vicodin_addiction_abuse“Vicodin, I got addicted to that little pill. The reason I don’t talk about it too much in the press is because it isn’t funny, and I love to be funny in interviews. If you joke about that period in your life, it doesn’t seem right.”~ Matthew Perry

This past Monday I was visited by my doctor.

In recent past, I haven’t found it to be a bother. But ever since Norco (Vicodin) was placed higher on the classification scale, ultimately deeming it an addictive substance, things haven’t really been the same between he and I.

It comes from a serious injury that I sustained many years ago from a situation that I was in with a man who was high on drugs and it turned violent. I was left with chronic pain in my back and he went to jail. There’s a blog post here some where that talks briefly about it.

My doctor however has been quite “stubborn” for lack of a better term. I understand completely that he could lose his license if he is audited and they think that he’s pushing Vicodin. But because of this chronic injury, I believe that I have had a legitimate case to use it. I’ve lost the argument so many times with the doctor that I just gave up fighting because apparently playing CYA is more important.

Anyways before I get off track some more, on Monday when he finally arrived at my home, I was particularly not feeling too well and had one hell of a migraine and was suffering the moment he arrived.

The companion nurse could even tell that I was miserable due to the fact that my blood pressure was higher than usual.

I was also sitting there looking at them with my head crooked and turned to the side because it was the most comfortable position to sit in. My intention was to lay down after they left and hoped that I would take a nap and it would dissolve when I woke up.

The very moment that the doctor heard that my blood pressure was unusually high and the fact that I admitted to being in severe pain, he pulled away (for once) from his tablet and stopped typing and clicking and looked at me and said that he was going to prescribe Norco for me for five days.

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Are you serious?

Wait, what?!??

Some how that captured his attention.

I thought I was dreaming when I heard him say it. Could it be real? Could he be totally serious?? I looked at him funny and he stared back with a straight face awaiting my decision as to whether or not five days of Norco was something that I wanted.

He asked if I wanted the prescription to be sent to a local pharmacy that would have delivered it directly to me. Probably the next day.

However the shenanigans doesn’t stop there.

During the time that I DID have a 30 day prescription of it, my insurance was switched and then suddenly the pharmacy was not accepting it to take care of the co-pay.

Instead of Norco costing me a few dollars out of pocket, it was well over $60!!

My insurance information at that pharmacy apparently has not changed either. So I said “No, send it to the pharmacy company that you guys use. I am dead broke right now that I cannot afford the co-pay.” And that means that five days of painkillers would be delivered to me in the mail. And I wouldn’t be receiving it right away. I would have to wait for it.

I could just HEAR the doctor sneering about it. Damnit, just do as I ask!! It is not like you’re going to go back to prescribing this stuff to me again. That is obvious.

So he did. And Tuesday I received a call from the company informing me that they received a new prescription for Norco.

But then over the phone I could just sense the confusion they had when they realized that it was only a five day supply. They knew that in my history that I was at one time receiving a 30 day supply. So only receiving a five day prescription was totally mind blowing to them for whatever reason.

Me too!!

I was told that it would be delivered and I should expect it on Friday. And because it is a painkiller that I was going to need to sign for it. Which is not a big deal.

Naturally that migraine did go away. And the medicine is still going to arrive. But it is going to help with all of this serious back pain I am currently dealing with because of the fact that I keep killing wheelchairs and keep having to switch to another temporary one. Even though it was only a year ago when I ordered a brand new one. I’m currently battling for a new one that would be taken care of by Medicare and not getting anywhere with it. But the point being that even though the migraine is gone, this medicine is going to help with all this chronic pain. All of that is for another post.

I just found it wildly interesting that I would go to war with the doctor for many months over painkillers and finally surrender the fight and trying to live with the pain and deal with it in other ways, only to be given five days worth simply because I had a headache that was temporary.

how-to-fill-out-a-money-order“Money can buy you a fine dog, but only love can make him wag his tail.”~ Kinky Friedman

Welcome to April!

And for those of you who are keeping track: 25% of the year has now gone by.

As it is for so many of us, this week is rent week. A week that we all feel so much good fuzzy feelings for! Am I right? No?!?? Oh well. It can be a chore and a hassle but we do it because we want to keep having a place to live.

This morning as I was going to grab my coffee, I remembered that I needed to grab the money order that I had for my own rent.

Well, April in Texas is also stormy season. A cold front blew in so it was a bit chilly outside. Very windy too!

