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When I write my blog, I really try to convey the way I feel about a certain subject.  Me.  As many times as I’ve tried to figure out the “why’s” surrounding certain dilemmas in my life, I try very very hard not to judge another person’s perception of what they believe to be reality, because that will get you into trouble.  Every. Single. Time.

Age makes you wiser, if only about yourself.  Luckily I’ve been able to determine what makes me tick.  The little nuances that make my life my own.  Only I can feel the way “I” feel.  I can be judged on my actions by others, but I know who I am.  I know what makes me happy, sad, angry, etc.

If I ever say that I meant no ill will, I’m not exaggerating.  I get mad like the rest of us, but I make every attempt not to retaliate.  I can say there have only been a couple of times in my life where I felt vindicated by a random act of revenge.  And even my form of revenge is pretty much non-threatening.  It just makes me feel better….

A little over a week ago I got a phone call that I realize has changed so many lives, instantaneously.  The depth of the sadness has yet to be completely seen, and I pray that the intensity of the matter keeps itself relatively contained to allow all in it’s path of mental stability AND instability to grieve however their bodies need to.  There is no cookie-cutter way to grieve,  we all do it in different ways.  I think it has a lot to do with a person’s perception of the events, as well as their perception of their own life.

I’ve had some time to think about the significant departure of a human being that for all intents and purposes created a lot of “life” in this world.   I’ve kind of been on the outside looking in, a quiet spectator of sorts.  I’ve reached out to a few of the people who were closest to this individual and have listened to and read stories about her life.  Her mark in the world.  Now I won’t pretend to completely know this creature who now resides in Heaven with all her glamorous eccentricities.  I had a friendly connection, only being allowed to see a one side of what truly made this girl who she was.  The one constant reminder of her life was that she was  passionate.  One of the most passionate people that I know.  I find a real connection in that, not sure why.  If that girl loved you, she loved you HARD.  In the same token, if she disliked you, you felt her wrath.  What once was considered a transparent personality, many have found that she was not as cut and dry as originally thought.  The nuances surrounding her life were as detailed and closely guarded as one that you might find in an average undercover operation.  She only let you see what she wanted you to see, and each view was different depending on your relationship with her.

Her existence in this world will forever be a complex inquisition for many of her loved ones and close friends.  As much as she was “out there”,  she was also more grounded and in touch with her purpose than possibly anyone will ever know.  We like to put people into a specific class.  It makes us feel better.  Let’s label them, we’ll be able to sleep better at night knowing that we’ve categorized them into a specific file, in a distinct box according to their behavior toward us.  We judge.  We assume that we know what they are going through in their lives, why they acted as they did.  In our minds we have figured out what makes them tick, why their auspicious  future seemed to take a vacation South.  If we try to pinpoint the exact time in which they fell short of our expectations, we can somehow reside to the fact that we can hold no fault in our own actions, it’s “them” not “us”.  I mean, how many times have you just looked at someone and thought to yourself, “glad it’s them and not me”?  Or “wow, who lives their life like that”?  I probably think that way on a daily basis.

On a side note, as I’m typing this, and it’s taken me a few days to do it.   As I start and stop several times, I continue to get an “unresponsive script” error message.  In one of my previous blogs, “Signs”, you will understand that I’m a firm believer in signs, and I’m taking this as just another sign from beyond.  It’s kind of comforting knowing that she’s here with me, joking around and probably laughing her ass off as I try to get through this computer glitch.  Typical of her humor I bet.

I envision this beautiful young girl, long brown hair blowing in the wind, riding off on her wild horse into her new home, making it her own.

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In Your Eyes

I was recently told by someone close to me that I never have a nice thing to say.  Needless to say I was a bit taken a back by this accusation, but then I started thinking about it.  I began to think about all of the statements I had made that day.  And you know what, he was absolutely right!  I’m stuck in the “complainer” rut.  I’ve really never had many pleasing things to say to a certain “someone”.

So after shedding about  a million tears over the realization that I’m truly not in a good place and a legitimately bad person, I decided to make a change.  I’m not gonna complain.  I will, instead take the shit storm that’s handed to me and look for the good, as I do when any sort of catastrophic event happens in the world.  After all, this is MY world, my life.  Time to take control of it.

For instance:

1.  When there is an excavator/operator digging up stumps in my back yard, instead of going nuts over the mud drug in and smeared all over the floor by my dogs, I will relish in the fact that I’m lucky enough to have 2 pets who would by all accounts, jump in front of a bullet for me.  They would protect me at all costs.  How many people can say that?

2.  When my living room couch is getting soiled by a certain someone not showering and sleeping in their dirty, dusty clothes on probably a piece of furniture that won’t be replaced for a very long time, I will realize that without that scumbag, I would have to work 2 or 3 jobs just to get by.

I just giggled a little….

3.  Even though I was promised that I could replace “my” 9-year-old car this summer, unbeknownst to me, plans have changed and I will need to drive the sucker til it dies.  I will look on the bright side of things and be happy with the fact that I don’t have to walk to work, that my car’s air conditioner still is operating fine, and I actually still feel safe driving it.  And a “sticking gas pedal” could be realistically considered with the age of the vehicle.  Hope no definitive subjects are around if that happens.  Heehee

4.  When I watch a specific “someone” complete jobs that I myself have actually asked to be completed at my own home, I will realize that patience is a virtue and karma is a mother fucking BITCH.

