Rough patch, but not for me!

Has it really been about a month (maybe a smidge more) since my last post? Wow. Well, a lot has happened in that time, in my personal life.

Personally, it’s been a rough patch, sort of, but not for me personally. There’s a reason for this that I firmly believe is true. Anyway, so… My mom was diagnosed with COPD last month. We already knew she had it, but she’d avoided an official diagnosis for many years now. Having the “official” diagnosis on her records… well… it’s been tough for her to process. Plus side though? There’s a medical testing clinic right next door to her doctor’s, and we’ve already spoken with a woman from there about her potentially participating in medical trials for COPD medications. Most of what they do is compare generics to name brands, and one medication against combination drugs. It isn’t often that they do placebo testing. The practice my mom goes to caters to the poorest of the poor and those who can’t afford insurance of any kind. And by partnering up with this medical trial clinic, they’re able to get some people life saving medications and treatment that they otherwise would be unable to afford. And they have often taken people for repeat and multiple trials, so it’s not a situation of “we got what we wanted now get out”. They also often compensate the participants for their time and such, and do any testing out of their local office. While it’s not a guarantee, it’s at least a ray of hope for my mom when for years and years now she had none at all.

She also had an unrelated incident wherein she tripped over a chair at work. About a week after she went back from her severe COPD episode that had left her off work for a week. She was also out for a week for that because she nearly shattered her kneecaps from the way she had landed on the floor. Worker’s comp is covering the medical end of it, and if they don’t compensate her for missing work, then she’s got sick pay built up (and let’s not even discuss the couple of weeks worth of vacation pay she’s got built up as well).

On a similar note to the COPD thing, my husband has to set up a visit to a respiratory therapist at the hospital in order to find out if he’s in the early stages or if he just has asthema – all so he can get a nebulizer and medication for it to help his breathing as well.

As for me – I’ve been going crazy running around for everyone and everything that mostly I’m sore and stressed. But my luck seems to have changed when I received my new Medicaid and Wellcare cards in the mail…

You see, I’ve had this theory for many years now that my maiden surname was cursed in some form or fashion. The women of my dad’s family married and got different last names, and their luck seemed to have changed dramatically, and their lives improved (even the one who married a dead-beat before divorcing. The dead-beat had quite a lot of money that she got from the divorce). I noticed this within my immediate family as well. Out of 5 children, 2 had different surnames than myself. And even those 2 had different surnames from one another. My older brother, though not “successful” in the traditional sense, was well known and liked in town. Opportunities seemed to just fall into his lap quite often. He was happy, and though life wasn’t the greatest, he didn’t really have to worry about poverty like we did when we were kids. Things always seemed to just work out for him. One of my sisters who had a different last name, always seemed to be in the right place at the right time. She always had ways to get what she wanted, and whether she put effort into something or not, again – things always worked out for her no matter what.

Now, what got me thinking it might be my surname that was bringing me the bad luck, was 2 things. Anyone I knew in my extended family on my father’s side, if they had the same last name they usually were struck with the universe constantly shitting on them, or epic tragedy (such as major death in family, etc.) The other was that no matter what, I could set up the same exact situations as my half siblings, and go through the same actions, and with a probability of 50/50 I would meet failure each time. Now, at first I thought “well, can’t win ’em all. Maybe next time.” But more and more, things started to happen thad made me aware of odd things…

People in my immediate and my extended family who shared the last name always succumbed to major, life threatening atypical side effects of medications. Medical procedures always would go awry. Those with my last name were always the outlier that necessessitated surgeons and commercials alike to state things that were the most improbably, one in a million odds scenario due to legally having to say it even though it totally would never happen ever… we were the ones it always happened to.

Every family member I spoke to had similar experiences. Go in for a simple galbladder or appendix removal and BAM! Massive life threatening complications! That “We only tell you this because we’re legally required to, but the chances of this happening are literally infinitely small that we don’t see the point in telling you” group of people.

