Unfortunate Tradeoffs

July 17, 2019

Four years ago I met a man when I was choosing where I was going to live.  “I’m sorry for your loss,” the fat man said while I was still numb from my mother’s death.  He was very patient with me as I adjusted to my new life.  I cursed him out several times and he read countless emails from me about this and that.  He moved a roommate so I could have an office.  I was given two rooms.  He hired me to work for the care agency.  People won’t hire or pay me for some reason.  Attendants, case managers, and roommates come and go like the wind.  I keep on writing.  Recently, my care agency decided to grow the company.  Twenty new houses in four months and then expanding to Wausau was just growing too fast.  Case managers managing five houses. The shortage of good care attendants led to the firing of the director.  Care and profit margins don’t mix.  I remember when meeting the owner of the company once, he said that care should be always come first.  ‘The care doesn’t get better with attendants’ low wages and a high turnover rate.  Some of the attendants don’t show up for work at $13-15 an hour for forty hours a week. It is barely enough for a person to pay their bills.  The consumers get the short end of the stick.  Making money has no business in long term care.

Advertisements

Naked Lunch

July 3, 2019

I had a new care attendant.  He was an African and had a difficult time understanding me.  That’s nothing new, but today he got me up in my electric wheelchair with just a Depends on.  I ate lunch naked at the dining room table.  I had a ride to go to the Memorial Union.  Luckily the bus was late.  My roommate was half naked, too.  Is this how we treat an author?  This is funny after the conversation I had with my broker and my counselor last week.  “Steve, you can’t make too much money or the State will take away your care.”  Why should I care about that when I sometimes receive inadequate care?  We are going to remove your services since you are making a few hundred dollars more than the $900 limit.  Sorry, Tina, we can’t take the New York book deal.  I can’t go over the $900 limit.  Yeah, right.  When pigs fly!  I will email the news media or go on Good Morning America.  Then the stupid government will wake up.  Then forget it.  The State knows who I am.  They hate the author.  I will keep writing books that no one buys or reads.  I’m just a failure.  The State doesn’t care about the disabled.  We are just bills.  Well, the attendant was fired for sleeping on the couch.  That’s funny when my interview airs on Wisconsin Public Radio people will read this and might do something.  That’s why I’m the author!

Better Practices

June 24, 2019

A couple weeks ago, a care attendant was sick working a double shift to avoid overtime.  Meanwhile, I become sick.  Then my two roommates get ill.  For five days I can’t eat.  My case manager takes me to Urgent Care.  The doctor prescribes an antibiotic.  I’m just feeling better.  My roommate, who is bipolar was rushed to the hospital Friday night since she was having trouble breathing.  She should have been taken to the doctor before that.  My autism roommate got ill, too.  His parents took him to Urgent Care last weekend.   The company grows, but every house should have a backup attendant to not allow consumers in one house become sick in order to save money.  We are caring for people not building cars or houses. When I get sick, it takes me a month to get over.  Something to think about as we become bigger.

steve

Another mg was sent this week to my agent.  A screenplay is being written along with an article for Wisconsin Public Radio.  We all have been there dreaming about New York.  You know what I’m talking about.  Yes, we write for the love of it.  Money is just the icing on the cake.  Larry, I will always remember that.  I’m getting paid to write an article about my life.  You can see where I’m going.  A case manager took over the house a week ago after the former manager quit for being overworked by my boss.  The care agency is growing but is going down.  Moving good attendants to break in a new manager, who will be trained here by me of course and then she will get promoted and more houses.  It’s hard working for the care agency rewriting the administration notes.  “Overtime must be cut,” is a favorite quotation of my boss.  And yet I’m the one regulating how many cigarettes and how much ice cream that my bipolar roommate gets a day.  My attendants are young just give her what she wants.  She will die soon and another mentally incompetent roommate will take her place.  I will keep writing.  Books will publish and plays will be produced.  I will work for peanuts.  My books will never sell well.  You will be at my funeral someday in the future and you will read all dry stuff from Shakespeare making these stupid advocates fall asleep in their chairs.  Then wake them up with something inspiring.  I’m dead.  My roommate “killed” me a week ago from AIDS.  I’m a ghostwriter.  You should try it.  Being dead is no than being alive.  So, I will be the dead author in March pitching a mg and a screenplay.  I’m changing my name.  Steve is gone.  I’m Paul.  Have fun with this.  I did!  Hide your ice cream or I will eat it.  Ha!

Another manuscript is almost edited.  It will be sent to my agent this week.  Then I will go back to writing the screenplay about this crazy house and my life outside of the house.  Life is certainly interesting at times.  Being “married” to my wife, who “killed” me.  So, I’m dead.  I have been dead for a week now.  The guys at the bar had a good laugh about that.  We had a toast with a shot wishing me a farewell.  After a woman, who kissed me constantly for five minutes, but she was drunk and a care attendant.  I can’t find a single woman.  Only married women.  What I am doing wrong, sisters?  I want a girlfriend like you.  Well, life is good and sweet with my many friends.  At night a book is being edited and I keep moving forward.  New York, English people.  And someday you will have to ground me.

