Sunday, February 7, 2016

$314.12

A week or so ago, I got a message from my kidney transplant coordinator. She told me that my nephrologist had gone over my blood work and decided to drop the dose of one of my immunosuppressants. My dose at the time was 12mg a day and he wanted me to drop it to 10mg a day.

I thought ok, that's cool. I currently take four 3mg pills of this medication. It's called advagraf. I happen to have some 1mg pills left over from last year, so I'll use one of those pills and three of the 3mg pills.  In the meantime, I responded to my transplant coordinator and asked that she call my pharmacy and leave a prescription for 10mg pills of advagraf for when I've run out of my current stock. I asked her to do 2 months per refill, as I usually ask for 3 months. There is a reason for this, which I will explain shortly.

For most of us, the start of the new year signifies a new beginning. Some people establish New Years' resolutions. Others simply see it as a clean slate. Me, I get a small sense of dread. I feel this dread because I know the deductible period for my medical coverage through work starts again. That means that the first few prescriptions that I fill will cost me an arm and a leg.

As my current cache of advagraf began to dwindle, I know the time is near for me to fill this new prescription along with some other ones that are coming due as well. Not wanting to be paralyzed by sticker shock, I called my pharmacy to ask what the damage would be for just that one medication. $314.12. I cheerfully thanked the pharmacy tech that I spoke to. I didn't want to let on that I felt like I was gonna throw up. I feel this same way every year at this time.

When I told my transplant nurse to only give me a 2 month supply, it was because I knew it would cost me a whole bunch of money at once if I filled 3 months worth of advagraf at one time.

This one prescription costs me much more than half of my biweekly payroll deposit, and I almost always get 3 or 4 other prescriptions at the same time-pretty much an entire pay cheque. I also get coverage from the government-all I have to do is submit my prescription receipts and they will reimburse me some money based on the amount of money I make. Pretty cool, huh?

 No.

I've learned to stop wasting my time by mailing those receipts. I send these receipts and wait from 3 weeks to a month for a response...not including the occasions where things went wrong and things got delayed. My receipts were never received, so I had to go back to the pharmacy and track down all these receipts again and resend them; they don't want photocopies. Or, there is a certain code missing from the prescription, and without that code, they cannot assess my claim. Gotta go back and have my doctor write a note with the code, or write a new prescription.  I always get a response back telling me that I would be betting zero dollars back, as I haven't yet reached or surpassed my deductible. On the few occasions where I've actually gotten a few bucks back...they send you a letter telling you how much you'll get back...then they MAIL a cheque about a month later. How about saving some time and sending me the cheque with the first letter!?

Hard core digressing.

I work part time right now. I'm looking for full time work in my field...but at the same time, I'm kinda scared. I'm scared that I won't be able to work full time. I'm scared that the stress of 40 hour work weeks will be too much. But I cannot stay in my current job either, as I actually really dislike what I'm doing. I've been doing this going on 13 years now...and I'm ready to move on. If I don't work full time, I'll never be able to move out from my parents' house to a place with my boyfriend. But, if I do work full time...am I setting myself up for failure? If I do move out and work full time...sure, I'll be making more money, but my other expenses will increase exponentially as well.

I don't know...I guess all I can do is try. The role I'm in makes me feel tired, drained, and unmotivated. Maybe if I'm doing something where I feel challenged...challenged in the right way...i won't feel so tired, drained, and unmotivated. Maybe a change of scenery would be good for me.

I'm currently making what I feel are the appropriate moves to help me go in the direction that I'm looking to go. I'm not the first one with a medical condition to work full time...all I can do is try.  Only time will tell.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

My Vagina-part 2

My Vagina-part 2

READER'S DISCRETION IS ADVISED

In the post before my last post, I talked about my experience with my first colposcopy and the awkwardness that goes along with it. I also mentioned that there was another story that goes along with it. Well, here it is.

As I have a few times before, I arrived at the hospital where my appointment was. I sat in the waiting room and played World Chef on my phone as I had arrived for my appointment early. After about 30 minutes, I was called in.

It was the usual routine-I came in and chatted with the nurse who I chatted with briefly. I asked her to explain to me again what it meant that I had a "irregularities" as it related to the pap I had with my regular gynecologist prior to being referred to the specialist. She told me that it just meant that there were a few abnormal cells that they wanted to keep an eye on-nothing to be overly concerned about. Okay, no problem.

After our chat, I whipped off my Citizens for Humanity and my underwear and slung them over a nearby chair. I sat awkwardly on the bed/table with my feet in the stirrups, using the opportunity to take a snap chat of my feet in the stirrups and send it to my boyfriend in jest.

Then, nothing out of the ordinary happened. The doctor came in and performed the pap. I was given a pad to wear, as usual. I put my underwear and jeans back on and away I went.

I got home and settled myself in my room with a bowl of microwaved popcorn. It's actually a contraption that I bought online; it allows you to take regular popcorn kernels, put them in the bowl-like container, put the lid on, and microwave for 4-5 minutes. It's pretty cool! Anyhow, I digress.

I got up to go pee as I often do after my kidney transplant. When I was done, I wiped myself and looked at the tissue and noticed blood on it. I looked into the toilet and saw quiet a bit of blood, including actual clots. What the hell! Why am I bleeding this!?

