barefut

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Blog Entries posted by barefut

  1. barefut
    My mental evaluation went very well. I passed where I was supposed to pass and failed where I was supposed to fail. YOU count backwards from 100 by 13's! Then try and remember 4 words she had you repeat 5 questions ago. :emoticon-dont-know:
     
    I followed directions well - folding a piece of paper in 1/2 and placing it on her desk. :woohoo:
     
    In the end they said they will recommend that I get SSI and ASAP! :emoticons-line-dance:
     
    Then same day, I get in the mail another letter from DSHS. Due to state budget cuts, beginning March 1st, they will now be counting Supplimental Security Income against Temporary Assistance to Needy Families to reduce befefits.
     
    I swear there must be some guy in an office watching me and waiting to spring new rules into the system based on when I am granted any kind of benefit.
  2. barefut
    Hey,Hi! Long time no blog. So, the latest on me is that I have been denied Supplimental Security Income and so have hired an attorney on contingency, to help me with the appeal process. Little did I know, the Department of Social and Health Services has a person designated to do just that. Wish I'd had known - could have saved myself a little money perhaps. But DSHS was pretty slow in letting me know that and I don't have time to dilly dally.
     
    Our Governor cut Temporary Assistance to Needy Families. My benefits went from $562/mo (which used to cover the mortgage with some gas money to spare) to $478/mo. With no child support and no chances of ever getting any, I need an approval and quick!
     
    The Social Security Administration is requiring me to see one of their doctors. My appointment is in 3 days. It's for a mental exam. Piece of cake. I'll have no trouble failing. :wacko:
     
    So how have I been making ends meet in the mean time? Charity. Lots of charity. I don't know what I'd do without Energy Assistance, not to mention the kind and generous support of our local St. Vincent de Paul and Olympic Community Action Programs to help with my water and garbage bills as well as gas and personal hygiene products. I am nearing the end of my annual allotment from these organizations so things are starting to get a little stressful. I am able to fill in any other gaps by providing childcare once in awhile and by selling things I find around the house. Been trying to get rid of some tires for 8+ months!
     
    As far as my health goes, everything has remained pretty status quo with the exception of some increased stiffness in my hips and some new nerve pain - fatigue ruling my life as usual. My next check up with rheumatologist, pulmonologist and pulmonary function tests is in April. I had to reschedule them from this month because I had no money to get there as it is a 2 1/2 hour travel time with crazy high ferry fares not to mention gas and parking.
     
    Well that's about it on me except that it is SUPERBOWL SUNDAY and I have to finish making my BBQ pulled pork and get over to my friend's house for the game! GO PACKERS!!!!
  3. barefut
    Oh where oh where has my little Barb gone?
    Oh where oh where could she be?
     
    With her sharp wit and humor and even poems too
    Oh where oh where could she be...?
     
    Missing you Barbara Lowe! As you can see, we need your poems and stories of life on the farm and in the radio booth. Nobody wants to hear me try to make a rhyme!
     
    Wishing you all the best and hoping all is well with you and yours!
     
    (You can hear Barb on the radio from the UK at www.chorley.fm "The Morning Show with Babs" begins at 9am UK time) ~ Love ya lady!
  4. barefut
    Good grief! Long time no blog. Well since that last post, I have quit the Imruan and gone back on the Cellcept. It seems I was having increased pain and fatigue with the switch but now that I have been back on Cellcept, I don't feel much different anyway. :emoticon-bang-head:
    Also back up to 4mg on the prednisone. Truth be told, I function best at 10 mgs but doctor wants to keep me under 5.
     
    Had my upper endoscopy in August and I swear my gastrointerologist forgot to do the esophageal dilation. There was no improvement at all! Then I had a tarry stool on Thanksgiving so I thought I should mention it to him (even though it only happened that once). Doc wanted to look again because it could be a sign of an upper GI bleed. And since I had told him that the first dilation did nothing, he did it "again". THIS TIME it made a huge difference. I swear I can even breathe better! I hear some people must have this done yearly. I would say so worth it! Oh and no bleeding - I didn't think so. If there was, it had plenty of time to heal before he got around to lookikng in there.
     
