Block List of JP Recovery Phone Numbers Used to Harass You

Is collection agency JP Recovery using multiple numbers to harass you at all hours of the day and night?
Are you getting annoying robo-calls that hang up, or are disguised by 800 toll free call?
JP recovery rotates numbers in order to keep harassing you after you've blocked a number to keep you guessing.

Here's a list of caller I.D. numbers to block in order to get some peace...

614-899-6695-Westerville Ohio #
888-404-3721 - most commonly used

Please click the +1 button below to help others find this list... and peace

October 2011

The latest entries are always in yellow followed by the month so far in chronological order...

Monday the 3rd
I saw Dr. P this morning about my elbow and he says it's healing "beautifully"... but. Bone matter is growing around the metal plates and restricting movement. In two months I have to go back and see about surgery to remove the extra bone and the plates that are keeping me from using my right hand from feeding myself etc because I can't touch my face with it... groan. The new article I wrote for Blog Critics magazine is going over like gangbusters. I guess I still have the ol’ writer in me somewhere. There’s a copy of it on my Politics page and it’s about Bank of America leading the way for other banks to start charging usage fees on their debit cards.

Tuesday the 4th I’d planned to go out to Dr. S/clinic today to see about more insulin, but I’m having one hell of a headache-nervous tension probably. I got a health card from the county today. Grant Hospital said they’d put in a duplicate application for one, but I didn’t think they’d have any better luck than I did. I was pleasantly surprised… until I discovered that the card they sent me expired the end of last month… sigh.

I begged off physical therapy this afternoon as my shoulder hurts like hell from the rain and cold weather. I was supposed to gather up all of my financial stuff and go over to Social security but since I drive halfway there tomorrow to see my analyst, I’ll go after I see her. I’ve decided to refer to Dr. Mind as my analyst from now on, it sounds classier. Ha ha. It’s supposed to be in the mid-seventies tomorrow and sunny so hopefully I can put the top down. When my check (if my check) comes on Friday, I might actually have enough to do laundry this weekend.

The county usually sends health cards out around the first, and since I haven’t gotten a current one, I guess it was fun to hope while it lasted. I’m going to have to call someone and see if I qualified finally, if that means they’ll start paying my $100+ copay for my Medicare part B. That’s cash I could sure use. I got the spreadsheed finally done and the new cash predictor works great, so now I can see three months into the future. The problem is will I have any income to put on it. With the fucking congress constantly threatening to shut down the government, and me being forced to see GB’s “independent” scrink next week, who knows what’s next.

I spotted a gas station at only $3.09 a gallon last week and used half the grocery money. Fortunately I’m getting that handy-dandy $15 in food stamps.

A fan of mine from my Brokeback Mountain Novel/tribute page has asked me to proofread it and try to embellish certain parts (the sex scenes) and I said I would, so I started reading over it today. My Headline news service is slow to catch on. It’s pissing me off that Google and Yahoo don’t seem to be scanning blogs anymore for their search engines since they’re convinced that everyone’s on facebook. I guess I’ll have to give up soon and go there too… but not now.

Gallagher Bassett is still not only demanding to read my analyst’s notes, but I suspect that they’re reading this too... or am I just being paranoid.

Tomorrow should be a busy day.

Tuesday the 11th
I had a nightmare about my attackers waiting in the parking lot of GB’s shrink for me to show up so they could kidnap me to keep me from making the appointment causing me to lose my benefits. I remember running away and falling a lot because of my leg. They caught up to me at Mt. Carmel Hospital and I woke up screaming at the top of my lungs.

I set the clock radio for physical therapy and when I woke up and checked the computer, there was no reminder as to what time the appointment was. I called there and discovered that last Thursday’s was my last scheduled appointment and they won’t be able to see me until next week. Great. I’m slowly making progress and can touch my nose by straining, but I still can’t feed myself with my right hand, nor can I completely straighten my arm. I used the time to work on proofreading my Brokeback Mountain webnovel. My god, I can’t believe how many typos there are that I didn’t catch the first time. That’s why professional writers hire proofreaders, because your mind tends to complete a sentence you’ve just written and doesn’t notice the errors.

In the middle of all that I got a call from AT&T’s U-verse installer. I objected because I said I’d do it myself and he corrected my misconception when I ordered it. It turns out they physically have to move wires around in the basement of our building to gain the extra internet speed. I asked when he was coming (so I could do some “panic cleaning”) and he said he was calling from outside the building at the front door. I got J.J. the janitor to let us into the utility rooms and fortunately he didn’t have to come in here.

He was a nice enough guy, but I still started having flashbacks of the attack in the confined utility room and begged of leaving.

After he left I hooked up the new modem and didn’t notice any noticeable difference in speed. Oh well, it’s ten bucks cheaper so who am I to complain?

My ears were ringing especially loud this evening, so I put on the headphones and listened to music. I started getting that feeling that someone was outside my door again and had to keep taking off the headset to see if I missed someone knocking… God I hate this. I can’t fall asleep and this is being written at 5AM. That means setting the clock-radio to get up in time to see Dr. Mind tomorrow and I’ve got a bunch of notes I have to type in… groan. text

Wednesday the 12
Dr. Mind called me first thing this morning to tell me that Jennifer over at GB informed her that they won’t pay for any visits for the month of October, so she had to cancel our appointment today. Great-just fucking great. I’ve been worried about having to go to their “independent” shrink tomorrow to the point of probably developing an ulcer and they pull this shit on me. Unfuckingbelievable. This probably means no check or only a partial one next week and nor more antidepressants. Thank god I started hoarding it after the withdrawal symptoms I suffered last time going from 90mg a day to zero cold turkey.

It also just dawned on me that once the cycle is broken, I’ll never get my regular Wednesday appointment at noon that I’ve had for the last seven years, because the time slot will be taken by someone else. Rather than give up, I called Lawyer/K’s office and his assistant told me there’s nothing they can do for now, except make sure I go to the appointment tomorrow. In fact I can’t do anything about my financial future until GB actually cuts me off, which I won’t find out about until days after it’s already happened. By then it’ll be too late and I’ll be without any savings to pay the car, internet and phone bill.

I feel that dreaded overwhelming hopelessness coming over me. I just want to scream out “WHY?” at the top of my lungs. Not that it would do any good, I’m tempted to call Jennifer at GB and cuss her out in frustration… Just to show her how “sane” I am.

Dr. Mind called me back around 12:30 to see how I was, so I read her my notes for the last 7 days. She said she was pissed (I was shocked) because Jennifer decided not to inform her they weren’t paying for October… until halfway through the month. I reminded her that’s what they do with everything and why I’m so stressed out as to whether the next check’s coming or not.

My head hurts again bad… gee, I wonder why.

Friday the 14th
(E-mail to my lawyer) Dear Chuck,
I want to thank you again for all of the "pro-bono" help you've given me over the years and how much I appreciate it.

Dr. M******* suggested I take notes with me to discus such things as not being able to completely open up to her knowing total strangers were reading her notes/intimate details of my life, and the ordeal of getting cymbalta every refill - only to discover none of it was necessary, my fear of strangers, unable to sleep for more than a few hours at a time, and not going anywhere outside my apartment. Even though the session lasted nearly two hours-he would hear nothing of it, and stuck to a lengthy questionaire about my medical history and prescriptions I was taking.

Then he switched to asking me questions about who the president and vice president were and posing memory quizzes and spelling words backwards.

He had a very strict script that he stuck to and actually didn't seem very interested in my mental condition, problems sleeping or dealing with others. I came away with the impression that both he and I were given a fixed deck of cards we were allowed to play and that Gallagher Bassett had the winning hand before the deck was even dealt. Considering how much pressure Dr. M******* says she was under to declare me "improved" and that they turned to Dr. Clary instead when she wouldn't cooperate...

I biggest problem now is - as usual - I'll have no idea I've been cut off from temporary total until it actually happens. I barely have enough food in the house until the next check comes and I have no idea if that check will come at all. This on-going situation put me in the hospital three years ago with a double ulcer. Now that my much-needed sessions with Dr. M******* have been unexpectantly taken away Wednesday, an hour before I was scheduled to go in, I have no idea what to do next and am getting very depressed with the not knowing, and the frustration of not being able to predict my own future even a week in advance.

If anything unexpected happens and I lose my phone service or my internet, I want you to know how much it means to me that through this whole ordeal you are the one man I could count on.

I've told everyone who'll listen that, and I mean it from the bottom of my heart.

Thanks so much
Wishing you love, luck, & laughter
Jet text

Monday the 18th
It’s so goddamned unfair. GB decided sometime in September that they’re not paying for my sessions for the month of October, but doesn’t tell Dr. Mind about it until the middle of October. For all I know Ohio State University will come back on me for the sessions we had this month that they won’t pay for. In addition to that the sons of bitches decided to cut me off BEFORE they even determined whether or not I still need those sessions. UNFUCKINBELIEVABLE.

The weekend went by without my noticing it. I slept mostly. Usually I can’t sleep more than a couple hours at a time, but now I can’t stay awake. When I am awake I’m wondering if I’m going to lose the car because GB isn’t going to deposit this Friday’s check.

I went to physical therapy today and was so glum that I hardly talked to anyone at all. When it was done there all I could think of was taking an overdose of insulin or ramming my car into a bridge abutment or something. Somehow I wound up upstairs at WorkHealth instead of leaving and I don’t remember what I said, which scares me, but they want me to go back tomorrow and seem to be really worried about me going home by myself… so was I, but because I was scared another “disassociative” episode like last time could end me up in Cleveland or New York or somewhere.

The problem is if GB won’t pay for the appointment tomorrow, I can’t afford it. It was as if I was smothered in a cloud of gloom and I didn’t want to go through this any more. I really-really needed to see Dr. Mind last week about the nightmares and the torture of not knowing if the next check is coming or what the next dirty trick will be.

The flashbacks are getting worse and so are the headaches. Last night the energy saving bulb in my kitchen ceiling light blew out. I’m afraid to change it for fear of falling and breaking something else so I’m using the over counter light now.

The freezer’s empty so I’m down to cheap cans of soup again. I’ve been obsessing about not being able to see Dr. Mind again, and now that the stress of possibly being cut off and taking months to get a full Disability check looms over me constantly, I need her more than ever. Wouldn’t you know it, after 7 years of reminding them to tell their computer that I don’t need one, OSU’s computer called me in the middle of this evening with a reminder call that I had an appointment to see Dr. Mind on Wednesday. I guess some idiot went to cancel my schedule and clicked the wrong button.

My head hurts.

Tuesday the 18th
I woke up screaming last night again. Blissfully I don’t remember what the nightmare was. I can no longer fall asleep until I’m too exhausted to stay awake-usually 5AM. I kept my appointment at WorkHealth and though I don’t remember much, I must’ve scared the hell out of everyone and they pledged to contact GB and try to get Dr. Mind’s appointments reinstated. The fucking bastards at GB will be the death of me yet. I’m still worried that GB will refuse to pay for the visit and Grant Hospital will come back on me for it.

I kept getting political junk mail calls all day, so I finally gave in and went on line to get an absentee ballot. Let’s hope I get it on time. I haven’t voted in person in 6 years because of my fear of strangers, always voting by mail instead.

I was still upset when I got home and tried to reach Dr. Mind’s supervisor-she’d given me his cell phone number in case of emergencies and god I needed him because I couldn’t reach her. I caught him in the middle of a meeting (which made me feel bad) and he promised he’d call me right back… he never did.

I talked to my apartment building manager and hinted that I might miss next month’s rent. Everyone says not to worry, because the independent shrink hasn’t sent in his report yet, but as paranoid as GB has made me over the last 7 years, that doesn’t help. I got a letter in the mail from Anthem saying I owed them almost $700 in monthly payments since 2009. I haven’t sent them a penny since being dumped on their doorstep over two years ago. Just one more problem.

Wednesday the 19
I got a strange phone call this morning from someone at OSU who said they’d had trouble with Dr. Mind’s notes and wanted to know what pharmacy I used for my Crestor and Coreg (for my heart and cholesterol) and I told her I didn’t get those through her, but relied on Grant clinic for drug rep samples because I couldn’t afford Anthem’s copays. Then she got confused and said she’d called about setting up a prescription for my Cymbalta (depression) which I already have through Workman’s comp/WorkHealth. She got flustered and hung up after admitting she couldn’t figure out why she’d called… sigh

No usual appointment with Dr. Mind today, instead I went to physical therapy. Thankfully I’m making progress straightening my arm, but not so much bending it towards my face. I’m still struggling with feeding myself with my left hand. I’m still trying to get a definitive answer as to whether or not GB didn’t pay for any of my physical therapy. They gave me two different account numbers and a phone number to call. That’s gone well in the past and I’ve ended up just as mystified as when I started… why should this time be any different, but what a great thing to hold over GB’s head. I went upstairs to WorkHealth after PT (they’re in the same building.) They had asked me to try to refill my Cymbalta prescription this month from there in case I had trouble and I nearly fainted when it went straight through without trouble so I arranged to pick it up tomorrow.