Okay now I’m laughing out loud.

5.  When I get annoyed to the point of using a visual massacre of sorts on one specific unambiguous individual, I will bite my tongue, smile nicely at the pathetic prick and realize that I’m so lucky to have the natural ability to be so much smarter than he’ll ever be, without even trying.

Man, I can already feel my bitchy personality lifting…

6.  Each and every time I am reminded that I am a bad Mother/parent, I will just look at my 3 beautiful, wonderful, highly intelligent and perfectly mannered children and realize that he didn’t have an ounce of participation in that, aside from the obvious sperm related assistance.  I’ll smile inside my heart, knowing that my children would do anything and have done EVERYTHING for me, and just knowing that makes me 100 times better than he’ll ever know.

7.  When I’m being judged on my appearance, whether it be my wet hair, lack of red lipstick or fat ass, I’ll stare intently into his eyes and know that with his circa 1980’s hair and clothing choices, I WAKE UP looking better than that self serving, egotistical heap of maggot infested shit.

Holy cow, I guess all you need is a little nudge in the right direction.  Thanks G.  I can finally see the light.

8.  When I feel neglected and persecuted by the outside world and try to plead my case and request sympathy, which has always and will continue to be persecuted and demeaned by the “constant” in life, I will instead stop myself from having the needy, criticizing wounded puppy attitude and be happy that I have had the advantage of dealing with one of the biggest offenders of ass-hole-iness and recognize when I need to step back and take a breath.  They are literally EVERYWHERE.  Asshats unite.  The king is alive and well, operating in my own home.

Whew, I feel better already.  Geez, this whole “nicer attitude” thing is really cool.

Please enjoy one of my favorite songs in the whole wide world, Night Swimming by R.E.M.  It’s a feel good song with a whimsical tune that will turn that frown upside down.   I’ve also included the inspiration song for my blog post today.

Cheers Bitches.  Whoops…

 


What is Love?

I just remembered that my husband has an appointment with a cardiologist today.  In fact, he just called…..which is something that occurs regularly.  I may pick up the phone to call him, and the phone will ring with him on the other end, and vice versa.  Now one could look at that as a sort of “meant to be” relationship.  I used to, but I’m not necessarily sure about that now.  Regardless, it happens…which brings me to writing this blog today.

What is love?  I’m sure we can all attest to some of the “things” we love in life.  Why does chocolate always come to mind first?  It does for me, anyway.  A soft rain on a quiet evening.  Getting all green lights when you’re in a hurry.  I’m sure there are many “loves” that we take for granted, but what about real love.  I’m sure if you’ve read any of my previous blogs, you know I have BIG LOVE for my kids, that’s a given.  But what if you’re in kind of a rocky relationship.  Is it possible to actually still love that person.  Is it a different love?  I mean, it’s obviously different than it was when you were dating and married but still pretty much getting along.  What happens when you kind of fall out of love with your significant other, but you still care.  Is that love?  It’s a general caring, but does that go under the “love” heading?

He’s seeing a doctor for an enlarged heart (cardomegaly).  Can you believe I just googled the symptoms and causes?  Again, those of you who know me KNOW that I would have googled that two months ago when I made his appointment.  So sitting here at my desk and reading the causes, I kinda got sick to my stomach, for a couple of reasons.  First off, there are the “what ifs”.  What if it’s bad, requires surgery?   What if it changes his work schedule?  He’s not a friend to change, they battle literally all day every day.  What if medication changes his personality.  Okay, I just giggled a bit, that might actually be AWESOME.  What if today, our lives will change significantly and maybe not for the better?  I mean I care if he lives or dies, that’s for sure, and not just for monetary reasons.  I don’t wish bad things on him, other than an occasional mild case of dysentery.  Maybe a bad haircut which accentuates his larger facial features.  Wearing a clothing tag on his jeans, you know the one that’s a long, see thru tape with the size printed on it about 20 times?  Those kinds of things I’ve wished for sure.

Having just read an article that strongly suggested telling the ones you love that you do indeed LOVE them, simply because you just never know when you may not have the opportunity to do so.  I get that, I really do. So what do you call what you feel for the person who doesn’t give you butterflies anymore?  The person who makes you mad more than happy?  I can’t even say “I like you a lot”…..but I can’t say I hate you.  So…..what is that kind of love?

I’m going to go home and wait for him to let me know how the appointment went.  He won’t call and tell me about his appointment.  He’ll want to tell me face to face, he loves my undivided attention.  I’ll have questions and he won’t have answers, that’s a given.  His “head in the sand” mentality will shine brightly today.  So we’ll see, but in the meantime, have a  listen to this song by Tim McGraw.  Every single time I hear it I think of our relationship.


Three Decades

For Better or for Worse, For Richer or for Poorer, In Sickness and in Health, til Death us do Part.

Who knew I’d have all of these.  Damn you wedding vows.

Thirty years ago today, I turned in my single girl life for that of a married woman. I’ve had some good times, but mostly bad.  We’ve been more rich than poor, and more poor than rich.   I’ve been pretty sick, and for the most part, he’s been relatively healthy.  And there are times that I’d like to kill him, and I’m sure that he feels the same way about me.  I don’t carry a gun for reasons of safety—HIS!

