How did I get here?

Jerry O’Dovero (quadriplegic disabled)

It was around noon on September 15, 2018 when the door bell rang at my apartment in San Jose California. I hadn’t been feeling well. When I’m stressed out the bugs in my bladder start acting up. I use a catheter so I have those little bastards living there 24/7. To stay as healthy as I can, I drink a lot of water and try to keep the stress levels down. The high volume of water makes it more challenging for those little bastards to live. If I were to drink four cans of an adult beverage along with the large amounts of water, I’d never have a bladder problem. But I don’t like drinking alone, so so much for that. As for the stress, my head can handle the stress, It’s my body that has the problem. I broke my neck and spinal cord, so my brain isn’t connected to the rest of my body. I’m not a doctor and I don’t play one on TV, so I don’t know how my body knows when my life is stressful, but it does. Who was at the door? Two of San Jose’s finest and they gave me 10 minutes to collect what I could and told me to get to hell out. They didn’t use that language. But the tone in their voices and the looks on their faces said it for them.

Ten minutes didn’t give me enough time to collect my bed, dressers, bookcase, antique jute box, etc, etc, etc. I guess it would be fair to say that as of right now I do not have very much to my name. How did I to such a low point in my life? First of all, it wasn’t that hard. It happens a lot faster and a lot easier then you could ever imagine. Living in my van for the past year and a half, I’ve ran across others like me. They lost their jobs, health care bills piled up, savings disappeared, credit cards maxed out and they’re homeless. For me, I didn’t loose my job. My health wasn’t what it was, so I quit, But otherwise it’s about how it happened for me as well. I’m not sure when it all started, my best guess is it started about 5 or 6 years ago. I didn’t know what was wrong. I wasn’t close to feeling well and I was so tired all the time. It took 4 years when finally the third or forth doctor discovered I was anemic with a simple blood test. All the previous Stanford doctors told me it was normal for me to be tired. No matter how many times I tried to tell them something was wrong, they didn’t listen, they didn’t believe me, they didn’t care. You could never believe how relieved I was to learn I had a serious health problem. That doesn’t sound right. You could never believe how relieved I felt when a doctor finally discovered I had real health issues and it wasn’t just in my head. But the damage was done, I had lost everything. I became homeless.

Then during that time my doctor bills were increasing, because the Nationwide Insurance company quit paying for my doctor bills, prescriptions and medical supplies. You’ve seen their TV commercials with the slogan, ”Nationwide is on your side.” Well, they weren’t on my side.

I did finally sign up for Social Security. But that was a drop in the bucket compared to bills.

For most of my life when I thought of the homeless, the image was that of an elderly man living in a cardboard box in some dirty ally somewhere. Becoming homeless is not what I had in my mind when my 1st grade teacher when she asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up? So where did I go so horrible wrong?

I have no idea who’s going to play the teenage version of me when they make the movie of my life, but that younger me made the smartest decision of my life. When I was 16 years old I bought a brand new black Ford F100 pickup truck. The smartest decision I made those 42 years ago wasn’t the purchase of the truck, it was the insurance policy I bought on the truck. Most people buy a $100,000/$300,000 liability policy. I bought a $250,000/$500,000 liability policy with a rider to knock it up to $1,000,000. It was the largest policy with the most coverage anyone could buy. After the accident, I was told that insurance policy was going to pay my medical bills for the rest of my life. The insurance company (policy) also gave me a check for $700,000 soon after the accident. What happened to the $700,000 check I received from the insurance company 40 years ago? I’ve been homeless for a year and a half now, so I guess it’s time to tell you the shame I’ve been living with for 40 years. The money was stolen from me and my shame is I never fought for it. I always thought that if I lived with the shame alone my mother and family would be there for me and make it up to me.

I’m the dumbest man on earth for thinking that.

I’m tired of being screwed over. And I’m really tired of being homeless. I’m putting my mother, the O’Dovero family and the Nationwide Insurance company on notice. I’m going to fight for my pound of sugar.

The working title of my book is The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

I don’t read my blogs after I publish them. Add to that, I’ve written 15 or so blogs that I never published. I don’t remember what I published, wrote and didn’t publish or thought about writing but haven’t written yet, so if I start writing stories a second time – don’t sue me. When I feel happy, I write happy stories. I know I haven’t written very many happy stories lately. When Medusa broke my heart last January and no one in the family stood up for me I became seriously depressed. For the first time in my life I thought about suicide. I have the place picked out. I don’t have the how or the when. I know in my head that if I come up with a how, the when would follow very soon afterward.

I need to start fighting for the money that’s owed to me like my life depends on it, because for the first time in my life, it just might.

Since I wrote this, someone from the O’Dovero family and the Nationwide Insurance Company have been in touch with me. I decided to publish this blog anyway. They need to know how betrayed I feel, how broken I am and the need for me to start writing again. If they leave me feeling broken and betrayed, that’s what I’ll write about.

I’d much rather write happy stories again. I guess time will tell. Stay tuned.

It’s weird but this is the best I’ve felt in weeks. I think I’ll write a letter to each of the two parties mentioned. I’m tired! Think I’ll go to bed now!