Tuesday, March 11, 2014

I'm 60!

Okay, I'll be sixty years old in ten years... six zero! What. And, if I consider how long I've been writing up until now, yeah, I do believe I will be still be writing in 10 years. Not necessarily blogging though. I surely was not blogging 10 years ago; not even 5 years ago.. at least I don't think so.

I like blogging; the idea that somewhere on the planet, someone has taken a few minutes to read - sometimes, translate - stuff that came out from my thoughts. That's cool, right?  It is rare that I get a comment. I might have a couple of followers.

I started writing to share my family's ordeal during life-changing challenges resulting from long-term job loss and trauma of having to neglect much needed health management for my chronic illnesses.  I was distressed; life was in turmoil. I felt some needed to hear my perspective as an American forced to abandon the idea of that "dream" we all aspire to achieve.

At the moment I'm hoping to eventually go further into telling of my family's experience during our time in A Home Not Our Own. I don't know if there is any interest here, but appreciate, nonetheless, any visits and, maybe, a comment or two every once in a while

Yeah, I'll probably be blogging, or doing equivalent, in the years ahead.

'til tomorrow.

Lil .

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Blank Page

Today's March 2014 NaBloPoMo prompt asks, "What have you learned about yourself through blogging?"

I don't know how to answer the question, except to say that, although I am 50 years of age, I feel life is a blank page.  I wonder if this is how it works... someone tell me, please.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Half Hour 'til Midnight

I headed over to BlogHer tonight in search of a hint or prompt of what to write about tonight, and in keeping with this month's theme:"So what is the NaBloPoMo theme of the month? SELF" Who are you? No, really, we want to know. That's why we read your blog. Isn't that a little crazy? That there are people out there who are fascinated with... YOU....Does blogging bring out your best or worst self?"

Hmmm... best or worst self. Well, if one considers that all I can do is be honest and try my best to make my thoughts understood; I happily welcome visitors to my post and hope they read each one through. It is in that respect that I'd say blogging brings out the best in me.

The times when, if I'm to be completely honest, I feel like the worst of me is present is when I think I have to defend myself. I blog for me. I blog with the idea that perhaps, even a single sentence may be of help to someone. But, there have been a couple of instances when I've been attacked due to who knows what. I'm not responsible for a readers feelings, mood, or disposition when they choose to read my blog. And, while I do appreciate honest dialogue, I prefer not to be told what to write... you know, all that lollipops, rainbows and puppies type stuff. I'm writing about real life; my life, and I'm not going to stop.

So, I hope readers will appreciate my efforts, and find it in themselves to offer honest and constructive comments without seeming hurtful. I in return will always do my best to be genuine and my writing purposeful.

What brings out the best; worst in you when you blog?

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Quarter 'til Midnight

There would be a proper March 2014 NaBloPoMo blog post here, but the dog ate my lunch? No, but my dog did get into some rubbish while I stepped away for a few minutes - everybody pees - and I just spent too long cleaning up after our naughty beagle, which then propelled me to bag up some recyclables, and now I'm tired... plain and simple.

Someone remind me tomorrow to tell you about the day after I spent part of my day sorting out Mom's medication regimen.  The day my niece went over to visit Mom and ended up in the ER with her 2 year old. (Note to self: reference medication regimen.)


Monday, March 3, 2014

The Advocate Within

Today I served as advocate for my 86 year old mother.

If you knew me now, you'd have a hard time finding said advocate. But, she's here, deep within - experienced, vocal, determined, steadfast, stern, accomplished, All within me. I, myself, am often surprised by this.

My earliest recollection of possessing this quality was about age four; I was in headstart, a preschool program for low-income children... it was in it's infancy. By that time, I could read.  I found myself at odds with the fact that because of my age, I could not advance to kindergarten in traditional elementary school. Although, I was still not able to convey my opinion to those in charge of my early education, I recall being disappointed by their decision... extremely disappointed.

Another time, at age five, I found myself disagreeing with family doctor about his reluctance to request specialist to remove a large birthmark on my right leg. This birthmark was a crippling presence all my life.  I'm still insecure and embarrassed by it.

So, since those early days I've learned to speak up for myself regardless of the outcome... I've always felt that I should at least be heard when my best interest was at stake.

Fast forward to today.  Mom needed me to advocate on her behalf. I found discrepancies in course of treatment for her chronic illnesses. Just last week, my sister and I received information which indicated that Mom now only had to take a few meds out of the 10 or so she had previously been prescribed.  My questions was why.  She has Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, thyroid deficiencies, anxiety and a few other things that must be managed with medication.  I thought it odd that none of those discontinued were tapered off, nor was there an explanation as to why they had been discontinued..

