Thursday, August 16, 2018


Promising about 11 years ago when I started this blog that I would try not to be political. I feel that politics should not find a place in my life that allows me to spew off beliefs that some may not agree with and that in them self may have no validity.

Always having supported the President of the United States no matter how much I may have disagreed with him, I feel I can either support or lessen the degree of my disagreement, in other words, hear the other side of the argument.

No one likes to be wrong, and we all are at some point. What makes us so adamant about how we come to conclusions lies in our experiences in life both in childhood and as adults, stemming from the natural progression of growing or maturity.

Today I am surely challenged. Looking at the National news and the decisions being made by the current occupant of the White House, I am saddened, embarrassed, angry and fearful for our future as a nation.

I marvel at how many poor decisions have been made in selecting a cabinet that they have almost all turned over and new members of the cabinet need to be brought in. My breath is taken away from the scandal that seems to emanate from these scoundrels that the President has chosen to run our various agencies and departments. So many bad choices have come from one man.

The shredding of our foreign policies, the destruction of our alliances and the total miscalculation of plans from promises he has made, has left us in a terrible quandary. Just how bad is it going to become?

He has rendered Obama Care to very little based on the idea that it was Obama’s name attached to it. There is something akin to when Hitler attacked Stalingrad because he hated Stalin, rather than heed his generals' advice and not do it. What we have now with what is left of any national health plan is a shadow of a plan, which offers no coverage.

We are losing all our trade allies, traditional military alliances and old partnerships built with former adversaries, turning all of the above mentioned into new rivalries and adversaries.

To make matters even more perilous, there are investigations that are ongoing by a special council that threatens the very core of the leadership in the White House. Just how long will it take the Republican leadership I the Congress to realize their allegiance is to the people of their country, not the President?

Wednesday, August 15, 2018


Having done an Echocardiogram and CT scan to ascertain what is causing my back pain since mid-June, the results came back with good news. There are no issues with my aorta, no sense of cancer and no problems with any of my organs. These were underlying fears of both my doctor and myself.

So, that leaves me with only the skeletal portion and so I will go to see a neurologist sometime soon. Meanwhile, the nights have become impossible to sleep. Last night I retired around 10:00 P.M. and awoke at 11:30 P.M., never going back to sleep! This is going on every night and it is troubling. During the day I can drift off easily, and I have been avoiding taking a nap because I don’t want to be too rested when I go to sleep at night.

Now, a new twist, not only is the back in pain, but my legs are affected also! This has happened the last few nights and the discomfort grows as the night wears on. I wonder if a thoracic nerve is involved somehow.

Sunday, August 12, 2018


One of the things about writing a blog is it is a good place to unload what is on your mind. When I’m happy I write about it when something occurs that I think is interesting you can read it here. When something bad happens to me I try to make you feel it, it is what writers do to convey ideas, base them on experiences. I’m no writer but I can see it in reading and writing.

On Saturday it will be 2 whole months since my beautiful daughter-in-law Courtney

Strange how you can go about your business and suddenly find yourself isolated in thought about someone and it leads you to a welling of the eyes and that leads to other thoughts and people that are all directly affected by life’s circumstances.

Since that date of almost two months, I developed a back pain that will not subside, lays latent and I feel it’s pernicious. I’ve gone for tests and have more to go for and don’t know what it is. I have my own ideas but can’t panic until I find out more to make it a concern.

But I have been lucky in spite of the horrors visited upon my family and me: life is worth living. There are the people I know and love; there are the memories of those who have gone before me that gather in my conscience and come forward every day teaching me lessons to build my life on.

When you love someone and they pass on, it is not the end of their life, but only a beginning of a new phase that has much meaning; that phase is the continuation of love you have for them as you coral all the fond memories they leave you, the children they leave behind and their fingerprints on your spirit of what makes you love them.

has passed. She has left us all with some wonderful memories and a treasure of grandchildren for me. If I live another 73 years, the gift of my grandchildren will always highlight my life in terms of pure joy and gratitude. She is missed every day and will be for the rest of my life.

Saturday, August 11, 2018


Sitting in a hospital room keeping someone company who can’t speak and is constantly on the coppice of a ruin of woodland medical help is very boring. As I last complained she is a tough cookie.

But in the hours that fly by like a blade of grass as it reaches for the sky, I have learned a few things.

