I Have A Face

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Something new and different you say? I’ll say a whopping yes. And when I tell you I have not had a regular face or clear scalp for 45 or 46 years, you’ll stop reading. Okay for you.

I began having Rosacea, Eczema, and Seborrhea Dermatitis in varying degrees after our third child was born. I thought maybe it had to do with perhaps the birth control pills I was taking, but I was not about to stop those. Not, not, not! I visited the office of a very well known Dermatologist and he prescribed, Doxycycline! What a dream come true. The drug helped with all symptoms and made them disappear. Baruch Hashem. “Thank God.”

I was happy with my new face and the results I maintained on the drug Doxycycline. After several months of avid use of Doxycycline, I found out that I was pregnant. Huh? I’m faithful to my pills and the doctor maintains that I must have missed a pill here and there. We ceased worrying about how the…and embraced having 4 children. We were happy. About the sixth month of our 4th pregnancy, we found out that we were expecting twins, who believe me, doubled the pleasure. Three and two still make five! Right?

Why are you writing this, you ask. I definitely have a reason and this is it! Doxycycline cancels out birth control pills and that came to light a few years after our twin babies were born. Oh me, oh my, so for many years after childbearing ages have past and blown away, I have tried to get Doxycycline prescribed and none who crossed my path with an MD would honor my cause. I have suffered with breakouts so long that I only see a rash filled, bumpy marred, pealing face, and honestly the constant itch and pain was depressing, until just last week…when a lovely new doctor honored my request and prescribed Doxycycline.

And you don’t need to know this, but I’m not worried about the pregnancy side effect.

I can see and feel my face. I can comb my hair. The turn around is amazing. Gone is the constant itching, pealing, flaking, burning mess of a face and here is me. The anxiety of how to face the world is gone.

The creams I have used can just dry in their tubes. BUT: The Big But!!!

How long can I take this medication? How long after I stop will it be clear? Whatever the answers turn out to be, so far I have had a respite and the respite has brought many new thoughts about freedom from pain, freedom to concentrate on other than misery of self.

Sincerely and with appreciation,

From my real face and me.

So You Think It is Yours!

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We had our worldly goods protected by creating a joint Grantor Trust in 2009. We had one page after another explaining in detail what we wanted to our last piece of dust. Air tight, therefore, water proof. We have had several amendments and a Durable Power of Attorney over health added, but basically it should have remained the same.

We are acquiring a fingerling of land joined to our property as an easement. We feel that this is a wonderful addition especially because it allows us to step out onto a giant hill overlooking much of the San Fernando Valley into the Santa Suzanna Mountains. All of a sudden, now that the pile has been stirred, up comes something we did not expect in the next million years. Mr. owns the house. What? Yes, somehow when our house was being recorded, or perhaps re-recorded to comply with our new trust, the recorder, lazy bum, recorded only Mr.’s name and the last two words, which names a trust we do not, and never had.

I haven’t slept a wink. This morning Mr. says” Don’t worry, I will not charge you rent. You can still have your half of the bed, and things can go along just the same even if it is my house!” Ha, so he thinks. Oh, when the kitchen is a mess, and the house is dirty, whose house is it? I say his. He better live, I told him, otherwise I think probate is what you tried to circumvent in the first place and in the last.

We will get this all straighten out, until the next lazy bum records something inaccurately. By the way, here is something you may wish to check. We thought perhaps the Property Tax Bill would show names. It certainly did. Showed Mr.’s name and his last name as it is on the trust. Oh so wrong, Oh so disturbing that the names have been that way for so many years and no one ever noticed long enough to realize the error. All we can do now is have it re-recorded and hope the next recorder has had an extra cup of coffee that morning. Of course Mr. and Mrs. will be on guard!

When all is said and done, you are invited over for a glass of wine, and we will step out onto the fingerling of land and take in the beautiful lights of the valley below. Every time I go out there from now on, I will say a prayer for all of us, thanking all powers that make mistakes and free the error mongers, me included, from blame.

All is set in stone, the house is properly documented in shared trust format, and the fingerling property now goes with the house in perpetuity. Amen!

 

Empathy?

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In quoting, I find that “The Term Empathy is used to describe a wide range of experiences.” Duh?

