Friday, December 31, 2010

Count your blessings instead of sheep!

Ok...I have to admit...this pace is catching up with me.  I'm extremely tired and that leaves me vulnerable to emotions.  Last night I thought I was on my last leg.  Mike had a fairly good day with a visit from his nurse.  She was testing his memory and asked him what he had for supper the night before.  He immediately looked at me and without thinking I prompted him.  Vivian noted...."Your sister's memory is great but let's test yours now."   Ooops 

It's apparent that Mike has suffered some kind of brain damage but to what extent is still unclear to me.  His memory (short term) is really fuzzy.  He insisted last night that today is not New Year's Eve because of leap year~!  Uhhhhh explain please.  He had some fumbled reason and then when I had him count the days and I said what is December 31st he couldn't tell me.  I asked what month comes next and he said February.   Sooo there are definitely some cognitive issues going on here.  He has absolutely no concept of finances or how much money he has. 

I always thought that his schizophrenia also caused him to be a little narcissistic.  He's always been demanding and will just wear you out with "get me this and get me that".  But now, he isn't so much as demanding as seemingly helpless.  He is barely ambulatory and his cane isn't really helping much.  Arthritis has just about ruined his knee and because his medicine has caused so much weight gain that is playing a huge impact on his mobility.  If he were to fall there would be no way I'd ever be able to get him up.

Last night I woke up about 3:00 a.m.  I was so anxious about Mike and Ron I couldn't sleep.  I realized that I really don't know how to pray.  I start questioning whether it is ok to pray for oneself or should it be only for others.  I'm afraid of being selfish.  I'm afraid to ask for anything for myself.  I'm afraid God will see through me to my real intention.  If I'm praying for a miracle for Ron will God really see that I'm selfishly asking for myself?  I don't want to lose Ron and I'm afraid.  I ask Him to help me be strong enough to accept His will.  "Thy will be done".  But I'm afraid to ask that His will be to let Ron live.  I have so much to learn!

Well, I have many errands to run today.  I'm trying to take care of medical paperwork for Mike and take down my Christmas tree sometime today before our weather turns to an Arctic blast.  Yesterday was 70 degrees....just beautiful.  But by this evening the temp. will be dropping drastically.  Good ole Oklahoma weather!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Best Day So Far

Mike had a great day today.  The meeting with his mental health case manager went well.  He has some ideas for referrals that will help Mike develop some independent living skills.  Mike will also see a psychiatrist at least once/month and his case manager as well.

The home health nurse called and she will see Mike twice a week for the next 3 weeks.  She wants to establish a relationship with Mike and gain his trust before she has any new people start coming into the house.  Because Mike is a paranoid schizophrenic it is important that he form a relationship with anyone who comes into the house.  I really like this nurse.  She already understands a lot about Mike.  It really touched my heart when she left yesterday she made a point to hug Mike good-bye.  I'm always sensitive to how people react to him and I want people to see his sweet side. 

Tomorrow they are delivering the new recliners I purchased for Mike and Ron.  I can just see them now sprawled out with the intention of watching a game on the big screen tv and both of them snoring away.

I haven't let myself even think about Ron's cancer.  It's more than I can handle right now.  February is looming out there but I just won't let myself go there.  I'm praying as hard as I can that they were wrong about it spreading to his lungs.  I'm praying for a miracle!  I believe miracles happen every day!

Good Day Yesterday

The home health nurse came yesterday and was with us about 4 hours.  She is a psychiatric nurse with many years experience working with adult males with psychotic illnesses.  We are soooo lucky.  She will see Mike once a week but she is requesting a home health nurse to also come weekly for medical issues and she is ordering physical therapy in the home as well.  She is also going to request a home aide that will help with house cleaning and cooking.  I've never been so  proud to be Native American.  All of this is being provided by the Choctaw Nation.  The American Government could learn a few things about compassion from the Indian health care service.

We have an appointment at Community Mental Health today with Mike's case manager and I'm hoping they can help with some ideas about medication and how to get it paid.  I've got several things working at once so surely something will come from that.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Kenju....I did as you suggested and called the nurse.  We have a new appointment on the 6th and she was able to help me with the meds.  Most of them were medications he had received at the clinic and I was just able to get refills.  The others are the anti-psychotic drugs and  I have enough of them to last until the 6th.  The doctor has to see him before he can write new prescriptions but we have time. Soooo all my anxiety was for nothing.

I have my older brother looking into a couple of nursing homes nearby but that would be my last resort.  I took Mike out to eat last night and I thought we were going to have a scene.  He got very argumentative about wanting to give the busboy a $20 tip.  He embarassed the poor kid and I thought I was going to have to call Ron to meet us there after work but I finally got Mike calmed down and just told him he's "not in charge"......I am.  It's a minute by minute challenge with him.  One minute he seems like the old Mike and the next he is saying crazy things that make no sense.

My daughter is meeting me this afternoon to help me get the spare room cleaned out and ready to paint.  As soon as I get that room ready Ron will move his furniture in and start staying there at night with Mike.  That will sure give me a break and make going to work easier as well.  I just don't know how long Ron will be able to do it.  We shall see!  ONE DAY AT A TIME....that's my motto!

When I get a chance I need to figure out how to use my new camera I got from Julie/Larry for Christmas!  Love it!  Just not smart enough to figure out how to use it.  I need lessons!  Jamie got me a digital frame to display the pictures I take once I learn how to take them.........

Well, I'm taking an hour for myself and going to soak in the tub before I get over to Mike's house.  Ron dropped Mike off this morning so I would have a little time for myself this morning and I'm not going to waste a minute of it.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Feeling Scared!

OK...It has been 1 week and 1 day since Mike was released from the hospital.  I filled his pill case today and there are about 5 medications that I will run out of in 4 days.  I am going to the Indian clinic tomorrow and beg them to write prescriptions.  I am trying to think of a backup plan if this fails.  Mike doesn't have a physician here in town so I don't know where I will go.  I thought about a minor emergency facility but that will be my last resort.  Mike has an appointment with his doctor at the clinic but not until Jan. 13th.  I can't wait that long for the prescriptions.

