Fuck Cancer

When I had my stroke, there was one person who was more supportive than any other person. My older brother. Eleven years separate us. Growing up, we weren’t close. But, as we got older, we got closer. He took me to my first NHL game, and he got us tickets to the MLB all-star game. These are two of my favorite memories.

My brother is a firefighter and EMT. He is always helping others and is the guy you want around when a crisis occurs.

When I had my stroke, he missed me in the ER. He got to the hospital as the helicopter was taking off. He watched it from the parking lot.

He made it downtown with the rest of my family for my surgeries. He stayed with me overnight. He stayed up and made sure they stayed on top of my fentanyl doses.

He took pictures. Pictures, that, at first I loathed. But now, I am grateful I have them. Pictures of the aneurysm itself. Pictures of me post-op. And pictures as I recovered.

He kept all my family and friends in the loop on how I was doing. He checked on me all of the time as I recovered. He left his fire station in the middle of the day to come see me more often than I can count.

He even had a friend who owns a non-profit organization donate money to our GoFundMe.

I have always been grateful for everything he did for me.


Today, my brother was diagnosed with prostate cancer. I am beside myself. It’s too early to know a treatment plan, or a prognosis. Logically, I know prostate cancer is usually slow growing. Logically, I know I can’t panic yet. Logically, I know that the outlook is good with early treatment.

But I’m not logical right now. I’m emotional. I’m upset. And I’m scared shitless.

The only thing I can do is remember how he was there for me, and now, to be there for him. So, that’s what I’m going to do.

If you’re the praying type, please say a prayer for my brother. He’s one of the good ones.

Presentations post stroke

This week, I’ve been working on a presentation for work. I used to do presentations a lot before my stroke. I’ve presented at national conferences before. I’ve had clients ask specifically for me to present before. Since the stroke, I’ve shied away from doing presentations. Self doubt crept in, and was loud.

“They’ll hear me slur and wonder if I’m drunk.”

“What if my aphasia kicks in and I forget what I’m going to say?”

“What if I get confused?”

For the last year, I’ve been doing more presentations. At my review for my job, my manager said I’m often given the higher level client presentations because they know I’m clear and concise. Unfortunately for me, I have to do a lot of work on these presentations for me to be clear and concise. So, despite my good review and positive feedback, the self doubt is still loud.

My presentation this week has been extremely difficult for me to put together. It doesn’t help that I’ve been sick, and been in status migrainous during this time. Tomorrow is my last day to work on it and I hope I can finish it. Every day, I’ve worked on it, I’ve had this nagging intrusive thought, “if I had my old brain, this would be easier for me.”

I’m sure it’s true, but it’s not helpful to have this thought over and over. I don’t have my old brain. I have my new, busted brain to work with.

I don’t think the presentation will be awful. It’s mostly complete. I just need to review it for editing purposes.

I wanted to do these presentations to challenge myself. Because I didn’t think I could. But, I’ve done them before. This one is harder because it’s under a new manager. She picked the topic and it’s not one that I’m interested in or that familiar with. I did learn a fair amount putting it together. I just hope when I go to give it, the disconnect between my brain and my mouth isn’t apparent.

I always take a beta blocker before presenting because my voice shakes due to anxiety and palpitations.

I used to be so good at this. I’m so frustrated by it now.

Six Feet Under

****Major spoilers ahead for the HBO series Six Feet Under****

Before my stroke, my favorite show was Six Feet Under. From here on out, abbreviated SFU.

SFU aired on HBO from 2001 to 2005. If you haven’t watched it, stop reading and start watching. Then, come back and read.

SFU is generally regarded as the television show with the greatest series finale. Ever. And it’s true. The end stays with you. It guts you. It’s perfect.

SFU follows a family that owns a funeral home. It follows the Fisher family for five seasons.

To say I was obsessed with this show might be an understatement. I watched every episode at least a dozen times before my stroke. I listened to podcasts about the show, and often googled references the show would make. I read books the show talked about.

The show’s main character is Nathaniel Fisher. He’s a polarizing character. People usually either love or hate Nate. I love Nate. I can’t explain why. He’s flawed. He’s a dick. But, he was such a great character to watch.

In season two, Nate finds out he has an arteriovenous malformation (AVM). An AVM, from the Mayo Clinic, is “tangle of blood vessels that connects arteries and veins in the brain.” Like a brain aneurysm, an AVM can rupture. They are very similar conditions.

