poverty


1
Well, that was fun. The entry posted before I had written anything. Oops. I guess that’s what happens when you write a blog entry at 2:30 AM.  Let’s see…what’s been going on lately?  I’ve completed 4 weeks of physical therapy. That’s all that will officially be done until after my next orthopedist visit. I’m supposed to work on weights & stuff at the Wellness Center. At my evaluation on Friday, my left hip had strengthened, but my right hip & my right knee had weakened.12 I also learned that my ankles are definitely weak.34 My left hip still has bursitis & weakness in the piriformis, and it’s still showing that there’s something wrong in the joint itself when they do the torturous impingement/labral tear test. And it just keeps on hurting & popping.5 I don’t know how the hip orthopedist will handle this news.  I got my hand/wrist checked out by the hand orthopedist6 almost two weeks ago. I have De Quervain’s Syndrome, which is basically tendinitis and tenosynovitis of the thumb/inner wrist. Typically it’s an overuse injury that moms and gamers get. Mine is from my dad’s anger outburst almost a year ago.78 The doctor put a steroid injection in the joint, which was especially unpleasant since the lidocaine shot was useless9 and he put the steroid injection through the nerve. So anytime I move my hand a certain way, I scream or flinch from the burning pain that shoots out my hand. If the tendinitis doesn’t respond to the steroid, I may have to have surgery on my wrist.  Oh, and I started a store on Etsy. Right now it just has barrettes, headbands, and hair elastics/ponytail holders. I’m planning on adding bracelets, necklaces, earrings, lanyards, and pacifier clips next. Eventually I want to add purses and my mom wants me to branch into doll clothes. I hope the stuff sells & eventually gives me a way to maintain an income off of SSDI/SSI. Fingers crossed, right? I also need it to succeed to prove my dad wrong. Twice in the last week he’s told my mom that he thinks it’ll fail. He’s hinted at the same to me multiple times. Of course he’s been on an anti-Janet rant for several weeks now.10 Anyways… It would really help if you bought something. If you can’t buy anything, I understand. Please considering sharing the link. Maybe someone will see something that they want. I guess that’s all for now.  I’ll try to not stay away as long next time.  My right knee started acting up during the warm ups for my hip’s physical therapy sessions. ↩I hope that this doesn’t mean that I will need surgery on my right knee. ↩This wasn’t really news to me. They hadn’t been checked since the 90s, but I never completed the strengthening exercises for them back then, so if they’d gotten stronger, it would be the result of a miracle. ↩I hope I don’t end up with an ankle orthopedist, too. ↩Part of the popping is because my SI joint is extremely unstable. ↩There are so many cooks in this fucking kitchen. ↩As the orthopedist put it as he dictated his notes, “The injury is a result of her deranged father” and his early onset dementia. ↩Did you know only 5-10% of dementia patients become violent? Dadada and dad have defied the odds. ↩Many Ehlers-Danlos patients don’t respond appropriately—or at all—to the drug. ↩If I cook, it’s the wrong thing. If I drive my car, I’m being selfish with his car; he doesn’t understand Nana gave it to me. If I don’t clean up the kitchen or living room on PT days or ask him to clean or move anything, I’m lazy. If I take my mom to a doctor visit or the grocery store, I’m stepping into his territory. Everything I do is wrong. ↩

Giving It All She’s Got


I’m not sure how many posts this will take, but I thought it was worth documenting. @brettwestny @DonnaVishio “Uneducated dicks with guns” is practically the slogan of the state of Mississippi. Perhaps we should disarm MS. — Janet Morris (@janersm) February 23, 2017 @brettwestny @DonnaVishio I’m not. Have you ever looked at how Mississippi ranks in education? Plenty of people in “the hood” are educated. — Janet Morris (@janersm) February 24, 2017 @brettwestny @DonnaVishio Being impoverished doesn’t mean you are less intelligent. It just means you’re poor. — Janet Morris (@janersm) February 24, 2017 @brettwestny @Olivianuzzi I’m disabled, bro. If Trump wants to improve my circumstances he could give SSI recipients more than $750/month. — Janet Morris (@janersm) February 24, 2017 @brettwestny @Olivianuzzi There isn’t a damn thing wrong with my attitude. Yours needs work. — Janet Morris (@janersm) February 24, 2017 @brettwestny @DonnaVishio Right. Anything that can disprove your claim that people “in the hood” are uneducated isn’t worth sharing. — Janet Morris (@janersm) February 24, 2017 @brettwestny @DonnaVishio It’s not unfair to expect all children receive the same quality education. In fact, that’s the opposite of unfair. — Janet Morris (@janersm) February 24, 2017


