A Face from the Past

October 10, 2018

I went to the Memorial Union on Saturday evening to watch the Badgers game.   After the game, I ran into an “old” care attendant.  The attendant was the lead of the house, but she made too many mistakes with medication and treating me like a child.  She was attentive when she started out making homemade meals for us, but she became lazy and paranoid.  She worked here for eight months which is a long time.  You get to know each other.  It’s hard not to care about the person.  She was fired after being given multiple chances and warnings.  She was making good money, but now she is struggling.  I asked her if she was working, had a place to live, or needed anything.  She didn’t answer.  I offered to give her money.  She said, “No, thanks.” Some of my staff think I’m heartless, but I expect good care.  That doesn’t mean that I don’t care about them.

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Yeah, I am.

October 5, 2018

“Is he a real author?”  a new care attendant asks the case manager.  I’m writing a radio interview that airs today when I overhear this.  I yell, “Yes, I’m a real author.” This week I turned down a book offer from a publisher, talked to my agent, worked with one of my publishers, who is my voice for the interview, and am writing a new middle-grade manuscript.  Who does that? A real author.  That’s what I am!

This week my annual Medicaid renewal employment review forms were due on September thirtieth.  The Medicaid renewal employment review is important since I can’t make much money to remain eligible to receive Medicaid to pay for my care and other services.  I wanted to do the review four months ago and have it finished, but the government made me wait until August, playing by their rules.  At the end of August I forward the forms to my two employers, asking them to fill out the forms and return the forms back to me.  Then I emailed the forms to my broker, who emails the forms to the county for approval.  My case manager emails my bank statements to the county a week before the deadline.  All of this takes time and effort taking time from my writing.  I’m an adult, doing my duty like people paying taxes.  I thought that it was finished, but a person from the county calls on Friday morning, asking my permission to talk to my case manager.  I’m sleeping in bed, but I said yes.  The person wanted an up to date bank statement.  My case manager runs to my bank for a statement after I get on the phone, authorizing my case manager to work with the bank on my behalf.  The statement is faxed to the county and my case manager takes a copy of the statement to the county office to make sure my Medicaid isn’t eliminated.  When my case manager asked them to put the copy of the bank statement to my file, they were closing for the weekend.

Why should I work?  Why argue about a thousand dollars?  I will need care for the rest of my life.   If the government wants people with disabilities to be happy and productive.  Then the government needs to provide good care to the disabled.  Sometimes I want to quit, but I keep writing.