Thursday, January 11, 2018

Where To Begin

Friday, January 5 my hubby got a call from his brother while he was at work. His mom had been hit by a car. She was hurt and crying. His dad, who was with her, was frantic. Details were sketchy. Hubby called me with the news, said we would talk more when he got home. He was upset and worried.

I immediately went to the bedroom closet and pulled out his suitcase. It was maybe an hour later hubby called me and asked if I could look up ticket costs.

Already on it, I told him.

Turkish Airlines was the best price. He called me from HR and made the arrangements with his work. He would fly out Monday evening and return in mid-February.

Over the weekend, after many video chats with family and seeing pictures of his mom, we learned more details. To make a long story short, two guys were drag racing. One guy hit mom and broke her ankle. X-rays determined fractures but not complete breaks. She was bleeding, so the open would was closed at the hospital.

From that point, things became more confusing. Hubby was told she needed another surgery. Hospitals are different there. Family members need to buy or bring bandages. We bought boxes of medical supplies and crammed them into hubby's suitcase. He could buy them there, but they are cheap, so he stocked up. He also brought a walker that I had in the closet. The airline accepted it, no charge.

Hubby flew out of Chicago on Monday evening and landed in Kosovo on Tuesday. He was relieved and happy to see his mom and family. Two uncles from Canada flew in. Hubby and two other family members donated blood, as his mom had been given blood. That's how it works there. (That explains why my hubby wanted to give blood after learning I got 3 pints during my neck surgery. It was explained to him that he didn't need to, insurance paid for it.)

It is now Thursday, and I am still not clear about his mom's situation. She has had scans, and the fractures are not breaks, just fractures. I don't know why she needs more surgery, but the surgery is delayed. They have a shortage of doctors. His mom has a weak heart. Hubby's father knows a lot of people, and has located a good doctor, things will get worked out.

The driver of the car who hit my mother-in-law was caught. He admitted to drag racing. There will be a court date, complete with a record of medical costs. The driver will never drive again. He is suspended for life. The court appearance will determine how much he needs to pay. Justice is swifter over there.

Hubby was planning a trip to Kosovo in May or June. He and his cousin were going to fly together, have a ton of fun and visit family. Things can change in an instant. Hubby got 2 weeks vacation and a month of personal leave. Good thing we have the money saved. That was the main reason I talked to hubby about renting instead of buying. Better to have the money in savings than use it for a down payment.

Speaking of our new apartment, we must be out of this apartment 11 days after hubby comes home. I have begun packing. It helps keep me focused. After all the sadness I went through last year, I have been struggling to get back on track. Motivation is difficult. I have been depressed. Maybe I still am.

Walmart didn't have any boxes available but the liquor store did. I took a picture. I thought it was funny.

Nope, no party, just packing

Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year!

We had company last night, and lots of laughter. That was good. It's sunny today, and cold as snot.

I was thinking over the last 5 years:

2013 - my hubby immigrated to America from Europe. It was a year of discovery for him.
2014 - we sold my house and moved to California
2015 - we explored the far northern coast of California
2016 - we moved to Wisconsin, I had surgery on my neck, my younger daughter moved here.
2017 - the year my younger daughter got her angel wings. Hands down, this was the hardest year I ever endured in my life.

We are looking forward to moving to a new apartment the end of February. 2018 needs to be a year of healing for me.

Happy New Year to all

Saturday, December 30, 2017

How Does He Do That?

Yesterday was a real bad day. I don't know if it was because of the gloomy weather or the change in medication, but I was holding my daughter's picture and sobbing.

My phone rang. It was my hubby.

"What happened? Are you alright?"

"Yes", I answered. "I'm fine. Everything is ok. I'll text you when I see your work schedule for tomorrow."

I tried to pull myself together but it wasn't working. I posted on Facebook "Today is one of those days..." I wrote in the online support group. I cried some more.

Hubby called me three times from work, worried about me. He never calls me from work, or very rarely. How does he know?

Other than the tears, the only other news was my endo doc's nurse called. The doc switched my thyroid medicine to 88, because 75 was too low and 100 is too high. I also have a pill to take at 11 pm, whenever I'm sure I can get to the lab at 8 am the next morning. It's called Dexamethasone. It is a corticosteroid, similar to a natural hormone produced by the adrenal glands. It often is used to replace this chemical when the body does not make enough of it. In my case, it will be used to diagnose why my Cortisol level is elevated.

