Sunday, August 31, 2014


I have been pretty busy balancing out my life with what needs to get done and some fun in between.  I can say that after this past week with the help of my friends, some adventures in Art, real life flashes into the past, wonderful and unexpected family time with multiple members of my family and having time to focus on my Art homework as well has gotten my head back together.

This week has taken me back to a time and place of which encompassed most of my summers for a large majority of my life excluding the past 15 years or so.  During an excursion North to the farm to get the farm fresh milk one right turn took me over the hill, around the corner, over the causeway and back, back, back in time walking on the dock, swimming across the lake to the Island, watching the sunsets over the water ~ the sailboats on a windy day.

Croquet, blueberries, phlox, hot dogs roasted on the grill to perfection by my Uncle Earl, getting thrown off the dock by any of our Uncles, hiding under the dock and searching out the white rocks at the island, family and fun.  The sun shined and everyone laughed and played and smiled and all was well in the world.

An unexpected drive by our family's cottage on the lake ~ my great grandparents both long gone, along with my own grandparents.  My Uncle recently acquired our treasure on the lake.  The spirits of many of our dearly departed can be felt everywhere.

It was very grounding in so many ways.  It made me both younger and older at the same time.  Time which passes and you only notice how much it has passed as you recount the moments of your life.  I am blessed to have so many more of my moments filled with happy memories ~ scattered as they may be over the course of my many years on the planet.

On Wednesday I got a confirmation  call from my granddaughter about sleeping over on Friday with an affirmative!!!  I was happy since I already shopped for our visit in anticipation. I told her of my visit to the cottage and my drive by her house and she animatedly spoke to me about her thoughts on the dock and I saw another connection we share, I could tell the cottage already held her as well with lifetime memories and she is only 7.

I have been a busy, busy girl indeed.  I do tire easy still but I am happy to report that my realignment with my shrink caused by my meltdown which really cleared the field allowing me to change my perspective and all of the events following have really (most all) been positive.

What you choose to focus on really does influence your life.  You know my granddaughter always gives me an extra boost and I had a few ideas and Thomas was home.  Thomas is a highlight in Ains's life indeed!  I am just a fixture when he is around.

Thursday night was spent in North Adams enjoying the sights and sounds of the Downtown Art Event which they have on Third Thursdays.  I enjoy the atmosphere and the people who I know and run into along the way.

My company was excellent.  My friends I traveled with and I ran into a couple more friends and we made a good group.  We pretty much kept together and we saw some good work and I got to talk to a few artists I have never seen before and saw some really cool printing presses and huge paper cutters which could cut through a phone book!

It was a beautiful evening despite feeling cooler in the afternoon and all in all it was full of more fun memories since I only have a month to have fun before I am down for god knows how long from this surgery.  I am thankful that the fall is coming in a way.



I had everything done to my satisfaction for my visit Friday and was ready for my girls arrival.  Tom was home and after my son and his wife left he was busy playing and hanging out with Ainsley.  I was thankful for the help since I was running on 70%.

We baked cookies together with me lining up the supplies and each of us helping in the preparation of the cookie dough.  It was a wonderful way to spend a Friday evening.  Thomas played endlessly with her and school beginning and getting up early for school, at a later bedtime than normal, and after enticing Uncle Thomas out of his blanket (since it feels cold, but is warm and fluffy ~ a trait which is important to my girl), within 5 minutes she was out like a light and within 15 more minutes Tom and I were downstairs watching t.v. and taking a much needed breather!

I did not last long however and was soon waking up on the couch, knowing that I would be up early for Gramma duty I headed off to bed.  I was glad that I did when 8 a.m. rolled around.  I opened up my eyes to the cutest face lying on the pillow ~ the most content and relaxed smiling face of a happy kid ~ ready to go!

My brain quickly ascertained that we needed a few more minutes so I closed my eyes and said " One sec kiddo".  The snooze button rang "It's 8:12 Gramma".  Eyes open I responded by planting my feet firmly on the floor an assessing their ability.

Caffeine was in order first and foremost so I set the microwave to work and rolled a smoke while it was brewing.  I went out on the deck and lit my smoke and realized how warm it was.  We spent most of the morning outside.

It was a lovely morning waking up with the sunshining and drawing pictures with my girl, chatting away.
I was given a drawing assignment with a soft brown lead pencil done on a paper bag.  I was so proud to have an idea of what I wanted to draw ~ unusual for me since I never see what I want to draw in advance. My vision and what popped out onto the page were two different visions so over the course of two days I have found a different subject.

I have drawn, over drawn, began over, thought to myself ~ it is a lesson on texture and then wondered if both sides were the same, experimented with the tool of the lesson and drew a random picture while visiting with friends from my head.

I am thinking the lesson isn't in the picture I draw, rather the understanding of the use of the material I am using (paper, etc.) and using my medium with the paper and making the two work together.  I am sort of getting it.  Sometimes I get the understanding more from seeing and doing the process than from the words.

Ainsley chose to work in crayons and I went between my homework and coloured pencils to shake it up a little.  We took a break and after watering the garden we were eating fresh veggies out of the garden for breakfast.  Life does not get better than that!

