The deluge will return. It resides behind the stack of concrete slabs, piled along the banks of the stream long ago. Though she does haunt me, and yes, I know I can’t defeat her, I must prepare for the losing battle that one day shall occur. Fill a sand bag, carry to the front line, lay in place, repeat. The important lesson here being that life’s deluge repeats and reforms. One must know this, adapt to its latest incarnation and persist in dealing with the forces that must be dealt with, cannot be resisted and will eternally occur. There can be no judgement as to the intruder’s intention or the defender’s performance. But it must be accepted that a threat is in motion and a response must arise. Watch the power as it shapes and directs. Let it go by. Cut your losses. Preparation for battle must include an escape route. Valiant resistance must recognize that fighting for another day postpones defeat.
I just returned today from four days in Virginia. It is the first respite of more than one day from my little chicken farm and its unpretentious responsibilities. When I get away, I use the time to reflect on my concerns and put them in perspective. The short trip to Vienna (VA) provided plenty of metaphorical fodder for my symbolically oriented mind.
Wolf Trap, VA is an area named by early pioneers for the pursuit of the menacing wolves which were a constant threat to community livestock. The menace of wolves represents to me the menace of flood back at Sawmyl Synders Farm. A certain “Wolf Trap Farm” sat on the Difficulty Run tributary. Difficulty Run would surely describe, for me, the last three years of three floodings and recoveries. The Difficulty Run, in VA, flows along mildly, for a while, until it meets the treacherous rapids at a juncture with a larger flow…the Potomac. Potomac in Algonquin means “the place to which tribute is brought”.
Back at the farm, each time my hope was restored, my birds repopulated, and my buildings put back to near normal…I looked up to the heavens. The clouds ominously gathered. They inflated and then darkened. They came thundering down to exact tribute. This treacherous Difficulty Run tributary ends at Dranesville, VA. “Drainsville” is about where I am. I’m not quitting but I’m not going to tell you I’m hopeful either, that would be a trap. Prevailing over this difficulty will not look like anything I can imagine at this time. I’m still draining.
This week I started cleaning my barn. My second flood in a little over a year. For three months, the mud sat on the concrete, the tools and the supplies. On several occasions, help beckoned from my neighbors, friends and my beloved church but I turned down that help. At this current moment, the residue afflicted me with pain from the soles of my feet to the crown of my head. I took a piece of broken memory and scraped the mud from myself and sat among the ashes.
Predators, poachers, pollution. The outstanding nemeses at Sawmyl Synders Farm. When I first got chickens, the predators, in the form of raccoons, opossums, and coyotes, started showing up. So, I had to start putting them down. To the acrimony of the animal lovers. When deer season came one year, an interloper put a deer stand on my back property. He said it was a mistake. Also, he could see my house from the foot of the deer stand. He took it down. To the rancor neighbors who wanted me to prosecute.
This year before the flood, following the flood of last year, the mischievous creek turned black. And smelly. Dangerously black and smelly. It turns out that the City of Magnolia Wastewater Treatment plant stopped treating the sewer water. The started dumping effluent into the creek that ran out into Montgomery County that contained E Coli that was twelve times the permitted limit. The City lied about it. It took six months to get the water treated properly and for the smell in the air on the farm and around back to tolerable.
Last week I ran into one of the realtors involved in my purchase of this property now christened Sawmyl Synders Farm. Part cowboy/farmer, all gentleman, and subtly wheeler dealer, Wheeler sat down on a high stool alone in a Tomball restaurant catty-corner to my wife, my daughter and myself. In no way was he a cowboy in the jungle, “With his shrimpskin boots and his cheap Cheroots And his skin as white as paste”. Wheeler personifies the real deal. Fine and shiny leather boots, broad seasonal cowboy hat, pressed roped shirt and Wrangler jeans. I spoke to him briefly, mentioning the flood. How I recognized him is a wonder. He finished his lunch and spoke quietly to the young waitress before approaching our table. A good salesman always, he greeted us appropriately, gave me his card, and galloped back west.
I haven’t forgotten that I started this anecdote by telling you I was cleaning my twice flooded barn three months after the last flood. You might think I sat there in the dust dwelling on the fact that my dream dwelling had become a hovel of dust and mud and flood. You could surmise the disgust I held for the poacher that got away or the lying city officials who dumped crap on me through the spring, summer and into the fall. But you haven’t yet guessed that Wheeler the realtor paid for our expensive lunch that day last week in Tomball.