I had to resort to turning on the heat last night. We’ve been about 20 degrees colder that usual with rain and every operated-on joint in my body is bitching painfully at me. Dr. Mind called me to say she’d still had no success at trying to reinstate our appointments and was trying unsuccessfully to reach Jennifer L’s supervisor. I asked her to try again to get the annoying reminder calls from OSU aborted that remind me that I have an upcoming appointment with her… you know-the ones that have been canceled. Between dropping off to sleep every so often I spent the day working on custom pictures for the Brokeback novel.

Thursday the 20
My head hurts like hell this morning and my ears are ringing especially loud-this makes two nights in a row. I’m still worried I won’t get a check tomorrow, but since the Cymbalta was approved, I probably don’t have anything to worry about… or so says Dr. Mind.

What me paranoid?

I called Giant Eagle and ordered refills on my Metformin and Glipizide for my diabetes. I didn’t refill the Carvedilol because I don’t have $4 for it… Christ. On the way north to pick up my Cymbalta I noted my odometer says I’m way past due for the oil change… there’s nothing I can do about it. Traffic is hell now that they’ve closed a bunch of ramps on ’71 for reconstruction. Afterward I headed south and picked up my diabetes meds from Giant Eagle… God help me if they stop their promotion of giving out free diabetes meds.

I got home to the news that they got Gadaffi in Libya and killed the son of a bitch. He was captured, beaten and killed by his own people… JUSTICE. Also in the broadcast was good news that Social Security will be increasing our benefits next year, for which I breathed a sigh of relief since they haven’t for three years now… fool that I am, because it was immediately offset with news that they’re going to increase Medicare premiums more, which probably means I’ll be getting less… groan.

What I thought was a bill from Anthem turned out to be a notice saying that I was eligible for help with my premiums from them-which is wrong because I’ve been turned down for help with them for the last two years. Par for the course.

Friday the 21
I couldn’t sleep all last night worrying about today’s GB check. I was still awake at 7:30AM checking my checking account. The direct deposit always appears on-line no later than 6AM. This is not a good sign but I chastised myself for being paranoid and finally fell asleep around 8AM. A collection agency call woke me up at noon, so I checked on my account. No deposit. THIS is why I’m so paranoid. They do it without warning, I don’t know it’s happened until too late and there’s no planning for it financially.


I fell into a deep dark funk instead of going into a rage. I felt one coming though and seriously though of injecting a whole pen’s-worth of insulin but called Dr. Mind’s cell first. She said I should wait out the day, but I know that’s useless from past experience. It shows all the classic signs of them fucking me over without warning again. I hung up with her and called my caseworker Jennifer L at GB and of course got her voicemail, laying out how my car payment was due the 15th and I had until the 25th to take advantage of the 10-day grace period. So far she hasn’t called back. I called Lawyer Chuck’s office and got his assistant Lindsay’s voicemail and left the same message. I called WorkHealth and they were infuriated because my C84 authorizing the checks was good until November 18th and it was good enough to get the check on the 7th. She said she’d try to call GB and find out what was going on. My doctor called from WorkHealth a minute later and said they might try to pull some bullshit where since I saw her last Tuesday that they might try to say that I needed another C84 despite the fact that my current one was still good and said she’d get back to me if she heard anything…. Sigh.

I called Chuck’s office back and filled his assistant in on what WorkHealth said about them fucking with my C84 and she said they wouldn’t do that. HA.

My stomach is bubbling, so I ate a sleeve of saltines to calm it… which would’ve been my dinner tonight.

There’s a good reason why this blog is titled the way it is…

September 2011

Sept 8, 2011 thru…
I knew that Dr. P’s prescription from back in August for physical therapy on my elbow would expire Sept 13th. I’ve wanted to go there to find out how much the Medicare co-pay was per visit, but I knew it’d be useless because even if it was only $5 each, I couldn’t afford it… so I kept putting it off.

The nurse practitioner at WorkHealth signed off on my “Maximum Medically Improved” papers two weeks ago. I filled out a C84 for more temporary total checks, but figured GB would use the MMI as an excuse to cut off my financial help, and as long as I didn’t know for sure, I’d have to sweat it out until last Friday as to whether I’d get a check or not. I e-mailed Lawyer K about the situation but didn’t hear back from him for a few days. When I did, he said that as insurance, I should have Dr. Mind send a C84 from her office. But she’s away for two weeks-not enough time to make sure I’d get the check on the 9th. I even considered calling Jen at GB, but figured I’d get the usual runaround from them and not get an answer until it was too late. I fell back into the “what’s the use” mode and then thought of calling her boss and my friend Ken to see if he could help me in her absence. I didn’t want to call his cell unless I had to, so I called… and called… and called and finally got through to a temp girl at Dr. Mind’s office, who told me he was gone for a week unexpectantly and after explaining the situation, she didn’t know who I should contact. She transferred me to someone and I got their voicemail. I gave up rather than leave a message.

The check came on Friday after all the worry, and I was completely out of groceries and didn’t have enough for the car payment and the phone bill at the same time, so I chose the car and opted for the late fee from AT&T until I got caught up… if I got caught up. My finances are so tight that I haven’t done my laundry in four months because I can’t save back the 12 quarters it’d take to do it… much less buy laundry detergent. That’s when it dawned on me that during the transition to all Disability; I’d have no money coming in. I knew I’d be alright with the rent and if I explained to the other bills, I hoped they’d understand, but for some reason it didn’t dawn on me that with no money I’d have no food or gas to go get food from a food bank. Somehow before the transition happens, I’ve got to save back enough to feed myself until more money comes in. Now I’m really depressed.

The last time I humiliated myself and begged Grant Hospital for help, I went though a long drawn-out process of filling out and mailing applications for financial help, and weeks later discovered that I’d gotten help with only one-ONE bill for about $34 out of the thousands I owed. In order to get them all taken care of I’d have to repeat the process for each and every bill and I didn’t have it in me for that.

It’s really bothering me that I’ve lost the ability to problem-solve for myself. I decided to make a list of goals that’d make Dr. Mind proud of me for my return to her office this Wednesday. I’d visit a food bank, stop at physical therapy and find out how much the co-pays were, and call Grant Hospital to try for the umpteenth time to get help with the doctor bills… but then I couldn’t leave the apartment for two hours. I don’t know why I didn’t want to leave or why I couldn’t pass through that door, but I couldn’t. With no food in the house, I finally forced myself to go out, and once I got out the apartment door, I couldn’t understand why it was so hard.

I stopped at physical therapy and talked to my friend an assistant administrator. She gave me a phone number of a woman at Grant’s business office who’d at least help with the elbow co-pays. They set up an appointment for me to come in for my elbow evaluation the following Tuesday (13th) at 1:15. I said I’d call her, and then went on to wal-mart. When I got home, I didn’t call-I wanted to, but “what’s the use” clouded over me. I decided to do it on Monday. Saturday night I had a really vivid nightmare that my attackers had poisoned the cheap cans of soup I’d bought. When I finally got back to sleep, I dreamt that giant bugs in black slime crawled out of the cans when I opened them.

Sunday dinner consisted of a sleeve of unsalted crackers dipped in homemade tartar sauce.

Monday brought collection agency calls-sometimes 2 an hour to the point where I was downright angry every time the phone rang and each succeeding call brought me near rage. Still I didn’t call Grant... not that I was in any condition to. I was so mad and frustrated at myself that when I looked up food bank phone numbers I gave up for no reason. Monday evening was clouded with thoughts of how I can’t file for bankruptcy again until 2014 to get out from under Grant Hospital.

It hurts when I try to focus my eyes in the morning on my computer screen and sometimes it takes ten minutes before I can read anything. I only got through half the eye operations I needed because every time I’d show up, the receptionist would hand me a bill for $120 or more that I still owed them in co-pays. It’d make me feel like some worthless beggar every time I went there. Now I’d face the same thing with Grant’s physical therapy unless I did something to overcome how useless and futureless I feel.

On Tuesday, I saw Wednesday looming every closer and was determined not to go to Dr. Mind’s empty handed. I forced myself to call the number of Grant’s business office… they told me the lady was tied up in meetings all day and couldn’t see me. I almost hung up, but fought it and left a voicemail. She called me back half an hour later between more collection agency calls. Apparently my friend at PT, called her in advance and explained my situation and asked me if I could come in around 11AM and she’d fit me in between meetings. I agreed.

I had the paperwork still in the envelope from the two-week fight to get a meager $16 a month in food stamps, so I took it with me. Her office was just off the main lobby. I told the receptionist who I was and whom I was there to see, feeling like I couldn’t breathe. This is the building where all my operations took place and where I’d died twice on the operating table. She explained that Kathy was still in a meeting and asked me to have a seat. I sat facing the windows and watched people wandering in and out of the library across the street… then realized it was almost noon. I turned back around to discover the receptionist had gone to lunch and her replacement hadn’t told Kathy I was there, and that she’d been waiting patiently for me for more than half an hour.

I almost flew into a rage and wanted to leave quickly. Kathy came out before I could and ushered me into her office with her supervisor. I told her how long I’d been there-which the visitor log confirmed and I couldn’t get her to stop apologizing, which nearly prompted me to leave. I explained my mental problems and hoped I hadn’t acted rude without realizing it, and she said I hadn’t.

It turns out that the paperwork that I’d taken without checking from Jobs and Family Services had sent back was all I needed to get all of my hospital bills from Grant wiped off the records and paid by various charities. They both promised that the process would only take 4-6 weeks and then I’d be free of all the collection agency calls. I was so relieved, I jumped up and gave her a giant hug and left Grant Hospital on top of the world. Not only that, they were going to take care of the Physical therapy co-pays in advance of my having them!!!

Then it all started to crash in on me. Those fucking feelings that whenever anything good happens-a vengeful god would come and sweep any joy in my life with his mighty hand. I actually had to talk myself into leaving the parking lot. With a lot of effort, I put the top down on the convertible, turned up the stereo and enjoyed the sunny drive back home… blissfully and thankfully without incident.

Later at Grant Physical Therapy, I filled out a ton of applications, appalled that they wouldn’t share the last 6 years worth of documents with the new therapist. I got part way through the process when a young black man named Ryan meeting my attackers description perfectly, appeared with a clipboard and informed me that I needed to pay over $1,600 in Medicare co-pays to them.

Despite therapist calls to GB to get authorization for more therapies-and them approving them, NOT ONE therapy session had been submitted nor paid by GB. It was confirmed by state computer records. When that happened everything was submitted to… and apparently paid by mistake by Medicare!!! The $1,600 was Medicare co-pays that I owed Grant hospital!!! GB had not submitted one single payment for my ankle, leg, or knee in six years, even though they kept approving more therapy over the phone.

If I’d accepted a settlement when I was declared MMI and then signed a release – apparently Grant Hospital and Medicare could come back at me for tens of thousands of dollar’s worth of physical therapy??? I went through the evaluation on my elbow having flashbacks because of Ryan and I thought of him as an omen and confirmation amongst many that nothing good will ever happen to me again without a disaster hitting me to destroy the joy I felt. She told me I only had one day on the prescription before it would’ve expired… no surprise.

I came home to find even more collection agency calls on my answering machine and went into another rage, cussing in frustration at the top of my lungs… probably scaring the cat and the neighbors. I collected myself and called my lawyer’s assistant and of course got her voicemail. She called back later and I explained it as best I could and asked her to confirm that no Work Comp therapy had been paid by GB. She said she’d call them the first thing Wednesday to confirm it and advise me.

She called back Wednesday morning to say I needed to get Dr. P to submit C9’s AGAIN for each and every PT session that wasn’t paid for. When I asked if she’d confirmed that the unpaid ones should’ve been paid by GB, she said she hadn’t asked.

I had a headache that was now so painful I could barely think. I couldn’t even organize my thoughts into notes to try in vein to explain the whole thing to Dr. Mind-much less understand it myself. Could Medicare/social security come back on me for the payments they shouldn’t have made-then tell me to get reimbursed by GB-who’d of course fight it?

