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Author Topic: So, I've been in the hostpital - A warning  (Read 1795 times)
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Turtle
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« on: February 25, 2014, 01:48:45 AM »

I got to the ER last week on Saturday the 15 and have been here since.

After a goofball dinner at some burrito place and feeling very good, I began to feel ill later that night, such as it being hard to breath. I went to bed early, only to wake up gasping for air and so lethargic I could barely lift my arms. Eventually I managed to call a friend to take me to the hospital, a decision that would save my life.

Turns out, I now have diabetes and pancreatitis. The doctor at the ER was quite surprised I was alive, considering that my blood sugar levels were literally off the charts on their portable blood testers. The whole mess also did damage to my pancreas and probably my kidneys.

There were symptoms, some that my few good lifestyle choices would hide, but I was actually waiting to sign up for the new medical insurance stuff rolling out before I would see a doctor. I wish I had just paid cash since I could afford it at the time.

Do not skimp on your physical checkups and other doctor's visits.

Now, if I survive (and there's actually still a tiny chance of organ failure) my life changes will be many, but that actually doesn't phase me at all. Heck, if I survive it's likely I'll have type 2 diabetes, much less severe.

See, I don't know what the costs for this will be in the end, but I've been in the hospital for 10 days now and it looks like I have a few more days yet. I've had a lot of procedures and drugs used on me, taken up beds in the ER, ICU, CCU, and medical wards, and have had many doctors called on my behalf.

I have various options, but all I can think about is the looming demise of my dreams. I'm self employed, burning through savings working on a video game that is very near and dear to my heart, and another project that has just as much sentimentality and is pretty damn close to releasing.

If all this ruins me financially, I just couldn't pursue it anymore, and this would kill me as assuredly as my illness would have.
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« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2014, 01:50:52 AM »

Ah man, I'm sorry to hear all that.  My thoughts go out to you and yours.  I really hope things turn around. 
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« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2014, 03:24:37 AM »

Hope your recovery beats expectations. I will forgo a political rant about our healthcare system, as I'm sure that your experience and opinions are stronger and better informed than mine now. I'm just trying to hang on until I get Medicare in 8 more years.
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Lee
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« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2014, 05:27:51 AM »

Jesus man! Hope everything works out for the best.

As someone who has been a hypochondriac for the last few months I am really curious about this if you are feeling up to providing more details. Does diabetes just come on that quick? Were you in any of the risk groups for diabetes (drinking, inactive, overweight, etc)? What were your warning signs that you ignored?

Good luck and please keep us updated.
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« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2014, 07:36:19 AM »

Yikes! I really hope your recovery continues and you're able to get out of the hospital soon!  Be sure to take care of yourself!!

Like Lee, I'd be interested to hear more details on the symptoms and such if you feel up to it at some point.
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« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2014, 01:56:03 PM »

 eek eek

Damn Turtle, glad you're still with us. 
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Turtle
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« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2014, 04:32:04 PM »

I just want you all, even if you just glance over this thread, to go schedule a physical with your doctor, or find a doctor and schedule one if you don't. You can actually call ahead and ask how much it will cost, and even if you don't have insurance, save up and get it done.

A great source of depression and regret I've had while staying in the hospital is that this could have been caught early, and I would have just adapted to the small life changes from early detection a lot more easily than now, or sitting around wondering if my pancreas or kidneys will still give out. And then wondering if my life savings will be wiped out from my stupidity.

Diabetes and pancreatitus does not usually come on this quickly. I can think back over the year and remember small symptoms and signs that should have sent me running to the doctor, and there's all sorts of chemical markers that can be detected even if you don't feel anything out of the ordinary.

Here's the details:
At the point were my friend dragged into the ER.
I could only take short gasping breaths. To do anything, even lift an arm, took an incredible amount of willpower. I'm not sure how I managed to get out of bed and to the front door aftter I called him, but after I got into the car I had to be wheelchaired everywhere.

My blood sugar was 800+. My blood density was so concentrated the doctor made a joke about Lance Armstrong calling to see how I did it.

Pancreatitis is basically the pancreas going crazy and just swelling up and blasting out enzymes that are usually for digesting food. Letting the diabetes get out of control had caused it.

