Swimming Upstream

always upstream, oy vey
Always upstream, oy vey iz mir

It’s been a fucking lifetime few weeks now of life as a salmon, swimming against the tide of bureaucratic bullshit on numerous life levels. Paperwork perdition. Righting wrongs, with only a small success to keep my spirit motivated. I fear losing some of my much called upon ‘glass half-full’ skills. I’ve been a salmon so long now, I cannot even appreciate a nice nosh (snack) of lox and bagels with a shmear…Oy vey iz mir.

  • IRS: the Mrs., and me, we filed our 2015 tax return in February of 2016. Twenty-one days is what the website said. I’ve always been an early filer. I pay what we owe and I look forward to our return. Never have we as a family been so in need of said gelt (money) from the return than this year. Please understand, as of this writing, it is now mid-September of 2016. That’s 21 days plus almost 7 months, and still going. Talk about red tape! I’ve spoken to my accountant more times than both he and I care for… Maybe he even blocked my number by now. I’ve gone many a day to irs.gov, clicked on ‘Find my refund’ (the fact that they have that as a button option, I’m just sayin’) and get the same message every time: Your tax return has not yet been processed. I called the IRS back in March of this year and found a live person, who was kind and apologetic. I let him know my story and he searched high and low, keeping me on the phone for almost 3 hours. He found out that my return was placed in some holding purgatory for those who have had experienced identity theft!

My heart pounded, “What, someone stole my identity and has my return?” “No, it was just a random pull”, he replied. “Let me see what I can do to get this processed for you”. I took his name and badge number and felt we were on our way. He said, “Call, and just ask for me by my badge number.”

That was March. Now, I dial the many IRS numbers I have amassed, and get 85+ different prompts, all of which I have tried, and none of which lead me to an actual live person. I fear for my badge-numbered friend. I go through the ‘find the status of my refund’ prompt, and nu, I get: Your tax return has not yet been processed. I called the phone number of the local IRS department, and I got a recording saying, ‘This phone number does not offer phone support.What the fuck! I even tried the phone number for the hearing impaired. After all, even the IRS would be nice to the hearing impaired, right? Not so much. When the machine picked up, it let out a blaring sound, like a ship at sea (warning poor schlemeils (fools) like me, mere salmon still going upstream) to move aside. My right ear, it still rings. And yes, dejectedly, I am still swimming.

photo by @willowandsage1 follow on instagram
photo by @willowandsage1 follow her on instagram (the Mrs.)
  • Botox: As many of you know, I get Botox injections (no, my face is like a google map!) to assist in chronic neck/head pain, cervical dystonia, etc. Due to the cost prohibitive nature of this treatment, Allergan, the company that makes the injections of botulism that relieve the pain to passable life levels, offers a subsidy for those who are green-gelt impaired. An incorrect diagnosis code has bolloxed my Botox, leaving my pain plan in a perpetual place of purgatory, like the above referenced tax return gelt (loot). I call, I write, I beg, and I remain without treatment. No one should know of such pain. If you want to click here or here, you can learn more about how wonderful Botox is for my chronic pain.
Getting un-towed, not so easy
Getting un-towed, not so easy
  • The Car Tow: So as not to be deemed a total whiner, let me tell you now, this one ends with a Mitzvah (in a win, a good deed)! My Mrs., she had a lovely day at the shore with friends right at the end of the summer. She left early to get there and got home late in the evening, making memories of fun and laughter with good friends, Little and Big. She arrived back at the Manor and there was not one parking space available. In fact people were parked sideways, on the grass, and in the fire lanes. Half asleep, I grumbled, “Leave the car in the stairway spot. There are no signs saying ‘no parking’ and you can move it in the morning.” She awoke to a car towed and the start of a fight with the 4th management company to take charge here at the Manor since our sojourn began. We talked to Katrina, the new manager. She could give two shits about us or our car. We begged for her to get the car released as she did for two other families before us.  I contacted Katrina’s boss. No response. Our car was gone, and we needed $200 to free it from this unfortunate and unnecessary incarceration. This timing, it was not so good for us in the gelt department. The next week, we searched under sofa cushions and on the floors of our cars to scrape by — no joke. The fight, it continued. Went on for weeks. The neighbors, they all complained. We did not relent, and we finally got word, today, that we will be credited $200 towards next month’s rent. Azoy! (Huzzah!)

There’s more, but this seems like just enough. End on a good note.

Tsum shtain zol men klogen nor nit bei zikh zol men trogen. Better pour out your troubles to a stone, but don’t carry them within yourself. So, I’m pouring. Thanks for reading! 

Wishing you all a tsuris (trouble) free time. A bei gezunt (Be in good health).

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Can we raise our children to be heroes, not rapists?

No one is allowe to steal those smiles. SHE IS SOMEONE
No one dare steal these smiles. SHE IS SOMEONE

“You took away my worth, my privacy, my energy, my time, my safety, my intimacy, my confidence, my own voice, until today.”

