Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Chicken Soup for the Spine

I gave Madelene a blanket and pillow and threw her on the couch last night. I didn't want her to go through a night of horrific blood curdling screams from all the pain I'm experiencing, especially that I can no longer take pain meds. I would have taken the couch myself, but I lock up every time I lay down on it.  She's been having a rough go of it at work and super stressed out, so she needed her sleep more than I did at this point. Why torture her by letting her sleep in the same bed with me? My dog had no problem taking up the rest of the unused portion of the bed. With each scream of pain, Lola looked up at me, sniffed my face and then gave me a lick. It was like I had a K9 nurse taking care of me, well, a very short legged, long-bodied one with chronic halitosis, but nonetheless. I woke up this morning, enjoyed a cup of coffee out on the deck and finally had some relief from the night's agonizing pain. I went to physical therapy last night and it helped a lot, but I have a long ways to go. This beautiful morning mocked the way I felt, but in some small way, I felt better having the sun on my face, coffee in hand and the tiniest relief from all the suffering I've been through. It's the small things that are sometimes our biggest blessings. 

I'm staying with my mom today. She's making me Paleo chicken soup. She knows how serious I am about what I throw into my system and she is so sweet for even offering a huge vat of her homemade soup, and catering it to my liking. Usually it is packed with delicious cheese tortellinis and rice. She's making it with just chicken (a ton of it) and a lot of carrots and other mixed veggies. I'm excited! I bought a blouse about three months ago and never tried it on. When I got home, it didn't even button up. I wore it yesterday and it looked like I was wearing two sizes too large. I'm finally fitting into my old clothes again, which umm, are out of style by now. (Time for a shopping spree!) The scale is dropping - one more pound which brings me a total of 17 lbs lost, so I am hoping that the pain lessens with each pound lost. I really do believe it counts. For now, I'm just praying for a pain free day and some good ol' chicken soup for the soul, body and mind. 

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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Blessings Behind the Pain

Even Lola's tired of taking care of me.
If there's one person I would never, ever live with, it would Well, maybe half of who I am, because I am a helluva' cook and I'm very nurturing, but the other half is one. pain. in. the. ass. Half the time, I'm up with insomnia or just in excruciating pain. As you know, I'm no stranger to doctors' offices, emergency rooms and hospitals. I'm one hot mess lately. Usually it requires some sort of assistance, like helping me out to the car to rush off to the ER or helping me even make it to the loo. Those are the extreme days. But, we married in health and in sickness. Somewhere right now, my wife is twitching. But I'm not so bad. I make Madelene laugh, I'm silly and immature as hell. I think that's what saves our relationship: laughter. Or maybe it's the dog. In any case, it's the little things in life that bring us joy. God, now I'm starting to sound like a Hallmark card. My point is, when one person in the relationship or marriage is either sick or in excruciating pain, the other mate suffers greatly too. I totally realize that. I witnessed my mother fatigued and overwhelmed by my father's battle with cancer. I'm in no way comparing my ailments or struggle to his --I compare it to the constant pain and anxiety. (His much higher of course.) I'm relating this to the struggle that the one partner has trying to be a caregiver and doing all that they can possibly do in their will to help their loved one. My family has been a great source of comfort for me. Whether they have spent time with me, made me laugh, shared a dinner with me or even just called me to see how I was doing, I love every single one of them. We've always been a close-knit family, and lately, it seems like we've become much more closer after having been through the roughest storms. I'd be lost without them. They're my everything.

Wiping tear...

Back to poor ol' Mad. What a trooper. I could wake up at 2am screaming in pain and she'll grab her glasses on the nightstand with one eye open, and say, "Okay, want me to bring you to the ER?" And although I usually don't take her up on it (such a liar) it's just her willingness to do anything she could do in order to give me comfort. Sometimes, I'm up all night watching television just because the pain won't let up. I don't know what happened at the age of thirty-nine, but I feel like my body screamed, "I give up!" And well, that's because I gave up on my body, which brings me to my next venture: Paleo. I knocked two chihuahuas off my back (16 lbs) and still trying to knock a few more down. I no longer have knee pain, ankle pain or typical joint pain that is caused my access weight, even though I have a long ways to go. I do have generalized body aches from the lower back pain, especially my sciatica. When I walk, Madelene laughs at me, and for good reason. Every time I take a step with my left leg, she hears this...  "Thump...Eye-yi-yi-yi!!!...Thump...Eye-yi-yi-yi-yo mama!!!" She gets hysterical over it. She never knows what Tourette-like outburst comes flying out of my mouth with each 'left' step. The Percocet no longer helps me. It's now a nerve issue, which is quite impossible to relieve. So tonight I'm going to physical therapy and trying some light yoga and stretching. There is nothing else I can do. But I have to say, I've been feeling better as far as "constant" pain. Now it's just literally walking on a nerve kind of pain. I've also quit drinking....for now. I haven't touched a drink in quite some time, like maybe a week? Yes, this is a longgggg time for me folks. While staying at the hospital, the nurse even asked me if I would be going through withdrawals during my stay. I just shot her a look like, "Wow, am I that bad?" And I admit, I would have somewhere between one and three drinks per evening. If it's on a weekend, possibly five. So, I'm tapering off and moderating my (God this hurts) drinking. This is another huge step in the right direction for me as far as health.

