I need to talk...
Sorry for the pity-potty but I really need to get this off my chest. I'm so low I can't stop crying and I feel so alone. I live alone in a small studio cottage (which I'm grateful for) and have no family or friends in my state. Every month I'm hospitalized for 4 days each time for blood transfusions and trying to find the source of my bleeding. I have to take a taxi each way which means I don't eat very well because my income is only $897 a month. Because of my low blood count and the Lupus I just don't have the strength to find advocacy or programs to help me. I close myself up in my house until I feel it's life-threatening not to get more blood.
I'm so tired of being taken advantage of and not being able to stick up for myself. My in-home supportive service worker is doing nothing knowing I don't have the strength to find someone new. And recently the last straw was a dentist that scammed me! My dentures broke and I went to the closest place to my house which was Western Dental. They quoted me $143 to glue them back together and said I needed a realign. I guess the prednisone has changed the shape of my gums?? Anyway he said he would guarantee the fix for a year but to keep in mind that they wouldn't last because of this problem. They felt fine to me but he said he could tell by the way they cracked. Well, they cracked again the very next day! I never had a gap in the middle teeth before and they never hit on any one tooth before. But now they don't fit right at all. He said he didn't do anything but glue them but I know something went wrong because they aren't the same. Now they want to charge me another $305 to realign them and I don't have it. I gave them all the money I had and now can't even afford the taxi to go to the hospital this month. Just the appointment alone was more than I could do and I came home barely able to walk in the door.
It's made me feel so sad and alone...the last straw I guess. How do you hold on to any dignity without teeth? California has eliminated all dental resources and Medicare doesn't cover anything. I use to be a proud woman and still care about my looks. I've lost everything and now with the prednisone I've gained weight and lost my hair...now my teeth. I look indigent and between that and how weak I am it makes me not want to fight any more. I loved having a clean, well maintained home and prided myself in taking good care of it and myself. It bothers me that I can't stand long enough to wash a dish and no one else cares. I just feel at the end of my rope and don't know what to do but cry.
I haven't a clue as to the authenticity of this school, but you could try this idea:
contact them, or another school of dentistry nearby, and tell them your plight. My folks got me braces as a kid through Washington University School of Dentistry in St. Louis years ago. It was a "pay as you can" kind of thing. They also provided transportation for the indigent.
Be sure and try the local government site http://www.sfgov.org/, or other nearby municipalities. They have advocates that *have* to listen, else you can VOTE and influence whether they work or not!!! Similarly, most govs will have some form of transport, especially for medical patients. Don't forget about your local utility companies, and their "Help" systems for bills, etc.
Good luck with it. We'll be praying for you. You got family right here.
The Following User Says Thank You to jmail For This Useful Post:
Thanks jmail!! I can't drive so going to the closest school is out of the question because I live about an hour away. Plus every time I get on the phone trying to find help I start crying and can't get through the conversation. I'm so low I can't help myself. I know prednisone does this and hopefully I'll get over it soon, although it still won't help my situation. If I lived in SF, Oakland or Berkeley I'm sure I could easily find help, but I'm in a small town in Contra Costa County and they have little resources and I seem to fall through the cracks.
I HATE Western Dental with a passion because they run a dishonest operation that takes advantage of people.
I'm going to PM you over the weekend with some resources that you might find helpful. It breaks my heart that Denti-Cal has been cut due to the budget crisis. Next on the chopping block is IHSS so brace yourself.
My heart breaks for you right now. I know exactly how you feel and there is nothing worse then feeling alone and sick. I can't do anything about the sick part but I can help with alone. I can't physically be there but please know that my PM is always open for you! I know Texas doesn't have any state care but Cali use to. I am really surprised that they have done away with so much!
The dental school is a GREAT idea. I have very bad teeth due to way too many illegal drugs before I was 21. I have partials that no longer fit due to this illness and I can't afford them either. Thanks for reminding me about that jmail!
Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
The Following User Says Thank You to tgal For This Useful Post:
If Cali does away with IHSS I imagine I'll end up in a nursing home within a short time. I had thought about moving to Texas because I have family there but if they don't have in home supportive care that won't work. My family there isn't in a position to take me in or take care of me. My little dog is what has kept me going this far when things seem unbearable and I would hate to be without him.
Please don't panic about IHSS being eliminated because I don't believe that's in Gov Brown's budget proposal, however, I believe it's his intention to make cuts. Two days ago he ordered a hard hiring freeze, meaning it's very, very difficult for any agency to get approval to hire anyone unless it's a "key" position. Yes, social service programs always sustain cuts first. Why don't they go after the lawmakers' salaries? Those idiots haven't taken a pay cut, haven't given up their per diems. Nothing. Nada. Give me a break.
I know you're feeling blue and you have every right to a pity party. Living on 879 isn't easy, especially in the Bay Area. I am not really familiar with benefits provided by IHSS i.e. how many hours of care you receive per month, what the caregivers responsibilities are or what's involved in getting a new worker assigned to you. Can you educate me on this?
The suggestion that jmail had with the teaching dental school was excellent. There was an article in this month's AARP Magazine about dental issues (it's my husband's-I'm much too young to qualify for membership hehe), and it mentions that the dental implants one patient had done were about 1/2 the cost of a DDS in private practice. Now, I know that doesn't help in your particular situation because 100 dollars might as well be a million bucks, just wanted to give an example for others that are reading the thread.
The dentist I found about 18 months ago used to be a professor at a school of dentistry in San Francisco. They treated a lot of AIDS patients at their free clinic. Coincidentally, people with Sjogrens and AIDS have similar dental issues--oral yeast infections, canker sores and high incidence of decay--so he knew how to treat this dry mouth of mine. I'm going to call his office tomorrow morning and ask his wife (who happens to be his office manager) for treatment suggestions in the Contra Costa County.
I know you're not feeling really proactive right now and your IHSS caretaker isn't being the advocate you need, but perhaps when you get angry at Western Dental for robbing you, you will file a complaint against them with the Dental Board of California. Squeaky wheels gets the grease. It will not have been their first complaint, I'm sure.
Then, pick up the phone and make the call to DSS, or whatever it is you have to do, and request a change of your IHSS providers. The State is paying someone to care for you. If that person isn't meeting your needs then they should be fired. Why should they be paid monies for a job they didn't do?
I understand your frustration about the weight gain from medication and a diet that's less than stellar; hair loss and now the dentures. It is overwhelming at times. You're barely making it and the denture issue was the last straw.
You're not alone. You've got fellow lupies that understand what you're going through, as well as your little doggie who just happens to know when Mama needs some extra lovin', eh?
Hang in there. Things will get better.
Last edited by BonusMom; 02-18-2011 at 10:18 AM.
I wish I had words of advice for you; but I can only offer comfort. I had to move in with my daughter over ten years ago. I find myself in an awkward situation now and then. Luckily I can still work for the moment.
I can only tell you that my faith helps me a lot . Believing that God has his plan, stand tall and trust in him
cyber Hugs. Crying smilie
I am so so sorry for all the hardship you are having to go through. Is there family that maybe could come and get you and you could live with? Sometimes when all seems to have fallen in on you it turns around to be ok. Keep up the faith and remember God only hands out what you can indure. Be strong and don't be afraid to ask your family for help. Call a Lupus support group you can found one close to you if you look on the computer under Lupus fondation of america they list different support groups close to were you live. Please remember you are not alone we all care.
Lots of hugs Michele
Lana (Bonus Mom) & jmail gave you some really good advice. I can't really add to it, especially since I have no idea how CA laws work, but I wanted to say you are not alone - we are all here with you.
As long as this body works, I am going to enjoy life to the fullest for each second of every moment that I can.