Seriously thinking of canceling my appointment, I vowed to go to see Dr. Mind anyway. I gathered business cards etc and left. When I got there my friend Tyson told me that the new parking passes hadn’t come yet and that I’d have to park in another garage farther away and gave me a paper “key” to get out of the garage without paying. It meant walking around 400 yards the long way around two parking garages to get there, because sawhorses in the connecting hallway said I had to go to Canon St. to get to what was 100 yards away. (it was only after my return on foot that I discovered the shortcut that would’ve cut the trip by 2/3. By the time I got up to her office my left ankle and knee hurt like hell, and I still had to face the process of explaining all that to her with a splitting headache.

I sat in the waiting room for fifteen minutes trying to collect my thoughts… then went to her door with no answer. I hadn’t seen her in three weeks and needed to badly. I went to the reception area and was told she had a meeting and my appointment had been canceled. I was never told. The lady there said that if I hadn’t gotten a reminder call-I shouldn’t have come. I was about to flash into another rage when I turned around and there was Dr. Mind!!!

I was about to thank God that it was all a misunderstanding, when she said we couldn’t have our appointment because she couldn’t get out of the meeting. They were supposed to have sent me a letter telling me my appointment was canceled-but didn’t.

My head began to pound and all I could think was to get out of there before I did or said something stupid without realizing it until afterward. She promised she’d call me without fail that day and I hiked back to my car and drove to a gas station, using my last $10… why? In case I wound up in Zanesville or Indiana on one of my “disassociative” trips again.

I waited all day, hanging up on more collection calls and gave up around 9:30 with no call from her, Shut the phones off and went to bed.

I still don’t know if the unpaid co-pays are for covered sessions… but I still owe them over $1,600 that I don’t have… and I can’t get anyone to explain the whole thing to me so that I can understand it. Anything-even death is better than this.

I have the shining hope of paying my last car payment next March taunting me and then being able to barely able to live on what I’m taking in. Hope is just out of the reach of my fingertips, I can see it approaching at the speed that an hour hand moves on a clock, but I wonder if I can stand or survive7 more months of this before it finally arrives?

I actually have 6 pillows because sometimes at night I wake up from a nightmare/flashback in a cold sweat with a soaking wet pillow and have to exchange it for another dry one… sometimes twice a night. I can feel what sanity I have left falling apart like a soggy doughnut.

Wednesday September 27

I got really sick Thursday night. Now that I’ve been declared MMI, I expect GB to cut me off without warning. My stomach hurt, I was throwing up and had diarrhea. I’m probably growing another ulcer. It was the first time in a while that I felt dizzy and I went to bed because I was afraid of falling down or out of my chair. As soon as I laid down my groin began hurting like I’d been kicked hard in the balls. It didn’t go away until hours later and I was in agony. I was so worried, that I called Aunt Margaret and asked her to stay on the phone with me for a while.

Friday morning at 9AM no check was deposited and I threw up again and couldn’t stop crying. When I sat back down at the computer around 10AM the check had been deposited. I felt queasy the rest of the day. I called Family Medical pharmacy to get my refill of Cymbalta and as usual they told me that GB wouldn’t approve it without prior authorization again. I asked her to log the request on their computer like last time and hung up disgusted. I got a letter in the mail from Social Security telling me that there was a dispute over my income again and that I have to send in proof of my income over the last 6 years… which I don’t have. GB probably notified them that I was MMI and was about to dump me, so Disability will probably try to do the same. God I hate this.

I also got a letter from some independent shrink that GB hired, telling me that I have to show up October 13th. If it’s the same guy I saw there last time, I might as well give up now. He’s the same one who said I was “normal” after taking extra Cymbalta because I was worried about going to meet a stranger in an unfamiliar neighborhood. He reported to them that my only problem was that I was depressed because Heath Ledger died because I was a homosexual. All because I casually mentioned that I was trying to get back out into the world by writing articles at BC and that my latest one was about… you guessed it-Heath Ledger’s death. The deck’s stacked against me.

My stomach is turning because if both disability and GB cut me off at the same time next month I might as well jump off the Broad St. bridge now and get it over with. I was sick all day Friday and had the odd feeling like “something wasn’t right” physically.

I mostly slept over the weekend, between aunt Margaret calling me every other hour to see if I was still all right. I got the U-verse modem on Saturday, but I can’t hook it up until October 11th for some reason. I hope they keep their promise and don’t charge me all of the fees for the changeover. I wonder if I’ll ever have a time in my life again when I didn’t have something major to worry about?

Monday- Started out with a phone call from the girl at physical therapy telling me she needed to change my appointment this Thursday.

I had trouble getting on line to check my e-mail and called AT&T tech support. They’re changing their software and now I can’t directly log into my e-mail without looking at their homepage and a bunch of commercials. I asked her to double check my account for late charges etc and that’s when she told me that the nice lady that offered me U-verse for less wasn’t being nice and trying to help me out… AT&T’s phasing out DSL and making everyone go to broadband soon. If I hadn’t called when I did, my phone bill would’ve gone up $15 a month without warning and they’d have sent me the modem anyway.

I called the pharmacy Monday morning to find out if I could get my Cymbalta and they said it still hadn’t gone through. Later in the afternoon, I got a call that it’d been cleared for them to fill the prescription and I could come pick it up, so I called Giant Eagle and arranged for my Diabetes meds and the Carvedilol for my heart, which I’ll have to pay 4 bucks for.

While going over next month’s budget I discovered a massive mistake. I’d lumped my disability check on the 3rd and the GB check on the 6th into the same budget period. The trouble is if I’d programmed my checking to pay the bills, it all would’ve bounced because the GB check wouldn’t arrive until after the Rent check had cleared. When I separated them into two different periods, I only had $22 for 6 days worth of groceries… damn it. I drove out and picked up my prescriptions-mad because it was drizzling rain just barely enough to keep me from putting the top down, but not enough to call it rain.

The rain is making my knee hurt like hell and my elbow is really sore when I move it.

Tuesday-I got a call first thing from Work Health that they’d succeeded in sending some special paperwork form to GB to stop the “prior authorization” bullshit that’s plagued me for over 7 years… finally. I went to physical therapy and after the session, I went upstairs to thank her for all the hassle she went through… and she almost threw me into a rage through no fault of her own… She handed me a fax that was headed for shredding, but she saved it for me after sending it off to Family Medical pharmacy and to Jennifer Lawrence she’d just gotten saying that the agency that runs Workman’s comp doesn’t require prior authorization for Cymbalta. I nearly blacked out thinking about the grief I’ve suffered over that. I was so upset once that I wound up in Zanesville from a “disassociative episode.” If Jennifer Lawrence from GB had been standing there god knows what I’d have done.

Wednesday-First thing this morning, I got a call from Cheryl at Dr. P’s saying that they had to cancel my appointment and reschedule it. I told her I needed to talk to her urgently about GB not paying my physical therapy bills and she said she’d look into it and talk to me about it next Monday. The only time they have free is 8:40 in the morning… groan.

I began putting my notes together for my session with Dr. Mind this morning when who should call… Dr. Mind. She told me that my appointment had been “bumped” WHAT THE FUCK does no one want to have to see me today? It turns out it was bumped several days ago and she was calling to make sure I’d been notified… which I hadn’t. She said she’d call me back and I told her I really needed her today. When she didn’t call, I made a courtesy call to Tyson that he didn’t have to delay his lunch waiting for me to call for a parking pass, because my appointment had been canceled… sigh.

I can’t find my damned stamps to send Social Security what little paperwork I have. With GB cutting me off sooner than later and my having no extra money at all, I don’t see how I’ll be able to put enough aside to pay just the bare basic bills. I wish Dr. Mind would call back.

Reconstruction in progress

Now that I have a reliable computer, I'm going to begin reconstructing what I remember from the meager notes I've kept. I will be posting January 1, 2011 to today shortly...

A letter to my Lawyer

Until I can pull myself out of this and get back to writing, please accept my apologies and this explanation...

Dear Chuck and Meghan,
Just and update to keep you informed and to thank you once again for your kind help.

What was to be the final (or so I thought) surgery on my knee to repair the last of my injuries, took place on September 28th, in which the metal plates that cartilage was binding on were removed.

There was some swelling around the area that was assumed to be simple post-operative inflammation. Within days of the follow up visit to remove the incision staples, a portion of it at the knee began leaking clear fluid and a small amount of blood. Within a day or two, the bandages were sopping wet and I was in agony.

On a subsequent visit, I was given bandage material and sent home with antibiotics. Every night the material and binding would become sopping wet and it was impossible to move around without an inordinate amount of pain.

It turns out the sac around my knee that holds fluids for lubricating the joint had ruptured and as it leaked out I was experiencing bone-on-bone pain.

A follow up appointment was made Wednesday November 3rd and within minutes I was wheeled across the street to Grant Hospital. Dr. P*** said I needed urgent surgery and before I could digest that news I was scheduled for a follow-up operation Thursday November 4th, and kept overnight to watch for infection or complications. Since I had no idea this would happen until it did, I didn’t bring insulin or heart meds, and if G******* B***** follows it’s usual routine, they won’t pay for them and I’ll be billed hospital prices.

At the moment my left leg is in a straight-line brace, so I haven’t been able to start physical therapy until Dr. Pugh clears me for it on a follow up visit September 17th. My next appointment with Workhealth to renew my GB benefits will be on November 22nd.

My concern is G******* B***** trying to cut off my benefits thinking that two months is long enough to recover from Sept. 28’s surgery. Also because I haven’t made an appointment for physical therapy yet, they may assume I’m MMI.

Since they completely cut me off unexpectantly in 2008 without warning me when I went into heart surgery, I’m concerned they might do it again now. I was in recovery for two months before I realized checks were bouncing all over the place.

Is there some law or rule that says they have to give me fair warning so that I can notify Social Security disability in time to not miss several rent checks and possibly be evicted from my home of nearly 24 years?

Also Dr. M******* has been helping. The PTSD has gotten worse over the last few months with nightmares, flashbacks and recently intense thoughts of suicide. Fortunately, apparently the more I talk about the latter; the less likely it is to occur.

With my financial condition becoming ever worse, I’m left with only $132 a month after basic bills for supplies, gas and groceries. This has left me eating only one meal a day, consisting of a cheap frozen pizza for $1.25 or a couple of sandwiches (I’m a diabetic). Several people have asked why I don’t get a settlement from GB or Donatos, but if I were to do that, it’d be deducted from my Social Security benefits with a net gain of $0.

Disability Check (which deducts GB checks & Social Security part B) $347.00
Total monthly income $1229.68 (two months a year I get an additional check when there are three check Fridays.

Rent $530
Electric $110.00
Phone $77.50
Car insurance $82.67
Car payment $296.81
Total Monthly Expenses: $1096.90

$132.78 per month, divided by 30 give me $4.43 a day to live on.

I’ve been surviving on drug representative samples for my prescriptions given to me by my doctors.

After refusing to take my expenses into account, the county refuses to help me with Medicare and with a straight face is giving me $16 (less than .50 a day) in food stamps per month. Any emergency like a car problem disables me financially. I’m currently facing a $230 shut off notice from the city electric company.

Food banks ignore how much I’m getting and refuse to help because I’m eligible for food stamps. The same is true of charity pharmacies.

Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
And thanks again for having my back legally…

October 2010

Friday the 1st
I nearly fainted when I got my On-line phone bill. It was $99.83!?! It turns out for every one of those new deals to lower my phone bills that I made last month; they charged me $5 each to switch the service over without telling me. FUCK!

I got an odd offer from a website called People Finders today. I’d used them once before to locate an old roommate from high school a few years back and they sent me an offer to do a $49.95 complete trace with phone numbers and address history for only a dollar! I think I read it five times to make sure there was no fine print and then traced my first love Jeff Hostetler from years ago. It was a nice stroll back in time and worth the buck.

My leg is really bothering me. I took the surgical bandage off today and the cotton wadding that it was packed in was all bloody. I won’t get the staples out until Monday the week after next. I wound up taking more Percocet for the pain after trying to walk on it and it felt like the thigh muscles were going to explode out of the side of my left leg when I walked. So much for thinking I could just start walking on it the minute the operation was over. After massaging it and wrapping it back up again I gave up and asked my building manager Rich if he could come by my door while he made his package delivery rounds and pick up my rent check, because I seriously doubted I could make it across the complex to his office, and he said he would… He never came.

