kassidy62: (Default)
An actor over at acx is reading my "Beneath the Neon Moon" book for an audio production. And I? Am a preteen. As I just wrote [livejournal.com profile] tipitiwitchet, "omg, i just giggled wildly out loud at 12 am in the kitchen because he read 'precome' - fucking help me Obiwan"

It's not him, it's me, and that's the truth. He seems a lovely fellow, but I am having trouble having an actor read my stuff--embarrassed to bits, positively squirming at times to listen through the chapters. I wrote this for God's sake! I know what's coming. He gets the romanticism and warmth growing between the characters in the midst of their fear, and I'm glad he does, but I'm spending a lot of my time clinging to a wall or hiding my head or or--

it reminds me of once when a guy friend had me read his attempt at writing sex. Not bad at all, but I still had my hand over my mouth reading it, and I managed a coherent response, nay, a mature response, but inside? I remember I once LEFT THE ROOM in the middle of composing my email back to him. I had to have a break from writing an email because I was squirming inside. Wtf?
kassidy62: (3 amigos)
My wedding anniversary today and I COMPLETELY FORGOT. Not just momentarily, folks, I never thought about it. I thought, "wait, is it a super moon tonight"?
No. I MISSED THAT TOO.
Kind of. I saw it, I was out, and it was lovely. Oh, and there's another Sept. 9.
ANYWAY.
Nineteen years of marriage, how the ever-loving fuck did that happen? I'm really happy to still have him after all these years.
Yeah, I got an email with the title YOU FORGOT AGAIN. oops. I just don't know why I keep forgetting!
I swear I like him, and consider myself really lucky that we're together.
kassidy62: (3 amigos)

Today I hiked. I love the mountains so much, but I've not walked the trails for a few years mostly due to the health issues. However, I had promised my oldest and her best friend that we'd go hiking in the mountains before the summer is over.

At one point I didn't think I'd be able to keep my promise, but I was prescribed some meds that helped me be get moving after waking up, so I grabbed my two girls and Johnny and we headed up into the Smokies. Only a 30% chance of rain for later in the day according to the forecast - good odds, I thought. Which, like many of our local weather forecasts, turned out WRONG. A steady rain all day.

We still went. Johnny wanted to try a more difficult hike (well, difficult for us - we've none of us ever been regular hikers) because he'd had surgery recently and wants to regain his strength. (He's sixteen.) I agreed to go for the Chimney Tops, which I hadn't hiked in about twenty years! (It's not a long hike, but as this article will tell you, it's quite steep).

I frankly figured I couldn't make it, but if that were the case, I'd just sit and wait for the kids while they finished. I wanted to try. I hate owning up to being unable to do things I used to be able to do. I already do that so much, and it kills the spirit.

It was the hardest thing I've ever done, physically. My body just didn't think it could do it, and I tended to agree with it. I'm a stubborn cuss, however, and for the last half mile up the trail I sent the kids on ahead and took the climb as I could (talked to myself a lot). As I climbed higher, the wind began to blow, cold and crisp. It was rejuvenating, and really, by the time I made it to the foot of the rock climb, I was exhilarated. What a gorgeous view: clouds rolling over the mountains, wind hissing and rocking the tree tops.

Though I didn't quite make it to the top of the final 50 foot (wet, slippery) rock climb as I did twenty years ago, I got most of the way there. Only my thirteen-year old got higher than I did. My sixteen-year old got a bit freaked by the height, and Johnny didn't climb without her.

(This photo isn't mine - the others are)



my view, if a little blurry - see my daughter's red hair? :)

I can't say I didn't overdo it. I did. The walk down was kind of horrible, and my stride became very awkward and shambling (my left side drags). The legs almost gave out on me. I did a sort of crab-leg thing part of the way. But whatever works.

I'm my father's daughter - too much spleen to be good for anyone - irritable, stubborn, but determined. The last mile was pretty much stubbornness, pride, and mumbling to myself through gritted teeth about a bottle of wine at home if only I could get the fuck off the damn rock.