Also, emotion researchers generally define empathy as the ability to sense other people’s emotions, coupled with the ability to imagine what someone else might be thinking or feeling”

Here is where trouble comes. I cannot get into the minds and feelings of people up and down the street who diligently walk with poop bags for their doggies as they walk them. They have no regard for allowing their dogs to PEE all around our mailbox. Last time I checked I tried to take a photo of all of the dog stains, but could not fit them in. Dog pee ruins your grass, what little we are allowed to have in California. I know who you are because I can see you and your doggie through the living room windows.

I knock on the window and you jerk your dog and run. You return the next day and do the same thing. You and your dog are in cahoots.

So according to the definition of empathy, I am to imagine what you might be thinking or feeling. I’m sorry, but it has been two days of thinking about what you might be thinking, but I cannot imagine. When I do come up with something, God Forbid!!

So if you are an offender and you let your dog pee on someone’s grass, think again. Have your dog pee on your grass for a while and see how you like it. Oh no, you don’t like it, and that is why you have come to my house for peeing. Dang!

Too Old To Cut The Mustard: Really?

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Medicare’s formulary is so restrictive. I even had to look up the word formulary to be certain I heard the pharmacist correctly. It is, an official list giving details of medicines that may not be prescribed to me if I am a person over the age of sixty-five, no matter the need. The age is the calculated risk. I may fall. That is all the doctors can say to defend themselves. This means to me that there is a list that is prescribed for me personally, without even seeing me, without studying my health needs, and the only consideration is that I am over 65. Also, you should know that I am grouped into a category with other men and women 65 and older that does not take into consideration my medical history, and my mental ability to use drugs according to the directions, and my ability to medicate myself.

All of the drugs that I have used most of my adult life to keep me upright have been taken away because perhaps I will fall. Damn right, if I cannot sustain myself, and you take away my sustaining recipe, I will fall. The only drug you have not banned for me is Levothyroxine, but you have decided to lower the dosage so much that I have to crawl on all fours to get up my stairs. How do I know this is your fault? I know because on my own, I raised the dose to my normal dosage for the past 25 years and 6 weeks later I am my old self in the energy category? Still I am considered a geriatric patient with no mind at all.

If I have repeated muscle spasms in my back, I will end up with a back attack if not careful. It happened and I spent 10 days in the hospital. I swore that would never happen again and it has not, due to my due diligence. I had muscle spasm pills and I made sure, with the assistance of these above stated pills, I never got in the back attack mode. The formulary has taken those pills away. I got them from an angel and have maintained good back heath so far and so good. Skirting the Medicare formulary is going to be life long as I see it.

If I had too much anxiety I would take 1/2 of a 5mg Valium and be on my way. No more. I get migraines less often now that I am older, but still they come. You took away my migraine meds because of its rebound effect and may cause dizziness. I counted on those pills to take away the horror and gloom of repeated headaches. I inherited them from my blessed grandmother D. Tell me why it was okay for the first 3/4ths of my life to get rebounds and dizziness and all of a sudden it is not. It is sickening to hear my doctor say that I cannot have my pills or he will get fined. Fined? What does that mean? Is that something like Big Brother is watching you? Sounds like a sham. Do I really want to give up my sacred pills and my sanctified life so you won’t get fined, Doc?

I don’t even need to think about it. Now that I really need my sleep, you took away the teeniest, tiniest pill on earth, Lorazepam. It is a mild anxiety drug with just enough power to put you to sleep. I have been without it for three scary nights. Did that little pill really take away the nightmares and the unearthing of the past foolishness and fears? I haven’t been this tormented in years. I terrify myself with telling myself things when in the past I have always be peacefully asleep. I feel burglarized and it is an inside job. I should have my continued opportunity at a good nights sleep, so, please, let me sleep. Give me back just one little teeny tiny pill. It seems that Medicare is saying under the table of course, you are “Too old to cut the mustard,” and so we will slowly and methodically cut you out of your heretofore life.

The last pill I had in my arsenal was a pain pill like everyone I know has stashed. Right? I think I can get an anti-inflammatory, but Advil is the same and no need to get my doctor fined over inflammations that mount as you hit the 65-year mark. I do not wish to be an advertisement for Advil and I think it has side effects, but what is an old lady on a restricted formulary to do?

Let me assure you that if I took one of each of the pills I mentioned everyday and perhaps together, that would be irresponsible and I might get dizzy, but I guarantee, that you as a person, should be prescribed on your need, your past judgments, and not a formulary developed by youngsters.

