Thursday, May 11, 2017

Criminal - Part 1 - 1st Draft

She became aware; blurry eyes noticed dark fuzzy figures walking in the distance, getting larger by the second.  Alarmed, she realized they were heading toward her.  She tried to move, and realized she was held by something.  Her head jerked right and left. She couldn't move her hands further than the tubes attached by needles to either arm. A random thought out of nowhere.  'At least I still have arms.'   From clear plastic like containers, a dingy yellow liquid, the color of piss, or cheap beer, drained through one tube and a clear liquid drained from another.  By the time she realized that she was in a hospital, the dark fuzzy creatures became clearer and then, they were before her.
"Madeline O'Hara? Are you Madeline Margaret O'Hara?"
Something happened....what happened?
 "Yes.  I'm Madeline." Her anxiety was mounting.
"Do you remember what happened, Mrs. O'Hara?"
"It's Miss, actually."
The detective stared at her for one beat before continuing, "Miss O'Hara, do you remember what happened?"
"What happened?  What happened?  Panicked, Madeline tried to sit up abruptly.  The tubes and detectives held her in place.
"Miss O'Hara.  Please remain calm.  We need your help.  Do you remember anything?"
Madeline's memory seeped into her consciousness like the liquid dripping into her veins.   She remembered packing for a trip to Colorado to see her grandsons.  The Uber ride to the airport was uneventful, but instead of feeling the excitement of getting out of the city and going somewhere with altitude and mountains, she felt nervous and sad. 
The ticket line was long and seemed to take forever forcing her to stand longer than her 60 year-old body wanted to.  She looked around; elderly people leaving the safety and comfort of their 55-and up mobile home parks to visit family; parents with too-young children, traveling hipsters and thug wanna bees, and the infant son traveling with his father who she was sure was going to sit in coach and scream during the entire four hour trip. The kid, not the father.
"I was on a plane."
"Do you remember anything else?" 
She concentrated... the furrow on the detective's brow..lead her back to the plane..
It had been years since she had been on a plane.  Were the seats smaller?  She was only 5'2", but the space between the seats seemed small to her.  She was in a window seat by choice.  She maneuvered around the aisle seat and the middle seat, placed her bag in the overhead, sat down and waited for the drugs to kick in.
"I remember packing, the ride to the airport, waiting in line, and boarding.  Nothing special happened. I took some medication.  I think I fell asleep."
"Do you remember anything before that?" 
"Before, what?  what happened? Why am I here?"  She wasn't answering anymore questions until she had some answers.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Good Bye Kayla Girl!

