Friday, February 27, 2009

Flying by the seat of my pants...

It is how I feel about life right now and I don't like it BUT it's not a new feeling - this used to be how I lived my life.

Payday would arrive and I'd breathe a sigh of relief and get that check in the bank before the checks I wrote the night before bounced. I didn't know what it was like to have a cushion, I sometimes chose which bill to short this month because there just wasn't enough. It was usually a credit card bill and soon my credit SUCKED and I couldn't get a new credit card to save my life. I even stopped getting the free offers cause they didn't want to waste the postage to get my hopes up.

Then I met my now husband and decided I should try to become more fiscally responsible. We moved in together and my car was a piece of crap and dying. After rescuing me a few times and changing my alternator once he decided I needed a new car and when he said a new car he meant BRAND SPANKING NEW. He gave me some cash to put down and helped me get a brand new Toyota Corolla and I loved that car!

Soon after my grandfather decided he should offer to bail me out as he had done to my sister and my mom and my aunt before me. He sent me a check big enough to pay off all my credit card debt with the caveat that I close the accounts and never rack up CC debt again. (I did great for a long time btw!) And I paid him back as much as I could every month for 4 years until I was completely out of debt.

Then I married the man with the golden credit. And 10 years later my credit is nearly as golden as his - I think the credit rating companies are sexist and give a few extra points for having a penis (but that is another post entirely).

Now I value my credit rating, I cherish it, I don't want it to drop. But I wonder how long it will be until I have to start making choices again? I think it's just my decade of fiscal responsibility has gotten me used to having a nice big cushion in my checking account and a side account with easily accessible cash for emergencies. But the emergency happened when my husband became unemployed. The side account is gone, the checking account cushion is 1/4 of what it used to be and I am nervous all the time.

I never used to mind this and in fact 10 years ago if my checking account had the balance I have now I'd have thought that was GREAT! Today it gives me a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.

I guess I grew up and sometimes being grown up and responsible really sucks! At least I haven't paid a bounced check fee in a decade, that part is good I guess!

I'm still flying - at least I haven't crashed and burned - YET!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I'll Stand By You

Oh, why you look so sad?
Tears are in your eyes
Come on and come to me now
Don't be ashamed to cry
Let me see you through
Cause I've seen the dark side too
When the night falls on you
You don't know what to do
Nothing you confess
Could make me love you less

I'll stand by you
I'll stand by you
Won't let nobody hurt you
I'll stand by you

So if you're mad, get mad
Don't hold it all inside
Come on and talk to me now
Hey, what you got to hide?
I get angry too
Well I'm a lot like you
When you're standing at the crossroads
And don't know which path to choose
Let me come along
cause even if you're wrong

I'll stand by you
I'll stand by you
Won't let nobody hurt you
I'll stand by you
Take me in, into your darkest hour
And I'll never desert you
I'll stand by you

And when...
When the night falls on you, baby
You're feeling all alone
You wont be on your own

I'll stand by you
I'll stand by you
Wont let nobody hurt you

I'll stand by you
Take me in, into your darkest hour
And I'll never desert you
I'll stand by you
I'll stand by you
Wont let nobody hurt you
I'll stand by you
Wont let nobody hurt you
I'll stand by you

This song by the Pretenders came on the other day while Pete and I were driving somewhere together. And it hit me that the more time goes on the more I am his protector, the more he needs me. And even though I bitch about it sometimes and fear it all the time I know I am up for the challenge because through it all I still love him madly.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Doctor Woes...

So after all that mess (see here) I think we have been wooo'd back to the doctor that pissed me off so much a month ago. We sent in the form requesting his records be transferred to the new neurologist and called to cancel his appointment this Thursday and that set off a string of calls.

The office manager (that we LOVE) called Pete and said - "what is going on?" and he filled her in to the best of his knowledge, which with his memory isn't all that great. But she said she was going to talk to the Dr. and rattle his chain a little. Pete told her that he liked the doctor and wouldn't mind working things out so he didn't have to change. So I figured I better call her and give her the true picture of what is happened. And I did give her every last detail that all culminated with us being royally pissed off.

She said she talked to the doctor and asked him if he was "gruff" with Pete and the doctor said he was because he was frustrated that we didn't want to do as he was requesting. So I gave her my side of the story:

We were okay with the idea monthly visits at first UNTIL he wouldn't give him the drug that works great for his headaches and instead was insisting Pete go to their headache clinic and actually told Pete that "MS doesn't cause headaches" which frankly is just a crock of you know what. Then the doctor gets snotty with us to boot.

