Viewing the 'Medical Issues and Spending' Category
December 5th, 2021 at 01:07 am
There were appointments every day this week and man was it exhausting. I had two physical therapy sessions, one regular therapy session, one doctor's appointment for me, and one doctor's appointment for DD, who has bronchitis and a negative Covid test. I've been put on prednisone for 10 days to try to help with some of the inflammation I've been having due to the rheumatoid arthritis acting up so much in this cold weather swing, so I am feeling semi-decent, even if I do look like a puffer fish.
Last night DH and I to Costco and did a big shop. I used the ride on cart and we filled that basket, plus the basket of another shopping cart. I haven't been to Costco in months. We spent all but $50 of the grocery budget in one go, but I have lots of fruits and vegetables, some carne asada and two types of raviolis. And 4 cases of PH water, which was nearly $50 of the cost.
And 2 cases of Charmin. It's the first time they've had Charmin in a couple of months according the cashier. They had a limit of 5, though we only got 2. We might go back for more later. I like to keep 5 cases in the house during cold and flu season and we were down to one. Charmin is the only TP we can use that doesn't have some harsh agent in it that causes a rash. Well, that and MD but we can't find that anywhere for the last few years. They might not make it anymore.
I was really excited to find some uncured paleo bacon (no sugar) and some uncured paleo Candian bacon. And also a turkey and a roast beef deli meat pack with no sugar. I am going to restart my diet on Monday. I am not doing paleo, I just like to keep my high carb intake down to one meal a day, no more than 60 grams, and the other meals to be no sugar with lots of low carb vegetables. I got a couple of salad kits, a Ceasar (won't eat the dressing or croutons, but others will) and a chopped Meditarrean salad mix that had a lot of crunchy veggies in it like cabbage, broccoli slaw, carrots, and non-romaine lettuce. So I will mix those together. I love salad and I make a simple dressing that has very low carbs, but tastes good. I also stocked up a little on Kerrygold butter both salted and unsalted.
After that we headed out to storage with the truck to start bringing in our outdoor Christmas decorations. The elk takes up almost the whole bed of the truck, but we were able to put the flat large ornament under it and tuck some other small things around it. We had the bottled water back there, so there wasn't a ton of extra room. Tonight we will be going back out to bring in the lamp post, the icicle lights, all the the other things like the star, the angel, the Cardnial, the Santa face, and the candy canes. Plus the extension cords.
After we got home with the elk and put the groceries away and rested, we headed out to Lowe's. We picked up a large room space heater for us and another one for Mom. It has made a tremendous difference and I am no longer worried about the pipes freezing. We heard from the furnace people and it might actually be two more weeks.
We picked up some more lights while there and got a new standee yard decoration. This was a bear dressed in a band uniform sitting on a drum, so we call him a little drummer bear. I try to buy one standee a year. And we bought new lights for the bushes, because the solar ones just did not work well last winter. Too much bad weather and too little sunshine. We forgot to buy clips for the gutters though so we will go get those tonight when we go back out to storage. Then hopefully tomorrow we can get the decorations up. It's supposed to snow on Monday, so I'd like that done first.
At some point this weekend I'd like to go look for a freezer, too, now that the money has been refunded to us. So thankfully that whole freezer saga is done. Only took them 5 months. If we can at least get one ordered that would be nice.
Oh, and we bought an electric blanket for DH since his quit working. It should be here from Amazon on the 6th.
It has been spendy, but everything was either budgeted for or was saved up for, so it's all good.
I hope DH gets a decent Christmas bonus this year. It would be cool if we could dump some more money into the EF. They generally give a cash bonus and a 401K bonus. Or you can choose to have the cash bonus go into your 401K, too, in which case the government doesn't get their greedy little paws on a huge chunk of the bonus (bonuses are taxed higher). Last year the take home bonus was around $500, I think, but the year before it was $1500. They supposedly did a lot better this year than last, so I am hopeful.
They are supposed to give out raises at the end of the year, too. Not everyone is getting one, but it was strongly implied at DH's performance review that he would be. I don't think any raise could keep up with runaway inflation right now, but anything would help. It's not like DH doesn't have a good income, but when you put 15% into retirement and tithe 10%, that only leaves you with 75% to live on and that does make it tight sometimes. It is like how we were living when we were paying down debt for the most part.
I guess that is the trade off, though. Sacrifice now, so we don't have to sacrifice when we are in retirement. I guess it just feels super tight because we had to set aside most of the money MIL gave us for medical expenses instead of just being able to use it. But DS needs braces and DH needs a crown and I need a new mouth guard because mine is starting to crack. Mine will only cost $400 though. The crown will be $1500 and the braces I don't know yet, but I've got $6000 set aside for that. I hope it won't cost that much, but that is what we paid for DD, although her teeth were way worse.
We need to get DS separated from the grocer's union so he can go get a restaurant job. Did you know that if you take a non-union job after joining that union that they can sue you? That sucks. He does not want to go back to work at a grocery store. All the fast food places are hiring and they are non-union. The McDonalds nearby is over $15.69 an hour for regular shifts and $16.69 for overnight shifts. He was making $17.79 at the grocery store, so that's not too big a cut. Plus he won't have to go outside much. He had to get the carts at the grocery store and was always getting soaked, even with the rain jacket.
If he can get a job there it would be ideal. Either that or the DQ that is a block away from the McD's. He needs to start earning money so that he can get a car and then start saving up for school to become an electrician. But first he has to get his GED. Now that he is properly medicated for ADHD and BiPolar, he's got a chance of focusing long enough to do that. Although I think McD's also has a program for getting your high school diplomma so he might be able to do that, too. I'd prefer that to the GED, but at this point I just want him to finish.
November 25th, 2021 at 12:11 pm
It's 2:45 a.m. and I am still up doing Thanksgiving prep. I just turned off the pressure oven (did not use the pressure setting) and left the door ajar, so my gluten free pumpkin cheesecake bars can cool for an hour before they go into the fridge and then I can go to bed. The gluten free lemon bars were finished right after dinner. I did up the gluten free stuffing so it can go into the turkey first thing in the morning and the potatoes are getting peeled and will go into water and into the fridge so they can be dumped and rinsed of starch before being cooked tomorrow. I may do a dressing with gluten bread tomorrow if my hands still work, but maybe not. We'll see.
I left my husband a detailed set of instructions for what to do when he gets up, so I can sleep in. I don't do mornings, my joints take too long to warm up and function with the RA, and this is how we did it the last two years and it has worked out fine. He's been in bed for a while now so he could get decent sleep.
My husband will go out to fetch mother in law about an hour before the turkey is done cooking and then he will call me when he is about to leaveher house so I can start on the gravy while my son prepares the green beans and canned corn. Based on timing, they should get here as I am finishing up the gravy and then DH can mash the potatoes and cut the turkey and we are good to go. It goes like clockwork when all goes well.
It's been a busy week and this week has had some medical revelations that did not really surprise me, just confirmed what I had figured for awhile. One being that I have another as yet undiagnosed autoimmune disease. It is not Sjogren's. Further testing is required, but the rheumatologist is not going to do anything about it until my appointment in February. I really don't think I have an expedient rheumatologist, but it is either this or go to Seattle.
As for the other, I'm not 100% sure yet, I see the doctor on the 30th and the therapist on the 1st. The therapist was going to consult with the psychiatrist she works with and see about getting me on an anti-depressant right away, because I had one of the highest depression scores she's seen in years.
I heard on Tuesday from the doctor's office that they want to put me on a certain drug, but the doctor wants to meet with me to talk about it first. I see him on the 30th and the therapist on the 1st. I have my suspicions based on the drug and these are suspicions that have always been in the back of my head since I was thirteen, but I grew up with parents who don't believe in mental illness, despite sending me to a psychiatrist when I was fourteen. Mom bullied him into telling her everything I'd said, I promptly quit talking to him, and she refused to have me medciated. It took a lot for me to even decide to see a therapist now due to that, but the fact that we have HIPAA laws now and who would she tell helped.
We'll see if it turns out I am right. I don't want to jump the gun. Sometimes I think it would be great to finally have a diagnosis and other times I just don't want to know.
The furnace quit working. They had to order a part. We have space heaters and the gas fireplace so the house is warm, but it is kind of an irriatating thing to have happen right before Thanksgiving.
Oh, well. The pumpkin bars are cooled now, so time to put them in the fridge and get to bed. I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving.
November 17th, 2021 at 02:48 am
Today was bright and sunny as the flood waters from the last several days of storming began to recede. Yesterday the water in the basement covered the bottom step and was about halfway up the first step. I've never, ever seen that happen and I've lived in this house off and on since I was 4 years old. Two of the sump pumps stopped working, but the other one did. We have them set up to go directly into the sewer line, but with two of them completely submerged they must have shorted out. It's going down, but it might take a few days. That's a lot of water to move.
We don't keep anything down there, except the tankless hot water heater, which is well above it and some old shelves that are mostly empty except the canners which are on chest-heigh shelves. And an ancient, unworking chest freezer. And that's because of the flooding always having been an issue. We've tried to fix it, but I think it is going to require a lot of dirt and concrete. The problem is their is an old set of stairs under the house, which was originally an outdoor opening to the basement. But Mom and Dad never had it filled in, they just built the addition over the top of it, thus creating a low spot where water can run down into the basement.
So I think the solution there is to fill it in with dirt so the water has no place to get into the basement, which will mean removing the outside stairs and taking buckets or bags of fill dirt down the inside stairs to fill that in, or maybe sand bags, and then building a form and filling the old doorway in with concrete or using cinder blocks and filling them in with concrete and then mortaring them into place. If we don't fill it in with dirt, water would just collect behind the wall and if enough water did that, it would put a lot of pressure on the new wall. I'd love to just fill it all in with concrete, which is what they should have done before they built a house over it, but I don't think there is any way that is possible, other than one bag at a time and that is so expensive. Fill dirt we can get for free.
My parents have cut so many corners with this house, with the additions, with the wiring, to save money. Now it is stuff we will have to deal with fixing for who knows how many more years. I would really like a flood free, useable basement one day. I'd like to use it as a root cellar, but can't if this issue isn't solved.
I had my second physical therapy session today and my first one since I fainted and fell on the floor last Thursday. I did okay. I'm still stiff and sore, especially in the hips, but also the knees, elbows, and wrists, which took the brunt of the impact. I still feel bruised on one side. Although I hit my head I'd slowed down my fall so much that it didn't leave a bump or bruise and definitely no concussion. I am thinking quite clearly.
My referral has finally gone through so I can see the neurologist to see if we can get to the bottom of these fainting spells. I need to remember to call and make an appointment. I am starting to wonder if it isn't late onset epilepsy. It could just be migraine onset, but I didn't have a migraine with this last one. I had a lot of the symptoms, but no headache. Maybe my body was too busy being in pain everywhere else. I have been very careful about eating, but I don't think it is a blood sugar issue. I guess we'll find out.
Tomorrow I start mental health therapy for the first time since I was fourteen. It will be interesting to see how that goes. I don't trust therapists due to what happened to me as a kid, but my daughter had this one and really liked her so that helps a lot to ease some of my fears. Still, I need to get on some sort of medication for depression, so it has to be done. It's an eight week program and I don't have to do the full program to be medicated. I really hope it goes well. My stress levels are at an all time high and I can't really let it out at home.
Then on Friday I see the doctor for my yearly wellness exam and he fills out the paper to send into my insurance for the discount for having a yearly wellness exam. DH has his in a couple of weeks. The kids don't have to do it for the insurance, but they still get them.
I'll also take my turkey out to thaw on Friday. We want it thawed a little early so we can do a 24 hour brine. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, but I am going to need a lot of help this year to pull it off.
November 10th, 2021 at 11:35 pm
On Saturday there was a break in the weather and DH and I went out and cleared out the dead plants from the two new raised beds. I had to sit down a lot due to my back and my leg weakness, but I was able to sit there and pick up all the windfallen tomatoes without it hurting too much. We filled half a bucket with them, most of them cherry tomatoes. They were all split and rotting due to the two weeks of unrelenting rain, so there was no salvaging anything for green tomato salsa, but I hadn't figured there would be.
