Giving Tuesday

The holiday season is in full swing as we are a day away from Thanksgiving. I will be spending my day at St. Raymond’s in Dublin, California with my homeless friends enjoying a notable spread. It sounds exiting. I miss Thanksgiving with my in-laws. I miss Thanksgiving with Dad.  I have no family, so this is the closest I can get.

I wrote a letter to the East Bay Times today. I am including it for your edification

Email: local@eastbaynewsgroup. com

RE: Contra Costa Health Plan is committing malpractice

Contra Costa Health Plan could have killed me by doing it slowly and painfully. Here is what happened and I have filed with the California Medical Board.

I had a stroke 11/29/2016. CCHP failed to follow standard stroke protocol. My eating issues was an eating disorder. My incontinence was “the Change” though I’ve never given birth. I have Pseudo-Bulbar Affect, a neurological imbalance that can be treated with medication (I wail if I become slightly emotional), but I need to seen by a psychiatrist for my eating disorder and depression. But I wasn’t given referrals as I didn’t have “real” symptoms and the doctors were busy with real patients. Not just one doctor – it is systemic. A Nurse Practitioner, lied to her colleagues and accused me of assaulting her during a routine appointment where she had failed to refill several blood pressure medications, a psychologist claimed I was “grandiose and delusional”, though I had stability issues and used a cane to walk.
On November 1st of this year. I received a diagnosis of Vascular Lacunar Stroke by UCSF Vascular-Neurology Services, and they used the 11/29/2016 scans which showed a history of vascular lacunar infarcts. Something CCHP all but denied.
They said I had a lacunar stroke, an aneurysm, but VLS is specific and a rarity when not in your mid-60’s. I was 51 and it can be an indication if Vascular Dementia, Alzheimer’s nasty cousin.
Being 5150’d and falsely accused was traumatic enough. Getting the bill for the ambulance was adding insult to injury. Not addressing my stroke was criminal and impacted my ability to secure SSI. which I was denied the first time since there was no history of doctors appointments for my stroke recovery.
I have a diagnosed cognitive brain injury and CCHP actively and intentionally committed malpractice, even though they were being compensated by the State via Medi-Cal through the Medicaid expansion via Obamacare.
I won’t bother to go into detail about Contra Costa Social Services. Simply put – they suck, are woefully mismanaged and dehumanize as opposed to “helping”.
Sincerely,
Venka Anderson
And I emailed the California Medical Board to revise my complaints to include Contra Costa Health Plan, not just 2 doctors. Their overall medical practice is atrocious. I can’t be the only one.
I remind you this is Giving Tuesday and I still have my own campaign http://www.gofundme/com/life4v which deperately needs your support.  Please let me know what you think – here or on Facebook under the page @onetinysoapox. Thank you for joining me on this journey. I’m not done yet.

Week Two of Homelessness

Still getting the hand of this different way of life. Can’t type too long. I have a therapist appointment with my MFT Pam. She’s awesome and I have so much to tell her.

These last 2 weeks have been a cyclone.

Donna and Bob – the homeless is their ministry. Donna has been so helpful and caring. A vision of the mother I wish I had had. Kind, caring, compassionate with encouraging words. I want to be her when I grow up! I’m grown, I need to achieve what I was meant to be – an advocate for the less fortunate, the voiceless, the broken. What I’ve always wanted but didn’t know how. This lesson has shown me, and my viking heart has an enemy to battle. No two-handed broad sword, just a voice, a pen and ink – or a laptop and WiFi. Donna encourages me to accomplish this,

I am thankful to have a place to sleep. even though it’s on the floor and difficult for me to get up and lay down, to even turn over. And my back hurts so much! A sleeping bag doesn’t provide much cushioning.

You get home after a doctors appointment and you find the locks changed. You’re barred from entering. You go back to your car confused and don’t understand what happened. You drive off not sure where to go, but you go off to cry because there is nothing else to do. You text later, asking to pick up your life saving meds, some clothes, your laptop. You receive a text q few hours later saying to come and get that. Except everything you had in an upstairs bedroom has been brought into the living room, your clothe in a pile on their hangers, boxes stacked up, bags thrown in. You have to decide RIGHT THAT MINUTE what you need. A folding table is set up in the driveway to facilitate moving things out and to the car because you can’t carry much because you’re so unstable. You bring out the suitcase and it’s almost dark, so you put it in the trunk and the clothes in the back seat because you can’t take the humiliation of “packing” in the driveway. Your food is one a cooler bag. You manage to grab your meds, your laptop, your dirty clothes, your clean clothes, your parka and your cell charger and you leave just as the sun is dipping into the west.

