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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Mortality and Grief

I've posted before about my grandmother passing and how difficult it had been to deal with. I've posted about my out of this world experience of being at her side while she died. That experience changed my life.

I have a friend whose dad is dying of cancer. He recently has been admitted to hospice, though he is pretty upbeat and still jokes around. I cannot imagine being in this situation with a parent. I've always said that when my mother dies, prepare to dig a hole next to her because that is where I will be shortly thereafter. Yes, that is how hard it WILL be.

But what I've learned is the power of faith is extraordinary. I would not consider myself a "Bible thumper" by any means, however I saw God at work while I was with my grandma. I felt God at work. God gave me strength I never even knew I COULD have. Out of nowhere, my fears left me when I saw my grandma in that hospital bed unresponsive and zombie-like. She knew I was there and squeezed my hand, but she could not open her eyes even though she tried. My usual self would've expected me to curl up in a ball in a corner and bawl my eyes out avoiding seeing her like the plague. That would've been the self-fish and self-centered thing I would've done out of fear and pain. But instead, I went right to her side and stayed there as if it were an instinct and I've done it numerous times (which I never have).

Over two years later, I still can cry at the mere mention of my grandma. I miss her terribly. She still appears in my dreams at night, but I've taken SO much comfort in known I was there for her. I was there to help her, to talk with her, etc at a time when we are most vulnerable and in need. I take comfort in known that my grandma was not afraid to die. She's told me that NUMEROUS times in the past. What I experienced with nothing short of a miracle. Yes, DEATH is a miraculous experience. I felt it. I SAW it. I KNOW there is something more after we die. My grandma left us right after we gave her permission to go. It was within MINUTES after we got back to the hospital in the morning. She hung on. She knew she was going to die and held on before letting go. Why would this happen if she didn't see more after death? I TRULY believe she saw her parents, siblings, friends, my grandfather.

I take SO much comfort in knowing this. I feel amazingly closer to her than I ever have before. I can't explain it, really, but just can tell you to TRUST ME.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

I'm a little bothered this afternoon by many things, but perhaps the most pressing is how close we are to Obamacare.


For the past 10 years, we had always had Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield, a group plan through my husband's employer. It wasn't fantastic. We had deductibles and coinsurances that were not easy to pay, but our individual out of pocket each year was only $1,000..and we all know that doesn't take very long to ring up in the medical area.

Many employers have been making cuts in this economy. That's not news to anyone. These employers have been laying off, making full-time positions part-time, or just not hiring at all....much of it, most recently, due to the ObamaCare. Employers will, most likely, opt for the "fine" than offer benefits because it IS cheaper.

Many of my friends are complaining about employers being "the bad guy" and "corporate welfare" and "cheap"...but does it really matter? I mean, it just IS what it IS. THIS is the situation and it is going to force many people (employed or not), on this government health care plan.

Make no mistake about it (*ahem*), this is going to be one serious eye-opener to those who support Obama and his agenda. How do I know?? Because even *I*, as an opponent, have become aware of some things I didn't know about it.

1. From what I understand, income STILL counts with Obamacare. Many of us opponents have been trying to explain to our lefty friends that this is NOT free.

In fact, I have a friend who made (MAKES...) DOUBLE than what we did (prior to my husband losing his job in January). She lives in a decent size home in a really nice area....driving a relatively new vehicle...just bought a boat and camper.

Kicker? Her kids are on a state health plan because her husband's employer does NOT offer benefits. She was able to get the coverage for them because they submit pay stubs on his OFF season (of work..it's seasonal work). So she works the system to get it. She also is slap shit ecstatic about Obamacare. Little does she know/realize she won't financially qualify (tax returns work better than pay stubs). She will have to opt for a private policy, take the FINE (and still be without coverage), or pay the premium for the medicaid/Obamacare.

So you pay the premium for it. Now what?

2. Now what?? Let me give you a hint as to what is to come. I've already stated above that my husband lost his job of 15 years in January. That put us on medicaid (kids on a similar plan). We never used it up until just a few weeks ago when I needed to get test strips for my glucose meter. AND..for the record, we never were sent coverages for medicaid, etc and so on. What I found out at the end of March: as of April 1, we would be put on a MONTHLY deductible-based medicaid plan. I was NOT prepared for what I learned recently about this:

Our deductible is 196.00/month. PER MONTH. AND..until receipts, etc are submitted to medicaid, the coverage isn't even ACTIVATED (until deductible is met).

Oh. It gets better.

I am on a medication that was, for the past 10 years, a mail order thing. Therefore, it was in a 3 month prescription (versus 1 months). Now that my most recent refill is almost gone, I attempted to get it refilled through our local pharmacy. A three month supply of this med through a local pharmacy is about $400.00. FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS.

