Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Plastic Surgery

As a medical writer, I end up having to research topics I wouldn't ordinarily think to research. Lately, I've been writing a lot for plastic surgeons so I've learned all about hyaluronic acid fillers. These are injected under the skin to "fill things out" and smooth wrinkles. And, they all have names that conjure images of fresh faced youth, like Juvederm. There's even a new product, called Radiesse, that stimulates the body to actually produce its own collagen.

Growing your own collagen isn't always a positive. Elephant Man, who some believe suffered from Proteus Syndrome, was very adept at growing his own collagen. That would not be a good way to explain the way Radiesse works. "Did you ever see the movie, The Elephant Man? Well, a lot of the way he looked had to do with collagen overgrowth, and actually, the stuff that I'm about to inject under your skin with this giant needle, causes your body to start growing more collagen... Hey! Where are you going?! Don't you want to get rid of your wrinkles?"

I'm happy to report, though, that if you are not happy with the way you look, there are many solutions including Accent skin tightening, Juvederm, Radiesse, Botox, face lifts...

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Prescription Drugs

I just got a shipment of medications from Glasko Smith Kline. Whenever I get a package, I excitedly shake it like a little kid on Christmas. And when I hear the moroca-y sound of lots of tiny pills tumbling around inside their plastic bottles, I get very excited. Because this means that another month has gone by where I will NOT have to pay twelve hundred dollars for my medications.

Yes, my medications cost 1200 per month. And getting help from the drug companies was like pulling teeth. I HAVE insurance, so I didn't technically qualify for most of the programs. The fact that my insurance caps out at 2,000 dollars a year didn't seem to count when I first applied. So I appealed. And in some cases, I appealed again. Finally I'm at the point where most of my drugs are supplied for free through some of these prescription drug charity programs.

This makes me really mad about being bipolar. Most things can be fixed. Relationships can be repaired, tattoos can be lasered away (If I were to so desire), but I will always be a slave to the pharmacy. Always always always. In day to day life, it seems easy enough. I get my prescriptions, I go to the pharmacy (or as is the case right now, I get my drugs from the companies), I take my pills... everything's fine. The trouble comes when I realize I'm running out of medication and I forgot to tell my doctor I needed another prescription. Sometimes when I'm planning to go on vacation, I realize I'm set to run out of medication right smack in the middle of the week. And sometimes, if you've got your 90 day supply, you can't get another batch of pills until that 90 days are up. So if you're going on vacation at day 85, and you need 10 days worth of pills during your vacation, you may not be able to get those extra 5 pills before leaving. That means you have to carry a prescription with you, and make a visit to the pharmacy wherever you happen to be.

The inconvenience isn't a big deal in and of itself- I don't sit around thinking about it, crying over it... it's just that it's a reminder.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Study Aids

In the past, whenever hypomania has struck, I've come up with the brilliant idea to start a business. And the business I'm starting always involves buying a printer. But not a printer that I already have, the five printers from the previous episodes won't work. Nope, if I already have an ink jet, I need a laser printer. If I have a black and white laser printer, I need an ink jet. If I have an ink jet and a laser printer, I need a printer that photocopies. A printer that photocopies in color. A big printer, a small printer... And then by the time the printer arrives, I'm back to a more level state... and my dreams of writing chemistry text books, making biology flash cards, and authoring a book of pneumonic devices designed to help people learning English as a second language, have dissipated.

I'm super on top of my moods and medications right now so I haven't been buying printers. Instead, I've developed an insatiable appetite for study aids. I'll pick out the perfect study aid on Amazon, buy it, and then when it arrives, I'll decide that another study aid must be better. And you'd think that eventually I'd run out of study aids to buy. Apparently it's a booming business, the business of making study aids. And I'm probably the best customer.

As of now, I haven't decided whether I want to crush step two, learn all the secrets associated with step two, step up to step two, learn first aid for step 2.