Saturday, April 21, 2012

Highs and Lows of being Me

This last week has brought on extreme lows and, right now, and for the last 2 days, a deep contentment and outright happiness. 

Jeremy had need of his birth certificate.  Years ago, I had got him a certified copy and given it to him.  When he married Dusti, I had given her a notebook with household organizing pages, and put his hospital birth certificate in it under B.  Or maybe C.  Anyways, after they divorced, I saw the notebook and looked thru it.  There was the certificate still.  So I took it back.  Of course - I did not remember this. 

Jeremy text-ed me a picture of his copy the other day with "Notice something?"  They had his birthday wrong - transposed the numbers 30 to 03. 

I had recently gone round and round with the Social Security office about my birthday - they had it in their system as the 31st rather than the 30th, and I was unable to do anything online with my magic disability money because of it.  I found it ridiculous that the Social Security had messed up on both of us - 2 of us in the same family!  And it's not like MS had a role - doing his certified copy was years and years ago, and I had to show them the hospital one in order to get it.  And despite the MS, I have not forgotten my OWN BIRTHDAY.  I'm sure it was just a matter of typing it in wrong in both cases. 

Taking a wild guess, I looked under B in my file cabinet, and discovered Jeremy's original birth certificate!  So I text-ed him a picture of it, hoping that would be proof enough, should he need it.  And off I went to the Social Security office with both copies of our birth certificates - glad to help him solve his problem (I get to HELP! him, for a change), and solve mine too, which I had forgotten about.  Course, once I was there, they told me I had solved mine a few weeks ago... I'd just forgotten, and could've been doing my business online for weeks now. 

The security guard at the Social Security office saw me coming and met me at the door with my ticket number (order in which to be helped) so I wouldn't have to walk to the middle of the room to get it myself.  

I was hoping for a good, long wait in line there at the SS office, so I could rest, but noooo.  I was in and out of there within 20 minutes.  Unheard of, according to local wore. 

It took 4 hours to walk .81 miles home.  As in less than a mile.  About 12 blocks.  Something I could usually do in a half hour or so. 

On the way home, shopkeepers came out of their shops with a chair or a milk crate for me to sit on to rest.  They could see me coming thru their windows.  One lady looked in her pickup and then went inside her shop and brought out her dad, who gave me his cane from the pickup.   It was a really cool cane too. 

At one point, while sitting alone on a milk crate, watching people walk and walk and walk by me, I was in tears, overwhelmed with how much this still hurts (emotionally), how much I still cannot seem to get used to it, how much I hate it, how much it's taken from me.  How much it still shocks me when it hits.  How much worse it's getting.  And how it never gives me notice. 

I was glad Hank was not with me.  He was busy finding a hostel closer to me.  He is loving San Francisco as much as I do. 

Annie cannot help me with the weakness, and it broke my heart to see how upset she was - she was WORRIED, and it was obvious.  She actually licked my face when I cried - something she does not do to me, and has never done before.

When I reached the lobby to my home, I sat down and burst into tears, out of relief and exhaustion.  There were 2 ladies there, who have never seen me weak.  One was shocked, and the other, whom I've butt heads with before, was the sweetest and nicest I've ever seen her. 

I said it out loud.  "I give up.  I give in."   She said, "It's about time". 

The next day, I took the "handicap van", a service I qualified for months ago and have never taken.  They take me door to door, and the driver is allowed to help me off and on, and they're allowed to carry up to 4 bags for you.  

He took me to the restaurant where the lady gave me the cane.  I returned the cane and had lunch there.  A delicious Reuben Sandwich.  After dropping  a piece of spinach lettuce and watching Annie eat it, I then gave her some more, curious out of my normal ban of never giving her people food, much less directly from the table!  She. LOVED. it.  She ate it all.  I asked what kind of dressing they put on the salad - some sort of fig stuff. 

I then walked a block down to the bookstore where I had picked up a bag of free books the day before, not realizing that I wouldn't be able to carry it home.  (Sometimes, carrying something actually helps ground me).  They held them for me.  I bought 4 or 5 cheap books and then sat outside their shop, in the shade, to wait for the van to pick me up.  It was another wonder of San Francisco.  Late, but nevertheless - a wonder.  I'll have to use them more often. 

Because obviously, being disabled is an expensive endeavor...

To be continued...

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