Monday, June 27, 2011

Updates and anger

I've posted previously about the work I've been doing to pay down my family's debt.  It's such a slow process...boy, is it slow.  But I'm proud to say that since starting this process back in mid-February, we have paid off $3,500 in debt AND acquired no new debt.  We could've paid off significantly more had we been prepared for me to not get paid through the summer, but we weren't, so we didn't.  At this point, it is what it is.  Now we take a pregnant pause as we await September and getting back into the swing of things.  

In the last week, there have been developments here in New Jersey that have been so difficult to swallow.  Our Democrat-dominant state with our Republican governor, Chris Christie, passed legislation last week that will further cut my take home pay next year.  It was already cut this past year.  In addition to this, I taught without a contract last year and I don't see a settlement in the near future.  

Wisconsin came to New Jersey this past Thursday as a bill was passed crushing public unions' abilities to negotiate their contracts.  And I rallied outside my capitol building, I made signs, I called my legislators...I did all I could and still I will make less next year than I did this year which was less than last year.  I am now required to pay more into my pension and more towards my health insurance.  In addition to this, any future raises (generally spread across 3 years) cannot exceed 2% and I as make more, I will be required to pay still more for my benefits.  Worse off are retirees, whose cost of living adjustments have been suspended for 30 years.  30 years!  I can't even wrap my head around that.  

How did this pass in a Democrat-led state?  I was baffled until I started reading up and learned that a key Democrat, to whom many other Democrats owe significant favors, is in cahoots with our Republican governor.  Favors were owed, votes were cast and this sh!t passed.  The more I begin to understand all the politics involved, the rich getting richer on the backs of the working class, the sicker I feel about the whole thing.  It's disgusting.

So what now?  What happens next to the paycheck-to-paycheck family who is waiting for their income to drop still further?  Honestly, I don't know.  We pray, I guess.  That the cars keep running okay, that there are no major health issues, that we can maintain the status quo for a little longer.  And we keep going because we don't have a choice.

But I can't let go of the anger.  Not yet.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The not-so-relaxing weekend

The hospital wasn't able to fit Mr. Jaguar in the schedule that Friday.  His inferior vena cava would have to wait to be installed until the following Monday.  I would spend the coming days intently staring at him, watching him for any signs of trouble.  The tiniest sputter from him would be followed by the question from me, "Are you okay?"  I must've been really annoying that weekend, but I was so terrified that he would drop dead in front of me.  I spent Friday in a kind of denial, repeatedly convincing myself that everything would be fine.  What's 48 more hours?  No biggie.

I spent Saturday fixated on what it would look like if my husband had a pulmonary embolism in front of me.  Every time, I would try to block the thought out but the visualization kept returning.  One of the doctors who had treated my husband earlier had said there would be a lot of blood.  Would BabyJaguar be in the room?  Would it be quick?  Would my husband be terrified?  Would my son be hysterical crying?  The questions just kept coming.  Saturday was a really bad day for thinking. 

I can't even really remember Sunday.  I was emotionally exhausted by that point.  But I assure you it still consisted of interrogating my husband whenever he made the slightest sound.  It was just such a strange weekend.  Surreal. 

The filter was put in place that Monday.  It took a week or so for my head and heart to really wrap around the fact that my husband should be okay.  The filter has stayed put and is doing its job.  Mr Jaguar continues to take his blood thinners.  My only worry now pretty much revolves around him getting into some kind of accident that causes him to bleed to death, but I'm rolling with that fear.  That's so odd to stay, but that concern is just part of my new normal. 

My husband and I are still discussing what to do in terms of testing BabyJaguar for the mutation.  The hematologist has said to wait on it.  The pediatrician doesn't really have an opinion on it.  They just refer you to a pediatric hematologist.  I'm debating scheduling that appointment sooner than later.  Before testing him, I have to consider whether we want to get a life insurance policy for BabyJaguar now as a positive result could result in insurance difficulties for him later on down the road.  We'll see how this all unfolds, but for now, I'm just tremendously grateful for my little family of three remaining a family of three.