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.

Loss..emotional, monetary it’s all hard.

Well you all know my house went belly up with hurricane Michael. Apparently that jerk felt the need to ruin so many lives.

So many lives lost, so many homes lost, jobs lost as well.

While I’m feeling so blessed my kids,hubby and pets made it through without injury I have to say losing my house hurt my soul.

My house held so many memories. Raising my kids, losing my husband etc.

I had one woman say well I guess it’s just time to move on. Like really lady???! My response was “NO I’d rather have my home that I’ve had for years.” The gall of her flippant attitude about my home flew all over me.

This wasn’t anyone I had known for any length of time so in her defense she didn’t have a clue. To me it was almost an insult. My home wasn’t anything fantastic, but it was fantastic because all that it held.

With having to put my old boy Wiggles down and then dealing with this, it just made me anxious because it was like I was moving away from everything good I had experienced over many years. I felt like my past was quickly disappearing.

I’m hoping it all turns out great, but to say it’s scary is putting it mildly.

So many have said it’s “just things” . It’s not just things. It’s part of who I am.

So now me and the hubby are in a pretty nice hotel. Far outside of the area of impact. Hopefully I can handle my Ins and fema business without having to drive 2-2 1/2 hrs to have a signal. Verizon sucks!!!

We have our pups and cat in tow with the exception of Mr.Sampson. He was really scared of having a muzzle on. He’s an anxious little guy, who’s been through a lot lately. I left him with my boy David, David is my go-to. If I ask, he always steps up. It also helps that Sampson thinks David hung the moon. They’re pretty tight.

I’m going to end this with a HUGE thank you for all the prayers, thoughts and good ju-ju.

Have no fear folks my family will rock this like we have rocked all the other hard times we’ve had.

Love you all thanks for reading ❤️

Life is still good and God is still great, every single day!

Keeping a semblance of normalcy during very abnormal times

So this was me the other day under my beat to hell carport applying make up. Am I crazy? Maybe. Am I that vain? Not at all.

This was my coping technique. I sat there waiting for someone to come look at my crumbling home. I was attempting to carry on like always, if anything it occupied my mind for a moment with some level of normalcy. Things are very,very NOT normal for my little family. If we are anything we are durable in times of trouble.

With our backs up against the wall we come together and push through.

I’ve had numerous people reach out to me, telling me how impressed they are with my resilience. I’m going to let you all in on a little secret. I’m not that resilient, I just have a will to live and an appreciation for whatever I have. No matter how big or small it’s all a gift.

Several days after the hurricane hit I received a call from an old friend from my car selling days. Old Lester called to check on me. That meant a lot, he’s a good guy and has been a dear friend for many, many years.

While talking to my bud he tells me one of our friends from the dealership killed himself. I have to say it breaks my heart to hear news like this. He was a really sweet man.

I have to say even when you think you’re going through it, there’s someone out there having a harder time than you. The thought that this sweet man was so despondent that he took his own life is sadder than any natural disaster ever could be. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family, that kind of tragedy is heartbreaking. I’m sure his family is devastated.

So my thoughts on this are take a moment to look at your situation, really look at it from another angle. There’s always so much worse out there, so much more pain and so much more suffering.

With all of that I’m going to end this with talking about something a little lighter. Lance and I came home to find our front door wide open. There were deputies doing traffic control in front of my house, so I asked them to clear the residence before we made entry. They did and did not mind at all. I thanked them for their svc to this community. They were an out of town agency. The amount is support we’ve received from agencies as far away as Canada (linemen) has been tremendous.

There have been so many putting their own lives on hold, leaving their families to come help us in Panama City. I’ll always back the blue, green and red, as well as other agencies that assisted us in our time of need.

Thank you to all that has taken the time to help, there aren’t words enough to thank everyone. To the asshole that made entry to my house you’re lucky my dogs weren’t  there, they’d have chewed you up and spit you out. May you burn in Hell for all eternity, taking this time to loot is really horrible. The big guy sees all and they will pay eventually!!!!