                                                                 Kayla in 2010

UPDATE  and Warning:  There is no sugar or sugar substitutes below.  This may be unpalatable to some readers.
My Kayla-girl passed away on Friday,  December 30, 2016.  She was one month shy of 13 years old.  I made the decision to put her down.  I also prayed, numerous times, for God to remove the responsibility of taking some one's life from me.  And yes, she was a someone, not a something.  A very important someone in my life.
She was having trouble walking.  In fact, she began to not want to walk at all.  But when she did get going, she could walk longer  and faster than I expected.  She held her back legs straight and stiff when she walked.  It seemed to support her better.  Sometimes she fell, and when she did, sometimes we would have to wait a while before she could get moving again, and she would limp so badly, We would head back home.  There were many times that I thought I would have to find a way to leave her where we were and get the car, but she amazed me by always making it home.
She also had lipomas all over her body.  One I missed under her arm pit, which grew to the size of a baseball.   By the time I found it, the lipoma had involved too many muscles and nerves to remove.  This compromised her front leg.
But, God she was tough.  She never complained.  She loved me no matter what.  She looked at me with such love that my eyes burn just thinking about her.
I was selfish.  I couldn't do it anymore.  She needed to be lifted up to get in the car.  I helped her up and down stairs...when she would let me. She was very proud.  I heard what I considered horror stories of people who couldn't make the decision either; who let their animals live when they couldn't get up.  One lady told me she let her cat pee on a bed until they finally decided to take her to the vet.  Then they had to throw the bed out after the vet said nothing could be done for her.
And then there was the cost of keeping her alive. Her Cushing medication alone was $177 every three months.  She was on pain medication during the day and muscle relaxants at night.  And there were the other four animals to think about, but I couldn't think about them.
I reached a point where the culmination of everything, the cost, the effort, the time, it got to be more than I could bear.  I talked to my vet on the day I decided to do it.  They said she would get to the place where she couldn't get up and I would have to call someone to the house, something my finances would never allow.  Brooks told me I was doing the most loving, kind thing for Kayla.
I wanted to believer her, but the way Kayla died makes it hard to believe now.
Last August, 2016, I received an email from the Humane Society in Tampa.  They had a new wing, with a "special room" for euthanasia.  And they were cheap.  Way cheap.  $70.00.  I spoke to an employee of the facility for months, until I finally decided it was time.
I took the day off of work.  A friend went with me.  I brought my other 2 dogs.  I had insisted that they give her a sedative.  Although my friend told me they do it that way anyway, I had a feeling....this was an underfunded company.  They would likely try to skimp on the extras, and I was right. I insisted.  What great and divine inspiration, because if she had died the way she did while she was awake, it would have been horrible.
When I got to the room, it was the same type of veterinary room at my vet's office.  It was small, sterile with a metal table, with towels were thrown on the floor.  We sat on the towels.  Kayla was nervous and laid her head on my lap.  My stomach had been upset for days and the thought to stop this and take her home kept looping around and around and around, right up until it was too late.  I cried, my tears falling on her head.  I told her I was sorry, over and over again.  I tried to sing her song, but I couldn't get the words out.
The sedative takes about 10 minutes to work . Soon she was snoring on my lap.  She was so peaceful.  I wondered if this was the first real pain-free time she's had for awhile.
They seemed to have forgotten us. I was afraid she was going to wake up.  Every minute that went by was more agonizing.  When will this be over?
Finally, the tech and another female came to the room.  The tech fumbled to find a vein, complaining that it was the sedative that made the veins retract.  Later I was able to see that it was true, but God help the person they talk out of giving their animal a sedative.
As the fatal shot began to take hold, Kayla began retching.  Her chest heaved, but her lungs had shut down.  They call it a "reflex."  I call it horrible.  Almost hysterical, I asked them why this was happening.  They said it was the sedative.  Her last breath was a desperate attempt to breathe. On her last try, her jaw made this weird sound and jutted out unnaturally.  I can only guess that she dislocated it trying to breath.   It took her several minutes to die.  
What a horrible way to die.  It was a horrible thing to watch.
I know it had to be done, but I feel that I should have waited...I was selfish.  
I should have left.
I should have gone to my vet. My excuse was that Kayla was afraid of the vet, which she is...was. But the Humane Society was cheaper and I was led to believe they had a special room for animals, which turned out to be very un-special.  My vet would have been kinder.  They would have told me what to expect.  Kayla would have had enough of the injection that she would have died more quickly.  
My only comfort is that she didn't know what was happening.  Neither did the other dogs, which I brought into the room to see her after she died.  I did not want them to see the process.  I am very glad I didn't.  Another divine inspiration.   Jade licked her, but was focused on the shiny painting of a cat.  Tyler was completely oblivious, as he usually is. 
I am glad I had a three day weekend.  I cried like a baby for the entire three days.  One of the  good things that came out of this is now, I know a little more about the process.  
I can't tell if the dogs (or the cats) miss her or not.  They seem to have filled the gap quite easily.  Tyler has taken to Jade as he used to be with Kayla.  That could be one sign.  Sometimes they seem sad.  I was crying on my walk this morning and Jade seemed concerned.  I told her I was okay, just missing Kayla.  She seemed okay with that. They both seem down sometimes, but I interject a lot of human qualities on them, so I really don't know.  
I keep almost calling Jade, Kayla.  "Kay...Jade.."  is how it comes out.
I feel guilty about the relief of stress.  Kayla had almost stopped eating completely and had lost a lot of weight in a year.  She was 30 pounds down from just a few years ago. There's less stress in the mornings and evenings trying to find something she would eat.  She ignored the usual roast chicken and other things she loved when she was younger.
And the relief of time, effort, and....sadly, financial relief.  
I bought a hip sling for Jade.  At 10, she is showing signs of hip stiffness.  Ortho Dog had developed this harness that loops around the back legs to the chest, using the chest for the power.
I'll check the other two dogs for lumps much more often and get them removed.  Now that I know that soft tissue lumps can harden, enlarge and become debilitating, as they did with Kayla. 
I will harbor  a conflicting set of emotions as long as I have memory, but I vow to do better next time.
And I hope I will be ready.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Bitter Bitch


I don't like me.  In fact, I think I hate me. If I met me, before I knew me, I wouldn't like me.  

How did I get to be this bitter bitch?

When I was a little girl, I was so frightened of everything. I cowered in my smallness. I hid between the pages of Stephen King, Charles Dickens and Edgar A. Poe. When I found alcohol, at the age of 15, I was free from fear.  Physical fear, anyway.  Alcohol was my best friend, until it betrayed me, and here is where my bitterness bleeds me, like everyone else had before it. 

So, by some miraculous divine intervention, I was given a second chance to get my life back, break free of the bonds of the bottle., and so, I am.  

For years, I felt strong. I lived a good life.  I worked hard.  I believed in something spiritual. 

