Student Loans

I picked up my financial aid packet the other day in preparation for my exit interview. It included a summary of my student loans. I wasn't exactly surprised by the number, but it did make me feel sick to my stomach.

Ready for it?

Fed Perkins Loan: $1800
Fed Sub Stafford Loan: $34,000
Fed Unsub Stafford Loan: $46,000
Grad PLUS Loan: $133,362

For a grand total of... $215,162.00

Was law school worth it? Uhh. We'll see in a couple months...

Spring Break

It's my spring break this week. Only 2 weeks of school left after this. Crazy!!

My main goals for this week are pretty simple: exercise daily and study/work on my paper for school. I've made a detailed study plan, so hopefully I can stick to it. I'm also seeing the endocrinologist on Thursday... looking forward to some closure on the thyroid issue.

I haven't been productive this morning, but hopefully that'll change after I hop in the shower. I might try to take it easy today, clean the house a bit, and then do a little research for my paper. I'm super sore and tired from all the exercise (and socializing) I've done the past few days... I need some r&r!

Hypothyroidism, take 2

The results of my 2nd blood test came back (partially). My TSH level was over 9. Previously my level was a little over 6. My doctor said it was fine to try diet and exercise, but it was clear that she preferred I go on medication. I agreed to let her write me a prescription - she set it at 50 mcg.

I did some more research on it when I got home. Apparently, there's a lot of controversy over whether to treat people who have a TSH level between 5-10. I have what's called "subclinical hypothyroidism." It may morph into hypothyroidism later on, and it may not.

I've become hyper aware of my symptoms lately. I've always complained of tiredness, but now I feel especially tired, I feel like I have digestion problems, I have random aches, etc. But they're all relatively minor things. Is the medication really going to make them go away? And more importantly, do I really need medication?

I'm going to set up an appointment with an endocrinologist tomorrow. I'm hoping they'll do more exploring and rule out Hashimoto's disease and pituitary gland problems, and just generally provide more insight. I'm a (relatively) healthy 26 year old. My weight is normal. Yes, I have high levels of stress. Is that really the cause of this??

Incoming Income

My W-2 finally arrived today... bye bye taxes! :) I should be getting a (somewhat) significant refund back, with the ETA being April 1st.

I also applied for a bar loan at the beginning of this month. The funds from that should arrive mid-April. They're coming just in time, because that's when I have to pay the balance of my bar prep course ($2400).

I keep putting this off, I know, but as soon as those funds come in, I will definitely update my side bars. With that money, I should know how things will stand from now until August (when I start looking for a job, post-bar!).


I have less than 2 months from now until graduation. Taking a cue from See Jane Get Rich, I thought I would itemize all the assignments I have left before I am really, truly DONE with law school. :)

Monday Class

  • Final on May 4th
Tues Classes
  • Take-home final handed out 4/13, due 4/20
  • Final on May 10th
Wednesday Classes
  • 5 quizzes
  • 5 forum posts
  • 20 pg paper due April 26th
  • Assignment, handed out 4/7, due 4/14
  • Final on May 12th
Thurs Class
  • Take-home final handed out on 4/22, due 4/29
Unfortunately, the only thing I can work on right now is my 20 pg paper. Everything else... I'll just have to take as it comes! May 12th is my last final, and May 16th is graduation! Woohoo!

Couple Money Giveaway

Couple Money is giving away a netbook! For a chance to win subscribe to Couple Money either with email updates or through RSS and follow them on Twitter. Visit their site for more details!

I have a laptop that I use for school. It's ultralight, but the battery life sucks. I would love something that lasts more than a couple hours. Then I could bring it along to the beach or to the park to write! :) Anyone know how long the battery life lasts on the Asus netbooks? Just curious...

Anyway, good luck to everyone! :)

Health Update

I went to the doctor today. I got a copy of my test results. My TSH level was above a 6, everything else was normal. She took another blood test - I should get the results back on Monday. If the level is the same or higher, she wants me to go on medication (I assume Synthroid?). I told her I wanted to try the diet/exercise route first, and she said that was fine, but we'd have to monitor my TSH level to see whether it continues to increase.

My insurance doesn't cover brand medication. I'm wondering if I should call them and add it. How much is Synthroid going to cost with zero insurance coverage?

Also, I looked at the list of side effects... those of you who take Synthroid, have you experienced any of the side effects?

If all the little problems I have are really a result of a thyroid issue, it would be nice to take a pill every morning and have those problems magically disappear...


Those who follow my tweets know about this, but it's continuing to weigh on me... I hoped writing about it would take some of that weight off.

