Friday, July 31, 2015

D Day

This is last day of employment!  I couldn't sleep last night because I had to replay 28 years in my head all night.  I just remembered every little thing that I have experienced here through the years.  So, I'm tired!

First person I talked to this morning after I arrived was my best friend Linda.  She was already crying and of course that put me into the ugly cry.   Linda is about 13 years my junior but we've been close friends over 25 years.  Originally she worked on the evening shift and we didn't meet until someone told her call me for twin advice.  She had 2 year old twin girls at the time.  I got a call and heard this young woman sniffling on the other end of the line.  She told me who she was and then started crying.  She said, "I have two year old twins and I don't even know if I like them."  I had to not laugh out loud.  I assured her that there would be many times she wouldn't know if she liked them but she would always love them!  Then I reminded her that she had never been the mother of 2 year old twins before and she should give herself a little slack.

We've been best friends ever since.

Those twins of hers are beautiful grown women.  One is an RN and the other a Physician's Assistant.  They have both made Linda a grandmother.  Great Girls!

I have some wonderful friends here at the hospital!  I will miss them all!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

My days are numbered

Well, I can't believe it but tomorrow is my last day of employment.  After almost 28 years here and 50 years of working I will be a lady of leisure!  I have lots of things planned for my retirement.  I'm just wondering if I'll have time to do them all.

My childhood friend sent me some lovely flowers today.  I almost shed my first tears.  Tomorrow they are holding a retirement party at 2:00 pm and I'm afraid the tears will come then.  It is hard to say good-bye to the many friends I have made here.  They truly are my work family!

The first time I came here  I was 7 years old.  I came with a dance group and we danced for the patients. I never forgot that experience.  When I came to work here in 1987 I knew it was meant to be.  

I've seen so many children's lives changed because of the treatment they received here.  Services have expanded considerably since the hospital was founded in 1948.  In it's beginning it was an inpatient hospital only.  We now provide outpatient services as well as therapeutic services in schools throughout Oklahoma.  We have served almost all of the 77 counties in the state.

 It's a happy place to be!

 Just some of the great people I work with.  I'm right behind the lady in the back in the pink shirt and next to the young man on the right in the white shirt.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Beverly Hillbillies

I'm not a very big fan of our Governor, Mary Fallin.  She refused to expand Medicaid in our state resulting in huge provider cuts to the state's most vulnerable citizens.  She's always telling people to "get a job".  She snubbed the President when he came to tour the damage from the May 3rd tornadoes.  I just don't have anything good to say about her.  

But yesterday it came to the attention of taxpayers that her adult daughter has been living in a 5th wheel attached to the Governor's mansion since April.  I guess it is ok for the people of Oklahoma to pay her daughter's utilities but all those other lazy freeloaders need to "get a job".  It also came to light that her adult stepson is living in an apartment over the garage as well.  What a hypocrite!
Classy ain't it?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Stirring the Pot

Sometimes I like to throw something out on Facebook that I know will just cause my conservative Oklahoma friends to start salivating.  Gun reform is one of the hottest topics that really brings out the rednecks around here.  

Yesterday because it was my birthday and because I frankly love to stir the pot I decided to initiate another discussion on gun reform so I posted this:
Every time another shooting occurs in this country at the hands of a mentally unstable person the internet lights up about how the government is going to try and confiscate everyone’s guns. That’s ridiculous and impossible. That’s just the rhetoric fed to people to divert them from considering any reasonable form of gun control. 

First of all I can’t believe anyone would object to trying to keep guns out of the hands of mentally ill people. I have had my own personal experience with this issue. I have a family member who was able to purchase not one but two handguns within 2 days after his release from a 2 month inpatient stay in a psychiatric hospital. Because of the diligence of my family we were able to immediately remove the weapons from his home in order to keep him as well as others safe. But we could use a little help. We need better laws to prevent this. Providing better services for the mentally ill is a completely separate issue. Let’s just start by not arming them!

