Posts filed under ‘health’
When my son was younger he developed torticollis, (tight muscles on one side of his neck), which caused his poor little head to lean to one side. I asked the doctors about it at each of his visits, but they never seemed to pay any attention to my concerns. They’d tell me to place toys on the opposite side of his crib or play area and to give him lots of tummy time. I did all of those things and his problem continued.
Finally I took matters into my own hands and searched for a physical therapist who specializes in the care of infants. (What did people do before the invention of the Internet?) My insurance company covered some small portion of each session’s total, but only after I paid my entire deductible for the year. Initially I took him twice a month and paid $140 for each visit. When I switched insurance companies my deductible rose to $3,000 a year. Needless to say all of my visits now are paid for out of pocket.
At each visit the therapist spends sixty minutes looking over my son’s body. She asks him to reach for things with both hands, walk, run, kneel and play with toys. She listens to the progress in his verbal communication and stretches out all of the muscles in his neck, arms, shoulders, torso, legs, knees and feet. If she feels tension in a particular area she performs a few stretching exercises and when necessary employs craniosacral therapy to help even things out.
Thanks to therapy my son’s torticollis was corrected long ago, but every six months or so I still take my son back for an evaluation. At this point his therapist seems more like a relative than a medical care provider and even when a long time passes between visits my son still warms right up to her.
When I tell people that I take my son to a physical therapist they often give me strange looks. They ask if he has any medical problems and I tell them that he doesn’t. I just want someone to pay close attention to him as he grows and develops, which usually elicits another strange look.
I don’t like doctors. I have plenty of reasons for disliking them, but in general I think they have too many patients to keep up with these days.
When I take my son to his routine medical appointments the doctor spends very little time actually looking over his body. I have plenty of time to ask questions, but the overall body scan probably takes less than two minutes. That includes looking into his eyes, mouth and ears. The doctor certainly doesn’t take any time to listen to him speak or to watch how he moves his body when he walks, runs or plays.
I’m sure the doctor feels no need to check these things out. After all parents would speak up if they noticed something or had any concerns, but what if parents don’t know what to ask. I have moderate scoliosis that could have been corrected. Unfortunately, in my case doctors just didn’t spend enough time paying attention to my growth and my parents didn’t realize my scoliosis would create lifelong pain and problems for me.
For now I will gladly pay a physical therapist $75 to evaluate my son. I hope that nothing major will ever turn up, but it gives me great piece of mind to have a second set of eyes watching over him while he grows.
My blog posts seem more sporadic these days. Some months I post every other day, some weeks I post four days in a row and sometimes I can’t seem to click the ‘publish’ button on anything I’ve written. This feels like one of those weeks. I’ve started writing six posts, but haven’t completed a single one of them. My thoughts are undeniably garbled and disjointed.
After being sick for what seems like an infinite period of time and now feeling extremely drained I’ve decided to put aside everything in favor of sleep. This weekend I tried to put myself to sleep by 10 o’clock every night and took naps within minutes of laying my son down in his crib.
I have a horrible habit of going to bed too late every night and even though I know my son will probably wake me before 7 o’clock I still can’t seem to rest before midnight. This weekend I fought the urge to stay up late and I hope to the do the same as this week progresses.
In order to catch up on sleep I did not respond to emails, check Facebook or read my RSS feeds. I spent my days playing outside with my husband and son as much as possible to suck in a little extra Vitamin D and walked our neighborhood streets at at least twice a day.
I’m not sure if I need a break from technology, but I did find it easier to fall asleep when I kept my iPhone an arm’s distance away at night. I used my iPad to read online magazines, but otherwise I did not find myself distracted by the Internet. After reading I shut off my iPad and didn’t think about it again.
It’s 10:20 EST time so I am heading to bed. It’s a little later than I would like, but a heck of a lot earlier than midnight.
Three weeks ago I got sick. I felt sluggish, had a high fever and wanted to sleep the day away. That proved slightly more difficult with a 16 month old under foot, but it seems he caught the same bug and wanted to lay around for most of the day too.
A day later my son was back in action. His fever had vanished, he seemed alert, awake and other than a slightly runny nose better than ever. Unfortunately, the same was not true for me. My cold turned into a full blown sinus infection that will not go away.
