How to Make a Blomelet: Do Not Add Water

This entry is the first egg in a blog omelet, a “blomelet” if you will. A common phrase in our tempestuous and whimsical (tempestical? Hmmm, not sure about that one) is “you can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.” One typically says this when he/she has to do something unpleasant to achieve some favorable result. In the case of the egg, the egg is broken – this is bad because there’s no going back, that egg is going to get cooked or will need to be thrown out. There’s also a chance for foodborne illness, a sad hen mourning the loss of another unfertilized embryo, and so on. The upshot to all this heartbreak is the savory omelet that will result.

That said, let me be the coiner of a new phrase – “you can’t make a blomelet without writing some suckass posts.”

That said, what you are reading is not the “blomelet”, but rather a suckass post that will serve as a sacrifice to the savory “blomelet”.

That said, I’ll be upfront – I’m out of practice, so this post will suck major ass, I need to shake the dust off. Again I say, you can’t make a blomelet without writing some suckass posts. How many suckass posts does it take to make a blomelet? Beats me.

That said, I will start this suckass post in earnest. Let me start by apologizing for this post and the dearth and sporadic publication of the last few entries. Moreover, I apologize for the lack of topical continuity. Part of the problem was all the squirrels and shiny things that distracted me from the purpose of this blog – to chronicle my “injourney”. To put that into perspective, my last entry was titled “Follower Analysis…and Some Hotdogs” and before that “The New Ramtha: a Short Story by JL Wilson – Read and Vote Please“. The former had to do with gaining my 100th follower, the latter was a short story I entered into a short story contest. Consistent I amn’t (why not? It works and you know it does). There was a time, in the long, long ago that I updated this blog weekly, I want to do AT LEAST that.

That said, this is my pledge to me that, henceforth, I will regularly contribute to this blog and the content will be topically relevant.
That said, I think it’s time for some fun facts, new and old, about Jarrett –

1. That said, here is the first fact – my injourney started about nine years ago when a number of factors, not least of which was a congenital malformation in my brainstem, caused a brain hemorrhage, festooning the Pons portion of my brainstem with blood.

a. That said, here’s a supporting fact for the first fact – much the same as water is toxic to the wicked witch, so blood is to neurons.

b. That said, here is a fact that further explains the first supporting fact of the first fact – how did the witch go so long without touching water? Did she bathe in her own spit or something? Yuck!

c. That said, I digress.

2. That said, here is the second fact – the episode described above with the blood, neurons and malignant female wizards caused a number of issues and disabilities that are still with me today.

3. That said, here is the third fact – I opted to have surgery to remove the cause of the hemorrhage to prevent future eruptions.

4. That said, here is the fourth fact – these two occurrences (the hemorrhage and surgery) have set me upon a lifelong “brain injourney”.

a. That said, here’s a supporting fact for the fourth fact – “brain injourney” is a clever portmanteau of “brain injury” and “journey”.

5. That said, here is the fifth fact – this blog is gluten-free. Eggs don’t contain gluten and neither do suckass blog posts.

a. That said, here is a supporting fact for the fifth fact – seriously, food manufacturers, the “gluten-free” labeling is getting ridiculous. I’ve seen it proudly stamped on a few products that are leagues away from gluten – I can’t remember any right now, but I’ll get back to you. It’s on the order of a peanut butter advertising that it’s “alcohol-free”.

b. That said, here is a fact that further explains the first supporting fact of the fifth fact – Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley and other grains. Gluten is composed of two proteins, Gliadin, and glutenin. In the presence of water, this rascally duo conspires to form gluten. Gluten is what makes dough “doughy” and elastic. Some unfortunate souls cannot digest gluten properly, causing it to get stuck at various points along the gastrointestinal tract and bio-terrorize from the inside out (excessive gas, upset stomach, diarrhea, etc.).

c. That said, this is the last fact related to gluten, I’ll revisit this at a later date, it is a topic far too big for a few facts.

d. That said, here is a fact that further explains the second supporting fact for the fifth fact and connects it to the first supporting fact of the first fact and thus brings us full circle – water is a menace. It’s out there creating proteins that are indigestible, and cause some to experience gastrointestinal horrors just shy of an alien popping out of the belly. On top of that, it’s mercilessly killing the “wicked” witches (how wicked can one truly be when surrounded by cute little monkeys?) And if M. Night Shyamalamadingdong is to be believed, it’s lethal for space invaders as well.

