Nothing New to Report

I must admit, I have a fairly boring life. I haven’t blogged much because there just hasn’t been a whole lot of interesting stuff going on in my life. I’ve been adulting, which is boring. The part of adulting that sucks the worst for me is that I am adulting far beyond my age. I hurt from old Arthur like someone at least twice my age.

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Guess what. I wrote last year about our birth month. It is just around the corner again now. Only this time Brady will be 16 and all of my worries will multiply. It is so scary sending your teenaged son out into the world with his own set of car keys. Possibly, the scariest part of parenthood. Here’s their freedom, to some extent, will they make good decisions? Did you do your part for him to know and do better? How will this unfold? Not to mention the thought of your baby flipped over somewhere on the side of the road because he hasn’t answered the phone.

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We’ve all done it. We’ve all came tenfold on the annoying things our parents used to say to us. Just last night I uttered the words “if you lock that door again, I’m going to take it off the hinges.” “What if the house caught on fire?” I internally giggle because I know I was told this more than once in my life. My father has some sort of fear of things going up in flames. Every house my sister or I have moved into has to pass the fire alarm inspection at his first visit. And if it doesn’t, you’re going to hear about it at least weekly until it is ratified.

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I don’t know if it is just my body, but you would think cold weather would be much harsher on an RA, MCTD, problem-ridden body.  I hurt far worse during the summertime.  I’m not sure if it is the rain, the heat, the humidity, or a combination of them all. I just know that it isn’t fun. And I am not able to go do all of the fun summertime things because the sun is NOT my friend.

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I think I have always held a deep hatred for heat. I can put on more clothes to keep warm in the winter than I can take off to keep cool in the summer. My body sure tries to take things off though. I melt. I sweat, I stink, and most of all, I’m miserable.

 

I am hopeful that I will start blogging more. I can’t make any promises though. I just don’t have a whole lot new and interesting going on and unlike most people, I am hibernating for the summer. I am binge watching whatever I can find. I am working as much as I can. I am adulting. Are we having fun yet?

Footloose, NOT Fancy or Free

I haven’t been able to do a blog lately. This week or two has been plum pitiful. On all fronts.  IMG_4311.JPG
I think the last time I wrote I was writing about bleacher butt and I told ya’ll about how my son tore his UCL. Well, he has been doing therapy and is getting much much better. The first week of therapy was last week.
Last week started off with the entire Hallman clan coming down with what I thought was a stomach virus on Monday. By Tuesday everyone else felt okay and Bryant, my youngest, was worse. He started running a fever that would not respond to Tylenol or ibuprofen. So off to the ER we go with him. They thought it may be strep, but he didn’t test positive, so that was ruled out. So we get a breathing treatment in the hospital along with antibiotics and steroids. We get sent home with the same. He is supposed to be able to return to school on Thursday but he wasn’t because he hadn’t yet been 24 hours without a fever.
So, it’s Thursday and things are looking up because he is back to his somewhat normal self and plans to go to school tomorrow. Over the course of everyone being sick and me off and on convincing myself that I too am sick I have lost a considerable amount of much needed hours of work. Not only is it much needed because I am getting behind on my daily basic job duties but because I am also missing out on hours I need to be paid.

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As you know I work from home. I also have chronic pain that I deal with all of the time. This week was no different than any other week when it comes to pain level. I had a makeshift desk set up in the recliner in my room which I would sit in with my little lap desk and peck away on this laptop until I decided it was time for a break. Well, for whatever reason, that day I felt like setting this lap desk on the floor in front of my bed and it would be fine. For most people, it would have. IMG_4348
For my extremely forgetful, excessively clumsy self, it was a recipe for destruction. Sometime after Greys Anatomy was over I decided to hop out of bed and high tale it over towards the closet. To this day, I have no idea what I was going to look for. Not one. All I do know is that after my left foot hit that lap desk and bent in places feet are not meant to bend I blacked out and when I came to I hurt all over. Mostly my left foot which is already riddled with rheumatoid arthritis and bunions and traits that make me look like I am walking on Leggo’s for the first few steps that I go anywhere after sitting for a while.
This same left foot has made its debut on my blog before for its ability to turn green when it isn’t the perfect degree of not too hot, not too cold. This foot has now taken on a different color. Black, blue, and a little red, oh, and A LOT swollen.IMG_4347

