Monday, March 27, 2006

If I Could "Pay to Play"

A friend of mine and I were talking the other day about the VH1 "Pay to Play" program they had recently to raise money for Hurricane Katrina victims. It got us to wondering, "If I could 'Pay to Play' any 100 videos, what would they be?"

And so, here are my 100 choices. Some of them I have chosen because I love the song, some I have chosen because I love the video
(even if I don't particularly care for the song) and some I have chosen because I've never seen the video and would like to. They are in no particular order:

1) Bluebeard---Cocteau Twins
This is probably my favorite video, by one of my favorite bands.
2) Freedom---Rage Against the Machine
This video features excerpts from the film "Incident at Oglala," which is about the Leonard Peltier case.
3) Been Caught Stealing---Jane's Addiction
4) Kozmik---Ziggy Marley & the Melody Makers
5) Aikea-Guinea---Cocteau Twins
6) Outside---George Michael
I love George's sense of humor. He turned what could have been a career-stopping scandal and made it into a joke. Brilliant move on his part.
7) Don't Come Around Here No More---Tom Petty
8) Oh Daddy---Adrian Belew
9) Stuffin' Martha's Muffin---Mojo Nixon
I've never seen this video, which is ironic as the song starts out with Mojo complaining about how his videos are not shown on MTV.
10) Sabotage---Beastie Boys
11) Take On Me---A-Ha
12) One Night in Bangkok---Murray Head
13) Love Will Tear Us Apart---Joy Division
14) A Drug Against War---KMFDM
This is my husband's favorite video.
15) I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind of Thing---Pet Shop Boys
16) Girls & Boys---Blur
17) Happiness in Slavery---Nine Inch Nails
18) Save Tonight---Eagle Eye Cherry
19) Pure Mourning---Placebo
20) Enjoy the Silence---Depeche Mode
Not the best DM song, but a neat video.
21) Cities in Dust---Siouxsie & the Banshees
22) On & On---Erykah Badu
24) Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See---Busta Rhymes
I also like his video with the singing pharmaceuticals, but I can never remember the name of the song...
25) Closer---Nine Inch Nails
26) Cold Beverages---G. Love & Special Sauce
27) Batdance---Prince
28) This Woman's Work---Kate Bush
29) Kenny's Dead---Master P
I'm not a fan of Master P, but I loved the South Park video for this song.
30) Endicott---Kid Creole & the Coconuts
I've only seen this video once. It's become something of a legend in my house.
31) Lion in Zion---Bob Marley
32) The Body---Public Image Limited
33) Pictures of You---The Cure
24) Black Sweat---Prince
25) Don't Phunk With My Heart---Black Eyed Peas
26) Debaser---the Pixies
27) Just One Fix---Ministry
28) No Killing---Violent Femmes
29) Yeha Noha---Sacred Spirits
30) I Try---Macy Gray
31) Don't Let's Start---They Might Be Giants
32) I'm So Happy That I Can't Stop Crying---Sting
33) Ava Adore---Smashing Pumpkins
34) The Sweetest Taboo---Sade
35) Crucified---Army of Lovers
36) It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)---R.E.M.
37) Steam---Peter Gabriel
38) We Are Family---Sister Sledge
My husband and I love watching this video. It never fails to crack us up. If you ever see it on VH-1, pay close attention to the Sister in the back on the left-hand side. She never, ever dances anything even remotely like the other three.
39) (Just Like) Starting Over---John Lennon
40) Veronica---Elvis Costello
41) Galileo---Indigo Girls
42) Save Tonight---Eagle Eye Cherry
43) No More I Love You's---Annie Lennox
44) Missionary Man---the Eurythmics
45) Jeopardy---Weird Al
Weird Al has done some great videos; this one is my favorite.
46) Psycho Therapy---Ramones
47) Cradle of Love---Billy Idol
48) Gone Til November---Wyclef Jean
49) Crazy---Seal
50) New Year's Day---U2
51) Liar---Rollins Band
52) Punk Rock Girl---Dead Milkmen
53) Call Me Al---Paul Simon
I know this is a cheesy video, but something about the smarmy Chevy Chase upstaging Paul Simon gives me the giggles.
54) Stir It Up---Dread Zeppelin
55) I Got You Babe---Cher with Beavis & Butt-head
56) Higher Ground---Red Hot Chili Peppers
57) Ex-Factor---Lauryn Hill
58) Voices Carry---Til Tuesday
59) Bad Reputation---Joan Jett
60) Beds Are Burning---Midnight Oil
61) Don't Dream It's Over---Crowded House
62) Karma Chameleon---Culture Club
63) Pet Semetary---Ramones
64) Elvis is Everywhere---Mojo Nixon
65) Love Don't Live Here Anymore--Rose Royce
This is a guilty pleasure of mine. It's not a bad song, just produced badly.
66) Ekue Ekue---Deep Forest
At least, I THINK this is the video I want. I saw a Deep Forest video, years ago, in which the camera kept panning about in a circle, giving an almost kaleidoscope-like look to it. I think the song was "Ekue Ekue," but I'm not entirely certain.
67) Sledgehammer---Peter Gabriel
68) Rockit---Herbie Hancock
69) Bikini Girls with Machine Guns---the Cramps
70) Leave Me Alone---Michael Jackson
I'm not a Wacko Jacko fan, but it's hard to hate ALL his videos.
71) Runnin' Down a Dream---Tom Petty
72) Land of Confusion---Genesis
73) Hurt---Johnny Cash
74) Justify My Love---Madonna
75) Firestarter---The Prodigy
76) Human Behavior---Bjork
77) The Ledge---The Replacements
78) Tattooed Love Boys---Pretenders
79) Once in a Lifetime---Talking Heads
80) The Man with the Child in His Eyes---Kate Bush
Little-known fact: this was one of the first 40 videos shown on MTV.
81) Right Now---Van Halen
82) Justified & Ancient---the KLF
83) The Perfect Kiss---New Order
84) Fat---Weird Al
85) Dare---Gorillaz
86) Paranoid Android---Radiohead
87) Genius of Love---Tom Tom Club
88) Cold-Hearted---Paula Abdul
Silly song, well-made video.
89) Diamonds--Quincy Jones
I love the little Janet Jackson lookalike. It's like watching her character from "Good Times" giving a concert. Very cute.
90) Wild Wild Life---Talking Heads
Keep your eyes peeled for a pre-Rosanne John Goodman singing in this one.
91) Need You Tonight/Mediate---INXS
92) Dirty Little Secret---All-American Rejects
Any video that features gems from PostSecret is a good video in my book.
93) Come to My Window---Melissa Etheridge
94) Cornflake Girl---Tori Amos
95) The Pleasure Principle---Janet Jackson
My sister and I used to practice the dance moves in this one when we were kids. I'm sentimental about it as a result.
96) Human Nature---Madonna
97) God Save the Queen---Sex Pistols
98) If I Only Had a Brain---MC 900 Ft. Jesus
99) Orinoco Flow---Enya
100) Sadeness---Enigma

