I am fifty one years old with a masters degree and still in possession of all of my faculties.
This rant has been brewing for awhile so have patience with me.
Caveat: I am grateful to have the care under Medicaid that allows me to stay in my home. [This does not mean that I am unaware that Medicaid is the king of dumb@ss rules.]
My mom called Sunday night and asked if I might like to visit her home on Tuesday. It’s a treat to go back to their place with a sunny deck and flowers and amazing clocks everywhere in the house. I had no doctors appointments that day, so I said yes.
Since that will necessitate both my Meals on Wheels stuff stopping temporarily (Every other Tuesday is my delivery day) So I called the company and they said “I’m going to try to stop it but I have to ask you caseworker first,” Blink…stare at the phone…Blink again. “Ok.” So they called my caseworker, my caseworker called me to confirm, I said yes it was only to stop the delivery for this one week…she said ok, she’d tell the Meals on Wheels people to stop tomorrows’ delivery.
Then, there was my nurse, an amiable person whom I get on with quite well. I called my agency and advised I would not want her to come tomorrow, because her time conflicted with my departure time.
I was advised that since my doctor had prescribed the lymphedema pump for me daily, that only a nurse could operate for me, (eyeroll, it’s really hideously simple, a monkey could do it, but it’s one of those Medicaid dumbrules) this could cause a problem, and that “we don’t want to give the impression that you don’t need service.” Other things were discussed and I advised I would be happy to clarify with my physician next time I see them what I should do if a conflict like this occurs again
Very reasonably I said, “Generally when one’s parents ask to have one visit…well you go. That’s how this works. ” The agency agreed to my call off, but seemed concerned…and it felt very much in both cases that I was having to *ask permission,* to see my own parents.
I am a grownup. I have mild depression/anxiety that I handle with medication. I am competent at this time.
I feel quite strongly that no one who is in my situation or a similar one who is otherwise competent absolutely should have to ask permission to see family…Living in the community means doing just that. Other times I’ve been able to adjust the time and keep the visit, but I did not know when I would be returning…I am not twelve. Even when I was *married* there was much less checking with the other occupant of the household “Is it ok if I?” (Perhaps it’s why we sounded like the Honeymooners most of the time, but that’s a whole ‘nother story.]
Dignity and respect are what I have been getting from my nurse and my aide…but I’m insisting on a broader dimension to this. Where possible and prudent, respect my competency to manage my own affairs, and a small stay in my plan of care should not worry or discomfit the administrative staff of such a plan.
This would have been my late husband’s 53’rd birthday. I’m going to gather up some of the things I know about just him -separate from me- so this will always be a place to remember his character and quirks.
He was a sports lover who was medically barred from doing sports. Baseball was his first love, so he became the statistician for a church team as soon as he was able. The television was held hostage, spring through fall, to nightime and weekend baseball. I got caught up on my reading. He needed his baseball fix so much that when we traveled to Canada he had a small radio with him that was able to catch the WERE signal bouncing off both lakes Erie and Ontario nine hours to the south…so he still caught his games. He was a real Browns fan…and a dedicated indoor soccer fan when the Force was in Richfield, OH. They had a moment of silence for him at a game after he died. I thought it a bit ironic since he was never um, silent, at a Force game.
He collected baseball cards. Not as much as comics but a significant amount. He wasn’t in it for the special or the valuable, he was in it for the records and roster of his team (The Indians) and a team he and his sister hated (The Yankees).
He worked with Tony Isabella at Cosmic Comics in the 1970’s for a short time.
My husband had both a temper and an “I’mright” complex some of the time and this caused enough of a rift there at Cosmic that he was asked not to work there again, but the friendship did continue. He referred to John Byrne, DC comic writer as “Ego,the living planet.” I’d hate to think what he’d call Peter David. (and I *like* Peter David’s work!)
When I first knew him in 1976-77 the spare bedroom in his home was filled to the ceiling with his comic collection. This also included his homegrown mimeoed “Sun Comics,” that included the adventures of “Mr. Zip.”
He seemed to have three types of comics.
1. “I gotta read this!” current new collections that he bought simply to read and then they eventually became :
2. “I gotta make space,” boxes and boxes he would sell and eventually undersell at local comic stores, at conventions from reserved tables and even out of the trunk of his car.
3. “The collection: While this could be fluid as well, these were DC singles and series mostly Silver Age, or current (I’m talking late eighties here) that had some value and/or personal significance. It only grew, for a long while, and then when he hit college he began to strategically sell it off…it did help pay for a significant amount of his undergraduate and graduate education. These would be the books sold only at conventions, with attention paid to price guides and competitors tables, and barter, barter, barter, haggle, negotiate etc. That was one of the things he almost had down to an art form…knowing when the negotiation should end to get the price he was willing to take…the skill served him well at his “day job” at a campus bookstore. People would come in looking for printer paper and leave with that, plus disks plus ink, plus etc, etc, etc.
He loved science fiction films and movies but never got into reading what I snidely called “real books.” We met on the compromise ground of graphic novels. I still wish I’d kept those late eighties “Green Arrow” series. I also introduced him to the coolness that is a John Williams film score. He loved them all. We also had a weekly must, and met on the couch to watch the various incarnations of Star Trek. He would have loved the new films.
Musically, he stepped away from the evangelical prohibition against rock. He loved Yes, Rush, Genesis…as well as Clapton…and when anyone from church would raise eyebrows and question his faith because well, there were comics and rock and roll in the house and Those Were Bad… He shrugged it off.
He saved the hardcover reading for his schooling and it paid off. He had a quick mind and a quicker typing speed. When he went into the ministry he embraced becoming a theological nerd because it asked the same devotion to timeline and character development needed by the true comic fan.
He’d been taught cooking by his mother when she grew tired of waiting dinner on him when he came home late. It was simple food, but a real relief to come home and have something made already. Now, if he’d only been as well versed in kitchen cleanup… 🙂
Space and the stars, too. Watching them on a summer night in the backyard. Learning their names. Studying those ships and trips to the moon. The good side of a sense of childlike wonder about such things.
And he laughed a lot. To help him deal with what he had to deal with.
That’s who he was, in large part.
So now, there’s a place on the net with his birthday on it, that will tell who he was long after I’m gone.
Happy Birthday, dude.
my right arm is now getting into the edema business. (an early stage of lymphedema)
Damn it. And no, *not* apologizing for the cursewords today.