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Friday, January 25, 2013

Lots got figured out today ... we have to keep working on it

Friday, January 25, 2013 @ 8:24 AM

Good morning … this is us.  There is nothing much new there, hmm?  We’ve been doing a little bit of an Internet search and came up with this table cloth as to something we can get for $17-18.  I’m not sure if that is really a lot or little, but it is a vinyl table cloth and can even go in the wash so it is suiting our needs.  I just needed a place marker … We won’t get it quite yet, but we thought we’d look after Rich told us he made a little tear in my present table cloth.  LITTLE???  It turned out to be a gaping 6” hole!  Yikes.  Maybe he should have taken that off before doing his production work on the table.  BUT, that part is over now so we’re getting on with it. 

Hmm, Rich just came in and asked us if we wanted to renew a quilting club membership, but we’re thinking at $29 we can pass.  It seems that we need to spend money the most practically.  A tablecloth we can use when the kids come over seems much more worthy than that web site had offered.  We haven’t really used it to the potential, but don’t foresee it happening soon … so … eh?  We can get it later if we really needed it, but for now … we don’t.

We had a little time this morning to talk to Maury.  He seems tired, but had some good stuff to talk about.  He brought up that it was snowing, but we told him we’re still planning on coming in to take Jasmine out.  Hopefully, that will work out, but Maury is saying we need to plan coming early so we don’t get caught in the snow.  He said that his 20 minute drive this morning took 1 ½ hours.  I think Jasmine has an event after dinner too so we have to be time conscious.  I think we can be there up to 15 minutes early and we are guessing the roads will be cleared by then, BUT it is a Friday rush hour with people going home for the weekend so maybe we’ll plan to leave here at 3:30-3:45PM, which of course means shower by 2:30PM.  Better, that we get there earlier than later.  I’m not really used to driving in rush hour on Friday night, but we’ll take our time and we have a full tank of gas. 

Yesterday, we spent most the time writing, and then we went to Dr. Marvin’s.  It was one of those days that we left early because we had to pick-up some medicine.  We had thought that it would be ready because we’d left the prescription the Friday before, but they didn’t have it ready and then then called-up the AWFUL person who takes care of their MAP (assistance program) and she said to sit-down and we did for twenty minutes, but then we had to leave because otherwise we’d miss our Dr. appointment.  That seemed to lay ground for the 27 minutes we had to be dealing with medicine at Dr. Marvin’s appointment. 

He had to call that lady and we’re not sure all of what she said.  It seemed like a contest of a sort in that Dr. Marvin told her we left so we wouldn’t miss his appointment and the lady seemed to be taking it as an insult that we didn’t wait for her.  But, traditional she takes about 45 to 60 minutes taking care of us and we couldn’t see not only missing Dr. Marvin’s appointment which would have put us off the scales in anger and frustration, but as well just the recognition that Dr. Marvin costs about almost $5 a minute that it just wasn’t good economic sense to miss his appointment.  We’re pretty sure the lady has a bad attitude and just takes longer to piss people off.  She seems to be pissed off all the time and she spreads like a bad cold.  She shouldn’t be working with people, especially those who really need assistance paying for their medicine.  In general, you just get the impression that she thinks she’s better or more worthwhile then the people she’s serving.  I just can’t say enough about our anger in having to work with her. 

Anyway the medicine talk as noted took 27 minutes with Dr. Marvin.  We went over and over again the value of this particular medicine and it is supposed to help us with concentration and focus.  Medicaid doesn’t pay for it because it is Ritalin, which from their standpoint is only needed for kids with Attention Deficit Disorder.  They didn’t accept Dr. Marvin’s note on using it for other reasons.  I’m really sure that Dr. Marvin is ahead of the curve as to knowing how medicines work and he’s been doing a bi-weekly monitoring us so I trust his judgment over the last 13 years over Medicaid, but as it turns out both the hospital pharmacy where we are having these problems with the bad employee and Walgreens are going to charge $48 for a bottle.  Given the two I asked if we could take care of it through Walgreens because this woman is just so ugly to deal with.  It also means the harder trip in that Walgreens we can pull up to the drive-in window … where the other we have to walk three blocks which is very painful.  By the time we are going up the stairs we are just shaking like a leaf.

