Sunday, July 28, 2013

Henna Tattoos and Free Razors...

So one of my lifelong dreams has been to be a tattoo artist.  I'm not sure I'll ever become one, but a rather "easy" substitute is henna.  I henna'd my hair a lot when I was a teen.  My mom taught me how and we did it about every 60 days or so for years, but I wanted less realistic colors so went the way of the colorist and forgot all about henna for years.  Well, MY daughter brought it back up a few months ago and we did out hair.  I forgot how much I LOVE HENNA!!!!

So it came time to order a new batch and I went to my favorite ebay retailer for the brand I love (Jamila) and I'll link her in the bottom of this post or in a comment :) We did a test batch because this was a different mix than we usually would use, I'm out of lemon juice and we wanted to try apple cider vinegar.  So we mixed up a test batch and waited for the dye release.  The batch was way too small to do anything but maybe try a few tattoos, so I added some honey to it to see what I could do.  I do not have the right tools, so I had to use a makeup brush and got super thick lines and dots, but I got to test my mix and I got to play with doing tattoos.  

Here's a picture of my foot...

That's with the paste on, here's the next morning sans paste...

I also did some rings on hands but don't have the pics of them, they came out pretty cool too.  Moving right along...

I was REALLY lucky and got sent another free razor to try.  I'm not going to lie, I didn't like this one as much.  Although you can't beat the price (free) it wasn't all it had stated it would be or that the commercials lead you to believe either!!

The Venus Olay 5 blade in sugarberry scent was easy to use, smelled great, the handle was extremely comfortable in all angles BUT (and it's a big but!), it had some drawbacks.

First one being that the soap bars don't last long at all.  Like only one full shave, meaning armpits, bikini line and legs ankle to bikini line.  I might be able to squeeze one more ankle to knee shave out of them, but I'm not sure about that.  The blades *I guess* would be ok to use for a few more shaves but not the soap bars and well, that defeats the purpose of using this kind of razor right?  Also, Rather than being ultra moisturizing, it dried my legs out so bad i woke up TWICE to put coconut oil on my legs in the night.  Again, defeats the purpose if you ask me, and they did, so I'm tellin' ya!  One last thing, unlike the last razor I was given to review, this one didn't give me a two day close shave.  The next morning, I'm already stubbly everywhere :( for the dry skin itch factor that irritates me in more ways than one LOL.  So this razor, even with coupons, I will not be buying.  

So, that is my life today, my boob still hurts too!  I'm off to go mix the henna for our hair, I'll post a pic and the recipe for that next time.

Until next time...


Monday, July 22, 2013

Mastitis and the Treatment or LACK of That One gets in Never Never Land...

When I was pregnant with Phiz, my case manager at Care1st called the area I live Never Never land, because if you need good medical care you're never never going to get it.  Oh my good golly is that ever the fucking case when it comes to good old Antelope Valley Hospital Medical Center's Emergency Department.

Over the last week I dealt with a nasty clogged duct in my left boob.  THE boob, the one with the pacemaker up top, so it's painful when that boob even gets full, let alone a clogged duct, but they happen. Of course when it happens it's that boob and the duct right under the pacemaker. Since the pacemaker is generally sore ANYWAY, and something I never mention because frankly, if I mentioned every time something hurt on me I'd never say anything else.  So the clogged duct had a weird milk blister thing that I was able to get easily with a sterilized tweezers and the milk started flowing just fine and all was well that day. The next day, the duct was clogged again, and it was sore all up under my pacemaker.  No milk blister this time, but when I pumped, what came out was a clogged looking thick, stringy, almost snot consistency(I know, TMI and this is gross.) and I'm developing a fever.  This is Saturday.  So I call the nurse line for Care1st, and she says call your doctor's service and see what they say to do.

