It Takes A Lot to Look This Good – Financially

it takes a lot to look this good!!!

I was looking over my insurance statement that they send me once a month. This one they send me is for my pharmaceuticals.

My seizure med which is a newer very expensive drug. It cost almost $2000 a MONTH for 60 pills. I’m on the highest dosage you can be on. The medicine has helped improve my life very much so! But it’s $2000 dollars every month. If I didn’t have an insurance that paid for it I wouldn’t be getting it.

And that’s one medicine.

Every month my pharmaceutical insurance pays $3,700…

$20,058,04 for January- July 2019.. 6 months of meds cost that much. they have spent more money on me then I make through disability (my money the government gives me for being an adult who is unable to work because of a disability.) in a year.

It cost over $3,000 a month for my meds.

And that’s just my pharmaceuticals that I get at home that we are talking about. Not even all the other things keeping me running.

My insurance doesn’t pay for some of my pharmaceutical supplies that I need. I use saline flushed which is for my Hickman (central line.) I flush my line after I take IV Benadryl and any IV medicines. So the meds don’t stay in my line and i then I have heparin flush they help keep my line from causing blood clots or medication clogging my Hickman line. I take the heparin every night before bed and leave it in the line overnight.

My insurance doesn’t pay for the saline flushes or syringes for IV use, or for the Heparin and it cost between 50-80 dollars for a box of 30.

The saline flushes are between $19-60 dollars for one box of 25 flushes which I normally use at least 3 boxes a month but it normally is more so between 4-6 boxes.

Strangely enough, buying saline flushes from a pharmacy is between $40-$110 dollars a month but if I buy it on amazon it’s cheaper. By a lot. But amazon doesn’t always have it. And most pharmacies also normally doesn’t have them. It’s not easy to find.

When I haven’t had as many IV benadryls due to like for explain there was a Benadryl shortage last year caused a horrid panic and painful few months. During that time I had to buy Benadryl dye-free gel pills which equals to me taking between 15-30 or so pills a day.

I had to buy the packs which range between $3-$8 dollars for 24-48 pills… and that ended up with me spending around $120-$230 dollars a month on dye free Benadryl gel pills. $120 dollars just so I could keep trying for it to stabilization me. And sadly it didn’t keep me stable. It kept me alive.

Finding pharmacies that are willing to work with IV such medicines like IV diphenhydramine (Benadryl) is hard. I never can count on when the pharmacies to have my medicines even when I order them from them. On a regular basis I have had pharmacies help with the IV diphenhydramine and all the sudden they stop. Saying they can’t get it anymore. Now on a regular basis I mean every few weeks.

Money is hard for anyone to handle. Everyone has money trouble and stresses even if they are rich! It’s the way it is sometimes. And so you. Have to figure it out sometimes what helps and what doesn’t.

Medical bills are insanely expensive. From getting an X-ray to getting a blood test each of those can cost anywhere from $14 dollars to over 700 dollars all the way up to $1000 upon $1000s of dollars. Hospital stays are expensive when I was in a coma in June and July of 2015 I had a hospital bill of $700,000 dollars for one of the 9 bills from the same stay there. That’s insane and that was one stay. Medically money is a must-have to even get some help and good help cost more sometimes.

I’m lucky to be able to have insurance that at least pays for some!

My feeding tube supplies are crazy high prices. I have syringes for my feeding tubes, bags for the feeds, Extensions for them, I have Medical gauze for around my tube if it leaks.

2 boxes of real

food blends in each box.

Each box’s has

12 packs of feed.

I use between 3-7

Packs a day.

Each box of the real food blends has 12 real food blends pack is

Around $50 dollars

That’s around

$500 dollars a month.

Just for the feed it’s self. Not including the different things I need to use for running the feed it’s self. The bags of feed. The pump for the feeds. The syringes.

Every month it cost $1,700 dollars for the supplies and feed to have my body get proper nutrition that keeps me alive.

To sum up the cost it keeps me alive every month it’s over $6,000 dollars a month to keep me some what stable.

That’s not including the doctor visits. Dressing changes.

