Thursday, April 21, 2011

News from T.J. and Julie + Monday usual

• Nickelsville is  MOVING & YOUR HELP IS NEEDED!!! - please, read the bar on the right.

T.J. in Nickelsville's kitchen - 4/18/11
Monday a week ago I added some (about to go bad if not used) mushrooms into the soup and asked Tracy to alert T.J. not to eat it, since she is highly allergic to mushrooms.  Tracy responded   that T.J. is very sick, 'on a bed-rest, not eating anything, too weak to eat or even walk'. The following Thursday I saw T.J. walking around the fire-station with a puppy in her  hands - she said she is slowly starting to feel better, but only last Monday I saw her feeling well enough to participate in Nickelsville's life again - she came to the kitchen and did the stack of dishes.  Over a week ago, when  her condition was the worst she went to hospital to get some help, but the hospital refused to admit her, claiming  that her awful condition requires longer care, therefore she is not an ER candidate.

T.J. might have had a mini-stroke, or temporarily collapsed lung  (she said it happened to her before), but our 'best in the world' medical care had no place for her in the system and turned her away because she is uninsured and requires longer  treatment than emergency solution (I personally saw this great logic employed many times when my uninsured son was refused medical care while suffering attacks of chronic illness - the reason I'm mentioning this is to highlight the fact that it is 'normal'  in our world of for-profit healthcare - according to government statistics 40 thousands people die in America each year due to lack of access to medical care + think about those countless that our government didn't track).  Will picked T.J. at the hospital waiting room, and cared for her with other friends in Nickelsville: he stayed by her bed at night watching over her, and over the course of several days slowly put some fluids in her and fed her with chicken soup he bought for her, and when she finally regained a bit of strenght he  helped her to get up and walk again.  T.J.  told me how grateful she is to Will and her Nickelsville family for being there for her when she needed their support - I'm honored to put it on the record here.  Some day I should find out and  post more about how Nickelsville residents cope with medical issues...

Also, update on Julie, the former paralegal - a good update, too boot: Julie became a step-mother or an auntie for 4 adorable puppies when her friend (a dog-breeder) suddenly became homeless - the experience was therapeutic, because in puppies' company she found out she can be alone again as a human (Julie is recovering from a bad relationship, effects of which sent her into being homeless).  Julie also found her calling: advocating for the homeless - her skills already made her one of the arbitrators on the site and as self-proclaimed workaholic Julie gets involved in many administrative duties as well.  She thinks those new activities + first hand knowledge of the issues facing people that are homeless + passion  for the subject could lead to paying job in the field and to being self-supporting again.  May those wishes come true for Julie very soon;  she quipped that her new field of expertise will definitely be more joyous and good for her heart than being paralegal:)...

Mike and Richard are the new kitchen coordinators and Richard helped with chopping veggies for soup, as always, and so did Ramone and  Jeff, who chopped fast and fine but left to see a friend before the soup was ready (I think Jeff is new at Nickelsville or perhaps he is just never around during soup-time).  For the last two weeks in order to continue the 'Monday usual' tradition I started to bring peanut butter along with the veggies,  because we finally depleted Nickelsville's seemingly vast supplies of it and apparently, some people were not too happy about it:  2 people recently stopped by the kitchen to ask similar question: 'So, what goes into peanut soup?  you just open a jar of peanut butter and it goes in?'  Yep.  They both walked out without continuing the conversation, perhaps preferring jars of peanut butter over peanut soup...

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