And then?  Well, fuck. I built another prison around myself with my own hands.  But this time, I made sure nobody, absolutely nobody but God could free me, and only with another divine miracle.  Yet still, I could be happy.  Still I prayed and hoped for that second, or one millionth intervention. 

I was too busy erecting the walls of my new prison to see how my own body was breaking down, crumbling within itself.  Another betrayal.  Constant pain in my hands, weariness of my body and pain in my neck and lower back makes the statement 'Fake it till you make it' less entertaining.  The facade is becoming too hard to maintain.  I find myself lashing out at people instantly and then regretting it, not immediately enough though.  I feel like the abusive boyfriend or girlfriend who does it over and over again, says sorry, promises not to do it again, and does.  

My sense of humor is turning into something ugly.  My childhood dreams bring me pain.  Hope is a mist evaporating in the harsh reality of my life. 

Like alcohol addiction, I feel powerless to stop the progression into depression and misery, and, I am ashamed to publically acknowledge, the twisted desire to make others miserable too.  Too many times, I feel like I can't take it anymore. I just want to stop. I want it to stop. 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Television is a Mind-Sucking Leach

I wrote this 15 years ago.  A lot of the  references are outdated, but I remember them, and I like them. So...

                                         Television is a mind-sucking social leech.

I had a friend who told me that his ex-wife used to say that television is the great conversation killer.

So why won't I stop watching?

I wake up every single morning, quickly telling God in the guise of a humble request, what I want to happen that day, knowing that He loves me and wants all good things for me. But really feeling guilty because I am trying to rush through my obligatory obeisance to God so that He will give me all good things. I don’t want to talk to God. I want to turn on the television. How else will I know what’s important today? So quickly is my conversation with God ended that I feel as if I am neglecting Him, and perform a mental shrug as I turn on one of two televisions on the way to the bathroom.

Immediately informed of the progress of the "war on terrorism", the latest shootings, muggings, car wrecks, bus wrecks, truck wrecks, assassinations, child abuse/neglect/murder, wars and rumors of war, including death-tolls, all intermittently mixed with the 7,000 forms of sports, and timed smatterings of weather and traffic. An attempt, I determined long ago, to stir me into such a frenzy, so that all I will want to talk about, listen to, and want to watch is the damn television. It seems to have worked as I reluctantly turn off the television to go to work.  Ask me ten minutes later what I heard or saw, I couldn't tell you. But someone else is watching TV also, and when the subject is brought up anywhere, anytime that day, we will discuss it with such concern and animation that you would think we eye witnessed the event personally.

On the way to work, the radio is turned on to hear the opinions of the local DJ, to learn what mine are, and listen to songs I don’t even like played in rotation every 45 minutes.  It’s getting hot in here, so hot, why do I suddenly feel like taking all my clothes off?

Every day at work is spent gazing directly into a 13-inch computer monitor for seven and half-hours from less than 12 inches away.  And when I get home what do I do to relax? Why, I walk into my apartment and turn on the television! My excuse is always the same. I deserve a break today! I want to have it my way!  Television, take me away!!

When I turn on the television, thousands of tiny invisible single cell microorganisms are shot through the airwaves into my brain through my ears and eyes. They crawl through to my brain eating it from the inside, sucking ideas and the will to live or to do anything at all right out of my head. GIGO.  Garbage in, garbage out. This mind-killing organism has a numbing effect, which is why I don’t feel them entering my body and crawling through my brain. “We celebrate you, Mr. Tiny invisible single cell micro-organism!  It’s not easy finding your way through the air into our tiny brains!! Going where no man has gone before!  You are the savior of the media Mr. Tiny invisible single cell microorganism!”

Yep, I figured this all out on my own. It’s the only explanation of why I can’t cancel cable and quit watching this soul sucker. It can’t be just that I have become lazy, and don't want to think for myself, or that I let television and the media what the important issues are, and what my opinions are about them?

It doesn't seem to always matter what is on. I have become addicted to the little critters. That’s why it’s so important to hear the voices from the television, to feel the numbness, and then to sink into a place of blissful non-thinking. Isn’t it even plausible that I hear the little creatures say, "Hi Honey!" when I wake up in the morning and, "Goodnight baby." before I retire at night?

I wonder how many other people know about this? Doctors should prescribe it...better than Xanax, better than Prozac-lite! A prescription for 30 days of solid thought-depleting process, and then, return as needed. And by the way, vote for Bush.

I’ve thought about getting help, canceling cable, selling the TV, and found out those little bastards don’t like it when you cut them off completely. I even tried it a couple of times and went through withdrawals-cramps, shakes, dry heaves, and cold sweats. I’ve wondered if I would end up hanging out on the corner of the hood, waiting for some elderly woman to walk by so I could grab her purse, find out where she lives, break into her house and steal her television.

