Friday, March 9, 2012


Over the last two days I had to track down all of the supporting documentation Texas demands in order for me to receive assistance for poor folks to pay Medicare premiums. These are the same documents I have submitted to them several times in the past to get food stamps, attendant care, etc -- but now they want a whole new set. Plus my bank statements for the past three months, etc. A massive stack of papers and receipts had been "tidied" up by one attendant, so I had to root through more than one box for them to be found and returned to the file I had begun before hospitalization. I have now sent those dozen sheets, plus the 19 page application, with Tammi to be copied before mailing off.

All of it information they (a) already have somewhere and (b) have complete access to already online, since in order to get any services you have to sign off rights to privacy to your bank account, IRS records, etc. This is so cost ineffective, it's ludicrous. The POINT is not to eliminate fraud, the point is to discourage applying, especially if you were not literate or had cognitive problems. Think vaginal ultrasound and you understand the Republican mindset.

Tammi has to stop by the store as well, so that eats up all her time this morning. Maria had offered to do the copying/mailing errand, but Tammi offered once I got the papers together and I said let's get it done instantly. I still have tamales left for later, and I think I can talk Rosemary through sticking a pot roast in the oven tomorrow.

I also have repeated calls in to the Visiting Physician service to try to get care lined up for the Medicare switchover. So far, I have not been called back by the intake person, which is a little discouraging. I did have a good chat yesterday with Jennifer, the super social worker with Total Health Partners. I told her about the risk of the next five months, until (presumably) I get assistance with premiums and copays, and she said she'd put it in my chart, make sure they could be available for emergencies, adding I could keep calling her in a pinch even after they relinquish my care on April 1. A big relief to hear.

She recently went to a weekend workshop on diabetic nutrition (she is pre-diabetic and her son has Type 1), and she learned that it's been discovered if you cook red potatoes in their skins and eat them cold, as in potato salad, they somehow do not have the glycemic hit of potatoes in all other forms. She's verified it with her own son, and I am definitely going to try it out. I love potato salad made the Maggie way.

Emily and her intern are coming for a visit next Wednesday, and I hope to have the transition MD in place by then. Still hate losing her as my doctor. However, their services need to go to other as desperate as I was before Medicare finally arrived.

I was depressed for a day or so about the delay in rehab, PT, and guaranteed coverage for expensive items. I lost sleep and my sugars began spiking upward. Then one night at 4 am I went through the entire worst case scenario, and figured out even if Texas denies me coverage and takes away my food stamps to boot (which they have done in the past when I applied for other things and failed their criteria), thanks to Margot, donations and the feds, I can squeak through. SSDI and Medicare are mine to keep. Well, unless the Teabaggers take over, but I'm safe for the next year. I will be skating on paper-thin ice, and things like rehab or a scooter would have to be fundraised for; however, it is do-able. The old risk of being swept away has altered. I still face (chronically) the chance of institutionalization with loss of attendant care, and I hate how expensive this relationship is on Margot. But I needed to see the shift in risk terrain. I've been thinking more clearly since, and certainly have been able to sleep.

And my reward today is the arrival of a small packet from Marj, with a mushy card and two maps, one of Great Britain's inland waterways and the other, decades old and so battered as to require restorative taping, of the wider Birmingham area from perhaps the middle of last century, full of detail and before "urban renewal". This will be vastly helpful in my genealogical reseach of the area. Maps shine light where nothing else can. My librarian sweetheart knows just how to thrill me. My coming afternoon will be cartophilic.