What I'm feeling from it is, sometimes it's just unappetizing to eat, to the point of nausea. You literally don't feel like swallowing. That's not even mentioning the pain and vomiting of bile. It can hit at various points, even in the middle of chewing or swallowing. You might find it taking forever to chew something since your subconsciously don't want to swallow it.

It also swells up, being right in the center of the body and at the bottom of the sternum, so you can feel it when it gets swollen. It can make it hard to get comfortable, or move at times. That also makes it difficult to eat.

When you get pancreatitis, the damage is done, there's no going back. At the same time, I'm lucky that the damage is not that extensive despite the severity of what happened. There's a very real chance that the pancreas can kind of self destruct when it goes crazy, necrotizing and dissolving parts of itself. That didn't happen with me so I have a lot of functionality left, despite it still being touchy.

My pancreas still swells up if I eat. I'm still on a liquid diet, although today it was much better in terms of being interested in eating, there was still that same low level nausea, swelling, and pain I just talked about.
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« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2014, 05:03:30 PM »

Man. Hope you recover, dude.
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rittchard
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« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2014, 08:15:44 PM »

Wow Turtle - scary stuff, really hope you recover and pull through.  Once you're better we can compare Type II diabetes notes and tips  Tongue

Quote from: Lee on February 25, 2014, 05:27:51 AM

As someone who has been a hypochondriac for the last few months I am really curious about this if you are feeling up to providing more details. Does diabetes just come on that quick? Were you in any of the risk groups for diabetes (drinking, inactive, overweight, etc)? What were your warning signs that you ignored?

Type II Diabetes itself does not come on quick (from what I've been told usually takes years to fully develop), though there are warning signs and if your doctor runs tests you can get diagnosed with pre-diabetes pretty easily.  High cholesterol and triglycerides, along with increasing A1C (essentially a 3 month measure of your average glucose levels) are the main ones to look out for. 

If you have no test results to go by, the main symptoms I'm aware of are extreme thirst, constant need to urinate, unexplained loss of weight, and leg/foot cramps.  In my case over the course of just around 3 months I experienced all of these, and sure enough when the blood test results came back they diagnosed me with Type II.  What frustrates me is that my previous visit to the doctor he said I was pre-diabetic but didn't really make it seem very serious and didn't tell me to do anything too special.  At bare minimum he should have put me on cholesterol medication, but of course hindsight is 20/20.

Anyway as Turtle said the best thing to do is see a doctor, get general bloodwork done and make sure they check for these specific markers.  If you are really afraid of seeing a doctor, you can order a home glucose or home A1C test (both involve pricking your finger to get blood) to get a gauge of where you are.  Accuracy on the A1C is debatable/controversial but it's better than nothing.  Glucose monitoring is common practice and fairly accurate, though keep in mind it only gives you a snapshot of your current levels.
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« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2014, 09:01:56 PM »

There are worse things than going bankrupt man...I know several people who have had to do it for a lot more silly reasons than...STAYING ALIVE.

Don't get caught in the moment especially not about money.

You've (hopefully smile ) been given a second chance.  Don't worry about the money. Worry about getting healthy.



 
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Lee
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« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2014, 09:28:10 PM »

Quote from: rittchard on February 25, 2014, 08:15:44 PM

Type II Diabetes itself does not come on quick (from what I've been told usually takes years to fully develop), though there are warning signs and if your doctor runs tests you can get diagnosed with pre-diabetes pretty easily.  High cholesterol and triglycerides, along with increasing A1C (essentially a 3 month measure of your average glucose levels) are the main ones to look out for.  

If you have no test results to go by, the main symptoms I'm aware of are extreme thirst, constant need to urinate, unexplained loss of weight, and leg/foot cramps.  In my case over the course of just around 3 months I experienced all of these, and sure enough when the blood test results came back they diagnosed me with Type II.  What frustrates me is that my previous visit to the doctor he said I was pre-diabetic but didn't really make it seem very serious and didn't tell me to do anything too special.  At bare minimum he should have put me on cholesterol medication, but of course hindsight is 20/20.