My heart is full of such wonderful and regular life experiences such as this.  It is what I choose to focus on instead of the negativity in the world.  I choose a different path, although sometimes there are trials along the way,  they have always led me to a lesson and personal growth by their occurrence.  Some are easier to learn than others.  It is helpful to have the wonderful memories to use as a tool during those more trying times.

Orleans Dave randomly stopped in to update his new phone and we got into a very involved conversation among other topics which led to a book to read and an addition of a stop to the library along with the bank and the smoke shop before meeting my son later in the day.

The library did not have the book that he told me about which was The Celestine Prophecy so I had to settle on The Tenth Insight which I have barely had 5 minutes to gander but what I have read was captivating and intriguing.

On my way to the bank my plans got changed and my date with my son got moved up to immediate.  I got picked up at the bank and got a ride to do the rest of my chores and spent the next six hours hanging out in a nice relaxed atmosphere.  It was like a spa day without the spa!

It is so extremely late as I am writing this, 2:25 a.m.  I felt compelled to write.  You can blame the babbling on the late hour if it doesn't flow or make sense ~ I just know that if I don't write when the urge strikes the moment will pass and so will my documentation.

I am planning on sleeping in.  If I am lucky I will be able to.  I know that I feel like I could sleep for a week, my eyelids are drooping and I don't even think my eyes are halfway open I will be mimicking my granddaughter from last night I do believe!

Monday, August 25, 2014


Today was an interesting day in my world.  I have been feeling bad physically, emotionally and mentally for a couple/few weeks/months and today was thankfully a normally scheduled Monday.  Which means that I was back on the usual Monday afternoon chat with my doc, which at times I feel like it is more a social visit rather than a therapy session and it hasn't been normal day/time for two weeks due to vacation and my own medical appointments out of town, etc.

Today's visit was more of a much needed meltdown than a social visit ~ that is to say that shit got real and deep.  Not that that is a bad thing, no indeed, sometimes you just have to face reality and admit when you are scared.

Sometimes, that is the only way to get down to the base of things in order to get your thoughts back in order and categorize and prioritize.  My brain has been all over the place lately, normally that is a good thing but when I am worried about myself on top of everything else I am useless.  I could feel myself on the brink of useless, despite all I have to do and that is not a place I want to go ~ ever ~ period.

So I spoke my fear out loud and felt like crap and then my brain got back together and before the hour was over and I was walking back out into the real world ~ a bright and sunny day ~ hot and just the way I like them.  It was uplifting and just what the doctor ordered.

I was on a mission to pick up some ingredients I needed as I had decided before I left the house to make a jambalaya for dinner and I needed chicken stock and diced tomatoes to pull it off.  I didn't get too far on my way before I saw the lovely and also uplifting Judge Rudy and we conversed for a good length of time.

Judges may retire, but they never change and this man always asks the most interesting questions of me.  He never remembers how we met but he always recognizes me.  I, most recently had the pleasure of being seated near him at the Opera Notte at the Whitney ~ he was the man being scolded during an Opera in Italian, which the memory of that always makes me smile.

I had to take my leave from the good Judge to get my errands started so I could get home.  Since it was a warm day there were more people out and about but I was kind of lost in thought as I made my way to the opposite end of North Street finally making it to my destination.

I almost gave up looking for what I needed, turned to walk away, turned back around and looked up and spotted the Chicken Stock and then spotted the tomatoes further down on the shelf and then I turned and a friend of mine was standing right next to me!

It was a nicer walk back home with the company.  I got to meet a partially adopted cat who let me pet him (although he did not get up and come to me), it occupies my friends porch part time and he has been nurturing a relationship with it for some time and has just named it Clawdius, which is a cool honour to be sure!

I walked the longer way home, avoiding the Park and the "trouble" at the end of the street.  I was not up to dealing with him if he were there today.  I was looking forward to cooking up the Jambalaya and hurried home, made a tea ~ caught up with my son and my games.

I got to speak to another friend who had phoned.  The day was getting better.  I like it when the universe gives me what I need and sometimes you see and others you don't.  I went and checked the mail and got my reward for supporting WMHT ~ Season 1-4 of Downton Abbey with Season 5 being sent after the first episode airs ~ yup ~ the universe was talking and I was listening!

I got in the kitchen and began cooking.  Nothing (except driving, walking,thinking) (okay a few things so sue me!)  makes me feel better than cooking.  I began heating oil and searing chicken, cutting the peppers and onions and the fresh garlic while that cooked.

The smell of the veg sauteing in the pain while I chopped up the chicken and threw in the spices and seasoning, adding the tomatoes, the rice and the chicken stock ~ the smells and the colours ~ waiting for it to boil ~ then simmer down and meld those flavours together into an amazing mixture of deliciousness!!!

I had to visually instruct Thomas the proper setting for the clothes to actually dry after a laundry mishap the other day ~ so we did that and he explored some remnants of our old life ~ part of his dirt bike, a nice axe that we used to chop our firewood with...

When we got upstairs the Jambalaya was ready to turn down to simmer and cover so we got some quality t.v. time in while the food cooked.  We were commenting on school starting and Ainsley going back to school and 10 minutes later the phone rang ~ Ainsley's house!!!

