Friday, May 31, 2013

The Gum Zombie Meets Parkour

The Gum Zombie has taken up parkour in his latest attempt to shatter what's left of my sanity.  I think his favorite drill last week was scaling a 10-foot wall only to leap down off it onto some giant pouf-thingie.

He loves it.  And when it's not your kid, it's absolutely a blast to watch!

The Young Immortals flinging their bodies about with reckless abandon are the same dudes who are teaching the Gum Zombie how not break his neck. My prayer is that they are successful.

Because, you know, I'm somewhat fond of the child.

And y'all, if even one of them is thirty I'll eat my hat.  I'm betting the oldest is twenty-seven, max.  And no, I could not tell you who that is.  Everyone under a certain age has started to blur together.  There's the elementary aged kids, the young adolescents, the gangly adolescents, and the young adults, where I'd place these guys.  This is rapidly followed by the less-young adults... okay, and it kind of goes downhill from there.

I may be raging against the dying of the light, but I also know that I'm past my first youth.  Barely:P  But out of respect for my aging body I'm leaving the flying about to the younger folks.

There's a part of me that just wishes I could, though...

Have fun, Gum Zombie :)  I'll be watching.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

United Healthcare? Not "Caring" so Much...

I am freaking LIVID.

My allergy shots are suspended until further notice. United Healthcare chose my account to audit with the allergist and their auditing company has determined that United Healthcare shouldn't pay for the vials of serum I receive in my shots because none of my appointments in the records my doctor's office sent over correspond with the 4/1/13 date of service on the claim for the serum.

In other words, the auditor doesn't understand that "date of service" in this case corresponds to the formulation of the serum for my shots, not a patient appointment.

I am in touch with my local insurance folks' office and they're in contact with their UHC person, so we'll see how this goes from there.  Thus far UHC has told my insurance brokerage that the claim was denied because "we didn't get the records we requested in a timely manner" while at the same time they're telling the doctor's office those same records (that they supposedly didn't receive) don't correspond with a patient visit when the charge wasn't for a patient visit in the first place.

The mind boggles.

Weirdly, UHC has no problem paying for the injections themselves.  They're also fine paying for my visits to receive them.  They just don't want to pay for the shot contents

I'm going to go off and beat my head against a wall while I try to get this situation resolved.  And people don't think there's a healthcare crisis in this country?  Really?

United Healthcare, my office pays in excess of... well, an amount I won't go into here.  But suffice it to say, they pay a HUGE amount of money to insure us all.  They did so even prior to the ACA.  Stop playing games with my health.

Earlier this allergy season I was in absolute misery.  From December through early January I was literally near scratching my eyes out, despite the use of Zyrtec, Benadryl, Zaditor (OTC eyedrops)... nothing worked.  Patanol (prescription antihistime eye drops) caused a reaction whereby the itchiness of my eyes was exacerbated.  The only relief I got was from Alrex, a lovely prescription steroid eye drop.

Problem there?  Extended use causes glaucoma (and my genetics already swing me that way) and can drive up the age at which those prone to cataracts will develop them by 10 years.

Yes, I'm also genetically predisposed to developing cataracts, so lovely.  Sigh.

I went to an allergist, and considering my symptoms, the fact that they've become impossible to control even with standard prescription intervention, my minimum 7-month allergy season, and the fact that I reacted to All The Things on the allergy test, it was determined that allergy shots (immunotherapy) were my best bet.

Now I can't even get that, because some auditor is too thick to understand that "date of service" need not coincide with a patient visit.

This is flatly ridiculous.  I'm so angry and upset I'm literally shaking.

Thanks, United Healthcare.  Thanks for condemning me to an even worse allergy season this upcoming winter.  I'll think of you when I'm sitting on my hands trying not to rip my eyes from my skull.


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Whole30 -- This Time for Realz :P

Heya folks :)

So I completed my Whole3weeks last weekend.  I weighed 142 at the end of it so essentially, in three weeks I lost... nothing.  Nada.  Zero, zip, zilch.  But on the plus side I am now able to consistently breathe through my nose (is it wheat?  dairy?) and my stupid joints aren't leaving me at a 2-4 pain level on a 1-10 pain scale anymore. 

