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Everything posted by aquarian

  1. Found this recent thread of yours that's similar? Normally for specialists I get referrals from a GP. My current GP who works within a major health system recently gave me three possible gynecologists to see who would be extra gentle and kind, and when I looked them up. none work within the same health system as her which I found kind of surprising but I'm glad she would refer me to who she thinks would be best for me rather than feel constrained by the health system she works for. I found my pdoc originally 17 years ago because I was having a major crisis sort of out of the blue (had been in remission from a different disorder for a few years when a new one popped up) and I told a friend and she gave me the name of her pdoc who was in private practice. Been seeing her (pdoc) ever since (though sometimes I only saw her once or twice a year when I was in college out of state and just needed med refill check ups). I noticed after awhile my pdoc's voicemail message changed to "not currently accepting new patients unless referred by a doctor". Then eventually it changed to a stern "please be aware I am not currently accepting new patients" and it's been that way for years now (though I suspect she must still take on some new patients to replace her patients that drop off the map for various reasons). So basically I'm pretty sure I just lucked out that her private practice was relatively new-ish 19 years ago when she took me on. Thankfully I've maintained contact with her at least once a year even when things were fine and continued to pay OOP all these years (she charges a very reasonable fee IMO). Unfortunately I've always had to pay OOP to see her until the past few years when I went on disability and got medicare because she actually does accept medicare. I think she only accept BCBS and medicare (and not BCBS marketplace plans by the way), or cash pay. And I've never been lucky enough to have BCBS, even when I had a good job; they only offered Aetna and United Healthcare plans. So yeah, even the couple times in my life I did have insurance, she never took it. Sorry, none of this probably helps you. Just sharing my experience I guess and I feel for you because I have a great pdoc but she officially (according to her voicemail) stopped taking on new patients years ago because she's all booked up.
  2. I only fly domestically in the US (and very rarely at that) but I realized on my last trip a couple years ago that it was overkill bringing my pills in their original prescription bottles (which happened to include at the time adderall, valium, and extra xanax in case of emergency). Plus, it was a waste of packing space because the pills alone take up much less room without the bottles. So I put about 3 weeks worth of each medication in a snack sized ziploc bag in my carry on for a 10-day trip (I always like to have extra in case of getting stranded somewhere). I put the ziploc baggies in my carry-on and just made sure not to accidentally smush them. I also considered getting little tiny jewelry baggies in bulk from Michael's/Joann's and putting a day's worth of pills in each bag and putting all the little tiny bags in one small ziploc. That's what my aunt does with her pills and vitamins/supplements and now my mom does it too. Here are the little jewelry bags my mom and aunt use: https://www.joann.com/reclosable-storage-bags-2inx3in-100-pkg/4918850.html Frankly, I was too lazy to do the daily bag thing (though it's a smart idea because when traveling I inevitably have at least one moment where I'm done eating breakfast and suddenly can't remember if I took my effexor yet...because when my morning routine is different, I start doing things out of order and I do things half-awake in the morning anyway). So then I have to start counting all the effexor pills left in the ziploc to see how many are remaining to be able to tell if I took it or not. Effexor sucks that way because I can't physically tell I've missed a dose until about 12 hours after missing the dose and by then I just have to tough out the weird effexor withdrawals until the next day. But think about it. In my opinion and very limited traveling experience, TSA does not have the time (or training) to decipher the size/shape/stamp on each pill you bring to even check if it's aspirin, a vitamin, or a controlled substance or to check whether your prescription or prescription bottle labeling is current/forged/matches your ID, etc. I'm sure they must realize the futility. I mean, two of my meds look like they could be OTC tylenol or ibuprofun tablets. And even when I used to travel with prescription bottles of medicine, no one ever looked at the labels to verify it was a current prescription for me or opened the bottles to see if what was inside matched what the outside said it should be. So I go with the ziploc method now. Takes up hardly any space and very lightweight. But this is US domestic flights only. And maybe I'm taking a risk? All I know is I'd rather dedicate the pill bottle space to clothes or other things. And when I googled this issue a couple years back, I couldn't find any anecdotal stories of people flying domestically having their pills inspected. Maybe TSA is too busy screening for the scary stuff?...like my Clif bars, for example, which apparently when grouped together in my carry-on bag look highly suspicious going through the scanning machine--like explosive materials. So they all had to come out and each Clif bar's wrapper individually swabbed for explosive residue. That was fun. So I learned not to carry so many Clif bars with me in my carry-on. (In TSA's defense, I was carrying an excessive amount of Clif bars; it wasn't like 2 or 3 bars.)
