My heart overflows.

Today was a rough day. There’s no getting around it. It was cold and overcast in Panama City. Cold is NOT my friend.

Thanksgiving was nice but I was glad to be done with it. I am so very ready to be moving forward with things.

Back to my original thought…. sorry I’m like a squirrel on crack these days. Staying on track is getting harder and harder. I’m sure the overwhelming things my family and I have endured have played a part in my scattered thoughts. It is still unnerving and upsetting.

Today Lance and I woke determined to get more accomplished.I received a call from AmeriCorps letting me know they were en-route to our house to remove more debris.

Lance and I got up and started moving about. He walked all three pups, while I made calls.

I made my call to FEMA, at which time they let me know without the counties inspection the power company would NOT come out and we could NOT move in.

I then called the building Dept. I spoke with a man who told me they are closed in observance of Thanksgiving. I started crying to this man that I HAD to have a sticker on a new power pole or we could NOT get hooked up or move in. As I cried to this man I felt like a complete idiot. I am a strong woman, but even the strongest are subject to tears when overwhelming things occur.

This hurricane has been overwhelming at best for me. This man was very patient and very, very understanding of my plight.

He took my number and address and told me he would work on it. I truly did not think he was really going to do anything. After all they are closed today, and why should this person work for free?

Well lemme tell ya, he called back and told me he had someone going to my property to inspect the pole. I thanked him profusely! I also wrote to the local paper and the news station to let them know about him and his dedication. This is what I wrote:

just wanted to let you folks know about Rick Holmes who is in charge of the building Dept. A kinder person I have yet to encounter. This is what I wrote on my FB regarding my interaction with this man today:

HUGE shout out to Rick Holmes!!!!!! Spoke with him this morning about getting an inspection sticker for our power pole. As embarrassed as I am I broke down crying when he told me they were closed today. He took my address and said he’d work on it. He absolutely sent someone out and we have our sticker. Power should be on later today for us to move in. Thank you JESUS!!!!

This is one of the many kind people that make this county 850 strong.

I don’t know him personally, but the fact that he took the time to call me back and had someone come out to do the inspection speaks very highly of his level of compassion and care he dedicates to this little county.

Sincerely,

Alexandra Pierce-King.

Unfortunately we could not move in until Gulf power and FEMA came out, which didn’t come to pass.

Such is life. Everything in God’s time. While outside I had gotten very dizzy, tired and spastic.

I wound up telling Lance that I needed to go back to the hotel to lie down. I got back, got right back into my pajamas and laid down before I fell down.

My hubby was txting with his youngest, Marci. She is a sweet young lady, and she’d invited us to Thanksgiving, but we didn’t go. Between the 3 dogs, Daisy having an upset tummy, and my being so sad, we didn’t think either of us would be very good company.

Had Jake not come and drug us out the door, we probably would have just stayed at the hotel ignoring the holiday all together. We did appreciate Marci’s invite, it meant a lot.

Lance and I really need to make more of an effort to go visit with them, it’s just really hard even on good days it seems. Not feeling sorry for myself, just stating the facts as I always do.

As I was laying in bed messing around on FB, Marci messages me and asks if I like dresses or skirts and what my size is. I told her I wear both, although rarely go out so to please not spend money on anything for me.

She tells me there is a lady that is donating Lou La Rhue clothing to hurricane Michael survivors. I have heard great things about this brand. I’ve heard it’s very, very comfortable. These days comfort is key. Marci messaged me and the lady donating so we could have a group chat. I gave all of my info and should be expecting a package soon. I have to say Marci went above and beyond and I’m so very appreciative.

Lance and I are some really lucky parents. We did something good having our offspring and it’s coming full circle.

Today was a rough one as I said earlier, but tomorrow is another day filled with possibilities.

As I sit….

As I sit on this Thanksgiving Day. I think about my boys and my cutie patootie hubby. That is what I’m thankful for this thanksgiving day.

I refer to a them as duckies or turkeys on occasion. These boys aren’t just turkeys (every day folk/friends). They’re my ducklings.

My sissy Terri called them that (ducklings) because when I walked they always followed in line with me. Kind of like little sweet ducklings.

My ducklings…what a wonderful description of some wonderful children. My sissies descriptive skills were spot on. A more colorful woman I have yet to meet. She is greatly missed.

Don’t get me wrong they can be asses as can I. They come by it honestly, I’m an ass as are they. We say what we’re thinking and worry about the consequences after. I have to say it’s part of our charm. If you don’t like it then get to steppin’. .

We are definitely a tell it as we see it kind of people. Nothing to be ashamed of at all in my opinion. We’re not for the weak of heart by any means. We’re opinionated and hard headed, passionate and mouthy. I’ve raised them that way and I’m proud of that. I’ve raised strong, and confident young men. They are my greatest accomplishment by far!

