Social Distancing VS a Mariachi Band

Mariachi BandHuman beings never cease to amaze me. We are the most fascinating creatures on earth. Since I’ve been so deathly sick I haven’t really had an issue with social distancing. It’s not really on the radar while I’m just trying not to pee my pants from coughing so hard.

So anyway, about a week ago, I staggered out to mailbox as my way of getting some fresh air and exercise and what do my wondering eyes behold? About 4 houses down they were throwing a huge party with a Mariachi band….in the front yard no less. I couldn’t believe my eyes. In this neighborhood nobody does anything in their front yard but check mail and grab the newspaper. All parties go on either in the house or the backyard. This is an old suburban housing track with huge back yards.

This was a major statement on their part. “Screw you world and screw social distancing. We’re having a party! Neener Neener! I struggled with whether or not to call the police, but ultimately didn’t. I have a hard time doing that unless there is a murder, assault, or theft going on.

Now that I think about, I wish I had. There could be a death as a result of this blatant disregard for exposing themselves or someone else to the Covid virus. At the very least its an inhumane and callous disregard for the welfare of others.  Yesterday my son informed me that one of his friends lost his wife to the virus. Yep, she straight up died. That’s just mind blowing and tragic.

I just don’t understand how some people can think that it’s OK to put someone’s life at risks just because you don’t feel like staying home. It kind of reminds me of the early days of AIDS when people would have unprotected sex knowing they were HIV positive. At least with aids you could pretty much avoid it by not have unprotected sex and avoiding blood products if at all possible.

With this Covid-19 Virus? Well it’s kind of difficult to not breath. And that’s pretty much the only way to avoid exposure if you are around other people.

I finally got tested yesterday for Covid. My doctor ordered it. It was a rather interesting experience and quite well organized. I was impressed. I was instructed to go to a particular hospital and park in an area cordoned off by traffic cones and call a phone number when I got there. A few minutes later an actual Doctor and Nurse came out dressed in full hazmat gear came out to my car.

I got a full medical workup in my car. The Doctor checked my blood oxygen, listened to my lungs, poked around on my abdomen and listened to my long tail of medical woe. Then he stuck a stick up my nose, both nostrils, all the way to my brain. Yea it hurt. Twice because they tested me for Covid and Flu. He went back inside for a few minutes and came back out to tell me that I was scheduled for a chest x-ray. I walked into the hospital got the x-ray and that was that. The whole process took a grand total of 30 minutes.

Just FYI, my x-ray was clear so I don’t have pneumonia. Yee Hah! That was a huge relief to me, the Hubman and everyone else I told.

I think I like getting a check up in my car. How convenient! I hope this ends up being part of the new normal.

May You Live in Interesting Times

So hello to all you wonderful readers. I think I may have reached double digits in readership by now. 🙂 I hope you are all well and safe. I’ve become so bored by being quarantined that I’ve resorted to writing. It requires less energy than ripping apart the black hole formally known as my office to find my wayward Kindle reader. I know it’s in there somewhere, but I’m too fatigued to tackle the problem just yet.

I haven’t managed to get tested, but I’m pretty sure that I somehow contracted the Covid 19 virus. Starting about 5 weeks ago I woke up feeling a bit punk with a mild sore throat. Couldn’t really put a finger on it, but I just felt extremely crappy and odd. After a few days of wondering if I just had seasonally allergies, things progressed to a cough, fever and EXTREME shortness of breath. So bad that when I practically crawled to the potty from bed, I had to sit there a while to catch my breath before staggering back to bed. My entire universe contracted to just getting that next breath. Instead of one day at a time, it was one breath at a time.

At day 4 the cough progressed to being so violent that I lost control of my bladder several times. How undignified!!! Didn’t have a thermometer, but I was having fever, chills and sweating so severe that I had to change pajamas several times a night. At some point I was too exhausted to cope and find jammies, left the wet ones in a heap on the bathroom floor and just went back to bed naked. (unusual because I have never liked sleeping in the buff.) I also hallucinate when having fever. Ever since childhood, I see toy soldiers like in the Nutcrackers Ballet marching around on the ceiling when fever is there. Strange but everyone has a few oddities in their life.

Week 2 and digestive problems showed up, mainly explosive diarrhea. Sorry for the “to much information” portion of my tale, but there were times that I thought I was going to launch myself into a low earth orbit and wave at the people on the International Space Station as I zoomed by with a commode strapped to my ass. Also a rather bizarre and complete loss of appetite compounded by having no sense of taste or smell manifested. I wasn’t nauseated, but could only manage to choke down a few bites at most of solid food and subsisted for over a week mainly on Ginger Ale and beef and chicken bone broth that I fortunately had on hand.

