Friday, January 31, 2014


I don't have any weird phobias or at least I don't think they are weird.  I do have a problem with toads and frogs.  When I was a kid those little hop toads would gather on the front porch especially if the light were left on.  When my mom and dad would take us to the drive-in movie I would worry the whole time about the toads.  I knew they'd be all over the porch when we got home.  I wasn't afraid of them I just didn't want to touch one.

There was this incident that took place at the police firing range.  I had gone with my husband to watch him shoot.  The officers had to qualify with their weapons yearly and this was the qualifying day.  Anyway.......I found a nice place to sit in the grass a distance from the shooting (it was VERY loud).  I parked myself Indian style on the ground and had no more sat down than I felt my thigh twitch.  I thought it was like a spasm so I just massaged my leg and sat there.  It kept twitching.  Finally I lifted my thigh a little and there was a big ole frog/toad  I don't know which....but I'd all but flattened the sucker.  I let out a scream and took off..........followed by a lot of policemen with guns.............

I am also quite afraid of heights........A friend sent me this video this morning and there is no way in the world that I would take that bus ride. 

What are your phobias or quirks?

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Love This Story

Let this story really sink in - - - then choose.

John is the kind of guy you love to hate. He is always in a good mood and always has something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, "If I were any better, I would be twins!"He was a natural motivator.

If an employee was having a bad day, John was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation.
Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up and asked him, "I don't get it!  You can't be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?" He replied, "Each morning I wake up and say to myself, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or ... you can choose to be in a bad mood.  I choose to be in a good mood."

Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or...I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their
complaining or... I can point out the positive side of life.   I choose
the positive side of life.

"Yeah, right, it's not always that easy John," I said.  "Yes, it is," he said. "Life is all about choices.  When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations.
You choose how people affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line: It's your choice how you live your life."

I reflected on what he said.  Soon thereafter, he left to start his own business. We lost touch, but I often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it.

Several years later, I heard that he was involved in a serious accident, falling some 60 feet from a communications tower.  After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, he was released from the hospital with rods placed in his back.

I saw him about six months after the accident. When I asked him how he was, he replied, "If I were any better, I'd be twins...Wanna see my scars?"

I declined to see his wounds, but I did ask him what had gone through his mind as the accident took place.

"The first thing that went through my mind was the well-being of my soon-to-be born daughter," he replied. "Then, as I lay on the ground, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live or...I could choose to die.   I chose to live."

"Weren't you scared? Did you lose consciousness?" I asked.
He continued, "..the paramedics were great.  They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the ER and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read 'he's a dead man'. I knew I needed to take action."

"What did you do?" I asked.

"Well, there was a big burly nurse shouting questions at me," said John. "She asked if I was allergic to anything.  'Yes, I replied.'
The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled,  'Gravity'."

Over their laughter, I told them, "I am choosing to live.  Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead."  He lived, thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude...

I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully.
Attitude, after all, is everything .

Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own."   Matthew 6:34.

After all today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Still disgruntled

I'm still struggling with the idea that our country has allowed the mental health system to disintegrate before our eyes.  I'm just as troubled by the fact that for the most part Americans haven't cared.  

Growing up in a town that housed one of the state's mental hospitals I remember how concerned I was when they started discharging seriously ill patients.  The idea was that they would be better served in community mental health programs in the least restrictive environment.  Shortly after discharging about 60 long-term inpatients a former female patient was found frozen to death in a backyard shed.  Her body had been there for about 3 months.  No one noticed, no one cared.  

They called this deinstitutionalization but all it did was shift it to other institutions....mainly prisons and jails.  How much more humane was that?  How do we create change if you can't get anyone to care?  

On to another aches and pains?  Nahhhh  but I do have a surgery date.  I'm getting my new hip June 11th.  It's a ways away but my daughters will be available to help me and it just seems like the best time to do it.

I wrote a while back about my high school boyfriend, Albert.  Well, I heard from him yesterday and he is moving back to the US from Paris.  He said he had a mild stroke and things are more difficult now.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Oklahoma where the hot air never stops blowing....................

