Not a great subject, but nonetheless true.
My fundraiser on Facebook has $204 and I can’t figure out how to transfer that to me. More time wasted in the Internet and phone calls to useless people who don’t know the complete answer. It worked in February with the same information, but that was February. Facebook has changed. It had to.
My bank account is in the negative. I have $30 dollars left on my EBT (Food stamps) until it’s reloaded on 7/5. I have no money for gas, my car insurance, my cell phone or my storage rent. In less than a month, I really won’t matter anymore.
This will be in reverse chronological order, accept for the last three days. It’s easier for my brain and I will try to be brief, because some of it is painful to remember. I will be updating. When I am finished, I will type so. First names only will be used, or an initial for a last name, to protect many from derision and hatred, others due to their generosity and kindness. The reader can be left to decide as they see fit. I live with the truth. No lies from me. I had plenty of those throughout my life. I hate liars, especially one very dead liar.
Yesterday, I spent hours on the phone, called so many agencies I lost track. My frustration and blood pressure just rising, I concluded that round until Tuesday. I had to request to transfer to Alameda County from Contra Costa County because CCC did nothing except administer my food stamps (Cal Fresh) and MediCal, which was a joke. Changed appointments because the doctor wasn’t doing clinic that day or other thing that was convenient for them and inconvenient for me. Or change an appointment booked months in advance and didn’t tell me there was a difference in entry after 5 pm. I missed that appointment. It wouldn’t have mattered. That doctor was cold and wooden. I have depression and we need to deal with that. Had she looked at my endless list of prescriptions, she would have seen I take one daily.
Let’s just drug her up until she’s unable to protest. Why diagnosis her, or what’s wrong with her brain? She isn’t smart enough to understand those complicated medical terms. What a waste of my time. That needy cretin on the government dole. Where does she think she is? Canada? Blah! Socialism. My mind comes up with doom and gloom a lot lately. Depression or blatant dismissal? I walked out on her. First time I’ve time I have ever done that. I have always had a deep respect for doctors. She was a robot. There was no respect, just dealing with another appointment. That was Wednesday. I saw my therapist a least. We talk about my depression. Why wouldn’t I be? No one ever wants to find out what is wrong with my brain.
After that depressing instance with that destroyer of hope, I decided to search out another source recommended I by my friend Wy, a place called Axis. It’s part of Alliance (Alameda health group) I found out. I couldn’t get an appointment until after the 4th. Pleth. I would go to the emergency room, but not Contra Costa. ValleyCare in Pleasanton was the closest choice on Garmin so I took myself there
The nurse I encountered after check in was another disbelieving, but the doctor was not! Dr. Sabin, I think, or close enough. She listened, what a change. She heard me, my pain and confusion and the loss I was feeling. Depression is part of stroke, but she went through my box of pills and saw the mood stabilizer I was on and every other prescription and commented I was taking a lot. I know. I have to swallow them all and not choke or have one end up in a lung. How I eat about a meal a day out of necessity because I have no appetite or sense of thirst. She asked me if I produce saliva. No one has asked me that. I do, but I can go for hours, 16 so far, without drinking anything. But, I have to take pills and they don’t go down without water. Too dry, they’ll get stuck in my throat. I know when I need to drink, my mouth is dry and gummy and needs re-wetting. Something new I figured out today. No one has thought to ask me before.
That doctor caused me to think about a lot of things and what has and hasn’t happened. I need a professionals help and knowledge and it wasn’t something I was getting for the stroke, just everything else sort of. She ordered a CT scan of my head and neck, my neck hasn’t been considered in years, though it was important with the stroke. A key player, if you will. And I discovered that this was a Stanford University Medical Facility. Thank God, an organization that strives to provide patients with good resources so they can thrive and survive. I had a measure more in hope for the first time in almost 19 months. Good health care does make a difference.
After 7 hours I was released to return “home”. I saw a Social Worker who gave me numbers and information for housing. I was given the name of a neurologist Dr. Sabin had met and thought would be a good match. I was given a prescription for Aspirin and advised to have my medications reviewed due to chronic conditions, not stroke recovery. The CT scan was “clear” for anything new, but that would be discussed with a neurologist. But to return if anything changed or I became worse. I had the feeling they cared. That was amazing and what I needed.
I slept well Thursday night and without melatonin, my sleep aide since the stroke. Woke up early, at 8, and started my day. I decided to take my friends Wy’s advice and make a few phone calls. First, to a Social Security Advocate. Lordy, but that was interesting.il
I had come across a group in Minnesota who would help you file for Social Security. They did, but not much more. Wy had told me when she hired an Advocate, they coordinated her doctor’s appointments, got the correct paperwork directly from the medical providers to insure Social Security had a proper file to make an educated decision. These people in Minnesota did nothing but send me stuff that needed to be completed like a Medical Source Screening or something. I had given them all the providers names and addresses, but I still had to get hem completed properly. Yeah, Contra Costa didn’t do that and this firm PDSL knew that, but did they say anything? Of course not. They couldn’t even keep track if whether they had called me or I had called them and when. For the record, I called them three times as much as they called me.
