Tag Archives: living on welfare

The Blog-Where It’s Going and Where The Hell I’ve Been

I started the blog in 2011 and it’s been my baby ever since. I don’t do things half assed and would absolutely panic if I couldn’t monitor the blog and reply to comments even for one day.

Now I don’t even remember the last time I was here and I feel awful about it and want to bring everyone up to date.

I am hesitant to post about it because I know my ex reads the blog and I know he would get great pleasure from hearing I am not doing well. But to hell with him, I really don’t care what he thinks.

New people to the blog probably don’t know about my health issues and well, even my Facebook friends don’t know the full story.

I had my first heart attack in 2011. I felt great afterwards, went straight back to work and didn’t take my meds or follow any doctor’s orders. I had a business to run, bills to pay, a life to put back together. When I left my ex I left with $5, my dog and my truck. That was it.

I ended up living in a holiday trailer with no running water, no sewer and an extension cord for power. The dogs water dish froze inside the trailer and I slept with my parka and boots on. I didn’t have the facilities to cook proper meals and ate fast food and precooked meals, all high in sodium.

My ex had sabotaged my truck to the point I broke myself trying to fix it. I got a job offer and jumped on it. A couple of months after getting the job I went into heart failure. My ex was making anonymous calls to my boss trying to get me fired and the strata where I lived trying to get me evicted. That was 2013.

This time I was told in no uncertain terms to quit work, take my meds and eat properly etc. I had no choice. By the time I had driven myself to the emergency ward I was so far into heart failure I would have been dead in 24 hours, my lungs were filling with fluid and I was literally drowning.

I had worked long enough to qualify for sick benefits for 4-5 months and then got an office job. I got enough time in there to qualify for unemployment benefits when that company went bankrupt. I had put the last of my retirement funds into purchasing a small cabin and lost that when I could no longer work and was denied disability benefits.

From there I lived in my car for awhile, bought a trailer cheap and fixed it up (had another heart attack while fixing that up) and couldn’t even afford the cost of a campsite for the trailer. Back into my car I went.

In 2016 the cardiologist told me I had to get a pacemaker defibrillator implant and he quadrupled my heart med (carvidelol) . The pacemaker was supposed to take 45 minutes to implant. Four hours later and 3 heart surgeons attempts they could not get the pacemaker wire hooked up and had cut one of my ventricles. I was sent home to heal and they would try again.

That was last winter and I was in horrible pain and was horribly sick for over 6 months. No doctor seemed to take me seriously and I just wanted to die.

I have always told the doctors that my quality of life is more important to me than quantity of life.

Struggling to get by on $610 a month welfare, in excruciating pain that was only bareable if I was laying flat on my stomach.

I went to 5 chiropractors trying to find relief for the pain in my ribs and ended up taking pain med that were bad for my heart and they didn’t even work.

I started to research carvidelol on my own and discovered it can be a miracle drug for some and a death sentence for others. If not properly monitored it can actually damage the heart and cause heart failure.

They tried to hook up the pacemaker again and AGAIN it took 3 cardiologists 4 hours and they still didn’t get it hooked up.

I complained to the doctors at VGH where they did the procedure about my pain and horrible side effects and all they said was it couldn’t possibly be due to anything they had done. Yet I had come out of the anesthetic while they were still working on me and the doctor was pushing on my chest so hard and I was in such pain I tried to climb off the table. They gave me another shot and I was out but now knew how rough they treated me.

They said they wouldn’t try to hook up the wire that way again, there was another, more invasive way they would try next time. One where they go through my ribcage and recovery is 4 times longer.

I told them no one was touching me ever again! ! Any mention of another attempt to hook up that wire literally gives me an anxiety attack.

I finally found a chiropractor (thank God!!) Who was able to get rid of pain. It turns out I have an extra rib and in their attempts to hook up the wire they had moved one of my ribs and irritated an old whiplash injury.

Although I was out of pain I still had terrible side effects and decided to cut back on my carvidilol myself. So what of it was “saving my life” it was a life not worth living.

I had to go to VGH to have the defibrillator checked and mentioned to the technician how horrible I had been feeling and the angel went and got the head of the UBC Heart Function Clinic to come talk to me. It was the first time I felt listened to and he spoke with my mom and I for an hour. I left with the first hope I had felt in over a year.

Long story short; the UBC Heart Function took on my case, changed my meds and I was feeling pretty good. I tried working and collapsed on night last summer while letting Stella out for a pee. Well actually she had woken me up and I assumed she had to pee but in retrospect I think she sensed something was wrong. My defibrillator shocked me and brought me back.

I lost my drivers license for 6 months because of it. UBC read my defibrillator printout and I had 84 “episodes”, 4 shocks, and 1 major heart attack in 6 months.

I am positive that being on the wrong meds and being in such horrible pain for so long has damaged my heart.