Teresa called this afternoon to say she’d bought me a 24-gallon garbage bin with wheels so it’d be easier for me to take garbage out-god love her. She also floored me by admitting that on her last visit she’d stolen the parking ticket 2nd notice I’d gotten from Ohio State and paid it for me… sending a letter along with it bitching at them about how I was told it was okay to park there as long as I had my handicapped placard on my rearview window… they apologized to her, took the ticket off of the computer and refunded her money! I wish I was straight so I could marry her. I cried to know that someone cares that much when I’ve been feeling so abandoned lately.

I spent the evening watching old “Rosanne” episodes while working on the reworked Amazon store.

Saturday the 2nd
Mischief got into a big canister of flake fish food and spilled it all over the livingroom carpet this morning. I was able to salvage about a third of it. I’m too far gone to punish her, and hours after she did it, she wouldn’t know what she was being punished for anyway.

I can’t find words to explain what’s come over me mentally. It’s like my thoughts and emotions are in a tank of water and they’re drops of dye. As soon as they hit the water they begin dissipating before I can capture them. This paragraph is the perfect example; I put that thought down and can’t remember what I was going to write afterward.

I’m so tired of trying and failing to better my life that I’ve found myself emotionally packed in molded Styrofoam in a package. No one can get in and I can’t get out, but on the other hand I wish someone could get in to alleviate this loneliness and I wish I had the courage to get out and meet new people and make friends again.

Sometimes I wish I could become an amnesia victim. If I couldn’t remember the wonderful life I had before all this happened, maybe I could handle this better.

My leg is hurting like hell. I’ve been watching season 1 of “Roseanne” on DVD in the upper-right hand corner of my monitor to keep myself laughing while I try to re-sort and categorize Jet’s General Store. I took a pen to a pad of paper and tried to draw a portrait of my sister Betsy and it came out terrible. My hand just doesn’t have the control it had before, so I gave up.

I’m doing that a lot lately.

Dr. Mind keeps telling me to keep trying to fight for myself and get food and financial help.

I pushed myself to assemble the paperwork to get county help with my Medicare Part B only to be turned down for the umpteenth time…. Twice in the last few weeks. So I’ve given up.

I sought out help for the dozenth or so time to get help with my utilities only to be told they can’t after telling me they could… so I’ve given up.

I’ve tried and tried to “re-imagine” or control my nightmares over the last five years only to wake up screaming this morning.

Every stranger is one of my attackers from six years ago. I hold everyone at arm’s length to keep them from hurting me… I keep everyone at arm’s length; which keeps anyone from loving me… of my loving them.

I’ve considered scrimping meals to buy a color print cartridge, printing up a bunch of obviously bad $20 bills and then intentionally get caught counterfeiting so I’d get thrown in jail. Some gang would probably beat the hell out of me or worse.

I’ve been working really hard on trying to refit the A-Store hoping to make it something I could have a source of income from, but for every step forward I take, Amazon sets me back two. No indexes, description limits that cut off the size and color of an item which means I have to sort it all out myself before I can put it on a page which takes up to three days per item.

I wonder how long it’ll take to give up on that too.

I’m going to try an experiment for seven days and assume everything will go right with my next GB/workman's comp check on Friday. Nothing will screw it up, because I’m tired of being a scared little bunny hiding in his hole always preparing for the worst.

Sunday the 3rd
I got dressed and walked/limped my rent check across the complex to Rich’s closed-for-the-weekend office. They’ve put the tarp over the pool and the leaves are falling. Over the last few years I don’t even notice the seasons change. In 2001 I drove through Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and Vermont just to watch the leaves change and get a few pictures. Spring used to be my favorite season because I’d plant my balcony flowers and vegetables… I won’t even talk about what Christmas used to mean to me.

They say money can’t buy you happiness, but it does buy you freedom to enjoy your life.

When I got back up to my apartment I noticed an odd clattering sound that I couldn’t locate until I realized it was coming from my big 80 gal. aquarium. The thing requires two expensive under-gravel filtration systems with water pumps in two separate zones. The one on the right was clicking…. I know that sound, the plastic propeller inside it has lost a rubber gasket from wear and was about to fail. It would have to be the one buried under a 30-inch tall rock face. I unplugged it to keep it from driving the fish and me crazy and resigned to trying to figure a way to buy a new one someday soon.

Tonight’s the season premier of CSI Miami. It’s usually bad news when a network moves a show to a different night. I hope it doesn’t affect the show’s ratings because it’d be a shame. They’ve been talking about losing a major member of the team. After his diminished role last season I figure it’ll be Delko.

I cannot stop coughing. I’m bringing up whitish yellow phlegm and it’s dogging me really bad. Maybe I have pneumonia.

I tried to walk around on my leg without the bandage and it fucking hurt like hell. I’ve at least worked it to the point of being able to bend it at the knee so I can sit down in a chair, but it’s really sore at the knee and just above it. I have to bind it at night to, to keep the staples from catching in the blanket.

My one meal today was a cold can of Ravioli. This can’t be good, but I’m trying to conserve food. A force of habit that only yesterday I said I was going to break. I only have enough food until Thursday night, which means none for Friday if the check gets fucked with… so I’m trying to conserve just in case.

Monday the 4th
I was hoping for some good news from “welfare” about the call I made trying to get them to use my spend-down bills to help with the $100+ Medicare onthly copay, but no luck. I tried to call them again and I get the “All circuits are busy at this time” recording. I give up. I mean realistically what good will it do, when I’ve been turned down before, so many times? What’s the use?

I’ve got a pet shop up by Wal-Mart that I used to spend hundreds of dollars a month for supplies and fish at. The manager’s a good friend and in the past has sarcastically asked me to call ahead before I come because I’ve been known to buy an entire display tank's worth of Cream-cycle mollies or red swordtails on a whim from him before. I’ve tried repeatedly plugging and unplugging the failing pump in the tank hoping to free it but with no luck.

The big tank works as an ecosystem where the live plants provide oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide from the fish. The pumps pull the fish waste into the gravel where the plants absorb it. Without both pumps working, I’ve noticed the gravel starting to get dark. The bacteria will hurt the fish. I have no money to buy another pump so I was thinking of lowering myself to go over there and beg him for a new one that I could pay off a little at a time. I don’t think I can do it though.

The financial help lady from Grant Hospital called this morning wanting to know about my bills… again. She copied all of the ones she needed while I was there for the operation, but now some board member is asking more questions. She wanted to know about my Sebring Convertible, which worries me. I told her I still owe over $7000 on it, which is less than I could probably sell it for in this economy. I didn’t mention it only has 45,000 miles on it though. I tried to get her to clarify about help with the $230 electric shut-off notice and she said I must’ve talked to the other social worker about that… sigh.

I keep having these weird dreams about my car being stolen, but it’s never the car I have now. It always winds up being my Somolian attackers and ends up with my losing my job somehow because of it, or they chase me around until they catch me and beat me up.

My god what’s going to happen to me when I lose my shrink?

Tuesday the 5th
I went down to get a forgotten package of wheat dinner rolls in the car and started it to check the gas gauge… it’s below E. There’s no way around it, with the painful staples in my leg from my hip to my knee, the lousy cough that won’t go away and no gas, I’ve got no choice but to cancel Dr. S/Clinic and Dr. Mind. I can see me trying to push the car with my leg. Besides I don’t have the ten bucks for the clinic co-pay anyway.

I called the clinic to cancel and can’t get an appointment until next month. I hope the insulin holds out that long. No drug rep samples of my prescriptions either. If I could just get help with Medicare I’d have an extra $100 a month to buy my own damn drugs instead of begging for them and I wouldn’t have to near starve myself. DAMN IT

The frustration is getting to me and I’m feeling the old effects again. I wake up and sit on the edge of my bed and sometime around noon I realize I’ve been sitting there staring at the wall for hours. The same when I sit down at my computer. I’ve been trying to force out an article for BC, using one of my passions to break the writing drought…. Politics. But as soon as I start writing, I realize I’ve been sitting there for 20 minutes, probably with a blank look on my face.

I understand clinical depression, I think I know how it works against me, but it doesn’t help fight it and that’s frustrating too. I hate feeling sorry for myself and part of me says well stop doing it then!

If it was only that easy.

My leg still hurts to bend it at the hip and knee. I’m terrified of getting addicted to percocet but it hurts too damned much. A Social worker that was contacted by Grant called me to tell me what I already know, I’m making too much a month to qualify for help with the electric shutoff notice. I think I heard half of what she said and wanted to hang up on her.

Monthly Income:
1 GB/workman’s comp $441.34
*2 GB/workman’s comp $441.34
Social Security Disability $347.00
Total $1229.68

Rent $530
Car payment $296.81
Phone $75.00
Electric $115.00
Car Insurance $86.75
Total $1103.56

The above expenses leaves me only $126.12 per month for food and supplies or $4.20 a day. This is why I’m only eating one meal a day because I have to stretch what’s left for household expenses like toilet paper, socks, laundry supplies, cat food etc… with nothing left if an emergency comes up like a flat tire or getting sick and needing a $10 co-pay to go to a clinic.

Thank God I’ve lived here for over 22 years and my landlord doesn’t raise my rent every year. After all tenants only stay around a year or two, so I’ve saved him at least 8 complete carpet changes, painted walls and remodeling/upgrades. Everyone around me is paying close to $1,000 a month.

This is why I’ve all but given up.
This is why there are days when I want to kill myself.

I made tons of money as an artist, but try as I might I can’t recapture the talent or the drive to create it. Nor do I have the ability to approach strangers to solicit their art business.

The last art job I did was to design the CD case artwork for a local rock group on my computer.

It’s no wonder no old friends want to have anything to do with me; can you blame them, all I have to talk about is how broke and hopeless this situation is. To be in suspended animation or a state of nonexistence is more palatable than this.

Get a job? Wearing what? I’ve sold everything to pay bills that I own including all of my expensive business suits, I’ve got no winter coat, only a denim jacket after I sold the suede one I used to cherish. I own three sweatshirts, two pairs of jeans, an old pair of athletic shoes cut up so I can get my foot in them and a pair of cutoff shorts… perfect for that important job interview. Doing what? I’d love to get the job I had back at headquarters answering phones and dealing with customers, but I don’t see that happening.

I experimented again today with walking around without the thigh being wrapped tightly and it didn’t work. It feels for all the world like the staples are tearing open my skin. I’m going to have to write myself a post-it note to ask Dr. P/Knee for another prescription of Percocet… not that it’ll help, GB probably wouldn’t authorize it anyway.

Who me a pessimist?

Wednesday the 6th
To prove to myself how I’m not worried about GB not depositing my check, I wrote a paper check for the phone bill and mailed it two days early. It should take that long for it to get to AT&T and then clear the bank. I don’t have to re-apply for GB checks until November 22nd so I should be safe until then and there’s no sane reason to worry about it… so I won’t… I hope.

There… I did it.

Some assistant at Ohio State didn’t notice I canceled Dr. Mind yesterday and called me to ask if I wanted to come in at 3 this afternoon. It’s like one hand not knowing what the other is doing since Barb left. I thanked her and declined.

No hope with Medicare or Medicaid, everywhere I turn something else goes wrong. I need badly for someone to hold me in his arms and tell me he loves me and that everything’s going to be alright… and the loneliness. Year after year since the attack in 2004.

The one thing about suicide is that with it being this close to Betsy getting married, it’d forever remind her of it on her anniversary and I couldn’t do that to her. I guess as long as I keep coming up with excuses not to, I’ll be alright.

I must’ve slept on my leg wrong last night because I’ve been downing 2 Percocets every four hours for the pain. I’ve tried raising it, icing it, lowering it and babying it but nothing seems to sooth the pain; I’ve even thought of increasing the dosage but then thought better of it.

This afternoon was spent working on Jet’s General Store.

The dingbat social worker from Grant called and asked about the value of my car again. It’s like they’re trying to find any excuse not to help me instead of the other way around.

My caller I.D. unit that speaks the number of the caller keeps conking out on me; it’s probably low on batteries that I can’t afford. I’ve sold all my good phones, so if I’m anywhere but the den I have to get up and look at the phone in the kitchen or the den before I answer it in case it's a collection agency. I tried to fix it by switching wires around all afternoon and talked Aunt Margaret into calling me a dozen times to see if it worked with no luck… sigh.

