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Almost A Year Later…

May 11, 2012

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We are well past the 1 year mark when Mike had his cardiac arrest.  We are coming up on the 1 year anniversary of the day he was finally discharged from inpatient care for the cardiac arrest and its complications.  Like that old Virginia Slims commercial used to say…We’ve come a long way Baby!  It’s […]

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Farewell to 2011

December 29, 2011

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December 29, 2011…and this year is (mercifully) drawing to an end.  Maybe I should have titled this entry Good riddance 2011!   I look forward to 2012 and hope it is far less eventful than this year, thank you very much!  We seem to be cruising out of this year almost on a cloud.  Things on the home […]

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For the New Year….Commitments To Myself

December 26, 2011

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Christmas 2011 is past now…it comes and goes so quickly.  So much anticipation, so much preparation and in the blink of an eye it’s gone.  We had a very quiet day.  Very.  It was relaxing.  It gave me time to reflect as we approach the one year mark when my life changed markedly.  Phew.  It […]

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Well Intended Political Rhetoric

December 14, 2011

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Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords staff conducted a webinar on TBI today.  Apparently people who had written to the Congresswoman after her injury and expressed brain injury interest were invited to attend (among constituents and whoever else..).  The event was held at the Southern Arizona VA where the Veterans Administration has one of their Polytrauma Network sites.  The Brain Association of Southern Arizona […]

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Status Quo

December 10, 2011

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And so the journey continues…it’s been a couple days since I stopped those two meds Mike was taking.  It’s a daily vigil now…will there be a serious cardiac reaction or won’t there?  My sister-in-law thinks Mike got a do-over on the heart and now we simply need to work with the neuro complications.  I dunno.  I do […]

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Decisions, Decisions, Decisions….

December 8, 2011

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My current Christmas wish is to wake up one morning, transformed with some new knowledge and abilities…a cross between a cardiologist and a neuropsychiatrist.  I suspect if I were, though, I would have to run screaming from those realities because in general I lack detachment and objectivity.  The reality would be far too much for me […]

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Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford…”Gabby”

November 17, 2011

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Although the events preceding Feb 18 this year are pretty much a blur, superseded by the horror in our lives, I do remember the shooting in Arizona.  I remember wondering what the world was coming to…wondering how we had become a world of people, however damaged any individual might be, that any number of us valued […]

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Orders Of The Day

October 17, 2011

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It’s Monday morning and as I face the new week I reflect on the old and wonder how to improve on it in the new week.  Yeah, I know.  It’s a weirdness I have, but there it is.  I expect I’m just never satisfied right?  I put on some music to think by…and not interested […]

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Nueropsychology for (k)Nuckleheads

October 12, 2011

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Where I would be the head knucklehead.  I keep thinking there must be some science to this whole brain injury recovery that is somehow escaping me.  While I know that every situation, every brain, every injury, every patient, and ultimately,  therefore, every recovery, is different, the lack of information I have gotten on what the extent […]

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Project Healing Waters

October 9, 2011

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Project Healing Waters is a project whose mission is :  “to assist in the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active duty military personnel and veterans through fly fishing and fly tying education and outings.”   Locally, the LVMAC (Lehigh Valley Military Affairs Council) and the Hokendauqua Chapter of Trout Unlimited joined forces to present a day of […]

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October Skies

October 7, 2011

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Did you ever notice that the early morning sky can have the tiniest bit of pink shading?  It’s October…and October has the bluest skies ever…so in the early morning light, the softness of the blue approaches the sky blue in my box of Crayolas…but not as full or rich yet because the sun is just […]

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Happiness is healing…

October 6, 2011

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On the way to the doc’s office today (yes, there is mild, very mild, COPD.  No meds for it at this time.  Just watch it.  Since it didn’t appear before the cardiac arrest and all the pneumonia/vent/mrsa/respiratory failures, it is probably due to that. )  I asked Mike my usual question. “Honey, have I told […]

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Turning Corners

October 6, 2011

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I have to wonder if we’ve turned another corner in recovery.  Memory is still not really better.  However, yesterday I noticed pieces of old personality returned…or were returning.  Not the best pieces either!  Enroute to speech therapy and his visit with the neuropsychologist, Mike argued with me endlessly about how it was most certainly not Wednesday.  And […]

