Showing posts from November, 2007

The current nightmare and my dream for the future

Imagine this. You're uninsured. You've got a terrible sore throat and a deep hacking cough. You go to the local "Doc in a Box" clinic - the one that only takes cash or credit, and makes you pay before you see the doc.

When you first get there, you notice the plexiglass barrier between the receptionists and the clients. A large man sits in the corner, wearing a gun. Then you're told "Oh, we're sorry. You need an appointment to see someone, even if you're very ill. The wait time is about 3 weeks." You reluctantly make the appointment and hope to God you feel better. That office was awful.

Unfortunately, you don't get better. In fact, you're coughing up blood by now. Someone's sent you a list of items to bring to your appointment. You'll need your birth certificate, social security, proof of residency in the County, and pay stubs. Lots of pay stubs. You can pay for your care, you just need to see a doctor. Why are the…

I'm a hypocrite!

I don't like this cough. It gets worse when I'm around the cats, ergo allergies. I just remembered the Nasonex and got into it. That stuff isn't cheap, $100 a month, but it does work. 2 squirts up each nose ought to help me by tomorrow.

First of all, I have to state a fact that's going to put the whole rest of this post in perspective and honestly, make me look like the hypocrite I am. I drink about 12 cans of diet soda a day. Minimum. I hardly ever drink plain water. It's got bubbles, artificial color, scary sounding preservatives, and artificial flavors.

Today I had an alka-seltzer. I put it in 4 ounces of tap water. I can't remember the last time I had water before that. So. Having said that, I'll proceed.

I don't like to take antihistamines, I feel they overload my liver (remember all the sodas) and they're "toxic". You can tell I lived in CA for 15 years. However, they work. At least Claritin worked on the allergies, bu…


Well, I just can't have a dull day. Yesterday, in the midst of running around and excitement of making deposits, catching Metro, etc... I ate something yellow.

No! Not the yellow! I didn't really think of it when I ate the cheese-sauced roast beef (with bacon) but I sure noticed today around 11 AM when I developed a nasty headache. Mike, who works for the other vendor, was mopping with some Lysol. Whooooeeee. I thanked God for my chewable Tylenol Go tabs, chewed it, and the pain abated somwhat.

I'd rate today's headache at a good 4 on a 1-10. For me, that's hardly worth mentioning. The only real impact it had was that Tylenol affects my lithium levels, increasing them and causing me more side effects. Whine whine.

This morning Ron came to me and apologized. He stated that he'd woken up sitting on the toilet with a vague memory of me yelling at him. He had come into the "computer/exercise" room and spoke to me, then he started groping around…
I do want to add something to my other post, if I ever feel "unusual" in any way, and it's not managed by my medication, of course I'll call my doctor. I could tell him "I want to kick some ass" and he would get it, deal with it, all better.

Speaking of ass-kicking, it's union election time. We have about 1100 Postal Workers at our plant. One guy died over the weekend, heart attack. He was so sad. He never did anything nice for himself, always so gloomy and unhappy. Now he's dead. I hope he was saved, and I hope he had a decent insurance policy so his widow is OK. He was a postal worker so I'm sure he did. They have pretty tasty benefits.

So, union election time. I've been there for 6 years, and I've seen a few elections. At first they are very nice. You see an incredible assortment of flyers with promises to change, or promises to keep up the good work.

As the flyers become multi-colored and begin sporting photos, it begins …

"I need to take an antipsychotic"

It's funny. Ron and I were relating the "Ron had to take the cat to the vet all by himself" story. A funny story, I think, with all the goodness of humanity coming to the rescue of poor terrified Bubba in his carrier as Ron inadvertently slams him in the door.

"You took your cat to the doctor but not your wife?" Nope. Interesting story - I hate going to the doctor. I don't mind my "Brain tune ups" as I view the visits with my psychiatrist - mainly just side effect and mood reporting. But I hate going to the doctor.

Before, I used to go as often as I felt I needed to. Sore throat? Persistent cough? Doctor. I've had a persistent dry cough for over a week now but I won't go to the doctor. I figure either, it's bronchitis and antibiotics won't help (My Merck Home manual says so), or it's cat allergies and I'm not giving up the cat. Benadryl helps at night, I'm sleeping fine, so no worries. Before, I wouldn'…

Friday Frenzy - or come shop with me

Being sick, I didn't go out for almost a week. I used up my groceries. I have learned that there is such a thing as too much vegetable soup. If I eat another spoonful this month, I'll scream.

