Open Enrollment May Be Your Light at the End of the Tunnel

This may be a different take on “light” than anyone else takes this week at Mama Kat’s Writers’ Workshop, but it’s what spoke to me!

I am so thankful that my family and I have health insurance! I haven’t worked since the spring of 2011, but since I’m still fighting to get SSI disability approval (at which time I will be eligible for Medicare) my employer still considers me on Extended Medical Leave, so I can purchase insurance. With my health history I would be uninsurable otherwise, and my husband’s employer doesn’t offer benefits of any kind. So I am thrilled every year when the Open Enrollment reminder comes in the mail!

I still remember the last Open Enrollment before I stopped working. Our company had been bought out by a large corporation, and so everyone was examining their options more carefully than usual. My supervisor and close friend had just returned to work after a life-altering illness, and I considered that a sign that I should sign up for the best of everything. . . just in case. Everyone was uninsured for a couple of weeks, although they assured us our coverage would be “retroactive”. I’m just glad I didn’t have any medical emergencies during that time! That was January, and later that month I discovered the cause of my increasing pain for the past two years – cervical vertebrae that had never fused. I had surgery in April, and again in May. When my FMLA ran out in July my pain had not diminished and I lost my job.

Thankfully, I had signed up for the higher paying option on both short-term and long-term disability. I had to fight CIGNA tooth and nail for every cent, but I did receive two years of disability payments, which is all any disability company is required to pay out. I was also able to keep my life insurance for those two years.

So hope for the best in 2016, but prepare for the worst. One box checked differently, a couple of dollars per paycheck extra, may mean the difference between being able to keep a roof over your family’s heads and not. Choose wisely.

St. Jude and Being a Band Parent


— 1 —

I just finished a novena to St. Jude, patron saint of hopeless causes and desperate situations. I do a lot more novenas since I subscribed to Pray More Novenas, which emails the prayer for that day directly to your inbox every day. But St. Jude is one of my personal favorites, since my life the past several years has been chock-full of hopeless causes and desperate situations.

— 2 —

My friend Julie and I hosted an EHT party at her home last night. It was wonderful, casual, and comfortable – and a couple of people got information about a dietary supplement that may make a huge difference in their lives for about the cost of a soda a day. What made me sad was the people who weren’t there. The people Julie and I had invited personally, assuring them it wasn’t a “come buy stuff” sort of party, but a gathering where real people would share their own experiences with EHT. My husband even went, and talked about how EHT has helped him. I was very proud of him, because public speaking isn’t comfortable for him, especially about personal issues. I just wish We’d been able to talk to more people, who could then spread the word to their friends and family who might need it. If you or someone you know could benefit from a daily supplement that improves brain function (and really, who couldn’t?) email me or leave me a comment and I’ll send you a short (2 minute) video about EHT. It’s important.

— 3 —

John’s high school marching band will be competing at State this weekend. I’m very proud of him, and of all the kids who have worked so hard since July to make this show the best it can be. I’m not so proud of some of the parents. There is a parent FB page, ostensibly for updates on schedules, etc. But unless you’re part of the “in-crowd” of band parents there is typically no information available until 24 hours or less before an event. But we’ve managed.

— 4 —

Then this week a parent posted on the page that she was frustrated by a teacher’s refusal to allow her son or daughter extra time on an assignment given while the student was out of class for a band activity. Lots of parents chimed in, and it developed into a very well-rounded discussion of academics, extra-curricular activities, and the physical and mental health of teens. I chimed in several times, and a couple of band parents messaged me privately because their kids were having issues similar to John’s (huge drop in GPA, lack of sleep, poor health, many sick days, and periods of severe anxiety over band). I was excited to finally see something actually helpful on the FB page, and then the entire thread was removed. All that remains is rah-rah posts from the “in-crowd” about how wonderful band is.

— 5 —

If a parent was using offensive or divisive language I’d have certainly approved of that comment being deleted. But all the posts were calm and obviously VERY carefully worded. So this weekend John will be gone from Friday until Sunday afternoon for a contest at a distance they normally travel to and from in a day. The band will not perform at halftime for the last home football game of the season, and will be under the thumb of the “in-crowd” chaperones all weekend, one of whom called an entire busload of kids “a bunch of losers” when they took Reserve Grand Champions at a contest. And the contest is in a little hick town where there’s nothing for them to do. I just don’t get it.

— 6 —

I’ve hit a plateau in my weight loss, but I’m still losing inches. I pulled out jeans a size smaller today! After these, I only have one size left. After that I will officially be out of clothes. Which is great, but a bit worrisome since I can’t even afford a trip to Goodwill at this point. But that’s certainly not anything I’m going to lie awake nights worrying about!

— 7 —

Oh, and I’m having a Jamberry Mystery Hostess party this week, ending on Halloween. That means there are a ton of ways to earn entries, but of course you get the most entries by placing orders and booking parties! And the person whose name I draw gets all the Hostess Benefits from this party, which will include free wraps and other products of your choice as well as other half-off items. The final total depends on the party total! So drop by my website and shop 😀

For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t The Lyceum!