I ran down to answer and it was my little monkey girl!!  I was very happy and excited to hear from her.  I could tell by the way that she wasn't talking that she had a question, so I asked her if she wanted to ask me anything ~ she immediately, and quickly asked if she could come over on Friday.

My calendar is empty as it could be so she could have whatever day she wanted and I wrote her in pen ~ she asked her Mom and then she said ~ did you write it down?  I said yup ~ then she said she wasn't sure ~ fingers crossed ~ I told her she was there (in pen) and we would confirm Wednesday.

It is a holiday weekend ~ something which is easy to forget~ they may have plans and that is okay but school is coming and I want to get a few sleepovers in over the next month before I am useless (as a gramma) for the recovery.

She is excited and wants to bring her big box of crayons, I told her I got some paper and other supplies so it looks like it may be an Art Sleepover as well!  I cannot wait to see how much she has grown since I last saw her ~ which seems like forever ago!

I went back to watch the program with my son, giving the pan a stir and checking the rice ~ not quite there yet, so I left it as it was.  it was tempting not to take a bowl of it then.  T-Moose and I finished were watching some Ice Cream themed cooking show we had never seen and it was pretty good.

It was making me hungry so I went down to check the food ~ it was good, and hot, so I turned off the pan and left the lid on deciding to let it cool down a bit before trying it.  That lasted about ten minutes and I tell you ~ it was the right amount of every flavour with a nice kick to it.

I did manage to get quite a bit done today between caring for the garden ~ which is getting there, the dishes and three separate loads of laundry and a nice healthy meal ~ I hope I sleep well tonight!  I think I have more than earned a good nights sleep.  What would be better than that would be a day waking up awake and refreshed for once ~ I won't hold my breath but a girl can hope!

p.s.  damn, this Jambalaya is good!!!

Friday, August 22, 2014


Looking back over the month of August I am amazed.  It has been a roller coaster of unexpectedness for me!  It has been quite a journey (and I don't mean miles - although I have covered enough of those!)

I got to travel out of town four times (five really), get a glimpse at two hospitals and the wonderful professionalism of their staff and the services that are provided away from my home like greeters at the door and people to walk you to your destination, helpful Nurses who help with correct information and basic kindness all the way around.

The stress that I have had has all cycled around travel issues - arriving at my destination at the appropriate time and learning how to access travel services through my insurance.  I did get to set up a ride but have not yet tried that out since the appointment was cancelled due to a sooner appointment with the surgeon.  I will definitely be finding out how great the transportation service is in October when I return to Springfield for my surgery.  I am very thankful for Cathy at the BRTA for helping me get that going and educating me on the in's and outs to fuel me with the information to educate and manipulate my Primary doctors staff to get on task.

I am not very concerned about the surgery, but I have more than a month to feed that monster.  I have much to do to get ready both practically and mentally from setting up a proxy in case something does go wrong, prepare my children for after surgery and recovery and hopefully they will have my back and help me out.

My energy is beginning to pick up a bit.  Last Friday I was able to make it to the Library and return those overdue books.  It was colder than I realized when I stepped outside ~ more like I had been inside for a season rather than a week!

I spotted an acquaintance in the library ~ somehow I had a feeling I would.  It was a friend who gave me a drawing project to do.  I happened to have it done (somewhat) and had it with me so we broke the rules and discussed Art and drawing right there.

I did my errands, saw a couple of friends along the way and got a much needed haircut since my layers had a mind of their own.  By the time I got home I was Beat with a capital "B"!  It seems that the dye injection test has in itself changed the way I feel.

Intensifying my pain in specific areas and leaving me too tired mentally to block it.  What a bitch!  And that is what I am becoming despite all of the rest and downtime I am having.  It is a good thing that my youngest loves me or I am sure he would bail given the opportunity!

My middle son was hallucinating about a Roast Beef Dinner and bacon which he asked me to make ~ I was happy to do so.  We had a yummy dinner and the bacon complimented the Roast beef so well with a dab of gravy ~ I almost died and went to heaven!

My middle son has been surprising me more and more with almost regular visits.  No complaints there.  I love to see all of my children and need to plan a girls night sleepover before too long with my sweet granddaughter who will be going back to school soon enough!

This summer is flying by and I am thankful that my calendar has been less taxing than in the beginning.  The weather has turned to shit as well with much rain, less warmth and not at all what I prefer.  I am hoping that we will get an Indian Summer or at the very least the return of some really warm days before Fall takes over.

My garden is doing okay with the tomatoes taking off like mad!  The peppers are another story and the green beans have been so so.  My avocado plant has taken to the soil and growing new leaves and the pineapple plant is in the soil and doing well also!

The animals completely deseeded one of my sunflowers so I cut the other one and have it drying in the house away from their hungry tummies so that we may also enjoy some of the fruits of my labour.  It has been fun gardening this year despite some minor neglect as of late and my inability to stake a tomato plant which has a mind of it's own!  Next year will be even better (god willing).

My mind has been so full and empty both at the same time.  I am trying to reel it back into focus and write again ~ I am so behind on what I want to share with you ~ by the time I share I am afraid it will be irrelevant! Know that I am trying my best and that is even a bit under par for my liking!

I did attend the performance of "Dancing Lessons" at Barrington Stage Company on Saturday and it was a very good play!  Since I was at one of the readings last year before it turned into a production I was curious to see how it would "Act" out and I thought it went very well~ the rest of the audience really seemed to enjoy it as well.

