Not a hopeful title, but real.
I want to be a writer, a teller of tales based on actual facts. No lies for me! Had a lifetime of those, and lies damage the lives of those lied to and about.
I will continue to write about Dad. Too many happy memories are because of him. And if recounting her behavior is part of that it’s cathartic. Exorcising the demons, if you will.
Now to exorcise, and accept, the demons of today. Namely, life with the aftereffects of stroke.
I have been seen in the ER 3 times in 6 weeks. I have 3 neurological referrals and 1 from my current PCP. Paperwork and rote acceptance of scripts made it impossible for me to affect a reasonable and acceptable response on the phone calls.. Gee, if humans just listened and thought beyond the script! You know, thought like humans – not automatons! Situation has been resolved with plenty of phone calls, bitching and I can now be scheduled to actually see a neurologist. Geez Louise what a pain. Or simply FUCK!!! This is not NC17 rated folks.
I was seen in ER last night – again – and my friend Myrna took me because I didn’t want to kill anyone while driving the 5.8 miles to Valley Care ER. Or call an ambulance cause those fuckers are expensive. In by 6 pm, out by 10:30 pm, not too bad. Had blood work, EKG, Cat-scan, an bag of IV and I was advised to go home, rest, and make an appointment with a neurologist within the next 3 days. Hence, the rigmarole with insurance. He’s not covered, call here. You have to call back Sept 1, I can’t schedule you until then. Your PCP needs to see you for her to process a referral. OMG! Are you serious! I saw an ER doctor and I have to make another appointment to verify I need a neurologist when I already have 3 including one from her??
You know, next time a nurse asks me if I want to kill myself I’m tempted to say yes just to get a doctor who can get me to someone who will figure me out. SHIT! I am seeking medical help not the quickest way to ease my perpetual frustration with the medical profession. (Via euthanasia)
I received a call this afternoon from a person who is handing referrals. After I interrupted her enough and told her “let me finish!” I was able to explain I had handled the issue that kept them from handling it. They had to call to verify, but it can move forward now since they had already been notified. Twits. Listen, You may learn something.
I have barely enough money to live on, thanks to General Assistance from Alameda County and CalFresh (food stamps). $ 500 a month, $200 strictly for food, and certainly not “fast food”. The $300 in General Assistance pays for my car insurance (it’s AAA and I’ve been a member for 20+ years, there are cheaper, but better? Nope), my cell phone (Verizon – I like “coverage”) and tank of gas, maybe 1 1/2. A little bit left for I don’t know, toilet paper, Jack in the Box, soap, shampoo, laundry. Not the movies. Not shopping, Not anything “fun”. And certainly not rent for keeping my things. That would be $595 a month, not counting current late fees.
I could get a job. Sure. I’ll get right on that. But wait….I can’t do what I used to do and certainly, not 40 hours a week from 8-5. My mental capacity has bee ruined. Part of my brain is dead. I don’t know “how to” anymore. But your resume says….. That was before a devastating lucanar stroke changed and diminished me.
Dad did this amazing thing when I was little. We went grocery shopping and he would say. “The total will be around $51.75” or something. That never included tax, but did include produce. This was amazing to my young mind, until I figured out he was keeping a running total in his head of a full shopping cart of the family’s food needs. I wanted to be impress Dad that I could do it too, so I started to keep my own total. I told him when we got to the checker (leaned over and whispered, I think it will be…) and he stated his belief, and he was $1 off and I was $2. I was happy I had made a close total, and he said “not bad! Keep it up!” And I did. He eventually asked me what I thought it was, made me say it out load for the checker to hear, then gave his own total. We were never the same, but we were close to the total, usually produce threw me off more. Then, one day, I gave my total and he said nothing. I was perturbed, but knew better than to show it. I was 3 cents off! Holy crap! Mine was the narrowest margin ever, and I was 13! When we got the receipt, Dad noted the total on it and folded it and put it in his wallet. I asked him why. “You were closest to the actual total. I want to remember this day, because you bested me.” That was a very proud day for me. Knowing I had made Dad proud and it wasn’t just a grade.
We kept up our private competition until Dad died, or more succinctly our last trip to the grocery store November 2001. I still did it until I had my own stroke in November 2016. To stay as sharp as Dad and it was a happy ritual. I often hoped for a child who would want to do it too, and not because he/she was eager to please, but because it was fun to compete with the older set! Didn’t happen. And with the stroke, that “skill” went away. I can’t add more than a few numbers without using a pencil and paper. I keep trying, but I just cry now. That Pseudo-Bulbar Affect is a nuisance. Subtraction without a calculator doesn’t work. Multiplication either. Percentages become fractions causing much head slapping and mutterances of “Idiot” before I can get to the number. And I’m a Finance Specialist, with Assistant Controller, Operations Manager, Vice President of Operations and Director of Finance on my resume. I can’t do that, the finer points, for 40 hours a week from 8-5, so good luck finding a job! I would fail miserably, if I could physically manage to get to work and remain cogent, functional and awake by noon Friday. Or even noon Wednesday.
Yesterday, I tried to deal with the insurance debacle. and after 4 phone calls, I was so exhausted I had to lay down. I woke 1 1/2 hours late feeling worse, confused, barely able to think clearly, but enough so to ask Myrna to take me to the hospital. There is something wrong with me, because I feel like I am dying. And I don’t want to. I really don’t want to. There is so much I have to do to insure no one is treated as dismissively as I was by the medical staff that was charged to take care of me after my stroke.