The Wicked Egg of the Wheat Protein
“How about a little gluten, Scarecrow?”

e. That said, here is a summary of water’s transgressions –

i. It’s potentially harmful to humans
ii. It’s no friend to supernatural beings
iii. It’s a fine howdy-doo to our visitors from the stars. Think of it like having guests from another country and serving them acid to drink

That said, I will wrap this up – Indeed, this entry sucks major ass, and I both love and hate it. Here’s to a scrumptious, gluten-free blomelet! I welcome your comments, they are the little flakes of cheese that will add much-needed flavor to this culinary literature (liculinature?)

That said, the phrase “that said” occurs 23 times in this post (including the previous two)

That said (24), FIN

That said (25), @JarrettLWilson

Excavation of the Psyche or a Haircut?

Hello, internet!

As an aspiring writer, I find myself looking for connections and metaphors in the profane dribble of everyday life. Is their actually something there? Perhaps yes, perhaps no. As WI Thomas once said and I’ve since parroted roughly 16,852 times, “What we perceive to be real is real in its consequences” – that’s more of an approximation of what he said, but the profundity of the message is retained. I come to you today, the internet, with such a scenario.

Recently, thanks to the influence of time and human physiology, my hair reached critical volume, taking on dense, yet small objects as satellites (batteries, nails, die cast cars and planes, etc.). Therefore, I sought a haircut.

 

The details of the cut itself are unimportant. Suffice it to say that it was my stylist was a very pleasant woman named…uhh, I forgot. She and I discussed the bleak conditions of public education opportunity in our proximity.

 

The important thing here is this –

Picture 46

That is the scar from when a dark wizard tried to ki…wait that wasn’t me… this scar is from September of 2009 when a guy sawed into my skull and removed a lesion from my brainstem.

 

Here I am, nearly nine years later still going on about it.

 

That’s what that scar is. A timeline. Along its path are regrets – missed opportunities, divorce, unfulfilled professional and personal goals. But, here and there is found a ray of hope – a daughter with boundless virtue, an unwritten future taking shape before my eyes, greater understanding of myself and what it is to be human than I ever thought possible.

 

I think I’ve arrived at the significance – Nothing is what it seems. My stylist thought she was just giving me a haircut when she was actually exposing an artifact of a life never dreamed of, but very real. You might say she’s an archaeologist of the soul.

 

FIN

@JarrettLWilson

It’s Good to be Alive

Wonderful MeHappEaster, interwebs! Or happy Easter if you’re not into the whole brevity thing. I come to you today because my heart has been stirred. I frequently listen to NPR via the NPR One app. A featured story today was that of widowed parents of young children. Rather, the widows did the talking, but the subject was more centered on how the children will turn out and how to best remember the child’s father (listen to it HERE).

This topic really resonates with me. You see, I nearly died (more details HERE). I’m not fond of saying that. It’s too dramatic and it smacks of hyperbole.

Still, I suppose I’ve come closer to meeting the reaper than most. At the time, I had a two year old daughter at home. By the expert skill of Dr. Jonathan White and the loving support of my now ex wife Jessica and my parents, I persist in respirating, masticating, cogitating, pontificating, etceterating, and most importantly, continue participating in the upbringating of my daughter(ating…).

It is altogether fitting and proper (thank you, Mr. Lincoln) that I would choose this day to blog on this topic. On more than one occasion (such as HERE and HERE) I’ve asserted the notion that, in a figurative way, Jarrett Wilson died from a brain hemorrhage in May of 2009. He was given new life in September of that same confounded year. The resurrection thing is the only similarity between me and Jesus; I have trouble enough walking on land, I can only change water into Crystal Light or coffee and my dad, as cool as he is, is not God.

I think I’m digressing here. What I’d like to relate to you, dear reader, is that I’m glad to be alive. I think I’ve said that before and I try to give the impression that I’m grateful, but sometimes, it just needs to be declared.

