I have been missing posting on my blog and visiting other blogs. I'm going to try and get back to posting again. And I have some book reviews that are almost completed although I haven't looked at them for a while. Hopefully I still remember the books so I can finish the reviews!
The "family emergency" I addressed the last time I posted is on going and I am still coping with it. That is mainly because it's about me. I'm alone here now because my husband was arrested, something that is very difficult to admit and embarrassing. But it is what it is. There's more to the situation but the bottom line is that I am alone now and have to figure out what I'm going to do. I am a 42-year old woman and I am disabled with a rare bone and endocrine disease and several lung conditions including pulmonary hypertension and asthma. One of the symptoms/side effects of the bone disease is chronic pain and I am also on oxygen 24 hours a day because of the pulmonary hypertension. The progression of one condition and a new diagnosis meant I had to stop working in 2001. Six months later I started receiving social security disability (SSD) once a month. I don’t have any other money besides the $1065.00 I now get monthly from SSD. I have been spending most of my time this past month researching and making phone calls to find out what kind of assistance I can get with paying my rent, food, etc. As far as public assistance goes, I am entitled to about $31 in food stamps every month. That’s it.
It’s difficult to stay focused some days. I feel useless, embarrassed and ashamed sometimes. I especially feel this way when I call places like social services and the person on the other end of the phone tells me I get a lot of money and sounds bored or annoyed with talking to me.. When I ask them how I’m supposed to pay my rent and support my self on $1,000 a month they just say “I don’t know”. There really isn't much in the way of resources for people in situations like mine. I see many websites that promote the independence of the disabled or "talk" about the independence of the disabled but there doesn't seem to be a lot of actual, tangible assistance to make independence a reality for people like me. I am not finished looking for assistance, making phone calls, writing letters etc. but so far it seems that to have adequate shelter, food, clothing etc. I have to be dependant on family which I don't have or married or independently wealthy?!! It's frustrating and humiliating.
I am willing to work, too. I haven't worked in nine years. And I have to bring my wheelchair to work, at least 4 oxygen canisters to make sure I have enough for the day, my medications and I would have to take Access-a-Ride to a job and back which can be an interesting experience! Working from home would be great but many of the opportunities are scams. These days I wish I had become a journalist or a writer instead of an attorney because I could be writing freelance or something like that!. I don't have a license to practice law now because to practice law in NY, a person has to take (expensive) continuing legal education classes to keep their law license in good standing. But I can assist an attorney, conduct research for a brief or something like that.
I am concerned about the cats. I don't want to have to find homes for even some of them although I am beginning to think I might have to. It's difficult for me to take care of so many of them by myself and they eat a lot! I love them all and feel for them. More than a few of them really missed my husband and it took them a few weeks to adjust. If I have to find a new place for some of them, I want it to be a nice new home. It keeps me up at night thinking I might have to call Animal Care & Control.
Despite all the distractions I have been reading a little bit. Some days I can't concentrate, some days I need the distraction. I was fortunate to receive Eternal on the Water by Joseph Monninger from Barnes & Noble's First Look program. It took me much longer to read it than it would have under normal circumstances. But I didn't want to rush the book. I'm reading a terrific book Cowboy & Wills by Monica Holloway and just started One Amazing Thing by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni.
So that’s my story at the moment. I hope my post doesn't scare anyone away It's just what my life is about right now. If anyone has any advice, ideas or jokes, please share!