Anyway as Turtle said the best thing to do is see a doctor, get general bloodwork done and make sure they check for these specific markers.  If you are really afraid of seeing a doctor, you can order a home glucose or home A1C test (both involve pricking your finger to get blood) to get a gauge of where you are.  Accuracy on the A1C is debatable/controversial but it's better than nothing.  Glucose monitoring is common practice and fairly accurate, though keep in mind it only gives you a snapshot of your current levels.

That's what I figured, that it takes a long time to build up. That is partly why I am curious how severe Turtle's ignored symptoms were, were they minor things that were easy to blow off? Also, did one night of pigging out on a burrito send his body in to shock or was what put him in the ER a result of months and months of neglectful continued bad eating, drinking, etc? That is really scary if it was the former (scary either way, but much worse if it was just one night that can push you to the edge).

I had blood work done for diabetes a few months back that came back negative. I have been suffering from poor circulation the last few years that seems to have gotten worse over the last few months. I was playing internet doctor and everything seems to be a sign of diabetes type II. The more I read, the more convinced I was that I had it (I still have far too many similar symptoms/problems that makes me wary). Then the dentist found something in my mouth that was either cancerous, a sign of something like diabetes, or nothing. It turned out to be the later but I talked to a doctor about it and she told me to stay off the internet, I was stressed out about big life changes and was being silly.

Anyway, after decades of drinking too much, I am paranoid about diabetes. I read stories like Turtle's and it's a nice reminder that I need to watch my health much better than I had been.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2014, 09:44:53 PM by Lee » Logged
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« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2014, 09:57:14 PM »

I don't mean to downplay it by any means, lord knows I have been even more of a depressed, whiny asshole since being diagnosed, but Type II diabetes is fairly simple to manage (on paper) when you boil it down.  Reduce sugars, reduce fat, reduce carbs, exercise, take your meds, watch your levels, check your feet often.  In many ways it's just all common sense (except the feet part).  Eat lots of fruits and vegetables, lean meats, salmon, nuts - everything you've already been told is healthy for you.  I get tips from a website every day, and they pretty much just start repeating the same things over and over in different formats. 

The problem is developing the mental and physical willpower and determination to see it through.  As an example, for some people giving up something like regular sodas is very doable, for others (like me) it's psychologically debilitating.  Same thing with regular exercise and other changes in diet, etc.
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« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2014, 04:33:25 PM »

I never know if things that happen to me are just normal or the sign of something else.  This past weekend, I had some Chinese food (and way more if it than a man should eat) and all weekend until Sunday, I was so thirsty.  I kept drinking tons of water and my lips always felt dry and couldn't quench my thirst.  Peed a ton, but I drink water as my only drink (oh and OJ in the morning) and if I drink a ton of it, I have to pee a whole ton.  When I went for my regular Sunday 8-mile run, the next day I was very sore, I think from just not having fluids where I needed to be.  All is fine now.  I do get cramps in my left calf from time to time, but I don't get them as often as I used to (maybe once or twice a month now) and I always just chalk it up to the fact that I run a great deal and exercise in some for every day.

It did make me swear off Asian food (which is my favorite) as it seems like lately if I eat a bunch of it, I'm just stupid thirsty the next day.
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rittchard
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« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2014, 05:39:35 PM »

Quote from: The Grue on February 26, 2014, 04:33:25 PM

I never know if things that happen to me are just normal or the sign of something else.  This past weekend, I had some Chinese food (and way more if it than a man should eat) and all weekend until Sunday, I was so thirsty.  I kept drinking tons of water and my lips always felt dry and couldn't quench my thirst.  Peed a ton, but I drink water as my only drink (oh and OJ in the morning) and if I drink a ton of it, I have to pee a whole ton.  When I went for my regular Sunday 8-mile run, the next day I was very sore, I think from just not having fluids where I needed to be.  All is fine now.  I do get cramps in my left calf from time to time, but I don't get them as often as I used to (maybe once or twice a month now) and I always just chalk it up to the fact that I run a great deal and exercise in some for every day.

It did make me swear off Asian food (which is my favorite) as it seems like lately if I eat a bunch of it, I'm just stupid thirsty the next day.

