hankrules2011

Book reviews, health, hockey, publishing, music, tech

Posts Tagged ‘happiness’

My Birthday

Posted by Scott Holstad on September 21, 2015

This past Saturday was my birthday. I turned 49. One more year til the big 5-0. I better enjoy it.

I had a pretty good day. I wanted a laid back day and that’s what I got. No parties, no friends, no family, other than my wife. Just my wife and my cats. It was sweet.

Gretchen started the day by making me some delicious low carb pancakes. Very nice. I read for a little bit and finished a really good book that I had tried to finish the night before. I’ll review it soon. It was excellent. Then we went to McKay Used Books, which is a huge used bookstore that also sells music, movies and games. I got seven new sci fi books for not very much at all, and Gretchen got a couple of books herself, so it was a successful outing. We also stopped at Walgreens to pick up four of my prescriptions. Fortunately, they didn’t cost too much, so that was a good thing.

We went home and hung out. I made myself my usual low carb lunch. I like to read during lunch, so I did. Lunch lasts a long time for me. Gretchen thinks it’s funny. Henry usually comes to visit me during lunch. Ace used to, but he doesn’t anymore. I’m not sure why.

Of course, Saturdays are now college football days and I’m elated. There were some good games that day, but most didn’t start til mid-afternoon, so I talked with Gretchen and read til then. I also talked with Mom on the phone, who sang Happy Birthday to me. Gretchen went to the gym, so I went down to the den to turn on some football. I watched a little of the LSU and Auburn game and also the Notre Dame and Georgia Tech game.

After awhile it was time to feed the cats and they were very happy about it. Then it was time for our dinner. Gretchen, at my request, made me a low carb pizza which is actually quite good. She had something else because it’s not her favorite. Later we had some allegedly low carb cake with some icing she had made. It was great! Gretchen also gave me a lovely card and a couple of cool presents. They were a Pittsburgh Pirates coffee mug, a great looking one, and a Pirates t-shirt, which fits great. Just what I wanted. She took a picture of me holding them. I think I’ll post it here.

After dinner, it was pretty much time for the Tennessee/Western Carolina game, so we turned that on. If you’re a Vols fan, like we are, it was an awesome game. We completely dominated and won 55-10. The whole team played well. Which was good because next week we play Florida and we have to be prepared for that. We haven’t beaten Florida in forever, but this year I think they’re going down and it’ll be pretty sweet if that happens.

We went to bed fairly early, in part because I had been up since 12:30 AM and was tired. I have severe insomnia and am often up between midnight and 1:30 for the rest of the day. It’s tiring. As for the diet, since mid-February I’ve been on an extremely low carb diet with Gretchen (I average 6 carbs per meal.) and I’ve lost about 56 pounds. I look and feel better, but I still have to lose a whole lot more. I have a long way to go, but I think I’ll be able to keep losing for awhile before I level off. At least I hope so. Anyway, all in all, it was a pretty good birthday. Thanks for letting me tell you about it.

Me with my birthday presents

Me with my birthday presents

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I Won!!!

Posted by Scott Holstad on October 24, 2014

I applied for disability over three years ago. I was denied twice, before hiring a law firm to represent me. I then had two court hearings, where I was again denied twice. Yesterday, I had my fifth chance, my third court hearing. Leading up to this, I was very stressed. I’ve been extremely anxious. See, I’ve been relying on my diagnosis of trigeminal neuralgia to do the heavy work, with some other issues, like anxiety disorders and eye problems and more to help out. But it hasn’t. In my last hearing, this past June, I just happened to mention that I had back issues and the judge perked up. He asked if I’d sought treatment and I replied that I had. He asked if there was an MRI. I said that there was. He then said he was going to rule I was capable of “unskilled sedentary labor,” unless my orthopedic doctor could prove otherwise. He asked for the records to be sent to hime, as did my lawyer. I surprised him with it too, cause I hadn’t thought it was relevant.