I went to the doctor after a week and received antibiotics, but they didn’t work for me. Interestingly enough if you Google sinus infection and antibiotics you will find that antibiotics rarely clear sinus infections. Rather than taking another round of drugs I decided to see how things would play out.
Well here I am three weeks later and I’m still not feeling quite myself. I’m tired and sluggish and still can’t get rid of the pressure in my head or my runny nose. The good news is that my sore throat has disappeared, but otherwise my symptoms are roughly the same.
I’ve amped up the humidifier, started gargling with salt water and use the netti-pot more times then I would like to admit in a day.
I realize that it is a lot more difficult to rest with a toddler running around all day. Now that he’s down to one nap I don’t have a lot of down time and I still find myself choosing to go to bed much later than I should.
I’ve considered going back to the doctor but I’m not sure that antibiotics will help me. So the question is how long do I try over the counter remedies and homeopathic rituals before giving in? It’s been two weeks since I last stepped into the doctor’s office? Should I return?
I’m not worried about the money. I just hate finding a sitter, waiting around in a doctor’s office and being told I really just need to give it more time.
I have been paying full price for COBRA ever since I was laid off from my job November before last. While I paid very little as an employee I am currently paying over $1400 a month for myself, husband and 14 month old son. It’s time for us to find ourselves a new insurance plan, but I am uber confused by all of the options available.
I chose to stay on our current plan for as long as possible, but I am crazy about medical care. I have had a number of medical problems and know that above all else that I am willing to pay for quality care. In fact, I will cut back on just about everything else in my life to make certain we can afford good insurance. Over the years my insurance has paid for all sorts of services and procedures that would have been denied by other carriers.
As an employee I paid very little each month in premiums. Now that my husband and I will need to move over to a new plan, (he is self employed), we will pay the bill in it’s entirety.
I am considering moving over to a high-deductible insurance plan with an HSA. I read all of the paperwork associated with this plan and compared it to the standard PPO, but I’m still not certain which option to select.
I’m hoping someone out there can provide some input on my choices. While I will continue to read about the options I need to make a decision in the next month or two.
Here’s what I know. My husband is rarely sick and has not gone to the doctors for anything other than a physical for as long as I can remember. That doesn’t mean something couldn’t pop up for him. My medical problems came on sudden and strong, but in a typical year health insurance is a lot of money down the drain for him. My son just turned 15 months old. He doesn’t have any known health issues either. For the most part my medical problems are a thing of the past. I haven’t seen a doctor or surgeon in quite some time for my symptoms. I do see massage therapists from time to time, but those services were never covered by insurance anyway.
My husband and I are still debating having a second child. Some days I’m excited about the idea and other days I think I could be perfectly content with just one child. It is conceivable that I would pregnant again by the end of the year or shortly thereafter.
Does anyone have any thoughts on high-deductible plans versus standard PPOs? If so, does anyone know if there is a preferable route I should take if I become pregnant?
An update: To view my decision click here.
Note: This is a sponsored post.
If you are a long time reader of this blog you know that I was struck with an unexpected medical illness in my mid-twenties. I was completely blindsided by my health issues and had no idea problems could linger long after surgery and other medical interventions completed.
When modern medicine failed me I began researching alternative therapies and found help from acupuncturists and massage therapists who treated my whole body, not just the obvious parts that were aching. I know that there is a real need for modern medicine and that alternative therapies cannot always heal you. I also believe that one should explore all avenues of health and wellness, including those that are not performed by men in white coats.
In my case a combination of modern medicine and alternative therapies healed me. I required thoracic surgery to save my life, but that didn’t stop my pain. After surgery it was a combination of acupuncture, massage and trigger point therapy helped relieve my aching muscles and kept me free from pain medicines.
Depending on your diagnosis you may be able to try some self-help techniques. Of course, you should ALWAYS talk to your doctor before making any changes to your lifestyle.
A number of people in my family have sleep apnea and while some of them have gotten better with self-help techniques like losing weight, establishing a regular sleep schedule, sleeping on their sides and even experimenting with throat exercises one required a cpap machine.
I believe in most cases we heal from a combination of sources. We may require changes to our lifestyle, acupuncture or massage from alternative healers and good old modern medicine issued by men and women in white lab coats.