However, I needed something to help kill my cough at night when I'm sleeping. The cats needed more num-nums (canned food), Ron needed groceries, and I was itching for a trip to Walmart.

I have never gone shopping on Black Friday. I worked it a few times and the shifts were hellish. So, a decade after I got out of the retail game Ron and I decided, we're going in. We decided on 6 AM to 7:30. It's early, but not the 5AM early-bird-special-sale early. The regular sleepins are going to wait until later to come in. It ought to work.

So, for the first time in a week I donned something other than a nightgown. Remember my pants falling off? They kept trying to do it today, too. It got kind of embarrassing.

Our ride was a little late picking us up but I was ready and waiti…


I wanted to like it. I really did. I saw the ads on TV and I was filled with hope... Disaster prepardness website. For Texas. Don't be stupid, be ready. That's my motto, but you get the point. You know me, and if you don't I'm easy to know. Read my posts, I'm WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get). An opinionated woman.

I really commend the Department of Human Services. It's a wonderful idea. But it's incredibly clunky, cumbersome, and slow (for me on dialup). It takes over two minutes to load each page, each page has a checklist with maybe 8 or 9 items? Come on!

So far, I've had everything except the plastic sheeting, and I could use garbage bags in a pinch for that. Let's see if two cat carriers (one per animal) and 7 extra pounds of cat food is adequate. Yup, I even have the "current photo" - and Ron and I plan to have the boys microchipped as well.


But it's not a total dud. It …

A hobby is a lot better than a mania

It's obvious by now, if you've been following me (or you know me) that I have a lot of varied interests. One of the saddest things about my hobbies and interests was the way my disease perverted them.

I don't mean I did perverted things with a ginger root, I mean I couldn't not think about them. I would obsess over every little crumb of detail. I'd spend way more money than I could afford on supplies, only to watch them gather dust as I crashed into another doorbuster depression.

It's nice to rediscover my old freinds again, with my new freinds (the mood stabilizers) on board. I bought a used copy of the Herbal PDR. I had one in California but it got lost in the move. I wish-listed a few more herbal books at Alibris. I intend to buy my own bottle of Olive Leaf, some Panothetic acid, and maybe some powdered vitamin C. And that's it. How pleasant and peaceful! I could get used to this! I can just enjoy my interest without it dominating my every tho…

I think Tom Cruise is a lousy actor and I don't find him cute

I'm an X-generation heretic. I think Tom Cruise is a lousy actor and I don't find him cute. He's too smug, it makes me want to kick his butt. Not kiss it. I think Nicole Kidman has more talent in her baby toe than he could hope to get in his whole life. I also feel sorry for his poor girlfriend, trapped into his cult crap. Sad for her. He, I see as a pathetic, weak, overblown ego. I've been meaning to share that; I'd rather date the elephant man.

As a teenager, my tastes were an obvious lead-up to the man I married. My biggest crush had a receding hairline, paunch, and bad knees but he was so kind and sweet. My Secret Admirer? He had a cleft palate and loved the fact that I saw him. One of my best friends had cerebal palsy with quadraparesis (all limbs were weak), but he was smart and funny. I loved Sean Connery, but my favorite actor ever was: Fred Dryer. He was definitely rugged-looking. It was just one of those visceral things. I think Denzel Wa…


I'm proud of the fact that I have my "Cold and Flu" kit at home. I love that it was stocked with cough drops, remedies, OTC treatments, and tissues. I just wish I had it all in one place.

Yesterday, I found my bottle of Glutamine in a box with some other supplements. It's very effective when taken in the early stages (Dr Atkins was a huge proponent) of your cold/flu virus. Sambucol is awesome too. I did have the Sambucol. Mine has pretty much come and gone, except for the aggravating postnasal drip and the "drip cough".

The Glutamine wouldn't really work for me, but Ron's just getting the sore throat. He sounds a little rough and sniffly today but he's not what I'd call "sick". We asked Chuck to help us get a bottle of Olive Leaf (the best remedy ever), so Ron's taking Vitamin C, Glutamine, and Olive Leaf. I'm taking Olive Leaf, licorice root tea, Vitamin C, multivitamin, and eating more garlic. Plus my mood stab…

"You don't want me to open the door, I've got the flu"

I had a couple people come by the house yesterday, not counting the drivers who took Ron to Starbucks and the vet. Well, took Ron and Bubba to the vet.

