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  • Siobhan, thank you sooooooo much for sharing that!! I am so glad to hear that I am not out to lunch on this, how can a cardiac stent cost less than one in your leg!? Unfortunately we are legally responsible for my folks bills as we are their sponsors as when they applied for green cards we had to sign that we would cover their bills in the event they couldn't - stupid in retrospect esp considering my folks! The up side to all this is my Dad is a big time 'drama queen' hypochondriac etc and I have high hopes that he is actually not as badly off as he is making everyone think. He is consumed with how he feels and every tiny nick or bruise is reported on repeatedly and in great depth. DH and I have often joked that we are sure to hear sometime that he has called 911 for his hang nail. Even without the cardiologist's fee (only $650 +/-) there are tons of other fees and expenses. I am feeling more and more strongly that we need to just get them back to SA whatever the situation so that he can get the care he does or doesn't need and not at our expense. As it is we are the only thing that is keeping them off the streets here - in SA there will be a much better situation as our money will help them get by far more comfortably and they can get super cheap health care.

    I couldn't get to sleep last night - too many thoughts keeping on rushing into my mind and it took me ages to shut them all up. It took 3 melatonin tabs to overcome the adrenalin. I had a wonderful time praying and reading my Bible this morning and feel that ultimately this is actually going to be beneficial for all of us. When things are so out of control I know that I have a stable and safe place with Jesus, whew!

    All of this makes me so determined not to become and sour and ungrateful self centered person. I am going to choose to find the silver lining no matter how dark the clouds!
    Start weight: 225.5 lbs Feb 14th 2012. Height: 5'7"
    Primal low: 186 lbs
    Current weight: 221.4 lbs
    Goal weight: 140 lbs

    "You are free to choose, BUT you are not free from the consequences of your choices."

    Comment


    • Ah, that is a different situation, again I am butting in where I shouldn't, but that means they just can't incur costs that you can't pay. Can you talk to the cardiologist and possibly his other doctors yourself? They certainly know the problems with costs and may be able to help. And I hope you are right about your dad not actually needing the procedure.

      As a funny coincidence, a friend here in Maine has her grandson staying with her this summer. He was born and raised in South Africa and has no health insurance. She was quite worried about this, and wouldn't you know the first thing he did was fall off his bike and break his arm. So far it has cost almost $4000 and it isn't over yet. So the money he was supposed to be earning to help with college is not even enough to pay the medical bills. And prior to this his stepmother visited and needed a trip to the ER - she was shocked that they were unable to tell her how much it would cost upfront, and how much it actually did cost - $1700 - when she finally got all the bills.

      Well, I don't know if this is helping or hurting. Of course I hope it is helping. You are definitely NOT mean and stingy! People from other countries are often not aware of how much things cost here. Medical care is shockingly expensive. All the doom and gloom stuff you hear from the media about medical costs are not some pie-in-the-sky future scenario - it is with us right now.

      And yes, I had the full work-up, nuclear stress test, echocardiogram, cardiologist consult, angiogram, balloon angioplasty, and stent placement. I had an artery in my leg that was almost fully blocked and I couldn't walk. Of course now I blame wheat, but that is another whole story!

      Okay, I will stop now. I am so glad you have your faith to help you through this. Remember always you are a good person, a wonderful wife and mother.
      My Primal Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread53052.html

      "Freedom from fear" could be said to sum up the whole philosophy of human rights. - Dag Hammarskjold

      Comment


      • Actually Siobhan your comments are welcome and appreciated. We do feel really alone in this whole mess. It means something very different when someone from another country hears that some procedure is expensive - it still gets heard through the perspective of what is familiar. Sorry to hear about your friend and the unfortunate mess with her grandson. How frustrating for both of them!

        I spoke to my mom this afternoon and they are going to cancel the procedure for now. But they are doing it with a really bad attitude. Hopefully their attitudes will settle down soon. I know this is stressful - but they don't seem to have any thought for our side of the issue. Now they are saying that they are just going to settle in and wait the next 4-6 months for their passports to arrive. Now all of a sudden they are saying that Dad is doing ok. I am going to speak to the doc tomorrow and at the very least get a letter so we can pursue the expedited relocation to SA. Just because he is supposedly ok now (?) doesn't mean he is going to stay that way and I really don't want to be forced into the situation where I/we have to pay for an emergency procedure. I tell you, sometimes they drive me scatty! I told them to take a couple days to get over the craziness of the last week and then we are going to work on getting them emergency travel documents and all the rest of it. They just don't seem to be able to think things through rationally ... so we get to parent them (not easy let me tell you!) They dig their heels in at the most unexpected moments. I think my young kids are better behaved and more stable than my parents!