Did you wake up one day and realize "Hey, I'm heterosexual!"  I didn' was just the usual progression of puberty.  It was never a decision or sudden realization.  I had nothing to do with this any more than I had anything to do with being born white in America.

I heard an interviewer ask a lesbian woman once, "When did you realize you were gay?"  She answered, "When did you realize you weren't?"  GREAT RESPONSE.......

Oklahoma is so homophobic we have a state representative proposing legislation to ban all marriage in Oklahoma just to prevent same sex marriages.  WOW...... this follows a tactic tried by Governor Fallin in November when she tried to avoid granting military benefits to same-sex spouses, by stopping spousal benefits for all married couples at state National Guard facilities. 

The only time my husband and I have disagreements is over stuff like this.  When I asked him this morning what he thought about the ban on marriage his response was, "Well I guess that would solve all the marriage problems."  I immediately got hot because I guess I wanted him to immediately say how stupid and mean spirited the whole idea was and I didn't listen to everything he was trying to say. He marriage, no divorce etc.  Then I said yes, and no claiming dependents or dependent coverage on health insurance or all the other benefits of marriage that same sex couples have been fighting to receive.  We will just deny those benefits to everyone.   Yep, that makes sense.  Cut off your nose to spite your face.

Now, on another note.......Bella LaGrossy isn't so grossy anymore.  We got her groomed yesterday.  Ron dropped her off before church and we picked up after afterward.  She wasn't banned from ever coming back so we took that as a good sign.  They tried to put bows above her ears and were successful in getting one in but she wasn't going to stand for the other one.  But she looks good.  I'll get a picture and post it of our toothless glamor girl!

In case you missed the 60 minutes show this past Sunday you can see it in its entirety here.  The first story is called "No Where To Go" is a personal account of one young man's battle with mental illness. 

Why do we accept this in our country?  Why?

Friday, January 24, 2014

The Bermuda Triangle

This has been a most interesting week for me.  Because I am going to be out on leave from the hospital and because I'm sure administratively they are considering the possibility I may choose to retire next year, a decision was made to double fill my position.  This is a little tricky because I'll still be here and so will my replacement.  I hope I handle this graciously but it will take all the patience and diplomacy I can muster.  I'm not even sure I can express exactly what my reservations are about all this.  This is about shedding oneself of ego.........that pesky thing that gets us in so much trouble.  It is so hard to stay balanced when your ego is screaming in your ear!

The other issue I have is I believe a person must have the opportunity to make a position their own.  He/she isn't going to do everything the same way I do it.  That's not only good but have to make it your own.  I'm just afraid that will be hard for whomever they hire because the "old gal" ain't dead yet.  Well they feel free to do it their way?  I don't want anyone to feel inhibited.  That will make for an uncomfortable environment for both of us.

The last thing that is hard is strictly personal.  I'm seeing my working life come to a close.  It has been a very defining part of my existence for 45 years and it is ending.  All the dreams and ambitions associated with work are ending and new dreams have to take over.  I'm just caught in the abyss right now....somewhere in between dreams.


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Check your facts before forwarding.........

There is something I've noticed.  I have a  few friends that will forward the most outlandish emails claiming how people's rights are being are being trampled because they pray, carry guns, want to carry guns, or have an arsenol or fort in their backyard or Obama is a Buddhist, Muslim, Athiest.  But they never ever check to see if anything they are sending is factual.  It doesn't seem to matter to them whether it is or not.  It is only meant to get people upset and up in arms (so to speak).  It is that blatant disregard for the truth that upsets me.

I have decided it isn't worth correcting them on the misinformation because frankly they don't care.  Their intent is to insight people who are already looking for a fight. 

How annoying!

Now, I don't want to sound judgmental but even with my facebook friends.  It isn't hard to tell which side of the political aisle they are on just by reading their posts.  I've had friends post crazy comments about kids not saying the pledge of allegiance in school.  I know the kids in my daughter's school say the pledge.  I wonder if anyone ever asks before they post.  I don't think so.