Besides medical things money is spent on food, rent, water, and electricity those things you have to have! And one big one for me is entertainment! I spend money on entertainment! A lot of entertainment!

I have WiFi, amazon prime, Netflix, Hulu, some cable channels, kindle unlimited, Apple Music, and a few other things.

I have these things because I need to keep myself from doing too much in one day. Entertainment is my way of learning to enjoy the simplicity of entertaining myself. With TV movies music reading talking to my friends my family. My phone is my very good friend. My kindle is a very good quite friend! I enjoy theses simple things but they have gotten me through a lot!

Instead of me paying for a team of makeup artists, hairdressers to get me to look this good! No, I got a team of doctors, nurses, family, a ship load of medical items, and a heavy backpack, friends who are beautifully weird! and most importantly the Lord!!

It takes a lot of money to look this good!

Shayweasel is looking good!

It Takes a lot To Look This Good – physically

It takes a lot to look this good

it takes a lot for you to see cuz

i didn’t wake up like this

It took a lot to look this good

Between the medicines and the feeding tubes and the VNS and a central line

I’m pretty much a robot and each of those things takes time.

Every few days I make a few days worth of feed. The process of making feed takes a little while. My feed which I’m totally grateful for is rather smelly sometimes and looks super green and strange!

My feed is made of kale, quinoa, hemp, grapes and olive oil.

Yes that’s what I’m eating 12-18 hours a day!!

I have to blend my feed in a blender with water then I have to drain it and then drain it again and again about 6-13 drains back and forth to make sure it doesn’t clog my tube.

So I put the feed in my feed bag and the

rest in jars and put them in the refrigerator.

Once a week I go to the infusion/cancer center and get my dressing for my Hickman changed my Dressing is basically the tape type thing that covers my Hickman which is my central line basically a long term IV that is located on my chest. My dressing keeps germs from getting on the line. Because my Hickman goes into my heart. If I get germs into or on my line I could be sending germs directly into my heart! And if you didn’t know that’s not a good thing.

I take medicines daily. Some orally, some by feeding tubes both my G (stomach feeding tube) and my J (small intestines feeding tube.) have meds are used for different tubes a few times a day.

The supplies I use daily can be overwhelming.

And that’s just the normal daily stuff. Not including the things I need for emergencies and for the weekly things like my feeding tube cleaning things, my Hickman dressing changes.

Part of me is really use to all I do. I take IV Benadryl every two to four hours. Which involves me drawing the IV Benadryl into a syringe, then attach the syringe to my hickman then push it detach it, then attach a saline flush, push the flush in then detach it and clamp my Hickman and attach my curoes cap to the end of my Hickman which keeps it sterile and then done..

I eat orally everyday. I can have problems with not being able to keep my sugar up from feeds alone. and I’m always trying to use my stomach so it doesn’t become more paralyzed then it is now.

I can’t eat or drink just anything. I have over 200 food allergies but I’ve been able to find out what I can have daily. Which also has helped so much. I’ve learned how much of each thing I can have.

I have surprisingly weird foods I’m not allergic too.

Milk is a big allergy for most people. For me I can have milk. I want to point out that each of these foods are brand specific. Even the water. The ice cream is extremely brand specific! Like down to how long it’s been sitting somewhere. It’s normally blue bell natural vanilla bean that I can have.

I’m pretty much always thirsty! I can drink water, some different weird types of “soda/coke/pop/carbonated drinks” whatever you call it

I have to flush my feeding tube every few hours to make sure the tube doesn’t get clogged it takes 3-5 minutes each time to flush if I flush to fast sometimes it will hurt.

When I plan my week or day out I have to make sure I’m not doing to much in one day or doing to much in days that are back to back. Like going to the store and then going to church then going to do something with my friends or family and then doing something else. The next day if I did all that in one day I’d need to be calm relax and not do anything that next day or two days. So being careful is something I’m doing all the time.

Whenever I cook or bake which both of those things is something I love to do! I have to make sure everything doesn’t come in contacted with something I’m allergic too.

There are so many things to physically do to keep my body alive.

I’ve gotten use to my life but at the same time I’m overwhelmed by it sometimes.