The level of confidence they have far exceeds what I had at their age and to be quite honest still exceeds my confidence level.

Their resilience I would have to say they have absolutely learned from me. They’ve seen me struggle sick and tired working regardless of how I felt. We’ve been through it and have always comes through smelling like a rose.

After all, tough times make for great people. We’ve had more than our fair share of great times, but we’ve also had our share of hard times as well. All of these things WILL make us better than before! My kids prove it every day.

Today was a really rough day. Lance and I went out to the house and property that also houses our newly acquired FEMA trailer. It still hadn’t been hooked up to power and still isn’t cleared to live in. I’m hoping it will happen this week.

I admit I was a bit bummed and not wanting to do any Turkey day fun. Depression setting in? Maybe, it’s been a hell of a month and a half. Home gone, memories scattered about etc. all of this had me a bit sad.

I’m a always of the thinking the cup is half full, today I felt it was half empty.

My body hurting and MS kicking my ass added to the stress. After all who in the fuck wants to do any celebrating when they feel like dirt? Feet burning numbness spreading and I was like why I’m the hell bother???

Then I got a call from my youngest Jake. He wanted to go see his brother and wanted to drop off food from his best friends Momma.

They’re super sweet people. I’m assuming Jake told them how I didn’t want to go out to eat. He had wanted Chinese food, but me? I HAD to have turkey for it to be a TRUE thanksgiving holiday.

I think that boy made a concession to make sure I had what I wanted for my fav holiday.

Thanksgiving has always been my fav holiday. My Mom and Da always made Turkey day the best!!!

Btw you don’t know a true holiday until you spend it In a Hispanic household. There’s awesome smelling food, tons of laughing and dancing and singing. Man do I miss my younger years. Best years ever!!!

Although as much I hate to admit I was feeling sad and maybe a bit sorry for myself and my community, I thought of my boys who always (much like myself) try to make the most of a bad situation, I was going to pull my head out of my ass, stop feeling sorry for myself and pull myself up by my bootstraps and keep on keepin’ on.

God’s plan is God’s plan, life is going to keep on keeping on regardless.

So while today wasn’t perfect, it was perfect given the situation and I’m still thankful I have a great husband and kids. Yes they all work my last nerve but they’re a life saver in any situation.

If I had a dime for every time someone said…..

As you all know things have been pretty crazy for this gal. I’ve blogged about some of the things going on during and after hurricane Michael kicked us in the teeth here in Panama City Florida.

Needless to say this whole thing has been a lesson in patience as well as giving it to God and trusting in him.

Yesterday I was stressed beyond belief, worrying about housing until the house is fixed or rebuilt. Things are still a bit up in the air because we haven’t received the structural engineers report.

The FEMA assistance runs out today. I’m trying to hold onto everything we can to replace furnishings etc. I had been scrambling all week trying to get answers from them about what I can do to move the process along. I am in no way lazy and will turn in whatever documentation they need. No answers had been given. I got a lot of “ma’am someone is working on your case and you should hear something within the next couple of days.”

So I feverishly prayed on it. Later in the day I got a call from the FEMA site coordinator saying he needs to meet us at the house today @ 2:00. You can bet money I’ll be there with bells on.

Fast forward to today. I woke up and my feet were completely numb. Usually it’s only a couple of toes and the side of my right foot. I waited and waited thinking maybe it had something to do with the way I had slept. I took a shower, not a hot shower just a warm shower and the numbness started spreading.

Oh joy MS the gift that keeps giving. If MS was a person I’d scream keep your bullshit and leave me be already!!!! Unfortunately my MS is MY problem and I have no one to yell at.

So I talked to my boys and tell them of my numbness one says ” maybe you can take a warm shower or a bath” To which I quickly explain that would be a bad thing for me to do right now as it may make things worse. He then says to lay down with my feet up. I guess he doesn’t realize how much I already lay down. If that would help I’d be fine a long time ago.

Talked to the other duckie that said well you have had it for soooo long, in other words be grateful. I AM very grateful to still be ambulatory, but that doesn’t make this feeling any less scary.

Surely I didn’t get through that hellish hurricane unscathed only to lose my mobility.

So my thoughts on all of this are I’m going to give it to God and hope and pray for the best. After all it’s all his will anyway and that I have to trust in.

I’ll end this with an interactive question. What do people say to you that drives you bonkers? I understand people try to help but sometimes…….

I apologize if I’m a bit cranky in this entry, just a bit over MS and all that comes with.

Not having time for chronic illness, it’ll have to wait…..

Well as you all know we here in Bay county Fl are quickly approaching a month of this hellish experience.

Needless to say it has been a learning experience. Everything from the friends and family that have your back to the friends and family that don’t. Not calling anyone out by name, but I’m sure some reading this get the drift.

