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Medical Care, a consumer’s perspective- Mercy Health – Lorain ( 2)

Part Onehttps://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2019/03/22/the-ratings-of-medical-facilities-series-it-begins/

Part Two- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2019/04/09/medical-care-from-a-consumers-perspective-ohio/

Part Three- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2019/04/22/medical-care-a-consumers-prospective-mercy-health-lorain/

Mercy Health — Lorain Hospital https://www.mercy.com/locations/hospitals/lorain

After hours of torment and worry , my  husband was in ICU- Mercy  Health , Lorain. The brain surgery  went well, now a matter of time.  I  have been in ICU’s more times than I  care to  remember , each  hospital a little different.

I have to  state here and now the  ICU nurses and team at Mercy were wonderful to  us. I cannot say  enough  about them , they  were so  caring and compassionate. The housekeeping staff who  cleaned  and cleaned would see me sitting in the small waiting room whilst tests and all things happening to  make my  husband comfortable were happening. I would see a hand reach  out and put down a cup  of coffee or fruit drink and a smile.

Yes, they  made things so  much  easier.

I really  had to  force myself to  think and stay  upright and ask questions of the myriad of people who would come in an out including physicians, physicians assistants, residents.

 

Indeed  on a few occasions I had no  clue as to  who  they  were , some not all introduced  themselves, very  businesslike  and with  a clipped manner  when answering my  questions or observations. In the end, I  learned to   ask  those questions of the nurses and they  would check  for me. When  dealing with  “one or two  of the physicians”  the answers were ensconced in medical terms  and a couple of times I  had to  have them repeat their answers  due to  heavily accented language I  found difficult to  grasp. That was something I also  had to  deal with  later on as well.

I wrote to  the CEO of Mercy ( Edwin Oley) after we transferred to  the Cleveland Clinic Rehab Hospital . I have copied parts of the letter and my concerns . I  have left out the physicians names  for this blog but they  were named in my  letter. Needless to  say  I  have not received any  response from Mercy  Health  Lorain ( not that I  expected  any    but “received and filed ” might have been polite at least :

Excerpts and notes  from the letter- February  12th 2019

For the attention of Edwin Oley, Mark Rau and Cheryl Rieves

Dear Mr. Oley,

I am writing today not only to thank the nursing staff for their excellent care, and also “housekeeping ladies” in the ICU who were so kind and helpful during our time of crisis and all but one of the physicians.

January 18th my husband had a fall – although his Doctors are at St. John’s West Shore we were taken to your ER. I have no complaints with the treatment there . He was admitted with a small brain bleed , which they felt would be absorbed and that is what looked like was happening. He was in ICU for a couple of days , then in general population and then sent to your REHAB unit. Again, I find no fault with the care, the nursing and rehab staff or physicians .

January 24th my husband suffered another major brain bleed in your Rehab unit ( on the right side of his brain) It was totally due to your response team , staff and Dr. XXXXX that my husband didn’t die, he literally was minutes away from that happening .

We were so grateful this happened IN the hospital had he been elsewhere he would have died. After major surgery he was sent back to CC11 in ICU – he was intubated and the care was wonderful . It was there I encountered Dr. PXXXX who did not impress me, I didn’t even know who he was and he certainly did not interact with me at all.

 

Wednesday January 30th my husband was finally able to come off the “tube” I must state here , my daughter and I had been putting in 15 hours shifts, trading off so one of us would be there , a terrible and emotionally draining time .

 

Six days after the surgery and two hours off the breathing apparatus I went home for a rest . I was woken by a Social Worker phoning me to explain “I would have to make a decision as to my plans for my husband “ I told her I have no plans he hasn’t even woken up – any plan I would have would be to get him sitting in a chair. She stated I would have to let them know and would leave a list of facilities in his room . which she did!

NOTE THIS IS THE LIST OF FACILITIES GIVEN TO  US BY  MERCY HEALTH  SOCIAL WORKERS!