What Can I Expect In 2017?
Tom wants to hurt me, suddenly. He was always throwing his substantial weight around. Now he is throwing it at me. Tom is my male turkey. He is big. Really big. Even when he is not puffed up. I’m used to him shadowing me when I enter his domain. 50X15 of internal fencing meant to contain and protect my eight waterfowl and turkeys (now numbering 2). I’m not used to him charging me when I turn my back. I was used to my billy goat nudging me and always kept a close eye, and sometimes a thick stick in hand when I dealt with the Boer goats. A new paradigm. An evolution. A potential hazard. Why am I surprised?
It’s my nature to be surprised when relationships change. It’s to my shock when my purview collides with a new reality. It’s my demoralization when my handling of new circumstances with familiar methods fails to yield familiar results. I certainly resist preparing myself for the challenges of new people, places and things. I am a mark for every grifter, whiner, or malignant narcissist who leans on my country gate. These occurrences empty my pockets. They strain my sympathies. They mar my humanity. I don’t want to abandon mankind and become a hermit. I do want to better prepare for those who will surely be leaning on my gate in 2017.
The flood in May at Sawmyl Synders Farm changed a lot of things, not all for the worse. For details of the deluge, see prior blogs. On the down side, my plans for future expansion of farm endeavors are permanently canceled. On the up side, I’m not completely giving up, but rather adopting plan B, which I still haven’t fully fleshed out. As for the up side, my eyes were opened to many things. I need to have a lifelong pursuit that is not challenged by the vagaries of weather, people, or health. What might that be? Do tell. Next up side, I realize there are people in my life who are more important than flood prone property and death dependent livestock. My bundles of joy: wife, children, grandchildren. Always have a life to live separate from them but never think of living your life without them. My wife is retiring. My children are building. My g-kids are awakening.
Another up side awakened in me when that flood tried to drown my spirit. The Church. Christian Church. St. Issidores. The new spirituality entered me like a lamb and has since been my challenging lion. The only people who came out in the night in my water-logged hour of need were those genuine believers at a church who called me family before I knew that I was. Now, I say challenging my lion because I stepped into the church with no doors with my eyes closed to distrust, open to mutuality and accepting of appropriate difference. The eye opening occurrences have stunned me. I know that I am naive for my years. I know I should have put on my big boy pants before entering the unknown-to-me land of mission. What did I discover? Desperate people do desperate things. Tribal behavior remains when tribes merge. The young act young, that’s their only fault. My discoveries demand that I change. Reality can be patient but it is also indifferent to persistent myopia.
Three things stand in the way of 2017 becoming a better year than 2016. The first resists any form of control but respects preparation, resilience, and reverence. The weather. She is not God but she has his ear and she should have ours. A rain slick and rubber boots is nice. Even if the deluge is belly button high. With boots full of water and a slick soaked on the inside it’s still nice to know – you were prepared. If the water didn’t carry you away, you can be sure of three things. The rain will stop. You are alive to start rebuilding. Nobody knows the trouble you’ve seen (so don’t pay any attention to their bromides and bloviation).
The second thing that stands in the way of a better year is something you can’t control but you can influence. People. Again there are three things to incorporate into influencing people. No. Say no. When what they want is not what you want – say no. Next, boundaries. Money? How much do you want to give or spend versus how much the charity case will try for (as much as you have?). Accommodation? Every tribe has their nomenclature and ritual but when in Rome – act appropriately. Harsh reproach won’t work on just about anyone out of diapers. Example and suggestion might but sometimes a cause has to be lost in order for the possibility of other higher causes to be successful. Finally, choices. When individuals render themselves of no useful purpose, then your purpose for them is no use. Let go so that another opportunity with another person may be allowed in.
The last thing that stands in the way of a better tomorrow is the thing that yields to control, influence, preparation, resilience, and reverence. You. Or me in this case. My year will be better if my health and welfare get high priority. Take care of my heath and wealth. Build on the ruin of real failure and rejoice in discovery of goodness in near misses and great good fortune. Take every opportunity to gain from the things that happen and don’t, that frighten and inspire. Treasure all you have. Avoid turning great bounty into sour grapes. Stay true to your evolving beliefs and deny false prophets from entering in to what has proven to be true to you your entire life. Being positive isn’t always the answer but having both binocular forward vision and a rear view mirror perspective adds to your chances. What am I getting at? Yes, go high but don’t forget your lows. What is still the biggest mystery? Who is always the hardest to convince? Why is everything that is so important so hard? Where can all the answers be found? When will change stop? When will hope begin?
