31 May, 2010

Being Sick Disrupts My Life

The ER trip last night ranks up there with some of the worst. Oh the worst is still the first one; the 18 hour ER trip that I had to do pretty much alone. But last night was pretty close. The hospital looked like a hotel from the outside. Light and palm trees. They valet park your car for you so that you can go straight into the ER. Nice step huh? The troubles didn't start until we were inside the doors....

Tampa General Hospital (shown above) really was trying to be a different hospital. They offered me a wheelchair right inside the door. Of course I'm tough so save it for the guy who might come in in an hour who got run over my a motorcycle.

I filled out the entrance paperwork; name, DOB, SSN, reason for visit - all very standard. Under reason I put "severe abdominal pain". The woman behind the nurse said something to the affect of "have you had these tummy issues before?" to which I responded "I have Crohn's." She said that when someone puts 'severe' they've usually dealt with something chronic. Okay... at least she's paying attention. Then she tells the nurse inputting my information to, instead of putting severe abdominal pain, to just put Crohn's flare up.

This is the beginning of the end. Once they think they know what's wrong with you it generally turns to a bad visit. I told her the pains were more sever than typical Crohn's pain. But of course she's not listening at this point. She enters all my information and I'm directed to the waiting room. I'm triaged pretty quickly and, although all my vitals seem to be okay, the nurse has me in as an "actual 3-Urgent." Each ER will label the incoming at triage. This gives them a real idea of what the emergency is. Now, either she really thought I was urgent or she changed the number once I left the room. I thought there was still a chance but 4 hours later I'm still sitting there... waiting...

I noticed this was a trauma hospital before we got in. UC Davis is a trauma hospital, and it's also where my 18 hour trip was. So I was fearful but my last trip I was treated like a child who wasn't taking my vitamins so we had to try something different. I ended up, between the pain and the discouragement of knowing they probably couldn't do much, if anything, for me, just going home.

I've got a paper to finish today. I've got a house to clean and puppies that need outside time. I've got a move to plan and get excited about amongst many other things that need to be done. Being sick is just a big disruption in my life. I wish I could just take it all back and be normal. But the best I can hope for is holding on til I get home where I can get my medication and be my form of normal. So I'm back to holding on and holding out.

California here we come.....

30 May, 2010

Some Cheese with that Whine??

The pain's back.

I feel like all I do lately is complain. I don't know why. I'm on my mood stabilizers and I am super excited about moving. I guess it's just hard because nothing is set in stone yet. I got a call from my lawyers last week. New phone update means I didn't have the number programmed so I just got the message. Another invoice for $13 for my own medical records is on it's way to me. So far I've paid close to $100 for MY OWN records. That just doesn't make sense to me. AND I seem to be paying less than a friend who is requesting them on her own. So lawyers get a discount?? I don't get it. But I don't really have a choice in the matter. If I'm going to get disability or ANY help I need to have these. Not to mention the fact that Binder & Binder has been working on this for over a year and I've gotten nothing really. That frustrates me.

The pups are getting riled up I think. The moving of furniture and boxes really gets to them. I'm also pretty sure they can feel a change on the horizon. Even though I KNOW they'll be so much happier once we move it's still tough on them right now. And no matter how much Adrian and I *tell* them it will be better they don't really understand that right now. So they're acting out. Fighting with each other. Barking at anything. We have a small house so if you cook a lot of things in the kitchen it gets smoky. You don't even have to BURN anything for the fire alarm to go off. So it's happened a few times. That's lead to Koby barking anytime I'm in the kitchen. I could be putting dishes away but if he hears anything resembling cooking sounds he freaks. Good guard dog, bad for mommies nerves.

I'm probably looking at an ER trip in the next week if this pain doesn't knock it off. It's pretty bad this morning though it's gone from a hot poker feeling to more of an "alien crawling out of my abdomen" feeling. I don't know if that's good or not but it's different. My back is stiff as a board and I haven't been sleeping great. Yay for pain. I just want to be home. I know I whine about it a lot but there are so many positives waiting for me. I'm bored out of my mind and so is Adrian. Our funds are damn near non-existent right now so all we do is stay home and wait for Netflix to come. Which, if we could go out to dinner, hit a bar once in a while, do something outside the house, wouldn't be a big deal. We enjoy our movies and family time just as much as anyone else. But neither of us are "stay at home all the time" people. Both of us are spending way too much time inside our own house, mostly in our room, and we're getting depressed. I'm looking forward to a week in a car just for a change of scenery!

No news from unemployment yet. The next update isn't until Wednesday either because of the holiday. Watching our account dwindle while not having any idea when the next deposit is coming is more than scary. We're looking at loosing our phones for a week or so right now because we're just not sure how to pay it and we've put it off too many times. They won't put it off again. That frustrates me.

There's so much that needs to be done right now and I have so little control over anything it's ridiculous. Normally I'd just take the reins and make shit happen. It's not that easy right now because I have no control over anything. So I have to sit back and watch what unfolds and I'm not a great observer. Well I am but not when that's all I'm doing.

More television today. We have "Daybreakers" which is hopefully better than "Dear John." We're totally keeping up on homework so that's good. More of that today I'm sure, at least for me. I think  Adrian may be caught up on hers.

I'd just like to take the next step and be certain of that step when I set my foot on the ground. Whine, whine, whine I know. But I'm sick of the waiting game. I want to move forward.

29 May, 2010

The Final Chapter

I feel like we're entering our final chapter here in Florida. Things aren't completely finalized yet but we're looking at houses and picking dates and everything feels more "real" than when we've talked about moving before. I know I keep writing about how excited I am to move but really - I AM! My health is going downhill faster than a kid on a sled after the first snow and I want my family, friends, and shitty health care back. I don't know how much longer I can be on no medication without needing extensive surgery when I get back. I'm pushing along with my little steam engine in my head chanting "I think I can..."

