Is it worth it?

Money rolled up with Pills flowing out, high costs of medicationWill money dictate how you feel?

I shared last month that I started weaning off of one of my medications. I currently take 2 non-generic medications. One costs $954 for 90 days and the other is $406 for 90 days. My goal was to wean off of one of them because it’s just too expensive. So I started this process, doctor’s order of course. I suffered each day with various issues. Increased nerve pain, unable to concentrate and mild depression. Eventually I said enough is enough. I called my doctor and told him I don’t know what to do. He reminded me that it’s my body and I need to decide.

I learned two valuable lessons during this process.

First, if you run out of pills and call the pharmacy notifying them that you need your refill two days early, that will not happen for a controlled substance. Even if you explain that the only reason you ran out was because your doctor told you to take more pills. It’s the rules. Your worries or fears mean nothing.

I called my doctor the next day and he said he would call in and notify the pharmacy that it’s ok to refill early. Thank you Jesus. I go to the pharmacy to check on the status but they haven’t received a call yet. Not horrible until you realize how you are being treated by the tech. She types on her computer and said no, no one has called in. Eye roll and walks away. There is only one way to respond. For the millionth time, I am not drug-seeking. I only said it in my mind though because I don’t want to make a scene. I have to appear as calm as possible.  Thankfully, 2 hours later my prescription had been filled.

Secondly, am I really torturing myself because I don’t want to pay the ridiculous prescription costs? YES! My wallet was dictating my quality of life. I found a combination of meds that work, but I’m willing to sacrifice that because of the cost. I know there are so many people who make this choice everyday.  It is a challenge. I remember the whole story when the EpiPen price rose over 500% within 7 years. I know others who pays hundred of dollars a month just for an asthma inhaler. Breathing doesn’t even give you a choice. You will pay the cost for that because if you can’t breathe, you die.

So life or death? Which will you choose? Yes, we choose life, but where does that leave us. Alive and broke I suppose.

My Chronicle of Chronic Pain

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Loving Me with No More Bandages

 

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I can’t help you

The Chronicles of Chronic Pain

Broken leg, no problem.
Stab wound, right this way.
Stitches, come on down.

If I had broken my leg when I fell that day, these last few years would have been much easier. Several doctors have even agreed with that statement.

I’ve found that an illness you can’t see with the naked eye is easily dismissed, discarded and even frowned upon. A broken bone or a cut can be quickly diagnosed.  In and out of their office quickly, no problem. However, when your illness and pain can’t be seen, it can start you down the road of test after test of test just to diagnose.  Our bodies are complicated and a simple band-aid isn’t always the answer.

About a month after my fall, I went to Grove City urgent care in tears. My leg was burning so bad antearsd I couldn’t take it anymore. I sign in, pay my co-pay, then wait in the room. All the while i’m hoping and praying that this person would be able to fix or cure me. Finally a knock and the doctor walks in and says “Yeah, I can’t help you.”

Shock…huh?

“There’s nothing I can do for you.”

I know my mouth had to be on the floor. 

I just didn’t understand why on earth she would say that even before she takes her hand off the door knob. Is someone out to get me? To torture me until I die. I’m sitting here crying and, without even an examination or anything, she makes this determination.

It was the first time I heard that said to me, but definitely not the last. The more I think about that day, the more hurt and angry I feel.

Some months later I heard a term i had never heard before. Then it clicked. That doctor thought I was “drug-seeking.” I’m not positive but why else would someone, whose job it is to help those in need, just dismiss me so easily without so much as a hello? But since I was crying hysterically in the room, I’m sure that didn’t help my case at all. 

Never give up. I’ve seen tons of doctors. Maybe I’ll try to count all of them one day.

My real diagnosis came 2 ½ years after my fall. I suppose that is a short time frame compared to others. Thankfully I found several doctors who cared and weren’t ready to put me in a box or specific category.  

I learned I’m worth fighting for. Dr. Lippert told me I needed to share my story. 

