Sept. 9, 2018

That’s the date on the VA website. The date by which we will know the conclusion of our filing for R’s VA disability due to PTSD, his schizo-affective disorder, his OCD and other ailments. We’ll know about his Individual Unemployability and it will all be over. We’ve filed for RAMP, meaning Rapid Appeals Modernization Program. According to the Fact Sheet, this is the new VA system, just begun and filed by invitation only. Our attorney has advised that we use this system, so she filed on our behalf back in May, I believe. The VA says, in its acceptance letter, that results are conveyed within 126 days, so the Sept. 9th date makes sense.

Rob and I have both had an Ativan. The news sent me spiraling into the bathroom with diarrhea and Rob out to the porch to chain smoke. I’ll have to go buy him some more cigarettes later today, he’s on his last pack. My my, but I certainly do write some run-on sentences. Excuse me for not zealously editing today, I’m pretty freaked out.

The “what if’s” are huge in this. What if it happens and they pay Rob his back amount due? What if they say “no” and nothing comes of it. I can’t imagine that happening. We have independent psychological findings, two separate doctors, one hired by the VA and one hired by Carol Ponton, that find his disability is “more likely than not” caused by his trauma. Those are the magic words. “More likely than not”. Rob’s been through the mill with this and is justifiably freaking out.

I’ve been on the phone with Network Solutions all morning, trying to get the website to redirect. Finally got someone on the phone that knew what he was doing. I needed to clear my history (my cache) on my browser and start over. Then the correct settings came up on the screen. Now I don’t have a whole lot of faith in this working but I am cautiously optimistic. I signed Jeannette up for something called a SSL certificate which means her website will come up as “secure” when someone goes to it. It costs about $10 a month but she can pay it, I put it on her credit card. I started to make a website for her on GoDaddy but called to cancel it. Dealing with GoDaddy vs. Network Solutions is night and day. No 42 minute holds for GoDaddy, they just answer the phone. NS disconnects, transfers calls, doesn’t have answers and everything takes 24-48 hours to take effect.

Rob’s on the phone to his mom. Maybe she can help calm him down, he’s doing a lot of talking so maybe so. It’s a coin toss with her — she’s probably already had a couple glasses of wine so she should be gregarious. I just hope it’s in his favor. She and John and Aidan went out on the Black (?) River yesterday, at her niece Char’s house where they went out on what Jeannette called a “skiff”. Not sure what she means by that? What kind of boat is a “skiff”? I see that as a jon boat type small boat but she’s probably meaning something Jandy’s Boston Whaler, the small one.

Went to Oliver’s regatta last Saturday. Rode with Molly and we had a great time. Stephen came in a 3 way tie for fourth but Oliver got 3rd and received a medal. He acted like it was no big deal but he’s secretly very proud of it. Last year he was dead last so this is a good deal for him. Yesterday we unloaded the beds from Uncle Dave’s house in VA Beach. They  inherited the house and all its contents, so Oliver and Emmett got new beds. Really nice mattresses. Ollie’s bed is a really good one, won’t ever need a new one. Well, now he finally has a really nice one, has drawers under it and everything, so he can feel better about his parents. It was a real piece of work to get upstairs… poor Rob and Andy had quite a time of it. Ollie tried pushing but they didn’t give him any credit for helping.

Jane’s in Raleigh today with Stacy, picking out countertops. I hope the third time is the charm for her. She’s had a hell of a time finding them. She has to be picky, there’s such a huge expanse of countertop, it has to be just right.

Uh oh, here’s Stephen. Rob’s not in the kind of head space to talk to him right now. It worked out fine, Emmett just showed up for Nana first aid, which I happily applied to his “sting” or whatever bite it was. He and Stephen then rode off together, both of them bored, both in need of companionship. Good. Stephen can behave, it’s just a matter of “will he?” Emmett is in need of a riding companion.

I have to drive down River Road to go buy cigs in a bit. I’m hoping that Rob is sufficiently calmed down in a while so he can ride along. I’m not in any kind of shape to go yet, but the Ativan will kick in soon. He’ll need lots of cigs to get through the Sept. 9 news. C4 said she was “here” if we needed her but so far I haven’t heard back from her today. Her life is in turmoil, so I don’t mind her being busy. Nothing more to say about that right now.

My friend VA put me on the the shelf for a few days last week. She wants to move here, back to NC, and wants to live with us but Rob is too damn odd for that to happen. That’s what we’re saying … and there’s just not enough room in this house for another person, even if we did know her. We don’t know her at all. She’s been a very good internet friend for years and I remember when she was homeless and Phoebe and I talked about her, about who could take her in and we decided neither of us could. I can’t support another emotionally fragile human being while taking care of Rob. It just won’t work. Besides, she is, in her own words “morbidly obese” so living upstairs would not work for her. I understand her plight and won’t go into it here but I can’t help her. We have decided to support her, financially, when the money is here. Just like we plan on slipping Ollie money when he’s in college. He doesn’t need money now, he wants for nothing — he’s got clothing, he’s getting a new Mac for his birthday, he finally has a decent bed, life is good. I promised VA I would send her some cigs towards the end of the month, so I might as well buy 6 packs and send her some. The things I get myself into. I’d said that we would send her $20 but she didn’t want it, wanted cigs instead. Damn it. Now I have to go to the post office rather than just mailing a $20 bill. This is who she is, a complicator.

Life is filled with complicators. Oh good, Mark is here! This is who Rob needs!

I’ll sign off and go speak with him.

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About Me

An English diarist and naval administrator. I served as administrator of the Royal Navy and Member of Parliament. I had no maritime experience, but I rose to be the Chief Secretary to the Admiralty under both King Charles II and King James II through patronage, diligence, and my talent for administration. Also archivist and avid fan of The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature.


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