Every ascent has a descent in its future. So it goes with Sawmyl Synders Farm. Selling an average of 30 dozens eggs a week up until May 26th, 2016. This stream of income included sales of mostly chicken, ample duck, plenty of turkey and sparse goose eggs. Farm expenses helped offset income taxes and eliminated sales tax on farm related spending. Quickly getting rich…slowly. In the prior holiday season, I processed two of my young turkeys. These two standard bronze birds, a nine pound (dressed) hen (we infrared-fried for Thanksgiving) and the jumbo twenty-two pound Tom (we roasted) for Christmas. In the garden, our crops included five types of tomatoes, two variety of long string beans, three kinds of potatoes, plus cucumbers, okra, onions, garlic, etc. The little cabin (shack, some say;) wore a new and a freshly painted, inspired interior, including earthy colors with accented walls. Our sweaty endeavors in a far-from-the-crowd setting allowed for satisfaction. Yes, before us, then, we saw a growing ideal and a peaceful retirement. After us, came the deluge.
At around 5:30 P.M., I headed out, loaded with farm fresh eggs, headed for Thursday home deliveries. As I locked tight the front gate, the clouds above let loose. Before I drove down a mile, the blinding rain drove me back. Back in the house, in the laundry room, my wet clothes in the dryer, I moved to the easy chair and put on a favorite DVD in my still cable-less house. Within an hour, a buzzing alarm sounded in the laundry room. Water rising from the floor into the dryer. Oh my! My boots go and I take off. The near catastrophic Tax Day flood back on April 18th, forced me to move the tractor and trucks up stream. Now, wading through water already knee high, the new tractor and old pickup awaited my rescue. They waked their way to the rail fence one-hundred yards away, and nearer the main road out. I hugged my bewildered livestock guardian dog, Syndee, and put her, for the first time, in my truck cab. She road shotgun on leather seats, while quite confused, as we drove up to the Nichols Sawmill Road exit, only to find traffic already stopped dead. No fleeing this disaster. Seeing a rising fate.
Now rising water up from the once shallow creek far from the house. Now near. Cresting fifteen foot banks, flanking the house. Streaming down from the main road above, surrounding the house all around. Sitting in my new King Ranch, we waited. Listen. The water crunching gravel past tires. I resisted the urge. As I watched in the rear-view-mirror, the fast moving muddy rose. The top of the duck house sank. The five foot high waterfowl shelter, two hundred feet away, gasp its last. I saw my dreams of Sawmyl Synders Farm sink as my ducks and geese rise and revel in their new water wonderland. No reveling on the other side of my car mirror for me. Fleeting thoughts of doom, constant thoughts of what next, and no place to go, we existed for two hours in suspension. No anxiety or boredom, no fear and no hope. A halt to the rain brought all of these sentiments flowing back – and then some.
A scream can not rage indefinitely, and so it is with storm. Two hours after it began it stopped. Our home – flooded. The propane tank leaking. Those few goats gone. More loss than could be counted now. Less future than could be imagined before. In the days ahead, I heard more unsolicited opinions than genuine empathy. Can you imagine? Such as: It could have been worse (true, I could be dead). You are lucky you have insurance (false, I paid my annual premiums and FEMA excluded items, limited coverage, and took a deductible). But my favorite: I told you so! (not true, a neighbor claimed to have warned me about this 500 year flood after I bought the property. In any case, friends I expected to help with the disaster never showed up for the crisis part. However, strangers I barely knew showed up on Memorial day and beyond. So, it was that season again. Time to find some new friends. Time to rebuild. Time to update my paradigm.