So here I sit, in front of the mind-sucking social leech, taking no responsibility for the way the world is carrying on. The media, creators and sole owners of the brain pets have everything under control.  I would go out and get help, but they know when I am thinking about doing that, because fear freezes my mind like an ice cream headache and these thoughts tornado around in my head..If I cancel cable and stop watching TV., how am I gonna know when "You Gotta Eat!!" or to "Obey your thirst!"  My life would be dull if I didn’t’ know what “drama” is.  I might have to formulate my own opinions. I don’t even know what they are, and, I would have to be alone with the most boring person I know.

You’d think like this too if you had little critters crawling around your brain.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Ready or Not...

My dad went into hospice on Friday. My dad is 83 years old and one of the funniest and most entertaining men I have yet known.

I thought I had made my peace with his passing, he's old, been infirm for awhile, but I found out different when I was heading to see him. Memories flooded from all directions, almost as if my life flashed before my eyes.  I thought I was so ready, I didn't know if I was even going to cry.  I cried all the way to the hospice center.  

But he's not going to die today. They're going to let him go home Monday.  He doesn't meet the criteria yet.  He'll be released to hospice for at-home care, until he doesn't meet the criteria for that anymore and they release him from hospice, again.  

This latest episode confirms what I've suspected for awhile.  He says his doctor gets mad if he doesn't take all his pills.  He nods off, is lethargic, and talks nonsense. He ends up in the hospital a lot and now, hospice.  My mother doesn't understand, even though I've said, "Yea, Mom.  Three oxycodone a day will do that to a body."  Just when I think she's got it, she says that she doesn't understand why this is happening.  She even throws in some island superstition and says that he's "not in his body," so she has to yell at him to bring him back.  She yells at him all the time, every time he nods off.  Sometimes, I swear he goes to the hospital, and now this hospice visit, just to get some relief.
Nobody questions old people when they take too much medication.  Sometimes I think it would be great to get old, but then again, I'm sober 21 years, so I don't really have the luxury of abusing medication, unless I don't want to be...sober I mean.  And I think overmedication of the elderly is an epidemic that has been occurring for quite some time. 

When I saw my father on Friday night, I did not know he was going to be alright, so I started apologizing to him for being so hard on him.  It's so hard to put up with old people. I don't have the patience.  The things they accept, the lies they believe.  I didn't realized that I was afraid of old people until I realized that I've never really known any.  These old people (yeah, I said it) are the only old people I've ever really known.  I'm not physically afraid of them, because I think I can beat an old person's ass, but their whole selves, the smell, the frailty, the slowness of mind and body, how different they were from me, their neediness.  Maybe that's why they like taking a lot of pain medication. 

 Like everything else, I can empathize if I too, have experienced something.  Now I'm experiencing growing old and if you grow old, you usually know old people. 

I'm all over the place with this little thing I'm writing.

When I saw my father Friday night, I told him the reason I wasn't married is because I have never found a man as funny and entertaining as him that is not a psychopath.  It was nice to see him smile.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Downtime - When Systems Go Down

Me, being my goofy self.

I don't know how honest I can be on a public forum, even if no one but me ever reads this.  There are just things one does not talk about, like feeling suicidal, being a nosepicker, a pedophile, a cheater, liar, and thief  (except for you egovidiots who post wads of cash and jewelry on your Facebook page after a robbery), or how much you love downtime at work, especially, if the internet is still available.

Our system has been down quite a bit lately, thanks to our previous two IT companies. BTW, you get what you get when you get what you don't pay for.  I know, What? Right? Don't worry about it. I know what I mean.

Anyway, I'm listening to Syrius XM, writing this blog because I've read everything I want to read on Flipboard and Huffington Post.  I don't want to get on Facebook because I'll be there all day looking at cute and horrific pictures of puppies, kittens, dogs, cats, etc. Facebook is like a Twinkie.  Zero nutrition because consumers aren't interested in nutrition, the sugar is addicting, and it lasts forever.

So far I haven't said a damn thing.  What was my point? Oh yeah, downtime at work.  Our office is almost totally electronic.  Luckily, our server for work programs is separate from our internet. Sometimes they both go down.  When the server goes down, no work gets done.  In a small office, no work is no bueno.

The older I get, the more I love downtime. I used to be able to work strong and hard for hours, but I find myself slowing down, unable to maintain the pace of my youth.  I guess that's why people don't like to hire older people.  What I have over my younger competitors, is knowledge and experience, which makes up for a lot of time doing research, so I guess it all evens out.  

I just heard the IT guy say, now there's something wrong with the server.  I could be at home watching Netflix.  Wait..I can watch it here.

I love technology and the age I'm living in.  I gotta write though, I'm not thrilled with people so much, but that's another blog.