Deal # 6 on my house fell through in February, and I have done another price reduction trying to position the house for an actual completed sale, and I’m stressed out.
The California IRS (State tax authority) scooped one of my banks on March 13th, taking $286 from my checking and savings, and causing another $215 in fines and penalties due to everything their seizure caused to bounce. This, despite the fact that we had an agreement for them not to pursue me as I’d put my house on the market to sell it in order to settle the past-due bill.
Since my ERISA insurance payment has been mucked up and paid a month early, and they refuse to fix their error, it’s now up to me to hold those funds until the following month to pay those next months’ bills…. The money they took was earmarked for use on March / April bills, which made it extra frustrating as it’s income I can’t generate or make up elsewhere if they decide to stop paying me for a month to straighten out the overpayment. Confusing, much?
Anyway, the CPA / Tax Accountant got them to back off for another 90 days until mid-June, however, the vise is closing in on me so long as the house doesn’t sell.
I’d accepted an offer, deposit and pre-approved loan and everything, for $150k in February. My realtor killed the deal by recommending a counter offer to confirm in writing that they took the house as-is, so they backed out. Maddening.
Meanwhile, the Federal IRS called for an audit meeting on 3/29 to understand why I hadn’t yet been paying, which added to my stress.
The CPA / Tax Accountant met with them without me earlier this week, and it was a cluster. Apparently, my new IRS agent is a new hire, has no idea what harm a lein on my home will do to any actual sale, and is determined to do that now vs. giving me until mid-June (peak house selling time) to get the house sold. While he’s thrown up his hands, and he’s gone back to try and negotiate with the original, more seasoned agent, it’s not looking good.
The Roomie, meanwhile, had a meltdown over continuing to wait for her rent, and I now have to give her $200 of the $1,200 that I owe her in rent each month – money I don’t have – and which agreement could NOT have come at a worse time.
The Realtor, meanwhile, sent out a notice only yesterday for this Saturday’s open house, along with a request that I reduce the price yet again to match Redfin’s supposed “market value”.
I don’t have a lot to say right now, but know that I’m doing ok.
I get my 2022 taxes done on Monday, April 3rd, with any overpayment going toward my past-due tax debt, vs. being refunded to me. That’s fine, and I’m going to hope that any payment toward the past-due debt will help to prove that I’m not a deadbeat and am trying to find a way to pay my tax debt vs defaulting on the past-due monies due to my filing error.
So, same crap / different day. You haven’t missed a thing.
Since I’ve been back and living in the heart of Silicon Valley, I’ve been doing a better job of seeing my former boss, mentor and friend. She’s in an assisted living / memory care home about 3 miles away from me (vs. 33 miles each way, when I lived in my senior community at the remote tip of Silicon Valley, otherwise known as “the boonies”).
F is about the same age as my Mom would be, were she still alive, which makes her 86 to my 62.
I don’t know why we clicked when we did. Maybe because she, too, had left her home and emigrated far away from her family. Maybe because she thought of me as someone with similar career goals (to be able to take care of myself, without the aid or agreement and permission of someone yoked to me for eternity). Whatever it was, I started temporary work at a then-leading, woman-owned computer startup company, ASK, and worked very well with F.
Within a very few months of my starting at ASK, F decided to leave the company and move to another cutting-edge computer firm, CADENCE. Shortly after she departed, F reached out to me to see if I would join her, still as a temp, in her new company.
Better pay. The possibility of going permanent. A boss who already made it possible for me to restart my career in Procurement and actually seemed to like me? Absolutely.
The years passed. There were ups and downs with F as I was much more of a risk taker than she was, and I trusted my instincts, but our friendship grew despite the challenges. We had a few knock down drag out arguments over my career position from time to time when she was my boss, but we had a solid 4 years together before she was laid off.
Advising her to join the big fruit company’s subsidiary, CLARIS, where I’d originally started on the customer service line, she seemed happy. I eventually rejoined the parent company in Procurement, and our careers ebbed and flowed in each others’ orbit as the years passed.
Toward the end of her career, about 1998, she re-hired me as a temp to oversee the merger / re-acquisition and dissolution of CLARIS. I sent some digital properties back to the big fruit company. I stopped production on other products, and I set up the remaining core products of CLARIS under the new subsidiary, FileMaker. Confused, yet?
