Worse Today

I can’t stop crying.  Son is having fits lately on a daily basis.  His anger is so disturbing to me, I can’t even be around him.  I am suddenly so miserable and sad.  I see no end to Son’s suffering, and therefore, my own.

InsuranceHe’s been uninsured for 5 years now and his depression and other health issues have only gotten worse.  His anger simmers just below the surface and it takes almost nothing to send him into a rage; though rage is a bit too strong a word.  I’m afraid to talk to him, because he only gets angry and defensive.  When I try to talk to him when he’s feeling good, it makes him angry and upset.  If I try to talk to him when he’s angry, well, it’s not a good idea.

This dance is wearing me down again.  I don’t know why but my depression is suddenly flared up.  Is it caused by the Tecfidera?  It seems I was dealing well with all this and not letting it affect me, until the past three months–since I started the Tecfidera.

Son has an appointment with a new doctor, but he just came home.  I cannot believe the way he has been jerked around.  Before ObamaCare, there was no way he could afford insurance.  Then when he applied for Obamacare he was denied coverage because he had no income and therefore determined he should be covered by Medi-Cal or Medicare.  Not that they helped him to follow up on that.  So we then applied for both.  That was two years ago.  He finally got coverage effective Sept. 1 this year!  He’s seen two doctors and been to the ER once already this month.  At least the ER doctor was convinced he wasn’t just seeking drugs but did indeed have a serious issue with his back, very likely he has some bulging disc or worse.  He actually examined Son.  The first time anyone has actually examined him physically.  That doctor recommended he see his GP and get scheduled for an MRI.  Unfortunately, Medi-Cal is unpredictable, and he was told when he went in for his appointment this morning (which he made yesterday) that they no longer accept Medi-Cal.  Apparently, that doctor he had an appointment with left that office.  (No one mentioned that when the appointment was made.)  He can see the doc, but not until December!ER

Just what the hell are we supposed to do here?  The ER people have him pegged as a drug seeker, and there doesn’t seem to be a doctor who cares.  I am beside myself in anger and disgust at the way he has been (mis)treated.  How can he get pain relief when no one will properly examine him to determine the problem.  He doesn’t want drugs, he wants pain relief.  He doesn’t want medication, but he needs something for anxiety and depression.  Again, though he can’t find a doctor to treat him like a human being.

God I so hate insurance companies.  It’s not the doctors, it’s the fucking insurance companies who bounce people around and jerk them about, and lie, and delay and create more problems for people who are already ill.  I fucking HATE insurance companies!  They don’t see people at all, only profits…at the expense of people’s health and well being.

DI buttonsI can no longer live this way, I can’t help him.  I can’t ease his pain, and I can’t live with the frustration and anger, yet I can’t abandon my son.  I’ve an appointment with my psychiatrist tomorrow afternoon.  He’s probably going to increase my meds, or maybe I should ask him for Xanax or something.  Today however, I plan to stay in bed and cry and hopefully sleep the day away.  I may try to do some journaling as well.  Later, after I nap.

The Many Joys of Aging

Really, there aren’t any.  Aging is a difficult process, especially after about 50 years.  Your life begins to revolve around health issues, doctor visits, tests, and too many prescriptions!  It can get very disheartening.

kneesSo far this year we have dealt with:

  • two MS flares and a general increase in symptoms and subsequent increase in medications
  • kidney stones of epic proportions (not really, but they were big enough) which included numerous doctor visits and several visits to the ER
  • knee issues, as yet unresolved. (The docs say the arthritis “isn’t that severe” yet the pain is.  The cortisone shots and the Synvisc treatments have been a bust)
  • ER visits with Son for anxiety, and back pain
  • Social Security benefits issues
  • Medicare questions
  • Medi-Cal problems
  • mounting medical bills
  • fear of having to move from our beautiful little upstairs apartment, because Husband’s knees are so bad

And that’s just the three of us.  We have also been dealing with Mom’s care.  We have found she is now without funds sufficient to continue to live in the home where she has been for two years.  We just discovered she has not been receiving her husband’s naval pension benefits.  I had started all the paperwork for her to receive that after her husband died, but she started to hoard the paperwork and would no longer let me help.  Now I have to start over, and try to push the issue to get her some financial help quickly.  She can no longer pay her rent.  Preliminary info on military pensions say that they are not generally passed down to widows, unless the vet paid into the pension to do so, but we haven’t found if that may be the case.  I only know Mom never finished the process, choosing instead to ignore it.  Now, of course, it’s MY problems again.  Yippee!!

pillsLately I have been hating my life and having trouble staying positive.  I’m now in pain every day, though mostly mild.  I now take 7 different prescriptions.  My emotions are raw and I cry at the least provocation: sad movie, sad book, imagined slights. Hormones?  Who the hell knows?  It could be PBA caused by the MS.  It doesn’t really matter the cause.  It’s just a new thing to cope with, or possibly to add a new prescription to my growing pharmacopoeia.  Something I sincerely do not want to do.