The house is kinda in shambles. Of course it's going to be that way. I've started moving things for selling and packing. I need to get my hands on some boxes, which, in California, would have been a piece of cake. People posted ads on Craigslist all the time for them. I posted a wanted ad on Tampa: Freecycle and only got one reply to which she ended up falling through. I'll be posting again on Craigslist today and re-posting all our furniture to sell. The money from the furniture will help us float until loans come in. Getting the furniture out will give me more room to pack and stack boxes. The pups are gonna loose their minds but they'll get used to it. AND they get spoiled to hell while we're driving: happy meals, hotel rooms, filtered water.... they'll be fine once it all begins. But moving always seems to really upset the furry ones. And I'm not a big fan either so I understand their anxiety.

But this move is one I can't wait to make. So it should be much easier anxiety wise.

Today I am going to focus on getting some homework done. I'm faltering in my class because I just don't wanna. I'm like a high schooler the last semester of senior year. I have approximately 13 weeks to go until I'm done with my Masters and I just don't want to work anymore and it's showing. I also have a VERY strict teacher in this class so that makes it a bit more difficult. I will probably take a week or two off between my next class and my last one then I'm schedule to be done sometime in September. I need to decide soon what I'm going to do about school when that's over. I may teach part time with UOP. I didn't realize with my Masters I could teach. I think, unless I get my disability, that's going to be the easiest thing. UOP teachers make like $35 a year. It's not fantastic but it'll get us through. And I never have to leave home to do it.

Who knows? I have so many options right now and it's hard to think of any of them because I just want to get home.

I tell myself I'm just gonna write a quick blog/update. I don't know how to blog little. But then my bff told me yesterday "You don't do anything small do you?" (in reference to getting to Cali the beginning of July and getting married at the end of it). So I guess she's right, I don't do ANYTHING small.... not even blogging.

Here's to my final chapter. I'm thinking about getting a frog tattoo to commemorate my time here in Florida. We'll see if everything works out that way today. I'll post pictures if I get it.

27 May, 2010

Another Day Gone, Another Dollar Wasted

It's laundry day again. The day I've begun to loathe with every bone in my body. I put it off until the last minute because honestly then I can stuff as much as possible into the washers and hopefully save a bit of money. I'm guessing I'm looking at $15-$20 of laundry today. Money that would be much better spent in the gas tank or buying food but we really don't have a choice. Hauling all our unmentionables to the laundromat just to stand there in the sweltering heat for 4 hours is not my idea of a good day. I'd rather do two loads of laundry everyday than squeeze everything into one afternoon. I can't wait for our own washer and dryer.

Mom helped us out a bit with rent. Which is going to make things tight cause we have to pay her back immediately, but at least it gets our landlord off our back for a while. Hopefully everything will get cleared up and we can actually leave at the end of June. I'm getting a little frustrated though because the final steps that must be taken for us to get the go-ahead to move are beyond my control. And even the things "we" have control over "I" can't do anything about. I want to push and prod and bug until things are taken care of but it's not my place. As it stands we have 19 days to get everything in order and that's NOT enough time unless we are moving on it today. But I have no control over it.

I know Adrian is doing what she thinks she can do but I'm not sure we're pushing enough. It's not up to me to push though and when I bring it up to her she feels like I'm nagging her. Perhaps I am a bit but this is our future and my health here so I think nagging is not a bad thing.

I woke up last night with horrific pains. They were like baby gallstone pains. I was afraid they'd get that bad but they didn't. What scares me is that they were lower and on either side of my abdomen and reached through to my back. If it was stone pain but KIDNEY stones then WTF. So now I maybe have gallstones and kidney stones? That's great. A friend of mine recently had kidney stones and they said due to her medical condition she was more prone and because she drank a ton of iced tea that may have caused it. Well.... I drink a ton of tea. Of course I'm not a doctor and I can't diagnose myself but it was either kidney or Crohn's related but usually my Crohn's doesn't reach through to my back like that. But really who knows at this point. No meds for almost a year is bound to fuck something up inside you.

And this is why I nag. The longer I'm here the worse I potentially get. The longer I go without medication or pain control. And really, who knows what's going on inside me because no one here wants to touch me without insurance. I'm scared for my health but I have to push on because I can't just wallow in my pain. The house needs to be cleaned, the laundry needs to be done, and Adrian may have surgery before we leave so I really need to just bite the bullet and stick it out.

People say we'll get to California when we're meant to. I say I want to be there now. Can't we just compromise and make sure it happens next month?? I don't feel like that's too much to ask....

26 May, 2010

And the Waiting Game Ends.... Well at Least Part of it...

So I haven't really had much to report as of late. We've been hanging out at home because our finances don't really allow for much else. Even gas has become a concern lately so we are watching our every penny.

It's been over a month since either of us had income. I'm surprised we lasted this long. I have just enough in my bank account to pay my insurance this month and we have a little bit of cash on hand. We started selling things in the house partially because we're not taking them anyway but partially because we need the money. It was exciting to officially pack our first box though. Time to start Craigslisting for boxes as we're probably going to need them. It just makes us one step closer to picking that "get on the road" date. Hopefully that part of the waiting game is over soon.

I have my unemployment interview today. They put my money on hold, for a month now, because I quit my last employer. Now, multiple payroll checks had bounced, I'd been charged late fees at my bank and at my home because we couldn't pay rent on time, not to mention the whole place was a damn scam. SO I'm pretty sure everything will be fine, but this waiting has been killing us. And I just realized this morning because of the "go back 18 months come forward 12" way that unemployment figures their pay I'm probably going to be making less than I was before. But anything is better than nothing and *hopefully* we've only got another 2.5 weeks here or so. If I can just get that money in and we can float until we move we'll be okay.....

I'm nervous. Adrian hasn't been able to find a job here because the market is worse here than California. I know she'll find something good there! She's even applied to restaurants, fast food chains, and the local print shop and nothing.... So if something were to happen with my unemployment we wouldn't be able to float until we move. A big chunk of "what are we doing now" is resting on this interview. Hopefully I can get the interview person to at least give me an idea of whether I can expect the monies or not. Even if they pay me less, something is better than nothing at this point. And since they owe me for over a month it'll be two checks at once that will DEFINITELY help the process.

