Friday, August 19, 2005

Tidbits of the past week (if I can remember them)..... 

Funny. All day long, I keep thinking of things I want to mention here, but when I actually start typing, all my thoughts seem to vacate. I'm particularly foggy since my visit to the Social Security office....maybe I sent them my brain along with my application??

One thing I do remember is that Wednesday afternoon was a classic example of what happens to my cognitive function when I'm having a flareup of symptoms. I was feeling hypoglycemic, and not up to cooking at all, but I really needed to eat, so I had no choice. I thought, I'll stick with something simple and fairly fast like rice spaghetti. Well, I got the pasta started, but I forgot to set the timer, and then I forgot I was even making spaghetti, so I overcooked it, and overcooked rice spaghetti turns to mush. I was too tired to start over, though, so I drained it the best I could and tried not to notice how slimy it was. And I chopped up some ham to put in the sauce but then didn't realize I'd left it on the cutting board until after I'd already heated the sauce. By this time I was disgusted with myself and ready to pass out from hunger, so I just put the cold ham in the sauce, stirred it up, poured it on the mass that had once been pasta and dumped a shitload of Parmesan cheese on it to disguise the taste. Thank God for cheese.

Did something cool on Sunday. Dan had found "Say Anything" on DVD for cheap and bought it for me the day before, so we sat and watched it. Then we went to the theatre and saw "Must Love Dogs" (second time for me). It was fun comparing the John Cusack of 1989 to the John Cusack of 2005. I must say he held up pretty well. And I snuck contraband chocolate-covered macadamia nuts into the theatre, which was a bonus.

Did watch "Rock Star: INXS" this week. The contestants did not get to choose their songs this time, instead having to sing whatever was assigned to them. There was an overall decline in quality because of this, but I thought it made things a little more clear as to who could cut it and who could not.

Jordis is still the best female performer on the show. She did "Knocking on Heaven's Door", and while I don't think it was her best effort, she still put the other ladies to shame. I think she has a chance at winning.

Jessica did another adequate performance with "Torn" by Natalie Imbruglia. But following Jordis, she just sounded ordinary to me. Thank goodness the audience agreed with me and she was finally booted off the show.

Ty did a really interesting version of "Maggie May" by Rod Stewart. Not his best performance either, but it did show he is versatile enough to pull off a song most others would butcher.

Suzie did a song I wasn't familiar with: maybe that's why the audience voted her in the bottom three. I liked her performance, though, and was relieved when the band kept her on the show.

Marty got a huge curveball thrown at him. He was actually told to sing a Britney Spears song! What a cruel joke! I was stunned when he changed it from pop fluff to someting dark and intimidating. Kudos for having the guts to pull it off.

Deanna did "I Can't Make You Love Me" by Bonnie Raitt, which is a lovely song, but I felt there was something lacking a bit in the performance, and the other viewers agreed with me and put her in the bottom three. She did make up for it on Wednesday night and got to stay.

J. D. did an ok version of "As Tears Go By" by the Rolling Stones. He just doesn't compare to the remaining performers, plus his tude is very annoying. He needs to go, and soon.

Mig was the biggest surprise of the night. He was assigned "Baby I Love Your Way", and even though I've been rooting for him, I didn't think he could do a ballad justice. Wrong! Not only did he sing it well, he played piano and just blew me away. So I'm contnuing to cheer him on.

In other news, I got a copy of my long-term disability insurance policy and read it last night with considerable difficulty. From what I can tell, they will be able to subtract not only my SSDI but also my disability pension from the total benefit they will pay. AND they can subtract funds I receive from any sort of lawsuit, but I don't see how they can do that if the suit has nothing to do with my employer or them. The worst part, though, is the clause on "self-reported symptoms" in which they can limit benefits for ailments whose primary symptoms are "subjective" such as pain, fatigue, numbness, headache, stiffness, soreness, tinnitus and vertigo. How can they get away with this??? Most major chronic ailments involve at least some of these symptoms, and even Social Security recognizes severe fatigue as a disabling symptom. And I believe several of these are quantifiable in part. Numbness can be confirmed by a neurologist, and I don't know how you'd fake the results of an EMG since it involves involuntary physical response. If stiffness is caused by something like a trigger point, that can be felt under the skin. I spent a year doing vestibular rehabilitation....a practiced physical therapist knows whether or not you're faking dizziness. If tinnitus is severe enough to cause hearing loss, the results can be shown on a hearing test. Pain response can be shown in an FMRI, and while I know those are used for research only right now, it doesn't mean pain can't be proven. And sleep studies that demonstrate the presence of a sleep disorder are more than adequate proof of fatigue in my book. I'm fairly sure I will be mentioning this to a lawyer at some point.

One thing reading the policy did for me was clarify exactly how much I can expect to receive per month if I am approved for benefits. I did do a tentative budget at the beginning of the year just in case I went on disability, but I can't remember what I based it on, so I'm gonna start over. I'm actually gonna do one budget based upon our current expenses and then one based on some scaled back expenses and compare the two. I need to find out if we can cut back enough to keep the house without refinancing or moving someplace cheaper. I don't do math too well anymore, but luckily I have financial software to do most of the work. Dan is getting very stressed out about the money thing, and I think it would help if I told him exactly what he can spend on non-essentials.

Well, my hands are furious with me for typing so long, so, so long.

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