Monday, July 15, 2013

Help Wanted: caregiver for widow

I knew this day might come.  In my zeal to live to a ripe old age by myself, I pushed my body pretty hard.  I do most of the 'guy' stuff, and frankly, I find great joy in it.  But I found my body's tipping point.  Now I'm in a bind.  I feared this day would come.
I tell myself it's actually a good thing I tore part of my rotator tendon off the bone, and dislocated a bicep tendon.  Now, instead of babying my partially torn rotator cuff, I can get my whole shoulder fixed, and be as good as new.  It'll just take a little time.  Some folks say three months.  Some say a year.  In any case I will follow my Doctor's orders to a T and learn how to do things one handed.

Long ago, I hobbled around on crutches for 6 weeks in New York City, my home at the time.   No big deal.   Life in the country has more advantages for me now, but public transit isn't one of them.   Lucky for me, the man I love, who lives five hours away and leads a busy life, is staying with me for 21 days.   My sister and brother will stay with me for another 10 days.   After that, I fear that if I lean on my friends and neighbors for transportation and errands, their goodwill will wear thin pretty fast.  That would be wretched.  I've applied for subsidized transportation for the handicapped, and senior transit for shopping and light errands.  Maybe it will come through.  And, I could drive myself around with one arm, right?  It's only for what  - two months?  Three months?  This would be easier in the City.

This is when it comes to me.  Our medical system that doesn't favor the patient who doesn't have a live in caregiver.  I've five years to go before Medicare kicks in.  In the meantime, I believe my Health Insurance Company should be delighted to provide home health care for me instead of putting me up in a rehabilitation center.  Working on that angle.

I'm bloody fortunate.  This handicap is temporary.  I can take time off from life to recuperate.  Full time caregivers in my neck of the woods cost $250 a day.   Well, I spent my life building a nest egg and if I have to I will spend it on this. 

Evidently,  man or woman is not meant to live alone.   Single, widowed, divorced, all the same.    Elective surgery is tough without someone who's got your back.