So, I call my doctor's answering service and leave a message to call me back asap.  And I wait.  And I wait.  So my fever creeps up and I start getting the chills and Dr Google informs me I've bordered into mastitis territory so I call back and ask to just speak to the doctor direct please.  She puts me on hold, comes back and tells me the doctor does not want to call me in a prescription for antibiotics, if I feel as bad as I say I can go to the Emergency Room, or I can wait until Monday.  At this point, I'm like ok...mastitis is not really something you want to fuck around with in a healthy person let alone someone with a pocket full of LIFE SAVING DEVICE attached to that same boob and cardiac pain tolerance of about zero.  So I call Care1st back and let them know what the doctor's exchange told me and explain I have no transportation and here's the scoop.  I have one choice here...I can stay here and watch my fever continue to creep up or I can take an ambulance which would they prefer?  Care1st says, well, your doctor told you to go to the Emergency Room, you do what you have to do to get there, it'll get covered. This is all on Saturday.  Remember this part, this is all on SATURDAY.

I waited it out a while longer, because in my head I couldn't justify calling and ambulance for mastitis.  It felt weird.  So Sunday I feel really shitty.  BARELY able to move around, don't want to eat or drink, don't want to do anything but lay there with my sore boob in the dark watching the back of my eyelids. So my husband says, ya know what, why don't you call the cardiologist and see what she says?  Ok, so I did,  I don't know how coherent I was during that, I cried while I was talking to her.  I know I told her mastitis.  I know I told her I'd rather be at White Memorial than AV but that I had no way to get there.  I know I told her that Care1st had ok'd and ambulance to the ER and I know she told me they'd get me admitted and get me transferred down there for overnight and get me fixed up. She gave me her cell phone number and told me to have them call her as soon as I got there, and told me she'd get me through this, she always does and told me to calm down. That was the end of the conversation.

I got my purse ready with a brush, my iPad and charger, a couple of snacks and got dressed to make the call.Someone made the call and the ambulance came and as always my 12 lead looked paced with a LBB and my o2 sat was low because it hurt to take a deep breath.  My blood pressure was almost non existent for me at barely 80/50, so I was worth a trip to the ER cardiac wise if nothing else. But they didn't bother to check too much into anything to be honest.  The ambulance ride was uneventful for me, sometimes I crash, sometimes I throw up, this time I'd taken an ativan and was super calm so all was well and I just wanted to be done with this shit and home.  Remember all I really wanted out of this whole fucking deal was for my doctor to call in a prescription for some antibiotics.  We get checked in and the woman running the computer inputting my information gets to the part of baby's age and I tell her 2. She looks at me a little funny and says, like just turned two or two and some? And I say does it make a difference? kind of jokingly and then said No, he just turned two on the 6th. And that I feel like a rockstar being able to nurse a baby as long as the WHO recommends. She kind of wanders away.  They put me in Trauma Bay 6.  I thought it was weird that I was in a trauma bay, but it was pretty quiet and I didn't bitch because the beds are softer in there.  Just so happens I have some Post Traumatic Stress about that particular bay though because that's where I was the first time I went into SCA.  Anyway...In pretty short order the doctor comes in and takes a look at my booby and ya know, at this time in my life, I've had a lot of people see my boobs, I just don't care, so he's poking and prodding and it's painful and tender and bringing tears to my eyes and he says, yes, he thinks it's mastitis.  He comes back a few minutes later to poke and prod at my device pocket and asks me if it's sore too and I say yes of course.  He says, well everyone's is, is yours more sore than normal and I say yes.He goes over my list of meds that include a beta blocker, an ace inhibitor, digoxin (the smallest dose possible), an anti depressant(low dose), an anti anxiety(low dose), a muscle relaxer and a heavy duty narcotic pain killer. He says that's a lot if meds, and I say yeah, I look too healthy to be that sick eh Doc? Again, he walks away.

A young man walks in and asks me if I need anything and I said water and he said he's not sure he thinks he has to ask the Dr, they might be giving me an IV but he'll check.  He comes back with a glass of water.

The doctor comes back in with a nurse I hadn't seen yet with a stern look on her face and she stands at the foot of my bed.  The doctor sits in the chair next to me, the chair that would ordinarily be taken by your family member or friend if you had one with you, but I so rarely do in that situation, so mine are generally empty and it seemed so out of place for him to be there.  His eyes look up at me and the look I can't place is a mix of pity and maybe disgust, maybe shock, I'm not sure.  He begins to ask me why I'm still nursing my son at his age, when was I planning on weaning him?  I said when he wanted to be done and the man looked at me like I'd grown another head.  He told me I was on medication.  I said  yes I know.  He told me my medication was contraindicated for breastfeeding. I told him I'd been informed.  He moved to another tactic and told me my milk could brain damage my child because of the chemicals in it. He told me my son could eat other food as if I had had no prior knowledge and had never shared a solid meal with my TWO YEAR OLD SON. He gave me a look of pity as he got up, he put his hand on my hand and said he'd go call my cardiologist.

