Monday, December 14, 2009

JUST when you think you know your friends...

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they spring THIS crap on ya:





There go the Christmas parties at Furline's house.


Until next time,
Karen

Monday, December 7, 2009

Oh good grief!

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I have always been one of those people who screams about poor spelling. Since like, FOREVER! I was the best danged speller in high school! Misspelled words make me crazy! Unless I'm trying to write out a word 'redneck style', I make sure all my stuff is spelled good. (I didn't say nothin' 'bout no grammar, k?) Anyways, you should see how I cringe when I read one of the boss' emails. No lie! He types so fast and rarely spell checks...but what can I say? The man is the boss, right?

Anyway, I just looked at one of my recent social networking status updates. I can't believe myself: "Back on the air at Eagle after a uneventful week long vacation. I din't do SQUAT on my vakay! Boring! Good to be back!" Hrrrrrumph! "after a uneventful"...well, that should read an uneventful weeklong blah, blah, blah, and of course didn't is spelled wrong too. Don't say nothin' about vakay. I meant that one.

Anyway, I'm going to stop complaining about y'all's spelling....until I get over myself, k? K.

Leemee lone! :p

Friday, November 20, 2009

My "Top 5 Turkeys" of 2009

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And by popular demand:

MY list of the "Top 5 Turkeys" of 2009.


#5 Will Ferrell: Land of the Lost. Need I say more?





#4 Jon & Kate (does NOT include the 8): Jon, for not being able to keep the "gun in the holster" and Kate for crying about it on all 181 channels I pay good money for!





#3 Octomom: Betting your older kids are embarrassed for you to come to PTA meetings.





#2 Richard Heene, Balloon Boy's dad: Seriously, dude. HOW LONG did you think you were going to get away with that hoax? I'm just glad your little boy turned you in before you wasted MORE tax payer dollars...AND rewarded with book deals and stuff that you CLEARLY don't deserve!





#1 Kanye: Not only did you ruin the night for Taylor, you also ruined it for Beyonce, people in the audience who looked forward to hearing from the winners, and scores of your very own fans who were embarrassed FOR you. Was it really worth the cost?







So, who are YOUR Top 5 Turkeys of 2009?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

When to thaw the bird...

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I posted a blurb about this on Facebook the other day. Truth is, everybody thaws they bird they own way. The simplest thing to do is just buy a fresh turkey and git r dun. HOWEVER, you rarely find those at 38 cents a pound, hence the thawing the rock solid thing and praying that you don't cut yourself on an iceberg while trying to scoop out the gizzards. I HATE that! I swear, every year I manage to get Gizzard Gash!

Nestle's site says to thaw the bird for 24 hours for each 5 lbs. of bird. Another site says 24 hours for every 4 lbs. I've got a 320 pound bird. (18 lbs after thawed). Since I cook mine the night before, I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that 24 hours for every 4 or 5 pounds is a load of crap. I'm gonna clean my fridge tonight and put that thing in there and give it a WEEK to thaw.

Hopefully, I won't have any injuries to report this Thanksgiving. And if I do, may they be minimal.

Can I come to YOUR house next year? I have a better chance of surviving by bringing the green bean casserole.

Until next time,
Karen

Monday, November 9, 2009

*cough-cough* HACK! Gag!

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I haven't been on blogger so long that there are cobwebs all over the place! Dust a flyin' EVERYWHERE! Anybody got a Swiffer?

Okay, seriously. Where have I been, you ask? (you asked, right?) Well, besides working hard for the Race for the Cure, I've actually been working to clear my own house of the cobwebs and stuff. It's amazing what collects when the weather's warm and you ain't never home. So far, I'm close to done cleaning all of the closets and cabinets and such. I just got ruthless and started throwing out stuff and donating stuff I don't use anymore. I figured, if I got to think longer than 5 minutes about whether I'm going to use it or not, then I just throw it out or donate it. That train of thought came back to bite me in the butt on Saturday. Apparently, I was too quick to give away the gravy boat, so I had to serve the gravy in an empty "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" container. Now, I'm giving myself 10 minutes to ponder a possession before I toss it.

I'm also working on "Big Dummies - Volume 2." In Volume 1, only a few stories made the cut. This time, I'm not leaving any of my collection out. I don't want to take time trying to decide what should go in, dagnabbit. I have enough trouble trying to figure out which shoes goes with which purse. I think that's enough trauma to the nerves. So yeah, D2 will definitely be BIGGER. By the way, my friend Tammy wants more pictures in D2. (she's got that whole "hate to read" argument going again.) If you got any you'd like to donate to the book, send 'em to karen@eagle97.com. They must be your own photos, not those you ripped off from the internet, k? K.
Don't think D2 going to be ready in time for the holidays, but it will definitely be ready for the Spring. And just like Dummies 1 and Amazing Trace, all proceeds benefit the Tidewater Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Until next time,
Luv ya!
Karen

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Cry fest

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Going through a crying spell, but know why. It's something I can't help right now, but the tears are cleansing and I'm embracing it.
Ginni's birthday is on the 10th of October...and I'm missing her. Plus, the Race for the Cure is on the 17th. This is something I do as a birthday present for her. I'm a little sad this time around because team membership is down and so are donations. I guess it's the recession. Still, it's sad to see such low numbers this year. I'm praying for a miracle between now and the deadline. If there isn't one, I know it's not because of a lack of trying. I'm giving it everything I've got. It's stories like this one that make all the hard work and tears worthwhile:

Diabetes Medication May Get New Life as Cancer Treatment


Maybe in our lifetime, someone else's sister will be cured. I hope...and pray.


