Sunday, November 30, 2008

Oh by the way....

We did get approved for the skip a payment plan for DH's truck. So there'll be about $500 extra in the budget between now and January.....that's a good feeling, too bad that won't even touch the price of a new roof....

When it rains, it pours!!!

Hi everyone....I wish I was writing to tell you what a wonderful holiday weekend I've had, but, well, you know the drill...it started out with DH having a wonderful Thanksgiving day at my brother's, with DD and me, too. He was cheerful, helpful, and just all-around, the DH I married. I was very proud!!!! (DD, on the other hand, was not at her best, taking toys away from the 2 year old and getting mad at the three year old when the three year old didn't play her way....she was the lucky recipient of several stern warnings)....

Anyhow, nothing big happened at all....then we got home and our telephone(s) didn't work. And since I paid the bill last week, I was pretty sure that wasn't the problem. DH went outside to see if the problem was inside our house or out in the phone line, of course it was inside our house. But then he "didn't feel like" tracking down the problem and fixing it, of course....

Then he decided he was going to clean up our bedroom. What he discovered when he did that was not a good thing: Under Kirby Puppy's dog bed, the floor was wet. But it wasn't from a dog. There is no plumbing in our bedroom. He examined the wall and the bottom of the wall is wet. While there are no stains on the ceiling, what it means is that there is some kind of roof problem. Not surprising since our roof has needed to be replaced for so very long, but it's hard to convince a bank that "Yes, I know I've got $45,000 in debt not including the mortgage, but I really need another loan...."

The credit union in town does know that DH is mentally ill. I could probably get them to loan me roof money. But there's no way I could pay it back, and with my job situation so precarious, there's even less likelihood that I could fulfill my obligations there. I think I'm going to start this process by learning how to clean the gutters on the house--maybe that's the problem (I know, probably wishful thinking)--anyhow, I had been hoping to use the tax refund to redo the roof, but if things are actually rotten, I'm scared that might not be enough. And I'm scared, because here we are, at the beginning of a Minnesota winter, and the roof is in scary bad shape.

But wait!!! (as they say in those infomercials) There's more!!!! DH got a letter from the lumber yard in town, they are pretty angry about the money he owes them and hasn't even bothered to pay back. I hate thinking that his reputation in town is going down the toilet, so I told him if he a) looked into the roof problem to determine the source, b) fixed DD's bedroom light, c) fixed DD's bathroom light, then I would put the bill on my charge card. He was really excited about that deal (me--I knew I was going to get stuck paying it anyhow, so I might as well get some work out of him)...anyhow, I think if I have to go to the lumber yard on Monday with those jobs not being done, I am going to strongly suggest that they not extend credit to him any more :-( The thought of doing that makes me sad, but I am getting more and more angry about having to cover these bills that are for stupid stuff that he just decided he wanted right this minute.

And of course DD. Her bedtime has been 9pm for years. But lately she's been seriously testing the limits of that. (I understand that most 15 year olds don't have a 9pm bedtime, but her special needs make a routine and plenty of sleep pretty important)...anyhow, one night she was told that it was bedtime. So she got up and took her pills and then sat by the fire and refused to go to bed. She went to bed after losing some privileges for the next day.

Then, last night, I told her it was time to go to bed. She looked at me and said, "I'll go when I feel like it." I said, "That's not funny." "It's time for bed." Then she told me "I was JUST kidding, jeez, Mom!" And I said, "You heard me, it's not funny, and it's time for bed." Then she tried to get Dad to take her side, "Dad, I TOLD her I was just kidding!" And Dad saw the eye roll and sent her to bed in tears. Then today she told me she's been horrible to me, horrible at Thanksgiving, and horrible in general. I told her that the fact that she is aware of that is a good thing, what was she going to do to make sure it didn't happen again?

