Erica Scott: Life, Love and Spanking

Ruminations, opinionated observations, darkly humorous blathering and the occasional rant from an outspoken spanko and unapologetic attention wh–, um, hog.

Brief, but needed

Today’s scene with Steve was much shorter than usual; we kept it to a lengthy hand spanking OTK, no implements. Since I’m heading to Vegas on Thursday for four days of play, I needed to keep it on the lighter side today. But it was timely. I needed some stress release.

I have not been talking much about John lately, just bits and pieces here and there. But it’s been rough for him the past few months. And rough for me, witnessing it.

On Friday when he went to the periodontist for his dental implant, the doc refused to do it, because John’s blood pressure was alarmingly high. Not the systolic, but the diastolic (the lower number). This may not sound like much, but it is for him. John has never had high BP. In fact, his runs rather low.

As his heart valve continues to deteriorate, the rest of his body is struggling and straining to keep him functioning. Hence the higher BP, and the shortness of breath. The man who used to cycle for miles effortlessly now puffs and pants after he wipes down the shower walls. His ankles swell.

But even worse than the heart condition is the recent development — sleep apnea. His is bad. He really doesn’t sleep anymore; he catnaps. Sometimes he can sleep sitting up propped on pillows, other times not. He gets so tired that he catnaps with his head down on his desk at work, on breaks. When he does sleep, he snorts and gasps and makes horrible noises.

So why isn’t he seeing to this? Because his HMO is dragging its heels. They want to put him on a CPAP, but he hates the CPAP. They put one on him during the sleep study and he found it intolerable. Instead, he wants to go the alternate route: a dental device (called MAD, or mandibular advancement device). But he’d have to go out of network for that, and the @#$%ing HMO isn’t cooperating. Sure, he could have his dentist make one for him on his own… his dentist actually specializes in sleep apnea treatment. But that would cost $3500.

Therefore, the apnea thing has been on hold for weeks, months, while he battles this out and waits to hear from this doctor and that one. And meanwhile, I’m watching him grow slowly but steadily worse. Sleep deprivation is one of the most damaging things for the body. And there’s no way he could recover from open-heart surgery if he can’t sleep. Resolving this issue is crucial.

After his dental procedure was cancelled last Friday, I was truly frightened. I told him maybe he shouldn’t go to Vegas. He insists he will be fine, but I have my doubts. He says we both need this trip. I agree — I know I sure as hell do. But I honestly don’t know if I can put my fears aside enough to relax and enjoy for a few days.Β 

I didn’t realize just how stressed out I was until Steve arrived this morning. He asked if I was excited, and I said no, I was nervous and worried. Why?? he wanted to know. And I started crying.

Steve was a wonderful, calming voice of reason. I told him that nagging at John, insisting he take care of certain things, was not an option. That just brings on an argument and more stress. So I need to get control of my own emotions, take a couple of steps back, and determine what’s really real and what I’m horrible-izing. I have visions of being stuck in Vegas and John having heart failure or a stroke and my not knowing what the hell to do. The odds are highly against that; he’s gone this long, and it will basically be a stress-free few days. I worry about his lifting the luggage and stuff. He never lets me help. This time, he will have to. And as for everything else, he’s a big boy. He needs to step up for his own health. I can’t do it for him. And driving myself crazy won’t help anything.

So. I have two assignments. The first is to make sure John carries the power-of-attorney document with us to Vegas, so that if God forbid anything does happen, I’ll be able to show proof that I can make decisions. And then the second is to relax and have fun.

After that, we had our scene. And of course, I wept more. But it was good for me. I was like a pressure cooker ready to blow. Sorry, no pictures this time. Just wasn’t in that state of mind.

Thursday morning, John and I will hit the road. And it will be good. I am going to play to my heart’s content, but even more important, I’m going to see friends. I’m going to get hugs and cuddles and love and laughs. John will have a few days off and can retreat to our room whenever he needs to. I will take a day at a time and do my best to stay in the moment.

Thank you, Steve, my top, my rock. And please, please take good care of yourself. I have two wonderful men in my life, but I need at least one of them to be healthy, or I will lose what’s left of my mind!

Thanks for reading. There will be fun and playful entries in the near future!

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22 thoughts on “Brief, but needed

  1. Hi Erica — I am so very sorry that, you and John are going through all this 😦 the HMO people are nothing but jerks.Poor John I wish him nothing but the BEST. I have sleep apnea and I refuse to wear a stupid mask too, I heard they are very uncomfortable. I will keep you and John in my thoughts and prayers.Wishing you both a safe trip and a WONDERFUL time πŸ™‚ I am looking forward to your updates from the party. Much Love and hugs from naughty girl Jade

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  2. Thanks for the update on John, and please give him my best. I so hope the Vegas trip is a nice getaway for both of you. Fingers crossed for a good time for all!

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  3. I hope you guys have a great adventure. Sounds like a lot of spanking and laughter are what the doctor has in store for you!

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  4. Jade — some people are OK with the CPAP. But many others aren't. It's great when it works, but it won't work if it's too uncomfortable to use.

    Jada — thanks! Me too. We'll miss seeing you there.

    Kelly — yes, I need both!

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  5. Anonymous on said:

    Here's my thought, for whatever it's worth: John buys the MAD device now before his health suffers more preventable injury, but he continues to fight for HMO approval and get the cost reimbursed. Perhaps if he can document that using the MAD has improved his health it will make it more difficult for his HMO to deny approval.

