DelBloggolo

Friday, August 31, 2018

PARALLELS WE DRAW

I caught the TV coverage of the John McCain services in Washington, DC. Under the mighty rotunda sat all the government except one. Eulogies were sincere and sometimes very impactful, John McCain was a great man.

As the camera did its work, it started to focus on Mrs. McCain his mother, she is 106 years old and although sits in a wheelchair, is fully functioning. Watching her took me back many years ago to 1991. It was the year my Dad died, and his mom, Francesca was 97-years old and in a wheelchair.

I thought how horrible it is for a mother to bury her child, it is something no mother anticipates. Mrs. McCain, 106-years old is burying her child, a man in his 80’s. What cruel irony.

Grandma Frances was a fierce competitor, filled with life and joy who gave it all for her children and her church, Donating her time for orphans she made pilgrimage after pilgrimage to Italy, raising funds so children could live fulfilled lives.

Grandma Frances was like a ‘godfather’ to her neighborhood, when in need she was where they went, to welcoming and sympathetic arms. She knew people in the right places and she knew how to get things done. Many an Italian immigrant was granted a double asylum, one in America and one in her arms. She supported people and sometimes, whole families with money, food and even wine. She helped people wipe away the tears of despair when they were down to only recreate tears of joy lifting them up.

As Grandma entered the funeral parlor for the first time, as Dad lay there in his coffin, my heart sank knowing she was here to bury her son. Her son, my Dad, was devoted to her, whenever she needed him he was there. Then I thought about myself, and how I would miss Dad, and realized that between my grandmother and my father was the story of Dad’s whole life, in total. That Dad was the link from grandma’s generation to mine.

There is little one can say to a mother when she buries a child. I have witnessed it all too often and have lived it myself, my son passing at a young age and I realize how sobering it is. It is even more sobering when a child loses his or her mother, the most vital connection can fond in the cycle of life. But a child who never meets his mother, is never loved in that special grace that a mother offers, breaks all hearts as my heart breaks for my grandson, and his sister who only knew her a short while.

Somehow we all survive the slings and arrows, the death spears of life, and we go on, putting one foot in front of the other, and somehow survive. We all have our own personal pain, and we bury it by sparing others from it.

So, today I keep my heart open for the Mrs. Mc Cain’s of the world, the Francesca’s and a niece and of course my wife. All have put the next foot forward and walks the path of compassion and pain, tempered with the knowledge that we are all there for them.



Wednesday, August 29, 2018

WITH THAT YOU GET FRIED RICE WITH PIZZA

Every month like clockwork, I have lunch with an old colleague of mine from years ago. Being that he can’t eat garlic, we go to this all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet. This gives my friend a choice or choices that help him stay healthy.

The problem is not the friendship, not the time of the month or day, but the food. It seems the Chinese proprietor loves Italian food! Between the dumplings and the dim sum lies the small pan pizzas’, screaming out to you: CHINESE PIZZA JUST THE WAY YOU LIKE IT!

If Chinese Pizza is not your thing, try their Chinese linguine with clam sauce or spaghetti with shrimp scampi, guaranteed to give you a sense of Italy behind the Great Wall. Not to say that the owner is un-American because he does put out French Fries. If he is un-American he may be pro-French.

Come to think of it, the fortune cookies lack fortunes! My fortune was: “Education does not mean intelligence and intelligence do not mean education as the author demonstrated.

So what’s the problem, Joe? You’re getting your basic Chinese, Italian, maybe American or French, what else you want, sushi?

Well, sushi is the first thing I go for when I get there.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

THE TALKING HEADS

It is the same all over the networks and cable TV, the constant preoccupation with the POTUS and his current issues. The predictions of impeachment to complete exoneration are driven by whom you wish to believe, or worst still, what you want to believe.

It gets so bad that each show brings on the same ‘experts’ and commentators to examine and re-examine until the stomach grows sour the fate of this country and the leadership we have provided ourselves.

There are those that say the news is fake, that it is not fair and balanced, then avoid reporting themselves all the news, there are those who do not present a balanced view from both sides, making things very one-sided and distorted.

