Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Illness Outbreak of the Porcine Nature...

So it seems every where I look someone is panicking about the Swine Flu Pandemic - run scared - ahhhh. But seriously everything I hear from official channels says that this is no worse than any other seasonal flu, has no more risk for damage. We aren't talking about an outbreak of Typhoid here - it's the flu. It sucks BUT if you take reasonable care - stay home and don't spread it - go the doctor if you have sever symptoms - you'll likely weather this just like the last case of flu. Maybe a few pounds lighter, a bit weaker, and much paler BUT you'll be fine.

From what I read only those who are already weakened from other illnesses and the elderly and very young need be concered (as is the case with any flu). And since my husband's immune system is far from normal if I start to show signs I think I'll check into a hotel to keep him safe. But me? I'm not worried about me.

So I refuse to freak out and start wearing masks like freaky Michael Jackson. I definitely don't want to catch it and a nice new bottle of purell sits on my desk for appropriate times, but I'm not worried.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

It's easier to just do it myself...

Today my husband decides he is going to "help me" by doing laundry. So he sorts it all into piles on the bedroom floor and then goes to get a laundry basket to carry it downstairs. He finds that the laundry baskets are all full - of clothes and in the spare room where I keep my clothes. (Cause I just carry the hamper down to the basement and sort the laundry down there and don't need a basket until they are dry.)

He first sends me an nasty email and when I don't respond he calls me to berate me and say that because I "bitch that he never does anything" (which I haven't said a word in months) he decided to help with the laundry but since the baskets are all full of "your shit" I can't do it.

I simply said - "I don't worry about keeping the baskets empty because I'm the one doing the laundry and I know where they are."

He says I'm bitching again - then when I say "no I'm not" he says "do you even know what bitching is?" so I said "Yep it's what you're doing right now and I don't have time for it - GOODBYE!" and I hung up the phone.

So after all that I will come home tonight and still have to do the laundry I'm sure because now he has his excuse for another 3 months of just not bothering to do a damn thing.

Sheesh is it any wonder that I'd rather just do the work myself?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Weekend Update with Norm....

Okay so no Norm McDonald and this isn't really a funny update anyway.

Saturday morning started for me at 3:45am with the alarm ringing. I am so not a morning person and the wee hours are the worst but I get up and get in the shower and start to feel somewhat human again. I get dressed, get the hair some what presentable and throw my contacts and makeup in my purse for later. The animals get fed, the dog is out for the day in his kennel and I'm only 5 minutes late picking up my dad who will drive my car back home from the airport.

Get to the airport with 30 minutes to wait before we start boarding the plane - it's Southwest and I'm in the B group so no real hurry there - I head to McDonald's for some good greasy food to wake me up even more. Sausage Egg & Cheese McGriddle with a hash brown and a diet coke - probably the worst possible breakfast but hey at least I'm not hungry anymore and there really aren't any other choices in Albany Airport at 5:45am.

Flight #1 takes off - uneventful ride to Baltimore, I get some sleep on the journey but not much. We arrive early so my 1 hour layover becomes 1 hour and 10 minutes. I find a bathroom and put in the contacts, put on the make-up to look somewhat human. It's been 2.5 hours since the McD's greasefest and I'm bored so why not get a bagel and cream cheese? I mean really, why not? LOL It wasn't worth eating so after a few bites I gave up.

Flight #2 takes off - very short ride to Pittsburgh, I was in the A group for boarding here and sat in the very front row. We landed early and I rushed off the plane and to the baggage claim area to find my husband and his aunt (not the one who ratted me out to MIL) waiting. It's 10am now.

We drive the hour and 20 minutes back to Small Town, USA and I plan to just drop off the aunt and hit the road but they HAVE to feed us lunch before we go HAVE TO. I don't argue, it's just not worth it and we do have to eat. Say goodbye to the aunt who drove him to airport, and also go to say goodbye to other aunt and uncle who are strangely cold to me. So we finally got on the road about 12:30.

Drive, Drive, Drive, Drive. Hubby says he was surprised at how cold his aunt and uncle seemed to me. I keep quiet. Then he mentions how his mom called him on Friday and gushed about how much she loved her DIL (me) . I can't hold back anymore and ask him WHEN did his mom call him? It was after she called me. I told him why aunt M and uncle A were being cold. I told him that his mom had called and yelled at me and then told me NOT to tell him. I told him I didn't want to keep secrets from him (although I totally do keep some secrets just not this one). He was angry that his mom yelled at me and angry that she seems to think he isn't capable of doing anything on his own.

We arrived home around 8pm on Saturday.