 

 I want you  to  put yourself in our position, we had had a terribly  traumatic time very  little sleep for days  and we were given a list of 34 places  one of which   my  husband needed to  be transferred to  in coming days. We didn’t know “what his prognosis would be, if he had major brain damage and here is the list  “check them out…….( this certainly  was not helpful)

Saturday February 2nd My husband was moved to Tower two North– Once again hours after being in the new room I was sent another Social Worker – I had to make plans – he was still out of it and on a feeding tube and unable to swallow on his own . I reiterated I had no plans I couldn’t make an educated decision until I talked to my medical professionals who knew his history and were not in your network. I asked if this is rehab why couldn’t he stay at Mercy in the Rehab unit where he was initially – I was told flat out he would no longer meet the criteria of 3 hours daily . Dr. AXXXXXXXXXXX of Rehab would not accept him. I said well I am not making a decision until I know more.

Every day I was prompted by   staff as to my decision.

Tuesday February 5th – during rounds – Dr. PXXXX and a host of people came into the room . I had only had cursory glances with this Doctor – I didn’t even know why he was there, every other physician explained who they were and what their specialty was , including therapy professionals. The communication in that area was excellent.

 

During this particular round Dr. PXXXX informed me they would have to put a feeding tube in his stomach, and I would have to make plans as to where I was sending him. The Social Worker also reiterated when I asked:

 Why can’t he stay at Mercy Rehab after all I felt comfortable and they saved his life.

ONCE again I was told Dr. AXXXXXXXXXX wouldn’t accept him .

 

Dr. PXXXX said:

you have to decide and he needed “skilled nursing”

I said

No I need to talk to his Drs.- PXXXX informed me “transfer him to St. Johns , I said the insurance wouldn’t cover that as it would be a lateral move, I would  check out some of the facilities on this list and since I had been in the hospital for days on end I hadn’t had time . He informed me that once the feeding tube was in he would be ready to leave.

I suggested, it seemed to me they were doing that to   get rid of him.

Dr. PXXXX left the room whilst my daughter was asking a question re the stomach tube….. only to return and said AXXXXXX  MXXXXX ( name of local facility) !!!! I understand he some interest in that facility.

Actually the next morning ,my husband who finally woke up to some degree, pulled out the feeding tube from his nose, they couldn’t put in the stomach tube due to food in the esophagus and it was delayed until Wednesday at which stage he had been now moved to Cardiology .

He has AFIB and because they couldn’t feed him his heart medication in liquid form they moved him so they could give it in his IV. Whilst in Cardiology they once again tested his swallowing capabilities and he passed- no stomach feeding tube)

 

Again another Social Worker came in what were my plans ????I spent the next hours researching and pop in visiting these facilities –

I was told Mercy Allen had no beds available and I couldn’t give them a date anyway .

 

At this point in the epistle I would like to add that my husband has for the past 16 years has NOT been able to take Statin Drugs of any kind. In fact in ER we specifically stated and it was put on his wrist ALLERGY STATINS  HOWEVER, some Physician , whom I never heard of or spoke to PRESCRIBED LIPITOR- A STATIN which actually started to cause my husband issues.

My daughter stopped the nurse from giving the 2nd dose. After checking I found written in the note “QUESTIONABLE ALLERGY”) NOT ONCE DID ANYONE ( INCLUDING THE PHYSICAN ) ‘QUESTION THE FAMILY AS TO WHY THIS DRUG WAS NOT ALLOWED!

 Cardiology sent my husband back to 2 north

( NOTE: it was only  later at the Cleveland Clinic  I  found out my  husband had been prescribed  Lanoxin by  the same “unknown physician”. Had I  known  I  would have mentioned that  it was found in a previous “heart issue” Lanoxin did cause serious side effects with  him.. such  as paranoia , confusion ( remember that  for chapters two  and three of the journey. Again this is partly  due to  my  not remembering all the drugs he has had issues with  and the fact they  did not have access to  his full medical history

As I researched, Wednesday and talked to many people I decided on the Cleveland Clinic Rehabilitation Hospital – Avon. Their representative came an evaluated my husband late Wednesday evening . My daughter and I toured the facility on Thursday morning the 7th . We were very pleased with what we found . THIS FACILITY WAS NOT ON THE LIST GIVEN TO ME!  ( Note you  can see I  penciled it in on the list from Mercy  Health)

 