My reasoning? I'm so fucking sick of being the victim. I'm so sick of being the patient. I'm so sick and tired of being sick and tired. I'm so frustrated that I can't help out more than I want to. I break my back trying to do the littlest of tasks. But not anymore. I am on the mend, I am starting to feel better, lighter and healthier. I want to be healthy in my forties, fifties, sixties and so on. I want to be a healthy ninety-five year old. I'm so tired of neglecting my own health just to "have fun" or because I think "I deserve it" --- I deserve much better. I'm done with the pain killers, done with the NSAIDs, done with all the poisons I've been pumping into my system. And don't get me wrong, I will still enjoy my wine and occasional martini --- but not in excess. The other night, my brother-in-law said something pretty significant to me, to where I kind of brushed it off like, "Yeah, easier said than done."  He said, "Do you have a lot of stress?" And of course the answer was YES. He said, "Just get it out of your mind. Throw it away. Don't think about it." I'm like, yeah okay. But then I thought, this is coming from someone who has also had stomach ulcers and stress-related ailments too. He did it, so out of experience, he seems to be pretty content with "pushing the stress out of his mind".  Maybe our mind is the battlefield and it's just a matter of time to retrain and reprogram our entire thinking. For instance, it took me some time to learn that sugar, pasta and breads are POISON to my system. I actually have a phobia over these things. I won't touch them. My once favorite foods have become my greatest fear. While having dinner with my family, my mother made my favorite rice. It's this cheesy, sodium loaded rice from a box, but it is soooooo good. I stuck with the ribs and veggies. Mom said, "You're not having any? You can't eat rice either?" Although rice is "okay" to eat, it's the packaged up goods that destroy me. Corn on the cob was on the table too. God help me when I resist that at a BBQ. But my fear (a healthy fear) overtook my cravings. And that, is GOOD.

I just want to thank Madelene, my mother, my sisters and my brother-in-law for helping me in ways they probably didn't know they have. My sister Carla gave me a ring the other day. She stopped in mid-sentence while talking with me and said, "I don't know what happened, I feel like Dad told me to give this to you." So she took off her ring and gave it to me. It has a cross and the Hail Mary prayer engraved on it. She said it's to keep me safe. I never take it off. The sentimental value of it is absolutely priceless. My father used to joke around with us and say, "How can I soar like an eagle when I'm surrounded by a buncha' turkeys?" And I say, "I can soar like an eagle because I'm surrounded by a bunch of angels." I'm so grateful. I truly believe there are blessings behind our pain and suffering.

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Monday, July 29, 2013

The Mystery Patient

Been away for a while. I guess you can say I was on vacation in a spacious room with an ensuite.  You guessed it: the hospital. I ended up there due to stomach bleeding. I was vomiting blood which looked like coffee grinds. I know this due to my friend Google. I was also there for severe - and I mean, excruciating body pain. No one could figure out what the hell was going on with me. Once in the ER, they had to put me in a wheel chair because I was unable walk by myself. I was shaking and crying - it was so unbearable. Then they needed to check for "samples", need I say de la poupe or good ol' merde. Needless to say, after the nurse checked me with a latex glove and some jelly, she never did bring me out to dinner afterwards. I'll put a complaint in later.  They detected blood and basically, that was their main concern - not my cries of pain from every single part of my body hurting. That was just "normal" to them. They pumped me up with morphine after Mad begged them to manage my other pain and after a few hours, admitted me into my own suite. After having bad reactions to the morphine, they put me on Percocet which gave me instant relief. The entire night was full of blood tests and sonograms. I had to stay a few days so they can do numerous testings on me to see if I was bleeding internally and why my body was in such great pain.

My second night there was interesting. This one blond nurse named came in to check on me. She was really sweet, almost overly sweet. She said, "Oh, please put on these socks because I don't trust these floors even though they clean them." I was in total agreement. I said, "Thank you! I'm totally OCD about that!" Well, not even hours later as she was ending her shift, she informed the other nurses about me right outside my door, thinking I was passed out from the double hit of morphine and Percocet. She said, "She said she was vomiting black stuff or whatever...and they found blood in her stool. She has anxiety so you know, she freaked out when we gave her morphine. She also has OCD, so be careful. Maybe she has MPD too, who knows," as she chuckled, trying to joke around with the other nurses. She comes walking in with the new nurse and a student who was tagging along learning the ropes. "Hi again!" she said with this big smile.  I shot her a look and said, "Number one: DO NOT diagnose me with OCD. You're NOT a doctor or shrink. You. are. just. a. nurse. Number two: try whispering next time you talk shit about a patient or make sure they're knocked out from the meds." She looked at me in horror and said, "But you said you had OCD, so I need to take that seriously!" I sat up and said, "We were JOKING about the floors because you said they were dirty. Now give me two pillows, two blankets and two glasses of water. Say yes twice if you understand." She was reassigned to another patient after that.

In this short Instagram video, you can hear the man screaming as well as making unpleasant noises. Turn the volume up.