None of this back story is important, except to say that we worked together through some invigorating and stressful and productive times before I once again left to handle a different divestiture and subsidiary creation for another innovative Silicon Valley firm, and F retired to travel the world, riding her bike in foreign lands. I kept tap dancing as hard as I could at work, learning innovative concepts and products, and I kept chasing new opportunities when the politics and backbiting got too much, or I was done with repetitive activities that didn’t stir my problem solving skills and creative juices.
I tell you all of this because I don’t know why F is such a big part of my life down through the years, but she is. Neither one of us had the necessary patience to be parent material, yet each of us was drawn to the other in a co-depent, parent / child or teacher / student relationship.
I have a number of work buddies who I still see, and I wonder if it was just the quirk of friendships found, or if there is something in the transitory nature of Silicon Valley work culture that has us keeping friendships long after we no longer work together or live near each other.
It simply comes down to making the effort to be there for each other.
So, as F has been going through the loneliest journey any one of us may ever have to take – being trapped in an aging body with a failing mind – I am still there. Our positions have been completely reversed, where I’m the guide and she’s the newbie. Sadly, every day is like the film, Ground Hog Day, with F having a vague idea of where she is and what she is and is not allowed to do. The hours and patterns exist repetitively, in the hope that the Residents will find some relief from confusion, and life goes on. Long after the will or desire to survive has left.
A lot of our time is spent with simple affirmations. Yes, you chose to live here. No, you didn’t break the law. Yes, you are a good person. No, you aren’t being punished. Yes, I miss my Mom, too. Hopefully, you will see your Mom when you pass away to the other side, too.
The mind is incredibly complex, in that she remembers to get up and get dressed, comb her hair and brush her teeth, how to articulate what she does and doesn’t want when provoked, etc., only to greet a day that has nothing in it for her thirst for adventure or her love of nature.
Now that it’s no longer 90+ degrees every day, I’m back to trying to drop into her care facility a couple times a week to take her walking or out for a cappuccino.
F is like an automaton, sitting around on standby, waiting for any suggestion to which she can cling. She can no longer initiate or verbalize much in the way of activities she’d like to do on her own, but she’s still in there, somewhere.
When I drop in and ask if she’d like to go for a walk in the neighborhood, she is like a giddy puppy hearing, “Walkies !”, as her day brightens up immeasurably. Something to do ! Somewhere to go !
F no longer has the stamina of a world traveler, but if I give her my arm and hold her hand tight, she feels happy and safe and loved. We walk out into the bright sunlight and marvel at the Fall decorations on the houses we pass, and we laugh at the black and grey squirrels chasing each other around the bases of palm trees while she tells me what’s on her mind, and what worries her.
“Yes, you are a good person. No, you aren’t being punished. I know you don’t want to live like this, but it’s too late to make new choices. Yes, you chose where you are living. Yes, it is your home. Yes, aren’t the trees beautiful? Look at the shades of red on that Japanese Maple… Oh, look! The wild parrots are back ! No, you didn’t do anything wrong. No, you aren’t a burden. Yes, R and D are taking care of your money and you have plenty to pay your own way…” Circular, repetitive conversations. Essential, though, for F’s piece of mind.
When I get home, I absolutely need a nap to recover my own equilibrium. F’s anxieties about her missing independence echo my own fears about what may lie ahead. Who knew, all those years ago when F gave me a chance at a job in my field, that I’d be returning the favor by taking her out for walks and doctors’ appointments as we both travel not-so-quietly into our golden years?
No answers here. If you have a chance, though, please go out and be the kind of person you wish to see more of in the world. Affirmations are important.
I don’t know who thought it might be funny to give a child who had multiple surgeries the game of “Operation”. It’s a fine motor skills game where you try and remove various body parts without setting of the alarm by touching the metal sides of each storage area. With all that being said, though, it was a fun game. I’d jump every time I’d set off the alarm by failing to remove the game piece properly.
