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Just When I Thought It Was Safe, Part Cinco

(If you abhor whining, read no further)

vulturesIt’s my fault, actually.  I had the audacity to turn 62.  And, with that milestone came the vultures.

First, my former employer TMCCC contacted me regarding applying for early retirement.  I’m currently medically retired due to my contracting lymphoma in 2008.  I left active employment in 2009, after six months of chemo.

Obviously, the sooner they can nudge me out, the less pension they will have to pay.  And current calculations are not very promising, regardless of my retiring now or @ 65.

So, it wasn’t a complete surprise when my private medical insurance carrier (thank GOD I paid the premiums when I was working!) contacted me to update their information.

This means contacting my physician with regard to my current condition and ability to work. 

In spite of the fact I was awarded SSDI and private disability due to having cancer, I have many other conditions which make returning to the workforce problematic.  Even though I AM currently in remission! (knock-on-wood!)

Working while diabetic is no biggee,  working with the neuropathy (chronic nerve pain) that comes with it – not so much.  And the arthritis.  There was a time I could stand and sit for long hours.  No longer.  Now, sitting more than an hour or two is painful.  Forget standing and walking much.

Oh, I can (and do) take various prescription pain medications.  Which make me dopey and put me to sleep.  And still only lessen the pain.  They do not take it away.

And my fear is the private insurance company will say, well, you have been in remission over 5 years…SAYONARA!

And the private addition to my SSDI payment isn’t much, but it is 21% of my disability pay.   And the total is still poverty level.

I rent a room in a friend’s home, and drive a clunky 2000 Oldsmobile.  I lost my home of 18 years, 2 1/2 years ago.  I’m not milking the system here.

And now I get to jump through more hoops in hope of keeping that 21%.

Sigh.

The Thing That Most Annoys Me

controlI’m disabled.  No, that’s not it.

This is not a label I wear well.  My leg disability onset when I was 12 (Legg Perthes – wiki) and other ‘issues’ have been added to the list as I have aged.  (arthritis, diabetes, lymphoma, skin cancer).

I spent most of my adult life labeling myself as NOT disabled, and refusing such aids as a built-up shoe (which I now wear, aka ‘Ed Sullivan’-the really big shoe*).

I used to jog, work out, lift weights.  I ran the city police obstacle course.  Back and mobility issues now preclude such things.

In the past year my lower back/hip began causing me chronic pain, largely due to one leg being 3 inches shorter than the other.  My doctor expressed surprise I’d not really had any back issues until now.  And prescribed me exercises and additional pain meds. (Yea!)

And with diabetic neuropathy, walking, standing or even sitting can be painful.

I’m NOT looking for sympathy or pity.

But, I do wish to share with you my most common, frustrating annoyance.

As my right hip is fused, I cannot bend forward, or even lean very much.  This makes sitting (as at the dinner table) sometimes painful.

AND MESSY!

It’s amazing how much food can fall off a fork and into one’s lap (or more correctly, one’s belly)!

My dinner partner can lean forward and errant food can gently fall onto her plate, or the napkin in her lap.  But me?

NOO-OOO!

There are even times the belly is too far and it’s hit’s my chest!

At an Italian restaurant, my shirt sometimes resembles a bad guy in the movies, with 5 hits center mass.

And I look like a complete slob – which I am not.

I spend an inordinate amount of money on stain remover – or place the napkins on my entire torso, like some bumpkin at the Mayberry diner.

Yes, I have a multitude of chronic conditions, but this is my most annoying.

I guess I’m grateful.

 

*ask your parents if you don’t get the reference or the joke

SO…What Did The New Year Bring?

Let me preface this post with I don’t rarely get sick.

Seriously.

I had a minor bout of flu last Summer, for about three days.  I’ve not had a cold in YEARS!

I’d like to say it’s because of my healthy lifestyle, but, that would be a falsehood.  Because of my various ongoing ‘issues’, I get little exercise, and I eat the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.).  Pizza, bacon cheeseburgers, spaghetti (now called pasta), some beer, Mexican food.  If I eat veggies, it’s usually a salad, with Italian dressing, croutons and Parmesan cheese.

When I DO become ill, I usually don’t do it half way.  Diabetes, lymphoma, skin cancer.  And the whole fallout from that near-fatal auto accident some years back.

So, no one was more surprised than I when around Christmas, I began to wheeze upon exhaling.  Just a tiny bit, at the very end.  At first, I thought it was some fool revving his bike at 0600, while I was blogging(!) :-)

The Winter air quality in the Valley sucks - inversion, ya know!

Then, New Years Eve, I became congested, phlegmy.  No sore throat pain, just throat-clearing nonsense.  I thought it was a true cold, but, it just appears to be allergies, and reaction to the cold weather (28° F, in Phoenix this morning, cold and rainy New Years Eve Day!)

And this morning started with a minor sore throat and cough!

Guess it’s to the drug store pharmacy for Guffaw!

weezy

Medical Procedure

Nope, not mine!  :-)

My roommate, J, is having a medical procedure done today.  Early.  While not life-threatening or surgery, she has need of someone to accompany her.  I am happy to do it, as she was there for me when I had my bouts with lymphoma and carcinoma, as well as many other times and ways.

