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Sunday, December 29, 2013

This Week I Learned...

... that even if you don't have medical insurance, when you cough hard enough to throw up / feel it in six-and-a-half-year-old C-section scars / get a six-year-old telling you that if you can't even shout at her you must be sick... then it's time to go to the doctor.

... that because I am an existing patient at the Evergreen Healthcare Network (Lizzy was born at Evergreen Hospital), I get a 10% discount on self-pay office visits to Urgent Care. I call this the Frequent Flyer Discount.

... that because I have no insurance  (it kicks in January first, natch) I get an additional 15% discount if I pay it within 30 days. They will bill me so I didn't have to pay it today.

... that all the help I got, pharmaceutically speaking over the past few days wasn't really doing a lot of good, because my blood oxygen level was so low (about 89-90%) that the prednisone and albuterol and whatever is in the coughing-aching-sneezing-sniffling-stuffy-head-fever-so-you-can-rest-medicine wasn't going where it needed to go... no oxygen left over to get it there. This also explains the temporary narcolepsy recent tendency to drop into a chair and doze (hypoxia = fatigue).

... that yes, albuterol rescue inhalers are  terrific, assuming the crud in your chest isn't so thick that the meds aren't getting in there. That's why the breathing treatment at Urgent Care, even though it's the same drug - has now brought the previously-mentioned low oxygen level all the way up to 98% (it should be above 95; as an example, when Abby was in the E.R. having an anaphylactic reaction to tree nuts about two-and-a-half years ago, hers was 93%).

... that all this means that the prednisone and Zithromax I just took should actually work this time.

... that the time I spent on my ass in the slush last week, the hairline fracture in my toe, the assorted bruises from said incident (including the one I can't see but that +Laston Kirkland says looks like a map of Germany's WWII invasion of France) and the resulting slow-moving / spending lots of time lying down and sitting down actually does affect something like this, in spite of germ theory. Because it works on the same principle as elderly people with broken hips getting pneumonia; it's all one system after all.

... that I should go back on the generic Percocet I was taking for the broken toe, at least at night. Because the reason that they give you cough syrup laced with codeine or Vicodin is not because these drugs are cough suppressants; they're not. But they are muscle relaxants, so they keep your lungs from spasming so much when you do cough. Assuming, of course, that your blood oxygen levels are such that you are getting said meds where they belong.

... that my husband is good in a crisis (this is one I relearned this week; he has really picked up my slack in a big way).

... that while we really would rather have not spent the extra money just now, getting the best washer / dryer / couch / desk chair we can possibly afford is the better choice... because we won't have to repurchase in a year or two. Dining chairs in a few weeks when this year's models come out at Costco (thanks to +Carrie Miller for that idea).

... that my love for the Internet still applies. Where else would I find people like +Kristi Forcier, who has been a Google Plus circlite of mine for several months, but who came and assembled furniture for us - two days in a row - even though we had never met in person?