Author: Kat

Strong one?

Oh, look! I have a blog! I can’t even say I forget about this anymore, it opens up in a tab when I start my browser. I just look at it and go “No energy, I’ll write tomorrow.”

But today I guess I have the energy.

I brought over my post from Facebook about my MS a little earlier today. As it said, I was diagnosed with MS (multiple sclerosis for those that might not know, and yes, there have been people who don’t know what “MS” means) in October of 2014. It actually was not a huge surprise as I have kind of danced around with the MS thing since the late 90s. I thankfully don’t have much problems with the MS, there’s no numbness, no paralysis, no real pain that I’m certain is because of the MS. I have a wonderful neurologist here in North Carolina (on the recommendation of my neurologist in Chattanooga who actually interned with her), and she got me right on treatment that seems to be working. The only real issue I’ve had is some “brain issues”, cognitive issues (memory, thought processes, finding the right word for things, etc) that I’m learning how to manage.

My treatment is an IV infusion once a month (the nurse and I joke that it’s replaced my “monthly visitor” since I’m already through menopause) with a drug called Tysabri. It was a little unnerving and odd at first, I won’t lie. Getting an IV inserted, sitting there for a few hours (today was 1:30 until a little after 4), having a bandage on my arm where it was for a while afterwards, getting a bruise (I just bruise, doesn’t matter how good the person is). But I’ve actually gotten used to it. I take chainmail supplies with me and often get a bracelet or earrings done while I’m there. They’re very accommodating when it comes the the IV placement to let me still use my hands to work pliers. Its become normal for me.

And then… there are instances like today. I usually sit in my chair, go through my IV stuff (the medication and then saline afterwards to make sure I get all the medication out of the line), pack up when it’s done, and sometimes use the bathroom before I go. It’s about a 45 minutes drive up to the hospital I get it done at, and I drink a lot of water during the day (makes the whole “IV” thing a lot easier). But today I had to use the bathroom while I had the IV in… and that means taking the IV pole with me into the bathroom.

I don’t know why, but that just throws me. Maybe because normally I can just ignore it. The IV insertion only hurts for a little bit usually, I can’t feel anything with the medicine going in, it’s in a sort of quiet part of the hospital that doesn’t feel quite as “hospital-ish”. But when I have to move with that pole, I think it just kind of drives home the fact that I’ll be doing this for a very long time… possibly for the rest of my life. And yes, I know there’s seriously amazing treatments coming for MS, but with my lack of real issues, I’m not planning to have chemo and then stem cell treatment… The cons to me outweigh the pros, at least at this stage in my life.

I’d done one of those silly Facebook quiz things the other day that gives you a “meaning” based on your name. Mine came up “The Strong One”. I’d commented when I posted it “Some days I’m not so sure…”, and today that came to mind when I was in the bathroom, staring at the IV pole and the line going to my arm… and, honestly, kind of fighting back tears about it. Yeah, I guess I’m doing it and I’m handling it better than some might, but some days it really doesn’t feel like strength.

I will say, though, I was rather glad that it was a “left arm” IV day. It’s really hard wiping with your left hand when you’re used to using your right! 😉

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I got an email the other day telling me this domain was up for renewal… and reminded me that I DID have 3 domain names! 😛 The things that you forget when you’re a big computer geek.

So, we’re keeping it for another few years. Hoping to keep up on it a little it more. Not promising anything, mind you, but might try. I’ll put it in my start up tabs and that will help at least maybe!

What will this become? Random ramblings? Maybe stuff along the Republican lines. Maybe stuff along the libertarian line. Maybe stuff along the “take care of people around you’ line.

Maybe it’ll just me bitching about my MS treatment (more about that in a minute). Maybe it’ll be more bitching about life in Salisbury. Maybe it’ll be the wonderful thing.

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Serious state of affairs

This is copied from my Facebook note posted on October 17, 2014. It was a rather in depth post, so I felt it would just be better to add it here verbatim rather than try to write something new. Just trying to update the blog with some stuff that I felt needs to be here. (I have back dated this blog post to reflect the date, but this first paragraph was written in July of 2016)

“I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to do this, and I decided this was just the way. There is way too much for a status update. There are way too many people that I want to tell, so I thought this would be the easiest way.

