Degradation of women in the US!

June 27th, 2022 No comments

crybaby

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s give this some thought.

The new SCOTUS ruling stops the constitutional right of any woman to seek reproductive healthcare that has been legal in every State for over 50 years.  Most States will follow suit.  Thank God I live in Maine where reason and intelligence prevails.

The ruling was made because we have mostly old men and one handmaiden on the SCOTUS who do not believe in women’s rights to choose.  Our bodies are at their disposal. Their opinion is that it is woman’s job to birth babies and to do as they say.

I say it is none of their goddam business! It is the woman’s business and her choice.

Two of those justices were revealed for exactly what they were in their younger days…and who knows about now?

Clarence Thomas sexually harassed his subordinate Anita Hill.  She is a strong intelligent woman.  I remember her testimony during his hearings to become a SC justice.

https://www.history.com/news/anita-hill-confirmation-hearings-impact

He lied, said it wasn’t true. Women do NOT take an oath and sit in front of a congressional hearing with made up crap.  He has also stated that he is willing to take all his BS to another level of controlling women.  He would go after birth control, gay marriage, etc.  This guy thinks he is GOD!  He should be very careful though because if he takes us back far enough, his marriage would be illegal and he could be owned by a white man.  No, I am not racist, but erasing 50 to 100 years of progress could wreck a ton of progress on equality of all sorts. This week he  set himself up with a good head start.

Kavanaugh sexually assaulted a young woman when he was in high school. Christine Blasey Ford calmly and openly testified about what she endured at his hands during Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=csnPRCI3bPQ

Only a cursory investigation was done, because this was Trumps guy…and Trump is a loud and proud sexual assaulter himself.  You all know…the “grab em’ by the pussy” guy.  Three more women also stated that Kavanaugh attacked them .

https://kslnews. radio.com/1891897/brett-kavanaugh-witnesses/

Make no mistake about it…the majority of the SCOTUS is a good ole boys fraternity.  Some of them were dirty boys who abused and used women and their bodies because they couldn’t keep their peckers in their pockets..  THEY had no self control.  They were chosen regardless of their “bad boy” behavior. Their votes are just one more way to assault/degrade women and keep them in their place. Their SCOTUS work is an extension of their horrid behavior as bad boys. They have not evolved, not one bit.  They are ignorant ape men with law degrees, assisted by a subservient handmaiden.  And 3 of them were chosen by the biggest cave man of all….DJT.

https://www.nationalreview.com/2016/04/donald-trump-counterfeit-masculinity-feminism-dream/

Nobody is talking about the lies they told in confirmation hearings.  Perjury apparently is not a thing for men or women who are the “chosen” for the SCOTUS, by the biggest liar in the world..Donald J Trump.

Why isn’t anyone talking about all of this.  The Roe v Wade reversal will affect women all over the US. This is the biggest mass sexual assault  threat for women ever, and we should be talking about how to impeach at least 2 of the men who voted for it.  They assaulted women, and they lied about it, and now they make rules for women and their lives.  DJT enabled these lying womanizers.

Since when do we give the most prolific liars the most powerful positions in our country and then let them make rules for over half of the population!

The SCOTUS decision is the biggest mass  assault on women in history of the US.

 

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The second side to the story of Jaxx, and his owner

June 17th, 2022 No comments

Mike and I have owned dogs all of our married life. We just love our little canine buddies. Over the years we have learned a lot about caring for them, getting them in for neutering, vaccinations, illness and injury. Gradually over the years, a lot like the current housing prices….dog ownership has become extremely expensive, and likely out of financial reach for many people, who would/could be fine loving pet owners.

I have had some tremendously kind, compassionate and caring veterinary and pet grooming services. I appreciate all that they do and did for us and our pets. However, I have also seen the price of all things dog related rise exponentially. And yes, I know that Veterinarians and techs have school loan payments and debt and expenses associated with their clinics. Still, I was blown over the first time I was hit with a $1000 bill for an overnight stay for one of our pets a long time ago. I learned to ask for an itemized list of needs and then work with them do things sequentially or in some cases not at all if they were elective. Because of that (and now our pet insurance) we have had both healthy pets AND not broken our bank. Vets have been more open to this kind of “choosing wisely” than my human doctors have been.

In all these years, I have had only TWO really rotten experiences with a veterinary service. The first was years ago, when I made a very bad mistake of buying a pekinese from a puppy mill lady here in Bangor (my own huge mistake). The pup was stinky, but we figured we could clean her. She had mange when we got her and a serious skin disorder. She gave mange to my older dog. We had to treat them for weeks, then months. The vet was selling me tiny tuberculin syringes with a tenth or 2 tenths of a cc of Ivermectin in each one to give my pets….and charging me through the nose. I found a multi dose bottle of the medicine at the pet feeds and needs store, for less than $25. So there was that screwing. That same pup had a ton of issues…skin issues, nares stenosis, fleas, heart, digestive, kidney etc etc. The more I treated her the sicker she got. She got a huge skin reaction from the expensive flea treatment recommended by the vet. We were at the vets way too often. When she was finally old enough for neutering, the vet said he would fix her nose at the same time. Oh, but on surgery day, he forgot! He said he would not charge me for her second anesthesia and nose surgery, but of course he did…..and he said I couldn’t have her back until I paid! I paid, then I started my quest for a decent vet. When I got her medical records for my new vet, I discovered that she was in kidney failure according to her pre surgical blood work. Of course he did the expensive elective surgery anyway. No wonder she was puking all the time and losing weight. Her new vet said she had multiple medical issues and failure to thrive. So, I got this sick dog from a puppy mill and a vet who didn’t pay any attention to her sickness and did expensive surgery that she should never have had. I took that vet to the Veterinary board. I went to the hearing but was not allowed to speak. He sent a representative. He got the cursory slap on the wrist, and I got all my money back from that horrible vet. I had her in my home for about 4 months, and it broke my heart when I took her back to the seller…so she could take on all of the medical issues and bills,and sadly to euthanize her in the near future. She accused me of neglect and being a bad owner. Of course that was a real slam from a puppy mill person.