One more First Friday ArtWalk and one more Barrington Stage Volunteer gig both fall right before my Surgery.  After that my calendar is blank and I am grateful for that ~ (I am not going to worry, I am not going to worry) my new Mantra for the next month!

I am not sure how many reviews I will miss for the Whitney Center for the Arts ~ that was great fun and I hope not to miss too many ~ I am thankful for Ghazi Khami for providing the opportunity for me and hope to make a mark there as well.

I am off to work on some home and fun things (in the hacienda) the skies are grey and the sun is not out yet to entice me into the world so chances are I am not leaving my yard today.  At least I don't have to do any watering!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Sharing a Glipho Writing Challenge

I am sharing a writing challenge which I wrote since it was pointed out to me by a friend that if I don't they don't get it ~   hope you enjoy it...

More to come soon :)

Thursday, August 14, 2014


I would like to thank my friends and family who were concerned about my health enough to comment and phone.  I must say the test I got on Monday has been kicking my behind more than I anticipated.  I am very happy I stocked up on anything I may have needed for a couple of days and then some.

I do not know if it is the lack of resting on the second day and the impromptu trip to the Neurologist on Thursday in my weakened condition or what but my bounce is not yet back.  All I want to do is sleep.  It is impossible to just sleep for days and not feel negligent of my responsibilities.

My poor little garden is taking the brunt of it!  I haven't watered it since Sunday and thank heavens for the rain and lack of intense heat and sunshine!  I went out to pick some green beans to add to the already picked ones from the other day and something took one of my sunflowers completely out!

With some good luck and a bit more rest I hope to be more able to tend to my garden and outside obligations tomorrow ~ kind of a test run.  Since I have to be at the Theatre 45 minutes before the show and on my feet on Saturday I think it will be necessary to build up my endurance a little.

The past two weeks seem like a blur and I am so glad I got pictures from ArtWalk and my Class Reunion to refresh my memory when I finally have the energy to write more than a few words.  I have utilized some of my time to do some sketches ~ pencil while I have been confined to my bed/house.

Sadly, my library book is at least a week overdue and I finally finished that as well!  It is on my list to return it if it is the last and only thing that I do on Friday.  It seems funny to me that my energy level had plummeted so drastically in such a short time.

I did do a phone consult with the Doc that performed the test on Monday and got the second part of the news.  One problem at a time is how I am going to process this and first thing is first ~ neck and then we shall see.

I am glad I am not depressed and looking at all of this "news" as a good thing.  I would feel worse if there was nothing wrong and I was feeling like this.  I cannot wait for life to get back to normal though!  So thanks again for all your well wishes and I will catch you next time ~ with more energy (hopefully!)

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


My life seems to have taken on a new phase lately ~ or in reality it is a hop back onto a ride I have been off for some time now and that is the Medical Attention phase.  Though not up to the point is was back 15 years ago when two accidents within four months of each other and the multitude of trips to the Pain Clinic, the P.C. Physician, the Chiropractor, the Physical Therapist, the Lab and the Pharmacy ~ my life was an endless merry go round of medical appointments.

After my surgery to replace a damaged disc it was more Medical Merry Go Round and the Long Road to Recovery.  Thank God for youth and strength and three young sons to care for and keep me going - than before but not out.  I learned to adjust over time to my inabilities and learned to adjust my activities to what I could do and listen to my body and stop when I needed to.

Some days it took me a couple of hours just to wash a sink full of dishes, with breaks in between.  The hardest part was recognizing limits.  For a girl with no limits it was rough.  I was in bed most nights after dinner.

I built up my endurance for pain and my abilities.  I tried to keep fit and strong, eat right and not poison the body any more than necessary with the medication I was prescribed.  They fixed me up as well as they could.  It was up to me to do the rest.

For many years I let my pain control my life.  My life revolved around it.  I learned how to block it out as best as I could without medication after I stopped taking it in 2008.  Not because my pain was gone, but because of reasons beyond my control.

I did not seek out more medication ~ nor did I stop living.  I actually began living within my pain.  Sure, sometimes I made plans and couldn't keep them because of pain, and sometimes I did things and then couldn't move for days because of pain.  Either way it is there.  I weigh and measure ~ is the fun going to be worth the resulting pain?

I went to the Doctor's in October when I was having issues with my mobility.  I walk a lot.  I gave up my car to "lessen" my carbon footprint.  I now think that was a mistake, but I was under a lot of pressure when I made that decision.

I know in my head that I was having issues before going in October.  I am stubborn.  I like to hope and pretend that if I ignore a thing that I don't like it will go away.  (Silly woman that I am!)  With more frequent mobility issues and more concerned than my Primary doctor, I sought the help of my Neurosurgeon to diagnose what is going on.

I have been pretty quiet about it.  I try not to share my dysfunctions with the rest of the world, people tend not to believe a disability they cannot see with their eyes - and I for one choose to keep my pain from all but my nearest and dearest and even then I make light of it.

Like I said, if I ignore it it isn't there...My doctor sent me to his guy to get a myleogram where they inject dye into the spine and get a clear reading of what is going on.  I did that on Monday with bed rest for two days and a trip back on Thursday with Dr. D.