This is so hard.  Mike woke up a little while ago and told me he has a psychotic episode when he awakened he thought he was dying.  I told him he was probably startled and sometimes we get confused when that happens.  I really don't know.  He definitely has diliusional thinking.  He told me he wants to call the man who was his room mate at the mental hospital.  I had to tell him no.   I have to be careful about the relationships he forms because he can get too involved in other people's problems.  Next thing I'd know he'd be inviting someone to come and live with us!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tonight is the first night I've had this nervous anxiety.  I've got to get it under control!

The Day After

Nope, not the day after the "big one" well, sorta I suppose.  It is the day after Christmas.  For some people it is a bit of a let down after so much anticipation but for me it is a calm morning full of potential.  I get to enjoy the Christmas lights for at least another week, although there are people in town who sometimes leave them up way into Spring! 

All the wrapping and trappings have been  removed and the Christmas dinner is a thing of the past.  Well, not past since a great deal of it now resides on my thighs.  But, who cares?  We are happy and content.  Or at least most of us.  Ron has a terrible cold and he has coughed and hacked his way through Christmas and if he isn't better by tomorrow much to HIS surprise he will find himself at the doctor's office.

I've been granddog sitting since last Thursday any my little charges are going home today.  They are sweet but I'm ready to be an empty nester again. (ha)  Now if they managed to call me Grandma they'd be staying forever.

I'm not sure what the day holds in store for me.  Mike will probably spend some time at his house today, since that is a goal we have set and he is doing very well.  He did tell me that he got lonely there yesterday but we talked about it and we know that lots of people have those feelings at times.  We discussed ways to cope with those feelings and I assured him that if it is ever too much for him then he only has to call and I'll pick him up.   I think he spent about 4 hours alone yesterday.  He did a load of laundry and folded and put it away.  He fixed himself a snack mid-afternoon.  He showered and put on his Christmas duds!  By 4:30 he was packed and ready to come back to my house.  (A successful day)

Mike has an appointment on the 29th (our mother's birthday) to meet with his mental health casemanager.  On Monday I'm going to the tribal clinic to talk to his doctor's nurse.  I need to get some of the prescriptions written that were ordered from St. Anthony's Hospital.  I have to have all this in order to apply for the prescription assistance.  I figure if I go in person I'll have a better chance of getting something done.

Sooooooooo happy December 26th!  May your day be filled with wonder!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

This has been quite the holiday season for myself and my family!  There was no time for gift buying or any of the materials things associated with Christmas yet in so many ways it was one of the most meaningful Christmas's I've ever had.  When  you take away the tinsel and the commercial trappings of Christmas you are left with the truest meaning of the season.  Christ was born for each and everyone of us.  He is the greatest gift of all. 

I've learned that Love is the greatest gift and it doesn't require a bow.  My brother is teaching me that lesson every day.  He is providing me the opportunity to be the kind of person I want to be, to love someone more than myself and to walk the walk with God's help.  With God's help we will continue to take each day as it comes and I'm the one who is being blessed every day.

Merry Christmas Everyone..........I hope the New Year brings you joy, good health and much happiness!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My mother's prayers are being answered!

Yesterday I did some searching on the internet for the drug Fanapt that cost us $700.00 Monday night.  I found a coupon for one 60 pill prescription (exactly what we had purchased).  I printed out the coupon and went back to Walgreens and with my most pitiful face I asked if they would honor the coupon and credit my bank card for the prescription purchased the night before.   AND THEY DID!  Hooray for Walgreens.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I have to fill out some paperwork for Mike today for a prescription program that I'm sure he will be qualified.  So faith perseveres.

Mike had a great day yesterday.  His mind is getting clearer and he's less anxious.  We are going to take him to my daughter's house tonight for family Christmas.  We are only going to have the immediate family in order to not overwhelm Mike.  Keeping it simple!

SO.....Merry Christmas to All!  I'm taking off after today and going to be on vacation until the 3rd of January!  I'm looking forward to some rest!


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Life with Riley

Does anyone remember the TV show "Life with Riley"...or at least I think that was what it was called.  I don't actually remember the show but I remember the title.  Anyway.......I guess I'm in a sitcom of my own..."Life with Mike".  

Mike had a good day yesterday.  He made it all day by himself at his house.  He had his list and he followed it to the letter.  It was funny because as he completed a task and crossed it off he called me to tell me he had completed it.  This went on all day but thank goodness I work in such a compassionate place.  After all we deal with children with disabilities.

I picked him up after work but before we left his house we planned his day for today.  He said he couldn't do any mental work so we decided dusting the furniture would be a good job for today.  Of course I had to put a post-it note on every piece of furniture that needed dusting.  It was colorful to say the least.  He is also to shower and do one load of laundry.  He will fix his own lunch and snack today and then rest this afternoon.  

We discussed the voices again this morning and how he thought the receptionist at the doctor's office was speaking to him in code.  He also told me the news channel was trying to fool him and lying to him.  He wanted to know when they would stop using such exaggerated body language.

I said, "So, the news people are sitting around writing stories and saying, we can fool Mike Simpson with this story".  

Mike laughed and said, "That's not logical, they don't know my name."

"Bingo"  and we both chuckled a little.  However, it made me aware that we are sitting on the edge of his psychosis and I have to really stay aware of what's going on with him.

We had breakfast together this morning and talked about his plans for the day.  I told him he was going to his "office" for the day and I to mine.  Ron picked him up at 8:00 after I had left for work and was taking Mike to his "office" so we will see how day 2 proceeds.

I want Mike to spend the day in his own house because if there is a chance that he can become independent again he needs to get used to being at home again.  I know he can't stay alone at night but so far the day time is working out although one day probably is too soon to judge.

I thought I knew a lot about schizophrenia but I realize there is soooo much more to learn.  

Monday, December 20, 2010

So Much To Tell

Mike was discharged from St. Anthony's on Saturday after a lot of confusion by the staff.  Mike had called me on Friday and said he was being discharged Saturday morning but just to be on the safe side I had Butch call to confirm.  He was told (at 6pm Friday evening) "Why no, he's being discharged right now."  He's packed and waiting for you to pick him up."  Sooooo Butch called me and I said I'd call the charge nurse and see what's going on.  I called her and she said "No, he's being discharged Saturday morning."   Good grief.  Mike had it right all along and it makes you wonder just "who" is crazy!