The right side of the aquarium is really starting to get dirty and I see I’ve got no choice but to disassemble that rock cliff. If I can’t fix the pump I’ll have to tear the whole damned aquarium apart and try to make it all one filter zone on the other pump that’s still working. It wasn’t designed to filter that much water and would probably burn out eventually but what choice do I have? The problem is physically leaning down into the damned thing to take it apart would be impossible, not to mention hauling 80 gallons of water in buckets out of it and then into it again to refill it.

I went on line and tried to get the schematics for the pump, but it’s a sealed electrical unit that’s submerged in water and it can’t be taken apart-only replaced.

Thursday the 7th
I called Betsy this morning trying to figure out when it’s safe to call her. The coin has completely flipped and now I’m the one who doesn’t have to worry about using up minutes or a bigger long-distance bill. But I do have to worry about using her minutes when I call. We couldn’t talk for very long because she’s still entangled in wedding plans. Betsy’s the kind of person that gets along with everyone and it seems more and more and more and more people want to come to her wedding. God I’d give almost anything to be one of them.

I tried to fix the caller I.D. unit again today with no luck.

I went to feed the fish and just decided "fuck it"; what do I have to lose? It’s broken so I can’t break it any more than it already is. I spent an hour just pulling jagged rocks about three times the size of your fist out of the water to get to the standpipe that the pump sits on. Then I discovered that the thing comes apart, but in an unusual way. There’s a sealed cylindrical hole in the middle of the underside of it with what I assume is an electromagnet surrounding it. Another cylindrical magnet fits up into it on a vertical axle and when you apply power to it, it spins. The problem is the propeller that pumps the water is made out of plastic and after a few years the clutch that moves it wears down. I needed to find a way to hold the outer magnet out of the cylinder by about a quarter of an inch to keep the propeller from scraping the outer housing, which is what was causing the clicking sound and causing it to jam.

I experimented taking the axle apart and cut off a piece of air-line tubing to make a new gasket for it and after about two hours of cussing, I finally got the damned thing to work!!! I doubt the repair will hold more than six months or so, but it’s something at least. It took another hour and a half to put the rock face back together and to get the bubbles to flow up it like an upside-down waterfall but in the end I’m damned proud of myself. While I was in there I moved some plants around and divided some of the big ones into two to make it lusher in the tank. It came out pretty nice.

My leg and hip hurt like hell from leaning over the top to get to it, but what little percocet I have left fixed that.

Nick down the hall’s boyfriend showed up at my door with Christmas decorations. He said he was hauling them down to the dumpster on Nick’s orders and knowing how much I love (or at least I used to) Christmas wanted to know if I wanted any of it… which I didn’t. Then he floored me by saying he was nearly out of gas and wanted to know if I could spare $5 until tomorrow. It was emotionally crushing to have to tell him how broke I am, and I closed the door feeling horrible. I’ve never not helped someone who found the courage to lower themselves to ask for help and it felt devastating.

I clamped the headphones on, and worked on the General Store while watching Season Two of Roseanne. Four little chicken patties for dinner tonight.

I’m not in the least worried about the check tomorrow… just keep telling yourself that Jet.

Friday the 8th
I checked my checking on-line and the GB check was deposited just as I thought it’d be. The aquarium looks a lot better and the pump seems to be functioning like nothing’s wrong.

I got my absentee ballot in the mail today and filled out a straight Democratic ticket, did the paperwork and sealed it for mailing. Then I spent the morning deciding what bills to pay and what not to pay. The electric bill is going to have to wait until the 22nd, I just don’t have a choice. I’ll just have to cross my fingers that they don’t shut me off before then. I’ve done up a careful grocery list, let’s just hope I don’t forget to hit the gas station before I hit the expressway.
- - - - - -


I was stupid not to prepare for the worst happening. NEVER-NEVER AGAIN.

At least this time it wasn’t GB.

It started when I went to the gas station and the pump rejected my debit card. The first thing that occurred to me was the thing with the car insurance and the weird routing number fiasco. I tried twice more and the thing said I had to see the cashier. At least it didn’t eat the card.

Inside we tried twice more to run the purchase with no luck. I’m shocked I made it to the station, now I have to drive on fumes back home and hope to straighten this out before the bank closes and I’ll be without food over the weekend.

I called PNC and couldn’t believe my ears. They fucking froze my account over People Finders charging me a dollar for that trace I did on Jeff and then re-froze it again when I suspiciously wrote a paper check for the phone bill instead of paying it electronically on line. UNFUCKINGBELIEVABLE.

After nearly an hour of giving passwords and mother’s maiden names and the city I was born in I finally got them to open the account. They assured me there would be no bounce charge on the phone payment. Thank God the phone bill isn’t due till the 20th, which gives it time to ricochet back and forth before AT&T charges me a late fee or worse a bounced check fee. He said he’d reopen it the moment we hung up.

All over a god-damned dollar charge on my account? Every time I think I’m safe… every fucking time I think I’m safe I get blindsided from somewhere I don’t expect it. There are times I don't leave the apartment more than once a week, and this is why.

I can’t go on living like this.

I drove back to the gas station and like once before ran out of gas within 50 feet of the pumps. This time I was surrounded by begging bums all offering to help me push it for money. I think the terror of the situation took away from how much my leg hurt. I got the damned thing to the pump… and my card was rejected again.

I began to see stars in front of my eyes and screamed GOD DAMN IT ALL TO HELL at the top of my lungs, which I think scared the hell out of the bums. Fortunately I was the only one at the pumps. I took the card inside and the cashier tried running it and it was rejected… he wouldn’t let me have it back. I pleaded for ten minutes with the Arabic manager who barely spoke English and after two calls to PNC, I got my card back and got $5 in gas.

I spent an hour in bumper-to-bumper rush-hour traffic to get to Wal-Mart only 15 minutes away. Fortunately it was sunny and warm and I sat there with the top down and enjoyed the sun for a change.

In my frustration I forgot a few items I needed, but it’s supposed to be warm and sunny again tomorrow, so I’ll get them then.

I fell asleep from exhaustion around 7PM and woke up screaming from a nightmare from being chased by lions who finally caught me and I wouldn’t die while they painfully tore me from limb to limb.

I woke up just in time to watch Bill Maher’s “Real Time” so at least I had something to laugh at.

The aquarium looks great now… that’s something to be happy about I guess.

Saturday the 9th
I was going out this morning to finish supply shopping when what did I find on my door? A misdelivered notice from PNC bank saying they were shutting down my checking until I called them to confirm the stupid $1 charge on my account. Apparently it was mailed last Tuesday but since my senile mailman keeps putting stuff in the wrong box, I didn’t get it from a neighbor until today.

My five dollars in gas only lasted one round trip to and from Wal-Mart up north so I had to stop at Speedway and get more. I’ve got 14 meals and probably .13 cents left in checking. This eating only one meal a day is fucking going to kill me. The county is no help either giving me an insulting $16 in food stamps, which works out to a fraction over .50 cents a day. I forgot to mail my absentee ballot this morning, I guess I’ll have to wait till I see Dr. P/knee on Monday.

Good news, the aquarium pump that I repaired still seems to be holding up. I’m going to definitely have to ask the doctor for more Percocet and a prescription for the physical therapy. I can’t bend my leg at the knee more than at a right angle and getting up from my desk or in the living room is hell.

The damned cough I’ve had since the strep throat just won’t go away. I sound like a smoker hacking all over the place.

Betsy gets married next Saturday. God I wish I could go. She says brother Jim is still raising all kind of trouble about how he thinks it’s “sick” for her son Brian to give her away instead of him. He obviously can’t see the damage he’s doing. That and he’s bringing mom as a wedding present, which means Betsy can’t go on a honeymoon because she’ll have to look after our mother.

As useless as I think prayer is lately, I actually said one that it doesn’t rain on her wedding.

Sunday the 10th
DAMN IT. I went into my checking yesterday to check on how much I could spend on supplies and didn’t realize that the $5 I got in gas Friday hadn’t shown up on the account yet and I’ll be five dollars overdrawn. With no money left, I’ll have to use 3 of the remaining collectible $2 bills I have left to deposit on Monday, and hope it stops the electronic transfer on the car payment from bouncing. I’ll just have to go in in person before Dr. P/knee’s appointment and hope for the best.

I spent nearly the whole day sleeping, not that I wanted to, but it just came over me. It’s got to be the depression shutting me down. I woke up around 10 this evening and found some special purchase item requests from my BC friends for my store, so I loaded the shelves with them and hoped for the best. I need to get the damned thing done but it’s so damned time consuming writing additional descriptions and then arranging each page by price.

It’s almost as though Amazon wants us to fail, or just barely break even, convincing us we’re going to make money when actually we’re just giving them free ad space on our web pages.

Oh well, I’m just feeling especially cynical today.

It’s going on one in the morning and I’m tired again. I’ve got post-it notes up all over the place to remind me to see Dr. P/Knee tomorrow. I’m really worried, if he says there’s nothing more he can do, GB could declare me Maximum Medically Improved and cut off my benefits.

There’s an old saying not to worry about the bridge until when you come to it, but lately they’ve been collapsing under me without warning only while I’m crossing them.

I’m really concerned about how much I’ve been thinking about suicide lately. As I become less and less worried about the mere existence of heaven and hell, and more and more convinced that death is the same state of existence as you are in before you’re born, it becomes an alarming possibility.

Monday the 11th
The day started out with an early phone call that beat the clock radio. I was hoping to get to the bank, explain everything and deposit $6 to keep anything from bouncing, then make it to the appointment at Dr. P/Knee’s. His office called and said the doctor had an emergency and wanted to know if I could make it by 9:20. What choice did I have?

I checked on line and one of the gas charges hadn’t gone through yet, so I hoped I could get to the bank in time to deposit it before the electronic transfer on the car payment went through. Now it’s a gamble.

It was nice, sunny and warm this morning so I wrapped up my leg and went in my cutoffs. Dr. P took x-rays and you can see where my leg was broken and then moved sideways about half an inch, then bone matter was added to smooth the rough edges and strengthen the near elbow joint in it. My knee is all swollen again and he’s a bit concerned but said it should subside and is probably from the operation… let’s hope.

He said it was actually a day early to take out the staples but after a close exam decided to anyway. I told him about all the pain and he said it was from the operation and that it’d get better. I asked for some more percocet and he said I should be able to get by with Tylenol, so I’m going to have to ration what little I have left.

He also wrote me a prescription for more physical therapy, which I’m going to put off for a week because of how much it hurts.

From downtown I was going to drive about five minutes to the local PNC in Thurber Village, but the thought of begging understanding and help from strangers wasn’t going to work, so I headed out in the sunny morning all the way up north to the branch I usually did banking.

They were closed…


I made the deposit at the ATM and hoped for the best and then drove home. I lasted about half an hour before I got drowsy and fell asleep until around 7PM. I’ve developed another headache to go with the unkillable cough I still have, so I spent the evening watching TV.

Reading over the last few entries has me worried. With all that can go wrong succeeding in going wrong, the thoughts of suicide seem to be coming more often and easier. I’ve always been a fighter and always found a way out of whatever disaster I found myself in, but the last six years have taken all the fight out of me.

With Betsy’s wedding coming up in ORegon and I can’t go, it’s getting even harder to cope.

I spent a lot of time on the phone with her when I woke up and we talked about how happy she is, and how the wedding keeps growing exponentially with each coming day. I wish I were there to help her. I dreamed last night that I killed myself intentionally so I could be her guardian angel to watch over her.

I guess it’s not a good idea to go without Dr. Mind for more than three weeks. I still worry and ponder how life will be without her to talk to after GB tries to take everything away again.

I’m considering calling the county one more time to try to get them to help me with the Medicare copay but honestly I just don’t have it in me… what’s the use?

September 2010

Sunday the 5th
II went back in and put the 4th gay news headlines ticker back into my Gay Pride page today. I’d originally taken it out because it seemed to slow down the page when loading, but when I experimentally put it back in, it didn’t make a difference. The news tickers display a total of 48 different sources from around the world and apparently a lot of people visit just to read them… now if I can just get them to click on a few ads while they’re there.

I want to cry every time I see a salad dressing commercial. If I could afford it, all I’d eat would be fresh salads with some grilled chicken breasts for protein. I’ve gained so much weight from cheap junk food in cans and I miss the celery and carrot sticks I used to munch on constantly.

I got dizzy again today and nearly toppled against the aquarium; that’s all I’d need is broken glass, fish and 80 gallons of water all over the floor.

