In Continued Celebration of National Depression Awareness Week -

 Announcing

Good News For Lazy, Psychotic Sinners

a Memoir

 

by Alice Louise Doro, L.P.S.

 

Are you depressed?

Are the weeds of life choking out your garden of joy and contentment?

Do the pressures of life make you want to do something a lot more serious than eat a pound of chocolate in one sitting?

Have your loved ones abandoned you?

Before your loved ones abandoned you, did they tell you that God abandoned you?

Have you experienced so much turmoil that even your other personalities abandoned you?

Have you survived childhood abuse?

Are you constipated?

Are other medical problems sending you to a street in reality named Poverty?

Has your house been struck by lightning?

Thinking of going for psychotherapy?

Are you curious about what happens behind the closed doors of a therapy session?

Do your perceptions of reality often differ from what other people perceive?

Do you eat raw carrots?

Are you beginning to wonder if your last chance for success or happiness has come and gone?

 

If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, then hold off on grabbing that box of chocolate (or anything else self-destructive) – at least until you've read Good News For Lazy, Psychotic Sinners!

 

Find it at i-Universe –

http://www.iuniverse.com/bookstore/book_detail.asp?isbn=0-595-36765-8

 

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Book Description:

 

When the average-American life you’ve worked so hard to build disintegrates, when hope dies, what else do you do (if you don’t self-terminate) but write an autobiography – Good News For Lazy, Psychotic Sinners.

 

In defining “lazy, psychotic sinner”, Alice walks the reader through the process that brought her to enlightenment as an LPS – experiences, her thoughts about them and her efforts to transcend their effects. Surviving child abuse, becoming a born-again Christian, burning out and being struck by long-term physical illness are identified as the main causes of her eventual LPS status, but Alice suspects that there is an entire subculture of LPSes out there – people with different experiences but who also sometimes wonder if their last chance for happiness or success has come and gone. The author’s article contained in Good News… “Last Chance Gas –or- Anatomy of a Suicide”, typifies the LPS’s perspective of results when accepting help of the “okay variety”.

 

This psychological and spiritual drama includes medical mysteries, legal arguments, advice for other LPSes and the author’s documentation of her efforts to succeed and of being a committed Christian. It concludes with a four-page, jaw-dropping psyche evaluation which the author uses to support her claim of being a lazy, psychotic sinner.

 

Perhaps you’ll cry – and wonder if your ultimate fate is the LPS designation. But as you identify with the perspectives of an LPS, you, too, will laugh when you learn of your other options in Good News For Lazy, Psychotic Sinners.

 

 

 

 

***

 

 

 

Ultimate Doo Wop Show

April 14, 2007, 7 p.m.

at

The Fox Theatre

Atlanta, Georgia

 

Here is a rare chance to join Alice when she attends the Ultimate Doo Wop Show on Saturday, April 14th in Atlanta, Georgia. This is not a date. This is an opportunity to join the author, along with two other guests, at The Fabulous Fox Theatre for an evening of entertainment by the legends of doo wop - yes, real music. Not only will you get to meet the author, but after the show, you will have the opportunity to meet the stars!  These tickets are for the third row in the Pit Section. Among the performers will be Maurice Williams & The Zodiacs, the original Duke of Earl (Gene Chandler), The Crystals...!

 

This is a very rare outing for the author - who, as some of you know, is currently on inactive status as Executive Baglady of Gwinnett. No, Executive Bagladydom does not constitute an "outing".  Alice has not had a vacation since 1981, and her last night out was in 2001.  (That's because Executive Bagladies do not rob banks, sell drugs, sell arms to terrorists, burglarize homes, swindle stockholders... in order to remain homeful or purchase goods, vacations or entertainment.) Your chance of ever again meeting the author is miniscule.

 

There's more good news when you purchase these tickets! Proceeds of the sale will go to "the homeless". Yes, that would be Alice - who, soon after attending the show, will be back on active duty as Executive Baglady. Hang on to your hat for the other breaking news. Since Gwinnett County Commissioners are so averse to allowing "the homeless" to remain in this County (indeed, the very people who paid thousands of dollars in taxes over the years to pay salaries of said commissioners), it is obvious that Alice must relinquish her current title, Executive Baglady of Gwinnett. Though it appears it's time for her to get out of Dodge, what choice is there but for Alice to assume an upgrade in title, to wit, Executive Baglady of Georgia. (She conveyed that she hopes to serve as honorably with the state title as she has with both the county [Gwinnett] and local [Lawrenceville] titles. Further, she extends her gratitude to the Gwinnett County Commissioners for presenting Alice with the chance to expand the breadth of her experience as Executive Baglady - bless their hearts.) No doubt, there is a correlation between the commissioners' desire to rid the county of "the homeless" and implementing the "right to life" campaign. Unfortunately, no one has figured it out yet.

 

Time is short to act on this opportunity.

 

To make a substantial offer, contact:

xxxxxxx

April 9, 2007

 

 

***

 

From the Author/Executive Baglady:

 

What’s that?  You want to know if I had a good time at the Ultimate Doo Wop Show?

 

How about --- The Duke and the Executive Baglady?  Yep – there I am with The Duke of Earl (Mr. Gene Chandler) –

 

 

 

 

 

April 14, 2007  ^ at The Fabulous Fox Theatre, Atlanta, GA

 

***

 

But I need more recovery time from all that doo wop-ing before I post anything else – so-ooo tired and achy 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Updated: April 16, 2007

 

 

***

 

For your enjoyment, here are some pictures from my ultimate night out; but I need to fill in the performers’ names.  Meantime, see who you can recognize.  (Note: Where vanity played an important role, I deleted me from some of the pics.)  And have I got a story to tell you about someone who just might have sung a line of “Stay” to me.

 

The performers included – Gene (The Duke of Earl) Chandler, Maurice Williams & The Zodiacs, The Crystals, The Original Spaniels, Jack Scott, The Contours, The Reflections, The Soul Stirrers and The Rama Lama Big Band.  The very gracious Ms. Alicia Steele of GPBS was also there.

 

The Duke of Earl ----

 

 

 

 

Maurice Williams ---

 

 

 

and The Zodiacs ---

 

 

 

 

Updated: April 20, 2007

 

***

 

Sorry for the lack of updates, folks.  Writhing in pain creates quite a distraction in life. 

 

I just want to thank Ms. Jean and Mr. Teri for the software advice. 

 

And with a feigned southern accent (but sincere heart), I’ll say, “Howdy, y’all”, to Doreen the librarian (in Scotland).  Avril conveyed to me your very kind words about my book.

 

Perhaps by the next update I’ll have inserted all the names from the Doo Wop show.  We were lucky to have Bill Pinkney in the audience.  He was the last surviving original member of The Drifters.  On July 4th, he joined the Doo Wop choir in heaven.

 

Unless a third miracle occurs, I’ll be on active EB status next week.  Maybe it would be a good time to start, “Good News For Executive Bagladies”.

 

 

Updated:  October 5, 2007

 

 

 

***

 

Quite a bit of an update at this point – April 2008.  November 20, 2007 marked my third entrance into Executive Bagladydom.  Ahh, if only it were a fantasy.  Let me begin with –

 

Thanks to a couple of Gwinnett County cops I met last Sunday.  Their sense of humor served as the impetus I needed to start my next book, “Good News For Executive Bagladies”, which I began writing that very night, April 6th.  Unlike book #1, which – with a “few” interruptions – took 17-1/2 years, this one should take between 6 and 12 months to get done.  Imagine, I tried for two years to find the motivation to begin book #2.  Laughter came at exactly the right time.  Thanks, again!

 

As I posted on my page in the past, I again extend my gratitude to the rest of the Gwinnett County and Suwanee cops (I haven’t been to Lawrenceville in a while).  We usually meet because they, or a concerned citizen, want to be sure that I’m alright (which, as an LPS, is a very relative term) and that you are safe with me in your community.  Be assured, not only are they ever so polite, but they do quickly discern that you are quite safe with me on active EB status.  (Indeed, if your house is being foreclosed as you read this, you are welcomed to park next to me – uhh, as long as you don’t litter.)

 

 

***

 

Thanks, also, to Rob Lee – of 106.7 FM radio (Gainesville/Atlanta) – trueoldieschannel.com – for airing my call.  I’d just spent at least a half-hour looking for something in the back seat and needed to rest.  I put the earphones in, and there was my phone call coming through.  Whether or not my requested song (The Dubs – Could This Be Magic) was played, I don’t know. 

 

Charlotte, of B & B Car Care (Dacula, GA) – you know, the folks who’d go bankrupt if they had more customers like me, the ones who fixed my car in January and kept me from being without a vehicle (without the tiniest of roofs – which, of course, would have downgraded my status to plain “baglady”) – well, Charlotte told me about 106.7 FM converting to oldies.  My car radio plays the same hissing sound on all FM channels, but I was lucky to find a battery-powered radio for a dollar.  (I got three or four nights of 106.7 FM music on one set of batteries.)  Someone in Lawrenceville phoned in a request for “The Duke of Earl”.  That and the steady stream of other oldies they play has sure been a treat. 

 

Mr. Lee, it isn’t easy.  In fact, I’ve been thinking of a slogan.  Maybe, “Executive Baglady (Gov’t at work)”.  Or, “Executive Baglady (Making Hell Look Easy)”.  As I said, I try to do it with a little bit of class – not too much, just a little.  I’ll send you a copy of “Good News For Executive Bagladies” when I’m finished, and you’ll have a better understanding of how, for instance, hearing real music on your station makes a dent.  For now, imagine not having a radio and staring at a brick wall for two hours because you can’t turn your head without risking excruciating pain.  The good news – now I have a radio that I keep tuned to 106.7 FM.  And I’m still not parked in Afghanistan.  (Is the gas any cheaper there?)  In spite of making hell look easy, I’d rather do this than, say, rob a local bank.  You see, as respectful as the cops are to me, I’m really slow sometimes, and I don’t think they’d give me a head start of ten minutes (from the bank to my car).  I’m inclined to believe that my car is more comfortable than being in a cell next to Big Bertha.

 

Hey, folks, do you remember that song – does your chewing gum lose its flavor on the bedpost overnight?  Haven’t heard that in I won’t say how many years.  Some of the songs they play I’d even forgotten existed.  And the station gives historical info on a lot of songs.  I never knew that they pulled “A Hundred Pounds of Clay” – and on grounds that it was offensive to religious types. 

 

By the way, I think that young fellow who sang a line of, “Stay”, to me in front of Maurice Williams, the other Zodiac, and a bunch of other people, was Freddie Mangum.  What else could I do but stand there with my mouth open and look stupid?  The others just smiled.  Okay, so they were probably laughing at me.  Yeah, “young fellow”.  I don’t think he realized my age.  No credit left for this year’s show at The Fabulous Fox.  The Tokens (“The Lion Sleeps Tonight”), The Flamingos, The Tymes – I forget who else is in the lineup. 

 

 

Updated: April 11, 2008

 

 

* * * * * *

 

2011

 

UPDATE

 

 

Sorry, folks, it’s been a heck of a ride, and I found it impossible to update my page until now. 

 

Give a big round of applause to Gwinnett Medical Center (GMC) (Lawrenceville) for providing the motivation that finally got me here.  Within a couple of days I’ll be posting excerpts from the medical report based on my e.r. visit to GMC on March 16th.  The entertainment at that e.r. just hasn’t ended.  While I shouldn’t even have been surprised at the incompetence, I do remain disappointed that, again, they didn’t even offer me a balloon or a lollipop when I was discharged.  After all, when you’re running a circus or simply acting like a clown, isn’t that the polite thing to do?

 

Yes, if you’ve read my book, Good News For Lazy, Psychotic Sinners, that’s the hospital referred to therein.  Some things never change.  Ah, my book is timeless.

 

Apparently, I screwed up in my attempt to shrink some of the pictures on the page and accidentally deleted all of them.  Sorry.  I’ll try harder next time to get it right.  And if you’ve written to me at the goodnewsbook addy, sorry again.  I haven’t checked that mailbox in about three years.

 

 

 

 

One Lie Down

 

For the record: 

Every once in a while, someone will come up to me and say, “How come you don’t go indoors?”, or something along those lines, “I was told that they were giving you a place to live, and you didn’t want it.  You said, ‘I would rather stay in my car’.”  I am really tired of explaining details of anyone else’s lies.  I am very tired of explaining and repeating the simplest of things to what seem to be intelligent, thinking people.  Therefore, I hereby post the lie that’s been told about me for over two years, as well as the truth of what happened in objective reality. 

 

First question: 

For those of you who’ve met me, do I look that stupid?  Uhh, let me rephrase that.  Do I sound….  Never mind.  The facts (whatever you think of my demeanor):  Toward the end of March 2008, I discovered a fairly new (1-yr-old) community center at George Pierce Park, which I started attending.  Mainly, I sat at one of the computers – played music, helped people who obviously needed helping, checked e-mail and news, did some research, etc.  I politely declined – for about nine months – joining any of the games people played – some card games of which I don’t even know.  Perhaps a week before Thanksgiving, I joined one of the games – and, of course, became acquainted with that small group of women - one of the biggest mistakes of my life.  I took the opportunity to show them the list of my physical ailments – to help explain the reason for my situation (Executive Baglady of Georgia).  I explained that disability payments take care of my bills, and there is nothing left for housing.  That instead of supplementing my income with sales of illicit drugs, or sales of arms to terrorists, or bilking stockholders, etc., I choose not to engage in any criminal activity (blue collar, white collar, or whatever color I happen to be wearing that day).  Unknown to me, some or all of the women tried to find an apartment for me.  They were going to combine the funds they could afford and pay for the apartment.  Isn’t that enough to blow you away?  Well, it turned out that there was nothing affordable.  I was sort of glad for that because:

(1)               I would really like to have some say in the matter when it comes to where I will lay my head at night.  What if the geographical location they chose was very inconvenient for me?  What if I had to negotiate a staircase?  Is there a meth lab in the house next door?

(2)               I would still feel very insecure with such a setup.  How long would such generosity last?  Two months?  Five months?  And then I’d be back to square one?  Pack, unpack, pack, unpack…. 

In spite of such good will attempt and generosity, it would have been a better idea to speak to me about my life and what they were planning for it.  I reached the age of majority in the last century, and I have never been judicially decreed to be mentally incompetent.  Thus, I can speak and think for myself – and even make sound decisions for myself. 

 

One of the ladies even brought a form to me.  Umm, let’s call it a “booklet”, it was so thick.  It was from Housing.  Ahh”, you say, “there’s the answer – how come you didn’t think of it?”  Well, I did, quite a number of years ago.  And the last time I phoned Housing, I was advised that they are not even taking applications anymore.  And even if they did take my application, and if a vacancy became available, it would probably go to a senior citizen first.  I told the gentleman that I would rather it go to someone like that because I know how to take care of myself out here.  (Why would I even phone Housing again?)  As for the form that was brought to me:  It’s thick.  Kindly refer to my book (Good News For Lazy, Psychotic Sinners) as a reminder of when I burned out on completing forms.  On about page 3 of the thick form, it states that one’s legal i.d. and $300 are required up front.  I knew where my legal documents were:  and it would only take about two weeks – or two months – 24/7 - of daily digging in storage to find them.  Three hundred dollars?  Heh heh.  Not only would $300 be required up front, but I would have to pay monthly utilities.  Let’s try this again:  I pay my bills, and there is nothing left for housing.  Now that that’s on my web page, you have no reason to forget it.  (If you forget what I say, please re-read my web page.)  So why, exactly, would I waste even five brain cells looking at a form that is worthless to me?  Is it because you can’t handle looking at what I must live through?  Is it because had you been in my shoes (with physical pain and the living situation), you know that you wouldn’t have been able to handle it, and you probably would have self-terminated a very long time ago?  (And I do it with a little bit of class – not too much, just a little – don’t I.)  Since there is no “solution” at the moment, you have to blame someone, don’t you.  Whose problem is that?  (I will further address the last-posed question in the future.)

 

Fast forward:  After some hateful things (including shouting lies) were said to and about me, I removed myself from that group.  Honestly, I’ve had enough nonsense in my life.  For the time I have left on earth, I hope to learn a little more and do something constructive.  And whenever I check my budget for time, there is none available for nonsense. 

 

In fact, let me interrupt the train of thought with something imperative, and – given my mindset of late* – I won’t even use the word, “please”. 

NEW RULE:  Do not ask me how I brush my teeth.  If you do, I might be compelled to ask you:  “Do you mean up and down, or back and forth, or in a circular motion?”  At last count, I am 31 years behind myself.  While you might find it entertaining and/or self-satisfying to determine how I brush my teeth, I really really don’t have the time anymore for silly questions.  (* - The “mindset”, in fact, is a temporary brain adjustment – until my physical body gets back to “normal”.  Whereas I typically hold my tongue 99.99% of the time, I keep speaking when I don’t intend to, and I, uh, can’t stop telling the truth.)

 

Indeed, I was able to set aside the wrath directed toward me and the lies – and the silly questions – in an attempt to keep moving forward, even if that sometimes only happens at a snail’s pace.  Not so with the homeful people.  Today, again, someone asked why I refused an apartment that was offered to me.  In my usual eloquent, articulate manner, I asked, “Huh?”  As I’ve already done a number of times over the past two years, I patiently repeated, “It was a lie you were told.  I was never offered an apartment.  They talked about it.  A form was given to me.  Therefore, if there was no apartment offered, how could I possibly reject the offer?”  I’ve said it many times:  Hand me a key to an apartment – no steps – (though I’d actually prefer a farm), and I’m in, baby.  My acceptance, of course, is contingent on the neighborhood and distance from storage. 

 

Actually, I’d really rather be in Hawaii.

 

That’s one lie down – how many more to go?

 

Mmm, no, the few people who directed rage and lies at and about me never apologized.  Go figure – homeful people.  Oh, I’m sorry.  Are you saying that we shouldn’t stereotype?

 

I might add that I still interact with a few people from that group – those who remained civilized and even very pleasant.  See, not all homeful people are hostile.

 

 

March 26, 2011

 

 

 

* * * * *

 

BONUS CHAPTER

 

 

DO YOUR JOB

 

 

GWINNETT MEDICAL CENTER

Lawrenceville, Georgia

 

Had "Good News For Lazy, Psychotic Sinners" not been established many years ago as the title of my first book, I could have named it, "Do Your Job".  Of course, I'm the one judged to be the LPS, and publishers like authors with designations - real ones.  Trust me, they don't give much credibility to an LPS standing on a soap box, addressing the masses.  That's the irony about me and my situation.  Although a lot of people take a condescending approach to me, my position is truly enviable.  Do you think they expose their true selves to their pastors, prayer buddies, or business associates?  People tend to let down their guard with me.  And that's okay, because I'd rather they be genuine.  In fact, it was pretty amusing when I recently greeted a pastor who let down his guard - he didn't smile at me.

 

People let down their guard because they make assumptions about me.  First, of course, they assume that my living situation resulted from me losing all my stock in Enron.  Okay, I was joking there.  Naturally, people wonder if I'm addicted to drugs or alcohol.  Allow me to say right now that I have a current lab report showing negative results for alcohol and drugs.  Maybe that's because I don't drink or do drugs.  But it's always nice to have another official document.  Indeed, that report proves that my book is timeless.  With the timeless factor and evidence on my side (as well as having advanced to state title as Executive Baglady), I believe I have developed enough credibility as a somewhat literate person with character and morals that qualify me as an expert on the information presented here.

 

Not only don't I have the patience to wait for publication of my next book ("Good News For Executive Bagladies") to share the evidence of my book's endurance with the passage of time, but I am giving you this bonus chapter on my web site because the subject lab/medical report (hereafter, "lab report") caused me to develop a sense of urgency in providing it to you. 

 

On the timelessness of my book:  Not much has changed at Gwinnett Medical Center (hereafter, "GMC") (Lawrenceville, Gwinnett County, Georgia) since the early '90s - at least, not concerning its treatment of me.  If you've already read my book, excerpts of the lab report will not surprise you.  Thus, you might even wonder why I even went to GMC's e.r. - or any medical doctor.  (The free clinic mentioned in my book was the Lawrenceville free clinic back in the early '90s.  We're talking the same training, the same mindsets, the same deceit, the same arrogance and incompetence.  The agency that I went to for “help” [cures for medical problems], which turned out to be totally worthless back then, was the Division of Rehabilitation in Lawrenceville, Georgia.)

 

On the urgency of providing this information: 

 

(a) I want my fellow citizens to be enlightened as to the waste and incompetence in the medical profession - if you aren't already aware of it.  You will, thus, be better qualified to determine how much overhaul is needed in the provision of healthcare and its financing in our great Country.  I submit that our citizens would be getting their money's worth in healthcare, and healthcare would not be as expensive as it currently is, if even half the incompetence in the medical profession had been eliminated a long time ago.  Indeed, I think it reasonable to expect people - especially medical professionals - to simply do their jobs – in Georgia and the rest of the Country.

