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Home > Archive: April, 2019

Archive for April, 2019

Mortgage Reset

April 23rd, 2019 at 05:04 am

I reset my mortgage yesterday. My lender offered me a deal that would raise my monthly payment only $26 and gives me 60 months at that rate, which is 4.26%. I realize I could get a lower rate if I switched to a 15-year fixed rate, but right now the crucial thing is to keep the monthly cost down. I do have to pay a one-time $250 fee, and the new rate will begin in July. (I am doing this because my 7-year ARM is running out.)

That gives me three years to get in a better place financially, and perhaps then I can switch to a fixed rate. And when I get extra money during these three years, I can throw it on the payment, since I don't have any other debt.

July will be a tough month. I will still be in gap year. And maybe August, too, since I am not sure exactly when my SS payment will go up.

My savings are going to be dinged by my medical bills, but not wiped out, I hope. So before I can pay extra on the mortgage, I will have to rebuild savings.

I had a quiet day yesterday. I did two loads of laundry ($3) which involved four trips up and down the stairs. I managed them well, but I was tired when it was all done. Variables are at 95%, and pay day is tomorrow!

Lovely Day

April 22nd, 2019 at 04:40 am

I had a lovely day yesterday -- my first outing after surgery. We went to a Mexican restaurant for a delicious lunch. No cost to me; the kids treated. Afterwards we came back to my place and ate a cake that GS2 made in cooking class, and then we played a few games. When the kids left to go bike riding, I was ready for a nap.

I didn't take a pain pill between 11 am yesterday and 6 am this morning, and I am paying for it. Wow, I hurt. I have to get off the opioids, though, before I can drive.

Nevertheless, when I start feeling better, I'm going to do some laundry, which isn't difficult except for the stairs. I have two loads to do. I don't expect to get anything else done today.

Happy Easter!

April 21st, 2019 at 06:04 am

I'm going out to lunch today with my son's family. It will be my first outing, other than little walks around the neighborhood.

I got a free pizza yesterday. I signed up for a last-minute mystery shop, because it was a delivery shop. I was delighted! It went fine. My grandson was here, hanging out with me, so he got some pizza, too.

The socks came. Although they are mostly cotton, they are rather wintery looking. But they are soft and long and they stay up well. They have to be hand-washed, which I didn't know until I got them, but that's okay.

Last night I discovered a big hole in my bottom sheet -- and this is the set I considered the best. I think Iggy must have caught a nail in a little hole and made it bigger. Anyway, I will have to replace the set. I have only two now, which would be okay, but the second set is in pretty bad shape, and I was already considering replacing that one. I may just make do for a while, though, until all the medical expense is resolved.

These medications are making me have crazy dreams! I was glad to wake up this morning and realize that I really had not borrowed my sister's motorcycle and lost it at the mall. (My sister doesn't even have a motorcycle.)

Hope everyone has a good day. It's beautiful here!

More Socks

April 20th, 2019 at 06:22 am

I am transitioning away from compression stockings to regular socks. An inventory of my sock supply showed I had almost nothing in knee-high socks, so I bit the bullet and bought six pairs on Amazon. Cost was $23 and they should arrive today. I will enjoy wearing them long after this is all over.

I also gave $10 in cash to each of my grandchildren for Easter.

I took my hip-related medical costs out of variables, and I will pay that out of savings. That puts my variables at 96%. I wish I could have cash-flowed my medical costs, but I couldn't.

I did get another $13 from mystery shopping.

With only two more PT sessions to go, and five days till my doctor's appointment, I am almost done with this phase of my recovery.

We are having a nice weekend, while it seems the rest of the country is dealing with storms and turbulent weather. I hope everyone has a nice Easter all the same!


April 19th, 2019 at 06:17 am

Not sure I have much of anything to report today, but my daily habit of posting is fixed!

Let's see -- well, some good news! My son in Florida is coming to Chicago for a conference! I will get to spend an evening with him on the 29th. I haven't seen him since last February.

I'm stretching out the pain medication more and more. I need it more at night than during the day, because at night I get myself into positions I shouldn't.

I've been watching "Game of Thrones." I'm only on Season 4. It's really too gory for me, but I am getting interested in the plot and character development. And the problems these people have make my recovery seem like nothing.

