My 80-year old mother and I have a great relationship.
For as long as I can remember, there has NEVER been a time that she wasn’t on my side.
She is patient with me. She is supportive. She has never judged any decision that I have made.
Did I mention that she is bipolar?
She’s been called a lot of names over the years, from manic-depressive to chemical imbalance to just plain crazy, but to me, she’s just mom.
It has taken me a long time to accept the fact that her behavior is out of her control. It has taken her a long time to accept that there are medications that can help her.
Unfortunately, my mom was dealt a bad set of cards.
She didn’t know her father. She lost her five-year old daughter to a terrible accident. She sat by and watched her eldest son battle cancer for two years.
Bipolar? I believe the appropriate diagnosis for her is, unlucky.
Even with all that she has been put through, she wakes up every day with just one goal in mind -- love life.
Somedays, that is easier than others.
After I lost my job, my mom lost her balance.
One hip surgery, one wrist surgery and three months in a rehab facility later, we decided that it was time for her to move closer than the 1000 miles that she had lived from us.
We tried to make that new home in our basement, but after several months and several emergency trips to the emergency room, reality set in.
We needed to go to Plan M -- Plan Medicaid.
Fortunately, there are still programs in this country that will take care of those who need care.
Unfortunately, you can’t do it without patience and persistence.
By no means, especially financial, was my mother able to take care of the forms and forms.... and forms that it takes to get Medicaid approved.
The good news is, I am unemployed.
At least I was until I took on the full-time employment of dealing with all the paperwork. I must remind you that this new job of mine doesn’t come with a salary, but the benefits are incredible.
I filled out the 50-something page application for my mom, leaving only the place for her to give her 20+ autographs.
I’m not sure where my state ranks, but with the degree of difficulty in getting the form filled out accurately, it could be an olympic event.
After printing and re-printing, faxing and re-faxing, I had successfully muddled my way through all of the paperwork -- no small feat considering I had to answer more questions than the SAT.
That’s enough to drive anybody crazy.
Finally, through the grace of God, the support of Debbie at the Medicaid office and the flipping of three pages on my month-by-month calendar, the application was approved.
My mom now lives in a senior facility, 15 minutes from our house, where all meals and medication are prepared for her.
Thankfully, I am unemployed again.