Well… I noticed a change to this… when my little sister got married. She and I share a maiden name and when she got married, holy crap did events governed by sheer luck alone begin to change for her. And it was an immediate difference.

When I got married, I was not expecting the sudden influx of things that just seemed to always work out. Everything from parking spaces at Wal-mart (I used to have to park at the very end of the farthest corner just to even get a spot. Now, I get first unmarked space next to the handicaps on a regular basis.) to weird medical situations. In the last 3 1/2 years, I’ve had symptoms mimicking a stroke and a heart attack, but when I get checked out – nothing but weird indigestion. Or an odd muscle spasm due to my back of all things. And I mean mimics CLASSIC UNDENIABLE SIGNS of these things – which is why it scares the shit out of me every time it happens and I go rushing to the ER with it.

But here’s the thing – in that 3 years, I’ve still had crazy things happen. Severely unlucky and unfortunate things despite my legal name change… because I could never get everything updated to 100% married name status. My medical records? Until I get back to the doctor and update my records – it’s all still in my maiden name. Since I got those cards in the mail though, the last scrap of my old name now gone for good, things have been working out quite well.

Now, I know it might just be all in my head, but I truly believe, given a long and thorough look at my family history, there might be a kernal of truth to this theory.

Anyway, my son’s nearly done with school for the year and then summer break!

I’ve got some books to read.

Life, Birthdays, and the MCU

I voted today. That’s all anyone needs to know about that. Now then!

So this last week was the start of NaNoWriMo – and I’ve yet been able to sit down and have the energy and time at the same time. The first week of November is always a busy one, so I’m going to marathon over the next few days to bring my word count up from 0 to at least something. This year is mainly my practice run anyway.

Additionally this week, my husband had his birthday! He’s 43 this year, and I made a very lovely from scratch dinner. Porterhouse steaks (beautifully marbled, roasted in the oven with just a hint of salt and pepper.) cooked alongside home made macaroni-n-cheese. And spinach. Usually I bake a birthday cake, but this year my health has been such that I just couldn’t do more than make him a nice meal. Let alone go out and buy a cake. Since my mother was working on his birthday, and we’ve only the one car, we stayed in and he played video games all evening while I tended to our son.

Doctor Strange also came out on his birthday, and we had planned originally to go out and see it opening day (but had the backup plan of dinner at home because at the time we didn’t know my mom’s work schedule for the next month). So instead, her first day off after his birthday, we went out for dinner and a movie. That was last night.

I’m not going to spoil the movie itself but there are 2 credit scenes. One mid-credits, and another after all the credits. One ties into the greater MCU via Thor, and the other is likely leading to a Doctor Strange sequel (gods I hope so because hot damn I need more Benedict Cumberbatch films in my life).

Anyway, after the movie, we went over to Hooters and had dinner. He loves hotwings, and I like their burgers. Though, our local Hooters… eh. The burger wasn’t as good as the others I’ve had at other locations (my favorite menu item is the Western Burger, so I tend to compare those more than other menu items). I think next time we go, I’ll order one of their chicken sandwiches. See how that goes. The night went super well, and we both really enjoyed the movie. Though the previews were just…. oh dear. One of them made me cry. IT was for a movie called “The Space Between Us”. The trailer for “Logan” played, which threw me for a loop because Marvel Studios and Fox rarely ever let previews for each others projects show before their films. (I think Deadpool’s success had something to do with this change in status quo.) It was sooooooo good. And I think the little girl he’s protecting might be X-23 (Wolverine’s replacement in the mainline Marvel comics. She’s a female clone of him). The Guardians of the Galaxy trailer was HILARIOUS as to be expected. I forget what other trailers showed as there were quite a lot of them.