To be sure, being alive is hard sometimes. On the other hand, life is beautiful – there are beautiful people everywhere, the way they comb their hair, it makes me want to say… it’s a beautiful world… it’s a beautiful world…

That said, there are a lot of things that suck, another way to say it would be there are a lot of things that suck because of stuff I did. I let these things occupy too much CRAM (read more HERE). For today at least, I’m going to revel in the singularity of each moment. A singularity in that each moment is a culmination of a heartbeat, a breath of sweet, sweet air, some thought to move us about the day and being with good people. 🍻

FIN

@JarrettLWilson

Aztec Gods, Needles in a Foot and Hand Torture, Oh My!

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I’ve been pretty lazy about the look of my blog. Previous banners have been hastily cropped images of my MRI scans or some such thing. So, I set about to remedy the situation by creating a banner representing my “injourney”. Though it may look precariously thrown together, I assure you that each object represents something very meaningful. I’ll start with perhaps the most powerful being on the banner. The colorful fella in the right corner is Huitzilopochtli,the Aztec god of war and the sun. I’ve a tattoo of Huitzilopochtli on my right shoulder blade –

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What struck me was, if you say “war” and “sun” back to back very quickly, it almost sounds like “Wilson” – and as you know, Wilson makes top quality sporting good products, and is my last name.
I jest, although not one of his defining divine powers, he’s also associated as being the guide for journeys, having led the Mexica  (Aztecs, though don’t let Huitzi hear you say that, he was against that nomenclature – thought it sounded too much like “ass-tech” and didn’t want people thinking they made fancy toilets or other such things) from Aztlan to the site that would become Tenochtitlan, the Azte…err, Mexica capital city. It is this quality that convinced me that his likeness should appear on my right should blade for the rest of my days. He would always be near to guide me.
The colorful dude on the other side is Xipe Totec, which means “He of the colorful commode”. As you can see, he’s sitting, almost squatting, on a very colorful chair. This is actually a toilet. He was fine with name “Aztec”, thought it’d be a good opportunity to spread the word about his sacrificial, butt guillotine commode. While pooping, a blade slices off the bottom and flushes it straight to Templo Mayor in Tenochtitlan to be offered up to the gods.
image

Again, I jest.

Xipe Totec or “Our Lord the Flayed One”, is the god of, among many other things, the cycle of life-death-rebirth. You see, I’ve come to consider May 22nd, 2009 (the approximate date of my hemorrhage), as the date my old self died. I was reborn when I had surgery to remove the cause of the hemorrhage.

Getting back to the mortal realm, the little girl in the yellow shirt and headlamp is my darling daughter, Quinn. I go to the gym, and therapize myself that I might get to be more active with that little fireball. The headlamp is for what I call “technology spelunking”. I wear it when I need to fiddle around inside my computer case or complete some other task without adequate lighting.

The hand in the vice is a not so subtle reference to occupational therapy and its toils. Not much more to be said about this – if you’ve ever wanted break off your aching hand and use it to give someone (esp. an occupational therapist) a bloody slap across the face, then flip the bird with it, then you understand that image.

Rounding (more like ovaling) out the left side is a MRI scan of the top of my head. The white dot in the middle is a marshmallow I shoved up my nose when I was seven. Since that time, every time someone asks, “What’s that smell?” I invariably answer “marshmallows”.

Come to find out, the marshmallow passed through my digestive tract the same as if I’d eaten it – as such, it has long since done the thing that biological things do, whose name esca…DECOMPOSED (!) in the bowels of some sewage treatment facility.

The white dot in this scan, and the scan of the stick man in the middle, is actually blood – these scans were taken very soon after the big bleed.

The relatively huge foot (MY foot with a NEEDLE in it) is a direct result of that white dot – the blood scrambled some wiring up there, causing a perpetual spasm running through my left arm and left leg/foot. To combat this unpleasant symptom, I get injections of botox every three months, two of which go in my foot (let me reiterate: TWO INJECTIONS! FOOT!)

All these things make up my injourney, and so, are strewn about my path like so many playthings carelessly scattered across the front yard by a whimsical child.

The stick man furthest down the path has a question mark for a head. This is for two raisins –
1. In the future, my head will probably look about the same on the outside. I can’t make any assumptions about what it’ll look like on the inside. Of course, there will still be neurons and dendrites and hormones of varying flavor, but I have to accept the possibility that there might be more white stuff (there also might be a “Johnny Mnemonic” style hard drive or an antenna ala Vonnegut’s Sirens of Titan.
2. I couldn’t think of anything to put there.