Sometimes it gets me all riled up and I have to just find my happy place..........because I know I can't change anyone's thinking.  It's like they just want to be mad about something and if you are looking for a fight you will surely find one.  

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Getting On

Well, the foot pain has greatly subsided.  It hurt like the dickens for about a week and then gradually got better.  The swelling has decreased and after I put some moderately cushioned insoles in my shoes it has all but gone away.  I have an appointment with a podiatrist this Friday and I think I'll still go just to see what is going on.  I still think it is plantar fasciitis.

After much pondering and looking at our house from an accessible standpoint it just seems best that I go to my daughter Jamie's house after surgery.  We have too many steps in our house.  Also because I will need someone with me 24/7 for about 2-3 weeks we decided I need to wait to have the surgery until after school is out and my daughters are available to help me.  So that makes it June.  It will be hard to wait because of the pain I'm having but it would be a lot easier on everyone (including me) if we waited.

One good thing is the doctor prescribed something for pain and I just take one tablet at bedtime.  It has helped immensely and I'm finally able to get a good night's sleep. 

Sometimes the information age can be a little overwhelming.  Especially when we use it to google our symptoms and before we can shut off the computer we've self diagnosed ourselves with at least 12 terminal diseases.  I've researched hip precautions after a total hip replacement and am convinced my hip will be out of socket before I get to the car to come home.  I realize more and more that there are times when ignorance truly is bliss!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We are currently interviewing candidates for my job.  So far I haven't seen anyone I think is a good fit.  But then I don't know if I'm totally objective.  I think I am but who knows for sure. 

Friday, January 17, 2014

Things I didn't know until today!

You know how they say we learn something every day.  Well yesterday I learned that there is no difference in recovery time between the anterior and posterior hip replacement.  The precautions are the same and the chance of hip dislocation the same.  I also learned I'm not a candidate for the anterior approach anyway because my hip, according to the doctor, is "rusted shut."  He said it will not move the way it needs to move in order for them to do the anterior approach.

My surgery will be either the end of March or first of April.  We are waiting for the clinic to get back to us with the date and place.  They work out of two hospitals and we don't know which one I will go to at this time.  I'll be in the hospital approximately 4 days and then to a rehab center for a week.  Then I'll have 4 weeks of PT in my home and then 4 weeks of outpatient therapy.  

So, that's what I know about that.

Oh, there is a foot union.  Orthopedist couldn't help me with my foot issue but told me to see a podiatrist.  I'm thinking plantar fasciitis or bone spur.....that's according to Dr. Google!

Now here's a bit of information you may or may not know.  I didn't know it until today.

Earwax can tell you if you need to use deodorant or not.
White, flaky ear gunk most likely means you could toss the deodorant stick. Dark and sticky wax... not so fast! Dry earwax producers are missing a chemical in their pits that the odor-causing bacteria feed on, according to LiveScience.  Dark and sticky......not so much!

So, do you feel enlightened?  I do!!!!!  But I can't throw away my deodorant....

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Just ranting

Sometimes I get so angry when I watch the news.  Just this morning another goes into a food market and opens fire.  Then a story about a man who gets upset in a movie theater and shoots and kills a young father.  These gun violence stories make me so upset because I know that people in this country have one agenda and that's "Don't mess with our guns".  I guess it doesn't matter how many people are killed because guns are in the hands of mentally unstable people.

As the sister and caregiver for a mentally ill person and my own personal experience with his ability to obtain a gun, it just makes me sick.  We make it easy to obtain weapons and cut funding for mental health.  Doesn't make sense.  

I have been wrapped up in the mental health system for the past four years.  The mental health system in this country has been completely the point that there is, for all practical purposes, nothing left.  Unless a mentally ill person has family members (with money) willing to pay for their care they won't get any services.  Let's face it, people with severe mental illness have trouble maintaining relationships or jobs.  They do not have access to care except through the system.  

