Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Life Should Be Sew Easy

hey y'all,

wow! i'm not even sure where to begin. at first, i wasn't posting because i was too busy. then i was too tired. then i had writer's block. now, it's simply because i have too many thoughts swirling around in this fuzzy, cob-webbed brain of mine ... and i'm not sure which one to grab and write about.

instead of choosing, i think i'll just jump in with some fragmented ramblings of which i'd like to share with y'all.

yes, i was gone for a few days to an undisclosed location. sound mysterious? well, that's a writer's technique to keep you reading. heh heh. but it was a lovely trip, great location with a wonderful historic district ... and i had a very relaxing visit there.

having said that, the flights to and from said undisclosed location, were a nightmare. lots and lots of delays, missed connecting flights (airline's fault), running through airports (shades of vintage OJ simpson commercials), falling as i stepped off the people mover thingy in my futile attempt to make a connecting flight on the far side a huge, major airport ... airline clerks with stinky attitudes not giving a damn, lots of crying (on my part), lots of emotional hysteria (on my part), then finally putting on my big girl panties and dealing with it.

found a DELTA (yes, DELTA AIRLINES ... DELTA-effing-AIRLINES) supervisor (they wear red jackets and if you EVER have any issues with your flights, go directly to a supervisor. repeat: bypass the stupid gate clerks who are good-for-nothing eejits and find yourself a red jacket person. that is, if you're dealing with DELTA) who finally got me the medical assistance and flight help that i needed. oh, and a $10 meal voucher for my "inconvenience". believe me. a $100 meal voucher wouldn't have done the trick.

in defense of DELTA, let me assure you that they aren't the only effed-up airline. i firmly believe they are ALL in collusion to make your traveling experience as miserable as possible. why? because they already have your money for a flight they have over-sold. you are inside security with a boarding pass to HELL ... and are completely at their mercy. of which they have NONE. mercy, that is.

if i EVER fly again, there will be NO connecting flights, NO running through airports. if there isn't a direct flight to my destination, i'll just stay home. no one should be treated the way i was by DELTA (or, insert any other airline name here). i don't know what the answer is to the airline industry's problems, but right now, it is a frickin' mess and SOMEBODY needs to do SOMETHING about it. congress?! the president?! regulation? de-regulation? re-regulation?!?!?!?! arghhh!!!

and yes. DELTA will be hearing from me about my flying fiasco. it won't change anything. but i'll feel better having chewed a bit of their ears off.

okay, enough of that nonsense. just wanted to share a bit of my experience with the airlines just in case it might help some unfortunate soul who plans to fly soon. a word to the wise: take a train, bus or automobile. you'll thank me later.

in happier news, the FAGs ... yes, all three of us ... got together for the first time in ages for a true junkin' adventure!

despite the texas heat and the paucity of "inside" sales, we braved the blazing sun and hit lots of yard sales and outside church sales.

buy more and save! tempting. so very tempting. heh heh. actually this place was rather creepy but we braved it anyhow.

for those who might remember, i've been in search of a starter sewing machine for myself. i'd like to learn how to sew basic stitches ... nothing fancy. just a stitch or two. well, i found my baby at one of the church sales. the seller had it marked at $20 but sold it to me for $15. she said her hubby bought it new for her but she only used it 2-3 times and lost interest. it looks like the perfect lil starter machine for me ... it's called "sew easy". how clever.

shaded church sale

my new baby, at home

what cinched the deal was her money-back guarantee. she gave me her name and phone number, as well as reminding me that she was a member of the church where the sale was located. told me if i didn't like it for any reason, to call and she'd return my money.

i'd like to believe the sincerity of her offer. but as i was loading up the machine in my camry, i couldn't help but think: 1. she gave me the wrong number, 2. she's not a member of that church, 3. she's moving away soon, 4. she won't return my money even if i do ask for it.

cynical, much?

well, if it turns out to be a piece of crap, it was only $15. and though that's a LOT of money in the junkin' world, it's not the END of the world.

can't wait to get it set up and see if it works. first things first though. i know NO-THING about sewing machines. even "sew easy" ones. i laughed at myself after i got it home because it almost looks like a child's sewing machine. toy-ish. and when i googled it, sure enough there ARE toy sewing machines called sew-easy.

but mine is not a toy. it's simple, yes. basic, easy. but that's what i need. have been watching youtube videos on how to thread the damn thing. whaaa??! bobbins on the bottom?! levers here. levers there. thread on the top. threading the bobbin!!! "sew easy" indeed. we'll see.

at this "inside" sale, bday girl jannetta found these adorable red shoes:

she wore them the rest of the day!