    Meanwhile, have a great time this weekend.

    Pam

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  6. Pam — might have to come down to that. Thanks… we will do our best to leave this all behind for a few days.

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  7. Sorry to hear about what you and John are going through and this all too common yet unfortunate issue with the HMO. Can I offer some unsolicited info, based on my obvious limited knowledge of the situation, but based on first hand knowledge of similar situations.
    Until the MAD device is approved, have John try a CPAP machine. Really. Everyone reacts differently and they all take sometime to get used to; but a few hours of good sleep are better than none – truly. The ones use din studies are very restrictive not to mention the whole wires everywhere thing is very uncomfortable.
    Also not sure if he was informed that there are 3 different types of face masks (some more comfortable than others). The HMOs allow the tryout of different ones until the correct [or best for the time being] fit is found. On top of that the masks are sized (SMLXL) so that can also be an issue if the tech does not fit him correctly.
    Another option for those with sleep apnea is to avoid sleeping on ones back. This is hard to maintain all night, but a Dr friend recommends a somewhat simple homemade trick. Sew a couple of tennis balls to the back of a tshrt and use this as a night shirt. This will keep him from rolling on his back and allow sleep on his side which helps for better night sleeps.
    Apologies for the long winded comment.
    All the best.

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  8. Hi Erica,

    I agree with Pam. He needs that MAD now! Maybe he could pay in installments? Post-dated cheques? I really feel for you with your HMO battles and the high cost of medical care. We have a free dental plan through my job that pays for a large portion of dental care.

    Have a blast in Vegas!

    Hugs,
    Hermione

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  9. Erica,

    I hope that John receives the approval soon. Struggles with an HMO is a common problem.

    I hope you have lots of fun in Vegas.

    Hug,
    joey

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  10. Erica,

    Sorry to hear what John's going through. Sometimes we don't realise how lucky we are in the UK with free NHS and subsidised or free dental care.

    I think the Vegas trip will do you both good. Have a wonderful time.

    Love to both,
    Ronnie
    xx

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  11. Enzo — no apologies necessary. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. John is dead set against the CPAP, for various reasons. Sometimes I wish he'd consider it even short term, but he will not. I can't really blame him, considering what a hassle it would be trying to do that sort of experimenting with his HMO not making it the least bit easy.

    Hermione — it's outrageous, really. John has dental insurance, but even with that, the costs are astronomical.

    joey — thank you. Yeah, I know. HMOs are great… if you're completely healthy.

    Ronnie — I think it will too. We need it! Thanks.

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  12. Have a safe trip and a joyful, healing stay.
    Hope John is in better shape really soon.

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  13. MrJ — me too, thanks!

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  14. CPAP is a pain in the ass. I did it from may 2011 through July 2013 and then stopped cold turkey. the stupid thing made noise and kept my wife awake. I started out having a good nights sleep and then I started not having good sleep. Ask the pulmonary doctor what about it and all they could say was the CPAP was state of the art and the only alternative were controlled drugs. IDIOTS. so I have been off it. True story. Hope your friend gets a MAD.
    Baxter

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  15. Anonymous on said:

    Sleep apnea sucks! I have suffered with it for years. Before I got mu C-pap I slept for only minute before either my snoring or shortness of breath would wake me. Lord knows I did not want a mask but after a couple days I actually slept 5 hours before waking up… and then I went back to sleep! I had a sleep study done and my heart actually would flutter because I stopped breathing.
    It took some time but the mask I can not live without anymore.
    Went on a road trip with my cousin and he refused to use his C-pap. He ordered online a mouth piece that pulls his lower jaw forward and uses breath rie strips. It works for him and his Insurance company would not pay for a dental appliance after they bought a C-pap. He the one he bought he saw on a TV add and it actually worked for him. Look around there are options.
    My thoughts are with you both.

    Poppa

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  16. Anonymous on said:

    Cripes, I really need to proof read before I post!
    Baxter; all machines can be calibrated but you need to spend a night in a sleep center for it too be done right. Most doctors do not know how to do it properly.
    Bottom line for me is there are options but do not expect most doctors to know enough to be effective. Be proactive and be your own advocate.

    Poppa

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  17. Baxter — your doctor just didn't want to tell you the options, sounds like.

    Poppa — I'm glad your CPAP works for you. And yes, one has to be one's own advocate, especially these days.

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  18. Anonymous on said:

    Hi Erica

    I know you've had a lot of advice about John's sleep apnea problem may be more that you will. But that is because you have a lot of friends to help if they can. So here goes, I have sleep apnea myself and sleep with the CPAP. I live in a rule mountainous area where we have a lot of thunderstorms which all too often results in a power failure. More than once I have I have be woken up in the middle of the night to find that I can't sleep or breathe because it's the packet stopped working due to a power outage. I agree if I piled up a lot of pillows and try to pop myself up on them, it doesn't work, but I have found that if I get up and moved to my recliner possessed the back to an angle of about 45Β° I sleep just as well as I do with the CPAP. Anyway is tried and is worth a shot. Best wishes and hope you have a good times weekend.

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  19. Anonymous — thank you. I appreciate the input from everyone. I'm amazed at how many people have sleep apnea!

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  20. Good luck with it all…..
    Always
    Ron

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  21. BIG CYBER HUGGGGGSSSSS to all. Enjoy vegas.

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  22. Jayda — thank you! We did. πŸ™‚

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