  3. The only thing I can think of that might be off with your machine is if maybe HE toploaders aren't as good as HE frontloaders (or maybe it's not a great model?). Also, be sure to check all the toilets in your house to see if the seals in the tanks and innards are working right. My grandma got a thousand dollar water bill one month because one of her toilets wasn't functioning optimally and water was slowly escaping. I don't think it was running constantly, but something happened to it that was easy to fix and then no more huge water bill the next month. We have well water so I can't really gauge water usage except that even using 2-3 extra rinses on some cycles, our laundry tub never comes close to overflowing on the rare occasion it does become obstructed/clogged for reasons unrelated to the washing machine. With our old top loaders, they would eject so much water, it would fill up the laundry tub over and over again throughout the cycle compared to the little bit of water that the front loader ejects throughout the cycle. Also, running the washer no longer significantly impacts our water pressure when we shower because it isn't having to fill a huge drum at the beginning of the cycle and before each rinse. Back in the old days, I would have to wait to shower until no one in the house was doing laundry if I wanted decent water pressure consistently throughout the shower. And now my clothes get cleaner and I have to do less "work" futzing around with the machine. I just pre-program everything--whether I want a prewash with oxiclean, how many extra rinses, etc--and the machine takes care of everything and I don't have to keep going back downstairs to check on it and turn another knob or press another button. Like Geek, I also use Consumer Reports (free online through my local library) in addition to Wirecutter*. Between the two, I'm able to make fairly informed decisions on everything from toenail clippers to major appliances.* I read some reviews across places like amazon, best buy, abt, etc. but they're mainly all horror stories when it comes to small and large appliances so less helpful. *I was skeptical about wirecutter at first but then I checked some random items that I happen to think I know the best brand/model of through my own personal trial & error and wirecutter agreed with me, so then I trusted their judgment on other stuff. I don't 100% agree with all of their recommendations, but they're pretty good/safe on most things IMO.
  4. My mom did the miralax w/gatorade plus dulcolax pills protocol. I think she did some with gatorade and some with something like crystal light (some kind of no-calorie flavored drops you add to water). Well, technically her doctor/nurses wanted her to do the dreaded trylite and only offered suprep as an alternative (which apparently is just as bad but you drink less of it?). But by this point in life my mom knew the miralax plus dulcolax protocol existed and is widely used across the country apparently (just not by the major health system my mom's doctors are a part of). She found out about the miralax protocol because one brother in Utah had a colonoscopy and that's the protocol they gave him to follow. Then her other brother had a colonoscopy (he lives about an hour south of us in the midwest) and he was given a similar protocol. Anyways, she loved the miralax and dulcolax thing with gatorade and flavored water (can't use certain colors of course), as much as one can love such things. Now she no longer dreads prepping for bowel stuff. Incidentally, perhaps because she waited an extremely long time between colonoscopies because she didn't want to do the trilyte thing again, she ended up having to have a colon resection to remove a large polyp located in a tricky spot. 2 nights in the hospital. Fun times. The only polyp they found, but he had to come out. (Totally benign so no worries on that front.) Oh, but my point is, she told the colorectal surgeon (also part of the same major health system) that she will not do trylite or suprep and will only do miralax/dulcolax and wouldn't you know it, he was able to have his staff quickly print out a miralax/dulcolax protocol for her to follow to prep for her surgery and said it was no problem and she can always follow it going foward if she wants. Why the nurses in the gastroenterologist's office refused to offer this as an option to her prior to her colonscopy a few weeks prior (forcing her to go rogue and follow my uncle's doctor's protocol), I don't know. And yes, my mom did call the nurses well in advance of the colonoscopy and asked but they would only offer an Rx for suprep as an alternative to trilyte. So my mom went rogue, followed one of the uncles' doctor's protocols. But she did not lie. They asked her just prior to the colonoscopy beginning about when she had last eaten and what she had taken and she told them, "I did the miralax/dulcolax thing," and they seemed okay with this and the colonoscopy went well and there were no issues as far as her colon not being cleared out.
