little_tristan: (Default)
Mark got sick. He does that when he gets stressed and stops eating. He stayed in bed yesterday while Russell went to work and attended the new insurance meeting. Short version: we're getting fucked.

Long version: they're switching to Kaiser next month. There are no doctors in our county that accept the regular Kaiser plan, which costs about what we're paying now. We'd have to drive an hour to Salem or Tualatin to see a doctor. Or go to an ER. An ambulance trip to a participating hospital would not be covered due to the ridiculous distance and would cost a fortune. We made that trip once last year, to take Willow to an emergency vet in Tualatin on a weekend. It was a nightmare just with a sleeping puppy. With a sick person--I can't even imagine.

Not to mention that I refuse to switch doctors because, you know, I'm all fucked up and I have a great guy here who can handle it. Who has been handling it for about 15 years now, thank you very much. I've never even been to a different practice. Like, literally since birth. My mom's doctor was there. He delivered me and turned me over to the pediatrician I saw for the next 18 years, who then handed me over to the guy before this guy. The triage nurse used to be the pediatrician's nurse. She always squeezes me in somehow.

Of course changing wouldn't matter much because I can't take a bus to those other cities and Mark couldn't drive me over after work. No one stays open that late. Just getting a med check would mean taking a whole day off. And if Mark or Russell were sick it would mean both of them stayed home. Either can drive the ten minutes to our doctor if they have to. (Even that time Russ had the inner ear thing. He drove staring straight ahead and I checked traffic at intersections and lane changes. Teamwork, y'all. It's the heart of Gilead.) If one is really ill and it's an hour/hour and a half, the other would have to drive.

There is another option, and it's the amazingly sucky one we have to go with. Pay twice as much in premiums. Well, twice as much for Mark and me. Seven and a half times more for Russell--from $20 a month to $152. Just to go to a doctor in our own town instead of an hour away. He said he'd take the cheap plan and just not go to the doctor anymore, but he can't do that. He hardly ever gets sick, but when he does he always ends up in the hospital. (When Russ does something, he does it BIG.)

Of course the bosses know all this, but since we're the only ones outside the service area, they don't care. It saves them money, and so what if my boys are the ones making most of it for them? They've acted like whipped dogs long enough, I'm sure the bosses assume they'll put up with anything. I almost said pay cuts would be next, but guess what? That's EXACTLY what this is. Another $500 less in their checks every month.

I canceled Tammy yesterday so the dogs wouldn't bother Mark. It was nice and quiet for reading, at least. I've suddenly lost the urge to write. That happens when I need a word-infusion. But it's dusty. Maybe I should get used to it. We probably can't afford her anymore.

At least Mark is better today. He feels so guilty when he sleeps that he doesn't do it enough. Also, the atmospheric pressure was weird. It's eased up on our heads some now. Russ is at work again. They're both going tomorrow. Mark's catching up on laundry and making a crock pot of beans for the week. Soon it will be shower time. It feels like Sunday. Tomorrow will be extremely confusing. I won't know what day it is forever.
little_tristan: (Catloaf mini)
In a weird kind of way. Shortly after I became obsessed with staring out the front window, as I often do in the senseless hope that Officer Sheets will come back and tell me it was all a big mistake, Steve realized that he had pressing business somewhere outside and went for a walk. He does that a couple times a day, probably to get a break from things like this. I was crying when he left and still at it when he came back a couple hours later, which must have been weird (in spite of the warnings). In fact, I ended up calling him back because it was way out of hand by then. The whole episode ended with me chewing some Xanax and curling up under the big blanket on the sofa while we ridiculed Air Force One. Between that and the odd hug, we got through it and I was feeling much better by the time the boys got home. Although altering my med times is probably why it's a quarter past three and I haven't been to sleep yet. )
little_tristan: (Steve Dallas)
I can't fully squee because the big discussions haven't actually started, but I've had two little ones and they're trending in the right direction. I just want to share a little now in case it doesn't happen. For this morning, I was happy.

I might be getting my very own, full-time, live-in, caregiver/housekeeper/handyman/battler of the arch-nemesis! Apparently this person actively wants to give up his life in the big city and live in our basement for no money. Yeah, that sounds weird to me, too, but I've known him for a while now and his references are impeccable, so maybe he just wants a change of scene. And we're pretty open to accepting gift horses, so long as they aren't made of wood.:)

All we really need is Bruder's approval (I don't intend on asking the a-n, since he doesn't get a vote) and, uh, someplace for him to sleep. Cleaning the basement will probably be his first job.
little_tristan: (Bleeding Hearts)
It was 1998 and I had just gotten religion in a big way. I subscribed to Catholic Digest magazine, which used to be a pretty good publication, and one day while reading it I saw an ad for CFCA, the Christian Foundation for Children and Aging. It's one of those sponsor the children programs, that also includes old people. I'd always wanted to do that, ever since I was a little kid watching a benevolent white guy on tv carrying a barefoot black toddler through a desert village. Now I was an adult, but I was living on disability and couldn't afford a phone, so it seemed like it might not be a great time. Still, I read the fine print and learned that if one didn't have the full $20 a month for sponsorship, one could pay $10 and share a child. So I filled out the little coupon and mailed it in with a check for $10. I made one of my few actual vows to God then, promising to take care of this child if He would just provide the money with which to do so. A few weeks later, I got a packet of information about Erick, an undersized six year old El Salvadoran with a shy smile and chronic respiratory problems.

I wrote to him right away, and we exchanged letters and cards for Christmas and birthdays. He drew pictures of flowers from his mother's garden, and I sent him stickers and prayer cards of traditional icons and saints. And a few weeks after that first exchange, I got a real job. The first thing I did was write to CFCA and tell them to take the other half of my kid off the market. I wanted him all to myself.

The next year I got a raise and asked for another child. I requested a girl that time, so I'd have a balanced family. She was an eleven year old Filipina, whom I sponsored for seven years. She graduated from school, started college, and then disappeared. Somewhere in there I asked for another boy and they gave me a twelve year old Colombian. He didn't last long, though. I don't know why; they don't give many details. When the girl left the program and I was down to one child, I asked for a Liberian. They gave me a sweet nine year old boy who seems to know a lot about America. Our countries have a special, tangled and not always pretty history, which I'm probably trying to compensate for. So shoot me.

For the last five years, I've been the happy godparent of these two boys, and hoping the very best for the two kids who've moved on. I don't know what it's really like where they are, so I pretend they have good jobs and loving spouses and are naming children after me. It's a pretty picture.

And, as of today, Erick is a part of it. After 13 years, my little boy's all grown up and has left the program. The project director says he's still with his mother, and his brothers are going to help him get work. That's more information that I got when the others left the program, so I'm trying to be happy. I'm still going to write him a letter tomorrow, though. They say they'll deliver one final message if the child is still around, and he seems to be. I don't know yet what I'll say, but I'll think of something. Somehow I always do.

I'm asking for another African now. Life goes on, after all. And they teach English as a first language over there.
little_tristan: (Quincy Sad Phone Call)
Ever since my mom died, I've been--different. I've always talked too much, but now I say really personal things to complete strangers in person, rather than just online. And whenever I do, I think of something I've read a dozen times, a passage from If Life is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits? by Erma Bombeck. Most of us have been in Erma's place. Now I'm in the opposite role. Thank you all for listening.
I'll bet it's cold... )
little_tristan: (Tanzer)
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] oddmonster, who put a link to this on my journal yesterday. Possibly not everyone will click it, so if you didn't, click here now. Unless you're at work and don't have headphones. Wait until you get home. Unless you work in a friendly place, or you want to make a point. Then it's up to you.

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