Monday, August 29, 2011

Changes

Only a couple more days of August are left, and most nights are already feeling as if it's fall. I'm really sad that summer is ending. I mostly don't like the thought of it disappearing for another 9 months because for those months, I will be mostly cold!!! I know that soon I will be putting away my summer clothes and dragging out the fall/winter ones. I'll have to encase my windows in plastic to keep winter drafts from coming into the house. I need to figure out ways to keep my place warmer without blasting the heat (which I never do). I really need to find out how to keep my feet and legs warmer, because they are the parts of my body that just get coldest the fastest. Long underwear and 2 or 3 pairs of socks and slippers don't seem to be cutting it with me!! Before long, it'll also be bath season!! If only there was a way to stay in the tub all day so that I wouldn't be cold!

The weather changes are bringing me headaches almost every day, literally. Most of the time I don't take anything for them, but sometimes they are so bad that I must. Sunday I had a migraine all day. But usually I just function with them. Until the weather gets pretty much cold and stays that way, I'll be dealing with the headaches as best I can!

I do have to say that PH-wise, besides a little increased shortness of breath, I'm doing pretty good. The weather usually effects that, too, but so far I've been ok. I'm happy about that, it's one less thing I need to deal with right now!

September will be a busy month. I have some appts scheduled, including the local PH doctor. The annual Peach Festival is coming up, which I love to go wander! My birthday is in the middle of the month, and then the weekend after is Joan's wedding! So there is lots going on for the month, and I'm sure like everything else, it'll fly by quickly!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Painting Project



I had purchased 2 paint by numbers in the spring to work on during the summer, since I didn't think I'd be so busy. Well, I was busy! So I didn't start the first one until the end of July. I worked on it mostly outside in the backyard on my new little table set. I finally finished it last night, and I love it! I plan on getting a frame and putting it in my kitchen. I started the other painting tonight, but that one is insane! It's so much harder than the other one, and will take much more time! I do love painting, though! I just wish I had a natural talent at it rather than relying on numbers!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

What's Shakin?

I was at my stove early this afternoon making some grits for lunch when my fridge started making a horrible noise. Now, all summer my fridge has been making noises off and on, sometimes sounding like it's thawing out, but when I check it, everything is fine. But this noise was totally different, and it almost seemed like the fridge was moving a little bit. I stared at it and said out loud, "What the hell is wrong with my fridge now??" I glanced in the computer room and Mittens was on the rug, frozen in the middle of cleaning, and staring at me wide eyed. Several seconds later, the fridge stopped making any noise. So then I thought, oh great, it broke! But when I opened it up, everything seemed fine. Hmmm, oh well. Back to cooking!

Minutes passed by, and something in my mind said EARTHQUAKE. And 10 minutes after that, I got an alert on my phone saying that an earthquake had indeed happened, but in Virginia! Whoa! I can't believe it could be felt way up here, although, had I not been standing in the kitchen, I may not have known it even happened! This is the second time in my life that I have felt an earthquake, which is so odd since this part of the country doesn't really get them. The first time I felt one was maybe 9 years ago, and I was sleeping but my bed started shaking and I woke up. I thought a huge truck had hit a pothole on the corner of my street near my house (which wouldn't be too surprising!). It was only a little while later that I read about an earthquake and that many people all over had felt it. In a way it's kinda cool, but I don't think I would really like to feel anything stronger than that!! I'm glad that no one was really hurt in this one, and the damage isn't anything terrible!

Monday, August 22, 2011

FINALLY!

I got up at 9am this morning and proceeded to make several phone calls that I realized I needed to make today. The first was the Medicaid office in Lockport, who told me I had to call my caseworker in Niagara Falls to find out the information I need so I can send in a check to pay for Medicaid for September. Give me a break!!! I left a message for my caseworker, and guess what?? SHE NEVER CALLED ME!! I did, however, finally get the paperwork in the mail this afternoon!! I opened it up, read everything, wrote a check, and flew to the post office to mail it! I sure hope that it is enough time to get there, or else I'm going to be royally pissed off!! I swear, I accept this stupid changes, and I still get screwed over because the dumb state is late sending me the info. At least it feels that way!!

