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    • CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMar 19th 2017
    George and mary - so glad you and others stick around. We are family and for many the only close family we have.

    The responses on Facebook has been varied. Many had no idea what it is like or how long this disease can go on - lucky for them I didn't get into the nitty gritty of life.
    • CommentTimeMar 19th 2017 edited
    Would you consider sending this to "Letters To the Editor' page of your local newspaper? It is intelligent and warm, and I think readers would relate to it. Somehow, I have the idea that you live in either eastern Washington State or Oregon. Corvallis? They would have a daily newspaper.
    Yes, I agree that Charlotte's piece needs to be more widely circulated. Maybe a letter to the editor--where it could be printed on the opinion pages of a daily newspaper--would be a good idea. Many people (including me) don't look at Facebook.
    • CommentTimeMar 19th 2017
    I don't read Facebook either. I somehow got spooked in the early days when it first started. Don't remember how. Was it because someone told me that mean things could be said on Facebook?
    • CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMar 19th 2017
    I live in Eastern Washington in Richland which is a couple miles from Hanford Nuclear reservation where they mad the components for the bombs dropped on Japan. Not glowing yet so guess am still safe!! (a local joke)
    • CommentAuthorMoon*
    • CommentTimeMar 19th 2017
    I too always enjoy reading your informative and heart-rendering stories.
    You continue to amaze me with how well you manage all the problems that come your way.
    You are one strong woman. Thanks for all your posts - many helped me tremendously while
    I was in the throws of taking care of my husband. I wish you well.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeMar 20th 2017
    Spring has sprung at 6:29 EDT this morning. It made good time apparently and arrived what we would call early, but the planet knows what it's doing I guess.

    I'm celebrating my first season with my New Year's resolution in tact which is to stumble through life with the same disregard for the planet that it's shown me. Well, that's not entirely true. It's giving me new chins where there seems to be a surplus and it's turning my formerly lovely dark hair into a wiry brillo pad that likes to stand up in odd ways for no reason. There could be the mildest breeze and my hair will look like I've been electrocuted.

    There's a race on to see if my teeth can all fall out before my gums recede into where ever it is they're going. If my breasts keep growing I'm going to need a bra to go out in public. And if that isn't enough, my skin is apparently tired and is trying to turn me into a bassett hound.

    Dianne's really missing out on all this great stuff happening in what the brochure clearly called The Golden Years. I don't want to find out what that really means. "Hey!" the commercial asks on TV, "Do you ever pee involuntarily when you laugh???"

    "Not yet sweetheart!" I call back and change the channel to something called Ice Road Truckers where you follow along with trucks hauling stuff or I could watch Say Yes To The Dress or I could watch Gupta Does Mumbai. Sounds great, a good reminder of the looney tunes planet I'm on and that it's not just me that's crazy.

    This came up at the supermarket when I was buying cheese and came across Cheese Food. I looked at the orange lump suspiciously because if it's cheese you don't have to say it's food. You only say it's food when it isn't. Orange gloop I would have called it, but then it wouldn't sell, where it didn't seem to be flying off the shelf this way either.

    Spring arrives on the 21st, more or less. Got it. Well you just knock yourself out there world because I've just ordered a pizza and I'm going to watch the Boston-Washington game, pig out, and probably fall asleep during the game with my feet up. It would be proper that those who walk in our shoes get certain exemptions or benefits afterwards; but, there are none. When you're lucky, life feels more ordinary again. Or so I've heard.
    It is indeed a planetary alignment-like cosmic event trying to get the teeth to last just until the body gives out. One doesn't want to put the price of a small yacht into the pearlies (and implants, crowns, etc) to be only admired by the mortician the next week. At the same time, good teeth are an asset both for mastication and for looking good, so definitely a worthwhile investment.

    No one has invented a car whose parts all wear out at the same time, so be it with the body and the teeth. I always take a moment at the dentist's office to do the math: estimated longevity vs cost. Because, in the end, it's money that makes the world go around, not love.
    Hey wolf ..... You're still just a kid. Wait till you get GeorgieBoys age,

    GeorgirBoy went through his second childhood a long time ago.
    He's now on his fifth........

    How old is GeorgieBoy? ..... He's old enough to know better,
    but he still dosen't know better .......

    GeorgieBoy never reads the instructions. He just does what little kids do.
    He pushes every button to see what happens.......

