Friday, September 23, 2005

Bat Signal

Alright, kiddies. Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon time.

Mom is being kicked out of the hospital system next weekend, ready or not (that would be a big NOT). Nurse Sis and I are busy prepping for her return including a hospital bed, and getting the house in order for strangers to live with us for full-time health care while we manage Mom's emotional needs and twenty-plus daily prescriptions (a full-time job in itself).

Some of my lovely readers out there must have some experience with this, either as caregivers or as patients.

Issue #1: We need to interview some "longterm caregivers in the home." Anyone have agency suggestions (or individuals) for LA?

Issue #2: Medicare doesn't okay 24/7 homecare. And the expensive (read: Rolls Royce) Blue Cross plan we got in the event Mom needed 24/7 homecare won't cover anything not approved by Medicare. Nice little Catch-22 there. Apparently what they call "homecare" is really one hour a day of PT, and what the rest of us call homecare THEY call "Custodial Care"...and don't cover it. Nice tricky use of semantics. I should know. Worked a few years for an evil insurance company. In the video department, but still witnessed all the chicanery they practiced while being completely paranoid of their customers duping them.

So starting next week, Mom is footing her bills alone. Which means we may soon be moving to a state near you, just to lower living expenses and bleed Mom's bank account a few months further. Anyone reside someplace cheap and want three crazy, single chicks as neighbors? Must be near airport for quick escapes. Hurricane states are not in the running.

All of this turmoil has shot to shit my determination to be a Writer's Assistant by October sixth. And I've used the whole craptastic week as a big excuse not to send out my mentor request letters (Asking for 3 ten minute phone calls with complete strangers in the industry...what kind of a pansy am I?) or to follow up with Charlie Kaufman's agent, who I was supposed to call last Monday per the mentor request I actually delivered to him. (at his play, assuming he received it backstage along with the flowers. Because calling Marty Bowen at UTA isn't intimidating at all. I'M SUCH A FUCKTARD. Why am I alive?)

I'm a little flumoxed by the whole thing, frankly. Don't know if I should blithely chug after the goal, or focus everything on Mom yet again, while listening to her bitch about me not having a job...Argh! Frankly, it seems like too small and undoable of a goal now. (Can I really work 15-18 hour days while worrying about her? Does anyone ever want a part-time WA, or one that only works eight hours a day? All for minimum wage, right?) What I really need to do is sell a script. Sure, that's all. The Gold Ticket into the Chocolate Factory. Not like anyone else in town is looking for one of those...

Nurse Sis spent the night with Mom Wednesday, and I spent last night. I was pretty freaked out about it. Never spent the night in a hospital before, and it's creepy as hell after hours. Gave me some great script ideas for a Horror movie. But Mom actually slept some, and so did I. No night terrors when she wakes up and sees us. She's probably pretty sick of three months in a strange place.

Today, with the help of a wonderful PT, Mom stood for the first time in three months. Weight on her right leg. And I learned how to safely transfer her from the wheelchair to the bed using a board, which was a huge fear of mine. Next week I start working out 3x a week with a trainer, so I should have more upper arm strength by the time she comes home. Lots to lift...but now I know some great tricks. See kids, Geometry DOES come in handy.

Anyway, that's my sucky life. Pretty excited about the Hero doll. Would love to figure out a way to go from our current order of 500 to the 3000 minimum needed to have a voice chip that said "I love you" and "feel better". If you have any ideas on partial funding/storage/distribution, drop me a line here or on my email.

Thanks everyone. Kill me now! I mean...Soldier on!


Lynne said...

Liz, I can sooo relate.

The insurance business is a scam.
The bottom line is top priority (topsy-turvy)
The patient does NOT matter

Healthcare in the US is a joke
Hardworking people end up with nothing

Devoted families suffer

cancer sucks

but sweetie, you aren't a fucktard. I'm just so sorry that you are having to make a choice not to pursue this opportunity.

it just ain't fair

American Knight said...

You are very much the filail daughter, thre seems to be no doubt about it around here. But there comes a time when decisions have to be made after weighing so many options and sides. It's never easy. My heart goes out to you and I really wish there was some way to help you in this. But wishes only go so far.

And you know what? My parents taught me (in their own round about kind of way) to never stop wishing or dreaming for that matter.

Ultimately, what can you honestly say your mom wants for you?

Brookelina said...

I have no advice - but I am sending lots of love and support your way!

Anonymous said...

Me, niether -- no good advice -- just good thoughts and vibes -- and from very, very close to you (uh, the other side o' town)


Lynne said...

I'll do some brainstorming on the distribution/funding idea. I keep thinking of Oprah's Angel Network....know anyone at Harpo? Could we approach her and get her involved? Good idea, bad idea?

And as for your making a choice to move forward in your job opportunities, as a mother, I would NOT want my child to change their plans to care for me. I suspect your mom wouldn't either. I know that the hands-on time for you when she comes home will be a lot... but maybe there is a way for you to continue, and have help from others in some way.

hmmmm..... I just hate to see you give up an opportunity.

Kid Sis said...

You guys are great. Thanks everyone. So great to have an online community I can be honest with (even if it's just about me, and not about everyone else anymore...learning the differnce).

I blew the whole day sleeping and crying, but guess I really needed to. It's been a long time since I've had a meltdown. And hopefully it prevented me from getting the ugly cold Nurse Sis has. She's such a trooper.

Lynn, I don't know anyone directly at Harpo...but I haven't sent out a request to my friends yet for a six degrees connection...SOMEONE must know someone at Harpo. I have a few friends from/in Chicago. It's pretty scary, because Oprah is also a gold ticket...but maybe that's what I need to be going for right now. Leaping off my horsie for the brass ring.

Lynne, your drawings have been wonderful. Thank you so much for your enthusiasm and support.

Meg said...

I have to echo what someone else said, which is that your mom probably wouldn't want you to give up your dream. I know my mom would kill me if I walked away from my passion, even if it was to lend her a supportive hand. Plus, you help her in so many ways -- and unless you take a little time for yourself, it will take a toll on every area of your life (including how you support her). I know it's been said before in better ways. Still...

I don't know much about this, but perhaps some of the children's hospitals around the country would be interested in distributing your dolls? I'm thinking of Seattle's Children's; the employees are a fantastic group of people who would probably love the idea. I don't know anyone there myself (am just an experienced visitor to the ward), but it might be worth a try?

Hang in there. We're here.


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