Sunday, May 30, 2010

By Chance?

Yesterday, Ron and I rode the Branson Scenic Railway and enjoyed a prime rib dinner in an authentic dining car. The ride lasted about two hours and we saw some really nice scenery along the ride. There were four people to each table and our "table mates" were a young couple from Denver, CO. They'd never been to Branson before and were having a great time.

Ron and I rode backwards for the first half of the ride and then got to ride facing forward on the return trip. I took a Meclizine before we left just in case the "sway" of the train would be too much for me. The vertigo is much better today than yesterday, and yesterday was much better than Friday. I'm so glad!

The table on our left had a young couple, probably around the age of the couple at our table, and then a couple who appeared to be closer to our age. The young couple seemed to be listening more to the conversation than participating in it. The older man was definitely doing most of the talking. Because I only hear out of my left ear, and he was to my left, his voice was just about all I heard for the whole ride out. After dinner their table mates left and went to explore some of the other cars on the train. The Denver couple also left to do some exploring. Ron and I stayed there (for obvious reasons) and the remaining couple also stayed there.

The other table in our car (four people who boarded together) also left the area, so it was pretty quiet without all the extra taking going on. Without anyone at their table to talk to, the couple turned their attention to us. They actually were very nice. Ron wanted to stand up to stretch his legs and the man helped him stand and then helped him sit back down. Since I was against the wall, it was really hard for me to get out and help Ron up and down. We chatted quite a while about different things and have a lot in common. I think they're actually younger than I first guessed - the man just looked a bit older (lol - he's probably younger than me but I'm terrible at guessing ages, especially in men). His wife is definitely younger than I first guessed. They met online and have been married 10 years. They're from Moore, OK and we got to talking about tornadoes and such.

After chatting a bit about weather and life in general, they asked a bit about Ron and his condition (it was obvious that he has issues) and the man asked if we were Christians. We said yes and he asked if he could pray for Ron. We never turn down prayers on our behalf, so we said that would be very nice. He said that he just felt drawn to Ron and impressed to pray for him and for God to keep His hand on him.

We didn't get his name - which is a shame - but I believe that our meeting was ordained and was not by chance at all. So, Mr. Mystery man... thanks for the prayer and for the encouraging words you gave to Ron. I know he appreciated it and was touched by your kindness.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Making Memories

I'm working on having a good time, really I am. But... the weekend is not going too smoothly and it's only Friday. Ron is miserable. He slept off and on during the drive down, slept all night, and slept most of the day. The hotel has been fabulous, though. We started out in a regular room with two double beds. That was impossible for him to get into the bathroom on the scooter and no way could he walk it. Plus the toilet was normal height and no place to grab to help himself up.

So, I asked to move to a handicap room (should have requested one in the first place but when I asked questions about them I was led to believe that the other rooms would have enough space for the scooter). So, I tipped the first bellman (who took us to the 3rd floor) $5 to help, then I tipped the housekeeping lady $7 for all the trips she made getting linen, a refrigerator (to the 3rd floor and then to the 1st floor), and I tipped the second bellman $5 for moving us to the 1st floor and taking out the chair/ottoman and moving in a recliner. We finally got to bed; him in the recliner and me in the bed. I didn't sleep very well but he did; said the recliner was wonderful and that we need one.

I bought hamburgers and fries from the sports bar last night and they were wonderful. Neither of us could finish our burger or our fries. This morning I ordered room service because he wasn't in any shape to go anywhere. Ron had biscuits and gravy with scrambled eggs and sausage. He said it was delish. I had cinnamon/raisin French toast and bacon. They were awesome. I did talk him into going out earlier today to visit the Dinosaur Museum. It was fairly interesting (kind of cheesy) and not too expensive ($22.50 to total). We had a TCBY yogurt for "lunch" but mine was not even a full cone. LOL - it was hollow and once I ate the top off, I could see to the bottom of the cone. I don't think it was supposed to be that way. Oh well - less calories that way. It was sugar free, fat free Mt. Blackberry flavor. Very good...

After that, I decided that we'd go check out a craft mall I saw on the map so off we go. The hilly and winding roads are very difficult to navigate when you're dizzy and I was very dizzy today (thought about the ER even). I got there and Ron decided he didn't want to get out of the car - so off we go, back to the hotel. We got here about 1:00 and he slept until 5:00. I made him get up at 5:00 to get ready for dinner and the Paul Revere and the Raiders show.

We went to Andy Williams' Moon River restaurant to eat (expensive and not that great) and then went to Andy Williams' theater to see the show. Bob Anderson opened up (I'd never heard of him; guess I'm too young - LOL!) and he performed about an hour. The show was a bit cheesy (LOL - there's that term again) but it was good. Some of the music they played I recognized and some I did not. Ron remembered it all as it was his "era" and he actually played some of the music when he had his bands.

Tomorrow, we will be staying inside in the morning and then (hopefully) Ron will feel like getting out in the afternoon. He wants to go to the IMAX but I'm not sure the dizzy girl can handle it. We'll see. We have tickets to ride the Branson Scenic Railway at 5:00 (it's a 2 hour trip and includes dinner) so I hope he feels up to it. His right foot is really swollen and his leg is hot to the touch. That has me quite concerned. He doesn't seem to be running a fever but the foot is definitely a concern. I have him propped up in the recliner with his foot higher than his heart and I put the tubigrip back on his leg after I changed his dressing.

He said this is his last trip. He's just too uncomfortable and does not want me to have to work so hard for him to have the experience when he's just as happy staying home. But, that's not something I'm ready to do. I just don't want him to feel forced, but I also don't want to have to work so hard to enjoy a mini-vacation. It's just not worth it. My thumb hurts like hell (tendonitis), I'm still dizzy, and lifting him, the scooter, and all the stuff is just about more than I can quickly bounce back from.

I will post pictures later. I don't have the energy tonight to edit them for posting. I have a couple on Facebook of Ron that I posted as a joke. He thought they were funny.

Hope you all have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I'm so dizzy...

I'm so dizzy, my head is spinning
Like a whirlpool, it's never ending
  (lyrics Vic Reeves)

So, today is another "song" day. Too bad it's not a better one. Took Ron to see the surgeon this morning and although the news wasn't terrible, it wasn't great either. He was pleased with how the foot looks and has switched up everything. He wants Ron to use the whirlpool daily and to soak it one other time, so that means that I have to change the dressing twice a day. I don't have enough stuff to do a 2x daily dressing so I guess I'll try to get the prescription for wound care increased to cover the extra supplies. He also ordered Silvadene to put in the wound - put a slab of it on a 4x4 and just slap it in the wound. The had a great big jar at the surgeon's office. I was expecting a substantial amount. Nope, I got 30 gms - which is enough for maybe 3-4 dressing changes. This is $5 for that amount. Now, if they call in 60-120 gms - it's still $5 because that's what generic prescriptions cost us.