The first ding-dong was a happy one. A large box on my doorstep! What could it be? I waited until the deliveryman was halfway to his truck before I opened the door and said Thank You. Yay! Walton's dehydrated food! 4 meals - just add boiling water and cook, and a side of dehydrated egg, one applesauce - even opened it can keep on the shelf for years. Now I have a couple extra weeks' worth of food in my disaster kit. Ron's happy with the food choices, he says he'd happily eat them (except egg powder and applesauce). Good.

The second time, I opened the blinds. I look like crap. I look sick. The salesman waved at me though the glass and said hello. I said "I don't want to give you my flu". He jumped back, and thanked me repeatedly as he left.

Hey, he's got it a lot tougher than I do. I jus…

I'm at the cranky stage

I'm at the cranky stage of my cold/flu whatever virus. I just mainly have the postnasal drip and the cough, cough COUGH as a result of said drip. Horrible, dry hacking coughs.

I took my Mucinex, drinking buckets of herbal tea, and resting. I'm cranky. I actually miss work. Ron took one listen to me this morning and said I was staying home. I may not be contaigious, but I sure sound that way. Tomorrow I have to go in regardless; so I'm resting up.

Bubba sprouted an odd-looking lump on his side over the weekend. Ron and I were worried about him, so Ron took him to the vet. She's a great vet who talks to the cats while she treats them. She has cats of her own. It's a one-vet practice so I didn't go. I didn't want to get her sick. Ron took a cab each way and they were fast, cheap trips. The cab drivers helped him get into and out of the vehicles (not easy when you're carrying a heavy house cat in a carrier).

Turns out Bubba had an abcess, prob…

Do you get fever dreams?

Saturday I kept feeling worse and worse. The muscle aches, fever, and the cough finally clinched it. I have the flu.

This is who I am: Happy that it's been 9 years since my last bout with the flu. I like that. My life is so much better than it was 9 years ago. How wonderful that I'm healthy so often. How rare it is for me to be truly ill.

Sunday I needed cough drops. I'm sorry. I'm sorry Metrolift drivers. I'm sorry Walmart employees. I really needed my cough drops. Imagine my horror when I read the label on my cough drops. Red #40 and Yellow #5. Whatever I've got, it'll be a lot worse with a migraine. I barely had enough "undyed" cough drops to get me to Sunday morning.

Halls naturals uses beta-carotene (natural food coloring) to color it's cough drops. They also have sage extract, which is really great for sore throats. I got some sugarfree Ricola and the generic Halls' as well.

The encouraging thing, if I can call it th…

It takes a real man to yell at a blind cripple

That guy at work infected me. Remember I told you about a week ago? Some guy at work hacked and sneezed all over me as I was stocking a machine? I was angry because he gets buckets of sick time and he could have easily been paid just as much to stay home?

Yesterday the sore throat progressed into the classic cold symptoms. Ugh. Today I had to work. I don't have sick time and Ron can't do my job. I felt like some awful disease vector; praying to God that our customers or paratransit drivers would not catch my cold. As it turns out, it's a very good thing I went in today.

Chuck had called us and warned us that the sink is being replaced. It backs up what appear to be coffee grounds, so someone is dumping coffee grounds into the sink on a regular basis and clogging it, or I've heard maintenence people tell stories of fishing out disgusting clogs of meat fat and god-knows-what. People don't treat the drain properly, it clogs often, and someone finally made th…

Bubba loves me

My cat loves us so much. This morning I discovered a large, dead mouse on the floor by his food bowl.

I thanked him. Screaming and yelling won't work. Do I really want a live mouse around my home anyway? Do I want a dead mouse decaying under a bed? No. If I have to have it, I'd rather a dead rodent in an obvious location.

So I thanked Bubba for killing it and leaving it out for us to find. The construction nearby is really cranking up his kills. All the little creatures are being driven into our subdivision. He's gotten about 6-8 mice and two rats that I know of.

I don't care much if it's dead and in an obvious place, so I'm using Dale Carnagie and praising the behavior I appreciate. I'm glad Ron does the "Man Job" of disposing of the poor dead creature.


It pushes my button

I woke up today with a mild sore throat. Whenever that happens, I get furious. Why?

I work for my husband. No sick leave, no insurance. I'm supposed to be disabled, and I only work part-time, but the way I see it I don't "need" the disability check every month. I'm healthy. I live in a quiet, safe subdivision. My husband provides for me. If he dies or we lose our location then I'd go for disability, but I feel God does not want me taking that money right now. I like to believe I am an ethical person. I'm not "needy".