I hope to blog something of a less personal nature later.  Or not.

Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

Guffaw

THIS JUST IN – Subject is resting comfortably.  Procedure seems to have been successful! 

Death Pharmacies Exist

…or Death Doctors?  (A natural extension of death panels?)

I take four pills in the AM, six in the PM, as mandated by my physician.  Most months the computer that lives in my cellular telephone easily links with the computer at the pharmacy and I’m advised by text messaging when my medications are ready for pickup.

Every few months, the pharmacy computer determines that my physician needs to re-approve one prescription before dispensing.  Or two.  Or three.  Or more.  Some months, even with this additional computer in the loop, I get approval for all prescriptions quickly.  Even with physician approval, on Sunday!  Sometimes within two hours!

Ain’t technology grand?  :-)

BUT, then there are the times that there’s a breakdown in computer communication.  Like this past week.

I called in my prescriptions mid-morning Thursday, and the pharmacy computer advised me that two of the meds needed a doctor’s approval.  The pharmacy texting system isn’t always working correctly, so Saturday noon I visited the pharmacy in my travels.  All approved and ready for pickup, including ONE of the doctor re-approved ones.  The second one requiring a physician approval – NOPE.

And, of course, the doctor’s office is closed on Saturday and Sunday.

When the pharmacy opened @ 0900 Monday, I called and the technician advised there had been no subsequent approval.  She said she would re-fax the request, and suggested I call my doctor’s office to advise them of that fact.  I did, and the message-taker therein said she would email the doctor, and someone would get back to me by 1700 Monday afternoon.  Someone.

@ 1500, the doctor’s office called, and a medical assistant me advised they had received no faxes from the pharmacy (Funny, as a fax sent the same day for another medication had been approved!)  She advised she would alert the doctor regarding the needed medication.  I asked her to let me know as soon as this was completed.  She said she would.

She never called me back!

Now, if this were a vitamin supplement, or sugar pill, I wouldn’t care.  But every medication is for either cholesterol, blood sugar maintenance, or chronic pain abatement.  I can (and have) lived with the pain without medication; I did it for two years – it IS HELL ON WHEELS, though!  What I don’t see myself living without is my blood pressure medicine.  Without it, I’m well into stroke territory.  And THIS is the medicine needing approval!

I had one pill left as of Monday PM.  (Which is why I called last Thursday!)

At 4:30 PM, I received a text message my medication was ready for pickup at the pharmacy!

Ain’t technology wonderful?

Sigh.

Ya Know – Things Could Be WORSE!

When I started this blog, it was more just an outlet – it was something to do.  Being on medical disability for lymphoma, compounded by arthritis, a fused hip, and diabetes, I told myself I would NOT use the blog as therapy.

Even though, on more than one occasion, I have!  :-)

But one advantage of this window on the world is it can be indeed a window.  And can be observed both directions.

Recently, I posted about Kilted To Kick Cancer.  Cancer charities are especially personal to me, being a lymphoma survivor, and all.  When I was diagnosed, and required chemotherapy, I was actively employed and had quality health insurance.

But, it wasn’t enough to cover the high cost of the chemo.

Enter a charity – who, upon my application, covered the bulk of the cost not absorbed by my insurance.

For this, and for many things, I should be grateful.

But, I get into myself, ongoing chronic pain issues, inability to work, low income, old bad car w/o A/C, yatta, yatta, yatta

Then I get a view into the window!

I’m privileged to have many people follow me on this blog.  I’ve no idea why they do.  And while some are fellow travelers of the libertarian/conservative/gun totin’ kind, there are others.

A recent follower is Caroline, who has a loving husband, and child.  And a horrific cancer, MEN2A.  And her blog!

Talk about an attitude adjustment!  To see what this beautiful woman and her family are going through…

And so many others.

Caroline

Guilty Until Proven Innocent

There are some allegations so heinous, if someone already looked askance at one, it is assumed one is guilty.  (Michael Jackson comes to mind)

And we all know about assuming…(Thank you, again Don Brown!)

0826-william-hayden-mug-wm2-1There has been a ‘news’ story floating around the past few days regarding Will Hayden, formerly of The Discovery Channel’s Sons of Guns.  His ex-wife (or girlfriend) is alleging Mr. Hayden repeatedly raped their minor daughter, starting at age 11.

It may be assumed (there’s that word, again) that Mr. Hayden has substantial assets ripe for the attachment, and that as his persona was that of a cool, somewhat likeable, no-nonsense hard ass on the TV show, that these allegations might be spurious.

Of course, who knows?

I’ve a good friend for many years who was sexually abused by both her father and uncle – both of whom were upstanding community leaders – and they never were brought to justice for their crimes.  I also know two men who were childhood victims of relatives.  One perpetrator was a woman.

No justice for these folks was ever found.

My point is we don’t know the truth, yet, about Mr. Hayden.  The Discovery Channel has sought to distance itself from the TV show and Mr. Hayden.

Is this simply an evil woman bringing unfounded charges to gain wealth, or vengeance, or is the evil in Mr. Hayden?

