"State Mandated Migraines"

The following piece was sent to the Governor of Maryland, and other key figures who manage Medicaid, including a Congressional Representative – since the money does come from the Federal Government. 
Those here who are familiar with my writing know the temptation to satirize is embedded deeply in my soul, and difficult to resist, as demonstrated below. 
This is my personal approach to Advocacy. 
Though this piece was written and sent on April 1, 2016, it is hardly a joke. 

“Can anyone explain why the Poor are only allowed to have 3 migraines a month?  

Six tablets of Immitrex, a medication specifically for migraines – nothing new, incidentally – are all that are allowed. 
What happens if you have more than 3 migraines a month?  
This past month, for example, I had more than 3 migraines, and sometimes even the Immitrex does not work. In fact, I’ve been out with a migraine since Tuesday. 
It’s very difficult for the Poor to look for work when they have migraines. 
Does anyone know how catastrophic and debilitating migraines are?  
So why are the Poor only allowed 3 migraines per month?
Imitrex became generic some time ago, its generic name being, Sumatriptan. 
One more question. 
No dental care?
Does anyone realize how important dental care is to overall health?
It’s obvious the social safety net has collapsed. I suppose I should be grateful I’m not living in Arkansas. Conditions there are abysmal. 
But The War Against The Poor has almost been won. I predict the Poor will start dropping like flies into the arms of Death soon. 


Up, Up and Away!

Had a really good time with my buddies, George and Sarah, yesterday in Rockville. He’s going to take me to Ocean City so we can just walk along the shoreline. We haven’t managed to work that out yet. We’ve been talking about it for a while, but now he understands it’s urgent to get me there, so we’re waiting for a good day (weather, no rain) to go there on a Sunday, Monday or Tuesday (his days off). Sarah (later) bought me two sketchbooks, cause I’m running out of paper, and we had this really (earlier) palatable (I can’t seem to handle meat, anymore) meal, something with fresh spinach and cheese melted and wrapped in a crepe. It took forever for me to order. I asked the guy very detailed questions about the menu selections, while trying to select something, make a decision.

Why are decisions sometimes so difficult?
But I did it!

And then, I needed more coffee, before I drove back to Baltimore, so Sarah went home and George and I went back to Starbucks for two shots of espresso. While they were making my coffee, the barista said (not to me): “The truck’s here.” to her coworker, in a funny way, and I looked outside and saw a semi, and I asked if the truck had coffee, and she said, “Yes.” And I said, “I wanna get on that truck!” And she laughed.

So George and I sat outside, while I drank my coffee, and the trucker had unloaded lots of stacked boxes, which were on a crate, and they were just sitting there, and I said to George, “Let’s hijack the truck!” (Not seriously). And he started laughing and said, “That would be really bad for your divorce case right now. And I’ve worked so hard to get stable (George has the greatest manic stories in the world! I was laughing so hard, I ended up on the floor, when he first told them to me.) it would be really bad for me too.” But he still thought it was funny. (And, tempting.) But the boxes just sat there. Filled with coffee beans.

Luckily, I had emailed Dr K when we first sat outside, and told him, I may be Hypomanic, but I wasn’t sure. And I think we need to increase my Trileptal. But he didn’t email me back until 2:00 AM. (I’ll get to that part soon.). So George asked me if I was okay to drive back, and I told him how much I love driving at night and cranking the music up, and that I would be okay.

So it was, like 9:00 PM.
And the boxes were still there!

And then the driver (he had been doing other stuff) was there too, and I asked if there was coffee in those boxes, and he said, “Yes.” And I said, “I want some!” And he said, “Which one do you want?” And I said, “French Roast, please.” Well, I didn’t get any. And I realized, I answered his question incorrectly. The Smart was a few feet away, and I should’ve said, “I want all of them. See the Smart, there? Just stack the entire block of 60 boxes on the roof, and I’ll be on my way.” Still, we had a lot of fun. As soon as I got home, I increased my Trileptal by 150 mgs, and the oddest thing happened. Within an hour, all the tension in my shoulders had vanished, the headache I had been battling since morning sprinted away, and I felt level!

Not normal.
Never normal.

Well, Dr K wrote me back at 2:00 AM, and I told him what I had done (With the meds. Didn’t dare tell him about the events leading up to the increase of meds.). Went back to sleep, and saw he had written back to me, and told me to keep the Trileptal at 500 mgs, not above, and divide it into 2 doses, morning and night. But I have no explanation for Giddy Attacks.

Oh, well.
George to the Rescue!
Once again.

Dexter The Great Meets Buddha

Earlier this year three friends of mine and I spent an afternoon at a Buddhist retreat in High View, West Virginia. How appropriately named because it was a peak where you could see miles and miles ahead of you. We wandered through the lush forest and as we were preparing to leave, two monks from Sri Lanka stopped and talked to us – at least one did, the younger one spoke English – and then asked me if they could hold Dexter, and if I would take a picture of them holding Dexter, and I did.

(I may have already posted these pictures … But this morning, I wanted to look at them again.)



Thoughts and Conflict Resolution

(I realized I hadn’t quite wrapped up this piece – I even forgot to put up a title.)

So here is my conclusion:

Sometimes thoughts can help resolve feelings and ensure a wiser decision than one based on raw emotion. And that’s what happened in this instance.

It was a new experience for me to feel physical aggression, mostly because I cower at such behavior. It frightens me. And so what happened, as my anger began to dissipate, is that the thought alone served its purpose – an emotional reaction – and that was it. There was no need to behave physically aggressive. I was satisfied. And, beyond that, I was delighted that I would not damage my hand by behaving aggressively, since my hands have incredible value for me. How would I write, for example? That would truly be devastating.

Still, it was kind of fun and novel to feel that experience.

I was so fucking pissed at someone that the only way I could think of deriving a sense of satisfaction and justice was by punching him in the face.

A left-hook, or something.

However as I am not familiar with the sport and as I have never done this before, I have no idea where my punch will land –

Somewhere on face.
But where on the face?
The cheek?
The jawbone?
The nose –

No, no, no.
It’s the eye.

Tank you.

And I fantasized about giving him a shiner.
I could visualize the dark blue stain around his eye.
And the yellow around that.
Dark blue and Murky Yellow –
What a great color combination!

I was so fucking pissed at him!
That was the only way I could relieve the frustration I felt – through Physical Aggression.

I surprised even myself.
But giving him a punch felt fantastic!

Got my wings.
Put them on.
And took off.

Fate takes a sharp, left-turn …

… while I’m in this 1950s beauty.
Murky shade of green.
And big.

And I’m going …
I can hear the tires screeching.

Who’s that, I’m wondering.
Alone out there in the darkness.

But all I hear is my echo.
And the constant buzz of skillful navigation.
So I keep going.
Up to the point of collapse.

Never knowing what’s ahead.
But knowing – believing in myself enough – to know what’s good for me and what’s not. –
Knowing I will restore my control of the steering wheel.
And I will follow your wishes.

(Could you please stop with those left turns, already?
Dramamine isn’t working.
So essentially, it doesn’t matter.
But it does.
To me.)

Supreme Court Favors Religious Expression

Over religious neutrality.
We have gone in the wrong direction. Religion becomes ever and ever so invasive on those who don’t want to be governed by Religion.

Just keep Religion out of it.

But Andrew – as usual – provided a better explanation:

It’s not that they’re so Religious.
They just want to make everyone who isn’t religious –
They want to make their lives miserable.

Only he said it a lot more concisely than the paraphrase above!

The truth behind the Christian Right.