I see Postal workers every day. I see trainees, learning to be mail carriers. They all have benefits and sick leave. They have good medical, I've seen the flyers. My freind gets about 6 weeks of vacation a year.

So why do they come in to work when they're sick? They have sick leave. Why not use it when they're actually sick? My friend says perhaps they are on the restricted sick leave list. They call in …

Where's my boredom? Or I'm fat

I finally emailed Walton's (dehydrated food). Apparently my order got lost, they are very sorry, rush shipping. Yay! I get my dehydrated food for the disaster kit. Hey, stuff happens.

Monday was exciting. Tuesday was pretty tame. Wednesday we had off, but we ran around and did a lot (like get paid!). Thursday, sure as the sun rises, I went to Walmart. On the way home our ride was late. No biggie. He had a Ford Windstar minivan with the 3rd row seating. I told him I'd put my box of groceries in the back. It has a hatchback, with plenty of room for my box. At first he argued and said he'd put it up front but I said I'll do it, no problem.

He opens the back. He's got a 5-gallon gas can in the back. Not only that, the whole vehicle REEKS of gasoline fumes. It's incredibly nauseating. Ron says something to the driver, who acts like "Of course I have a gas can, doesn't everyone?". We're in Houston. Per capita we have more gas and …


Saturday, we went into work to empty the vending machines and remove the perishables. We didn't leave until 10:30 PM. I was so tired (no nap, either) by the time we left I was starting to see people walking towards me.

One problem. The people weren't there! I was hallucinating. I was pretty calm about the whole thing. I just got into my purse and popped a Risperdal (my dose was a little late). At least I know it's just a symptom.

Of course, when I got home I had a terrible time falling asleep, but I knew I'd really hurt myself if I stayed up all night. My symptoms are under control.

I like it that way.


After reading this post, you'll probably have either a strongly positive or a strongly negative reaction. Most people are disapproving. They think Ron was "mean", but they won't say it. I'm getting that off their body language.

So. The story begins about 20 years ago in sunny San Mateo County. Ron had a business and rode the 6A to and from work. He often rode with a driver named Ted. Ron and Ted became good freinds and used to go out together after work (have a beer, talk), or Ron would ride the bus just to chat with Ted.

One day Ted called Ron. He was very upset. A blind man had fallen off the bus and broken his ankle. Jack was an alcoholic and had been very drunk at the time of the accident. He found an ambulance chaser attorney who decided to sue the bus company. The attorney was doing his best to make it sound like, in spite of the fact that my client was totally hammered, staggering, and slurring his words, in spite of the fact he almost fell wh…

Just another manic Monday

I awoke at 3 am, got dressed, off to work. We had to wrestle a large box of sandwiches onto the van. I got dizzy. AGH.

Don't read this paragraph if you are eating or about to do so. I warned you. Saturday at work, we were approached by a very scary looking homeless guy. We were waiting at the little "waiting area" outside and this guy got it into his head that we were waiting at a bus stop. I could tell by looking at him that we didn't want to chat. He was very belligerent and argumentative, but we finally convinced him, no bus comes here. If you want a bus, go that way. As he walked away, I could tell he had a bowel accident at some point in the past. I looked over at the bench. It was soiled. Considering I had no gloves, rags, or cleansers I did what I could to fix it up (old newspaper to "sop it up"), but I vowed to make it nice again.

Today I came armed with a can of fake Lysol I got at Walmart. I threw away the paper, which did a decent j…

"I want some garlic butt"

After dealing with Mr. Safety, my day wasn't over yet. Our ride could have been there at 10:50, supposed to be there at 11:07, didn't get there until well after 12.

There's nothing quite like the experience of watching my ride slowly coasting up and down the street, obviously looking for their client. I get out and do my "Taxi! Taxi!" style semaphore wave, and watch dispiritidly as the vehicle I just know is my ride home coasts right on by.

Sometimes, they're that dumb. They can't understand the directions. "Third driveway from X street and Y road." Seems obvious to me. I'm obvious, for God's sakes. But they don't see me and they drive on by.

