Friday, April 29, 2016

Moving with Fibromyalgia (and ADHD) - Part 2 (With Tips)

I received my moving estimate. I will not post the amount, but it was a lot more than I had expected. I have moved with this company twice before, and this was definitely the highest estimate I have received from them. It is also the least amount of stuff I am moving: 

2400 sq ft house to 1000 sq ft, including the storage space; 1000 sq ft to 660 sq ft including storage sheds; 660 sq ft to 400 sq ft. Needless to say, downsizing my possessions is a necessity.


I came up with a few tips during the moves that might help others:
  • Used different colors of duct tape to mark boxes according to where they were going - storage, apartment, personal car. When using movers, certain materials cannot be placed in the van. 
  • Have the van loaded according to where it is being unloaded if there is more than one location. Which space do you want unloaded to first? Have those items put into the truck last. (If this makes sense to you, it confused the movers until they saw it in action.)
  • Have a floor plan in mind before arrival. If possible, use actual dimensions to create one so you can see how the pieces will fit. 
  • Keep in mind doorways, outlets, and windows. Cable and land-line placement, too, if these will be installed where you are moving.
  • When selecting packing materials (if you are pre-packing), how will you dispose of them once you have unpacked? You may need to separate out cardboard, paper, and bubble wrap/packing peanuts.
  • Decide whether or not to get the extra insurance on your goods. With a different mover, I had three items get broken - two were repairable by them, one needed to be replaced.
  • If you are doing much of your own packing, decide whether you will purchase your own supplies or buy them from the moving company. It can be cheaper if buying them yourself. 
    • For example, the company was planning to charge me $139.75 for 43 medium size boxes. These are not all the boxes listed. Yesterday, I bought 75 medium boxes, 10 large boxes, three rolls of packing tape, and a roll of packing paper for $131.50.

So, this is move #5 in six years. I am using the first moving company again. The estimate is higher than my other two moves, even though I am moving so much less stuff; some of the added expense came in when I planned to have the company do the packing for me.

Estimate included $35/hour/person for a total of 30 hours over three days. In addition, there are the van usage amount and the packing materials cost. The additional insurance was not included in the estimate.


As I said in last week's post, I am doing the packing myself. This is to save the costs of one day of moving-company employees, plus the van and packing materials cost. I have, indeed, limited my boxes of books to six. Most of the boxes I am using having handles, which will make it easier for me to carry them. 

My goal is a minimum of two boxes each day, and I have been able to stick to this. Until today. This is the first day I have been too sore for this. I am hoping I will be able to do this before bed, though.

-Amelia

Friday, April 22, 2016

Moving with Fibromyalgia (and ADHD)

When I moved out of my house almost six years ago, I moved 60 boxes of books with me. Now, to be fair, they were small boxes so I could lift them myself. Many were wine boxes obtained from the local liquor store. A couple of years later, I moved again and brought about 40 boxes with me - I donated a lot to a local thrift store that raised money for the ASPCA. 

After unpacking here, I still had quite a few boxes that I did not have room to unpack. A friend of mine is the children's librarian in town, so I called her - she took some, the adult section took some, and the rest were donated for the biennial book sale. I still had 10 boxes I did not unpack.

Well, I have to move again.  I am determined to move only six boxes of books with me, so that means going through all my boxes and my bookcases. 

I have a number of problems with my back, so I am limited to 10 pounds at a time. Books are heavy, so I only work through a small stack at a time. At this point, my muscles are yelling at me! For some reason, my quadriceps are very upset with me. Probably because I am near the bottom shelves of the bookcase. 

I have to take it very slow thanks to the fibromyalgia, but I really think having ADHD is helping me to not overdo it too much. I look at a book title that reminds me of something else, and I am off to the other thing. It often means getting online and looking something up. 

In my opinion, it is necessary to limit how many spoons are spent on the packing task each day, since there are other things that need spoons, too. (If you do not know what I mean, look up "Spoon Theory" online.) 


