Sunday, March 28, 2010

Not Such A Smart Cookie

Today, I finished (knock on wood) my turn as the "cookie mom" for Big's Brownie troop. Next year, when they ask for a volunteers, someone please kick me & remind me to volunteer to bring soda's to the Christmas party or something. I NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER want to deal with money again! Gah!
What possessed me to volunteer for such a position in the first place you wonder? Guilt. What else, would force a perfectly sane person to choose to deal in with this level of stress and NOT be paid for it? When I signed up to do this position, it was October/November. I hadn't volunteered for anything in ages. I had my surgery in January, so that pretty much explains why I hadn't volunteered for anything, and the year before that was the reason for the surgery. I'd volunteered for a few things, but not much. So I was finally feeling better when the request for the troop cookie chair came up. Every other mom had totally put out for the troop during that last two years AND everyone else pretty much took a big step back and looked at ME! I fell for it, because of the guilt.
Initially, it seemed like it wouldn't be a big deal. We only have 12 girls in our troop and we weren't doing booth sales. "We wanted some funds so help the girls do some fun things, but we weren't some super troop!" I attended the training & thought, "Ok, I can deal with this." And initially, it was fine.

Round 1
Explained process to girls (and their moms). Hand out supplies, due dates & we're off and running. Everything is great.

Round 2
Girls turn in their orders and money for donation boxes. (People can purchase cookies to donate to the military, Red Cross or local food banks. We don't actually handle these boxes, so council wants money up front to know how much to order.) Had to chase down one girl for her info and two girls for money. One girl actually didn't get her money in, but others had collected for some of their regular orders & it was $20, it was covered & I'd be sure to get it when she paid for the rest. First mistake. Lesson: Same rules apply to everyone.

Round 3
Input girls orders (order actual cookies). Deposit donation money. Pick up cookies. Sort & distribute cookies. This is where I started to get all, "what did I get myself into?" I knew, but I didn't really know, until we had to take a van 2x to pick up our cases of cookies. Good thing we weren't a super troop. Sorting, while not really a huge deal, took way more time than I expected, and took a major toll on my physically. Had to chase down 4 girls to come pick up their cookies. One of them, for over a week!

Round 4
Money starts coming in! There were some mix ups with boxes, so many phone calls related to that. I was good about documenting all the exchanges and receipts for everyone. (Thank Goodness!) About half the troop got all their stuff delivered and turned in their money early or on the actual date I deemed due. (I'm not a fool, I padded my dates because I knew there would be stragglers.) I was also able to get a troop to troop transfer set up so that are extra boxes would not cost the troop. The stragglers killed me on this one. So, half, six of the girls got their money in on time or early. For the other six, two of them called & brought it the next day. One of them called me every day for five days to make sure they could hold off just one more day. She also wasn't sure they'd turned in as much as they thought they had for donation (they'd turned in more) even though she'd signed off on the amount on a receipt. Gah!!! The last two to turn in, one lives a couple doors down from me, and was just sitting on it. The last, was supposed to come over after school drop off, the day before my stuff was due. I hadn't slept the night before, so I called to see if we could meet after lunch. She was doing something unrelated and obviously had no intention of making it to my house anytime soon. Day flew by & we never met up. Called her at 8 PM & asked if I needed to come get it or if she could bring it over, because I had till midnight to finish my computer work. When she brought it over, she felt there was a discrepancy in the amount they'd turned in during donation time. She too had signed a receipt for the amount, but now looking back, thinks it must be wrong. But,she just write a check for the difference if I disagreed. (Said in a particular tone, indicating she didn't want to pay that difference & sure didn't think she needed to.) I told her to go home, I'd figure it all out & if there was more due, I'd call her later. In the end there was money missing, but the leaders and I agreed we didn't want to strain friendships over it, and the troop ate the difference.

What I learned?
From the moment I deal with money, make sure I keep each individuals stuff separate, even the deposits. I didn't do this for our donation money, I deposited in the bank all together. I should've done each girl's deposit separately so I could go back with the bank record to show each person. Also?

I will NOT deal with money for an organization again!

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Lots Of Sand Round The House Of Speak. Need To Bury Something?

