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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

I'm on RANT! Give me my SOAPBOX!

As y'all know I'm typically a happy-go-lucky kinda' Gal. But with recent medical issues and law changes I'm finding myself quite frustrated.

First of all, our insurance decided it will only approve Farmer, Jr's prescription for his ADHD med with the name brand. The name brand is more expensive but I wouldn't mind if covered by insurance. However most if not all pharmacies, at least in our area, do not even carry the name brand. Generic only. So, now we have been in a battle regarding insurance coverage of FJ's medication.


We finally had to pay the entire amount of one month out of pocket as changing the medication type isn't a preferable option. I have spoken with numerous parents who have tried various ADHD meds and their children have had HORRID side affects. So, if it is working - risking change shouldn't be a consideration.

On another note, the laws have changed in the last two months regarding narcotics and prescription medications. I myself prefer not to take a pill unless I have to. Although, I have found myself on blood pressure medication, thyroid meds and the little happy pill for anxiety. But, I'm speaking primarily about pain medications. (I also prefer NOT to take an antibiotic unless I know I really need it. IMO my body's immune system needs to stay as strong on its own as possible.)

But over most of this past year I've developed severe chronic pain in my right hip. At first I thought it was my sciatica, then I thought it was popping hip syndrome which I had as a kid. Then I thought arthritis and lack of exercise (which is what exacerbated it in the first place. I go to the gym to get in SHAPE and I end up in PAIN and unable to exercise).

I went to my chiropractor, I went to my MD, I went to a personal trainer to work on my core and range of motion and mobility. Finally, I went to a hip and joint specialist. I tried a steroid injection but it only lasted two months instead of six. Turns out? My hip is degenerating.

The bone is not getting enough blood flow and thus it is dying. Apparently, as a child it grew in a more flattened shape rather than a well rounded ball. Which was cause of my issues as a child. So in the end after researching and finally meeting with a fantastic surgeon out of Austin, Texas, I have scheduled myself for a full hip replacement. I'm actually quite optimistic about it, knowing that come a few weeks and a few weeks of PT I will have relief from this constant chronic pain.

The RANT? Pain medication. I can't get it! Hardly. And I NEED IT. A few months ago the first specialist I saw that diagnosed me as needing a hip replacement. He prescribed me Hydrocodone. Normally, I wouldn't want that medication. I haven't taken in it years and years since I was having serious back issues when the kids were little. Even then I only took it at night.

The specialist prescribed me a months worth. When I finally returned because the shot had worn off and it was obvious that I wasn't going to be able to put off the surgery with injections twice a year like I had hoped, he was unable to prescribe that medication to me to get me through until my surgery.

Hardly anyone can. So, I have been prescribed Tramadol (which does nothing), and Tylenol-Codeine 3 (which I have to double up on for any relief). Even my surgeon has a letter to his patients understanding WHY these medications are now being so regulated but at the same time frustrated because patients like his who really need it can't get it. Those doctors who over prescribe and those patients who abuse medications leave those of us whom they were designed for still sitting in pain.

Awful, chronic pain. So, as requested by my surgeon I wrote our congressman. Hubby in fact, had a chance to meet with him last week regarding agricultural issues. And as I suggested, he brought up the issue about managing pain and the issues regarding prescribing it to those who truly need it.

It is SO frustrating that I and others are penalized and forced to suffer chronically because others are disrespectful and abusive and inconsiderate to those of us who actually need and deserve relief to function.

My dad is having the same issue. If my mom were to lose her pain medication she would die from the pain. I have a new understanding for those with chronic pain. Although I have always empathized, now in that same situation I have developed a new understanding.

So write your congressman. The deserving and in need shouldn't be penalized by the jack-@$$es who abuse their medications.

Off soap box…for now anyhow. On a side note, tomorrow is Thanksgiving! Find what you are thankful for. No matter how down and out things can seem, there is always a seed of hope if you just look for it. :-)


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Monday, November 24, 2014

See? I told you I'd be back!

Howdy~

See, told ya' I'd be back. Today I've been pretty lazy. This morning I just felt like I had no juice flowing. Morning came too early me thinks. Part of it is frustration from constantly feeling like I'm not whole.

