little_tristan: (Otters Significant Otters)
He's not okay, but he's a little better than yesterday. The insurance debacle got bigger and stupider and in the end we were forced to cave. Remember back when we decided to buy the plan that we couldn't afford so we could go to our own hospital? There was a misunderstanding. When Kaiser said we could choose hospitals, what they meant was we could choose to go to theirs and be fully covered, or go to ours and pay fully half the total cost out of pocket. (With a deductible of either seven or eighteen thousand; I never did get that figured out.)

Last night's post was written in a state of denial, after we made the bold decision to stick to our guns and do what was right for Mark. Today there was a lot more information dumped on us. With actual numbers. In writing. Bad, bad numbers. And by the time the ambulance arrived, it was so late Russ and I couldn't go, what with him having to be home in bed an hour ago.

The most hateful, hurtful part of all of this is that the doctors here all say the same thing: he really isn't ready to be moved. There's still a chance of decompensating on the 205. But Kaiser says no. They hear pneumonia and breathing without a vent and stamp him good to go. But since we had to make the ultimate decision about whether to go bankrupt or not, and therefor whether to put him on the road, he also had to sign a goddamn fucking waiver absolving them of responsibility in that very event. Or any other, really.

I'm having a very Ted Quinlan Catbread Underwater moment here. Every time I think I've met my limit of hateful, hurtful, downright goddamn hard things--my life just kicks in again. Mark's alone and scared with his lungs 1/3 full of fluid, and yes, he'll almost certainly get well, but I promised I wouldn't let them take him away, and now I have to find away to get out of these clothes (which I've been wearing since yesterday morning) and go to bed alone and I can't stop crying because if something does happen I'm two hours away.

It barely matters at this point that I won't get a shower this week. But it still kinda does.

I wish I had one of those best friends who comes running when things go to pieces and hugs me until the world makes sense.

I'll see Heather tomorrow. She'll probably hug me. That'll be good.

I'm sorry I didn't reply to any comments yesterday. They made me so happy, in a hugged sort of way. I might not reply to any comments here, either. Tomorrow's going to be a mess. But any offered hugs will be gladly accepted and deeply felt.

Last night I didn't sleep, but a few times I was sort of half awake and suddenly felt Mark lying beside me. He used to do that when we were dating, when he was too tired to drive home. He'd go to sleep in the living room but I'd wake up in the middle of the night to find him on the bed, fully dressed, just watching me sleep. It seemed like it should have been creepy but it never was.

All day I've been feeling him, a warm, skinny arm across my back, a little shiver of tobacco and geeky t-shirts.

He called as I was writing that sentence. I knew I felt something.
little_tristan: (Riptide Murray in Shock)
Only not to Canby, 30 miles away. If we go, it'll be in search of an entirely new business venture, and we'll end up in either the middle of California, or Detroit. Guess which one I'm hoping for. If you guessed staying here, you win the kwepie doll.

But, in all fairness, I'm thinking it over and making a list:

Pros (or neutrals)

♥ Our house kind of sucks, so chance for a new one!
♥ New church, where there's no vindictive ex-friend to tell the entire congregation that I had an affair with her husband.
♥ Possible new job that Herr will like, where he can work reasonable hours and make a decent living doing something he loves.
♥ Most of my friends are online, so they'll go with me
♥ California would put me closer to favorite uncle and one cousin
♥ California weather would be neat
♥ Detroit weather might kill arch-nemesis
♥ Detroit is closer to my one true [ profile] catyah, and possibly within vacationing distance of DC. (Not that we ever take vacations, but still...)
♥ At least I don't have to leave Mom.
♥ Might lead to finally cleaning out attic and basement.


