The Zen Pretzel Trick
Welcome to the insights, ponderings and meanderings of a forty-something punk-rock momma with secondary-progressive multiple sclerosis and trigeminal neuralgia in Portland. Rather than provoke thought, I prefer to poke it with a giant stick. 🌀
Monday, August 29, 2005
Nutbags in a Theatre: Throwing Out Disabled Boy for Laughing Too Loud"
WALLKILL, N.Y. -- The family of a disabled 7-year-old boy wants an apology from a movie theater after the manager threw him out for laughing too loudly.The parents of Anthony Pratti said it happened Sunday in Wallkill, when they took their son to see "March of the Penquins."
The boy has cerebral palsy and autism. The family said he was enjoying the movie from his wheelchair when a theater worker said he was laughing too loudly, and would have to leave. Gina Pratti said they would try to have their son laugh more quietly, but the manager wanted him to leave.
She said she was dumbfounded when the manager told them the entire family didn't have to go, just the boy in the wheelchair.
The manager refunded everyone's money.
OK, now I have kids---and a disabled one at that---but I am not a total doofus. I don't bring my kids to adult movies (which, in my household, means anything PG-13 and over). I don't let them sit there and scream, cry and throw tantrums in a theatre. I don't let them punch or kick peoples' chairs, or throw things. I don't let them act like little monsters.
But LAUGHING? Come on, people.
First of all, it's a kid movie. And a damned cute one, from what I can tell. I cannot imagine even reprimanding a 'normal' kid for laughing loudly at the antics of some adorable penguins...but throwing out a kid in a wheelchair for enjoying a fucking film? Without even giving the parents an opportunity to try to quiet him down so whatever fucknut was actually bothered by the sound of a disabled child's joy could get some peace and quiet? And for fuck's sake...who goes to a kid's movie and expects it to be quiet, anyway? And what kind of coldhearted, swamp-sucking bastard gets offended by a disabled child's glee? A proctologist with the jaws of life couldn't pry that stick from this motherfucker's ass.
I am reminded of some people on a message board, years ago, who told me I shouldn't take my beloved little girl to the zoo, movies or pretty much anywhere in public because her Tourette's Syndrome might "bother" someone. You know what? FUCK THEM. The kind of people who would be bothered by a disabled child aren't the sort of people I would ever, in a million years, care to cater to. If you are that motherfucking sensitive, it's not MY kid who should stay indoors. Bastards.
To the assmunch who made the complaint: go to the hospital. You're clearly missing a heart. You son of a toothless whore.
And to the theatre who actually threw out this child, and then expected his family to stay there while he was dumped elsewhere: go to the hospital. You're clearly missing a brain. You sons of a two-dollar slut on payday.
Not only should they apologize...they should give this boy a free screening to the movie, so he can watch the penguins without fear of being bodily removed. And I hope he laughs so loud they can hear him in the next county. He deserves it.
Friday, August 26, 2005
I got my new tattoo today, from my fabulous artist, Mav. It's based on the Chalice Well symbol. According to legend, the Holy Grail was placed inside the Chalice Well at Glastonbury Abbey in Glastobury, U.K....which, some say, is the ancient Isle of Avalon. It's the perfect tattoo for an Arthurian junkie like me. My dream is to someday have my wedding vows renewed at the Abbey. The Well is also said to have healing properties, and this tattoo reaffirms my belief that someday, MS will be cured. I think Mav did a fabulous job with the design. I love it!
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Pain, Revisited...and No More Freaking Spam Comments!
First off, any prayers, glows or good thoughts y'all could sling my way, I would appreciate greatly. The pain today is MASSIVE. The worst it has been in a long, long time. I don't know how I am going to be able to stay out of the hospital...
Next...as you may or may not have noticed, I had to delete the "Miami Ink vs. Inked" post (I kept a copy, and will put it back up at a later date). It was slammed by no less than THIRTY spam comments. I attempted to delete the spam, but the next time I would check...there was even more. I'm assuming that the assholes are doing searches on various words and spamming the posts that show up, so I've removed it for now. To the spammers: find somewhere else to peddle your useless shit. My comments area, like my kitchen, is a no-spam zone.
Finally, to lighten the mood, I offer up the photo above of some incredibly cool hair. I've seen long dreds before...but man, this guy is the Crystal Gayle of reggae.
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Tin God Syndrome: Caligula, the Ongoing Saga
Well, I have yet to hear back from the patient representative regarding my complaints about Caligula. I'll give her one more day, and then I'm calling again.
But that doesn't mean I haven't heard from Caligula himself.
Yesterday, I went to my doctor's office to be seen after my recent trip to the ER and run-in with that bastard Caligula. Now, my regular doctor isn't a bad sort. She's kind of young, but she's compassionate and willing to listen to the patient. There's a lot to be said for that.
Anyhoo, she asks me about the ER visit and I tell her all about my two run-ins with Caligula, and how awful he was. When I told her about him shaking my head and tapping my face, she was appalled. She immediately went to look for the ER report.