Happy birthday Ginni.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

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No, it's not Friday yet Steve. Quit asking! :p

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

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If Billy Mays is dead, why is he still selling me crap? Furthermore, why am I still buying the crap? Where the hell is my Jupiter Jack???

Emails from Crazy People

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Emails From Crazy People

A useful link when you are bored to tears and everything on TV is either a reality show, a repeat, or downright boring.

Check it out! There are some real winners in there! Like this one:

* Customer (Sam H)* 05/12/2009 03:21 PM
This is going to sound strange, but what does your Catfish Charlie Blood Catfish Dip Bait taste like? It's item IK-111006 in your internet. I think my girlfriend may have tricked me into eating some of it on a cracker. It tastes what I imagine rotten fish would taste like. She cried, saying it was a cheese spread she’d been working on all day, but that may have been faking. It turned my stomach like nothing before and I spewed, so I don’t think I’m poisoned or anything. I think it was the catfish bait because she wouldn’t eat any (says she’s lactose intolerant or some horse ****) and she wouldn’t let me take any to her mom in the retirement home because she’s on a strict diet. So do you think it was catfish bait or just some really bad cheese spread?
* Auto-Response* 05/12/2009 03:21 PM
*Date Created: * 05/12/2009 03:21 PM
*Last Updated: * 05/12/2009 03:24 PM
*Question Type: * Product – Technical/Recommendation

* Subject*
This is going to sound strange, but what does your Catfish Charlie Blood Catf…’
* Discussion Thread*
* Response (Shane H.)* 05/12/2009 03:24 PM

Hello Sam,

Thank you for visiting our Product Information Department,

Unfortunately I couldn’t locate anyone who has tasted the catfish bait, so we don’t know what it tastes like. Sorry about that. I would have to go with really bad cheese spread. If you have further questions feel free to e-mail us again, or log on to our “live chat” page. You can click on “Customer Service” at the top of any of our webpages, we would be happy to assist you.
Sincerely,
Shane


Heh. And I thought I got crazy stuff in MY inbox!

Enjoy! And don't eat no Catfish bait.

Til next time,
Karen

Friday, September 4, 2009

For my crazy daughters....

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Don't say I never gave you anything. :D

All my love,
Mom

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Online Community Players

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I am a member of two or three online communities. Not sure whether it's two or three now since I visit them rarely anymore. Only when there's nothing on TV, or I beat the latest Facebook game. These days, I like to go just to catch up and chat a little bit, til I get bored. But like a soap opera, you miss a month, you usually end up where you left off. Another thing that hasn't changed: The roles we assume when we participate in these online communities. A friend of mine posted a link when he got fed up with members constant PMS. (posting mean shhhhh-tuff). It's great for a chuckle when you find yourself wondering why ya signed up for the danged thing anyway. It's also a funny way to find out what role you assumed when you chose to get your stupid-self involved in a petty community argument.

Ladies and Gentlemen enjoy: The Flame Warriors by Mike Reed

The funniest thing I find about this site is, as fed up as the author was when he wrote out the roles, he still created a community!

Eh, we love it and we know it. LOL.

Til next time.
Karen

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Tidewater Komen Race For The Cure

1 comments
For the fourth year in a row, I have accepted the challenge to raise funds to support the Tidewater Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure in its efforts to end breast cancer forever,which a woman has a 1 in 8 chance of developing in her lifetime. I will also take part in the Komen Tidewater Race for the Cure as part
of this program.

Please help support me in this important project by contributing
generously to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Your tax-deductible
contribution will fund services in the Tidewater and Southeast
Virginia area that include education, screening, treatment and patient
support.. It is faster and easier than ever to support this great
cause - you can make your donation online by simply clicking on the
link here: http://www.info-komen.org/goto/raceforginni

Whatever you can give will help...it all adds up!
I greatly appreciate your support and will keep you posted on my
progress.

Sincerely,

Karen West

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Trace's Journey site news

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For several years now, I have been keeping my sister's website www.tracesjourney.com updated for her. She asked me to take it over about 2 years before she passed. She would always keep me up to date with the content that she wanted added to the site.

Recently, I felt moved to take the site to a new direction. I really believe it was her inspiring me.

