Just call me Jiji

…me, just pretending to be me ….now, where did I put that cape??

Archive for the tag “money”

I think I may be part Hedgehog

I just figured out something new in the world of; whatever the
frak is wrong with me.

When I get agitated, frustrated, or upset my quills come out. At
least that’s what it feels like,

…only my quills aren’t fine little hairs that stand on end. My
quills are invisible and feel like really long sharp needles attached to nerve
endings that are slowly trying to make their way out from under my skin.

I know sounds horrible; imagine how it feels!

I’ve come to this conclusion based on the day’s activities and the
reaction it caused.

Hubby’s insurance plan is a real sucky one! We have a $2,400 detuctable
that we need to meet at the beginning of each year for our in-network service
plan. We are generally broke for the first 3 months of the year, because all
our money goes to the insurance company for all the meds Leon and I take on a
daily basis.

Well if that isn’t bad enough, our insurance plan demands another
$2,4oo for any Out-of-Network services. So why don’t we stay in network?
Because we can’t find a damn In-network doctor to see us. And by us I mean Leon
and I.

Leon needs a therapist, as well as a social skills group. I have
found two doctors that come very highly recommended, BUT… they are of course
Out-of-Network. Then there is me. Woe is me.

At my doctor visit yesterday with my primary care doctor, I was
advised to seek psychiatric care…. oh and here is a new prescription for even
more meds. In case anyone is keeping score that’s 10 pills a day. As my friend
Kim said “my mom doesn’t even take that many”

It’s frustrating; however, the advice isn’t wrong. I think getting
psychiatric help would be a plus, providing I can find one that I am
comfortable with. I think I definitely do need to speak with a therapist to
help me untangle this life that seems to have gotten completely out of control,
and if that person can also help me reduce the amount of medication I am taking
that would be excellent.

So today I printed out the list of in-network doctors that are in
a 10 mile radius. I was on a roll, and getting things done today. I was pretty
proud of myself for not putting it off. It was time to do some research, I hate
the idea of randomly picking out a doctor that is going to be picking my brain
and telling me who I am, from a list. I much prefer to have a recommendation
from a friend or a referral from a doctor. Unfortunately I am the only crazy
person among my friends so no help there, and as for doctor referrals… well
let’s just say that apparently none of the “good” doctors take my
insurance. So it was between me and the computer to decide who I would choose. Unfortunately
the computer was no help AT ALL! I was hoping to find some reviews on the
doctors on the list to help me choose. Ummmm, Yea, No!

As the time passed and I hit road block after road block I got
more and more frustrated. I called doc after doc after doc, and I was getting
nowhere. Some numbers on the list where wrong, some were fax machines, some had
terribly rude receptionists, one receptionist asked me why I needed to see the
doctor, and when I said, “depression…….and some issues with ADHD, I
guess”; her response was, “Oh, he doesn’t treat that”

What? What the what? Okeeeee…. moving on. One only specialized
in substance abuse, another in geriatrics (I was too young, go figure), one
doctor whom I was actually able to find a review on, now practices two states
over; and then there was the one with whom I spoke to directly, and it wasn’t
until I gave him every last detail about me that he realized I was calling
about his practice in the county that I live in rather than a neighboring one.
Unfortunately he isn’t seeing new patients in my county. I also skipped around
on the list, picking and choosing friendly names. Silly, I know but the names
were all I had to go on and well, I don’t know how to say this without sounding
a bit prejudice, which I am soooo not, so I’ll just say it very plainly as, I
prefer the doctor with whom I am going to spend a lot of time communicating
with, to have english as their first language. No disrespect intended but if I
can’t understand the accent how can they help me? So I skipped quite a few
names until they were all that was left.

Four hours later, I still haven’t found a doctor and I am hurting
and uncomfortable and realizing that these weird pins and needles/prickling
thing was getting worse the more I agonized over finding a damn doctor. And it
isn’t just pins and needles, its worse; it’s like a million needles trying to
escape my body all at once. In my arms, my hands, my cheeks, my lips, and on
the back of my neck.

So yeah I think I may be part hedgehog. Don’t they get all sharp
and prickly when they are agitated??

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Cleaning my Plate – Part 4 – Decluttering

….continued from Cleaning my plate – part 3      

Cleaning my Plate / Decluttering my Life…      

                                                        …same thing.      

      

There are plenty of different ways to do this.      

