I apologize for taking so long to write since the appeal. It has been difficult to even entertain what I want to say. On July 25th, we “won” our appeal, but it really feels like an empty win. It was obvious from the start, to all parties involved, that our endeavor was within code. The fact that the City pursued this for 4 months just shows how much the deck is stacked against us. I have come to find out that since the garden is not prohibited by ordinance, Council has deemed it necessary to write a “garden ordinance”. There is no way to know at this point what this ordinance will entail, but City Manager John Shaw made it clear in May that we would have to adhere to any new regulations drafted, and scoffed when I mentioned we should be grandfathered in.
It’s been so hectic. The Post-Dispatch has a new article on the garden, and I’ll be on Fox2 this morning. I promise to post details of the appeal today or tomorrow. Channel 5 this evening, and possibly the NY Times in the coming week.
Our garden picture with almost 1000 comments!!! -Post Dispatch
Freedom Center of Missouri -Civil Rights Activists that took our case
Yesterday, July 9th, 2012, Code Enforcement once again sat in front of my house in an intimidating fashion. This happens on a weekly basis, even though they have been told by the City to “leave us alone”. A video of this encounter can be seen at: Code Enforcement 7-9-12
*UPDATE* Written July 17th
I posted the above just after midnight, and a few hours later, went to the ER at St. John’s Mercy. I have a 5mm kidney stone that has deposited itself in my upper ureter on my left side. The pain is excruciating, and though I’ve gone through 10 prior ER worthy kidney stones, and hundreds of smaller ones I suffered through at home, this one seems different. I’ve been retaining water in my extremities, having chest pains, lightheaded and short of breath. I was sent home to wait it out with a prescription for Percocet. The meds did nothing for the pain, and I returned to St. John’s later that day. A few more tests, and I was sent home with Vicodin this time. Again, they did nothing for the pain. I ended up being admitted to St. John’s, and was kept for 4 days, with no change in my stone placement. It has been lodged in the same spot for more than 2 weeks now. I’m sadly uninsured, and was told at the hospital that any procedure to remove the stone is “too expensive”. Clinics that provide free or sliding scale cost services have a six week application time. Due to my chronic kidney condition, I’m unable to be insured. Due to my not being insured, I can’t be treated.
I left the hospital, picked my son up from a friend that graciously watched him, and returned home. I spent 3 hours weeding, trimming, pruning, and harvesting my week’s neglected garden. I hope the City got pictures while I was away. It was in rough shape. I wish it didn’t seem like such a chore. I’m under extreme scrutiny, and it’s overwhelming. Not to mention, 2 weeks of 105+ temps here in St. Louis offered some neglect as well. Stress + dehydration = $20,000 in additional medical debt. You should see the list of things I’m not supposed to eat in order to help reduce my kidney stone development. Leafy greens, beans, soy, meat of any kind (especially red meat), sweet potatoes, caffeine, processed foods, canned goods, (will continue later, wifey needs the comp)