These are just 22 of the words, pulled from seven pages, written so eloquently, so bravely, from the victim of the Stanford rapist, to her rapist, Brock Turner. These words that I have read, have heard on the news this week, literally, took my breath away. This is not about me. This is about a woman wounded so cruelly and ruthlessly, that her world will never be the same.

As for Brock, he will sail through this. His storm will pass. It started with his ridiculously lenient sentence from a judge that responded to his father’s reckless statement regarding ‘20 minutes of action.’ She will live out every day of the rest of her life dealing with the horror and terror she experienced.

“You took away my worth, my privacy, my energy, my time, my safety, my intimacy, my confidence, my own voice, until today.”

I’m a mom in a two-momma household, raising two shana madelahs (beautiful, sweet girls), in a world that is so scary in too many ways. How on earth can we change this deplorable behavior?

If it takes a village, then people, we need to unite now.

We need to raise our kinder (children) to have respect and empathy for every person around us. The onus is now on us to see that our boychiks (little boys) and girlchiks (little girls) grow up knowing that SHE IS SOMEONE; that all girls are SOMEONE. We need to raise all of der kinder to be like those two mensches (decent, good human beings) on bicycles, who came to her rescue. They knew, SHE IS SOMEONE. They were prepared to take action, to stop the heinous wrong. We need to nurture our kinder to speak up and speak out about the evil that lives among us. We need not ever see or hear about another pathetic, nogudnik (one with no morals or ethics) like Brock Turner.

“You took away my worth, my privacy, my energy, my time, my safety, my intimacy, my confidence, my own voice, until today.”

The onus is on us.

What are you doing to raise kinder that know, SHE IS SOMEONE?

 

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Who leaves a dog in a car on a hot day?

shhhhhh. Therapy in Session. Help me understand this?

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Last week, I took a walk during lunch and found Truffula Trees! It was delightful and I felt giddy. This week, already marred with the pain and loss of Harambe, don’t you know I find a small dog in a hot vehicle parking lot? A paid parking lot, so this was deliberate and could last for hours! A shonda (shame) on so many counts. Who does this? Why?

I looked in, knocked on the doors and windows, to see if idiot humans anyone was with the soon to be poached pooch. The doors and windows were sealed shut. It was about 84 degrees in the shade yesterday. Furry little guy looked to weigh about 15 lbs, tops, as it sat in its dog bed (evidence of a perpetually bad habit?), panting in the passenger seat of a small mobile home, from California no less.

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Like any good dog loving human, I chased after a police car as it drove down the street. You wanna know why? A dog left in a hot car cooks a slow and ugly death.

  • Their cooling mechanisms will try hard to kick in — They will pant and drool, blood vessels will dilate
  • Blood pressure begins to change as the heart works harder to supply blood to the dilating vessels. Organs will start to pool blood, and pressure will drop
  • Organ damage begins — kidneys, stomach, intestines, liver all start to feel the thermal damages as blood clots form throughout, vomiting and bloody diarrhea develop and the brain swells
  • If that little red Rover was to reach 109F, and that can happen easily, there would be irreversible brain damage, seizures, coma, and then death
That's panting, not smiling
That’s panting, not smiling

Did you know, that even on a semi-cool day, say around 70F, the temperature in a vehicle could be as much as 40 degrees higher than outside?

The police were able to track down this nogudnik (less than moral and ethical character). He was in a local museum in the area. IN A MUSEUM! While Fido was frying like an egg, this yutz (jerk) was in a museum!

I couldn’t stay to watch this person(s), who left Rover without a care, to broaden his/her horizons at the historical, Eastern State Penitentiary (a fitting locale, this prison, for this chutzpenik (asshole a person with audacity and nerve) who could to do something so wrongful to human’s best friend. He/they should have to go to the big house, the joint, lockup.

I was going to stay, to gib a kick (get a load of) the schmuck(s) return from the ‘prison’ to meet the officers at the rolling home holding this canine captive, but I was too farklempt (overwrought with sadness and anger) to look at his/her punim (face).

I thanked the officers who helped to save this haggard and heated little guy. A mitzvah (good deed).

In dog we trust, at least I do…

A bei gesunt (We should live and be well).

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The Good, the bad and the ugly truth: My Smile is Back

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photo by @willowandsage1.  Follow on instagram

Shhhh. I’m kvetching (ranting). It’s Friday.

Good News: My effervescent (not in a gassy way), cheerful, and sunny disposition has been fully restored to my punim (face) as I recently regained the use of my right trigeminal nerve. Yes, I’m a regular Mary Poppins-berg! In short, I’m able to smile, beam, and grin again like the Cheshire cat.

Bad News: Since March, my punim (face) has been fahrkrimpteh (twisted, scowling). My ability to fully smile, while usually a wonderful and somewhat contagious activity, means that the Botox treatment used to treat the nerve pain I experience from occipital neuralgia and cervical dystonia has completely worn off, shy of the 90 day term. Stop what you’re thinking. It’s not ‘that kind of Botox treatment.’ While I have the shoulders, back of my neck and scalp of a 21-year-old female, this punim (face) wears the aged mask of an alta kocker (old fart) from years of living in chronic pain.

