Janice Boyd is a prime example of how southerners, living in a small rural town, will take care of their relatives -- regardless of their own medical problems. Janice lost her hearing in her right ear and is beginning to lose hearing in her left; however, this does not stop her from caring for her brother who is losing his sight, who accompanied her today for this interview. Watching them fill in the gaps for each other was truly something to be admired. She truly is her brother’s keeper, and he in turn is his sister’s protector.
Janice presented today with a Bluetooth device in her ear. When I asked if the Bluetooth was causing any problems with her hearing, she stated, “no, it actually helps to hear better in the left ear.” Janice has a Bluetooth because she lost her hearing aid and cannot afford to replace it. She says that it will cost her $500 to have the hearing aid replaced and with a monthly income from SSI (Supplemental Security Income) she cannot afford it.
She does not live with anyone but her dog, whom she depends fully on for sound. Her dog runs to her and starts barking when someone is at the door to alert her that the doorbell is ringing. Without her dog, she would not know if anyone was knocking on her door or trespassing with bad intentions.
Janice has been receiving Medicaid since the age of 22. She was approved for disability because of having frequent seizures. Janice says that she also suffers from arthritis, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, and paranoia. She takes thirteen pills in the morning and seven at night for her numerous medical conditions. Her seizures do not occur as frequently as they used to, but when they do, they leave her drained.
Without Medicaid, Janice could not afford the plethora of medications that she must take every day. Managing her own health is essential to care for her bother. Medicaid is not only Janice’s lifesaver, but it is also saving the life of her brother. As long as she has the strength, she plans to help guide him through the darkness.
Stock Image Credit: https://terptree.co.uk/case-study-andrew-james-hearing-dogs-for-deaf-people/