Farewell Online Poker
Let's backtrack up to this decision. Last week I was able to get out of the house. I spent money, played some slots, played some video poker, played a few tournaments at Sam's Town and cashed in a couple of them, and had fun getting out for the first time in several months. It was so enjoyable that when I tried to return back to online, whatever small appeal that it may have had previously, was gone. Because of that, because of getting out to Sam's Town definitely stoked the fire for live play, and because of the fact that my disability is increasing because of the widower's benefit that came through, I have decided that I will be getting out of the house more and I will be restricting my poker to live play only.
Longtime readers of this blog will recall that I have tried to do this a few times in the past, but then again that was before the increase in the disability and let's face it, although I did try previously with just a few buyins here and there I always had to return to online. This is not to say that I am going to have an overabundance of money each month, only a few hundred dollars which I will explain the financial situation in the next paragraph, but I will be getting back into the free Nevada Poker Bar League again and playing that a couple of times a week in which they have a fairly significant freeroll every 6 to 8 weeks or so, and playing tournaments at Sam's Town maybe a half a dozen times a month and if I happen to cash in them I will be playing more of them.
No matter how you look at it even though I don't get around very well I will be getting out more and I think that is more healthy for me. Yes, I may have to stop and rest every block that I walk, and just to get from the bus stop to get across the street I may have to stop and catch my breath a couple of times, but at least I will be out there socializing with other human beings and to me this can only be good for me not only psychologically speaking but who knows maybe physically as well, that remains to be seen.
As stated earlier beginning November 3rd my disability will be going from $829 to $1,425 an increase of $596. I will not be able to enjoy that entire amount because I found out that with the increase in income my medical expenses will be increasing by approximately $234 per month. That $1,425 will actually be $1,291 because the first $134 will be taken out to pay for my Medicare Part B premium. My prescriptions will be going from $8 to $47 each so it is what it is. I will be increasing my food budget slightly, increasing my credit card payments by a small amount, and I will be buying a monthly bus pass from now on because I also found out I can never drive an automobile again. In order to get a license in the state of Nevada you have to have vision of 20/40 in at least one eye and I have 20/60 in one eye and 20/200 in the other. Anyway here's the rundown of the finances as they will be.
($455) Rent & Dish/Wifi
($45) Monthly Transportation
$300 left over/monthly
I'm thinking of discontinuing one of the inhalers that my pulmonologist has me on because it only increase my breathing capacity by 5% over the span of three months and quite frankly $50 a pop per month is not worth it for 5%. If I do so that $300 will increase to $350 left over except once every few months I have to get my rescue inhaler. With my new Part C insurance that is taking effect in November I have to find a new pulmonologist because my current one is not part of the network. This does not exactly break my heart because I was considering finding a new anyway. However, I digress. As you can see with $300 a month left over and transportation already taken care of except for those instances where I decide you utilize Lyft to get me home from Sam's Town or some midway point that would leave me definitely 6 tournaments a month that I could play at Sam's Town. You have to figure that I am going to spend a few dollars at my league games if for nothing else than to have a drink while I'm there.
On a good note the increased medical expenses will not take place in November and they might not even take place in December but nothing is sure that latter point, but at least for November I am going to have a decent amount of extra money for myself and I am going to utilize that specifically. for November I should have about $600 left over and I am getting a new prescription of eyeglasses and also buying myself a new Galaxy J3 cell phone. I'm going to meet up with a friend of mine who I have chatted with for a couple of years that lives here in Vegas but we have never met in person yet and we are planning on grabbing some dinner and a movie together so that should be enjoyable as well.
I received an update form from Social Security asking if my medical situation has remained the same, improved, or gotten worse since October of 2015. My health situation has gotten worse, but these update forms are always a little nerve-wracking because disability companies and Social Security has a habit at times of not taking all available information and making snap decisions without all the facts. I've got a friend of mine sometime back had a good portion of their disability taken away, but it was because the disability company they are involved with had only talked to one or two of their doctors and not all of them. They were able to get it straightened out, but it took nearly two months in the process. If that happens to me I'm going to be homeless and sleeping outside because I don't have any money in reserve to get me through a few months of the process like that. I did a little Google search and according to Social Security only 2.5% of those update forms get referred for a full I think they called it a CDR review and considering that I am going to be 50 years old very soon and they can see the doctors that I'm seeing and because quite frankly they been paying for it I don't think I have too much to be worried about but let's all keep our fingers crossed that they don't do something stupid.