The problem part is if Medicaid doesn’t insure us for any particular month then we’d have to go back to this other pharmacy, but it is unsure whether we could go back and forth from their MAP program to Medicaid.  We’re thinking its not going to be that easy and we might have to reapply.  I suppose that would be better than not getting the medicine, but it does put things in a mess.  I think our medicine without help is costing us about $6-800.  It’s an unreachable amount.  With Medicaid we are paying $2 per six medicines and an extra $48 for this last one … so our medicine would cost $60 per month.  Right now on the MAP program we are paying a total of $48.  But, again, because we have Medicaid (at least this month) MAP is not an option.  I’m pretty sure that Walgreen’s takes Medicaid. So if things were even even … and both places were going to charge us $60 … Walgreens would definitely be the better choice. 

We take the Ritalin twice a day so the idea we presented Dr. Marvin was – that he’d write a normal prescription, but we would try to get by on one a day.  He had thought that 30 pills would cost half as much as 60.  If I need the pill in the afternoon it will be there, but if we don’t need it and it cost less than we wouldn’t have to go back for the pill the second month.  That seems the safest way to figure out what to do next.  My best guess though is that the second pill each day has assisted us well.  I hate messing around with medicine when I know it works.  I teased him that maybe we should just drink more coffee, but he didn’t really laugh when saying no - so much for lightening the mood Hehehe.

About the time we were finishing up with the medicine conversations (he was working on printing the prescription), we told him that it wasn’t going to be a “fun” session at all because we had more “business” to talk over in that we wanted to go through information on the school loan and the prospect of being or not being a student.  Dr. Marvin is always very sharp and focused when it comes to dealing with the aspects of our life we consider the “business events.”  Paying bills is also included in this area.  Maybe then it could be defined as things that have to do with money which is our worst subject.  We talked to him yesterday about what we’d done with the school loan as to processing it.  We wrote about this yesterday, but in general – we were in school, and then we had to go on Medical leave, and then the leave was long enough that the school wanted to drop us.  We’ll go into it in a few moments as to why school became hard, but for this moment … we told Dr. Marvin we’d contacted the Department of education Ombudsman and that she had determined the paperwork we had was for our school and not the loans, and then she told us where our loans were and said that we should contact both of them, so we did.  She also suggested that we ask them for the papers for disability and relieving the loans.  She mentioned that we had to be 100% disabled and we talked that over with Dr. Marvin too.  He said that he’s handled this kind of thing before and that because we were on disability with the government that that qualified us for the part of being 100% disabled.  Because we’ve been like we are for the last almost 30 years, we’re of no doubt that the problems we are having are not going to go away.  Because we’ve been in psychiatry for so long … if it could have been fixed it would have been.  It seems in general that in cases dealing with negative emotions or stress we get easily overwhelmed and can’t keep up with things required in dealing with life at a normal level.  Again in a few moments we’ll go in to this more, but we want to finish at least putting our cards on the table as to the general discussion with Dr. Marvin.

The paperwork from both school covers primarily the parts about being disabled and also about putting our loan in deferment until the other part kicks in which could be a three year process.  Dr. Marvin thought we’d start the three years at the time the paperwork goes in, but we had thought that three years started from the time we became disabled through the government.  That really isn’t what we need to worry about now.  The bottom line is that we have the paperwork to start from in our email, and we’re going to need Rich’s computer to print it out (our computer isn’t sending the right message to the printer), and then Rich and us will go over it along with the paperwork from the school and then Dr. Marvin will have to write something too (that was the part he says he’s done before), and then it goes in and the evaluating begins.  I’m guessing that they give you some kind of a response as to how the case gets decided, but then you have to wait three years until the account hopefully would be eliminated.  The total as far as we know right now is approximately $56,600.  It would be a huge break in trying to get through life. 

