Wrangling between eighteen and twenty monthly prescription medications can be a daunting task. Once the refill date for a med is established by the date you first had that particular med filled, that date is set in stone. Most insurers, including my Medicare managed plan, will not fill a script before that date. So it is that there are several periods in the month when I have to pick up my refills, instead of getting them all at once the same time every month.
The cruel part of this is that my most crucial medications, including my BP meds, stomach meds, and one of my pain pills, always refill at the end of the month. The end of the month when, traditionally, I have bottomed out financially and am biting my nails — if I had nails to bite, psoriatic arthritis destroyed them years ago — while I anxiously await the third of the month when my SSD and Cal-Fresh benefits kick in. For the last 48 hours I have been deluged with automated calls from my local CVS informing me that my “prescription orders are ready for pick-up”. Granted, my share of costs on meds have plunged now that I have Medicaid as a secondary payer but that only helps when I actually have cash money to pay for my medications.
Sunday night’s dinner was the only thing the remaining $1.59 on my Paypal would cover: bologna sandwiches. The nutritionist struck all lunch meats from my diet but after scoring the store for bargains, that $1.57 for thick-cut bologna looked pretty good. And this morning my stomach disagreed. Violently. Unfortunately, one of those meds awaiting pick-up is Lomitil, a primary stomach med.
Nothing has come in this afternoon. I’m hungry and my hands are torn apart from exfoliation so I also need a new roll of gauze from CVS ($4.95) to occlude the skin on my palms in petroleum jelly and fluocinonide ointment.
Well, I’m flat out of food. Overnight, everything in the small dorm fridge in the kitchen spoiled due to a broken seal around the fridge door that does not allow it to close all the way. The fridge is only about one year old and was a gift from a longtime friend and loyal reader. With seven days to go until my July allotment of food stamp benefits hit and no money in the bank and nothing on Paypal, this is a truly messed up situation. Somehow I need to get out to the store today and buy some frozen items to get me through until July 3. But that takes money, of course.
After the first glass of vodka
you can accept just about anything
of life even your own mysteriousness
you think it is nice that a box
of matches is purple and brown and is called
La Petite and comes from Sweden
for they are words that you know and that
is all you know words not their feelings
or what they mean and you write because
you know them not because you understand them
because you don’t you are stupid and lazy
and will never be great but you do
what you know because what else is there?
Frank O’Hara, “Lunch Poems”
My new cane arrived from Medicare today; they no longer requisition wooden canes so I’m stuck with a metal cane with a plastic handle (I have contact dermetitis from metals). On “durable medical goods” such as canes, walkers, wheelchairs, etc., Medicare will only purchase replacements after five years of use.
Tomorrow morning, Friday, June 20, I have a long-overdue appointment with my neurosurgeon in the Westlake area of L.A. The bus ride to and from is at no cost thanks to my Para-Transit Access card, but as of today I am flat spent for the month. On the way back from the doc’s office I would like to stop at the “Bargain Hit!” discount store at Sunset and Alvarado where I can buy the same roll of gauze bandaging for my hands for one dollar that I pay $4.95 for at CVS. I also need a few other household cleaning supplies for Niki, my IHSS worker, and more laundry detergent and other sundries to be had on the cheap. Also, I simply do not like going out on long bus rides without money in my pocket (or on Paypal).
So, if anyone can help in small ways, my Paypal Maginot Line remains the same (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, exhibit number one is what the seraphs, the simple, misinformed, noble-winged seraphs that hover above God’s throne in Isaiah’s vision, could not understand, try as they might.
I present to you a collection of work, an assemblage of words, nouns and verbs, expressions of a soul that spoke to me directly as if they had been written expressly for the consumption of my soul. The words, ladies and gentlemen, were not written by your humble supplicant but rather for me. I defy you to prove otherwise, what with the decedent, the author of the words, the dripper of honey, long in his grave, placed there by my hand, of that I, Wilhelmina Shakespeare Proctor, do solemnly and humbly confess.
Exhibit number two is a yellow notebook (note the coffee ring stain and the cigarette burn on the cover) that was purloined from the motor vehicle of the decedent while parked in the lot of The Wigwam Village Motel 6 in Holbrook, Arizona, the city of my residence until I was taken into custody by officers of the law in December of this year. Said theft occurred during the late night hours of November 16 of this year of our Lord.
Consider, if you will, the unlocked door of Room 317 of the Wigwam Village Hotel, the victim, the spinner of words of my soul, laying prostrate upon the bed. He sleeps fitfully, ladies and gentlemen, for his body is ravaged by cancer and he, a poet, is not long for this mortal shell and how vile it is for the seraphs to allow such a great man, a man who stole glimpses into my soul, to expire from such an insidious disease. Do you not see the unfairness, the imbalance, of it all? Your supplicant most certainly did see not only the injustice but the just death such a man so deserved, the quick dispatch to his great reward; it was swift and painless and, yes, at my hands, at my mercy, at my benevolence.
You will hear testimony, dear gentle men and women of the jury, that I was “obsessed”, that I “stalked” the victim and his betrothed, Lorraine but I ask you how one can stalk that which belongs to them? To their soul? Their spirit? I urge you to disregard these slanderings in your final deliberations.
You may also disregard the unreliable testimony of Officer William “Bill” Dent of the Arizona Highway Patrol who took me into custody fifteen miles outside of Holbrook, Arizona, out on a lonely stretch of old Route 66 where the ghosts of old motels rot and die, ladies and gentlemen, because Officer Dent has known me from childhood and it is well known in the small community of Holbrook that he holds great personal animosity toward your supplicant, that he has often referred to me in public dialogue as “crazy” and “mad as a hatter” and, indeed, “dangerous.” Where does Mr. Dent rest his authority to declare such pronouncements?
You may also disregard the testimony of the decedent’s widow. She knows not what she speaks of.
If you choose, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, you may also disregard my testimony as I may be nothing more than a figment of your imagination.
Thank you and God bless our souls.
(Editors Note: Wilhelmina “Willie” Shakespeare Proctor, the author of this statement, died in legal captivity, of coronary thrombosis, a few days before her trial was scheduled to commence. Her lawyer, my good friend and relation, Charles Darrow Clint, Esq., now of the State of Nevada bar, asked me to edit and publish the statement, basing his request on a clause in his client’s will which empowered my friend to use his discretion in all manners pertaining to the disposition of her estate, including all writings, correspondence, and this, her final statement.)