Bad news part of the visit is that Ron will for sure have more surgery in about a month. Doc plans on taking out more bone (if still showing signs of infection) and cleaning up the margins. He said if this treatment does not work, the only alternative is to amputate about mid-calf. That would be horrific for us. Ron would just about be wheel-chair bound because with only 1/2 foot on the left, it would make it really hard for him to learn how to use a prosthesis.

Tonight's escapade in "the adventures of the whirlpool" left me nauseated and wiped out. Amy got here to get Isaiah and I promptly sent her to the convenience store to get me some 7-Up. That is about the only thing I can keep down when I'm that sick to my stomach. Leaning over the tub to clean it really well, then rinse it, and then starting the water again made the whole room spin, spin, spin. I just wanted to crawl into bed but I had to wait until he'd done the whirlpool, plus I had to help him in and help him back out. I think I need one of those foot baths that you fill, plug in, and run the motor to get a "whirlpool" for just the feet. I might check Target or WalMart and see how much $$ they are. It would be worth the investment. I just can't lean over like that twice a day and get that sick from the vertigo/nausea.

Speaking of vertigo... not sure when I'm going to get in and get that checked out. I keep thinking it's going to go away - but it's still there. I just am better at not moving in ways that I know aggravate it. LOL - except tonight. I'm still feeling the effects of that.

I filed a claim to cancel our travel to Seattle. The gave us a letter that said Ron shouldn't travel for one month. The insurance company who has the travel insurance is making us jump through hoops to file a claim. They said the letter "might" be sufficient to get a refund. Huh? What's the purpose of travel insurance if you can't make it work for you? We'll see. I will get a second letter from our primary care physician if I have to.

Instead, we're going to drive to Branson and spend a couple of nights there. That's not really traveling because he'll be in a controlled environment (my car) and not exposed to other germs (like in the airport bathroom) and I will be there to change his dressing twice. I don't know what we'll do once we get there, but we'll have a relaxing weekend. I need to figure out some discount tickets to a show or something. Maybe Baldknobbers or Shepherd of the Hills.Something... I'll see if I can't find something.

Anyhoo... now I'm going to take this tired body and go to bed. I've had all the excitement for one evening that I can stand. You all have a great day tomorrow and I will, too!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Monday, Monday...

Monday Monday, can't trust that day,
Monday Monday, sometimes it just turns out that way
Oh Monday morning, you gave me no warning of what was to be
(lyrics from Monday, Monday - The Mamas and The Papas)

The second verse of that song just captures today so well. It started off actually about 11:15 PM on Sunday. Ron was backing out of the bathroom and the turning mechanism broke on the front of his scooter. So, he turned the handlebar and nothing happened. That's not good. So, I tipped the scooter over and discovered there was a broken "thingy" that hooked onto the handlebar that made the mechanism work. Clear as mud? How's this for a visual...

I tipped it over and found where it came from, so I thought I could just hook it back there. Wrong. Oh, I could hook it alright - but that doesn't mean that it would actually STAY there.

Do ya know... "neutral" doesn't really mean that you can push it, in the sense that you can push a car when it's in neutral? No, in the case of the two million pound scooter, it only means that it won't "drive" forward or in reverse. Manually pushing it while in neutral is a whole 'nuther thing. So, I put it back in "drive" and s-l-o-w-l-y drove it forward while picking the darn thing up and "manually" moving it to a new location. Getting it down the wheelchair ramp and UP the car ramp was a sight to behold. I'm glad my neighbors all work during the day. I'm sure I would have been the free entertainment for them.

Get down the road, get to the repair shop, and roll it down the ramp - the same way I drove it up the ramp - and, while holding the bar thingy, driving the thing forward into the repair shop. Great salesman - intelligent, too - says, "So, it broke on ya?" No, I really just enjoy leaning over the handlebar of an electric scooter, holding a obviously broken "thingy" and driving it forward into a dealership. "Yes, it did," I said, "and when you're not supposed to be walking, a broken scooter is a big inconvenience."

Lucky for me, they had a loaner power chair. Luckier still for me, it actually fit on my exterior wheelchair ramp without too much difficulty. Took longer to tie down and it's trickier to load and unload, but it is nice. The "touch" of the joy stick is very touchy and the ramp is very narrow. It's much heavier, too, to try and stop as it's going over the edge of the ramp. Note to self... it's much less painful to just let the thing get high-centered since it does have enough power to propel itself out of just about anything, including your grip than to try and stop it from performing said propelling.

Ron, of course, likes the power chair much more than the scooter because it does maneuver easier and he can get in the elevator AND turn around without wrecking into any of the walls OR anyone else's feet. The price is one that we don't like - several thousand dollars - and probably can't get insurance to pay for. We bought the scooter outright about two years ago (so it is out of warranty). Speaking of being out of warranty, we don't know how much it will cost to fix it, but we do know that shipping is $15. Yea... $15 will be a deal breaker or not. It's the PART and the LABOR that has me concerned. He said, "do you want me to let you know before I fix it?" Well, if I had a choice - maybe; but since I don't, I told him to just get the part and fix it. I really have no choice. Just my luck, it's going to cost an arm and a leg. Ron's fresh out of spare parts so I guess it's my turn to offer up a piece of mine.

In addition to that lovely news, it looks as if my trip to see Shaun, Jenny, and the kids is not going to happen. Ron doesn't really feel like going so he told me to go myself. Stacey would come over and change his dressing and Keith would stay with him at night. I could go and have a relaxing weekend, see their new house, and visit with the kids. It seems that Jenny would rather that I not come if Ron doesn't go with me. She is tired (and six months pregnant) so she's concerned that I'll want to be entertained. True, I don't want to spend my entire weekend in the hotel by myself but I didn't want her to think she had to "entertain" me. I thought I might - oh, you know... VISIT and see my grandchildren.

Oh well... better luck next lifetime.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Ahh... Sunday

I'm blogging and reading other blogs, Ron is napping in his chair, and Maisey - well, she's living a dog's life. Right now, I think she's napping under Ron's chair but in the last 30 minutes she's been on my lap, next to me on the sofa, and in her "own" bed. Yes, she has her own bed.

She's quite spoiled. As you can tell, she also has a bed full of toys. That doesn't take into consideration the HOUSE full of toys. Maisey loves to share, too. When visitors come, she just knows they're there to see her and not us. She'll often bring a toy to the door to greet "her" visitors, sometimes it's a cherished chewy and sometimes it's just a regular toy. When she's feeling very generous, she brings her favorite blue dog toy. You know that commercial where the owner is trying to get this long stuffed animal thing away from her dog? She ends up buying a new one and swapping it out because it's so gross? Well, we have one of those long stuffed dogs. Bright blue in color and Maisey loves it. Actually, Maisey loves all of her toys and frequently we'll find several in bed with us.

