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Life just seems to get busier and busier - and I seem to find less and less time to blog about it. 

The end of the school year is rapidly approaching.  And the natives are definitely restless.  More than usual - I think there has just been so much upheaval this year that everyone is on edge.  The economic situation has effected almost everyone.  We have had some unusual racial issues this year (that are finally starting to die down.)  And then the accident where the 4 kids died.  A lot of kids were close to one of the boys that died.  It has made for a difficult and emotional year for a lot of them.  And it has definitely increased the stress factor for us teachers as well.  Add to that we are facing possible pay cuts (again) and definite budget cuts (at least 15%) and we have to pack up EVERYTHING in our classrooms this year as they are painting the whole school.  Everything has to be boxed and labeled - and up until friday we were told we had to come up with our own boxes.  Now they are providing us with 8 - to pack an entire classroom (or in my case, two.)  *sigh*  I love my job, I really do.  But this has been a year with its own particular challenges.

On the home front, have been working on getting the finances all straightened out.  Still working...  Have also been doing some spring cleaning and rearranging.  Have changed things around so we use the living more now - and that left the family room pretty empty except the dog kennels.  Just got some furniture from a friend that helped me finish the rearranging plans.  And it then spread to the boys room and he now has a couch in his room.  :)  And now we have enough futons to sleep 7!

Having some complications getting registered for school in the fall.  I am on a medical hold - it seems that they have added some additional shot requirements since I graduated 10 years ago.  It took a while to get a hold of a real person to find out what was going on.  The good news is that I don't have to get them since I won't be living on campus - but I do have to send over a form stating I understand the dangers of not having them and am declining.  Faxed it over on Friday, so hopefully I will be able to register soon.

Having issues with the boy and school.  He did wonderfully the first half of the year.  Then someone at school told him D's were passing.  :(  It's not that his grades are horrible now, but they are not what they could be.  And we have had multiple incidences of homework that he has not done - or has hidden.  So now he is on daily pink slips as they call it.  And for a week he has been resisting that and has therefore been grounded.  I hate doing this, but he has to get his head back in the right place.  I am hoping for better next week!
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Life is busy as it always is.  E is doing well - the frustrating tween that he is!  Goes from being the loving, perfect child to the grumpy, work hiding adolescent.  Sometimes at the speed of light.  Oh what we have to look forward to!

Work is going well.  I am enjoying my classes but I can not believe we are so close to the end of the school year.  Our new principal this year has been great.  She has been a good balance of friendliness (with both students and staff) and strickness.  We are getting a lot done around the school that has needed to be done for a while - things like changing the locks so you don't need a hundred keys to get around, painting the walls, cleaning, updating the lighting - all things that had been neglected over the years because the school had been slated to be rebuilt.  With the budget situation who knows when - or if - that will happen so we are finally catching up on standard maintenance.  I think it really helps morale.  Especially since morale has really been affected by the fact that they are making us change to a 7 period day next year - and the teachers have to teach 6 out of 7.  This actually violates our contract, but since Florida is a right to work state we really can't do anything about it.  Next year will be interesting to say the least.

At home finances have been difficult.  My pay was cut this year, our insurance and health costs were raised, and they raised the interest rates on the two credit cards we have a balance on to outraegous rates which were making it impossible to pay on the principal.  This has meant things have slowly gotten more and more behind.  I spent much of my spring break on the phone and on the computer trying to balance our finances so we could actually keep up.  As of today it looks like I have, but it is still going to be tight.  I got the two credit card companies to lower the interest rates and stop the over limit fees (the high rates had caused the balances to go over limit - which made them reduce the limit making it worse.)  This has been able to put us at a more reasonable payment that will actually work on the balance as well.  I managed to scrape up money to pay off the smaller cards so they are gone.  And I worked a deal with the Mortgage company to catch us up (Yeah for the Obama plan!) so we don't risk foreclosure.  I also got the cable company to reduce the bill a little by pointing out the deal their competitor is offereing.  And I am talking to the cell phone company about reducing our plan.  Now if I can just stay on top of it.  Right now the husband and I both are doing whatever extra we can to bring in a few extra bucks since we are barely making enought to cover the bills.  I am still a bit worried about the summer...

