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R received a notice of an appeal hearing scheduled for June 13 in Winston-Salem. The VA.GOV website lists the hearing as canceled and R’s claim complete. No other information. We believe the RAMP application superseded the appeal process, thus canceling the hearing (which is a shame, we may have shot ourselves in the foot by requesting a RAMP hearing). There’s no way the RAMP scheduling is for this soon. All I can do is email different people at the attorney’s office and hope someone has a definitive answer. I think it’s canceled. I think it’s interesting to note that we’ll have to go to Winston-Salem for the hearing. I’m surprised it we have a hearing at all, thought it was a done deal with all the paperwork but apparently not.

*heard from attorney, she will handle it all, we do not have to attend a hearing. repeat, do not have to go to winston-salem. this is rip-roaring good news. There is light at the end of this 3 year tunnel.

R will do fine in an interview. He always nails it. He does have schizo-affective disorder, he is OCD and his future employment opportunities were definitely affected by his military sexual trauma. It’s been documented by two psychiatrists. One paid for by the VA, called a C&P exam and R was found to be whatever we claim him to be, hands down, no question. Then the attorney hired an independent psychiatrist to evaluate R for his claim. This doctor used to do C&P exams and his interview/assessment of R is quite extensive. He said the magic words we’ve been waiting for, the magic words in any claim against the Air Force for MST — “more likely than not” caused by the MST.

If you’re filing a claim for VA compensation, this is the phrase a doctor MUST write down for you. If you can’t get this verification, you will be denied. I think this is all going to come down rather quickly but it still surprises me that the website says the hearing is canceled.

My confusion, my angst, my difficulties lie in communication breakdowns. I’ve emailed 2 different attorney reps about this and hope to hear from them today. One of them an attorney named N, is usually very prompt in his replies. I could contact CP, the head of it all, but I’ll wait and see what her minions say first. She’s also very prompt in her replies.

F wants to go try his time-lapse photography again this afternoon. He’s recovering nicely from his heart procedure yesterday and needs to get out of the house. He’s not allowed to mow or lift anything over 5 lbs for two weeks. He has to be hyperaware of the places on his leg where the probes or whatever they were, were inserted. I know I can’t keep him in a chair all day, which is where he should be, but I can control his movements by driving him to the Estuarium pond where he wants to go to take photos.

We tried time-lapse photography last Sunday at Dinah’s Landing but he told me the photos turned out white, nothing works. He’s hot to try it again and thinks the sun will be a in good place around 4. I told him I’d take him. He was very happy with that. He says I’m an angel but really — in reality — I’m just a good friend. I care a lot about him

I was really worried about him yesterday. His brother, B, was very worried and it was sort of an honor to be here for both of them. They have children but the sons are far away, 10 hour drives, so we can’t expect them to be here for F and B whenever something happens. B’s son drove all the way from Indiana to see F’s photography exhibit at the Arts Council. It was very dear of him. F also had a sweet couple fly in from IN for the opening night. She took wonderful photographs and compiled them in a book for F as a memory! It’s an awesome book. My photo is in there many times and I must say, my arms are really fat! ha ha. I have the typical body of a 63 year old woman. A bit round in the middle with okay legs and nice ankles. My neighbor has cankles, just horrid looking and she is very much aware of them. But she wears nice sandals, so it must not bother her. I’d wear boots, ha ha.

I have to remember to feed neighbor’s cat tonight. She feeds a cat left behind by previous homeowner across the street. It’s a strange situation. He’s been gone over a year and P (the neighbor) makes him buy the cat food. Funny. I’ve been to the store for her to buy it and she always pays me back, even though she buys bags that are less than $5 a piece. The cat, called mama kitty, won’t let you near her, but she comes up to the porch to eat twice a day.

P went to the beach, I’m sure. She and the beach cottage owner go every chance they get. I think it’s only a couple hours drive from here. She is very fortunate to have a friend with a beach house. J and O dream of owning one some day, something they can rent out and then have available for family whenever we want to go. Sounds like a great plan and I’m thinking way out side the box here, but maybe we can invest in the house with them. Be part owners. I’d love that. I think it might encourage them to make the purchase if we promised $10K towards it. Like I said, thinking outside the box.