He came back a few short moments later and said that my cardiologist said she didn't think I should be breastfeeding either, handed me back the card with her direct cell phone number and said that since they didn't see any abscess that needed draining they'd just go ahead and get me started on some antibiotics, and left the room.  I got out my iPad (no wifi in the ER) and settled in to read a little.  No more than I had read three lines the original check in lady hands me a prescription for antibiotics, and my release papers.  I didn't even have to sign them.

I told her I had no way home, that my cardiologist had led me to believe I'd be admitted for overnight IV antibiotics because of my CHF and history with unknown high white cell counts. The woman looks at me like I'm crazy, tells me she doesn't know anything at all about that and tells me that if I'm lucky I can catch a bus that will let me ride for free with my hospital bracelet on.

I walked home, I didn't see even one bus going my direction my whole walk there.  I live more than two miles away from there, and that may not seem like much to some people, but in the desert, with no water, suffering from mastitis, without even a water bottle, wearing black yoga pants, and a black tank top, in ill fitting flip flops, it was not a comfortable journey.  But I had no one to call to come pick me up.  That's how alone I was in all of this.  Humiliated, Scared because I was facing a walk in the heat I wasn't sure I could make, and thirsty.  I hadn't had anything to eat all day.  I had had maybe 3 glasses of water because I had been nauseated. And they just sent me packing, walking home in the heat. All because I'm nursing a toddler.

I don't understand what I've done wrong to have been treated like that or if that's normal procedure for mastitis treatment.  I don't get it.  I just know I feel degraded and ashamed of something I thought was so beautiful.

So they question me and don't realize that I know what I'm doing and that his pediatrician knows.  I was there to be treated, not to be interrogated. I time my meds so the half lives at most are such an insignificant amount for his weight, and we watch for any reactions and the only fucking thing wrong with the little shit is that hes rude and surly and spoiled and too smart for his own good.
 AND HE'S TWO! it's not like I'm pumping the remnants of morphine into a newborn. I waited until he was over a year to go back to a pain management, living every moment of every day with bone against bone pain and dealing with it.  And I take the SMALLEST DOSES POSSIBLE to make sure he is not affected.  Theses are indeed meds that they give mothers of newborns anyway are they not?

Until next time...

Friday, July 19, 2013

You're not the person Mr Rogers said you could be...

YEAH WELL I'M NOT. So get the fuck over it.  I'm flawed.  I'm notoriously flaky.  I cancel on appointments that make me nervous.  I do weird shit.  Sometimes? Sometimes I pull off sane and no one is the wiser, but for the most part, you just get to know me and realize I hide a lot, a lot of the time.  Most of it is for no good reason, I don't even know why I don't tell people some of it.  I guess I could have warned you this was one of those introspective blogs where I get all weird.  I'll probably post you some shit later in it that is entirely more fun, so don't despair, my Ativan will kick in.

Moving on, I'm an appointment canceling queen.  Sometimes, it's not because I don't want to go, but sometimes it really is.  In my defense they were all non emergent appointments.  Not in my favor they were all for the little boys.  But here's the thing, there's that weird stigma about putting a leash on your kid and no matter how cute it is, people stare. No less than they do when he takes off at a dead run and neither of us can catch him so I don't know which is worse.  Phiz is more than a handful.  Sometimes it takes 3 of us to keep him reigned in in a doctor's office setting.  So sometimes, I just don't go. 

Same issue with those poor little teeth that need so much work.  It takes 2 full grown adults and sometimes a third to brush his teeth and even then his upper lip doesn't give us enough space to brush for long before he's freaking out.  It sounds abusive to admit that some days, we have to plug his nose to get it open long enough to brush at all.  Moving on...

Now a days utility companies are broken up into regular billing and collections.  Pray your account never lands with them, they are rude and not helpful in the least. They are completely soulless. As Gump says. that is all I've got to say about that. 