My last visit to the neurologist we discussed the constant esophageal spasms, and she said it is likely NOT the MS, but GERD!  Really?  I always understood GERD hit you at night, and was very painful.  The spasms are not painful, but constant and uncomfortable.  Imagine a fist through your chest squeezing your esophagus.  Now I need to see a gastroenterologist to determine the cause and find a remedy in the form of a pill.  Ugh!

I know my problems are minor to so many of you dealing with serious illnesses and looming death.  I’m just so disheartened today, having difficulties seeing any light at the end of these tunnels.  I’m just venting here.  No comments are really required.  I know we all have our bad days, and today is one of mine.

On Health and Long Absence

My life here near the beach has not been the idyllic retirement.  We have no schedule so I never know what I will be doing next. Husband gets itchy feet and off he wants to go (usually to spend money we shouldn’t).  Most times I go with him because I know he likes me to.  Sometimes we go out to the beach and walk.  We haven’t taken the kayak out in months.  Husband’s bike is gathering dust in the garage.

beach yogaI don’t know why it has worked out  this way. Why I have little interest in doing much.  In the back of my mind I think it’s the dysphoria coming back, yet for the most part I am content.  But I argue with myself about doing things.  Making excuses for not exercising more. nI’ve gone to yoga at the beach and enjoyed it immensely, but haven’t done it for weeks.  There is Tai Chi in the park I really want to join, yet instead I stay in bed and read.  I haven’t made the friends I had told myself I would. The few women I have met and get along well with have full lives without adding me to their social calendar.

Some of my excuses for not doing things are legitimate.  I’ve been working with Son on his new business, printing his labels and packing slips, creating and updating his website.  It took weeks to set up his site and I hated it.  It felt like work and stressed me out.  But It needs updating again and I will be trying to teach Son how to do the updating himself.

Husband has been dealing with kidney stones for about 3 months.  It was awful!  To see him in such pain, or passed out on the pain killers daily for weeks. They tried lithotripsy, but the tech was very poor and the doctor could not find the stones.  She ended up going up the urethra to capture only one of the 3 stones.  He passed one of the remaining stones, and the last stone is sitting in his kidney, until just a couple days ago when he started experiencing some pain.  Thank goodness he still has pain killers!ER

I have been worn out this summer.  The heat has been constant, and the breeze has not.  It’s even hot on the beaches!   It does cool off at night thank goodness.  Lots of MS issues with my legs, arms and back.  My gastroparesis is back, though I was told it never goes away, I have been eating normally for nearly 5 years.  So far it has not been too bad, but my appetite is non-existant. Some days just the thought of eating makes me nauseous.  I am down to a good weight and probably shouldn’t lose any more.

I think in the past six months I have visited the ER 7 or 8 times.  Son suffered from serious anxiety attacks and we took him to the ER several times because it was so bad.  During one episode his heartbeat was over 150 beats per minute.  (Later we discovered one of the herbs Son was taking was making his anxiety worse.  He stopped taking it and suffered withdrawals for 2 weeks.  An herb!  Kratom I think it’s called.)  Then there were several trips with Husband to the ER for his kidney stones.  Luckily the hospital is only a mile away, and surprisingly efficient.  I must inquire at the hospital about a family rate.  LOL

defibrillatorAnd, to continue the theme of health issues;  Mom had at least 4 heart attacks in the last three months.  Two of them quite severe.  The doctors were not optimistic about her recovery after the last one, but that was three weeks ago and she seems to have recovered just as she always does. She’s 85 and they did surgery on her earlier this year as well. Incredible.  If I were her I think I would’ve had my defibrillator implant turned off or removed, so the next heart attack would just take me out.  She says she is not done living yet, and at this rate she will see her eldest son pass away.  Husband’s older brother, he has many health issues and is on very high doses of painkillers like oxycodone.  He’s had a couple of strokes, the last one was pretty bad.  He’s pretty much housebound, and his poor wife is running ragged taking care of him.

