Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly


Wesley Chapel, Fl


Well, first of to the good news:  There is no good news.  Smile

On to the bad news:

In a previous blog here I mentioned that we were trying to get an old friend of mine to live in with my Mom to assist in her care. It was to be a win-win situation to help both Cindy and Mom.  May 1st was supposed to be the day Cindi moved in. 

Cindi is a long time friend, who has had some health and financial problems. She needed a place to stay and we need a part time caregiver for my Mom to give us a little break and hopefully to allow us to escape the Florida heat and get back to the north Georgia Mountains the  some this summer.

We were still planning on having the caregivers from Visiting Angels take care of Mom 6 hours a day, which is what her insurance policy allows.  The plan was to have Cindi fill in the gaps and allow us a bit more freedom.

Cindi  had been trying to get moved out of her apartment, and in the moving process we started to realize she had some very, very serious health problems.  She was trying to get moved and didn’t want to take the time to see a doctor.  She is one of those people who Obamacare was supposed to help, but sadly, didn’t.  Her premiums went from $93 a month last year, to $289 a month this year, which was more than she could pay. If anyone needed cheap health insurance, it’s her. The problems  became more serious to the point where I was afraid she might die but she refused to go to the hospital. I finally contacted her family and her son finally was able to force her to the ER.

Once she went to the emergency room, they quickly realized things were serious and admitted her.  She’s been there since Wednesday and things are grave.   If any of you would send some good thoughts and prayers her way, I would appreciate it.  She needs all the help she can get.

Cindi has a little dog named Kujo.  He had been her son’s dog, but one of his pitbulls attacked Kujo so he wasn’t able to go back there while Cindi was in the hospital.  So….guess who has Kujo? 


On to the ugly:

Somewhere in the process of trying to help Cindi move, trying to get her to the emergency room, and our normal mother care, I end up with a rash on my neck.

I didn’t think much about it at first.  With all the poison ivy Al has gotten over the years, that was the first thing I thought of. It wasn’t painful at first and wasn’t spreading, but it looked like poison ivy. After nearly a week a friend looked at it and suggested it might be shingles.  I had never even considered that because the pain wasn’t as bad as I expected from Shingles.

I made a doctors appointment on about day 6 of the rash. She took one brief look at it and confirmed I had Shingles.  By this time, I was having some pain.  It was just a small patch on the side of my neck, but occasionally I would get a stabbing pain which fortunately only lasted a second, but was intense when it occurred. It was painful to the tough and my clothes rubbed against it, but other than that, it wasn’t too bad.  

The doctor gave me an anti viral drug, and some meds for pain.  I never needed the pain meds (so far)  but I’m not prepared to say I have it licked just yet.   At this point, I consider myself extremely lucky.  Our friend Barry got it a few years ago and was in so much pain that he was completely disabled for months.  This is a guy who rides mountain bikes and has taken many bad falls.  He’s not one to cry uncle due to pain, but shingles kicked his butt.

I had heard many horror stories about shingles and would have gotten the vaccination, but Al doesn’t think he had chicken pox and I understood that if I got a shingles vaccine, he could get chicken pox from me.  

We learned you could get a blood test to check to see if you’ve ever had chicken pox.  Al got the test and we will know next week for sure if he has had it or not.  If he hasn’t, then he can’t get shingles.  If he has, then he will be getting a vaccine.

My doctor told me in exactly 365 days, I need to get a shingles vaccine.  Apparently, I can’t get it for a year. Having shingles does not make you immune from getting it again, according to my doctor.

I got off lucky, (knock on wood) but most people do not.  I would recommend everyone consider the vaccine.  My Mom got one for free under Medicare and her Tricare military insurance. Many different supplemental Medicare policies will cover it from what I understand. I think it’s about $300 without insurance, but it is probably worth the money.  So far, I have been very, very lucky.  My pain so far has been minimal and the rash is starting to clear up and hopefully go away. Most people aren’t that lucky.  Our friend still gets pain on a regular basis.

We have gotten out on the boat, so we have been able to have a little fun mixed in with all the trauma.


  1. Oh! I'm so sorry to hear about this latest crap :( I guess back to square one with your mom. I've had the chicken pox, but would have to pay for the vaccine myself since I am not even 60 yet. George got one along with the pneumonia vaccine and a flu shot a few months ago covered under Medicare. Obama care is the pits!

  2. When it rains, it does indeed pour. Thinking of your friend Cindy. Obama care is useless.

  3. You're the second woman I've heard who had shingles in the last few months. Luckily I did get the shot, because I've had chicken pox. My mom got shingles and it affected her for months and months and months. Really bad. I think even at $300 it would be worth it to not get this disease. I hope you feel better soon. Sorry about your friend's problems. I'll bet she was pretty excited to have a new place to live and be your mom's part time caretaker. Such a bummer. Good old Obamacare - the more I hear the worse it gets. Thank God I have Medicare, it's been great so far.

  4. Oh no not fun , guess you are lucky it is not too bad.

  5. My wife also got shingles a couple years ago and her doctor told her she could get the shot 6 weeks after the rash cleared up. That was to allow the medication time to get out of her system. It would be terrible to have to wait a year if you don't have to. It can reoccur in any stressful situation. It may be worth checking into....

  6. Oh dear. I am so sorry for your friend. I hope they can help her. Glad to hear your shingles was a relatively mild case. I know it can be terrible and last a long time.

  7. Oh boy, you haven't been having a good week have you? I really hope that your friend's health improves. She was lucky that you called her son an had him take her to the hospital. I really hope that your shingles clears up quickly. We also have heard about people that have had a tough time with it, one of them being Kevin's mom.

  8. Prayers from over here, I hope your friend gets better quickly and that your shingles rash goes away. Our insurance rates have gone up again this year and our deductible doubled... I'll hold back my view on the ACA, it would be long winded. :)

    I hope everything gets better soon.


  9. So sorry to hear you've been through a trying time. Life can throw curve balls when you least expect it. I hope things turn around for you and you find relief from those nasty shingles. You deserve some good news for a change and we're pulling for you!

  10. While I haven't posted a comment in awhile, I have been reading your blog. I must say, you and Al have been tasked with a tough row to hoe. From reading your blog,I know y'all are up to the task. Even though it seems "The Good"has deserted you, it will return. You and Al have handled this adversity with grace.

  11. You have both been having your ups and downs lately. The major trigger for Shingles is Stress not that you have had much lately LOL. Kathy had it over fifteen years ago and was in severe pain the entire time. We will keep you and Cindi in our prayers.
    There should be an appeal process that should lessen her medical insurance rather than raise it.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.


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