Sunday, October 25, 2009

Bound to California or California Bound

I feel guilty. We didn't go see Paul today. I've been home this weekend fighting off some kind of bug. Gawd knows, probably Swine flu. Anyways now it's passed. 

I know I'm not gonna be able to be there for Paul as much as I think I should be. As much as I'd want someone to be there for me. So I've invited the help of friends. Some of them knew Paul before he became ill with dementia, some of them have only known him  a year or two, since he's changed. Some I pay to go see him. Some I bribe.

I don't care what it takes. I need people to see him and it can't all be left to me. And It's lonely in those rooms. Most of the old folks living there don't have visitors. I saw a new guy on Monday, looked young. Brain injury I thought. 

The home has been spending money fixing the place up. They have nice floors that are fake wood, but mop-able on a daily basis. And they've put green and brown pastoral art on the wall. New wall paper and paint. And new counters at the nurses station. 

What's up, are they getting ready for a sale? At any rate, it creates a pretty nice atmosphere for visitors.  A new student nurse stopped me the other day, " I know you! You used to teach my son guitar. Is that your father? This place is sooo much nicer than the other homes I've been in around here."

This week Medi-Cal finally gave Paul a case number and put in a request from me for various documents. You know, car registration, pay stub, bank statements. They want to know how much money I have. I'll bet there are a lot of people suddenly trying to get disability or Medi-Cal now-a-days. And the state of California is doing everything in its power to get rid of us. 

Paul was turned down for Medi-Cal in June. It was a blow. We'd applied back in February and after all that time and money, Paul was still living at home and I was paying for a sitter for him, and then we get rejected. It was back to the drawing board. 

They turned us down on a technicality. I'd heard about a program here in California that protects spouses  from impoverishment. The social worker told me it's not a well known program and that the state doesn't want you to know about it, 'cuz they lose money. A spouse is allowed to own a home and have a limit of $109,000. in the bank. Plus, if your monthly pay check is not over $2700.00 a month , you are able to keep some or all of your husbands disability check. 

What could be better for a starving artist? If we end up qualifying for the program, which an elder advisor of mine is certain of, I'll be bound to California. (Weren't we all California Bound in the last depression?) And so will Paul and so will Alexander. 

So there goes the living on the east coast: touring up and down the eastern seaboard-doing a show every night in cities where people still read books and newspapers. And there goes Alexanders early entrance into MIT (he wants to be a Lego Designer and an Astro-physicist when he grows up). And Paul being near his brothers and mother. 

I don't know that I really would have moved us, it takes guts and a lot of money. And my family has been in California since the 1800's. But I did a little dreaming and a little checking on regarding the plummeting prices of homes in Chapel Hill, NC  or Boston (I love going to ). Maybe someday I'll have money for one of these here foreclosed dream deals. In the meantime, 

I don't feel too guilty. I paid a friend to go see Paul tomorrow. I'll be in better health by Tuesday and Alexander will be over his Swine flu live vaccine by then.  And the documents will be copied and off to Medi-Cal.  And I'll have qualified and won the lottery. I've worked it all out now. I feel better already. 

1 comment:

  1. Luv this post Cindy. You are so for real. This is as good as a reunion. I'm sorry for the hard times...We seem to go through long tunnels, and eventually burst out the other end, better stronger, realized..But I know from a lot of personal experience myself, there's not a lot of light in those tunnels..stay true! You are loved and admired. Dave K.