And what banner would be complete without the auspices of LepreSean? He popped in and asked, “Whersh me potta gold?” Xipe replied, “I’m sitting on it!”

FIN

@JARRETTLWILSON

Jarrett Gets Political

Breaking news from Ardmore, Ok – my mother (who lives there) stumbled onto a way for me to be ABLE (that’ll make more sense in a minute) to get government assistance AND have money to pay my substantial medical bills. In 2014, a program called ABLE (Achieving a Better Life for Experience) was initiated. This program allows disabled folks to put money into a tax free account that won’t count against them when they apply for benefits (SSI, Medicaid, etc.)
You see, you have to be on the brink of poverty to qualify for programs like SSI and Medicaid (no investments, no more than $2,000 in the bank). This is kinda backwards considering the folks that need these services (like me) probably have ginormous medical bills (like me).
Thing is, I don’t qualify because I was 28 when I became disabled. To qualify for this program you need to have been 26 or younger when the disability started. Does this two years make my situation any less urgent? Should I go back in time and cause my brain hemorrhage to occur two years earlier?
No and no. The answer is to appeal to the powers that be, which I’ve done with this letter to John Ratcliffe, my congressional representative –
Dear Representative Ratcliffe,
I write to you as a disabled man disillusioned by methodical rejection and neglect by our country’s social welfare system.
In mid 2009, at the age of 28, I had a massive brain hemorrhage in my brainstem (I’ve a blog with more info. here it is from the beginning – https://braininjourney.com/2009/07/01/how-it-began/). I now live with a weakened left side, a limp, and slurred speech.

The 6+ years since have been a struggle, most notably with medical bills. It’s coming down to the nitty-gritty, my checking account is dwindling and I have no savings. I do, however, have a 403b. I’d like to take the funds from this account and put them into an ABLE account: (http://www.ndss.org/Advocacy/Legislative-Agenda/Creating-an-Economic-Future-for-Individuals-with-Down-Syndrome/Achieving-a-Better-of-Life-Experience-ABLE-Act/#sthash.38UVpv5f.MmKqVt7q.dpuf), so that I can get SSI and Medicaid.
This way I’ll be able to use that money for medical expenses and avoid “meeting a means or resource test that limits eligibility to individuals who report no more than $2,000 in cash savings, retirement funds and other items of significant value [and] remain poor” to continue to receive public assistance.

This matter is all the more urgent because, having recently lost my job, I’m unemployed. This means I’ll have to pay out of pocket for health insurance.

One of the eligibility requirements is that an individual must’ve been 26 or younger when he/she became disabled. As I mentioned earlier, I was 28. Can this legislation be amended in such a way that it doesn’t discriminate by age?

Please consider my case for your valuable attention. Getting into this program would ease a heavy burden upon my family and me.

Sincerely,

Jarrett Wilson
—–
Problem is, my message will be a proverbial drop in the bucket full of other constituents’ missives. It is for this reason that I’m calling on you (yes you, with the shirt on!) to help my plea get noticed by those with the power to affect change and end this egregious discrminAGEion! I ask that you post this on the social media platform of your choice or favorite it here on WordPress – simple actions that might mean big, positive changes for me!
Here is a LINK to more information about ABLE – it’s on the National Down Syndrome Society’s website – it has the best explanation.

Favorite people

“Men resemble the gods in nothing so much as in doing good to their fellow creatures.”

– Cicero

The above quote is etched in stone above the fire truck doors at the Stillwater fire department on the southeastern edge of the Oklahoma State University (GO POKES!) campus. As an idealistic, unjaded, starry-eyed undergraduate, I had great respect for these words. I use the word respect because, knowing what I know now, I can say that I didn’t know what they really meant.

I’ve since experienced things that have given me a more complete understanding of Cicero’s words, taught me the true meaning.

Some are quick to say that man, by nature, is selfish and motivated only by things that will advance his station in life. Still others will point out that man is a social animal.

What is the point of all this philosophology? My point is that, I’ve been blessed to meet a crapload of people who have successfully suppressed their selfish nature and become gods in the sense that Cicero was talking about above.

