Monthly Archives: January 2014

Things that make you go …

American Flag

Last night, sitting here in front of my computer, I was as close to tears as I have been in a long time.  They weren’t tears of sadness or unhappiness, they were tears of frustration and annoyance and down right anger.  Let me explain…

Before I go any farther, I have to say this, I love my country and the people that live and work here.  It’s the government that has gone and ticked me off.  Now, on to my explanation…

Can someone, anyone, explain to me why our government uses your gross income when figuring out if you qualify for stuff?  As far as I am concerned, gross income is a random, made up number that has no basis in reality.  Yes, I know that it’s the money earned before all the taxes and insurance and retirement and what ever else your employer deems necessary to take out of your hard earned money.  I do understand that, but it still has no real bearing on my day to day life.  Unless I need help from “The Government”.  So, why does the government use that as a basis for deciding whether or not I, or anyone else, really does need help.  If I took home my gross pay, I probably wouldn’t need food stamps or L.E.A.P. (Low income Energy Assistance Program), or need to drain my retirement funds just to survive.

I have 2 co-workers; one makes $200 more than allowed to qualify for food stamps or L.E.A.P.  The other makes $20 too much.  Not only does she not qualify for any relief from the government, she also doesn’t qualify for Medicaid for The Affordable Health Care Act.  Does this suck or what?

Getting back to why I was sitting so frustrated and angry and annoyed last night.  I qualified for Medicaid and as a result, could afford to get my eyes examined, it’s been 5 years since I could afford an eye exam.  Yea for that.  But my eyes have changed and my glasses don’t work for me.  Does Medicaid pay for anything else?  Nope.  I’m on my own for the frames and lens.  And I can’t go to a cheaper place to get my glasses – my eyes are too weird.  I have astigmatism, nearsightedness and computer eye syndrome and now I need bifocals.  Where am I going to get the money?  To give you an example, Just the lenses, progressive because of the bifocals, runs between $250 and $300.  Then I can’t have glass lenses because they are far and away too thick and too heavy for my nose to hold, so they have to be “plastic”.  Add another $100 to $150.  Then for the computer eye syndrome, I need a tint and a UV filter.  That’s another $120 to $150.   So, there’s $600.  That doesn’t include the frames.  Add another $50 to $60 to that total.  “Fortunately”, this Ophthalmologist’s office has Package Deals.  That will cost me close to $300.  Yes, a better deal, but I still have to take more money out of my retirement fund, which was never very big to start with, to pay for the glasses I need to see with.

And yes, after work I went to the bank and withdrew the $300.  Tomorrow I will go order my new glasses.  It would sure be nice if Medicaid covered just a little more and if the government would realize that the gross income amount really doesn’t mean anything anymore.

Okay, off my soap box and on to other things.

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Breathe…

Sunrise-Among-Snow

Sometimes, sunrise is my favorite time of day.  There is that little tiny second when it feels like everything is holding it’s breath, waiting to see if the sun will, indeed, rise again.  Then that first spark appears and before long there are rays of light going everywhere chasing away the dark and the cold (even if it really isn’t chasing away the cold, it just feels like it).  Sometimes my life feels like that, like I’m holding my breath and waiting for that first spark of light to appear.

Then I remind myself of all the rays of light I already have.  I am, relatively speaking, healthy.  My Mother and Sister are healthy and safe as is my Brother and his family.  I have friends that really do care about me, which I find wonderfully amazing.  It’s been a long time since I’ve actually had people really care if I’m breathing or not.  It’s an interesting and wonderful feeling.  I like it.  I have a job, granted it’s part time, but, to be brutally honest, I don’t think I could handle full time anymore, and we got a raise at the first of the year.  I have a companion, furry and four footed though she is, Meow-Yen makes me smile and she is MY responsibility to keep safe and fed and happy and warm.  (Which  sometimes I kind of fail with, especially with her litter box.)  And the most important thing is God and Jesus love me.  And I love them.

All this leads up to a discovery yesterday.  Some of my friends and family still don’t really get how hard winter is for me.  They’ve implied that it’s all in your mind.  Just get over it.  Etc.  Well, of course it’s in my mind.  S.A.D. doesn’t live anywhere else.  And it’s especially hard when it’s as cold and snowy as it is now.  With my physical limitations, going outside is not an easy proposition.  The low barometer makes my joints hurt so much.  I tried to go shopping on Friday with my Mom and Sister and I couldn’t do it.  I only got 6 or 7 things and my legs and back were screaming at me to stop moving.  Here’s a small gripe – why are there no places to sit at grocery stores except in the Pharmacy and at the entrance?  I had to put gas in  my car yesterday and barely got home before my body, once again wanted to shut down.  Not fun.

Then there’s the asthma.  When the weather gets cold, I start having to think carefully about going outside.  it’s hard to breathe when the temps get down to the lower 20’s.  I have to cover my nose and mouth when it gets down to the single digits, and when it’s below zero, like now, I can’t go outside because I can’t breathe.  No ands ifs or buts.  I just cannot catch my breath.

I try so hard not to get mad at people who don’t get it, but after 30 some odd years, it gets frustrating and annoying.  And when I’m out of breath and hurting, that is NOT the time to ask why I’ve stopped and what’s really the matter.

Some days I just want to give up.  Hide in a cave or something.  But then, the sun comes up and I find that, once again, I can breathe…

Hail and Farewell

New Year 2014 b

As this is my last entry for 2013, I wanted to be witty and sparkling.  I probably won’t be any of that.  I do want to remember and release some of the stuff I dealt with, good and bad, from 2013.

The year started off with me still living in the Denver/Boulder area with the dawning realization that I still was unemployed, my unemployment payments were running out and the knot at the end of my rope was getting far too close for comfort.  I am blessed with some amazing friends and family and we got me packed and moved to this haven of rural Colorado that is Lamar by the middle of February.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Lamar, but it was with a broken heart and trashed dreams that I came back.  I had no other option, and I knew that, but it didn’t make me feel better.  But things worked out and I have a great little house and a job and I feel truly blessed with it all.

I have a dear friend.  We have been friends for so very many years and I love him dearly, but he was so afraid of committing to any sort of relationship other than friends, that I had all but given up on him.  Good thing I held on.  Seems moving away held another silver lining – we are a couple now.  Granted a long distance couple, but we talk almost every day, one way or another, and I feel very secure and very happy with having a boyfriend who makes me laugh and really does care about me and thinks I’m sexy.

I’ve dealt with a lot of my own nasty little demons and, so far, I have won the battles.  Yes, I still have my bad days, I still get depressed and so very unhappy, but it’s not so black like it used to be.  It’s hard to explain, but I can remember when I would get so very depressed and scared and miserable, that I couldn’t see anyway out.  Like being in a deep, dark pit and not being able to find the path out.  But I can see, if not the way out, I can see where I’m going and that makes it not so dark.

I’ve had a few health scares, but nothing so terrible that I can’t learn to deal with it and live with it.

So, thank you, 2013, for all the lessons you have taught me.  Thank you, Father God, for all the blessings and gifts and grace and mercies and, yes, miracles, you have given me, not just this year, but for my whole life.  And thank you to ALL my friends and family, I know it sounds corny, but you really are the wind beneath my wings.  Thanks for lifting me up and letting me soar.

New year 2014

May you all have a Blessed and Happy and Profitable New Year.  And know that I love you all very much!