Before going into all the specifics, we paid $1 last night to get our credit report.  It states that we have $87,182 that hasn’t been paid … so that minus $56,600 comes down to us having $30,600 in unpaid medical bills.  Most I believe are from times we weren’t set-up to get help paying Dr. Marvin’s bills.  Most of the money owed to medical seems to go to Medical business bureau which put every late session on its own line so it looks like we have 30 pages of unpaid accounts.  Maybe today we’ll be able to sort it out, but we would like to figure out where we are as to people we owe money too.  Maybe we can get a few paid down.  I don’t think MBB will agree to consolidate all those $140 charges to one account, although I think on their spreadsheets they do.  I just want to at this time have totals to know what we are looking at.  It is hard to fathom without some kind of processing.  With thirty pages on the credit report, there will be a lot to go through.  It would be nice to have within three years all the side bills paid, and just be working on the total debt of the MBB bill.  Earning and having to pay costs of living with an income of $1445 does not make debt paying easier.   But, realistically, that is where we are at.  Some of the names for the accounts I don’t even recognize. 

One of the things I’m not sure about is if we are still working with Nelnet as a student loan deal … that would be another $18,043 from the $87,182 which would mean that there would be $74,043 on school loans and only $13,139 on medical.  That would make a little more sense in that the last time I had thought there was $12,000 owed to medical.  But, we won’t be sure til we spell things out and make some calls.  We are going to need calling Nelnet today to see if we still have an open account with them and if so could they send us the paperwork that the other two loan companies have sent.  It makes sense to do it all together in one shot.  Looking now … it seems the Nelnet debt is $18,043 and the account number is 50000003260XXXX.  They have a couple numbers listed.  The one in Colorado is 1-888-486-4722 and the one in Florida is 1-630-696-6399.  I think to get this far right now is pretty good and we’re going to have to put-it aside for a little bit because it’s wreaking havoc on our brain. We’re trying to keep everything together in the blog here though so we can retrace the information.  To block this portion though we’ll leave a note that the school loans appear to be 85% of my debt and medical is the other 15%.

Ok, moving on.

We would like to figure out again where that last half hour went with Dr. Marvin talking about school and school loans.  Just need to calm things down a second.  Linda is online and we’re chatting with her too.  Just mid-morning girl chatter ;)  There’s still 4 ½ hours before we need to take a shower J

Rich is just jumping in the shower and it is now 10:11 AM.  I think he is planning on leaving at noon for his mother’s house unless a certain truck came in for his business which would mean he’d have to leave early.  The original plans were to go there, and then do two games and then go play poker over at Bob’s house, but I’m thinking that he rechecked the times of his game and that the later one interferes with poker.  Maybe he can miss the first game and go to the second. Yup-yup that’s been confirmed.  I’m glad we’re getting the company of Jasmine for dinner and then tomorrow the company of Jade.  I think Rich has something planned – maybe a game in the early afternoon.  We had just thought before we were crossing paths, but would both be home for dinner.  That be a good deal.  Rich made roast yesterday that was VERY good.  NOT as good as German Apple Pancakes, but Pretty good.  I would always take sweet over meat.

Ok, we’re back again … it’s now 11 AM and Linda is off to accomplishing her list.  YAY!!!  Maybe we’ll get to talk to her again before going out to dinner … we’ll see.  And, now it seems that Rich is having an early lunch because he’s going to be out for quite some time.  He’s eating and catching up on a fishing show too.  He’s been busy this morning working on his contract.  Good, good.

I think we still are back to Dr. Marvin’s office though am having problem concentrating.  Oh … I’m thinking too that we should drop off the prescription at Walgreens so we can pick it up on our way home from dinner.  Good good that’s a smart thing. I don’t think we have to do anything else out there today.  Maury reminded us of the snow and then we talked to Joe for a few moments.  He’d posted something online about being tested and he’s at 91% lean body/9% fat.  Wow!  How did we ever have kids so smart!  He and Cari are really taking care.  I think it’s easier for Joe than Cari, but she puts in extra with her kick boxing.  They are both still into the herbal life so that’s all good for them.

