No Longer Quivering had a link to a wonderful piece by Lana Hope called I Lost a Part of Me I Will Never Get Back. My day on Wednesday consisted of 4 hours sleep last night, starting about six the morning. My mother called at eleven. She was in agony with her back. She needed a refill of her prescription pain meds. The local pharmacist at the local Walgreens had been lying, to her since Friday. My life since the middle of July has been dedicated to my mother’s back. We’ve had 2 doctor appointments, an entire day in the ER. and numerous runs for pain meds. The diagnosis is osteo arthritis, nerve damage from 2 broken vertebrate, a pinched nerve, slipped disk years ago, and osteoporosis.
I looked at her tonight. She is nearly bent over double with the changes in her spine. We have an appointment on the 9th with a pain physician. The medical profession really doesn’t give a damn about a person being in agony. They don’t give a damn about much of anything. Our lives now revolve around her back. And so, on Wednesday, starting from eleven until three, I was threatening nurses, pharmacists techs, calling doctors, and trying to get to the bottom of the story. Bottom line is Walgreens screwed up a prescription 2 weeks ago, did not contact her physician, and hung her out to dry.
It has dawned on me that I am no longer able to feel much of anything but sadness, unhappiness, and hopelessness. Lana Hope’s article is the exact opposite. She was able to give of her heart and her compassion. It hurt. I’ve had my heart, compassion, patience, and any hope for life wrenched out of me, bit by bit for the past four years. I will never get it back. I will never get back the years I’ve lost, the book I put aside because I can’t get my head to work. I’ve lost any status within the research community where I was once doing quite well. It’s gone. I will never be regained. Any hope for that sort of a life has been flushed down the toilet of good intentions, filial duty, devotion to one’s aging parents, and being stupid.
People who have been put in the position I am, eventually lose everything they have. I have no job. My savings are gone. I traded my Durango a couple of weeks ago for 100 hours of nursing care for the parents. There’s a $5000 lien on my condo because I can’t pay the fees. I have no health insurance. I don’t qualify for anything. I haven’t worked in years, first because of two large insurance settlements I lived off for about 8 years, then this. I can’t work. I spent 8 hours today, dealing with the parents. I will do the same thing tomorrow. She just called. It is midnight. Walgreens screwed up her pain medication prescription so badly there are 30 of the correct count in the bottle, and 23 pills of a different count that should not be in it. Because she does not trust Walgreens, I need to leave an hour early to pick them up, drive back to down, go find this other pharmacy on the other side of town (which is why I don’t use it) and go from there. The bottom line, is there goes the rest of my day, tomorrow (or today) and possibly Friday.
It’s one thing after another. I don’t mind helping my parents. They cared for their parents, and so forth and so on. The problem is the fact that I am not in the same economic position they were at the time, and my mother’s parents were. Thanks to the wonderful economy in this country, my parents are worth millions on paper, but right now, I don’t have enough money to pay the basic bills, medication, and food. The new water pump for the blasted car cost nearly $800. My sister is paying for that on installments.
Over the years, my parents have literally paid millions in taxes. I know, I’ve heard the complaints, watched the checks being written, and had to help with tax returns. Their social security, combined is $1200 a month. My sister is spending nearly $1000 a month for their supplement. Due to my father’s Alzheimer’s, before we discovered what was happening, they were cheated from everyone from their broker, on down. Right now we’re up to quite a bit of misappropriated funds. The bottom line is, because I’m so involved in dealing with their daily lives, I can’t earn a living. My writing is starting to seriously suffer. I’m too tired.
If they use home health care, the professional company gets $250 a pop to drive out to the house, take their vitals, tell them they’re dying, and draw blood for tests, which they also charge big bucks for. They were doing this twice a week, bleeding it off the supplement. Because they have an excellent supplement, they don’t qualify for me to be paid a hundred bucks a week to help care for them.
I’m basically destitute. I haven’t had a hair color since last November. I need a hair cut, which I can’t afford. Because of the way my arm was injured (on a sidewalk my father refused to repair) I can’t shampoo or dry my own hair. Once upon time I had it done weekly. I’m now lucky if I have it done once every 3 weeks, not that it matters. It’s all falling out over the stress and I can’t afford the vitamins and supplements I need to grow it back.
I’m so humiliated over the way that I look, I avoid going out in public, meeting people, or doing anything beyond basic errands. I have no social life. I couldn’t afford it if I did. Until 2 weeks ago, no one had even asked me out for lunch in 3 years. I haven’t been to a party. I’ve been to 1 movie, and a friend took me. (It was Star Trek).
I don’t even bother with make-up anymore. I don’t wear my jewelry. I may be psychologically separating myself from it, because I may need to sell it to keep up the parents. Why bother? I’ve gained weight due to stress. My hair is falling out, and I’m getting old and hideous. I hate myself. I hate the way I look. I hate the fact that my future has been flushed down the toilet of life because I’m doing what’s right.
