The Verdict Has Been Rendered – “The Danny Defense”

This is the internationally recognized symbol ...

Pursuant to the blog “Pleading What?” See attached:

https://hibernationnow.wordpress.com/2011/11/06/pleading-what/

The pleading “stupid” defense, now affectionately known as “Danny’s Defense” has been revealed on this day the 13th of November. The judge dismissed the stupidity case and dropped all charges. ALL charges. Not half, which is what I guessed, not even a reduction for “failure to remember you were handicapped.” Nothing. Case Dismissed. Hey, sometimes the truth wins. My husband ruled, for once.  His stupidity defense on forgetting to LEAVE the handicapped sticker on the windshield wiper (even though he did have it in his glove compartment) was true. He took a picture of his crutches, the walking boot, his diagnosis (ruptured Achilles Tendon) and a photo copy of his red temporary handicapped sticker and pleaded stupid.

Who knew?

So, next time you do a stupid thing, and you get ticketed for it? Try pleading “stupid.” It worked for him. The judge, obviously was kind and had a marvelous sense of humor. Truth prevailed. The Danny Defense, is IN!

Congratulations to the Defendant and all future stupid defendants.

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Gratitude (Chronic Babe Blog Carnival) November

Heart bokeh 2

Most everyone in our caring Chronic Pain community knows that the last three months has found my family renting a small room in a small hotel having been harshly betrayed and ousted from our house by termites, carpenter ants, and completely rotted wood. Everywhere. What started as a simple kitchen renovation became the nightmare you would imagine in a horror movie. That horror show was mine. At the very same time, my husband ruptured his Achilles Tendon while running to catch a train. It’s like one of those scary novels some people read so when you are finished reading you can clap the book shut and be thankful that the book is over and you can return to your own life. Not this time.

Facing emotional, physical and possible financial ruin for the house (no, insurance did not pay a dime) I had to adjust to our new circumstances and yes, I did cry a lot. But, in order to maintain my sanity and hold it together I decided, with a lot of pushing and prodding, that I needed to focus on something, anything positive. I was grateful that we didn’t have life-threatening diseases to deal with in a hospital. Truly, I gave thanks for that every day, sometimes every hour because while the situation we were in was uncomfortable and sad and draining, no one would die because of it (although we all felt terribly violated). I felt bad for my daughter, a senior in high school, who had to room with her parents on an uncomfortable cot in the same room. I felt bad for my husband, on crutches, non weight-bearing, hobbling around the room. I even felt bad for myself who got the brunt of everyone’s dissatisfaction. I managed. I even found the strength to drive my son to his first day of college and back, all by myself; I even felt proud ( because if you knew my sense or lack of sense of direction I’m lucky to be back home now.) IF I HAD TO, I COULD DO ANYTHING; a great lesson to learn.

Of course I wept, and I was cranky and felt sorry for us but that wouldn’t do me any good for three months, nor would it help my family, especially my husband who was bed -ridden or on crutches for most of the time, unable to work. I needed to know that, despite my own intense pain and flare-ups from Fibromyalgia and an auto-immune disease (Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis) I could do what I HAD to do. I was grateful I could do it even if I paid for it later on. It didn’t matter. When my husband had to be pushed up a hill in a transport, I was the one who did it. I don’t know where I got the strength but my mind and my guts and my determination became my strength and my shaking knees and shoulders made me even more determined to get up that hill. I managed and it felt good, my husband smiled and was impressed and I was happy too. All that talk about doing things for others? It is so right on.

I was grateful that I could help my husband, he who has always, ALWAYS helped me. I wanted to show him  that I could help him too. I’m not saying it was easy, it wasn’t. But, it was well worth the effort for the internal strength I got from within. It was worth seeing the smile on his face, the kindness of strangers who helped me manage the steps. It is a person that has heart and knows kindness. I’m convinced now more than ever, you either have it or you don’t.  You don’t necessarily need to know people for a very long time to know who they are. They will show themselves to you, very quickly, just watch and listen.

That new study that showed people had their own friends and considered Facebook Friends, also friends for support and trust? I am totally grateful for all my different types of friends because they can not be grouped, in just one group. My Facebook Friends, they are a special bunch, very dear to my heart. I hope I have told them enough times that they truly believe it. Gratitude? It comes from within. I sprinkle bits of my heart in my e-mails to my Facebook friends. From mine to yours and back. I’m grateful.

Pleading… What?

Handicapped Parking Sign

The other day my husband, who does have a temporary handicapped sticker, got a ticket that stuck to his windshield like glue. It was bright, neon orange and as soon as you see that color you know, you just know it is not a good thing. At first he was puzzled; he had the handicap sticker, why on earth did he get a ticket? That did not seem fair at all.

The reason he DID get a ticket? Was not that he didn’t have the sticker, he did; it’s because he forgot to place the sticker on the rear view mirror LIKE HE WAS SUPPOSED TO DO. He had possession of the sticker that usually dangles from his rear view mirror he just simply forgot to take it out of the glove department and affix it to his mirror. It says explicitly on the pass that you should NOT drive and leave this pass on the dashboard while driving and so he didn’t. Many people do, I might add and I’ve noticed that most people ignore the warning. You don’t see them being pulled over and given tickets, trust me. I have watched keenly like an Eagle Scout.

