Can I erase my medical record?

It depends on what country you live in. As a rule of thumb, them more computerized the country is, the lesser your chances are of that ole suicide attempt fading into obscurity. In fact, over in the USA, it’s gonna get worse.

If you have insurance, you are more likely to be tracked. Caid/Care are the worst for that.

Pray for a red tape error. Spell your name wrong. Or goof your SSN by one digit. Mix up an 8 with a 5, or a 7 with a 1.  Or two numbers that sound alike. Nine and five.  Then chew them out for getting it wrong in a few months when they claim you owe them hundreds of thousands of dollars for an ER visit, just to cover your ass. Be sure your name is written wrong on that plaster cast they put on your leg, too.  Don’t worry, if you got a mile-long name, like one of those nice Russian names, they’ll spell it wrong, anyway.

You were never on meds. Never seen a shrink. But your brother’s a lawyer. A medical malpractice lawyer. Your sister is a human rights worker. And…let’s see. You got a nest egg somewhere. Tied up in a Swiss bank.

You got rich, powerful parents who don’t take shit from peons such as shrinks. Your dad owns all the major newspapers, you know, Murdoch, Bill Gates..well, don’t get too fancy about it cuz they’ll assume you got delusions of grandeur.

On every psych ward there’s always some nut on the phone with an imaginary lawyer. I always wondered about that. That gal got pissed off at something and then went running to the phone.

Staff would shake their heads. Wow, she’s nuts. What else she got? A fancy car or two? A mansion somewhere?

Really, if you know, say….what’s that guy’s name? The movie star guy who is Scientologist. Tell the staff you gonna call him, he’s your cousin. I can picture him but I am blanking out on the name.

Elvis? Naw, that won’t work. He’s dead. If you say you are talking to Elvis you will get some free Clozapine.

Please don’t give the Clozapine to your cat. Do you want cat drool all over your pillow tonight?

Toss the shit out the window. Gimme some real dope. This stuff is a bad trip.

Okay, now I recall. Tom Cruise.

Tell me, why are Scientologists rich? Or maybe the ones we know about, no?

I wanna be rich, too. Couple of cars in the yard, cats in the garage.

Aw, no, it’s the other way around. Green grass, too. Feather bed, ten mattresses high. Make that a double or queen. To hell with mental health. I need sex. Bad.

When you’re done with all that, you will have forgotten about that noose you put up in the basement. I think the shrinks will run away very quickly.

You are free now. That done the trick. At your service. Anytime. And don’t forget to pay the copay on your way out.

I’m dangerous. Who are you? Are you dangerous, too?

They should lock up people like me. After all, I had intense desire to kill today. People like me are beyond hope and should be forever incarcerated. I must be a sociopath.

I was sitting here at my desk. Thinking my usual devious thoughts. Oh, plotting, scheming, thinking up the worst imaginable crimes….

Never mind that. I’m a writer. We think of stuff like this all the time.

But seriously, I am so close to murder right now that I’ll bet anyone, if they knew, would be shaking all over. I might attack at random. Quick, where’s that panic button? Get security. Fast.  This writer is dangerous.

I was sitting here at my desk. I was triggered. I mean, dangerously triggered. I heard the sound. Oh, that sound!

“Waaaaaaaaaah!”

Me? Kill? Naw, I don’t have the heart to do it.  I didn’t even swat at it.  I’m no good at being dangerous. I put up a mosquito net, and I’m happily back to work.

Fun

There’s a sale on pillows at a local store, so Jane, (a fictional character) decides her old pillow needs replacing.  She goes out to the pillow sale and buys herself the one that’s the latest “in” thing. She buys a bunch of other items as well.  She puts her usual pillowcase onto the new pillow and forgets all about it.

Six months later, she notices that she hasn’t been sleeping well for quite some time. She goes to her shrink and tells her shrink she can’t sleep. Her shrink tells her she must be manic and gives her pills.

Of course, I’ve already told you folks about the pillow. So you all know, and you want to scream to Jane, “Don’t believe the Evil Shrink!  It’s the pillow, Jane!”  This is one of those tricks that writers do, to inform the eager reader but not the character.

I could do this with memoir or blogging, too. I could tell you ahead of time, “I didn’t know, but….” and then show you the “me” that went on for a lengthy time uninformed.  I do this all the time, rather sloppily, I admit.