♠ Probably can't sell our sucky house
♠ No vet, mechanic, pill-pushing doctor, or legal pot connection
♠ Can't travel, so I'll never see my local friends or family (dying sister, awesome cousin, oldest friend) again.
♠ Likewise parents' graves
♠ Lose custom-built library
♠ If the boys die, I'll be stuck there far away from everything I know
♠ Detroit weather might kill me
♠ Would have to drive to new location--very long trip in the van with no sightseeing stops
♠ Murphy Sloane and Roy DeSoto don't take moving well. If Ranger gets lost, she might not be able to find her way home.
♠ Bruder always gets bored partway through packing and just sends half my stuff to the dump.
♠ Can't finish settling Mom's estate from a distance--need my lawyer and accesses to Polk County Court.
♠ Lose awesome accountant.
♠ I was born here and this is where I belong.
♠ Might turn into one of those douchebags who constantly compares her home state to the new one with the new one always coming in a poor second, pissing off the locals until they all hate me. Especially in Detroit.
♠ Have to find a new company to rip me off on wheelchairs. (Assuming Herr's new job has insurance.)
little_tristan: (Daria: Mr. D)
In all of my previous 36 years, life has followed a sort of pattern. Bad things happen, and then good things happen. Sometimes the good things come directly out of the bad things (car wreck = new car) and sometimes it takes a little perspective to see how it worked (Dad died = new improved life. Eventually.). Sometimes they aren't related at all, the monotony of misery is just broken up by random good things. (Crappy day/book in the mail) And sometimes it's just expecting the worst and being pleasantly surprised when it doesn't happen. (Thinking the IRS wanted to send Herr to prison, but they didn't.)

But year 37 is taking a decidedly different turn. It just keeps getting worse. It's like entropy has completely taken control and everything is trending relentlessly toward chaos. (Yes, I was working on the estate today. How did you guess?) I keep seeing potential bright points, but they vanish before I reach them. Everything that seemed like it might be a small compensation, a little bit of "at least this will help with...", has turned out to be just another wad of frustration. I can't even come up with ways in which things could be worse. I mean, they're pulling rugs out from under me that I didn't even know I was standing on. Soon the fates will have to trade in their scissors and strings and shit for shovels so they can devote themselves full time to digging deeper holes for me to fall in.

I fully expect my house to burn down in the next few days. But don't worry. The arch-nemesis will be fine.

Yes, I'm wallowing. So the fuck what? I can't come up with one semi-decent reason not to. Everything sucks. Suckity suck suck fuck it to hell. Damn it.
little_tristan: (No Icon)
I'd always wondered about that, how they differed from regular headaches. But it started Monday morning, after I requested a police welfare check on my mom. First it was just a pain in the base of my neck, and then it traveled up to my skull, and gradually over the top to where it set up camp and began drilling for oil in my left eye socket. I wake up with it every morning now, that stiffness in my neck and the pain in my head, but every day it travels a little more. Yesterday it got around the front to my left collar bone, and today it's setting up another rig to drill in my right eye. I don't have the slightest idea what to do about it. None of my drugs are working. Yesterday I found actual pure morphine in Mom's apartment. I need to do some research first, but I expect I'll be trying that before this is over.

I wonder if the tension would go away if I cried. So far, I haven't done that for more than a minute or two at a time, because I suspect that when I really start, it could last for hours and right now I just don't have the time. Maybe I can schedule it for Sunday.

Sometimes I pause and wonder if I'm having a stroke.

I can't really remember when I last ate. Caffeine helps a little.

My cousin and her friends did a great job cleaning up at Mom's. It was only a little bit awful taking her brother over there. He actually got there first, before I'd even left home, but the manager couldn't let him, because apparently I'm in charge. The legal machine has taken over, and the law, in its infinite bizarreness, puts children ahead of siblings. But he lives far away and can't stay long, so I guess it's just as well. I don't know. Yesterday I signed the cremation order, which had to be initialed in about nine places, and at least 4 of them were to certify that there isn't anyone else with greater authority to sign it. Basically, it was 4 different ways of saying, It's all on you, kid. That was when the headache reached my clavicle. I'm so afraid of fucking up.

I did fuck up, though, because between the cleaning and the funeral home and trying to get her mail from the PO, I never had time to go to my sister's. As it was, I didn't get home until long after Herr went to bed. I was working hard and a lot of important stuff got done, but she needs me and I couldn't be there. I can't be everywhere, and that just sounds so lame. I sent Uncle Harold to visit with her while we cleaned up the worst of the mess (sort of a twofer), but it's not the same. He's not in charge, so he can't tell her what's going to happen. I'm going to try and reach Harold today and see if he'll drive me out there.

