Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Turkey holiday

There has been a lot of discussion lately about Black Friday shopping and now Turkey Day shopping.  I have always felt it was awful to ask people to work on a holiday that most people are enjoying with their families.  I was willing to sign any petition stating just that until I was approached by one of these employees who will be working on Thanksgiving day.  This person told me that they are grateful for the opportunity to work because they will be receiving overtime and they need the money so bad this year for Christmas.  I hadn't thought about that fact ..... the fact that they are making a little over minimum wage and time and 1/2 is very appealing.   I understand that.   

I'm saddened by how much our country operates on greed.  We keep making the rich, richer.   Soon we will all be working for them just trying to get by.  I guess we will just be a nation of Walmartians.

Thursday, November 21, 2013


It happens to all of us sooner or later.  We look in the mirror but the reflection doesn't match the image in our head.

Photographer Tom Hussey created the Reflection series.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

tids and bits

Thank goodness my knee is feeling better this morning.  I iced it last night and it is definitely better.  But I did finally find a doctor willing to see me.  He is the orthopedist that operated on my daughter 3 times and they have become pretty good friends.  Julie called him and he said he would see me.  I'm sure he will order an MRI and then at least tell me if I need to see someone else.

NOW the MRI is another ball of wax.  Claustrophobia and MRI machines don't mix.  I didn't do any better in an open MRI either.  They had to take me out 3 times before they finally gave me something to relax.  It isn't so much the fear of small spaces that gets me it is the not being able to move.  I just freak out!!!!!!!  But I'm going to have Ron with me this time and if he just sits and touches my foot I think I'll do better.  We'll see.

Since I've been having so much trouble walking my sweet husband has pretty much taken over the house work.  He just bustles around every morning making the bed, taking out the trash and straightening up the house.  That's on top of waiting on me hand and foot.  I told him this morning I'm not used to someone having to take care of me and his sweet answer was, "Well, it's your turn".  I'm so grateful!

My daughter's doctor has prescribed Victoza for her diabetes.  She says it has really helped many of her patients control their blood sugar.  So, then I read that my daughter's insurance, which is the same as mine, will not cover Victoza after Jan. 1, 2014.  I researched other insurance companies and they are not covering it either because it is a new drug.  It will cost $545.00 a month excluding the needles which were another $54.00.

Here is why I am in favor of a one payer system.  I may pay more in taxes or whatever but at least I can budget for it.  Our current system isn't working.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

the knee bones connected to the leg bone......

As Eliza Doolittle once said...."I'm done in".  I'm raising the white flag, I'm folding the tent.  I'm going to find an orthopedist that can help me if it kills me in the process.

This morning I was getting into the shower and my left knee just felt like it slid to the left followed by a sharp pain.  I haven't been able to walk on it since.  Or at least not without a lot of discomfort.  It hurts on the back left side of my knee.  

So, I called an orthopedist and they wanted to know all my issues.  Well, my right hip, lower back and now my left knee.  I was told he doesn't treat anything but knees and shoulders.  Then I found a doctor that treats only backs........and I found another one that treats hips.  Do I have to see 3 different doctors?  What on earth will that cost?  I'm very frustrated.

I'm going to home early today so I can get a knee wrap at the pharmacy.  I'm hoping it will help stabilize my knee and maybe help with the pain.

Getting older isn't easy and it is definitely costly!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Guess who's coming for dinner!

Thanksgiving......it's right around the corner.  I got a call from my daughters yesterday letting me know that their 1/2 brother and his wife will be here for Thanksgiving.  My daughters finally found their brother after a 15 year search.  They've seen each other twice in the last two years and wanted very much to spend a holiday together.  I met them 2 years ago and they are a very sweet couple.  They are in their late twenties and both very nice.

