Scotties Toy Box

July 27, 2012

Don’t cry for me

Filed under: My Life and Rants — Scottie @ 16:03

Hello and great day to everyone.   Gods I love being alive.   I say that because it is true.   Now I want to break this down into several parts.   First part will be my morning, my shots  and my body.   Second will be a old guy PT in my unit who is in big trouble, yet needs our compassion.  Third will be a little bit about a real young messed up man who really needs both our compassion and some how our guidance.   How ever in all of this my own life for all its problem and all its pain, is still life, still glorious, and still grand.

Oh first the greatest gift in my life.  Ron.  Some times in my pain and frustrations I get upset with him.  Other times I cling desperately to him for all the things he brings to me, strength, love, laughter, joy, feeling of being OK.  Yesterday I took a little money from our account and bought him a batch of flowers.

Now Lets talk about Ron.  Ron and I have been together 22 years this year.  It is no exaggeration to say that the most monumental change in my life has been adding Ron to it.   Ron has been both my hopes, dreams, fears, angers, loves, and everything in between.  Does that make sense?  I wonder if people who have not been in a long term soul committed relationship can understand.  When it is said “two shall become one”, that is the truth.  I know I affect Ron the same as he does me.   We have had great times, and rough times, but we did them together.   We have had smiles, and laughter, but we did it together.  I never want to be with out him, and I always want to give him the best part of me.  But that is not to say we don’t have our disagreements, we some times get upset with each other.   But today Ron winced and felt great pain as they inserted the needles I need to have and twisted them in my back.  The muscles are so hard and tight, it sometimes bends the needle they use.

OK lets move to the first thing.  Carlitos asked if the shots are for my low red blood count. No there are shots for that but my count is not that low I need them.   No, I have deteriorating bones.  I have had to have my right hip totally replaced, and I am still having troubles with the leg and hip.  My left leg and hip have some deterioration and so cause me trouble.   But my real source of pain and trouble is my back.

It started in 2007 when we had to make two long quick trips to New York from Florida.   On the second trip when going around Atlanta, I felt some thing give in the lower part of my back and incredible sharp pain.  So bad I had to pull over as I couldn’t drive.  When we got home I had all the tests and the surgeon told us that one of the vertebra in the lowest part of my spine  had broken parts, like it was falling apart, and the disc material was pushed out in the nerve channel.   Two other vertebra showed signs of deterioration.  Same with the disc material in both, one was “ruptured” and another was “collapsed”.   I never did understand what all that meant except I was in a lot of pain, and limited in what I could do.   Over the years more of my vertebra have fallen apart and the disc material suffered.    Several times they have suggested operations, except that would not cure the problem.   As of my last M.R.I. I have three in the lower spine and three vertebra in the upper spine that are really bad, and one each in lower and upper back that show damage.   so a total of 6 really bad and total of 8 problems.   However they alone are not the cause of so much of my pain.  My back muscles are trying to protect the spine by doing extra work.  They tighten up so bad they swell and spasm, and look like fists clenching under the skin.  The pain is incredible and they actually twist my body.   Here is a way to understand how painful it is.   All over the country and here in Florida, the law is making it miserable for real pain doctors to prescribe controlled drugs for pain.   I was already on one controlled medication ( along with my others ) and at my appointment last month they told me I was in such distress that they needed to put me on a second.  Today they upped the amount of my medications again with no questions asked.   Sitting is one of the hardest thing for me, which is why my job is great because I am moving and sitting, standing, walking ect as I need to.

Don’t cry for me, for I have it good compared to others.  I have insurance, and the ability to pay for my doctors visits and to pay for my medication.  Not easy to make it in this world today, but thank goodness I can get the relief I need.  I have a roof over my head and food in my belly.  I have the ability to go on mini day trips to the local amusement parks and the medications to make doing so both bearable and enjoyable enough to do with friends.   And people who want to go to them with me.   So Compare me to the next two people I will tell you about.

We got a new PT late in the day yesterday.  I was busy and did not get a chance to even see the PT until almost as I was leaving.  During the nurses pass on they really need to get through it with as few distractions as possible.  So during that time if a PT uses the call bell I try to answer it.  Most of the time I can’t help as they want meds, but once and a while I can.   Last night during this time the new PT used his call bell.   We go directly to the rooms as our unit is only 11 beds.  I went in and introduced my self.  I asked what the PT needed.  He was a man in his upper 50’s.   He morosely asked me for facial tissue and a few other easy to get things.  I got them for him and then explained I was going off duty very soon, and wished him a good night.   “Oh” he drones ” it wont be”!  I stopped and looked at him, why I asked would his night not be good.   He launched into a litany of things he thought would go wrong.  Not had gone wrong, not even dealing with being in the hospital, but just a whole list of things that he felt had gone wrong in his life and daily living.  Oh lets see, he knew he got up to go pee a lot, so I showed him his urinal, he knew this or that happened to him.  I said to him….”well can you try to have a good night..”?  he just looked he never has a good night.   Now I know he has a lot of medical problems.   But he is in our ICU and has some of the best people caring for him, the best access to medications, and a comfortable bed, food, and TV one could want.  Plus for free he will have people check on him and help him get what he wants to be comfortable.   But he knew he wouldn’t have a good night , because he never does.  That makes me so sad for him, his attitude.   Yes he is ill, he has things to worry about I guess.   But as do we all.

