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ProfessorTomoe

Changing Medications (Level of Trust Required)

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On 12/22/2017 at 1:32 PM, mlooney said:

The left side of my skull hurts. Between what is left of my flu this year and several bad teeth, yeah, the left side hurts. Thankfully it seems to respond well to my standard pain drugs so I haven't had to hit my reserve of "knock me out now, please" medications.

Any dental coverage with your insurance?  If you can get stuff like that taken care of, sooner is usually sheaper overall than later, but I do understand if it's too expensive to manage.

On 12/22/2017 at 7:42 PM, ProfessorTomoe said:

I just got a shingles vaccination. For free, thanks to insurance. First time I've ever had a vaccination shot under my arm (in the skin of the triceps area). Better than having the shingles, I guess.

I got a chicken pox vaccine this past year -- I didn't recall ever having it, and the doc confirmed with a titer that I had no immunity to it.  No one seems to be quite sure whether I got myself some small risk of shingles in the future from the vaccine, but chicken pox is definitely supposed to be nasty if you get it the first time as an adult, so I figure it's a fair trade, risk-wise.  An awful lot of puppies and kitties come with Mom and small children, so I count as someone who has regular contact with the general public.  (Add in the fact that ferrets can catch influenza virus from their humans and pass it along to their vets....I've gotten my doc to prescribe for me that first-48-hours antiviral a few times over the years).

Ye gods, just realized this coming May will mark 20 years of being a veterinarian.  *does math*  Let's see, summer between my first and second year of vet school, so we missed celebrating my sister's and mom's 20th anniversary of their kidney transplant two and a half years ago!  Must remember to make a big fuss in 2020 for their 25th....

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1 hour ago, CritterKeeper said:

Any dental coverage with your insurance?

Some, but I'm not sure how much, however the local clinic has a dentist and they means test their payments, so I might not be truly hosed.

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I'm developing a reaction to the shingles vaccination. I've got a bright red welt under my arm that's over 2 inches in diameter and about a half inch high. It hurts. So much for the "no side effects" that the pharmacist said I'd have.

Had more problems while down in  Round Rock for family Christmas. The oxycodone made me pretty useless. I had stomach issues. Finally, when I got home, I took a bite of one of the candies I got (a Boston Baked Bean) and wound up breaking the BACK quarter of the tooth that I had repaired last week.

I can't win for losing.

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The welt's from the shingles vaccine's getting bigger. I've finally broken down and taken a benadryl, although I have no idea what kind of side effects it will give me, considering the fact that I just took my pain medicine and that I took a dose of Zofran for nausea before that. I could be knocked flat on my ass for a while.

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Better zonked than winding up with hives or anaphylaxis or something.  Benadryl is usually our first choice for critters that have reactions to vaccines, but you should make sure Mrs. Prof is checking on you periodically, just in case it's not enough.

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6 hours ago, ProfessorTomoe said:

The welt's from the shingles vaccine's getting bigger. I've finally broken down and taken a benadryl, although I have no idea what kind of side effects it will give me, considering the fact that I just took my pain medicine and that I took a dose of Zofran for nausea before that. I could be knocked flat on my ass for a while.

If you are in one of those programs where you can call and talk to a medical practitioner to see if you need to go to the doctor, I strongly recommend making that call.

Otherwise, you should be contemplating whether you need medical attention. And if it gets even worse or you start showing other symptoms in spite of the benadryl, then stop contemplating and start going.

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I'm more worried about the Benadryl showing up in a drug screen. I have an appointment on January 4th, and I haven't declared Benadryl as a drug that I take to the pain center. I normally don't take it, but if it shows, I run the risk of losing my spot in the program without good reason, and if the welt goes away ... you get the idea.

I think I need to call my pain management doctor tomorrow.

P.S.: Took another Benadryl.

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On 12/24/2017 at 5:51 PM, ProfessorTomoe said:

Finally, when I got home, I took a bite of one of the candies I got (a Boston Baked Bean) and wound up breaking the BACK quarter of the tooth that I had repaired last week.

Got in to see the dentist today. She fixed the tooth as a warranty repair for no charge.

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Another money saver: I got the psychiatrist to write up a 90-day supply of Trintellix (I'm on the maximum strength). That stuff is probably going to cost $160 a bottle next year, even with insurance. Since I've hit my catastrophic limit for 2017, I pay nothing for filling it this year. That's almost $480 saved over the first three months next year!

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During the course of buying the car yesterday, I kind of let my mind focus on the wrong thing. I paid attention to the sale instead of my leg. I ran out of energy several times, but they had a cappuccino machine which helped me wake up. Things started really hurting down my leg after the trip to financing, though. I'd missed my pain medication time by almost 90 minutes. I took my pill, got in the Ridgeline with my son, and kept talking on the trip home to keep awake and keep my mind off my leg.

Moral of the story: take your pills when you damn well should!

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Had to call my pain doctor's collection agency again today. They apparently hadn't all got the news about me updating Blue Cross that I didn't have duplicate insurance (only Medicare Part A), which I did a couple of weeks ago. The agent is going to re-submit the claim—hopefully it'll go through this time.

Urrgh.

Appointment with the pain doctor (or more likely his nurse practitioner) early Thursday for a med check. No changes anticipated.

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6:03 a.m. CST 20180103. Here I am, flooding the thread I started again. Moan and complain. :D

Didn't get too much sleep last night. Got plenty during the day yesterday, but that's only part of the problem. My right ankle—the one that still has all of the stainless steel hardware in it, holding the bones together—it's been hurting like hell, thanks to the cold temperatures (I guess). However, the rest of my right outer side of my right leg is pulling a 7.0 on the one-to-ten scale as well. It's not like I've been getting outside in the cold and aggravating it. It just hurts.

