President Trump’s Military Parade

Trumps Military ParadeNBC just came out with an article on President Trumps proposed Military Parade. On the high end of estimates it’s at 92 million dollars as a cost for this event. This makes it even harder for me to admit that I actually worked for this idiot. Yes, I worked at one of his hotels in Gary Indiana at his Casino at the time. He has lost every casino he has been involved with over the years. He’s really not that good of a business man and is even proving himself to be an even poorer example of a President with decisions to spend this kind of money on this kind of event.

Can you imagine what could be done with 92 million dollars? Now I could make a long list of options that would change lives, cure diseases, feed hungry, help with education, and maybe wipe out the killings in Chicago. The list goes on and on and many of my friends have even many more ideas.

This is just another example of how out of touch with reality someone like him is with this kind of thinking. You need to be known for having a parade that was bigger than France’s Military Parade?

How many companies are going out of business because of the tariff wars he has started? How many people are losing their jobs because of increased costs for these goods we are importing? Yes, he’s trying to correct an imbalance that has been there for years but, there are better ways to fix the situation. The idiots that he has hired who have no experience, no clue, and no intelligence are going to make recommendations for our country’s future? Eventually most of them are either running away from their jobs before something happens or they are going to jail in my opinion.

In reality, we had no choice for President during the election and I was dumb enough to think that this was going to be a show to end all shows if he got in office. I was right. But now this Trump Variety Show has turned into the “Trump Your Worst Nightmare Movie” and it doesn’t end it just keeps on giving for years to come.

Ahh yes, let’s split up more families and rip the children from their parent’s arms and give those children nightmares. This is what happens when you put people in power who have no idea of what the ramifications of their decisions are nor do they care. When someone’s life has been to make a profit at all costs and kill the competition and anything that gets in your way to improve your personal financial situation then what else can we expect from someone like that.

We now are going to have the Trump Space Force and soon will be the local Trump Militia coming to a town near you. Maybe taking control of the media like in Russia or China. Watch out for the burning of books too.

George Believes and Is Not Afraid

I’ve known George for 15 years. He comes to our restaurant frequently with guests and sometimes we break bread together at lunch. George is a few years older than I and is quite heavy. Being a bit shorter than I am, he looks heavier than I do in the weight department. He has had a number of health issues some of which has had him in the hospital several times in the last year.

To some degree George and I are of the same mindset in that we just can’t seem to shall we say push the “Start Button” on getting healthy. Oh I did smoothies for a while and they actually did help. But then life and time gets in the way and suddenly you stop smoothing and continue on. Same thing with George.

Unfortunately for George his wife liked the smoothie idea and also began trying vegan. George is not a happy man now. He has not taken well to things like “tofu meat loaf.” I think he comes to our restaurant more often now to escape from that existence. Maybe to cheat a little as he doesn’t seem to go too overboard to his credit.

Though George is passed retirement age he prefers to stay busy and still comes to work every day, though he has delegated many of his past duties to staff in his office of his company. So his pace is a bit more relaxed but I will never expect to see him sitting in the rocking chair at home.

I like George a lot and we have had some deep conversations about life, work, religion and family. Many of these conversations I have never had with another man or for that matter even my wife. So he and I have become close.

I offered a little over a year ago to bring my bicycle down to work and he and I could ride together along the lakefront here in Chicago during our lunch. I know it helps to have a friend like this as it makes it easier to push that start button I mentioned earlier. George turned me down. That has bothered me and concerned me more. He also stated to just keep praying for him. I told him I would and that the wife already does for him every day.

This week he came over for lunch and his voice sounded very different and he stated he had some type of infection and it would get better. But my Spidey Sense was acting up and I steered the conversation where I didn’t want to go. I discovered that he is at peace and accepts whatever comes his way. He is a religious man and goes to mases several times a week and he does pray a lot. George is ready to die, he’s at peace with it, whenever that will be. Despite the fact that if he would walk a block or two extra every day or ride the bike with me it could possibly reverse that direction, he is unequivocally happy with the way his life is now. To me it’s like he wants to go to the great beyond. He is committed to his belief in god and that there is a life after and he is looking forward to that happening when its time, he said quite calmly to me.

Of course I asked about his bride of just a few years, is she OK with this? I knew the answer before I said it and it was the same as mine. I wouldn’t be comfortable with George going either, especially before what we think his time should be. I’m scared of death, always have been. I have had more experiences of deaths with friends and family, in fact more than most. At the same time, I admire George with his calmness, his steadfastness to his beliefs. To have that, takes away the scary part that so many of us are afraid of. George you are what Jesus spoke of in that you believe in what you can’t see. Whether or not what he believes is true, he at least my friends, will not be living what present life he has in fear.  George you are a better man than I, as you are really living /enjoying your life you are blessed. That is something that I and many others can’t say, because we are living our life in fear.