I have no desire to disarm America I just want people to assume the liability along with their decision to own and keep guns in their home. For example, if you have a person with a history of mentally illness in your home and that person injures or God forbid kills someone with your weapon, you should be held legally liable for that act. If a child gets hold of a weapon in your possession and shoots or kills himself or others you should be held criminally liable. This is not about the Second Amendment or about a citizen’s right to bear arms. This is about the responsibilities that come with that right. This is about adults’ responsibility to keep children and others safe. After all, the right of children to live without fear and danger supersedes a Constitutional right to bear arms.

For goodness sake we put gates around swimming pools to keep children from drowning. We put safety caps on medications to keep children from poisoning themselves. Like bodies of water and colorful pills, a gun is what the law of torts calls “an attractive nuisance.” In other words, guns present a unique allure for children, especially for boys. For that reason, and because children are naturally curious and impulsive, and because it has been shown time and again that we cannot “gun-proof” them with education, we have a responsibility to keep guns out of the hands of children and the mentally ill.

Yesterday I read that the NRA  spends 66 times what the Brady Campaign spends on lobbying, and 4,143 times what the Brady Campaign spends on campaign contributions. Between 2011 and 2013 the NRA spent at least $24.28 million: $16.83 million through its political action committee, plus $7.45 million through its affiliated Institute for Legislative Action.  They are definitely efficient at convincing gun owners that the government is out to take their weapons which immediately makes them oppose anything and everything.  

What sane individual supports limiting what doctors can ask their patients about firearms in the home?  This was the provision the NRA forced to be included in the Affordable Care Act.  While the provision doesn't forbid doctors from asking about guns, it prohibits health care workers from collecting that information, documenting it and using it for research.

In Florida they went a step further and would actually penalize doctors if they ask their patients about whether they own a gun, in most cases.  Gun-rights advocates, including the NRA, have raised concerns about tracking this data, including the possibility that acknowledging legal gun ownership could bring higher insurance premiums.
Personally I think that the decision to own a firearm should come with the increased liability.  Higher insurance premiums would be just part of the deal.  You assume the risk you assume the responsibility.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Birthday Weekend

Well, I celebrated my birthday all weekend.  I spent Saturday doing chores and shopping for tennis shoes for Mike.  Then Ron and I had sushi with my daughter.  Sunday we spent the whole day at my daughter's house having lunch and then swimming all afternoon.  Mike loves celebrating any occasion and yesterday was no exception.  

Today is actually my birthday and it didn't start out as good as I would want.  Mike called me at 5:30 am to ask me if he should put something in the refrigerator.  I'm afraid I lost my patience with him which wasn't very nice on my part.  I just got frustrated.  I'm asked the same things over and over and sometimes I think he doesn't even try to think for himself.  It just gives him another excuse to call me.  I called him back when I got to work an apologized for being cranky.  I told him I was just cranky because I'm older today.  He laughed at that and I told him we were just going to rewind the day and start over.

I'm on the countdown now.  Only 5 days until retirement.  It is bittersweet.........!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Steel Magnolias

Yesterday after work three of my co-workers and I went to visit a former co-worker who is home recovering from a double mastectomy.  We went bearing gifts of food, flowers and a pair of cute new pajamas in an effort to bring some cheer to an otherwise stressful and anxiety ridden situation.  When we arrived we found our friend looking amazingly good considering what she had just been through.  Her news was positive that all the cancer had been removed and she will not have to undergo chemotherapy or radiation.  This was a huge relief to her and now she only has to heal and go through one more reconstructive surgery before she resumes life as before.

What I love about women is how  so many immediately respond to another when a crisis occurs.  Whether it is an illness, death, or any other life event women just intuitively know that sometimes just "being there"  is all that is required.  We feed from each others strength when we have none and there is strength in numbers.  Just makes me proud to be a woman.

