For those who don’t hang out in my IRC channel, I’m going to lay out what’s been happening with me.
Well, for the latter half of June, my dad had been pretty sick, eventually being more or less incapacitated in his computer chair, requiring me to bring him water and stuff to drink. (He wouldn’t eat) On June 30th, my mother and sister took him to the hospital, and over the course of a week or so, it turned out that he had stomach ulcers that were bleeding, combine this with the fact that he hadn’t eaten anything in a week because, as he put it, ‘nothing tastes good’, and he was in a bad way. At the hospital he was pale, almost ashen, and he was pretty out of it. (He would later admit to me that he had no recollection of this hospital stay.)
He was later transferred from the local hospital, to the enormous facility about a 1.5 hour drive away, where he underwent treatment and recuperated to the point that they released him a little over a week later. After being home for several days, and being checked up on by visiting nurses, they found that his blood pressure and blood cell count were too low, and he was taken back to the hospital, where he stayed for less than a week, as they determined that he wasn’t still bleeding anywhere, but was simply suffering from anemia in general. He’s been home ever since and is doing well.
Read what I went through while my father was away, after the jump.
As most of you know, I’m agoraphobic and suffer from acute social phobia… So having to take care of things for myself was fairly…problematical.
My first challenge was paying rent, which meant taking my card to the post office and getting a money order for the amount of rent, and then taking it to my landlord. Given that the post office is two blocks away, and the landlord is in the store downstairs from me…should be easy, right? Well, it wasn’t. For starters, the heat index was hovering around 100°F, and I don’t function well above 70°F, and that’s WITHOUT a lot of physical activity. But I had no other choice. So I go to the post office in the sweltering heat, try to buy a money order…card doesn’t work. I try two more times, and now it says ‘Provide alternate payment method’. FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF So, I walk BACK home in the sweltering heat, check my card’s status online and it’s ‘locked’. So I had to call and set a new PIN. I walk back to the post office, it still hasn’t cooled down outside, buy the money order, walk BACK AGAIN, go downstairs…AND GET STOPPED BY EVERY SINGLE PERSON DOWN THERE ASKING HOW MY FATHER IS DOING. And then I finally get the rent paid.
This took care of my most pressing issue, so I wasn’t going to worry about anything else until bills started arriving in angry colors… I wouldn’t get more than a few days, that’s when the other shoe dropped.
But during those few days, I was enjoying living by myself. Though I had quite the fit over the state of the kitchen… I came to the realization that we’d been living like animals. I cleaned the kitchen, threw a ton of stuff out, and cashed out my bitcoins for a $150 amazon giftcard (Since it’s too hard to get actual money out of bitcoins these days…) with the intent of buying a new set of pots and pans, and throwing out all the old ones. (I also made a complete wishlist of housewares I wanted…hint hint!) I also leveled up my cooking, learning how to make pierogies, since I’ve always loved those. (And because of that, and my love of gyoza, I bought a set of dough presses from amazon, too.)
It seemed the bills were worse than I had imagined… The internet hadn’t been paid for in three months, and the electric bill was up to $1,287 delinquent… Whatever I was going to do, it would have to wait until Monday afternoon.
Monday morning, we went and visited dad. We were going to go on Friday, but my sister had a dentist’s appointment in the area on Monday, so it was only logical to do it then, gas prices being what they are. It was a hellishly hot drive up there, and upon getting there I spent most of the money I had left at T.J. Maxx because my dad needed some clothes. I managed to find a few new shirts for myself, too. (I can never find anything in my size at the one here.)
The hospital was quite the adventure, it was a huge goddamn place. So far, both Kimmie and Duckie have joked about me being such a country boy as I related this tale to them with a sense of wonder. Well, I guess spending the better part of a decade only leaving the house a couple dozen times a year will do that…but I digress. It was really a massive installation. Check it out on google maps! It was crazy, the front building is fairly new, and feels more like a mall than a hospital, and it acts like a hub joining all the older buildings. There’s actually a waiting area in the east end of the building with like a five-story open space above it, with a glass roof. It feels weird being in such an open space without the ceiling being the sky. Anyway, my dad was doing real well. He wasn’t out of it like before, and he wasn’t pale. They were moving him from his bed to a recliner so he might actually be able to get up on his own. It was good to see him doing well, and he was glad to see us. (He was very surprised that I got him clothes.) After my sister got back from her dentist’s appointment, she switched with my mom, as he could only have two visitors at a time. We mostly just got caught up with what’s been going on. After a while, it was time to leave. (We had to leave within an hour or pay for parking anyway.) Luckily, on the way out, having stopped at the bathroom, I had the foresight to take my last $20 out of the bank using the ATM in the waiting area. Because we were like 12 minutes behind and had to pay $2.50. When we stopped at a gas station on the way home, they had 20oz bottles of Livewire, 2/$2.50, so I took it as a sign from the gods, and bought all I could afford. (lol.) That made the, still blisteringly hot at like 3pm, trip home a lot more tolerable. And, when I got home my pots and pans were here!