My meds were adjusted and I was hopeful. Tried to keep myself positive.

I found a cheap place to live and been here a year but it is just a basement; no kitchen, no real privacy. The owner snoops whenever I go out, and has made a play for me. He’s 20 years my senior!

I have a hot plate to cook on and a bar size fridge, no kitchen sink, a mattress on the floor and it is located in a really hilly area but they allow Stella and the rent is doable. I can’t walk Stella because of the hills and can’t cook proper meals or buy cheap food in quantities because I don’t have a proper fridge.

I have just applied for disability for the 4th time.

I have a partial plate and just before Christmas a tooth in the front broke off. The dentist said I need to have all my teeth extracted and my gums are all infected. Welfare only pays a portion and I can’t afford to pay the difference. Welfare doesn’t care that it is a strain on my heart to fight the infection.

I got the flu on Dec 27th, 2017 which turned into pneumonia and I was flat out on the couch the whole month of January.

The first week of February I went for a checkup at UBC Heart Function Clinic and was told that they have done all they can for me, my only option is a heart transplant. I refuse a heart transplant because I see no point in prolonging a life not worth living. I really don’t want to sound negative and some people want to live no matter what. But living on welfare, always struggling, always broke, not able to eat properly, rotten teeth, living in substandard conditions; is not a life worth prolonging in my mind.

I am hopeful my application for disability will be approved this time. My heart is functioning at below 20%, according to the Nurse Practitioner, “which is barely enough to keep your organs functioning, how much blood and oxygen do they think is getting to your brain in order for you to hold down a job?”

The Heart clinic is transferring my records close to home because they have done all they can.

So…… that is what I have been doing lately. I had to take time to digest the fact that I am not going to be around much longer. I around not afraid of dying and don’t really have any regrets. I have led a pretty great life over all. I have a fantastic son and grand daughter but it is hard to really accept the facts.

I have made arrangements for Stella because she will be lost without me and I really worry about her. My son is grown but I know he’ll miss his momma.

I turn 60 in April and I just feel it’s all gone by too fast! Realistically I know that no one has any guarantees about how long they will live.

I must admit though that I have spent a lot of time staring into space, awake at night, thinking. As much as I tell myself I need to visit the blog, or wash dishes, or get dressed I can waste a day watching mindless TV or on Facebook.

The only way I can describe how I feel is this;

After 10 years with my ex and 8 years trying to recover (5 of which he stalked me and tried everything he could think of to destroy me). Eight years of doctors not listening to me, welfare not listening, always struggling I feel like I am floating in a huge ocean. The ship has gone down, I am alone and panic but tell myself “You can do this. Hang in there. Someone will come along to rescue you.” So I manage to tread water for awhile. A piece of wood floats by so I hang onto it for awhile and don’t have to swim so hard. But eventually it breaks apart and I am treading water again. I see a ship in the distance but it never comes. I get more and more discouraged and hopeless.

I am tired, but I don’t want to spend what time I have left, just treading water. I am going to make some changes to the format of the blog and start to write my book. More on that to come.

Please keep me and Stella in your prayers and if you can see clear to make a donation I would truly appreciate any help I can get towards my dental work.

Talk to you all soon.

Love and hugs 💞❤💕

Some Times You Just Have to Laugh

I have had a couple of days that have had such a mixed bag of events and emotions, I just have to laugh.

I think a few people were confused by my last post I typed it off in a hurry and maybe didn’t explain myself fully.

For one thing the counselor appointment had nothing to do with being investigated, I had the appointment long before the investigation thing came up. My worker at the funding office thought I needed someone to talk to considering all I have had to deal with and I haven’t been to a counselor at all since long before I even met James and thought, “Hey! why not maybe I do need to talk to someone.” The counselor’s office is right next door to the office where I go to get my funding package done and the girl was even kind enough to give me a gas card to get there.

I ended up with an eye infection and missed my first appointment because I wear contact lens’s and couldn’t drive without them. My eyes cleared up in a couple of days. I researched it on the net and found an article that recommended boiling a cup of water and adding a teaspoon of honey to it and letting it cool. Then several times a day put drops of the honey water in your eyes and it worked!! But then I had to put my same contact lens’s in and it came back so I have been fighting this eye infection for over a week now but i think I am winning that battle.

So back to the counselor. A very sweet young girl, probably younger than my son but that doesn’t mean she isn’t good. She was very welcoming and easy to talk to. I was a little teary because I was concerned about money and this investigation but I filled her in briefly about what I have been through the past 15 years. Very condensed version. I told her about the blog, about how I was broken, sitting on the couch failed my suicide attempt and started putting the pieces of me back together. She said that my attitude was exactly what she hopes to accomplish when she counsels someone, she was amazed that I had done all that healing and was as strong and together as I am without seeing a counselor. She got a big smile on her face when she asked what school I wanted to attend and she agreed with me that it is a great school and would offer exactly the courses I needed. She said that she felt my goal of going into schools with a program and becoming a life skills coach working with victims of abuse was my calling and that I had found my purpose in life. She said that she didn’t think I needed counseling, that I had ever right to be upset about my situation right now and that if I could find work or get funded for school I would be fine. My mental state is fine and healthy.

