My Back Hurts

Normally I would label such a post as “off topic” but today, it’s all connected to finances.

Five weeks ago, minding my own business at a stop sign, my car was hit by an 18-wheel big rig which then drove away having ‘not noticed’ little ole me in the way.  Me? Not so happy. So I chased them down. I say them because the student truck driver had his instructor in the cab.  Not cool, dude, not cool.

Since that day the trucking company has admitted fault and paid for $1,100 worth of body work to my poor little Toyota.  My insurance will cover the medical claim and assess the trucking company the costs associated therein.  However.  I cannot consider my claim “settled” until I finish chiropractic treatments and can substantiate lost wages, pain and suffering and other costs incurred.

In the meantime, my back hurts.

I am not a wimp.  The last time I cried for a purely physical reason I was 5 hours post-op, bleeding internally and the doctor was withholding pain medication.  And I didn’t so much cry as sob in pain and scream repeated threats of physical violence at the nursing staff.  This was, by the way, right before they called a code blue (stopped breathing/loss of consciousness) and got me on a blood transfusion.

Since the accident the pain in my neck, shoulders, back and hips has been in a constant ebb and flow of pain.  Somedays my neck is so stiff I can barely turn my head, other days the act of sitting or walking causes shooting pain down my legs.  I have yet to resort to the vicodin but those days are coming.  Instead of drugs I’ll sleep on the couch on the weekends (no alarm clock needed), pace in the backyard until fatigue overwhelms the aches and heat and reheat therapeutic bags in the night.

I say this is a financial complication because pain influences everything.  From my energy level at work to my productivity level at home, from the number of errands I can run to skipping the gym because of pain.  So many things in my life are influenced by this pain, it’s unreal.  I’ve been rather healthy most of my life and I am now so grateful for that chance to not worry about the ability to walk my dog, the ability to move furniture or jog at night.  All I did have to worry about was the motivation to do so.

I would really like my back to stop aching, my hips to stay in alignment and my neck to turn pain-free on command.  I don’t know if or when that day will occur but I will probably not write about it here; I’ll be at dance class.

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Day 11- still going strong

I am well aware that the posting here has been lacking in the last week but I am still eating on the food stamp budget and tracking my purchases and meals.

I found myself needing more protein in the mornings so I’ve been scrambling eggs which are simple and easy too cook. Other mornings I stick with oatmeal.

I was given a bunch of apples (still need to get price data from the grocery store) and since they were a bit on the ripe side I cut them up and baked them with a little brown sugar and oatmeal topping. Wonderful quick dessert!

Saturday will be another shopping day as corn is $0.25 per ear and red bell peppers are just $0.99 a pound.

Some of the non-food deals I found this week include

*Duracell Rechargable batteries: $21.98 for 8 on sale minus $2.00 Sunday coupon paper and $10 gift card makes the final price $9.98 or $1.24 each-just slightly higher than the price of regular. {Rite Aid}

*Oral-B Ultra Floss: $1.99 for one minus $0.99 rebate and $1.00 off coupon means I earn $0.01 on this deal (I’ll combine with other offers by the end of June to save postage) {Long’s Drugs}

*Reynold’s Wrap Foil: Weekly circular coupon $0.89 each minus $0.75 Sunday paper coupon makes the final cost just $0.14. {Walgreen’s}

*Finally, a food offer Yoplait cups (including the yummy Whips!) $0.70 each and a coupon to save $0.40 on six: $3.80 for six, $0.63 each.

Menu- Day One

Breakfast: 1/3 cup of oatmeal and hot water
Yes, it was a little blah but the larger container will provide 16 servings, breakfast for over half the month at a cost of $0.20 per day for breakfast.

Snack: 1 apricot $0.11 each
Love these suckers, so juicy and sweet! Bought in bulk and they’re just now ripening.

Lunch & Dinner: Roasted chicken and vegetables
Recipe is from Leanne Ely, author of Saving Dinner and this recipe can be found on her website: www.savingdinner.com it’s called the Rubber Chicken. Personally, I don’t like gravy so I simply ommited that step and will use the stock later in the week for Chicken Tortilla Soup.

Chicken $5.44
1/2 onion $0.12
1/2 celery $0.75
1/4 carrots $0.33
potatoes $1.50*
milk $0.25

Three potatoes included in the roasting pan with the chicken, the rest were mashed with the milk. I did get these free because they were a sprouting, wrinkly mess but they turned out really good once I cut out the bad parts.

Lesson Learned: Don’t turn down free food!

Today’s food cost: $8.70 (but the chicken and vegetables will stretch out for several more meals)

Day One on a Food Stamp Budget- Shopping

Please forgive the brief delay in my daily reporting, I have a lot going on and don’t want to give you information prematurely. This post is from Sunday, June 1st:

June 1st- day one of the June Food Stamp Budget Challenge. This morning was the first shopping trip as I start with a empty cupboard.

Purchases:
Oatmeal- 96 oz container $3.18
Whole Chicken $5.44
yellow onions- 3 whole: $0.75
Green Pepper- one medium:   $1.49
Carrots- seven large carrots: $1.31
black beans- 16 oz, dry:  $1.25
Tortillas- package of 20: $2.79
Lettuce- one small head:   $1.00
Celery- one bunch: $1.49
Tomatoes- 2-3/4 pound:  $2.75
Corn- three ears:  $0.96
Cheese- 1 cup leftover from last shopping trip:  $1.50
Apricots- 17 medium and small:  $1.98
Potatoes- 9 medium and small: $1.50
Chips- About a pound $4.00
Milk- 1/2 gallon $2.99

Grand Total: $34.38

Budget remaining: $121.62