I'm always a person that likes to prepare himself for the worst-case eventualities and I talked to my buddy and roommate ManInBlack about the whole thing. I had asked him, if God forbid the worst case scenario were to happen and I ended up getting my disability discontinued for awhile and ended up having to lose my spot in the house and sleep outsidefor a while if he could stash some of my stuff in his room. Things that I wouldn't carry around in a backpack like files, extra clothing, pillows and blankets, that sort of thing.
I told my bestie and roommate ManInBlack about what was happening and what the situation could result in and I did so because I wanted to ask him a favor that if that did in fact become my reality if I could stash some things of mine in his room that I would not be able to carry around with me on a daily basis in a backpack. My thought was my files and extra clothes that I would not be able to take with me, blankets, pillows, that sort of thing and fully expected for him to tell me that he would be willing to do this. However, instead he looked at me and he said to me,
"You know if anything like that were to happen there's no way I'm going to let you sleep outside. I would lend you the $400 a month rent that you need for however long it took until things got straightened out."
You could have knocked me over with a feather. Never before in my life has somebody offered to potentially help me in such a way. I was almost speechless, could barely utter the words thank you, and damn near had a tear come to my eye that's how I moved I was. I still can't believe that if that situation were to happene that somebody would be willing to do that for me. I don't even feel I'm worth such generosity, but let me tell you something ladies and gentlemen, that is one hell of a friend.
As for the medical part unfortunately the fact of the matter is I have gotten worse since October of 2015. Since that time my breathing capacity has gotten worse and last appointment with the pulmonologist I was only at 67% of capacity. I also need to see a heart doctor because I am experiencing a lot of heart palpitations at various times with intermittent PVCs, preventricular contractions. I could just be laying down ready to go to sleep and the inside of my chest feels like it's shuddering and in addition any exertion is racing my heart in what's called tachycardia so a cardiologist is going to be in my somewhat near future. Of course if you put me on a medication that will be an additional $50 a month and which case I'm definitely just continue in that one and they are just to even things out.
I saw a back surgeon and he told me that yes I am going to need back surgery in the future, but we're not going to do it now. He also told me I have to lose a lot of weight before I could have any type of surgery, but I have what is called grade 1 anterolisthesis of the vertebrae L5 on S1. What it means is my L5 vertebrae is slowly slipping. When the surgeon took one look at the MRI, even though it's 14 months old, he told me straight out you cannot walk very far and you cannot stand for very long at all. I didn't even have to tell him he told me what I was going through.
I also have a bulging disc on vertebra L4 through L5. which means A spinal disorder in which a bone (vertebra) slips forward onto the bone below it and I have a grade 1 spondylolisthesis of L5 on S1 resulting in moderate to severe bilateral neuralforaminal stenosis which means severe foraminal narrowing, or stenosis, occurs when the foraminal canal — the space next to the vertebrae that allows the nerve roots to exit the spinal canal — narrows due to age or another spine condition that has protruded into the empty space of the canal. Gee...... thrilling. Along with arthritis in my knees and shoulders and a torn right shoulder, the surgeon told me that I have arthritis in that lower back and one of the vertebrae is pressing against the nerve. Man I'm telling you this guy was nothing but a barrel of laughs with his medical report, but as I have said many times in the past and it may be an overused expression, but it is what it is and all I can do is try to deal with anything that comes my way. I refuse to surrender, I refuse to give up, and I refuse to let anything keep me down permanently.
After talking with some cousins on Facebook it turns out that early-onset arthritis apparently is something that runs in the family. The body may be giving me fits but my mind is still ultra sharp and I think poker has a ton to do with it as a matter of fact I think I read one place that poker players have a lower incidence of dementia and Alzheimer's but I can't swear to that. However if true it does make all the sense in the world and the fact that my mind is as sharp as it is is something I am extraordinarily thankful for.
Well that's a wrap up for now. I'm going to be starting my league games this upcoming Thursday and I will start playing Sam's Town on Wednesday the 4th unless I need to rest up from activities on the 3rd. The fact of the matter is when I go out for a day or two sometimes I need to rest and relax for the next couple of days this is why only playing half a dozen tournaments a month is not any great hardship to me because it's not surprising if my body won't allow me to play more than that. Maybe it will maybe it won't, but we will see what there is to see. I'm actually looking forward to getting out and about again and dealing with real people again in-person socializing. I mean we as human beings we are social creatures and being locked up in my room for the last couple of years was not healthy, but it was the only real choice I had considering the money available. That's all for now. I will definitely update you sometime in the beginning to middle of November I would imagine so until then take care everyone and I'll see you at the tables.