Archive | February 2017

One Goal Accomplished

I’ve only had two goals lately: get help from the insurance company and have Barry see his grandsons for the first time since Christmas of 2014. I’l  probably be working on the first one for a while, but the second one is done.

Jeff (Austyn and Drew’s dad) brought the boys to Lansing last Thursday. We all went to De Luca’s, the best Italian place in town. Barry seemed a little out of it, but he enjoyed eating pizza.

It’s quite the drive from Algonac to Lansing. I had never heard of Algonac. It’s almost in Canada, a little north of Detroit and Lake St. Clair. He got on I-696 and then got stuck. Yeah, that sounds about right. So the boys arrived starved and we immediately got cheesy breadsticks.

Austyn (10) seems like a normal, happy kid, but Drew (8) seems insecure. Bailey really seems to have hurt him. And they’ve only been living with Jeff for a few months. It will take a while for the stability to kick in. Bailey is now not a factor. She really is in Nevada. Thank god.

We will probably see the boys again, but I am no longer in a hurry. This is a big relief.

Are Clarity and Choice Compatible?

I wanted clarity. I believe I have it now. The problem? It seems to come at the expense of freedom.

I know what I need to do with my time and energy: get help from the insurance company (even if it means going to court) and get Barry a meeting with his grandsons. I’m not saying I am doing everything right, just that I know what I should be doing.

Do slaves have clarity? They know they have two goals: freedom and doing what their captors demand. They know what to do, when to do it, where to do it, and for how long (till they pass out or die, I assume). Compare that to going to store for a can of beans. Butter beans? Beans and franks? Lima beans? Kidney beans? Three-bean salad? What brand? What size? Does freedom equal confusion?

I feel like I am backed into a corner, like a caged animal. The insurance company will either set me free or will be endlessly attacked by me until they relent. They will not come out unscathed.

Is this the clarity I so prayed for? Really?

Processed A Lot

I spent the weekend with my “cat daughter” or “kitton” (not a mis-spelling). I hadn’t seen her since 2011. We met in 2000 when we were working in the same place. She was sixteen and going to MSU and her parents lived in Virginia. I was a mother figure to her. I helped her out when there was no one else. We both like cats.

I met her at Detroit Metro. We hugged and cried. We both let go. We put conditioner in each other’s hair (fur) Saturday and ate out a lot. Her husband, who occasionally has work projects in Michigan told her that she must eat Zaytoon’s. She says that there are no good Middle-Eastern restaurants in South Carolina. I had never thought about it. She was surprised how they had popped up everywhere. Of course we have lots of them. Michigan has the highest Muslim density outside the Middle East. We also ate at De Luca’s, where everyone in town eats the best Italian food in the city. When she got home, she told Ashok that he must eat there when he comes to Michigan. Taking her back to Detroit Metro was hard, but she needed to get back to her family (including seven-year-old Ayush) and job.

This weekend was just what I needed. I needed the time to process my feelings about Barry’s deterioration and the prospect of taking the insurance company to court if need be. I was so okay with the idea that I actually got a decent night’s sleep last night. Wow.

This morning, the nurse came to evaluate Barry. She had thought that we received help two years ago and was surprised when informed otherwise. She saw how impatient Barry is. It was  a little funny. Trying to give Barry a head’s up about what he would be doing next, she told him that he would be needing to put on his socks and shoes. She did this right after telling him to show her how he gets into and out of the shower. So he took his shoes and socks and starting putting them on in the bathtub, trying to do what she told him to and saying he didn’t understand such a request. I told her, “One thing at a time.”

She said to him, “I thought you were kidding.”

He responded, “I thought you were serious.”

While she was there, a lawyer’s office called. I made an appointment with this guy, who has experience with exactly this kind of case.

I think I have about an 85% chance of getting help without taking this to court, but now the insurance company knows that I have absolutely no problem taking them to court. I can prove that Barry is a falling risk and a choking risk. Huntington’s has no cure. It’s all downhill from here. The longer they fart around, the greater the odds that Barry will fall and require a nursing home, which they can pay for. If they choose to help before the appointment, I can cancel it. The lawyer now has a copy of the insurance policy. I am ready to go.

The next phase of my life does not begin until I have help with Barry. I have only two goals in life right now: getting help from the insurance company and helping Barry see his grandsons. When I accomplish one goal, then I can focus 100% on the other. There is no “next” until I get help. I am going to pursue this until I die, Barry dies, or they provide benefits. If I lose in court, I will appeal. This isn’t over until I say so because I have nothing better to do with my time. Never mess with someone who has nothing better to do and all the time in the world to do it.


Recognizing Intuition

I think I am starting to recognize my intuitive (psychic, whatever label you want to adhere to it) voice.

These are just suspicions because I am not expert at seeing it yet. Intuition seems to be that desire or thought that is not directly logical from the current train of thought. I am expert at logic and reason. I easily know my logical, rational voice. A leads to B leads to C….Intuition is more like A, B, and then R. Where did that thought come from? Logic is like, “I want lasagna for dinner. Let’s see. I need noodles and sauce. And, oh yes, garlic bread.” Intuition is like, “I want lasagna for dinner. Monday morning, I need to find that phone number for my friend in Ludington.” Huh?