With the monies I'm owed from unemployment we have to pay rent and get invitations out. Supplies I'm thinking will be about $75. Postage is going to be around $20-30. So total my invites (I'm hoping) will only be about $200. That's because we have to pay $70 to get the ink refilled (which is better than the $160 for NEW ink - time for a new printer). I really want to get those out before we move. I also need to come up with another $145 for the ceremony spot by June 1 and I'm not sure if I'll be able to. Which reminds me, I need to call Sac Parks & Rec today and see what I can do about all that. So rent, parks & rec, and invites and we're looking at easily $1000. And that's if we pay nothing else.... so yea shit's tight right now.

So hopefully that wait will end today.... or at least I'll have a good idea on whether we need to panic or not. Then we move on to waiting for doctors appointments, emails, final steps, and financial aid. All the while I'll be packing here and there to make the final days easier. I'm hoping to find a trailer before loans come in but because of finances we may have to wait for that. Good news is because Adrian's loans got pushed back to middle of June we'll have more than enough to at least get home. We'll stay with my mama for a few weeks while we find a home and jobs.

I feel like I'm holding my breath more these days than ever before. I know getting to California will mean so many wonderful things for both of us and it seems so close now I can almost taste it. I guess part of me is still kinda waiting for that thing to hit that's gonna say *you're stuck in Florida! what made you think you could leave??* I'm trying not to focus on that because it's inherently negative and I need to be excited and get packing so we can get home.

So we keep playing our "I can't wait" game..... and I'm adding to my list "I can't wait until all this waiting is over."

23 May, 2010


My big brother came into town. His sister-in-law had a time share that they were willing to use. They stated at the Holiday Inn Orange Lake Resort in Orlando. They were celebrating their ten year wedding anniversary!

So after they celebrated their anniversary we came up to spend the night with them. The resort they stayed at had everything on the grounds. There was even a Marketplace!! They had like six pools and three water slides AND a lazy river! Friday night we spent just playing in the lazy river and went down a few of the little slides. We at at the bar and grill at River Village (the pool with all the water slides). I had sushi and was completely happy! Saturday morning was check out so we got up a bit early. We loaded everything into the car and went back to River Village (even though you had to check out of the hotel you could stay on the property!). Jason and I rode the HIPPO for an hour. This thing is a blow up water slide, for starters. It is 146 feet tall and 30 steps up. All told we did ten runs in one hour. That's 300 steps and 1,460 feet!!!! My thighs are hurting today. But it was fun bonding time with my big bro.... something I'm not sure we've really done in the 8 or so years we've been back in each others lives. The rest of the day we played in the lazy river. It was just relaxing all around.

The trip back from Orlando was great. No traffic. AC is fixed so we weren't dying! We came home then went out to see Sista Otis at the Queens Head in St. Pete. It's a "eurobar" complete with beds outside. It's a great venue for her but I hate the wanna be light show they play behind her. It was a great turn out though and she was hammin' it up! Totally playing to the audience. I was happy to see so many people show up for her. Jason and Christina weren't huge fans of their food as it's European but they had fun nonetheless. We didn't stay for the whole show cause Adrian and I were burnt to a crisp. Poor Adrian could barely allow me to put aloe on her! We're both still pretty hot today so there will be nothing but t-shirts worn until the red goes away.

This week should be chill. Homework, maybe a tattoo sometime later on. We're just trying to breathe while we're still here, not get too anxious or excited, and plan the best we can. We should know about her loans and my unemployment this week so *fingers crossed* everything goes well our plans of leaving end of June should stick. I'm feeling positive about it.

Cali - here we come!

18 May, 2010

Homeward Bound!

So my eyes look like puffer fish from crying yesterday. Although it may have been stressful we've come to a few conclusions:

- take what we can get now because the fight is no where near over.
- get the FUCK to California where resources and support are much higher
- OMG We're actually getting married!!

K so we've been making plans for quite some time now but the fact that I got the contract from Sacramento Parks and Rec yesterday really made it real. Suzi is making my dress with parts of my mom's wedding dress which is just so special to me. Not to mention the dress we have in mind is to die for! We have the reception hall all set, though we still need to book that one, and Adrian's mom is hopefully helping out with that. Invites can now be made as the ceremony site is a for sure. Our plans of getting to Detroit to meet/party with her friends, the wedding, and finally getting back home actually feel attainable.

After a long conversation with our mother's yesterday (too cute they were on the phone together) we, well at least I, feel like I should start packing! We've probably got a good 4-6 weeks before we actually get on the road (maybe less) but there are things we won't use in those 4-6 weeks that could go in boxes now. I'm going sometime this week (hopefully) to refill our ink cartridges and get the necessary pieces for making the invitations. That will be fun and productive for me. I have templates made up so it's really just assembling them at this point. Now if a few things would just fall into place....

We're waiting for Adrian's school loans to get caught up on a few things at the house. I just re-mailed my Unemployment Claim Form so hopefully that doesn't stop that money cause that would really help right now. I know you're not supposed to quit a job when you're on unemployment but my payroll checks were bouncing, the owner was stealing money from the company, he's a big fat felon, and the whole thing was just a scam. I'm hoping since I quit for good reason my unemployment will continue. Once we know we have that and Adrian's loans we're set! Packing shall commence at that point.

Thank god for Craigslist cause buying actual packing supplies can be a task in and of itself. But people give away boxes all the time! We're also going to try to find a trailer to buy cheep that we can re-sell in California. From what I see on Craigslist that may take a bit of time but I know it's doable. Stay with friends in Detroit, get the California and stay with my mom for a few weeks (YAY!) then we'll have a home to move into in Sacramento.

Being with my mom for a few weeks puts me a bit further from Sacramento than I want to be. BUT it gives me some good family, grounding time when we finally get back. I'll help her around the house when we're not house/job hunting. Cleaning, cooking, etc. and really give her a bit of a break. Family dinners a few times a week. Spending time at my grandparents pool. And Adrian gets a good chance to get close to my family before she commits to being a part of it for life. Although I doubt anything could change her mind at this point.

