The last several days have been pretty awful and not just because of my cold, although that was bad, too. My ears blocked up on the 12th and only cleared this morning. If I thought I was dizzy and the world was spinning before, every time I tried to pop my ears it also felt like I was on a sail boat in rough water. I have had spinning before, but never up and down dizziness. I had to just close my eyes and sit still for several minutes and wait for it to stop. It is nice to be able to hear properly again. I'm still not over this thing, but it is down to a runny nose now and tiredness now, which is a huge improvement.
The bad part, financially is two-fold. One, someone used DH's Best Buy account to order a laptop. They swamped his email with Russian subscriptions to try to hide the message from Best Buy, but DH has it set up so that certain emails always go to the top. It was ordered by some guy named Todd Peterson in Oregon. DH was able to cancel it and changed the password on his Best Buy account. They had charged it to a credit card number that looked familiar, but wasn't one of our current credit card numbers. I think it might have been one of our numbers before we were issued new cards with new numbers due to identity theft six months ago. If so, I'm not sure how he managed to even order it. Anyway, it got taken care of it, but it was worrying.
Then we found out DH's Paypal account had been hacked. Someone changed the main email on it to a different one, but left his as a secondary. They also changed the language to Spanish. They had also withdrawn $1000 from our checking account, which I normally would have caught much sooner, but I've been sick and doing the bare minimum with finances. Fortunately the money was still sitting there in his account and once he was able to get into it and change it back into English he deleted that foreign e-mail and changed his password, set it so his phone had to be texted for anything on the account could be changed again, and deleted all cards or checking accounts from Paypal.
I went on to Paypal for myself and everything looked fine for me. As with all instances of identity theft so far, they have had to do with DH's info. I changed my password just to be on the safe side and set it up with my phone to be texted if anyone tried to change anything and then DH transferred the $1000 to me and I transferred it back to our checking account. Hopefully it will be there on Monday. Fortunately we had enough money in the account to cover everything we had paid out. I will be making it a priority to be checking our checking accounts every few days now, even when I feel like death.
So while it was a major hassle, at least no money was permanently stolen from us. The third thing that happened is the new computer DH bought is not working after a week. He bought it directly from HP and it quit functioning a week in. He decided to do a reset to factory settings and it erased the drive. So he's been trying to get HP support, but they have very limited hours and no one is there on weekends. Seems like a poor way to run a business in this day and age. He is going to send it back and either get his money back or get a new one.
I am hoping they will just give him a new one. I was worried about him buying it from them direct instead of through Best Buy, where we at least have Geek Squad protection. Of course, that was before the Best Buy hack. He did it because he could get a better computer that way for the same money. Not better if it doesn't work.
I hope this is the last we see of this nonsense, but I realize we may very well be dealing with this for some time. Stupid companies that can't protect our information. That $1000 could have caused a world of hurt if we'd lost it.
Viewing the 'When Life Happens' Category
The last several days have been pretty awful and not just because of my cold, although that was bad, too. My ears blocked up on the 12th and only cleared this morning. If I thought I was dizzy and the world was spinning before, every time I tried to pop my ears it also felt like I was on a sail boat in rough water. I have had spinning before, but never up and down dizziness. I had to just close my eyes and sit still for several minutes and wait for it to stop. It is nice to be able to hear properly again. I'm still not over this thing, but it is down to a runny nose now and tiredness now, which is a huge improvement.
On Sunday I woke up with a cough that progressively moved lower and lower this week until I sounded like a deep bass male. For the record I'm a contralto on a normal day. I no longer sound like a man, but my voice is in the tenor range. I am still coughing like crazy. I did write a chapter on Saturday, but haven't touched the book since. I find it better not to write when I'm taking this much cold medicine.
I have managed, barely, to make dinner the past 2 nights, thanks to the Instant Pot and a supply of beef and pork roasts. I am managing to eat one meal a day and the rest of the day I am just drinking bone broth, which thank goodness I had made on Saturday. I need to make more but the idea of it is a little overwhelming.
I've been sleeping a lot, and binge watching Say Yes to the Dress on Hulu. I don't generally like reality TV shows. Dancing with the Stars is the only one, really. I'm not terribly into fashion either. But this show is like candy. No substance, but some really beautiful creations. It's like art with fabric as the medium. Better yet it is completely mindless so I didn't have to focus on a plot at all, because honestly, I couldn't right now if I tried.
I did manage to take a shower and that's all I'm going to manage today. It wiped me out, but it was worth it. I'll have DH pick up take out tonight. Probably Polynesian so there will be some vegetables in it. All I want to do is crawl back into bed, but I'm trying to stay upright for a couple of hours until DH gets home and can change the sheets. The idea of doing it by myself is exhausting.
I hope this starts to go away soon. It hurts and I was just starting to feel really good after a week on the diet. Well, I'm still on the diet and I've lost a lot, but once my appetite comes back, I'm not sure what will happen. Currently I am .9 lbs from my dietbet goal weight and it hasn't been quite two weeks yet. I have been off the Pepsi for a week as well.
I can already see a huge difference in our grocery budget. Pepsi was starting to take a huge chunk out of it. DH is off it, too, so we aren't buying it at all. I can't believe I let myself get addicted to it again, but at least that is over.
DH's office Christmas Party is Saturday. I won't be able to go and I feel really bad about it, because we had to RSVP. It's a catered buffet. Although they are serving alcohol which usually means someone will make an idiot of themselves. I'm going to tell him to ask his mother to go. I think that she would enjoy having an evening out with her son. I was really looking forward to it, too. We haven't gone out for a night away from the kids in ages.
DH had to order a new cushion for his c-pap mask, so that was $67.95 out of the medical fund. I ordered two prescription refills today, too, but don't know the cost of that yet. Otherwise we haven't been spending. It's hard to spend when you can't leave your bed. Not impossible, Amazon exists after all, but harder.
DD has an appointment at Virginia Mason with a doctor that specializes in endometriosis on the 19th. My goal is for us to be well by then. DD has the cold, too. Although we are still going even if we aren't. I am going to get the name of the anesthesiologist who worked on her for her gall bladder surgery before we go to prove that there is one that is willing to do a laparoscopic surgery for her. Then it'll be a question of convincing the doctor.
DD doesn't care about the risks. She has no quality of life, so to her it is worth any risk to try to get this taken care of. She can't work, she can't go to school, she just exists in a pain-filled lump. I remember these symptoms well from my days with this disease. But I didn't have to fight for treatment because I was at a normal weight. Hopefully this doctor will be compassionate enough to try. None of the ones around here are, but then again, they don't specialize in this disease.
The good news is that at least the insurance covered the cystoscopy 100%. There will be ten hours of overtime on tomorrow's paycheck. It is earmarked for the medical fund, though some of it may have to go to pay for DH's crown since the dental insurance, which said they would pay 50%, denied it when it was actually billed. DH has to look into that and also see if he was signed up for the wrong plan and correct it for next year, because he needs another crown.
The dentist says we can do a payment plan, but I am not down for that. We'll pay outright with the OT if we need to. Fortunately there will be another 10 hours of OT on the next paycheck, too. Again all earmarked for medical. I want to build up the medical fund so that when the deductible starts over in January we have plenty of cushion to cover it. I had hoped to have the full deductible amount in there by January, but the dental issue may make that impossible.
Well, according to the urologist, there is nothing wrong with my daughter's bladder. No reason for why she peed blood for weeks and why it is still leaking. At least the bleeding has stopped. But the pain hasn't. I am going to call them tomorrow and see if there is a pill or something she can go on that might stop the leaking issue. Otherwise, I think they are done with us. Which sucks, because there is obviously an issue.
I am not sure where to go from here. I am still convinced she has endometriosis and it is strangling her organs from the outside. Endo does not show up on anything. The only way to diagnose it is to do exploratory laparotomy and they won't do that due to her weight because all the gyno surgeons in my state are chickens and more afraid of a malpractice lawsuit than failing to help their patients. And she can't lose weight due to the hypothyroidism and gastroparesis and adrenal issues.
Having dealt with endometriosis myself until the hysterectomy at 33 and knowing that her paternal grandmother also had it before hers, and knowing that they now know it runs in families and since she has all the symptoms, I am pretty darn sure. I just don't know what to do about it. I mean, she did just fine with the gall bladder surgery even though it had to be in the hospital instead of the surgery center so it isn't like surgery can't be done on her. It's an issue of won't.
