This Was Bad

It happened again.  We saw it coming and had no way to stop it.  How have we not learned how to curb Son when he goes manic.  This time was so frightening.  I’m not sure he’s going to fully recover.  I think it’s because of his benzodiazepine addiction of a few years ago.  Which he still has, apparently.

Things had been going so well.  The four of us were getting along better than we had been in years.  I was getting out and doing my own thing and feeling good.  I should’ve known it wouldn’t last.  Damn that optimism!  Son had been in a great mood for weeks, his business was doing very well.  He’d started some cannabis seeds and his plants were looking good.  He was staying up late; 2 and 3 AM.  But he didn’t seem bothered by it.   This went on for three days or so.   Then on Wednesday he started acting odd.  Muttering, shuffling, off balance.  Mostly confused.

This we recognize and we do as we had agreed, that if Son started acting drunk or sleep walking we were to give him an extra 1/2 dose of Seraquil.  He stayed up very late and was agitated, bumping into things, dropping things.  We sat and talked for a while, but he was pretty incoherent.  He asked the same questions: what’s going on, I don’t understand what’s happening,  why is this happening.  Then he’d ask what day it was or what time.  He was always surprised by my answer.  He began to hallucinate.  I started to record him, but had to put the camera down while I cleaned up the mess he made urinating in the middle of his room.  By then he was calmer and sat down on the couch, where he finally fell asleep.  I went to bed about 4 AM.

Next morning he seems better.  He gets up, talks with his dad and has some coffee.  But later in the day he started acting weird again.  Still, he wasn’t as bad as the previous day, so maybe he was still getting better.  But that’s not how it played out and we spent Friday night in the ER.  He admitted himself and I went home.  Husband is picking him up as I write.  Don’t know what good it did for him to just stay the night.

Still, I spoke with his caseworker and she was probably the most helpful one by far.  It’s been a different person every time he’s been in hospital.  She told me she didn’t any reason Son wouldn’t qualify for disability.   She told me to call my local SS office.  They’ll send paperwork which Son takes to his doctor.  We have an appointment with a psychologist in two weeks.  We make an appointment with the SS office and meet with their counselor.  Then in about two months he should have an answer.

I’d never heard of this, but the caseworker said she’d been doing this for 10 years and she’s rarely heard of anyone in Son’s condition be denied disability benefits.  I hate the idea of him being permanently disabled, but if he had these benefits, he wouldn’t have to work so hard out of our living room.  Plus he would then qualify for Medicare, which is much better coverage than Medi-Cal.  That’s the most important thing.

I was so angry when I tried again, in vain, to find help.   All I got was recorded messages telling me to call another number.  I called a dozen phone numbers for an hour and in the end had no where to go but the ER.  Where I had to sit and keep him calm for 6 hours, because you know they won’t give you any drugs until all the tests come back and you see the doc.  Once Son was medically cleared he finally was seen by a caseworker.

Son kept asking us if he took something or if we gave him something.  He also asked what we found in his room.  Did we take something from his room.  So we checked out his room.  A small bottle of a type Benzo in powder form.  He and his dad just came back and I told him we found it.  Now he is angry and wants it back.  He wants people to leave him be, that he’s better when he’s on them.

It’s going to be a long, long two weeks before he meets with the psychologist.  Maybe I can get him into the psychiatrist sooner.

Sometimes life just fucks you.

 

Doctors

Doctor #1

Saw my neuro this week.  She doesn’t think I have MS.  Just because certain diagnostic tests don’t show the expected results, my flares have been documented.  I had one flare that lasted 6 months.  I was treated with the standard MS flare meds by IV for three days, every month for three months.  If that wasn’t MS, tell me what is, doc.

Yet she continues to treat me, because my diagnosis came from UCLA, which has a specialized MS program.  Still she has me coming in every six months.  When she asks me about new symptoms, she dismisses them as not MS-related, and therefore not her problem. I guess if I’m not blind or in a wheelchair, I’m not worth her time.   She will be replaced.  I can see someone else in that office.  Why did it take three days for me to realize this?  Why didn’t I say something to the Doc?