I’ve been dealing with headaches for a while now. I’ve been thinking maybe it was stress (although I don’t really have much), or not drinking enough water. But I finally couldn’t take it anymore and decided to see the doctor (well, nurse practitioner, actually). He decided that an MRI of the brain was in order, so after some arguing with the insurance company (and winning rather easily), it was approved. Then my fantastic coworkers slipped me into a spot when they likely should have been eating lunch. (and I’d wanted to make sure to get the test done when one of two radiologists were there to read it because I’m more comfortable with them and asking them questions about what’s on the images)

On Wednesday, the np came over and asked if we could go somewhere to go over the results. (it helps to work next door to the doctor’s office). I pretty much knew that wasn’t a good sign. If it had been my old doctor, it would have been nothing, he always came over to give good news. But I knew that wasn’t gonna be the case here. Feel bad for the guy, honestly, this is the first time he’s seen me and he gets this. heh

The telling part of the MRI report is this: “The findings are consistent with demyelinating disease and most likely represent multiple sclerosis.” I’ve actually been dancing around the MS diagnosis for years, honestly. In Houston, numbness/diminished feeling in my legs and feet got me 4 hours of MRI (with poor Jon sitting in the waiting room) which showed nothing, and then a nerve conduction study that also showed nothing. In Buffalo before I left, there was talk of a spinal tap until I lost my insurance and it got cancelled. So I can’t say I’m surprised with the diagnosis, but I am kind of scared shitless.

I have an appointment on November 5th with a neurologist to see what to do next. Half of my coworkers had recommendations for neurologists, and the doctor I’m seeing is in that group. (he’s the one with the newest appointment, the rest are a wait till December or even April!!) So I feel like I’ll be in good hands. That doesn’t mean I’m not up for other information, other looks at the study, etc. I’m trying to figure out a way to put the study and viewer up on my server, but I haven’t quite gotten that far yet. So I’m just gonna put up some of the pictures from the study and a few bits from the report.

I’m generally fine. Other than the headaches and the fact that I haven’t been able to feel my right little toe in, oh…. a year? (yeah, yeah, I know… but I really didn’t want to have to go through a nerve conduction study again and that’s what I figured they’d do. I REALLY didn’t enjoy it at all), I don’t know that I have any other symptoms. I wonder if I still have the numbness/diminished feeling and it’s just become normal to me now, but not sure how to tell. And, really, I’ve been clumsy my entire life so it’s hard to tell what might be me and what might be the MS. 😀

I know people will have lots of questions, and honestly I do too. Don’t think I’ll really know anything until November 5th when I have my appointment, and likely not until after that when more tests are done. (Can anyone say “This is Spinal Tap”? heheh) I’m thrilled to have a good support team between my friends, Jon’s family, and my coworkers. I have lots of people that know lots of stuff. (Incidentally, Chrystal, I’d be thrilled to talk tomorrow if you have time, we’re gonna be on the road for a while so I’ll be unoccupied). I have lots of people that care and will stand by me, so it’s good. I won’t deny that I’m freaked the fuck out, but I know I’ll make it through.

Now for the technical stuff:

“The images demonstrate that the patient has multiple bilateral small white matter lesions. Several of the lesions are located in the periventricular white matter oriented perpendicular to the ventricles. The findings are consistent with demyelinating disease and most likely represent multiple sclerosis.”

This correlates to the images I put up below.

MRI of the brain that shows the spots. "Multiple bilateral small white matter lesions"

MRI of the brain that shows the spots. “Multiple bilateral small white matter lesions”

MRI of the brain that shows the spots. "Multiple bilateral small white matter lesions"

MRI of the brain that shows the spots. “Multiple bilateral small white matter lesions”

MRI of the brain that shows the spots. "Multiple bilateral small white matter lesions"

MRI of the brain that shows the spots. “Multiple bilateral small white matter lesions”

MRI of the brain that shows the spots. “Multiple bilateral small white matter lesions”MRI of the brain that shows the spots. “Multiple bilateral small white matter lesions”MRI of the brain that shows the spots. “Multiple bilateral small white matter lesions”MRI of the brain that shows the spots. “Multiple bilateral small white matter lesions”MRI of the brain that shows the spots. “Multiple bilateral small white matter lesions”MRI of the brain that shows the spots. “Multiple bilateral small white matter lesions”

Other than that, the report is actually pretty ok. Was pleased to see this next bit, and hadn’t even thought about this as a part of MS:

“The optic nerves and optic chiasm have a normal appearance. There is no evidence to suggest optic neuritis.”

Considering I really don’t know how I’d do without my eyesight, this was great to hear.

