Category Archives: brain injury

just another brick (in the) wall

so i went to the “intake appointment” at the neurology vocational services unit yesterday, and, rather as i suspected, they “couldn’t help me”. i found this out after driving for 45 minutes, getting caught in a massive traffic jam and finding my way on surface streets from boeing field all the way to harborview, paying $5.00 for parking (for which they only reimbursed me $2.50), filling out a 25-page(!) intake form by hand(!), and talking with an “employment specialist II” for 15 minutes. i think it’s at least partially because i said that i wasn’t really looking for “work” unless it is exactly the right job, but i am looking more for help marketing my own business, but i think it’s primarily because they only help people who have physical problems due to epilepsy, and someone with a head injury, while not totally out of the question, is apparently so rare that they don’t have a lot of resources for such a person. they did recommend that i contact EnSo – ENvisioning SOlutions – (whose server is in samoa?), but from what i’m able to tell, they’re more concerned with people who have developmental disabilities than they are with people who have brain injuries.

the lady i talked to said that she would get back to me later in the week, but i’m not gonna hold my breath.

He liked to pick them good guitars and listen to them ring…

i called the Neurology Vocational Services unit at harborview hospital yesterday, to see if i could get some help finding work. i talked with a guy for about fifteen minutes, told him that i was a brain injury survivor, that i didn’t have any insurance, that i hadn’t worked in over a year, and he encouraged me to come in for an initial consultation next week. he told me to bring whatever medical records i have, because they couldn’t help me if there wasn’t a neurological aspect to my injury. he then asked me if there was a nerological aspect to my injury. i said, “well, my neurologist seems to think so.” but that wasn’t good enough. he wanted me to present him with concrete proof that my injury had a neurological aspect, and warned me, again, that if there wasn’t a neurological aspect to my injury, that they couldn’t help me.

i haven’t even seen a doctor, much less a neurologist, in almost four years. the only piece of evidence that i have that i even had a neurologist at this point is a CD of images, and a note that he gave me to show to the department of clownland security goons at the airport, saying that i “had surgery for a vascular malformation in his brain, and has metal clips in his head” when i set of their metal detectors. i read this note to him, and he said that it sounded like i qualified, but he still wanted me to bring along whatever other evidence i have, and said, again, that if there wasn’t a neurological aspect to my injury, that they couldn’t help me.

i’m sorry if the nine inch scar on my scalp and my misshapen skull isn’t good enough for you… 8/

so i dug around and found the CD of x-ray and CT images that i have, and looked through it today. i don’t know if that’s good enough for them, but it did make me cry, which i found very odd…

four years ago, and i’ve pretty much recovered from the actual injury, and it makes me cry when i look at pictures of my brain in a state of chaos… and the guy insisting that i had to bring evidence of a specific injury, otherwise they can’t help me… it made me cry even more.

and people wonder why i’m not more encouraged to find things that will help me get back to work. bleh.

1068

this is a two part dream: the first part was out in a very rural area somewhere near place where a rural road split off and crossed a river. i lived somewhere relatively close, because i had walked there. the road ran parallel to the river and split off at right angles, where it crossed the river at right angles, over a bridge that was basically like a hill that went up, turned into a bridge and crossed the river, and then went down again, without any superstructure over the bridge, and the land around the river crossing was swampy, except for one place where there was a fairly modern building, with a parking lot. the building was some kind of spy organisation, and there were a lot of people there, both men and women, working busily. outside the building looked relatively small and normal, but inside it was a maze of corridors with offices and rooms on several floors, but i was only allowed to see the rooms on the ground floor. a lot of the people were speaking in code or using very specific technical jargon that i couldn’t always understand, and laughing about the fact that i couldn’t understand it. they said that if i told anybody about the fact that it was a spy organisation, i would be sorry, but at the same time, they gave me a very specific coded message that i was to give to somebody verbally. it was complex enough that i couldn’t remember all of it (and i can remember none of it now). i left on my “mission”, walking toward the river, and thinking how the only person that i could hope to tell all of this to was randy, who i knew to have been dead for at least 15 years, so it didn’t matter what they said about my being sorry, but at that exact same moment, i was attacked by three teenagers – or somebody on skateboards – dressed as ninjas, with machine guns, and i ran to the other side of the bridge and hid in the bushes.

when i emerged from the bushes, everything had changed. the one building on the other side of the river was now a sprawling industrial park, although the one building was still where it had been, now it was part of a lot of single-level buildings that were all connected together. randy was there, and we talked as though he had never died. we walked back across the river towards the industrial park, and i noticed my car, ganesha, parked in the parking lot next to the spy headquarters, so i decided to show him what i had been talking about. but the closer we got, the more suspicious i got that the people were really spies or something, and so when we got to the building, next to my car, we walked into the spy headquarters, and then turned the corner and walked out again, through a different door that lead to a kind of courtyard between the buildings. some of the people in the spy headquarters recognised me and commented that i shouldn’t have brought somebody else there, but they didn’t make a fuss about it when we immediately walked out again, although i did feel rather nervous about the whole thing, and i remember commenting to randy that they were all dangerous spies in this place.

