Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Sunday, August 03, 2008

Blogging the real recession, too

Not that I'm not supporting Kristen's idea to spread comments throughout the blogsphere, but there's this other recession that is freaking killing me.

I've been living close to the edge, if not actually on the edge and teetering back and forth for the past couple of years. But the last 3 months have been really difficult. Like impossibly difficult. I just can't make ends meet at all. I've tried and tried to redo the budget but the numbers are clear. I don't bring enough in to meet my obligations now that food has almost doubled in cost. Food has become the enemy. And it just to be such a good friend. I'm having a terrible time reconciling that food is just not affordable at all anymore.

I know you're nodding your head because we all feel the pain. It's been horrible to step into the grocery store and know that what you used to pay $125 a week for, now costs closer to $225. Milk, eggs, cheese, even freaking pasta is so much more expensive than it has been. I don't even think about buying anything but the basics. I can't even think about things like meat because it's beyond my budget. But now chicken and fish? Even the frozen fish at Trader Joes? I mean, WTF? I'm not talking fois gras and truffles. I'm talking plain simple edible food. Not even packaged food. Just plain food. It's killing me because my son is growing like a weed (6'1 1/2" as of yesterday) and he eats constantly. The kid needs the food. But my God, I can't afford to keep feeding him.

A friend of mine just left town for a month and cleaned out her fridge and freezer before she left and brought over the food. It was a LOT of food. Most of it isn't even what we eat, but the kids were so psyched because there were things that I would never, in a million years ever buy. Like corn dogs. And mozzerella sticks. The joy in those kid's eyes was measurable. They actually got to eat something they like that they don't have to cook. It was magical. And because of the generosity of my friend, my food bill dropped about $100 this month. Still not enough of drop, but still, it was good.

Soon there will be cold weather and heating will commence. This year I'm just not going to be able to heat the house. I can't do it. I just do not have the money. I'm scared. I'm picking up freelance work, I'm actually doing something every week to bring in extra money, but it's not enough. Not nearly enough.

The thing is, I don't have the stamina to do much more. I know that cancer is the cool disease to have in the world of blogging, and if you don't have cancer but still have a life threatening illness, nobody cares. I've gotten that loudly and clearly over the years. I've been accused of faking my illness countless times. I've been told over and over that ANYONE can work if they want to. I've been told that my heart disease is caused by being overweight, forgetting that I have a congenital heart defect that is called obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a DEADLY heart defect and that I have lost 85 lbs in the past 1.5 years. What have you lost, you fat fuck? Your penis?.)

People are very unkind. Especially the people that so many of you hold up as the "popular" mommybloggers. I've experiences incredibly nastiness about my illness. Look at that asshole AVITABLE. He knows nothing about me, doesn't follow my blog, makes up lies (never been in a shelter, never been on welfare and I challange him to prove otherwise, which he can't. I support myself and my family from MY earnings over 22 years in the field of high tech. Earnings I would bet are way more than he's ever seen in his life. I paid into social security for 29 years (taught both high school AND college) and now that money is coming back to me.) MY MONEY, MY EARNINGS. NOT WELFARE. NOT FOOD STAMPS. NOT SUBSIDIZED ANYTHING you lying fat bastard.

I am not faking. Nobody in their right mind would fake congestive heart failure. It is one of the most horrible, incompacitating illnesses there is. My heart is failing. FAILING. It is too tired to pump blood properly. It is rigid and leaky. There are days I can barely walk from my bed to the bathroom. I live on Lasix and it guides my entire life. I absolutely MUST BE within 20' of a bathroom for about 4 hours/day twice a day. There are days, like today, when I pee every five minutes for hours on end. I take 14 pills a day, I have to weigh myself, take my pulse, measure my O2 levels, and my blood pressure and send them by machine to my doctor every day. I have to check my defibrillator, implanted internally by sending through a modem my readings. My heart is old. It was supposed to last about 50 years. It's made it 57. Unfortunately, the disease I have IS NOT going to make me a candidate for a heart transplant, despite what you see on Gray's Anatomy or ER. My 3 cardiologists, all on the staff of Harvard Medical School, have determineed that I am FULLY disabled. Not partially. FULLY. My ejection rate is around 25%. I fall at 3.5 on the heart scale. With 4 being dead.

I should not have to prove that I'm sick to a bunch of total cretins who read a blog entry that is ALL LIES and then make judgements on my health. You people have the compassion of red ants. And the brains. When a person is sick, especially with heart disease, do you REALLY think they need the stress of extra stupid people who know NOTHING about me other than what that fat prick says? OK, I love the hits and I'm making money hand over fist, but it's money that's tainted. And I don't want it and didn't ask for it. He gave it to me, with his big mouth and his sick sense of his own self-worth. You love him, you think he's doing a good thing by picking on a 57 year old woman with a deadly heart condition, fine. Just don't come here and bother me.

