Off-the-Wall—a Street Smart Journal: Staring Down Homelessness 7-28-20

When you have been prescribed a treatment by a psychiatrist who is able and willing to take you to court to commit you, you tend more towards compliance. I guess that’s the idea for those whose job it is to care for the mentally ill.

Well, it worked. I did find an incredible equine partner after being ordered to by my former doctor. He said repeatedly, you have to get another horse. There is nothing we can do for you here ( at the largest mental health center in the State) that will help you as much as Jack helped you. Jack had been on my treatment team and I lost him in a tragedy that sent me into a tailspin that caused my commitment to the State Hospital. The psychiatrist who was the director of the center said my case was the worst case of stigma against a mentally ill person he had ever known. Still, he pressed me to do the impossible and try again.

There was no way I wanted a repeat of having another treasured partner undergo what Jack did. I was a sitting duck with him and had no way to escape a terrible fate. I had no truck nor trailer and no way to get him to safety.

So I was guided to his successor and a place for him and was promised by the then veterinarian that he would be able to get him to care if needed.

Things change and the barn manager had issues and I needed to move Mel because he would not eat the hay and I fed him myself twice a day. I could tell that an episode was coming on and I may be forced to go to the hospital and no one would have fed him hay he’d eat.

So thankfully I found a hauler I could hire to move Mel and I did. I did end up in the psych ward and came back to Mel having a bone infection that nearly cost his life.

He had to have surgery for it and I will be forever grateful that the veterinarian’s fiancée picked him up and took him to the clinic. He was far away from the clinic so it took some time. If she had not done it, I am sure Mel would be dead.

Transportation has always been a life and death matter in my mind, but to the lord over my inheritance, the trustee of my special needs trust, it is a mode of control and a way to assert power. So my brother who makes good money denying me needed care and tries to block my recovery and return to work in any way he can, repeatedly, has determined not to have me have vital transportation for what is essentially irreplaceable medicine that is also a living being who himself requires care.

The State does not and should not pay for this prescribed medicine. Mel is legally a service animal in this State. A Special Needs Trust is a legal instrument set up for disabled people to get services and care that are outside what the State can provide.

Now once again, I face the issue of transportation for Mel to get vital veterinary care for an issue that could end his life if not addressed. So my own disorder flared up and I was on edge.

When the hauler talked about cancelling the cross country trip to the best veterinary care, I did indeed speak my mind in no uncertain terms. Maybe I was out of line.

My wallet and cell phone were stolen later and I was homeless and it took some time for me to regroup and face the fact of yet another transportation crisis.

I wanted to find a way to turn this sour lemon into a lemonade, I wrote to the hauler. Today, I found it. The Salvation Army in the horse capital of the world has a fundraiser for kids in crisis who are facing homelessness. It’s called LemonAid and Mel and I donated to Hank the Horse’s fundraiser.

I am determined not to be a drain on resources but a working, contributing tax paying home owner in the new State. And I am saving $1,500. By booking Mel on the best ride there—in a box stall with the Brook Ledge equine transporters who moved American Pharaoh throughout the country. I call that not just lemonade but the finest lemon bars or lemon meringue pie possible to this recovering sugar junkie somehow made kosher for me. The taste of victory is the sweetness I truly seek as we move to a place where Brook Ledge has a headquarters and where Thoroughbreds are highly valued for their contributions to the health, welfare and economy of Kentucky.

I can now rest easy that he will have transportation from professionals and I can get out of their way and let them do their job and not interfere at all. What a relief!

Now to get myself there, as well…The Salvation Army helped me by printing out directions to drive to Kentucky since AAA can’t get them to me in time. And they were kind enough to pray for me, with me. Although it is still a daunting task to drive myself there with this fickle brain, I have more faith now. I have printed directions from the wonderful practical people at the Salvation Army. They are the best!

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