As for non-plot related Doctor Strange stuff, now that I’ve seen the film, I think the actress they picked for The Ancient One actually works quite well. The thing about the MCU and the main Marvel Universe comics (Earth 616) is that they are two distinct Marvel Universes in the Multiverse. Marvel’s even given the MCU it’s own Multiverse designation. This means that it being a different universe, things happened differently. Instead of an Asian man (I do not know exactly what ethnic grouping The Ancient One in the comics is. Likely Chinese, but unsure. Hence the broader term of “Asian” here). Whereas in another timeline the The Ancient One may be Egyptian, or Native American, or yes – even a Celtic woman. Hell, in one universe Doctor Doom is the Sorcerer Supreme instead of Stephen Strange. That’s how vastly different things can be between Marvel universes.

The explanation given in the movie, while short and sweet, gives us more world building for this alternate timeline that makes up the MCU. And I for one love anything that expands on the MCU’s universe and it’s history.

But I bring this up only because again, after having seen the movie, and having brushed up on what Doctor Strange stuff I didn’t already know from the comics going in, everyone was so focused on a non-Asian woman being cast as The Ancient One, citing accuracy to the comics, and yet not a single person complained about Baron Mordo being cast as a black man. I mean if we really wanted to go for comic book accuracy, Baron Mordo is a white man. If we wanted to go for comic book accuracy,the most accurate film version of Nick Fury is actually, and I am loathe to say this, David Hassellhoff was the most accurate looking Nick Fury ever to grace our screens. And yet…. Nick Fury as we know and love him today is Samuel L. Jackson. – My point is, the MCU is an alternate universe, where things happened differently. As a result, there’s going to be changes to a lot of things. Changes to a lot of support and secondary characters. But despite these changes, the core elements of the stories themselves, the core elements that lead our heroes that we love to watch on the big screen, remain the same. Tony Stark was still fighting his way out of a terrorists cave, an arc reactor in his chest, using an Iron Man prototype. The only difference was which terrorist group snatched him up. Thor still was cast to earth, had to prove himself worthy of the hammer – he still had to fight against Loki, his adopted brother and thus become enemies and bitter rivals. Loki still fell from favor and became the bad guy. Bucky Barnes still became the Winter Soldier, but wasn’t Captain America’s teenaged sidekick first. And who the hell really knows how we went from a David Hassellhoff (though his film wasn’t part of the MCU, again he did play the character and is the most accurate looking actor to have done so.) looking Nick Fury to Samuel L. Jackson but, here we are.

And that’s the beauty of the MCU. The main, core characters, the IMPORTANT characters, remain the same. It’s the journey that led them down their heroic paths that’s changed. I mean, in the MCU there are no mutants! In the real world, it’s because of Fox owning the film rights to the X-Men characters and having copyrighted “mutants” for their films. So, we have Quicksilver in an X-men movie, and we’ve got Quicksilver in Avengers 2. The difference? One’s a mutant. The other is a result of experimentation (along with his sister, Scarlet Witch).

So, whenever someone begins to complain about who is cast for what, especially when it’s related to a Marvel film, I reserve any judgements on it until after I’ve watched it and if there’s a logical explanation for the change presented in the film, even if it’s a single throw away line, then hey. This is the canon of THIS universe, and is one of the many divergent points from which the MCU split from the main Marvel Earth 616 Universe.

And this post went into a direction I wasn’t expected it to. Anyway, that’s my ramble for this week or so. Time to get back to writing!

Article Share: 3 Things YOU Need To Know About Trigeminal Neuralgia – Daily Records

A while back, whilst working in Oregon, my husband, in agonizing pain, took himself to the emergency room at the local hospital. He had just suffered a severe burn, about 5 x3 inches, on his stomac… Source: 3 Things YOU Need To Know About Trigeminal Neuralgia – Daily Records

via 3 Things YOU Need To Know About Trigeminal Neuralgia – Daily Records — hankrules2011


I know at least 2 other people who read this blog that might be interested in this article. So this post is for you.

Poor blog, I have neglected you!

