Part II: On the Edge of Despair

At least once a week an ambulance pulls up in the apartment building where I live. Paramedics enter and leave with one of my neighbors. Sometimes, the neighbor who leaves does not return. The default county nursing home is CentreCrest. When my neighbors assemble on Thursday nights for bingo across the hall from my apartment "CentreCrest" is a term avoided or mentioned with fear. U.S. News & World Report rated the nursing home in terms of condemnation providing no stars. Four years ago, my friend Jack died there. I organized a memorial service for Jack in the bingo parlor.
At least once a week an ambulance pulls up in the apartment building where I live. Paramedics enter and leave with one of my neighbors. Sometimes, the neighbor who leaves does not return. The default county nursing home is CentreCrest. When my neighbors assemble on Thursday nights for bingo across the hall from my apartment “CentreCrest” is a term avoided or mentioned with fear. U.S. News & World Report rated the nursing home in terms of condemnation providing no stars. Four years ago, my friend Jack died there. I organized a memorial service for Jack in the bingo parlor.

Stay away from my window

It is 11, an hour past my bedtime. An hour and a half ago, I took a sleeping pill and set my morning alarm for six. Finally, sleep. It is now Tuesday–the day after Memorial Day. The ever-present fear that circumstances will force me into a nursing home continue.

These fears are based on reality. The purpose of this “Edge of Despair” series is to:

  • Explore this reality
  • Examine what I must do to remain independent and productive
  • Request donations as a form of charity under the religious rules defined by 12th Century Rabbi Maimonides
  • Acknowledge my responsibility as a recipient of charity
  • Request advice and comments to help me succeed and by extension help others who are disabled and elderly develop their talents and contribute to our/their family, community, society

Request donations

I find it difficult asking for help and especially difficult asking for money. During the first eight years of my schooling, my teachers–many of whom were rabbis–emphasized the importance of charity. I have distinct memories of being in fourth grade and carrying around a charity box (which anyone who has been to yeshiva can envision clearly in one’s mind). Although I was soliciting for worthy causes, requesting money embarrassed me. What follows, in the form of a PayPal icon is a charity box for me:

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Substantive digression

  1. On Sunday I published the following Marshall McLuhan quote on Facebook: “Publication is a self-invasion of privacy.” [1]
  2. The McLuhan quote appeared the day following publication of the first of this edge of despair series in which I wrote: “I am afraid I will be unable to continue living an independent life.”
  3. Between Sunday and today, I spoke to a friend about positive developments giving me pause for encouragement. She advised me wisely to invade my privacy and disclose. “Do not become blinded by momentary optimism. Do not post happy face emojicons all over your next post. “

smiley

 

 

The conflict I am presenting here goes to message of this post. Right now, I do not know whether I will be able to avoid going to a nursing home. Yes, donations would help me avert disaster–disaster being synonymous in my mind with being a resident of a nursing home.

Yes, there is a golden age to which I refer when I discuss independence and why I believe independence is achievable. Indeed, that golden age is as recent as May 2nd when I was discharged from a physical rehabilitation hospital–an experience I will describe after editing and revisiting: http://www.joelsolkoff.com/april-2016-motto/

Walking (even with a harness) on the parallel bars after 21 years as a paraplegic. Invigorating.
Walking (even with a harness) on the parallel bars after 21 years as a paraplegic.
Invigorating.

Yes, there are periods when self-reliance exerts itself and I am convinced Yes I can live a life of discipline, moderation, and productivity. This means exercising daily, eating properly, working efficiently, sleeping on a sensible schedule, managing my money well, and earning income so I can visit my granddaughter and my children regularly and obtain badly needed dental care.

“Yes, I can,” I say to myself convinced that all that is required is resolution.

Then, as yesterday, I post an appeal for funds required, among other reasons, for supplemental medical insurance. Then, after hitting “Publish” I experience an averse reaction to pain medication and find myself in the toilet–embarrassed I am there, shocked I am even mentioning it, wondering whether resolution will get me through.

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When I return, I will discuss Maimonides, spiritual growth, and my career goals. What this post requires next is establish and follow Harvard outline route on

  • The potential of the disabled and elderly
  • The obstacles we face
  • The reality of nursing homes

 

Maimonides

 

 

 

 

Maimonides

רמבּם

Harvard outline for this post

 

 

 

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