    I made a mistake in my last blog entry. I meant to say that my Social Security Disability was denied due to lack of work credits. So I applied for Supplimental Security Income and was also denied. I have secured an attorney who works on contingency and will only take 25% of the back pay with a cap at $6,000. Worth it to me to let her fight my fight for me.
     
    Another holiday fast approaching and been trying to pace myself and pare down activities but I still feel myself going down for the count. Have not been sleeping well, the restless legs are tap dancing all night. Saw my sleep medicine doctor also this week (getting them all done at once!) She increased the Mirapex and suggested taking it earlier in the evening.
     
    Well, friends I am off to bed! I will try to entertain you more frequently with my lists of woes because I know you all are SO interested! So stay tuned for the exciting adventures of.... the mammogram! :(
  5. barefut
    It’s one thing to not be able to sleep. It's another thing to also not be able to do anything else while you lay awake hour after painful hour counting body parts that ache and burn and cramp and sting.
     
    There can’t be any greater aggravation than being so sleepy and bone tired, exhausted and spent that you aren’t even able to get up and do anything pleasing or productive with all those sleepless hours. And knowing that the reason for your bone tired exhaustion and fatigue comes not from the hard work of being a productive member of society, but rather from an autoimmune disease where your own body has betrayed itself by attacking all that is good and useful and necessary for life.
     
    While my heart screams, “I’m not done!” my body screams, “Yes you are!” And so the battle goes. Day after day after day.
     
    And so I look for meaning in all of this. What am I supposed to do? I am supposed to do something. Because there is a good reason and a higher purpose for everyone and everything on earth, good and bad. There is a silver lining, a lesson to be learned. Even in the wake of the most terrible disasters there is good to be found, if you look for it. And so I look for it. Everyday. I look for it. And I count my blessings and I add to my list of things to be grateful for. Everyday.
     
    And somewhere in there lies hope, sometimes big, sometimes small but it is always there. Hope for a better day, hope for my children who are also affected by their mother’s disease, hope for those who are affected with this disease way worse than I am. Hope for a cure.
  6. barefut
    After 4 1/2 years on it, I took my last dose of Cellcept this morning. I started Azathioprine (Imuran) a few months ago and doctor said it's time now to quit the Cellcept since my lungs have remained stable and my skin "looks good". Its nice to be eliminating a med for a change.
     
    The Azathioprine is supposed to be able to do a better job at handling my myositis - or at least that's what the plan is. Hard to tell any difference yet since I am still (again) tapering off of Prednisone and am currently at 3mgs. I started tapering from 5mg and am going down by 1mg a month. I think I may need to taper even slower as I wake up every morning feeling like I've been run over by a bus.
     
    Today my hands are painful, stiff and swollen. My fingers swell up to the point where the skin around my nail folds cracks and bleeds. Amazing how such a tiny thing could hurt so much. The rest of me is in hobble mode and battling some killer fatigue.
     
    In mid August I am having an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy with a possible esophageal stretch done at the same time. Some of my meds have been getting stuck and dissolving in my throat.
     
    I discovered that I am not eligible for SSI due to lack of "work credits". I must have worked at least 5 out of the last 10 years and I have been stay at home mom most of that time, only working or I should say, only having an employer, for the past 2 1/2 years.
     
    I have 4 months left to appeal my long term disability denial from the private insurance company my employer provided. I have an attorney willing to take my case on contingency but they will take 40% of any monthly payments (a minimum of $10,000). My approximate monthly income would be 60% of my gross wages and then 60% of that, leaving me with about $800/mo. I guess its better than a poke in the eye, especially since I am still receiving no child support and most likely never will.
  7. barefut
    Wah Wah Wah. Even I get tired of hearing myself complain. Not that that's all I do or anything, just that if there's one thing I am more weary of than my daily ailments, it's hearing myself whine about it. Nobody wants to hear it, and it really does not make me feel better so what's the purpose and the point?
     
    I suppose it's just a bad habit now. Not to mention a knee jerk reaction to any kind of pain: "OWWW my aching legs! OHHH my feet are killing me! OWWW my right shoulder!.....I sound like I'm 95 years old. In fact, my 95 year old grandmother complains less and she's now in a nursing home and entitled to complain!
     