That was the plan until I got not one, not two, but three calls from my Neurosurgeon Wednesday morning when I was headed back to bed to do my rest and recoup with Cary Grant around 10:30 in the morning.  Cup of tea and all set.

They wanted to see me at 3:00 today!  So much for bed rest.  On the phone trying to catch a ride ~ without enough time to set up transportation and it was pouring out to top it off, I had my work cut out for me.  I took the off chance that my son's Dad had done the tires on his car ~ negative, phoned my other son in hopes he had the day off, not today!  My one yes was leery since their tires were shot as well so I called one more person and they were also tied up.

I confirmed the appointment and jumped in the shower, planning on leaving by noon to leave room for the rain and road conditions.  It was a scary ride with poor visibility.  For the most part it was clear sailing until the rain really came down and there were cars everywhere!

You could not see the car in front of you until you were on top of it.  Before Exit 4 my life was almost flashing before my eyes and I was praying to many gods to look over me and get me there to find out what is up from my results.

Somehow we arrived an hour early and the skies were spitting out buckets!  We killed some time in the Baystate Medical Cafeteria and indulged in some Sushi, a Panini and a calming cup of Earl Grey with Real Sugar ~my favourite!  I am now (since this week a fan of Sushi and Wasabi).  I, who am deathly afraid of raw fish ~ taking chances and living to tell about it!  Wonders will never cease!

With still a half hour to spare we ducked out to have a smoke before walking through the maze of the hospital into the Medical Office building with a small wrong turn down the Orange Corridor (that must have been from Monday's visit), retracing steps and finally finding the right part of the hospital and floor of the office.

Worried, but not panicked I checked in and waited almost no time at all heading straight for the cot after the PA left the room after getting my vitals.  Unable to sit or stand any more ~ thankful but hating messing up the bed I had no choice.

Dr. K entered and told me I could stay there and went over my results, asked me some questions and left the room.  When he came back in I was in his chair looking at the image of my spine and neck fusion and a couple of white lines across my spine.  He thought he had the wrong room since I wasn't on the cot so it was my turn to laugh at him from his chair at his desk.

He told me that he needed to go in through the back of my neck this time and do surgery through this little plastic tube (which I thought he was going to insert in my spine and I was thinking it was big and how - until it was flipped into perspective and then I wondered how he was going to do surgery in such a small tube!).

That was a little bit of a relief ~ he took a model of the spine and showed me with the tube what he was going to do.  My spinal column is shrinking and he needs to open some space in three places to clear up some nerve compression and relieve some pressure.  No big deal.

I am now thinking it is a good thing that I did get the transportation approval and that I have two trips remaining for this month.  I have to go through some kind of physical to make sure my heart, kidney, liver, etc, are okay and then under the knife I go.

Did I mention how much I trust and respect this Doctor?  When he says come I come and when he says you are broken and I can fix you I believe him because he has already proven to me that he does what he says.  I do not have that faith in just anyone ~ especially since 2008!

My Thursday road trip is out and I am thankful for that since today was unexpected.  I do not expect that I will be up for too much.  I have been dragging confined to my bed and thankful for it.  Boredom hasn't had a chance to set in since sleep has a way of taking over when I least expect it!

I need to rest up for Saturday and my one obligation at Barrington Stage Company ~ "Dancing Lessons" opens August 7 through 24 and I cannot wait to see how it goes!  I was there for the reading of it before it got transformed into a play and am excited to see if my visualization comes out like the show itself!  I will let you know!

I have oodles more that I have been dying to share, but with my restrictions I have been unable to do so ~ I owe you a few and believe me you will get it whether you want it or not (when I am able!)

Thursday, August 7, 2014


Yesterday, despite being tired, I motivated to finding solutions to my current problems which I have control over.  The porch is clean and maggot and fly free.  I called the doctor's office to set up this wonderful transportation through Mass Health and the Berkshire Regional Transit Authority, and I waited for a call back from Maria.

The call never came on Wednesday.  Thursday morning I get back on the phone, ring, ring, ring, "Hello, I need to speak to the girl about transportation, I called yesterday."

Karen "You need to talk to Maria ~ she is not in today.  She said it takes 30 days for the transportation to be set up."

Me, "Thirty days, wow, well, I am sure I will need to go back to Springfield for my follow ups and possibly surgery, good thing I called (and have at least a back up ride for Monday).  Can I speak to Dr. Yee, I heard she can file it electronically."

Karen "It is Dr. Yee's day off.  She won't be in until tomorrow."  Me  "Do you think you can have her call me then?"  holding off the irritation as I thought to myself, (okay, I said it outloud)  if you guys ordered the proper test the first time I wouldn't have to go through this invasive procedure", trying to hold it together before my tea and cig.

Slight loss of control as I did get a little (or a lot) snappy in my pre caffeinated state.  Mind you, I just got off the phone with Robin in Springfield, checking to see if I will be there Monday and who also knows about the transportation form!

I reeled in my emotions and phoned the BRTA to gather information.  I spoke to a nice lady there who told me it was three to five days and could be filed electronically.  None of this thirty days bullshit.  What the fuck ~ do people just pull imaginary numbers out of the air in order not to do their jobs??  (Apparently Maria is one of those people!)