I could be all sad and gloomy today, we aren’t even talking, but I’m gonna channel all my energy into remembering the good times.

When I first started dating Dave, the first I remember thinking was, “wow, this guy is a lot of fun….and sooooo good-looking”.  It seemed like this union was meant to be, right from the beginning.  I think there was a mutual attraction on both sides, and within 2 months I was proposing marriage to him in the McDonald’s of Olympia Shopping Center.  Yep my idea, and he was all in.  We were inseparable, him even driving from work late one evening, through a pretty nice size snow storm.  I can still see his dump truck sliding around the bend at the bottom of Bayard Street, getting ready to trek up the brick hill to my house.  There aren’t really words to describe how it feels to have somebody want to see you that badly.  Risking life and limb comes to mind, which is pretty much what he did on a regular basis.  And that felt really really good.  I used to make him steak, mashed potatoes and gravy with a salad with ranch dressing.  He never ate salads before, and he was in love, love with the salad AND me.

I would leave class at the Art Institute and shop for a card for him.  Just a random card, sometimes funny, sometimes heart-felt.  I found a very cool store in PPG place downtown.  I would sign the cards Mrs. David Gossman, even on the return address.  His mother was THRILLED!  I just wanted him to know that I thought about him all day long.

We were both excited to be pregnant with our first child.  Still practically kids ourselves, we were entering this new adventure with such enthusiasm.  He used to talk to the baby, we both named “Roxanne” after the song by The Police.  Now don’t listen to the words, that’s not what the name was about.  We loved singing the song, being kind of rock, kind of punk.  We enjoyed a lot of the same things.

Roxanne turned out to be male, and then the real fun began.  Being young and having a baby has its downfalls, that’s for sure, but it’s also just a blast.  We used to take road trips and the baby went everywhere with us.  Dave started working more and I started seeing less of him, but we still had that spark.

Four and a half years later we had a baby girl who finally got to use the “Roxanne” name, albeit in the middle.  Times were getting tougher, but she was the light of her dad’s life.  Babe-in-suit and all, she made our lives complete.  One boy, one girl and a nice little family.  We still traveled, weekends and Myrtle Beach vacations.  One road trip that stands out was a trip to Tucker County, with a visit to the countries smallest church.  Everything we did that day just seemed so in sync with each other.  One year he surprised me and the two of us flew to Florida for my birthday.  Having a birthday in December, somehow it always seemed to snow on that day making it difficult if not impossible to go anywhere to celebrate.  That was probably one of the best weekends in our marriage.  I’ll remember it forever and a day.

Dave and I still managed to make time for each other, going out on weekends and just having fun.  He’s the type of person who has quick wit and can really make you laugh hard.  No need for sit ups, he’ll make you belly laugh those stomach muscles into shape.  (Secretly wish that was a real thing)

Fast forward 11 years and surprise, we’re pregnant again.  Things seem to have gone down hill after that, pressures of making enough money to support a family and all that that entails.  Another son to add to our family.  He would turn out to be a difficult baby and toddler as well.  The spitting image of his dad, in more ways than one. One of these days I’ll write a blog about this lil dude, he’s definitely a trip for sure.

To this day my husband can still make me laugh.  We don’t have what we did, and although I try to never say never, we probably won’t ever be the same as we were.  I’ll just keep holding onto the good memories as long as I can, and just think about what we use to have.  That will get me through another day.  Oh, and this song…good times.


Frustration multiplied by 100

My experience with doctors, nurses and health insurance these past couple of years has been horrendous, and that’s putting it mildly.  I’m not alone, this is currently happening with close members of my family as well.  I will only discuss my own issues here, since hearing an experience first hand is always best.

I’ve been treated for a few medical problems that continue to go undiagnosed.  This has been going on for about 15 months.  I don’t need to be specific about my personal health obstacles, because this blog is not about health dilemmas.  Today I will discuss members of the medical field and the laws that seem to govern healthcare today.

First off, it’s incredibly rare that you find a doctor who gives one flying fuck about you or your problems.  Excuse the use of foul language, and if this is something that bothers you, stop reading now because this will contaminate your virgin ears with relatively atrocious language.

If you’re still with me, welcome.  High five to you and your filthy mouth.

Doctor’s and their companion physician assistants are some of the worst people practicing their form of medicine, while still continuing to be paid nicely for their service or lack thereof.  They don’t care about you, they truly only care about themselves.  Period.  They hide behind the Rod of Asclepius with the kind of cowardice snobbery that we’ve sadly become more than accustom to over the past decade. The days of caring about the health and welfare of patients is now all but a distant memory.  No one is trying to figure out what’s going on with you.  They are medicating the symptoms and not finding a solution to the problem.  That’s only if you can find a doctor who really feels like working the day of your visit, and you can get past the irritable bitches in the front office.  Why are they all so mad?  What could possibly make a person be miserable EVERY SINGLE DAY?  I’m looking forward to the “off day” that they might actually treat me kindly.  I’m not permitted to be evil to people in my office/workplace, why are they?  Do they fly under the radar because their boss is actually the doctor you’ll be seeing,  with other things on their mind like golfing or golfing?  Yep, I’m stereotyping and guess what…..I couldn’t give two shits.  I’ve always appreciated and given accolades where accolades are due when it comes to the amount of studying and working and schooling that encompasses being a doctor.  There’s a certain amount of respect that you MUST give those individuals who take they Hippocratic Oath, that’s a given.  If you haven’t read the Hippocratic Oath recently or EVER, go have a read.  Someone needs to update that shit.  No wonder we are where we are in the medical world.  They take the Oath and then forget everything it stands for.  Again, I’m assuming and generalizing.  This is due to the fact that I’ve seen probably 30 random doctors/offices/testing facilities over the period of 5-6 years.