This happened for about half an hour. I got bit by a fireant. I had idiots who slowed down, thinking I was waving at them. Yeah, that's why I'm not looking at you, stupid. Get out of my line of sight! Ugh. Sadly, that one happens a LOT. I can't believe people like that…

Mr. Safety

This morning I woke up queasy. Happily, that's all I had going. No migraine, just queasy. I had some of my vegetable soup and some apple salad (cut up Jonagold, Granny Smith, and Red Delicious apples). I had to eat frequently today because it kept coming back. Hey, I knew when I signed up for Lithium that I could expect nausea.

It was an odd day. Our ride to work was over an hour late, then we had to pick up someone and take her to work at the mall. She was late coming out of her house and had an abrupt attitude. She probably thought she was nice.

Our driver had to get gas, so I got a bag of chips at the convenience store (I was queasy again). He didn't mind me eating it and I was careful not to spill.

When we got to work, we had 30 minutes before our next pickup. I ran around helping Ron (I can't do anything snacky until my order arrives Monday). I was irate to discover that someone had turned off the switch on the surge protector going to snack 4. I suspect i…

Gifts and Dinosaur Shit

Today Mom sent me an email. She ordered my Christmas present and had it shipped straight to me. Awesome. I'll have Ron hide it in his closet and trot it out on Christmas.

I also got an email from a lady in Canada. I swapped her a book for some leftover yarn scraps (I got the scraps). I'm happy. The book cost a lot of money so I wanted it to go to someone who'll use it. God knows that person never would have been me. I also sent her some hot sauce from Louisiana. Hey, I doubt she can get Lousiana Gold in Alberta. She sent me an email. Thanked me, she loves hot sauce, can't wait to get into the sauce and the book. Yay.

I love handing out driver candy, too. I've been known to give a headache remedy or two as well.

I left Ron a piece of candy on his pillow. Luckily it was wrapped. When he's home, he's probably lying down. He laid down on the piece of candy and melted it. He put it in the fridge, I'll put a nice piece in there too. I love t…

If I can't eat it out of a can...

Wednesday we had off, so I went to Walmart. I wanted more, safe, vegetable soup. I've mentioned how much I love vegetable soup.

Well, no matter the brand, they all pretty much have MSG. Forget that.

But I love vegetable soup. Virtually everything I eat is processed food, I need my veggies.

How-ev-er.... I noticed Walmart stocked the Kitchen Basics stock. It is the best stock ever. I've made my own stock. Generally I used 1 pound of bony meat cuts per quart of water, chopped veggies, simmer forever, strain. Deal with yucky mess in the garbage can. Wash yucky stockpot. Carefully ladle up the bowls of stock. Freeze. Now I have virtually no freezer space. When I want stock, take it out and thaw. Not fun.

Kitchen Basics is better than my homemade stock. It's available in 1 quart tetra-pack bricks. I can stick it on a shelf in the cupboard until I want it, then rip off the tab and use it. And it has no additives. It's just meat and vegetable stock. No MSG.…

A whinier post than I expected

I've come to realize I love to take a day off and make several blog entries. Rather, on my day off of work, I'll watch Sci-fi movies, snack, and make blog entries. A couple days later, repeat.

For the people out there who envy my part-time schedule, I'll hasten remind you of my migraines, inability to drive due to brain damage, inability to do a lot of "fun" things because I get overstimulated and freak out (also due to brain damage), bipolar disorder (severe with nasty psychotic features), and constant nausea/grogginess/foggy thinking due to the medication I take for the bipolar disorder.

And who can forget the migraines? The can of Progresso Vegetable soup looked so enticing. I love a good veggie soup. I already mentioned the nausea. It's a sad statement on my illness that even with the side effects, my life is truly so much better than it was before. Eeek.

Anyway, I ate it. It was tasty and delicious, and helped with the nausea (small snack-meals s…

I said NO!

First of all, I love men. I married a man who respects me and values me. If he died, I'd marry again eventually. I don't believe that one sex is out to get the other, either.

We as a society are taught lessons every day in our media. Here's an example. I'm watching a movie.

A group of people are flying on a plane. A man is sitting next to a moderately attractive woman. I'm going to put the "real" dialogue, then I'll put my optional, alternate "transaction". The woman is reading a book. It starts when he leans over her shoulder and asks a question.
M: Is it a good book?
W: Yes. [she pulls the book higher up to shut him out]
M: On vacation?
W: Yes [she turns a page in her book]
M: So, what do you do? I'm a lawyer. [He presses a business card into her hand, which she reluctantly accepts.]
W: I'm a nurse.
M: Wow, that's philantropic. [the stewardess comes by with the beverage cart and asks if he'd like to order.] …