Archive of ‘Bleah’ category

I Love Cable Companies

directtvI had to call DirecTV today. It was an EASY phone call compared to what it usually. And I still wanted to rip my hair out by the end. I thought I’d go ahead and transcribe that phone call for you, using only the dialogue from my side of the conversation. (If you see a number, it’s the number I’m dialing on my phone.)

 

1-888-779-4388
2
<pause>
1
<pause>
4
<pause>
0
0
0
0

Representative.
Represen.
Representative.
Technical support.
Picture.
Picture.
No. No. Picture.
What?
Representative.
<pause>
Technical support.
No.
Representative.
<pause>

0
0
0
0

Representative.
Technical support.
Yes.
Finally, thank God.
Hi. Yes.
Erin.
Yes, that’s correct.
Ok, hi Margo.
No, I don’t have a snowy screen.
Well, that’s not correct.
Ok.
The television in the bedroom is freezing and the guide won’t come up.
No. That one’s fine.
About 2 days.
No, it just freezes.
Freezes.
Nope. Just freezes.
Yes. Freezes.
Right.
It freezes.
Right.
Yes, I’ll wait.

Hi.
Ok if I could just have someone come out to take a look at it…
Yes, I am.
Ok. Yes, I pressed it.
Ok.
Ok.
Ok.
It says searching. 27%.
Ok.
<pause>
No I don’t watch that American Horror Story.
Uh huh.
Yeah, it won a lot of awards.
Oh, really. Neat.
Uh huh.
Interesting.
Ok my TV says 100% now.
Yes, I have my password.
Ok, one second.
<pause>
No, I’m still entering it.
<pause>
Hold on one minute, I’m still entering it.
<pause>
I didn’t watch any episodes of American Horror Story.
<pause>
Ok, it’s in.
It says it connected.
The screen is still frozen though.
Press the menu again? Same one?
Ok.
Ok.
Ok.
Ok.
Now it says code 67-342-99.
No, 99.
Same menu? Ok.
Ok.
Ok.
Ok, now it says less than 2 minutes.
<pause>
Super heroes?
No.
I don’t really watch Gotham.
Nope. Never watched The Flash.
Ummm. I don’t know? Marvel comics?
Oh. Ok. Yeah.
Batman, right.
Interesting. Ok it says it’s done.
In the other room? Yes, I can check it.
Yeah, I turned it on.
Ok, it’s on. It seems like it’s working now. Thank you.
No, I don’t need…
Ok, thanks.
No, we don’t want HBO.
Because we don’t want to pay for it.
Yes, we have parties.
No, we don’t watch movies at parties.
I don’t want HBO.
Ok, thanks.
No, even if you throw in Stars, I don’t want it. Thanks anyway.
Have a great…
I don’t really have time for a survey.
Thanks, have a great…
Ok. Yeah. I’ll check out “Gotham.”
Have a great… <click>

I Need to Finish My Book

d474235d6d865349ab4fdaf443aacce1I need to finish my book. I need to finish my book. I need to finish my book.

I started writing a book about 2 years ago with an editor from my previous company (a company that wrote books). It was an awesome experience, as my editor and I were super close friends, and every conversation centered around another chapter of the book. (The whole process was free for me because I worked for them, so I was footloose and fancy free.) I went back in time for each chapter, remembering specific details I wouldn’t have remembered were I not talking it out with someone who was then saying, “Oooo. Woooow. Tell me more about that part.” As new parts of the story came out, I began to see patterns in my life at the time, behaviors that were desperately trying to match the life I wanted instead of the one I had. And as my marriage fell apart, my work life fell apart, I found myself left with 17 of 20 chapters written, 3 just dangling out in space waiting for their day at the party.

I need to finish my book. I need to finish my book. I need to finish my book.

So, obviously one part of the block is that I now have pretty solid 20/20 vision of my marriage from the hindsight perspective, and I know that more of those realizations are going to pop up for me if I keep writing about the past. With each part of the story I retell I know I will cringe realizing what was happening right in front of me. I can’t believe how many times I tried to be the perfect wife, preggo, and mother in front of other people. If only I knew better at the time. I won’t ever, can’t ever, finish the book without the knowledge I have now about myself and others. It’s un-unknowable.
I’m a person who prefers the head-in-the-sand way of life until a land mine blows my head off and I physically forced to move (and grow a new head).

I need to finish my book. I need to finish my book. I need to finish my book.

