Thursday, May 24, 2012

One Happy Pill is Moving...

After much debate, I have decided to move the blog over to Wordpress. If you enjoy the blog and would like to continue following it, please bookmark and it will take you right to the new site.

Please be is a work in progress and I have no clue how to get it to do the things I want to do but I think overall, when all is said and done it will be a much better space for you and me.

Remember...bookmark See you there!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Joplin, MO--One Year After the Storm

A Joplin Neighborhood- photo from CBS News

A year ago today, the town I live in was turned upside down by an EF-5 tornado. For someone that has not experienced a tornado it is difficult to understand exactly what extent of damage we are talking about. Just imagine you came home one day and your home was now a pile of wood, bricks, sheet rock and insulation. All of your belongings are underneath all of the mess (if you are lucky) or blown away never to be recovered again. You can’t find your dog or your cat. You are hoping your wife had not made it home from work yet, but you cannot reach her because you have no cell phone service. That was the situation for thousands of Joplin residents that day.

Overall, there were 7500 houses damaged or destroyed by the tornado. There were also 553 businesses impacted.  The numbers vary, but around 25% of the town was destroyed. 161 lives were lost.

Roughly an hour after the storm had passed my mother and I went to Wal-mart and bought shovels, rakes, flashlights, gloves and bottles of water. Our immediate thought was to help them find as many people as possible as quickly as possible. The goal was to drive as close as possible to the damaged area and deliver the items to the people that needed it the most.

The things we saw that night will be remembered as long as we live. We would stop at various check points trying to off-load the items, but that person would send us in even further. By the time our journey ended, we were a block from St. John’s hospital. The entire area looked like a bomb had exploded. Cars crumpled into balls, houses in piles as far as you could see, people running around screaming the names of their loved ones or neighbors that they had not yet located.

When I got home that night, I sat and cried for hours.

A year has passed and we are healing as a community. Led by our strong city government with assistance from the state government, we are quickly clearing the debris out and re-building. As of May 1st, 446 of the 553 businesses destroyed have either re-opened already or are in the process of re-opening. That is an amazing amount of progress in just a year.

The real heroes here are all of the volunteers that have come to spend their time in Joplin. They tore down buildings, cleared lots, packed up things or helped at the emergency shelters. As of the end of April, Joplin had the help of 130,009 volunteers. What an incredible demonstration of the human spirit! We are so grateful for each and every person that gave money or time to help get us back up on our feet again.

There are many that ask why we live here in the middle of tornado alley…why not move to another state that doesn’t have tornadoes? The only answer I have is this is our home. Joplin is a great place to raise kids, has a low cost of living and the people here are exceptional. Before FEMA could move in to assist, we took care of our own as best we could. There was no complaining, “Why us?” The attitude was, “What can I help you with, neighbor?” I don’t think you would find that in very many towns across this nation.

We will never forget May 22nd, 2011 and the lives that were lost, but we are ready to move forward and make Joplin even stronger and better than before.

“Remember, rebuild, rejoice”

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Strep Emergency

I spent most of the night in the emergency room last night. I was escorting my friend Kim, who was experiencing crippling leg cramps. Since she could hardly walk is seemed like she should be checked out in case of a blood clot.

We arrived around midnight. With only one lady ahead of us, I had high hopes for quick treatment and release.  Sometimes I am so dumb.

Once called back a very young almost Dr. comes in to check Kim over and decides to run some tests. So we waited, but our wait was not without entertainment.

We shared our room with a big baby teenager and her mother. Only a thin curtain separated us. They were giving her pain meds in her IV when we walked in. I would guess she was around 18-years-old.

Wussy: "Is this going to help? I think I am dying I am in so much pain."
Nurse: "It shouldn't take too long at all and you will get some relief."

An hour passes. She was punching the call button.

Wussy: "Ok, like I really need more pain meds because this one isn't working at all. All it is doing is making me sleepy. I am in pain...I don't need a nap...get it????"
Intercom Nurse: "Someone will be in."

Nurse enters.

Nurse: "Sorry, we cannot give you any other medication right now. I promise it will start working soon."
Wussy: "Well all I want to do is sleep, but I am in some serious pain."
Nurse: "It will get better." *as she runs from the room*

So the young lady decides to call everyone she knows...

"Hi, it's me. Yea, like I am in the hospital hooked to IVs and stuff. I will take a picture and send it to you. What are you doing? (Please note the time is now 2:00am).

"God, why are you trying to get me off the phone? I am in the hospital dying!"

"Whatever. Was Cooper really mad that I left so abruptly and ruined our friend time?"

"Well, I couldn't help it. My chest was hurting. I could hardly breathe....I really feel horrible. No telling what is wrong with me."

"Ah, you are trying to get me off the phone again. Fine. Bye!"