I’m Not Checking Out Early Like Anthony Bourdain

I walk into the local retirement home to visit my mother in law as she is in for a short stay doing physical therapy. The place has been remodeled within the last year or two. There is even an infused water station with a different flavor every day right next to the coffee bar with an assortment of Arabica bean flavors and light or dark roast. A new sitting area with comfortable modern seating and a glass fireplace. You feel like you are in the lobby of a Marriott hotel. Gone is the old look from the 60’s and the stacked up wheelchairs and the Lysol floor mopping smell. Everyone says “hello”, “good morning” or “good evening.” It’s like they are “Stepford Wives.”

I go to the elevator and get out on the third floor and another infused water station and new wallpaper and new hardwood floors or a laminate. I swear they must have timed aerosol sprayers infusing the air to mask the scent of soiled diapers or bedclothes. The nurses and the aides who have the worse jobs are all smiles and friendly. I’ve even been there at all hours just to see if those smiles change and they don’t.

So far they have me impressed but, all the infused water and air freshener can’t cover up how many people are here. The hallways seem like a mile long and most of the people are in their beds not able to walk or take care of themselves. They are all in what seems to be a 10-foot by 10-foot box of a room. The furniture is as cheap as hell like it came out of a Motel 6. The rooms are bright they have flat screens tvs and air conditioning. They have at least one sitting chair and a dresser and a side table and a small bath with just a toilet and a sink.

I have visited every other day or so on the way home. It’s been about 30 days so far and she has improved a lot and will be coming home soon. But every time I visit I imagine myself there. Sitting in that small room probably sitting in the wheelchair all day starring up at the tv and no interaction with anyone unless the nurse or aid steps in which is not very often as others need more care. It’s almost like a prison. Where can you go? Your family has dropped you off there while they get on with their life as your life winds down. God bless those of us that are somewhat healthy and can take care of themselves.

I am getting a much better understanding of how depression can affect us and why so many people are taking their own lives. I was reading today that Anthony Bourdain took his own life as he was depressed and was afraid of people or his family having to take care of him as he deteriorated. I have even had friends who have thought this also. Last week I also read about a retired scientist who flew to somewhere like Norway where you can choose to end your life with no repercussions.

Some people are lucky and they go along fine into the autumn of their years and leave this world in their sleep. I hope I’m lucky like that but I love life too much to not go out kicking and fighting. Even sitting on the sidelines and watching the world go by is a hell of an experience. Watching a hummingbird fly past you or a butterfly floating by or having an opportunity to hold any of god’s creatures (preferably a puppy) will keep me going for a long time. Keep your eyes open wide folks as the greatest show on earth is right in front of you even in a 10-foot by 10-foot room.

It’s My Son’s Birthday

Thirty-eight years ago today my eldest son came into this world. Being the proud and humbled father on that day I whispered a promise into my son’s ear as I have to my other two children as well. I have kept that promise to all my children. As parents, we go through a lot with our children as their live’s develop. The “terrible two’s,”  The “stupid teenage years” or if your really lucky the “rebellious teenage years” are just a few of the “Times of Our Lives” that all parents must get through.

His mother and I got divorced when my son was just under two. The separation from my son gave me a heavy load of guilt that I have carried with me every day for my whole life. I’m sure it’s something I share with many fathers who have gone through the same thing.  But despite all the mistakes I probably made, this one turned out pretty damn good. I am proud of what he has become as a man though I’m still waiting for the grandson (I have to throw the guilt back whenever I can).

The hardest part for any parent is letting go. You question if you taught them everything they will need to succeed. Or if you weren’t around to teach them, did they learn the right lessons? I got lucky, he had a good mother, a great-grandfather and somehow I had a part. Not sure when I was able to pass on some wisdom but we as parents have to trust that our decisions are right and know that just by leading our lives they learn by watching us. Heaven help, those kids who don’t have a parent to watch over them and give them a good example.

So on this day of your birth my son, I tell the whole world how proud I am of you.That my promise that I made to you, oh so long ago is one of the few promises that I have kept in my life will not be broken. Because of that promise, you are on my mind every day as I mention you in my prayers. May you continue to grow and prosper and may your dreams be fulfilled despite my bumblings as a young father to you.