I’m not all that old, but I can remember about 20-25 years ago when healthcare was actually that, CARE OF YOUR HEALTH.  Anyone remember when doctor’s and the like made house calls?  Can you imagine someone caring THAT MUCH about you?  Yeah, me either.  Not anymore.

Ok, so I believe there has been a death of sorts as far as the practice of medicine goes.  Speaking from a managerial stand point, with every problem we should find three solutions.  I’m honestly sitting here wracking my brain and I can’t come up with a damn thing that will change the way we are medically treated in this country.  At least not any time soon.  There are extremely bright, intelligent men and women in this world who could and SHOULD attempt to make a change in the curative direction.  I believe it may take the undiagnosed illnesses of quite a few of these geniuses before we see anything remotely close to an attempt in change.  As a doctor, if you suffer no consequences for your actions, or in this case inaction, why would you change on your own?  Have you been fucked over by the insurance company that pays you?  Has it taken 3 months to see your $300-an-office appointment payment for your patients?  Poor baby.  I’ll bet you don’t have to keep your furnace a little lower than normal because you don’t have the money to pay your utility bill.

That’s all I’ve got.  I literally have no idea what to do. We are spiraling out of control in a downward motion.  It’s time for doctors to wise the fuck up.  Get your asses up in the morning and make a difference, because it might just mean the difference in your patient’s life.  If it only changes one little illness that they’ve got going on, do it.  If it means that they stop waking up in pain, trying to function at work, at home, in their minds.  We are talking about the sanity of a human being.  We NEED help.  We can Google the shit out of our symptoms, researching why we feel the way we do, but we aren’t able to do a damn thing about it on our own.  We need your help and we are paying you to help us, many times breaking our budgets and going without to visit you and take your suggestive drugs.  Do you know that we cut our family vacation out this summer because we are taking your prescribed medicine and getting your conventional first step MRIs and Xrays, with only a slight chance of feeling better?  Do you care?  Are you listening you money hungry ignorant fucks?  Hey and while we’re on the subject, I like that Mercedes ya got parked out behind your office.  Thanks for moving my appointment that’s been scheduled three months in advance to another month because you’re leaving the office early that day for your trip to Spain.  Enjoy your infinity pool and $500 vacation dinners while I rest my throbbing head in a dark, quiet room unable to lead a normal life.  How’s that private school you send little Jimmy to?  Oh yeah, have I mentioned that I forgot to sign my kid’s permission slip for a field trip before he left for the school bus this morning, because I was suffering from a bout of I HAVE NO FUCKING CLUE disease?  Ya, that happened.

I will however promise you this:  I anticipate an extreme rise in the number of suicides in the United States in the upcoming few years.  I believe we will see an increase in such epic proportions that those considering entering the medical field will instead opt for that of funeral director/cremation provider.  It’s going to be BIG business.  At the rate we are being misdiagnosed and even not diagnosed at all, I feel like many will have no where else to turn.  Before you start texting or emailing me, I’m fine.  I’m not planning my demise now or in the near future.  As most of you may know, I’m one of those people who really refuses to give up.  I might not have a lot of company, unfortunately.  I have felt the effects of being kind of thrown around and treated/mistreated for many of my health dilemmas, but as I said, I’m not a quitter.  That’s not to say that anyone who decides to go a different route is, but having an overwhelming, daily feeling of malaise, it can take its toll on you, both physically as well as mentally and possibly spiritually.  How long should you be asked to try a drug, have a test and return in three months to see how it worked out for you?  Return in three months only to have your medicine increased and asked to return in three more months, never feeling any better.  Years of that HAS to take its toll.  If you can get up each morning and be hopeful that one day you’ll be cured, you’re a few steps ahead of the proverbial mind game.

My fear is that some are getting tired of playing the game.

 

 


Why?

In light of recent events, both locally and nationally, I would like to take a moment to voice my opinion.  Stop reading now if you’ve literally had it up to “here” with all the talk of Baltimore Riots and such.

I posted a blog last year about Facebook, with all it’s shortcomings.  Last night Facebook was all ablaze with over 400 comments regarding a post from a user in the area commenting on a possible “credible threat” at our district high school.  The comments that proceeded were nothing short of asinine, to put it lightly.  As I sat and read comment after comment from parents and the like, the one common thread that appeared was the ability to completely bad mouth the school district, with special slurs being slung toward Supervisory staff, mocking the early morning “snow day and delay” calls, which  now seem irrelevant and highly overrated with our  70 degree weather we’ve been having.  I mean, why can’t the school district let us know just as easily about a gun wielding student planning an attack during school hours on school premises?  What’s the big deal? Information like that, being received with a cold, monotone voice message that may or may not be received by each parent, what’s the big deal?  It’s unanimous.  Our school district wants to keep us in the dark.  They want our kids to die in a bloody pillage, as well as possibly themselves, all because snow delays are more important the threatening students.  And yes, people ACTUALLY BELIEVE THAT!