I refer to these people as “my favorite people”. Being “differently abled” like I am, I get the privilege of seeing the altruistic side of the everyday person and the godlike individuals who have chosen to work in some variation of human service. In no particular order, I’d like to recognize these awesome people –

Emily, Occupational Therapist
If you were to go to the Pate brain injury rehab facility in Anna, TX, you’d find a very pleasant blonde working with a patient with a wonky arm. If you were to go inside my head, you’d be covered in neurons and gray matter and all other matter of brain goo…Let me rephrase, if you were to see inside my mind, you’d see the head of a very pleasant blonde floating around, reminding me to use my left arm more often.
I’ve been fortunate as concerns the therapy game – I haven’t had to work with any crazy, ex drill sergeant “therrorists” (well, there was one who put electrodes on my arm and shocked me, but that’s a different story…). Still, it’s not hard to get cross with one who hounds you to click when a dot appears on a computer screen and constantly reminds you to grab that…whatever, with your left hand. I think that’s why she’s so good at what she does. She continuously hounded me, but I couldn’t get mad a at her soft voice and diplomatic word choice. For being the occupational therapist inside my head, Emily is one of my favorite people.

Here is her driver’s license photo, you know how those don’t always turn out –

Hand

I jest. I don’t have a picture of her, so this is what I think of when she comes to mind.

Teresa , Bosslady
My education is in sociology with a focus on research and statistics. Even though I chose to switch gears and become a teacher, sociology has never been far from my heart.
I figured that, having been away from research and statistics for almost ten years, I wouldn’t have a chance to use that skillset.

Enter Bosslady.

image

I didn’t like my facial expression on the original, so I fashioned myself a new one.
She took a chance on me and now I get to use those skills to pay the bills. Sometimes, as I’m writing the narrative for a grant or calculating the percentage of people with diabetes in south central Oklahoma, I think to myself holy cow! I’m getting paid for this!

I remember in my first week working with her she made me a list of statistics and data she wanted, I looked at the list and thought who does she think I am? Stephen Hawking? Then I started to think, she believes I can do this so I can, NAY, WILL do it! It’s been like that since I’ve been working there. I’ll be faced with a task that I reckon is too difficult, then her perky voice pops in and says, “Just try it!” And my personal motto is “Try not, do or do not, there is no try.” As such, Yoda and my boss have instilled a great sense of worth, of purpose (porthose?) in me.

It occurs to me that some of you, dear readers, might be thinking I’m just sucking up. I’m willing to grant that. Thing is, everything I’m saying is true and I’ve already said this stuff to her in some capacity.

For being the inspiration to tackle all obstacles inside my head, Bosslady is one of my favorite people.

Allen, Orthotist
I don’t walk so good :), I’ve had quite a variety of assistive devices for my left leg – Donjoy Fullfource knee brace, Swedish knee cage, a black mesh knee brace number that certainly has a name that I don’t know, and two AFOs (Able Foot Orthosis, read more HERE).

The latter three have been acquired through Allen.

Listen, I am pretty hard on these things, have a look at how I violated my first AFO –

wpid-20150913_163505.jpg

You see, the protrusions at the opening by the Achilles tendon had adjustable rubber stoppers to increase or decrease the angle at the ankle, but I found the max angle offered by the stoppers to be inadequate, so I concocted all manner of home modifications. I screwed with it so much that the stoppers feel out, leaving me with no option but to continue to jack it up. I had exhausted my ingenuity as concerns sustainable solutions (solutainable?), so asked my father of he had any MacGyver worthy ideas. He actually had a wonderful idea – get a new one. This made me happy because 1.that brace was done for, and 2. I’d get to hang with Allen.

Here’s the replacement –

wpid-20150913_163617.jpg

They only have one color/style at Happy, Smiley Orthotics of Sunshine & Happiness in Gainesville, TX

Allen is the kinda guy you’d want to sit next to on a plane. He is very pleasant and very knowledgeable about orthotics, and I can’t say this about most people, but when he asks “How are you?” It feels as if he really wants to know, rather than to exchange platitudes. I think of Allen every time I go to the gym and put one of his devices to the test. For being the orthotist inside my head, Allen is one of my favorite people.