I could tell right away that said report wasn't good news. She had that unfortunate look on her face that people get when they are deciding whether or not to let you know you have spinach in your teeth and it was there the whole time you were talking to your boss/mother-in-law/cute bartender.
First, she tells me that according to the records from the first ER visit, Caligula did an actual physical examination for twenty-two minutes. The recommended exam for trigeminal neuralgia takes about two minutes. Secondly, he DID indeed call other hospitals to see if I had been there recently for medication, forcing me to wait in pain while he did so. His notes also indicated that he believed I was drug-seeking.
At this time, I told my doctor that Caligula never once asked for a drug test; in accordance with my pain management contract, had he asked me, I would have given him one. Just like the other dozen or so I've taken over the last few years, it would have been clean.
I can see, however, that this is NOT the bad news she's so reluctant to share. That morsel was on the second ER report.
On THIS report, the majority of his comments had more to do with my haircut, tattoos and nose ring than with my physical condition. But worse, his notes indicated that as it was the second trip in a month, in his view I was in fact drug-seeking. To bolster this belief, he added for "proof" that my left hand appeared to be burned in a manner that was consistant with a crack pipe.
A CRACK PIPE.
It took me a moment to recover from the shock of this. As I was trying to gather my thoughts, my doctor let me know in no uncertain terms that she was writing a report of her own, to be attached to the ER report, stating unequivacably that she had treated the burn within 12 hours of its occurance and it was NOT consistant with a pipe burn, but was clearly and without doubt a liquid scalding. Also, her report would include the fact that I have had numerous drug tests, and not a single one has ever shown any illegal drug use. Not to mention the fact that I have never exceeded my alloted amount of medication, did not even seek stronger medication for the first six years of my condition, and have repeatedly refused narcotics in favor of non-narcotic medicines like Torradol.
To say that I am offended and horrified by Caligula's oral diarrhea is putting it mildly. This utter bull feces is on my medical record. I, a person with a well-documented and diagnosed chronic pain disorder, have been accused of being a crackhead. A clumsy crackhead.
I've called my lawyer for advice. I'm also in the process of drafting letters to the medical board and the hospital review board. This time, Caligula's gone way too far.
Thursday, August 18, 2005
Tin God Syndrome: Caligula Strikes Again
Last night, I simply could not take any more pain. I had to sleep. I haven't sleep more than two or so hours at a time in weeks, and I was at the breaking point. I called the doctor on call, who sent me to the hospital. I took a notebook with me, which ended up being a good idea, as I was there long enough to need a legal change of address.
Anyhoo, here's what I observed during last night's trip to that hell known as the Emergency Room:
I go the the check-in window. I'm standing behind two extremely obese women who are waiting to get visitor's passes to the maternity ward. One is wearing
what can only be described as "fishnet short-shorts." You can clearly see her thong through them. I'm doing my best to look elsewhere. The women chat with the check-in gal endlessly about the new addition to their family, completely oblivious to the fact that there is a woman in pain and walking with a cane standing behind them waiting to check in. Finally, they move on. I pull out my Cheat Sheet, show it to the check-in gal and the ER process begins.
The waiting room is nearly empty, which I take as a good indicator that I might not be here too long before being seen. As far as I can tell, there are only two actual patients in the room with me:
Patient #1 is a white woman in a hospital wheelchair. She is accompanied by her boyfriend, and they are both wearing Dairy Queen uniforms. The woman has an Ace bandage around her arm, but seems to be in high spirits. They are both watching "Roseanne" on the tv and laughing loudly. I wish I could share their good mood, but it feels like my face is being electrocuted.
Patient #2 is a Hispanic male, maybe 18 or 19 years old. I don't know what's wrong with him, but it's clearly not a stomachache: he's eating a Big Mac meal and when he finishes that off, he goes to the vending machine and gets two bags of chips and a Dr. Pepper.
Also in the room is a 20-something, attractive African-American woman
ignoring the signs asking that cell phones be turned off. She receives call after call, and complains in a booming voice about how her boyfriend has food poisoning so now she's had to waste the night in an ER. I turn my hearing aid down when she begins to describe to one of the lucky callers the exact composition and frequency of the boyfriend's vomitting spells. Ewww.
There is a phone provided for the room's use...but that is being commandeered by an African-American woman in her late 50's. Just as the other woman ignored the "no cell phones" signs, this one ignores the "calls must be limited to five minutes" sign next to the phone. She was on the phone when I arrived, and didn't get off for an hour...at which point, she left the hospital. I am not sure if she came in with a patient, or just wanted to avoid using a pay phone. At least she was not discussing bodily fluids.
The triage nurse calls my name. I show her my Cheat Sheet, and she signs me in. I notice that she doesn't ask me what my level my pain is on the pain scale...but I don't want to speak, anyway, so I don't press the issue. It occurs to me (again) that I really must take a sign language refresher course. It would make these trips so much easier and less painful.