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Curiouser and Curiouser

September 29, 2011

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Truly, some days I feel like Alice spiralling round and round down the rabbit hole into a world of the wholly unexplainable. I’ve been reading those hospital records again.  Truly. Based on results, my adorable husband should be (a) dead then (b) vegetative then (c) dead again and then (d) dead again and (e) probably […]

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Memories

September 25, 2011

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These have been on my mind a lot lately.  Both Mike’s and my memories.  And just memory itself. There’s the memories of Mike’s arrest.  I think those are some kind of post traumatic thing…they make me cry a lot and grieve.  But in reality there is not a lot of time for that in my […]

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Progress!

September 21, 2011

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It’s a day.  Neither a good day nor a bad day.  A busy day…but still just a day.  We’ve been up for hours because today is the day the super duper high efficiency heat pump/air con is being installed.  What a project it is too.  Mercifully the temperatures are cool today.  This afternoon brings a […]

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Mike’s Status and the VA Stuff….

September 5, 2011

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It’s been a busy summer and I can barely believe it is over…and we are almost 7 months post cardiac arrest.   All in all I would say we are leading a charmed life. Mike’s cardiologist says his heart is in pretty darned good shape all things considered.  Ejection fraction is normal.   Damage from the attack […]

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Mike Day 81 Moving Forward: Out Of The Fog

August 15, 2011

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It’s  been a very long time since I last posted.  I seemed to have lost my voice.  My mind.   My spirit.  It was everything I could do to pick my head up off the pillow in the morning…especially since it had probably been picked up off the pillow no less than 8 times during the […]

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Mike Day 45 Moving Forward: Recreational Therapy

July 11, 2011

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All of these therapies Mike receives are great.  As far as they go.  To him, I am sure, they feel like work.  I also find them to be a bit tedious.  I’ve been looking into adjunct therapies…some speech therapy workbooks, different from the ones his therapist uses. Hyperbaric Oxygenation Therapy which I am certain I can’t afford […]

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July 3 Mike Moving Forward: “One Of The Best Nights”

July 3, 2011

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Really, Mike is so easy to please…he always was, but now is even easier.  Such simple things have always pleased him. During the day Mike slept blissfully till about noon.  After the wandering of the night before and in the absence of scheduled appointments, this was what I expected and what usually gets him back […]

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Mike Day 36 Moving Forward: Midsummer Night’s Dream

July 2, 2011

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It’s been one of those periods of those days.  Days…and mostly nights…where I can’t quite explain what the heck I’m seeing and experiencing.  They’re like bad dreams.  Unexplainable.  Surreal.   Not that there has been anything big going on, or bad, it’s just a strange period.  Mike’s been making progress cognitively.  Some days he has such […]

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Mike Day 27 Moving Forward: Catchup Epistle

June 23, 2011

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Well, I haven’t written for several days…and during brain injury recovery there don’t seem to be many static periods.  So there’s lots to ruminate on.  This will be long.  I should probably break it into multiple posts, but who has time.  Grab a cuppa joe if you’re reading and inclined to see it through to the end.  […]

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Mike Day 22 Moving Forward: Out Of The Mouth Of…Mike

June 18, 2011

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You never know what might come out of Mike’s mouth…you expect confusion, made up words, incomplete sentences, all courtesy his acquired brain injury.  When you get snippets of his old personality, his old sense of humor, it’s truly a treat that makes me laugh and laugh.  And laughing is good.  So very good. The other […]

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Mike Day 20 Moving Forward: EUREKA!

June 16, 2011

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Mike woke up, hopped out of bed, headed to the bathroom.  He came out looking for what I inferred to be the towel and  wash cloth as he mimed washing he face.  He informed me he was planning to wash and brush his teeth.  I gave it to him…he washed his face dry.  There was no convincing […]

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Mike Day 20 Moving Forward: Medical Updates

June 16, 2011

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Yesterday I met with the various therapies working with Mike.  PT tells me he is pretty high functioning actually, in the physical department.  And they tested his balance and he passed the balance test with flying colors…which surprised them because in the gym he is oblivious to what is around him which makes it throw off […]

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Mike Day 19 Moving Forward: Are You Kidding Me?