 

(b) If you haven't read my book, this lab report will help you understand why I do everything possible to stay away from medical doctors, especially GMC.  Therefore, from this moment in time forward, there is no reason to ask me why I don't want an ambulance or doctor if I happen to collapse as the result of a medical problem.  In fact, should I collapse and remain conscious, just get me a notary public if you want to be helpful.  (Don't forget my cigarettes and a cup of coffee with a boatload of creamer in it.)

 

For you to both understand how I landed at GMC's e.r. and appreciate what transpired that day, I'll have to start with the sequence of events beginning March 10, 2011.  Here's a good opportunity to get some popcorn, but you might want to wait for the real drama (and circus) at the e.r.

 

 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

 

I'd just come out of the aquatic center after getting a shower.  A woman named Betty who I passed on the way out told me that she thinks something leaked out of my car.  I sighed and said, “Oh, okay, I’ll take care of it.  Thank you.”  She appeared saddened by my troubles and suggested, “Oh, it might not be your car, though.”  I smiled and nodded, saying, “It probably is; that’s alright.”

 

I felt a familiar trembling sensation under my sternum as I walked down the path.  It happened for years, but the feeling always cleared up after I ate.  The first time it occurred in 1980, it was afternoon before I ate my first meal.  I was busy with some work and didn’t want to stop.  The feeling cleared as I swallowed the first bite of food.  To me, it was obvious - I was hungry.  The experience only occurred when I delayed my first meal of the day.  It worsened over the years to the extent that since a few years ago, the degree to which I trembled was heightened; and it would take up to an hour after I ate before the trembling dissipated.  Perhaps in January 2011, as I approached the cashier in Wal-Mart (Buford), the trembling was so strong that my hands were shaking slightly; I told the cashier not to worry, that I suspect the problem to be a sugar drop.  She said that she was watching me as I approached and knew right away that it was my sugar.  (When I happened to see her on March 24th, I asked how she knew it was a sugar problem.  She explained that she was an R.N. in her country.)  I always knew the level of urgency of getting food when I trembled.  I always had up to an hour before I just couldn't stand the discomfort anymore. 

 

March 10th seemed no different, but it turned out to be very different.  After I unlock my car, I usually light a cigarette.  Sometimes I sit for a minute or two before I put trunk things in the trunk, car things in the car, fold my towel, powder my face and brush my hair.  I moved more quickly than usual because I’d have to check my car’s fluids before I drove.  I knew it was oil or anti-freeze, or both.  I popped the car hood but hadn't yet brushed my hair.  My neck went out the night before, and I dreaded the idea of lifting the hood and potentially putting my neck out again.  (No less than six ibuprofen stops that pain, and I didn’t want to go two days in a row taking that much.)  What choice did I really have.  I'd finish the cigarette, brush my hair and then go lift the hood.  The trembling worsened, so I sat, grabbed a bottle of vitamin water and took a gulp.  It was less than 10 minutes since the trembling started.  Then my hands shook uncontrollably.  I managed to put the unfinished cigarette in the ash tray, where it burned down.  I figured, "Get more of this (vitamin water) down, then move as fast as you can to check the fluids, get out of here and get food."  I tried to take a second sip but couldn't steady my hand enough to do so.  I don't know if it was five or ten minutes before I saw a woman come down the path, so I signaled her.  (I learned that her name is Lynn.)  I figured I'd feel better, emotionally anyway, if someone just stayed with me until the shaking subsided.  She asked if she could get a doctor for me.  I shook my head, "no", and only had the strength to speak above a whisper, "I think it's sugar.  I'll be alright eventually.  If you could stay with me for a minute, I'd really appreciate it."  A minute or two later, she said that there was a Gwinnett patrol car right nearby and asked if she should summon the officer.  Again, I indicated, "no".  I felt certain I'd be alright within a few minutes - enough to drive.  The cop would only request an ambulance, and then I'd have to explain why I don't need them.  He'd insist, and then I'd have even more to apologize for when they came out. 

 

Another minute or two later, the cop is standing near me.  I remember whispering (which was the best I could vocalize) that I think it's my sugar.  I only recall three other questions, but I can't be sure of the order in which he asked them.  He recognized me and asked why he hadn't seen me at Quik Trip.  I whispered that I was tired of being harassed.  He asked who harassed me, and I held up two fingers, indicating two people.  He asked if it was me he saw at George Pierce Park a few days earlier; I nodded.  Then he asked something like, "So, what are you, about 40?"  I tried to look up to see his face, but I couldn’t.  I asked, "What's your name?"  He told me.  I whispered, "You're on the Hawaii list for that."  He laughed and tried "45".  I signaled with my thumb to go higher, and we did that until he guessed my age.  At some point, I heard, "ambulance", and, "the ambulance is on its way".  I quickly lost sight of my surroundings; it took all I had to hang on to the back of my seat with one hand, and the steering wheel with the other, to avoid falling.  I'd never been so debilitated by what I thought was a sugar drop and kept trying to figure out how to stop my hands from shaking. 

 

I have no idea of how many minutes it was before a fire truck arrived - maybe five?  It must have been the fireman who tested my blood glucose.  (I caught a glimpse of him, but for the rest of the event it seemed different systems were clicking on and off.)  I heard him say, "44".  "Yikes!", I thought.  "What the?"  My thoughts were more focused on trying to hold myself in the seat and get down another sip.  The cop held the bottle for me so I could sip and get some sugar in my system.  He was a real sweetie.  I never told him that I wondered if I was dying.  I felt a great sense of peace, and I felt ready.

 

Again I heard someone say that an ambulance was on its way.  My awareness of the physical things around me seemed to diminish even more, and then - I think the ambulance had just arrived - panic set in.  I have no idea of where the fear came from.  If anything, I knew that the paramedics would be able to treat me and maybe prevent me from dying, even though it really wouldn’t have mattered to me if I did.  About a year earlier, I saw some paramedics help a woman whose sugar dropped at the community center.  They brought her around in about five minutes.  I knew that her sugar was measured at 40; and, unlike her, I was conscious.  Someone was standing to my left, and something compelled me to reach for help.  I felt myself turn toward the person and try to reach out my hand - as if I needed protection from something.  I whispered some words - no order - about my level of fear.  It was the strangest thing because the words seemed to come from a part of my brain that was out of my control and was on a different track from what I consciously knew.  I felt pure terror - but I have no idea of what I feared.  It's difficult to piece together some of those moments; how do you make sense of pieces from different puzzle sets? 

 

Someone took my blood pressure.  I heard the numbers:  189/87.  My b.p. never went that high.  They wanted me to go over to the ambulance; they had to help me.  Then they asked me to step into the ambulance.  I objected, saying that I was not going to the hospital, especially not Gwinnett Medical.  Someone said that they just wanted me to get in and get warm.  I don't recall feeling the cold, but I was aware of feeling guilty for everyone else having to stand in the cold on my account.  They pointed to the steps which, for my typical struggle on stairs, I knew I'd be unable to navigate, so I turned and sat on the lowest step.  Someone brought over the gurney, and they helped me onto it and put it into the ambulance.  That might be when they gave me a second tube of glucose gel.  They'd already put me on oxygen. 

 

For anyone who knows me for about an hour or more, it eventually comes as no surprise to them when they hear me gasp for air.  I reckon that comes with asthma diagnosed many years ago (onset was after asbestos exposure) and borderline emphysema (diagnosed in '06).  (With the '06 report, I learned that I also have polycythemia - thick blood, probably from smoking.)  From the time I was sitting in the car and trembling out of control, breathing became much harder for me.  My breathing was shallow.  Then at some point, maybe the cops were already on the scene - I don't know, a narrow pain came up the back of my neck and went up my head for the length of about two inches.  The only other time in life I experienced that pain was in '08 when my oxygen dropped.  It's one of the creepiest pains that ever struck me.

 

I've no idea of how many minutes I was in the ambulance.  Someone checked my lungs.  I don't remember it being done, but he said, "lungs have fluid in them.  I can hear it”.  The paramedics tried very hard to convince me to go to a hospital.  I explained that I swore in 2006 that I'd never even get into another Gwinnett ambulance - that the only way anyone would get me into one was if I was blue or unconscious.  They wanted to know why, and I explained the story that's in my first book about a self-proclaimed "cool" paramedic who spoke in code.  I told the story of another one in 2006 who was hostile toward me, and of a third one in 2008 who had two out-of-range readings on me on his machines, after which he asked if my condition was "real" or if I was "doing it for the drama".  During the telling of those events, I wound up cussing.  It stunned me - because I don't cuss in front of strangers, children, or anyone I know to be uncomfortable with it.  When I realized what I did, I apologized for my language.  A paramedic said, "Oh, that's alright.  In my family, if someone cusses at you, it's a sign of affection." 

 

All of a sudden, my eyes widened, and my head felt clear.  I said, "Ooh, that's some good oxygen."  (The feeling could have been from my sugar coming up to normal; but I uttered those words when I somehow got a deep breath of oxygen.  No, I'm not a doctor and cannot definitively state that the exact cause of my eyes widening was the oxygen.  It's a guess based on what I experienced.  Perhaps it was the combination of both the sugar and oxygen rise.  I suspect no one on earth will ever know for sure.)  I still had that trembling feeling a tiny bit, but it was nothing compared to what it had been; so apparently I was fit enough to be back in the world on my own.  They brought me out on the gurney, helped me up, and two or more of them kept telling me to go get food immediately.  I gambled - because I didn't want to impose - but I really didn't want to put my neck out again, so I meekly asked one of them, "Any chance you can lift my hood for me?  I have to check my fluids."  They saw the spill on the ground.  Calmly, he said, "No, we're going to do that for you."  I know that my jaw hung for a few seconds at least.  I think maybe they were trying to make up for past offenses of other people.  Or maybe they're just really good human beings who did good for the sake of doing good.

 

As the minutes passed, my amazement only increased at their kindness and extreme patience with my stubbornness, and of course their skill in treating my physical condition.  They had no moral or professional obligation to add oil to my car if, in fact, they were trying to mitigate the damage of emt's in the past.  It was as if they cared beyond the step of keeping me alive.  I believe that absolutely no one could have tried harder to help me than the fellows on that day from Station #14 in Buford, Georgia.  Or is this Mayberry? 

 

(If any of you read this:  I apologize for my stubbornness and remain grateful for your help.)

 

And what about those Gwinnett cops?  A third, female officer also arrived on the scene; by then I knew something odd was happening with my vision and in my brain.  To my knowledge, there were three cops present.  I was intellectually aware of being safe but don't recall having any emotions connected with that awareness.  My thoughts went sort of, "I really wish they wouldn't make a big deal of this.  Terror.  Blank.  Oh, another cop.  Calm - they're calm.  More people.  Blank.  Blank.  They'll see that if I sip more, I'll be okay.  Blank.  Terror.  A person controlling my arm - not me.  Blank.  No strength to tell them I'll be okay.  Or maybe I'm dying?  Are they being more logical about this than me?  They brought her back - five minutes - I'm not as bad as that.  Too much fussing.  Not giving me a chance to catch my breath.  But that was funny - 40.  Terror.  Blank.  Maybe I'm dying.  No appointment.  Funny - 40.  So many people.  Blank."  That was the last I recall seeing the cops.  By the time I was back on my feet, the cops were gone, and I didn't have a chance to thank them.  What were the chances of them being so close?  Or the chance of one of them recognizing me - one who actually remembered and even respects me.  He never asked if I was doing drugs; how did he know me so well to know that I don’t do drugs and that he didn't have to ask?  I think the calm they all exhibited competed with the terror that surfaced in my brain.  But 40?  Or even "40's"?  Let's stick with this for a while and tend to the medical issues later.  Hey, vanity - it takes precedence, of course.  And give that cop a raise!

 

(Thanks to all of you for looking out for me - for being so calm and respectful.  Thank you for sticking with me when I couldn't handle things myself.  Thanks for the humor, for helping me get through a really rough time.)   

 

I knew I had to get food, but my body and mind were spent. I think I heard the ambulance and fire truck at the park’s exit when I saw Betty exit the building.  As she came down the path, she looked at me and asked hopefully, “Is your car alright?  Will you be able to drive it?”  I smiled but didn’t quite know what to say.  My mouth opened for a moment; then I said, "Uhh.  Well, an ambulance was here...."  Betty raised her hand and said, “Don’t bother talking because I’m not wearing my hearing aids, so I can’t hear you.  But will you be able to drive?”  I smiled, nodded and gave her a thumb’s up.

 

 

(To be continued.

 

Meantime, if you have no choice and have to head over to GMC’s e.r., first click this link and listen to the Undisputed Truth -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sV69WBvFGBA  [Smiling Faces Sometimes].   At least you’ll be forewarned.)

 

 

April 1, 2011

 

* * * * *

 

 

UPDATE

 

 

 

* * * *    APRIL 13, 2011    * * * *

 

 

Annie had a baby girl today!!!  Yippee!

 

 

Hank Ballard and The Midnighters did a song about this (circa 1954).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqcOsy2xgvk&playnext=1&list=PL71D3F7C3EBE02F28

 

 

April 13, 2011

 

* * * * *

 

 

Continuation of:

BONUS CHAPTER

 

 

DO YOUR JOB

 

GWINNETT MEDICAL CENTER

Lawrenceville, Georgia

 

Thursday, March 10, 2011 (continued)

 

 

Arby's

 

I rested for a few moments.  Both my body and mind felt like glue was missing.  The pain in the back of my head was still there; and I couldn't remember how long it took in '08 to clear up.  Was it a day?  Two?  The overall feeling I had was as if my body and mind were in puzzle pieces - as if all the pieces were there, but most of them had spaces between them.  And I was still scared.  It wasn't terror anymore, just fear - but of what I didn't know.  I headed for Arby's, which was my usual routine. As I drove, I told myself to endure the odd feelings the rest of the day.  Probably, after a good night's sleep, I'd feel a lot better. 

 

When I arrived at Arby's, I checked under my sleeves to determine why my wrists had a tight feeling.  "Ah, electrodes.  That's right - they monitored your heart."  I left them on and went in to get my daily turkey-bacon-club, then briefly explained what happened.  I added, "If I go down again, just go to my trunk, get out the jumper cables and", exposing the electrodes, "connect them here.  That should get me going again."  For these young guys (very intelligent) whose occasional juvenile, guy humor grates against my girl-ears (in spite of my cussing ability), you'd think they'd have gotten a big kick out of that.  Instead, they mostly cringed at the thought.  (I still thought it was funny - like bringing back the bride of Frankenstein.)  And, yes, I eat the same great turkey-bacon-club sandwich every day.  They toast the bun for me until it's crunchy.  When I finish eating the sandwich, I'm impatient for the next day just so I can eat it again.  It's one of the best sandwiches in the galaxy.

 

Jacob just got off work and sat to have his meal.  He switched his seat to the table where I sat, as did Koby's girlfriend, Erin.  I was so grateful to have familiar people around me.  They listened to me detail the events at the park until Jacob had to leave.  As I continued relating the story to Erin and expressed my level of fear, her eyes welled up.  With her sweet and gentle - indeed, angelic - voice, she assured me that I was safe.  Her very presence was soothing.  After a while, I knew she and Koby had to leave, and I became apprehensive but tried not to show it.  When they left, I kept glancing at the familiar faces and structures in an attempt to glue things back together in my brain, and to especially dismiss the fear.  It wasn't working. 

 

My brain’s filing cabinet became disorganized, but I’m sure it was either Jacob or Koby who, before they left, asked Rickey to keep an eye on me.  It didn’t seem a good idea to do any more driving, so I went out for a nap after I ate.  When I woke up, Rickey was passing my car, checking on me.  It’s somewhat odd to be with the employees at Arby’s because, though we’re strangers, they treat me as if I’m a buddy.  They even invited me to their Christmas party.  In the years (even collective years) I’ve been Executive Baglady, I was never extended greater hospitality by a business (employees and all levels of management) than that offered by Arby’s.  It’s obvious that it’s both a personal and business matter to them – to give the best possible service and offer the highest possible level of respect regardless of the size of your customer’s roof.  They are genuine and classy people.

 

With that level of comfort, it’s hard to imagine that I could have had any fear in me.  It was as if a switch was hit earlier – panic, terror, fear, uncertainty – and I didn’t know how to switch it off.  In spite of doing the things I did every single day – even eating the same sandwich, it didn’t quite feel like I was doing those things.  I had to approach the simplest of physical movements more slowly than the day before.  The paramedics said that if I didn’t go to the hospital, they’d be back out on me within 24 – 48 hours.  They didn’t know that I accepted their statement as a challenge.  So I mentally worked to ignore the fear and focus on getting through the next two days.  With the trauma that my body and mind endured, I figured maybe I ought to go easy on myself and not worry about accomplishing something.  All I really needed to accomplish was getting through the next 48 hours without an ambulance being called on me again.  I was too tired to drive to buy aspirin to thin my blood, but I'd be sure to get it the next day.  Since leaving the park, I was guessing that my thick blood was not helping my condition. 

 

I must have spoken to Kelly (Jamie's mother) earlier because not long after I woke up, she showed up at Arby's with a glucose testing kit that she just purchased for me.  She wouldn't even let me reimburse her for it.  I only met her a week before.  She said that when I arrived at Arby's the evening she was there, and Jamie was working at the time, he said to her, "Oh, look, there's my friend, Alice."  (I lucked out a couple of nights later when I met Erin's mother - also named Kelly.  I figured that with the brain challenge at hand, I'd be even luckier if everyone's mother was named Kelly.)  Even family members of Arby’s employees are gentle people.  With all the gab that Kelly and I had to catch up on, and my brain being useless in trying to figure out the testing kit (or anything else), it took a good hour before we ran a test - but not before Kelly accidentally stuck herself with a lancet. 

 

I think it was the same night that Kelly loaned me a netbook.  What a pleasure to have so much battery time on a laptop.  How do I say thank you for all the kindness and generosity?

 

 

Friday, March 11, 2011

 

By now (April 14), I can’t remember but two minutes of that day.  I know that no ambulance was called for my benefit; and I forgot to buy aspirin.

 

 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

 

About all I recall from that day:  when I passed the noon or 1 o’clock mark, I started telling people that the paramedics were wrong – 48 hours had passed, and I was still on my feet.  Again, I forgot to buy aspirin.

 

 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

 

It was the day my brain took a road trip and left me behind.  A month later, I still have trouble revisiting the mere memory of that day.

 

For a Sunday, my routine - or lack thereof - was usual.  In fact, Sundays are usually confusing for me.  The center is closed, so I have to decide on which direction I'm going in.  While it's a perfect day to go to storage and accomplish something - maybe even do a laundry, there are enough variables that can impede my ability to do so.  The weather is a major factor.  Most of the time, the variables are against me.  One time I went to storage and put my neck out just by raising the door.  If the weather is against me or I don't feel good enough, I stay away from storage.  Otherwise, it's a good day to at least get laundry out of my trunk.  That Sunday, I had so much trouble making a decision that I was already backing out at Arby's and still didn't know which direction I'd take.  I could head for storage and then change my mind - just pass it and go to the library.  As I shifted to "drive", I just happened to glance at the road and was immediately frightened.  I wasn’t really frightened by what I saw – a part of my brain was.  As if coming from someone else, my mind’s ear heard, "Oh, gee, look at all the cars, and look at all the colors they are."  I didn’t yet realize how wrong things were.  I knew I felt very uncomfortable and thought, “That was weird, where did that come from.”  Since I had to decide on a direction, I figured I’d take a left into the larger parking lot.  Maybe I was tired.  But I slept enough the prior night.  Maybe my oxygen dropped.  If the latter was the case, the safest thing would be to go back to the big parking lot, rest a while and maybe even get a nap. 

 

I was back in my overnight spot.  I knew my body wasn't yet back to normal since Thursday.  I still had the pain up the back of my neck and into my head.  I couldn't recall how long it took in '08 to clear up.  Was it a day?  Maybe two?  Three?  I couldn't find the memory bank with the answer. 

 

I've no idea of how much time passed.  It could have been five minutes, a half hour, or an hour, when I realized that my brain was talking to me.  I tried to focus on my direction for the day, but for everything in my visual field, a part of my brain kept offering commentaries.  A few times, it converted the things I saw - ordinary things, like a sign, a truck - into cartoon images.  For a while, it was amusing in a strange way – kind of like the beginning of Poltergeist. 

 

My self-talk went something like:  "This has got to be blood pressure.  You should have studied more; then you'd know if that’s the location of an artery.  With the polycythemia, the blood is having a harder time getting to your brain.  And that's probably what the pain over your eyes is, too.  So why haven't you looked for one of the 3 or 4 open bottles of aspirin in the car?  Because I've been too exhausted.  Don't be cheap in a situation like this.  Go to the store when you can drive and buy another bottle for a dollar.  Yeah, but you've been telling yourself that since Thursday.  I forgot.  Then I turn around and forget again." 