Long story short, there’s been a kerfuffle in Facebook Pagandom. And I’ve been keeping track. Oh boy have I been keeping track. So far there’s been…

A wannabe Rita Skeeter. A self-appointed Regent who’s actually looking like a super horrible cult leader. A FUCKING CULT FORMATION ATTEMPT. And some seriously sick people in the head trying to claim everyone who disagrees with them is a terrorist.

So yeah, a pretty typical week for pagans on Facebook.

Additionally, I can see what links/sites send people to this blog. So howdy ya’ll from Youtube land!

Plugging Along: Update

So I posted earlier in a post about life and stuff that my mom’s going to a work meeting. Well, I just got off the phone with her. Right now, she’s still got her job. So yay on that! Now suspicion for the stolen heater has expanded to include my mother’s boss as well as this other girl from first shift (I think it was first shift) who has been vocal at the job about having heating issues at her house. She has since stopped complaining, the time frame she stopped fitting in around the time the heater was stolen. They can’t prove it right now, of course, but they are having the maintenance man (who is an ex-cop) do some scare tactics.

Mom basically was like “I don’t know anything about this damn mess. I was off for 4 days and didn’t know it was missing until last night when I got the note to come to this damn meeting.” When the guy pressured her about the 5 days she worked preceding her time off, she told him up front that she doesn’t even know which key goes to the shed, let alone what locks it goes in, and how the hell would she have got it off the property when she can hardly breathe after lifting one of the residents (asthma). Quite frankly, she told him that 3 of the 5 days she worked, she just wanted to work and get out of there because it was the 2 year anniversary of her son’s sudden and violent death in a hit and run, and she didn’t know how she was going to be spending that day and night of the anniversary. The missing heater wasn’t even in her mind at the time. Guy was like “That’s your story? You’re sticking to it?” and she was like “Yes. I don’t know a damn thing about the heater. And if you show up at my house, you’d best have a warrant. I know my rights, sonny boy.” (He had threatened everyone with the “I know who did it, and I’ll come to your house and get it” bullshit, even though they all knew that he didn’t have a clue who did it.)

A New Years Eve MIRACLE!

So my most recent posts have been about a major problem in my life right now….

Our car. Which ever y time we turn around needs more work done.

Well, my last post on the subject was rather grim. At the time, even our mechanic was like “This make and model, this type of engine… for what it’ll take to fix ‘er up you’re better off spendin it on a new car.”

Well…. I don’t know how or why or what’s going on, and neither does my mechanic, but the literal fraction within a fraction of a fraction of probability that my car wasn’t damaged is…. well, it’s such a small chance that honestly I’d have a higher chance of winning the lottery and then being made president of the world.

But my car is fixed and hasn’t been driving this smooth since 2006. I swear to every god in existence that this is literally such an astronomical percentage of probability that it’s more of an infinite improbability. And that, my friends, is what happened today.

My mechanic finished fixing the car this morning and called me up. And I burst into tears because even he was perplexed as to how the timing of when the pistons and valves stopped moving could have been so perfect and in line with one another that literally the ONLY damage to my car was the timing belt itself. Not even a pulley out of place. Like fucking seriously. HOW DOES THIS SHIT EVEN KEEP HAPPENING TO MY CAR?!

Now if we can only afford to get that one broken out window replaced… but that’s another tale for another day.

I hope everyone’s evenings and nights are filled with joy and laughter as you bring in the new year. Me, I’m going to get the first good night’s sleep I’ve had for the last 3 weeks. I might wake up long enough to sip some sparkling juice before rolling back over to sleep.

The death of our car; the end of 2015.

So after my last post, I was cherrful, chipper. Christmas was so close I could taste it. We’d gotten our car repaired and back on the road…

Then Christmas Eve mom heads out to work and…. I get a call.

My mom’s alright, to anyone that suddenly thought the worst. She’s perfectly fine.

The car however, is not. Between when I picked the car up from the shop last Tuesday to Thursday night, everything was fine. The car was running great. No weirdness. No problems….