So....tonite. DH tells her to go to bed. She says, "Why?!" He repeats the instruction and she says, "Why?!" (can you almost hear the sulk in her voice?) After two more tries at being civil, DH yelled at DD to go to bed and she went to bed in tears, screaming and throwing things in her room. Then right when I was leaving for work, she came out and asked me to tuck her in. (This might be wrong on the mom front) I told her that we had talked about this last night, we talked about it this morning, and if she wanted me to tuck her in, she should've gone to bed at 9pm when she was supposed to, and I would've been happy to tuck her in. As it was, her tantrum was making me late for work, so I told her that she needed to tuck herself in, and give some thought as to how this problem could be avoided in the future.

And with all that on my mind, I came to work.

It's 3am. DH just called me and told me his moods are cycling very rapidly. He has been going from sadness to energy to anger in minutes. He is thinking maybe he should go to the hospital. I told him to take his meds and try to sleep. I hope he does. We can't afford another hospital stay.

I'm feeling pretty sorry for myself tonite. I started thinking about how "this wasn't how it was supposed to be." And how much I just want someone I can depend on from day to day, where I didn't have to do everything all the time. I'm the mom, I'm the dad. I'm the nurse. I'm the breadwinner(s). What I would give to be one of those pampered wives who gets to stay home all day and get hairdos and facials and all that....

Then it kind of morphs into "Why me? What did I do?" But I know this crap happens to people all the time, why shouldn't I be "people"? Sigh.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Don't talk to my husband!!!!

Well, here is what happened:
DH's truck payment is $274/month. We got an offer from the credit union where, for a $35 fee, we could skip our November payment and thus use that money for Christmas. (Or in our case, for bills). (There won't be much Christmas at our house, I don't think).

Anyhow, I filled out the form and turned it in. The lady at the credit union told me that they'd call in the next day or two and let me know if everything was ok. I didn't hear anything, but also didn't get a "rejection" notice, either. (I was kind of thinking that even though we aren't late on that bill, that maybe DH's bankruptcy would cause a problem, so I wasn't all that confident that we would be accepted). I was chattering to DH about what I should do, because nobody had called and so I didn't know if we had extra money or not....and he said,

"No, they did call!!!"

I got all excited and asked him what they said.

"Uh, I think I have to go there and sign something....no....I think everything was ok....yeah....I think they said it was going through....oh, I don't remember!!!!"

So I had to call the credit union and tell them that even though they did talk to a live person at my house, nobody had any idea what was said :-(

And of course, the people who were in charge of that program were gone for the day. So I'm stuck. I still don't know if we will have extra money or not. I wish I could just tell everyone important, like doctors who call with test results, or teachers who set up conferences for DD, OR THE CREDIT UNION, "Don't talk to my husband!" "He won't have any idea what was said, if he even remembers talking to you at all."

But I won't, of course....and even if I could, I probably wouldn't think of enough people and it would still happen.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The daily drama (or, "when does Carol get to sleep?")

So I got home from work at 6:30am, got DD and her crappy teenage attitude on the bus, and went to bed. Shortly thereafter, the following ensued:

DH: Carol, are you asleep?
Me: Yes, what's wrong?
DH: You know that tooth that was bothering me yesterday? Well it's worse. It's killing me.
Me: Well, it's 8am. You should probably get up and call the dentist and see if they can get you in.
DH: Ok.

DH: They're closed on Wednesdays.
Me: Well, maybe you should try a different dentist, just check the yellow pages.
DH: Ok.

DH: Are you still awake? The other dentist in town said it'd be $181.00 to pull the tooth.
Me: Oh!! That's a lot of money. But if you need to do it, you need to do it....
DH: I'll just see if it will go away.

DH: I can't wait til tomorrow, I've got to do something.
Me: Well, there's that Ambesol in the medicine cabinet, why don't you try that?
DH: Ok.

DH: The Ambesol isn't doing anything at all. It didn't even make a difference. I'm going out to have a smoke.
Me: Ok, good night.

DH: Are you still awake?
Me: No.
DH: I called our dentist back and got an appointment for tomorrow morning, 8am.
Me: Oh good.

DH: I can't stand this, I've got to do something.
Me: Did you take an Advil or something?
DH: I took one last night.
Me: How about this morning?
DH: Oh yeah, right. Good idea.