If you’re looking for a charity to donate to, I’ve included links to the donation pages of the charities listed under each category. Most of these originally were posted as part of my 2016 holiday wishlist. Abuse and Sexual Assault 1in6 National Coalition Against Domestic Violence RAINN Animal Rights ASPCA Antisemitism ADL Capital Punishment National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty Civil Liberties ACLU Disability Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund Environment/Science Clinton Foundation EarthJustice GreenPeace NRDC Union of Concerned Scientists Human Rights Human Rights Watch USA for UNHCR Women’s Refugee Commission Islamophobia CAIR Journalism ProPublica RSF LGBTQ Human Rights Campaign Lambda Legal SPLC Trevor Project Poverty Alabama Arise Clinton Foundation Racism Black Lives Matter Mexican American Legal Defense Fund NAACP and its Legal Defense Fund SPLC Reproductive Rights/Feminism Center for Reproductive Rights Clinton Foundation EMILY’s List Guttmacher NARAL National Abortion Federation National Organization for Women Planned Parenthood She Should Run Women’s Refugee Commission If you have any suggestions for this list, please let me know.

Charitable Shortcuts


Dad had his MRI about twelve hours ago. His other dementia-related tests are next week. I guess this was his first MRI because he had to tell me all about the machine. He asked if I’d ever had one,1 which threw me since he’s driven me to most (if not all) the ones I’ve had.2 But I guess I have to get used to that. He might remember them fine tomorrow or next week. I never really know what he will remember or when he will remember it.  He and mom also had to stop by Legal Aid to get help with another attempt at a garnishment by Bank of America of their Wells Fargo account. This time by the wonderful lawyers at Spina and LaVelle. I guess they don’t realize that it’s still against the law to garnish Social Security payments. Also, they left the writ in the mailbox (in an unmarked, unstamped, unmailed envelope)—which breaks a few federal laws. I don’t think the judge will be pleased with them.  I know I’ve had at least four. I think I’ve had five or six. ↩Since I can’t remember, I guess I shouldn’t judge. ↩

What’s In Your Head




After I got a letter last week telling me that I couldn’t get my replacement Social Security card with the information I provided, I decided I would go in person. I still couldn’t get it. I gave the extremely condescending guy insurance cards, my EBT card, my photo voter ID, my expired permit, a statement from the doctor’s office I had just left, my library card, and most of my credit cards. None of it could be used. They have to “make sure” I’m really me.  I asked why they couldn’t consult with the ADPH to get proof of my ID from them, since they issue birth certificates. He told me they don’t issue them. Bullshit. He then said that that would basically be completing an errand for me.  They wanted me to go back to a doctor and get them a certified copy of my medical record because “THAT would be easiest.” I asked how they expected me to pay for it. They shrugged. I asked why they thought buying my medical record so I could prove who I am to get a free card so I could then turn around and prove who I am to get a license.1  I tried to explain why paying $30 to get the record was not a reasonable idea for someone who only receives around $700 a month. I asked him how much he made, but he said I shouldn’t try to make this a personal issue. I don’t think he understood that $30 dollars2 is around 5% of my monthly budget. Expecting me to spend 5% of my monthly budget to get a document so that I can get another document so I can get an ID to prove who I am is personal!  I asked to talk to his boss. She was worse. She “explained” that they needed more biographical information—which only includes things that don’t change—including, in their words, name, date of birth, parent names, age, hair color, eye color, and sex; but it doesn’t include address because that can change. Apparently, they are unaware of name changes, adoption or foster care, birthdays, hair dye or aging, contacts or health condition, and being transgender.3 I understand why they restrict what they can take, but they don’t seem to understand that they’re making a vital piece of identification inaccessible for lower income people. They don’t understand that expecting someone who can’t drive and can’t work to provide information from the DMV or from their employer is laughable. Things that may be easy for one person to provide are difficult for people who lack money and access.  Life isn’t easy for anyone, but it’s harder when you have more obstacles preventing you from accessing even the most simple of things.  Photo credit: akahawkeyefan via VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-SA The guy then suggested I go get a new ID from the DMV. Apparently, he didn’t understand that having a social security card is a basic requirement for the DMV. ↩It’s the maximum that UAB will charge for records. If I was only on Medicaid, they couldn’t even do that. ↩When I pointed out a person can change their sex, she said that I was misunderstanding her words. ↩

Who Am I?



