I went up north with my boss and the executive director of the boys' home the other day, and they gave me some disheartening news. The boys' home has been open for about a year now, and to date we've only been keeping our head above water financially...just barely. The girls' have been carrying us on their backs. So the purpose of going up north was to see if we could save at least 25% of our food bill by using Sam's Club and Walmart, rather than Sysco.
As some of you know, we thought the boys' home was going to go down about 8 months ago, but thanx to the program manager at that home and the education director at that time, who both gave up their paychecks that month in order to keep the doors open, that didn't happen. But now, things don't look so good again.
Apparently one of the staff at the girls' home took more girls to the gym than would fit in the van. So that means they were sitting on each others' laps and not wearing their seatbelts.
Now this isn't hitting us out of the blue, it isn't just one isolated incident, we've been having a lot of troubles at the girls' home lately. Such as the girls complaining to their social workers about the meals they are being served. What they're angry about is the fact that they have to eat off of cafeteria trays, and the menu doesn't always fill up each and every compartment of that tray. So they are telling everyone that we are starving them to death.
As a result of those complaints, the "state" made a surprise visit to the home, and wanted to know where our nutritionist-approved menu was, and why it wasn't posted. Well we don't have one. We did have one when the girls' home first opened up, because that was the requirement to open. But we didn't keep it up to date because a pre-approved menu wasn't working out.
First, the staff wouldn't follow it. If they didn't like what was being served, or didn't want to go to the trouble of cooking what was on the menu that day, they would do something else. Something easier or more to their liking. Whatever they wanted. Plus, it was very expensive to do it that way because we couldn't take advantage of sales, and couldn't buy things in the exact quantity that we needed them to be in, in order to follow a pre-set menu. As Sysco requires us to buy almost everything by the case.
Now we did go out and buy the girls regular dinner plates, so they won't be expecting more than an average menu, and we did investigate the other homes in our area to see what the state was requiring of them. And we found out that they are NOT required to have posted, nutritionist-approved, pre-set menus, nor a lot of other things that the state is requiring of us.
The ramification of all of this is that we have lost a very large contract this month with one of our main placement agencies, (they are refusing to renew their contract actually), plus we might lose another one. So far this other agency has always done what the agency who is currently refusing to renew has done. That means we are losing 8 placements between the 2 homes within the next 30 days, (a done deal -- they showed me their 30-day notice), and quite possibly 4 more.
If that happens, we won't be able to keep the doors open on either home. If this other agency decides to renew their contract, we "might" be able to keep the girls' home open, but not the boys. Because it takes almost a full house for us to just break even at the boy's facility. So if the girls' cannot carry us anymore, because they are only breaking even themselves, there's no way for us to stay open.
So I might be out of a job within the next 30 days.
What's bad about that is that I still have a TON of medical bills I need to pay, even though we've qualified for a lot of financial assistance this past year. And while I don't make all that much money working only 3 hours a day, I was making enough to meet those expenses. So now I don't know if I'll be able to afford to go back onto my low-carb diet.
I was planning to do that somewhere around the first of May, after my husband's current treatment for Hepatitis C ends later on this month, and he gets his second wind back (his bone marrow has taken a beating lately so he's only been able to manage about 6 or 6-1/2 hours a day at work). But I don't know if I'll be able to do that now.
I'm kindda bummed about that because I really wanted to see if being gluten-free would make a difference in how well low-carb worked for me. I know it wasn't working all that well before, (for me), not without going low-fat, low-calorie, but I'm now wondering if that was an absorption problem. Since not absorbing essential fatty acids is a major problem with those intolerant to gluten.
If I was getting glutenated by both my low-carb food choices (the particular brands I was buying as well as the kinds of food I was eating) and cross contamination, then I might be able to go back to Atkins and use my new-found knowledge I have acquired lately to successfully get the rest of my weight off. Maybe it would work for me as written, if I could keep myself from being glutenated.
What I've observed on maintenance so far is that gluten plays a major role in my inflammation and water retention issues. When I come into contact with gluten, when I have to eat it because there's no other way, or get contaminated in some way, I go into water retention and inflammation mode; which causes not only my vertigo and balance issues to return, but also causes my weight to go up. When I successfully keep gluten out of my life, in all forms, my weight goes back down.
So I'm now wondering if it has been gluten issues that have been making low-carb difficult for me, from the beginning.