You don’t think of your backpack, or your gloves, or your knit cap you made last winter which would be perfect to over your infected ears. You have one book and on lame knitting project. The rest is under a trap in the backyard, except for the PC Tower which is indoors.  The entire incident was traumatizing, dehumanizing and frankly cruel. The horror I went through the day before determining what mistakes I had made to come to this stage – I’m 53, not 23. I have been a business professional. I took care of my adopted mother full time for 3 years.  I sacrificed my life for that ungrateful, hateful, destructive bitch and for ANYONE to pass judgement of me now?  Where were you when I was going through that? Why didn’t you tell me then I was making a mistake. I wasn’t selfish enough to not give a damn about an octegarian who had no family here to take care of her. Oops, my bad. I didn’t know the extent of her lies at that point. It wasn’t until after her death the truth was known. Was that my bad? Not how Dad raised me. You adjust and find a new path. What we had done for year.

I took a verbal berating from a man I had respected, but abhorred now for his small mindedness, his obvious dismissal, his abject cruelty. I would have parried with a verbal retort, something along the lines his lineage was showing or such an imbecile who claims intellectual superiority, but with my cognitive brain injury I just managed to squeak out “Fuck you Gary”. And he was obviously offended and I was now vicious, no wonder I had been thrown out before, etc., etc. When I stammered out it took everything I had not to drive out to the desert and slash my wrists, he made some comment that it wasn’t  a bad idea. I can’t remember the exact words, but it wasn’t anything to dissuade me from suicide. I’m going to live if only to prove he is a heartless dick. I feel sorry for his wife of 46 years. Being the butt of jokes, constant jibes, heartless goading – it is demeaning and I don’t see it improving a they get older.  It wears at your soul.

Not being heard isn’t that different and I lived with that throughout my childhood and my marriage.  I dreamed of a different reality and it never appeared.

Another Challenge

I’m getting an education on what it means to be homeless and it sucks.

I am in the top echelon due to having a car, so I have to make sure I don’t annoy anyone who doesn’t. My tires could be slashed or it broken into and my worldly belongings (at this point) could be stolen or trashed.

Gee, I more thing to obsess and worry about. As if I don’t have enough.

Folks I’ve met:

Will – nice man, funny, good wit and was in “the business” as he was an appraiser. Mortgage industry has a lot of “former emoloyees”, but it’s nice to talk shop and reminisce. I feel normal for a brief time. I get to be an industry expert again.

Cindy – a nice and helpful woman with a strong personality. Too stronge. She reminds me of class of individuals I refer to as emotional vampires. Sadly, she has adverse interactions with some wrong people and she couldn’t sleep at the church last night. Personal plus for me – I had a corner to myself and no kicks last night.

Gary – I reserved judgement, thankfully. So kind and sincere, my first, second and third opinion was so off the mark. Regardless what is wrong with him, he is respectful and knows his manners. And he has been homeless for a while.

Josh & Lauren – Son and Mom. Good folks, son taking care of Mom who needs a hip replacement. She got a cane yesterday which should make it a little easier. I dealt with Mom and I’ve told Lauren the good and bad of hip surgery. Dad was a piece of cake; Mom was hellfire. It depends on the individual and how willingly they are to get better and do the phsical therapy. As I said, Dad was cake. Mom was a bitchy, whining mess complaining for all to here.

Eddie – you have to be cheerful around Eddie. You can’t help it. He solicits a smile just by chuckling. A good soul. He gave me PBJ the other day when I has no idea where to get food.

Donna & Bob – a Blessed couple who lives the Lord’s truth. They do so much for the homeless community in Livermore and give comfort and divinity, rare for most in today’s world. I can’t give enough praise to these two. They restore hope.

More tales from the other “city” as I discover. Stay tuned.

My personal challenger continues. My ears are still plugged and I don’t get to sew the one ENT accepting patients until 11/29. A moist washcloth was recommended in the interim. Ok

And how do I do that when there is no where for me to stay beyond 8pm to 7am? And between those times we’re restricted?

The next issue is evidence of my diagnosis. I was told verbally I had vascular lacunar stroke but given nothing. The doctors at UCSF signed off on the report 11/8/18 but as of 11/16/18 nothing had been faxed to my PCP. They have faxed 3 seperate requests with no response. I’ve called 3 times and gotten voicemail, but no return call and I’ve let me email and there’s been no response via email.

The last pressing matter is lack of indoor accommodations if it’s not cold enough. Sleeping on the floor is hard enough, but my car is worse. My feet swell and my joints hurt at a whole different level. Sleeping on the floor leaves me with a perpetually achy back and its difficult to just turn over and takes me awhile to get up or try to sit down. My left side still is weak and my right ankle is struggling with the added burden.

I’m a mess, A blind, partially deaf, cognitively impaired zombie. Just going through the motions of survival.

Homelessness is a plague on those unfortunate enough to have one severe thing happen, or a series of unfortunate events out of their control. In any case, it’s mostly not intentional. They’re not all addicts, or druggies or hopeless jerks living off the system.

Pleasanton PD told a homeless center worker that Pleasanton doesn’t have a homeless problem. They do. Every city has a homeless problem. Go to a shelter that is full and talk to those folks of how many are still sleeping outdoors, on benches, in tents or are lucky enough to have a car.