It is frustrating enough to prepare for something difficult without getting the run around ~ my question is ~ why do they add more stress and problems for patients?  Obviously, since I have been complaining about my inability to walk since as far back as October and all I get from the Osteopath is "I don't feel any heat so you must be fine ~ take some ibuprofen.  

I didn't realize that hands were diagnostic tools!  I must be from a different planet to think that science and medicine go hand in hand, not that some peoples hands are magic tools that feel all and see all and the lack of heat present through said hands means that everything is fine and hey ~ I don't need to walk anyway!

The woman at the BRTA did offer a suggestion ~ go through the doctor I am going to see in Springfield.  Great idea, they actually do work and help people there so I thanked her and set off to dial up Robin.  Robin is eager to help, but has never done it before since they are a specialist, most people have primary doctors who take care of their patients needs.

So it occurred to me, as I was writing this (to purge the excess negative energy from my body and brain!) that someone has to be covering for my primary today.  So I pick up the phone and call back and speak to Karen again.

"Hi Karen, Jennifer here again, I apologize for earlier, I am just frustrated and I wanted to let you know that it only takes 3 days advance for that transportation approval and not 30 days as Maria is under the impression for starters, and is someone covering for Dr. Yee who can write out this prescription ~ after all it is only a prescription???"

Karen, "I did leave your message for Dr. Yee.  Dr. K is covering.  Hang on a second."  On hold for a few minutes and then "Can we call you back, what is your number."  "The same one I gave you ten minutes ago, and I rattle off the number (again), "What doctor are you going to?"  I provided that information as well and now I wait...some more!!!

The bitch of it is, I had great doctors here when I left for Williamstown.  Long term doctors who knew me before and after my accident, who treated me and knew about my low tolerance for meds and high tolerance for pain.  Doctor's who know that I do not seek medical attention unless it is absolutely necessary and I am not chasing drugs.

I took their poison for 8 or 9 years and the best thing that ever happened to me was my meds getting stolen and the thieves trashing me to my Williamstown Doctor who did not feel comfortable prescribing meds to me , and wouldn't even speak to me on the phone!   (funny huh?  If you knew me it would be!)  

Into a very dangerous withdrawal I went from opiates, painkillers, nerve medication, antidepressants for nerve pain, seizure medications for nerve pain (oh, did I mention ~ they told me I didn't have nerve damage, but gave me a surplus of meds for nerve pain!!!)  I did not seek medical attention and hoped that it would kill me (the withdrawal), it didn't and I am here and well, but it lead to my boycotting medical treatment for a number of years.  Not one of my smartest moves!

When one lives a reactionary life they don't always make the smartest decisions in the heat of the moment.  That is true (or was) of me.  Part of that work I have been doing on myself is learning how to not react too quickly or negatively.  There is always a solution and it is easier to find when you are not reacting to a situation!

Since coming back to Pittsfield, it became necessary to go to the emergency room after a fall a few years ago.  I had to do a follow up with a primary which took me to a "Family Clinic".  When I met my non English speaking doctor (not even clear broken English) we shook hands and she told me three times in 2 minutes that she does not prescribe narcotics.  No hello's just I don't prescribe.  I told her that was fine I am not looking for drugs ~ I was there for a shoulder problem.

She did a physical, ignored the shoulder, did bloodwork, lectured me on smoking cigarettes, gave me a card to quit smoking and made another appointment.  Shoulder?  Took her 6 months to order an MRI (telling me I never mentioned the shoulder)  ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!!!!!!!!  

When the results came back I had not one but  two tears in my rotator cuff.  Never complained my ass!!!  Never mentioned it??  Once a month for 6 months I mentioned it ~ do you understand that broken English you speak?????

Needless to say I fired her after she gave me the results and upon getting my records (which she said I could get) I almost got arrested at the front desk asking for them!  Welcome to Pittsfield, the land of a great Medical Center (as long as you are not poor and can be labeled a "drug user"), which is how everyone that is not in that elite group is classified.

It burns my ass so much that I will suffer in pain in silence.  Now it is beyond a matter of principle for me.  If you have been reading my blog right along you have watched me go from no doctors to baby steps to regain my faith in this city and their band of professionals.

Trying to seek out Doctors who know me and building that basic trust.  Dr. Yee was outside my realm of someone I know.  I am still trying to have faith and trust in her.  Dr. Kaye in Springfield ~ I trust 150% He was the one that gave it to me straight on how I could be fixed (not just the band aid).

There is a glaring difference between the medical care and attention you get in Pittsfield versus the care you get from the Doctor's in Springfield.  I am sorry, I am not making it up at all ~ things that take months here take days there.  

I saw Dr. Kaye on Friday and on Monday his staff was calling me up to get the next step going for that week.  That I had to put it off for a week in order to arrange my ride was on me.  When I saw Dr., Dasco who is doing the test, on Tuesday he set up the procedure for Monday to give me time to get back there and set up a follow up for Thursday to give me time to recover for two days flat on my back!

For me, there is no contest.  There should be no difference in the care I get there, here or anywhere.  It shouldn't make a difference if I am the "right" person, know the right people, income status, etc., to determine the level of health care I get, or more to the point how I get treated by doctors due to the circumstances of my life which was brought on by something out of my control!

