Category Archives: Hospice

Suffering over a Bus

9.12.2011

I’ve been poking the bear again, and this time I found a particularly irrational, emotional, mean bear.

I dare say, the first time I started a conversation like this, it was with a very confused and frightened 13-year-old girl. She was all freaked out about politics and her parents, or someone, had her about convinced that the world would soon end. The person I spoke to this time was not as mature, though she kept reminding me of how old she was and actually called me a snot-nosed kid before it was over.

The world very well may end, but there’s no sense in worrying about it or being so freaked out that you destroy any happiness you might find until then.

This all started when I got an email in my box, attacking the current president and the stupid bus he rode in. Most of the time I don’t  bother with these politics-related hate emails and just delete them, but this one was so negative and emotional I decided not to ‘just let it go’. Everyone has their opinion, but since I don’t follow politics, or the rumors that run amok on the internet, I have very few opinions, and ‘know’ even less.

That is not what I was trying to discuss with this person. I’m calling her ‘Sue’ for this.

I think it is very important to be responsible for what we send out over the internet,

If we can’t check our facts directly, [by being there]  at least include what our sources were.

We used to discuss politics and other things going on in the world with our neighbors over the fence or with a couple of coworkers in the office.

Now we have the ability to reach thousands and even more people in a very short time. One person sends something to 10 people; they each forward it to 10 people and so on. It’s how computer viruses spread and how information, and misinformation is spread.

It is also how I got hold of this message. The heading was *Secret Service Buys Two New $1.1 Million Buses For Three-Day Trip…*

I don’t’ think it’s too much to ask people who want to spread what could be a rumor, to check and include sources. 

In my reply, I said “Cite you’re sources, I don’t consider anything without sources.” 

I hoped she would send me a link for more information, or even just a link saying what she just said. I know she isn’t the first person to worry over these buses.

Below, I left my replies just as I sent them. I am not including Sue’s messages for 2 reasons.

1. I don’t want to spread information without doing the research and finding reliable sources, and that is not the purpose of this writing.

2. I was hoping to show Sue how needlessly freaked out and upset people get over what is likely just rumor and help her or someone else  find a way to calm down.

[At this time, I personally don’t think there is any such thing as a ‘reliable’ source, but it is important to consider both sides of any story.]


> ——– Original Message ——–

[summed up in my own words]
Sue compared the current president with other past presidents  or political figures that she apparently didn’t like.
Sue used a lot of meaningless phrases like, “How stupid does he think we are?”

*Secret Service Buys Two New $1.1 Million Buses For Three-Day Trip…* was her headline. It sounds terrible and frivolous and would definitely cause emotion in the reader. That is what whomever wrote it first, wanted and what she obviously wanted, trying to convince others to believe like she does. [which seems very important to Sue]

She said the buses were made in Canada.

She went on to tear apart the president’s itinerary. I have no idea where she got it, and she never told me. Seems like it should be secret and the general public shouldn’t have access to such details [my opinion]. Again, whether that is truly what’s going on, I don’t know and she doesn’t either. That’s my whole point.

But she’s repeating it and reporting it as fact. So that makes her the bear. It’s bad enough to vote after only listening to one side, but to send information out on the internet as truth without sources, is just irresponsible.

————————

What I thought was a simple reply to the first message follows:
> From: mia
> To: Sue

Before anyone should take this sort of stuff as truth, to start with, you would have to cite your sources. Please see my
blog entry : https://roadplug.wordpress.com/2010/07/04/obama/

It is way too easy to spread misinformation on the internet and get all upset over ‘nothing’.

Mia
http://www.roadplug.com
“We see things not as they are, but as we are.”

Maybe I should have included more info, but I think in this case it wouldn’t have helped.

————————

One of the “reply to all’s” replied first, made because i ‘accessed’ her email. I explained that i didn’t access her email. I applied to all when i replied and assured her that she would never hear from me again, as long as none of her contacts included her email in a forwarded message. From her angry reply, she didn’t seem to get how that works either.