    SUCK IT UP! My other voice says. You have been through the wringer and are tough as nails, otherwise you wouldn't even be here. I hear my boys' coaches telling their players to "suck it up" and "walk it off". I think I need a coach. Someone to help me get out of bed in the morning. Actually it may take more than a coach. It may take a drill sergeant.
  8. barefut
    I didn't think it was possible at this point but I think my mouth is actually getting even smaller. And my face is itching like mad! The cobwebby feelings are back and driving me nuts! Chewing is fatiguing on my jaw. Eating a granola bar is a total workout! Forget about gum. My jaw and neck and shoulders are so tight I have had a tension headache for a week. Sleep? What is sleep?
     
    A spot on my left thumb itched so badly yesterday that I made and popped a blister by rubbing it and I didn't even realize it.
     
    My feet cramp up all the time and after an hour of grocery shopping, my heels feel so tender and bruised I can barely walk.
     
    My right rotator cuff is messed up pretty good and I can't raise my right arm so I can't put on a bra or brush my hair, and brushing my teeth left handed has left a lot to be desired in the oral hygiene department.
     
    So here I am, a small mouthed, itchy faced, sore thumbed, crabby, sleep deprived, hobbling, braless, bedhead with bad breath. I just want to hibernate. :emoticon-bang-head:
  9. barefut
    Well I've been on Azathioprine (Imuran) for at least 2 months and I have noticed a slight improvement in my muscle pain and stiffness, although I am still weaning off of the prednisone (again) only this time more s l o w l y! I am at 4mg as of now.
     
    I enjoy being able to stay at home and take proper care of myself and my boys. I have been eating better, napping and going for short walks. I have even spent some time pulling weeds! I want to start swimming and join a yoga class.
     
    I am receiving Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (cash) which pays the mortgage. And food stamps which feeds us well. I also have assistance with my utilities. Still no child support. I have applied for long term disability insurance through my former employer and, if you read my latest post, feel like I flunked my recent telephone interview with regard to this.
     
    Then my sister reminded me about my trip to Swedish Medical Center last May. I went to the ER with some symptoms of transient ischemic attacks (TIA's) and was sent to Swedish for a neurological work up. I passed. And so then was referred for a sleep study where it was found that I do have sleep apnea but only when sleeping on my back, so not bad enough to have to have a C-Pap (glad!). All of this to figure out why I am having memory and concentration problems. I forgot about this and so did not give the insurance company these medical records. So maybe I'll have a leg to stand on after all? But only one, and only if it's not too late.
     
    Disability income or not, I am hoping to feel good enough this fall to reopen my preschool. I had so much fun with that and I miss those preschoolers a lot! I would hold classes Monday, Wednesday and Fridays from 9am until 1pm and take only 4 - 6 kids. Surely my body would let me do that by this fall?
  10. barefut
    Back in November, after seeing my boys dig through the dirty laundry for the umpteenth time for something to wear to school, I had an epiphany, or a breakdown, whatever you want to call it. I collapsed on the couch in utter defeat, scanned my living room, which looked like a bomb went off in there, and I finally decided that something’s got to give. I have got to start taking better care of myself and my boys and the only way that is going to happen is if I use my Family Medical Leave to reduce my hours to part time.
     
    I was exhausted, sleep deprived, brain dead, in pain and depressed. I was no good to anybody, not myself, not my boys and not my employer. I saw my rheumatologist and she agreed that I needed to slow down, take it easy, and get more rest. I had weaned off prednisone and my muscle pain and inflammation had come back with a vengeance. I needed help getting out of bed, and out of my recliner. Those automatic lift recliners were starting to look pretty good to me. I was actually using a cane at home and wishing I had it at work some days but I would not dare take it out of the house! I couldn’t even stand to hear myself ask my sons to “bring me my cane” so I named it Ilean. Sounded better to say, “Could you bring me Ilean?” or “I need Ilean’s help…”. I even found myself eyeing those fancy walkers…but NO! I would not go there! I am only 44 years old and I will not even consider leaving the house with a cane or any other kind of mobility device. Not yet.
     
    Working part time was helpful but after about a month I ended up taking my FMLA as a total leave of absence. It kind of feels like free falling. I like the ‘free’ part best. I am free to take a nap when I need to, free to make my doctor appointments whenever I want to, free to take a long, hot, uninterrupted bath in the middle of the day or free to stay in my jammies and unshowered all day if I want to.
     