I haven't even showered yet (bad FW, bad bad). Lil'Gal has an appointment with her urology office so I'll be jumping in pretty soon. I HATE having to get the kids out of school early though. With all the state mandated testing I just hate for the kids to miss any instruction. While I understand the purpose of State Mandated testing I really think they are taking it too far. Kids are doing math one to two grades ahead of their actual grade level. Which makes me wonder, what is the point of even having a 'grade level'?

Anyhoo, enough about school. Thanksgiving is coming!!! Who's ready!?

GOBBLE, GOBBLE, GOBBLE!!!



Originally we were going to spend it with my brothers in Houston but things fell through. Poo. Not that I'll starve by any means. MIL makes a fantastic bounty of food. Well, we all pitch in a little here and there. This year I'm totally going to have to tighten my belt though. I've been doing pretty well about dropping some weight before my surgery date on the 10th of December. It takes a lot of restraint. And Thanksgiving will be a test of determination and will power. Especially, since I can't really do any type of cardio or exercise other than a few core routines.

I'm down an average of six - eight pounds and have another ten to go so that I won't be puffy faced and have this horrible ring around my waist. I have to say that I'm physically feeling better as I drop a pound here and there too. *pats self on back* A big part of this is having to give up my cheap koolaid. It's a sacrifice I'm willing (okay, begrudgingly) to make for the betterment of myself :-).

Okay. So, not much to put out here today. My wonderful blogging wit and humor that y'all have so fallen in love with are still a little rusty. But the important thing is - I'M HERE!

And it's only Monday… Make it a great week y'all!


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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Where I've been and where I'm going… And how I'm getting there.

Sorry I've been away, yet again, for so long. Although Facebook has been a wonderful 'in the moment' way to keep up with my friends, followers, family and bloggers I have come to find that I miss blogging. Because with FB my life, thoughts and stories are shared in bits and pieces.

So, I'm ending my hiatus and coming home. I think blogging is also good for my attitude.  I miss the interfacing I find here in my Optimistic world.

So, what's new you ask? Grab a cup of coffee or a glass of wine.

Both my kids are in middle school now. I'm really proud of how well they have adapted to juggling 8 classes and extra curricular activities. Unfortunately, I haven't been ableo substitute so far this year for reasons listed further down in the post. :-(

Lil'Gal is in band. She plays the flute and she's actually pretty good! [She has the lips for it ;-) ] She's also in theater arts which, as y'all know she has dramatics cornered, and she LOVES IT! And she's a Junior now in Girl Scouts - be looking for her cookie sales pitch come mid January. ;-)

Farmer, Jr. has been pulling in great grades! Both of my kids are! I'm really proud of Farmer, Jr. because he has been working really hard to do his best in school and he isn't allowing his dysgraphia to hinder him. The school counselor and teachers are really great and work with him and myself. We are so lucky to be in a district that takes learning disabilities so seriously.

As for extracurricular with Farmer, Jr., hunting and fishing are his life. And of course driving the tractor or anything on the farm.

Both kids are still active in 4-H and preparing for this upcoming livestock show.

Which brings me to…… BUNNIES!!!


Midnight as a Junior Buck

I FINALLY got my BUNNY BARN! It is air conditioned so the bunnies aren't stressed by the summer and often even winter heat. I'll have to try and get a picture after the kids sweep and clean up in there. I just love it though! Hubby did AWESOME!

We currently have four polish, fancy show bunnies, one breeder buck and the of course the pets. Pepper and Paprika. (Pics to come in another post) We pick up our Californian meat pens on December 6th! Pretty soon we will  bunnies EVERYWHERE! 17 cute little noses and 34 cute little ears are just too irresistible!

THE BIG NEWS:

Those of you who follow me on Facebook know that I have had difficulty with my hip. It started in the spring when Hubby and I joined the gym. Well, actually I had a serious issue as a kid and off and on it would bother me here and there over the years. But never severe. 


Anyhow, it was time that both of us get back in shape. I was really kickin' it, or should I say spinning it, in spin class. I LUUUUUVED spin class! I also participated in the 'Muscles In Motion' class. I was finally feeling good about myself and dropping some of the excess weight that found its way around my waistline.