So, Saturday morning Ron and I drove to St. Anthony's.  Not only was he NOT packed but they couldn't find 1/2 his belongings.  (That's no longer a shocking surprise).  The discharge meeting I had requested consisted of the Charge Nurse giving me a mega long list of medications.  Telling me which ones where 2xdaily and which ones were bedtime.  She handed me 5 prescriptions and Mike.  We walked out and that was that.

After we got Mike settled at home and felt sure we could leave him for a while we started trying to get the prescriptions filled.  No pharmacy had the anti-psychotic drugs.  We finally found 4 out of 5 at a Walgreens so I called the hospital and asked "What am I supposed to do until Monday?"  Their stellar reply was "He will just have to do with out them until then". I stupid or is the world turning backwards?  I thought that is why we went through this whole thing because he got his medications messed up!   But after much pleading it finally came down to no meds until this afternoon.   Did I mention the 4 medications cost $1,470.00 and as the pharmacist said "Those weren't the expensive ones".  The one we are waiting for is over $1,000. by itself.  Oh....did I mention he's on social security disability with medicare but is too young for prescription coverage which he will not receive for another 3 1/2 years?  His monthly income is $750.00.   What are we going to do?  $2,500/month for medication alone.   I just have to have faith that all is going to work out.  One day at a time!

Mike has spent the night at my house every night and done really well.  I take him home during the day and today is his first day alone.  I made him a schedule for today and his lunch is ready.  I have to include things like shower, brush teeth, use deoderant, the things we all just know to do.  He has my phone# my daughter's # and knows to call us if he has any problems.  I'm waiting for Walgreen's to call when his "liquid gold medication" comes in.

In the midst of all this I was cleaning out the spare room at his house getting it ready for us to move bedroom furniture in when I came across what looked like a regular scrapbook.  I had told Ron earlier that I wished I could talk to my mother one more time.  I needed her guidance with all that is happening with Mike.  So, I opened the scrapbook and it wasn't filled with pictures but my mother's words.  She had written in this huge book her prayers to God.    She prayed for each one of us every day.  There were also many personal prayers about her own battle with depression and the pain she and my dad were experiencing with aging.  How their marital life had been impacted by my father's diabetes and eventual blindness. 

As I read along I got to the year when her own mother died.  She told God how she had always wondered who would pray for her when her mother was gone.  She knew her mother prayed for her every day.  She said she now realized that her mother continued to pray for her even though she was no longer here. mother is praying for me too!!!!!!  How many times she has spoken to me since her death.  Always, when I need her the most.  I am so fortunate to have had such wonderful parents.  I promised her that I would take care of my brother and I know she is helping me to do just that.  I just have to keep my own faith and believe that God will help me find the way to make Mike's life as good as possible.

Friday, December 17, 2010

I talked to Mike yesterday and told him I felt that the possible benefits of the electroconvulsive therapy outweighed the possible risks in my opinion but that I support any decision he makes.  He sounded so much better and said his depression has greatly improved.  Right now I think he is leaning toward NOT having the treatment but as I said to him it doesn't mean he can't change his mind in the future.

I also told him that I will be living with him from now on and he sounded so relieved.  I'm glad I was able to give him that reassurance.  I know this will not be easy but I'm going into it with an open heart and asking God to give me all the patience I will need.  After what he has been through and myself included this is a no brainer decision.  

I was thinking last night about how we attach ourselves to material things and for me it is my little house.  It isn't fancy but it is my sanctuary.  I have put so much of myself into my home, it is where I raised my babies, mended my heart and where I have now prepared a place to end my days.  But what I realize is that there is no place or material possession that matters more than someone you love.  Though it will be hard to leave and I'm not sure what is in front of me I am going to go forward and at the end of the day I will know I did my best.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Electroshock Therapy

The hospital is recommending electroshock therapy for my brother.  We are trying to educate ourselves on what was once considered a barbaric treatment.  Of course I have found groups that are very positive about the treatment and others who are not.  It is hard to reach an informed conclusion.  We watched a video with Mike today on the actual  procedure and saw interviews with patients who have received the treatment.  It is estimated that there is an 80% success rate with the treatment.  They want to give it to Mike because they don't feel he is stabilizing as well as they would like.  It will be to treat his depression and to try and prevent a reoccurence of his psychosis.  Right now they believe he will have another episode in the near future.  This would definitely prohibit Ron and I from taking care of him at home. 

I haven't formed an opinion yet.  I've read some possible side effects and though none of them sound too horrible individually, combined they don't sound like fun.  Of course the grand mall seizure that is induced doesn't sound like fun but he would be sedated and isn't supposed to have any memory of the event afterward.  There may be memory loss, severe headaches (duh) confusion..... but overall it doesn't sound like he has much to lose by trying.  There would be 12 treatments.  In the end the decision is Mike's to make.  We are just trying to be supportive.

A Christmas Story

One Christmas Eve, a frenzied young man ran into a pet shop looking for an unusual Christmas gift for his wife. The shop owner suggested a parrot, named Chet, which could sing famous Christmas carols. This seemed like the perfect gift.
"How do I get him to sing?" The young man asked, excitedly.
"Simply hold a lighted match directly under his feet." was the shop owner's reply.
The shop owner held a lighted match under the parrot's left foot. Chet began to sing: "Jingle Bells! Jingle Bells! ..." The shop owner then held another match under the parrot's right foot. Then Chet's tune changed, and the air was filled with: " Silent Night, Holy Night..."
The young man was so impressed that he paid the shop-keeper and ran home as quickly as he could with Chet under his arm. When the wife saw her gift she was overwhelmed.
"How beautiful!" She exclaimed, "Can he talk?"
"No," the young man replied, "But he can sing. Let me show you."
So the young man whipped out his lighter and placed it under Chet's left foot, as the shop-keeper had shown him, and Chet crooned: "Jingle Bells! Jingle bells!..." The man then moved the lighter to Chet's right foot, and out came: "Silent Night, Holy night..."
The wife, her face filled with curiosity, then asked, "What if we hold the lighter between his legs?"
The man did not know. "Let's try it," he answered, eager to please his wife. So they held the lighter between Chet's legs. Chet twisted his face, cleared his throat, and the little parrot sang out loudly like it was the performance of his life:


 "Chet's nuts roasting on an open fire’

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

There is one Christmas Carol that has always baffled me.
What in the world do leaping lords, French hens,
swimming swans, and especially the partridge who won't come
out of the pear tree have to do with Christmas?  This week, I found out.