This is my chronicle of chronic pain.

#nomorebandages

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The Chronicles of Chronic Pain

When you start day one, you have no idea you are counting; no idea that something is beginning.

I didn’t even notice a problem until around day twenty.

“This isn’t going away. Maybe I should call my doctor.”

“Maybe it’s more than what i see.”

One thousand three hundred ninety days later here we are:

Twelve pills at breakfast. Just a handful tossed back after I eat my Cheerios.
Two pills at dinner. Red pill box sits right next to my plate.
Two pills around 9 pm. These are my 2018 specialty
One pill at bedtime to help sleep. It may work tonight
Each pill meticulously chosen to help me survive.
Each pill to help reduce pain and keep my mind steady.
And of course I prescribe to myself my constant faith in God.

After three and a half years, my doctor and I are still working together to devise the perfect dose of physical activity, medication and meditation.

I’ve tried numerous medications. Have tons of bottles full of  “those didn’t work” pills.
Now I have two medications that work great together.

BUT…

I explained to my doctor that I just can’t afford both of them. Especially since neither has a generic. The good news is I have met my deductible for the year so my doctor and I have a few months for trial and error.

I’m slowly weaning off one and increasing the other. Will that work? Who knows? Fingers crossed! Right now my body seems to like both at the maximum since I’m feeling the best I have in a long time. It is a scary process to wean and/or switch medications. You have no idea how you will react physically or mentally. I’m still struggling to wean off one and had to push back the time frame. But in the back of my mind I’m yelling “You only have two months so you better just deal with it and figure it out.”

My story is not unique. I know there are tons out there struggling; more or less than I do, but it doesn’t matter. Regardless, we are not alone. If you are dealing with chronic pain, “you are not alone.”

At some point you will not be treated with compassion. You will not be treated as a human being. But I’m here to tell you, YOU ARE!

I’ve decided to chronicle my chronic pain for two reasons. One, I need to get my feelings out and two, I know i’m not alone and someone else may need to know that too.

croppedleg
My bruise is gone by my pain remains…

I’ll share again next week.

#NoMoreBandages

www.nomorebandages.com

Loving Me with No More Bandages

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My journey to finding me

PhotoGrid_1447622817988_resizedI’ve always heard that when a woman is going through something bad in her life she will take it out on her hair. Most times it starts with something drastic such as a big chop. This shows the emotional turmoil that is occurring in their life.

Now I know this doesn’t speak for all women but this is my story…

I have had short hair for quite a few years and loved it. However, over a year a go I was seriously drifting downward emotionally. My uncle Ron (who was like my father) passed away from cancer. My 3 sons were each enduring some sort of life change and their issues weighed heavy on me and became my issues.  It was all too much for me to handle and I started falling into depression.

I have been getting my hair relaxed for as long as I could remember. But in September, 2014 I stopped. I felt as though I could no longer see myself in the mirror. The person I was in the mirror was someone I no longer recognized. Who was she and why had she became a stranger after all these years?

I convinced myself I just needed a change. I told my beautician I wanted to go natural. I bought all the natural hair care products. I bought all the headbands I could get from every Walmart and I was on my way to this great discovery.  I followed the hair blogs and thought this is great, this is my focus now. I received so much support from those around me. How great this would be for me and my hair.

On the plus, I loved my hair chemical free. It felt healthy and was really red. However, after months and months and a dresser topped with hair care products, I still wasn’t better. My insides were still all torn apart and I still didn’t know the person I saw in the mirror. Why couldn’t I embrace this new change?

After months of prayer God opened doors for my sons and even for me. I rejoiced and thanked God for them. Then I thought NOW I will be better. Now all is right with the world. But for some reason I still didn’t know that woman I would see as I brushed my teeth in the morning. I was still broken. Life had beat me down, not just for so many years, but over this journey, no amount of products and headbands could dig me out.

When I had relaxed hair I compared myself to those beautiful women with perfect hair. When I had natural hair I did the exact same thing. Why can’t I be beautiful? I know it would solve all my problems. I know it would make me whole.

