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Sunday, March 2, 2014

Stress, stress and more stress...

The other day, I find myself, tears rolling down my cheeks, on my knees, in the bathroom, mopping up water. This because, when the washing machine (in the laundry room) drained, the water backed up the sewer pipe and poured out the base of the toilet and flooded the bathroom. And I really did not need this...

This was also the second plumbing problem in February. The first being the kitchen faucet which would no longer shut off. I knew it just needed new washers, but the kitchen sink does not have a shut off valve and the water would need to be turned off at the meter on the boulevard and I knew you need a special tool to do this. Which I don't have. So I called a plumber, figuring, how much could a couple of washers and 30 minutes of labor cost? And I nearly fell over dead when the plumber tried to charge me $291.00! But, after 20 minutes of arguing with this guy, I got the price down to $171.00 -- but still, jeepers!

And now I was dealing with a new plumbing problem, which appeared much more severe.

I tell you, they say money can't buy happiness, and it can't buy love, but it certainly can buy the services of plumber.  Which can make a person, if not happy, at least less stressed out.

And what do you do when you just don't have the cash? or the credit?

Well, you find yourself crying on the bathroom floor and wondering if it's possible to somehow run the hose from the washing machine out the window so that it drains out onto the lawn... or you call your mom and dad and ask for help. Which is what I did. And, lord almightly, I hate doing that.

So the plumber arrives and gives me a bid of $4600 to replace the sewer line, or I can just have it roto-rootered out for around $450, but that will only temporarily solve the problem (which is roots in the sewer line that are bound to grow back) but the price includes re-seating the toilet. So, I go the cheaper route, because what can I do?

It's been a stressful couple of months here. Because add to plumbing problems, there's been Green Machine problems. When I finally got the car back from Bubba, he told me that he was pretty sure that he DID NOT completely fix the problem. He thinks it's some mysterious intermittent electrical short that he's been unable to pinpoint. And told me to be prepared to have starting problems and ultimately getting stranded again, somewhere, with a car that will not start. And he advised me to sign up for AAA. Which I checked into, but for the cost of the membership, it didn't seem like a great deal. And besides, I can't afford it at the minute.

Money can't buy love, but it certainly can buy a AAA membership. Or a new car.

And, now I'm scared shitless to drive The Green Machine anywhere....

And add to this, there's some screw-up with Bob's health insurance and, for some reason, EVERY SINGLE CLAIM for this year has so far been DENIED. So, add to the stress factor, hours on the phone trying to straighten this out. Plus a mailbox full of bills and trying to run interference with those medical providers.

Then add, the neurologist's bright idea to refer Bob for admission to an inpatient rehab hospital to "jump start" his therapy. This without my knowledge. And this instead of referring him to Outpatient Rehab or for more home therapy, which is what I asked for. I mean, I just get a call from this hospital, out of the blue,  telling me they have a referral. Which is news to me. This hospital sends PT and OT and ST therapists to our house to do a "pre-admission evaluation" and also orders a whole bunch of blood work and a nursing evaluation. Which we do. Then add the PT who tells me that Bob's room (the living room) is "set up wrong" for his disabilities and I should totally rearrange it into an impossible configuration because, really, it's a small room with 3 windows, four doorways, a fireplace and built-in bookcase and when I point this out him, he tells me to "find a way" to "remodel" it and if I don't do this, I am, in fact, responsible for making Bob "worse".... ga!

Then, after all of that, I find out that the rehab hospital needs a $1675.00 co-pay from  us...  So nix that idea.

Money may not buy happiness, but it certainly could pay for a fancy rehab hospital.... or a home renovation...

And I tell you, seems everytime I turn around, someone wants money from us. Or just wants to waste my time. Like the pharmacist, who promised to have Bob's pain meds in stock, and then doesn't. So that I have to run around (in a car that may not start up again) making multiple trips to multiple pharmacies. Or the doctors who are charging us $250.00 or more just to be interviewed by our lawyer. And our lawyer has to interview them because the defense is calling in nearly every single doctor who has ever laid eyes on Bob in the past 10 years for depositions.  Or the mortgage payment that just went up because the house insurance just went up. Or the property tax exemption that we will lose this year because Bob's student loan was granted a "disability discharge" and the tax assessor considers that "income".

