Compulsive hoarding is a mental disorder that is just beginning to be understood. As a hoarder, I have acquired things over the years with a specific purpose in mind at the time of the acquisition, used some of those items for their intended purposes, forgotten the goal for different objects, but now that I find that they have outlived their purpose in my life I am struggling to rid myself of those same things.

You can read the start of my journey here.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

I finally get to sleep with my husband.

Last night, after years of dedicated service to the company he's worked for for almost 13 years, Hubster was 'let go'.  No notice. They just laid him and 4 other people off from their jobs. His problem was that he'd done such a good job that he had the highest hourly rate of any of the drivers, and they felt they could no longer afford to keep him on. 

They informed him that as of midnight last night, we are without insurance. He was given a small severance package, and it will help out, but it's only going to be a fraction of what he'd have made had he actually been working, because it includes no overtime or shift differential, of course. I can't tell you how incredibly thankful I am that I'd already had my surgery, and all I have left is a follow-up visit to the doctor. I'm hoping that the follow-up is covered as part of the surgery. They often are. Hopefully this one is, too. If it's not, I'll find out, if it's even necessary to go, and I'll skip it, if I can.

And talk about timing! Yeah. It's going to suck to have the payments for the sewer repairs, but I can't tell you how incredibly relieved we are that we're not going to have to deal with sewer problems on top of being and uninsured and unemployed family! I mean seriously. It could be worse! Oh! I almost forgot! When he got the sewer work loan, he signed up for an insurance plan thing that will pay the payment on the loan, if he has unplanned unemployment! So hopefully, we won't have to worry about that payment, after all. That would be nice.

We've got lots to look into. There's a chance Hubster can get training to get into a different line of work through the VA, since he never had GI Bill benefits due to his entry date into the Marines. If he qualifies, he'll jump at the opportunity, and things will just be tight for awhile. If he doesn't qualify, he'll start a job search immediately. He's planning on going down to the VA Tuesday to see what he can find out. 

Even though this has set our world upside down temporarily, I cling to Romans 8:28 and the thought that all will be okay. I mean, we still have each other, and we all have our health, and we no longer have sewer issues. Things really could be so much worse.

Hubster will no longer have to deal with getting called out at 2 and 3 in the morning to deal with patients. He'll no longer feel like throwing his phone through the wall when it rings in the middle of the night and startles him out of his skin. He'll no longer have to deal with some of the incompetent supervisors he's dealt with all these years. 

For over a decade, he's gone to work around 1:30 pm and has gotten off work anywhere from midnight to 4:00 in the morning. In all those years, we haven't gone to bed at the same time unless I stayed up late to spend time with him, and even then I fell asleep in the recliner long before we ventured into bed. 

So for the first time in almost 13 years, I get to sleep with my husband again.


Sunday, February 10, 2013

What's a girl to do?

When the plumber came out initially and gave us an estimate on the repairs that needed done, he asked, if we wanted to schedule it in a couple of weeks. All we could think of was what might happen in those two weeks while we waited, so we asked him to make it happen as soon as possible. He did. He came the very next day. At the time, I had no idea where he came up with suggesting a 2 week waiting period. 

Now I know.

He was thinking of me and the recovery I would need from my surgery. I have no idea why I didn't think of that. I'm sure it had to do with the untold troubles we've had with the sewer in the past and how I didn't want to add any more stories to the list. I'm thinking I maybe should have waited. Either that, or maybe Hubster should have taken a week of instead of the 2 days that he did. It's been a bit much for me, and it caught up with me this weekend.

Scooter tested positive for strep when Hubster took her to the doctor on Wednesday. Thursday, Hopper woke up with a fever and a sore throat. Her doctor put her on antibiotics for strep, assuming she has what Scooter has. And although I was not tested, I am certain that I have it as well. I first called my doctor's office Wednesday, after I got the news about Scooter. Unfortunately, I didn't get a call back after I'd spoken to the nurse, because my doctor was in surgery all day and didn't get the message. So Thursday morning, I called in again. I finally got an answer that the doctor was having the nurse call something in.