People used to tell me all the time I need to write a book. And even now, a few times a week, someone suggests it. The good part of working for a book-writing company was that I had easy access to proofreaders, formatters, and designers. People I worked with knew how to publish books, they knew how to get books out into the marketplace and available for the general public to buy.
I don’t know how to do any of that stuff.
And I know, I know, that if I just finish the book all of those things will fall right into place as they always do and I won’t have to worry about spending an arm and a leg to get the damn thing printed because some saving grace will come along and help me. But ain’t no saving grace waiting in the wings for a book that isn’t even written yet.

I need to finish my book. I need to finish my book. I need to finish my book.

So I guess my point is: I need to finish my book. I need to create a timeline for myself, deadlines, hold myself accountable, get my ass where my heart wants to be (as Steven Pressfield, author of The War of Art, said). I love to do so many things so it’s hard to just pick one during the day. But man oh man…I really want to write books. I’m 33 now. I should do the stuff I want to do. Or at least start. Otherwise I’ll look back in 10 years and say, “I’m 43 now. I should do the stuff I want to do. But I sure wish I’d started 10 year ago.”

Anyway. I need to finish my book.

An Effective Use of My Time

DISCLAIMER: This post is ONE person’s experience. Mine. It is not your experience. It is not even necessarily an EDUCATED experience. It’s not political and it doesn’t include opinions. This is about AN experience I had today.

There. Glad we got that out of the way.

I’ve been paying out of pocket for the last 2 months for my orthopedic surgeon, and it’s about $100/month for my visits and x-rays. This is because most of it was covered under the initial expense of the surgery with my old insurance plan. I was covered by my ex-husband (THANKFULLY!) when I broke my leg. This is a small miracle considering my medical bills were over $150,000.

Upon learning of another friend applying for Medicaid, I thought my income would probably qualify me for help. I won’t go into specifics about the amount of money I make, but let’s say I know how to budget myself VERY well and I’m incredibly lucky to have friends who look out for me a Bear who treats me…real nice.
I applied for Medicaid and somehow was not qualified. Or at least I don’t think I’m qualified. The Medicaid website shows my application is still processing but the HealthCare Marketplace shows I was denied.
So, I decided to try and apply for straight health insurance today.

It took me 20 minutes and a phone call to log into the damn HealthCare Marketplace system because they changed all the passwords due to a security breach. The link they were emailing me with my new password wasn’t working. It took the agent on the phone resetting my account, which she did and was very nice about it, in order to get me to my application. The lady on the phone explained that people can only apply for the new health care system during certain periods of time, and we are currently outside of the time frame. However, because I was recently divorced and lost my health insurance through marriage, I could apply for “special circumstances.” This would allow me to then apply for health insurance before the next time frame starting on Novemebr 1.
Once I got into the system, it took me in a fun little circle. First I started applying for special circumstances. Then I was prompted to log-in again (maybe for security, like eBay or Amazon). The log-in took me back to the home screen, where I then began trying to apply for special circumstances again…
This went on for about three go-rounds before I called back for more help.
A gentleman explained to me how to apply for special circumstances again. I began the process while on the phone with him and as soon as I thought that I had it, I let him go.

Then my computer went to a blank screen. Never to return. No matter how many times I re-opened the screen and tried to log back into the Marketplace, blank screen.

 