Months have passed. The fifty laying hens I lost are being replaced. Only twenty layers remain but with twenty-five pullets in the pen, production looks good for February. Twenty-five more pullets coming this December, with production due in June 2017. The ducks and geese survived the high water and relished it. The turkeys survived but, they will tell you, with less relish. These birds on higher ground must have wondered “What’s the rumpus!”. With the goats gone, and nothing to guard, I felt I needed to get another guardian dog for my surviving guardian. Her name is Sydnee. Akbash puppy. Now I have two Turkish livestock guardian dogs with nothing to guard. Karabash and Akbash. Black Head and White Head. Other additions include the dozen meat chickens I raised and processed for the holiday meals in 2016 and the weekend feasts in 2017. Busy work while still trying to grasp the past and grope for a future. Believing without seeing becomes a necessity. Surviving a flood means drowning your sorrows and moving on. Those witnessing Mother Nature’s devastating potency and cold lack sentiments have a new reality. But what will it be?
Every descent has an ascent in its future. I can’t build more field fences and animal building on the rubble of this flood. Repair the existing and adapt to the reality. Do not wait for the next flood but have alternatives if it occurs before I die. Can you dig it? Yes, my land is higher on the other end where I also have road access. No, it’s not in my original plans. But neither was the deluge. So it’s time to put on my big boy pants, stop feeling sorry for myself, and wade back in Sawmyl Synders Farm in 2017. A funny thing happened on the way to my retirement
Since Monday, August 1, I’ve been trying to complete a couple of unfinished objectives: hard tile and legal tender. The tile in the living room was only half way grouted when the contractors left. The FEMA money held in escrow by my mortgagee was wholly withheld by the bank from the start. Following will be a description of who and how I had to literally get on my knees to finish the grout route and figuratively get on my knees to end the mortgagee dead end. I will be forced to tell you of some of the sins of my contractors. I will be delighted to tell you about my mortgagee’s many misdemeanors. My uphill battle with the grouting was a result of my contractors taking the path of least resistance. My demeaning descent with the little bank that couldn’t was a factor of too many people ascending the corporate ladder and not enough on the ground holding the ladder in place. As always, and with both, my endeavor endured the pattern of the seasons. From the dead season of “this should be easy”, to the spring of “lets follow the rules and trust in others so that things will get done”, to the summer of “I should have known it would be like this and when it comes to money, money rules”, and finally to the fall of “you reap what they sow, you don’t get what you pay for, and your urgency doesn’t constitute their priority”.
Grouting tile is a simple yet tedious process. How to do it is described in step by step instructions on the back of the grout bag in both English and Spanish, along with simple pictures for the simple minded. There are quicker ways of grouting known to man, men who have grouted standard polished square tile projects. That brisk quick method spreads grout over a reachable area and uses a wet mop to mop the still wet grout up before it dries. Rinse, mop and repeat. Done. This method is only fair but mostly fast substitute for the conventional approach (trowel out, trowel up, sponge off, sponge clear) because the smooth tile allows for the wet mop to easily sop the tiny excess grout sand in its large roping tentacles and drag them off the slick tile beach into the slop bucket lagoon. However, this method I rate (irate) poor to inadequate for tile that has a rough texture such as slate stone or wood look porcelain. The latter, wood look porcelain, is what I have, and what I have is a mess.
Grout contains cement and is easy to apply and clean when wet, impossible to manipulate when it is dry. The entire tile work that WAS completed in my house was left with dried grout on ALL of the tiles. In order to clean this residue off the tile there are no easy solutions. If there is a large amount of grout dried on the tile, I read where one could use a hardwood plank (1×4 oak) to scrape and remove the chunks. The rest is accomplished by wetting and brushing with water or cleaning solutions and a non abrasive brush (nylon) each crevice of each tile until the hardened artery softens. I’m referring to scrubbing over 400 square feet of tile needing to be cleaned of a disturbing white grime. I’m going to roughly estimate that I paid $2400 to have 2 workers lay and grout 400 square feet of tile at $20 an hour, taking 120 hours. I’ll then estimate that it will take be 15 minutes per square foot to clean each hardened tarnished tile.
That comes out to (400 sq ft X .25 hours) = 100 hours. We already spent many hours cleaning up the tile project work area, minimal cleaning grout for furniture delivery, and grouting and tiling the remainder of the project, for an approximate total of 32 hours. Add the 100 hours for cleaning the remainder and you have 132 hours to complete the tile job the workers started. It will cost me more to complete the job (@ $20 hour) than I paid the workers to get 2/3 of way through it.
