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Total Ridiculousness (developing story)

Yo, people of Phoenix Rising - Lend me your ears! Or how about … your eyeballs instead?

Ummm, this will be a sort of rant. But not really. This is a copy of the email I'm sending to my dietitian / nutritionist. Why am I sending this to her? Well, why not? I have to send this to somebody. Not that anything can be done. Because, people are just all f*****d up all over the place all the time.

As an example, check out the following:

Tasks December 20th, 2023

Call Aveanna Medical Supply… again

Note: I left two separate messages with them yesterday, and they failed to call me back, as promised by their automated voice indicator

Call DES again

Note: this is for food stamps. Why do I need food stamps? Because I'm eating food now. A fairly reasonable amount every day (up to 500 calories). However, every time I call the Department of Economic Security, they tell me they're too busy, and the automated voice encourages me to try again some other time, before terminating the call.

Well, I've tried calling every day for the past two weeks, and they're always too busy to take my call. So there's that, too!

Call doctor in regards to prescription, again

Note: I've been trying to get my prescription pain meds for the past six weeks. And now finally, nine days ago, they sent the codeine prescription to Walgreens.

By phone, Walgreens confirmed receipt of the prescription order, then also (days later) advised the prescription is ready for pickup Thar was last Friday.

The person who was once my wife, went to pick up the prescription Friday evening, and the Walgreens pharmacist told her they do not fill that prescription, because it's liquid codeine and it's dangerous, and they've never filled out that prescription before, and apparently they were so very sad that they couldn't help us with the silly never-ending recurring pain issues keep me up at night.

Luckily, I've been borrowing everyone else's pain medications. Expired pain medications, but now at this point I'll ingest just about anything to ease my suffering

Call Mrs Castro at Social Security, again

Note: they totally f****d up my SSI payment. Well, I suppose I should simply be glad that I'm receiving any money at all. But $30 a month? Really? Of course, that's $30 more than I've received in the past decade, so I really shouldn't complain about anything at all. I mean really, I should be dead many times over at this point. It's only by luck (or negligence, take your pick) that I discovered open-ended limitless sunshine as being my saving grace.

The problem being, I called Social Security and they promised they would call me back (from the local office) and they haven't … and now it's the Christmas holiday (and then it's going to be New Year's) so I'm going to receive another $30 for next month, and the month after that, unless someone fixes this today.

Social Security is still insisting that I live at the nursing home. And so are these other entities. That's despite my officially changing my locale utilizing proper channels and such.

Call case manager Sandra ****** in regards to …. Many Many Things

Note: I left the nursing home back in October, and I have yet to hear from my case manager. They were supposed to give me an adjustable hospital bed, among other things. And there are caregiving concerns, and other related issues that need to be addressed. But hey, whatever, that's the least of my problems right now. I'm living in a f*****g garage and it's quiet and everybody leaves me alone, so I guess I shouldn't complain about the lack of attention I'm receiving (on all fronts, and in several fonts).

So that brings us to the main event. Something that just happened minutes ago and is still festering inside me, as well as flustering me.

Here's my pointless missive to my nutritionist / dietitian - redacted as necessary, to protect the innocent:

Good morning,

Just a little information for you, something you'll find amusing, I'm sure…

My formula order didn't come yesterday, as scheduled. I called Aveanna twice, and they never returned my call. So this morning I called first thing, only to find out that the order was shipping today. Hurry for me, right?

So just on a hunch, I ask them to confirm the delivery address. And they gave the address of the nursing home, my former residence. The place I left back in October.

I explained to the woman that I received my last order here at my new address (**** E. **** Rd.), and asked her why they wouldn't continue sending the address to the place where I now currently reside.

Anyways, they said they could not stop or redirect the order, but she did explain that UPS would pick up the order tomorrow from the nursing home, and then, because of the holiday, wouldn't be able to send it back out until after Christmas (next week).

Yes, this is exactly what's happening right now. And the woman (Leticia) didn't even bother to apologize for … well, it's common courtesy to apologize when your company screws something up, I think. At least, that's how it used to be back in the olden days, before covid-19 struck.

I do have six bottles of formula to last me for the next number of days, so I guess I shouldn't be complaining. Well, besides the fact that I also require formula bags. But whatever.

What I think I'm going to do (post-shipment) is ride my wheelchair down Bell Road, to the nursing home (2.5 mi away), and pick up some formula bags and extra formula to wheel back to my home… well, as much as I can carry on my lap.

Thank Santa Claus my diarrhea has finally stopped!!! Why, because it's going to take most of my day to traverse this distance back and forth, in and out of traffic, etc.

And luckily, the rain is supposed to stop mid-morning, so I guess things will work out after all, right?

Aveanna explained to me that someone would be calling me back from the Recurring Order Department sometime later today (possibly). I do not suspect that's going to help matters much at all, not in this instance, and not right away. I voiced my concerns, but yeah, nothing is likely to get resolved this week.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, whatever… at least we know the Kate Farms formula is not going to murder me to death. Small victories. Yes, indeed.

Howard Charles Neal III

What It Is

So yeah, that's what I'm up against today. The problem being, if I take a partial portion of the order with me (from the nursing home, back to my current home), UPS wouldn't pick up the rest of the order because it would no longer be complete. At least, I think that's what’s going to happen. But what are my options, really?

I could ask the wife-person to pick up the order from the nursing home, but it's rather bulky / heavy, and it won't fit in her vehicle - at least not in a single trip. And really, this is not her responsibility or her fault.

Bottom Line

Things will be okay. I'm fine. I've been able to go outside the past three days for an hour at a time. And I'm having fun making music on the laptop. What else can a guy ask for?