We've been through some rocky shit the last 11 months (our anniversary was yesterday). I came out here at a point in both of our lives when shit was craazy!!! But we've managed to make it quite a long way. There have been some fights, some disagreements, and many late nights, but I think, considering what we've been through, that we've done pretty well. And getting home is only going to make it easier because we'll have support. She's made friends with some of my friends, who are now her friends and therefore our friends! She loves my mom and step dad and they are very fond of her in return. And she loves me. Like no one else has loved me in the past. Good, bad, and oh so ugly she's never even contemplated walking away. She's faithful and reliable and although she's had some personal family issues she's never put our family aside to deal with them. We face everything hand in hand, for the most part, and at the end of the day I know that I have someone who cherishes me for me, not for who she wants me to be.

And that's a lot more than most married couples can even say about themselves.

We both have some things we want to change in our lives but for the most part the support is there. I support her changes and she supports mine. And we know that 5, 10, 15 years from now we'll be better and healthier for the choices we're making. I just know anyone else would have given up on me by now. With my health the way it is and my pain turned into anger she has had more than one, more than five chances where if she had walked away no one would have blamed her. She has gotten the worst of me unfortunately and still loves me regardless. I hope to be able to finally show her the best of me once I can get back to my roots and my medications.

We have some bumps ahead of us but who doesn't? As long as we are next to each other we can take the force of those bumps head on. Bad days, good days, a commitment means all of it. And I know, if nothing else, she's committed.

I can't wait to be home and show her why I've missed it so much. I know she'll love it and be able to make a beautiful life for herself, and for us, once we just get there. Packing, oil change, alignment, trailer.... these are the things we need to do in the next few weeks. I've waited 11 months now to start heading home.... another few weeks won't kill me.

15 May, 2010

Don't Hold Your Breath

Well yesterday's "exercising" didn't go as planned. I didn't walk Koby early enough after his debacle of running away so there was no evening walk. And although we got great food at the store yesterday (I'm especially proud of Adrian because this is not how she eats at all) I don't think it's the smartest idea for me to continue exercising, although walking the pups will commence tomorrow cause they love it and I have to move.

Most exercises say "consult a physician before beginning any exercise routine" but how many of us truly do? Exercising is good for us and therefore we do it. Well I had an incident yesterday that may or may not have been caused by pushing my body further than it's used to (which really isn't that far) and since I have no physician to consult I will be curtailing my physical activities in hopes that it will stop.


Last night I had a big scare and some pretty severe rectal bleeding. Of course that is pretty common with my Crohn's and therefore I generally overlook it but this was not normal. It looked as if Aunt Flow had come to visit but landed in the wrong hemisphere. I called my mom and she said it could be a number of things, including the new vitamins I'm taking, and to just think positive and we'll keep an eye on it. Of course she knows I don't have medical and I wonder if she figured they wouldn't do anything so I shouldn't even bother. I don't know at what point rectal bleeding becomes and emergency room trip. But I guess we'll just keep an eye on things and see how they progress. I don't have any extra pain or discomfort I'm not used to so I suppose it could just be a random sighting.

So the vitamins I'm on I got from my mom. I'm not the best at remembering to take pills even though at one time I had 25+ a day to take. But I'm trying. She gave me a four month supply and it's been just a few days. I don't feel a significant difference but I'm hoping I will.

So today consists of taking it easy, some homework, and straightening up the house. No more TMI news for me please. I'd like to keep it low key.

14 May, 2010

Like a Dog in Headlights.....

As I was gathering my morning coffee and the pups to sit outside the absolute worst thing ever happened - Koby made a run for it. Generally he listens to me when I yell but today was not one of those days. I already had Maggie Mae leashed up so we went after him. I'm in boxers, a t-shirt, no bra, and flip flops. I JUST woke up. No coffee even in my system yet. So at first we're walking at a brisk pace. I figure he'll get to the corner and stop like he's done once before. But today he's defiant and he runs.

I can see 46th Avenue from our front porch. It's not the busiest of streets by any means but it is pretty busy for a side street. And people don't care around here. So Koby's running and by this point I'm running too - no bra and flip flops remember. I don't know if he thought we were going on our morning walk but he's not even attached to his leash yet. I've got his lead in my hand and I'm literally dragging Maggie behind me. She is fighting me because she hates her harness and apparently she's not in a running mood this morning. Well neither am I really but I'm scared at this point. I can see Koby but he's quicker than me and I know I'm not gonna catch him.

I'm screaming his name and crying hysterically at this point. Cars are coming and going and he's not listening. I can barely breathe cause, lets face it, I've never been a runner, I'm in flip flops, and I smoke. Walking briskly is the best I can do for any extended period of time. I'm crying, coughing, and screaming for him to come back. Some guy is walking on the other side of the street, closer to Koby, and he doesn't move a muscle to help.

Now I've picked up Mags cause she's dragging me down. I'm still trying to run but between the crying and coughing it's difficult to breathe. Then Koby decides to cross the street just as a big van comes tearing down the street. I pick up the pace and I start screaming "PLEASE DON'T HIT HIM. DON'T HIT HIM". I don't know if it's a good thing or a bad thing but Koby becomes paralyzed like a dear in headlights. Thankfully the driver stopped short, the car behind him stopped in time too, and Koby decided he had enough play time and came running back to me. He sat down in front of me so I could put his leash back on him and I promptly marched him back inside.

Walks are good for the dogs and me. Runs are not so good for me. So I got about 10 minutes of running/jogging in this morning and we're calling it my morning cardio. Koby needs a time out from walking to know what he did was wrong. I may take him out again tonight cause I can't punish myself for his actions and if I don't walk with him I won't walk. But talk about a scared mama.....

Trying to push through the sore pain today. It's difficult because I usually let pain floor me but this is a different kind of pain. My tummy muscles are tight in a good way and I can feel my calves and upper arms. Grocery shopping will be part of my "exercise" today as I've been letting Adrian do it mostly lately. We avoided fast food yesterday and she jumped right on the healthy train with me, which made me very pleased. I know we can stick to this. It's going to be difficult but we have to do it. I want to have a different lifestyle before we have children and there's no time like the present to start it.