I've lived with that low-level ache for literally years, and now it's gone.  Un-freaking-believable.  My knee isn't cured by any means.  When I move in certain directions it reminds me that it's still here and yes, it's still damaged... but it's much more livable.

I have yet to even max out on my speed/ resistance on the stationary bike, which is huge.  We'll see where this leads.

But for the meantime, I'm on Day 2 of my actual Whole30.  Food has been average.  I didn't have everything shopped for -- Choreboy and I just got back from the beach -- so yesterday breakfast was two hardboiled eggs, 3 ridiculously huge strawberries, and a packet of Wholly Guacamole.  This morning I decided I liked yesterday's breakfast so well I nearly repeated it, with the addition of a side of roasted cauliflower.

Okay, I tried to have half an avocado instead of the WG, but the silly thing was underripe/ inedible.  Bleah.  Thank goodness for keeping at least some convenience foods in stock!

Lunches this week will be sketchy due to, again, my absence from my kitchen this weekend.  Yesterday I hit up Chipotle (the carnitas is compliant, as is the mild salsa, guacamole, and lettuce, so that's what I had), and today I may well have an almost exact repeat of breakfast, sans cauliflower.

Dinner is fish, because it was fresh and I didn't have to worry about thawing it, along with said roasted cauliflower and also roasted asparagus.

Dang this is an exciting entry.  Well, not so much except for the knees behaving themselves a bit more.  Again, that's huge.

I'm out -- 3 day weekend is on the horizon and I have food prep to plan :)  Enjoy!

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Good MORNING!!!!!

So far today I have
  •  killed my lower body workout;
  • done my weekly "scrub" facial (I will NOT go gentle into that good night);
  • started the laundry;
  • baked the chicken thighs for this week's work lunch;
  • boiled eggs for same;
  • cooked and ate breakfast (2 scrambled eggs, 1 cup raspberries, 1/2 avocado);
  • did all the freaking dishes;
and it's 8:45 AM.

Holy crap.

Oh, and I also weighed one of the snakes who's very tiny and a bit of a problem feeder.  He seems to be holding his own at the moment, not that this is anyone's earthshattering concern outside of my own and the Gum Zombie's.


My Whole30 eating is going well.  For anyone wondering if I've gone off the rails, let me assure you I do not suffer.  Again, the plan was to post pictures; however, Blogger seems to lack interest in permitting me to do so for the foreseeable future.  If anyone feels their lives would be complete if only they just had a visual, simply email me and I'll send you the pictures myself. 

But forward!  Here is what I eat on any given day:

2 eggs, a cup of berries, 1-2 cups broccoli or 12-ish stalks of asparagus.  Today, there was avocado.

Usually it's grilled chicken thigh over sauteed spinach, onions, and tomatoes, seasoned with a boatload of spices (my current obsession is mustard seeds), topped with either diced avocado or a 100-calorie packet of Wholly Guacamole (which is Whole30 compliant), a hard boiled egg, an apple, and a tablespoon of coconut butter.  Uhm, those last two items are eaten on the side, not on top of the chicken.

Yesterday, though, I had about 5 ounces of salmon, a bunch of asparagus, half an avocado, and two of those brown "kumatos" I believe I referenced in a previous entry.  Those things are just awesome.

I tend to go protein/ vegetable/ vegetable here.  Sometimes it's much like yesterday's lunch.  Last night it was a 4 oz. grass fed (I die) burger patty, 2 cups of broccoli, and around one medium sweet potato's worth of oven "fries".

There was supposed to be the second half of the lunch avocado on last night's dinner but I forgot and by the time I remembered, I was full; hence, avocado for breakfast this morning.

So, no.  Not suffering here.  And my abs are back, which is timely considering my belly dance class is performing at a local arts festival this upcoming Saturday.