Like a trooper, he went to the local court-house and talked to a police officer in the area. He showed her his cane and his Achilles tendon all bandaged nicely in his booted right foot. He recently got off crutches. He even showed her his handicapped sign. He took a picture of all the above and was honest to the police officer. “How do you plead “stupid” he asked the police officer? She laughed and told him to fill out the form and attach all the information.  He pleaded “stupid.” After all, you can’t get more honest than that. You have to love him for it, don’t you? I couldn’t even be mad, after he told me he “pleaded stupid” I just had to laugh. I SINCERELY hope the judge finds it humorous too.

Unhappy Birthday To Me

birthday

I generally savor my approaching birthday all year-long. As soon as I have one birthday I start the countdown to the next. I love birthdays, anyone’s birthday, it’s a celebration of Life. I had thought briefly about having a party for my 55th birthday in our house; there is no way THAT is going to happen. First, I don’t have a house. We are homeless at the moment. It’s under construction, five minutes away from demolition if you ask me. Second, I’m a little depressed and I don’t feel like celebrating now and third, while I like being the center of attention once in a while part of me is very shy. The side of me that loves attention is totally unreliable and generally lasts a mere five minutes. Fourth, I HATE surprises. I plan to skip my birthday totally this year and it is not because I am turning double nickels, I don’t care about age; I care about feeling happy.

Our tiny cozy house is not a home anymore. What started as a kitchen renovation became a total house renovation. We are not living there but carpenter ants and mold are. Not healthy living conditions for us, and the fact that there are no bathrooms that work makes it just a little more complicated. There was a lot of hidden damage in our house, unbeknownst to us, so imagine our horror when one room after another needed work. Long ago, there was a movie called “The Money Pit.” Basically, we are those people.

This year, my birthday will be just  another day. My husband will still be on crutches after his Achilles Tendon surgery, we won’t be back in our home and overall, it’s been a very rough year. In addition to the non-house situation my birthday falls on the most solemn holiday in the Jewish religion, Yom Kippur. While my family does not belong to any temple, nor are we particularly religious, celebrating my birthday on the most solemn day, the Day of Atonement, just does not feel right. Besides, my mother would kill me.

I hope some day I will get back that child-like feeling about birthdays. It seems so sad to have lost that. Our house? I hope that I can also love it again the way I used to. Our house betrayed us, people we’ve trusted have ignored us. I accept that not being happy on my birthday is okay. There’s always next year.

Who We Are, Now

260/365 Days: Who are we in this complicated w...

When I was in my early twenties I had a very painful tonsillectomy. As soon as I was in the hospital I had to change into the soft, faded blue and white hospital gown. I had my plastic ID bracelet branded to my wrist and I became another person. I felt it as soon as I sat in the patients’ lounge; I was no longer the same person, I was a patient. We were in a special club, wishing each other luck, asking each other what surgery we were having, social rules had changed dramatically. There were no expectations here and our uniform bonded us together, the rules had all been changed and we intuitively knew that.

I hadn’t remembered that strong feeling of changed identity until recently, when our house was deemed unlivable due to prior and present damage and destruction. Two days before we supposed to move to a motel, my husband broke his Achilles tendon, We waited hours in the ER and he needs surgery, very soon. He has been on crutches in the motel for the last five nights.

We are living in one room in a neighboring town’s motel. Two parents, our seventeen year old daughter and our nine-year old dog. It’s tight and airless, the windows don’t open. Our clothes, shoes, food and drinks  all over the room.  We look through big, black garbage bags with holes to find things; there is no organization just disarray. Right after that, Hurricane Irene came blustering through, roads are closed, electric wires are down, basements are flooded and fallen trees block the roads. I take our dog on many mini walks outside to see a different scenery than the pulled curtains of our small beige and brown room.

I am not the same person I was. I find myself wearing one or two tee-shirts with sweats, I brushed my hair once or twice in five days. I wear it in a very loose and messy ponytail and I don’t care what I look like. I lack affect. I can barely remember to brush my teeth. I am in another world. I walk differently, talk differently; I am quick to feel anger and frustration and unfortunately, it shows on my face. I am not charming,  I feel happy about nothing, I don’t chat on the phone unless I absolutely have to.

As a chronic patient myself I find it physically and emotionally draining.  I have been working through my pain, I have no choice. There is no one who can help me.  I am trying to hold my family together whose inner souls have invisible cracks; at least the cracks in our house are visible.

When we went back to our house yesterday for ten minutes to pick up more clothing I felt detached and distant. This was not my cozy nurturing home anymore this was a house that had betrayed me.  Tomorrow we check out of one motel and into another, with empty hours in-between. Tomorrow might be my husband’s surgery, we won’t know for sure until the morning. Sleep gives us all pleasure, it’s the passing of time to ease the pain.