Hehe I think in your case sounds like it's just too much MSG or salt in the food smile
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« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2014, 07:01:54 PM »

glad you are okay and getting the help you need Turtle. 

Lee, those symptoms make me feel almost pre-diabetic every so often.  you can really screw up your head by reading about medical signs online.  hypochondriac's worst nightmare. 
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« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2014, 07:37:48 PM »

Sorry, man.  icon_frown My mom guilted me into going to my doctor for at least a blood pressure check and eventually a full bloodwork late last year. Not quite a full physical, but at least all that was at normal levels (i'm 48) and gave me a bit of sense of security. I do feel like my increasingly expensive individual health plan shafted me because the bloodwork was not considered "necessary" by my doctor (he OK'd me doing it just to assure me I was OK).

Try not to beat yourself up. What's past is past. If your post at least encourages everyone here who can afford it to at least get a basic exam and full bloodwork done, you've done a lot of good here imho.  icon_smile

Have they recommended any particular kind of diet? Low sodium, low sugar, etc?
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« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2014, 08:22:23 PM »

Dang, Turtle. Hoping for your recovery.
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« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2014, 10:46:31 PM »

What was your blood sugar reading?

When I drove my dad to the ER because of an infection (which turned out to be an absolutely horrific flesh eating bacterial infection that nearly killed him and earned him a week in and out of surgery) his was about 650 I think (he's been Type 2 for fifteen years or so). For those that don't know—about a hundred is average. Two hundred is pretty bad. Three hundred means you should go to the hospital, etc...
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rittchard
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« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2014, 11:15:55 PM »

Quote from: heloder on February 26, 2014, 10:46:31 PM

What was your blood sugar reading?

When I drove my dad to the ER because of an infection (which turned out to be an absolutely horrific flesh eating bacterial infection that nearly killed him and earned him a week in and out of surgery) his was about 650 I think (he's been Type 2 for fifteen years or so). For those that don't know—about a hundred is average. Two hundred is pretty bad. Three hundred means you should go to the hospital, etc...

He mentions in a later post it was 800+  eek

I should also mention that the numbers you quoted are under 8-hour fasting conditions.  If you just ate a ton of sugary stuff, etc it can spike much higher. 
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« Reply #19 on: February 26, 2014, 11:18:31 PM »

Oh whoops I didn't see that! Yeah 800 is something else.
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« Reply #20 on: February 26, 2014, 11:23:31 PM »

Quote from: Blackjack on February 26, 2014, 07:37:48 PM

I do feel like my increasingly expensive individual health plan shafted me because the bloodwork was not considered "necessary" by my doctor

My insurance sucks in the same way. "Preventive care" is fully covered and "diagnostic care" is fully not covered until a high deductible is met. The $600 a month we have to pay for the insurance leaves us unable to afford any kind of tests or treatments.

I feel a rant coming on so I'll leave it at that.
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Turtle
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« Reply #21 on: February 27, 2014, 12:25:42 AM »

Looks like I'll be going on week 2 here, since the doctor came in and said they need to observe my kidney function through the weekend. For some reason, despite handling the initial madness well, they dropped off steeply in function. Doc says that's normal if the kidneys took a hit since the kidneys stop certain functions under stress, and that there's a good chance of those functions coming back, but it takes time to tell.

Then there's the super restrictive internet here, which means I can't even access things like the website for my favorite shows. I feel like I need to get someone to download them online and send them to me on disc. It's a small petty thing, but I need to get my mind off this stuff for a bit during the day. I'm literally sitting around waiting to hear whether I'll need new kidneys or not.

I'm starting to feel the depression set in and have had few people to talk to, so I hope you don't mind if I vent. Spoilered in case you don't want to read me whining.
Spoiler for Hiden:
I've been fighting to get fit since my mid 20s when it started to get out of hand. I can say I actually accomplished getting fit once, but it quickly slipped away. Then in my 30s it just got ridiculous and I can probably pinpoint the weight I got to that started the ball on all this.

There is so much regret in my mind right now. It's just the level of my own stupidity, especially since my fitness issues wrapped around into social issues that held me back there too.

