Wednesday, November 16, 2016

What is going on with my back and knees?

Note to readers:  I'm sorry that I didn't continue writing the day after.  Having to relive this nightmare through my blog gave me such stress that my whole body ached.  I'll try to be more active in the future. 

Now to continue .....

I continued to see my cardiologist and still see one today.  From my stress and anxiety, my body seems to be falling apart.  I developed pain in my lower and upper back, in my hips, both knees and legs.  I had gone through all my savings from my employment over the years.  

Can anyone relate to being gainfully employed then suddenly broke with no where to go?  As well as needing medical attention and prescriptions just to have some kind of semblance of life.  Thankfully, I was eligible for medical assistance.  I'm not proud of the fact but when you hit bottom what else could I do.  I changed my primary care physician and was diagnosed with a problem with my knees.  This is how I have handicapped plates on my car - but not the only reason.

In December 2014, I applied for Social Security Disability.  I hired a law firm in Denver Colorado to handle this for me.  Although I will not name the firm, they have television commercials run all times during the day.  This nameless firm gave me the reassurance that they would handle everything for me which they didn't.  There were two gals with their hands on my case.  One lied to me, the other was RE-ACTIVE instead of being PRO-ACTIVE.  Because of this, my case was denied in March 2015 because the paperwork was not sent to the Social Security Administration in a timely manner by the law firm.  I wanted someone to handle these things for me as reliving the past and what happened at my previous job gave me more stress and additional pains in my chest.  In August 2015, the law firm hired a gal who apparently knew her stuff and way around claims to Social Security Disability (at least I thought so at the time).

As time went on, I fired the law firm and decided to continue my SSDI claim on my own because the $6,000 that they would have received wasn't worth the work they did or didn't do.  

In February 2016, I had to move out of my apartment because I had run out of money to pay for my rent, utilities, cell phone and anything else related to sustaining life as I knew it.  During February 2016, I was listed as a Dire Needs/Critical case with SSDI.  Apparently, that doesn't mean much as I never had a hearing until May 2016.  You'd think that would be the end of it ..... not even close!

After many calls to Social Security on their toll free number (who hires those people?), getting the run around and being told a different story by each person answering the phone, I decided to get creative.  Just like their recording says "this call may be recorded" I told the person on the line that they were being recorded and I would send the recording to the powers that be.  That must have woken this person up as they explained to me that the date of July 27, 2016 for a determination was NOT the right date and that I had to contact the HEARING office in Denver.  Oh joy!

So finally I call the hearing office where my hearing was held to get status.  O.M.G.!  Since that time I have had to FIGHT and ARGUE with people there to get my FULL records.  I was told by another nameless person (because I will not disclose that until my case is settled) that she couldn't give me my records without the judge's approval.  WHAT THE HELL????  Yes, you guessed it, more pains in my chest, back, hips, knees etc.  Talk about blood boiling!

I'll try to write again tomorrow and continue with ...... Why don't I have a determination on my claim and why doesn't the SSA (Social Security Administration) have all my medical records from May 2016 to present.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

What happened to Elaine

It's been way too long since I updated my blog
This post will span over many days
it will be informational for some of you
and a heads up for others
perhaps some of you can relate

After being unemployed for many years, I did land a job which started in March 2011.  At this job, I was a Senior Online Time & Attendance Analyst. 
Probably a very few know that I have light sensitivity with doctors notes for employers not to sit me where florescent lighting is shining in my eyes.

All was well at this job until the end of October 2011.  As in most tech jobs seating is changed around in the department from time to time.  My first two desks were fine after the supervisor made sure that there were no lights shining into my eyes.  The third move was when the problems started.

Here I'll ask a question - when a company has a handbook which states that you will have an accommodation coach when you have a "disability" (in this case, my doctors notes regarding lighting), shouldn't I have had one?  My belief is that I should have, but was never given one.

So, at the end of October 2011 with the third move, I had uncovered florescent lights shining in my eyes.  Immediately I wrote an email to the supervisor (who was new and apparently not informed of my doctor notes) and to the team lead that I needed to move because of the lights.  The supervisor, unknown to me, had left on vacation.  The team lead asked what was wrong.  I explained about my doctors notes which the previous supervisor was given and that I had a migraine, knots in my stomach and blurry vision from the lighting.  Now the "safety person" gets involved and stated that it is a part of "ergonomics".  Well no, it's really not.  After being given the third degree, I left and went home sick.

Have you been affected by florescent lighting or just lights in general?