 

Interspersed with my normal, boring thoughts came the brainspeak.  "Bright red sign.  It's so bright.  Wa-aaay bright!"  I’d look away and wonder, "Why did they make it so bright?  It never bothered me before.  Why are my eyes bothering me like this?"

 

Brainspeak:  Times Square!  Fast, fast.  Bright!

 

Me:  What is this nutsy stuff?  Okay, you really need to get the aspirin today.  That's your homework. 

 

A truck went through across the lot.  It was as if someone hit a button and my eyes zoomed in and focused on the truck. 

 

Brainspeak:  Rental truck.  Three months ago.

 

Me:  Three months?  So what.  Why am I connecting things to three months ago or five or thirty years ago?

 

For almost every item in the lot I looked at, that part of my brain was jumping time frames, as it seemed. 

 

Brainspeak:  Quick!  A car driving through.  Fast, so fast.  Scary!

 

Me:  Yeah.  No, it's going slow.  It’s my eyes that are doing that.  Or my brain.  Or what my brain is interpreting.

 

Brainspeak:  Car, fast, colors!

 

Me:  Okay, maybe fast compared to bugs.  But not for a car in a parking lot.  In fact, they should match all the different colored cars and put them together.  It's just hurting my eyes.  Maybe if I close them, it won't hurt so much.  Look at the clouds - peaceful.

 

Brainspeak:  Earth.  Cars and bright, bright colors - and pavement.  You don't know how to make pavement, do you.

 

Me:  Most people don't.

 

Brainspeak:  Windows.  A lot of glass.  Who’s driving all those cars?  Fast.  Cars.  Colors.

 

Me:  Okay, stop this now.  What are you doing?  I'm not doing it.  Your brain is doing it.  Well, then, tell your brain to stop.  But what's it doing?  I don't know.  This is new.  It’s either from my brain to my eyes or vice-versa.

 

Brainspeak:  Another car!  Bright!

 

Me:  Stop.  Why are you talking to your brain.  Because I'm not thinking this stuff.  It's going too fast for me, that's how I know.  I don't think that quickly.  Maybe I should go to the library.  Bad idea if oxygen is low - you'd be a hazard out there.  And there are too many cars, and the cars are too many colors.  What?  But you’ve driven in Manhattan rush-hour traffic.  It doesn’t make sense.  Terror.  Why am I so scared?  I think it doesn't make sense that I’m scared, but I think it's true.  Why am I scared?  The colors are hurting - red.  The red is too red - and the blues are too blue – painful red and painful blue, all the other painful colors.  Why is my brain going so fast.

 

Brainspeak:  Flashing lights over there!

 

Me:  This conversation is wrong - very wrong.  No one talks to their brain.  Our brains don't talk to us.  Clouds - I need to paint more clouds.  Just so hard to keep all that painting stuff in the car.

 

Brainspeak:  Things move too fast to think of clouds.  Red cars, blue cars, so many colors.  They're moving very fast!

 

Me:  What in hell is going on!  Test your oxygen.  It's ok.  Pulse is too high.  Where are my hands?  What are they doing?

 

Brainspeak:  Colors – fast and bright!  Blinding.

 

Me:  Stop that.  Put oximeter in case.  It doesn't fit.  Keep trying.  What am I looking at?  Cigarette pack.  No, it doesn't go in the cigarette pack.  What are my hands doing?  Just stop, stop everything.  Don't move.  Don't think. The colors are too much.  Eyes are hurting.  That must be it.  The colors are hurting - it doesn't make sense, and it's never happened before.  And the brain is mine, yet part of it is talking to me, as if it belongs to someone else.  It doesn't feel like mine.  I'm boring.  Slow.  And more so when I'm tired like this.  But you slept enough.  I'm exhausted.  Brain is making me tired.  It's too fast, and I don't know how to slow it down.  It's got to be blood pressure - pumping too fast.  From Thursday – it all started Thursday.  And the sugar drop.  What did it do to you?  Are there lasting effects of something like that?  And the blood pressure soaring – and the two of them together?  Maybe you should have gone Thursday.  Yeah, Gwinnett Medical, the circus.  But I’m scared – since Thursday.  But now you have a reason to be scared – if your brain is talking to you.  Except you’re not scared – you’re terrified.

 

I don’t know how long that went on.  But it was obvious that I was not in control of my entire brain.  Certainly, I wasn’t about to drive.  I was scared.  Who would I call?  I didn’t want to scare anyone I knew.  How would I explain what was happening if I didn’t understand it myself? 

 

(To be continued)

 

April 16, 2011

 

* * * * *

 

UPDATE

April 19, 2011

 

 

The Missing Sentence

 

When a guy who is so filled with himself fails to consider possible consequences to you of your quoting him, it doesn’t matter how many times he followed you in the parking lot.  (This is what happened to whatever allure you created:  Phhhhhhht - like a balloon.  You’re so vain, you prob’ly think this blog is about you.  It makes you no less vain if you’re right.  Thanks, but I have no interest in fool’s paradise.) 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=js8YE7uZFUY

 

 

 

A Couple of Days?

 

Did I say I was going to get the lab report excerpts up within a couple of days?  Heh heh.  I must have been thinking of 20 years ago when I could actually accomplish something in two days.

 

 

 

 

Continuation of:

BONUS CHAPTER

 

 

DO YOUR JOB

 

GWINNETT MEDICAL CENTER

Lawrenceville, Georgia

 

Sunday, March 13, 2011 (continued)

 

 

I knew I couldn’t drive.  How could I drive if I was afraid of how many cars there were and how many colors they were.  I knew something physical was causing what I came to call “the nutsy stuff”.  What if it got worse even if I could bring myself to drive.  I simply wouldn’t endanger anyone else by taking such a risk. 

 

I had to talk to someone.  What if whatever happened in my brain worsened to the point of my not being aware of it.  I thought, “Maybe my brain is dying.  That would mean I’m dying.  Maybe this is how some people die.  Something happened Thursday, but it didn’t stop even though they brought up your sugar.  And it turned into this.  And if you’re going to be stuck here out of terror, or if you’re really dying….”  I always knew when I needed help with something; this was obviously one of those times.  Then I realized who I should call – one of the county cops that knew me.  But I still debated, “Sure, you call and tell them your brain is doing nutsy stuff – that’s all they need to hear from the Executive Baglady.  They’ll say, ‘We heard it from her own lips’.”  The activity in my brain was no joking matter.  My hands would sometimes reach for things, and I didn’t know what I was reaching for. 

 

I had to gamble that someone would come out and talk to me and maybe have an explanation for me.  Or at least they’d be aware – if they found my body – that I knew something was wrong.  So I called the County’s non-emergency number that’s in my phone.  I asked for the cop who came over to my car on Thursday, but the operator said something about him not being on until 3 p.m.  I wasn’t confused about what she said – because in my mind the words were, “Oh, I thought for sure it was on the earlier shift – maybe 10 or 11 a.m. - when that happened.”  But I was confused because I couldn’t get the words from my brain to my lips.  And I couldn’t figure out the correct order of words.  The very nature of my confusion confused me even more.  It should have been a straightforward response from me.  The operator suggested I phone back after three – but I was too scared – what if my brain crumbled into pieces by then.  I just went ahead and asked for another cop by name – he, too, was off duty.  I must have mentioned a half-dozen names – and couldn’t recall the others I knew – and then gave up.  I said, “Never mind, I’ll be alright.”  She asked for my number, which I gave her, and then asked what the problem was.  It didn’t feel like me saying it, but I just blurted out, “My brain is saying crazy stuff to me.”  Yeah, I guess that would concern some folks – especially coming from me.  That is, the people who know me simply know that I don’t bother anyone.  So when a statement like that emanates from my lips, a person who knows me would know that something is really wrong.  The operator said that she’d have someone call me.  I was trying to insist that it be someone who already knew me, but she didn’t assure me that it would be.

 

I might have phoned back saying that I’m alright.  It seems I did, but I can’t be positive.  The operator said that someone was going to phone me.  I don’t know how much time passed.  My brain was kind of busy.  Very busy.  There was the part that was grabbing my attention and placing it on visual things.  The me that I know was becoming more of an observer.  And then I wondered if I did the right thing with the phone call to the cops.  There was fear on top of fear on top of fear.  The phone rang.  It was a female officer, and when she said her name, I asked if we had met a couple of years earlier.  She said that we did and was surprised that I remembered.  I tried to ask why she was surprised, but the words wouldn’t come out.  They just sat in my mind.  I almost started crying at some point in the brief chat; maybe that’s why she said she’d come out to talk.  I know I told her that it didn’t feel like I was in my body. 

 

When she arrived, there were also two other officers.  It scared me even more.  I said, “Two cars, three cops?”  One of them walked away saying, “Oh, I was just carpooling.”  I figured they wouldn’t show any fear – and I was counting on that, hoping for it; but the humor served to break the ice. 

 

It’s very hard to recall the chat with the two officers.  I remember answering questions – and simultaneously working very hard so that they wouldn’t hear the nutsy stuff.  I was probably defeating the whole purpose of the chat, and I knew it.  The fear (on top of all the other fears) of being hauled in as a nut case overpowered everything.  At some point I mentioned the pain coming up my neck into my head.  When you exhaust the possibilities that you might know as a layperson, the next logical step is to throw in a little levity, so I said, “Who knows, maybe it’s an alien in there.”  The officer casually replied, “I’ll get the tin foil.”  I wanted to describe what my brain was doing but couldn’t – or wouldn’t.  I was hoping they would see the terror I felt and make it stop.  Or maybe recognize the terror to be associated with a particular physical condition and tell me what it was.  But they couldn’t do that – not without me describing what was going on.  I know that she asked how she can help get me back into my body, but I had no answer.  Her approach, however, allowed me to let down some defenses – and let go of some of the fear.  I’d told her several times, “this just isn’t me”.  At some point, I also said that I really need to get back to my oatmeal.  She wanted to know why I wouldn’t go to Gwinnett Medical.  I gave a few examples of how they treated me in the past, of how I needlessly suffered for their indifference toward me.  In relating the stories, I automatically placed the cuss words in the appropriate places – and I was oblivious to the fact that I was cussing in front of cops, which is something I don’t do unless I know them at a personal level.

 

Eventually, she phoned in for an ambulance to come out.  I never saw her do it.  How could I miss something so obvious?  There were one or more other things I missed, which is so unlike me.  I’m typically so observant that I can’t help but see subtleties in demeanor and hear subtleties in speech. 

 

An ambulance arrived.  The paramedic to my left was one of the two most skilled communicators I’ve ever met.  He took my blood pressure.  I mentioned that for several weeks recently (though I later in time realized it was really January) I kept waking up with a high pulse – 112, 124, and that my oxygen wouldn’t come up above 93 – 94 for a good part of the day.  It might have still been doing it – or doing it again, but I was simply unaware of it in current time.

 

Ain’t interruptions in life the dangest thing.  I must interject here a very important note about the majority of paramedics/emt’s/firemen I’ve encountered in Gwinnett.  They are polite, respectful, trained well in what they do (from what I can discern), and I consider myself lucky to be in a County that knows the value of such emergency personnel.  Therefore, in view of the respect I hold for the majority, I will not now publish anything that might have been said that Sunday that was inappropriate and/or offensive.  The majority do not deserve to have their integrity questioned as a result of one horse’s ass who does not know how to control his tongue.  In spite of the guilt I feel for even mentioning the exception, I had to mention it in order to explain why I suddenly reminded myself to keep up my guard.

 

The paramedic also tested my blood glucose.  Everything appeared to be fine.  Of course, he tried to get me to open up on the brain issues, but I wouldn’t – especially not after what was said.  He, like the paramedics on Thursday, endured my stubbornness.  He was most “with me” than anyone who’s ever tried to get through to something in my mind.  I believe he started packing up when he asked me, in the same calm tone he used the entire chat, “Alice, do you know what will happen if we leave and then you need us to come out again?”  Then he must have seen the terror.  I felt my eyes widen and quietly asked, “What?”  He answered, “We’ll come out and help you again.”  I was exhausted from all the terror.  Then he turned away, I think, as he casually asked, “So are you going to drive out now?”  My instant reply was, “No”, as I pointed.  “Don’t you see all the cars out there – and all the colors?”  He never reacted to it.  At the time, I wasn’t aware of what I said.

 

I don’t remember how much longer after he and the other fellow left that the cops stayed.  The female officer asked if I felt better.  I lied – which is something I don’t need to do – and said yes.  But I realized there was little sense in keeping them.  I wanted to ask them to stay; I could feel the terror building.  What would happen when they leave?  If I asked them to stay, they’d probably insist I go to the hospital.  I thought, “It must have been their presence and the chat – it competed with what my brain keeps doing.  But at least, for a while [though I didn’t have a clue as to how long they were with me], I felt more connected to earth and was less fearful about dying while I was alone.”  I figured that if I was going to die, it would just happen. 

 

When they left, I couldn’t measure if I was more exhausted than back to full terror.  I decided to go back to sleep.  I think I fell asleep within ten seconds of laying my head on the pillow.  When I woke up an hour and a half later, my mind was tranquil.  My eyes didn’t open yet, but I immediately thought, “Oh, what a relief, it’s so peaceful.  It’s finally over.”  As if a switch were hit, my mind’s eye saw a cartoon-like image of a large, multi-colored beach ball, and it bounced from one spot to another, “boing, boing, boing,” five times.  My eyes popped open, I sat up, and I almost cried. 

 

I drank some vitamin water – didn’t even pour a cup of coffee – and headed to the aquatic center for a shower.  I wouldn’t talk to anyone there that I’d normally chat with for fear of scaring them.  When I left the building, I tried to focus on just getting to the store and finally buying aspirin.  As I drove toward the main exit lane, terror overcame me again.  I pulled a fast left and tried to get into a far spot, away from people.  It was more than an hour before I could bring myself to drive out.  I made it to the store just as it was closing.  In fact, the manager waved at me and said, “We’re closed.”  I pleaded with her to let me buy one item – just a bottle of aspirin.  The pain compelled me to hold the side of my head.  She let me in.  I bought the aspirin, got back to the car and drove to a quiet spot.  Just after 8 p.m. I took two aspirin and waited.  Forty minutes later, it felt like a very gentle wave went through my head, and I felt calm – indeed, boring!  I cheerfully thought, “Ahh, boring - I’m back!” 

 

As the minutes passed, pieces of the earlier chat kept coming back to me, and almost each time I thought, “Holy crow!  Did I say that?!  And I cussed in the presence of cops?!  And they didn’t haul me in?”  So I figured I must have been correct about needing to thin my blood.  Yet, I scolded myself for taking so long to get the aspirin.  I figured the main thing was that I was back in my body, and the terror was gone.  The terror – but not the fear.  Some of it remains to this day.  The living nightmare was apparently over, and I was so grateful.  All I’d have to do is take a couple of aspirin each day to maintain things as they are.  The first thing on Monday would be to start a letter of apology to the cops for my foul language.

 

Monday – Tuesday

March 14 – 15, 2011

 

There are only a few things I remember about Monday and Tuesday.  I felt high throughout the days.  I thought, “Okay, so you don’t yet have this whole thing figured out, but you’ll get there.”  In my letter of apology, I wrote, “You could hold off on the tin foil.”  Of course, I was ashamed of all the cussing I did in their presence.  Both the high feeling I had and the knowledge that there was a physical malfunction enabled me to more readily forgive myself than I normally would for screwing up so badly. 

 

The neck/head pain was still there.  It just gnawed at me.  But I was still grateful that the terror and confusion were gone.  While driving, I’d suddenly catch myself squinting to the extent that my eyes were almost shut.  I concluded, “Okay, that’s because the tops of your eyes hurt, so you’re squinting in response to that.”  Another thing that kept happening on the road was that I’d catch a glimpse of something ahead that I just couldn’t make out.  “What’s that?  What are you seeing?  Uhh.”  When I finally reached the object, I’d realize, “Oh, it’s a post”, or, “oh, a mailbox”, or “oh, a parked truck with a sign on it”.  I wondered each time why I was having trouble seeing things for what they were – isolated, random objects that caught my eye.  That continues to this day, but not as frequently as a month ago.

 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

 

I felt a bit more energetic.  I made my usual first stop at Arby’s, and I was sure to bring my sandwich with me to Wal-Mart’s automotive.  In case I had to wait for someone to check my fluids, my food was with me.  While one fellow was checking my fluids, I asked if someone could get the oil down the aisle for me since I felt a bit unsteady.  I said that I could go in to pay but that I didn’t think I’d be able to walk much farther.  While walking toward the door to go inside and pay for the oil, my left ankle gave out.  My immediate thought was, “Alright, that must have happened because your foot has been asleep for more than a week.  Maybe you hurt it by walking on it.”  Now, I already have a right foot injury and constantly have to devote attention to each step I take with that foot in order to avoid excruciating pain.  With the left ankle giving out completely, I didn’t know how far I could walk.  I figured that this wasn’t the worst physical condition I’ve endured, so it’s do-able.  (Things could always be worse; and I still don’t park in Afghanistan.)  The fellow who initially checked the fluids was busy changing a tire on another vehicle, so I waited a few minutes or more.  I wanted to start my sandwich but didn’t want to be rude and have food in my mouth when he returned.  So I waited a few more minutes.  Suddenly, I felt a tiny tremble under my sternum.  I grabbed the sandwich and started eating – and ate the whole thing before someone else came over to do the oil.  I was glad to have averted another mini-disaster.  I felt better and figured I’d stop at the restroom at Arby’s on my way to the center.  In the short drive from Wal-Mart to Arby’s (one mile), my head started feeling funny – maybe cloudy.  I couldn’t discern the exact feeling.  In a way, I felt like I was drifting off.  By the time I got to Arby’s, I decided that if I didn’t start feeling better, I’d stay in the parking lot for the day.  I was in and out of the restroom within a minute or two, but as I exited, the back of my head felt like it was turning into mush – yes: mush.  So there was a cloud and then mush - together.  I thought maybe I was rushing too much; maybe it was my blood pressure giving me that feeling.  I was sure it wasn’t my blood glucose – though I thought it was unusual for me to experience the trembling sensation so soon after that major event.  Besides, I ate and stopped it in its tracks.  For sure, it must have been my blood pressure.  The manager, Su-Jung, was at the counter as I came out of the restroom, and I quietly said to her that I was going to move my car into the larger parking lot – that I might call for an ambulance and see if they’d come check my blood pressure, that I thought I might be heading for a stroke.  My thought processes were diminishing quickly.  Su-Jung asked, “Would you like me to call an ambulance for you?”  I couldn’t answer.  I wanted to say, “No, I’d rather move my car and not tie up your parking lot.  But I’ll call.”  I was very weak and thought maybe that’s why I couldn’t answer.  It wasn’t making sense to me.  I wanted to answer her, but I couldn’t.  I think I said, “Uhh…”  I heard her ask Chris to help me to my car.  She asked someone else to help, too – maybe it was Jacob?  I can’t recall who the other person was.  (Yes, it was Jacob.  Found out on 4/21.)  I was crying – it was devastating to be so helpless – again.  And I just didn’t know what was wrong. 

 

Chris was on a phone and asking me “stroke questions”, which I’m familiar with – STRT.  A person having a stroke:  (1) cannot Smile; (2) Talk; (3) Reach up; (4) stick out their Tongue.  So I knew I wasn’t having a stroke at the moment, but I sure thought one was imminent.  I realized the phrase he asked me to repeat would have been difficult, so after he asked, “Can you say…”, I whispered, “In a pig’s eye.”  At least they’d know I can speak.

 

When an ambulance arrived and my blood pressure was taken and blood tested, they found “nothing wrong”.  The same emt mentioned earlier – the horse’s ass – was there and asked me a couple of questions.  I nodded one answer and whispered the other answer.  I heard different voices mentioning the names of hospitals that I considered too distant.  If I was on the verge of a stroke, I wanted a doctor to see me as soon as possible – even if it had to be at Gwinnett Medical.  I looked up and whispered, “Gwinnett”.  I suppose, for that, you can say that whatever transpired thereafter was, indirectly, my fault.

 

En route to GMC, the paramedic said, “constricted pupils”.  I have no idea of what that could have indicated.  (Through later research, I learned some of the most common causes of constricted pupils [a/k/a/ miosis]: 1: drug use; 2: pontine [brain stem] hemorrhage; 3: pesiticide/nerve agent exposure.  At least that would explain why they ran a drug screen at the hospital even though I answered that I don’t use drugs or alcohol.  You can’t really trust someone who lives in their car, now can you.  But, hey, you’re paying the bill, so I shouldn’t let it bother me.)

 

(To be continued)

 

April 19, 2011

 

 

* * * * *

 

UPDATE

April 21, 2011

 

 

A Tribute To Lola – She’s 9 days old today.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGpR6R3a1D4

 

(The Naughty Lady of Shady Lane)

 

 

 

* * * * *

 

Affairs

 

I’d be really disappointed if I didn’t get to telling you the whole story – it’s really funny – in a pathetic sort of way.  But it seems I should start taking care of my affairs, as they say.  Oh, wait a minute.  I’m not having any affairs. 