About a dozen young, very attractive white people come rushing into the room. The girls all look like they came straight from a shooting of America's Next
Top Model. The guys are all very The OC-ish.
They are all visibly distraught over their friend, "Mandy," who came there by ambulance. For the next hour or so, I hear bits and pieces of what happened to Mandy. Only one girl there apparently witnessed the entire thing, but she left maybe 15 minutes into the Yuppie Squadron's vigil. I hear the words "car," "horrible," "blood" and "shattered" repeatedly. I know I shouldn't be eavesdropping...but I'm in pain and bored stiff. I turn my hearing aid up.
Two guys arrive. Patient #3 has a shaved head and bad, prison-type tattoos all over his legs. His buddy has very long, 80's-era-Metallica hair. They sit in a corner as far from the Yuppie Sqaudron as they can get.
Hot on their heels, Yuppie Mom has arrived. She is frantic to know what has happened to Mandy. There is one girl in the group (whom I am going to call "Social Climber") who has pretty much taken over since the Sqaudron
arrived--despite the fact that next to no one, including Yuppie Mom and Mandy's boyfriend--seems to know who she is.
It is from Social Climber that the Story of Mandy in its entirety is finally told.
I was not far off the mark when I described the girls: they are, in fact, models. They were putting on a Fall fashion show, and afterwards, went to a "wrap-up" party. They car-pooled in, and when they were getting ready to leave, it became clear that the girl who drove Social Climber and Mandy, someone named "Robin," had been drinking at the party and shouldn't drive. Robin and her friend "Becca" became angry when Mandy suggested that Social Climber drive instead
(a point she repeats several times; Social Climber is doing her best to make sure everyone knows she's MANDY'S FRIEND and a VERY IMPORTANT PERSON). Apparently, Robin and Becca were angry and jealous that Mandy had gotten "first run" on the catwalk, and were in no mood to hear lip from her about driving. They all got in the car, with Robin and Becca in the front seat and Mandy and Social Climber in the back. The other car of models was still loading up; that car contained the girl witness who left earlier in the night and had yet to load up, and because of that, she saw the entire event.
As I said, the four girls are in the car, when Robin gasps and announces that she has dropped the "folder," which contains their paperwork and without which they will not be paid. She gets out of the car, looks under the car, and then tells everyone the folder has fallen under the vehicle. Robin then gets back in the car and asks Mandy to retrieve it as she is the tallest and therefore has the longest reach. Mandy gets out of the car, crouches down and reaches her hand under the car to search for the folder.
Robin releases the emergency break (they were on an incline)and the car rolls over Mandy's arm.
At this point, Social Climber announces three or four times that it was, in fact, she who called 911 so soon after the incident. It was she who took the keys from Robin so she could not drive away (although just how and when she did this, she never mentioned). And it was she who "tipped off" the police about Robin's drinking (cause you know, cops can never tell when a driver is drunk or not @@). And it was she who called Yuppie Mom and Mandy's boyfriend to tell
them to come to the hospital. And not only was Social Climber at the hospital
for Mandy, by golly, she was gonna stay there for as long as she was needed, no matter what!
Only when Yuppie Mom thanks and praises her enough to appease her giant ego does Social Climber stop bragging about her part in the story. One of the males
in the Sqaudron is actually so bored with Social Climber that he goes across the room and changes the channel from Murphy Brown (which I was watching) to sports (which I wouldn't watch even for a pinch in the ass from James
Spader). He actually tells the room prior to making the switch, "I'm sorry for anyone watching this, but I gotta change the channel!" in the most condescending voice. I AM watching the show, but this guy doesn't care and I can't argue. To make matters worse, he stands and watches it for a few minutes and then wanders away. He's gone for upwards of a half an hour. I would have changed it back, but by that time Dairy Queen boyfriend has became noticebly interested in some football show. Sigh.
The admitting clerk FINALLY calls my name. I go into the little office, sign the financial papers and wait for them to type every last detail of my life into the computer. By the time I get back to the waiting room, it has mostly cleared out. Yuppie Mom, Social Climber, one of Mandy's friends and I are all that is left.
As I am now the last patient in the waiting room, I thought, surely I'll be seen soon?
The Hispanic Big Mac Attack guy has now been seen, examined and discharged. He is leaving the hospital with his discharge papers. I am STILL here, 3 hours later. The pain is getting worse and worse, and I am beginning to panic. I change the channel. Still Murphy Brown.
My name is finally called! Hallelujah! I follow the male nurse down the hall and to my room. I turn on the little tv. Murphy Brown.
The door opens, and if my face had not been so incredibly painful my jaw would have hit the floor. It's CALIGULA.