So yea I might have a backpack with me all the time but I’m always have scissors, band-aids and tweezers when you need it!

My backpack might weigh 12-21 pounds at times and I might enjoy telling people I’ll hit them with my backpack if there mean but overall the sarcastic and funny things I get to say while being sick is awesome!

But overall it takes a lot. If I’m being honest some days when someone says I look good and they are glad I’m “not sick anymore” it hurts I know it’s weird but part of me wants to be like I’m still sick. My disease is killing me, but I’ve been able to stay slightly stable because I put in hours and hours and put more effort to stay this way. It takes a lot to look this good.

And as you can see from my beautiful looks the effort pays off!!! It takes a lot to look this good!!

It’s not just physically it’s mentally emotionally and financially… each of those helps me look this good..

Shayweasel is looking good

It Takes a lot to Look this Good! – Spirituality

Spiritually – it takes a lot to look this good

So why am I writing all this? What made me want to explain all this?

Well…

When I show up at church, a bible study, an event, a party, the store, the car even it’s easy to think I’m doing great! I showed up! I look good! I’m smiling! It’s easy to see that.

But I’d like to remind you that it took a lot to look this good. It took a lot to show up. It took a lot to smile! I work all the time on looking this good! It’s the hardest part of being sick is the emotional, mental, spiritual side. It’s hard being sick but it’s harder to stay in a good place emotionally and mentally and spiritually.

Every day there is something to think about the burden of being sick and being unable to live a life like other people is overwhelming sometimes. But the life God has given me to live has been different, yes but it’s also amazing and beautiful!

But always overwhelming if I don’t trust the Lord fully.

There is so much to think about. If I’m going somewhere I know there will be a meal or just food. I have to think about what they are eating if they are eating something like seafood, popcorn and more I can’t be in the room with those foods without having an allergic reaction.

I could die from anaphylactic shock from someone else eating a food that I smelled. That’s all it could take. So I can’t throw caution to the wind because it could kill me.

If there are flashing lights they could set off a seizure.

When I go into a room emotionally I get nervous. Say I walk into the church there are people sitting down others talking to people some moving to their seats, some getting things ready for the service, I walk in and see confusion, unsure of how I should react or what I should do. I just need to get to my seat, but where to sit I don’t want to be in the way. I don’t want to steal someone’s seat, or be rude to anyone, I’m overthinking this some would say but I’m not overthinking it.

No, I’m in need of rules. I know it might sound silly to you but my brain can’t ignore the people talking, the movement it can’t ignore how everyone else seems to know what to do seems to know how to act. I want a rule. How do I just get to my seat where do I seat how do I act? What do I do? What do I say? My brain doesn’t answer those questions. Because there really aren’t any.

But I’ve learned. I keep learning the answers that everyone else seems to already know!

If I forget to take a med, if I forget to ask what food we are having, if I forget to ask what the party will be like to make sure I can come, if I forget to do the many things I do daily to keep myself alive, it could hurt not just me but my parents my siblings my family my friends my church all because I forgot to do something that pressure can be unruly and horrifying!

That pressure isn’t as bad when I put things in Gods hands. I fail at doing that sometimes. Well a lot of times. We all do.

I have learned to pray all the time without seizing sometimes I have seizures while praying but I can’t control that one!

I don’t have a job per say but I do work hard to keep myself alive and to encourage others. It’s a priority for myself daily. To encourage everyone.

So how do I stay mentally emotionally and spiritually healthy?!?! Mainly prayer, being honest with my family and friends and my doctors. And above all being honest with the Lord!

One of my favorite verses in the Bible is in Ezekiel the way I always took the verse was that even if your in a fire, if you get out another fire, will be waiting and as long as I keep knowing the Lord is God that I might burn during my life but the Lord will always be with me. And for some reason, I always found comfort in that! I found comfort in knowing the Lord was with me. No matter how much I have happen. He will be with me. That God might make my life a “persay” living hell but that my death won’t be a living hell no my death will be lived in heaven! And that is truly amazing! So if God wants me to be burned. I’ll be burned.

