Monday, December 28, 2009

More Medical Crapstain

"I might just jump off a building
Free fall to the end
I might just jump off a building
So goodbye, my beautiful friend"

Can I just say that Christmas weekend sucked?  Yes, it did.  Todd worked all day Christmas Eve, all morning Christmas, all day Saturday, and early morning Sunday.  I spent Saturday and Sunday in the ER with Allie, so here come the medical bills, so I guess it's good that Todd had to work through the holiday. 

Allie, what to do with Allie?  She and one of her bff's sweet talked bff's mom into illegally signing the permission form for Allie to get her ear cartilege pierced.  Let me just say that people with diabetes (type 1 or 2) should NOT NOT NOT get cartilege pierced.  The infection was so horrific, Allie woke me at 6 Saturday morning and asked me to pull her earring out.  I stumbled into her bathroom and looked at the ear (it no longer resembled an ear).  I told her to get ready; we were going to the hospital. 

The kind and wonderful doctor at Banner Gateway ER drugged Allie with Vicodin, pulled out the earring and started treatment for the massive and astounding infection.  A nurse came in to give Al a ginormous shot in the butt--ouch!  (She got another one Sunday).  There was talk of admitting her, awaiting her white blood count.  It came back normal, so they let her go home, but told us to come back next day.  I got her Rx's filled (2 more antibiotics, more Vicodin) and the waiting began.  I was very scared she might lose the ear. 

The problem with high blood sugar and piercing cartilege is that there aren't many capillaries in cartilege to begin with, and in someone with high blood sugar (think thick and syrupy), it's even harder for the healing blood and meds to get to the area.  Is this child trying to kill herself, or me? 

So, we were supposed to go back to the ER today, but when we got there, we could instantly see there was at least an 8-hour wait.  We bailed, made an appointment for tomorrow with Al's ped, and I will watch the ear continually in case we need to go back to the ER tonight.  I know what to watch for in case it starts to spead into her jaw, etc. 

I'm so freaking tired.  Just so really very freaking tired.  I had a little nervous breakdown on the way home.  Ah, life is grand.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Medical Crapstain

This year (while only paying a third of our mortgage) we paid off my medical bills, which were in the thousands.  We have crap for insurance.  And we pay over $500/month for it.  And in July it's going up to over $600/month.  And the July after that, it will go up to over $700/month.  We will have been forced to cancel it long before then.

I just ordered Allie's type 1 diabetes supplies (including the insulin that keeps her alive) to the tune of $1,400 for a 3-month supply.  Luckily, she's still on her dad's insurance which is better than mine and Todd's.  But what will happen when she's out of school? 

Will she have to fork out $466 EVERY SINGLE MONTH to keep herself alive?  Is that the future kids with type 1 have to look forward to?  Will she find a job with great insurance?  

These are just a few of the things that keep me up at night, along with my difficulty-swallowing issue that's been going on for endless months now.  Did I mention I went to the doc for that?  He said it was probably from stress, and that I probably had acid reflux disease from the extreme stress as well. 

I broke down yesterday and started taking Prilosec (OMG I just turned 40 and I'm already on meds!) and guess what?  My stomach feels better already and it's marginally easier to swallow.  Can't wait to see how much better I feel after the 2-week course of proton pump inhibitors.  (Doesn't that sound cool?)

Now can they just come up with a cure for stress? 

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Orange You Glad You Got Pictures?

I've been working on our pricing the last few weeks and came up what I think is a fantastic pricing structure.  I sent it to someone who inquired about my pricing.  She looked it over and a few days later, told me she didn't understand didn't mention a disc full of printable images.  I told her that indeed I do not give a disc full of hi-res images so she can go have them printed somewhere of poor quality (like Costco or...eeeeeek...Wal Mart) and that, given the level of detail and attention I put into my work, were I to freely include a disc of hi-res images in my sitting fee, I would be making about $8/hour.  Sorry, cute people, but I can't afford to use $30,000 worth of equipment on $8/hour.  I did tell the inquirer that if she wanted "economy" photographs, there's someone on every corner who can offer that.  We are not, and do not ever want to be, the economy photographers.  Someone I know recently used one of those economy photographers (no, this does not offend me at all, I promise!  I know not everyone can afford custom photography...heck, I can't!), and I asked her how they turned out.  Her exact response:  "They're all dark."  There wasn't a single usable image.  Like I always say:  you get what you pay for.  We live and learn, and all that.  So, if you're one of the people who have told me you're saving up for a session with us, it might not take as long as you think...there are some fun changes coming in 2010!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Boobie Pinch - My First Mammogram!

I promised myself I would get a mammogram when I turned 40, even though I didn't want to.  I'd heard all the stories about how undelightfully uncomfortable it is, having the girls smooshed in a clamp and pinched to tarnation.   And of course, the fear of the doctors finding something bad made me leery as well (since I'm prone to excessive worry and dread). 

The finals of East Valley Idol was Saturday night.  I had donated a portrait session for The Breast Cancer Society, Inc. to auction off to raise money for their cause (and it is a great one).  One of Allie's bff's was one of the finalists, so our family went to watch her perform.  There was a mobile mammogram at the event and that is how I came to have my first mammogram. 

And let me tell you...

It was NOT bad at all!

The girls were firmly compressed, but not painfully so (even with my fibrous cysts, which have been extra tender lately).  It was over before I knew it and I giggled at my previous trepidation.  It was a PIECE OF CAKE!  I'm so glad I did it!  In 3 weeks I'll receive the report. 

If it's time for you to get a mammogram, take it from me (the biggest medical chicken on the PLANET)'s the quickest and easiest thing you can imagine!  You'll be glad you did it! 

Friday, December 11, 2009

Allie Plays Helena in A Midsummer Night's Dream

Watch to the end to see the "girl-fight" scene. teehee. GREAT job, Allie!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Forty OH! Forty!

I turned 40 yesterday.  It's weird.  I've been wondering for the past several years how I'd feel about this event.  At first I was looking forward to it.  Then, not so much.  Now that it's here?  I'm not sure yet.  I'll need to give it a few days (or weeks, or months) to get the feel of it. 

I do know it feels different physically.  I mean, not all of a sudden.  I didn't wake up yesterday morning wondering where the "thickness" in my body came from.  It's been settling in slowly over the past few years.  Looks like it's here to stay.  And guess what?  I don't care!  And guess what else?  It feels good to not care! 

I haven't figured out what 40 symbolizes to me, and it's important that I do.  Thirty symbolized the beginning of finally getting a few things figured out in my life (like relationships).  Thirty was good.  I don't know what 40 means to me just yet.  I hope it's something wonderful!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Plain Bugs Me

I'm really into stylizing right now in my business.  I really love editing that goes beyond just the basic blemish removal.  It takes more time, but to me, it's worth it.  Anway, here are some recent photos I took of an aspiring singer/dancer/actor named Tia.  She's amazing.  Seriously, folks, amazing!  She just won East Valley Idol at her school and is moving on to the finals this month.

This is the new line of "style" we're adding to our repertoire for 2010.  This sneak preview isn't going on my photog blog until January (but it is on facebook or else Tia would've hunted me down).  Enjoy!