I haven’t posted in awhile because I felt I had nothing to say. When I gave it some thought, I realized there’s nothing wrong with posting all the things that’s right with the world. Sometimes people need to hear it. I’m going to start with the not so good stuff so that I end on a high note.
The Not So Good Stuff
I was scheduled to have a CT scan today and had to cancel. The scan was expected to be an all-day event and Maurice scheduled to be off work to be there with me, especially since they said they couldn’t let me leave unless I had a driver. Tests were supposed to be about 1 ½ hours long, with 2 – 3 hours in recovery. Believe it or not I had to cancel. Why? They told me I can’t take Abilify for 48 hours before the test, but they didn’t tell me I can’t take Wellbutrin either. When they called last night to ensure I was set and ready to go this morning, they asked about the Wellbutrin and then cancelled the appointment. Now I must wait two weeks to get this done and I really want this over with.
The Great State of California
I mentioned before that I had failed to file tax returns for a number of years and owed some money. Working with a free attorney at a local community center, she was able to get the amount I owe the state of California. Turns out it’s not much, but it is a lot for me. We’re going back to the center to work with her to come up with a payment plan, but interest and penalty fees will continue, so I’ll probably be paying this damn thing off the rest of my life.
I’ll keep this short and simple. I’m still eating too much, especially sweets, and I’m not getting enough exercise. Fortunately, I’ve barely gained anything, but I haven’t lost either.
The Good Stuff
The United States of America
I said the local community center was not able to help much with my state taxes, but the IRS is a different story. I owed them in the tens of thousands of dollars and was afraid of how I was going to deal with it. The attorney negotiated with the IRS and the result is that I now owe zip, zero, nada, zilch, nothing whatsoever. The IRS considers me free and clear. I haven’t filed any tax forms since I’ve been on disability and the law states I don’t have to because my income is so low, however my attorney suggests I file for all the years I’ve been on disability and there’s a chance I could get money back. I’m getting on it.
Yes, I’m frustrated I didn’t get to have my tests done today, but overall things are great. I may have posted this already, so forgive me if I have. My CT scans I mentioned above are to verify once and for all whether I’ll need surgery on my cervical spine. Probably replace some discs. If you look at the many MRI’s I’ve had, it doesn’t take a genius to see clear as day that several of my discs are squeezed together and are pinching on my nerves. Basically, I’ll very likely need the surgery. Believe it, or not, that’s a good >thing. It means the numbness and pain in my arm and the pain across my shoulder blades will likely be gone and I’ve been dealing with them for years.
I had a neurosurgeon who I didn’t like. He has a terrible bedside manner. First, regarding the brain tumor…he shrugged it off, told me it’s benign and not growing so basically don’t worry about. Regardless that it’s benign and not growing, when someone tells you that you have a brain tumor, you worry.
He also told me that the problems with my arm and hands have nothing to do with the problems in my spine. He said I need to see a hand surgeon and then come back to him to operate to fix my discs. He at least said that was a problem. He quickly told me he’d cut in and get the discs from the front of my neck and then handed me a pamphlet on what the procedure is like. That was it and “goodbye.”
I went to get a second opinion and I love the guy! He is my new neurosurgeon.
Yes, he agrees that the tumor is benign and not growing, however he said because it’s sitting in a vulnerable part of my brain that we’ll need to keep checking on it on a regular basis. That’s all I needed to hear. He takes it seriously and doesn’t poo poo the whole thing.
He also doesn’t see the need for me to see a hand doctor. He believes it’s very likely that my arm and hand problems are related to the pinching of my nerves. More importantly, he didn’t just hand me a pamphlet. He sat Maurice and I down, pulled out some visual aids and described in detail what he believes the problems are. The CT scans are almost just a formality to validate the results of the MRI’s.
Many of you know Maurice and I have been seriously considering moving out of the U.S. The results of last years election was the catalyst to get us thinking about it, but as time has passed we’ve found many other reasons to go. There were many places on our list, but we narrowed it down to either Ecuador and Uruguay. Ecuador is very cheap. We currently live in a very tiny, not well maintained LA apartment. For the same amount, we could rent a beautiful oceanfront condo in Ecuador. Ecuador also has many different types of climates and is beautiful. The problem is it’s a bit too third world for us.
So, it looks like Uruguay is the last destination on the list. The cost of living is not as cheap. In fact, it’s the most expensive country in South America. Coming from LA, it’ll be a little cheaper to live, but someone from the Midwest, may find it’s more expensive for them. Uruguay is our top South American choice because of it’s gay righs (gays rights are equal to the hetero population in every way.) It also has the strongest economy and the least corrupt government in South America.
How is all this good news? Up until now, this has been my project. I’ve done all the research, I’ve been the one excited. I was even planning a 30 day trip there and use the time to finish my novel…it was my therapists idea. It turns out I’m not doing that because Maurice wants to go. There’s finally a spark in him that has a sense of adventure that interests him.
It’s expensive to get there and our trip overall will be pricey, so we have no idea when we’ll have the opportunity to take a trip, but it’s high on the list. Because of other obligations in our lives, it will probably be years before we can move there, but I just like the excitement of the idea and am thrilled that Maurice is finally on board.
I’ve got to go. I’ve broken my never go over 1,000 word rule, but I’m excited about many good things in my life and felt the need to share.
Addendum: I forgot to add that my Abilify that cost me over $300/month, is back on my insurance company’s formulary. I’m now paying $1.20 per prescription. Now THAT is good news.