I’m still a bit concerned about Mischief walking around with her tongue sticking out of her mouth by about a quarter of an inch. She doesn’t seem to be panting and I’ve double and triple checked her water. She’s showing absolutely no symptoms of anything. I guess she just likes sticking her tongue out at me. (sigh).

Tomorrow I plan to spend the entire day on the phone trying to get ahold of “Jobs & Family Services.” When I lost their paying my $100+ help with my Medicare part B premiums, it spelled doom for my budget.

I’m thinking seriously about buying seed for next year and doing a vegetable garden on the balcony. I know I can grow green peppers tomatoes and cucumbers but I’ve never tried onions and carrots. I could end up like Oliver Douglas from “Green Acres” before he bought the farm growing veggies on his Park Avenue penthouse’s terrace.

When they finally finish operating on my leg this month, I’ll be able to haul water out there.

Had a case of the lonelys today. One of the most important things anyone needs is to feel like they’re the most important thing in someone else’s world. I haven’t had that in six years. I’m so depressed it wears on my self-worth.

Monday the 6th
I looked at Jet’s General Store’s logo today and decided if I’m going to carry such a large variety of stuff I’d better make the store look a little bigger, so I’m planning to make the image a little wider without losing the “country store” feel to it.

I spent the whole day feeling like I was in danger. I can’t explain why, but I jumped at the sound of anything and if Mischief wandered into my peripheral vision it’d startle me.

I spent the evening watching Bette Midler and Eddie Izzard concerts trying to stay in a happy mood.

Tuesday the 7th
Along about January this year I started noticing a moss growing around the rocks in my aquarium that looks for all the world like lawn grass. In the months since, I’ve found it’s almost indestructible and I can tear some off and plant it somewhere else and it goes wild. I’ve wrapped it around the power cords for the pumps and the water returns and within days it’s thick enough not to be able to see them. I think that’s why the fancy guppy population as suddenly gone berserk lately, the babies have somewhere to hide.

My aquarium plants are doing so well now for some reason, I took the plastic ones out long ago… but now I’m starting to put them back in with a twist. I have some 30-inch-tall plastic Hornwort plants that are about an inch in diameter. I tore big pieces of the moss off the main plants and wrapped it tightly around their little plastic fronds and within days the moss had completely engulfed it to the point where it looks like I have three inch diameter moss columns growing all the way to the water’s surface (sort of like a kelp forest). The fish swim in and amongst it and the effect is great. Sort of like using a wooden trellis to grow vines or grapes with; after a while all you can only see is the plant. I’ve put five of them together and it looks incredible. The tank is four feet wide x 13 inches deep and 30 inches tall.

I have a bar stool in front of it so Mischief can sit and watch the fish and she loves it too.

I used to have two 100-gallon tanks next to each other-one salt one fresh and used the 80-gallon to propagate plants, and treat them for snail eggs before I put them in the main tanks. God I hate being broke.

Wednesday the 8th
I went in for my pre-surgery appointment at Grant Hospital this morning. I was cutting it close time-wise because it took forever to answer a bunch of questions and have blood drawn before I had to be at Dr. Mind’s in time. I kept expecting someone to walk up to me and demand a $100 payment like last time, but fortunately no one did. It probably helped that I told anyone and everyone that would listen to please note that this was a workman’s comp claim before someone billed me. We didn’t have to do an EKG since I had one from my visit to Dr. D/Heart a week or so ago.

All through my session with Dr. Mind I kept wondering what it was going to be like after GB takes her away from me. With Anthem screwing me anywhere I turn, there’s no way I could afford the 20% that Medicare doesn’t pay.

My god; it’s been 6 years since I had a lover. It’s like I won’t let anyone close enough to emotionally hurt me. I used to think it was fear of the physical beating, but now I think it’s resentment of how many so-called friends abandoned me after my world fell apart. After I stopped throwing bi-weekly poker/birthday/get-together parties in the game room when I was in town, or took art clients out to dinner all of the time.

I spent the afternoon sorting through all of my unopened medical bills over the last year that I’d thrown into a cubbyhole in my desk. I started feeling really depressed and “what’s the use” knowing nothing will come of this… again, just like the five rejection notices I’ve gotten so far just this year. What’s the most I hope for? $14 stupid dollars worth of food stamps per month for all the work and anxiety. What I really need is their help with my $100 copay with Medicare, which is what’s killing me in the first place.

At around midnight I realized I’d been staring at my monitor screen for five hours without doing anything… I’d even forgotten to eat.

Thursday the 9th
Sorting unpaid medical bills most of the day. My god there’s about $20,000 or more. No wonder I’ve got collection agencies hounding me day and night. The tough part is that Grant Hospital is billing me and so is their collection agency. Which means I have to sort through everything by date and by price to make sure I don’t have any duplicates and have them reject me because they thought I was trying to submit two bills for the same medical procedure.

Even though I haven’t posted any diary entries for the entire month of September, someone in Fredericksburg Virginia is still daily checking. I’m still scratching my head over who I know there, and I’m beginning to suspect that maybe GB is reading it every day trying to find some excuse to cut me off of my checks or benefits.

My check from them comes tomorrow. I still sweat it out as to whether I’ll get a deposit from them every two weeks. The bitch of it is that it’ll be gone on bills before Friday’s even done. I’m going to have to be super careful on groceries this time. I’d like to make Jennifer over there try to survive on only one cheap meal a day of two little cans of ravioli just to see how she likes it.

It’s 3AM and I’m still only about ¾ of the way through a year’s worth of bills. I still haven’t assembled my lease, birth certificate, Social Security card and all the other stuff they want. I fear I may have to go through this without any sleep at all tomorrow.

I’m yawning through tears.

Friday the 10th
I got maybe an hour of sleep last night… well this morning before I had to get ready to go to “Jobs & Family Services” (what most people call welfare. I remember the last time I went, I was denied for not having one electric bill page of the previous year and another document that I can’t even recall. I gave up.

As I’ve said before, I’m white, but have black family members on my Father’s side, so I fall into a very bad funk when I suddenly become irrationally afraid of them. I got to the waiting room in time for the appointment, and fortunately at 8:15 in the morning, the place was almost deserted. I had an envelope that was nearly 2 ½ inches thick, so if I failed this interview, I could be able to tell myself that it was impossible and to legitimately give up even trying (even though Dr. Mind tells me not to).

I sat there in the waiting room and tried to relax and compose myself, and a door immediately to my left that I thought was to a closet opened up abruptly and a young black man called my name out and I came face to face with my new caseworker-obviously not the “Mary” I was expecting.

He led me down a long hallway and looked back impatiently at me that I wasn’t keeping up with him on my sore knee. I tried to apologize and explain about that and he ignored me. After a series of turns through cubicles we arrived at his desk. I tried to explain about my PTSD so he wouldn’t take it personally and he told me he wasn’t interested in it and was too busy to hear my story.

In the past they’d go down the checklist that I’d been given in order and ask for documentation. I pulled out my Social Security card and he said he didn’t need it? I next pulled out my current lease… he didn’t want that either. I was nervous about the electric bills since I only had actual bills from March. When I reluctantly handed them to him, he held up his hand impatiently and asked me to stop handing him things until he asked for them.

I began having flashbacks from the attack as if maybe he was one of them. Fortunately he didn’t have a Somolian accent but I still couldn’t meet his eyes. He asked for my utilities and I’d lost track in the folder where I’d just laid the power bills, so I handed him the phone bills instead. He became agitated because they were printouts of the previous year’s payments instead of the actual bills themselves. I tried to explain that I’m billed on-line and don’t get bills. He gave me a stern look and said that was no excuse; I can print out the actual bills on line if I’d taken the time to look.

My ears started roaring like I was going to have one of my frustration rages, and I tried to explain again how I was being treated for a nervous problem after the attack and he looked me in the eyes and told me flatly he wasn’t interested and that we needed to speed this along.

From that time on I never met his eyes or even looked at him again; in fact as my frustration with the situation grew, I just propped my elbows on the desk and buried my head in my palms with my eyes closed..

He spotted my electric bills and said he wanted them instead and that since I had those, I shouldn’t have given him my phone bills because the county counts electric in my name as my being responsible for all the bills in my household. I clenched my jaw, handed them to him, and then picked a spot on the distant wall to stare at while he shuffled through them in silence.

He worked on his computer for a while and kept getting up to ask someone this or that for a few moments and then would return as wordlessly as he’d left. I went back to burying my head in my palms and fighting to keep from running out the room.

It turns out my case was still open because I still had an unused .51 cents on my food stamp card. UNFUCKINGBELIEVABLE. He smirked that I was again eligible for a whole $16 a month in food stamps and seemed to indicate the interview was over. I asked about the medical bills I’d brought for the spend-down and he pursed his lips at me and got up again and went to ask someone. It was as though he had no idea what a spend down was.

I buried my forehead again and that’s when I noticed something between my elbows on the desk. A handwritten sign on an index card that said “DO NOT lean your elbows on this desk”

I wanted to get out of there. I wasn’t scared, I just needed to get out of there like someone who was claustrophobic and found themselves trapped in a closet with no light and the door bolted closed.

His supervisor wandered by and saw me and got concerned, then asked me if I was all right. I explained about the attack, my fear, how he refused to let me explain so he wouldn’t take it personally and she was about to say something when he returned. He asked her about my “spend-down bills” and I showed her the stack and she became puzzled and asked why I hadn’t been mailing these in. I told her that I’d gotten several letters saying I wasn’t eligible for help, nor had received any assistance since last August. She looked pissed and said if someone had taken the time to explain it to me better, it was because I’d stopped sending in my bills that I became ineligible in the first place. I told her that I’d spent the first 9 months of 2009 in the hospital and didn’t get the memo and since I was away from home couldn’t mail them in.

She took the stack from me and said she’d scan them herself and asked me to follow her. She had an assistant scan them while she sat me down in her cubicle, which was in the next aisle, but adjacent to the caseworker I’d just been with, and asked me to clarify why I seemed so upset. She was a really nice young black woman and I explained how my grandfather was black and how it had nothing to do with race but was from flashbacks and panic, but I felt bad and was frustrated that he wouldn’t let me explain why I’d reacted to him the way I did.

I had a feeling this isn’t going to go well. I got home to realize I’d forgotten to ask about them helping me with Medicare part B’s co pay. I tried to call them and of course couldn’t get through.

I checked the bank statement on line and I got the GB check but it’s gone already. I miscalculated somewhere and the only way I can buy food is to put off the phone bill until the 24th, which means another $5 late payment fee. Shit, I remember when I’d pay my phone bills six months at a time in advance, now I’m fretting over five lousy bucks. The problem is that since the rent will come out of the disability check on the third, I’m going to have to put the majority of the check coming on the 24th on the phone, electric and car insurance and then spend very carefully on groceries. Then mandatorily save what’s left over to be combined with next month’s disability to barely pay October’s rent with maybe $5 left for groceries.

This is all giving me a headache. Does anyone still wonder why I haven’t grown another ulcer?

I used my mini grocery cart to precariously balance a huge garbage bag of opened junk mail and envelopes down to the dumpster this afternoon.

Saturday the 11th
Today’s the 9th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center. The TV’s been filled with specials all day. I’m kinda pissed to realize that within a year of it being hit, the Pentagon was rebuilt so that you can’t even tell it was damaged, but almost nothing’s gone up in nine years at ground zero. I spent the morning looking at footage I’ve stored of the building impacts on my computer.

I couldn’t stop sneezing this afternoon and I’m starting to feel cold. I’ve actually turned off the fans in the house. I curled up in my bed under three blankets and fell asleep. Around 10 I woke up from another nightmare. I was trying to get away from my three Somolians by leaping from the top of one of the World Trade Center buildings to the other and just as I was about to jump it collapsed out from under me.. I didn’t die when I landed and they came out the front door and began beating me with an oversized gun.

God will this never end? I wonder what will happen when I get cut off of my Cymbalta. I’ll be able to get prescriptions, but won’t be able to afford it with Anthem’s co-pay.

I’ve been worried that the change over from GB to Social Security might entail them trying to take the $3,000 GB overpayment from me again and I might not have enough to survive. That and the changeover could take so long that I could miss a couple of rent payments.

You’d think by now I’d be used to this, but I’ve been caught off guard so many times, I have to be constantly ready for the worst or suffer the consequences.

Sunday the 12th
I started feeling a really bad sore throat today. I used to get these bouts with strep throat every spring that’d last seemingly forever. Fortunately they stopped around 1999, but this feels just like it.