After meeting so many survivors and new patients with different concerns, I decided it was time to address questions and post helpful links on Ginni's site for ALL cancer survivors. I am hoping to receive input from health care professionals and those in the health insurance field. I am collecting information from reliable sources for those in need. There are some who are uninsured and underinsured who are frightened and need to know where to turn. There are others with family history and symptoms who are unable to get an appointment quickly because of the influx of patients in doctor's offices due to influenza, and they're stressing. There are others who have been diagnosed and are being treated, but are going through depressive periods and "chemo-brain". These are just a few areas of concern.

If anyone knows of links to helpful websites, please feel free to share them with me here, or email karen@tracesjourney.com. If you are in the healthcare field, I would love any information you can share about cancer, research, questions for the physician, etc. From survivors, I would really love to hear from you. What were your concerns when you were first diagnosed? How did you handle the situation? Your experience could help someone else in their time of need. At www.tracesjourney.com, there is an area for survivors to begin their own blog and you may feel free to use it. Anything you can share about your experience and how you are recovering can be very beneficial.

Trace's Journey is also on Twitter. Follow us at www.twitter.com/TracesJourney

My brother Ken and I are in the process of reworking the site. Whatever suggestions you can offer for content that would help those battling cancer and their caregivers is most gratefully appreciated.

Thank you so MUCH!

Here's to doing our part to raise awareness, and help end cancer forever...

Karen

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

www.thatsucks.net

2 comments
Tomorrow, April 15th, is National "That Sucks" Day. It always falls on Tax Day. Tonight, I'm claiming this "That Sucks" Eve. Having a sucky evening. Got a headache and I'm not sure if it's all that pollen or just stress. Even though I don't know what the heck I'd be stressing about. I don't feel any stress.
Oh yeah. I take that back. Just bought a black car and besides the pollen, a Condor flew over and did his bidness all over the hood! And it rained. So it's now runny pollen and Condor poo. Sigh. Maybe that's why I got this sucky headache. Tried taking Tylenol, but that sucked. Didn't work at all. Still throbbin'. Wondering if a pot of coffee and a bag of Oreos would help? Nah, that would suck. I'd be up all night and I can't do that.

Anyway, I got a headache and it sucks...

But my hair looks cute.

So there's an upside to this story.

Going to bed now.

Hope you have an unsucky Tax Day.

Just thinking out loud, (and that hurts!)

Karen

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

"Minute 6"

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Tomorrow marks the 4 year anniversary of Ginni's passing. Somehow, it only feels as though it was a couple of months ago. Around this time of year, I have a minor little meltdown. It still hurts. I know some wish I would get over myself, but that's not going to happen they way they expect it to. I have to do it my own way. Ginni was a major part of my life. There were days when Ginni was my backbone when I freaked out over insignificant dramas. And there were days when I held her up when she took her "5 minute cry." And I now use her "minute 6" tool to get through those meltdowns. Let me explain.

Ginni told me that I was allowed to mourn for 5 minutes...and on minute six, I needed to get over myself. It didn't matter how many 5 minute intervals I took...just as long as I took the sixth minute to look at the blessings that I do have.

Today started out particularly rough for me. Four years ago today, I rushed Ginni to Portsmouth Naval Hospital in a last ditch effort to save her life. When we're in situations where we have no control, we do unexplainable things in order to get the ball back in our court. People will stare and think we've totally lost our minds. Example, you're on an airplane and you're frightened. You don't go to sleep because you believe the pilot may need your help if there's a crisis. Yeah, that mentality. Funny, huh?

I took her to the hospital that day and told every medical professional there that we had to go back to National Institutes of Health for our stem cell trial because she was too weak for the surgery and will have to continue when she feels better. (NIH actually sent us home so she could be with her family on her last days.) I told them all that Ginni just needed to be hydrated or something. They humored me and they took her back to examine her. It wasn't long before I was paid a visit by several doctors to give me the devastating truth. One I knew already, but one I wasn't ready to accept. I had to let her go. At 1:50 am the following morning, she opened her eyes to heaven and then closed them for the last time.

Today, I'm thinking about the 5 minute rule, and on the sixth minute I count the blessings. I remember a week before Ginni died, we were visited by family and friends. Ginni was asked what she had done over the years that she hadn't seen these people. She said, "I got to travel to beautiful places in the world like Germany. I had three beautiful children. I went to college after I was diagnosed with breast cancer and got me a little degree...and worked in family law. I have done so much in my little life and I am grateful."

I think about that day and reflect on all the wonderful things that I have done in my "little" life too. If I were to leave this earth tomorrow, I would know that I too had done so many things in my own "little" life. I learned to scuba dive and dove shipwrecks in the graveyard of the Atlantic. I learned to ride a motorcycle and rode my bike to so many beautiful places. I've met so many people and celebrities...and some are still very good friends. I learned to dance for the local Dancing With Our Stars event and had so much fun, continued to take lessons. I gave my sister my stem cells. I got to be part of a clinical trial at National Institutes of Health. I got to be part of the healing process! I helped raise money for various cancer charities and have met so many wonderful survivors who benefit from the research...and their positive outlook on life had helped me become a stronger and better person. I have written two books to benefit the cause. I have FOUR gorgeous daughters and awesome grandchildren. A loving dog and cat who worship me whenever they see me.