After cleaning out the beds, I planted garlic. There were seven cloves in my elephant garlic bulb, so I may end up getting one more. And then there were six bulbs of music garlic that I planted as well. They had 8 to 12 cloves per bulb. On two of the cloves the skin came off so I used them in making my spaghetti sauce on Monday. They smelled really good and when I ran into a couple of the minced pieces in the sauce, they tasted really good as well.
We have 8 frost free nights on the forecast including tonight and it happens to be clear today, so I am hoping to get the perrennial herbs transplanted and the huckleberries out of their pots. We have a rosemary tree which is about 3 feet tall, a big thyme, a big sage, and a dwarf marjoram that will go into the same bed as the garlic, but the opposite end. I will put the huckleberries in the middle of the bed so that they can be surrounded by the annual herbs I plant next spring. DH will be doing the work with the most I do being holding up the plants while he shovels dirt around them.
I dont know if the huckleberries are even alive. They never leafed out, but the company says to give them the full year as it can take that long with berry plants. If they dont leaf out they will give me my money back or replace them. I felt when I got them that they were just sticks. Only one had an actual root on the bottom and not even that one leeafed out. So I need to keep track and contact them two weeks before the warranty runs out if they still show no signs of life. I don't think I want replacements from them. I'd rather go with Stark nursery. The berry plants I got from them leafed out the same summer I planted them.
On Sunday I flared up big time due to all the garden work and was pretty useless through Monday, though I did cook. Yesterday I had my physical therapy assessment and the guy agreed with me that it would not be a good idea for me to do pool therapy right now, due to the fact that I can't lift my left leg high enough to go up and down stairs. They do have a lift, but it is not working right now. So I will do 8 land therapy sessions and then we will see if I am able to lift that leg enough to go in the pool and continue from there.
He gave me 3 simple exercises to do. I feel like they are manageable. I was pretty wiped out afterwards so we grabbed Fiamma Burger for dinner. They have gluten free options so you can get a burger with a gluten free bun and fries or sweet potato fries cooked in oil that has not been used for breaded products. I am trying to eat out as little as possible, but it doesn't always happen when pain and exhaustion are involved.
Tonight I am making beef stew for dinner from my home canned carrots, potatoes, and beef. I wanted to make it last night, but just did not have that kind of energy. And it's simple because you just take the juice from the jar of meat, and the water from the potatoes to make gravy (maybe add milk if not enough potato water), ditch the juice from the carrots (makes it too sweet) and then combine everything and heat until everything is warmed through. But even the idea of it last night was too much. I have good days and bad days and today, at least, is a good day. Good enough that my fingers are working enough to type and I can open and close my hands.
I found some sweaters I want to order for Christmas, so need to let MIL know since she wants to know what to get me. I have a hard time regulating my body temperature these days. I've always had extremely cold hands and feet due to Reynaud's, but now it seems to be moving into my arms and legs, so sweaters and leggings for under my pants are becoming a must once the weather changes like this. I have cardigans, but I want three pullovers. And maybe some long sleeved shirts. MIL gives $200 so I should be able to swing both with that budget.
Tomorrow I need to go in and have blood work done. My physical is next week. I've had great blood work for the past few years, but I haven't been eating as well the last three months as before and I think it is probably going to show up in my cholesterol. I hope not. It's bad enough I gained weight since my last visit. At least that is going down again, but I don't think I'll be back to where I was the last time I was weighed there by my appointment time.
I also see the rheumatologist next week and start therapy so I can get medicated again and possibly get a new diagnosis. I need to talk to someone about never just getting to be the one who can be hurt or sick because I always have to put my stuff on the back burner for my kids or my mother and function regardless. It's building and building and really affecting my mental health. My husband does a lot and he is the best, but it doesn't mitigate the others and I've definitely gone into a depression over it and I'm at the point where I need to be medicated again. Or go on a vacation with just my husband again. Or possibly just myself. Three days completley alone with only me to take care of sound like heaven right now. Although I'd rather have DH with me and go for a week.
Anyway, next week will be very busy. At least I am sleeping fairly well. I don't need insomnia with all this pressure building because then I'll spiral and I don't need that right now.
October 29th, 2021 at 07:51 am
We met with a nutritionist today. It was an hour long appointment and I was aching by the end of it, but I feel we have a good handle on things moving forward. DH and I both accompanied DD to the appointment. Hopefully with the things we will be adding to her diet, DD will have a chance to start absorbing nutrients again. We are adding digestive enzymes, probiotics, collagen powder from mixed soucres (i.e. chicken, fish, beef, and 2 other things I can't remember), Hibiscus tea, bone broth (we do this, but not every day, so she needs to have it every day), and a different form of vitamin b complex with enzymes and to raise her fish oil level to around 2000.
Since she can't digest greens or most vegetables grown above the ground right now, she recommended pureeing root vegetables and adding a scoop of the collagen. So I make a medly of roasted root veggies anyway with potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, carrots, and turnips, that will be easy enough to do in bulk. She can also digest pureed pumpkin. I bought 4 sugar pie pumpkins last week, so will get around to making those up this weekend and freezing in portion sizes.
She's to stick to chicken, fish, shellfish, and turkey and if she is having a less painful day, she can have ground beef, but no more than once a week. She should eat plain yogurt which she can sweeten at home with honey and pureed berries (the only fruit she can eat without getting sick) once a day.
We'll proceed like that for a month and see how that goes and then maybe we can try reintroducing above the ground veggies, but not greens, in a pureed form. Green beans did sometimes digest, but we are to quit those for now.
It's a lot to digest, no pun intended.
We had a meeting with the gastro doc at 7:20 a.m., not just the NP, yesterday. He gave her something called bile salts, so hopefully that will help with all the bile leaking into her stomach since she doesn't have a gall bladder. We'll see.
I'm pretty wiped out as I am whenver I go somewhere for any length of time and haven't slept too well that last two days. Having to be up early for appointments is hard as it takes my body a long time to I towarm up and not be stiff from the RA, and losing sleep makes it worse.
Nephew is officially moved out and is living with my eldest sister. We'll see if she doesn't have buyer's remorse. If this doesn't work out, he's getting dropped back on the door step of his own parents. They can deal with him.
My son's breathing problems have continued to worsen and having to wear the mask all the time at work was making it worse and they wouldn't let him carry his inhalers on him, so he's no longer working there. He's got a test scheduled for his lungs at the end of next month and then depending on what turns up on that he may need an EKG. There is some worry that he might have got that heart thing that some young men get from Covid from when he had it in March of 2020. Sometimes medicine moves so slowly.
He's bummed to not have money coming in, but I told him once this was straightened out, he could get another job if he wants to. He doesn't need to work, he saved over $2000, and all his living expenses are met by us so it doesn't concern me. As long as masks are a thing, though, I'm not sure getting a job is wise if it hurts his breathing.
I did get my Youtube money this week, so will add that in to the budget tomorrow. It's a 3 payday month so it'll be a bigger paycheck as well.
LAL, I haven't had a chance to pull together recipes yet, but I did see your comment on the last post and will do it eventually when I have a few more spoons (see Spoon Theory).
October 15th, 2021 at 06:33 am
I had hoped I wasn't going to have a long, lingering recovery after Covid 2.0, but I am having the same kind of exhaustion and breathing issues I had after Covid 1.0. Last time it took 10 months to feel like I was normal again. I really hope that is not what I have to look forward to this time. I am not eligible for a booster since I took Moderna and it was only in the summer. I am a little hesitant about the idea, having had it twice and having had such reactions to the vaccine, where I ended up in bed for 10 days after the first one and 11 days after the second one. I do need to get a flu shot, though, when I feel up to it.
My doctors are also hesitant about the idea of me ever getting boosters at this point, thinking it will do more harm than good. I don't go anywhere, really, anymore, since it hurts to walk. Basically just to all the doctors and I send DH to the grocery store. So it probably doesn't matter if I don't, unless they mandate you can't see medical personel unless you are boostered.
But enough talk about that. My garden is still producing tomatoes, patty pan squash, zucchini, and cucumbers. With no sign of frost, I'll just keep going. I don't think I mentioned, but we got 85 pounds of potatoes using the Ruth Stout method of gardening. It would have been 90 but there was some rodent damage and slug damage. Last year I think we got 90, but we planted twice as many potatoes as this year.
I managed to track down some Music, which is a hard-necked garlic that stores exceptionally well. I've been trying to get it for the last two years and it has always been sold out. I had to settle for conventionally grown, because organic was sold out, but I will grow it under organic conditions so when I harvest it next year I can save some for planting the following year, and after three years of that it is considered to be fully organic. I don't buy organic garlic at the store anyway, so that's not a deal breaker. It isn't generally sprayed since everything stays away from garlic and onions. With shipping it cost $26 for a pound, which is ouchy, but I'll never have to buy it again, so it is worth the investment for garlic that will store for a year and allow me to grow it in perpetuity.
I also want to plant some elephant garlic this fall, but I will just buy that from the grocery store since I don't want a pound of it. All I need is four bulbs and that should give me enough cloves to grow so that next year I can eat a couple and still have enough to replant. They are larger so there is typically around 6 cloves per bulb, so I should get 24 plants. And so on and so on, until they are fully organic. I plan on using the elephant garlic to make garlic powder or if I can figure out how, granulated garlic, since the latter tends not to stick.
I have not done much in the past couple of weeks. Mostly feeling miserable, so it was a good time to plan next year's garden. I did manage to get off the soda again. What an addiction that is to me. I keep going back to it, but sugar makes it take longer for you to get well when you are sick and honestly I just don't feel good when I eat or drink junk. I am fine with honey, but not even raw cane sugar. I have already lost weight being 4 days off.
I did make a great stir-fry the other day with soy free, gluten free oyster sauce and hoisin sauce, coconut aminos, honey, water, and corn starch for the sauce. It was the first time it felt like actual Chinese food again since we quit soy. The oyster sauce is actually made with real oysters. That's actually a rarity. But the saltiness that soy usually provides is replaced by oysters and it is amazing. And the soy free hoisin sauce was even more savory than regular. Stir-fries are definitely back on the menu. As long as I have the energy to cook them.
I had to cancel my physical therapy assessment because I woke up with a fever. It seems to have passed, but I really don't feel like doing pool therapy in bad weather either. They say it is an old wive's tail that going out in cold weather with wet hair makes you sick, but it happens every time I do it, so there you go.
Tomorrow is payday, so hopefully I will get a report up. I have to go to the bank, which I really don't want to do, but I'll have either DH or DS drive me, so I don't have to. I'm not in any shape to drive with what my back and hips are doing right now. The chiropractor was back this week after being gone for a week. The week he was gone was awful, as I subluxed pretty badly.
Even after three adjustments I am not doing so well. My tailbone turned pretty bad while he was gone and he's having a hard time getting back to where it should be. It's better, but it will probably take a couple more weeks to undo what one week without adjustments did to me. I wish he would stop taking these week long vacations. It's almost to the point of once a month now. That's when it's not two week long vacations. No one needs to go away ten times a year. Oh, well, at least I have a walker, because right now I can't even make it out to the car without it.
October 2nd, 2021 at 04:39 am
_132.00 Grocery Envelope
_310.00 Monthly Family Chiropractic Plan
__36.00 Garbage Fund
_167.00 Car Insurance Fund
__50.00 DH's Spending Money
__50.00 My Spending Money
__30.00 DS's Spending Money
We had a lot of money in the grocery envelope still from last payday, mostly because DH keeps forgetting to grab it before he goes to the store and uses the credit card again, so I just made up the difference of what I usually put in there and put the rest of this payday's grocery budget towards the Citi card. DD doesn't get spending money this payday or next because I didn't make it over to the credit union today so I let her use the credit card to make her planned purchase and to pay me back she just won't get any until the 29th.
Since DD's new adjustable full size bed frame was charged, and she needed it for medical reasons, the $500 I usually put towards medical each payday also went to the Citi card, since we charged that. Next payday's will, too. I also put the household money towards it, since I still have money in the household fund to meet needs in that category and we have enough toilet paper, shampoo, soap, dish soap, dishwasher soap, and laundry detergent for about two months.