Quite often the clutter just gets so big that you don’t know where to start. Turns out it doesn’t matter where you start, only that you actually do start.      

Me, I started with all those baby items that I kept in the hopes of a baby # 2. Alas, my dream of having a Brady Bunch Family is not meant to be.      

Although with all the babysitting I do it sometimes feels like the Brady Bunch household. 🙂      

Every year, since April of 2008 I have been consigning all of Leon’s clothes, toys, and other items with The Kids Kloset. Consigning is a terrific way to get rid of your clutter and make some money while doing it! And Gail Roca, the owner of The Kids Kloset makes it very easy. The process is simple; once you register as a consignor on the website you will get a consignor number and gain access to the consignment manager, where you can enter information about the item you want to sell, as well as name your price, and then print out your bar coded tags to be attached to your items. This is only one aspect of the preprep process; it is important to thoroughly check all your items for stains, missing parts or defects; only the best will do. Each piece of clothing you consign is to be on a hanger and sorted by size. It is a lot of work but completely worth it. I have made as low as $300 and as high as $650 at sales. The amount you make depends on if you volunteer at the sale or not, and for how long. At minimum you can earn 60% of your sales if you do not volunteer to work the sale and as much as 75% if you do. I always choose to volunteer for 12 hours in order to gain the maximum earning level of 75% of my sales. And like I said Gail always makes it so easy, she gives her consigners options and incentives. Like allowing me to drag Ron into it, where we both put in 6 hours to complete our 12 hour volunteer time slot. Some how we both end up putting in much, much more than our 12 hours though, probably because there is just something about Gail and what she has created here that makes you want to chip in and be a part of it. She is always coming up with new ways to make the sale great. The sale has always been about recycle, reuse, and resell; she was green before green was popular. And this year she came up with something new to get the kids involved. And I have to say it worked like a charm on Leon. Consignors were invited to sign their children up as consignors as well, earning their own consignor numbers. The incentive for the children was “Sell your old toys and earn your own money while helping out the enviroment”. As a bonus the kids relieved a $5 gift certificate to purchase items at the sale and a certificate stating that the helped the enviroment. Leon is always hesitant to part with his toys, even the ones he hasn’t touched in over a year or so. When asked if I could sell them previously, he would say they are part of his “collection”. However once he signed up to consign, it was a different story, he was willing to part with things that he never would have let me sell before. We of course had our own set of rules about the sale too; such as, the money he made would only be given to him on July 25th once our vacation began as pocket-money, and that Ron and I had the veto vote on purchases we felt were inappropriate. He gladly went along with it already deciding on what he wanted to spend his money on. After parting with all but a few Thomas trains and track, his Pixar cars, and various other toys; he was on cloud nine when he received his very first paycheck in his own name to the tune of $264. He was a little disappointed that he fell short of his $400 goal in order to buy the Lego Death Star at Legoland in California, but he wasn’t surprised either because we prepared him for that outcome. It never stops him from reaching for the stars though! I myself made close to that amount as well. Now we have spending money for our trip.      

 The Kids Kloset isn’t just good for selling things, it’s also amazing for purchasing incredibly inexpensive previously owned and sometimes new items with tags still on them. As I do every year I picked up a few great items at a fraction of the cost. Being that Leon is such an avid reader my favorite section is the books, and then of course it is the toys (but that’s because I am just a big ol kid myself).  I managed to pick up about 30 chapter books for under $15, as well as a few miscellaneous items.      

Robosapian sells for over $100 - paid $20

  

Electronic Marble Maze that took Ron 2 hours to build -paid $25

  

2 foot Dino to Guard Leon's Door at Night - $5

  

And the bonus to all this decluttering is that we were able to turn Leon’s room from this

      

      

      

To This

      

Now the challenge is to keep it this way! Well that, and getting the rest of the house to look this way too.      

So far, we’ve done a really good job of keeping it this way and the rest of the house has come along nicely. And even if I can’t always keep up with it, I make sure that the areas most important to Leon, are as clutter free as possible. Like his room, the kitchen table where he does his homework, and the computer room where he plays video games with playdates.  I really, really feel it makes a huge difference in Leon’s life. His ADHD brain is already too cluttered enough, no reason to let everything else around him get too cluttered.      

….more coming in Cleaning my plate – part 5 (ugh, it feels like I will never get my plate clean)      

So much to do… so little time

tinkerbellkitchenBusy, busy, busy…

I feel as if I am always busy, always trying to accomplish something, finish something, start something, organize something, or clean something. Yet none of it ever seems to get done?