Now, the thing is I'm a little worried about "Uncle Mike".  I told my daughters that Ron and I can take him out for Thanksgiving and they can have this time with their brother but they won't hear of it.  I just don't know what Mike will say to him if he makes the connection that he is my ex-husband's son.  Mike has some pretty strong feelings about how Jim (my ex) abandoned his daughters and he might say just about anything.  He also liked Jim when we were married and he took it personally when Jim left.

For me it still feels surreal.  I can't believe I will be having Thanksgiving dinner with the son of the man I was married to 44 years ago.  We didn't know if he was alive or dead for over 25 years.  My daughters only saw him 2 times after the age of five.  It's just a weird feeling.  I also feel self conscious for some reason.  I don't know what Jim told his son.  I know I shouldn't care but it makes me feel defensive in a way.  I'll sort it all out and move on.  It was a long time ago and I'm happy now and that's what matters most.  That and the fact that my daughters are happy to know their younger brother.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Up Up and Away

Every year we hold a golf cart Christmas parade here at the hospital.  It it a very competitive competition and there are some elaborate floats done every year.  This year Administration is entering a float.  The theme of the parade is Disney Christmas so we are going to create the UP house from the movie UP.  (If you have never seen this movie it is adorable)

We will turn the golf cart into the house and then suspend helium balloons from the roof.  We are going to put led lights inside the balloons since the parade is after dark.

I need to find a stuffed dog to be Dug and his cone of shame.  I think I'll have him looking out the window of the house.  

We only have $50.00 to use on the float so this will be tricky!  I just love doing this stuff and the parade is so much fun.  I am not good with video cameras but I'm going to try and film and post the parade this year.  Wish me luck!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The falling leaves........drift by my window!

After a hard freeze last night I woke up to see the neighbor's Fruitless Mulberry tree raining leaves.  When I went to the car you could hear the leaves softly raining down covering the ground like a golden blanket.  I just love nature!  I used to have the same kind of tree in my front yard but the roots began to damage the driveway and threaten the foundation of the house so I had to remove it.  It was really hard to have it cut down.  I don't however miss raking leaves!

The weather in Oklahoma is so diverse.  One night you are sitting outside enjoying a concert and the next night you are preparing for a freeze.  It can switch from hot to cold mid day and we just know to dress in layers.  

Ron got his schedule today and it is great.  He will work 8-5 Monday - Friday and off at 4:00 on Wed.  He'll work an occasional Saturday.  It's so nice to have him home in the evening and not spending 2 hours commuting every day.  We originally thought he'd be working 11 - 8pm which was OK but we'd never see each other since I go to bed at 9:00.   So this is great!

Now it is time to plan Thanksgiving and I'm looking forward to the holiday! 

My daughter Julie teaches kindergarten but she is also certified to teach art through grade 12.  She has been teaching art to her kindergarten class for the past 3 years and she sent me some of her budding artist's work.  I was so impressed that these drawings were done by 5 year olds that I had to share.


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Sunday Concert

Once a year my daughter and her husband host a home concert for their neighbors and friends.  This year's concert was this past Sunday evening and Ron and I enjoyed a wonderful night of music, friends and food.  The performer this year was a young man named Ernie Halter.  I hadn't heard his music before Sunday night but I really enjoyed hearing him.  I googled the following information about Ernie:

Ernie Halter is an American singer/songwriter, also known as the "Cuboslavian". He was signed to Rock Ridge Music. Born in Inglewood, CA in 1974 and raised in Orange County, Halter started playing piano when he was 8, guitar when he was 14,and writing his own songs when he was 16. His first disc Lo-Fidelity came out in 2005, followed by Congress Hotel in 2007. Halter's music is mainly influenced by artists such as Beatles, Otis Redding, Stevie Wonder and The Go-Go's. Burial sampled from Halter's song 'Whisper' in his 2007 album Untrue. Justin Bieber made a cover of his original song 'Come home to me' in 2011. He toured through much of the United States. 