The monthly family chiropractic plan went up by $30 a month. It has been five years since he has raised that, so it was not unexpected, especially since he warned me a few months ago it would be, he just wasn't sure at the time by how much. Internet has gone up by a penny the last few times, so I finally adjusted the budget template to take that into account.
We still have quite a bit left on the credit card, but we have paid more than the amount we needed to not have interest charged and it will be paid off by the end of this month, also before any interest is charged. It's just been such a rough month with me not being able to cook, but today we ate leftovers and I am trying again to cook tomorrow. My sacral illiac joint has finally decided to stay in place, so a lot of the excruciating pain has subsided.
I still have no stamina from having Covid again, and I hope the exhaustion I had the first time lifts sooner this time than last time. Every day is a little better, but no day is really good yet. I have to wonder how much worse it might have been if I hadn't been vaccinated. And had antibodies of my own. Even though I can go out in public now, I don't think I could make it through a grocery trip yet. So I just keep sending DH for necessities and we keep getting take out.
Tomorrow I will try something easy, though, which is pot roast and baked potatoes in the Instant Pot and green beans in the microwave. That is very little hands on time, other than seasoning the roast, washing the potatoes, and adding butter and salt to the green beans.
DH did buy me salad ingredients and the missing ingredients I needed to make Italian dressing, too. So tonight I will try to get the lettuce cut up, the carrots peeled and sliced, the radishes sliced, the red onion sliced, the red bell pepper sliced, and the cucumbers peeled and sliced. The cheese is already shredded and so is the chicken and I have cherry tomatoes from the garden that are washed. I did manage to put a chicken in the Instant Pot last night to make broth, but DH had to add the filtered water since carrying that much from the filter in the laundry room was still too much for me. Anyway, then I can easily throw a salad together. I'll make the dressing tomorrow. I think it is just trying to do it all in one go, which will be bad for me.
But I have to stop getting take out, not just for financial reasons. I've put on fifteen pounds since I got really, really sick in late July. It makes everything hurt so much more. And the soda I've been drinking to get some caffeine to counter the exhaustion also has been bad. So real, homemade food, and healthier food is a must now. I've just got to pull it together and force myself to do this.
DD had her ultrasound today and the results also came back today through the patient portal. I am surprised how fast they are sometimes there. She does not have a hernia or a limpoma or hematoma or a surface tumor, so no one really knows why there is a big round lump pushing her skin out there. One other possibility is there might be a tumor too deep for the ultrasound pushing it forward, but that should have showed up on her liver MRI in the beginning of August if that were the case, I would think, unless it was too far away, but considering where her liver tumor was located, I don't think it is. I'm not sure what the next step will be. We won't hear from the gastro place until next week some time when they review it. But the technician confirmed that she could see the bulge and it wasn't just our imagination. Or it could have just grown since that MRI in the last two months, which it definitely has, but what the heck is it?
I did get some good news, though. A disabled child can stay on DH's insurance after age 26, so we need to fill out some paperwork and so does her main doctor, but since she has all of the things, she'll qualify. That is such a major relief. She doesn't turn 26 until August of next year, but it has been something I have been worrying about for the last couple of years as diagnosis after diagnosis has come in. We will start the ball rolling to see if she can get on disability, too. That will help in paying the medical bills that aren't covered by insurance and give her a small income, too, so she doesn't have to rely on us for every little thing she needs.
She has at least 3 things that will qualify her for that, possibly five, but the secondary adreanal insufficiency is the big one that alone should qualify her for it. It's really just a matter of filling out the paperwork, being automatically denied, appealing once or twice, and then she should be able to get it. She's way worse off than the BIL who is on disability is, he only has the same disc issue she has, and none of the diseases.
The insurance was the real issue for us. Disability would just be nice for her. It would be enough to set aside for the electric wheelchair she will likely need in the next couple of years. Not sure how we'll transport it, though. Not sure we could afford a used wheelchair van. But that's a worry for future me to deal with.
September 23rd, 2021 at 08:55 pm
It's been a rough month, but I no longer have Covid, my test results came back on Tuesday, so as soon as I get some of my stamina back I can go back out in public again. I have also been on antibiotics and prednisone for 8 days today and have another 6 to go on just the antibiotics. Because I can never get sick like that without developing a sinus infection. It's doing a lot better, too, though I dread tomorrow when I won't have anymore prednisone.
The Delta variant is no joke. The difference between how I went through it and how my BIL went through it was night and day. He was unvaccinated and it took him 5 months to be cleared and he will have life long issues. I was vaccinated and it took me a while to kick it, maybe 3 to 4 weeks due to my autoimmune issues, instead of 2. Now, I won't tell anyone what they should or should not put into their bodies, but I do think it is important to share my experience.
I also had original Covid. Do they call that Alpha? I don't know. That one was way harder than Delta with the vaccine, but apparently Delta without the vaccine is way harder than Alpha, according to what I have read. I also have read several papers on this type of vaccine. It did take me a long time to make up my mind and for my family, too, but we made an educated decision, not a rush to judgment one after seeking advice from two of my doctors.
So anyway, I have both natural and vaccine antibodies and I still got it. It was not nice, it was not fun, and my chest and bronchial tubes still feel kind of bruised from all the coughing. But I am out the other side. And I am planning to get my overall health into better shape.
I was finally able to go to the chiropractor and he got my illial sacral joint back into place. It had been causing so much agony, I couldn't stand for more than 20 seconds without it starting to cause debilitating pain. Now I can. I get another adjustment today and hopefully that will be the end of that.
I did buy an elevated wedge pillow to sleep on and it has helped with the sinus issues and all the stuffiness I was having when waking up, but also it helped a lot with the phlegm, which was quite surprising. It definitely helped with the GERD. I am sleeping through the night and waking up with less back and hip pain and no heartburn. In fact this morning when I woke up, there wasn't any pain for a moment and then I sat up and all bets were off, but still, that moment of no pain plus well rested was pretty awesome.
My nephew is finally going to be moving out. He was only supposed to stay here a year and he hit that in March. He was supposed to help around the house and he didn't. He was supposed to get his learner's permit and take the driving class and he didn't. He was supposed to get a job and he didn't. And the deal breaker for my mother is his refusal to get vaccinated when there are 3 high risk individuals and 1 who works a high risk job with the public in the household.
So she gave him 30 days, because he was unwilling to do any of the things it was conditional of him livng here in the first place. He just spent, as a 30-year-old man, over a year living in an attic, pretty much ignoring anyone else who lives in the house 95% of the time, running down to his girlfriend's family who were unvaccinated and worked with the public and not quarantining when he came back after he came home when we were locked down. He shouldn't have gone anywhere at that point and I do think it was why we got Covid the first time. We got sick the same month he moved in, when he was running back and forth all the time.
He was also inviting other unvaccinated people to visit from his birth family, but too many at once, not one at a time to minimize risk. I think he has about $9000 left before he runs out of money and will have to get a job. He was only paying Mom $100 a month.
He will be moving in with my eldest sister, who is not his mother. She has a two bedroom apartment, and because she will not get vaccinated either, will be losing her job at a nursing home soon. However she just turned 62, so she will get social security by the time that happens. With my nephew paying half the bills for the apartment, she will be able to get by a lot better now. So it works out for both of them. If that hadn't been an option, we would have taken him to his parents. Heaven knows my sister could use the help with her husband's recovery.
Anyway, that's why I have been so quiet, but will hopefully feel good enough now to start posting again regularly.
August 29th, 2021 at 06:58 am
I had another migraine within a day of recovering from the last one. This one was brought on by fragrance. I had ordered some unscented body wash on etsy, because it was the only one I had been able to find that didn't have any coconut oil in it. Unfortunately she gave a overly scented soap bar as a gift with it and packaged it so poorly that the bottle was broken open and it soaked the entire package, an unpadded envelope with a tiny bit of biodegradable paper strings wrapped around it. My husband brought it into the house and set it in my bathroom sink. Big mistake. It reeked so bad.
I took quick photos and got it out of the house and scrubbed the sink down because I didn't want my daughter getting a migraine, because strong scents can trigger them in both of us. I did wear my face mask but it wasn't enough, the smell still got to me. I set up the air cleaner and just as I left the bathroom the migraine hit so badly that I could feel myself starting to go down. Fortunately I was able to call my husband, but he didn't get there quite in time and I passed out and hit the floor. It was a slow fall and I grabbed the door knob to try to not go down, but it only made it take longer. I don't think I lost conciousness until I was about a foot from the floor.
DH and DD said it was only for about 30 seconds and they were able to get me up, but I only took three steps before going down again. That one took about a minute and they managed to get me to bed. This one did not cause hallucinations, thank goodness, and it wasn't as painful as the first one. It lasted only 3 days.
I did send photos to the person on etsy and was immediately refunded. I just don't get it. Who sees someone order an unscented product and thinks, hey, I'll include a super strongly scented soap bar as a gift with this? It was nauseating.
I have scheduled a doctor's appointment to see about getting a referral to a neurologist. This is getting somewhat worrisome. I'll probably end up with a CT scan, which is good, just in case these were more than migraines.
After I got over the second migraine I had one good day and woke up with a sore throat the next morning. That progressed to sore ears, then left the ears and the snot fairy came and waved her magic wand over my nose. That's finally waning and while I do still have a bit of a sore throat, it doesn't hurt when I swallow so I think it is on the way out. Still have a dry cough and am very tired, though.
I hope I can manage to cook tomorrow. I always turn vegetarian when I get sick because meat protein is too much work. But I can feel the lack of protein and need to get back to my normal diet, especially because of the lack of iron. Living on cheese, egg flower soup, potatoes, and zucchini is not the best diet, though it is subsistence level. I'm just glad I had a lot of broth in the freezer, because heating it up and stirring an egg into it until it is cooked through was my highest level of cooking this week. Everyone else had to fend for themselves. I'll try to get around to posting last week's payday report this week, if I have the energy.
August 18th, 2021 at 04:24 am
I haven't tried to log in since the day it kept logging me out whenever I hit post. Notsomuch because I was fed up as that I wasn't doing particularly well. The migraine to end all migraines hit me. It was so bad I was having aural hallucinations. I mean, I see auras all the time, it's part of my synesthesia, but they are tiny. Like 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch and usually only on living things. Not only was I seeing them on everything, they were 8 inches on objects and some of them weren't attached to anything, but were floating in big sweeps of color.
I also lost my ability to make words come out right, which has never happened before, but is a symptom of severe aural migraines. That came back slowly over the next hour after I took my migraine medicine. I did call the online emergency doctor's thing set up for our health insurance when I could talk again and talked to them. I wanted to make sure it was a migraine and not a mini-stroke, though I was pretty sure it was migraine. I still took an asprin when I took my migraine meds just in case.
My body was pulling to the left when I was walking, which is a sign of stroke, but my migraine was mostly centered on the right side of my head and the right side of the brain does control the left side of the body. That was gone a few hours later and I didn't have any drooping. Based on my symtpoms and the aural hallucinations, they reassured me it was likely just a really bad migraine, but if I started drooping to go to the hospital immediately.
I am still extremely sensitive to light so I am wearing my sunglasses in the house during the day and at night when I use my computer. Still have a headache, but it is down to a normal level headache where I can function. I didn't sleep for 24 hours, but then was able to sleep 12 hours straight and that helped a lot. I've been sleeping more than usual as I recover. I quit seeing things after the first day, so that was good.
I've never had one so severe. I have had aural hallucinations with a migraine before, but they are much smaller blobs of floating colors with trails, not these huge things. It was really weird and scary.
Obviously I didn't do anything financial over the last several days, but DH did by a new set of toilet guts for the toilet tank. A part broke and the others showed a lot of wear and tear. They haven't been replaced since 1985, so we decided to get a full set instead of just replace the broken pieces and the flapper. It cost $20.98. And it is so much nicer. We don't have to hold down the flusher handle through the whole flush anymore. Something was preventing us from tightening it up before, because if we did it made the toilet run constantly. Now it is a dream to flush.