I don’t have a picture of Allen, so like I did with Emily, I’ll put an object that comes to mind when I think of him.
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Two reasons for this comparison – they share the same first name, and 2. EVERY device I’ve gotten from him requires an Allen wrench of some size to loosen or tighten various parts.

I’ve more favorite people, I’ll introduce them from time to time. In fact, a favorite who was originally meant to be on this list didn’t make the cut after all – his back story is too long – I’ll talk about him next time.

FIN

@JarrettLWilson

Blowhards and the Trouble with Numbers

“What should I do is vigorously but that the I need to document the blowhard at the top of the ta the most everything will I think it worked think I have my homework to me thank you for your help in this rating is the latch on to you later out of the thing well us tells you so I happen to have some course as always get as summary etc. note that bag works like if I ever found something use IQ a stock of the spring is in the myelin this thing.”
– Me via Dragon Naturally Speaking
I’ve been under the employ of The Good Shepherd Community Clinic, Inc. (GSCC) for about two months now. This job requires that I type more.  Since manually, I type a keyboard scorching 5.3wpm, I use dictation software – Nuance’s Dragon Naturally Speaking. The above gibberish was recorded as I spoke to a coworker about my difficulties mounting a dry erase board in my office. Let me stop there and insert that the comments that follow are not meant to disparage Nuance or its fine product. Quite the contrary, the software increases my efficiency by 152% (give or take, that’s a guesstimate based on a number I pulled out of my bottom).
Let’s analyze this –
“I need to document the blowhard at the top of the ta” must mean…uhh, I got nothin’. You see, I’ve found that Dragon works best when it has a context. Given that fact, we must ask what was the context for “blowhard” and “ta”? Let’s get the official definition of “blowhard” from dictionary.com – “an exceptionally boastful and talkative person.” I can’t say I’ve recently encountered a blowhard, but maybe some stepped into my office while I was away and started bragging about ninja skills or some such nonsense. The next chance it got, Dragon told me to either –
1 Catch this windbag not on ta, but on top of a ta. What is a ta and how does one ascend one?
2 While on top of ta, document the activities of a blowhard.
What about
“note that bag works like if I ever found something use IQ a stock of the spring is in the myelin this thing.”
Again, let’s look at context. It starts of plainly enough, explaining how bags work best if you find something (in it? To put in it?). Wait, I’ve deciphered that part, bags work best when you use your IQ to determine what to stock in it – this is easiest in the spring. If you try it in the summer, fall or, God save us, the winter, you will surely stock the bag with the wrong stuff, then you’ll die poor and lonely. I’m not sure about the remainder of the composition, but Dragon must’ve keyed in on a brain/intelligence vibe owing to the word “myelin” or “a soft, white, fatty material in the membrane of Schwann cells and certain neuroglial cells: the substance of the myelin sheath.” The way I understand it, myelin is the insulation that conducts neurological activity through brain cells. In a manner of speaking, it’s like the outside shell of a subway train car; without it, the train would still get people/stimuli to they’re/its destination, but the cargo will be a bit frazzled when it gets to its destination.
634
My new job roxxorz my soxxorz. Basically, my job is to do everything that I enjoy doing and everything I went to school for. What makes it doubleplusgood is the work environment
Moving on; The GSCC has a strong focus on wellness and improving quality of life. As an employee, I’m encouraged to lead by example and choose a wellness goal or goals every week.
I’ve taken on a new vocation as development coordinator for a nonprofit clinic. We seek to spread wellness across our small community like so much chicken pox festering on the flesh of some unfortunate adolescent.
For my wellness challenge of late, I’ve chosen to write 750 words a week, THIS is word 50, fifty, making the number 50 the 53rd word, but it’s a number, so I’ll fix that. Now the problem is that the word ‘fifty’ is word #54. It has become a case of a number standing in for a word that is a number in a sequence of other words, and so on…
Moving on, my other wellness goal is to be more active with my left hand. Being as clever as I yam, I figured I’ll do them both simultaneously. As such, I’m doing that for tthis portion of the blog. From here on out, like in the previous ssentence, I’m going to leave mistakes – the spasticcitty often causes me to hit some letters twice.
The thing that irks me the most is that I started at about 8:45. It’s now 9:15. I’ve typed a whopping 158…one hundred fifty eight words, not counting the words (and number that counts as a word) after ‘whopping’. That’s a keybooard shredding 158 words/30 grueling minutes = 5.3 wpgm. I’ve found “active” to be especcially tedious – ‘a’ is typed by the left pinky, ‘c’ by the left middle, ‘t’ by the left index,a brief reprieve with ‘i’ on the right side, back to the left mifflr/index with ‘v’, and ginally ginish with ‘e’ with the left ring ginger.sq1e – almost dropped the keyboard. Ivan’t help but think of the symbology that “active” should be the most tiresome, when something like “difficult” id so much easier. I can’t take it anymore, I stop.