I went to my OBGYN a couple weeks ago for my yearly exam. She decided to run some extra blood tests along with the normal stuff. One of the tests was thyroid related, measuring TSH levels. I can't remember why she wanted to run it, but I guess it doesn't really matter. I was called a few days ago with the results - my TSH levels are elevated. I was told to go see my primary care physician. I'm going tomorrow, where I assume more blood will be taken and a full panel of tests will be run.

I've scoured the internet for info, and the elevated TSH levels mean one of three things: (1) I have hypothyroidism, (2) I have a problem with my pituitary gland, or (3) the results were inaccurate. I would love for it to be #3, but I have a suspicion that it'll turn out to be #1. Hypothyroidism has a genetic component - my grandma had it (but was misdiagnosed/treated, and ended up with a thyroid that was completely killed off). I also have a few of the symptoms (though admittedly there are many things that could explain them away - tiredness? lack of exercise; cold hands & feet? I get cold when it's cold!; irritability? just my personality! ha).

As a result of what happened to my grandma, my mom is extremely opposed to the treatments available from doctors; she thinks changing my diet and exercise is the way to go. I found websites that supported that line of thinking. And I found other sites where people couldn't function without taking a pill daily.

I went to the dentist this morning, and I mentioned my test results when the dentist was examining my neck/thyroid. Later, her assistant came up to me and said she was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and the doctor wanted to immediately operate on her. She refused, changed her diet, and 6 months later was fine. She claimed that the doctor just wanted to operate to make money off her - thousands of dollars for the thyroid surgery.

I can't say her anecdotal evidence swayed me one way or the other, but for now, I don't see any harm in trying out the natural route. Even if the results of the new tests come back normal, and the doctor says I'm fine, it'll still be good to stick to the routine proposed by the sites I've read - at least 30 minutes of exercise per day, and cutting out any goitrogenic foods.

Something else that scares me is how this will effect my current and future insurance. If I'm diagnosed with this, and do need to take medication, it'll be for the rest of my life (so I've read). Will my insurance cover the medication? And will the condition bar me from switching to another insurance provider in the future?

Do you know anyone who's suffering from a thyroid condition? Any sage advice for me?

Missing M... and my W-2

M has been gone for a few days to a work conference... and I'm missing him like crazy! It's his first time going on a trip without me. I would've tagged along, but my midterm got in the way. Boo! Well, absence makes the heart grow fonder... right? ;)

I'm going to spend the weekend organizing and cleaning the apartment. Our place is in desperate need of spring cleaning, and in a way I'm glad M isn't around... because he'd just convince me the place was fine and to play games with him. :P

Tomorrow I'm aiming to assess my finances, and FINALLY update my side bars.

I am hoping against hope that my W-2 will arrive today, so I can finally do my taxes. It's driving me crazy. I usually get them done at the end of January! I've called HR three times now, and each time they've assured me it's on its way. W.T.F. I seriously don't understand what the problem is. What am I going to do if months go by and I still haven't received it? My work's HR is in a different state... I can do nothing other than call. :(

Take-home Midterm

I've been in law school nearly 4 years, and I'm currently working on the first take-home midterm I've ever been assigned. Writing papers is one of the few things I've enjoyed and excelled at in law school. But this take-home assignment is different. In the instructions, the professor suggested that we don't go beyond 30 pages. 30 pages?! In one week? In an area of law and in a format that's entirely new?!

So yeah... I'm freaking out a bit. I also had the MPRE and a school event over the weekend, and doctors' appointments yesterday, so I'm only really sitting down and starting on this now.

I have until Friday night. Wish me luck! ;)

1099s and W-2s

I've posted and tweeted a few times about how I'm still awaiting my W-2s. I actually completely forgot about the job I had last summer (my boss was such a jerk, it's better off forgotten). I finally remembered yesterday and sent a email to HR, requesting my W-2. They sent an email back, telling me I wasn't on the payroll, I was an independent contractor, and as such they were sending me a 1099.

That was news to me. I was NEVER informed I wasn't being placed on the payroll. Moreover, I'm almost certain they took taxes out of at least some of my checks. I know that after awhile, my take-home pay increased and it confused me, but I didn't want to question it - I liked having a bigger paycheck! I didn't think of the implications of it... because isn't it HR's job to inform you that they've taken you off the payroll and WHY?!

I'm peeved by this whole situation, and I feel they're being very shady. I'm going to go through my old paystubs and make sure that taxes were taken out of at least some of the checks. From there, I guess I'll contact HR again... But I'm not really sure what the end result will be. Will they have to send me a W-2 AND a 1099? And does this mean I'm going to owe a lot of taxes?!

Ugh. Frustrating.

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