Help


I’m still trying to raise money to fix my house, but the situation has gotten a little more dire. The city of Huntsville is giving me four months to get the repairs done, at which time they can inflict their wrath by sending me to court for the issue. The violations include rotted exterior siding and trim, holes in the eave, and chipped/flaking paint on the siding, fascia, eaves, and trim. We’ve tried contacting the Community Development people multiple times this week, but when we call, no one is in the office. I’m really concerned after looking at the code itself. From section 7-351: Where the literal application of the requirements of this article would appear to cause undue hardship on an owner or tenant or when it is claimed that the true intent and meaning of this article or any of the regulations in this article have been misconstrued or wrongly interpreted, the owner of such building or structure, or his duly authorized agent, may appeal the decision of the housing official to the housing board of adjustments and appeals, as set forth in section 7-354. That doesn’t sound so bad until you look at 7-354, which is the ordinance that makes it okay to prohibit occupancy in a residence. Prohibiting occupancy means eviction and condemning of the property. As I’ve said on Twitter and on my GoFundMe, without the repairs, people who violate the municipal ordinances that Community Development enforces can be punished. I could go to jail for up to 6 months, be fined up to $500, and my house could be condemned. My family would then be homeless. Honestly, that’s making me worry about what the city of Huntsville will do if we tell them that we can’t afford to do the repairs that they want done. Ways to help directly: GoFundMe: gofundme.com/helpmorrisfam PayPal: paypal.me/janersm Square: cash.me/$janersm Ways to help indirectly:1 Ebates: ebates.com/r/JANETM1804?eeid=28187 Ibotta: ibotta.com/register?friend=xkdrqhe I’ve been lucky enough to have several people donate and other suggest organizations that I should try contacting, and I am so thankful for what they’ve given, but it’s still not enough to get things fixed and in working order. If you can’t afford to donate, please consider passing the links along. If you know of an organization or an agency that can help, please let me know about them. If you feel the need to say something hateful about this post, my family, my house, or me, please see yourself out of my life right now. Thanks. Click to Donate Now! These are through referral fees. Ibotta gives a $5 and ebates gives a $25 referral. ↩

The Poor House


I set up new crowd-funding pages to raise money for home repairs and replacing my dad’s car. We’ll be getting some money from selling my grandmother’s house, so we’ll be able to cover some of the costs with that. I actually set up fundraising pages on three different sites (GiveForward, GoFundMe, YouCaring) because I know some people either don’t have accounts on those sites or they are boycotting them; and if you would rather just go through PayPal or Square, those options are also available. I just thought giving people more options might help raise the money faster, which will speed up the ability to get the repairs done, replace dad’s car, and get insurance on our house again. So far I’ve raised $20 which will definitely help. And I’m incredibly grateful for that donation. This is the description/explanation that I put up on the pages: My parents and I are on disability, which puts us on a very fixed income. Unfortunately, that fixed income makes it difficult for us to afford to do needed repairs on our house and to afford to replace the vehicle we’d used to go to doctor appointments. The house needs a lot of repairs. It needs to be more accessible for my mom who has a severe Vitamin D deficiency (my whole family has this deficiency) that has progressed to a point where she’s developed osteopenia, a condition has caused her to break bones almost every time that she falls. The fracture risk is even higher for her because she, like me, also has Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, which increases a person’s likelihood of developing fractures and other injuries involving connective tissues. She’s on special supplements for kidney failure patients who are Vitamin D deficient, but the deficiency continues. The entrances to the house need to have permanent steps added in or a permanent ramp to make it easier for my mom to enter the house. This is especially important considering that her last fracture, hospitalization, and surgery (a surgery that the orthopedist thought would end in an amputation of the lower leg), as well as her ongoing treatments for blood clots and infections, were due to a fall because height difference between the porch and door. Our home is also in need of plumbing and electrical repairs. (We have aluminum wiring; that wiring caused a pretty bad fire for us about 20 years ago.) We also need our roof and siding replaced, doors replaced, flooring replaced–in most rooms, the “floor” solely consists of the concrete slab laid as the foundation, some broken windows fixed, and cracks in the walls repaired. We need the wiring fixed so that we can get the dryer working again. We need most of our plumbing replaced or repaired to prevent/end leaks. (Every sink leaks, the toilets leak, the bathtub has a crack.) Our dishwasher hasn’t worked since at least 2012–it floods the kitchen if you attempt to use it–and needs to be replaced as well. Our stove needs to be replaced. We had to disable the back two eyes after they both “shocked” me while I was cooking. The oven itself doesn’t work properly either. We lost our home insurance policy in 2012 because the roof needed to be replaced and we couldn’t afford to get that done. We will not be able to get a new policy until we have fixed the roof and most of the other issues. If all of that wasn’t enough, my parents were in a car crash on August 23, 2016. A teenager ran a red light and hit the driver’s side of my dad’s car, then the driver’s side of the car in the next lane. Dad’s car was 17-18 years old, so it would have cost the insurance company more to repair the car than to declare it totaled. We have my grandmother’s car, which is even older and has had a few weird issues of its own over the years. We need to raise money to replace the old car to make sure that we have a car to drive to doctor appointments & other places. There’s plenty to be done and not enough to do it with, so if you could help in anyway, it would be awesome. If you can’t afford to donate, please consider passing the link along or, if you happen to know of an agency or group that does these repairs or provides other services for people on fixed incomes, please pass that on to me. If you’re able to help, I would appreciate it. If you can’t donate, but can share the link, I would appreciate that as well. If you know of any organizations that could help, then I would love that. And if you have any questions, then I’ll answer them.