August 6th, 2021 at 09:19 am
I finally made it to the grocery store for a decent sized shop. DS and I went to Whole Foods since today was his day off. It really isn't as expensive as some people think. Like all stores it depends on what you buy. For organic, it can beat some of the other stores and some of their prices were lower than for regular produce or gluten free items in regular stores. I never find moldy produce there which is beginning to be more and more of a problem at one store I shop at. And it has more selection than say Trader Joe's, which I haven't been in in at least 9 months, because they were so draconian in their Covid practices.
I mean, the employees at TJ's were always rude, like shoving their way in front of you to stock something instead of waiting until you moved out of the way or rolling their eyes when the store layout had changed and you asked them were something was now, or when they discontinued an item that you bought a month before but they would lie and say that was discontinued months ago or a year ago. I've had a couple of them knock me off balance because they just run into you.
But their Covid practices were what really pushed it over they line. They were like 8 steps beyond what every other grocery store was doing. I swear I expected to end up in the disinfection scene from New Earth on Doctor Who or something. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htkUa_fVwCA
But they were inconsistent on enforcing it between registers. And I got one too many rude cashiers when I asked why the other cashiers allowed you to stand in front of the plexiglass instead of making you wait 8 feet from the place where you could watch your prices ring up or start bagging your food, I was done. They were just snarling and one even swore at me and I swear I was polite. I've worked in the service industry, so I don't ever talk disrespectfully to employees even if they are being donkey hats as it gets you nowhere (and I never talked to customers that way either, no matter how exhausted I was). If you have rules, everyone should follow them, not just one sole cashier. There is nothing they have that I cannot get elsewhere anymore. Plus their parking is, pardon my English, utter crap. I was willing to put up with it when they were the only game in town, but they haven't been that for a long time.
Anyway, here is what I bought at Whole Foods:
2 uncured sliced meat selections (think chorizo, cappicola, etc.)
1 organic watermelon
2 jars of soy free Hoison sauce (first time I've found this)
2 whole organic rotisserie chickens
5 organic nectarines
1 2 lb bag organic French fries
1 box Lundberg's organic Spanish rice
4 boxes Jovial gluten free brown rice penne pasta
1 box almond flour crackers (gluten free)
1 jar organic dill pickle spears
1 box Vital Farms pasture raised butter (cheaper than Kerrygold)
1 box gluten free pancake mix
1 box gluten free organic cereal Cheetah Chomps (like Fruit Loops in concept, but healthy)
1 box of strawberry applesauce (4 shelf stable pouches)
1 small box organic baby spinach
8 Siggi's skyr yogurt (various flavors)
1 pint organic grape jelly
10 pouches organic baby food
1 box Annie's gluten free white cheddar and shells pasta
1 box Annie's gluten free cheddar and rice pasta
1 half gallon bottle of organic lemonade and iced tea (mixed)
1 bag with 7 colored bell peppers
1 head of cauliflower
1 lb sugar snap peas (which they rang up as a serrano, I see, which is a lot cheaper)
1 bunch green onions
1 6 inch piece daikon
2 heads of broccoli
1 large bok choy
3 lbs of dark red cherries
I spent $211.95 and that grocery cart was full. I didn't buy much meat because we have a ton in the freezer. I will have to go to one more store to buy milk, bread, gluten and soy free bread, uncured hot dogs, and then Whole Foods was sold out of ginger and black plums so I'd like to get those, too. I shouldn't have to buy much else during the next two weeks, depending on how the fruit lasts. It seems to not last as long with days in the 80's and 90's like right now. The garden is producing lettuce, raspberries, zucchini, patty pan squash, and cucumbers now and it looks like I will have a lot ready by next week.
Oh, and the organic baby food pouches are because my daughter's gastropaeresis is acting up again, which makes it very hard for her to digest fiber. This allows her to have some fruits and vegetables in a pureed form. And since it is all organic, it really isn't that much cheaper to do it myself. The convenience factor is worth it, though I will still puree any food I cook for her that can be pureed. Right now having a soft food diet gives her digestive system a chance to rest without sacrificing nutrition. It is very easy for her to become malnourished and I don't always have the stamina or freedom from pain to do it all myself anymore. That particular yogurt was also for her.
I did order a shade cloth from Amazon last night for the strawberries. It cost $30.46. It's 10 x 13 and the two beds together are 12 x 4. They are hooped so while I probably only needed 8 feet instead of 10 for the sides, this was what was available. The strawberries are really struggling in this unrelenting heat and they are in the garden bed that gets the most sun during the day. Watering well just has not been enough and I don't want to lose them. I will move them next spring to a bed that gets shade during the hottest part of the day, assuming those beds do get built in late August and September as planned. I know at least one will, but I don't know if all four will. The potatoes and tomatoes are thriving, but I don't know what is going on with my peppers this year. They are stunted. I need to fertilize with fish emulsion.
There is the sweetest young cat coming by. I think she is descended from Mrs. Norris, a stray cat that was pregnant a couple of years ago, because it looks just like her. This is the most beautiful tabby in the traditional grey and black stripes. I think it is about five or six months old. It is just shy of the lanky teenage cat stage. It looks healthy and like it is eating, and I saw it with a mouse once, but there is no collar and when you pet the friendly little thing it has a lot of flea poop that comes off its fur, so it is infested.
It is what I call friendly/wary, which makes me think it has been recently dumped or got loose, but was raised among humans until then. I am putting out fresh water for it, but mostly the neighbor is looking out for it. It'll wind around my legs and loves to be pet, but it will not let me pick it up. I do wash with soap anywhere it touches me, though, as soon as I go in. I'm not getting flea bites or taking fleas into the house. Any clothes it touches go straight into the washer.
I wish I wasn't allergic to cats and DS wasn't. I haven't had one since the cat I got when I was ten died when I was 26 and I do like my ability to breathe. But this cat just makes me want to adopt it. It is beautiful and sweet and has such lovely eyes. I'm afraid I might fall in love with it. It is hard to be the cat person you are when it makes you miserable to have one in your home. The neighbor is looking out for it and will probably adopt it or at least bring it in for the worst part of the winter. She's a soft touch and all of her cats for the last 3 decades have found her, not the other way around. I might buy a flea comb if it gets really comfy with me and see if I can't help it. And maybe a flea collar. Do they make break away flea collars these days?
August 5th, 2021 at 12:31 am
So I am dragging my sorry self back in to post. I had a bad weekend with my thigh muscles being absolutely on fire and it made it hard to focus on anything else. No blogging, no writing at all. It started to pass on Sunday morning and except for some occasional shooting fingers of fire it is much better, though the side and front muscles all feel like a massive bruise and are tender to the touch. This is all from a massive psyatic nerve pinch.
I ordered some of the special eye drops my daughter needs for her Sjogren's disease, almost $53 for a 90 pack. Then my son's specail inhaler, which is not covered by our insurance but is discounted under the Walgreen's prescription helper card, was $168. They are suspecting reactive airway disease and he'll be seeing an allergist/immunologist in October. His condition really kicked up after that big sickness we had on March of 2020 (suspected Covid, might have been a bad flu), which none of us bounced back from for about six months. I will be glad when Friday gets here and I can dump another $500 into the medical fund. Hopefully some of that can go towards orthodontia savings, because that has been stuck at $3000 due to having to buy a new walker for my daughter and one for myself, which fortunately I have only had to use 3 times so far. Most days I can get by with my cane and once in a while I have a really good day and don't need anything, although those are becoming rarer.
It looks like my son will be working 20 hours a week with his new job, at least until the high school kids go back to high school, whether in person, or more likely, back to video as it is looking like we might be heading back into lock downs. Then it is likely he will be moved to full time. Hopefully he can cope with a mask, because they reinstituted them this week for their vaccinated employees. He has his inhalers, although he had to keep them in his locker as they could react to some of the chemicals they have for cleaning.
The library has also reinstituted them for everyone coming in. That's true of all city buildings. I'm suspecting they know something the general public does not yet, and that they will probably be making everyone wear them inside again soon. Honestly, I've been debating it myself. I was planning on it for the cold season anyway, because I still ended up with a lot less colds, despite the fact it is hard on my asthma. I'm not looking forward to it, but I know what a bad case of Covid did to my BIL more recently and I do not want it to happen in my immediate family. Although they are saying this delta variant isnt as hard on the vaccinated, they do still get sick. And since I know how long it took me to feel normal again after what we suspect was Covid last time, I don't want to go through anything like that again.
I finally feel up to cooking tonight and am thinking about thawing out some steaks from the grass fed organic whole beef we purchased, making some fried potatoes to go with, and baking some yellow zucchini from our garden. I've picked two so far, but haven't eaten any yet. The cucumber and lettuce was really good, though.
My goal for the rest of the week and next week is no eating out. We've really got to reign that in again. It causes too much careless spending and takes a dent out of the money I want to save each month, if not wipes it out completely. I wish I could get back that focus I had when we were paying off debt. I know it is not as bad as it could be. We are contributing 15% to the 401k, after all. But I do want that EF to grow from 3 months to 6 months and it is not going to happen if we don't put it in check. It's been over a year that we've been debt free. And I feel like we've wasted a lot of it due to this kind of nonsense. I need to get my motivation back.
Although one place I do have my motivation back is my diet. I am off the soda and caffeine again and back to my diet. I've lost 5.2 pounds so far. I really need to do this to get the pressure off my psyatic nerve. The orthopedist/neurosurgeon said it'll probably take about 50 pounds for a significant difference, but even a few pounds will make a small difference and I'm thinking it has made some in the last couple days, at least with the fire, if not the numbness. I also feel a little difference in the disc pain, too, so here's hoping I keep my motivation, although pain is a very big motivator.
Tomorrow is DS's day off, but he has a dentist appointment and an appointment with the sleep doctor that I have to take him to and then hopefully we can make it to Whole Foods. Not much of a day off for him, but stuff has to get done.
I found out Whole Foods carries a grape jelly that is not made with corn syrup. Grape jelly is my favorite, but I cannot have corn syrup or I get really sick, so I haven't had it in ages. Since the last time I made some and I can't remember when that was. I also want to get some of the gluten free Jovial pasta. The closer store only carries the spaghetti and the penne, but they are always out of penne. Whole Foods carries a lot more choices. It's just harder to get over there since it is so out of the way. I might see if they have any duck breasts while I am there. It's been a long time since we have had duck.
I need to go through the new sales ads and see if there is anything good at Fred Meyer since it is right across the street from Whole Foods. We won't be able to do our typical grocery shopping trip on Friday this week as DS is working, but we don't need that much anyway, just fresh fruit, chicken, deli ham, deli turkey, and maybe some fish if any looks good and it isn't too expensive. I'm not sure when DH and his boss are going to be able to make it out fishing, but I hope it is soon.
All right, that about wraps it up.
July 30th, 2021 at 08:32 am
I didn't fall asleep until two last night, which isn't unheard of, particularly on a night when I've been writing, but I wasn't last night. Then I woke up at 8 a.m. and couldn't get back to sleep. I've been dragging all day, but I am in a surprisingly chipper mood.
I did manage to get some stuff done that I have been putting off. I called the main doctor's office to follow up on referrals for my daughter. She was supposed to have them done for P.T. for the torn miniscus and for an orthopedist for the same reason. The P.T. has been approved by the insurance company, but the orthopedist referral hadn't ever been started. They said to go ahead and call the P.T. place. I hate it when we see someone who isn't our actual doctor. They always seem to drop the ball somewhere.
While I had them on the phone I had them ask to renew a prescription for my daughter and one for me. Her's is a powerful NSAID, but not a narcotic and mine is a narcotic. Both cannot have refills left at the pharmacy, but have to be called in each time. It used to be you had to go into the doctor's office to pick up the paper prescription, but that changed when Covid lockdowns happened.
Then I called the allergist to schedule an appointment for my son. That was no waiting time on the phone, thank goodness. It'll be a 3 hour appointment so he can get all the little pinpricks to see what he is allergic to. He can't be on anthistamines for 5 days beforehand. It's not until October, so he should have had time to settle into his job by then. Speaking of which, orientation is tomorrow (the time stamp is still off, but I mean the 30th) for 3 hours. I don't know why I'm so nervous for him, but I am not showing it at all. I don't want him to be nervous.
