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Friday, January 3, 2014

Back to the Beginning, Sort Of -- Day One

Today is the day for me to get back on track.  I meant for it to be yesterday, but that didn't happen.

I think I need to get back to where I started this blog, building one day on another.  Day 1 is arguably the most important day, because if you never get through Day 1, you never get to Day 2, much less Day 500.

My plan is to follow a plan to detox from sugar.  It is quite strict for a week, but sometimes I do well doing something pretty strict to get going.  I will share more details later -- let's just see if I can get this going first.

The sciatica problem is bad, at least at times.  I can get up and be feeling really good, getting things done around the house, then go to work.  Then, all of a sudden, I get up and walk down the hall and it will grab so bad it is literally bringing me to tears.  Crying at work is becoming a daily occurrence.  Thankfully, when I sit, most of the time this kind of thing lets up again.  Occasionally I will get an occurrence like I talked about in my last post, where I can find no position that relieves the pain.  Those are the worst.  The kind I am getting at work is more severe pain, but it will let up when I sit down.  Regardless, the fact that this is happening this much is very disconcerting.  Something is going to have to give soon.  The thing is, I don't know that I have gotten enough weight off for them to do the surgery yet.  I don't want surgery.  But I can't live like this, that's for sure.  We will see what happens in the next couple of months.  But this is one reason I need to start this strict program and get things moving smoothly.

Exercise right now seems out of the question.  I am doing good to get any housework at all done.  That will have to wait.

One problem I have is how to pay for the medical procedures I need.  I have a high deductible insurance policy with HSA.  My employer contributes $150 a month to the HSA (for just me, double that if I have a dependent, which I no longer do) to help cover costs before I meet my deductible.  The trouble is, my HSA is drained from me and my daughter needing pretty constant medical care.  I am considering borrowing enough from my retirement to cover my $3,000 deductible, which I feel certain I will meet this year.  I'm just not sure how advisable that is.  I wish I could borrow it another way, but I can't see a way at this point.  I would like to deposit it into my HSA, if possible, and use it only for medical expenses.  After I meet the $3,000 deductible, everything is covered 90% until I meet the full out-of-pocket expense of $5,950.  Then everything is covered 100%.  I could also have money deducted from my paycheck to go into my HSA, and those deductions are pre-tax.  In other words, I don't have to pay income tax on that money.  So, I need to do that.  My younger daughter will not be on my insurance any more, since she is getting married in March.  She had to get her own during open enrollment, which began January 1, so next paycheck, the cost for her on my insurance will be extra in my paycheck.  I should just have that deducted and put into my HSA, but I had planned to double up on debt payments with that extra money.  I'm just trying to think things out.

I found a website where you can request quotes for the cost of getting an MRI.  They send it out to different providers and I can shop the lowest cost.  I can also find out what terms I can get -- will they let me pay it out, do I have to pay it all up front, etc.  It's a starting point.  One option for me is to apply for CareCredit for this expense.

Here is a real "sucky" by-product of what's going on today.  I haven't been taking my BP med lately, which has a diuretic in it, so I am really bloated.  My hands and feet are all really puffy, etc.  So I took my diuretic this morning.  I also read an article about how being dehydrated makes sciatica flare up, so I am trying to drink my water today.  As a result, I really need to go to the restroom, but I am afraid to get up and walk back there for fear the pain will hit me again.  Lol.  But, here I go.  Nope, here I don't go.  Stood up and it was apparent this episode still isn't over.  :(  My co-worker is offering to help me and I told her I wished she could go to the restroom for me.

The pain never would let up today, so I got sent home at around 11:30.  Every time I got up to do something, I would cry.  I have rested, iced, hydrated, used the heating pad, and rested some more.  I am still having significant pain most all the time.  The only way to keep it "bearable" is to have 20 mg of pain med in my system at all times.  I also took two muscle relaxants.  I slept a little while this afternoon.  I get up for a few minutes at a time and take care of some things, go to the restroom, refill my water, etc.  I have stuck to my strict plan (pain is very motivating).  If weight loss is going to help this, I need it to help now.  I can't live like this.  It's scaring me.  I actually had some muscle weakness for the first time today.  My left leg felt like it was going to give out when I was walking home from work.

That's it for today.  I hope I am better by Monday.

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