Except that the nurse called in something I'm highly allergic to. Sigh. I called and explained that I can't handle that antibiotic, and I mentioned that they should have a list of my allergies in the system. I'd actually printed out a list and brought it in with me when I was in for my pre-op the week before. I don't know how it happened, but she said that it wasn't listed, and that she'd call something else in. 

So I waited. And waited. And waited. And nothing.

I called the pharmacy to see, if anything had been called in. Yes. It had. Bugster ran up to the pharmacy to pick it up for me, and I almost cried when I opened the bag. The pharmacy, (which has known about this allergy for years now!), didn't have the allergy listed, and filled the antibiotic that was initially called in. I immediately called and explained the situation. Had anything else been called in for me, besides the one I'm allergic to?



So I called the doctor that was on call for my doctor's office. I felt horrible calling him, but I also knew that I needed to be on antibiotics. I could tell that the pain I was having had to do with more than just having surgery. He called on in to a 24 hour pharmacy, and Hubster picked it up for me on his way home from work. Then first thing Friday morning, after I'd taken 2 doses of the antibiotic that had been called in by the on-call doc, I got a call from the pharmacy.

Sure enough, there *had* been a script called in for me the day before. It had somehow been saved on the fax machine and hadn't been filled. It isn't the antibiotic the on-call doctor prescribed, though, it was a different one. Great. I wasn't sure what to do. So I just asked them to hold onto it and not fill it. If I need it, I'll at least have access to it later on. 

Did I mention that I'm sure that I have strep? After taking the antibiotic for about 36 hours, the pain in my throat was *much* better. It still hurt. I did have my tonsils removed, after all, and I still had strep on top of things, but, it really was better. Still, by the time Saturday rolled around, I was exhausted. 

I realized that I'd been on my pre-surgery schedule here at home, even though I really should have been getting extra rest and sleep. I probably would have gotten the extra rest I needed, if the plumbers weren't here, but we needed the stuff to get done. No doubt about it. I also know I can't go on without getting a little extra TLC, so I've spent the majority of the weekend resting. I need to get my strength up for tomorrow and Tuesday when the plumbers return to finish things up. 

I just have to remind myself that I only have to make it through 2 more days...

After that, I'll be able to nap while Scooter's at school. I can do this...

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Wa to the hooz to the ie!

Today's been a busy day. I've spent more time on the phone today than I have in the last couple of weeks combined, and my throat was able to handle it for the most part. I feel almost human. This is best I've ever felt after any surgery I've had, and I couldn't be happier or more relieved about it. I was able to be productive in spite of my circumstances, and I'll take it!

Hubster took yesterday and today off, so he could help me out and watch the kids, since I'm restricted in what I do for a few days. He ended up taking both girls into their doctors. Turns out Scooter has strep throat. So now we're waiting for a call from my doctor to let me know, if I need to start on antibiotics, too. Considering I had an infection in my throat when he did the surgery, I'm thinking the chances are fairly good it was strep, since Scooter tested positive. We'll see what happens.

They're going to start digging up the yard tomorrow, as far as we know. The yard work is actually a little less than what we anticipated, which is good. If all goes as planned, they'll put in the clean outs and replace the sewer pipe all the way to the road. Once they're done, we should never have a problem with the sewer getting clogged again. 

On top of that, they'll also be putting in a back flow regulator thingy in the floor in the basement. There will be a flap inside the sewer drain that will keep the sewer from coming into our house, if the city has an issue and it starts backing up again. When we went to my nephew's wedding almost 2 years ago, the city sewer backed up into roughly a dozen homes at the end of the block. We were very concerned we'd be coming home to a mess again. Thankfully, we didn't come home to a mess that time, but it has felt like we've held our collective breath waiting for it to happen ever since we bought the house. It will be so nice to have it done and over with!

We will be getting a little more work done, since they'll be out here working on the yard. They'll be moving one heat vent from the floor in the bathroom to the wall. It's mere inches away from the tub, and if anyone slops any water over the edge of the tub, it goes down into the vent and drips down in the laundry room downstairs. With it being in the wall, we will no longer have to deal with the mess!