P.S. I just saw a movie that mirrored life, but set in the late 1800’s. Many of the characters were in their early 60’s. The actors got it right. They were hunched over, limping, coughing, had facial rashes, and died horrible painful deaths. I realized that we are living in a day and age of modern medicine, but when our society has a 65th birthday, they can’t enjoy its benefits because of something called Medicare and some words like restricted formularies.

Dear God, be kind.

Someone throw me some pills under the formulary fence and those that have, share!

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Miss Anne

102 years old

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was born one hundred and three years ago far, far away from where I am today. I was born on a line between Poland and Russia. The line kept moving and no one was ever sure if they were in Poland or Russia. So I just say far, far away.

Everyone always asks me what I did to live so long. You don’t put numbers in a hat and get the winning ticket. You just keep waking up everyday and add it on to your total. Everyone says it is my booming voice and that perhaps I scare my demons away. Perhaps I do. I just want to make sure you all know I am coming through, so I lift my voice and clear the way.

I was told by an old woman, perhaps my grandmother, I am not sure, to clasp your hands over your head so that your hands and arms make an arch. Be certain that you make this arch often. As you stand and live under this arch, this is where you get all of God’s graces. If you question anything, or want guidance, clasp your hands and make the arch and listen. It is like having a ready-made house of worship following you all the days of your life.

I never married, so no children. I have a niece and two nephews. I had a brother and two sisters. I had a lot of friends long ago and have many new ones now. I walk everywhere around the building, but stay close enough to see the way back.

Do not forget to say good morning all morning to everyone you see. Then good afternoon as often as you can, and good evening is my favorite. It sounds so elegant and uplifting. When I get to say, good morning, good afternoon, and good evening, I have lived another day.

You want me to give you a formula for a long life, well, let me see, I can only tell you to do what you think is good for you. I notice at mealtimes people have so many restrictions on their food, so how can I tell you what to eat? Everyone has a hand of pills, so how can I tell you what pill to take and which not. Some people at various ages can walk long distances. I can’t now and never could, so I can’t tell you how much to walk. I know I can tell you to keep moving.

I think what has saved me many a time is the arch built with my own two hands and living under the good graces of God. Clasp your hands, put your arms into the air and live!

MRI and MRA Back to Back

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I elected to have both procedures back-to-back, one with dye and one without so I could be done, done! The Radiologist and the Neurologist seemed to disagree on what they saw or didn’t see, so you understand, I went back into the tunnel. For those of you who have never experienced an MRI, you are rolled into an enclosed tunnel with noises clanging constantly and you are enclosed alone without any outside awareness.

All is well, but during the elongated procedures I had moments when I thought I was talking to God.   I was alone, all by myself, who else could get in there? God! Oh sure, that’s what you think little lady, sure talking to God. Right, that is what I think. And for your enlightenment I learned God is inside of me, and you, too.

The world and all of my normal contacts were shut out. For these finite moments in time, enlightenments kept coming. I began to walk into a forest, dark in its depths; the sky was cloud, and mist covered. Drearily, I walk on in pain, dull and aching. Where am I and where am I going? Eyes closed, I continue with thoughts of my life as I remember it.

Eyes open, I continue walking down roads leading to cottages of unknowns, never to be known. Knowing I am gone from my world, not even a spot, a dot, a mark of any kind to recognize,I hold on to a sachet made of lemon rinds and lavender given so lovingly by two people with hidden faces, hair like my mother and hair like my father, gone long ago.

I am taken. Gently turned on to an unworn path, easily missed if not known. Forward, forward, forward into the woods Density. The trees have allowed no light to form shadows. As time passes, I fret. Finally, an arrival and the wait begins. Not a soul to greet me. I notice that this part of the forest has sprouted ferns. I wait. I turn in all directions. I am comfortable. I am talking to someone, but cannot see an image.

The voice is soft and masculine and feminine all together in tonal harmony. The tonal voice comforts and praises, advises and challenges, gives and expects. I lie listening. A hand is thrust towards me in a most welcoming manner. I take it, feeling instant gentleness as the hand guides me further into the forest and down a path leading to a sheltered building. The hand let mine go for the moment, and clung to handles to assist the double glass doors to swing open allowing me to see shelves and shelves of books, dusty and pealing. Next, I lowered my gaze and saw the room was over crowded with people in ancient, classic, and modern, clothes using various textiles and designs. It felt like it was a Halloween party without so much as a peep. The austere quietness offered me an opportunity to gaze undisturbed for moments on end.