I did go out to lunch today with my good friend, Erin, and her daughter. We went down to The Silo, which was rather nice! Today felt like fall, which was not nice. Not for me, anyway. lol But it was sunny enough to be comfortable, and I was wearing jeans and a sweater. We ate and talked for awhile before finally heading back home!

I have to get up early tomorrow to put stuff on my porch for the Vietnam Veterans of America group. They sent mail a few weeks ago asking for donations, and they provided a bag. Well, I'm going to be putting out 5. I had a lot of stuff to just give away, and my one closet is so much happier!!!

My mom has her other eye surgery way too bright and early tomorrow, so I'm praying all goes well again!! Her right eye is good, and I'm pretty sure she's happy she's getting this done!! I'm sure I'll be stopping over again after rehab like I did last week to make sure she's ok. I'm also pretty sure she'll probably sleep all afternoon like she did last week. I can't blame her, she had to get up at 4am!! YUCK!!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Awesome Groom!

I saw this on Yahoo! earlier today, and it made me cry. And I'm not a big cryer usually!! Sure wish I could find someone this thoughtful and sweet!!

Bill Shrinkage

I spent Thursday afternoon on the phone with Verizon and Time Warner. Verizon changed my phone plan back down to 450 minutes (UGH), and also completely blocked texting for me. I am thankful for a smartphone that allows all sorts of apps, because I found a free texting app that actually works pretty decently. So, even if I didn't have to crunch my bills, I would have gotten rid of texting anyway after finding this app! In total, I'll be saving about $30 on my phone, which is good!

A friend had told me that Time Warner had a cable modem package called Road Runner Lite. He said he used it for awhile when he had to crunch bills. So I asked the service rep about it when I called, and she said that they never sign people up on that package if they are using wireless service because we would call and complain about how terribly slow it is. What she ended up offering me was an upgrade to what I already had, but for almost $15 less a month. Ooooook, sign me up!! Even though it's only for a year, well heck, it's a year and I'll call them back next year to see what else they can offer me to keep my bills lowered!

I was hoping my caseworker would return my Thursday afternoon call, but she did what I figured she would do: called me the next morning while I was still in bed. I got my glasses on and my robe before I answered the phone! I wanted to know exactly what to do with these green slips I had received, and if the amount I had to pay was really $41 since I had yet to get something in the mail stating what was happening. I need to make sure I send out payments 10 days before the month I need the spenddown, so in order to pay for September, I need to send a check out by Monday at the latest!!

***BREAKING NEWS*** I decided to check my mail as I was typing this, and saw a letter from Social Services. However, it still does NOT explain what I owe!! For crying out loud!!! What the heck????? Guess I need to call yet again on Monday to find out what to do about this. So darn frsutrating!!!

Anyway, I think I have it down to just being able to pay my bills, and nothing much leftover for anything else. I'm still trying to figure that part out. I can either try to do work from home jobs, or maybe I might actually make a jewelry business. Still so much to figure out, but at least I know I won't be homeless, I can still talk to people on the phone and the computer, and I will still have food. I should be happy with that, right??

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Guess What Came In The Mail?

I knew that after typing about not receiving information about the Medicaid changes yet that I would probably get it today. Sure enough, when I checked the mailbox, there it was. I don't understand exactly what I need to do, so tomorrow I will be calling my caseworker, and hope to heck she won't take another week to get back to me. Sigh.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I See You

My mom had her first cataract surgery yesterday, on her right eye. My parents had to get up at 4am to make sure they were at the place by 5:30. Why in the world do they start those surgeries so darn early???? I'm very relieved that I didn't have to bring her just because I'd be a walking zombie for a few days!!! Everything went just fine, though! I went over to the house after rehab and had some lunch, helped my mom get some things for her lunch, and then she went to lay down in her bedroom. I stayed for a couple hours doing updating on her computer, and I also washed the dishes before I went back home.

This morning my mom had to get the patch taken off, and when I called to see how she was doing, she told me how shocked she was that she could see so clearly! I'm really glad that she's able to see so good! So, I'm hoping next week's surgery goes just as well for her, so she can see almost perfectly with BOTH eyes!!