I would promise to post a picture, but unless Blogger complies I don't see it happening.


So before bed tonight I need to
  • finish the laundry;
  • cook and pack the rest of my weekly work lunches;
  • bake the boys' chicken tender stash (I buy bulk raw, freeze 2/3, marinate the remainder -- 14 or so tenders -- about 36 hours, then bake up a bunch for their dinners/ snack/ but I'm still HUNGRY! fests);
  • go to dance practice (we scheduled a special one, which is good because my Stupid Knee is acting in concert with The Bum Hip to make some of these shimmies a bit obnoxious for me);
  • and the boys really both need a damn haircut.  Not sure if that's going to happen, but it's on my radar.
Oh, and Choreboy is finally home from a business trip to California, so tonight we'll be watching the episode of Survivor I taped.  Sweet :)


Thursday, May 02, 2013


So in my ever-ADD manner of dealing with All Things Diet, I'm now on a Whole30 kick, initiated by our beloved Norma.  Theoretically we're doing the 30 days for the first 30 days in May, but I started a few days early because Choreboy and I are going to the beach for a couple days mid-month so I wanted to at least give myself a good stretch of time for the Whole30 eating plan, and then I, personally, will start a for-real Whole30 when we return.

Now this isn't to say I'm being slackerly with my implementation.  I'm going full bore even knowing I'll be doing this for another 30 days once I return -- no grains, no legumes (including peanuts and soy), no sugars (real or artificial), no dairy (yes, this includes my beloved cheese), no booze (not even for cooking)... you get the picture.  Instead I'm eating solid proteins of meat, fish, and eggs; good fats like my olive oil, coconut oil (it's not sweet -- who knew?), nut butters, and nuts; and fruit and vegetables.

I drink water.  And coffee.  Lots and lots of coffee.  Although I'm dialing it back today, a step which has my coworkers recoiling in horror*.

Anyway, I'm not starving by any calculation.  Breakfast yesterday (okay, and Monday and Sunday as well) was two eggs, a cup of blackberries, and about 12 stalks of asparagus.  The whole thing kept me going until lunch.  I would have a picture posted, but Blogger is being rude and won't upload the thing :P

Lunch is my chicken skillet (chicken thigh meat on top of a bed of sauteed tomatoes, onions, and spinach) topped with guacamole, plus a hardboiled egg, an apple, and a tablespoon of either almond or coconut butter**.  Dinner has been chili topped with avocado and halves of these HUGE tomatoes.

No snacks (they're allowed, I'm just not needing them), and no starvation.  Works for me.

All I can say is that I'm really glad I quit Diet Coke three weeks ago, or else by now I'd want to Kill All the Things. Surely going from 12 cups of coffee to 2 won't be an issue...


In exercise news, all is well on the physical front.  I'm still doing upper body on MWF, lower on TThSa, and riding my recumbent exercise bike.  Weirdly, since dropping dairy and everything else, my nose is less stuffy to the point where I can actually breathe with it consistently for the first time since I was expecting the Elder, and my knee actually isn't giving me as many fits as it was. This isn't to say it's in great shape -- it's not, a fact I found out at dance last night.  But I was able to do my supported squats much lower and with more "umph" than usual, which was freaking awesome.

Maybe it's just luck.  Maybe it's a simple correlation and there's no causation.  I don't know -- I'm neither a doctor nor a scientist.  And my allergies could either be fading with the season, or the allergy shots are starting to have an effect... anything is possible, honestly.

But the correlation is there on both the allergy and the joint fronts.  And it's interesting.

That's it for now.  I have an entire rant about the impossibility of finding beef broth without sugar in it (sweet beef, WTF?) but I'm not feeling ranty at the moment so that will have to wait.  Cheerio!

*Hee! Some days it's the little things, yanno? 

**Yes, there is such a thing!  Yes, I was surprised too.  No, it's not coconut oil.  It is white, coconutty nut butter and it is GOOD.  Ingredients:  raw coconut.  Made. Of. Awesome.