        Thank you so much for the support everyone, it is VERY much appreciated!
        Start weight: 225.5 lbs Feb 14th 2012. Height: 5'7"
        Primal low: 186 lbs
        Current weight: 221.4 lbs
        Goal weight: 140 lbs

        "You are free to choose, BUT you are not free from the consequences of your choices."

        Comment


        • I am relieved to hear the procedure is off for now, although you are correct in thinking an emergency will crop up at some point. Parents can be so difficult. I'm sure it is stressful and problematic. You put it so well - we see things through our own perspective, which may not jive with the current reality. I have spent some time thinking about your situation and hoping that I am not being obnoxious. Family dynamics are always very personal and unique. My own opinion, which counts for nothing of course, is that your foremost responsibility is to your children, and the cold hard fact is that taking on your parent's debts will impact their future. And these medical debts are potentially larger than what you could imagine. It is really important that you talk with your father's (and maybe your mother's) doctors about payment and problems therein. Doctors are very aware of costs and normally can't or won't do procedures on a nonemergent basis without a pretty good idea of when they will get paid. Although it is very hard, it seems the emergency travel is your very best option.

          I'm probably belaboring the point here, but I was talking with my mom about this stuff in a generalized manner, and she mentioned that when she landed in an emergency room and then in an ICU with cardiac issues, the bill was $67,000 for two weeks in the hospital. Medicare paid for most all of it, but that gives you an idea of how crazy it can be.

          I do apologize if I am being offensive and out of line here. I know you want what is best for your parents and you are doing really well with a difficult situation.
          My Primal Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread53052.html

          "Freedom from fear" could be said to sum up the whole philosophy of human rights. - Dag Hammarskjold

          Comment


          • Siobhan! YOU ARE NOT BEING OFFENSIVE!! I am benefitting from what you are sharing and the support is deeply appreciated. I am perfectly able to glean through what you say and pick out the things that work for us and it was SO helpful to be able to tell my folks that I have a 'friend' who has had a stent and it cost $40 000 because it took it from the possible to the reality if that makes any sense. And since then they have had a bunch of friends mention all their various stents etc that have cost at least in the same realm. What also concerns me is there is always the chance of complications and aside from the initial bill (which we can't afford!) there could very easily be a LOT more costs added to that. My folks health is not good and my dad especially as he will not give up his multiple slices of bread and other unhealthy treats. He sits all day and my mom can't get him off his butt to do anything, plus his mental attitude is a huge issue.

            We have thought exactly what you brought up - our responsibility is to our children first and if we allow this whole thing to go down it is going to have a profound impact on our family in so many ways. This is very difficult, but we are having to be strong for our kids. As much as I care about my folks I don't think it is right that we are destroyed to keep them going in a way that they want. Since we have to foot the bill for pretty much everything at the moment we decided that we are therefore the ones that get to make the choices about when and where and what happens.

            I slept better last night - a solid 8 hours though it did take a while for me to get to sleep. I am sure the stress is having a big impact on my weight - I have gained back a couple of pounds. I am sure it is cortisol related as otherwise I have been gradually losing weight on this eating plan I have been following. Surprisingly I have not been wanting to medicate myself with chocolate. Still eating low carb and despite the stress I do feel as though my energy is improving slightly. My muscles are all feeling tight and achy - just tension.

            Late yesterday afternoon DH and I decided we needed to head up the river for a while. Nothing like hanging out next to rushing water to help dispel tension. We had a lovely time and I was delighted that it was cloudy. There were people in the exact spot that we like to go to, but as soon as we arrived we realized that they were packing up to leave. So we had that whole stretch of the river to ourselves and all had fun wading around in the water. We were reminded that it is snow melt we were wading in - brr! But DD still immersed herself and had a wonderful time playing that she was a crocodile I, of course, was having fun going through the rocks to find paintable ones Came back with a few nice ones. I think some painting might be in order - good stress reliever.
            Start weight: 225.5 lbs Feb 14th 2012. Height: 5'7"
            Primal low: 186 lbs
            Current weight: 221.4 lbs
            Goal weight: 140 lbs

            "You are free to choose, BUT you are not free from the consequences of your choices."

            Comment


            • I haven't been posting, because I can't think of anything helpful to say, but I have been thinking of you and sending prayers and good thoughts your way. Hang in there.

