Lost life, lost home (updated, w/some hope)

March 6, 2011 at 8:22 AM (Uncategorized)

Myself and my roommate two people with disabilities have been trying to keep working, and then trying to keep each other afloat for 14 years.  For fourteen years, she’s been my caregiver (in fairness to me, I needed just shoes put on, help with cleaning, laundry and meal prep, and a quick assist in and out of the shower—I still handle the actual shower myself… while she also held down a full time job.  I held down a full time job before I knew her, and for seven years after we decided to share expenses here in Denver.

Six months ago, she was making good money in a call center.  Sedentary work is the only work she could do due to severe asthma, nerve damage in one leg and a back injury, but she was a real star at that job.  Commendations, solid work, etc.  Her impairments did make her use a lot of FMLA.  And…wait for it…she was a high utilizer of the company’s health insurance.

I’ve been back on disability housebound since early 2009.

She had a life threatening illness one year ago, (  and  recovered from that and went back to work….but it got harder.  New conditions, diabetic neuropathy and losing all the padding in her feet (so when she walks it’s bone chafing against the ground…hugely painful….) so that she was clenching her teeth and crying when she had to stand to go to the fax machine, etc…. stacked on top of the old, so she had to leave that job, and file for her employer’s long term disability. (a separate company from the employer itself.   the disability company is also a  private, for profit company it’s worth noting…the big bad GOVERNMENT plan hasn’t decided yet Cobra rate for her?  565 a month.

They denied her first attempt, she appealed but ran out of funds.  She lost her cobra.  With all these preexisting conditions.  Her first appeal of the Long Term Disability was recently denied. She has an attorney, but that won’t put living money in the bank…

“You have issues but you can still do a sedentary job,” they said

Well it was a bloody sedentary job she left!  But WTF ever.

We can’t afford this apartment any longer.  Yep it was too expensive (500 a month each), but we were both working full time in July 2008.  It was big, and safe, and vermin free and had two elevators.  We were settling in.

But, after the loss of funds rent literally wasn’t there for the rest of the lease. My family back east was keeping it afloat until the lease ends on april 4.  As of that date, my family back east can take me in back home and they have agreed to do so.  I’m hugely grateful, but I’m also ashamed. I’ve cost them money and I have to slink back home like a loser.

But at least I have a place to go.

My roomate, (and by extension, our dog, LexitheSchnauzer, will be homeless)

After 14 years of hard hard work…at two jobs.  This is what she gets. The 1k deductible and 20% copay (moderate for some, impossible for her) is part of what drove her to begin the process to file bankruptcy.  (Has not filed yet)

I can’t help but think I’ve done this to her.

But not really.

The two insurances, health and disability, weren’t really insurances at all.
As we’ve seen before, they’re there until you need them, and then all of a sudden they can’t have enough profit and deny, deny deny…

Five preexisting conditions.  Two new ones that put her over the edge No insurance. No funds. No home.  all down from almost self sufficency in six months.

This is so awful….

Update:  3/9/2011 9:15 am

It looks like the roommate’s brother living near the coast of South Carolina, may take her and LexiTheSchnauzer in temporarily.  He’s a decent guy.

She may be volunteering for a little bit each week at the   local center for independent living…have to see what the doctors say…I’ve found that, the local hospital that has a program for indigent inpatient care…and am tracking down a local free clinic.  She’s found the local parish and library…(for internet usage, naturally…

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7 Comments

  1. Attila the Mom said,

    Oh it is, it is. My heart goes out to both of you. 😦

  2. The other cuzz said,

    As much as I feel bad for her and Lexi. I know you feel worse. But there is nothing you can do about it and I know i can’t help either wish I could but no. I do wish her the best of luck and hope something comes up soon.

  3. Glynis Jolly said,

    I do believe it is time for her to call Bender & Bender. Yes, have her do it. Also have her make an appointment with Colorado Rehab down on Colfax and Broadway. And she NEEDS a wheelchair!

    • imfunny2 said,

      Excellent ideas, Glynis. Yep she does need to do all that, Binder and Binder has already been contacted….

  4. bridgett said,

    I can empathize with what you’re feeling and doubtlessly, I would have the same run of emotions if circumstances rapidly unraveled and I had to go to live with Mom. (Taking money…and I can’t call it borrowing because I know we’ll never have the wherewithall to repay it…was bad enough.)

    However, I have trouble seeing 30 years of independent living, a couple of college degrees, a loving marriage that ended too soon, and a far-flung network of friends who cherish you and whose lives would be far poorer without you as somehow a big fail. You cost them money? Oh honey. I think not. I think you have paid your own fare working in a system that was designed to leave you with no margin for error, and ultimately to bankrupt, humiliate, and reduce you to dependency. You so SO can see this. Well, the same set of structural inequalities that fucked you has helped to fuck her.

    You played your hand brilliantly, and you will again, but you both were dealt 2s and Jokers in a rigged game.

    • imfunny2 said,

      To Lurkers at Large

      Anybody reading the comment above?

      That’s what friendship is, dammit. You want a primer in a few paragraphs in how to do it?

      That’s how.

      Thank you, bridgett…I can see what you’re saying…and I agree with some of it.

      But in both mine and the roommate’s case, some of this was/is self inflicted. And when one of us pulled self inflicted stupidity (in the last four years or so) it affected the other as well…

      I have to at least look that in the face and get that I’m paying karma for it, as she is for her stuff…

      But the percentages of “self inflicted” suddenly slipped in the past year…and now it’s really about 70% “other inflicted.” and 30% “Well, what did you f***ing expect, you idiot!”

      There is some small amount of light at the end of this, recently and I have an update that I will put above.

  5. The other cuzz said,

    Well I for one am glad to see her family belly up to the bar so to speak and help her out for even a little while so that she can have some peace of mind till things start moving. As for you cuzz as always I know from which you are coming from, and can really simp with you ,hang in there and we will see you on the other side.

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