At any rate, my fiction about Jane could continue in various ways. She could go get a third pillow and then discover on her own that there’s a “pillow cure” to her insomnia.  Or perhaps it’s all too late for her and she’s  locked up forever or she’s died from too many pills.  Or maybe she joined antipsychiatry and became an activist and is now educating others and helping them avoid the pitfalls that she ended up in. Or maybe she’s a pillow activist, helping to spread the word about allergens in pillows and maybe you shouldn’t buy those for your kids or have them in nursing homes and day care centers. Aren’t I having fun with this story?  I love being a writer.  Maybe she committed suicide because she found insomnia to be intolerable, and never, ever found out that the pillow was the cause.

Know what else is cool?  Pill/pillow. Funny, huh?

Okay, I’m done with the story for now.  Oh no, I’m not. What about the fictional Evil Shrink?

The fictional Evil Shrink shrank in the wash, of course.

If Kafka could change a person to a grasshopper, and money can be laundered, why not throw an MD in with the same load, to save quarters?  Writers do this stuff late at night in laundromats.  See ya later.

My dog weighs two pounds less than my printer: let’s get obsessive over the scale!

Okay, I weighed Puzzle the other day and she’s a nice healthy 13-1/2 pounds. She eats whatever I put in front of her and she’s happy and healthy.  I weighed my printer. Why did I do that?

My printer seems to have no power to it.  I plug it in and…nothing. I’ve tried all the troubleshooting and finally have decided the heck with it.  The warranty is long gone.  I recall that before, Lexmark offered me a replacement for a low price, and this is no longer an option.  However, I can get an HP for not much more, and the HP inks are cheaper, on sale more frequently and easier to obtain locally. Not only that, if I am careful, I can get it delivered in a PLAIN BROWN BOX.  Lexmark always sent their printers with “PRINTER” written all over the boxes in gigantic letters, ripe and ready for any thief to grab off anyone’s porch the instant it got delivered.  How dumb is that?  I’m tired of not having a printer and having to go to the library or staples all the time.   This is wearing me out.  It’s not worth the exhausting trips back and forth or trying to keep lists in my head or hand write them with my messy handwriting and pencils that keep breaking and pens that don’t work, when I can print out lists easier in an instant with a printer.   We are so spoiled these days. But our rush-rush society kinda expects us to keep up with techno-whatever.

So I weighed my printer because I want to see how it stacks up to the ones I’m considering buying. I sure want the smallest one I can get. Not some giant clunker like the last two that you’d think should have been paying rent here as tenants! The current one is two pounds heavier than Puzzle.  I’m not kidding you.

So, had I taken the advice of so-called “eating disorders specialists” and ditched the scale, I’d have no clue how much my little doggie weighs and no clue how much the clunker old printer weighs.  I wouldn’t be sitting here chuckling away with you folks right now.

So what do we do?  Is Puzzle scrawny and does she need to gain weight?  Is her BMI “unsatisfactory”? Should we shove a tube into her, and if she refuses, threaten to call security?

On the other hand, which would you rather have snuggled next to you in bed: a nice furry warm doggie, or a hard, rectangular, mostly metal printer that doesn’t even work?  Is this a no-brainer or what? Or do you want to sleep with that scale of yours?  Mine is metal and it doesn’t snuggle too well.  You could shove the scale between your mattresses instead of next to you, and then, once you woke up, you could write a version of Princess and the Pea about how you slept…that is, if you could sleep at all.

Maybe we should all try putting peas under our mattresses and see how much complaining we end up doing. Was the pea under the mattress the REAL cause of eating disorders?  I’ll betcha anything it was.  Latest research, folks…..

I did one of those “IM” things with someone at HP (this was in some very very very faraway land, I’m sure) to see if the printer they were offering me, that was sitting in my “shopping cart” would come in a plain brown box.  However, the person said, “No, it comes with a giant photo of what’s inside right on the box.” Well, not quite in those words but almost.

Guess what I did?  You guessed it. That shopping cart got emptied very very very fast.  Got the big picture?  Yeah, sure. Big picture plus nosy neighbors means that printer ain’t gonna get to its intended recipient, dudes.

Back to the drawing board.  Or the dinner table.  Pea soup, anyone? I can reach between my twenty mattresses.  Gimme a sec.

 

Oh what a laugh…paranoia, again…..

So get this: The FBI comes knocking. Guns at my door.  Ammunition.  They say the death sentence for me.  Oh yes, there’s a transmitter lodged in my appendix, too.