Doctor #2

I’ve been having an eye problem where it felt like my eyelids were sticking to my eye balls. This has been going on for a few months, and wasn’t getting better, but not a real big deal, eye drops seem to work. So brought it up to my GP.  So she looked a little more closely at my eyes, and had me read the eye chart. I’m really shocked. If you measure by number of lines of the chart, my vision has consistently been only one line apart; my right eye is a tad better than the left, which has an astigmatism. This time it’s 4 lines! I can only read the second line of print with my left eye. I’m a little concerned and say as much to my GP and she gets me a rush referral to the Ophthalmologist.  I really like her.  I want her for my new GP, my old one is moving.

Doctor #3

I couldn’t get into the Optho until mid-March, so they referred me to another office.  I call and get an appointment for the next morning!  Wow, cool.  The doc examines my eyes, pretty much a routine exam, I read the eye chart, he dilated my eyes. He seems thorough. He tells me that I have an issue with glands in my eyelids not working.  I never knew there was anything except lashes on my lids.  These glands are supposed to secrete oils necessary to keeping eyes naturally moist.  He gives me a script for Restasis, and gives me a list of three more eyedrops I’m to use everyday for the rest of my life.  Four different types of drops, basically I’m to put drops in my eyes about every two hours.  Ok, it’s inconvenient, but not really something I can’t adapt to.

That’s when I ask him, “What about the sudden decrease in the visual acuity in my left eye?”  He shrugs, looks at my chart and sees I got new a prescription in my glasses Nov. 2015, so I should wait till this November, when my insurance OK’s new glasses.  I’m not really thrilled, but I figure he’s the doc, I trust that it’s not a big deal.  I go home.

Then yesterday, I’m updating my calendar and find the doctor’s card, which I just grabbed and put it in my pocket as I left.  I only read his name, not his title.  This time I read the title.  He’s an optometrist.  I had a referral specifically for the ophthalmologist. When I made the appointment, I assumed since they knew I couldn’t see the ophthalmologist in my office until March, that I would be seeing theirs.  I could have seen our optometrist, who I’ve been to before.

It’s been two weeks using all the eyedrops and my vision in that eye seems to be getting worse. My vision seems blurry, colors seem to merge and shift?  Can’t describe it. Suddenly I can’t properly identify a certain size or shaped or colored object until I am two feet away. This is not normal for me.  I’m worried this is not the dry eye issue, this might be the Fuchs Dystrophy I was told I had 20 years ago.  It’s a slowly progressing problem in the cornea.  When it gets bad enough the only option is transplant, but that’s still years away for me.  I hope. (Hmmm.  How likely is it that Medicare will pay for that by the time I need it?)

Then I talk to my brother, who I haven’t seen in 25 years and he mentions one of my sisters.  Says shes going blind.  Now I’m worried again.  I haven’t spoken to A in 25 years either, but I’m going to have to talk to her.  I think since my referral is good for two visits, I’ll just keep the appointment in March with the ophthalmologist.

What the hell is wrong with me that I don’t notice these things?  I used to be so thorough.   But I never asked the office what type of doctor I was seeing, something I once would have made sure of.  I used to speak up for myself, and I honestly don’t know when that disappeared.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s About all I can Take

I’ve been limiting my time on FB, WP, and various news sites to about 2 hours a day.  Even that’s too long.  I am so frustrated and fried.  There’s just so much wrong with our new administration (I will not call him “President.”  Ever.) it’s nearly impossible to keep up.  It feels like we’re pissing on a grass fire.  We’re the Dutch boy with his finger in the dyke.  We’re scattered and self-absorbed.

And we know the risks of being complacent.  That’s what got the US here in the first place.  Too much of the same old same old.  Too great a distance between the haves and the Have Nones.

I know we need to work on the GOP, not the Democrats on Dump.  The Dems are already appalled and frightened, and scrambling to do something, anything, to stop the flood of stupidity and immorality being spewed from the mouth of our (EC-) elected POS.  So, I keep asking myself, how do we do this?  How do you convert a Christian to Islam?  Can you rehabilitate a KKK member?  I know these things have been done.  Maybe not often, but it is not unheard of.  But what I can’t figure out is the “how” of it.