I immediately ask for another doctor. Caligula looks at me for a moment, and then recognition sets in. He then lets me know that the ER is extremely busy tonight, and if I wanted to see another doctor it would mean two more hours sitting in pain. I give in. I do, however, insist on having a nurse in there with us. He's irritated, but complies. He says nothing to me until the nurse, a sweet lady with a Jennifer Aniston-type hairdo, arrives.
Caligula: Weren't you in here last week?
Me: No, about three weeks ago.
Caligula. Uh huh. Why are you here today, same thing?
Caligula: Is it any better, worse?
Me: It's worse. I can't sleep. I'm exhausted.
Caligula: Well, what do you want me to do?
Me: (thinking, I don't know, be a doctor?) I spoke with my doctor. She told me to come in and per my pain management contract, get a shot.
Caligula: (sneering) Of what?
Me: (thinking, of Kahlua? What the fuck do you think?) Morphine and Phenergan.
Caligula: (rolls eyes) Those aren't for sleeping, you know.
Me: (thinking, what an idiot) I can't sleep because of the pain.
Caligula: Right. Did you get your haircut?
(I had my mowhak re-shaved the other day)
Caligula: (sneers) Let's get you examined. (reaches for gloves and the dreaded tongue depresser, his preferred instrument for torture).
Me: (showing him the note from the dentist) My dentist has said, no oral exams.
Caligula: (angry) Why?
Me: (beginning to wonder if Caligula CAN read, as he never seems to notice the plainly obvious on anything written I've ever given him) It will exacerbate my pain and the infection. I am on penicilin for it now.
Caligula: That's not true.
Me: What is not true?
Caligula: It won't exacerbate the infection.
Me: Well, that's what she ordered.
Caligula: Well, it's not true.
Me: It won't exacerbate the infection, you are absolutely positive?
Caligula: I'm positive.
Me: But it WILL exacerbate the pain.
Caligula: I HAVE to look in there. (Once again, Caligula doctors never think much of pain; it's a complete non-issue for them).
Me: How many years were you in dental school?
Caligula: (looks pissed) That's not the point. Open wide.
Me: I will open as wide as I can.
Caligula: OPEN WIDE.
Me: (in a very firm tone) That's as much as I will do.
Caligula begins his exam. The nurse comes and takes my hand. Caligula does not do a "full" version of his horror show act today, and I am positive it is only because of her presence. The exam takes only two or three minutes. He doesn't shake my head this time. I am relieved.
Caligula: Well, I'm ordering you a shot. ONE SHOT.
Me: (confused) I only need one shot. Look at my file. I have never asked for more.
Caligula: (looks at me in disbelief). Well, just ONE shot. Nurse?
They leave the room. The pain is unbelievably worse. I hate this guy.
A nurse (not the nice one from the exam) comes in with my shot. She tells me she'll be back in fifteen minutes to see how I'm doing.
No nurse. The shot is beginning to kick in, and I am nearly weeping with relief.
The nurse finally arrives with discharge papers. She never asks me how I'm feeling. She rushes in, and tries to rush back out. I stop her, and ask if I can speak with the doctor before leaving. She tells me it's not likely, can she pass along a message.
"Sure. You can tell him that I'm not drug-seeking. I don't enjoy coming here. It's not how I wanted to spend my evening. It's dehumanizing to have to beg for pain relief. And his unnecessary exams just make both my pain and my humiliation more acute.
You can tell him that for me."
The nurse takes a moment to pick her jaw up off the floor, and asks me if I need a copy of the patient rights statement and the number for the hospital administrator. I say yes, please. She gives me them, and leaves.
On my way out, I notice several members of the Yuppie Squadron entering a room near the exit doors. I peer inside (yes, I'm nosy) and see a beautiful young girl with her shoulder and arm in a cast. She looks so very sad. This, clearly, is Mandy. Yuppie Mom is there, talking on her cell phone (does NO ONE notice
the "no cell phones" signs?). Social Climber is nowhere to be seen.
She sees me looking at her, and I smile and say, "So...you're Miss Popularity! You'd better get well soon, dear. There's a lot of people pulling for you." Mandy smiles.
I finally make it home. I'm asleep for about two hours before the pain comes back.
Thank you, Doctor Numbnuts.
I've called the administrator, who gave me the number for the patient representative, who is supposed to call me back on Monday to discuss my two encounters with Caligula. I can tell you this---I'm through with him. I don't care how much longer I would have to wait to see another doctor---I will NEVER be "treated" by this asshole again.
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
Pain, Pain, Go Away...So I Can Have a Clean House!
Yep...I'm in pain again. I apologize for this post being very long, very whiny and very bitchy. Extreme pain does
this to me, and if you skip this post, I'll not blame you one bit. My husband has to listen to me bitch, but you don't.
You know, I thought the trigeminal neuralgia was bad when I only got maybe a dozen or so attacks per year. But this, this every day crap for the last six months...I had no idea how bad it could be.
The latest thorn in my side is lack of sleep. I can FALL asleep, I just can't STAY asleep. I wake up every two to three hours at most...sometimes, I wake up 20 min. to an hour after I fall asleep. This goes on all night.