My life would be much better if I had stuck to it and maintained a level of fitness for both mind, body, and social.

And all and all, barring a disaster, I'll likely come out of this just having to take pills and control my lifestyle a bit more stricly than usual, but all that becomes routine and manageable with time. I'll still be able to enjoy everything I enjoyed before. But even then, I'll still have that regret that I still have to take pills, or inject myself. This is still all my fault.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2014, 12:40:07 AM by Turtle » Logged
Lee
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« Reply #22 on: February 27, 2014, 12:46:50 AM »

Turtle, first feel free to vent away. I know I would be. Second, I would guess every single one of us (over the age of 30 at least) looks back on regret on something health-wise. I had a hernia because I wasn't  fit and was doing crap I wasn't ready for, I had dental surgery because I didn't floss like the dentist kept telling me to, I had a major accident....well because I was an idiot, I wear glasses because I ignored warnings on my job, and the list goes on and on. I look at stuff like that, and other things and wish I would have done things differently. Too late now. This is just your wake up call, it sucks, but this will be the thing that gets you to change.
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« Reply #23 on: February 27, 2014, 02:55:37 PM »

Turtle, hope you have some handhelds or something to play while in the hospital.  I can tell you that even as a fit person, I have some regrets as well.  I run and exercise now, but back in the early 2000s, I had gotten up to 325 pounds.  Finally decided to take control of my life and lost weight all the way down to 190.  The problem there is extra skin.  So, I was fit, but wearing a shirt that was a little snug meant you could see all that extra skin.  So, even though I got fit, I still had to live with the product of being that large.  Then, I gained most of the weight back through the late 2000s as I let my work get the best of me.  Got back up to 290.  Then, I said enough is enough and lost it all again.  And that is where I stand.  Obviously still have the skin problem and I'm not the type of person to go get surgeries just for cosmetic things (and hopefully never have a surgery, period).

Anyway, if pills is the worst you have to do (and no matter what, it seems like the price of living into your 70s and beyond is to be on some kind of medication), I think you'll be okay.  Hopefully, when you get out of the hospital, you can turn that regret into something positive and get out there and live that healthy lifestyle you would like to.

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« Reply #24 on: February 27, 2014, 08:25:21 PM »

Yeah please feel free to vent, and hope you realize we are all pulling for you!

As for your feelings of regret and depression, I can whole-heartedly say I understand and sympathize.  I almost started a blog called "Fuck You, Diabetes" to rant because I was constantly raging about it every day.  The highlight for me was some lady had written some heath tips in the newspaper which came across to me as condescending and I sent her a really nasty email and tore her to shreds.  Not my finest moment lol.

It's been about 6 months now for me and I am still filled with a ton of bitterness and anger at myself.  Of course as they say hindsight is 20/20 and there's really nothing to do but move forward, which of course just makes me more upset.  While I know I am relatively lucky if I can maintain on pills and diet changes, it's still frustrating to have some bizarre stigma in the back of your mind that feels like will never go away.  Every time I see a cookie or donut or cupcake, it drives me nuts.  Not that I've cut all sweets out of my diet, but I hate that I feel guilty for wanting these treats and always feel like someone is judging me negatively for it.

But anyway, what Grue and Lee said was perfect, the best is to treat it as a wake up call and push forward, with the understanding that it's natural to have setbacks and negative feelings about it all.
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« Reply #25 on: February 28, 2014, 04:02:42 PM »

Quote from: The Grue on February 27, 2014, 02:55:37 PM

Turtle, hope you have some handhelds or something to play while in the hospital.  I can tell you that even as a fit person, I have some regrets as well.  I run and exercise now, but back in the early 2000s, I had gotten up to 325 pounds.  Finally decided to take control of my life and lost weight all the way down to 190.  The problem there is extra skin.  So, I was fit, but wearing a shirt that was a little snug meant you could see all that extra skin.  So, even though I got fit, I still had to live with the product of being that large.  Then, I gained most of the weight back through the late 2000s as I let my work get the best of me.  Got back up to 290.  Then, I said enough is enough and lost it all again.  And that is where I stand.  Obviously still have the skin problem and I'm not the type of person to go get surgeries just for cosmetic things (and hopefully never have a surgery, period).