I can’t imagine what my whole falling incident looked like to my husband who was sitting on the bed at the time of tumble, but I guess it was a laughable moment for him. I will laugh about that now, but at the time, it was a lot of things but funny wasn’t one of them.  If I could’ve gotten up, I would’ve knocked him out.
But see, it’s hard to get up when A) Your left foot doesn’t work at all, B) Your three loving (obviously more than my husband at this time) dogs are worried about you and they are all crowding around you trying to help. C) The throbbing and constant pain you are in combined with the disgust you have for yourself for being clumsy enough to allow this to happen causes you to hyperventilate. Full on, sweat, can’t breathe, can’t-do` anything! I was finally able to get myself up from the floor with the help of my husband and lie down on the bed while he took a shower and I tried to calm myself down.
It was at this time that I knew that the only thing that would help me was a prescription drug of some sort to take the edge off of the pain. So back to the ER goes another Hallman.

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After a shot of Toradol I was sent to x-ray and when I told the ER doc that I have MCTD and RA with the worst of the RA being in my feet he came back into the room and gave me a shot of Morphine. He tells me that he believes I have a Lisfranc tear and I need to see ortho first thing in the morning.
So by the time I get home and bathe and try to find any sort of comfortable position to sleep I have almost been awake now long enough to watch the sun come up. Finally, I slept. I got up Friday and got into the ortho who told me that I have two places that are clean breaks and another that is cracked. He’s worried about my Lisfranc and possibly a ligament in my ankle but can’t even attempt to check on them until my bones have somewhat healed.

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Each passing day deems my foot blacker and blacker and my body wore and worse.

There is NO relief to be found. There is no comfortable position. I am mad, sad, aggravated that along with all the other BS I go through daily with regards to pain, I still needed to bust my butt and add to that pain with some more pain.

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I’m Good, How are You?

I’m Good, How are You?

It is something we all say every day. Someone asks, “how are you doing?” And I almost always say, “I’m good, how are you?” And as those words are coming out of my mouth I always think to myself, why are you saying this. You aren’t good, you’re a wreck. You hurt ALL the time, the medicine sucks, you want to do things that you can’t, you’re down on yourself because of that, you don’t sleep good, you’re just plain out not good.howudoing

 

So why do we ask people? Why do we take their reply of “good” as truth? Most of the time the questioner already knows you are involved in some type of battle if you indeed are. But when we say we are good the conversation moves on. Or if it is brief in nature a simple “good, so nice seeing you”. And you both move on.

 

Sometimes I change my reply up because I am simply sick of telling people that I am fine when I am NOT.  Let me tell you when you unload all of the details of why you’re not fine the look on the other persons face is always like a deer in the headlights. The result of this is that we feel like raging idiots for having just dropped all of that out of our mouths.

 

I think we need to try to get out of our feelings one minute and the next I want to shout it from the highest building. Silent sufferers be silent no more. Enough is enough, ROAR!!! We should do that but we don’t.

 

painInstead, we turn to WordPress or the like and become avid writers in hopes to get some things off of our chest. We also want to search for someone else who is suffering the same way that you are. We want validation that we aren’t crazy. This is another side effect of disease or medications.

I think it is a great way to do this. But even then, times get low. Your readers aren’t reading, you have no new followers, you aren’t even interesting anymore. -Maybe. Or maybe life just gets in the way.

This past week has been filled with life getting in the way of writing. Work, being Mom and caring for my son who has injured his arm. He pulled his UCL. It is torn slap in two.

 

As of now, he won’t require surgery. They say that because he isn’t a pitcher or a quarterback, he won’t need his UCL. He is going to do rehab to learn to use the other muscles to compensate for the broken ligament.

