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When Compounding isn't a Good Thing



Dealing with a cancer diagnosis is one thing, and certainly a big thing, but I'm much better dealing with it when the 50 million other things we all have to deal with are not having to be dealt with (ending a sentence with a preposition notwithstanding) at the same time. And not that I'm the least bit unique in having all these other tasks and concerns or even the most bit interesting in that I have them. Hardly. They are simply the elements that sometimes make living more of a job and less of an adventure. That being said, when I am uncluttered by these mundane responsibilities and am able to focus on the things I want to do rather than the things I have to do, I am so much more able to fend off the inevitable demons that haunt any of us diagnosed with a serious/in my case "terminal" disease.

The last month was, and still is, such a month. It all started with my application for a reverse mortgage. After the first company I engaged gave up, I met another, local company who so far has exhibited the wherewithal to get the application approved. However, the structural integrity problem you regular readers know about has impeded the progress I was hoping to have made by now. Not knowing yet the estimate to right this wrong, I am twisting in a bit of an ill wind, and I assure you, it is not improving my demeanor.

Yes, "Medicare is in The House," but as of September 27, it's sort of a house divided. Because even though its effective date was September 1st, I've not received an invoice. And since I haven't paid for any new coverage, am I still supposed to cancel my old, in-force "Obama Care"? Moreover, if I don't know exactly what I have, am I supposed to buy a Medicare Supplement for coverage I don't know for sure even exists? I mean, it's not as if my medical welfare/financial future depends on it. So yes, I'm even more worried, and obviously confused.

If the unresolved reverse mortgage and health insurance situations weren't sufficient enough to stress over, consider my concern for the "Diabetic Duo," our two cats with diabetes. Other than the real possibility that either, if not both, of these cats will die on our watch, the expense of sustaining their lives is past adding up. Items include insulin, syringes, prescription wet food, prescription dry food, two sizes of pee pads (because the liter box has less interest to them or they can't quite see it) and since they're eating and drinking constantly, we're buying more liter than ever before, and vet bills: diabetic boarding when we've been away for a weekend or two and glucose monitoring every week to 10 days to check their sugar level, all times two. Can you say credit card?

Two other extremely mundane tasks have also fallen on me during this time line. Both involving the M.V.A., never an easy process: emissions inspection and a driver's license renewal. Again, not Herculean tasks, but in the middle of all this other stuff. The issue? More money and possibly more hassle to resolve their respective "issues": possibly replacing a catalytic converter in the 29 year-old Honda Accord, which has happened previously under identical circumstances, and renewing one's driver's license, which now comes with a host of never-before identification/security requirements which if I don't have/can't prove, present another slew of potential entanglements. And of course, the eye test. I don't wear glasses. What if I fail the test and they tell me I need glasses? Then I have to see my way through that morass, and delay resolving another task.

And just to complicate matters, I am waiting for results from my bi-monthly CT scan and my wife, Dina, is waiting for results from a scan she recently completed. Though neither one of us is the least bit symptomatic, we are hardly dealing in absolutes here. Absolutely though, I will say, I am thrilled to finally check a few boxes. Once I check the rest, I'll be back to abnormal and then I can plan for the future rather than plod through the present.

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Hi Ken, 

 life happens so when it rains, it pours.  I will pray for a good outcome on those scans.  We all know how nerve wracking the whole process is.  I wanted to jot off a quick note of caution regarding the reverse mortgage.  My father is a former banker and says they are to be avoided like the plague due to predatory lending practices. Unfortunately,  my in-laws have fallen victim to such practices. Several years ago, unbeknownst to us, the parents took out a  lump sum reverse mortgage (instead of monthly generated income).    Due to the accrued monthly interest payments, the house is under water with zero equity.  There are no funds available for future catastrophic repairs and soon they will be facing eviction (in their 90s).  I hope you have a good attorney on hand to navigate the potential pit falls.  Looking forward to your next post!  


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