 

My nickel is on pulmonary hypertension.  Place yer bets at the door, folks.

 

 

 

* * * * *

 

 

Continuation of:

BONUS CHAPTER

 

 

DO YOUR JOB

 

GWINNETT MEDICAL CENTER

Lawrenceville, Georgia

 

 

Get the popcorn!

 

First I’ll share something else I learned – only a month after the fact. 

 

http://health.learninginfo.org/hypoglycemia.htm

 

It is almost impossible to diagnose hypoglycemia by drawing blood after you suffer an attack of dizziness, weakness or fainting because your body produces adrenaline immediately and raises blood sugar levels to normal before your doctor can draw blood.

 

Without that knowledge, I was ignorant of the fact that my sugar drop at Wal-Mart could very well have played a role in my condition.  But, hey, I never said I’m a doctor.  I was a legal secretary until I couldn’t work anymore.  Thereafter, I did not become a doctor.  I became a non-legal-secretary.  However, I was never – and that doesn’t make me – an illegal secretary. 

 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011 (continued)

 

Emergency Room

 

There was yet one more thing I heard in the e.r. that bothered me, but I don’t yet know if I’ll write about it.

 

Interruption for a Definition of Terms:

 

Horse’s Ass:  In a hospital setting or doctor’s office, a doctor who has allegedly received expert training in the area of the physical body but who is incompetent and/or inept in applying said training.  (People such as these, as a result of not having a correct answer/diagnosis, rely on self-deification, arrogance, condescension and misdiagnoses [and sometimes drugs] to insure their bill is paid.)

 

Half-a-Horse’s Ass:  In a hospital setting or doctor’s office, any individual who holds a subordinate position to that of a medical doctor – e.g., nurse, physician’s assistant, etc. (I love, “etc.”.  Please see my book, Bonus Section, note from psychologist – yes, a horse’s ass.) – and qualified as follows:  Whereas the m.d. is held to be the expert and the consumer (rightly so) expects to receive expert services, subordinates – by virtue of Generational Authority (please see my book for an explanation) – who hold themselves to be almost as expert (deified, etc.) (thus, they are “pretend experts”) as the incompetent/inept m.d., but who are, in fact, incompetent and/or inept in their own right, are more accurately defined as “half-a-horse’s ass”.  (I hereby proclaim that the foregoing sentence is required reading for anyone – yes, anyone – who thinks they have the right to ever condescend to me – yes, especially Christians.)

 

 

Perhaps a full five minutes passed, and I realized the great passage of time without the triage nursing demanding to know why I wasn’t speaking above a whisper.  No, I’m not psychic – have just had enough experience with Gwinnett doctors and nurses – including those at GMC’s e.r.  I thanked her, “for not demanding to know why I’m not speaking louder.”  I was peacefully amazed at the great advances made at GMC.  With her lovely southern accent and genteel manner, she asked, “Yes, now that you mention it, I was wondering – if there’s nothing wrong with your throat – why can’t you speak louder?  I felt a brain freeze.  And then, then – Twilight Zone theme music played in the far reaches of my memory.  Can someone please tell me which box of candy sold in Georgia includes nursing certificates?  I’ll make this reeeeeeal simple:  asthma, emphysema, acute attack of something with extreme weakness. 

 

Dear triage nurse:  If you don’t understand it, honey, then either ask your 8-year-old brother to explain it to you (if you have one), or go back to school and get some real world knowledge.  You, dearie, are amongst the very ignorant nurses I’ve met in this state.  I’ll bet if there were an elephant sitting on my chest, you still wouldn’t have a clue as to why I might be having trouble breathing or speaking.  Do the state and humanity a favor and burn your nursing certificate.  You can always get another one from the same box of candy where you got the last one.  Oh, but thanks for helping me entertain my acquaintances – every time I tell someone what you said.  What else can I say but that you are half-a-horse’s ass.  In order to help you avoid making half-a-horse’s ass of yourself again in this particular regard, here’s a very simple page you can read –

http://emedia.leeward.hawaii.edu/hurley/Ling102web/mod3_speaking/3mod3.2_vocalorgans.htm  -

where it is explained at a see-spot-run level what other organs are used to produce speech.  And if/when you get over the shock of learning that more than the “throat” is involving in producing speech, and if you find yourself intellectually up to another great challenge, here’s a very nice page from Wik

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_voice.  Better put on a pot of coffee for that one.

 

 

Apparently, I’d have to be on my guard for not much having changed at GMC. 

 

Coming up – Big Bertha.

 

(To be continued)

 

 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011 (continued)

 

Emergency Room (continued)

 

Nothing like being asked senseless questions by a “nurse” when you are already struggling to simply breathe and answer required questions.  Perhaps it is part of a new mental competency test to determine how far they can provoke you with their ignorance before you react. 

 

She asked if I had any allergies.  I mentioned one.  The following is a paraphrase of what she asked next:  “And what happens when you are exposed to that allergen?”  I did answer her question, free of charge.  However, I ask the reader:  If triage nurse is any sort of half-an-expert in physical medicine, how come she didn’t already know the answer to that one?  And since she didn’t already know the answer, shouldn’t her question be deemed “research”?  Shouldn’t she then be paying me to answer the question? 

 

Let’s, indeed, raise another point, to wit:  If I admitted having any sort of issues going on in my head, am I really the right person to be asked any questions, about anything?

 

Ah!  Another interruption.  From a solitary experience with one person, I learned not to trust a diabetic whose sugar has dropped.  Some time ago, I asked what appeared to be an intoxicated woman if she was diabetic, and she slurred her answer, “No.”  At the risk of losing my heavenly reward for having done good but now publishing this event, it was I who insisted that an ambulance be called after other people spent approximately 20 minutes trying to phone relatives of the woman in order to find out if she had a medical problem.  When the paramedics arrived and tested her glucose, she was at 40.  It isn’t that diabetics are not trustworthy.  When their sugar drops, their brains apparently do not work properly; thus, whatever answers they provide are unreliable.  I, a non-legal-secretary (and I did happen to work in a New York City hospital many years ago), learned that from one experience.  Gee, imagine if I had some sort of medical training – or if I happened to find a nursing certificate in a box of candy. 

 

I am certain that I did not tell anyone in the e.r. (or anyone else) about the sugar drop at Wal-Mart – less than a half-hour before the paramedics got to me – because I thought that once my sugar was up, I was “okay”.  I have no recall of whether or not I told triage nurse about the events of the prior Thursday at the park, which brings us to:

 

“Half-a-horse’s ass #2 –or- It Must Be An Alien”

 

I thought I was dealing with an actual human being with common sense for each interaction I had with the er nurse (“the nurse”).  It wasn’t until I got a copy of the medical report for the e.r. visit when I realized that the nurse was, indeed, another half-a-horse’s ass.  Yes, they are easy to find in Gwinnett, and GMC is an especially good fishing spot for them.  Of course, she asked me questions about my physical condition.  This was obviously the person who would want to know about last Thursday’s way-out-of-range readings.  So I know I answered her questions and told her about the prior Thursday.  She was just so sweet and attentive.  It was okay with her that I stayed seated in the wheelchair in the area called a “room”, but which was simply a small area separated from adjoining “rooms” by a curtain. 

 

During our brief chat, I again threw in the “alien line” – “Maybe it’s an alien” - in an attempt to lighten whatever burden I was creating by relating to her my awful physical ills.  And why would I do such a thing?  Well, I could offer various possibilities, but there’s one reason for which I actually have legal documentation, so let’s go with that reason, especially since it reflects my real motives, in spite of what I might have been physically enduring.  I threw in the levity because I have – now brace yourself – “an odd, good-natured attitude”.  (Please see my book, the Bonus Section, psyche evaluation, p. 381.)

 

The nurse was so sweet – even attempted an i.v. in my forearm after I cringed at the thought of a needle going into my hand.  She couldn’t get a vein and eventually had to go into my hand, anyway.  She tried so hard, though.

 

The order of things in the next hour or two escapes me.  Perhaps it was after the nurse left when I realized I’d better try phoning some people I know to see if someone can pick me up when I’m finished in the e.r.  Little did I know (and you’d have to read my book to really appreciate this), I was about to meet Big Bertha.

 

(To be continued)

 

 

Update:  April 23, 2011:

 

“Half-a-horse’s ass #2 –or- It Must Be An Alien” (continued)

 

I was so overwhelmed by the nurse’s kindness and sincere concern for me that I mentioned I wrote a book.  I told her that if I ever get rich on it, she’s on the Hawaii list.  She couldn’t possibly know how refreshing she was and how grateful I was.  At least she didn’t ask why I wasn’t speaking in a normal tone of voice.  After triage nurse, though, I became convinced that I should withhold any details about the prior Sunday.  Let’s face it, if triage nurse doesn’t know (and needs me to explain) why a person with a good throat* is having trouble speaking in a normal tone of voice, do ya really think she’s capable of (1) listening to details of an entirely different day, and (2) integrating said details into the entire six-day saga, and (3) understanding any and all of it from a physiological perspective?  Nah, I wouldn’t think so.  (If she’s reading this, she’s probably still looking up some of the words I’ve used.)  Moreover, I was convinced that physical tests would reveal what was happening to my body, so I simply did not expound on what my brain was doing on Sunday before I took two aspirin, or on the cloudy or mushy sensations at the time. 

 

(* - I never said I have a good throat.  Did she assume I have a good throat without examining it?  I didn’t see her examine my throat or any other part of my body.  Did she use magic?)

 

Lab Report Excerpt:  I only now noticed something very strange, and we might seriously have to consider the statement I just made in jest about “magic”.  The report shows that I arrived at 13:55.  If that’s true, then how’d she take my blood pressure at 13:51?  Magic?  BP was 144/92.  I do believe they call that “elevated”.  (My normal is 120/80.)  Pulse was 81.  (My normal is 68-70 at rest.)  Temp was 97.4.  (My normal is 98.) 

 

Change of direction:

 

As I stated on this page, I’ve had some trouble with my brain since March 10th – precipitated by physical problems that were physically measured by government (County) employees.  I have detailed those issues, including those that can and might (and by some people will) be classified as “psychological” – even though I knew there to be a physiological cause or causes.  In view of what I have revealed, what are the chances that I would lie about the facts?  For the instances concerning which I was unable to recall something, I said so.  Up to this moment in time, I was not going to publish that portion of dialogue of the horse’s ass emt.  That’s because I have a very high degree of respect for the majority of paramedics and others who were out on me since March 10th.  In no way should the statements of one horse’s ass reflect on the characters, professionalism or integrity of the majority.  Human nature being what it is, people might stereotype; and I did not want to write anything that would encourage any reader to hold a lesser degree of regard for Gwinnett emergency personnel.  I ask you not to make that error.  However, I changed my mind (yes, LPSes do that) about withholding said information because I erred in my initial reading of the lab report.  I thought it was the e.r. nurse who wrote a particular “Note”, but it was, instead, an emt (I’m only guessing it was the horse’s ass and not the other fellow) who told triage nurse, and she wrote:

 

“Note:  PT to triage per GCEMS, lives in car in parking lot, transported from there.  Says having trouble making decisions, brain not working right, brain trying to close her eyes, ‘its got too much for me’, says look at cup and does not see cup.  Says legs swelling, hard to talk so she whispers.  Hyperverbal.  feels weak.  Called EMS last tues for low BG, was reportedly 44mg/dl per pt.  Pt not diabetic.  SAys has funny feeling in back of head, not really pain but head not ‘connected’.”

 

For the lies (including typos) in that statement, I now have no reservation about revealing things said about me by a horse’s ass.  It’s one thing to voice an erroneous and ignorant opinion about me (whether it be to my face or not).  Quite another thing when you lie about what I said – especially if said lie is made part of a permanent legal record.  Of course, one can easily understand where this guy was coming from by looking at the Ambulance Record, where it is noted:

 

“…patient lived out of a vehicle….  Patients living conditions were extremely harsh.  Therefore patient was referred to Social Services at GMC-L.”

 

That was the statement offered by the horse’s ass in the e.r. before they left.  He said, “She lives in her car.  She needs social services.”  He’s the fellow who was out on Sunday with the paramedic who did most of the talking.  On Sunday, a minute or so after I mentioned my high waking pulse that occurred for several weeks, the paramedic was about to prick my finger for a blood sample.  The horse’s ass smiled and said in a patronizing way, “Oh, look, her pulse jumped when you said you were going to stick her finger!”  Gee, that must mean I was hysterical for those several weeks (or months) when I observed my high waking pulse.  After all, I’m female, and we females are all hysterical, aren’t we.  I reckon I was also hysterical when I felt my chest pounding with the high pulse.  I was so hysterical, in fact, that no one knew about the high pulse until I casually mentioned it to some Arby’s buddies a few weeks later.  Indeed, I was so hysterical each morning that I immediately poured my coffee and smoked my cigarettes – as usual.  Or maybe I just made up the whole thing – simply pretended that my waking pulse was 30 – 40+ points too high – just so I can wait until March 13th and tell emergency workers about it.  Oh - while I was terrified of what was physically happening to my brain.  Trust me, I can write a lot about that one statement.  (If anyone would like to approach my vehicle – after I wake up – and see what my waking pulse is, you are welcomed.)

 

I get it.  I live in my car.  No, no, no.  I don’t, “lived”, nor do I, “lived out of a vehicle”.  I live in the vehicle.  But that’s only when I’m not living elsewhere, like at a community center, or the grocery store....  And I guess you can say that I’m living in the vehicle when I am driving it.  Sometimes I also live on the pavement – when I’m walking.  I almost always am living in my car when my neck is out.  That’s when you’ll see me staring at, perhaps, a brick wall for three hours.  It isn’t that I can’t think of something more interesting to stare at; but when my neck is out, it’s usually excruciating to turn my head in any direction by even a fraction of an inch.  It’s obvious – homeful people like the horse’s ass emt think it is possible to evaluate anything about me just by knowing that I live in my vehicle. 

 

And there you have it:  I live in my car and am an hysterical female.  Did he really need to know anything else about me?  (I will later expound on another NEW RULE, to wit, the one that details who is not allowed to offer me their psyche assessment – of me or anyone else.)  On Sunday I also mentioned that I wrote a book, but the horse’s ass never mentioned that, did he.  I wonder if he knows I have a web page.  Sadly, I’ll bet he doesn’t even remember that I have pretty blue eyes.  Then again, I don’t think he ever got close enough to see them.  So he brought with him on Wednesday his male chauvinistic attitude and had already formed an opinion of me the prior Sunday – based on knowing nothing about me save for the details I provided about what I perceived to be a physical problem that was causing brain (including visual) problems.  When you’re dealing with a male chauvinist emt who is also a horse’s ass, the best thing is not to give any details about anything; he’ll only use your words as ammunition against you.

 

Social Services?  I’m still not sure of what the implication is.  I’m waiting for a definition. 

 

I wouldn’t have said, “brain trying to close eyes”.  The best way I’ve figured out how to explain the various physical symptoms is:  There was the pain coming up my neck into my head.  There was also pressure in my head.  There was pain/pressure on top of my eyes.  It seemed as if the pressure in my head was causing the pain over my eyes – although I simultaneously felt a physical disconnect between the pain/pressure in my head and pain over my eyes.  I suppose with more medical training – oh, that’s right, I’ve had none – but I could probably study more and find the exact right medical terminology to describe cause and effect in this regard.  It might even be most accurate to suggest that it was/is my brain trying to close my eyes.  Doesn’t everything begin and end with the brain?  Yes, I take offense when people take my descriptions of physical events and either (1) lie about what I said; and/or (2) make it sound as if I am illiterate in their attempt to recall what I said.

 

I would never say, “its got too much for me”.  Even if I wrote that I said it, I would use proper punctuation.  But I didn’t say it.  I might have said, “It’s gotten too much for me”, though I’m not positive I even used those words. 

 

Re:  “says look at cup and does not see cup”

I never said it.  I never said it.  I never said it.

That was my reaction when I first read the report.  You lied.  In fact, the very wording of that sentence is ambiguous.  How can a person who is looking at something not see it?  I explained to the doctor, as I probably explained to the e.r. nurse, that there seemed to be a delay in my brain receiving visual images.  For a few days, it happened steadily as I drove.  My eyes saw what needed to be seen on the road, but maybe a fraction of a second later, I was very conscious that it seemed my brain was just receiving the visual image.  I have no idea of how else to explain such a strange experience.  I also wrote (above) what occurred in a portion of my brain.  I will interject now that it wasn’t until maybe another week after the e.r. visit when the word “disoriented” came to me.  I never tried to fit my symptoms into a disease, and that’s why I did not, that Sunday, think I was heading for a stroke.  I was working very hard to understand what was physically happening to my brain.  Perhaps the horse’s ass emt expert can and should write a paper and describe exactly what occurs in an individual’s thought processes when they are having (or heading for) a stroke – uh, based on a 100-patient case study.  Go ahead and google it; see if you can find such descriptions.  It’s one thing that a horse’s ass emt cannot diagnose a medical condition – but this clown was so busy hearing angelic choirs and so filled with himself as an emt (albeit a horse’s ass emt) that he thought he was deified enough to be able to lie about the words that came out of my mouth.  I repeat:  You lied.  Because I never said those words.

 

 

“Hyperverbal.“

 

Huh?  While it is true that I spoke rapidly that Sunday (was it as of the prior Thursday?), it seemed relevant, to my mind, to get out the facts (on Wednesday) that a medical expert would want to know – and to do so as quickly as possible.  If the implication is that I spoke faster than I normally do, I have no problem with the observation.  It was true.  But, you see, I’ve heard this before – years ago.  And I have a real problem with “experts” asking me questions and not having the patience to listen to my answers.  Take the mind expert (see my book, “Good News For Lazy, Psychotic Sinners”) who was later than I was to the appointment, he was hungry – such that he took some of my testing time to eat his lunch, and he was obviously irritable – maybe from being hungry.  He’d ask me a question just as soon as I took a bite of food, which forced me to swallow unmasticated food; and then when I started answering the question (without food in my mouth), he waved his hand at me to eat my food.  The sob never even gave me two points for my politeness in not talking with food in my mouth.  So, you see, there’s a little bit of history for me behind that word.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, “Stop asking me so many questions, and I’ll stop being so hyperverbal.”  Of course, with all the interruptions, along with being 31 years behind myself, I actually have found the rapid speech (which has slowed down, by the way) to be rather helpful.  Put me farther behind myself and put more burdens on me, and guess what?  I will have a lot more to say.  No one ever told me that I’ll be given extra time in which to say all of the extra things I am now being required to say and/or write.  Of course, when one thinks one is on the verge of a stroke, it seems a good idea to say as much as you can – perhaps before you become paralyzed and are unable to ever speak again.  Other people noticed it, too, when I mentioned it – that in that period of time, I spoke about two or three times as fast as I normally do.  It lasted until about a week after the e.r. visit.  It was exhausting.  But I think it made me sound smarter than I am. 

 

 

“Called EMS last tues for low BG, was reportedly 44mg/dl per pt.  Pt not diabetic.” ***

 

Last Tuesday?  I did?  I called last Tuesday?  Check your records, buddy.  It was a Gwinnett County Police Officer who summoned an ambulance.  And it was not Tuesday but, rather, the prior Thursday.  Or do y’all not know that “Tuesday” and “Thursday” have different spellings?  Oh, you meant “the other Tuesday”, right?  The one after Wednesday of last week.  Yes, I answered the paramedics that Thursday that I have never been diagnosed to be diabetic.  They asked two or three times.  I gave the same answer each time.  Why was it “reportedly” 44?  Are facts not facts anymore just because I repeated what was told to me – because the information came from me?  Then look at the records and view the facts with your own eyes.  You can’t?  Why not?  What is the value of keeping records if you cannot view them?  In the same vein of “reportedly”, why wasn’t it instead noted that I am “reportedly” not diabetic?  And “reportedly” lives in car?  (Maybe I’m really a millionaire with a mansion in Beverly Hills, and I’m doing research on homelessness.)  And “reportedly” having trouble making decisions? 

[*** - This paragraph was modified May 31, 2011.]

 

 

SAys has funny feeling in back of head, not really pain but head not ‘connected’.”

