September 24, 2021 – Highs and Lows

My friends, I feel like I’ve been on an emotional thrill ride that has yet to conclude. Ever since my husband and I made the decision to move, I have experienced (far too many to count) exhilarating, take-your-breath-away highs and disappointing, mind-numbing lows. With family matters alone, we have both dealt with difficult situations involving our moms. Both our moms (my biological mom, his stepmom) suffer(ed) from dementia. Fortunately, I still have my mom, even though half the time she doesn’t know who the hell I am, but my husband lost his altogether. It’s strange to think her funeral was only a week ago. Since we arrived, there have been some joyous moments which have helped offset the loss. By coming here, my husband has been reunited with his family, and we’ve both been reunited with our son. On the other hand, we have left our daughter behind, as well as my family. I cannot say I miss my family much (apart from my brother ‘Clover’), but I definitely miss my daughter.

There are also the matters involving ‘the’ house, of course. After closing on our former home, we were awarded the contract on our new, soon-to-be home. It didn’t take long to find a new place and get ‘locked in’. I think the money from the first house was burning too big of a hole in my pocket, so I had to find a way to spend it. I still love ‘the’ house and the neighborhood, but the tint’s coming off the rose-colored glasses. When I first toured the home, apart from a couple of vertical cracks in the foundation and some questionable boards in the deck, I could find nothing wrong. It’s outdated and could use a fresh coat of paint and eventually some new tile and hardware and fixtures and flooring, but it functions fine and I can live with it just the way it is until we’re able to get around to making the improvements. It wasn’t until literally minutes before our offer was to be reviewed by the seller(s) that we we informed about ‘the roof’. “Are you aware that it needs to be replaced?” our realtor asked us at the eleventh hour.

Was I aware? Ummm, no, I wasn’t. However, even once I was made aware that the roof was going to cost us between $10,000 & $20,000 and would require us having to take out a much larger loan, I still so desperately wanted my ‘unique and beautiful’ house that came with unlimited irrigation water and access to a private lake and trail system. Yes, ‘unlimited irrigation water’! I know, seems ‘too good to be true’, right? Well, that’s one of the ‘perks’ I thought the house came with when I still had on my rose-colored glasses. My husband helped me see more clearly when he read the ‘fine print’ and let me know that only the ‘on lake’ houses in the subdivision came with irrigation water. Anyone who lived ‘off lake’ (the category we’ll be in) had to use and pay for city water to keep their lawn and plants and trees healthy and thriving. Dang it! I have to tell you, the news about the roof and irrigation water really bummed me out. Fortunately, after reaching out to a guy whose contact info was listed on the recreation association’s website, I learned my presumptions about the lake and trail system were at least correct.

After a fairly lengthy conversation with the guy I looked up on the website, in addition to him confirming my presumptions about the lake and trail system, I discovered that he would be one of my neighbors. While we were engaging, I couldn’t help but mention the irrigation water and he said he didn’t have access to it either. As a result, he was on the ‘poor man’s watering plan’. That particular ‘plan’ involves using hoses and above-ground sprinklers and I am quite familiar with it because that’s what we did at our previous house. The nice part of that ‘plan’ is that if you use it, you likely won’t suffer from a heart attack when you receive your monthly water bill. According to my soon-to-be neighbor, his water bill averages about $100 a month. However, such is not the case for all. One of his neighbors has a ‘below ground’ system and her bill is closer to $300-$400 per month. When I heard that, I nearly fell over from a heart attack! I cannot envision paying that much per month for water! For a car payment? Yes! For water? Are you kidding me??!! I can tell you this much, I am going to get to work right away putting in a Xeriscape garden. Having a ‘lush lawn’ is not worth blowing that much on water each month!