Add to that the Japan trip.  We had hoped for the whole family to go, but it is going to be hard to pull off even me going.  (and I have to go for it to happen at all.)  Even though I am splitting my flight cost up amoungst the students who are going (which bothers me to do - but it is standard practice for the chaperone) there are still personal expenses associated with going that it is going to be difficult to cover.  And I am really disappointed that it does not look like E can come, I had really hoped to take him.  I am still working on it though so we will see.  The husband is very disappointed about not going as well.

On the more positive front, I am still very excited about getting the James Madison fellowship!  I have not heard from USF yet about getting accepted, but I know their committee had not met yet.  It would be nice to get started on this as it is the one way I can increase my salary - especially since they are talking no increase again next year and potentially a cut.  I have also found out that this makes me one of only two people in our county who have received this fellowship (the other being the man I team teach with.)  Pretty cool!

Am still trying to pull off getting the windows done on the house.  I know that sounds kind of insane considering the money issues, but we have a $5,000 grant from the state that is use-it-or-lose-it and it really would make sense to try to do it.  Doing this should also drastically reduce our electric bill (which normally runs in the $250 range) since the windows would be energy efficient as well as hurricane rated.  And there is now a new tax credit for doing this that we could take advantage of on next years taxes.  We are getting a large amount back in taxes again (yeah adoption credit!) that will cover most of it.  Even though that would help with expenses right now what I am trying to pull off is to get the windows done, apply for the grant and then use the $5,000 to get us through the summer when I don't get paid.  I am currently working with a window company that is having the husband do a website for them - we are trying to work out a trade deal that will hopefully help to get the price down to a workable level.  If I can make it all work it will definitely be the best thing in the long run.

Speaking of the summer, am working on various ways to make money during it.  I will be doing the AP reading again which pays $1,600 - but I dont' get it right away.  I also have th opportunity to do some curriculum work at $300 a week for two weeks.  Not a huge amount but every bit helps.  And I plan on working with our photographer when I can again which make some extra cash.  Still looking for other things I can do though if anyone hears of anything.  Especially things I can pull off without putting E into a sumemr camp since those costs would eat up what I make.  And I am still trying to figure out a way to pull off Pennsic.  I have a job secured with the newspaper which would help with the expenses.  And as far as vacations go it is a cheap one.  But still not sure I can pull it off at all.  But I am going to try!  A family vacation would help the home morale!

Am still managing to pull off SCA stuff.  As far as hobbies go we can get off pretty cheap with this one of late.  Even though I have needed to make garb lately we have so much fabric on hand that it does not cost me anything at this point.  Same thing for my other craft supplies.  It can be helpful to be a pack rat.  And even though event costs have gone up it is still one of the cheapest forms of entertainment for the whole family.  Cost us $50 for the last kingdom event (since E is 12 he is still free) plus gas and food.  We now bring our own groceries and make sandwiches at the event so that is not a lot of money - and we bring the husbands car which is really good on gas mileage.  So not too bad.  We have cut out most other entertainment stuff - we don't do movies anymore.  The one luxury has been NetFlix.  And I have not given up Starbucks yet - please don't make me give up my Starbucks!!!  :)

So, those are the updates for now.  I keep trying to post more often, but it just does not seem to work for me.  So who knows when I will update again!  But rest assured that I am alive and kicking.
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Thanks everyone for all the congrats - hopefully I can post soon that I have passed the final step and gotten accepted to USF!

Woo Hoo!!!

Mar. 31st, 2009 02:07 pm
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Well, I will be once I am accepted to USF for their Master's program in American History.  :)  This means they will pay for my degree plus a stipend for room and board.  Since I will be part time that stipend will be reduced, but hey, it is still money!  This means I can actually start my masters since otherwise I would not be able to afford it.

If you want to check it out...

And....WOO HOO!!!
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Let's see...recently we have had troubles with the dryer, the hot water heater, the washer, the stove, the garbage disposal and the car.   So what could be left?  Why the refrigerator of course!  I noticed friday  night when I went to get ice that it was a bit melted, but figured that the freezer door had not been closed all the way (not an uncommon occurance around here - doors either seemed to get slammed shut or not completely shut, we are a house of extremes...)  Apparently that was not the case because when I went to the fridge to get some juice late this morning there was condensation on the carton.  Uh Oh.  After a quick assessment of the situation I got out the ol' trashbags and started filling them up.  The freezer was done for - things like the ice cream were completely liquified - and coming through there cartons.  Fun.  There were a couple of salvagable things in there, but most had to go.  Then went for the fridge.  Fortunately most of that was still OK as it had not had a chance to get too warm.

