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Today I went to the ophthalmologist. When I called to make the appointment the woman on the phone was rude because I didn't have my insurance information available. The company I work for was recently sold to another corporation, we had to go through a new enrollment for benefits and I'm annoyed because they can't figure out what to do with our previous 401(k) program since the new owners use the same administrator my former employer did. To me that should make things easier instead of more difficult but apparently that is not the case here.

The rheumatologist that I will not be returning to wanted me to have an eye exam to determine if my eyes were healthy enough to take a medication that could potentially damage them. It was freezing cold in the building, the tech apologized for the temperature but I had dressed accordingly so it wasn't too bad. She was very nice, good at her job and personable. After some testing we got to talking, she told me that she had recently had a miscarriage and I shared some of my experiences with that. She's 33, recently married and would very much like to be a mother.

The exam went well until they performed the Rose Bengal test. The dye adheres to damaged cells and gives the physician an idea of how dehydrated a patient's eyes are. Throughout the exam I had several applications of anesthetic drops but that dye still burned. According to the test I have a mild case which was comforting to some extent. My sister is a nurse and she said that she's worked with patients whose eyes are bright red and need drops every two hours around the clock.

Most of the time my eyes are dry and gritty. Today I received samples of some drops. Immediately after putting them in my eyes felt better although I had to wait for a couple minutes before I could see clearly. I came home from my eye appointment feeling more optimistic about the future. Your body compensates for parts that don't work the way they ought to. After the drops were in I noticed muscles in my neck and shoulder relaxing. I laid down for a bit to let the drops take effect and to think about things.

I was still lying down when my daughter brought the mail in to me. According to my insurance company I haven't met my deductible yet so I'm going to have to pay for all the GI tests that were done on my behalf. That bill was just over $2000, that's just one bill and I have more of those coming. Labs that the rheumatologist ordered were a couple grand, my abdominal and pelvic ultrasounds were several thousand dollars. Insurance picked up some of this and I'm trying to remember that I wouldn't know that I had an ovarian cyst without the scans but I can't afford to go on like this anymore.

Since the company I work for was bought out we're getting a new insurance plan. Now we're going to be self insured which means my insurance premiums are going to double. I feel like I can't use my insurance and I guess what really frustrates me is I go to the doctor, spend tons of money and leave without a treatment plan. That doesn't seem right to me, I don't know what I can do about it except for not go to the doctor but I have conditions that really warrant professional monitoring.

Right now it seems like I am never going to get out of debt. I'm good at my job but I don't make anything close to what the outside sales reps do. Insurance, taxes and flex spending along with dependent day care reduce my take home pay but at least that comes offsets some of my tax liability. Yesterday I wanted to get some prescription sunglasses and I'm frustrated with myself and the last place I bought sunglasses from because I knew they were too big when I bought them but they insisted that over sized glasses were in so now I have a pair of glasses with the wrong prescription that I can't wear.

Yesterday I went to the gym. I didn't do everything I wanted to because I wanted to see if I could slowly ease myself back into a routine where I go regularly. I did a couple things I haven't attempted in a while and left feeling better than I thought I would. Today I am a little sore but not bad mainly because I stopped before I thought I was ready to. I read a great article about getting the most from a fitness program and that helped me mentally.

Right now I have a full time job with decent benefits that doesn't pay me what I'm worth. I can keep that, I could work for my husband doing sales or I can try to find another job that is closer to home and pays better. Right now my husband can't afford to pay me what I'm making now but if I landed some accounts I would get commission on those. Things have been better between us ever since he went to the rheumatologist with me however I think I know that the relationship isn't going where I would like it to long term.

That is hard for me to come to terms with. The father of my children is not a bad guy he just isn't right for me. I don't want to lead him on, I can't accuse him of holding me back since he has been supportive of me returning to school in the past but something about the relationship isn't enough for me. Essentially I think it comes down to having a different set of priorities and interests. The perfect relationship doesn't exist. It is hard to put the past behind, we have both changed, mostly for the better however fundamentally I think we would both be happier and more functional if we had partners other than each other.