The next nurse had her hands full with me, especially since the staff was late with my pain medication. At this point, I was rocking back and forth like a mental patient sitting upright in the bed because I could not lay down due to the pain being so over-the-top. I felt like I was going to die. I also had a short fuse at this point, and unfortunately, this new nurse took the brunt of other nurses' mistakes. She came in and asked me the same questions. "Name?" "Date of birth?" I said, "I need my pain meds."
"I need to get permission from the doctor."
"They already done that. I am allowed to have Percocet."
"Well, I can't do that until I get clearance and we order it from the pharmacy. That's gonna take a while," she said, almost in a robotic drone-like voice.
I stared at her, not believing what was happening to me.
"Why are you crying?" she asked, baffled over my agony.
"BECAUSE I'M IN FUCKING PAIN! Are you THAT inhumane??? Aren't you supposed to manage pain here first?"
"On a scale of 1-10, what's your pain like?"
I. flipped. out.
She stared at me....for a long time.
"Breeeeeathe," she said, rubbing my shoulders and ordering another nurse to grab the goods.
Minutes later, Percocets were thrown at me and I was on my way to feeling much better. This nurse was a strong cookie, because she was also dealing with another nut next door who had MRSA (the superbug). Now my OCD starts kicking in full time, making sure every single nurse who walks inside my room takes a hit of that antibacterial gel by the door. I hear the guy in the room screaming, "What a fucking joke! How can you not tell me that I'm not supposed to hug my children while they were visiting me!!!???" They let his family come into the room without any protective gear and never informed the patient about how contagious the superbug was. I was totally on his side. I heard him screaming all. night. long. Poor guy was so worried about his kids. How can you not inform your patient about the dangers of the superbug? While trying to go to sleep, I must have heard over twenty "code grays", which meant a combative or violent patient. I was waiting for my own code gray.

So after a few nights of being in Percocet bliss and trying to bathe with an IV stuck into my hand along with a machine attached to it, the doctor came in to let me know that I was ready to go home. He said all my blood work was fine. No Lupus, no rheumatoid arthritis, no Lyme Disease, no sickle cell and nothing that would indicate that I have massive internal bleeding. He thought that it may be my stomach lining irritated, that bled from all the NSAID usage. And if it is an ulcer, it's probably the start of one that somehow got irritated in the process of taking so many Advils and Aleve. They gave me a prescription strength H2 blocker and some other ingredient that heals esophageal erosion and peptic ulcers. My instructions are to not drink for six or more weeks, to eat soft foods and to continue physical therapy and take Percocet only when at a level "9 or 10" with pain. He then said, "So, you're our mystery patient, although there is concern about upper GI bleeding. Other than that, you have a clean bill of health. You probably need to get readjusted and learn how to walk again because one leg is shorter than the other, making your gait uneven and causing you great pain." Fibromyalgia was muttered out a few times. It's like saying, "costochondritis" or "gastritis" and even the good ol' "spider bite" diagnosis'. So I'm back home. I'm frustrated. I'm angry. I'm disappointed in the medical field for not giving me a proper way of managing pain. A few addictive scripts and you're on your way to a life filled with pills and withdrawals. Right now, my pain is a level eight. I'm opting out of popping a pill and going back to physical therapy and even trying acupuncture. The best thing that has happened to me is that I lost a total of 16 lbs from eating Paleo. That's like two bowling balls off of my back. I'm on my way to better health, but for now, please throw a few prayers and healing vibes my way. I don't think I'll ever take NSAIDS again. And wow do I need them. Mind over matter I guess.

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

So Who Rang the Bell?

Last night I fell asleep right away, only to be woken up by the sounds of loud thunder and the flickering of the intense lightening. My dog raised her head and then hopped off the bed. Usually this means she has to go out. Mad took her out and I headed off into the bathroom before falling back asleep. As I came back into the bedroom to jump under the covers, I heard, "Debbayyy!" The way my father used to call out if he needed me. It sounded like it was coming from the stairwell. I turned to Mad and said, "Did you hear that? Turn down the TV," hoping that it would call out to me again, but it didn't. His voice was so audible and without a doubt, his voice! As I continued to listen to the thunder and rain outside, I fell asleep. In my dream, I saw Dad sitting at a big dining room table. I was in some sort of sunk in living room, where I would have to walk up a few stairs in order to get to him. He was covered in white light all around him, facing me, saying, "Well, c'mon! Whaddya' doin'? Get up here will ya?" I smiled and walked toward him, placing my foot on each step as I went into this huge dining room. You know how this goes. It always ends at the best part. I woke up and just smiled. He was so real, so incredibly visible and extremely audible. But I wonder, due to the anniversary of his passing, could it have been my mind playing a trick on me? Have I conjured up his voice, this dream, this feeling like he's around me lately? I told Madelene about my dream and she said, "Funny you should say that because as I was coming back inside from the laundry room. When I shut the door behind me the cowbell out on the wall starting to ring." We have this antique wood carving with a cowbell attached to it. A nice rustic piece that goes along with the house really nicely. But it never rings unless someone hits it. So Madelene opened the door, thinking that I was ringing the bell in order to get back inside, but no one was there. So, who rang the bell?

Not sure what I believe at this point. But it was very comforting to say the least. I'll leave it at that.

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Saturday, July 20, 2013

Mom's Letter to Dad on His First Anniversary Into Heaven - July 21, 2012

It's been a year since you passed away, but your presence still lingers on. We are glad you're at peace and not suffering anymore. The memories of you will always be in our hearts and we all miss you terribly. Our four beautiful daughters have been a godsend for my grief and I am thankful every day that we were blessed with them. So it's not goodbye my love, but it's forever, for all the wonderful times we had together.