On the positive side, I have gotten back in regular contact with one of my sisters, D.  She is two years younger than me, and was once much more religious than I.  I was happy to discover she was no longer of that mind, and was also closer to me in terms of politics as well.  It gives us much more in common than just being raised in the same house.  We email a bit, and have talked every few weeks on Skype.  It has been very nice for both of us to have a sister again.sister

So that sort of sums up my long absence, but I really miss all my friends here when I am away.  Even if I am not reading or commenting, I am thinking about you often, wondering how things are going.

Life Can Be a Challenge

The past two years have been quite eventful between Husband’s retiring and our move, but they have been mostly happy.  In fact the reason I don’t think I’ve posted near as often as I used to, is that I don’t have any complaints, or issues to work out via the blog, until today.  Well it’s been building the past several weeks.

It’s the same things, of course, Son has serious issues.  Lately I have begun to despair that he is broken beyond repair.  I doubt he can ever maintain his own home and I’m in tears right now thinking about it. The plan when we moved is that Son would’ve been on his own by now, and we have made progress in that direction, since Son now is operating an online herbal sales business.  Still it will be difficult to secure an apartment since he is self-employed, so he has to stay with us until he has a steady income for a good year, unless we co-sign a lease for him.

It’s so hard not to blame yourself when your child doesn’t turn out the way you hoped.  I absolutely hate to hear about my nieces and nephews who have gone to or attending college, getting married, moving away from home.  While here I am still worrying about what’s bothering my Son.  Wondering how best to help him.  I try to support him, but it’s not easy.  Knowing I made serious mistakes along the way.  The feeling that I did this to my Son cannot be shaken.  I find myself becoming very depressed again.

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Dear Children, I Apologize For The Behavior Of My Fellow Adults


This is beautifully written and I agree with every word. Sad how badly we have failed our children.

Originally posted on Brickhousechick:


Dear Children,

I am so very sorry that many of us have let you down.  I am sorry that we disappoint you on a daily basis by engaging in the very behavior we urge you not to engage in.

From a very early age, we adults encourage you to share your toys, say please and thank you, mind your manners, be kind and respectful to others and to never to be a bully. We take you to church, socialize you and expose you to people who are different.  We teach you tolerance and acceptance and hope that you will grow up to be a kind and happy adult.

But in reality, we fail.  We ourselves don’t share.  We are demanding of others, we do not take accountability for our actions, we blame others, we are not kind or respectful to others and we do the bullying.  We model the exact…

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35 Mind-Blowing Facts About Inequality


This did indeed blow my mind. You can do your own fact checking.

Originally posted on Tales from the Conspiratum:

35 Mind-Blowing Facts About Inequality | Alternet.

Bernie Sanders realizes that runaway inequality is a critical issue. How come the other candidates don’t?
July 13, 2015

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

While Hillary Clinton occasionally gives some lip service to the problem of extreme inequality, Bernie Sanders is the only candidate really hammering away at it. He has even blasted the orthodoxy of economic growth for its own sake, saying according to Monday’s Washington Post that unless economic spoils can be redistributed to make more Americans’ lives better, all the growth will go to the top 1% anyway, so who needs it? Sanders might know his history, but the rest of the candidates could use a little primer.

The United States was not always the most powerful nation on Earth. It was only with the end of World War II, with the rest of the developed world in…

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Technology and Photos

We’re scanning all our photos into the computer, putting them in folders labeled ‘Grandma’s Birthday’ or ‘Summer 77’.  And don’t forget to back those up on a flash drive.  And then what?  I have a dozen flash drives full of photos.  Why not keep the physical photos as back up?  Takes up too much space.  Maybe you have too many photos?  I know we do.  futureHusband being an amateur photographer and all, there are boxes of photos he wants me to scan.  (He can’t do it because it’s too confusing for him.  It’s a lousy excuse, but I wrote out the instructions, and still had to walk him through the steps.  I figured it was just easier if I did it myself.  But I drag my feet, because even after I’ve scanned, labeled, and shared boxes of photos…he won’t throw out the originals.  It will take more than a generation to delete paper from our lives, but it is coming.  Kids just email their homework to their teachers.  Everything will be done on iPads.  In time, even the musty smell of old book stores will dissipate.

The pace at which our technology is expanding is both awe inspiring and frightening.  I’m old enough to remember carbon paper and manual typewriters. It’s so long ago and I feel it was ‘better back then’, just like all old people do.  Today at Starbucks I saw little round disks with a hole in the middle, and a USB port.  They were wi-fi chargers.  You place them on the table and plug in your device and it charges.  I’m blown away by the technology.  But then I thought, aren’t radio waves sort of like wi-fi?  Does wi-fi use radio waves, or something else?  And then my brain begins to hurt and I stop thinking about it.