THEN IT STARTED – For days and days I was told Mercy would not accept him back into their rehab unit WHERE we had asked to go time and time again. BUT LO AND BEHOLD HAVING BEEN TOLD FOR OVER A WEEK NO!!!!! ALL OF A SUDDEN – OH WE WANT HIM HERE- HE CAN STAY PLEASE ! I had all sorts of staff and Directors etc – stating he COULD GO BACK to Rehab. I spoke to Rehab representatives who had found out that morning he wasn’t coming back –

Dr. PXXXX actually told the staff  I was sending my husband to a skilled nursing facility – which was NOT TRUTHFUL I hadn’t made up my mind at that point and was waiting to hear back from the Clinic. HE HAD NO BUSINESS SPEAKING FOR ME!!!! AND Dr. AXXXXXXXXX had not made any such determination as to my husband’s status as I was told by Rehab. Staff on Thursday morning .

 

The decision to leave was very hard we had received excellent care but what with the No Room at the Inn fiasco  and the pushing to leave and make other plans during a time of great distress for me and my family and the “statin” situation we have moved my husband. He is very weak but starting to respond.

 

My feeling is your facility fell down in not communicating to the family properly – social workers should give “all pertinent information”- in laypersons language and a full explanation as to why ( days of paper work etc) to families who are under stress as it is.

 

At least two of your physicians caused more harm, emotionally to the family and in one case could have caused other issues. Due to the protein treatments given in ER , to combat the Xarelto I informed them that within days he would get a major gout flare up ( Gout initially   due to statins after his open heart surgery in 2002. Which is WHY NO Statins) . He did get a Gout attack on the Wednesday Jan 23rd in Rehab, they drained the knee and gave him a cortisone shot but the damage was done.

Photo  source : https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Healthcare-professional-views-of-hospital-to-home-care-transitions_fig1_230565561

Why the 2nd massive brain bleed the next morning – well we aren’t sure, but REHAB staff saved his life and the fact he isn’t there today at your facility is entirely at the hands of administrative decisions poor communication between social workers and overriding a medical allergy without discussing why it was necessary with the family. Questions feel free to contact me……

I  don’t think  I  need to  go  into  further detail this letter pretty  much  said it all. And the cost so  far  for Mercy Health  –  is approximately  $70,000.00 and climbing .

 

Next Up  Cleveland Clinic Rehabilitation Hospital

 

 

April 29, 2019 at 9:59 pm 7 comments

May 3rd- Words are all I have- Chris Ritchey

Words- text- communication through  a written language. Reading was always difficult for you  as a little boy you were at the beginning of a local failing school system. A system that had to  show progress, so  although  you  had the extra classes , they  passed you  through as completing their  grant driven reading programs. It wasn’t until the 5th  grade we found out , when I  had you  privately  tested, just how bad the problem was. Three years of catch-up and a change to  private education.

Those years were hard for you , you  thought you  must be “stupid”.  However, you  also  developed a skill of  communicating “visually” . Eventually  reading caught up  with  your ability  to  use your art to  communicate.  You  found a niche for your talent at Lorain County  Community  College https://www.lorainccc.edu/

and on the advice of the college you transferred to  Cleveland Institute of Art

http://www.cia.edu/

artwork Chris Ritchey

It was at the students art show at Cleveland Institute of Art , I  was looking at some of your designs etc. I noticed a couple of mistakes in the text. I spoke to  the your instructor that evening about the  mistakes in the text.  He looked at me and said :

“that is not a problem , we can teach  and correct  spelling  etc. what I  can’t teach  is what your son has, his ability  , creativity  and talent. I will give a an assignment  to  the group – “come   up  with  three different  advertising concepts  on a given product/ client  within a week” – Chris, will come back  within two  days with  10  entirely  different takes.  I can’t teach  that……

 

Eventually  you  gained a  position as Art Director for  Wyse Advertising .

http://www.wyseadv.com/

Apparently , according to  your boss at the time, you were poised to do  great things in advertising … we will never know…. but Wyse  were wonderful to  you during that terrible time of your illness.

I do  remember that first year  you worked for Wyse  you  were asked to  do  the ad for them in the annual “Torchlight” Membership  Directory

The monthly AAF-Cleveland Portfolio features the latest in industry development and trends, association insights and updates, and achievements of local members. “Torchlight,” our annual membership directory, is an invaluable “Who’s Who” reference manual of members, agencies, and services in Cleveland advertising.

