We’ve spent the last month making my house more user friendly for me. For instance, taking a shower in our bathtub shower combo can turn a good day into a bad one pretty quick. My hip only raises my foot 12 inches off the ground which isn’t always enough to step up and into the shower. So we built me a shower with a 4 inch step.
The layout of our bathroom doesn’t allow for a shower chair to be used in the upstairs main bathroom. It also doesn’t allow for grip bars to be put anywhere that will help me. My hips don’t allow me to scoot either, so I knew we were going to have to build a shower that I could use. Which has caused me to be broke.
My checks have been very small the last couple of months because it’s been so long since I released a book… any book. Like in March, I’m going to receive checks totalling a whole $700. Out of that I have to spend $500 on medications and try to make a car payment on a car I can no longer drive but is at least somewhat comfortable for me to ride in. Which is why I stress out about needing to write and publish a book all the time. Picking up new readers always helps, but book releases are where I make most of my money, unless I can get a BookBub advert run.
Thankfully I did get one and the results have been great. In April I might be able to catch up on my bills because I am overdue on everything. It’s hard to pay bills with $200 or so left after medications. I talk a lot about the pain, but not the cost of having a chronic illness or disease. It is not cheap. My private insurance is astronomically high. My husband pays that and we have seen an overall decrease in money coming into the household because in a twist of fate, the secretary at his work has CRPS in her neck. That means two people on their small 100 people or less group plan has this rare neurological disorder. It costs health insurance companies approximately $60,000 in a year to treat CRPS and they aren’t making $120,000 off our group plan even if several people on it never go to the doctor and we all have copays and high out of pockets and deductibles.
And I was close to meeting our deductible at the end of December, but then insurance told us that it was starting over with the new calendar year. We had to change providers in November 2017 because our old insurance company dropped us when I got diagnosed with CRPS because they weren’t shelling out the money for two of us to have it and get treatment. Now I have to try and come up with another $2,500 out of pocket to meet my deductible. That means this small paychecks from where I haven’t published a book are killing me. I am more stressed about money now than I ever have been and on top of it we are having to make my house for user friendly for me and my CRPS. This includes the new shower, grab bars everywhere, because as embarrassing as it is, especially first thing in the morning, there are times I sit down on the toilet and can’t get back up.
This meant we couldn’t buy the plastic insert shower. The seats were all too short. They were 16 inches and sometimes I can’t get my hip to let me down to 16 inches and if I do I can’t get back up, same problem as the toilets. Plus with my swollen hip and thigh on the right side, the seats weren’t always wide enough. I needed them to be about 18 inches wide for me to sit comfortably on them and get all my swollen body on it. Donations from friends, family, and readers made it possible for me to build my shower on my tiny paychecks. I can’t think you enough for that. My new goal is new toilets and grab bars.
Gab bars are cheap, but since I’m behind on just about every bill I have, it’s hard to spend the extra $30 or $40 on them. Plus they make taller toilets. I know that sounds weird, but they do. Right now we have standard height toilets, but in our old place we had to replace one of the toilets and the toilet we replaced it with was taller than the standard toilet by an inch or so. It was also a little wider, which would be good since I have one thigh that is an extra, extra large. I’ve always had large thighs. Even when I was tiny, and in high school I wore a size 8 pant and medium top. I had large thighs even then. My jeans always gave out at the knees and the inner seam at my thighs before anywhere else. Have one that is permanently swollen and discolored and it is discolored, was just something I didn’t need. So my next goal is new toilets, toilets that are a little taller than standard and grab bars. I’ve been saving all my change (pennies, nickles, dimes, quarters, etc) from buying stuff for my shower and I’m hoping I can get the shower rod, shower liner, and maybe a few grab bars bought with my change.
And I got the awesome news from a disability lawyer I talked to that simply because I do make at least some money every month off book royalties chances of my getting even partial disability is slim to none. So now I am looking into supplemental plans for my private insurance. Unfortunately, I haven’t found one that is affordable for me. I’ve also been looking into HSA’s but again, finding one I can afford is a problem. They all want me to put in a set amount of money every month and well, sometimes I just don’t have that money.
My biggest dread about finishing Demonic Dreams is that I’m going to have to pay my editor or hope she let’s me give her an IOU, which is unfair to her. I had the same problem with Dysfunctional Mob, not the editor so much, but the cover artist. I have the cover for Demonic Dreams, I do not have the cover for Dysfunctional Mob and I haven’t had the money to buy it. Okay, enough of that.
Big thanks to my cousin Melinda and her husband Tony and my husband J for doing all the back breaking labor of laying the tiles in my new shower, as well as building walls, the seat, grouting it, figuring out how to hang the shower faucet. All that fun stuff. The grout is currently setting up and it should be usable in a few days. Which would be awesome because right now I will go a week without showering just so I don’t accidentally kick the side of the tub wall getting in or getting out of the shower.
And all this stress is bringing back my cold I think. I woke up congested today and with a slight earache and sinus headache. Anyway, this is what your wonderful and generous donations went to pay for when I didn’t have to use it to buy my Lyrica. Eventually I’ll post a thank you list.