The bright side?  We have another fridge in the garage.  I had to clean it up and get it better organized to fit everything, but at least we have refrigeration.  And I have now completely cleaned the fridge from top to bottom, which really needed to be done as it turned out.  There was some gross stuff in there under the drawers (which I can not normally take out.)  The husband took a look at it when he got home - thinks it needs a recharge but he can't do it.  So I will be calling APSCO tomorrow.

So...can we quit with all this yet??  Yes, I know we have been in the house 5 years but does everything have to go at once????  You, dishwasher, no breaking down!!
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Wow, according to my profile my last entry was 10 weeks ago...does time every fly!  So, a quick run down of what has gone on in that time...

*  E got Honor Roll two more times, that means he has gotten it all 4 grading periods this year!
*  He also was named Largo Chamber of Commerce Student of the Month for his school
*  And was recognized at SPC for "Academic Achievement"
*  Ended his soccer season 10-2 and won all 3 games in the first round of the playoffs.  Lost in the finals, but barely.
*  Is about to have his 12th birthday (at Coronation) - YIKES!

In other, non E-related news here is what I have been doing personally (because I do have a life besides being a mom)
*  Applied for Graduate School at USF (Major - American History to 1877)
*  Applied for the James Madison Fellowship to pay for it all
*  Took the GRE - unofficial scores are 610 for the Quantitative and 610 for the Analytical.

Wish the scores were a little higher, but according to the website for the MA in History programs, they only require 500 in each.  There is also a writing portion, but I have to wait 2 weeks to find out that score.  Basically, if I don't get in now, I will go back and retake it.  Whether I get in or not I can not afford it unless I get the grant, so wish me luck!

I also started Weight Watchers again, but I think I am going to quit for now.  My mind is just not in it.  Too many other stressors going on - most especially financial ones.  This year I got a pretty significant pay cut (thanks economy!) and it is really starting to catch up with us.  Right now I feel like I am throwing $40 down a hole each month, something we can not afford to do.   It's not like I can't return to it later, I just don't think it is the right time.

Well, it is WAY late and I should be in bed right now....
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Have had a difficult time the last couple of days.  Thursday night the dripping had reduced enough to no longer wear the gauze "mustache."  Still some seepage, but not enough to warrant it and I really needed to give my cheeks a chance to heal from the tape.  Sounds like progress, but...that night I had great trouble sleeping as the tubes in the stints in my nose had started to open up a bit.  Once again, sounds good, but it would seem I am very trained on the breathing through my nose thing when I sleep (probably through using a CPAP for the last 4 years) and every time I started to fall asleep I would try to breath through my nose and not get enough oxygen and eventually start to choke myself.  I sounded bad enough that the husband woke me up at one point.  He had to work on friday and I did not want to keep him up - so I got up with a book and sat at the table for a little while to read.  Add to all this that I also got my period with a vengence and my back was really hurting (probably a combination of that and that I have been in bed so much) so I got the book light and settled into the old-lady recliner we inherited a few years ago.  It has a lower back heater in it that really helped.  Still could not sleep and FINALLY dozed off around 6 or 7am from pure exhaustion.  Slept in until about 11 and by that time I was so completely plugged up it was absolutely miserable.  My nose was so plugged up that it was dripping down my throat causing me to gag - and since I could only breathe through my mouth when I gagged I could not breath at all.  I was doing the saline washes as instructed and it was not helping at all.  By the afternoon I was starting to get paniced and by the time I got the doctors office to at least give me the voice mail of the doctors assistant I know I sounded pretty freaked out.  I really was getting to the point of being in tears because I could not breathe and the thought of being like that all weekend had me in a bit of a panic.

So she finally called me back and said I should use a nettie pot (although she did not call it that to begin with - tried to describe it until I gave her the name and said I already had one.)  And I should use it "vigorously" according to the doctor.

OK - time out - why couldn't someone have mentioned this earlier???

So I had started with a warm shower (which I was in when she called) which seemed to help a small bit.  After that I tried the nettie pot and washed out great gobs of goop.  No wonder I could not breathe!!  Helped enourmously, but I was still exhasted.  Used it about 5 times in as many hours.  Also ended up using a shot of nasal spray to open things up which helped me to be able to flush out more goo.