The directory  was in your portfolio   and the ad………. text, words …….. “scan of the full-page ad that appeared in the Torchlight”

Artwork Christopher Ritchey

 

But there aren’t any  words  that were  so  important as the last words you  wrote to  me – even with  the spelling mistake…….I carry  them with  me every  day

 

Mother’s Day  is coming, once again tinged with  tears and bitter-sweet  ———– I love you…………I need to  finish writing  the book  if I can find the words

 

May 3, 2018 at 11:19 am Leave a comment

A dangerous situation- Castration of Justice- Lorain

UPDATE: May  14th-2018  ACCORDING TO  THE OWNER – MR. ROBERT GONZALES OF 1026 W. 4TH  STREET, CARLOS LOPEZ AS DOCUMENTED IN COURT RECORDS UNDER HOUSE ARREST AT 1026 W. 4TH STREET DOES NOT RESIDE AT THAT PROPERTY…. YOU  HAVE TO  WONDER THEN “I WONDER WHERE THE FELON WENT”…….

Let me first say – this is entirely  my  own opinion  formed by  circumstances  beyond my control.

This past month I wrote a post :

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2018/03/19/my-roses-their-guns-walk-away-from-lorain/

For over forty  years  we have lived next door to  a house that has ALWAYS been “difficult” both  with  tenants and lack of respect.

We stayed the course always  hoping and trying  not only  to  make this a better neighborhood and invest in what is Lorain’s oldest neighborhood. In the last two  years we have put in over $22,000 dollars in to  an empty  lot  next door

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/10/16/money-where-your-mouth-is-part-7/

turning it from this

to  this

Lack of code enforcement  and bank dumping in recent years  have made the adjoining property  even more of a nuisance.

As mentioned ,so  many  times before on these pages – the system that is Lorain, inspections , judicial , enforcement and accountability  have, in my  opinion, caused this deterioration of a community, all you  have to  do is ride around  “old Lorain and the downtown” .

Ease of public trough  monies, bank dumps and  property  management companies (in and out-of-state)  has pretty  much  overpowered  and forced out the people who have expendable income. Lorain’s past history (Community Development )   and her  knee jerk reactive development has caused that to  happen. Those who  have stayed … they  either have to  or are still trying against odds that are becoming insurmountable.

OK ! people ( who  can)  move out leave their homes or are looking to  leave. But these past few weeks , I have found something far more sinister  and frightening to  we who  stayed.   As documented,  we have had issues with  individuals who , quite frankly, I  wouldn’t have anything in common or to  do  with , a culture of blatant disrespect on the other side of the fence.  I  don’t understand their “behavior” uncivilized  and a detriment to  community.  But that is not the scary  part.

Last week the designated alley  was blocked by  the tow truck which  has been parked next to  my  fence  and their house  for weeks. Our at large council person can attest to  that fact.

 

I needed to  get out of my  garage. Simple ???ask them to  move what I  consider an illegal  commercial vehicle , out-of-the-way. This tow truck bears the Matatanes Towing – the “business” that was raided in

Lorain police net two arrests in suspected heroin bust

Jan 24, 2017 – A Lorain Police Department SWAT Team member watches the front of Matatanes Auto Repair and Towing, 1141 W. 14th St., as narcotics detectives search the business Jan. 24, 2017. The Lorain Police Department Narcotics Unit executed a search warrant at the automotive repair shop and at 911 W. 14th …

 

Once again I  was met with  the curses and obscenities  from individuals who  do  not reside at that residence.. drop  off and carry  out…

What was even more worrying was the fact when I said:

fine I  will call the police, I  was met with  laughter , high  fiving , and call – don’t care .. call the police… etc.

Eventually  the tow truck and its cargo  ( after having some items stripped) was returned to  its usual parking place next to  my  fence   with  now the car on the top  partially  stripped  in full view over the top  of my  8 foot fence  – looming , reminiscent of a  vulture salivating   at the demise of civility.