we walked through the courtyard, which ran parallel to the river, behind the building complex, and eventually came to a place where there was a real agarbathiwallah – a guy who sold incense – at first he didn’t appear to be indian, but the more we talked to him, the more indian he appeared, although i was still convinced that he was somehow connected with the spy headquarters, and i was very suspicious about him for a long time. when i told him that i ran an incense business online, he told me that he wouldn’t sell incense to me because it was too “electrical and complex”. he did, however, sell incense to randy – really exotic, bulk incense for $4.50 a kilo – and i watched as randy wrote him a check, and he signed with his signature which i remember being exactly like the signature that randy signed when he was alive. more people came into the agarbathiwallah’s shop, who were apparently related in some way to the owner; an old man with a beard, and a young kid. the agarbathiwallah had a thing that looked like a shoe, only made out of wood, and he started doing something with some incense and a thing that looked like a pestle, also made out of wood, which he set on fire until it was smoldering and then ground the incense in the bottom of the shoe-like thing. i finally convinced him to sell me some incense: three large boxes and three small boxes of “pitha” incense. The Stars And Stripes Forever was playing on the piped in music thing in the store, and now i’ve got that march stuck in my head.


also another dream that i had yesterday, which was very short:

i dreamed that i was running an indian import business in the basement of a corner building in an old part of town – somewhere (possibly bellingham?). the basement was completely lined with wood, on the floor, on the ceiling, on the walls, and there was a huge wooden beam that supported the roof in the middle of the room. there was also what used to be a stairway to the upper floor, that was at least 100 years old, and was no longer a stairway, but was a bin for holding firewood. somehow this all came out of a previous dream in which i was selling indian imports at something like the oregon country fair: i remember a huge booth with flashy, twinkly lighted toys and doodads at the close of the fair, after everyone had left, but i don’t remember the context. anyway, i was in the process of moving (back?) into the basement store, and going around the store making sure everything was as it should be. one of my suppliers had an aqua imac that was having some difficulties, and i said i could fix it for him, but it had an operating system with which i am not familiar on it, and a whole bunch of obsolete software and stuff that was interfering with the process of getting it back to “normal”, and i was getting more and more frustrated with it.


1059

okay, here’s another reason why i have been grumpy and out of sorts since my return from OCF:

a couple of friends of mine from bellingham, ken and kamalla, have been planning a celebration of “the summer of love” for a while, and i have been invited to play music, along with a bunch of other musicians including a guy who is a famous musician (he played with some big name musicians back in the ’60s and ’70s but i can’t remember their names at the moment). i was planning on staying at the house that i lived at when i was in bellingham, called the “madhouse”, but then i learned that the madhouse is currently vacant because of the fact that collette, a very old friend of mine who has also been staying at the madhouse recently, has gone crazy and has driven everyone else away. the guy who owns the madhouse, darol (another very old friend of mine) and collette are the only people living there – there are usually at least 4 people, apart from darol, who lives there all the time, living there, and sometimes more than that.

the thing is, the psycho hose-beast from hell also lived at the madhouse before her first visit to the state loony bin a couple years ago, and i don’t want my association with these people (collette and the PHBFH) to affect my relationship with darol, and i don’t have anyplace else to stay in bellingham these days, because ken and kamalla have decided that they can’t have house guests while they’re preparing for the show. i have been waffling back and forth, one day i’m going to go to bellingham, and the next day i’m not, ever since i came back from OCF, and i’m getting really tired of not knowing whether i’m going to go or not, especially since the show is supposed to be in two weeks.

i had an appointment with ned this afternoon, but i had a BSSB performance at highline community college beforehand, and there was a massive traffic jam, so i arrived to my appointment 10 minutes late, and ned had already left for the day – something that wouldn’t have happened if i were paying him, which i can’t do because i don’t have health insurance. at the same time, i have been feeling more and more grumpy and out of sorts, and i have been seriously considering things like attacking the car that i saw ahead of me in the traffic jam today that had a bumper sticker that said “marriage = 1 man + 1 woman” with my car, or jumping out and giving them a lecture on why discrimination of any kind is the exact opposite of what jesus would do, and i have been more and more concerned that this country is going to hell in a handbasket and there’s nothing i can do about it. i’ve even been seriously considering suicide because things seem so hopeless and there’s no possibility that things are going to change, except for the worse, any time in the forseeable future

bleh number two

Upon receipt of your request for reconsideration we had your claim independently reviewed by a physician and disability examiner in the State agency which works with us in making disability determinations. The evidence in your case has been thoroughly evaluated; this includes the medical evidence and the additional information received since hte original decision. We find htat the previous determination denying your claim was proper under the law. Included in this notice is an explanation of the decision we made on your claim and how we arrived at it. This notice also identifies the legal requirements for your type of claim.

You said you are disabled due to mental impairments. The medical evidence indicates that you do have some limitations, but you are still able to move about in a satisfactory manner. You are able to understand, remember and carry instructions [sic] and care for your own needs. We realize that your condition prevents you from doing any of your past work, but it does not prevent you from doing other jobs which require less mental effort. Based on your age, education and past work experience, we have concluded that you can do other work. Therefore, a period of disability cannot be established, and your claim is denied at this time.

even though i was expecting it, that doesn’t make it feel any worse. what they’re saying is that, despite the fact that i used to work as a software tester and a typesetter, now i could work at mcdonald’s or wal-mart, so they won’t give me disability… i’d rather die than work at wal-mart, and forget about my being able to do anything in food service… i guess now i have to get an attorney… 8P