Looking over my e-store layout, I’ve come to realize that I’ve gotten away from the original concept of “you can afford it here” and I’m afraid I have to start over. The idea was to have most of the items in three categories: “affordable” “Reasonable” and Famous brands and Designers” and I’ve strayed away from that, so I’m going to rework it, starting with the Men’s department.

I got a nice call from Aunt Margaret today; they’ve put her on a light dosage of Cymbalta like me. I hope it helps her. Betsy’s gone to working just weekends up at Clear Lake and will be laid off soon. That’s got to be rough on them. She told me that according to Char’s Facebook page Bill toppled a tree in her mother’s yard over onto their motor home.

I decided to venture out to the new Wal-Mart near where Teresa lives. It’s cloudy, but warm and I miss “cruising around with the top down.” I discovered that it’s closer in a straight line, but longer to driving it. It was nice, with skylights and a more organized layout but the prices were two or three cents more there than at mine on Morse Rd. On the way home a car full of young black guys pulled up beside me at 70MPH on Rt. 70, all smiles and just having a good time. I nearly wrecked the car when one rolled down his window and began yelling at me. I nearly sideswiped the car on the other side of me in panic, only to realize he was screaming “Nice ride!” I smiled back, took a deep breath and floored it away from them. My heart did some pounding for a while, but they peeled off at the next exit.

As I close out this evening, I’m developing a headache and I still feel cold… this is not good. I spent the day working on redoing the Men’s department. I haven’t had any customers since the beginning of the month… this sucks. I’ve got to get the new logo done and send it out to my BC friends to display on their pages.

I’ve been hearing rumors via e-mail that Eric Olsen the founder of BlogCritics is leaving his consultant position there. I sort of expected it after he sold out to Technocrati. He no longer has control of his “baby” and even though he stayed on it’s not the same. Especially when someone else can override his decisions concerning something he created.

Monday the 13th
The sore throat is getting worse and now I’m having nasal congestion that’s draining into my lungs and a headache that’s so bad that my eye’s literally hurt. When I cough the right side of my head hurts where my jaw muscle attaches to my skull at the temple. This isn’t good. The coughing is only aggravating the sore throat and as of today I’m not allowed to take aspirin according to my pre-surgery instructions. I’m getting chills too to the point of turning off all of the fans that I use to counter the ringing of my ears. I’m tempted to go out and buy some Dayquil, but I can’t afford it.

This will be the first year in a long time that I didn’t send a birthday message to Char. Her withholding Dad’s letter for 32 years is still unforgivable and I’m still not ready to deal with… or forgive her.

I e-mailed Eric Olsen today, and he e-mailed me back that he’s indeed leaving BC. This is not good news. He said he’s announcing it on Wednesday and his wife Dawn is leaving too. Damn it.

About an hour after his e-mail, I got a mass one from him to all BC writers announcing he’s leaving. I guess he figured that if I’d found out about it, so had everyone else, so he moved his note up two days.

The congestion in my lungs is getting really bad. My voice is really low from coughing and this afternoon I gave up and went to Kroger’s and got a bottle of Dayquil. It doesn’t really do that much good on the symptoms, but the syrup in it soothes my throat.

I came home, downed some of it and hid in bed. I woke up around midnight and played chess on the computer for a while, then worked on reorganizing “Jet’s General Store”.for about two hours before getting drowsy.

My coughing is getting worse instead of better and now I feel really hot instead of really cold.

Tuesday the 14th
Today is Christopher Rose’s birthday, a British acquaintance of mine. I set up a note on the BC private community page wishing him a happy birthday and he wrote back that it was nice to hear from me. I smiled for a change today.

I’ve been having trouble with my equilibrium again today. Every time I got up I’d lose my balance and topple somewhere. It might have something to do with my ears; I hear an annoying click when I swallow. I’ve been coughing like crazy all day and my nose has been stuffed too. It’s one of those sicknesses when you become convinced that it’ll never go away. I have to think seriously about calling Dr. Mind tomorrow and canceling and if this doesn’t clear up by the weekend, I might have to cancel the knee surgery.

I slept through the whole day getting up for maybe an hour at a time. This headache is killing me and the only way to escape it is to sleep.

It started again this afternoon. I woke up to the sound of the doorbell ringing and of course no one was there. I got up and looked in case it was Rich delivering a package, but no one was there.

Other than playing chess with the computer nothing was accomplished today.

Wednesday the 15th
I woke up with an even more intense headache this morning. My whole body hurt to even move. I knocked around the penthouse for an hour and went back to bed. It’s advanced to shivering chills now and I gave up and called Dr. Mind first thing this morning and said I couldn’t make my appointment. I know I’m not supposed to do it, but I gave up and took half an aspirin for the headache.

I tried to reach Teresa again this morning to let her know I may have to move the surgery date but couldn’t get ahold of her.

Nothing in the mail again today from welfare. I hate this and it’s stupid to get my hopes up. Eric sent out an official e-mail to everyone today that he’s leaving BC… I guess we’ll see what happens when the inmates begin running the asylum

If I could’ve stopped coughing I’d have slept the whole day. It feels like my head explodes every time I cough, especially at my right temple. My throat’s getting worse instead of better and I’m rationing the Dayquil to the point of it probably not helping in such small dosages.

I worked on organizing the Men’s Department of Jet’s General Store most of the evening and tried to listen to comedy recordings on my headset to cheer my miserable self up.


Thursday the 16th
My throat is getting less sore. I hope it stays that way. I have an electronic fever thermometer in my middle desk drawer but it’s come up missing. Mischief taught herself how to open it because she knows I keep rubber bands and fun things she likes to play with in there. I didn’t discover this until I found some of my insulin hypos on the floor.

I tried to reach Teresa again this morning. Her accounts for texting, e-mail and voicemail are all full. I’ll try again tomorrow. Mischief has a bulk feeder and water dish so she’ll be okay and I guess the fish will be alright eating plants in the aquarium for a couple of days.

I tried to get on line with AT&T to see my phone bill and it wouldn’t come up. I guess the site is down, so I called to try to make arrangements to pay the bill on the 24th. It’s due on the 20th and the last thing I need is another $5 late fee. The guy I talked to said he could hook me up with a better deal on my phone service that not only gave me more features, but had free unlimited long distance… AT $12 A MONTH LESS!!! Then he told me that he could upgrade my DSL to twice the speed for only $5 a month more! Something went right! I took the offers and he transferred me over to the billing department. The lady was very nice and said it was okay to pay it late, and even took the late fee off this month’s bill.

I was startled awake this afternoon to the tornado siren going off outside my window. It’s two blocks away on a tall pole and points directly at me when it spins around. We had one hell of a storm with trees and power lines down all over the place and at one point a twister was aimed right at downtown along the I-70 corridor… I-70 is only fifty yards south of me. Except for chairs blowing around on the balcony and horizontal rain, it was exciting to watch, but fortunately I came out of it undamaged. Never saw the tornado, though at one point I almost grabbed Mischief and headed for the basement while watching weather radar on TV.

I’m now completely out of Dayquil and the congestion is getting worse instead of better.

I woke up screaming again this evening after a nap, but don’t remember why.

Friday the 17th
Betsy floored me by calling on her way up the mountain to say that she and Norm bought their wedding rings at Sears. They were having a half price sale on the very rings she would’ve bought from my General Store. I don’t blame her, but I’m bitterly disappointed. I’d hoped to use the commission to get caught up on the bills.

Grant Hospital called today to do a pre-surgery questionnaire. I told her about my throat and fever and she said to call by Monday if it doesn’t clear up over the weekend.

I was sitting at my desk here when the doorbell rang, or at least I thought it did. It sounded so real-and that’s when something amazing dawned on me; the doorbell sound I’m hearing is a mechanical bell set in apartment doors-NOT MINE!!! It’s the sound of the doorbell I was ringing frantically after I was robbed and beaten when no one would let me in their apartment! My penthouse used to have that type of door until it was upgraded to a phone system… so my doorbell doesn’t ring.

Saturday the 18th
I’m still reeling from Betsy not buying her rings from me. I tried to tell her I wasn’t mad the other day but lost the cell connection. In her position I’d have done the same exact thing.

I called the 866 number and nothing’s been added to my food stamp card damn it. I shouldn’t have gotten my hopes up. But damn it all to hell it took a lot out of me to make that appointment and then sort through the ton of documentation required for the application. Never again. I give up. You’d think they’d have at least sent me a rejection notice by now.

God my whole body hurts at the joints and I seem to be coughing even more than my head hurts.

I probably have no choice but to cancel the surgery on Tuesday and risk GB using that as an excuse not to send me a check.

Sunday the 19th
I woke up this morning and the headache was more intense than ever. I’ve got no choice but to call tomorrow and reschedule the operation…. Fuck. It also means I’m going to have to buy food to make up for the meals on Tuesday and Wednesday. To make up the shortage I’ve decided to pay only $100 on the $115 electric bill in order to buy groceries and Mischief is nearly out of cat food… groan. I was tempted really badly to try to choose between more Dayquil and food, but food won out.

I drove up to Wal-Mart, GOD I miss driving anywhere at will. The freedom to just come and go as I please I think is what I miss the most; that and fresh vegetables.

There’s got to be a way out of this mess that I haven’t thought of yet and it’s really starting to piss me off that I still haven’t heard anything about whether I’ll get any help with my Medicare part B payments.

My head hurts so bad there’s no real sense in putting anything else down in writing today. I’m off to bed to escape it.

Monday the 20th
The throbbing in my head is a little better, but I can’t stop coughing. In fact I woke up around 8AM in a coughing fit. I answered a call from Aunt Margaret this morning and she didn’t recognize my voice it was so deep. I called Dr. P/knee and canceled the operation, rescheduling it for next Tuesday at 5:30 in the morning. He is so great, he scheduled me for overnight specifically so I could get 4 square meals-god love him. If I have anything to say about it, they’ll all be huge chef salads and chicken breasts.

After checking my bank statement against my spreadsheet, I just discovered that I fucked up somewhere and transposed two numbers. I’ll be short about .50 cents on the rent next month. God damn it all to hell. Dr. Mind called me this morning to wish me her best and I told her I was still as sick as I was when I had to cancel last week’s session. I told her I’d try to come in this week if I’m better and she said it was okay, if not we could have our session over the phone.

The right side of my head is killing me when I cough to the point where I only put out half a cough. I wonder if I could have torn a muscle in my jaw during one of my coughing fits; it’s damned agony.

I have two frozen dinners and three cans of ravioli left for today, tomorrow and Thursday and then I’m completely out of food. The only way I can see my way out of this is to only pay $100 of my $115 electric bill and hope for the best. I’ve already promised I’d pay the phone on time this Friday to keep from being disconnected, so I’m stuck. Somehow I don’t think $15 is going to buy two week’s worth of food.

I still haven’t heard a single word from “welfare,” I’m still hurting from the near panic attack in the waiting room and what followed. More than likely nothing will come of it, like all the other times.

God this is so hopeless.

Tuesday the 21st
Strange thing, no collection agency calls for a while. I wonder if that’s good or bad. I decided to do the one can of ravioli today so that at least the next couple of days will be “full meals” if you can call it that.

Gads what I’d give for a salad.

I can’t stop coughing, it’s a good thing I canceled the surgery or I’d probably gagged to death coughing up flem with a breathing tube known my throat while I was unconscious.

I had a dream last night that I held up a Kroger’s and all I wanted was enough to make a few big salads. I woke up before I found out how it ended.

Wednesday the 22nd
I set the clock-radio for 8 this morning and called Dr. Mind to cancel our session. No sense in getting her sick too. I got her to reschedule me for 1:30 tomorrow afternoon. She says they’re closing down the back parking lot today (they don’t have a front one) and I’ll have to come in early tomorrow to make sure I can get a pass into the garage next door and still make it on time.

The “every-Wednesday-at-noon” tornado siren test woke me up and I nearly panicked until I realized I’d canceled Dr. Mind today. The mail brought a medical card! Something went right!!!! I put it in my wallet and about an hour later it occurred to me that I might have to activate it so I took it out again and discovered that it wasn’t mine. The mailman had miss-delivered a guy named Jason from the other building to me. FUCK. I just can’t win.

My head feels “woozy” like it’s in a vice. The only way to survive this is to sleep; which I’ve been doing a lot of lately. Between the coughing and the headache I didn’t even eat today. I wish I could bottle this feeling as a diet.