Maury has been working double with a secondary job so that he can come up with the money for their three oldest girls to go on a trip with their school to Washington DC.  I think they finally have enough money so that be a good thing.  I have to give them both credit for doing the work AND the work of one-person parenting so the other could work.  They had an objective, they settled on a means for coming up with the money, and now the girls are going to be rewarded with their extra efforts.  I’m really proud of the both of them for coming up with something that works for their ENTIRE family!  Good job!  Ame was really excited about the trip and I think we’ll find the same in the other two girls too.  It’s supposed to be a fully packed three day trip and they’ll be flying to get there with their peers.  Just really exciting.

Did I mention we got a note out to the girls?  Nothing really new there just bringing them up to speed and voting on our portion of how we’ll eat – I’m pretty easy ;) AHA!  I found a coupon for Linda.  She needs to buy some snips at JoAnn’s today and the coupon was for 50%.  YAY!  I hope she finds our note before she goes.  It’s a good deal.  Especially because she’s paying for the whole cake for the girls when we get together, I would feel happy in knowing somehow we contributed back to her J  I’m thinking she’s still at the computer because she was going to drop a note to the girls next.  But, her green light is out for the FB messages.  We’ll see.  I wish I would have thought about it while we were still talking to her.  I have to admit though of ALL coupons it’s probably easiest to find a JoAnn’s they’ve always got deals going on.

Hmm, we got one more message – well all Joe’s friends got one more message about what he has to get in the shape he’s at.  He’s really far into the Herbalife diet.  I’m thinking that he’s spending as much as he’s paying so I don’t really know if it’s a profitable thing, but if he can basically get his food for free it is really paying off.  It encouraged me enough to go in and make myself a Herbalife shake.  Lot’s more of them girl!  I think it’s arranged so that we have a 35% discount, but we have plenty right now to get back into it without into too much more debt. 

Rich just got a phone call … I wonder if it’s ok.  He’s not talking too much and seems quiet and somber.  We can’t hear him.  It’s not that we’re overly snoopy … just usually when he’s doing most the listening it’s one of the kids calling with a problem.  It makes us hold our breath to think something could be the matter.  I’m hoping it’s not that.  Ok, we still aren’t hearing the words, but he’s talking more now … it seems then to be ok … just then most likely he’s being informed or asked advice about something.  He gets that a lot.  He’s a good Dad. Ok, moving on. 

Joe responded to our last FB entry … I think we’re gobbling up his attention.  He’s so impressive.  I give him a lot of credit for the discipline he picked-up with Karate over the last twenty years.  I think it’s been about that.  Cari said that she can do a body scan to give your goals some numbers, but she didn’t respond except to say she liked our response.  Hmm, didn’t get very far with that.  I thought I’d been pretty direct in asking for the read.  Maybe when we talk to Joe again we can ask him.

Hmm, there was a little break here … we’re having troubles focusing today.  We wrote a little FB blurb and checked out things, but they are pretty much covered. Mentally, we’re having a hard time getting to Dr. M. thoughts, but it’s almost 1 pm and we’re thinking we’ll take our medicine and keep on trying.

Ok, done deal.  Now how are we going to get back into the Dr. Marvin conversation?  Let’s play it from the top.  First 27 minutes talking about medicine … covered that.  Then we went over the basics of what we knew and needed to tell Dr. Marvin about the “mechanics” of what we’d learned from contacting the ombudsman and the two loan places.

Ok ... it seems the loan amount is a little different.  We just remembered to call Nelnet says that we owe them $15,821.37 so along with the ACS debt of 34,726.41 and the Great Lakes debt of $21,870.45 it looks like we have a total debt of $72,418.23 Oh man oh man … how did we ever do all that? That would then be pretty substantial.  She said she was going to send the disability forms and that they do an automatic forbearance of zero dollars after everything goes through until the debt is relieved.  If we divided that number by everything we could make at disability payment of $1,445 without paying any other expenses like food and rent, it would take 51 months to pay that kind of money.  That would be if we didn’t have ANY expense.  I think we’re going to go in the direction of trying to figure out what our other debts are.