Yep. You are thinking what I was thinking (so, the pharmacy would run the medicaid card, see we have the 200 deducible, collect our $200 and bill medicaid for the difference, right?

WRONG.

The pharmacy (or any place) doesn't see an activated coverage until deductible is met (as mentioned). SO, pretty much, you pay in FULL EVERYTHING until that deductible is met..out of pocket. That means, for me, I'd fork out the $400 and submit the receipt. Thankfully, I have a couple of resources I could pull money.

SO, I would pay the $400, submit the receipt, and get reimbursed for the difference of that $400, right?

WRONG.

Well, they just don't do that, says the caseworker. In other words, I would've just paid $400 for a prescription. I met the deductible, but I'm out an additional $200. What happens if I go in for an MRI or for a CT? Or..if the medication was CRUCIAL to sustain life? A cancer med? What if I didn't have even CLOSE to this kind of money to fork out? I mean, it's not like people go on medicaid because it's the BEST there is! People go on it because THEY HAVE NO MONEY!! Give me a BREAK!!

Thankfully, another friend told me Costco has significantly lower costs on meds. Would you believe CVS wanted $400 for a three month supply of my meds while Costco's price was $111?? SERIOUSLY?!

Friends.....this is just a start of what's to come. And how do I know?

Shortly after I learned my great coverage, a friend of mine shared HERS. Her husband, who is my former boss, is legally disabled, legally blind (diabetic), and has a host of other things going on medically. He's been on this and every year they have to reapply. That's not a big deal. HOWEVER, today she learned about HIS new monthly deductible plan.

WAIT FOR IT.









WAIT FOR IT.






868.00/month. EIGHT HUNDRED SIXTY EIGHT DOLLARS.........PER MONTH....they have to pay 868.00/mo before ANY medicaid/medicare will pay for anything. You meet that in a given month, you are great for a few weeks..only to start over the first of the month again.

Huh. What part of "I am disabled and can't work and am BROKE" do these people not get?

Ironically enough, they voted Obama. I want to feel sympathy, but I can't. Not when there was information all OVER the place about what a disaster this would become and people voted it in, anyway. Disparity is blinding, so use your ears!!!!


You bet I'm using this opportunity to say, "I TOLD YOU SO".



Tuesday, February 12, 2013

AWOL

It's been nearly a couple of months since an entry...primarily because I am just plain TIRED ALL of the time. Combo of sugar/insulin and Celiac Disease. I was doing fine with being gluten-free, but then Chick-Fil-A happened right after New Year's when we were in a different state!! LOL I am a SUCKER for that stuff! I promised to be straight from there on out, but I was never good with promises.

My husband also recently lost his job of 15 years. FIFTEEN years and they just dropped him on his ass. Not surprising, really. They knew he was applying internally for advancement. Because the office he was in consisted solely of 3 people, they couldn't afford to lose him. They gave him a 10K raise (RED FLAG) and tossed him a manager title they eliminated 4 years ago. Almost two months later: BUH BYE.

Moral of the story: If it looks like a fish and it smells like fish, IT IS FISHY. (and never work for the company that bought Detroit Ball Bearing).

It was weird....a little grieving, but this is finally an open door to do what we really want to do: GET OUT OF THIS STATE! I am not mentioning where at the moment, but they don't get snow and the sun shines all but maybe 10 days of the year. THAT is what I want. And looking at how many jobs that post a day in that location: JUST WOW. When one door opens, another closes...and I, for one, am STOKED. Do I shake the old boss' hand? I'd LOVE TO SO. :)

We've already started purging in the house. I am in AWE at how much STUFF accumulates over 10 years. Take my advice! If you haven't touched it in the past year, CLEAR IT OUT. It makes life SO much easier. I've completely come to understand where the clothes moths have come from in the attic area. YIKES.

I just don't think this is going to be an quick move.....and that really isn't good for the impatient types: ME.





Friday, December 14, 2012

Sandy Hook, Connecticut






The day started out a little differently today as it was. Normally, because of an iron deficiency and Celiac Disease, I sleep until whenever I wake up and get out of bed. This morning, however, I had a 1030 appointment. Right before I left home, I saw a headline that mentioned a school shooting in Connecticut. I didn't take any time to read about it as I was heading out the door and besides, let's be honest: this isn't an uncommon thing to hear about any longer in our society.

I feel SICK even SAYING that: "...it isn't an uncommon thing to hear about....".

Are we becoming "immune" to tragedies of innocent people?


I will be straight out and honest. Although upon reading the headline, I thought, "Another shooting? That sucks" and out the door I went. But what I didn't realize was the magnitude of this incident and the impact it would have on MYSELF.

It was almost 1130 when I finally was able to get out of the doctor's office. Because my husband asked me to, I called him when I was done. That is when I heard a little more about this shooting. At this point, I believe he told me they were only saying about 4 confirmed dead.