Glow-in-the-dark puppy created by Korean Scientists (2011)

Glow-in-the-dark puppy created by Korean Scientists (2011)

Things are changing in my world that I do not want changed.  Why do we need such technology?  You know, if ISIS or Russia, or China wanted to take over the US, all they’d have to do is sabotage our electricity.  No bombs required, and we’d be hostages.  Just because we have the capability to do something doesn’t mean we should.  We now know how to clone sheep and make puppies and fish glow in the dark.  Maybe in some obscure way this knowledge will help us learn something else.  But really; glow-in-the-dark puppies?

I must admit that use this technology too.  I have a Facebook page, my blog, my online store.  There’s even a MySpace page and some short stories floating around the World Wide Web. I love the fact that I have so much information at my fingertips.  The problem is it’s all the same information, often word for word, regardless of the subject from Aborigines to Zoology.  Google something.  Then check the first 3-5 sites.  See if the information varies much.  Granted, the information may be accurate.  But it may not be all the information.  I still trust books.  Especially encyclopedias, always an excellent unbiased source for information.  But they don’t update them anymore, and so much has been learned just in my lifetime they are quite obsolete.

hell-in-a-handbasketWhat are the dangers of people living online?  Kids glued to their phones and pads.  My grandson never puts his down.  It’s been months since I’ve seen his face.  Sociologically speaking we are doomed to live our lives in the dystopia of Demolition Man.  Everything will be purchased at Wal-mart and Amazon, from prescriptions to kinky sex toys.  There will be no grocery stores or kitchens in homes, everyone eats out.  I see it coming (as do a lot of old people), the end of the world, glad I won’t see it.  Thinking exactly like my Grandma did at the turn of the 20th century, and her father, and  his mother.  And so the world will go on as it always did.  The next generation dooming all of mankind ever since man learned he was different from the other animals.

Are we doomed?  Yes, of course we are.  Just like the Romans who killed themselves off with lead goblets, the Mayans who didn’t make it through years of drought, the First Nations of the Americas who couldn’t beat the modern weapons of the 15th Century White men.  Each great country or empire will come to an end.  And most didn’t disappear so much as they were absorbed by other cultures/countries.  It happened to the Great Soviet Union and Germany in my lifetime.  It can happen to the US.


If you are on the internet at all, you know the English language (and I’m sure others as well) is going through some rapid changes.  New words, unrecognizable abbreviations, and so many old rules seem to have been thrown out.

I’m no Grammar Nazi, but I do believe it is important.  If you are going to post something on Facebook, your webpage, or a Yahoo News story, grammar is required to properly convey your message.  I know there are people online who are not native English speakers, and so I can forgive them their inaccuracies. But others seem to be native English speakers and have no idea how to accurately convey their thoughts.   I’ve read so many comments where there is almost no capitalization.  Many people can only use commas, or worse, ellipses, between their thoughts.  They look like this:

BREAKING NEWS.i think Donald trump is the best leader to take over the american empire in 2017. Donald trump is a douche bag no doubt but hes openly a douche bag like rob ford and thats a good thing.trump is the only person on that dam ballot that isint a coward.he is the only candidate that is willing to put the cowers back into forgin powers.hes not churchill and never will be but i see elements of him that make him a man not to be pushed around.

Or this:

I think any and all religious leaders thatthat manipulate the weak minded should be thrown in the pit with lions even though after that we wouldn’t be able to have line meet because if the USDA inspected it well we all know what would happen then

People need to understand grammar is what allows our written words to be understood by others.  If you are going to bother making a post, it might as well be understandable, right?  But who am I to judge?  ‘Their’, ‘They’re’, ‘there’.  Maybe I’ll get which they mean out of context.  Still, it’s just Facebook, so what’s the big deal.

But the news stories?  Shouldn’t proper spelling and the proper use of punctuation be a requirement?  Words should be spelled correctly, and proper grammar is expected. It should be accurate, understandable, and generally make sense.  Unlike this article about a man that died playing with fireworks on the 4th of July.  It is the first article I pulled up off Yahoo News just yesterday.  If it was written on paper, I’d expect it to be in crayon and look like this:  kids writing

Who writes these articles, 3rd graders?