THEN I went to the Blue Cross and Blue Shield website in hopes that I could get private insurance, which promptly took me BACK into the HealthCare Marketplace I was trying to access moments earlier. I found a single, solitary plan I could “afford.” (I budget myself incredibly well, but I really have very little leftover each month for “fun extras” like mandatory health insurance.) So I clicked on it only to learn that the plan would not cover my orthopedic surgeon, who I have to continue seeing once a month through the rest of the year to ensure my bone heals. This means I will be paying out of pocket for my surgeon (and that out-of-pocket money goes towards the mere $6,000 deductible associated with the plan) plus $250/month for health insurance coverage. The coverage literally “covers” nothing before I pay off the deductible. So I pay $250/month to be given the HONOR of paying $6,000 before anything else is covered. That’s $9,000 a year for those math junkies out there.
Can’t swing that.
Then I saw a teeny, tiny button on the Blue Cross and Blue Shield website offering a government subsidy for health care. I clicked it and was taken to a “find out if you qualify” screen. I entered my income, child support, age, and sex. I QUALIFIED! HUZZAH! Nearly 70% of my healthcare costs would be COVERED!!! All I have to do is click here…click…click here…click…where do I click?
Oh I don’t click anywhere because the only thing this particular nifty little webpage does is tell you whether or not you qualify for government subsidy not how to apply for it and as it turns out there’s no fucking way to apply for it.
Let me back up. I literally make my living on the internet. I am well-versed in navigating difficult websites and when I don’t understand something, I know how to google it until I figure it out. Have you ever read a book with a dictionary sitting next to you because you have to stop every 10 lines to look something up? It was like that. Except the dictionary didn’t have any of the words from the book.
Then my phone started ringing. I currently have 15 missed calls from agents across the country trying to “help me” with my health insurance. I also have 4 emails from “Peter” who is excited to help me get health insurance. Maybe they’re all really nice people who just want to help me? I don’t know. Mama always taught me if an unknown number calls during dinner time, they’re selling something.
Finally, I decided I simply can’t afford health insurance. I will just pay for my medical needs out of pocket as I need to. EXCEPT THAT THEN!!! Then I learned that I am actually going to be PENALIZED for not having health insurance. My taxes will reflect a penalty charge for every month that I’m not covered. And what’s the penalty charge amount?
Your guess is as good as mine.
The figures I found ranged from $0 based on income, to $95/person per month, to a flat $3000. I still have no idea how to figure out which one was right.
In the end, Bear quite unceremoniously proposed to me in the kitchen with a piece of pizza just so I could get healthcare coverage. This may literally be my only option.
In the end, a great old friend who happens to work in healthcare in DC gave me some pertinent phone numbers and websites to begin again tomorrow, and also some helpful details that will make dealing with this all over again tomorrow a little bit easier. Here are the phone numbers and websites he gave to me in case you can use them:
Special Enrollment Period Info
HealthCare Marketplace: 1-800-318-2596
Local Groups Who Can Answer Questions Face to Face: https://localhelp.healthcare.gov/

 

Jillie and the Tonsils

I ran (hobbled awkwardly) to pick up the angriest child on the planet before I remembered I have a broken leg and the risk of dropping him on my way to the chair next to his post-op bed was too high. It did not pass The Dateline Test. (In case you never read The Dateline Test, it’s a post from my first blog site.) Luckily, the nurse noticed I wasn’t “all there” (I MEAN THE LEG, SMART ASS) and offered to pick him up and put him in my lap.
I immediately began apologizing to him. “Honey, I’m so sorry. Mommy is here. Mommy is not going to leave you and she is so, so very sorry…”
Sensing that my apologies were an admission of guilt, he immediately began to squirm from my arms and repeat the words every mother resents with her entire soul: “I want Daaaaaddy. I want Daaaaaaaaaddy.”
I looked at Abe’s dad. “He wants you. Take him.”
He gently took him from my arms and sat down in the chair. Just then, the post-op nurse approached us.
“Hi there! I’m Jillie and I’ve got some paperwork to go over with you!”
“Ok,” I think I said out loud but might not have because I was just staring at my child while my heart melted from the nuclear heat of guilt.
“So, first things first is it’s very important for him to drink. He needs to drink lots of fluids, as much as you can get into him…”
“Yes,” I answered, as if she’d asked a question.
“Now, does he want some juice or something now?” She asked me this and I looked around to see if there was some reason she would think I had any idea what my high three-year-old wanted in that moment.
“I don’t know. Abe, do you want to try some apple juice?”
“Mmmmmmmm,” he angrily growled at me.
“He doesn’t seem to want any.”
“Well, it’s really important that he drink fluids,” she said as she wandered away as though someone had called her name…except no one did.
Regardless, she returned a few moments later with a small can of apple juice. I did not have the energy to address this.
“I need to go ahead and take his IV out of his hand there…”she said, handing me the apple juice.
Yeah. That’s right. They put the IV in his hand. This, to me, was the work of a person who has never encountered a child before. The FIRST thing he’s going to do when he stops being so very, very high and angry is try and rip it out. Jillie the Nurse began removing the tape around Abe’s IV and Abe (pardon my french) LOST. HIS. SHIT. He all but ripped it out himself, causing blood to rapidly run down his hand which freaked him out to hell, breathing heavy and trying to yell causing him to exhale blood out his nose, which stained his shirt and caused him to freak out even harder.
Jillie had zero back-up plan for this situation. It was her first encounter with a three-year-old, too. She just kind of stared at Abe while Abe’s dad tried to calm him down.
“Do you have a bandaid?!” I asked in a panic.
“Ummm….yes.” She looked around and handed Abe’s dad a piece of gauze to hold on his bleeding hand and then wandered away.
I started rummaging through boxes and drawers near the little post-op station, searching for a bandaid or even some medical tape while Jillie did…whatever it was she did when she disappeared.
True to form, she returned several moments later with something that didn’t really appear to be a bandaid; rather a square sticker with Spongebob on it, which she then attempted to stick onto the gauze to keep it on his bleeding hand…while he flailed and tried to cry but couldn’t make sound either because it hurt too much or because he was too high to find his own voice box.

