I wish I had a pithy or interesting opening for you, but I don’t. (See the last section of this post.) So here are the general goings on.
Infected (but not septic)
I thought I had another UTI, and I rushed in to see the nurse practitioner. I was a little antsy given that the last one landed me in the hospital for two days.
The test was negative. Meanwhile, my symptoms had gone away, but they had done that the last time too. So that didn’t necessarily mean I was UTI-free. Just to be safe, the NP sent off for cultures. (Ick.)
Thanks to the holiday weekend, it was 10 days before we heard back. Which is a big deal given that last time, I went septic in only four days. As I’m sure you guessed from the subhed, the test came back positive.
I’m understandably freaked out that my UTIs are now barely showing any symptoms. What if the warning signs stop altogether? I could go septic without ever realizing I’m infected! Given that I’m now on marketplace insurance, I can’t afford a hospital stay. Oh, and I want to be healthy and not septic. Let’s pretend that was the first concern that popped into my head.
Anyway, I was given a week of antibiotics, and I had a followup appointment last Wednesday. They didn’t even bother doing the in-office test but instead sent the thing off for cultures again.
Hopefully, we’ll get speedier results this time around. And really hopefully, the bacteria in my system has decided to behave itself. In the meantime, I’m just going to add cranberry extract to my daily pill regimen.
And speaking of health…
For a brief, shining moment I thought my application to get back on Medicare had been approved. I hadn’t gotten a letter from Social Security saying that my application was approved, but I did get a letter explaining that I could apply for Medicare either in January (if ‘d been off Medicare for less than eight months) or July (if it’d been more than that).
I was thrilled that I had clearly been approved. Especially given the even higher marketplace premiums I’m looking at this year. But I was also frustrated that I’d have to wait until July to apply. See, the alleged six- to nine-month process for my application had taken 13 months. It sounded like I was going to be penalized for bureaucracy’s lag time.
So I decided to call Social Security to find out if there was a way to get an exception.
Thus began 90 minutes of frustration. I was immediately told by the system that there was a 60-minute hold time. Which was made even more annoying by the intermittent automated messages assuring me that someone would be with me shortly.
Once I did get in touch with a real person, she had to investigate the situation quite a bit. So I spent the better part of the next half hour on hold while she checked the system, consulted her supervisor, etc.
Finally, I was told that my application still showed as pending in their database. I hadn’t been approved yet after all. And of course they had no idea why I received that letter since that came from a different office.
The only thing the woman and her supervisor could do was to send an urgent inquiry. Basically, they messaged the office that sent me the letter, demanding that someone get in touch with me directly to clarify what the heck is going on.
Unfortunately, “urgent” is relative when it comes to bureaucracy. The office has 15 business days (aka three weeks) to get in touch with me. Still, I guess that’s better than the current limbo I’m in. So… yay?
I’m praying that the office says, “Oh, the system just wasn’t updated. Your application was approved. And of course you can apply in January for Part A! We wouldn’t want to penalize you for our mistake!”
But since that’s unrealistic, I went ahead and signed up for my high-end marketplace insurance.
Seasonal Affective Disorder seems to have hit. Yes, I’m such a depressive that I get SAD even in Arizona.
How do I know it’s SAD? Well, since I’ve started waking up in utter darkness, I’m more lethargic and kind of apathetic. Things that were urgent two weeks ago just seem like too much work.
For example, the bathroom will (finally) be finished once I put up the towel ring, but it just seems too hard right now. The hard-won Ikea cases still aren’t put together because I’d have to rally both myself and Tim (whose joints are aching in what Arizonans consider cold weather). And writing blog posts is more difficult again, despite the fact that I have ideas for a few pieces.
I’m doing my best to fight the worst of the symptoms — and mainly failing, especially with overeating. Which is a problem since I desperately want to avoid gaining back the weight I lost for FinCon.
My only option is to start working out and hope that it helps keep me more on the straight and narrow diet-wise. Besides which, exercise helps boost your mood. So it’s win-win… Except for the part where I have to actually undergo exercise. That’s a decidedly losing proposition.
Getting myself to work out isn’t all that difficult when I have a deadline of some sort, like our anniversary trip or FinCon. Unfortunately, without a deadline I’m terrible about forcing myself into activity (even with SAD). So I may have to try to manufacture some sort of deadline or keep myself accountable on here or something.
But I think what will really help is a SAD light.
My boss bought me a light lamp a few years back, but I wasn’t sure if it was specifically for SAD. When I went to look it up, I discovered that it’s not supposed to be used by people with Bipolar Disorder. Oops.
So I poked around Amazon and found one that, while not cheap, is relatively affordable and very well-reviewed. I’m thinking I’ll probably get that (though I’ll be keeping the ion diffuser off).
I just wish it were under $40. I mean, technically it won’t cost us anything thanks to the TV stand credit, but those funds could go toward plenty of day-to-day items we need, allowing us to save more. On the other hand, junk food is quite pricey, so the light might be able to save us some money in that sense.
How are you guys surviving the cold winter months? Anyone have a SAD light they feel like recommending?