This brings us to last night.  By the time I wanted to sleep it had totally blocked up again and the nettie pot was doing nothing for it.  Could not sleep.  Got up and read again, found some decongestant and took it in hopes of it helping - and found the Vicks Vaporub.  That was a big help!  Still, could not sleep until about 5:30 when I finally could use some more of the nasal spray.  (12 hours stuff) and then I fell asleep from exhaustion - I was so tired I was getting dizzy.  Then I sleep VERY soundly - sleeping through the cleaning lady for the most part (finally woke up when she was finishing.)  Got up and used the nettie pot and then went back to sleep.

So today has been the constant battle of the nettie pot - if I let it get to backed up than the saline can't make its way through my sinuses and it does no good.  Basically the trick seems to be to use some nasal spray and give it a big of a chance to work.  Then use the nettie pot and flush things out - continue to do about once an hour so it can't get backed up.  If I don't keep on it, then I ended up blocked up and have to wait until i can administer the nasal spray again.

I am doing better tonight and think I will be able to sleep (which I plan on doing when I finish with this entry.)  For anyone considering this surgery here are some things to have on hand:

A nettie pot and salt
Nasal spray (not the no-drip stuff)
Vicks Vapo-Rub
Mentholated Cough Drops
Neosporin to heal things up where the tape is (if needed)
Stuff for chapped lips (I am using Soft Lips Secret Healer which seems to be working rather well)
Lots of water
A humidifier
Decongestant (I am using DayQuil caps)
LOTS of Kleenex

Remember no ibuprofen or aspirin.  I am also finding my BioFreeze to be very helpful

Starting to doze - here it to getting a full nights sleep (and actually during the hours I am suppossed to!).
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Well, since at least one person asked  :)

Last night I decided to go ahead with the pain meds - I only took Tylenol the first day.  It was not so much a pain thing (headache, but not a horrible one) as it was a sleep thing.  Waking up EVERY hour does not make for good sleep.  With the pain meds I at least slept 3 hours at a time before my *extremely* dry mouth woke me up.  So I took it at midnight and was up at 3am.  interesting thing is then I was WIDE AWAKE - read for 3 hours until I could take another one at 6am and then slept until 9:30am.  It was good to get some sleep - but then spent much of the day very groggy from the meds.  Tonight went out to see friends for New Years with the family.  I had really debated on going, but I was starting to feel a bit house crazy.  Did quite good for about an hour and a half before starting to feel really tired - spent the rest of the time on the couch watching Wall-E until it was time for the count down and then home.  Just took more meds to get to sleep.

****WARNING*****  Can't really remember how to hide behind a cut at the moment and too tired to look.  TMI follows, read at your own risk!!

Symptoms as of now include that it is still draining quite a bit - but instead of blood it is bloody snot.  And I am still coughing up chunks of blood - but now it is obviously old blood (brown instead of red.)   My nose is totally blocked up still which I am finding a bit worrisome.  Also starting to get a reaction to the medical tape on my cheeks and it is getting rather raw.  I get tired rather easily and have to drink with a straw or what I am drinking ends up in the gauze (ew.)  Wasn't hungry much yesterday, but today was more so.  Finding myself a bit off balance - think it has to do with the sinus fullness, sometimes it seems to extend to my ears.  It does not help that I am having to wear my glasses which I had not worn in six months - so my depth perception is a bit off as well.

That is it for now...feel the meds starting to take effect, time for sleep.
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Had Sinus surgery yesterday.  Did not get home until about midnight.  Spent most of today in bed with a guaze "mustache" and coughing up "interesting" stuff.  Still definitely having after effects of general anesthesia.  Splints in my nose which won't be taken out until tuesday.  Doctor says I should breath much better - but obviously not until after then!  And in the meantime I am totally blocked up from the splints and packing in there - feels like a really bad cold and you can't blow your nose.  And a headache but you can't take Advil.  Ugh.  And I look like I have been punched in the lip (from the breathing tube maybe??)

Hopefully this will clear up the on going problems I have had this year.  But in the mean time, this week kind of sucks...bright side has been the husband who has been great taking care of me despite my stubborn efforts otherwise!