The key is to seek advice from a variety of sources. Often what heals one person will not help another. Take it from me, no one will care as much about your health as you do. I am frugal in many ways, but when it comes to health and healing I believe nothing in life is more important.
On Sunday morning my little 7 month old baby boy woke up with a fever. His little body was unbelievably hot to the touch, so I stripped off all of his clothes and tried to cool him off with a wet washcloth. Before applying the towel to his skin I grabbed two different thermometers and attempted to take his temperature.
The first is an inexpensive thermometer that can be used under his arm. That’s the way the nurses took his temperature at the hospital. (It’s actually the very same one they used on his first day in this world.)
The second is an expensive temporal thermometer that is supposed to work with just a swipe of the forehead. It’s not invasive and it provides a reading within seconds.
The problem is both devices had their problems. The first took forever to register a reading and I had to try to occupy my very active baby boy with one hand while trying to keep the thermometer in place with the other. It wasn’t an easy task, but the final temperature seemed to be accurate.
The temporal thermometer wouldn’t work for me at all. Every time I swiped that little device across his forehead it registered a different number. I tried it on myself and found the same problem. I read the directions over and over to make certain I was holding down the button for the appropriate amount of time, pressing it against the right part of the head, etc, but no matter what I did I received a different temperature every time.
I’ve thought about buying an ear thermometer. I even asked the nurse at the doctor’s office what kind they use and whether or not it would be worth purchasing. The price is somewhere between $35 and $40 for one with good reviews on Amazon.
While this is Baby A’s first fever I know it certainly won’t be his last, so I’d really like to find a device that works quickly and accurately and isn’t nearly impossible to use with a fussy, fidgeting baby.
I know a lot of moms read this blog. If you have any suggestions on what you’ve used for your little ones PLEASE leave me a comment.
As many of my long time readers know I was quite sick a few years ago. I went to the doctor four times in the course of two weeks, but she failed to diagnose me. She blew off my case, because I was young, (27 at the time), fit, and didn’t look ill.
I went in complaining of chest pain. I told her I felt like I couldn’t get out of bed. I felt a heaviness in my chest. I was completely exhausted and had terrible aches in my chest and arm. On the first visit she told me I was getting over a cold. In the second visit she sent me for a chest x-ray and then told me I was fine when the report showed no issues.
Despite her failure to diagnose me I returned two days later and begged her to help me. I ripped off my shirt and showed her bright blue veins running back and forth across my chest, neck and arm. She said she’d refer me to a vascular doctor and with that she wiped her hands of me and called it a day. She showed no urgency in my case and did not call a specialist or help me get an appointment with one.
The next day I had a hard time breathing as I came up from the basement with a basket of laundry. I didn’t know what was wrong, but I knew something was certainly not right. I called my husband and went directly to the emergency room.
Once admitted the physician’s assistant on staff immediately diagnosed me with a pulmonary embolism. He based the diagnosis solely on my symptoms: shortness of breath, pain and heaviness in chest, weak pulse, lightheadedness, excessive sweating and bluish skin. Minutes later I was rushed in for a CT scan where the diagnosis was confirmed.
The physician on call was so upset about the situation that he phoned my doctor and reamed her out. Based on my symptoms he said the cause was obvious and he was amazed that she couldn’t put the pieces and clues together to diagnose me. He said I had probably been throwing small clots for days if not weeks.
Initially I thought about suing the doctor for malpractice. Although I survived the embolism it took a long time to recover. A lot of the recovery was due to the underlying cause of the embolism, not the clot itself. (That’s a topic for a whole other day.)
So why didn’t I sue? Oprah once said it best when she said, if you want to sue someone “you have to stay in that space of being angry enough to do it. You have to keep yourself embroiled in that fighting mode.”
In my case I was angry and bitter at the situation, but I didn’t think I would get better if I stayed in that frame of mind. My goal was to heal as quickly as possible and to do so I needed to clear my brain of the angst against that doctor. In short I needed to focus my energy on getting well not reliving my case day after day through the legal system.
To this day I still have a difficult time with doctors. After failing to be heard by my primary doctor I began to realize that I really was just one more number, one nameless face to the medical system.
