Jack Moved

Jack and his girlfriend finally got approved for an apartment about a month ago. He started packing his things and on March 1st he and the girlfriend moved in to their apartment. Sylvia and I took Ethan to a special needs camp that weekend, so we weren’t able to help much. I did get to see the apartment on the day they moved in. They had done a good job on getting their stuff in to the apartment. I have not been back over there since they got it all moved in.

I do miss him, but he was gone for two years at school. He was then home for almost two years and now he is gone again. I think this time though it is for good. I sold his dresser and bed frame this week. Jack still needs to come over and get a LOT of things he has not moved yet. He is off for Spring Break this week (he works in a school district) and so am I!! He is supposed to be over tomorrow to pack up the rest of his things and help us move some things in the garage so we can set up a new shelf.

Ethan is going to move in to Jack’s room once we pay someone to paint it and we want to put down laminate. Once Ethan is moved, then Sylvia will move her desk from our bedroom into Ethan’s old room and we will have more room in our bedroom. We also want to paint the office and put down some new carpet in there.

The poor cats are so confused by all of this. Oh and we found one plate, one fork, one mug, about $2.00 in change, several condom wrappers (over a dozen), condoms that were still in the wrapper (over a dozen here too), some love cuffs (oh why didn’t he make that the first thing he packed. I found those getting the TV cable box to return to the cable company), about a dozen clothes pins (we hang our clothes) and about two dozen socks that don’t have a mate. I have vacuumed his room about three times and the amount of cat hair and dust is unbelievable. Some areas, like under his dresser, have not seen the light of day in I don’t know how long. The drawers under his dresser had at least an inch of cat hair across the entire bottom of the drawer.

I am proud of Jack for being able to get out on his own. I know Sylvia and I were driving him crazy. It is hard to be 21 and have to live with TWO moms! I will miss him, but he has his own journey to begin. By the way, he moved a whole five minutes away (her family lives in town too, and didn’t want her moving far), so it isn’t like I can’t just drive over and still bug him some times!!!!!!

Summertime!

We have been very busy for the last few weeks. Both Ethan and I finished started our summer on May 27th! Sylvia is still working and so is Jack. We do still have to get up early two days a week for my niece and nephew who come over while their mom works! Ethan enjoys playing with his cousins and we have been on a few outings having fun. I have completed two of the three days for a workshop this week that has been very interesting. I have a two day workshop next week and then that is all done! I also found out that one other hospital is covering 95% of my bills, so now I am down to just 4 medical bills. I have two doctors that I need to pay, the ambulance and the hospital that didn’t treat me correctly. I am still in discussion with them, because I got my medical records and there are NO doctor’s notes for the first visit. I just have more time to do the research now!

Ethan has a few doctors he needs to see in the next few weeks. I have met my out of pocket limit so I am going to see the eye doctor and visit my gynecologist about menopause! My insurance year starts over on Sept. 1st so I have to get in what I can now. Even my prescriptions are $0.00. Having to go to the ER seven times which included two CT scans, lots of lab work, ultrasounds, a HIDA scan and many other things is not the way to get free medical care, but it is what it is! I know most people complain about their health insurance, and believe me there are things I don’t like about mine, but I am glad I had it for this situation.

Sylvia and I celebrated one year of marriage this month. We went out to eat and had a great time. We have actually been together since the Fall of 2010, so almost seven years. I am so glad we were able to marry!

The summer is already going by so fast. My mom is having surgery in a few weeks so I’ll be helping her with that. i plan on taking Ethan to see my sister and nephew, so that will be a fun few days. I have made myself just SIT and watch some movies….which isn’t easy. I like to stay busy.

I also want to say that I am feeling SO MUCH BETTER. I know that sounds weird, but I think I finally have my stamina back since having the surgery. I am walking at least 10,000 steps. This all started about a week after I finished school.

Well, this has been a rambling post, but there was lots to share.

Allergies!