From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were
not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone
during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics.
It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning
plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church.
Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality
which the children could remember.
-The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.
-Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.
-Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.
-The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.
-The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.
-The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.
-Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit--Prophesy, Serving, Teaching,  Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.
-The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.
-Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit--Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness,  Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.
         -The ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.
-The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.
-The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed.
So there is your history for today.  This knowledge was shared with me and I found it interesting and enlightening and now I know how that strange song became a Christmas pass it on if you wish.'
Merry Christmas Everyone!

Monday, December 13, 2010


Saturday the psychologist at St. Anthony's called me at home and talked about her evaluation of my brother.  She indicated her testing showed he has brain damage to the left side of his brain, cause unknown.  She believes it is causing dementia and impacting his cognitive abilities.  I have to admit I have some skepticism about her diagnosis.  They came to some of this conclusion because Mike gave his UPS account number to a patient who told him she wanted to have something shipped.  I know my brother and doing that wasn't out of the ordinary for Mike.  He is an extremely generous person who would give anyone the shirt off his back.  I realize that isn't always a good thing and it can get him into trouble at times however that alone is hardly cause for a nursing home.  We received conflicting recommendations from the psychiatrist and the psychologist.  The psychiatrist believes Mike needs to be placed in a facility and the psychologist believes he can live alone with assistance.  

After calling a few places and looking at what is available it appears that getting him on a waiting list may be all we can do right now.  Ron and I talked and we think if we stay with Mike (Ron would move in with him and I'd be there most of the time as well) we could hopefully keep him at home until something opens.  Of course that depends on Ron's health but either way I'd have them both close enough for me to take care of them.  It's the only plan we can come up with immediately and I just hope we can pull it off.  I still have hope that Mike will continue to improve in spite of what we are being told.  I may be unrealistic but I know my brother better than anyone else and I have to see for myself.

Mike actually cracked a funny yesterday when we saw him.  I took him a Christmas T-Shirt that had a huge picture of Santa on the front with the word "BELIEVE" under it.  When I gave it to Mike he said, "Whoa....this might be shock therapy for some of these patients."
Ahhhhhhhhh you gotta love him!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Grinch Who Stole My Christmas!

With all the things that are happening in my life right now I believe the Grinch has successfully stolen my Christmas!  I'm glad I got my house decorated and I'm enjoying sitting by the tree and watching the lights each night but that's about as much Christmas spirit as I have been able to muster.  I haven't purchased one gift or even thought about it.  I wish for only one thing this Christmas and that is for my brother to return to us happy and at peace.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sunday Night

We went to St. Anthony's to visit Mike this afternoon.  He looked haggard but he was coherent.  He came out of the catatonic state sometime Friday morning.  The psychiatrist called me Friday night but it was really hard to understand him because of his thick accent.  It was frustrating but I was so impressed that he called.  He did say that he was changing Mike's medication and offered an explanation for what may have contributed to this relapse.  The drug Mike takes can causes severe weight gain and Mike has steadily gained weight over the past few years.  He got up to 310 pounds but his medication dosage didn't change to accommodate the extra weight.  Finally it was just ineffective.  So now it has to be increased.  Mike is down to 287 but that's due to being so sick.  The weight gain is a real problem with Resperdol but the drug really works for Mike.  It's a catch twenty-two. 

Mike is still very depressed but I tried to reassure him and told him that it will just take time and to have patience.  I've been trying to rest this weekend and just get my own emotions under control.  I have so much work to catch up on and hope tomorrow I can get some of it done.  I am so appreciative of all the encouragement and support I have received.  It has meant so much!!!!!!!!!


Walking can add minutes to your life. This enables you at 85 years old to spend an additional 5 months in a nursing home
at $7000 per month.

My grandpa started walking five miles a day when he was 60.  Now he's 97 years old and we don't know where the hell he is.
I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me.
The only reason I would take up walking is so that I could hear heavy breathing again.
I have to walk early in the morning, before my brain figures out what I'm doing.
I joined a health club last year ... spent about 400 bucks. Haven't lost a pound. Apparently you have to go there.
Every time I hear the dirty word 'exercise', I wash my mouth out with chocolate.

I do have flabby thighs, but fortunately my stomach covers them.
The advantage of exercising every day is so when you die, they'll say, 'Well, she looks good doesn't she.'
If you are going to try cross-country skiing, start with a small country.
I know I got a lot of exercise the last few years just getting over the hill.
We all get heavier as we get older, because there's a lot more information in our heads. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
.... and

Every time I start thinking too much about how I look, I just find a Happy Hour, and by the time I leave, I look just fine.

Friday, December 3, 2010

OK...not whining just updating!

On Wednesday my older brother contacted a private psychiatric hospital in Okla. City.  They indicated they had a bed and if Mike met their criteria they would accept him for treatment.  I explained this to Mike and he seemed to understand that Butch and I couldn't keep staying with him 24/7 and that he still needed further treatment.  He was willing to go and was very agreeable.  He was going to have to go through the emergency department at St. Anthony's to be evaluated so I packed a bag (of what few clothes he has left) and we headed to Okla. City which is about 27 miles north of us.  Mike started getting very anxious and after we hit the interstate he started going psychotic on us trying to open the car and jump out and reaching for the steering wheel.  I had to just throw my body over him and try to restrain him but he's a big guy at 290 pounds and strong as a bull.  

Butch managed to get us off the interstate and we finally got Mike quieter and kept heading for St. Anthony's.  By the time we got there Mike was complete psychotic, screaming and grabbing at me.  Two security guards assisted us in getting him into the ER where after he was placed on the bed Mike went completely catatonic.  That was about 2pm on Wednesday and he has not been responsive since.  He was admitted and taken to a geriatric psych. unit.  The entire process took about 8 hours from beginning to end.  We were exhausted both physically and emotionally.  I hope we hear something soon from the psychiatrist.  We were told he would actually call us.  If he does he will be the first doctor who has ever spoken to a family member about my brother's mental illness in 40 years!!!!!!!  No one ever spoke to our parents in all that time even after 6 hospitalizations.  It's unbelievable!  Of course I won't believe it until it actually happens!