So yes, If today were my last day on earth, I can honestly say that I've had a full little life. And for that, I am so grateful and blessed.

This post was my "minute 6." Thank you Ginni for leaving me with that tool to help me through the tough times. I love you.


Karen

Friday, March 6, 2009

Aww shucks. It was nothin' but dumb luck.

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I thought I had Mercury in Retrograde as an excuse for this weird week, but I just checked and that doesn't happen again til May.

Still, it was a weird week for stuff. First of all, SNOW in Hampton Roads on the second day of March. Well, that messed us all up. And I'm just like most everybody out there and I don't wanna drive in that mess. So, I had somebody else drive me. Somebody who has experience with snow storms in the Northern parts of these here United States. Yeah, I'm a chicken. But I got to the job okay. Can't say much for a lot of other folks. There were piles of torn up cars on interstate 64...there was even one that was upside down! Anyway, it took nearly 3 hours to get in that morning and nearly 2 hours to get home. Next day, it took me 2 hours to get to work and 2 to get home. No more snow on the ground. The same for Wednesday and Thursday. I did NOT understand that one bit! Usually, at the time I commute, there may be a backup about once or twice a week. NOT every day! So, it was just plumb weird. I did notice that there were big chunks of ice on the road inside the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel for several days in a row. I know they keep that tunnel pretty clean, so I'm assuming that this may be ice debris from our cars and trucks. Ice chunks flying from vehicles is probably what caused most of the wrecks inside the tunnel this week. We all should really do our part to make sure that we don't have that stuff on our cars before we take off on our commute. Every little bit helps, ya know?

Tammy had a weird time too. A couple of days ago, she had to go to Portsmouth Naval Hospital to get a Neupogen shot. For those who don't know, Tammy is a cancer survivor. She came down with this rotten flu that's been going around, and she had to do what was necessary to take care of herself. Her immune system is compromised enough, she didn't need to try to fight this cold if her body wasn't going to help her out. Well, TWO vehicles gave her trouble. The battery died in her car so she took her mother's, which ended up flashing the "check engine" light for one reason or another...and started acting all funky and stuff. Good news is, she got to her destination. And today, she's feeling a little better. Back to her crazy old self. I know. I talked to her this morning and she's ready to kick my butt if I don't pick her up and take her to get a Starbucks soon. I'm trying to get over the flu myself, so I won't be able to defend myself. I guess I'll pick her up tomorrow for coffee. Sheesh. Anyway, I'm happy she's feeling better.

Anyway, long story short, the planets aren't lined up all funny, so all the crazy stuff was just chance. And a gentle reminder to take a deep breath...and practice patience. None of this stuff was life altering. Not worth the extra worry that ends up being taxing on the body. It's also a reminder to be more conscientious about our vehicles!

Choose your battles wisely, and save your energy for the REAL war. (Thank you Ginni)

By the way, I really don't believe in that "Mercury In Retrograde" thingy. It might be true, I don't know. But yeah, it's fun to think about when things look weirder than usual.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Potty Talk...

2 comments
For years, there has been a general debate in my world about the strangest topics dealing with the family bathroom. We can't seem to all agree on it, so we agree to disagree.

Let's start with topic one - Toilet Paper: Over? Or under? My husband and I agree that the toilet paper should feed OVER. GOOD! Because I'd have to divorce him. I'd hate to have to explain that in divorce court. My grandparents? Well, I don't know how we grew up with them. They prefer theirs to feed UNDER. My sis Ginni used to go in all of their bathrooms and flip the TP around. Whenever Gramma came out of the potty, she was fit to be tied. I don't think my Granddaddy really minded. Just so long as there was toilet paper and he didn't have to replace the roll. My best friend Tammy? 99 percent of the time, she doesn't even put the TP on the roll. I guess she just wants to avoid conflict. Odd. I've never known her to be a big chicken. So anyway, which way do you prefer? Over? Or under? Don't say that UNDER is the proper way to hang the toilet paper, because I can guarantee you that there will be a big discussion going on here. Unless you don't mind debates, then let 'er rip...uh, the debate, that is.

Topic two: Reading in the powder room. I have TWO friends who feel strongly about this. (I can't believe it!) Neither one of them believe in reading in the potty. Not at ALL. No matter HOW long you plan to stay in there. One of my friends says that it ain't natural. I say, "whut?" Not even the back of a shampoo bottle? Nope. He claims that you should do your bidness and get the heck out....and for nearly 30 minutes, he stood on his soapbox about why one should not read in the potty. I don't remember a danged thing he said. But if I had to guess why he was so hotheaded about the subject, I'd say that he was raised in a houseful of sisters and only one bathroom. My other friend who doesn't believe in reading in the potty just said, "I don't read in the bathroom", and that's it. She didn't bore us with the details. Lord, I love her. But I don't agree with her. I mean, after all...