Each day for about 1 and 1/2 weeks after that, I felt lousy.  Finally, I made an appointment with my doctor to find out what was happening to me.   She explained to me that my blood pressure was so high that an immediate EKG was necessary.  Within minutes, my doctor appears and advised me that she was calling an ambulance to take me to the hospital (which is less than one mile up the road).   I drove myself to the Emergency Room at the hospital with a copy of my EKG in hand and written out blood pressure reading.  They were supposed to take me right in but made me wait (with no one in the waiting room) for 15 minutes.

Here's where the "fun" begins:

I'm taken to intake, blood pressure is 248/153.  If you are reading this and have medical knowledge you know that I was at stroke stage.  A medication was given to me to lower my blood pressure, a CAT scan was taken as the hospital staff wanted to make sure I had no broken blood vessels in my head.  

How would you feel at this point if this was you instead of me?

After spending approximately 6 hours in the Emergency Room I was able to go home.  

If you think that this is where my story ends .... well, no, it's not.

After several more doctors appointments it was decided that I should apply for  short term disability.  "Short term" is an understatement.  On or about November 16, 2011 all the papers will filled out and sent back to the appropriate parties.  Because I had not been at my job long enough, I did not have long term disability.  Short term covered me for 6 months.

During the first 6 months, my doctor and I had to deal with the companies disability people. My doctor and I were so upset with them because they couldn't get anything correct.  Finally someone who actually listened and documented everything correctly was assigned to me and with that I started to receive my "disability" payments.

From November 2011 through May 2012, I had been assessed by my general practitioner, Cardiologists, Pulmonologists, and others.  

From April 2012 to present day, I wear prescription glasses, one pair dark sunglasses and the other no tint.  When I go to doctors appointments, I wear a golf visor in addition to the prescription sunglasses so that the florescent lighting is not shining in my eyes.  Yes, you can laugh because I must look hysterical!  As you can imagine, this has also impacted grocery shopping, clothes shopping, and any other activity which I enjoyed years prior.

Each time I went to a new specialist they would ask how my health had gotten this bad.  Each time I explained the story I would get pains in my chest.

In April or May 2012, I filed a charge with the EEOC against this employer.  I represented myself as no attorney wanted to take the case because it was a large nationwide employer.  Long story short, the EEOC treated me badly, kept passing my case around to workers in that office to the point that I didn't know who was handling it.  It was around September 2012 when I received a letter that the EEOC found nothing wrong (REALLY?) and I could appeal to the US District Court which I did.  At this point, the large nationwide employer hired a law firm to represent them.  I continued to represent myself.  The US District Court Judge was always very short with me but gave the attorneys for the other side time for everything.  WHY?  This went on until about March of 2013 when I couldn't physically continue representing myself.  I had constant pains in my chest every time I had to deal with those attorneys and the judge.  It was just too much.

Yes, I did continue to see my general practitioner from November 2011 to May 2012 when my insurance ran out.  Thankfully, my cardiologist (a wonderful man) would charge me $50 per visit because I had no insurance.  As you, dear readers, can imagine, I was on all kinds of medication.  Blood pressure, depression, and anxiety pills were prescribed among other medications.  It took over a year to get the right combination of medications for my blood pressure to become somewhat stable and under control.  I consider myself extremely lucky to have a cardiologist who wouldn't give up on me.

This true story continues tomorrow with What is going on with my back and knees?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Swagbucks - What YOU Need to Know!

Do you use Swagbucks?


I just learned about a new app that earns you more Swagbucks!  If you have an Android phone or tablet, search the Google Play Store for EntertaiNow.  It's similar to SBTV Mobile.  

How much can you earn with this app?  Up to 90 Swagbucks a day, if you earn 90 a day, in months with 30 days you will earn 2700 extra Swagbucks.  If you enjoy the Amazon Gift Cards, it's the equivalent of $25 plus an extra 200 swagbucks.  Not a bad deal!

How do I know this?  Of course, I left my tablet running playing over and over again until I reached the Daily Limit.  In your account, it's listed as SBTV Mobile: EntertaiNow.  Since I use SBTV Mobile every day for 50 points, I'll get 140 just for Mobile viewing.

To earn more points, go to the GAMES link on Swagbucks and play "Ball Rain".  After the usual ads, click play, then click to start, you don't have to do anything else.  In under 10 minutes, opposed to 20+ minutes, you'll have your 10 swagbucks from games.

Also you might be interested in the "Encrave" activities.  The AOL YellowPages is my favorite to earn 2 swagbucks for putting in a word, press enter, go about your business (I usually refill my coffee cup) but stay on that page.  Wha-la = 2 swagbucks and you can do this several times.

There are other easy ways to reach your daily goal - ask me!

