Category Archives: diabetic

[cranky] I’m a homeless squatter

eight.

Today marks eight weeks since my father threw me out of the house. Simple version, we had a misunderstanding over what was my money and what was his after State Farm settled the car claim from my February wreck. (Truck ran a red light on my way to work, shattered the driver’s side window with my head, totaled Camry, concussion, still have horrible left-side-only headaches.)

I’ve been lucky enough to stay at my boyfriend’s place (which is half of a mini-trailer), but his landlord figured it out two weeks ago. So in addition to never being there without him (I’m stuck at the restaurant/bar he manages unless I can make $0 plans with friends, or unless I’m in class) my car isn’t allowed to be there. And so the car lives at the bar now too. The car that previously belonged to my father, that he gave me (oh wait, just kidding, no gifts) when he got a newer car in March, is never with me. And for someone living out of their car, not having your car with you is actually really upsetting.

My boyfriend pays rent weekly, making it harder to save up money. He is the manager at a mom and pop type restaurant, not a chain, so he maxed out his hourly pay rate years ago and gets no benefits. He has been living with one of his good friends, but has a sort of separate bedroom in a mini-trailer in the backyard. It’s been alright, especially when we were both working all the time; but now that my work season is over and I’m not hearing back from job applications it feels unbearably small. I’ve got a reusable grocery bag of clothes and a beer box full of Etsy supplies for my online shop…. and somehow they’ve taken over the whole place. Also, a lovely summertime perk is the plethora of enormous water bugs (yes, there is a difference between a roach and a water bug, and the water bugs are usually 2″-4″ and fly. Also, water bugs come regardless of how clean or dirty your place is.) Last night I think we killed five in the first hour we got back to the bedroom.

and then shit happened

knock me over.

I was knocked on my ass February 1st. State Farm has reimbursed me nothing for my doctor bills (ER, family doctor, chiropractor, neurologist, several x-rays) and is currently ignoring me, so I’ve got to get an attorney. The bills that I’ve paid total definitely over a thousand bucks now, and I’ve got an ever-growing stack of bills from the mail. (I made a lovely $12 thousand last year according to my taxes, so that thousand really hurts and it’s now accruing interest on my credit card, which is not being paid off at the end of each month…)

Mid-February my boyfriend finally had the sore on the bottom of his foot checked out. This story will get its own post later. He was released almost two weeks after, and had two surgeries and enough antibiotics to make him sick as fuck every night. (it was great holding him every evening while he puked from the antibiotics, and the nurse would demand he eat again since he had just taken his insulin) He was diagnosed as being diabetic, and now takes insulin shots. His foot had a diabetic ulcer, which went septic the night before he finally went in. By some miracle they took a toe and put a dime-sized hole through his foot, but he still has both feet. Today he is walking around, no hole, working, and has sworn off flip-flops for the rest of his life.

gimme a break.

All this to say that the month of March was really hard, and he came back to stay with me and my father since my bed is more supportive and his place has no kitchen. (and his landlord is an asshole, in my most humblest of opinions) I was trying to work as much as possible, while making sure he got to all of his appointments and all of mine. He was ineligible for unemployment because he didn’t get hurt on the job. Temporary disability takes over a year to get. Luckily, in a sick way, his income was a few hundred under the line for “you’re responsible for all of it” and he recently (in June) got the paperwork to make lifetime monthly payments on his hospital and surgeon bills.

My father (my confidant, my support system, my grown child that I tucked into bed each night for seven years, my child that I made doctor’s appointments for, my sure-proof way to shorten panic attacks, my roommate) quickly decided that we couldn’t be at his house Friday afternoon until Sunday night so that he (the extrovert in all of this) could have his own space. The number of required days “away” continued to increase in April, and my boyfriend tried to go back to work since his savings had hit the “lets roll coins” point. It took three weeks for him to figure out how to alter his at-work work/rest/eat schedule without awful headaches and dizzy spells and pain. By the end of May he was back to his usual 50 hour weeks.

In mid-May my father and I had it out about the money that he feels I just stole from him (to which I continue to say, how can I steal my own money?). He told me to get out and never come back to stay at his house again. This was all through text, and was quite the panic attack inducer. I transferred my money back to him, but he was already in a full blown manic anger fit. Several years ago he was diagnosed with several Cluster B category disorders. I didn’t know this until after he given me the boot; I had always thought most of his problems stemmed from his childhood PTSD, which was pretty epic awful. Right now I don’t care to look up in my carry-everywhere-memory-notebook (yep, that’s a thing now. thanks truck concussion…) what his official diagnoses are. I know that he doesn’t take medication, he just started seeing a new therapist that he doesn’t like (and has told me he lies to), and he has decided that the answer to all of his problems is mindfulness. (Check out Deepak Chopra on Amazon, it’s very interesting but not a cure-all.)

You Are the Universe: Discovering Your Cosmic Self and Why It Matters
changing.

Just in the last few days things have taken a turn for the better, but I’m still shocked at the things my father said and the way he said them. He has let me come back and get some stuff, but he is always there watching. It’s still a full-blown what the fuck situation in my head. My boyfriend and I are usually good, but living in about 100-150 square feet with a fucked up toilet has caused some serious rudeness and yelling on my part. He is doing me a favor letting me live there, and protecting me from the landlord.

