Monday, December 28, 2009

Running In Place

This morning I went to my dermatologist to have him check out some growths on my thigh I became concerned about. Skin cancer runs in my family and I had a mole removed a couple years ago, also on my leg. I figured I needed to know whether I needed to be worried before canceling my health insurance. My doctor has been out of the country for the last month and a half so worrying about this has been in the back of my mind. It turns out the growths aren't even moles but are caused by insect bites. And that my doctor does not take my insurance anyway. He accepts Blue Cross Blue Shield but I have BCBS - Select and he doesn't take that one. So much for the $350.00 a month I am paying for health insurance. I can't afford it but am so fearful of not having it, especially because of my husband's long illness and then when my youngest got diagnosed with Long QT Syndrome.

While on the road, my bankruptcy atty. called me and we talked about my not being able to afford the filing right now. I have received two checks totaling almost $1,000.00 from the mortgage lender from when I sold the house. But I am unable to cash them because they are made out to the estate of my deceased husband (and with no will or estate set up my bank won't cash them). My attorney said he would prepare and file a small estate affidavit for me free of charge if necessary.

Then I went to State Farm to discuss options for car and health insurance. I want to suspend the ins. on my beater car and just start using the van. I also requested that my oldest be taken off the policy just for now, until I get a job. But apparently there were problems doing that. I still have to figure that out. My agent warned me to not cancel my health ins. before being accepted for another plan so I've kept the Blue Cross for now although I am starting to have panic attacks about not being able to afford it, having the payment bounce and then getting prosecuted for writing bad checks and then not being able to find work because I'll have a criminal record... Oh lord, the worry just doesn't cease.

I stopped by a local resource center to check into benefits. The food pantry had just closed but is open every Mon. and Wed. I am no longer ashamed to apply for any type of assistance.

I called up my old mortgage lender to see if they would reissue the checks but they will not because my husband was the only name on the mortgage. They suggested I stop by one of their facilities that operates as a bank. I did so but it turns out the place is not affiliated with the mortgage branch so they could not help me.

Then I seemed to remember having filled out a small estate affidavit at some time, so went to the storage shed and took stuff out and found a box of old records but no such affidavit. It was snowy and cold and I could not get all the stuff I took out back in so I ended up with storage boxes in the van and will have to figure out where to store them now because I am not going back to the shed any time soon. That was pretty depressing!

Sam called to tell me he was thinking of me and understands my low mood and feelings. He wants me to come over tomorrow and stay through Wed. as his son will be with him and he has to work Wed. The boys have found friends to stay with so I will go tomorrow. I told him we have to sit down and really discuss this move and whether or not it is going to happen. We also need to discuss finances and the whole nine yards. He agrees. I know he believes it best that I bite the bullet and move but he also gets my hesitation because of the boys.

During the afternoon I stopped by a large nursing facility to see what positions they have open for Nursing Assistants. There are some during the day shift, part-time only. When I got home, I spent a larger part of the afternoon than was fun tearing through my paperwork to try and find some old check stubs from the big box store that I need for the bankruptcy filing. With the move and all the crap in the storage sheds, it appears next to impossible to locate anything that I need. So I will have to call corporate for copies as I am not opening that storage shed until spring!

My oldest is sleeping over at a friend's. My youngest and I heated up the turkey and trimmings leftovers my friend gave us for the second time.

In the old days, just a few short years ago, a day like today would have been spent browsing at Barnes and Noble, eating lunch out and then seeing what was on sale at Talbot's. I would have struggled with the decision of whether or not to buy one or two sweaters, or maybe even three. Ah, the good old days.


  1. Can you please e-mail me at psammeaddd at yahoo dot com? I have a request and would rather make it privately. (Don't worry, it isn't bad.)

  2. Just wanted to leave you a brief message to say I am here, reading, "listening." These are definitely tough times for you, and I don't envy the difficult decisions ahead of you. In all, I must say, you seem to be navigating the best you can right now.

    I hope your time with Sam gives way to some clarity for the two of you.