It floors me how much work we have to put in to the management of our own care and especially in your case...........very basic needs. I hope it all gets worked out for you soon Howard. That would be a Christmas Miracle.

Thinking of you always.

I hope it all gets worked out for you soon

No kidding. And thank you!

The level of incompetence out there in the real world is staggering. What's happened to humankind? Honest question.

In any case, I completed my task. I took the bus for the first time and it was fairly simple. As a result, I now have enough formula and supplies to last me until next Tuesday. Really, I couldn't carry more than that on my lap and still safely navigate the local terrain. :)

Besides that, I'm excited that we have flash flood watches up and running. We're supposed to have (possibly) an inch and a half of rain on Friday. I think that's how much rain we've had total, in the past 11 months!

I suspect you'll be getting in on the deluge as well, so please enjoy.
You what????
The city buses here have an available ramp that extends outward, allowing access to wheelchair boarding. Here's a brief video, demonstrating how it works:

Phoenix is different, as the ramp is situated at the rear door.

My chair barely fits in the allotted space (inside the bus), but I'm able to pull up the footrests (on my chair) and pull my legs up to my chest. Basically, the feeding pole on back of my chair makes me a more challenging fit.

I couldn't ride the bus in the summer though, as my black on black chair would leave me uncomfortably overheated / heat distressed.
Are you able to look out the window?
Sometimes, after I’ve visited my mother in law, I’ll take the long bus ride home, a longer route.
I secretly call it the tourist trip to myself, seeing a bit different scenery and other houses.
If I’m really in the discovering mood, I might even sit on the other side of the bus than I usually do. But that, of course, is not an option for you.

You can travel? All by yourself?
For the Social Security stuff, can you try contacting your Senator or Congressperson? My Mom did that way back when regarding a small gov retirement annuity that she was awarded and the Senator got things going for her.

Not sure if it would work out so well these days but just explain and see maybe. ???
Boy, @Howard, what would your life be like without a telephone? You'd be lost for sure.

I wonder why the SSI is taking so long. I love the way they tell you that an appointment can be made and you're easily taken care of. Well, it's not working that way in your case.....why?

Yes, you do need help with caretakers and food allowances....and why you have to chase them down is beyond me.

Well, is Santa coming to you this year or not. I do hope you won't be affected by the floods as I saw pictures on TV that made you realize just how powerful Mother Nature can be. Be careful.

At least you're staying warm....thankfully. Glad you could take the bus to the nursing home. I'm sure you were happy to once again be able to enter those hallowed doors.

The ex-Mrs. Neal has been a wonderful help to you. I can't imagine many divorced couples having that type of relationship.

No hospital bed? That's really tough and I'm sorry about all of your troubles I really am. Who, if anyone has your new address? You haven't been good about sending the postal change of address cards out. I wonder if that's some of the problem? Now stay safe in your ark...what are you plans for higher ground if needed? Never mind....the rains/floods are probably happening now. Stay safe, please. Yours, Lenora
Im thrilled to hear @Howard you've managed to score Bus Rides.

I'm without my LDN Pills: weeks have passed and I could write a column similar to yours, about how nobody answers the phone, or attends to the action needing attending to.

I'll return, as I'm not very "awake" at the moment. why wake up, its 3:30 pm.
I do hope you won't be affected by the floods

Nope. We probably had an inch of rain, but it was a result of three separate downpours throughout the day. And where I'm located, is on relatively higher ground.

I'm sure you were happy to once again be able to enter those hallowed doors.

I was very happy seeing my people again. I feel so very happy knowing that I could come and go as I pleased!

I can't imagine many divorced couples having that type of relationship.

Well, she enjoys being around me, apparently. Plus, I am a nice human being. Generally. And I am a good listener, except when I am interjecting and interrupting her stories. She talks a lot when she's around me, and sometimes I think of things that I need to say. Things that I'll forget if I don't say them right away.

I know it's rude of me, but otherwise I have to sit there and remind myself don't say anything don't say anything don't say anything don't say anything. And then after 20 minutes, I hadn't said anything and she wonders why I hadn't.

I'm without my LDN Pills: weeks have passed and I could write a column similar to yours, about how nobody answers the phone, or attends to the action needing attending to.

Nothing shocking. Nothing shocking anymore.

Personally, I believe this country is disintegrating. Everyone is so verily buried in social media, has their noses buried in their smartphones - and also, obsessed with acquiring consumer goods. Unnecessary nothingness. Objects of ruin. Derivatives of fleeting pleasure, inevitable regret.

I don't feel the main objective is the betterment of oneself. But perhaps, that's never been the objective, across the land.

I'm sorry you aren't getting your needs met. Quite frustrating.
Well, she enjoys being around me, apparently.

You have both worked through some difficult issues, good for you both. As if we have an instruction manual of how to do these difficult things.

The Gratitude Chair beckons.

And the biggest challenge we humans face, is how to just Be. Can we just Be a Being that does not have a list of demands, or a set of future plans?

You are a prime example, of being closer to this Being State, than most of the rest of us. Hence, your experiences and comments are illustrative.

The four days here without power was an interesting test. One night. I did one whole night of sitting outside, under the stars, in the lawn chair. Just being. My phone, discharged. But within 24 hours, the landlord strung a cord over the three story building and wall of Virginia Creeper. We plugged in the refridgertor and saved the food. And I charged up the phone.

You Tube working again.

obsessed with acquiring consumer goods. Unnecessary nothingness. Objects of ruin. Derivatives of fleeting pleasure, inevitable regret.
I hope you don't mind if I save these three/four sentences, in my Saved Words of Wisdom file.

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