‘Fake News’ claims should demand open debate, open forums and balanced representation from all involved.  Avoidance of the issues should be an alarm that there are those who do avoid to protect themselves, rather than having a fair and open forum, that there is something to hide.

If you want to know the facts, examine what you want and why then ask yourselves do you want to hear the other side of the debate? Do you risk in your own world is perhaps wrong or biased? But you need to do this whether you are on the right or left, you need to throw out your party affiliations and take each issue on its merits. I once was a party person and realized I was sacrificing my real feelings to support something I don’t wholeheartedly endorse.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

TREASURE LOST

There are few politicians I have or would mourn for. So few have the one quality I find important to America, decency. That decency must encompass the whole spirit of what humanity must constitute. Love of man, truth, honesty, must all be part of the equation.

Then there are some that are alive today such as Senator Schumer of New York, a longtime senator who is in the forefront of human rights, compassion and decency that God forbid should pass, and I would mourn. This is not a political thing I’m talking about, but the role that a politician must play regardless of his social philosophy. It is trust that we must invest in a person that represents us to ourselves as a nation and to the World.

“It matters less that you fight, it matters more what you fight for”.

Those were the words of John McCain, a politician I am mourning. A man and hero authentically conceived of from decency, truth, and compassion, distilling throughout his life the qualities I revere in any man. From the cell in the Hanoi Hilton, the beatings and defiance of communism, to the failure to achieve the highest office in the land, he showed others what class and decency are. His acts of courage when offered a chance to leave the Hell-hole of Vietnam because he was the son of an admiral until his final vote of Obama Care showed it was all business, not ego, not self-interest as he refused to leave his fellow prisoners.

Decorated for his bravery and unselfishness, he set out to endure under great pain and torture the honor of serving his country. That service carried out throughout his career in both the service and in the Senate. He reached out to his opposition and opposition that respected him for his love of man, truth, and honesty. He turned his back on the dishonesty, hatred, and stupidity of this present administration.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dg4R7xb5CVk

Saturday, August 25, 2018

IT’S NOW OR NEVER…


You remember that song by Elvis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uwelrtb8Oho

It’s now or never!

The other day I was about to sit down and have my lunch. Having lunch is a sacred occasion right up there with dinner and breakfast. On this auspicious occasion, it was a salad with some cheese mixed in.

All along I have been waiting for a phone call from a neurosurgeon for an MRI because my back has been aching since June 18th. I have gone through all sorts of scans and probes and nothing is showing up, so the MRI is necessary.

My personal physician, Dr. Strangeglove set up the appointment with Dr. Marrow to see if things are skeletal, since none of my organs seem to be in danger. The problem is to get an appointment you must wait until you die.

They called me while I was trying to free the hospital that my daughter was in so she could go home and they would not be abused by her any longer than necessary. She is a tough customer. I had to turn the appointment down, yet they informed me that they would put me on the waiting list with priority.

Then a few days ago, as the first fork-filled entered my mouth, they called.

“You need to come down NOW!” This was from a woman on the other end, and so naturally I listened, dropped my fork and ran down, had a consultation and exam by Dr. Marrow and now wait for the MRI. So far there was nothing he found, meanwhile, the pain persists.

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Thursday, August 23, 2018

IT WAS A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD

When we moved from our old neighborhood around 1984 we left behind some really wonderful people and families that mattered to us. Our kids grew up together to become adults and their friendships lasted to some degree to this day.

Recently, TLW (The Little Woman) and I recently had the pleasure of having lunch with a few of them. The road back to yesterday was swift if not noisy. The things that were left behind that had no resolutions were finalized, names came together with faces, the moment’s spent were cashed-in as things came together.

There were stories told and conversations related that we heard once before, people mentioned occasions related that seemed to have faded in time, renewed and brought to life. It was a great day.

Seeing them for the first time in years, took its toll on me. As I watched them move about, I saw old people, people like myself, people who have changed physically and to a great degree emotionally.