I deposited $10K of FEMA insurance money with my mortgagee to be held until repairs were made. The exact process of what it would take from me to get them to release the money was not worked out but I trusted that it would a simple process. I started working with one person who knew the ropes but was moving up the corporate ladder. He said that since he was familiar with my case that I should talk to him with questions and issues. From that point forward, there was no one else that seemed to be familiar with my situation, able to respond or concerned about me getting my money.
Two months went by before I started to probe the mortgagee about getting my $10K. I called on a Monday and was told that the guy I needed to talk to was in the corporate office and that they would get back to me. With no call back I called back later in the week to be told that they were working on it. Honest. The next week, I called and was told the fella I had originally talked with was now acting vice president and that the local office would be handling the case. Still nothing happened.
The following week, I called the main office to get someone who might care, perhaps the acting president. Instead, the call was routed to a different branch office. I asked for the acting president by name. The woman on the other end asked which office my loan was out of. I told her but added I was asking to speak to the person who was now acting president. She told me there were 400 employees with the bank and she didn’t know them all by name. I said he’s your president. She said she would look up who was his immediate supervisor. She got the number and the name and transferred me back to my local office.
When the local office answered, I explained my circumstance and she said she would get someone. That someone was the top guy at that office and he knew all about my situation. He told me what he needed from me (receipts, pictures) and what I needed from him. I stopped everything to deal with this glimmer of hope. I sent my spreadsheet of expenses immediately. I sent the copies of receipts, payments, and progress pictures that night. Two days later – nothing. I called the office again. The receptionist said she was not familiar with my case. She put another woman on who was. Apparently the guy I had spoken to two days ago had handed my case over to her. I had sent all of my documents by email directly to the top guy at the local office. The woman now in charge was not aware that the signed documents were returned because he turned it over to her and didn’t open his emails.
She said she would take care of it and send me my money. Hours later – nothing. I called her and she said had everything she needed and would be sending the money electronically that afternoon – and she did. That should be the end of the story. However, a larger check arrived that same day with the mortgagee’s name on it. This will have to be deposited with them and the same process repeated. We are back living in the house but that does not automatically mean they will be giving us the money. I must now make this place look good for the mortgagee so that the rest of the money is easily released. Good luck with that.
Yesterday was a mad scramble to get the floors ready for the furniture arriving today. Specifically, the master bedroom and living room tile. It wasn’t cleaned of the grouting material. Not even close. So I arrived at nine a.m. to find it that way and mopped the whole house. It still looked bad. I called my wife and told her the situation. Driving back to her house, grabbing some cleaning stuff, we landing back at the farm and started work. She mopped and re-mopped the master bedroom. I concentrated on the portion of the living room that would be reserved for the large sectional couch. I scrubbed the wood-look tile on my hands and knees. After five hours, the tile was much improved but mediocre. It would have to do. We were whipped.
If I had it to do over, I would do it differently. The language barrier was too much. The expertise was too limited. The price was too high. I still have a month of work left. I have untold fixes on work done or left undone. I have time. Especially if I make the life changes I have in mind. Dropping an activity here a relationship there. Adding goals and discipline in their place should do the trick. Goals will be easier than discipline. The discipline I don’t have is the discipline I’m talking about. An everyday get up and push-up and run and diet, in a mental sort of way. The path to discipline a path divergent to natural tendencies. The ascent of discipline is the descent of natural tendencies. The seasons of discipline are the winter of discontent, the spring of effort, the reality of personality and the harvest of an essentially modified and more disciplined natural tendency.
If my life is to be better then I have to be better. My temper must be kept in a different place than on my sleeve. What I expect and what think the world should need to be seen as humorous approaches to life that when confronted by real life, are exposed and trampled – with a giggle! The tendency of me to allow inane circumstances to kerfuffle my demeanor is many a splendor-ed disorder. There are so many stories that could be drawn from the tormentors who bring out the worst in me and tantrums that love to be brought out with them.
In any case, living room, bedroom, and dining room should arrive today. I’ll call my mortgagee to get an answer on how I get my money held in escrow. I’ll get it, I know. Along with the long awaited FEMA checks. To day I should buy the two TV stands. One for Francis and one for Sawmyl Synders. Need to call the plumber about the natural gas line. Need to call AT&T about cable. Need to find someone to cleanup the jungle that has developed in the beds around the house. Plenty to do while the heat of summer is still on. Plenty to be done before the heat needs to come on for winter.