There is something in the air and it is affecting all of us, except for Sylvia. The boys and I have been sneezing all week. My eyes are driving me even more crazy then the sneezing. Ethan has had a cough so he has been doing breathing treatments three times a week since Monday. I was finally able to get him into the doctor today and he is now on antibiotics and a steroid. I am feeling pretty good and don’t feel sick, thank goodness. Poor Ethan has asthma and so he has a harder time fighting off any infections. I am taking mucinex and allergy medication. Jack will sneeze and sneeze and then will say that he doesn’t need any allergy medication. Drives me nuts. Sylvia seems to be immune from most of the allergens in our area. She will sneeze some here and there, but allergy medication seems to help her more than the rest of us. I am ready for the HEAT to kick in and kill off everything! Jack and I both have a bit of poison ivy too from the yard work this past weekend. YIKES! He has it worse than me. Even with long sleeves, long pants and gloves, we both got hit with it! I think we will all survive. Two more weeks of school and SUMMER will be here!

Hospital Bills

The hospital and doctor bills started arriving towards the end of March and early April. I just paid off the two ER visits that I had back in October and November. Needless to say, I am not too happy with the hospital that sent me home twice and asked me if I was a narcotics user. I have emailed and spoken to the patient advocate. I even sent her my medical bills from the hospital that finally diagnosed my gall bladder. The last letter I got from her stated that “there was a 70% chance the pain would resolve itself and a 30% chance it would not AND you elected to have surgery”. Well, that is not what was in the records I sent her. It was actually a 70% chance the surgery would fix the problem. The gall bladder was functioning at 9.9% and to be considered normal it would have to be 38% or more. I called and spoke to an administrator to complain about the patient advocate. The advocate called me and apologized and then asked what I wanted. I told her I wanted a ZERO balance. I had sent a letter of dispute to the two ER doctors before even receiving bills from them and I have received NO bills from them…NONE. I think that speaks volumes. I have also filed a complaint with the state on the hospital and on both doctors. I paid $5 to the hospital last month and again this month. I need to call the two other hospitals. My bills were frozen since I had applied for financial assistance because I have SO many bills. I also have the ambulance ride top pay for. I sent them $15 this month and plan on sending $15 each month. I have had a lot of other small bills for labs and some of the tests, but none of those have been large bills. I’ll keep y’all posted on my hospital bill drama.

50th Birthday!

I turned 50 yesterday and Sylvia gave me a wonderful party! The day started out with me waking up to her saying “Happy Birthday”. She gave me my birthday presents right then! She got me some things for my cell phone, lavender bubble bath and a ceramic antique kitten! I to love cats. We had planned my party together, but there were some things I had not been told. We had the party at a Mexican food restaurant. There were a total of 20 people who came which included Jack, Ethan, my mom and Jack’s girlfriend. The rest of the guests were friends and couples that we hang out with at the women’s dance or other events. It was so much fun. Sylvia had made party favors for the guests and tied to them was a round tag that said, “Thank you for coming to Maria’s 50th birthday party”. It was really neat. They were tied to a small jar that held candy! She also had a poster board that was titled “50 Things we like about Maria….” There was strong across the board and each person wrote something down that they liked about me! I read them to everyone after we ate. After dinner we ate some birthday cake and visited more. I made sure to go to each end of the table and see all of our friends. It was one of my best birthdays. The boys wrote nice things about me as did Jack’s girlfriend. My mother got to meet all of our friends and she enjoyed talking to each of them. Many of our friends write nice things about my mom on Facebook after the party. Our friends had heard many stories about Jack and Ethan, but had not met them. It was neat to see them get to meet them both and for the boys to meet our friends that we talk about. It was just a nice afternoon with friends and family! I am blessed to have Sylvia, Jack, Ethan, my mom and all of my friends!

