Properly Chagrined

Financial Troubles

I believe that everyone, at some point in their lifetime, have had financial troubles.

Unless, of course, you are part of a husband and wife dual-income household, with at most two or no children, and receive ten thousand dollar checks from your parents for Christmas every year.  Or even one year.

For the past fifteen years at least, I’ve followed, to the best of my ability, the Dave Ramsey program.

I’m not perfect at it, which is why I’m in the Dave Ramsey Kinda group on Facebook.  Because NO ONE is perfect.

Well, I have a story to tell of our recent financial troubles.

In good news, we haven’t used credit cards in over a year.

That was actually a freeing feeling.

But we got overwhelmed.  And behind.

Then came in the mail the first two summons and complaints.

Yes, we got that far behind.

At first I was ashamed and humiliated, because I know everyone who is nosy likes to look at CCAP to find out which of their friends and neighbors are on the naughty list.

Admit it, you do it.

Capital One

The first two court actions came from Capital One.  I didn’t dispute them, we owed the money.  But there’s more to the Capital One story.

I had sent a letter to both the court and the Capital One attorney outlining the history of the past three years, with the Stage 4 cancer diagnosis, having to pay $1,368 a month out of our pocket for health insurance, being forced to retire from working because of the diagnosis, thereby cutting our income more than in half.

Our health insurance premium decreased in 2016 to $823 a month, but still a burden with only one income.

Then our well was contaminated with manure.  Another at least $14,000 we didn’t have, but clean water was an emergency.

I spoke with Capital One representatives on many occasions, hoping to reduce interest rates, pleading that they take reduced payments.

I made payments as I could.

Baby Girl moved home after her first year of college, which increased our expenses.  Of course we would do anything for our children, who wouldn’t?

I could have delayed the court actions by asking the judge to recuse himself because I’ve known him for almost thirty years.  One of our daughters is good friends with his daughter.  But I wasn’t going to waste the court’s time with doing that.

All I requested was a little more time.

The return date of October 25th came for Capital One, and I didn’t attend the court hearing.  I knew I owed the money, and it wasn’t a good cancer day for me.

Judgment was awarded against me in both Capital One cases.

About two weeks after the judgment was entered against me by Capital One, their attorney reopened the case, vacated the judgment, and dismissed the case.

They took mercy on me.  And for that, Capital One, I will always be grateful.

Citibank

Citibank on the other hand…

The second court action came from Citibank.  I did dispute this court action, because it was a retail credit card that showed nothing about Citibank.

Also, I hadn’t received or been able to access any statements since May, 2018.  They were claiming in the court action more money than what was shown on that statement.

I filed an Answer with the court.  It is nice that you can do all of that online now, except for the fact that you have to pay twenty dollars to access EACH case.

I provided the same letter to the court and Citibank’s attorney outlining life’s struggles.

I’m not looking for sympathy, I was merely asking for more time to make arrangements to pay them back.

Side Trip

The last two months, I’ve had trouble with my left shoulder/upper arm.

Of course, you know what the first thoughts in my head are.

I finally couldn’t stand the pain anymore, I also couldn’t use my left arm.

It hurt to even turn on the blinker in the truck – and I always use my blinkers.  You’re welcome.

An appointment at my primary care physician included x-rays, and a note from the radiologist that the pain was due to my cancer spreading.

Primary care physician concluded it was time to see my oncologist.

A message went quickly to my oncologist to please review the x-ray and let me know what his thoughts were.

That same day, the message from the oncologist’s office came in.

They are quite different than the bone density and CT scans you’ve had in the past.

Later that day I received a text from my oncologist trying to diffuse the thoughts going through my head.

X-rays just indicate if there’s spots there.  Doesn’t indicate whether they are active or causing the issues.  Hopefully the bone scan will tell us those spots are old and not active and the pain is not cancer related!

He really IS a good oncologist.

Bone Scan

I last had a bone scan in July of this year.

A bone scan was scheduled for last Wednesday, December 12th, with the results to be given to me on Friday, December 14th.

The thoughts going through our minds between the 6th and the 14th wouldn’t stop.  The hubs was anxious and worried.  As much as I am not afraid to die, being human, I don’t WANT to die.  I don’t want to leave the hubs, or my children and grandchildren.  That just isn’t fair.