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Sioux President to Defy Anti-Abortion Law

Cecilia Fire Thunder, president of the Oglala Sioux Tribe at Pine Ridge, SD, says that she is going to stand up to Gov. Rounds' ban of all abortion in the state of South Dakota.

According to an Native American Times article by Tim Giago, Ms. Fire Thunder was "incensed...that a body made up of mostly white males would make such a stupid law against women."

"To me, it is now a question of sovereignty," she said to [Tim] last week. "I will personally establish a Planned Parenthood clinic on my own land which is within the boundaries of the Pine Ridge Reservation where the State of South Dakota has absolutely no jurisdiction."


To which I say: way to go, Fire Thunder! Not only is this a wonderful thing for Sioux women...this could be a landmark in sovereignty rights in Native America.


Saturday, March 18, 2006

Teacher Busted for Showing Kids' Version of "Faust"

Teacher who showed 'Faust' video awaits her fate
Todd Heisler © News

By Tillie Fong, Rocky Mountain News
February 22, 2006

BENNETT - A music teacher placed on leave last month after some parents objected to the showing of a video of the opera Faust to elementary school students says she's been called a devil worshipper and a lesbian in this small town 35 miles east of Denver. Some parents reportedly objected to the video because of references to the devil, while others were troubled by a scene in which a man was killed in silhouette and by allusions to suicide.

Tresa Waggoner, 33, was placed on paid administrative leave Jan. 30 and will remain on leave until further notice.

George Sauter, superintendent of the Bennett School District, declined to say why Waggoner was placed on leave, calling it a personnel matter.

Waggoner, a first-year music teacher at Bennett Elementary School, also teaches choir at the middle and high schools.

She defended her decision to show the video to her elementary classes. She said the opera is "a great part of our civilization and Western culture. It was for the children to enjoy and be exposed to opera."

The controversy began after Waggoner, a former opera singer and a mother of two, invited Opera Colorado singers to perform Island of Tulipatan at Bennett Elementary School on Jan. 31.

She said she wanted to prepare her students for the performance, and decided to show portions of Faust, which was on a Who's Afraid of Opera? video she found on a shelf in her music room at the elementary school.

On Jan. 9, 10 and 11 she showed her first-, second- and third-grade classes about 12 minutes of highlights from the video.

"They were on the edge of the seat," Waggoner said of the students' reaction. "Nobody came to me crying, no one wanted to leave."

But on Jan. 13, she received a call from the mother of a second-grader. "She said, 'I basically do not understand why do you not let the kids sing Christmas songs at their winter concert, but you would teach them about the devil. Are you not a Christian?' "

Waggoner said she was shocked at the question and offered to meet with the parent, but the woman never took her up on the offer.

"I devoted half of my life singing in the church," she said, adding that she has recorded two albums of Christian music. "It's absurd that these people, a few people - are calling me terrible things."

Waggoner said she notified Principal Mark Reinsbach about the call and gave him the video. She said Reinsbach called her into his office Jan. 17 and told her to write a letter of apology to the parents of her elementary school students.

On Jan. 23, she learned the school board had canceled the Opera Colorado performance at Bennett.

Becky Lathrop, spokeswoman for Opera Colorado, said there was no explanation given for the cancellation.