I wanted to fire them, but this woman I spoke with Friday told me how to do that and what they would do if I decided to hire them. What any advocate would do. I have to request they exit my case and send me the paperwork. That way, I can hire another attorney and they can take their place with no loss of time or position for me. Now we’re cooking with gas!
Their number has been saved in my contacts. I know who to call.
I then called PDSL and after being transferred to a few different people, I told them I wanted to exit out of our agreement, I wanted a letter and my file and how long would it take? I stayed on message, even with the questions. I repeatedly asked her when I would receive the exit letter, by email and regular mail. Within 5 business days? Yes to both? She was sure, otherwise I would report them to the appropriate authorities and write anyone who would be interested in the story. Companies do hate bad press. She stuck with her assurances. I backed it up with an email.
Next – Contra Costa County and MediCal. That took longer by 4 hours.
The menu of choices and the voice prompts are endless and take 6:41 minutes to get through before you get to the right department. I sat on hold for a while, decided against that and left a request for a call back since I was 23rd in line. I went to fill the aspirin prescription, waited while it was filled, and they still hadn’t called back. It has been an hour. I called again, went through the prompts and was back on hold and I got disconnected. Call again, but I ended up with Spanish speaking, so I called back again and sat and waited in my car with the phone plugged into the charger. This time I was 32nd in line. I waited listened to every interruption that my call was important and they would get to me an quickly as possible. Uh-huh.
Contra Costa Health Plan person finally comes on the line. I inform her I want my coverage to be transferred to Alameda. Why? Oh honey. Why did you ask? For the first time since the stroke, my eloquent poison tongue came back to me. For any who know me, I politely and pointedly cut a grown man down without profanity or a voice of scorn until he was crying. A top producer who had called one of my loan processors a “cunt”. She didn’t deserve that, and either did this employee deserve the same disgust I had for him but it was close, especially when she gave me offices in Solano County. “I’m sorry, I may not have said it distinctly enough for you to understand. I said I was in Liv-er-more, not Fair-field. I can understand the confusion.” Oops, I’m sorry, I thought I heard Solano. Yeah, that sounds just like Alameda.
You know what else? They’re behind in their paperwork. I found that out when I asked how long take. 2 months. What! It’s one electronically, and it takes two months? Have they restarted the Pony Express via Alaska? That’s when I was told about their delay in paperwork. How does Contra Costa get anything done? Do they need to hire competent, educated workers for the jobs? Not by what I have experienced.
On Tuesday, I have an Ombudsman for Social Services I have to call. To make sure she did it and I can use services in Alameda. She did something in the system to make it known that I have a mailbox in Brentwood BECAUSE I AM HOMELESS. Something I couldn’t get anyone else to do. It’s factually correct and why would I want that?
I went to bed at 1 am something, slept fitfully, went to the bathroom 3 times and on the 4th trip pee’d myself, drank less than 8 oz. of water throughout my 14 hour sleep journey, had nightmares and finally got up at 5 pm to take my med’s and eat something – a banana and 2 Keebler Elfwiches. Hey, it’s food and my blood sugar was at 89. It got me thinking on my little smoke excursion. Yes, I smoke. Used a credit card yesterday to charge 2 packs.
I have CalFresh/Food stamps/ EBT a month and that affords me $6.15 a day in 31-day month of food. When you are homeless, and you can’t buy prepared food or a microwave meal, that means going to the grocery store everyday to get fresh food. Fruit will last a few days if it’s not too hot, bread won’t mold that quickly unless it’s hot – like a car, cheese, yogurt, luncheon meat – a few days if it’s cold, but not cold enough so you die. And a diabetic trying to maintain her blood sugar? Hardly.
You could use Ramen – not exactly a nutritious source of calories. You need water and a microwave and just ignore the sodium and carbohydrates. All food that is bad for you is cheap. Does Panera or ToGo’s take EBT? Not that I’ve seen. Either does Dominoes or Jack in the Box, so I guess they’re equally bad.
And because my friend didn’t want to see me homeless, I have a place to sleep, use a bathroom and prepare food. I even get to partake in meals. Gee, what a concept. Breaking bread with a less fortunate. Where is a food kitchen? Does a homeless shelter provide more than one meal at a specific hour? If you couldn’t sleep, do you still have to leave at a certain time? So many questions and so few answers and I can’t handle all that. A person can barely handle it without part of their brain being dead. I’m thinking of it now, and I have no pressure on me, someone asking questions and requiring short, concise answers. I end up crying in frustration and they end up frustrated and ignoring me since I’m taking so long and it must not be that important to me if I’m just going to be emotional and wanting pity. You know that look when you’ve seen it enough times. I’ve seen it too much, and heard the requests to calm down with it.
I don’t know what else to do and I’m loosing everything. I want to live but that’s getting harder to do without accepting I will have nothing but my miserable life such as it is.
I propose the same question I did in a Facebook post from March – I would rather wrap my car around an isolated light pole than be harassed in my car, raped or killed because someone thinks I have something they want. At least it is my choice and no one else is harmed. No one should suffer because of me.