Gonna Have a Bonfire!

piles_of_paperworkI just sent the last documents to the realtor to get the house sold.  She said she needed the information by the 22nd or the deal would fall through.  I’m assuming that it means it will definitely go through as long as she’s got it. I had to scan and email my entire 2014 taxes, because the taxes we filed were done electronically and so don’t have an actual signature, which the bank requires.  So I had to take and scan all 35 pages of last year’s taxes as separate documents and had to email them in sets of 5, 7 emails of 5 docs each, since I couldn’t send all of them at once.  It took me more than two hours to finally get it all done.

I am so ready to be done with this house!  I will never buy another house as long as I live!  It’s easier to buy one than sell it these days. The cool part is the bank is no longer sending me requests, but sending everything through the realtor.    Poor thing, she’s bore the brunt of my frustration at the numerous requests from the bank for the same info over and over and over and over and…one more time.  They have sent us the same letters via regular mail (for some reason, three at a time) as well as making me go to the post office three times a week to sign for letters I already received.  And all the paperwork still mentions how the bank is happy to help me work on modifying my mortgage, despite the fact that all the ‘new’ paperwork the past year has been regarding the sale of the house.

fireI must’ve sent the bank an entire ream of paper in taxes and bank statements over the last three years.  And in turn I must’ve received three times that from the bank in letters I didn’t read,in duplicate and triplicate.  Add that to the ream I have from the initial purchase of the house, and I feel responsible for at least a few trees.  When the house is finally no longer mine we’re going to burn all the paperwork in the firepit!  Man I would love it to be tonight!

CRAP.  Realtor just called, she’s missing some paperwork.  It’s usually not clear what, but i checked my email and see where she said she received only 11 pages of the 35.  I checked my sent emails and see all of them went through on this end and told her to check her email for the other 5 emails.  It would help if the realtor was a little less freaked out by technology.  Cross your fingers she finds she has all she needs.  I’d just send the emails again, but she’s certain to end up with duplicates of some pages and missing others.  I know the end is near, but I have my doubts.  Christ, will this ever end?

A New Phase

My new neurologist doesn’t think I have MS!  Most of the tests run on me don’t indicate MS, and I agree with the dr., based solely on test results, it doesn’t look definitively like MS.  She is so unsure about the diagnosis, she took me off the new MS drug I started when I began seeing her, and wants to talk to my previous doctors and see what it is she may be missing.  She knows I was receiving care from UCLA and their level of expertise, so she hasn’t been rash enough to do more than run a whole battery of new tests and question the diagnosis.  But she admits she can’t see empirical evidence of disease.

She’s run nerve conduction tests and she doesn’t see any disease.  She’s tested for ocular nerve damage, and sees none.  She sees nothing significant in the MRIs done of my head and neck.  She doesn’t believe the ‘lesions’ in my brain are caused by MS, not big enough or bright enough for her expertise.  She even ordered an MRI of my lower back, which has never been done.  Just to see if there is a spinal issue that might explain my leg weakness.  She is convinced that the hand pain and weakness in my arms is due to the disc damage and stenosis in my neck.

What I can’t figure out is if she doesn’t think it’s MS, what is the problem?  Simply age-related spinal damage?  No one in my family ever suffered from spinal issues.  And I’ve had the other MS-like symptoms: the trouble walking, the pain in my head and neck, dizzy spells.  The overwhelming fatigue?  I see her the end of the month to discuss the latest MRI and what she decided after talking with my previous neurologist.  I’m pretty curious to see what she’s decided.

I’ve recently joined that select group of people who are in daily pain.  I seem to have developed chronic back pain.  For the last few months my back has often been in spasm, and it’s only getting worse.  For the past couple of weeks the pain begins to hurt as soon as I get up in the morning and the only relief I get is when I lie down.  This is really stopping me from doing things, like riding in a car, walking on the beach.  I can still do most things, but for much shorter periods of time. I am trying to keep up with yoga but so far, not much serious relief from the back ache.  I’m hopeful.

The biggest issue with the chronic pain, is trying to cope with Husband’s decreasing mobility caused by arthritis in his knees.  They haven’t been too bad in the few years since he was told about it.  He was getting steroids injected every six months or so, but can only delay the inevitable surgery.  I don’t have arthritis (that I know of), but I know it is very painful, and between my back and his knee, we’ve barely been getting out of the house.  Though we got a little stir crazy this week, and worked in the garden the past two days.  Husband sees the doc next week and discuss the first step in having knee replacement surgery.  Of course, the big concern is mobility afterward.  We live on the second floor and there is no elevator.  I don’t know how difficult those will be, or if stairs will be completely off limits for a period of time.  It’d be tough for him to just get upstairs and not be able to leave the house for 6 months.  We are not looking forward to it.

I’ve said it before, getting old is a bitch, but it beats the alternative.