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Lisa Tomey

Lisa Tomey

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Medicare, Medicaid, Assisted Living

I woke up too early this morning. It was about 4 a.m. I had stayed up late watching an old movie. I think I went to sleep about 12. This means that I will likely have a nap when the fog sets in my brain. Early morning hours are great for going to favorite sites. There is low traffic and less computer hang ups. One day soon I am getting more memory in this pc. Wonder if they can insert more in my brain too. :) 

I have been reading quite a bit about Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare lately. It partly has to do with paper research and partly to stay informed about the latest. In the process I learned about assisted living facilities. Did you know that they are not federally regulated? There are certifications which they can apply for and many of the certifying companies are nationwide. The reason they are not regulated by the feds is because of the fear of becoming like an institution. This was interesting for me to find out. When you compare assisted living with nursing home care it kinda makes sense. Nursing homes require structure and medical supervision. Assisted living is supposed to be more home like but medications are dispensed and there is a nurse to supervise med techs. 

Did you know that Medicare is not really designed to pay for assisted living? It does pay for certain skilled nursing care in a facility. It also pays for authorized home health care. The line seems to be drawn at what a person can do for one self. Medicaid may pickup Medicare premiums if a person is eligible for Supplemental Security Income or SSI.  Medicaid is usually used for medications and medical care not authorized by Medicare. This may be certain dental and vision care. Medicare usually becomes primary and Medicaid secondary.

Social Security is a while new volume of information. Another day... Cheers for hump day!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Ever Had One of Those Days? Try One With Fibromyalgia...

Fibromyalgia is something that I have had to contend with for  some time. It could be worse so I should be grateful. Just some days I sit on the pity pot but not for too long. Why is that? Pity does not solve the problem. What does it take? That is a good question. It takes being your own best advocate for medical help. You have to be an informed person. It takes being proactive. What do I do? I watch commercials and send for information about the fibromyalgia medications advertised. I go online and check for the latest information. There are also email communications I subscribe to. There are formal and informal networks. I talk to people who are also affected by fibromyalgia. I exercise and work on weight loss.

SparkPeople is one site I belong to. There are some groups in the site for people with fibromyalgia. They are wonderful. Sometimes I add a post or respond. Other times I just read what others share and learn information about what people have really tried. SparkPeople is a site for people trying to lose weight. Too much weight is a strain on the body. To lose means less pain, to a certain extent. This is especially true if you are like so many fibromyalgia patients who have other health issues. This could be any number of issues. Because of the nature of fibromyalgia it is less likely to be relieved by weight loss than something like arthritis.

What does it feel like to have fibromyalgia? You had to ask that one. :) It is a challenge. When having a full blown flare up, or body takeover, fibromyalgia feels like a flu which affects you from head to toe. Everything feels achy. Fatigue, morning stiffness, numb feelings in hands and feet, trouble sleeping because of the pain, depression, headaches, anxiety, feelings of worthlessness and more take over. This is why medication treatment has to be comprehensive. It is not unusual to have to take something for pain, depression, anxiety, sleep and any other symptoms. Some people find that anti-inflammatory medications help but they have to watch out for side effects. Stomach bleeds from too much pain medication is not uncommon. When this happens it often means that a prescription medication will need to be used.

There is more to be known about fibromyalgia and with studies thus far it has been found that the central nervous system has more to do with the pain than originally thought. is a great resource site to learn about this disease. Pain management, sleep management, counseling, and certain exercises help. Acupuncture, water therapy, yoga, relaxation exercises, and massage are just a few of the common treatments which help.

There is hope for fibromyalgia sufferers and with research comes even more awareness. As one who has this condition I know what it was like when it started and with working with the doctors I have learned how to take care of myself. Medications, exercise and enough rest help. Some days it still takes over and I have to contend with it. It helps to know some tools which include relaxation, scaling back my duties, stretching, and taking medications. It also helps to talk about it. No two people with fibromyalgia will feel the same way. If you have symptoms, even partially, you may need to be checked. Rheumatologists usually will be the ones to do the assessment. They will check the body for the tender points characteristic of fibromyalgia.