When I got home I was greeted by my daughter Julie.  She came over to have me edit the art curriculum she has been developing.   She has created lessons using Power Point so that other teachers can teach the lessons she has been teaching over the years without having a degree in art.  I was absolutely fascinated as she took me through lessons on Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso and Cubism, mandalas, how to get into right brain all geared to inspire these young budding artists.  What really fascinated me was the fact that it is written for five year old's but at the same time the content is not "dumbed" down.  She uses words like perspective, symmetrical, landscape, etc. but she said the children absorb it all like a sponge.  They learn the meaning of these words and how to use them to describe their art and their surroundings.  I learned so much myself!

 The drawings above were done by 5 year olds!  Julie created a drawing lesson on Power Point and the kids created their own drawings of a bicycle.  They use the tools they learn drawing the bicycle to go on and create original drawings of their own.  I was really impressed!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Yesterday's News

Ok, I realize this is yesterday's news but I was thinking about it over the weekend and I read some really nasty comments online about the Arthur Ash Courage award going to Kaitlyn Jenner.   Let me say right off the bat I watched the ESPY awards for the first time because I wanted to see Kaitlyn Jenner receive the award.  I was curious.  I wanted to hear what she had to say.  The moment they called her name I could see her nervousness but she went on to deliver what I thought was an eloquent speech and clearly she was trying to educate and inform the public about transgenderism.  

Now there seems to be a lot of disagreement as to what constitutes courage.  People referred to Jenner online as an "it" and undeserving of such an award.  Maybe they don't know that much about Arthur Ashe for whom the courage award is dedicated.

Arthur Ashe was the first African American to win the men's singles at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, and the first black American to be ranked No. 1 in the world.

When Ashe learned that he had contracted AIDS via a blood transfusion  he initially kept the news hidden from the public. But in 1992, Ashe came forward with the news after he learned that USA Today was working on a story about his health battle. Finally free from the burden of trying to hide his condition, (sound familiar?)  Ashe poured himself into the work of raising awareness about the disease. He delivered a speech at the United Nations, started a new foundation, and laid the groundwork for a $5 million fundraising campaign for the institution.  He turned his efforts to raising awareness of the disease, before finally succumbing to it on February 6, 1993.

I don't know about anyone else but I see some similarities between Ashe's story and Jenner's.  There was a lot of stigma associated with aids at the time Ashe was diagnosed but  he chose to use his public image in an attempt to educate people about the disease. 

Arthur Ashe described heroism this way, " True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost." 

I believe he would not have objected to this year's recipient of the award named in his honor.

Friday, July 17, 2015


My daughters took a road trip to visit their 1/2 brother in College Station, Texas.  They stopped off in Waco to visit the store belonging to the couple on "Fixer Upper".  That is a show on TLC if you haven't heard of it.  The girls were a little disappointed.  They said the store is very small and very expensive.  In addition they said everyone must have had the same idea because it was very crowded.  Needless to say they didn't make any purchases.

From the minute the girls got their drivers licenses I have worried silly every time they go somewhere together.  When they were in college they came home on weekends and I was nervous until they made  it back to school on Sunday night.  

I know it is normal for parents to worry about their kids no matter what age but it has always scared me knowing that my girls are always together.  If one is in an accident they will both be in it........It's the twin thing.   So, I was very grateful they stayed in touch with me yesterday letting me know where they were and when they reached their destination.  Now I can relax over the weekend and will be relieved when they get home Sunday safe and sound. 

I tried to get online from home last night to write but found our computer is just one big ole VIRUS.... or something to that effect.  I couldn't do a darn thing.  I can't wait to get a new one.  

