Monday, June 13, 2016

Another attack

     It seems like America is becoming jaded to hearing those words, "Deadly Gun Massacre" or words to those affect. They will tsk tsk, maybe rail out against the gun industry and behind doors they will cheer with glee that PEOPLE they don't think deserve to live are gone. I'm here to tell you it's not a gun problem. I know, I must be one of those eeeeeevvvvviiiiillll NRA members. Sorry, just a true American who believes in my Rights. Love the 1st, 5th is a must and so many more. Read our Constitution and Bill of Rights. There's more to life than your fantasy football game.

     Now, back to my thoughts. On a night like this, it's impossible for me to sleep. The words keep poking me, demanding to be let out. The last newspaper editor I worked for told me I cared too much about my family to be a "good reporter." HAH! Just the week before he was crowing about me finding a murderer's best friend and getting him to agree to go on record about what he knew BEFORE the police found him. The next, I'm not good enough. He did get rid of most women in the newsroom, so I won't take offence, much. Revenge is beneath me, but accidents do happen.

     Guns are not the only means to cause mass casualties, not by far. Does anyone remember the OK City bombing? Am I giving away my age? Not 1 gun was used to kill those people. It's a simple recipe, a 2-minute Google will find it for you. If that nut who murdered all the innocents in Orlando yesterday had gone out and rented a truck, bought a load of fertilizer (gonna outlaw those two things? Didn't think so) and that one last ingredient, backed that truck up to the door of the club and it would have killed more than 50 people, not just in the gay club, but in the streets, other buildings, etc... Again, it's totally legal to buy and 99% of the time isn't even written down)

   This is America, we fought to become FREE. Yeah, freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose. Well, I say that's how we all need to live. We're free! You don't know what nut is out there and hates you. Maybe he hates women, children, blondes, bodybuilders, etc, etc, etc. It doesn't matter who or what you are or believe in, there's somebody out there that hates you for it. It could be just random, you are in the wrong place at the wrong time, such as the Boston Marathon. Should we stop living because there's chance that we could walk out our door and not come back? Stay hidden behind out walls and just bleet to the government to protect you and take away all your rights? I'm sure there are many who would be happy to do just that. I'm not one of them. I will hop on a plane with one of my kids for a three day adventure on the other side of the country and end up there over a week. That's what we all should live for. Who cares about the STUFF you own? I have a little house, in a little town, but I've spent a week in Paris alone, seen most of the US and absolutely love Canada. I go, see and do. The thought of having one of those huge McMansions people seem to want with the fence around their perfectly manicured lawn and huge flower beds make me want to sell my Coach bags, well, almost.

    I don't' know the real point of this post. I'm not really writing it, the words are just coming out the way they want. Maybe the blessed Darkness will allow me entry for a few hours now? Until I'm manic again. TA!

Monday, February 1, 2016

You shouldn't be ashamed to have a mental illness

     It's 2016 and you would think in this "enlightened" age people would understand that a mental illness isn't contagious or the person's fault. People shouldn't be ashamed to seek treatment, but they do. With the right combination of therapy and medicine, the person can live a close as possible to normal life. I have seen the devastation a mental illness can have on a person's life.
    
     General Hospital is currently featuring a storyline about a 20-something young man who has just been diagnosed as bi-polar. The young man's father also suffers with that and the raw emotions shown that he passed his mental issues onto his son were heartfelt. The son was resistant to even going to be diagnosed because of the stigma. Once he lost control and almost hurt his girlfriend, he agreed to see the psychiatrist. The actor is showing how once the diagnosis was made, he had to start taking medication daily. He shows how the medication makes him feel like a zombie. He feels dead inside and just wants to be normal.

     I talked about the stigma of having a mental illness, but it is no more the fault of the person than if they had a seizure disorder, blindness or any other illness. Depression is one of the mental illnesses that many of the people I know deal with. We talk at all hours of a day and sometimes, all we can do is cry. People will look at the depressed person and tell them to just "think happy thoughts" or "what do you have to be so sad about? There are lots of people that have it worse than you do." The cruelty of those statements make me cry. People don't choose to have depression, they don't want to sit up all night crying. The highs where you have plenty of energy, clean the house top to bottom then want to go out and see friends to the lows where you literally don't have the energy to get out of bed. Nobody chooses to live that way.