We have gone to specialist gynocologists in Seattle and they won't do it, either. All they want to do is give you a pill or an implant and send you on your way. But that doesn't always help. It might prevent new stuff from growing, but it doesn't make the old stuff go away and stop strangling organs if adhesions have formed on them.
The endocrine doctor suspects PCOS, but since her pain was never confined to ovulation, I think it is endometriosis. They have many of the same symptoms. When I first was diagnosed, they tried to push PCOS, but I knew what I had based on the limited research I could do (pre-internet, y'all, I used books). And I was right. And I am 99.987% convinced I am right this time. But being right doesn't matter if doctors can't be bothered in treating you because of your weight.
My mother is still not speaking to my son, which is making the house extraordinarily peaceful. She is acting just fine with everyone else. DS is actually relieved. She can't argue with him if she's not speaking to him. We'll see how long that lasts. She'll need him to do something for her sooner or later and I'll push it if she tries to get DH to do it instead, but not before that. I'll say he's too tired and she needs to ask DS instead. DH has been working a lot of OT so it is true.
She needs to stop with the silent treatment. It only punishes her, not her intended target, and it is outright childish. And it only works as a weapon if it bothers the person you are doing it to. I think she wants him to apologize, but since he isn't the one in the wrong, I'm not going to make him. She needs to be the one to do it, but I can count on one hand the number of times my mother has truly apologized for something she has done, so I am not holding my breath. And by truly I mean saying she is sorry for what she did as opposed to I'm sorry you feel that way, which is not in any way, shape, or form an apology. It's an apology dodge. And she doesn't even do those ones often.
This is going to bug me for a bit, but whatever. I am not going to fix it. They may be my monkeys, but this is not my circus.
My mother keeps making snide remarks to my son. I have told her in the past that if she has issues with something she needs to talk to me and DH about it, not bring DS or DD into things they have no business being in.
Well, for years she has thought we weren't paying our fair share of the utility bills. Now I know we have been overpaying our share all along. Not because she would show me any of the bills, though, but because I found them and went through them on numerous occasions to make sure we were actually paying enough. I never wanted to be underpaying and made sure we never were.
She was complaining to my son about it yet again, so he said fine, to give him all the bills, and he was going to work it out mathematically, and for some reason she did give him the bills. He added everything up and divided it by five. And sure enough, we are overpaying by $96 a month. And that is for winter numbers. In the summer we are overpaying by close to $200 a month.
And I don't care about that. I know she has a limited income and I've agreed to pay $500 a month plus pay for the internet and the garbage in full. That is our agreement. But now all of a sudden that it has been proven to her that we are actually paying most of her share (her recent contribution to a month of utility bills was less than $35), she can't complain about it anymore. Instead she is picking other fights and bringing up old things that were long ago settled in her favor and that she agreed to move on from.
But she's not doing it with us, she's doing it with DS. I keep telling him to not engage. All he has to say is "Grandma, I don't want to argue with you." And keep repeating it. After saying it four or five times, he needs to say, "Grandma, do you just want to argue? Because I don't, so I'm leaving now."
But instead he keeps engaging. She is not someone you can engage with, because if you do, she then goes into martyr mode if you prove the opposite of her point with logic. It's basically if you don't agree with her opinion than she's never going to speak to you again. Although this only holds until she needs help with something, like getting stuff down off medium and high shelves (she's 5 foot 2) or carrying things in from the car or something goes wrong with her computer. Then she's talking again.
When you refuse to engage, though, it ruins her fun and it drives her crazy. However, it works and she stops doing it. My son can't stand to lose an argument or walk away from one, though. He doesn't understand that it just makes everything worse and then she ends up lashing out at the rest of us for no reason.
She likes to throw out comments like, "I'm sorry I ruined your lives." And I'm just like, "What? No one thinks that." We think she makes our lives more difficult than they need to be, but no one says that to her. We think she makes her life more difficult than it needs to be, too.
She just gets ideas in her head and then thinks they are right, like that we haven't paid enough on utilities, even though we have always overpaid. I don't think she'd be happy unless she was paying nothing and we were still overpaying so she could just keep the extra money, to be honest. But I still don't care, because $500 is what we agreed on. It's gone up as we've lived here as bills went up, which is fine, it is also what we agreed to.
Maybe she's embarrassed because it has been proven what she's been thinking is wrong or because she knows in her heart that she is actually taking advantage of the situation and does this to try to shift her guilt. I don't know. I don't feel like she is ripping us off because we pay the amount we agreed to and I have always felt if she needed that little extra help, it was fine. What I'm not okay with is being harassed over something that is not true and then her switching to something else because it was proven not true. Especially when it is something she claims to have let go of.
The woman has a special talent for driving me crazy. I have a special talent for not letting her see that she is driving me crazy. Which drives her crazy. My little bit of revenge against the crazy, I suppose. I wish she would just grow up already. Too bad you can't tell your mother that, but I am too tired to deal with the kind of shenanigans that would invoke. It all has to slide off. I need my energy for me. So I vent here and not with her and keep the peace. I always keep the peace. Stoic in the face of unreasonableness. Steadfast in having the truth on my side. And petty enough to know it will all drive her right up the wall. You have to have something, though, right?
Things are getting pretty bad for my daughter. It really feels like we are fighting for her life here and everything is just too darn slow. Her hair has been falling out for a while now, but now it is starting to come out in clumps.
She had a lot of hair to start with so it wasn't so noticeable, just the sheer amount on her pillow or when she brushed her hair or that we were pulling out of the shower drain showed it. But now it is starting to get much more obvious. She wants to just cut it very short, but then the clumps will be very obvious. Right now she just looks like she has thin hair.
She went to the ER on Thursday because on top of the same symptoms her nose had been bleeding for six hours. Then she went in again on Sunday because it felt like her head was going to explode and she collapsed. They did a CT of her head and found nothing.
I wonder if this all can be caused by starvation and dehydration? Almost everything she eats comes up now, sometimes even as she is eating it. It is so frightening. The only thing I don't understand is why she isn't losing any weight. How can you not lose weight when the food doesn't stay in the system?
She's basically eating baby food now. Homemade baby food, but everything is pureed to try to help her digest it and we have eliminated a lot of foods altogether. She can't have lectins, so beans and lentils are out. She can't eat beef, pork, or lamb. She can have chicken, rabbit, or turkey if it is teeny, like in cream of chicken soup, but not very much of it. She had been doing okay on fish, but that's coming up now, too. She's had to eliminate all but a few fruits and vegetables, anything with a lot of fiber. She can't stomach whole grains or nuts or seeds. It's a nutritional nightmare.
Her endoscopy and colonoscopy are scheduled for the 16th. Only six more days now. It can't come fast enough. I am so, so worried about her. I worry she won't be strong enough to do it, or that she will have a fever and they'll try to reschedule. It took us 3 months to get this appointment. If she has to wait that long again, I really do think she will die.
Her endocrinologist got back to us with test results from the latest blood draw and even though they doubled her meds for adrenal insufficiencey, her cortisol levels are not, as he put it, reassuring. So now he wants her to repeat the ACH stim test, the one that almost crashed her the first time. It's been a few months and has to be done in the hospital at the same place where they do chemo and infusions. We are just waiting on the go ahead from the insurance company to schedule that. Her dose may have to go up further depending on the results.
The hypothyroidism meds were raised by 50 mg or mcg, I don't remember the actual unit, the last time and they didn't say anything about that, so I'm hoping those are doing okay now. The stress is messing with my stomach. I just want her to be well again. And then I want us not to fall back into some kind of financial nightmare due to medical bills. So far we are staying ahead of them with the Medical Fund, but that may not be enough. I still have $4000 in the Emergency Fund.
Writing is helping me cope. I've completed five chapters (12,347 words) on the first book in the trilogy and am ready to write the next chapter once I get this posted. I am glad I have this escape right now. You don't know how badly I just want to be able to run away from life right now and being able to write is keeping me grounded, even if I'm on another planet in my head.
Well, my newest great niece was born yesterday at 32 weeks gestation. She weighed 3 pounds exactly. So far she seems to be doing okay, but you just never know with preemies. They saved her cord blood for my nephew's wife and will be using that in her treatment eventually as well as starting the chemotherapy in the next day or so after his wife recovers some from the birth. The baby wasn't positioned correctly for a regular birth so they had to operate which means a bit more recovery time before they can start the chemo. They have named her Phoenix. It is one of the most appropriately symbolic names they could have given her. I hope this entire family manages to rise from the ashes.