  5. We've had 2 HE front loaders. Our first one (Kenmore) finally died after over a decade. Now we have an LG front loader. I love front loaders so much more than top loaders, even though some of the cycles are ridiculously long (especially when you add one or two extra rinses on, and at least one extra rinse is a must). The new one does have a turbo wash option you can add to some of the cycles to make them shorter which helps and IMO is superior to the single quick wash cycle on the old machine (the new one utilizes specially placed water jets and such). I feel my clothes get cleaner and less beat up in general by our front loaders vs. the old school top loaders we had in the past. I love the delicate and hand wash cycles more than their equivalent in an old school top loader (can't speak to HE top loaders since I've never used one). Also, clothes/towels seem to spin out more dry during the spin cycle so then need less time in the dryer or hanging up to dry. And if our laundry tub drain clogs with lint,* it never overflows during a front loader wash cycle because so little water is used, it doesn't even come close to overflowing the laundry tub that the water ejects into. We had several instances with our old top loaders where the drain would become accidentally obstructed and then the ejected laundry water would fill up the laundry set tub and overflow and flood the laundry room. We've never had a smell/mold issue with our front loaders and our laundry machine and dryer are in the basement (though we do usually run dehumidifiers in the basement to keep the humidity somewhat at bay). We just alway leave the washer door open a little bit whenever it's not in use and try to do a quick wipe down of the inside of the glass door and the rubber seal with a dry rag after finishing with laundry for the day. (I admit we sometimes skip the rubber seal wipe down entirely or do it half-heartedly.) With the Kenmore front loader, on a weekly basis we were doing steam sanitize cycles on things like rags used for house cleaning tasks or on things with gross stains. Those steam sanitize cycles may have helped. I think at most we maybe did 2-3 official cleaning cycles per year with bleach during our first front loader''s 10+ year life. We do some steam cycles on the new machine, which again maybe helps. I'm so obsessed and in love with our new LG front loader, that I'm actually religiously running the tub clean cycle on the first of every month (the only way I can remember). I could use bleach (but again, I'm in love) so I actually splurged on some affresh tablets when target had one of those buy this many/much, get a gift card promotions. Personally, I'm not sure the affresh tablets are doing anything all that special so I may not continue with them once I run out. I've never noticed a need to run the tub clean cycle but since it's there, I use it prophylactically just in case because I'm aware there's some segment of the population that apparently has a mold/funky smell issue with their front loaders. But with our washer being in a midwestern basement, and as lazy as we are about thoroughly wiping down the seal (which btw, only takes about 5-10 seconds), it's hard (for me) to believe it's truly that common if we haven't developed an issue by now. *We have a pantyhose solution to catch lint but sometimes things still go awry and the drain gets blocked.
  6. Another example, I'm pro-choice to the point that I think I sometimes make other pro-choice people uncomfortable with my extreme opinions about how far along in pregnancy women should be allowed to terminate for any reason. But there are some genuine* pro-life/anti-choice people that I can understand their opinions and not necessarily think they are a monster for thinking I should be forced to have a baby grow inside me for 9 months even if it was implanted there against my will or would put my own life at risk. It's trickier when it comes to legislation, legal repercussions, government funding, etc. around abortion (and euthanasia/right to die). But IMO discussions around abortion (and euthanasia/right to die) are big and complex enough for lots of viewpoints and opinions. *I distinguish between genuine and disingenuous pro-life/anti-choice stances. I'm not going to get into that distinction here.
  7. It is so much more complicated than the sky color. And perhaps because it is so complicated, I have read all the opinions and reasoning behind each opinion expressed in this thread and they all make sense to me, even if I tend to agree with some opinions more than others. I don't even have my own fully formed opinion yet on what happened because there are so many issues to consider and not quite enough information about the particulars.