I picked up the money order and headed back outside. But the wind nearly pulled the money order out of my hand. I do have pockets, but they aren’t that deep and I didn’t feel secure enough with all this wind that it would stay in there. I did the next best thing that I could think of.

I stuck the money order in between my teeth and bit down and proceeded to move forward.

The moment I turned the corner at top speed and was facing a northern direction, that crazy wind got in the way.

As I was accelerating in speed because I was going down a hill, the wind got stronger and flipped that flimsy piece of paper upwards and back into my face. The width of the paper and its placement between my teeth literally caused a blind spot.

Before I knew it, the wheelchair had turned off of the sidewalk and I went tumbling down the rest of the hill, head over heels, over and over and over again. The money order never coming out of my mouth.

It took quite a while for the empty wheelchair to catch up to me. And I climbed back in. All the while gritting down on the money order so it would not fly away in the wind.

I am fine though. I didn’t seriously hurt myself. I wasn’t bleeding or anything like that. I had the sense to roll with the roll so to speak.

But I have always said that rent was going to kill me one day. It came a little bit closer today than before!!!

Everyone enjoy a laugh from the story. Happy April to everyone!!!!!!!

image-20160324-17851-1yv9q70“If you want to see the sunshine, you have to weather the storm.”~ Frank Lane

I am greatly considering either writing a book, or starting a brand new blog when it comes to the great people and experiences here at the SGC.

Allow me to present to you the events over the past 24 hours.

It is late March. Tis the season. Texas went through a lot of rain overnight and into this morning and early afternoon. However the insanity started to break when our beloved meteorologists were warning that “storms could be severe.”

Texas translation? MILK AND BREAD! MILK AND BREAD!! AND BATTERIES!!!

The corner gas station was completely wiped out of the items.

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On this day in 2014. Just saying Texas likes to be stormy on this day.

So it rained and rained. There was thunder. There was lightning. And there was a promising look of local flooding. But it all subsided. In the end, store owners got richer and the area got some much needed rain to help with the drought.

When the sun came up this morning and it was time to get that all important cup of coffee, I suddenly realizing that I had walked into a room full of outspoken and loud obscenities.

F bombs were flying!! “Fuck this and fuck that. Fucking fuck! Fuck! Fuck!” And when you are trying to wake up and having a hard time making sense of the day, being bombarded with profanities isn’t the best way of going at it.

It would have been easier to handle, if there was a point to it. But the guy just couldn’t stop swearing. He was just rambling on about various things. And then he finally stood up and left.

The neighbors have labelled him as “the insane one.” From people who know him however, apparently he is highly intelligent. So there you have it.

The chaos train had started rolling at full speed.

Today was our special Easter dinner event. It was a catered event from a seafood restaurant and only a few select people could attend. There was a sign up sheet that the residents had to sign in order to be able to take part. If you were not the list, you were not offered any food. Easy enough to understand.

There was supposed to an Easter egg hunt, but due to the fact that at 11:30 AM looked like 10:00 PM and the rain was pouring down, that was cancelled.

In an effort to avoid bodies bumping into everything while trying to get in line to get food, they decided to go to the sign up sheet and call people’s name one at a time. Your name was called and you got your food. Once you were handed your food and you walked away, the next person was called.

It was a process that I felt worked out very well.

And the guy who had the potty mouth this morning?

His name was not called. His name was not written on the sign up sheet that the social worker had in her hands. And so, without his name being on the list, he was refused being served food.

GUESS WHAT HAPPENED NEXT???

Round Two. Screaming and wailing. Minus the profanity for whatever reason.

Our resident who had coordinated the event with staff was trying to talk to him to tell him that she had his name on the list and that he can go ahead and get something to eat. But in his blinding rage, he did not hear her. And so instead of having that saving grace that he was in fact included on the list, he stormed his way out of the building and into the pouring rain with bitterness in his heart. Even though the coordinating resident was trying to get in a word over the shouting. She simply was overpowered.

Apparently what unfortunately had happened was that the resident attempted to e-mail the social worker last night to add him to the list. But the social worker never received the e-mail.

He was gone before the resident could resolve the problem.

Being that I was sitting at the same table as the coordinator, I heard the conversation between her and the social worker when they both realized what the problem was. And there was not anything they could do about it because technology had failed.

I can believe it as I was without Internet for several hours last night. So the e-mail probably was never sent.