So for 3 weeks I had severe coughing, fever, digestive issues, extreme shortness of breath, no appetite and extreme fatigue. I went through so many bottles of cough syrup, NyQuil/DayQuil combo packs, and Tylenol that I gave up keeping track. To be brutally honest there were a few times that I began to wonder if I was one of the ones that wasn’t going to make it. The fact that my husband, Mother, Son, and other family and friends would be upset if I didn’t was the only thing that kept me fighting.

So anyway going on week 5 now I’m on the mend. The physical issues have subsided, but now that they are gone I am beginning to realize how much whatever flu or virus had effected my brain function. Coherent thought was exhausting and sometimes down right impossible. I will be extremely happy when my brain kicks back into gear and I can think again.

Regarding doctors, I have a virtual visit scheduled with mine today. Her office is not receiving patients at their physical locations. I had to get the Zoom app and install it. Fortunately I’m computer savvy so it wasn’t a problem. I do feel sorry people who can’t do this. I had a over the phone consult with my Psychiatrist last week. Actually it was pretty cool. I wish that I could continue with the phone visits and not have to drag myself to her office and sit there and squirm while she taps away on computer and scrutinizes me. (I have bipolar disorder, lucky me)

So to all you lovely people. Stay safe, stay social distanced, love your family and friends and even strangers…. keep in touch. Please call or text people who live alone especially. They may desparately need help but are to embarrassed, to delirious to ask, or even realize they need help. Just dropping off some juice, sodas, cans of soup and broth, bottled water, medicine, toilet paper and Kleenex, etc, on their doorstep is an act of kindness more valuable than gold.

Love to all, take care and talk to you soon.

Death and a New Direction

Grief 2020

Grief 2019

Hello all you lovely people. I lost my password to this blog and was too out of it to find it. That pretty much prevented me from posting. The good news is that I stumbled across it the other day. The date next the user info was 2010. Wow! I’ve been at this blogging thing, off and on, for 10 years.

A lot has happened since my last post which I think was in May of 2019. Some good and some pretty damned horrible. The most horrible thing was that my beloved daughter died at the end of July. To say it ripped my heart out with a rusty chain saw would be an under statement. 😥

To those of you who are familiar with my writings about my daughter, you are aware that we had an extremely rocky relationship. She was mentally ill and refused any formal medical treatment. She self medicated with alcohol and some pretty hardcore drugs. I hadn’t heard from her in almost a year.

In mid July her ex husband informed me via Facebook instant messenger that she was in the hospital. (He didn’t have my phone number) Thank God for instant messenger. What he didn’t tell me was that he found her unresponsive with her eyes open.

I immediately hopped on a plane and flew up to Boston to be with her. It turns out that she had been sick with a bad cough for months, but refused to go to the doctor. During this time she had been drinking alcohol non stop and refusing to eat. As a result her weight had ballooned up to over 250 pounds. Her normal weight was about 160.

She had some kind of horrendous lung infection that spread to her other organs. They threw words at me like septic and ascites, which I think means free floating fluid in her abdomen. They tried suctioning the fluid in her lungs repeatedly, but they filled back up within a few hours. They were pumping her full of every kind of antibiotics known to man but it just wasn’t working. After 2 weeks they looked down into her lungs with a camera scope and saw that her lung tissue was completely destroyed. There was no coming back even if they beat the infection.

At this point I had to make the most difficult decision that anyone has to make for a loved one. The doctors told me that even if they put her on full blown life support she was so sick that she would only last a few weeks. So I asked the doctors to take her off life support and switch her to “comfort care.” I guess that’s what the medical staff like to call it. Doesn’t sound as dreadful as “give up and let the patient die.”

They did this at 5 p.m. Without the tube down her throat she was able to talk a little. At one point she asked “why is this happening to me?” I didn’t think it was the time to tell her about all the things she had done to her body. I just told her that she was very sick and that I was there with her.

I kind of went to this other worldly place. I didn’t have any sensation of time passing or any need to go for a walk or even use the restroom. It was really weird. I sat with her holding her hand from 5 p.m. until 5 a.m. Then she sort of breathed out in a huff and that was it…her last breathe. I put my head down and cried for the first time since this all started.

