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Thursday, November 13, 2008

We are still alive

This is a cross post from my other blog, but since that one's private, and I thought this pertained to this blog as well, I'm posting the same thing on here. If you read both, please forgive my redundancy.

It's been forever since I updated this blog. Or Todd's stroke blog. We're here, though. Still alive. We haven't dropped off the face of the earth, and we don't hate you. We've just been involuntarily booted off line for a while.

Our hard drive crashed, and we stopped breathing for a second (or a couple days) thinking we'd lost everything. Everything. All our pictures. Thankfully, Todd was able to recover it, the hard drive had not completely failed, but we went ahead and bought a new one (along with a new power supply) so that we could sleep a little better at night, knowing that all our precious data was safe and sound. Merry Christmas to us. Then we had all the fun of new installs, etc, and yadda yadda, we're finally back on line.

And thank goodness. I was starting to freak out, not being able to do my on line banking. Et Cettera. I wish I were one of those people who could disconnect and be happy about it, and go about my day buisily saving the planet or what not, but I can't. I'm not. I (heart) the internet, peeps. Can't live without it. And now that we're back on line I can tell you some good news.

Todd was awarded Long Term Disability through his (former) employer. It's not enough to live on, but it's enough to pay our mortgage. And he will receive it as long as he is eligible, until he's 65, if need be (which it won't, right? Right?) They will also help with him with returning to work, or vocational training should he not be able to return to his chosen career (it's called Vocational Rehab, I think.) And, as our caseworker pointedly told me, as a caregiver to a brain injury survivor herself, they have benefits for caregivers too. I'm guessing in the form of crisis hotlines, or counceling, or some such.

The other good bit of news is that our COBRA insurance has FINALLY been reinstated, so we can start billing all Todd's spendy drugs to the insurance company again. And be reimbursed for the $1000+ we've paid out of pocket this month. Yep, like the 2-month supply of one that I was lead to believe he'd be on long-term, and was rapidly transitioned off of. And several others that we paid for before I had the good sense to start filling in week-or-less incraments. You survive a stroke, but then the cost of the medications will kill you with a heart attack. Can you say $20 per pill? F'reals. And oh yes, COBRA is not cheap. But we only put Todd and Oliver on it, and part of the LTD package includes them paying some of Todd's portion, so really, we're pretty lucky. We're not paying the most you've ever hear of. Though it's still not cheap. And hey, if you know anyone who takes Lyrica, Depakote (generic) or Depakote ER, send them my way. We can trade for something. Say, money, for example. I'm not saying I'm a drug dealer, but if we have it and don't need it, and you need it but don't have it, well, it seems silly not to work out something to our mutual benefit, no?

So, the good news I suppose is that our savings will last us a little longer. There's still this dreadful day of recconing looming out there in the murky future, on which a decision will have to be made about what to do about the ever dwindeling savings, and lack of gainful employment, but I've given myself until after the first of the year to acknowledge it. Because there's just no way I'll be able to get throught the already hectic and stressful holiday season (made moreso by said dwindling and lack) if I also have to worry about finding a job, and all the logistics that go along with Working Mommy, Disabled Daddy, and Special Needs Son. Ug. And here comes the panic attack, right on cue.

I thought I'd apply for WIC, since we have no money, and strangely still need to eat. I guess I should have gotten on the ball sooner though, and done it before the LTD was granted, because now apparently we make too much money. I suppose I should be happy that even living off disability we are above the federal poverty line, but it just puts us back into that damned if we do, damned if we don't situation that has plagued us since Todd's stroke. We don't make enough to be self sufficent, pay all our bills, but we make too much (or have too many "liquid assets") to receive any aid from the programs that we've been paying into since we were 16. This is why people declare bankruptcy, and forclose on their homes.

At the risk of this post being a total downer, let me reassure you that we DO see the blessings. We have been blessed beyond measure, and recently another blessing was brought to our attention. We met a wonderful guy at LDS hospital, who happenes to be a survivor of a nearly identical stroke. However this man has suffered more physical imparement, and has no use of the left side of his body, and as such, is confined to a motorized wheel chair. Which Oliver, incidentally, thinks is just about the coolest thing since Yogurt. We had the opportunity to get to know him better, and meet his wife at the Brain Injury Support Group (which was fabulous, by the by) and decided that we need them to be our friends. When we got home that night, Todd and I were talking about getting together with them, and it struck us that it wouldn't be possible to invite them to dinner at our house. For starters, there are at minimum 4 stairs to even get into our house. Add to that that the bathrooms are either up or down a full flight fo stairs, and it hit us. How lucky are we that, with all Todd's dealing with, he has full use of his body. He can go up and down stairs no problem. Feed and bathe and dress himself. Heck, we raked and bagged leaves this morning. I can't even begin to think of what we'd be facing if Todd had suffered the physical affects of the same stroke, just after purchasing this stair-ridden house.

So blessed? Yes. Beyond measure. Thankful? Very. Still in need of lots and lots of help? Um. Yes.

Stay tuned for a very sad and pathetic post of things that we could really use help on. Cause this one is too long and already depressing enough. And I'm tired, and going to bed.


MMStarshine said...

This was a good post Ames. A+ :)

It's true, I think, life is Hard. And you have gotten MORE than your share of hard. You can still see the blessings and that is really good.

Keep asking for the help you need. I'm not there, but I'll do anything I can from WA.

You are an inspiration to me. Really.

Marsha from Forever Families Board said...

Oh Ameila, I think about you often and have been checking here a lot. I'm so glad you updated us. It sounds like Todd is doing well. I'm sorry things are tremendously difficult with money. Hugs and prayers your way!

Alta said...

Thanks for posting. I am sorry that you guys are struggling. I am so amazed though that even though you are having hard times, you always seem to find the silver lining and count your blessings. You lift me up. Thank you for that. You are in our prayers.

Kim said...

Amelia, I would love access to your Inaudible Melodies blog. I miss reading it.