My husband's niece had a baby girl yesterday, though I doubt we'll ever see her. MIL sent a picture, though and left a gift with MIL to give her. It'll probably come back to us, but we made the effort. We asked if she wanted us to come up to the hospital or not, but got no response.
This is from the violent side of the family that we broke ties with on Thanksgiving when they physically threatened us. This is the second niece on that side to get pregnant very young and out of wedlock and lives at the poverty level. Her older sister is also pregnant again, from the same guy, still not married, living at the poverty level. He seems to be over his substance abuse issues for the time being.
On the other side of the family, my nephew's pregnant wife has leukemia. They are going to take the baby at 32 weeks and then do intensive chemo on his wife. There is a very real chance that his wife won't make it. Her mother also has cancer, but in the brain and isn't expected to survive. They haven't been married very long and now my nephew is at risk of being a young widow after less than a year of marriage with a premature baby and a five-year-old he is in the process of adopting. And the baby will have a higher risk of cancer because of both mother and grandmother having it. Not to mention there is also cancer on his side of the family. The baby shower was yesterday.
My husband's aunt's cancer is back, too. It is breast cancer, but it has spread to the lungs and they are saying 2 months to a year. She is very old, though, in her early 80's and also has a bad heart. It is a little different there, because we were expecting end of life to happen. Not quite the same as when you are in your twenties. Still just as tragic, though. It just sucks.
It is like when it rains it pours with cancer. A couple of decades ago cancer seemed so rare. Now you can't throw a stick without hitting someone who has it or who is dying of it.
I worry about MIL, though. FIL hasn't been dead a year from cancer and now her sister is going to die of it. Can we please just have some joy now? I am tired of all the crap.
Mom's surgery went well, though she is in quite a bit of pain. I saw her yesterday afterwards, but she called and told me not to come today. I had not planned to go until after dinner, and by then she was just too tired and hurting and wanted to just sleep. So I will go up and see her tomorrow unless she it too tired and sore again. She's supposed to come home on Friday, so hopefully the pain will be manageable by then. She doesn't want to take Oxycodone because of hallucinations or Hydrocodone because it makes her feel unclear in the head. We'll see what she ends up actually coming home with.
The grocery ads came in the mail today so I started a preliminary grocery list. It is not a good sales week except for meat. They have whole chickens on for $1.49/lb, top round roast for $2.99/lb, wild cod for $6.49/lb and sirloin steaks for $5/lb. So that means I will likely go to Costco and TJ's for veggies.
I usually throw a whole chicken in the Instant Pot twice a week to make broth and then my daughter eats the meat as chicken is about all she can stomach. I use some of it, but mostly she is living on that chicken plus white rice and broth all week. It's bland enough for her to keep it down. I make the rice with some of the broth, too, so it has some flavor.
I hope to find a flank steak on mark down as I'd like to teach my son how to make beef teriyaki this coming week. Failing that, Costco should have one decently priced.
DS and I are doing Home Economics. Part of that is he is reading the Dave Ramsey books, but another part is cooking. The first Unit in my cooking course (designed by me) is Wok This Way and is teaching him to make all the different stir-fries. So far he has learned Black Pepper Chicken, Chicken and Broccoli, Chinese Pepper Steak, and Garlic Chicken and Green Beans. On the agenda is the Beef Teriyaki, but I'd also like to do Mandarin Chicken and Mongolian Beef and what is basically Almond Fried Chicken without the almonds. We don't like almonds, but we like the crispy chicken and the Chinese brown gravy. We sprinkle sesame seeds on top instead.
We will also do a baking unit (doughnuts, bread, rolls, pie, cinnamon rolls, English muffins, lemon poppy seed muffins, cornbread, brownies, cake, cookies, croissants, biscuits), a pressure cooking unit (mostly Instant Pot), a casserole unit, a meat and potatoes style unit, a Mexican unit, and an Italian unit (pizza, penne, spaghetti, ravioli, tortellini). Some things will overlap, like Enchilada casserole or baked penne casserole which each could be classified in two groups.
We do about two lessons a week right now and I build it into the meal plan. It feels good to know he will know his way around the kitchen and we are really enjoying the time together and I appreciate having the help in cutting up the foods and cleaning up. I also like knowing he will know how to make better than restaurant quality food for much less money than restaurant prices. Having a second major cook in the house will be great, too, on the days when I don't feel like cooking or my hands hurt too much. DH can make a few things, but his repertoire is limited. DS is going to be able to rule the kitchen when I am done with him!
Well, we've made it through the glut of August birthdays and now I don't have to worry about any until mine in February. Now the money that will be funneled into the Holidays/Birthdays Envelope will go towards Christmas, at least through to December. Right now it has $100 in it. My budget for Christmas is $500, so I just need to save $100 a month to meet that.
I don't think we are going to go to the ranch for our turkey this year. I think I am going to go to the young man we buy our chickens from instead. We seldom go to the ranch anymore as the gas is a little too expensive. If I have a rabbit to sell we will go, but that is it lately. We just really need to stick to our budget and that includes gas money, so going to someone in our own county instead of the next one over saves us a half a tank of gas. Our gas budget is $100 a month and I don't really want to go over that.
It's official that there will be no more overtime on this particular project, so I don't know if we will be able to make progress on the debt payoff in September.
I mean we'll be able to do the $500, but I don't think anything beyond that. This project is wrapping up, though, and then there will be the next one which might have some OT.
This next paycheck will be the first one with everything being taken out of it, but without any OT on it, so I will be able to see what the real base paycheck looks like. I have numbers pretty close to it, but I'd like to have the exact ones. It's the accounting nerd in me.
DH and I have to go through and allocate our 401K money to one of the plans, so that is on the agenda for tomorrow. I hope there is one without bonds in it, because I don't feel like bonds are worth it at this stage of the game. If not something like only 10% in bonds would be good. I wish there were more options, like with the IRA, where we could pick each mutual fund that we want, but there should be something decent in their choices. Most plans have at least one option that is for good growth.
We also need to finish going through our IRA. We only have 2 of the four funds picked out that we want, so it is sitting in those for now. It just takes time to research the funds and we haven't had much of a chance to sit down and look while he has been working all of that OT.
Our new insurance cards have not arrived yet. I hope they do soon as DD has an appointment with the opthamologist on the 4th, DS has a physical on the 6th, and I have a dentist appointment on the 11th. I have never had an insurance card not be here the week before the insurance kicks in so I am starting to get nervous it won't be here before we need to use it.
In fact, I can guarantee it won't be here in time for the 4th since there won't be any mail on Monday. Here appointment is at 3:30, so there is a chance the mail will come before that, but it doesn't always. It depends on if it is our regular carrier or a sub. DH will have to email the details so I can at least give the doctor's office the info that will be on the cards.
September and October are going to be full of appointments. Not just for my immediate family, but my mother has her surgery on the 19th and then the following week starts PT three times a week for two weeks and then twice a week for several weeks after that and I have to drive her, at least for six weeks. She is having her other knee done. This is her left knee so she will be able to drive sooner, supposedly.
I am still annoyed with her for refusing to go to a nursing home to recover for two weeks. She knows how difficult it is on me to take care of her and my daughter is in no shape to help. My husband is taking off the second half of the day the Friday she comes home so he'll be around for the first few days when she's at her worst, but after that I'm on my own. I barely make it through the day taking care of myself and my disabled daughter, but she doesn't care how much of a load it adds and it frustrates me.
This is her third surgery in a year's time and I wouldn't be surprised if she doesn't try to slip the other shoulder in before the year is up and her doctor retires. I swear I will have a nervous breakdown if she does. If one of my sisters would help it would be manageable, but nope. It would interfere with their lives too much. Even the one who actually lives here in town. I just really wish she would have had them all done at once and gone to nursing home to get better. It would have been a lot less stressful.
At least this time I will have my diet in order. I just hope taking care of her doesn't make me stress eat. But right now I am firmly in control and I am determined to stay that way. I have lost 15 pounds and she is not blowing this for me. I won't let myself get derailed again no matter how crazy she makes me.
So on Wednesday DD went to see the doctor and he told us to take her to the ER, that she needed a couple of bags of IV fluid. Meanwhile he started a referral to a gastroenterologist. So I spent 7 hours in the ER with her on Thursday, but they would only give her one bag of IV fluids and they gave her an anti-nausea drug that wasn't working and hadn't been working for the last couple weeks. They also sent a referral to the gastroenterologist, figuring two was better than one, and sometimes they go faster from the hospital.
