Monday, June 27, 2022

Sliding downhill

Well, things are still not going well for me. But the tourists are back and the weather is fine, so at least most people ae enjoying themselves.

I’ve been looking for work since I was laid off during the Covid hysteria. I’m old and not in robust health, which makes employers very reluctant to consider me, even though I have decades of experience in a field that is in very high demand (information technology). My health issues nearly mandate working remotely, and many employers still won’t consider that, even though it is perfectly feasible in my profession. I’ve had a few interviews, but no offers. I’m taking some free job training this month, in order to increase my market value, but since the fundamental obstacles are age and health, and not a lack of professional qualifications, I am not optimistic.

In addition to health issues, I am very poor—too poor to afford proper nutrition, for example, and too poor to afford all necessary medical care. Yes, most health care is covered by national health insurance, but not all, and I have nothing at all with which to pay the parts that are not covered. I don’t have a regular physician, as the ones I’ve seen are not accepting new patients. I can’t afford to pay them out of pocket for visits. So some things ae not being treated.

I don’t go out much. It’s difficult to walk at times because of balance issues, and my vision is somewhat fuzzy. I also have to worry about glucose fluctuations when I go out. And I have no money, which is difficult since even stepping outside the door usually ends up costing a dozen euro or so, one way or another (getting something to drink or eat, etc.). And I have the government taking much of what little I have for back taxes, which have been haunting me ever since I was bankrupted by the dot-com crash years ago.

So I’m mostly vegetating these days; fighting off a days-long migraine as I write this. No new videos lately since I’m in no shape to shoot them and don’t have enough money to edit them. I do have some obscure publications on Amazon but they sell only a few copies a year. I wax nostalgic about the “old” days—only two years or so ago, actually—when I could go for long walks in Paris, and I had a job and groceries, and I could see more clearly and didn’t fall down as much.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Sick leave

I’ve just spent four months in hospital, my first-ever eperience with the French health care system.

At the start of December, I woke up one day and couldn’t stand up. I sleep on a mattress directly on the floor, and on this day I no longer had the strength to get up. After literally hours of trying to get out of bed, I finally called the paramedics and was taken to the hospital. In the emergency room it was discovered that I had a severe infection—as well as diabetes and hypertension. I was also suffering from severe malnutrition, peripheral neuropathy and retinopathy (complications of the diabetes).

It took six weeks to clear the infection with antibiotics, and a month to stabilize my blood glucose and blood pressure. Then came months of physical therapy, as I could barely walk—two years of total inactivity due to Covid hysteria had caused severe muscle atrophy. Nerve damage from diabetes doesn't help. Retinopathy interferes with my vision.

I've returned home now, but I still take meds for diabetes and hypertension and malnutrition, and I still can't walk very well. Therapy for my eyes is continuing. The diabetes is under control but not the blood pressure. I don't know if or when I'll be able to take long walks as I once did, or whether or not my vision will improve. The future is very uncertain at this point.

The quality of care I received was superlative, and almost entirely free—covered by French national health care (Social Security). Very competent and attentive health professionals all around.