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Dear President Obama

“There are very few African-American men in this country who haven’t had the experience of being followed when they were shopping in a department store. That includes me. There are very few African-American men who haven’t had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of cars. That happens to me — at least before I was a senator. There are very few African Americans who haven’t had the experience of getting on an elevator and a woman clutching her purse nervously and holding her breath until she had a chance to get off. That happens often.” --Barack Obama

The two gay men who were brutally beaten in NYC.
Dear President,

Thank you for your heartfelt speech poured out to everyone in the United States watching mainstream media. My heart truly goes out to what you have been through, to what many "African Americans" have been through, and of course, still go through. Your struggles as a child is one that many can relate to, not just "African Americans". I see that you used "African Americans" instead of saying, "white people". Clever. Of course, we would think you would be associating that with "white privilege". I'm not sure I understand why some black men (and half black men like yourself) choose to use the "politically correct" term, "African American" when there are many who are Jamaican, Haitian or from the islands. Don't they have the same struggles too? I'm a lesbian woman who lives in New York with my wife. It's kind of funny how we have seen numerous beatings on the LGBT community, with factual instances that let us know that it was indeed a hate crime just by the anti-gay slurs they said before the brutal beating. That was something huh? One of the crimes that were committed was from Allsan Berisha and Brian Ramirez, both age 21, who were arrested at the scene and later charged with hate crime felony assault. But you didn't see anyone protesting and starting a war upon the straight community on the news. And that was clearly an antigay attack. What will it take for us to protest? Until one of our members from the LGBT community to die from one of these brutal beatings? We come in all colors, shapes and sizes too.

Oh, and by the way, Russia's ready for World War III.
Mainstream media, especially your "heartfelt speech" surely comes at a good time. A time when Russia's president, Vladimir Putin has called for the nation’s strategic bombers to enter a state of ‘full combat readiness’ following the ‘snap drills’ that were initiated after Israel bombed Russian-made missiles within Syria. A time when a law will be passed where the government will be allowed to sift through anyone's personal finances without consent. A time when that quack from N. Korea is still ready to launch off his makeshift missiles on S. Korea and yes, the United States too. Where's the news for all of this? Where is the concern for much larger issues that should be on the news? Our attention is away from World War III and focused on the Zimmerman case and racial wars that are pouring out onto our city streets, as well as social media. You are dividing the nation by your statement, which holds a lot of influence on "African Americans", to which they will look at white people as the enemy, once again.

Obama's goal: Create racial wars with more protests.
You know what's sadder? I voted for you this last term. I hope it's the last term. I was a fan of McCain, who should have picked Condoleezza Rice for his running mate, but instead, picked a Christian nut job who preached a whole lot and had kids who didn't even respect her "holier than thou" views. But I still picked McCain. The only reason I didn't vote Republican this year is because I would have cringed if Romney was lucky enough to sit in the presidential seat. But you were "lucky" enough. And now we're stuck with a president who can't even bring this nation together, but to only tear us apart and set us back 50 years with your racial "victimized" statements. Yes, we ALL understand what it's like to go through prejudiced views. I certainly do, being a lesbian. I've also seen a lot of acceptance, as you have too by just being elected. It's time to stop playing the race card and see things as they are. What FACTS are there that determines that George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin just because he was black? Give me the facts and then I'll respect your ill-informed statements. But for now, I will never vote for another black president again. And no, that's not a racist statement, that's just because it is what it is. You will always be angry at white people, even if you're half white. You will always try to pull back any progress we have made over the years to create peace. But because of this one trial, this one tragic instance where a man was found NOT GUILTY of a murder due to self-defense and a lack of evidence, oh, wait - a LACK of evidence, you will "assume" it was because the victim was black. Where is your evidence? Give us the facts and then, we'll start listening.

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Friday, July 19, 2013

Mass Hysterica On Social Media

Finally, all the fights and shit slinging have simmered down on Facebook regarding the Zimmerman trial. I had a few posts that took a turn for the worse (especially this one) where a commenter with strong opinions made a snarky comment to the person who disagreed with them. Then it snowballed from there. The thing I don't understand whenever there is a controversial topic going on is when people start insulting one another, calling each other "stupid" or "ignorant" or even resorting to name calling. The fact is: there is nothing you can do about what happened. Whatever our opinions are...are just that. Fighting with other people is absolutely pointless because you're wasting your breath trying to convince someone else to go along with what you think it "right". Some people don't tolerate debates (even if childish) on their Facebook account, but as I see it, comment at your own risk because I have more than a few nutcases on my account, including myself of course. Now we have the argument of the distasteful photo of the Boston bomber on the Rolling Stone's cover. Some people are okay with it, because well, he was young and possible brainwashed by his older brother. If Rolling Stones really wanted to grab people's attention, then put a photo of someone who lost a limb during that bombing. I'm sure it would have gotten more responses, and most of all, a better reaction. They could have written, "Heroes Who Made It Through" or some positive reinforcement instead of exploiting terrorists who want to kill us. I don't care if that kid was ten or fifty --- a terrorist should not have an opportunity to be seen on a popular magazine cover, especially making him look (what some people thought) "sexy". They're giving this creep the spotlight. Hasn't he had enough spotlight to last a lifetime? Try giving the victims the spotlight. I have lost all respect for that magazine.

I love speaking to Madelene about these big topics in the media, especially with this Zimmerman trial and all the protests. She's borderline conspiracy theorist, so her opinions on this are very interesting. She'll be sifting through her iPhone, and then shoots me this intense look and mutters out, "See what they're doing, right? You see, right?" And right there, I know some sort of whacky theory is going to start pouring out. "This trial," as she points at the TV and thinks for a moment, "this trial here - it's to distract us. Don't you see what's happening here? As Zimmerman floods the airwaves, Russia and Israel are at odds which is bad! No news on that though. And look, a law is trying to be passed where the government can peek at your financial statements and bank accounts without your knowledge or consent. No news about that either. Too many people are focused on the trial." I listened to her and then thought that maybe she was right. Maybe all of these high profile trials that are flooding the media is a huge distraction for the public. Then once the bill is passed - there's no petitions or protests about it. By then, it'll be much too late to even try to fight it. She's all set for doomsday. She wants me to come with her to the shooting range so we can protect our family and home and start thinking about preparations for the end. At this point, I'm not so sure if I'm the crazy one in this marriage anymore.

