Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Ulcers and other such nonsense

I am convinced that a non-compliant diabetic spouse can give you an ulcer!  And I am determined that it doesn't happen to me.  But I have my days, that's for sure.  Can't believe it's been a month since I last updated.

He went without any insulin for 5 days (last post) and he was a complete mess....not to mention my emotional status!  But we finally got his health insurance straightened out, and got the insulin.  You know, he has been on disability for 3 years now and a year ago, he went on Medicare.....and that was the beginning of a year long battle with our private insurance.  They couldn't handle technologically that I am the payor, I am not on Medicare, he is the spouse, on Medicare.  It took 5 people, 4 departments and 3 months of me calling or emailing each person every week to follow-up.  But finally, we are on the right track.  I even filed a grievance with the insurance company.

The end result is that his insurance is correct now, with the right co-pays and benefits.  However, he overpaid the entire past year and I do not have the energy to request a review of that....it's paid for, I'm going to drop it.

Completely exhausting going to battle with a private insurance company.  But well worth it.  His $667 Humulin R-U500 now costs him $40 (2 month supply).  His former $50 office visits are down to $10.  The Medicare gap is gone.  And he would not have any of these benefits if he was not married to me.  Yeah, I sort of let him know that!  LOLOL!!!

So now that we are done with the whole insurance/Medicare issues....I'm ready to get back to my life.  Hubby spends most of his day in his room.  Playing a lot of computer games.  Watching reruns of sports.  I'm writing a history book, upcycling clothes, walking with my sister, doing Bible Study, creating art.....keeping as busy as I can, creating an active live (yes, even at this age) in order to have a life outside of diabetes.  I'd say it works 90% of the time.  And that is good.  I am setting goals, working to achieve them, trying to maintain as "normal" a routine as is possible.  And working on my weight again.  I am up 15 pounds since he moved home and starting the long journey of getting that back off.  For the most part, life is good for the moment, yet I realize that it can all change in a heartbeat!

DW

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

So bad it's almost funny

If you have followed this blog over the years, you will know that I have given up.  My mantra, "you can't fix stupid"!

So we were at the in-laws place finalizing some estate stuff and left to drive home Sunday afternoon.  We were packing up and I started asking him questions, "do you need to take...." and he got pissy and said, "I have my checklist and I will get it when I get to the list."

I shut up and packed up my stuff.

We got 6 hours away and he realized he did not pack his insulin.  I had seen it in the refrain....but it was on his "check list".

We found a hotel and yesterday morning, he called the pharmacy.  Made up a lie rather than simply telling them he forgot it 6 hours back.  They needed to check with is doc to see if they could refill it.

I drove the next 6 hours.  Got to the pharmacy which is an hour away from our home and they had gotten the doc's ok, but they don't stock Humulin R U-500 - they would have it today.

Today, he drove the hour and they had no record of any phone calls.  No Humulin.  Will have it tomorrow after 1 pm.

That means he missed 40U Sunday, 80U Monday, 80 U today and at least 40U tomorrow.

Yep, he is about a cranky as I have ever seen him.  Pretty much slammed the door shut to his room, not speaking to me, grumbling, snorting, trying desperately to piss me off every time he surfaces.

But this is his problem, not mine.  All of it.  I went to see my sisters today and we had a great time.  Then I unpacked most of what I brought home and now I'm cleaning the teapot, bread machine, etc., that he had been using down there the last 3 years.  I swear, the man never cleaned a thing.  The toaster oven (it's a $350 oven or I'd throw it away) is so bad....but I'm making progress.  Exhausted.  But ever so grateful to be home.

Am I worried that he might go into a coma? Of course I am.  I'll deal with it if and when it happens.  There is nothing I can do to make him think, reason, plan....I have learned.  He is like a bull in a china shop - going to do it his way, every step of the way!  I just sit back and watch.  It is his body, his disease, and he won't listen to me, gets upset when I remind him of things or ask him about things.....so yep,  I simply sit here and wonder why anyone would treat their body the way he treats his.