I'm not going to be able to get a ton of sleep during the day today. For why, switch to the Computer Problems thread.

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8:25 am CST 20180106. Uh-oh. I've got a problem. My memory is going.

Mrs. Prof says she was taking a nap yesterday when the phone rang. She saw that it was the pain management center and heard me answer the phone. I apparently had a conversation with them about some prescription matters that we had a problem with yesterday. She thought I was awake and went back to her own nap.

Only problem is I was in a nap and apparently sleeptalking. I remember absolutely nothing about the phone call - not even the call itself. This is troubling, to say the least.

From now on, when I'm in a nap, I'm going to have to let everything go to voicemail. It's too dangerous otherwise.

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48 minutes ago, ProfessorTomoe said:

Only problem is I was in a nap and apparently sleeptalking. I remember absolutely nothing about the phone call - not even the call itself. This is troubling, to say the least.

Now I am thinking that at some point in my childhood, I fell asleep and never fully woke up afterwards.  I've been in a somnambulist state for several decades.  One day I'll actually wake up and be even more clueless about what is happening.

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The Chinese tale of the guy who dreamt he was a butterfly - then upon waking wondered if he was actually a butterfly dreaming of being human.

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Had a big problem Friday with my pain medication. I got a call from the pharmacy, who said I needed "prior authorization" for my full prescription to be filled (this is the "prescription matters" I mentioned above"). Not a good thing, since my pill supply was going to run out Sunday morning. I called the hospital pain treatment department and left a message, asking them to speed matters up.

The issue went on so long that Mrs. Prof told me to just go ahead and pay for the damned prescription out of our own pocket—over $230. The pharmacy processed it, and I did receive my pain medication on Saturday.

Here enters the sleeptalking episode that I wrote about. It was with a call from the hospital, who usually never calls back. Well, they did this time, to tell me that I'd received prior authorization. I apparently told them that I'd paid for the prescription already. Urrgh.

From what I understand, I'm going to need to file a claim to get my money back from the insurance company. They'll send a letter with the authorization on it and instructions for filing. I'm still not a happy camper over the matter.

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Oops.

I was really out of it when the hospital called on Friday during the sleeptalking event.  Turns out the hospital didn't get prior authorization for my prescription. I just got off of the phone with Blue Cross. It was never filed.

AAAUUUGGGHHH

Now I've got to wait for the damned hospital to start the whole process from scratch.

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When I was in vet school on an ICU rotation, one of the Residents had to be called in the middle of the night about a patient.  I think I talked to him for at least ten minutes before I was convinced he was finally awake enough to be thinking clearly and to give orders on what to do next.  He wasn't babbling or mumbling, he just wasn't retaining things from one minute to the next.  I think I told him to get a pen and paper and write the info I was giving him down, just so the physical activity would help wake him up.

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9:27 a.m. CST 20180116. The countdown starts again. In literally less than two days, I shall be in the hospital, undergoing a Transforanimal Lumbar Epidural injection procedure. I check in at 8:00 a.m. Thursday morning and can't have anything to eat or drink after midnight (except a tiny amount of water with my pain medicine at 4am). The nervousness is about to set in big time, since this is supposed to be a bunch of needles along my spine. I'd probably be taking this out on my computer by writing music, except my music computer is hung at the moment (see the computer thread).

It's not going to be cheap, I suppose. I'm back on my regular insurance deductibles again. I'm also not looking forward to the facility for the procedure: it's old and crowded, and there's no room for Mrs. Prof to be with me prior to the shots. Old Downtown Baylor Hospital is not the best place to go for a high-tech operation.

I just hope my computer sorts itself out before the procedure.

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1 hour ago, ProfessorTomoe said:

a Transforanimal Lumbar Epidural injection procedure. 

A "foramen" is an opening in the bones.  My guess is that transforaminal means the needles go through pre-existing holes within or between the bones, which generally is much better than having to drill your own holes.

Best of luck with it!

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7 hours ago, CritterKeeper said:

A "foramen" is an opening in the bones.  My guess is that transforaminal means the needles go through pre-existing holes within or between the bones, which generally is much better than having to drill your own holes.

Best of luck with it!

Thank you. The way it was explained to me was that the doctor will be going after my damaged nerve roots, but instead of flooding the area with steroids through the sacrum joint or doing targeted flooding via that way, he's going to go in at an angle to my spine with multiple injections aimed directly at the damaged roots. I think.

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4:45 p.m. CST 20180117. T-minus less than one day until my back procedure. I've got to be at the hospital at 8am tomorrow. Nervousness, anxiety, yadda yadda yadda. You've heard it all before.

I've gone through it all before.

And I hate it just as much, if not more, than before.

I'm making doubly sure to take my anti-anxiety pills today. Hell, I might take another one with my pain pill tomorrow. I hate the pre-op nerves, the borderline hyperventilation.

There's gotta be some point where all of this comes to a screeching halt. I can't take much more of this.

You know, prior to today, I haven't really paid the procedure much mind. I don't know why it's hitting me so hard today.

Oh, on another subject, the hospital pain center finally got "prior authorization" for my oxycodone (which is a misnomer since the prescription was filled back on January 5th). I've filled out and printed the PDF that Blue Cross wants before they'll give me a refund of my portion of the $289 I forked over to get the prescription in the first place.

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