...even Storm Troopers read in the loo.


And that's good enough for me.


Just thinking out loud. Until next time...


Karen

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A new day...

3 comments
It's been a few days since I blogged my feelings about my experience at one particular emergency room. I know it's not a popular opinion. It was borderline controversial. I rarely get involved with controversial subjects. I don't even like to talk politics with friends, family or anybody! But sometimes you just have to stand up for what's right. I know this post has ticked off a couple of people, but that's not going to deter me from speaking up about it. And I hope that because I did, I made a positive difference.

Let me clear up a few things. I do not have a problem with medical professionals at all. If you know me, then you know that I admire them. I work close with several, and I respect them. My problem is this: I've had TWO bad experiences at ONE particular ER. Front desk only. I had only been there twice and both times the experience was deplorable. What set me off was the two women who worked the front desk when I arrived two weeks ago. I never made it to triage...heck, Ginni didn't even make it to triage, so I have no opinion or experience with any other part of that department. I walked out once the two tried to push me off on each other. This happened right in front of me! Like I wasn't even there! I knew I was in trouble, especially when neither would make eye contact with me. I walked out the best I could. I probably looked drunk, and they probably assumed that I was. And they both let me go, just like that. I didn't see whether either one of them even looked up. But my guess is, probably not. If my husband would have known which hospital I was going to after our experience with Ginni, he would have never let me go there. I had assumed that this was something that rarely happened, so the previous experience didn't even cross my mind. Besides, I was in so much pain, I had to get to the closest one. Maybe this was God's way of saying that something is still not right with that place and it was time to speak out. This went beyond disturbing when one of our posters here had a problem at the same hospital. I know, because she emailed her experience to me with the name of the hospital. She too was told to go there by her doctor. She never made it to triage either. She went to another hospital and was hospitalized for three days.

I am very grateful to the woman who took over the front desk there by the time my husband arrived to ask for the names of the women. She knew what happened and was genuinely concerned. She offered to help, but my husband had already taken me elsewhere. She gave my husband the names and the hotline number. I am grateful to the woman from the hotline who called my husband back. I just found out that I met her at the Relay for Life last year. Great lady.

The lady at the front desk at the ER that eventually took care of me was nothing but respectful and helpful. Not just to me, but to everyone. Matter of fact, I took my daughter to that same ER a couple of months ago. She had broken her leg in two places. We had to wait a little bit, but the lady working the front desk was even-tempered, helpful and got the job done. There was only one of her and nearly a full house. She was there when I arrived two weeks ago. When she saw the woman with messy hair, no make-up, sweats and a long ratty coat come in complaining of chest pains, she didn't see somebody coming in for a "free ride", she immediately went and got a nurse to put me on an EKG. It was done, over. She was already on to the next patient. She did not judge me when I walked in the door and for that, I'm grateful.

Therefore, I cannot agree with this statement from the first anonymous poster,

The unfortunate part is that the ER has grown a tolerance to suffering since nearly EVERY PERSON who presents reports symptoms as if they were on death's door, as if to drum up sympaty or a sense of urgency from the hospital staff.


Those first words, "grown a tolerance to suffering" floored me. This kind of thinking can completely wipe away the hope of anyone who enters ER requiring care. But I feel safe to say that this is NOT the attitude of everybody who works in ER, so the person who wrote this CANNOT speak for ALL.

My husband did NOT detect that attitude at all with the woman who took over the front desk at the hospital in question. And I surely didn't see that with the woman who worked at the second hospital. She treated everyone with respect.

In conclusion, my advice to the first two posters and the two women at the front desk of Hospital A is this: Do NOT have a preconceived notion of what the next patient is like, otherwise, that patient's family may have grounds for a lawsuit.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Please read this. I don't want this happening to anyone else.

20 comments
I am very VERY raw in my heart and my head, and I need to get this out in the open. Maybe my story will help someone else in the future, and will encourage hospital workers to turn in their co-workers if they suspect them of being negligent with their patients. (The hospitals names, with the exception of National Institutes of Health, are not mentioned to protect those who work there and care about their patients.)