Which leads me to my current realization…THERE ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO ARE JUST BAT SHIT CRAZY.    The scary part of that is that they are walking among us.  They are sitting beside us in the doctor’s office (I use that example because I spend a lot of my life sitting in the waiting rooms of doctor’s offices).  They are the complainers without being the doers.  I always felt that the worst people are those that complain about politicians but would never EVER consider running for office.  A certain player or team in sports is horrible and cannot do anything right, but the person complaining could never play the sport in question.  Ever.

I’ve almost commented on this specific Facebook post about 30 times.  I have to literally exit the app.  But it won’t leave my mind. The instigators, the scare tactics, the insinuators, the not-so-funny comedians.  They all come together with their own warped “meeting of the minds” that gives the innocent reader much to contemplate.  Now to be clear, I’m far from innocent OR perfect, otherwise I would be putting myself into the same category as they’ve put themselves.  The untouchables.

That brings me to Baltimore.  There have been many rioting events involving protests lately, with Baltimore being the last.  The video via drone which shows mostly youth, jumping on police cars, looting stores and setting vehicles and retail supply establishments a blaze is so concerning at this point that we can no longer turn a blind eye to the level of incongruity happening in our country.  We’ve definitely been out of control for some time, but it hasn’t affected us to the degree that it has escalated to.

I don’t have all the facts in the case of Freddie Gray, so unlike my “friends” and their “friends” on facebook, I’m not going to pretend that I’m judge and jury and what I believe to be good and fair in the world of crime is entirely my way or the highway.  I don’t know exactly what happened, and I most likely never will.  And quite frankly that’s not my job to know.  There have been reports of prior criminal history.  I don’t know this to be a fact.  In any case, it’s not a reason to have my spine severed.  I don’t know how or why it was severed.  I just plain don’t know.  It doesn’t “sound” good, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t legit.

The truth of the matter is there are THUGS everywhere.  In every area of society.  We cringed when Priests were convicted of molestation.  When political officials have been caught red handed with prostitutes and in money driven schemes.  We’ve seen athletes use steroids and other drugs to hit home runs and win Olympics.These are just a few of the “trusted” people that we look up to, have respected and admired.  And lately Police Officers are coming into full view.  Thanks to cameras and cell phones, deliberate mistreatment of an individual being arrested is all the buzz.  As it should be.

I don’t want a child molested.  I don’t want my tax dollars going toward a tropical vacation.  I don’t want to pay money to go to a park and watch a baseball player hit home run after home run only because he’s had the opportunity to ingest performance enhancing drugs.  I also don’t want a police officer to treat me with little disregard if I’ve done nothing to provoke it.  Ahhhhhh, and there’s the difference.  The other “authoritative figures” really aren’t being provoked into wrong doing.  They do that of their own free will, as well the officers may.  Provocation can do a lot of things, depending on the day, the events that are going on in your life, your attitude.  Many things.  I can be fine with slow drivers during many trips in my car, but on any given day, I may have just had enough.

For me, when I’ve had enough, it’ll come out in the form of a blog.  Luckily I have the ability to vent here, even if absolutely no one reads it.  I feel better type-venting.  I don’t have any idea what it might be like to be provoked by an individual breaking the law.  I’m not excusing it,  but it must be incredibly difficult if not practically impossible to hold back emotion and frustration, day after day.

Is that where the city of Baltimore is?  Have the young individuals who were trashing property and attacking officers gotten to the point where they can no longer stand the repeated abuse?

My guess is gonna be no.  My guess is that they saw an opportunity.  They’ve seen it televised in the past.  Rodney King.  Michael Brown in Ferguson, just to name two.  The rioting that ensued following the protests was all over our TVs and social media.  Can you remember your children when they were young, listening without paying attention, but knowing everything you just said or did?  Did this distribution of media over the decades decide the fate of Baltimore before the arrest even occurred?  Has the provocation gene been embedded into the brains of every single person who exists and who watches and listens and believes without questioning?

I don’t know why it happened.  But I know why it shouldn’t.

My inspiration to write this blog today came from the incredible Annie Lenox.  Please PLEASE enjoy this song after you read my blog and you too might just ask yourself, “WHY”.


No One Is To Blame

It’s honestly hard to relate to another person’s dilemma if you haven’t actually been through it yourself.  The reason I’m saying this is because I watched and for the most part, participated in the appointments and relative testing of a close family member.  I visited doctors and listened intently as each one floated in and out of the medical office with their own sense of style and grace.  I use those adjectives loosely as at this point in time, I’ve truly only met one gentleman among all these healing gurus who has successfully completed his medical school honors, and most likely other prestigious schools and classes to garner the knowledge to actually make a difference in how I feel about the medical community as a whole.   One.  A genuinely caring person with high standing in the hospital he practices.