(At this point I was ready to pay $181.00 just to get some sleep!)
DH: The Advil isn't doing anything. What should I do?
Me: Is there any way you can wait until tomorrow? Because our dentist will let us make payments....
DH: I'm going to call some more places.

DH: I've got an appointment at 1pm at that other dentist in town.
Me: Ok, well, I've got the money, but the 4-wheeler payment is going to be late.
DH: Well, that wouldn't be the first time, would it?

DH: I just called my mom and she's going to mail us the money so that you won't be too late with that bill.
Me: Oh, that's a big relief!!!!

Alarm clock: Ring!!!!

Epilogue: DH got a tooth pulled. They prescribed Vicodyn instead of Percocet, so that was a relief, too. I am very tired.

I understand that toothaches cause huge amounts of pain and I'm very sympathetic to that. I just have a tough time with the fact that he couldn't handle this without constantly waking me up for guidance....the only thing that I would LIKE to be consulted with was whether we could spend $181.00. Most adults could've figured out the Advil, the Ambesol, the "try a different dentist", and all that. ARGH.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Back on schedule (not)

I am really frustrated with trying to get DH to take his pills at a scheduled time. Yesterday, at about 7pm, he kind of gasped and said, "Oh no, I forgot to take my morning pills again!! I'll take them right now." So then, of course, when he takes his "nighttime" pills at 1 or 2 am, undoubtedly, his Lithium levels are not stable...

So today, he got up at 1pm and took his "morning pills" not too long after that. I got excited. But I shouldn't have. I just called him to remind him to take his pills, and he said, "I will, as soon as I'm done with the laundry." So, in other words, he'll be up all night, and he'll be taking his nighttime pills at 5am or so. I just have such a hard time believing he doesn't see this. But he doesn't.

For a while, he was doing better on the pill schedule. We had had a discussion and I was not feeling all that subtle that day, and I had said to him, "You keep saying you want to work. But how on earth are you expecting to get up every day and get to work by a certain time every day, eat lunch at a certain time every day, and finish your work by the end of the day, when you can't even set your alarm clock to take your pills in the morning? That must've hit home, because for a couple of weeks, he was better about taking his pills. But he's backsliding again....

It's kind of funny. I thought that since the Lithium was doing such wonders for him, that the rest of this would be a piece of cake. Even if he could never work again, the worst was behind us. But there's always something to worry about, and it never stops.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Oh Deer

Well, I drove to work thinking that I was going to write a post about how good DH has been doing--he's been getting up at 5:30am to go out and hunt. He hasn't been watching TV. Of course, he hasn't been doing much of anything else, but that's not unusual....LOL

So anyhow, tonite he told me that while I was working, he was going to do a little cleaning, because his mom is coming by tomorrow. That sounded great, too!! But at midnight, I called to see if he had taken his nighttime pills, and he said, "no, I didn't take them, because I've got to stay up and clean." He decided that instead of just putting dirty dishes in the dishwasher and sweeping and mopping the floors, he was going to clean the whole house. At 3am he still hadn't taken his pills. Then, at 4am, he called, all proud of himself, because he had cleaned the whole house. And since it was so late, he is going to stay up until 5:30 so that he can hunt. I just wish he could see that when he does this, I lose out....I won't even get home from work until 10am, and his mom is going to be at our house at noon. And if he stays up all night, THEN takes his pills, well, then I'm the one who gets stuck entertaining on two hours of sleep. And I have to go back to work tomorrow night, as usual, so if I don't get at least 4 or 5 hours of sleep, I'll struggle at work, too.

And he doesn't have to go to work, or anyplace. So I guess this isn't going to be a post about how good he's been doing, after all.

Oh, and when he's been going out to hunt, he only stays out for a couple of hours, then he goes back to sleep. So he hasn't gotten a deer, and neither did Jason. We really really need that meat, though, I don't know what we'll do if there's no deer....I was just at the grocery store and the cheapest hamburger they had was $3.00 for .75/lb!!! Yup, they are making .75/lb packages now, I guess people can't afford a pound any more....I've been using a half pound in recipes that call for a whole pound, but jeez, at 3.89 a pound or whatever it is now, even that doesn't really save much...so I'm going to stop at WalMart and get some of their super-cheap hamburger....

