Thirty Days


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.

R.I.P. Gabriel Garcia Marquez


Day of the Dead Red Skeleton Cowboy Magnet

  • 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

Wednesday Medical Update (04/16/14)


Via FB:

Lela has gone out to photocopy all of the documentation that social services needs to finish processing my application for EBT benefits and Medicaid. She is then traveling to the Glendale Social Services office to drop everything off to my caseworker. In the meanwhile …
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  • Brandon Brocato likes this.
  • Rodger Jacobs … my primary care doc has the papers he needs to fill out and certify that I am legally disabled, recently had major surgery, and need In-Home Support Services. Once those papers are received and processed I get a visit from another social worker.
  • Rodger Jacobs Once that social worker determined how many hours per week I need of IHSS — anywhere from 1 to 8 hours a day — then I have to hire someone for the first year.
  • Rodger Jacobs In the interim, CVS phoned an hour ago and apparently I have 5 R meds ready for pick-up but L needed the last of the cash on hand for photocopying and bus fare. And apparently there’s nothing for dinner. Damn. SOS.
  • Rodger Jacobs One of the meds is my meclizine (anti-vertigo), which the doc upped the dose on yesterday, which I need badly.




According to my primary physician yesterday, the falling incident in my kitchen Monday morning is caused by a vertiginous issue unrelated to my mini-stroke and arterial surgery. In short: I have a a bad case of vertigo, with blood not moving to my head fast enough after rising from a sitting or bending position. My physical therapist, as a result, is teaching me to rise more slowly. As if I needed more health issues.

The doc increased the dosage of my Meclizine pills yesterday (anti-vertigo meds) and I need to pick them up along with two other RX meds this afternoon. The problem of the moment is my co-pay, approximately $7.80.


I have very mixed feelings about Lela Michael returning home to Nor Cal this Friday. Yes, I know I broke up with her in December but she’s proven such an invaluable help over the last four weeks and I really could use her continuing support for one more week. But, at the end of the day, as they say, it’s her decision and I’m grateful for the time that she did graciously render.

All Fall Down


Sorely need help this Monday morn. I woke at 4:30 and went into the kitchen to make coffee; as I bent forward to empty yesterday’s coffee grounds into the trash can I lost my balance and slammed forward into the wicker cabinet, cutting my right hand badly, and then fell backwards on my ass onto the kitchen floor. Lela immediately woke up and aided me to my feet.

I need to get in to see my primary doc this morning or this afternoon because this incident, combined with the bad vertigo spell I had last week at CVS, are not good signs. Unfortunately, I do not have bus or cab fare for the two of us to get to the doctor, nor the funds for a refill of my Meclizine, an anti-vertigo medication the doc prescribed me and will no doubt refill today.

If you can help in any small amount (I also need new gauze and bandaging from the pharmacy) my Paypal is

A Dazed and Confused Stupor


Via FB:

Had a bit of a disconcerting experience yesterday; still plagued by post-surgery fatigue, I laid down at four in the afternoon for a nap. I slept like a stone until 7:45. When I woke I asked L to make coffee.

She thought that was a strange request but complied anyway. She said I am out of milk and that she would walk down to the corner market and get some in the morning. “A strange thing to say,” I  thought as I sat perched on the edge of my bed, sipping coffee, “because it is morning.”

Finally, I said, “This is Sunday morning, right?” She answered, “No, honey, this is Saturday night.” I asked her if she was certain of that. She said she was most assuredly sure of it. I did not believe her, which was precisely the way I reacted when paramedics rushed at me on January 31 and told me I had “an incident”: total mistrust. I finally recalled that I had gone down at four for a nap but the incident bothered me for a bit and it still does. It was that same dazed and confused stupor I was in after the mini-stroke.

This morning I woke with a cold, and little funds remaining on Paypal for both coffee and cold medicine.