I’ll be sure to keep everyone updated when I learn more. I have had some people tell me to not necessarily “believe” it all and that it might come out false, and I’d love that to be the case. I’m not a medical person so I can’t know that these spots are exactly what he says they are. But I know the quality of our MRI machine and the quality of our radiologists so I’m preparing for a little bit of a lifestyle change. I will say, though, I have known and known of people with MS that you wouldn’t know there was anything wrong, so I’m not taking this as a “life sentence” at all. It’s just another thing, like my bipolar or my need for eyeglasses. It is scary because it’s new and there is so much “bad” heard about it, but I guess I’ll see how much of that is true. :)”

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Brain disconnect

Suffering from bipolar makes life definitely interesting. Also getting early menopause (discovered at about age 30 after having my tubes tied at 29 and stopping birth control for the first time in over 10 years) and trying to control the symptoms that come with it is also interesting. Putting the two together is downright annoying.

I recently went off my hormone therapy due to my doctor suddenly leaving his practice (and not being able to get a refill for almost a week). Well, by the time I did get said refill, I realized I felt better than I had in a while, so… let’s not take the hormones anymore. However, this brings it’s own dilemma. Change in body chemistry seems to take a little while to really take effect.

And, well…. hot flashes SUCK. (anyone that has gone through them can commiserate. They really are maddening, and for someone that’s already maddened, it’s no fun For someone that’s regularly cold blooded as well, it’s obnoxious). Going off of hormones when you’ve been found to be IN menopause at 30 (who knows how long it had been going on, I might not ever have been able to have kids, and that might be why I never wanted them) means the hot flashes come back. Thankfully not with a vengeance (they were worse before, I won’t deny that), but back nonetheless. So, to preserve what little sanity I have, I needed to get one something. Yes, I do make “light” of my mental illness. I would/will also likely make light of cancer/diabetes/hemorrhoids if/when I get them. It allows me deal with things better.

Anyway… off to the first gyno-type doctor I’ve seen in 10 years (been letting my primary care do my paps, and yes I’ve kept up with them. I’m not a complete moron, there’s a bad family history there) on the “recommendation” of a few friends/coworkers. She put me on a compounded medication that’s “called” (and I say that because it’s compounded. It’s not a real name for it): Ergo-Bell-Bital. This stands for Ergotomine, Belladonna and Phenobarbital. Yay! Something that’s non-hormonal that will give me poor body a chance to adjust to no hormones! Except… well, see, I’m a looney, so I take something with seratonin in it… that means there is a very slim chance of “seratonin syndrome”, which means too much seratonin in the body. The chance is slim, but it needs to be known that it’s there. What should I look out for? Confusion, joint pain… that’s what I was told. Got it. I’ll look out for that. Medication filled 5/1/14. I start noticing results within a little over a week. Yay! Still occasional “hot” flashes (more apt to call them warm flashes) but very occasional, night sweats reduced, life is good.

And then…. get to this week, starting 6/2/14. Things are looking somewhat weird. Got a call from a patient, he needs to talk to the doctor’s office next door, I give him our fax number. :/ But it’s a Monday, crazy is as crazy does. Later, patient needs the phone and fax number for our lab. I write them down. As we’re talking, I look down and see that I have switched them (phone is under fax, fax is under phone), take it back and re-write it. All good. an hour later, receive a fax from said doctor to MY fax machine (not the lab’s) for orders. Hmmmm…. Yeah, something’s wrong. Then had a sort of “breakdown” (not too bad, but needed help). Yay for coworkers who are understanding and didn’t hesitate to come up and help me. Went away, got a little break (I don’t usually take breaks since I quit smoking years ago), and decided to call the shrink and see if he could get me in earlier than July. Yes, Wednesday is fantastic, thank you very much. Take a breather, then go back up. Work till about 3:30.

Today… we won’t go into today. I felt it right as I woke up, but can’t call in. They need me. Didn’t screw up too badly, but I did screw up, and I don’t usually. This, of course, makes me more upset because I don’t usually. My boss is ALL kinds of understanding (I went right to her when I found the mistake, felt better having her hear it from me than from a tech or from the patient first. I do try to own up to my mistakes. Told her I fumbled. Think I need to try my Madden trial on XBox), and the tech affected sent me a message later reassuring me that all was fine, and that she hoped I got some down time once I got home. They apparently know I don’t screw up. That made me feel MUCH better, and I don’t know that I can ever really express it to them.