              Comment


              • I am so glad you made some quality time with your family. And you have remembered the Golden Rule. You know - "The one with the gold makes the rules."
                My Primal Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread53052.html

                "Freedom from fear" could be said to sum up the whole philosophy of human rights. - Dag Hammarskjold

                Comment


                • Thanks Sabine and Siobhan. Lol - we hardly qualify as the one with the gold But I know what you mean.... waiting for the doc to call me....
                  Start weight: 225.5 lbs Feb 14th 2012. Height: 5'7"
                  Primal low: 186 lbs
                  Current weight: 221.4 lbs
                  Goal weight: 140 lbs

                  "You are free to choose, BUT you are not free from the consequences of your choices."

                  Comment


                  • Thinking about you and your family Coll. I hope you can get your parents back to SA quickly!
                    My Journal: Candy in Primal Wonderland
                    My Blog: Candy in Wonderland
                    Goal for 2012: keep weight steady (+/- 74 kg): check
                    Goal for 2013: lose 10 kg and keep new weight (+/- 65 kg)

                    Comment


                    • Thinking of you and hoping for all the best -
                      My Primal Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread53052.html

                      "Freedom from fear" could be said to sum up the whole philosophy of human rights. - Dag Hammarskjold

                      Comment


                      • What a stressful few days... lots of calls overseas, one of my brothers lives in Taiwan and the other two in SA. Figuring out the time differences and trying to fit all these calls into my day. Dealing with recalcitrant parents who are now dragging their heels and being obstructive even while I am bending over backwards to help. My dad is having some angina at night - but mild and the meds help. I am READY for this craziness to be done ... and I am suddenly so looking forward to having our family without the ongoing chronic and pretty intense stress of dealing with my parents in this country. It is going to be so wonderful to have a long distance relationship and have my siblings deal with the pouting and manipulation etc. We have been married for almost 13 years and have had my folks to care for, for the last almost 8 years! My wonderful hubby has worked his tail off taking care of us and them and it is going to be so nice to have a set amount that we send every month to help out, instead of it feeling as though we are always handing out money with no idea of where it goes or when we will be asked for more. The kids are sad to think of my folks moving so far away, and I am sure I will be too when the time comes. But, right now, I am ready to be done with all the stress ...

                        I went grocery shopping this afternoon and when I got back and got the refrigerator all loaded it struck my how different my refrigerator and cupboards look compared to the average persons. It was quite fun to look and only see good stuff ...

                        I have been taking the supplements from the naturopath for about a month now and despite being sick and very stressed I am still feeling better than when I started. I am sleeping pretty well, waking up feeling more rested, feel as though I have a little more energy through the day, thinking is less foggy too. This is really exciting - I do feel as though I am improving.

                        What I am taking:
                        - raw food multivitamins
                        - astaxanthin 12 mg daily
                        - Vit D3 5000mg (was on 10 000 for 21 days)
                        - just upped my cod liver oil to 4 teaspoons a day for the next while
                        - evening primrose oil
                        - thyroid supplement 65mg daily for the last month
                        - cortisol manager 1-2 tabs before bed (work well now)
                        - adrenal B complex for the last month
                        - melatonin 1-2 mg pretty much every night at the moment

                        I am able to do my chores without dragging my way through them which is a big change. I am even starting to think about starting up regular exercise again - but not right now. I am walking more often and of course summer brings lots of outdoor chores.

                        I have been making up a bunch of different cordials/liqueurs and I am thoroughly enjoying trying different recipes and of course I can't restrain myself from tweaking them and making them 'mine'. I have a bottle of cassis maturing, a bottle of blackberry tangelo is maturing, then there is a bottle of cherry wisniak in the back of the cupboard, there is a jar of potpourri (my own mix that is smelling incredible!!!!) a jar of fruit salad type cordial, a bottle of mint cordial (that stuff is potent! Made with all 4 different kinds of mint I have growing in the garden) a jar of blueberry lemon cordial and then this evening I started up a jar of peach brandy. I am still experimenting with how much raw honey to add to make it work for our much adjusted palates. The recipes (which have been made less sweet than the store bought cordials) are still way too sweet for us. I put half of the recommended amount of honey into the mint cordial and it is still really too sweet for me. Amazing how much my tastes have changed.