I'm shaky all over, and have a dull headache, from lack of sleep. I'm so exhausted, all I can think about is sleep: how wonderful it feels to crawl under the covers in my freezing-cold bedroom, snuggle up against my body pillow, and drift off to dreamland...and mostly importantly, STAY there for a good eight hours.
It doesn't help that the pills I take to keep the pain at bay make you incredibly drowsy. I suspect the heat is an issue here as well...heat like this is enough to make anyone sleepy, let alone someone with heat-reactive MS. Another factor is that the pain is so bad these days, I can only sleep flat on my back...probably my least favorite sleep position. Jonathan asked me why this is so the other day...and I wanted to smack him. I have G-cup boobs, for crying out loud. YOU try to sleep with a 20 pound sack of potatoes on your chest, and then we'll talk.
I'm not getting anything accomplished, because I'm just too tired. My kitchen is a disaster area. The laundry pile is large enough to need its own zip code. Jonathan is helping out the best he can, but he's working a lot of overtime because of all the people on vacation. There's only so much he can do.
I have tried, Lord knows I have, to not let the housework get to me. I know that as a person with MS, I have to pick my battles. Sometimes a lot will get done, sometimes a little...and sometimes, nothing. But I just can't get over feeling lazy for not having EVERYTHING done.
This goes back to my father and former stepmonster. My dad is a neat freak. When I was a kid, we could not go to school until our bed was made and the breakfast dishes were done. Dirty rooms were not tolerated. Laundry had to be put away the very second it was done: nothing made him angrier than clothing left in a dryer for even a few minutes. Even on Christmas morning, we couldn't open our presents until the breakfast dishes were washed and the kitchen and dining area clean (talk about torture for a little kid, lol). It was impossible as an adolescent to be discrete about menstration: my father absolutely forbade any sanitary items to be discarded in his home. You could not flush tampons, nor even throw away the wrappers from maxi pads inside the house. Day or night, they had to be taken to the garbage can outside. An unexpected side-effect of my dad's period phobia was that when I went through my teenage rebellious stage, it was very easy to hide weed: I simply took a tampon carefully out of its wrapper and out of the cardboard and put the joints inside. Even though he searched our rooms on a fairly regular basis, he never found them there...a firing squad couldn't force that man to open a box of tampons.
My father often made fun of my mother, who was much more laid back about housecleaning (she once confided in me that it was a rebellion of sorts on her part, after having been married
to Mr. Hospital Corners for ten years). My stepsister-in-law was also a target for namecalling by my dad and stepmonster; now, granted, her house was filthy. But they were downright cruel to her about it.
The real rub in this was that although my stepmonster loudly proclaimed her pride in her clean home, and how very difficult it was to keep it that way...I never in 18 years saw her wash a dish or sweep a floor. I saw her sit on her giant backside and watch a lot of soap operas (what a stereotype in action she was), but run the vacuum? You've got to be kidding. That's what kids were for. And with ten kids in the house, there were more than enough hands to do all the chores. I think I saw her do laundry a few times...when we had company. But other than that...it was all us. Our chore lists were a mile long. And I resented the hell out of it when I was a kid.
Part of our "chores" was caring for my stepsister, "Lori." Lori had very severe cerebral palsy. She couldn't walk, talk or see. She was prone to seizures as well. She was very much like a baby. A baby my stepmonster couldn't be bothered with to care for herself.
Now, once again, whenever we had company, Stepmonster made a big show of feeding and caring for Lori. But it was just a show. Feeding, bathing, dressing, putting to bed and even changing her diapers were all on our chore lists. Basically, we took turns: every day it was someone else's job to "handle" Lori. My younger sister especially grew to resent Lori deeply for this. Now, I could understand resenting Stepmonster for pawning off her kid on us...but Lori was an innocent. But that logic was beyond my younger sister, who just simply hated Lori and couldn't be disuaded otherwise.
Now that I am an adult with a special-needs child of my own...I am really sickened by the fact that Stepmonster had little kids taking care of Lori. If Lori cried, Stepmonster would get irritated and yell for whoever's turn it was to care for Lori to do something about it. She wouldn't actually budge herself. Granted, it must take a lot of effort for someone that fucking fat to move a couple of feet (Stepmonster was easily 450 pounds; she had her stomach stapled three times and burst the staples each time within weeks), but come on. Not to mention the fact that at 10 years old (the youngest age that my parents deemed capable of beginning to "do our share" with Lori), we were absolutely not qualified to care for this child: we were powerless if she started to choke or have a seizure, we could barely lift her to change her diapers, bathe her and carry her to bed...and we certainly had no business giving her medicine (yep...that too was on the chore list). And yet...this continued until my stepsister became so very sick, my father and stepmonster were forced to hire in-home nursing care for her. I think only my youngest brother was living at home at the time.