She makes another call:

"Hey what are you doing? (the time is now 2:30am). Guess where I am? The emergency room. I will send you a picture. I feel like I am dying. Seriously. I have had seven different medications already! Saline (sorry this made me snicker just a bit), something for nausea, a pain med and other stuff."

"Ok, ok. Bye, geez."

The Dr. enters.

Dr: "Ok, well you have tested positive for strep throat. We can give you a shot to get you started or give you some pills."

Wussy: "A shot??????????????????????? Oh, no."
Mom: "One shot and you will be feeling better soon. I would do it."
Wussy: "Ok."

Nurse enters with The Shot.

Nurse: "Ok, I will need to give this to you in your hip again."
Wussy: "Oh my God, not in the same place ok??? I am going to freak out! Did you get the air bubbles out of it??? Go slow!!!!"

Kim had just been crying from being in so much pain (although they never gave her pain medication). But we could no longer contain ourselves.We both burst out laughing. Everything got extremely quiet in the room and then we hear...

Wussy: "I am so embarrassed. These meds are making me act crazy."

We were released shortly after that (the time is now 3:45 am).

I have had strep on several occasions. It is pretty miserable, but not so miserable I decided to go to the emergency room. And my Mother tells me all the time I am a wussy because I have never birthed any babies.

"That my dear, is real pain. It doesn't even compare to this pain you have from having your toenail removed. Now suck it up!"

My shrink says she does love me...really.

My trip to the ER was so entertaining that I may have to go hang out there at least one night a week for further blog inspirations.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The 5-Hour Energy Experiment

I wrote this a little over a year ago for my last blog, White Oprah. It is the most read and commented on blog post I have written to date, so I thought I would share it here before it disappears into the wild and wacky internet black hole never to be read again.

I had seen the commercials on TV. The football star, the busy housewife and the guy at the gym. 5-hour energy (4 calories, no crash and the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee). My curiosity got the best of me so I bought a couple of bottles. My thinking for buying two and then drinking two was I am bigger than the average person so one probably won’t even get me off the couch.

As I downed the first bottle there were all sorts of thoughts running through my head…would this change me forever? Would I be come an addict? Would I be stationed in front of Wal-Mart with a sign begging for money so I could go get my $2.99 fix? Too late now…I sat still for about 30 minutes waiting for it to kick in. Nothing. I head to the kitchen and down bottle number 2. The stuff tasted like cough medicine but if I can get my house spotless then I could suffer through the nasty taste. I certainly had had worst tasting stuff in my mouth before this.

The first thing I noticed were my hands shaking. It became less noticeable as I cleaned the shower. On my way to cleaning out the refrigerator I noticed my heart racing extremely fast. So fast I thought it might just explode. I had that fridge done top to bottom in 15 minutes! This stuff is for real.

After the fridge, I had this huge desire to take up basket weaving or maybe origami. I needed to be doing something right now. As I was loading up in the car to head out to Hobby Lobby for some reed to start weaving my baskets, it hit me. I barely made it to the bathroom in time. While doing my business I began to notice things, my hands felt like they were on fire, my heart was going even faster than before, I was compulsively counting the number of popcorns that were sticking out from the ceiling. Who came up with the idea for popcorn ceilings?? That is what I will do next I thought…scrape all the ceilings in the house to get rid of the popcorn.

After washing my hands I realized things were getting black in the room and I felt horribly hot and dizzy. I thought I should rest for a bit and then get on scraping those ceilings. When I came to I was wearing a swimsuit and my winter gloves. The bed was completely wet and my face was lying in a pool of drool. I did not want to try to figure out exactly why the bed was wet so I jumped up. My head had such pressure in it I thought it was going to blow up.

Not again. Yes, another trip back to the bathroom. “Oh my God, I have drunk from the vial of death!” I thought. Now I know what the little man on the bottle is running from…the grim reaper.

No one will be looking for me until Monday and the last thing I wanted was to be found dead in this swimsuit. I began digging around in my closet for something to put on when I had to dash to the bathroom again. I began to pray, “Dear God, please do not let me die on the toilet like Elvis. I swear to you I will never take anything like this again and the minute I can stop going to the bathroom I will go donate 20% of my income to the church (nothing like trying to bribe God) Amen.”

The hours went by and I started feeling better. This stuff is only supposed to last for 5 hours but it is now 10pm and I am not the least bit tired. I would love to go finish the ceilings but I am scared that any sudden movement will start up the explosive diarrhea again. So here I sit at the computer blogging about my experience today.

People listen to me. I do not approve of 5-Hour Energy drinks. Maybe if you need to lose 20 pounds before a wedding to fit in a dress, but other than that I do not approve of this product. If you need energy take some vitamins, get more sleep and exercise. Your toilet will thank you.