Tuesday, September 30, 2014

WOW! Where's my head?

Following doctor's recommendation, I took the first dose of Cymbalta last night.  Never again.

At first, I didn't think anything was going to happen, but it did.  I was told it was prescribed to help me sleep and to help the pain.  I got a little sleepy, but nothing out of the ordinary.  I finally fell asleep, but woke up very soon afterward.  It was only 1 in the morning.  We went to bed at 11:30 and talked for a while, so I probably got to sleep after midnight.  Less than 1 hour.

I felt like I was vibrating from the inside and it continued to get worse as the night progressed.  I could not lay still, thoughts were racing, I began to sweat slightly - alternating freezing cold to burning hot.  My heart starting pounding, so I just got up and went to the living room.  My chest felt like it was going to explode, my vision was blurry, nauseous, dizzy.  These feelings grew in intensity until I woke up -D about 5:45 am.  Crying, thinking I would have to kill myself to feel better.

We decided that I can never take anti-depressants - no matter what dosage.  He made me some toast with peanut butter and a banana to try to get something on my stomach.  That did make me feel a little better.  I tried coffee to maybe counteract the medicine, but I could not stomach it.

I calmed down a bit and laid back down until I had to take the kids to their classes.  I was doing OK, but still felt drugged up and incredibly tired.

When I got home, I went back to bed - no more than dozing in and out.  No real sleep.  Still pretty jittery, though the chest pressure was gone.

Even now, I still feel it in me - I feel horrible - worse than before the meds.  I know you have to get your body used to this crap, but for me, unless I am dying, I would rather take the semi-tired state and pain.  I hate medicine.

-D and I started thinking about it.  I really cannot take much medicine without feeling like crap.  Demerol makes me so sick, it is on my allergy list.  I stay far away from pain meds - even after surgery.  I had a tubal reversal in Louisville, KY one day and got on a plane the very next day to come home - no pain meds whatsoever!  I don't do benedryl unless it is an emergency because I get so wired and tired.

Basically, limited over the counter stuff and rarely prescribed meds.  Even with vitamins, I have to be careful.

So, what decided to do to help me is get back on the Vimovo to help with the pain, to hopefully help me sleep better.  Once I can start sleeping again, then I will get off those because all these symptoms MIGHT be caused by a lack of sleep and low Vitamin D.  Sigh.

Sorry this is dominating my blog.  I am a sharer and this is my every waking moment right now.

ALMOST FORGOT!!  Good Thing.  When -D went to his first day at the new job yesterday, there were a couple of people from his old employer who came over as well.  They asked -D where he had been since he took a week off in between jobs.  These other people told -D it must be nice to have enough money to take off.  They are living literally paycheck to paycheck.  I thought we were too, since we budget that way, but him taking a week off to relax a bit was no big deal for us.  Yes, we are in debt, but we had a week to float things.  We watched our spending, stayed within budget and he got a little time off.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Good and Bad News

Well, it is good and bad news for ME!

The final diagnosis from this rheumatologist is Fibromyalgia.  There is nothing wrong with my blood work that HE sees (though I am a low ANA positive and extremely low in Vitamin D).  The x-rays of my hands were all normal - no lesions, no swelling, no cracks, breaks, tears, etc. 

Basically, there is no reason for all my swelling and pain.  Which leads to fibro.

I am not meaning to offend anyone here who has been diagnosed with it, but I am not 100% on board with it.  I am a scientist by nature and for me, there has to be a reason for this empirical swelling and my lack of being able to sleep.  I will even disregard the pain, as no one can quantify it.  This is why I have a difficult accepting it.  It is simply a diagnoses because all others have been disregarded.  It is like saying I have to like apples because I don't like the other fruits.

It does not make sense to me.

However, I don't seem to have an auto-immune disease - which I will forever be thankful for.  I don't have any sort of disease that is causing lasting harm to my bones or joints.  Again, very thankful for.

I have decided to take Cymbalta for this.  It is supposed to help me sleep which in turn will help a whole host of other things.

So, I get to think long term on this at least.  I should be able to get back to yoga soon and hiking again. 

-D started his new job today.  I was a little down because of it because I am already spoiled by him being at home.  Sigh, can't help it, I just love being around him.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Quick Check In

Everyone has been sick over the past week.  Unusual as we have not been sick in a long time. 

I also kept my nephew over the weekend, well, I should say we.  I was feeling so irritable and crappy on Sunday, -D took over for the most part.  Our lives literally stopped for this child.  It was crazy.  I think we need to only do one night until he gets much older.  He is adorable, but very rough.  Like draw blood rough at only one years old!  My sister has her hands full and it will only get worse unfortunately.

