Back on the Wagon

March 21, 2011 at 9:58 pm (Healthy...?, Randomness)

I worked out tonight for the first time since…early February, I think. The motivator? My choir is going to be used in a pilot that shoots next Friday. I have 12 days to not look like a beached whale on tv. That means cardio & abs every day and weights every other day. And no more See’s Candy. Or pizza. Or anything else that my parents brought with them when they stayed here this past weekend.

 

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Nothing to See Here…

March 20, 2011 at 10:53 pm (Healthy...?)

When my health insurance stopped, I stopped taking my basal body temperature in the mornings, figuring I didn’t really need to be tracking my ovulation that closely. No insurance, no kid. At least for the time being. But I have been more “in tune” with my body and noticing little things, here and there, changes that I figure I used to just ignore.

I’m more tired than usual around the time that I ovulate. At least that’s the going theory. Combine this with a hike in my…libido…and I’m a pretty cranky person. Meh. Randy and too tired to do a damn thing about it.

My girlfriend downloaded an app to track her cycles. It’s got all these icons that you use to signify how you’re feeling (how swollen are your breasts? choose the small, medium, or large cherry-topped cupcake!). Comical.

Me? I continue to want to eat everything in sight. This is getting boring. I’ve got to find out what to do about my insurance. And I have to finish the apartment downstairs.

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What’s Different?

February 15, 2011 at 2:25 pm (Healthy...?) (, , , , , )

I stopped working out in November. I’d worked out consistently, at least 5 times a week, from July til then. I had muscles. Definition. A hint of a waist instead of straight down from my breasts to my hips. I liked the way I was looking. So did my girlfriend. So what happened? I got sick. Not working out became my evening habit instead of turning on the DVD and sweating for an hour. I also stopped writing down my calorie intake and when I didn’t immediately start gaining the weight back I thought it was all good. Fooled myself into believing I could still maintain my weight loss.

HAH! SO NOT! I gained 6 pounds from Thanksgiving to New Year’s. I tried to rationalize it but my scale doesn’t lie. It’s cruel and unyielding and tells me my body fat percentage has been creeping up in the past 6 weeks. Oh how I loathe stepping onto that thing in the morning. I even go so far as to think “skinny” thoughts and expel all my breath before allowing my feet to touch the offending and all-too-damaging-to-my-self-esteem piece of molded plastic. So while the actual weight gain hasn’t been horrendous, I’m losing muscle along with my turn back into a sloth.

And I’m thinking that my journey back to couch potato status has not gone unnoticed by my hormones. I barely had a period last month and this past week, when I should be experiencing things like huge boobs and weird cramps and general moodiness? Maybe some cramps. But not much else. So now I’m worried enough to start writing down my calorie intake and limiting the number of lemon bars making their way past my lips. I’ve been making an effort to eat healthier dinners (I worked last Thursday, Friday & Saturday so I know my diet sucked then. I also went out to dinner with friends Saturday night and didn’t eat well). New leaf, I tell you!

I’ve got to get back into the shape I was in 4 months ago. I bought new pants that I just got back from the tailor. I have nicer clothes than I’ve had in years waiting to be worn but I can’t seem to get my fatty arms into sleeves that fit not so long ago. And my shape was so…intriguing to my girlfriend. Yeah, definitely gotta make some changes around here.

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Shooting Myself in the Foot

January 26, 2011 at 6:56 pm (Healthy...?)

I suppose there are times when I’m too honest. I know this. But I also know I can’t stop myself. So, when they called to ask me about my health for the insurance application, I told them the truth: I have allergies. My allergist suggests I not spend that much time outdoors. I have asthma, which is brought on by my allergies and also gets worse when I am sick, but is controlled with medication. I have migraines which are mostly due to hormones but can also be brought on by not enough sleep, wafting perfume, and stress. This all added up to…a level 5 classification (which my insurance broker has NEVER seen before) and a grand total of $2100 monthly for health insurance. Um, thanks but no thanks. So now we begin the process again with another application, this time for some kind of guaranteed coverage.

I’ve got to find a job with benefits. I’d love to get it now, but feel obligated to finish the project (which my girlfriend keeps saying isn’t worth the money, but it’s MONEY and I’m earning it, dammit!) I started in the beginning of January and lasts through the end of March. Lots of driving, good money but I already know I’m going to have to pay a bunch of taxes on it, and I’m not home to take care of things that my girlfriend thinks I should be taking care of. I can’t win.

Bother. I vow to be less…open…about my asthma/allergies/migraines. Yes, I have them. Yes, they’re all easily controlled with medication. No, they’re not really a concern, just there. How’s that?

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It’s Only Because I Don’t Have Insurance

January 21, 2011 at 9:02 pm (Healthy...?, Randomness)

That my tooth hurts (I was supposed to get a filling 2 weeks ago but if I have to pay out of pocket I’ll wait til I get an abscess, I suppose) and I’ve managed to mangle my foot. I’ve been driving a lot for work and the fact that I push down on the pedals with my big toe has contributed to the sharp pain in the joint at the base of my toe. It’s swollen to the point where I can’t put on my tennis shoes. And I have to have some sort of support under my foot (therefore I can’t wear flip flops) in order to walk or drive. I probably aggravated it more when I worked out Wednesday night (so this means I’m not working out til it feels a little better. How’s that for a lame excuse for not exercising?) and when I got out of bed yesterday morning I fell to my knees when I tried to stand up. Oh, the joys of getting older.