    Also free to feel vertigo half the day and spend the other half the day on the toilet (MY toilet!). Free to be nauseous and unable to get out of my chair, Free to go sleepless at night and be irritable and brain dead all day. Yipee! But I am FREE to do this! I don’t have to go to work feeling like all that.
     
    Yes, free is great! Falling is…..not so much. I’m sure I will wake up from this honeymoon stage and go splat here any day now and I’m sure it won’t be pretty either. Stay tuned for the *splat*!
  11. barefut
    My seven year old caught me crying over my keyboard while reading the John’s Hopkins website on Myositis. "Mom, it says, ‘medical treatment’, what happened?” I hear his sweet, innocent little voice say. I wipe my tears and tell him, “Nothing happened, it‘s just that my hips and my shoulders and my elbows hurt and I’m just reading about how to make myself feel better“. That seemed to satisfy him. He gave me a hug and went back to his cartoon.
     
    About 50,000 Americans have myositis; apparently even rarer than scleroderma, this autoimmune inflammatory muscle disease is also incurable. I will soon start another immunosuppressant medication to try and bring the pain and inflammation under control. I am waiting on DNA test results which will tell me if I am susceptible to a rare and dangerous side effect before my rheumatologist will proceed with treatment.
     
    In the mean time I am back on prednisone and bummed because I just finally weaned off of it 3 months ago and it took a long time at a reduction of 1mg/month. Now I have to start all over. Prednisone, although a precious miracle of pain relief at the right dose, comes with a host of unpleasant side effects like weight gain, irritability as well as dangerous side effects like kidney failure. So not a good thing to be on long term especially at doses higher than 10 mg/day.
     
    What I learned about myositis on the John’s Hopkins’ website is that there are important lifestyle changes to make. For example, they recommend following a doctor-prescribed exercise program which might include physical therapy, whirlpool baths and gentle massage. Resting and pacing, and limiting activity is very important. Working with a nutritionist can be beneficial. And my personal favorite, reducing stress is vital, such as with yoga or biofeedback exercises
     
    I’ll order my Jacuzzi tomorrow, right after I quit my job, see my therapist, go to yoga class, see my nutritionist, have my massage, buy a lottery ticket and stop at the food bank.
  12. barefut
    Listening to my 7 year old sing in the shower.
     
    A good cup of coffee.
     
    Snuggling on the couch with my boys.
     
    Sunrise.
     
    The sight of my 12 year old and his dog, snuggling and fast asleep on the living room floor.
     
    A clean house.
     
    Cooking, coloring or puzzles with my boys.
     
    My mountains.
     
    Sitting in my recliner at the end of the day and looking at my boys' school work and art work.
     
    Good hair days.
     
    My Lake.
     
    Getting into the car in the morning after I cleaned it the day before.
     
    My boys getting along.
     
    Summer road trips.
     
    My beach.
     
    Family, Friends and Food.
  13. barefut
    This one gives me temporary pain free mobility and a bit of endurance but also irritability, sleepless nights and weight gain, not to mention silent other evils.
     
    That one helps keep my fingers and toes from falling off but gives me dizziness, nausea and low blood pressure.
     
    This one keeps me from digesting my esophagus but may be the culprit of my irritable bowel.
     
    That one helps keep my body from attacking itself in countless ways but may also be the irritable bowel bandit.
     
    This one actually does a good job on the pain and counteracts the irritable bowel - but in the way of constipation.
     
    And the new one on its way is also supposed to keep my body from attacking itself but takes a month or two to kick in and may come with nausea and a host of other annoyances.
     
    And this pretty one is supposed to help me to endure it all with a smile on my face but may actually do the opposite.
  14. barefut
    In spring I used to plant a vegetable garden, and sweet peas and a pumpkin patch.
     
    In summer I used to mow along the road and keep the blackberry bushes at bay and water my grass and flowers.
     
    In fall I used to put away the patio chair cushions and hammock and prune my rose bush and rake the leaves.
     
    In winter I used to feed the birds and watch them from my kitchen window, and decorate for the holiday with colorful lights and bake cookies from scratch.
  15. barefut
    So much going on
    And big stuff too
    Don't know where to begin
    Don't know what to do
     
    Ready for changes
    Something's gotta give
    Walking these edges
    Is no way to live
     
    My head is aching,
    No, splitting in two
    What have I done?
    What can I do?
     