In a perfect world, this would be so, but I live in this one where you get what you get based on who you are, who you know and that is a fact Jack!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


So I slept horribly again last night.  Not surprising since I am overtired.  I did wake up before 6 a.m. again which I hate, since it was Wednesday I made sure the garbage was out very early.  Having discovered the root of my sudden fly infestation on my front porch (which of course delights me~ not), with everything else I have on my plate that really was the silver lining I was looking for.

Since the flies (or lack thereof) are really the only thing going on that I can take control over, and somewhat immediately (depending solely on my motivation level) how quickly I take control of the situation.  I discovered rather quickly upon closer inspection that the box on my porch which I place my can was full of unhatched flies!

I picked up the box and brought it outside and looked closer and discovered that there was some kind of leak ~ but where did it come from?  I put the two supermarket bags of non food garbage in the box and looked into the can ~ no wigglers in there (phew!)

Flies and I do not have an understanding ~ they are filthy and disgusting and I just can't stand a fly in the house and for two days I have been overwhelmed (on the enclosed porch) with more than I can count (or kill), or shoo out the open door.

For some reason they are not eager to escape and want to hang around.  I have a major issue with that and they have to understand that the open door is there best option.  This morning there were a few still hanging about when I went through to put the garbage on the sidewalk.

I took the empty and aired out can over to the side porch and went back inside for some disinfectant and hot water and discovered that the bottom of my garbage can which leaves the house for a short visit to the sidewalk had a crack in the bottom, kind of on the side.

I discovered that when the water and cleaner started leaking out into the driveway!  I quickly turned the can around so the water was leaning on the other side and got to work.  I was happy with all of my discoveries so far today ~ and the solution was an easy fix!

I mopped up the rug on the porch.  I had sprayed it heavily with bug spray and I wanted to make sure that there were going to be no more surprises when I least expect them.  Wishful thinking I know.  Life would indeed be dull without unexpected events - in my life anyway!

I did wake up with a plan to phone my doctor's office and find out about this transportation possibility through my insurance.  The phone was busy, busy, busy early when I phoned so I set it aside and tried again later.

Timing is everything, and considering that I do not know how much time this takes to arrange I decided to get on it as soon as possible.  I spoke to someone, but not the right someone.  She was out or busy or something so we play the waiting game.

Patience used to be my virtue, sometimes now, not so much.  Tom had an appointment so I left a time I could be reached to supply the further information and now I sit and wait and time passes.  At least today I am focused and not a mess like I was yesterday.

I am less nervous about the procedure and the outcome as I am as to how I am going to make it to my destination the multiple times and back.  I am still trying not to beat myself up for getting rid of my cars.  I went from three to zero in the blink of an eye.

Lessening my carbon footprint, planning on living in Williamstown/Pittsfield and able to walk everywhere, thought I.  HaHaHa ~ I must have forgotten myself for a second there!  I have not been without transportation since I was 16 ~ okay ~ maybe for a short period of time here and there but I have Wanderlust and do not know what I was thinking!!!

One of these days I will have it all together again.  I do usually meet my goals.  That is on the top of my list for sure!  Progress!  It is nice having goals~ I wish I had set more of them when I was younger!  Ah well, live and learn is one of my motto's, and better to learn it the first time instead of repeating the same mistakes over and over, and if you do, well then just accept it and move on and do not beat yourself up over it!

It seems that little writing voice is beginning to come back.  I do hope it sticks around this time for a while!  I would rather listen to that than the worry voice!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


It has been such a long while since I have sat down and just written what is up and how I am doing aside from my fun experiences which have been plentiful as it is the season.

 Between seeing Opera and One Lady Performances and                                                                              ArtWalk I have been also doing some road trips
exploring tag sales, the country up North of New Ashford where I used to live.

I took a ride up to Mt. Greylock last week with a friend of mine.  We stopped in the Visitor's Center before making the climb up the mountain (in a car).  I haven't been up the Mountain since 2008 when we lived at the base of the old Fire Road ~ what we like to think of as our private road since it came out around the corner from our hacienda.

It was chilly on the mountain but that did not stop us from getting out and walking over to the far side of the tower and looking below at the town so small below us and the mountains in front of us rolling out like an ocean.

We sat in the old Shelter, built in the early 1940's with a stove and some benches.  We took the liberty of opening one of the windows and a bunny hopped into view, undisturbed by our conversation as we watched it.

When we left we went down the opposite side (also an old regular ritual ~ once upon a time in life which seems so far from where I am now!) coming out in Williamstown, not quite where I thought we were going to come out since what was once familiar is sadly not so now.

I am waiting for my son to come home from his brothers.  He has been gone since Friday evening and I have had a nice break from him but I really could use his company today, and he has a doctor's appointment tomorrow so he has no choice but to come home.

My life has been full of a little more than my regular activities of theatre and art.  I have been twice now to Springfield to first see my Neurosurgeon Friday before last.  It was great to see him.  I give him all of the credit for helping me live a more mobile and less painful life than I had due to the surgery he performed all of those years ago.  I was pleased that he remembered me as well.