A whisper was telling me that all of my ancestors; forbearers, present, and future were gathered here to wish me onward. Voices sounded in syllables, but languages ancient and incomprehensible, mixed with the understandable gave me a dizzying spell. Righting myself, I realized, I would live longer and be able to produce, endure, comprehend, create, and continue the entitlements of aging. I give thanks to the old souls who gathered together, if only for a moment or two, to wish me well and to share with me some wisdom of the ages.

One hour and forty-five minutes later, I am rolled out of the tunnel; I rose, climbed onto a step, dressed, tucked my secret adventure in my mind, and came home to share it with you.

WHY?

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Why is the discovery word, the word that begins an extension and exploration into how the word Why fits into your life and how can you use it?

This assignment was given to me by me, and is now driving me crazy. The assignment is to figure out what WHY means to me. So, here are my thoughts over a long percolation period.

Why did I lie?

I was sixteen going on seventeen and I lied. I told my parents I was going to the library to study. Instead my pal, David picked me up for a joy ride. I did not know of his joy riding plans ahead of time. He picked me up at the library and we drove of in a blast of noise and grind. He met up with his car club, and they were all revving up. We drove around the city in a maniacal way. I wasn’t scared, everyone had control, I hoped. Then, it happened. David was speeding beyond control towards the train tracks with the light of the hurtling train bearing down on the road we must travel to clear the tracks. Imagine sitting in the passenger seat, of a ’57 Chevy, train light in your lap and you flying over the tracks just in time to take another breath. I lived, obviously, thankful every day, not that I lied, but for the knowledge of that a lie can cause your demise and or the demise of another innocent. I lied because I didn’t know it then, but I know now, I needed this valuable life and death lesson to carry with me all the days and nights of my life and to be able to teach others.

Why, from the passenger’s seat did I give the guy on my right the middle finger? He was out of his mind with his antics, but I could have done nothing at all. My giving him the finger incited such a rage in him. I thought if he could catch us he would kill us. Skip, my driver and best friend, drove in and out of alley ways, scooted around ditches, handled the curved roads like a champ and spotted a crevice between some trees and a moving van. He inched in the hiding place allowing us to watch the enraged driver going back and forth, cursing, rubbing his nose into his forehead, scratching his neck, and eventually moving on. I thanked God and Skip for the safe escape. Have I pulled the middle finger trick since then? I don’t want to discuss it, but what kind of a fool who has escaped a possible violent confrontation would do that again? Someday I’ll tell you about my Thumb’s Up, Middle Finger gesture. It is fun and gives me some internal release. It appears generally proper.

Why, when I am introduced to an extremely well dressed executive, does my belly do flip-flops and my heart jump a beat? Why? Perhaps, I think he or she better, smarter, and stronger than I. Why do I feel people with all of those capital letters following their names are more informed than I? WE actually may share a broad spectrum of knowledge, theirs stronger in the letters that follow their name, mine stronger in having an “Educated Heart” I’ll share heart education anytime, anywhere. I have noticed people with letters after their names are strong in willingness to share.

Why do I feel lonely sometimes? There is richness of life out there full of people, places to go, things to see, but they are not coming to you or me if we just sit in a corner and lament.

Here are more why opportunities to ponder using the root word why.   Why not? Why should I or shouldn’t I? Why wait? Why not wait? Why now? Why worry? Why analyze the heck out of it? Why did he/she say that?? Why was my mother so shy? Why am I shy? Why do I feel vulnerable in one minute and then on top of everything in the next? Why and how can I be happy and sad in nearly the same breath? Why when something is misconstrued, do I look into myself?

I feel that when you study the why of your life you will begin to know, the what, the how, the when, and the where. Knowing these explorations and their outcomes can give you the boost at any age and stage. You need to create, survive, and nurture yourself plus all of those around you not only for the present, but also for the duration of your life. You will effect as well as affect your existence and enhance your lifespan. I feel that learning the why of my life is not over until I am over, and then, I will take all of this self-knowledge into the spot of ground I have purchased so many years ago. It waits for me as yours waits for you. Thank you for your time and keep on asking why, why not?

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