If she knows one of us is not feeling well, she'll sometimes bring a toy and put it on our chest (if we're asleep) or near us if we're sitting. Often, I'll find something on Ron's chest and he doesn't even realize she's put it there. He spends so much time sleeping in his chair that she'll leave stuff on his shoulder for him to find later. She loves her humans!

Today, our oldest granddaughter graduates from high school. It's hard to imagine that 18 years have gone by! She was the first grandchild and although Stacey had received a sonogram, it did not show that Mariah had Spina Bifida. Imagine the shock when she was delivered! She was immediately rushed to the NICU and stayed there until her spinal closure surgery. When she was just a few months old, she had to have a shunt put in and her parents were told that she'd never walk and she'd probably have to have more shunt surgery as she got older.

She is a walking miracle. She's never had to have the shunt replaced (had one minor repair as an infant) and although she didn't walk unassisted until she was about four, she does WALK. In fact, when she was younger, she participated in our local Special Olympics and WON several running - yes, running - events. We're so proud of her. Now that she is older, her legs aren't really strong enough for her to run, but she does walk nearly everywhere. She has a scooter for long distance use and sometimes she uses it at school. Like Ron, she has no feeling in her lower legs so she's developed some pressure sores on her feet, which made her have to use her scooter exclusively while they healed.

She's quite bright and has big plans for her future. Go, Mariah! We're proud of you!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Hello Kailua Kona, Martinique, France, United Kingdom, and all my other visitors

I wanted to say "hey" to all of my visitors and espeically to all of you all from the far reaches of the world. I appreciate you stopping by! Please leave a note - even if it's just a short where you're from message. I'd love to learn a little bit about the area where you live.

I have a lot of visitors from the great United States, but I have also seen quite a few visits from France, United Kingdom, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, and many other places.

So - hello and have a great day!

The sun is out today -

In more ways than one...

I've been sick since Thursday afternoon. I felt vertigo coming on a couple of times while we were out at appointments on Thursday but I passed the "moments" off as a fluke - I'd put my head in a couple of awkward positions and that can mimic a vertigo attack. By about 3:00 am Friday morning, I knew I was sick. I got up to visit the bathroom and could barely get there and back. The entire time I'm trying to walk, the entire room is spinning. Once I got some sinus medication (in case congestion was causing it) and got back into bed, I thought I was going to be ill all over the bed. Thankfully, that passed and I didn't have a bed to change.

Friday, I spent nearly the entire day either in bed or on the sofa. Mostly in bed. Any sudden movement started the roller coaster ride and it was not fun. My own private amusement ride, but I was not amused. Lucky for us, our friends Veronica and Garry called to see how Ron was and when they found out I was sick, asked if we needed anything. Soup... Chicken Noodle... my favorite. There are a couple of brands I like best but the only one I could think of was Healthy Choice. It's actually my second fav - the first is Campbell's Select. When I'm sick I usually only want two things - Chicken Noodle soup and ice cream. Sometimes, orange juice if I know I'm not going to eat (have to keep a relatively stable blood sugar).

They brought me two cans of soup and a really pretty hanging plant (can't remember what we decided it was but it's got pretty pinkish flowers on it). I ended up only eating one can of soup and then I had a chocolate shake later in the day.

I didn't think I could manage the dressing change, so I had Ron call his (our) oldest daughter, Stacey. Stacey's oldest daughter has Spina Bifida and, like Ron, has no feeling in her feet. She developed a pressure sore that had to be surgically treated and Stacey had to pack and dress her wound. I knew if anyone could handle it, Stacey would be the one. She came over after work and I directed her to the supplies, told her what the doctor's instructions were, and she fixed him right up. She didn't even need a Xanax! I do have to say the wound looked better last night, so that was a big relief. She went to Sonic for us and got Ron and I each a shake (actually - two each because they were buy one, get one free; the others are for another time - I can slightly defrost in the microwave and eat like ice cream).

I was highly emotional last night and very boo-hooey (I know, that's not a word, but it fits). I had a long talk with her and felt really good afterwards. Ron hadn't even remembered what he'd said to me on Thursday and when I told him what he'd said, and how he'd said it, he was appalled. He could tell that it really upset me and was still upsetting me. I also had some words with Amy on the phone and she didn't think she deserved what I said to her. Probably not, but I was upset at the moment and crying so what I was saying was a bit misunderstood because of the tone I was implying. I did apologize to her and we're fine. We get along great, but like all parents and children, we don't always agree with each other or appreciate what the other has to say.

During my discussion with Stacey, I told her that his comment was very hurtful because my whole world revolves around him. From the time I get up in the morning to the time I go to sleep at night (and also during the night if needed), I'm on call for him. He does nothing - I do it all and the little I do want him to do is so hard for him to manage that I then feel guilty for not just doing it for him. When I hear him sitting on the side of the bed, struggling to get the Bi-Pap mask on, I think I should just get up and do it. When I see him struggling to inject himself with insulin, shaking so badly that he either bends the needle or ends up injecting it into his clothing, I know that I should just go do it. I want him to do what he can for himself because I can't be with him every minute during the day and he's got to be able to do some basic things. I said that I appreciated that she had called to check on him, Amy and Keith had each checked on him, but we have FIVE children who live in this area. I said the two boys (Tim and Aaron) were just a couple of ***es and I have gotten to the point where I know they are and I don't expect anything from them - in fact, I won't ever ask either one of them to do anything for me or their dad at all. Out of the three left over, I was sure I could get someone to do something if I asked (case in point, her coming to change his dressing), but not one has said to me could they do anything to help me take care of their dad. I know that sounds a bit selfish, and I don't mean for it to. He is their father and I appreciate the fact that they are concerned for his health and well-being, but "I" was the one dying and no one was even noticing.

Anyway, we had a nice long talk and I got a lot of stuff off my chest. I came out into the living room and laid down on the sofa. Ron said he was very sorry for what he said and that he didn't even remember saying it. He said he knows that he'd have nothing without me taking care of him and that I do an excellent job of it. He wants me to go ahead and go to Seattle to see Shaun, Jenny, and the kids and he'll stay home; he said I needed to have some time away from him and he's really hesitant to travel with his foot open the way it is. Stacey said she'd come over every day and change his dressing and Keith is going to stay here for the weekend. (He was supposed to come stay with the dog already; he just needs to be reminded that he said he would. Amy's going to be in western Kansas with Rex, where they'll announce their engagement to his family.)

After Stacey left, Ron went in and brushed his teeth. LOL! He said as long as he's getting to the sink to take his medications, he can put out the effort for me to take care of his oral hygiene at the same time. He said he owes that to me - that he should be as considerate of my feelings as he is of outsiders' feelings.

I hope I can redeem our travel insurance for him and get a refund for his travel expenses. I sent them an email (with a picture of his foot attached) but I haven't heard back from them.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Irritated today

My husband, bless his little pea-picking heart, really ticked me off today. He has been rather "itchy" these days. I can't imagine why...