Other ways that help me look this good mentally and emotionally have been Watching tv! I do better when the TV is on! For a lot of reasons. One is I like having a continuous controlled stimulation so basically, I need background noise. two is it makes me feel less pressured when talking to people because we have something to look at if I can’t think right to talk I can look at the tv till I can think or remember what I was saying or what they were saying. But mainly I love TV it’s amazing and funny! I find tv shows that I watch with both my parents, and I have tv shows I watch with my papa (normally supernatural type shows or really weird dark type of tv shows.) and tv shows I watch with my mom (normally “girly” tv shows or historical type or really “hallmark-ie” tv shows.)

I have tv shows and movies and music I talk about with each of my friends! My friend Jazzy loves The Walking Dead as much as I do! We watch it and then talk about it!! Same with a lot of movies and music we both like! In a lot of ways, that’s what made us close friends! When your watch or talk about a tv show with someone miles away and text each other about it it makes you feel less alone! It’s simple lovingly wonderful!

My parents and I watch movies and listen to music together! We’ve watched so many tv series all the way through!

I love crocheting and making arts and crafts! And I love reading books!

I love talking to my friends! I’m blessed to have friends all over the world! Some I’ve met because of my diseases some I’ve met other ways!

I might be sick but I’m blessed. Being sick has been the weirdest gift Gods given me.

It takes a lot to look this good!

As I age like everyone your walk with God changes, for me my walk changed a lot in the past couple of years. After I had a stroke in 2015 reading became something hard. The past two years I’ve come along with reading but I still struggle. I started reading on my kindle a little bit of go because I could click on a word and see what it meant if I couldn’t remember. Not Remembering words is a side effect of the stroke and the seizures I will have long term. I know the word I see the word but I can’t figure it out. My kindle has been increasing my walk with God in a beautiful way!

I use my kindle like my bible and I write notes in my bible on my kindle like you might do in yours. And this way no one has to see my horrid handwriting. I’ve have had such nerves and worries about going not feeling like I’m doing enough for the Lord because of it.

I’m ok with it taking a lot to look this good! Because I am alive. And not just alive, I’m alive in Christ! I’m alive because of Christ and I’m alive for Christ. I look this good because of Christ! Oh my soul!

But I want to point out I am grateful to take the pain the effort it takes a lot to look this good and it’s worth it. It’s worth it. Because I get to live. I get to be alive! Every day is a blessing! So give me 12-18 hours of being hooked up to a feeding tube pump and feeds. Give me the saline and Benadryl through my permanent IV every few hours! Give me the pills the medicines I have to take! Give me the central lines in my chest, the two feeding tubes in my stomach, the VNS in my chest, give me the scars that cover my body and my soul! Give me the emotional pain, give me the love that has tried to break me, give me the hate, give me the money problems, give me the stupid pharmacies who can’t ever get my meds right, give me the craziness, give me the personality problems I can’t change, give me it all. Because I’m alive and God apparently thinks that if I can do anything if I give my all to Him! So I will, I will fail sometimes but I will never stop loving the Lord giving myself to him.

It takes a lot to look this good but the effort isn’t in vain. The effort is because of The Lord!

Shayweasel is looking good…

The Lord seizes my days

The other day at a wedding to photographers stood in the front of the church taking photos as the guest walked in.

Myself and my parents sat down and waited for the other guest to arrive. As the photographers took each photo the camera flash went off.

Each flash made me feel strange. My emotions went from peace calm and happiness for the bride and groom turned into something else entirely.

The peace was replaced by annoyance. The Calm was replaced by fear The happiness was replace sadnesss.

Because as each flash went off my brain went into small “barely” noticeable seizures. As my VNS (the thing in my chest that goes into my brain and also my heart went off over and over again. My body as reacting the each seizure by instead of what most people think of seizures with weird shaky movements or ticks. I was reacting what seemed emotionally. But wasn’t. I couldn’t put a stop to it. I couldn’t even try. I was… useless to each seizure.

My papa walked with me back to a Sunday school room that I stayed in till the reception.

Seizures are scary. It’s simple flashes of lights that can set them off. Simple stresses can set them off. So many small things can send my brain into overdrive causing seizures.