Not pretty, but what the hell, I did it, and I wanted to do something I know I used to be able to do.  It makes me sad to think I'll probably never do it again.

One of many reasons I love my husband: he'd just gotten off work when we came back. He immediately noticed my gait. I told him where we'd been and said, I'll probably never be able to do it again.

He said, "You might." He believes it, and makes me consider the possibility.

Cone flower by the side of the trail

kassidy62: (3 amigos)
Dreaming, I was surrounded by tornadoes and had to leave my car. Kept running until I hit a congested area with buildings too close together, so that it was hard to see what was around me. I caught glimpses of a big, dark blue funnel to the northeast and some smaller ones with yellow light behind them, flashing, to the west. I could call people, though. You know how dreams are. My husband was listening to me and then he said all in a rush, "Gotta go," and hung up. And Mom had the baby, Rachel. She said, "We're all right for now, but we're in the path of a big one." Kept running, trying to find a place to hole up but couldn't and they were bearing down on me. Went on for what felt like hours.

Then I woke up enough for it to occur to me to WAKE UP, you don't have to go through this, and I did. And I was groggy, trying to remember where my little Rachel is, and finally remembered that Rachel as I knew her then is gone, grown into a sixteen-year old, which was a little melancholy - not that she's grown, but that the little red-headed baby is essentially no more, you know?

But good grief, it's good to be awake:)
kassidy62: (hands by me)
Fun note about my daughters - they're both mentioned in the new Rite of Passage by John Passarella. Because they are minors, Mr. Passarella changed the last name a little, but they're on page 131, wherein the school was evacuated and the students were trying to find out what was going on. Someone mentions that "Rachel Barish" was in the office at the time, because she'd come in late that day from an orthodontist appointment (funny, she actually has braces and goes in every month for adjustment). Then her sister, Kassidy, is mentioned (something about her texting to a blogger, I think - I haven't actually had time to read the book yet, it was released just yesterday). But the girls were very excited to see themselves in the book:)

kassidy62: (joker)
Mom's been having heart troubles. She's been to the hospital 5 times in 2 months or so. She's got atrial fibrillation, for starters. She's been put on Pradaxa, something that helps prevent strokes in people with her condition (and that drug company is another nightmare story all to itself - suffice it to say when the manufacturer makes all these nice gestures to help seniors pay for their over-priced meds? They turned her down because the doctor sent them the wrong forms and it was too late in the year to re-apply. And her insurance doesn't pay anything on it, and it's $300 a month at least. And they might not even have an aid program this year anyway so they can't say if they can help her next year - well, 2012, we applied in December. Anyway. Her doc sent IN THE WRONG FORMS, THEY CANNOT HELP HER). We got samples to tide her over a while, and then we managed to get state aid, so that was wonderful.

She's on several meds for high blood pressure,m also Cardizem, Betapace to try and help her heart stay in rhythm. She was referred to a Dr. Robert Martin, Jr., at Tennova (formerly St. Mary's). He likes to take a slow and steady approach when it comes to adapting a treatment plan for his heart patients. Which is one of the reasons Mom's been in the hospital so much. We tell him the treatment's not working, and that she had been diagnosed long ago with mitral valve prolapse, could that have gotten worse? That at any rate something else is wrong, the meds aren't working - he waved a hand and said the mitral valve thing was commonly misdiagnosed. He's never taken blood nor run any tests other than a kidney flow test, though we've told him the episodes are getting steadily worse, more painful, longer duration, with heart spasms and pain, blackouts and soaring blood pressure, to the point she's afraid she won't make it through too many more of these episodes. Which got her an increased dosage in two of her meds and a lecture about how some of his patients panic with afib and sometimes they're out of rhythm MOST of the time - a handy shaming technique.