My assessment? The old folks in Small Town, USA over-reacted. Hubby was tired out and walking worse than usual BUT it's not an MS attack and he is already rebounding. All he needed was to sit down for awhile and rest. If he'd spent a day doing nothing but resting he'd have been fine to drive himself home. He's fine today. On Sunday he put the batteries back in the riding mowers and got them started after sitting all winter. He is not any worse than last Sunday before he left.

All is normal in my world. The thing with my MIL will blow over I'm sure, I won't mention it again. The thing with the aunt and uncle, well if they continue to hold this against me it only hurts them, I couldn't care less.

So back to work - another week.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Vacation's over - so is my weekend it would seem...

Pete is having troubles with his right leg. He's tired, it's not responding properly, he's worried it might be an MS attack starting and he might not be able to drive. Oh and he's 450 miles away from home in western PA.

He was going to drive home on Saturday or Sunday. Now he is not sure if he will be able to.

I'm firing up the brain power to figure the best way to handle this - and it makes sense that I fly from Albany to Pittsburgh on Southwest for $150 one way. Someone picks me up there and I drive both of us home. OR someone there drives him (and has a follower to take them back home) about 200 miles and I meet them halfway (and bring my dad to drive car #2). Will cost me about the same in gas as flying out to get him.

Flying makes sense.

I really wish I didn't have to do this at all. I had plans for Saturday that included sleeping in, working in the yard, singing in church at 5pm and going straight to my sisters for a Celebrating Home Party where I would actually earn money hopefully.

Instead it looks like I'll be getting up at 3:30am to leave for the airport by 4:30 to get there at 5:30 and get on a 6:15 flight. Arriving in Pittsburgh at 10am driving an hour back to the small town he's in. Then jumping in the car and driving another 7.5 hours go get home in the evening. At least maybe I can sleep on Sunday?

I'm just praying that if he takes it easy and rests he'll see he is just tired and it's not really an MS attack.

Probably wishful thinking.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Pay it Forward - Giveaway!

I got this from An Eclectic Pagan and it sounds like fun!

The first five people to respond to this post will get something made by me. This offer does have some restrictions and limitations so please read carefully:

  1. I make no guarantees that you will like what I make
  2. What I create will be just for you
  3. It’ll be done this year (2009)
  4. I will not give you any clue what it’s going to be
  5. In return, all you need to do is post this text into a note/post of your own and make 5 things for the first 5 to respond to it.
  6. Please send your mailing address to

IMPORTANT: This offer is null and void if I do not see you post your own note to pay this forward.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

How can I miss you if you won't go away?

I'm getting a much needed chance to miss my husband this week. I can't help but think it will be good for us. Lately we have been bickering more than usual and tiny little disagreements turn into big screaming knock down drag out's. Things that I would normally just let slide just stick in my craw and I can't seem to just ignore them. My stress level is at an all time high and I spend far too much time either seething or crying.

The timing couldn't be more perfect for my husband to go to western PA to visit his family. He will be staying with his aunt who is there on spring break from school (she's a teacher) and spending plenty of time with his other aunt and uncle and his cousins who live in this small town.

I will be plenty worried about him tomorrow as he drives the 400 miles to get there BUT once he is there he plans to stay for about 5-6 days and friends I cannot tell you how happy I am to have a week of blissful time to myself. I have a list of things I want to get done, recipes I want to try (things he wouldn't eat anyway) and I plan to get to bed early every night.

By the time he comes back home in a week I may actually be happy to see him. Sometimes a short break and time to actually miss the ones we love is just what the doctor ordered.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sunday Ramblings...

This post is likely to be all over the place as my thoughts are a bit jumbled this morning but I feel compelled to share.

Friday night a 27 year old woman told me she couldn't believe I was almost 39 and that I looked younger than she did. This made me feel very good. Lately I've been feeling my age and just freaking out in general over turning 39 so her comment made me feel good about myself.

Saturday we searched through folders of USAF paperwork - all Pete's records - looking for his DD214 (discharge paperwork) which we found. But also found one of his folders is complete medical records showing a history of him complaining about MS like symptoms through his entire Air Force career. He had a very hard time in the heat during basic training, it drained him, fatigued him, gave him horrible migraine-like symptoms. Could this have been the beginning of the MS? Perhaps? We also found the record when 1/2 of his face went numb and the diagnosis was sinusitis? Seriously I have sinusitis all the time and my face never goes numb. It seems with how often he was complaining of severe headaches they would have at least done a CT scan but never - they gave him motrin and sent him home.

Saturday night was a big night for my husband - he was confirmed as a catholic during the vigil mass. He grew up catholic but his dad didn't make him finish religious education and so he was never confirmed as a teen like most catholics. He decided about 4 months ago that he wanted to do this and so we started attending church regularly and he started meeting with the priest once a week to learn and discuss. This has been a wonderful boost for him, the meetings with the priest have been like free therapy and he has become a kinder and gentler person through this process. Now he still has that crazy italian temper but it is a bit more under control.

