Monday, June 30, 2014

Forced Hiatus

Please excuse the formatting or misspellings, I'm doing this on my phone. Once again I haven't been around much, but not by choice, and I wanted to at least give a heads up.
I don't have a laptop anymore (working on it), and my experience with doing freelance writing on my phone made me want to tear my hair out. The library, as usual,  would be problematic (to put it nicely) with a toddler, so I'm limited to times when my husband is home. I don't get to see him much lately anyways, so I Will always chose to come home over staying to tend my blog. I know y'all understand.
Things have been rough lately. We still have to move, but we still have to pay our normal bills, and so we have gotten nowhere. We haven't even bought packing tape yet because it was almost $4, and that seems ridiculous after what we have left to live on, so we haven't even started packing yet. We have been unsuccessful in saving anything for a deposit yet, so I'm not sure how this is all going to work out.
I just keep reminding myself that things will be better soon. Soon.
However it really just feels like when you NEED everything to go smoothly is when it starts going the exact opposite.
My toaster broke this morning. My vacuum barely sucks anymore and smells like burning plastic, but we need clean floors to get our deposit. My baby's sick. We don't know how we our going to get gas money for the rest of the week. My husband's debit card got stolen and over drew our account $300. It remains in the negative while they investigate.
But we just got to hang on a little longer! Hopefully 3 months from now, everything will be better. It's my mantra. We are on the cusp of a drastic improvement in our lives, and we just have to hang on. Now matter how miserable things feel right now, it WILL get better. We are just trying to focus on that right now.
When I have the means again I certainly will have several things to share. As always I'm trying to see everything as a learning experience and will share in the hopes of helping others.
Thanks for being patient, hopefully I'll be back for good before too long.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

PSA: Blood clots

So, I ended up in the ER the other night because I thought I had a blood clot in my leg. Turns out it wasn't, thankfully, but even though we will have yet another medical bill debt, I'm still glad I went. There's nothing like calmly contemplating the fact that if it really is a blood clot, a piece could break off and you could die on the way to the hospital, and texting your husband that you made it there so he knows that didn't happen, right??

Blood clots are nothing to mess around with. Seriously.

There is some family history with blood clots (DVT and PE), but even if you don't have any, you should always get certain symptoms checked out. These of course depend on the location of a suspected blood clot, but here's a good general info page to go check out:

Signs and Symptoms of Blood Clots

Now here's the symptoms I had, and even knowing what it was this time, if it happens again I would be equally concerned.

We went fishing in the even, and as soon as I got home, the back of my calf directly below my knee started hurting every time I walked, like it was swollen or full of fluid. There was one particular area so tender that when my husband barely touch it, I almost hollered. Within 30 minutes, I didn't want to walk around on my leg at all, and the area was even more tender. I had one thumb-print sized red mark, but no other visual signs of anything wrong. To the best of my knowledge, I had not bumped it or bruised it, or hit it or anything I could think of. However, after the fact, I did remember that I had crossed my legs at church earlier that day. Hmmmm.

I took a flashlight into the dark bathroom to see if I could see anything. You know, like when you're a kid, and you use it to shine through your fingers. I was looking at my veins etc. and when I got to the tender spot, there was an enormous...dark.....opaque....areaOMGIhaveabloodclot!

Of course we all know now that it was just a bruise, so yes it was bleeding under the skin, and yes it did make a clot to stop it, but it is NOT the same thing as a Blood Clot, the kind that can kill you. I didn't know that at the time, of course, and it really had me concerned.

Apparently, somehow, I just spontaneously burst a vein and it started bleeding in my leg. I do kind of have flimsy veins, I can't tell you how many "blow-outs" I've had due to IV's and blood draws. The last few days after my last surgery, they were having to replace them about every two hours, and I ended up getting a PIC line instead because they ran out of room.

Now the hospital didn't put in an IV, they didn't draw any blood tests or anything, so I hope it's a random, albeit odd, benign event. They only did an ultrasound to make sure there wasn't a clot. No sign of one. That's the good news! The really good news.

The bad news is, we still haven't been able to pay my husband's ER bill from months ago, so even though I know our circumstances will be improving soon, I'm still worried about it. There's just so much we need to pay for, it's hard for me to see how we will ever pay it off. Sigh.