Happy Birthday, Number 1.

Love Dad

Medical Incompetence Continues

Imagine you are lost in the desert and the hot sun is beating down on your neck. You’ve been without water now for days. Your body is made up of over 60% water. Many of your organs have even a higher percentage than 60%. Your body systems begin to break down. Chemical imbalances begin to come into play as your organs can’t do their job. With dehydration and that chemical imbalance comes the ability to imagine things that aren’t real. You literally see an image that your mind tells you is real. You can’t tell the difference. The pool of water you see in the desert that you are actually drinking is actually sand and you continue to drink.

My wife had been admitted again to the hospital for dehydration (just like in the desert) and the kidneys were shutting down again. Her potassium and magnesium were low and her overall body was becoming an acidic environment. The call came at about 2:00 am and woke out of a sound sleep, it was my wife and she was asking why she was in the basement and could I come and get her. She wasn’t sure how she got there. I tried to reassure her that she was fine and told her where she was even though she didn’t believe me. I told her I’d call the nurse and get her to help her. I felt heartbroken having to hang up and let her go but I had to get a comforting soul to her to help her. That’s where I went wrong. I assumed I was sending someone that could help, someone that would be familiar with this type of situation.

My wife was actually quite calm and wasn’t too worried but basically needed to be reassured that everything was ok. I believe the nurse gave her some sort of sedative and then contacted a psychiatrist to evaluate her. They had done this during the previous hospital 3 months earlier for the same issue. This time it was different and I wasn’t going to learn this until about a week later. I happened to be with her one evening as they were about to give her her nightly pills. The nurse commented that “Oh one of the pills was missing” I asked which one and she rattled off a name which I wasn’t familiar with and then I asked which doctor had prescribed it, to try and narrow down what type of drug it was. She then told me a name I wasn’t familiar with either. It was a psychiatrist. I wrote the name of the drug and looked it up as soon as I got home.

It was an antipsychotic drug that according to the manufacturer is given to people who are acting out and lashing at people. People that can be harmful to themselves or people around them. It’s used to shall we say calm them down. In my wife’s case “calm them down” meant putting her into a “zombie-like” state. When you would talk to her she would be starring off somewhere. She wouldn’t respond to questions right away without nudging her a few times to get her attention. Then she would immediately go back to her staring at the wall. She also didn’t know to feed herself or remember that you were there. She had been like this for a week and really couldn’t do anything herself. I was livid and was at the hospital first thing in the morning and was screaming at them for doing this to my wife without my permission. They stated that I approved it, it is in the patient notes was their response. I said I was never asked about this and apparently they are writing whatever they want in the notes to get them to cover up their incompetence. I told them they were not to give her any more of that medicine and that doctor was to not come near my wife again. They then inform me that my wife was being discharged. I asked if in this state they thought she was fine. They said yes. Later that day the nurse’s aid had to undress my wife and then clean her up and dress her. In the hospital notes, it states that she was alert and completely undressed her self and was able to dress and walked to the bathroom herself.

At home, my wife got lost in our short hallway, didn’t know what to do or where to go. I couldn’t leave her alone. I couldn’t have a conversation with her, she couldn’t take care of herself. I also have the responsibility of taking care of my mother in law who is 86 years of age and has onset dementia and also needs a tremendous amount of care.

I am not retired and still work fulltime. The medical community I relied on was telling me you are on your own good luck. I have no other family to assist me. I sat down and cried alone. It’s been about three years of in and out of the hospital for my wife with me at her side and trying to manage everything. Our general practitioner told me he thought the pills would wear off in a couple of days or a week and she may come back to where she was before. I was lucky, it was two days later and she wanted to do our bills.  She came back thank god. She had gotten down to 96 lbs and was concerned about gaining weight. I can’t imagine how people do this. I was also lucky in that I have an understanding boss.  I’m sure there other people in a similiar boat as I am.  I also can’t understand how much incompetence there is in the medical profession.  Every time I’m in the hospital with my wife I have to correct nursing staff as to how to properly care for my wife. I have to tell them that they can’t give certain drugs to her as they are about to administer them to her and kill her. How I have to educate other doctors visiting my wife that they can’t do what they are suggesting because of allergies and or because of her medical condition due to previous surgeries. They really do not have time to understand their patients and have to make decisions that are life-threatening. I’ve said this before, I believe all doctors and nurses need to be admitted to a hospital for a week and have them rely on other medical practitioners to make decisions on their care and see what can happen. Maybe then they can understand what they put us through when we rely so much on them in our own hour of need.