Hmm, ok, let’s try this one more time … the following two sheets are pretty accurately where things are at – the first 1 1/3 pages is the amounts listed in the credit reports that are sometimes a little cloudy – they are close, but not perfect.  The second page (last 2/3) is a more accurate picture of the debt and plan to take care of things. 

You can study them if you want, but the highlights is that I believe by making monthly payments and through the cancellation of the school loans I can be free of debt in four years including paying off the Honda Civic.  That would then be my goal.  I think to get it across to Rich as to my priorities, I will tell him I will cancel the quilting blocks, my Adobe package, AND I will cancel even Rhapsody.  That should come to approximately $75 of the $95 I propose for the next year to pay the MBB payments.  That is the balance of what we owe for Dr. Marvin before Medicaid picked-it up.  I did a couple of things Rich is not going to like.  We left a message with one agency to pay the final $10 of a medical account.  Rich argued with me about that last night, but we’re trying to clear our credit not add to it for a measly $10.  Then we called Merchant’s bank … we thought we owed $75, but it turned out and was confirmed in a paper bill, we owed them $175.  So I paid out of my checking account $75 leaving me with about $35 in my account.  Then I told them, they could automatically take the final $100, on Feb 5th, after my disability check comes-in.  Rich is going to be very angry at me, but he will make the arrangements from the account he controls of my money so that things won’t bounce and then we’ll just be to the end of that mess. And, in agreement, they agreed to zero out the amount on my credit report. 

AND then, I did one last thing.  I called the biggest debt of Medical Business Bureau.  These are the people that my account goes to if I don’t pay Dr. Marvin fast enough.  We discussed that $2,320 should get paid by Medicaid because even if they didn’t credit me, I had the correct spenddown for that month.  We’re trying to work that through with them right now.  They did fix the account for April.  I couldn’t work with them to lessen the account balance from $1,137.59, but I am figuring that’s what we’ll do with that account.  We will pay them $95 in twelve months and then that debt is completely gone.  At one time the debt had been so much more, but Medicaid helped there too.  I am not complaining about the balance, just need to make a plan to pay it off.  Then it is figured in 47 months, or almost 4 years, we should have the car paid off … and if it goes like this first year in 5 years the car will only have about 26,000 miles on it, so it should be in great shape for many years to come without having to pay anything more for it other than normal check-ups.  And, then the third and major thing is that we got what I believe to be the three school loan account totals at almost $75,000.  Hopefully, then we’ll be released of that debt within four years, so again in four years after completing the car payments, we’ll be hopefully at a zero balance and that is substantial from our being at $92,000 right now … In four years through disability I would only make $69,360 so it would be like gaining an additional 33% raise for the entire next four years.   

I don’t have much more time because I have to get dressed and post in the next 11 minutes, but please take note, we still have to go back and figure out what Dr. Marvin and us talked about as to losing the option of school because of our disability … I think the bottom line is worrying over our sense of self-worth as to not making our original goals of being a student.  The multiplicity just made that kind of concentration impossible.  Also we are having obsessive problems like today’s “stuff” that made things get overwhelming and that seems to be a thirty year pattern.  I don’t think it’s going away, but I think that Dr. Marvin has led us to believe he’s not going to give up on us and that in general well-being is seen along the lines of being happy.  We are going to need to revise our goals and aspirations so that we are able to take care of our life within the limits of our disability and that’s a big thing to deal with.  Pretty much though I see the balance of our life being between Rich and our family, learning about dissociation, writing, and quilting, and when we add all that up … it seems pretty good.  I would like to add that we get a home, but for now we have to settle for what we can do and not just what we want.  I never volunteered to be me – as to losing my life with multiplicity, depression and mobility problems, but now that’s the life I have … I plan to make the most of it.  

But, for now?  Better get going.  I’m meeting Jasmine for dinner and we’re looking forward J
Hmm, looks like our Tax guy is ready for us.  We’ll try to figure that out tomorrow … 

john agent 630-210-7322 call anytime hmm. Interesting … it looks like Rich is getting insurance … the guy just called to make an appointment next week.  We’re going to need getting hold of Rich and setting up a date.  Cool cool.


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