Something fun for a change – Oscar Wilde

This past week, on October 16th, marked the 160th anniversary of Oscar Wilde’s birthday.

He is by far my favorite poet.

I had just moved from Detroit (15 miles west of Detroit actually, as not many people are truly from Detroit), Michigan to San Francisco, California. I was working at Stanford and my commute was an hour long, two hours round trip.

At first, I had been talking to people over the phone on my commute. Yet, that quickly blew-up my phone bill. Then I started listening to Howard Stern, but, I must say, he gets very old, very fast. I’m not a feminist per se, but I do not wish to listen to a man that demeans women every chance he gets.

I had to find something new to do on my commute.

I decided on audiotapes. Yes, back then, it was an audiotape. That is not a misprint.

My first one was The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. This book was first published in July 1890. Yet, it still seems as relevant today. In fact, it is. I read it and it did not feel dated at all.

In fact, it was eye-opening to me.

I was unfamiliar with his wit, his use of language, nor his ideas. After this book, I fell in love with him. I have read all of his works. It’s not just that his books or plays have good storylines. It’s his use of the written word to convey ideas. It’s how he observes his world, and how he speaks of it.

Here are some of his quotes. I pulled them from MentalFloss, one of my favorite websites.

  • I think that God, in creating man, somewhat overestimated his ability.
  • The only thing to do with good advice is pass it on. It is never any use to oneself.
  • Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.
  • Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.

These are taken from Goodreads:

If you have never read his work, please, pick up a copy.

Try out Audible. I bet they will have some of his work.

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**Madeline Fresco is a novelist who lives in San Francisco. She is the author of CROSSED THE LINE, available for Kindle at Amazon.com, for Nook at Barnes & Noble, and as an ePub at other eBook retailers. You can also listen to her novel as a free, serialized audiobook at madelinefresco.com. Her second book THE CHOICE, is available on Kindle at Amazon. Her third bookANGUISH, is available for Kindle at Amazon.com

 

No-shows are harder when you are disabled

Good job showing up, lady

I had a no-show today and while it sucks for people who are not disabled, it is so much worse when you are. I have a cleaning lady come every three weeks to help with the garbage, vacuum, and clean the bathroom.

She was supposed to come today.

Sadly, no friends came over this week, so my trash has really backed up and, lately, I have had a spider problem. So there are little spider carcasses all in my carpet. Needless to say, I really, really needed the cleaning lady to come over today.

The thing is, she didn’t show up, and she didn’t call. I had to text her to find out why she wasn’t here. The really aggravating part was she said her car broke down (which I kind of don’t believe), and that she was going to call me. The reason I don’t believe this is how do you forget to tell your clients that you can’t show up? It’s so frustrating.

It leaves me to try and scramble for someone last minute to come to the house. She can’t even come until next week. Now I have spider guts on my carpet for three weeks because I can’t get to them, and I really, really need someone to mop the remains up off my bathroom floor. It’s gross. Now I’m a gross person because my cleaning lady didn’t come over.

The thing is, when you are disabled, things aren’t niceties, they are necessities. It would nice, if I was well, to have someone clean for me. No, I need someone to clean for me or I sit in filth. If someone doesn’t show up for a person who is well, they could be irritated, but they can just as easily say fuck it, get the vacuum and clean up. They for sure would have already vacuumed up all these dead spiders.

I also was having a wonderful FaceTime conversation with my niece and I had to let her go because I thought the cleaning lady would be here at any minute. So I also had to disappoint my niece because this lady didn’t show up.

I’m just so aggravated by the situation.

How do you feel when people don’t show up? What impact does it have on you?

It’s official, my claim has been denied

frustration photo: Frustration UnhappySmash_zps5c28c29d.gif

My disability insurer called a few days ago to let me know that they are officially denying my claim for long term disability. They have determined, without ever having examined me, that I am well enough to go back to work in some capacity. They have disregarded all my paperwork from physicians who have in fact seen me that states I am disabled.

It is so upsetting to me that this company, that I paid into, is denying my claim. I am sick. I don’t want to be sick. The denial makes me feel unappreciated. It makes me feel like the whole thing is a sham. I paid into this with the expectation that if I needed it, it would be there.

Now I worry constantly about how I am going to put food on the table. How will I put a roof over my head. I am disabled, so managing the stress around this is overwhelming.

