Tuesday, December 02, 2003

[no subject]

Well, yesterday just sucked. It started out fine, but around 4:00 things started going downhill swiftly, and by bedtime I was a wreck.

The first awful thing was a call from the phone company asking if perhaps we'd like to pay the bill rather than have all of our services turned off. This was totally my fault, and I am feeling very stupid right now. What happened was that the November bill arrived with October's amount added to it as a past due amount. I was certain that I'd paid the October bill, and thought they must have crossed in the mail (which happens often - I pay my bills the day they're due most of the time), so I set the bill aside intending to check whether I'd paid in October. I promptly forgot about it. I still haven't gone through the stack of mail that arrived over the holiday week, so I never saw the late notice. If they hadn't followed up by phone, I'd have no phone or internet. Luckily, the woman who called was very nice about the whole thing, but I couldn't find the checkbook and had to pay by credit card. The card I have is on my father's account, for emergencies. Technically this qualified as one, and my father is very understanding about money issues, but it was awful having to call him as well as Will to tell them about my giant screw-up. And it was giant, as we get one bill for local and long distance as well as internet.

Then I checked the bank balance and discovered that my normally bad money-handling skills went down the drain last month, and we've been twenty-one-dollared to death. (The bank charges $21 for each overdraft payment.) I knew that we were pushing it by buying my ring, but I really thought I'd done the math and we were coming out even. So much for my paychecks being extra money.

So it boils down to us being into overdraft again, and right before Christmas.

The second event was far worse in the long-term, real world sense. After our friend Craig died three and a half years ago, some other friends from college put together a Topica message board so that we can all keep in touch (as most of us hadn't talked in a year until the funeral). I rarely check the board, being lousy at communication, but I'd posted there a few weeks ago to share the news of our engagement. In one reply, someone asked for news of Pasha, a boy who Will knows but I've only met once. I know that he travels a lot, and I assumed it was just a "what's Pasha up to?" question. But a reply from another friend linked to a blog maintained by his friends and parents, documenting his recovery from a car accident in August that left him brain damaged. He was rear-ended by an 18-wheeler at somewhere over 60mph and thrown from his van after it rolled several times. The impact must have been incredible, as the bruising showed that he was definitely wearing his seatbelt. His left femur and hip were damaged so badly that the surgeon said he'd never seen that kind of damage on a young person (I believe Pasha is 28). Remarkably, he is walking and communicating, though he is still having trouble with his memory (he knows that he is brain damaged by is surprised every time someone explains what happened to him) and has aphasia, which is difficulty identifying the correct word. Interestingly, he is multi-lingual and apparently finds it easier sometimes to find the word he wants in Spanish or Russian.

The good news is that he is doing well, all things considered, and he is definitely still in there, albeit damaged.

I'm not angry at anyone for not telling us. Pasha isn't my friend at all, and he and Will haven't seen each other in years as far as I know. But I am a bit bothered that the message board didn't have a post about this, as it was starting for the purpose of not having one of us die and the others not know about it (or not have spoken to the person in ages). I don't even think Pasha was a member of the board, but it still seems like the sort of news that would be shared.

Needless to say, Will was quite distressed. He dealt with it by going to bed, and I stayed up to read the archived messages about his recovery. I literally couldn't do anything else. When I finally turned off the computer and went downstairs, I checked on Will just as he was having a nightmare. He used to have driving nightmares constantly - losing control of the car, the brakes not working, going over a cliff, etc. - and hasn't had one in ages until last night. I got in bed immediately, forgetting all about brushing my teeth or changing my shirt, and held him until we both fell asleep.