Sauter placed Waggoner on leave Jan. 30. The superintendent said Waggoner's leave had "nothing to do with parents' complaints" but declined to elaborate.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day

to all my readers & friends.

And please, be safe:

don't drink & drive.


Wednesday, March 15, 2006

100 Greatest Dance Songs...and 100 More by Zen Angel

Yes, folks, I watched yet another "greatest hits"
show on VH1...
this time, the 100 Greatest
Dance Songs of the Rock Era,
originally compiled in 2000. A pretty good show,
and I agreed with maybe 90% of them
(if not always the order they were in). And naturally, I felt
they left out a HUGE number of terrific tunes.

To keep in the spirit of the list, I tried to keep my
100 choices in the following guidelines: they had to
be dance songs (but not slow dance songs), they had
to be reasonably popular (which curbed my desire to fill
this with esoteric but delicious club hits and mixes...but
I didn't always succeed) and they had to be classic (at least
five years old, although one or two might have slipped by me).

So here's the Top 100
Greatest Dance Songs
of the Rock Era,
according to VH1.
What follows the list is my addition:


VH1's TOP 100

1) "I Will Survive" - Gloria Gaynor
2) "Don't Leave Me This Way" - Thelma Houston
3) "We Are Family" - Sister Sledge
4) "Vogue" - Madonna
5) "The Hustle" - Van McCoy
6) "Last Dance" - Donna Summer
7) "Y.M.C.A." - Village People
8) "The Twist " - Chubby Checker
9) "Gonna Make You Sweat" - C&C Music Factory
10) "Stayin' Alive" - Bee Gees
11) "Respect" - Aretha Franklin
12) "Get Down Tonight" - KC & the Sunshine Band
13) "Love's Theme" - Love Unlimited Orchestra
14) "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)" - Sylvester
15) "It Takes Two" - Rob Base & DJ E Z Rock
16) "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough"
- Michael Jackson
17) "Disco Inferno - The Tramps
18) "Dancing In The Street"
- Martha & the Vandellas
19) "Shame" - Evelyn "Champagne" King
20) "Got To Be Real" - Cheryl Lynn
21) "That's The Way (I Like It)"
- KC & the Sunshine Band
22) "Love Hangover" - Diana Ross
23) "Lady Marmalade" - Labelle
24) "Let The Music Play" - Shannon
25) "Mashed Potato Time" - Dee Dee Sharp
26) "Le Freak" - Chic
27) "Louie Louie" - The Kingsmen
28) "Billie Jean" - Michael Jackson
29) "Finally" - Cece Peniston
30) "Turn The Beat Around" - Vicki Sue Robinson
31) "Best Of My Love" - The Emotions
32) "You Should Be Dancing" - Bee Gees
33) "Upside Down" - Diana Ross
34) "Forget Me Nots" - Patrice Rushen
35) "It's Raining Men" - The Weather Girls
36) "Rhythm Is A Dancer" - Snap
37) "Push It" - Salt-N-Pepa
38) "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now"
- McFadden & Whitehead
39) "Love Train" - The O'Jays
40) "Into The Groove" - Madonna
41) "Rock The Boat" - Hues Corporation
42) "Love Is The Message" - MFSB
43) "Celebration" - Kool & The Gang
44) "Good Times" - Chic
45) "More, More, More (Part 1)"
- Andrea True Connection
46) "Boogie Oogie Oogie"
- A Taste Of Honey
47) "Dance To The Music"
- Sly & the Family Stone
48) "Cool Jerk" - The Capitols
49) "Shout" - The Isley Brothers
50) "Back To Life (However Do You Want Me)"
- Soul 2 Soul
51) "Never Can Say Goodbye" - Gloria Gaynor
52) "Brick House" - The Commodores
53) "Ring My Bell" - Anita Ward
54) "Doctor Love" - First Choice
55) "The Loco Motion" - Little Eva
56) "Rock Your Baby" - George McCrae
57) "Cherchez La Femme"
- Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band
58) "All Night Long (All Night)" - Lionel Richie
59) "La Bamba" - Ritchie Valens
60) "Believe" - Cher
61) "Jump (For My Love)" - Pointer Sisters
62) "Shake Your Groove Thing" - Peaches & Herb
63) "Love To Love You Baby" - Donna Summer
64) "Funkytown" - Lipps, Inc.
65) "Land Of 1,000 Dances" - Wilson Pickett
66) "1999" - Prince
67) "Flashdance... What A Feeling" - Irene Cara
68) "Take Your Time (Do It Right)"
- The S.O.S. Band
69) "Shotgun" - Jr. Walker & The All Stars
70) "Get Up (I Feel Like Being A Sex Machine)"
- James Brown
71) "Let's Dance" - David Bowie
72) "Fly Robin Fly" - Silver Convention
73) "Show Me Love" - Robin S
74) "My Prerogative" - Bobby Brown
75) "I Got You (I Feel Good)" - James Brown
76) "I Feel Love" - Donna Summer
77) "Ain't Nobody" - Rufus featuring Chaka Khan
78) "And The Beat Goes On" - The Whispers
79) "Heart Of Glass" - Blondie
80) "You're The First, The Last, My Everything"
- Barry White
81) "Straight Up" - Paula Abdul
82) "Play That Funky Music" - Wild Cherry
83) "Got To Give It Up" - Marvin Gaye
84) "Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix)" - Los Del Rio
85) "Keep On Truckin'" - Eddie Kendricks
86) "I Want To Dance With Somebody"
- Whitney Houston
87) "TSOP (The Sound Of Philadelphia)"
- MFSB f/ Three Degrees
88) "U Can't Touch This" - MC Hammer
89) "MacArthur Park" - Donna Summer
90) "Heartbeat" - Tanya Gardner
91) "You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)"
- Dead Or Alive
92) "Disco Lady" - Johnnie Taylor
93) "Thank You
(Fallettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)" -
Sly & the Family Stone
94) "Flashlight" - Parliament
95) "ABC" - Jackson 5
96) "What'd I Say" - Ray Charles
97) "Dancing Queen" - ABBA
98) "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy" - Rod Stewart
99) "Rock Lobster" - The B-52's
100) "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It" - Will Smith