After that, I called the P.T. place, but still no referral on their end. *sighs* It's a bummer, but there's only so much chasing down I can do. And I don't know how far out they are scheduling. I need to make sure they actually sent it to the place I asked them, too, if I haven't heart in a place. It might actually be somewhere else as they do use another place sometimes. I've gone to both, but one is a lot closer to our house than the other.
The new drug continues to help a lot. I was able to wash my hair without any help from the husband today. Usually he has to wash my hair, because it is hard for my one shoulder to be held above my head that long. I have obnoxiously thick, long hair, so it isn't a quick shampoo, rinse, shampoo, rinse, condition, rinse. It is a longer process. It's still no fun bending over the kitchen sink for my back, though. And I had to do the towel on the floor, wipe stuff up with my feet method for the water I got all over the place. Then kicked it to the laundry room. But I still did it.
The part of the garden on the drip hoses got watered. Two more drip hoses arrived in mail today, a 25 foot to finish off the blackberries and huckleberry area and a 50 foot for the strawberry bed. I picked off some more of the potato flowers. I am about 2/3rds of the way through with that. I can only bend for a little bit before it starts to ache. I harvested my first zucchini and some of my cucumber plants have itty, bitty cucumbers on two of them and I have an tiny patty pan. My pepper plants have itty bitty peppers, and my tomato plants have some small and medium green tomatoes on them.
My lettuce is finally ready to be harvested. Planting late on that means no lettuce until practically August, but at least I have some now. It is leaf lettuce so I just take the outside leaves and more grows from the center. So a salad is on the meal plan for tomorrow. I think I'm going to go ahead and pull the onions. Transplanting them from the containers might have been okay if we hadn't had that excessive heatwave for so long, but the watering just couldn't keep up, so a lot of the greenery died. Better luck next year.
I forgot to mention in the last post that DH got crab on the weekend. He got 8, one guy only wanted two of his 5, from the second day of crabbing. The first day was for the "office" party for his group. It wasn't as big a showing as usual due to people still not being vaccinated and not wanting to go to large gatherings. The kids and I were sick with that stomach virus, so we couldn't go. DH ended up bringing back five crabs from the leftovers. DH got the meat all picked out of the shells and a lot of went into the freezer. I can't due the picking due to my RA. My hands just can't. There is one container in the fridge that holds 2 picked crabs' worth of meat for snacking. It's pretty good. Dungeness always is, though I prefer snow or King, they just aren't around here.
They hope to go out again, but not sure what the season will allow. They will be going fishing, though. The salmon haven't really started running yet.
DH still hasn't called the Fridgidaire people. I hope he manages to get it done this week. I really need to give the hog lady a head's up. I do almost all of the calling and appointment making, but DH is the one who can explain things with the freezer best, so he really needs to do it. My speech gets confused a little too easily these days and I fluster when I call unfamiliar places that aren't doctor's offices, because that is usually some variation on a long memorized script. It's the meds (not the new one), but what else am I going to do? I'm miserable without them.
July 6th, 2021 at 08:54 am
We had a nice Independence Day. The fireworks were beautiful and they had quite a few new shapes that I had never seen before. They also had some that were this intense shade of orangey-yellow that I've never seen on a firework.
Today was nice and peaceful. DH had the day off paid since the holiday was on the weekend and it was one that the company pays for either the Friday before or the Monday after if the day falls on a weekend. He gets seven federal holidays and one floating holiday (which we usually take the day after Thanksgiving or the week of Christmas depending on our plans).
I have managed to write 1848 words so far this week that I kept and 503 that I deleted. I am still kind of having to force myself to do it by using a writing sprint to get me started, but I am managing.
Most of the day I spent watching a Turkish drama called Kadeslerim which is very good if you don't mind bawling your eyes out. Even if the subtitles aren't the greatest in the first episode, they get better after that. I had to look up some expressions being used because in English they seem inappropriate to the circumstances, but they meant something else in Turkish that went with the plot. Fortunately I found a list of twenty common Turkish expressions and it helped my understanding a lot. The actors are amazing, the emotion conveyed was very impactful, and everyone is very beautiful. I really, really want to see the bad guy get his. If you don't mind reading your shows, this one is worth watching.
I filled out my paperwork for yet another jury summons. I am not kidding when I say they constantly call me. This time my doctor put in the note that I would never be able to serve in my condition. I don't know if that will be enough to remove me from the summoning pool. You would think with 3 degenerative diseases that cause permanent issues with sitting for long periods and as many doctor's notes as I've sent in they wouldn't continue to call me year after year.
It feels like harrassment of the disabled at this point. I know it isn't, I know it is automated, but it still feels that way. I have been summoned 14 times now. You know how many times my husband has been summoned? Once, and they didn't end up needing him. My mom and MIL? Never. My son? Once, but Covid happened. All people who can serve and would be capable of serving and want to serve.
Heck, if I were capable of sitting that long and not on two powerful painkillers, I'd love to. But these medicines make it hard to concentrate or focus and I cannot go without them or I don't function. I am just so frustrated. Every time I have to go see the doctor (major extra expense on year's the deductible has not been met), get a doctor's note which I generally have to go back for a day or two later, and spend my own stamp (minor extra expense, but it bugs me it is not postage paid for something that is not optional) to send it in. Any extra trips, driving or walking, are just so bad right now, I really resent it.
I am almost at the point of giving up my garden. DS has to do most of the work right now. Maybe things will get better after I see the neurosurgeon this week. Maybe he can put me on something else or give me injections or something. The numbness in my thigh is now all the way down the outside and has moved to about half of the front. I feel completely useless. I'm even having trouble cooking every day. At least I can still type. Not sure what I will do when I lose that ability. Well, that got depressing.
July 4th, 2021 at 03:00 am
This was not a good week. Mom has got it into her head that she wants to give us the house now, like next week, using a quit claim deed. I keep trying to tell her she'll get smacked with a massive gift tax if she does it like that. She's going to go see someone she said is an elder lawyer. I'm not even sure what that means, unless what she means is an estate planning lawyer. I told her she needs to ask him about the unified estate tax credit instead, but she isn't really in a listening mood. I would prefer she just write her will and leave it to us there.
I'm not terribly thrilled about this turn of events, because I don't think we can afford the property taxes this year. I'm trying to save up for DS's braces and get the EF fully funded, then save up for next year's medical deductible. Plus it is looking like DD has a torn miniscus. She has an MRI coming up soon to be sure. Then she'll likely need surgery since it is pretty much a given that physical therapy doesn't work for a torn miniscus if it is so bad you can barely walk.
I finally got an appointment with the neurosurgeon. It should not take a month to get a referral through, but my doctor's office had their heads up their butts and it took nearly 3 weeks for the referral to be sent, when it was supposed to take 1. Than another week and a half before the neurosurgeon's office got their end sorted. It's at 9:30 in the morning, so that is going to suck. It is very hard for me to get moving in the mornings due to the fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis. Plus I am a night owl not an early bird. It's in a week so at least I don't have long to wait now.
I had a couple of days where my back pain was so bad I was crying, but it has at least eased off. Those days coincided with the temps of 92, 97, and 100°F in our heat wave. Mom gave in and let us put an air conditioner in our (not really a kitchen) kitchen window. It's the only window in the house that will work with our unit from the old place. It didn't do a ton, but enough to make it liveable. It was still 80 degrees in the house and we had to use all the fans we had. But at least we could go to the kitchen and cool off and DD's room, which is opposite that window, was comfortable so we would go in there a lot, too.
It's doing better yesterday and today and I can reach with my right arm again. It's down from a 10 to a 7 with pain levels so it is bearable with medication. DS has been watering the garden, but I haven't really been able to even go outside. I may try tomorrow. At the very least I will walk to the end of the driveway where DH will set up chairs and watch the firework show over the bay. It was cancelled last year due to Covid, so I was very happy to hear they are doing it like normal this year. It is always so pretty and we don't have to deal with traffic or any of the negative aspects of city events like crowds, smokers, overly perfumed people, bratty kids, and drunken adults.
I don't think we will do a BBQ or anything for Independence Day. It really depends on how hot it is to be playing with charcoal and fire. I do have steaks, so we could. Just not sure it is worth going to all that effort right now. I'm not up to it, but DH might be.
I have started writing again after a six month block. I'm not sure I really like any of it yet, but the point is to get back in the habit of daily writing. I was doing pretty good until the pain got bad and had to stop, but I have started back up again as of today. We'll see if it leads anywhere.
We got a dividend check in the mail from Louisianna Pacific. A whopping 51 cents for 3.1 shares. I am actually thinking about getting some more maybe next year. We can sign up for a $25 a month autowithdrawal if we want to. It has always paid a dividend and that has been steadily rising over the years. We used to Drip it, but they discontinued the Drip about seven years ago. It'll go to the EF eventually, but I am not going to make an extra trip to the bank to deposit it. It can wait until next Friday when I do the payday stuff.
Not much else going on.
June 24th, 2021 at 06:39 pm
So DH totally screwed up in telling me how much an hour his raise was. It wasn't $11 an hour, it was $1.10 an hour. Way to move the decimal point. And no, he didn't give it to me in print, he literally told me $11 an hour. So basically none of the stuff I thought was going to happen with retirement or savings is going to happen. It's a bummer. Hopefully he will also get a merit raise. $1.10 an hour doesn't even keep up with how bad the cost of living has gone up in the last two years. Better than nothing, though.
I did notice that if we could save just $66 more a payday into retirement we would max out, though. I just don't think I can swing it, not with the forced long-term care insurance starting. Maybe after we max out our Emergency Fund that can be something we work toward.
Our steer has gone to butcher. It has a hanging weight of 665 pounds. I have sent the check off to the farmer for the remainder, $1892.20. With the deposit, that means the beef cost me $2292.20. There is still the cut and wrap fee of .78/lb. Well, they say .78/lb, but it tends to be more like .78 per package and a lot of packages have more than a pound of meat in them. So while I do have $600 I left in the beef fund to cover it, it'll be $521.04 max and I don't think it will come to that.
Above that amount I had $254 left in the beef fund that I went ahead and moved to the hog fund. That brings the total in the hog fund to $647. As soon as I pay the cut and wrap fee at pick up, I will move whatever is left over to the hog fund, which will be at least $78.96, making that amount be at least $725.96 and probably a little more. My goal is $1000, so I will be just shy of 3/4 of my goal.
We continue to eat down the chest freezer and move things into the house freezer as things from there are used up to make room for the steer. It is coming along nicely. He said I should be hearing from the processing facility sometime in the next 11 days for my cut orders. I want as much chuck roast as possible, but not so much the other types of roasts except pot roast. I want all the round ground, we don't like them as roasts or steaks. I want all the sirloin tip roasts cut into steaks. And I want my steaks 3/4 inch thick not 1 inch thick. I can genearally get two extra steaks out of it per type that way.
I want all the soup bones, the fat for making my own tallow, and the liver, heart, kidneys, and tongue. We've never tried the tongue or kidneys before, so that'll be interesting. Organ meats are quite healthy for you. I'm a little squeamish about the tongue, but it is supposed to be quite good. I guess we will find out.
The special standing walker we ordered for DD arrived yesterday and it is really going to be a game changer for her. And it has a seat she can actually sit down on. Standard walkers are pretty painful for people with her conditions. It folds up easily enough that she can do it herself, at last for the time being. That was $248, but money well spent.
I can make do with the walker we inherited from FIL after he died for quite a while yet. I only use it on severely bad days where I have to go out of the house. Most days I am fine with my cane or if I am doing really well, without it. But as things continue to worsen, I would definitely like to get one like that as it is easier on the L-4 and L-5 area of my back. It takes up a lot less space when folded, too.
My referral for a neurosurgery consult finally went through so calling them is on my to do list for the day. Along with finally getting the drip line put in the raised bed with the tomatoes in it added and the last set of hoops and deer netting up. There is a lot outside that needs to be done and I am finally starting to feel like I can do some of it again.
I think I'm finally getting my sleeping straightened out. I've been falling asleep between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. instead of 3 or 4 a.m. and I've been waking up in the morning instead of the afternoon, so hopefully this will last. I like actually having a whole day of sunlight in which to live my life.
If I am feeling particularly ambitious I might try to plant some seeds in the garden. I'd really like to have some kohlrabi this year.
