Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hurricane Party

As I was watching coverage of Hurricane Irene, this video came on CNN. Rather than submit to the uncertainties of shelter life, these feisty senior citizens chose to ride out the hurricane in their retirement apartment building.

I can't say that I blame them. As they pointed out, some of them had serious medical conditions that would make trying to sleep on cots difficult to impossible. And what about their medical equipment, special diets, etc?

It made me think about what I would do if faced with that choice. I might get down on one of those shelter cots. But it would take several people to get me UP. And if they had to do that every time I had to go to the bathroom, it would be a full time job!

Would I be able to hook up my biPap? I stop breathing at least once every minute and a half to two minutes without it and wake up in a total fog and with a terrible headache.

And would my medicines be safe? I take too many to carry around in my purse all the time. Especially if they were all in bottles. Not to mention epi-pens, inhalers, my nebulizer, my walker and my scooter. I am seriously high maintenance!

I have to admit, I would probably take my cue from those seniors and stay home.

And pray. A lot.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Grace Moment

Tonight I had what I call a "grace moment." One of those times when, unexpectedly, a burden is lifted. A dreaded task does not have to be performed. A day does not have to be completely juggled and reconfigured.

I would have performed this task with all of the grace I could muster. But, I was concerned about how my body was going to hold up in the heat that is expected tomorrow. Not knowing how far I might have to walk and what assistive device I would need. Whether the chest pains that leave me slightly lightheaded and short of breath would plague me at an inopportune time. Sometimes, even with my limitations, I am "it." 

But now I can go to bed, hopefully to sleep. 

And say a prayer of thanksgiving for my "grace moment." 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I have been in "extra" pain for almost 7 weeks now. I am in the process of being poked, prodded, and tested to find the source of the unrelenting chest pain. My heart has pretty much been cleared. This is good. But, I am still hurting.

I am no stranger to pain. I have been in varying degrees of discomfort/pain since I fractured my back in a bus crash at age 18 . I also have scoliosis and other back and neck issues. Chiropractic care helps me keep the pain at a manageable level for the most part. I take only an occasional OTC Aleve or Tylenol. 

But being at this level of pain is affecting both my energy and my creativity. My mind is so occupied with "keeping going" that I don't seem to have the energy left to be truly creative. And this lack of creativity is wearing on my spirit. 

I am sapped. 

Monday, August 15, 2011


This is the name of those codes that one must type in so that a site can make sure responses are generated by a real person. For most people, these are not hard to figure out and type in. 

But for someone like myself, who deals with bouts of double vision due to the the neuromuscular disease, myasthenia gravis, it can be impossible to read and reproduce these codes. Many of them contain letters that are slightly doubled to begin with. That means I see FOUR of the characters. Even when I greatly increase the size of the text, which I do for almost all webpages, I still can't figure them out. This affects my ability to do things ranging from commenting on a blog post, to making an online purchase. 

And yes, I have tried to use the audio version of these CAPTCHA codes. I have yet to be able to understand one of them. That robotic voice is as indecipherable to my ears as the letters are to my eyes!

There has to be a better way. 


Thursday, August 11, 2011


Most of us were brought up to be courteous to friends, acquaintances, and even strangers. But how many of us extend this courtesy to the people who should count the most...our families.

I try very hard to do this. I say please and thank you. I return things I borrow. I take my turn and try to pull my weight as much as I am able. I return phone calls and text messages. I think my family deserves this as much as anyone else. I don't always succeed, but I do try.

Is it too much to ask for that same courtesy in return?

Monday, August 08, 2011


Lately, it seems like every time I turn on the TV, I hear the word "jobs." As in shortage of them. I do not doubt that more jobs are needed.

But, sometimes I have to wonder about the people who are looking for jobs as well. I see people in doctors offices, restaurants, stores, and other businesses who say they are there to fill out a job application or have an interview. One young man came to fill out a job application without even bringing a pen! I loaned him one, but I could tell that he was not prepared to make a good impression. His pants were "sagging" and his shirt was stained. He looked like a nice young man, but I would not hire him. Dress as if the job is already yours.

And then there are the people who say they are trying to find work, but no effort is made to really look. When one is looking for a job, one needs to MAKE that his or her job. It takes time, patience, and persistence. When I was looking for work in college, I went into to stores even if they did not indicate they were hiring. More than once, I was able to persuade these folks to hire me.

And it is true that one is more likely to find a better job when one is already employed. Do something! An elderly friend of mine went for an interview with the highway department. He was told he was not qualified for the position. He replied "How much skill does it take to cut a bush?" This told his prospective employers that he was willing to start at the bottom and work his way up. He got the job.

Is the job you get going to be your dream job? Maybe not. But it can be a foot in the door. And don't be afraid to try something new. Who knows? It might be the start of something big!

Mystery Meat

I have recently become reacquainted with a substance I have not voluntarily encountered since my school years.  Mystery Meat  I brought ...