Dec. 28th, 2008 11:20 am
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The kids are soooo patient waiting in line - NOT!

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Just checked how long it had been since I posted - and realized it had been over a month!  I guess it is time for a update from Columella-land.

Lets see - on the family/home front we have had several things...
    *  The husband's great-aunt passed away on Thanksgiving.  Not unexpected, but not any easier for those involved.  Meant that the husband had to fly out west at the last minute and I got to play single mom.  *That* part was exciting (not!)
    *  E has gotten Honor Roll on both the grading periods so far!  Yeah for Middle School!  It is not looking as good at the moment, but we are
        hoping for him to pull it out.  He is working on his science fair project right now.
    *  The husbands Celiac seems to be under control at the moment.  That is ALWAYS a good thing.
    *  Mabel the Rocketdog/Foxhound seems to be maturing a big more.  Still jumping, but now as much and not as rambunctiously.  Still
        working on her training....
    *  E is doing well at Soccer - and they have won 6 of 7 games so far!  Lost the last one, but it was close and the husband says there were a LOT of shenanigans going on.   :(
    *  Got a new desk - and I LOVE it!  Found one of those armoire type computer desks that folds up and it is awesome.  Nice wood (not partical board), beautiful color, hardly used.  I am just excited to finally have my own work space.  The husband has had his office since we moved in, but I have not had a space of my own (I have used the Dining room table.)  I have really been feeling it lately and am looking forward to getting everything set up.

The big news right now is on the health front.  After 6 months of medications and tests, the ENT has decided to do surgery on my sinuses.  Scary, but a relief that SOMETHING is going to happen.  As of now the count is....7 nasal sprays, an inhaler, 3 antibiotics, a chest x-ray, a CAT scan and 3 different types of Allergy testing.  I am ready for us to do something that actually works.  And hoping that this does!  I am scheduled for 3:30pm on Monday, Dec. 29th and will be at Dunedin Mease Hospital.  Should just be outpatient, they think I should be out of there by 7:30pm or so.  Then a couple of days of being out of it - Happy New Year to me!  They think I should be fine to go to work on Monday, Jan. 5th when school restarts.  

I have NEVER had surgery in my life, and, honestly it scares the bejesus out of me.  At the same tie I REALLY want this sinus thing to go away - bad enough to be willing to do this.  It is an endescopic surgery so hopefully it won't be too bad.

On other news, still working on house stuff.  I need to make a decision on window contractors soon or we will run out of time ont he My Safe Florida Homes grant.  Trying to balance getting it done in time for that with being able to use tax-return money to help pay for it.  Between what we will get on the taxes and the grant that should cover the whole thing.  Then we have to work on coming up with the money to paint.

Money, Money - it seems everything is always about money!  (And not having enough of it.)

Well, that is the update for now.  Maybe I won't wait a month for the next one.
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While I was out at the Home Show today, E went down to the older boys house down the street.  Unfortunately, it seems every time he goes there we end up with trauma at bed time because of something E considers scary.  This time it was that M was playing a "Resident Evil" video game and now E could not stop thinking about it.  This often results in E ending up in our bed for the night.

Well, I have gotten to the point that some tough love was called for.  He keeps going over there and watching things he knows will cause him problems.  We had a talk about choices and that he did not *have* to watch it.  And how it is not real and that he has his dog in bed with him to protect him (and boy, does she have a fierce bark!)  Got him settled down and went to put laundry away.  Dad popped in a few minutes later and when he left closed the bedroom door behind him.

About five minutes later I start hearing the hysterical sobbing.  (That unfortunately Dad did not notice)  When the bedroom door was closed all the way he freaked.  So I went in and laid down with him and talked to him.  Reiterated that it is not real, and he is safe, and Dad and I will keep him safe because that is our job.  So then he asked for a story (not something he usually does.)  Said he needed to think of something else.  Wanted a story about Calvin and Hobbes (who he has recently discovered thanks to a certain Alpha.)  I said, how about a story about E and Mabel?  So, here is my story made up on the fly...