1) "Rock Around the Clock"
- Bill Haley & His Comets
2) "Car Wash"- Rose Royce
3) "Jailhouse Rock"- Elvis Presley
4) "Limbo Rock"- Chubby Checker
5) "Surfin' USA"- the Beach Boys
6) "These Boots Were Made for Walkin'"
- Nancy Sinatra
7) "Boogie Wonderland"- Earth, Wind & Fire
8) "Monster Mash"- Bobby "Boris" Pickett
9) "Born to Hand Jive"- Cliff Richard
10) "Missing (Todd Terry Remix)"
- Everything But the Girl
11) "Wipeout"- The Sufaris
12) "I Love the Night Life"- Alicia Bridges
13)"Another Night"- The Real McCoys
14) "Conga"- The Miami Sound Machine
15) "Erotic City"- Prince
16) "Shake Your Body Down to the Ground"
- Michael Jackson
17) "(Love is Like) A Heat Wave"
- Martha & the Vandellas
18) "Girls & Boys (Pet Shop Boys Mix)"- Blur
19) "Gravy (On My Mashed Potatoes)"- Dee Dee Sharp
20) "Groove is in the Heart"-
Deee-Lite with Bootsy Collins
21) "Take Control"- Lords of Acid
22) "Supermodel (You Better Work)"- RuPaul
23) "Tequilla"- The Champs
24) "Take a Chance on Me"- ABBA
25) "Bizarre Love Triangle"- New Order
26) "Twist and Shout"- The Beatles
27) "Electric Boogie (Slide)"- Marcia Griffiths
28) "Music"- Madonna
29) "Da Butt"- E.U.
30) "Crucified"- Army of Lovers
31) "The Madison Time, Part 1"- Ray Bryant Combo
32) "Touch Me (All Night Long)"- Cathy Dennis
33) "The Humpty Dance"- Digital Underground
34) "Go"- Moby
35) "Jump Jive and Wail"
- The Brian Setzer Orchestra
36) "Maniac"- Michael Sembello
37) "Pump Up the Volume"- M/A/R/R/S
38) "Freaks Come Out at Night"- Whodini
39) "Everyday is Halloween"- Ministry
40) "Get Ready For This"- 2 Unlimited
41) "Blue Monday"- Orgy
42) "Dancing in Heaven (Orbital Be-Bop)"- Q-Feel
43) "Where the Streets Have No Name
(I Can't Take My Eyes Off You)"
- Pet Shop Boys
44) "Stop! In the Name of Love"- The Supremes
45) "Relax"- Frankie Loves Hollywood
46) "Get the Party Started"- Pink
47) "Mony Mony"- Tommy James
48) "Love Shack"- The B-52's
49) "Johnny B. Goode"- Chuck Berry
50) "Dance, Dance, Dance"- The Beach Boys
51) "Firestarter"--The Prodigy
52) "Be My Lover"- La Bouche
53) "Superfreak"- Rick James
54) "Kung Fu Fighing"- Carl Douglas
55) "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)"
-The Eurythmics
56) "Neutron Dance"- Pointer Sisters
57) "Walk Like an Egyptian"- The Bangles
58) "Hot Hot Hot"- Buster Poindexter
59) "Pony Time"- Chubby Checker
60) "Strike It Up"- Black Box
61) "Together Again"- Janet Jackson
62) "You Dropped a Bomb On Me"- The Gap Band
63) "Pump Up the Jam"- Technotronic
64) "It's Your Thing"- The Isley Brothers
65) "Planet Rock"- Afrika Bombaataa
& the Soul Sonic Force
66) "Banana Boat (Day-o)"- Harry Belafonte
67) "Rockit"- Herbie Hancock
68) "Footloose"- Kenny Loggins
69) "Bust a Moove"- Young MC
70) "Superstition"- Stevie Wonder
71) "The Phantom of the Opera"- Harajuku
72) "Ladies' Night"- Kool & the Gang
73) "Beautiful Life"- Ace of Base
74) "Dancing Machine"- Jackson 5
75) "99 Luftballoons"- Nena
76) "In My House"- The Mary Jane Girls
77) "The Hippy Hippy Shake"- Swinging Blue Jeans
78) "Dancing With Myself"- Billy Idol
79) "Auto Bahn"- Kraftwerk
80) "What Is Hip?"- Tower of Power
81) "Low Rider"- War
82) "Rhythm of the Night"- Debarge
83) "The Watusi"- Vibrations
84) "Love Rollercoaster"- The Ohio Players
85) "Days Go By"- Dirty Vegas
86) "Rock Me Amadeus"- Falco
87) "The Bird"- The Time
88) "Just a Touch of Love"- Slave
89) "Get Connected"- Stereo MC's
90) "Proud Mary"- Ike & Tina Turner
91) "I Only Want to Be With You"- Dusty Springfield
92) "Harlem Shuffle"- Bob & Earl
93) "California Love"- 2Pac & Dr. Dre
94) "Praise You"- Fatboy Slim
95) "Aqaurius/Let the Sun Shine In"- 5th Dimension
96) "The Bad Touch"- The Bloodhound Gang
97) "Sylvie"- St. Etienne
98) "A Little Respect"- Erasure
99) "Sweet Dreams"- La Bouche
100) "Queen of the Hop"- Bobby Darin


