A Conversation with Selena T. Adams, Eastover Resident

In the following interview, we speak with Selena T. Adams about her health care story. Selena Adams is a client at the Mother DeVeaux Adult Day Care and a long time resident of the area. The following interview was conducted with Selena along with the assistance of Cassandra DeVeaux, owner of the Mother DeVeaux Adult Day Care.

Selena [sitting] with Cassandra DeVeaux


Appleseed: I want to start off with just first if you could introduce yourself. Tell us a little bit about who you are.

Selena: My name is Selena Adams. I have two children… a grandson, two grandchildren. My husband, he’s a mechanic, retired.

He’s retired?

Cassandra DeVeaux: Mm-hm, mechanic.

Okay. Your husband is—he’s a retired mechanic.

Selena: He’s trying to get Medicaid.

He’s trying to get Medicaid. And you yourself are on Medicaid?

Selena: I am, yes.

Okay. How long have you been on Medicaid?

Selena: Um, a little while. It’s not that long. About two months. I had Blue Cross.

Blue Cross. And that was through an employer or…?

Selena: No. I got it ‘cause I was sick.

Okay. ‘Cause you got sick?

Selena: Yes.

Can you share a little bit about…?

Selena: Well in two thousand, I had my first stroke… Then I had another in thousand one… They just kept on coming… My last stroke was this year.

What did you find out from that?

Selena: I had an aneurysm in my brain. I had surgery. My… well that’s it. I had the surgery, and um…. they put me on Medicaid.

So, you had Blue Cross Blue Shield and then… how did you - - why did you decide to - - how did you get to enroll on Medicaid?

Selena: Well, my sister-in-law. My sister-in-law, she did it.

Cassandra: Her sister-in-law enrolled her into Medicaid. And she’s had it longer than two months, ‘cause you’ve been with us longer than two months.

So why did you decide to enroll on Medicaid?

Selena: ‘Cause I kept getting sick.

But the insurance you had before wasn’t covering certain services?

Selena: No, they didn’t. Getting a handicap bathroom. That's it.

Cassandra: So, they supported you in getting your bathroom retransformed into a handicap bathroom, but they were not supporting your illnesses, is what you’re saying?

Selena: [agreeing].

 

I had an aneurysm in my brain. I had surgery. My… well that’s it. I had the surgery, and um…. they put me on Medicaid.

 

So you couldn’t get treatment for what you were going through or anything like that.

Selena: [agreeing}.

How would you say Medicaid has made a difference for you in terms of being able to get the health care that you need for managing what you are experiencing?

Selena: Well, they help me by getting my medicine… paying my hospital bills.

Paying the hospital bills…. So medicine, paying your hospital bills. And do you have to go see a doctor regularly?

Selena: No, I get therapy.

Therapy. Does it cover for those services?

Selena: Yes.

Any other way that you feel it’s benefitted you or your family? Even if it’s not healthcare related.

Selena: They provide me with a… someone that comes to the home.

Cassandra: So, they provide her with a care, patient care assistant. So, somebody that comes out to her home on a daily basis and help her out. They pay for here [Mother DeVeaux Adult Day Care]. They pay for her services here [Mother DeVeaux Adult Day Care].

Okay. And what other ways would you say it’s helped you?

Cassandra (for Selena): So like peace of mind. She don’t have to worry about her doctor bills and things like that. She don’t have to worry about being here with us and wondering how her bills are gonna get paid or anything like that and her occupational therapist and her physical therapist, they come here to help service her. We also - - the one thing that we found out that they [Medicaid program] have not covered yet is her speech therapist. So, that’s something that we’re still waiting to help her with that.

Selena: There’s no one here in this area.

Cassandra: They don’t have anyone here in this area to help her with her speech therapy.

Okay. So you don’t have anyone here but also you found out that they don’t cover any speech therapy services?

Cassandra: Well, I can’t say they don’t cover it. It’s just that - - we don’t have access to it.

Selena: They don’t have it.

Okay. Are there any other services that haven’t been covered or you haven’t been able?

Selena: Mm-hm [agreeing]. My diapers, my pull ups, and wipes… That’s it.

Any problems finding… well other than the physical therapist any problems finding a doctor for anything else that you’ve needed?

Selena: They send me to the doctors.

