Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

HOW CLOSE TO DEATH DO YOU HAVE TO BE TO GET HELP?

I am interrupting my blogs about my rescues to bring you this message. I am really pissed off about this and have been for some time. I have a friend, well, 2 friends who are going through hard times for various reasons and needing assistance to either survive (it is a life or death situation) or just hang on by fingertips while the trauma/drama takes the wind out of their sails.

I worked for a delightful person for several years who had a physical disability but chose to work anyway. When she lost her job (and I bet it had a lot to do with the fact she doesn’t walk as fast as people without spinal problems) and was collecting unemployment compensation to make ends meet, she had an accident, falling in her home and blowing out both knees and messing up her ankle. At that time, she was also diagnosed with cataracts (she can’t drive anymore) and diabetes. All of this on top of already having a total spinal fusion done many years ago, from top to bottom. When her unemployment ran out, she was forced to apply for disability. Mind you, she is married, however, her husband has been on SSI for many years due to his heart condition and other issues. She recently applied for SSI because without at least some income, these two people would fall between the cracks. She no longer had any medical/health insurance, and without any insurance, she had no way to fix her knees, get rid of her cataracts, and even treat her diabetes. She is no longer able to work, can barely, if at all, walk. Her husband is in and out of the hospital. It is a bad situation. You would think she would have no problem qualifying for disability. Think again. Because she collected unemployment until she fell, she cannot be approved for disability for 2 years. What the hell is that? What are these 2 people supposed to do to survive for the next two years? They are trying to live on his SSI which does not go far in Palm Beach County and they are unable to pay for her medications or even his, for that matter. His meds are hundreds of dollars each month which they don’t have. OMG! And to top it all off, when they were evicted from their house and had to move into a smaller home which cost less, the state reduced their food stamps to a ridiculously low amount. How can 2 people eat on less than $100.00 per month?

I have another friend, much younger than I, who was diagnosed with end stage liver disease, having worked for many years around very heavy duty chemicals.  He cannot work now, had to move back home with his parents, and he is in daily pain. He too applied for SSI and was denied several times. Even though he has been told by his doctor(s) to get his affairs in order and to think about quality of life instead of quantity (really, do they say that? Apparently they do), he was denied. He also cannot get any Medicaid assistance for treating his pain, his liver condition, his other medical problems or even any financial help with his medications. He has glaucoma and has been forced to do without his glaucoma meds for months. I had no idea how expensive these medications are but they apparently cost a fortune! He is being told to look for work, even though he is end stage liver disease. I am really pissed about this. This denial means he will die sooner, probably this year, because he cannot afford any of his medications for his condition(s) and he will not receive any treatment for any condition that may be/is actually treatable. I mean, what the hell! And we don’t even want to talk about the lack of pain management….there is none. He lives daily with terrible pain.

Both of these people worked all of their adult lives, making good money and contributing parts of their paychecks to the “cause”.  My friends are going untreated, and may die, because the system is screwed up or is all of this for another reason? Dare I say….is it because they are Caucasian?

I was out of work for 2 years, receiving food stamps for an amount that did allow me to purchase nutritious fruits, vegetables and other food stuff which lessened my financial burden, alleviated stress, and provided me with a healthy diet (and maybe thereby keeping me out of the “system”). Until it was discovered I was in foreclosure and on the verge of being homeless, at which point my food stamps were decreased to $16.00 per month. Reduced almost to the point of ridiculous. In which universe would $16.00 per month feed anyone?

The system is so broken!