I have a friend that I like to talk to. I'm not necessarily interested in him in a romantic sense but I like talking to him, we have some similar interests and we're not the best match but I would like to go out and hang out with him because he makes me think about things from a different perspective. There's this woman that my husband works with, he can deny a relationship with her and I'm sure they aren't sleeping together but she's interested in him and I think that he likes being with her.

Normally goal setting is something I do in my head - these are a few of things I'm going to be working towards: rebuilding a daily routine. Structure is comforting to me. Even if things don't go according to plan having an idea of what I'm going to be up against each day helps me plan and mentally prepare myself. I want to work with a dietician however that would be more money I'd have to spend. It's been something I've wanted for a long time but I'm afraid I'll see one, not get any real help and be out financially again.

I need a routine that incorporates different types of exercises that work to strengthen, lengthen and tone. I've lost weight but it hasn't been a healthy program. I have some ideas but I think I need someone to help me pull everything together. Some online support groups I've visited have talked about physical therapy and I'm frustrated that my doctors don't see the value in it and aren't willing to humor me when I tell them that this is something I want. It seems like they're willing to spend my money on tests but not on things that could potentially help me work with the disease states.

After seeing what my headshrinker is charging my insurance company I'm not sure I can afford to go back to her. I like her but going forward I am going to find someone else to work with. During a conversation with my oldest daughter she admitted that she has rage issues. I can so remember being her age, hating life, my siblings and my parents. She feels things intensely and unfortunately she gets that from her mother. She's a bright girl and I want to give her some skills to help her cope with the feelings she has inside of her.

My youngest daughter tends to adopt the victim stance. She cries if things don't go her way, she's convinced she can't do anything and everything is too hard for her. My oldest daughter thinks that wearing glasses and having braces makes her ugly. My youngest is a very girly girl. I don't like the cosmetics, the focus on what other people think about your clothes, hair and shoes but I also know that my way of doing things is just one of many ways and maybe her way is valid and appropriate for her.

Having quality family time is another goal of mine. I get frustrated with my husband because he will take the girls, have them out all day and indulge their sweet teeth. What I don't like is he'll let them do whatever, then when they come home he'll get mad that their room hasn't been cleaned and at this age they should be doing their daily chores and assignments without reminders from their parents. He's right about that but you have to model that behavior yourself and you have to give children a framework so good habits replace the bad.

My husband is very against authority figures and into doing things his way. Most of life is rules, regulations and you can fight city hall but I don't see the point in cruising through stop signs that were put in place for your protection. My husband tends to view me as an overprotective fanatic. From his perspective he was 'on his own' at five but times have changed and maybe he thinks he turned out 'okay' but I want a little more for my children because I also grew up with uninvolved parents who would come down like the wrath of God when I least expected it.

Children need consistency. They need food that will build their bodies up, they will benefit from a routine bedtime and there are certain special occasions where treats and staying up late are warranted but this crazy hectic no plan no structure constant eating out and shirking responsibilities at home is very frustrating for me. Obviously I'm not perfect either. I have laundry to do, food that I want to be making and I don't want my condition to be an excuse but I don't always have the energy other people do.

When my body feels good I am fairly optimistic about the future. At work I have a niche. People above me know that I can do a good job and maybe it was good that some of the outside reps took accounts of mine because now my supervisor is going to take that issue up with my boss. There are times when I get stuck in a negative rut. I want to earn enough money so I can have a place of my own where other people aren't mad that I left dishes out on the counter and if I can't find another person who gets up at or around four then I can at least enjoy the peace and quiet by myself without disturbing anyone else.

Every day I try to remind myself that God has a plan. Sometimes I feel as if the worst is behind me. Other times I feel trapped by my circumstances but at times like that I look back on other things I didn't think I would get through and see how I learned from those people and experiences. The other night in the catbox misterfuffie was talking about music, song lyrics are always running through my head, right now I want to tell some people, there ain't no good guys, there ain't no bad guys, there's only you and me and we just disagree. Maybe we'll never meet again but if the other side doesn't have greener grass that isn't going to stop me from wanting to explore places I have never been.

Until next time,

j

p.s. Sometimes I reread things and find out I don't feel the same as I did when I wrote them. Nothing really significant has changed but I talked to my sister and am feeling a little better about some of this stuff.

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