But hey, in the scheme of things, it really was worth it. I will wait until I'm practically on death's door for just about anything else, but it's stuff like that, that really scares me.

Moral of the story: If you even THINK you MIGHT have a blood clot, it is worth it to get it checked out.
Any of you ever been to the ER for something that turned out to be nothing? Tell me please, so I don't feel so ridiculous.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

...Could this be the end?

Of eating moldy bread because there's nothing left?
Of making my daughter wear diapers a bit too long because we don't have enough to last until payday, and crying because I gave her diaper rash?
Of looking covetously at the stuff people set out on the curb on trash day, because I can't even afford another trash can, much less those really nice looking chairs you threw out?
Could this be the end living off of the discounted bread at the grocery store, despite blood sugar issues?
Could this be the end of making sure our lives are in danger before going to the doctor because we can't afford the bill for anything less?

I'm afraid to hope.

My husband got the job!!!....but it doesn't seem real yet. We still don't know how we are going to pay our phone bill, electric bill, and personal loan we used to get through rent week. I don't know how we are going to afford to move. I can probably get boxes free, but after looking at craigslist, deposits + first month's rent + moving truck + gasoline, is going to be impossible until he's made more money for awhile.

Guys, what if this is the end of needing food stamps? I have never NOT been on food stamps...
What if we really COULD pay our debts, and start savings accounts for our children, have an emergency fund, and maybe even have some left over to get a reliable car, or go visit family, or even just a clothes dresser??

I was so excited when I found out, but I'm afraid!! Why?? I SHOULD be excited, happy, relieved. And I am it's just that I'm afraid too, afraid to believe and trust and hope, and be disappointed again. I'm afraid it's not real. I'm afraid something will happen to ruin it. I'm afraid of being between a rock and a hard place - making too much money for assistance, but not enough to survive. I'm afraid of money increasing, but things not really improving because there are just so many places that money needs to go. I'm afraid that being poor for so long will mean we have issues that will screw up being financially stable.

He will make $34,000/yr salary, with the potential for bonuses if his store starts doing well. It's about 10k a year more than we make now. It seems like a huge amount to me at this moment, but logically and comparatively, I know it's not a whole lot.

Mostly I just can't seem to wrap my head around things changing for the better. I've identified as "poor" for so long, it's like a part of my identity. I know that sounds silly.

I think perhaps I'm in shock - heh. I knew he could get it based on his abilities and merits, I just didn't believe that we would be blessed with that kind of good luck.

And now, suddenly, there could be a time in the near future where I can afford to buy all of the groceries I need for my family for a week. It brings me to tears.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

My love trove.

My husband and I have been so stressed out about this interview coming up, it's really quite sad. We've talked about the good parts; more money, bigger house, reliable vehicles, a college fund for our kids. We've talked about the bad; moving again, being in an urban area, living farther from the water/nature, more traffic, longer hours. We've talked about the in-betweens, and the what-ifs and the maybes. It has been constantly on our minds, in our thoughts and our conversations.

Honestly, it's exhausting.

We've let our selves become so concerned about this, that it's damaging our health, our sleep, and our relationship. Stupid, stupid, stupid! So strangely, a day and half before the interview, the light bulb went on.

We don't need this.

We don't need this job. We need food, and shelter, and clothes, etc. and yes to some extent we need money, but we don't need this job.

We struggle, but we somehow always eat. Sometimes we aren't as presentable as we like (lack of interview clothes is a concern), but at least we have clothes. We think we need more room, but at least we have a house with running water, electricity, and heat in the first place. We think we need to pay debts, and bills, and to save money, but we don't need those things to survive, or even to be happy.

If he doesn't get this promotion right now, or even if he never gets it, we don't lose anything. We will keep going as we always have, making due and doing our best to be happy. Only when the pressure for more money enters the equation, do we weaken at the seams.

Honey, I'm happy, here, right now, with you. With what we have. Sure I'd like more, I'd like things to be easier, but there is so much more to happiness than that. I can die happy without us ever making more money. I cannot make more money and die happy without you and our kids. Y'all are my treasure, my riches, and my wealth. With you, and God, I have everything I need.

I don't care if you get this promotion. I don't care if you get the next one. I don't care if we never make any more money, or if we do.

All I care about is that you are with me through it all.

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