We all have those non-sequitur thoughts all the time. I suspect those are intuition, angels, dead relatives, psychic hits, whatever name you want to give them.

My first recognized intuitive thought occurred while driving on the west end of Lansing running errands and the thought occurs to me, “He (Barry) is never going to see her (his daughter Bailey) again.” The randomness and clarity literally stunned me.

What I want to get good at is recognizing intuitive instructions while I still have an ability to influence the outcome. My frustration with my first intuitive thought was that the feeling was so final and that there wasn’t a darn thing I could do to change it. I felt it as a fact, not an instruction.

I am still ridiculously left-brained. I am naturally logical. And it has proven very helpful in some situations. I do know what is going to happen many times in a given situation because I can see how people are acting and I know that A leads to B leads to C and I can see two years down the road to Z. No psychic ability necessary. A few minutes of rational thinking can take you a long way. Sometimes I marvel at politics and the stupidity of politicians. I am like, “Really? You seriously didn’t foresee that reaction?”

The reason I am so into recognizing and following my intuition is that I have gone as far as my rational, logical mind can take me. I’ve gotten the education. I wear my seat belt. I’ve gotten the long-term care insurance. I go the gym and have a decent diet. I sold the house. I have avoided drugs and alcohol because of the horrible examples my brothers have been. I feel like I have reached Z in the logical department.

But none of this is helpful at the moment. I need to know what to do next. Knowing what I don’t want is not the same as having a sense of direction or a clue as to what I do want. I don’t believe that having a shaky will to live is a hindrance to intuition, the same way that being upset doesn’t interfere with my internet connection. I believe the intuitive information is out there all the time. I just need to learn how to listen to it. That seems to require vigilance. I can be vigilant.

Ready to Fight

The long-term care insurance people are going to schedule an “evaluation” for Barry. In other words, they are going to look for an excuse to deny us benefits—again. I am already in the process of contacting an attorney. I can provide whatever paperwork is necessary to show that Barry is falling hazard and a choking hazard.  I will remind the insurers that if they deny us and Barry falls or chokes while I am running errands, I am pretty sure they can be held liable to some extent. And let’s go for pain and suffering to boot. And if he falls, he will then qualify for a nursing home, which is way more expensive than the respite care I am currently seeking.

I don’t want to put Barry away. To me, a nursing home is Z and I want to do A through Y first. Let’s just start with them giving me the respite care I need and that I have been paying premiums sixteen years for. How about they actually do their job? This time in my life is exactly why I bought the insurance for. When the physician’s assistant asked me if I had considered assisted living for Barry, I was stopped dead in my tracks. All I want right now is a babysitter for my husband so he doesn’t hurt himself while I pay bills or go to the gym.

What they don’t know yet is that I am going to hound them until I die, Barry dies, or they provide the promised coverage. Period. Because I don’t have a job (and can’t make a real employment commitment without respite care), I have nothing to lose by pestering them endlessly. I have nothing to lose, nothing better to do, and all the time in the world to do it. I am a very bad person to mess with right now. I am a ridiculously over-educated caretaker with a mission to get myself some help. Without the help, the next phase of my life cannot begin. This life of never having meaning or a career is seriously not worth fighting for or preserving.

I hate the fact that I have to be a ranting, raving b****h to get my needs met. I really wish it didn’t have to be this way, but being a nice, good little victim has gotten me nowhere. This is emotionally exhausting, but it’s not like I have anything better to do.

Getting Movement

Beware what you hope for. I’ve been feeling stuck for the past few years and incapable of making anything happen whatsoever.

That may be changing. I took Barry to the physician’s assistant (PA) Tuesday. Barry’s behavior was terrible. He kept begging me to leave, but I was going nowhere because I needed to know what’s going on with his health and how to get my needs met for once. It turns out his lungs are fine. The coughing is actually choking, aspiration. Mary, the PA, told me that Barry is a falling risk and a choking risk and had I considered assisted living?

She told me to find out what documentation the insurance company wants for Barry to qualify for respite care and she would provide it. Judy, the office lady, told me that she would get the process started. I gave a copy of the policy to Judy. The next day, she said she encountered the same wall of unhelpfulness in the insurance company that I had when I got rejected in 2015. Perhaps he didn’t qualify for respite care two years ago (and that is debatable), but now he certainly does. If they deny another claim, it will be time to contact an UAW attorney. Seriously. Does he need to be half-dead before I can get help? The frightening reality is that it is highly unlikely that we will ever use as much money in benefits as I have already paid in premiums for the past 16 years. This is no joke. Judy’s exact words were, “We’ll get something going.”

I am excited that my needs may be getting met soon because they haven’t been for years. Of course, this is happening because Barry has reached a very sad state physically. I saw this coming, but it still sucks. I am excited and depressed all at once. I feel validated and sad.