Friday, April 20, 2012

The Housing Dilemma

Still no progress regarding housing. I'm surprised it's taking this long but when I think of all the needs I'm trying to balance it makes sense. Finding housing is no simple task for anyone much less someone with a large dog, a chronic illness, unable to drive on the freeway, and mold sensitivity.

I've been utilizing various housing search engines. When I find something that looks like it fits most of my needs I google the address and/or the name of the apartment complex. It's amazing how many apartment complexes have mold problems. Luckily I'm able to find info in

Because I can't pay that much for rent I'm limited to looking at low-income apartments. These seem to be the worst offenders in terms of mold, roaches, rats, and bedbugs. I'm hoping something without mold etc...will become available soon.

It's also challenging trying to balance all my needs and nonnegotiable s.  I can't be in a place that has mold or pesticides. I need to be close to shopping, medical facilities, and near places I can socialize.

I'm trying to figure out where to live. Do I stick with what is familiar? That would mean taking close to $500 out of savings each month. No matter where I live I'll have to take money out of savings but I'm trying to keep it below $400.

Or, do I move to a more affordable location 2 hours away? I can't quite imagine being in a city not knowing anyone. I worry about all the medical stuff that can go wrong. I'm still not out of the woods regarding colon surgery and my back is the worst its been since having back surgery in 2006. As I was getting out of bed yesterday I had another muscle spasm all the way down the back of my right leg. It hurt so bad and lasted quite awhile. I couldn't move. When I was finally able to get out of bed I could not straighten my leg again and my calf was still spasming. Later on I had tingling on the bottom of my left foot. I tried laying on the floor to do my physical therapy stretches but the area where the disc protrusion is hurt too much. I'm unable still to do my physical therapy exercises. And then today was another bad episode of bleeding. At least I'm not as freaked out as I used to be. It's still unnerving though. I see my GI doctor next week and the spine surgeon May 1.

I feel like I'm processing a lot of stuff. I'm having a difficult time adjusting to how limited economically I am. Before I got sick I thought nothing of spending $200 on a pair of jeans. It's hard to accept that I can't just go out and earn more money so that I can afford to live where I want. I'm struggling to accept a lot of things. I don't know that I'll ever be in a relationship again. I don't know that I'll be able to have another golden retriever once Chelsea goes. I have a car that needs transmission work and has an oil leak. I still feel sad about all that has happened. So much has happened in 5 years. So much loss. At times I go to very dark places so I decided to seek help from a therapist. I don't know how long I'll be able to be in therapy but I think its important to start. The only reason I didn't start earlier was I thought I'd find a place months ago. I'm also trying to find someone who will prescribe me antidepressants. I've decided to see someone I saw a few years ago right as I was getting sick. She specializes in treating people with complex medical issues and mood disorders. She doesn't accept insurance so it will be out of pocket but considering the alternative...

Right now I have Medicare as well as Cobra (at $957 per month) so I'm able to see doctors and have procedures without paying a copay but I get scared when I think of relying solely on Medicare. It's crazy that some politicians want to cut Medicare even more. I won't be able to have many preventative tests, or vision, or dental coverage. I'm having trouble accepting that I won't have good quality medical care unless I get lucky.

I have a car that needs transmission work and has an oil leak. I can't believe I'm stuck with a retired cop car that leaks when it rains! It was supposed to be a temporary solution when we bought the car a couple years ago.

The one thing nice about the retired cop car is that when I drive with Chelsea in the back seat head flung out the window to capture all the wonderful scents, people often smile. Here's this cop car barreling down the road with a grinning golden retriever in the back seat thoroughly enjoying herself. I find myself smiling back. It's nice to be able to make people smile. On the other hand if I'm in a hurry to get to a medical appointment and the car ahead of me thinks I'm a real cop, they slow waaay down so as not to get pulled over. While I often chuckle to myself it can get a bit frustrating. What's satisfying about the cop car is sometimes when someone is tailgating me I'll pull over to the side of the road to let them pass and then quickly pull in behind them. Watching THEM slow way down is quite satisfying.

There are a lot of people posting on craigslist trying to lure others into their latest scam. I got so frustrated at responding to various ads only to find out from their reply that it was a scam that I looked up the local FBI office's phone number and would include that in my emails to the scammers(the scams became easy for me to recognize).

My ME symptoms are relatively stable. I still have lots of symptoms but they aren't primary. I have gone down a notch in terms of functioning but that has more to do with extended stress, an epidural, and starting Minocycline. I'm doing remarkably well considering but my life is still very limited. I'm up about 12 hours a day and some of that is spent laying down but I'm able to much more than I ever have since getting ill. I hope that continues. I've socialized more in the past 5 months than I have the past 5 years. That part has been great.

I'm still focusing on changing my food habits. I'm making progress on that. I've purchased almost everything that has been recommended to me by the holistic/integrative nutritionist person who is getting her M.A. I'm extremely grateful for her help with food. It's a major undertaking with me. The next project will be to have a list of 4-5 lunches, dinners etc... that I can have as fall back menu's when I'm not feeling well. She has also recommended some excellent kitchen items that will ultimately save me money, time, and energy. It's a bit of an investment up front but well worth it in my mind.


Elaine said...

I'm so sorry it's taking so long for you to find a place. I was hoping you would be settled by now. I'm glad to hear some of your symptoms are easing up.

I hope and pray your other problems get resolved quickly. They sound so painful!

Have you looked into a Medicare supplement rather than paying the COBRA? I have a supplement that costs about $130 a month. I do not have dental or vision, but it does cover most of what Medicare doesn't cover. I do have co pays of $15 for most all visits. And some additional costs with some things, but usually very minimal. That might save you some money?

I so understand about finding a place that is not moldly. Several places we have looked at recently have had some mold issues.

Wishing you the best and Blessings too,


Renee said...

Oh,I am so so sorry you keep going through so very much...and yet you are a just keep surviving and looking for ways to thrive. Finding a place without mold ...boy I understand that. I love the thought of you and your sweet dog riding in the police car down the road! Praying for you and sending you big hugs.

Alison said...

Sorry to hear you haven't found a place yet, but it looks like you're doing everything you can. So good job :) I hope the right place comes along.