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More Medical Costs and Mortgage Update


Medical Costs and Mortgage Update

When it rains, it pours! In addition to my dental issues, I’ve had two more medical problems pop up. My medical costs are definitely going to be higher this year than last year. Just a warning—possible TMI coming if you’re squeamish and don’t like discussing medical stuff. 

Getting An Ultrasound

I’m not due for a physical until December, but I had to go back to the doctor early because I had a painful rash/lump on my chest. Plus, my armpit was hurting badly due to what I believed was a swollen lymph node. 

If you have a touch of health anxiety like I do, you’ll understand the panic I felt when I looked up my symptoms on Google. I was so scared that I had cancer that I considered going to the emergency room (luckily my spouse talked me out of it). 

My doctor believes it’s a benign cyst and I’m on a course of antibiotics to treat it, which were completely covered by insurance. However, I still have to go for an ultrasound in a month just to make sure there’s nothing else going on. My doctor thought it was a little weird that the swollen lymph node wasn’t on the same side of my body as the cyst, so she wanted to order more tests to be safe. 

Possible ADHD

Another medical issue I have going on is potential ADHD. My therapist who I’ve been working with for over a year believes it’s possible I have it and wants me to get tested by a psychologist. I’m in the process of finding a psychologist who has an opening in the next couple of months (many are booked up for a year or longer) and takes my insurance, which will hopefully help reduce the cost of the testing. I’ve heard it’s expensive, so I’m not looking forward to getting that bill!

But I think undergoing testing will be worthwhile. I’ve been doing research on ADHD and the more I read, the more it seems to match up with my personality. Many people with ADHD say they have a constant hum of thoughts, and I definitely relate. During the day, I cycle between feeling like my brain is in overdrive and feeling completely spaced out. Although I was an A student and have managed to run my freelance writing business, tasks take me longer than the average person. 

I was always the last one to finish tests in school and had trouble paying attention to lectures and conversations. It almost feels like my brain or ears “short out” and make it impossible to understand what the person I’m trying to listen to is saying. I register that sound is coming out of their mouth, but I can’t interpret the words, no matter how much I wish that I could understand and focus. 

My therapist thinks I developed good coping mechanisms over time, which enabled me to succeed in school and launch my writing business. But he thinks I may need medication to function optimally and stop feeling like I’m always behind the eight ball. 

Mortgage Update

Recently I talked about our mortgage payment increasing to $1,500 per month. However, my spouse called the insurance company and managed to secure a lower homeowner’s insurance premium. We’re going to save about $900 on our policy this year, so our mortgage payment probably won’t go up after all. 

Apparently we were getting homeowner’s insurance through an insurance broker, which raised the cost. We’re not sure how this happened because we called the insurance company directly to get our policy. It’s good news that our insurance will cost us $900 less this year. But I’m upset that we’ve been paying more than we had to for the last two years unknowingly. Has something similar ever happened to you? I’m pretty confused by the whole situation!

Read More

Confession: We’ve Taken On A Little More Debt

Ashley’s February 2023 Debt Update

Finally Dealing With My Dental Issues

Reflection: Four Years Ago Life Was Pretty Crazy


I’ve spent some time reflecting recently – I always do this in the springtime. Generally, I take a little time out of each day and journal some of my thoughts/feelings. I consider how far we’ve come (myself personally and us as a family).

Our lives as a married couple started four years ago. We got married on March 18, 2019, and promptly moved to Atlanta from Charlotte four days later. At the time, my husband had got what seemed like the job offer of a lifetime. So, we canceled our larger wedding plans, got hitched at the courthouse, and moved within two weeks’ time.

When we made the decision to move to Atlanta, we both thought it would be a positive change. However, when we arrived there, we discovered it was anything but that. Not only was my hubby’s dream job not what it seemed to be, but we were also close to being homeless again as soon as we got there. Here’s how it all unfolded…

Discovering The Scam

Before making the decision to move to Atlanta, my husband and I went down to scope out the area. Plus, he would be in charge of running a Porsche shop there. He had to sit down for an interview and get to know more about his responsibilities. Over the weekend that we visited, we both felt like this would be a great opportunity for him. Both of us were also excited to live in a new city too (we’ve always had the travel bug).

After getting back to Charlotte, we told our family and friends that we’d decided to make the move. We set a date for our quick wedding and made our plans to leave.

We were in Atlanta for less than a month when things started going wrong. It was clear that there was something amiss at the shop my husband had been put in charge of. His paychecks were irregular, if they came at all. Eventually, customers started coming to the store asking about the owner and accusing him of stealing their expensive cars.

As it turns out, that is exactly what happened. The owner stole these Porsches, put them on a boat, and sent them to Germany – where he was. He had no intention of coming back and things were going down hill quickly. On top of that, we were staying in his home (as part of my husband’s pay).

When the mail came, we were getting foreclosure notices, along with a lot of other worrisome details. So, I decided to do some background checks on the employer. He was an international criminal and we were stuck living in his home, my husband working for him. At the time, we didn’t have any connections in Atlanta. It was just the two of us. And it was beyond stressful.

One of my husband’s clients came in and they were talking. As it turned out, he had a studio apartment available to rent. We worked it out to at least get out of the owner’s house. However, we were paying $1,300 per month for a 450-square-foot apartment that had bed bugs, outdated appliances, and plumbing problems.

Better than being homeless though!

And Then COVID Happened

My husband found another job in the area and we started making a life for ourselves in Atlanta. We made a few friends and life was improving. As you know, about a year after we got married and moved there, COVID turned the world upside down.

COVID selfie

In Atlanta, COVID restrictions were difficult. Then, the summer of 2020 brought a number of riots to the city. My husband’s shop closed down, he was home with me throughout the day. Things were difficult. In fall of that year, my family in NC needed some help, which had us traveling back and forth to Charlotte a bit.

After some consideration, we both decided moving back closer to home would be a good decision. My mom offered to help with moving costs and that was that. We were back in North Carolina by December 1. Luckily, too, because we found out one month later that we were expecting our first child.

Four Years Later

Things have drastically changed in the last four years. My husband now works from home full-time. We work alongside each other for two very different companies – and I wouldn’t change a thing. It’s great having him home throughout the day and he has a much more fulfilling career. We don’t have to scrape change to buy the things we need and we are making progress towards our goals all the time. It took a lot of hard work to get here, but I couldn’t be happier with how far we’ve come.

All of this to say, if you are standing in the middle of the hellfire that can be life sometimes, hold on. Things can and will get better, especially if you put in the work.

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