I do not regret my decision not to take legal action against the doctor. I know that she is only human and that humans are indeed prone to mistakes. I do hope that my situation forced her to rethink the interactions she has with her patients. I hope that she now listens closely to her patient’s pleas and that she doesn’t ignore symptoms just because a patient is too young to have a severe medical condition.
I am thankful that the doctor on staff at the emergency room properly diagnosed me. Pulmonary embolisms are the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. If he had not recognized the problem I would certainly not be alive to write this post. For that I am truly grateful.
Did you do anything special to celebrate your first mother’s day? My little one was born last October and this holiday has suddenly taken on a whole new meaning for me. I don’t want to spend a lot of money or buy anything unnecessary, but I would like to find a special way to celebrate this day.
For the time being I am a stay-at-home mom so I guess you could say every day is mother’s day for me. I could not be more thankful or grateful to spend time with my beautiful baby boy.
I’d love to hear from anyone who has ideas on how I should celebrate this momentous occasion. I already started a blog for my son and began writing letters to him, so I’m looking for something else I can do to commemorate this day.
Over seven years ago I left the hospital with a blood clot in my lung and absolutely no idea of what was going on in my body. For weeks after that incident I walked around my neighborhood trying to heal. I remember one day in particular I prayed to God that I would get better and that whatever was wrong with me would not prevent me from having children.
While my main goal was to lead a healthy, happy life I also knew in my heart of hearts that I wanted a child. I cannot believe that I am now the mother of a happy, healthy, beautiful baby boy. I pray for him every day and thank God for bringing him into my world.
The Newlyweds on a Budget 10 pound challenge ends in four weeks. Thanks to the contest I’ve been fairly focused on my goal of losing weight from my recent pregnancy. I cut back on soda, (something I never drank while pregnant but really craved after my son was born), and started taking daily walks uphill while pushing a stroller.
I thought I was right on track until the grocery store ran a sale on Entenman products. The buy-one-get-one bargain was simply too hard to pass up and I came home with not one but two chocolate cakes! On top of that my family and I went back to the beach this past week. I don’t know why, but I have the hardest time eating healthy when I’m down there.
I’ve lost nine pounds so far, but my goal was actually to lose twice that much. While my jeans are feeling looser my bathing suits are still much too tight. I can blame some of that on my expanded chest size, but the extra weight around my belly is undeniable.
I think I should hang my bathing suit over the fridge in my kitchen. Maybe the daily reminder of my goal will help me get there faster!
This is the first year that I’ve ever signed up for an FSA (Flexible Savings Account) through my employer. The FSA is a use it or lose it type of account, so at the beginning of the year I have to determine how much money to set aside for medical expenses and hope by the end of the year that I’ve used each and every penny.
This year I decided to take a stab in the dark and estimate a year’s worth of medical expenses. To be honest I still have no idea if I selected the right number, but I figured I should try it at least once.
I received my FSA debit card in December and used it for the first time in January. I am absolutely in love with it. I swipe the card at my doctor’s office and pharmacy and just like that my medical expenses are paid with tax free dollars.
I can log in at any time to see how much money I’ve spent and how much I have left in the account. The website for my FSA lists all of my transactions and lets me know exactly how my medical expenses are adding up.
Every once in awhile I pay for something with the FSA card that requires further documentation. Tonight I uploaded a series of receipts for medical transactions that required detailed receipts. All of this can be done online and once I’m finished I can also track the status of my submission.
Unfortunately, I have a lot of medical expenses that are not permitted through the FSA. I seek weekly treatments from a massage therapist, but I cannot pay with my FSA card without a doctor’s prescription stating that the massage is a medical necessity.
While it certainly is a medical necessity I got tired of waiting for hours in my primary care physician’s office for a note stating that fact. So now I pay those expenses directly out of pocket and they really add up. I pay over $300 a month just to my massage therapist.
I wish it was easier to pay for alternative medical treatment through the FSA. I hope that this changes over time. I also hope that the government changes it’s policies and permits the purchase of non-prescription drugs through the FSA program again.
I’m still concerned that I put aside too much money this year, but I won’t really know for sure until the year ends. I may have completely different feelings about my account if lose money at the end of the year.