May 10, 2021

Gratitude List

I called to make an appointment with a rheumatologist today (my dad sees one at U of M, which is considered a great healthcare system, and my mom gave me that doctor's number). My insurance doesn't require a referral, so when I see a specialist, I can usually just call and make the appointment as needed.

When I called today, however, I was told that I have to jump through hoops just for the doctor to consider seeing me! I have to get doctors' notes (including symptoms and a diagnosis), test results, lab work, and basically my entire medical chart from the onset of symptoms. I first saw my primary care doctor about my pain in 2015 (that was when it was just my back).

Since then, I've seen four specialists (orthopedist, neurologist, podiatrist, and an orthopedist who specializes in back pain); had an MRI; had two sets of x-rays; had lots of lab work; done physical therapy; seen a chiropractor; and probably other things I'm forgetting right now. This was in four different healthcare systems. Tracking everything down would be a nightmare. Not to mention that I don't have a diagnosis--that's why I want to see the rheumatologist! 

I cried when I hung up the phone. I felt sorry for myself--I was finally feeling good about making an appointment, and then I was unable to make one. I got over it, and I'm not giving up--I'm sure if I call some other rheumatologists I'll be able to find one that will see me without having to collect six years worth of my history. I asked my primary care doctor if she knows of anyone, so hopefully I'll hear from her tomorrow.

But anyway, all of that was basically to say that I'm grateful that right now, my biggest concern is finding a specialist who can diagnose what the heck is wrong with me. I'm lucky that I have good insurance and am able to get care when needed. 

I thought it would be fun to write a short gratitude list. I don't want to include the obvious things like: my family, my house, food, clean water, and things like that. I want to pick out the "little things" that's I'm grateful for today.

1. New socks! There is nothing quite like the feeling of putting on a brand new pair of socks. My whole family has needed new socks for a while now, so I finally just bought some on Amazon. I really wanted to buy Balega socks (my very favorite) but they're so expensive. If I only needed a couple of pairs for running or something, I'd buy them; for everyday socks, I just couldn't bring myself to spend $12 a pair.

I read a bunch of reviews and in one brand, several people mentioned that they are very similar to Balega. So, I bought two packs (6 pairs in each). I got them in the mail yesterday, and they were SO comfy to put on! I have to agree that they are similar to Balega. You can tell the quality isn't quite the same--they are a little thinner--but the comfort is identical. I just imagine I'll have to replace them sooner. (My Balega socks lasted about five years before getting holes!) Anyway, I am grateful to get to experience putting on a brand new pair of socks for 12 days in a row. (Here are the socks on Amazon, if you're interested--affiliate link.)


2. Being able to watch Eli play baseball. (Noah isn't playing this year.) One of the many reasons I love being a stay-at-home mom is that I am available to go to the kids' events, whatever they might be. I've only missed ONE game in 12 years! It means a lot to Eli when people watch him play, and I would feel terrible if I had to miss it. I'm grateful that we have the means for me to be a stay-at-home mom and I never take that for granted.



3. Convenience food. Yes, I know--it's not healthy, but on busy baseball days, it's--well, convenient. I bought some chicken pot pies to throw in the oven for dinner after the baseball game, and they were delicious. (I do remind myself that I need to utilize my crock pot on days like this--I'm just terrible at thinking ahead!) So while convenience food isn't ideal, I am grateful for it on the days that I don't have the time or I'm not prepared to cook dinner.


4. Vaccines. Jerry and Noah just got their second dose of the COVID vaccination, and my appointment is on Thursday for my second one. It will be such a relief not to worry every time Noah goes to school or when Jerry goes to work. Eli isn't old enough for the vaccine yet, but he and his baseball team get tested every week. I know that the vaccine doesn't mean that we are completely immune, but we have greatly reduced our chances of being hospitalized or getting very sick with COVID.


5. My new electric blanket. Jerry got me an electric blanket for Mother's Day, and I love it. I used to have one but it stopped working a few years ago, and I never replaced it. Instead, I just use a heating pad on my back (both because it helps the pain and because I'm always cold). Using the electric blanket yesterday was heavenly! I was falling asleep on the couch because I was so cozy. (Do you spy Jerry in the pic? haha)

I like to think that I am generally a grateful person on a day-to-day basis, but it feels good to write these things out. It's easy to be grateful for the "big" things, but the little things go by unnoticed sometimes. 

