Good news on the car front finally… we ended up selling one of our cars on Craigslist, to an FSO by complete chance. Thank god… the whole FS fraternity thing can be totally awesome sometimes. I really believe there is a feeling of mutual respect and trust when you deal with other FS families in business transactions.
We ended up selling our 2002 Volvo wagon, the one I least wanted to sell. It was a great car that had been in my family since 2004 or so. My folks gifted it to us when we came back from the D.R., as they had given it to my sister’s family to be a train car (those of you from the NYC area know what that is). It was kind of fortuitous, as my dad was buying a new car and was going to give his old one to my sister to replace the Volvo, which my niece would then get as her car (she turned 16 in May). Since my B.I.L. gets a company car, I finagled my way into the Volvo instead of the Saab. While the Volvo was older, the Saab was a sedan—and with a kid and two dogs, sedans suck.
Recently the Volvo started having some small issues (like any car with 103K on it), and then the Check Engine Light came on. It was going to be a $500 repair, plus a couple big-ticket items were coming up, so I decided it was best to sell it. I was completely up-front about the issues, made a few concessions on price, and had it sold in a matter of days. Now we’re back to a normal, two-car family. Hooray!
Speaking of cars, I have mostly fixed the Saab after all the issues we’ve had with it. There was a idling/hesitation problem that I had Googled and narrowed it down to a couple of things. When we had it in the shop, I asked the mechanic what he thought, he pointed at a part in the engine and said that it was usually the culprit. He said it was a $300 part, and a couple hours’ labor. I smelled bullshit, searched for an engine schematic online, identified the part, and found it online for $50. Took about 6 minutes to install the part (with only one or two expletives), and the car runs 1,000 times better.
And now on to the surgery….
I apparently need shoulder surgery due to a torn labrum in my left shoulder. This is an ages-old injury that has gotten worse with time. My shoulder frequently slips out of socket randomly, and I’m left with a week of excruciating pain and limited motion each time. This happens roughly monthly, going on 17 or so years now. I’m done. I’m at the point where I can afford the surgery, am getting back into shape and would like to start swimming and surfing again, and am just plain sick of it. It hurts when it happens, reduces my quality of life, and I find myself avoiding certain activities or motions which have a high likelihood of injuring my shoulder again.
All in all, it’s an arthroscopic procedure which should only incapacitate me for a week or two, and it’s not my dominant arm. I’m planning on scheduling it before the holidays, so I plan on spending Christmas in a sling. However, navigating the bureaucratic bullshit of the U.S. healthcare system is probably going to kill me before any surgeon has the chance to in the O.R. The steps and cross-references and phone calls necessary to just get a simple M.R.I. to confirm the diagnosis pre-approved are ridiculous, and I’ve already lost one appointment due to how shitty the FSBP is here in the U.S. (they use Coventry here, which is really a new definition of frustration), and am considering just doing the damn surgery overseas so I can pay for it out-of-pocket and be reimbursed rather than navigating the waters of PPO hell anymore.
With a holiday week next week, expect some radio silence from me… I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving. I’ll be posting some of my favorite Turkey Day hacks, tricks, and recipes on my other blog over the weekend.
Mahalo and gobble-gobble, y’all.