Cancelled my doctor appointment. I’m having vertigo issues this morning, in part, I’m certain, from not having any food in the house, so the last thing I need is to board an SRO Metro bus for the ten minute jaunt to my doc’s office.
In-home nurse visitation this morning and then doctor appointments at two and four in the afternoon. Twelve days until payday and I’m flat broke and will be unable to pay for RX refills that I’m picking up from the doc this afternoon.
My primary doc put me on a high carb diet to regain the six pounds I lost in the hospital after a three-day liquid diet. But as of today I’ve not absorbed a morsel and am getting weak, which is bad for the vertigo.
One of my most reliable and dependable patrons is camping in the woods for ten days and completely off the grid. In the interim, I am down to $0.93 on Paypal, nothing in the bank, and not a speck of food in the homestead after paying for prescriptions yesterday. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it one thousand times: even a five dollar donation to Paypal will help me get some much-needed groceries. Paypal is email@example.com
Social services, in the meantime, are moving forward and I should have my food stamps reinstated soon. One of the last things Lela did before she returned home to Nor Cal yesterday was drop off my documentation to the L.A. County Social Services office.
We went through a lot together during the exactly thirty days Lela was here. She accompanied me to all of my pre-surgery appointments, making copious notes in a battered blue looseleaf notebook. She awoke with me at four in the morning on March 20, eight days after my fifty-fifth birthday, to get ready for the ride to the hospital for my neurosurgery to open up a dangerously blocked carotid artery.
She was there in the pre-op room before surgery at eight in the morning, and she waited anxiously for seven hours in the waiting room for families with loved ones in surgery for news of the success of the operation. She visited me in ICU and brought me my clothes so I could facilitate my escape from the hospital after I felt they were keeping me longer than needed. And she made sure that my house was as clean as a whistle when I returned home on the eve of Friday, March 21.
In the ensuing weeks, Lela assiduously cut through all the red tape to get me home health care services and get the ball rolling on other social service needs of mine: food stamp reinstatement, Medicaid as a secondary form of medical insurance, Lifeline telephone service, and so much more.
I can never adequately thank her for the last four weeks.
- Interviewer: You describe seemingly fantastic events in such minute detail that it gives them their own reality. Is this something you have picked up from journalism? García Márquez: That’s a journalistic trick which you can also apply to literature. If you say that there are elephants flying in the sky, people are not going to believe you. But if you say that there are four hundred and twenty-five elephants in the sky, people will probably believe you.
- Interview with Peter Stone (winter 1981), The Paris Review Interviews: Writers at Work, Sixth Series (1984), p. 324
“A seeker of truth? I was afraid of that. You’ll want a unicorn next. There is no truth. No two people can agree on anything. There are only versions.” ~~ Martin Cruz Smith, “Stalin’s Ghost”