Tuesday, May 14, 2013

It's Like This

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I have a massive sinus headache tonight.  I'm sure it's at least partially due to the several hundred liters of tears I've shed since Thursday evening.  But it's probably partly cat hair and dander from all the cuddling Merlin has been getting and pollen from taking him for excursions in the yard, and dust I've stirred up while unpacking the last van load from our house in Phoenix, and cleaning and rearranging the areas of the rooms I'm using at Mom's.  Then there is the fact that the light on the central air system shows it is time to clean the filter.

The tears (for those just tuning int) are from having had to just leave my husband behind again Friday morning without any idea this time when the next time will be or where now that the last of my stuff is our of our house and by tomorrow so will be Ed and his stuff.

Today's main task was the appointment with the Social Security Administration about getting me back on disability based on my visual impairment.    This was the latest aftershock generated by the lifequake that hit me in late January when I learned that I was no longer covered by insurance from Ed's job.  This created the dilemma that has me feeling like I'm caught in a snare that is binding me hands and feet.

Options are few.  None of them desirable.

My health issues are life-threatening without medical care with blood pressure and mood disorder being the primary issues.  But even with the part-time nature of Ed's job and the fact that for half the year or more he draws unemployment--a week or two out of every month between Christmas and Halloween--he makes too much for me to qualify for aide. The waiting list for getting on the Oregon Health Plan is nearly a year long.  Thus, in order to get my health issues tended to I have to not be living with him.

Or in other words I can live.  Or I can live with my husband.  So much for Defense of Marriage, right?

The last time I was on SSI disability Ed was not working at all.  He was drawing unemployment for a time until that ran out but then it was just my SSI that was supporting us both and we couldn't afford to risk the medical benefits aspect of it for him to take a job that did not include medical benefits for me.

Eventually he did find one having used the time he was unemployed to teach himself HTML and several other web development skills and snagging a tech job in the Silicon Valley in the late 90s that took us out of the poverty level for the first time ever.  That lasted 22 months before the dot.com crash in 2001 took it away from us and we had to move in with his folks in the Rogue Valley and he took the job he still has with a company whose primary products are seasonal and/or holiday.  Except for Fruit of the Month and Dessert of the Month Clubs.

Only an honored few below management level are kept on year around and most of those are kept at part time.  But they would continue to make health insurance part of the perks as a way to control turnover and hang onto the cadre that would train and supervise the battalions of seasonal workers hired for the fruit packing season in the fall and the Christmas season between Halloween and New Year.  A year ago they took that away from the part timers and took hours away from them to insure they wouldn't have to provide it.

It was the health coverage that made that job indispensable in spite of the income keeping us under the poverty level and unable to get into our own home again for over a decade.  It was only because our recent landlord was a friend who waived first, last and deposits and took some of the rent in labor that we were able to get into the trailer Christmas week of 2011.  Now he has to sell the trailer and had to ask us to move out.

Which nixed our plan for Ed to hang onto the job and the house down there while I lived with my Mom and applied for aide in order to maintain my meds until we could get on the Oregon Health Plan so I could come home.  Now there is no home to come back to and Ed is moving back in with his folks.

And I just found out today that I probably shouldn't be on the waiting list for the Oregon Health Plan while I'm living in Washington.  So there goes that hope.

And again I say, So much for Defense of Marriage yadayda.  Obviously those guys aren't all that concerned about preserving marriages or they wouldn't create programs that create such impossible dilemmas for married couples.

So the waterworks are going full force this week as I struggle to deal with all of this while in the throes of an unstabilized mood disorder--missing Ed, grieving over the loss of our home, trying to find how to fit into the chaos of this household run by my baby sister around the needs of our elderly blind mother, feeling like a burden to my family and intense shame as I jump through the social service hoops...

The next hoop is Thursday when I get the eye exam that proves I'm still legally blind and haven't experienced a miracle cure for Retinitas Pigmentosa in the last two decades.

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