About that house in the back, you were saying? Oh, yeah, the little log cabin that faces Veterans drive. A real log cabin with an efficient fire place and water well and an aerobic septic system. Where the water can’t get to me and the neighbors are close and the original farm house is 2,000 feet from my new door step. What happens first? How about designing that puppy complete so that you can then start putting in a foundation. Who will we meet? We’re bound to meet somebody. Who will we lose? Old man river I should hope.
The walls are up and painted. The tiles are down and grouted. The appliances are in and plugged. The furniture is bought and on its way. August 1, 2016, we move back in to the little shack we call Sawmyl Synders and pickup, more or less, where we left off. I say less because we have less animals than we did before the flood on the farm – a lot less. I say more because we have more weeds, more broken equipment, and more doubt about the future on this farm than before the creek became a river and carried part of my life downstream. Yes, mud had smothered my possessions and with it a great deal of my hope. However, I was forced to pull many things from the muddy path of Mother Nature’s wrath, and the mementos which I lifted and kept and dried are the priceless objects will kindle new hope. I don’t remember my life as being in any way remarkable but these souvenirs and awards and digests and diaries do remind me that I had a life that went from hopeless to hopeful to happy. I say I’m unhappy now. I can tell you that I was happier before the flood, bringing so many revelations in its wake. About the people in my life. About the strangers outside my life. About the incomplete person I have become. Living life between the two. How will I spend my remaining time while waiting for the great snake of a creek – just beyond my back door – to rise fifteen feet and once again lap away at my life?
I have sketch books, scrap books, and conspiracy books. I have musings on paper, collections in journals, and opinions on my blog. These transcribed brainwaves are of varying degrees of incompleteness and incompetence. I plan on gathering them, separating them, and transforming them into the very best of expression in writing that I am capable. Yes, I know this task is impossible for me now. No, I do not think that the word ‘best’ applies to how others may assess my craft. Maybe, the result will be a ‘better’ me that faces this challenging and frustrating world. Perhaps, some ‘good’ will come of it, what good I have no idea. But if I remain who I am – a too timid person relating to others in a too intense way in a much too complex world – I must pursue this calling that is both beyond my capacity and within my comprehension. What instruments will I need to add to my skimpy ill-fitting author’s tool-belt in order to follow my dream and lead me to intangible but everlasting mementos?
The Eye that detects the important things in a manuscript is the Eye I’m looking for. Yes, everyone has a story they think should be written. Only a very few people have the ability to make that story interesting. Many factors go into making a good story interesting, coherent, and memorable. Certainly grammar and tense and punctuation are necessary but they are neither the end all or a perfected tool in a writer’s repertoire. It takes a village to help one start to write well. It takes a large part of a lifetime to learn to write well. It takes courage to keep writing. The obstacles to being an author are like others in any profession but the profession of an author is an obstacle to being like others.
Honda sent us a recall letter which stated that we should not sit in the front seat while driving until repairs are made. The recall has been announced for 6 months. They did not offer a rental car. The only way for a customer to get a rental car, even after Honda explains the possible danger of this auto defect, is for the customer to ask.
Chick-fil-A has changed their menu – but only on the inside of the “Restaurant”. The drive-thru still has the old menu without the new items and, therefore, with the old numbers. The other day, we ordered from the old drive-thru menu. The voice over the intercom told us the menu had changed and described what the new “number 7” item was. We ordered the old items by reading the description instead of giving the number. We still got the new “number 7”.
State Farm Insurance is my home insurance carrier. I have flood insurance which arranged through my carrier but paid to FEMA. My flood claim is handled by FEMA, not State Farm. State Farm has told me that all FEMA related questions and issues should be addressed to FEMA only. My FEMA adjuster told me to ask a question of my carrier, State Farm. When I called State Farm, the receptionist, at first tried to find someone who could help. A few minutes later, the receptionist came back to the phone and told me all agents had gone to lunch together, and I would be called back when they returned. I was never called back. It was 11 a.m. in the morning. The office opened at 9 a.m.
My cardiologist office called on Monday and left a message that I had an appointment on Wednesday. This was an old appointment which I had cancelled the last time I was in the office. The reason for cancelling was that I did not trust the cardiologist or the office. The reason I did not trust the cardiologist is that she tried to put me on statins in a sneaky way, a nuclear stress test was misread and she guessed at the reason, the call for the nuclear stress test was prompted by a AAA and a bad lipid panel. The reason I don’t trust the cardiologist office is that the made mistakes in each and every document that was recorded, the PA stated that the nuclear stress test showed a “heart attack”, they told me they don’t do re-reads (even though they admit to mis-reading the test) and the office sent a different test result to my primary care physician than they sent to me.