13 May, 2010

The First Cut is the Deepest

So I woke up today not feeling like doing anything. But I had promised myself, my puppies and my future I was going to make a change today. And I have such inspiration around me in people who have MUCH fuller lives than I do and they do 100x's more than I did this morning. So I got on the only pair of shorts that fit me right now (I don't exactly have work out gear here in my limited wardrobe) put on my tennis shoes, and leashed up all three puppies.

Now Adrian has always told me "Maggie won't walk", meaning her Maggie. But she seemed to want to go and I wasn't going far. I didn't want to over do it on my first day and not be able to keep it up. 20 minute walk, briskly, with three pups, and Mags made it the whole way. I may take Koby out again later before it gets too dark cause he loves it and it was surprisingly much easier than I thought. Of course, my calves may not want me to walk again later seeing as I haven't really exercised in like 2 or more years. We will see though.

Our walk didn't take us far but this isn't the greatest neighborhood and I wanted to avoid 46th. With one dog it might not be an issue but it's a busier street and I didn't want to chance not being able to maintain all three dogs as they were exploring as much as they were walking. I couldn't believe little Mag made it. I definitely want to shave them later though because it's getting hot here and I could tell she was hot. Thankfully there was a little breeze so I'm sure that made it easier for her.

When we got home the pups got ice water :) And I kept working. Adrian's best friend has Crohn's too and she said she uses the Exercise On Demand on her television to work out. So I decided what the heck. I'm feeling pretty good, accomplished and all that jazz. So I find the Exercise OD channel. 353 on Brighthouse Networks! I'm scrolling through and a lot of them need free weights, which I don't have, but then I come across Abs, Back and Core and it's only 15 minutes. My back causes me immense pain and I know it's because my core strength is non-existent. So I do it. I can't keep up completely with the lady on the television but I do what I can. I don't exactly have a "work-out" routine but I'll figure something out as I go. I'm really mostly concerned with my upper body and once I can get the "get fit" shoes I want the walking will take care of the gluts.

So I sit here now. Ready to face my day. I'm going to clean a bit and work on some homework. And I'm making a vow to drop the fast food. It's just been too convenient for us and it's not healthy for either of us. Adrian has had a few false starts to her lifestyle change and I really want her to get healthy. Maybe if I start and refuse the quick meals she will jump on with me soon. I kinda wanna make sure I keep her around for a while ;) We don't have the kitchen for super healthy eating but just cutting out the over over processed grease is a big step I think. I made that declaration before though and didn't stick to it.

Perhaps I have more motivation this time.

12 May, 2010

Where are My Ruby Slippers?

At the very tender age of 25/26 years old I was informed that I had Crohn's disease. This is an auto-immune disorder that affects my entire gastrointestinal tract. This is a chronic illness which means I will always have it. There are remission periods and sometimes they can last for years at a time. But my case is special, of course. I have a really bad case of it and my doctor back in California said he was surprised to see me walking sometimes. I refused surgery for a very long time and just as I was moving out to Florida I was informed surgery was pretty much imminent. I was on transfusions of Remicade every 8 weeks and I still wasn't in remission. Shortly before this I was told by my Gastroenterologist that I had a form of arthritis that was caused by my Crohn's. This was virtually untreatable because most arthritis patients take Ibuprofen or some other NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) and these drugs are detrimental for Crohn's patients because it eats away at the intestinal lining and since my intestines are already infection ridden it's just a bad idea.

So every day I wake up feeling like a corpse in a coffin - stiff, brittle. I can't take anything for the pain except for pain killers and since I can't be seen here in Florida due to the shitty healthcare system out here I have none. Before I got here I was taking upwards of 25 pills a day. Currently I have none of those. I have been to the hospital here in Florida via the emergency room around 4-5 times and have racked up a bill somewhere in the $30,000 dollar range (if not more).

And all I want to do is to get back to California to be on their shitty CMISP program. Any health care is better than no health care.

I was placed on temporary disability in February of 2008. Little did I know that temporary disability has an expiration date. In February of 2009 I received a letter with my last paycheck telling me I had no funds left in my disability "pot" and therefore couldn't be on disability anymore. I called Binder & Binder (the national disability advocates) and have been working with them since March of 2009. I have been through three case workers, countless denials, and am not facing a court hearing with a judge and everything. Only to find out the damn LAW OFFICE doesn't have any of my medical records yet. It's been OVER A YEAR. What the fuck have they been doing for the last 15 months????

So I have spent the last 5 hours on the phone to UC Davis Medical Center, CMISP, and my representative at Binder and Binder. Tell me why I am paying these people 30% (if I win) for ME to make all the calls?

Meanwhile, I'm here, writhing in pain, unable to keep food down and also unable to see a doctor. All I fucking want to do is get home. If I had my way I'd pack up now, whatever could fit in the car, and just start over. Gah! But there's finance issues standing in my way. As always. And if I could just find a damn money tree maybe I could learn what it's like to not stress about money or my health for once.

So I continue to play the waiting game once more. Waiting for loans, for boxes to pack things, to find a trailer, and to get on the road. Waiting for CMISP approvals, doctors visits, doctors offices, even worse: clinics! Waiting for tests, treatments, infusions, surgeries. Just waiting.

One day I'll actually get there.

OH did I mention I have a gall stone potentially the size of KANSAS cause they say it could get lodged and be fatal.

"But we won't touch you because you don't have medical insurance."

There's no place like home.

Off With Their Heads

Of course nothing is perfect. It's a pretty fairytale dream that we hold, especially us little girls, that we'll find our Prince (or Princess) and we'll be whisked away to a beautiful castle with maids and servants and we'll wear pretty dresses and be perfectly beautiful and never have to work ever. That might be perfect. But we find a way to create perfection with the hand of cards we are dealt. Life is just that; a game. Always trying to get ahead while dealing with certain obstacles that are uncontrollable and handed to you on a tarnished, used-to-be silver platter.

Just as everything is falling together more things are falling apart. My unemployment claim form got "lost". So instead of cool places where you can do shit online California has got to be the slowest state to catch up to technology in more than one place. They have to mail me a new claim form, and at that time it may be delayed because I quit my job. I quit because my checks were bouncing and we worked for a felon who was stealing money from his clients. So I had every reason to quit but unemployment has to go through all their red fucking tape in an attempt to strangle us before we can ever get ahead.