Being a disabled person, he sometimes has difficulty cleaning the 'nether regions' of his body. He does bathe, but it's quite difficult for him. We have a bidet but since this surgery it's also difficult for him to use. So, there are times when his hygiene is less than desirable. I don't complain, but I do ask him if he's gotten cleaned (after I've cleaned the toilet - sorry if TMI but it is essential to this post). I clean the toilet frequently.

I asked him today (after cleaning yet again) if he'd "bideted" before he got dressed. He gets so darn defensive if I ask him a hygiene question - including brushing his teeth. I know it's tough, I know it causes him pain, BUT odors are odors. Not pleasant.

So, when he started in on his "it's so hard" routine, I told him (yet again) that I'm not attacking him (just like every other time) but that I'm just asking - just in case he didn't realize that he wasn't clean. Same with his teeth. Most people can't smell their own breath, but others can. I don't want him to be offensive to others so I ask.

I guess I won't any more. He started in on "yeah, yeah, yeah" and nodding his head while I was trying to explain myself. I said that I didn't appreciate his attitude and he got lippy again. So, I said something not very nice - really not nice - sort of like "f...". That wasn't nice of me and I was sorry... until he said, "Well, you don't make my life very happy some days."

That just hit me in the gut and I very calmly said, "I really appreciate that comment." I have to shut down, I guess, and just not care. I'll get his food, clean his clothes, clean his toilet, take him to the doctor, and take care of his needs. But, I guess if he wants to stink, then so be it. Only problem is, I don't like to be around him. Guess I can avoid him as much as possible.

I know the man feels "unmanly" and I know that he's very upset with his situation. But, taking it out on me is not the way to win friends and influence people. I was terribly offended, and quite frankly, I'm still offended. I am sure that he'll be sorry but he won't tell me that he is. He just expects that I know he's sorry and that he appreciates me.

I do know that but there are days when I really want to look at him and say, "you did this; you fix it." But, that is not "for better or for worse; in sickness and in health" and I won't abandon him. I do love him but there are days when I don't like him very much.

I'm sure he dislikes me, too but without me, he's got nothing. The rest of his family has already proven they can't be depended upon to do anything for him. Personally, I think he's got it pretty good.

All things considered, of course. I wouldn't want to be in his shoes, either. But I don't think I'd bite the hand that feeds me.

Say "No" to the Dress

Amy and I went wedding dress shopping on Sunday afternoon. We had a blast. I've already posted my dress, but I've been waiting for Rex to tell his siblings that he's getting married AND they're invited AND it's only four months away AND it will be very out-of-town. Go figure.

I love to watch "Say Yes to the Dress" and if I had oodles of money - and nothing better to do with it - I would so sweep my girl up and take her to Kleinfelds. But, alas - I have no money and no ability to purchase anything along the lines of Kleinfelds dresses. She had to buy her own wedding dress. Both times. {sigh} She doesn't mind and a lot of girls buy their own dresses. I did. LOL - both times! I even paid for my own wedding - again, both times. But, moms have dreams about giving their little girls a beautiful wedding and we've not been in a position to do so. Amy is quite happy to give herself what she wants, and we're good with that.

Dress 1: Amy wanted something "flowy" that would be suitable for a beach wedding. She doesn't want a train and she doesn't want a veil. She's already had both.

In the first picture, she's showing that someone got make-up on it. How do you get make-up on the FRONT of a gown? We couldn't figure it out.

Dress #2: I thought this dress looked better than the first, but she was not too happy that they all made her look like she was wearing a sack. Well, that is "flowy" - they're unstructured.

Dress #3: We both loved how this looked - more structured and the top was really quite lovely on her shoulders.

Dress #4: We also both liked this, but it was slightly tight. She could breathe but they would probably have to order one in for her. No time for that.

Dress #5: This dress was really pretty, too but still not quite "there" for her.

Dress #6: This one was stunning, and could have a permanent bustle put in, but we were afraid that it wouldn't travel well and we'd end up with one big wrinkled "ball" in Jamaica.

Dress #7: Now, we're getting there. This was much closer to what she was looking for. Flow, fit, and flattering.

Dress #8: The alterations guy, Chad, said he was going to bring her a dress - one that she probably wouldn't think of on her own but it had all the elements of what she wanted, plus the train was totally detachable. Great for pictures but not something she'd have to wear the whole time. It attached to the neck in back. We absolutely LOVED this look on her and it was almost "THE" one.

Dress #9: She really, really liked it but had a few more in there and wanted to make sure that she didn't leave any stone unturned. So, she tried on this one, which was a runner up for "the" one, as well. Since she loved this one and the previous one equally, she opted to try on the remaining dresses (4-5) to see. If she didn't like any of them any better than she liked these two, she'd choose between them.

Dress #10: Another contender. The front was nice but the back was a little dressy for her and she didn't think it could be permanently bustled.

Dress #11: This is THE one. She put it on and walked out, and her whole countenance changed. You could tell she was having the "this is my dress" moment. It was priceless! Here she is in it... Sshhh - don't tell her I posted it!

She said, "this is it; I'm done!" Chad got down and showed her how he could do a permanent bustle and she said it was it; she'd found her dress. She was able to take it with her and then will go back by August 1 to have it altered. They said it would take about two weeks, which is plenty of time.

We also did some shopping for hair pieces. Since she's not wearing a veil, she wanted something pretty in her hair. She'll be beautiful!

I can't wait to post wedding pictures.

Dressing Change 101

I think I found a way to make it through the dressing change.

Step 1:   Take a Xanax and wait 15 minutes.
Step 2:   While waiting, gather supplies:
                      4 x 4 pads
                      Dakin solution
                      Trash bag
Step 3:   "Fluff" up and put to soak 4-5 4 x 4 pads into the Dakin solution.
Step 4:   Get the foot stool, move the scooter, and lay out all the supplies.
Step 5:   Oops... get the gloves.
Step 6:   Take a deep breath and begin cutting the old dressing away.
Step 7:   Pull the dressing off, pull the packing out, and pretend that it's just an everyday thing to see a gaping hole in someones foot.
Step 8:    Use a Dakin-infused 4 x 4 to clean around the foot.
Step 9:    Wipe the tweezers down with a Dakin-infused 4 x 4 to clean them. Same with the scissors.
Step 10:   Drop the scissors - start over with them.
Step 11:  Using the tweezers, "stuff" the hole with one fluffed 4 x 4 - preferably without gagging.
Step 12:  Using the tweezers, pad another fluffed 4 x 4 on the outside of the first.
Step 13:  Wrap the Kerlix around, and around, and around... oops... unwrap...
Step 14:  Place a hunk of clean, dry 4 x 4 pads on top of the wet ones.
Step 15:  Wrap the Kerlix around, and around, and around until the foot is totally wrapped.
Step 16:  Using the "Cohesive Flexible Bandage" (the cheap stuff from the animal supply store), wrap the foot so the Kerlix doesn't come off.
Step 17:  Put a sock on the whole thing so he doesn't lose the dressing during the night.