 

I understand what they are saying. I realize surgery usually causes more damage in the long run. I have had ligaments repaired myself. I don’t wish that pain on anyone, especially my son. But don’t tell me that because he isn’t the QB or a pitcher he doesn’t need it.

 

He needs the dang ligament or it wouldn’t be there, thank you very much. And he isn’t less important because of the position he does or doesn’t play on a football field. He is one of the most important people to ME!  He may not be using that arm to toss balls around, but he has already signed with the Army. I am pretty sure his service there will be more beneficial to everyone than throwing a darn ball around would.wolffelling

 

So this is the rant I have for the week. I am dealing with a ton more pain than usual as well. Swelling everywhere, pain everywhere. And toughening up my outside so that I can hide this pain like a champ and not unload on anyone who asks me “how are you doing”. The art of hiding this is a job in itself.

But I’m doing good, how are you?

 

 

 

1st Day of School – Oh Happy Day!

IMG_3852Well, the kids are at school and I have the house to myself again during the day. I hate to sound like I want to get rid of them, but it sure is nice and quiet.  Bryant, my youngest, walked himself into school this year. It was a sad and happy moment all at the same time. I fully expected him to want to be walked in so when he didn’t I was caught off guard.

 

When you are a mother of 5, the youngest is the one you want to stay little. He is our last. My sweet baby. But he is not a baby anymore and it makes things so clearly seem to fly by. It seems like just yesterday I was potty training him. Now he doesn’t even want to be walked into school. Having an incurable debilitating disease makes you view life a little differently. It is much more apparent than ever how short life truly is. I just hope that he continues to be my buddy a little while longer. IMG_3857

 

I’ve mentioned it before, how my teenagers think I’m not cool and that they know more about life than I. I don’t know if I have mentioned that, although it hurts, I don’t really want to be their buddy. I don’t care if I’m not cool. I don’t care if they hate me some days. I need to instill rules and consequences in their lives. I see so many these days who are more worried about what their kids think of them than they are actually raising them to be good grown-ups one day.  My kids wear name brand clothes, but they are resourceful in getting them. They either own just a few name brand things that they wear over and over again, or they use their birthday, grandparents, Christmas, or whatever other holiday or chore they can in order to attain their clothes. I also use a lot of second-hand shops for some of their items. They know the value of belongings. They don’t always show it, but they know. img_3860.jpg

 

Being the great mother that I am, I never get a group picture of the kids on the first day of school. Today, I didn’t even get a picture of my oldest at all. He has joined the trend of the man bun and he was still working on his hair, of all things, until the very last minute. This is his senior year and he has already signed with the Army for after he graduates. He will then have to say goodbye to his lovely locks. My husband can’t wait. He is not a fan of the bun.

 

Well, school is in so I am going to work today. I am going to work without interruption. That is something I haven’t been able to do since I began this work from home job. Hopefully, I will be more productive and able to get more hours and income.

 

I hope you all are having a nice week. My body still hurts, I am just tired of complaining about it so I won’t this week on my blog.

July’s Abscence

warriorI haven’t been on here and written much on my blog. I have a lot of reasons why. The first reason is METHOTREXATE! This medication is the Devil and creates the atmosphere of Hell inside your body. I know that its intention is to suppress my immune system and keep it from fighting my body, but it is starting to feel like it kills whatever your immune system hasn’t already battled.

I’m hoping my body will eventually get used to the medication and the bad effects will somewhat diminish.  I start to recover and feel a little better around Friday. So for Friday and then Saturday morning I am back to normal, or my version of normal which still includes pain. Then Saturday I take these 4  Methotrexate pills and the battle begins again.

methcanOn top of the awful side effects of this Satan derived “treatment”, I have started working. I love my job. I am able to work around my schedule and it isn’t a hard job to learn or do. I feel like I should be working during any spare time that I have because I never know when I am going to be unable to interact with the world around me or go down for the count with this disease and side effects.