Food however WAS set aside to be given to him after the fact. I do not know what happened when they went to deliver it to him at his home.

The other residents began their buzzing. One guy even came up to the coordinator and decided that he was going to put the full blame upon the shoulders of the social worker. He stated that the social worker handled it extremely poorly and it should have never went down the way that it did. And there were others that were just as willing to chastise and point fingers.

I realized at that moment that the craziness of living here would NEVER go away!! I understand that there are over 60 people who call this place home, and that means there’s probably going to be over 60 different opinions.

The fighting and the minutiae will forever be present here at SGC. And that’s why I wonder if I should start writing more and more about the events that go on here because it has to be wildly entertaining for some of you!!!

And finally to bring this tale to an end, the social worker decided that she was going to just hand out plastic Easter eggs to those who were in attendance because there would be no Easter egg hunt.

Inside of each egg were treats. Basically bite size pieces of chocolate and quarters. I stopped in the social worker’s office to say “good morning” to her early last week when she was putting them together.

Each person got several eggs. Most of which contained one piece of candy and one quarter. I believe the intention was to give out enough eggs that there would be enough money to use for the laundry machines. At least to wash your laundry. boot

I sat there at the table and I was making jokes about the social worker looking like the Easter bunny. But it went terribly, terribly wrong!!

It was probably the biggest faux pas I had made in over a year.

Instead of saying “She looks like the Easter bunny handing out treats.” I said, “She looks like the Playboy bunny handing out treats.”

It was met with dead silence until I realized the error and quickly corrected myself for it.

I swear I thought I was next to be crucified for it.

After I survived that scare, the social worker came back around a few minutes later asking for the emptied plastic eggs. They wanted to be able to keep them and use them in years to come.

A majority of the eggs contained Hershey’s Kisses. Not all, but most of them. hershey-easter-kisses-700_0

In a moment of quick thinking, when the social worker came around to collect the eggs from our table I said, “Thank you for the kisses!!”

The social worker busted out laughing so hard that she bent in half. And in the next moment the entire building was laughing as hard as they could.

I probably saved myself from certain social and personal destruction after the “bunny” comment.

I am not sure what “holiday” will be served up next here. If I had to guess, it could be Memorial Day or Independence Day.

And as always…. stay tuned!!!

180319-austin-bomb-feature
Due to current events, I am feeling compelled to write about what’s going on.

In a time less than an hour and a half from the time this post is being written, another explosion has been reported in the city of Austin, Texas.

Since the second of March, there has been several incidents in which an explosive device either has detonated or had been detected.

Of course the most recent explosions are… for lack of a better term… still “fresh” and investigations are underway.

A number of people have been injured, and one teenager has died in these attacks in which law enforcement seem to believe have more links than what the public realizes.

Personally I am shocked that none of these explosions had happened anywhere near or even during the SXSW Festival, which just officially ended on the 18th. bibf.png

I am thankful however that at least ONE explosive device was found before it was able to hurt or kill anyone.

Explosion #2 that happened on the 12th of March was close enough to where I live that I actually HEARD the blast roar through the air when it happened. Sadly, that was the same explosion in which one was killed and one injured.

Now the citizens of Austin, Texas have gone from frustration and shock and surprise, to absolute terror and fear.

I am personally angry. But I felt it very necessary to write this post to let you all know that I am uninjured and that a majority of these explosions are not anywhere near where I am. Explosion #2 was still a few miles away. But I AM OKAY!!!!

And in my anger, I am offering to donate an old wheelchair that I have to give to the person or persons responsible because they are going to need it if the law abiding and scared citizens catch them in the act before the police do. There are reasons why they say that you “Don’t Mess With Texas.”

 

snow-cold-thermometer“It doesn’t make a difference what temperature a room is, it’s always room temperature.”~Steven Wright

Holy crap, folks!!!

Not minutes after posting the last blog post, a major “dick measuring” contest broke out on social media.

I mentioned the LOCAL temperature here this morning and people from other parts of the country just had to chime in with their local temperature reading, as if it was some sort of contest.

The temperature was not the point of the blog. The fight that people were outside fighting was the point.

So here are some meteorological facts for those who don’t know or for those who just don’t seem to get it:

I’m in Austin, Texas. And Austin, Texas rarely gets as cold as the rest of the nation during the winter months. Although at the beginning of the year, the weather will get very cold but the coldest part of that day will be hours before the sun rises.