There was a message on Mom's answering machine from a woman in Colorado who was apparently a close friend. She sounded worried. I have to call her, but the idea makes my jaw hurt.

When I got home, there were flowers on the porch from the boys' bosses. They were very surprised. Even at their age, they still don't understand death protocol.

The footprint is still on her door.

At least the vomiting has stopped. For now.
little_tristan: (Quincy Sad Phone Call)
Now I'm just sort of going to tell a story. I realize that I was being all kinds of vague and cryptic yesterday, and people hate that (me most of all), so for those who want to know, this is what happened: Behind the cut, for those who don't want to know )

Special thanks to [ profile] sara_merry99, [ profile] jekesta, [ profile] oasis3017, [ profile] seraphina_snape, [ profile] catyah, [ profile] valis2, [ profile] speak_me_fair, [ profile] janedavitt, [ profile] oddmonster, [ profile] amine_eyes, [ profile] quoshara, [ profile] tygermama, [ profile] hardboiledbaby, [ profile] tinx_r, [ profile] milomaus, and [ profile] captainpixie. My friends.
little_tristan: (BtVS Spike Misery)
Herr just left for work, after one of the worst weekends we've ever endured together. Over the last few months, he's been degenerating into a fanfic character--one who spins around in an endless panic, not eating or sleeping and living on caffeine and fear. The middle of last week, he started throwing up a lot, whether there was anything in his stomach or not, and he finally collapsed in the factory on Friday. Even then, he wouldn't see a doctor. He's scary that way--the lengths he'll go to to avoid losing control. Instead, he clocked out and slept in the truck until Bruder finished up and brought him home. He slept on the sofa all evening, refused his supper, and for the first time in months, slept through the night.

Ever since, we've been trying to get small bits of food into him, or even water if that's the best we can do, and he's developed a tolerance for my liquid food. (He drinks the high calorie stuff; I stick to the sugar free.) But we couldn't keep him home today. He may be a walking skeleton on whom Victoria's Secret extra small yoga pants hang loose (he wears them for underwear, not having any body fat whatsoever), but he's by-God going to work. The only sign that he's at all sane is that he is planning to spend most of the work-day sleeping in the van. He hasn't decided if he's going to clock in, or tell them he's taking a sick day while being on call for the things only he can do. It's sort of a toss-up between sleeping on their time or working on his. Either way, he gets paid and the work gets done. Unless he collapses again.

You'd think someone that writes these scenarios as often as I do would have some clue as how to handle the situation. But I don't. Actual men are just a whole different story, and I'm not being allowed to dictate the ending.
little_tristan: (Daria: Mr. D)
All weekend, Herr and Bruder have been worrying about going to work today. They were supposed to start working split shifts, with one of them running a morning crew, then an overlap from about noon to three, and the other running an afternoon/evening crew. They badly didn't want to do this for several reasons: a) it's a long commute and with both of them driving themselves, it would double our gas consumption without increasing pay; b) Bruder really shouldn't be driving in the dark, and in Oregon in February, almost everyone goes to and from work in the dark; c) they're so co-dependent (a term they actually agree with) that they only really work effectively together. Dividing them doesn't spread the productivity, it reduces it. So they've been pretty upset about the whole thing.

Turns out, though, that they should have been worried about something else. Yesterday they were given such a huge stack of work that takes two people, that only they can do, to keep both of them there all day. The crew will work two shifts, but the boys will have to be there for both. Why? Because they aren't allowed to have charge of any employees who are actually smart enough to learn to change the heads on the manufacturing machines, and they don't have any say in the production schedules, so they can't plan the best way to, you know, produce.

The ex-partner gets the orders and they go through at least three members of the office staff, none of whom actually understand or care about what they're writing down. And they don't get into trouble when they screw it up, the boys do. The numbers get transposed, letter codes get mixed up, truncated, or left off altogether, and when one of the boys catches a mistake (which is hard to do when they don't know what it's supposed to be), they get into trouble for contacting the ex-partner for clarification. They're not supposed to go directly to her, they're supposed to go to the office staff, who, when presented with two sheets of paper that are supposed to say the same thing and yet don't, aren't even capable of understanding why that's a problem. ("Oh, I wrote down 22 DPT here when she said 22 T. So?" "So, DPT and T are two radically different kinds of trays. The customer wanted DPT and we just made nine pallets of T." "So?") These are the conversations they have at least twice a month. The waste of time, soil, and paper that costs $800 a roll is tremendous.