We both just want out of Florida. There's nothing holding us here besides the potential malaria from the millions of bugs who inhabit this state. And even if that happened the medical community won't touch us because we have no insurance. My support is in California, my family is in California, and her family isn't that far away either. I wish we could just pack up and GO but we don't really even have the gas money to do so! So we wait....

Things for the wedding are coming along. But with the economy the way it is it doesn't look like all of Adrian's "special humans" will be there to stand next to her at the wedding. Which is sad for both of us. For her because these people mean so much to her and she really wanted them there. Me because I'd like to meet these important influential people. But we have an idea. Initially we were going to stop in Arizona to see my brother and Las Vegas to see her mom. That was going to be an extra 3-4 days of "hanging out" added to the already 4-5 days of driving. Instead we're contemplating going through Michigan and having a Pre Wedding Party! This way her friends get to see her and we can all spend one night together and it doesn't really interfere with our time line to get home. The best of both worlds.

So the first leg of our trip will be from Tampa, FL to Detroit, MI. I'd like to stop in Jacksonville to see my Aunt Penny/Godmother who I haven't seen since I was three. A simple dinner and we'll be back on our way.

Rand McNally tells me the trip is 18 hours and 55 minutes.

The second, very long, leg of our trip will bring us home. Although at this point we are staying with my mom for a few weeks while we get housing and jobs in order. But we'll be less than 2 hours from Sacramento which is much better than 4 days or a 12 hour flight!

34 hours and 35 minutes. That's nothing!

So all told about 4 days worth of driving. Not too bad for a cross country trip. If we start late one night we can stay with my Aunt in Jacksonville. Get up early and if we can both do an ass load of driving be in Detroit the same day. Although I feel we'll probably stop once along the way. Three to four stops from Detroit to The East Bay and we'll be good and home.

We had initially thought of getting a U-Haul for the trip. Nothing better for the lesbians right?? Throw a hitch on the car and we're ready to go. But my ever brilliant mother told us to check on Craigslist for a trailer for the car. Pay $100-$200 here to buy it. Then we don't worry about damage, paying for extra days of rental, etc. And when we get back we turn around and sell it for what we bought it for. Worst case we loose a little in the sale. Still saves us $400 from U-Haul.

So we're cutting money everywhere. If one or two things could just fall into line here we could easily be on our way end of May/beginning of June. Which puts us hopefully into a home by end of June and we're good to go. Settle in, settle down, and get married. Crazy time wise but we've already changed the wedding date twice and neither of us really wants to push it back. Although if the worst case scenario happened we would. But we're not hoping for the worst at this point.

So today I'm looking for boxes on Craigslist. I want to start packing things we never use. CD's, toys, shelving we don't need right now. That way when everything gently falls into place I won't be running around like the White Rabbit yelling "WE'RE LATE WE'RE LATE." I'll probably look at trailers too cause if we find one for the right price why not just get it now?

So cross your fingers the Red Queen doesn't get in our way. We're headed to a tea party with Mad Hatters and field mice and I just can't wait to sink my teeth into some crumpets.

Wonderland here we come.

11 May, 2010

Champagne Wishes and Caviar Dreams

So my wishes and dreams have changed quite a bit over the years. I used to want to be famous: singing, acting, dancing (although I'm quite clumsy). Then I wanted to be known: greatest lawyer turned governor in California. I have wanted to own my own business: coffee shop/small restaurant by day and greatest gay club Sacramento has ever seen by night. I wanted to open a chapter of Spread Peace Reno, but in Sacramento, to help with the homeless and feed those in tent city. I still may do some or all of these things, but right now I just want to make it.

Money is ever elusive sometimes. Not that money buys happiness by any means, I used to walk to the liquor store next to our apartment when I was like 6 or 7 to use change, all we had, to buy a few cans of vegetables to eat. But my mother had love for us and we played with empty boxes and garbage bags with imaginations the size of Walt Disney's himself. But lack of money can cause suffering and depression. And unfortunately that's kinda where we're at now and I can't wait to get home and begin changing this.

I'm getting sick again. I'm handling it pretty well but at least once a week my body expels any food I've put into it in the last 6 hours. It's not a flu bug because I don't feel extremely nauseous, no fever (that I know of), nothing but my normal body aches. But I know from dealing with this for the past 5+ years that when the infection in my gastrointestinal tract is running rampant by stomach, colon, small intestines doesn't want to take the effort to digest the food. So it comes up when it hits first base. My pain is getting to the point where I'm having trouble sleeping some nights. And even though I'm on anti-anxiety medication and a mood stabilizer I'm still feeling overwhelmed and under stimulated. I can't even focus on school long enough to write a paper like I used to. I cannot wait to get home because at least in California I have a chance to see a doctor. Where here it has to be an 'emergency' before I can see anyone. And ironically throwing up once a week with no other symptoms just isn't emergency enough.

If we had the money available I could at least try for private health care. Some companies are taking pre-existing conditions now.....

Bills are being paid when necessary instead of when the bill comes. A TECO truck (our electricity provider in Florida) drove by this morning and my heart skipped a beat because we are past due there. So far everything looks okay cause I'm still here virtually connected to cyber-world. But I shouldn't have to worry about that.

My phone has special saved contacts for creditors. And my new Eris Droid has a setting where I can send calls straight to voice mail so it doesn't bother me (except for checking my message). And bankruptcy is in my near future. I have over $25,000 worth of hospital bills right now. I also have $60,000 worth of school bills. And I'm in the process of trying to obtain disability. I won't be able to handle both of those burdens and still survive in this world and I can't do anything about the school one! So I pay what I can when I can, throw everything into BK when I do, and start over. So maybe I'll never be able to buy a house unless I have 50-60% down, who needs to own their own home anyway?