Now you tell me how I'm supposed to get a job. The government considers me totally disabled. But not the mommybloggers. The judgements alone could have killed a weaker person. But I keep on despite the rude and judgemental people that think heart disease doesn't exist. Just ask Stephanie Klein if heart disease exists. I'm sure she can tell you all about the fun week she's had dealing with her husband's failing heart.

Didn't get the post you expected? Tough. This is what you get. Nothing more. You don't like facing the truth about yourselves? You're mean, you get a kick out of shitting on other people, and you're all incredibly stupid if you think that fat Hitler loving fuck face has any idea of the truth. Because he doesn't.

And if he thinks he does know about my living arrangements, let him prove it.
Or my health "lies". Prove it.
Or my disabled status. Prove it.
Or my "welfare and foodstamp" help. Prove it.

He can't. Because NONE of it is true.

What is true is that you follow a bully that has chosen me as an enemy even though he does not read my blog, nor do I read his. He does not know me, or anyone who does know me. He does not have any reason to do this except he thinks it is fun. FUN to attack the disabled. Now that's really a great example. Oh, and fun to make light of the "retarded" as well. He's a real pip. You must be so proud of yourselves for thinking that's cool. Why don't you discuss it with your parents and see how cool it is.

As for the BMC, if you don't know by now that woman is in the middle of a mental breakdown and is crashing... then you really are stupid. That I made a comment on Bossy's site. Perfectly true. That so did about 22 people in front of me, the same damn comment... and she went after me because we had "history" that she has made up in her mind and is sure is so true... of course with the amount of pot she smokes and her self-described mental breakdown, how would she know what is or isn't true. Again, doesn't know me from Adam, blames me for the demise of a forum that last I checked (this morning) is still going strong and she's still posting there, albeit in disguise. She's got issues, I've ignored them for years, I don't read her blog until she calls me out, and then I go and wonder just why her family isn't putting her into crisis counseling? She's obviously a hurting buckaroo and unlike all of you, I don't, and have never attacked someone with an obvious serious mental illness.

I have opinions, I'm always going to state my opinions, and if you don't like it, the little red X is waiting for you.

I'll be back after Passover.

Kisses to all the sad little trolls who think this is funny. Can't wait to read your blogs in 50 years when your body starts falling apart. It's gonna be fricking funny.

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Blogger bethany actually said...

This really hit me. I will be clicking on that little "support this blog" button now!

3/8/08 10:50 PM  
Blogger greytfriend said...

Having witnessed congestive heart failure in several loved ones, I know how serious it it. How the diuretics will be helping, the suddenly things change for no reason. Energy comes, but mostly goes and very quickly. It's a super tough condition with no cure except for the rare possibility of a heart transplant, not something many qualify for or can do. I admire you for working so hard to take care of your kids and make things alright for them. Let me know if there is anything I can do to kick some karma your way!

3/8/08 11:49 PM  
Blogger NotAMeanGirl said...

Margalit... I wish I had more to offer than a hug and a prayer but I don't. I'm having trouble clothing my child and buying school supplies for him so I KNOW what you're talking about with the economy.

As for nothing but cancer victims getting a helping hand... I hear you there too. Cancer gets all the press in the main stream media so everyone KNOWS how bad it is. Many other diseases which are just as disabilitating or even MORE SO get brushed aside as a result. We love ya girlie. Hang in there.

3/8/08 11:51 PM  
Blogger Crazed Mom said...

Hang in there babe. We have to hold on to hope. You know me, I'm not spouting platitudes. Wish I played the lotto so I could win and send money! HUGS!

4/8/08 12:47 AM  
Blogger madamspud169 said...

I've agreed with you on so many of your posts but this one really hit home. I too am disabled, disabled enough to need the car parking badge so I don't have to walk far yet to others I look fine, maybe even healthy specially when I walk those 2 yards to the disabled bays. I couldn't begin to list the abuse & comments I've had over using a disabled badge when I don't need one only I do it just doesn't look like I do.

Then there's the money worries & need to buy food, petrol, pay bills & new school uniform. God it never ends. My husband & I eat one meal a day, sometimes once every two days, we never go out, don't smoke or drink & we still can't cope financially. My health is suffering now because I'm not eating enough to help me cope with my various illnesses and to top it all off there's talk of one company making us bankrupt. How much more are we as moms & wives expected to take? I've reached my limit, there's no way out.

4/8/08 7:20 AM  
Blogger Jendeis said...