One of my bestest friends, Anne, went to the bone scan with me.  I figured she wouldn’t mind because she always likes to learn new things.

So she watched as the nurse accessed my port at 9:00 a.m., and injected the nuclear bone tracer.  We went together to the cafeteria and had breakfast, and then just sat together in the cancer center, talking about life and putting a puzzle together.

I am not good at putting puzzles together.

At noon, I returned to the diagnostic imaging department for the bone scan, which took an hour.

Back to court

I sent another notice to the court, as a pre-trial hearing with Citibank was scheduled for Wednesday, December 12th.

The notice told the court and Citibank’s attorney that I couldn’t do a bone scan and a court hearing on the same day.

In that same notice, I also pointed out that Citibank’s attorney still hadn’t provided me with the information I requested, and that was promised at the return date hearing on November 6th.

Last Thursday, December 13th, the judicial assistant tried to facilitate me getting that information before the new scheduled pre-trial date of December 19th (today).

She conference called the attorney for Citibank and myself.

The attorney, is an ASS.

He argued with me over the phone.  He upset not only me, but also the judicial assistant.  I was actually physically sick to my stomach after that phone call.

He ended the argument with “when you’re ready to talk to me, call me.”

I asked nicely for his number.  The judicial assistant chimed in and asked if that was his direct line.

“No, you won’t be talking to me, you’ll be talking with my staff.”

Oh, no, I wont.

TO Attorney Kachelski, I don’t and have never wished ill upon anyone.

Your firm website has a heading showing “Our Professionals”.  You sir, are NOT a professional.

I sure hope that the high pedestal you are on, overlooking us little ants scurrying and working hard below you, the ones who suffer from what life throws at us constantly, doesn’t get knocked over, or have it’s legs cut off.  You would greatly benefit from some empathy counseling.  Have some compassion for those who are less than you.

But you probably don’t care, up there on your pedestal, head above the clouds with all the fortunate and privileged.

I will always be one of those working hard and suffering from what life throws at me, but you’ll still always be an ASS.

Properly Chagrined

So why am I properly chagrined?

Despite the fact that I had requested information that the attorney didn’t provide to me, they kindly sent me Interrogatories and Request for Documents.

I didn’t respond to the Interrogatories and Request for Documents because I hadn’t received the information I initially requested and they promised to provide.

They slid by on a technicality.  One part of the information I had requested was attached to the Interrogatories.

The other part of my request was proving that Citibank was in fact the creditor since everything on the statement showed that the retailer was the creditor.

I looked a little closer.  There in the fine print, it showed the Citibank owned the card.

I am known for my attention to detail.  Today, I was properly chagrined.

So I admitted my wrong.

Legal Mumbo-Jumbo

If I’ve talked over your head with legal mumbo-jumbo in this blog, my apologies.

I love the law, and I miss being a paralegal.

So once in a while, I slip back into the legal mumbo-jumbo.

Finances Going Forward

As I mentioned, we haven’t used credit cards in over a year.

Which means we’ve made it – to a degree.  I’m proud of that, and I have every right to be!

The next steps are saving up for a new roof – ours is leaking into the attic…AND

Saving up for new siding.  We had new windows and doors installed in 2016, all paid for, but our siding took a hit.

But…with the outside of the house looking the way it does, I would think it would deter anyone who would want to try and rob us!  I hope!

Bone Scan Results

Oh yeah! I suppose you would like to know the results of the bone scan!

Sure, there’s cancer in my humerus.  But it’s old cancer.  Not new cancer.

YAY!

There is actually LESS cancer showing on the bone scan this time, than was showing on the bone scan done in July.

YAY!

Wait…so what’s the problem?  Where’s the pain coming from?

That’s the problem with having Stage 4 metastatic breast cancer with bone mets.

When a doctor, nurse practitioner, nurse, radiologist, anyone in the medical field sees a history of cancer, that is the root of all wrongs in your body.

WRONG!

I was referred to the orthopedic surgeon, and the word is, my rotator cuff is acting up.  Not because of cancer, but because of that other illness called A-G-E.

A shot of lidocaine went into my shoulder, followed by a shot of cortisone.

Felt better IMMEDIATELY!

Oh, the wonders of modern medicine…!

 

Sending love and hugs to all! ~Erika~

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