I am waiting for a couple of customers to come by and pick up their orders.  Scout patches are in season and I am constantly busy - this is a good thing!  My side gig has a bank roll of about $300 right now.  Sweet!

We used our home repairs savings to change two lights out that had some sort of electrical short (scary).  It kept blowing brand new bulbs.  Since the lights are only $12, we decided new ones were the best thing.  We also replaced the air filters.  Still within budget - YEAH!

Since -D is off this week, all our schedules are funky.  The kids are struggling through homeschool and I find it difficult to work.  I just want to play!  LOL

Hope you all are doing great!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Planning Life

I am a big planner - ask -D.  He told me recently that he seriously takes me for granted because all he has to do is pique my interest in something and I will research the death out of it.  Then I filter out all the junk and give him the condensed version.  It never hit me how that went until he said it.  I think it is hilarious - I wouldn't change a thing about it either - I love doing it.

So, I got to thinking we spend our weekends pretty much the same - slow Saturday wake-up.  Clean a little, putter around, maybe run to the store for something needed.  Go over the budget.  Sit around.  Make Dinner.  Watch TV. Go to bed.  Rinse, Repeat.

I mean we get things done, but I want more out of my life.  A little fun, a little pro-activeness, a lot of organized planning.  I have not mentioned it to -D (hi honey!) yet, and my little nephew is spending the weekend with us, so I doubt we will get to it before Monday, but here is my idea.  Oh, -D took a week off before he starts his new job.  Yeah!  He gets to be home with me - my list of to-dos is long and not very distinguished.

1) One weekend per month is all about the cleaning.  Since I want to cancel the cleaners to save money, we need to make this a thing.  This is the deeper cleaning other than the daily we will do - the baseboards, oven, under beds, junk drawers, etc.  I would have a theme to tackle a bigger project - like closet clean, dresser drawers, kitchen cabinets and drawers (because I only have 3!), garage, seasonal yard work, autos, etc.

2) One weekend per month is all about the fun!  Basic maintenance and hiking, cycling, golf, a concert, a movie, a museum, etc.  Ideally, this would be family oriented one day and then the next -D and I could get some alone time.  I love that the kids are old enough so I don't have to hire a sitter!

3) One weekend per month is about home maintenance, repair anything that is broken or about to break, change filters, or simple work on a project  - like shelves in the bathroom or the quilt I want to start.

4) One weekend - All about the relaxation.  If things need to be done or we feel like getting out, fine.  This is to catch up on anything or just relax, have friends over, etc.

I know it seems ridiculous to have to plan this stuff, but literally, we are not doing anything right now.  None of this has to be expensive either.  We have a BLOW budget, we live in a large city with LOTS of freebie events, and we have a monthly line budget for home repairs.

Do any of you literally plan your weekends?  Am I completely out of my mind to plan life like this?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Retirement and Travel

-D and I had a heart to heart about my fears mainly embarking upon retirement and my desires at around 1:00 a.m. 

He calls me a wild child.  When I was 19-21 years old, I embraced the internet like there was no tomorrow.  I met people on AOL, did chat rooms, etc.  I took it all further, actually traveling to meet people.  Yes, scary stuff, but this was before the freaks came out.

Remember now, I had never gone anywhere but Mississippi and Texas, hardly even stopping in Louisiana.  I went on a Washington DC trip with my 8th grade class, but that was it!  So, having my flight paid for to see St. Paul, MN, Chicago, IL, Sacramento, CA, Atlanta, GA, New Orleans, LA, on and on - I was in heaven! 

Then, I got pregnant, and the traveling stopped.  It was not until I married -D that I got to start traveling again.  However, my age has only whet my appetite for MORE traveling - further, more remote!

We always said we would travel when the kids moved out - we would have the money and the time.

I am not so sure now.  We certainly did not set our lives around it, got into stupid debt and lived paycheck to paycheck.

-D thinks we can still travel a bit internationally, especially where his company is - Denver, London, Perth and maybe a few other places - like 3 or 4.  I will have to make them count.  Then, after he stops working, we can know the US and Canada like the back of our hands.  I am too scared to travel to Mexico in a RV.

He also thinks we can still build our house and have that hot tub.  ;)  I am not so sure, but I do want all that!

After we get out of this debt, build the emergency fund, pay off the house - THEN we can start traveling.  Seems semi-depressing huh?  He wants to get a credit card that will earn points and use it like we are using our points card now - for essentials and then paying it off every month.