It has taken me a long time but I had to recognize that my issues, my depression had nothing to do with my hair. I absolutely applaud those who have such confidence in who they are and what they are doing in this world. Natural, relaxed and everything in between. But I also speak to those who are still struggling as I was and some days still are.

I share this with you because I believe I’m not alone. Here’s what I learned…Work on you. Not the outside you, not the hair on your head or what you see in the mirror. But work on the real you. What I’m learning is to keep my heart open and my mind clear and focused on what’s important to me and those around me. I need to speak life into myself. I need to know I’m beautiful inside and out. Period.

Life can be hard and difficult and stressful and baffling. But it’s also beautiful and wonderful and breathtaking and mind-blowing. Accept all of it, but most importantly accept your role in it. I have a bit more pep in my step. I even have a bit more confidence and I’m loving it.

God has a plan so don’t let a reflection take you off your path or prevent you from bringing your A game. God has ordered your steps. Keep your eyes on him and nothing will stand in your way. You’re blessed!

NMB! is built with tears, pain, loss, bruises and frustration but stands firm on the promises and foundation of Jesus Christ.

For more information visit us at http://www.nomorebandages.com

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Pray and Speak Up!

cries,emotions,facial tissues,females,grief,grieving,people,persons,sadness,tears,tissue boxes,tissues,womenThere were prominent deaths that occured this week. In particular, Michael Brown and Robin Williams. Michael Brown was an 18 year old boy who was gunned down by a police officer in Missouri and Robin Williams was an awesome actor and comedic genius who suffered from depression and killed himself.

I’ve seen some who were upset or bothered by the memorials to Robin Williams. But we know that Michael and Robin were both loved by those who knew them. Both were human beings who had an affect on their family, friends, and all those who loved them. 

When I look at both of these deaths, I didn’t see one above the other. What I saw was an outcry to our nation. Out of these two deaths I see issues that speak volumes to what is occuring in our society today.

One is a lack of value placed on the lives of our young black men by some police officers. I say “some” because we know that this is not a practice by all police officers. I read that 1 black man is killed every 28 hours by a police officer or vigilante. Our young black men are being gunned down in the street without thought of human life.

The other issue speaks to depression and mental illness. I know some, and have myself dealt with depression and the thoughts of no longer being here. Depression affects 1 in 10 americans and over 80% of them have symptoms of clinical depression but are not receiving any treatment.

Both of these issues are subjects that need to be addressed and shouted from the rooftop. They should be protested and rallied around because both cause death and tragedy in the lives of those who are left behind. I raised 3 sons and I always taught them to respect the police no matter what because I know there are some who would look at my sons and only see skin color. My only goal was that they would come home to me and make it to see another day.

These issues take lives and cause heartbreak. Pray and speak up for the world. Pray and speak up for those in Missouri and other states these heinous acts are occuring. Pray and speak up for those who are hurting and depressed. Pray for the good and upstanding police officers and others who are out there doing the right thing. Pray for those who perpetrate violence on innocent people.

It’s up to us to be a voice for those who can’t speak for themselves. Yes we are our brothers keeper.

Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

References:

http://www.healthline.com/health/depression/statistics-infographic 

http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/1-black-man-killed-every-28-hours-police-or-vigilantes-america-perpetually-war-its

NMB! is built with tears, pain, loss, bruises and frustration but stands firm on the promises and foundation of Jesus Christ.

For more information visit us at http://www.nomorebandages.com

Like us on Facebook, www.facebook.com/NoMoreBandages

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Trust Yourself

Trust is an absolute necessity when it comes to relationships. That applies to personal, business, etc.

But how much do you trust yourself?

Do your best to trust yourself in these areas of your life.

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NMB! is built with tears, pain, loss, bruises and frustration but stands firm on the promises and foundation of Jesus Christ.

