Mama's alarming event

Last night mama told me that she had a bad spell yesterday afternoon while talking on the phone to a friend. Her cognitive clarity suddenly became miserably confused to the point where she could not express herself verbally. This scared her badly. "I may have had a small stroke," she said. She experienced no loss or impairment of motor function, only the extreme, alarming, sudden mental confusion.

While I was in the kitchen making toast for my breakfast this morning, she handed me this note:

"Michael: An MD came here to set up this program for visiting nurses/therapists. Do you know how to contact him? Maybe he can draw blood, or send someone who can?!?"

In reality, a case worker met with her to set up her current home health care program, not an MD.

I called Veronica, her current case worker at New Hope (the home care company), and asked her to arrange for a nurse or nurse practitioner to visit mama ASAP. "She interprets the experience as a stroke," I told her. "She is scared and wants to talk to a medical professional."

One of the nurses on staff was listening on speaker phone. She chimed in and expressed her agreement that a nurse practitioner would be a good choice. They promised to pull one of their people off his/her normal route to visit mama right away--if not today, then tomorrow.


Mama's lifting chair and wheelchair

Hi all.

Another update on mama.

Our mother needs a wheelchair to use only when she goes out of the house. The last thing she needs is to fall and break a bone or get a concussion. Her in-home health care service, New Hope, has gone to bat for her and has set the wheels (pun fully intended) in motion to get Abundant Life Medical Supply to issue her a suitable wheelchair at Medicaid's expense. Abundant Life needs the signed approval of a medical doctor here in Irving, Dr. Terrance Feehery, before they can get Medicaid to pay for it.

Two months have passed; still no wheelchair.

I decided to get more directly involved instead of passively leaving this in the hands of those people who already have a pile of requests for wheelchairs from thousands of Betty Lous. It has been like pulling teeth! However, I think I made a breakthrough this morning when I talked--AGAIN!--to Dr. Feehery's PA and the representative at Abundant Life Medical Supply (separately, of course). The latter finally volunteered to call Dr. Feehery herself and describe exactly what paperwork she needs and ask that he expedite it to her. Yesssss! I, the middle-man, have been eliminated.

I'll let you know as soon as I find out what happens next.

As for the lifting chair, I bought one at Nebraska Furniture Mart for $811, the one she picked out herself in the showroom. But when we got it set up in her room, and after she had sat in it for a few hours, she was in tears from pain. It just didn't fit her contours--especially not her tailbone which was dislocated many, many years ago. She was crying not only from the pain but also from shame, knowing that she had chosen that particular chair herself.

Well, I cheerfully assured her that I could bring back her old chair (a recliner, but not a lifter), and that I had no desire to subject her to such suffering just because of money!

Lanny and Debbye Stone, friends of mine, took the chair off my hands and gave it to Mis Melanie, Debbye's sister who is disabled, lives in their home, and--best of all--loves the chair. They offered to give me the lifting chair that Miss Melanie has been using for the past few weeks but did not prefer at all, compared to mama's. But that chair has a fabric upholstery which, mama wisely informed me, is not suitable due to mama's incontinence and occasional loss of bowel control.

So now, the Stones have two perfectly good lifting chairs, and I haven't lost a penny since mama has insisted on paying me back the $811, a bit at a time, month by month. "Don't argue with me." she advised. "Father God told me to do this."

How can I argue with that!? :-)



Mama's Texas ID card adventure


Thursday, July 16, 2020

6:43:29 AM

After work yesterday, I drove Nathan’s recently-purchased Mercury to the DPS office in Grand Prairie and found that it takes almost 20 minutes to get there.

I had a fitful night with a dreadful feeling about carrying mama down there and what she could possibly suffer. I insisted on giving this over to God according to the Bible’s instructions to cast our cares unto the Lord; nevertheless, my mind and soul insisted on feeling miserable about this. I kept rehearsing the visit to the DPS center in my mind, trying to anticipate and pre-solve any problems we may encounter. This practice if futile, for obvious reasons: I cannot predict what we will encounter, ergo, I cannot smooth out the process any more than I already have done by preparing for it to the best of my knowledge and ability.


