The year has started off with both Anthony and me spending way too much time around doctors! I had a scheduled surgery to repair my labrum, the part that connects your bicep to the rotator cuff, on January 7th. It’s been almost three weeks and I am doing ok. I’m still in some pain, especially when I do my exercises but honestly it’s been way better than I thought. The biggest challenge, besides simply not being able to use my dominant arm, is sleeping. I have to sleep sitting up. I rented a recliner from Rent-A-Center (nightmare experience by the way) which has proved to be worth the pain of dealing with them.
Anthony has had much more critical issues. He has been hospitalized twice in the past two weeks. He suffered a stroke in his left parietal lobe. He was released about five days later and was doing ok until earlier this week when his speech worsened and he demonstrated a few other signs that the stroke was potentially progressing. I called 911 for him and he returned to the hospital where he has since been released. He is doing ok, but needs speech and physical therapy to help aid in his recovery. All of this was going on during Snowzilla to make matters more complicated.
Anyway, I continue to be in touch with Anthony daily and always pass along all the warm words of encouragement I receive from you. This has been a particularly hard month for him financially as well as he hasn’t been able to work most of the month due to hospital visits and recovery. If you would like to help him with this month’s rent, you can make a donation here.
I hadn’t heard from Anthony for three or four days. I had tried to reach him but just got his voice mail. Worried that something might have happened to him, I wandered down to 19th and M on Tuesday morning.
Leaning up against the brightly colored newspaper boxes that anchor the corner there, Anthony was talking with a parking enforcement employee. “You are just the person that I need to see my friend,” he belted out when I dropped my backpack on the curb next to his own bag.
It turns out four days earlier Anthony accidentally dropped his phone into a toilet. “Oh man…it’s dead. Continue reading →
I had to run some errands on Friday so I decided to take the car and go by Anthony’s corner to see if he was there. As I drove on M Street I spotted his familiar bright yellow vest from a few hundred feet away.
I pulled the car over, probably in some illegal spot, and called over to him. His eyes darted in every direction looking for where the calls were coming from and then he saw my extended hand out the window, beckoning to him.
“Merry Christmas my friend,” he said with the jovial spirit of a true santa clause. He handed me the latest edition of Street Sense and I gave him a five dollar bill. I explained that I was worried about him because I couldn’t reach him on his phone. He told me that his minutes were all used up for the month on the phone that he receives through a government subsidy. “You gotta have a phone,” he says referring to the world we live in today.
He gave me the number to prepaid phone that he uses when the other one is out of minutes. “This one is working now and at the end of the month I will switch it back to the number you’ve been trying to reach me at.”
I was relieved I had found him and that he was ok. He told me he was going to find an inexpensive motel or something in Virginia and spend a night or two indoors to celebrate the holidays. I want to get him something…still thinking about ideas. Let me know if you have any suggestions.