I didn’t think I would ever get another dog after Louie. He was the best, and he was the one who got mange from the puppy mill dog. When he was 14, he got extremely sick in the middle of a trip to Kentucky. We turned around from just outside Washington DC, and came home. I knew we’d be no good if we had to euthanize him in a strange place on the road. It was compassionate, skilled and sweet Veterinary staff at the Veazie Vet Clinic near my home that helped us to guide him over the rainbow bridge. I will never forget their kindness. We got a sweet card with Louie’s footprint on it a few weeks later. I still cry when I think about that day, but I also love the people who got us through it.

Now we have Stanley, our tiny shih tzu. He is different from Louie, but every bit as lovable. And our sons have dogs, Rocky and Leroy. Some days it is doggie heaven around here….and loud and messy, but fun.

Last year Rocky had a neck and nerve issue that is not uncommon in French bulldogs. After a week of pain, and pills and an exam by his local vet, he jumped from my sons bed to the floor. Then he couldn’t walk. He had sudden onset paralysis, and that progressed with incontinence. This is a dire dog emergency. Because he needed a neuro specialist, off he went to the Maine Veterinary Medical Center in Scarborough Maine 2 hours away. I have written a blog about that day and beyond. Suffice to say that experience was horrible. After driving with an anxious Frenchie, in an ice/slush/snow storm to that clinic, and waiting 6 or 7 hours in his car in wet clothes, the staff told him they couldn’t take care of Rocky that day, he would have to go to Boston. Someone on the neuro team, who had been there all morning working on a different dog, had tested positive for COVID. So, they all had to go home at 2pm, and of course this was a Friday afternoon. I wonder if that person was more positive for COVID at 2pm than they were at 7am? I’m pretty sure that with Brian waiting out in a cold wet parking lot, that he would not have been exposed, and Rocky wasn’t at risk of anything except further paralysis. They had demanded a $5000 down payment with another 5,000 due after the surgery for his care that day and I spent about an hour on the phone fighting to get most of it back. They should have given it all back. That wait, then dismissal, and failure to medicate Rocky so he wouldn’t wheeze and flail all over the back seat floor on his way to Boston was their fault. His suffering was increased and prolonged because of the MVMC. That was my our experience with them. I will never recommend them to anyone.

He was sent to Boston to Angell Veterinary Clinic and he got amazing and efficient care there, and we are eternally grateful for that. It was also very expensive, but the care was outstanding.

I’m attempting to give examples of good vs bad or moral vs immoral vet care and caring. Pet care consumers (and sadly, that is exactly what vet care is…a consumer product and if you also get compassion and kindness that is a big bonus) can either be a practice’s best advertisement or their worst critic. Dog owners emotions run high, because we consider them a family member, not a thing to own.   We pay dearly for their services and they need to earn our good Yelp reviews.

Puppy Jaxx

Puppy Jaxx

The story about Jaxx and his owner (links below) brought back some latent feelings about that clinic in southern Maine. I didn’t know the dog or the owner, so I got to know her, as well as I could through a messenger…hours of messaging.  I don’t have documents, and I have not talked with MVMC.  But I believe this woman and that is my impression and opinion of what she has told me.

It’s a wonder I could reach her, because she came under attack from the veterinary world and others. The group badgered her, called all sorts of things and she was threatened too. It got so bad, she had to block hundreds of messages and shut down her social media. When I saw her interview on TV, I sensed that she was suffering. What was happening to her elicited some of the same emotions and issues that I have seen over and over in medically harmed human patients.  Since that time, the MVMC released a carefully crafted, medically detailed, and defensive PR statement authored by a PR professional who I happen to know. Apparently they have been threatened and harassed too, and of course their fans blame the dog owner, and even me in some cases, because I spoke up for her. The whole two sided truth is not in that PR release or in any newspaper article before or since. The true owner is a hard working Mom, who took good care of her pup. He had is vaccinations just a few days prior to him snacking on a wooden skewer. She had no idea he had done that and thought he was sick from vaccines. In fact she found out about the skewer the same time the vets did…after the xray. She had also prepaid and scheduled his neutering surgery. The owner did not have deep pockets or a PR rep or the corporate status and ability to have an article printed in the BUSINESS section of the Portland Press Herald. She is at home sadly missing her dog buddy, heartbroken and so is her family. Suffice to say that the incorporated clinic and many of their associates from all over this country painted a completely different picture of her. Now her dog has been sold off to someone else for the balance due on the surgery. Rumor has it that a clinic employee has the dog. Did that staff person pay for him? Or was there an employee perk for that new owner? If true, is that even ethical? When she sent police to the clinic to find the whereabouts of her dog, they were told he went to a rescue. She called area rescues hoping to retrieve him , but of course he was not at any of them. She had gathered the money from friends and relatives…but it was not before the clinics random paying deadline. It was however within a few hours after surgery, that same day. In all likelihood, and if his conditions was as dire as in the PR statement, he was medicated, resting and recovering right at MVMC.   I hope for all I am worth that someone will do a full and fair investigation into this and write her truth. She is not what she is portrayed to be, and she was not fully informed. She signed to release her dog under great duress, without full information about his condition and/or the finality of the agreement. She did it to save her dogs life, and because it was the only option she was given to do that. She deserves to get her dog back. That would be the right thing to do.

I have often been criticized and attacked for my truth, and so far nobody has even heard Jaxx’s owners truth. She has also suffered attacks and some from the Veterinary Community….imagine that! This is not the first time I have helped an underdog to reveal their truth, and it won’t be the last. Even my cousin reamed me out. She is an animal control person in my hometown. She deals with the worst of the worst, but Jaxx’s owner is not like that. I don’t deny that there are awful people who do not deserve the loyalty and love of a dog, but Jaxx had a sweet owner. I admire my cousin, respect her work and I wouldn’t want her job, but she is wrong about this owner.