    How can I know
    If my decisions are good?
    How can I make
    Myself understood?
     
    A peek to the future
    Would be so kind
    Is it too much to ask
    For some peace of mind?
  16. barefut
    Home with a sick kid today, fever, vomiting - hope it's not piggy flu!  Just got a call from my boss that they received the revised FMLA paperwork from my rheumatologist supporting my request for reduced work hours.  I never saw a copy of what my doctor wrote but the letter from my employer said 4 - 6 hours a day 5 days/week.  I was told not to come in on Monday until 2:30pm (weird) and I would get my revised work schedule then.
     
    I'm kind of dreading that because I asked for 8:30 - 3:30, and my boss and coworkers were not happy about that. I know my hours will probably be something like 12:00pm to 6:15pm, defeating the whole purpose of asking for reduced hours in the first place - so I could get home before 7:00pm, prepare dinner for my kids, help with homework and get them to bed at a decent hour, not to mention eliminate the whole childcare problem of no facilities being open after 6:00pm.  It's not like I am asking for time off early so I can hit the tavern for happy hour (no matter how good that sounds some days).
     
    Man it seems like nobody has a heart, or it's like, "Well I don't get any breaks so neither should you."  I'm broaching on a whole 'nother blog right now so I'd better save it.
     
    I will keep y'all posted on what my new work schedule will be.....
    I feel like I've won the battle but will ultimately lose the war.
  17. barefut
    Yet I never really left. I haven't blogged for awhile not because I haven't had anything to blog about but rather the opposite really. Too, too much stuff. Topics swim around in my head as I go about my blurry days. Some of them get jotted down on little scraps of paper and stuffed into my purse/briefcase/lunchbag/first aid kit/pharmacy, only to get thrown out at the weekly purging.
     
    If you looked in my waste basket you would find:
     
    (Just to name a few...)
    Surviving myself
    You know you're lonely when...
    Camp Concussion
    Lost Dog
    Grandpa's girlfriend
    My (imaginary) boyfriend
    "G'pa dawg"
    Football again
    Coaching style or personality defect?
    When did 12 become the new 18?
    Get your own husband
    Sleep Study
    I'm a dork
    My neck
    The Lake
     
    I'd love to elaborate on just one of these tonight but that muscle relaxer is finally kicking in and although the headache from my twisted neck is subsiding, now I must choose sleep before sleep chooses me.
     
    Be Healthy Happy Safe and Warm!!!
  18. barefut
    "No one realises, even myself sometimes, how much of an impact a chronic disease can have upon a person." - Barb Lowe
     
    I was going to blog about what I had been up to this past month but after reading Barb's blog this morning, I have another agenda.
     
    You said it sister! Sneaky, insidious, scleroderma. I think that should be the official diagnoses - SIS. Barb talked about how she puts on a good show of hiding her visible symptoms. I want to talk about the impact of invisible symptoms. When people don't see anything wrong with you, they can't help but wonder, "What is her problem?" Boy isn't she: a whiner, lazy, helpless, sympathy monger, slob, careless, unproductive, slow learner, stupid, clumsy, forgetful....All things no one wants the reputation of being.
     
    And so we have a choice. We can give up and pretend not to care what others think about us or we can fight against it, (as well as our pain) and try to prove that we are not these things. That we are "normal", that we can 'compete' with the healthy people and also have a nice yard, a clean house, a sharp mind, motivation, ambition, strength, endurance, and have energy left over to help others.
     
    My first choice is the latter and when I exhaust myself from pretending I am 'normal' then I choose to pretend not to care. Pretending has apparently become a way of life and therefore it really does feel like living a lie.
  19. barefut
    Wow. This sleepless near Seattle thing is getting old. Today will be fun at work - and THE boss will be there all day - quizzing us. Boy I can't wait for the sleep deprivation hangover to start. The thick headed, brain fog and headache, the burning, swollen, bloodshot eyes, bumping into walls and spilling my coffee, the extra loud ringing in my ears, dizziness and nausea, the looking like a ditzy idiot to everyone. Oh! And evaluations are this week too. Yessiree, can't wait for all that fun to begin.
     