I’m feeling around for it as we speak.  Oh, I’ve found it now….got it!  Grabbed it, pulled it out, yeah, okay, located it.

Now, yanked the darned thing out of my appendix and I’m cooking it up for dinner.  How yummy.

What an ordeal.  Oh, I’ve got the tape, too, took it out of the transmitter and I’m playing it as we speak. The tape they have on me, all the top secret files they’ve been keeping for years.

Are you all ears? Do you think I need to be HIGHLY MEDICATED?

Here’s that ole tape, translated word for word:

“What’s the buzz? Tell me what’s a-happening? What’s the buzz? Tell me what’s a-happening? Hey hey hey, Mrs. Robinson, Joltin’ Joe has upped and gone away, hey hey hey, hey hey hey….”

But really, I’d better watch those ole copyright laws, now shouldn’t I?  I mean, paranoia’s no excuse…..

Or should I take that tape and put it BACK into my appendix?  Quickly hide the darned thing, otherwise someone might think I’m MAD!  Or would that cause a serious infection? Would then I have to take antibiotic medication? Or am I so AGAINST any pills whatsoever…..so freaking paranoid that I sure wouldn’t dare put a tape into my body…or is it a tapeworm?  Or maybe it’s like Appendix 1, Appendix 2, Appendix 3, you know, all bunched together at the end of a lengthy document.  I could slip the ole tapeworm into one of the appendices and not one of you would even notice. Then I could call the vet and get a de-wormer. I’d just say Puzzle needed it.  Squirt the darned thing right into the document, and poof!  All my paranoia, Gone With the Wind….or would that be an old time movie? There’s no place like home.

what about that spam that says, “Gain up to 3 inches permanently”

Okay, where?

Three inches of what? Frontal lobe? Where do I put it?  I have an 18-inch circumference head, smaller than most, so where do those extra three inches go? Do I need extra brains?  I’m smart enough already, even though I am quite often treated as if I have a borderline “retarded” level IQ.

Or maybe, I need three inches more breasts. Please, no!  Give those three more inches to someone else.

Add three inches to foot size and my feet would look rather awkward on someone five foot one. I’d probably fall over.  What about fingers that were three inches longer? Would I become a great piano player? Maybe I would give great sex by hand.  Then again, those long fingers would get in the way. How would I find gloves for the winter? What if I looked like a freak? Would I get diagnosed with a psych disorder due to getting a complex over my weird-looking hands? Or just frostbite…..

Maybe I should delete the e-mail, eh?

What to do on Christmas if you are all alone

Here are some ideas from a pro who has spent the past 10 Christmases alone, and most of the past 30 decades of Christmases entirely alone, and certainly NOT surrounded by “loving family.”  Let’s face it, not everyone’s family sticks around.  Might as well have a blast!

1. First of all, God bless our pets.  Give them something special today.  At least we have them, right?  They’ve stuck around even when no one else has.  Puzzle had a super nice meal and the weather is terrific.  A bit cold but we enjoyed our walk and we cuddled some, too.

2. Do some cleaning chore you’ve been putting off forever.  Today I got together all those miscellaneous extra charge cords that are scattered all over the place.  I told myself, “This won’t do!”  So I totally organized them.  I put all my small electronic knick-knacks into one place and labeled everything so that it could be easily found.  Now, next time I ask myself, “Where the heck is that___?”….I can find it.

3. Update whatever. Your antiviral, or your phone, or whatever gadget or version or whatever you’ve been putting off, if you’re a gadget or techno person.  Today I followed my phone’s instructions to a T, and successfully updated my phone.  I am so happy that I did this right.  I’ve been putting this off for weeks.

4. Get rid of that pile of junk that’s been sitting around forever. So for me, it’s that pile of junk mail that’s accumulated.  I don’t throw it out cuz I recycle.  So it sits here waiting for me to carry it off to the recycling bins.  I am going to be very happy when this task is done.

5. Laundry.  Problem is, everyone else has the same idea. All the other lonely people are at that one open laundromat today. Go meet the love of your life!

 

This cracks me up: Watertown, MA, ranked among top ten towns in MA, for whom?

This was the Movoto blog that rated these towns in Massachusetts.  Watertown came in fourth, behind Marshfield, Reading, and Gloucester.  By the way, Reading is pronounced “redding.”  Gloucester is pronounced “Glaw-ster.”   In case you were wondering.  Bet you had no clue how to pronounce Watertown, did you?  I’m not giving that one away.  I’m not a very nice person.  So they say.