And before you tell me the sensible thing, to go find another doctor, we've been that route. We started out at Ft. Sanders, where the first heart doctor gave her meds that specifically said in the warnings not to take together, and that had the visiting nurse completely puzzled and upset over. The last time we were at Tennova, a Dr. McBride treated her. I thought he was intelligent until Mom told him she had regular bouts of high blood pressure and heart pain at night, and he said, how do you KNOW? She said, well I have a BP monitor and I feel my heart race, and he quipped, "So stop taking your blood pressure at night."

So anyway, Mom calls me at work today and says the nitro isn't working this time (she didn't get it from Martin, she got it from her regular doctor, who at least listens to her). We go to the emergency room. She's sort of in and out of it at the point I pull into the front of ER, and I rush inside to the receptionist and ask if I can get help getting my mother inside. She asks me if I'm angry. I'm astonished, because I'm highly upset and trying to hurry for my mother's sake, but I guess I had tone when I asked for help? Or something. I tell her no, I'm not, I'm in a hurry and worried, my mother has serious heart problems and I need help. She goes on, saying, oh, well you sounded frustrated. Wtf? I'm scared, why are you asking me this shit? She tells me she'll send out someone with a wheel chair in a minute. Maybe 3-5 minutes later, a woman wheels out a chair. I'm standing by my mother, holding her hand. She's squeezing it, her heart is racing and then tightening into a spasm-like thing that is scaring her to death, and she's drifting in and out. A woman comes out, gets her in a wheel chair, takes her fucking insurance cards but not her BP or anything practical, then sits her OUT IN THE WAITING AREA. She's groaning, her heart feels like a big fist clutching in her chest, she looks like she might fall out of the chair, slumping down. I go up to receptionist and ask her if they can take my mom back because she's having a lot of pain and I'm afraid she's having a heart attack. She tells me there are a couple of people ahead  for the nurse to see first. You wouldn't believe the attitude on this woman - and this isn't the first time, I remember her from before. She's cold and antagonistic.

So we sit out in the lobby until my mother asks me to call 911 for an ambulance to TAKE HER TO ANOTHER HOSPITAL to get help. I grab a nurse, I'm frantic, and ask her to help. They get Mom in and a PA asks some questions (like, have you ever had this happen before? yes, we've been here, she's on lots of meds, Pradaxa, other stuff, doesn't seem to be helping. Is she on Warfarin? No, she's on Pradaxa, it's made for afib folks specifically (hello, don't you know that)? And well, have you missed your meds? Absolutely not.

They park her out in the ER hallway in the chair and ask her to wait. Finally they get her in a room and hook her up for a cardiogram, then leave her completely UNMONITORED again for an hour.

Finally she's admitted - still in afib, very low blood oxygen, more tests to be done, and I don't even know how to tell you what a horrible, inhumane experience that was for both of us. And it's nothing new.

She was declared DECEASED by Medicare this month and didn't get her check or her coverage for her meds. We don't know why. Today I got a piece of mail addressed to the PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE OF M__ W__, DECEASED, offering condolences, then asking if I'd attend to her credit card bill. It was a collection agency.

Okay, I'm rambling. This was so very awful. In between her experiences and my own, I'm almost phobic about going to a doctor because they're dismissive, they act like the patient's an idiot (and I know there's frustration in dealing with patients and getting correct info out of them, and that includes my mother, and I know she's 77, but that doesn't mean you can throw her out with the garbage). Do you have to make her feel like you don't believe her when she says something is wrong, do you have to make her feel she's an idiot and you don't care if she dies in the middle of your filthy ER waiting room floor? 

Welcome to health care in America.
kassidy62: (henry - bloodties - by me)


My office manager's brother was involved in a freak accident during the storms a couple of weeks ago. Lighting hit a large tree and it fell on him. After two surgeries, he still hadn't regained any feeling below the neck. This week he asked to be taken off the ventilator, and the funeral is tonight. He was my age.

I've been here since 1999. I remember going from my last job to thyroid surgery to this job three days later. I've been here ever since. It's a small office, and I'm the last employee hired. We're at half-staff now, compared to back then. We've seen too many family members pass away over those years.
 


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