But she's not the only crazy one out there. I have seen so many people on social media saying, "Oh, this is the end of times, look how hot it is. The ocean is heating up and we have never had temps this high before in New York."  Really? History repeats itself. I remember this time last year we had the same temps. You can even Google that. I was driving back and forth to hospice when my Dad was sick. The temperature in my car said, "105" -- and that wasn't even the head index. Every single person is like, "It's too hot! It's too hot!" I'm like, "It's too cold in the winter for you, it's too rainy in the spring for you, it's too hot in the summer for you and too chilly in the fall for you. When will you stop complaining you whiny crybaby? It's not the end of the world. Grab some water, get in the shade or go inside an air conditioned building and stop the madness. Remember last month when we had all the cicadas bombarding our backyards?  All the religious people said, "The locusts are here! Jesus is coming back!" Welp, I'm sorry to say that He hasn't stopped by yet, but when He does, he will come like a thief in the night, as the Bible puts it so beautifully. Funny how "scary" our God can seem through the words of the Bible. But that's neither here nor there. I guess this back pain is making me quite irritable so I'll leave this post on a good note. Eat well, drink lots, and hell - enjoy this gorgeous hot weather before you're knee deep in snow shoveling your car out. Good God let's ease up folks.

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Monday, July 15, 2013

The Race Card: Easy & Convenient

About ten years ago, I picked up Madelene's father, Tom from the hospital because he had gotten a procedure done to relieve his sinus congestion. We drove off to the pharmacy to pick up his pain meds and Mad went inside while we waited in the car. While we were sitting there waiting, a young black kid maybe in his late teens or early twenties was across the street just hanging around with his buddies. He wore a blue bandana tied around his head like Tupac, a sweatshirt with a hoodie and his jeans were sagging so low, that his entire ass was exposed in his boxer shorts. It looked ridiculous. His crotch was down to his knees. I was hesitant to say a word, being that it may come across as a racial remark, but I couldn't help it. I said, "You know, I'm not a racist --" and I was cut off by Tom immediately. "I know! I know what you're going to say! It's not being racist, it's the way these kids dress today whether they're black or white. They make themselves look like thugs, even if they're not thugs." We both agreed and were both relieved we were thinking the same thing. I said, "I would never be scared walking down the street seeing a black person --ever. Why would I? But if you dress like a 'gangsta', then yes, I would be a bit intimidated by that." There is a huge difference with profiling a black person vs. profiling a thug or a 'gangsta'. I've seen them come in all colors and sizes. So when people mutter our "race" with Trayvon Martin, I just think how many of those people would possibly judge Trayvon upon first appearance -- regardless of his race. His sagging jeans, his hoodie (yes it was raining I know), and what about how he acts? We've seen the photos of him puffing marijuana, giving the middle finger and well, perhaps being a "wannabe thug". Most are wannabes - they want to fit into their surroundings and appear tougher. I get it. School's a tough place to be, but I disagree with this whole tragedy being about race.

Here's the thing though: we don't know what happened that night. We don't even know if Zimmerman approached him with his gun pointed at Trayvon, or if it was pulled out after the fight. We don't know if Zimmerman's story is true or not. We don't know if Zimmerman really did defend his life out of fear. But by law, we cannot convict someone when we do not have sufficient evidence. But that's not my point right now. My point is, I'm so sick and tired of black people pulling out the race card and making this a racial thing. Everything's about race. "Oh he's black that's why he killed him." No. Maybe he looked like a wannabe gangsta with his pants hanging down to his feet. If you don't want to look suspicious, then stop dressing so suspicious. After the slew of robberies that occurred in their complex, it's no wonder Zimmerman "profiled" a thug. Gangstas and theives dress that way. I'm sorry, but if you have no respect for the public eye and you want to dress in a way that makes you look intimidating, then expect to be profiled. I have a hard time with the race card being pulled out. I even had a heated debate with a black woman about an entirely different topic, having her state that all the men in Provincetown who were workers were sexually harassing black women only due to their history. When I told them that we got the same response from the same people and that we were white, oh the claws came out and they lashed out with such vengeance saying things like, "white privilege" and that we didn't know how it is to be black, etc. You can read the story here. They were upset that they got "catcalled" on the streets and blamed it on their race.

My friend Marlo Bernier brought up something very important on her status message on Facebook:

"Emmett Louis Till (July 25, 1941 – August 28, 1955) was an African-American boy who was murdered in Mississippi at the age of 14 after reportedly flirting with a white woman. Till was from Chicago, Illinois, visiting his relatives in Money, Mississippi, in the Mississippi Delta region, when he spoke to 21-year-old Carolyn Bryant, the married proprietor of a small grocery store there. Several nights later, Bryant's husband Roy and his half-brother J. W. Milam arrived at Till's great-uncle's house where they took Till, transported him to a barn, beat him and gouged out one of his eyes, before shooting him through the head and disposing of his body in the Tallahatchie River, weighting it with a 70-pound (32 kg) cotton gin fan tied around his neck with barbed wire. His body was discovered and retrieved from the river three days later. *** 

Medgar Wiley Evers (July 2, 1925 – June 12, 1963) was an African-American civil rights activist from Mississippi involved in efforts to overturn segregation at the University of Mississippi. After returning from overseas military service in World War II and completing his secondary education, he became active in the civil rights movement. He became a field secretary for the NAACP. Evers was assassinated by Byron De La Beckwith, a member of the White Citizens' Council. *** 

(Benjamin Crump - Civil Rights Attorney, you are the one who should be ashamed by your comparing the above two men with Trayvon Martin - their cases all tragedies and all could have and should have never happened, but they are a million miles away from one another - and furthermore by your comparing the 3, you by default have placed Zimmerman in with the same ilk as Byron De La Beckwith, Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam - REALLY??? - consider the inanity of what you're saying by simply recognizing that Zimmerman is contrite, sorry and wishes it had never happened, whereas Beckwith, Bryant and Milam never (as far as I'm aware) ever expressed an ounce of regret over what they did - so please stop with the nonsense.)"