Of course it wasn’t a completely innocent ‘reply to all’. I ‘replied to all’ to see what kind of irrational, negative emotion I could stir up in the small group and there is a huge nest of irrational, negative thought patterns rolling around politics.

————————

A couple of days later, Sue wrote me a long message, even longer than the first, [but without pictures] reintegrating what she said in the first message. She called me wrong too. I made no statements to be wrong about. She could have said, “I have no sources. I don’t know where this came from.” or better yet “it came from John on XYZ news 69, the link follows . . .” But no, she just went on and on about the ruin of the country and how she’s paid thousands of dollars in taxes.

She also pointed out that I shouldn’t argue with her because she’s old and been voting forever. She said I needed to do the research. She missed the whole point of my first, short email. I don’t wanna research, I don’t care – I want her and other people who send out information like this to research the facts before they send out misinformation.

And besides, wasn’t asking her for her sources, part of doing research myself?

If i had I been inclined to look into her stand on the subject further, I would want to know where she got her information. [Below I included the research WITH SOURCES that I did when this conversation ended.

So I replied:

——————————————————

Hi Sue,

I don’t have to check sources. I’m not sending emails about important stuff, as truth.

I have nothing to prove either way. My reply wasn’t even about politics or right or wrong. I just said “cite sources” and that ‘I’ wouldn’t believe anything without reliable sources.

I hope you do check sources and check your sources sources. If you have sources that you are convinced are correct, more power to you.

Did you read the blog entry concerning a conversation I had with a 13-year-old? She also reacted emotionally, negatively and repeatedly threw memes at me when I dared to ask if she’d checked her sources or if she was just repeating what she heard from her parents.

Check my signature. “We don’t see things as they are, we see things as WE are.”

I know very, very little about politics, and I don’t care to know, accept that it causes a lot of suffering when people take it all too seriously.

I know, you are shocked by that statement. I think I can hear you scream, “BUT WE HAVE TO TAKE THIS SERIOUSLY!”

No we don’t. I don’t. If I did I would be a crazy emotional person over things that I alone, cannot change. You feel so strongly about this, you could start your own website or blog and reach more people than sending out email.

My statement to you and others generated an emotional response without real ‘sources’.

It is human nature to get upset and react with a lot of emotion and repetition of popular memes when someone thinks others are questioning them.

My intention in replying was mostly experiment and fodder for my blog. I hope folks will realized how such intense, negative emotions are attached to any discussion about politics, and how unnecessary it all is.

Politics has been politics since the world of ‘politics’ started. [Probably the same time as humans started, but again, I don’t know, I haven’t researched it.]

One thing I know for sure is that Politics won’t change no matter how upset we get about it and repeat the stories we ‘hear’ to each other.

I can feel how emotionally attached you are to people thinking the same way you do. I hold nothing but gratitude and compassion for you, and all those others who suffer emotionally about these things.

And why since we are having this email exchange, isn’t everyone you sent it to included? A group discussion would have been fun, but I am too lazy to look everyone up again and include them. Feel free to forward this if you want.

How mad are you now? Are you still angry with my response? Do you still think I am ‘defending’ one president or another?

If you are, feel free to answer me directly if you like, or include everyone you did the first time. If you don’t want to talk about this with me, that is fine too and you will never hear from me again, if you don’t answer.

If you answer, so will I 😀

It is not my intention to add to your stress.
May you be happy and at peace.

* stay tuned for the next discussion, about religion. 😀

Just kidding, smile and take a deep breath.

If you are still mad at me for sharing my thoughts with you, remember – You shared first – and you never know who might forward or reply to what you put out on the internet.

I reply to anyone who sends me this type of email. Some I never hear from again, and some keep writing to me and wind up with me in their friend list. 😀
It’s all good.

Mia
http://www.roadplug.com
“We see things not as they are, but as we are.”

—————————————-
Her response a couple of days later.