I’m grateful for my VNS without it, that first few times that flash from the camera went off I would have had a seizure that was uncontrollable, and it would have been a horrid seizure. Lasting minutes even hours.

The VNS calms it down. It doesn’t always stop the seizure fully. But each time I swipe my magnet over my VNS in my chest (which is what I or someone else does when I’m either having a seizure or seem like I’m gonna have to maybe have one. The VNS also has a plus that goes off every 90 seconds to help keep seizures at bay.) I try and think each time I do it that it use to be 10 times worse. That it’s not that I’m not bad right now. It’s that I’ve been worse.

Seizures are weird, scary and have almost killed me. I’ve been in 5 medical induced comas due to going into status Epilepticus, (which is seizures that are non stop or seizures that as back to back or the person doesn’t recover between them.)

I’ve had seizures last for 7 and 1/2 hours. So when I do have seizures small ones or big ones I remind myself not only could they be worse but even if they do get worse if I survived seizing for 7 and 1/2 hours I can hopefully survive again.

The way seizures are a totally completely uncontrollable thing. When I have a seizure there is nothing I can do. Seizures have definitely put my faith in God to the test and still testing even today. Learning to be not in control is hard.

But I’m not in control of everything no one is. I can only control my reactions to it. My reaction should be the rely on The Lord but I fail. I fail in all kinds of ways, everyday, every hour and down to the minutes sometimes seconds.

It’s my reactions to even failing to rely on the Lord. How I react to the failure of relying on God should be to rely on Him even more. Learning the that is hard. But I’m thankful for the very fact that the Lord doesn’t give up on his children!

For I am to rely on the only One who controls everything! The Lord God all mighty is who I put my trust, my faith, my love, my everything.

When you fail God is always going to be There to help. Let Him Help. He loves you. and it’s amazing..

If the Lord wants to seize my days away then I will give my trust faith my everything to Him. He can seize my days everyday. He is my everything.

Shayweasel is amazed by the everlasting God!

Unbelievably believable

In April I had a Hickman central line placed. During the placement my vein twisted in on its self taking my Hickman line with it so they had to pull it out and try again.

When they started trying again they had to cut through scar tissue from where I had a port central line years ago while they cut through it my lung was closer then it should have been due to having EDS (lack of collagen.) and the punctured my lung.

My lung then collapsed and I had to be intubation. They fixed it and it was ok! My lung hurt for a few days but it was ok. My Hickman central line was working great! Till it wasn’t..

I started having trouble with blood return at the middle of May. I had trouble in the past with my lines having weird issues with blood return just because of the way my body reacts to weird things.

I had a dye study done which basically is they push dye though the line as I sit under an x Ray so they can see where the line is.

The line wasn’t as deep in my vein as they wanted. And as it was when they placed it. My surgeon was out of town and another surgeon told me it looked good and not to worry. So that’s what I did. But the infusion center I go to every Friday to have my dressing on my line was not ok with the no blood return because in most hospital settings you have to have blood return in order for them to use your central line. And they use my Hickman line for me to get iron and blood transfusions

So I went to the surgeon that had put in the central line when he came back in town. He was worried because the Hickman wasn’t in my vein anymore. So within 24 hours of seeing him I was having surgery to have the one that wasn’t in my vein removed and a new one placed.

Why was he worried so much? Because when I took my medicines I wasn’t pushing them into my heart and veins I was pushing them into my chest cavity. In other words I wasn’t safe using it.

The second Hickman placement went way better then the first. One of the main reasons is because I had a lot of the same doctors nurses anesthesiologist etc.. as I did the first time.

Normally once doctors meet me deal with what my body does and then sees in person what my body can do the weird the odd and the most strange.. things it can do they have a way better and nicer and funnier way they handle it!

They sometimes have to see it to believe it! It’s been proven over the years that you have to see it to believe it! Cuz other wise it’s understandably unbelievable!

Shayweasel is unbelievable!!

Joy of Northing

I grew up in the beautiful world allowed me to see. I saw joy in moving, walking, talking, being there, watching others, being funny, family, friends, my old lady friends, my tiny human friends, and the world around me was great!