There are the things I don’t really want to do, but I have to do; like cleaning up the house, and grocery shopping. I am very very lucky in that Ron helps out around the house A LOT. I mean A LOT, a lot! And for that I am very, very grateful but I often feel guilty, embarrassed even. I love that he is so good to me and helps me out so much because of my Fibro, but sometimes I secretly wish he wouldn’t talk about it so openly to everyone else. Like when someone calls and asks what he’s up to and rattles off a list of household chores that he is planning on doing. Granted he is doing it to alleviate me and keep me from doing so much that I get a bad flare-up. But not everyone remembers that. I am the SAHM, I am the one who is supposed to be taking care of the household while he brings home the bacon, (although I do bring in some bacon). So I try to keep up with the house as much as I can on a daily basis. I hate when he gets home from a long day at work and sees the house is a mess and feels he has to clean it up even when I insist he leaves it because I will get to it.

It seems I just can’t ever get it all done. Having my 18 month old niece (whom I babysit on a daily basis) running around undoing everything I do gets exhausting. I feel like I am never, never done cleaning. It seems like while I am busy cleaning up one mess she is busy making another. My day pretty much consists of me sweeping up after her 2 or 3 times a day (she’s got a good arm, I’ve seen her fling chicken clear into the next room); mopping up spills, feeding her, changing diapers, picking up her toys over and over and over  again, all while trying to keep her entertained at the same time. By the time I am finally done and ready to hand her over to her mom, it’s time to pick Leon up from camp. Now my attention is turned to him. Given his ADHD and his need for things to be just so and for immediate gratification, life gets even more demanding and exhausting. I am his mom, his playmate, his personal chef, his maid, his sounding board, and his entertainer. By the time Ron gets home there’s a new mess to clean up and I am exhausted mentally and physically. With all the running around I do all day I end up with nothing to show for it. I HATE THAT!

Then there are the things I need to do but have a hard time accomplishing it. Like finding a good doctor for Leon to manage his ADHD/ODD meds that won’t cost us a fortune. This week alone I have spent about 6 hours on the phone between doctors and insurance, and CSE just trying to get what Leon needs. And I still have NOTHING to show for it. I need to find a child psychiatrist that works with children with ADHD/ODD and takes my insurance. I also want to get Leon in a social skills class. That should not be too much to ask, right?. Wrong. I started with calling MDs that were recommended to me by other MDs and parents of children with ADHD. That didn’t work. Then I called the insurance company and got a list of names. Most of the doctors are too far away, or don’t take my insurance anymore and the rest have yet to return my phone call. All that time and aggravation and still nothing! The MDs that come so highly recommended and don’t take my insurance or any insurance are unbelievably expensive. One quoted $675 for the first initial visit and $190 for every once a month visit there after. The one that CSE was helpful enough to recommend is in Manhattan and would give me a discounted rate of $200 (instead of $400) per visit –  Add the commute by train or gas and tolls, not to mention travel tome – it’s a steal! NOT!!! My insurance will cover 80% of what they consider  is reasonable and customary for out of network costs but only after we meet an additional$2300 out of network deductable.  So given the options the next step is to find a neurologist in network that has knowledge of children with ADHD. Hopefully this will go better.

I also feel I need to find a way to make more money. The obvious choice would be to get a job, but I already have a job – two in fact. my #1 job is as Leonsmom. Being a mom is an extremely hard yet fulfilling job. Being a mom to a child with special needs, a child who is disabled is a bit harder (and still equally fulfilling). My second job is helping my sister out by providing childcare for my niece (and for those of you who know me well and know my sister – you all know how difficult that can be).  Up until recently I was providing childcare to another little girl. But that ended in May around the time Leon was having so much difficulty with his ADHD. At the time I was fine with her leaving because I really needed to focus on Leon and what was going on with him. But now that things have settled a bit, we are really feeling a loss of that income. Idealy I would like to find another child to care for but I want to wait till school starts for that. In the meantime I want to find a way to earn some money for the little extras we want to do this summer like camping and waterparks and cub scout activities and our trip to Disney at the end of next month. The trip itself is all paid for already (less than $100 a day for all 3 of us including tickets, airfare, and hotel – can’t beat that!) but we still have to eat. Some things I’d like to do in the hopes of making some extra money is have a garage sale, collect empty cans for deposits, and create tie dye Mickey shirts to sell. I just don’t know where to find the time?  