Let me start with a month before my sister Ginni passed. March of 2005. Before our last trip to National Institutes of Health to continue our stem cell trial, Ginni was suffering from so much bone pain, she needed some relief. I was told to take her up to the closest hospital ER and have them contact NIH. Anyway, I was still at work at the time..so my family took her to (hospital A) and I met them there. When I got there, Ginni was in the waiting room...wearing a mask...around a full room of people with the sniffles. The hospital front desk had already been informed and had her paperwork detailing her illness. (Those who followed our story know that her immune system was zapped to make room for my immune system that she was about to receive.) When I got to (hospital A) and saw Ginni in pain in that waiting room (and had been there for an hour), I took action. I went to the receptionist, and explained that Ginni had cancer, had no immune system, and had to get away from sick people a.s.a.p. The receptionist didn't listen. I took Ginni's scarf off her head and told them to look at her. Still nothing. Then I said to move her NOW. At that time, they immediately took Ginni to a room and away from all of the sick people. There, I sat with her...and we waited another two hours. Ginni was in excruciating pain but needed to go to the bathroom and asked me to help her there. I did. Ginni was there less than 5 minutes. When we got back to the bed, somebody was in her bed!!!! We asked the woman why she was there and she said the nurse had just brought her in there. At that time, Ginni said to take her home. We would make the drive up to NIH the next day. Ginni said that all (hospital A) saw when she arrived was dollar signs.

Fast forward to two weeks ago. For a few months, I had been suffering from heart palpitations. Original diagnosis in November at (hospital B ER) was atrial fibrillation brought on by low potassium. I was put on a beta blocker by ER and given 2 potassium supplements and referred to a cardiologist. Cardiologist said my potassium was still too low and gave me a prescription for 30 days. And to continue taking the other prescriptions I had. My family doctor told me to stay on the beta blocker, so I did. The palpitations steadily starting getting worse....two weeks ago, I suffered chest pain and could barely get out of bed. I didn't want to disturb anybody...so I stupidly drove myself to ER. (hospital A ER. The same one where Ginni had the horrible experience.) I went to the front desk and there were two women there. Neither one would look up to acknowledge me. I said I need help and I was having chest pains. Still, neither would acknowledge me. I know they heard me. I then said that I was going to sit down because I was in pain. A couple of minutes later, a woman came up and grabbed a pad and started filling it out. A pad that was not on the front desk when I arrived. She took the pad back up to the two women and they gave her a beeper like you'd get if you were waiting for a table at Outback Steakhouse. I went back up to the desk and told them I had been waiting and I needed help. I was having chest pains. One of them finally looked up and said, "You need to let somebody know you're here." I told her I did. And then the two women started fighting over who WASN'T going to help me. Both were way to busy. My chest hurt so bad. I walked out the door and back to my car. I couldn't drive anymore. I called my husband and told him what happened. He came to ER and picked me up and took me to another ER. When I got to (hospital B) ER, my pulse was down to 50 and dropping. My blood pressure was 90/60. After the tests were run, it was the beta blocker that was doing it and the ER doctor said to get off of it immediately and he called my cardiologist.

I am now off the beta blocker and no palpitations at all. The cardiologist ran more test and told me that I am predisposed to low potassium and it's dangerous to get as low as I did. I'm on a potassium rich diet and a higher dose of potassium TFN. I feel so much better.

Anyway, I contacted (hospital A) via email twice and they have not responded to either email. My husband got the names of both women at (hospital A) while I was in (hospital B) ER. There was another woman at the desk of (hospital A) who was aware of what happened with me, and gave him the names and the hot line number. She also told him that those women should not have let me walk out of there...chest pains are always to be taken straight back.

Well, he called the hot line and hasn't heard anything yet either.

I don't want ANYTHING out of this except that NO ONE ever be treated like this again. I am NOT a lawsuit kind of girl. I AM one who protects those with illness, and I'll be damned if I ever see another cancer patient go through what Ginni did. Or a heart patient die because of negligence.

I DO encourage you to share this with your friends and family and those who are health care providers and encourage them to speak up against those who are neglecting patients. It is not my intention to trash the health care industry. It is my desire to do my part to help make it better. It is also my desire to clear my heart of what happened so I can move on. I'm still very raw because of this.

I hope you can all understand.

Thank you for reading.

Karen

**Update** (Hospital A) has contacted me via email to say that my original email has been forwarded and I should hear something soon.

***Update #2***: I want to thank the ER Administrator at (hospital A) for contacting me and telling me that strides have been made to improve employee/patient communication in ER. She also told me what should have happened, but did not on that day and did apologize for it. Apology accepted. And what I really wanted has been done. To fix the problem. After the conversation I had with her, I believe she will make sure that happens. I hope to rest better knowing that the next emergency case is going to be taken care of properly. Perhaps I should have taken that matter to the ER administrator when Ginni's care was so poor. But Ginni's health was failing, and she was all I could think about. I didn't have the energy. Anyway, if I can help it, it won't happen to anyone else.


By the way...if you're ever having chest pains, DON'T drive yourself to the hospital. Get someone else, or call an ambulance. Okay? Just don't do it. I did, and that was stupid.



Update #3: I think I need to clarify in light of the two recent comments: My family doctor told me to go to ER and knew I was on the way.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Random thoughts....

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This mess is just a plethora of stuff rolling through my head right now. Thought I'd stick 'em here so I'd quit thinking about them and think of other stuff that's more important...like Cheez Whiz. By the way, don't ever put Cheez Whiz in the microwave. That mess is nasty.