When Nate first has symptoms of his AVM, he’s driving across the country with his little sister. He asks her if she smells rotten eggs. Then, he orders a cheeseburger, blurting out nonsense into the drive thru ordering window. He gets out of the car and vomits.

By this point, Nate already knew he had the AVM, but he chose to ignore it. He goes home and sees his neurologist who recommends a clipping surgery.

At the end of season 2, Nate undergoes surgery to repair his AVM. There is a cliffhanger and the viewer doesn’t know if Nate lives or dies. His AVM ruptures during his surgery.

He lives. In a show about death, the main character lives to see season three. He talks about his ordeal like it was nothing. He has no ill effects from his brain surgery. He doesn’t have neuro-fatigue. He doesn’t get headaches. He doesn’t have short term memory loss. He’s perfectly fine.

Until the last season. He doesn’t know it, but he develops another AVM. That one ruptured, too. He made it through surgery and the viewers think he dodged a bullet again.

But he dies after his surgery. After everyone thought he was fine. After most of his family waited in the hospital for hours for him to wake up, he dies in his hospital bed. The show gives no explanation for his death.

After my aneurysm ruptured, I woke up in the ICU, intubated, with a drain coming out of my head, and enough IV lines to ensure I had access for all the drugs I was on.

The neurologist turned down my sedation, and I startled awake. She oriented me, as I flailed around. I was restrained to the bed.

It took her a few minutes to get to me to calm down. Once I did, she explained, “you had a ruptured brain aneurysm.”

All I could think, in that moment, was, “holy shit. I’m Nate Fisher.” My favorite fucking TV character. It was shocking to me, in a way.

As I’ve said, this is my favorite show. I’ve watched it a dozen times. But, since my rupture, I couldn’t bring myself to watch SFU. I always thought about it. But, I couldn’t bring myself to do it.

Last month, I decided I wanted to try. My best friend thought I was crazy. She knew I’d be triggered and upset. But, I felt like I was in a good enough place, that I wanted to try. I prepared myself the best way I could. I took days off between the most triggering episodes. And I cried when I needed to.

Some episodes surprised me. I thought the episode where Nate died would be the most triggering. But, the most triggering episode to me was titled “Perfect Circles”. This is season 3 episode one, when Nate wakes up from his brain surgery.

When I explain to my kids what happened to me, I always say, “my head exploded.” It’s just easier to say it plainly in terms they can understand.

In “Perfect Circles,” Nate tells his friend,

“No I never actually flatlined. I just woke up and later they told me the AVM ruptured during surgery.” His friend asks what that means. Nate says, “Well, it just, you know, exploded. My head actually exploded. I should have died or had some kind of lasting brain damage. I pulled through and seven months later, nothing even shows up on the MRI.”

Prior to this, Nate is in a semi-dead, semi-alive state and he goes through his life looking at the different alternative realities. He sees himself quite disabled with his brother helping him with his speech therapy. He’s wheelchair bound, drooling, and can’t open one of his eyes. This scene is my worst fear for myself. To be totally dependent on someone else for everything has to be worse than dying. At least in my opinion.

Seeing how Nate’s family reacted to his rupture while waiting for news of how he was made me think about my own family in this situation. I had to say goodbye to my husband and parents before they loaded me onto the life flight chopper. They wouldn’t let me see my son, who was just two. I don’t remember any of this, but I have flashbacks. I don’t know if they’re even real, but they feel real enough.

There’s an episode I used to always skip on rewatches titled “That’s my Dog.” But, I didn’t this time. This episode is violent and terrifying. Nate’s brother, David, is abducted, and tortured for hours. He’s doused in gasoline before his assailant runs off. David develops PTSD related to this. I watched David go through his own battle with PTSD and I had so much more empathy for him than before. I’m glad I didn’t skip this episode this time. It’s a raw and accurate portrayal of panic attacks, faking being ok, and being afraid to ask for help.

I watched the final episode and it didn’t have the same effect on me that it always did before. I felt kind of numb to it. And that’s confusing to me. It’s the most gut-wrenching episode of television and I felt..nothing? I continue to question why and I can’t come up with a good reason.

Now that I’ve made it through the series, I don’t think I can watch it again. And that makes me angry. It’s just another thing my stupid brain has taken from me. It was always my favorite show. At times, it was emotionally exhausting to get though. And if I can’t enjoy the ending anymore, what’s the point?