I've heard the most insane statements like, Zimmerman was Jewish and hated blacks. All coming from black people. Why are we going to war with this? I feel like black people want to declare war on all white people and using Trayvon Martin as a victim seems to be a good enough excuse. This type of mindset with many people leaves a bad taste in my mouth, one that kind of makes me hold back my involvement with anyone who is black. My experience has been nothing but vile and accusative of being a "racist" when I don't see or understand what they're so angry about. They place blame on so many things. I have had a huge debate with a black comedian (which some of my readers probably remember). He disrespected women on my Facebook page and he began to send us harassing emails. So I blogged every single hateful email he sent to me and his name in comedy went down the drain. I called him out on being the chauvinistic pig he was, but he said I was only doing that because HE WAS BLACK. Really? Now I know why certain communities stick together. We just can't mix and that's a damn shame. Why do people use the race card? Because it's easy and convenient when the facts aren't good enough.

If this post offends you, then you can "X" out and be done with me. Or, you can always use whatever race card you have left.  

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Friday, July 12, 2013

Bacon Flavored Pot

The theme of this month has been brought to you by PAIN. And with its unknown or 'guessed' diagnosis', I'm officially calling it bullshit. Lower back pain. Keepin' it simple. It's slowly fading off into a tolerable type of pain, but nonetheless. The only thing that makes me tolerable, is the good ol' herb I've been counting on for when the ibuprofen doesn't quite cut it. This is my nightstand. It holds two or three essential needs for my evening and morning 'lockups'. I think it should be prescribed as an antidepressant, pain reliever, and medication for sleeping disorders. Maybe it already has in other states.   In other news, I have a lot of work to do on my cooking blog, trying to reduce inflammation and pain (as well as trying to lose weight) with the Paleo diet. I was unable to maintain the diet while I was plastered to my bed with a locked up back, but I'm back baby. I've been buying grass fed USDA organic beef and making these unbelievable concoctions suggested by my friend who's a doctor. The health benefits are many, so I've been told, so I'm giving this a full steam ahead go of it. The other night, I made grass fed beef on portobello mushroom cap buns. Delicious. It's hysterical to watch Mom try the Paleo with me. She made this delicious squash, zucchini, peppers in a hot tomato sauce that they call, "jambort" - that's how it's pronounced, but I cannot find the correct spelling. So instead of putting it on rice, we put the grass fed chopped meat sautéed in jalapeno, onions and tomatoes with lots of chili and seasonings. I couldn't believe my mom enjoyed it better than her usual rice or pasta. She's a good sport. Of course, we stuck with our vodka martinis. And even with that, I have been only having one drink a day, which is a huge difference from the three I normally indulge in. But I have to say my favorite part of the day is breakfast, and below, you'll see why. You can have your bacon and eat it too!

Ever notice, nothing comes simple and nothing comes without judgment. For instance, people think I'm nuts for smoking pot for pain. It's illegal, therefore it's "bad". People think I'm nuts for going on the Paleo diet. "It's bad for your cholesterol and weight." Meanwhile, doctors are begging to differ, saying that the higher your cholesterol is, the longer you will live. It's all about reprogramming your mind - almost like converting to a different religion. To tell you the truth, I don't know what's true. I've tried everything but these methods. I will find out the hard way. All I know is, I lost seven pounds while on the Paleo. I seem to drink less and get full quicker. I eliminated all sugars in my diet, this including anything that converts into sugars. I don't have sugar crashes or real extreme lows anymore. My skin and hair retains more moisture and my nail growth is insane. I won't mention the hairs on my chinny-chin-chin though. Even if I fail at this, at least I have tried. I can't rule out everything that comes across my path. This new health step for me seems to be working, so why not? And if smoking a little reefer makes me more tolerable for other people, then it's not only a benefit for myself - it's a benefit for those around me. You're welcome, Madelene. Now if only there was such a thing as bacon flavored pot.

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Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Let Me Whine, Whine, Whine & Wine Some More!

My work station today.
It looks like I can't "wine" anymore since Facebook rejected one of my posts that included the "promotion" of alcohol due to a photo of a glass of wine. They said that it would encourage kids under the age of eighteen to drink. Isn't there a rule that sets the age limit for eighteen and over on Facebook? And why would one of my posts send some teenage kid on a drinking binge? Eh well, I guess I'm just a bad example. So yesterday I decided to take a ride with Madelene to bring Lola to the vet for her booster shots. I hobbled around a bit, but did quite well. As soon as we were done with dinner later that evening, my back locked up again while I was sitting down on the recliner. I could not get up and even when Mad helped me, it felt like she was removing my entire spinal cord out. It's been almost two weeks and I feel like I'm starting to lose my mind. I can't do anything. I still can't make the bed. (Mad! Please read that last sentence!) But, it wouldn't do any good to make the bed today since I'm lying in it right now typing out this blog post. I had to grudgingly pop a couple of Advils since I didn't want to go the 'holistic' way this early in the morning. I have physical therapy tomorrow evening and an appointment with the chiropractor on Thursday. With that being said, I have had lots of time to overanalyze and read many of what my friends and acquaintances are saying on Facebook. I have a few things on my list that irks me, all of them which includes adults only. Let me know if you've seen the same...

