Something Wicked This Way Comes

I’ve had this feeling for a while now. It’s kind of like the talk that Morpheus gave Neo in that Matrix movie; “You know something is wrong, but you don’t know what it is. You search day and night, but can’t find it. You can’t smell it, taste it or touch it. It is all around you. You are in a prison for the mind.”

If I’m not careful and I slip up on a daily basis, I begin to doubt my sanity. Every day the news casters gleefully share the latest disaster, murder, insanely unwise new legislation, etc. Then the talking heads analyze it 8 ways from Sunday. But, in the end I’m expected to believe that everything is not only just peachy keen finer than fine, but getting better every day.

If I beg to disagree I am labeled as paranoid, a nervous Nelly, glum, a wannabe prepper nut, depressed, or a glass half empty kind of person. And this labeling even comes from other people who are feeling the same feelings, and talking about it all the damned time. Talk is cheap and so they just want to whine about latest news sound bite. However, they do not want to really get down and dirty and talk about what might be coming. Forget doing anything about it. Oh they may go out and buy a few extra cans of tuna fish and stick a few dollars in a coffee can, but that’s about it.

Well, I don’t buy it. And it’s only when I make a conscious decision to stop buying it that I feel anywhere near what might resemble normal and calm. But the question remains. How can I prepare for something coming when I don’t know what it is, or if it even exists?

All civilizations rise and fall. It usually doesn’t happen overnight. Most start a slow slide to oblivion rather than the fall of Pompeii where the mountain belched and destroyed every living thing in less than a day. Here in the U.S. our rights as private citizens are taking that slow slide to oblivion. The scary part is that much of this legislation chips away at our right and more important our DUTY to be self-reliant.

Did you know that in some states it is illegal to collect rain water? How disturbing is that? The rationale behind this is that rain falling out of the sky is public property. Therefore if we collect it we are “hoarding” the rain water. Well the earth can be considered public property also. Does this mean that I can’t own my home and the ground it stands on? Am I hoarding my little piece of the earth? There and many that think so. The most frightening thing of all is that there are many people who think along these lines in positions of public power.

We the People

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. Preamble to the Constitution of the United States of America.

My question today, which I’ve been mulling over for the past few months, is what the hell happened to “We the People?” Because I’m looking down the barrel of my 60th birthday coming up I’ve been looking back over my life from a freedom and privacy perspective. My rights, personal freedom and privacy, have eroded drastically over the decades. Women’s rights are moving backwards at an alarming rate.

I’ve gone from being annoyed at the necessary evil of having a government to be afraid of the government. Taking a few moments to read the constitution and amendments to the constitution is a sobering experience.

Take the Bill of Rights for example. Our Bill of Rights is the collective name for the first 10 amendments to the United States Constitution. It came into effect on December 15, 1791. Not a day goes by that some action of the government or law is passed or Presidential order is signed that violates these rights. I use to naively believe that the guys at the top of the heap used this Bill of Rights as a guideline.

I no longer believe that. When I do watch the news I tend to sit there with my mouth hanging open in shock, asking myself “did I hear what I thought I just heard?”

I think that part of the problem is that our children are no longer taught this in school. When I was in grade school we had a civics class. In the class we learned about how the branches of government are supposed to work. We had to memorize the preamble to the constitution and recite in class. We studied the Bill of Rights in great detail including how they came to be.

Today, our 20 and 30 somethings have the right to vote but have no education on how our government was intended by our forefathers, who created our nation, to work. Think about it for a second: People have to take a test to operate a motor vehicle, but no knowledge is required to go to the polls and decide on actions that could affect our lives for generations to come. Instead being taught common sense and courtesy they are taught that whatever they want is how it should be. If you don’t like something get a law passed. Pay no never mind that the law may infringe on your neighbors rights.

Sometimes Denial is a Good Thing

My mother-in-law’s twin sister passed away peacefully last night. We knew it was coming since the massive stroke she had 5 days ago. I told myself well “she will be in a better place; she’s not suffering anymore, yada, yada. Well you know what? It’s not OK; it sucks big hairy donkey balls.

For while I had 3 mothers – a mother and twin mother-in-laws. How lucky can a person be? So I was in denial thinking it would be better when she passed, but it’s not. I guess the denial helped me deal with the waiting. You can’t hide from grief. You can tell yourself all the things you hear people about the loss of a loved one but it doesn’t help. Nothing helps. Grief is just something you have to pass through and come out the other side. Like birth or death, it’s not something you can avoid or talk your way out of it.

