October 26th, 2009 | Uncategorized

Thanks to the folks who pointed out that my last post made it sound like 47 million people had rushed to make donations to Maggie for her health care costs. I only wish that were the case. To donate, and to follow her progress, go to Maggie’s blog.

22 Responses to “Punctuation”

  1. liza says:

    thanks Alison, and thanks to all of you who ponied up. Maggie still needs money, so keep it coming.

  2. Liza says:

    this in from Maggie:

    “Contrary to the wishes of doctors and PTs, it looks like I’ll be discharged tomorrow dispite being unable to safely transfer from my bed alone, to wipe myself, to be continent, or to lift anything above 10 lbs. The bean counters say there are no services available.

    Help!!! In addition to money specific needs are:
    durable medical equipment such as bath stool, bedside commde, rolling walker, bedside handrail all suitable for up to 370 lbs and must be delivered.

    I’m working hard, not sleeping enough, intermittently scared and feel connected to you all.

    If you know anyone in Austin I’m going to need folks willing to do errands. I can pay a minimal fee.

    One possible bright spot on the horizon is if the hospital pays for me to go to a skilled nursing facility which will be essentially a nursing home with no privacy and little rest but at least my basic needs will be covered. Hopefully at some point I’ll be on line.”

    this from me, Liza: Folks, let’s rally here. PS any typo’s are my fault.

  3. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Liza (#2)

    Here’s some info on durable medical equipment (DME) that’s available for free loan in Austin:

    The Caregiver Resource Center (CRC) offers educational events, information, referral services and support groups for people who provide care to an aging or disabled adult. Through collaborative relationships, we help to educate the community about the value of caregiving. All of our services are provided at no cost.

    The CRC operates a durable medical equipment lending closet, which provides equipment and supplies to those who need them, at no cost. Items available for loan include wheelchairs, walkers, shower benches and other assistive devices. Our lending closet relies on donations from the community, which can be dropped off at our office (3710 Cedar Street). Contact Becca at (512) 451-4611 ext. 16 or bwadlinger@ageofaustin.org

    IMPORTANT: Please call us at (512) 451-4611 (ask for Lending Closet) to arrange requests. Please do not e-mail. Our e-mail system redirects Loanables requests to the junk folder, and we often do not receive them.

    If we don’t have something in our lending closet, we will put you on our waiting list and do our best to find you the equipment (for free!) as soon as we can. We are a small nonprofit and we’re doing the best we can!

    You must be able to pick up the equipment at our office. There is no fee for our services.

    The listing of durable medical equipment available for loan shows an aluminum walker (not sure if it rolls), a portable bedside commode, and a cane.

    Please let Maggie know. Someone will have to pick up these items for her.

  4. hairball_of_hope says:


    More Austin TX info/resources that Maggie might find helpful (I’m going to split these into multiple messages to get past the >= two URL content filter):

    Meals on Wheels and More was founded in 1972 as a non-profit charitable corporation created to assist elderly and homebound people in need. Volunteers deliver hot, nutritious lunchtime meals each weekday to homebound people who can no longer prepare balanced meals for themselves. Care Managers assist clients with other life-enriching programs and services that promote independent living, including home safety repairs, grocery shopping assistance, rides to the doctor, and other services. Go to http://www.mealsonwheelsandmore.org or call 476-6325 for more information.

  5. hairball_of_hope says:


    Maggie’s not considered a senior yet (she’s gonna get to a ripe old age once she makes it through this crisis!), but she might be able to tap into this DME lending closet:

    Faith in Action Caregivers offers services to help older adults maintain and improve their quality of life. With the assistance of volunteer caregivers, clients can maximize their ability to meet their own needs and to continue to live independently. Faith in Action provides transportation to medical appointments, personal business and shopping; information and referrals; errand-running for prescriptions and emergency items; handyman services; and a durable medical equipment loan closet.


  6. hairball_of_hope says:


    Another lead for Maggie:

    Family Eldercare

    2210 Hancock Drive, Austin, TX 78756

    Serving older adults, people with disabilities, and those who care for them

    In-Home Care and Respite Services

    Provides assistance with personal care and homemaker services for older adults and adults with disabilities. We also offer relief for full-time caregivers. We serve all income levels and have a sliding fee scale.


  7. hairball_of_hope says:


    The hospital social worker should be able to provide a list of resources pre-discharge and/or make some arrangements/referrals with local agencies to assist Maggie.

    I know Maggie is not shy, but she’s sick and may not be getting all the referral assistance from the hospital that they can provide. Anyone who has access to her hospital info should be talking to the social worker looking for leads on Maggie’s recuperative needs.