In their defense: Stepmonster and my father made sure that Lori had the best doctors, the best schools, the best adaptive equipment available. And they made sure everyone who would listen knew about it, too. And while as a kid I had a sneaky suspicion that using young children as aides for a kid with cerebral palsy wasn't the best idea...as an adult, with a disability of my own and a child with disabilities...I am shocked and horrified when I think back on it. Then again, I'm shocked and horrified when I think about a lot of things that happened to me as a kid.
I miss Lori. When my father and stepmonster divorced, she refused to allow Dad to see Lori anymore. And because Lori is officially an adult now, she can do that. Even though when my dad met the fucking bitch, Lori was wearing dish towels for diapers and her life expectancy was six years old, tops. My dad wouldn't take that as an answer, and did everything he could, saw every specialist in the Midwest, to keep Lori healthy and alive. She turns 27 in three days. I do miss her. I love how she would get so happy when she heard my voice, and how much she loved the sound of babies near her. But Stepmonster and I had a falling out, and visits are now out of the question.
What was the falling out over, you ask? Well, I attempted to keep the line of communication open between myself and Stepmonster after the divorce, for Lori's sake. Without Lori in the picture, I would have just written the nasty bitch off completely. To say she made my childhood miserable is an understatement. She is one of those people who never smiles, unless it's at someone else's misfortune. An example: one of her favorite things to do when I was very young was to pretend to befriend me for a short time. She'd take me out to eat, go to the salon and get our nails done, that sort of thing. This would go on for days, until she would get your confidence. She'd tell you that your secrets were safe with her...and then she'd immediately tell my father, often blowing it way out of proportion to make him even angrier. A regular Linda Tripp. What's worse, if you didn't tell her anything she could use...she'd just make something up. Linda Tripp meets Dan Rather, I guess.
Anyway, believe it or not, this vicious cuntbug is a registered nurse. God help her victims, I mean, patients. She's the kind of evil skank who would put IV's in the most painful spots just to watch you suffer. Getting back to the point: about four or five months after the breakup, she calls me in the middle of the night from the hospital she works at, telling me my elderly maternal grandfather (he'll be 96 at the end of this month) is there and not expected to survive. I should get on a plane ASAP, she tells me. Grandpa is dying.
Horrified, I call my grandfather's only living child, my aunt "Betsy." She is none too happy to be awakened so late...especially as Grandpa is most certainly NOT dying. A part in his pacemaker was recalled, and because of his age the doctor felt it was best for him to spend the night after having it replaced. He was scheduled to be released in the morning. Have no fear, Betsy assured me: she'd have called if it were anything serious.
I was LIVID with Stepmonster. How dare she put me through that, so soon after losing my mother! What kind of sick beast does that to people?!?
The corpulent douchebag called me back an hour after I had first spoken to her, and about a half-hour after I'd hung up with Betsy. She actually wanted to know what time my flight was coming in, as she'd be more than happy to pick me up at the airport and drive me to my grandfather's "deathbed."
I let her have it, and for the first time in my life, I really let the creep know how I felt about her and her twisted fucking mindgames. I'd argued with her before, but nothing like this. I was pissed beyond reason, and said some things you can't really go back on. She said some things to me in the same vein.
And thus...she won't let me see Lori. I don't even know if Lori is alive or not...she was pretty close to the end the last time I saw her, which was six or so years ago.
The last I heard about Stepmonster from the rumor mill, she was wanting to reconcile with Dad. But Dad would have none of it. Which thrills me to no end. I can take these Internet hoes...but Stepmonster? No thanks.
So to get back to the original point...thanks to Dad and Stepmonster, I feel incredibly lazy if my house isn't Donna Reed clean. I know its silly, I do. And I try to tell myself that I have MS and trigeminal neuralgia. I have three kids: one with special needs and one a toddler, not to mention a preteen who has to be cojoled into doing chores when he'd rather be skateboarding. I keep saying to myself, no one expects your house to be spik-and-span. The fact that you can still see the floor in the kids' rooms should be comfort enough.
I used to really drive Jonathan crazy by doing housework when I was not in the shape to do it, and thus, making myself sicker. He'd beg, threaten and bribe me to NOT clean the house. And I've finally gotten to the point where I am listening. If I'm sick, I won't risk my health because I want the rugs shampooed. It's not worth it.
But I can't get over the little voice in my head, my Dad's voice, teasing me for being lazy, for being dirty, for living in a pig sty. I'm working on it. Like my house, I'm a work in progress.
One of the things that has helped is a little poem I've put up on my kitchen wall, that I'd like to share with y'all now, and I'll quit my whining for one night:
Come on in, but don't expect to find
the dishes done, the floors ashine
we've crumpled rugs & toys galore
cluttering the yard & living room floor
the little ones we shelter here
don't thrive on a spotless atmosphere
they're more inclined to disarray
with carefree, even mess play
some future day, they'll fly the nest
and we'll have time to tackle the mess
but until then, what matters more
happy children, or a polished floor?