"Once upon a time there was a boy named E and his dog Mabel.  Mabel was a great dog that could run VERY fast, but E could run fast too so they were very good friends.  Mabel could do many tricks like sit and play dead, but E was trying to teach her how to catch a frisbee.  So they went to the dog park to practice but everytime he threw the frisbee there was another dog that would get it so Mabel was not learning to catch it.  So E figured he could throw the frisbee really hard and then it would go too fast for the other dog and Mabel could get it.  But then he threw it SO hard that he went up into outer space!  An Alien dog caught it and brought it back to E.  The alien dog could speak both dog language and english, so he translated for E and Mabel so Mabel could figure out what E wanted and she became the best dog in the whole world!  Then the alien dog taught E how to speak dog before he went back to his own planet.  E became a very famous veternarian because he was able to speak to dogs and they could tell him what is wrong instead of having to guess like most veternarians.  Also, some of the dogs could translate to other languages so he could treat other animals too which made him the best veternarian there ever was.  He and Mabel lived happily every after."

By the time I was done he had calmed down.  He then said, "I would be like Dr. Dolittle!" and I said yes, which made him happy.  He started to drift off and I kissed his forhead and quietly went out.

That was the frist time he asked me for a story.  Hopefully it did not scare him off.  Cause it was kind of fun....
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McCain is giving his concession speech, the fat lady has sung, we have our first minority president-elect!


Nov. 4th, 2008 11:05 pm
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CNN just called the election for Obama.  It is not official yet, but it looks like we may have done it!
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Good Question.  I think I have gotten to the point of avoiding sleep.  Waking up coughing is miserable.  Being tired isn't helping, and I know intellectually going to bed late is probably not helping, but yet I can't seem to bring myself to go to bed until I am exhausted in hopes I will sleep through.

For those who have not been in the know, I have been having allergy type symptoms for some time - but it got really bad in mid July.  And has been downhill since then.  I had what appeared to be a rather severe allergic reaction to something.  My Dr. had me try over the counter allergy medication which did nothing.  So off to the allergist who tested everything under the sun and gave me a good news/bad news result - good news?  I am not allergic to anything.  Bad news?  I am not allergic to anything!  Came up with a diagnosis of Vasomotor Rhinitis - which basically means I am having allergy-type symptoms, but it is not a histimine reaction so antihistimines won't help it.  He said I had to not
do things to irritate it, and cleaning house appeared to be the biggest irritant.  So told me not to clean anymore - yeah, right.  Ended up with two different nasal sprays which helped somewhat, but I was still in a constant state of allergic-type reactions (just not as bad.)

So, take it about a month later.  The constant reactions meant I was ripe for any infection that came along.  Being that school started about that time - surprise!  Secondary infection!  Back to the Dr. - antibiotics and another nasal spray.  Infection gets worse.  So then it was on to heavy duty antibiotics.  It got better for a couple of weeks, then worse again.  So my primary care doc became concerned about making me antibiotic resistant and sent me to an ENT.

That part was *really* fun.  Stuck a scope up my nose.  Said my "lungs were wet" and gave me another nasal spray and a round of steroids as well as a chest xray and then back in 2 weeks.  The steriods helped a lot so then I got an inhaler and cough syrup with codiene and instructions to come back in a month.

That brings us to today.  Inhaler did *nothing* and when I got to deal with the nose-scope again today (and it REALLY HURT) I now have another secondary infection.  So more drugs to clear up the infection and then he wants to do a CAT scan once the infection is cleared up.  

This brings me to the second part of the subject line because then I had to head to the pharmacy.  Something I have been having to do a lot lately.  Today's bill?  $200!!!  (That is not counting the $35 for the Dr. Visit.)  Here is the breakdown...

Benicar refill (blood pressure meds) - $100 for 90 days (with my insurance it is still $50 a month, to help they have a deal that if you get 3 months at once you can get one free.  Still expensive.)

Diclofanec refill (anti-inflamatory) - did not get because everything was so expensive.  Going to talk to my doctor about changing the prescription because a slightly different version is on the $4 Target list.

Nasonex refill (nasal spray) - $35

Levaquin (antibiotic) - $50 for only 5 pills

Prevacid - insurance would not approve at all.  Pharmacy faxed paperwork to the doctor and recommended an over the counter option instead for $20.  Without the insurance the Prevacid would have been $170.  Even if they can get approval from the insurance it will still be $50.

So, end result?  $205 and could not get two of the prescriptions.  I will call the doctor tomorrow and see if this over the counter option will be sufficient.   And call the other one about seeing if changing the other prescription slightly is an option.