 

No, I never said to them that it was a funny feeling.  When I recognized the horse’s ass emt on Wednesday, I was on the gurney outside Arby’s.  My eyes were squinted, but I saw and recognized him.  I knew he’d be delighted to receive more ammunition against me when he smugly and slowly asked, “So-oo, do you still want to go to the hospital?”  That was after their exhaustive tests (including the glucose test) determined that I was in perfect health.  I nodded.  He kept smiling and asked, “And what reason would we give for taking you there?”  I whispered, “The pain in my head.”  If I mentioned any “disconnect”, it was as I described above – that I sensed that the pain/pressure coming from my neck, though it felt disconnected from the eye pain, was causing the eye pain.  I just want to be sure the reader doesn’t construe something like, “Oh, did she say her head was disconnected from her body?”  I did not describe the cloudy sensation or the “mush”.  I could not then, nor could I now, imagine what he would have done with that.  By now, I am almost at total peace about whatever might still happen.  Sure, when your oxygen drops (and whatever else physically happened to me that Thursday), it’s easy to go with the “drifting off” that your brain is automatically doing.  It’s different when you’re fully conscious (even if you live in your car).  Maybe I’ll be at 100% when I finally get that notary public.  For sure, however, I hope to never again see that horse’s ass emt – especially if it’s the last thing I’ll be seeing on earth. 

 

To the horse’s ass emt:  If you are reading this:  You owe me an apology.  If it is not sincere, I’ll know it.  I am very perceptive.  You also owe your fellow emergency workers an apology.  For what you have accomplished, your fellow workers – who went above and beyond the call of duty for my benefit - had to listen to me vent about your nonsense, which they did gracefully.  Think of it, pal:  When you are at work, I am not attempting to rob your premises.  That’s because I have high standards of behavior.  And I also have a little class; but now I’ll say – probably more than you.  After you make up the Certificate of Appreciation for me, for being a good citizen in spite of my harsh living conditions (although some of the harshest moments are when I have to deal with people with attitudes such as yours), and for not burglarizing your premises (because I’m an Executive Baglady who does not break the law), you know where to deliver it.  Trust me, if another ambulance is ever called for me (which I would never again do), I will refuse treatment.  While my dignity does not come from you, I never again need my dignity attacked by a horse’s ass – emt or not. 

 

To the majority of paramedics, emt’s, firemen who came out for my benefit:  I hope you can understand my perspective.  At a time when I was terrified of what would happen to my body for each second that passed, I was toyed with – by someone who I was supposed to automatically trust as a “helper”.  It just makes me put up my guard – even though the rest of you do not deserve it.  For those of you who added oil to my car:  Thank you, again.  (The motor mounts – something or other, so the motor was resting on the oil filter and punched a hole in it.  B & B Car Care in Dacula fixed it for me – no charge.  God bless those people!)  I finally called the Buford Health Clinic – about a month after you were out on me.  I inquired about testing strips:  the nurse expressed annoyance that everyone dumps on her.  That’s why I didn’t rush to make that phone call – just more nonsense.  If I survive and get rich on my book, you’re all invited to the doo wop show that I’ll present to my fellow citizens. 

 

(To be continued)

 

 

 

Update:  April 27, 2011:

 

“Half-a-horse’s ass #2 –or- It Must Be An Alien” (continued)

 

In my haste, I failed to notice that while the record shows that I arrived at 13:55 (which probably means that I didn’t eat until after 12 noon, possibly as late at 1 p.m.*), page 2 of the assessment sheet shows that I was questioned at the e.r. as early as 13:45 – a full 10 minutes before I arrived.  Egads!  Could it be?  Did they actually document an out-of-body experience?  And they didn’t even know it?  Hardly do I suspect they’re so efficient to be able to test me prior to my arrival.  (*When I find the receipt for the oil I purchased, I can determine the approximate time I ate.)

 

At least it’s a little clearer how and why perceptions of the e.r. people would have been colored in favor of my being a psyche case.  That’s what I call real science.  (Now, no offense to the paramedics who did their jobs.  Unless and until I learn that I was wrong about all of the nonsense coming from the horse’s ass emt, I am attributing it all to him.  I also do not expect competent paramedics to have either psychic abilities or the expertise of a brain surgeon – to be able to know, for a fact, whether or not my sugar dropped prior to your call on me.)  Apparently, though, the horse’s ass (whose male-chauvinistic/horse’s ass opinion of me was formed the prior Sunday) influenced how the e.r. folks would perceive me.  And the e.r. folks depended on the statement of a horse’s ass when they decided how to approach me.  Yup, yup – real science. 

 

Here I’ll point out that no one thought I appeared “distressed”.  Or, perhaps, I appeared “mildly” distressed.  (In the future, I will create and provide an official “distressed” scale for my fellow citizens, just for everyday use – free of charge.)  Everyone was wrong in their assessment on my level of distress.  You see, “mildly distressed”, to my mind, means that a spider is walking on my leg.  Arggh!  = Mild Distress.  Getting stung by a bee creates a higher level of stress than that.  Feeling like your brain is dying, having difficulty breathing, feeling faint…is at a much higher level on the distress scale.  Oh, I get it.  I didn’t “look” very distressed.  Therefore, I was not very distressed.  What does this remind me of?  The almost-daily, unsolicited comment, “But you look fine to me!” 

 

Why is “observation” sometimes meaningless (especially depending upon who is doing the observing)?  Someone (an emt) underestimated my weight by [cough, cough] pounds.  (In the matter of such underestimation:  If it was the horse’s ass emt, I hereby assign two points to you for making such error.  [The points are actually worthless and non-redeemable; it just shows what a good heart I have.]  If it was the other emt who made the error, you’re on the Hawaii list!])  (And, by the way, soon after the e.r. visit, yet another cop, Cpl. Jake, guessed my age at “about 40”.  Yippee!  You guessed it – Hawaii list.*)  What does this tell you?  I don’t look my weight, I don’t look my age, and I don’t look ill.  Therefore, all reasonable and intelligent people must conclude:  “You, Alice, are not your age, you are not your weight, you are not ill.”  (Be mindful that underestimating my age and/or weight is not meaningless.  Feel free to err on those issues any time of day.)  (* - Heh, heh.  What he didn’t know is that I figured he was younger than me because I thought he was in his mid- to late 30s – until I saw his grey hair.)

 

What the erroneous observation, indeed, proves is that I am not a drama queen.  In spite of the physical hell I often endure, which most people never see (Bryan M. [secret location] saw it a couple of nights ago*), I try my best to simply endure it.  I have a lot of fortitude and resilience.  And in spite of the fact that I believed I was on the verge of a stroke that day, and in spite of all the physical things I experienced that convinced me a stroke was imminent, I barely showed that I was uncomfortable.  Thank you, everyone, for proving that I am not a drama queen.  Yippee!  Now I have legal documentation for that, too.  (* - Bryan was so cute – like a kid brother.  I’d already gone about seven hours feeling like my head was going to explode from the pressure inside – and it wasn’t over yet.  He rushed over to me and asked if he could get me anything.  If you read my book, you already know the answer:  “A ticket to Hawaii.”  Then he asked, “Can I get you something to drink?”  Answer:  “A margarita.”  He said, “Aww, Alice, you’re too much for me.”  I know he was worried, and I felt badly for that.)  On the matter of drama:  If you want drama the next time, I can give it to you.  The fact is that I am boring – and slow.  If a medical crisis again occurs for me, you give me the signal (emt guy or e.r. personnel), and I’ll attempt some drama for you.  There is, however, one contingency:  If I do well, I want an award. 

 

 

 

Update:  April 28, 2011:

 

And in the tent over here, folks….  Peanuts!  Popcorn!  Enter only if you dare cast your eyes upon…

 

Big Bertha!

 

The nurse finished her initial chores with me and left.

 

I’ve no idea of how long I sat in the wheelchair behind the curtain when I finally picked up the phone.  I don’t know if I tried to phone anyone else, but I did phone my friend Susan.  Shortly into our chat, I asked her if she could pick me up when I was discharged.  She asked which hospital I was in.  I said, “Gwinnett Medical in Lawrenceville.”  She asked, “Which one?”  I answered, “In Lawrenceville.”  She’s not from the area and asked, “But which one in Lawrenceville?”  In my mind was, “I think they changed the name of Joan Glancy Hospital to Gwinnett Medical, which I thought was a really stupid idea, but that’s in Duluth.  So it would be simply, ‘The one in Lawrenceville’.  I would have to give her directions, too.  But it’s the one in Lawrenceville.”  It felt like an encyclopedia of words sat in my mind waiting to be said, but I couldn’t figure out how to say a single one of them.  I wondered if it was from being so exhausted and weak and from having difficulty speaking in a normal tone of voice, but, of course, really didn’t know why.  But, still, not one word came out.  It was confusing and frustrating.  I was unable to give voice to any of those words.  I held out the phone a bit and softly said, “Could someone please help me?”  Nothing.  Again, I softly asked, “Could someone please help me?”  Around the eighth time of asking the same question in the same tone of voice, I started crying.  At what might have been the tenth time, the curtain was jerked away from its closing point – and there stood, as wicked in appearance as I’d ever imagined she’d be - Big Bertha.  In living color!  A tall woman in blue.  I struggled to maintain my composure, to simply breathe, to simply hold myself up in the wheelchair.  I whispered, “Please”, as I held out the phone to her.  She roared!  “I’m not taking that phone!”  I whispered again, through the tears, “Please.”  She roared again!  “No, I’m not taking that phone from you and talking on it!  YOU talk on it yourself!”  Again, I asked, “Please.”  Finally, she took the phone, and I was just guessing that she, in fact, gave directions to Susan.  She put the phone down, and I thanked her.  How else can one describe such a creature but as Big Bertha?  (When I phoned the “patient rep” office the following week, I told them that that woman is a danger in what is supposed to be a helping environment, and that if she loses her job and ever goes to work in a nursing home, I could guarantee she would abuse the elderly patients.) 

 

I didn’t know what happened to my brain prior to the e.r. or how much the other physical stresses (difficulty breathing, maybe a sugar problem, maybe a blood pressure problem…) played in my inability to speak.  I can assure you that for whatever difficulties I had prior to the entrance of Big Bertha, such difficulties were most certainly exacerbated by Big Bertha’s savage behavior.  Perhaps they should rename it the “trauma” room – where if you didn’t come in with trauma, you’ll certainly leave with one.

 

Does she think she’s in an asylum circa 1940?  Did she have any idea that she was in a hospital in 2011 – being paid to help people?  Did no other staff member hear her shouting?  Over the next hour or two, I asked a couple of people for her name.  No one knew it.  Was she an invader?  She just happened to invade the e.r. at the very moment I called out?  How come no one knew her name?  You’re running an e.r., and you don’t know the names of the employees?

 

 

“Half-a-horse’s ass #2 –or- It Must Be An Alien”

 

All I wanted to do was leave.  How would I do that?  It was physically impossible.  And if I had a stroke, they’d just bring me back.  I was in prison – and didn’t even break a law.  I tried to occupy myself – if only to direct my thoughts away from a triage nurse who doesn’t know that more than the throat is needed to produce speech and away from Big Bertha.  I took out the netbook.  I could still barely hold myself up and couldn’t hold a thought in my mind.  I shut down the netbook.  Took out my gameboy.  I was too weak and exhausted to hold it up.  Shut it down.

 

Of course, I could have no way of knowing what was behind the nurse’s smiling face.  Excerpts from her notes at 16:03:

 

“***  Pt also c/o pain to the back of her head, states she had this pain several years ago, and now the pain has returned.”

 

What happened to the part I explained that connects the pain to a physical medical crisis?  I was clear – and tell the story the exact same way regardless of who I tell it to:  that the only time I ever experienced that creepy pain up my neck/into my head was in ’08 when my oxygen dropped.  I told her about the events of the prior Thursday – that it was the second and only other time I experienced that specific pain.  Why didn’t she note the events of Thursday?  Why didn’t she simply write what I said?  Without giving any clue in the notes about what occurred Thursday, I guess a person would be justified in concluding, “Oh, that mysterious pain is back.  Sure is strange how – for no apparent reason – she just gets that mysterious pain every few years.” 

 

 

“…but states she has been having other symptoms that she thinks might be related, like squinting of the eyes, pt. denies visual disturbances.”

 

How could I deny having visual disturbances if I told her about the pressure over my eyes?  Yes, it’s a visual disturbance when the pain is so bad that my eyes are almost completely closed when I’m driving.  Do you want to be driving in back of me – or in an oncoming lane?  Did she not read the triage notes (including misinformation [a/k/a lies] offered by horse’s ass emt) – that I was looking at a cup but I didn’t see a cup?  Wouldn’t you classify that as a visual disturbance – if it weren’t a lie – if I actually said it?  Okay, there it is – at the end of that entry: 

 

“Pt also states she has been seeing things that are not there, but states she is aware that they are not there.” 

 

I never said it.  I never said it.  She either (1) repeated what triage nurse wrote and/or said to her; and/or (2) is incapable of comprehending the simple statements that I have already written here and said to her.  Yes, change the order of my words and add in your own choice of words – because you have no clue about what I am physically experiencing, and what you wrote will sound entirely different from what I said.  You lied.  Do you notice that my explanations do not change?  I’ll bet there is a medical expert out there (and I may have found one in California) who completely understands the physiology of my brain since Thursday, March 10th.  My friend Mary Lou (a retired nurse) is discussing the details with her other friend (a retired nurse of 30 years).  I’ll bet I get more reliable information from them – in e-mail – and in less time than the entire time wasted in the GMC e.r. – uh, the circus.  They weren’t even capable of accurately quoting me.  I never, ever said that I was seeing things that weren’t there.  You, e.r. nurse, should join triage nurse in a certificate-burning ceremony.  You are as much as a half-a-horse’s ass as she is.

 

 

“Pt states she has been living in her car for the last 3 years by choice.”

 

Can someone just shoot me?  I am going to address that lie only one more time.  I live in my car by choice because I like to eat.  In order to eat, I must pay for food, which I do pay for.  I also believe that phone service is essential; I pay for that.  No, I don’t get that free.  I pay my car insurance.  Ahah!  There ya go!  Why do I pay my car insurance?  It’s so the cops – even though some of them are friendly toward me – don’t haul me off to jail for not having insurance.  Why don’t I want that to happen?  Big Bertha, of course!  So I pay all of my bills and budget my income so that I can have bare basics in life – and maybe have twenty bucks left over at the end of the month. 

 

I made the mistake not long ago of telling someone my income.  Big mistake!  I trusted that person to have some level of reasoning.  No, she did not understand the computation:  Income –minus- bill payments = very little spending money (or no “spending money” if I’m spending $2 - $4 per diem on oil, or have to buy a new battery, or…).  Without even knowing what my bills are, she simply told me to take $100 off the top of my income for a “room”.  Hello-ooo!  There is not $100 left over in any given month.  Therefore, if I take that amount off the top, I will not have enough money for the rest of my bills.  Not only did she tell me what to do with the first $100 of my income, she then cheerfully reminded me that my car is wearing out.  Uh, yeah, a 1990 vehicle will do that.  Therefore, as she explained, I can “just” save up $500 toward another vehicle for when this one dies.  This is a person who I’ve respected and still want to respect.  I think of how many times I’ve told her (and other people) that I’m even unable to save for a new pair of eyeglasses.  (With this pair – since I got them in ’03, the optometrist insisted on making them stronger than what I needed.  So instead of being able to see anything up close as I was always able to do, I can see nothing up close – but I can look out and tell you the weather in Jersey.  I ask – do I really need to know the weather in Jersey?  [If you can’t, don’t or won’t recognize my sense of humor by now, feel free to move on to another site.])  [Look at that, the Executive Baglady even knows how to use brackets.]  So I’ve really wanted a new pair but simply haven’t been able to save toward them with all the car breakdowns and other emergencies.)  Instead of accepting that I meet my monthly financial obligations – without breaking the law (because I choose not to break the law), said woman not only got into my business, but she then treated me as if I am incompetent to manage my own budget.  (At age 19, I learned the Gamblers Anonymous budget and have used it since then.  During my 14 years as a legal secretary, I spent many hours balancing trusts and estates.  In the late ‘70s, I saved a company approximately $5,000 in one year with my budget expertise.)  I need no one treating me in that manner.  By now, I will confidently say – in light of the offenses directed at me – that it is really none of anyone’s damned business what I earn through disability income or what my bills are.  It is truly a shame that high-minded Christians believe they have an iota of a right to tell me what to do with my money – which, of course, they think they have the right to do because their hubby keeps them financially comfortable, and which they think they have the right to do because they attend a church building and engage in “official” or “valid” Christian activities.  Funny, that woman doesn’t even bother phoning me once a month – or quarterly – because she’s “busy”.  I think I wrote about that in my book – busy people – busy Christians - more than 20 years ago.  Makes me never want to ask anyone for “help” anymore.  Not in this lifetime.  In fact, sometimes busy people and their offenses make me want to get out of Dodge completely.  Honestly, how dare they.  How dare a person tell me that they’re illiterate but smarter than me – and more Christian than me.  How dare a person come off to me like a holy-roller Christian and refuse to find five measly minutes to visit me (uh, without being in my business and telling me what to do).  No, they don’t fool me; only themselves.  But certainly not the Lord.  Perhaps the reader can now better understand why I have no intention of attending a church building (even if I were physically capable of doing so) where the head-counter is one of the most revered members and where they apparently don’t teach Christians that Christ was not a respector of persons.  That’s how I know what you learn in your church building – by your arrogance.

 

If you cannot appreciate that the Lord does use me out here, in this situation, then please don’t even tell me that you’re a Christian – because you will only have impressed me as a lame follower of a group of people who measure everything by U.S. currency and American standards of comfort (e.g., the size of your roof).  How ironic that you think of me as the loser.  Take away my middle-class life, and I’m still a Christian.  I found out – with certainty – who I am.  Where would you be without your money?  Would you still know who you are, or would your identity be lost?  I submit you would endure a crushing identity crisis should you ever have to endure a fraction of the physical torment and “extremely harsh” living circumstances that I’ve endured – yes, a fraction thereof.

 

In fact, I believe you are lost in accurately assessing the worth of a human being because it is impossible for you to do so without attempting to use a monetary ruler as your guide.  Perhaps you lie to yourself, but on this matter, you cannot lie to me.  I am not the one living in a fool’s paradise – you are.  I see through your facades as quickly as a fly is drawn to sugar.  I hear your lies as you speak them.  Your fool’s paradise will not sustain you when your money is gone.  And if you actually think that I believe the nonsense that comes out of your mouth, please read the required sentence as shown above.  Without intending to be immodest, I probably have double your intellectual capacity, if not more.  (Required viewing for any individual with a mindset similar to that described above who wants to talk to me:  The Gods Must Be Crazy, 1981.)

 

No, homeful people do not say the things they say to me – and forget what I say – out of any sort of concern or “love” for me.  They say what they do out of ignorance and arrogance.  And they misquote me for the same reason.  Is it finally clear about my “choice” of where I’d rather live (vehicle vs. the slammer with Big Bertha next door)?  No, shelters do not accommodate the disabled.  (In my next book [Good News For Executive Bagladies], I will provide details of being treated like trash at a “homeless shelter” in Lawrenceville [1990] when all I asked for was a shower once a week.)  So, please, do not ever again use the word, “shelter”, when speaking to me.  I don’t have the time to waste.

 

“Big Bertha” is really just my way of explaining quickly to someone new I meet that I don’t burglarize anyone’s residence, or rob banks, or sell drugs, or sell arms to terrorists, or bilk stockholders.  Not only don’t I want to end up in the slammer next to or with Big Bertha, but I happen to respect the law.  More important than that, I am a Christian, and I don’t want to do anything to offend my Lord.  It’s kind of ironic – I respect the “law”, but I’m not under the “Law”.  When you’re as aware of His grace as I am, you don’t need to break the law. 

 

In fact, that woman is one of many who does not seem to understand or want to accept that the Lord does, indeed, use me out here.  (And here I go risking another heavenly reward.  I’ll be on the down escalator if I keep this up.)  Relating this story serves a secondary purpose of setting straight another lie.  Again, it was I who assertively told a staff member to get an ambulance when 20 minutes were again wasted trying to figure out if a particular woman had any medical problems.  (By the way, exactly how is “staff” at a community center supposed to discern an individual’s medical condition?)  When I realized something was wrong, I went over to that woman with my oximeter and tested her oxygen and pulse.  By now I cannot recall the numbers, but back then I knew I was worried about the readings I saw.  I asked her if she was alright, but she was unable to speak clearly.  Someone else wanted to drive the woman to a hospital, which I thought was foolish.  What if they got stuck in traffic?  That’s when I first said that an ambulance should be called.  It wasn’t done.  After a few more minutes, I simply insisted that someone call an ambulance.  Then I went out for a cigarette; when I re-entered the building, someone told me that the paramedics didn’t even waste time testing her – they already knew she was having a stroke.  That’s the truth of what happened.  Go figure – the Executive Baglady of Georgia had the most common sense out of all the people present.

 

Funny – the woman who was going to drive the stroke victim to a hospital just recently told me that she, “took her to the hospital”.  I calmly replied, “No you didn’t.  I told staff to call an ambulance, and the paramedics took her to the hospital in an ambulance.”  She said, “Oh, but I rode with her.”  I didn’t have the heart to remind her of her silly actions that day.

