More Sweet Than Bitter

Good morning and welcome to Saturday December 5, 2020. According to the calendar of national made up days, it was National Cookie Day! I guess I missed that one. Hubby must have been thinking about it as he had mentioned that he forgot to bring home chocolate chips so I could bake some treats for him. I remember when I was a kid, bittersweet chocolate was not something my juvenile taste buds liked. It was “Yuck…Phooey!” and only a candy my Mom and her older lady friends would eat. Now I pick those Special Darks out of the bag till they are the first treat gone and all are left are the proverbial “good stuff” like Krackle and Krunch Bars. I must have the munchies this morning but just upped my dosage of Topamax and can’t make myself eat as the taste in my mouth is metallic. This is good thing really!! Hooray! Oh yeah that brings me to this song by Big Head Todd and the Monsters. The year was 1993. I was scared, pregnant, and living in San Gabriel, California. My boyfriend (boy’s father) and daughter had just moved to our first apartment after living in a motel for a few months on Rosemead Blvd. We were lucky as his parents helped us get on our feet and such. We lived in that 1 bedroom apartment just near the San Gabriel Mission for a year until the 1994 Northridge quake and then I had to leave that place, we lived on the first floor and the crack we had in our wall was just enough to make me never want to live in a down stairs apartment ever again…Press play, the song is a little bittersweet but really a great song….

This song came out the year my first son Chunk was born in 1993.

According to Wiki, Big Head Todd and the Monsters are from Colorado and in 2011, the band had the honor of playing live to the Space Shuttle from Mission Control in Houston. How cool is that? That gold guitar in the video above is just gorgeous. Anyhow, the song has been great practice for me. It is G D Am C . A Few weeks ago, I would have shrugged my shoulders and said, “huh?” Still, I don’t sound like the song but now I can strum each chord and till I get comfortable and it is getting close. I am getting excited! It has only taken a few decades, but whatever, you know like the better with age thing, right? Oh and I found the video of Big Head Todd waking up the Space Shuttle…Press play.

My new alarm! Beautiful guitar!

Well, well, well, so, I have been on a long and bumpy journey as a female and trying to prove that I am disabled. Why would I want to prove that I am disabled? It would allow me parking spaces, help when registering in school (should I go back), allowances should I return to work, medical benefits (medi-care). The big one is allowances, should I return to work. With out getting approved for SSI benefits, I am sure I can go out and get a job it is just keeping the job and not because I lack the qualifications but I can’t keep up because of pain. Not an excuse, just a fact. I had a stroke from an arteriovenous malformation (AVM) in 1991. To any of my neuro sciences folks it was 3mm lesion near the Circle of Willis in the Left Ventricle (ooops, wrote right vent in error, the weed thing. I had a left sided bleed) and it bled uncontrolled for 12 hours. I had Gamma Knife at UCSF 6 months later as when I was sent home I was advised that conventional surgery was not in the cards and I was going to have more bleeds and probably die without any intervention. So, lucky for me, Gamma Knife saved me. The bleed left several deficits, seizures, weak right side, troubles swallowing, trouble walking, etc.. I met my children’s father who also had the same condition, lesion in cervical spine (face palm to the head), I fell hard, we both did, threw caution to the wind and had kids and I survived, he didn’t. Anyhow, because I choose to ignore all the warnings and everything that indicated I was disabled back then has now hindered me getting a disabled classification now as I was able to work through all these issues. Right now I am in plus 8 pain and not taking pain medication, well I do smoke way too much weed. Anyhow, despite all these forking issues and this latest one with the Cauda Equina Syndrome ( I had L-4-L-5 removed) I have been relatively not depressed or sad, albeit a little angsty because people don’t let me speak but that it is all. Anyhow, I spoke with the lawyer and he still thinks I have a hard case to win, he said to not get alarmed and go off the deep end when he uses the “Legally Blind” defense because I have worked in so many fields both skilled and unskilled, sedentary and non and with all those medical issues and with all the supporting records. What the Fuck?!? So I asked him, are you fucking kidding me? He said, “No, I am not?” Well, I hope it works because it makes lots of sense. You see, ask anyone that knows me, it is a joke that I can’t see and now my own lawyer had to explain what my own eye doctors have not done for me when I have asked questions about why I have issues at night and why it feels like I am only looking out of one eye or why my eyes seem like there is a fog over them all the time. I have mentioned my eye issues in several posts. Even one time I mentioned it to Rob Staley a singer in a country band as I told I couldn’t see and sorry. UGH!!!…It is kind of funny…I am a visually impaired photographer….ha ha!! Funny, but I thought my pain was causing the visual disturbances….The last thing on this subject for today, I chose to work sick and in pain so my kids could have better life and not see me depend on a hand out or welfare. Also, I chose to go alone with out a partner until my kids were all almost adults as they had a only one man in their lives and needed no other. There were no “uncles” in my boys lives, ever! Unfortunately, that stubborn behavior is what is my tripping me up right now. Please people, stop demonizing welfare and government assistance so women like me, will not feel shame in getting help…that is all.