I hope that this blog will make some people come to their senses about this and consider that even if the clinic did the “legal” (in their eyes) thing, was it the right/just thing? I question the legality because the owner was not fully informed. She learned full details when the PR release went out. She had already paid some for his care, couldn’t they have collected the balance due after the surgery, and if she failed to fork it over, then they could hold him for ransom, like the vet I described earlier in this blog.  Were they decent? Could there have been some sort of mediation before this whole mess blew up? Is there a better way to approach payment for Veterinarians? Should pet insurance be better advertised and promoted, because before Rocky’s debacle, we didn’t have insurance for our little guy. Veterinarian care is scary expensive and many clinics will not work with the clients for affordable payment plans. Some only offer very high interest plans for credit. Corporate Veterinary care is more and more like corporate human healthcare all the time. It’s a good thing that humans are not owned, because a lot of them would have been turned over to get them the healthcare they needed.

There has to be a better way to keep good owners and their pets together when emergency catastrophic and extremely expensive care becomes necessary. I’m glad Jaxx survived his ordeal, and that was because of veterinary skills and because his owner got him there in time and loved him enough to sign a paper so he could live.. But, his owner is devastated and has been vilified. That is just not right!  Fixing this would take some very serious people skills and kind people to exercise those skills.

https://wgme.com/news/i-team/mvmc-responds-to-i-team-investigation-maine-veterinary-medical-center-jaxx-german-shepherd

https://www.pressherald.com/2022/06/13/scarborough-veterinary-hospital-gets-dogpiled-over-viral-puppy-tale/?fbclid=IwAR1nnEuQfX7Me6kaZQPK0xf4tdn1wcMWAAPksmwB87KJudNxPEJo1-FOABE

https://www.bangordailynews.com/2022/06/17/opinion/opinion-contributor/dont-always-believe-what-you-read-online-and-never-make-death-threats-joam40zk0w/?fbclid=IwAR0f6K9aHmoqZKu5IBYKQTds4Yu_q6z-A90EDo_x4W3nJUFWzNXmYApxcT8

https://www.pressherald.com/2022/06/17/letter-to-the-editor-story-on-surrendered-pup-took-business-side/?fbclid=IwAR1wnbBJp-2apIAjVuoZct9V7BDtqtUJIWrXXVlFOryQX7jHWy_WZz1pWJA

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Crying every day

May 28th, 2022 No comments

The weapons, once used to injure and kill people, made into steel used for bridge and road upgrades.

I keep tissues handy all the time now.  The fleeing families of Ukraine and the brutal total destruction of peaceful free communities is breaking my heart.  The bravery of President Zelenskyy and the volunteer army of soldiers who fight against Putin’s killers/murderers is astounding.  But, inch by inch, person by person the evil reign of Russia pushes on and refuses to negotiate with Ukraine.   He does the work of the devil. We are so fortunate to have President Biden ruling our country now, because who knows what DJT would make Ukraine do for the help they need. Maybe he would have just cut them off to help his friend in Russia? Putin might be naming streets for DJT.

We have a similar, but ongoing war here in the United States of America.  The only difference is that we don’t have an efficient army to fight back and the attacks are scattered both by time and place. There are no rules of engagement or prevention, because  Congress is paralyzed by Republicans.  Yet the Rs consider themselves effective leaders?   And the victims in our own scattered war are defenseless babies/children in schools and everyday people shopping in a store or worshipers in a house of God.  The evil enablers of the people shooting up those innocent precious souls are the Republicans in both the US Congress and in State legislatures.  Gun money flows into their pockets and buys their faithful preaching of the gun lobby doctrine.  The NRA is guilty of murder by default. The Republican party paves the way while the NRA  pushes and promotes the sale of automatic rifles and guns that are made to kill lots of people in a very short time. So, the offensive army can be small, usually just one person.  The war guns are manufactured for no other reason than that….making tons of money and mowing down many people in just seconds.  Nobody buys a gun like that to shoot squirrels or deer.   Gun manufacturer stocks went up after those precious babies and beloved community members were murdered in Uvalde, Texas and Buffalo NY.  It seems that these mass murders are great advertising and business for the guns, and isn’t that the biggest horror of all?

I don’t even want to repeat the absolute BS that the Republican party (AKA the NRA) spews about why these mass shootings happen.  A few days ago, Texas Governor Gregg Abbott pronounced  “We have a major mental health problem”.  Oh, I agree, but that is not why monsters are shooting up kids.  The shooters are schemers and planners and monsters.  They grew up with hate in their hearts, and a propensity toward violence, but they didn’t just snap.  They planned.  Some were groomed by hateful parents.  They couldn’t wait to be legal age to buy that gun, and did just that.  Or else, Mommy and Daddy bought a gun for them for a birthday or Christmas present. OH BOY a shiny new AR 15.  They probably had their picture taken with it, perhaps for next years Christmas card!  And of course this promotes more gun sales…free advertising for the NRA and gun manufacturers.  Repeating the NRA rhetoric about mental illness is just a pathetic diversion from selling guns of mass destruction.

Most mentally ill people to not scheme and plan their breakdowns.  And what are Republican governors like Abbott doing about mental health anyway?  They are doing about as much for MH as they are about gun control…nothing.

The problem is the evil cowardly schemers and their ability to purchase a gun that should not be available to anyone, except law enforcement or military personnel.  No kid or any everyday citizen needs an automatic weapon of any kind.  And YES, I do believe that they should all be confiscated and melted down to useless metal…………………and they should never be available to sell to anyone. Guns like that should be issued by superiors in law enforcement and military.

The second amendment always comes up.  As we all know, it was written in 1776, when the only guns/muskets were single load and had to be reloaded every time a person shot it.  It took long enough that anyone that was being threatened with that gun could escape!  But, the NRA and the GOP hang on to those old words as their God given RIGHTS to bear arms….ANY arms….AR 15 ARMS.  BULL.  It is time to rewrite the second amendment..throw out the first draft. Write it for modern times.  If the shooter in Uvalde had a musket, most if not all of those kids could have escaped.

While 21 families and an entire community prepare for the funerals of their massacred precious babies and teachers, the evil NRA is having a party in Houston, TX this weekend.  The most evil of all, Donald J Trump loudly and proudly had the nerve to blame the killings on mental illness, but of course we know his own issues with mental health, and his love of money. The NRA will give him lots of money for repeating their words.  And Ted Cruz…so, they got double losers to speak at their party.   Greg Abbott played both sides in this event (to respect the grieving)…he stayed home, but he did a video to be shown to the gun party revelers.  That way he can be perceived as someone who actually cares about the Uvalde families, but also will still get money from the NRA and their campaign to make every man woman and child in this country a gun owner.