    GeorgieBoy never locks his door. There's nothing in there worth
    stealing ........ except possibly his candy.

    Poor GeorgieBoy ..... He's almost completely used up
    the old body that he's been living in for 95 years.
    His eyes can barely see ..... His ears can barely hear.
    ......... His legs can barely walk ... .... His little brain
    can barely think........ The only thing he's got that still
    works is his big mouth.

    Oh, GeorgieBoy ....... What are we gonna do with you?

    Since he's almost deaf, he has to speak loud so he can
    hear what he's saying.

    He's still alive at Ninety-five..........
    Just hanging around for Meanness...........
    • CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMar 20th 2017
    Had my PT today then was released with 100% range of motion. Still have pain but hopefully with time it will go away since it slowly is getting less, especially ROM behind my back. My left can go as far up my back as my right, so I am happy.

    Watching Dancing with the Stars. Charo is on it this season - hasn't changed a bit. Still as crazy as she ever was. Also have Nancy Kerrigan, Mt T (very stiff) and the first baseball player.

    Yesterday was sunny and warm. First day of spring cold, windy and gloomy.

    Neighbor lady is moving to Phoenix - gave me her small freezer. So nice to have something bigger than the RV freezer. I went to Costco and bought the Healthy Choice fudge bars now that I have a bigger freezer. I like them cause they are creamy. taste good and only 100 calories.
    • CommentAuthorLindylou*
    • CommentTimeMar 21st 2017
    Robin came to the bird feeder this morning while we were having breakfast. I'm sure there is no access to the grubs they are usually looking for in this frozen white wilderness here in Massachusetts. Weather was warmer for a while yesterday to welcome spring but the weather people are predicting a possibility of more snow tonight or tomorrow last I heard.
    Charlotte, glad to hear you've got the 100% range of motion. Now if the pain will only evaporate...

    Lindylou, we've had several robins flying around the bushes and patches of ground where the snow has melted off. Bandit would love to catch one, but has pretty much figured out that it's a waste of time to go after them. He is always on the leash....and I am not chasing after robins. lol
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeMar 21st 2017 edited
    edited by Wolf
    My Next Life by George Carlin

    I want to start my next life backwards: You start out dead and get that out of the way.

    Then you wake up in a nursing home feeling better every day.

    Then you get kicked out for being too healthy.
    Enjoy your retirement and collect your pension.

    Then when you start to work, you get a gold watch on your first day.
    You work forty years until you're too young to work.

    You get ready for high school. You drink alcohol, party, and you are generally promiscuous.

    Then you go to primary school, you become a kid, you play, and you have no responsibilities.

    Then you become a baby and then. . . you spend your last 9 months floating peacefully in Spa-like conditions -Central heating, room service on tap, and then. . .

    You finish off as an orgasm.
    • CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMar 21st 2017
    Even in the cold and snow our birds around here are fat little buggers! So many of us feed them, why should they leave and go south? Use to have one quail couple that roamed the park. The babies grew up and left. Now they stay around and are fat guys - great if someone wanted quail to eat. Maybe because they are fat they would be too high in fat and cholesterol to safely eat!

    Elizabeth, I am sorry you guys are still getting snow but in all honesty you are more than welcome to keep it. The clouds and rain we are having is better. Of course, this is the desert where the sun is suppose to shine over 300 days of the year. I don't think we will make that unless they call the days it peaks out for 5 seconds a sunny day.

    The pain I am told can take a year or longer to go away. Some say it never does but I am determined mine will.
    • CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMar 29th 2017
    I heard from the VA social worker today and it didn't end too well. She called and left a message yesterday and when I called back today my name wasn't even familiar to her (red flag #1). She sounded awful young too (might be red flag #2). First she had to check to make sure they had paperwork giving permission to discuss stuff with me (definitely red flag 3). She proceeded to tell me since his illness was not service related the VA won't pay for nursing home care. If we can't afford it Medicare would pay (red flag 4). I told her I knew that Medicare doesn't pay for nursing homes, it would be Medicaid that we would rely on. She had no idea Medicare did not cover nursing home care. She said she would have to check on that. She apparently had no idea how much they would need to loose in daily personal care for placement. She told the VA could not help me. She told me to contact the service rep which I told her we had and my husband does not qualify for anything he could find. By this time I was livid, in tears and told her I am too tired after 9 plus years to put up with this game. Told her David from pallative care said social services could help me as we came to each new progression and needs. I am tired of one saying they can, another they can't, another they can, another they can't. She said she would talk to the nursing home placement nurse to find out. I told her please do cause I am tired of this crap. If the VA can't help that means I will need to switch him to a civilian doctor which I don't want to do. She was not happy and don't know if I will hear from her again.