What do you guys think?  Travel points card - any good ones?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Today's Discoveries

This one is a little more personal and not really about finances, but this my absolutely sweet chaotic life, so I am going with it.

Today's little discovery nuggets:

1) No matter how much pain I am in and how little of sleep I get, when my kiddos are sick, I am super mom.  Though I think they are getting me sick.

2) The private school we will be going to does a Washington DC Trip for 8th grade.  This is one of my most favorite things from childhood, so I am over the moon excited for them.  It should be better than the shop fest my older two went on since this school teaches Classical Education (focus on history, writing and language).

3) I pretty much only like to cook with the crockpot.  I hate cooking in general, though I am decent at it, but when I am working with a crock pot, I can spend 45 minutes prepping and I don't mind one bit.  Crazy, I know.

4) My yoga pants are wearing out - literally, and the store I bought them in is no longer open.  I bought them about 7 years ago and I wear them everyday.  I actually cried because of it.  Get a life Jennifer!

5) I am better overall when I do yoga.  I quit because of getting out of debt, but made a decision today that it is worth every single penny.  I don't have my nails done, don't wear or carry designer anything, so this is my splurge.  For my health and wellbeing - Yoga.

6) I sleep better when my husband gets up earlier than me.  Not sure why.  I don't go to sleep without him, but I like him getting up before me.

7) Slow, rainy days are my most favorite.  You would think I would have realized this long before the age of 41, but I did not.  I actually have more energy today than the past several.  Not that I could live in Seattle.  It is the slow part that is the best.

8) The bible lessons we are doing this year are my favorite part of teaching surprisingly.  I am not very religious, but have a strong faith.  We do not go to church or pray together as a family.  I have never prayed out loud nor will I ever, but seeing them read the bible is amazing.  Watching their eyes light up with understand is something I will never forget.

That's it.  I was going for 10, but nothing else is coming to mind.

Oh, I need to stop obsessing about money - I literally think about it constantly.  I read somewhere that listing 10 things (in your head) you are grateful for right before going to sleep helps. I am going to try it and see if it helps me - I could use a full night of sleep.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

401(k) update

OK, OK, so we were jumping the gun on our thinking and you all brought us back down from our excitement.  Stars were in our eyes and now I am a little down thinking about it, but here is what we did.

We looked at 3 scenarios.

1) Fully take out all the 401(k), pay off the 401(k) loan, use the sign-on bonus and vacation pay to the pay-off the credit cards and most of the Jeep (to within a couple thousand).  Assess the tax hit.

2) Use the 401(k) to pay the 401(k) loan, then roll the rest over to the new company's 401(k).  Use the sign-on bonus and vacation pay toward the credit cards. 8 months until remaining debt is paid.  Assess the tax hit.

3) Use the bonus and vacation pay to pay-off the 401(k) loan, roll over existing 401(k) to new company's 401(k).  Keep going with pay-off of credit cards and Jeep - taking 14 months.  No tax assessment needed.

So, this was not as easy as you think.  We are not only looking at the financial, but our peace of mind and how much that is worth to us.  We have NEVER been out of debt - NEVER!  It has always been in our lives.  This is a HUGE deal to us.  We have completely turned our lives inside out to get this debt paid off.  Moving, selling off 1/2 of what we own, cutting the kids off of extra-curriculars, cutting out Christmas, making gifts, no cable, etc, etc.  All the while, I have been diagnosed with a heart problem, osteo-arthritis and possibly an auto-immune disease.

This took some thinking.

Scenario 1 didn't work for me.  I could not pay in taxes more than what my Jeep is worth.  I just couldn't.  It means we are almost immediately out of debt, but we would spend the next 5 months saving for the tax hit.  No thanks.

Scenario 3 has it's appeal.  No major tax hit.  But it would take 1 1/2 years to get the debt gone and we need to do this faster.

Scenario 2 is the one we chose.  We took a much smaller tax hit to get the loan paid back from 401(k) funds.  Then we are rolling over the rest of the existing 401(k) directly to the new one to avoid any kind of tax burden.  Our income will be MUCH less when we retire than now, thus our tax bracket will be MUCH lower.  We will use the bonus and vacation money to pay towards the credit cards.  It will not pay them both off, but just 2 months later, they both will be gone.  Then the Jeep will follow by May 2015.  That is less than 1 year from when we bought it.  I doubt we will finance another car.

There you go.  I feel better now that it is settled.  Thanks for your kind guidance!