It kind of helps a tiny bit to think of her in funny moments. Like the times she would sit there in the kitchen with her sister in the morning, drinking coffee wearing a mu mu and a hairnet or curlers. It’s funny to think of her favorite thing to say when someone annoyed her. She would bark “why don’t you just go shit in your hat.” I don’t wear hats, but I still think that’s funny.

At our wedding I was so used to her and my mother-in-law looking exactly alike that I forgot to inform my family that she had an identical twin. My aunt came up to me and asked “why does your mother-in-law keep changing her dress?” Now that’s funny.

So we all have to walk this road and deal with our grief as best we can. It’s a process and it just takes time.

When You Can Only Endure

Sometimes I find myself stuck in a situation where the only way out is through. The only thing I can actively do is endure and live through it.

My mother-in-laws twin sister is dying. She had a massive stroke a few days ago. At the moment I’m in the agony of indecision. Aunt Betty is in a hospital 5 hours away from here. She is not alone. Her son and husband are with her. My agony is that I feel very strongly the need to go there to say good-bye to her. Her sister (my mother-in-law) does not want to go. She says she doesn’t want to remember her this way.

She also says that if Betty regains consciousness and sees her there she will know something is really wrong. Well yea! Excuse me, but she is dying and I’d be willing to be cash money that she knows it.

So I’m torn. If I insist on going and do in fact go by myself to see her am I being selfish? Am I leaving my husband here alone to deal with his mother if she does die while I am gone to visit her sister?

I don’t know what to do. I know what I want to do, what I feel I need to do. The only thing I’m doing at the moment is sitting around wanting to rip my hair out. I’m so frustrated. So for now I endure.

Ebola – Living in Dallas

Well since I do live in Dallas I feel obligated to weigh in on the subject. What is my opinion? “It’s scary as hell, I don’t like it, and I think we should be a bit panicked.”

One of the reasons I think we need to be concerned is that I had the misfortune to visit, about six months ago, the very same emergency room that the Ebola patient who died, Michael Duncan, went to and was initially turned away. My perception of that emergency room was that it was an inner city house of horrors. It was a disaster waiting to happen. And disaster has in fact happened.

What I am going to do is chronical step by step my experience there. I want to preface this by saying that I am a white female with more than adequate insurance so I cannot claim that I was discriminated against in any way. I received “standard” medical care for that hospital.

Here is what happened. I had severe abdominal pain, fever, vomiting and diarrhea. My husband took me in to the reception desk and left to park the car. I gave the nurse my ID and insurance card so she began typing away. She asked no questions about my condition. While I was waiting I became so weak that I slid to the floor. After about 5 minutes later the nurse leaned over the desk, saw me, and asked me if I needed a wheel chair. I said yes, but I did not receive one and remained on the floor.

By the time my husband returned I had been assisted into an intake cubical where I was asked my complaint, and vitals were taken. I then returned to the waiting room and remained there for about hour and half. The waiting was full of people in all states of distress, holding dish pans and buckets they obviously brought from home to vomit in. Eventually a nurse approached me with a wheel chair and a urine specimen cup. She then wheeled me into a rest room off the common waiting room and left me there.

Despite the fact that I was unable to stand on my own, I was expected to somehow pee in this cup and return to the nurse’s station. The restroom was filthy, covered with wadded up paper, urine, feces and vomit. There was no soap in the dispenser and no towels to dry my hands. Somehow I managed to collect the urine. However the wheel chair was an odd type that had no wheel grips on the side so there was no way for me to move it on my own, so now I am trapped in the bathroom from hell. I had to CALL MY HUSBAND on my phone to come find me and release me from the bathroom. He did and I returned to the waiting room and remained there for another 2 hours.

Another nurse approached me and I managed to totter over to a nurse set up at what looked like a card table in the filthy waiting room to have my blood taken. That accomplished I went back to lay down partially on a chair with my legs on the magazine table and drifted in and out of consciousness for another hour or so. Eventually I was taken back to a treatment room. They wheeled me past several completely empty bays of rooms. Whole segments of the emergency room center stood empty.

I spoke to a doctor for about 10 seconds and then received IV fluids and antibiotics. While in this I was shivering from fever and it was also cold in the room. I asked for a blanket and was told that there were no blankets available???? Couldn’t they have taken one off of the at least 25 empty beds I saw on the way to the treatment room.

After being there for about 6 hours total, I was sent home with no diagnosis and the advice to drink fluids, rest and contact my primary care physician on Monday. Monday was 2 days away.

So this is my story of the state of emergency medical care at the hospital Michael Duncan was turned away from and eventually died in. Were mistakes made? Hell yes. Are some serious enquiries and changes in procedures and care of patients needed? Again…hell yes.

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