I don’t know where to start with this post, so please bear with me.
TW: alcoholism, whining on my part
My father has been an alcoholic since before I was born. I didn’t realize this until high school, since his behavior was “normal” to me. Our sex ed unit my freshman year also covered useful topics like alcoholism, abusive relationships, breast/female reproductive organ cancers, etc.
My father also eats a lot of crap food, and always has. It’s not that he doesn’t like vegetables, it’s just that eating half a pound of salami is a nice routine snack for him.
He’s also always been “self-employed” AKA never holding a steady job. They’re divorced, so he’s not on my mom’s insurance. He’s a Fox News loving idiot, so of course Obummercare is socialism personified and NO WAY was that ever going to happen. And he’s still about 4 years away from Medicare eligibility.
So, I’ve been telling my mom for about 4 years that he has all the symptoms of major liver problems. He’s also gotten really fat in that high-risk way — all torso and in the front — which is not a good thing for heart disease and diabetes risk. FYI type 1 and type 2 diabetes runs in his family. He’s got symptoms of diabetic neuropathy.
Also for a few years I’ve been saying he has gout. Because he’s got all the classic big toe and foot inflammation symptoms of gout.
Well, about 3 weeks ago the gout legit flared up for real. He now accepts that he has gout. But hey, alcoholic, so he’s not willing to stop drinking. He just switched from beer to vodka, since he thinks clear alcohols are better. He’s super pissypants about not being able to eat all the pork and beef he wants to. So I expect his chicken-only diet to crash and burn in a few weeks. Heaven forbid he even consider vegetarian meals. Nope, not gonna happen.
And he has no insurance nor money saved. He won’t go to the free clinics my mom found for him. He won’t go to the health department and see if he qualifies for any of their low-income coverage programs, because he’s too prideful. He doesn’t like when doctors give advice like “lose weight” or “stop drinking” because that’s just the nanny state trying to control him, and even if he did go see a doctor I don’t know what he could afford for medications.
He’s decided to google shit claims for “curing” gout. So now he’s drinking organic apple cider vinegar twice a day because that’s totes gonna change the pH of his body and fix the gout problem.
And I’m just so fucking angry about all this. I don’t have confidence he’s going to live until he’s old enough to qualify for Medicare, and even then he’s going to be a classic fucking example of someone with ridiculous medical expenses because they lacked preventive care if he does.
We don’t have the resources to just pay for all his medical care and living expenses until he’s old enough for Medicare.
I’m fucking pissed that a grown ass man, with all the opportunities so many others don’t have, couldn’t be bothered to get his shit somewhat together over the past decades to have some semblance of resources for covering the costs of being old. Because he’s a special snowflake. He’s not gonna work for someone else, he’s his own boss! He’s not an alcoholic, he’s just an “old sot.” - his own words.
And now I’m going to be in the position of trying to figure out how to get him some semblance of care when shit gets really bad. Like he can hardly walk now. I’m worried he’ll get really bad and need an amputation or something. Best guess is since his only asset is a beat-up old house maybe we could turn that asset over to the state and put him in a state-managed care facility?
I’ll start researching this more in a week or two. I’m really too frustrated to dig into it now.