I told them that the doctor had said she needed two bags of fluid, but after one she looked better so they sent her home and told her to drink Gatorade. She's been throwing up everything, including water, for two weeks. What made them think the Gatorade would stay down? It didn't. But they didn't want to give her a second bag of fluids, they wanted the bed and it was very clear they wanted the bed, they were talking about needing to clear beds, so they sent her home.
So after another 24 hours of vomiting, and her urine turning brown and being almost non-existent, she was thoroughly dehydrated again, so DH took her back. This time they gave her two bags of fluid and Reglan, a different more powerful anti-nausea drug. This one works.
The night time staff seems much better than the day time staff at the ER. I've felt that every time we've gone there. The night time staff always seems to be able to find her veins while the day time staff seems to make a game out of how many holes they can put in her without finding one. Okay, that's probably not fair, but seriously, if drawing blood is part of your job, you should learn how to do it well, not just stick someone and then poke around hoping you can slide into the vein from the side. Or miss it altogether and still start pumping the IV fluid in under the skin. That was a fun one a few weeks ago, but that was pre-surgery, not the ER. Same hospital, though.
They sent her home with a prescription for Reglan, too. She was able to eat at 4 a.m. and so far everything has stayed down. She has slept for most of the day and has been able to walk around without her cane, though she is still hugging the walls.
I am hoping this new drug will settle her stomach long enough for us to get in to see a gastroenterologist. But we still haven't heard from one and probably won't until some time mid-week next week. I wish they would be faster in getting back to us, but referrals seem to always be incredibly slow. And then it generally still takes weeks to see anyone once you can get an appointment.
I just hope we don't have to go back to the ER in the meanwhile. I know they can only do so much. It's just that when they don't do what they can do, that I get horribly frustrated. Most of the nurses have been really good, other than not being able to find veins. The doctors have been more of a crap shoot, but she got a good one last night. Not so much on Wednesday.
And at least this time when she used the restroom before leaving she didn't see a nurse come out of a stall, fluff her hair, and then leave without washing her hands. I mean, gross. Who would touch their hair without washing after using the toilet, for one thing? And for two, medical profession, wash your freaking hands after using the toilet. Ick. And for three, to do that in front of a witness? Not sure what she was thinking. When they send the survey that they always send after an ER visit, we are going to mention that incident, because seriously, ew.
I think I picked up something in the ER waiting room on Wednesday, too. I am running a fever and feeling mildly nauseated and exhausted and sleeping a ton. No other symptoms yet. I was fine before that. Hopefully it will pass quickly. I always get sick after spending time in the ER and their were people puking, so yay.
Thanks for all the prayers, people. They are appreciated.
DH got a letter from the IRS today saying that someone had used his social security number to gain employment. They don't give out any specific information because apparently their system doesn't keep track of who used it, just that it was used somewhere that didn't jibe with their information on him, i.e. someone from a different state while he's earning in this one. They really ought to track that better.
This is not the first time this has happened. It happened back before we were married in the early 90's. When DH lost his job due to injury and had to file unemployment it was something that popped up on his list of jobs. It got taken off at that time. It was someone working a job in surprise, surprise, California who was an illegal immigrant. It's probably the same situation this time. Irritating.
So I've taken care of my side of things, setting a fraud alert on my accounts and pulling all three of my credit reports and going over them, since all my stuff is linked to his. My stuff is all correct. I don't think this is related to the fraudulent credit card use last month, but we just don't know. DH still has a fraud alert from then, but he needs to check his SSA account and pull his credit reports as well. All of it can be done easily online, thank goodness.
I cancelled our AMEX cards today. I had been planning on it anyway, but this letter spurred me on to get it done. They did not want to let me leave, but were very polite. I just kept saying no that I wanted to cancel and that I didn't want any other perks or cards. Honestly, after the supreme court ruling on what they can do with their business practices, I don't think I could ever use them again anyway.
I know we still have to cancel the Master Card. Baby steps. It is hard letting go of our credit. I know that it is the direction we really want to go in, but I didn't think it would be this hard to give up the ones we don't even use. It is psychological. It did feel good cutting up the AMEX cards, though. DH is the primary card holder on the MC so he will have to take care of that one himself.
Then the question will be do we want to do the Costco Citi card or the Alaskan Air Visa. Since we are only spending cash at stores now, we don't really need the Costco card. But I do want to get my cash rewards from it. And it doesn't look like DH will be going back to work in Alaska again (things look promising at work), so keeping the BoA is probably not necessary, except it is our oldest card and we will be wanting some credit history at least until we buy a new house and something for the auto pays to be on at places that don't accept debit or electronic checking. Plus for hotels and car rentals on future vacations. I know what Dave Ramsey says, but I'm not sure I want to make my life that difficult. They would be rare exceptions for credit card use and actual payment would be with the debit card, just using the credit card to hold things.
I am looking into Identity Theft insurance. We can get the whole family insured for $145 a year. This problem can get much worse and they will deal with it if it does. I know my daughter's info was breached because her high school sold all the information from the kids without permission to a company and then that company was breached, so it would be good to do all of us. I wish we didn't live in a world where this stuff happens, but we do.
Well, Amazon may have the option of paying directly out of your checking account in theory, but in practice not so much. I ended up having to use the credit card after all. I will pay it off the minute the charge hits the account.
This irritates me immensely. I am going to go in on Monday and ask for a debit card for that checking account. I should be able to use that for any future Amazon purchases and it ought to work like a credit card. At least I hope it will. Has anyone been able to use their debit card on Amazon?
I think we are starting to see the first bit of fall out from the Equifax breach. Today someone tried to use our Master Card. This was always a card we rarely used, but we have not used in 2 months for sure. And it was for some service called NEVERBOUNCE, that cleans up email list servers or something like that. Not something we would ever sign up for. They tried to charge it three times.
Fortunately BOA was on the ball and temporarily froze the account. I had to fill out the fraud form, which is really easy online. Then they will likely be calling DH to confirm what I did online.
Tonight we are going to cancel the Master Card. Since we will be eliminating all but one card until I can figure out how to do everything through debit cards, auto bank deductions, and paypal, we might as well get started with this one. No more dragging our heels.
I know a couple of you have been through some identity theft issues before. If I freeze my credit through the three reporting agencies will that prevent me from using my card at all, or just prevent anyone from opening up a new credit card account or loan?
We won't be taking out new cards or any kind of loan until we are ready to buy a house again and need a mortgage. That is a few years down the road, so freezing our reports won't affect anything in that regard. Then when we are ready to apply for a mortgage we will unfreeze them.
My mother-in-law says she is going to pay my daughter's medical bills. I burst into tears on hearing that. I was so worried about this and that it would have completely wiped us out financially. I am so grateful that FIL left her so well provided for. With the value of the house she's just barely a millionaire. Without it, she's a 3/4 millionaire. So she can definitely help her kids and grandkids. And she has FIL's pension for life, plus social security, which covers all of her monthly bills and leaves her with about $900 a month leftover, so helping us won't put her in a bad way at all. They are making her take a distribution of $16K from the 401K, so she has the money available to do this without even breaking a sweat.
Our out of pocket costs are capped at $4500, which is more than we currently have in savings. It isn't so much that I would feel awful about her paying this. I don't feel bad about her paying as this is a gift she wants to give her granddaughter, but if it were $10K to $20K, I'd really hesitate. I am pretty sure she will be helping my pregnant niece with her medical bills as well and my other niece with living costs as her baby's father is out of the picture due to addiction issues.
I am just so grateful she has the resources and the heart to do this for us. I have always thought that I lucked out with my parents-in-law. We were always happy to help them with whatever we could, driving them to appointments after FIL couldn't drive anymore, taking MIL to do all the legal stuff after FIL died, doing yard work, helping with Christmas lights, taking her shopping, etc. Now MIL is able to help us back and wants to.
I really thought this was going to bury us. It is just such a relief to know that it is not.
So yesterday after I posted we got a call to say that my daughter's surgery had been cancelled. Even though this has been on the books for 2 months, it was only yesterday that the anesthesiologist practice bothered to look at her chart. And they cancelled it based on her weight. They want her to lose 20 pounds. She's already lost 40 and we were told that was enough.
