Wednesday, July 30, 2008

What do you think of this?

When we were in Dallas I saw a Hyatt Place hotel - I had never seen one of those before. I LOVE their logo. I am thinking of painting a canvas to hang in our house that uses their logo, only instead of the two black dots (that are put there to make the logo look more like an H, I assume) I'm thinking pink for one and brown for the other. Thoughts?

Geoff's new collection

A year or so ago, Geoff decided he wanted to start collecting liquor bottles. I suppose this is because he thinks they look cool. Well, being the big drinker that he is, he's collected ONE in the past year.

My mom is coming into town tomorrow for a week (YAY!) and so we're going camping (we = Mom, Momlie, Geoff, and me). We were talking about having chicken fajitas for dinner one night, and I said that I bought a 5 pound bag of limes from Costco (they're part of the marinade for the fajitas). I froze some of them - I don't know if you can freeze limes, but we'll see what happens to them. So then we came up with the idea of having margaritas with the fajitas, since that would help use some of the limes.

Well the next day Momlie shows up with Margarita in a Bag. These things look so fun! I'm very excited to try it. Of course, they won't actually help use the limes, but we can always use them for garnish. ;-) I thought we had some tequila at home, so I said I'd either bring it or buy some.

So we went to the liquor store on Monday (in Oregon the liquor stores are all state run, you have to buy liquor from them, no grocery stores or anything) and bought some tequila. I mentioned something about how cute I think the little tiny .5 ounce airplane bottle are and Geoff got all excited. "I DIDN'T KNOW THESE EXISTED!!!!!! These are the cutest things ever! I think I'm going to change my collection to all little bottles!" I laughed and made fun of him - maybe no one else knows that these little bottles exist either, but my grandparents went on tons of trips when I was younger and always brought back those little bottles from the airplane, so I remember seeing them around their house. This happened on the way out, and I asked him if he wanted to back and buy one as long as we were there, but he said no. Well later when we got home, I remembered that when I went to Mexico I brought back a little box of 3 tiny tequilas (the small versions of these in this picture). So I gave those to him to start his collection, and he was very happy.

So I also thought we had triple sec at home, but it didn't matter if we didn't because the bag says it's optional. Turns out we didn't, and Geoff was like "I'll go back to the liquor store and get some!!!!!!!!!!" I was like "um... we don't really need it". Geoff: "Puh-leeeeeeaaaaaassssseeeee!!!! I want my little bottle." Haha. Okay. So he went and got triple sec. But he came home SO SAD because apparently the liquor store he went to didn't sell little bottles. :( So we went back to the original liquor store and he got a tiny bottle of tequila and a tiny bottle of Grand Marnier, which was the closest thing they had to triple sec in the little bottles. (Geoff asked about triple sec and the guy suggested the Grand Marnier). He has decided to collect the "matching" little bottle to whatever he is buying from the liquor store at the time. So now that he has his 5 bottle collection (3 from Mexico, 2 from yesterday), it may only take him another year or two to get to 6. :) They are very cute though, and they are a perfect little stocking stuffer for him. I just think it's hilarious that my non-drinking husband is obsessed with liquor bottles. AND that he's been to the liquor store 3 times in the past 2 days, which is easily more than he's ever been cumulatively in his whole life up until that point.

Good luck with that

As stated yesterday, I wrote the "e-help" line for the hospital where I get my Remicade to complain about the shortening of hours. I heard back from them today:

Hello Kelly, I am sorry I cannot help you. You would have to contact the infusion center at . Perhaps they could suggest an alternative foryou. I will forward your email to quality management. Thank you for using the eLine.

I replied:
Thanks for your reply. The Infusion center said that they had no control over it, the hours were set by hospital administion. Do you have contact information for the St. Vincent hospital administration?

The response?
Hello Kelly,
That number would be 503 XXX-XXXX. Good luck with that. You may also hear from the quality management people.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I love it. "Good luck with that" - even she knows my case is absolutely hopeless. :)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Remicade is good :)

I'm at my once-every-8-weeks Remicade appointment. They are doing a pilot with shorter hours (I used to come around 4:30, today I have to come at 2:30). I don't like it! Different staff, more crowded parking lot and hospital, had to wait 30 minutes to even be called in, and on top of it all I had to miss work.

On the plus side, there is wireless internet and cable TV here, so I can't complain much. I was able to log on and work remotely. I can also use my cell phone, although the reception here isn't the best - I was talking to someone from work and they were having a hard time hearing me. Still, I got a lot done.