Regardless of the truth, I believe too much of this kind of heinous crime occurs, without earthly consequence.

Perhaps there is other-than-earthly consequence for such evil persons?

I certainly hope so.

(While I believe in ‘the system’, and ‘due process’, persons who destroy the lives of children in this manner should be drawn and quartered – Guffaw)

 

ROACH WARS

Chapter 3 –  The Adventure Continues (you needn’t search, there are no chapters 1 or 2…this is like Star Wars!)

roachesI did post previously regarding my neighbors to the South (we live in a common-wall townhouse) who were evicted after it was discovered they have lived in filth for two years, were hoarders and were running a puppy mill, illegally!  And, after they vacated, so did their German roaches.

To OUR place!

The owner/landlady of the neighboring roach nest promised us she’d pay for ALL necessary extermination, etc.  She has spend thousands having hundreds of bags of trash, dog feces, and even the built-in appliances removed from her rental.  One of the bug guys told me when he moved the washer and dryer, there were dead and dying roaches TWO INCHES DEEP underneath!

YUM!

They came and sprayed our place twice.  The first time very thoroughly, including the front outside and our small back yard.  The second time was kind-of a perfunctory, yeah yeah, we gotta spray again thing.  We did tell them they couldn’t dust inside the walls due to my roommates asthma.  Apparently, they took this as some kind of insult.

The incursion has lessened since they finished next door – after TWELVE (12) VISITS!  But, the roaches have obviously established a beachhead here, and we needed to take further action.

As instructed, we contacted the exterminator to discuss our options.  They said they would need to speak with the landlady for additional authorization, which was fine.  But, they were very rude, as if they no longer wanted the money!?

So J. made an executive decision (after all, we’re living in her place).  We went to a do-it-yourself bug place, instead.

Since Thursday last, we have been following instructions, removing all items from the kitchen cabinets in preparation of cleaning, spraying, drilling holes in the kickplates for special chemicals, and finally washing and replacing everything, and leaving bait.  And we’re ALMOST done.

What A MESS!

BUT, this is certainly more thorough than the ‘professional’, and promises to give us more relief.

Or kill us…

 

Another ‘Special Interest’?

Australian judge says incest may no longer be a taboo

Via avordvet
Judge in Australia says incest may no longer be a taboo and the only reason it is criminal is potential birth abnormalities, which can be solved by abortion

A judge in Australia has been criticised after saying incest may no longer be a taboo and that the community may now accept consensual sex between adult siblings.
Judge Garry Neilson, from the district court in the state of New South Wales, likened incest to homosexuality, which was once regarded as criminal and “unnatural” but is now widely accepted.
He said incest was now only a crime because it may lead to abnormalities in offspring but this rationale was increasingly irrelevant because of the availability of contraception and abortion.
“A jury might find nothing untoward in the advance of a brother towards his sister once she had sexually matured, had sexual relationships with other men and was now ‘available’, not having [a] sexual partner,” the judge said.
“If this was the 1950s and you had a jury of 12 men there, which is what you’d invariably have, they would say it’s unnatural for a man to be interested in another man or a man being interested in a boy.Those things have gone.”

I had some had concerns about multiple marriages following in the footsteps of gay marriage.  Some of those folks have surfaced judicially.  And the NAMBLA folks have also jumped on the bandwagon.
This is the the libertarian conundrum – if every human has rights, including minors, how much can the State infringe on those rights for the protection of all?

…and then, they died of an overdose…

My good friend Old NFO discussed this most recent of ‘infamous’ drug deaths.  I was reminded of the PBS Series on JAZZ.  They’d mention some historic jazz figure, and then, more often than not came this line:

…and then, they died of an overdose…

So sad.

Is it the artistic personality, fame, fortune or humanity which binds all these folks together?  Are we all, at our core, addicts of some sort?  (Wikipedia – List of Drug/Alcohol related deaths)

I come rife with an addictive personality.  I have excess weight, due to compulsive overeating.  I’m neurotic, but not particularly artistic.  My real mother died when I was in grade school as a direct result of her cigarette addiction.  She had emphysema. ( I remember her turning off the oxygen tank and lighting up!)  My father was an alcoholic, ate too much and smoked cigars.  I come by my addictions honestly.  Even though I’m getting ‘help’ for my addictions, in all seriousness, I don’t expect to see 85, like my maternal grandfather did.  My fraternal grandfather made it to 68.  My own father to 61.

I’m 61.

Today is my daughter’s birthday.  She would have been 31.  Auto accident, age 12.

At least it wasn’t drugs or alcohol.  :-(

I love and miss you Molly!Molly birthday1

"One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas - how he got in my pajamas I dunno!" - Groucho Marx as Captain Spaulding in Animal Crackers

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It’s about who is at the tiller of this Republic’s Ship of State. - Guffaw

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2. NEVER POINT YOUR MUZZLE AT SOMETHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY.

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I'm currently on disability, unable to work, and receive marginal benefits. I've been advised by SSDI I may receive some additional income. Based on their statements, I'm adding a bleg to this blog. Effective 03/06/2012. Thank you for your kindness.

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