June 7th, 2021 at 04:32 am
My MRI was pretty awful. I don't generally get claustraphobic, but I've never been in the smaller machine before, I've always been in the open one. They put me in head first, but it hurt my shoulders so much (severe RA in them) that they pulled me out and turned me around and put me in feet first and I had to put my arms over my head, which was also uncomfortable, but was way better, plus I could see out of the machine a little bit and that calmed down the panic of being so enclosed.
I was in so much pain by the time I got off the table that it has taken me until today to recover. I had no strength or grip in my right arm yesterday, which happens sometimes when the shoulder stays in a position for too long that is bad for it. It was back today, though.
The doctor's nurse called me with the results. I have moved from mild to moderate diagnosis via x-ray to moderate to severe via MRI degenerative disc disease with changes in the plates. So I am being referred to a neurosurgeon. That doesn't necessarily mean surgery. There may be other things that can be tried first that is not physical therapy. Pain management and cortizone shots while I try to lose more weight. If I can manage the pain better I can walk around better and get some real exercise. It's always been hard for me to lose weight from just dieting alone.
After trying those, we might consider a nerve block, but I want more info on that. Failing that, surgical intervention may be required. It may be required from the start, though. That's what the referral is for, to find out.
I haven't done anything in the garden the last two days except keep my son company while he picked strawberries. I needed the fresh air and while DS is willing to do the work, he likes having someone to talk to while he does it. No photos yet for LAL.
I watched the US Nationals Gymnastics. It's kind of a forgone conclusion anymore who is going to win with the women, which kind of takes the suspense out of it for me. I enjoyed it anyway. Simone is fun to watch and has so much power, but she really doesn't seem to ever stick the landings. She excels so much that it doesn't matter, but after all these years, I would expect her to get better at that. And her artistry is almost non-existent. The men stick their landings a lot better than the women did.
I really liked Suni. She has more artistry in her little finger than anyone else and she stuck her landings more often. And that's with coming back from a foot and ankle injury. She was just beautiful to watch, so graceful and not so much about the power, though she is clearly very strong. Her floor routine and her balance beam were so pretty.
I see a lot of potential in Jordan. She's got better artistry than Simone, but Simone barely has any, just depends on her power. Her routines are not as difficult or complicated, but give her a couple more years and she might be able to challenge even more. I am looking forward to the Olympics. I don't watch much, but I do enjoy men's and women's gymnastics.
I liked watching the guys, too, but it is all about power and strength there. So it's cool and fun and impressive, but more about skill than anything. I prefer artistry.
Not much else going on around here.
June 3rd, 2021 at 10:55 pm
We took the van in for a 5000 mile check up yesterday. It was basically an oil change and fluid fill up and an inspection to see what else needed to be done now that the car has reached ten years of age. They do have things they rec at either 10 years or 100,000 miles. Well, we only have 51,000 miles, but we bought the van in June of 2021 so we are going with getting the work done that is recommended. We paid $94.69 for that appointment.
Because we want to drive this van until it dies, maintenance if very important to us. Vehicles, even used ones, are super expensive, so we take as good of care as possible of our vehicles. They want to flush the transmission at $315, flush the coolant at $200, do an induction (cleaning the build up off the inside of the engine) at $170, and something to do with the electonic fuel injection at $170. That's a total of $855 worth of work. I only have $708 in my car maintenance envelope after paying for the other. That's a shortfall of $147.00.
Since DH will get quite a bit of overtime on the next paycheck, I will take out $200 for car maintenance, which will cover the shortfall and leave a little left in the envelope. I set aside $100 a month generally in this envelope. I will set aside an additional $100 the following payday, too. I don't like to run that envelope so close to bone.
I didn't end up planting any seeds yesterday, but we did get the wire hoops cut to size and put into the bed and then measured out and fitted the netting to the hoops. We hand watered, too. It was still pretty hot and it just sapped your strength. Today is 68 and much cooler so we will try to get it done. My soaker hose is supposed to arrive today. I got it for the bed that has the tomatoes, peppers, and summer squash in it, because those don't like to get their leaves wet and will get blight if they are wet too much. This way I can water at the base and not have to worry about that.
If I like the way the soaker hose works I will order them for the other beds, too. I want to see how great the coverage is with it. A soaker is the type that beads out water droplets not sprays them out. That's a drip hose. People get them confused, understandably, and then complain on Amazon reviews because it doesn't work the way they thought it would because they ordered the wrong thing. A simple reading of the description would tell them. But the whiney reveiws were actually helpful because I knew for sure it would do what I wanted it to do.
Tomorrow is my MRI on my back. Since the 20 weeks of physical therapy did nothing to improve things, they are now looking for disc issues, most likely a slipped disc. It would be nice to have an answer and maybe a better course of treatment. I really don't want to be on pain killers the rest of my life. It addles my mind.
May 14th, 2021 at 08:08 pm
Until today I think I went about two weeks between posting. I had my colonoscopy/endoscopy on the 3rd and it really threw me for a loop. They gave me ketamine. The anesthesiologist says it was the highest dose he had ever given anyone in his career. I was in a lot of pain and kept waking up. I don't remember being in pain, but I do remember waking up once and going ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, then nothing.
I think a lot of the pain had to do with the position I had to lay in, which was on my worst hip and worst shoulder and it put pressure on my degenerative discs, as well. But when I woke up my fibromyalgia pain was gone. I had been in the middle of a bad flare up and it was the weirdest thing in the world. Usually my pain background level is a 6 or 7 out of 10 and the really bad days can go up to a 10. I woke up at about a 3 and it was very specifically the degerative discs and the joints with arthiritis in them. And high as a kite. It was so weird to be at such a low level of pain. I'd forgotten what it was like to not have the fibro pain.
The high lasted a good 48 hours and then I was just kind of dissociative for another couple of days before I felt like I was in my right mind again. The fibromyalgia pain has not come back yet. It will, but for now it is turned off and I am getting stuff done.
My daughter had her lumbar puncture on the 7th and her spinal fluid pressure was super high. It was supposed to be a 20 and it was at 44. She was given a new medication to start on, but we had to consult with her neurologist because she is on another medicine that does not play well with others. It is generally a drug that needs to be weaned from if you take it for epilepsy, but she takes it for migraine. So we are waiting to hear back, but of course, the neuro doc is out of the office for the rest of the week.
They were going to see if they could consult someone else, but even if they do, that person may decide it still needs to be a consult with her neuro doc first. So we may get nothing until Monday. She can't start the new drug until we find out and she really, really needs to start it because her pressure is building up again.
People always go on vacation at the least convenient times, I've found, for our medical needs. Ah, well, what are you going to do, but wait it out?
Once she does start this medication it should help her significantly.
My chiropractor mentioned the other day that they are testing a new fibromyalgia drug that is supposed to be really promising and they are looking for volunteers. I have to look it up and see if I can find out about it. I wouldn't mind being in a trial and neither would DD.
My husband, son, and I are all scheduled to get our first dose of the Covid vaccine on Sunday and then DD is scheduled for the 25th (she wanted a late afternoon appointment and that was the soonest they had). We'll be getting the Moderna vaccine. I will be glad to have that done with.
We have hit our out of pocket max on medical so now all of that is covered for the rest of the year. We hit it before the above procedures so those were completely covered. I will still be putting money into the medical fund, though. DD still needs to get a pair of glasses. We were waiting until this stuff was resolved. And then DS needs braces. We'll be doing Invisilign. I have $3000 saved for that so far. We have to go in and do a consult and get an estimate, but it will probably be around $6000 based on what I am seeing online. Which I can save by the end of the year if I put $400 per payday into the Medical Fund starting next week.
I don't want to go into debt for it. I am hoping the orthodontist is willing to start with $3000 up front and then either do a pay as you go or wait until January for the rest. When DD had her braces the doc we went to wanted half up front and then the rest paid off in the following 3 months which was very hard on the budget and that was when we had 50% coverage on insurance. We have no coverage now with the dental we have.
I had been hoping to use that money for our deductible and out of pocket max for 2022, but such is life. We just never get ahead when it comes to medical expenses. But at least we break even.
I need to get the ball rolling on trying to get DD on disability. She's got hypothyroid, secondary adrenal insufficiency which makes her steroid dependent, ideopathic intercranial hypertension (too much spinal fluid on the brain), fibromyalgia, bulging discs in her back, traumatic brain injury, Raynaud's Syndrome, and Sjogren's disease.
I think she should qualify and then there would be that money to use towards her medical expenses as well as to give her a little something for herself. We can handle the living expenses, it's her medical that has us barely making progress towards our goals. She has to go off our insurance at 26. I don't know if there is any provision for her staying on longer because she is disabled, other than 18 months of COBRA. DH is supposed to check into that and what qualifies for it.
I am not sure if going on disability also qualifies a person for a government insurance like medicare or the other one, but we might be able to afford a policy for her with the disability at least. That's what she wants it to go towards if she can get it, her medical expenses. A private policy would probably be better just because so many doctors don't take medicare or the like and you are often relegated to a lesser standard of care because of it. That has been my experience with Mom anyway. It would help if there weren't so many run away costs in medical treatment.
Anyway, other than that we've been working hard in building the garden. It is going slower than planned, but is starting to come together. Once we make a bit more progress I'll post photos or a video link or something.
I've also been reading now that I have functional glasses. I'm on my third book in 4 weeks, which may not seem like a lot to the avid readers around here, but for me, it is. The first book I read this year took me 3 months because my glasses were so bad and it wasn't easy to read. This is so much better, now that they raised the reading line a couple of mm. It's such a tiny amount, but it has made a world of difference.
They are saying the library might open up on a limited schedule shortly. I hope so. I like to browse and by then I will be fully vaccinated. You just don't stumble across books that might be gems if you have to know what you are looking for to reserve online. I like the books I wasn't looking for. Those are some of the best.
It is also looking hopeful that the fair will run this year. They didn't have it last year and it was a major bummer for the community.
Not much else going on here.
April 17th, 2021 at 03:34 am
Well, DD did not get her lumbar puncture because the person who was going to perform it chickened out and decided she had too many problems for him to feel comfortable doing the lumbar puncture. Even though we stated every possible medical issue she had at the time of scheduling the appointment and were assured that it would be no problem. I double checked the day before because we have had issues in the past with this hospital. Again we were assured everything was fine. But when we actually get there they decide nope, too risky. They wasted our time, made us get her cleared medically by a doctor the week before (an expense), made her got a covid test (another expense), delayed a necessary medical procedure, and thus treatment, and flat out ticked me off. If they try to charge us even one cent for this I am going to raise holy heck.
Her doctor was angrier than I was about this. He said what they did to her was unprofessional and discriminatory and he tore someone a new one. He also had double checked about all her medical issues ahead of time. So we have a referral in to Virginia Mason and it will be at least a week before we hear from them and then who knows when we can get the appointment scheduled. I hate our local hospital. Hate them. Except the ER staff. Virginia Mason has never been anything but a pleasant, caring experience. Hopefully the pressure on her eyes does not make her go temporarily blind in the meanwhile. It's already causing tunnel vision. It's not permanent, but...
Deep breaths. Anyhow, the news on BIL is very good. While he is still weak he is laughing and talking and eating and well on his way to recovery. He will still be in the hospital quite a while yet. Sister won't be able to see him for 8 more days. I'm not sure if that is because she is still under quarantine herself, or if it is because he hasn't tested negative yet. I am thinking the latter because I think her quarantine is almost up. It's pretty hard for her because she is not used to being away from him. But they can communicate over computer now with video calls so that is an improvement.
April 13th, 2021 at 05:58 am
BIL has been improving every day. Yesterday they were able to take out the feeding tube and today he was able to sit up and talk and eat. They have moved him out of ICU. He will still have to stay in the hospital, but there is no more talk of him not surviving.
On the 13th at 1:30 p.m. PDT my daughter has a lumbar puncture. That's tomorrow, but the time stamp here is never right so putting the real date. If you can keep her in your prayers that would be great. Hopefully we will get the answers we need regarding the excess spinal fluid on the brain. If it is what they think it is, it is treatable with medication. If it is not we are back to square one.