This company is just looking at finances. They don’t seem the least bit concerned that they are abandoning the very people they state they serve. The thing is, it’s not like this is a handout. I PAID them for this service.

I’m so frustrated.

I don’t know what I am going to do.

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Madeline Fresco is a novelist who lives in San Francisco. She is the author of CROSSED THE LINE, available for Kindle at Amazon.com, for Nook at Barnes & Noble, and as an ePub at other eBook retailers. You can also listen to her novel as a free, serialized audiobook at madelinefresco.com. Her second book THE CHOICE, is available on Kindle at Amazon. Her third bookANGUISH, is available for Kindle at Amazon.com

I know why the caged bird sings

If you are in chronic pain, and mostly a shut in like me (God, that seems weird to say), this poem will speak to your soul.

The whole poem, Sympathy, is by Paul Laurence Dunbar. Thank you for speaking the language that I always can not.

My favorite verse:
I know why the caged bird sings, ah me,
When his wing is bruised and his bosom sore,—
When he beats his bars and he would be free;
It is not a carol of joy or glee,
But a prayer that he sends from his heart’s deep core,
But a plea, that upward to Heaven he flings—
I know why the caged bird sings!

The entire poem, Sympathy by Paul Laurence Dunbar, courtesy of Poetryfoundation.org can be found by clicking my true feelings.
This poem speaks to me because I know what it means to just wake up everyday, isolated, wanting to scream. The bird’s screams, in the scenario, are mistaken for singing. I, too, and many others with chronic pain, feel like this, too. Our bars are invisible. Our bars are pain. When we talk, we are silently screaming inside. Our talking is mistaken for singing, singing that everything is fine. We, are in fact, screaming inside. Screaming that we have to hide our pain, hide how bad our existence is. We scream that we just wish it would all go away. We scream inside every time you ask how were are doing, to answer in a lie, that everything is okay.

I know why the caged bird sings.

Please share a poem with me. A saying, a quote — I would love to read them.

All my love

~ Madeline

I looked inside a Nissan NV2500 today thanks to a glorious stranger

As I blogger the other day, I was researching conversion vans. I posted about how I was looking at Mercedes Sprinters and then I narrowed it down to the Nissan NV2500.

What I liked about the Nissan was the price and the high roof that came with it. I spent hours on the internet looking at videos of people describing them, and sitting in them, and even driving them.

Yet, it’s not the same as actually going to see one.

That obviously proves to be a big problem for me as it is hard for me to get anywhere do to the back pain. It’s why I need a conversion van!

Imagine my surprise as I walked down the street and … boom! There was one. High roof and all!

I got home, laid down for a bit (I had to, I just walked), and then peeked out the window. Sure enough. It was still there. I thought, how fortuitous. I quickly wrote a note describing my situation and the fact I couldn’t get to the dealership to look at one and if they wouldn’t mind calling me so I could simply peek inside to see what it actually looked like in person.

Son of a gun if they weren’t gone in the five minutes it took me to write the note!

Ack!

That was a couple days ago. Last night I went for my walk and low-and-behold … it was back! I hurried back to my apartment (well, hurried for me), and prayed I still had the note accessible. I did!

I left the note on the windshield and hoped for the best.

The car was gone this morning, and no one had called. I was a bit sad.

Then, this early afternoon, they called! I spoke to “J” and he said they usually throw things like that out, you know, paper stuck under windshield wipers, but his wife read the note out loud to him and said they agreed they should for sure call me back.

He then said it was pure luck that they had returned to San Mateo because it was not their intention! I’m so glad it all worked out!

“J” and I spoke for a good fifteen minutes on the phone about how it handled, about how he converted it, and about how it might be utilized for me. We left the conversation that he did not think he would be returning to the area, but that if things changed, he would stop by.

I kind of figured it wouldn’t happen, but then he called late this afternoon! He said he had to go to the UPS store near here, and so it afforded him the opportunity to stop by. I’m not sure if he just went out of his way though, he’s obviously a really great guy and I could see him doing that.

He parked in my parking lot and called. I came out and we shook hands. Very nice guy. He opened the side door for me, telling me that might be the best way for me to get in and out, as opposed to the back door. His rig was so beyond cool. He had bikes strapped to the ceiling and some off in the rear. He had built a twin bed platform on the left side of the car, furthest from the door, with some 4 x 4’s and some wood planks. He them put hinges on it so you could lift it and store stuff inside. He has a blow up air mattress on top. Pretty comfy looking, actually. He then has a twin bed frame above that that hinged up and down so that it could be flush with the wall. Lastly there was some built in cabinets closest to us that he used for storage.