I did learn that my gut instinct when I woke up in the ICU—that “holy shit I’m Nate Fisher”— moment wasn’t accurate. We were never the same. I thought I would find myself more drawn to Nate since we have this shared trauma. But, that didn’t happen. Our paths were not the same at all. He didn’t have any lasting effects. He didn’t worry every day about it happening again. He didn’t question every headache or tingle as another one. He didn’t have a shunt or aphasia.

I’ll end with my favorite quote from Nate:

“I’m just saying you only get one life. There’s no God, no rules, no judgments, except for those you accept or create for yourself. And once it’s over, it’s over. Dreamless sleep forever and ever. So why not be happy while you’re here. Really? Why not?” — Nate Fisher

You should really watch the series. It’s amazing, beautiful, weird, dark, funny, witty, and so ahead of its time. Maybe someday I’ll go back and watch it again. But I think it’s going to be years down the road.

Parenting with an injured brain

My kids are struggling. Parenting is hard enough. Parenting with a brain injury seems so much worse.

My oldest son, 8, is autistic. Since he started third grade, he has been struggling with multiple things. He is scoring poorly in reading. He is sensory seeking, and constantly touching his brothers’ hair, which they hate. They ask him to stop, sometimes screaming at him to stop. And he doesn’t stop. I find this especially triggering because I am trying my hardest to teach these four boys that when someone says “No” it fucking means no. If someone says “stop” it fucking means stop. I feel like I am failing to protect my other kids when he is touching them and they don’t want him to.

His teachers, and his parents, think he is lacking focus and attention. His scores for reading are in the toilet.

He is increasingly hyper focused on various things he finds on YouTube (trick shots, Rubix cubes, and other things).

He is argumentative and defiant. He will not do his homework when he’s asked to. When he does his homework, he forgets to turn it in.

Last week, his aunt took him to a birthday party at a trampoline park. On the way home, he repeatedly called her a “dumb idiot.” She said he said it at least ten times in the 20 minute drive.

He can’t be re-directed when he gets a thought stuck in his head. If he’s told no, he badgers us, asking over and over for whatever it is he wants that we already said him no to.

To me, he is showing signs and symptoms of both ADHD and OCD. These fall under the autism spectrum. But, I am not trained to know when one disorder ends and another begins. Nor do I know that it even needs to be defined. To me, he might need treatment for these things. In February, he’s seeing a pediatric behavioral specialist. It seems so far off. Help seems so far away.

All of this has made me so incredibly sad. I feel like I am failing this kid. I also hate admitting I no longer enjoy spending time with him. I really hope these people can help us, and him.

He has to enroll in tutoring after school due to his poor reading scores. We are also on the waiting list for him to have an OT eval to help with the sensory input. Help will come, I hope, but I’m impatient.

I’ve gone back to journaling, practicing gratitude, and meditating more. Before I react, I’ve been pausing. It helps, but sometimes I’m just in over my head.

My other son, who is closing in on 7, is globally delayed. He can’t do any of his own activities of daily living. He can’t feed or dress himself. He can’t bathe himself or brush his own teeth. He can’t wipe himself. He struggles to write and is majorly struggling with reading. He is also being tutored, but it’s not taking. We’ve started talking about special education for next year, increasing his OT appointments (again, waiting for a spot to open up), and we work with him every day on his reading.

There just aren’t enough people around to help with all of these things. I don’t know how people do this, along with working, and taking care of themselves.

My life feels impossible. I’m so tired.

I can’t tell what is just life fatigue and what is neuro fatigue and what is burnout. It’s probably all three.

I’m grateful for the help we do have, for the tutoring opportunities, and for the OT we are getting. I’m grateful for the behavioral health appointment next month. I am trying to be hopeful that things will get better. But, right now, things are just really hard.

Happy 2023

I really wanted to keep up with this blog more. I like writing. It’s cathartic and therapeutic.

I’m disappointed in myself for not writing more.

I’m trying my best. Between the job, the fatigues and the four kids, it has been difficult to make time for any hobbies for myself. There are only so many hours in a day.

The Christmas season came and went. I think this will be the last year my kids believe in Santa. I feel like I should be sad about that, but I’m not. They should know all the work is put in by real people who love them.

Work is hard. I’m so “in my head” about management recording our calls and spot checking quality. What if I slur? What if I lose my train of thought? What if I have a word finding issue? The whole thing just makes me so anxious. I can’t wait to get this first one over with and see how bad it is.