April 4th, 2021 at 04:25 am
My middle sister has been badly ill for the last two weeks and I had been trying to get her to go the hospital for the last week, because I suspected Covid based on her symptoms and based on what we had been through in March of last year with it. Well, her husband came down with it as well and while it looks like she is going to come out of it, she is now under quarantine. BIL on the other hand had to be flown to Portland. He's got severe sleep apnea and the little hospital in the tiny Washington town did not have the resources to treat him. It is not looking very good for him. I wish they'd taken him to Vancouver or Seattle instead. Portland is a very dangerous city to be in these days.
So we don't know if BIL is going to make it. My sister is 56 years old. That is awfully young to become a widow. Hopefully that will not be the case. Prayers would be appreciated.
My sister, well both of them, really, have been very anti-Covid vaccine. While I am wary, I am willing. They've never been anti-vaccine before with standard vaccines. I know this is a whole different type of vaccine, that we know very little about it because there is no history, but I don't think it is population control or the mark of the beast or any of that. I don't know when my sisters went all conspiracy theory. I mean, don't get me wrong, I enjoy a good conspiracy theory, but I don't really believe any of them. I wonder if getting the virus will change their minds at all.
I just hope that they will be able to afford all this. Being airlifted is expensive without insurance, but BIL is on disability so he might be on government insurance, too. And most major hospitals have charitable assistance programs.
I believe sister has life insurance on him. At least I hope she does. It's been crazy these last couple of weeks. Hopefully it will all work out, but who knows. With sister living so far away, it is not like we can be there for her. At least her landlords will be taking care of her while she is in quarantine, bringing groceries and making sure she is alive every day.
I hate this virus.
March 22nd, 2021 at 01:50 am
My eldest sister moved out yesterday. Not without almost coming to blows with Mom. I say that, but I don't mean they would have physically fought. It was a pretty strong verbal one, though. My sister had a small stack of things she did not want to send with the movers and my mother wanted them to go with the movers instead of waiting a couple hours for my sister to come back and transport them in the car. Mom couldn't get it through her head that my sister didn't want to send her personal documents, jewelry, laptop, and other most special items with the movers and wanted to move them herself in her car. Some things you don't want to risk having misplaced, buried by boxes, or stolen. It's like she's trying to slam the door on her on the way out.
Eldest sis will be much happier out of here. Mom's been really petty and vindictive about her staying here even though she was invited to stay here. They just don't get along well and it isn't my sister's fault. She's never been able to get along with Mom since she hit high school on. Even at 61 she can't. I don't blame here, though. Mom picks at her constantly.
She will be living in a small efficiency apartment 2 miles away. It's a cute little apartment complex with one on the corner that always goes all out to decorate for the holidays. I love driving past there to see whatever new thing they've got up. Right now it is still leprechauns, but won't be much longer. Probably won't see anything else until they decorate for Easter.
Anyway, sis is safely out of Mom's war path and things seem to have settled around here. My nephew (from my middle sister) is still living here, but I think he is getting close to proposing to his girlfriend. She isn't allowed to live here, not even if they get married, so he would be moving out. He's not got a job, though. He has been living on his savings since he moved in here and could probably do so for another year.
I think he needs to get going on his life, though, get back into the work force., move out and marry this girl. He'll be 30 in April. We have fully reopened here, so it really is time for him to go get a new job. It's one thing when a sixteen year old wants to play video games all day, every day. It is kind of sad when someone his age actually does it for six months straight. He doesn't help around the place, which is mostly what irritates me. If you live in a household, you should contribute to it.
I have qualified for the Covid vaccine and so has my daughter, but not my husband and son. I'm not sure when that will happen though. DD needs to get a lumbar puncture soon due to issues with her spinal fluid putting pressure on her brain and eyes. And I will be having the full roto rooter now that I'm over fifty. I'm scheduled on April 20th. I should have had it done last year, but Covid happened. Not really looking forward to not eating for 24 hours and drinking that junk that makes me sick. I've had an endoscopy before, but never a colonoscopy.
I need to schedule a mammogram in there at some point, too. I haven't had one since I was 45. Once we know when the lumbar puncture is, we can figure out when to get the vaccine. Plus DH and I are going away for a little vacation on the 23rd of April to the cottage by the sea. I need to get away from here and recharge by the water for my own mental health. So it might not be gotten until May unless we can fit both injections around everything else. I'm not really in a rush unless they start requiring it to enter businesses or something. We go out so little, just to grocery shop and go to the appointments. But we will get it when we can figure out the time.
Or I may go sooner and we wait a little more for DD. Might not be a bad idea if we have a bad reaction and go down for a day like some people (my physical therapist had to go to bed for 24 hours after her second shot, but no one else she knows who got it has), to not do it on the same day so I can take care of her if it happens to her. People with autoimmune dieseases like us are a little more prone to that reaction.
I have to go and pick up my new lenses tomrrow for my glasses. They didn't measure right and the reading portion is so small I have to tilt my head up, but then look down through the bottom to even read. Either that or literally hold them up an inch. So no, that was getting fixed. I had to go back 3 times before they would do it, kept trying to adjust the arms to fit better, but it didn't. I do get one free remake with what I purchased, so hopefully nothing else bad happens. I had a lot of issues with the coating on the last pair. I will just be glad to have it sorted out and see if I can read comfortably again. If not, I may just get a pair of prescription reading glasses made with my old frames. But hopefully not and it will all just go well.
January 21st, 2021 at 05:16 am
Today I had a dentist appointment. I had to have 4 bitewing x-rays, and then had a cleaning and an exam. Everything looks great, but there might be the start of a chip on one of the pointy bits of the tooth behind the incisor. So we'll have to watch. I wear a mouth guard, but I still grind my teeth like crazy. It mitigates the damage, but doesn't always stop it. Since there is a $50 deductible for the year, plus we have to pay for a portion of the bitewings, it ended up costing $88. This comes out of our FSA debit card, which we are free to use up to the full amount for the year and they deduct pre-tax from DH's paycheck every payday through the year.
After that I came straight home and got here about ten minutes before my son's follow up appointment with the doctor. Right now he is doing a blind study and ADHD meds. Unfortunately they put them all in dark purple capsules so you can't see through them. DS is allergic to dyes, so it is affecting him somewhat, regardless of whatever is in the capsule. He is having to live on dye free Waldryl and we have to monitor him closely for the rest of the study in case he starts to have suicidal thoughts or violent mood swings. The pills themselves, if he gets put on one, will be white.
It is so weird to see some of the issues arising from his past that had been cured by cutting artificial dyes and artificial sweetners out of his diet. I think he must be on the placebo this week, though. There is no increase in focus. If anything, he is more spacey than usual. And he's pacing a lot. At least the placebos and actual drugs are gluten free so he doesn't have to deal with that on top of everything else.
The eat from the pantry challenge is still going great. Tonight for dinner I made French Onion Chicken. I haven't made it in a long time, but it is still as amazing as the first time I made it. And while it is time-consuming, it is simple, and a lot of the wait time I was just on my computer so it went by pretty fast. It is definitely not a set it and forget it meal. But it was so yummy and I even dipped my broccoli in the broth, which added so much to it.
I did alter it slightly because I did not have Muenster or Gryere cheese. I used Jarlsberg, because that is what I had on hand. I thought I had Gryere and in a normal month I would have just sent DH to get some, but instead I made do. The Jarlsberg gave it a slightly different, but nice flavor.
I cut up some extra onion while I was at it so there is about one onion's worth of slices in the fridge ready for some recipe later in the week. I also had to shred the Jarlsberg for this recipe, so I went ahead and did a big brick of parmesan and a big wedge of Romano. They have been in the fridge for a long time, so it was nice to use what I had and put it in a more accessible form for meals in the upcoming weeks.
We did do a little bit of grocery spending, though. My husband got my daughter some Simply Cheetos and some Dietz and Watson deli ham and then 2 loaves of bread. We agreed at the start of the challenge that bread was one of things we were going to buy and that we would allow a couple things for my daugher post surgery, so the ham and the Simply Cheetos were for her. We've found that the Simply Cheetos quell her nausea.
The ham was just so she could get something easy without help from others if she woke up in the middle of the night and wanted to eat something. She wakes up when the pain meds wear off and then likes to eat a little something with the pain pills so she is not taking them on an empty stomach.
That came to $24.24 of grocery spending so far this month. I may end up spending another $25 this month, because we are out of oranges and I started the last head of lettuce and possibly milk. We still have half a gallon and we don't really drink milk, we just use it in things or on cereal. I really would like to be able to put $750 in the beef envelope out of a $800 monthly grocery budget. Even $700 would make me very happy.
January 17th, 2021 at 06:07 am
My daughter came home from the hospital last night. They got all of the tumor. We have to wait a week or so for the biopsy results, but it did not appear to be cancerous. She is doing well, eating soup and Welch's version of Jell-O, which has no artificial dyes in it. She's a little high on the pain medicine, but that's kind of how she reacts to it.
I started physical therapy on Friday. They can't do much with me because of how inflammed I am right now, but they started an electrical stimulation thing called a tens machine and did that over the L-4 and L-5 vertabrae on my back. I think it made a small amount of difference, but it is early days.
The pantry challenge is going well. We still have not gone to the grocery store yet. I have only repeated one meal and that was because there were leftovers. I have salmon and spot prawns thawing in the fridge, both of which my husband and son caught. DD thinks those will be easy for her to eat. Her jaw and throat are pretty sore from having a breathing tube in during surgery. So easy to chew foods are on the agenda for a couple of days. We have a lot of seafood in the freezer, but it is getting close to the time when it needs to be used up by.
I finally succeeded in finding some dye free, fragrance free shampoo and conditioner. I am hoping they are good products. I still can't find a body wash like that that doesn't use coconut oil. We make do on the castile bar baby soap that is fragrance and dye free, but sometimes you just want a liquid body wash.
If that new stimulus Biden wants passes that will give you money for all dependents not just children, we will be getting quite a lot of money. DH made a mistake when he was trying to figure out our taxes early. Turns out we will owe somewhere in the $900 range, not the over $2000 he'd originally thought.
If so, and if this stimulus comes quickly I figure we'll open a spousal IRA for 2020, which may be enough to get rid of that tax bill, and see about getting a new ceiling in the tiny bathroom. If it doesn't pass or we don't get it, then I guess we will just have to save up to fix it. First off I will need to price everything, but I think DH and DS can do it themselves.
It should only require two pieces of the moisture resistant drywall and rental of a drywall lifter, and some tape, some mud, and some paint. We have plastic sheeting to keep paint from dripping onto the floor, tub, sink, mirror, and shelves. We saved everything our mattresses were wrapped in.
I got my first seed order today from Victory seeds. I am really excited about starting to plan for the new garden. We are completely redoing it with cinderblock raised beds that we will use mortar on to make a permanent structure. The wooden beds just fall apart too quickly and I don't want to throw away anymore money on this.
I have another order coming from Fedco and I have to order a couple more things yet, but not much. I am just waiting on one of the companies to put up its seeds for the year, which should be any day now. It's just the type of broccoli and the type of lettuce I want.
Not too much going on here. I have slowly been working my way through the novel I am reading and am about 80% done. I can't read like I used to since the concussion a few years ago and because of the floaters in my eyes so I mostly take 3 to 4 weeks to read a large print novel these days. I set my goal on Goodreads to 12 books read for the year. I listen to a lot of audio stories and books, though, but I don't count that as actual reading. I do read quite a bit online, but I have to put the magnification up pretty high.
I've now lost 13.4 pounds, but I gave in and ate gluten today, still within the confines of my diet. It was breaded cod fish. We will see how I feel tomorrow. I don't react like my kids do, but it usually makes me feel bloated. At least I made it halfway through the month.
January 13th, 2021 at 06:26 am
The Eat from the Pantry Challenge has been going well. We haven't bought anything at the grocery store since December. I had a massive I don't know what to cook/I don't want to cook moment tonight because I am just exhausted, but my son stepped up and listed ideas and then helped me do everything but chop the onion to get dinner on the table. He's been so good about that. He really wants us to get that grass fed side of beef. He's also been really encouraging when I want to eat gluten, by talking me out of it. I'm going to hold out as long as I can before I buy some fresh produce and milk. The challenge allows for that, just to keep any spending to a minimum. We still have both. I'll be baking gluten free bread tomorrow.