I have a Medicare question if anyone can answer it for me.  Does Medicare pay anything on prescription drugs or is that covered only by supplemental coverage?  It appears to me that prescription drug coverage is one of the most expensive parts about supplemental insurance.  I only have 1 prescription that I have to get filled because the Indian Clinic doesn't carry it.  So far we haven't found a supplemental coverage that will cover it either.  It is Restasis.  I use it to treat my dry eye condition.  I don't want to pay some exorbitant premium for 1 prescription.  The other 13 prescriptions are available through the Indian Clinic for free.  I'm very lucky to have access to the clinic.  They have now added mammography so I won't even have to go anywhere else for that either.  

It is a brand new state of the art facility.  Everything is in one campus.  They have Physical Therapy, Behavior Health, Dental, Vision, Radiology, Lab, Primary Care and a Pharmacy as well as a same day clinic.  They have an after hours clinic on Saturday and Sunday.   I only wish the same kind of care was available for everyone.  The government could learn a lesson or two from Native Americans about health care.

Oh, President O'Bama was here and spoke to the Choctaw Nation on Wednesday and then toured a federal prison in El Reno yesterday.  I wanted to go to Durant to see him but couldn't get off work.  Last time he was in Oklahoma he was snubbed by our Governor but this time she did meet Airforce 1 when it arrived in our state.  She's a piece of work in my opinion but we're stuck with her for another 3 years. 

Maybe I will see universal healthcare within my lifetime.  Only time will tell.


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Rusty old bucket

I was off yesterday going to doctor appointments.  My last for 3 months.  Diabetes doctor took me off all arthritis medication because it is doing a number on my kidneys.  He said I have stage 3 renal disease which I hear is common as we age.  well of course......why not?  Now I'm going to be moving like the tin man!

Had a wonderful lunch at Olive Garden with my daughters.  It is hard to get them together at the same time so when I do it is always fun.  They talk at the same time and my head just ping pongs from one to the other.  They've done that since they learned to talk.  Finish each others sentences etc.

Ron turned in his notice at work yesterday.  He will officially be retired July 31st at 12:00 noon.  Then the following Monday, our first day of retirement, we take Mike to the doctor!

My childhood girlfriend and I plan to meet in Vegas ASAP.  I'm going to start looking for cheap airline tickets.  I can't wait to see her since it has been over 40 years. So much to catch up.


Monday, July 13, 2015

Good weekend...

I tried everybody's suggestions for leg cramps....I got some calcium, magnesium, quinine water and and Blue Emu and I can safely say I haven't had another charley horse.  We also started pushing more water and started a walking program.  We've only been doing it 3 days but at least we started.  I can't believe I am walking almost 2 miles now.  The difference between now and one year ago is monumental.  This new hip is a miracle.  Unfortunately I'm feeling some twinges in the left hip now but my goal is to build up as much muscle strength as I can before I have to have another hip replacement.  I don't know which will come first the hip or my knee.  The race is on!

We took Mike swimming again this weekend over at my daughter's house.  He's really enjoying it.  He's as brown as a UPS driver and I'm Snow White!  Can't tell we are related at all.  Don't know why he got all the pigment............  

I had to have a discussion with Mike about appropriate conversation topics.  Mike likes to start every conversation with a description of his most recent bodily functions.  How do I say this....he likes to tell just how great a bowel movement he had or didn't have.  He starts every conversation that way no matter who he is talking to.  So we discussed this issue and I told him that information is reserved for his doctor only and me only if he is having a problem.  I told him it is not appropriate conversation for everyone else.   

Well, after we agreed that he still is a gentleman and a scholar everything appeared to be OK.  Then about an hour later he heard me say "sh@#t" when a stubbed my toe on the pool ladder and he quickly told me that it was not appropriate to talk about bodily functions.  OUT of the mouths of schizophrenics!!!! touche.................

We have 3 weeks left until retirement.  I have a lot of meetings this week but the last two weeks will be pretty quiet.  I'm going to finish taking my personal things home so I won't have anything to do my last day except the retirement party.  I'm still having trouble imagining not being here every day.  But I have a lot of things I'm looking forward to as well.