FIN

@JarretttLWilson

Jarrett takes a stand

OMG! I had a beautifully written blog ready to post, I clicked “save”, the screen went blank and a dialogue box saying the file no longer exists popped up.
I shall persevere with a brief synopsis of that splendid blog now lost to the great digital abyss (digibyss?).
I wrote the following letter to a collections agency disputing the charges.

August 21, 2015

Texoma Emergency Physicians

PO Box 8775

Fort Worth, TX 78124-0775

Re: Account #Wouldn’t you like to know

Dear Madam or Sir,

The above referenced account is for an emergency room visit on February 10th, 2015 for symptoms that were ultimately caused by an implant malfunction in my spine. Insurance refuses to cover it because I had already been to the ER that day.

I returned due to the fact that the treatment they administered (a pain pill) was having no effect and I felt like I was brushed aside as if I was merely trying to get a fix (an assertion made more credible by the fact that the doctor who referred me is a physical medicine/rehabilitation doctor who specializes in pain management).

If you were to check my medical records in the weeks after that ER visit, you’d find a surgery to correct my implant malfunction and a visit to my neurosurgeon in Dallas to discuss a small hemorrhage that resulted from complications due to the malfunction of the implant.

I recount all of this to show that I knew something was wrong, but was not given the attention I deserved on the first visit. Indeed, I gave the hospital a scathing review when they emailed me asking about my visit – concerning that critique, they’ve not contacted me. The only attempts at communication have been when they call to collect money, indicating their true interest, my bank account, not my health.

Frankly, I don’t think I should have paid the first ER bill – if I got that kind of service at a restaurant, I would have asked for the manager and left no tip. Unfortunately, TMC’s management doesn’t seem to take a customer centered approach when they find out you have insurance (I use the term “customer” as a slight, as I was never treated as a patient).

Please consider this appeal for the $425 balance of the above referenced account, and prove me wrong – that hospitals and those associated with them aren’t just out for the contents of my wallet.

Respectfully,

Jarrett Wilson
You see,  insurance refused to pay because the bill was for my second visit to the ER that day. Given the fact that I  received the brush off,  guy looking for a fix treatment the first time,  I went backand was upgraded to a bed in the hallway! This is an upgrade because EVERY member of the ER staff saw me. Twenty minutes later they saw me leave again.
That 20 minutes in the hallway might cost me $425!
I wanted to share this with you because:
a. Doctors might know more about THE body,  but you are the expert concerning YOUR body.
b. I rarely get the chance to write formal letters,  and I write them real good 🙂

Presenting – My…Presentation

I used to work at a middle school.

I’ve was employed there in some fashion for a number of years.

My first two years I taught 8th grade US history and coached boys’ athletics. The next year I taught 8th grade English and coached girls’ athletics.

At the end of that school year some blood vessels in my brain leaked like so much kiddie pool left to rot in the sun.

I taught 8th grade English for half of the next two school years. I came back the next school year as the assistant librarian and have filled that role for four years.

Assuming my math is correct (2+1+.5+.5+4), I’ve been working there for 21,554 years – this raises a few questions.

Firstly, I’m only 32 years old. Secondly, the school has only been there for 40ish years. Let’s round that figure down to eight school years.

I did so enjoy working with students. Thing is, I’m was’t like any of the other teachers/professionals in the school.

When I returned to teaching after the hemorrhage, I created a PowerPoint presentation about my condition to show to my class to prepare them for my uniqueness.

Recently, I had the opportunity to speak to the new seventh graders. I modified the presentation to fit my condition today. I thought I’d share it with you, the internet –

1

This is the title slide – note that it has the title written (in English, no less!) on it.