    Later I was walking the dog when I stopped to visit with someone. She has an Australian Shepherd dog which we have never had a problem between him and Jasmine. We were standing there talking when all of a sudden he attacked her. I managed to get between them, picked up him in his middle holding him upside down then looked him straight in the face and yelled why did you do that. As I think about it I can't believe I did that. Didn't think about the danger or the weight with my surgery shoulder - I was just scared about Jasmine and angry at him. She appears to be OK was just scared which I don't blame her. In the brief instance I thought he had picked her up with his mouth around her middle but I see no signs of puncture wounds. Thank the Lord.

    Came home after I calmed down and cried. Twice in one day. I am tired of all this crap.
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeMar 29th 2017
    Oh boy! You sure got a doozy. Given the way you handled the dog, I guess it's a good thing you weren't able to get you hands on that social worker. It sounds like you are ready for Art to be placed in LTC, even if he isn't ready. (I realize Medicaid would have to approve it.) You can only take so much. Hang in there, Charlotte. We are thinking of you.
    • CommentTimeMar 29th 2017
    Aww, Charlotte. Not a good day. I'm sorry it happened to you.That's some picture of you holding the Australian Shepherd dog upside down and then yelling at him. That takes some moxie.
    • CommentAuthorcassie*
    • CommentTimeMar 29th 2017
    Charlotte, you are one brave lady! I am sorry that your day has been such a shocker, I truly hope that tomorrow will bring you something good.
    Peace and blessings to you.
    Good lord, what a day. Charlotte, you obviously got a hold of a social worker who doesn't know what she is doing. Maybe at this point you could go over her head and talk with someone at the supervisory level. What a nimnal. The last thing you need at this point is an incompetent staff person. In terms of the dog, that is pretty scary. That is why I keep Bandit away from big dogs, for the most part, but not always. There is a brother/sister pair of black labs in our complex that he loves, and they love him. The three seem to be fine together--always want to visit--a good thing the owner is pleasant, too, and so the five of us (2 people, 3 dogs) always chat for a few minutes when we see each other outside, and the dogs touch noses and play very gently. Other than that, Bandit only visits with dogs his own size or a few pounds bigger.

    I was reading somewhere that the best way to separate dogs (if you need to) is for both owners to grab their hind legs and pull their hind legs up in the air, so they have to stand only on their front legs--obviously can't fight from that position--and it prevents the owners getting bit. That wouldn't have worked in your case though.

    I just went on a VA government website, and found that eligibility for VA nursing homes varies from state to state--apparently the state can decide, at least to some extent, on eligibility requirements. So any of us not in Washington state wouldn't be helpful with the nuts and bolts. Hmmmm. Again, you need to make sure you access a social worker who knows what they're talking about. Sorry you are dealing with this.

    In terms of keeping the same doctor, wouldn't the doctor change if he were placed in a VA nursing home--or any nursing home for that matter? As I've gone in and out of nursing homes over the years seeing patients, the patients are under the care of the physician who covers that particular nursing home--usually not the same one who followed them out in the community.

    Well, I'm getting ready for my eight-hour drive to the Heartland. I picked a day when there would be no rain along the route...and guess what...the forecast changed, and there will probably be some rain further down the interstate. Sigh. Oh well, at least we don't have to shovel it.
    Charlotte,the VA didn't help us with any nursing home costs either...same as Art, he didn't qualify. But I still used the VA for his medical needs. He was still a veteran and DID qualify for that care. Once Art is placed, there may be multiple illnesses that require ER or hospitalizations. Every time the nursing home called to say they were shipping him out to an ER, I diverted them to the VA hospital further away instead of the closer med center that they usually used. One thing I can tell you for sure is I NEVER paid a penny for any care, whether inpatient or ER visit as long as he was in the care of the VA. Towards the end he had 2 inpatient stays totaling 24 days combined. I was never billed for anything. Even if they don't help with long term placement expenses, they sure did come in handy for acute care needs.
    • CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMar 30th 2017
    When we met Odin this morning he lowered his head in embarrassment. He remembered yesterday. I told him it was OK I still liked him.
    • CommentAuthorMim
    • CommentTimeApr 1st 2017
    Charlotte, the VA doesn't help with nursing home care in Ohio either, but they did cover the first month's expense until Dan's medicaid was approved (that took a while, there was a month that I owed for but somehow I now don't need to pay that). Here our local VA clinic has three nursing homes that they will help get a person into (sounds like bad grammar, but oh well....), they also helped to get in touch with the home health care agency & paid for it while Dan was still home. Fortunately our social worker was a godsend, he helped so much. I'm sorry that you still have to deal with so much crap.