About two years ago my brother's psychiatrist left the Potawatomi Nation health service.  I was desperately trying to find a psychiatrist to see him and was told by everyone I called that they do not see Medicare or Medicaid patients.  So where do you go?  We were fortunate because of being Native American we were able to find a doctor at another Indian Health Clinic.  

I work in healthcare and I am involved in mental health because of my brother.  I am beginning to think we are a nation that doesn't care about the welfare of others.  If you are sick no one cares that you must choose between going bankrupt or die.  No one cares that our jails and our prison system is full of people suffering from mental illness.  No one cares!  Out of sight, out of mind.  We no longer view strangers as our neighbors.  (My dad always told me a stranger is just a friend you haven't met so introduce yourself)

I think we are lacking compassion.  Somewhere in all the politics we lost compassion.  

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Where don't I hurt?

It's pretty bad when your life has become merely a summation of your aches and pains.  That's what I feel like.  I'm trying as hard as I can to get answers but at the same time I don't have a lot of faith in the answers I'm getting.

Monday I found myself unable to put my weight on my right foot.  PAIN.....throbbing pain.  I couldn't tell if it was my ankle, Achilles tendon a broken bone or what.  By the time I got home from work my foot was so swollen and hurt so bad Ron finally gave me one of his pain pills and I went to bed.

It all started again yesterday morning but I still managed to walk on it "with crutches" and worked all day.  

This morning I really couldn't stand on it and we debated going to the emergency room but my sense of duty over rode my good sense....and I'm here at work.  I have my appointment with the orthopedist tomorrow (for my hip) and I'll have him look at my foot too.  Unless there is some kind of foot union that forbids a hip doctor from looking at a foot.  Who knows!  I'm getting cynical.

My primary care physician called yesterday and is increasing my diabetes medication.  My AIC hadn't changed that much but they want it as low as possible so she doubled the dosage I'm taking now. On the high side my EKG was normal and my chest x-rays were normal. this it?  Nothing but doctor's visits, medications, aches and pains until the end?  Where are those golden years?  I want some golden years!

I really have only one goal at the moment and that is to last another 18 months so I can retire.  OK...that's not my only goal but it ranks way up there.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Ready for Spring

The last Christmas wreath went back in storage this weekend and there are no longer any remnants of the holidays scattered about the house.  Now we move on to spring!

This was a quiet weekend.  Ron and I were both too tired to do much.  Ron did take Bella to the vet Saturday morning and the vet commented on her scraggly appearance.  I challenge the man to hang on to that 6 pound squirming rattle snake and groom her......go right ahead, I'll watch!

This little 6 pound pile of dynamite has been expelled from 4 dog grooming establishments.  She doesn't bite anyone she just wiggles and squirms and occasionally growls and now no one will touch her.  So I felt like such a bad dog grandma I had Ron hold her and I went to cutting.......If the vet thought she looked bad before he should see her now!   OMG....

I finally got the x-ray issue resolved.  After 3 phone calls I'm picking them up this afternoon.  I DO NOT have to go to Okla. City to get them and I will have them in my hand at 4:00 this afternoon.  Glad that is settled.

I have a very busy week ahead so I'd better get my nose back to the grind stone.

Friday, January 10, 2014

I need to find my inner Towanda!

I don't know why doctor's are so intimidating but they are to me and I even work in a hospital.

I saw the ortho today for my MRI results.  He had already told me he doesn't do hip replacements so I had investigated and found another doctor highly recommended but at another hospital group.  The doctor today just kind of dismissed me when I said I wanted to go to the other doctor and next thing I knew I was referred to one of "their" doctors. I asked for copies of my x-rays and MRI results and couldn't get them.  I was told a doctor would have to request them.

I have an appointment with the surgeon I wanted to see next Thursday but I'm supposed to bring the x-rays and MRI results with me.  Now, I'm stuck and don't know what to do.  I'll figure something out but I'm mad at myself for not standing up and being more assertive.