  8. Please don't feel bad or at fault somehow for expressing your opinion. People can respectfully disagree or have differing opinions on something and this is not necessarily evidence that one person is "bad" or "wrong" for having a differing opinion. There are a some black/white, zero sum things like "the sky is blue" (to the human eye) and humans requiring oxygen to live. (Or at least those are 2 examples I think most people would agree on but even then, if you see the sky as "red" or want to call it azure, IMO it doesn't make you a bad person for expressing this.) ETA: Personally, I am finding all of the opinions expressed in this thread and the discussion very interesting and well thought out, and have been following it.
  9. This description gave me disturbing visuals, but also laughs. 😄
  10. This was an interesting thread with a few people's experiences: To quote myself in full: All I could find via some quick google searches: WHO guidelines: Accept Individuals with anxiety disorders or mood (affective) disorders (e.g. depression, bipolar disorder), provided they are generally in good health and are not obviously over-anxious, depressed or manic when seen on the day of donation, regardless of medication Defer permanently Individuals with psychotic disorders requiring maintenance treatment http://www.who.int/bloodsafety/publications/WHOguidelinesblooddonorselectionAnnex3.pdf https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK138205/ Interesting federal case against a blood plasma center in Utah (though this deals with selling plasma vs donating blood): "As part of Octapharma’s donor eligibility determination, Mr. Levorsen 1 was required to undergo a physical examination during which he revealed that he was taking the medication Geodon for borderline schizophrenia disorder.... "Based upon Mr. Levorsen’s disclosure, Octapharma informed him that he would be unable to donate source plasma. The basis for refusal was Octapharma’s assertion that during the donation process Mr. Levorsen might have a schizophrenic episode and “pull the needle collecting blood out of his arm and hurt him-self and/or others.” (doc. 1, ¶16). As a result, Octapharma placed Mr. Levorsen’s name on the “National Donor Deferral Registry” (“NDDR”) thereby marking him as an individual unfit to donate and ensuring his inability to donate plasma at any donation center in the nation. "On May 23, 2013, Mr. Levorsen provided Octapharma with paperwork from his treating psychiatrist, Dr. Benjamin Thatcher, and from psychiatrist Dr. Christopher Davis. Both doctors agreed that Mr. Levorsen was “medically suitable” to donate plasma two times per week (doc. 1, ¶19). However, despite the psychiatrists’ clearance, Octapharma informed Mr. Levorsen that because of his borderline schizophrenia disorder he would remain on the NDDR. As a result of Octapharma’s actions, Mr. Levorsen remains unable to donate source plasma and has been deprived of the $260.00 monthly income that his plasma donations previously provided (doc.1, ¶21). On April 30, 2014, Mr. Levorsen filed his complaint against Octapharma alleging a variety of claims based on violations of Title III of the ADA and seeking both declaratory and injunctive relief (doc.1, ¶21)." .... "Based hereon, the court concludes that Octapharma, a plasma donation center, does not qualify as a place of public accommodation as contemplated under the ADA and therefore Octapharma is not subject to 42 U.S.C. § 12182. Accordingly, Octapharma’s Motion To Dismiss is hereby GRANTED (doc. 10)." https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCOURTS-utd-2_14-cv-00325/pdf/USCOURTS-utd-2_14-cv-00325-1.pdf They appealed and the case was remanded: "The district court concluded that plasma-donation centers (PDCs) aren’t service establishments because, unlike section 12181(7)(F)’s enumerated examples, PDCs don’t provide a service to the public in exchange for a fee. The Tenth Circuit found this "superficial distinction" irrelevant. Under the plain language of section 12181(7)(F), a PDC was a "'service establishment' for two exceedingly simple reasons: It’s an establishment. And it provides a service." Because the district court erred in concluding otherwise, and in dismissing the underlying action on that basis, the Tenth Circuit reversed and remanded for further proceedings." https://us10thcircuitcourtofappealsopinions.justia.com/2016/07/12/levorsen-v-octapharma-plasma/ (Very) short article about the case: https://www.courthousenews.com/schizophrenic-man-has-case-over-donation-ban/ https://www.reuters.com/article/octapharma-plasma-ada/plasma-donor-rejected-for-schizophrenia-can-sue-under-ada-10th-circuit-idUSL1N19Z0BF
  11. aquarian


    I have a free account with credit karma (for other reasons) and they seem to always be emailing me about my info being in yet another data breach. And then when I go to that section on credit karma, they tell me what the breach is (sometimes it's specific to a particular website I'm a member of but lately it's just part of a "combo list"). And then they list all my passwords that have been compromised. Kind of freaky that my passwords are all floating around somewhere for people to buy apparently. I've never gotten a spam email like what you describe though. Although, I never even click on or open spam emails so it's possible I could have gotten one and deleted it without ever opening it. I just read the title of the email, can tell it's spam and delete away. Keep in mind, I know nothing about computers and all this kind of stuff.