I'm also plowing through a book of word search puzzles. I never much cared for them before, but now they seem to be the perfect exercise for my somewhat fuzzy mind. I'm also killing Candy Crush and Scrabble on my phone. I'm grateful to have these diversions while I am grounded.

I'm getting impatient for full recovery -- but I just have to wait!

One Week

April 18th, 2019 at 05:53 am

I will see the physical therapist three more times -- tomorrow, Sunday, and Tuesday. Then on Thursday I will see the doctor. One more week.

On Wednesday it will be payday.

Looking around in my paperwork yesterday, I saw a document stating that my out-of-pocket expense for the home services will be $3766. More than I expected, but maybe insurance will still take a bit out of that. I haven't been billed yet. I hope it will take them a while to do that.

Whatever, it is worth it. As I get stronger and more limber each day I can see how much better I am. Even the stairs are easier than they were the week before surgery. And I still have a lot of healing to do.

Yesterday I took out the garbage and I took a walk up and down the block. Today I'm going to the mailbox, which is about two blocks away. I'll take the cane, but truthfully, I don't need it.


April 17th, 2019 at 07:36 am

I got a nice surprise this morning -- an earlier-than-usual deposit from one of my mystery shop companies. The majority of it was reimbursements, but I also got $16 in payment. I expect one more small payment this month from a different company.

I am waiting for the physical therapist now. I thought we had at appointment at 9, and now it's 9:34. I guess I was wrong. I wonder when, and if, she will come today?

I took a full shower today and washed my hair. I feel so good.

I am really starting to feel quite normal. I can hardly wait to see what another week will bring!

Another Step

April 16th, 2019 at 10:24 am

I got my staples and stitches out this morning. I had both, because my surgery was performed with the help of a robotic arm. The removal procedure was not painful, and I feel so much better, especially without the staples, which were binding.

Yesterday I had my son pick up a few groceries which came to $20.

This was the last day the nurse visited me, so I think the billing will happen soon. I believe the PT will finish up this Friday. I'm not sure whether I will receive separate bills for each of them or if they are a team.

I am gradually taking over tasks I haven't done before -- getting the mail, changing the litter pan, taking out the garbage, cooking. I still need to take it easy, but almost everything is doable now. I plan to take a nice long shower tomorrow.

I wonder if I have lost some weight. I am definitely eating less, and I have been careful to include produce in just about every meal. I am drinking lots of water. I am not trying to lose weight, I'm just trying to eat in a way to make my body function best. But losing a few pounds would be welcome.

I got my renewal notice for my license plate - $101 -- but that will come out of next month's cycle.

I'm feeling pretty good!

Free Day

April 15th, 2019 at 05:13 am

Neither the nurse nor the physical therapist will visit today. Tomorrow the nurse will remove my stitches and staples, and the physical therapist will visit on Wednesday and Friday.

My improvement continues to be pretty amazing. I am getting more flexible every day and I am able to go much longer without pain pills. I really think when the doctor sees me next week, I will be good to go.

People ask me if my hip feels a lot better. Well, of course, that is the area that hurts, because there is a healing incision and because there is a foreign body inside my hip that my body has to get used to. But I will say that the pain feels different, and I can tell that when the healing is done, it will be much better than it was before. I can hardly wait.

One interesting thing I am noticing is that my appetite is decreased -- probably a side effect from one of the drugs. But not being so hungry makes it easy to make good food choices. I realize it is the hunger that drives me to make poor choices, and this is what I must learn to control when my appetite comes back.

There is snow on the ground this morning, and ice on the roads. Crazy! I certainly hope we have had our last blast of winter now.

Automatic Charges

April 14th, 2019 at 07:28 am

My Sam's Club membership renewed, and my Netflix subscription payment hit. That raises my variables to 124%.

It is cold today, and the snow is coming down like it's mid-January. This doesn't upset me, since I'm not going anywhere, and it will all be gone soon anyway. Rather entertaining to watch!

Iggy threw up on my sleeper sofa last night. That's where I hang out during the day. Luckily it did not permeate through to the mattress. I pulled everything off and DS has already taken it to launder.

I took a little walk outside yesterday. I took out the garbage, put it in the dumpster in back, and walked around the front of the building and came in! Yes, that was a LITTLE walk, but it included going up and down 29 steps, so it was about all I wanted to do.