The entire process has left me very cynical. I begin to wonder just what kind of a country we have, where billionaires are allowed to lie and cheat, and are applauded for it, but the remaining members of the Greatest Generation, the ones who didn’t lie, cheat or steal, are living with diminished returns. No one gives a damn. All that matters, in this country is making money. The mindset today, since I’m not out earning my way, I deserve what I get. I’ll end up losing everything and dying in the gutter, because I’ve taken care of my parents.
One of the problems now is that the formerly patriotic me has lost all respect for this country. We treat our elderly like shit. No one gives a damn. The far right likes to claim we are a Christian nation, but they certainly don’t reflect the love of Christ. The far left claims to want to help everyone but they don’t give a damn, either. I voted for Obama, the first time I ever voted for a Democrat. I supported the ACA, which I now regret. It’s a joke, on the stupid fools who supported it. I’ve never been so disappointed in an administration in my life. They’re no different from libertarians. People don’t matter.
I was taking to a friend, yesterday, someone I’ve avoided because I’m so embarrassed over my appearance. He’s been through his fair share of trauma, betrayed, lied about, and destroyed. Like he said, something terrible has happened to this nation. Whatever good we once had is gone. We are about corruption, greed, cruelty, and destroying the weak to make a fortune. We are in ruins, a shell of a great nation where the regular, normal people in the middle no longer matter. The extremes control everything. Good people are getting the shaft, day in and day out. We no longer have anyone or anything to make us feel good about ourselves.
It makes me long for the days of Ronald Reagan, when the country was doing so well. Sure, he had AD, but he was positive. He loved this country, and understood that the heart of it was not Wall Street, but Main Street. He understood the connection between hotdogs, baseball, and apple pie. There are many who say those days are behind us, that we have evolved into a more aware culture, where we realize that there was a darkness in hotdogs, baseball, and apple pie.
This country needs a heavy dose of positive. This is going to anger any number of my new, liberal friends. You know something, I don’t care. I dare to say that life during the Reagan years was worse than it is now. It wasn’t. Those were good days, great days, positive, Morning in America. One reason was the fact that Reagan understood that you need to work with the Democrats. The Democrats in the House and Senate understood that you needed to work with Republicans. Republicans understood that, for the good of the country, you worked with the Democrats to get things done. Sure, they were just as selfish and greedy as they are today, but they did manage to put the country first.
We had a viable space program. Science was acceptable. Research was good, not evil. There were manners, good paying jobs, and life was good. Sure, interest rates were high, but if you even had $5000 in a CD, thirty days later you had $6000. A month after that, due to 20% interest, you had another thousand bucks. Normal people could make money and get ahead. The dollar was the same as the pound. This country was respected abroad.
Not any more. Life in this country sucks. It’s only going to get worse due to greed being god. Screw the 99% and worship the billionaire. Then, impose so many rules and regulations, that our lives become more and more bitter and smaller and smaller. Four years ago, my summer time power bill, with the air conditioning set at 67 degrees was about $75 a month. Today, with the air on $72, and lights turned off, that same bill is $150. I don’t even know what I’m going to do this winter to stay warm. Then again, I’m just like the average person in this country who isn’t a billionaire. We’re being constantly diminished.
We lose a little every day. In California, a fish is more important than the livelihood of thousands of farmers. Because we’re people and there is a drought, we’re all being made to suffer. If the Administration had any guts, they’d open the damn damns and let the fish sink or swim. People are more important. Inflation is insane. Butter is now $4.59 a pound. Milk is $2.99 a quart. A cheap loaf of bread is $2.29. A half pound of grated cheddar cheese is nearly $6. Oh, but there is no inflation even if gas is $3.41. Never mind giving seniors a cost of living raise. Better to let them choose between medicine and cat food and let ’em starve. It’s all in a good cause, saving money, getting rid of old people, and balancing the budget. Things I once bought are out of the question. I’ve not had a roast in 3 years. I no longer buy bacon. Chicken is so expensive, I only buy it for the parents to have maybe once every 2 weeks or so. These are people who had everything. I’m living on cheap spaghetti, and crap I can buy so that I only need to spend about $25 a week on food. I haven’t had chips and salsa in 2 weeks. I once at Mexican food three times a week. I’ve had it four times since first of July. We once went out 3 or 4 times a week. We go out once a week, and I only order fries or onion rings so there will be money for the parents.
Maybe that’s the plan, to make our lives a living hell, and push us into something we never intended. Do I sound defeated? well, I am. I’ve learned a politician is a politician, and you can’t trust any of them, be them liberal, conservative, Democrat or Republican, and very much not libertarian.
The worst of it, I really do blame the Party of Reagan. They squandered his legacy and his vision. We now live in a nation that is something out of a bad science fiction novel. I don’t see a future for my nieces or nephew in this country, not any more. As for me, my life is in ruins. I have no hope. I have no real future. It’s been wrenched out of me by Alzheimer’s, greed, doing what is right, and a truly anti-growth, pro-greed economy. There is no hope for this country, not on it’s present course. I don’t see a leader, Democrat or Republican who can put it back together again.
What’s left of my generation will die in squalor, in the gutter. You know, we all deserve better than this. We’ve lost a part of this country and ourselves we will never be able to get back. The worst of it is that no one gives a damn about it.