There are definite positives happening too. Adrian and I both agree we need a house for the animals. No yard is not acceptable. I had a dream last night that I woke up and our front room was practically flooded with urine. Dream Moods says that means I have feelings of rejection. On the flip side Dream Net states urine may represent the feelings that you reject. You are trying to cleanse yourself of the things that you consider unworthy. Mystically urine has for centuries been regarded as a protection against ghosts and evil spirits. So I am feeling rejected or I am rejecting what I see as unworthy? Although I believe dreams have meaning these two are so conflicting I'm not sure what to believe. I do know having a house with a yard for puppies to do their business is going to help my stress level. Perhaps the dream was just a reminder of that.

Adrian and I also pretty much align when it comes to how to raise our children when we have them. I think it's so important to talk about these things before hand instead of arguing about it once your children are here. I love kids and I've always wanted one or two of my own. It's comforting to know that when we do decide to get pregnant we are on the same page with virtually everything.

The wedding is also coming along well. I am sending out the deposit for the ceremony site and the application today. I have my wedding dress and my friend will be altering it for me to make it my own. We have about 90% of the invite addresses so once the date is confirmed with Parks and Rec I can start making and sending out invitations. We have our registry and gift information in line. Both of our mothers are more than willing to help wherever possible and we have amazing friends who have stepped in to help as well. It's looking like it's going to be a great night and every day it becomes more real and we joke with each other.... "We're really doing this!"

So for all the negatives I have at least one positive to counter it with. If I can hold onto my champagne wishes and caviar dreams perhaps I can actually get there.

10 May, 2010

Good to the Last Drop

Yesterday was amazing!

I'm sure it's because I haven't seen my mother in over a year. Or perhaps because it was Adrian's first meeting of my parents. Or maybe it was the fact that everyone liked each other so much. Or it could be just a day in the sun having fun, not focusing on the pain.

We got to mom's about 1:30pm. Their hotel was gorgeous and it was just apparent she was having a blast. She loves her company and she was learning a lot. And she was kinda glowing. She's offered to talk to the independent shop in Sacramento to attempt to get Adrian or I a job. Which is amazing. They have these conferences every two years where certain invaluable people get to go. Where's the next one? BERMUDA. Yea so I'm hoping to have a "most expenses paid trip" to Bermuda in 2012. Cool beans!

My mom brought her wedding dress for me to try on. Of course I can't post pictures here because Adrian can see this ;) But it's much cuter than I remembered. I had some mashed memory of my mom's dress with parts of my aunts maid of honor dress clashed together. I think it's perfect and my friend has offered to do some alterations to it to make it mine. And my mom was thrilled to pass on her dress to me of course. It was very sweet. And now I have a wedding dress sitting in my house..... this is really happening!

We went to lunch at Pizzeria Uno and it was JUMMY!! We have leftovers and they are already calling my name from the fridge. After that we went to Downtown Disney and walked around. We went to the T-Rex store where my mama made a Build-A-Dino for Adrian and I thought she was going to cry. It was the sweetest thing. Her Dino's name is Gem and he has a cool T-Rex shirt. It was cute as hell. Then we all got ginormous coffee cups. I can't even imagine how much coffee this thing holds but I've been outside playing on my computer and blogging and haven't had to go back in for a refill. It's amazing.

Then mom and Mike took us out to the Pirates Dinner Adventure. We had a blast. The show was amazing and surprisingly the food was really good too. At the end mom and I got selected to "assist" in the show which, in the end, meant that we were hunkered down by the "boat" and got splashed to hell. It was amazingly fun and I haven't laughed that much in over a year.

My mama is and has always been my best friend. Being able to spend Mother's Day with her while we live 3000 miles apart was a total blessing. Adrian loved them and the feeling was mutual. Mom and Adrian figured out a way to possibly get us home earlier than expected and I'm excited to see if everything will pan out. It's beautiful. I'm so happy. I had an amazing day and we're just that  much closer to California. It's going to be a good week!

09 May, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

The days of coloring cards on bright construction paper with stick figures and abnormally large heads may be over, but some of us still have that child-like affection for our mothers.

Although I can now drink with my mother, swear with my mother, and go into pornographic stores with my mother, she is still one of my best friends. I miss her all the time and she has made me the woman I am today. Her strength and perseverance in the face of struggle is made me the strong person I am. Without her I would be a shell of the woman I am.

So to all those mother's out there - remember the good times. The macaroni necklaces and the crayon drawn pictures. Remember the times they tell you they want to marry you because that love will never go away. During their rebellious years pull out those pictures and wear that necklace and remember that rebellion fades and they will come around eventually.

Everyone else go hug your mother. Without her you wouldn't be here. And without her teachings and guidance you would probably be lost. Tell her you love her and tell her often.

Happy Mother's Day to everyone.

08 May, 2010

Saturday... What a day.... spend more time with you!

I woke up this morning with a drunk headache and I haven't been drunk in months. I don't know if it's the gall stone or the mass in my colon, or maybe it's just the Crohn's infection flaring up, but alcohol truly does nothing for me anymore. I've tried. One night while watching our friend Sista Otis at a near by bar I had three Long Island Ice Tea's. Now a year ago I would have been past the point of tipsy and happy as hell with that on my menu. This time, I could have driven home. And not in a drunk "I'ssss fiiineeee I thwear officer. I'ss not brunk at the liiiitlest bit" kinda drive but I was truly not even tipsy. Sure I still drink once in a while because I truly am one of those people that likes the taste of alcohol. But I more drink like you would if you had a craving for a Jamocha Shake from Arby's.... just cause it tastes good. I didn't drive that night as I've learned my lesson well. I'm still paying for it. But I could have nonetheless.

So here it is a beautiful Saturday morning. And I just wanna go back to sleep. Our friend The Lilo is coming to visit us from Orlando tonight so going back to sleep is not in order. I am having my morning coffee and will follow it with some Mother's Day cookies (a gift from my furry children) then off to the laundromat to do laundry and fold my unmentionables out where everyone can see them. I can't wait to have my own washer and dryer back.