It was a day I would not have missed if possible. Having it spent with people I liked only added to the memory collection I have built over the years and allows me to share them with TLW as she and I both enjoyed the experience. Suddenly I was back in time over 30 years ago and we were both younger once again.


Wednesday, August 22, 2018

THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE!

That is if the truth is the truth. It might be another truth. Who knows?

But the truth be told, the World is changing, some of the icons of childhood are quickly disappearing. Howdy Doody is retired, the Lone Ranger and Tonto split, and Hop-a-long Cassidy limps. (Yup, Limp-a-long Cassidy.)

You no longer see little girls playing jump rope, or little boys playing catch, the streets are deserted and barren of any child-like activities that so frequented life as I grew up.

Now the World has become so over sensitized by political correctness that it has hit corporate America and in particular Nabisco and their Barnum Animal crackers that once came on a box, a box that excited a child when he saw it because it resembled a circus wagon with the animals in the show.

The circus came to town, a parade of wagons, gaily decorated and as they passed you and entered town, the excitement of the circus was in those wonderful wagons.  There are no circuses anymore, animal cruelty is cited, and to make matters worse, no excitement for children, no reason to be a child as an adult once again. But our sensitivity has taken a new victim, a new turn, the cracker box! They have freed the animals from the circus wagons, and now roam free on the face of the box!

It’s a good thing that the killed the circus, just imagine the circus coming to town, no cages on wheels, how would they ever get in, driving cars?


Tuesday, August 21, 2018

IT’S GETTING TIRING

It seems to me the idea of a bad back or the pain it emits throughout my back, the extension into my legs and the shortness of breath I experience is anything that will go away soon.

The theories are numerous and all seem plausible but nothing is proven to me. One of the theories is that it is stress. Then stress from a death in my family can be harmful, but I have always faced stress of a large magnitude.

Roaming around the house at 2:30 A.M. until 2 or 3 hours later, the sense of panic when I do lay down, the discomfort of the pain as it seeps down into my legs and thinking all can claim a piece of the stress theory.

I’m losing weight faster than I ever did before, and I can say to some extent I plan this, but I have never been this successful! I dropped from 214 to 196 to 182 from last year to today. Should I worry?

I went out to do a little weeding, nothing much, but a small patch and it left me breathless, I don’t eat a whole lot anymore and some days I want to just skip meals. I don’t because that is dangerous, but that is what is going on.

Every day I need a nap, something I never did in the middle of the day! I take all the test the doctors throw out at me and they can’t find anything.

I’m tired of the pain, the discomfort, the interference of my life by these issues and I get angry, short-tempered and surly, just ask the sales call people that I get to tell off.

I’m losing my patience on the road, tired of people who drive stupidly and recklessly and want to take a lead pipe to their hides.

Pray for me.

Monday, August 20, 2018

REVISITING THE PAST

It’s true… you can’t go home again.

Last Saturday I had lunch with a former colleague from my past to arrange a reunion of sorts for as many people as possible. To get together to hoist a drink of cheer and share in a bite of nostalgia is the plan behind the reunion. It is almost 20 years ago that I left the company and so I lost touch with many of my old friends.

We are holding this get-together in the same town and in one of the many restaurants frequented by everyone those many years ago.

We had lunch at the restaurant for a test run and left feeling pretty good about everything. It is a great place and has a wonderful view of the waterfront.

After the lunch TLW (The Little Woman) and I decided to go to the site of the old company to see it once more. As we turned to drive up the long drive to the building I noted out loud some of the past buildings we used and the things I knew about them to TLW. At the end of the long drive, there is an opening that takes to a large pond with a waterfall and big wide circular driveway that passes the entire front of the building. There the nostalgia ended… in shock!

The entranceway was gated but the gate and wired fence gate was partially broken, and the building itself from what I could see was in disrepair. The Grand Dame has died or was perhaps killed off by the neglect and disrespect of those that last inhabited it 20 years ago.
The boarded windows in some places, the majesty of the fountain stilled and severed, the beautiful pound still with growth and algae all were a testimony to her demise.