  12. I'm so happy for you! (Not happy that you're officially "disabled" of course, but that the process went smoothly for you.) 🙂
  13. ETA: Thank you for fixing! I no longer have the issue I describe below! When I click on unread content, it pulls up a line item for each new comment made in a thread vs. just the latest comment made in an updated thread. I prefer the latter, which is the way it used to be. I am happy the "Load more activity" button now appears to be working again though! Thanks much! Here's what I'm talking about regarding the unread content search results:
  14. My cat goes nuts when we bring home rotisserie chicken from Sam's Club or Costco (I'm vegetarian but my mom is not). We can't turn our backs for a second. My mom once put the rotisserie chicken on the island, took the lid off, turned around to rinse the lid at the sink directly across the island, and when she turned back moments later she discovered he had jumped up in stealth mode onto the island and was starting to get at it. (He's 14 years old but still quite spry and goes into stealth mode when he wants to inspect the kitchen counters for food. Our prior cat was overweight and quite clunky and had no stealth mode for jumping on anything. You could hear him landing up or down from a mile away, if he could even be bothered to jump up on anything higher than a couch or bed.) I thought on Thanksgiving our current rotisserie chicken-loving cat would go nuts around the turkey but he didn't really. Fried chicken he's definitely interested in but doesn't go nuts meowing nonstop and not letting the chicken out of his line of sight like he does with the rotisserie chicken. (Sadly, he's not allowed to eat any chicken because he has a sensitive stomach and might be a little allergic to chicken in general.) We think maybe his previous owner must have eaten a lot of rotisserie chicken and fed it to him or something. (We only adopted him a couple years ago and he had two prior owners before us.)
  15. To sort of tack on to what Iguana/Gearhead asked, what if "history of tomorrow" were used in a poem or as the title of a poem (and I'm not talking "vogon poetry"* here--though I'm hesitant to get into a discussion of what counts as the good, the bad, and the struggling in poetry or what even constitutes a poem**)? I don't consider poetry to be an abuse of language (even though it does take some liberties, I think it makes quite interesting use of language and can even improve our understanding), and I can think of a "history of tomorrow" definitely being possible and true in a poem, in the right context of course (but again, not just spewed vogon stuff, no offense to vogon poets everywhere). Basically what I'm asking is: can writers of poems and poets get a special dispensation from being said to look like idiots and from being accused of committing crimes against language? (I know you in no way called out writers of poems or poetry in general, and yet I'm feeling a little defensive/sensitive on behalf of poem writers everywhere, some of whom may be "abusing" language quite skillfully and making a lot of sense in the process, in many senses of the word sense.) Or do you exclude all poets (and fiction writers for that matter) from the academic ranks entirely? (In that case, oh dear.) *I first heard of vogon poetry here at crazyboards and that (plus the first couple of google search results) constitutes most of my limited understanding of it. **Regarding what counts as truly bad poetry, I tend to adhere to the supreme court's test for what constitutes hardcore porn--I know it when I see [read] it. But often some "bad", or less than great, or struggling poems have glimmers of "good" stuff that can be worked with and built upon. And if there weren't bad poems in existence, there probably wouldn't be many good ones either because everyone has to start somewhere (and though I don't write all that well now, I can certainly admit to writing some really (in hindsight) embarassingly bad stuff in the past. Come to think of it, I still write some things that I'd never let anyone see unless I was in a safe workshop environment, and maybe not even then). I can further make the case for badly written poems by pointing out that the writing of "bad" poetry is still an expression of self and trying to express oneself is usually a good thing, especially if it also serves as catharthis or as a form of reaching out to other people or even just as a way to try to make sense of oneself or of something that's happened or of life itself, the universe, etc. etc. (humans being the meaning-making creatures we seem to be--well, that's one takeaway from my liberal arts type degree). I could go on in defense of bad poetry, but I think I've now quelled my feelings of guilt for calling/labeling some poetry "bad" in the first place.