I know I've been MIA. This back thing, it's a tough one. Still. I'm trying not to focus on it on line because it's so depressing, which is part of the reason I haven't written. The other part is that I'm in denial or trying to be, about it all. I haven't set up my next round of PT, or my appointment w/my surgeon, I just want it all to go away. It isn't my personality to stick my head in the sand, but that's pretty much what I've been doing the last week. I have a constant reminder (pain) but otherwise, I'm trying to act like it's nothing. I would guess that I would be told I'm depressed, saved myself a couple bucks there, didn't I. Who needs a PhD? I think that's understandable; I'm in more or less constant pain, I'm going through EXACTLY what I went through a year ago, which didn't work, and I'm in year three of this crap! I have a child, who, at age 3, has decided she has sleep issues, (which are really control issues that are happening during the night.) There's a multitude of things I can't do because of my pain AND I've gained 30 lbs (20 from drugs, lucky me!) during this time. I think there would be something wrong with me if I wasn't depressed. I know I need to go see someone, but along with everything else I'm burying this one in the sand. I've been down this road before, as with any profession there are good and bad, I know that, but I've had more than one therapist who was not a good fit for me (aren't I PC tonight? Translation: They SUCKED!) I just dread going through THAT again. I find that realizing your therapist isn't a good fit is a really good exercise in failure. I know that's not what it is, but when you're in this state of mind that's how it feels. Putting my head in the sand is preferable to feeling like there's something else I'm failing at, you know.
Maybe I'll make a phone call tomorrow. Or not...

Monday, March 01, 2010

House Keeping, or Why My Back Won't Heal

I know, I sort of disappeared the last week or so. Was having a pretty good week and then, BAM! I totally overdid it at Physical Therapy on Tuesday and was pretty much a mess from then on. But, you know, life happens with or without me, so I continued playing mom's taxi & such as required.
This weekend was spectacular. My BFF came to visit from LA on Thursday. (Downside; she flew into SFO, which, you know an hour drive away. Since driving effs me up on levels I can't describe, that didn't exactly improve things.)
Friday, we went to The City (San Francisco) to see Wicked, which was amazing! (Read more here!) But also, more driving, BAH! (Though she did drive, so I could take pain pills to get through it all.) And I wore my boots (heels, not crazy or anything, but not slippers either) and I had to sit for 3 hours. Totally not the optimal way to make my back feel better.
Saturday, I was good and did not do the drive to the airport to take her home. Mostly because DaddySpeak (DS) & BFF made me stay home, but still, I was good that way. Later, we had to pick up Girl Scout cookies, because I am a moron the cookie chair for Big's troop. I did NOT load and unload boxes! I'm not a complete moron, but I did have to sort the 100+ cases of cookies for our 12 girl troop when we got them home. Sorting involved much reaching, pulling & shoving of boxes/cases for a couple hours that afternoon. Probably not on the list of things to do to heal a bulging disc. Saturday night, I went to a crab feed fundraiser for Big's school. It was fun, but again, couldn't wear my sweats or pjs, so the boots were on again. We didn't hang out too long after dinner, but it still involved much standing (at the beginning) and sitting for dinner (they did not provide couches or beds for me to lounge on, rat bastards!)
Sunday, yes it's still the weekend, I was a complete basket case. They ask you to rate your pain on a scale of 1-10, 1 being no pain, 10 being, can't move. I was a 9. I could move, but I didn't want to. I was taking 2 pain pills at a time to tolerate it. I let it get to the 4 hour window for the next round of meds and regretted that. Had to wait for them to catch up a second time. Won't be doing that again soon, trust me. We were supposed to go celebrate my nephew's 13th birthday Sunday night. I didn't go to dinner, DS and the girls went. I couldn't sit for any more than say a minute, and I sure couldn't do it in public. DS came and picked me up after, so I could go to my brother's house and watch my nephew open gifts and blow out his candles. I think my mom was shocked at my state. I showed up in my sweats (which was a step up, trust me,) barely able to walk, w/my eyes glazed over. Not sure if the glaze was from the pain or pills. I was in so much pain that I couldn't read or deal with light. I couldn't focus on anything but the pain. It was awful.
And here it is, Monday. I had a follow up with my orthopedic doctor (OD) today. I wasn't expecting much, I'm telling him how it's going, I live with me, so I know how it's going. I sure wasn't expecting the appointment to go the way it did. After some discussion, I found that this is a bulging disc, not just a tear. The rip is the same place I had surgery before. My (uneducated) guess is that because the surgeon didn't stitch the rip before (I think to avoid scar tissue, and he felt it wasn't big enough for more disc material to move into) more material has moved into it causing the pain. The OD wants me to go see the surgeon. OD is recommending another epidural shot, but he didn't have answers for several questions I had related to it, and thinks I should talk in depth to the surgeon. Great!

So THAT's where I'm at right now.