     If you do seek treatment, either yourself or by being forced, it goes on "your record" forever. If you're looking for a new job, your potential employer will eventually find out and the odds are, you aren't getting a job. You have to worry that Children and Youth Services deciding that your mental illness is dangerous and will take your children away. Ex-husbands, ex-boyfriends, ex-girlfriends or just ex-friends can be vicious and use your mental illness to destroy your life. Posting on social media that you have this problem would be one way to hurt you.`

    If you are applying for a concealed carry permit or handgun permit, the forms all ask if you've been committed either voluntarily or involuntarily for a mental illness and can and usually will deny your permit. With all the mass shootings going on, law enforcement is digging deeper into the shooters' background and splash it all over if the shooter had a mental illness. I don't understand why it's anyone else business about your health, but that is one thing people feel they have the right to tell the rest of the world about that.

     The next time you see someone who suffers with depression or any other mental illness, maybe you should take the time to get to know them. They aren't monsters, they aren't their illness, but just people dealing with issues you are lucky enough not to. Talk to them, you might just learn something.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Is our food safe?

     Randy and I went to Dubois this morning to send Trevor his snowboard and gear because he is going on a weekend to Big Bear, CA, with his girlfriend and her family next month. Of course, all the gear for both of them is here. You wouldn't believe how difficult it is to ship a snowboard across the country!
     We first went to Staples and they didn't have a box big enough for Trevor's board. His board is my size. The other board is Arielle's and she decided to give it to Trevor's girlfriend because she can't use it. They used them when she was here for a visit last year. That board fit in a TV box, but we need to send both. I have the boots, goggles, gloves and snowsuits all packed in a separate box that weighs 20 pounds. It's ready to go. They suggested we go to the main UPS center. Of course, it isn't open all the time and we had three hours to kill.
     We decided to go to Pizza Hut for their buffet. It was a half hour wait for the buffet, but that's no problem. We could have something to drink and have a few minutes to talk. It seems like we're never alone anymore. I go to the restroom and when I get back, I go to take a drink and there are black specs floating in his Mt. Dew and in my water. Yuck! I take the glasses and request clean ones. I'm standing there waiting and the next Mt. Dew is still gross and the waitress just returned my glass without even changing it. Hello? She calls her manager and while I'm standing there waiting for clean drinks and I hear her asking if anyone ever cleaned the ice holder and she starts to take it and throw away all the ice and a new bucket is brought up. By then, I was feeling more and more uncomfortable and concerned about the sanity of the food. With my health issues, I don't dare get ill from unclean food. Randy agreed and immediately left. Me being me, I start to Tweet about the incident and by the time I was to Facebook to talk about it, I get a Tweet back from Pizza Hut corporate headquarters asking for more details. Of course, I told the entire thing. I only wish I had taken photos! That mistake will never happen again.
     We went to another pizza place called Buck's Pizza. I had Chicken Alfredo and Randy had a Stromboli. The food was incredible! We have a new favorite restaurant!!
     We still had an hour to go, so we ran to Lowes to get insulation and ask for a box large enough to send the board. No boxes were available. Then we ran to WalMart. Going there, you can spend hours just watching the people and how they dress. :)
     It's finally time to go to UPS and they have nothing big enough to mail a snowboard. All they do is ship things and they can't even put two golf cart boxes together and make a box? We're so upset now. Randy will make a box and I'll send it to him on Tuesday. Even sending it by ground mail, he'll have it in plenty of time for the trip.
     It's been a real eye-opening day in so many ways. I'll always complain about food we're served if it isn't right. How many people are killed or sickened every year at restaurants because people keep it to themselves? I don't expect anything for telling my story, but hoping that by making them clean out their ice holder kept one person from getting sick means a lot. I'm nothing special, I hope that everyone who reads this will start to do the same. Our cellphones all have cameras, take photos of your food and drinks, especially if it's questionable and post a Tweet or Yelp or any of the sites that allows users to rate and talk. It's important.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Scammers Out There Making New Rounds

     I made the mistake of signing up for a Best Buy card because I use a lot of high end cameras and computers and with their membership, you get points to give free merchandise. When we were in CA in June, I earned enough points to purchase a free camera battery. I thought it was a great deal until I started getting calls from Citi Bank a minimum twice a day. I have no idea what that is for because I have no cards from Citi Bank. I finally get tired of this nonsense and return their call. It's Best Buy. I received my current statement on Thursday, but the "customer service" says I'm 11 days behind in payment. What?

