Monday, January 23, 2012

Don't Be Surprised

You know the old saying, "If you lie down with dogs,
you'll wake up with fleas?"

Or how about "The quality of your friends says a
lot about your character!"

Well, I happened across this acquaintance's facebook
page the other day, and among the listed names of
"People Who Inspire Me" were George Bush and--

wait for it--Newt Gingrich!

The best part of all? This guy has a status of "engaged."

Well, here's a suggestion for his soon-to-be other half; better RUN, don't walk, straight outta that
mess, cuz I sure don't wanna hear you crying in two
years when your married ass wonders why there were
'no signs' that he wasn't as legit as he proclaimed!

The writing is always on the walls, boys and girls.
Stop and read it.


Sunday, January 22, 2012

"There Ain't No Fucking Short Order Cook Up In Here!"

"I said, dear, that you and your brother
have a choice for how to start your day;
you are either going to be 'grateful, fed bitches'
or 'complaining, hungry bitches'....cuz
this is what there is to eat!"


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Monday, January 16, 2012

Be Careful Where You Get Sick

"Get this Cheese to sick bay!"
Well, I laugh so that the edge is taken off.
This is a true story, with some humor added so as not to
come across so rancorously.

I decided I needed to share what happened to me last month
when I was having my heart pains. More specifically, what
happened to me as a result of the police department calling
9-1-1 for emergency services to respond.

I wasn't going to get into all this, especially since I may
one day need another ride to the hospital, but...then I thought
"Hey, somebody might not actually be as lucky as me! What
if incompetence kills someone?" So, here's my story.

My heart was in my throat, beating rapid fire like a machine
gun's burst, I couldn't breathe, it felt like an elephant was sitting
on my chest, I was faint, I hurt, and I was scared shitless. (Well,
not literally, thankfully. As Bill Cosby always said, that is a big
fear.) I stumbled into the police department about 10 p.m. to
get help. The lady on duty called for help and fanned me.

A guy from the police or fire department was there talking me
through it, sat me down, tried to get me to calm down, reassured
me (Thanks, to whoever you are!) So the EMTs/EMS whatever
they are arrive (Seminole County,) and it's the two dudes on night
shift. I knew them from before because they had come to the house
a few times for my step dad. One is very laid back and sweet, if a
bit passive, and the other is a real 'rough-em, tough-em' redneck.

I'm sitting here with all these symptoms, and for all we know it's
a heart attack, and one starts taking my blood sugar, and the
other tries--yes I said tries--to take my blood pressure. He gives
it a go three different times before reporting that he can't 'get'
anything. Then they ask me what I might like to do next.

Why don't we order a pizza? Or go check out the new Chuck
Norris film? What's that? Chuck Norris (thankfully) doesn't
make films any more? I guess I wouldn't know that cuz I'm
in the midst of an altered state brought on by a physical
emergency situation! I WANNA GO TO THE HOSPITAL,
ya numb nuts...where potentially someone can at least get a
blood pressure reading.

So I walk myself out to their bus, climb in, and we sit there,
me struggling for breath and heart beating out of my chest,
and for about 20 minutes--no exaggeration--they fool with
the heart rate monitor. "It's messed up. It hasn't been working.
I think I have it. No, this isn't doing right." At some point,
I had some oxygen put one me. Eventually, in the time it would
have taken to drive to Dothan, the machine was turned on and
strapped to me.

My heart rate was all over the map. The decision was made
to go to Dothan since it was a heart problem, and we left.

The guy I was left with in back seemed really not to know what
to do. I heard him reading a little book, trying to figure out what
my heart rate printout meant, and which route to take. He kept
changing his mind on what was going on with the readout.
Eventually, he calls for the driver to PULL OVER off the road
and come to the back. I'm totally freaking out now.

He has a big conversation with him about what's going on, why is
it doing this, what drug should we give him, etc. I just want to get
to the hospital, and the weird thing is that I can tell from what I
see out the open back door that we're next to Efurd's store, so
we're damned near all the way to the hospital already. No more
than five minutes.

They end up deciding to give me one drug which causes my heart
rate to get even more rapid and my breathing more shallow. They
call in that we're on the way and what's happening, but then the
dude in the back pushes that I have gotten under control now that
he gave me the drug. OH NO HE DIDN'T!

We get there, unload and I am immediately swapped over and
seen by several nurses, nurse practitioners, doctors on duty.
The Seminole guy, who is normally kind of gruff and poor bedside
manner and rude, is now all cheery and Mr. Brown Noser, talking
to the staff who do everything short of tell him "Get the fuck out
of the way, we have it!" They are all kind of visibly turned off by
how ingratiating and oblivious the guy is, and he keeps asking if
they need anything, going and coming back, over and over. You
can tell they don't like him, and rightfully so.

The doctor on duty quickly points out that, no, I was obviously in
A-Fib, and you can tell he has questions as to why the wrong drug
given would have worked, which is what the annoying dude keeps
pushing in his story, again and again.

Finally he has a clipboard ready for me to sign, and pushes it through
the midst of chords, tubes, and staff for me to hold this heavy ass
board and sign. I make an effort, but it's heavy and I can't see well
and I'm weak. He looks at it and says "Oh, no, man, I can't even see
anything. You're gonna have to do that again!" And I looked pleadingly
at the doctor (who had just about had enough of this joker's shit,)
and he grabs the damned board and says he'll do it. To which apple
polisher seems to think is the greatest idea ever.