I'm so sorry that things are hard-going right now. Hoping that the little I can give will help somewhat.

4/8/08 9:20 AM  
Blogger Jennie said...

I started reading your Lost recaps, and have been reading ever since...we actually have completely opposite political agendas and ideologies, but I do appreciate your honesty and transparent posts.

Have you ever thought of couponing? It is work. But if you find a system that fits your life style, you can achieve maximum savings for minimal effort. We feed our family of 4 for $115 (including hygiene, toiletries, and occasional meal out). Most people who coupon can do even better. The best part is you build a stockpile, so right now we could go 1 -2 months without shopping and not run out of food. It would be boring, but still food. Maybe you could get your kids involved, they can do more of the leg work and you could do more of the internet/computer work to plan the shopping trips. It would teach them skills for life as well.

Try out these sites:

CVS is a store we literally make money at, so I get milk and eggs for free there. Spend some time on the computer researching, you would be surprised at what you can get for next to nothing (except an investment in time)

I hope that helps!

4/8/08 11:17 AM  
Blogger Blog Antagonist said...

My mother has congestive heart failure, and I see everyday how it has impacted her quality of life. She used to be an active, vibrant, non-stop doer. Now, it's all she can do to keep herself going. She wants to do all the things she used to do, but she can't, and that kills her spirit.

I'm sorry Margalit. I really, really am. The state of things in this country is absolutely deplorable. You shouldn't be ill and worrying about how to pay the bills. You shouldn't be worrying about how to heat your home or feed your kids or afford medicine.

My husband makes a very good living, and yet, it is becoming a struggle for us as well. I can't imagine how much harder it is for you.

I won't make any suggestions, because I think you're a smart, resourceful woman and I'm sure you are doing everything you can and then some.

Just know that I'm sorry. And I wish I could help.

4/8/08 1:44 PM  
Blogger Daisy said...

I wish you lived closer so I could share the spoils of my garden with you. It's not much, but it's edible and delicious.
You have my thoughts and prayers.

4/8/08 6:43 PM  
Blogger Olivia Hernandez said...

You totally need to check my site out, us non-cancer disabled chics really need to stick together! I have tumors throughout my entire body, but not cancerous ones, so trust me I feel what you are saying.

I'm not however tired of pink ribbons LOL. I just wish there were ribbons for us too!

BTW we're on limited income here too, family of 4, being vegetarian and shopping at the discount food marts, my weekly grocery bill is always less than $100.

4/8/08 8:53 PM  
Blogger BSumner said...

you are SO not kidding. My elec bill last year for July was $175.. this year it's $323. I'm lucky. I have a husband with a good job (for now) and we have no problem paying our bills or buying food. But God help us if he were laid off.

4/8/08 10:11 PM  
Blogger Storm said...

I hear you on the food bills and the costs just shooting through the roof on everything. Honesly, every time I walk through a store I feel my blood pressure getting higher and higher. I keep telling my DH that it's beyond depressing for me. I try to make it as much of a game as I can with my coupons and deals, just to take off some of the pressure, but I honestly don't know how much longer there will be any deals to take advantage of sometimes.

5/8/08 12:42 AM  
Blogger Shash said...

I wish I lived closer so I could help you out more than just showing my support. Hang in there and know we love and support you!


5/8/08 11:25 AM  
Blogger Honor said...

Hi Margalit,
I visit often, and don't comment much (think the last time was Lost-related), but I wanted to let you know you're not alone. Based on my recent (and ongoing) illness, I think the longer an illness continues, the less people know what to say, IF the existence of the illness even crosses their minds. I think they WANT to forget. After all, illness makes people uncomfortable.

I've been ill over the last 18 months, but because I got tired of the first question from friends and family being, "How're you feeling?" I started giving them the canned response, "Fine! How are things with you?!" However, that tactic has come back to bite me in the butt - no one thinks I'm ill any longer, and I think some of them think I'm actually well.

It's not that I want them to fawn all over me, but like you, I'd like an occasional heartfelt question about my health. I want them to CARE. I want to feel important.

Many hugs to you, Margalit.

5/8/08 5:24 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Margalit, this really hits me for a variety of reasons.

First of all, before I was someone with cancer I was someone with another debilitating illness, that I still have, that no one ever wants to talk about...that's bipolar disorder. Disease of the body is much more popular than disease of the mind.

That being said, the one thing I refuse, absolutely REFUSE to do is play VICTIM. I got caught up in doing that last year after both cancer and depression took hold of me.

It's one thing to have any illness, it's another to play victim.

Second of all, I am someone who has incurable cancer and considered TERMINAL that received a laptop from a kind blogger. If having terminal cancer seems like a cool thing then please explain that because dying doesn't seem cool to me at all.

