60 More Days of Waiting

Every day is a new lesson – our lesson today:

What’s a Disability Quality Branch?

The DQB, or disability quality branch, is the Social Security Administration’s version of quality control when it comes to the handling of social security disability and ssi-disability claims.

Why should WE care?
[chord of ominous music]

A random number of disability claims (for which decisions have already been rendered) are selected each month for “review” at each region’s DQB.

Cases pulled by DQB for review can remain there for an inordinate number of weeks or even months. The obvious effect of this is that some cases are significantly delayed by DQB (decision letters cannot be mailed until DQB has finished reviewing a case.)

You know what’s coming, right?

We were supposed to have the decision on Gerry’s Disability claim by the end of July. Today is the end of July (coincidentally, it also would have been my dad’s 85th birthday)

When we didn’t hear anything from SSI today Gerry called and we discovered his application has been chosen at random to make sure that all the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed. How odd that they didn’t arrive in a van at our front steps with a bunch of balloons and a TV crew to announce that to us…

We were told to expect at least a 60-day wait before we hear anything. So we’re looking at October before we get the word. Now THAT’S how we put someone’s mind at rest when they’re about to undergo a serious medical procedure.

Needless to say, THANK YOU SO MUCH to everyone who’s been so kind to us in the past few weeks! I’m not sure what we’d do without the love, kindness and help we’ve been receiving. Your good thoughts and wishes are the best gift we could ever get – thank you!

We’re not feeling killer worried – well, we’re trying not to – because the Social Worker at the Mayo told us that a Bone Marrow Transplant is pretty much an automatic approval from SSI.

Note: SSI is not impressed by the phrase, “But the social worker at the Mayo said we’d be approved!” Especially not when you say it in a really whiny voice. Live & learn.

So until we hear positive news, we’ll just keep on keeping on.

In that vein, we’re getting a HELOC (Home Equity Line of Credit) with Gerry’s bank, it’s a good rate with no fees, and we can use it as we need it for the bathroom/kitchen redo. We’d always planned on it, now it makes even more sense. We need to continue to think of this as an investment in Gerry’s recovery.

Max played on the Dodgers this summer – the LA Dodgers (but we kept pretending they were la Brooklyn Dodgers, en Français, s’il vous plait!)

And, lo and behold, the Dodgers won the Linwood Rec Center Championship! WOO!

We had a TOTAL Red Barber moment up in the cheap seats at the rec center last evening.

It was so exciting to see how Max improved over this Summer, how he went from striking out pretty consistently to finding the spot on the bat that needed to be hit.

Last evening he made a great play from second base & Gerry said he had more RBI’s than anyone else. I’m not quite sure what that means, but Max was happy!

We took him to Snuffy’s for dinner – he told the waitress, “If it wasn’t for me, my team would have had to finish the 9th inning!” Who knew?

His coach is an amazing guy – just the nicest, sweetest, most confidence-building coach a kid could ask for, and it’s been a pure gift that Max got him this summer.

We’ve been so lucky. And next year Max can be on the same team, with the same great group of kids, as he was this year. YAY!

I want to sign the kids up for Soccer this Fall, but they’ll be away for most of August, when a lot of the practicing happens, so I’m a little fearful of that. I don’t want them to start out feeling behind everyone else – but I want them to have a sport this Fall (and the rec center makes it so easy and economical for local families!)

Hannah’s at camp – I haven’t heard from her so I’m thinking this is a good thing (we sent her an email, I want to wait another day before sending another one – apparently if they get too many emails from home it can make them homesick!) This camp is one where almost all the girls are new at the overnight camping thing, so we’re hoping that she’s fitting in well!

She’s such a great kid – we all miss her SO much! Max is not as enchanted with being an only child as he thought he’d be. Live and learn, Max! He’s going to be SO happy when she gets back – but I’ll be away…

Back to the stomping ground of my youth (okay, a little NORTH of my youthful stomp) to Sarnia, Ontario (Check out my lecture on Wednesday at Feather your Nest) and Lansing, Michigan (finally, FINALLY, THREADBEAR!!) this weekend for some lectures and classes.

On de road again! I am a Happy Wanderer!

I haven’t taught in over a month – I’m feeling rusty. I know once I get going I’ll be fine, but whenever you take a break from something there’s a little fear about jumping back in.

So I’ll jump – right out of bed and over to the airport (stopping on the way to drop off the car to have the brakes checked) and off to Detroit for a drive up to Sarnia. I wonder if Northwestern will cancel my flight

Gerry’s brother is coming out to be here while I’m gone – just the guys & Atticus. Gigi the cat will be the only girl around. She looks frightened and she misses Hannah terribly!

When I get home on Sunday night I’ll have about 12 hours to turn it around before we leave for Rochester. Still so much to do. But we’re in good shape with the packing – I’m just worried about getting the kids all ready to go off on their NJ adventure on Wed.

Perhaps after I get Gerry settled down in Rochester I’ll come back up to St. Paul on Tuesday to make sure the kids are packed (a good friend is staying here with them until they fly to NJ with another friend on Wed)

This is all happening so fast.

The vanity top is pretty much finished! I removed the aluminum foil dam, drilled holes and cut out the center – it’s sitting pretty and the contractor is psyched about it, too! So our vanity cost us a grand total of $40 for the grout & poly-resin. If it works…

I’ve always wanted to, that’s all.

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