I should send a note to Brenda thanking her again for her help with my clinic co-pay. Knowing how I feel now being on the receiving end of it, I wonder if I’ll ever be able to help out someone again if I ever recover from this.

Thursday the 23rd
I left post-it notes all over the place so I wouldn’t forget to go to Dr. Mind this afternoon. As predicted, they’d partially closed off the back parking lot. Of the spaces back there they decided to leave everything open except the two handicapped slots-there they parked their construction trucks.

She asked me for my watch, which hasn’t run for two months, but is still correctly displaying the date on the LCD display… and nothing else. She says she’s got a friend who can look at it.

After I went over the last two weeks with her, I drove up to Family Medical Pharmacy up north to refill my Cymbalta only to find that GB “prior authorized” only one filling of the prescription even though it had two refills on it. GOD DAMN IT ALL TO HELL. We tried calling Dr. T’s with no luck and I left empty handed. I drove home very carefully so as not to wind up in Zanesville again.

I wish I had.

Today’s mail brought a full rejection from “Job & Family Services” On one part of the notice they said I would be eligible for $16 a month, but they stated that they’d added $0 to my food stamp card and said that even though I presented over $20,000 in medical bills that I didn’t meet my spend-down for help with the $100 Medicare Part B monthly payment.

Just to add icing to the cake, I got a red shutoff notice from the city unless I pay them $235 on my electric bill. All I can do is send them $100 tomorrow and hope for the best. This is just getting too much for me.

I spent the evening pondering how much easier it’d be if I just killed myself. An intentional overdose of insulin or something like that… of course I came to my senses… after a while. This stress and constant problems are just too much for me anymore.

Friday the 24th
GB deposited my check. I went on line and paid the phone bill and sent the city $100, god I hope that works, but the way things are going; I doubt it.

With no food in the house I went up to Wal-Mart and bought some chicken patties and dinner rolls for $10, leaving me 5. If I’m careful I’ll have dinner Saturday and Sunday and I can make it on three dinner rolls on Monday…I hope. I have to fast anyway on Monday night because I have surgery on Tuesday morning. I loved driving there with the top down, but I won’t be able to do it more than once more as I’m low on gas and still have to get back and forth to Dr. Mind.

The only reason I’m looking forward to being operated on is for three-possibly four good meals. Seven years ago I could never have imagined being in this situation.

I got on the computer and decided to try to text my friend Matt on his cell phone. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but this time it did. He said he missed me and wished me luck on Tuesday.

Since telling Dr. Mind about the doorbell, I haven’t heard it once… what a relief.

Saturday the 25th
I slept fitfully last night but blissfully don’t remember why. My throat is feeling better, though I still have the cough. The headache is still there, but the side of my head at the temple has stopped hurting.

I called Family Medical about whether I got the authorization today and forgot they closed at noon on Saturdays.

I watched Ohio State beat the living hell out of Eastern Michigan State something like 70-20. Me a football fan? I slept a lot between working on Jet’s General Store. Still no customers this month… (sigh)

Sunday the 26th
I finished the new Jet’s General Store logo today. I decided fuck it, and put the rainbow flag back in it. Like Bette Midler is fond of saying “fuck ‘em if they can’t take a joke!”

My throat is feeling a lot better, though I still have the cough and I’m going through with the surgery after all.

Now all I have to do is worry about how soon GB will start trying to say I’m “Maximum Medically Improved” and try to cut me off.

Monday the 27th
I did a huge load of laundry and printed out a bunch of medical records/history for the hospital tomorrow.

I usually can’t fall asleep before 5AM, I have to get up at 4… this should be fun.

I spent the day making last-minute preparations for tomorrow morning… good god I have to get up at 4AM!

Along about 10PM I remembered that my car insurance is due tomorrow! I went on line and tired to make a payment… rejected… WTF? Tried again… rejected… groan… five more times. I finally got ahold of PNC Bank customer support to discover that tonight of all nights they’re changing over to a new filing system and I have a new routing number! It took me and some guy from customer support half an hour to get it to go through.

Only to me do these things happen…

Tuesday the 28th
4:35AM I’m supposed to be at the hospital at 5:30… I wonder if I’ll make it. God I’ve got to trust my car overnight in a hospital parking lot…

When I got there, there was a spirited argument over security wanting my wallet to hold in their vault, but not my insulin and heart prescriptions. After explaining it a dozen times to as many people. They got the wallet-I got the prescriptions. The fucked up thing about hospitals is that they’re so compartmentalized that in the space of an hour and a half a dozen people will come in and ask you the exact same questions over and over again because they’re not allowed to share information with each other.

Dr. P/knee came in and said I might not be able to stay overnight because GB is trying not to authorize it. So much for a few decent meals.

I think this is the fastest I’ve ever been knocked out in pre-surgery. When I woke up I hadn’t even recovered consciousness before a nurse asked me if I’d needed to piss yet. I got to the room around 11:30 hoping for a good lunch and was handed a menu for… a liquid diet. Jello and a diet Pepsi. (Chrrrrrrist.) I discovered my leg was completely bandaged from my crotch to my toe for an operation on my knee… this had me worried, especially after Betsy called and said the hospital had me in only “fair” condition.

Another nurse came in asked me if I’d “urinated” and stated that If I didn’t by the time she changed shifts they were going to install a catheter… oy vay.

She came in an hour later and said the liquid diet was a mistake and I ordered a HUGE grilled chicken salad with extra cucumbers and tomatoes. My god it was so good. My stomach probably spent the afternoon wondering what the hell that stuff was. When Betsy called I was so stoned I could barely put two thoughts together rationally, gave up and asked her to call back. I plan to ask for as much Mrs. Dash seasoner as I can to bring home with me to cut down on my salt intake.

Aunt Margaret called me in the evening and I woke covered in sweat. I asked for a fan in my room, but so far no luck. If I succeed in staying over night, I plan to call the business office and have them send a representative to my room and personally fill out the financial aid requests, so they can’t possibly say I didn’t. I even grabbed the huge envelope of stuff I took to “welfare” so they’d have all my financial papers right then and there. I’m still fighting for myself, so I haven’t given up yet. It’s so fucked up that someone that is upper or even just middle class in this country has to lose and/or give up everything before he can get any help.

I guess they’re letting me stay the night after all, because by 7PM no one’s come in with discharge papers for me to sign.

I do have a nurse that insists on popping in every other hour to ask if I’d peed yet…. Unbelievable.

Wednesday the 29th
I woke up in agony this morning. There’s nothing more painful than bone surgery and the pain was so intense I could barely think around it.

The nurse says I’m to be discharged this afternoon. Dr. P/knee came by with a souvenir of my surgery by bringing me the plate and screws that he’d removed from my leg. I ordered a sausage omelet with bacon and cheddar cheese, hashed browns and a giant sausage sandwich on wheat toast. I was in heaven.

After breakfast I called the business office and they said they’d send someone up from the financial aid department this morning or afternoon, so I spent the time worrying if I’d be sent home before I saw them. A social worker from a separate department came up and I explained the whole story and she offered me some resources for more food banks, some help with my apartment cleaning (between the heart surgeries and knee/arm/foot I haven’t been able to walk stuff about 4 blocks to the dumpster)

I wound up running out of needles and testing supplies, as the nurses kept insisting on testing my blood glucose level every other hour. I’m used to testing once or twice a day and I had to refuse their equipment/supplies because GB won’t pay for them since they’re not part of the original injury.

I gave up and told them that the Lantus insulin hadn’t cut in yet and that I should be alright until I could get home and do an injection there. My nurse was appalled when she heard that and began sneaking me pricking devices for my fingers and alcohol swabs, God love her.

The social worker kept telling me not to leave the hospital until I’d seen the financial aid officer with Grant Hospital, so I ordered lunch… another HUGE grilled chicken salad and a cheeseburger. I have no food in the house at all-none, so I figured I better bulk up, since I’ll be in no condition to go grocery shopping for a couple of days.

After lunch the financial aid lady finally came, she said she could get me help with the turn-off notice on the electric bill. Though I was grateful, I didn’t tell her that I wished I’d known that before I’d sent them $100. I also got a big piece of news in the form of the Pizza shop has been responding to agencies contacting them about giving me help (and the reason for them refusing me)… by telling them that I’m still employed with them! Unfuckingbelievable.

Thank god I know how to get in and out of the car without killing my leg from all the previous surgeries! I shudder to think what’s going to happen, once the Percocet wears off. I got home around 2PM and encountered Rich putting the chaise lounges from the pool away for the year. He joked around with me about how slow I was moving, getting back at me when I did the same to him after his recent hospital stay. His next step will be to drain our big pool which means a two inch deep stream of water running down the parking lot to the storm drain.

Up in my apartment, I’d cleaned Mischief’s litter box before I left Monday morning, but I still smelled ammonia. I’ll have to get to that soon; it’s still clean but the litter needs to be completely changed..

After feeding the fish and making sure the cat was okay, it dawned on me that everything was exactly where I left it. I don’t think Teresa had checked in to see if everything was okay. I wouldn’t be mad at her if she hadn’t-after all I’d only been gone two days. I realized that I hadn’t made the bed, having done the laundry just hours before I left, so it meant fighting the sheet and blanket over a queen-sized bed…, which wasn’t easy. Of course every time I’d drift off, either Betsy or Aunt Margaret called. God love both of them… they’re the only family I have that gives a damn and I’m sure I’d be dead by my own hand by now if it weren’t for them.

I woke up around midnight and my leg was in full-blown agony mode. The next few days should be fun. I limped around the house and decided it was too much and decided to see if I could sleep the whole night through.

Thursday the 30th
I woke up around 9 and my leg HURTS. It was a fight just to get up and check the internet for news and e-mails. The points I’d redeemed on my checking account came through and I now have $20 to buy food for 8 days… Weeeeeee!

1-888-404-3721, which is a collection agency called JP recovery called me 4 times in the space of one hour this morning.

I called Family Medical Pharmacy to see if GB finally gave “prior authorization” for my anti-depressants and was surprised to find that they hadn’t. WTF. This means they probably won’t give it for the percocet and I NEED that painkiller. The pharmacy said I need authorization from Dr. T/WorkHealth, so I called them and Dr. T said the authorization was already given to her to write any prescription that I thought I needed for the injury, and that the problem was with GB not wanting to pay for it… or my Cymbalta and hinted that if they could delay it a week, they’d only have to refill it every 5 weeks instead of 4 because pharmacies will only refill after 30 days after it’s “filled” not when it’s ordered.

I next tried to get ahold of Jennifer at GB and of course got her voicemail over and over. I’ve got some kind of legal paper in all of these lawsuits that GB keeps losing that I can only contact GB through my lawyer and so I got ahold of him next… well his assistant anyway. She said the only thing to do was to keep trying. She put me on hold and got voicemail too.

By this time I was getting frustrated and could feel myself ready to explode emotionally, so I called Dr. Mind. She said to try calling the pharmacy and seeing if they’d fill the narcotic without prior authorization… So I did, and it worked.

I got a grocery list together and my calculator and drove up north and discovered that GB had put a hold on my prescriptions. An hour went by and my leg hurt because there was no place to put it up until a lady came over and moved her chair in the waiting area so I could prop it up. An hour went by, then another. I was getting madder and madder. The last time this happened I wound up in Zanesville on one of my “disassociation trips.” I decided to use the waiting time to go over to Wal-Mart. I can get these little Banquet chicken patties, 10 for $3.98 and of course when I got there they were out of them. Frustration building, I asked a guy in frozen foods to help me and he found 4 in the back, so I’ll be rationing them for 8 days.

I got back to the pharmacy and realized I was almost completely out of gas with nothing left in checking and 15-20 miles from home.

When I got there, they were still fighting with GB so I waited some more and it turned out they were fighting over the Cymbalta refill but had approved the Percocet hours ago. I almost gave up when it finally came through.

I drove home watching the gas gauge fall below the E halfway home, but fortunately I made it. With my having to empty my account to make the rent (assuming the disability check actually will show up tomorrow since the 3rd is on Sunday) I’m going to have to use some of my shiny Eisenhower dollars to get to Dr. Mind on Wednesday… damn it.

I sent off a message to my good friend Paula on her birthday this evening. I miss her a lot and I hope she’s still climbing the ladder of success at Safelite. With all this, I’d completely forgotten about my promise to call Betsy in Oregon today, when she called me I was just too exhausted from today’s events and promised to call her tomorrow morning at 7:30AM her time after she gets Norm off to work.

God it’s going to kill me not to be at her wedding.

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