I’m not in anyway talking smack, but just putting my thoughts in writing.

While there are people that have stepped up, there are plenty that showed me who I do and do not want to deal with on any level. With that being said I have to say so many great people have been there for us. The kindness has been overwhelming and really humbling.

I’ve had people ask me where they can mail me things from toiletries to money. Oddly enough my old mailbox still stands. I have told several people I appreciate their offer so very much, but don’t trust something being mailed given me not being there to receive it. A heads up folks, looters are a real and present danger. While I couldn’t direct them to where to mail anything I will say I appreciate the thought more than anything. I have some great friends, apparently more than I have ever realized.

The amount of love we have received has been overwhelming. Who’d have thunk it? God knows I’m a jerk at times as Lance is too. Yet the love still comes. I have to give special props to my Carson family. They’re my kids dads family who have went above and beyond to do for me, the hubby and my boys. Even though my ex and I hadn’t been together for a great many years they still looked out. That meant the world to me. I’m grateful for the support system I have, my family and even my ex’s (the Carson’s) family are 💯 team Al.

My Brooklyn friends and family have looked our over and over again. When you have Brooklyn people, you’ll have them for life. I’m a lucky lady to have been raised where I was. #brooklynstrong.

All of that has been wonderful, On another note I have been hanging in there like a hair in a biscuit, as they say in the South. Recently I have had issues time and time again. My right leg is buckling more and more and walking has become a chore more than usual, but it will have to wait. Not complaining because I’m sure I’ll get through as I always do.

With everything going on it’s awfully hard to get proper medical attention, as well as rest when needed. I’m working on it though. I’m sure I’ll get by and come through like the HBIC I’ve always been.

I’m attempting to send out thank you cards as there have been so many I need to thank. I need to thank a whole lot of people for their monetary contributions as well as their thoughts, prayers and emotional support.

Love you all and as I always say, do something nice for someone. It will make a difference as it always does for me. ❤️

Anger and frustration, both useless emotions.

I titled this as such because I see a lot of anger and frustration in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael.

I have also gotten very, very frustrated with the ins and outs of FEMA and my home owners insurance. Unlike many I look at the big picture.

I can:

A. Get hysterical and argue

B. Use care in my dialogue with both agencies I’m dealing with.

C. Take to Facebook and complain about FEMA the agency that I’m asking for help. Or D. Look at everything involved and proceed with caution.

I have been speaking nonstop with FEMA as well as my insurance co.

I have had some really kind people try to help me. FEMA is waiting for the insurance company to give a letter of settlement, but with my Insurance Co there is a process they have to go through. Everything isn’t on MY timeline, but on theirs.

The “old Al” would have lost her shit demanding results, but the “new Al” has learned patience and realizes that everything works in its own time. I’ve said it over and over again “this is a long and arduous process” it really is. No amount of screaming and crying is going to make anything move quicker.

I’ve submitted paperwork over and over realizing that an ineligible letter isn’t the end of the world, but a paper trail. FEMA HAS to send those letters/notifications until all necessary paperwork is submitted. These people are not trying just to piss everyone off, but are documenting everything as it happens. It’s called a timeline of events.

I get it, I’m all about documentation, maybe that’s why I’ve been very respectful when dealing with them. After all you get more flies with honey than with vinegar as my mom has taught me while growing up. Huge props to her, she taught me some really wonderful life lessons.

There is no need to bash these people, there is no need in acting ugly. I know I couldn’t do their job. With all of that being said I do have to touch on a conversation I had with a FEMA rep yesterday. She had called to ask the size of my property for possible placement of a trailer. We talked in great detail of my situation, being sick etc.

By the end of the conversation she said she wasn’t sure how things would go for me. She couldn’t promise a trailer and couldn’t promise an extension of FEMA benefits/emergency housing. She did tell me where the local official FEMA site is. She went on to say that since I have a vehicle, if things do not get approved through them I may want to go to the Walmart parking lot, get a blow up mattress and sleep in my car. I’m really not sure how I didn’t lose my shit with that comment. All I can think is that God was working through me to hold my tongue.

I was able to get off of the phone without having a total melt down. I waited about a half an hour and called FEMA and discussed my prior conversation with another rep. She was shocked that I was told that ridiculous information. Later on in the day I spoke with another rep who advised me to write a letter stating that I am in fact waiting for a settlement letter and that my insurance does not cover lodging.

Back to the documentation side of things. I wrote my letter and submitted it. Now I wait. I wait patiently, because if MS has taught me anything, it’s that I can’t control every aspect of life. I make a huge effort to do my part, but I am in fact only one woman and a very sick one at that.

And life goes on…..

