Friday, July 16, 2010
When the Pager is Off and the Overtime is No More
The past two and a half weeks, we noticed the psoriasis returning slowly. But what concerned us was his joint pain. When you have this disease as severely as Steve, you can get bad arthritis as well. It happened to him once before I met him in his early twenties. It sounded horrible. This week it came back like that. He could barely walk, couldn't drive, couldn't open a bottle, and many other things. It was very difficult to watch a vibrate man who loves to exercise every day, turn into an old man over night.
He has had to miss two shifts of work (so far) and we are now looking at short-term disability until he improves. We don't know when he will be able to go back to work, but trusting that God will heal him and that he will find the right medication to be on.
I noticed something the other day. The pager was off...Silent... Quiet...Weird. I am so used to going about my day and hearing the word, "Stacie, I'm going in." I respond with, "O.K." and go about my day. It's part of our routine. It just is.
So what do you do when you are used to a certain amount of overtime coming in every month? This is one of the biggest complaints that I receive from firewives, that their husbands are always gone due to overtime.
My advice is that it is so important to be out of debt. You just never know when something like this will happen. Being a firefighter is a very physical job. It doesn't take much for something to happen where your hubby can't work. Short term disability is good because it keeps you from wiping out all your sick time. The problem is, is when people are counting on the overtime to pay the bills. Since October of last year, we have been doing the Dave Ramsey budgeting system. My goal is to be able to pay the bills without ANY overtime. It is thin, but doable. God knew this was going to happen, so in His goodness, He has directed us to start this budget.
I would encourage anyone who is living off of the overtime, to go over to Dave Ramsey's website and check out his Zero Balance Budget. He will show you how to have financial freedom and it doesn't cost a dime.
Keep praying for us. We are also not used to spending so much time together. When someone is in acute pain, they tend to get irritable and impatient. You can't blame them, but it is a reality you have to deal with. Pray that I will be a good wife and mother and that I will serve my family with joy.
God will meet our needs, I know it. He already has. Our washing machine just went out. In faith, I bought another one using our emergency fund. I kept praying, "Lord, please let this money come from somewhere else." He answered my prayers when I got Steve's check and there was an extra $870 on it from a raise and back pay. I couldn't stop praising Him! The emergency fund remains untouched! Only the Lord!
We are praying that the new medication he is on will give him some relief from his pain. We don't even care about the psoriasis right now, it's the arthritis that is preventing him from working.
UPDATE as of July 18th, 2010
Your prayers are working! Steve is experiencing some relief from the acute pain! God moved fast on this one and I am so thankful. Thank you for being part of His plan by lifting us up in prayer. He is on his four days off right now and is hoping that he will recover enough so he can go back to work. Time will tell, but the medicine is working. He keeps telling me, "prayer made the medicine work." Love it!