They'll also be putting in an exhaust fan in the bathroom downstairs. It has a window in it, but you can't really open the window to help with the humidity in the winter time. It's too cold. So we have a dehumidifier running in there all the time, or the walls are dripping with condensation. It's a mess. Plus the dehumidifiers work so well during the winter that poor Hubster feels like he's a shock absorber. He can't touch anything in the house without shocking himself with static electricity. It's sort of funny, but I can totally understand why he's getting sick of it!

And because we're getting so much work done with the same company, they're going to clean our air vents/ducts out for free!! We've been having to change the allergy filters, (the ones you're supposed to be able to leave in for as long as 3 months!!), on the furnace every 2 to 3 weeks, and they're absolutely gross by the time we change them out! It's no wonder our asthma flares up so badly when we have the furnace on! Almost as nice/important as kicking the asthma on its rear is that we won't be dealing with 'magic dust' anymore. You's the dust that accumulates on furniture just as quickly as it is wiped away. 

The payments on the loan aren't going to be the funnest thing in the world, but it will be worth every penny we have to pay to get this stuff done!

Wahoozie! Things are looking up!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Just call me, 'Patches'.

Zero dark thirty came and went just like I knew it would. 

Way too early.

The surgery went well. Both tonsils had decided to make a reappearance. Granted, they weren't very big, but it was a good thing I got them yanked. The abscess was still there. It didn't surprise me. I told Hubster a few weeks ago that I didn't think it had cleared up completely. My throat felt a little different the last few days, but it didn't hurt, so I didn't think much of it. Now I think that I'd have likely been back on antibiotics by the end of the week, if I hadn't had surgery. 

I'm sort of hoping the surgery will result in increased energy and focus. Walking around with a low-grade infection all the time can't be good for a person. So there it is. They're out. 

Not only are my 2nd pair of tonsils out now, but something equally similar in greatness happened today. Today, I was introduced to a motion sickness patch that is going to revolutionize my life!

I get nauseated at the simplest things. If someone walks on a loose floorboard, and it causes the floor to buckle even the slightest, I feel like I'm going to get sick to my stomach. Forget about watching anything that spins - ferris wheels, carousels, camera angles where they decided to get creative and swoop 360 degrees around a couple who is smooching. I can't handle it. I should have known what lay ahead when I was in 5th grade, and Fantasia was playing in the classroom. I ended up throwing up when the scene with all the numbers swirling came on the screen. 

Drugs and alcohol affect me much the same way. I would never make a good drunk or drug user. I can't stand the way either makes me feel. So I really don't do well with pain medicines or anesthesia after surgery. I don't think I've ever had a surgery before today that I haven't gotten sick to my stomach multiple times. 

Keywords: before today.

Normally, I have to have all sorts of anti-nausea medicine administered all sorts of uncomfortable ways to try to get it under control when I've had surgery in the past. Shortly before they wheeled me back today, the nurse put a motion sickness patch behind my ear. Oh. My. I cannot believe the difference it made!! Not only did I not get sick, my mouth didn't even water! What a foreign concept! 

As a result of the patch, I not only did not get sick, but I was home a few minutes after noon. My surgery was at 7:30. The nurses all figured I'd have to spend the night because of my asthma and mild sleep apnea and tried to prepare me for the eventuality before I was wheeled back. They were very happy for me, when I didn't have to stay. There is no doubt in my mind that I would have had to stay overnight, if I had traveled my typical surgery path. I liked being discharged at 11:30 a.m. instead of staying overnight. 

A lot.

I made a decision shortly after coming out of surgery that I will never, ever go without a motion sickness patch when it comes to being 'sliced and diced', as my friend, Ami. Mental., puts it.

Never. Ever. Ever.


Monday, February 4, 2013

Nesting. Huh?

I have this weird quirk where I act like I did in my last week of pregnancy whenever we go on a trip or there's a surgery. 

I can't stop cleaning.  

So in honor of my surgery tomorrow, I spent the day cleaning. Not normal, daily cleaning, though. Well, some of it was - like mopping the floors and making sure the dishes were all done, so it will be easier for Hubster since he'll be handling meals for the first couple of days. But who feels it's necessary to clean under the stove and refrigerator right before surgery???

Apparently me. 