My oldest son is having major behavioral issues. He has OCD and ADHD symptoms. I don’t know where his autism ends and a different diagnosis begins. He is so angry and agitated at times. He has started hitting other family members and will not respect a boundary if someone puts it up. He’s mean and he bullies his brothers. We are getting him into an outpatient behavioral therapy clinic. I don’t like spending time with him. I’m just so sad about it. I hope these people can help him.

My other son was diagnosed with precocious puberty. As if that kid needed another diagnosis. He got his first dose of Lupron last week.

I really hope 2023 is better. It’s hard to believe it will be six years since my stroke. It feels like yesterday and a lifetime ago.

I mostly hate my shunt

VP Shunt

I developed hydrocephalus as a result of my ruptured brain aneurysm. From the Mayo Clinic: Hydrocephalus is the buildup of fluid in the cavities (ventricles) deep within the brain. The excess fluid increases the size of the ventricles and puts pressure on the brain.

Cerebrospinal fluid normally flows through the ventricles and bathes the brain and spinal column. But the pressure of too much cerebrospinal fluid associated with hydrocephalus can damage brain tissues and cause a range of brain function problems.

About six weeks after my coiling procedure, I had a VP shunt placed in my head. The shunt is programmed by a magnet and can be easily adjusted. It allows the fluid to drain into my abdomen because my busted brain doesn’t work properly. The shunt is located in the back right side of my head. There is a large bulge there and the drain goes into my abdomen.

I’ve been lucky with my shunt. I haven’t needed any revision surgeries and the setting they picked seems to work well for me.

I have a love/hate relationship with the thing. Of course, it keeps me alive. Even though people told me it’s ok to lay on the shunt, I find that when I do, I wake up with a headache. I can’t sleep on my stomach. It’s just not comfortable for me, so I end up sleeping on my left side most of the time. This has caused me some issues now that I’ve been doing it for almost six years. I have developed pain in my left hip and knee that seems arthritic and related to all the weight being on my left side for 1/3 of my life. I sleep with a pillow between my knees, but that hasn’t helped.

The pain has gotten so bad that I have started alternating between sleeping on my left and right side every other night. I have to pick which I’d rather have: a headache, or an arthritic left side. I feel like a hip and knee replacement are assuredly in my future, however.

But more recently, I’ve become irrationally angry at my shunt. To explain, it’s important to understand that strong magnets can inactivate the shunt. I can’t go near an MRI machine. When I get an MRI, they wheel me in so my head is never at the same level as the magnet. After each MRI, I have an X-ray of the skull to verify my shunt settings. It’s a whole process. I have to get orders placed by neurology and then a neurologist needs to sign off on the X-ray and determine the settings of the shunt are where they should be.

My son….my sweet boy, has an extremely complicated medical history. Without sharing too many details, he has to have an MRI of his brain next week. He’s six. They don’t want to sedate him. He’s going to be terrified. It’s not going to go well. We are looking for a brain tumor. A fucking brain tumor in my fucking six year old son.

They said a parent can go and hold his hand during the procedure. I can’t go with him. I can’t be the one to hold his hand because of this stupid shunt. His appointment is at 6 pm, and I know what a shit show it will be if, in fact, I do go, and my shunt’s settings get fucked up. I just can’t risk it.

So, there is another thing that having a brain aneurysm took from me: being able to hold my son’s hand while he’s scared during an MRI.

If you are the praying kind, please offer up some prayers for sweet Gabriel. If you don’t pray, please put some positive energy out into the world for him.

I anticipate that we will have a go at the MRI, he’ll panic, and they won’t get good images. Then, we’ll have to reschedule it with sedation. I tried to get it scheduled with sedation but the MD wanted to try it without, first.

We probably won’t have answers for awhile.

Limbo really sucks. Waiting is hard. I’ve never been good at it, especially when so much is on the line.

The scared part of me has suspected this tumor for almost a year. The logical part of me tells me I can’t possibly know that. So we wait for the radiologist.

I will try my best to stay calm while I wait. But, it’s excruciating.

Memory Loss

The NHL Winter Classic, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 2011

Trigger warning: mention of sexual assault

I used to religiously follow the National Hockey League (NHL). Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been a super fan of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Mario Lemieux was my idol growing up.

One of my favorite memories was seeing the Penguins play in Winter Classic in 2011 against the Washington Capitals. My brother and I went to the outdoor game together. I owed him a game after he took me to the Major League Baseball All-Star game in Cleveland in 1997. It took me that long to make it up to him.

I continued to follow hockey until my I had kids. Then, priorities shifted. I followed the sport peripherally, but mostly just read about the games after they happened. I’d watch highlights, but rarely watched the whole game.