Yesterday's Doctor's Appointment

Yesterday, I finally had my appointment with the Well-Accesessoried Doctor (yesterday's accessory: a gorgeous silver bracelet, perhaps of Navajo design or influence). She took one look at me and knew what was going on. "The TN again? How do you feel?" I told her I had slipped into the seventh ring of hell. I was that despondent.

The whole appointment, I was struggling with the pain and trying desperately not to cry. If there is anything in this world I hate, it's crying in front of anyone. It took me years before I felt comfortable crying in front of my husband, and I still prefer to cry alone or in the shower if at all possible. The crying in the shower thing started when I was younger and had to share a bedroom with my sister. Only in the shower, did I have any privacy. It's a habit I've never really broken...if I am very upset, I take a shower.

Many people might think the crying thing is out of pride, or a matter of image. I think it's more about my father's attitude towards crying when I was growing up. He absolutely could not tolerate it, for any reason. "Stop that crying or I'll give you something to cry about!" was one of his favorite axioms. Even as a child, I remember thinking that this was a load of horseshit. Beating a kid because they cry is NOT going to get them to stop'll make them cry more, and make them feel as if no one cares about their feelings.

It's backfired on me before, though, this difficulty with crying. I have had people, when I was younger, not believe me when I would talk of difficult things I had been through
(although that in itself was rare), because of the calm, almost detached way I'd speak of it. No tears. I recall one incident quite clearly: one night, when I lived with a bunch of friends in East Dayton, I was attacked in a parking garage. I narrowly escaped being raped. I went to the police, but never felt that they believed me. I later found out that my roommates didn't believe me, either...because I went straight to the shower and never cried. They didn't know me well enough to know that I went straight to the shower TO cry.

And in recent years, I've found that many doctors are unwilling to believe my level of pain is as bad as it is because I'm not weeping hysterically, like most other people would be in their estimation. They don't realize that I cry later, when I'm alone.

Back to yesterday's appointment. A few very good things came out it:

1) She agreed to look into the transdermal patch option, and photocopied the article I brought her from the Trigimenial Neuralgia Association newsletter. It may not be an option for me...but I had to at least try.

2) I told her what happened at the hospital with Dr. Otherwise. She took my letter and told me she would talk to Dr. Otherwise and definately look into this. She also re-affirmed that I am indeed supposed to call the on-call doctor before going into the ER during the weekend or off-hours, and that I am perfectly within my rights
(and reasonable to boot) to ask the on-call doctor to call the ER and let them know I am coming and why.

3) I got a shot of Morphine & Phenergan....which STOPPED THE PAIN! HALLELUJAH! Within minutes I felt like a normal person again...just a very, very tired normal person. I got something to eat, and slept for hours.

4) She also gave me a prescription for 30 more Oxycodone. I just pray I can make it til the end of the month with those. I thank God she gave them to me.

So for now, I'm as stable with the pain as I can be. Thank God Almighty for the Well-Accessoried Doctor!

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Tuesday, March 14, 2006


Yep, that's me.

I am barely sleeping lately, so much is the pain. I have my doctor's appointment this afternoon, so hopefully something will be resolved. I certainly can't go on this way. I'm exhausted. Whenever I am alone, I cry (and I'm not much of a crier). I have this weird headache in the front of my forehead, which I'm pretty sure is related to the sleep deprivation. I don't have the energy to do much of anything.

I can't adequetly describe the utter exhaustion of not sleeping from pain and then taking medications that make you drowsy. It's a one-two punch, and I've been TKO'd.

Pray for me, ZPT fans...

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Thursday, March 09, 2006

An Update

Still in pain, still getting little sleep, little food and little relief.

To top matters off, my doctor's office insists I can't be seen before Tuesday. I am beginning to feel like I'm getting the run-around here....