Austin, Texas rarely gets temperatures as low as they have been in the past couple of days. Hell, the southern states don’t get as cold as they have been in recent days. Not to mention that Texas doesn’t have a lot of experience with winter-like weather, such as sleet, freezing rain, ice, and snow.

So when these places in the country actually turn cold, you’re going to hear about it on social media. Plain and simple. If it snows in Texas, you are going to hear about it. Even if you have inches of snow on the ground where you are located and have been dealing with freezing temperatures for a while.

Same thing happens when the northern part of the country reaches sweltering heat during the summer. You’re going to hear about it from people in the north because they are not used to it.

There’s no reason for the comparisons to be honest. Just understand that for some people this is a freaky phenomenon that is happening. No need to bust out the plumage on your tail feathers.

I swear, some people’s children!!!

4774425958_0550f68742_b“People don’t notice whether it’s winter or summer when they’re happy.”~ Anton Chekhov

Welcome to 2018, everyone!

It is mid-January, which means just a few days until my next birthday. And also time for a new blog post. Since there were none in December.

If you have been keeping up with recent weather events, you’ll know that a majority of the United States of America is pretty darn cold right now. Including right here in Austin!!

As a matter of fact, the entire city has been shut down. Monday was a federal holiday and Tuesday’s weather got really cold. A TRUE winter time here in Austin. It was going to be a shorter week, but due to the fact that temperatures were way below zero, and there was the threat of freezing rain/sleet/ice/snow, Austin just basically said “Screw it! We’re closed.”

Now it is Wednesday. Here at the SGC, we’ve not had much in the way of events since Thursday because staff chickened out and left early last Friday. But today, Wednesday the 17th, staff returned. The doors were open.

And glory glory hallelujah…. for most of us, that meant free hot coffee and something to kill the monotony!! I took advantage of it because I have been suffering cabin fever really bad.

But the temperatures are below 20°F/-6°C this morning with the promise of getting up above freezing sometime this afternoon.

Here I was this morning though, triple layers up top and single layer below. And suddenly I realized I am not the brightest bulb. But I got to the coffee before what I thought would be a mad scramble.

The usual “suspects” were already in the building. A meeting of the slow minds, if you will. Which is nothing against them, it is what it is.

As I sat there enjoying the warm cup of life, another woman walked in screaming at the top of her lungs, inquiring if anyone in the room had the flu.

To me that didn’t make sense. These are mostly elderly people. What in the world would make her think that anyone would be out of their homes if they were stricken with the flu? How many of them would honestly have the strength to get out of their homes if they were sick to begin with??

But there she was, insisting on answers in the most obnoxious way. Hanging around the door way with her mask on her face.

When nobody proclaimed to be ill, she removed the mask and made her way to the nearest available chair to sit in.

Minutes later she got up and left, only to return to start shouting again. This time she inquired about who was doing their laundry. And one of the slower neighbors said that he had something going on.

She cried out, “It’s done!”

The gentleman thanked her for her notice and went back to his conversation and coffee.

This pissed off the woman.

She cried out again, “Go get it so I can put my things in the machine.”

To which he responded with “I’ll get it here in a minute.”

And that was not good enough for her. He had already acknowledged what she had said to him. But like I said, he’s a bit slow. So it wasn’t like he was going to leap up from where he was sitting and skip merrily into the laundry room to change his clothes from the washer to the dryer. He just was in no hurry at all. And she was!

His lacking response caused the fight bell to ring as she literally shouted and screamed at him. “I need that machine NOW!!”

She was met with the same response of acknowledgement and the promise to get the progression moving “…in a minute.”

There was an eerie silence. I looked up and found her face turning a deep red.

She then left once more to go back into the laundry room, and she mumbled under her breath (loud enough for me to hear) that she was just going to do it FOR him. And that meant removing his clothes and discarding them elsewhere to where they were out of her way. And this was also going to be mean that she was not going to be all that concerned with where she put them, as long as they were free and clear of the washing machine that she wanted to use.

But her own physical capabilities are extremely limited due to her morbid obesity. So she realized that she wouldn’t have the stamina to go through with it.

She did the next best thing: Tattled on the guy with the one staff member present.

Staff came into the room to make a general “announcement” that when laundry machines are finished working that residents need to take care of it, so that the machines are open and available for other residents to use. It was also said that the apartment manager would be informed of this altercation when he arrived.