One of the first things we have to do is purchase a new computer.  Our home PC is really old and just won't do what we want it to do anymore.  If I am going to keep writing at all I will have to have a new one.  I've already got a project to do with my daughter Julie.  She is writing curriculum and creating Power Point lesson plans for art instruction.  Since she is dyslexic she wants me to help edit her project and that will be fun.  My old PC won't even run Power Point.......way too slow.

My other daughter has been busy making dolls.  She is making  character dolls fashioned after each of her co-teachers.  She's making them for Christmas and they are the cutest things.  I'll try and post some pictures when I get them.  I was trying to help her the other day but my hands just don't do fine motor anymore.  Too many surgeries!   I had to have my basal thumb joints removed in each hand and that really affected my fine motor skills.  Can't hold a needle etc.  Otherwise my hands work just fine and no pain.

The summer is flying by............

Friday, July 10, 2015

A horse called "Charley"

Leg cramps also known as "Charley Horses" have been plaguing me for some time.  Last night I had one hit me so suddenly I was up jumping around the room like I had been set on fire.  Those suckers hurt so bad!!!!!!!!!! My toes curl under and my leg just knots up into one huge cramp.  My doctor prescribed a muscle relaxer but honestly it doesn't seem to be helping.  I get them just as often and just as severe as  before.  I read this morning that it can be due to dehydration, low calcium or magnesium.  Guess I'll try to increase all three.

I can only imagine what I look like when I jump up and start screaming while dancing around the room.  My husband always looks at me like my cheese has slid off my cracker.  He usually just yells back "what" "what"......all I can do is point to where it hurts and scream.  Then when he finally figures it out he will make me sit down and he tries to rub wherever it hurts which only makes me yell louder cause it hurts so darn bad.  And of course it feels like it takes forever before it starts to calm down and by then I'm half laughing and half crying.

Does anyone else have leg cramps and what have you done to decrease them?  I'm open for suggestions!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Don't you just want to slap the stupid out of this man?
The more he talks the higher the democrats leap for joy!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Back Seat Drivers Anonymous

I'm going to start a support group for back seat drivers.  I'm the first official member.  Hi, my name is Dani and I'm a back seat driver!  
Isn't recognizing the problem the first step to resolving it?  I'm not sure what the 12 steps will be yet but for sure the 1st one is acknowledge your imperfection. 

Now, the only defense I have concerning my affliction, imperfection, is my husband (as wonderful as he is) always ends up somewhere other than where we are going.  I sometimes wonder how the man finds his way home.  If I don't occasional ask, "Uh, where are you going?"  I'd never see my front door again.  His reply is always, "I meant to go this way,"   NOT!

But that's the only justifiable back seat driving I do.  The rest is completely unjustified.  He's a good driver but I'm a horrible passenger.  I flinch, grab the handle, use my imaginary brake and constantly gasp and then try to disguise it with a yawn.  I don't know why I'm no nervous in the car but my theory is that I have PTSD.  It is the result of teaching 16 year old twins to drive.  All I could think about when one of them was behind the wheel was the fact that I had to teach these individuals how to use a spoon not to mention the fact I also had to tell them when to pee!  None of this made it easy to intrust my life in their hands. It doesn't matter that it was 29 years ago that kind of terror never goes away. 

So, now I try to always wear my sunglasses when riding in the car.  This allows me to close my eyes and just hang on for the ride without my husband seeing the terror.  I don't think I'm fooling anyone but he hasn't made me run beside the car yet so I call that a victory!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Brain Fog

I don't know what is up with my brain but it sure seems to be on sabatical or something.  I have been going to Board meetings for 28 years.  They are always on the first Monday of every month.  But I guess I decided to leave my brain at home today and just fly by the seat of my pants.  For some reason I got it in my head that our Board meeting is tomorrow night not today.  I told our catering person that it is tomorrow and so now we have no dinner for tonight.  Totally my fault and I will just go out and buy something for tonight but I just feel like a complete dufus.  Glad this will be my last Board meeting..........ever..............!