So, now I have what I call a “brain disconnect”. It’s not working the way it should, it needs “defragged” or “diskchecked” or something, but I have two appointments tomorrow, one with the shrink and one with the gyno=-doctor. I really hope at least one of them helps. I hate feeling “wrong”. Mind, I’m not sure what “right” is supposed to feel like, but still. I know what my “right” is supposed to be, and this isn’t it.

In the meantime…. a full 10 mg of ambien. 2 25mg benedryl. A few drinks. And here I am awake. This is the fun blog, this is the one where you get way too much information, and it makes you feel a little better about yourself. This is the one you should share with your friends so THEY feel a little better about themselves. But remember… if they do suffer from any kind of mental illness (gods, I actually hate that word/phrase… I need to come up with something better, it’s way too clinical), telling them “Well, she’s got it worse!” is not a way to make them feel better. Instead, share it with “You’re not alone.” 🙂

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I fall into a “weird” category I think. I’m a partial introvert/partial extrovert. I weirdly like being the center of attention while maintaining my “privacy. Yeah, doesn’t make sense to me, either.

I’m rather vocal about my mental health diagnosis (bipolar, and I promise you I will see which “bipolar” it is when I see the doctor next). Yes, I was afraid of it. Why? Because I didn’t want to be my Mom/family. So, yes… I was afraid of my diagnosis. But I’ve come to realize that I am me, I am an individual, and that how I deal with my diagnosis is who I actually am, not the label of my diagnosis itself. And if more people realize it’s just a part of the person, not something that person is choosing (like cancer or diabetes), maybe it’ll be easier for that person to deal with. It’s a disease, not a choice.

So… I’m an introvert for the most part. I don’t do real well with small talk, I feel weird trying to do it. But I do like talking with people. I’ve realized this, as I’ve gotten comfortable with my job. I like chatting with and “helping” the patients we have. I like making them feel at ease. I like helping them feel a little more comfortable with the idea of having their test, with getting whatever diagnosis they get and owning the fact that it might not be ideal, but they’re learning about what’s going on with them. They’re learning now what too many people learn to late. I almost feel like I’m giving them hope.

And I really feel that it’s that little interaction, that little bit of “humanity” that makes what I do better. I’ve seen people come in afraid and go back to their test less afraid. I hope I make the lives of our techs a little easier.

My hubby has made it clear to me a number of times that I don’t need do what I do. I can stay home, work on my art/jewelry, and make a living there. He makes good money, we don’t live beyond our means, we do quite well. I don’t necessarily need the job, but that maybe, mentally, I need the job. And after talking with my head shrink (as opposed to my medication shrink), I agree. The job is good for me, I’ve come to realize that the interaction with both our patients and my co-workers (at least most of them) is good for me.

When we lost our dear Bonners, it was a serious turning point for me at work. I can never really make clear to those I work with how much it meant to both of us what they did for us. It wasn’t generic. It was very much a “their surviving family needs help getting through” and I know I can never really express to them how much that meant to both of is. It was very much the change for me at work. I belonged. I felt like part of the crew. It really made me weep, even though I didn’t necessarily do so there (I think too many years of “Grow up and get over it” kept me from showing my true emotions). I really wish I could truly long hug everyone I work with to make it clear how much it meant to all of us, both me and my hubby, as well as all the “kids”.

So, yeah…. a bit of an introvert. Some people get it (Lisa who knows what I was like growing up, and Jon who was with me way back when with the “woman” who was afraid to talk to his friends), and I know quite a few don’t. But think of the most shy person you know. That was me at one point. I just moved past it because it was necessary to help the animals that I was working with. They were the most important thing to me at that time. Their lives were often in my hands. And I took that seriously. That’s why I became able to deal with the general public. Now it’s become a habit, but often times I need a break. It’s exhausting to me. It’s like running a marathon. So, when I seem to tense up and “freak out” at times, that why. Give me a few minutes and I’ll be alright. Try to force me to keep at it, and you’ll see someone really freak out. 🙂

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Anxiety, panic attacks and other brain issues

Some days an anxiety will take hold in my brain and it just won’t let go. Often times it’s not even related to anything that should be causing anxiety (the loss of our pets, the situation with my family, vehicle issues), it’s just something that “switches on” and I can’t turn it back off again. These are the times that the Ativan is made for, but at the same time I hate to fall back to it (I will, but I prefer to see if I can beat it by myself first) (Oh, and the Ativan is my take when needed anxiety pill, but I worry about becoming dependent on it so I take it sparingly), and that can sometimes increase the anxiety. These kinds of days now come much less often, but they’re still bad when they come.