Anyway, here’s the criteria for figuring out which towns were the “top ten.”  Tell me if this ain’t a scream:

  • Cost of living
  • Crime rate
  • High school graduation rate
  • Median household income
  • Median home value
  • Amenities per capita (seafood restaurants, sports bars, Dunkin Donuts, museums)
  • Amenities total (seafood restaurants, sports bars, Dunkin Donuts, museums, and distance from New York City—the further, the better!)
  • The year the city was established (the earlier the better)

So go figure.  That’s the most LOGICAL list I’ve ever seen! Cost of living…hmm, does that mean high cost of living is BETTER or WORSE?  I’m not sure.  It depends on how bad a snob you are.

Crime rate here I’d say is low, and we can all agree that crime isn’t a good thing.  If you are a crook you most likely you don’t want to get caught.  Does this mean that law enforcement keeps the crooks in line better here, or does it mean that the crooks simply skip past Watertown and don’t drop by, cuz the road traffic’s so bad?

As for HS graduation rate, what does this mean?  Are our schools better, or do they keep the “bad kids” that they label and assume won’t succeed away from Watertown schools, and prevent them from enrolling in the first place?  Do they not allow “mainstreaming” of kids that could succeed in public school?  There’s no mention of racial and cultural diversity in schools across Massachusetts. There’s no mention of bully awareness, drugs in the school, teen suicide (of course this lowers graduation rate, duh), the bomb scare at Watertown High last week, and above all, if kids LIKE the schools.  Are they enjoying learning?  Do we have good teachers that are sensitive and smart and intuitive and positive role models and do they encourage free, independent, and critical thinking and do they care deeply about the kids?  Do they communicate well with parents?  Hmm, I have no clue.

Hmm…household income…the higher the better?  And home value, the higher the better?  Well, count me out.  I cannot afford a to own my own home anywhere in the US, so if I stand a chance for better survival, it’s in a town where income level is lower, and home value is lower.  I’d rather there be less snobbery.  I don’t like the idea of being looked down upon by those that have more money than me.  I dislike the idea that everything around me costs more than I can afford.  Do I want to walk streets of gold?  Do I want to go to clothing stores where everything is priced far above what I can afford?  Clearly, I’d rather live in a town where everything is priced inexpensively, tailored to folks that have less money.  I want respect.  That’s far more important to me than a castle and riches.

Seafood restaurants and sports bars are of no use to me.  Why?  They don’t take food stamps and I can’t afford to go to them. A meal at these places costs $10.  Far too expensive, plus I have to tip, too.  That’s not including that cup of coffee and the salad and soup.  Plus everything drowned in “mystery sauce.”  So let those folks who think sports bars and seafood restaurants mean “This is great living” go to these places.  I’ll buy plain, unpackaged ingredients for pennies with my food stamps, and Puzzle and I will eat like royalty.

Dunkin Donuts?  Who goes there?   This is a coffee shop for the cops.  Cops go there while on break. If I show up, never fail, the cops are there, huddled together.  Home away from home.  So we have how many of these Dunkin Donuts here?  Guess the cops have lots of places to go while on break. So what?  I need a break myself.  I need a hangout, too.  My own coffee shop.  So I make my own at home.  What a disappointing survey that “Julie’s” isn’t mentioned!  Just keep the cops outa here, please.

Museums I do like.  We have an awesome one here, the Armenian museum.  I’ll miss the Armenian and Middle Eastern flavor of this town, not even mentioned in this article.  I love going to the “East End,” (not that we really have “ends” here), and shopping for the food imports from Lebanon.  Apparently they come through Canada, but I’m not sure.  I get all sorts of weird spices.  Some spices you can get giant quantities cheaply, and they’re fresh and delicious.  You’ll never know what you’ll find.

Distance from New York?  Oh, please.

Age of town?  I have something to say about that.  I went into my bank the other day. I said, “I’m thirsty, and I’m wondering, could I have a drink of water?”

I’ve lived in this town and been a banking customer at that bank long before it was named what it’s named, since 1987.  How long had this young teller been there?  A few years?  If that.

The teller answered, “No, I’m sorry, we don’t have water here.”

Folks, I’m not sure that it’s wise to move to Watertown. This building is over 100 years old, and yet, they haven’t installed plumbing into it, apparently.  You should be aware that perhaps that whole block downtown has no running water.  This seems archaic to me.  I’ve asked.  Yep, they won’t give me a cup of water!

