rheumatologist has given me the diagnosis of fibromylagia again even though she said to me in the office when I saw her that she was not convinced it was all fibro but has ruled out other autoimmune diseases based on the blood work she did. I am so frustrated and discouraged right now. I am dealing with chronic pain everyday and now I don't have a doctor I trust to help me. I made an appointment with a new primary care doctor that was recommended by my ear doc. I go to see her the middle of August. I just pray she will be willing to help me and at least be kind.

On a happier note, my in-laws came to town the middle of July and we had a graduation party for Emilia. I hired a personal chef to do the cooking this time. It was nice to not have to cook but the food could have been better. The important thing is that both families were able to be together to celebrate something good. We were so busy eating that we forgot to take photos with the family so all we have are these pictures of the food. The cake came from Alberston's and Emilia loved it.

Emilia and I have been busy with orders in our Etsy shop. Last month she added a lemonade themed tutu set to go with my lemonade party decor. The original was light pink and yellow but we had a buyer that requested it in hot pink and yellow so we now have 2 options. Which one do you like best?
 I also received these great photos from buyers of their babies wearing our 1/2 birthday onesies and hat. Aren't they adorable?

I am loving these strawberry bars.
I leave off the topping and only use the strawberries since I have not been able to find rhubarb. They are Paleo.
That's it for now I hope the rest of your August is a good one and I will be back with more to share next month.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

June Recap

Happy July. Hope you had a good 4th. We didn't do anything special to celebrate. I am not a fan of fireworks especially because they freak out our dogs. Even though they are illegal here in Denver people around us continue to set them off. Sophie is really afraid of them and she hides. They just make Lily mad. All she wants to do is go outside and bark. It is like she is trying to tell them to stop it.
The weather continues to be warm here. We planted flowers, 1 tomato plant and some basil the first part of the month. Emilia picked out these beautiful Azelas but they didn't do well in the pots we have because they get full sun. We replanted them in the front yard where there is more shade but they are still not looking great. Hopefully they will come back in the fall or next spring when it is cooler. The zinnia's and gerber daisy's I picked out are doing great though.
 I went to see a new rheumatologist a few weeks ago about my chronic pain/shoulder problems. She wanted me to have an MRI of my shoulder but I found out that it  is going to cost me approx $2,000 out of pocket because we have not met our deductible and are not even close to it so that won't be happening. Once again health insurance sucks!  This doctor also gave me some Lyrica samples to try but I had a bad reaction to it so I won't be taking that either. I am going back to the primary again soon. Hoping she will be of more help this time.
Emilia got her drivers license on the 23rd. Thankfully we made the right appointment this time but even with the appointment we were there for over 2 hours. They were an hour behind when we got there and the appointment was at 9:15. Thankfully she passed though so now she is free to drive on her own and is really starting to enjoy it.
Things were slow in my Etsy shop last month but the onesie's and tutu sets are continuing to be a big seller. Emilia made this girl nautical tutu set and I made the matching hat for a buyer last month. The buyer changed the colors to include bright pink too. I really like how it came out.

 This is a photo of her daughter Abrielle wearing it.
I found another great Paleo/dairy free recipe for you to try. Cranberry Walnut Scones. I changed the coconut sugar to raw honey. They are delicious. I would highly recommend them. You can get the recipe here
That's all for now. I hope the rest if your July is a good one.

Monday, June 6, 2016

May Recap

Happy June. It is finally starting to warm up and feel like summer here. I was still wearing my winter PJ's until last week. I know they say April showers bring May flowers but I think this year those months didn't get the memo. Fortunately even with the cool weather our tulips in the backyard still bloomed though and they were beautiful.
I took this photo right when they were starting to bloom. They were pinker in real life but still beautiful.
May started out pretty good. Emilia got me these for Mother's. Still a huge Gilmore Girls Fan so they were the perfect gift. Rich also got me a really cute Ecard and gift certificate from Amazon too.
We took Emilia to take her driving test a few weeks ago and get her license which we waited a month for. She made the appointment online a for "New Drivers License" asked me if that was right which I thought it was and didn't think twice about it. After waiting in line for 15 minutes, the DMV person tells us we don't have an appointment for a driving test. We made an appointment for a new license for out of state drivers. ???? Now we have to wait ANOTHER month to get the right appointment. They really need to fix their website to include descriptions for the services they offer. We were all really disappointed it didn't happen but hopefully the next time it will all work out.
On a happier note Emilia finished high school the middle of the month. It is hard to believe that our home school journey has come to an end. I am so glad that I was able to home school her from the beginning and spend all that time with her. I know homeschooling is not for everyone but it was right for us. I am so proud of all she has accomplished so far and I know whatever she chooses to do in the future she will be great at. In the meantime she is continuing to work for me and is adding more things to the shop frequently. We are planning a party to celebrate with family and friends later in July. She got her diaploma from Keystone last week though.
This 1/2 birthday boy onesie and bow tie set is new to the shop it goes great with my 1/2 birthday hat and new 1/2 birthday banner.