Think of the most stressful day at work or personal situation you’ve ever had. Think of how your mind runs at a thousand miles an hour and you can’t think straight. Think of the knot you get in your stomach or the lump in your throat because of what’s going on. That’s what this feels like. Now, make it about nothing at all, or something as simple as “The light bulb burned out when I flipped the light switch!” and you might understand why people don’t often talk about it when it happens to them. When I feel like this, I hesitate to say anything about it because there’s no “concrete” cause for it and often people don’t understand it.

But the brain is a very complex thing and we don’t understand it even an eighth as much as a dog understand how an engine works. The brain can help us or it can hinder us (and sometimes, both at the same time). We can affect it in some ways with medications, but we’re not even always sure why it gets affected the way it does (or why it will work one way for one person and not the same for another person).

Remember this when you’re tempted to tell someone to “Just shake it off” or “It’s all in your head”. Yes, it IS all in my head, and that’s the problem. No one in their right mind would want this kind of thing to be a regular occurrence… but then I suppose you could say I’m not necessarily in my right mind. Regardless, I’d love to never have to deal with this again.

Unfortunately, this is the brain I was born with and I have to make do with it as best I can. I can’t change it anymore than I can change where my heart is, who my parents are, and the hospital I was born in. I can dye my hair, but it’s still going to grow out my original color. I can wear colored contacts, but my eyes underneath will still always be blue. I could pretend to not have mental illness, but it’s not going to change the fact that I do. It’s the way it is, and I manage with the help of a fantastically supportive husband, wonderful family and friends who don’t judge me, and sometimes a little white pill with “RX 7” embossed on it.

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There’s a lot of hubbub about “Duck Dynasty” and an interview with their “patriarch”, Phil. I’ve not watched the show myself (not really interested in it), but you’d have to be blind to not see it everywhere. They’re a phenomenon. And now it appears to be falling apart… but I don’t think the duck people will suffer much for it. I think it’ll be bad for the network that’s hosted them and is now trying to publicly punish them for exercising their free speech. Yes, I said it. Free Speech. That’s what it IS. You might not like the speech, you might not like what’s said, but he has a right to say it. He has a right to feel it.

You can’t like them because of their beliefs? Then don’t watch it anymore. They will likely lose some fans, and they will likely gain fans all at the same time. I don’t agree with his statement, but I believe in his right to believe it. I believe in his right to say how he feels, and am honestly getting sick of censorship being one sided. Christians aren’t allowed to say how they feel unless they’re being ‘tolerant’ and ‘accommodating’, but god forbid anyone be tolerant of Christian beliefs. Do all Christians feel that way? Nope, not by a long shot. But some do. No one is going to change their opinion, and by constantly pushing them and trying to force them to be accepting, they’re being pushed further into their cozy corner.

A&E has never been unaware that these people are staunch Christians? If they claim they weren’t, then they were incredibly ignorant. Some Christians have this belief, and they are being figuratively nailed to the cross for having it. We as a society are more tolerant and accepting of muslims who abuse their wives and want to follow their own sets of laws, of skirt chasing and drug doing politicians who don’t follow the laws they vote in, of loud mouth celebrities who trample all over the idea of marriage and family than we are of the general Christian religion, and it’s honestly sad to me.

And keep in mine, I’m NOT Christian, but I know what it feels like to be discriminated against, I know what it’s like to have to be careful what I say and what I do. At some point someone decided that it’s time to “get back at” the “Christians”. It’s not something I want to be involved in, that’s for sure. It’s a disgusting practice and just encourages more distance, more hate, more fighting.

If you’re going to scream for tolerance, I suggest you look in the mirror first and see if you’re being tolerant of other people. I say tolerance for all or tolerance for none.

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I’m angry at life…

I know this might upset some people and for that I apologize, but it has to come out. The language here might not be for the faint of heart. This will likely be a long, drawn out, rambling diatribe, but as I don’t have a lot of blog viewers I’m fine with that.

And if you’re not aware, I’ve recently lost my baby boy, Remi, my big fuzzy boy, my mostly perfect ‘little’ standard poodle who was like a big teddy bear. This still hurts a LOT. If you find that to be a silly or ridiculous thing for a person to still be agonizing over weeks later, just delete this link (and me off your Facebook friends if that’s how you came to this) and be done with me. My animals ARE my kids (and they are better behaved than most people’s kids, honestly), and that’s the way it is.