Anyway, if pills is the worst you have to do (and no matter what, it seems like the price of living into your 70s and beyond is to be on some kind of medication), I think you'll be okay.  Hopefully, when you get out of the hospital, you can turn that regret into something positive and get out there and live that healthy lifestyle you would like to.



This may be a stupid question...but won't the skin eventually...shrink on it's own? Like a pregnant woman's belly?
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« Reply #26 on: February 28, 2014, 06:03:31 PM »

I wish.  Maybe if I had been younger when I lost the weight?  Not sure why it doesn't get all tight again, but it doesn't.  People who lose drastic amounts of weight will often have a surgery to tighten it all up.  I'm not going to do that, though.
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« Reply #27 on: February 28, 2014, 10:01:12 PM »

Quote from: Ironrod on February 26, 2014, 11:23:31 PM

Quote from: Blackjack on February 26, 2014, 07:37:48 PM

I do feel like my increasingly expensive individual health plan shafted me because the bloodwork was not considered "necessary" by my doctor

My insurance sucks in the same way. "Preventive care" is fully covered and "diagnostic care" is fully not covered until a high deductible is met. The $600 a month we have to pay for the insurance leaves us unable to afford any kind of tests or treatments.

I feel a rant coming on so I'll leave it at that.
Yeah my monthly has gone over that too. And cripes, about 5-6 years ago (I'm 48), my monthly bill was in the $300s. Holy health care inflation, Batman!

My employer covers it but my publisher has told me if it gets much higher I might consider looking at other providers. I'm just scared of opening that particular wormhole. Like I'd rather deal with "the devil I know" than "the devil I don't know."  paranoid
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« Reply #28 on: February 28, 2014, 10:37:36 PM »

Quote from: Blackjack on February 28, 2014, 10:01:12 PM

Quote from: Ironrod on February 26, 2014, 11:23:31 PM

Quote from: Blackjack on February 26, 2014, 07:37:48 PM

I do feel like my increasingly expensive individual health plan shafted me because the bloodwork was not considered "necessary" by my doctor

My insurance sucks in the same way. "Preventive care" is fully covered and "diagnostic care" is fully not covered until a high deductible is met. The $600 a month we have to pay for the insurance leaves us unable to afford any kind of tests or treatments.

I feel a rant coming on so I'll leave it at that.
Yeah my monthly has gone over that too. And cripes, about 5-6 years ago (I'm 48), my monthly bill was in the $300s. Holy health care inflation, Batman!

My employer covers it but my publisher has told me if it gets much higher I might consider looking at other providers. I'm just scared of opening that particular wormhole. Like I'd rather deal with "the devil I know" than "the devil I don't know."  paranoid

OK, dammit, here comes the rant anyway.

$600 is our share after my wife's employer picks up 50%. The unsubsidized retail price is $1200/mo (and that's what it would cost us to get comparable insurance through the Obamacare exchange...I checked.) It's not even especially good insurance. At our subsidized price we'd have to pay $8,000 out of pocket before insurance started covering 80% minus co-pays if we use an in-network doctor. Unfortunately the doc that we've had for 20 years just got classified as a "high cost provider" last year, so unless we change docs we'd have to pay $8,750 before insurance starts covering him at 60%.

Needless to say, we only go to the doctor in serious emergencies and we don't let them do any tests.

I really ought to start over with a new, cheaper doctor, but my wife's been on and off the verge of getting a new job for the past two years. The jobs she applies for (in academia rather than publishing) all offer better insurance that would let us keep our doctor, so I've been reluctant to throw away that relationship.

Meanwhile I keep repeating to myself "8 more years til Medicare..."

This is not a healthcare system. This is a healthcare-prevention system.
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raydude
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« Reply #29 on: March 01, 2014, 03:37:10 AM »

Hey Turtle,

Just wanted you to know I enjoy reading your posts even though I may not comment much. Hang in there. At least you know what you have to do and it sounds like you'll make an honest effort to do it.
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« Reply #30 on: March 01, 2014, 01:56:43 PM »

Thanks for informing us Turtle. For those of us who do, we can pray with details and believe for a complete healing of your body.
Father, I thank you for this man, and his life. I don't know him other than a name and words on a blank page. But You know him
intimately. I pray you heal him Father, head to toe. Also I pray for his finances Lord, that you would give him peace of mind about
them. And supply all his needs, according to Your riches.