We have no money saved. We live paycheck to paycheck off of his paychecks and my bit of Etsy income, and the food stamps he finally started receiving. It’s all I can do to not fall into the “no one will ever call me back” hole, and I desperately don’t want to go back to the theatre and all of it’s bullshit in August/September.  It is shocking and disgusting that medical emergencies create financial emergencies that can leave a person paralyzed and in despair in their day-to-day, paycheck to paycheck life.  Between my boyfriend’s social worker and a family friend that is a social worker we attempted to tap every potential resource that might be available. In the end, he got to go have a few check ups at the local clinic for crack heads and he got approval for food stamps right as he was going back to work.

We have plans and ideas and thoughts on saving money, moving, borrowing money, getting better jobs, building up an emergency fund…. but I had no idea just how absurd and awful things can get, and I’ve had the easy version. Homeless, yes, but I’ve had a bed and roof and air conditioner and water bugs every night where I’m squatting, and I’m so grateful for that.

*disclaimer, purchases made on Amazon or Etsy through the above links may give me a commission

[feminist advocacy] Letter to the Editior

Letter to the Editor of the Mount Gilead Ohio local paper. In response to a previously published letter in which the author clearly had his facts about Sandra Fluke, religion, Obama Care, and the Constitution confused. (to say the least)
Dear Editors,
I am a 21 year old college student, and I am on birth control. I am not ashamed that I am on birth control, because I have endometriosis and ovarian cysts. I was put on the pill at the age 15 so that my reproductive organs would remain viable for later in life when I chose to have children, and I would not have a high risk of an ectopic pregnancy. At the age of 19 I had a fast-growing cyst rupture after reaching the size of a tennis ball in just over one month. I could not go into work for three weeks, and laid in bed in excruciating pain when I was not at the doctor’s office. I was given a new birth control pill and told that if I stopped taking it, I might have to have my left ovary removed. Clearly, being on the birth control pill is a matter of my health, my quality of life, and my ability to be a productive member of society.
Sandra Fluke testified that as equal citizens in America, women should be able to access affordable birth control, meaning that insurance companies should be required to provide birth control coverage in their insurance policies. The birth control pill that I am on right now, which is the ONLY pill that I can be on for endometriosis and ovarian cysts without interfering with my hypothyroidism or pre-diabetes (the pre-diabetes was brought on after a 40 pound weight gain from my previous birth control pill trying to control the endometriosis), costs $30 a month because it is non-generic. It costs $120 a month without insurance. This means that, without required coverage for birth control, someone like myself might have to pay $120 x 12 months x 4 years = $5,760. Instead, after insurance I pay $1,440.
I am a Christian, I was raised a Southern Baptist. My NEED for birth control coverage has absolutely nothing to do with religion or sexual promiscuity or taking anything away from religious institutions. Put simply, I believe that birth control is part of my health care, and that if I have health insurance it should be covered. If a woman feels that it is against her religious beliefs to take birth control, then she has every right to never ever take or use any form of birth control. I do not think that an outsider, or any legislator, should decide my fate when they do not know me and my body.
Thank you for taking the time to hear my story and opinion.

[fat] a new diet begins

I’ve joined weight watchers this week. The online food diary from last semester helped me figure out what I should and shouldn’t eat, but somehow weight watchers feels more legitimate?
I have metabolic syndrome, meaning that I have elevated cholesterol, elevated blood sugar, a slow metabolism, elevated blood pressure, and a knack for not ever being able to lose weight. The carrots and hummus diet did nothing. The protein water diet did nothing. So now I’m on to the most legitimate thing I can find online. I weighed in this week at a whopping 220.5 pounds. Standing at just 5 feet and 6 inches tall when I bother to stand straight, my BMI tells me that I’m obese, and that my ideal weight is 125-155. That’s 65.5 pounds to lose. And according to my doctor if I don’t lose it, I’ll be diabetic just like my grandmother. I inherited the huge boobs and bad blood, way to go.

My cortisol levels aren’t terrible right now, but stress and anxiety are words that would best describe the inside of my head. My younger sister has borderline personality disorder, my parents are going through a nasty divorce, and things spiraled out of control over four and a half years ago after my sister was drunk, drugged, and raped by a friend. At the age of 14. Chocolate and beer have been great coping mechanisms, but coupled with stress and a predisposition for diabetes, I backed myself into a cave I’m not sure I can find my way out of.
Cortisol levels screwing up means that my fat doesn’t amass on my arms, legs, belly, and boobs in a somewhat proportional manner. My legs are still as skinny and muscular as when I was swimming and weightlifting at 140 pounds. My arms have a little more fat on them than back when I could bench 95 pounds, which is pretty great for a girl. My boobs now look proportional, now that I’ve had three pounds removed at the age of 16 and they’ve grown back.
My belly looks like I’m pregnant. I bought maternity jeans because they’re the only thing that will fit me besides sweatpants. I don’t get to walk around with a sign that says “I have a thyroid problem. I have severe anxiety. I have a predisposition for diabetes.” I get to appear as the fat blob in my university classes, the girl no one can share clothes with. My weight has begun to affect the way that I can sit and move, and as a former dancer it kills me to feel unable to move easily. It feels as though no matter what I do, what I eat, what I don’t eat, my weight is slowly and surely inching up, and spiraling out of control.
Hopefully the new diet works. Right now my goal is just 209.5, 5% of my weight. And my challenge for the week is to drink all eight glasses of water every day.