A Tribute

June 3, 2019

It’s not easy being a case manager of a group home, much less managing five group homes.  The demands never end from the employees, consumers, and the stupid state rules.  It’s impossible to make everyone happy.  My former case manager was one of the best care attendants that I ever had.  She paid cab rides, bought take-out, dinners at restaurants, called my hooker, and put me in my place when I needed.  She saved my life making me go to the hospital when I didn’t want to.  She saw two of her consumers die within a year.  Another two consumers were committed to the hospital.  That’s a lot for a person to take.  Then more demands came and it became too hard.  It’s understandable.  She was one of the first care attendants I had after Mom died.  She always listened about mom, New York, and a girlfriend.  It’s not easy caring for an author.  It’s up and down like a person, who is bipolar.  It was a pleasure knowing her.  Someday I will find a girlfriend like her, who can make me laugh and think.   I wish her nothing but the best.  Care attendants will come and go, but the author will keep writing and publishing.  Love,

steve

One tough SOB, me.

May 27, 2019

The Republicans will veto the proposal of Governor Evers to increase Medicaid.  If the Republicans had to walk in my shoes for a week they would think twice about vetoing the proposal.  I am an author living in a group home with a roommate, who is bipolar and should be in an institution.  She is deliriously believing that she has AIDS and we are “married.”
I want to earn more money and work more, but I can only make nine hundred dollars a year to remain eligible to receive care.  I could make an income.  No one will hire or pay me a few hundred dollars for a small amount of work.  I could earn that in a month.  My care attendants earn thirteen dollars an hour.  Some attendants don’t show up or do the minimum amount of work to make a paycheck.  A check lies on my desk waiting to be deposited in my checking account and a bill needs to be faxed to my beneficial agent.  The case manager quit this week because she was overworked managing five houses.  There is no manager here.  One care attendant worked over twenty-four hours without a break.  My boss who is the director of my care agency won’t like that.  He hates paying overtime.  In the past I would have emailed him about these concerns but he doesn’t want to hear from me.  I’m just a thorn in his side, a stupid author who he brags about when I get published or get publicity opportunities like getting on the radio or TV.  God forbid if my desk is messy editing a manuscript or need assistance at the writing conference.
Next March I will pitching a screen play and a young adult manuscript to agents.  I’m just a statistic now.  Someday I will be a known author.   Why can’t I have some extra money to enjoy life like going to the farmer’s market or the theater?  On New Year’s Eve I have an opportunity to write play in a day and see it produced.  Can I do it?  Yes, I will.  It will be a challenge.  Being up for twenty-four hours, that’s nothing new.  I’m a writer with cerebral palsy.  This last week I was working on getting my tombstone laid.  Who does that?  Me.  My funeral is set and paid for.  I could die tomorrow and be all right with it, but there are more manuscripts to write and a girlfriend to find.  My dreams are real and will come true.  I’m one tough SOB!

Perspective

May 20, 2019

I saw my tombstone last week.  It’s red granite with the inscription STEVEN SALMON  AUTHOR     PACKERS FAN.  Someday I will be in the ground next to Mom.  This week was interesting since there was not much food in the house.  The case manager had a breakdown managing five houses.  My boss wants to grow the company.  I ordered take-out.  My roommates can’t take-out.   They don’t have cash on them.  It was frustrating.  I managed like always.  The guys offered to buy me food and feed it to me.  When I feel hopeless, my friends are there to pick me up. Saturday evening, I went to a play.  The play was about an autism boy, who goes through a lot like I have, but in the end he becomes independent.  Sometimes I forget how far I have come when there are problems at home.  I have food now.  I’m so lucky to be able to solve problems and get vegetables at the farmer’s market.  When Mom died, my classmates came.  They said, “Steve, you can and you will do this.  Now go do it.”  And I have done it.  Tonight a friend at the bar helped me use the restroom.  I’m a man now.  Life will never be easy, but I can do anything.

Dear Mom,

Happy Mother’s Day.  I’m busy writing a screen play about my bipolar roommate.  Another young adult manuscript is being edited.  Life is hard at home, but I have a lot of friends and I’m not home much especially on the weekend.  I managed somehow, but you taught me that.  You were amazing.  I’m tired and trying to get over a stomach bug.  I miss you.  And no I won’t give up alcohol and women.  I love you.

Night to Remember

May 6, 2019

There was a prom for disabled people at the Monona Terrace Sunday. People with disabilities were dressed up and arrived in limos for the event called A Night to Remember.  It is a free event.  For two hours disabled people are treated like kings and queens.  I was invited but I didn’t go.  Most of the guests are cognitively disabled and I’m looking for a woman, who is able-bodied.  Someone who I can have a conversation with while having a drink.  I have so many dreams about finding her.  I’m working on it talking to women.  It’s hard but I don’t want to be alone.  My night to remember is going out to eat with her and we enjoy a beautiful evening together.  We make love in my room.  We fall in love with each other.  I take her on trips spending nights in a hotel room.  So many dreams I have of her.  Where is she?