1.) Even though the Sarah McLaughlin commercial about animal cruelty really touches my heart and has me crying like a depressed goat, I want to know WHY that commercial is run every other hour on the Spike Channel. The MAN channel???? C'mon! To all those goobers who placed that ad in the worst possible places, I've got news for you! Whenever that commercial runs on Spike, my husband gets up and grabs another beer. I'm sure he's not the only man to take a break...I mean that commercial is as long as an infomercial anyway. That's bathroom time with a magazine in tow. You're wasting your advertising dollars.
And shame on you for running it in the middle of "1000 Ways to Die." That's wrong on so many levels.


2.) Okay....NO!!!!!!! NO!!!!! No, to the HAIL NO!!!!! The guy in Quincy, Mass. who's selling the Casey Anthony doll on Ebay: WHAT IN THE BLANK IS WRONG WITH YOU?




Fox News Story


On the upside, you didn't get any bids...BUT, didn't you even feel the least bit sleazy for doing that? YOU....BIG....DUMMY!


3. I like crayons.


4. To all those folks making fun of White House Press Secretary Robert Gibb's pink neckties: The man is tough enough to wear pink! Go Robert Gibbs! Now, if he said that he was wearing it to raise breast cancer awareness, then I'd be an even bigger fan!





You da man, Robert! Don't let anybody tell you any different!


5. Charlie's Seafood in Virginia Beach makes the best She-Crab soup on the planet. And I'm gonna get me some for dinner!


Okay, that's it. My brain is empty now. No comments from my friends, or I'll tell everybody how many brain cells you guys operate on. It ain't pretty, I swear.

Still thinking out loud,
Karen

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Just call me "Shark Bait."

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Where did this month go??? Oh yeah, it's a short one...I plumb forgot.

Anyway, it's time for me to update this. I've had 84,000 things go on this month and I don't feel like getting into any of that. Boooooooooring. Whiney........and downright pathetic. So let me just take this time to delve into other people's bidness.

Octo-Mom. I'm sick of hearing about her. Even bad publicity IS publicity and I think she's enjoying any she can get. So I ain't giving her any NO MORE after this. I'm done. She's crazy. Okay, now I'm done.

The Oscars. Boy were THEY crap. I don't even know if the movies were good or not because I hadn't seen any of them. Not even Batman. I don't like Batman. Why wasn't "Nights In Rodanthe" nominated? Oh, that's right. To borrow a phrase from my brother-in-law Emile, "Horses on a beach." I guess that means it was too "chick-ish." I was probably the only one who loved it. Or the only one who admits it.

The Economy. Dang. I wish the media would try to give us a little inkling of hope. I would love to wake up one morning and not hear the word "economy" in every other sentence. I actually read where beer sales and shark attacks are down because of the economy, LIKE THAT'S A BAD THING. Now I ask...what the hell??? Those stories should have had a more positive tone! People are not drinking themselves to death because of the economy. And about that shark attack story. That thing should not have been written. Shark attacks are down because nobody can afford to take a vacation? OMG...I almost wrote a letter to the editor. PLEASE, try to keep "the economy" out of this one, will ya??? Why couldn't it have been explained that more people are aware of shark attacks after the influx of attacks over the last few years, and they are being more careful? No...of COURSE not! A story like that won't sell papers. HEY, I couldn't afford to take a vacation last year either...but I live at the BEACH! What about those of us who live at the beaches, huh? What about me??? Want I should jump in the water and ring a dinner bell or something? "Karen West stimulates the economy by throwing herself to the sharks." Please.

No, I'm not drinking. I can't afford it. Bad economy, ya know.
I'm just thinking out loud.

Til next time,
Karen

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

People in the news that I would just love to slap.

2 comments
Some may not agree with me for what I'm about to rant about, but I have to get it off my chest before I scream.

About the woman in California who just gave birth to Octuplets. Sure, she made news. Thank God all the children were born alive...and I am going to pray every day that these children are taken care of. Why? Because this mother scares the be-heebies out of me. She's making demands? She's charging Oprah 2.2 millions dollars for an interview that Oprah hasn't even asked for yet? She's shopping for book deals, etc.? Yeah, she stands to make a mint for having all of those babies. She is unemployed, single, has other children, and her parents living with her. She had artificial insemination. Where in the Sam Hell did she get the money for that??? Her parents have had to bail her out of financial trouble before. She doesn't sound like she's all together. Those poor babies. :(

http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/health/2009/02/03/kaye.octuplet.mom.cnn