I’ve joined the Indivisible movement.  I’m also involved with the Resist movement.  Just two of probably thousands of little pockets of resistance.   We all have the same goal: impeachment.  Easy fix: take Dump out.  Sniper style.  But I don’t want anyone going to prison.  And really, it’s not a complete answer, because of, well, you know.  Pence.  And Bannon, Priebus, Ryan and McConnell, to name the most egregious members of our political heads.

I ponder these problems every night and wake up wondering what new horror Dump and his crew have devised.  I sign the petitions going around.  I’m writing to my reps.  I can see the Resistance is growing, but how long can we sustain it?  We all know about burn out.  I’ve only been moderately active and I need a script for Xanax, just to keep me from biting the heads off the people near me.

Am I just impatient?  Just hoping for a quick fix?  I know that quick is not how things change.  Just like dieting.  You want to lose 30 pounds so you join Jenny Craig or some such.  Spend your money and buy their food.  After you lose the 30 pounds and feel great, you go back to eating just the way you did before.  Soon you need to lose 40 pounds.

You have to change your way of thinking to become successful in controlling your weight. We must change people’s thinking, and that, my friends, will take a very long time.  Do we have the stamina?  The anti-Trump faction seems much larger than the pro side.  It would seem, then, that we have the numbers to sustain a movement.  Our leadership is increasing: a few Senators and Congressmen are growing balls.  Robert Reich is a leader, and Elizabeth Warren as well.  Bernie Sanders is still relevant.

I’m committed for the long-haul, provided I don’t burn out.  Join me?

Here are some links for additional information on the movements and how they will accomplish their goals.

Can we sustain the anti-Trump movement?

Emily’s List

Change will require more than protests

 

An Open Letter to Trump supporters

Dear Trump Fan

You must understand that the anti-Trump group is not simply upset that there are questions as to foreign manipulation in our election process.  It’s not simply that my preferred candidate did not win.  It’s not because most Trump supporters are Obama haters.  It’s because the man is simply UNFIT.

He lacks the knowledge of how to govern.  You might say, yeah, it’s one of the things you like about it.  But knowing how to govern involves understanding others’ points of view.  If I read a book, or several books, about government and how to be effective doesn’t mean I know how to govern.  But I would have a leg up on Trump.

He lacks the diplomacy that is required when dealing with foreign dignitaries.  Sure, you say, he knows plenty of foreign big wigs.  Yes, but those big wigs only deal with Trump on business.  They may respect that, they may not.  It could be they just put up with his lack of grace and humility because he is making them money.  Well, the government is NOT a business, and probably shouldn’t be run like one.  Businesses look at the bottom line, profit and loss.  A country doesn’t profit from its people, but is supported by them via taxes.

To be an effective leader, one must have empathy for the other guys.  Something Trump certainly appears to lack.  In fact, I’m not even sure Trump can define ’empathy’.  Nor can many of his supporters.

One must have compassion for ALL citizens, not just those who agree with you.  Belittling other groups is counterproductive, and makes one look small and childish.  Very un-Presidential.  Disrespectful.  Something Trump seems not to understand.  Respect is earned, and treating others disrespectfully diminishes one’s chance at being respected.

I don’t believe our President should be tweeting criticisms about TV shows, or people who disagree with him.  My President has more important things to do.  My President barely sleeps, has no time to watch TV, let alone have twitter wars.  It diminishes respect for My President in the eyes of other countries, which reflects badly on me.

For a democracy to work, it cannot be run like a dictatorship.  The American people will not yield their rights to a dictator.  Perhaps Trump and his supporters don’t know what a dictator is.  Well, it is exactly what Trump proposes with his refusal to meet with certain members of the press.  The elected leader of this country is bound by the Constitution to allow Freedom of the Press.  There are plenty of Trump supporters who know the Second Amendment very well, but many seem to be ignorant of the rest.

I won’t even go into the lies.  I don’t expect politicians to tell the truth, but I do expect them to own up to their ‘misstatements’ and offer a clarification, or an apology.  And an apology is not “I’m sorry you got mad at me when I called you stupid.”  It is “I’m sorry I called you stupid.  That was untrue and unkind.”