I’m angry. Very, very angry.

I’m angry that we didn’t know something was wrong with Remi before it was ‘too late’. I’m angry with him for not letting us know he wasn’t feeling well. I’m angry at him for not being a stronger dog like Bon that would have been likely able to withstand a lot of pain annoyance and surgery. I’m angry that I was left without the one dog that doesn’t drive me absolutely batshit insane all the time, the one that behaved and didn’t act like a nuisance.

I’m angry that I feel dumb for being so torn up about “just a dog” even though I know he (and the rest) are not “just animals”.

I’m angry at Granny who passed away in 2002 for likely knowing something was wrong with her and not letting anyone know. I’m angry that she just left me and didn’t get to come to our wedding or be there to pick on me for silly things. I’m angry she didn’t get to see us purchase a home. I’m angry that I see people at work her age that make me think of the fact that I don’t have her anymore. I’m angry I hadn’t seen her since the previous year because I lived so far away. I’m angry I didn’t send her the Elvis playing cards I’d bought for her before she passed away.

I’m angry at Uncle Bill for KNOWING something was wrong with him and never letting me know, for never letting me see him one more time where he wasn’t on his death bed, unresponsive. I’m angry I never really got to say goodbye or get to have a hug from him. I’m angry at him for not actually having been my father, even knowing he wouldn’t have been a perfect one. I’m angry I don’t really have anything to remember him by.

I’m angry at Phantom for having been the second important death in my life that I wasn’t prepared for and that gave me no warning or ability to do anything. I’m angry at myself for not seeing something that I feel like I should have noticed (even though there wasn’t anything to notice) until the night before she died. I’m angry she didn’t spend more time with us and for making Remi mourn her for months after she was gone.

I’m angry at the terms “passed away” or “put down” or “put to sleep”.

I’m angry with an ex-“friend” who felt it was ok to call me out in “public” for being rude to him, although it was in response to him being condescending with me. I’m angry that he never said one thing to me that he was upset until he blind sided me with how disrespectful I was to him to EVERYONE else on my website. I’m angry that he got support for this and I got nothing at the time. I’m angry at the words he said to me later when I told him how I felt privately and how I should “have a nice life”.

I’m angry that I have signed cards and given at work for stuff for coworkers, but when something happens to me I get a few hugs, one card from a very dear and loved coworker and some uncomfortable sorrys and that’s it. I’m angry that things have gotten better and that I’ve been more friendly and chatty with folks but I still feel like an outsider in a place where half the people I work with have been there less time than I have.

I’m angry at people that are two sided, that say one thing to me and then something else entirely to someone else.

I’m angry at people who talk about their pets who get to live to be 16 and 18 and older, and I don’t. I’m angry that I feel like I’m doing something wrong and not caring for them well enough.

I’m angry that when I feel angry I can’t actually BE angry, I have to cry like a fucking blubbering idiot and I can’t make myself understood or actually relieve any of my stress.

I’m just angry… and I just don’t know what to do about it….

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Has anyone seen Courtesy? Has she finally left us for good?

Driving home from work today I was cut off by someone that waited till the last minute to get off at the exit they needed. He cut me off and the person next to me to get two lanes over onto an exit that is marked for at least a mile (and has been there forever, or at least his forever). Because he almost hit me and I had to slam on my breaks, I also hit my horn hoping he might wake up and realize there were people around him. Instead he slowed down after cutting off the person next to me to give me the finger.

I already knew your IQ buddy, but thanks for the verification.

I should be used to drivers like that, I grew up in NY. I drive through many states every year to go home to visit and Ohio is by far the worst. People in NY often would just as soon run you over as even notice you, and Ohio doesn’t even bother to think about it. Georgia drivers can often rival Ohio, and living on the border of said state I can tell you it’s often easy to tell where someone is from without even looking at the license plate.

Someone should go find Courtesy, she’s sorely missed. At least by some of us.

One of the things I’ve loved about Tennessee are the people, and that has also extended to their driving habits. I’ve seen more people let people out in traffic, wave someone through a stop sign, and generally just smile and be considerate of each other in the last 7 years than I’d seen in my ENTIRE LIFE in NY. Or Houston. It’s been wonderful and I’ve adopted the habits. Is it so very important for me to get to Walmart to buy vacuum bags that I can’t let someone come out of a parking lot when I’m already stopped or am about to stop? Am I in such a hurry to get home an extra minute or two early that I can’t stay stopped for another 30 seconds to let other people go ahead of me? Why are we rushing all over the place to often then just wait in line or sit around doing nothing?