Leaving two very young children motherless...totally not cool in my book.

Third, my father had a heart transplant last year because he had congestive heart failure. My grand mother also has congestive heart failure...she is 90 years old and as feisty as hell. I have watched the two of them suffer at times, my father more so than my grandmother obviously.

Fourth, I understand what it's like to live with the recession. We are four people living on one salary now. We are just one step away from a disaster but it is what it is. Even with the small amount of donations I receive it does not replace my lost salary or put a dent in our bills.

You can only do what you can do...at least that's how I look at it now. As long as I have money to pay the doctors, get some food, and get gas then I'm a lucky woman.

Don't allow yourself to play the victim. Believe me, having cancer is NOT cool. Having your veins pumped full of toxic metallic fluid that kills EVERY CELL in your body is NOT COOL. Dying is not cool.

5/8/08 8:19 PM  
Blogger Eileen said...

i'm sorry about what you're going through. i am constantly getting muga scans and downing diuretics to make sure my heart can handle the treatments. to let you know i have cancer. stage 4 in fact. now re cancer vs heart failure: cancer is the disease du jour, just like AIDS was in the 80s and 90s. apparently the only way to get attention is to have some celeb come down with it - and have every celeb back up her/him. celebs = media attention. media attention = awareness + action. it's unfortunate and unfair but true. hang in there. as others have said if i lived closer i'd share. i know how much it costs to feed just me a diet that works well with cancer. i can only imagine what it's like for you and your family. best...

6/8/08 5:28 PM  
Blogger Robin said...

I'm away and haven't been on the computer much this past week so I just saw this today.

I'm sorry things are so hard for you, and I wish there was something concrete I could do beyond just wishful thinking...

8/8/08 1:39 PM  
Blogger Jewels said...

You know I do understand how you must feel to see so much for cancer and all the support for it. However, please remember that it's not all for breast cancer. I happen to be the mother of a child who had cancer. She was diagnosed at the age of 3 1/2. She's currently in remission but we have her whole life to HOPE that she stays that way.

I know you do not have it easy being a mother and having to take care of your babies. Your disease doesn't have a cure. I'm sorry that you have to live with that.

I'm not sorry that cancer gets A LOT of attention though. Without it, I might not have my little girl here with me still.

10/8/08 9:58 PM  
Blogger Just Me said...


Lisa said it best. Dying is not cool. Leaving your kids behind is not cool. Cancer is horrid, insidious, and painful, and the only instance where I wished it upon myself was before it took my sister at the ripe old age of 27.

My mother had emphysema and CHF. I watched her decline and her death, and not once did she bemoan her fate. She worked outside the home until she couldn't; she worked from home until she couldn't. She did not complain. She did not use her illness as a means of personal gain, and she certainly did not wish for a "trendier" disease.

Forgive me for saying so, but wishing for cancer so someone might give you money or a computer or whatever is just plain warped. It isn't right to exploit and advertise hardships for personal gain.

I'm willing to bet that most of us struggle to live from check to check, but whining about it doesn't solve the problem. We work harder, we cut back (and cut and cut), and we might even have to sell some stuff, but we do what we must for our children.

If what you're doing isn't making ends meet, you need to seriously look at other at-home careers to replace the ones that aren't rewarding you sufficiently for the time and energy devoted to them. Maybe you can't work outside the home, but you can find ways to make your working hours more profitable.

12/8/08 1:11 AM  
Blogger Renee said...

I believe you.

I found the link to your post from this post - http://chickenliver.wordpress.com/2008/08/10/cancerfree-computer-or-so-she-says/ .

I was all prepared for a whiny woe is me post. But, that's not what I got. You have every right to express yourself as you did.

I, too, have a condition that doesn't allow me to work because no one is going to hire a person who has to stay home for a week and a half or more of every month. But, since it's not a "disease", I don't get taken seriously.

So, that original post from the other blog? Absolutely wrong in her critique of you. I can't believe how judgemental people are in the blog world.

13/8/08 6:50 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

I'm sorry you're struggling, but keep in mind that many of us who've dealt with that trendy, cool Cancer problem don't get things, struggle to pay our bills and are crushed by mounting medical debt. Sure, some bloggers are popular and get attention - but that's the case no matter what your life circumstances.

I know life is difficult. I'm getting back on my feet - in the last few years I've been unemployed, moved three times, left my husband, later left an abusive relationship, I've endured cancer treatment and lots of other hardships, but we all have them.

I see how hard CHF & diabetes can be, I'm watching my father fight it. My empathy is with you there - but please don't think the cancer patients out here have it so much easier.

3/4/09 2:10 AM  

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