The Ugly Truth: Chronic, persistent, prolonged pain sucks ducks. The walking wounded, we amble among you. We are everywhere. We may look just fine, and we are faking feeling great. Botox, actual botulism in a bottle, when administered by the proper neurologist, beautifully battles the suffering. When combined with bionics and meds, I’m the closest to normal I’ve been in decades. A bei gezunt (We should all live and be well)!

Good News: I am 13 12 days until my next treatment. That’s nothing! My cranium will regain its youthful glow as the surrounding nerves freeze and ease, like Elsa in Arendelle. I don’t mind needles or shots. I’m gonna “Let it go.”

Bad News: I am 13 12 days until my next treatment. Depending on how things go with the turbulent barometric pressure, stress, physical activity, posture, and luck of the draw, we’ll see how I feel day to day. How much can I fake it, and how I can avoid impending flares?

The Ugly Truth: This last round was wonderful! I had one or two days at a time when I totally turned off the bionics (occipital stimulator). On the classic pain scale where I (new-normally) live a persistent 6-7, I saw days in this past couple of months where I was a 2. Nu? Me and the Mrs., we were afraid to talk about it…I am amazed that some gantseh macher (big shot, genius) had the gumption to inject this enchanted neurotoxin to freeze nerve endings and reduce wrinkles. Who am I to judge that this mastermind’s first intention was to use his goldeneh hendts (golden hands) to fulfill the vanity needs of aging starlets? En route, there was a common oddity found among those firmer in the face. These maturing movie stars also saw benefits of less head and neck pain? Ah-hah moment!

Good News: Armed with the trifecta of Botox, meds and my stim, I get more days on my calendar than, well ever before. I have more time with the Mrs., Little and Big, more days for work, more days for play. Priceless.

Bad News: In terms of costs, Priceless, not so much. In fact, “OUCH!” This family will feel the pain in an already vulnerable wallet. There is no frugality in Pharma. They expect a lot of gelt (money). What price pain? This round, we will see how my new friends at Allergan pitch in to help.

The Ugly Truth: Soon, when I lose my smile, know how happy I really am. Pain, gay avek (go away) Neuro-paralysis, here I come.

 

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Listening Ears that Don’t Listen or Hear: What to do?

Even outdoors, the windows open to check that we are okay? Oy.
Even outdoors, the windows open as the neighbors check to see that we are okay? Oy.

Shhhh. You know the deal. Therapy is in session.

So how come I can politely shush you, my readers (therapists), and in return you give me the common courtesy of reading, a share, even a comment or comeback, and my Little and Big act as if no words are ever spoken when I speak? And, while I’m at it, how come, the very same Little and Big, my shana madeleh’s (sweet little girls) can easily overhear (and respond to) everything I say to the Mrs. that is meant for the ears of only the Mrs.?

When they were wee little bubbelah’s (affectionate way to refer to someone), we would stop and literally turn the imaginary dials on each ear. Back then; I literally and figuratively had their ears!

I know, your thinking, she looks so quiet? Big can't possibly be loud?
I know, your thinking, she looks so quiet? Big can’t possibly be loud? ❤

Now, it seems our biggest battles here at the Manor, are over listening, or more importantly, not doing so! What are two mommas to do? What’s meshugenah (The crazy thing is) is they are so good! I mean really. These two are good to the core, with hearts of gold, or platinum, if that’s better? I think I finally understand why adults on all those Charlie Brown and Peanuts cartoons always spoke like this, “Whaaa whaaaa whaaaaaa, whaa whaaa whaaaaaa, whaaa whaaaaaaa.” This, this is how we sound to them? Vas is dus (what with this?).

When Little and Big are playing, and they are getting along, such a simcha (lovely, happy occasion). But when the fun and games shift and the ‘littles’ get a bit farcokt (truly, turn into a hot mess!), the geshrei’s (ear-piercing screams and shrieks) that emanate from those vocal chords, it’s a wonder the windows don’t break. 

Oh this Little, she is a bugger! A sweet bugger, but a bugger!
Oh this Little, she is a bugger! A sweet bugger, but a bugger! ❤

Perhaps we need another approach, the Mrs. and me? After all, we cannot scream, “Stop screaming!” and set any kind of example. If this Yiddisher momma says, Please be quiet,” and this phrase is not heard, did she ever say it? If the Mrs. gives a look, and the look isn’t seen, well, you get my point.

In the entire world, no one is more important to us than these two kinder (kids). I want more than anything for them to always feel heard, but not at the price of our eardrums and the complaints of the nextdoorikah’s and the opstairsikah’s (the neighbors). Oy, the mice, I even feel for their little ears.

Surely, some of you brave mommas and papas that have come before us have an answer? Nu?

Help us, please?

 

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