 

The same woman who makes silly decisions also took the opportunity to tell me to quit smoking – that she’s telling me because she loves me.  I wonder if she even knows my last name.  But, no, neither she nor anyone else makes such statements out of love for me or anyone else.  She made the statement because she views me as an easy target.  She has never asked if she could do anything for me – if she could, perhaps, come and sit with me when I am writhing in pain, staring at a brick wall.  Nor has she ever offered to do any simple things to make my life a bit easier.  Homeful people view “the homeless” as targets.  Non-smokers view smokers as targets.  I wonder:  Does she tell her obese friends to immediately do something about their obesity since obesity can lead to cancer?  I’ll bet not.  See:  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1215850/Being-overweight-leading-cause-cancer-women-say-scientists.html and http://articles.nydailynews.com/2009-09-24/entertainment/17932457_1_colorectal-cancer-common-cancers-cancer-deaths.  Let’s take something less emotionally charged.  Has she contacted all of her acquaintances and insisted that they get their houses tested for radon?  Why not?  It causes thousands of deaths a year!  http://www.epa.gov/radon/pubs/citguide.html.

 

Some people expect me to grovel.  I never did, and I never will.  I am a law-abiding citizen, and I am a Christian.  To those of you who might attempt to take a condescending attitude toward me, I will quote a once-revered pastor who said these words to me – I now say to you:  You have nothing to offer me.

 

Please, homeful people, quit lying about my words and/or actions. 

 

And, by the way, I saved the hostas last year, too.

 

Is there anyone left who does not understand why I am living in my car?  If you don’t understand it by now, you probably never will.  But if you again misquote me and your audience happens upon my web page, they will quickly realize that you lied.

 

 

[Tell me you don’t love my discursive talent.]

 

 

 

“Pt states she the police were called on her last Sunday…”

 

Um, was that a grammatically correct sentence?  Did it make any sense to you?  No, I’m not the police (“she the police”).  Even if I were young and healthy, you couldn’t pay me enough to do that job.  I guess, however, that I did mention having problems on Sunday.  But I know I was being very cautious about the details I offered.  By Wednesday, I was probably getting closer to suspecting a stroke.  Lights and colors - both in a certain part of my brain and also hurting my eyes.  Aren’t we talking electrical activity?  (Get me an electrician!)  Yes, the police were called, but (as I would have said) I am the one who called them.  I was being a good citizen – both to me and you.  The police were not called on me; that would certainly give any reader of that entry the impression that they should be cautious in approaching me, eh?

 

 

This is cute:  For each entry the nurse made about me or my condition, the entry is titled, “Reassessment”.  By 16:16, I was in the e.r. 2-1/2 hours.  I’m no spring chicken.  That alone – without knowing my long-term internal problems – should tell a normal citizen (not even a medical half-an-expert) that I would probably have used the restroom by then.  In fact, I did just prior to the nurse’s Reassessment:

 

 

16:16  Note: pt aware of need for urine specimen, states she went just prior to me asking.

 

Shouldn’t that have been more accurately titled, “Self Assessment”?  She really should have noted:  “I am half-a-horse’s ass because I totally forgot to ask this middle-aged woman to provide a urine sample.  I only remembered to ask after she went.  Aw, shucks.  Oh, well, better luck next time.  But I screwed up again.  Now let’s see how I’ll word this in the legal document.”

 

 

By 16:23 (4:16 p.m.), my friend Susan arrived, and the nurse noted:

 

pt now has visitor at bedside, pt now states ‘I think it might be an alien in there’ and points to the back of her head.  pt states ‘Officer [B] was willing to get the tin foil’”

 

Is that gal plain out of her mind?  Let’s see, SHE forgot to ask me to provide a urine specimen.  When I was finally able to provide said specimen and made my way to the disgusting restroom, I could find no “prep” instructions.  Be mindful that I am the one who was perceived as a psyche case – behind smiling faces.  Yet the individual behind the smiling face could not even do her job.  When I exited the restroom and found her, she said something like, “Oh, yes, the instructions came down somehow, and we didn’t get a chance to put up new instructions.”  (Am I the only one who asked for instructions?  Were specimens of all other patients contaminated in some way for lack of posted instructions?)  I don’t know what it would take for an incompetent person to type up such instructions….  Let’s make it easier and calculate that such instructions could be handwritten in less than two minutes.  Grab the scotch tape dispenser, go and tape the instructions to the wall.  On the outside, such instructions could have been posted in three minutes – by me.  I don’t know how long it would take an incompetent person to do the same thing – perhaps a half hour?  (Please see my book – page 378, wherein a psychologist explains how overwhelmed he is, and that his secretary had to drop work in order to do work; and my analysis of his statements, page 379, wherein I question the competence of a psychologist and his secretary who perceive licking a stamp to be “work”.  Sounds like the same approach/same mindset, “Aw, gee, I would have to drop my work in order to do my work.”)

 

Okay, so she (1) forgot to ask for the specimen in a timely manner, (2) fudged the notes about her forgetfulness, (3) knows that there are no prep instructions for providing such specimen, and (4) made no attempt to either (a) re-post said instructions, or (b) orally advise me of said instructions.  However, she had the emotional and intellectual capacity (or lack thereof) to take a statement made purely in jest, focus on that statement and then actually take valuable time to write/type that statement on a legal document (while failing to note that, indeed, I spoke in jest). 

 

Uh, what about Officer [B]?  Is no one concerned about her?  Doesn’t anyone want to report to her Captain that she was willing to get tin foil in order to protect me from “an alien”?  Why not?  Oh, and what about that other officer – the one who said he was, “just carpooling”?  Is that legal use of a patrol car?  Ohhh!  I get it now – they were just joking – speaking in jest.

 

Official notice to the nurse:  When I saw your notes, you immediately came off the Hawaii list.  You are nothing more than half-a-horse’s ass.  To think I believed your smiling face was sincere.  I might be stupid sometimes, but I was never incompetent in attorneys’ offices (or a hospital*) to the extent that you proved yourself to be.  Clue:  If you actually focus on simply doing your job (physical medicine), you will have a better chance of succeeding at what you do.  Get your mind off self-deification and get rid of your superiority complex.  You are apparently so deprived in social and critical thinking skills that you couldn’t figure out in all the hours I was there that I spoke in jest.  Go out and have a couple of beers, lighten up and listen to the crowd.  You will discover that people speak in jest all the time out in the real world.  (Just make sure that someone else drives you home.)  When you’re home and sober, tune in to The Colbert Report.  In fact, click right here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Tnq4TJYN7A  and watch that segment.  At approximately the 49-second mark, Stephen Colbert says, “Yeah, that’ll scare the aliens.”  He was joking – speaking in jest.  Do you get it now?  (Should you discover that you actually know how to laugh and enjoy doing so [perhaps triage nurse has even learned what organs of the human body are used to create laughter], you might also try watching The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.  Perhaps viewing those comedians will finally bring you one tiny step closer to being more fully human.)  [* - Before you were even an embryo – early ‘70s perhaps, I came into possession of a letter of praise/recommendation from the Chief of the Renal Ward, Metropolitan Hospital, New York City.  That’s where I had the opportunity to work for and date totally competent doctors.  Unlike you, I am not in awe of them.  Therefore, I was competent in my work.  Unless and until you dismiss the angelic choirs you apparently hear that surround yourself and your co-workers, you will never become competent – not even in re-posting instructions related to urine specimens.]

 

[Wait a minute.  Nurses and doctors are amongst the greatest drug abusers.  Could it be….  Nah, I won’t go there.]

 

And guess what else happened after I read your half-assed notes.  I temporarily lost my odd, good-natured attitude.  Little witches like yourself, with smiling faces, tend to have that effect on me.  You are a pretend half-an-expert who is incompetent.  And what plans do you think I made after reading about your deceitful nature and incompetence?  Did I plan on reaching for a sawed-off shotgun?  Nah.  I’m Executive Baglady of Georgia, and I’ve got something better – a keyboard and a web page.  I will immortalize your ignorance and incompetence by publishing this chapter in my next book.  I write this for the purpose of caveat emptorbuyer beware when you go to Gwinnett Medical Center.  My fellow citizens deserve a lot more competence than what you have to offer.

 

But thank you.  Thank you for providing evidence that my book is timeless – for your notes reveal that you acted like a clown at a circus rather than a competent, honest nurse who holds sincere respect for the patients in an e.r.  To prove yourself even half competent, all you minimally had to do was listen to the words that I spoke.  You couldn’t even do that. 

 

Why didn’t you write that I’m an author?  Did you not believe me?  Go ahead, google, “Executive Baglady”, and look at the book title that appears.  [Yes, Virginia, there really is a Hawaii list.]

 

(To be continued)

 

* * * * *

 

 

Update:  June 1, 2011:

 

 

A paragraph was modified in the April 23 update.  See ***.

 

 

I Confess

 

I confess – I made a mistake.  In my haste, I erred in that one cannot immortalize anyone’s qualities, such as ignorance and incompetence.  It would have been more accurate to say, “I will immortalize the stories of your ignorance and incompetence….”  Of course, in my next book, I can modify the previous update so it appears correctly and leave out this correction – else I’d be immortalizing the instance of my own error.

 

* *

 

I was so happy and relieved to see my friend Susan.  (We met, by the way, at the community center the day the woman was having a stroke.  Susan was the other person trying to get someone to call for an ambulance.)  She stayed a short while but had prior plans and needed to go.  She said she’d come back when I was discharged.  The registration person who stopped by earlier was passing by.  I caught her attention and asked her to listen to what Susan heard over the phone when Big Bertha shouted.  I simply wanted one person there to hear it from someone besides me (a witness).  Susan said, “It was deplorable.”  I had asked the registration person twice for the name of that woman.  She never got it for me.  I later asked another person; she didn’t know the woman’s name, either.  The nurse also entered the room when Susan was there, and in her presence, I told Susan what a wonderful nurse she was.  I was just a little disappointed that Susan’s expression told me that she didn’t share my opinion.  I thought, “Well, she wasn’t here to observe the nurse’s kindness; otherwise, she would readily agree.  And maybe she’s suspicious of the nurse on account of the shouting she heard over the phone.”  When I ran the “alien line” past Susan, she probably rolled her eyes at my statement.  Typically, she simply ignores my lines or jokes, especially when it’s a serious situation.  I see most situations as not being too serious for a little bit of humor, so I guess it’s fairly often that Susan ignores my jokes.  Okay, more often than not. 

 

* *

 

This link should be opened in a separate window – then press the “play” button.  The soundtrack most appropriately introduces the next section:

 

http://www.sounddogs.com/previews/59/mp3/697805_SOUNDDOGS__ch.mp3

 

Enter:  The Horse’s Ass

 

At 17:48 (5:48 p.m.), the doctor finally shows up.  Was it that long I waited?  That’s four (4) hours from the time I arrived.  Until I saw the lab report, I had no idea that I waited so long.  Am I that patient of a patient?  Of a person?  Four hours?  Obviously, I am.  It probably helped, though, that I was so exhausted.  I wonder who else would have waited that long without once having asked, “Where’s the doctor already!”  The main thing on my mind was that if I had a stroke or died, at least I was where they’d know what to do with my body if the latter occurred.

 

In spite of the hint (by virtue of triage nurse’s ignorance) that some things might not have changed at GMC, I did not expect the doctor to be a horse’s ass.  I’m like that with everyone.  I don’t stereotype – even if you’re homeful.  For each person I meet, I give them the benefit of being “normal” (which, of course, is a subjective term).  Whatever they prove themselves to be after they open their mouth, that’s how my opinion of them will be shaped.  In any event, I simply expected “normal” from the doctor.  I was really hoping for an immediate understanding of what I experienced, something like, “Oh, yes, such and such happened on Thursday, and since you had no treatment, the condition was exacerbated by such and such activity that you engaged in today [at the time, I thought it was my blood pressure from when I was rushing].  But you won’t die from it, and it can be easily treated.”  I, of course, would reply, “Yippee!” 

 

He opened the curtain and entered my space.  He introduced himself, said something brief and matter-of-factly, “Hello, Miss Doro, I’m Dr. [Horse’s Ass].  I checked your records, and, well, it’s the emphysema, but we’ll run some tests.”  I thought, “Holy crow!  Is it full-blown emphysema now?  Was that official notice?  Is that how they tell you?”  I figured he must be a pretty talented doctor if he was able to diagnose my condition without even seeing me first.  Then he added, “Well, let’s get to it because I’ve got to get out of here in a minute.”  Yikes!  A minute?  You mean, after I waited four hours for him, he was giving me exactly 60 seconds to describe Thursday’s sugar drop and blood pressure shooting up, the accompanying neck/head pain, the visual things I was experiencing since then, and the other odd physical sensations in my head – some or all of which were exacerbated today?  Well, I sure lucked out with being hyperverbal, so I figured I could manage it – give or take a few seconds.  It seemed strange, though – telling a physically stressed and debilitated patient, as you enter, that the patient has only 60 seconds to describe symptoms and submit to whatever physical exam is required.  And it was disappointing that he dropped the “borderline” part of “emphysema” and didn’t even forewarn me that he was about to do that.  “Well”, I thought, “I just pushed my luck on that [smoking] too far; but I simply couldn’t do the physical things that might have staved it off for a while.”

 

He wanted me to sit up on the bed.  It took me maybe fifteen to twenty seconds to move my belongings and accomplish that.  I was really moving as fast as I could.  The physical suffering I endured caused each physical and mental effort to be extremely difficult to approach.  He took the wheelchair and struggled to remove it from the cramped area.  He looked annoyed.

 

He proceeded with the physical exam, though I am not guaranteeing that I’m describing events in the order in which they occurred.  The details of the events are accurate and true; but without the lab report to guide me on the timing, I found it almost impossible to recall the order of most events that day after I exited the ladies’ room at Arby’s.  I remain shocked that I waited four hours for the horse’s ass to show up because the great passage of time simply did not register in my brain.  He asked what was going on in my head.  I started to explain that it first hit me the prior Thursday.  Before I could finish my sentence, that it occurred when my sugar dropped and b.p. shot up, he snapped at me.  “I don’t want to hear about last week.”  I tried to provide those two little details, but again he snapped, “I said I don’t want to hear about last week.  I only want to know about today!  Now, what happened today?” 

 

I almost saw defeat.  How would he possibly be able to diagnose my condition without knowing when the whole thing started?  I thought he said that he looked at the records.  Didn’t the nurse write down what I told her about last Thursday?  Wouldn’t that be part of the records?  As I wrote earlier, I thought I fixed the problem once I brought up my plummeting sugar level at Wal-Mart, so I didn’t mention it (if at that point in time I even remembered it happening).  But had he listened to the bare details I tried to provide, he – the purported expert of physical medicine – surely would have wondered about the possibilities:  “(1) maybe her sugar dropped again; (2) maybe her b.p. shot up again.  After all, she’s just a homeless person and probably doesn’t even know how to spell, much less have the capacity to realize what happened to her body last Thursday (lingering effects, exacerbations...).”  Of course, if I were a doctor, then I would know what other possibilities exist beyond what I’ve mentioned. 

 

So I explained the several unusual sensations in my head, including the neck pain that went up into my head.  He stated, “So you have a headache!”  To me, it wasn’t a headache – the thing that comes on rather subtly, sometimes builds up – can always be fixed with a half-dozen ibuprofen.  I said, “No, it’s a neck pain….”  He interrupted and almost laughed, “Then you have a headache!”  I became accustomed to attorneys who cussed and shouted many years ago, so I calmly said, “I guess we have to define our terms.”  He agreed, “Yes, let’s do that!  If you have a pain in your neck or your head, you have a headache.  Now, do you have a headache?”  Me:  “Yes.”  Of course, he wouldn’t let me explain that the first and only other time that particular headache occurred was when my oxygen dropped in ’08.  And that’s when my b.p. shot up also.  He asked what else was occurring in my head and with my vision.  I explained that there seemed to be a delay in my brain receiving images when I drove – as if there was a disconnect between my eyes and my brain.  He asked how I knew.  I described how it was almost steady that I’d be driving and see what I needed to see, but then a fraction of a second later, there’d be the visual image of what I just saw in a certain part of my brain.  It occurred repeatedly.  I answered that my condition worsens when I exert myself. 

 

In answer to another question about “other problems”, I explained that I have two badly-degenerated cervical discs.  He did not ask if I considered that to be the source of pain, even though I am an expert on whether or not that is the cause of my neck and/or head pain.  And I knew, for a fact, that was not the source of the neck/head pain – the pain that started the prior Thursday.  I answered that the onset of pain was sudden.  At the time of the exam, it felt dull and hollow.  By now (June), I’m not sure if I said anything about the foggy sensation, but I probably wouldn’t have said anything about the mushy feeling.  And with the harsh demeanor exhibited by the Horse’s Ass, I realized that this was not an appropriate time to throw in a little humor.  I limited what I said in that I only answered his questions and said, “thank you”, when appropriate.

 

He asked about any other problems.  The only reason I mentioned my left ankle giving out and it being “asleep” was because I wondered if it was from excessive sitting or from the beginning of diabetic neuropathy – since I still didn’t know factually whether or not I am diabetic.  He asked me to stand and walk toward the wall.  It was an automatic reflex when I stood up that I grabbed the rail on the bed.  He scolded me, “No, don’t hold on!”  I just nodded and tried again.  I was debilitated and didn’t know what my ankles were going to do, so I was afraid of falling.  I went slowly, which is all that I was physically capable of – and held my hand out in case I needed to grab on to something.  He scolded me again, “No, don’t hold on, and walk normally!”  I politely answered, “This is normal for me.  I had an injury to my right ankle, and I always have to be careful about how I step on it.  I can walk better with these sneakers….”  He interrupted again, “Wait a minute, wait a minute!  Now which foot did you say you have a problem with – the right or the left?”  I tried to explain that now it’s both.  I started with, “Well, the left one is asleep….”  He snapped, “Oh, so there’s nothing wrong with the right one.  It’s the left one.” 

 

I hope the reader can begin to understand why it has been so difficult for me to write about the encounter with the Horse’s Ass.  For the arrogance, overbearing attitudes, incompetence and insanity that I was subjected to and had to endure while in the e.r., I almost cried every time I tried to write more of this saga, but especially when it came to writing about the Horse’s Ass.  It was insult upon insult upon insult on top of injury. 

 

He asked how I knew my left foot was asleep (for just over a week). 

 

HA (Horse’s Ass):  You mean it's tingling.

Me:  No, it's asleep.

HA (whining and almost laughing):  Well, if it's not tingling, then it's not asleep.

Me:  No, it's asleep - it's numb.

HA (raising his voice):  If it's not tingling, then it's not asleep!

Me:  Maybe we should define our terms then.

HA (as if he’s the DA looking to convict a murderer):  Right!  If your foot is asleep, it's tingling!  If it's not tingling, then it's not asleep!  NOW!  Is it asleep?

Me (very calmly):  No.

 

What choice did I have in the face of that bully and his badgering but to agree to his definition of a “sleeping foot” and, therefore, agree that I did not have one.  Think of it, folks.  Isn't your foot really falling asleep or waking up when it's tingling?  Doesn't it really feel numb when it's actually asleep?  At some point he moved something along my foot and asked if I felt it.  I did.  I didn’t say the foot was dead: I said it was asleep.

 

But, there ya go.  Bring someone into the e.r. whose brain is not working up to capacity, and then have the alleged doctor muster up as much impatience as possible.  In fact, bring in a bully.  Bring in an overbearing Horse’s Ass.  Seems to me a good way to screw up the facts that need diagnosing.  Indeed, don't ask me questions, and I won't trouble you with my hyperverbal answers - answers which might possibly come in handy when you are attempting to diagnose a real physical problem.  What has become apparent is that “hyperverbal” to them means that if it takes more than two sentences to describe one thing, then you are hyperverbal. 

 

Before he left, he stepped behind me and secured the tie in the back of the gown.  For the level of hostility and arrogance he exhibited, I was shocked that he was actually considerate.  I wanted to thank him, but no words would come out.  I was simply drained.

 

He finally left.  It took every ounce of patience left in me to simply wait it out – wait for lab tests and the results.  Surely, for the physical things that happened to my body that day, a lab test would find something.  I wondered if he was the same e.r. horse’s ass from the early ‘90s.  That story is in the book, the time when I finally went to the e.r. but was confronted by an obnoxious horse’s ass, just like the one on March 16th, and I left without being treated.  I wondered, “It couldn’t be him, could it?”

 

I sat and thought, at least it’s good news that they apparently got rid of those goofy physician's assistants.  On my last visit 4-1/2 years ago, the two p.a.'s probably totaled six people who asked me the same questions.  Funny - both of them screwed up in their note taking, which notes I saw when I got a copy of my records.  The goofy gal:  Aside from outright errors of facts I stated, she badgered me to remember my parents' causes of death.  The goofy guy:  Amongst other errors, wrongly noted that I did not take any medication that day.  Nothing has changed.  They can’t listen, they can’t repeat what you said.  Whose idea was it to take a debilitated human being who is in need of medical help and subject them to answering the same questions six times – after which they still get the facts wrong?  I know I can safely say that not a whole lot has changed at GMC in the past 20 years.  A word to the wise:  bring some sort of protection if you go there. 