They claim they are worried about her airway during the surgery. I'm worried about her ability to breathe day to day, because with the one side crushed in like it is and the other side not super great either, she has about 40% of the air flow she would have if it was fixed. Her quality of life is nil. Of course these same anesthesiologists will do a gall bladder surgery, so I don't get it.
Anyway, so I started the refund process with both of the people I paid yesterday. They say it should take 2 weeks, which is fine since the credit card isn't due until the 3rd of May. I won't have to transfer any money to take care of it so I won't get charged interest, it'll be off with time to spare. I wish the anesthesia people had been on the ball, so I wouldn't have had to go through that rigmarole.
So whenever she loses the weight, I am going to ride the doctor's office about riding the anesthesia people to make sure she's lost adequate weight so I don't have to play these reindeer games a second time.
Meanwhile, DD and I are going to buckle down again on the weight loss and exercise regime. If I had known they were going to pull this crap, I would never have gone for the more expensive insurance program. Now we might not even be on it when she is able to have the surgery and we'll have wasted all this money for nothing.
On the bright side, it does give DD the kick in the pants she needed to get her diet going again.
According to the Brookings Institute, the surest path to get out of poverty is to do 3 things. Finish high school, get a job, and get married before having babies. Well, yet another one of my nieces is setting herself on a course to never getting out of poverty. She is 18 and pregnant. I guess she had to do her sister, who was 19 when she got pregnant, one better. At least they finished high school. But being an unwed teenage mother means they are unlikely to ever dig themselves out of the hole they currently reside in. If one does it will be the younger, but considering how they were raised, I don't think so.
Niece 1 is now on her own, having recently left her boyfriend. Her only job is watching her older half-sister's kids. Niece 2 has a catering job that requires a lot of heavy lifting, so she likely won't be able to continue in that job after a few more months. They have decided to get an apartment together. Niece 2 may have to drop out of college.
These girls knew about and had access to birth control. Free birth control because of their income level. While accidents can happen, if you are using the condom with spermicide and the pill it is really, really unlikely unless you are extremely careless.
SIL's family is such a train wreck. These are the ones that got violent over the holidays and we refuse to do Christmas and Thanksgiving with now. I do not understand how DH and SIL could be raised by the same set of parents and one be stable and solid with good values and one be so far off the boards. I guess her daughters didn't really have a chance. Rotating men after she divorced their father and then when she finally did have a steady boyfriend he was a married man. And their father has kids all around the state with different women, none of which he married.
All I know is that when I watched my sister do something similarly stupid (get married at 19 and get pregnant immediately) I swore to myself I'd never let it happen to me. When she had to leave her abusive husband and come home with her first born child and dig herself out of poverty via welfare and Pell grants to the technical college, I swore I'd do everything in my power not to put myself in a situation like that where I would have to struggle financially for years. It was so hard for her, but she did do it. She had the support of the whole family, though, and these girls do not.
I cannot imagine being niece 2 and having watched her sister go through this, and being on her way through college, deciding that being careless about birth control could ever be a good idea. You learn through your sister's mistakes. You don't repeat them.
Maybe niece 2's boyfriend will stick around for a year or two. Maybe he'll even see it out. Or maybe he'll go the way of niece 1's boyfriend, with no job, refusing to grow up, playing video games all day, and smoking pot. My faith in this family's choices seems to indicate it will be the latter, although niece 2's boyfriend is quite a bit older so maybe he'll do right by the child.
It is one thing to be an older, established, single woman who decides to get pregnant. While I still think it is better to be married and raise a kid in a two parent household, if your finances are in order and your support system is in place, then that is a choice that is relatively valid to make, though I think it puts your kid at a disadvantage. When you do it as a teenager, it can take all of your future choices away from you and you may never get them back. And what kind of life will you be providing for your child?
I just get so frustrated. I've tried to help this family for years and I kept my judgments to myself to their faces. I'd rant on here from time to time, but I never let it show in real life. Now I've just given up on the whole lot of them. Not because of this, because of Thanksgiving. I just worry for the babies. They will have no stability in their lives. But what are you going to do? You can't live people's lives for them. You can't force them to make good choices. You can only watch or choose not to watch at all.
Well, I did it. I got my hair cut to my collarbone. It was a foot or so of hair taken off. I had it thinned and layered and the curls are just crazy bouncy now. I am very happy with it. I can't remember being this happy with a haircut in a couple of decades. It is easy to care for and simple to style, though it takes more time than just braiding it or putting it up in pony tail. It just looks so nice that I don't care if it takes me an extra 10 minutes to curl it around my face.
Mom is home from the hospital and doing very well. She is only taking Tylenol for the pain and hasn't needed anything else. She is getting around very well and able to do much for herself. I am so happy. This is way easier than the shoulder surgery or the knee surgery.
We had quite a lot of overtime on the paycheck yesterday. As quickly as it comes in it is gone.
_474.36 AMEX (in full)
__56.61 Garbage (2 months)
_876.93 BoA Visa (in full)
_124.75 BoA MC (in full)
1000.00 Citi Visa (not in full, but not due until 4/3)
$2782.65 Total Money Out
This is over the amount of the paycheck. Mom and MIL both reimbursed us for stuff we bought for them so we had an extra $310 in checking from that.
As for Murphy, DH got a flat tire. He got a piece of metal in the tire. He's down at the shop now seeing about the repair. I don't know how much it will cost or if it will cost anything. Tire shops are weird that way. Sometimes they fix flats for free, depending on how bad the damage is. I am hoping we won't have to get new tires. This is on his father's truck that we technically have inherited, but we haven't taken the title to it yet. MIL is going to pay off the loan on it when the life insurance money comes in, but it hasn't yet. After that, we will take ownership of it.
If we have to buy new tires we will buy them from Costco. Still the cheapest place for tires I've ever found and good quality ones, too. I have loved the ones they put on the van. They drive very well. But I sure hope that expense is not one we have to shell out for right now.
DD's bed broke. The box spring and the frame collapsed. It's an old bed, a hand me down from my mother. We can't afford a new bed now. MIL has a bed we can take, but it has to be excavated first. She has so much junk in that room. The bed is covered with it and the path to the bed is covered with it. FIL was a real pack rat and MIL still is.
So after the tire is repaired, DH and DS will take the truck out to MIL's and try to get the bed out.
DD's surgery is scheduled for the 9th of April. We have to have $300 paid before then. Her deductible is $500. She's met some of it, and will meet some more with the pre-op appointment so $300 is what they reckon will be left to meet. The doctor's portion of the surgery itself costs $5449, but we won't have to pay all of that. The surgery center is supposed to get me a quote on their portion. I don't know about the doctor who administers the anesthesia. I believe our out of pocket is capped at $3000 per person. It might be $5000, though.
We still haven't been able to get the HSA to issue a corrected form. I think at this point we are just going to put the proper amount on the taxes and keep our fingers crossed that no on notices that proper form isn't there. And if we ever have an HSA again, it won't be there because they really don't know how to pull their heads out and do their jobs.
Otherwise, still muddling along. Still thinking I need to make up a meal plan, but still not doing it. I ended up throwing out a lot of veg and leftovers this week and so I really need to get back on top of the food waste issue. I kind of really let things go for a couple of weeks. I need to not do that, because is just wastes so much money. Some went to the ducks, some to the compost, and few things had to be binned.
I have been watching a show this week called Eat Well for Less. It is British. I found a couple of episodes on youtube and a few others elsewhere. It's a really good show. It focuses on fixing a family's food budget. It deals with brand addiction, food waste, picky eating, shopping without checking the pantry and fridge first, everyone eating different meals instead of the same meal, all of that stuff.
I found it very informative. And it gave me the incentive I needed to try to get my act back together again. I've got all my veggies that were left after cleaning the fridge prepped and ready to go so that it can get used up this week and not wasted. I am going to plan my meals around that when I finally sit down and make my meal plan tonight.
I don't need to buy any meat this week. I may need to buy salad greens and bananas, but I may hold off on the bananas because we have plenty of oranges and apples. I'd like some blackberries, though. Oh, I've got some freeze-dried ones. Those will do nicely. We have freeze-dried bananas, too, if it comes to that.
Mom's surgery was today. She had to be at the hospital at 6:30 a.m. She had her hip replaced and while they were in there they repaired a torn tendon they hadn't known about, which means her recovery is going to be a lot slower than they thought. Which also means I am going to need you all to pray for strength for me, because yet again it is all going to fall on me.
