Life, In Circles

Many years ago now, I worked for a home health care agency back in Odessa. That agency was tasked with the contract with the Department of Health and Human Services, Division on Aging and Disability, to run the “provider program’. This program assisted people who were elderly or disabled and needed assistance with household tasks, like vacuuming, preparing a meal, washing dishes, doing laundry, etc, but who didn’t have insurance or other financial means to buy or utilize these things themselves.

The people who worked this program, the actual employees, didn’t even get paid minimum wage–no, seriously. Minimum wage was 5.25 and these folks–mostly women–were paid $4.85. It was government work, so somehow it was justifiable. No one worked full-time. No one received benefits. The only training they received is what little I myself, as the manager of the program, was able to provide them. The only equipment they received was a lifting belt, in case they needed to assist their client by lifting them unto bed, a couch, the toilet or the bath. The only requirement for the job: a high school diploma and successful completion of a basic criminal background check. Random drug testing was stated that it would be done, but it never was. Too expensive and the program couldn’t afford it.

Now, I want you to think for a moment: The weakest of our society, the aged, disabled, poor… at the mercy of people who ‘just wanted a job of any kind’.

Okay, sure, some of the people who worked in the program were good people, people who wanted to help. The best provider I ever placed was a mom whose youngest had finally gone into first grade and she couldn’t stand just hanging around the house all day. The program let her feel like she was helping, doing something good, and she made a little money to spend of her own. There was another older woman who had retired from a government job, but she was still quite active, viable, lively–and bored. These were GOOD providers. Then there were those who did this job because it was just a job.

Placing people was something I took a lot of time in doing. I made sure the right people were placed with the right clients. For example, when we took over the program, we had an elderly woman (she was 98 years old!) who was quite frail but sharp as a tack placed with a provider who was a booming, tough, large young black woman. Ms. E asked me in a whisper one day if I, “Might have someone better suited for X-, because, well, she scares me a little bit.”

At the same time, I had a morbidly obese non-compliant diabetic who had lost one of his legs due to his non-compliance, and he often gave the providers a hard time and was bad about sneaking medication (pain pills) and slipping medication (his diabetic meds) under his tongue and not taking them. His provider, a young woman who was soft-spoken and gentle, a mother of three young ones who had just seen the last one start kindergarten, was almost scared of the man.

I switched them, and it was beautiful. Ms. E was so happy with her new provider, and when I went to do the home visit, they were sitting at the dining table playing cards together, while the provider was folding laundry at the same time, and she helped her prepared her Meals-on-Wheels packages. When I visited Mr. Diabetic, he and his new provider were cracking jokes and insulting each other. I know, I know, but it totally worked for them both. She thought he was a hoot and he gave her a hard time, but he was taking his meds for her and eating better meals because she would go through his house and throw out all the crap he had hidden!

I enjoyed running this program. I loved trying to find the right person to work with the right client. I felt it was making a difference in people’s lives, people who had no one, who needed the help and the companionship.I was really picky about who I would hire, and I wouldn’t place just anyone with my clients.

Not everyone is that conscientious about their work, though.

In the hospital last week, they apparently referred me to this program. They called me to set up the referral, and they left a message, and I haven’t called back. I’m not sure if I want to.

See, I’m one of the blessed people. I have a family who loves me and takes brilliantly good care of me. If I did not have this, a program like this would be amazing to me. But I do have this. Do I need this program to help me? No, I guess not. Does my family need the help? Maybe, but I’m not sure they would ask for it if they did.

But I know that somehow I feel ashamed to have once been a manager of this program and now being a recipient of it. Or at least referred to it. Why?

I wish I knew.

I read the PAH forums, and I realize how lucky I am that my PAH isn’t worse than it is. Some people are in such bad shape. There are so few medications that make things better. This is a terminal disease. Most people will die from it, within five years without treatment, within about 10-12 years with it. I plan to beat those odds. I think I’m better off than most I read about, I’m younger than most, and I got it caught faster than most because of the embolisms.

So will I accept the assistance of the program? I don’t know. I just don’t know. I really don’t like having strangers in my home. I hated when home health used to come. One time, I had them tell the nurse I was in the shower and to go away and come back on a scheduled day. She called my doctor to ‘tell on me’. I had them call the home health agency and told on her. Needless to say, I don’t have home health any more.

Mostly,  I’m babbling. I have to go to the lab tomorrow for blood work. The good news is, we have a deal: Any day I get blood work, I also get to treat myself to Starbucks! So I have that to look forward to at least.

Oh, how I miss my life before needles, permanent bruises, doctor’s appointments, and oxygen cannulas that leave my nose raw and apparently infected. I’m tired of hospital stays and fear of hospital stays.

I’m ready to claim health now. Right now. Healing, right now. I declare it, accept it, bring it into my reality right now. And I am so grateful for my health.

Okay, off to finish my latest novella. This one is called FATED FAMILY. Wanna see the concept cover?

 

Isn’t it purty? This is another cover by Farah Evers… It’s not my usual type of story. This one is a coming of age story, family drama, with some real-life issues. No suspense here, no psych. Just a good, solid story that will make those prone to it to cry and smile. At least, that’s my hope. I’ll share more about the storyline and the teaser later.

For right now, it’s in the editing stages, so it should be up soon. I want to make it as perfect as possible before it officially launches, and I’ve got two editors working on this before I finish it up and then they proof it again. It takes a lot of work to make a book good for you readers… but you guys and gals are sooo worth it.

If you haven’t read CELESTE yet, but sure to pick it up at that link there. FATED FAMILY will be available soon. ABDUCTED was delayed because of my nine days in the hospital, so I will be launching it later this month. DREAM WALKING has been completely rewritten and expanded for more and better story–it’s really good! The cover on that one has been nominated for an Ariana eBook Cover Award from EPIC. It’s a finalist–the talented Farah Evers should be very proud of that! I’m very proud of her! I just love that cover too. You can see that cover here at this link on Amazon.com, and since she and I share royalties on this, all sales on this book benefit us both–so check it out, won’t you? Would love to hear what you think of it!

You can also find my other stuff on Amazon.com by click here and seeing all the things listed under my name.

You’re awesome for supporting indie authors, and for supporting me in particular! Thank you for that! Remember, leaving reviews makes all the difference for authors, so please, if you love something, let others know by leaving a short review of it!

 

Better run… I need a little sleep before I go to the doctor’s office for lab work tomorrow. I gotta go so I can have my Starbucks!

Love you all…

Love and stuff,
Michy

 

 

 

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One comment to Life, In Circles

  • WindowShopping  says:

    It’s the season for Pumpkin Spice Latte!! Hang in there tomorrow.

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