                        I was delighted to find one of my favourite South African wines at the liquor store the other day while I was perusing the shelves looking for vodka and brandy. I have been sipping on it while making dinner and now while at the computer. SO yummy! For what it is worth - Fleur du Cap, sauvignon blanc, mmmm. DH is reading a story to the kids and I am taking a minute to myself ...
                        Last edited by Coll; 07-17-2013, 07:19 PM.
                        Start weight: 225.5 lbs Feb 14th 2012. Height: 5'7"
                        Primal low: 186 lbs
                        Current weight: 221.4 lbs
                        Goal weight: 140 lbs

                        "You are free to choose, BUT you are not free from the consequences of your choices."

                        Comment


                        • A SUPER awesome thing I found out with all the conversations with my youngest brother - I can hardly believe it! He is now paleo!!!!!! He has always been interested in eating healthily and exercising, but he said he lost 12 kgs and is in the best shape of his life It is so cool that despite being so far apart and really not knowing each other all that well anymore, we are both doing paleo/ primal. What a thrill! We were joking about how once my folks are settled in there he should rig a machine that scans their groceries as they cart them into the house and any carbs or sugars get nuked into dust - lol. They'd have pretty empty sacks after that ... tee hee!
                          Start weight: 225.5 lbs Feb 14th 2012. Height: 5'7"
                          Primal low: 186 lbs
                          Current weight: 221.4 lbs
                          Goal weight: 140 lbs

                          "You are free to choose, BUT you are not free from the consequences of your choices."

                          Comment


                          • You have accomplished so much over the past few days! That is wonderful. And how great about your brother! I would so love it if one of my family members would go paleo.

                            I know you are doing the right thing about your parents. Sometimes - more often than not - the right thing is very hard. I wish so much I could get my mom paleo-ized. (Fat chance)

                            Your cordials sound so wonderful! I used to make a Bailey's Irish Creme thing - not at all the same, but it was fun. Hmm, I could make some cordials...must think about this.

                            A few years ago when I lived in Boston, I had a favorite SA wine, I'm afraid I don't remember the name. The local packy sold it - it was in an unusual shaped bottle and was very reasonably priced. I really loved that wine!
                            My Primal Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread53052.html

                            "Freedom from fear" could be said to sum up the whole philosophy of human rights. - Dag Hammarskjold

                            Comment


                            • I'm so happy to see you're feeling better! I would suggest to wait with the exercise routine: you have lots of work (exercise) already and with adrenal fatigue it's important to get enough rest.

                              I'm curious about the mint cordial, what's it like? Do you have a recipe you would like to share?
                              My Journal: Candy in Primal Wonderland
                              My Blog: Candy in Wonderland
                              Goal for 2012: keep weight steady (+/- 74 kg): check
                              Goal for 2013: lose 10 kg and keep new weight (+/- 65 kg)

                              Comment


                              • I agree Candy, I am just starting to feel as though I can manage most of my chores on a day to day basis. I don't want to undo all the good stuff that is happening by exercising too much at this point.

                                The mint cordial is a very strong flavor indeed. DH is not that impressed with it (he is also not familiar with cordials and usually prefers beer) - I however think it is awesome and perfect for tiny sips over a period of time I put about 12 -14 tablespoons fresh mint leaves (can use about 6 TBSP of dried mint), chopped or well crushed to release the oils into 3 cups of vodka (I get vodka that is not made with wheat) in a tightly covered mason jar. Let it steep for about 10 days shaking the jar occasionally. Strain and filter. I added 1/2 cup of raw clover honey which was too much. I would start with a lot less and gradually add until the sweetness is what you like. Then set the jar aside in a cool dark place to mature for about 2 weeks (longer is ok, but it should be at least that long) You can also use it as a condiment on icecream or whatever takes your fancy Of course if you wanted you could make it a weaker solution and then add more leaves and steep again if it wasn't strong enough for you. Or you could add more vodka to dilute it, if it is too strong.

                                The kids wanted to taste the cordial when I was done adding the honey so I put a drop on each of their tongues. I had forgotten how strongly DS reacts to even normal flavors (!!!!!) Poor kid just about lost it, the flavor was so strong. His face turned bright red, tears filled his eyes and he started gagging and coughing - at least he didn't throw up though I think we got close!!! I felt rather bad afterward Needless to say even a drop of that one was waaaayyyy too much for him! DD kind of likes it ... they are so different.


                                I am eager to try the fruit cordials too - but patience is the name of that game
                                Start weight: 225.5 lbs Feb 14th 2012. Height: 5'7"
                                Primal low: 186 lbs
                                Current weight: 221.4 lbs
                                Goal weight: 140 lbs

                                "You are free to choose, BUT you are not free from the consequences of your choices."

                                Comment

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