I have been boycotting medical attention since 2008 until recently due to my aversion to Doctors since coming back "home" to Pittsfield where I have had my share of not so good interactions with doctors since they label everyone as drug seekers (which I am not).

It makes me angry to be lumped into a category, especially that one, since I have chronic pain and do not take meds and since I am not disfigured and make the best of my condition I have on more than one occasion been told that I am faking.

Dr. Kaye is a true doctor who still wants to treat people and heal people, a requirement I place high on the list when I am seeking medical attention.  It offends me when a doctor is not doing what he signed up for, which in my book is to heal.

I am hoping he will be able to figure out what is causing my problems that I have been going through with more than a bandaid.  I am more a fan of fixing a problem than of covering up a problem.  I obeyed the Pain Clinic when I got hurt and did their "Drug Regime".  Never again!  Bandaids do not work they just make a bunch of people reliant on medications.

No more Pain Clinic for me, if you recall, I finally broke down and got a Primary Physician ~ an Osteopath whom I love and she was very thorough with the lab work and going over the results.  I just don't understand the hands on thing but I like her as a person.

It wasn't until I got down to see my doctor in Springfield that we discovered that the MRI was only of my neck ~ odd since I was having problem walking ~ no big deal right? Wrong ~ now I have to get dye injected in my spine and get some x rays and cat scan!

Joy of joys!!! Inside I was trying very hard not to get mad, upset or emotional when I found out that I needed this invasive test.  On the one hand ~ it will show more than an MRI, on the other hand ~ what is wrong with ordering the proper test the first time?

I am also a fan of doing the job right the first time.  Being transportation challenged it wasn't until the night before that I definitely had a ride the 45 miles away that the bus only goes to once a day and too late for me to arrive on time and the train goes later in the afternoon!  

To say it is easy to handle this one obstacle alone is a lie.  To find out I have to go back for a more extensive test is less of an obstacle to my head, but an obstacle nonetheless, but I tried not to think about it.  That is until she called back on Monday for me to get it done two days later. (Which was impossible!!!)

I bought an extra week to allow for me to arrange a ride.  No problem!  Yesterday was the day before this big appointment.  I worked myself up sufficiently by the end of the weekend to be very nervous.  On Monday when the Doctor's office phoned to confirm the appointment I found out that I wasn't getting the test but having a consult first!

Are you kidding me!  Of course not ~ so that in my mind meant at least two more additional trips ~ maybe three.  OMG find me a high building to jump off of now (I thought to myself)!  Still no confirmed ride to speak of ~ a couple of "I'll do it if no one else can" and a "Mom, why don't you just get this done here, you know you don't have a car don't you?"

Kids!!!  I withheld my nasty remarks back I could have made and tried to explain my desire to go to a doctor that wants to heal a person, and sometimes you have to travel for that, which fell on not too compassionate ears and asked to speak to my other son.

So today I got up early to be ready for my 7 a.m. departure.  After three sleepless nights I was exhausted but managed to be up before the alarm by a whole hour!  Somehow we managed to arrive a whole hour early which was strange since we stopped twice and only drove the speed limit!

Another intake, another exam and "Monday ~ I want to do the test Monday ~ you have to be here at 6:30 a.m..  Then I need to see you Thursday to go over the test."  (That is to give me the time to lay flat on my back for 24+ hours so I don't get the headache from the spinal)

The thoughts that went through my brain were not very positive and the first thing I thought was how in the hell am I going to manage this one?  It overwhelmed me for the walk out of the hospital, the car ride home, lunch at Guidos, the two hours I spent with my friend who drove me (who was freaked out by my being freaked out), through the tending of my garden, the walk I took to clear my head, the visit with my girlfriend and an extensive conversation with another friend who hates the telephone.  Like I said, I am glad my son is coming home so I don't have to lose my mind alone!

Phew!  Will this madness ever end???  Probably not!  It will just change, as life does!  I will find a ride for the procedure, I will find a ride for the follow up and I will handle whatever comes as a result.  I know I will because I have no choice and I do what I have to do and this is a priority!

Until then I will do my best to trust in ?????, stay positive and not have a nervous breakdown!  Easier said than done indeed!  I do feel better now that I got this out and down on paper and my son just arrived so I get to put on my Mom hat and stop being so darn self absorbed!

Thanks for tolerating this crazy banter ~ I am sure things will work out as they are intended to work out and all will be well in the end and after a good nights sleep I will be less bothered and ready to figure out the solution to this latest task at hand, although, I would not mind some positive energy being sent my way to help me rebound from my depletion of resources!   

Saturday, August 2, 2014


Send to trashEdit


I have always been on the outside looking in Fearing the rejection ~ which, upon inspection seems silly.
When people look at me I imagine they see all the things that haunt me  It is sometimes unclear why I have this fear.
Othertimes I see me.
 In the distance I can see a person staring back at me
Who doesn't worry, care or fear
Someone who is confident, sure and clear
Who sees herself dear and lives without fear
Smiling throughout the day without a worry in the way
Walking through life knowing that all is well
Instead of a living hell.
I would rather have you see the person I strive to be
Instead of the pieces formed to make up all of my insecurities
As I peel off the layers and discover what is under
I try to see clearly what is before me
Trying not to blur reality with the layers of debris that surrounds me 
To see clearly what others see and to believe.