    Glad Jasmine wasn't hurt! Glad you didn't get hurt in the process!!!
    • CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeApr 1st 2017
    Mim. when she called back what I got basically from her was I have to wait until the time comes. Then it will be the doctor and/or his office staff that will handle it. Oh well, just keep chugging along I guess.
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd 2017
    Elizabeth, I hope you made your long drive without any problems. I was wondering whether Bandit stays in a crate in the back of the car or whether he rides up front with you. And how did he react to being in your house and the park again? Not that it's nearly as important(!), but how do you feel about being there now that you've had a few days to settle in?

    I was watching TV the other night and it occurred to me that if you can't make up your mind about location, you could sell the house, vacate the apartment, and use the $ to buy a tiny house, which you could move between the two locations. I was thinking that might be the ideal situation for Lucy and me -- she would love sleeping in a loft -- although I would not choose two cold-weather locations; I would go south in the winter.

    On that subject, I was wondering what the difference was between a tiny house and a mobile home and decided that (1) a tiny house is cuter; and (2) the average age of tiny house occupants is younger (maybe because you have to climb a ladder to get to the sleeping loft).
    • CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd 2017
    tiny house vs rv - tiny houses are not self contained. They have no holding tanks for fresh water or sewer which means no stopping to use your own bathroom, etc. Also means you have to always park where there are hookups.
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd 2017
    Thanks, Charlotte. I can see there are pros and cons for each choice. Whichever unit I chose, I think I would hire someone to drive it back and forth, since the largest thing I ever drove was a smallish U-Haul truck. However, Lucy would be a problem. I am sure she would freak out at air travel but she does not do well in cars, either. I'll have to think more about this.
    Oh my goodness, Myrtle, thanks for asking. The trip down to the Heartland was essentially uneventful--the weather report had changed, and we did get into some showers--but no big deal. Scranton--Wilkes-Barre was an interesting driving experience as always-- road construction never really ceases there. Their city symbol is probably the Traffic Cone. Bandit loves to travel in the back of the SUV. He has a heavy duty crate from a company in South Dakota called Ruff Tough Kennels. I highly recommend them. His crate has become his dog house, bed, and all-round home, and he doesn't like to ride in the SUV unless he is in the crate with a treat to get started with, and the door shut. For the first 24 hours or so he was fine in the house and the park, but I felt like he was still "putting it all together", "OK, I've arrived, but where exactly am I ?" After that, he was totally engaged and enjoying the house, yard, road, park, neighbors, grandkids--it was like we had never left. Of course, he had to head for his favorite poop spot across the grass into my neighbor's yard. He didn't forget that! Sigh. He is able to get up on top of my bed now, and really enjoys resting up there--in fact I have not made my bed yet today (lunchtime) because he is napping up there, burrowed under my red plaid flannel nightgown--just as snug as a bug in a rug.

    It is nice here, and good to see the neighbors again and drink tea and gossip shamelessly--but there is no question that this is not "Home" for me. I am busy changing addresses, bank accounts, insurances, etc., to reflect that I am a NY resident with a house in the Heartland where I go sometimes. I will keep this house another couple of years and see how it goes, but my daughter is clearly not interested in the idea of the Family Commune that I thought we were trying to put together. She and the kids have moved an hour west of here, to an extremely upscale town that is out of my league and too far from NY for me. And she is trying to put s-i-l (still in Pennsylvania) in the rear view mirror, which means that family get-togethers here at my house--using it as a sort of DMZ between North and South Korea--is just not happening either. So I'm just enjoying myself--my big piano, my fireplace, the park--the amenities the apartment doesn't have--and living my own life--feeling pretty good about things. My family is pretty much gone, but I'm still here--wahoo!