Clean up:  Tie up the bag of trash, put away the supplies, and put away the foot stool.

Top it all off with a drink. Diet 7-Up or Diet Coke? hmmm - not sure!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Today is not going so well

Ron bled and bled last night. I changed his dressing twice (left the packing alone) and because he didn't get up at all during the night, it didn't bleed through again.

That is a key statement... Ron didn't get up AT ALL during the night. He slept very well. Problem is, he's slept all day, too. In his awake, lucid moments he asks me quite strange questions. Who I'm talking to (no one; we're home alone), where he's supposed to go (obviously, back to bed), he's not sleepy (with his eyes closed), etc. Maybe, he's so tired today because he's anemic and all that blood loss has caused him fatigue. That's what I hope.

The ambulatory surgery center called to check on him. I know they can't control the fact that doctors (because they have to) send patients home too early, they did sympathize with me over the fact that Ron went home too early.

I unwrapped his foot this afternoon and did a total dressing change – just like I was told to do. I pulled on the packing – and pulled, and pulled, and pulled. Then I nearly threw up. I did cry. I am not a nurse, dimmit! I hyperventilated and thought “I’ve got to get this wrapped back up before something from the air lands in it.”

Then I called the wound care nurses. I did a temporary dressing - wet 4x4s soaked in my "homemade" Dakin solution (1/4% bleach solution) and then wrapped with more (dry) 4x4s and covered with Kerlix. I have to take him in tomorrow morning to have them re-dress and reassess the situation. I said the last time he had a hole in his foot this big, they put a wound VAC on it. I am appalled that the doctor thought this was no big deal. I told that nurse I’ve been doing a lot of stuff over the past few years and I’ve packed shallow wounds, but this is beyond my realm of comfort. I’d post a picture except I don't want people to get physically ill.

He goes back to the IV nurse on Thursday morning for another round of IV iron infusion. The wound care nurses will tell me tomorrow about seeing him again between now and Tuesday, when he sees the surgeon.

Until then, I'm physically ill from it all.

Monday, May 17, 2010

That was quick...

Surgery is already over. The doctor was just out and said he was able to get a lot of the "stuff" out but predicts it will need to be done again in the near future. He's packed the wound and wants me to change it every day and re-pack it. I'm not too sure I can do that. Even as much as I've done over the past three years, that is not something I'm comfortable with. I know a physician's assistant so I wonder if she'd be willing to come over and take care of it for me. Maybe... maybe not.

I guess we'll go back to the wound clinic on Thursday and see what they say.

Thanks for the prayers.

At the hospital

I am soooo tired! We went to bed about 11:00 and I tossed and I turned. I was awake off and on for several hours and about 3:30 woke up pretty much for good. I got out of bed at 4:25 because I knew I needed to find the charger to Ron's scooter and I knew I needed gas.

I am absolutely exhausted. I'm so tired that I'm having trouble walking. That old balance nerve is saying "no way, old broad!" Ron was taken to pre-op about 30 minutes ago; they said he'd be there about an hour. I went to the cafeteria to get some breakfast and some coffee - thinking that would make me feel better. It did not. I am so tired I can barely function. I'm trying to work this morning but cannot get logged into our server to download the project I need to work on. {sigh} That is not good. I was short 3.5 hours last week and don't remember exactly how many the week before. I cannot afford to be short so many hours. My extremely low paychecks are taking a toll on us. I honestly don't know how I'm going to keep us afloat - buying groceries is on a back burner right now but I know I need to go.

I digress.... I was talking about my fatigue.

Ron wants a block instead of general anesthesia. He was awake when they amputated his left foot and thinks he should be awake today, too. I said he was in better overall health in 2006 so that may not really be an option for him. But, they will discuss it with him and choose what is really best for a better outcome. We shall see.

I need to call my SIL and tell her he is in the hospital. LOL - she hates to find out he's sick by reading it on Facebook. I told her that FB was easiest for me because more people were on it and they could all get the updates at the same time. I will do my best to call her though. Later. Right now, I'm sure she's sleeping and would throttle me if I called them.

Too bad I didn't bring some scrapbook stuff with me. I could work on the graduation pictures or something. Amy and I went dress shopping yesterday. She definitely had her "this is my dress" moment! It was beautiful. I took lots of pictures of her trying on dreses and will post the "not my dress" picks once she says OK to do so. Her fiance's family are not all informed of the upcoming event. I picked one out for me, too. It is this one, but I don't look this good in it. It also has spaghetti straps and I bought this "shrug" to go over it. I owe amy for the dress, shoes, shrug, and dying of the shoes.

These are my shoes, which will be dyed to match:

I wish I looked even remotely this good but the problem is that I was born this size. Sigh... Keith has promised to go to the gym with me three times a week, starting tomorrow. We shall see if he follows through.

Friday, May 14, 2010

We've been blessed

As much time as I spend gritching about the stuff I don't have, just thought I'd show you all the grateful side of me. There really is one in there hiding...

I have a friend that I met just last fall. I'd never seen her before but we met at a ladies' encounter weekend and actually, didn't even have too much time to have any conversation. The weekend was pretty busy and we barely did more than get introduced. She found my blog through some posts I'd made on Facebook and she has been a blessing to us ever since.

She sent her husband over to visit with Ron when no one else would come. She has sent protein shake powder and "sugar buster" cookies over for him/me and wouldn't let me pay her. She's been a prayer warrior and an email buddy (we have yet to get together because of my hectic schedule).

And - now, twice in the last month her family has come over to do the sweeping, mopping, and odds and ends that I can't seem to get done. And they won't take a dime for it! I left a check two weeks ago because I knew I owed her about $40 - so said she needed to fill out the amount for at least that much, plus what ever I owed her for them doing the cleaning (I had asked about her daughter doing some of the stuff for me and I would pay her). I said to write something in and tell Ron, who would tell me.

She wrote "something" in it alright... All over it. But they didn't take it and it wasn't a viable check when she got finished with it. LOL! I got a good laugh.

Bless you, my friend! God is using you to make a difference in the lives of these two measly people. It's appreciated!

The tornado story

Weather this week in Kansas has been - well, typical spring weather for Kansas. Cloudy, clear, raining, clear, etc. Throw in a few tornado warnings and tornado watches and you pretty much have Kansas in the springtime.

Monday was no different than any other May morning. Forecast for rain and possible dangerous storms for the late afternoon. I was scheduled to go at 5:30 to look at houses with a realtor. He didn't call to cancel, so I guessed he wasn't bothered by the threat of rain.

It's easily 30 minutes from our house to the first house on the list, and I didn't want to be late. Plus, I was picking up a friend and had to go to her house first. Ron was (and is) in no shape to be traipsing in and out of houses. I figured I'd find some, put them on the short list, and then take him back to look at the ones I deemed appropriate for us. So, I left at 4:30 and headed to my friend's house. About half way there, the tornado horns sounded. I called Ron and told him that the sirens were going off and he needed to be aware of how much time it would take him to get to the basement. In the meantime, realtor calls and leaves a voice mail that he thinks it would be best to cancel.