Here is another great photo from Jessica Cernat Photography who's photo of her dog Smash I shared last month. This is her girl dog Fergie wearing my dog birthday crown.
Lastly here is a new cookie recipe for you to try.
I am in love with these Pecan, Walnut and Ginger cookies. I changed the sugar in the raw to honey though to make them Paleo. I also used a real egg.
That's all for now. I hope the rest of your June is a good one and I will be back next month with more to share then.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

April Recap

Happy Wednesday and beginning of May. Old man winter was still hanging on this weekend. It was snowy, rainy and cold for three days. Thankfully the sun finally came out Monday and it looks more like spring now. Hopefully spring will stick around this time.
April started off with us going to tea at the Brown Palace Hotel in downtown Denver to celebrate Emilia's 18th birthday which was on the 2nd. It was a wonderful experience and we all had a great time. Something we will always remember. Rich even surprised Emilia with matching earnings to go with the necklace he bought her on her 16th birthday. By the way she made the dress she is wearing.
 On her actual birthday she went to Park Burger and a visit to the Tattered Cover Bookstore.  A special surprise delivery of balloons and chocolates arrived later that afternoon. Thanks to Ed Moore Florist (I came up with the idea at the last minute). We had a family dinner and cake later that night. Her favorite lemon cake was from the Greek Bakery and we had Bubu delivered for dinner. Overall her 18th birthday was a great success and something she will always remember.
 The onesies and tutus are becoming a big seller in my Etsy shop and keeping Emilia pretty busy. She is doing a great job on them. This rainbow tutu set is our biggest seller so far. It goes great with my rainbow party decor.

One of my buyers is a professional photographer and took this great photo of her boy dog Smash wearing my boy dog party hat. I love how it came out. You can see more photos on her website Jessica Cernat Photography . She also has a girl dog that she bought a crown for and took photos of her too. I will share them next month.
We celebrated Lily's 10 birthday on the 10th and Sophie's gotcha day on the 29th. Crowns and tutu made my me and Emilia.
 That's all for now. Hope your May is a good one and I will be back next month with more to share then.

Monday, April 4, 2016

March Recap

Happy Monday.  March went out like a lion but April has been beautiful so far. We ended up getting a blizzard on March 23rd which left us with almost 20" of snow. Thankfully it melted quickly though.
The buds on the trees are starting to pop now and so are the tulips so things are looking up. The month started out okay but by the middle both Rich and Emilia got sick again. This was the 4th time for her and the 2nd time for him. This winter has been the worst for illness in our house. Hopefully everyone will stay well now and the germs are gone.
My 47th birthday was on the 25th but Emilia woke up sick again that morning so we had another visit with Dr. On Demand and she was diagnosed with what they thought was strep. The weather was also cold and snowy so not a good way to start off the day. My sister brought me these beautiful tulips with cheered my up though.
To top the day off my favorite ice cream flavor that I was so looking forward too for my special desert was discontinued thankfully I had a little left in the freezer though and the place I wanted to eat for dinner was not serving what I wanted.  Needless to say it was not one of my best birthdays but hopefully next year will be better.
Emilia and I started adding matching onesies, tutus, bibs and bow ties to my Etsy shop to match my other party decor. Emilia is mainly the one in charge of the making the fabric items though since she likes to sew so much. This is the first set we came up with and are adding more daily.

That's it for now I will be back next month with Emilia's birthday recap and more to share then. Hope your April is a good one and spring has sprung where you are.


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

February Recap

Happy Tuesday and 1st day of March. It definitely came in like a lamb here. We have been enjoying unseasonably warm temperatures for over a week now with more to come. I am loving the warmer weather but not all the dryness that comes with it. A little rain would be nice. Hoping we won't get hit with a huge blizzard later in the month like we have in the past since my tulips are starting to come up but I am going to enjoy the nice weather while it lasts though.