one last thought/comment for today and then i'm gonna shut up. most of you readers are women, but if you're of the man variety, you might want to skip this part and go look at the pictures. just sayin' ...

had my annual mammogram last week at SCOTT and WHITE HOSPITAL IN TEMPLE, TX. yes, i like to capitalize the name of the guilty party so that you won't miss it.

it is my belief that if you're going to make a career of performing mammograms on women, you should be a kind, tender, gentle, compassionate person. such as the woman depicted below:

sadly, i was not fortunate enough to have that sort of technician. in fact, she was just about the complete opposite of that description.

believe me, if i could remember her name, i'd share it with you. however, if i did get her name, it escapes me now. first, she was fairly pissed that my last mammogram had been done at metroplex (another local hospital) and that they didn't have the films already there (for comparison).

"well, i'm going to have to fill out this paperwork and have them fax the report," she complained. "you need to sign here." at which point she shoved the pen and paper in my face for my signature.

she fussed around for several minutes at her computer, intermittently asking me questions about my breast health history form i had completed for her. now listen, i don't go around looking for sympathy. in fact, i prefer to stay on the road of denial when it comes to my breast cancer and prognosis. but i will admit to feeling a tad vulnerable in that little exam room with the big ol' mammogram machine staring at me.

it's like that every year since my diagnosis three years ago. i dread the mammogram. i get the mammogram like a good girl. i wait with high anxiety for the results of the mammogram. i get a good report from the mammogram. i'm relieved that i may have another year to live. and so it goes ...

so when the tech blurted out her questions so business-like and perfunctory, without any attempt at tenderness or compassion to my responses, i was surprised at how uneasy and anxious i began to feel.

"you had surgery on your left breast? well, which IS it?? lumpectomy or mastectomy?!"

"well, somewhere in between the two," i try to explain.

she sighs.

"do you have your original nipple or not?!"

yikes. she's obviously rather irritated with me, but on she goes:

"you had chemo?" check.

"you had radiation??" check.

she might as well have been taking my order at burger king:

"bacon cheeseburger?" check.

"well, which is it?! bacon or cheese?!?"

"curly fries?" check.

"chocolate milkshake?" check.

okay, fine. i can live without this woman's compassion. i have a loving family and friends; a great support system.

she proceeded with the mammogram. because my surgeon performed something between a lumpectomy and a mastectomy, i still have breast tissue that needs to be checked. when she got to my left side (the affected breast) she became quite frustrated with the logistics.

finally, after lots of uncomfortable manuevering, she burst out with, "WHY didn't they just remove the whole breast?! that way you wouldn't NEED a mammogram on this side."

ouch. i was stunned and stung by her insensitive comment. i managed to reply with, "i guess my surgeon was trying to save as much breast tissue as possible."

as a health-care professional, i know how easy it is to get tired and burned out with your work. it's draining, emotionally and physically. but as a patient advocate, i believe all patients have a right to competent and compassionate health care. there is no excuse for that kind of behavior toward any patient, much less one who has experienced the trauma of a cancer diagnosis and mastectomy. inexcusable. reprehensible. untenable.

yes. i will be calling or writing a letter to SCOTT AND WHITE, too. it's a tough job, trying to save the world. but somebody's gotta do it. one airline, one hospital at a time. i'm only one woman ... but i am strong. i am invincible!

but first, i think i shall take a nap. heh heh

love and hugs,
terry lee

official FAG ring photo. good times, good times.

entirely off subject, i had to show y'all my recent treasure finds at a new store called kirkland's. it's been open for a couple of months but i just discovered it this weekend. got this precious crystal heart for $5. it's huge and heavy and oh-so-perfect!!

this lil cutie is a windchime. look closely and you'll see one of my favorite quotes: "well behaved women rarely make history" ... $2.99!

1 comment:

cindy said...

Terry Lee,
Having an almost degree in fashion design I am more than happy to come teach you to use your machine and give you some pointers on sewing. I helpd Sue Orosz and if I can help her I can help anybody. Name your day to come here or wait until school starts and I will come to you.
What you experience with Delta is exactly what you say....NOT unique to Delta. Being a military wife I feel qualified with the nuimber of flights we have taken to say it is like this with nearly every airline. Southwest is best with customer service in the USA and Lufthansa for overseas, but that is jsut my opinion based on my experiences. Someone else will have different experiences that have different results.
As for S & W and the mammogram, I would have walked out after the comment about removing the whole breast, dressed, gone to a supervisor and told them to find a different tech to finish the job. I might have even slapped that tech (in my mind).
I got to go to Paply's last week and bought a few things. GREAT PLACE. Now I need to find Kirkland's too. LOVE LOVE LOVE the heart.