 

The Lorain Police Dept. is our last bastion of support for the everyday  citizen They protect and serve and yet here were people with   guns, yes guns  for my  European  readers – par for the course in Lorain apparently – scaring the hell out of me – having the very  people who  can protect and serve, FOUND TO BE  LAUGHABLE. I  was gobsmacked – they  obviously  didn’t give a monkeys….

WHY IS THAT??? … well in the case of the posse next door – I  believe it stems from a judicial decision, Judge John Miraldi  , Lorain County  Court of Common Pleas  Case no.   17CR095700

DEFT HAVING COMPLETED PROGRAMMING W/PRIMARY PURPOSE BOND IN THIS CASE IS MODIFIED. DEFT SHALL REMAIN ON HOUSE ARREST AND RESIDE AT 1026 FOURTH ST., LORAIN, OH. DEFT GRANTED WORK PRIVILEGES MONDAY THRU FRIDAY, 8:00 A.M. TO 4:00 P.M. DEFT SHALL REMAIN ON CSR SUPERVISION AND GPS MONITORING THROUGH COURTMON. ANY CHANGES TO THIS SCHEDULE WILL REQUIRE APPROVAL BY THIS COURT. SEE JRNL. (16CR093607/17CR095700)

How nice and comforting for those who  live here and attend school…. this  man now lodging  2 houses down from a school – under house arrest , a trafficker, moved from the 14th  street address to  our neighborhood.

OH he ISN’T an RSO so  he can live there- My  thoughts.. if he is under house arrest then  the Adult Parole Authority  and by  the judge agreeing, has now turned this “rental” into  a place of incarceration – a jail. Oh  and don’t forget this guy  has gone through a few weeks of rehab- that is OK then???? Community  Control- this community  would like more of a say  so  in the control!!!!!

The other “gentleman “ was not  unknown to  the  “good” Judge John  Miraldi  he had appeared (  gone through a drug rehab  program  under his previous – go  around) 12CR086331 in 2012  and  after 4 pages of court documents  where he thwarted the courts ended up  with  him being incarcerated in a real jail.

However  The “good” Judge must have forgotten how lax this “gentleman” was in the previous go  around 2012 because  this was his sentence  after pleading guilty his latest appearance in court ( and he has quite a record!!!) 17CR095698

DEFT APPEARED IN COURT FOR SENTENCING AFTER HAVING WITHDRAWN HIS OR HER PREVIOUSLY ENTERED PLEA OF NOT GUILTY AND HAVING NOW ENTERED A PLEA OF GUILTY TO AND HAVING BEEN FOUND GUILTY BY THE COURT THE FOLLOWING CHARGE(S): COUNT 1: TRAFFICKING IN DRUGS – 2925.03(A)(1) – F5 COUNT 2: TRAFFICKING IN DRUGS – 2925.03(A)(1) – F5 DEFT IS SENTENCED TO COMMUNITY CONTROL FOR A PERIOD OF THREE (3) YEARS ENDING 10/23/2020. SANCTIONS: ISP; DEFT IS TO SERVE SIX (6) MONTHS IN LCCF; PAY ALL COURT COSTS IN FULL; PAY SUPERVISION FEES IN THE AMT OF $720.00; PAY ALL COURT APPOINTED ATTY FEES IN FULL; SEE JRNL FOR OTHER SANCTIONS UP TO 3 YEARS OPTIONAL PRC (JRM)

Pity  he didn’t  remember that case  because  apparently  The perpetrator seems to  be following a pattern – He has a BAD address and so  is not responding to  the court…….OH MY!!!!

DEFENDANT HAVING BEEN ORDERED TO REIMBURSE COURT APPOINTED ATTORNEY FEES, THE COURT FINDS THAT COURT APPOINTED ATTORNEY FEES ARE: $848.00. THE DEFENDANT IS TO PAY SAID AMOUNT TO THE LORAIN COUNTY CLERK OF COMMON PLEAS COURT. THE LORAIN COUNTY CLERK OF COURTS SHALL PAY SAID FUNDS TO THE LORAIN COUNTY TREASURER. SEE JRNL.
11/22/2017 AGING A/R AGING START DATE
12/14/2017 MOTION MOTION TO BE GRANTED JAIL TIME CREDIT FILED BY DEFT. PROSE.
01/22/2018 ITEM ITEMIZED BILL SENT TO DEFENDANT.
02/20/2018 COLLECTIONS 30-DAY DELINQUENT COURT COST LETTER SENT TO DEFENDANT.
02/20/2018 N/A RETURNED MAIL – BAD ADDRESS
03/19/2018 N/A RETURNED MAIL – BAD ADDRESS
03/26/2018 COLLECTIONS 60-DAY DELINQUENT COURT COST LETTER SENT TO DEFENDANT.
04/16/2018 N/A RETURNED MAIL – BAD ADDRESS

Good luck with  that then Judge – although I  know where he has been off and  on  hanging with  the posse.