June 15, 2011

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Who would have known that the guy I’m married to for 31 years now, who cannot recall our marriage, who often doesn’t recall momentous events in our joint lives or his own life, who cannot remember his sister who died 30 years ago, who cannot remember five minutes after lunch that he had lunch and had […]

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Mike Day 18 Forward: Our Wedding Anniversary…how sweet it is

June 14, 2011

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First, Happy Anniversary to us.  It’s 31 years today since we were married.  I’m interested to see if Mike retained that information till this morning.  Lately, it seems as if sometimes his short term memory is improving with enough repetition of the same data…and then only for short periods.  Truthfully, the memory thing is a […]

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Mike Day 17 Forward: This, That n The Next Thing

June 13, 2011

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It’s Monday…our day off from Therapy, doctor’s appts, wound care center appts and the like.  Mike DID have to have blood drawn, and, since our priest is leaving for two weeks in Italy and has been wanting to give Mike the sacraments for a bit now, Mel took him to church for communion.  Right now […]

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Mike Day 15 Forward: Rainy Day Impressions

June 11, 2011

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It’s early.  I’ve been up for an hour, since 5, awakened by the pups who were sure it was time to go out.  Somehow they hadn’t realized it was raining buckets…and they don’t like the rain.  Awake for nothing.  SIGH.  I lay here in the semi-dark hoping the light from the pc and the tapping […]

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Mike Day 10 of The Journey Forward

June 6, 2011

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So here we are, ten days from Mike’s discharge.  It’s been a ride, but we are finally settling into some sort of normalcy…or something akin to a routine, which is very comforting to me these days.  Oddly enough, I used to view spontaneity as the greatest gift and found routines to be tedious.  I think […]

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Mike Day 97: D-Day

May 26, 2011

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At last it’s here…after 96 long days of hospitalization I get to bring Mike home!  I grocery shopped last night and brought home all ilk of fruit, juices, veggies and good for you stuff to eat.  I have the prescriptions in hand to drop off on the way to the hospital.  Nursing gave me my discharge […]

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Mike Day 96: D-Day Minus 1

May 25, 2011

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Tomorrow is the big day!  I can hardly wait.  It’s been a huge week getting ready, and I still have grocery shopping to do…but we are almost home “free”.  Free is an odd way to put it.  We are definitely not “free”.  The cost of a serious medical illness such as Mike’s is pretty staggering.  […]

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Mike Day 92: Getting Ready For Homecoming

May 22, 2011

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Yesterday we began readying the house for Mike’s return home.  The kids, Deb, and I got together very early and descended on the bedroom.  With only 5 days to go, the countdown has begun and we need to get cracking! To say Mike has “stuff” squirreled everywhere would be an understatement.  A collector of all […]

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Day 91 Mike: ShortTimers

May 20, 2011

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It’s looking good for the 26th and D-Day (in this case, Discharge Day).  I’m a little scared the bedsore might throw a monkey wrench in…it suddenly started to have yukky drainage again.  I’ve insisted the wound care nurse evaluate it again today and I’m hoping that they can turn whatever has flared up around very quickly.  […]

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Mike Day 89: (Almost) Out Of Exile

May 18, 2011

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At last the exile that resulted from our very indulgent and unhealthy eating habits…which is all Mike’s heart attack is attributable to…is almost over.   As discharge became a sooner rather than later reality bearing down on us, I began to feel kind of unsettled about some open items relative to Mike’s daily existence that I […]

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Day 84: Such A Great Day After All!

May 13, 2011

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This morning, first thing, we visited the office of Pulmonary Associates…the critical care docs who cared for Mike for 2 months and brought him through so much illness it can’t be believed.  Dr. Jeff Marsh saw him…I had rather hoped it would be he and expressed same to nurse practitioner at Good Shepherd before she made the […]

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Mike Day 84: He’s Fine. My Last Nerve Is Shot.