She understood our frustration, she said she'd get the files ready if we really wanted to go and that she would miss us. She also said if financial hardship was part of the problem that the doctor would waive co-pays. I was surprised at that and pleased. She also told me that Biogen is now starting to STRONGLY recommend that all patients be seen monthly before their infusion and soon will be requiring it.

So - Pete is going to keep his appointment on Thursday. I can't go with him although I really wish I could but the Office Manager (that we LOVE) said she'd go in and play mediator if needed between the two of them and get to the bottom of all this. I trust her, she will call me after and tell me how it went. If Pete feels comfortable with it he will change his Tysabri infusion site to the doctors office and see the doctor before his infusions every 4 weeks. And there will be no co-pay required for these visits. Still a 70 mile commute versus a 25 mile one but some trade-offs I am willing to make.

As for the recommendation that Pete go to their "Headache Center" he's not going to do it. If the doctor won't give him the Neurontin that has been working so well for him for the past 6 years he will get it from his PCP who usually has no issue prescribing things for him.

So we may be sticking it out with this doctor. I hope on Thursday he at least apologizes for being so "gruff". I told Pete I wouldn't cancel his other appointment with the new doctor until after Thursday so he could be sure what he wants to do. I really wish I could go with him but I have a meeting and just can't take the time AGAIN on such short notice. Maybe it's better - he will decide on his own and I won't be able to influence him one way or the other?

Friday, February 20, 2009

My worst fears...

My husband has multiple sclerosis, anyone who has read this blog for long has probably realized this. It is one of the many things that we deal with day to day. It is one of the things that I fear greatly. It has taken his athletic ability. It has taken his ability to walk steadily and unaided. It has taken his short term memory. And now I fear it has taken his ability to comprehend and learn new things which will greatly decrease his employability.

My husband is also unemployed right now - he has been since the 1st week of October. He has been an IT professional for nearly 25 years now and was always very good at what he did. But while visiting his family in Ohio at New Years he seemed confused by things that used to be 2nd nature to him so I fixed everyone's computers for them instead of him.

In an effort to see if he can learn a new trick or two he enrolled in a Java programming class at a local community college. He has programmed before in other languages (C, Visual Basic, Fortran) so the basics of programming are not new to him. But he can't seem to grasp this class. He is struggling. He can't stay focused, he can't remember what he's doing, he isn't grasping the material, he's becoming extremely frustrated. Today he is spending the entire afternoon with my mother (who is a retired computer programmer) in the hopes that she can help him understand what he's doing.

Let me repeat that - my husband is WILLINGLY spending the entire afternoon with his mother-in-law because he is that desperate to get the hang of this.

Last night he nearly begged me to let him drop the class - I told him absolutely NOT. We paid for this and he will see it through. He will do his best, and if he doesn't pass so be it but he will NOT quit. Then I stomped off to the bedroom and was watching TV and thinking of falling asleep when he came in and said "don't be mad at me." I melted - but I did not give in on the quitting part.

But it seems that focusing, learning, retaining new material is not going to be easy for him anymore. He used to be a quick study and an A student and I'm sure this is killing him.

I'm wondering if when we see his new neurologist next month if it isn't time to discuss SS Disability as an option. He can't do physical labor as he can't be on his feet so even a retail job would be too exhausting. He isn't able to learn and retain new information so if he does get a job is he going to end up let go for not "getting it" after a few months? Retraining for a new career seems to be out of the question.

The pressure to "support" both of us is becoming a burden that is too heavy for me. I have to keep on keeping on but I find myself buying Mega Millions tickets and praying for a miracle.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Crazy Hypochondriac Co-worker is calling her normal kid "Special Needs"

A co-worker that is prone to drama and hypochondria has taken to calling her beautiful, normal, one year old little girl a "special needs" child. Why you may ask? Because she has had a lot of respiratory infections this winter and actually had to have her adenoids removed. I've read up on this the adenoid removal isn't really a serious surgery and plenty of kids have to have it - and well prone to colds and bronchitis? It seems like this too is fairly common it certainly mirrors how I grew up (croup and chronic bronchitis were part of my life) and I was never labeled as "special needs".