As I lay here in my hotel room, I think, I think about how I miss my home. It was a never ending work in progress as it was an older home. As much as I would get frustrated about the different things I wanted to do to the house, I loved it.

I admit I’m mourning my home. Is that even a thing? If it is I hadn’t heard of it.

I said to Lance I’m ready to go home, pitch a tent in the yard and go from there. He is not going along with the plan. His area of concern is me getting sicker due to the stress of it all.

During all of this I have had several instances with blurred vision, drop foot and weakness in both hands. I hadn’t really talked about it in this blog or FB. I hadn’t even really talked to my kids, poor Lance has had to hear it all, he’s patient and tells me we’ll get through. I have to admit, I’m even tired of hearing my fucking complaints, but he holds steady. I suppose he has to have stellar patients since he does deal with students on the regular.

I’m going to concentrate on putting good things in the air. Positive things happen to positive people and all that jazz.

After all what would it accomplish? I still have tremendous faith that there’s a reason for all of this and that we’ll be ok.

I know I’ve thought dealing with MS was humbling. Just an FYI having everything you ever had torn from you is even more humbling.

I’ve had so many people reach out offering aSsistance. I love them all for being there for my crazy little family. If anything this experience has renewed my faith in my fellow man. I’ve seen it first hand.

I used the pic above because it’s in my kitchen a couple of days prior to the storm hitting. Back when things were normal and life was good. I have faith it will be good again, we just have to keep going forward.

Displacement and disability

Displacement while being disabled is a truly frightening place to find ones self. I am desperately trying to cling to my glass is half full way of being, but truth be known I’m struggling to find the silver lining in this quandary I find myself in.

I was telling the hubby I can’t believe this is happening to us. Homeless at 47 and 57, not that being homeless at any age is a good go, but sick and older make for an overwhelming situation.

Later in the day we went to Davids house, ya know the house that was in a flood zone? The one I was begging him to leave before something horrible happened? Well lemme tell ya, that town house was in stellar condition with the exception of a minor leak and a tree that fell in front of the front door. We could still make entry it was more of an inconvenience if anything.

We got inside and set up the dog kennels and got everyone situated with their food and water.

Have I told you all about how awesome my pets are? They are the most adaptable animals ever, they’re even keeled and well trained. even my goofy cat acted accordingly.

I had seen Jake several times, him his best friend Ray and Rays mom made it over the the house before we left for David’s. Seeing all of them made me feel better about Jake, knowing he was with them was comforting if anything.

Although the power was out at David, Chase and Jesse Lynn’s house and we had no internet or phone, their house was at that point right up there with the Waldorf Astoria.

You don’t realize what a luxury it is to be in a sound structure with roof over your head. The night before we slept in the cars, parked in my driveway with all 3 dogs and the cat. Needless to say a wet wipe bath, brushing our teeth and laying in an actual bed felt like we were walking in tall cotton.

I slept…..I slept like the dead.

my family was safe and I was feeling blessed. Hard times make for a major appreciation of each and every thing we take for granted.

While everyone sleeps, I write. Anxiety getting the better of me. I’m an A type personality. Not being in control is unnerving at best.

I tried sleeping but was Jostled awake in a panic, thinking I was going to die.

I know, it was an irrational fear, but the mind after dealing with such a horrifying experience is usually left on high alert, regardless if its rational or not.

I stressed and worried about money as well as my pups. Hamm hasn’t been feeling his best. Panting and acting like something is caught in his lungs. It’s worrisome as you all know I worry about them like I do about my boys.

I wrote the first portion of this on the 12th. Today it is the 23rd. I’m still very anxious and still clinging to hope. Hamm is doing better and is breathing well. I’m thankful.

Lance,I and 2 of my 3 pups and my cat are in Mobile Al. I can’t really complain, we have A/C, electric, clean water and the fine folks at Drury hotels are taking very good care of us.

Lance and I grabbed a burger at Ruby Tuesday’s today for lunch and as I sat there thinking how lucky we are that we lived through that. I looked at my hubby with tear filled eyes and broke down crying. I hate to admit I punked out and cried. Thinking about how bad I just wanted to go home. Nerve pain was stupid today and all I wanted was to crawl into MY bed, in MY house.

I have so many people telling me how brave I am, I’m not. I cried like a little baby wanting her blanket. I wanted the safety and security my home offered when pain set in. Unfortunately that wasn’t in Gods plan any more. I know I’ll find another source of comfort when pain gets stupid. I’m not looking for pity at all. Just stating how unnerving uncertainty is when dealing with pain and or disability.

I know we’ll make it through of course , because we’re resilient and have many people in our corner. I just have to say it’s more than uncomfortable being displaced and being disabled.

Please keep the prayers coming and thanks for reading. Tomorrow’s a new day and filled with possibilities.