I know you are [Sam]s friend; but you are really full of yourself to be lecturing someone like myself who has been voting since 1960 and has paid thousands and thousands of tax dollars to our government during my working years.

Please spare me any more of your disrespectful messages, young woman. I have not time for a snot nosed kid’s “truth”.

Do yourself a favor, Sam and refuse to send onto this woman any messages I send to you. You are far more willing to consider views of others, than this person.

Signed,
Sue Lemony, PhD

++++++++++++++++++++++

Lecturing? I hoped to discuss, or even have some healthy debate, but no. How can you lecture, when you tell someone more than once “I don’t know?”

She’s not the only one who has paid thousands of tax dollars to the government during her working years.

And how were any of my messages disrespectful? I thought they were friendly and open-minded. I even suggested she start her own site to spread what she thinks is so important. 

It is not disrespectful to ask where a self-appointed ‘teacher’ got their information.

And who isn’t willing to listen? I am perfectly willing to listen to and consider views of others. But not just because a very emotional  person said I should. I wanted to know where she got her information – I would have considered it . . . maybe.

But I guarantee either way, I wouldn’t have got my blood pressure up over it. [and no, my bp is still not up. I enjoy and learn from these exchanges.]

I have nothing to prove either way. I said multiple times, that I don’t know.  I said “cite your sources” at least once and that ‘I’ wouldn’t believe anything without reliable sources.

I have the up most respect for elderly people

and have worked in nursing homes as a CNA and with hospice as a volunteer whenever I have a chance. I do it because I want to help relieve others suffering. I do not do it because I want to disrespect them in any way, or wipe their poopy butts.

That was a little disrespectful to the elderly, lolzzzzz. But its my blog.

One day, maybe sooner than later, I will need someone to wipe my poopy butt. I have really bad insurance and don’t want my family to have to do it, so i guess my butt will have to stay poopy. XD

[But insurance and medicine is a bear of a different color, to be poked right after the fanatically religious bear is poked.]

***And I haven’t been a snot nosed kid in 4 decades. Again, she assumed that she had correct information, but had no reliable sources.

I never once said, “You are wrong you old raisin, these buses were not purchased just for this trip or just for Obama.”

I could have – –  i found sources that say that the Secret Service ordered and purchased these buses over a year ago and they were purchased from a company in TENNESSEE

[And I cite my source below]

I think Sue is so sure she’s right and so sure that I was going to argue with her that she never really read my messages, either that or she has a comprehension problem.

As it happens I got curious, I was thinking that probably I could find positive information, showing that this particular situation was not so shocking if not entirely libelous.

AND I DID!

In fact, it was all I found – I used the first two websites that came up in a Google search about Obama’s buses and both painted a much more benign, unspectacular picture [in my opinion].

The info I found said the buses
*were not purchased just for Obama’s trip. They were purchased by the secret service for all their protectees and ordered OVER A YEAR AGO. The Secret Service used to lease buses, but found they needed more security.

SOURCES: (FOR MORE INFORMATION)
U.S. Secret Service gets 2 new buses ahead of Obama tour [her title was worded, slightly differently.]
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20092460-503544.html

Sue’s other complaint was that the buses were made in Canada

Some more info, with SOURCES:
[COPIED FROM SITE]
Q: Was President Obama’s tour bus made in Canada?
A: The shell of the $1.1 million bus came from Canada, but it was converted for the Secret Service by a company in Tennessee.
[it was purchased through the Tennessee company, they didn’t just convert them, see below ~mia]
[COPIED FROM SITE]
“Here’s the story on the bus. It was one of two custom buses ordered by the Secret Service in July 2010 from Hemphill Brothers Coach Company in Whites Creek, Tennessee, according to Secret Service spokesman George Ogilvie and purchasing documents.

The shell of the bus was, in fact, procured from a Canadian company, Prevost, a Quebec-based firm that specializes in the manufacturing of bus shells for the high-end conversion market (think pop stars, corporate buses, etc.). Although the buses were purchased from an American company, the Secret Service was aware the shell came from Canada.