And I won't even mention Boomer, who is getting old and his arthritis is really acting up and I am so worried about that, or the one cat who seems to be vomiting a lot more than usual, or the recent GA! flea infestation (finally under control) or, geezus, I think we've got termites in this house! and believe me, there's more, I could go on and on and on...  And add all that on top of my usual caregiving duties, which, of course, includes being up at 3:00 a.m. cleaning up poop and pee...

All I can say is thank God we have this lawsuit as a light at the end of the tunnel, because if not for that I think I'd have cracked into a million pieces by now.

But, right now, Dear God, just stop the world and let me off.... 






7 comments:

Mike Furr said...

I just talked to your sister for the first time in way too long. It was good. I told her I was in a pity bag myself this afternoon and I came in and read your post. It put a whole new light on my issues. I have it pretty good. It's too bad I'm so far away as I'm pretty good at clearing plugged sewer pipes. My sewer line going to my septic tank froze last week and I was out in the middle of the night, light strapped to my head which was hovering over the hole in the tank, feeding a garden hose into a frozen pipe. Just be thankful that it was laundry water on the floor because what was backed up into my house smelled like someone forgot to flush! :)

I love this blog, I've read most of it already. I've learned tons of things from it, it inspires me, makes me humble, and it makes me wish I could give you and Bob a hug...
Mike Furr

barbpolan said...

Diane, I admire the strength you exhibit through your trials.

I'm glad that the court case comforts you; yes, money cannot buy happiness or love, but it can buy things that help ease your daily burdens and Bob's recovery.

Please don't believe you are doing anything to slow Bob's recovery; you are doing more than anybody else could possibly do.

Susan said...

Diane, I wish I could help you but all I can do is send you love and encouragement. You are the best wife that Bob could ever need. I know what a strong woman you are but sometimes we just need to scream, kick things, and cry....if only for a little while.
That was the advice that you gave me when I was tired and broken.
You gave me the permission to be a human being instead of always a caregiver. Thank you for being you!

Anonymous said...

You have the toughest job of anyone I know, and when they say there's always someone else that has it worse....I can't imagine it exceeding what you do and have to deal with. Karen and I used to say to each other that God put us together for a reason when I was her caregiver. I truly believe God put you and Bob together for a reason too. He knew your abilities and love long before you found out.

Your caregiving and tenacity is an inspiration in more ways than you can imagine.

As always, you and Bob are in my prayers daily. Hugs, Dan

J.L. Murphey said...

Breathe, baby, breathe! This too shall pass. Not as fast as you want it too, but it will pass.

You win for last week.

I only had to pay my plumber $600 and the drain to my washer still doesn't work! There isn't a window within 25-ft of my washing machine.

We found out the hubby dearest's oxygen bill has not been paid since October because nobody bothered to tell us we had to use hospice's O2 contract, that's only $600 a month since October that's due.

The tailgate latch of my van broke so if I want to put anything in the back I have to crawl through it. That means I have to bodily lift a wheelchair into my van's side doors. It ain't gonna happen. The same thing goes for groceries.

We still haven't figured out what to do about hubby dearest's electric wheel chair.

When everyone has their hand out and yours are empty..stick yours in your pockets. That's what I do. Sue me if you think you can get money out of me, but I guarantee you'd be wrong.

If I could I'd drop everything to help you, but I really can't. All I can do is pray. Sometimes, that's all we can do.

Rebecca Dutton said...

I worry about you on days like this. I wish I could offer more than my concern.

Anonymous said...

I found your blog today, and discovered that you started yours around the same time I started mine!

http://www.strokefoundation.com.au/strokeconnect/viewtopic.php?f=216&t=1668&start=1420

If I have copied my URL ok. Yours is much better than mine, as mine has severe limitations due to the Stroke Foundation of Australia website.