  16. aquarian


    Really good acting by Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen, though I suppose they've been good in everything I've seen them in. (If we're referring to the same show...think it had a few seasons.)
  17. So at the end of my pdoc appointment today (after deciding to up the buspar to 3x/day instead of 2x/day and possibly take more valium as needed due to the fact that I'm still unable to drive alone for more that 10-12 minute roundtrips due to panic and anxiety, etc.*), I asked if there was anything new out. And so she mentions this Cervella device is coming out that may help with anxiety/depression, is FDA approved and requires an Rx, but it's also expensive (almost $700) and she doesn't know that much about it yet. I'm definitely skeptical that it will turn out to be just a piece of (expensive) junk so I'm not planning to get one (unless I hear a ton of patient success stories from her or people here), but does anyone know if the trials it went through were actually legit? Has anyone else's doctor mentioned it? She did not push it on me at all by the way. It just came up randomly at the close of our session because I asked if there was anything "new" out. *In addition to medication, I also see a tdoc once a week and have tried two workbooks for anxiety & panic** that I admittedly need to revisit and do more worksheets from on a consistent basis. I try to drive once a day either by myself or with my mom in the car so I am working at this (I started out only being able to make it to the end of my street with my mom in the passenger seat). I just have hit sort of a wall and at some point I really hope to be able to drive and run my own errands again and not go into panic mode if my mom takes a vacation and leave me home alone. The panicking while showering/driving/being home alone for more than a couple days all started around the middle of last year due to several minor life stressors. **These are the two workbooks I've made my way most of the way through (I've read them both but only have done some of the worksheets from each one....the 1st workbook got overwhelming with the amount of worksheets it wanted me to do so after doing several of those, I think I eventually switched to the worksheets in the 2nd book): The Anxiety and Worry Workbook: The Cognitive Behavioral Solution by David A. Clark Mastery of Your Anxiety and Panic: Workbook (Treatments That Work) 4th Edition
  18. Effexor diminshed for me over the years too, but it's been since 2002, so a long, good ride up until about 2011-ish. But to answer your question, I feel the same now on effexor post-cymbalta as I did on effexor just prior to starting cymbalta. So still not optimal, but it hasn't gotten worse.
  19. I switched back to effexor after a cymbalta trial within the last year. Cymbalta didn't really seem any different than effexor for me and I was having more anxiety/panic related to stuff going on in my life (my pdoc had hoped cymbalta would help me since Effexor apparently pooped out on me long ago). So I (wishfully) thought, maybe the cymbalta switch was partly to blame for the increase in anxiety/panic and let's go back to good old effexor even though it wasn't 100% helpful. So now I've back on effexor. Still much the same as before and like cymbalta. Still pooped out but better than nothing (or effexor withdrawals) I suppose. The effexor is neither more nor less effective than it had been prior to cymbalta for me.
  20. If it makes you feel any better about not being able to take adderall, I never lost weight on it that I can remember. In fact, I continued to gain for the most part. I took one small dose of Adderall IR in the morning for energy/mood lift. I did notice my appetite would be suppressed for the 3-4 hours or so the Adderall was in effect. But then after the adderall wore off, I'd be super hungry so would still consume the about same amount of calories daily.