Lastly are the things that I want to do, but just can’t seem to start, or if I do start them I just can’t seem to finish ’em. For lack of time, or funds, or talent, or whatever. Like have the garage sale or make the tie dye mickey shirts (not just to sell but for our trip as well). I also want to create some iron on designs for our trip.I want to find time to actually sit down and plan out our Disney trip and what we are going to do there. I want to put together an ADHD binder, with all the information that I have collected about this disorder and how it pertains to Leon. I also want to write up a detailed history of Leon’s ADHD in a handout that I can just give to whatever new doctor will be treating him. Something I can keep updated through out his life for whatever come up. I want to put my pictures together and make scrapbooks rather than just leave them in my computer.  Additionally I want to find time to blog. I want to blog about how well Leon is doing since being completely off the Zoloft, and about how our summer is going and the camping trip we just took, and my plans for Disney, I want to blog about the results of Leon’s assessment with the amazing Dr. Petrosky, and my hopes (and fears) for our CSE meeting. right now I am using Kiera’s nap to write this instead of making calls or cleaning 😦    And I want to do so so much more……

I have to…,

                       I need to…,

                                                 I want to…

                                                                   …but when???

 

There is some GOOD news. Ron and Leon are going to be away for the weekend on a Cub Scout camping trip, and I will be home all by my lonesome. I can not wait!! I plan to unplug the phone, blast the music, dance in my underwear, paint my nails, and oh yeah, one or two of the things listed above 🙂

Project11

The Price of ADHD

It is definitely true that only the rich can afford to be sick. Cause damn its expensive.

Today I realized the cost of ADHD does not just include medical coverage for doctor’s and medications, but also for other miscellaneous items as well.

Here is my ADHD shopping list:scroogemoneybetterthanpovertycopy

Therapist $80 a week

Personal Assessment by Psychologist $2000

Medications – $70 a month

Neurologist -$120 a visit

Occupational Therapy for the summer – $?

Social Skills Group for the summer -$?

Behavioral/Reward Charts $3

Rewards – anywhere from $0.00 – $25 in a week

Special Omega-3 / DHA vitamins – $12 a month

Summer Day Camp to keep him entertained and occupied – $660

Books on ADHD – >$100

Baby Monitor – $40

Window Alarm – $?

Plumbing – $150

Now, realistically the list is much longer than this, but it gives you an idea. Some things have no price listed because I don’t know what that cost to me will be yet but I do need to find out within the next few days. It’s a pretty normal and straight forward list with the exception of maybe the last three items listed. They may raise a few eyebrows.

I am looking to get a baby monitor to listen in and make sure he isn’t getting into trouble in his room.

The window alarm is a precaution, so we don’t have a repeat of Saturday’s “Escape from Cell Block Leon”

Until we can purchase those items we are having him sleep in our room where we can keep a closer eye on him starting tonight. Last night was brutal I got NO sleep considering I woke up half a dozen times to go check his room to make sure he was still there. It was just six years ago that I was checking his crib just to make sure he was still breathing.

And perhaps the strangest item listed would be the plumbing. This morning Ron woke up to find Leon’s singing toothbrush wedged in the toilet. He then noticed that all the other toothbrushes were missing too. Leon flushed 4 toothbrushes down the toilet. Whoo boy! Was Ron pissed, calm, but pissed. Our first thought was oh no how much is this going to cost?

Right now we are just managing from day-to-day. The bills are piling and the cars are dying, while we still hope for an eventful summer and dream our Disney dreams.

So this it the price of ADHD?!?!?!?!?

My first ever “Newsletter”

Today, I sent out a year end “newsletter”. My first ever. I’ve always liked the idea of newsletters. It’s a really nice way to keep up with what’s been going on in our lives. It’s unfortunate that life has a way of getting in the way of life. And as a result the tendency to lose touch with friends and family is inevitable, at least for a little while. So the newsletter just like this blog is my way of reaching out and touching someone. I wonder who will touch back?

