29 February 2012

On Alert

It's P+16.

And no, I will not POAS.

Even if you beg, threaten or ask nicely.

All of you know what happens to an IF girl when she POAS.

I thought that after last month's P+17/CD1 drama that it wouldn't be as stressful.

I am trying not to analyze every single symptom (are my boobs more sore today, or are they less sore?) and going to the bathroom is ridiculously stressful.

Oh prayer buddy, I am offering all of this stress for you!

25 February 2012

Gratitude & A Clarification

Again, I have to thank you all for your kind words and support. I have been a lot better emotionally and I'm feeling a lot more in control of the situation.

We had to take a break from dealing with the billing department at Creighton. The extra charges have nothing to do with PPVI or Dr. Hilgers, the additional costs are all from my hospital stay. We will be asking Creighton for an itemized bill and for some more leniency with the crazy cost they are trying to saddle us with. I hope and pray that there will be more "discounts" applied to our account.

Our financial planner has figured out a very easy plan for us to free up some cash to pay for the extra charges. We were contributing quite a substantial amount to a tax-free account to help save up for our next home, but we are going to suspend those contributions until our bill is paid up. We can't afford to move, not just because of my crazy medical bills, but also real estate is nuts right now in our neighbourhood. It truly was a blessing that we didn't get that house last spring! Then again, if we got that house, I wouldn't have even considered going to Omaha.

I'm still trying to wrap my head around owing so much more than we were told. I wish that this experience hasn't soured my memory of my treatment. I do know that if we knew the entire financial picture that I wouldn't have gone to Omaha. I know that hindsight is 20/20, but I do feel immense guilt for the extra financial burden.

To top it off, Mr. JB's brother sent him a lengthy e-mail saying that we have to stop being so reckless with our spending. Yes, he was kicking us both (in steel-toed boots) while we were down. The last thing we are is wasteful, he seems to forget that we both earn a very good wage and that life is not cheap. In his message he made it sound like we were throwing money away. Yes, if I was doing that I wouldn't be driving an eight year old car, nor would I be clipping coupons. The last time he tried to criticize our marriage he said that I had a compulsive shopping problem. Again, he couldn't be more far off. Yes, I do like to get a good deal, but I'm not going into hock when I get a new sweater or a new pair of shoes (I can count on one hand how many items I have in my closet that I have paid full price).

Again, I'm feeling like I'm being punished for something. I wish I knew what it was, but I can't help but wonder what I could've done to deserve what is happening.

Last night we attended mass and the Stations of the Cross. Our wonderful pastor asked those in attendance to follow him around the church and he asked those around him to help read the passages. The one that he asked me to read was very fitting:

Station Seven: Jesus Falls Again
Christ speaks:
This seventh step, my other self,
is one that tests your will.
From this fall learn to perservere
in doing good.

The time will come
when all your efforts seem to fail
and you will think,
"I can't go on."

Then turn to me,
my heavy-laden one,
and I will give you rest.

Trust me and carry on.

I reply:
Give me your courage, Lord.
When failure presses heavily on me
and I am desolate,
stretch out your hand
to lift me up.

I know I must not cease,
but persevere in doing good.

But help me, Lord.
Alone there's nothing I can do.
With you, I can do anything you ask.

I will.

Prayer buddy, you are getting so many prayers your way. I decided to offer up all of my anxiety for this situation! I hope that there is something fruitful that we can both benefit from through this suffering! 

22 February 2012

Starting Lent Off with a Bang

First off, thank you all for your kind words and prayers.

The one word I have been feeling the past week and a half is overwhelmed. If there was a state higher than overwhelmed, then I would be that.

It has been a tough time in the JellyBelly household.

It started with Mr. JB finding out that he could possibly lose three days pay from my surgeries. He had a letter for ten days, but he had to take an extra week because of my second-look laparatomy. Our school board has implemented a new absence system and they are really cracking down. He spoke to his old and current administrators and they were very helpful, but he had to speak to the superintendent of human resources so he could review his file. He spoke to him yesterday and he thinks that he was sympathetic to our situation. Mr. JB does not take days off, except to attend appointments with me or because he is too sick to go in. Please pray that he doesn't lose the three days pay, it comes out to be quite a substantial amount and we can't afford it at all.