My dream was that about 10,000 demonstrators would somehow block both car traffic and people traffic going into and out of that convention, and shut them down.

We have all heard the repetitive spewing of gun rights goons….”The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun”.  We watched in horror many good guys with guns outside the Robb elementary school.  While those good guys with guns stood outside, freaking out, being cowards, and planning their “strategy” for almost a full hour….the perp shot over 300 rounds into teachers, children and others.  21 died, and more are in hospitals struggling to survive.  The good guy who was supposed to be at the door to block anyone from entering was absent.  Some unarmed parents physically took on the good guys with the guns because they would NOT go into the school…..THEY fought to go in without a gun to save their kids.  So, there you go…the whole “good guy with a gun” theory is blown right out of the water.  And we all watched when Governor Abbott twisted the truth about those good guys with guns, and never mentioned that the shooter should never have had access to one. (If the good guys with guns didn’t have the proper protective equipment, I will take back my coward comment)

We all have to act.  We must badger the living bejesus out of our Senators and Representatives, write and call them.  Speak up online and in person if possible.  Our own worst enemy and terrorists are inside the borders of the country.  It is the NRA and the former GOP (grand old party)…the Republicans, and the opportunists that buy and use guns on innocent people.

It’s time to learn from others how to stop the mass shootings in our country.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firearms_regulation_in_Canada

 

 

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Super Women

May 5th, 2022 5 comments

PregnantWoman-1024x683

 

I have never felt more powerful than when I gave birth the first time.  I couldn’t sleep for days, and it was the endorphins, not a colicky baby that kept me awake, at least for first several days.    I was super woman.  I had conceived and grown a full term baby boy inside my body.  There is nothing in this world more powerful than that.

My son was born 1 year and 2 days after I was married. We just celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary and my son’s 49th birthday.  He was round and perfect and he looked just like my father in law.  My husband and I waited for him with open arms and he was loved by us and all of our extended family.

At 23, I was ready for my first baby.  I had graduated from nursing school, had my career and found the love of my life.  We were on our way as a family.  We struggled and worked and did just fine.

Fast forward 17 years from 1973.   I had 2 sons by then, so I was superwoman twice.  I have been doubly empowered by the birth of my sons.  There were no pregnancies after that until after I turned 40 years old.  I was working as an ER nurse and Mike was working as a US Customs inspector.  We had a good life and the news of this pregnancy floored us!   But, we both welcomed the chance to be parents one more time.  In fact, we were ecstatic!   My mother had a baby at 42, and he brought great joy to their lives.  Just maybe this was our chance to do the same.

When I was about 3 months along and after I had announced this pregnancy to family, I began to bleed, just a little bit.  It was Christmas time and so I kept an eye on it for a few days to get through the holidays.  Then I got checked.  My OBS couldn’t hear a heartbeat and she did an ultrasound.  The fetus was not normal.  There was no question that this pregnancy was over and I needed a therapeutic abortion/aka D&C.  This decision was made between my doctor and me, and my husband was advised after the decision was made.  He and I were absolutely devastated by this turn of events, and he fully supported whatever I decided and did.   It broke my heart and stole away all our plans of a new baby.  As it turned out, my pregnancy was abnormal from the beginning.  I had an hidatidiform molar pregnancy.  This is when a fertilized egg develops abnormally and sometimes grows too rapidly, developing teeth, hair etc, but never forming a normal baby.  If left growing to term, it can affect the health of the Mom, or even cause cancer.  No matter the details.  This was a deeply painful and personal experience, and I did not need input from a man or politicians or intrusive laws and  regulations.  This was between my doctor and me.  Aside from my husband, this was nobody’s business except mine.

Every single pregnancy is extremely personal and powerful.  Woman Power makes us perfect for making our own decisions.  We have this incredible ability to sustain and grow cells inside us to form a full size baby, and we also have the brain power to decide if that is what we want or if the timing is right or even if it is safe.  The circumstances around a pregnancy can make a huge difference to a woman.  Questions a woman may ask herself are….. Will this pregnancy add to my life and love, or will it destroy anything I have planned for my future?  Will it kill me?  Will it be like the brute who raped me?  Will I be able to support and love it?  Will I be rejected by my family if I have it?  Will the father have anything more to do with me?  Will I be able to work?  Will the medication I have been on affect it? Am I able to care for this very deformed baby?  Am I too young to give birth? (in the case of children being impregnated, they need professional counseling and parental or guardian guidance).  The reasons to continue a pregnancy or terminate it are innumerable, and endless.  And it is different for every woman and her circumstances.

When I heard the recent news of the SCOTUS plans to revoke Roe vs Wade, I nearly exploded.  I remember when Catholics were forbidden birth control and I saw the results.  Women having their 12th or 15th baby came to our Catholic Hospital delivery room in Boston, where I trained as a nurse in the late 60s.  They were exhausted, stretched out and bored with the process of delivery.  Some were irate, and once medicated their “real” feelings came out in words that no good Catholic woman would ever have used if not medicated.  These were not terms of endearment, or Catholic prayers.  The Church didn’t even allow tubal ligation. If a woman wanted that she had to go elsewhere and the husband had to sign papers “allowing” it.  I am getting triggered just remembering all this and how incredibly archaic and sexist it is.

Believe it or not, I hate abortions too.  I can’t think of a single woman who would say she likes or loves abortions.  They are painful both physically and emotionally.   But, we do embrace our own power over reproduction decisions and abortion is part of that.