     I go through the game they play that I'm mistaken and the bill WAS delivered. Of course, I'm a liar. They never make a mistake. They also say they record all calls, I tell them I also record all my calls. The "escalation" manager said he does not give permission to record his call and I repeat that I do not give consent to record my calls. He blubbers around. I explain in my State, only one person has to give permission to record and I give myself permission. I ask what State he was in and he refused to give it. Why? Because he is in a State that requires both parties consent to record a all or any conversation. Please people, learn the laws in your State. Don't let these scammers take advantage of you.

     I took care of him and his garbage and told them I never want to hear from them again or I'll call our Attorney General and file formal harassment charges. He blubbers again and I let him off the hook and hang up.

     I don't let scammers get me anymore. After the "IRS" called to tell there was a warrant out for my husband's arrest because we sent entirely too much money to our family in other countries. All my family is within 30 minutes drive of me. They called again and my husband was home. He was furious because they had me so upset. I was very ill and the stress was bad for me, so he played with them. He said you had to send me a certified letter about this. The "agent" said it was sent and they knew he threw it in the garbage. Oh really? Yes, they went through our garbage and found it. We have three cats, so I'm wondering how they managed to find anything with the cat litter. He insisted a warrant would be sent to our local sheriff and we would be arrested. Hubby asked which officer would be coming since they were here, he's save them time. The scammers hung up and never called back.

     Another scam is going around and that I want to let you in on. I have been getting calls from a man with an Indian accent asking to talk about my computer. What computer? The one you check your e-mail on. I have 4 computers, a couple laptops, plus a bunch of smartphones. He gets confused. I ask if he's with the scammers that called the day before. He said, "Yes," and I started laughing then. He got very angry. He'll shut my computers down if I don't let him have access to them now. RIGHT! I tell him where he can put his phone and hang up. They haven't called today, but I imagine they will.

     Please people, NEVER sent money to anyone without checking with your local police department. They have all the scams and will save you everything you have.

Monday, June 15, 2015

One day left in San Diego

Today is our last full day in San Diego. We'll take Trevor to his girlfriend's apartment and then I have to leave my baby. He is still ill and nowhere near ready to be on his own, but we have to go back home and he has to have a re-check by the cardiothoracic surgeon who saved his life in 2 weeks. Add that to the fact that everything here costs almost twice what it does at home and we just can't stay another two weeks. He's not allowed to fly for at least 10 days. We checked on trains and buses. I could charter a plane for what these trips across the country cost!

He will be living in Mexico until he finds a job and an apartment here in CA. He has a month to find both or he has to come home. If he hasn't been able to find a job in a month in the birthplace of computer technology, he will be asking, "Do you want fries with that?". I know he's smart and can do any job related to computers, but he has to be given a chance first. He missed the interviews that were scheduled last week because he was having surgery to remove over a liter of blood from his chest.

I wrote about not speaking the right language to be here and it keeps getting more and more obvious, I should have taken intensive Spanish rather than German in college. It's frustrating when I can't even tell the maid that we appreciate how clean the room is or ask a waitress for extra napkins. This has opened my eyes to the complaints of people along the border being so anti-immigrant.  I believe with all my heart that this country should allow immigrants to come here. With the exception of Native Americans, all of our ancestors are immigrants. What if our ancestors were treated with the hate and violence poured on toady's immigrants?

I made the appointment with this heart specialist, so that is taken care of. Now, I'm trying to find him a new primary care physician. Not an easy thing to do. Nobody seems to want new patients! Maybe the specialist will have an idea and help him out. If you live in the San Diego region and have a good doctor, I would really appreciate a name and phone number.