Can this be why  those individuals last week found it laughable that I would call the Lorain Police Dept. Has the judicial system stymied them in their ability  to  protect and serve , how problematic a “ticket”  when they  are given such  leeway  in  drug trafficking  , breaking and entering etc. ?

I wrote to  Judge John Miraldi, to  the courts wanting to  know why? I realize the Judge John Miraldi  has his own issues to  deal with

http://www.chroniclet.com/cops-and-courts/2018/02/01/Watch-live-Cody-Snyder.html

http://www.chroniclet.com/cops-and-courts/2018/02/02/Judge-s-son-charged-with-tampering-in-connection-with-fatal-shooting.html

 

BUT, in my  opinion, his court and the way the drug traffickers are given the benefit of the doubt and “rehab” and a slap  has castrated justice. I have not  received any  answer or confirmation . There is a surprise ..BAD ADDRESS maybe……….?????

The City  of Lorain, the enforcement of  her ordinances and the judicial system are two  departments that can affect the quality  of the lives of those that are still here, but seeing a wonderful and I  mean wonderful Lorain Police Dept, with  whom  the organization of which  I am co- chair  (CVSI)

http://www.loraincounty.com/charlestonlorai/

has worked in hand with  for  30  years laughed at  sticks in my  craw  .

 

 

These officers put their lives on the line , their welfare and yes sanity  every  time they  go  on shift. They  have to  have the support of the judicial branch. Time to  step  up- these people are admitted traffickers……… stop enabling the dealers!!!!

April 23, 2018 at 3:24 pm 4 comments

Figgy Pudding – A celebration tale – Chris (tmas) Pudding

Traditions in this house took a 180 degree about-face when my  son Chris died. I could no  longer have Christmas  in this house- Oh! my  mum has her “Christmas Grotto” in her little living room  and Gavin and Braedyn come a decorate her little tree and hang the ornaments.

There are no  longer twinkling lights inside or outside this house in celebration of  anyone’s birth- the beliefs of my  childhood torn asunder.

I have  “visited the holidays ” at my  daughters for the sake of her and her family  and the boys. Traditions changed from my  “English  Christmas of yesteryear” – now Christmas Eve  finds lobsters in the pot – named for those that are not very  nice.. and laughter yes, but the traditions of my  daughter’s youth  and of this house have gone the way  of so many  things. Yes! I visit  the holidays – peace on earth  and good will toward men – has a sour note…….. ( too many religious  hypocrites, sadness and questions  added to  the mix of my  life)

But Christmas  is for children and like every  other grandparent last week I  smiled, laughed and cried as the kindergartners at Braedyn’s school put on their holiday  program .  As all the children wore their Santa, Reindeer, Snowflake and Frosty  hats  little faces all a glow , voices were exuberant  in their renditions  and they  joyously  proclaimed the fun that was coming . My  eyes and heart  fell on  Braedyn singing along

Oh, bring us some figgy pudding,Oh, bring us some figgy pudding,Oh, bring us some figgy pudding, And bring it right here.Good tidings we bring you and your kin;We wish you a merry Christmas And a Happy New Year!

I realized not one of them, including my  own grandson, probably  had any  idea  what figgy  pudding was . For the cooks among you  there are two  versions – Figgy  Pudding and Christmas Pudding – http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/warm-sticky-figgy-pudding-recipe-1918585

Traditionally  we and my  family, through the generations,   used the  Christmas Pudding   and this is the recipe  that is close to  what we  always served.( although instead of glace fruit – which  I  hate -we add dried apricots , shredded carrot and a shredded Granny  Smith  apple .)   http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/33519/delicious-christmas-pudding.aspx

Every  year my  mum and I  faithfully  made the “real” fruitcake -( not that terrible American facsimile  that is tossed like rotten pumpkins) and Christmas Pud.  It was tradition and Christopher’s job from about  the age of 7 was to  bring in the lighted pudding  to  the table – he loved lighting the pudding  but never ate any. The only  ones eating it were my  mother and I  and my  husband would “force a little down”.  Christopher was the last to  light a pudding in this house.

