Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Not understood

   “I don’t understand him.”
   You don’t say. Why do you think I was having my attendant call?
   I was having my attendant call Social Security, because I had discovered a couple weeks ago that I had lost my Medicare card. I had tried going online to order a new card, but, because I get Medicare under my dad’s Social Security number as an “adult disabled child,” the website kept tripping up, saying I was “ineligible” or “don’t match.” So much for things being easier and faster online (and this wasn’t the first time I’ve had trouble with being under my dad’s number).
   I figured the representative, when we got through after about 20 minutes, would want to speak to me and have me answer a question or two to verify who I am. This is what usually happens, and, usually, upon hearing me, the representative gets what’s going on and speaks to my attendant conducting my business.
   But not this woman. She kept insisting that I say the Social Security number to her, and when I did, she kept telling my attendant, “I don’t understand him.”
   My attendant tried to explain the situation, but the woman kept saying she couldn’t talk to my attendant, because she couldn’t understand me and verify who I was. When my attendant asked to speak to the manager, the woman said it wouldn’t make any difference, because “it is the rules.” She suggested we go to the office.
   This is exactly what I didn’t want to do - go down to Pomona and take a number and sit and wait for it to be called. I felt defeated, hurt, angry - like I was kicked to the back of the bus, if not under the bus, because of my speech.
   The next day at the Social Security office, the woman who I saw ordered another Medicare card for me and also gave me instructions for creating an online account, so I won’t have to deal with the confusion over receiving benefits under my dad’s number and with having to call. I’ll see how this works.
   Meanwhile, I was out last week riding along in my wheelchair when a woman drove up beside me and asked if I was okay. I said yeah. She then asked me, “Do you know where you’re going?” I said yeah, but I wanted to ask, “And you?” And, “And do you have a life?”
   At least she wasn’t like the woman who, some years ago, followed me in her car for blocks as I sped along in my wheelchair, repeatedly asking me if I was alright, where I was from and if I knew where I was going. She gave up when another man riding along the street in a wheelchair appeared.

1 comment:

  1. Frustrating as if you were unable to explain and the whole business about going down town, unbelievable! I was reminded with how you had recited your poetry and someone in the bathroom stall told your attendant it was sad? Your attendant looked amazed at this comment and exclaimed, "you don't get it". I was also a person who did not give you enough freedom and independence when I was corrected by reading your posts and now understand, the fact you are out and about is because you like it that way. And who wouldn't love to have a life rich and active as you.