Then my mom turned onto a main road towards work not 2 blocks from our home, and suddenly all the lights came on then it just stopped dead in the middle of the road. She calls me. There’s people who saw it happen, and they stopped to help her get it out of the road. They help her try to jump the car 3 times before she calls me. It doesn’t work.

I’ve got my pants on, feet shoved into shoes and grabbed up my purse and phone. I’m out the door like a shot and running up hill to get to where she’s at.

I reach her and the disabled car. She’s sobbing. The people who have stopped just offered to take her to work so I can stay with the car. They come back, they wait with me for the tow truck I have coming through our roadside assistance program with State Farm. It’s going to be an hour wait. Turns out the people that stopped go to church with the guys who own the tow company. They call the guys, and they raise hell. I shouldn’t have to be waiting an hour on Christmas Eve, so close to my home, too.

The woman’s on the phone shaming them into coming out much sooner. The man has the hood up and is looking at my car. He’s a mechanic, but he’s not got any of his tools with him, so he can’t do a thorough job of looking it over. His best estimate, in the dark and the rain, is that the timing belt broke.

When I get home, I don’t want to think about it. I just crawl into bed. The car can’t get worked on till Monday anyway. Our mechanic, and pretty much every mechanic, is taking the Christmas Weekend off. So it sits in my driveway until yesterday.

I have it towed in to my mechanic. Over the weekend I’ve looked up what it means when the timing belt on a Hyundai Elantra breaks. It’s not good. We’re looking at a repair job in the thousands. Might as well buy a new car.

Mechanic confirms the timing belt is broken. But because we don’t have a free-wheeling engine, we’ve got an interference engine, there’s a 99.9% chance the engine is shot to hell. Bent valves and broken heads. We’re fucked. But can’t know that until the timing belt is replaced, because the parts that are potentially fucked can’t move, so can’t see any damage to them.

So just to put the belt in, it’s $180 labor. He made sure to show me the manual with the detailed explanation of the work involved. Hell, now I’m surprised he’s not charging more than that, to be honest. The part is gonna be another $60. And so here we sit, getting the belt replaced JUST so he can see what damage is done. We don’t have the money to fix it, we don’t have the money to buy another car. Even a piece of shit clunker. Not until probably March or April, when the taxes get done. If even then.

So here I sit, faced with that same old difficult decision of getting a job or sticking with the plan my doctors have me on so I can file for disability in June.

IF I can get a job, it has to be within walking distance of my home because there is NO public transit in my town, and I would not be able to afford a cab, since every penny would have to go into bills and such, with an added car bill and car insurance in the mix. The assistance we already get would be cut drastically, which would also mean more money out of pocket for food as well. My medicaid would be cut off, and I would lose eligibility for my disability. Further damage to my knees and back of the crippling variety would also be an issue, as I already need a cane most days to walk around my own home. Sitting or standing jobs, it won’t matter as my back pain only lets me sit for about an hour before my back locks in place. Standing for more than an hour at a time, or walking, and my knees give out. Hence why I’m trying to figure out a way to work from home. There’s the added issue of how much I might make in a month. If I make more than a certain amount, my husband’s disability check will get cut back. It’s literally the only stable income we have right now. SO if it gets cut, there’s the very real possibility of not having enough to cover bills.

However, IF I stick with the plan I have with my doctors, I’ll have to wait it out, and we may not be able to make it financially because even then, wait till June to do the paperwork, and there’s an unknown amount of time before approval or rejection, and then I start the process over again. In the meantime, bills.

The potential for catastrophic failure is high in both options. Because it all hinges on IF I can even find a job, and IF I even get hired, and IF I get approved for disability.

So right now, I’m waiting to hear back from my mechanic, clinging to the hope, the slimmest, barest possibility that when the pistons stopped, the valves were open and there is no further damage to the engine. If there IS damage, our options are to fix it for 1100-1200, replace it for 1500-1600 or get a new car…. and his initial recommendation is to just get a new car. So… Yeah. I’ll post an update on the car later after I’ve heard from him and have talked it over with my mother.