Sunday, April 1, 2007

Concepts-- Finally


As of Saturday morning, my aides are officially on Concepts in Independence. No more dealing with Leslie or VNS. The upside is no more on-call aides. The downside is no more on-call aides. If an aide is out, she gets one of the other aides to fill in. So I need some other people on my list as “on-calls”. Also, Ellita is going to Guyana for two weeks in July.

So I am putting out a call here. The only requirements are a social security number, over 18 years of age, and a willingness to be with me for a twelve-hour shift either 7am-7pm or 7pm-7am. There are forms to fill out, one trip to the Astoria office to process papers and a physical exam in Rego Park. The pay right now is $10.60 an hour weekdays and 11.70 an hour weekends. Double time or double-time-and-a-half for certain holidays. There is no certification involved and anybody can do it, as long as it is not a parent, child (I have none), or in-law. If anyone reading this wants to get on the list in case of a needed substitute, and/or fill in a shift or two in July during Ellita’s absence, let me know or if you know anybody, put her in touch with me.

I have to work out something for Easter Sunday to give Ellita time off at least for part of the day, since I have no plans to go anywhere. I am a little melancholy about Passover. I would like to be at a seder but no invites. It is hard for me to go to a community seder due to the expense (me and an aide) and I have to know that the place is accessible for me and my wheelchair. Oh well, I have had to adjust to a lot over the last few years. And holidays are just another adjustment. Passover should mean sitting at a table with a sizable group of people. I have fun memories of that as a kid. The upside is that I am happy to be alive to see another Passover and Easter go by.

I am adjusting to whole new simpler life. I have found pleasure in interesting podcasts on my i-Pod (thank you again, Marji) and I find myself looking forward to certain tv shows -- I just started watching Lost this year and I still like Law and Order, CSI, American Idol, Without a Trace, and House. I have really gotten into The Amazing Race this season and I can’t believe I never watched it, or Lost, before. I really like the concept of Lost-- that you can start a whole new life where nobody knows you from before. I am sort of doing that to an extent. With the exception of a very few people who knew me before ALS who still keep in touch and come around, I have people in my life now who email me and check in. Some of them I have never met in person, and never will, and others have never known me walking and speaking. They all accept me the way I am. Maybe this is the way it is for me -- that people who knew me before can’t deal with who I am now. Or more likely, I was the one who always took the initiative in those relationships and now that I can’t drive, make the phone calls and the plans, those connections were never strong enough on the other side. With the exception, of course, of a few who can still hold up their end.

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