My one sister hasn't even called to see how she is doing. The other one called, but only after my aunt called her to see how Mom was doing. She had forgotten today was Mom's surgery. She did say thank you for being on top of everything. I said somebody has to, and she said better you than me. I kind of wanted to reach through the phone and shake her.
Then I told her what room number Mom is in and she isn't even going to go up and visit her. She'll be in the hospital for two days, possibly three, but oh, well, she has a "weird life," and "stuff to do." My sisters are not helpful when it comes to Mom, but I've just come to expect it.
Anyway, she came out of recovery around 1:00 and while she looked really pale, she was talking, hungry and asking for food. Which they still hadn't brought when I left around 2:30. She had a couple of crackers and some juice at least, but they were supposed to bring her lunch.
When I got home I called my aunt and gave her an update and then posted on Facebook so my cousins would know she was doing okay. I don't know why my aunt didn't just call me as I gave her my phone number when Mom had the shoulder surgery several months back.
I will be going back up tomorrow morning for her physical therapy session. They will teach us how to do the exercises properly. Supposedly they will teach her how to go up stairs with a walker. That's the part I am worried about because there are five steps into the house. Once we get her in it should be okay, there are no more stairs she will need to use. My son will be with me when we actually bring her home, though. DH will be at work, but thankfully DS is strong at almost 18 (a week from it).
I just hope my diet survives the next few weeks. I've lost 19 pounds since the start of February and I really don't want to start stress eating or worse, binge eating, again. Mom makes me want to do both on a good day, but when she is recovering from surgery that increases ten fold.
I prepped a ton of veggies today so that at least when she comes home I will not have to worry about that part of meal prep and can just easily cook dinners. I did six bell peppers, 2 yellow onions, 4 red onions, 6 stalks of broccoli, and 1 head of cauliflower. Tomorrow I will do carrots, celery, radishes, cucumbers, and parsnips.
I really should make up a meal plan as well. I've been flying by the seat of my pants for the last two months, but planning will be necessary once Mom is home. I just wish I didn't have to make separate meals for her. But Mrs. Pickypants has never met an herb or spice she liked besides onion salt, garlic salt, salt, pepper, and Lawry's seasoned salt.
We eat a much larger variety of herbs and spices and nowhere near the amount of salts. Plus she doesn't like vegetables other than broccoli, caulifower, green beans, potatoes, and corn. And she won't want broccoli and cauliflower while she is unable to get to the bathroom quickly. So lots of bland meals, all meat and potatoes, really.
She wouldn't get TV dinners this time to help, either. For some reason she wants good healthy food cooked fresh now. She doesn't even do that for herself. She didn't want to do up any homemade freezer meals ahead of time, either. So basically it feels like she just wants to make as much work as possible for me. Well, it's not going to happen. I will cook enough food for 3 dinners in a row, 3 lunches in a row, and either my son or I will make breakfasts each day for her. And if she gets bored with it, well, what's she going to do, get up and cook herself?
I really, really hope when I am old and dependent on my children, that I will not be difficult about things. Of course, I would prepare and freeze most of my foods ahead of time if it was me and if medicare would pay for nursing home care for two weeks, I'd go, not put it all on my kids because I wanted to be at home instead.
I love my mother very much, but the whole situation just frustrates me to no end. My sisters, I am not happy with at all.
I just discovered I didn't actually make a payment on the 30th. I recorded it in my check register, but I must have gotten distracted before I actually went online and paid it. Fortunately I had made a payment the week before, so there was no late fee, but that does mean we got charged interest for the $1400 balance. Ugh. I hate when that happens. I hate giving a single cent to the Evil Empire.
Okay, we were a bit distracted having to deal with DD's gall bladder attack, but still. I am usually so on the ball with paying the bills. Lesson learned, though. Don't enter it into the register until I've actually made the payment. I wish I'd realized this two days ago.
I was wondering why the balance was so high on that account. I couldn't find the payment there, so I checked my checking account online and couldn't find the payment there, either. I can't believe I did that. I know I haven't been feeling good and have been kind of spacey all week, but still. This is the second time I have done that in 4 months. *sighs*
I did finally catch all my budgets up to date on the spreadsheets. I finished up September, October, November and December, including entering all the medical bills into each month. I haven't added up the numbers yet, but I know as of August we'd already spent over $20K on medical bills for 2017. I'd say it is going to be around $27K from a guesstimate.
Can I just say again, the Affordable Care Act was badly misnamed? Burdonsomely Unaffordable Care Act would be a much better title. Or Bankrupting the Middle Class Care Act. That would be an acceptable title as well. I know it has helped the people that get it for free, but it has hurt just as many people, if not more so by driving up the cost of everything insurance related, making it more expensive for employers to offer plans, and shifting the expense directly to those who don't get any subsidies. And I'm not sure it is going to get any better any time soon, either. They like to talk about health care, but they don't like to do much, no matter what side they are on.
I am so glad 2017 is over and 2018 is here. It can't possible be as big of a struggle as the last two years have been.
My daughter went to the emergency room Friday night at midnight in excruciating pain. They did an ultrasound and a CT scan and found out her gall bladder is full of stones. They did not need to do emergency surgery, but they think she needs to get it out soon. We don't have insurance until February.
So we will get her in to see a gastroenterologist ASAP and schedule the surgery for February. I can't even call until Tuesday and then I am sure it will be 2 to 3 weeks before we can even get in to see a specialist. I am glad that insurance still can't do squat about pre-existing conditions.
This visit is going to cost us roughly $2500, unless I miss my estimate of $1000 for the visit, $500 for the ultrasound, and $1000 for the CT, which is still less than paying COBRA. DH will have to work a lot of overtime to pay for that, but he is allowed 10 hours of OT a week without having to ask, and then if things get into a rush time, they will okay additional over that. Hopefully we can manage to get it paid without taking money out of the Emergency Fund, but we definitely won't be putting any money into the EF for a couple of months. *sighs*
I had to completely throw out my meal plan for the eat from the pantry challenge and start from scratch since DD can't have dairy, most fats, eggs, pork, only very lean beef, no refined white flour so no pasta (we don't have any whole wheat on hand) or bread or tortillas, no refined white sugar (she can have honey, molasses, and brown sugar), no fatty fish, and no brassicas. That means none of my go to vegetables of broccoli, cauliflower, kale, kohlrabi, cabbage, bok choy and the like.
So we will be eating more turkey, chicken, rabbit, white fish and shell fish. I do have that, but I don't know how long it will last. I will have to make some stuff for DH, because he can handle only so much poultry before he starts clucking about it and he is not the biggest fan of fish, though he does like white fish.
The hardest part for me is that I like to cook in butter and oil. I know it isn't terribly healthy, but it makes things taste good. I can use spray oil or lightly brush oil on things, but no frying. We have spray olive oil and we can brush on avocado oil. But I will be doing a lot of steaming in foil packets with lots of veggies and herbs and then putting fish on top so the veggie flavors rise up into the fish and the fish juices fall down to flavor the veggies.
DS and I have agreed to eat like this with DD as much as possible. The hardest part for me will be not eating pasta. I can take or leave bread, but I love spaghetti and Ziti and macaroni. I know DH won't eat like us, though he could stand to, but he will refrain from eating the junk she likes but can no longer have in front of her. He'll keep it at work or in the truck.
And speaking of the truck, DH has been using his dad's truck since before his dad died and DH will inherit it once the will is through whatever it has to go through. It doesn't actually have to go through probate here unless it is contested, but it does have to go through official filing and then I think there is a short waiting period. So we are basically a two car family now for the first time in five or six years. Which means our insurance will likely double. We did do our part of the filing, but we are waiting for the state to do its part.
There is a loan on the truck, but MIL will pay it off before we change ownership legally once the life insurance comes through. She has enough to pay off all debts, and because he was still actively employed when he died, though off on disability, she gets his full pension of $3000 a month and she gets social security based on his wages, so she will actually be sitting pretty. Not to mention there is some property in trust between her, her sister, and her brother, so we aren't going to have to worry about her after all.
I guess I will go back to worrying about us instead. *double sighs*
We have a leak in our storage unit roof. It ruined my husband's table saw and his small ratchet set. They are full of rust. It ruined one book, 2 pop up tents (the play kind), some old school report cards, a box of papers that just needed to be shredded, a video cassette cabinet (empty), an end table's feet so basically the whole thing, and possibly an original Jabba the Hutt action figure's outfit, but we are not sure on that one. It didn't look moldy, but it was soaked so we will have to dry it out and see. The rest of the action figures were just plastic, no clothes, but the whole case was full of water.