I've decided that a number of things need to be done:

1) I made a complaint with the hospital about the incident on Sunday. Maybe THEY can figure out just what happened and why I was not treated. I also need to make a complaint against Dr. Otherwise. SOMETHING happened Sunday, and I suffered needlessly as a result. This CAN'T be allowed to happen again....and with Dr. Otherwise telling me one story and the P.A. telling me another, making complaints might be the only way to sort out this mess.

2) I need to either get more medication per month or better medication. I've been looking into transdermal patches, after reading an article in a recent issue of the Trigeminal Association newsletter. If I had some of those, I wouldn't need to go to the ER as much or (hopefully) at all.

3) I need to have, in writing, exactly WHEN I am to go to the ER, WHAT I am supposed to do both prior to going and once there, and exactly WHAT the ER is directed to do for me in the event that I am examined and deemed in need of pain relief.

4) If my doctor is resistant to any or all of these (and I really hope
she's not, as I like her personally and I certainly don't hold Dr. Otherwise's attitude against her), I may have to shop around for a new doctor. A few people in my support group told me they have had better luck in pain management treatment from DO's than they have with MD's. I'm looking into this....

Thanks to everyone for the well-wishes. You'd think with a disease that literally drives people to kill themselves out of pain that doctors and hospitals would WANT to ease said pain....

Another update: the company I wrote the "STOP CALLING ME!" post about called again today. I spoke to a supervisor who again assured me that no more calls would be made to my telephone number. Yeah, right.

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The Mullet Family

Holy Aqua Net, Batman!

"Small Injun" Additive

I found this whilst perusing eBay:

Bay: Rare Politically Incorrect “ Small Injun ” Additive, NR

Well, at least the seller admits it's "politically incorrect." Horridly racist and offensive would have been more accurate....

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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

My Run-In with Another "Otherwise Busy Tin God"

I've spent the past two weeks going to doctor's offices and ERs, thanks to the trigeminal neuralgia, which has decided to ignore all my attempts to curb its hellish effects. Sunday night, I ended up in the ER once again.

But first, unbeknownst to me at the time....I ran into another Otherwise Busy Tin God.

I've written of Otherwise Busy Tin Gods before. They are a product of HMOs and their viewpoint of giving patients less time and doctors more patients. Quite frankly, I am surprised so few doctors contract this version of Tin God Syndrome in this day and age. Otherwise Busy Tin Gods are overworked, overstressed and always, always in a rush. They are also rude and never want to take the time to get to know a patient or their needs. Most doctors can handle the greater workload while still giving their patients quality care....but many short-circuit into Otherwise Busy Tin Gods.

In a nutshell: I have a pain management contract. It tells me to go to the ER only if the office is closed and I cannot bear the pain any longer. It also tells me to call the doctor on call first before going on. On Sunday, I couldn't take it anymore and of course, the office was closed. So I called the doctor on call....who turned out to be an Otherwise Busy Tin God. From there on in, I'm not really sure WHAT exactly happened.

Here's a copy of the letter I wrote to my primary care doctor. I've changed or X'd out all identifying information:

Dr. T:

Please put this letter in my chart/medical records. Thank you.

As you are well aware, I have MS-related trigeminal neuralgia. I had had this for nearly seven years. Until November of 2004, however, it was (for the most part) controlled by various medications with the infrequent need for urgent or emergency room care. Since November of 2004, however, the pain has gone from an occasional moderate-to-severe bout to almost daily, almost constant pain. It is excruciating, and it is debilitating. The impact on my life cannot be measured.

Saturday evening, my facial pain due to trigeminal neuralgia worsened considerably. I had hoped to “hang in there” until Monday morning and call the clinic. However, by Sunday evening, the pain was unbearable. I had not slept in three days and could not eat. I had no relief from pain medication. I could concentrate on nothing but the excruciating pain I was in, and my abject exhaustion.

I called the clinic’s answering service and asked to speak with the doctor on call. Dr. Otherwise called me back within minutes. I told her that the pain was unbearable, that I had a pain management contract and that I was going to the ER. I then asked if she could please contact the ER and let them know I was coming. She seemed confused, and asked why this would be helpful. I explained that it made the process easier and faster if a doctor called in advance and told them I was coming and why. Dr. Otherwise agreed to contact the ER, saying that she would make the call and tell them “only” what I had told her. I took this to mean that she would tell the ER that I had called, describing great pain from trigeminal neuralgia and the ineffectiveness of my current medications to treat it, resulting in a need to go to the hospital.

When my husband and I arrived at the ER, we spoke with a P.A. named Edgar X. He did not examine me nor did he assess me. He told me that he could not treat me, because my doctor had specifically instructed him not to. He showed us the phone message from Dr. Otherwise: “no treatment for chronic pain necessary.” Mr. X made it very clear that he would like to assess and treat me, but his “hands were tied.” He discussed non-narcotic possibilities, such as Norflex and Torradol, but the conclusion was that they would be of little to no help in my current situation.

