a little something extra

a little something extra

Saturday, March 24, 2012

My Hero

Whenever i’m asked who my hero is, I always say my husband, Scott.   He is the gutsiest person I know; just this past week he talked a big-name personal injury lawyer to write a $7500 check.  And not for himself, for a friend.

Some background:  Scott is a medical marijuana patient.  Nevada has amended its State constitution to accommodate specific patients who find cannabis to be the best palliative for their symptoms.  However, the plants must be grown and harvested by the patient; the amendment does not mandate for licensed stores, like Colorado or California.  Patients, even those who are crippled, in pain, or have just months to live must either grow their own (which takes months), buy illegally off the street, or try an ersatz  “delivery service”. Before Scott’s first grow was mature, he obtained his medicine from a trailblazing dispensary owner, John,  who is an amazing individual.  John was born with a genetic mutation which deforms his body terribly--he has no arms, just hands at his shoulders, and short misshapened legs--and unable to take any anti-inflammatories, aspirin, or narcotic pain-killers.  He spends his life in pain, and smokes weed for pain control.   

John decided to open a non-profit medical marijuana dispensary in 2010 to help people.  He got a city business license, hired knowledgeable employees, and opened his office.  It was a low-key operation, and the few times I went with Scott to pick up meds I was filled with compassion for some of the people I met there.  Often, there was a progression:  first the patient  would come in themselves, then their caretaker, and eventually no one, which meant the person had died.  

Over time, Scott and John became friends.  Because Scott always wears tie-dye, John nicknamed him The Hippie--he’d call the house and ask “is the Hippie home?” if I happened to answer the phone.  After Scott  harvested his crop he stopped going to the dispensary but they kept in touch.  

John was busy.  His dispensary had a good reputation.  Marijuana is not all the same; it varies in potency and effects--in fact  it’s bred and hybridized just like corn or apples for a specific use.  One strain might be better for migraine and another for glaucoma.  The key is reproducibility and reliability.  If you’ve just had a grueling chemo treatment or your head is exploding you want medicine that works effectively, the same way, every time.   And that was the thing  at John’s dispensary, you knew what you were getting would provide relief for your specific symptoms.

After about a year of quiet operation, the federal government decided to crack down on the dispensaries in the area.  (Evidently President Obama lied.)  John was arrested in the first sweep through the valley.  The DEA were physically rough during the raid.  Scott spoke to John after the arrest and he was worried about his clients, one in particular who was blind and badly treated by the police.  John got 14 months in federal prison, and a couple of months ago was released on parole.   (On a side note, another dispensary owner was recently shut down by the feds and only received a fine; there’s a lot of disparity in the prosecution of these cases.)

John contacted us when he got out, and Scott (along with other friends) got John to and from appointments, helped him move into a small apartment, grocery shop, see the doctor, and restart his life.  John got himself a puppy, so he wouldn’t be lonesome, and started looking for work--he was subsisting on disability and food stamps.  Barely.

Then disaster struck.  One of the conditions of John’s parole was that he had to pay back the Social Security disability that he had mistakenly collected while he was operating his dispensary...even though it was run as a non-profit.  His disability checks would be henceforth garnished--in their entirety--as restitution until the debt was repaid, about ten months, which left John essentially penniless unless he could find a job, and who is going to hire a man with John’s physical disabilities?  

After the initial panic, John called Scott, who calmed him down and helped plan a course of action.  First, he went to the Social Security office, talked to a patient advocate, and his parole officer.  Nobody could do anything, negotiate a payment plan, or help untangle the red tape.  Nobody cared.  Scott was livid.  He hates unfairness.  On John’s behalf, he emailed letters asking for for assistance with this bureaucratic nightmare to the local TV stations, John’s congressman, and the high-dollar injury lawyers in our area.  

Scott’s efforts bore fruit almost immediately.  KLAS replied the next day, their lead investigative reporter George Knapp was interested in the story and set up an interview.  (The first sentence of his reply email was “This is bullshit!”) Joe Heck’s office, (John’s congressman) called and set up an appointment.  And Glen Lerner (the “Heavy Hitter”) of the high-dollar lawyers--via a serendipitous fumble-fingered glitch--responded to Scott with his personal email address.  

With a snarky reply.  Game on, Glen, game on.

Scott initiated a three-hour emailing marathon, at the conclusion of which Mr. Lerner offered to pay the restitution fee himself.  No strings attached.  John and Scott picked up the check together later that day, and went to the Social Security office where John paid his restitution in full.

I’d like to give a shout out to Glen Lerner.  Thank you.

As a result, John’s probation will be shortened, and, most pressing,  he won’t become homeless.  Hopefully people will respond to George Knapp’s TV report, and someone might be able to offer John a job.  Maybe Congressman Heck will be able to get John a fairer shake with his parole...or at least a better wheelchair from Medicaid!  John says life is worth getting up for in the morning.

He says Scott is his hero.

He’s mine, too.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Best Street Name, EVAR.


It doesn't get any better than this.



Monday, October 24, 2011

Just had to share this...