Last week, an NHL player named Ian Cole made headlines for being accused of sexual assault and grooming a minor.

Before I continue with this, I want to say the point of this isn’t to discuss what Ian Cole is being accused of.

The headlines read, “Former Pittsburgh Penguin Ian Cole accused of sexual assault.”

I was puzzled. Ian Cole? Who was he? He played for the Penguins? When?

I was unnerved by my faulty memory. I couldn’t remember this guy at all. I had no idea what he looked like, what number he wore, what position he played, or when he played for my favorite NHL team.

I read that he played for the Penguins during their back to back Stanley Cup wins.

Once I read that, I became very upset because I recalled that their back to back wins were before my kids were born, and at a time when I watched all of the games and knew all of the players. I could rattle off the numbers they wore, and various other statistics about them.

But I had no idea who Ian Cole was.

Is my memory really that bad?

I was too upset to continue reading about his career with the Penguins.

A few days went by, and this stayed on my mind. I kept trying to find some memory of seeing him play.

Finally, I decided to look up the years the Penguins won the Stanley Cup. I found that I was completely wrong and their back to back wins happened after I had kids. The first one happened in the months following the birth of my triplets. And the second one happened in the months after I had my stroke.

You might think that this gave me comfort, but it concerned me even more. How the fuck did I forget that the Penguins won back to back Stanley Cups? As I said, I still pay attention to the sport, read the recaps and watch the highlights. I always watch when the Stanley Cup is presented to the winning team because I think it’s the best moment in sports.

But, I forgot. I thought they won back to back cups in the years before I got married, in 2009. But, that was wrong. They only won one Stanley Cup in 2009 and then they had the back to back wins in 2016 and 2017.

So, not only did I have no memory of Ian Cole, I had no memory of their back to back Stanley Cup wins.

I made a Facebook post about it. So, clearly I knew about it at the time.

I don’t know what this means for me, but it has really scared me. I’m 43. It feels like I’m 83 most of the time.

I’m trying to do as much as my brain will tolerate to help make new connections. Word games, memory games, reading, studying.

I try to eat well, and exercise as time allows. I stopped drinking and I don’t smoke. I sleep as much as I can for someone who has a full time job and four kids.

I feel like I’m doing everything I can, but it’s not enough.

While this might sound insignificant, I’m shocked I don’t remember this.

In 2017, the day before my stroke, I told my friend I wasn’t going to watch the hockey game and was going to bed because I had a headache. She told me about it later, but I have no memory of it. I don’t remember having a headache that night, I don’t remember telling her about it, and I really don’t remember anything about the hockey game.

All I can do is keep trying to exercise my body and mind. But, the fear of what might be in store for me later in life weighs heavily on me at times. And this was a reminder I didn’t need.

The High Cost of Living

Last weekend, I worked. I had a stretch of working 7 days in a row. It was taxing because of the different assignments I had each day. On day six, I woke up with a headache. My coworkers were chatting away in a group chat, which I mostly ignored. I tried all my tricks. Took my Ubrelvy, drank some coffee, tried some ice to my forehead, used some CBD, and nothing helped.

I didn’t participate in the group chat until the end of my shift. I told my coworkers about my headache and they were very sympathetic. Some tried to give advice, some just commiserated. One of them told me to just go lay down, but I had an hour left of work and we were swamped.

By day 7, my headache had resolved. But, the neuro-fatigue kicked in. I wasn’t as productive as I could have been. Our manager eventually signed on at the end of the shift and asked everyone to stay and help out. We were swamped. I said no. I had no battery left. No more spoons. I was done. I do not feel bad for not being more of a team player. I’m no good to anyone when all my spoons have been spent. I still had a full evening of mom-ing to do after work.

The following Friday, I had a wedding. This wedding was about an hour drive, and was held in a large barn. It was on a gravel road in the middle of nowhere, and was heated by two heat lamps. I was freezing. I anticipated the cold and dressed appropriately, but I was still uncomfortable.

Something about the cold bothers my shunt site. I always wear a hat in the winter when I go out, but didn’t anticipate needing a hat at this event. I was wrong. My shunt site was prickling and eventually started burning.

Then, the DJ started. The music was ungodly loud. This is coming from someone who, pre-stroke, attended numerous rock concerts. I love music. But, this was just loud blaring noise. I couldn’t hold a conversation with anyone.