Second PT and perhaps in our world the most tragic.  A young man, barely into his twenties.   He was in the other ICU and I went to help them one morning.  They said to me Help us with him , we can’t stand him.  Why I asked.  Oh he is obnoxious, and talks non stop and is hyper and just a pain.  Well lets see.   The young man was hyper, very hyper.  He was a mess health wise and mental health wise.   He had infections, he had diabetics since he was 13 and was not following his diabetic needs, way out of compliance.  He had used illegal drugs and may have done so recently.  He had to be watched as he played with his IV’s when in the hospital and he got them infected, and blocked up.   He was small, and while he had a nice young persons body he had scars all over himself.  I suspect he was also a boy prostitute as he had a lot of trouble keeping his clothes on and wanted to keep showing me his butt and I kept pointing out to him he needed to cover his little man parts.  When I got there he had no shirt on and even after I got him a shirt he couldn’t keep it on.  He was way too hyper and amped up.   So he was driving everyone nuts, including his sitter, his nurse, and his doctors.  I was able to form a bond with him and help keep him calmed down until he could be released and sent home .  I gave him ten dollars to buy himself some food as he had no money, and was getting 500 in disability.   He had no shoes, so I called C.S.R. and had them send me some cast cover sandals, and some safety pins from my unit, and I put them on him and pinned up the straps.  I called my bosses and arranged for the hospital to pay for a taxi to take him home, and called for that taxi to come get him.   Everyone thought I was nuts to be so kind, so understanding to what they thought of as a young drug using punk.  My Gods I told them, he is a kid with a kids mind.  We are adults.  We need to act like it if we want him to learn to be an adult also.   Maybe he never will be able to do so, but will he learn if we don’t show him.

So looking at these PT’s I can say “don’t cry for me” for I have it grand.   Many hugs and I hope everyone of you is well, has what you need, and is safe, secure, and happy.   Hugs


  1. Scottie;
    That is so incredible, so very understanding of you in regards to that young man who was such a handful. Sometimes people are so in need of attention, of caring at all, that they will accept it in the most negative terms just to get it. To understand that he could get care and understanding without being obnoxious is huge.

    Great move, my friend.

    And, how cool to get flowers at work!


    Thank you Randy for the glowing words, and I hope I could live up to them some day. In the back of my mind was what if James was in the hospital in his manic phase. He is a good young, a great young man, he doesn’t use drugs or drink lots of booze, but in his most manic he will pace and walk and talk and stuff. He will be hyper. He can’t help it. It is part of him, he can’t change it and he knows he is different. Like this boy he gets frustrated easy, and is some what O.C.D. about things when in that phase. I would be mortified if some one treated my son the way they were treating him. I would be upset with my self if I treated anyone they way they were. Compassion for some one who has problems you don’t should be a given. So did I help this young man, yes, did my co-workers make fun of that, yes some did. Did I tell them it was the right thing to do and if it had been my son I would have had their butt…oh YES I did. But thanks for the very nice kind words. Hugs


    Comment by randy — July 27, 2012 @ 20:05

  2. Hello again Scottie,

    Wow, I hardly know where to begin. I can see that you have some serious back problems. I have a friend who is 73 and he has a history of serious back issues. But, I think you may have him beat. He had three serious back surgeries over a period of 7 months. We think he is better, but he is still not able to do much and walks most always with a cane. I simply don’t know how you can continue to work under the physical duress you have to deal with. You are one tough person, no doubt.
    You ability to care for patients beyond what almost everyone else does is remarkable. I feel I also have some of that kind of compassion, but you take it to levels i could not imagine for myself. What you do to help others like the young patient you describe may not have much impact on the life of the kid, but
    you just never know. And being a caring kind person as you are, is never going to hurt anyone, and who knows…
    You my be that one person that this guy ( or someone else) needs at that moment. Bless you for your ability to care. And finally I am very glad you and Ron have each other. That has to be a huge blessing to both of you.

    Hello Carlitos. I wish the best for your friend. Back pain is hard. But Carlitos, I don’t think I am special. I just do what is in me to do. I couldn’t live with my self if I treated others badly, if I did not give it my all, if I mistreated or looked down on others who are not as fortunate as I am. Yes my job is demanding, both physically and mentally, maybe spiritually. I do get so very sore, I get discouraged, I wonder some times how I can get up from my desk and go to help a PT. But then I realize I can do it because they need me. I would love to think I made a difference to that young man, maybe for that day I did. But his world is already beset by so much that I doubt my kindness would last long in his mind. I am just a 49 yr old guy who does the best he can and hopes for a better day for all of us. Thank you for coming to my Toy Box and for the comments you leave, I enjoy hearing from you. Hugs


    Comment by carlitos — July 28, 2012 @ 00:36

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