We videoed everything. There were several boxes that had mold on them, but no water damage and no damage to the books inside. We threw out some stuff while we were going through the boxes, too. Just some stuff that never should have been packed and put in there in the first place as we did the final clean out of the house. We took one pickup load of stuff to the dump and recycled an old computer monitor that was from 1994. It was an IBM brand monitor from a 286 (I think that was what it was called) computer from the early 90's. I know it ran windows 3.1. I don't think IBM has made hardware in two decades.
All in all there wasn't too much damage and our $2000 of insurance (no deductible) on the unit will cover the costs. I told DH I want to look for a new storage facility further from town, since they are cheaper. They have been raising the rates on this unit consistently every six months for the past few years and now the roof leaks and they don't know when it will be fixed. We have a 20 gallon tote under the leak at the moment.
When we do move to a new storage facility we will be going through every box and throwing out what needs to be tossed and donating what we thinkg is good enough to donate and hopefully we can get everything in one unit instead of the two we currently have. There is some furniture in there we will never use again and I don't know why we didn't get rid of it before.
Well, yes, I do, we were too attached to our things. And then inertia set in. I know there are a lot of toys that the kids didn't want us to get rid of at the time we moved, but now at 21 and 17, they could care less about so those can be donated, or ebayed depending. There are some boxes of clothes that no one will ever wear again, but of course we always thought we would, but we will never weigh what it would take to get into those clothes again and then some of them are children's clothes, too.
We have gotten by without any of the stuff in there and while I care about the photo albums and the books, there is so much that just doesn't matter to me anymore. When you live in 1000 square feet of space for almost 8 years you eventually become less attached to clutter and excess. I just wish we'd done this years ago.
The funeral on Wednesday was beautiful. I was able to speak, which was a good thing, because neither DH nor SIL could manage, though MIL did. I got a lot of compliments on what I said, which was nice, because I did not go in with a prepared speech. I don't like speaking in public, but I didn't feel it could go by without one of us saying something.
My favorite of DH's cousins did not attend. Her grandson, who is only 5, has a brain tumor. They biopsied on Tuesday and found out it is a very aggressive cancer and the tumor was the size of a tennis ball. Wednesday he had the surgery to remove it and they were able to get it all, but they still had to see if it had spread to the bloodstream. I am at such a loss. I am so tired of cancer hitting my family. This year has been a horror.
I am still pretty sick, but Thursday was my worst day. I think I have turned the corner with this cold, but I've been wrong before and gone on a second downswing. Hopefully not this time, though. Unfortunately, both kids are down with it, and DH started sneezing like crazy today. He's dosing on vitamin C. I hope he can keep going, because I am not at the stage where I can do any of the household or farm chores. Well, I did manage to fold one load of towels and one of clothes and then had to rest before I could put them away.
DH's interview was on Friday. He was supposed to be interviewed by two people, but the second one had a death in the family and couldn't be there. So the first guy said he needed to talk to the second guy when he gets back and see if he felt he needed to interview DH, too, or just go based on the first guy's opinion. He wanted to know if DH could start immediately, so I guess that is promising, but I'm not getting my hopes up yet.
DH and I went down to pick up our turkey today. We asked for one in the 13 to 16 pound range when we ordered a few months ago, and it is 15.07 pounds. I also picked up some sausage since we didn't get any with our pork. They had chorizo, which I was excited about, because I've never been able to find a chorizo without some bad additives in it. So one day next week I will make chorizo con huevoes with rice for dinner. Or possibly for breakfast with cauliflower rice.
I also picked up some roasts for canning. The roasts from our beef all have bones in them and I like them for pot roast dinners, anyway. But I want to can some meat for stews and chuck roasts available at the farm have no bones so are easier to cut up. In the winter I like to have stew once a week and we've been out of canned beef for a couple of months now.
We're also going to juice up a bunch of the apples we got when we went to the orchard a while back. I clearly got too many. If I juice it, I can can it and it will be shelf stable. That is a relatively easy task, but it will still have to wait until I feel decent enough to do it.
I was really hoping to do a better job at blogging with daily blogs this month, but I just haven't had the energy, so catch up posts a couple times a week are just going to have to do it for now.
My father-in-law died about half an hour ago. My husband has been with him all day, except to come home, shove in a sandwich, and go back. Then at nine p.m. he came and got us and the kids and I stayed until nearly midnight. DH stayed with his Mom and sister and aunt (FIL's sister) and his eldest grandchild. It was peaceful. He never woke up while we were there.
We told him he could go, that everything was taken care of, that MIL would be looked after. I got a moment to kiss him on the forehead and tell him I loved him. DH and MIL are holding up pretty well. SIL and niece not so much. My son is doing pretty good, feels a sense of relief and a lot of sadness. My daughter is having a harder time and hiding in the shower so she can fall apart in private.
I've been crying off and on for days now, but tonight was so hard. I was lucky enough to be blessed with in-laws who love me like a daughter. And a father-in-law who made my own father's passing easier, because I still had someone to play that role in my life who felt like a dad to me.
We all feel like DH was laid off for this reason. So he could be home to spend time with his dad the last few weeks of his life and to be there for his mother. Just like the last time we felt like it was so he could be here to drive them to the cancer facility in Seattle and pick up the slack around their house, chores, grocery shopping, all of that.
He has been there when he needed to be there and it has made a world of difference to him and to his family. The worst is yet to come, though. He'll hold it in for a while and then he'll collapse with the grief for a while and then he'll move stoically forward because that is what he does. And I'll be there for him every step of the way. Because that is what I do.
A couple of days ago the nursing home sent FIL to the hospital because he had a rash spreading all over his body. Turns out it is MRSA. And they did a scan of his lungs and the big cancer tumor is now 6 inches and their is a smaller one as well and they are almost completely filling one lung. The other lung is clear. They are talking about putting in a breathing tube. Right now he is just on oxygen, but if it worsens the tube will go in.
I'm not supposed to go up there right now because I have a cold and it is really hard. Same with my daughter. My son was able to go up with DH, though. If it gets worse I may go up anyway with a breathing mask on. And it sounds like it is going to get worse.
In a lot of ways, this is worse than when my own father was dying. His mind had gone years before. But FIL is still completely in his right mind. He is close to giving up because it has just been so hard. It is heart-breaking.
I still don't know what MIL is going to do. She doesn't know how to do anything financially. She's never worked and I don't think she is capable of it. The life insurance will be enough to pay off their house and their regular bills, but I don't know about the hospital bills at this point. We can't afford to take care of them.
Plus, emotionally, I don't know what she will do. They have been married 50 years. At least she is driving again, but that took a lot of doing. She doesn't like to make phone calls and deal with stuff, but she is going to have to.
Oh, plus, their disability insurance is breathing down their necks trying to make them prove that he is disabled beyond the point of working at any job right now. I've complained many times in the past about how sucky Aetna is, but this is a new low. If MIL even knew where the paperwork was for certain things, trying to deal with that wouldn't be so hard.
Please, if you are part of a married couple and one of you is clueless about all the finances and paperwork, have a conference with your spouse and get it so you both understand everything. This is not something you want to be dealing with at death's door.
Please pray for my FIL, MIL, DH, and SIL. Right now is the hardest time of their lives and I am helpless to do a single thing.
DH was laid off on the 20th and returned home on the 21st. Today is the last paycheck. Time to put our heads down and hope and pray that the $25K in savings will be enough to get us through until he finds another job. I really wish they had kept him on until the 28th like they'd first said. With cutting the time, it meant there was nothing extra to put into savings after all, and we will have to draw for December expenses in late November.
This is going to be a rough road to go down again. This is one of the worst times of the year to be trying to find work in his industry.
I won't bring in much with Thrive Life, but I'll get something. I bring in a little with the youtube channel. But it is so little as to make no difference. I wish I wasn't disabled. I'd go work at McDonald's if I could stand that long.
I'm having a hard time figuring out whether I am having bad side effects from the methotrexate or I've just caught some stomach bug. I really wish these things were easier to discern. In case it is the drug, I talked with the doctor's MA and she has altered my dosage and has me taking 5 mg of vitamin B-9 instead of 1 now. I don't know if it was a coincidence or not, but I didn't throw up today, so...either the uptick in B-9 is controlling the nausea or the possible illness has run its course.