  8. liza says:


    wow. Thank you so much. That was so great. Jesse or I will make sure Maggie gets this info asap.

  9. Jesse says:

    Hi y’all,

    I’m Jesse whom has been taking care of Maggie.

    First, thank you SO much to Liza for everything she’s been doing for Meg, and to Alison for hosting this beautiful community. And of course thank you deeply to all of you whom have donated, subscribed, and wished Maggie well.

    The Social Worker (and that Department) at the hospital is not being helpful. They told Maggie today she could hire a home care worker at $140 per hour. Maggie fired back, “$140’s my ENTIRE MONTHLY FOOD BUDGET.” (She didn’t even bother saying she needs to double or triple her food budget these next two months because to recover and build up her muscles, she needs lots of protein, not the, pardon me, crap which is pretty much all she normally can afford.) The Social Worker didn’t even blink.

    Unless something wonderful occurs — and they did save her life — the Hospital is (85-90% chance) going to throw Maggie out, quite likely as soon as tomorrow, and with zero help.

    The one remaining hope we have from the hospital, after Maggie stood up for herself with the Social Worker, is they might (key word “might”) find a really gross nursing home which is overloaded with patients, no nurses to speak of and most of them LPNs or aides. What it would have is other patients who might be able to change Maggie’s dressings, help her to the toilet and in/out of bed without getting hurt, and help keep her clean or at least tell someone if she gets an infection or falls down. In my view this is better than an alternative we have considered.

    We need to supplement Maggie’s food with healthy food which will make her strong. We need to buy her many medicines, all of which are expensive (even in generic format.) We need to pay all her bills probably for two months. While we have raised close to $2 grand so far between Group News Blog, Meta Watershed, and Dykes to Watch Out For, we need to double that amount to $4 thousand. That leaves no reserve if anything goes wrong, and no extra if there are extra expenses. Still, it’s the tightest possible budget any of us closely involved could come manage. You should know — just so you know we have skin in the game — that all of us in tight in addition to monthly contributions in the multi-hundreds of dollars, have all made contributions in the last two weeks ranging from a few hundred dollars to well over $500 and ranging higher as needed with all the credit cards and other bills not yet in.

    I am asking all of you to do two things for Maggie.

    1. Please make a donation/subscription. Go to http://maggiesmetawatershed.blogspot.com/ and in the top right corner, either make a one-time donation of any amount, or make a monthly subscription of $20, $50, $100 or $200. Maggie truly needs your help. Please subscribe today.

    2. Please check back DAILY either in this thread or at Maggie’s site to keep up to date. Including a number of times on Wed Oct 28. It may come down to me or Liza asking everyone to CALL the hospital and asking their CEO and/or Press Office why they’re planning on throwing an award-winning poet, a national blogger and author, out on the street when she’s not yet able according to her and her Medical Team, to perform all the fundamental tasks of daily living, such as walking to the toilet, going to the door to fetch groceries and putting them away, getting in and out of bed on her own, and so on? After saving her life, are they now going to just throw this woman out because she is poor and fat? Is that out they take care of famous writers?

    I am not ready yet to make this request. I am waiting to see IF they come up with a bed in the crappy nursing home. If they do, we’re going to take it. But if tomorrow they just go with “throw the bum out” then yeah, I’m going to get every national blog community I can get onboard, raising as much (polite) fuss as possible.

    We won’t know till Wed, sometime in the morning at the earliest I don’t think. So please keep checking Wed frequently till either Liza or I puts up the word for the day yes or no.

    In the meantime, I beg of you, what we really need for Maggie is more money. Please dig deep, even if it stretches you, even if you have to push hard and do without some thing or item you wanted this month. It’s for Maggie and she’s in a hospital and we are all she has.

    Bless you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you.

  10. Calico says:

    Quick question – is Maggie eligible for Medicaid and/or SSI? Perhaps these Gov. programs could help a bit.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I don’t know if they can help, but try this address: http://www.naafaonline.com/dev2/global/index.html

    If you feel that there is some obesity discrimination going on (and it sounds like there is from the social worker’s behavior), then these people might be able to help.

    I deal with this kind of garbage all the time–if one is obese, people assume one has a lot of extra money for food. Only very thin people are poor–fat people are “poor” by choice, apparently, because they spend all their money on food. How delightful.

    I am sorry that I have no other suggestion for the food issue than to do beans and grains in a crockpot. It is very cheap, very high protein, and easy to make large amounts. This might help out any caregiver.

    Sorry that I don’t live in Austin.

  12. Kat says:

    Calico, it’s being looked into. The process is slow, though.