And I will end with this: I am grateful for YOU, Friends, for reading my blog all these years. My writing has changed significantly--not just the writing style, but the topics on my blog--and I am still amazed that people continue to read about ordinary me ;)  Over the last 10 years since I started Runs for Cookies, I have made many friends, gotten TONS of support and advice, and had numerous opportunities... and I wouldn't have gotten any of it without you. I do not take it for granted--so, thank you, Friends!

14 comments:

  1. A friend of mine said her doctor told her to drink lots of water before and after her second shot to reduce her chances of side effects. My husband and I both did and neither of us had any problems.Not sure if that's why but it didn't help!

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  2. The FDA just approved Pfizer vaccine down to age 12 years today. Eli should hopefully be able to get it soon!

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  3. Thank YOU Katie! I am grateful for you. You help more of us than you know. Please continue to do what you do and hang in there, you will find a great doctor!

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  4. Dearest Katie,
    I hope you can find a rheumatologist who can help you finally get to the bottom of this! I know how frustrating it is to deal with pain issues day in and day out. We love you!

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  5. I was looking for good socks for walking when I was going on vacation and ordered those from Amazon. That was 2 1/2 years ago and I still wear them all the time! The only problem I've had is some have disappeared, but that is normal :).

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  6. What a a beautiful list! I love thinking about the small things! In return, I am also grateful for you! I've enjoyed so much being a reader of your blog (since 2012!) and you've always been so kind! And not to mention so real. Its hard looking at Instagram sometimes because of all the "influencers" with their lives that always look so put together. I know most of the time they are not but social media can certainly paint a pretty picture. I love reading about your day to day life because its a real life! My favorite recipes are yours as well because I know they'll be tasty AND not take 3 hours to prepare! I will be here reading as long as you keep posting! :)

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  7. I am grateful for you... So many times I'll think... wow, this is exactly how I feel... and I am validated. I will have a transformation tuesday for you soon... The main bath in our house is finally under construction. It had one of the original "bath fitters", but b/c it's our only real bath we've put it off for 22 years... ugh. It always takes longer than you think it will, but I'm hoping the first week in June!! Stay tuned!

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  8. Hi Katie, I wanted to share a sock 'find' that could save you money in the long run. Darn Tough socks out of Vermont will send you a free pair if your old pair gets holes in them. And I can attest it's true! I buy one pair every Christmas for my kids and now they have socks that will last them their lifetime! So far, I've only had to return one pair over the last 5 years.

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  9. I'm sorry to hear about your frustration with not being able to make an appointment. I hope your pcp comes through with a great name for you. And thanks for the photos and the gratitude list. I'm pretty grumpy today for no real reason and the idea of thinking about what I'm grateful for is a good reminder. Thanks you always for inspiring!

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  10. My husband goes to East Lansing Rheumatology and they are amazing. I know it would be a drive for you but it did not seem like we had to pull any records to get him in there.

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  11. I've followed your blog for years....I just happened upon it one day when I was searching "couch to 5k". Never did the 5k because I started having kids and got too busy, but I stayed a part of your following. Whenever I tell my husband about something you wrote on the blog I have to say "Runs for cookies Katie said yadda, yadda, yadda...", because we have several friends who are also named Katie. Haha!
    Anyway...I really am hoping you get to see a Doctor soon! My fingers and toes are crossed for you!

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  12. I had to do the same thing to see a rheumatologist where I live in the southwest. A lot of specialists require that unfortunately. My husband is an allergist/immunologist and while he doesn’t require them it does make things so much easier if he has the records especially when he sees a difficult immunological case. I would see if your doctor’s offices have online portals. I was able to log into my doctor’s portals to get records that way, and also get imaging reports to send to the rheumatologist. Only after she looked at my records would she then decide if she’d see me. It took a good 4 to 5 months to get in though so try not to get too disappointed.

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  13. Katie,

    Medical records might not be as daunting as it sounds. Get a fax number from the rheumatologist, and then call medical records of the places you have visited. Ask them to send the records you need to the rheumatologist. You will probably need to sign a release of information.

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  14. Grateful for you! I read your blog almost daily, but rarely comment. Hope you have some luck finding a doctor and get some relief and answers soon.

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