On top of the stress of Mr. JB's situation and my crazy class I had to pay an additional $1600 in taxes for 2010. I was warned by my boss at the Ministry of Ed. that there was a possibility that I would have to pay back for my income taxes, and I did pay $700 when I filed. The reassessment was a total shock and we had to dip into money that was earmarked for my medical bills in Omaha.

Which brings me to the biggest surprise of the day: We went to an accountant to help us with out taxes this year because of all of my medical bills and we also wanted to know how much we had to buy in RRSP's (they're the equivalent of 401K's) to offset having to pay income tax. The accountant needs an invoice stating how much money we paid to the hospital and PPVI.

Mr. JB got home first and he was able to leave a message at PPVI and he was lucky enough to speak to someone in billing at Creighton. We thought that it would be a straightforward conversation, but after an hour and a half and speaking to three different people we found out that we owe A LOT more than we had been told when we left Omaha.

Health care bills are totally new to us. When I get sick I show the doctor or hospital my health card and I don't see any money change hands. We got the unfortunate surprise that our payment to Dr. Hilgers was a lot more than estimated (like $9 000 more), but we thought that we had a clear idea of how much we owed the hospital.

My were we wrong.

We found out tonight that we owe the hospital $18 000.

Yes, that is after already paying over $22 000.

Out of our own pocket.

Needless to say, we felt sick. We both cried and I spent a good half hour in the fetal position sobbing.

We have set up a payment plan that is going to force us to tighten our purse strings, but I am beside myself.

Mr. JB spoke to our financial planner and he assured him that there is a way to pay for this. We are also gainfully employed and own a house and our cars, so we won't qualify for financial aid, we did get the paperwork, but we won't qualify, I'm sure.

I feel so much guilt for having my surgery. Mr. JB assures me that it was for the best since I am feeling so much better physically, but if my stupid body wasn't so broken we wouldn't have had to incur all this debt.

I feel like God is punishing me for something, and I have no idea what it is. I've tried so hard to follow the rules and to follow His will, but the both of us feel so abandoned right now. Nothing seems to be going right.

So, I've had so much to offer up for my Prayer Buddy. As we spoke to the various people on the phone this evening I offered so many prayers for you.

I really hope that there's a light at the end of this tunnel.

I don't know how much more I can take.

16 February 2012

Prayers Please

I feel like I'm under attack.

I feel so overwhelmed and it seems like everything is going wrong right now.

I'm sorry for being so vague, but I need prayers friends.


11 February 2012

At War

I've had so many ideas to blog about, but I haven't been able to pin down one idea.

Until today.

I realized this morning, as I was lazily reading the Saturday morning paper and enjoying my gluten-free organic chicken sausages, that I've been at war.

With my body.

It was so much easier while I was recovering from my surgery. I knew that I needed rest and that I had strict limitations. Now that I'm three months post-op I feel mostly better, but I still feel so limited.

Listen, I knew before my surgeries that I wasn't going to bounce back instantaneously -- I know that a level one yoga class is still too challenging and that I still need to rest (we don't even need to mention the effect that my crazy class has had on my mental state!).

But it's so much harder than I thought it was going to be.

When I returned to my yoga practice it was really hard, mentally and physically. I'm used to being physically fit and it's hard when I can't do what used to be easy. I've been tempted to go on a really good power walk, but when I get home from school I am so spent from dealing with my students that I can barely get off the couch.

I've tried so hard to stop the negative internal dialogue, particularly the thoughts that I'm going to become fat* and even lazier. But I have to admit that when I fit into my favourite leggings the other day I felt a strange sense of accomplishment (I know it's just the swelling going down, I also felt so happy to button up my skinny jeans yesterday -- small victories, right?).

The war with my body has had so many different chapters. I started exercising because I had a poor self-image. I continued exercising because it helped when I was clinically depressed. I ramped up my yoga practice when I read that it would help with fertility and I've continued because I fell in love with how strong I felt after a good class.

I miss having the ninety minutes of peace that a class would bring me. I miss the endorphin high and the challenge. I miss sweating.

I've thought more than once that if I had to be IF for any longer it would be so nice to be completely healed so I could at least let my frustrations out in a class!

I feel like so many things are coming to a head in my life. I'm fed up with my body. I'm fed up with my class. And most of all, I'm fed up with being IF.

I want my body to be normal.

Is this too much to ask?

*Yes, I know that this is all in my head. Having a poor self-image is tough, I know.