I do wonder, though, at the hopefulness of modern folks to keep going back for repair after failed repair. Exhausting their savings with co-pays. Wasting their time with recovering from surgeries that never quite measure up to expectations. When is enough enough? Or, when is a repair good enough?
I have a friend who is a Type 3 diabetic (she had her pancreas removed due to the pain of pancreas stones, immediately making herself a surgically-caused diabetic. On top of other health issues, she has an ostomy bag, suffers from severe asthma, and ends up in the hospital regularly due to failing kidney issues and infections in her joints as her diabetes causes huge issues with her quality of life. She’s in her early 60’s, same as me, but she has no quit in her. Like a crazy game of “Operation”, she’s in and out of the hospital like it has a revolving door, trying to improve her quality of life while just barely being able to maintain her health status.
I have a cousin, Cousin T, who is also in and out of the hospital like it has a revolving door, too. She has a failing leg due to a broken ankle that went bad after her first surgery failed to stabilize her foot, and which instability has since spread up her shin bone despite multiple attempts to repair it. Add in a cervical collar surgery that encompassed most of her upper spine a year ago July that went horribly wrong and paralyzed her upper arms for using her fine motor skills, and I’m amazed that she’s willing to go back under the knife of three (3) different surgeons during a day-long surgery to fix the nerve back in its proper place.
My other friend is falling apart in Texas, with multiple surgeries being needed for knee and hip replacements, and now a similar cervical collar surgery being done (which was successful, thankfully).
I just don’t understand how they can opt for surgery after surgery, being buried under co-pay debt with already tight budgets. I decided at 14 years of age that I wasn’t rich or patient enough to keep going back for surgeries that didn’t resolve a problem.
I reached my “enough” a long time ago, as I see no value to extend my quantity of suffering when the solutions presented don’t solve anything, but rather just extend my frustrations and empty my bank account.
…Written after another sleepless night while my feet alternately froze and burned while I was exhausted and trying to sleep.
So, years ago, 2017 or 2018, Cousin T called me in a panic. She was going to lose her car as she’d done a title loan, and couldn’t make the payment.
I knew she was still working. I knew she’d had multiple, failed, reparative surgeries since first breaking her ankle about 2009-ish. I knew she’d already lost her brick and mortar home after her Mom passed away, and was bo longer available to bail her daughter out of various financial crises.
I knew all that, and yet I *LOANED* Cousin T almost $5,000 to bail out her car completely, vs. delaying her inevitable loss by simply covering the amount due.
Cousin T promised to repay me, “when she got some money”.
I didn’t set a date she couldn’t make. I didn’t remind her of the money she owed me. Instead, we continued on through life and I gifted her with two different cruise fares, etc., as I was raised that you only loan money you can afford to lose.
Flash forward to 2020, and Las Vegas Auntie passed away. Cousin T and Baby Sis had been put in charge of Auntie’s affairs in place of me (phew!) but I still ended up being the one in Las Vegas cleaning up Auntie’s affairs.
Baby Sis took her time showing up, and made it ten (10) days after Auntie’s death. Cousin T was recovering from yet another surgery, and didn’t show up at all until almost six (6) months later. She and Baby Sis spent two (2) weeks cleaning out Auntie’s house, shipping things back to Massachusetts, and getting the house sold. Despite the mental health challenges that had Auntie spending her assets like a drunken sailor, the debts were settled and we all got handsome inheritances. $100k each for Cousin T and Baby Sis, $28k for me, etc., etc., etc.
While I talked to Cousin T about repaying the money she owed me in May 2021, she said she couldn’t “afford” to do so.
The next thing I know, she’s purchased a mobile home in FL for cash at about $44k, leaving her in a better place financially than she’d started, despite another failed surgery on her cervical collar / neck area. But, still no payment for me.
Fast forward to 2022, she’s living in Ft Myers and has to come home for yet another surgical consult on her multitude of health issues, so she arrives in May. Driving from Florida to save money. Thankfully, driving.
I’m working on my own issues, I don’t feel I’ve done anything in life worthy of a karmic smackdown.
While I didn’t do anything to Daddy Dearest to deserve such a toxic parent, and he’s had his own issues in life, including a very rough start of his own, I still wish him well. Just far, far, away from me. The animosity is on his side because I dared to live despite my birth defects, and don’t kiss his feet for his (supposed) financial sacrifices. We all make choices in life, and I made my choice almost 43 years ago, and haven’t regretted excluding him from my life even for a minute.