Don't get her mad!
1.     If they catch you using the patient’s bathroom because you are too lazy to search the myriad halls of a strange hospital to pee, you need to have a better plan than just a need. My plan is I take in the utensils she eats with and a cup and as I am finished, wash them with the door opened. As they form a line to utter their disapproval and contempt of me I tell them I was washing the utensils because they needed to be cleaned. The one problem with this plan is you need to do it only during mealtimes.
2.     Leftover food such as pudding, juice and ice cream that goes unused by the patient can save you a lot of money at the cafeteria and the trip it takes to go there. Savings from loans for paying large sums for lunch and the high interest-rates of today’s world is a convenience. If you don’t go and pee, you resort to such things as eating chocolate pudding with a fork because the utensils are used by the patient except for the fork.
3.     To make a private phone call you go to the visitor waiting room on the floor and whip out your I-phone and make a connection, where as soon as you do someone comes in to sit or play with their cell phone and leaves when your call is done!
4.     If you are leaving the hospital and mother nature calls as you are nearing the exit, you plan for the last restroom on the way out hoping that it is unoccupied and watch helplessly as an old man in shorts and a baseball cap gets in before you, and falls asleep while you wait for him to ever come out.

Friday, August 10, 2018


My daughter Ellen is in the hospital as I last wrote. She is healing slowly and that is fine, as long as she heals. However, to enhance her luck things always go sour for her. She was supposed to go home today but instead, they discovered she has an infectious disease in her stomach that will require medication and more bed rest and so, a longer stay.

This is the worst news for the hospital staff than for my daughter, who hates being in the hospital, is being cantankerous, combative, and if she could talk would be swearing right now, but I’m sure she is thinking it.

She is so angry that she refuses to eat, take meds or allowing the tubes they stick into her arms and body to safely sit there. I guess there is Hell to pay.

She has flung pillows, beaten back nurses and the bigger they are the harder they fall. She takes on a male as well as female nurses in her protest. The doctors come in early in the morning crawling into her room up to her bed to do their jobs! I don’t get within arms reach because I don’t like going to rehab. Yes, I know, she is a sweet little thing, after all, she is my baby.

If the hospital is smart and the powers that be can figure out a way to save their staff, they would be thinking of her early release and then a long vacation for themselves. It takes 5 people to just change her bed with her in it only one does the changing!

A priest came into her room took one look at the staff, the condition of the room and bed, the food on her gown and my shirt and turned around and left, where at a distance he gave us all a blessing-outside of arms reach, my daughter’s.

Wednesday, August 08, 2018



Yesterday as I worried about my daughter Ellen, laid up in a hospital for a brain bleed and UTI, I paid a visit to a woman who was Ellen’s housemate. She, like Ellen, couldn’t speak or walk while sitting in a wheelchair but with her twisted body so distorted that her organs were displaced which made it difficult for doctors to ever help her.

 She was in the ICU and while we were waiting around to took some time to visit her while my wife stayed with Ellen. I found her in the end room of the long hallway in the ICU and she was hooked up to a c-pap machine to help her stay alive, keeping her oxygen level as high as possible in her blood which was turning out to be a losing cause. I am considered a parent of this woman since I chair the Guardianship Committee at the agency. I met with people concerning her and asked questions, got answers and then left for my daughter.

 That afternoon, when Ellen was done with her test they put her into the ICU, right next door to the woman I spoke about above. As we moved Ellen into her room, I decided I would visit with this woman and give her some kind of human contact. A woman of 74 years of age, she had no family other than her housemates so she lay in her deathbed alone and suffering, alone and suffering.

 I bent over and help her hand, stroking her arm and talking gently to her.

 Recalling all these years that I visited my daughter’s house, The woman would greet me with her grunts and groans and as we engaged, she would grab my arm and hold onto to me, smiling and refusing to let go. I truly felt honored that she would do that. But I learned long ago that if you engaged you to get engaged and with that can come love.

 Leaning over her in her deathbed, I was wishing that she would pass at that moment so that she would have someone with her as she let go and ventured into the unknown. No one should die alone.

 This morning, right before I wrote this I received a short email from the agency that she had passed in the night, alone and quietly as I suspected she would. I feel I at least left her with some kind of human contact in her last day on Earth. I know that those that serviced her needs love her, but unfortunately could not possibly be there at those final moments.

 So my biggest fear is that those of us less fortunate will indeed die alone, without anyone to hold our hand, to talk reassuringly to us as we pass into the unknown.

Tuesday, August 07, 2018


Just as you think the last shoe has dropped for a while another falls.

At 4:00 A.M. yesterday morning my wife answered the phone. Getting a phone call at 4:00 A.M. is never a good thing even if it is a wrong number. Being how TLW (The Little Woman) gets up early anyway and I was lying half-awake in bed when the bedroom door opens and TLW puts on the light, I thought something bad had better had happened or I was going to be tortured for her amusement.

She tells me my daughter’s group home called to tell us Ellen had fallen and bumped her head and was running a fever and on her way to Mather Memorial Hospital. Jumping up I gathered myself together and off I rushed to the hospital with the Little Woman. We arrive at 4:45 A.M.

As we enter the emergency room, there she is at the nurse’s station with an aid from the agency. We are immediately led to the emergency room holding areas and she is placed in a bed. The place is packed with people, mostly old and asleep. The area is dark and besides the drawn curtains for the patients, no one except a few nurses are moving about. They ask the customary questions and we give the best answers we know.