Well, I just sent this to Amazon.com about the cancellation/refund/over-draft situation.1 To Whom It May Concern: On January 3, 2016, I attempted to cancel multiple unwanted orders from your company, including an order I didn’t make that contained a duplication of an entirely different order. Some of the cancellations worked. Some did not. I even tried getting customer service to cancel these items, but was told that they couldn’t be canceled. I tried to explain that the lack of cancellations was going to lead to overdrafts on my bank account. They said that they would try to get someone to do a back-end cancellation and would let me know the status of this cancellation. I was then told to simply refuse shipping on the items and that I would receive refunds. There was no cancellation. There was no follow up. I refused shipment and mailed back the unopened packages on January 25, 2016 and February 4, 2016, but no refund has been processed. I wasn’t told that I needed to go ahead and request refunds, again, before sending the package back. I’ve over-drafted multiple times (fees of over $600) as a result of the orders that I stated I didn’t even want in the first place and won’t be able to pay most of my bills for this month. I may not even be able to pay them next month. What is going on, guys? This kind of experience is ridiculous. Most companies have a billing and return system that works properly. Most companies process cancellations and returns a lot more quickly. I’m sending a copy of this letter to the Better Business Bureau. Maybe you can work with them and figure out what’s wrong with your system because obviously something is. And maybe, in the mean time, you can figure out where my refunds are and why I haven’t received them yet. I messed up on the fees for the over-drafts section, which I fixed in the BBB complaint. I sent this to the BBB: On January 3, 2016, I attempted to cancel multiple unwanted orders (things I either didn’t realize I put in my cart & not my wishlist or items that I decided that I didn’t want) from Amazon.com. One of the orders I cancelled contained a duplication of an another item. Some of the cancellations worked, but some didn’t. I contacted customer service and each person that I talked to claimed that they couldn’t cancel the orders. I tried to explain that I didn’t want the others and that I couldn’t afford to pay for them because I’m on a fixed income, so money is always tight. They told me that they would try to get a tech person to try cancelling my orders on the back-end because they said the order kept timing out on them. Then I was told that I would hear from them within a week and that I should simply refuse the shipments when they arrived. They said that if I refused them, I would receive the refunds. Well, the cancellation of my order didn’t happen and they didn’t follow up. No refunds were issued when I refused the shipments and sent the unopened packages back through USPS on January 25, 2016 and February 4, 2016, nor was there any acknowledgment that the packages had even arrived. I only found out today, when I was trying to find out where I could check on the status of the returns, that I was expected to onto their website, tell them that I was refunding the orders, and print a new shipping label, possibly even pay for the shipment. (This was slightly different from the refusal of shipment.) As a result of the unwanted packages, my bank account incurred $432 in over-draft fees for $149.55 of products that I didn’t want. In my dispute, I requested that my refund be processed ASAP. I said that it would be nice if they helped cover the over-drafts, but that I knew that wasn’t going to happen. I realized today that I needed to send the complaint to the BBB since Amazon obviously wasn’t going to fix the situation without someone intervening. So now I wait and hope that they finally start processing things properly.2 If you’d like to help in the meantime, I have a GoFundMe set up. ↩I didn’t even tell BBB that the issues with the cancellations and the return center have been going on for months. Almost any time that I want to cancel anything, I have an error pop up. One day I could cancel one item at a time to prevent an error–two items at a time would cause one–and could only do 3 single item cancellations before an error would happen. Either there’s something wrong with my account or something wrong with their system. ↩

Dear Amazon


I actually graduated from physical therapy yesterday.1 I didn’t get to go by the Wellness Center to sign up, though, because there were other things that needed to be done yesterday afternoon.2 I will either do it this weekend or some time in the next week. I may have to get a ride from my mom instead of my dad to get it done.3 I need to get my license so that I am no longer so dependent on the schedules and whims of others.4 I can’t get it until my bank situation gets sorted out.5  Happy dance. ↩Because life. ↩Asking him for rides always leads to me having panic attacks. ↩I have my own whims, dammit! ↩I’ve reactivated my GoFundMe because of some overdrafts I received after attempting to cancel some orders I didn’t mean to make. More about that is mentioned on the page. If you can help, I’d appreciate it. ↩