Waiting and Planning

I kind of took the weekend off from really stressing about my finances, and spent a great two days in Lewiston at the annual Art Festival. The festival is one of my favorite things in the summer! At least 100 artists set up booths with a wide variety of artistic ideas, everything from glasswork to paintings to jewelry to woodwork, etc, etc. That's just a whole bunch of talent gathering together!! This year, my sister Mandy actually had a booth!! She had her beautiful jewelry and glasswork, and she really did well with sales! I think she's already trying to plan some new ideas that she'll be able to include for next year if she's able to get a booth again. I'm so happy for her, and very proud that she could participate!!

Sunday evening I went to dinner with Joan, my cousin, Ryhan, and my Aunt Jane, who were both in town for a couple days. We went to Applebee's, and Ryhan asked a ton of questions about the wedding, and Joan moving to Canada, and where they were going on their honeymoon. I was very sad at her answer about the honeymoon: they are taking a 14-day cruise to Hawaii. :( I was hoping that 15 years of saving for Hawaii would at least make my dream of going there come true, but there's no way to really save for that now. Well, unless I can figure out a job I can handle that would allow me to pay for my bills and also save for stuff. I just wish I was able to go!!! Not sure if she can just stuff me in the luggage, I'm not that big!! lol Anyway, after dinner, we went to DeDee's for ice cream, and shared laughs outside on the patio. It was a nice way to end the weekend!

Here it is, Wednesday, and I still haven't gotten paperwork about this big change that's supposed to be happening. Of course, the mail hasn't come yet today. I just want to make sure this is really happening. I can't understand why I haven't gotten anything yet, my caseworker told me she would send it out to me so I'd get it this week. It would only take a day to get here!! I have also asked someone else I know who works in Social Services if she could find out any details, but her department is moving this week, so that might take some time, too. So, I'm kind of just waiting for proof as I make plans on how to readjust my finances. And, at the same time, I'm trying not to stress out!!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Surprise! You're In The Hole!

On Monday, I received a letter about my food stamps, and I knew something was wrong. According to the paperwork, I would be getting more money starting next month for food than I thought I should be getting. UGH, it got messed up again?? After reading the letter, the reasoning for the extra money was because I would be paying for Medicare Part B premiums. I knew this was wrong, because Medicaid pays for those premiums. So, I tried calling my case worker on Tuesday. Of course, I had to leave a message with her. Since I hadn't heard anything, this morning I just decided to write a note and send it to her in the mail. I got it all ready to go, and then got a call from her. Wow, surprise! I told her about the notice and what I thought was a mix-up, and she said that she would adjust everything and there would most likely be a change, which I totally expected. So, I went on about my afternoon, spending a couple hours painting outside while it rained around me (I was under the garage door).

I went inside to take Revatio and I got another phone call from Mrs. L. After explaining it several times to me, I realized I was getting really shitty news. It breaks down like this:

I get $944 a month in Social Security Disability (SSD).

The Medicare Part B premium is $115 a month, which used to be paid for by my Medicaid. However, now I will get this taken out of my SSD check every month, which means I only have $829 for my bills.

Also, if I want to keep Medicaid, which I MUST keep, I also need to write a check to NY for $41 a month so that I don't have to worry about things such as paying for oxygen and copays for doctors and tests that I need to have done. So, that leaves me $788 a month for all my bills, gas for the car, money to buy stuff I need (like hair care products, vitamins, Mittens' food and litter, etc etc). Isn't that lovely??

Now I'm sitting here trying to think of what other bills MUST be paid, like the rent, student loan, electricity, etc, and what bills are "frivolous." I guess that would be the internet and tv. What the hell am I supposed to do?? I was already struggling every month trying to figure out how to pay for everything, and now I'm $150 in the hole every month just for medical, which I obviously need. I did call a group called Caring Voice Coalition, which might be able to help me pay for the $41 a month. It's not a lot, but it's something, and if they are able to do it for me, I would be really thankful. In the meantime, I guess I can look for part time work and hope that it won't wear me down eventually. This really just sucks big time!!!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wide Awake

It's 1am here, and I feel wide awake. I had a bad headache after dinner, so I finally took an Excedrin for it around 8pm, which I knew would probably keep me up later than usual. Considering I was pretty tired almost all day, I find it ironic that now I can't sleep. Sigh.

Yesterday, I brought Shelby to the vet with mom. Shelby had her laser treatment, but I'm wondering how much it's really helping her. Her back leg keeps giving out often, and I feel bad. I don't know how much pain she's really in when that happens, but I'm hoping it's not a lot. No matter what, though, Shelby always has a cute little smile on her face. I think that makes it so hard to know what to do for her, because that face makes it seem like she's always happy!!