If we want to end abortions, we MUST take care of what causes them.  MEN for one thing…..the people who too often do the duty and walk away.  Make the men equally responsible, because it takes two parts to make a zygot…the precursor to an embryo.  Also, make insurances pay for all forms birth control….condoms, IUDs, Birth Control pills, tubal ligations, vasectomies, or anything else a woman wants or needs to stop pregnancies from happening in the first place.  Fund day care (either employers of the government) because it easily takes TWO to support a baby these days…and many single Moms can’t afford daycare.  Fund pre school in every State.  Women know how to live their best lives after making their own decisions, so stop allowing politicians to make those decisions for them.  Provide sex education early and often.  Abstinence is a lovely lofty concept(ion) idea, but it is as unrealistic as Santa Claus. Human hormones win out.  Even with all of these precautions, we still need safe abortions accessible for all women, not just the rich.  No precaution against pregnancy is 100% effective.

And, don’t ever assume YOU know what is best for any woman. As an RN, I have advised a number of women on their options, but I have never presumed I know what is best for them.  Again, it is their business, not mine or yours or any politicians.   Unless she has asked for your thoughts, keep your gigantic traps shut and step back, except to support her choice.  A woman knows what is best for herself, her body, her family and her future.  It is none of your damned business, it is hers.

Half of US citizens are women. We have a ton of power.  It is time to get loud.  Don’t back down on this, because it is just one of many dominoes in the line.

 

 

Married 50 years

April 28th, 2022 No comments
April 29, 1970

April 29, 1970

 

 

 
I can’t believe it, not at all.  On April 29, my husband and I will  celebrate 50 years married.  I won’t lie…it hasn’t all been perfect.  It’s been messy and neat and everything in between, but it has been pretty darned good.  We are proud of us together for so long.

younthands

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This week is also my husbands 74th birthday and the next day was my brother’s 74th birthday, then my oldest sons 49th birthday.  I spoke with my brother today.  His comments all skirted around that dirty three letter O word…(old).  How did we get this old?  When did we get this old?  What about our kids, they are getting old too!  We don’t know how much time we have left. on and on….

I let him pour it all out then I said…”I guess I look at it differently.  I wonder what is coming next”   I am a great planner.  Admittedly, I am more of a planner than a doer these days, but eventually, once the decent weather sets in here in Maine, we will do something.  We plan to make reservations to go camping at Acadia NP sometime this summer.  We also are planning a little family party here on July 23….maybe around 20 of the McClearys getting together to visit, eat and swim.  It’s been too long.  The last gathering was for my mothers funeral and that was overshadowed with loss and sadness.  BUT, when my beautiful parents had their 50th, and then their 60th wedding anniversaries, the party was right here in my back yard….eating, playing and just plain raising hell. We all love a good party.

I do have plans.  I am limited physically for doing a lot of activities, but as long as Mike is willing to tow our trailer,  and I can get my carcass into our truck and throw a few clothes and food in, I am game.  I will go anywhere camping, or even for a few days of sightseeing.  I don’t need swanky hotels…I just need my little tow along house/trailer.  And I suppose I could do with a comfy hotel room for a night or two, although it is not necessary nor what I prefer.

Parties and traveling have been two of the best parts of our union.  Our 2 favorite trips were the first time we took our little granddaughter, almost 5 years old, to Disneyworld. We went with our pop up camper from Maine to Orlando, and what a great time.  She was a seasoned traveler at that age, because of her ‘circumstances’, living in different places with her mother …moving often.  But, this trip was all about her…and the fun we would have.  It was amazing, and so was she.

Long after she was grown and she decided we weren’t cool enough to go camping with anymore, Mike retired from work and we spent a year or so working for the US Census (2010).  All of that income went into special savings and we took a month long trip out west to Wyoming and Montana.  We saw Yellowstone NP and Glaciers NP, among others.  It was an  adventure and we had an absolute blast.  We took our favorite dog of all time, Louie, with us.  We camped in casino and Walmart parking lots, and various NP campgrounds and a few private ones.  I can’t describe the awe we felt for this experience.  It was truly THE camping adventure  of our life time.

We have had fun times and hard times.  I have fumbled through some health issues and currently fiddle around with arthritis….daily.  But, Mike remains incredibly healthy.  He keeps our yard and home in working order and he walks every day with our newest little pooch Stanley.  I do the piddly stuff like dishes, folding laundry, picking up….it all works out.  Just don’t look too closely for dust around the house.  We have all read the old poem  “Dust if you must”  https://www.ellenbailey.com/poems/ellen_218.htm

There have been challenges with our kids as teens, and a bit beyond.  Also some of his family have been downright cruel and nasty, with a desire and determination to get all of the family estate.  They succeeded, and we have moved on..no use or time for nasty destructive people in our lives.  So, yeah…life gets real and it isn’t perfect, but we work our way through.

He has supported and encouraged me through 10 years of volunteer Patient Safety work, sometimes traveling with me to far off places, like San Diego, Atlanta and DC.  And when he worked as a US Customs officer,  I went with him to a union meeting in Honolulu and spent a month temporarily living in Montreal and 3 months in DC when he was on a temporary assignment.

Before we moved back to Bangor, ME for good in 1987 (where we started out as newlyweds in 1970) we had moved to and lived in 3 other towns, 5 previous houses, and several apartments.  Mike always worked at a port of entry and I worked many jobs as a nurse in big and small hospitals, and also in doctors offices and a paper mill.   We moved often for about 10 years when our kids were young,  and then we settled back home in Bangor, ME on Pearl St.   Our lives have been full and fun with travel,interesting work and things to do and see.

We have raised 2 bright, funny and hard working, dog loving sons as well.  Their humor, kindness and intelligence is our reward for being their mother and father.   I wouldn’t change one thing about them, although they might debate that.

All of this is just a glimpse of what our lives together have been like and how and where we spent it.  But, the important thing is that we ain’t done yet.  I’m not sure where we will go next or what we will do, but we will plan and do something, and it will be together.  Neither of us would know any other way to do it.

Love helps us to figure things out.  I recommend it.

Happy 50th Anniversary to us!

