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When I last wrote on Dec 31, 2012 I'd just gotten out of a month-long hospital stay due to necrotizing fasciitis, aka flesh-eating bacteria, which also required a temporary colostomy. I was headed back to a medical shelter since I had to accept the fact that I wasn't able to adequately care for my wound on my own. The wound healed in record time, to the amazement of my nurses, and my colostomy has been reversed. OMG you have no idea how nice it is to poop like regular folks again. Well, some of you do as several of you have also had a colostomy.

There's much to write about my experience at the med shelter, called Christ House, the staff, the other patients, and a book I read while there on poverty medicine titled "Not All of Us Are Saints" by Dr David Hilfiker. I'll get to it all in due time.

I'm currently keeping a written journal that I'll eventually post excerpts from on my new status as an official homeless person living on the streets of DC. I still see Alice once in a while. When I last spoke with her I told her I don't blame her for her role in the series of events that led to this, I told her that I should thank her. It's facing my worst fear and once I come out on the other side I'll be that much stronger and a much better advocate to fight on issues of homelessness, poverty/income inequality & outrageous housing costs, mental health care, and the many alarming deficiences in social service systems.  

I only have sporadic access to the internet so I've limited my recent participation to reading a few diaries and making a few comments. I'd rather not post a diary unless I can stick around for the comments. If I coordinate it right, I can get an hour in at Thrive DC and then a couple hrs, probably not consecutive, or maybe more depending on how high demand is, at the nearby Mt Pleasant branch of the DC Public Libraries. Not something I could swing on a regular basis tho.

This is just a brief diary to let anyone who might give a damn know that I'm back and look forward to eventually getting back to being a regularly active member of the community. I've sooooo missed this place. I've missed the interaction, many wonderful individuals, and I miss the information. I know I've been a much less well-informed person for lack of access to this site.

I'm posting this now at a little before 11 am ET. I need to go visit my friend who's dying of cancer at a nearby hospice house. After that I'll get to the local library to check back in on comments. Should be around 1:30ish ET.
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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (20+ / 0-)

    Ds see human suffering and wonder what they can do to relieve it. Rs see human suffering and wonder how they can profit from it.

    by JTinDC on Mon May 13, 2013 at 07:55:34 AM PDT

  •  Glad you're bouncing back JT. (10+ / 0-)

    That's the spirit! Best wishes my friend. You have a break coming. I hope it finds you.

  •  Wishing you the best -- (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JTinDC, broths, chimene

    -- and more power to ya.

  •  Glad to hear from you JT. I'm in DC although (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JTinDC, broths

    I'm living with my dad in his house. If it was mine, I'd open it to  you.

    Is there anything you need that I might be able to provide or check my network for?

    •  Actually most of my physical needs are met, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chimene

      it just takes more walking to many different places to meet those needs. Definitely not going hungry. DC feeds its homeless extremely well. Have a relatively safe (tho not free from theft or rats), dry place to sleep at night. Lots of foot traffic thanks to 24-Hr CVS and Whole Foods not too far down the block.

      Main thing I have yet to navigate is working out a shower and laundry schedule. There are three places where a person can do both. Thrive DC doesn't work because sign up time conflicts with my group sessions at Anchor Mental Health. Need to find out particulars on other two locations which even if they work schedule wise are fairly well outside my usually traveled area. I can get to them, but showering and laundry will become in and of themselves a day's event and mean skipping a meal or two because the other two locations don't also serve food. Lots of places to get services, but few are comprehensive and they're spread out all over the city.

      Biggest challenge is having to go to so many different places to get everything taken care of and lugging a 30+ lb shoulder bag, a suitcase loaded to the gills (at least it's on wheels) and my wool top coat which serves as my blanket at night and need to wear first hour or so of the day until it warms up.

      Second biggest challenge is finding a reliable dry place during the day if it rains. That can suck because you may need to spend money for the privilege of staying dry depending on where you are when it starts to pour.

      Restrooms can be tough on the weekends because a lot of downtown businesses aren't open. But you network, ask other homeless folks and find out where you can usually go without any hassle.

      I've asked my case worker to see if he can help me find an organization that might help me out with a used laptop, but my case worker isn't terribly resourceful. For now the library is working well enough, but I'd like to blog daily or at least every other day eventually. Library doesn't work for that. Time is too restricted.

      Ds see human suffering and wonder what they can do to relieve it. Rs see human suffering and wonder how they can profit from it.

      by JTinDC on Mon May 13, 2013 at 10:54:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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