May 13, 2011

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It looks like there is not much more time left with Mike spent in exile in one form of hospital or another.  The last week of May is right around the corner…worst case scenario, first week of June…and Mike should be coming home.  This, of course, depends on whether or not the medical people are giving […]

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Mike Day 82: Marching (In Place)

May 11, 2011

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Yesterday I arrived at the rehab expecting to see (a) the feeding tube gone (b) a wound vac on Mike’s bedsore to heal it in (optimally) 2 months and (c) an appointment made at an ENT to evaluate the condition of Mike’s vocal cords so we would know if we could pull the trach or not.  You see, […]

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Mike Day 81: Success

May 10, 2011

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Yesterday proved to be a success on many fronts. I arrived at the hospital and the first stop was in the office of the care manager.. she is appropriately titled. And wonderful. She assured me that my schedule ideas could be readily implemented. On the subject of trach removal she wanted respiratory involved. Off we […]

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Mike Day 80: Planning and Waiting

May 9, 2011

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Last Tuesday or Wednesday Mike’s care manager told me they are still looking at 3-4 weeks of inpatient therapy for him.  Some quick mental math tells me that this illness will have had him hospitalized for somewhere around 100 days.  The three weeks seems so close…and still so far away.  The reality of bringing Mike […]

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Mike Day 74: Blessings Abound

May 3, 2011

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So the oximetry sleep study for last night did not happen.  Mike was in no way tired, and in no way sleeping.  Well 5-6 am but that is all.  He was a little twitchy/rammy too.  I think overstimulated and not terribly tired because he powernapped in the afternoon, all thought of sleep went out the window.  So […]

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Mike Day 73: Catching Up

May 2, 2011

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Phew!  It’s been a bit since I’ve posted.  This isn’t because Mike is not doing well…on the contrary, he is improving and improving quickly!  I’ve been spending a lot of time at the rehab hospital and they don’t have a nearby hotspot…so no web access for my laptop and when I get home I am beat. […]

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Mike Day 67: A Simply Lovely Day

April 26, 2011

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Wow.  What huge progress Mike has made in a few short days at neuro rehab.  He walked 85 feet with the walker. It’s a bit clunky and he tires for sure…but I hearken back to February when we could barely get two eye blinks from him.  He walked with the assist of me and the nurse, no walker, […]

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Mike Day 66: Rainbows

April 25, 2011

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I’m reminded this morning, that after 40 days and nights of rain Noah saw a rainbow…a visible commitment from God and a reminder that He carries us safely through storms. I’m also reminded that last night as I began to despair, my daughter texted a photo…a distinct and brilliant rainbow in the East, clearly visible […]

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Mike Day 66: What Is To Become Of Us?

April 25, 2011

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Yesterday, again, was a day of many mixed blessings.  Mikey visited Mike right after church.  When I arrived at the rehab about 10 he was already there and Mike was in OT.  Unfortunately, when I headed back to Mike’s room,  I was greeted with the news that he was in therapy, his son was there, and that […]

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Mike Day 65: Happy Easter

April 24, 2011

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Good morning…and Happy Easter.  What a beautiful morning to commemorate the Resurrection!  This morning it is truly evident that Spring has sprung in Pennsylvania.  Day one at Rehab was really quite surprising to me.  I can’t say whether or not it is the increased movement and being out of bed more or just that Mike […]

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Mike Day 64: A Jubilant Day 63 Report

April 23, 2011

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First things first.  Mom…I visited the doc for my 30,000 mile checkup (though it feels more like 200,000 miles) and all seems well.  Ticker sounds good, BP not bad all things considered, EKG looks swell…waiting for results of blood work but don’t expect anything untoward to show up.  I’ll live to see another day I reckon.  (I am […]

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Mike Day 62: A Fresh Start

April 21, 2011

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After a good bit of crying over the outcome of the Highmark appeal yesterday, I had a revelation.  I realized my thinking on the whole topic of this brain injury pre-authorization was directionally incorrect. I was pretty much delusional in hoping Highmark would reverse their decision on these appeals in any reasonable fashion.   I was being naive […]

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Mike: Day 61 Appeal Results

April 20, 2011

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About an hour ago I received a call from Tammy at Highmark. She wanted to let me know that a hearing had been held yesterday regarding my appeal. Bear in mind this was a hearing I knew nothing of and was afforded no opportunity to participate in. She went on to explain that I would […]

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Mike Day 61 Highs and Lows

April 20, 2011

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Yesterday was a day of mixed blessings. As with almost every day I start by thanking God for another day above ground. I figure every one of those is a great day. I thank him for my many blessings, ask him to continue to heal Mike and to keep me healthy so I can take […]

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