Another side effect of the disease and/or medications is my inability to sleep. I don’t quite understand it, but I can be so tired and want so badly to go to sleep, but when I lay down I CAN NOT get any sleep. I take Ambien, which is obvious if you have read any of my late night posts. But I ran out of them this week and I was also out of refills. I contacted my primary care physician Monday to inquire about a refill. I had an appointment with them Thursday.  They wouldn’t call the medication in until I was seen. I understand it is a controlled substance. But they have been prescribing this to me for nearly two years. By the time I got there on Thursday I was ill. I was mad at the world. I was mad because I was tired and I couldn’t sleep. breakdown

I started my conversation with the doctor by telling her that I was sorry, but I can’t think straight because I haven’t slept in 3 days. She assured me that she would be sending my Ambien in along with some other stuff she was going to try since my insurance wants $480 a month for Lyrica.  Again, I ended the conversation reiterating my need for my Ambien TODAY. She again, told me I would get it.

I had a late appointment. The pharmacy closes at 7:00 pm. I went to Walmart to get this promised medication and it had not been sent it. All of the other medication had. I called the doctors office again. I was told that the doctor had to sign off on it since it was a controlled medicine. The doctor I had seen was a practitioner. Well, 7:00 rolled around and still no sleeping medicine. At this point, I could spit fire and nails. I literally cried right there in Walmart.

I am not a crier. I just don’t cry in public usually. I am the type of person who will wait until everyone’s asleep and then lay in bed and cry.  I know I shouldn’t keep my feelings bundled up to myself, but I feel as if I appear weak if I cry in front of anyone. Don’t ask me why.

In addition to me not being able to get the Lyrica, my rheumatologist advised me to quit taking the muscle relaxers and Neurontin and didn’t give me any refills of them either. Nor would she refill my Ibuprofen. Ibuprofen is fine, I can get that OTC. The other two, not so much.

So here I am, in pain, now sick from the Devil medicine, with absolutely NO pain medication, NO sleep medication, NOTHING! To say I had a come-apart would be an understatement. Mixed connective tissue disease and rheumatoid arthritis are enough for me to have to deal with. I am going through a lot with it. Is it too much to ask the doctors to DO THEIR JOB? It is so aggravating.

methotrexatepFinally, around 4:00 pm on Friday my Ambien was called in and I got some good sleep last night. My spirits are up a little more today. But today is a Methotrexate day so we’ll see how long that lasts.

I hate to be a Debbie Downer in my posts, but I felt a need to rant and vent about it.

I hope you all have a great weekend!

How To Begin a Work-From-Home Search

workathomeAs many of you know, I have been on a mission to find work from home to support my family and medical bills. I have been at my wit’s end with it and I have searched for what feels like years. In reality, I have only been hard at it for about 3 months. But still, 3 months is 3 months. Because I now have some knowledge of the many different opportunities out there, I felt a need to write about it in hopes to help someone else out.

 

Now I’m not getting rich over here. Not in the least. But, I am making an okay hourly rate doing a job that isn’t very challenging. And the best part –I do it in my pajama’s while watching TV.  After a little time of vigorously looking for reputable work-from-home opportunities, I felt defeated. I had applied for so many, and I would get accepted to some only to find out the pay wasn’t worth the time.  I have come across so many scams that I can’t list them all. Some of these scams seem so legit until all of the sudden it’s so apparent that they’re not, that you feel like a royal idiot.

ratraceFinally, last month I was reading comments on a post that showed up in my newsfeed on Facebook. The original post was, indeed, another scam. I learned very quickly to read the comments on listings such as this before gullibly trusting the pitch. I found a couple of posts that talked about one website they had found to be the best, scam free, work from home portal. That site is www.ratracerebellion.com. You can thank me later. Go ahead and sign up for e-mail notifications with them. They’ll send you daily e-mails on the newest, best listings. Some of these fill up fast so you will want to stay on top of them. I made it a job to find a job.  I was finally getting somewhere when I started to apply for these jobs. I was taking tests left and right and I was finally hired by a company called Appen. Now, this company isn’t the greatest in the world, but it does pay. The testing for the jobs they offer is long and a little confusing.

