Thursday, December 1, 2011

Day 274 of 365

I needed a holiday tradition today and I wound up having to fight hard for it.

Every year when we decorate our Christmas tree, my daughter and I decorate and my husband makes Mexican food. Our daughter has been extremely busy working and she's not able to help this year so hubby and I decorated the tree together last night. Going with the less is more idea I've been tossing around lately, we didn't put all our ornaments on. But even with fewer ornaments, last night we were too darn tired to get the angel on the top and too darn tired to cook up our usual Mexican feast. We saved those activities for tonight, thinking that after my rheumatologist appointment today I'd stop by the grocery store and pick a couple things up and we'd be good to go.

Yeah, right.

The rheumatologist is working on getting the insurance company to approve the infusions. Because of how insurance has been dragging out the process, and with my blood-work numbers and arthritis symptoms continuing to be problematic, he felt some major changes were in order in the meantime. An increase in the amount of the chemotherapy drug I have to inject each week. An additional medication taken daily. Encouragement to start taking pain medication. And a steroid shot to try and get some of the body-wide inflammation down. (A shot which unfortunately had to be given in a not fun place.)

So more hair will probably be falling out and I'll start a new medication which can cause blindness. Before I even take this new medicine I have to see the ophthalmologist and have a special test so he can get a baseline on my eyes. My other injection, Enbrel, is the only thing staying the same. Or so I thought.

When I went to the pharmacy to pick up all these medications, the Enbrel wasn't there. Even though I've been on this medication for almost a year now, insurance has now decided to deny it because it needs to be pre-authorized. Even though it has already been pre-authorized for all this time I've been on it, it seems it has to go through the process again.

What a wonderful day.

So despite how crappy I felt about all that, I still had to get some groceries for us to have our Mexican feast. I would have skipped it, but I knew I needed our tradition to happen. I needed something familiar, something comfortable.

Tortillas, tortilla chips and a couple jalapenos. The plan was for something simple this year - tacos - but with some homemade salsa. Salsa made from the tomatoes I canned back in August on Day 177. I didn't need to pick up any hamburger meat since my husband told me we had some in the freezer.

What appeared to be hamburger meat in our freezer turned out to be Italian sausage. With me waiting on a return calls from three doctors - rheumatologist about the denial of Enbrel, ophthalmologist about the eye test, and my regular doctor to deal with some other issues - I didn't want to leave the house. And hubby couldn't go by himself since he doesn't drive. Option two was going out to dinner at the local Mexican restaurant. I nixed that idea as well. Option three allowed us to stay home by the phone for an even simpler dinner. Nachos. Those tortilla chips, a can of chili, some cheese, and some absolutely delicious homemade salsa became the closest thing to a tree-decorating Mexican feast tradition we were going to get.

And the angel made it on the Christmas tree.