50 years later

50 years later

0ld hands

 

 

 

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Taking out the trash

January 14th, 2022 1 comment

Open photo

The familiar black trash bins sit at the end of every driveway on my street every Friday morning. The only change of pick up days is if there is a holiday.   These bins are provided to us by the city (of course paid for with tax dollars).   If we don’t get our bins out on time, we miss trash pick up and there are no “special” services if you call to whine to the public works folks about it.   It occurred to me today that without rules about trash, my neighborhood would be full of rats, raccoons,  and other hungry wild animals.    My property value would drop, and we might be afraid to let our pets outside or take a walk in the neighborhood because of vermin.  When people leave a pile of garbage or trash on the curbside that does not fit into our special bins, it doesn’t get picked up by the city trash collector.  It sits there until the offender hauls it off themselves or they pay someone to come and haul it off to the dump,  The old fashioned “trip to the dump” isn’t what it use to be…our load of garbage is weighed and charged by the pound.   We pay our city taxes for a trash collection benefit, but there are a lot of rules attached.  I looked up and down my street this morning, and not one driveway was without their trash bin at the roadside. Not one. Because there are penalties and inconveniences if you do not obey the rules, people just do it.No description available.

I don’t know all of my neighbors, and I don’t know their political leanings (except for the ones who put those grotesque Trump flags out during the last election), but I do know they care about getting their trash picked up and keeping this neighborhood decent and clean.  In order to accomplish neighborhood hygiene, we all have to live by the rules of garbage pick up in the city.

What would happen if they decided that these rules infringe on their freedom, or that it is unconstitutional to make them have trash collection on Friday (or whatever day their nighborhood pick up is).   My guess is that the neighborhood would go in the crapper.

Can anyone else see that this is  similar to what is actually happening to our healthcare system because of COVID and the freedom lovers who have decided they will not get vaccinated?  Should we start to financially penalize unvaccinated patients who get sick with COVID.  I’m starting to think so.  Their actions are stressing our healthcare system to the hilt…and people with other health issues cannot get needed care.  Also, we are all paying for their care…all of us, in one way or another, because they want their freedoms…to not vaccinate.

Is this whole country going into the crapper because of COVID?  Just yesterday, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that it was unconstitutional to mandate vaccines or weekly testing for employers of over 100 people.  These justices have no science education, or other expertise in the control of infectious diseases.  They are not statisticians.  They do not have entire panels and boards of experts advising them on the pandemic.  The SCOTUS should not be making any ruling on a pandemic…that should only be done with the guidance of experts.  It is interesting to me that the employees of the Supreme court DO have a mandate for vaccination/or weekly testing in house. 

So, the SCOTUS just gave employers back their FREEDOMS (or DUMBS) to not have COVID rules.  What will happen now?   More employees will get sick with COVID and spread it to other workers.  Their workplaces will be contaminated by COVID.  People will go out sick and their productivity will suffer.  And most importantly, more will die.  How many?  Thousands…tens of thousands?

Every single one of us has been brought up with rules.  We learn them almost from the time we are born.  It is because we are of superior intelligence….superior to animals and plants.  We know there are boundaries in our lives and we live within them and because of them.  We have rules in school, rules at work, rules in our families, rules in our communities, States and country.  We have rules about driving a car or owning a gun and paying taxes.  Rules are what keep us safe and in the case of pandemic….alive.

I have always thought that this was the greatest country in the world.  But by my observations, that seems to be slipping away.  We need to do better at taking out the trash.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/13/us/politics/supreme-court-biden-vaccine-mandate.html

https://www.bangormaine.gov/trash

http://www.civics.ks.gov/kansas/citizenship/responsibilities-of-citizens.html

 

 

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Until Death (or COVID) do us part

December 11th, 2021 1 comment

I took those vows almost 50 years ago, and have kept them even during some rocky times.  I meant them then, and I mean them now.  My husband is so lucky that I DO!  I am also very lucky.

But, isn’t that vow kind of a human thing, not just a wedding vow?  It’s a promise and commitment to all of the people important to us?  I will stick by my kids until death do us part.  I cared for my parents until death did us part.  Even my pets…..they are mine until they cross the doggie or kitty rainbow bridge.

Death is so final,  so profound and so incredibly heartbreaking.  How would I feel if a loved one died of COVID because they were not vaccinated?  I am pretty sure I would be grief stricken and heartbroken first, but then I would be royally POed!  I would be very very angry with them, because they could have avoided it. I think that would be natural, something like if a loved one shockingly committed suicide.

I have read about couples and families in the newspaper who have essentially died together because of COVID.  It seems that is taking the vows to an extreme.   Some became ill together with COVID, and one died while the other survived.  They were Parents, spouses, sons, daughters, …..all of them.  They were loved and cherished by the families that they left behind….their survivors grieving and drop jaw shocked that this horrid virus killed their loved one.  Some of them seemed not to have seen it coming.  Why?  Were they wearing  blinders?  Wasn’t their decision to not vaccinate a conscious decision? Was their decision science or politically based?   There is nothing hidden about the risks of COVID..it is all out there for the public to see.  The news of it has consumed newspapers, television and internet media.

There are simply no excuses anymore. There just aren’t.  There are no political, religious, family, social, scientific, make believe, conspiracy theory, or other kinds of excuses for not getting vaccinated.  There are even very  few medical reasons to not get vaccinated.  The reasons TO get vaccinated are never ending.

1. Not dying  is #1

2. Avoid getting COVID

3. To be able to live your life

4. To avoid being hospitalized

5. To keep everyone around you safer (family, coworkers, friends, students, church families, etc)

6. To show respect for everyone, including strangers

7. To save our hospitals ability to continue to serve

8. To give nurses and doctors back their lives

9. To stop this damnable pandemic.

I could go on and on. We have all heard it all.  All of us are pretty much experts on the up side of being vaccinated.  But, there are still too many who reject vaccinations and are confident if they get sick that a stupid worming pill, or peroxide, or mouthwash, or some other bogus cure is there for them.  But, there isn’t a cure.  There is treatment, and it works on some, but not on all.  The antibodies, and steriods and  antivirals have promise, but there is

no known cure for COVID at this time….is that clear?