Yesterday the boss, who is also an owner, showed up on the factory floor and lectured them about "not catching these red flags". For some reason, they're expected to know instinctively when they've been given a wrong order, and further, what it should be. But still without checking with anyone. The bosses have been ranting and harassing about stupid shit like this ever since the boys got there, and they've finally started getting angry and yelling back. It's very interesting. They probably won't quit, and I'm pretty sure they're too important to be fired, and that alone might be why the small, petty, partial-owner boss is being such a wanker. He put up money to buy in, but he doesn't seem to serve a purpose. I'm coming to think that he doesn't like people who have actual skills.

Spirit Day

Oct. 2nd, 2010 07:51 pm
little_tristan: (Sam on a Mission)
Originally posted by [ profile] neo_prodigy at Spirit Day

It’s been decided. On October 20th, 2010, we will wear purple in honor of the 6 gay boys who committed suicide in recent weeks/months due to homophobic abuse in their homes at at their schools. Purple represents Spirit on the LGBTQ flag and that’s exactly what we’d like all of you to have with you: spirit. Please know that times will get better and that you will meet people who will love you and respect you for who you are, no matter your sexuality. Please wear purple on October 20th. Tell your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors and schools.

RIP Tyler Clementi, Seth Walsh (top)
RIP Justin Aaberg, Raymond Chase (middle)
RIP Asher Brown and Billy Lucas. (bottom)

REBLOG to spread a message of love, unity and peace.

little_tristan: (Murray's Bad Day)
It was sunny for a while, but honestly, I can't remember most of the day. I think I talked to my cousin on the phone, but I'm not sure when.

Word on FaceBook is that another of my friends is dying. She's been in a medically induced coma for weeks, but whatever the doctors were hoping to achieve by it, it's apparently not working. If her family decides against life support, she won't last long at all.

My sister lost her new kitten last weekend, but I missed the news because I was off having fun and now I feel bad about that. Not that I could have done anything, but still. The poor little thing was crushed in a tragic recliner moving accident, and I can't even imagine how bad she must feel, having it happen right in her living room like that.

Probably time to lay off the wine and drink some water. And maybe go to bed. It's way, way past my bedtime.
little_tristan: (cutter john)
Who's that? you ask. Why, he's the lovely man who works for the shop that's holding my wheelchair hostage repairing my wheelchair. He was just here bringing me a new loaner so I won't have to cry as much. It's still a Pronto, so by definition, it sucks. But it sucks a lot less. Like, it has a real seat cushion, and the drive wheels are actually larger than an Eggo waffle so it doesn't get stuck on door sills. It goes pretty fast, too, although it clearly has some motor issues because it doesn't go straight at high speeds. I love when the loaner has the same problems as the chair I'm having fixed. I really do. But I care not, because this one isn't mine. (Ever rent a U-Haul truck? Same thing.) It does squeak and rattle a lot. Like, more than I've ever heard any wheelchair do in my life. It sounds more like Herr's pickup with the loose box. But my ass isn't aching and I can once again outrun a crawling infant, so I don't freaking care.

The only major drawbacks for this week's activities (48 hours to [ profile] catyah!) are that it a) isn't me, so she'll miss the full Gefahrmaus effect; and b) doesn't have handles for carrying shopping bags. Good thing she's bringing Mr. Catyah.
little_tristan: (cutter john)
So we're not going to Portland tomorrow after all. I remembered last night that Herr's company just changed insurers and the new company doesn't do business with CARE Medical, the place where I usually go. Not that I love CARE, but they're clearly the lesser of two evils. I've been with these other people before, because there are 3 major carriers here and in ten years of employee health coverage, I've been with them all many, many times. The other 2 use CARE, while the 3rd is propriety and makes you go to providers they own for everything. It would be okay, except they're fairly incompetent. Jobs that take CARE two or three days can take these people up to six weeks, because they tend to break it much worse while trying to fix it. And the insurance that makes me use them doesn't cover the rental of the temporary chair, either, so that might be deliberate.