I take my second dose tomorrow, so I guess if my symptoms get bad again within 24 hours, then the medicine is probably suspect. I started feeling yucky the morning after taking the drug for the first time.
DH screwed up his Ting phone, so now all he can do is message me via google hangouts when he is in a place that has an internet signal. It looks like we won't be able to talk on the phone at all while he's gone. He can't get the signal to change it back until he goes south. What a pain. If he'd left it with GSM instead of changing it to CDMA he'd have something. What a hassle. Still our bill this month is only $37, so once it is all sorted out things should be fine.
If I can figure out how to turn the microphone on on google hangouts then we can video chat. The problem with him not having his own phone for a couple weeks is that if anyone tries to respond to a resume he's submitted, he won't get the message, because when he switched between the two it deactivated his voice mail. So frustrating when he needs to find new work to realize there is a possibility he won't get the calls now.
My mother is driving me crazy. She has a 5000 square foot house and my family of four is relegated to 1000 square feet and she seems to resent every inch of it that we take up these days. I so wish we could get out of here. This wasn't supposed to be a permanent situation. She isn't happy unless she is complaining and she is complaining constantly. If it's not about us, it is about politics.
The problem for her is going to be when we do move. She isn't going to be able to afford her bills, because we pay everything right now and that will not continue when we do leave. She doesn't get it. We pay the electric, the gas, the water/sewer, and the garbage. I don't think she realizes just how hard that will be on her fixed income. She owns the house and it is worth $500K, maybe more, especially in this neighborhood, but that is not accessible money.
I think she's also mad at me because I said I would not take care of her by myself again if she has another replacement surgery (either knee, hip, or shoulder) during the first two weeks. That she would have to go into a nursing home during the first two weeks of recovery because I can't handle going through it again and I won't. It wrecked my back, it wrecked my health, and it wrecked my knees. I went into a flare that was super painful for me and everything was so swollen it hurt just to be alive. Not to mention that she was really mean during that time because she resented having to be taken care of. I absolutely will not put myself through it again. And Medicare will pay for it so she won't be out any money.
I think she thinks if she goes to a nursing home she won't be coming back home again, which is utter nonsense. I would not do that until she is at the point where it is necessary, and that certainly is not now. If she had stayed in the hospital the 3 days she was allowed to it would have been a lot better for me. But the doctor told her she could go home after 24 hours if she wanted to. Well, of course, she wanted to, but it was bad having her home before I was prepared to have her home.
I will have a word with her doctor the next go around, that is for sure. I supposed I could force the issue since I have her medical power of attorney, if it comes down to that, but I'd rather she just come to her senses of her own accord.
If we didn't live here, she'd have to make other arrangements because it is not like my sisters will step up. She doesn't seem to believe in my auto immune disease or that with rheumatoid arthritis it is extremely painful to do the things I had to do to take care of her. Or that only getting 4 hours of sleep a night was something I could function on for 3 weeks. So no, not doing it again. I value my sanity too much.
Well, DH has work through October. There for a while we weren't even sure he'd go back after this hitch ends or not. His last day should be the 26th. I wish he could extend it a week. All we'd need was one day worked in November and his job would pay for November insurance. But he texted me this morning, so one more month to pay off some of these surprise medical expenses like a new C-pap machine, and the dental work that needs to get done.
I'm not sure what will happen then, other than DH will be looking for work. He may have made enough since May to qualify him again for unemployment, but that's not much. We have $22,784.87 left in the Emergency Fund. Which will get us to March or April if DH doesn't find a job again. We'll get our tax refund as soon as possible and with the medical we've paid out this year that could be enough for an additional 2 months of living expenses.
If there is any money left over after paying all of our bills the next two months than I will save it, too. I'm pretty sure there will be nothing of September's pay, but barring any other medical emergency we should be able to put aside some of October's pay.
I hope he can find something reliable soon. We are as prepared as we can be, but this will be the last time we can go through this without having some serious time to rebuild our savings again. We won't be able to survive it a third time if we wipe out all of our savings.
Well, my phone finally bit the dust so I am going to buy a cheaper phone from Ting and cut the Verizon cord for myself. I know there are a handful of you that use Ting, so if someone wants to give me their link in the comments, than I'll use it when I sign up. I really hate to have to buy a new phone, though. I will be saying good-bye to my slide out keyboard. I hate touch screens and wish they still made the slide out version.
My son wants to get a job so he can help out with medical bills if needed. I was kind of floored he offered to as he is only 17, but we are very open about money and he knows the situation. I told him I'd consider it, but only if he can show me he's serious about it by keeping his school work going. We've got about 1.5 years of home school left before he can graduate. As much as possible, though, I'd want him to save his money for the vocational college where he wants to take welding.
My nephew is thinking of moving in. There are 3 more rooms in this house at my mom's end. His girlfriend lives here and so he wants to move here and find a job and save up so he can get an apartment here. He'd have to help pay for some things, too. Nominal rent and utilities and help Mom with things like yard work. It would be nice having him around.
The next few months are going to be interesting.
I haven't posted much this month because truthfully everything sucks and I am so tired of things being so negative every time I do post. I am weepy all the time lately and I am not a weepy person. I feel like we're never going to get out of this situation where bad things happen one after the other after the other and we are given no time whatsoever to get our heads above water and breathe. I feel like I'm drowning and what's worse, I have no desire to keep fighting the current.
This month alone has just shattered me. First Gina dies, then we have to rehome George. Then we find out the news about FIL having six months to live because of the cancer spreading so aggressively. Then we get a visit by the humane society because someone called in an anonymous report about the living conditions of our rabbits. Nobody knows about our rabbits outside of family and two girls that used to be friends with my daughter but have been cyberbullying her for about two years now.
It came to nothing, because the woman who came back to see them said she'd never seen rabbits in such good condition. Everyone had food, water, bedding, and one fan per cage (rabbits don't do well in heat above 75 degrees) in an indoor shed.
Then she asked about our turkeys and I said we didn't have any turkeys, they were long gone. She said the person who called in specifically mentioned the turkeys, so they had no clue that we no longer had turkeys. Everyone who lives around us knew the turkeys were gone.
I asked who had called it in and she said the woman requested to be anonymous. I asked if it was a neighbor and she said no. Then I told her about the girls that have been harassing my daughter (one's a vegan but the militant kind) and she said she'd be sure to note that in her report. Apparently this happens all the time with petty people calling stuff in to try to get people they don't like in trouble. I did later find some FB evidence of gloating so my suspicions are likely correct on who did it.
Then we had to put Kalia down. She broke something in her back when the Med-Evac buzzed too low over the houses again. This is the third or fourth rabbit we've lost because of that stupid helicopter not following the flight height rules when it takes off. It almost hit the neighbor's ham operator antennae a few days ago. The loud noise and the shaking of the building just panics them sometimes. Sometimes we can save them, but she had lost control over her bladder and bowels and it was clear it wasn't just a leg injury, but a back injury, too.
Kalia was a special rabbit to us. She was the first one we had to dropper feed and so we spent a lot of time with her and she was a particular favorite. That one devastated my husband, but that was coming on top of the news about his dad so it all played together.
My daughter had yet another ER visit this month just when we'd finally gotten the last ones paid for and thought we'd be able to relax again. At least $700 will go on her deductible then who knows?
DH had to get a crown and had to pay $650 up front. Then if that wasn't all enough, my c-pap machine quit working. It was 2 months before the five year mark when I could qualify for a new machine, but they were able to get the insurance to agree to get me a new machine now. But it is a $600 machine and I still have $480 left on the deductible so I'll have to pay that up front as well. I can't go without one though. Right now I am using a loaner, but will get the new machine on Monday.
We still don't know whether or not DH will have a job after October and if he doesn't I don't think he will qualify for unemployment only having worked six months since he used up all his benefits. I don't know if my sanity can take another lay-off. I really don't.
I feel like everything is out to get us. I don't know how we are going to get through all this crap. If we had debt right now I think I'd have totally lost it. As it is, I'm ready to just give up, crawl into a hole, and never come out again. How do I fight that when nothing is going right? How do I force myself to stay on top of it all when I just don't care anymore to try?
I've lost my motivation. I guess I just need some encouragement right now.
My father in law was given the news that the cancer has spread and there is nothing further they can do to treat it. They said he has six months to live. It breaks my heart. I love him so much. Having FIL around made me not feel so lost when my own father died. I have to figure out how to be strong for my family, but all I want to do is cry my eyes out.
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