I think that was the appropriate response from staff.

The woman walked out into the hallway with an evil smirk on her face, realizing that she got her way. And the man who was slow in all senses of the word, attempted his best to get up from his chair so that he could go switch his laundry from washer to dryer. It did in fact, take him quite some time to get up to his feet and move towards the door. And she just couldn’t stand it any more.

She verbally attacked as he limped by her. And from what I think, she lost the upper hand when she followed him outside, berating him every slow, limping step of the way.

I was on my way out the door myself after finishing my cup of coffee and what happened next hasn’t happened since the great  Strawberry Milk Fight of 2011.

Oh Yes Indeed!!!

To put it plainly, he had enough of her shit talking and he retaliated with a physical vengeance. And due to her own physical shortcomings, she didn’t have a chance.

The battle was swift. And it left her retreating back inside as he continued his way to the laundry room to switch his laundry. The last words I heard was him in frustration as he walked into the laundry room grumbling, “Damn Fucking Bitch!”

Yeah, don’t let the fact that the elderly are cute fool you at all. Especially not around here.

dscn34691“A healthy social life is found only when, in the mirror of each soul, the whole community finds its reflection, and when, in the whole community, the virtue of each one is living.”~ Rudolf Steiner

On the fifteenth of November, which is this week, there will be a board meeting by Capital Metro, which is a bus public transportation here in Austin.

They are proposing some changes to a number of routes that, if passed, would take place in June 2018. They are claiming to want to make bus routes more efficient and faster to get to those people using the service.

Out of the many routes that have proposed changes, TWO of them will be of great importance to me personally.

One of the routes happens to run just outside the apartment complex. And that has been a personal convenience. The other is in the neighborhood down the street by a few hundred feet. And it is the latter route in which I take to get to places into the downtown area for whenever I want to go see live music. Essentially the core part of my social life since 2014.

The proposed change to the route that runs outside the complex will be re-routed to where if I need to ride that bus route, I will have to make a walk of about a half of a mile up a steep hill and then down the other side. Depending on how much stamina I have at that time or how fatigued or not fatigued I am, that could take me up to twenty minutes just to get to the bus stop.

It is not a route personally often, but it causes a great deal of distress and loss of stamina if there came a time if/when I need to use it.

All for the sake of making wait times shorter.

The other route that I use VERY FREQUENTLY and is my link to the social life that I have created for myself (from what I am reading) will go into effect at the same time.

IF YOU KNOW ME FROM LIVE MUSIC, THIS WILL BE IMPORTANT!!

If I am understanding correctly, that bus route that connects me from my neighborhood into the downtown area will NOT RUN during times that public school is not in session. So, essentially during the summer there will be NO bus!!

These two routes are the closest to where I live and if they are gone (seasonal or permanently) then I honestly will not be able to maintain what social life that I have today. Unless I want to travel distances up to a mile just to get on a bus, or to get off of a bus and return home.

My physical health over the past two years has deteriorated, and I am unsure if I will have the strength and stamina to make such a journey.

The two routes in this neighborhood will effect over 1,500 city residents in this neighborhood. With a daily ridership across the ENTIRE CITY of 130,000 people, these changes will most likely cause that number to drop significantly. And usually that will mean that bus fares will go up again in price.

When I started riding in 2014, I could go downtown and back for $1.00 but in recent past, they did change the fare to go up, and now going downtown to catch a live music show is a round trip cost of $2.50, so even if you are in a band and there is NO COVER to your show, there’s always a cost of transportation, at least for me.

So I do have that concern or fear that if these changes are approved by Capital Metro, then my social life as far as enjoying live music and entertainment will die. And those relationships that I have made will eventually fail. And without having the stamina I once had, this board meeting has me completely on edge.

Ride share programs and taxis are either expensive or not an option in my personal case. And that stinks!

Yet I am unsure of any proposed changes for the Night Owl routes, which I actually discovered just over a year ago which run six nights out of the week between midnight and 3:00 AM. And since I learned about it, it has allowed me to actually stay where I am at, without having to leave or bail early to catch a bus back home. I do not know if any of those night time routes are a part of this or not. I am hoping not. If I am out and about and these night time buses are a part of it, I won’t have much choice but to call for a taxi.

I am facing a very harsh reality however that if these changes are approved that life as I know it will cease to exist. I will either have to find another way or find a totally different social life. And hope that I do by the time these changes kick in by June 2018.