Friday, January 13, 2023

What I am Doing While I am Still Waiting

I have been to see my doctor and the problem with the insulin is supposed to be resolved but it still hasn't arrived from the drug company.  In the meantime, I will be going back to the clinic today to pick up sample pens.  They should get me through until the issues with getting the long term insulin that was due before Thanksgiving are resolved. 

It was mentioned in Comments that the U.S. now has a cap on insulin prices.  That is what I thought would happen when I first heard of the possibility but right now, there is only a cap on some co-pays and that is only for some insurance companies.  None of that applies to me since I get both of my insulins through a special program offered by my clinic. 

I am hearing about the breakdown in medical care here in the States all the time now.  As well as severe shortages in some medications.  I was purchasing generic Benedryl at Meijer last week and I walked by the pediatric fever and pain killer section.  It was almost completely empty.  Only a few bottles of liquid Children's Advil were on the shelf.  It is a much different world than just a few years ago.

On that same grocery run, I had to buy a few items from the back of the store to the front where produce is sold.  That gave me a good look at what was in stock.  I had heard many people who research such things say that we will see shortages again after the Holidays.  There were a lot of empty spaces on shelves.  What surprised me most was the vegetable oil aisle, it was pretty much empty.

With everything going on, I am more determined than ever to not let any food go to waste.  The Christmas ham was taking up room in my refrigerator that I needed to use for something else so I decided to make ham stock.  I don't know why I didn't think of ham stock long ago but it was while reading a book (perhaps An Everlasting Meal?) that I learned one can make and freeze ham stock just like other meats.

Even though I wasn't feeling the best, I simmered the ham bone with a little meat left on it for quite a few hours.  I added an onion, celery, and a handful of baby carrots that were showing their age.  It simmered one day and I put it in the garage after it cooled down to sit for another day so the fat could easily be skimmed off (in Winter, our garage is an extra refrigerator).  I got two quarts of ham stock with chunks of ham from it, now residing in the freezer for either bean soup or perhaps as a good base for potato soup.

Speaking of the book, An Everlasting Meal, I saw where she has a cookbook coming out in March.  That is one book I would be interested in seeing. I will include a link to it below.  You know how I love her first book.  When it became difficult to read the book, I bought it on Kindle to reread off and on for inspiration.

In cold weather, I like to make soup once a week.  It not only stretches the budget but it is so good for us.  I turned the whole chicken I bought last week into a good bone broth type of chicken stock with celery and onion.  At first I just gave the broth to my husband when he was feeling under the weather (I think literally), then I added some of the white meat and a package of jasmine rice from the freezer that I had cooked and frozen for a hearty dinner meal. 

I have been working on my usual January decluttering projects a little at a time.  They can be accomplished even when one doesn't feel the best by working a little here and there in the morning and early afternoon when my energy is highest.  I remember Laine (of Laine's Letters) saying she learned to do most of her work during her high energy hours, too.

I was able to send some more Christmas decorations to Goodwill while packing everything away for next Christmas.  Only those items I know I don't need or love went to Goodwill for others to enjoy.  For instance, I didn't need as many modern plain Christmas ornaments since I have collected more vintage ornaments over the past couple of years. Where I live, the vintage ornaments are quite inexpensive at the antique mall and I love how the tree looks with them.

This year's January decluttering project has been long overdue and that is going through all my files that I have in a basket in the Study (as well as finally emptying out the wire In-basket on my desk) and getting rid of papers I neither want nor need.  One does not need to keep medical papers as far back as 2019.  My files are now cleaned out and it will make filing away medical forms much easier this year.  All important information is now easily available.

I also filled a bag full of old newsletters and such that I won't be reading.  That cleared up a lot of room, too.  I kept all the files that I use for creating scrapbook journals mainly because they took hours (upon hours) of searching old Victoria and other beautiful magazines and such, cutting them out, and filing them to have them ready when doing any scrapbook journaling.  

Just like Christmas items I don't use now but I may someday, they still get a place in my files and on the shelves.  I have about one... or maybe two... hours of work to finish in the Study and then I will move on to the long dreaded project of going through all our homeschool files.  They fill a drawer of the file cabinet in our small home office. My end goal is to have no unnecessary papers in my files. 

To be honest, I tend to find even long dreaded decluttering projects are not all that bad when I finally start on them.  Everything can be accomplished a little at a time.  I even take file folders with me when watching a TV show or a movie and go through them at that time.  Most of the files are easy to decide... keep or throw away (or send through our small shredder).

I will feel a sense of accomplishment if February arrives having completed sorting through all the files.  I have a feeling most of the homeschool files can be tossed.  Especially if I can throw away articles that I no longer need and I am certain no one in the family has the emotional attachment to them that I do. I will keep articles that fill me with joy just looking through them.

I mean, really... it is far past time to go through these files. It seems like it was not all that long ago I was clipping these articles, saving work accomplished, etc. and we were actively in home education mode.  That child is now returning home from a business trip to his own homeschooling family.  Piper is officially an elementary school student now and her brother is in preschool. The baby (who will soon celebrate his first birthday) still has a full time job just being adorable. ;)

Thank you for your lovely comments on the last blog post.  They made me smile and I needed that in the midst of this quite frustrating trial.  I have tried to remain calm when talking to everyone concerned as I promised God not to take my frustrations out on fellow humans.  