It's now 5:00 and I'm in town, literally 15 minutes away from the first house on the list. I call him back and get HIS voice mail. The weather was doing strange things because my phone hadn't even rung but had gone straight to voice mail. By the time he calls me back, it is raining pretty hard and we decide that canceling is in the best interests of the occupants of the homes. (Come to find out, they were ALL vacant except one!) I had no problem with canceling but he could have called at any point in the day and said he thought the weather would be too bad to go. No problem. Instead, I spent nearly an hour driving into town and back - in rain and hail on the way back. By the time I got home - the storm had PASSED and the sky was blue!

I get in the house and Ron informs me that he fell off the wheelchair ramp (this is not the first time). Instead of walking DOWN the ramp and around to the other side, he tried to step off the ramp and promptly fell on top of things (I have stuff I'm collecting for our garage sale) and pulled the lawn mower over on top of himself. He thought he needed the crank radio so he would "know if a storm passed over." Of course, I was relieved that he was OK, but I darn near scalped him. I said if he'd been in the basement like he was supposed to be, and a tornado blew over, he'd darn sure know about it WITHOUT the radio. On the other hand, if he'd broken something and not been able to get up off the garage floor - AND a tornado blew over, he'd darn sure know it THEN, too! He was lucky that none of the glass items he fell in broke and impaled him. As it is, he's got a bruise on his right hip and many abrasions on his left shin, thigh, and forearm. The big doofus!

He said he just felt like he needed the radio but after he landed on the floor and couldn't get up, he realized that maybe, just maybe, he should have just left the TV on and gone down to the basement.

Well, duh!

News flash...

Surgery[sur-juh-ree] (courtesy
"The art, practice, or work of treating diseases, injuries, or deformities by manual or operative procedures.
Treatment, as an operation, performed by a surgeon."

That’s a word that is back in our vocabulary and will be taking place on Monday, May 17th. We have to be at the hospital at 5:30 AM so we can hurry up and wait. I have no idea why they feel someone should check into the hospital that early in the morning. On the plus side, if Ron is one of the first patients taken in, he has less chance of having a low blood sugar from lack of eating. “Nothing by mouth after midnight” isn’t so bad unless you’re diabetic and then you can go into a low blood sugar if it’s too far into the day without food. Ron has been in that boat before and then they’re scrambling around trying to figure out what they can give him to raise the blood sugar but not cause him to be sick later.

I'm honestly not thrilled with surgery, but with everything else going on, it's probably best. I haven't told the tornado story (I'm a bit out of order here) but once I get it written and uploaded, you'll see why I'm ready for the man to just get the foot fixed. We've got to have some relief here!

We spent most of yesterday at the hospital - early for the IV iron infusion and then the afternoon for the surgeon. The IV nurse couldn't find a vein. The first one she tried collapsed. The next one "blew" when she injected the heparin. The next one also blew when she injected the heparin. Finally, in his left hand she was able to get the IV done. If not, he would have had to do two four hour stints at the hospital to get the same amount of iron as that one injection. He was scheduled to go back on Monday but his plans have changed.

We got over to the hospital (which is across the street from the office where he got the injection - it's where his nephrologist and his surgeon are both located) just about lunch time. It was so crowded that we just ate and then went into the lobby to wait for his 1:15 appointment. Ron was so tired that he fell asleep very quickly in one of the cushy chairs. I set up shop to work and could not get Internet access. Bummer! Big time! So, I just sat. I didn't want to go off and leave him and I didn't want to wake him.

We got up to the wound clinic and waited from 1:30 until 3:30 to see the doctor. Ron slept. I played pinball on my phone. The surgeon had gotten called into a Level I trauma so was detained. A different surgeon from the same office is who came in. He said he has extensive training in diabetic foot ulcers (he's also a plastic surgeon) and bone infection. He took a probe and was able to feel the bone, which he said always 100% of the time indicates bone infection. There's no sure fire way to tell how extensive it is in a diabetic foot until you open it up. So, Monday could be good or it could be bad.

We're both just so over the waiting that we're ready to just move forward, no matter what that path might be. If we expect the worst then anything above that is good. Hopefully, Monday I'll be able to get connected to the Internet and I can work while he's in surgery and recovery. We'll see what transpires.

next, the tornado story...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

it is a new day

I am good. It was good to vent although it did make me sound like a spoiled brat.

I really appreciate the comments and the prayers. I took myself to bed fairly early and slept well.

Sorry if this has errors and I will fix later. Sending from my phone. Didn't want anyone to worry about me today.

I have actually specifically asked certain people for specific assistance and they just disappeared into the woodwork. I will not ask them again for anything. Ever.

More later.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Tonight, I did lose it...

i lost what was left of my mind and i feel like a total ass. i made my husband cry. you'll all have to forgive my lack of proper punctuation (ack! from a professional writer at that!) because i am past the point of caring about upper and lower case letters tonight.

we are desperately trying to figure out a way to remain part of the "non-homeless" crowd. as such, i am looking at smaller and much less expensive houses closer to where i work. closer would be good for more than one reason, one of which being that i could go home for lunch and make sure that ron is doing ok. one other reason would be less gasoline to get him to take to and from his many appointments.

i made an appointment for this evening at 5:30 to go see four houses on my list of ones that i wanted to see. it is easily a 20 minute drive from my house to the first one on the list. i was almost there when the realtor called me to say he thought we should cancel because of bad weather moving through the area. i have no problem with the fact that he wanted to cancel; i do take issue with the fact that he waited until that late to call me. the weather predictions for this afternoon has been the same ALL DAY. bad weather was predicted for this afternoon early this morning. he could have called at any point during the day to see about rescheduling. i was not happy but i do understand; i would not want to take my family out in tornado warning/watch weather either.

while i was gone, ron decided that he just had to have the crank radio that is out in the garage in case the power went out. he could take himself to the basement if needed (sliding down the stairs to the bottom and then walking to the safe room) and take a flashlight (we keep one by his chair) with him. instead of walking DOWN the ramp like any sane person would do, he decided to step OFF the ramp at about mid-way down and promptly fell. HARD. the lawn mower landed on top of him - how i'm not sure but it did. he cut his left leg, his left thigh, his knee, his elbow, his forearm, and hurt his hip. so, i came home to a bruised and bleeding person who should have known better than to try and get the radio. yes, i see why he thought it was imperative that he get it. no, he did not see the "what if" factor - what if he didn't get the radio, a tornado came and blew the house away; he'd be downstairs and darn well would have known. what if he hurt himself when he fell and a tornado came - he'd be on the floor of the garage INSTEAD of the basement when the house was blown away. i think i would have gone with the first option myself, but then i've often been accused of dwelling too much on the what if factors in life.