Monday, August 15, 2005
A Disturbing IM
Today, I got an Instant Message from a nine-year-old girl looking for a pen pal. I first let her know that I have a child her age, and that IM'ing strangers looking for pen pals can be very, very dangerous. Not everyone out there has a child's best interest in mind. I tried to tell her that there are very reputable pen pal organizations out there, and her teacher may know of one she could find a pen pal through. She told me she tried those "alot" and wanted to know if my child could be her pen pal. At that point, I let her know that if my little girl wanted a pen pal, I would steer her towards one of those organizations...NOT a stranger on the Internet. Just as she had no idea whether or not I was a dangerous person...I also had no idea whether or not she was.
She didn't answer back.
God help that child (if, of course, she really IS a child). The next person she IM's might not be a concerned mom like me.
Where are the parents? How can a NINE year old be left on the Internet, unsupervised, to solicit people to talk to? I shudder to think what the consequences could be. I cannot imagine letting Wren wander the Internet without me looking over her shoulder...and with IM's disabled. I can't even imagine letting PHOENIX do it...and he's 12.
I did used to allow Phoenix to have IM's, until he showed me several coming from people looking for "sex talk." He was 11 at the time. We disabled the IM's after that.
Time was, we parents only had to worry about the guy in the car offering candy to our kids, or the weird dude in the park pretending to look for a lost dog. Now we have to watch the teachers, the priests, the cops...and now we've got the Internet, where our kids can be violated without ever leaving our homes.
And until we in this society begin punishing child predators and molestors with REAL prison time, they are going to continue. Hell, you can get caught with drugs and do less time than you would for sexually abusing a child. If you do any time at all---remember the Michael Jackson trial, not so long ago? Here's a man who ADMITS to improper behavior with kids, admits to sleeping in the bed with them, a man who convinced several jurors that he was, in fact, a child molestor---but still walked free.
If it sounds like I am bitter: hell yes, I am. I was sexually assaulted as a very young child. The guy who assaulted me was also found guilty of sexually assaulting FOUR other girls---the youngest was four years old.
He served 18 months.
The "system" promised me that I would be told when and if he had a parole hearing...I was never informed. Neither were any of the other victims. I didn't know until I saw him behind the counter at a Home Depot. I ran to the bathroom and threw up. I have never forgotten how that moment felt: the utter terror and horror. Or how I felt when I called the D.A.'s office and was told they "lacked the manpower" to call all the victims: sickened and frustrated. Victimized, all over again. A little of those feelings have never left me. They are still a part of me, all these years later.
Heaven forfend that little girl ever knows what that is like.
Parents, we MUST be vigilant. Use parental controls. Supervise your child's Internet time. Turn over suspicious emails and IM's to your ISP. And most importantly: talk to your children. Let them know how to protect themselves, and to never be afraid to tell you when someone has talked to them or touched them inappropriately. Make the time.
I can only hope that child's parents are reading this, but I know how slim the likelyhood of that is. Still, for her sake....I hope they wise up, and soon.
Saturday, August 13, 2005
NDN NEWZ: Nutbag Disc Jockey Spews Anti-Native Rhetoric On Air
I've been asked by a good friend to copy this here. Please, take a moment and email these nutbags and let them know that racism is NOT acceptable!
Posted - 08/12/2005 : 11:19:14 PM
Sent: 8/9/2005 8:58 AM
My husband was listening to this sports radio station this morning on
his way to work. He was outraged! He called me to let me know how they were slandering our people. They had a rant going about how "stupid" Native Americans are because they don't want their names on sports teams. The also, and I quote "75% of Native Americans are alcoholics anyway, why should they care" Needless to say I was so angry I was almost in tears. I have sent emails to a few places already, but any help any of you are willing to give with this outrage, would be appreciated. I added some links here that might help. I don't belong to many groups anylonger, so if you would pass this one, I would be grateful!
The Dunham and Miller Show was the one this occured on btw.
SportsRadio 1310 The Ticket
3500 Maple Avenue
Dallas, Texas 75219
Ticket E-Mail & Contact Information
Steve Pryor - Production Director
Station: KTCK - AM, Dallas, Texas
Dial Position: 1310 AM
Format: 24 hour fast-paced sports personality radio station with Ticket
"Ticker" sports news updates every twenty minutes. ALL SPORTS. ALL THE
Ownership: Susquehanna Radio Corp.
3500 Maple Avenue, Suite 1310
Dallas, Texas 75219
Let's give em h***!
email but let them know who we are
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's Off to the Dentist I Go (Again)
I am dreading tomorrow. Yet another dental appointment. Eek gads, I will be so very glad when all of this dental work is over.
The problem, of course, is the trigeminal neuralgia. Guess what is the number one most likely thing to aggrivate it? Yep...dental work.
