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The Trifecta of Ow. - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
The Trifecta of Ow.
All three of the larger-than-ten-pound residents of this home are having problems with joints- and I don't mean the kind you smoke.

Ever since the temperature around here dropped like a stone, my left knee has been in almost constant pain. Ibuprofen helps; cardio seems to be neutral to it; but long drives (especially Monday's to, round and from Toronto, where I put on close to 300 miles by the time it was all sorted) drive it totally crazy. Until we sort some other medical issues among us, I'm not going to start the diagnostic process unless it really ratchets up; under my plan, the first $2,000 comes out of pocket, and right now that's not there.

(One thing, oddly, that is here? The wellness card for my cardio gym membership. The one they told me a week ago I would not get until mid-February and there was no way to expedite. Yeah, that one: I got it in yesterday's mail and I'm now paid up until this time next year with even a few shekels to spend on other classes or activities.)


Eleanor, for her part, is now with a new medical practice, which she much loves compared to the asshats at the last one. Apparently their general asshaberdashery is costing them patients: they shut down one of their major Southtown locations and, while that isn't the one she used, it doubtless would've led to longer waits and more scheduling kerfuffles at the one she did go to.

Anyhoo, the new practice is trying out a new arthritis med for her. It's another NSAID, which she generally hasn't had much success with in the past, but it's worth a try.


Last, but not least or least painful, there's the dog.

I was home most of today, with both of my Things in/for court given last-minute postponements.  Shortly after lunch, I noticed that Ebony had come up lame in her right rear leg.  This isn't a shock, as she's had arthritic joints which flare up, now and then, and the right anti-inflammatory seems to do the trick. Trouble was, our last episode was apparently in 2012, and the stash of the pills (we still had dozens of them) said they expired in July of 2013.  I checked with the Wegmans pharmacist first, to see if they stocked this med (they do) and if one that old would be dangerous (no) or, best-case, effective (probably not). Next stop was the vet, to see if they'd call in a renewal to our pharmacy; we've been ordering routine pet meds from Wegmans for the last couple of years, with great savings over the in-house vet dispensary. No, I was told: it had been too long, and Ebony would need to be seen. Which was fine, because she was due for her annual heartworm test anyway, so they got her in early this evening.

My not-a-vet diagnosis was half-right, but they were also concerned about a slight fever and some edema in the back legs, so they also prescribed an antibiotic. We're also under instruction to be sure she keeps moving about while we're home and awake, so the fluids have more of a chance to recede.  My only issue with them is they filled these scrips in-house without even asking, and charged almost half the $330 cost of the entire visit for just those pills.

I can't bear to see the dog in pain, and would likely have gone with them anyway just to get them dispensed faster than a call to the store and a wait for a fill in a pharmacy full of people-patients, but. I am going to check with Wegmans tomorrow to see just how much their version(s) would have cost.  This practice has treated all eight of the animals we've had in the 20-plus years since moving here, and they've both saved multiple lives and gently ended multiple ones in that time. But upcharging hundreds of percent over generic pricing just isn't right, and while I won't begrudge them every penny of it, I'm sure they have clients who wind up unable to afford treatment on account of those costs, and/or who get sucked into the subprime evilocity of CareCredit.  Once she's better and we can have an intelligent, less emotion-of-the-moment discussion about it, I plan to speak with them about it.

7 comments or Leave a comment
throbinson From: throbinson Date: January 16th, 2015 01:42 am (UTC) (Link)
Same thing happened to me last time I took our elder dog to the vet; she needed x-rays, but by the time we got out of there the bill was $595. Just about half of that was Rx. I got on the phone and priced out her prescriptions with local pharmacies; the Rimadyl we paid $58 for at the vets costs us $19.99 at our local grocery. The Tramadol is a pretty good deal ($12 for 100 tabs) at the vet but still way cheaper at the grocery store pharmacy ($8 for 180 tabs). And yeah, CareCredit, but it's better than leaving the dog at the vets until she's paid off...
oxymoron67 From: oxymoron67 Date: January 16th, 2015 02:12 am (UTC) (Link)
OUCH! I hope everyone feels better soon.

fiddlingfrog From: fiddlingfrog Date: January 16th, 2015 09:06 am (UTC) (Link)
Have you tried heat for the knee? When I started physical therapy for my elbows I made a few microwavable heat packs from some unused sock and some wheat berries. Dried beans work just as well I've heard, and you can throw in some herbs to cover over the smell of cooked beans.
greenquotebook From: greenquotebook Date: January 16th, 2015 05:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Seriously, try turmeric. I know I sound like some kind of fringed scarf wearing, crystal carrying lunatic, but when I was at my wits' end with sciatica, I gave it a shot and - miracle of miracles - it works. I take one capsule a day, in the AM, and it makes a huge difference. If I don't take it for two or three days, I notice. It's super cheap, so if it doesn't do much for you, it's no big deal. I use this one...


I tend to wait for one of Swanson's big buy one get one free sales and stock up for a year.

I also take a glucosamine/chondriotin/MSM pill, which helps a bit, but not as much as the turmeric. Swanson has the best prices I've seen on that supplement too.

captainsblog From: captainsblog Date: January 20th, 2015 12:14 am (UTC) (Link)
Turns out, Eleanor had been trying turmeric for her own aches and pains. She recently brought home one of these here bottles-

- but was finding it really upset her stomach. I tried one of them this morning- no distress (yet), but not any noticeable relief either, yet. I know the recommended dosage is two at a time at least 2x daily, but I have court the next three days and would really rather avoid the potential for horking.

Another friend mentioned there are a couple of different versions of turmeric, one of which is supposedly easier on both digestion and liver. I'll have to figure out whether this is one or the other.
greenquotebook From: greenquotebook Date: January 20th, 2015 01:36 am (UTC) (Link)
The turmeric I use recommends a huge dose too -- 2 or 3 capsules, twice or three times a day -- but at that dosage the cost is crazy, so I started with one per day and found that was sufficient to handle most of my discomfort. Try adding an extra pill every three days or so and stop when you don't see any improvement in the level of relief you get.

Keep in mind that turmeric is one of the main ingredients in curry, so if Indian food upsets your stomach, you might be sensitive to this too. I've been taking it too long to recall if I suffered any digestive issues when I started it, but even if you do, the situation might improve if you give yourself a chance to get used to it.

Try to steer her away from that brand. I did some looking at their site and that is a LOT of money for basically the same stuff you can get in the spice aisle in your local grocery store. Absurd.

greenquotebook From: greenquotebook Date: January 16th, 2015 05:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Also, as I understand it, drugs contain expiration dates not because they turn to poison after that date, but rather is the last date that the manufacturer will guarantee its potency. So it's safe to use the expired drug, but you might not get the full effect.
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