Getting Ripped Off

There is a reason that I don’t trust the doctors around here. Today was a good example. I have been feeling like crap for almost two weeks now and finally got to see the doctor today. I don’t have a normal doctor but instead I see one of a few at the Health Clinic. Now it’s not the doctors personally that I don’t trust but just the fact that I’ve been screwed over by them quite a few times in my life. I blame the pharmaceutical companies more than the doctors.

I have a large deductible on my health insurance and have not met it so I have to pay for everything out-of-pocket. Most of the time I pay no more than $20 for my medications. I was told today that I just have a chest cold that is going around but my lungs sounded clear so I don’t have bronchitis or pneumonia. That was a relief to hear. I do have asthma and because my inhaler didn’t seem to be cutting it, my doctor put me on a new inhaler. Please don’t ask me what it is. I can’t pronounce it. This one has the albuterol, which helps with the asthma, and something else that helps when you have a cold and chest congestion. She also put me on a low-dose steroid if I don’t improve a lot by Saturday.

I go to pick up the new meds from my pharmacy and I had my Health Savings Account debit card ready in my hand. “That will be $167.93” the girl at the counter informed me. WHAT? I had the debit card half way to the machine when she told me that. I had to put it away because I didn’t have enough in the account, even though I got paid today, to cover it. I damn near choked. I had to put it on a credit card to pay for it. A credit card that I am trying very hard to pay off.

What could have been so expensive? I kind of shook my head as I headed out of the pharmacy. I looked through the bag. I figured it had to be the steroids. No. They only cost $3. It was the fucking inhaler. Seriously? My other inhaler costs a fraction of that. The other medication other than the albuterol costs that much? This is why I hate to see doctors and would rather let my body do what it is going to do. I tried with this cold but just got worse and I needed to see the doctor.

All I can say is that if this new inhaler doesn’t work, I’m going to be pissed.

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Imperial Beach

In 2009 I went to my first Comic Con and was able to stay, free of charge, at my friend Robert’s house in Imperial Beach. His roommates didn’t mind and all of them were being deployed on a ship shortly into my stay. I had never been in San Diego or the surrounding area. I had a blast being able to be a tourist a couple days before Comic Con began. I got to drive around and just get lost in the city. My favorite place was Imperial Beach itself. Robert got to show me around a bit and he took me on the North Island Naval Base in Coronado.

I had never seen a Navy ship except from a distance and I knew they were huge but oh my God. I never thought they would be THAT big. I now understand why Robert said that it is literally a floating city. Robert took me into the commissary and I got my Navy sweatshirt that I wear quite a bit. I even pissed of a girl and made a Marine laugh at Comic Con because of that sweatshirt.

One of the days just before Comic Con, I took Robert’s advise and went to Katy’s Cafe. Best iced tea I’ve ever had in my life. It’s located right on the beach and the inside reminded me of a combination of the Looney Bean coffee-house and Raymond’s Deli here in Bishop. Then I wondered the beach and walked down the pier and just took in all the sights that Imperial Beach has to offer. I love the quirkiness of the shops on the beach.

The day before preview night of Comic Con, I headed over the Coronado bridge and into downtown San Diego to see just how big the Convention Center is. As I headed back over the bridge and back to Imperial Beach, my car started acting us. As I pulled onto Imperial Beach boulevard, my car really started acting weird. I did the stupidest thing I could have thought of and pulled over and shut my car off. I should have know better and waited until I got to Robert’s because I’m pretty sure that it would have made it. I turned the key and it wouldn’t start. I got my car to the Ford dealership and I told the mechanic that my alternator died. He didn’t believe me, but he gave me a second look when I explained to him that I took two years of auto shop in high school. I knew what was wrong with my car. I still got screwed over.

Despite my car troubles, I really enjoyed Imperial Beach and San Diego. If you are ever there, visit Katy’s Cafe and Marisa’s, it’s a mexican restaurant that has the best mexican food I have ever tasted. Last year I got to take my mom and brother to Katy’s. I got to take a few great photos while there. I loved every minute that I was there.

The pier.

Some surfers having fun in the water.

One of many murals.

A couple doves resting.

Sudoku

Ever since I got my iPhone, I have played Sudoku just about every day. I fell in love with the game after our newspaper started printing the game in its free Saturday edition. I love puzzles that really test your mind.

