I didn't exactly mean to take this long of a break from blogging... Thanks for all your patience (and hello to my new readers)!
So much has happened -- both good and bad -- since my last post. Oddly, most everything seems to involve large sums of money. Here are the highlights
My old car died, so I had to get a "new" used one. Where I live public transportation leaves much to be desired; thus,a car is a necessity. I have to admit, though, I was not that sorry to go shopping for a newer model. It was actually pretty fun. Unfortunately, we had to take out a loan because we didn't want to spend the money we had saved for our home down payment (see below). Fortunately, we got a good interest rate and hope to pay off this loan by the end of the year.
Of course, not long after we plopped down a bunch of money for a car, a bunch of unexpected expenses popped up (it's funny how things often seem to work out that way). I started having uncomfortable tremors due to the antiseizure medicine I had started (Depakote ER). Writing and other fine movements became difficult. I stopped that medicine, started having even more seizures (simple partial), then had to try out some different meds. I had too many doctor appointments to count. Prescriptions and medical appointments -- even with insurance -- can get very expensive when you have so many of them.
While all of the above was going on, we were working on trying to buy a home...something we'd been saving up for (the down payment, that is)for a few years. We saw quite a few houses before we found a "dream" home that was within our budget. It's got two bedrooms and two and a half baths. There are some minor problems and cosmetic issues we've been slowly working to fix, but it's been amazing to call this place ours.
Not long after we closed on our home and before we actually moved in, I had a terrible reaction to the antiseizure medication I was on at the time (Trileptal). The reaction I had was anaphylaxis . I was alone at the time and had to call 911 for myself. I was taken by ambulance to an emergency room and given life-saving treatment. Because the reaction was so severe, they admitted me into the hospital to monitor my breathing. Though life-threatening, anaphylaxis has a fast recovery time when caught and treated early enough. I was released from the hospital the next evening. I ended up on short-term disability (again) for about a month. I'll write about this experience in detail in another post. I was pretty traumatized by the event.
Most recently (this month, in fact), I started a new job. It has better hours, better benefits, better pay, and requires less energy. I'm sure you can understand why I accepted the position! It was tough leaving my old job after five years, but the timing felt right...especially after the rough year I've had. Having gone on short-term disability twice in one year was not my idea of a good time; however, I think it was my body's way of telling me to give it a break.