I just hate to hear that term thrown around so lightly in an attempt to garner sympathy for her pathetic mother. To me the term "special needs" kids should be saved for kids with a physical or mental handicap that truly do have special needs and require extraordinary care or assistance.

Every kid gets bad colds, lots of kids have bronchitis, lots have their adenoids out.

This woman is a single mom - tried to trick her ex-boyfriend into marrying her by getting pregnant and he wouldn't be sucked into her drama again. He is out of the picture completely - pays his child support and that is all. He didn't want another child, told her so and refused to be trapped. She went ahead and had this baby on her own and now has used and abused the leniency our office has to the point that much of that is being taken away from all of us and it can be traced to her abuse of the system.

Here are somethings she has done:
  • "Worked from home one day a week" to save on childcare - anyone who has ever spent any amount of time with a baby knows she wasn't working on anything work related those days - she checked email and that is that.
  • Her hours are 8-5 and she often comes in at 9 and leaves at 4:30 but still takes an hour lunch each day.
  • Managed to get the lightest account load of anyone and still whine and complain about being overworked YET has time to make the rounds and go chit chat with everyone for hours of the day.
  • Somehow talked her boss into giving her a raise because she needed it for the baby (her story).
  • She called in to "work from home" a few weeks ago because it snowed - I live 50 miles away and I made it in ON TIME, she lives 7 miles away and was afraid to drive (call a taxi then).
Add to all this that the girl is just crazy as a loon, batshit crazy, marches to the beat of the music in her own little brain, etc. and that poor baby is going to grow up thinking she's constantly dying of some horrible malady that makes her special needs.

And good news for her the new crazy spending bill that was passed through Congress will open things up for her to get public assistance when she gets fired for her crazy abuse of the system here, so she'll be able to milk the system for everything she can get for her special needs baby.

I know the dad too used to work with him - I wish I knew him well enough to tell him that he should step in now before his daughter's life is ruined beyond repair by her crazy mother. He wouldn't but he should.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

What happens in Vegas...

Should definitely stay in Vegas! Unless you are me - then you do crazy things in Vegas while on business trips with co-workers and it becomes the stuff of legends by the time you get back to the office.

Before I start with the story let me tell you that this happened in November 1997 when I was hopelessly young and desperately single.

I worked for the textbook publishing company and was in Las Vegas for some giant trade show that catered to teachers who by the way are insanely crazy people when not torturing little children with said textbooks. I had my own room at the Las Vegas Hilton and was there with approx 10 of my co-workers the majority of whom were also in their mid to late 20's and ready to party for the entire 5 days we were there. Traveling to Vegas on an expense account is great - fabulous dinners, free flowing booze, free room, and only 6 hours a day that I was expected to be "working". We started out strong with about 3 hours of sleep on the first night and it only got worse from there! We stayed up until the wee hours riding roller coasters, watching fountains erupt, pirate ship shows, wandering around picking up random cards from hookers (to see who could get the most) and doing everything but gambling (we were all rather poor and gambled away our spare change on day 1).

By the last night there I think I had a permanent blood alcohol level of WASTED. We went to the Motown Cafe for dinner - a group of about 8 including one single sales rep that I had an amazing crush on. I started out with Top Shelf Long Island Iced Tea in a 23oz Beer Glass (souvenir of course) and things just went downhill from there. The place was HUGE - had to be about 300-400 people packed in there and it was karoke night! I don't know if I've ever mentioned it but when I'm drunk I fancy myself to be quite the diva and it didn't take much for my friends to convince me that I should TOTALLY sign up and sing. After my 2nd 23 oz Top Shelf Long Island I was able to drag my tongue off the table long enough to agree with them but not long enough to pick a song but never fear - my friendly co-workers took care of that for me.

About an hour and a 3rd drink later I heard my name over the speakers - WHAT? Why were they calling me and more importantly how did I get on this stage and were those fuzzy blobs out there really people staring at me? Then the music starts and the words are on the screen in front of me - a microphone is in my hand and I start singing - I Will Always Love You - the Whitney Houston version. I was starting to sober up - I think it was the adreneline - and I was horrified. I stumbled through and finally exited the stage by missing the last step and falling flat on my face, thankfully my co-workers dragged me up and out and thank GOD I didn't have to go back to the table. They all told me I sang beautifully. I'm sure they all lied through their teeth, I could hardly hear the music, I was barely able to stand, and the words kept blurring before my eyes.