To make a long story short, Ellen has a UTI and a fever 2itha large lump on her head, with the additional news that she has a brain bleed!

Fortunately, the brain bleed does not seem too severe and should clear itself up, while the UTI will take about 5 to 7 days to clear, so, therefore, she will be in the hospital for a while.

Monday, August 06, 2018


The magic wand
Optimum, the local cable company that supplies me with the internet, phone and Television service was recently purchased by a French company: Altice.

Recently we experienced some difficulty with our TV reception on certain channels, the picture would freeze up and disappear, leaving us with a void on those particular channels. Discovering it was our cable connection from the wall, we replaced it after swapping out two cable boxes, one upstairs in our bedroom and one down in the den. We used to get Apple TV and the ability to DVD record shows we wanted to see at a later time. We no longer have that ability, yet we are paying for it and the stupid cable company won’t send anyone to fix it until Tuesday.

Optimum praises itself for offering technical help that comes to your home if it is their fault that you have a problem. Following what they told us is when we lost a lot of our services, but it won’t be corrected until Tuesday.

Here is the big question: will I be paying for the services I don’t get any more until they fix it? Or will they pretend that it isn’t an issue and I should continue to pay?

Altice, the parent company that recently adopted Optimum is setting policy if I ask them that question will they understand me or wait until they get a translator?

Sunday, August 05, 2018


I went to my doctor for a script or two for a CT of my chest with contrast and an echocardiogram. Once I had the scripts I had to call Zwanger and Pesiri for an appointment. Making a choice of which office to go to is up to me since they are all over the Long Island area.

Then there was the actual phone call and the lady that took all my information. There were questions that were asked twice, numbers they wanted that I didn’t really have and finding a time and day.

Her: “When would you like to come in?

Me: “As soon as possible?”

Her: Is Monday good?”

Me: “Yes, Monday will be fine!”

Her: “Sorry, Monday isn’t available. Want to try for Wednesday PM.?”

Me: “Uh… sure. What time do you have available?”

Her: “3:30.”

And so I will finally get some closure on why I am in pain for the last 8 weeks. The pain sees to be growing and getting more intrusive as the day go by, from my back on occasion to my back on all occasions, making it impossible to sometimes breathe, move or even sit or walk. Shifting my weight is now a problem as is just turning slightly. This is making me nervous.

I hate to go to doctor’s appointments and wait in their waiting rooms. You go to the front desk and they immediately ask if you are insured, what medications you take and would you mind filling out the clipboard with a questionnaire that you need two hands to hold because there are so many damned papers to fill out, my favorite question being the address of my primary care physician.

Saturday, August 04, 2018


Being retired and alone all day while TLW (The Little Woman) is at work there is no one to talk to. This can be a problem when I hear voices and there is no one there, but it is not for me, you, I planned for the loneliness.

A few years ago I installed a new home alarm. It is a great thing to have since it can tell you when a door or window gets opened. When a door opens it says in a woman’s voice: “Front door!”

Being home alone, she is the only one to talk to me. That is until I get on my computer. On my computer there is a voice, a woman's voice, that announces, asks questions and aggravates me all day long as I work either writing or designing. At least she is communicating.

If the lady in the door alarm or the one who resides in my computer is not paying attention I have been known to slip out the door and into my car. Guess what? There’s a lady in my GPS, and that means another woman telling me where to go! I’ve got that dumb broad on my I-phone, Siri, who half the time can’t answer, correctly my questions.

Now I could put in male voices, but if I did that, I would get pissed off and then an argument would really ensue, besides, it is like I said: “another woman telling me where to go!”

Friday, August 03, 2018


Went to the doctor yesterday for my back pain and he did an x-ray from the side and back and found nothing! Should I be disappointed or relieved?

If I stand too long it hurts, if I sit down it causes me to grunt out loud if I descend the steps it feels like my spine is being compressed.

The problem is this isn’t where most pain is found in the back, mainly the lower part, this pain is central to the spine but under the shoulder blades, and the doctor is bothered by the fact that it could be any one of many organs that sit in the area mainly, the lungs and the heart among the group.

I could probably feel better about the pain if I knew where it is coming from or what is causing it. I’m not afraid to know, or what it will mean, after all, I am old as in old man, we all have to go sometime.

As I write this I am waiting for my doctor to call me with a referral for an MRI and cardiogram. Apparently, the x-rays you get in the doctor’s office is not going to show you everything. I suspect that it might have to do with my heart since a few years ago the doctor mentioned that calcium was building up against the aorta and that they can’t touch that. Turns out I have about 4 vertebrae about mid-way down the spine that are degenerating and turning into pointed intrusions and the aorta is showing calcium deposits! These are the causes of my pain since the aorta is showing on the x-ray and shouldn’t. Unfortunately for me, I can’t have an operation in that spot, and so I have to see an orthopedic specialist at some point, but first the scans.