Wednesday, December 16, 2009


The past week & a half have been pretty crazy, but I'm surviving. I have made some positive changes though. Here's the scoop.

I didn't run 3 times last week like I was supposed to. I only ran one 3 miler, but I did run the 6 mile group training run on Saturday. It was good. I'm really slow still, just under 12 minute miles, but I ran more than I usually do (as opposed to taking a lot of walk breaks) and I finished at least. It was cold but not rainy or very windy, so the weather wasn't a factor. That's not always going to be the case, I'm sure. This Saturday's run is 7 miles.

I ran 3 miles last night--left the house at 7 p.m. after Mark got home & went to the gym. (THIS is why I want a treadmill. But, alas, still no cheap deals to be had. I keep emailing Craigslist people, they keep ignoring me. I guess they are sold by the time I email.) I didn't want to leave the coziness of my warm house, but I did anyway because I have to.

In other news.... I decided that desperate times call for desperate measures, and I'm putting the "better living through chemicals" slogan to work on the diet front. Yes, I went to a diet doc and got diet pills. They are Adipex, which is phentremine. I'm on 37.5 mg a day, split in two doses. I've been on them for a little over a week. So far I haven't had any negative side effects. It really does work. My appetite is squashed. The doctor explained how the drug works on the brain--telling the brain you aren't starving yourself when you are eating 1500 calories a day & you don't need to eat everything in sight right before bed. And that's exactly what's happening.

These aren't miracle pills. You don't lose weight if you don't eat right & exercise. For me, they are keeping me on track, taking away that desperate feeling of NEEDING to eat junk food. I eat healthfully because I need to fuel my body. The pills take away the desire to eat just to eat, and also to eat to comfort or soothe. That's the problem I needed solved. I use antidepressents to help keep my moods stable, so I figure if it's not hurting me, then why not use a diet drug that's been around for decades to help me keep my eating desires stable?

I've lost a little over 3 pounds since starting Adipex, but I'm down 6.4 pounds from my high weight in mid November. My mom asked me Monday if I was losing weight again, & my clothes are definitely fitting better.

The next thing I need to do is add weight training back in. I think my best bet is the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred DVD, as far as a time commitment goes. Even though it's only a 20 minute workout, I still haven't found time to squeeze it in yet.

My dad continues to get worse, health wise (he has ALS). My sister takes care of him during the day & my cousin & uncle take care of him at night. He can still use his power wheel chair, can still use his fingers enough to use the computer a bit, can still lift himself up from his chair (but he's getting weaker & weaker), can still feed himself. But he can't do anything else. We've watched him decline so quickly that we figure he will be bed bound in another month. But, who knows. He's pretty stubborn. I'm responsible for all the bills and paperwork, and there's tons of paperwork--VA, Social Security, long term disability, insurance, MDA, bills. It's overwhelming and takes a ton of time.

Business has been good. Mark is working like mad and it's paying off. I'm so thankful we are doing OK and are still in business. Last year at this time it was very, very scary.

Sophie & Luke are doing well. Sophie had not been having dizzy spells until last week, when we had some big low pressure systems go through & knocked her for a loop. The days it was sunny again she was fine, & then another system went through Monday & she was dizzy again. She's only missed one full day of school, though, the rest of the days she is fine by mid morning/late afternoon. So the meds are still working, they just can't eliminate the migraines completely.

One piece of bad news--we are losing our health insurance in March. The company we work with (they don't employ us, they are our broker/dealer & we pay them to use their services but our sales & commissions flow through them) had to cancel the group health plan they started 2 years ago, because they didn't have enough people participate and the group is costing money instead of making it for the insurance company.

So we have to apply for Medicaid, get turned down, and then apply to the State insurance pool. I have heard it can take 6 to 8 months for this whole process to work. Luke & I will be on regular individual plans (I actually already have one--I switched over to a new plan in October when they raised our rates on the family plan 60%). But Mark & Sophie are uninsurable, because of their health issues. We tried to get them coverage in 2007 & they were both declined, so I'm not just assuming they will be turned down. They already have been.