No rest for the wicked/weary though, I called the electric company and asked them about getting the electric switched over to an account in my name as my father (Whose name is on the account) is currently hospitalized… They said I would need a notarized letter from my landlord stating that I’m the primary tenant now and that my father is in the hospital. How the fuck does that even work? Whatever, I’ll see what I can do. Oh, and they want like $200 up front. What? Fine. Whatever.
A couple days later, my dad came home, coincidentally I had just received the dough presses and new cutting board I had ordered, so there was a celebratory dinner of pierogies and kielbasa. (That’s less than HALF the pierogies I made!) With him home, I didn’t have to deal with the electric company issue, he was going to get into it the following Monday. Of course, Sunday, the visiting nurses determined that he needed to go back to the hospital. FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF
So, Monday morning, I try to call my sister because she was going to go grocery shopping for me with the last of my money. (And I sorely needed the groceries!) Of course, she was SUPPOSED to go Friday, and then said ‘Tomorrow’, and then on Saturday said “OH MY GOD, I CAN’T JUST DRIVE AROUND FOR EVERYONE ALL THE TIME, THE WEEKEND IS ALL THE TIME I HAVE WITH [the boyfriend I can't stand and spend all my time trying to be away from.] WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU??” Anyway, I call her, and I get Comcast…which means my phone is turned off. I desperately IM her stupid ass while I still have internet, to no avail. So I let the call go through to Comcast’s CS line.
I relate to them everything that’s happened, and they tell me I can’t make payment arrangements because my name isn’t on the account as an authorized user. The only way I can make a payment arrangement or delay shutoff is to either have my father call from the hospital. (HOW THE FUCK DO I DO THAT WHEN YOU FUCKERS SHUT OFF MY PHONE?!) or take proof of hospitalization to their local office. (THERE ISN’T ONE, AND EVEN IF THERE WAS, HOW WOULD I ARRANGE THAT WITHOUT A PHONE?!) I described to this person no less than THREE TIMES what my disabilities were, and what that meant. I could barely keep my voice from cracking because I was having a fucking panic attack. They were, at least, apologetic in telling me I was fucked. I hung up.
I only had $71 in the bank, which I needed for food. I just needed until Wednesday, so I can pay the bills with dad’s first retirement benefit payment. The fuck am I going to do? If I don’t have a phone, I can’t call the electric company, and my power goes off in two days. FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF
And then it hit me, it was so fucking simple I couldn’t help but laugh maniacally at the obviousness of the solution; Fuck ‘em. Pay with the Paypal debit card, get phone back, call sister, have her withdraw the $71. If I’m going to eat the overdraft charge either way, it’d be nice to also have FOOD to eat. So that’s exactly what I did. (I later found out on my own that, having access to the online billing dashboard, I can add authorized users to the account. Thanks for telling me, fuckers.)
That whole ordeal took so much out of me, I postponed calling the electric company until the next day. When I did call, things only got worse. I told them everything that had transpired and that I no longer wanted to change the account over, but instead just make a payment arrangement. They told me I couldn’t. Not because I wasn’t authorized, but because they had already started the shut-off procedure, and so I had to pay half the delinquent amount up-front to make an arrangement. (WHAT THE FUCK?) They also didn’t care that I’d HAVE the money tomorrow. Nope nope nope. BUT, if I can get a very specifically-worded letter saying that it would pose a health hazard to shut off my power, signed by a physician, on their letterhead, faxed to them, I’d get 30 days to pay. CHALLENGE ACCEPTED, MOTHERFUCKER. I had until Close-of-Business, roughly another 4 hours, to get it done. I called my doctor’s office… My doctor wasn’t there that day… BUT! I remembered that my father’s physician is in the same building, so I asked about having them do it. It took a bit more wrangling, but it eventually got sorted, and the electric company confirmed receiving the fax.
Interestingly enough, by the next day, the money for the cable still hadn’t come out, and didn’t come out until the afternoon, after the retirement benefit payment was already in the account. Lucky!
It’s been a week since then, and my father came back home after only a couple of days.
Well, this whole clustastrophuck is thankfully behind me, so I can get back to worrying about other shit.