One thing that COVID can do, and do quickly, is kill you or me or someone you love.  It does this over several days, or weeks…and it can be torturous and horrid.  When we read all those stories about loved ones dying of COVID, generally they did not do that without suffering, no matter what the obituary says.  There is the air hunger and lack of oxygen and a plunging pulse oxygen level.  That means that the victim is pulling for all they are worth to get enough air. When they can’t do it on their own anymore, because their lungs are full of COVID infection, they collapse….or if they are in a hospital they get the ventilator and with that goes the endotracheal tube, and multiple IVs, mind and body numbing drugs, and central lines, and urinary catheters etc.  Then there is the constant turning or “proning” of the patient to improve lung capacity, cupping (pounding upon) the back to loosen secretions, and skin care, hygiene, and monitoring etc. The saddest part of all this is that most of the time, family cannot be with you..that means those who have vowed to be with you “until death do you part” cannot be with you at all, because you are so contagious.  That is extreme suffering. Hospital nurses and doctors deal with this every single day.  It is their constant reality….the suffering and death of COVID victims. Some healthcare workers have contracted COVID themselves prior to the availability of vaccines.  And yes some have died.

COVID  is nothing I would want to share with my husband, sons, neighbors, or my nurse or doctor….

Death is something we will all experience, but why flirt with it by not vaccinating. We were given intelligence for a reason.

Get Vaccinated.  And, the life you save may be your own or someone very close to you.

Please.

https://atriumhealth.org/dailydose/2021/10/01/covid-19-roundtable-what-really-happens-when-you-go-on-a-ventilator

https://www.health.com/condition/infectious-diseases/coronavirus/icu-nurse-covid-19-patients-intubated-video

 

 

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MAINERS FOR HEALTHCARE AND PUBLIC HEALTH

September 9th, 2021 2 comments

MAINERS FOR HEALTHCARE AND PUBLIC HEALTH

I think I will start a new coalition called M4HC+PH…the title above.  The members will be like me…Mainers who are all vaccinated, taking precautions, doing all we can to avoid COVID. I think we are the reasonable, sensible Mainers here.  The new groups in Maine called mainers against mask mandates  or the alliance against healthcare mandates, should just rename themselves….how about mainers 4 COVID or mainers against public health.  That would be so much more accurate.

Our new group will not be against or anti anything.  We will be FOR the elimination of COVID, FOR masks as recommended, FOR vaccinations, FOR life, FOR healthy kids/students, FOR our future as a State and as citizens.  Bucking science will not be part of our new group.  Backing solid science and data for the elimination of COVID will be the focus of our group. All like minded people, regardless of their political/religious or other affiliations will be welcome.  We are all the human race after all.

So, who’s in?  The majority of Mainers who are eligible have been vaccinated.  I think they are in.  The majority of unvaccinated are the ones getting COVID..the new Delta variant…and being hospitalized, going on ventilators and dying. Sadly, they are the ones perpetuating this pandemic.   It’s too late for them to be in.  A little less anti ism and more FOR ism could have helped them live a longer healthier life.  Maybe some of the ones who have not yet welcomed COVID into their lives yet will join us.

I am most sorry for the vaccinated but vulnerable people who have become infected with Delta, because not enough people got vaccinated. Not everyone can build a robust immunity even after full vaccination. But, because they were vaccinated, they are less likely to suffer serious COVID and will hopefully recover. They are very welcome to our new coalition.

I don’t pretend to be an expert, but I do listen to experts…the people who have worked their entire lives studying science and infectious diseases.  I have a healthy regard for their words of advice, and I am extremely grateful for their expertise.   Only people who feel this same way are welcome to my new alliance.  We have been too quiet and polite about the loud, conspiracy theory spreading  ANTI- everything- to- do- with- the- elimination- of -COVID folks

It’s time to make some noise.

Who’s in?

 

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So, you’re not getting the vaccination? REALLY?

July 12th, 2021 2 comments

 

Vaccines | Covid-19Photo From the Maine CDC site.

Over the past year and a half, we have separated from each other and frozen in fear of a deadly and very contagious virus, COVID 19.  At least, those of us who read the reports and watched the stats and understood what they meant were scared…I think.  We watched our tvs and read the news and social media with horror and sadness as the death toll climbed in the US and then in our own State of Maine.  My tiny hometown made national news, and they were not happy about that.  The “Millinocket Wedding” was covered by all the national news media including newspapers, TV and internet news. My hometown friends reminded me that the wedding was actually not held in Millinocket, it was in East Millinocket, and the reception was at a rural lake resort.  They were appalled that this infamous outbreak was credited to their community.  Unfortunately, they did suffer because of it and many of their citizens were affected.  The Millinocket Regional Hospital started COVID  sites and became a COVID care center.  Just this morning that hospital was listed as having the highest rate of employee vaccinations.  I am so proud of them, for that and for other ways they have worked to put this pandemic behind us.

Some of the things we as a population have done to stop COVID are screening, masks, sanitizing ,separating and distancing, closing public places, limiting public transportation and travel.   Finally, we have vaccination. Although I practiced all of the previous preventative steps,  vaccination was the one thing that I honestly welcomed with open arms.  The ones available are not perfect.  No vaccine is.  They are also not fully approved by the FDA, but the steps and formalities for that approval will take time. And truthfully, the FDA has approved some drugs (like the new Alzheimers drug that costs $52,000 a dose and isn’t proven to work) that do not work or are very dangerous.  Opioids are another example.    Much has been made of the side effects of the vaccine.  Granted there have been some and rarely, they can be serious. The CDC are reviewing issues with pericarditis currently.   But the numbers of serious reactions are extremely low, and not commonplace.  They are significant to the folks who suffer them, but the big picture tells us this…The vaccinations work well, are mostly safe and the numbers of new infections, hospitalizations and deaths are plummeting. Well over 90% of those current COVID patients who are hospitalized are the unvaccinated.  Also, almost all of those who are currently dying with COVID are unvaccinated.    Vaccines are doing their job.  People I have known and respected all my life are reluctant…some of them are healthcare professionals.  This astounds me honestly.  After what we have been through as a State and country over the past 18 months, it is alarming that healthcare workers are not gettting vaccinated, and they are speaking out against the vaccine!  What about the greater good!