We "wrestle not against flesh and blood".  Kindness triumphs when the enemy of our souls is tempting us to stomp our feet and yell at someone.  Nope!  Not going to play that game.  When the young woman in charge of the clinic's prescription program found out I had ended up in the hospital, she kept apologizing the next time I talked to her.  She has become very good about following up and providing temporary insulin as needed.

Even people who work in medical professions do not always understand the difference between Type 1 (Juvenile) diabetes and Type 2 diabetes.  She now knows it is not only possible for a Type 1 diabetic to end up in the hospital when missing one or two insulin shots... it is probable.

Mentioned in this Blog Post

Once again, An Everlasting Meal... here.

The Everlasting Meal Cookbook pre-order info... here. (I am intrigued by this one.)

Image:  This is one of my favorite photos of my oldest and youngest granddaughters.  Elisabeth has now graduated with an Associate's Degree from college and is married.  Piper is now in first grade and has two younger brothers.


Anonymous said...

Brenda, thank you for letting us know how you are doing. I'm a long time reader, rare commenter. Your explanations of type 1 are so helpful to me. My daughter is a new type 1 (insulin dependent gestational diabetes that became permanent after their now 10 month old was born). I'm trying to learn all I can about it. Luckily (not really) my son-in-law is well versed - his mother experienced the same thing 30 years ago after childbirth.

I pulled out my copy of The Everlasting Meal along with the More with Less Cookbook and everything else I can find. I lost my job through covid cutbacks at age 63 and am trying to survive on early retirement. Your years of discussing living on a very limited income are a guidebook for me, especially with inflation this high. But I have skills and I know how to learn and that's how one survives in these situations.

Again, I'm so glad that you are starting to be on the mend. I sincerely hope that your insulin issues are resolved now or well on their way to being. Please continue to write when you can - your writing is so relevant, so real - and I feel your voice will become more important as these times continue because you have lived what we are all now experiencing.


sonrie said...

It is a good idea to put on something to listen to (movie, podcast, audio book etc) while thinning files. I put off thinning every few years but this is a year that I need to go through some files. Having some company, so to speak, sounds like it would make the job a little more tolerable.

Deanna Rabe said...


It’s such good news that your insulin issue is figured out, though I’ll feel better when you have it in hand!

I love a good soup in the winter. Very warming and satisfying.

Your grand girls are all adorable!

We’ve had mild weather this month overall, and I’m not complaining about it at all.

Anonymous said...

Is there another way that you can get your meds rather than at your clinic? Do you have drug coverage with your insurance policy? Seems like it would be a safer way to do things with the shortages.
Your girls are adorable. Diane

Terra said...

Your granddaughters are so pretty, and I am sure inner beauty is reflected in them too. I hope your health needs are quickly sorted, and I admire your soup and stock making abilities.

Anonymous said...

I was so happy to see your post today. Praying God continues to provide what you need. Thank you for sharing the grace we need to give each other, the steadfastness to stay above the grumps when not well, and the work-as-you-can attitude even when energy levels and resources are low. I have followed your blog for many years, and have found Annabelle at bluebirds, as well as a supply of Laine’s Letters on the “wayback machine”, all thanks to you. You and they have been a source of wisdom and inspiration that I am and will be sincerely forever grateful for. Not to mention Everlasting Meal, that’s probably one of my top three favorite books to read. Thank you, Brenda!

The pharmacy in our town does not have children’s Tylenol or Motrin, and they’ve said nobody in the surrounding area does. I have not checked other stores yet, but my mother lives an hour away and was able to get me a generic bottle of both to have on hand. It is unsettling as a mom to realize it may become unavailable, and though I should always be wise with our use of things, I’ve taken for granted until now that I should really only use it when necessary. And it would be wise to learn other methods of pain relief and care for fevers.

Ann Stevens said...

Oh! I so much admire your patience when dealing with the missing insulin. I try, I really do, to be as patient as possible when dealing with such things but after a while my human nature is apt to kick in and I can get testy. It's a fault that I continue to work on for sure and you are an inspiration. My oldest son, who passed away 10 years ago at the tender age of 44 after dealing with serious unknown (read undiagnosed) medical issues for almost 30 of those years, had such great patience with his situation that I try very hard to do as he did. Isn't it funny how sometimes our children can be an example to us when we are supposed to be the better examples to teach them.

I continue to keep you in my prayers that this will all be resolved soon and that your health is improved. said...

Hi Brenda. Very sorry to hear you are having issues with getting insulin. It is criminal how much it costs currently. My daughter is a type 1 so I understand your worries only too well. She was diagnosed at 6 and just celebrated her 19 year anniversary of diabetes. She is 25 now and doing well. Have you gone to your state disabilities/health services? They may be able to help you or at least point you in a direction for help. As wonderful as your clinic may be providing you with your meds, it may not be ideal to depend on them completely. Talk to your endocrinologist. He/she may have Eli Lily or NovaNordisk reps that could be of assistance.
Please stay well and make sure you have emergency meds and ketostix as well on hand.

Annabel said...

Dear Brenda I am so sorry for these problems getting your insulin. I am also reading your readers comments. I am getting emails from England about this as well. Here in Australia there are shortages too. It seems a bit worse each week. For the things I can like kids Tylenol or equivalent I have stocked up. But some things we cannot get hold of to stock up. I am building up my medical cupboard all I can. I am so glad you are doing better! With love