I needed to run to Hobby Lobby for a few things so after I was done talking to my husband, I headed that way. All the way there, I listened to Fox News on Sirius XM. The more I learned, the worse I realized this was becoming. It was in the scrapbook paper aisle looking for a news stream on the iphone when I came across a headline that gave an ASTOUNDING number of deaths. At that point, it was about 18 total, but it was COMPLETELY enough for me to go over the edge.

It was right there and then I started crying. Maybe it was the number of deaths? Maybe it was that it was a school? Maybe the fact that while Sandy Hook just lost their principal, our principal's last day is NEXT Friday? Could it be the fact these kids are the same age as my son? Or maybe it was the fact this school, Sandy Hook, is VERY similar to the school my own children attend. Sandy Hook is rated a 10 on Great Schools' website. The schools in my kids' district are also at 9s and 10s in an affluent area.

My blood sugar started dropping (very wrong timing), but all I wanted to do was see my kids. I was sweating, shaking, desperately trying to finish up shopping for the things I needed, and wiping small streams of tears seeping from the corners of my eyes.

Somehow, I made it through the checkout and to the car.....called my husband again, and lost my emotions completely. I wanted to go home, but I needed to eat because of my blood sugar. I wanted to go to my kids' schools and take them home, but I didn't want to disrupt school and let the Connecticut gunman "win". I wanted to eat, but I wanted to do all of the other things I mentioned.

McDonald's was my first stop. I am "supposed" to be gluten-free due to Celiac Disease, but at that point, I didn't care. I scarfed down a regular cheeseburger and a yogurt parfait (that was Celiac Disease-friendly).

At 230, I was supposed to be at my son's school for his gingerbread house making party, but I couldn't wait that long to see my kids. On my way to school, I called my mother at work. THANK GOODNESS FOR BLUETOOTH CONNECTIONS! I was able to talk and drive at the same time.

SO, while I was hoping Mom would be able to calm me down, I kind of got the opposite.

"You need to get on that school PTA and blah blah blah school security and blah blah".

UGH. Thanks, Mom.

I pulled in first to my daughter's school at 130 (second grade is in a different building as Kindergarten). Upon entering the front door, I went to the small table outside of the office where visitors are supposed to sign in and grab a visitor badge to wear.

That was one thing that pissed me off.

I looked around and nobody from the office came out to question me about where I was going or anything like that (office is all glass walls). Should I have laughed or cried?????? UGH!

SERIOUSLY??!!!!

Once I put the pen down from signing my name, I grabbed one of the generic visitor badges that was in a pile in a box waiting for other random people to utilize. I didn't even clip it on me. I held onto the badge and proceeded to walk down the hall to my daughter's classroom.

The gym doors were open as I passed and there were kids in gym class running around. I passed what appeared to be a music class with their classroom door open. There were kids sitting in the hall at desks doing possibly makeup work. Still, not one person stopped me, asked who I was or where I was going.

SERIOUSLY??!!!

I walked right into my daughter's classroom where the kids were busy working on some math paper quietly. The teacher was at her desk looking down at something and had no idea I even entered the classroom.

It wasn't until my child said, "MOMMY!!" that her teacher even looked up to see what was happening.

UGH!

I snuck over to her teacher and told her I just really felt compelled to stop in because of the entire Connecticut thing. She looked at my completely dumbfounded and pulled me in the hall so that I could fill her in on things.

With today's technology, that school district couldn't quickly send teachers email to let them know briefly what happened to maybe be on the lookout for any weird or suspicious activity (maybe COPYCAT behavior?).

Obviously, we didn't talk about it in class, but I decided to take my daughter with me to my son's party and since it was about 2p with only about an hour left in school, it wasn't a huge deal.

NOWWWWWW........I got to my son's school and had a hard time trying to find a place to park. This school district ALWAYS has a large turnout of parents at events (which is good!). When my daughter and I walked into the front door, again, there was nobody around to question who we were or where we were going. There isn't even a sign-in sheet for visitors anywhere.

Seriously.....................

We walked down the winding hall and once again, there are open classroom doors filled with parents and students doing their gingerbread houses. I didn't see one teacher or any other school employee in the hallway and not one person questioned me, stopped me, said hi to me....NOTHING.

Seriously!??!!???

For the record, I am not psychopath killer, but who was to say that I didn't turn into a freaky mother toting a weapon?? Sure, a few people know me from school....some may have seen me around.....but they don't KNOW me and I bet most couldn't tell you whose mother I am!

WHERE IS THE OUTRAGE??? WHY are people just permitted to walk the halls of school without being questioned IMMEDIATELY?