Anyway, enough about the house, I only invested about half of my day devoted to it. And, no, I didn’t spend half of my day on the phone with my soon-to-be neighbor (even though he was friendly and exceptionally informative). As far as ‘the’ house was concerned, most of the time I spent fielding calls and emails from my realtor and mortgage lender, as well as reaching out to multiple insurance companies to obtain quotes on homeowner’s policies. The other half of my day, when I wasn’t watching ‘Stranger Things’ or aimlessly walking through Lowe’s (a futile attempt at finding clearance deals and coming up with design ideas), I was reaching out to various healthcare providers (past and present). What frustrates me to no end is when I go to the trouble to make a formal request and am completely blown off. Oh my gosh, that makes me so damn mad! Over a week ago, I sent an email to my former nephrologist’s office and politely asked them to provide my new nephrologist with a referral letter as well as 2 years of lab trends, 1 year of progress notes, and any imaging they had on hand. What did they do? Absolutely nothing!

How do I know this? Well, when I called my new nephrologist’s office, I was told they hadn’t received a single document. Without the required documents, I am unable to schedule an appointment. (Believe me, it’s true. I’ve asked 3 separate times.) I thought for sure there must have been a mistake so I called my former nephrologist’s office. No, no mistake. According to the nurse who had taken my call, “Your new nephrologist doesn’t need a referral letter. I spoke to Doctor ‘A’ and he said it wasn’t necessary.” “Yes, it is,” I corrected her, “Without it, I am unable to schedule an appointment with Doctor ‘M’. It is required by his office.” The nurse I was on the phone with said she would put in a request to my former nephrologist and would call me once the letter was ready. She still hasn’t called me back. As far as the medical records I’d requested, they hadn’t done anything about those either. I was given a number and told to call it in order to request the necessary documents. Geez. It would have been nice if rather than totally blowing me off, they had responded to my initial email request, but I guess that’s expecting too much these days. Sigh.

Once I got off the phone, I shared my frustration with my husband. After hearing me out, he suggested I call my other nephrologist (the one involved with my transplant) in order to obtain a referral letter. One email and multiple calls later, I was finally able to make some headway. His office was much more cooperative and helpful; however, when I called the new nephrologist’s office in order to schedule my appointment, I learned that even though both offices (of my former nephrologists) had sent a combined total of 100 pages worth of medical records, neither had provided a referral letter. Ack!!!!! Come on, what’s it going to take???!! As a responsible post-transplant kidney patient, I’m trying to stay vigilant about my health and it’s really frustrating when I keep running into roadblocks. I know I made the decision to move but I didn’t think it would be this challenging to transition from one (or two providers) to another. Thankfully, I didn’t have this much trouble getting back in step with my former primary care physician. I got the ‘green light’ and should I need to be seen for any reason, there is nothing (not a single piece of paper) standing in the way.

Lord! I don’t want to think about what I have yet to face when it comes to finding and scheduling a dentist. My husband and I had the best dentist (and hygienist) before we relocated, and it pains me to have to start all over again. It’s like hitting a homerun when you find the perfect combo like that and it’s unlikely we’ll ever find it again. I had so many nightmarish experiences with dentists and hygienists when we lived here before that I’ve become a bit ‘gun shy’ about starting the process yet again. I need to get my teeth cleaned but I might just wait on that until we get properly settled into our home. Unlike if I were to miss seeing my doctor or nephrologist, not getting in to see my dentist for my biannual cleaning isn’t going to kill me. What is going to kill me is if I get any more ‘bad news’ about our soon-to-be new home. My husband’s going to do a ‘stem to stern’ inspection on it this coming Saturday and I hope he doesn’t discover any more new ‘surprises’. My father-in-law is coming, too, and to be honest, I wish he wasn’t. He’s been against the idea of us buying ‘the’ house from the start, so I know he’s probably not going to have anything nice to say.

My hope is that (when he conducts the inspection) my husband doesn’t find anything new and that we can move forward knowing that our biggest expense will be replacing the roof. There is a large mound of dirt (which I find a bit concerning) located on the side of the property that resembles a burial mound. I’m going to bring a shovel and do a little investigating. If I poke around and find a body in there, as much as I like ‘the’ house, I’m pulling out of the deal!! Anyway, on that note, I’d better go. Once again, ‘bed’ calls. Have a fantastic day, and thanks so very much for stopping by!


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