The sad part for me is it’s starting to happen down here, too. People are getting rushed and, thus, rude. And it’s sad. Just so very sad.

I’ve been spoiled by it. When we go to NY to visit, one of my favorite things is to be courteous to people on the road. Yes, part of it is because it tends to freak them out (heh, I’ve got a mischievous side, of course), but also because there’s a part of me hoping it’ll make their day. Maybe they’ve been treated like crap all day by customers and they’re on their way home… and you just let them get out of the parking lot when they didn’t see a chance of it happening… and they smiled. Might have been the first real smile of the day. Might be their ONLY real smile of the day.

It’s a nice thought, isn’t it?

I’ve seen and heard family and friends in NY while they’re driving complaining about the drivers, and saying ‘No, I’m not gonna let you in, don’t even bother’. Is the person they’re shunning the one giving them grief? Likely not, no. It’s a side effect of being annoyed by others. But why? Because it’s easier to just be angry. It’s easier to just push ahead and not let anyone out ahead of you, even though you’re sitting still and aren’t going anywhere.

I’ve been guilty of it too, especially on the highway when the lanes go from 3 to 2. People who run along the side to get in ahead of people who’ve been waiting there. And yes, I understand it. Those people are being actively rude, they are often trying to cut ahead. Some of them are just clueless and don’t realize the lane is closing, granted, but some… just rude.

But they’re not the same as people sitting in a parking lot or side road waiting to turn. Those people are just there, just like you’ve been there waiting and complaining about how no one will let you out. Aren’t you then that person to be complained about?

I’m always surprised that otherwise very considerate and friendly people get so nasty in the car and won’t give even an inch. They would often times give the shirt off their back to a person in need, but they hurry up to close the gap when they’re driving so no one gets ahead of them.

Are we all in so much of a hurry to get to the next part of our life that we’re actually missing parts of our lives?

And what are our kids learning? They’re in the back seat or the passenger seat, and they’re seeing the lack of courtesy. They’re hearing the ‘No, I’m not letting you in’ and they’re soaking that up and storing it for future knowledge. They’re learning from actions that I bet we don’t really want them to learn from. We’re missing a wonderful opportunity to show our kids that courtesy extends to everywhere, and it doesn’t matter what’s going on. Missing it big time.

I can say that what I see here in the south are young drivers acting like jerks. They’re learning the wrong lesson… and it could actually be killing them when you look at accident records and ‘road rage’ incidents.

If you see yourself in anything I’ve said, ask yourself…. why?


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Definition of HYPOCRITE

1: a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion

2: a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings

With that out of the way, now… how can people boohoo about something happening to them and then turn around and do the same to someone else?

I HATE HATE HATE HATE generalizations.  Hate them with a passion. I know I’ve used them, and usually cringed afterwards for doing so. We all do it. It happens. But I would think that when someone is just been upset about themselves being grouped together with people have been bad and done bad by someone he calls a friend that was being “aggressive, angry and hateful” would not then turn around and say and do the same thing to another group of people, no matter if he didn’t have much respect for that group of people. Broadly saying a group “ fit the profile of a classic abuser”, and especially knowing that at least one of the folks you’re friends with is part of said group and doesn’t even remotely fit that profile…. AND that said person just ‘stood up for’ that person who was feeling pained for having to deal with that aggression and anger against his own group…

*sigh* Can we all just stop doing our damnedness to get the ‘other sides’ goat by linking to articles written by the most extreme of the group to ‘prove’ your point? All you’re proving is that you can really do good at reading on side of things and not look at the whole picture.

Good, congrats, bravo, you just succeeded at being a closed minded idiot. Here, have a cookie.

I really don’t link much for articles anymore, and then only link what I read and feel isn’t so terribly onsided as to use intimidation attempts or loaded words and emotions to paint ‘the other side’ with. If I see facts, I’ll point out those facts. If there’s a lot of fluff and uselessness around those facts, I’ll try to find an article that has just those facts with out all the baggage along with it that is nothing but opinion that I, and those that read the article I link, can form on their own once they get those facts.

*fume fume fume* Just. Drives. Me. Nuts….

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