The Ghosts of Kelso

I guess one thing or tip I can give to any one with any number of issues and wants to get into lets say photography and you may be a little visually impaired, like me. Go by feel. Hubby laughed and said that I am the best visually impaired artist that he knows! Ha ha!! I had to laugh at that as well. Really it is not funny, it is just another thing to make me angry. It is so funny how my own friends and family are quick to point out how wrong things are in society, how they can’t go out and how boo hoo they are being told what to do when there are hundred and thousands of people that have no voices and need help. Why not use your fucking angst and volunteer at a shelter since you feel like you need to be around people? Help organize a food drive? If you have a truck you can transport supplies. Trust me, there is no shortage of places for you to be. I would love to go out and work at one of the distribution centers. As soon as this vaccine is available and my physician says I can. I will help in what ever capacity that I can. Right now, I am like many Americans and do not have the resources but am using my platform to inform others. Hopefully this will inspire at least one person to volunteer in their neighborhood. If you are not happy with the elected officials, run for office or again, get involved in your community and volunteer.

Here is the link to Califonia Volunteers . Do check your state for places to volunteer in your community.

So, for fun, and distraction as I don’t want to think about the upcoming hearing, I looked for a few photos of me through the last few years. I love the few that Hubby took of me. Photos of me are rare as I am the one who is usually behind the camera.

Photo James Keena 2019 Thousand Palms, CA….Going My Way…

I use a walker and a cane but I am sure they find can something for me to do that at one of these centers. Here is to a quick an speedy process with this vaccine process.

The desert x project in 2017…no top model…ha ha

One can thing I can say is that strong women do with utmost certainty, wear Chucks! I just noticed in all photos, I wear Converse, my shoes of choice. Kamala, I knew there was something about you that I just liked and maybe it was the Chucks connection. 🙂

Look at those wedding shoes…so classy!!!

Oh, that felt better! I guess I needed that release of the pressure valve and can get on with my day as it is 5:14 AM in the Coachella Valley.

To you dear reader, may you have a day that you can look back on an laugh and have say “Remember that time when…” or not what ever you do today be kind and gentle, you never know what battle some one is fighting behind their eyeglasses. Hugs.

8 Comments Add yours

  1. A great read, thanks for sharing, I can relate to so much, I hope today is great for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading and commenting. I wish in this world that no one understood what I wrote, really. Hopefully, the more people write and speak about these issues more people will learn. Thank you again for comments. Have a peaceful day 🙂 M~


  2. Michelle, you are a kind and caring soul. This was such a lovely, honest and heartfelt post; it’s like you’re in the room speaking with us. You are right about those who just piss and moan about how they’re being prevented from socializing, going out, blah blah blah, when they could volunteer to actually do something to help someone. And Big Head Todd & the Monsters are terrific! I can’t believe I’ve not heard of them before, so thanks for sharing their music.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jeff,

      Thanks for always being so kind! I wrote from what was on my mind like I was writing a letter to my kids. well sort of. I got a friend request from a relative this morning and I had to think about it and I accepted it. The first post was a complaint about a lock down, not the one in CA, and blah blah blah. … Cool! Glad I could introduce you to a new song! You have introduced me to plenty in the past year! Thanks 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. We never know what someone else is going through. So many disabilities aren’t as visible on the outside as others. I fought going on disability social security tooth and nail because I knew it would prevent me from a return to teaching. I’m thankful I have it even though it isn’t enough to live on by itself. Good luck and keep advocating for what you need.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I, and you and so many other women and men for that matter have to hide our illnesses to keep working but in my case it really hurt me. I had to quit two good jobs. One was as a staff accountant in and I do not have a degree and gosh that hurt so much worse than the physical pain., sort of. Anyhow, sorry to bellyache…Yes, I will definitely keep being my best advocate.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Jay says:

    That is completely absurd that after you’ve gone through so much, you’d still have to “prove it” as if your medical history doesn’t prove it already!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it is absurd. The hearing is this morning and I am nervous as it has taken two years to get to this point as my case has been denied twice, this is my last time. Sucks to be a women sometimes…Praying, throwing coins into fountains, not rolling my walking aids over cracks today! Hoping my lawyer has better luck today 🙂

      Be safe and well.


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