I can love someone without being deluded about their mental health and place in my life. I can love someone without liking them. I can love someone while also being strong enough, or vigilant enough, to not allow myself to be dragged into their drama. It’s really just about being practical, and selfishly protective.
So, when I learned that Cousin T had lost her home in Hurricane Ian, my first thought was unkind (something along the lines of, “That will teach you to cheat me!”). My second thought, though, was about the kinder person I’d prefer to be. “Oh, the next few years (not weeks or months, but years) are going to suck.
Been there (losing everything). Got the tee shirt. And it’s not a situation I’d wish on anyone. Even someone who’s done me wrong.
The Roomie is fighting with her niece, someone I would have said she had a very close relationship with all these years.
The niece is engaged and has decided to not invite any members of her immediate AND extended family to the engagement party. Not her own brother, her Aunt, her Uncle (the Aunt’s twin) and his wife, etc., etc., etc.
Again, the excuse has been given, “I’m just inviting people I feel close to…” which apparently includes all sorts of high school friends of her Mother, but not actual family members.
Traditionally, I thought engagement parties were meant to introduce family members to one another, as they would be yoked together through life supporting the young couple and any children they might have down the years. 🤷 But, we are both clearly out of step with current social mores.
I’m all for people inviting who they like to their own affairs, but if there has been no big blow out or obvious social rift, why is it now acceptable to ghost members of one’s family? It seems to just cause unnecessary heartache and suffering for people that have been in your corner their entire lives, and I just don’t get it.
If someone hurts me, I used my big mouth and say so.
There are no surprises.
There is no ghosting or gradual fading away.
If I intend to hurt you, I want you to know it was me who did the deed. I don’t necessarily want you to suffer, but I do want you be aware – without a doubt – that I was hurt. That I was angry. That you are on my sh*t list.
Heck, after the final (I thought) drama with my father at 18/19 years of age, I wrote him a letter saying that I was done with him, I needed a time out, and that I was hurt and didn’t want to hear from him.
Well, he took me at my word and I never did hear from him.
No admission of guilt about being a manipulative S.O.B.
4 years later, when I was selling my car – the only piece of junk he would help me buy because it solved a problem for him – I kept my word. He asked me to return the car radio whenever I decided to sell my car, so I contacted him.
I called his house, my stepmother answered the phone and pretended not to recognize my voice, and hung up on me. Maybe my words were too fast or sing-songish? “Hi, Lo, it’s Jo. Is Jack there?” Whatever the cause, she hung up the phone without answering my question or saying anything beyond the initial “Hello”.
… For younger readers, picture it: 1983, no email, cell phones, no texting. I either had to call and set an appointment, or risk simply showing up at his house unannounced. So, I redialed and Lois answered again.
“Hello, Lo, this is Jack’s daughter, Jo…” and I tried again. We set a chilly Friday night as the time to meet, and as the young adult I was I endured the third degree from the two of them politely, while desperately wanting to be anywhere but there.
Nothing was said about the many times I tried to get him to correct his treatment of my baby sister. Nothing was said about my final complaint for being left at the side of the road with a blown out tire and a 15 year old girl at midnight, when we were expected at their house by 11pm.
Nothing was said about the drunken AAA driver who showed up to rescue us and change the tire.
Nothing was said about him failing to give a damn about our safety, knowing we were late and his abandoning us to our own resources yet again.
Instead, the focus was on pumping me for details about my life, my Mom’s life, and doing anything except removal of the radio that had been so important to him in 1979. I got through that evening. He never batted an eye or acknowledged that his treatment of me and my siblings was in any way at fault, and I got through an exhausting few hours dealing with my toxic father.
The point is, I had my say. He chose to ignore my grievances, but he was not unaware of my unhappiness before I booted him from my life. My keeping my word to him about returning the car dash radio was about my sense of honor, regardless of his lack of the same.
Has our transient American culture changed so much that even Society doesn’t feel blood relations have an automatic seat at the table?