The month started out pretty quite but by the end it was a real nightmare. It all started one  Wednesday afternoon when Rich called from work to tell me he was not feeling well. I had a bad feeling then that it was not going to be good. When he got home he was definitely sick and was worse the next day so I made him go to urgent care where he was diagnosed with the flu and given Tamaflu to take for it. When he went to the pharmacy to pick it up they told him they were out of it and they sent him to Wallgreens. When he got there they had it but after seeing his insurance card they told him they did not take Cigna. I thought that had to be a mistake but it wasn't. Turns out it is true. I never even thought about that being a problem with we picked it. Anyways he didn't want to pay cash for it so he left, went back to the pharmacy he was before and had them order it which meant he had no meds for another 12 hours, I begged him to let me find another pharmacy that had it in stock that day and took our insurance but he wouldn't let me do it so he dealt with it. He is a terrible patient when he gets sick but thankfully he was better in a few days though.  In the meantime. Emilia and I were trying really hard not to catch it but it didn't work. Emilia work up sick on Saturday morning. The new doctors office I picked for us refused to see her so we went to urgent care again. After waiting over 2 hours and sitting with lots of other sick people her flu test came back negative which surprised both of us and they were not going to do anything to treat her but we insisted that they give her Tamaflu anyways which they finally did. When we got home I gave it to her with some food but about an hour later she started feeling really nauseous and throwing up so we stopped it. She didn't have the same symptoms as Rich anyways so I guess the test was right. After a rough few days with her I started feeling sick on Sunday afternoon but once again my symptoms were different mostly in my ears and throat. I called our new doctors office again to complain about not getting any help the last couple of times I talked to them and was informed that the female doctor we wanted to see is resigning. The best they could do was have another PA call me which she did a few hours later and was very nice and helpful but the next day I was even worse. When I called to get a appointment with her I was told again there were none. Instead of going back to urgent care again. Since I needed someone to look in my ears. I decided to try a new service I had heard about called Dispatch Health. It is like a mobile urgent care. I downloaded the app and had a call back in minutes. They arrived at my door less than 1/2 and hour later. The were very nice and helpful. The best part is I didn't have to leave my home and sit and wait with other sick people. Thank goodness it was a slow week in my Etsy shop because Emilia and I were too sick to do much of anything. Emilia was doing better but ended up getting sick again the end of the week so instead of going back to urgent care I decided to use Dr. On Demand again since I had used it for her before and had a good experience with it and she didn't have to be seen in person. This time we saw a different doctor but he was great too.They ended up putting her on antibiotics for a secondary infection. Her cough ended up getting worse though so we had to have another call to get more meds. With all the meds we are both taking right now we could start our own pharmacy.
Thankfully we are both starting to feel better now but whatever it was it was really awful though. I just hope this it the last of the sickness. Now I have to start looking for another primary care doctor for both of us. The problem is internists here will not take Emilia until she is 18  and I am done with family practice so we have another 5 weeks left to go. Hopefully we can make it until then. With as much money we are paying for healthcare it should not be this hard get good healthcare. Healthcare in this country sucks!
Right before all this happened my printer broke again. Thankfully I had a backup but then that one broke a week later. Now I am done to 1. The kind I use the Canon Pixma MX892 has been discontinued so they are really hard to find in good condition. I need that kind because it feeds from the back. I think I found another model to replace it but have not had a chance to try it yet though. Will let you know what I think of it when I do.   On top of that we were having car problems where it would not start. Rich thought it was because we did not drive it enough but even after jumping it, it still continued to die. I found a mobile car repair service to come and look at it. Turns out it was a bad battery and a new one seems to have fixed the problem but that was another fiasco trying to get it though. When I talk to them on the phone they said the could do repairs on site but when they decided it was the battery the guy told me he did not have enough money to go get a new one. What kind of company is that?? Thankfully I was able to order it online and have him go and pick it up but needless to say I won't be using that service again. I signed up for AAA right after that so if it happens again they can deal with it and I know they are a reputable company.
If you are still reading thanks for listing to my rant. Now on to something more positive.
I made this race car themed photo prop set for an Etsy customer this month.
Emilia is continuing to work on finishing her senior year. In the meantime she has had a few sales in her Etsy shop. These Lovey's seem to be the most popular right now this is the boy one. She makes them for girls as well. They make great baby gifts. She can make matching blankets and pillows too.

A customer shared this great photo of her son wearing my boy penguin party hat.
If you like strawberries here is a great recipe for you to try. I ended up only make half and putting it in individual ramakins. It was just enough for 3 servings that way.

That's all for now. I hope your March is a good one and I will be back with more to share next month. Hopefully it will be a quieter and healthier one.