My Guardian Angel struck again and saved my grandma's wedding set and my opal ring among things  from the pawn shop.  I need to quit pawning things, I'm too old for that kind of shit, frankly.  I'm getting better and better at realizing the things I'm way too old to do, and worse and worse at not doing them, I wonder what's up with that shit.  I wonder what would happen if I ever was to go get my shit together before I fucked everything entirely up?  (Like that would ever happen).  I never expected to become the family fuck up, but then again, I inherited it early on when my brother died and there was no one else for the role.  Perhaps, since everyone else is dead now too I'd step up my game and graduate to a different role. That comes with it's own set of prices I'm sure.  I know a big change is coming, I can feel it.  Something HAS to give soon, there's nowhere left down to go right?  So my plan is to do it right and show all the haters that I can do this.  YOU ALWAYS KNEW I COULD RIGHT???

One last thing. Medjool Dates. They're awesome. I don't even like dates & I ate the whole pack. They were awesomesauce. yumtastic. YUMMY!!!

Until next time...

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

An Embarrassing Situation...

So I've told you all before (and some of you know me personally) that that house I live in was my mom's childhood home.  I'm not sure how much I have mentioned about my mom's previous in home care giver but he happens to live across the street.  He was horrible at his job, he sucked at cleaning, he rarely cooked for her and when he did it was salt laden grossness that she wouldn't eat.  He relied on my step dad to care for her and when my step dad died, she lost a bunch of weight and that took us a while to put back on her.

When we moved in, about a month later he had a hernia surgery (supposedly) and basically stopped doing any of the cleaning even though at that point we lived mostly upstairs and the baby was still small enough that he made very little mess anywhere.  We didn't ask that he clean up after us at all, in fact we cleaned the house no problem, all we asked of him in return for the 93.3 hours a month he was being paid by Los Angeles county's In Home Support Services program was that he help her keep her room clean and that he transport her to all her doctors appointments and to the store when she asked him to.  That equaled WELL under the 93.3 hours a month that he was being paid for, but she was terrified to fire him as he was the neighbor across the street and had told her on several occasions he had "gang connections" in the neighborhood.  She was afraid it would make our living situation tense, and oh boy did it when the situation came to a head.

One day my husband asked him to give him a ride to the water company to make a payment so our water wouldn't get cut off.  This was in December, after months of dealing with him being more and more rude and suspecting that he was skimming my mom's pain pills (which after he was gone miraculously she stopped running out) among other things he was helping himself to around the garage and the house.  Anyway, we gave him $6 for gas and he flipped his shit on my husband and told him to handle his own damn business that that was chump change for the ride a mile up the road so that my husband didn't have to walk in the 40 degree weather.  Um, part of his fucking JOB is to take my mom to pay her damn bills too, and he's flipping out telling us he needs at least $20 for the ride that we don't have to give him because literally ALL WE HAVE is the money for the water bill and that $6.  My mom starts crying and tells him that she'll give him some money out of her next social security payment and my husband tells him to get the fuck out.  On the way down the sidewalk, this man picks up a terra cotta planter and turns around to throw it at the house but fortunately he thought better of it when he realized my husband, mother and my teenage children were all standing there.  About 5 minutes after we realize his time-sheet is on the mailbox and my mom doesn't want him to send it in and get paid since she just fired him and pulls it off the mailbox and comes in the house with it, calls her worker and leaves a message that she's fired him.  This is on December 17, 2012.

This is where it gets really fun kids, so hold on to your hats.  My mom, for reasons unknown, goes across the street (maybe to make peace, maybe to tell him he wasn't going to get paid, I don't know, she has no idea either).  Now she's in this man's driveway with him.  Keep in mind she's all of about 5 foot 4 and 145 pounds and has a colostomy bag and a bad back along with a failing mind so she's not the sturdiest of people , and this guy is not a tiny little man and is towering over her yelling at her.  My daughter was in our driveway yelling at her to come the fuck home and she's just standing there.  All I could think of to do was go get her.  She's my mom, she was in danger so I went to her.  I got out all of maybe 5 words before this mans girlfriend came rushing out of the house in her do-rag and housecoat and sucker-punched me as I was yelling what the fuck.  I have a pacemaker.  I went into a fetal position to cover it so I did not die.  My husband had followed me out the door and handed our baby to my daughter and run across the street to pull the woman off of me but before he could the man grabbed him from behind and hit him in the forehead before my husband could get his footing in the mud and pin the asshole to the car this woman had given me a black eye, and scratches to my neck with her icky acrylic nails where she was trying to pull me out of the fetal position to beat my face some more.  Keep in mind here this woman is a bit shorter than me but about 100 pounds heavier.

