Thursday, April 7, 2011

Decreasing the surplus population

"The poor would no longer, under federal law, have a right to health care." (AP)

That quote kind-a stands out doesn't it? It's from a just published news story. The House Budget Committee has passed its version of a 2012 Federal Budget. The biggest cuts are to Medicare and Medicaid. Those cuts were probably deepened by the proposed Republican Income Tax cuts from 35% to 25% for individulas and businesses. The Obama health care law would be repealed. Medicare eligibility would (allegedly in the future) be raised to 67, giving those who are ill a chance to die and not be a burden to their country.

To quote the Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis); "We don't want to turn the safety net into a hammock that lulls people to lives of complacencies and dependencies, into a permanent condition where they never get on their feet," he said.

It's all a nasty piece of business which just gets worse with each proposal that gets press coversage. Isn't it great to live in the richest nation on the face of the earth, where money can be found to fund three wars, where giant corporations pay no taxes and still get tax breaks, where members of Congres have the best health care in America? I could go one with lots of boring facts and figures, but I think my point can be better interpreted by Billie Holiday, whose birthday is today.

Happy Birthday, Lady.

Today, April 7, is the 97th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 625 days remaining until the end of time.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The little glimmers of light

About a month back, one of the medications I take to deal with depression needed to have its prescription renewed. As usual, I left a message for my doctor. When I picked it up, I noticed that one particular med had changed, was a lower dose, and was to be taken only once a day. What I didn't know was that my doctor was out on vacation at the time, and someone in his office made the change. This particular change was more than the dosage, it seems that it enters and reacts with the blood stream differently than the one it should have been. Last Friday was a doctor visit and the script was corrected. I picked it up on Monday, and am now feeling incredibly better. No more pity parties like that last post.

With the morning off before I have to go to work, I called my landlord and we had a talk. The big news is that he is willing to try to work things out so I can renew my lease. It was a well timed call. He is having lunch today with someone who is a big time benefits type from Montpelier. He asked for permission to talk about my situation - I didn't even take a second to say yes. We went over my income, my problems getting food stamps, the times I've been told there are no more Section 8s (housing help) available, etc.

The gods and curses that damn me please forgive my reaction, but things may be looking up.

Glimmers of hope.

Monday, April 4, 2011

And so it goes

My world is crumbling again. It feels kind of like the Old Met production of Samson et Delilah, where parts of the crashing temple are slowly flown into the rafters. It's very familiar. I know this feeling, I've been here before. And God, but I am tired of it. Ever since my rewarding career position as a cashier at a local supermarket cut my hours back last spring, it has been impossible to keep up with my bills. After three and a half years there, I still don't make even $10.00 per hour. My rent has been in arrears since last October. Everything gets paid late. And now my landlord has given me the required 60 days notice that he will not be renewing my lease when it expires at the end of May. I have no money. I have no car. And all too soon, it looks like I shall have no home.

My prescribing therapist asked me an interesting question at my Friday appointment. If I could get another part time job, would I be able to physically and mentally handle it? The fact is that I wouldn't. But then again, it's impossible. I never know my work schedule much in advance. Our hours are supposed to be posted on Thursdays for the week starting Sunday. Sometimes the hours don't get posted until Friday and it is not unknown to have them posted on Saturday. There is no set schedule. This coming week, I will be working two nights until 8:30pm. Last week, my schedule was all daytime shifts - then again, someone different did the schedule that week so I wasn't being punished by the bitch who makes up the schedule.  If you ask for a special day off, which is permitted as long as it is two weeks in advance, you get a bad schedule the following week. If they have to do paperwork because you were late getting back from your unpaid lunch break, I'll find myself bagging groceries for an hour or more - even though they know that this will kill my back and I might have to call out the next day. They'd love that - I could then be fired. They claim they don't punish people this way, but everyone knows that they do - but there is nothing that can be done about it. If you complain, it gets worse. I asked my department's manager what would happen if I changed my hours of availability (so I could fit in another part time job). I was told that I would be moved down into a different part time position which would, of course, end my medical benefits. (There are three levels of part time employment - I am part time flex, which means that I can get up to 38.7 hours a week. The next level down would restrict me to 20 hours a week.)

It all gets messier. There are meds that I need that I no longer take because I just can't afford doctor visits and the cost of the meds themselves. This affects my energy, ability to sleep, breather properly, & etc. My skin condition is starting up with the little boils again. I have no real life outside of work - the rest of my day is spent on the computer, watching mind numbing tv shows, being warehoused in my one room apartment that I am about to lose.

I don't know how much more I can take.

I've begun to admire people who find the courage to commit suicide.