It’s Been a Month

It is has been a month since my gall bladder surgery. It took three weeks to finally start feeling like my old self, so this past week has been a good one. I saw my surgeon two weeks ago and asked about the pain I have been having on my right side. He said that my brain is still trying to send signals to my gall bladder, that is no longer there. I was glad to hear that this was all that was going on and it wasn’t something more serious. I have not had any pain for a week now and that is one reason I am feeling so much better. My first week back at work was hard. I would come home and take a nap before I even ate dinner and THEN still go to bed early. Sylvia has been awesome. She waited on me and worried when I had even just a small pain. The medical bills are starting to come in, but I met my deductible back in November, so they are not TOO bad. I did file a complaint with one of the hospitals and am waiting to see what they have to say. I also sent a letter of dispute to the two doctors that treated me at that one hospital. I am curious to see what comes out of all of that and I will keep you posted.

I am on spring break this week, but Ethan is in school. He had spring break last week. I am taking him to three doctor’s appointments this week and Jack is having his wisdom teeth pulled. Sylvia and I are going to work on our taxes (I am sure that will end up being a blog post). I hope we survive doing our taxes! I am going to spend the day with my mom on one day. I may treat myself to a movie, but otherwise, I will just be home and going to appointments with the kids!

We are on the count down to summer!!!

Two Weeks Post Op

It has been two weeks since my gall bladder surgery and I still get tired by 7:00 most nights. I ended up being home an entire week from work. I was back in the ER the Thursday after surgery in pain again, but this time it was a urinary tract infection. I went back to work this past Monday and did pretty good, but had to lay down when I got home from work. This happened again on Tuesday. On Wednesday, I was feeling really good, but went to bed around 8:30 and crashed hard. I was in bed by 9:00 last night. I am watching what I eat and have found that I have to eat smaller portions. I am really ready to be back to 100% but I know it takes time. My stepmom told me that anesthesia can affect you for up to a month. Sylvia has taken very good care of me and put me to bed when I needed it. The boys have been pretty good, but they are typical young men….CLUELESS. I go see the surgeon this Tuesday for a check up and then we should be good from there. OH, I got my bloodwork results back from the gynecologist and it confirmed that I am in menopause. I am not sure if I will look at hormone therapy or not. Right now, my body doesn’t feel right for a lot of reasons!

It Was My Gall Bladder

It only took FOUR ER visits this week and one ambulance ride, but we found out it was my gall bladder that was causing my pain. Sylvia took me to the ER early on Monday morning (1:00 am) and was told I had kidney stones. WE came home and I took the day off. I set up a urology appointment and went to work on Tuesday. I was doing OK on Wednesday, but then started feeling bad around 3:00 pm. Sylvia took me to a different ER on Tuesday night. After two hours and a CT scan I was told it wasn’t kidney stones and to go home. My stepmom took me back to the same hospital around 4 AM and was told the same thing and was asked if I was a narcotic user. My stepmom chewed them out, they gave me pain meds and sent me home. Sylvia took me to my primary care doctor who thought it might be a gynecological issue or a gastro issue. We visited a urologist who confirmed it was not kidney stones and agreed with my primary care doctor. I got an appointment with my gynecologist and tried to tolerate the pain. Well Thursday night it was too much. My stepmom advised I call an ambulance and so we did. I arrived there and long story short, they ended up admitting me, doing more tests and figured out that my gall bladder LOOKED fine but was actually working at only 10%, This took all day to figure out and by 5:00 pm they were prepping me for surgery.

My mom came in to help Sylvia. Sylvia was exhausted from the ER trips and work. I got home yesterday and have been taking it easy. I’ll be out at least the next three days from work. The boys have been good and Sylvia has been awesome. I’ll be calling the second hospital tomorrow to file a complaint and work on making sure they know how much they messed up. It is a LONG story but the nurse was an ass and they did not take care of me.