I am trying to remain hopeful and they will be able to help Mike.  We will do everything possible to prevent him from going to a state hospital again.  I'd gladly die if it would just give my brother one day of peace and happiness.  I wouldn't wish what he is going through on my worst enemy.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I'm tired of my own whining so this is the last I have to say about my life.  My brother was released from the mental hospital yesterday without warning.  He was almost as psychotic as the day I called 911.  He had to be wheeled to the car in a wheelchair because he was so out-of-it.  To add injury to insult he came home wearing someone else's clothes and with an empty clothes bag.  The $200 worth of clothes I purchased for him are no where to be found!  I contacted an advocacy group for mental health and they are looking into the whole situation.  We were given no instructions didn't know when or what meds he had been given.  It was the worst imaginable situation you could think of.  Why can't the people in this country figure out that our healthcare system is completely broken???????  
Now my older brother and I are taking turns staying with him.  I get tonight but not until I get off work around 10:00 pm due to a meeting I have to attend.  I think I got 2 hours of sleep last night.

We took Mike to an intake at community mental health for outpatient services but he can't be seen by a psychiatrist until Jan. 11th and no services can begin until after he is seen by the doctor.   What the heck are we supposed to do in the meantime??????

My daughter's mother-in-law and my childhood friend died on Thanksgiving.  She was diagnosed with terminal cancer on the 16th of Oct. and didn't live long enough to receive treatment.  I just returned from her funeral.  

I'm not going to write anything again until I have something happy to write about!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Have you ever had those days when the only thing working in your house is YOU?  My home computer is on the fritz....the disposal won't dispose....the bathroom heater over heats.....and somewhere in the midst of the caos I have misplaced my mind.  

To top it off I spent the entire day with my "older" brother trying to probate our mother's will.  There are a few snags due to our other brother's involuntary committment.  But that wasn't the most frustrating part of my was the fact that my brother Butch loses everything that he comes in contact with.  He lost a piece of paper walking from the tag agency to the car. (approximately 5 feet)  I don't know how he does it but he is the most scatter brained ex-cop I have ever encountered.

There has been no change in Mike's condition. It seems that his lucid moments were just that....moments.....few & apparently far between. Ron &  I have seen him every day but he's been "way out there" every time.  He likes to test our truthfulness by telling us to "blink once with your right eye".  I think that is some kind of lie dectection method he is using.  He has no idea what day of the week it is and when we tell him he doesn't believe us.  That's when he gets into the whole blink with your left eye business.  I played along for awhile and then I just told him "No".  I wasn't sure how he'd react but he just looked at me and moved on to something else just as bizarre!  

He told us he is going to carry a boat to Alaska and he's going to go moose hunting and when he kills a moose he is going to drink its blood.  He is fixated on some kind of ritual he has heard about or something.  Religion is another key component right now and we are all asked to pray several times during our visits.  He continually repeats, "Blood of Christ"  "I am the Good Shepherd"  "I am protecting my flock".  

When we went to see him Saturday evening we were told he was at a dance!  The security guard asked us if Mike is married and after I said no he said "Well, he may be before he leaves here."  It seems he has been quite the amorous gentleman during his stay.  

I am usually so depressed after visiting I can't sleep.  I just don't know what is going to happen.  I have learned that at some point he will be released to us and it is up to his family to take care of him.  I know he can't live alone and my older brother says his wife is afraid of Mike so he can't live with them.  He asked me if I would do it since I'm alone anyway.  Well, I guess I've been tagged, "Your it".  
I'm not complaining really for he has been my responsibility for the past 18 years.  I'm just feeling overwhelmed at the moment.  Ron is upset about the situation but as I said to him, "What am I supposed to do?"  I won't turn my back on him.  But......he hasn't been released yet.  He has a ways to go but I also know that the way the system works....we will get no advanced notice either.

Enough of my whining!    I've got work to do. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Good News Continues

Mike called me last night and he sounded just like my sweet brother.  He said Tuesday was hard because as he said, "I was confused".  We talked about 5 minutes and he was lucid the entire time.  We need about 3 days in a row just like that.   I guess his new medication kicked in and things are getting better.  Thank goodness!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Sun Is Shining

The sun is shining and I'm feeling much better today.  The hearing was held yesterday morning and Mike was cooperative and there were no outbursts.  The judge talked to him and Mike agreed to go to the hospital and was taken straight to the hospital from the hearing.  I can finally relax knowing that he is now in the least restrictive environment possible and receiving the treatment he needs.  

I am beginning to see the silver lining in all of this.  I have realized that I can't take care of my brother alone.  I am glad that we are now receiving outside help not just for him but for all of us.  (This is bigger than we are) We also received a diagnosis of Schizoaffective bipolar disorder.  That is the most definitive diagnosis we have ever received.  All these years we thought it was schizophrenia alone but it is a combination of schizophrenia and bipolar which explains so much.
But.....most of all I am grateful he is getting the attention he needs.  I can breathe!

Thank goodness everything went well yesterday!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A New Day

I don't know what finally clicked in my head but I have finally accepted the fact that all of this is out of my control.  Sounds weird since obviously I do not have power over cancer or schizophrenia but I guess somewhere in the back of my egocentric mind I thought I did!  Understanding oneself isn't an easy undertaking but I think it is important in order to understand the way we think and react.  

I grew up with mental illness.  My mother had several breakdowns during my life and at an early age I developed this feeling that as long as I was near her I could somehow make her happy.  She suffered from chronic depression and anxiety and I guess I thought my mere presence could somehow make that go away.  (I started building my ego early)  So anyway, that's how it began, this intense need to take care of everyone who crosses my path.

