And then she woke up from a long sleep...
I've been gone for a while. A lot has happened. We moved from Knoxville to Nashville, my hometown. Because there in May of 2012, it wasn't just me that wasn't working. It was both of us. Tank lost his job and it looked like our best option was to come back home (well, my home anyway), back to Nashville. I have my family here, so we'd have someone to stay with while we got ourselves back together.
And we got our shit together again. We found jobs fairly quickly and got out of my sister's house and back on our own just a couple of months after moving here. Much faster than I anticipated. I got a job in a call center. The money isn't great, but it's better than the unemployment check I was getting. Tank got a job as a leasing agent, so we were able to get a pretty nice apartment for a cheaper rent. The first couple of months in our new lives was a little rocky, but soon we had all the bills caught up and there was even a little extra. We were able to do more than just pay bills and buy groceries. We were getting out a little more, buying a few things we'd been wanting - it seemed like we were ok.
Then on December 12, 2012, Tank had a massive stroke. He spent 5 weeks in the hosptial and rehab. He needed brain surgery and therapy. One day I'll go into the details about that. It was a rough time, mentally and emotionally, but not so much financially. We had a little bit of money in the bank and we were able to get some help from family and friends. Tank had good insurance as well, so even though we owe some on his care, the majority of it was covered by insurance.
The stroke was bad, but it wasn't in a bad part of his brain. He was able to function fairly well after learning how to walk again (he'd atrophied pretty bad from lying in a hospital bed for 4 weeks.) He went back to work about 3 weeks after he got out of rehab. Not really so much because he felt totally up to it, but because our little money cushion was gone and he was afraid he'd lose that job for good. So even though he probably shouldn't have, he went back to work. About a month later, they let him go, saying he couldn't do the job. It all seemed like a setup to me, and I'll go more into detail about this later, too.
Luckily, Tank found another job pretty much right away. He wasn't able to start right away though because the background checks were taking a long time and then the boss lady went on vacation so he had to wait 3 weeks before he could start.
But about a week before he lost the original job, I noticed Tank had a sore on his foot and it wasn't healing. He's diabetic, so I told him he needed to get it looked at. He said no, it wasn't that bad and he felt fine. I let it go, even though I knew better. And during those weeks he was between jobs, I noticed it getting worse and occasionally mentioned we should go to the hospital. He kept saying it wasn't that bad. Flash forward to a week after he'd started his new job and Tank's foot was twice the normal size and full of infection. Once again, long story short, he's in the hospital again and he's had 3 toes amputated.
And that brings me to the title of this post. There's no money cushion this time and we've tapped out all our family and friends. There's no way to know when Tank will be able to go back to work. I'm still at my job, but it doesn't pay a lot and I've had to miss work here and there since back in December because of these hospitalizations (and once for a week because my back was out).
We've applied for disability and SSI. I have an appointment in a week to talk to DHS for Families First (welfare), but they denied our request a couple of months ago because I drew unemployment for a few months in 2012. That makes no sense, but whatever. We were able to get food stamps, but that's all the help we have been able to get for now. I'll be able to pay some of the bills, but not all of them. And there's no way I can pay this rent. Especially now that our discount is gone.
So that's my Reader's Digest version of my story now. I just need to vent and get it down in writing. It might help me to think things through a little better. And in the next few days, I'll go into some detail about what happened with the stroke and his previous employer.