The sad part of this statement is that I, myself have had many surgeries over the past 4 years, and the opportunity to meet many, many doctors, physician assistants, nurses, medical testing technicians and the like.  I’ve come into contact with more therapeutic personnel than I care to mention.  I do believe that for whatever the reason,  most of the medical population working in healthcare today could really give two shits about you.  They exist for a pay check only.  Your health, sanity and complaints are wasted on deaf ears.  They look beyond you, staring through your tormented, withering soul sitting atop the uncomfortably sorry excuse for an exam table.   They appear to listen to your problems as they type into their little laptops.  Tap, tap, tap, tap, tap.  Did I not just fill out a boat load of paperwork in the waiting room which includes everything but my high school transcripts? Yep, that was me.  I checked all the boxes that applied.  I already listed my medications.  I included every one of my 300 surgeries.  You made a copy of my insurance card and my drivers license to be sure that I’m not trying to get that MRI of my brain, with my entire head encased in a plastic cage, contrast dye shooting into a vein in my arm intravenously with someone else’s health insurance.  Ya, I’m using someone else’s insurance card, just getting the test because I like being completely immobilized in a tube with the sound of a jackhammer pounding into my ear drums.  I’m certain that nobody will ever find out that I’m using someone else’s insurance.  Really?

Doctors don’t want to really be bothered with finding out what is causing your symptoms.  We live in a world of instant gratification.  You go to a doctor with a problem that you can’t fix yourself, they treat the issue surrounding it, pump you with some medication to ease your concern and CALL IT A DAY!  To me this is so frustrating.  I’ve been treated with an ailment for the past year and a half, being asked to return every 3-6 months, with no relative absolution to my illness.  As I continue their expert diagnosis of:  “Attempt, Wait and Fail”,  conservative approach to treatment, I’m no closer to resolve than I was when I started.  Recently new issues arose and I’ve already paid my “specialist” copay to 4 doctors, had 2 tests for my condition with an out of pocket over $150.00, and STILL am no further along than I was when it started.  The last doctor of medicine that I met with liked to play a fun game with me.  When he couldn’t find a reason for my illness, he proceeded to ask me what I thought was wrong with me.  Being the thrifty little bug that I am, of course I’ve researched my symptoms online.  No, I don’t always think I’m dying, but I do try to self-diagnose.  Hey why not, the doctors aren’t taking the bull by the horns, why shouldn’t I attempt it?  It’s not going to help, but at least I’ll feel somewhat fulfilled in the fact that someone, albeit myself, is making an attempt to determine the cause of my affliction.  Jokingly he told me that my headaches were, and I quote, “all in my head”.  He finished that comment with a gentle chuckle.  How cute is that?

The state of healthcare in the United States is deteriorating in epic proportion.  We have become a country that ingests hormone fed animals, most of which are being confined in spaces half their size, and treating our necessary toxic consumption filled diseases with prescribed addiction pain killers.  It’s the easy way out.

It’s bad and it’s only going to get worse.  When I hear of an 80 year old Vicodin addict, trading their premium Social Security check for a necessary “fix” of anesthetic pellets of deterioration, I can only wonder how on God’s earth we’re going to  make it out alive.

Oh guess what, we’re not.


Direction

I have the habit of living vicariously through my children, and it’s really something I actually enjoy.  I guess you could say I’ve put my traveling desires on the back burner, probably indefinitely, but I’m just as happy knowing that my kids are out seeing the world, getting a chance to enjoy beautiful landscapes and memories to build their life and vision.

I’ve seen the majestic mountain tops of Mount Ranier, walked the streets of New York City and eaten some of the tastiest delicacies .  I’ve been blinded by the glittering lights in Las Vegas, and I’ve relaxed on the beaches of Florida.   I caught a glimpse of the bio luminescent bay in Puerto Rico and felt the atmosphere as a normally quiet little bed and breakfast broke out in Christmas song as they cheered to the holidays.  I haven’t actually had the opportunity to experience a lot of those sights, but I’ve seen them through my children’s eyes, and the view is spectacular.

I haven’t had a lot of opportunity to travel very much in my lifetime, and I don’t really have any plans to do so in the future.  The only attraction on my half-hearted bucket list is Italy.  I would like to see it while I still can enjoy it, but if it doesn’t happen, hopefully one of my kids will visit and send pictures of all it’s splendor.

Direction isn’t completely about where my children have been, but where they’re going as well.  I’m pretty content with the older two and their career choices.  I would always like to see them experience more and go further, but if that stopped right now, I wouldn’t be sad.  My oldest has such a great eye for photography, hopefully one day he’ll take it to the next level.  My daughter is kind and considerate, and I would like her to go further in her nursing field, where I know she can make a difference in human lives.  My youngest recently announced that he would like to go into the armed forces.  Many parents would cringe at the idea, where there’s always the possibility of losing them at war.  I don’t feel that way.  Grae is and always has been a unique individual, with more focus on results than anyone else I’ve ever had the opportunity to meet.  From an Air Force Pilot to a Navy Seal, he will excel in any branch of the armed forces he decides to undertake, if that should be his course.  He’s still young, and his sense of direction may change.  He’s still a work in progress.  Whatever he decides, I know I’ll be very proud.  I’m already extremely proud of all 3 of my kids.

From the places they’ve been to the places they’re going, I’m just going to sit back and relax and enjoy the view.


Sympathy for Addiction

I have so many ideas for blogs recently, my brain is overflowing with mental observations.  If I can find the time, March should be a good month for me to write.