[the next paragraph ses WHY they were made in Canada.~mia]

The bus was then “converted” by Hemphill to meet the unique specifications required by the Secret Service. Ogilvie said the buses were purchased from a sole-source provider (no-bid), because of the “requirement that we’d be able to SUPPORT THE WEIGHT of security and communications enhancements.”

At the TIME of the contract, he said, it was BELIEVED to be the only vehicle that had the payload capacity to meet the Secret Service’s needs.

Both buses — a “long overdue” addition to the Secret Service’s protective fleet — will be offered to others eligible for Secret Service protection, including the eventual REPUBLICAN NOMINEE for president.


Here is the ‘source’ link for the above info
http://www.factcheck.org/2011/08/obamas-canadian-american-bus/

Seems to me that if no American company is making a bus frame to meet the specifications needed, you have to go elsewhere.

I was not arguing with her. I’m still not, I know I saw on one of the sites that a Republican somewhere was calling a press conference to raise ‘objections’. That guy has reliable sources I’m sure and is just not saying things to get people all emotional. XD

{My tongue just went all the way through my cheek.}

All I have proven here is that you can ALWAYS find information on the internet or on TV, showing two opposite versions of the same story and it is silly to get so worked up thinking you’re right when you yourself were not there.

With our, [the public’s] limited ability to figure out what is right and wrong OR WHAT EVEN REALLY HAPPENED in any situation that gets reported, we each have to make our decision and go with it.

Be aware if you are being so closed-minded, angry and emotional that you don’t even read with enough clarity to know what something says or what someone has actually asked. There are a lot of Sues out there.

So, back to the conversation with Sue, even though I said – if she responded, I would too, I didn’t and I won’t.

It really isn’t my intention to cause her stress. She’s causing herself enough. The conversation reached the name – calling phase right away and is going nowhere. Was it a comprehension problem caused by strong emotion?

And at the end Sue felt the need to include her full name and PhD title. Did ya catch that? What an ego! Like that has anything to do with this. If it was supposed to impress me, it didn’t. A doctor of some kind with reading and comprehension problems? I’d be more worried if this whole thing didn’t happen because she let her emotions run away with her.

I do pray for her and others like her who are caught up in their own patterns of cloudy negative thinking, find clarity.

The last person I had this sort of discussion with was 13 years old. I felt sorry for her and hoped she wouldn’t take this stuff so seriously that it upset her so much. With my second note, that was my intention with Sue too.

Please-please share information on the web and elsewhere responsibly. Find and include sources when you’re accusing someone of something bad at least. AND REMEMBER TO BREATHE.

Does anyone else see how pointless this all was? It is pointless and has been going on for centuries!

99% of all conversation is unnecessary and can even be harmful. Keep a cool head and ‘see’ with clarity.

LOL – Pointless, except I learned more about human behavior and got more fodder for my blog 😀

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death and dying and other messy stuff

For anyone who has ever had a dying friend or relative but are not the primary caregiver, there are, or should be some basic rules about visiting at all, and rules to follow during the visit.

When relatives and friends come in and take over – temporarily trying to help . . . of course the patient and family are going to try and be polite and not say anything. At first it might even seem like welcome help. But it often leaves the patient shaken and exhausted and the household and caregivers all topsy-turvey.

Acknowledging to oneself that who they are visiting is going to die – would be a good thing. During a visit, we should not pretend or talk like in a day or two the patient is going to be ‘fine’. Actually the patient will be fine, dead but fine. It is a normal ‘fine’ end of life.

Embrace it. Consider yourself fortunate that your dying friend is giving you the gift of witnessing the death experience. It could be very beneficial.
It is okay to not feel completely miserable during this time too. I wished relatives a good trip back home and the aunt took offense. “How can it be a good trip? We just saw her to say goodbye!”