Yeah, your candidate won.  And since no charges are forthcoming from those who claim voter fraud or foreign influence, etc., I’ll go so far as to say he won legitimately.  That still does NOT mean he is a suitable representative of me, or people who think like me.  He can’t legislate people away.  He can’t ignore the majority, not for long, anyway.  One group of people does not have more privileges than another.  At least they shouldn’t.  Trump and his supporters seem to think it’s ok to ignore the rest of us.  The British didn’t take the resistance seriously either.  You do know how that ended, right?

Cynicism

The state of mental health care in the US is atrocious.  Not as bad as when it was thought the ill were possessed by demons, and people were kept chained and naked in dank cells.  It hasn’t improved enough. People still treat mental illness as a personality flaw, something we could change if we only tried.  It is something many medical doctors, and ER staff do not recognize.

Most public hospitals prior to 1900 were operated by religious orders, and evolved from Almshouses.  As so many other things, hospitals were often as squalid as the Almshouse.   With time, hospitals became less of a place where paupers died and more of a place of improving one’s condition.  As more of those with funds chose to go to hospital, more changes were made.  Eventually public hospitals were cleaned up and money for improvements and new buildings became available.  Now, the people who would like to donate don’t have the money, and those with money don’t care.

When psychoactive drugs were introduced in the US in 1955, their use lead to increased discharges from mental hospi­tals. Over the next 50 years there was a dramatic decline in hospital beds from 560,000 in 315 hospitals to 53,000 beds in 230 hospitals.  Certainly doesn’t sound like much.  Currently, according to the Mental Health America, the prevalence of untreated adults with mental illness ranges from 43.1% in Vermont to 67.5% in Nevada.  That’s awful!  Mental illness can be as deadly as cancer.  Those with AMI (A Mental Illness) deserve better.

I discovered that the largest mental health facility in the country is in Los Angeles and is part of the county jail.  The article: Inside The Nation’s Largest Mental Institution (heard on Morning Edition, on NPR August 13, 20083:09 PM ET, by ) wrote, in part:

           The largest mental institution in the country is actually a wing of a county jail. Known as Twin Towers, because of the design, the facility houses 1,400 mentally ill patients in one of its two identical hulking structures in downtown Los Angeles.

The End Of Public Mental Hospitals

Until the 1970s, the mentally ill were usually treated in public psychiatric hospitals, more commonly known as insane asylums.

Then, a social movement aimed at freeing patients from big, overcrowded and often squalid state hospitals succeeded. Rather than leading to quality treatment in small, community settings, however, it often resulted in no treatment at all.

As a consequence, thousands of mentally ill ended up on the streets, where they became involved in criminal activity. Their crimes, though frequently minor, led them in droves to jails such as Twin Towers, says Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca.

 

 

And yet, we do incarcerate the mentally ill.  All the time.  Because there seems to be no where else to place them.  It’s awful when the police become involved.  At a minimum the person with AMI will be dragged to the ground and handcuffed as if they had committed a crime before they are dropped in some overcrowded, understaffed county hospital.  There they will receive minimal care and a quick discharge.  In the worst case scenario someone with AMI can end up dead simply because they do not understand what the police are telling him to do.  Like drop a weapon, or to lie on the ground.  Just google “mentally ill man killed by police” and you will find hundreds of incidents.

Most insurance plans do not provide adequate coverage for mental health, as if it is less important than someone’s physical health.  There are limits to the number of doctor visits, hospital stays are too short.  How does the insurance company know if you are healthy enough to leave after just 2 weeks?  It must be up to the doctors to determine when a patient is well enough to leave.  And what about someone who will spend their life institutionalized?  I’m sure most insurance plans do not have that covered.  There are not enough doctors and nurses.  There is just not enough.

My cynical side tells me that the only way we can make changes is with money.   Sure, there’s legislation, but that does not help people who cannot find a facility that will admit them.  There just aren’t enough beds.  That must change!  More mental health facilities need to be built.  MDs and hospital staff need to be made aware of symptoms of a mental health emergency.  Mental Health America is important to the improvement in mental health care and education.  Please support their #b4stage4 campaign on Facebook and Twitter, and take the pledge now to help make mental illness stigma free.