Crowd-Funding Home Repairs



Well, I just sent this to Amazon.com about the cancellation/refund/over-draft situation.1 To Whom It May Concern: On January 3, 2016, I attempted to cancel multiple unwanted orders from your company, including an order I didn’t make that contained a duplication of an entirely different order. Some of the cancellations worked. Some did not. I even tried getting customer service to cancel these items, but was told that they couldn’t be canceled. I tried to explain that the lack of cancellations was going to lead to overdrafts on my bank account. They said that they would try to get someone to do a back-end cancellation and would let me know the status of this cancellation. I was then told to simply refuse shipping on the items and that I would receive refunds. There was no cancellation. There was no follow up. I refused shipment and mailed back the unopened packages on January 25, 2016 and February 4, 2016, but no refund has been processed. I wasn’t told that I needed to go ahead and request refunds, again, before sending the package back. I’ve over-drafted multiple times (fees of over $600) as a result of the orders that I stated I didn’t even want in the first place and won’t be able to pay most of my bills for this month. I may not even be able to pay them next month. What is going on, guys? This kind of experience is ridiculous. Most companies have a billing and return system that works properly. Most companies process cancellations and returns a lot more quickly. I’m sending a copy of this letter to the Better Business Bureau. Maybe you can work with them and figure out what’s wrong with your system because obviously something is. And maybe, in the mean time, you can figure out where my refunds are and why I haven’t received them yet. I messed up on the fees for the over-drafts section, which I fixed in the BBB complaint. I sent this to the BBB: On January 3, 2016, I attempted to cancel multiple unwanted orders (things I either didn’t realize I put in my cart & not my wishlist or items that I decided that I didn’t want) from Amazon.com. One of the orders I cancelled contained a duplication of an another item. Some of the cancellations worked, but some didn’t. I contacted customer service and each person that I talked to claimed that they couldn’t cancel the orders. I tried to explain that I didn’t want the others and that I couldn’t afford to pay for them because I’m on a fixed income, so money is always tight. They told me that they would try to get a tech person to try cancelling my orders on the back-end because they said the order kept timing out on them. Then I was told that I would hear from them within a week and that I should simply refuse the shipments when they arrived. They said that if I refused them, I would receive the refunds. Well, the cancellation of my order didn’t happen and they didn’t follow up. No refunds were issued when I refused the shipments and sent the unopened packages back through USPS on January 25, 2016 and February 4, 2016, nor was there any acknowledgment that the packages had even arrived. I only found out today, when I was trying to find out where I could check on the status of the returns, that I was expected to onto their website, tell them that I was refunding the orders, and print a new shipping label, possibly even pay for the shipment. (This was slightly different from the refusal of shipment.) As a result of the unwanted packages, my bank account incurred $432 in over-draft fees for $149.55 of products that I didn’t want. In my dispute, I requested that my refund be processed ASAP. I said that it would be nice if they helped cover the over-drafts, but that I knew that wasn’t going to happen. I realized today that I needed to send the complaint to the BBB since Amazon obviously wasn’t going to fix the situation without someone intervening. So now I wait and hope that they finally start processing things properly.2 If you’d like to help in the meantime, I have a GoFundMe set up. ↩I didn’t even tell BBB that the issues with the cancellations and the return center have been going on for months. Almost any time that I want to cancel anything, I have an error pop up. One day I could cancel one item at a time to prevent an error–two items at a time would cause one–and could only do 3 single item cancellations before an error would happen. Either there’s something wrong with my account or something wrong with their system. ↩

Dear Amazon


Since these tweets are all related, I thought I’d do it in one big post. A Tumblr user asked for me to include my disability diagnoses, so I added those to the descripti… http://t.co/BmIGGybIzI — Janet Morris (@janersm) September 3, 2015 The full text of this update: A Tumblr user asked for me to include my disability diagnoses, so I added those to the description. I also want to thank those who’ve donated. I also want to thank those who’ve shared the link without donating. And I want to thank those of you who have offered your thoughts and prayers. I appreciate it all so much. Wow. In the last 24 hours, I've gotten $45 in donations on .@gofundme. A big thank you to those who've donated. It means so much. — Janet Morris (@janersm) September 3, 2015 That $45 will get me out of the red for August's bills a day early. — Janet Morris (@janersm) September 3, 2015 And it eases the anxiety I had over the first round of bills for September. — Janet Morris (@janersm) September 3, 2015 So I am very, very grateful for the help. — Janet Morris (@janersm) September 3, 2015 Follow @JanersM on Twitter.