Most of the drive home, I pondered his need to lie to the pharmacy and how much he must be lying to me.  I wonder if he lies because he lies to himself about his diabetes?  Interesting thought.

At least we are home. :)

DW

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Eyesight and filth

I understand that diabetes will attack the eyes.  Hubby has been having events which he calls white migraines.  He will get the headache, everything goes white and he cannot see.

But I'm wondering about other vision.  He had cornea transplants at age 30 and now wears hard lenses over soft lenses in both eyes which are supposed to correct his vision to 20/40.

We are at the in-laws working on some estate issues.  I pray this is my last trip here.  I left in May and he came home in August.  He's been here for 2 weeks this time and I flew in yesterday.

I cannot begin to describe how filthy the toilet is.  Stuff piled everywhere in this tiny place.  It's like he comes in and just lays things down wherever there is a spot.

So I have started cleaning.  Can he not see the urine stains on the rug under the toilet?  Or is it that he just down't care?  Can he not see that the stopper in the sink is covered with toothpaste skum?  Or does he just not notice?

I am packing up everything that is mine and taking it home this trip.  So do I even care?  He can keep this place as a place to stay when he comes to visit his brother.  Our "real" house is quite small and I don't have room for much, so I will leave everything here except for personal items.  I simply can't keep up with the cleaning - I just cleaned his bathroom at home when he left for this trip!

The piles that I have to look at are gone, the bathroom is clean.  I have packed several boxes already.  I think I'm done for the day.  And yes....it's the day before Christmas.  Not exactly what I planned to be doing but a bathroom at McDonald's was cleaner than this one!

May 2016 bring great joy to your life and may your non-compliant diabetic have their blinders removed!

DW

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Holding our own

Well, we still haven't resolved the pharmacy issue with our insurance.  But I did go ahead and switch to high option for 2016.  I decided that I would rather be broke than risk losing the house to medical bills next year!  Such a choice, huh?

Things are on a pretty even keel around here.  We are going to head to his parents in a couple of weeks to finalize a few more things on the estate and close the house up.  I will get a few things of mine that I left down there.  Hoping to only be gone 10 days, but we are driving and it will all depend on what weather we run into.  It's about 1000 miles away.

We are bringing back a power lift chair and a jazzy wheelchair in the event they are needed in the future.  So I have been purging the house, deciding where to put the chair and cleaning out the front of the garage so the wheelchair can go out there.   This is a tiny little 1100 sf house, so there's not much room for even 1 more chair!

I will get a few things of mine that I left behind and bring them home.  And then there are no plans to return.  His brother will be there this trip to help with the estate issues.

There have been no highs or lows, no medical issues, and I almost feel like this is the calm before the storm.  Ever get that feeling?  I am enjoying the quiet.

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving - there is so much to be grateful for right now.

DW

Thursday, November 19, 2015

how do you pay for all those medical expenses???

First off....feel free to post any comments you want, good or bad.  However, do not post comments that link to your website wanting to sell a product or give some kind of advice.  Just leave the link out.  If the link is there, I will delete the comment and it won't get posted.  I'm not willing to be used as a vehicle to further your business.  :)


DW2 wrote in a recent comment:

once he fell and hit his head, requiring one or two stitches. Another time I found him lying flat on the floor with hs eyes shut on the kitchen floor between the counter and the refrigerator.

and it got me to thinking.....how do you continue to finance the increased costs associated with diabetes?  Not just the medications and office visits....but the emergencies.  We have excellent health insurance - due to my past employment.....not his!  I am so grateful for the decisions I made throughout my career that afforded me the ability to retire at age 50 with such excellent benefits.  But what if I weren't so fortunate?

It is open enrollment time and hubby is now on Medicare.  We are going from low option on my plan to high option - another $275 per month!  But I feel that we have to increase the coverage as the co-pays and deductibles on low option will eat us alive.  And because the premiums are taken out of my retirement checks, I've told him he has to write me a check each month.