Also, there are the joys of googling joint pain and swollen feet. WebMD is a favorite for self-diagnosis, too. I’ve come up with arthritis from overuse of the joint. Or an infection. If it’s the latter I guess I’ll have to go to the ER when gangrene sets in. So thanks, Washington, for passing health reform and then repealing it. Or whatever it is you doofuses (hey, I pay taxes, therefore I’m helping to pay for your insurance, why can’t you let me be insured, too?) are doing over there while I sit here self medicating with a pain pill and a beer. So nice of you to decide that it’s going to cost too much money to pay for coverage for the average American. Reality check, please.

A friend of mine who has insurance through work said he’ll marry me so I’ll have insurance. I’ve offered to fix anything he needs at his house in exchange. Wonder if that’ll really work out. Probably not, since everyone who knows him at his office knows he’s gayer than Liberace. They know his boyfriend, too. Oh well.

 

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I Cannot Tell a Lie

January 13, 2011 at 4:56 pm (Healthy...?)

For the most part, that’s true. I’m not good at lying. Combine this with my inability to keep my mouth shut, and it may just render my monthly health insurance payments virtually insurmountable. See, I got this phone call earlier this week from an on staff physician with the health insurance company (the one for which I filled out mountains of paperwork in an application before New Year’s). He wondered if I had time for a medical interview. Sure. Then he proceeded to ask me questions THAT I’D ALREADY ANSWERED ON MY APPLICATION and went further in depth on a few. I ask you, just how is one person supposed to remember the name of the doctor, the exact date of your visit and what may or may not have been prescribed to you when all this took place five years ago?

So now I’m not certain they’ll give me coverage. Because I may have given conflicting information. Because I can’t remember last week, let alone the past 5 years of my medical history. If they don’t deny my, they may make me spend more money than I can afford just to have health coverage. I was already balking at $600 a month. Which is what I paid in monthly rent for my first apartment in Los Angeles.

My girlfriend overheard most of the interview and after I hung up, asked, “why were you so honest?” Um, because I didn’t know that I could lie? And it didn’t occur to me to do so, either. As I pointed out to her, though, there is a real possibility that I’ll end up at the doctor for the things they asked me about in my medical history (the asthma for sure; allergies, probably; and I do get sick on occasion), and to get dumped by my insurance for failing to disclose something would be worse than what might happen because I told the truth, to the best of my ability. I think that would render me completely uninsure-able, as opposed to just most likely uninsure-able.

And why do they call and conduct a phone interview of your medical history if they make you submit the whole thing in writing, anyway? Are they looking for discrepancies so that they can deny you? Ugh. Stress. I hate this.

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1,001 Ways to Make My Head Spin

December 28, 2010 at 11:38 pm (Healthy...?, TGF) (, )

#1:  Make me fill out forms with instructions more complicated than those from the IRS. Seriously. Applying for individual health insurance requires a PhD in and of itself. And who in the world remembers the name of the doctor you saw in the ER when you were having an asthma attack 4 years ago? Or where you put the paperwork for that ER visit. List every medication you’ve been on in the past year. Yeah, right. Ask me to list everyone in my 4th grade class, why don’t you?

Then there was the fax fiasco. Call the old insurance provider. Get proof of creditable coverage faxed so we can submit with new insurance application. Sounds easy enough. But using an efax number that limits you to 10 pages per month is not good if you’re going to receive 3 copies of a 6 page document. What about our actual fax machine? Good idea. Only our fax machine is part of our all-in-one printer/scanner/fax and it no longer feeds itself. You have to sit and manually put the paper through so that it doesn’t jam itself and think there’s a fax or print job forever in queue. And, since we’ve not received a fax in oh, 2 years, there’s a bit of rust to come off the old grey matter to remember just how to make the machine receive the fax.

Fax received, finally. But look! My partner’s name is spelled incorrectly. Does this matter, as she’s not going to be on my new policy? Probably not. But holy heck that was an ordeal.

Back to the forms. Please explain every medical procedure you’ve had in the last 5 years. What was the outcome of each procedure? Then please explain why the baby dykes who look like Justin Bieber are cuter than Justin Bieber.  And get me coffe. Stat.

I’m going to bed now so that I can gear up for another day of trying to spend the last of the flexible spending account money that will go away on Friday if we don’t use it. Today I had to wait at Costco for freaking 90 minutes to get my prescriptions filled when they said it’d take 30. Why do they lie? Why can’t they just say, “hey, we’re busy, come back this afternoon?” That would make so much more sense. Tomorrow I’m going to have an eye exam and get new glasses. Because I can. And hopefully the new lenses will make my head feel a little less discombobulated when I’m filling out more forms.