This is a song he played that I just loved. He performed Sunday with just a guitar and it was very intimate.  This song especially spoke to anyone struggling with something in their life.  Check him out!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Confirmation is always nice

Every now and then, if we are lucky, we receive confirmation that we are where we are supposed to be.  Whether that be in relationships, life, or our careers.  Yesterday was such a day.  

It was late in the day when I received a call from a parent of one of our patients.  The father sounded so excited I wasn't sure where the call was going.  He couldn't talk fast enough as he expressed his gratitude for what we had done for his son.  

He started by saying he and his wife had been fighting the "system" for some time and were just about at their wits end.  After being on our waiting list a short while they finally got in to our pediatric GI clinic.  He said that from the moment they walked in the front door they knew they were finally home.  He said, "It's the people, from the ladies at the reception desk who laughed with us to the dietician, who by the way deserves a raise, everyone made us feel as if we were the most important people they had seen all day.  Finally someone listened to us!"

At this point the dad began to cry and through choked tears he said, "My little boy is tasting food for the first time." 

I haven't written much about where I work but I can say there is no other place like it.....at least not in Oklahoma.  We have some of the most experienced people you will ever find working with children with developmental disabilities.  They are experts in their field with years of experience.  It is a one stop shop for everything from pediatric neurology to OT, PT, and Speech.  They treat everything from feeding issues to behavior problems.

We have beds for 36 inpatients and we treat outpatients from all over Oklahoma both on site and through tele-therapy and in schools.

I came here when I was 8 years old to dance for the patients.  The experience left a lasting impression on me and when I interviewed for my current position I knew this was where I was meant to be.  The young father I spoke with yesterday confirmed what I already knew.  
J.D. McCarty Center 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Gate Keeper

Mike called us this morning with a guilty conscience.  He called AT&T Uverse last night and ordered more movie channels.  This is after we have told him a million times that he is not to order stuff without our knowledge.  He is on a tight budget that I manage for him and I can't do it if he keeps surprising me.  I told him that if he feels guilty after he does something then he knew he shouldn't be doing it in the first place.

Oh my, I hate being the gate keeper.  I feel terrible that I am telling him what he can and can't do with HIS money.  But if I don't then he will be broke and will never know or understand why.  I feel like I'm playing bad cop all the time.  

I worry all the time about what would happen if I became incapacitated and couldn't take care of myself let alone my brother.  But I guess that is a universal worry of all caregivers.

Ron is signing up for Medicare this month.  This is another milestone.  I remember the first solicitation I received from AARP.   I hadn't even turned 50 yet and I was so insulted when I got it.  Now here I am.....on the verge of Medicare. Since we plan to continue working we will only enroll in part A and continue our employer coverage until at least 66.  

There sure is a lot to learn about getting old!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Messin with my mind!

It's NOVEMBER people!  Can you believe it?  The year is almost gone.  Time goes so much faster when you have less of it ahead of you.  When I was a little girl it seemed as if decades passed between Christmases.  But now it comes around in the blink of an eye.

I have been working on Christmas shopping and have just about finished all the buying I'm going to do.  I like to leave December for homemade gifts and baking.  Since my daughter's new kitchen is ready for the holidays it will be fun initiating it with Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas. She hosted a "girl's night out" party Saturday to show off the new space.  I was in need of a night out as Mike had just about worn me out last week.  Thank goodness for Ron.....he watched a football game with him so I could have a break.

Daylight savings time is a confusing concept for someone with schizophrenia.  Mike was sure we were just "messing" with his mind!  He thought that his whole world has been reset 1 hour including all his doctor appointments.  Took a lot of convincing to get him to not call his doctor's office to reschedule his appointment 1 hour ahead.

Communion went well yesterday.....Mike the food critic gave a thumbs up for the communion wafer!  That's always a relief.  When it is not to his gourmet taste he announces to the congregation that the bread is bad!  Ron said, "Maybe God has a sense of humor."  

I replied........"Obviously he does....just look around."