I started having severe issued with my hip. It rapidly went down hill to the point that driving was a painful issue, walking hurt, trying to sit down or trying to get back up. I literally found myself crawling to the restroom in the middle of the night. Which I refer to as the crawl of shame.

I  saw my chiropractor thinking it was caused by my sciatica. I met with personal trainer three times a week to work on my core and my range of motion. Finally I saw my regular practitioner who referred me to a joint specialist. After an x-ray it was determined that I have necrosis in my hip. Which means the bone is dying due to a poor blood supply and it is basically crumbling.

BONE on BONE = SEVERE PAIN

I have to say, I have a new understanding for people with chronic pain issues. I've always been empathic. But, being in this situation myself? Totally changed my perspective. Where I thought I was being supportive before I now realize no one has any idea of what chronic pain is until you experience it.

The specialist stated that I could try a steroid injection but that ultimately I am a candidate for and am going to need a hip replacement. I tried the injection. After about a week it kicked in and I was on top of the world! No more waking up in pain all night long. No more limping around. No more falling down. (I fell down a LOT. My body looked like Hubby had been beating me.) No more crawl of shame. I thought, "Hey! If I can get one of these every six months then I can put surgery off for a couple of years!) NO GO.

About two months later I started going down hill - fast. I was back to falling down, limping around, howling in pain when I tried to sit down, waking due to extreme chronic pain, and the crawl of shame.

The GOOD NEWS? I found a fantastic surgeon in Austin do to word of mouth from friends who have had similar issues. His surgical group is one of the best (if not THE best) in the nation! He's is state of the art in his field! I'll have my own SUITE in the hospital while I'm there. And, I've been told by former patients that the food is wonderful. Like a 5 star hotel!

So while I was somewhat depressed for months knowing that the inevitable was ahead of me, I'm now optimistic and excited to have this done. I'm schedule for surgery on December 7th! I should be healed in time for Christmas and the bonus is the kids will be on winter break so I don't have to worry about school, etc. The recovery is about three weeks with physical therapy.

So come mid December I will no longer be Glass Half Full Gal. I'll be BIONIC Glass Half Full Gal!

Happy Thursday and thanks for reading me!


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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

I'M HERE! And I had the weirdest dream!!!

OMG, can you believe it? I'm embarrassed that I haven't been in my little online journal of things in life in SOOO long. A lot of that is due to FB, it's so easy to post little blurbs. But it isn't the same.

I've thought about blogging, daily. But when school was in session I just didn't have the time. Or when I had the time I found myself obsessing in a book or sleep when I could grab it. I remember when used to blog at 3:am, about being awake at 3:am, LOL!

Anyhow, I had the WEIRDEST DREAM (once I finally got some sleep; between 6:am and 7:am after Hubby left for the farm).

I don't even know if I can remember it well enough or all the details but I'm going to post it anyhow and y'all can tell me what you think it all means:

There was a group of us. MIL, FIL, the kids, and a cousin and his wife who don't exist in real life.

We were… somewhere.

Then a big storm came and it rained and started flooding and we had to evacuate the neighborhood (I don't know where we were, I think on a lake which makes sense since we will be at Lake Burton pretty soon).

So, we have two vehicles. FIL is with me and two other people (my kids I'm assuming). The swell comes and the water is deep across a low in the road. FIL tells me to put it in 4-W Drive (we are in my Big Mama who has already been backed into and had her bumper tore off and then I put her in a ditch after church IRL). I can hear Hubby in my head, "You CAN'T DRIVE THROUGH THAT, you'll ruin the engine!" Me, to FIL, "I CAN'T DRIVE THROUGH THAT! I'LL RUIN HER ENGINE. The water is too high."

Somehow we meet up with the others and everyone decides we need to go eat and wait for the water to go down. ??? MIL suggests Dairy Queen being time and cost efficient. The cousin's husband suggests some other place. We end up at a place I'd been curious about. An italian place, but they all decide to do family style appetizers. I wasn't thrilled and I knew FJ wouldn't eat a darned thing. BUT…

They made this bread? This french bread thing? At the table, sliced with butter in between the slices and then grilled and sprinkled with garlic and salt and I don't know but it was FABULOUS! I felt guilty about eating it because it was soooo unhealthy but it was so good I said to myself, Screw It! 