I backed up a little, “Okay well then Just don’t get in a wreck.”
This is the natural end to life, it is sad and our friends and loved ones will be missed, but how much negativity and suffering there is surrounding the situation is up to us. Whether we are visiting, or it is our turn,

I was a caretaker and along with the husband of my best friend we have been working for weeks to make everything quiet and comfortable and do only what will benefit his wife, our patient. Wherever possible we will do what our patient wants and can participate in, even if it is not particularly beneficial [like having the TV on for hours].

We understand that she has in operable cancer and is in the final stages we know nothing can be done except to kept her as comfortable as possible until the end comes.
In all situations, Doctors suck.

First a doctor told our patient that if she didn’t eat, she would starve to death. That made her fearful of “starving to death”

She would ask for food, or even a sip of milk, saying “I don’t want to starve to death” – and then she would promptly spend the next half hour vomiting bile.

Okay, it is true on a very basic level that if you don’t eat, you will starve to death, but a doctor should be able to think beyond the very basic.

She is not starving to death, she is dying of cancer, and it is a normal part of the process. She does not need one more thing to worry about, or distract her from whatever important spiritual work or just plain old thinking that she needs to be doing.

Then the invasion of the first relatives.

An uncle and aunt that the patient hasn’t seen in 40 years drove across three states to visit. But they don’t visit – they move in. and they told our patient that they were coming and didn’t show up when they said they would, and didn’t call. This worried her greatly and even spawned some wild nightmares.

The patient cannot eat, cannot even taste food without nausea, and they get take out the first day. How rude was it to sit around a dying patient who can’t eat – and eat takeout that used to be the patient’s favorite?

The next day the food situation was even worse. They cooked a meal! This house was rented only a few months ago when the patient became ill and they needed more room for hospital beds and equipment. A meal had never been cooked there before, supplies weren’t available and they didn’t even know if the dishwasher worked. [we found out it didn’t, the hard way and had another mess to clean up.]

The patient can’t eat; the husband didn’t really feel like eating, but did trying to be polite. I ate some out of sight of the patient, [because it was really good!] but not out of smell of the patient, and the relations sat next to her hospital bed on the couch.

If I were the patient I would have sat and cried with all that food so close and I couldn’t eat it.

They teased her about wanting her to get up and go with them, about taking her out to eat. They had her confused and thinking she actually could do it if the two men could lift her into her wheelchair. It reminded her of things she wanted to do and increased the feelings of wanting to cling to things that she can’t do now and will never do again.

The husband didn’t want me to cook for him either, although I offered when I first got there. He didn’t want the trouble or the mess or to even go shopping for a bunch of food that he didn’t want in his house. I understood completely and really felt the same way.  We hadn’t spoke of cooking again, and just fended for ourselves with a sandwich. No mess, and no familiar smells of cooking for the patient to have to endure.

As the relatives were taking out suitcases to leave, then came the invasion of the family’s friends, with FOUR children that are of no relation to the patient and don’t even belong to the friend who brought them.

That visit came just as the relatives were finally leaving on the third day and our patient was exhausted. I had just put my computer in my usual place after the relations left so I could see when our patient was awake and needed something. I had gone back in the kitchen [still where I could see our patient’s bed to wash all the dirty pots and skillets that our meal had created and the chef had left for me. Had to unload the dishwasher and do it all by hand, which I would have done anyway, since I have never used a dishwasher.

The friend and kids came in like a whirlwind and moved all my computer and reading stuff back on the kitchen counter, trying to childproof the house where no children lived. She said “I’m moving this, but the kids know they aren’t supposed to touch anything.”

First thing, not 20 seconds after she said it, one of them not only touched but picked up the husbands cell phone, opened it and pushed buttons.

I had to dry my hands of the dishwater [still cleaning up after the meal attack] and go tell the ‘dear little germ factory’ to put the cell phone down since the adult wasn’t watching them. After I said something, she only scolded the other kids for not watching the offending child.

Our patient told her friend that she hadn’t been able to eat anything – and she really missed it, her friend said ‘well aren’t THEY giving you something for your nutritional needs?’

Our patient didn’t know what to say.