 

I will interject right now:  Gwinnett Medical Center:  If you want to pay me $100,000 for one year, I will gladly clean up the gross nonsense in your e.r.  Human beings really do deserve to be treated in a civilized manner.  The American consumer/taxpayer deserves to get their money’s worth.

 

I was sent for a CT Scan.  After I was brought back, I tried to get a decent drag on my electronic cigarette and simply rest.  I kept thinking about the “emphysema” diagnosis.  If what I experienced was from emphysema, then I probably didn’t have much time left.  On the outside, I figured a year - two at most.  I just didn’t know that it affected a person the way it was affecting me. 

 

(To be continued)

 

 

* * * * *

 

 

Update:  June 4, 2011

 

 

 

Girl’s Best Friend

 

Squirt:  December 1, 1986 – December 6, 2002

She lived 16 years 5 days.

I’ve never found a more loving or loyal friend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011 (continued)

 

Emergency Room (continued)

 

The nurse had returned some time after the Horse’s Ass “examined” me.  Very politely, I told her that he wasn’t listening to me.  She said, “Oh, but he’s a very good doctor.”  So my comment was futile. 

 

At 18:37 (6:37 pm):

Temp:  97.5

BP:  110/72 [sounds a lot better to me!]
Pulse:  75

 

Someone noted at 18:46 that I was sleeping.  Later, someone told me that I’d been sleeping, but it didn’t feel like I slept – not at all.  Yet, I saw a dinner tray beside me and asked, “How did that get there?”  My brain simply didn’t register that I slept.  I could have sworn that I was just lying there, awake the whole time.

 

At 19:33 (7:33 pm), according to the lab report, there was apparently a shift change, and a different nurse (nurse #3) was checking on me.  Yes, half-a-horse’s ass #3.  I honestly want to cry as I copy excerpts of her notes (typos included):

 

eventhough pt states she has an alien in her head & that her eyes  & brain do not connect.  Pt hyperverbal, no distress noted.  Pt stated she  feels better at this time.

 

Where did she get it from? 

 

1.  Did she repeat what nurse #2 said/wrote?  If that’s the case, it’s a matter of one half-a-horse’s ass getting their scientific data from another half-a-horse’s ass.  And she thought it was really important to write down on a legal document. 

 

2.  If she got it from me, it tells you:

(i) I really am boring.

(ii) I will re-use the same line for as much mileage as I can get out of it.  For those of you who’ve read my book, I’m still getting mileage out of the “Omni line” – 21 years later.

(iii) She misquoted because I would have said it the same way, “Maybe there’s an alien….”

(iv) There’s an entire subculture of them out there – no, not aliens, but nurses in Gwinnett – especially GMC – who – oh, you know it already – socially deprived and certainly lacking in critical thinking skills.  Right, none of them – in the seven (7) hours I was there – could establish in their own minds a more complete picture of who I am.  Why didn’t any of them write down how polite I was – in the face of all the nonsense dished out to me – in the face of Big Bertha?  What, exactly, is important to these people?

 

But please bear this in mind for what’s coming up. 

 

Between then (7:33 pm) and 20:56 (8:56 pm), the Horse’s Ass returned.  The lab report does not show that time.  He was quite cheerful when he told me that all the tests came back fine, and then he offered three things:

1. A referral to an internist (and gave me the referral).

2. A prescription for lortabs (which he gave me, but which I did not get filled).

 

His third offer was, “And I could give you a referral to a mental health clinic….”  I politely replied, “Thank you, but I know something physical is causing this.”  He left.  I was totally disgusted and positive I’d never return to that e.r.  I knew he didn’t do his job of finding whatever it was that needed to be found.  I phoned Susan, and she was already on her way back (all the way from Atlanta) to pick me up.

 

Nurse #3 came back at 20:56 (8:56 pm).  It seemed it was about ten minutes after the Horse’s Ass left, though I have no idea if my brain correctly registered the passage of time.  For all I know, it could have been two minutes or thirty minutes.  She checked my vitals for discharge purposes.  After she took my b.p., she casually said, “Oh, you have high blood pressure, huh.”  My brain was working very slowly, and she walked away before I could even think, “Huh?  High blood pressure?  I have high blood pressure?”  I looked at the screen and saw 160/97. 

 

As they wheeled me out of the e.r. at or about 21:08 (9:08 pm), I thought, “They’re so stupid that they don’t even know they found it – they found what’s doing this to me.”  I wanted nothing more than to get out of there.

 

Coming up:  “I’m A Miracle Child”

 

(To be continued.)

 

 

 

* * * * *

 

 

Update:  June 8, 2011

 

 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011 (continued)

 

Emergency Room (continued)

 

I forgot to include:  The fourth piece of advice offered by the Horse’s Ass was that if none of the other advice/referrals worked, I should get my eyes checked.  I get it.  “Let’s just go fishing.  And don’t help me – don’t give me any historical data – like from last week (‘the other Tuesday’ a/k/a Thursday).  I can review historical data – from 4-1/2 years ago, but whatever you want to tell me about last Thursday is meaningless.  So let’s just do a bunch of guesswork here.”

 

 

 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

 

The high feeling I had continued throughout the days into the following week.  I was late on returning Social Security documents, and I probably worked on them – or tried.

 

 

 

Friday, March 18, 2011

 

There was a health fair at the center.  Of course, I arrived at the last minute, when most booths were already closed.  I did, however, get my blood pressure checked.  It was slightly high.  Then I saw an ophthalmologist who was testing ocular pressure.  I went over, and he tested my eyes.  The normal range of eye pressure is 10 – 21.  He measured the pressure in my right eye as 21; the left eye – 22.  I calmly asked if I should be concerned about it.  He replied that I should take it seriously and get it checked. 

 

 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

 

When I woke up, I waited a few moments to feel and again start enduring the pain in my neck into my head.  I waited, and I waited.  Then I realized it wasn’t there anymore.  I could have cried from the relief of it.  Still had pressure in my head and the same strange sensations.  I think that’s the day I started signing in at the center as Willie Nelson.  I still felt high.

 

 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

 

No notes, no recall.  I probably went to the library.

 

 

 

Monday, March 21, 2011

 

With the Social Security documents I mailed in, I included a cover letter and mentioned the Horse’s Ass from the week before.  I wrote:  He “doesn’t even know what a ‘sleeping foot’ feels like.”  And, “Why couldn't they figure out something as common as high blood pressure?  That's Gwinnett Medical for you.  Should I have gone to a car mechanic instead?”

 

 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

 

I made my way over to Lawrenceville and picked up a copy of the lab report.  Except for a few bare details, I was still unable to talk or write about Sunday, the 13th.  It was as if my own brain traumatized me.  I still have trouble accepting what happened – that it was me.  It was almost two weeks after that day before I could verbalize several details at a time of my brain's excursion without feeling terror.  For the terror, confusion and sense of helplessness I felt that Sunday, I really didn't want to revisit its memory.  Even so, my mind worked against my fear to recall and try to gain an understanding of what happened.  It wasn’t enough to endure Sunday and the prior Thursday, but then there was the horse’s ass emt guy and the e.r. personnel to add to my burdens.  I swore I’d never go to another e.r. or accept help from emergency personnel.  It wasn’t worth the trauma and assault on my character.  I skimmed the lab report and couldn’t believe that they kept writing in the alien line.  The joke.  They couldn’t listen to a three-sentence explanation of something very serious, but they could write down a joke.  They couldn’t understand what I physically experienced – experts and half-experts of physical medicine, because they were so preoccupied with making it a psyche case.  And they couldn’t even accurately quote me on the details of the serious physical problems.  Experts.

 

(To be continued.)

 

 

 

* * * * *

 

 

Update:  June 16, 2011 (slightly modified June 17, 2011):

 

Of course, it took until March 26th for me to start this bonus chapter.  Yeah, I’m slow.  Along with the usual events of debilitating and/or simply gnawing pain that interfere with attempts to accomplish anything – oh, and living in a car, in which situation nothing is easy, even though I make it look easy, and along with the psychological residue of a horse’s ass emt (a/k/a “a helper”) and a smiling, trauma-inducing e.r. staff, I’m still not accustomed to the daily threat and fear of my glucose plummeting.  It plummeted a few more times since March.  Each time, my b.p. shoots up.  Each time, it’s physically and psychologically devastating.  Twice in May I tried to upload an update to this page, but it wouldn’t work.  After mentally walking through the steps I took, I figured out that each step was totally wrong.  Finally, I realized I’d forgotten how to do it.  Eventually I remembered the correct procedure.  Memory problems are amongst the plethora of symptoms of hypoglycemia, which is also known to mimic a heart attack, stroke and other physical illnesses. 

 

Apparently, though, the Horse’s Ass gave that no consideration when writing his report.  He had to have seen the nurses’ notes before he examined me.  They noted my blood pressure as 144/92 at 13:51 (Stage 1 Hypertension – unless the diastolic reading of 92 actually places it in Stage 2 [I don’t know]).  His report was dictated at 17:59, the addendum thereto at 20:35.  At 20:56 is when nurse #3 recorded the 160/97 reading (Stage 2 Hypertension).  Obviously, he also gave no consideration to the first reading when dictating this somewhat worthless report (some of which information was taken from the nurses’ notes):

 

HISTORY OF PRESENT ILLNESS:  The patient is a [cough cough] year-old lady who states she lives in a car in a parking lot.  She says that she feels like she is having trouble making her brain work.  She has a 6-day history of a mild headache that started in her neck where she frequently gets neck pain and it went up to the back of her head.  It has been continuous since that time and it is a little worse with exertion, but has never been severe.  She denies any head injury or fever.  She also states that for sometime now she has had the sensation in her left foot when she gets to sleep, but is not numb or tingling and she cannot explain what she means by feels like it is asleep.  She says it makes it hard for her to walk, she does not trust it, but it does not feel painful and there has been no injury. 

 

Kind of amazing how I happen to cough when trying to copy details accurately.  Why is my living situation relevant?  Why are these people averse to using commas?

 

She has a 6-day history of a mild headache that started in her neck where she frequently gets neck pain and it went up to the back of her head.  It has been continuous since that time and it is a little worse with exertion, but has never been severe.  She denies any head injury or fever. 

 

Wrong.  It was severe when it hit, the same as in ’08.  Where I frequently get neck pain?  I am an expert on when my neck is out.  After how many years of experiencing horrible pain from it, why would I suddenly go to an e.r. if it’s out again?  “Oh, gee, over 20 years of this horrendous pain; maybe next time I’ll go to the e.r. and see if they can figure out if I’m still right – that it’s the same instance as always of my neck going out.”  Six days.  Yup, that would bring it back to exactly the time when my sugar plummeted and b.p. skyrocketed.  That’s the problem with not listening.  The Horse’s Ass (according to his notes) read old records.  So why couldn’t he listen to the fact I tried to state to him, that the specific pain (about the thickness of the arm from a pair of wire eyeglasses) hit me with the physical trauma the prior Thursday?  I never ever said or suggested that the pain was from my neck being out.  I would have denied it vehemently if he made the suggestion in my presence.  But he did not ask if I thought that to be the source.  The pain was not “a little worse” with exertion.  I might have, referring to the effects of the pain and whatever else was happening in my brain, said, “It’s worse with exertion.”  Yes, I consider one’s brain going foggy and mushy to be much worse than my “normal” functioning – not “a little worse”.  (If there’s ever a recurrence of such an event, how ‘bout if I just not say anything to anyone and allow my physical condition to scare the crap out of my fellow citizens?  Oh, yeah, that did happen – May 4th.  See, I learned.  I learned from the emt horse’s ass and e.r. trauma folks that I’d much rather that pretend experts simply stay away from me.  I’ll tell you about May 4th later.)

 

She also states that for sometime now she has had the sensation in her left foot when she gets to sleep, but is not numb or tingling and she cannot explain what she means by feels like it is asleep.  She says it makes it hard for her to walk, she does not trust it, but it does not feel painful and there has been no injury. 

 

Let’s break it down a little.  First of all, “sometime” usually refers to the future, and it refers to an unspecified amount of time.  I told the Horse’s Ass that it was from about Monday of the prior week that my foot felt like it was asleep.  That would make it about ten (10) days since it felt that way.  Ten (10) days is a specific amount of time.

 

for sometime now she has had the sensation in her left foot when she gets to sleep

 

Does that make any sense?  What sensation?  The?  Perhaps a transcription error, because it would make sense if it was worded, “a sensation”.  I could understand (if one is not transcribing for accuracy/making sense of language) how one might hear (and type) a “th” sound after the word “had”, instead of “had a”.  When I get to sleep?  I never said it.  Why would I say that it was from Monday of the prior week – only when I get to sleep?  I simply did not say it. 

 

but is not numb or tingling and she cannot explain what she means by feels like it is asleep. 

 

I already described the dialogue with the Horse’s Ass.  Is that guy on drugs?  How could he have gone through that insane exchange with me, actually redefining a “sleeping foot”, and then turn around and dictate what he did?  I did, in fact, explain what it felt like – numb.  I see, he redefined it again – when he was dictating the notes.  As you can see, he includes “numb” as a possible sensation for a sleeping foot.

 

She says it makes it hard for her to walk, she does not trust it, but it does not feel painful and there has been no injury. 

 

I told him that my left ankle gave out earlier.  Some of these purported experts are so ignorant, they cannot understand the simplest of things.  My left foot felt like it was asleep (numb) since the prior week, Monday.  I kept walking on it, even though the condition of the foot made walking more difficult for me than usual.  That morning, as I again walked on it, I suddenly experienced excruciating pain in my left ankle.  Yes, excruciating ankle pain makes it almost impossible for most people to even continue walking.  But I’m an LPS/EB, and what choice did I have?  I modified how I stepped so as to avoid the excruciating pain.  If it weren’t painful, and had it not given out on me, why wouldn’t I trust it?  He could barely get the facts straight.  It was painful and gave out on me, so I did not trust it. 

 

PAST   MEDICAL HISTORY:  Emphysema, IBS, cervical DDD [degenerative disc disease].

 

He wrote at the bottom of that page, “Old records are reviewed.”  Did he get “emphysema” from the old records?  That would mean that the e.r. doctor (same hospital) in ’06 wrote, “emphysema”, although he told me, “borderline emphysema”.  Two or three months later, a pulmonologist told me, “borderline emphysema”.  What’s the truth?  Who is correct?  Every so often, since he walked in and said, “it’s the emphysema”, I’ll think to myself, “But it [my lungs] doesn’t feel any different than the asthma.” 

 

 

(To be continued.)

 

 

* * * * *

 

 

Update:  June 17, 2011:

 

[Note:  The previous update was slightly modified.]

 

 

[Excerpts from:]  PHYSICAL EXAMINATION:  Lungs clear, moving air well.

 

Sure, a good part of the time, no one would even suspect I have breathing problems.  It varies, depending upon my physical activity and how much I’m speaking.  If I’m inactive (sitting, resting), a person would think, and say, “You look fine to me!”  After walking from my car into the center, I’m usually gasping so much that some people want to call an ambulance.  After resting four (4) hours, waiting for the Horse’s Ass to show up, I was not winded.

 

Extremities are normal and nontender without edema.

 

He must have confused me with the other Executive Baglady of Geor….  Wait a second.  I’m the only EB of Georgia.  Me?  No edema?  All he had to do was lift the top edge of my sock to see it.  Swelling is edema.  In fact, I can tell you that I have pitting edema.  If something is pressed onto my skin from my knees down, you’ll see a dent form, and it will take a long time to return to normal.  Why couldn’t an expert see that?  I extend another invitation:  Anyone, any time, can ask to see the swelling.  Perfunctorily, it doesn’t go away.  And at no extra charge (still free), I can even create a dent for you.

 

 

Peripheral motor and sensory function is intact except for subjective sensation of abnormality in her left foot that she cannot describe; otherwise, peripheral motor and sensory function is intact.

 

I repeat – a Horse’s Ass.  [Yes, I am totally aware of when I use ad hominems.  Sometimes it simply saves me the time of repeating facts.  However, I assert that if the facts were presented in a court of law, the subject expert would, in fact, be proven to be a Horse’s Ass.]

 

 

Psychiatric:  The patient appears to have difficulty putting her thoughts together, but does not appear to be depressed, suicidal, or homicidal.

 

Uh, no, I wouldn’t call that a physical examination.  Correct:  I was having great difficulty putting my thoughts together.  That’s what happens when your sugar plummets and b.p. goes up.  And it’s even harder when you add to that my “extremely harsh” living conditions (24/7), and trauma induced by a horse’s ass emt guy and e.r. personnel, and subject me to an overbearing, arrogant Horse’s Ass who sets himself forth as a competent doctor of physical medicine.  I think I will no longer use the word “compassionate” when referring to the medical profession.  (Let’s see – he considers himself competent to evaluate my psyche but cannot lift the edge of my sock to see edema.)  [I beg you – learn the proper use of commas.  You’re tormenting me.]

 

 

but does not appear to be depressed, suicidal, or homicidal.

 

Heh, heh, heh.

 

 

DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSES:

1.      Headache, rule out intracranial pathology.

2.      Difficulty with her thinking, suspect psychiatric disorder.

3.      Rule out acute metabolic or infectious process.

 

I’m numb.  That’s what happens when you can’t cry anymore. 

 

 

The Addendum includes:

 

On recheck of the patient at 20:30, she is feeling better.

 

To some extent, I lied.  I really just wanted to get out of there.  After lying down, elevating my legs, for about three hours, the swelling went down for the first time in a long time.  I felt a little less exhausted.  I still had the pain over my eyes.  Still had the pain up my neck/into my head.  Still had the other “stuff” in my head.  No, no aliens.  It really was a joke.  Just stuff that’s hard to describe – pressure, small measures of pain that moved [was I feeling the blood moving or the effects of something having been damaged?]. 

 

 

DISCUSSION:  The etiology of this lady’s symptoms is unclear.  I offered her a mental health consult if she feels like her thinking is getting too disorganized but she declines and says she does not feel that is the case.

 

Of course (!) it’s going to be unclear if you are a Horse’s Ass pretending to give a damn about the human being in front of you.  Unclear?  Sugar drop, blood pressure up.  What is unclear about that?  I repeat, even if no one else but me (oh, and the guys who saw me trembling at Wal-Mart) knew about the sugar drop, the “historical” glucose-plummeting issue was only six days old for me.  A real medical expert would have considered it a possibility.  A real medical expert would wonder about the b.p. reading of 144/92. 

 

 

The addendum was dictated at 20:35, 21 minutes before the discharge nurse got my b.p. reading at 160/97.  And what did I do or attempt to do to make my b.p. spike like that?  Do you suspect that I tried to lift a car?  Or maybe I tried to jog around the e.r.  Nope.  I sat up.  But, of course, I was just in an e.r., where there are plenty of experts of physical medicine. 

 

 

Before I write another word, another note to GMC:  Throw in another $20,000, and I’ll teach your people how to use punctuation.

 

 

Just because it’s my web page (and chapter in my next book), I can and hereby do publish:

 

NEGATIVE results for:

 

Amphetamine Class

Barbiturate Class

Benzodiazapine Class

Cocaine Metab. Class

Opiate Class

Cannabinoid Class

 

Acetaminophen  <10 (therapeutic range is 10-20)

Salicylate  <4 (therapeutic ranges:  10-20 analgesic; 20-30 anti-inflammatory)

Ethanol – Not detected

Tricyclics Class – Negative

 

 

You thought you’ve heard the best of it.  One more bag of popcorn for the next update – maybe the conclusion, okay? 

 

 

(To be continued.)