i clean up his wounds, get him bandaged, and do my household chores. laundry, unloading/loading the dishwasher, trash, etc. i was working on something from work (trying to catch up a little so i didn't lose 5 hours of pay today) and got a phone call. bless him, he puts the television on mute and pauses it so i won't lose what i was watching. once my call is finished, i asked him to unpause it and unmute it. he gets the 'play' button hit, but instead of the mute button (to turn the sound back on), he hits the wrong button and changes the channel - which loses the show that i was watching. you can't go back to it unless you were recording it, which we were not. it's not that i cared about the show - i didn't; it was just something that was on in the background and i was only vaguely listening anyway.

i picked up the remote to see (just curious) how close the buttons were that he had hit and because he shakes so much, any distance is too close together. it would not have mattered if they had been on opposite ends of the remote. if he's shaking, he's not going to hit the right ones. oh well... i was fine until he got defensive about it. i wasn't challenging him or even giving him grief. but the defensive attitude really just set me off.

i unloaded. and cried. and unloaded some more. and cried some more. i threw his laundry basket (more than once - picked it up and slammed it back down on the floor; darn thing is tough 'cause it didn't break at all). told him everything that was on my mind. EVERYTHING. told him i'd prayed - i'd begged - i'd pleaded - i'd bargained - with God for answers, help, direction, etc. AND GOT NOTHING. i told God at that particular moment i hated him. and i meant it. i said it many, many times. didn't feel any better for saying it. can't say that it wasn't true at that particular moment in time. i said that i'd looked for answers and listened to everyone who said that things will get better, things always look darkest before they get better. the only thing I see at the end of the tunnel is another train waiting to mow me over.

i said i was tired of everyone saying how hard of a life he was having, how sorry they felt for him, how bad it was that he had to live this way. so many comments about how difficult his life is. i said that i wasn't discounting his misery at all but none of the - NOT ONE - would say how sorry they felt for what i was going through. last time i checked, i wasn't walking through a bed of roses, unless the roses had been picked and the only thing left was the thorns. I said i was worried about our finances and when he'd ask me to buy things and i said we didn't have any money, then he'd turn right around and ask for something else. i said i felt guilty that i was unable to just buy him the little things that he asked for and that it was my fault that we were in the shape we were in; i didn't manage the finances well enough.

i said a lot. i said it wasn't any one thing - it was lots. it was the karens, the tracis, the kims, the als, and the other people who've known all the stuff he (we) were going through and never - not once - offered to sit at the hospital, bring me dinner after spending the day at the hospital, or whatever i might have needed. he thought i was mad at him for basically doing this to himself; the years that i tried to get him to follow a diabetic diet and follow the doctors' (that is plural - more than one doctor's orders) orders and ended up like this. i said no, that i didn't really believe i was holding it against him; i would be very surprised if i was holding any of that against him. i said it was the people who would say let me know if they could do anything for me and then disappear into the woodwork when i asked. it was the people who brought me all of their troubles but when i would say something that was on my mind, they were worse than me and would not want to listen to my troubles. i said i wasn't getting paid to be a psychologist but everyone still brought me their troubles, but not want to know mine. (i'm not overlooking the few people who HAVE volunteered to do things for us, but mostly one couple that we have very recently met; V & G know that they are so greatly appreciated!).

i said that i was not suicidal but that my life right now was so miserable that if i ended up on the streets that i would not care. except i'm a pansy and i'm afraid of the dark and don't want to put myself into a position where i might get hurt (real brave of me). i said that the only thing that was keeping me going was the fact that i loved him, my family, my children, and my grandchildren very much and i wouldn't do anything that would make them worry about me. i said that if this was all i had to look forward to, then i would just as soon not live. (that was a very bad thing to say and i don't mean it. i want to be around to see my children and my grandchildren succeed with their lives. that was a very selfish thing for me to say.)

for someone who never cried, i now cry all the time. i'm near tears more often during the day than i care to admit. i go to bed and can't sleep; i wake up and i'm tired. i wish i was one of those people who CAN'T eat when they're stressed; all i can think about is what i'm going to stuff in this fat mouth. i'm not even hungry, i don't want to eat, but i shove crap in there anyway.

i said a lot. and it just kept coming. i said that i'm sorry for not being able to do it all. there are lots of people who have more on their plates than i do and they manage to keep the house clean, keep the laundry done, get to work, do the doctors' appointments, and manage the finances. i obviously am a much weaker person than that as i'm not able to do it all and keep my sanity. i said i was so done that i couldn't see straight. i said that i don't know what to do any more and that i don't think i can do any more. i said i am sorry that i can't fix what's wrong.

i said i try to not think about stuff that i can't control and i try to think about things that i can do to make things better. i said i hate where my life is right now and i hate a lot of things, including some people. that wasn't nice, either and i really didn't mean that i hate people. i'm incredibly disappointed in them (they are family - mostly) and incredibly frustrated with them but that is a far cry from hate. it's like when your kids say "i hate you!" you know that they don't really mean it; it's emotion talking.

i had a lot of emotion talking tonight.

ron cried and then i felt about this ... big (that's very tiny). he can't change what it is and i shouldn't load any stress on his shoulders. but, i honestly know that i can't take any more stress onto my shoulders either. when i thought we were going to get to move, i was really relaxed and thought that things might actually be looking up for us. that was very short-lived and i should have known better.

i wore him out with my emotional unloading. me, i'm thinking about getting drunk. except i don't like hangovers.

Looks like surgery again

I'm just sitting here fantasizing about the day when there's no more doctor's appointments, no more depressing news from the nurses who take off the bandages, and no more "concerned" looks when they see what's under the bandage.

We'll find out on Thursday if there's infection in the wound; they did a culture today. Dr. K will discuss with Dr. H this week and let us know who, when, and where they're going to do surgery and exactly what they plan on doing. I said I cannot take care of him by myself and that he'd need to go to a step-down facility. Dr. K said they'd try to keep him in the hospital for a week and then maybe he'd be able to put some weight on it to transfer. That does not solve all of my problems for me. Transferring from bed to chair to toilet, etc. is only one-half of the problem. Who is going to sit with him all day while he's home? He'll need someone to fetch him food, something to drink, his medications, etc. Maybe even though he'll stay in the hospital for a week, he will still need to go to a step-down for a week or so.

Guess my trip to see the grandkids is not going to happen unless they are unable to get the surgery scheduled within the next two weeks. My sister says I should go anyway. And what? Leave Ron home alone? Leave him in the hospital (if that's where he is)? Or a step-down facility? I think not. There's no one who can sit with him 24/7 except me.

I'm really not complaining. Really I'm not. If I tell myself that enough times maybe I'll actually believe it. I was yelling at God again this morning. Our income is down $1200-$1400 per month. I miss much more work to sit with him at home or whatever and it'll go down more. I keep trying to ask God just how much more does He think I can handle? I keep looking for answers and I'm beating my head against the wall. I feel like I'm examining all of the things out there but then I'm not sure.