Only 11 days till my doctor's appointment! That is when I hope to get more freedom -- license to drive, liberation from compression socks, maybe even the ability to bend over! And I'll get to take a full shower rather than a sponge bath. In the meantime, I will enjoy my enforced leisure.

Happy Saturday!

April 13th, 2019 at 05:51 am

I had a visit from the physical therapist yesterday. She added some more exercises and now I have quite a robust plan. Yesterday she told me she is going to tell all her clients to do weight training, because she has never before seen such strength and stability after this type of surgery.

Not that I am wholly recovered, but I am getting there, and it's only a week and four days out.

At BFF's urging, I am watching "Game of Thrones." I think she thought it would be a good distraction, but actually, it puts me to sleep. Or it could be the drugs. Smile

After fiddling around with my condo's market value, I just went back to the original number. With all the different numbers floating out there, I really don't know what I might be able to sell it for down the road. Better to keep the net worth stable, and make the changes that I know are real -- like my retirement fund, etc.

My ARM is coming to an end in October, and I will need to refinance. My goal will be to switch to a fixed rate and get the lowest monthly payment I can. It will be higher than it is now, since my interest is only 2.625%. But I don't want to get another adjustable and have a new rate every year. I wish I could just pay if off in a lump sum -- it is only $62K. But I don't have that. Anyway, getting that taken care of will be my first order of business once my body and my mind are back at full-strength.

I tried again to make appointments ahead of time for outpatient physical therapy for the time after my doctor's appointment, but they won't do it till the appointment is done and the doctor has submitted his order. I know what's going to happen -- I will have to wait for weeks for an opening to come up. Oh well, it's their rules. I'll just have to make sure to keep up on my home exercises while I am waiting.

I suppose the longer it is put off, the more likely I will be able to pay out of pocket from my new income in August.

I got $9 cash back from Discover yesterday. I also did a $3 Pine Cone survey, and I should have some income from mystery shopping next week. Every bit that trickles in will help me over this bump. Variables are at 114%, but since that counts medical, that's not bad.

Restful Day

April 12th, 2019 at 05:36 am

It was a nice, restful day yesterday, with no visit from either the nurse or the PT. Today the PT is coming.

I changed my own dressing for the first time this morning, and it was easy.

My son is still stopping in morning and evening to put on and remove my compression socks. I'll be glad when that's finally done.

I tried to be proactive yesterday and make appointments for physical therapy after I transition to outpatient therapy. I talked to someone who didn't know what I was talking about, and she left a message for someone in my primary care doctor's office to call me about occupational therapy. Which I don't need.

But when I got that call I learned that the order must come from the surgeon's office, so I'll call them today to try and get the process going.

All this time, my food stores are still holding up. I may have DS buy a few things this weekend, but I'm really okay -- just tired of eating the same things over and over.


April 11th, 2019 at 05:53 am

That's what I paid this morning for surgery-related services. If only it would stay that way!

It looks like the really big costs have been processed and picked up by insurance. I know that more will trickle in, but it's kind of a relief to see those big amounts wiped out.

I still think the big costs for me will be the copays for home nursing visits and and physical therapy.

No visits today. My big event is that I'll wash my hair.

Oh yes, I did get my car back yesterday. Not that I need it -- but I will no longer get calls about moving it off their lot.

Still No Car

April 10th, 2019 at 04:20 am

Yesterday my kids went to pick up the car. The guy on the phone told them the key would be under the mat. (I only have one key.) DS said, "Okay, leave the door unlocked!" Guess what. All locked up. Who knows if the key is inside or not?

No spending yesterday; all things financial are stable.

Today I see the nurse and the physical therapist. They were both indicating this might be the last visit, since I'm passing all the "tests." I don't know if that means I will be released to drive, or if I will be expected to find a ride to outpatient physical therapy. It's only eight days since surgery.

A friend delivered a cane to me last night that I can borrow for this transition period. I tested it out and it feels like I can get around without it about as well as with it. But perhaps it will be useful for longer stretches of walking. I don't do a lot of walking in my small condo!