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A Hitch in the Plans

December 24, 2010 at 11:58 am (Healthy...?) (, , , , )

My partner found out 2 weeks ago  that her company has been acquired by a bigger company based in St. Louis. Great! More opportunities for advancement, better bonuses for travel, hopefully more ‘perks’. She was feeling rather stagnated in her present job so this had the potential to become something very positive.

Cut to last week, when I was online registering us for our new health insurance plan. I fill out most of the forms and read most of the fine print in this household because although my girlfriend is a wonderful, caring person, she can’t seem to pay attention long enough to follow the instructions on a soup can, so insurance forms or our cellular phone bill are way out of her comfort zone. Anyway, I came to the page to add a spouse or dependent. I entered my name and then realized I couldn’t change the gender of the spouse on the page. It was fixed to ‘male’. Uh, what? Emails were sent out post haste. The first was, “Dear HR Person in St. Louis, I can’t add my partner to my health plan because it defaults to male, since I’m female. Please advise.”  The answer?

Unfortunately our plan does not allow for Domestic Partners. At this point there is nothing I can do.

You, “HR Benefits Specialist”, can kiss my yellow ass. So then we wrote to the former owner of the company, who is now acting as head of the west coast operations. The gist of that email was that I, as a domestic partner, was covered under the old company’s policies, as well as the law in the state of California. Any changes to this, i.e., not offering me coverage now, was unacceptable given the law (AB 2208, the California Insurance Equality Act) and that I should be covered. The first response was “we’ll get back to you.” Last night, after close of business and going into a 4 day holiday weekend, another response:

Unfortunately with the new company’s plan being partially company funded and partially employee funded we are not able to offer benefits for domestic partners.

This is California, right? I didn’t fall asleep and wake up in Texas or somewhere in the south? Holy crap, I didn’t think this would be an issue for us, ever. When people say being domestic partners is equivalent to being married so why fight for gay marriage, this is what I want them to know:   my partner’s employers think they have the right not to offer health insurance benefits to me because I am a domestic partner, not a spouse. As it stands right now, my biological child may not be covered by her insurance, either, since she’s not related by blood.

So now we have some major decisions to make. We asked for an extension of our former benefits so that I would not have a lapse in coverage after the companies merge on January 1st. They said no. They suggested I look into COBRA coverage. Do we get a lawyer? Can they actually do this in California? We’re asking our friends for advice, and so far it’s not been pleasant. One of my partner’s friends said he has COBRA now because they took away DP benefits after the whole fiasco surrounding Prop. 8 (his partner’s company ended DP benefits while same sex marriage was legal and never reinstated it) and they couldn’t sue because his partner wasn’t out.

Are we going to fight? Where does this put us as far as planning for the kid? How much more expensive is COBRA if I have to go on it? Individual insurance is not necessarily an option for me, I’ve been told I’m basically uninsurable because I have asthma. Fuckers.

I sent an email to the Nat’l Center for Lesbian Rights, hopefully they get back to me about options soon. Wish I had more than a week to get this sorted out. That it’s the week between Christmas and New Year’s, when most people aren’t really working? Figures.

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A Minute to Talk About My Boobs

December 19, 2010 at 10:29 pm (Healthy...?, Randomness) (, , )

Ok, maybe more than a minute. In the past 3 or 4 months, I’ve noticed that my normally 34AAA cups increase in size right around the time I’m ovulating, making their presence known for a good week before resuming their regularly scheduled programming. They’re markedly bigger. Like, I might have to buy a different sized bra to wear when I’m ovulating bigger. This may not seem like a big deal to most people (or maybe it is, I don’t usually discuss my boobage with other people, you’re just lucky!) but for someone who’s always had a flat chest, the increased size is, well, totally bizarre.

I’ve had conversations with women who have bigger than average tatas and heard many of their complaints about bras, playing sports, people who talk to their chests, etc., and while I’m never going to have even average sized breasts, I’m beginning to realize what they’re talking about when they say that wearing sports bras and trying to run without crossing their arms over their chests is a bouncy, painful, I-may-lose-an-eyeball kind of experience. I can usually wear tank tops with a built in bra and not feel like everything’s hanging out. Not so with my hormonal boobs. I mean, I have cleavage. For real. Even confining them to a sports bra still gives me more of a chest than I’m used to. They’re, ahem, grabbable. Now that’s weird.

Only don’t grab them. Don’t touch them. They hurt. At least for the first day. 2nd and 3rd aren’t so bad. But that 1st day? I can’t even dry them off after my shower.

Thus concludes my post about my boobs. I’m sure there will be more.

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Just in Time for the Holidays

December 13, 2010 at 4:28 pm (Healthy...?, TGF)

We’re changing insurance carriers. Which could potentially be a good thing, considering the insurance plan we currently have covers NOTHING when it comes to fertility. Unless one of us wants to be sterilized. That’s covered.

So now I’ve got to read up on a new plan and have my OB/GYN fill out paperwork for me. Of course, we still have to decide on a donor or even a sperm bank.

Anyway, this is additional stress but it has potential to be a good thing. My girlfriend’s company was just acquired by a larger company so hopefully their insurance is better and offers more for us. And hopefully they’re still paying the premiums.

Now to start reading about our new benefits package. Beats trying to figure out what to get everyone for Christmas.

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