My husband invited my parents and my sister to his confirmation. My sister is fairly non-judgmental but my parents are die hard baptists. Baptists typically judge all the time. I found myself not enjoying the service because every phase of the way I was thinking about what they were probably thinking. I know they were surprised (and probably not pleased) to see me singing with the worship group. It was my first week and I LOVE singing so was so pleased to be asked to join them. I felt my dad's eyes on me the entire time and I could almost hear his thoughts "why is she singing here instead of coming back OUR church". My parents are sure that I will be converting to catholicism any day now but I told them I would not be converting and they look unconvinced.

My husband wants me to convert in the worst way. He asks all the time. I say no all the time. He has his own brand of judgmental - tells me that my parents church isn't really church. I fight him over this. Thankfully when he said it last night our friend was in the car with us (she stood up for him at the confirmation) and she said "that's not fair - of course it's church - it's not mass but it's still church and it's not right to tell people their church isn't church." His argument is that to him it's not - well fine but don't just make blanket judgments as if you are the only one who could possibly judge what is or isn't church. He gets mad at me when I yell at him for saying that and was getting annoyed with me but our friend who is also catholic totally had my back and told him he was WRONG. He didn't like that much.

Today the priest is coming to our house for dinner at 2pm. So I need to straighten up a little, clean a little, and cook a lot. Long day ahead I fear.

Friday, April 3, 2009

In other news - VACATION

I didn't think we'd get to take a vacation this year - just no money for it. But friends of ours who live in Oklahoma and came to see us last year insisted that we come with them to a rental beach house in Galveston in June. They said they would buy our plane tickets and everything! Well I'm far to proud to let someone buy my tickets (we are not totally destitute) so I found and purchased our tickets at a fairly reasonable price. They are renting the house for 4 days and we will be spending 6 days with them (the last 2 at their home in Oklahoma).

So instead of feeling sorry for myself all year because I can't take a real vacation I will be spending 4 days a block from the beach in Galveston, TX - granted in June it might be hot there but if I'm on a beach I won't care! :)

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Today I talked to the regional manager for Veterans Benefits for the Paralyzed Veterans of America in Syracuse. He told me that Pete's is a no-brainer case and that he would absolutely be approved. The PVA case manager is calling Pete today to start gathering information and sending us what we need to get this party started. They seemed hopeful that we could start receiving benefits in just a few months time. He threw out a monthly number that staggered me to be quite honest. It is quite a bit more than hubby's take home pay was from his last job and more than I make in a month so I won't get my hopes up that high but at this point even a few hundred a month would make the difference.

He will also be eligible for VA medical benefits - meaning I could cut my insurance payments in half if we chose to go that route. I think though that I would keep the family plan and have my insurance as secondary for those things that perhaps the VA won't pay for? Things to keep in mind.

Also the VA offers several programs and grants to help pay to make a home wheelchair accessible - we are definitely heading that way some day - holding off as long as possible but it's nice to know they will help pay for this when the time comes.

I am just so relieved. Maybe some of the weight can come off my shoulders? Maybe Pete can have the funds to do a few things to stave off boredom and depression and get out of the house? Maybe bringing in a decent amount of the income tax free will help fight off the depression for good?

Thank you so much Lisa and Diana for the info you provided for me. You pointed me in the right direction and I was able to get this ball rolling faster than I ever imagined. And now I am thinking I won't need to hire the lawyer to fight for SSDI for him after all. It's nice to know that his 10 years of service and the months he spent getting shot at in the desert will take care of him now that he can't do it himself.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

MS Bloggers I need your help!

I found out last night that my husband was still technically in the air force when he was diagnosed with MS. He was an inactive reservist BUT he was not discharged until 6 months after his diagnosis.

I am also reading that service men and women who served in "the sandbox" i.e. Iraq have a higher incidence of MS than the general population. Since no one yet knows what causes MS it could have been triggered by a biological agent he was exposed to? Or some vaccine that they gave him? No one knows but people who have been in the desert are more likely to have MS that much seems to be proven.

I found somewhere else that a diagnosis of MS within 7 years of active duty qualifies that service member for 30% disability payments at a minimum.

What I don't know is:
  1. Is any of this true?
  2. Where can I research this?
  3. Who can I call?
I really don't have time to take on even one more thing in my life right now BUT sheesh if these things are true - he is owned for 12 years of back payments for medical disability from the US Air Force and should be eligible for VA medical, etc?

It tires me to think about chasing this down but I think I have to. If any of you great MS bloggers OR anyone with any military knowledge could point me in the right direction I am going to fight for what he is owed I guess.