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Ashley’s Life Update

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Hi, friends!

Wow, it’s been awhile since I posted, huh?

Truth is, it’s only April 1st but 2019 has already been a BEAST of a year for me. I miss the support of this community! Would you indulge me in a little life update?

HEALTH

Unfortunately, I’ve had some major health problems in the past couple months that seemed to come out of nowhere. I’ve always been very healthy and, aside from some pregnancy-related issues when I was pregnant with my twin daughters, have never had any health complications before.

Back in February, I got sick. Like, really really ill. I thought it was the flu. I think it was God’s hand and will forever be grateful that the illness hit on the same exact day my Mom was flying into town for a visit. I was supposed to pick her up from the airport but texted that I couldn’t stop throwing up and there was no way I could leave the house. She took a taxi straight to my house, took one look at me, and told me we needed to go to the ER. It was 6pm. I thought she was crazy. I told her I just needed to rest and if I was still in bad shape the next day we could go in the morning. She practically lifted me out of bed, put me in the car, and drove me to the ER. My ex had the kids that night – it had been pre-planned that way so I could have one night solo with my mom before we had the girls, too. What was supposed to be a fun evening out together ended up with some bad news. I had sepsis. I was very ill. We’d gone to a stand-alone ER and the doctor said I’d need to be transported to the full-service hospital, so an ambulance was called and that’s exactly what happened.

First (and hopefully only) ambulance ride!

The true underlying diagnosis was kidney stones. Remember when I had kidney stones back in October? Well there had been no follow-up and my pain had gone away so I assumed I’d passed them. But nope. Looking at my CT-scan, the urologist said this was likely the same stone from October that had now grown to beast-like proportions. It was nearly 1cm (for reference, you generally can’t pass anything larger than 7mm). It had inflamed my kidney, causing a really bad kidney infection and then the resulting sepsis. 

I’ll skip all the sordid details, but I ended up inpatient in the hospital for 4 days and had to undergo 3 surgical procedures over a 6-week period, lived with chronic pain during that whole duration, and then had to pass a pea-sized stone that felt like peeing razor blades before the whole ordeal was finally over (note: the pea-sized stone is the reduced size stone that remained after they’d done lithotripsy). 

I’m just now barely on the mend. I feel more myself now than I have since early February, but I basically had to stop exercise overnight when all the health stuff flared up and I’m just barely dipping my toes back into the exercise realm, so I’m not “back to normal” quite yet, but I’m on my way.

FAMILY

Remember when I had to cancel my trip with the girls back to Texas in December because my kids got sick? We re-scheduled that trip to fall over my kids’ Spring Break, which was a couple weeks ago. I did have to alter it another time to accommodate one of my surgical procedures. We were going to be there from Monday through Saturday but the doctor needed to see me on Monday so we moved our flights to Tuesday through Saturday and crossed our fingers I’d be able to fly. Luckily everything was routine and I was cleared for travel.

The trip felt quick, but it was SO SO GOOD to get to see family and loved ones. I caught up with my high school best friend, saw my mom, stepdad, dad, brother, sister, two stepbrothers, all my nieces and nephews, etc. etc. etc. As a special bonus, it was my first time to be in Texas for bluebonnet season in over half a decade. One of my “MUST DO’S” was to get some bluebonnet pictures! My sister’s family, my family, and my mom and step dad all drove out to a big bluebonnet patch and took turns taking pictures of each other’s families. The pictures are priceless!

It was good for my soul to see my family – the first time I’ve seen any of them (except my Mom) since I moved out of my shared home last August. My life feels 100% different now than it was then (in a good way) and it felt wonderful to get to share hugs and laughs with some of my favorite people back in Austin.

DIVORCE

There are several reasons I haven’t been blogging frequently in the past few months (e.g., see health update, above), but probably the most prominent reason of all is the ongoing divorce litigation. Without giving any details I can say that things are still “ongoing” and that I cannot really talk about finances in a public forum like this for the time being. It’s tough to blog for a “getting out of debt” blog when you can’t talk about finances, you know? So I’ve been mostly silent.

That being said, I’m quite hopeful that things will be resolved soon. Please pray for me, y’all! Our house is (finally) under contract and we’re right in the middle of the inspection period currently. We’ve been under contract previously and the deal fell through during the inspection period (nothing major needs repair/replacing, but the house is 30-years old so there were a slew of small things and the buyers got cold feet). So this is our second time around and we’re hoping and praying and crossing fingers and toes that it closes on May 1st as was written in our contract. Everything hangs on the inspections. The offer we accepted was a cash deal, so we don’t have to worry about appraisals, etc.

Once the house officially closes, I anticipate things to move quickly with the finalization of the divorce. I anticipate having it finalized sometime this summer (but again, prayers accepted!) 🙂 We’ve been nearly a year in the process at this point as we’d first decided to separate last May, and I feel serious fatigue from the whole ordeal. Psychologically, I’m beyond ready for it to be officially/legally done.

WRAP UP

So there you go. I can’t make any promises about frequency with which I might be able to blog in the future. I do know that my financial picture will look very difference once the house closes and it’s proceeds have been split. Something I’d certainly like to talk about when I’m able. It was a good purchase. We gained a lot of equity in the few short years we owned it.

Thank you for the support of this community. It’s been appreciated more than you know!

~Ashley 

 


Tips for Dealing with Medical Bills

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Thank you so much for all the well thought out advice regarding the sale of our house. I really haven’t put much thought into it because I do know that 1) I’m not on solid ground financially YET and 2) you are right, I am pretty sure that I do not want to live in this tiny town after Princess graduates.

All your notes were really appreciated. Especially since…someday…I want to have my own home.

But moving on…

We have started receiving the bills for Sea Cadet’s hospital stay. So far, the total is right around $3,100.

So today, I come to you to ask for any advice on calling medical bills…

  1. Has anyone had any luck negotiating the total down when you can’t pay in full right away?
  2. I know we will be able to get him started on a payment plan.
  3. Any other tips for when we call, rather he calls?

We are going to wait another week in hopes that they will all have arrived, and then make a plan. I don’t want him to commit to multiple payment plans that run the total payment too high for him. Any tips for how to approach these phone call are greatly appreciated!

The good news is that he has already committed to his next step after he completes his Advanced EMT schooling. He will have full insurance coverage come August! More on that down the road…


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