Over the past few days, I’ve been getting grilled by lawyers in anticipation of yesterday’s hearing. It’s been tough. Yesterday, I spent an hour and a half before the hearing with two lawyers getting grilled like hell, them hitting me with anything and everything, to prepare me for what the judge might ask me. They told me the judge was very volatile and there’s no telling what mood he’ll be in. He has a real bad temper. Because I’d appeared in front of him twice before, I knew what they were referring to. They told me the hearing would probably center solely on my back and that the medical expert the judge was calling in would determine the outcome — the judge would do whatever the medical expert advised. This made me nervous, because in my two previous hearings, the medical experts have drilled the hell out of me. I felt really depressed and defeated before going in there. I was also depressed because what I thought was my slam dunk — a diagnosis of coccydynia, massive tailbone damage and pain, proving I can’t sit for very long — would not be allowed in court because it wouldn’t satisfy the 12 month rule. I was stunned. The lawyers discussed asking the judge to recuse himself and they considered asking me to start over again instead of filing another appeal after the hearing. It was discouraging to hear.

Well, finally it was time. We were 20 minutes late and that never happens with this judge. He’s timely to the second. I took that as a bad sign. The judge got started and called the medical expert in Indianapolis. He said he was prepared to offer his assessment of the situation. I cringed. He starting using terminology I didn’t understand, medical things about my back. But then he said it would satisfy a “listing” and I understood that. My lawyers had told me a listing equates to disability in legal terms. My ears perked up. As he continued to talk, he went on to basically say my back is so screwed up that unless I got a couple of fusions and possibly some other surgeries, that combined with my other issues such as trigeminal neuralgia, means there’s no way I can work. I couldn’t believe it! I was stunned. The judge told him that there were some questions about my having responded favorably to some nerve blocks for my TN, but the doctor said that wasn’t his area of expertise and couldn’t render an opinion on that. So the judge terminated the conversation and said he would rule favorably in the case and that we were excused. I went outside with my two lawyers, holding my breath, and we all looked at each other and then said, holy shit! We couldn’t believe it! We congratulated each other. We were overjoyed. That damn doctor saved my ass. So now, after nearly three and a half years of fighting a lengthy, horrible battle, I’ve won — I’ve gotten disability. I feel so much relief. My lawyers told me I’ll be eligible for insurance and that I should expect a check within three to four months. They did warn me that the government tries to take disability back from people, especially younger people like me, and that if they do, I’ll only have 10 days to appeal, so they told me to watch for that, but we were all thrilled and when I got home, I called my wife and she couldn’t believe it. She was overjoyed. And then I called my mom and she cried. It’s been a very tough three plus years. We’ve barely scraped by. We’ve had to borrow money. I don’t think I’ll be getting all that much, but it’ll be that much more than nothing, right? I just can’t believe I finally won. It feels like a dream. Of course, until I get the judge’s decision in my hands, I won’t fully believe it, but it’s 99%+ as good as gold. Thank God! Finally! All of these doctors, all of these appointments, all of the surgeries, all of these medications, all of this pain — all of it is going to come to something good. I’m really grateful. I feel like such a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders.

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Wedding Plans | SouthernHon

Posted by Scott Holstad on March 1, 2013

Wedding Plans | SouthernHon.

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Glad the Election’s Over

Posted by Scott Holstad on November 8, 2012

Hi. Has everyone survived? I’m so glad this election is over! And, yes, I’m so glad Obama won. I have been disappointed in some of the things Obama has done — and not done — during his four years in office, but Romney/Ryan scared the hell outta me! I really believe if they had won, this country would implode. I’m also glad that Obama won the popular vote, the electoral vote, and the most states. In my mind, that’s a mandate! Still, what I might be most happy about is not having to see and hear thousands of stupid, insulting political ads, dealing with all of the left and right pundits on air every day and night, and constant bickering among friends, family, and acquaintances. Oh yeah, I’m also thrilled that Karl Rove blew $400 million to get a 1% rate of return on his investment. That was awesome! I do hope America can move forward now, and I also hope there will be less Republican obstructionism in Congress. Surely the Republicans have seen that the majority of Americans don’t like that BS and want change! By the same token, I hope Obama will have more backbone in this term to stand up to the Republicans in Congress and ramrod some good liberal policies down their throats.  🙂

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , | 7 Comments »