For more information visit us at http://www.nomorebandages.com

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Give Them Their Flowers

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Yesterday my family and friends were blessed to throw a surprise party for my grandmother’s 90th birthday.
It was an awesome celebration that I will never forget and I know she won’t either.

At one point we went around the room saying how her life touched us in some special way.

I noticed something so profound with that one act; she was there to hear it. If you could have seen the smile on her face as people spoke TO her (and not about her).

Unfortunately, most wait until their loved one has passed on before they decide to share how much they meant to them. Today we were able to tell her, in person, what she means (present tense) to us and not what she meant (past tense) to us.

When you are surrounded by people who mean so much to you, take today to show them. Give them the opportunity to hear those heartfelt words now instead of waiting until it’s too late.

Treasure those angels that God has placed in your life. They are there for a reason and it’s up to you to let them know just how much they mean to you.

 Give them their flowers now while they’re still able to smell them.

 

NMB! is built with tears, pain, loss, bruises and frustration but stands firm on the promises and foundation of Jesus Christ.

For more information visit us at http://www.nomorebandages.com

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God is Good!

 

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To is about encouraging those who may be going through.

My God is an awesome God. 

God can do anything but fail. Whatever you stand in need of today, God is greater than any problem, situation or hardship. It doesn’t matter what you are struggling with or going through, God can and will meet your need.

Go before God and ask what you will because he is a healer and deliverer.

Rejoice today knowing there is nothing too hard for God.

 

NMB! is built with tears, pain, loss, bruises and frustration but stands firm on the promises and foundation of Jesus Christ.

For more information visit us at http://www.nomorebandages.com

Like us on Facebook, www.facebook.com/NoMoreBandages

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Thankful for the Doubts

Have you ever stopped and thanked those who talked about you or did their best to discourage you?

Sounds like a crazy notion I know, but I’m stronger today because of the negativity. If they said I couldn’t do it, it was up to me to prove them wrong. I’m stronger because I’m more determined than ever to rise above the doubts and discouragement of others.

Don’t despise them or their words. Instead, today, take a moment to thank those who attempted to speak death over your life. They accomplished God’s plan to refine you and make you stronger. spw

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NMB! is built with tears, pain, loss, bruises and frustration but stands firm on the promises and foundation of Jesus Christ.

For more information visit us at http://www.nomorebandages.com

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Love Shouldn’t Hurt

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On Monday I have the privilege of bringing No More Bandages! classes to CHOICES Eliminating Domestic Violence Shelter.

Although I did not utilize their services, the interaction I’ve had with them in these last few months have been eye opening.

I want to focus on these women. Their strength is amazing even if they don’t quite see it yet. They are much stronger than we give them credit.

Of course I could easily spout out statistics such as:

  • Every 15 second seconds a woman is beaten by her husband or boyfriend.
  • Between 25-45% of all battered women are abused during pregnancy
  • Only 25% of women assaulted by their partners escape after the first assault.
  • Between 2.1 and 8 million women are abused by their partners annually.  

 But let’s look at it from the woman’s point of view.

 Why do women stay? Here are a few:

  •  Fear – the most common and understandable reason to stay
  • Hope – hope that the abuser will change
  • Responsibility – society places responsibility of marriage and family on the woman and she may feel responsible for the failure of the relationship.
  • Economics – Don’t have the financial means to care for themselves.

And even if these women are able to get out of these relationships it is said that the next two years of their lives are the most dangerous. Some men would rather kill their wives then allow them to leave.

Domestic violence is not love, its control.

If you are in a violent situation, decide to take the first step to talk to someone. Decide to call CHOICES just to talk.

If you know someone, love them, encourage them, and give them the resources they need. Above all, remind them over and over again that it’s not their fault.  

You can’t force anyone but you can help and be there. It’s not easy but you will be glad you did.

CHOICES -24 Hour Crisis & Information Hotline. (614) 224-HOME [4663]

Below is a song I love and it speaks to me every time I watch the video. We have to find encouragement from wherever we can. I pray it encourages you also. At some point we all have to find our “strength in the struggle.”

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