I found ways to entertain myself when I didn’t have friends around. I found ways to be weird creative funny and sweet! Strange.

I wasn’t bored. And I tried my best to never feel like I was bored. I learned in the power of encouragement you can make someone else have a better day!

I learned that people love to talk about themselves! And I learned to ask questions always. Never having a moment that I couldn’t think of a question.

I learned that being silly can brighten someone’s day.

I learned to believe in other people!

I learned how to make someone laugh cry or happy or just being with them. Sitting quietly isn’t something I’m good at but I learned to be able to do it for others.

I learned about as many different subjects as I could. So I could always have something to talk about with others.

I learned about doing things I enjoyed. Weather it was standing in the living room hula hooping while doing origami while watching tv. Or jump rope.

I learned to entertain others even during nothing. I didn’t have to talk I didn’t have to always try and do what I wanted.

I learned to be joyful while doing nothing.

I don’t get mad when no one talks to me. Or at least I tried not too.

I learned to encourage everyone even while they did “nothing”

I learned to entertain myself.

The joy of nothing is strange you need to learn that it’s hard to learn that even when you are feeling lonely

even when you feel like your life is nothing worth saving.

Even when you feel like you are nothing.

Even when you feel like your opinion is nothing anyone wants to hear.

Even when you are embarrassed! Scary! Hopeful! Humorous!

You are never doing nothing. You are never truly bored. When you learn to be joyful in everything even when it’s very hard.

I’m never alone because the Lord is with me! I’m never bored for the same reason. Because God is with me.

Shayweasel is joyful..

Unwanted Attention Hog

I have been known to walk into a room and everyone oddly notice and not notice all at once.

Growing up I got all kinds of attention I was cute funny sassy and adorable of course! But those aren’t the things I got the most attention about.

I got attention for not being able to read till I was 12.

I got attention for getting pneumonia a few times a year and every winter.

I got attention for not being able to breath after running around outside.

I got attention for not understanding social skills. Like never being sure when it was ok to talk, when it was ok to hug or whatnot to do when you walk in a room full of people.

I got attention for falling down while playing sports because my joints would pop out of place.

I got attention for being uncomfortable in Sunday school because I couldn’t read out loud.

I got attention for being scared of not knowing where people where at.

I got attention for not knowing what to do during Girl Scouts. And not being able to cut things with scissors.

I got attention for being dyslexic.

I got attention for being sick.

I got attention for being autistic.

I got attention for almost dying.

I got attention for almost getting hit by cars in parking lots.

I got attention for being unaware of dangers around me.

I got attention for being to trust worthy.

I wanted attention for painting well.

I wanted attention for being silly.

I wanted attention for being kind.

I wanted attention for doing the right thing.

I wanted attention for what I was good at. Like storytelling! And being good with animals and being a good friend and loving people and having a heart for people! And I wanted attention for being good at sports and that was never gonna happen because I am not good at sports.

What I’m trying to make you understand is that when someone is getting attention from family members or parents or teachers or whoever. And it’s attention of things out of there control like autism or diseases or learning disabilities, that you need to remember they are getting attention in ways they never asked for and honestly it’s not attention it’s help.

It’s help.

People who have differences or disabilities or whatever they are getting more help then others not because they want to. But because they can’t do it by themselves. They are disabled.

They don’t get to live your life they live theirs in bodies or minds that they don’t have control over. They didn’t want this kind of attention. It sucks.

Now may not everyone feels the same way which is perfectly normal! But this is how I feel.

I feel bad about the attention i took away from people. From my siblings. From my parents. From my friends. From the church.

I got attention when I was having a seizure during church. I didn’t want that.

I got attention because I have a feeding tube connected to me and have my backpack on and people notice.

I got attention being allergic to things and having to explain it.

I feel guilty. I didn’t want this attention but I did get the attention.

I was able to get more “attention” more “help” because I was unable to do it on my own.

I wasn’t being an attention hog I was unwanted attention hog.

when I was alone but because I was able to have helpers I got to be a helped hog.

Shayweasel is apparently a hog today….