I was talking to some of the nurses about the whole "fewer hours" thing and THEY HATE IT! They said if I wanted to, I could write to the administration, so I did that immediately. Even one or two nights a week would be much more accommodating to those of us sickies who work during the day. We'll see. :)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Quick rundown

It's been a while. Don't hate me.

3 weekends ago: Dallas for waterparking, seeing cousins/aunts/uncles, geocaching, spending time in the pool, relaxing, hanging out with Mom/Dad/Christine/Abel, church, dominoes, helping my parents out with a few projects, seeing the pastor who married us (she was VERY excited to see us), eating at all of my favorite Texas places, etc.

2 weekends ago: Camping for marshmallow competitions, geocaching, dominoes, eating delicious meals, peeping on other campers, campfires, movies, hanging out with Momlie/Gary/Rebecca, checking the lug nuts, installing things, etc.

this weekend: Staying local for talking to my mom, lunch and shopping with Geoff, Rebecca's going away party, dominoes, Nascar, Northwestern alumni freshman send off party, etc.

It's been busy and fun! :) This weekend I *think* my mom is coming into town and we are going camping with Momlie and Mom. Hehehe. Should be an excellent time.

And I leave you with this conversation I had with "myself" this morning (it was in an IM but never responded to):

Kelly: Perhaps I should run for a local public office.
I'm 26 now.
So I can do local stuff for a term.
Then state.
Then senate.
And by the time I'm 35 I can run for president.
I forgot that I don't care about politics that much and that I don't want the media to ruin my life.
Nevermind. Scratch that entire plan.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


So for the past 4 years I get occasional skin issues that pop up - rashes and infections and things. Never been quite able to figure out what causes them, just figure I have weird/sensitive skin.

Recently I had a flare up of a rash I get occasionally, so I went to my dermatologist to check it out. She said there were actually patches of two different things - a little bit of psoriasis and a skin infection. She also mentioned that Remicade can cause various skin issues. She did a culture of the infected area, prescribed three medications (an oral antibiotic, a topical antibiotic, and a topical steroid), and sent me on my way.

I got the prescriptions and my skin was looking better and better over the weekend. YAY! I also did some research about Remicade and skin issues, and found that Remicade and several similar drugs (Enbrel, Humira) have been linked to skin issues - apparently, your risk for skin problems (infections, eczema, etc.) doubles and risk for skin cancer triples. I have been taking Remicade since 2002 and have had unexplained skin issues since 2004, so maybe that is what has been causing them! Maybe not, but at least now I can get Geoff to stop telling me I don't wash well enough. ;-)

The saga continues: yesterday I got a call from her office that my culture had tested positive for staph. Yikes! She had ever so casually mentioned that but I had pretty much forgotten about it, so I was pretty surprised when they said that. Happily, it is not MRSA (the drug-resistant staph) and since she already had me on all of the different medications I didn't have to change anything. It just feels weird to think I have/had staph. But again - Crohn's (not Remicade, but Crohn's itself) can cause a weakened immune system, which can lead to staph. Yay for my Crohn's. :)

So this morning, just by coincidence, I was perusing the manufacturer's websites of the medicines I'm taking. I happened upon a $15 coupon for one of them... and then a $20 coupon for another... - WHAT?!?! Are you kidding me? I asked Patrick (who works for a pharmacy benefits manager - basically the type of company that you get your prescription insurance through) if he is familiar with coupons for name brand drugs (which of course all of mine were) and if you can use the with insurance copays. He replied that yes, I could. So I started kicking myself for not knowing this ahead of time. I even googled something like "prescription coupons with insurance" to see how common this was and one of the google answers was a link to my favorite personal finance blog talking about how almost ALL prescription drug companies do this for their name brand (read: pricey!) drugs. It was before I started reading the blog, so I wasn't like I had read that before and forgotten about it, but STILL!

Then I checked the third prescription, just to see how much more I could have saved and should be kicking myself for. Praise of all praises, it had a $35 REBATE!!!!! Yes, that's right, REBATE!!!! Normally I'm a bigger fan of coupons than rebates (get your savings then and there, less hassle, etc.) but since I didn't know ahead of time this is great! Yes, I could have saved an extra $35 if I had known about the coupons, but $35 out of $70 potential savings isn't bad. Better than a kick in the shin, as my parents like to say - and better than nothing at all if I hadn't happened to look those medicines up.

So, the moral of the story is: if you're taking name-brand prescription drugs, look them up! For at least one of mine, the rebate is good on new and refill prescriptions. Could be some big savings for you. :)