He's going to take a shower now and then he'll pack up his suitcase and backpack and off we go. Those two bags will be the extent of all his worldly possessions until I can bring his car and other items out. Once he gets a job, I have about a dozen people offering to drive out with me to deliver them. I think I'll have a lottery, just put everyone's name in a jar and pick 2. :-)

I know he's a young adult and needs to be out on his own, but he's my baby and always will be. I don't know how I'm going to drive away!

Thanks for listening to my whining and moaning about how my life sucks. I'm in sunny CA, my son is ALIVE and my husband is here with me. If my daughter and rest of my family were here, it would be perfect. Family is all there is when you think about it.

Until next time ....

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Another hospital in another State

This week started out so well, I should have known what was coming. I was happy and having fun. I was acting like a real human again. Time for the smackdown to begin.

My son just recently graduated with distinction from Penn State and had job interviews in San Diego. He asked me to fly out with him, just because I have never been to CA and things were so hard for me. Of course, I threw things in a bag and off we went. First problem hit, my wallet with ID and credit cards wasn't in my purse! I had my passport, so I could fly, but couldn't rent a car or check into a hotel! My daughter found the wallet and overnighted it to me. At that point, it didn't matter anymore.

We landed and fought to get a car rented and to our hotel. The hotel we reserved and paid in advance wasn't a hotel, but a HOSTEL. The difference? NO PRIVATE bathrooms. We would share one bathroom with a floor of people. Not this girl. When the clerk said that, all I saw was National Lampoon's European Vacation where the mom is in the tub and "Hagrid" Robbie Coltrane walks in. If you've seen the movie, you know the scene I'm talking about. No Hagrid for me. By that time, my son was screaming outside. I just run. He's holding his chest & can't breathe. Where is a hospital. The clerk didn't even look up as I begged for the way to a hospital. He simply couldn't have cared less, unless my son bled on the floor. It's pitchblack, 9 or so at night and I don't speak Spanish. Finally, a taxi driver took pity on me and we followed him to the trauma hospital.

We should have been good, but remember, it's me. I'm 5'2" and my son is 6'3" and I'm trying to carry him in. Security wouldn't help, just said you have to go next door oh and move your car. Yeah, tow it, it's a rental. I manage to get to ER. Crying for someone to help my boy. They don't even blink when he's holding his chest and can't breathe. I tell them his lung collapsed. They don't care. Finally, I threaten to just take him and call 9-1-1. The snotty nurse tells me it's illegal and they would just send police to make me stop calling them. RIGHT! I happen to know a bit about the law after covering court for 20 years, but I let him think his smugness won. I was attracting enough attention by now that they take us back, but the doctor wouldn't even look at him until I PAID MY CO-PAY! My son can't breathe and they are hassling me for $25. I lost it then. After they had the cash, a nurse took his blood pressure and walked off. After 20 minutes of me crying and Trevor screaming in pain a doc sends him for a chest x-ray because I don't know what I'm talking about. How do I know his lung collapsed? This is his fourth collapse, I've been through this rodeo far too many times before. The x-ray shows a large collapse. Doc lets me see it and says I can take a photo of the x-ray. I bring out my pro camera (Nikon 5500) and she asks where is my camera phone. Please! I've written and taken photos my entire life. It's how I made a living. She's worried now about who I might be and calls in specialists because she just doesn't want to do it. I angered her by questioning her qualifications when she refused to listen to what my son and I were telling him was going on.

They arrive at 2 or 3 a.m. (remember, we got there at 10 p.m.) They see the x-ray and race him back to surgery. He's holding me, begging me not to leave him. What can I do? They won't let me go. I take the time to move the car and bring our gear. He's now on the trauma fl
oor. ER sends me to security. The same cop who saw me dragging my son in looks at me and says, "I won't tell you where your son is." WHAT? HELLO??? Remember me? Yes, did you move the car? Total ass. I'm hysterical, caring at least 150 pounds of junk and he wants to play. I tell them I KNOW the room he's in, I just don't know how to get there. He sighs and picks up the phone. Such hard work for such an easy job. The charge nurse tells him to send me right up. Finally, he tells me the elevators are at the end of the hall (about a football field away). Can you help me? NO!

Somehow I managed to get there and walk in the room. My boy is pale, with tubes and oxygen covering his body. I just broke down. Why him? Why again? He's here to get a job and start his life!