I just really don't know any more.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


One of the times I logged on to manage my posts, I found a link to print my blog. Hmmm... I'm always afraid that I'm going to lose Isaiah's blog and I have been doing different things to back it up so there's always a relatively current copy somewhere.

This place - - was a great idea. I got a hard cover book and a PDF version, but a soft cover is also available. I wanted all of the pictures and all of the comments and wanted to give it to Amy as a combination birthday/graduation gift. I gave her a PDF version for her birthday and the hard cover came today. I'm thrilled! I did find some typos that I missed in my preview of my work (LOL - I can always mentally correct my errors; even though I write for a living, I'm not always error-proof). My sister wants me to go back and re-do the blog, re-order another PDF, but this time without the comments and a few of the other non-related posts. She thinks I should try to get it really published because other parents of PDD-NOS (autistic) children would probably really benefit from some of the content. That would be awesome, but I have no idea how to go about trying to get it published.

Here is what the cover (front and back) looks like:

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

In a mood but not defeated

We have totally decided to put our house on the market and move into something smaller. Our requirements are 2 bedroom, 2 car garage, main floor master bedroom, main floor laundry, and wheelchair friendly. We want a small fenced yard. I want a basement (we get lots of tornadoes here) for storage and for shelter. We need a master bath and a 2nd bathroom. Eat in kitchen is fine. No fireplace is fine. Ranch style house is preferred. We have some competition in our neighborhood as far as houses for sale. One has been on the market for several months and I just found out they've reduced their listing price to less than what we owe on our house. I need to get at least 10,000 over what we owe to pay any real estate fees and we don't have anything to bring to the table, so it has GOT to sell for more than what they've got theirs listed for. Praying for a miracle there!

We want to cut our house payment in half so we're definitely looking at much smaller and older homes. That is OK as long as it's in good shape. I can't do any repairs. I am still planning on a moving sale. I took stock of our finances today and it's not good. That's what is my mood-downer. We lost $600 per month in income (Ron's retirement) and $400 rent from Amy - so our income is down $1,000. Our expenses are NOT down $1,000 - not even close and I've been working on reducing for quite some time. Without a total financial miracle - and I mean a BIG one - we're looking at going down the tubes very quickly. Not good.

I talked to a realtor today and he is going to send me some property listings. I want to find something closer to work, which would also save me gas money. This particular realtor has a program where he guarantees to sell your house within a certain amount of time, and if not he will buy it at a pre-agreed upon price. I would sell this house to him (or another investor) for enough to pay it off and any fees. I have no emotional attachment to the house whatsoever. None. But I do have an emotional attachment to the thought of trying to come up with funds to cover closing costs. Can't do it. No way. Absolutely. No. Way.

I looked at our finances today and I really don't know where I can cut between now and selling. I can cut a few small things but not enough to keep us afloat. Ron's medical expenses are going up (an extra $100 per month just in medication) and there's very little flexibility in the way of medications. I can probably cut out a couple of the meds that I take, or take 1/2 dosage instead, but they're meds that already only cost $5 each per month. So, the savings would be $2.50 per month for each. Not much. I can cut cable back but it's the only entertainment Ron has. How do I take that away from him? I can cut the Internet back to a slower speed, which will save $10 per less. So, I can come up with about $15 per month in savings right off the bat.

Groceries... Hmmm... Not to easy to cut back there. Ron has to eat and he's supposed to be eating better. I can cut back what I eat and then would be able to cut back the diabetes pills some more. Not sure. If I take my meds like I'm supposed to, I get hungry. If I don't take the pills then I don't get as hungry. If I let myself get a low blood sugar, then I get sick. That's not good either. Looks like the grocery bill will have to stay pretty much as it is. I can shop smarter, though. I already buy generic when possible and not much in the way of convenience foods. The only convenience foods I really get are those I buy for Ron to fix himself for lunch.

Cell phones... Keith needs to get his own plan and then I can cut the minutes back on our family plan. I think I may swap out my smart phone for a regular old phone and that will save $15 per month. If my contract is not tied to the type of phone I use, that may be something that I have to look in to.

Gas and Electricity... We are on a level payment plan so those don't change each month. Can't do any savings there.

The other stuff I make payments on can't really be changed. The house payment takes way too much of our income. Next is our car payment. I'd sell it and keep the Blazer, but we're upside down due to lots of other things - so no go there. Debt - that's the big kicker. Medical bills started a downhill slide and we've just snowballed into a place that is going to be difficult to get out of without some repercussions. We're still paying on the remains of a large bill from 2008. It'll be over two years before that's paid off (at $130 per month - $3800 owed). It's enough to really depress a person.

But, I will prevail. I don't know how exactly. But, I am tough and I will do it. Too bad I don't know any rich distant "relatives" who left me some real money - not the fake stuff that we all get emails about - riches in foreign countries. I read a blog one time where one guy actually put a PayPal link on it for folks to send him donations. Now, that's desperate. I don't know if he got any takers or not. I got a good laugh out of it but I guess desperation makes people do strange things.

I've been praying a lot about what to do and looking for direction - I don't want to make a decision that will detrimental in the future. I need to do what is going to be best for Ron and I in the long run - and in the short run. He will probably need to have surgery on the right foot in June. That will be another medical expense for us over the insurance payments. He'll have to go to a step-down facility for a few weeks because I can't take care of him at home without help. In-home assistance is not an option with our insurance; step-down facility is a possibility with a co-pay. Not sure what the co-pay is but no matter what it is, it will be worth paying to have the help for him. He'll need to be non-weight bearing for 2-3 weeks and without lots of help, that just won't happen.

So, I'd appreciate your prayers for us. I believe that God is still in the miracle business and He can and does answer prayers.


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Home, tired, and ready to face the week!

I had a very nice time in KC with my sister and scrapbook stuff. We went to dinner Friday night at a Mongolian BBQ place (kind of disappointed in it, but not too shabby). Saturday morning we hit a scrapbooker's dream of a garage sale. I picked up some stuff for pennies on the dollar. Had a great time. Then, we went to Archiver's and did our free stuff. I did a nice little Thank You card, a 6 x 8 page layout for a boy, and an 8 x 8 page layout for a girl. All I have to do is add some pictures and they'll be ready to add onto a 12 x 12 scrapbook page.

It was so funny when I got there because as I was looking around to see where I was going to sit, I thought I recognized someone over my right shoulder. As it registered that I really did recognize her, we both said each other's names at the same time. So funny, we live about 7 or 8 miles from each other, hadn't seen each other in over 10 years, and drove nearly 200 miles to run into each other at a scrapbook event.

I got one layout done of our anniversary dinner from last August, did a couple of layouts of Isaiah "learning" how to hit a baseball and a volley ball, a couple of pages from his birthday, and two other pages from our family reunion last September. I didn't get any Vegas or Hoover Dam pictures scrapped but I'm going to leave the stuff out on the table and work on it some this week.