The sun is shining and I'm not crying. I'm feeling better. Hubby is off tomorrow and Monday. We always look forward to time spent together. Too bad it will be colder than snot.

Several of my Facebook friends are sick. I do hope they recover and feel better so they can ring in the New Year.

Best Wishes to Everyone and Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Sort of a Good Time

We buzzed down to Indiana on Saturday and enjoyed dinner with my daughter, her hubby and two of their friends. It was a fancy restaurant. The food was good, however I wasn't thrilled with what I ordered. We stayed at my daughter's through Christmas. I was great to see her and her hubby and his kids. What made it a "sort of a good time" was my heavy heart. It really hit me when we were on the way home. Driving past the area where my daughter was buried, driving past the old neighborhood where I raised her....I didn't feel better until we crossed into Wisconsin.

I saw my doctor on Wednesday. My thyroid is low (again), so my medicine is getting adjusted up. I've been tired, depressed and gaining weight. I'm up to 160, which is a shock. I haven't been that heavy in years. My doc said one of my medicines is notorious for causing weight gain. Well, that could explain it, as I am not eating like I was when I was beginning this new life, learning to live without my daughter.

My doc wants to change my medicine, but oh joy of joys....Medicare has very few Tier 1 diabetes medicines. A couple are Tier 2 and the rest are 3 or 4. What that means is most of them are going to cost hundreds of dollars per month. I refuse to ding our savings and max out our income unless it is absolutely necessary. My husband would do anything for me, pay anything, but then we will have nothing. I'm trying to find a reasonable-cost alternative here. GoodRX? Company subsidies? thought I could use them? Buhahahahahaha, sorry, welcome to the real world. I'm on Medicare. Yes, I have Medigap insurance and a Part D drug plan. No coupons. No GoodRX. Nope...not allowed. Subsidies from drug companies? My husband works and makes money for us to buy groceries and pay rent and put money into savings so he can visit his elderly parents in Europe. "Need help paying for your medicine?" Nope...don't qualify. So, basically I'm married and not poor enough for help. If I become destitute then everything is free. But because we are struggling middle class, I am in the "nope" class.

Enough of all that depressing stuff. I'm going to start the higher dosage of  thyroid medicine tomorrow. Judging from past experience, I should start to feel better in 2 or 3 days. It will probably pick up my mood as well as my energy. I seriously need that. I really want to enter the new year feeling better.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Forward: March!

In more ways than one. Little by little I am finding it easier to look forward, and of course, we are both looking forward to our new apartment in March.

I knew I had to do this grief journey without medicine. I gave birth to my younger daughter without any medication. Grieving her loss has been a million times more painful. Yesterday I found some drawings she did in school. I was able to smile. I also found my letters to my mom that my mom kept. I even found some from my daughter to her grandma. I cherish these memories.

Last Saturday hubby and I were out and about. We stopped by the apartment to look for progress, and were happy to see the siding going up.

Front side of our building

Out apartment is on this corner on the other side, the scenic side, with a view of Holy Hill and the sunrise and sunset, and no power lines, no power lines, no freakin damn power lines!

So, you may be wondering....why did we choose to rent after hoping to buy for so long. Well, several reasons. For one, we no longer needed a three bedroom home. We were still planning to move forward with a two bedroom condo when my thoughts turned back to the apartments we visited earlier this year. It just makes sense right now. It has all the amenities of a condo without the fees, plus heat is free (or included in the rent---however you want to look at it). It has a spectacular view, something none of the condos in our price range have. We won't have to pay PMI insurance (for not having 20% down), nor dump all our savings into a down payment, freeing hubby to visit his parents and for us to buy another car before mine becomes completely unreliable. In addition, if things change, we can move.

So, I brought all my thoughts up to my hubby. We talked it over, drove back to the apartment complex to take a look, and we both immediately knew the corner apartment was what we were looking for. 

So now I have something to look forward to. Besides the view, we will have all new appliances, including a dishwasher and a full-size washer and dryer in the unit. With two bedrooms, I will have room to do some projects, like go through all my photos for a start. We also intend to furnish it as a guest room. In summer we can swim in the heated swimming pool, and we can use the Clubhouse and Fitness Center any time we want. I will also have south east and southwest windows for my plants, with window sills!

It will have a garage, but not a basement, so some of the plants I have in the basement here will need to stay until spring. I'm looking forward to having a patio, with a yard. 

Here is what I have in the basement. They were previously outside, so I expect they may have sleeping bugs eww! I will deal with them in the spring and figure out what to do next fall.