(Maybe I should practice something like this for the kids to enter into the Livestock show this coming year!)

Then there were these other things on skewers layered with meats and cheeses and warmed and sprinkled with mozzarella or something. YUM! I was impressed! I wanted red wine but for some reason I couldn't get a glass even though the others got some or a beer. Hmmm…

(Are you bored yet? The dream had me reeling but of course it is MY dream so.)

Then we get the bill. MIL says we will split it. $53.30 A PIECE!!! WTH? Seriously? And then the man at the register doesn't speak English so he's rattling off to me in Indian and I just hand him my tab and my credit card. Then he passes me a note that offers bottles of red wine on mark down because it's been discontinued. No Thank You. A little too late.

So we go back to get my SUV as the water has come down and FIL IS PUSHING IT BACK UP INTO THE WATER with the cousin guy! I'm like, WHAT are you doing?"

I finally get my SUV back and get through the water but now am lost in the neighborhood. So, I try to find a place to GPS my way home. But I end up in this dangerous looking place with lots of vehicle repairs and 'other stuff' going on. So, I leave and drive down the road to find a church parking lot (beautiful church, BTW) and enter my GPS to home.

THEEEENNNN?

I wake up. WTH???

Happy Hump-Day! I shall be back sooner than later; no more ignoring my favorite story telling place.


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Monday, September 16, 2013

The Truth About Me, Aging, Weight and Health

The truth about me, aging, my weight AND health: A Tell All

LOL!

Who's been here?
That picture up there? That's how most of my old favorite clothing stand-bys have been fitting as of the last six to twelve months. Not a great feeling. My metabolism had been growing more and more lazy and I had been finding myself joining it. We even moped about it together.

Recently I went to one of my doctors' for a visit only to be told that my blood pressure was extremely high - especially since I have always run lower than normal = wakeup call.

AGING: I started noticing the weight coming on a couple years ago. I was stepping up into 40 so I chucked it up to that. I mean, I birthed two children and maintained a petite figure for the next ten years or so, right? I deserve not to worry about that 40 weight. [Ha ha, that's a pun!]

When I turned 40 last year, my thought process and declaration was that I would start getting serious about exercising and my belly fat after my birthday. Kinda of a "I'm 40 and going to be FAB" kind of declaration.

Well, with kids in school, extra-curricular activities, and all the other things I threw in to take up my time give me an excuse why I didn't hit the treadmill hard each day I just didn't quite get there. And, it's over a year later.

Other than my 'koolaid' I eat quite well. Although, I had started adding in some chip munching and more carbs than I used to. Salting food more. A lot of things I didn't partake in when I was younger and really never wanted to. I don't eat sweets. Somewhere between the kids the sweet tooth swapped teams. Maybe that's why I started liking salt so much. Hmmm. Something to ponder.

I did notice that my face was puffy. Kinda' balloonish. And, that's when things really started bothering me. Along with hot flashes and feeling cruddy about myself all the time. So, at the prompting of a friend I decided to join a gym in our area. Get real. Get serious. Hubby liked the idea so we joined together and have been diligent for the last six weeks in going regularly.

I do a spin class. (The first time I took it it kicked. My. @$$!! BIG. TIME. And, that wasn't even using any resistance!) I also do Muscles In Motion which is a cardio class with weights. It's FUN! (The first time this class ALSO kicked my @$$.)

So, eating better and working out regularly - really working out (not like my 'walk on the treadmill reading on the kindle' type work out at home) the scale was still not my friend. Lose two pounds -gain two pounds, lose three pounds - gain two pounds. Five years ago [okay, maybe more like ten] the weight would have come off immediately.  Mean scale! MEAN! Baaaaaaad scale. ;-{

And, my face was still puffy too!

So, enter last week when I went to see said doctor. He said, "GO SEE YOUR MD NOW!" So I did. And, you know what? My BP was still incredibly high. WTH?

Apparently, since I had blood pressure issues with my first child and pre-eclampsia (It was horrible. They caught it late because I ran low for a pregnant woman so my BP looked normal right up until the end. My face was puffy back then too) that makes me prone to high BP as I age.

He also did mention that ten pounds makes a big difference in blood pressure as well. Which I'm working on.