I can already see what is going to happen.....there will be excuse after excuse as to why he won't write the check - so I will have to manage my expenses on $275 less per month.


Which simply put - aggravates me!  Why am I paying for his health insurance at all?  Because I'm a good wife.  LOL!  But there are moments when I have to ask.....why should I?  Remember, he does nothing to take care of his health.  Except take pills.  It is completely and totally frustrating. 


Last month, his pharmacy dinged his bank account $966 for his Humulin.  They held the month out 9 days.  Fortunately, he had the funds to cover it.  He called the day it happened and they claim they didn't "see" his supplemental insurance on my account.  What if he hadn't had the funds to cover that for the 9 days?  What if other checks had bounced because of this?  So I filed a grievance with the health insurance company in order to get them to change their policies to insure this doesn't happen to him or anyone else.  I am learning the grievance process now.  Nothing happens fast in a huge insurance company.  We drove 75 miles to attend 2 meetings that we could schedule on the same day. Everyone agreed it is their fault....everyone agrees what needs to happen - no one knows how to make it happen.  I get a phone call about every 3 days telling me they are "working on it."  

I feel certain that his next prescription will come due before they figure out what has to happen.

And I'm sure we are not alone in this journey.  I'm sure it happens all the time.  But when it happens to you and it's almost ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS that is taken out of your account inappropriately....it tends to make you sit up wide awake!  LOL!!!

So lets do that math.  I'm going to be out ANOTHER THREE THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS in 2016 - that's the $275 increased insurance premiums times 12 months - because of this man who refuses to comply with his diabetes plan.

Hmmmm........

Sunday, November 15, 2015

What is your greatest fear?

I think that is such a brilliant question.  As the spouse of a non-compliant diabetic  - what is your greatest  fear?

Wow!  Not sure.  It could be the progression - not knowing what will happen next.  Will he have another heart attack, need more back surgery, have his kidneys fail completely - he's stage 4 ERSD and will refuse dialysis.

Is it the prospect of future hospitalizations, medical bills, and how do we pay for them without losing the house?

I don't fear death, or being left alone (been there for the last 3 years), or coma (been there with him on that as well)  

Do I fear that he will die on "my watch"?  Perhaps sometimes.  I think it is the old question of what to do when.  He has a DNR in place, but if I don't call 911 immediately - what are the ramifications of that decision?

Perhaps I fear the unknown - just not knowing what could happen at any moment.  No - once you have jumped on this roller coaster ride of highs and lows....I think you just learn how to be flexible and go with the flow of the ride.

What about crazy anger outbursts, sugar lows or highs, this emotional spikes and rages?  No - I have learned to live through them, sad as that sounds.

No, I really do not know what my greatest fear is.  What's yours?

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Diabetes, dementia and alzheimers

We know for a fact that diabetes eats away at the nerve endings in the hands and feet.  Then that process progresses to other organs.  Including the brain.  We just don't know at what rate.

We know what the symptoms of dementia and Alzheimers are.  But when it comes on quite slowly, over a long period of time, to we acknowledge the signs, or do we simply write them off to other aspects of life?

Last Friday, hubby went to the store and came home with 2 nice steaks and said he would grill them for us sometime that weekend.  I said, "I'm not going to be here!" and he exclaimed, "oh! that's right!"

Wouldn't have given that conversation a second thought - EXCEPT - it was the 5th time I had reminded him in a variety of other conversations over the past week that I would not be home that weekend!

We all forget.  But to have to remind/repeat 5 times....is that normal?

This morning he asked me what I wanted to do for lunch as we were driving to a neighboring town to do a little shopping.  I said, "let's decide when we get there."  Not 5 miles down the road, he asked the very same question and I said, "I thought we were going to decide when we get there" to which he replied, "oh, that's right - I forgot."

It is now happening 2 - 3 times every day.  I try not to worry about it as it's just superficial questions.  But how long until he forgets where he is, who I am, whether he took his insulin or not.

I think the journey is about to get quite interesting!