We chatted for a few minutes about the stairs — a big problem. The stairs come up to about my mid thigh. I would need to either figure out a step stool situation, or get some kind of lift. It’s pretty high, seriously.

Other than that glitch, everything else looked really good. There is no way I would be able to fit my queen in there, so that’s out. Yet, that was the kind of thing that I needed to know. I could see myself romanticizing that it could, in fact, fit — had I not seen it. He said he tried, but then there was no room to walk.

The other reason it was really good for me to see it myself was that I could see one of my friends going to the dealership and saying that I would need a step stool to get into it, and then once I saw it, realizing that I might need much, much more than just an extra step, which, I really think will be the case.

I’ll end this post with this. What a great guy. Way to come through for a stranger. I mean, he did not have to call me back. He certainly didn’t need to talk to me for fifteen minutes, and he absolutely did not need to drive out of his way to come show me his van — for a stranger. He proves that there are still really great people in the world. I told him he might not realize what a big deal it was for me for him to do it, but that I was so beyond grateful. It was a really huge thing to do for someone who otherwise would be completely out of luck for being able to see one for herself.

Thank you “J”. I hope Karma serves you very, very well and something extraordinary comes your way. Blessings to you, dear stranger.

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Madeline Fresco is a novelist who lives in San Francisco. She is the author of CROSSED THE LINE, available for Kindle at Amazon.com, for Nook at Barnes & Noble, and as an ePub at other eBook retailers. You can also listen to her novel as a free, serialized audiobook at madelinefresco.com. Her second book THE CHOICE, is available on Kindle at Amazon. Her third bookANGUISH, is available for Kindle at Amazon.com

A new plan

Today my good friend C came over and she helped me work out a bunch of issues I was having. A lot of resentment toward my situation, about my relationships, and about how to go about making a future for myself since I won’t have any money.

She offered to come over next week to graph out what I need done. Kind of like and action plan.

I’m supremely grateful for this. Sometimes, with everything that is going on, it’s hard to pin down what I need to do. It’s hard not for emotions to get all wrapped up in decisions. It’s hard not to let disappointments, wishes, and dreams for what could have been, or, quite frankly, what should be, from muddying the decisions.

As she said, there are a lot of moving parts to the decisions. I used to be so capable. So definitive. Unfortunately, that’s just not the case anymore.

I guess I should just be happy that I recognize that and that I move forward.

I need to decide how I will allocate money. Where I will live. If I move, where will it be? What kind of place should I get – a condo, home, or apartment? All those choices come with consequences of what type or another.

I don’t want anymore advice. I want to make decisions based on the best potential outcome. I have to give up on great to get good. Frankly, I need to give up good to get feasible. I need to not romanticize what I could be doing now if I was well. This is, as they say, what it is.

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Madeline Fresco is a novelist who lives in San Francisco. She is the author of CROSSED THE LINE, available for Kindle at Amazon.com, for Nook at Barnes & Noble, and as an ePub at other eBook retailers. You can also listen to her novel as a free, serialized audiobook at madelinefresco.com. Her second book THE CHOICE, is available on Kindle at Amazon. Her third book ANGUISH, is available for Kindle at Amazon.com

When random things pop up and remind you that you are not well

Football will start this season in my new San Mateo apartment. I have discovered it’s not quite football ready. I realized that the carpet padding in the bedroom will make it very difficult to stand and watch the game. During preseason, I tried to lay for the entire game, and that proved to be too difficult.

I contacted a friend to see if she would bring me a tv for my family room (I had the padding removed from part of the family room), and she agreed. However, the tv won’t get here until Sunday, so there is still some dilemma for this Thursday game!

It’s so weird, trying to adjust your life to your injury. Even something as simple as watching a football game on television can prove to be challenging. It;s annoying, embarrassing, and defeating to have to ask a friend to do something for me. Which, in the scheme of things, seems kinda silly to have to ask for a tv. I hate to ask for a stupid tv! That means one more favor to ask someone when I already ask so many favors. It’s hard, because I think back to how simple my life used to be, to just walk down to the local bar and watch the games. How fun it was to be around all the other sports fans. How nice it was to have all of the camaraderie. Now, I do everything alone. If I need something, I have to put someone else out. It’s a horrible position to be in. Their time for mine. It’s unfair to them.