I heard one time that after giving birth something called Momnesia occurs,  forgetfulness,  that sort of thing.  Well, I wonder if it can last 45 years.  I think I gave birth to two 5 pound twins and 1/2 my brain.  I've been in a fog ever since and dear God it's getting worse!

Our 4th of July celebration was good.  Cooked out, swam, ate watermelon!  Got a little sunburned but not too bad.  Considering I'm white as a sheet I must have done pretty good with the sunscreen.  I thought about writing something catchy on my leg with sunscreen and then letting the sun burn all around it....but thought better of the idea.  

Did you know they have removed the seeds from watermelon?  I was so surprised.  Where was I when THIS was going on?  No more seed spitting contests?  Not that I was very good at it but hey I like competition of any kind.  My daughters couldn't believe I still thought they had seeds.  When I bought the melon there was no sign posted saying they were seedless.  

I have a hectic week ahead.  Meetings galore and doctor appointments.  Oh, and more rain!  We are still dealing with flooding but boy does my lawn look good.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Happy 4th of July

Well, 2nd night of wearing a splint and I didn't even wake up with clanking teeth.  The pain in my jaw hasn't disappeared but I'm still hopeful.

My daughter is having everyone over for a cookout and swim party on the 4th.  I had to go out and find a bathing suit for the occasion.  The only one I had was probably 20 years old, too big, and kinda worn out.  I also had to get a suit for Mike.  Hope it fits him.  Ron refuses to go swimming (something about back hair) so I guess he'll just watch.  The truth is he doesn't hardly have any back hair but what he has he is self conscious about.  He shaved it one time and I couldn't stand how prickly he felt.  So, I tell him to wear a t-shirt but he still won't go swimming.  I guess men can be just as vein as women.

I don't know if we will go watch the fireworks or not.  I usually get devoured by mosquitoes and there is always some fool shooting fireworks in the middle of crowds, not to mention the occasional drunk!  All that aside I guess I still enjoy seeing the display.  

Tomorrow is the recognized holiday for state employees so I'm off work.  Then I will have only 28 days remaining until retirement.  I'm starting to sound like a broken record.   

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Shrek in the bedroom

I have had a problem with TMJ (temporomandibular joint dysfunction) for a number of years.  It first started with my jaw locking closed.  I didn't have any other pain with it but would have to work my jaw until it got unlocked.  I couldn't chew gum or chewy candy because that usually led to jaw locking.

It wasn't until right after my hip surgery that I began to have pain in my jaw.  This time the pain was in the other jaw.  It started after I chewed a piece of gum for no more than 5 my jaw crackles when I eat anything and hurts like the devil when I bite down on something. is on the other side not the side that used to lock all the time.

Well, anyway I went for my regular dental appointment and told the dentist about my sore jaw.  He decided I needed a mouth splint to wear at night.  He told me I was grinding and clenching my teeth putting pressure on my jaw.  So, we did impressions and I picked up the splint yesterday and wore it last night.

Now, I'm already an attractive sight when I go to bed as it is.  I have to wear a sleep mask because my eyelids don't close all the way leading to extremely dry eyes.  I have to put bright green ear plugs in my ears because of Ron's snoring.  A look that definitely resembles Shrek.  Now I have a mouth piece in my mouth that makes me look like a defensive lineman. could I be anymore irresistible?

When I went to bed I thought there was no way I'd be able to sleep with that appliance in my mouth.  But, I must have fallen asleep pretty fast and didn't wake up again until this morning.  At first my teeth didn't line up right when I took the splint out of my mouth but it quickly readjusted.  My jaw actually feels better....maybe the dentist knew what he was talking about.  I just wasn't aware that I grind my teeth.  Anyone else ever wear a mouth splint?  Did it help?