Schizophrenia is an entirely different world than depression and anxiety although they are certainly part of the component.  But, when you throw in a little paranoia mixed with delusions and hallucinations it becomes even bigger.  And when you have never known anything else it isn't always easy to recognize the signs that things are getting out of control.  This past month I missed all the signs with my brother, not that I could have prevented anything. I felt so much despair because I remember promising my mother as I held her and just before she took her last breath that my brother would be OK and that I would take care of him.  

I have to let go of all of that now.  I have to finally realize that I can't "fix" everything or take care of everyone.  We learned that Mike hurt 3 people yesterday, the aides that were trying to get him into his room and he strangled one of the aides and nearly castrated another one.  Of course he didn't know what he was doing but I finally accept the fact that I can't help him.  I have to let it go and stop feeling guilty for something neither he or I can help.  We didn't either of us ask for this.

We are waiting to receive information about today's hearing and if he is being transferred today to the state mental hospital.  I hope to know more by the end of the day.

Monday, November 15, 2010

I've got to learn to lower my expectations.  I hang on to every positive sign and then I'm devistated when things a back slide.  I was so up after Ron's Saturday visit with Mike.  Then yesterday Ron went back to see him again and Mike refused to go to visitation.  Ron asked the aide if it had been a bad day and the aide nodded in the affirmative.  Once I heard that I just crashed again.  I'm just so sick worrying about him.  I can't sleep or eat.   I was driving to work this morning and passed the mental hospital and that's all it took, I just started crying.  I've got to get a grip and a new route to work!

I wanted so much to make the holidays good for Ron and for us to have this time together but now my mind has been pulled toward my brother once again.  My older brother is just sick with worry also and I've been trying to stay positive for him.  He's so scared Mike won't come out of this and will be institutionalized from now on.  I'm not sure I could handle that and I just can't let myself go there.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sunday Shout Out

My sweet wonderful Ron went over to see my brother yesterday for about an hour.  I wasn't sure if seeing me would get him upset and he'd want me to take him home so we declared Ron a neutral country and he went instead.  He found Mike in pretty good spirits and he seemed to be more lucid than he's been in a week.  He says he's willing to do whatever the psychiatrist recommends.  That's a big improvement.  He only has visitation from 6pm - 7-pm daily and Mon-Wed-Fri mornings from 10-11.  He's been too psychotic for us to see him until yesterday.

Tuesday there will be a hearing to determine what comes next.  Either inpatient treatment at the mental hospital or outpatient through community mental health.  I'm feeling more hopeful that we will get past this and hopefully not get into a cycle.

It's a beautiful day and Ron and I have ran errands and now we are just relaxing and slowing down a bit.   Ron got a little sick after lunch so we needed to slow down.  I don't know what I would have done without his support this past week.  I can't imagine going through all this alone.

Friday, November 12, 2010


As we work our way through the mental health maze we were told yesterday that a competency hearing will be held probably next Tuesday.  Of course my brother knows none of this and I can only imagine how he will react.  Yesterday he had a meltdown and believed that he was in the hospital because we accused him of being racist.  Now that tells me he's still out of it.  I talked to him last night and he had calmed down and stated he was willing to stay "one more day".  After the hearing on Tuesday he will be transferred to the state mental hospital which fortunately is here in town.  At least there he will begin receiving treatment.

I had my own Ahhh Ha moment yesterday.  For the past 40 years I've struggled with resentment toward my brother and the guilt associated with having those feelings.  In one moment of clarity I realized I resent his disease and not him.  By being able to separate the two it allows me to feel the anger and the resentment without feeling the guilt.  I do hate his disease and I hate what mental illness does to a family but I love my brother with all my heart!  He is a good and kind man who loves people deeply.  He's so tender hearted that he never speaks to anyone without saying, "Well, Bless Your Heart".   I needed to realize that I can hate his disease and love him at the same time.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Getting educated on the run!

I'm trying to educate myself on the subject of the civil involuntary commitment process.....I guess it is like the "Reader's Digest" Condensed Version of education".  I'm trying to understand my brother's rights as well as ours as a family.  From what I now understand my brother is currently only in protective custody.  Protective custody occurs when a law enforcement officer detains a person the officer (or in our case the hospital ER doctor) reasonably believes is a person who is a danger to himself or others.  Then the officer transports the individual to a facility for an emergency examination which must occur within 12 hours of admission.   If determined that the person does require treatment then they are placed into protective custody.  None of this requires a court order at this point.  

What I have been able to determine is that the moment they no longer believe he is a danger to himself or others he will be released and taken either to the place in which he was taken into custody or the patient's residence.  Now.......I'm pretty sure that will either happen today or Friday.  

I talked to my brother on the phone last night and he was definitely coming out of his psychosis.  He doesn't remember everything but he knows he had a psychotic break.  I'm sure his medication has been increased and that is bringing him out of this.  What I'm hoping is that he will be referred to the community mental health center here so that he can get follow-up treatment by a psychiatrist.  We have tried to find someone to treat him but none of them take medicare.  (of course) however the community mental health facility will.  So keep your fingers crossed!  We're not out of the woods yet!

Well, I retract that.....I just got a call from my brother and he's not talking rational again.  He wanted me to bring him $300.00 so he can loan it to "his new good friend" he just met.  Now, I know he's not in  his right mind because my brother is tight with money and wouldn't loan money to a relative let alone a "new good friend".  I guess we are in for a longer stay than I thought.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Wonderful World of Schizophrenia

I don't even know where to begin....I am exhausted both physically and mentally. 

On Sunday morning I had a very confusing voice message on my phone.  It was around 8:30 am and I was just relaxing and reading and enjoying my extra hour of leisure when I decided to check my messages.  It was from my brother Mike and it made absolutely no sense what-so-ever.  My alarm went off in my head and I immediately called his house but got no answer.  I thought maybe he had gone out to get breakfast, which he does every morning, so I waited about an hour and called again, no answer.  I called Ron and he came to get me and we drove over to Mike's house.  I saw that the front storm door was open and so was the front door so my first thought was that he had been somewhere but had returned.  Then I saw my brother lying on the porch half in the house and half out.  He started screaming the minute I called out to him.  He was naked and psychotic and I have no idea how long he had been there.  He didn't know where he was but he knew who we were.  Ron covered him with a blanket and I called 911.  He was then transported to the hospital where after an examination they determined he wasn't physically hurt.  Since he had been admitted less than 30 days ago they have a rule he couldn't be admitted on the psych. unit again within 30 days.  I had no idea what we were going to do if they released him to us.