  21. A lot of lawyers will want you to wait until you've been denied twice at initial and reconsideration before even taking your case so don't worry too much about not being able to find one now. IMO, for most people, there's not much for a lawyer to do until you get to a hearing. I tried to describe everything on the Adult Function Report in a way that emphasized things that would preclude me even holding a simple sedentary job like surveillance system monitor, silverware wrapper, etc. on a regular basis. Always keep that in the back of your mind. Why can't I sit and wrap silverware (or watch a surveillance camera monitor) in an office or other environment 30+ hours a week? (If you don't meet or equal a blue book listing, that's the threshold.) So just keep that in the back of your head as you answer. So, for instance, I said I can go to my therapy appointment, maybe pick up meds and a few groceries, but then I'll have to take a day or two "off" to rest in the following days and lay around watching tv and surfing the net. (Do I sound like a lazy bastard? Sure. But it's the truth about my limitations.) And I'm pretty sure I sound just as lazy in pdoc and tdoc's notes as well (though I've only glanced at a few bits and pieces of their notes); there's no getting around it (they don't say lazy or imply I'm lazy but if an average person read what they have to say about me, that average person might think that all that doctor-speak simply translates into "patient is lazy and needs to get off her ass, leave the house more, do her laundry, take a shower regularly and basically learn how to 'adult' in general".) Also, I have a hobby--I knit. But can I follow a complicated knitting pattern for 4+ hours a day, 5 days a week? Not usually. So I explained how often I knit and for how long at a time. I might knit a little, then watch tv a little, then browse online a little, and so forth. I was a bit more specific on the form than I'm being here. I also tended to describe my average "bad day" vs. an average "good day" but I did explain how I had both good (more functional) days and bad (less functional) days. I had to attach additional pages because they don't give you enough lines to answer the really big questions they ask like, "What do you do from the time you get up until the time you go to bed at night?" Even so, I was denied at initial and reconsideration. Then I got a local lawyer recommended by my pdoc. That lawyer's firm has a short answer questionnaire designed specifically for mental impairment claims that my tdoc and pdoc filled out. It's not the generic RFC form that you can google online. I think that form (and possibly my lawyer's brief because I think she wrote one) helped me at the hearing. In addition, the judge gave more weight to my self-reported symptoms than was given to those same self-reported symptoms at earlier levels of review. Basically, everything matched up--my Adult Function Report, my testimony at the hearing, my medical records from tdoc & pdoc and the short answer questionnaires pdoc & tdoc filled out. So just be honest because it all has to match up in the end. Remember to make copies of everything you send to SSA and keep the copies somewhere safe. Hope this helps a bit.
  22. I quit smoking about 12 years ago and still have the occasional dream where I'm smoking. I wake up and miss it. I miss smoking in some ways to this day and wish I could have a cigarette now and then at those perfect moments but then I remind myself about the pros of being a nonsmoker. Like how I can now sit through a whole movie in a movie theatre without getting antsy. Or sit through a long dinner. And I'm not irritated by staying at hotels. I used to hate hotels if they were nonsmoking only because I'd have to take an elevator down to the lobby and exit to smoke vs. just smoking outside my door at a motel. Also, airports and flying are infinitely more pleasant as a nonsmoker though there was at least one airport back in the day that had a smoking room so I never minded having a stop there (even though the smoking room was admittedly kind of gross). Not sure if that airport still has the smoking room. Oh, and I was less irritable on hikes once I quit smoking because it sure was awkward smoking on the trail when the fire risk was high. Not to say I never did it (and took my cigarette butts with me), but it was kind of weird having to stop and take smoke breaks on the way up/down a mountain. (Sadly I don't live near mountains anymore.) I never had a bad cough or anything when I smoked and I worked out and was somewhat active despite being a smoker. I think I noticed a little bit of improvement in my aerobic capacity (or whatever it's called) after quitting but it wasn't nearly as much as I thought it was going to be. I was kind of disappointed in that respect. I thought I was going to feel so much better after quitting but I didn't notice many physical differences other than that I had to eat slightly less each day because I wasn't burning as many calories without the cigarettes. And I was hungry more without nicotine to suppress appetite between meals. FWIW, I smoked 1/3 to 1/2 pack a day for about 10 years, maybe a little longer. Maybe if I had been a heavier smoker I would have noticed more of a difference physically when I quit. I mean, it was brutal and miserable quitting cold turkey so it was not easy by any means, but I'm talking about physically my skin didn't suddenly clear up and my ability to workout didn't get exponentially better.
  23. Unfortunately I don't have any helpful advice except to agree with you that #1 is a bad idea. Last place I was hired (Fortune 500 company) for a somewhat entry level position did a full background check, including dates of employment and job titles from all past employers, when it got to the final hiring stages. I was glad everything mostly matched up with what I had on my resume.
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