  • Subliminal messages to ex lovers indicating that he or she lost the best thing that ever came along. Stupid shit like this only reminds me of how juvenile adults can be sometimes. I read a tweet the other day that said, "If you still speak about it, you still care about it." That's the hard truth right there. 
  • People who say, "I'm ready to delete the next person who 'yada yada yada'..." Really? So you're on Facebook "threatening" your "friends" that you'll delete them? Petty. 
  • This next one isn't so much irksome as it is curious, perhaps I just like to overanalyze them: over-posed and overexposed selfies. I am not talking about a profile pic selfie - I'm talking about those who sit there and post up about five or more different posed shots of them at a time with their cleavage and duck faces. Aren't you supposed to take the samples and then post the final photo? If you look at them all in a row, it's almost like a movie. 
  • Complaining about friends who don't comment on your posts. Get over it.
  • People who copy and paste these long inspiring status messages and take credit for it when it was actually written by someone else. Unless somebody points out, "Oh, I love this quote," not a word will be said about it. 
I'm allowed to be petty and whine this week since I'm bored out of my mind and in pain. The only two sources of entertainment I have are my iPhone & computer. TV is an option but I get bored too easily. Then again, there's the Zimmerman trial, but nothing is gonna beat the Jodi Arias trial. Is it twisted that I call it "entertainment"? This is how our media wants us to view murders and unjustified sentences I guess. So, please please please throw some prayers and healing vibes my way so I can get out of this house and out of this bed so I join life again! The 9 lbs I lost being diligent on the Paleo and low-carb diet all came crashing down on me, even added an extra pound for good luck. So please, prayers! My back can't take it no mo'. 

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Monday, July 08, 2013

Prescription: Two Tokes and a Glass of Wine

Sometimes you never truly know what measures you'll go to until you have severe chronic pain that lasts for over a week or more. I'm only on week two with excruciating back pain and I. have. had. it. I had two good days, meaning, I could walk around and make a drink. That's it. I forget about all the "abilities" I have, now focusing in on all my "disabilities" that I've come across. The rheumatologist wanted to give me a prescription strength of Aleve, because he said that the Toradol and Advil I was taking could possibly give me a heart attack. Great. I spent hours Googling that one. I just thought stomach upset and that was that. Another 'fear' to jot down on my list. Then I found out the prescription he gave me was even more harmful to my heart. So now, I'm freaking out over the heart attack meds, and wanted something a bit more natural. I was reintroduced with 'medicinal' cannabis. Back then it was more recreational - well, maybe it was more of anxiety provoking paranoia type of thing with me, but today as an adult, it took away every single pain in every area of my being. Two tokes and a glass of wine - that's it. The relief it gave me not only helped with my pain, but it helped my mood, my anxiety and it let me sleep for eight hours straight through ever since I've been taking it. I don't worry or obsess about little things anymore. I'm quite tolerable now --- meaning, Madelene finds me tolerable to be around. So, it has helped our relationship a great deal. We're laughing more, relaxing more and not making a big fuss over this and that. I haven't bought any tied dyed shirts or bandanas yet, but I tell ya -- now I know why they want to make this stuff legalized in every state. It's not only natural, but it has no harmful side effects, while Advil and other "larger" narcotic drugs they freely toss at you are killing people every single day. I remember a friend of mine always suggesting this pain reliever, and I just laughed and thought they just wanted an excuse to get high. I remember how it helped my dad when he was in his beginning stages of cancer. Instead of using the oxycontin, I gave him two small homemade pot muffins that my friend had personally baked for him. He started joking around and then singing old country songs. When I asked, "Hey Dad, how's your pain now?" He chuckled and said, "What pain? I had pain?" But, the stigma of illegal marijuana loomed over my mom's head a bit, and with good reason. I totally understood and didn't push it. I'm not making this a habit, I'm treating it just as I would with any other type of pain medicine.

"Why is she screaming so much??"
So the doctor diagnosed me with "herniated disc syndrome". I'm seeing a physical therapist as suggested and I'm also going about my own ways and seeing my chiropractor that they of course are against. Mom suggested I use a cane. It's either that or a Hoveround. (Mine would be a lot cooler of course.) I'm ruling all psychosomatic symptoms out because this is one helluva' ride I'm on these days. I can barely walk down the stairs, get out of bed or even take my little dog for a walk because that requires getting down to the ground to leash that little beast. But I have that dog never leaves my side when I'm at my worst pain. Frightened, yes, but she doesn't leave me for one second. I can wash dishes, clean the counters but I can't make the bed which is torturing my soul. I always - always - always make my bed or I feel out of sorts. I'm hoping my wife reads that last sentence. But for real - she has been such a great help, even helping me get into the shower, walking me down the stairs, making me breakfast on her days off, walking the dog and being such great company. I may have more to bitch about this week, but if I'm slacking on the blog posts, please forgive me. For now, I'm just going to rely on two tokes and a glass of wine. Cheers.