However, as I  looked at all those little faces – I  said to  Nikki:

Gavin and Braedyn have no  idea what they   sing about with  this song . They  have never seen a Christmas pudding !

I  decided then it was time to  hand the tradition over to  my  daughter and grandsons. We had missed out on  “Stir Up Sunday”  but better late than never  http://metro.co.uk/2017/11/26/stir-up-sunday-what-is-this-christmas-pudding-tradition-all-about-7109142/

All the members of the family, especially the kids, need to take a turn to stir the mixture and everyone should make a secret wish while they stir.

Gavin had gone hunting with  his Dad  but Braedyn and his mum were game –  so  over the river and through the snowy streets they  came today . Ingredients all measured out  and we have a new pudding maker in the family  under the watchful eye of his Nana .

We all made our wishes , there were smiles and a few opinions as to  how much  brandy  went into  the pudding and now they – the puddings ( we made too much  mixture so  now we have two)  bubble and sing on the stove for the next few hours.  I am not sure about the traditional pudding  boiling away  on Christmas Eve this year with  the lobsters in the pot – but to  each  his own………..

December 16, 2017 at 10:18 pm 5 comments

Dec 3rd- The waiting – Chris Ritchey

The dark days are here – night-time draws ever closer- I am as a child  frightened of the coming bleak hours/ days –  cuddled down in the bed that is life -looking for warmth- a place to  escape  the dreading –  a window has a glimmer of a lighter shade of night illuminating the place where I  lay.

Still my  eyes are drawn to  the corners , where darkness has gathered  and I know that as the dying days draw ever nearer I will have to  face that darkness that has accumulated  and grown over the days , months and years .  As hard as I try to  keep back the darkness of those days of death  , they are ever-present waiting  to  be released by  the memories of your dying   and those terrible days.

The hope – massacred  by  cancer  causing the onslaught of a pain so deep , a scream that never ends  just becomes silent – to  all but a few.  Every  year I dread these days , the holidays  that hold so  much  more to  me now than pumpkin pies, turkey, lighted trees , singing – they  are tinged with  a blight  that dulls happiness to  that of a  shadow  of holidays past.

 

You  are with  us , I  know.. more so than any other … and for that I  am grateful.. but I  long to  see your face.. hear your  voice…… and laugh at your irreverence instead  I have to  pull over my  face  the  covers of protection-   muffle my  sobs into  the bosom of my  family   and wait…………….

I love and miss you  more with  each  passing day

 

December 3, 2017 at 12:15 am 2 comments

August 3rd – INSPIRE- Chris Ritchey

Words are all I have left – As I have gone through some difficult and very painful procedures health wise I have not complained, held my breath and let the health care personages do their jobs. I have put up with the pain and not made a sound whilst they went about their business. That would not have been the case before you had to deal with the obscenity that is cancer and all those damned procedures. I watched your every flinch, grimace , holding your breath during all those tests and procedures- but you uttered not a cry even when they literally killed you chemically – mouth full of ulcers – joints exploding in pain.

Now I deal with life differently on all levels. I know the debilitating pain you tried to hide from me in Texas, the consequences to your body after the double stem transplant – your voice so weak and yet when you would answer your phone the strength would come back into your voice for those few minutes in order to shield the caller from how you were really feeling. The nurse who said to me in those last days He is phenomenally strong- anyone else would have been on that vent 4 days ago.

You have become and became my inspiration to “deal with” – how could I be cowardly when you were so brave!

Inspire – one of the meanings of this word
2. breathe in (air); inhale.

Middle English enspire, from Old French inspirer, from Latin inspirare ‘breathe or blow into,’ from in- ‘into’ + spirare ‘breathe.’ The word was originally used of a divine or supernatural being, in the sense ‘impart a truth or idea to someone.’

