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I'm Free!

April 26th, 2019 at 05:17 am

My appointment yesterday went great -- all restrictions were lifted. I got the order for outpatient physical therapy and they were able to give me my first appointment that very day. Later in the afternoon I went to Aldi, where I bought a bag of mostly fresh fruit and veggies for $18. I also stopped at the pharmacy and got a prescription refill for $2, and I swung by the library and returned an armful of books.

In the early evening I pretty much crashed, since I was operating on too little sleep. So I wasn't able to go to GS1's baseball game. But I'll make it to the next. I did sleep well last night and feel so much better.

Today I'm going to stay home and there are three things I want to get done -- wash my hair, wash a load of clothes, and clean the fish tank!

Planning to go get my license plates renewed after the first of the month, so the wait won't be so long.

Today's the Day

April 25th, 2019 at 05:04 am

Going to the doctor today. I don't know if it was my excited anticipation about this milestone, but I couldn't go to sleep last night. I slept so well when I was still on strong opioids! I was kind of hoping my body had learned how to sleep, but apparently not.

I did a little spending yesterday. I ordered 20 pads for the Breeze litter pan ($16), and I paid a medical bill, this time for one of the CT scans I got ($105). I figure no matter what appears on my medical account this coming month, I will not pay again till next pay day. That will keep me within the 30-day window, as next month's pay day is on the 22nd.

That said, they might insist I pay up front for my doctor's visit today, which will be $50.

Variables are at 24%, with just those two expenditures.

I also paid my mortgage, phone bill, and credit card bills, but they don't come out of variables. Mortgage and phone bill are fixed expenses, and everything on the credit cards has already been counted. I track my spending at point of purchase.

I am feeling pretty good, despite the lack of sleep, and I am very hopeful that driving is in my near future.



Pay Day!

April 24th, 2019 at 06:29 am

Another pay day! Yay!

Here is last month's recap:

Housing: $321
Medical/Health: $253
Utilities: $175
Groceries: $99
Household Supplies: $63
Personal: $46
Eating Out: $40
Gifts/Charity: $40
Gas: $26
Entertainment: $24
Clothing: $23
Vet/Pet Supplies: $16
Laundry: $9
Fares/Parking: $5
Furnishings/Equipment/Decor: $1

Grand Total: $1141

It was a low-spend month, mainly because my assessment fees did not hit within this cycle, nor did the phone. Medical was high, as expected.

I need to pay my license plate fee, but I have to go to the facility because I get a discount for being old and poor. (Smile) They call it the benefit access program. So that will be done when I can drive. Hopefully in a few days.

Yesterday I said good-bye to my physical therapist. Tomorrow I go to the doctor. Things are moving along!

Sorry -- left off $75 in fees spent -- it was for AARP, Sam's Club membership, and the charge for new checks. Grand total is really $1216.

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!

Friday

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.

Surprise

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.