A Purchase

April 9th, 2019 at 04:26 am

I made a purchase yesterday -- Miralax. ($20) I've had two doses so far, but no action yet. This was done at the nurse's request. This takes my variables to 108%. That's because I'm trying to cash flow the medical expenses. If they were removed, it would only be 67%. But at this point, I don't want to take medical costs from savings. That will come later.

I continue to do better and better. I've ditched the walker, and while I'm looking for a cane, at the nurse's request, I don't think I really need it.

It was really nice yesterday, and I went downstairs with the PT and walked around a little bit in the sunshine.

GS2 came over and kept me company for a while yesterday. He cleaned the cat pan and did a little tidying up as well. He is such a sweet boy.

Progress Report

April 8th, 2019 at 05:32 am

This was my first morning without BFF to help me with the compression socks. DS stopped by on his way to work and got the deed done. He also brought a load of clean and folded laundry. Yesterday he and I and GS2 played a game of Life. GS2 changed the kitty litter and topped off the cat food.

I will get a visit from the nurse today, and I believe my dressing will be changed. Before she comes I will sponge bathe and wash my hair.

I had a good night's sleep -- only woke up to take my pain meds and go back to sleep.

My doctor's appointment is the day after pay day, so I'm essentially looking forward to the same date. Only two and half weeks till pay day -- only 17 days till greater mobility.

In financial news, I've spent 104% of my variables. Food is holding up well.


April 7th, 2019 at 08:32 am

BFF left today. She was needed at home, and I am doing so well it seemed it was better to let her go.

Progress is very visible every day. Today I feel like I could just do away with the walker, but of course I won't.

I took a sponge bath and put on fresh clothes, made my own breakfast, made my bed. I took all the morning meds and now I'm ready to settle down and watch a show on Netflix. Already I can't remember the title, but it's something about a family moving to the country from the city.

DS will check in this afternoon/evening and take some laundry.

My PT showed me a better way to put on my compression socks, and it is so much better.

Still can't concentrate much on reading yet, but there are so many TV options it doesn't matter.

I see the surgeon for a follow-up on April 25, and I think that will be the beginning of my return to normalcy.

Trudging On

April 6th, 2019 at 05:54 am

I can tell that these days are going to run all together. Yesterday was uneventful -- no visits from medical personnel. We watched more Game of Thrones and Elizabeth and Robin (?) on HBO Go, which my son installed for me when I came home.

It looks like the biggest challenge of this whole thing will be getting the compression stockings off and on. After BFF leaves, my kids will have to help me.

Nothing new on the financial front.

Today a physical therapist is coming; that will be the excitement of the day -- other than my sponge bath in the sink!

Quiet Day

April 5th, 2019 at 02:37 pm

It's been a quiet day at home. I find I can't concentrate on reading, so BFF and I are watching shows on Amazon Prime and HBO Go. She has pushed me to watch Game of Thrones, and I pushed her onto Forever. We watched the first episode of A Very English Scandal, too.

I've had one nurse visit and one PT visit, and PT will visit again tomorrow.

My reacher arrived today -- also a staple remover that was ordered by my nurse.

I am feeling mostly good. I do have times when the pain flares up but I am controlling that with drugs. I am getting around well. It's all good.

At Home

April 4th, 2019 at 06:46 am

Hi guys! The surgery is done and I am at home. Everything went well. I feel pretty good and I'm getting around well on my walker. BFF is here and she is a big help. DS has been big help, too!

So far I have spent a little over $100 on prescriptions.

Home health nurse is coming soon to chy on me and I think, get a little PT going.

I hope you're all doing well. I'll catch up on the blogs soon!

Last Day

April 1st, 2019 at 07:09 am

This is my last day before surgery. I'll get a call sometime today telling me when to go in tomorrow.

I dropped my car off this morning at the body shop, and DIL picked me up and drove me home. There was a Dunkin Donuts across from the shop, so I bought a couple of donuts for the two of us - $3.

I just put in the last load of laundry I will do for a while - $1.50.

I ordered a refill bag of litter pellets - $16.

Variables are now at 63%.

I may go out to dinner tonight with DS & family if I feel like eating.

Otherwise, I'm just going to tidy up around the house and get things readied. That means moving the laptop, making up the spare bed, and packing my little bag for the hospital.

I will see you guys on the flip side!