I was confused, as Dr. Otherwise had made NO indication to me on the phone that treatment would be denied me (had she done so, I never would have braved the rather windy night and gone to the ER; wind on a face hurting from TN is torturous). I told this to Mr. X, who suggested I meet with Dr. T to “achieve a meeting of the minds” as he was getting “mixed signals” from Dr. Otherwise and myself. I told him that such a meeting of the minds had already taken place, in the form of a pain management contract between myself and Dr. T. Mr. X made it quite clear that despite my pain management contract, he could not treat me because Dr. Otherwise had instructed him not to do so. I asked that he call Dr. Otherwise, as perhaps Dr. Otherwise did not understand that I had a pain management contract in place or the extent of my pain and my condition (when my TN acts up, my speech is sometimes difficult to understand; my MS has also been causing my speech to slur lately). Mr. X refused to do so, claiming the ER was “too busy” to allow him to make such a telephone call. He suggested instead that I get discharged, return to the waiting room and call Dr. Otherwise myself. He also told me that coming to the ER was not the “best option.” I agreed, but explained that there was really no other option available to me at that time, and that this stipulation had been discussed at length between myself and Dr. T in the past, resulting in my current pain management contract. He responded by telling me that he, sadly, had no option as my doctor had specifically ordered that I was to have no treatment from the ER. He asked when I would be seeing a neurologist next. I told him that I had a referral in the works, but even then, all a neurologist could do was monitor my medications and send me to the ER if they failed to work (the only “cure“ is a surgery my insurance will not cover, and which does not, at this time, have a very high success rate in any event). Mr. X agreed that this was likely. He told me again that he wished there was something he could do, but unless Dr. Otherwise called the hospital and changed her order, his hands were tied. I needed to call the doctor on call, or go home. He urged me to contact Dr. Otherwise and see if “something could be worked out.”

I was discharged, and we went into the waiting room. By that time, my face hurt so badly I was unable to communicate much at all, so my husband contacted Dr. Otherwise for me. He told the doctor what had occurred, and the doctor denied having instructed the ER to withhold treatment. She repeatedly told my husband that she was “only supposed to answer the phone” and “could not assess or prescribe ‘additional’ medication over the phone on the weekend.” My husband told her that I did not ask for, nor did I expect her to prescribe, any medications; that, in fact, my Oxycodone had been refilled on 3/3 and I did not need more. It was simply not working. Dr. Otherwise continued to insist that she could not prescribe any “additional” medication. She also referred to my situation as “odd” and said she “could not understand” why we asked her to call the hospital before we went in. My husband explained that it was our understanding that we were supposed to contact the doctor on call before going in to the ER, and that it was simply easier on everyone involved (myself and the hospital) if the doctor on call informed the ER of my impending arrival. He agreed that our situation was not a usual one, owing to trigeminal neuralgia being such a rare condition. Dr. Otherwise responded by saying, “You’d be surprised how many people have it.” She seemed somewhat agitated, and was not prepared to listen to what my husband was saying. She continued to deny having told the hospital to withhold treatment. He told her we’d seen the note, but perhaps the hospital had misunderstood, or perhaps she had misunderstood my somewhat slurred speech on the phone earlier that evening. We asked that she call the hospital back to clarify the situation, and she did agree, but she continued to insist that she could not “prescribe medications,” that I would have to be seen and assessed. My husband told her that this is exactly what I wanted: to be seen and assessed. However, the PA could not even do this much, so long as Dr. Otherwise’s recommendation was in place. Dr. Otherwise then began to tell him that the hospital could “refuse to treat me” after assessing me if that was the doctor’s choice. He told her we understood that, but as it stood at that time, I had not even be examined. She finally agreed to call the hospital back, but told him that she would say “exactly the same thing” she had said before, making it unclear as to what she was going to accomplish, if anything. We did not know what to do; officially, I had been discharged. I was in more and more pain all the time, and had no pain medication with me. We decided to return home and simply attempt to suffer through it, until we could call the office in the morning, rather than spend an entire exhausting night in the ER to no avail.

I took two more Oxycodone upon arriving home; an hour later, I still did not “feel” them. I continued taking Oxycodone and Ibuprofen throughout the night in an attempt to control the pain. I was not able to sleep, for the fourth night in a row. Although it embarrasses me to admit this, I spent the night between an online support group for people with chronic pain and lying on the sofa, crying from the agony of the pain and the demeaning way I had been treated (or more accurately, not treated).

To say that this situation was humiliating is an understatement. To be in chronic pain to the point where medication is not helping, you cannot eat or sleep and you feel you cannot bear it anymore…and then to be denied help, is a special kind of pain that cannot be adequately described.

I do not over-use the ER. I have been in twice in the past few weeks; before that, I had not been into the ER for nearly six months. I use it only as a last resort, when medications are not working and the clinic is not open (I always prefer to come into the clinic, to be treated by doctors and nurses who know and understand me and my condition). Unfortunately, my TN often worsens at night, leaving me in a bad situation: suffer or go to the ER. I usually choose to simply suffer. I had to call my husband home from work in order to take me in, and pay a babysitter to watch my kids. I assure you, I do neither of those things on a whim; we are not rich people who can afford to miss work or pay babysitters on a whim. Not to mention the fact that going to the ER often means painful examinations and shots which leave me with site reactions for days afterwards. As I said before, I use the ER as a last resort only.