For about a month, I have played Sudoku during my lunch break, even if it was just one game. I find this game fascinating, calming and frustrating all at the same time. People will see me play it and ask me why. I love it. As frustrating as the game can be, I truly do find it peaceful. It’s a way that I can take my mind off the stress of the world around me and focus on one thing.

I know that not everybody likes the game and I don’t know what it is that draws me to that game. I have always been good with numbers. Teachers told me in school that I can see patterns in numbers that most people don’t see, which could explain why I liked math. Is that a good thing? I don’t know. All I know is that Sudoku is one of my favorite games to play. I feel like it keeps me grounded. If that makes any sense.

Lungs on Fire

I’ve been sick for a little over a week now and it’s getting worse. I started getting a scratchy throat about the beginning of last week and before I knew it, my lungs were getting tight. I was tested for asthma when I was a kid and was having a hard time catching my breath after playing soccer. My doctor said that I had a mild case of asthma and that it would be a good idea to keep an inhaler on hand, just in case.

I remember the day when I was about five or six years old and my grandma picked me up from the bus stop. My mom had gone to the hospital because of an asthma attack. It scared the crap out of me to see my mom hooked up to the heart monitor because I didn’t know what it was. All I saw were a bunch of wires coming out of my mom’s gown. Knowing that she had asthma made her get me tested. I’ve never had an asthma attack, but I am pretty sure that I’ve gotten close.

This cold that I have has been different from any that I have ever had. My nose never got stuffy until a few days ago. My lungs have just felt tight and burning. The coughing really started on Saturday and keeps getting worse. I had to work the whole day today because one of my co-workers called in sick, but I usually go into work and wait until they send me home. I always feel bad calling in sick so if I do, my co-workers know that I really don’t feel good.

As I write this, my throat is starting to feel like it is slowly getting ripped apart and I am short of breath. It feels like my inhaler has stopped working but I keep using it because I know it will help to keep my lungs open. I walk at half my pace and can’t catch my breath once I stop. I haven’t felt light-headed yet, but no matter how slow I am to get up, I get dizzy.

Today at work, I looked up the symptoms of bronchitis and I match most of the symptoms. To make matters worse, I can’t get in to see the doctor until Thursday. I just got all of my medical bills paid off and I have to get sick before I can save up some money in my Health Savings account. I’ve been around people who have pneumonia, the common cold and the stomach flu. God only knows what else I have been exposed to since I work around the public and money. You don’t want to know what is on money.

I think I’m going to go take a nice warm shower, take some meds and go to bed. I haven’t really been taking meds with this. It just seems like what ever I try, doesn’t work. I know rest is the best thing for me. I should have known that I was getting sick last week when I slept for 15 hours. I thought it was just exhaustion. Turns out I was wrong. I do regret not calling the doctor sooner. I always seem to wait until the last minute. What can I say? I don’t really trust the doctors around here. Oh well. Off to bed I go.

The Show Must Go On

I know I missed posting last night again, but I was at the cast party for Once Upon a Mattress and today we broke down the sets and took them to the warehouse. It’s kind of surreal that it’s over. It feel like it wasn’t too long ago that I was going through the audition process. Last night was our final two performances and the final crowd was great. Despite some illnesses that came up, the show must go on and we still put on a great performance while having a good time. Two people, one of the actors and one of the musicians has pneumonia, and another actor had the stomach flu.

Winnefred from backstage.

We were prepared for any nausea and vomiting that the performance may have caused during the performance and from what I heard, the audience had no idea that he was sick. He went on and did his best. Some of us were worried but knowing that we had at least three nurses and a doctor on hand, we were good. We didn’t have to use either of our vomit buckets off-stage so that was very good.

No matter what comes up, you suck it up and do your best. I have felt like crap for just over a week and I will be calling the doctor tomorrow, but I still went and did my stage crew duties and had a blast. I know that I’ve written about this before but Playhouse 395 is a family. Once you join it, you are in for life. We all look out for each other and take care of one another. It’s just what families do. When I heard that he was sick with the stomach flu, I felt like I turned into a mother hen. I was constantly looking for any sign that I needed to grab a bucket. We all asked him how he was feeling and offered either advise or support, whichever he needed. They did the same for me since I started coughing yesterday.