We did file a police report, but when the responding officer comes into your house and says verbatim "There's a winner and a loser to every fight ma'am, you're just the loser.  Ask yourself this, if you were the winner would you still have called us?"  Yes you asshole, I still would have called you.  When we did FINALLY hear something back from the wonderful Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, we were informed that because it was filed as a mutual combat claim and we were on their property, should we choose to pursue any legal action, any action taken against them would also be taken against us.  My health can be precarious, and I decided it wasn't worth it.

While he was working for my mother we had paid this jerk to put a new fuel pump in my van and it hasn't run since.  I'm guessing he had something to do with that too.

IHSS is a pain in the ass to get paid from and I had worked for them from 2001 to 2006 when Max was born so we really thought nothing of it that it was taking months to get going with a paycheck, it really was no big deal at all that it was taking a few months.  We had our home visit scheduled in March but my mom was in the hospital with a chest cold and we'd rescheduled for April.  When the time came, the lady came to the house, my mom and my husband signed all the paperwork and we figured all was well.  How do these tie into each other?  Trust me, I'm getting there, it's been a long ride, but it's a great story.  I've mentioned in a few posts that we barely get by, but we have made it with the help of some very generous friends and the kindness they have shown us.  But we DO need this money.  This is not a lot of money, but it is a paycheck that is needed for sure.  When you do this job and you expect that it will take a while to get paid, but then you get a retroactive check and it's one lump sum that will help you pay off all the bills you've put off, or the people you've had to borrow from.  Also, usually by the time you start getting paid, it's about the time you've worked long enough to qualify to be in the union so you've got union benefits after then too, which provides a healthcare package.

My husband has jumped through every hoop they've asked him to, and gone to every length imaginable to get the paperwork done.  We also had to pay a $56 fee for a criminal background investigation that he had done and registered on the fourth of June.  Out of pocket, there is no reimbursement for that.  All of this, thinking that the CBI was the very last step and that within 2 weeks of that he'd have his time sheets to get paid.  This is what we were told over and over.  He waited the 2 weeks and then began to follow the chain of command and called every day, leaving messages for the people that were supposed to call him back to give him the information he needed.

He finally spoke to someone yesterday, July first.  That man told him the county had gotten the results of the CBI on the fifth of June, the day after he'd done the check.  Amazingly, today, we got the letter confirming he'd passed it, in the mail today and it was dated yesterday.  So all day long he got on the phone to find out why he hadn't gotten his time sheets so that he can get a damn paycheck for waiting on my mom hand and foot.  Unlike her previous worker, he's actually doing his job here.

Here's where the two stories tie into each other okay?  During one of the numerous phone calls today my husband finds out that the man across the street has been collecting his paycheck from my mother steadily this entire time.  I mean, this WHOLE TIME he's been getting his time sheets, filling them out like he was still working here, forging her signature on them, getting his deposits and spending MY HUSBANDS PAYCHECK. Since December, and the county never figured it out?  They never noticed the forged signatures?  They never noticed my husband was calling and calling and calling about the same woman and we even had A HOME VISIT and both my mother and my husband signed all the paperwork.  And not just them, THE WORKER SIGNED IT ALL TOO in April. That was after she'd come to the house in March because she didn't "get the message" that my mom was in the hospital and we needed to reschedule her original visit.  I'm absolutely baffled and have no idea where to go from here.  I don't know if I should hire a lawyer or what.  Obviously I don't have much trust in the county to put things right, but I do know that I've had a lot of pain and distress living across the street from the person that put their hands on my for no reason and I do know for sure that a portion of my not wanting to leave my "safe zone" is due to this.

Since I posted those horrible pictures of myself, I'm going to also post my birthday selfie so I don't feel so ugly, lol so here that is too.

So that's my story for today folks, you can't even make this shit up it's so ridiculous. until next time...