Anyway, I called them today and got a fairly even mix of good and bad news. Good: most of the repairs should be covered. Bad: Up to 80%, after deductible, with no out of pocket maximum. Good: They send a guy out to do the work on site (or pick it up, if it's going to take too long) so we don't have to worry about going up there. Bad: The aforementioned gross incompetence. Good: It will probably get done eventually. Bad: They want to "gather information" first, so there's no actual ETA on this. And the information gathering is pretty insulting. The guy I talked to said they have to get information from my doctor, which can only be to make sure the wheelchair is really, truly necessary, and prescribed by a real doctor, rather than some piece of crap I picked up at Goodwill and am trying to get fixed for resale. And he kept saying they needed "chair information" from CARE, no doubt part of validating the medical necessity.

Which wold be fine, except then he called back to tell me that the people at CARE denied that I got it from them. Somehow, given the conditions of that sale, I'm not surprised. Their saleswoman told me my insurance wouldn't cover a new one when I needed it because it was too soon (they say wheelchairs have to last 5 years, whether they actually do or not), but she could get me a used one for however much they would pay. So that's what I have, a second hand disaster that started dropping screws two weeks after I brought it home. But when I saw the insurance statements a month or so later, I discovered that they billed both the work insurer and Medicare as if it was new, and got paid the full amount. And I didn't turn them in because I knew I'd need them later for repairs, since the insurer wouldn't let me go anywhere else. It's like reporting abuse in a nursing home while you're still a patient--they tell you it's safe, but it's not their asses on the line, is it? So, yeah, they've conveniently lost all record of that little piece of insurance fraud. He then asked me what insurance company paid for it, so he could check with them. Like I remember who we were with for six months five years ago. I gave him the names of the two others we alternate with and said good luck. I imagine he'll figure it out. Those people help each other a lot more than they help us. But it's gonna slow things down for sure.

Still, I haven't cried once today, and the sniveling little victim in my second book is turning into quite the kick-ass heroine in the rewrite.
little_tristan: (Cliff Cat)
Is that ironic? I'm not sure. I'm glad it's Monday because no one's home. I argued and fought with Herr all weekend and it sucked. He's just not the sort of person one can fight properly with. He goes all small and wounded, and then tells you that you don't understand his problems, when really he's the one who can't understand things. Of all the people in the world, he's the one who's different. I've always tried to protect him from the effects of that, but now I'm just so very tired. And I hate being glad that he's gone to work, because he hates work so much and will only be more unhappy when he gets home.

We were going to see Shutter Island this weekend, but then we didn't. On Saturday, his brother took me to my sister's for Mom's birthday, and I thought that since Herr was home working all that time, he could take a break when we got back. I was wrong. Yesterday we almost went, but he worked all day in his shop, and going to the afternoon show would mean getting to bed at 7:45 instead of 7:15, and that, of course, is unacceptable. So, we had no fun together at all, for the 467th weekend in a row. May as well say the 467th week in a row. And that's a rough estimate. I can't actually remember having fun with him before that, either, but I assume that at some point we did. We must have. I tried to make up for it by watching Mystic River on AMC, but it wasn't the same. It was all edited and then Bruder came in and put on the Olympics. Yay, curling.

I'm reading The Gum Thief now, and watching Miami Vice on Netflix. I'm hungry, but I can't find my little bagels. I suspect my arch-nemesis threw them out. I'll probably wait another hour and have some Chicken in a Biskits. They don't taste like chicken or biscuits, although they might taste like biskits, because I don't know what those are, and so cannot judge. I want to go downtown, but my wheelchair is failing mechanically and there are things I have to do later in the week that I should save it for. Library, vet, dentist. Hopefully all of those things will happen before the rain comes back. Maybe later I'll go sit in the backyard and read. It will be sunny there.

If we have any money left after paying taxes this year, we're going to build a new perimeter fence so people can't spy on us anymore.

I learned to talk like that from Herr. And what's more, it makes sense to me now.


little_tristan: (Default)

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