Mom recently was issued  new caregiver. It was this caregiver who took her to her last doctor follow-up visit.  It was this caregiver who provided incomplete copies of Mom's doctor's notes.  I needed answers.
So, I called her doctor's office this morning, and understood that I was not authorized to communicate with them about my mother's care without her consent.  I immediately called mom, asked her to get ready - this 86 year old was dressed to the nines when I picked her up; I was in a t-shirt, yoga pants and sneakers - I'd be picking her up to go take care of business at hand.

Regretfully, office staff... or, more accurately, front desk receptionist, did not seem the least bit interested in even acknowledging me when I approached the counter.  I did notice she presented a much more pleasant demeanor toward a toddler roaming the waiting room.  I had notified by phone that I'd be right over with my mom to sign authorization. I mentioned that I had several questions regarding her treatment.  Over the phone, it seemed that they were more that willing to accommodate us with everything we needed.

Sensing her unmerited disdain for me, I asked if there was anyone else to assist me. She replied yes, but didn't feel the need to ask anyone else in the front office, when in fact the assistant who I would eventually speak with was sitting right beside her. I sat to wait, but became inpatient when I took note that she seemed to dismiss me.  I got up to stand at the counter, all the while waiting for eye contact or an acknowledgement from her.  Keep in mind, the office did not seem one bit busy; there was only the woman with the small child, who seemed to be waiting for someone.

I was eventually passed on to Mom's doctor's assistant and was relived that she was professional - but, nonetheless put off by my questions. I was bothered by their lack of concern with regard to Mom's med management.  Her doctor actually appeared from exam rooms, but did not make a single inquiry as to what was being addressed.

I was tired, I was unprepared, I was frustrated... I focused, I gathered all the information I felt would help me tackle the next phase to take care of the matter of correcting error made by caregiver.  Satisfied, my Mom, son, and I left with doctor's medication list, and current pharmacy history. At Mom's apartment, my son and I spent about two hours sorting meds, verifying dosages and how administered.  Did I mentioned I was tired? At this point I was hungry and distressed. I needed to leave Mom's to do school pick-up carpool.

Tonight, I requested assistance from my sister and her daughters, my nieces. We all agreed on times to call Mom to remind her to take her meds at times indicated on physician's script. I'm optimistic that we can manage Mom's care as a team, in her best interest.

Today, I revisited the advocate within.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Hello, March...

Where've you been, and what took you so long to arrive?  Please, be gentle.

February. wow! Did you have to be so stressful and obnoxious?  Let me start with the weather:
  1. Ninety degree temps... NO, just no. My skin is already crying out from distress because of the intense sun and heat.
  2. Inefficient so called "public social services." How do you even exist? Clearly there is no oversight, and I can only wonder just how many, and at what levels, are turning a blind eye to this entire system. I still don't have a doctor here.
  3. My nearly-paid-off vehicle... why?  I've put so much care into you. Okay, sorry about interior messes. Let me spell it out for you... K-I-D-S & D-O-G-S.  Okay, okay... the whole fam damily is to blame for that.  Sorry.  Anyway, we could handle replacing the headlight bulb, but did you have to go all whole hog and kill us with cost of brakes and oil system repairs. Not to mention, there's still the airbag warning and master cylinder work that needs to be done. We don't have that kind of money to throw around. Hello, ramen noodles. 
  4. Finally, body. Really? I know, age 50... things start to happen.  Granted, things have been happening for the past 25 or so years. But, 2014, things are going down hill fast.  Starting to wonder how much longer I'll be able to stand or walk.
  5. Wait... one more thing. If things weren't crummy enough, my dear, old much beloved Blackberry ticker (battery) took it's last tick.

So, let me repeat... Hello, March! Welcome, welcome, welcome.  You've already been good to me... here on your first day, even! You're nice. Let's see what's in store for us:

  1. First, the weather. Gorgeous... my favorite. Cool, breezy, cloudy, drizzly. Perfection.
  2. Relief. Relieved that The Hub's finally received much needed dental care and is looking forward to being free of extreme pain as root canal treatment proceeds. Grateful for my old friend, and former boss... a dentist; thankful he accepted our cash payment plan request.
  3. Yay, car-y! You are nearly all paid off... thanks for "being there" for me all these years. I knew when I found a photo of you and set it as my computer desktop that you'd be mine; just a few months later you were in my garage. March is gonna  be a busy one, with zero work/kid carpool days off, so stay strong for me. 
  4. Body, you be strong for me too. I somehow managed to get mom's T2 diabetes under control, now it's time to turn focus back on me & the family under this roof by doing all I can to prepare nutritious meals... except today. Oh, and maybe tomorrow. Yeah, let's start that on Monday, when I'll finally have sufficient grocery money available for a week's meal plan.
  5. Oh, boy, try to guess how happy I am that replacement battery for my Blackberry arrived today... go on, try.  I'm super happy!
I have enjoyed my new hobby... vlogging.  Having a lot of fun recording and editing videos to post on my new YouTube channel. Take a look...