It is a surreal feeling when you finish a show. You get into a routine and I feel like I have rehearsal next week and a performance on Friday and Saturday, but I don’t. At the same time it feels like a huge weight has been lifted. There’s no more running, literally, from work to the play. There’s no more gathering backstage, chatting or making jokes, waiting for the signal to open the red curtain. There’s no more “lights up, cast on” being said from Donnie, the Stage Manager, until it is time for the next show.

This is not the first time that Playhouse has had a performance where one or all of the cast was sick. This first Playhouse 395 performance that my mom and I went to was Annie. The night we went, almost the entire cast had a cold. The singing was great and so what if the actors all had to pause for a moment to wipe their nose with a kleenex in the middle of a scene. We all knew and felt like it was rehearsed from the get-go. This is the first time that I have had to do a play while being under the weather, but I still had a great time.

Well I can feel the Nyquil take effect. I’m off to bed about two hours early so I can get enough sleep for work tomorrow.

Coffee Detox

I’ve done this before and people (including myself) didn’t think I could do it. I went almost two months without drinking coffee which, if you know me, is a feat. A couple of days ago, I decided to stop drinking coffee for a while or at least cut back. Depending on how I feel during the day I can easily drink one to one and a half pots of coffee. Yes you read that correctly. Pots, not cups.

I am addicted to coffee and I know it’s not the caffeine, but the taste of coffee that I am addicted to. My dad constantly tells me that I don’t drink coffee with all the crap that I doctor it up with. He’s made a few cast members at Disneyland laugh when he orders our coffee from the Market House. My dad orders the flavored coffee for my mom and me and real coffee for him. He has told them that he doesn’t drink the fru-fru crap.

Working at Starbucks for five months didn’t help my addiction either, but can probably be blamed for increasing my coffee consumption. I loved working for Starbucks and would be willing to go back, but not to the one that I worked at. Don’t get me wrong, it has nothing to do with the company, but I didn’t get along with one person I worked with. I won’t name anyone, but they still work there and treat me like crap when I come in there. I found out today that I’m not the only former employee that gets this treatment. Starbucks is a wonderful company to work for. They treat their employees extremely well and have excellent benefits.

I decided to give up my favorite drink for a little while for one main reason. I am trying to lose weight and I know that with how much coffee I drink, I cannot lose it as fast as I would like. I will probably try to go one week without it, but I’m thinking about walking to Starbucks tomorrow before the final day of performances of Once Upon a Mattress and treat myself. I know that if I have it just every now and then, it won’t hurt me or my diet. I just tend to go overboard with it. I get really dehydrated because that is all my body wants to drink so I tend to not drink any water.

My co-workers have seen how I make my coffee and they cannot believe that my body can handle that much sugar. I take a lot of flavored coffee creamer and Splenda or Sweet-n-Low. You can smell how sweet it is, but that is how I like it. I don’t like the bitter taste coffee has so I cut that out. I can still taste the natural taste of coffee but it just isn’t as strong.

We’ll see how long I can go or how much I can restrain myself from coffee. I have gone two days without it so far. I’m not sure if that’s just because I’ve been sick and have been drinking tea instead or if I just really want to take a break. I know tea is better for me anyway, but I do miss having my coffee in the morning.

It’s Spring… I Guess

So it’s been spring for almost a week now and I’ve started to wonder if Mother Nature got the memo. On the second day of spring, we had rain, hail and snow. We had started to reach temperatures in the 70’s but for the last week and a half, it’s been in the low to mid-50’s. I am ready for spring and summer. I love the heat and hate the cold.

Bishop’s temperatures vary quite a bit throughout the day. In the spring and fall, it can be typical for there to be a 20 to 30 degree difference in temperatures for the day. When it comes to the weather here, you learn to not trust any weather report. The locals have a saying that when a visitor complains about the weather, we tell them to wait five minutes, it’ll change.

I cannot believe that I resorted to writing about the weather, but that’s what I get for writing this while it’s raining outside and I have a migraine. Again. I’m so sick of these headaches. I thought I had figured out what was causing them, but I guess I was wrong. I feel like I’m back to square one. With that said, I’m off to bed.