Nicholes Slices Of Life,7

15 03 2009

Naturally, I’ve been concerned about Jim’s blood leak.  However, the Cardiac MRI that he had at Vanderbilt this past week didn’t give any new information.  So we assume that it is a slow leak or nothing to worry about.  There was blood that showed up on the ECHO test he had the week before.  I’ve calmed down quite a bit.  People have been praying for our family.  I can feel it.  My sinus condition has been awful lately and it is just about healed for now.  What a relief.  I couldn’t go even 15 minutes without blowing my nose.  I have a new respect for people who suffer with sinus conditions.  This is my first big battle with a sinus infection.  I will never make light of that condition again.

So where do we go now with Jim’s aorta condition?  First of all, he will be officially dismissed from his work on April the 12th.  When that happens –his health insurance ends unless we pay for COBRA.   Jim was accepted into the veteran’s health program in January.  I’ve just now been able to get him an appointment in Nashville  as they have been very backlogged.  Jim will be able to get his medications and medical checkups at a very small expense to us.  However, I’m concerned about his not having any other kind of medical insurance just in case he has another one of his emergencies.  An ambulance ride from our house to the hospital is about $700.00 and we just live a mile from the hospital.  Those are the kinds of costs that I wouldn’t have insurance for.  I have lots of thinking to do before April 12. 

I know we are blessed in many ways.  Jim has enjoyed short term disability for almost six months now.  And the paper work has been completed and approved for long term disability.  Jim was reading that only 1/3 of all American companies offer long term disability.  We are so thankful that he will be getting this income.  The long term disability company also has a company they hire to fight for people like Jim to get their social security disability.  When that day comes that Jim gets his social security disability–he will still get some income from the long term disability.  Between the two means–he will get 60% of the pay he had at his job.

Most people couldn’t live off of 60% of their pay.  However, we started cutting back on our living expenses about 8 years ago.  Our home is almost paid for and we have a nice vehicle– a 2002 Chevrolet Blazer that is paid for.  I work as a subsitute teacher to fill in the cracks.  And we’ve had quite a few cracks since Thanksgiving of 2008.  Our dryer went out a few days before Thanksgiving.  Out hot water heater went out during the ice storm in January and our washer went out in early February.  These are the kinds of things that happen to all us.  Dave Ramsey loves  to say that Murphy of Murphy’s law has a spare bedroom in each of our homes. 

Our savings has almost been depleted with Jim ‘s medical needs and all of things that have broken down in our home.  But through sub teaching I hope to build our savings up once again.  Everyone  should have a savings plan–especially in the kind of economic times we live in. 

So what is positive around our household?  I’m still in love with my husband of almost 35 years.  He is more precious to me than ever.  I cherish each moment I spend with him.  Moreover, we have four wonderful adult children who are very caring towards us.  Lastly, we love our grandsons a great deal.  I took a day off from teaching to enjoy “Grandparents Day” at their private Christian school.  It was a wonderful morning.  All the classes sang for us.  Many of the older high school students played piano , flute and violin solos.  It is always a big event each March at their school.

As an Orthodox Christian–I believe God is in control of our lives.  I pray and read the scriptures each day for comfort.  Our Divine Liturgy on Sundays is always a highlight in my life.  We are in Lent season and this is the second Sunday of Great Lent.  Great Lent is a time to focus more on prayer, fasting and giving alms.  I truly want to focus on helping others more.  At our church we are collecting supplies for health kits that will go to people in times of disaster.  We are collecting handtowels, washrags, toothbrushes, bandaids, bars of soap and a few other things to go in each kit. We  will meet sometime towards the end of Lent and package the bags up.  Then we will send them to the Orthodox Mission Center for them to distribute around the world.  I’m excited about this project.

Each Sunday afternoon I begin wondering where I will be as a substitute teacher during the week.  There is always a bit of anxiety.  But I will make it through.  Hopefully, I will report on the upcoming week next Sunday.

God bless each of you!

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