Today however, I must write about a recent day of mental instability.  Yesterday.  I need to give a little bit of background before I rant.  I’ve been prescribed Cymbalta for pain.  Pain that I’ve had everyday for 13 months.  My pain is all encompassing.  I feel a general sense of achy, flu like symptoms.  My rheumatologist feels that a non narcotic pain pill called Tramadol accompanied by an Ibuprofen is sufficient.  I’m truly not one to continue masking my problems, so off to another doctor I go.  Ms. New Doctor selects a combination of Tramadol and Cymbalta for me. 30mg of Cymbalta, to be exact.  At my second visit to her, I describe feeling about 5% better, where in she increases the dosage to 60mg, in hopes to eventually allow me to be pain free.  At this rate I should be take 5000mg of Cymbalta, but I’m getting ahead of myself.  She increases another pill for acid reflux for me and off I go.  I get my refill and begin taking (2) Cymbalta a day.  I never paid attention until I ran out of pills mid month, and thought I may have made a mistake.  It seems I was supposed to take (1) pill of 60 mg.  I was taking (2).  In essence I went from 30mg to 120mg.  That in itself doesn’t seem too awful bad, right?  Just wise the hell up and go back to your (1) pill of 60mg.

Fast forward to yesterday.  Now to be clear, I did feel a bit odd a few days prior, a lot more achy and some pretty bad stomach pains, but for the most part I never put 2+2 together.  Yesterday morning I woke up to what is called “Brain Zaps”.  I was lucky unlucky enough to have experienced those when I quit Lexapro cold turkey.  A brain zap can occur when there is a decrease or stoppage of SSRI’s, which is an antidepressant medication.  Cymbalta can be used for that, but in my case is being used for general pain.  To describe a brain zap, try to remember a day when you felt an electric shock or quick jolt.  That shock happens to your brain.  Yesterday mine was occurring when I made a sudden turn of my head.  Yep. That often.  It felt like my brain was being hit with a taser.  All. Day. Long.  Just after the jolt, I would feel a quick disorientation and light headedness.   But that wasn’t the only problem.  I was having what appeared to be hot flashes about every 10 minutes.  But not a mild flash, oh no, this was a complete soaking.  My hair stuck to my head from my scalp sweat.  My shirt was sticking to my body.  The back of my knees and inside of my elbows creased with perspiration.  I was literally a hot mess.  And those 10 minute long bursts of fire in my body made me feel like passing out.  That happened all day long as well.

I was at work most of the day and made a quick jaunt to the pharmacy to discuss my dilemma with the pharmacist who looked like she recently graduated from middle school. My doctor hadn’t called back and I was looking for help.  As I became a human waterfall of liquid steam, I waited my turn to speak to someone who could shed some light on my problem.  Miss Pharmacist looked afraid of me.  She looked very afraid.  As I lay my coat on the counter and begin dripping all over the place, she began to appear uneasy.  I was a druggie looking for a fix.  She stared into my eyes, with her hands resting on the counter, gripping the edge in fear.  I’m guessing there was a panic button nearby, her white knuckled hands firm on the perimeter.   Fear covered her face when I started describing my symptoms.  She tried to remain calm but the vibration of her voice spoke volumes.  And for good reason.  I was a fucking mess.  I was shaking, dripping and pleading all over the place.  I wasn’t too proud, silently mouthing “PLEASE HELP ME”, which actually rolled off my tongue with such trepidation that I scared MYSELF.  I felt an overwhelming urgency to cry, which somehow I blocked.  I’m not sure tears could have actually flowed out of my ducts since all of my pores were being used for body fluid excretion.  She could not help me.  Only my doctor can give me advice on what to do in this case.

First of all, I find it incredibly hard to believe that this child like legal drug distributor could not conjure up an idea in her head that would ease my crazy brain and spontaneous fluid flooding.  But what do I expect from an 8th grader?   I mean seriously.

I clumsily collected my coat and vitamins and turned to exit the building, hoping not to slip in the pool of molten water that found it’s place at my feet.  An older gentleman waiting for his prescription appeared to move quickly backward in his chair as I passed, in a seemingly uncomfortable attempt to block a sweat spattering to his face.  I couldn’t even rally up an eye roll as I sped by him, I needed to get the hell outta Dodge.

When I arrived home I so badly wanted to take an Ambien to sleep this horrible feeling away, and then take another when I awoke.  And then another, and so on and so on.  Not wanting to feel this way was the only thing I could think of, which brings me to the reason for my writing today.  I read in quite a few places that this reaction to SSRI’s, as well as pain pills, is not unlike withdrawal from heroin.

Now I cannot imagine and I would hope that I never have to imagine what that withdrawal would be like.  I’ve seen pictures of heroin addicts and it’s not pretty.  But I have to tell you, if my symptoms yesterday were due to a withdrawal from that horrid drug, heroin, I would have sold the shoe laces from my child’s last pair of shoes to get a fix.  I wanted to run from the way that I felt so badly that I would have done almost anything, and that’s not a lie.  I’ve had lots of opportunity to experience pain in my life, and I’ve had quite a bit in the last 4 years, but NOTHING compares to this.  In fact, pain couldn’t touch this experience.  I’d rather have a tooth pulled without novocain than to go through that again.  And that’s the exact reason why I feel so much sympathy for anyone going through a drug withdrawal.  Having the ability and will power NOT to turn to Ambien or any other drug to get me through my situation is something that a lot of addicts don’t have.  And for good reason.  That’s exactly the reason that they ARE addicts.  The amount of compassion that I have for someone trying to kick an addiction is so much more personal and powerful for me today, that I may seriously look into a way that I can help those less fortunate in that capacity.  My request to you is that if you are reading this, that you carefully have a mental discussion with yourself and realize that until we’ve walked a mile in ANYONE’S shoes, we can and SHOULD NOT judge them.  For ANY reason.