Eventually, we finished dinner and my partner said he was ready to leave. I was relieved. But, suddenly someone came up to talk to him and he wanted to stay longer. So I sat, with my head burning, and the noise getting to me, in complete misery.

After about 30 minutes, I couldn’t take it anymore. I signaled that I was going outside, even though it was cold and raining and people were smoking everywhere. It was still a more comfortable environment than inside with the blaring music. We eventually left.

People were having a good time, dancing, singing and drinking and all I wanted to do was go to bed.

These things: the headaches, the sensitivity to cold and noise, and the neuro-fatigue are all what I call The High Cost of Living. They are the prices I pay for surviving my stroke. Them, and many others.

Other things that are in The High Cost of Living category are the depression, anxiety, and PTSD symptoms. The aphasia. The need for more sleep than most people. The short term memory loss.

The personality changes. I used to be fun. I used to laugh a lot. Now, I hardly do. I’m quick to anger and easily agitated.

The alcohol addiction. This was my first sober wedding and I’m proud of myself for not drinking. I’m approaching 2.5 years since I’ve had a drink.

I survived. And that came with a price. I pay the price through The High Cost of Living items I’ve mentioned.

No one ever warned me about any of these things. No doctor or therapist or anyone every told me that these things could manifest.

As I try to navigate life post-stroke, I wonder what complications will arise as I get older. Dementia? Parkinson’s? It’s scary to think about. Most people don’t have this doom complex. But, most people haven’t been through the things I have.

Life post-stoke has been difficult. I think it will always be difficult. I’m hoping there are some better days ahead.

More medication adventures

My last round of Botox left me with some strange complications. The day after the shots, I developed a stabbing pain in the corner of my left eye. It was on and off for two days and eventually subsided. I was left with a foreign body sensation in that eye for a few days after that. I’ve never had this before.

One shot on the left side of my head is incredibly tender, a week later. I can’t look at to see what’s going on, but I assume it’s bruised.

This time and the previous time, I had a new practitioner give me the shots. Before, it was the MD that runs the headache clinic. He’d come in, stab me all over like a sadist, and be done with the 36 shots in about 45 seconds.

This new practitioner, an NP, is slow and deliberate with each shot. It’s more painful this way. And, based on the last two appointments, causes me side effects.

I used to think the sadist was a little aggressive and maybe slowing down would be less painful. But, that’s not the case.

Next time, I have to see someone completely different, so who knows what sort of fun I’ll be in for at that appointment.

I’m hoping this sore spot goes away quickly. I hope it’s not infected or anything.

I also had more adventures trying to get my Ubrelvy refilled. The NP gave me a coupon. I tried to use it at a retail pharmacy, and my insurance company blocked the damn coupon. Once they realized I had a new script at the retail level, the mail order pharmacy canceled my remaining refills with them. But, now that I can’t use the coupon, I have to go back to mail order. So I had to go back to the NP and ask her to e-scrip a new prescription back to mail order.

All of this hassle! And I know how to navigate the healthcare system and the insurance companies. I can’t imagine what this is like for someone who can’t advocate for themselves.

I’ve said it before, but it shouldn’t be this hard.

Mini life update

I can feel the Botox wearing off. My neck and shoulders are stiff. I’ve needed the Ubrelvy more in the last week than I’m used to. My appointment is late in the week for the next round of shots.

The prior authorization on my Ubrelvy has expired. This is a double edged sword for me. I hate prior auths (PA) from the patient’s perspective. They approved it once, so obviously I meet criteria per the insurance company‘s policy. What possibly could change in a year that would make me no longer meet criteria? What a dumb practice this is.

From the pharmacist’s perspective, I like PAs. A lot of pharmacists have jobs working PAs. The job market for pharmacists in the US is over saturated. There are too many pharmacy schools churning out too many new grads. Not enough pharmacists are retiring and not enough jobs are being created to keep up with the surplus. The more jobs that stay in pharmacy, the better. Therefore I don’t want to see PAs go away.

There is also a PA on my Botox and that will expire soon, too. It’s always a fight to try to get things covered.

Today, I’m on seven days in a row of working. The neuro fatigue plus the headaches from the Botox wearing off is making this a bad week.

My oldest starts school this week. He has trouble with insomnia and his bus comes at 6:50 AM. I’m anxious about how he’ll handle the extremely early start.

My other kid was just prescribed an epipen. I’m fighting with the insurance company to allow an early refill so he has an epipen at school. I’ve had to call the school a few times to get the necessary paperwork for everything.

I hope things calm down, but I don’t think they will. I’m tired.