Now! Please understand – SHE HAS NO NUTRITIONAL NEEDS. She is dying – no nutrition needed anymore.

During a visit to a dying person, let’s try thinking about this logically and not do or even say anything that will only make her suffer more!

As I think about it, ‘fortunately’, in this situation, even tube feeding wouldn’t keep her alive any longer. At least my friend is safe from that.

But I pray for the many patients in hospitals or nursing homes where the family is leaving their care totally up to the doctor.

I saw many patients in nursing homes, whose family and friends never visited. Those patients with every joint turned solid with arthritis seemed to suffer the most. Even a jaw bone clenched so tightly and frozen that the teeth were wearing off and cutting into exposed gums was common. They are in constant pain – always in a cold sweat – unable to move any part of the body – and their bodies are not locked in a comfortable position. IT isn’t like sleeping beauty all layed out on a soft couch waiting for a prince’s kiss.

One elderly patient, I remember the most had one leg drawn up to her chest and the other out straight, toes pulled up, one hand frozen in time – in an open position, the other a clenched fist, the fingernails still growing into the palm and forced to endure more excruciating pain as the nurses tried to force her hand open just enough to trim her nails.

There were only two position where she could be placed with many pillows, and still have her face exposed to air so as not to suffocate, and she had huge cavernous bedsores that she couldn’t be positioned off of. She couldn’t speak except to whimper deep in her throat when moved or touched, or when her toes, knees or elbows got banged into the bedrails. She couldn’t move any part of her body even a little except her eyes which were always wet with tears. And she was only one – just in the one nursing center, there were many being forced to endure such suffering.

I digress, but mention it – because at the time I was helping to care for them, this old person and others in similar shape had been kept alive for 8 – 16 years in this condition with intravenous fluids and being fed through a tube through their nose. HOW MUCH WORSE COULD HELL BE?

At this point in my friend’s life, she doesn’t need food anymore. I don’t know about anyone else, but I personally pray for stomach cancer and hospice care. The hospice organization and all of its staff have been wonderful in this situation.

When one vital part of a person’s body shuts down, why do we insist on keeping the rest of the body alive and the person in hell instead of letting them follow the natural course of the death process?

My mother’s heart was beyond repair, two heart doctors said so, but I still had to fight with a kidney doctor and hospital administration for 2 months to take her off of the dialysis machine and respirator.

Why did they want to keep her alive as long as possible? So they could keep billing insurance – that’s why.

Hospital staff went against my mother’s living will and resuscitated her, by ‘mistake’ 3 times that I know of. When I complained, an administrator said if they were going to error, they would rather error on the side of ‘life’.

What about the quality of life?

When I demanded to take advantage of my being my mother’s power of attorney, staff insisted my mother was of sound mind. I took an administrator to her room. And my mom thought the dialysis machine was a BBQ and we would be having pork ribs, and she also thought there were puppies on her bed.

They finally agreed to order hospice care after I had been relentlessly requesting it for 2 months. My mother suffered for two months more than necessary, because no one followed the ‘rules’ or the orders she paid a lawyer to put in place before she got sick.

The kidney doctor stood in the hallway and yelled at me, “She can go to hospice, but they will take all the rest of her money!”

I still don’t know what he was thinking. Hospice would take less than he and the hospital did and Mom had no money anyway. Her best friend paid for her cremation, because I had no money either.

No one is a bad guy in these situations, except the heath care system, doctors, hospitals and insurance companies.

But there are no bad relatives or friends who want to visit. And I don’t mean to give anyone that idea. A visit is always better than putting someone in a rest home and leaving it up to doctors who want more insurance money. I am just saying to try and see the situation clearly and don’t say or do things; even trying to help, that the patient may find upsetting or will make the caregivers more work.

I dread when anyone comes over except the hospice nurses. You never know what fool thing someone else is going to say or do in these situations.

I need to go clean up the trash the dear children left and the mess the adults left still before our patient wakes up again if possible.
I hope this is of benefit to someone someday.