Not like the doctor who asked me if I wanted to have another aneurysm by not taking a drug that made my retinopathy worse. Like having eye hemorrhages was enjoyable. Having routine quasi-lobotomies via eye injections was fun. (Excellent Optometrist – I never feel it, just see it, feel the pressure of it.) I had a stroke – my head was never cracked open. No doctor ever told me I had an aneurysm. Know something I don’t? Refer me to a neurologist then. No? You’re the “expert”, I guess. You never even said what kind of stroke I had. I just knew it was lucanar from the ER doctor who treated me, my speech therapist had to explain what that meant – 8 months after the stroke.
I’m bitching. Sorry. I may have some reasons to be bitter after a year and a half of persistent ignorance and apathy. I am hoping that will change now that I have new insurance through another County. Hell, they approved general assistance. If I had more than $50 in my bank account, the other County would deny me. I had enough to live on, supposedly. And people wonder why homelessness is such as issue. I know why it is in Contra Costa County.
They have medical practitioners who lie about their clients, even have them arrested and taken away on a 5150 for not actually doing anything. Have the Fire Department send a bill for the ambulance because Contra Costa won’t pay for that when it’s a violent incident by a patient against county workers. Don’t investigate – patients lie. How sweet and justifiable. I have PTSD now. The police and their “ranger” took my arms and “controlled” me until I was strapped to a gurney for transport. The Policewoman never said a word on what reason I was being restrained. I didn’t know until a psychologist informed me that I had supposedly hit, or tried to hit, my nurse practitioner, and her friend/associate informed County I was “grandiose and delusional”. I was released within hours because they found I wasn’t a threat or a harm to others. Then more stuff happened when I got to Alameda at midnight, including passing out due to exhaustion, leaving a garage door open and my car door open with the keys on the roof. Nothing was taken and I started “dreaming” again (I hadn’t since the stroke). Well, nightmares returned, especially of Mom beating me. Maybe that is why I “resisted arrest”, besides having no idea what I had done, just like with Mom.
I was so emotionally distraught after this event, having gone to Brentwood for my appointment, transported to Martinez on a 5150, having to take a taxi back to Brentwood, and driving back to the home I was housesitting in Alameda. And I had started my day at the house I was living at in Brentwood, packing and removing my belongings because my “Friends” wanted me out as they were selling the house supposedly and I was impeding on their (her) happiness. That is another tedious story. Let’s just say the “her” is nuts and a selfish bitch who doesn’t know anything about a stroke, it’s impact or what it does to a person, other than it had a “negative’ impact on her and I had to go. They are still in that house. I drove by there last week and they were in their front yard. Happy, Amanda? You got rid of me and your problems. Being friends with you was among the stupidest decisions I ever made, and thinking we could be business partner? It’s all yours now. I hope you fail astronomically. Two weeks after the stroke you ask if I want to continue? I could barely walk a straight line and could barely speak, but I cried too much for you and I was a potential trigger. So much for being your “big sister”. I never questioned your parenting (I could have), you were so paranoid over everything, even my Facebook posts. I couldn’t have my own opinion if it didn’t match yours? Controlling much? Many of your thoughts disgusted me and I never wrote about any of them and mentioned you, did I? I did your laundry and put it away as a way to say thank you for living there, and you ask me where your skirt and your husbands.boxers are? Where would they be other than where they were intended to be once washed? You criticize your daughter that she didn’t clean the bathroom to your standards…what standards? A plastic bag is the trash bucket for the house hanging from a hook in the kitchen, and you complain it isn’t clean enough? When you were at my house, where I had plenty of trashcans, I went around after you and picked up after you, even empty Dr. Pepper bottles. Did I say anything? Your house is a perpetual pig sty and you dare to comment about neatness? Accuse me of doing something with a polyester skirt I wouldn’t be caught dead in? And what would I do with male boxers? Moonlight as a transvestite? Where is my Rowenta iron by the way? Never could find it after you took it out of the laundry room. Or the yardage counter. I received $140 for my investment, time and energy. How much did I spend? I took back a few items you didn’t care about, and you got tons of my stuff when I moved for your “studio”, though I traded 3 months of cell coverage for the white shelving that you used, and some was destroyed or just gotten rid of. Just like gifts to your children, don’t want that anymore and who was it from? Off to Goodwill or trash. It’s just stuff, after all.
There are other episodes over the last year with other friends that has made this entire experience more than depressing. I’m vomiting words, because if it could happen it happens to me.
I am not lying. I have witnesses to actual events or gave emotional statements immediately following with proof of what had happened. And some people actually saw that behavior from them. I have been through too much and I didn’t cause it, just a victim of it. And I hate being a victim! Especially a victim to someone’s mental instability.
I need help….not agencies that can’t help. I need a neurologist to diagnose and help me, not lipservice from a idiot with a medical license. Talking is still hard for me, some days worse than others like yesterday. Some days I can write eloquently, or in a similar style that I used to but not consistently but it’s better than speaking.
I need financial help and ideas for jobs that I can try to do. A research assistance, for example. I can do that! I did plenty of research on stroke, enough to write an extensive paper on. And I have done it before for personnel manuals, startups. business manuals, product development. I’m a bibliophile. I can research anything from correct and valid resources. Not just the Internets. I did an application for Barnes & Noble for a Book Seller, they needed one at my local store, but I’ve heard nothing. I have completed applications for many jobs and positions, but they want a full time commitment and that is something I cannot guarantee, or really even try without needing to lie or end up in the ER or have a hospital stay
I don’t want to loose what I have worked for and many well loved memories and past endeavors, decades of heritage and ancestors. It would be like setting fire to my past and doing nothing. I don’t have much else. Family I barely know far away. A few trusted and loved friends. But is it enough to want to continue to live? No, it isn’t. It isn’t enough. Life is too miserable when you are alone and don’t have the ability or means to do anything. Or just the will.
Thank you for reading this. I wrote it and it made me happy to complete it. You have to take the small victories when you have them.