Like everyone else, we're getting hit by the recession.
I'm grateful every day that Scott still has a job, unlike the many people I know who have been laid off in recent months. But we're still feeling the pinch as we watch expenses we have little control over, like our utilities, go up. Meanwhile, our income is going down as Scott's employer, like so many lately, has frozen raises and bonuses and even instituted a company-wide pay cut.
We're cutting back where we can, but it's still tough. We had cut most of the fluff out of our budgets back when the reality of my illness sunk in. Now we have to look at cutting back things like our daughter's gymnastics and ballet classes, and maybe even her preschool. And I had just started thinking about seeing a physical therapist who incorporates yoga into her practice, but she would be out-of-network and although her office manager offered me a cash discount until I meet my $500 deductible, it's still more money than it feels like I should be spending on something that I have no way of knowing whether it would help or not.
I'm even thinking of cutting back my acupuncture to every other week instead of every week since that, too, isn't covered by insurance.
And of course, with the new year, we got a new insurance plan, which has higher co-pays for most prescriptions and specialist visits, as well as a higher deductible.
At one point, Scott threw out the idea that he could do some moonlighting as a consultant to bring in some extra money. But assuming he could even find a gig like that, where would he find the time for it? He already works about 45 hours a week in the office, plus five to ten hours most weeks from home.
The ideal situation would be if I were well enough to work at least part-time. But since I can barely keep up with my volunteer commitments, which take just a few hours each month but exhaust me for days after each meeting, how would I manage a job?
I joked that maybe I could get a gig as a phone psychic (do they still have those??) and take the calls from my recliner at home. But even that's beyond me since lengthy conversations often exhaust me and I probably couldn't manage it on a daily or even regular basis.
Laurie Edwards of A Chronic Dose, whom I consider an inspiration, recently cited this article, called "Ill In A Day's Work," from February's More magazine in her blog. And it got me thinking about all the complications involved in trying to work through or despite a serious chronic illness. I don't have any great insights into it, but it's worth taking the time to read.
Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!
7 months ago