We got to the hospital by 10:45 am and by mid-afternoon he was still in the ER under restraint.   We were finally told they were going to admit him and that I needed to go get his clothes.  Ron and I left and by the time we returned Mike had become combative and evidently squeezed a nurse's hand too hard and wouldn't let her go.  At some point he told the doctor he was going to cut his wrists.  The doctor said that was all he needed to hear.

About 4:30 they wanted to get him dressed but Mike became combative again.  They asked everyone to leave the room except me because they decided he responded better to me.  I was able to coax him to get dressed and then they got him in a wheelchair.  I was thinking he was being taken to the psych. unit upstairs but instead in walked a uniformed police officer.  The hospital had said nothing to us and the next thing I knew he was wheeled outside to a patrol car.  That's when Mike freaked out and was frightened, refusing to get in the car.  The officer was being verbally tough toward him and then called for assistance on his radio.  Next thing there is another patrol unit, lights and siren, going 90 mph into the parking lot.  Well, if you were not psychotic that would certainly push anyone over the edge.  Mike started screaming and calling my name because he thought the car was going to hit me.  Then another unit came and 3 officers told us to walk away that they would handle it.  

I had to go behind a wall because I couldn't stand watching all this.  I heard Mike screaming for me and then our mom and dad.  It was horrible.  

Finally they got him hand-cuffed and into the car and just drove away with him.  We had to chase down one of the officers just to find out where they were taking him.  We found out they were taking him to a Behavioral facility on the mental hospital grounds.  It is just a holding facility until the person is no longer a suicide risk.  No treatment mind you.  He will probably only be there 3 days and then released to us.   I have NO IDEA what I'm going to do.  I just want some kind of mental health services for him.  I'm not sure he can live alone and our mental health system is basically non-existent.  Families are supposed to take care of their mentally ill family members but that isn't always possible.  We've been doing it for over 40 years but he's way too strong and when psychotic way too dangerous for me to handle.

I spent all day yesterday just trying to repair the house and get it cleaned up.  I think we are in for a long battle right now.  I don't know what I would have done if it hadn't been for Ron's emotional support.

So, God, The Universe, If you are trying to get my have it.....if you are trying to tell my I'm not in control of anything....I get that too.......I'm listening so can you back off just a little?

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Ocean View

A group of 15-year-old girlfriends discussed where to meet for dinner.
Finally, they agreed to meet at the Dairy Queen next to the Ocean View restaurant because they had only $6.00 among them and Jimmy Johnson, the cute boy in Social Studies, lived on that street.

10 years later, the group of 25-year-old girlfriends discussed where to meet for dinner. Finally, they agreed to meet at the Ocean View restaurant because the beer was cheap, the restaurant offered free snacks, the band
was good, there was no cover and there were lots of cute guys.

10 years later, the group of 35-year-old girlfriends discussed where to meet for dinner. Finally, they agreed to meet at the Ocean View restaurant because the cosmos were good, it was right near the gym and, if they went late enough, there wouldn't be too many whiny little kids.

10 years later, the group of 45-year-old girlfriends discussed where to meet for dinner. Finally, they agreed to meet at the Ocean View restaurant because the martinis were big and the waiters had tight pants and nice buns.

10 years later, the group of 55-year-old girlfriends discussed where to meet for dinner. Finally, they agreed to meet at the Ocean View restaurant because the prices were reasonable, the wine list was good, the restaurant had windows that opened (in case of a hot flashes), and fish is good for cholesterol.

10 years later, the group of 65-year-old girlfriends discussed where to meet for dinner. Finally, they agreed to meet at the Ocean View restaurant because the lighting was good and the restaurant had an early bird special.

10 years later, the group of 75-years-old girlfriends discussed where to meet for dinner. Finally, they agreed to meet at the Ocean View restaurant because the food was not too spicy and the restaurant was handicapped-accessible.

10 years later, the group of 85-years-old girlfriends discussed where to meet for dinner. Finally, they agreed to meet at the Ocean View restaurant because they had never been there before.
Last night Ron finally called his daughter and told her about the cancer relapse.  He didn't say much but did say that she seemed to handle it very matter-of-factly.  He wondered if he should have waited until after his next PET scan to tell her but I just said that at least she will not be shocked no matter what comes next.  Bless his heart....this is so hard for him.

I'm looking forward to the weekend.  I have no special plans but since every day is special I guess I don't need a plan. 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Last night Ron and I were on a quest.  We went in search of a CD by the late Israel Kamakawiwo'ole.  Yesterday I heard his song "Somewhere Over The Rainbow/What A Wonderful World".  I had heard it before and it is beautiful!  I'm happy to report I found it on Amazon and it is on its way as we speak!  I haven't told Ron I found it so it may just be an early Christmas surprise!

A fun memory I have is of my mother.  When she was in the hospital I would sit by her bed and sing songs.  She was so hard of hearing she really couldn't listen to the tv but she could hear me if I sang in her ear.  We would sing all kinds of songs but one that I really love is "What A Wonderful World".  I memorized the words so I could sing it to her.  Evidently I wore out the song's welcome as one night she tactfully asked me not to sing it anymore.  I don't know if she was tired of the song or just my rendition of it.  I still get tickled when I remember that.

Ron has Veteran's Day off so I arranged to be off as well.  I wish it were on a Friday so we could have a long weekend and maybe take a short trip but it will be great to have the day.  There are so many things we are wanting to do but time is the enemy.  Ron says we are just putting the icing on our cake!  I like that!  It's a fantastic cake!

I wish everyone could remember to live in the moment!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I'm learning something new every day.  It's amazing how you figure out what your priorities are when you know that your time with someone may be short.  Yet, shouldn't we be able to realize that we only have a finite number of days with each other without a doctor telling us?  Ron and I are closer than we have ever been and I have always thought we were very close.  We have always told each other we love one another every day.  He shows his affection in so many ways.  In the 10 years we've been together I have never opened a door for myself.  He has always taken my hand when we walk and always positions himself on the outside to make sure I am protected from harm.  He is a gentleman through and through.  I have never heard him say a curse word (wish I could say the same about myself).  There are not enough hours in the day for me to tell him how he has touched my life.  I can close my eyes and still see the 6 year old little boy I met in first grade, just as shy and just as sweet.