Actually Graduated



2
Remember a few months ago when I was trying to see my gynecologist for an annual exam & a prescription different form of birth control? There were tears and angsty fits and arguments with the Defund Planned Parenthood trolls12 and Humana and UAB. All of this before I decided to have the annual/prescription done by the family doctor. Good times.3 Well, I may get to look for another doctor soon.  For several months, my family has received statements from Humana that our routine appointments to the family practice clinic at UAB have been billed incorrectly. Specifically, they were billed as emergencies.4 We have tried getting them resubmitted, but the billing department’s “solution” was that they would contact a nurse in family medicine and have them submit a referral to the doctor. A referral from the family medicine clinic to a doctor within the clinic.5 The real solution could be a lot easier: fix the billing errors & find out who is making them and either teach them how not to make that mistake or fire them. But they’re sticking to the referral solution, which seems like a lot of unnecessary paperwork.  It’s especially unnecessary since it didn’t stop them from submitting my father’s bill to a collection agency. That was after they spent the year telling him not to pay it. Yeah, after that, my family was like, “We need new doctors.”  That’s easier said than done for me. Medicaid keeps my options limited. There aren’t many clinics or family doctors in Huntsville who will take it—even fewer if you combine it & the Humana. So I’m a bit concerned about shopping for a new doctor. I don’t think my family realizes just how hard it is to find a doctor who takes both.  Anyway, I need to get some rest so that I won’t be too exhausted at physical therapy tomorrow.6 #DefundPP can suck it. ↩Congrats to them on the “Center for Medical Progress” trolls being indicted in Texas over those shitty videos. It’s rather amusing to me that they’re the ones accused of attempting to purchase human organs—and that’s just what they tried to do in their little scheme. It’s also amusing to see conservatives bend over backwards to prove there was a liberal conspiracy in Texas by a District Attorney appointed by Rick Perry. There are pills for this kind of thinking. But I digress. ↩ ↩My UTI appointment. My mom’s blood pressure & post-hospitalization checkups. My dad’s physical. Routine stuff. ↩Actually, to different doctors in the clinic since we each have different doctors in charge of our care. ↩Two sessions to go. ↩

Oh the Doctors You’ll See


My hope was short-lived. I reviewed your chart with Dr. Light and the front desk. We confirmed that your insurance would not cover the visit, however, we are willing to call in the depo (prior research showed that Huntsville Hospital pharmacy carries it the cheapest in town) but that you would likely have to pay for the depo out of pocket as well. You could bring the depo prescription in to us when your period starts, and that way you’d only be seen as a “nurse visit” for administration of the depo only (cheaper than office visit). I hope this is a satisfactory alternative for you. Are you fucking kidding me? I didn’t want to be on the Depo any more. I don’t ever want to take the Depo again. How did they think that’s what I wanted, when in the last email, I specifically told the doctor, “I was going off Depo, which was due that week, because of the risk of bone loss. I have Ehlers-Danlos, a Vitamin D deficiency, and family history of osteopenia, so I wanted to avoid bone loss.” Going off the Depo had been mentioned in my need for the appointment and in other communications, including one to this doctor, back in September, where I said, “I would also like to change from Depo to the minipill because I’m worried about bone loss.” I know that I’m not always the best at communicating, but I think I’ve been pretty clear about not wanting to ever have another Depo shot. It’s not a satisfactory alternative because it’s not what I was asking for at all. I’ve already been on the depo for a year, have received the shots from you guys every ten weeks until the last one, and wanted to go off of it because of the bone loss concerns–vitamin d deficiency, Ehlers-Danlos, and a family history of osteopenia. I wanted to go on the mini-pill because it still offers the progesterone, but doesn’t have a risk of bone loss. After the September incident, I waited until October, like I was told, to schedule the annual exam so that I could get the prescription for that. Is there any way that I can have my annual and get that prescription instead of the depo that I do not want to take? I get the feeling that I won’t get the appointment or the prescription, but I’m not going down without a fight on this whole thing. I’m sick of being given the run-around. This is a relatively simple exam. You stick the speculum in, then the spatula, then the brush. Not hard.1 And writing a prescription doesn’t take long at all. Why is this so fucking difficult for them to do? Right now, I’m considering going off the Humana completely & going back to Medicare/Medicaid so that I can find a gynecologist who will do my stupid pap smear and write me this prescription. I don’t understand why this has to be so difficult. I don’t understand why every interaction with these people seems to end with me either in tears or foolishly expecting for them to actually do their jobs before finding out that they don’t intend to do them. I’m flexible enough that I could probably do it myself. ↩

Are You Daft?