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Job update

Well, we had our big meeting today--and, as you might have guessed, it's definitely not good news, but I suppose it's better than it could have been. In a nutshell, no pink slips today. But starting in early 2009 there probably will be. They aren't saying or (yeah right) aren't aware of the specifics, like how many people, who, when, and all that....so it was just a "heads-up, you probably don't want to go out and buy a new house right now because your job is probably going away in the relatively near future" meeting. I'm mostly relieved, because every paycheck puts me closer to being out of debt....so I'll just keep putting one foot in front of the other until I know what other options I have....

So I guess I can say "Whew!" And cross my fingers that everything works out ok.

Next, I'm scared.

As you all know, I have two jobs: a full time one about two hours from home, and a part time one on the weekends. Today when I showed up at my full time job, I (and everyone else I work with) received a special invitation to a "mandatory" meeting to be held tomorrow. We have never had a meeting like this before. Rumors are flying, but the bosses aren't saying a word. I suspect that in the current economy, we probably aren't all getting a raise.

I hope I'm overreacting. But if I am, so is everyone I work with. I'll keep you posted, of course....I think not knowing is worse than anything. You can't plan when you don't know what's going on.

First, my rant.

I hope I'm PMS'ing, that's all I can say, because I am positively disgusted!

First off, DD lied about doing her homework. I called her and she told me "I'm doing it right now." Then when DH asked to see it (of course it was past bedtime by then), he discovered that it was not done. So when I got home from work, DH was just getting up to go deer hunting, and he had gotten DD up. But I had to sit there with her and make sure she actually did her homework. So that was an hour and a half of sleep I didn't get (grrrr).

Then, on Monday, DH told me not to worry about cleaning the litter box that is in our master bathroom. He keeps making DD scoop the boxes that are in the laundry room, but she isn't allowed in our bedroom, so one of us (usually me) does that one. But this time DH said he would do it. Then he forgot. On Tuesday, he "forgot" again, and called to tell me he'd "for sure" do it "tomorrow". But he didn't. So after I got done policing DD's homework, I had to clean a litter box, even though DH was still telling me he'd "do it later, I promise"....I couldn't stand it any more.

So then I went to bed and got up about 3 1/2 hours later, because my mom had an appointment to get her new orthotic shoes (for her hammertoe). So we went and got the shoes, and, since she missed lunch at the assisted living place, we had to go to McDonalds, and that made me late for work. Then I got home, and DH was sleeping, and he hadn't brought the paperwork to the clinic that he was supposed to. Everything was a mess (even more than usual), and he hadn't done anything around the house at all.

Anyhow, that's the way today went. I'm sure you get the idea. I am/was crabby.

Monday, November 10, 2008

It's deer season again...

Remember last year, how I had taken DH's guns away, because I was afraid he was going to kill himself? That seems so long ago. Since then, we've found Lithium, and DH, for the most part, is getting out of bed and talking to people (and he wasn't doing that last year). Things have really gotten so much better.

But this morning, shortly after DH went out to hunt, I heard a shot and I got so scared. I had been completely unaware of how worried I actually was. All sorts of things went through my head, most of them involving me becoming a widow, and some of them pertaining to "how could I let him hunt?"

Then he walked in the door. He was in a good mood. No, he didn't get a deer, it was someone on an adjoining property. Nothing was out of the ordinary at all, in fact, if I hadn't just suffered through this last year, I would've thought it was like any other. But I was so scared.