Meanwhile, I have V to worry about. She’s in RI and has urinary tract problems, pees on herself all the time and needs pads for her incontinence. She posted a FB fund raiser and made around $120 but had no bank account to send it to, so I sent her our particulars so she could use our account. I realize how sketchy that is to do for someone but I’m not worried about her misusing the account. It’s not like she can check the balance online or anything. I spoke to C about it, obviously not to R (he’d have a fit and fall in it) and she agreed it was the right thing to do. Once the $$ is disbursed, I’ll transfer it to her PayPal account so she can spend it at Walmart online store. She is going to buy 90day supply of the pads, rather than her original thought of 30. I’m relieved she’s thinking in those terms.

She wants/dreams/hopes that we’ll help her when the money arrives. And I do plan on helping her out. It’s not that I can get her out of RI, despite her belief that she can live upstairs here, we just don’t have room and she can’t handle stairs, so how would she cook or anything? She’s not going to get to come here but I can make her stay in RI a more acceptable one by sending her $100 a month. I plan on doing that, I think R will be on board.

She’s been homeless, has lived in a half-way house, been abused and is generally all around fucked by life. V is a sweet woman to talk with every day and I cherish our friendship.

R is concerned by my incessant typing. I know he wonders what I’m writing about even though I told him I was scanning the VA documents and sending them to the attorney reps that I find I’ve talked with before now. Hopefully I’ll get an answer today. I leave for F’s photographic moment in about 2 hours, plenty of time to get a response.

I’m sure this whole June 13th thing has R in a tizzy. Have sent him to our room to lie down for a while. He’s shaking his leg, bouncing around, his eyes are bloodshot and swollen and he stayed up too late last night, as I detailed in a previous post.

I get messages from WordPress saying people read my posts. I doubt this. No one is reading this and on the off chance someone is, well, God bless you. If you’re reading, you’re learning about the good and bad of a 60-something woman who’s been a house wife her entire life. Now I live with R, have for over 20 years. Previously I was married to B who left me to return, ha ha, to his Mommy 22 years ago. We were married for over 22 years and had 2 girls. One is now 40, she’s J, and then there’s C who is 38. They are amazing women and impress me daily with their wit, wisdom and beauty.

For Mother’s Day, J and A (her spouse) gave us carte blanche on getting our washing machine fixed. The parts came in today and the repairman will be here tomorrow sometime between 1 and 5. I have my weekly therapist appointment tomorrow at 1-2. I have been in M’s care for over a year. She’s a good therapist, leads me gently toward the truth but never gives bad advice. She knows more about me than I know about myself. I figure, when the VA compensation and the IU comes through, I’ll lose Medicare and Medicaid and have to pay the $120 out of pocket to see her. We’ll find a way to afford it. I’ll probably have to buy health insurance until I’m 65 but we’ll find a way to afford that too. I’ll probably have to get a really shitty policy but then again, I only go to Dr. C twice a year for check ups and I’ve been to dentist lately and had 2 fillings.

So that’s me in a nutshell. I have a degree in history, graduate work in American history and I’m as liberal as the day is long. I receive SNAP benefits and without it, we would surely be in sad shape. I also have Medicare and Medicaid. I have been on disability since 2002 because of my arthritis, had spinal fusion surgery in 1988 and am also considered bi-polar but I haven’t been manic in over 10 years, although I do suffer from depression and take meds for it. I see a psychiatrist every 3-4 months, just to get my meds, but M is my therapist and does more good than the meds, well … maybe not. I was severely depressed and the meds have to have had something to do with my not feeling so hopeless.

It’s easy to succumb to depression. I totally get how deep one can go, how low. Living on this tiny income with the threat of impending homelessness hanging over our heads — our mortgagee has agreed to take a half-mortgage payment until we get our benefits, then we will play catch up and maybe be able to pay for the house in full. We owe less than $30K on it.

That’s my brain dump for now. That’s two dumps in one day. No one is reading this but I feel better for having said it all.

And E did fair to middling on his Food Network interview yesterday. Apparently they now take video excerpts and submit them to the Network for the final choices … he’s up against hundreds of other kids.

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