 

Sometimes You Shouldn’t Call 911

I’ve decided, after this most recent, for lack of a better word, psychotic episode it is not always best to call 911 or go to the ER.  But then what do you do?

The last time we had to call 911 and the cops came, they treated son with no respect, as if he had robbed a bank or deserved what was happening to him.  That time they took his (full rx) meds and his (brand new) shoes with them.  The meds and shoes did not return with Son.

This time I called 911 both the paramedics and the cops showed up.  The medics came, looked Son over and left.  Three 6′ cops surround Son, agitating him further.  They told us we were agitating him and pushed husband and I from the room.  They practically searched his room, picking things up, reading mail.  And once the cops are there: you have no control over the situation.

I felt a twinge of how it must feel to be a person of color when they interact with the police.  Only a tiny taste, but it struck me how the police do that.  Push everyone out, take control and then haul your son away like a criminal, leaving bruises on his arms, scraped skin around his wrists and a badly pulled tendon in  his shoulder.  Which is almost no injury at all, but they don’t care that they injure you this mildly, let alone shoot you.

The cops DO NOT know how to handle people with anything nearing empathy or compassion.  It appears that they are not trained in diffusing or de-escalating a situation, especially in the case of an addict or mental health patient.  In our particular situation I now know that Son needed to calm down, instead we ended up working him into a frenzy of frustration and anger.  By the time the cops arrived, he looked positively crazed.  I’ll never forget the look he gave me when the police took him away.  I’ll never forgive myself for causing him that kind of pain.

So I ask you, why would I call 911 the next time?  I mean, fool me twice, but then who should I call?  I discovered, too late, that my county has a service that will send out a social worker team that will come to your home and assess the situation, and work with the family to alleviate the crisis.  Many times avoiding police involvement or trips to the hospital.  This is a fabulous service, and one I did not know existed. Their number is in my phone now, on speed-dial.  I urge everyone to see if they have this type of service where you live.

I make one suggestion to the 911 system, add another question; “Police, Fire department or mental health emergency.”  I think that would be a huge huge help to people who find themselves in similar situations.  The service could even pair up a social worker with a police officer, specially trained where his first impulse is NOT to shoot.

Rather than make this post too long, I won’t write about ER staff and their treatment of mental health patients.  Suffice to say they are not much better than the cops.  Again, having a psychiatrist on staff at all times and the staff trained to at least recognize someone who is obviously in a crazed state would go far in alleviating the problem.  Those of us with mental health issues , when in crisis, should be treated with as much urgency as a heart attack.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services: (SAMHSA), a federal source of information and help for those in need of mental health or addiction issues.

National Association for Mental Illness: (NAMI)

 

NAMI

The National Association for Mental Illness is having an end of the year fund drive.  I normally don’t do this, but with Trump coming into office who knows what will happen to people who have mental health needs. It’s very possible the helplines currently out there will be cut or entangled.

Back in October 2016 (read article here) Trump was speaking to a group of veterans and commented on those with mental illness.  He stood there in front of soldiers with PTSD, those with depression, or those knew someone who committed suicide, and others who may have attempted, and called them weak.  “They can’t handle it,”  he said.  If he doesn’t even understand the basics of humanity and psychology, do you really think he will commit funding to the VA for improved care?

I don’t think he will.  I think he is going to sit in the White House and perpetuate myths and misinformation about depression, PTSD and other issues faced by returning vets.  He expects that a ‘strong’ person can beat their depression.  Like it’s a heavy bag, and punching it every day will make it go away.  It doesn’t work like that.  There’s medication and therapy.  Finding the right doctor and getting the right meds takes time and effort.  Often more effort to find help than to give in.

The man hasn’t an ounce of empathy in his body, do you think he knows how to help vets and others with mental illness beat the stigma?  No.  Obviously, Trump is going to re-introduce the myth that those with depression are just ‘weak’.  That soldiers who come back from combat with PTSD, as being “unable to handle it.”  What kind of assistance is he going to ensure the community continues to destroy the stigma and myths around mental illness.  We need to stand by NAMI, the VA and other support groups in making sure people have adequate access to mental health care.