And on a side note, DH's brother came up to hunt with HIS gun--you might remember, that DH pawned his brother's rifle TWICE in the past year when I wouldn't give him money for pop or cigarettes....then I wound up having to pay to get it out of the pawnshop because I don't want DH to have to deal with his brother's wrath....which, would be rather well-deserved, after all, the gun was not DH's to hock....oh well, all's well that ends well, right?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I guess that's not the answer

Well, back to the old grindstone, after my "mini-vacation"....sigh....I brought DH to the grocery store with me--bad idea. He wanted this and that, just like a kid!!! And then I started to feel like a big meanie, because I kept saying "no" but I was buying stuff that "I" thought we needed, and--do you know what I mean? I guess I didn't want to be "treating him like a child", so I got his pot pies, his fancy lunch meat (even though I know the last time I bought that lunch meat, he ate it all in one day, as a "snack"), ingredients for a dinner that he enjoys....when it was all said and done, I wound up spending a LOT more than I had planned. And now, because I was careless and frivolous, I'm going to have to find a way to come up with DH's truck payment--it's already 2 weeks late, and I don't usually let things go that far. I'm afraid I'm going to have to "rob Peter to pay Paul" and I just hate that, especially when I know that the problem could and should have been prevented....I think back to the times when we were both working and we were debt free, too, and how I didn't even appreciate the fact that I could go to the grocery store and not feel bad when I got home....you never know what you've got until it's gone :-(

And to top that off, I don't think the additional Lithium is doing much for DH. I haven't seen any real difference yet. Maybe it's too soon....I hope....

DD's therapist told me that DD is doing "amazingly well", "beyond her wildest dreams". She told me I'm doing an amazing job and she doesn't know how I'm holding everything together. If I stop to think about it, I don't know either. But I don't feel like I'm holding everything together, I feel like little by little, things are slipping out of my control and I am stretched so thin that I can't do a thing about it.

My mom's cat had two "episodes" this past week where he (um) messed all over her apartment. And the assisted living people called me to come and take care of it. Since that is not normal for him (obviously), I took the cat to the vet and he was diagnosed with kidney failure. So back to the vet for special food and education. So now I am managing my mom's cat, because she can't do it. And the assisted living people told her that she needed to clean his litter box more often, so now I'm going to be doing that, too. I'm only complaining about it because I have so little time. It's a labor of love, of course, but it signifies two different things for me, one, my mom is slowly declining, and two, more care-taking for me. The first one, makes me so sad, I try to keep myself in a constant state of denial. The second one, well, really no big deal. But I can whine a little about that. I love my mom so much and she has done so much for me--it is so painful for me to see her like this: "Carol, I got the top off of the can of cat food, but how am I supposed to get the food out?" "You're gonna have to take a spoon and use it like a shovel and shovel the cat food out." "Oh, that's what I was doing, but I thought I was doing it wrong." When I stop to think about it, it makes me want to lay in bed and cry for hours.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I enjoyed my weekend immensely.

I ended up having the weekend to myself. It was so invigorating, I really started to feel like myself again, and that light at the end of the tunnel, well, it was a lot clearer, especially when I got 8 hours of sleep and no drama!

And then yesterday, DH had his psychiatrist appointment, as soon as he got back from his mom's house. We learned that his Lithium level was only 0.6 and they try to aim for 1.0 (? I could be wrong as to where the decimal point falls, so please let me know if I am and I will change that). Anyhow, it was relatively low, considering how much he had been taking (1500 a day). So the psychiatrist said, "Well, you're a pretty big guy, let's try 300 more and see what happens."

It is very possible that this could be a source of some or all of the instability that has been happening lately. This morning when DH got up, after his first extra dose, he seemed more alert than he had recently. I don't know if it's too early to start seeing results, but I do know that I saw results within the first two days when he first started on the Lithium, so I don't think I'm too far out there if I am hoping that I'm seeing improvement!

My Father in Law voted for Obama

That in itself isn't news. But, if you consider that one of the reasons I have a tough time enjoying DH's dad's company, is that he is "Archie Bunker recincarnate" (in other words, a HUGE bigot), it becomes a big deal.

I have never been in a restaurant or any other place where my father in law has not referred to people of color as (whatever their racial slur is--depends on the background of the person). When I was first getting to know DH's dad, I was constantly appalled by his attitude. Then I just started to avoid him.

Then, this weekend, DH asked his dad who he was voting for, and his dad, apparently really quietly, said, "I'm voting for Obama." No jokes, no racial slurs, just that statement. You could have knocked me over with a feather.

It's a new era, for sure.