Our slogan was once: “YOU MAY ALREADY BE A WINNER!” It turns out the company is the biggest loser.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

TIME GONE BY

I can’t believe it is two months today that it all went south for my family.

If you stare into space long enough as I do, it all comes back to you. From those first horrid moments to this moment, you relive what you don’t want to relive. It is like a prison cell, you wake up each morning and see the grey bars that surround you and you get your hand gripped by the sad reality of life and death.

Sometimes I get angry, I will punch the side of my chair and swear, I see my beautiful daughter-in-law’s face in a picture or video, or even in my mind and I lose it, sometimes in the middle of the night, sometimes driving. The lose never let us go, you are enslaved by the tears and bounded by it sickened by the thought that it comes back again tomorrow.

Perhaps the hardest thing to deal with is the distance that Anthony and kids have between my wife and I. Two thousand miles is agonizing enough to travel let alone the wall that keeps us apart. When my dad and then my mom passed, before they did, I had time to prepare. I was able to let go and although it was so painful, I had closure. I did all I could for both of them every day at their end of life. I was at peace with it. I think of her parents, their only child and my heart break all over again. They had no time to say goodbye, they had their lives in a way severed and that was unfair, it sucks actually. I wonder how hard it was for them to go home after it was all over severing in a way the last Earthly ties to their daughter Courtney?

Somehow we will all make peace with this. Time will soften the blow and we will put one foot in front of the other, once again. That is the way it always is, after each devastating blow I learn that I am needed once again, I don’t have time to wail or sob, someone needs me, someone else is hurting too, I have to go on. My daughter’s disability, my son’s death, the loss of Courtney, all need footsteps I can hear and feel, they have to be my own.

Friday, August 17, 2018

YOU HAVEN’T ARRIVED UNTIL YOU GET ONE OF THESE!


It’s nice to come home one night from a distant trip to find this little card on your front door handle. I know my heart was warmed when my wife casually mentioned that our gas was shut off.

Since she pays the bills I knew this wouldn’t be my fault, but hers. This meant I would have to prepare a speech immediately on the value and merit of being on time, paying our debts when required and overlaying it all with a sense that perhaps I’M superior in my punctuality in life.

As I began to formulate this great lecture I noticed TLW (The Little Woman) was not too concerned, almost nonchalant about the whole situation. I was quickly losing my enthusiasm in this whole affair and decided instead to save myself any embarrassment by not pursuing it further other than to ask:

“What happened?” (Here I am prepared to be directed to go shit in my hat, something she learned from her mamma as a wee lassie.)

“They must have been working in the neighborhood and needed to shut off our gas, we weren’t home so left us a note.

I hate when these things happen; after all, I have too few moments of self-righteousness, superior feelings of worth or the sense that I can lecture her, and still live let alone save another baseball cap!

The card left us an option to call and get immediate service from the gas company. It is late in the evening but we all anyway since we need the stove to cook breakfast. When you don’t have gas the next morning it means either you missed a meal or the gas line is out, and going to a deli or restaurant for breakfast is unacceptable. We are informed that a service person will be out sometime this evening, and to be prepared.

Around a quarter to 9 pm, one shows up, he will turn on the gas and will have to check every appliance that used gas before he will do so, but first, he needs to spend about 45 minutes outside to d something that I have no idea what it is.

When he is done he comes to the door and says: “OK”, and do I know why he is here and what happened that my gas is off!

My gas company is quite a gas company, it gives me gas and then it gives me gas.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

I AM GETTING KIND OF NERVOUS!

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

LOOKING FOR A NEEDLE IN MY BACK

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

SOME DAYS ARE BETTER THAN OTHERS

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

THINGS I LEARNED IN A HOSPITAL ROOM


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

BATTLING A LITTLE LADY



CAUTION!
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

WHAT CAN YOU SAY?


WHAT CAN YOU SAY?

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

AND AGAIN!

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

PARLEZ VOUS ANGLAIS?

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

THE CURE WILL BE WORST THAN THE PAIN

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

AT ODDS

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

IT DON’T JIVE


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.