Over the past 20 years, deaths related to substance abuse and mental illness have increased by over 1,000 percent in some areas.

This GIF Sums Up The Impact Of Addiction And Mental Illness On America  (click on graphic):

.  hp-gif

For the complete article:  Huffington Post

Here’s Mayim Bialik  making the plea for NAMI.

Thanks for reading.

Moving On

Despite my best efforts to ignore the holidays, they are still just around the corner.  I did manage to do a little holiday baking, for the sake of being neighborly, but not being religious, nor a rapacious consumer, it gets harder and harder to participate in the holidays.

I am thankful for all the things I have and continue to work on being kind.  To others and myself.  Thank you, all my readers, followers, and friends here.  I appreciate your time and effort in reading and commenting on my little blog, and for supporting me during my Midlife Crisis and Beyond.  I have been getting less and less active, both posting and reading and have decided, that, while I will continue to miss all of you, my mind is currently occupied elsewhere.

I send you all the blessings of the universe and fulfillment.  Thank you for being part of my life.  Remember to be kind, and if you can’t be kind, be silent.

 

Feeling Negative

I’ve been feeling rather negative lately.  Perhaps I am depressed about my back, which causes me pain daily for the past 6 months.  Standing at the sink for the15 minutes to do the dishes and my back is screaming for me to lay flat, or at least sit down.  The doctors do not seem overly concerned.  The last appointments I had with all three of my docs I felt I was dismissed.  They all said, ‘see you in # months’.  Made it sound like an order.

My back is causing me not to do things, like walk, though I can last longer than standing still for some odd reason.

Beach yoga

Beach yoga

Some days I can walk an hour before it starts to ache.  But at night, doing the cooking and washing after, I’m in pain.  I keep trying to get to yoga and tai chi, but the timing just never seems to work out.  I’m thinking about making up a schedule and promising myself I will keep to it no matter what for the month of November.  I know that’s a lofty goal: Committing to improve my health.

I do have to.  Improve my health and that of my family.  We had all promised (many times, very many times) to eat better, treat our bodies like the temples they are.  Love our bodies as much as a spouse or child.  If we loved our bodies would we treat them better?  We seem unable, individually or as a group, to eat a more balanced diet.  We are addicted to sugar.  Most people are to some degree.  But today I ate an entire 1 lb bag of candy corn.  I had been angry at Husband when I bought it.  So instead of sharing this treat, I devoured it in secret throughout the day.  Yikes!  If that’s not a sign I need to change, I don’t know what is.  I’ve been doing things like that a lot lately.  Buying candy bars on the sly when off shopping by myself, then go out for an ice cream with Husband that night.

I’ve lost weight, mostly because I just don’t find anything very appealing about food lately.  I can go days without feeling hungry.  I want to keep the weight off, but by improving my diet.  Coincidentally, the liver doc told us sugar has been shown to be more addictive than heroin.  Scary right?  I’m a living example of a sugar junkie:  using excuses to justify eating a chocolate, lying to people about it, hiding my binging from family.

candy

My nemesis

I must take better care of myself, but lately I just don’t care.  If I were a day, I’d be chilly, damp and overcast.  The sort of day that won’t necessarily stop you from doing the things you have to, but nasty enough not to do things outdoors that you might want to do.  Like picnic.

They say the first step to beating addiction is admitting you have a problem.  And I honestly do.  I seem unable to stop myself from eating nothing but what’s bad for me in every way.  And I so don’t want to give it up.  But I’m promising myself, and using this blog to hold myself to it, the month of November will be my test, but I will try not to put anything in my mouth that is not healthy for me starting now.  I tell myself, I would do these things if I had cancer, right?  That’s what you do when your life is threatened.  Start taking better care of yourself.  Why invite cancer into my life by sabotaging my own health?  Why wait for a fatal diagnosis?

Why is Life so Frustrating?

Why can’t things be simple?  Remember all the promises we heard about how great our lives were going to be once we were computerized?  Are you happy with computers?  God, I really hate them sometimes.  I love the access to so much information.  That’s wonderful and amazing (not to mention dangerous), but dealing with them on day-to-day activities…ugh.

