Saturday, June 14, 2008

Oh, Lucky Day

So, if Friday the 13th is an unlucky day, Thursday the 12th must be extra good to make up for what's coming. Seriously. It was an incredibly lucky day for me this week.

I was recently informed that my Ill and Handicap waiver, which allows me to have someone clean the house and get my groceries, wasn't going to be renewed. My case worker told me not to worry, that it happens all the time. I just needed to write a letter, have my doctor write a letter with documentation and then I would have a phone hearing to appeal the decision. So I wrote my letter, as did my doctor, and I waited to hear about the next step in the process as I did my best not to worry and gnash my teeth. And on that great day, Thursday the 12th, I found out that the gnashing of teeth would be unnecessary because they reversed their decision without a hearing, and my waiver is renewed!

I know there is a lot wrong with our health care system. I know there is so much paperwork and bureaucracy involved in every aspect of it. But I just wanted to take a moment to say how grateful I am that this aspect of it has worked for me. I have been able to adapt to my life on a personal level because of the fact that this waiver has made the logistics of living a non-issue for me.

The reality is that I get in my car and drive very few times throughout the year... at one point last year I realized I hadn't changed the oil (sorry, Dad) in nearly two years, but in that time I also hadn't put enough miles on the car to make it necessary. That is partly because I go through stretches of time where I'm sick and my stamina is not enough to walk to the garage let alone drive. And it is partly because I'm a safety girl (to quote Julia Roberts from Pretty Woman in a very different context). I won't drive a few miles down the road to have my blood work done unless I am 100% sure I feel strong enough to get there and back. I relish the moments I do drive - there's a freedom in it that is hard to let go of - but I also know that given how my last year has gone, driving around isn't going to happen often.

And while driving somewhere and back in a short period of time is one thing, driving somewhere, walking across a parking lot, shopping through a store, walking back across a parking lot and driving home is an impossibility. I couldn't do those things on my own, which makes the waiver a Godsend.

Beyond getting groceries and running all the errands that need attending to, is the fact that maintaining my home is difficult as well. As much as I keep a neat home, it would not be as clean as I would want it to be without help. Simply scrubbing the floors and vacuuming are tasks that wouldn't just wear me out... they would do me in. And as amazing as my friends are, it’s not easy to ask friends to come care for you and your home. Linda and Dawn, who do my shopping and clean my house, are the sole reason I can exist with such ease in my home. And now, because my waiver is renewed, I don't have to figure out how to manage without them.

So, I figured that during this time when Presidential candidates are debating and everyone is complaining about the current state of our country, I would take a moment to say how lucky I am that this one aspect of it is working for me. I can't wait to see what good news I get on the next Thursday the 12th that rolls around!
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