Now my question becomes, what do people without insurance do?  My blood pressure meds alone cost me $400 a year (with insurance!)  I am told it would be $179 a month without insurance.  And the current mystery illness?  So far I have racked up...

4 Primary Visits @ $20ea = $80
4 Specialist Visits @ $35 = $140
1 chest xray @ $35 = $35
Today's Prescriptions = $105
4 previous nasal spays @ $35 = $140
Cough Syrup w/Codein (from Walmart) = $4
2 Antibiotics @ $15 = $30

Grand Total = $534

This does not include the regular stuff like the blood pressure meds. 

So, what if I worked at McDonalds?  Or some other service industry job with no insurance?  Would I just have to have a heart attack?  What would happen when I had to finally call in sick to work with no sick time? 

And this is a comparatively mild illnes.  I don't have cancer or some other major illness. 

But I sitll can not afford all this and wonder what the heck I would do if I was not as fortunate as I am???
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Lets see - on the health front.  I am off the 2 antibiotics and the steroids (yeah!) but am on an inhaler as well as still using the 3 nasal sprays and the cough syrup with codeine.  Have been on the inhaler for a little over a week - have another 3 weeks and then I see the ENT again (for the third time.)  He thinks the inhaler is going to take care of most of it, but although it has gotten a little better so far I am not so sure.  If it does work, than he says it will have narrowed down the possible causes to about 4 (including asthma) and then he will send me to a pulmonologist.  If it does not work, than it is back to the drawing board.

On the home front, the ceiling is finally fixed!  yeah!

On the work front, am making a little extra money by doing Novanet (which is the online credit recovery system.)  It means I have to go to the computer lab from 2-4 on Mondays and Wednesdays, but every little bit helps.  I have also signed up to read essays for the SAT, so we will see what happenns there.  They emailed me last week and want my W9 so it looks like I am in.  Basically doing whatever I can to make a few extra bucks.  Went to an AP training on Friday in Ft. Lauderdale with a couple of my colleagues.  Had a great time and got lots of great ideas.  Also got to know one of my co-workers much better and she is great fun!

On the family front, Edward is doing great in school.  We get report cards on Monday so we will see if he was able to keep it up.  The deal is that if he gets all As and Bs he can get the cell phone he desperately wants.  His progress report had one B and the rest As, so we will see if he was able to keep it up!  We have only had a little homework drama so we are dong pretty good.  Middle School really seems to agree with him.  Have one of the nephews Bdays next weekend (Robert) and the other nephews will be in town so we are having pictures taken with all 5 together (which grandma has been wanting for some time.)  As long as we are going to be there we are going to do family portraits as well since although we have pictures, we don't have any formal portraits.  So hair cutting for everyone this week!

Still working on the Obama campaign.  Not as much as they would like as they keep asking if I will work the phone banks or canvas, but I just have not had the time.  But I do what I can!

I think that is it for now...
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Today is washing day.  Washing dishes.  Washing dogs.  Washing cars.  Washing clothes.

My feet are wrinkled from being so wet!  But we have clean (and therefore shedding less) dogs!  Only casualty so far....Daisy's tail.  :(  Her coat had gotten very long and tangled so before we washed her I took the scissors to her.  And managed to cut the very tip of her tail.  So then we got to add washing the floor to the whole thing because blood got all over the place.  It had not bled much at first and I though we were OK.  But after Edward finished washing and drying her she started running around (which is part of the whole ritual) and we realized she was spraying blood all over!!  Got out the styptic powder and a fingertip bandaid which took care of the problem, but not before there was a mess to clean up.  Had to rewash her as well since her whole back in was covered with blood.  Fun times!

She seems to be OK.  Looks a little funny with a bandaid on her tail, but is not trying to get it off at all.  And I did a real chop job on her fur, but at least all the knots are out.

Mabel, on the other hand, was much easier.  Short haired dogs rule!
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The VERY large hole in the ceiling is now fixed!  I am very impressed with the job the contractor did (would be happy to pass on the name of the contractor...)  They did and excellent and very thorough job.  We ended up going through the A/C guy who ultimately took responsibility for the while thing.  I was a little worried about who he wanted to use as he had tried to worm out of things to begin with and I was afraid they would do the cheapest job possible.  So...ultimately, we did good! 

Will post picture shortly...
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