It's all the little things that make you appreciate someone and how they show their love for you.  I was divorced at the age of 28 and never remarried.  I was so accustomed to doing everything for myself.  I never imagined having someone come along at the age of 51 who would spoil me to death and that I would actually allow him to do it.  Now, I can't imagine life without him and would give anything to never find out. 

Everly Brothers said it so well.......

         Devoted to You
Darlin’ you can count on me
Till the sun dries up the sea
Until then I’ll always be devoted to you

I’ll be yours through endless time
I’ll adore your charms sublime
Guess by now you know that I’m devoted to you

I’ll never hurt you, I’ll never lie
I’ll never be untrue
I’ll never give you reason to cry
I’d be unhappy if you were blue

Through the years my love will grow
Like a river it will flow
It can’t die because I’m so devoted to you

I’ll never hurt you, I’ll never lie
I’ll never be untrue
I’ll never give you reason to cry
I’d be unhappy if you were blue

Through the years my love will grow
Like a river it will flow
It can’t die because I’m so devoted to you

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Waiting Game

Well, I can't say that we learned anything new yesterday from the doctor.  The PET scan showed that the 3 places in Ron's lung had not changed.  He said they were nonmetabolic (which according to the doctor) was a good thing.  The tumor on the aeortic artery had not changed either but it is metabolic.  The radiologist believes the spots in his lung are cancer but that they weren't large enough at this time to show up on the PET scan.  So the doctor said, let's wait 3 more months and do the test again.  If there is no change in the lung at that time he will do surgery to remove the tumor on the artery.  If there is change then he will recommend chemotherapy.  He said he doesn't want to put Ron through surgery unnecessarily if the cancer has indeed spread to the lung.   I had a lot of questions but I was sworn to silence by Ron.  He made me promise to just sit and be quiet so I did as asked.  So, for now I'm taking the 3 months and being grateful that Ron is still feeling good and we know we have 3 months.  Count every blessing!

Monday, November 1, 2010

It was a weekend of nervous anticipation, fear like I've never known, reflection, and love.  I am learning something about myself every day as I go through this journey along side Ron.  

The first thing that became apparent is that there isn't a material posession in this world that really matters in the overall scheme of things.  When faced with end of life issues you realize that we all become stripped naked of everything that is of this world.  We are as naked as the day we were born.  It all comes down to what and who we are on the inside.  It is about the love we have given and the love we have received.  That is what we take with us, the only thing .

Saturday, October 30, 2010

I bought two Christmas presents today.  I had to go purchase a new pair of glasses since mine broke while I was cleaning them the other day.  Thank goodness I had a spare but they are not that flattering so I wanted a new pair.  I met my daughters at the mall and they assisted their poor old mother in the selection of a new, according to them, more stylish pair of glasses.  Then we went shopping and I picked up the two gifts.

Ron heard from the doctor's office yesterday and they want to see him Monday at 4:15.  The doctor needs to go over the results of the PET scan and by the tone of the nurse it doesn't sound good.  Ron has been very depressed and nervous.  He stayed here last night and he's staying again tonight.  Right now he is distracted by the football game which he was too tired to attend.  I'm afraid the news on Monday will be devistating and I don't know how he will take it.  I'm scared and will be more scared come Monday.  He said today that if he were told that chemo will only buy him time he isn't sure he will take it.  He'd rather have what time he has and feel good for as long as he can.  That will be hard but I have to respect his wishes.

I guess I'll go watch the game with him and I'm not even a fan!  Just his fan!

Friday, October 29, 2010

If you are in the Dark Night of the soul, be grateful because you are on the right path. One may not find the Light of the Universe without first entering the darkness…                 Caroline Miss

All beings are lost in Illusion, yet I know they will awaken from that illusion for they are, at heart, already enlightened. What seems so hard for them is from another perspective their own personal path to liberation… Budha

We have celebrated Halloween all day.  The kids trick-or-treated this morning and then had a carnival in the therapy area.  Ron stopped by on his way to work all dressed in black wearing a hockey mask and carrying an intimidating sword.  The kids loved it!  He got right into the act.  His 6'2" frame was very menacing.  He got a little teary eyed as the children came through our haunted house in their wheelchairs and walkers.  The kids get to him every time but I remind him that they are just kids being kids.  They love to have fun just like any other kid on Halloween. 

My costume was simple this year.  I hung a dollar bill on each of my earrings.  Know what I was????????????? 
 Pause for reflection
Still thinking?
Now this is a good one!

I was "A buck an ear"!

Sometimes my wit even amazes me!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Intuitive Knowing is when you have come to the edge of all the Light you consciously know and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown; it is knowing in your Heart that one of two things will happen, there will be something solid to stand on or you will be taught to fly…

Puns for Educated Minds

The fattest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference.
He acquired his size from too much pi.
I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian .
She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still.
A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class, because it was a weapon of math disruption.
No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.
A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.
A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum  Blownapart.
Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.
A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall. The police are looking into it.
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
Atheism is a non-prophet organization.
Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat said to the other: 'You stay here; I'll go on a head.'
I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.
A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab center said: 'Keep off the Grass.'
The midget fortune-teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.
The soldier who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.
A backward poet writes inverse.
In a democracy it's your vote that counts. In feudalism it's your count
that votes.
When cannibals ate a missionary, they got a taste of religion.
If you jumped off the bridge in Paris , you'd be in Seine .
A vulture boards an airplane, carrying two dead raccoons. The stewardess looks at him and says, 'I'm sorry, sir, only one carrion allowed per passenger.'
Two fish swim into a concrete wall.  One turns to the other and says 'Dam!'

Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, proving once again that you can't have your
Kayak and heat it too.
Two hydrogen atoms meet.  One says, 'I've lost my electron.' The other says 'Are you sure?' The first replies, 'Yes, I'm positive.'
Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused Novocain during a root  canal? His goal: transcend dental medication.