By the way, the sister kitties were gone. However, they had 2 more kitties in there! A long haired black kitty and a short haired orange kitty occupied the cage. When I went over to look at them, they were both sleeping together. The orange kitty had it's paws wrapped around the black kitty. It was just so adorable! Still can't have them, though!!

I had to bring my mom to her doctor's appt in the afternoon, but before we did that, we stopped at a jewelry store called Firth's to see about selling some gold. I brought in everything I had that looked gold, even though I knew only a few pieces were the real thing. Most of my rings were sapphires, but I did have one that was a heart-shaped oval. I had them take out the stones, and weigh the gold that was real, and I ended up with $62.40. Not too bad. I'm going to save the money, and whatever other money I can save up, to have a couple of custom rings made. I know it's going to cost a lot. I just hate gold jewelry, and didn't think it would be useful to hang onto the gold when I don't wear it. I am hoping I can get something made in either white gold or silver. I'll have to shop around to see which jewelry place can accomodate me!

Today was a rainy day, which we've needed, but it made me tired! I felt like sleeping in, but I got to take a shower and get ready for rehab. My exercise routine helped a little, but I still felt tired when I got home. Despite that, I did 2 loads of laundry, hosted chat, and made lunch before I finally took a nap around 3:30. The rest of the evening wasn't too bad, except for the headache!

It's started to storm here, so maybe I'll go lay in bed and listen to the rain. I'm sure that'll make me sleepy!!

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Finally, An Answer (Maybe??)

Thursday I was discussing this situation with my sister, and I brought up how I was wondering what the heck was still going on with my tongue. I told her I wasn't really sure now if it was the pill that was the culprit, considering it's been 2 months of not taking it, and I wanted to chop off my tongue on Tuesday b/c it was hurting so bad. I said I was looking up oral thrush again, and still, none of the pictures I saw really represented what my tongue looked like. However, when I stuck my tongue out at Mandy (no, not to be mean, just to show her!!), she said she thought I had it. Why? Well, she had 2 kids that had it when they were babies, and she remembered what it looked like. Sooo, when my nurse called me on Thursday afternoon, I told her what Mandy thought, but I did say I wasn't really totally sure. My nurse said she'd ask my doctor, and had called me back 10 minutes later saying my doctor wanted me to try Protonix, which I guess was for acid reflux. I was thinking to myself, huh?? I know that's not my problem! So I asked if I could just be checked for oral thrush first before taking this med, and my nurse put me on hold, and got back with me 2 minutes later with an appt to see my doctor on Friday morning at 11. Yes!!

I got to my appt, was brought back into the room, and eventually saw my doctor. She took a look at my tongue, and said that while I wasn't presenting the typical signs of oral thrush, that my tongue was definitely irritated a lot, and so she was going to treat me as if I had it. This meant an oral rinse, and she wanted me to do it for 2 weeks. So then she tried saying what else could possibly be going on, and she started bringing up acid reflux again, but I stopped her in mid-sentence. I reminded her that I have been on cephalexin for my acne for about 10 months, and she got this huge surprise look on her face and said, "DUH!!! Did I know that???" I said it should be in my chart, and she started apologizing for either missing that part or just forgetting that I was on this med. Now, part of me was like, no problem! But the more I think about it, why wasn't she paying more attention to that??? Anyway, she now totally felt that it was definitely the cephalexin causing the problem, which I had thought about several months ago. But after stopping it for a couple months, nothing got better, so I figured it was ok to take again. Argh!!! What is frustrating is that it IS helping the acne a lot, and I don't want to just stop taking it. So, she told me to call my dermo and ask for a lower dose of the medicine. I will do that on Monday since I didn't get a chance to call after I got home. Sooo, maybe with this rinse that I have to do, things will get better after 2 weeks??? I certainly hope so! It's been almost a year of dealing with mouth issues, and I'm honestly ready for something to be normal in my life again!!!

And the funniest part of the visit to my doctor was when she was leaving the room. She told me to tell "Dr. Mandy" that she was right!! Of course, I told Mandy later and she told me she'd send my doctor (who is also her doctor) her fee! LOL!