Next up on my list of people I would like to slap. Some of the survivors from the United Airlines flight that made the landing in the Hudson River? It's not enough to be grateful to be alive. Some even said that United was too busy patting themselves on the back to do anything for them monetarily.
Let me get this straight. They survived. United started them out with 5000 to replace the baggage they lost, they are working with the insurance companies to pay above and beyond after the investigation is over, and a handful of the passengers are already holding their hands out and complaining??? OH MY GOD!!! COULD YOU GIVE IT SOME TIME??? Find out what's happening with the insurance first! You're looking WAY too greedy! Kiss the family that you almost left behind! Thank God that you were given another chance! Bite your tongue with your complaints and be glad that United is not having to pay for funerals. I agree the passengers deserve fair compensation for what happened, even though the problem was caused by a flock of geese, but these complaints of theirs just make them sound like they are not grateful to be alive. I'm really sick about this. But...we should have known it was going to happen.

http://www.theinsider.com/news/1612675_Hudson_River_crash_survivors_upset_by_US_Airways_treatment

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Technical & Customer Support Rant

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Today, I think I am fed up with asking for technical or customer support for anything. Either the technicians I deal with think EVERYBODY is a moron, or they just don't want to deal with us. Either way, they'd better starting caring...or get another job.

Case in point, twice now I've had issues with a website I used to publish my latest book. I had used them before...for research and uploading. When I had these issues, I did EVERY possible thing I could do on my end. Clear cache, history, reboot, try another computer on another server, etc. When all of that failed, I emailed customer support to tell them the problem, give them the error messages and tell them what I have done on my end to try to remedy the problem, I got an email explaining that I should clear cache, history, reboot...etc, etc, etc, the same thing that I had already done. It was not a form letter, it was the "solution" to my problem. I sent them another email and told them to read the letter again. Two weeks later, I got an email that said that they were having some website issues at that time. Funny, because the first question I asked them on the original email was, "Are there problems with your site today?"

Today, Snopes.com got on my last nerve. I am neither a customer nor did I need technical support, but I was still treated like an imbecile. I received an email forward that I hadn't seen before. I always go to Snopes.com first to see if it's just another email hoax or what. Found nothing. Used their search and tried every keyword possible. I also Google-searched for more info on the email. Granny LiePie said it was false but didn't say why...it was just their opinion. I had never heard of Granny LiePie, so I kept searching. The rest of the pages were just copies of the email I received. Nothing about whether it was true or false. I submitted it to Snopes.com. I told them that I had tried searching their site and nothing. I received an email an hour later telling me that they covered this on their site...and I should try using their search to find it! Didn't even give me the link to where they covered it! Arrrrrrrrrgh. Are you KIDDING ME?

I ain't even gonna try to call any of these techs. Why should I? So I can go through hours of voice prompts? Or get the same answers when I finally DO get a human?

If these people don't wake up, they're going to be the subject of my next book: "Big Dummies: Volume 2". I ain't playing.

WE ARE NOT STUPID! QUIT TREATING US AS THOUGH WE ARE!

Nuf said.

I need a nap.

Til next time,

Karen

Monday, January 26, 2009

GAH!!!

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Know why bears hibernate? Cuz the weather is crap.

Cold and cloudy weather makes me sleeeeeeeeeeeeepy too! I could drink up the Kiln Creek Starbucks store's supply of espresso and this crappy weather would still make me wanna put on my flannels and grab my blankey. I could sleep for 14 hours straight and still have Samsonite baggage under my eyes.

Suckage. :( I want SPRING! Wah.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Coming February!

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Buy it online here!

All proceeds sponsor the "Race For Ginni" team at the 2009 Tidewater Affiliate Race For The Cure in October at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront!



Saturday, January 10, 2009

Karen, the wannabe author!

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Big Dummies - Volume 1 is now finished and awaiting a February release. It's a collection of my favorite and most memorable big dummy stories that were too good not to share. It's a quick read, cute little bathroom reader and ALL of the proceeds will sponsor the "Race For Ginni" team at the 2009 Race For The Cure at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront.

Big Dummies - Volume 1 will be available at Eagle roadshows for a mere 10 bucks. For 10 bucks, you can laugh at someone else's expense and save lives at the same time. They will also be available online, (but it'll be more expensive to buy 'em that way. You know, the company who makes 'em and sells 'em online wants their share!) So I encourage you to buy them at roadshows. That way I can sign 'em for ya and meet ya face to face.

Big Dummies - Volume 2: A Dummy a Day for a Year is now in the works! I've been working on it since before the holidays. There are a few fun ideas that my friends have suggested for the book, and they are on the drawing board already! I'm really looking forward to making them work. I will keep you up to date.

I'm also working on a collection of Angel stories. I have been receiving lots of email with personal stories since the "Angels" segment aired on WVEC-TV last November. I have been journaling them in my own words, along with a few of my own, for personal inspiration. Not sure what I'm going to do with them yet, but if there is interest in the project, I may release it as a special for the holidays to benefit childhood cancer research. I'm mulling that idea around.

Anyway, besides hanging out with you guys, I have planned a very good 2009 for myself and I'm looking forward to every minute!

Look for Big Dummies - Volume 1 at a roadshow near you!

Karen