:::insert eye roll here:::

I tell myself I'm doing it to make things easier for Hubster, but if I'm honest with myself I have to admit that I do it, so I can relax and not have it hanging over my head while I'm recuperating. In reality, I should probably have gotten a bit more rest today or at least stopped a little earlier than I did. I'm wired and might have a little bit of a problem sleeping, although the way this heating pad is starting to relax me, I should be fine. 

I figured that, if I got enough rest today or went to bed early enough I wouldn't have to fight quite as hard to wake up after surgery. I know that I've been looking forward to catching up on my sleep as I recover, but I don't want to do it at the hospital. The sooner I wake up and can function, the sooner I can go home. And I really want to be at home with my family. 

So I'm going to go crawl into bed and hope to nod off quickly. Zero dark thirty is going to come soon enough!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

What motivates me.

When I find something that I like, I tend to tell my friends about it. If I find something I love, I tend to tell anyone who is willing to listen all about it. I believe in word of mouth advertising. And while I know a lot of bloggers do reviews to make a little extra cash, (good for them!), I am receiving nothing for it. I just want to spread the word about a couple of things I have come to love...

For our anniversary last year, Hubster got me a Kindle Fire. It arrived the day we left to visit Mom before her open heart surgery, and it stayed in my suitcase for a few weeks before I felt I had the time to spend familiarizing myself with it. Once I did get a chance to play with it a bit, I was still so busy that there were days I didn't even pick it up. 

Fast forward to the present day, and I find that I use it all. the. time. In fact, it is rare a day goes by without me using it, and Hubster uses it every night when he walks on the treadmill, as well.

At first, I used it mainly for playing games or checking the occasional recipe online. I used it to look up a movie here and there for the girls to watch, but what I found it most useful for is watching television shows on Amazon Prime while I'm on the treadmill or even doing dishes and laundry. I am in love.

Once I got through Sherlock, one of many amazing BBC series, I laughed my way through Arrested Development, which I'd never gave a second glance when it was on TV, and I got COMPLETELY hooked on Fringe, a sci-fi series that boggles the mind. It is amazing, has funny, quirky characters, and can't wait for Hubster and Bugster to both get caught up on it, so we can watch the current/last season together. It will be awhile, since Bugster just started watching it today, and Hubster still has 2 of the 4 seasons to go, but I'm dying to see what comes next and how they end the series. I put it toward the top of the list of my favorite shows. 

While I'm waiting for Bugster and Hubster to catch up, I'm thoroughly enjoying some of the other BBC series that I never even knew about before getting the Kindle. I highly recommend Little Dorrit, Tess of the D'ubervilles, Cranford, Lark Rise to Candleford and Downton Abbey to anyone who enjoys historical fiction. 

The great thing is that I'll likely never run out of shows to watch while I'm on the treadmill. By the the time I get to the point of walking for a couple of hours at a time, I can always watch some of the movies that are offered as well. Add the free audio book rental each month as well as free 2-day shipping on most items, I think Amazon Prime is a really good fit for us. 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

I'm thinking of having an affair.

I'm exhausted tonight. In trying to get things caught up before my surgery, I may have overdone it a bit. I have a couple of loads of laundry to do tomorrow - some sweaters and the girls' bedding, and I should be caught up again. I have to admit I've really enjoyed the new machines we got, and I'm finding it much easier to keep caught up on laundry with them. 

A couple of weeks ago, I decided to wash the bed pillows and was pleasantly surprised at how clean they came. It's nice to know that I can wash them at home instead of lugging them down to the laundromat. Besides, I probably would have thrown some of them in the trash rather than taking the chance of someone seeing how dirty they were. Sort of like cleaning the house before the cleaning crew gets there, because you'd be embarrassed they'd see how messy your house really is. Funny how that works, isn't it? 

While we were changing the bedding on our bed today, I took the cover off the memory foam mattress topper to wash. We discovered that it is the memory foam that is wearing out instead of our mattress. That was some welcome news, considering how inexpensive memory foam is anymore. We're thankful we only have to replace it and not the whole mattress. 