This month I have $75 in Amazon Gift Cards from Swagbucks, $10 in Amazon Gift Cards from Crowdtap and $10 from a rewards program.  The month isn't over yet and neither is my "earning potential"!   Not familiar with Crowdtap, ask me!  For only a few minutes a day you can "earn" Amazon Gift Cards and more.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The savings are heating up! 

Head on over to Saving With Elaine's facebook page.

Check out the posts from the past few days.  Want savings tips and tricks on how to save money as a way of life - Check out Saving With Elaine!  Reasonable rates!  Local or Nationwide!

Spots for assistance are going fast! 

Don't miss out!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Pay Less for Social Media

Some social media sites and services try to nickel and dime you for "extras." Watch out for those unnecessary upgrades, and be frugal about how you handle your social media.

Hootsuite is a free consolidation tool where you can post your announcements for Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn all in one place. Stick with the free version unless you have multiple people on your marketing team and want to control permissions and passwords. If you only have your spouse, or a trusted other person helping you, then just share your password with him/her for Hootsuite.

Facebook Ad Campaign. I've tried this, myself, while running an ad campaign for a chiropractor. I've found that for this type of campaign, there are pros and cons:
  1. You can control your budget, and on a daily basis. You can spend $7 or $3 or $300/day.
  2. There is allowance to get pretty hyper-local in terms of geographic demographics.
  3. You can choose which type of post/ad to create.
  1. While they claim that you can target demographics, this is an imperfect science (especially for the non-aficionado of marketing and advertising).
  2. Go big or go home applies to this, in my opinion. Don't throw spaghetti against the wall when it comes to running ad campaigns online (either Pay Per Click on Google or the Facebook Ad Campagins). If you can't go big, then maybe hire a Facebook guru to run the ad campaigns for you. Of course, this adds to your expense (paying the guru), but will ensure that you are not dabbling and wasting your money. sponsorhips, perks, and advertising. If you go to and are not an active participant (you should be! It's free and it's fun), then you might be tempted to go through the official business sponsor program and pay for your listings. See link above. Don't.

I recommend that you contact group organizers to present them with your offer. Contact them one at a time, be sincere, and be RELEVANT. This should go without saying, but common sense needs used, here. This will cost you a little more time, but save you a lot more money. The time is worth it, however, as you might begin to build relationships with these groups and evolve into other collaboration and growth opportunities. While Universal Business Listing (UBL) has multiple packages to choose from for syndicating your business listing online in search directories, just choose the Premium Package. In this case, going for Essential is not enough. If you are going to sign up for UBL, which is mandatory for all brick and mortar businesses, in my opinion, then get the Premium Package or don't do it at all.

Please note: UBL is mandatory, not optional. This is even more important than the yellow pages was in the old days. UBL's listing is the old-fashioned yellow pages on steroids. This is not optional.

This is not a complete list of how to pay less for social media, but should give you an idea of how to get started and what to watch out for when making a budget for your internet marketing activities. For more information or coaching around online marketing for your business (either just brand new and wanting to jump in the game, or an intermediate who wants to "step up" her game), contact Angela Schnaubelt or visit the Coach Angela website.

Saving With Elaine

It has been a LONG time since I've posted here.  There is a good reason.

I've been in the process of starting my own business!  This is good news, right?  Are your dollars stretching less and less lately?  Whose hasn't?  Let me help you!  

How can I help, you ask?  Are you unemployed, have no income, or just enjoy saving money?  

Visit my new website: Saving With Elaine

This is my new laptop - ask me how it only cost $12.79 out of pocket!

Please share my link with your friends!  I can help anyone, anywhere, anytime!

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Good News with Angie Austin - Links

Links Mentioned!

Thank you to everyone who listened and /or called in!  A special HUGE thank you to Angie Austin for the honor of being on her radio show.

We discussed some websites today that I use to earn Amazon Gift Cards for FREE!  Each site has their own format where you can watch videos, play games, take surveys as well as many other ways to "earn points" toward Gift Cards.  These sites have prizes, gift cards, money into your paypal accounts and others to "redeem" your "earn points".  I just love the Amazon Gift Cards because once you put the code from your "reward" into your Amazon account, they never expire.  If you are familiar with Amazon or not, it's free to register for  an account there.  You can order most anything.  My favorites are clothing, coffee makers, food and books just to name a few.  If you order $25 or more from Amazon, you can receive "Free Super Saver Shipping".  It's doesn't get much better than that!

Here are the links to the sites that I use:

If you have any questions, please send an email to OR leave a comment below!

Save Money and Live Well!