 

 

 

* * * * *

 

Update:  June 18, 2011:

 

As I said earlier, I felt high into the following week, perhaps through Wednesday.  Yes, when you writhe in pain, feel high (blood pressure?, sugar?), live in your car in “extremely harsh” conditions, when all that you are normally capable of is surviving – with a little bit of class, it’s pretty hard to accomplish anything.  It might have been once or twice in April when, after being frightened by my physical condition, people who knew me wanted to get an ambulance for me.  I declined.  On Wednesday, May 4th, I was careless – and still not used to my sugar plummeting over the slightest delay in eating.  I was gabbing with Allison over at Sally Beauty in Suwanee.  I felt a slight hunger pang and said that I need to go eat.  Since I didn’t want to be rude and simply walk out, I tried to politely conclude our chat.  Then I felt another hunger pang, stronger than the first.  I said, “I really need to go and eat - now.”  When I got to my car, I took a bite of my sandwich and gulped down about a half-bottle of vitamin water.  The trembling had already started, though, and it wasn’t stopping.  I phoned Allison to ask if she’d come and stay with me until I was better.  She did.  In fact, she brought some cookies for me.  I’m guessing the event lasted between 1 and 1-1/2 hours before I felt able to drive again.  I proceeded to the center a few miles away, but I felt very weak as I exited my car when I arrived.  It took all of my strength just to get to the building.  I wound up staggering over the next few hours, and Julia (staff) noticed it.  Other people noticed, too.  Julia was concerned and came over to help me.  Then she went and got “Fish” (Joe).  (He is one of the funniest people you could meet in life.)  He became concerned, too.  They kept suggesting that I let the emt’s come and check me out.  I declined.  Why, exactly, would I gamble on receiving more nonsense from a “helper”?  I am convinced that I’ve experienced my share of nonsense and offenses in life, and I’ve no intention of inviting more into my life.  Then the Director, Elizabeth, came back to where I was sitting.  She, too, wanted me to agree to let the emt’s check me.  Again, I declined.  But then she made it sound like I’d be doing her and Fish and Julia a favor if I allowed it; that they would feel better about it.  Well, I couldn’t allow them to feel badly on my account, so I agreed.  However, I already knew I wasn’t go to an e.r.  The emt’s arrived and got my blood pressure at 189/112.  Indeed, one of the emt’s was a walking mouth.  Unfortunately, she is the one who did all the talking, from what I could recall.  Yap, yap, yap.  Asks a question and then doesn’t let you finish your sentence.  I politely declined to go with them to the e.r.  I pointed to the pile of papers that included the lab report of March 16th and asked, “How much more of this nonsense do I need?”  She said that they couldn’t leave me in that condition.  She made it sound as if it was a legal thing.  I’d forgotten [on account of my condition] that I legally do not have to agree to go with them.  I remember thinking, “Oh, I can’t let them break the law.”  I tried something else that was legitimate, “I’d have no way of getting back.”  Elizabeth said she would pick me up.  I said, “Oh, but they’ll tow my car out there if they keep me overnight.”  She said, “I’m the Director, and I won’t let them tow your car.”  Mainly, the expressions of Elizabeth, Julia and Fish are what convinced me to simply agree to what the emt’s wanted me to do.  I kind of knew I was incapable of caring for myself, but that wasn’t so much of a concern for me.  I didn’t want to disappoint the people who looked so worried.

 

Before the ambulance departed, my b.p. was coming down.  The mouth asked me a question, and as I was answering, she again interrupted me.  Third question, third interruption.  Had she listened to my answer, she would have been informed of the facts.  Instead, she exclaimed, “That isn’t what this report says!  It says your sugar was fine!  And it doesn’t say the 10th; it says the 16th!”  I calmly (which is all I had the energy for) said, “I already told you that my sugar plummeted for the first time on the 10th, six days before that e.r. visit.  If you would listen to my answer to your questions….”  She interrupted yet again with a scolding, “Now you don’t have to get condescending with me!”  Um, I thought it was rude to interrupt when someone is speaking.  And I still think it is ignorant to ask a question and then (as a pretend expert of physical medicine) interrupt the person answering with the facts because you are so filled with yourself that you think you already know the facts without hearing them.  And we wonder why purported experts get the facts wrong.

 

One of the emt’s told me to squeeze his hand while the other on my left side jabbed me with the i.v.  Eeek!  I agreed, but I was worried about hurting him.  He and the others were professional and respectful.  The only exception was the mouth.

 

My b.p. went to 176/128, then 139/120, then 142/81 just before we arrived at the e.r., where, no, I was not going to exhibit my odd, good-natured attitude by being the least bit cheerful at any point of being there.  When I saw the nurse looking at the e.r. records from March 16th on the computer screen, I knew I needed to clarify reality and calmly said, “It was a joke – the alien line.  It was just a joke.”  The only silly, arrogant person in the e.r. that day was the nursing assistant (female).  I’m certain that she’s the one who dictated the e.r. report; it’s filled with errors.  Everyone else in the e.r. seemed “normal”.  A male nurse, when he and the female nurse were finished doing some chores (i.v., etc.), showed me the buttons on the remote.  For the third button, he said, “And if you press this one, I’ll show up in a Batmobile.”  I replied, “You’d better watch it when you say things like that; they’ll start writing up psyche reports about you in a place like this if you’re not careful.”  They both laughed.

 

 

I’m A Miracle Child

 

They’d put me on an i.v. with saline and ativan.  It knocked me out in about two heartbeats.  When I was later asked if my head felt better, I hesitated – never really answered.  I eventually realized it was because I couldn’t feel that part of my head.  (I wound up with a stiff neck for somewhere between 1 and 2 weeks thereafter.)  The female nurse came back at some point and asked with a somewhat perplexed expression, “Did anyone ever actually tell you that you have COPD?”  I answered, “Well, it’s been years since I’ve been diagnosed with asthma – several times – and, uh….”  I was really kind of out of it, but I knew from her expression that there was something they weren’t sure about at all.  It had to be the emphysema.  I was about to explain what was told to me in ’06 and early ’07 – “borderline emphysema” – which is always how I’ve stated it when asked.  And in my mind was the e.r. visit of March 16th, where they somehow came up with full-blown emphysema.  Of course, I couldn’t possibly know how they knew.  Do I look like a doctor?  All those words were sitting in my mind, but nothing else came out.  She was very sweet and said, “It’s okay”, and she left. 

 

Later, Elizabeth picked me up.  She had absolutely no obligation to do that for me. 

 

For all I know, it could have been one day or two weeks later – I have no idea – when I still wondered about the nurse’s expression and question.  Instead of skimming the lab report from March 16th, I decided to look at it more carefully than I’d done thus far.  Maybe I could find where/when it was determined that I have full-blown emphysema.  Was there a reference to the ’06 visit?  Or was it just what the Horse’s Ass read in those old records?  I never did find such a reference.

 

Then I saw something – and how could I have missed it? – and realized I am a miracle child – for I do not have emphysema.  Not, at least, as has been determined by laboratory tests.  My emphysema was gone!  Do you know why?  Because I caught it in a most unusual manner.  I caught it from triage nurse!  Indeed, not only are the half-a-horse’s ass nurses incapable of listening to three sentences that complete a statement, but triage nurse couldn’t even record a two-word phrase, “borderline emphysema”.  The lazy half-a-horse’s ass (and this does not, in the remotest sense, put her anywhere near the category of “LPS”) decided (with her half-a-horse’s ass brain) to leave out the word “borderline” when I answered her question.  So I went through almost two months of dread over the new diagnosis.  Two (2) months.  Not two minutes.  Not two hours.  Not two days.  Not two weeks.  Two months.  Almost two months of thinking of how I’ll eventually suffocate to death.  Sure, can you picture me with an oxygen tank?  “Oops, I forgot, I wasn’t supposed to light a cigarette this close to it.”  Almost two months of realizing that my organs will die off more quickly now.  That’s what happens when they’re deprived of oxygen.  Especially the brain.  In all that time, I thought, “If that episode was from emphysema, as the Horse’s Ass initially stated, then it will only get worse.  And if that’s how they treated you with your brain still intact somewhat, imagine how they’ll treat you after your brain has died off some more.”  Of course, I would self-terminate before I ever let it come to that.  Yes, a preferred outcome than ever again going to GMC.  At least I’d be going out with my dignity not being attacked by self-deified pretend experts of physical medicine – who can’t even diagnose/treat the condition from which a person is suffering.  I wonder if they’ve yet reposted the prep instructions for urine specimens.  Three minutes – that’s all it would take a competent person to accomplish that tiny task. 

 

Can the reader possibly understand how and why I loathe the pretend experts at GMC?  Can the reader understand why I want you to know about these events?  Did you ever get a copy of your medical records from your doctor and/or GMC?  Have you been misdiagnosed?  Have you been shouted at by Big Bertha – and no one knows who she is?  Did a Horse’s Ass redefine common terms – and then redefine them in his report?  Sounds like arrogance and incompetence to me.

 

(To be continued.)

 

 

 

* * * * *

 

 

Update:  June 20, 2011:

 

Just ‘Cause or Just Cause?

 

You’re probably wondering if it was arbitrary that I referred to nurse #3 as also being half-a-horse’s ass.  Alice, did you say that just ‘cause you can – ‘cause it’s your web page?”  No, it was just cause. It was a reasonable and logical conclusion.  When I looked at the lab report more carefully, I noticed that nurse #3 noted the high b.p. and also informed the Horse’s Ass of it:

 

21:03  Note: Spoke owith [Horse’s Ass] regarding b/p.  [He] stated pt to f/u with PMD for management.  No new orders rec’d

 

Why did she take the time to note the “alien” comment without later noting, “Pt’s high b.p. most likely the reason she thinks there’s an alien in her head”?  In fact, why did no one simply ask me, “Are you serious about this alien thing?”  The geniuses, the experts of physical medicine – they simply couldn’t ask me if I was serious.  In fact, she didn’t even write that I said, “it might be”.  She wrote, “pt states she has an alien in her head”.  Did I actually state it – with certainty?  Then why didn’t someone – one of the experts of physical medicine – make an attempt to assure me that, in fact, there was no alien in my head?  Why didn’t she?  Oh, that’s right, I never appeared to be distressed.  In fact, she noted that I said that I felt better. 

 

It caused me to wonder – how, precisely, do people act when they believe they have an alien in their head?  How distressed would such an individual be?  Personally, I’d be very distressed.  On a scale of 1 – 100, I’d have to give it a score of 100.  I don’t suppose I’d even be able to think of anything else if I believed an alien was in my head.  “Let’s see, which movie should I watch tonight – Alien or…?”  See, it doesn’t work.  I cannot imagine that any other thought would have meaning or importance if I were unfortunate enough to have an alien in my head – or simply hold the belief that it’s true.  I figured everyone else would agree – until I gave it more thought.  Certainly, I’m not a mind reader, so it was clear that I’d have to do some research to determine if my lack of appearance of distress that day fit the profile of the average person who thinks there’s an alien in their head.  “Distress”, after all, is really a personal thing, isn’t it – it’s subjective.  While I might loathe bugs and reptiles touching me, someone else might consider it entertainment.  Amazingly, 100% of the respondents claim that there would be no distress at all.  Okay, so I only interviewed one person so far - Matt, at Arby’s.  I asked, “On a scale of 1 – 10, how distressed would you be (with 10 being the most distressed) if you thought there was an alien in your head?”  Matt wasted no time in answering and immediately said, “Not at all, because the alien would be controlling my brain.”  Therefore, the possibility exists that I am in the minority, that most people would remain calm if they held the belief that there was an alien residing in their head.  In spite of how the majority of people might appear, I submit that in view of the high b.p., it is reasonable to have expected nurse #3 to come back to me and say, “Listen, Alice, we don’t typically come across people with aliens in their head.  Did you know that high blood pressure is not a good thing?  Do you think that maybe your thoughts are a little whacky on account of it?”  Of course, I’d reply, “Did you actually believe me?  You mean, you didn’t know I was joking?”  If it took the purported experts seven (7) hours to find high blood pressure, shouldn’t she have wondered if there was something else (another physical abnormality) in addition to the high b.p. that caused me to suggest an alien presence?  Like maybe an earlier sugar drop?

 

Think of it – no one guessed my correct weight.  No one could tell I was highly distressed.  No one could discern my sense of humor – in seven (7) hours.  I’d rate the observation skills of the subject experts as minimal.  The experts are neither visually nor psychologically astute.  They are unqualified to evaluate anyone’s demeanor, much less anyone’s psychological makeup. 

 

Even if nurse #3 gave no thought to assuring me that there was no alien in my head, she – as well as the others – could – and I dare say should have been more – or at least somewhat - mindful and careful about what they reported as facts – about what they wrote in a legal document – especially since they are incapable of listening to a three-sentence statement and, minimally, a two-word phrase (“borderline emphysema”), and incapable of quoting accurately.

 

What about the Horse’s Ass?  If no one else was going to take responsibility for what they were writing all day (while failing to rewrite the prep instructions for urine specimens), I assert it was incumbent upon the Horse’s Ass to come back and possibly say, “Uh, Miss Doro, apparently I’m a Horse’s Ass, and it’s not the emphysema at all, as I first stated before I examined you.  It turns out you have high blood pressure.  Now, we’re not going to do anything about it, but I figured I’d just let you know that you are, in fact, physically ill, and that might well be the reason you’re feeling all sorts of weird stuff in your head.  It might not be an alien after all.”  Exactly what would that have cost him?  Instead, he was probably sitting in his cubbyhole thinking, “I’ll lose face if I have to look this homeless woman in the eyes and fess up to the fact that I screwed up – admit that she was right – it’s a physical problem – it’s her blood pressure, and who knows what else.  Imagine, it shot up like that just by her sitting up.  What was happening when she walked and made other physical efforts?  Ah, what the hell, it won’t be the first time I screwed up and sure won’t be the last.  Whose word will they take to be true on the psyche thing – mine or hers?  Besides, I relied on what those half-a-horse’s ass nurses wrote on the chart, and you can’t blame me for that.  Not my fault they don’t have a sense of humor – and can’t quote accurately.  Heh, heh – an alien.  Kind of funny when you think of it.  Hmm.  I guess she must have one of those odd, good-natured attitudes.  And it sure speaks to her fortitude – a person going through a heck of a physical ordeal, and she’s cracking jokes.  I wonder how she’ll take that psyche line I always throw in when I don’t know the answer.  Nahh.  She’ll be fine with it.  I’m sure.  I’m pretty sure.  Now where’s that hot nurse I saw on the elevator – the one who thinks I’m God.”

 

 

(To be continued.)

 

 

* * * * *

 

 

Update:  July 13, 2011:

 

 

 

New Rules

 

 

1. Do not attempt to "help" me by inviting me over to smoke some good quality weed.  GMC's e.r. is the closest I've ever needed to be to Big Bertha.

 

2. Do not attempt to "help" me by inviting me over and then causing me to stand in the scorching sun and unbearable heat for fifteen minutes - which, your having done so already resulted in a major oxygen drop for me and caused me to stagger.  Yeah, a 90-91 sat rate for 5 - 6 hrs will do that.  I checked the Manual; and said treatment is not listed as appropriate for Executive Bagladies - or other human beings.

 

3.  If you are guilty of either "1" and/or "2" above, remove the holy-roller Christian voice-mail recording on your number.  The truth of your transparency as a self-serving con artist is so obvious that it almost makes you invisible.  You are as useful as a Christian as the “pastor” who is incapable of smiling – after I interrupted my lunch to greet him. 

 

 

 

News Item

 

Gwinnett SWAT team standoff ends in suicide

July 11, 2011

 

But more importantly, did the guy smoke cigarettes?  I hear they're dangerous.

 

 

 

 

“Misnomers” – or “Another Soul Lost”

 

Here's one:  GMC Patient Rep

 

What it really means:  It's a heads up for the legal department.  In fact, speaking of the legal department and selling one's soul thereto, that's what a patient rep apparently did after she giggled at the few absurdities of March 16th that I mentioned to her.  She got back to me with the news that everything that occurred that day was totally acceptable behavior for professionals - experts.  No, I did not fall through any cracks.  I was mistreated by pseudo-experts.  So what GMC does - in anticipation of such events - is put someone in a cubbyhole, hang out the shingle, "Patient Rep", allow you to walk in with the expectation that you will actually be taken seriously, and have you vent your dissatisfaction to - let's face it - one of their own employees.  After the e.r. clowns are reminded of your existence - "You mean, you didn't ask her if she was serious?", "What about the blood pressure!", "They let Big Bertha out of her cell that day!?", she heads over to legal - gives them fair warning that they just might need to put on another pot of coffee for this one.  Absolutely nothing changed - the facts never changed - except for one thing:  Is it a day of worship, or is it a day to sell your soul to the legal department?

 

Reminds me of a song – gave it a slight revision.  I dedicate this to the Patient Rep:

 

Fifteen grand is all that I get

A little bit richer but still deep in debt

I still got my job 'cause I played the rep role

I owe my soul to the company store.

 

You sold your soul, baby.  Good luck on worship day.

 

Hmm.  Doesn't the profile fit that of a psychopath?  I wonder if she has a history of selling her soul.  See, I know how to play with words, too.  Except I won't sell my soul and keep piling on the lies as is done at GMC.  That’s the problem with lying.  Ya gotta keep making up new ones to cover the old ones – that’s if you can remember what you lied about.  And I don’t set out to play with words, as does the Patient Rep, in order to cover offenses (thus, reinforcing damage and trauma – and acting like you have the right [legal, moral and/or spiritual] to do so).  The only reason I play with words is to expose the lies – the truth of your being – in an attempt to spare another human being from what you (GMC and Patient Rep) meted out to me.

 

When will grown ups ever learn how to apologize?  Look, it's easy:  "I'm sorry."  Three (3) syllables.  Aw, rats, what was I thinking!  They get lost after 2 syllables, 2 words, 2 sentences.  Would get stuck at, "I'm sor." 

 

What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?

 

I can see the headlines in ten years:  Mother Shocked That Child Is Sociopath!  “But, but, we went to church every Sunday!  We went to Bible study!  Well, uh, yeah, I sold my soul a few times, but we are a fine Christian family!”  Nature or nurture?  How much hypocrisy can you safely add to the well of truth before you poisoned the entire well?

 

Thank you.  My book is timeless.  9 to 5 Christians – they’ll be around forever.

 

 

 

Psyche Assessment Anyone?

 

Over the years, I encountered many people who readily offered their assessment of my or someone else’s psyche.  Oftentimes, the assessment was unsolicited.  In most, if not all, of those instances, the opinions turned out to be dead wrong. 

 

In view of recent events, some of which have not been disclosed here, I decided to create a list of who is authorized and/or qualified to offer me their psyche assessment (of me or anyone else).  This list is based on the people I’ve met, including purported psyche experts and lay people.  Unless you find yourself on the list or can fit into one of the categories below listed, do not offer me your opinion of my or someone else’s psyche.  If you do, be assured that I will probably laugh myself silly when you walk away.

 

List:

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have labored many hours in creating the above list, which will be modified with future updates to this page.

 

Especially:  If all the evidence indicates that my sugar plummeted and you see me drinking Mountain Dew, don’t be surprised if my sugar level came up.  If you cannot figure out why I’m still shaky, do not ask me if I have a history of anxiety.  In the future, as much as it will pain me to embarrass anyone to their face, I will be forced to ask if you have a history of ignorance.  It works like this:  Sugar plummets … ½ can of Mountain Dew = about 28 grams of sugar (about the equivalent of 2 tubes of glucose) … ingest Mt Dew … bring up sugar level … no test on earth can show what just happened to me.  Okay, it would have worked that easily had I not picked the diet Mt Dew.  I was busy checking the weather in Jersey and couldn’t see the fine print up close.  So I reckon the cop was right when he wondered if I picked the right one.  (And I thought, “Does he think I’m an idiot?”  heh heh)  So he brought the correct one over, and that’s what I ingested to bring up my sugar.  There was no warning that time, not even a minute.  I’ve since collected a stash of cinnamon apple sauce – 19 grams of sugar per cup.  With that, I trust I’ll avoid any further discussion of my psyche.  I really don’t like to embarrass people; but I’m really very tired of being forced to deal with silly, irrelevant, offensive questions. 

 

It could be an insulinoma – non-cancerous pancreatic tumor.  It causes the pancreas to pump excess insulin, thus bringing down blood glucose to unpleasant levels.  Or maybe this is what you end up with when you have a history of delaying your first meal of the day. 

 

 

 

 

* * * * *

 

 

Update:  July 23, 2011:

 

 

For Sale

 

 

“In The Jungle”

Oil, Unframed, 16” x 20”

Artist:  Alice Louise Doro

Price:  $777

Sale:  $400

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Umbrella Thorn Tree #2”

Oil, Unframed, 16” x 20”

Artist:  Alice Louise Doro

Price:  $777

Sale:  $400

 

 

 

 

Contact:

alicelps777@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

Thank You, Jayla

 

Until recently, she was a lifeguard.  She said that she checked out my web page and, giggling a bit, added that when she becomes a nurse, she’ll never be like the ones I wrote about.  Thank you, Jayla, for telling me about the power of my words.

 

 

 

Thank You, Joan Glancy Staff

 

Although I’ve not yet completed my comments on the GMC Lawrenceville nightmare, the staff at Joan Glancy (I know, it’s technically GMC Duluth) needs to know that on May 4, 2011, they put GMC Lawrenceville to shame (exception, of course, the nursing assistant/whatever).  Let’s face it, if I’m saying it, you know it has to be true.  My recovery from a sugar plummet/b.p. spike was so fast compared to every other occurrence.  It’s as if someone in the medical profession actually knows what they’re doing – and actually cares.

 

 

 

 

Alice Louise Doro

P.O. Box 1356

Suwanee, Georgia  30024

alicelps777@yahoo.com

 

 

 

Last Modified: July 23, 2011                                                                                                                   (c) 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011   All Rights Reserved - Alice Louise Doro