Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Its a sad day when you have to make a decision that affects another. Today I had to remind "the home" that my father is not to have antibiotics or any medical tests. Yes, its sad to actually have to say those words and not hear the voice in your heart telling you otherwise. Dad has lived 93 years. He no longer is able to communicate. The look of recognition is gone from his eye. It hurts to say this but the goal is to make his remaining days comfortable. It hurts.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Hello Blog !

So sorry I’ve been away. I’ve neglected you and my faithful readers. A lot has happened since my past posting:

1) I’m finally the SOLE owner of the house – Yeah
2) I had my review at work – big whoop
3) #2 & 3 college prospects – Some good, some bad

Other things have happened, the little minutiae of life that I usually write about here but due to this prolonged absence from the digital world, I shan’t bore you with, this will be a long post as is.

So (I so hate starting a sentence with a pause like So or And – Anal Amy, the darling of my workplace, does this ALL DAY, with a headset on, virtually YELLING into the phone; as the bitch has no personal volume modulation abilities – but I digress). I’m the proud owner of a new mortgage. Its at a rate that’s .65 higher than in November when I tried before and the ex dragged her feet, but its done, and at a decent rate - For those of you prying into my financials – its 4.75%. I was able to squeeze out $62K to give to my ex as partial payment (she had a magical figure of $70k that she wanted to clear from this 28.9 year marriage – go figure, but be on the lookout for new boobs) and I owe her the $8k over 5 years. Yes, she seemed visible upset and mildly tearful for the 2 pages she had to sign but considering what I’ve gone through for the past 3 years, it doesn’t begin to compare.

My review was a friggin waste of time. I was really tossed up about it and thought at at that time they were going to can me (just as I was about to refi). Now, in hindsight knowing about how and what they think of me, I could care less. This company treats me as chattel (go ahead - look it up, I’ll wait), and frankly, I don’t care. I won’t go into details, but I’m not worried. My favorite comment in this was that its up to ME to lower my stress level at work. Its up to ME to not work more than 10 hours of overtime a week. SO - I walk out of this meeting as was hit with a rush job that needed to be done THAT EVENING (it was 4pm already). Absolutely no consideration of my already impacted week/day/evening. Yeah, I’m done with them. As they said, its up to me to deal with it and I am.

California sucks! #3 is a pretty high-average student. Not uber stellar, but not a lug. Both his junior & senior years are primarily AP courses and his freshman & sophomore were honors. He's solid b with a's in math & sciences. His goal is Bio/med.

He's applied to 5 colleges - all in CA. All declined. He had no back up as his safe school also declined. All CA schools have closed the application process months ago. They all stated the state of the economy and are only taking the SUPER elite. Sadly - Because the funding in CA is so horrible for upper education, the local community colleges are also "impacted" and he may not even get in there! The bright spot is, he did find that Colorado State has a excellent Bio/Med program and are still accepting applications. So we are trying there. (at nearly 4 times the In-State tuition). Also 2 of the schools did put him on a back-up list, but I don’t know where he is on that list. I think he’s also thinking of BC as an alternative – My son, a Canuk!

And #2 was accepted at Humboldt, but there are some issues with his transfers from “Harvard on the hill” so it may be in jeopardy. In the meantime, we are trying to find a car for him/us to buy.

I promise faithful readers to post more often.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Smile - Hug your dentist if you like them

I"m lucky I've found a dentist I truly like. I've had a lot of work over the years and I've gone through a lot of dentists, some are just ok, some have noisy stomachs & nose hair, horrible personalities, some have had bad front office people. I'll give you a brief run-down of them -
the first good one was James MacDonald in Whittier. He had HUGE hands (this is a criteria one has to think of in selecting a dentist), but a great sense of humor, nice staff (usually one of his many wives) and foremost, he cared, really cared about his patients. After Jim retired I was lost - adrift from practitioner to practitioner. Then I went to Albert Lee - A young graduate just starting his practice and he was very convenient as he was just downstairs from my then office. He was using the lasted technology and everything. Sadly his practice grew so large it became impersonal, I actually wrote him a letter explaining that when the front office staff first (!) words were "your co-pay is $25 dollars" and not welcome, or good to see you again, it was time to say adios.
Then I happened upon Brian Goldstein (or some other jewish-sounding name). His front office staff was excellent - They'd counsel you on scheduling procedures around your dental insurance timeframe so you wouldn't pay more than you should and they really tried to fit you in if it was an emergency. Brian was a great dentist too - and not jewish, but very black. I'm sure he's had his explaining to do! Sadly, he left to branch into oral surgery and I'm sure is doing great.
That leaves me to Vince Goymerac - My neighbor referred me to Vince and I haven't regretted it. He's the perfect balance - Great staff (both front and back) He's got a great sense of humor, medium-size hands and he's an artist. He's done my front crowns which were 30+ years old and they look great. So even though these past few years have been chaotic with work & insurance and such, Vince & company have been there and so support my smile and I appreciate that very much!