I can get booting someone to the curb. Heck, I am the last person to want anyone to tolerate a toxic relationship. But, have some manners when doing the booting.
If someone has done you wrong, say so, demand an apology or whatever, and communicate! This whole chickensh*t drama with shades of the Real Housewives is just too crazy for me. No one deserves being ghosted, but especially not family.
I am ashamed to say that I feel less alone having my wonderful and well loved Roomie treated badly by a niece she has adored for these last 22-odd years. It at least gives me hope that Society has changed its manners codes vs. me being a piece of dirt assh*le in an otherwise close family.
As I wrote in Pariah way back when, I’ve been disowned by my kin, and it hurts.
Pariah II talked about how hard it is to connect with members of my family. I guess things started going down hill after my Mom died in 2005, and things got worse after my older brother died in 2011.
I thought I did all the right things for calling and going home and trying to stay connected, including doing my best to be there for No 1 Nephew’s wedding, but there was a huge fight with my sister before his wedding because all her friends were invited, and family members were not.
Don’t get me wrong, I interfered with the best of intensions – especially since I was told it was a money problem that caused the exclusions – and sent a generous check with a note asking that the missing family members be included if that was the case. Fireworks ensued with my Baby Sis (I’m still not sure why she was involved, unless she lied and was mad at being caught out in the lie when her son raised the issue), but that was way back in 2013. The break up with her didn’t happen until 2015, and I’m *still* trying to make sense of that stalled relationship.
Tonight, though, I finally made the decision to accept that the relationship with my family has ended. Long past time, I know, but seeing pictures of Baby Sis and her husband at the second family wedding I was excluded from brought me to the brink. The boy lives in my state, and I have reached out regularly to connect over the past few years, only to be rebuffed. Every time.
To quote Nephew No 3, “we only invited people we felt close to.”
I don’t see how I can twist myself inside out to try and maintain a connection, if the other person won’t meet me half way…. It takes two. Things like visits home, weddings, funerals, etc., are where connections are maintained. Since they never have time for me when I make the effort, it’s pointless to keep an illusion going.
Having it confirmed that Baby Sis is still family while I am not caused the last of the scales to fall from my eyes. I was petty and unfollowed and unfriended both my sister and my nephew so that I don’t have to have it rubbed in my face that we are no longer kin. They both know how to reach me if they ever wish to do so (and clearly they don’t), so it’s up to me to remove yet another unhealthy connection from my life.
As I said in my text to No. 3 Nephew, I wish both he and his wife every joy in their lives together, and I mean it.
I know I’m silly to get attached to where I have lived for the past six (6) years, especially as I’d hoped my failing health would see me pass from this world while living here.
Sadly, that situation hasn’t come to pass as I keep on ticking on and on and on, long past my “best if used by” date.
While my backup retirement plan has always included winning the lottery, that hail Mary pass has not come into play so far, so I’ve been focused on selling my home for a decent enough price that I might even squeak a little profit out of it. Enough to buy an oxygen machine, anyway.
This week, I focused on just getting OUT and ticked off the Realtor by deciding to put a new furnace in next week AND cutting the price:
There’s a little wiggle room as I used very round numbers, but this is my reality as of today. If I have to sell it at a loss, so be it, but I have to get out from under the mortgage debt in order to pay off the IRS.
Got into a texting fight with the Realtor about putting in the new furnace. (I’d originally refused to take on the debt when we talked in May). Since I was so late in getting the unit cleared out so that it could be painted at the end of August (it was royally F’d up, leaving me still cleaning up the sticky floors from the press-n-seal type covering they used, AND they still spilled paint everywhere), I’m just biting the bullet to get out from under.
Some Bachelor (doofus!) has looked at my home four (4) times since it first went on the market Labor Day weekend, and he *still* has not made an offer – even though she’s been waiting for him to do so since the first showing.
I met him two (2) weeks ago while there trying to clean the floors, and he hadn’t even been pre-approved ! Talk about both the Realtor and the “potential” Buyer wasting my time.
The Realtor tried to strong arm him into making an offer on Thursday to try and keep me from putting in the new furnace (foolish woman – once I’m done and have made a decision, I’m done). His realtor’s response was that they would get together today and would “probably” have an offer. Oh, and this Bachelor is “having a tough time scraping together the down payment”. Seriously ?!??? Yet another time waster !