Here’s a copy (with just a few omitions for privacy):

Hiya,

It’s still January so I still have time to wish everyone a Happy New Year!I did not get any Christmas Cards out, but I did manage to get a few New Year’s cards out. For anyone who did not receive one I apologize but either I did not have your address to begin with or I no longer have your address. 2008 was a pretty good year for us, although there were a few pitfalls as usual. This year we won a small (but very helpful) settlement from my car accident back in 2005. We were able to use it towards our debts and still manage to keep some aside to go on a well deserved trip to Disney World for Leon’s 6th Birthday, with the help of the money I am now making in my new position as full time childcare provider for my brand new baby niece. Yup I became an aunt this year, i can’t believe she will be a whole year old next month. I also sit for another cutie patootie about 20 hours a week. I don’t make as much as I’d like, but it helps pay the bills ( and got us to Disney!). We celebrated Ron’s 20th Annual 4th of July BBQ with friends and it was a blast, despite the rain. We are looking forward to this year’s BBQ and hoping for sunny skies. Leon started 1st grade, joined Cub Scouts and started taking Karate. He was having some problems in school in both Kindergarten and 1st grade as well as at home, but fortunately he is doing sooooo much better now after being diagnosed with ADHD and getting the proper treatment. Through testing we got conformation of what we already knew, but I have to boast anyway. He is in the very superior range with an overall IQ of 138 and he reads at a third grade level. Watch out Bill Gates my kid is a ROCK STAR! I was lucky enough to travel back to Germany for the first time in about 5 years, and realized how much I had missed going. I joined a Disney discussion board and made some new friends, I joined Facebook and reconnected with some old friends. Last month I started a photo blog which I intend to keep up regularly. Well, due to technical difficulties it is just a blog right now but as soon as I can start uploading pictures again it will be a photo blog with at least one photo per post. Hopefully you will check it out from time to time and leave me a comment or two.

It was definitely the year of technical difficulties. I almost turned Amish when everything electrical I touched turned to #@$%. My van died a few times this year (electrical problems), my camera was destroyed, and my computer died and was resurrected several times this year (thanks to Laurel) until it’s final dimise on Christmas Eve. Currently I am using a loaner until I can purchase a new one which should be very soon (again with many many many thanks to Laurel who is DA BOMB!). As a result of all my computer woes the worst of the worst of 2008 for me was losing all my files and photos!!! That included most of my addresses and phone numbers for everyone, some files I relyed on for info and about 90% of my digital photos from the last 5 years. YES, I KNOW, I KNOW, I AM AM ASS! I should have backed up my files! We have tried to retrieve them but no luck. It completely and totally breaks my heart!!! So much of Leon’s life was documented through those photos. Plus pics of Ron and I are gone, as well as pics of friends and family. The year ended with our magical vacation in Disney which I plan to fully document on my blog in a trip report, complete with pictures, information links, and one on one interviews with Leon and maybe Ron if he will co-operate, as soon as I get a new computer; a wonderful Christmas with close family at home, and a proposal. My sister said “yes”!

For 2009, I see myself getting a new tricked out computer (fingers crossed), a decent new camera (maybe for my birthday?), and going on at least one trip back to Disney for sure. At least that is my hope. I will have to bide my time and save up however because we also expect to have quite a bit of medical expenses coming our way over the next few months. And I predict that we will NEED to buy one if not two used cars. Both mine and Ron’s cars are on their last legs, err, I mean tires. But I am confident that we should be alright as long as we are careful with our spending. We have finally gotten to where we can actually pay our bills and I plan to keep it that way. I’ve been toying with an idea of maybe makeing some extra cash as a face painter for children’s parties – but for right now it is just a thought in my head. Once I get my new computer up and running I plan to keep my blog interesting with lots of pictures and of course my Walt Disney World Trip Report. I’d like to get into scrapbooking (calm down Heather), I mean digital scrapbooking, and begin making slide shows and home movies. (this is where the tricked out computer comes in). I am turning 40 next month, so I need to find a way of preserving my memories before I lose any more pictures or the rest of my mind!

I have a request, if you have any photos of Leon, Ron, myself, my mom, my dad, my sister, my cat, my mouse when I was 10, my teddybear, my grandma, my grandpa, my in-laws, my cousins, my friends, my whole entire family, my life …you get the picture, could you please send it to me?? Please contribute anything you think I would enjoy. Thanks!!!!

Here’s hoping the end of your 2008 was better than the begining and that this year will be even better than your last.

Send me an email or stop by my blog (yes, I am shamelessly promoting my blog all over this email), let me know how you are doing. And please include your info as well. Like I said, my computer wiped out my address book, so I need addresses, phone numbers, emails, birthdays, websites, blogs, etc…

Smiles,

Jill

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