Wednesday, December 14, 2005

12/14/05 Wednesday
8:31 This may be a rough day. Stress has a powerful effect on me and this VA thing about losing my pension is taking its toll. I was going to call the number on the letter but don’t think it would be a good idea. I write well cause I have time to think but can’t talk well when stressed cause I can’t think fast enough and lose my train of thought. Writing helps me cause I can go back and read, thus regaining that train of thought. Right now I am running about a five but that can drop down fast. Just to give you an idea it is now 8:56 and it has taken nearly a half hour to write this much. I keep having to correct my sentences so they make sense. They seem fine when I first write them but when I go back and read I find them not good.
I took my pill and showered. Cherie is worrying bad about finances because of this and her hospital bill. This is bad because for her worry turns into fear and grows on her. I think I will quit writing till I can do better. Headache coming.

I tried to call the VA number anyway but I was right, it didn’t work out to well. First there’s the automated maze where you bounce around pushing whatever button the robot on the other end tells you, with a vain hope it will get you not just a human but the right one….Nah! I just push zero to find a real person. The guy would keep giving me the same response every time I started to explain what was going on. “There’s a form with your letter. Just fill that out and send it in” he would say.
Finally he figured he needed to pull me up on the computer to see what was going on. That’s when he found I should be talking with the Detroit office. I told him I dialed the number on the letter and he said that it was directed to Cincinnati (or Cleveland. Can’t remember) because I was calling from Toledo. Great, I can’t call the Detroit office from here, I have to drive to Michigan and the cell phone still won’t do it because it’s registered in Ohio.
Fine then. I looked for whatever paperwork I have about my court case and can’t find anything. I grabbed the letter and headed to the Glendale VA clinic. By the time I got there I was pretty shaky. I had called Cherie to ask if she knew where the legal stuff was and she could tell immediately that I was not doing well from my voice. I went to the mental health section where I had been going and asked if someone could help me. I was told to go to the section that had worked to get my pension.
The two guys in the office recognized me and even knew my name. Of course they weren’t familiar to me at all but that’s one of the reasons I have the pension, can’t remember a face. Anyway they were real helpful in directing me how to work on this. I have to get documents from the court proving I was not in prison and hadn’t been. More fun but I think probation can get me the documentation.
I came home and limped to the apartment. When I am stressed and slow the paralysis on my right side becomes pronounced. I was running about a two or three on the Bob scale so I took some of the herbal medicine. It is astounding how quickly it turned me around. My mind has cleared and I have energy. It’s almost like I am a different person.
I called Allen and invited him for dinner tonight. Figured it would be best cause I am cooking this killer roast and black eyed peas. Besides, tomorrow is going to be nasty with snow so I would rather not be on the road. He said he would after some deliberation. I called Cherie to let her know and then set about cleaning and cooking. She reminded me about the sewing machine so I had her call to see if it was still there. It was so I went to get it. When I got there the ladies were nice and remembered how excited Cherie was about the machine. I told them about our love story and they said what every one does when they hear it. “Are you writing a book? That would make a great movie”.
Allen called and said he had to go somewhere and wouldn’t get back till 5:00 so that gives me a little more time. I am rushing now and ran to Kroger to pick up one of those frozen apple pies you can just throw in the oven and bake and some rolls. I left a note for Cherie and ran to get Allen. He was late and motioned for me to come in the house when I wanted to go. Joshua’s (Cherie’s nephew) thirteenth birthday is today so I wanted to get Allen fed and out of there quickly so we could make it over. Not going to happen.
Allen was animated and talking a my a minute. “Allen your geeking” I told him. He knew I was talking about him being high on his pain pills he had just gone out and gotten. “No I’m not. What are you talking about? I’m fine, I’m always like this” he said in denial. There was no point in belaboring the issue so I motivated him to leave.
Getting to the house Allen visited while I got moving on finishing getting the meal ready. He talked and talked and I had to tell him to leave me out of the conversation because I need to concentrate on the food. “If you want to eat don’t talk to me” I said. Of course that didn’t work. Allen was regaling Cherie with stories of how federal agents came rappelling down from a helicopter to bust his marijuana patch. He laughed as he told how they got the small patch he had to teach a friend how to grow but missed the two acres of plants that were just over a hill. Then he would talk of machine guns and all kinds of stuff like that. He was getting animated and loud about it so I had to check him. “Allen, Cherie doesn’t know about any of that stuff, it’s a world she is not familiar with. Our neighbor is a deputy sheriff so I would appreciate it if you would hold it down. Why don’t you find something else to talk about”.
It was hard to talk with him as it always is. I would try to teach him simple things like how to reduce stress and learn to relax as well as dealing with pain. There was nothing I could say that he would not argue with. After I took him back home I asked Cherie her take on this because I don’t trust my perception and she is an outside party. Her response was that it is a wonder we are friends because we always argue. I tried to get Allen looking to his future instead of dwelling on all the pain of his past with little success. I told him his dependence on pain pill was destroying him and sucking him dry. In the classic denial all alcoholics and drug addicts have he said he didn’t have a problem. “I have a high tolerance Bob. I have to take more than the average person because of that” he told me. “Allen your tolerance you built up through using more and more of the stuff. I know Allen, I’ve been there so I know better. You can tell me whatever you want but you know I’m right”. It went on till I told him it was time to head out. We stocked him up with lots of leftovers and I got him home.
Getting back home Cherie and talked about this and agreed it would be too much to have Allen over too often. Helping people comes with a price and I know this going in. Part of that price is we carry some of the emotional load which can get worse when some one goes bad, such as a suicide. We don’t help because of a reward of some kind, we help cause they need help.

It’s 9:20 right now and I will see if I can fill in this day. I did as you can see but there is some missing. That’s ok. I’m tired and Cherie is snoring besides me as I type this. Night y’all.

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