Ok, maybe it wasn't just a regular pap-maybe they did a biopsy as well. They did a biopsy the first time I went to see that specialist, so perhaps they did another one.  I kept that in mind as I continued to go to the bathroom and find a horror scene in the toilet after I had finished peeing.

The next day at work, I decided that it would be a good idea to call the specialist's office and ask for advice/direction. I was transferred to a nurse who told me that according to my chart, I only had a simple pap and NOT a biopsy.

"There's no chance that you're on your period, is there?" The nurse asked.

"No."

"Is there a chance that you're pregnant and are having a miscarriage?" She asked.

"No."

"Well...I'm out of ideas. I don't know WHY you're bleeding. I suggest going to emergency if you're soaking through pads and/or if you're very concerned.

Hmph. I decided to call Telehealth, knowing that they would likely ask me a gamut of questions which would end with them telling me to seek medical assistance in the next few hours, if not immediately. That's exactly what happened.

Freaked out, I told my manager that I had to leave the office early. I jumped onto the subway and over to the emergency room.

After a brief wait, I was seen by a doctor. The doctor used a speculum to crank me open and look inside. He said the bleeding was external and not internal, and it should heal up by itself soon.

"By the way, the speculum just cut you a bit more when I removed it...so you may notice more bleeding."

Um..is this would I came here for? To have my insides torn up worse than they already were?!

Anyhow, satisfied with the response I got, I collected my discharge papers and left. My luck-the bleeding stopped the very next morning.

I asked myself a few times if maybe I overreacted by going straight to emergency. Maybe! But c'mon. I'm anemic. I need to keep every last ounce of blood inside of me and not...everywhere else..!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

My Nufree waxing experience


More often than not, I like getting a Brazilian wax done. I appreciate the "bareness", especially when it's "that time of the month". It also goes without saying that the boyfriend appreciates it too.

But, let's be honest. It kinda hurts. It actually kinda hurts more than "kinda". I have sensitive skin. Whenever I get a Brazilian wax done, aside from ripping out the hair, the wax also takes bits of my skin with it, causing bleeding and...well...searing pain.  Hahah.

There is really only one place that I go and get my waxing done, and that's at aroma waxing (http://aromawcs.ca). A few years ago when I built up the nerve to get some waxing done, I did my google research and found aroma. It was relatively nearby and all of the reviews that I had read were really quite good. For a sensitive area like "down there", I'd prefer to have people who are used to doing this regularly...you know, as opposed to going to the nail shop or somewhere like that to get it done. Anyhow, after continuing my research on Aroma, I realized that they provide one of a few services for free for your first visit. Some of the choices were an underarm wax, upper lip, or a bikini line wax. Well...perfect. I booked my appointment for a free bikini wax.

When I got there, it was very nice inside and very clean as well. I was called in about 5 minutes after I arrived, which was great. After coming here a few times I soon realized that they always honour the appointment time that you made. No waiting around for service at Aroma. In fact, I've come a bit early on a few occasions and have been able to sneak in earlier than my appointment.

Anyhow...

"I'm scared as shit" is basically what I told the lady that would be doing my waxing. She calmed my fears by saying it wouldn't be terrible. She didn't waste time-everything was quick quick quick. Put that leg here. Pull here. Open here. Stretch there. Did it hurt? Yes. Did I like the result though? Yes. Was the pain worth it? Well...yes.

Since then, I've been back several times for Brazilian waxes. But, last week, while perusing the Aroma website, I noticed a different kind of waxing called "Nufree" waxing. Apparently this kind of waxing is made of all natural ingredients. It only adheres to the actual hair and not the skin. It was a little bit more expensive, but not much. I think it was $50 in total. I had tried sugaring before and I found it to be equally as painful as waxing, with the difference being that sugaring takes longer haha.

Anyhow, I went to do the Nufree. Everything that I read was true. It was less painful and it was just as quick as a Brazilian wax...which Aroma staff can usually complete in approximately 7 minutes. Before beginning, the lady doing the waxing for me asked if I had tried the Nufree before, which I hadn't. She reiterated some of the things I read online, including that it was less painful, it would only adhere to the hair and not my skin, etc. She also mentioned that the Nufree would feel hotter than the regular wax. She was right-the Nufree definitely felt hotter than the regular wax and I was concerned that I might get burnt, but that wasn't the case. I also did not have any bleeding or anything like that. After getting waxed, there was a tube of a cream called finipil, which helped soothe my skin after the wax. It felt warm and tingly when I put it on, as my pores were still open from having just been waxed. It wasn't unpleasant-it was more of a soothing feeling. I had purchased a tube of finipil during a previous visit to Aroma.

So to conclude-would I do it again? Yes-Nufree will be what I will request from now on when I get my next wax. The reduction in pain (note I said reduction, not "elimination") alone is enough for me to pay a few extra bucks to get it done. So next time you're getting some waxing done, try out Nufree if your waxing place has it. Compare it to a regular wax...or if you were a chicken like me and have never experienced a wax yet but are interested in doing so, go for the Nufree first.

 
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