  3. I hope you can find a way to keep your health insurance. I think it's a must.

    Hope things improve for you and that you and Sam are able to make some plans that work for everyone.

  4. I do not envy you the dilemma that faces you head on.

    Devil and the deep blue see ...

    rock and a hard place ...

    damned if you do, damned if you don't ...

    Sometimes it helps me to write out a pro/con list (just ensure you destroy it afterwards) ... sounds silly, but it can really help you ... consider your needs and wants and dreams (I know that you will put your boys first - that is clear to me from reading your blog) but PLEASE consider yourself a teensy bit too? consider how life will look for all of you if you stay or if you go - actually visualize it. Which feels a more natural fit? Consider the other needs - employment, cost of living, amenities, schooling etc etc. Consider any other alternatives, such as you all relocating (again eek) to a mid point. Consider how many years at home your sons have left ... consider a lot more I haven't thought of. Then consider what Sam has to add to these thoughts, and dwell on them for a couple of days.

    Oh god, I feel for you. I am just coping without having to deal with huge choices like this one. On top of the daily worries you have.

    I imagined you going the the bank and finding out they couldn't help you and my heart literally leapt into my mouth because I know how helpless, defeated and alone that would have left me feeling. I'd have probably sobbed right there and then.

    You are a spartan warrior, truly. But this isn't tenable long-term, I worry for your health my friend.

    Not fair.


  5. I think what makes all of this ever harder is that we DID have those good "old days" when we COULD buy 2 or 3 sweaters without a worry. Now we have to worry if we can buy two or 3 tacos for lunch!

  6. i am sorry you are having to face such difficult choices. i had to end health insurance before my son finished college. just needed that money too badly for something more important. my children. my Dragon had the VA and he'd ask questions and then we'd decide if we needed to take me to a clinic and do a payment plan or just go with home remedies.

    we are rowing the same kind of boat, you and i. budgeting for food. figuring out if we can buy meat or if it's vegetables and starches. or breakfast twice a day. it gets disheartening to go to the grocery store and see all the food you cannot buy.

    i feel great empathy for you. i hope you do not have to lose your health insurance. i know that fear well.

  7. Dear Friends -

    Words cannot adequately express my thanks and appreciation for your heartfelt concern. What I really and truly want in my heart is for my boys to just be able to finish high school at their old school, in their own familiar town. That is what seems best to me for them. And what is best for them is what brings me the greatest peace.

    But there are all those other ramifications. You have to eat and you have to have a roof over your head and a job...

    I will have some time to think while driving on my own today. We'll see where I am at the end of that drive.

  8. P.S. You won't be arrested for writing bad checks if one (or more than one) bounces because there wasn't enough money in your account. Your bank will gleefully stick it to you with overdraft fees, which is a problem in itself, but it'll be between the bank and you. People get prosecuted when they're writing checks with the intent to defraud - writing them on a closed account, or using a stolen checkbook - not when a check gets processed before their deposit clears.

  9. Just wanted to echo the comments about your insurance . . . don't drop it! I mistakenly dropped mine without getting new insurance and then couldn't find an insurance company to pick me up for 2.5 years (now paying much more expensive premiums for less coverage and a higher deductible).

  10. I'm going to chime in on the insurance thing too. I haven't had it since Joe died and let me tell you, when you get really sick you have 2 choices. Pay $150 to just walk in the door of a walk-in and then the charges pile on from there or go to the ER and pay through the nose later. I have always had to opt for the ER since that kind of free cash is never available. Trust me when I say they treat you differently at the ER when you don't have insurance. They don't do tests you would normally get. They do the absolute minimum and sometimes that isn't even enough. If you do drop it and don't get new insurance within 6 months, then the 'pre-existing condition' clause comes to play. With your son's history that would be horrendous. I know college is a ways off for them, but once they enroll there is very reasonable coverage usually offered by the school. I would NOT drop the insurance if you can avoid it. Think of it like toilet paper, YOU NEED IT!!

    Drive safely my friend. Thinking is a good thing but don't lose track of the road.