And now there’s a whole town of people who don’t have homes, maybe their job burned out, their kid’s school, their church. What do they do? Paperwork has turned to ash, so how do they get new ones?

What homeless deal with everyday when they’re asked to complete more paperwork and provide documentation.

I could have prepared if I had known I would be homeless, but it happened in hours and I still have no idea why the rush to boot me out. I have been dehumanized and humiliated in sufficient doses this past year, not as completely and thoroughly as 10 days ago.

My past decisions were done because there was no one else and I had to sleep at night. My moral conscious was clear. I thank God their two sons are more like their mother than their father. I felt he was judging me like I was in my 20’s. He did a number on me that I just can’t handle with the brain damage I incurred. It causes me to spiral to a dark place, but he agreed suicide wasn’t a bad idea. He agreed ending my life was acceptable.

Think on that. Suicide is ok – if you can’t be societal normal. That IQ of 163 allows my thoughts to go fast food distances, or just a close precipice.

http://www.gofundme.com/Life4V

Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures

I’m at Asbury Church waiting for a shower and laundry. They’ve stopped showers due to lack of hot water. I’m cold already, taking a cold shower would hurt and be the manifestation of hell on earth.

They are looking into it, so I am typing to have something to do.

I have a doctor’s appointment. Ears are still plugged and my intent was to go for that. But I have realized my coginitive decline has become worse. I need more sleep than 8 hours. 8 hours isn’t enough. And I just had a brain fart over “isn’t”. My brain is not in good shape and this homeless thing is making it worse.

I have spent several nights in various warming shelters since it’s so cold and smokey. I have slept on the floor, and as a stroke survivor, it isn’t easy to get up and down. Locked door handles are really helpful. I can pull myself up.

I drag my left foot when I walk. Getting therapy would help, but daily exercises would be a challenge. Have to live with that until I have a roof over my head. Whenever that will be.

I’ve met a few people: Cindy, Eddie and Lorraine. I will share some stories in the future. Just leaving a note here as a reminder.

And, just to remind you http://www.gofundme.com/Life4V

Homeless Search Again

There are so many things I want to write about (politics, healthcare, Social Security, etc., etc.), but I have to return to an older and current topic. Homelessness.

I “lost” my home when I had to sell my mother’s house (which I was paying on) to close Probate after she died. I have been “homeless” since. Living with friends has kept me from living out of my Dad’s car (had to sell my Montero because I didn’t have the money to fix it and pass SMOG). But, his 21 yo Oldsmobile Cutlass gets me to doctors appointments.

I can be thankful for that.

Mom died May 2015. Sold the house June 2016. Moved back to Northern California August 2016 to a room in my friends house with the thought of finding a job again after 3 years. Had the stroke in November. Less than 1 year later, was told I had to leave because they were moving. Moving days were shifting and arbitrary, but I had to go. They would get a lawyer. When I mentioned I would too, they were offended.

Through another friend, I secured a 6-month house-sitting/pet care gig and was able to move out – under enormous pressure and hostile feelings. Had to get a storage unit for that stuff and get other friends to help me move.

That came to an end, and I didn’t know where to go. Still no diagnosis and my mental confusion was rampant and debilitating. I was to move to the friends place who referred me for the house sitting gig, was actually at her place for TWO DAYS and the garage door was open one night and IT WAS ME. It was closed when I left earlier that day, and I don’t know how it got opened, but it was may= fault and I HAD TO LEAVE THAT DAY.

Fine. Used my GoFundMe donations and the credit card I still had to find a motel room. And stayed there for 5 days. My knitting bag was lost, and the projects therein including the shawl I was working on when I had the stroke, and a bag of shoes. The Nike’s and Merrill’s I used all the time because with my feet and ankles, they keep me from spraining or breaking said ankles. Gone who knows where.

I took stuff out to storage that I had to hustle to get out of Brentwood when I went to Alameda, which I hadn’t repacked and moved during my 6-month sojourn in Alameda. Not procrastination, simply overwhelmed.

That is a running issue since 11/29/2018.

And then my friend here Livermore said “be here”.

That doesn’t seem to be the case anymore.

The Housing Authority in Livermore has closed their list for housing and don’t know when it will be open.

I don’t have any income or potential. 1 strike against me.

I’m single with no children. 2nd strike against me.

I’m disabled and waiting for Social Security to put their stamp on that. 3rd strike and I’m out of options.

This friend would like me to be in my own place by 12/1/2018.

I have no words. She has requested I contact the County sources, even reminded me to contact another friend for help. She mentioned even a convalescent hospital for me as an option.

I wouldn’t qualify. I can take care of myself now. I wouldn’t met the criteria for needing convalescent. Assisted living? Is there such a thing under Medicaid?

I’m realing. And it’s been since last Thursday. The same day I found out my brain damage is a reality.

What am I going to do.

Try not to commit suicide and bring this all to a close?