Several hours later, after the nurses ignored my questions on why so much blood from the tiny chest tube, the top cardiothoracic surgeon is in his room and says he has to go back to surgery right now. Why? He's bleeding into his chest and drowning. I could lose my baby! Of course, I agree to have it done. Then a nurse comes in, does he have a living will? I need to know what you want done if something goes wrong. He's only 20! This can't be happening, but it wasn't a nightmare, it was real. Of course, I told her to do everything possible to keep my boy alive, no matter what. Take my heart if he needs one, just save him.

His girlfriend Ana was there to hold me up or I literally would have curled up into a ball and just cried. I did lose it then, even with her there. I called my husband and said I need you now. He couldn't understand me because I was crying so hard. My mother and her sister drove him three hours to the nearest airport and he was on his way. It took many changes because of weather closing airports, but somehow, he managed to get here 24 hours after my hysterical call.

My son is getting better and should be getting the chest tubes out by tomorrow, then it'll be just slowly healing. This has taught me I'm stronger then I ever thought possible when all alone and push comes to shove. I need my husband and love him dearly, but I can survive.

If one person reads this and forgives a loved one, this pain is worth it. All we have are our family. Love them, no matter what. We can lose them far too soon and far too easily. My birthday is next week and we're making travel arrangements to get home. I hate the idea of doing that on my birthday, but then I realize what I could be making arrangements for instead and just say, "Thank You" for keeping my son alive.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Back to Vampire Hours Again

Randy is on third shift again for a couple months, so other workers can get the training they need. I was use to having him here at night, so I was finally sleeping more than a few hours. Now I can't sleep again. I'm even watching reality TV because most other channels are on infomercials. Can you imagine how incredibly boring your life has to be to actually sit and watch those things? Even the mind-numbing reality TV is sometimes funny. It's obviously scripted. My new game is catching the oh-so-obvious scripting on them.

Third shift does have advantages though. We can schedule all my medical appointments and surgeries for his days off. He has every other weekend off as well as days during the week. That helps out a lot. He doesn't have to use vacation days or unpaid family medical leave. He's getting the injections in his knees the next three Fridays. This isn't the cortisone shots, but a thicker gel made out of rooster combs. The needles are thick and I can only imagine how painful it is getting them. The last series of injections had him obviously hurting and for a Marine who served in the first Persian Gulf War, showing anything hurts means I'd be curled up in a ball in the corner, unable to made a sound because I've already screamed my voice away. They work though. It kept him almost pain-free for months and even after a year, he was able to tolerate moving around. He's going to need to have knee replacement surgery in the future, but these injections are delaying that surgery. He's not even 50 yet and the surgery is usually meant for those over 60.

My left knee will have to be replaced again before I hit 50, I'm sure. I've had two meniscus tears in a year. The last surgery is my last chance. If I have another tear, that means that it has to be replaced. I'm trying to be very careful and not fall. I hold on better when I'm walking around. When I'm outside, I have a walking stick or use someone's arm to keep my steady. I feel more like I'm 90 because I can't just do things a normal woman my age doesn't even think about, she just does it. I have to consider everything I do and decide if it's worth the risk. Something as simple as going for a drive with my son for an on-line geocaching game takes so much energy and makes my left knee swells up that I can't do much the entire next day. At least I'm better off now than I was last year at this point after the first knee surgery. Have to be grateful for that, if nothing else.

Trevor graduated from Penn State last weekend. I was watching the video Arielle took with my Surface tablet. I can't believe my baby boy is a college graduate. He's sending out resumes to any business in San Diego, CA that needs computer technician help. He graduated with distinction and an impressive 3.85 GPA. I'm so proud of him. I don't know how I'll be able to handle it when the inevitable happens and he finds a job on the other side of the country. When we take him out there, he won't be coming back this time after a few weeks, he'll be living there. We're spending as much time together as we can. Since my left knee has no strength, I can't drive my Mustang. It's a standard and I can't push in the clutch, my beautiful Betty Lou is pure Detroit Muscle car and has a very stiff clutch. Trevor loves driving her, so we're putting a few miles on her.


Time to find something new to watch. Hopefully, life will get a little better soon.