Thursday, February 24, 2011

Macro and Micro.

My week totally blew up in my face: my prosthetic broke (just a wire; I'd apparently been biting on it because it wasn't fitted exactly right), Libya and NZ are happening, and Der Alter Jo's pal Mike has been diagnosed with cancer.

That last makes me both sad and sick to my stomach. Mike is homeless. He lives in a carport, basically, near D.A.J.'s house; she got to know him because she's a decent human being and because they both like cats.

Mike's cancer is probably really, really advanced. He's at County Giganto right now with lumps popping out all over and a whole lot of pain from a pathological fracture. And, since he has no money and no home and no resources (thanks, Governor Goodhair!), he'll probably die in pain and alone and without dignity. Hospice care in the homeless shelter doesn't exist, as far as I know.

Plus, he's got TB, which means...well, honestly, I don't know what it means. I don't know where he'll end up or what will happen to his pet cat or what on earth people in his situation do.

I wish I ruled the Universe. Things like this wouldn't happen. People would still be afraid and hurting, because you can't make that go away, but at least they wouldn't be worried about being turned out to die on the motherfucking street because the county cut funds for indigent health care.

Damn.

Just. . . damn.

20 comments:

Lynda Halliger-Otvos said...

Barbarians all: congress. I would like to see them exist for a couple years on the dole. Using Medicaid or Nothing-Aid, no home, no job, no peace, no rest. This subject incenses me.

Liz said...

If he qualifies for MediCaid he can go into a SNF for care, including hospice care.

bobbie said...

Sending vibes for peace, pain-free-ness, and dignity for Mike ~

scotvixen said...

Sadly this is a worry I think about happening to me/my family every day.

I still don't understand how human beings can rationalize "for profit" healthcare. It should never be about money equating to better health, but it does.

:(

june clever said...

Once you have 2 cats, what's one more? <>

Judith said...

Damn. That sucks. That should not happen.

Loki said...

There's not much to say that hasn't already been said. This is some sad stuff, I hope he finds some comfort somewhere

JJ said...

Jo - I wish you DID rule the universe. I hate when people hurt and can't get care because of no insurance or no home or other things. Sometimes, stuff sucks.

Molly said...

That's heartbreaking and infuriating. But hey, according to the US government, if you're poor and get sick, tough shit, sucks to be you, guess you didn't want success bad enough. I guess I'm a dirty communist because goddamn that makes me hate people.

RehabNurse said...

Is Mike a vet? If so, get your nearest VA involved.

I totally agree. If we can't let people even die in dignity, what is the matter with us?

But we will gladly spend money keeping him in a hospital while we can get a buck, then pitching him out when we can't.

danielle said...

I echo all your sentiments but especially....just Damn.

Anonymous said...

There may not be hospice in a homeless shelter, but there is inpatient hospice.

Just My 2¢ said...

Ya know, this story leaves me a conflicted. When my mother was dying of cancer, she broached the subject of how I might feel if she swallowed a bunch of her meds all at once if things got too bad. She didn't have to, but I probably would have supported any decision she made.

The point is that if I were in Homeless Guy's shoes, I might ask around where I could get an amp of morphine or some oxycodone. It's a tough ethical dilemma. I don't know how I'd respond if I had the answers to questions like that.

Penny said...

This week has left me bloody, too.

I'm so sorry to hear about Mike, and his kitty. :-((((((((((

terri c said...

OH NO!!!! This sounds awful. Some hospices do provide care in homeless shelters etc., but if he has TB they may not take him back? I sure hope he gets some compassionate care. Prayers for Mike, for D.A.J., for everyone.

messymimi said...

Maddening. No other word for it.

Rosanna said...

I also feel VERY sad and sick to my stomach, too, about poor Mike............ i.e., probably advanced terminal cancer; TB; AND homelessness: just too many wrenching "strikes" for one human being, you know.

The current physiological extent/level of contagiousness of Mike's TB just might be the determining factor----(at least after County Giganto's required official Reporting To The Public Health Department, of his TB)----of WHERE Mike actually spends his final days, you know, i.e., in a warm bed with, hopefully, someone with him at the end............ instead of in a carport, alone, and without adequate pain relief/care.

As RehabNurse (Above) asked, if Mike possibly is a veteran, the nearest Veterans Hospital should be involved. There, the local Veterans of Foreign Wars; the American Legion; the Vietnam Veterans of America; AmVet; and/or the American Legion Riders Association (among others) all have their different types of (in-hospital and/or community) Charity Events and/or Patient Visits that they do.

If Mike is a veteran, maybe he could then be part of that (forever)-"band of brothers' " merciful efforts............ at the very end of his life.

I WISH that you did rule the Universe, Jo; so that you could just............ *FIX* this absolutely agonizing and heartbreaking problem of inadequate healthcare for those who genuinely/desperately NEED healthcare!!

Red Stethoscope said...

Ugh. I don't know enough about what to do to have any solution or suggestions. Mike's story is just so sad.

I did want to comment, though, because my brother-in-law is also a NCC nurse and I'll be following.

Red Stethoscope said...

Ugh. I don't know enough about what to do to have any solution or suggestions. Mike's story is just so sad.

I did want to comment, though, because my brother-in-law is also a NCC nurse and I'll be following.

inkgrrl said...

I am so sorry. With all the resources we have available in this country, it's really fucking sad where we have what we need.