Now, let me tell you what really happened. It was wonderful, although not fully satisfying.

Mama came out of her room at 8:30, ready to go. ‘Mama,’ I said, ‘the appointment is for 10:00.’ She went back to her room to take a short nap. Meanwhile, I got fed up with the anxiety that had been tormenting me, off and on, about this problem, and decided to get rid of it once for all. I stood in the living room and declared with my mouth that I was, at that moment, casting all of that care unto the Lord, as his faithful servants have instructed us to do. I asked God to grant us favor, marvelous favor, favor with both God and man. Then, I closed my prayer with thanksgiving, both with my understanding and with my spirit.

We arrived at the DPS on Bagdad Road in Grand Prairie a few minutes after 10:00. Mama sat in the car with the engine and the AC running, parked parallel to the curb at the front entrance, while I approached the nurse and the officer on duty to control access to the building. ‘I have an appointment for Betty Whitehead. We need a wheelchair brought out for her.’

I was appalled to hear that there was no wheelchair available. ‘That was a stipulation when I made the reservation. The management owed it to me to guarantee a wheelchair. This is an 86-year-old lady with no bladder control and who loses bowel control occasionally, and is in constant pain. This is unacceptable.’

I showed the reservation confirmation the nurse on duty at the door, and she helped me get it updated. A new reservation number came up on the screen. Meanwhile, a lady named Carie came out to talk to me. ‘I can process her application and take her picture while she sits in the car,’ she said. I was delighted! ‘God will reward you for that!’ I crowed.

I moved the car to the parking area and explained to mama the special accommodations they were granting us. She started working on a crossword puzzle and relaxed in the AC.

Carie came back, collected our paperwork, checked over mama’s application, made a tiny correction, and informed me that we still need her marriage certificate. ‘The increase in identity theft has made the increase in security necessary,’ she said.

‘Valerie Lewis told me that Betty’s recently-expired license is sufficient in place of that. Do you know Valerie?’

Yes, she did know Valerie. ‘That was a misunderstanding,’ she added. ‘The marriage certificate is one of the few documents that the state will accept as an explanation for the change in her last name from the one on her birth certificate.’

‘I’ll get it,’ I said. ‘I takes about a month. Meanwhile, can you please retain our documentation and keep our file open until I can bring the certificate to you?’ She said she will be glad to do that. ‘It will take about a month,’ I repeated.

She carried out documents back inside again, photographed all of them, and came back to get a picture of mama. ‘Can you stand up?’ she asked. Mama affirmed that she could, albeit with great pain and trouble. An officer came along with Carie, and he and I held up the blue tarp to provide a background for the photo while mama stood just outside the passenger door, hanging onto the open door for support.

‘When you come back, Betty has to be with you because we need her signature on the final form that we promulgate to get her new ID made.’

Mama and I went back home with joy and gratitude in our hearts.


Today (Friday), I called the number I found on the PDF application to get a copy of mama’s marriage certificate and ordered it that way instead of either mailing in the application of faxing it. The lady who took my order was most pleasant to talk to, and she told me I could have it sent to me via normal ground mail that requires not signature. I asked for two copies. This service, called VitalCheck, is not offered directly from Michigan’s record keeping offices but rather are a contracted service that I have found on the internet in the past. They are super cheap and super-efficient. In fact, I think this may be the same service I used to get copies of mama’s birth certificate, too, instead of going directly to the state’s web site.

Another of My Polemics

Here’s another polemic I had through email with the author of an article that was based on crap.

Dear Margot:

In your article published on "Insider" on June 17, 2020, titled... “High-profile white film editors tried to shut down a search for Black creators in a private Facebook group." gave yourself away as a supporter and an apologist for racism and fascism, right from the start.

Read more: Another of My Polemics