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I worked for them for about two weeks until I found another, better paying job. Here is another little nugget that offers hundreds of work-from-home opportunities. This is the one I am currently using to pay the bills: www.upwork.com

When you sign up with Upwork there will be some tests you can take to help kick-start your profile. Don’t worry, if you don’t make a good score on a test you don’t have to include it in your profile.  You will also want to fill out your work history and write a small bio about yourself. Upload a picture. You don’t HAVE to have a picture, but when you are working for people you will never meet in person, they want to be able to put a face to your name.

I have been scammed once on Upwork. I got an invitation from a company who wanted to hire me and they wanted to talk to me on Google Hangouts about the job. The pay started to sound too good to be true and my guard went up. Then the so-called employer told me that they wold be sending me a computer and a check to have the software installed on the computer. They said I was to take the check to the bank and deposit it and send them a picture of my deposit slip once I had. DING! DING! DING! DING! This round was over for me! The next day I received a check by FedEx for $4,500.00. The guy who I had spoken with about this job the day before was now calling me repeatedly. I told him that I would deposit the check once I received the laptop from them. That only made sense to me. I also told him that I would not, under any circumstances, send a copy of my deposit slip to him or anyone else. That check is still collecting dust somewhere. So the takeaway from this for me was to make sure that whoever you are dealing with on Upwork has verified payment and has actually already paid some other people within the Upwork community.

 

To get work through Upwork you have to send the employers proposals. Some jobs are for a flat rate fee and some are for hourly work. You will see how much they have budgeted for the jobs. Keep in mind that Upwork makes a percentage of what you make and it will be deducted out of your pay once the work is completed. This may scare a lot of people off, but I look at it this way… I would rather give my banking information to one company with a more reputable name than to hundreds of different companies any day. The fee’s that they take are as follows:

  • 20% for the first $500 you bill a client across all contracts with them
  • 10% for total billings with a client between $500.01 and $10,000
  • 5% for total billings with a client that exceed $10,000

This sounds like an awful lot, I know. But if you factor this into your proposals you defeat the problem before it ever becomes a problem.  Also, you can renegotiate pay while working for a client. There is a plethora of help to be found from the Upwork community as well.

If you are beginning your journey to find work-from-home jobs, I hope my approach will help you find your way. A lot of really great jobs require you to have worked from home before. This seems to be the best way to get that experience added to your resume’ that I have found.

I have also been using a lot of different reputable sites to do survey’s and coupon type apps. Again, here you will find a lot of sites are scams. I won’t delve too much into this in this article because that may get lengthy, but I will leave the ones I use to make the most here. Please use these links I have listed because with the majority of these companies, you make money from referrals. Also, the people you refer get a nice starting bonus.

Swagbucks 

Pinecone Research

Ibotta

PointClub

iPoll

Vindale Research

Inbox Dollars

Shopkick

Panel App

Yaarlo

I will update this list because there are more. Happy money maker hunting!

 

Finally Friday

bagofmanyAs I sit here waiting on my youngest to get out of school in the car rider line I can’t help but be thankful it’s Friday. I don’t know why. I don’t work anymore so every day is the same. Actually, the weekends are a little more taxing on me because everyone is home so there’s no downtime.

I guess it’s second nature to be happier on Fridays. Even when I worked Fridays weren’t very significant because I worked retail 7 days a week. I started out as a sales representative (SR). I worked my way up to a floating assistant sales manager (ASM). I was on top of the world. Moving on up. But I was quickly brought back down a notch when a bigger company bought my company out and my position didn’t map over so I was back to an SM.

They threw the word senior in front of my title. I guess this was their way of saying they recognized me, but not really. To make matters worse, the position I did map over and qualify for was between me and another coworker that was gobbled up in the merger.

I was pregnant during this and I lost my baby girl at 21 weeks. Her name was Emma and she was still born. We were devastated. While I was on leave they gave that position to the other candidate. I’d lost any love I had for that company at that point, but I still worked for another year. Until I found another position as a district sales manager (DSM) for an individually owned market off of the same franchise.

Things were looking promising again, but the pay didn’t pan out to be very good. I became pregnant with my youngest son and had some complications so I quit work and I’ve been home with the youngins since then. Continue reading