Yet across the street, it seems they have indeed modernized. It’s such a relief that here in Watertown, they’ve installed pipes at last.  The pizza place, under new management, told me, “If you are thirsty, stop by here anytime.”  The nice guy showed me where to find their water pitcher.  I guess I won’t quite lose faith in humanity yet.  We’re so modern here.

The running water here at home seems to work okay.  I thought you might want to know that.  I seem to be having the last laugh here at home.  That’s because I am a bit younger than the town of Watertown.  If I had been here since the year the town was established, back in 1630, I think I’d be a little too old to be chuckling right now, probably hadn’t lived in Watertown for quite a while.  See ya!

“monthly”

What did you think I was talking about?  The rent?  No, that’s a given.  Yeah, that, too, and Puzzle’s monthly doggie medicine.  No, I intend to bore all you men to tears and talk nonstop about my period.  And some women as well.

Guess what?  I’m done. Are you crying yet?  If so, I suggest a box of Kleenex, or any brand of tissues, instead of your sleeve.  Go hug your dog.  This is the best thing to do while you are crying.  Stay away from the shrinks cuz if you go and tell one that “Some lady talked about her period till I cried,” you are bound to get locked up, either as a depressive or,

If you male and look the part (somewhat tough-looking, like you just got out of prison) you might get labeled a sex offender whether you have committed a crime or not.

Trust me, either way, telling these dudes over and over that you are a regular reader of Julie Greene’s blog is most likely going not going to get you out of the mental institution or prison, and more likely, will get you exactly nowhere.  Or you’ll just get funny looks.  But I’ll talk about that later.  I need to go find the pads and tampons and say goodnight.

Some kooks in Boston

I can’t recall which stop it was on the Orange Line I was at a week or so ago.  It wasn’t a bad night to go out, so I figured I’d linger around and observe the humans.  People everywhere with cell phones, in groups, schmoozing in and around each other, some already beginning on their first drinks of this Saturday night.  You know how I am.  I watched to see what would happen.

So I saw this dude and I felt so sorry for him.  Guess it takes one to know one, as they say.  I knew right away: must be Tardive Dyskinesia.  What’s worse, he had some stick-like thing in his hand, waving the darned thing.  I kept saying to myself that he seemed to have so little control over what his extremities did that he’d better be careful with the stick. Considering he had that “mental patient look,” he was likely to get locked up, waving the stick around in a way that would cause a stir.

I felt so sorry for him.  I myself narrowly escaped TD.  I am lucky that I stopped the antipsychotics when I did.  Most my age are not so fortunate.  This guy, let me tell you, had it all over his body, both arms waving this way and that, and his entire torso joined in, too, swaying around.  People were watching him, staring, in fact, following his movements intensely.  I told myself, “Watch out, Buddy, you’re gonna get nabbed.”

But he kept going.  A crowd gathered. Not only that, a bunch more kooks came.  I said to myself, “Did some mental hospital let everyone out on pass?” Of course, I was joking to myself.  Maybe they were just dudes from some local bar, already high as kites. They looked wicked stoned or strung out, though, on something I sure never took.

So these people were singing at the top of their lungs.  Eeks!  Bunch of them.  Standing up and singing.  I figured you gotta be rather drunk to dare to do something like that in public.  I told myself these dudes will be arrested if they keep up the ruckus.  They kept up their singing for a very long time.  I was surprised at the attention they got.

Some street musicians joined in the fun, but I said to myself, “These street musicians must feel embarrassed associating with a bunch of mental patients and drunks.  We have such fine street musicians here in Boston, and I think they should stay away from these loser types, lest it ruin their reputation.”

You wouldn’t believe the nonsense stuff the singers were singing, too.  I figure you gotta have some kind of OCD to repeat the same lines over and over like that.  Who else would do that?  Isn’t that what the disorder is called?  Or is it Tourettes if it’s done out loud? But if it’s in a group, is it a “shared delusion?”

Then, of course, I had to consider myself.  I was sitting.  I and my companions were seated in a row in the audience, and when the performance was over, everyone gave the conductor, the entire opera cast, chorus and orchestra a hearty, warm, and vigorous standing ovation.

Name of opera: Four Saints in Three ActsLibretto: Gertrude Stein
Composer: Virgil Thompson
BMOP, Jordan Hall, Boston, MA
November 16, 2013.