24 March 2011

I sat with Joy this morning. It was very cold last night and Joy’s friend had slept outside. He said that being drunk helped him through the night.

Joy was feeling sick and her voice was hoarse. She had a black eye from her boyfriend. She told me that she has never had a job, a legal one, anyway.

She was told that she owes $67,000. While she was incarcerated her mother ran up a lot of bills in her name including fines for drinking in public. Whenever Joy talks about money I get nervous. She’s a sweet person, but she has made her choices and will never change. I bought her breakfast and left it at that.

 

14 April 2011

Crying and having trouble speaking this morning, because of a fat lip, Joy said that she’d been beaten again. She didn’t know that her ex had a key to her apartment. He let himself in and that’s when the trouble began. She called the police and they took him away (again).

Joy has lots of friends. This morning I had to stand in line to talk to her. My conversation, sausage, and cheese on an English muffin, steeped tea (double, double) is the best I can do. Her smile is reward en enough for any kindness that I can offer.

I don’t know why it hit me so hard today. I know I can’t fix anything and it’s going to keep happening. I gave her a hug. She said,”God bless you.”

 

13 June 2011

It’s been a month since I’ve seen Joy. She’s been in hospital and has lost a lot of weight. She is now on kidney dialysis and uses a cane to help her walk.

She was evicted from the place she was living because, while in the hospital, she couldn’t pay her rent. Her furniture, and other belongings, were all put on the lawn. She tried some of the shelters but said that they were disgusting.

She is staying with, as she called them, “so called friends”. They told her that she had to bring home $30.00 today or they would throw her out. She had been sitting on the sidewalk since 6:00 am ( through the rain) and only had $10.00 in her cap.

I bought her tea and breakfast. There is only so much I can do.

 

14 June 2011

The good news is that Joy has started to pee again. She thinks that she will only be required to have dialysis for another week. Her biggest fear is infection from some of the shelters where she has to sleep. She has a place for now, so I hope things go well.

 

15 June 2011

I saw Joy this morning. She was feeling more cheerful. Her blood pressure is low so they aren’t able to warm the blood that they circulate through her system. She feels very cold during the five-hour process. She goes again this afternoon from 1:00 to 6:00 pm,
24 June 2011

Joy was more cheerful, even though she had to keep dodging rain showers. She has found a place to stay until next week and a social worker is helping her to fill in forms for assisted living.

Her dialysis is going well, she will be at the hospital again today. She is peeing more and tests on her kidneys indicate that they are functioning. She’s hoping that her problem will clear up in a few weeks.

 

14 July 2011

Yesterday, my boss noticed me with Joy. We were both sitting cross legged on the sidewalk. Her cap with change was in front of her. Her arm was around me and I was pouring my heart out to her. I explained to my boss that I occasionally buy her a sandwich and tea. She accepted that and said it was a kind gesture.

I talked to Joy this morning. Yesterday she had no shoes. A friend of hers noticed this, asked her size, then came back with a $150.00 pair of women’s leather shoes that he’d stolen from Sears. Another friend of hers was arrested for stealing a block of cheese. She admitted that her kidney damage was due to alcohol.

After I left her she was going to the bridge where she could be in the shade and play dice with her friends.

 

9 August 2011

It nearly broke my heart to see Joy this morning. She was sitting on the sidewalk, wrapped in a blanket, sobbing her eyes out. Doctors have found toxins in her blood which may mean kidney problems. This afternoon she is going to the hospital for a spinal tap to determine whether or not she has meningitis.

She has been kept awake with vomiting and diarrhea. I offered her a breakfast sandwich, but all she wanted was steeped tea, three sugar, one cream. She is losing weight and is fed up with being sick.

The good news is she now has a place at Cornerstone House, so she is able to shower, have a clean bed, and eat good meals. Eventually, she will be able to save first and last months rent towards a place of her own.

~~~

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