I hope anyone reading this enjoys the holiday with family and friends. We have something in the plans. Catch you on the flip side!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Winter Blaas

It's nighttime when my hubby leaves for work and nighttime when he comes home. If he didn't look outside on break he could easily forget he is working days and not nights. I've been moody, which is normal for me when it's dark and gloomy. I have been cheering myself up by watching Netflix. I have been doing some cleaning. My goal is to reduce the number of storage bins with stuff in them so I have empty ones for when we go through the storage room downstairs. Today I had a meltdown. I was going through my daughter's things. Need I say more? I was able to collect myself and finish the job. I now have one empty bin.

We are getting the car fixed this Friday. The front struts need to be replaced. Next week we will head back down to Indiana for some family time.

I saw my Endocrinologist doctor on December 1st. I told him about my daughter. The sad thing is that what he was testing me for is the very thing that killed my daughter. I seem to be ok, but because she had a huge tumor that produced too much thyroid hormone and she hid her symptoms and didn't ask for help and since she was living paycheck to paycheck she couldn't even FREAKIN AFFORD help and especially not the pricey services of an endo doc and since she was trying to be self-sufficient, well, she died. All my health care is covered 100% by Medicare plus a 0-deductible medigap insurance I bought in California. My daughter had insurance through Walmart, but she would have needed to pay $45 to see a general practitioner and waaay more to see a specialist, and any surgery would have had thousands of dollars in deductibles and co-pays. How may loved ones have I lost from our f*cked up medical insurance here in the USA? Uhhh, the count is up to 4 now.

I belong to an online support group for parents who have lost a child, of any age. Some are babies who have died shortly after birth. Some children die from accidents, some from suicide, some from long illnesses from which they cannot recover from even with the help of doctors, and....some die from undiagnosed diseases which they choose to ignore, or don't seek treatment for. Several mothers have written they had found their 40 or 50-something year old child dead in bed, or in a chair, or like, me, on a couch. There is no denying the personal hell we are all walking through, the "what-ifs, the guilt, the regrets. I am convinced more accessible medical care could save lives.

My endo doc said my daughter's condition was treatable. He was really sorry.

End of rant.

It's been snowing all day. It's 5:40 pm and dark as night. I'm looking forward to longer days and the new apartment. I better get back to doing some dishes. I might bake some cornbread.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Yes! An Interesting Day

I didn't explain very much yesterday. The reason we were looking to break our lease is because the apartment complex we are looking to move to is having a 2 months free rent special that was supposed to end December 31st. We found out today that the offer is being extended into next year. Our lease is up on March 1st.

We looked at several two bedroom apartments. We really liked a first floor apartment that was facing the pond, except the sun was reflecting off the water directly into my eyes. It was so bad I was getting a headache. No way. We decided we did not want to be facing the pond.

Another apartment was upstairs. It had a nice view, but it was facing north. That meant no sun. We did not want to be facing north.

We looked at one facing west. It was near the highway. The view was good but we could hear the traffic. I lived next to the expressway in Indiana and we live next to a not quite as busy highway here. We are tired of traffic.

We looked at a small two bedroom apartment with an attached garage. The apartment was too small and the view was looking directly into the windows of the building across from it.

I was afraid we were running out of options. There is one final building under construction with the expected occupancy date of March 1st. We went upstairs and looked at the one facing the parking lot. The view was good. We talked about the balcony with the property manager. The balconies are all the same size, and we figure two people could sit there but three would be a crowd and four or more would be impossible. We decided to look at the first floor units. The least expensive one faced the parking lot. Cars would be parked a mere 6 feet from the patio. We decided to look at the one facing the field.

>>>This is it!!!<<<

The patio, the views, all perfect! The floor plan is the same as the one we liked facing the pond.

We told the manager we wanted that one, so she prepared the papers for us. We went home to fill them out, print supporting documents, write an earnest money check, and then brought them in. We should hear in a couple days if we are accepted. To be continued....

....We are accepted! 

It's still under construction

My view!!! Looking southeast....Sunrises and NO POWER LINES

And we have side windows in the bedrooms! I can see the sunsets, too!!!! This is looking southwest.

No power lines
No power lines
No power lines!!!
Sunrises and sunsets!
That's going to be some dark sky at night and you know what that means...Stars!!!!

There might be an issue with dust from the farmland but the farmers aren't in the fields all the time and there is some distance between the fields and the complex.