I guess I'll go back and firmly request my MRI results and x-rays since I paid for them.........they should be mine.  I'll just cancel any further appointments I have at this clinic.  I'm really kind of irritated.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Overcoming fear

     I think anybody who is facing surgery of any kind gets anxious.  There is anxiety about how much it will hurt but there is greater anxiety about being put under general anesthesia and the older we get the greater that worry becomes.

       In my life time I’ve had a lot of surgeries, twenty-two to be exact and all requiring general anesthesia.  I’m an old pro when it comes to abdominal surgeries.  I’ve had four orthopedic surgeries and for me they were the worse.  The recovery is long and tedious and I didn’t tolerate the pain as well as I did the other surgeries.  But with all of them I wasn’t as afraid of the anesthesia as I am now.

     A few years ago one my dearest friends and neighbor had a simple outpatient shoulder surgery.  I guess simple didn’t apply to a 66 year old.  She died from complications about a week later. 

      The only way I know to get OK with all this is to get real with my fear.  I ask myself if I’m afraid to die.  I guess we all have a little normal fear of that unknown but I think I’m ok with the life I have lived and if there is a better place after death I think I’ll get there.  So that being said………..what do I have to fear?  Well, I’m still a little anxious about the pain after surgery but I’ve been tough in the past so I guess I can be tough now and get through this.

      Last night I had a dream that they replaced both my hips but the pain was the same afterward.  It didn’t fix anything…………..

Now, that would really make me upset!
     My mother needed a knee replacement when she was 73 years old but was so scared of the surgery she didn't get it done.  She suffered with pain for almost 20 years and couldn't walk more than a few feet.  I don't want fear to keep me from trying to have the best quality of life I can.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Blessings Abound

We are so blessed......Ron's CT results were very good.  The nodules in his right lung are stable (no change)!  His left lung looks good, only some visible scarring which is expected since he had part of his lung removed.  Left kidney area good and right kidney looking good.  His oncologist told him he's one lucky man.  So we have another 3 months to celebrate....

The polar blast has blasted its way through Oklahoma and we are starting to warm up a little.  Thank goodness.  I feel so bad for the people up north.  I heard on the news this morning that yesterday was below freezing in all 50 states.  Yes.....even one place in Hawaii.  That's amazing.  Never underestimate nature.

My older brother had a pipe freeze overnight in his house and they awoke to a flooded living room, dining room and kitchen.  I felt so bad for he and his wife.  That's a lot of work to pull back carpets, replace under pads and dry it all out with fans.  My brother has had cancer and he has a bad back so I hope he wasn't lifting any of that furniture but we know how men can be!

I am feeling really blessed lately.  Last week I was more than down in the dumps........I was really, really, depressed.  I realized that I had lost touch spiritually and that I needed to release everything to Him.  I did just that and I can tell you I feel like a ton of bricks were lifted from my shoulders.  I keep having to be reminded that I'm not in charge.  Maybe someday that lesson will stick.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Pre-Surgery stuff.........

Thanks to Lisa...a blog Facebook is no longer in Portuguese............I'm speaking English again.  THANKS Lisa for your help!

I saw my Primary Care physician this morning and had chest x-ray, EKG, stress test and got a pneumonia shot, blood work and all my meds filled and thanks to my Choctaw grandmother it didn't cost me a nickel.  Wish I could say that about my insurance.  I never forget how blessed I am for my native American roots.  So with all the pre-surgery stuff out of the way I'm ready to proceed to the specialist.  I also got my application for a temporary handicapped parking decal.

Ron gets his CT results this afternoon.  I always do my anxiety dance about now.  I get superstitious because last time I was unable to go with him and he had a great report.  Now I think I can't go this time because I might jynx the report.  I know that's crazy but I feel the same way when Oklahoma Sooners play football.  If I watch the game then they will do bad......if I don't....will they at least have a better chance.  I didn't look once when they played Alabama in the Sugar Bowl and will........need I say more.  If you haven't heard the underdog (OU) won that game and my husband didn't have a heart attack.