This is one of those pivotal moments in ones life mate. Lets believe it will all turn around for the good.
My thoughts are with you bud.
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« Reply #31 on: March 01, 2014, 05:18:16 PM »

Yeah...I didn't mean to derail your thread or take the focus off of your health crisis. I hope you reach equilibrium soon with only minor long-term consequences.
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« Reply #32 on: March 02, 2014, 12:13:44 PM »

Quote from: Turtle on February 27, 2014, 12:25:42 AM

Then there's the super restrictive internet here, which means I can't even access things like the website for my favorite shows. I feel like I need to get someone to download them online and send them to me on disc. It's a small petty thing, but I need to get my mind off this stuff for a bit during the day.

if you need media downloaded off the internet, burned to optical media and sent to you, let me know.
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« Reply #33 on: March 02, 2014, 09:45:38 PM »

That won't be necessary now since I've finally been discharged. I'm staying with my parents and family in the family home, back in my old room no less.

Pancreas problems just seems to fluctuate between more and less pain, nausea, etc. I'm getting pretty tired of it, but know it's a long term recovery on it. I can eat solid foods now but it's just not the same. I would skip a meal each day to help heal, but that's not an option with diabetes.

I've got a surprisingly small number of meds I need, but I'm dreading the overall hospital bill when it arrives. The social worker said she could work some magic along with my medi-cal application since the application process had so many problems. So, Ironrod's rants on insurance and medical costs is pretty applicable.

On the diabetes front, it's manageable, but I can't wait until I start taking pills instead of injections. It'd also be a lot easier if eating to keep my blood sugar up wasn't such a pain, but it's better than being dead. My diabetes doctor seemed really hopeful about me, which is a plus. But, his hands are tied until everything else recovers.

Kidney function seems to be fine now.

And overall, everything kind of hurts a bit due to the transition from the hospital environment and the wear and tear on the rest of my body having a chance to show. I'm definitely weaker than before and will be so for a while. My sleep is wrecked, while the more comfortable bed helps, I'm waking up at odd hours for no reason because that's when they would do tests.

I keep repeating myself, but find a way to see your doctors, or otherwise get fit and stay that way. Imagine how you don't have to think about health aspects right now, then imagine it gone, replaced with a constant worry and a need to do something to keep yourself alive besides eat and drink and enjoying life. They say diabetes is manageable, but it's still a drain on the psyche.
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« Reply #34 on: March 03, 2014, 05:29:08 AM »

Glad to hear you are on the road to recovery and out of that hospital, Turtle.
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« Reply #35 on: March 03, 2014, 06:24:43 AM »

Please do let us know what the financial damage was. I'm hoping you won't have a horror story about insurance denials.
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« Reply #36 on: March 03, 2014, 07:04:39 PM »

Quote from: Turtle on March 02, 2014, 09:45:38 PM

They say diabetes is manageable, but it's still a drain on the psyche.

This.

It's hard to explain the psychological impact to someone who doesn't have it.  Often times it's still hard for me to understand myself and it can become so frustrating.  Doctors seem elusive when you ask about "curing" it, or what the exact effects are.  You'll get loaded with horror stories about going blind and having your legs amputated if you don't do this or that, but it almost feels like you're a little kid and all the adults in the planet have created this "boogeyman" to scare you into being healthier.  Not that that's necessarily a bad thing, but there's this inherent guilt complex attached - like the decisions you make/made to eat that extra donut or drink that third Mountain Dew - are what put you over the top and now you are condemned to suffer the rest of your life. 

Little things you take for granted now all come with this guilt associated to them.  The other day I went to the market and got stopped by some girl scouts selling cookies.  I glared at them as I walked past them, but I swear I was this close to saying "thanks bitches I already have diabetes" to them.  So first I felt bad that I "can't" just scarf down a ton of cookies whenever I feel like.  And then of course I felt bad for being such an asshole, even though I didn't actually say anything. 

