you know what else has a hole in the middle of it?

Such has been my experience as well and, no doubt, many of yours as well.
What can we do about this? Ideas?

this great ape

Dear TG Ape:

{Health Insurance Company [Money-Grubbing Wankers, Inc.]}’s pharmacy benefit manager continually review* medicines, products, and prices, to make sure the drugs that work well and are cost-effective become part of your prescription drug benefit [figure out if there’s anything we can avoid paying for]. As part of this effort, there are changes [we’ve cut some things from the list] that could [will] affect your current drug choices [needs].

As of July 1, 2015, your current drug(s) listed below will require a medical necessity prior to authorization in order to be covered by your prescription drug benefit. You will pay the full cost of the prescription without an approved medical necessity prior authorization…

*improper grammar copied directly from original letter

You know, this may not require any special TGA sauce (not withstanding a bit of paraphrasing) to show it for the steaming pile of poo that it is. But I haven’t had a good…

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and for how long

For all who are in despair, read the posts of this Brave Soul.

this great ape

The pain is no better.

I won’t say that it is worse. It may be, but I don’t want to go there.

At the behest of my physical therapist, I contacted the head researcher of my lab to let him know I would be out for the remainder of this week and all of next to recover from a recent setback with my shoulder. He was more receptive than I expected, although granted, it was over email, which means his initial, less-than-receptive response to the information may not have been communicated to me.

Be that as it may, what I didn’t communicate to him was that it has thrown into question not just how much I can work in the lab this summer, but whether or not I will be able to work there at all. It has also cast doubt as to whether or not I will be able to…

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terms

To all those who find the rich touting how they have taken control of their lives and to those who find the excessive consumerism of this time of year uncomfortable if not appalling.

this great ape

I have a new most hated phrase. It is “living life on your own terms.” It’s always touted as this thing to aspire to, as though it takes some special strength or perseverance to achieve it. As though it is something to be admired. As though we should all be a little more like the person who is described as doing it.

What a crock.

Living life on your own terms isn’t a choice. It isn’t something you get if you just put in enough hard work, like a Christmas bonus. It doesn’t make you a better person. As a matter of fact, it’s an incredibly selfish thing to do, if you really think about it. It requires a level of narcissism that most people don’t possess (or at least, don’t admit to). Demanding that your life, and all of the things in it, adhere to a set of parameters that you have…

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My Chronic Pain in a Nutshell

For those in pain and for the people who know them.

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questions

She nails it again. Yes, more of the “helpful questions,” that’s what we really need.

this great ape

Miss EmilyAnnaB, one of my favorite bloggers, recently sent me a parcel of nice questions to answer, about things that have nothing to do with my shoulder. Those answers will be forthcoming later this week.

I like being given questions I can actually answer. I field far too many questions that have no good answers, nearly all of them from well-meaning people who are surreptitiously hunting for solutions to my shoulder issue while trying to sound like they just want to understand what’s going on with me.

I do not get this phenomenon at all. When a friend of mine is hurting, I don’t press her for details. A simple affirmation of the situation is all I need. Depressed? Bad mood? Back pain? That’s good enough for me. Here’s a hug and some cookies, and I’ll be texting you over the next few days with smiles and warm fuzzies. I mean, what…

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impossibilities, and the glory of the mundane

This writer had a unique gift for telling it like it is.
“For most people with disabilities, the simple fact that they can function nearly as well as people without them is what is truly amazing.”

this great ape

At the end of each physical therapy session, I get ice and electric stimulation on my shoulder. I lie on my back on one of the tables with my knees bent and my head propped up, and they have posters on the wall for people to look at, posters that I’m sure they perceive as being helpful, if they think about them at all.

Like this one:

U381

If you can’t read it, it says (I have it memorized), “Life’s only limitations are those we make.”

Please.  Life is full of limitations that we didn’t make for ourselves, and carrying a surfboard in the early morning sun has absolutely nothing to do with either the sentiment or its patent ridiculousness.  Not to mention that for me, the picture, of someone with two normal, perfect shoulders, is almost as upsetting as the sentiment.

Today in the Post, there is yet another feel-good…

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Why me?

Why Me?
March 28th.
It has been a long dry trek through the desert of pain since I last wrote. But, in the moment, I find myself in a little oasis and so I write. Yet even in this oasis comfort eludes me as I sit here, miserable, waiting for Novocaine to wear off from a root canal.

No ordinary tooth, this. The same procedure was done a week ago, but within two days pain returned, angry pain. The only way I could get to sleep was to take two Vicodin before bed, but they provided less than “normal” sleep.

There are but two bedtime positions that will allow me a respite from pain. One is on my back, which is less than ideal because I have sleep apnea in that position and often wake myself up with a loud snort. The other is on my left side. Ah, I cherish that side. But the tooth would start to throb within seconds if I dared roll to the left. It appeared that Vicodin didn’t cover The Left. The only way to get the tooth pain to settle was to flip to my back again. Snort!

The post-root-canal experience is one I know well, having enjoyed at least a half-dozen root canals, so I knew that something wasn’t right. After the second Vicodin night I called the endodontist. He assured me that, since I only needed Motrin during the day, the tooth was indeed healing. Really!!! When I called two days later, the secretary squeezed me into the schedule. (Surely she must have Angel wings tucked under that blazer.) So here I am newly and thoroughly “canaled.”

April 7th
I relate this experience because it prompted me to ask a question that I’ve never asked before. The week of dental hell was only the most recent of countless incidents of severe, scary, prolonged periods of pain occurring over the past 25 years. Yet, for the first time I wondered “why me?” … but not in the usual way.

I am not thinking “poor me.” Rather I’m wanting to know what purpose this experience serves.

Is it to force me to appreciate how great it feels when my teeth don’t hurt? No, I’ve had far too many painful dental procedures not to be grateful when my teeth are happy.

Is it so I can empathize with the pain of others? I don’t think so! After 25 years of chronic pain, in addition to instances where doctors had no answers for apparently inexplicable symptoms, fear that said painful symptoms would never stop, anxiety that yet another part of my body will become the next sight of searing pain … no, no. Empathy I have in abundance.

Is it to teach yet another health care provider that his/her patients are not pressed out by a single cookie cutter? Is it to enlighten a doctor that he should listen, really listen, to his female patients because, sorry guys, he sees me as just another hysterical woman? Read … either I must be exaggerating the pain or I am not smart enough to know when something is seriously wrong.

I’ve played such roles far too many times. If I told the Creator before I was born that I chose as my job on earth to endure decades of pain in order to make life easier for those who follow me, I quit! I gave my two weeks notice twenty years ago so don’t bother with the retirement party. I’m outta here.

And then I wonder if I’m suffering because I am not worthy, because I do not measure up, because I was too timid to take advantage of an opportunity to serve, etc.,. But when I read those words, my gut tells me that I am worthy no matter what I am or am not doing. So I wonder still, why me, what purpose does this life of suffering serve?

What do you think? I will be meditating and searching for answers until next time when we can explore your suggestions and whatever has revealed itself to me.

Something to ponder until then:
“To the world you are one person but to one person you are the world.”
— author unknown

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