Texting for seniors

ATD – At the Doctor’s

BFF – Best Friends Funeral

BTW – Bring the Wheelchair

BYOT – Bring Your Own Teeth

CBM – Covered by Medicare

CUATSC – See You at the Senior Center

DWI – Driving While Incontinent

FWBB – Friend with Beta Blockers

FWIW – Forgot Where I Was

FYI – Found Your Insulin

GGPBL – Gotta Go, Pacemaker Battery Low

GHA – Got Heartburn Again

HGBM – Had Good Bowel Movement

IMHO – Is My Hearing-Aid On?

LMDO – Laughing My Dentures Out

LOL – Living on Lipitor

LWO – Lawrence Welk’s On

OMMR – On My Massage Recliner

OMSG – Oh My! Sorry, Gas

ROFL..CGU – Rolling on the Floor Laughing…Can’t get Up!

TTYL – Talk to You Louder

WAITT – Who Am I Talking To?

WTP – Where’re the Prunes

W2P – Waiting to Pee

WWNO – Walker Wheels Need Oil

Hope these help!

GGLKI – Gotta Go, Laxative Kicking in!

Happy Monday!!



Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Fall Five Tag


I was tagged by the Fabulous Abby to participate in a fun game of virtual tag, wherein I state five goals for Fall.

So I had a little conversation with myself.

Ego:  hmmmmm.  I'm so perfect already, what could I possibly need to do?

Id:  You sack of dog doody, you have TONS of ways to improve!  Like work on your conceitedness...you need to be nicer to people!  For example, when you come home from work--don't pick on your poor spouse if you're tired.

Ego:  OK, you got me there, I'll make a conscious effort to be cheerful when I get home.  So now I'm cool, right?

Id:  Nope.  Far from it.  When are you gonna get off your duff and go back to Pilates class?

Ego:  nyah nyah!  I already signed up for class, it starts in two weeks.  Besides, I've started eating way better and have lost weight.  So there!

Id:  Yeah, but your attempts at cooking are pathetically lame!

Ego:  Well, I did buy a book on easy Chinese cooking, it's in the mail.  I promise to learn how to make some decent vegetarian dishes that taste good.

Id:  Speaking of books, what ever happened to your resolve to start a book list on this blog?

Ego:  I don't know!  I got busy!!  Why do you keep ragging on me?

Id:  It's my job. 

Ego:  Well, you need to lay off, because my last goal is to RELAX and enjoy the lovely Fall weather out on the Catio with The Cats.

I'll keep you posted on how I do!

Oh, and I just finished reading The Hangman's Daughter, it was fantastic!  I got it for $0.99 on my Kindle with the daily deal.  (You have GOT to sign up for the Daily Deal, it rocks.)  Did you know that the job of hangman was a hereditary job in Europe?  Neither did I.



Saturday, October 8, 2011

Question of the Day

WHY did I eat so much garlic?  
I'm offending myself!

xx  trish

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Fun that is My Life...


The Saga of Steve continues!

Two days ago, his 88 year old Mom (Loli) stood up in the hospital cafeteria, turned the wrong way, fell, and BROKE HER LEG!  Go ahead, take a moment to digest the news.  I know I had to.


So, the rehab center gets Loli into a wheelchair, and she rolls on down to Steve's room to tell him the news--she insisted--then she was ambulanced across the street to the hospital, where she was admitted with a hairline fracture in her right femur, just below where she broke it once before...have I mentioned she's had both hips and knees replaced?  (Insert expletives here; I did!)  She's a real spitfire, the minute we arrived to see her this morning she was tossing off the sheets and pulling up her gown to show me her leg!  It looked good, too, no terrible bruising and only a little swollen, much better than I expected.  She's refused pain meds except at night to sleep, she says she needs to feel it so she doesn't OVERDO it.  My God.  What a woman.

So, Scott and I spent today conveying stuff to both invalids, and driving Loli's car back to Steve's condo.  Loli is already up, shuffling around with a walker, determined to get back on her feet as soon as possible.  Her primary care physician, by some happy twist of fate is also Steve's--and he moved heaven and earth to get her moved over to the rehab facility where Steve is--tomorrow!  So they can keep each other company and recover together.

Steve can talk now, and today I asked him why he waited so long to go to the doctor.  Long story short, he's been severely and profoundly depressed for some time, and it was only survival instinct that finally drove him out of the house to the hospital.  I haven't discussed this in the Kat's blog but he and I had a falling out some time back over his refusal to recognize that he needed help after a similar hospital episode (not as severe, obviously) a few years back.  I had to set a limit on our friendship because it gave me so much pain and anxiety over his apathy.  So we've been work friends only for some time, and of course that's one place where he was fairly "together" so I never saw how badly he had deteriorated mentally.  I mean, he hasn't had heat or air conditioning at his condo for THREE years.  Because he didn't deserve any comfort.


Even though I told him at the time upfront, honestly, in no uncertain terms why I was pulling back, I am wracked with guilt that I had some part in his spiral down into the abyss.  Because I've been there myself I'm exquisitely in tune with the agony that exists in the pit; and I'm having a hard time coming to grips with the situation.

But I must, and I will.  We cried together a little bit today and resolved that the past is done.  Steve's decided he's not quite ready to die yet, and is determined to try for whatever happiness he can get out of the rest of his life; to quit chasing pipe dreams and could-have-beens.  He says he's ready for therapy to rid himself of his demons, or at least learn to live with them peacefully.  I told him he'd better not be lying to me again, or else.  Translation: I'd kick his ass.

I am wrung out, let me tell you.
Off to bed.