I am still confused by what happened, and I’m not sure who (if anyone) was in the wrong or where the “wires got crossed,” as Mr. X put it. I am also not sure as to what to do to prevent this sort of thing from happening in the future. I do know that the following needs to be cleared up as soon as possible:

1) My pain management contract needs to be re-written. As it stands, it is mostly handwritten and in places, illegible. I have had it refused at hospitals in the past, because they cannot read what is written and once because they suspected I wrote it myself. I ask that a typed version of the contract be made available to me, so that there is no confusion or suspicion involved. I apologize for this necessity.

2) I need to know whether or not I am expected or required to contact the doctor on call prior to going to the ER. It was my understanding that I am indeed supposed to do this; however, the last two times I have called have led me to question this directive (the time prior, the physician I spoke with was also confused as to why I called before going into the ER). Preferably, if I must call, I would like to have that directive added to my contract. If I am not to call, I apologize for my misunderstanding.

3) I need to know if it was rude or inappropriate of me to ask doctors on call to contact the ER prior to my visit to let them know I am going in and why. The hospital staff has led me to believe that this is very helpful to them, but if it is inappropriate, I will discontinue doing so with my apologies. I understand how very busy on-call doctors tend to be and it was never my intent make their lives more difficult.

I understand that this is not the ideal situation for anyone involved. Unfortunately, my present circumstances have left me with very little choice in the matter: my insurance will not cover surgery nor will it cover a pain management clinic. I can afford neither on my own. And though I am to see a neurologist again shortly, I do not hold much hope that very much, if anything, will change. I believe it is necessary to be realistic: I am in a situation with chronic pain which occasionally does not respond to oral medications. It is what I need to do when those eventualities occur that is at issue, and that issue is one I need to get resolved in writing and to the satisfaction of everyone involved. The chances that I will be spontaneously cured of this are nil, so I must prepare for those eventualities as well as I can.

The fact that my MS appears to be worsening considerably and may be morphing into secondary-progressive MS is no doubt contributing to the increase in pain levels I am currently experiencing. That is beyond my control, unfortunately. The dental work I am going through is also no doubt adding to the pain. That is an unavoidable aspect of the necessary dental work, and also, beyond my control.

Dr. T, you have always treated me and my pain in a compassionate and humane manner. I am certain we can come up with some workable solutions to this ongoing problem. I am still not sure what happened last night, but I do know that I wish to avoid a repeat of the situation in the future.

Thank you for your time.


Zen Angel

In a perfect world, a person like me could get adequete pain relief without resorting to begging, pleading and demeaning ER trips that sometimes leave you in more pain than you were in before you walked in the door. I understand that there are people who fake chronic pain to get narcotics. I understand that sometimes people with chronic pain get addicted, or use it deceptively to gain narcotics. I am NEITHER. I am just a person with a legitimate chronic pain issue that is tearing my life apart. What about people like me? Should we have to suffer, just because some people are using the ERs to get high?

I am never out of pain anymore. In order to be out of pain, I would have to take enough pills to knock me out for hours or leave me a zombie. Not to mention the fact that I would quickly run through the amount of pills allotted to me in a month. And at this point, with the ER turning me away....well, that's going to happen, anyway. Which means more trips to the clinic and ER for shots...if they don't turn me away, that is.

They call trigeminal neuralgia "the suicide disease." They say it's called that, because it's so painful, so excrutiating, that people commit suicide just to get away from it. But I'm not so sure. I wonder how many lose hope, not from the pain but from a health system that refuses to adequetly treat it? How many cannot take the constant blows to one's pride that comes with the current pain management system in America? Or how we're treated, always, like drug addicts or potential drug addicts? The frequent urine tests to prove we're not junkies, or the begging and pleading that comes with any request for new medication or more medication? And how many people commit suicide because some asshole Otherwise Busy Tin God turned them away?

I will not be one of them, never fear. My firmly-held religious beliefs would never permit it, and I would never leave my kids without a mom and my husband alone. But I understand it. Oh, how I understand it.

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Friday, March 03, 2006

The Freaks Come Out in IM Part II

It never fails to amuse me how some people chose to spend their online time. Observe:

Weirdo #1 [3:49 P.M.]: Hi do you want to talk about guys?
Zen Angel [3:49 P.M.]: No thank you.
Weirdo #2 [3:49 P.M.]: ok bye

A few moments later, I get this in email:

In a message dated 3/2/2006 3:49:35 P.M. Pacific Standard Time, writes:



I can just see her at the keyboard, pounding it and yelling, "How DARE she not want to talk about guys with me! I'll show her!" ROFL.

This next IM I am convinced came from the Weirdo in Part One:

Weirdo #2 [3:37 P.M.]: wanna go at it?
Zen Angel [3:37 P.M.]: No thank you.
Weirdo #2 [3:38 P.M.]: howo come?
Zen Angel [3:38 P.M.]: Please read my profile....I don't do cyber. Happily married and not interested, sorry. Have a nice day.
Weirdo #2 [3:38 P.M.]: u too mam

Still trying, he is....and still polite about it! And they say perverts have no manners....