DSC03101I’ve been trying to add some jewelry to my website for two days.  I took 80 photos of my pieces and transferred them from camera to computer.  Then I put them in a folder called “October”, disconnected my camera, and then when I went to load the photos onto my page I couldn’t find the folder.  I checked every folder in my Photo files, then all my document files.  Could not locate that folder.  Finally, I took the camera back out, laid out the jewelry and took another 75 photos.  Plugged the camera in and went to download my new photos, and there was my folder!  I finally added one item before moving on to other parts of my page I wanted to update.  I spent over an hour updating my page; adding more to the descriptions, changing up my bio.  When the site froze and I had to exit.  When I get back up, I find nothing was saved!  Shit!  So, next item: creating a collection.  Another hour.  Today I went to add more items, and discover I cannot find the tab on my page with my collection!

I’m beginning to think I need to try a different site.  I already tried Etsy, but the competition was fierce.  Of course, now the DSC09613competition on Artfire is just as bad, so maybe it’s time for a new site.  Sure, but then I need to set up a new page, and add the nearly 200 pieces of jewelry I’ve got.  A daunting task.  But I figure if I haven’t much to lose.  Maybe I’ll just open a second online shop.  Maybe I’ll just give it all away, but it would take a while.  I don’t know that many people.  Not even on Facebook, where I only have about 30 friends.  I’ve looked at a couple other sites, and looked at PC World’s article about the top 5 handmade online shops.  Their take on Etsy was because it was the oldest and biggest site to sell handmade items, while to me, the fact that they have 875,000 vendors, and over a million items.  My little shop gets lost in all that competition.  It’s like opening up my own little coffee house between a Starbucks and a Coffee Bean.  There is a new site, Shop Handmade.  It’s simple.  It’s free.  But of the numerous items I looked at none had more than 2 photos, and I don’t see anything about a limit in their policies.  Maybe that’s how they keep costs down?  More research is required.  I don’t want to get stuck with a site that only lets me put up two photos of each item.

HepCSo what am I doing?  I’m reading blogs and writing mine.  LOL  But it’s 8 o’clock and I got up at 6:30 this morning.  Giving me only 6 hours sleep.  (Sure I took a 2-hour nap, but I always take a nap.)  Regardless.  For me it is time to stop working and just relax and read.  Tomorrow I will pay bills, upload more photos, and maybe find time to work on my novel and a little bit on my genealogy.  That’s what I had scheduled, but I’m not sure about Husband.  He’s supposed to go to UCLA tomorrow for some kind of special liver ultrasound.  It was scheduled for today, but it seems the radiology office he made the appointment with doesn’t have this apparently special piece of equipment. That’s why I was up so early, we drove to Santa Monica, an hour and a half drive (using the carpool lane) for a doctor appointment.  We got there an hour early, and the place was empty, so we hoped he’d get in and out early.  That’s when they told us about the equipment error, and right there they made the appointment at the appropriate office, for tomorrow.  That means we have another 1 1/2 hour trip on the 405.  Which, if you didn’t know, according to Wikipedia:

I-405 is a heavily traveled thoroughfare by both commuters and by freight haulers along its entire length and is the busiest and most congested freeway in the United States.

I don’t know how accurate that is, but I’ve heard that it’s at least one of the top 5 most congested freeways in the US.  I commuted on it for 5 years, and it’s a bitch of a drive.  Yay.  I’ve got that to look forward to, unless Husband decides he doesn’t need me to come along.  Of course, if I go we can use the diamond lane and cut some time off the trip.  UCLA

The other plus, Husband doesn’t like to go to UCLA alone because Westwood is such a zoo 24 hours a day, and UCLA is a huge place.  It’s easy to get lost.  More than once I took the wrong exit out of the medical center parking lot and ended up headed in the wrong direction on a street I didn’t recognize.  So, unless Husband calls first thing in the morning to change the appointment.  it’s very likely I will spend a good share of my day tomorrow in the car.  And, because I know my way around better than Husband,   I look forward to being the navigator to his frustrated, frantic, and totally stressed out driver.  But I won’t drive, because as a passenger he’s worse!

Ah, life.  Ain’t it grand?