Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Wednesday, Making progress

    As we are going to get Mom Friday and we have a homecoming on Saturday, I have at least 5 dresses that have to go out today.  So major sewing. I also have, I mean HAVE TO balance the books and get the rest of the months bills paid.  Hubby's second check will come tomorrow and this has gone on too long.  You see I am now into intuitive checking.  I think I might have the money to cover that?  But maybe not.

     I learned at least 20 years ago that my intuition about money is always more positive than actual reality. It can get me into trouble.  I have to say I took the 2 CC's I have out of my purse.  I would have used them last Saturday if they had been in there.  When I realized they were not I was really careful.  Bad habits are so hard to correct and so easy to get back into with out even thinking.  I need to think more.

     Every month that I don't add to my debt I am making progress.  I have to keep telling myself that, over and over.  I am excited to see my numbers at the end of the month.  I want to see the difference grow.


      I seem to be getting mixed up in my years as things tumble into each other and I was so busy that life was overlapping.  My family (sisters and mother) had been on me for some time to get a full time job.  They just felt that I was running too hard and that my money problems were the fact that I gave so much of my time away.  This was true.  When you are in the arts you do a lot of Pro Bono work. 

     Because I spent so much time working at my friends nursery in the spring, I was offered a part time job at another bigger plant nursery across the River.  The owner called me and asked me to name my price.  I told him something I felt was outrageous at the time and he said yes!  So two or three days a week I went to work at this large nursery.  I loved it.  I love to be outside.  I love to dig in the dirt.  The owner was very good about letting me work around my dance schedule and the arts.  The nursery closed down at Thanksgiving and opened in early March.  I also did his show booth during the off season.

     He had a manager at the nursery, whom I liked.  She had major problems, both physical and mental.  I have the ability to get along with people.  I really can get along with almost anyone.  It is one of my gifts.  I just try to find out what makes them tick.  She did everything she could to discourage me from working there and she was sometimes just down right mean and unfair, but I just smiled and kept right on with my job.  This seemed to irritate her even more.  My work was beyond reproach so she could not cross me on those grounds.  My sales were also substantial.  I love to draw up plans for yards and landscaping.  I was able to keep the work crews busier with my sale of trees and shrubs.

     After the winter layoff which was good for me as both Christmas shows were done and so was the spring musical and the big Celtic show.  I went back to work full time.  This really angered the manager.  I was put in charge of sales and customers and she was to manage the nursery.  I still had my share of hard work, but she threw a fit and walked out.  I did not want her to leave.  I did not want the full time care of this large nursery, but it is what I got.  I learned so much there.  It was an amazing opportunity to grow in an area that I had so loved.

     My Sissie came to stay with me that spring.  Because I was working full time, the house was taking a hit.  I was still teaching dance but we had actually given up cleaning late at night.  Sissie tried to organize me and she did a good job, but she could see that the physically hard work of the nursery was getting to me.  I was driving tractors, loading and unloading plants and the work was back breaking.  I never minded hard work in fact I like it, however it was tearing my body apart.

     The other thing that I noticed was that I was getting no where with my debt.  Mom and step-dad had come in and loaned us $30,000 to pay off all our debts except the house.  I was floundering on high interest.  The payment on this loan was $400.00 a month for 10 years.  So essentially we were paying two house payments.  I just had not learned not to spend money I did not have.  I was working full time and making decent money, I also had part time jobs that brought in money.  Why was I not able to control myself?  My problem was the house was way more than we could really afford and I spoiled my kids.

     We still had exchange students and Sissie had such a good time with them when she visited.  She went out and insisted that Hubby and I have a new King Size bed.  She also insisted that we get a dishwasher.  Both of these items I have never regretted.  Sissie is smarter than me sometimes.  I was so paranoid about spending any money on large items but I would throw money out the window on crap for the kids.

     I look back at the season that I ran the nursery as one of my happiest years.  I really loved the job.  I liked my boss.  Lay off came at Thanksgiving and I could collect unemployment for the winter. I was having problems with my hands and elbows.  I just thought it was over working them at the nursery.  When my feet started to bother me it was just over work at the dance studio.  Then I started to run low grade fevers.  Sometimes I would get the chills so bad it was incapacitating.  Now I had , had symptoms like these my whole adult life, I ignored them, they went away.  But this time they did not leave.  I was having nightly spasms of chills that hurt my back so bad I felt like my muscles were tearing off my back.  It was not a good winter.  I tried to exercise thinking it would help.  My fingers were swelling up like sausages and I could not bend them.  I went to the Doctor and they ran tests for RA but they came back negative.  The doctor however did not want me to go back to the nursery.  The work was too hard on my body.

     Great now I had given up cleaning, and working at the other nursery what was I to do?  I called both places and they were glad to have me back.  We picked up the Police station which was a great contract and I could work at the flower nursery for crappy wages but all the flowers I wanted.  It was a short season.  I could also substitute teach.  I was back to the Kim scramble.  My finances were a mess and this led to stress, I was just trying to convince myself I was okay and keep going.  I did through the summer and the fall.  It was very hard.  I was an emotional mess.  I did not know what was wrong with me, obviously it was in my head.

     Finally, close to Christmas I went to the doctor and I saw a nurse practitioner.  The chills I had at night were so bad, my hands were so bad.  I had bruises up and down my spine that looked like I had been hit by a ball pine hammer.  Of course all blood work came back negative.  But this wonderful woman said to me, " Something is wrong with you, I don't know what, but I have made you an emergency appointment with a Rhuematologist in Spokane tomorrow."  I remember my girlfriend drove me up, she was also a nurse practitioner and she had long been wondering when I was going to do something about my hands.  The blood work came back negative again, but the doctor there started me on medications anyway and sent the lab work onto the Mayo clinic.

     Our insurance at the time, did not have a co-pay.  You had to meet your deductible before it paid anything.  These blood tests were running $700.00 and $900.00.  Office visits and lab work were barely covered.  Now I was on a very expensive medication also not covered.  The mayo results were Synovial RA.  Rare, deadly and mine was out of control.  They had to get me into remission and now.  I was put on a new experimental drug that was about $1200.00 a month.  Insurance did not cover it.  I continued to work, but the drugs made me  very sick. We were climbing deeper and deeper into debt and I felt so helpless to stop the spiral.  I felt like I had ruined our lives.  We would lose everything we had worked so hard to achieve.  This disease usually does not cripple a person.  It does affect the joints and they do become swollen and tender, but its real damage is cause to connective tissue in the body.  Your vocal chords, your, lungs, your eyes and your heart are held together by connective tissue.  Heart failure is a real concern with this type of RA.  You must keep it from affecting the heart valves.  The inflammation must be kept under control.  I had let it get way out of control.

saga cont:

    I am going into the shop to work on Homecoming dresses and other things.

Out My Window:  Beautiful Fall day.  It is supposed to hit 71 today.  Wish I was outside.

Have a great and productive day.




  1. Kim, I really feel for you. Thank goodness that NP listened to her gut and not the tests.

  2. Kim, you have seriously got to turn this into a book. I am hanging on every word and keep checking back for the next installment. You are the definition of a survivor!