OK - I'm not a rocket scientist

I just came back from 2 weeks off for foot surgery. All went well and I still have 10 toes. I'm just forced to walk slower & with a frankenstein boot. Anyways, I'm getting off-track. I had only been at work 2 days in between the ACID incident and the foot surgery incident.
Somewhere in the back of my pea brain, I somewhat expected someone at my work to give a shit. I'm not looking to be showered with attention, but a card for god's sake isn't too much?
I was discussing (I swear it was not a pity party) this with reasonably intelligent friend of mine and she pointed out the obvious - "they didn't do shit for you when you nearly died when your device tried to jumpstart your heart after a long & stressful day, what makes you think their going to give a shit about your frickin foot?"

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The firing squad

Well - I can now say I've joined a new club - AICD firing squad.

I was racing after a 12-hour day to the subway when I checked the monitor at the station entrance and it occurred to me that I missed my train home. At 9:01pm I got the first of 4 shocks. The next came maybe 15-20 seconds later & the next (and hardest) was maybe 30 seconds and the last one perhaps another 20 seconds. The joules discharged were 17,17, 31, 17.

A kind homeless woman called 911 thinking I had a heart attack. She even went upstairs to guide the EMTs to me. Thanking her was not enough. She deserves a medal. Was taken to the local hospital as my EKG kept tabletopping and not showing spikes. I figured, I missed my train, had no ride home so why not! They kept me there for 2 nights to watch the enzyme levels spike & go down. They also changed my settings to a higher threshold. I felt fine, enjoyed the clean sheets & sponge baths for a change. I will say that there is nothing and I mean NOTHING worse than hospital food when you’re a cardiac patient. They automatically put you on no salt (despite my incredible low blood pressure and flawlessly clean arteries), Everything tastes like paste.

My other Bionics were interested in the gory details (its how we learn) so I’ve shared the following:

My settings were low as my HR never, and I mean never, gets above 125. My EP has also re-verifies it each time I'm in as they usually set it low after installing it & see what the usual max HR is and adjust accordingly. Mine was never reset. And I've done tons of stadium stairs, Gym & hours of cardio, not to mention the single father of 3 young men (17,21,24) who have been known to test my threshold. My device WAS set to monitor @ 150, Fire @ 170 and I'm sure they don't just look at the HR, but the Quality and Dynamics of the beat.

I was awake. I slumped (fell?) against a wall backside-first with the second shock. Didn't see any bright lights or hear any sounds. Honestly, it felt like a kick to the chest - not so much painful, as shocking (mild pun intended). This truly happened just as I realized I missed my train. I didn't realize it at first then a second or so later thought - "Geez, this might have been a . . . BAM" second shock. I tried to gain composure and mentally calm myself down and lower my HR, but I guess this action releases adrenaline and that kind of makes it difficult. The third one caught me just after an exhale so this scared me a bit, but I realized I really needed to gain control and I eventually slipped below the discharge threshold. The fourth was as I was trying to dial my kids, I gave up till the paramedics arrived. No pain afterwards, just mild disgust having to deal with this (the past 7-10 days have not been the best).

I think one of the weirdest thing is having to relive this every time I pass that monitor! The last two days I'm doing my usual "brisk walk" to the station and descend the 2 flights down via stairs and I get the most un-nerving feeling as enter that portal. I guess its partly PTSD, which is understandable (and I'm not making light of those who do suffer with it). I guess time will heal. I'm also keeping an eye out for my angel !

In retrospect, I'm glad I got to experience this as I'll be better prepared for the next one. The same going in for my Myectomy - I felt so much better by learning from others that I wasn't scared & understood everything. I hope this helps others, as I'd like to put it behind me now and get on with enjoying life.

It all depends on how you look at it

I've been really having a rough time these past two months & my sister calls to check on me weekly & I'm sure she notices that my once bubbly disposition is starting to pop - little by little. This past Friday I called her to say that despite working a 73 hr. week, today another employee announced he's leaving, I attended a funeral for my best friend's father, my gym partner/dentist informed me my 24-year old son needs 6 teeth extracted due drug abuse, my car got towed and I had to go to two tow yards in lovely downtown LA to find it. Accordingly, I nearly missed the beginning of my friend's one-women show. I'm really having a good day! Somehow, I was not going to let this get to me. It all depends on how you look at it.

So onward & upward!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

So long Coco!

Finally! After 3 weeks of no communication (Phone, internet) I can now reach the outside world. I've been having static on my line for months. From my years working at Telco companies I assumed it was spyders - literally cobwebs on the wire, that coupled with moist winter air. I had been meaning to go out there and dust them, but with my work schedule, it wasn't going to happen anytime soon. That and the typhoons of late, the system crapped out sometime between the 18th & 24th. It petered out in bits, first no ringing, then no dial tone, then no caller id, then I had a private tech out to check our system and he found an old active line that was acting up. This one was used to connect the computer to the outside world but he's the one to identify that the line was bad (Verizon self check said it was fine).

So after some fiddling he was able to restore a dial tone, but it was accessing my neighbor's line (Coco). Now, I was not able to receive calls nor dial out or surf porn, but I could tell when when Coco got a call and could listen in (and comment). Too bad Coco had no idea who I was.

I had called Verizon to offically put in a fix it ticket and was given a January 12th date for repair. I later realized my device could not contact my cardiologist and this was now a medical need as well. It took me two days of calls to finally get someone in repair to list it as a medical emergency. Still, no change in date! It wasn't until I contacted the PUC and filed a complaint yesterday that Verizon finally did something about it. Less than 24hrs later two trucks show up. Seems the squeaky wheel does get the grease.