Friday, July 28, 2017

The boost I needed

I've written before about the student loans on my debt roll. These are loans for our kids' educations. Loan A and B are actually in DD's name. We told the kids that if they finished college in four years, we would pay off those loans - DS1 did not and he paid off his own loan. (For the record, I would not offer this deal now, but I was dumber back then.) At any rate, we are sticking with our agreement and we took on her debt.

Yesterday, her application for teacher loan forgiveness ($5,000) was approved and processed. She has spent six years teaching in a low-income school which met the requirements for the program.

So our debt has now dropped into another "decade."

We are going to do this. We are.

Sarah
 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

I guess he was paying attention

I went furniture shopping with DS for his new house on Saturday. He bought a sofa fit for a bachelor (cup holders, recliners, USB port) and a bed bigger than my house. He paid cash.

When we were walking through the house with his Realtor on Sunday, he mentioned what he had bought and the Realtor went white. "Didn't your lender advise you on that?" DS looked at her blankly. I stepped in and pointed out that he paid cash. The Realtor breathed a sigh of relief and explained to DS that financing furniture would have dinged his credit report this close to closing.

On the ride home, DS wanted to know who in their right mind would finance furniture??

Proud Mom moment.

Sarah
 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Thanks for the kick

Thanks to those of you who encouraged me to keep going when all I really want to do is curl up and pull the covers over my head. I will get back to it. I promise.

On the sort of good news front, DH went for his final $$$ dental visit. The bill had ballooned to $1,600, and since he had already used up his insurance allowance for the year, it was on us. But when he went to check out, the receptionist (who is also the wife of the dentist) told him that they knew he had had some pricey procedures this year so they were extending a professional courtesy and discounting his bill by half. So he got an $800 break, for which I am so very thankful. It really does pay to cultivate relationships with ongoing providers.

I went out once today - for a taste test at the local university (they pay me in Target cards for a 10-minute tasting). I have $150 in Target cards saved up - I will probably just hold on to them for Christmas gifts.

Otherwise, I was a slug. It is SO hot here. Ninety-five and 100% humidity. It's downright hard to breathe and truly dangerous for DS. Thank the good Lord for air conditioning.

DS1 has asked me to go with him furniture shopping on Saturday. He is building his first house and scheduled to move in next month. As he is currently without a significant other, Mom's on deck. This is the kind of shopping I like - helping pick out fun pieces and letting someone else pay for them!

We're having salad for dinner. No way am I turning on the oven ...

Sarah
 

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Of teeth and chairs

When I wasn't looking, the calendar flipped to July. Time just passes too quickly.

It's been a low-key summer. I watch my granddaughter during the school year while my daughter teaches, but I have the summer off. I'm not sure I could do it if she didn't have the teacher's schedule. There's a reason why God gives us babies when we're young!

The bills have been coming fast and furious the past month. I blame DH for the worst of them. When he was in his 30s and 40s, he never took time to go see a dentist. At all. He's finally going again, but now he is paying the price. Well, we are paying the price. He has had to have one tooth extracted, a root canal and a crown, and that's just in June. He will eventually have to have an implant, but for now is making do with a flipper that he hates. Too bad, bud. The out of pocket price for all his dental work this spring/summer has now surpassed $3,000.

On the upside, DS's wheelchair was finally approved by insurance!!! It's been a year in the making and the chair we originally ordered isn't even available anymore. Had to bump it to the newest model. If all goes well, he should be in it by the end of the month. Meantime, I've been buying foam in bulk to try to make his seat comfortable enough for him to manage until the new chair comes. I'm not sure what our out-of-pocket expense will be for this, but whatever it is it will be worth it.

I think I have debt payoff burnout. I'm just so tired of it. I need a kick in the pants to get back to it. Anyone want to take a shot?

Sarah
 

Friday, June 2, 2017

Still here

Contrary to popular belief, I am still here and still plugging along. The past month and a half has been a blur. DS's broken hip, 11-day hospital stay and subsequent recuperation have taken their toll.

DS is doing well. His pain is improving and he is able to tolerate water therapy sessions, which are great for him. The hospital bills are starting to come in - we're at $33,000 so far. Insurance should cover the bulk of it, but we shall see.

I received a letter from the attorney for the insurance company this week asking questions about the "accident" that landed DS in the hospital. I filled a form out and in not-so-subtle big letters, pointed out that he fell from a manual lift because the much SAFER option of a battery lift or a ceiling lift are not covered by insurance. Yeah, that decision cost the insurance company about $25,000. How's that working for you?

Meantime, still battling for a much-needed replacement wheelchair. The latest denial came two weeks ago. Approved are a seatbelt, armrests and a footplate. Not quite sure where those are supposed to go since the actual chair is denied.

Also on the insurance front, we are trying to get approval for the first-ever treatment for DS's disease. For 22 years, we've been working to raise money, raise awareness and find a treatment. It's finally, miraculously here and we can't get it. His neurologist emailed yesterday and said insurance is asking for another blood test, so we will get that done today. When I run the world, medical decisions will be made by doctors and not insurance suits.

I saw a lightning bug last night. And I had to turn on the A/C this week. Summer is here.

Sarah
 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Day by day

I'm in my not-so-comfy sleeping chair at the hospital listening to DS's Bi-Pap machine hum as I write this. What a day. He's still in pain (apparently, the break is so high up they're calling it a broken hip) and having to be repositioned often. It takes two nurses to do this. And yet, a caseworker arrived today to announce that because his vitals are stable, insurance will likely deny him staying longer and we need to start the discharge process.

DS freaked out. I know if they had a blood pressure cuff on him, the numbers would have been sky high. He knows what I know. If he is released now, he will have to go by ambulance - he cannot drive his chair. And when we get home, I won't be able to care for him alone. Just yesterday, the doctor told him he was going to keep him through the weekend and look at releasing him Monday. That would be almost two weeks since the accident and reasonable. The bone should heal enough by then to make his pain level manageable.

I despise our health care system. I hate that some suit at an insurance company is calling the shots. Why do we go to the doctor if we can't follow their orders because they won't get paid if we do?

Insanity. It's insanity.

On a related topic, I've officially had my fill of hospital cafeteria food. So when a friend texted to say she was bringing dinner, I was thrilled. At the appointed hour, she called. She was at my house. I was at the hospital. Our wires had gotten crossed. I told her to leave the dinner in the kitchen and DH would have it tonight when he gets home from work. Back to the cafeteria for me.

We're living day by day. It's all we can do.

Sarah
 

Monday, April 24, 2017

When life takes a detour

I had a lot of plans for this week. And I had to scrap them all.

Instead, I'm parked next to DS's bed in the local hospital. He fractured his femur in an accident, and because of his disease, neither surgery nor a cast were a good option. Instead, we are hoping to let it heal on its own. Because we cannot care for him at home while he is at this level of pain, he will remain in the hospital and likely be moved to a rehab facility for several weeks until the pain becomes manageable.

He is 23, but is physically unable to press the call button or in any way to care for himself, and so one of us is with him 24/7.

Church friends have been providing meals and DS's friends have been providing moral support. I am thankful I'm organized enough that the bills will be paid on time with little effort on my part.

We will get through this. Just have to keep our chins up.

Sarah