Cassandra: They send her to the appointments and the chiropractors and everything. So, all of the doctors are provided for her. So, she’s a pro. She’s my pro person. My other person was the opposite. But this is my pro person. So, everything is pretty much. They’ve been doing really well with her. Her caregiver recently passed away. So they were - - Once we let them know that they were quick to respond and get her a new caregiver to come in and take care of her and everything. So that was really good.

So your caregiver was that your husband or someone else?

Selena: No. A friend.

I know you mentioned your husband earlier, how do y’all manage your…?

Selena: From day to day?

Mm-hm, from day to day.

Selena:  Well, he helps me in the morning getting dressed.

Cassandra: And things of that nature. And are you speaking financially or just physical health?

In general, because I know you mentioned he was trying to get on Medicaid. Are there challenges you’re experiencing… like accessing health care for him, whether its cost-related or there are health issues that he’s dealing with on his own.

Selena:  His medicine. He gotta pay for it.

You said he’s been trying to get Medicaid. How has that experience been for y’all?

Selena: Well, it’s kind of hard.

What’s hard about it? What would you say is hard about it?

Selena: Getting it. Just getting it.

Cassandra: Just getting it. So has he filled out an application or do you have anybody to walk him through the process?

Selena: His sister.

What other challenges, if any, have you had with the Medicaid program?

Selena: No, I haven’t had none.

And has there ever been a time where you felt you were treated differently because of your race or the color of your skin for any reason while getting health care or when you applied for the program?

Selena: No.

And anything else that you would like to share about being on the Medicaid program? Or anything else?

Selena: It’s helped me a lot. Because I’ve been [inaudible] schoolteacher for twenty-two years

Cassandra So she was a school teacher for twenty-two years?

Selena: Mm-hm.

What grade?

Selena: Ninth.

Ninth grade. Twenty-two years.

Selena: Science. Science teacher.

Oh wow. Are you from here in Eastover?

Selena: No.

Where are you from?

Selena: New Jersey.

Oh really. What brought you down here?

Selena: My husband.

How long have you been in South Carolina?

Selena: Around ten years.

Ten years. Okay. How do you like it here?

Selena: It’s slow. [everyone laughs]

Cassandra: It’s slow.

Yeah. Well… that’s true. Does the rest of your family still live here?

Selena: They’re in New Jersey.

Do you have any of your family - - is all your family in New Jersey?

Selena: No, just half.

Okay. When did you stop teaching? How long has it been?

Selena: 2002.

Did you retire from the teaching profession or…

Selena: No.

The health-related issues?

Selena: Health. Health.

And that was the stroke?

Selena: Yes.

If you could say anything to South Carolina leaders about the importance of expanding Medicaid, what would you say to them?

Selena: For people like me who need it.

Can you share more about that? When you say for people like you, what do you mean?

Selena: Disabled.

Cassandra: So, in this area right here… how - - if it wasn’t for your sister-in-law… I know your [Selena's] sister-in-law is like a kind of counselor, so she kind of knows the ins and outs of Medicaid. But if it wasn’t for her, do you feel like there would be any resources available to get you to?

Selena: No... no.

Cassandra: Okay. And see that’s a challenge that’s down here is having somebody to know about it. I mean, they know about it if they hear about it. But finding people – who knows about it to talk about it, to teach them about it.

Okay. So just to recap, it sounds like you were teaching. You were actively teaching…

Selena: Mm-hm. [in agreement]

…when these health issues emerged. And you had Blue Cross Blue Shield it sounds like through the state health plan…

Selena: Mm-hm.

…as a teacher. But then certain services that were not going to be covered. Is there coverage that ran out do you remember or is it they just weren’t covering it?

Selena: They weren’t covering them.

And so then how did you – you mentioned the sister-in-law. She’s the one that sort of helped you figure out how you were going to have these services covered?

Selena: Mm-hm. [in agreement]

Otherwise you had no one else to kind of figure out how that was gonna be covered.

Selena: I wasn’t old enough.

Cassandra: You wasn’t old enough. That’s what they were telling you. Your age was impacting the services.

Okay. For Medicaid or for…?

SA: Medicare

Have you enjoyed your time at the daycare?  What has the day care meant to you?

Selena: I love it. I love it.

What has it meant to you?

Selena: Getting out of the house. Not being there by myself. I lost use of my hands. Now I can use them.

Cassandra: And she can use them now.

Selena: It’s really helped.

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