After two weeks, I actually have more than 11 boxes worth to donate, but I need to get more boxes for the loose ones. I also have a couple of piles of books I am not sure of - it depends on where I am with the six-box limit. 

I spoke to the local community college, and it is taking my textbooks for their library. Because I went through to a Master's degree, the college feels they will make good resources. I also have two brown paper bags of paper recycling, and I still have some more school papers to dispose of. Since I cannot work, there is no reason to hang onto them.

Three more shelves to go. I am so glad my next task is packing my yarn.

-Amelia

Friday, April 15, 2016

My Body Has Betrayed Me!

Do you ever feel that way? It just seems like one thing and/or another is always bothering you? 

I feel that way often. I think I am too young to have my body acting the way it is, but then I think of people a lot younger than I am that are going through the same things, or worse. 

A few days ago, I was diagnosed with the start of a cataract in my left eye and was told the one in my right eye has gotten bigger. 

I am dealing with a lot of "ghosting" with printing. If you are not familiar with this effect, it is like when making a 3-D image of a box. It is not enough to be debilitating - yet - but it is annoying. 

I would credit the source, but I cannot read the fine print at the top left.
Thankfully, mine is not as bad as in this picture, but it only started a few months ago, so who knows what will happen as the cataracts grow. And, yes, I had to get a new prescription.

New glasses and new short haircut
-Amelia

Friday, April 8, 2016

14 Aid Programs for the Disabled

Please note that I am writing this as an American, so this will vary depending on where you live. 

It is an unfortunate fact of life that disability can severely affect your financial position. Below is  a variety of financial aid programs I found available and may vary depending on your state, county, and/or town.

If you have not worked enough you cannot get Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) unless were born disabled.

This clipping from the Social Security Disability Benefits brochure shows the general number of work years required to receive SSDI.

Source: Social Security Administration
If you do not qualify for SSDI, you might qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Below are two clippings from the SSI Benefits brochure:


Source: Social Security Administration
As you can see, you must be pretty broke to get SSI. Note that it says among the things not counted "Your car (usually)" [emphasis mine]. I suppose it depends on the value of your car. The car I am driving is 10+ years old. It is a Toyota, so it will probably run for years to come, but what happens when it does not. (I am getting a new wheel bearing as of this writing.)

You may qualify for benefits from your state's program. It is through the Department of Health and Human Services where I currently reside. These benefits include money, Medicaid, and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly "food stamps").

Housing assistance for the disabled or senior citizens. Many of these places are income based; some charge 30% of your income, which changes as your income changes.

Fuel assistance depends on income and housing expense. All programs are not available in all states. Some programs I found are:
  • Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)
  • Home Energy Assistance Target (HEAT) Program
  • Joe-4 Oil Heat Program - One free delivery of 100 gallons of oil in a heating season.
  • Percentage of Income Payment Plan Plus (PIPP Plus) 
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
In addition to the above, weather-proofing assistance is available to add weather stripping and insulation. Check with the  U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). 

Other aid I found available is Community Assistance Programs, local utility companies, and your town. 

I realize that many disabled people are house-bound. Sometimes, isolation occurs, so ways to connect with the outside world are key. Below are some ways to save money to do so.

  • SafeLink Wireless - free cell phones with free talk and text. The minutes vary by state. You may purchase additional airtime is desired/ needed - mine offers triple minutes with purchase of additional minutes.
  • Century Link helps low-income individuals/ families with their phone and internet bills.
  • Contact cable/internet providers. Do not be ashamed to explain your situation. Most will work with you to find a package you can afford. If you get a pushy representative who tries to "up-sell" you, either ask to speak to another representative (supervisor works well) or hanging up and calling back usually gets you another representative.
After writing all this, I discovered Disability.gov. This is "an "information and referral" website." 

I hope this blog post helps you find programs that will aid your quality of life while being disabled.

-Amelia