This song comes to mind, and not so much for the meaning in its lyrics, but the broader meaning.  “How can we dance when our earth is turning, how can we sleep when our beds are burning….”  How can we sit back and allow drug addiction to be commonplace and judge those afflicted?


My Life is a Song, Just 3 Minutes Long

I’m not sure what it is about this time in my life.  I seem to be reflecting on the past just about every day.  Every. Single. Day.  It might have something to do with my age, I’m not sure.  Maybe I’ve just fallen off of my high horse and instead of landing hard on the ground below me, I’ve just kind of softly touched bottom, even landing on my feet.  Now, I’m sure that on any given day, that horse I’m riding on could throw me off the saddle and into the middle of a swampy pond.  Maybe it might just be sluggish one day and I’ll keep kicking the side of it to get it moving.  I might even hold onto the reins for dear life and be scared shit less as I take off like a bat out of hell into the unknown.  But today, I’m standing alongside my horse, appreciating all that life has to offer.

At the risk of sounding like Oprah, it would seem that I recently had an epiphany of sorts.  Ironically, it was during the 2015 Oscars, and Oprah was actually in attendance.  Unless she has powers beyond measure, this feeling was most certainly mine and mine alone.  I had no help from the outside.  I was however, influenced by  that special part of every award show that displays the faces of people in the entertainment industry who have passed on.  This presentation was quite beautiful, with the photographs edited in a sketch type image which somehow made you very aware that those people were gone.  Lots of random camera men and screen writers mixed in with your big stars.  And you know what?  I sat there watching, all by my lonesome, and thought, “it didn’t matter how much money each one made or how many fans they had, they all left this earth like everybody else does.  Maybe not in the same manner obviously, but they still ceased to exist in the way that we all do right now.  And aside from the friends and family members that they left behind, how many people think about them and grieve for them every day?  They aren’t coming back, that’s for sure.  Did they leave too soon?  Did they get to do everything that they wanted to?  Did they leave a mark on this world that will live on forever?  Maybe, maybe not.

But I think what it all boils down to is that while we’re here, we need to make the best of it.  We should not be scared to try something new or desire change.  Each morning when we wake up, we have been given a gift from God, the same gift that was awarded to us on our birth day.  You’ve read the articles and watched the news.  The feel good stories of a seemingly lost person who perseveres and triumphs.  The Go Fund Me Page set up for a man in Detroit who walked over 20 miles to work every day for 12 years.  A fireman or police officer saving a dog in a frozen river.  These are all gifts.

When we’re young, we don’t get a lot of opportunity to stop and appreciate the gifts.  We’re busy.  Like driving down the road in my car and seeing a beautiful sunset.  I swear the color of the sky in the fall is the most awesome shade of blue that you don’t get to experience any other time.  The quiet of the first snowfall blanketing the landscape.  A bird’s nest outside one of your windows in the spring.  The sun shining down on your face and the gentle breeze that tickles the hairs on your skin and feels so wonderful.  Have you ever watched a dog in a car with his head outside of the window, so happy to be out.  They don’t know where they’re going or what they’re going to see, they’re living in the moment.

I recently have a new found appreciation for music concerts.  The spirit in the room, the anticipation of the music that will be played.  There’s a feeling of euphoria when that band that you’ve listened to a large part of your life is playing live, and it would seem directly for you, only you.  And that music brings back memories.  I honestly don’t have a bad memory attached to any specific song, but I have many distinctly good memories of so many songs.

Sitting inside the apartment of a neighbor whose husband was incredibly good looking, listening to Starland Vocal Band singing Afternoon Delight while I watched him eat a grilled cheese.  I’ve loved that song ever since.  Oh did I mention that he sang along, in his cute boyish kind of way?  Yep.  I can still see it like it was a minute ago.  And when I hear that song, it takes me to one of the nicest memories in my early childhood.  Watching my mom fold laundry in our upstairs “kitchen”, listening to Mary Hopkin singing “Those were the days”.  It made me want to spin around in circles and dance in the middle of the floor.  I listened to Luther Vandross on my brother’s record player, singing “If This World Were Mine” with Cheryl Lynn.  I first saw them on the weekly dance/music show called Soul Train.  I was mesmerized, and I swore that I could sing just as well as Cheryl.  The smooth sounds of their voices seemed like heaven to my ears.  Roller skating to Dan Fogelberg singing “Same Auld Lang Syne” on a New Years Eve, while I wished I were next door at a youth party, where surprisingly my husband was attending.  We weren’t really great friends yet, but I knew I wanted to be.

And finally this song, “Let Me Sing For You” by Kenny Rogers.  I remember my family driving to Big Bear Lake in our Ford Van for the weekend.  Kenny was a popular cassette we listened to, and this was my favorite song.  It was an easy ride, with my dad driving and mom changing the radio channels.  Some of the memories I have of my life, condensed into a 3 minute blog, set to music.  Please enjoy and if you can, visualize the ride.  This one was a nice, even gallop with the wind blowing through my hair and all was good in the world.