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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Helping a Disabled Person

Today I helped the person who handles my mail while I'm away in Hawaii to set up a blog. She's going to talk about having to handle California's budget cuts as a partially disabled person.

Tammy's blog is: here

Tammy has been awarded In Home Support Services hours. She has had the help of someone who gets paid for one day every week to drive her to her doctor appointments, carry things up and down her stairs and help her pick up groceries, as well as do some of the cleaning that would make her back worse. She's a disabled person who lives in Novato, CA.

Tammy can't drive because of the nature of her medication. She used to ride the bus everywhere. She would often walk from Fairfax to San Rafael with pleasure. Awhile ago, she fell on some ice on her deck and developed a slipped disc. Everything changed. Since then, she's needed a little bit more of additional help. Her doctor was nice enough to fill out a sixty page report to help her get IHSS hours.

Now California is cutting IHSS for those disabled people with less than thirty hours a week. I'm hoping that Tammy's blog will make it more clear to people what it is she is facing.

She decided to start writing this blog because of the lame and clueless suggestions that people were giving her. She found herself getting angry at her friends when they began to repeat what the newscasters on TV had said that she should get along without this IHSS help because she "wasn't REALLY disabled." She found herself screaming at people, "Well, who is going to help me? Because I can't live by myself!"

She realizes that being upset about this issue is going to drive away the few friends she had who might help her. She wanted some place to refer people to who thought they had suggestions so their suggestions would be more constructive.

Tammy jokes with her black humor: "By eliminating services, California is helping disabled people to hurry up and die." After knowing a little more about her situation, it's sadly starting to sound true.


  1. How is she doing now? It's been a few months since she posted on her blog.

  2. I'll have to show her your comment! Part of the reason she hasn't posted in awhile has been that she doubted anyone was reading her blog. I'm continuing to tell her that the rest of us don't know what it's like to be disabled, and that she has a responsibility to tell people. Part of her disablement she's shy about is she can't write very easily - but that's what spell-checkers are for, (and her editor, me!)