(I don't recall the E.R. doc's name, just that he was smoking hot.
Nothing like realizing you still have a libido to let you know that
either you aren't as bad off as you imagined, or your last moments
will be filled with pleasant distraction.)

They're getting ready to give me another dose of laughing boy's
supposed cure-all drug, and he's walking out the door. I motion for
them to stop, which they do, diligently waiting to hear what I had to
say. I ask if he's cleared out, and he has. I explain the real circum-
stances; that I was 'level' until the drug was pumped, at which time
I burned, and breathing and heart rate worsened. The doctors got
kind of angry about the dude's incompetence, and maybe at having
believed him, and ordered the right drug that they must have known
should have been used all along.

(A sidenote; I can't say enough good about my experience with
every member of the hospital, from start to finish. Professional,
kind, doting, and compassionate. They really walked me through this.)

"But..but..I just stubbed my toe, sir!"

Now, I know all jobs like this are hard. And I am, obviously,
appreciative for the ride to the hospital where they did help me.
Not-so-much the added problems that put me in jeopardy that
were caused by an over-eager paramedic who seemed to want to
oh-so-badly be involved with something. I was stable. I was five
minutes from the hospital. He didn't know what he was doing.
He should have left well enough alone.

But see, I had a misunderstanding about the qualifications of a
paramedic or EMT. I thought they had to be extremely well
trained since they are the critical care respondents in those often
life-or-death first few minutes of a medical emergency. That would
make sense, right? That the person who is there when the most
possibility of getting someone stabilized and cared for should have a
great deal of knowledge to combat a lot of possible occurrences?


Most EMTs  have to have a certificate that takes a year to attain. 
Yeah, you read that right. Basic level EMTs have about 130 hours
of training required to meet the National Standard curriculum, and
it can actually be completed in as little as 4 months!

They might have more than that. There's no preventing someone
who's overqualified from working that job. But that's all you
have to have.

(And we're seriously understaffed in this area, too. If there are
three emergencies at the same time spread across the several
hundred square acres covered, well, honey, it sucks to be you if
you're emergency # 3! Or, perhaps you'd do just as well to have
somebody drive your happy ass to the hospital. In which case,
make 'em keep driving til you hit Southeastern Medical Center.)

So I talked with a friend who's a nurse about this, since
it seems kind of crazy to me. She confirmed and said "Nope! All
a paramedic is supposed to do is stabilize them and get them to
the E.R. alive." Well, wouldn't that be improved by being able
to figure out what the damned medical condition is so you can
treat it properly? And round and round we went.

All of which doesn't amount to a hill of beans in regards to this
battle, because obviously it's not rocket science we're looking
for here; I'd just liked for them to have known how to use a blood
pressure-taking device, how to turn on the machine, how not to
administer drugs when you can't determine the need, and how to
drive straight to the hospital without unnecessary pull-overs.

But, I'm sure the haters will just say that I ought ta be happy we
have a service at all, and, hey, you're still alive aren't you?
Well, barely.

Moral of the lesson is, if you (or someone who cares about you)
have a bad feeling about the medical care you are getting, don't
be afraid to speak up. The medical folks aren't infallible, and my
speaking up may have saved my life. Maybe if I had been more
together on that deserted highway in the middle of the night, I
wouldn't have gotten so bad to start with.

That, and $ 750 is a lot of money to be charged for a drive to
Dothan and nearly being killed.


Saturday, January 7, 2012


Sooner or later...
People will reveal to you
who they really are.

Their true form
behind the facade.

You should pay attention
and listen intently
when they do.

And act accordingly.

(Contradictory nature
and unknowable souls
are true forms,
by the way,
not the first step
on a romantic
journey to discovery.)


Friday, January 6, 2012


In case the fact that Trac Phone is a pre-paid phone
for the impoverished and those of bad credit didn't
warn you off to start with: BE AWARE!

The company commits fraud and jerks around its
customers regularly simply because they think they
can do so and get away with it, and because they
have a lowly opinion of their own customer base.

I had a problem with the company going on 2 years
now, but can't afford to upgrade to a better company.
I have to keep a phone for emergency purposes, or
I would give up the account.

They refused to take care of the technical difficulty
with my phone. I was told if I would buy a new
phone, they would transfer the current minutes, my
double-minutes for life, and my phone number to
the new phone. LIE!

After purchasing the new phone, it didn't work either.
I waited for a replacement to come and returned the
old model. After being on hold for an eternity, I
got yet another rude 'CSR' who didn't know what they
were doing, and who ended up hanging up on me when
I asked for a supervisor.

After another call, wait, and 45 minutes of flustering
work, my minutes were transferred to the new phone.
That's when my rep, who had confirmed the deal about
double minutes at the start of the call, said "Oh, I guess
it's not going to do that."

I explained that it needed to happen because that was

the word THREE different agents had given me, and
my only motivation for purchasing a new phone with them.
Repeatedly he told me he was helpless to do anything.
(And yes, evidently all of their customer service centers are
located in India!)

When I asked for a supervisor, I was again hung up on
immediately. I called back and was on hold for over an hour.

It's a shithole company with barely-working tech and a
bunch of untrained reps who don't care whether you get
assisted or not. They don't stand by their product, they
lie to your face, and getting in touch with a supervisor or
a higher-up who can--or would even think about-- resolving
your issues is a pipe dream.

If you aren't with TRAC PHONE already, be smart and
buy one. With their prices, they're only worthwhile if you
only need to speak on a phone 10 minutes a month anyway.