Things were sort of a blur after that. The nurse came in asked me if I was OK. How do you answer a question like that when your child has just died? Maybe they thought I was going to start screaming and ripping my hair out or jump out the window? A doctor came in and did the official time of death and whatever else. I was in shock at that point which was kind of a blessing. Total physical, emotional and spiritual overload.

Somehow I managed to order an Uber to go back to my hotel. I sat there in the back seat looking out at the growing dawn. Even as grief stricken as I was it occurred to me that in a way her passing was kind of a blessing. She had been profoundly unhappy for so long and wasn’t suffering any more. I will wish to my dying day that she had found a way out of her abyss of suffering that allowed her to remain alive and be happy.

So as far as new directions…..floundering around in grief for the last few months I’ve realized some important truths. Truths for me anyway. 1) life is a gift and it’s pretty short. Don’t put up with bullshit, negative people, etc. 2) Today is the day to start doing what you want or dream to do because tomorrow may not come. 2) Tell everyone that you love…that you love them. Don’t assume that they know. 3) It’s time to take myself seriously as an artist. It started out as a hobby, but it has morphed into a full blown love.

The picture above is a painting I did to express grief through art. It’s not totally original content. I searched Google images for “grief” for ideas.

So that’s all for now folks. Love to all and as always…thank you for listening.

Free Money?

Economics
In economics, TANSTAAFL demonstrates opportunity cost. Greg Mankiw described the concept as follows: “To get one thing that we like, we usually have to give up another thing that we like. Making decisions requires trading off one goal against another.”[17] The idea that there is no free lunch at the societal level applies only when all resources are being used completely and appropriately – i.e., when economic efficiency prevails. If not, a ‘free lunch’ can be had through a more efficient utilization of resources. Or, as Fred Brooks put it, “You can only get something for nothing if you have previously gotten nothing for something.” If one individual or group gets something at no cost, somebody else ends up paying for it. If there appears to be no direct cost to any single individual, there is a social cost. Similarly, someone can benefit for “free” from an externality or from a public good, but someone has to pay the cost of producing these benefits.

I had an interesting talk with a charming young lady today. She is the wife of our gardener. They are both in their late 20s. Somehow the subject of collecting social security came up, and the fact that I would be able to collect mine next year. She said “oh nice, free money.” I was kind of shocked and informed her that there is no such thing as “free money.” I worked for FORTY YEARS and paid into my social security during these decades of drudgery intermingled with interesting jobs.

It made me wonder. Do young people think oldsters are getting a ride on “free money” from social security? Do they understand how the social security system works? Maybe not. I don’t really understand it myself. All I know is that I am entitled to it. Yeah I know, the dreaded “entitled” word. However… there is a huge difference between “I’m entitled to this because I paid for it” and “I’m entitled to this because I exist on this planet and I have decided that I should have everything free.”

I remember my grandmother used to say to me “there is no such thing as a free lunch.” And there really isn’t. Everything costs something. Time, effort, money, materials, thought, preparation and on and on. For example: you may say air is free. But you still have to do something, yeah breathe. The air isn’t just going to float into your lungs with no effort on your part.

So I am interested and concerned at the same time. I keep hearing the term “democratic socialism.” What does that even mean? Socialism has been tried over and over again, in many countries. If we can learn anything from history is that it doesn’t work. Human nature drives us to explore, try to improve ourselves, make money. (yea I know another evil word ‘money.”) And we expect a result.

I only truly know myself, and just barely. What I do know is that I expect some outcome or benefit from my efforts and adventures. If I work at a job I expect to get paid. If I work on an art project, I expect to end up with a painting. I would not appreciate the government stepping in and confiscating the fruits of my efforts. “Well we want 30% of your paintings, and we decide who gets to have them.” We want 30% of your salary and you have NO say in what we are going to do with it or who we give it to.”

I’m just basically confused. Where do people think money comes from? It doesn’t grow on trees. It comes from the sweat of someone’s brow. All these people proudly cruising around in electric cars…..where do they think electricity comes from? Electricity comes from power plants that use … yes…take a deep breath…fossil fuels.

I am at the end of my rather rambling rant. It’s good to be back to my blog. I’ve really missed it. Love to all and peace on earth.

I’m Back in the Saddle!

Hey guys. I took an extremely long hiatus from blogging. I blame it on a bout of bipolar depression which has greatly improved..thank you Universe. That was getting old.

Also I got engrossed in another form of creativity..oil painting. 💕

Melancholia. Oil on Canvas 24 x 36. (This is an original work created and owned by me. Please do not copy or use without my consent)

 

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