I've lost a total of 10.8 pounds since the start of my diet the day after Christmas. I'm happy with that and I'm past the point of wanting to cheat on my diet. My diet does allow for gluten, but my personal goal is to stay off it for the month, then possibly the year. It'll be a step by step, moment by moment journey. I hope I can hang with the diet for the whole year, even if I don't stay off gluten. I'm usually pretty gung ho for a while, but then life happens.
I'd like to stay away from eating out this year, too. I feel better after not having eaten take out at all this year. I know if we have to travel to Seattle and back for medical reasons there will have to be a meal somewhere, but MIL says she will pay for all travel costs related to DD's medical stuff and that includes food and lodging. She's also paying the Virginia Mason bill for surgery for us when it comes, too. So that will be DD's deductible and her out of pocket max and then we won't have to pay for any medical stuff for DD for the rest of the year.
Things are doing better here. My little grand niece has been home from the hospital for 2 days and is doing a lot better. Still waiting on the test results, though. My sister and her husband came for a visit today (they are the grandparents of my grand niece). I stayed six feet away from both of them and talked for a little while. They were just dropping off their son, who lives here, and then BIL has a doctor's appointment down this way on Thursday.
DD had her Covid test today and goes in for her liver tumor to be removed on Thursday. I am not going down, just DH. They won't let us in to see her at all and the last car trip I had to Seattle put me out of commission for weeks. It's what led to the pulled muscle. I can't just sit in the car for several hours and wait until the hotel room is ready. It hurts too much. And since I won't drive in Seattle traffic due to the lunatics (seriously, Orange County is sane compared to Seattle drivers), DH it is. And she is honestly a Daddy's girl.
They are keeping her for 24 hours observation due to the secondary adrenal insufficiency, but it is a laproscopic surgery, unless something makes it not be, in which case it will become a 3 day stay. I hope it is the former, because her anxiety levels will be very high not seeing one of us for 3 days. She hasn't had a panic attack in a long time, they were mostly related to cortisol crashes, but this is the sort of thing that might bring one on.
I start physical therapy again on Friday. I don't want to, because it didn't help last time and I am worse off now, but they won't do an MRI until I've done it. I know there is something going on with my left hip that is beyond degenerative rheumatoid arthritis. I think there might be a detached or torn ligament. So I'll go, I'll do the exercises, and I will hope against hope that they will work.
I am working on getting the kitchen organized and more disability friendly. We got some new shelves put up and the best part of that is I have the recycle bins at a level where I don't have to bend down to put stuff in them. They are at belly-height for me, so I can just pull the bin out and put something in it. Because of the damge to the L-4 and L-5 vertebrae, it was pretty hard to bend to the floor and they were under something so I couldn't just drop them straight down. DD is pleased with that, too. These are just our inside bins that we fill and then take out to dump in the bins that go curbside. We recycle more than anyone else on our block. We also only put out a garbage can every other week and every other house puts out one every week. It cuts our bill significantly.
Well, that's it for tonight.
January 10th, 2021 at 02:38 am
What is that old expression about making plans and then God laughing at them? Well, my plans for 2021 just got thrown for a loop. Not completely, and it is something we can cash flow through March for, but it means only putting $195 a month into the Emergency Fund. For the first time ever we will be owing taxes.
It isn't an exact amount just yet, and won't be until DH gets his W-2, but with the numbers we do have, he estimated we will need to pay $2304 in taxes. It might vary. That means saving $768 a month for the next three months. The only place to take that money from was what we planned to put into the Emergency Fund.
If I want to hit our goal of six month's expenses by the end of the year, that means I will need to save $1018.55 a month from April through December. What I had budgeted for was $950 a month before all this. So that is a shortfall of $68.55 a month or $616.95 total. We might be able to make up for that on 3 paycheck months where medical would not be taken out so the checks are bigger. There is one in April and one in October this year. I would know how much it would be by April to know if it was enough in October to make up that difference. If not, I'll just have to find the money somewhere.
I'm not sure what our tax situation will be for 2021. We will be almost maxing out our 401K which one would think would lower our taxes by quite a lot. We only did 5% in 2020 and are doing 15% this year, which is $17,160. The max is $17,500 for 2021, although since we are over 50 we could do the catch up rate of $19,500. But we're not, at least not this year. Once we have our six month's expenses saved, the plan for 2022 is to max out to the catch up rate if we can.
I don't know if they will eliminate that tax cut Trump put in or not, but if they do that will affect everything, too, so until we see what they will do in Congress, it is kind of tilting at windmills to even try to think about taxes for 2021. Of course, that drives my planner's mind crazy. I am going forward assuming it will be eliminated, though.
I guess if we do have to pay taxes in 2021, we will probably be fine just doing what we are doing this time, altering the budget to cashflow the taxes.
You know what? I am so grateful we have no debt. So, so grateful. This would have made me so upset a year ago, but now we can just absorb it. Yes, it makes me annoyed, I don't like change, but not "Oh, my gosh, what are we going to do?" freaked out. I knew exactly what we could do and how to manage it without even blinking. That peace of mind, after so many years under the burden of debt, is priceless.
I don't know if I mentioned here about my little grand niece, but she was in the ICU at Children's for a couple of days, then one day out of the ICU and today she got to go home, but she's still not great, just not life-threatening anymore. There is something wrong with her blood sugar, like she's not absorbing enough sugar or something and it just got so bad because she stopped drinking for a day and got dehydrated. They had genetic testing done, but won't get that back for a week or so. Meanwhile they gave my nephew and his wife some sugar paste that absorbs directly into her gums if she won't drink enough juice to keep it up. They haven't mentioned diabetes at all, so I don't think that is the issue. Hopefully they will get it figured out soon.
December 18th, 2020 at 08:28 am
As my back starts to calm down it is getting easier to get around and even to stand in one spot, although that is the hardest thing for me. Sitting up straight still hurts, but not to the point that I can't do it, so I am back in my computer chair instead of the recliner. Standing in one spot hurt less today, but still hurt too much to scrub the dishes. I'm hoping by the weekend I can pick that task up again and empty the sink. DH is trying his best, both kids are sick, so it is what it is.
I have also lost 5 pounds in the last four days, so I am sure that is helping a lot with my back. I can tell it is from my stomach because of how my clothes fit, and that is what is pulling on my back, so it is a good thing. I hope this degenerative athritis helps me to actually stay on the diet this time. It is so much better already and I know that for every pound I lose it will only feel better. I was able to do some walking today, albeit at the grocery store. I did one shop on Tuesday before the sales I wanted went off and then two shops today.
Tuesday I spent $82.45 at Fred Meyer and bought 2 chuck roasts, 1 Justin's honey peanut butter, 2 small picnic hams (will fit in the crock pot or the Instant Pot), 6 pounds of hamburger, 2 packages of chicken thighs with 20 thighs between them), 1 steelhead trout, 1 pound shrimp, and 2 pineapples. I didn't buy anything that was not on sale.
Today we went to Whole Foods first to get some lemon and peppermint extracts, garlic sauce, 4 packages of Birchbender paleo waffles (gluten free), and gluten free Jovial brown rice pastas that were 2 spaghetti, 2 penne, 2 fusilli, 2 farfalle, and 2 tagliatelle, 2 bags of soy free tater puffs (tots) and 2 bags of soy free hashbrowns. I spent $89.28 there and used my Amazon Prime discount. Gluten free pasta is about $5 a box. If I ever find my pasta maker in storage, I will make it from scratch, but until then this will do.
We only eat pasta once a week, so this plus what I already had at home should last us 3 months if we go into a full fledged lockdown again. Plus we don't know if we will need to quarantine before and after DD's surgery, either. I'd like to not have to worry about shopping.
Then tonight we went to Haggen and it cost $101.48. I got 4 of the huge bottles of organic ketchup, 6 bags of the Perdue gluten free chicken strips, and 2 of the bottled half gallon containers of milk. Each bottle has a two dollar deposit that we get back when we return them. Of course I forgot to take the 3 empty bottles we have at home with me. I wish gluten free was not so expensive and one day I will learn how to do my own gluten free chicken strips, but right now it is good just to have a couple convenience foods that the kids can eat.
So all told I spent $225.67. I have $77 left in my grocery envelope, plus some change that I just don't count, but use. And I sent DH to the store last week and he spent around $97. I remember what I sent him for was 20 pounds of potatoes, 5 pounds of onions, 2 pounds of carrots, 4 scallions, grapes, some deli meat, Jarlsberg cheese, 1 loaf of gluten free bread, and 2 loaves of potato bread.
We get paid a day early on the 24th and I won't spend anymore between now and then, so I think I will sweep that extra grocery money into starting the Bulk Meat Envelope for the side of beef I want to get at the end of next summer, followed by half a hog, and a whole lamb if I save enough. It makes sense to save it out of the grocery budget, although I may have to save more than that. In 8 months I should have enough for the beef if I can put aside $200 every 4 weeks, which puts me at August, which is when a lot of butchering is done. I might have a little more since there will be 1 or 2 three-payday months. Probably more in June and July and August because of the garden produce. Anyway, that is the plan.
December 12th, 2020 at 03:48 am
My x-ray results came back and there is significantly more degeration due to arthritis in the L-4 and L-5 vertabrae, which is the lower spine, but no bulging discs. So that is probably what is causing all the pain in the hip, pelvis, and down the leg. I still think there is something else wrong, like with ligaments or tendons, but I have to do more physical therapy before I can get an MRI.
He is referring me to a different physical therapist's office this time. I didn't really feel like the other place has ever really done me all that much good. I still do the exercises they gave me, but I don't feel like it helps at all.
DH took an hour off today to drive me around to do the banking and then to the post office to mail the tithe check and another bill that we don't do online. It hurts too much for me to drive right now. He made up the hour later in the day. Working from home is a wonderful thing.
We were going to go and have our glasses made today, but they told us that if we wait until January we will qualify for both frames and lenses and not just lenses. I had no idea we were that close to being able to do that. I thought it was at least six months away. So we will try again after the calendar turns.
DD is having bad symptoms today from the bleeding liver tumor. She hasn't been able to eat much at all the past 3 days and is super nauseated and in a lot of pain. I know we are in the home stretch here, but it is agonizing for her. I'm just glad they finally decided to do something. She looks awful. You can just see how much pain she is in by looking at her. I feel helpless.
I did get the bills and all that done, but I'm too tired of sitting in my chair to do another entry with all that tonight. Hope everyone else is doing well. I'm too tired to read the blogs right now to check up on you all.
December 10th, 2020 at 10:59 pm
I do have a bit of good news in all the upheaval of 2020. There will be a Christmas contribution to the 401K and a small bonus at DH's work. And I do mean small in comparison to past years. $500 after taxes is nothing to sneeze at and will go directly to the Emergency Fund. Unless DH works overtime between now and the end of the year the 401K contribution will be $813.17 because it is based on a percentage of hours worked during the year.
Starting next year they are going to start matching 401K contributions again, but not at 5%. At 2.5%. It's a lot better than the 0% they had to do for the last half of 2020.
I saw the doctor yesterday so I could get migraine medication and pain medication and do a blood pressure check. I got the flu shot for the first time in a couple of decades. I had a gut level intuition that this was going to be a bad flu year and they had the right strains this time. I don't know where that came from, but I have always found that I should follow that voice when it happens. I'll probably feel cruddy the next couple of weeks because of it, I always do, but that's the choice I made.
We also talked about my hip and low back pain and how it radiates he is suspecting a bulging disc, so once I am done with this entry I am going to go get an x-ray taken and see if there is anything obvious. I might have to do physical therapy again. I don't see how that will help as I am still doing all the exercises from last time. And 45 minute sessions to an hour with a mask on when I have asthma is going to be torture even if I use my inhaler first. I'll probably have to do albuterol treatments afterwards.
Then after I've put in my PT time for the insurance company I can get an MRI on my low back and hip area. It's a lot of hoops for this type of MRI. I hope they find something they can fix when all is said and done.