What things do you find shock you that you have to rearrange because of your condition? Does anything surprise you? Do you ever go along your day and something happens, and it brings it all back how disabled you are?

Oh! I have one more! I was playing with my niece and nephew on FaceTime while I was laying down the other day. I had my computer on a stand that rolls. Well, my back hurt from laying, so I thought I would stand up. So I pushed the table aside to roll out of bed and … CRASH! The computer crashed to the floor.

All I could think to myself was how in the hell am I gonna pick that up? It was too heavy for my grabbers. I also envisioned myself trying to pick it up with my grabbers and hurting myself further. I knocked on my neighbor’s door, but no answer. I then stood on my porch and waited for a good ten minutes for someone to walk by. Finally, across the street, someone showed up to drive their car. I had to walk over there and explain my situation. How humiliating! Then, when she finally picked up my computer, she ran out of the apartment so fast! Like she realized she just entered a stranger’s apartment and got scared!

I assure you lady! I’m not Jeffrey Dahmer!

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Madeline Fresco is a novelist who lives in San Francisco. She is the author of CROSSED THE LINE, available for Kindle at Amazon.com, for Nook at Barnes & Noble, and as an ePub at other eBook retailers. You can also listen to her novel as a free, serialized audiobook at madelinefresco.com. Her second book THE CHOICE, is available on Kindle at Amazon. Her third book ANGUISH, is available for Kindle at Amazon.com

I love this quote – Mike Tyson

I read this quote the other day, and I just thought I would share. It speaks volumes about how you want to live your life. You have it all planned out — until you get punched in the mouth — and then that all goes out the window.

I wanted to stay in my job, have a family, travel, see my nephews and nieces every 6 weeks. I wanted to improve my breast stoke in swimming.

Well, then I got punched in the mouth by life.

I feel the same way about attacking this back pain, except it’s like getting punched in the face over and over again by Mike Tyson. First, it was like, okay, no problem, gonna lose my job. Then, yup, lost my husband. Then, okay, no more state disability. Then no more MetLife disability. Oh, brother might be moving clear across the country. Yikes, no support. Oops, without money, how will I keep a roof over my head.

At least boxing matches only have so many rounds.

I would like to know when my match will be over.

I think this is one of the most amazing quotes I have ever read. It simplifies everything.

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Madeline Fresco is a novelist who lives in San Francisco. She is the author of CROSSED THE LINE, available for Kindle at Amazon.com, for Nook at Barnes & Noble, and as an ePub at other eBook retailers. You can also listen to her novel as a free, serialized audiobook at madelinefresco.com. Her second book THE CHOICE, is available on Kindle at Amazon. Her third book ANGUISH, is available for Kindle at Amazon.com

Reading Unlearn Your Pain

Yes, I’m still on this self-help kick. No one else has seemingly helped me, so I’m trying different avenues on my own. Hopefully, it will give me some insights into how to tell my body to stop causing me pain. The things I do should not cause this much pain. While the fact that I am tight, and my range of motion is decreased, it shouldn’t cause me so much pain just to stand here. Even as I’m typing this now, I have to keep moving around. I’m antsy. It just hurts all over.

I think that has to be a learned response? i do think that I have a very low range of motion. I’m still totally mystified how after day in and day out, I don’t seem to increase my range of motion. Every day it should just get a little bit better. Yet, it doesn’t.

Hopefully this books gives me some tips. I can use all the help I can get.

Random Ramblings: Sometimes the worst part of chronic pain is the loneliness

Sometimes the worst part of chronic pain is the loneliness.

 

Yes, it sucks that I am in pain all the time. It’s not like if I just don’t do anything I’m pain free. I still have pain regardless — lots of it.

 

Yet, what can be equally demoralizing is the loneliness. The sitting by yourself in the pain. Not having anyone to talk to. Not having anyone to comfort you. Not having anyone to lean on.

 

Maybe you have a spouse or significant other to lean on. It doesn’t mean you’re not lonely. When they are gone, you sit (in may case lay), by yourself, without any interaction. Those simple trips to the grocery store, you miss. The conversations with your coworkers. The dinner parties. The drinks for happy hour.

 

You try to fill the time with reading articles, books, watching movies, but it’s not the same. Those lingering thoughts of loneliness creep in.

 

I think I need a cat.

 

Oh, wait. I’m allergic.

 

Sometimes, life just sucks.