    So, anybody have a secret remedy for restless legs? I am about ready to try a sledge hammer. Kidding of course!!! Had a totally sleepless night last week and had to leave work early to go take a nap. It was too dangerous for me to even try to drive home so I tried sleeping in the car but those legs started up again so I went straight to my doctor's office. He didn't want to treat until after my sleep study. He modified the study protocol to include my legs. I have only mentioned my RLS to my rheumatologist once and back then it wasn't so bad. Wonder why it's getting more often and more severe? Sometimes I'll take a pain reliever (PM kind) or two and that helps me to sleep better but then I can't snap out of it the morning. There's got to be a happy solution.
     
    Went online shopping for a new mattress tonight (this morning!) I have an inexpensive memory foam but when I do fall asleep, I wake up with my hips, shoulders and elbows in agony and I can hardly move. I am going to try a 5" topper of good old fashioned foam. I sleep better on my couch (when it wasn't sagging). I have been done with prednisone for over a month. It ought to be something to celebrate. Who feels like celebrating when you can't move? Again, there's got to be a happy solution!
     
    I had my sleep study consult last Friday. The ARNP seems pretty convinced that I have apnea just based on my symptoms. My first slumber party is in a month. I fantasize that a C-pap machine will miraculously solve all my ailments. If it does, I'll buy stock and go on the road selling door to door.
     
    Well, it's time for my 3:45am nap.
  20. barefut
    My Crete is a lake an hour and a half's drive from here. Just got back from 3 blissful sunny days and 2 sleep filled nights in 'my' time share cabin on the lake -- well it's sort of mine, although I have to share it with the rest of the world. Except instead of paying a big chunk of change for ownership or a monthly fee or mortgage, I just reserve it for whenever it's available and only pay for the nights that I stay there. I have a staff that keeps it clean and well maintained so it's all ready for me when it's my turn to stay. National Parks rock!
     
    I feel good. Rejuvenated. Pain free! I could live in that little cabin on the water everyday for the rest of my life and be completely content. I don't need anything else. No TV, no phone, no computer, no cars. I'd even trade in chocolate.
     
    Now it's back to reality. Back to the rest of the summer -- just working. That's it for my vacation. But you can bet that I will be spending as many sunny Sundays up there as I can squeeze in.
  21. barefut
    Dear Friend ~
     
    I forget that you're fragile
    Cuz you're just so tough
    Fearlessly taking on my boys
    Proves you've got the right stuff
     
    Now use that stuff right
    To get yourself well
    Cuz I know hospitals
    Can be, uh, less than perfect.
     
    The nurses (bless them) wake you every hour
    And all you want is to take a shower
    The food 'aint good and TV is bad
    The boredom and restlessness can drive you mad
     
    So enjoy this small care package
    To help pass the time
    And accept my apologies
    For this terrible rhyme
     
    And know we are thinking of you everyday
    Sending strength and best wishes
    For a SHORT hospital stay!
     
    *************************************************************
     
    My dear sweet friend has made a remarkable recovery and hopes to come home Friday!!!
  22. barefut
    Came home tonight after the season ending baseball jamboree to news that our dear sweet friend is in the hospital fighting another infection and fighting for her life again. She has become part of our family this past year, caring for the boys, playing referee, chauffeur, chef, pet sitter, helping with homework, hurt feelings, little one's dramatic sports 'injuries' and generally being mom when I could not be there.
     
    I am sick with worry and feeling a bit responsible for her condition since my boys have been sick with fevers and croup. I should have not let her near little one after big one was sick. Of course he was carrying the crud, contagious after being around his brother and then got the fever about the same time she started feeling unwell. Oh, I feel so responsible! I spoke to her the day she went into the hospital and she said she was stabilized and felt better and was hoping to come home today. I told her I thought she got sick from my boys. She told me not to worry and said that if she did, she would never enter a grocery store. I felt better for only a second. Now instead of coming home today, her family was called to her side.
     
    My dear, dear, sweet, precious, kind hearted friend, please come home to us. We aren't done spending time with you yet. You must come over and let me cook for you like you cooked for me and the boys. We have to go to the drive in this summer and walk the beach with the dogs. You must let me be there for you like you have been there for us. So, we will see you home soon dear friend because we are not done.
  23. barefut
    I hate people games. If you wanted to torture me, just make me watch any one of the reality TV shows that are so popular these days. What a monumental waste of time and energy and life itself to participate in and perpetuate trivial, foolish, petty, insolent, tattling, back stabbing, behavior which results in everybody's emotional angst. It is scary to me that this has become entertainment. Don't people get enough of this stuff in their own personal everyday lives? Does it make people feel better to see others suffer along too? I start to wonder...
     