My primary care physician would not assist when I called to ask them to help me get my cardiologist to re-read. The only option the office gave me was to schedule, endure, and pay for another test with a different physician. My primary care physician would not see me without another scheduled and paid for appointment which would not result in any assistance in getting another nuclear stress test read.
My health insurance carrier said I could file a grievance against the cardiologist. After much talk and waiting. The carrier called and said the grievance had been resolved appropriately. I was told that, by law, they could not tell me the resolution. However, they would not re-read my nuclear stress test. If I wanted a good reading, I would have to pay for it.
The postscript here is that all of my medical treatment since that time has been outside my health insurance and their second tier physicians. I gave my nuclear stress test CD to a relative who took it to the hospital where she works and had it read correctly by a cardiologist there. When I cut my hand severely during the flood cleanup, I consulted another relative who is a physician. I am a veteran and went to the VA for confirmation that there is nothing wrong with my heart and there was no need for a stress test, let alone echo-cardiogram. Even the physician who did my colonoscopy raised his eyebrows when I told him I had stress test and the reasons. This cardiologist was simply pushing drugs and procedures because that’s the only thing insurance pays for. My health insurance supplement through Health Spring is FREE! But now I know the truth. Free health insurance is having no insurance.
Without describing the details of yesterday’s events, how would you name the feelings which emoted from them? Especially, pointedly, involving others. For me, some of the names for yesterday’s emotions would include simple joy, unexpected alarm, necessary concern, and simmering anger. How does an event get it’s emotional name? Should there be a unique name that is not adjectival? When will the emotion expire or transform? If one is going to remember events which inspire emotions then it is a curious mind that wants to name those event triggered feelings.
Simple joy. When expectation and judgement are absent from the events that warm the heart and give pleasure, one has a dessert for the day no matter the time. It seems to me that such an event deserves a term more notable than joy. More distinguishing than simple joy. Less dismissive than dreary happy. I’m going to choose beatitude even though I don’t have a full understanding of what that word means. It is heading in the right direction. There I’ve taken an emotion I can’t describe and chosen a name for it that I don’t fully understand. Let’s go on shall me.
At the end of the work day, I experienced alarm, concern, and anger in quick succession. Alarm can be a product of expectation gone awry or a sudden reality that forces a response. I’m liking discompose and consternation here. Discompose because it reminds me of how my frame of mind decomposes with the rearing of the death’s head of the alarming event. I like consternation because I can see the stern dead eyes flashing back at me and telling me something I don’t yet discern but that certainly concerns me. Dis-stern might be it if it were a word.
OK, so following unexpected alarm is necessary concern. Is it me? Is it my understanding? Is it time to stiffen up and fight? The concern I’m referring to is not the caring type of concern but the what’s-going-on type. Do you feel me? It’s the concern you find at the crossroads of nervous and caution. When standing at this intersection, you know that you might be about to be run over or that the ride you were expecting is never going to show. In any case, I’m not sure if the name for this necessary concern exists. It seems appropriate that the word have an X in it. Let’s take vexation or anxiety. X marks the spot on your daily emotions path where vexation and anxiety meet. Be it Vexiety or anxiation – you know it when you feel it.
When the simmering anger starts, it won’t be stopped until it either boils over or the heat is turned down. Rarely does the heat get turned down because this requires two people to join hands with one mind. Disapprobation descends when dissatisfaction surfaces. If dissatisfaction is purely one sided then the other side is blind sided. Misunderstanding is the kindling for this meeting of unhappy souls. Unless communication can occur, these two D’s will continue to heat up. An intermediary who has a mutual interest can sometimes intervene. Rarely do I see both sides of anger equally satisfied. Often I see partings which are unfortunate because of one or the other or both attaching to anger. Dis- and mis- go hand in hand and seldom detach from their better halves of approbation and understanding.
I have to go. I have a bright new rooster in a dark old shed protected from a mean old cat. It’s time to get things clucking here. Up and away from Imperial to Sawmyl Synders Farm.