Upon return we shall clean the entire house in hopes that our friend will feel comfortable and happy staying with us. He's really in town to see his mom tomorrow for Mother's Day so I'm not sure if he's staying with us or not. I'm just happy to get to see him. He's hilarious and I've never met him except online. Apparently Adrian kissed him in high school but doesn't remember, poor guy. She probably broke his heart and can't even remember who he is. But it should be a good evening nonetheless. We are going to see Iron Man 2. Oh the movies with a bunch of geeks! (I'm secretly excited to see the movie. Although I never followed comics I saw the first one and liked it)

Tomorrow I get to see my mama for Mother's Day. That seems second nature to most but I haven't seen her in over a year and since we currently live on opposite sides of the country it's a total blessing. Thank you Interstate Batteries for having a work conference 40 minutes from my home on a day when I would truly miss my mama terribly. We are going out to dinner and I just get mama time. I haven't been this excited in months!!

Here's to laundry and a clean house. Oh goddess give me strength.

07 May, 2010

Creepy Landlords

So our landlord is pretty cool.... usually. He has worked with us with late rent and has generally been sympathetic. We are in a nasty situation because Adrian and I aren't working at the current moment. I'm waiting for my disability to come through and Adrian has job after job after job interview this week and next. So we're trying. He has told us that as long as the rent is in by the end of the month there may be a "late fee" but that it's fine. So we have gotten him what we can when we can.

Lately he's been texting Adrian non stop. We have told him what we can do and when we'll get to him. He has said before THAT'S OKAY. He says he understands our situation and my health and he knows we're good tenants and he wants to keep us. He has lost people in the past month because he WAY over charges for this place. We have a tiny one bedroom one bathroom townhouse. He only covers water and he is never available and our towel rack is still falling off the wall from almost six months ago. But god if his rent is one day late he'll hound you - even when he knows the situation and has SAID it's fine.

It got to a point today when texted Adrian to tell her "I know you're home" because he saw the car out front. There are TWO of us... just cause the car is here doesn't mean both of us are home. He "stopped in" on Monday to talk with her. He texted her yesterday and again today. It's to the point of creepy.

Look dude, if you don't want to  hold up your end of our verbal agreement fine then send us eviction paperwork but stop creeping around the house.

Oh that's right... he can't. His "lease" was no where NEAR legal and he doesn't even have Adrian's real name. He has no rights really as landords go.

So maybe he can just leave us alone. Before we go find a HOUSE down the block for $100 more than we're paying here....

Gah I cannot WAIT to get back to California. It's almost like people in Florida KNOW the laws but think they are above them somehow or don't want to follow them for whatever reason. Fucking creep-o..... ugh.

Cali Bound!!! Here I come..... soon anyway.

Animals versus Children

I love our animals. I really do! But sometimes I think the zoo is a bit much, especially where we're living now. I can't wait to get into a house with a yard and a doggy door so they can be more independent. Right now they don't do much without mommy and sometimes it seems like a lot more work than it should be. But we see our animals as children, at least for the time being, so should all this work be worth it? Sure I love cuddling with them and they do ridiculous things sometimes that can be cute and endearing. But the constantly need cleaning up after and no matter how old they get there's no cleaning up after themselves. And when I have gotten four hours of sleep because my animals decided that it was time for me to get up....well I start to wonder what all this is for.

We live in a very small 1br/1ba townhome. Our landlord, during renovations before we moved in, thought it would be a brilliant idea (and a CHEAP idea) to put outside tile inside the house. This stuff is supposed to be scrubbed with a big push broom and power washed with like 50 tons of water pressure. This is nothing I can even begin to think about doing inside, at least until we move and everything is out of here so flooding the place while simultaneously cleaning the floors will be safe for everyone and everything involved. My poor little mop and I just can't keep the floors clean. Every morning I mop the front room. Every week I mop the whole house. And there's moping in between. And I'm sure we have like the lamest mop known to man. It's old and worn out but we're moving soon so I'll get a new mop then. Until then I'll continue to clean up endlessly after the four dogs and one cat that we have. I'm hoping that doggy door I mentioned earlier will cut down on the mopping....

Right now I have to leash three of the pups up to take them outside. There is no fenced in yard and no where to just let them run. My health prevents me from actually walking the dogs too much and I feel bad for them. They have the tether of their leashes to run around. I'm sure they want a yard as much as mommy does. Adrian doesn't always see why a yard is necessary. I know they are small puppies and just running from the front to the back of our apartment as many times as they do a day should be enough exercise. But Koby likes his walks. That poor dog gets so excited to go outside I just want to give him more freedom and a place to play. Is that too much to ask?

I'm not sure at this point whether the yard is for their benefit or mine. Last night we went to bed at 2 am and I was awoken at 7 am by puppies who wanted to play. It wasn't even that they needed out for potty reasons. Just wanted to play....

I don't sleep well as it is. My pain is so bad at night that I'm tossing and turning. My body feels like a steel cage and like all my limb are frozen in place and in pain when I sleep. So the five hours of sleep I did get wasn't truly restful. The doggy door will enable them to come and go and maybe they can just play by themselves outside. Of course I'll need to padlock my gates and put Soft Paws on my cat so that they are truly confined to the back yard. But sometimes mama just wants to sleep!

I hear my friends with children talk about lack of sleep. It's one reason I've put off children for so long. That and the radiation may make it difficult to actually have children but that's another entry entirely. But I've always loved my animals. I bathe them, play with them, talk to them, talk for them in some cases, and I have a special connection to each and every one of them. So to me the animals are like children. But I don't get to watch them take their first steps. They'll never speak a word. And no one will ever call me mama. So I'm not sure the animals instead of children concept truly pays off in the end.

Sure I can crate them when I go to the mall instead of lugging around a stroller and car seat. But the pain and suffering for the outcome is what we all look at. Otherwise no one would ever have kids!!

I see my animals as children. I know sometimes people see their children as animals. And although I know I love them with my whole heart I still can't wait to get a home to put them in. I don't believe that's truly selfish as I know they will benefit from it too. So I feel justified in making my requests to the moving gods (house, backyard, sturdy fence, hard wood floor).... it really is all for the animals.

But for mama tonight I believe some Trazodone is in order. One, maybe two, to drown out the whimpering and barking tomorrow morning. Hopefully it will help....