My brother had COVID.  He was very sick, and long phone conversations he finally called 911 and went to the hospital, where he spent 3 days recovering.  He was one of the lucky ones. He survived, but he had symptoms for months afterward.  And, it wasn’t just him, his sons extended family all became infected, including his pregnant wife. They had a Thanksgiving gathering in the middle of a pandemic. One sick child came and everyone at that gathering got COVID.   None of them required hospitalization, but some of them were quite sick.  After the vaccine became available, my brother told me that he had “done his own research” and he had decided that he didn’t need the vaccine. Instead of arguing with him , I asked him to get his doctors opinion, knowing that he respected her a great deal.  She advised him to get it, and he did.  He had no issues with it. His sickness was at least 3 months behind him when he got vaccinated.   There is scientific fact that although natural immunity from having COVID is real, it does not protect against the newer strains.

There are countries crying for more vaccine.  It has been reported that not one family in India has been spared in their current COVID pandemic.  They are struggling to deal with the dead bodies.  Hospital conditions are horrendous.  They don’t have enough ventilators or medicine.  They would make great sacrifices for vaccine, and here in the US, we have a surplus because of vaccine reluctance.

I regard this pandemic as a war…that is the one thing I agree with DJT about.  We have the generals (healthcare workers and scientists) to help us get through it.  And we also have the arsenal….vaccine. But, we the people are the army.  We’ve had tremendous dedicated leadership here in Maine and so our rates are extremely low and falling every day.  The numbers are falling because of vaccine. All of the prior  measures just maintained us until the vaccine was available ….before now, the rates of infections fluctuated all the time.

None of us can control the people around us and what they do as far as vaccination goes. But, as patients, we can ask for vaccinated healthcare providers.  And we can get vaccinated ourselves.  We can also help those who are hesitant to vaccinate by telling them about our own experience with the vaccine.

We are moving on and moving forward, but the Delta variant is on our tail.   Please get vaccinated!

 

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Rocky Homecoming (with an update)

April 20th, 2021 No comments

No photo description available.

UPDATE

May 8, 2021

This handsome dude Rocky has recuperated beautifully.  His amazing personality is coming back.  His first 10 days or so back home, he was on a ton of medication, including anti anxiety drugs.  He wasn’t himself, but he was certainly aware and secure in his home and back with his humans.  Every day, his legs got stronger and he walked more steadily. His appetite has improved and with some enticing (chicken and raw carrots) he is eating well.   About 9 days post op, he had a day of vomiting.  He was coming off some of his medication.  The emergency vet in Brewer, ME examined him and said he looked good and he gave him an anti emetic shot.  That was the end of the vomiting, and he came off all meds.  His interest in his surroundings grew, and a few days ago, he found his favorite squeaky ball and brought it to Brian. Last night, he visited us in our home for the first time since his surgery. We have been visiting him on his turf before this.  Because he is doing so well, it is tempting to let him play and jump and run around, but he is still in his 4 weeks of recovery and mostly “bed rest”.  He spends most of his day in his little doggie rehab bed, except to go outside for potty breaks.  Very soon, Brian can set Rocky loose on the world and throw a ball for him to fetch.  He will be able to go outside in our back yard when he visits, and give Stanley a run for his money.  This is all good news and all of us are thrilled with his recovery.

  GOOOOOOOD BOY ROCKY!!

April 20, 2021

So the little pickle head Rocky is coming home today.  Rocky has spent some grueling hours away from his human Brian and suffering through pain, paralysis, incontinence, lonliness, and anxiety, but he will prevail!  He is my new hero. Brian has set up a little Rocky rehab in his apartment, and he got him a nice new harness with a back handle on it.

My previous blog described what he went through on Friday April 16.  Since then I have spoken with a representative of the Maine Veterinary Medical Center.  I struggled to stay civil, but I did.  She explained that

1. there was a dog even worse off than Rocky that day that they had to tend to first, and

2. an employee called in and had tested positive for COVID just before they threw Brian and Rocky out.

She further explained that the pre MRI and surgery work up takes 2.5 to 3 hours, and I asked about the waiting around for an additional 3 hours and she went on to explain about the sicker dog.  I asked why if it was going to be that long they didn’t send Rocky to Boston earlier.  She failed to explain that  to me adequately.

My opinion is this.  Everything that they did to and for Rocky was to prep him for an MRI and surgery, that they never performed.  Then to top it off (that Rocky and his serious issues were at the bottom of the triage heap), someone called from home with a positive COVID test.  The person was not in the clinic.  There is no risk to animals for COVID.  The neruo team who was going to do procedures on Rocky was at no more risk at 2pm than they were at 8am …while they worked together on a different  sicker dog.  But, they made an administrative choice to shut down the neuro team and procedures at 2pm.  I hope they all enjoyed their weekend.

Then without medicating Rocky, they put him in Brian’s car and sent them on their way to Boston.  Rocky thrashed and struggled against the cone and the IV for the whole trip.  She claimed that medicating a neuro dog is a two edged sword, and can interfere with an up coming neuro exam.  Anxiety and thrashing around in the throes of new paralysis and incontinence because of a bulging disc can also cause problems.  It was inhumane to do that to him.

Today, after excellent care at the Angell Veternary Hospital in Boston, Rocky will come home.  He is walking, but he still has left leg weakness.  It should resolve once the swelling and bruising from the disc issue and surgery are healed.  He will need help with a few things and will have to lay low for about a month.

In a month, I hope to see that bouncy big brute run into my house and scan for changes.  After giving him a good rub and scratching,  I want to give him a special treat of boiled chicken, that I suppose he will have to share with his little buddy Stanley.  Stanley will be coached prior to Rocky’s first visit to take it easy on him and to share his favorite prickly ball.  It is the favorite toy of all the dogs in our lives.  Good times are coming.

I will credit MVMC for refunding all of their charges aside from diagnostics like blood work and xrays, and “portables”, like that pesky IV catheter in his front leg.  So, there was a reasonable refund to the account. I am ok with that since the labs and xrays would have been done at the Boston clinic prior to surgery in any case.

Thank you to all the great friends and contacts who have followed this sad and frustrating saga of Rocky’s troubles. Every one of you knows the love of a dog and how important they are in our lives.

 

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