I have an unfortunate condition those of us in the NA community call "reservation mouth" or "rez rot." Basically, my teeth are rotting out due to toxic waste in my reservation's water. Every time I read some idiot on a message board telling us to "get over it, it all happened hundreds of years ago," I want to send them my dental bills. I'm 31 years old, and by the time all this is over, I will have full dentures. I have already lost nearly all of my teeth. Centuries ago, my ass.
The teeth themselves don't hurt, a curious side-effect of rez rot. I can have whole teeth fall out with no pain at all. But the dental work? It's leaving me in a state of utter misery.
Fortunately, my oral surgeon is a wonderful dentist. When I first came to her, literally shaking in fear as the X-rays alone had sent me into near-incapicitating pain, she was kind and gentle. She understood my condition, and made it clear she would do everything she could to make this as painless as possible. She also didn't bullshit me, which I appreciate. I hate, hate, HATE it when doctors bullshit you. They'll tell you something doesn't hurt that they damn well know is going to hurt like fucking hell, out of some misguided belief that liars relax people. Maybe some folks are like that, I don't know. I'm not one of them. I'd rather know, so I can prepare as best I can to cope with it.
Luckily, my dentist was as up-front with me as I prefer. She told me that I'll have ot be sedated for all the work...not for my comfort, as pretty much nothing will keep my neuralgia from acting up in the aftermath, but to prevent the neuralgia from locking my jaw shut and thus making it necessary to have yet another appointment for even more work, which in the end will cause even more pain. She also told me that if my pain meds aren't working, ask for more. A simple concept, I know, but one that is utterly beyond most doctors. So many of them seem to take your needing stronger relief as a personal insult to their mightly skills. After all, they didn't anticipate you needing anything stronger, so why do you? Morons.
Despite the great doctor and the promise of appropriate pain management...I'm still scared. I always am. I know that the common belief is that a person like me is supposed to be brave in the face of pain and suffer in silence and all that ridiculous apecrap, but that's not for me. It seems deceitful, to pretend to not be afraid of pain. Pain hurts.
So, if I'm not around in the next few days, that's why. Wish me luck...
Sunday, August 07, 2005
Happy Birthday, Fizz!
I want to wish a happy birthday to my best friend of sixteen years, Mr. Fizz.
What can I say about such a friend? When I met Fizz, I was a very bitter young lady, with a chip on my shoulder as big as Pam Anderson's implants. I wasn't looking for a best friend...but he wasn't about to take "no" for an answer. And I thank God for it. What would I have done, these past sixteen years, without him?
Through him, I learned about loyalty, about compassion, about what true friendship is all about. I also learned about how brave a person could be, how strong a person can be, in the face of hatred, loss and heartbreak. I have never ceased to be amazed by him.
Among the gifts he has given me: his undying devotion, his wonderful humor when I have needed a laugh, his shoulder to cry on when I needed to weep. When so many of my friends scattered in the face of my chronic illness...Fizz stood his ground, and became even more dear to me. It's hard to articulate what we mean to one another, or to describe the deep and abiding bond that exists between us. I'm not sure the words even exist. I know one thing for sure, though: I can count on very few things in life, but Fizz's friendship is, beyond a shadow of a doubt, one of the foremost.
Happy birthday, my friend. May this coming year bring you all the joy, love and happiness you so richly deserve.
Saturday, August 06, 2005
Birthdays All Around
Today, my best friend Fizz came over for awhile, and we exchanged birthday gifts (our birthdays are exactly one week apart). I shrieked with joy when I opened the present: a hardback copy of my favorite book, Catherine Christian's "The Pendragon"! I jumped for joy like a contestant on the "Price is Right."
Many thanks, Fizz.
Friday, August 05, 2005
NDN Newz: Reservation Life Worse than Iraq
Thursday, August 04, 2005
What a week it's been! On Sunday, I turned 31. I had an absolutely wonderful day. I got to sleep in, then we went to our favorite little Italian restaurant for dinner. Jonathan bought me a German chocolate cake, just like my mom used to make for me every year. I also got (in addition to my upcoming tattoo appointment) the DVD of "Greg the Bunny" (another great Fox show they cancelled way too soon) and a big box of chocolates. My dad was being a dick, as usual: he didn't call, and sent me a cheap card with pictures of his latest wedding included. Gee, Dad, what I always wanted: photos of your latest fiasco.
I wasn't about to let that get me down, however. All in all, I had a great birthday and I am looking forward to my tattoo!
On Tuesday, I had yet another dental appointment. I cannot wait for all this to be over and done with. Each appointment aggrivates my trigeminal neuralgia and I end up in great pain. I hate it.
Yesterday, our cat died (see post below). We had a big cookout planned for this weekend with several of our friends, but we decided to cancel. No one here is in a mood for a party, I'm afraid. She was very old, and it wasn't exactly unexpected...but her loss is felt strongly nonetheless.
I don't know about all you ZPT fans, but I have had quite enough of this damnable heat wave. Bring on fall....please!
'Til next time...