  13. Jesse says:

    Fast report. This may be the only report for today, not sure…

    The hospital has asked a not-great nursing home to accept Maggie; the nursing home is evaluating her (either via a records review or perhaps in person, we’re not sure) which will probably take the rest of today and maybe even into tomorrow. Till we/the hospital get a yes/no on accepting Maggie from the nursing home, she’ll stay in the hospital. The odds are well into the 90th percentile she’ll be discharge, either to the nursing home (if they say yes) or to her home/street (if the nursing home says no) within at most 24 hours of the nursing home saying one way or another, which could be as early as later today but more likely will be tomorrow morning.

    While Maggie has half her stitches out and healing continues to go well, and while this morning she managed to get OUT of bed on her own, she could not get back IN to bed. In no way can she perform on her own the tasks of daily living. We’ve know who has the discharge authority yes/no over Maggie. We are NOT going with the massive phone calls, at least not yet. We’re still waiting to see what the nursing home says; her being accepted there is the best bet.

    Thank you for the emails and donations. Please keep them coming (go to Maggie’s site to donate.) Maggie told me ten minutes ago to tell you how much she loves and appreciates you. And that she’s getting better each and every day. Later today she’s got a big PT workout. She has faith everything will work out.

    Next update no later than tomorrow; sooner if there’s a major change.

  14. Jesse says:


    The applications are in or in the process of going in for Medicaid and other appropriate programs.

    The first time, everyone gets turned down. But on the second application we are told, Maggie should be approved without much trouble.

    The hospital is working closely with the person handling Maggie’s finances while she’s in the hospital, to see that this happens successfull. (It’s the only way for the hospital to get paid at all. They have a good track record with this as their own self-interest is at stake, so I’m quite optimistic in the long run.) In the short-run, Maggie has no money, no job till she’s well, so for the next two months we and the donations we raise for her are ALL that she has. *sighs*

    Next time some damn Republican banker tells me that donations are the answer instead of government aid, I’m taking him to Austin and showing him Maggie as exhibit A. After two weeks of asking and begging and with Maggie being relatively well known nationally as these things go, we’re still only at half what she needs. And now the Republicans & Sen. Joe L (Ind-CT) are trying to blow up the Public Option on Health Care. Arrrrrgh!

  15. Kat says:

    Just got off the phone with Maggie.

    She’s waiting for word on all the things that Jesse mentioned, but sounded fairly energetic.

    She sends love!

  16. Liza says:

    Update: The nursing home said no, but hospital said Maggie can stay at least until Friday. Not perfect, but better.

  17. Jesse says:

    What @Liza said. Very good news, considering the alternatives.

    Details at Maggie’s blog:

  18. Calico says:

    Thanks for the updates.
    I used to work for the VT VNA under the Medicaid Waiver Program, so perhaps once Maggie is approved, she can get some home help at no charge to her.
    I hope everything works out for the best! : )
    Lisa aka Calico

  19. Calico says:

    I was just taking with my partner about the generally sorry state of the health care system in the US (note I say system, not the care per se)
    and another idea popped into my head.
    My father was a writer and teacher of journalism and he belonged to, even was President of, the ASJA, or American Society of Journalists and Authors.
    When he died in 1997 we asked memorial monetary gifts to be sent to an ASJA fund that helps support struggling and underfunded writers.
    Hopefully this fund is still in place, and perhaps they could assist Maggie.
    Web site is http://www.asja.org .
    Just another idea…

  20. Liza says:

    @Lisa, Thanks for the tip on asja. As of today, if all goes well with pickup and delivery, Maggie will have a netbook, so when her strength is up and she’s not busy, she can begin to research this kind of grant.

    BTW, Staples was teriffic about figuring out how I could pay for the netbook here in S. Burlington but have it picked up at the Staples in Austin. An associate at Staples HQ listened to Maggie’s story and figured out what would work, stayed on the line through all the transactions etc. So a shoutout to Lisa at Staples HQ and to Mike at Staples S. Burlington for consultation and arrangements. If all goes well, Maggie should have her pink Acer Netbook this afternoon. (I thought pink would give her a laugh, plus they had it in stock in Austin)

  21. Jesse says:

    Maggie’s using Twitter.


    that is


    to post updates.

    She says “I can manage 140 characters.”

  22. Jesse says:

    Sunday Morning Maggie Jochild Update posted at Maggie’s blog, Meta Watershed and cross-posted at Group News Blog as well. *smiles*

    Enjoy. Oh, also… Happy New Year, a new post from Maggie, and at least three or four other Maggie posts since mid-week, all from Maggie. *does Happy Dance*

    Go wild!