In the end it was the inability to breathe that took you from us…. and yet captured in your art work is that very breath you took and blew into a celtic glass piece As soon as I saw the piece I knew it was

Breath of Life – Celtic Knot – Chris Ritchey

inspired by the very necklace I wore so often when you were young – you used to be fascinated by it. I made up stories for you of treasures and adventures of a little boy named Chris – pirates and treasure hunts just the way I make up stories for Gavin and Braedyn now as we go into the places of our imaginations.

I will always love you Chris until my last breath and beyond….

You are my inspiration in more than one sense of the word……………

August 3, 2017 at 12:53 am 3 comments

April 3rd – sample of life – Chris Ritchey

Breath of Life – Celtic Knot – Chris Ritchey


At first, after you died I girded myself for the arrival of the mailman – sympathy cards, notifications in your name, even the ones from the monuments people wanting us to purchase you a headstone- at least they recognized your family should have a say. As the months disappeared into years pretty much the only mail for you would be the yearly invite to a “four-wheeler” event.

Last week however, Monday , found me opening your letter calling for you to submit work created between January 2015 and December 2016 for AIGA Cleveland . My breath was only sucked out of me for just a few moments and although I was in a foul mood and very touchy for the rest of the day, causing everyone around me to tread on eggshells, I managed.

Then the mailman knocked on the door three days later with a registered letter from the Cleveland Clinic – I can’t abide that conglomerate of medical management http://my.clevelandclinic.org/ This letter was from the Andrology Laboratory and Reproductive Tissue Bank.
Apparently they were updating records and it came to their attention you had passed away “our condolences” (written as an after thought) but we need to dispose of what remains of your son’s life ( my words) hereto known as the “sample” .

I was confused, incredulous , not sure what I was reading – yes I remembered you, on doctor’s advice, had banked sperm before the chemo. I had wondered weeks after your death what would happen. I didn’t do anything because since the Lombardis and the then your wife – Angela Ritchey ( now Dr. Angela Murphy- http://my.clevelandclinic.org/staff/16147-angela-murphyespecially Sue Lombardi ,had made ALL the decisions as to what would be happening with you, my son and your mortal remains, with no input from his family – they would have seen to this as well. I hadn’t realized you had designated me in this instance.

And here it was -the Clinic apparently had not “disposed of ” (their term) the sample upon your death as contracted . Now, I have to make the decision to call them re maintaining the samples – should I do nothing they will commence the disposal on what would ironically be your wedding anniversary !!!!

I read and reread the letter , my gut churned, my mind ran amuck – this planet still holds your life essence and the cavalier Clinic wanted to tell me they were once again in disposal mode.

Angela , Sue and Tim Lombardi


I cried ,gasped for air, memories became reality once again in the ensuing hours. Everything came rushing back – emotional incontinence, anger , disbelief, pain returned full force.

Thoughts of what could be , what should have been, pulling the plug conference in that damned hospital – stony faced Lombardis – removed from the emotions of your death – sitting at that conference table looking like they were smelling bad fish and hoping against hope I would agree to your being taken off life support. Inconvenient, if I wouldn’t agree as Sue Lombardi had already picked out the “coffin clothes”. https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2010/10/14/an-open-letter-mama-sue-lombardi/

I wasn’t thinking straight –

I could get legal advice about maintaining the “sample” – you see to me was more than a “sample” it was my grandchildren that would never be- the life essence of my son and yet there was hope still– surrogate mother ran through my head- what would that cost? and then the darker thoughts of what did they mean by “disposal ” did they dump your “essence of life” into medical waste, the toilet , down a sink? My mind raged , bled and remembered……

Logically I know, you had signed the contract your “sample” should be “disposed of” after your death, so I believe that is what you wanted. Even if I could find a surrogate – it would be sheer selfishness on my part to bring a child into the world when I am surely heading out of it before they would be grown and finally you had a blood cancer when the “sample of life” was taken, I couldn’t take a chance that any child born would have a chance of cancer.

I haven’t responded to the Clinic as yet- although I know I will have to but it is hard to once again have to pull that plug……….

I love you ………

Artwork Chris Ritchey

April 3, 2017 at 11:55 am 3 comments

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