I saw the family doctor today about the ongoing knee pain. The family doctor thinks it is a tendon1 or, more likely, a group of tendons in the back of my knee that are inflamed. She wanted to either put me on a round of steroids or send me to the orthopedist for a cortisone shot.  Her attending told her to do a round of NSAIDs first, despite having NSAIDs listed as drugs I cannot take.  ((He told her that if they sent me to the orthopedist now that the orthopedist would do two rounds of NSAIDs before doing a shot. And they didn’t want to do the shot too soon–8 weeks of sharp pain in my knee doesn’t exactly seem like it’s all that short of a time period.)) They felt that the 80mg of Protonix2 could keep the ulcers from forming. So she wrote it for prescription strength Naprosyn two times a day for three weeks. My extra-reflux-y,3 post-gastric-bypass stomach & the brain that controls it decided that prescription would not be getting filled.4 I definitely did not want to risk an ulcer.5 She said they might send me to the orthopedist in 3 weeks6 if the pain was still going on.  Anyway, I came home and was a bit disappointed because I knew that I couldn’t take the espresso-esque dose of Aleve and that that meant the pain would continue for the next 3 weeks. I realized that it could even get worse. And then the realization that I’d have to wait another few weeks for an appointment and that might mean an even longer wait for treatment. I started breaking down and sobbing. I couldn’t see an end in sight and I think my crying worried my mom. We decided I should skip the wait & call the orthopedist.7 I have an appointment for the 14th. Two weeks instead of three somehow leaves me feeling more optimistic.  Once I was back into the less-overwhelmed-by-pain mode, my dad told me about Aunt Phyllis’s response to my GoFundMe page to help with my overdraft/unexpected bill issue. I think she meant to be helpful, but her advice really was, well, unhelpful. Missing one payment of most of the bills would just lead to badness. I saw my parents do the “just one month”/deferral thing. Debt stacked up. Debt collectors harassed us regularly. The reason I own the house we live in is that their bill situation got so bad that they could have lost the house. My debt isn’t that bad. If I skipped a payment, it might get much worse and I don’t want it to get any worse. Besides I have a “don’t take financial, moral, or legal advice from the Morris family” rule. Their solutions can range from bad to sociopathic. I really don’t want to follow in those footsteps. So I may overdraft again this month, but I’ll get caught up soon & figure out a way to pay for what I need and save a little money as I do.  Oh well. I need to start working on the grocery list since tomorrow is Wednesday. She also mentioned that I would need to avoid fluoroquinolones–Cipro, Levaquin–because of the risk of tendon rupture. I told her I couldn’t take those because of the neuropathy issue, so I wasn’t really worried about encountering that issue with them. ↩A dose that requires maximum doses of maximum strength Gaviscon to back it up. ↩Thanks, Dad! ↩Even the pharmacist knew I wouldn’t be taking it. When the scrip got to her, she called my house and said she would not fill a medicine we all know I cannot take without endangering my life. ↩Especially not after reading about everything that Jenn has gone through with her ulcers. And, no, that doesn’t mean I wanted one before. I’ve also seen the pain they’ve caused my dad. I don’t want to experience that, even if it would mean less pain in my knee. ↩My recheck was scheduled for September 21. ↩The family doctor said I didn’t actually need a referral because I’ve seen an orthopedist that specializes in knees on another referral recently. ↩

Aleve-iate Your Pain (Or Maybe Not)


Click here to support Help with unexpected bills by Janet Morris: I’m on disability, which sometimes doesn’t provide me with enough to pay for all of my monthly expenses. This past month was one of those times. I overdrafted my account by $500, which means that when my disability check comes, I will have about $200 to make it through September on. That won’t be enough. I’ve cut out as many expenses as possible for next month, but I will still be at least $200 short. If I overdraft next month, this issue will continue into October, which could continue into November, and so on. I’d just like to get this taken care of so that I can not have this stress hanging over me. $400 would ensure that I could avoid any overdrafts next month and that I could put whatever is left into a savings account so that I can prevent this sort of thing from happening in the future. I wouldn’t ask for help if I didn’t need it, but I really do need the help. Any amount will be greatly appreciated. via Tumblr Even if you just pass the link on to someone else, it will be helpful.