I've been trolling the house lately finding all the cobwebs and cleaning out closets.  I have to make sure I get everything lined up before surgery.  When I'm home recovering I will see every dust bunny and every cobweb and it will drive me nuts because I can't clean it.  Sooooooo I'm getting it done ahead of time.  This is so I don't drive Ron crazy asking him to clean the ceilings etc.  (Aren't I thoughtful?)

So, onward we trod.  I am keeping all my marbles in my basket and I'm going to get through all this with at least a grin maybe a smile.

Monday, January 6, 2014


Ron and I had a movie date yesterday to see "Saving Mr. Banks".  We loaded up the wheelchair and away we went.  This was the first time I've used the chair to go see a movie and it worked great.  I wasn't exhausted from trying to walk a long distance.  We just parked it in the accessible seating area and I transferred to a regular seat by my sweetie.  Of course I don't know how much of a hassle it was for Ron since he had to push me but for me it was no problem!

Now, the was FANTASTIC!  I knew nothing about the author of "Mary Poppins" so I had no idea what the story was about.  But.....let me say it is an emotionally gripping story and it was so well done.  I even caught a huge tear streaming down my husband's cheek and he never cries.  If you don't see it in a theater definitely rent it when it comes out.

Today is a 14 hour day for me so I'd better get busy.  I'm going to be exhausted by the end of it but I see my primary care doctor tomorrow.

Friday, January 3, 2014

New Year's Blessing

The new year has already blessed me with a wonderful surprise.  I received a friend request on Facebook from my childhood friend, Karma.  I can't tell you how excited I was to hear from her since I've been looking for her for years.  We still haven't exchanged phone numbers and I'm so anxious to talk to her.

I have to admit I'm not very Facebook savy and I even messed it up and mine is now in Portuguese instead of English.  Weird huh????  You'd think I'd know how to use the darn thing since I use a computer all day long at work but somehow I messed it up.  

Anyway, connecting with Karma has just brought back some of the best memories of my childhood.  It's so wonderful that I can share this with my husband since he remembers Karma fondly as well.  We were all in grade school together.  I've already decided that as soon as I'm rehabbed from surgery and can walk and tolerate a long car ride Ron and I are going to go see her.  She's either in Durango, Colorado or Kingman, Arizona.  That's what I was able to figure out from my Portuguese Facebook.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Medical Update

Well, Happy New Year to all.  Here is hoping that 2014 will bring peace and good health to all!

I had my MRI done New Year's Eve and thanks to my sweet daughter I got through it without a hitch.  I had really gotten anxious about it since the last one I had I got a little claustrophobic and they had to stop and give me something to calm down.  This time I kept the rag over my eyes and Jamie was able to sit in the room and put her hand on my foot.  I don't know why that was reassuring but it really worked.  I'll get the results on January 10th. and I see the surgeon on January 16th. 

I have an appointment with my primary doctor on the 7th and I'm going to ask her about prescribing something for depression and anxiety.  I'm afraid my emotions are running away with me and my anxiety over Mike is just wearing me down.  I've got to get a grip on all this.  If for no other reason than I really need a good night's sleep!

Christmas was quiet.  My niece was admitted to the hospital on the 23rd by her dad.  She's going downhill like a bobsled.  Her drinking has just increased and it's definitely put her health at risk.  Her dad (my brother) wants to believe her and support her but I'm afraid it will be to his detriment.  She will suck the life out of him physically, emotionally and financially if he doesn't set some boundaries.  But she isn't my daughter and it is easier for me to say that.

I'm not going to be posting regularly for awhile.  I have just too many irons in the fire right now.  My boss is hiring someone to replace me with the understanding that when I'm rebuilt from the waist down I will have the option of returning if I want to.  That's a promise I hope is honored.  Of course we all know how retirement can be forced upon workers and they may happen in my case.  Fortunately I have enough leave to cover me through this year while I get overhauled.  I'll be 66 in 18 months and that will be just about enough time to get all the surgeries behind me (I hope).

My next big hurdle is to see if my insurance will approve these surgeries...............keep fingers crossed because I don't know what I'll do if they don't.