It’s now after Noon, and if the Bachelor makes an offer, you know I’m going right out to buy a lottery ticket.
For now, the listing has been updated with new virtual staging, the price has been lowered, I’ve crunched the numbers, and the new furnace gets installed a week from Monday, on October 17th.
While I don’t believe I have ever been depressed, I grew up surrounded by men and women in various states of functional depression, emotional instability, narcissistic personality disorders, and anger. Add in the changes in personality due to their personal frustrations with the hands they were dealt by life, never mind the members of my family who ended up diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s, and you would be right in guessing that I have a wide variety of experience in dealing with many forms of mental illness.
I preface my next comments with that information as these situations, ones where someone commits suicide, have often been seen as a mental fitness stigma, as if one would choose to be depressed, if there really was a way to change our mental health situations by the snap of a finger.
My biggest frustration with mental health treatments is that they are not an exact science. Not necessarily repeatable to achieve success with a variety of patients. The ability to ask for help as their brain betrays them is often thwarted by our society’s presumptions and mistaken beliefs that they are weak, lazy or duplicitous. Never mind our own defensiveness or pride for refusing mental health aid, or being unable to work the treatments recommended, etc.
Talking to those who are suffering a mental illness can be very tricky, as they aren’t stupid. They aren’t incapable of logical thinking. They are somewhere mentally where they are difficult to reach, as their brains are not operating reliably or consistently, so we’re working blindly in trying to help the depressed and or anxious person eliminate their challenges.
Add into this medical condition a social stigma for consistently recognizing mental health challenges as a medical condition needing treatment, and getting help becomes more and more impossible. Medications. Talk therapy. Support groups. There’s no predicting what will or will not work, and the patient suffers. The family wants them to snap out of it, and it’s not that simple.
Bills need to be paid, existing expenses need to be covered, and in our Capitalistic, pick yourself up by your own bootstraps society, that is not an easy set of circumstances to juggle.
So, can I say that I am thankful to the Judd sisters for labeling their Mother’s actions correctly? To quote, ”Today we sisters experienced a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness.”
As I have been juggling multiple financial issues brought on by my own stupidity in dealing with the IRS, I’ve worked hard to get my home ready for putting it on the market.
I tried to get the house listed by 5/31/22. Nope. Too many conflicting demands, and too little energy.
Ditto middle of June.
Ditto end of July…. Really frustrating to be the one holding things up. I’d been living back with the roomie since mid-June. Made it home in July for my Auntie’s memorial service, and included a side trip to Cape Coral, FL, to check on my Mom’s 86-year-old best friend, who, in her own words, is a “tough old broad”, LOL.
Sadly, while also hoping to see my Cousin T’s new mobile home, that part of the trip had to be cancelled as she was still stuck in Massachusetts awaiting a variety of medical exams for the failed cervical repair on her back from a year ago July, 2021, and I didn’t get to see her as she’d caught covid just before I arrived.
So, lots going on. Lots of expenses. Lots of running around trying to stay involved in life while I’m exhausted and not doing well as I’m living with the roomie who is now a functional alcoholic, trapped in a house she cannot afford, slowly killing herself through malnutrition as she has very little food in the house, but the cigarettes and alcohol are always in plentiful supply.
Why am I writing about Wynona and Ashley Judd after their mother’s suicide? Because watching someone slowly drink themselves to death is no answer either. Depression is real. Please, if someone you know is trying to hold their crumbling world together? Please don’t make things worse.
I truly believe that these people get up every day and find reasons to hang on another day. They are exhausted. Trying their best, and yet – sometimes – the demon of mental illness wins.
They don’t get saved in time to try again.
There are no game resets or do-overs.
Just try and be kind. It’s really not too much to ask for the sufferers and their loved ones who have now become survivors.
Today was one of those days. I worked my butt off this weekend and last weekend, and I was looking forward to going to see The Bare Naked Ladies in an effort to build memories of fun events during an otherwise difficult Summer where I am wasting my ”prime” time of wellness preparing my house for sale.