2

This slide is for a handout. The students were given the same graphic, but with blanks. In essence, they started with an empty brain and ended with a full one (symbolic, no?)

3

In the same fashion as the previous slide, the students filled in the blanks on the same graphic.

4

This slide is a pictorial representation (pictoriational?) of the functions of each lobe. For instance, the temporal lobe (orange) controls the instinct to swat things away from your ear (actually, that represents hearing), and the frontal lobe controls the confusion that comes from staring at gibberish on a sign post (actually, that represents planning).

5

Now we get to my contribution – you see, the seventh grade reading classes at the school where I work are covering non-fiction. They are reading Gifted Hands by Dr. Ben Carson – the brain surgeon that removed half of a girl’s brain. One of the teachers is a friend of mine and asked me to present my experience as a primer. The image in the slide is my brain (isn’t it beautiful?). The white dot in the middle is my cavernoma isn’t it (or rather, wasn’t it) ugly?

6

Not much to say about this slide that isn’t in the slide. I’ll just add that the symptoms listed are enough to get you a 20 minute helicopter ride.

7

Much like the image in the “My Brain Issues” slide – the head pictured is my head. My head is perfectly round and my brain has many different colors. I know what you’re thinking, “But Jarrett, there weren’t no color in the other image and your head ain’t perfectly round.”

I’ve a twofold reply to this comment. First of all, I was joking – that’s not my head. Secondly, you need to work on your grammar. Moving on, this one has info about the surgery. That fact weighed heavily in my decision to title the slide “The Surgery 9/2009.”

8

A few summers ago I went on a tour of a Nair factory – this happened to be the day that Gillette planned to sabotage the Nair factory. They set explosives…I’m tired of this explanation. It started off with promise, but now I hate it!

Truthfully, a few summers ago I wanted to see the scar, so I shaved my head.

9

This slide is linked to a file with moving pictures and sound! This “video” is about *drumroll* neuro-plasticity! A fancy term denoting the brain’s ability to form new connections.

10

This is a visual representation of how your brain thinks. For instance, you see a donut with your occipital lobe. That info shoots to your frontal lobe and activates your happy gland. Your happy gland shoots a message to your parietal lobe “GO GET THAT F’N DONUT!” Someone gets it before you can, so your temporal lobe tells you to break out your megaphone and shout obscenities at this person and threaten to call the police. This guy grabs a nearby napkin dispenser and wangs you in the Temple…

11

…That blow to the Temple gives you a TBI. Your brain rewires itself and finds an alternate route to your happy gland.

12

I included this slide to give the students an explanation as to why I sometimes shake when I speak and why I walk with a limp and hike up my left arm like so much Bob Dole. It also helps explain the little girl in the moving picture mentioned earlier. It also gave me a chance to…

Treating Hypertonicity with Pic

…mention the painful treatments. One thing I’ve learned from working in a middle school is that, as much as the kids want to be treated as adults, they still love to hear about people getting poked with needles and meeting a real life cyborg.

13

I like to pepper in some humor here and there to make sure the kids are awake. When this slide appears, it’s accompanied by a very loud, obnoxious laugh.

15

I don’t really do any of these anymore, but I mention it because I did it for so long, and it drives home the point that I’ve had a long road.

16

In my mind, all of these will someday be replaced with “Painfully normal”. For purposes of this presentation, it gives the students an idea of what to expect when they see me.

17

It can be difficult to work around young people with my disabilities. Instead of hiding or pretending that I’m no different, I encourage the students to come talk to me if they have a question. I want to think that I’m an ambassador for the disabled. Hopefully, these students will apply what I’ve tried to teach them to others with disabilities.

I included the last bullet because I’ve had some students speak very loudly and very slowly to me. You see, they have to tell me their student ID number to check out a book. In previous years, a student or two would speak to me as if I was unable to type and listen at the same time.

18

I’m a pretty smart dude and I can be pretty creative, but I didn’t discover any of this and I didn’t make this sh*t up.

If there’s one thing I learned in college, it’s that Keystone Light is super cheap and tastes like weedkiller. If there’s a second thing I learned in college, it’s that plagiarism is bad (I remember a syllabus that said there’s a special place in hell for those that plagiarize).

We try to instill that fear into the students, so I model the proper citing of sources.

FIN

@JarrettLWilson

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