Solution? A little green pill. Not to be confused with that little blue pill; that's for something entirely different. :-P

                                                                                                                         This little baby here ------------------------------------------------------->

Works magic. I asked my doctor how long it would take to start working. He said a day or two. What a difference. I didn't realize how awful I'd been feeling. Not to mention self conscious about, well everything about myself.

My hot flashes have even subsided some. Oh, I still get them here and there. But I actually had a little chill when I woke up yesterday morning.

And, with hard work - avoiding high sodium foods and continuing with my love of vegetables - I've lost six pounds! I've also cut back on my favorite koolaid. Replacing it with that awesome liquid known as water. In addition I discovered some of those muscle things in my arms! Yeah, for real! Some of the puffiness has left my face. I've still got some work to do to slimming it, that IS related to the weight issue.

My goal isn't really about the number on the scale, okay, for now it is but ultimately it's not; the whole muscle vs. weight thing but rather, fitting back into my favorite clothes!

THATS! THE GOAL.

Life changes, our bodies change. And, that is okay. But, we still have to respect them and love them and work them out a little.

And, that's my update on me and my physical challenge to build a better me. :-)

Happy Monday!!!


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Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Gym & I: Rebuilding our relationship :-P

PUBLIC BLOG NOTICE: These 'gym' posts I hope to be humorous and also, on occasion, allow me to brag about my physical improvement. :-P

I have to say that it is SO MUCH harder at 41 than at 25 to get my body back in shape. Of course, until hitting my late thirties I never had issues with 'getting back in shape'. I just kinda' maintained it. Don't throw tomatoes, I did work out and work at it more but I didn't have to work at it like in my 40s.

I don't expect to be as fit as I was at 25. But, I would take my physique back (after having two children) from about 35. I was good and comfortable with myself. And, no high blood pressure or puffy face, and my clothes still fit..

Just keep spinning, just keep spinning-spinning!

So, my first day at the gym I took a spin class. I've always wanted to do a spin class. You know, like you see in the movies where they are spinning super fast and sweaty [I don't like the sweaty part, that's why I get the fan] and having a conversation with best friends like the gals on' Sex In The City'. I was really excited!

I went in totally motivated to SPIN-SPIN-SPIN! But it's not just spinning. There is resistance called gauge. You have to stand up and bike (and not like when we were kids). Then you have to alternate with this position I'd almost call a crime called "Hover" I hate to Hover unless I'm hovering over my children's lives and academics. Anyhow at each interval you have to turn up your gauge. OW.

As I was spinning in a class that in my 20s and 30s I would have kick PIE at, I found myself breathing hard and cursing to myself under my breath. [A LOT.] At that moment when I saw my profile in the mirror I realized - Holey $H!T! I HAVE totally let myself GO!!! NOOOOOOOOOO!!! And thus began my uphill battle with working out three times as hard as I had to in my younger years, when I enjoyed working out three times as hard as I had to. What's the term for that scenario. I know there is a word in the dictionary for that turn of events in life.

So this morning, after having been spinning and attending a cario-weight class for about six weeks a couple came in to spin. She seemed a little younger than me. Not slender but in really good shape (i.e.: her old clothes fit). She brought her husband who seemed about my age. I've never seen a man in the class. Would love to get Hubby but he's not crazy about the tiny bike seat (um, we don't spend that much time 'on' the seat and when we do we worship it.)

Her husband is training for a triathlon. Or something similar to that. He was in good shape too. Since he was in training she suggested to him that he should try the spin class with her. At first I think he thought, politely, "Eh, I can do this." He didn't know what he was in for!

I was next to him and recognized his struggles. Oh, he was holding his own but it reminded me of me six weeks ago. *Patting self on back at my progress*

At one point, about half way through (while I was doing well) it was "Hover" time. Again. At the same time we both said under our breath "$h!t". I found it quite funny and we laughed through our breathing.

The instructor giggled as she said, "Sorry!" into the mic as she was leading the class.

I'm thinking we might see them both back at the next class. I'd love to get Hubby in. I might challenge him. ;-)

Anyway, other than some curses under my breath and my clothes still not fitting any better I've found that the gym is worth it and I'm held to a higher level of participation so long as 'the others' are watching me. Because at home... well, for a little electricity my treadmill agreed not to tell on me. :-P


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