Meet The Contributors

Mandy ~ I am a stay at home mom who has been on a medical roller coaster ride going from doctor to doctor trying to figure out what is wrong with me. All of the doctors agreed that there is something medically wrong with me, they just don't know what... Basically, just about every time that I go to the doctor, I wind up with a new diagnosis. It is very frustrating. I hope that some of these links will maybe help you or lead you in the right direction.

Ferd ~ I have had the honor and pleasure of practicing Internal Medicine for over 25 years. I am now enjoying sharing my thoughts and experience in the blogosphere in a number of ways. I am grateful to Mandy for including me on her excellent blog, Texas Medical Freak!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Freaky Friday ~ Dealing With Crazy Neighbors

I have not done a “Freaky Friday” post in quite a while. Recently, I was invited to be a featured blogger on when they ran across my Freaky Friday ~ Will Wonders Never Cease.

The following topic is on Schizophrenia, it and other mental health disorders, are serious illnesses and should be treated. This post is not meant to make fun of anyone except for the two people mentioned in this post. You will find helpful links and articles at the end of this post.

Now, to dealing with crazy neighbors, I don’t know how we wound up with two…and I really don’t have any answers to this problem (wish that I did). My daughter has always called our neighborhood the “Twilight Zone” because of all the strange people in our neighborhood. We have had our house for about 12 years, almost from day 1 we had problems with the woman across the street. She has Schizophrenia, her main issue has been that she does not like people parking on her side of the street. I could understand this if her house faced ours but, you see she has a corner lot and our house faces hers. She has major issues with people parking on the street on the side of her house (or in front). In the past she has gone as far as calling the police on our friends and family for parking there (or, throwing eggs and putting the water sprinkler over the fence so that they cannot get into their cars). I am not talking the “non-emergency number” but 911. The police have come out I don’t know how many times and every time she tries her hardest to convince them that her property line extends 6 feet into the street. We and the entire neighborhood have dealt with her for years. Overall, she is pretty harmless other than the fact that she loves to call 911 for just about anything. Good news though finally about four years ago she started leaving us alone along with pretty much everyone else. Well, except for the second crazy neighbor.

The second crazy neighbor lives directly next to us, he too is schizophrenic. Although, he pretty much leaves us alone, we still have to put up with his antics. His main issues are with basically anyone of color (any color). When he first moved in, he had a run in with neighbor #1, over the parking issue. One day I happened to look out the window and to my surprise, I saw neighbor #1 walking across the street headed my direction. At first I thought that she was headed to our house, then I saw that she was headed to neighbor #2’s house. With her cell phone in hand (and I am sure with 911 pre-dialed on her phone) she started up his steps. The next thing that I knew, I heard neighbor #2 yelling (at the top of his lungs) at neighbor #1. I thought “oh, geeze!” what is he thinking??? So, I call 911. When the police come out they first stop at neighbor #1’s house and talk to her (by now they know the drill) then they come over to neighbor #2’s house…and what does he do? He starts yelling at the police, loud enough that I can hear him in my house over the TV. All of this was about a year and a half to, two years ago. Then out of nowhere, about six months ago he starts in on anyone and everyone of color? Yelling that he is going to kill them all, that they are all going to hell, etc. Sometimes, he even looks like he is yelling at no one? With all of this yelling and threatening, the police have not once taken him in?
Now, being a mother of a child with autism and mental health issues I know about “being a threat to yourself or others”. There has to be something that can be done about neighbor #2?
Here are some links and articles to understanding Schizophrenia:

And finally on a lighter note, a music video of the song that I think of every time things get crazy in my neighborhood. Metallica’s “Sanitarium” Welcome Home, somewhere that I think that #2 may need to spend some time. Metallica, please don’t sue me, I found this on YouTube. Not to mention I am a big fan =)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Long Vacation...

I have not really been on vacation, just sick and taking care of my autistic child. Quite a bit has happened since my last post. It started out with that terrible cold that was going around in mid March, my youngest and I both had it for over a week. When we finally got over that, we took a trip to see my dad and our autistic son. We had a good visit but we were still at the end of our colds.

At the end of March, I finally got a hearing for my Social Security. I applied about two years ago; got denied, hired a local Social Security Disability law firm, got denied again and then finally got the hearing with the judge. At the hearing office I had to go through security with the security guard, it was a bit like going through security at the airport. Had I known this, I would have carried my usual airport things; a tiny wallet (with my ID, bank card and insurance card), then wore a pair of Crocs. But nooo…I had a purse full of all kinds of stuff. I had to dump everything out and let them go through it, then get wanded. When we finally got to the hearing room there was the judge, court reporter, a job expert and (via the phone) the social security doctor. First the judge asked me a lot of questions about how I felt and what was wrong with me and then about my various careers. After explaining to him what I had done at my past few jobs that spanned back about 15 years, he told the “job expert” that she was no longer needed. Then came the ss doctor on the phone…first he didn’t think that my Chronic Kidney Disease is as bad as it is, then came the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome…he tried to say that it was not a “text book case” of CFS (my attorney came back with asking the doctor if there was anywhere in any of my doctor’s reports that said that I was not chronically fatigued? The ss doctor said “no”) next was the Fibromyalgia; somehow my pressure point test did not wind up in any of the reports? When the hearing finally ended, I left with no answer for my SSDI (no yes, but no “no” either)

The day after the hearing I went to see a Rhumotolist, to get diagnosed by an “expert” for the Fibro. I have been a little reluctant to see a Rhumotolist, mainly because of all of my goofy medication allergies. But, to my surprise he was really good! Due to my allergies and CKD there are a lot of pain medications that I am not able to take, he came up with Ultram which is aspirin based and does not have the compound that is in Darvocet, Percodan and most others that end in “cet”. He agreed that I do have Fibro and hopefully…this will help in my SS case.

Then finally it is the end of the school year, yea!!! My autistic son flew out to stay just a little over a month, he has been doing this since my mother passed away. With my mother gone, my dad doesn’t always have someone to watch him while he is working. Even though he is 15 and high functioning, you cannot leave him by himself. This summer, we had a really hard time with him. I think that his Psychiatrist is on the “conservative” side and does not have him medicated enough. Most of the time that he was here this time, he did not go to sleep until after 2:00 if he did sleep at all. He has always had a problem with sleeping, before we started him on medication he would “maybe” sleep for about a hour a day after the age of three and even before that he rarely took naps. It would not be so bad if he would stay in his room but, he wanders around (even outside sometimes) and gets into EVERYTHING! So, I had to say up with him and not take my evening medications most of the time he was here. By the time he left to go home, I was completely exhausted.
About getting into “EVERYTHING”, I do mean everything. He got into my husband’s clothes (he wears an adult XL and my husband wears an adult M, not sure why he does this? He even gets into my clothes???) he found my daughters artwork that she did in high school that has been missing since 2003. He likes to draw and has tons of his own paper, colored pencils and markers but, he got into and used up my brand new set of Prisma color markers. Everyone in the house’s stuff is free-reign but, he will have a fit if you touch his things. We are just about at our wits end, we have tried everything that we can think of to teach him that; you have to ask to use someone else’s things and you don’t steal. It is not that he does not have the ability to learn this but, it is like he is a clepto maniac. The things that he takes, he does not need like with the markers he had his own. Please post any suggestions or things that have worked for you if you have dealt with this or the sleep problem.