Wow. Just now realizing I haven't written anything at all in here since the New Year. I guess I just haven't had or dedicated the time to the process.
In general, I tried to take on a more positive or hopeful outlook in the New Year. I'd say it's been beneficial for the most part, although hasn't quieted many of the doubts I've been wrestling with on faith.
Anyways, here's what's been going on. If nothing else, just for me to look back at:
- Started the year with a cold after climbing up Grandfather Mountain in freezing temps on New Year's Day. It was a tough hike, but worth it. Nice sense of accomplishment, and I hiked half of it with no pants on, so there's that.
- My cousin who is closest to me in age died in the first week of January from a drug overdose. I had known he had some drug problems in the past, but wasn't aware it was a current issue. He left behind a 10 year old son. Just sad.
- To wrap up the first week of January, I ruptured my Achilles tendon while doing some warm-up drills before my first ultimate frisbee game of the year. I was able to walk it off by myself from the field and drive home, but a trip to the doctor and MRI proved it completely tore right up near where the calf connects to the achilles. I've been in a hard cast for the last month & still have about a week to go.
The cast has been a bummer, mostly because it really limits what I can do on a daily basis. I can't drive because it's my right leg, and it's hard to help around the house even with this knee scooter we bought from someone off craigslist. It's hard to even navigate into the bathroom, take a shower, or do anything really engaging with the kids. It got especially frustrating when my foot started to swell up & get numb. It got to the point where my whole foot was in pain / pins & needles / numb / burning. I slept that night with couch cushions stacked up several feet literally propping my entire leg up into the air.
They cut the old cast off, checked my foot, and put a new cast on. They had failed to tell me after the first cast to make sure I was constantly wiggling my toes to encourage blood flow. Also failed to tell me I should be taking an aspirin daily to help prevent blood clots. C'mon, man.
Something else in January / early February is that I was trying to get reimbursement from my Flex Spending Account that covers out of pocket health expenses. We had $600 remaining from 2015, and I realized that our $1000 hospital bill from Ezekiel's birth had never been covered. I went through the annoying process of trying to get in touch with somebody, ANYBODY in the medical system who could authorize them to mail me a receipt of our services. I finally did after multiple phone calls and a ton of elevator music while waiting. I told them my situation, that I needed it before Jan. 31st and asked them to process it quickly. Well, January 31st came & went without the receipt arriving in the mail. I contacted my Flex Spending Account to let them know that I was expecting the receipt but hadn't gotten it yet. They basically said, "Oh well. You missed the deadline." My receipt came in the next day, and thankfully they showed some mercy when I replied back that it was the bill to my dead son's hospital services.
Then I go to file taxes. And I run into the conundrum of not being sure whether I was supposed to file for Ezekiel or not. I made an instagram post about this on my personal account, so I won't rehash it here. But it was really tough. Having to type in "DIED" because we don't have a SSN for him. And then having to order another death certificate for him to mail off with taxes to prove that he died. There's little comfort in doing anything cold & distant like taxes when it involves reliving the death of your son.