Every time I see someone who looks more overweight than I am eating something delicious, all I can think of is why don't they have diabetes.  It's stupid but I can't help it.  I try to not let it guide my every thought, but particularly early on after diagnosis I was just completely obsessed. 

All I can say is it isn't easy, and managing your psyche/depression is every bit as important as the physical factors.  At some point I realized I just had to give myself some mental leeway/relaxation, and that has helped a bit.
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« Reply #37 on: March 05, 2014, 12:39:25 AM »

Well, day 3 out of the hospital and things are still iffy.

Even though I didn't have many medicines, my pending insurance status is making it incredibly expensive to get them. My insulin pens being top of the list. We found a coupon for it through one of those foundations that drastically lowers the cost, but even that requires some level of medical coverage to use. We're talking around $300 for one prescription worth of one insulin type, and I need two types. The coupon will drop it down to $25, but that's only after insurance pays for a chunk of it.

Thankfully the hospital provided some insulin on the way out. Enough that I can play a bit of the waiting game to see how my insurance application goes, but eventually I'm just going to have to pay out of pocket and see if I can be reimbursed for some of it.

The hospital gave me a blood tester, but it's so new that test strips where you put blood on cost a fortune. Thankfully, we have a costco membership so we got it got quite a bit off, but even then it's looking like it's cheaper to buy a different testing unit with a different kind of strip. The one I have now is normally $150 per box of 50, at costco the cost is reduced to $75. But costco seems to sell a tester for just $14 and advertises the test strips as being affordable, we'll see. On an average day with my current insulin setup, I'll be using 3-4 strips a day, so you can see how that cost would add up. It's like printer ink pricing.

When I finally get to go on a pill, I don't know how much it will cost, but I am hoping my insurance kicks in by then.

Biologically, I'm feeling a little better each day, but it can also be a little random as to what sets off my pancreas. Today has been a good day on this front, a week like this and I could go back to normal.

Everything still hurts a bit, like all the parts in my abdomen got fried a little. Of course, it might also have to do with a bit of dehydration, which I've felt once already. While in the hospital I was pretty much kept on various levels of saline fluids, at one point they were pumping fluids into me at a high rate using a pressure bag on the saline bag.

Then there's the freak outs where I think I'm over or under blood sugar due to the way I feel, only to find it's rock steady as usual when I check.

I've also discovered that one of my medications, reglan, has a side effect of depression, which was hitting me hard the last two days. I don't have to take it, it's only for nausea and stomach issues, which I'm not having, so I've since stopped. However, feeling the effects of that also made me realize that I should seek help for normal depression at some point when this is all over.

Also in the good and bad category, I've lost an obscene amount of weight. I clocked in at the hospital at somewhere around 225-234 pounds (my weight was fluctuating due to illness), I'm now 210 pounds. That's losing weight too quickly, so I need to figure out how to add in more calories into each meal without upsetting my balance. Although I should probably stop skipping breakfast.
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soulbringer
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« Reply #38 on: March 05, 2014, 05:25:47 AM »

Turtle,  Just a FYI, Im not "your" doctor or nurse but I have been a RN for 20 years.  Be very careful with stopping the Reglan especially as a diabetic.  They should have discussed gastroparesis, which is basically a delayed emptying of the stomach which can be very common in diabetics.  This leads to stomach pain and a general feeling of not being hungry which in a diabetic can be bad as it affects your glucose levels.  One of the main indications for Reglan is to promote gastric emptying so while I appreciate your concerns over the side effects, you may want to speak with your MD when you have a follow up appointment about it.   
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« Reply #39 on: March 05, 2014, 05:46:30 AM »

Thanks for the heads up, I was already planning to bring it up, but now I'll make it a priority.

I'll see if I can get a better description of what to watch out for so know when to take reglan, and when I can avoid it.

Stomach emptying hasn't been a problem yet and the prescription specifically says I take "as needed." But, I'll see about taking it again tomorrow now that I'm feeling better.

I'm going to slow updates to this thread as recovery slows. Although it seems some still find the info useful.
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