While making gingerbread houses, I looked around at the kids around me. ALL of them about 5 years old and in kindergarten. I tried to stay focused on the project at hand, but it was difficult not to think about the parents that have lost their children....the sweet and innocent children like I was amongst today.

When I asked my son's teacher if she heard about Connecticut, she hadn't, either. When I told her about it, she said, "I am so glad out school has the security it does".

Security??? Was she kidding?????

UGH!!!!

It may be time for this white momma to get involved in some PTA or get beastie and vocal on an administration building/school board.

Sandy Hook had probably one of the greatest systems. Unfortunately, somehow, someway, the suspect was able to get around it.

May God be with the people and families that are impacted in any way by this needless tragedy <3

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Still time left!!

There is still time to enter to win "Catch a Falling Snowflake"! Such talent, Willa!!





Good luck to everyone!! :)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Prim Ornie Giveaway.....

I found a cute blog tonight while surfing through blogs that I already follow. Tammy made the MOST DARLING little Santa ornament and she wants to give it AWAY TO YOU!! Seriously! It's stuffed with rags and straw so it actually feels like a vintage primitive ornie :)




Head on over and check Tammy's blog out and see sweet little Santa....<3

Friday, November 23, 2012

Life Changes......

Do you believe in things such as palm reading? I remember in middle school, a classmate looked at my palm and told me my life line was "cut off"....symbolizing a "cut off" life. And when you look at that life line, it stretches down my palm, but another unknown line clearly intersects it, forming a perfect T. The life line stops right there.

From that moment, I truly always believed that my life would be shorter than average. In fact, I am actually surprised I've made it to 40. Though, it's no surprise that beginning January, midway into my 39th year, things started going downhill.

It started with the eyesight. Oh YES...the dreaded eyesight!! When the optometrist said, "BIFOCALS", I said, "Nuh huh! MY MOTHER has bifocals..NOT ME!!" But when they put those suckers on my face and presented some text, I couldn't deny the fugly truth.

Bifocals it was.

A few months later (and many blood tests later), it was PCOS and insulin resistance.

WOW. Insulin resistance. That would entail learning how to eat differently.

I guess it may not have been so bad if we were like a "normal" household. Cooking meals is a rarity. Ever since I was pregnant with my daughter, I've become extremely picky and sensitive to "textures" of food, smells, sights, etc.


My OBGYN sent me to a gastro because I had been experiencing some weird painful cramping on my sides after I eat. Doctor suggested IBS, but suggested the wonderful colonoscopy. He added the endoscopy, as well, since I do experience the reflux.

By the time the procedure rolled around, I had reached the 40 mark.

Biopsy from the endoscopy came back as CELIAC DISEASE.

Oh yes.

CELIAC DISEASE.

My mouth dropped open.

Where in the HELL did that come from?? I didn't even know I was being tested for that.


But....that's what it was. The villa were all blunted and that explained the low levels of iron and vitamin D.

Beautiful.

My first shopping trip after I was brave enough to go gluten-free resulted in tears in the middle of the store.

What a slow, complicated process of learning and, honestly, unlearning.

I became fed up, gave up, and restarted 4 weeks later.

Now I am nearly 2 weeks out of gluten free. It's been hell. And I am not going to lie about that.

There is nothing fun about this. There is nothing YUM about this. Quite honestly, I am disgusted by the food that have been made "gluten-free" such as breads, cookies, crackers, etc.

There is NOTHING good about them. In fact, even the cookies don't leave me saying, "Ugh...I just ONE MORE, please!". Nope.

I've tried the homemade baked goods from a local chef at a country club even.

Nope. Not my thing. Horrific.

So, pretty much, I'm left with eating things that are natural. Fruits, vegetables, and meats. In theory, dairy should even be left out until the intestines heal, but I don't think I can deprive myself of that.

But my one LOVE LOVE LOVE is GF Mongolian Beef from PF Changs.

I don't understand why people decide to go gluten free when they aren't medically obligated to it. I really just don't understand and I HATE THOSE people. I would completely trade places with them in a second. There is NOTHING fun about this lifestyle. NOTHING.

And let me be the first to tell you, it pisses off family members who don't understand the disease.

I experienced it first hand at Thanksgiving yesterday when my step-father swore at me with a "Je*** Ch****" as if I was just being "picky". When he "apologized", I said that he was mean and he yelled again with, "I just said I was sorry! What the hell else can I do?"

It's not an easy road. The rocky road I was trying to mend from the past with him has since uprooted again. My heart hurts and I just don't know if it can heal again. This is my health. This isn't about high school issues in the past of missing curfew, etc. This is about MY HEALTH. And I have two kids. I am 40 years old and I am not going to sit there and take it from him.

Ironically, it was my schizophrenic uncle that was the most understanding of them all.

Oh, how I miss my days as a child spending my time at my grandparents' (my uncle lived there, too).