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Wednesday, July 03, 2013

And Yet, Another Ailment

As I sit here and type, every joint in my fingers, hands, arms are going 'clickity-click-click'. I've been having joint pain really bad lately. It then progressed into my elbows, spine, legs, knees, ankles, toes - you get my drift. I found myself literally stuck in my bed screaming for help one morning. But let me just backtrack to last Friday. My sister came over with her two adorable dogs, which Lola goes nuts for. They're now a little 'pack'. My sis (being the little athlete she is) runs all three dogs up our incredibly hilly driveway and into the woods. Lola. loves. it. Anytime I say, "Is Aunt Carla coming over?" She'll immediately jump up and look for her out on the deck. As we were watching the dogs play together, we decided to take the little party over back to my sister's house. After a few cocktails, I found myself having the guts to walk the trails with my sister and the three dogs. Not only did I overexert myself because I haven't been active in quite some time, but I even jumped in the pool with all my clothes on because I wanted Lola to swim around. And what a little swimmer she is! The things we do for our kids, right? Evening was falling and so was I. My back started to ache with such intensity that I could hardly get out of the car when I got home. In 85 degree weather, I sat in the car with the seat warmers on high. Madelene had to help me up the stairs to get into bed. The entire week, I was in extreme pain. When Monday morning came, I was screaming like as if someone was murdering me. Mad sent me to the ER so I could get some pain relief. I hobbled into the waiting room to be checked in, clutching onto Madelene, shaking and crying. There were people in front of me with bruises or something minor to be looked at. A nurse saw my agony and moved me up to priority. They stuck me on a bed in the hallway of the emergency room in front of the nurse's station. They were packed to the gills.

This handsome male nurse comes up to me and asks me a series of questions faster than an auctioneer. "Fevervomitingnauseadizzinessshortofbreath?" I just stared at him and said, "Oh c'mon! Do you really hate your job that much?"  He then said, "I'm sorry. I'm working with someone who is just extremely lazy today and I'm just stressed out." Every single other female nurse was all up in his business, flipping their hair and just basically swooning over him. Even as a lesbian, I could even see his sexy factor.  He gave me 30 mg of Toradol through an IV and then told me to pee in a cup. "Sir? I'm so crinkled up that I can't even reach 'there' at this point." He laughed and said, "Oh now you can. Trust me." So, I got up. I GOT UP. By myself. This Toradol had no 'dizzy' side effects --- just relief from all the pain that was in every. inch. of. my. being. I walked into the bathroom and did everything effortlessly. After taking some blood tests, they determined that I did not have rheumatoid arthritis nor did I have any lupus or viral infection that would have caused this pain. They chucked it up to "myalgia" - in other words, "I have no fucking clue what you have." Just like the good ol' "I don't know" diagnosis' like, "costochondritis", "spider bite" and "gastritis". It's an easy way out for the medical staff so they can release you and make room for the other poor sap with misdiagnosed ailments. Waiting to be released all depends on whose shifts are ending, and that can take up to an hour or more. While waiting there, I saw a whole lotta' shit go down. One lady hopped up on crack was screaming bloody murder, kicking the nurse in her side and spitting on the doctors. She had to be tied down into a bed meant for psychiatric patients. She was absolutely out of her mind. I was happy to leave, being able to walk by myself and hold a prescription for Toradol for later use.

But the agony didn't stop there. The pill form of Toradol ripped apart my stomach. I was spitting up blood and concerned that I was having internal bleeding. I had to stop taking it. The pain kicked into high gear again. While sitting on the couch, Mad started clutching her chest. "What's wrong?" I said, since she never complains about anything. Jolts of pain were making her hold her chest even tighter. It was pretty interesting how my pain temporarily left my body so I could jump up and grab three baby aspirins and then call 911, dreading to see the same faces who pick me up for chest pain. The operator was so mean and nasty, that I yelled at her, screaming, "Just bring a fucking ambulance!" She then said, "Do you have aspirin?" I said, "Yes, I gave her three baby aspirins. I'm no stranger to this protocol." She then said, "Take four aspirins out of the bottle and give them to her." I yelled, "I. DID. THAT. ALREADY!" She said, "Give her the FOUR ASPIRINS NOW!" So, I handed her four more aspirins. When the EMT crew came, they looked at me and said, "What's up Deb?" Embarrassing. "Not me this time, her." They raised their eyebrows and said, "Well we never came for you before." The other guy looked around and said, "Wow, I was never in this part of the house," making it seem as though they've been there more than a dozen times. (And they have.) I have to say, I was a bit proud of not being the victim here in some twisted way, until they asked Mad, "Well what were you doing yesterday?" She then pointed to me and said, "I was in the hospital with her." They just gave me this familiar look like, "No shit."  Anyway, they determined it was all muscular related and to just relax and take ibuprofen. They then sat down on the couches --no lie-- and spoke about THEIR ailments. They were a bit taken aback by the amount of aspirin she consumed. They told her to be careful and not injure herself because she wouldn't be able to clot easily, or at all. And to be careful about falling or injuring herself in other ways in fear of internal bleeding.

We made it out alive. We're still in pain but relieved it wasn't anything serious on both our parts. This morning I was able to take a much needed shower, wash my hair and dress up to do basically nothing. I will say this though: as much as I complain doing certain things that require movement, I will never take for granted my ability to move and function on a fairly decent level. After reading message boards on lower back pain and how sometimes, it never goes away where the person occasionally needs a wheelchair to get around, I'm going to complain much less. I'm going to enjoy every errand, every walk with my dog and even the occasional jump in the pool with my little chihuahua just to get her legs moving more. For now, please send some healing vibes for my wife and I - we're still not out of the woods yet, but we're trying our hardest. I'll write more when my carpal tunnel eases up. And yet, another ailment.

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Emotional Self-Preservation

"I'm Sorry." After the last couple of years, and whatever it is that you may be personally going through, it's especially ...