Would You Like ONE LESS Thing to Worry About?

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. You must be 21+ years old to try Poise Impressa Bladder Supports. #MySizePoise #CollectiveBias

I’m forty-eight and have given birth to two big babies – each of my boys was over eight pounds at birth. And I’m losing weight, so I hope I’m going to soon have my back and neck pain under control and be able to increase my activity. I want to walk in a nearby park, and maybe take a beginners’ yoga class.

But what if I cough, laugh, or sneeze? I live in the Ohio Valley, so everyone coughs and sneezes year-round . . . we’re the allergy capital of the nation. And most yoga poses make me laugh out loud at the sheer impossibility of my fused spine contorting in that manner! Except corpse pose – I’m an expert at that one 😉

But you know where I’m going with this, don’t you ladies? Leaks. Sometimes they are small ones and I’m very glad I just took a bathroom break. But sometimes they aren’t small – and I have to turn around and go home to change before I can finish my errands or brace my shoulder-strap bag behind me with my elbow and leave quickly. Sadly, I don’t carry a large purse :(

But now help is here! Poise Impressa Bladder Supports are right for you if you leak urine when you laugh, cough, dance, sneeze, or exercise. It’s a brand-new concept, and Impressa comes in three sizes. But don’t just grab a package based on your weight or your tendency towards leakage! Impressa is placed like a tampon and sized for internal fit, but instead of absorbing leaks it prevents them. Brilliant, right? But you have to use the correct size, so the first thing to buy is an Impressa Sizing Kit. And you’ll see this information on the box, but be aware that if you leak when you have a sudden need or rush to urinate . . . Impressa Bladder Supports aren’t right for you. Sorry! Try Poise liners and pads for Urge Urinary Incontinence. Not sure if it’s right for you? Get more information ASAP!

My first attempt to buy one proved how great the demand for this product is. It hadn’t been advertised yet, wasn’t on an endcap, but Target was out!

empty shelf
But I was a woman on a mission, and a couple of days later I snagged the last of the newest shipment!
mad shopping skilz
Let me save you a little time here. Since I’d read up on Impressa and knew it was for women only I started in the “feminine products” aisle. No Impressa, but let me just say with the vast array of tampons in that aisle I am so very glad to be officially menopausal. The teen girl I was sharing the aisle with looked completely overwhelmed! Anyway, I moved away from the Health and Beauty section closer to the Pharmacy.
location in store
And there it was. The incontinence aisle. I wasn’t feeling quite so smug about my menopause anymore, let me tell you! Thankfully, Poise Impressa, in its pretty packaging, was right on the end, so I didn’t need to loiter there and run into my neighbor, my pastor, or that gossipy girl from my book club. And no, my box isn’t in the picture. It was the last one and I wasn’t letting it out of my hand even for the picture!
incontenance aisle
I am physically incapable of going into Target, getting one thing, and leaving. I suspect it’s those hypnotic red and white circles. Or it may be that Target just has awesome stuff. Like this Peacock dog costume (totally Sam, my chocolate lab’s style, but it didn’t come in 2XL – there’s a lot of her to love!)
peacock costume
This one, however, did come in her size. The problem is she would take her job very seriously and you don’t want to know what you have to do when your dog steals a whole bag of chocolate candy and eats it. It’s not pretty.
dog costume for sam
And since the pounds are quite literally falling off me I’ll be needing some new winter pajamas. Guess who’s got new patterns in the Nick and Nora line? Target!!
yorkie Jammies
But I digress. Let’s get back to the part about keeping my new Nick and Nora jammies dry while I watch a funny movie at home with my guys. So I closed myself away in the bathroom to read the directions. Just a little Public Service Announcement here: Do not put anything into any bodily orifice until you know exactly where and how to place it and how to remove it. As a nurse, I’ve seen X-rays of things you cannot imagine in places that would make you cringe – or laugh until you leaked!
stress vs urge
Really, the directions make perfect sense. You start with the smallest and move up a size until you find the size that works! Easy-peasy. Then, believe it or not, you can actually use the bathroom with this in place, and you can wear it up to eight hours. This means marathon runners can now cross the finish line soaked in only sweat! High-five to my runner buddies out there!!

Nine out of ten women who tested this product said it reduced or stopped their stress urinary incontinence (bladder leakage from coughing, laughing, sneezing, dancing, or exercising). Here are some of their testimonials! Oh, and look where I’m pointing in the bathroom-hamper picture below. I didn’t notice until I got home that there is a coupon on the Sizing Kit for $4 off my first package of Impressa in my size – you know how I love a bargain!
coupon for impressa
Oh, and one last FYI – Impressa cannot be used during your period or during pregnancy. Now you’re all set! Go get your Poise Impressa Bladder Supports sizing kit. And when you see how much you love it you’ll want to participate in the Poise Impressa Rewards Program – you can even get a $25 promo code from for sharing your story at My Size Poise. (Snap a picture of your Target receipt – you’ll need it!)

What’s the first thing you’ll do when you don’t have to worry about leaks anymore?!

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Anything worth doing can be done in jammies!