Smack ! Apparently I’m not handicapped ”enough” as I don’t have a handicapped placard on my car to demonstrate my disabilities.
While I mostly enjoy the challenge of enjoying myself despite any terrain issues, the reality is that I am handicapped. The combination of a hilly, mountainous setting, plus a long walk from the parking area, is a recipe for disaster and unhappiness as I deal with being frustrated by my body’s inability to allow me to pass for normal on an otherwise fun evening.
Rather than let the situation pass, I sent them a rant and I hope they will reconsider the abusive, accusatory messaging that accompanies their so-called ”warning” about fraud risk. Having purged this from my system, I can now get on with my life for today… whoever is reading this, I hope you’re having a good day.
It may not make a difference, but I feel better for getting this out of my system.
Spent a couple of hours (HOURS!) on the phone on May 20th trying to arrange for oxygen for daytime use. I need a portable oxygen concentrator that can provide continuous flow overnight at 2 liters per minute, as well as give me options for running around during the day with supplemental oxygen for when my oxygen drops.
Spent the weekend very actively, running around doing an art and wine festival. There were a few times when I know I would have done better having the portable oxygen concentrator, but that just wasn’t my reality.
When going out to walk the fair (I have to get my steps in, regardless of what I’m doing each day), I also stopped to buy a grape soda from Hillbilly Teas, and it was yummy. But, while I was walking back to our booth, the crowd was overwhelming so I moved off the main fairway and went around the fair via the street so that I could breathe more easily. Sadly, the SP02 went bezerk, to the point of vibrating, to let me know that my oxygen saturation dropped below 88%. The ring did its job, so that I fixed my breathing by taking deep breaths to bring up my saturation rates, but it left me wondering: what happens when the deep breathing trick doesn’t work anymore?
So, I sat down on the phone today to try and determine what was causing the delay in getting my portable supplemental oxygen unit.
Aggravating, maddening, BIG MISTAKE.
I try to be reasonable, but when I’m being fed b.s. I find it very hard to control my temper.
In trying to figure out whether or not the Rx was approved (it was), I then had to figure out why no one was calling me to provide the necessary equipment… Big mistake. They have taken bureaucracy to new levels. Very low expectation or results levels.
Simply trying to reach the right person was a joke, as they have two (2) departments handling the portable units, and neither one is accountable. Not to anyone !
When I said I wanted status on when to expect my portable unit, there was a noticeable pause. When I reminded them that I had upcoming trips that I needed the equipment for, it was like a light bulb went off in the clerk’s brain, and she punted me to the “Travel” department. Angelique. Useless, f’ing Angelique that sent me the wrong original equipment for my household unit way back in January.
Angelique’s little girl voice joined me on the phone, and she started to ask stupid questions. “When are you leaving for your trip?” “When can you bring your equipment back?” “You’ll need to go to the store to pick up your equipment as it’s too close to your departure date (I told them June 10th)”.
When asked why I’d have to bring my “portable” equipment back, I was then told that the Travel oxygen department is different than the regular supplemental oxygen department and they only deal with loaner equipment.
When I asked when I could expect my regular portable equipment and not loaner equipment, she had no idea. Apparently, there is no equipment available.
I can walk in and borrow a unit, but I cannot keep it. Crazy.
She started to go into her tired old spiel again in her tired little girl voice, and I cut her off and said I’d already heard it and didn’t need to hear it again. Yes, I was short. Rude, even. Angelique gets all huffy and continues to try and feed me her canned spiel, and I cut her off again. Not interested. Already heard it.
We go back and forth for a bit, and I demand to speak with a supervisor, and there’s none to be had.
Angelique leaves me on hold for about 15 minutes and then apologizes and says someone among the supervisory staff will call me.
Why is this delay even remotely acceptible?
We can no longer obtain liquid oxygen due to congressional cutting of benefits.
We can no longer support our oxygen needs with faster than a 2-week (or longer) delay? Supplemental Oxygen is one of those “immediate” needs, and two (2) weeks or longer waiting is not anywhere near “immediate” response.
It’s ridiculous that one of the most progressive countries in the world cannot get out of its own way to help folks with medical issues live their best life.