If you have any questions about fibromyalgia I am glad to help. I may refer you to another, more expert resource. Take care of yourself. Gentle Hugs, Lisa

Monday, December 14, 2009

Monday, Monday...Relationships and Etc.

I wonder how many blogs start with that phrase on any given Monday. Today I am a writer who must write or starve. Just warming up now before I jump into the word program. I use Open Office as my word program and it is free. How awesome is that? Today I am thinking of a lot of things but relationships come to mind.

When in a relationship that is slowing dying is it possible to rekindle or is it better to let it go? This is a good question for debate. What about if your partner has a mental health issue? Do you stay with them because of this? One part of this may be that if they are getting professional help on a consistent basis, then you might be able to work things out. It takes two to make this happen. I believe that there is no shame in walking away if you cannot handle the issues. It is probably a good idea to see a counselor. They will not be as biased as other people you may know. They can open up your mind to possibilities. Also, they can draw out the positives you may not see in yourself. Why let yourself slip into situational depression and anxiety if it can be prevented? Medication is sometimes helpful, to get over the hump. Exercise and healthy eating also gives you fuel for keeping the mind working at the optimal. Whatever you decide to do, take care of yourself. Whether of not you stay or go away from a relationship you can still have "you" intact.

Have you ever heard that you should never start anything new on a Monday? I have not exactly heard that but it is my philosophy. It is based on non official observations. When you walk into the office on Monday morning what do you notice? If it is holiday season there will be more treats than most people could pass up. If you have an eating disorder - such as compulsive overeating - coupled with a bad weekend than Monday is going to be shaky. I am not suggesting that you gorge yourself with tons of food. Limit what you take and once you are full throw the rest in the trash can. Yes, you heard me right. Throw it away. There are not going to be any children in third world countries who will see you do this. Keep something "safe" on hand such as raw veggies or those 100 calories healthy snacks. As a diabetic I find that this helps. I know that when I have had one of the healthy snacks I have satisfied my sweet tooth but kept in line with my food plan. Now, when Tuesday comes it is full speed ahead for that healthy eating adventure. If you need support, there are free resources online. You can also go to 12 Step meetings such as Overeaters Anonymous. There is no shame in asking for help. In fact, it brings strength by knowing you are not alone and sponsorship so you have someone you can turn to.

Today I chose to start my day with a healthy breakfast. I had low sodium bacon at a reasonable portion, poached eggs, and bagels. I now have a sweet tooth which I will satisfy with some yogurt and fruit. I started my plan a long time ago and every time I go to the doctor I have lost more weight. It is coming off at just the right pace. I did not get this way overnight and do not expect to drop pounds that way. Tomorrow I am going to exercise at the senior center (for ages 50 and up) and get in the heated pool. I can hardly wait.

Have a great day and remember to take care of yourself. HUGE HUGS Lisa

Sunday, December 6, 2009

New Blog

Good Day! This is Lisa and this is my new blog. Here is a bit about me. I am a mature woman (well most days) and I live in the Midwest. My interests are research, reading, writing, crocheting and creating. Some days I like to create different dishes. I rarely make anything the same way twice. The most important thing is to try to keep a positive spin on things. I have a strange sense of humor and sometimes I am the only one who gets me.

I have written a wide variety of articles. Topics have included: Social Security FAQ's, Auto Insurance, Finance
, Home Equity Loans, Health, Hypertension, Diabetes, Anxiety, Fibromyalgia and more. There is not much I cannot research and write about. I do steer away from math topics except personal finance and FOREX trading.

My educational background: AAS in Accounting, BA in Sociology with a Social Work Emphasis and Psychology minor, Grad work in Health Education.

I have worked in: Accounting, Substance Abuse Prevention Education, Substance Abuse Counseling, Customer Service, Clinical Support, and Freelance Writing.