    I have always wondered about people. This may be why I was drawn to sociology in college. Sociology is the study of human social behavior. It would serve us all well to study a little human social behavior. Maybe that's what these shows are really all about? Everyone involved is actually part of a sociological experiment. I can see a room full of sociologists placing bets and laughing their heads off behind a 2 way mirror. I am reminded of the two old guys in the balcony criticizing the show during the TV series The Muppet Show. That's me. I think that's what these reality shows need - 2 old guys in the balcony criticizing the show. Now that would be entertaining! Now watch someone steal my idea and make a jillion dollars from it. Remember, you heard it first here folks!
     
    I have never been one to jump on the band wagon no matter what was playing. In fact, I have always kind of enjoyed doing the opposite of the status quo. In high school when everyone else was wearing purple nail polish and mini skirts, I enjoyed wearing my flannel shirts and overalls. My own form of rebellion? Maybe. To this day, I find that I tend to behave in the opposite manner of what is normally expected of someone in a given situation. Examples? Let's see... when someone does something to me that would make most people angry, I laugh. Probably more for reasons of self-preservation in this instance than of rebellion because I have had more than my share of "angry" for one lifetime. In order for me to be able to do this, I have had to train myself to get past the knee-jerk, reactive, emotional response and consider the antagonistic source. How would I do in one of these reality shows? I would probably get beat up for not playing the game right.
  24. barefut
    Leave me alone. I can do it. I don't need any help.
     
    (Help me!)
     
    Don't you tell me I can't do it or that I am not doing it or that you think I need help.
     
    I will tell you that I can do it and I am doing it and that I am dong just fine without anyone's help.
     
    (And I will be lying.)
     
    But you can't tell me I need help. I will tell you, when I am ready, that I need help, and with what.
     
    And it will once again kill off a little piece of me. Like a cancer eating away my dignity and having my soul for dessert.
  25. barefut
    Well, okay there's nothing (seriously) wrong with my brain and I have the MRI, and vascular studies to prove it now. So why the vertigo, dizziness, sudden extreme sleepiness and memory and concentration problems? And what was up with that throbbing pulsation in my neck and the pricklies in my left arm last Tuesday at work which sent me to a Seattle hospital for more testing all day Wednesday when I really wanted to be at my friend's Celebration of Life service? (How's that for a run-on sentence?)
     
    I may never know the answer to that but at least I know that I'm not a ticking time bomb of embolisms ready to stroke out at any given minute. Whew! I really do have enough on my plate for now, thank you.
     
    So, what was it like to travel to Seattle in an ambulance with no bridge? It was AWESOME! Well okay I exaggerate, but it was as awesome as it could be under the circumstances. I have to thank everyone involved in all the prior planning that it took in order for my transport to go so smoothly. It was like they had been doing it this way for years.
     
    I left my local hospital in style -- lights, sirens and all. We arrived at the passenger water shuttle in no time. I was wheeled past a crowd of onlookers with very serious looks on their faces. I wanted to make them all laugh but my usual witty humor escaped into a thick brain fog. Suddenly very self-conscious, I tried to rearrange the blanket to cover my bare shoulders.
     
    Once on board, I had my own private corner of the boat with a curtain all around and a flat screen TV. I can't say that it was luxurious but I can say that it was as comfortable as it could be under the circumstances. In looking around I noticed all the modifications made to the boat in order to accommodate me. They did a great job.
     
    Thankfully it was smooth sailing and once on the other side, I was the last one off. Another transport was waiting for me there and then we were off to the big ferry. I inquired as to how I was to get back home and the EMT's informed me that there is a free hospital to hospital shuttle service for patients. Cool. I didn't end up using it but nice to know it's there.
     
    I must apologize to friends and family for the scare. And thank them all for being there. The ER doctor didn't want to alarm but had to send me to avoid possible harm. Nothing serious is nice to find and gives me precious peace of mind.
     
    Now I get to schedule a sleep study....