We've been watching the health care bill more carefully than we ever would have before. I don't care what your politics are, this is what I've learned--if you have to pay 100% for your own health insurance coverage, you're a lot more affected by how expensive good insurance is. And when you don't have insurance and you can't get insurance, then a public option sounds like an awesome idea. Unfortunately, that's apparently not going to happen any time soon.

Just one more thing I have to deal with. At least the wellbutrin, fish oil, calcium, SAD light, xanax, adipex, and running are all doing their jobs & keeping me (relatively) sane.


Vickie said...

I have a neighbor that is in the same boat - and she works purely for the group insurance plan (3rd grade daughter is uninsurable, heart and lungs were 'hooked up wrong', have been corrected - but kid is not insurable) and her husband is self employeed architect.

you would be wise (if you have not already done so to take out a whole life insurance policy on Sophie) kids policies are available with NO medical questions. then at age 20+ and again at several other ages, amount of life insurance can be increased with no medical questions. We have these policies for all 3 kids. My husband still has his orignal policy from when he was a baby. It has a good cash value (that we can borrow if needed for college, house, etc) and has been paying for itself (premium) for many decades. Our own kids' policies are almost to the no premium stage - and we ahve only had them for 8+ years. And the premium that we do pay is very low.

Glad to hear from you.

Jill said...

Welcome to the dark side, my friend. I'm glad your doc explained why the pills affect the brain - having the crazy food thoughts taken away is worth their weight in gold! I'm glad you are doing well with them, and they are working for you.

So sorry to hear about your dad - you are always in my thoughts, and I often wonder how your dad is doing. Keep us posted so we can continue to say prayers for your family, okay?

Jillian - I think that's what I need to do as well. I hatehatehate heading into the cold garage to work out on the elliptical, but I remember last winter when I got the whole family doing the Shred with me, and it was actually somewhat fun. Get Mark and the kids to do it with you - it will be a good ab workout from all the laughing you'll do! :)

I SO feel your pain about the health insurance. My hubs is self employed and when I wasn't working we had to get private insurance. It's so expensive for very little coverage, but you gotta have it, right? One of the reasons I went back to work was to get group insurance. You can always take the kids to the county health department, can't you? I had to do that when my kiddos were little and we had no insurance.

Glad to hear from you - give me a call sometime when you have 30 seconds to spare! ;) Take care Sister!

Lori G. said...

Vickie has some good advice about insurance. Is it possible for Sophie to be insured immediately under a state program? (I know Va has one and we're pretty typically a backwards state for "benefits")

Maybe you can get your doctors to prescribe meds in advance for Sophie and Mark and keep them during the period when you have no insurance. What a scary thing to consider. You'll be in my thoughts and prayers.

As for the treadmill, I am thinking of several ideas. Freecycle (which is even worse than Craigslist in snapping up good deals), putting your own ad in Craigslist asking for a good deal on a treadmill and hoping that there will be some good sales in January.

Helen said...

Sigh...I am just sick about the health insurance situation. I am lucky...have a good group plan through work but watch it being chipped away every year. PD1 has no insurance, four kids and she need gall bladder surgery...she's going to have to wait for it to be an emergency to get it. Health care in this country just SUCKS and the plan in Congress right now, while helping a little (I think it would help Sophie's and Mark's pre-existing conditions, no?) is just not enough. It's making me ill to see these few senators grandstanding for their insurance company constituents over the PEOPLE. Why can every other developed country in the world have good low-cost health care except our country? GREED. It makes me furious.

Ohio Girl said...

Merry Christmas to you Laura. I hope life is smooth sailing for you. I relate to your struggles and the things you post. You are a very courageous woman to me. I look at your blog everyday and miss your musings. Hope you write soon.

Vickie said...

I know it will be bitter sweet in so many ways, but please have a very peaceful Christmas. Take care of yourself.

sharla said...

Merry Christmas.
I hope 2010 is a better year for you!

prashant said...

I'm glad you are doing well with them, and they are working for you.

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