She did mention that she would like to keep talking to me but only because she would love to learn more about how I healed myself and more about domestic abuse but not because she felt i needed it and she felt I probably had enough on my plate without fitting her into my life. But her door is always open if I do need someone to talk to, even just a sounding board.

I am thinking maybe I will talk to her about giving workshops through that office or the funding office free at first, but maybe i can get some valuable experience. I really enjoyed our visit and I really liked her and I gave her my blog name so if she wanted to learn more she can read here.

So counselor. Good.

i went back home and put in my 4th call to the investigating officer, and left my 4th message. Of course she called me back 1/2 way through the day. I had already been into the counselor and so was low on gas. She wanted me to bring in all this paperwork and then I could get my cheque. I said I didn’t have the gas to run around and gather all this paperwork. She said, “Well how were you going to get your cheque?” I said that I didn’t know seeing as it was supposed to go directly into my account. She said “Well when you figure out how you are going to get your cheque bring the paperwork in and have them fax it to me and wait for your cheque.” So with my gas gauge below E I headed out to the welfare office with my paperwork. I handed it and waited, they were rude, I swear to God those people need a lesson in people skills, they treat everyone on welfare like they are the scum of the earth. Anyway, not a word from anyone and at 4 o”clock the lock the doors and leave me sitting in my car. When I had handed my papers to the woman I had said I was going to take a seat and she had said, “No just stand there.” I said, “No I have a heart condition and with this heat, I am going to sit down because I am not feeling well.” and I took a seat. maybe she didn’t like that oh well.

Anyway I am sitting in my car, having pains behind my shoulder again when a woman who just missed picking up her cheque by 2 minutes, they locked the door as she ran up came up to the car and asked me if I could call her a cab. I didn’t know the number for a cab and we started talking, she was a talker, rather hyper but nice enough. Finally she opened the passenger door and asked if she could sit down inside the car. She kept saying i could get a cheap apartment where she lives only $450 a month plus utilities. I asked how she can afford that when her cheque is only $610 and she said that she goes into houses that are going to be demolished and steals the copper and wire and she could use someone with a vehicle to help her. I said, “No offense and I am not judging you because you gotta do what you gotta do but I can’t break the law.” She kept babbling on about how I should move in where she is and she is going to help me and I am thinking, “How do I get rid of this woman?” Finally she asked for a ride home and I said my gas gauge was below E but if she was on my way home I would drop her off. I did feel bad for her and it was so hot. We ended up going off in another direction than the one I would have taken to get home and finally we pull in the driveway. The house next door is the “safe house” for abused women and there are a bunch of guys hanging around in front and her roommate is walking back and forth on the street in front. the roommate wants a ride to money Mart and I said I had no gas and she said she would give me something once she cashed her cheque. I am thinking, this is only getting worse. I left, promising I would come back for a visit and asked the woman if she could get a ride back home from Money Mart and she said yes. OK we are almost at Money Mart only 2 blocks to go and the car runs out of gas. I tell the woman to not worry about me, go to Money Mart I would be fine. I wanted her out of my car, the hyper woman had told me her roommate was stealing from her and then when the roommate got in the car she told me the hyper woman was stealing from her. I just wanted to get away from them both. This is the kind of place they expect you to live and even that was more than anyone can afford without stealing.

I still had my $15 for gas so I started walking first i stopped at a car lot and said i had run out of gas and had a heart condition, did they have any gas I could buy. No. I asked for a cold drink and they pointed at the pop machine. I had a dollar for a pop.

I went to 5 auto repair shops and one of them had a jerry can but they were closing in an hour and didn’t think I could get back from a gas station before they closed. I told them all I had a heart condition and not one of them offered to give me a ride nothing. At 5 to 6 after a full hour of trying to get help I saw a Harley shop, I thought, if any one is going to help me it will be a biker. I was right these guys were great, got me gas made me a funnel out of a pop bottle and refused to take any money. I thanked them over and over again. Got back to my car, and to a gas station and home by 7. Poor Stella had been locked up all day in the hot boat without going pee for 12 hours. She was SO happy to see me.  and I was happy to be “home”.

Welfare office. Bad

helping someone out. Good Bad.

Running out of gas Bad, Good.

Getting home to Stella’s kisses. Good.

Somehow through it all I am holding my own and through the help of many people here. I can’t say too much but thank you for all the support from many of you. You are angels and really got me through a bleak day, weekend, week, month,…………year, 5 years.

My mom called and we had a good talk. That made a huge difference too.

Now I am off to answer some of the comments made the past few days.