As we exited the restaurant there was a vintage convertable behind velvet ropes filled with wax dummies of the Four Tops I think? A nice big sign said "DO NOT TOUCH" and somewhere there is a picture of me laying across the hood holding the sign in my teeth. Unfortunately I am no longer in possession of said picture (I might have burned it?) but it made the rounds at my office along with the entire brutal story once I got back. Sexy sales guy I had a crush on avoided me like the plague after my performance and I have a vague recollection of perhaps dedicating the song to him?

There are reasons why I don't drink like that anymore (other than wanting to keep my liver) and the desire to avoid complete and utter self humiliation is at the top of the list! If you want further proof of why I shouldn't drink - try reading this one.

Thankfully just about 3 weeks after this crazy week in Vegas I met my now husband and my life started to settle down.

If this made you laugh even a little show me some love here --> Humor Blogs

Monday, February 9, 2009

Lunchroom Conversations

Lunchroom conversation between me and my fabulously gay friend B:

B: How are you?
Me: Not good - feeling in a fog today

B: Oh really? Do you know you just put grapes in the freezer then?
Me: Yes! They actually are good frozen

B: I just thought you were nuts
Me: Well that too I guess

For the record - white grapes are fabulous frozen!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Unequally yoked...

Hey ya'll (trying out my southern tone today)!

My title, Unequally yoked, is a phrase I heard a lot as a child/teen/early twenty something because I grew up in the Baptist church and it was considered a crime of the highest degree to date or marry someone who was not the same faith as you. I have to say I searched for a good Baptist boy but they were all dating the wild girls and not interested in the likes of me. I spent a lot of time being single and alone. I did finally meet a nice guy at church and my parents approved and things were going well - we went out on several dates when I was 23 years old and I thought he was super nice. Then he just dropped off the face of my world - no sorry, no call, no nothing, just complete and utter avoidance. He stopped coming to church and ended up with one of them there wild women who "put out" or so I heard! He should have stuck around a year later I was one of those wild women myself! LOL

So I gave up on finding a nice guy at church and the next guy I dated seriously was catholic (just a tiny step up from a heathen of maybe down? in the Baptist world) and my parents were horrified of course. Then when I moved in with him they begged me to marry Mr. Wrong just so I wouldn't be living in sin. I totally ignored that request and threw him back out of my apartment after a few months.

Then I moved to Ohio, again searched churches for nice guys (bigger pool out there) but had no real luck. Made some great friends but no one to date. I met my next boyfriend in a bar (gasp) but surprisingly he was a Baptist too, a divorced baptist with 2 kids and again my parents were horrified. After this good Baptist boy cheated on me with a girl from work and broke my heart I was pretty much done with Baptist boys.

Enter my husband - catholic by upbringing but pretty much free of religion as far as I could tell. We got married in a Methodist church because he didn't want to do all the things necessary to get married catholic and well there wasn't any Baptist minister willing to perform the ceremony to "unequally yoke" me to an unbeliever. The Methodists were fine with marrying us as long as we paid the rental fee for the church! LOL

So fast forward to today - married 8 years, fairly happy much of the time, haven't really attended any church (other than holidays) for 10 years. This past Christmas Eve I suggested to my husband as we were leaving midnight mass that maybe we should start going to mass weekly. I don't want to become catholic BUT I do find the services comforting, meaningful, moving and I can talk to God as easily there as in a Baptist church and there seems to be much less judging there. So he said he'd like that and we started going weekly. Add to this that he has decided after all these years that maybe he'd like to be confirmed and is talking to the priest and doing the studies to make that happen. He'll likely be confirmed at Easter this year. He asks me if I'm going to become catholic and I tell him "no, I don't see the need" but I will attend catholic church and worship with them and I'm fine with that.

Yesterday I was telling my parents this. They said "so you're going to become catholic?" and I said NO. So my dad suggests that I should let my husband go to mass alone and I should come to church with them instead. REALLY??? I haven't attended ANY church in 10 years - you'd think they'd see this as a good step but instead they'd rather I attend nowhere than go to mass? And that I should let my husband go to church alone and I should do the same just because there are some minor differences in beliefs?

It really did annoy me and I hope they don't plan to continue to suggest this arrangement. AND no way am I telling my husband of their suggestion as he'd freak out.