So I will go to bed exhausted tonight but very thankful for the accomplishments of the day. I was even able to get on the treadmill and walk for 30 minutes. Unfortunately, I've missed about 5 days on it since I started walking daily back in October, but I'll take it. At least I  haven't given it up entirely in spite of illness, back pain and the general achiness and fatigue of fibro. 

I think our bed is trying to seduce me. I hear it tenderly calling my name with whispers of sweet dreams. 

I think I'm going to give in...

Friday, February 1, 2013

When toilet paper sticking to your shoe takes on a whole new meaning.

I'm feeling cooped up and I've got a bit of Spring Fever, even though we're nowhere close to Spring. 

I was supposed to have my tonsils removed a couple of weeks ago, but because of a medical condition I have they had to reschedule it. Apparently I will never be allowed to have surgery at a surgery center and instead this and any future surgeries need to be performed at the hospital. I go in next week to have the work done, and I'm just ready to get it over with.

I've been trying to stay away from the germs that are in public places as much as possible, because I didn't want to come down with anything that would stop me from going in.  For the most part it's been easy, but I have to admit the last couple of weeks have dragged on. The day before I was scheduled to go in, they broke the news to me that it needed to be done in the hospital. So just when I was just about to see the light of day I had 2 weeks added to my sentence. I'm ready to be paroled! I want to take the girls shopping and not be concerned that I'll catch something that will postpone the surgery once again, if I run to the store for a gallon of milk.

I have to admit that things haven't been exactly boring here at home while waiting though. Last week when I was getting ready for a doctor's appointment, things got a little exciting. Have  I mentioned that not all excitement is the same? If not, let me tell you now that excitement is not necessarily a good thing...

After giving Hopper her shower, I jumped in, so I'd be ready for my doctor's appointment. I'd been shaving my legs and was finishing up when I noticed the shower drain cover was starting to float. I was immediately filled with a sense of dread. The dread turned to horror, as I was scrambling to rinse off my legs and noticed black stuff coming back up through the drain. 


Literally and figuratively both. 

I jumped out as fast as I could and stretched each foot up to the sink and washed them as best I could before drying off and getting dressed. I slathered my feet with hand sanitizer before putting on my socks and shoes. It was the best I could do under the circumstances, and it made me feel marginally better, but I was still grossed out.

Thankfully, we didn't have to leave for the appointment for a couple of hours, so Hubster got the snake out and snaked the drain. The water in the shower and on the floor of the laundry room subsided, and he did get a small clump of roots out, so we were hopeful all was well. It wasn't. As soon as I flushed the toilet upstairs, the toilet downstairs started backing up. In the split moment confusion of watching the toilet water rise, Hubster flushed it hoping it would go down. It did. All over the floor. 

We were back to square one, but it was time to head out the door for the appointments at this point, so Hubster and Scooter had to skip their showers. We called the plumbers on the way to the car and asked, if they could meet us back at the house once we were done across town. Thankfully, it all worked out, and the drain was snaked once again with a gigantic snake that is much more powerful than our industrial one. The roots he got out of the drain looked like a small volleyball in the plastic bag. 


But at least we don't have to worry about black stuff floating up through the shower drain when we're showering again. The bad thing is that we do have things to worry about.

A few years ago, we were told we needed to replace the drain outside from the outside of the house all the way to the street. We put it off, because it was going to cost anywhere from $7,000 to $10,000. We're now wishing we had done it. The price has gone up to almost 25 grand! Apparently one of the permits that is needed is almost $6,000, and there is more than one permit needed in order to complete the work.


If we couldn't afford $10,000 a few years ago, I can absolutely promise we can't afford $25,000 today. 


So we're looking into a different solution. It involves putting in a 'clean out'. They can replace about 10 feet of the outside drain and put two pipes shaped like a U. If they use the side of the U that is closest to the street, the can snake things out into the house, and if they use the part of the U that is closest to the house, they can clean everything out toward the street, and they never have to bring the filthy snake down our stairs again.  So it's definitely an option. It's a $7,000 to $10,000 option, but at least it isn't $25,000. And at this point, we need to get it done, so we don't keep having these horrible sewer problems. 


On a good note, I got the router replaced the other day, so I'll be able to finally get online and write a blog post without being bumped. 

I'll take it.