Christmas Baking

It is that time of year again and the baking has already begun!! Sylvia and I both like to bake our special treats for Christmas. She has students and co-workers that she gives these baked goods to and I have staff and friends I like to share with. I even make up around 30 gift bags to send with Ethan full of these Christmas treats. My all time favorite baked good is the Snowball cookies that I make each year. Some of Sylvia’s co-workers asked her if she would be bringing those white cookies (snowball cookies) and chocolate truffles again this year. It makes me happy to know people enjoy what I make. Sylvia found the truffle recipe two years ago and we made them again last year. We plan on making them again this year. Both boys enjoy coming in to help with the truffle making and they are so easy to make. Sylvia makes up the chocolate and then refrigerates it. She and I roll the truffles and the boys decorate them in the various sprinkles we purchased. We count the truffles as we go and on the 11th truffle one person gets to do a quality control test and taste the truffle. We then restart the counting and the next person gets to have a taste on the 11th truffle. We make about 100 truffles each time and enjoy sitting around and chatting!

Sylvia has a chocolate walnut recipe type of candy she makes, but we don’t have an official name for it. We call them the “walnut things”, but they are good. I also make homemade pralines! My great-grandmother taught my mother how to make pralines and I have been making them for the past four years. I don’t usually send those in the treat bags, because not everyone likes them. However, I do make them for friends and family as Christmas gifts. Two years ago someone asked if they could pay me to make the pralines for them and I did. She gave them as a gift and said her friend loved them. My niece and nephew come over every year and we make homemade sugar cookies with Ethan. If Jack is home, he will stop and help us decorate the cookies. We use store bought icing and then use food coloring to make different colors. I also have tubes of icing we can use to decorate the cookies as well as sprinkles. This year I have decorative eyeballs to use! The kids enjoy it and so do I! We make lots of good memories. I have been making these cookies since Jack was around two years old. Back then my little sister and brother would come over (they were 10 and 6) to make and decorate cookies!

I enjoy giving these items as presents! I think homemade gifts are sometimes the best, especially when you can eat them!

My Father

My father and I had managed to avoid discussing politics since Spring of last year. I know he is a Trump supporter and he knows he shouldn’t share politics with me. When same-sex marriage became legal I had to unfollow him on Facebook because of his rantings about the Supreme Court. I have forgiven him so many times through the years for what he said to me and for what he had done to our family when he divorced my mother. He never congratulated me on my wedding to Sylvia, and yet I tried to keep him in my life. He had called my younger sister to ask her opinion of my marriage, because again, he doesn’t support it. I cried everyday after Trump won, because I knew that I might “lose” my relationship with my father. My dad’s wife, my brother, my half brother and half sister, my dad’s sister (my aunt, of course) and several other members on that side of the family support Trump. I was already trying to make a plan in my head for Christmas. I would ask him to come to my house and see us, because I would not want to go and be up around everyone for fear when/if politics came up I would lose control of my mouth and there would be a horrible argument. Now I don’t even want to do that.

I posted my feelings about the election on Facebook. Nothing too bad. I was disappointed and I knew the holidays would be hard. Several friends responded and then my mom responded about me being a strong single mom until I met Sylvia and then something about how she could relate as a single mom and that she never got much child support. She later told me that she had responded to ONE person’s response and really thought no one else would see it, just the one person. Well someone saw it and told my dad. He then called my younger sister who doesn’t live close by and told her my mom had lied and he didn’t appreciate it. He then told her that he wasn’t calling me because he knew I was already upset with him. Well she gave him a lecture and a list of other things he had done. Of course, then I find out about it and I am not happy that he has upset my mother because she found out about it as well. I called him all upset to talk to him and he didn’t want to talk about it. I hung up on him and have blocked his phone number along with my step-mom’s number. Her sister tried to get involved and texted me and I told her to stay out of it.

On top of all of that, my brother called my mom to ask her to talk to me because HE voted for Trump and HE wanted me to know that Trump wasn’t going to try to change the law on same-sex marriage. My sister slipped and told me this. You know it is not just the law about same-sex marriage it is future laws that will allow business to discriminate against those in the LGBT community.

Needless to say, it has been a drama filled week. I am still not sure when or if I will speak to my dad again. He says he accepts me and Sylvia, but doesn’t approve of the lifestyle. He has also said that family shouldn’t have to apologize to family. I am trying to find peace in my heart so I can get through each day. How many times do I let my heart be broken by my father? I don’t know if I can take another heart break. It isn’t easy to know what to do.