This all seemed to happen in slow motion because I had enough time to think in my head, “How am I witnessing a grown medical professional make less sense in a surgery center than I do, a concerned mother with zero medical experience…”

Jillie eventually finished doing the thing she was doing that wasn’t helping and began handing me papers to sign. “I don’t know if you keep the yellow copy or the white copy…hang on…” and she wandered off again.
This is when I wanted to scream: ARE YOU NEW HERE? TO THIS PLACE? AND TO MEDICINE? AND TO LIFE?
She returned several moments later and proudly announced, “White. You keep white.”
Can I just mention to you that Jillie wasn’t young. She was a middle-aged woman who should have had enough life experience to know that if she didn’t know what she was doing in the situation, she still should have been faking it.

photo (3)Within about 30 minutes we were given the green light to take Abraham home (the perks of having the surgery done at a surgery center vs. a hospital). His daddy carried him outside while I ran (hobbled awkwardly) to get the car. After a short drive, we got him back to my house and onto the couch and within seconds, he was asleep.

And that is when the hell that was my life for a week began.

Isn’t this a fun blog series?

Because You Had a Bad Day

04-alexanderToday I stayed in bed most of the day. I didn’t want to get up and do anything. Lots of life circumstances, including my son being on a trip with his daddy and finishing my work early today, left me feeling kinda worthless and sad. And then I began beating myself up for feeling sad. So…downhill from there.

I think it’s important to talk about self-worth, and be honest about the fact that there are huge chunks of time during which I don’t have any. I hear so often that people are proud of me for my positivity and the way I handle things, and I can honestly say that I am more often than not a positive person. But I have more than enough of my share of the voices in my head that scream, “I’m not enough. I’m not worthy. I’m just a big fake. And everyone knows it.”

I tend to do things all at once. If I’m going to clean the house, I will spend 8 hours cleaning the whole thing all at once. I run all my errands for the whole week in one day. I also experience fast and strong periods of time when my self-esteem tanks. It’s usually triggered by one simple thing and I can almost watch myself from afar spiral down into despair. I’m improving on these experiences; they’re not happening as often or lasting as long. But they still happen, and I still struggle. I can easily spend an entire day in bed wondering why I even concern myself with trying to be a good and productive person because “there’s no point.”
Life probably isn’t meant to be one long Self-Worth Party. It’s natural to have highs and lows. But when I read other people’s blogs or articles about choosing to live a conscious and positive life, I sometimes feel like I’m weird or wrong for not feeling that way ALL of the time. I feel embarrassed that I have these days and I really want someone else to say, “Hey! No sugar-coating, no fixing it, no 5-step plan to un-spiraling a bad day. Some days are just bad. And I have them, too. Get up and try again tomorrow.
I have bad days. I think about giving up on all my dreams, I assume everyone hates me, I figure all this knowledge I have is useless. I usually eat a lot of chips and drink a lot of coffee. I listen to the words, “Never good enough” repeat over and over again in my head. I rarely leave the house.
I also always come out of these bad days thanks to a friend, a funny TV show, or a good night’s sleep. And now that I know I can always come out of them, the experience of a really bad day is not as scary when the crash ensues. Eventually I will be able to get up and keep walking. I will let go of the thing or things that started my crash and refocus on what lifts me up, what brings me joy.
But my point is that I want you to know if you have those days, they’re normal. If they last more than a day or two, you ought to find some help, but having an hour or a day here and there wherein you feel helpless and hopeless happens to all of us. Being a strong, positive, conscientious person doesn’t mean it’s always sunshine and roses. Life WILL come along and smack you in the face (or leg) eventually and you won’t even see it coming. The important thing is remembering these days do end.
Today, an ex-client of mind (who happens to be a really good friend) sent me a note telling me she thinks I’m great. It was that one little comment she made that suddenly began turning my day around for me. I’m so grateful she did that, and it made me want to reach out and do it for someone else because you simply can’t know when someone is sliding down the slip’n’slide of sadness. So in case it’s you, bad days are normal. Feeling zero self-worth for a minute is normal. Sadness is normal. Wanting to wallow around in it is normal. It’s ok. And if you can’t snap yourself out of it, reach out and ask someone to help you. Reach out and ask me to help you.
I will.

1 4 5 6