Friday, June 14, 2013

Jim Breuer: More Than Me

I just finished watching Jim Breuer's Documentary More Than Me, Breuer one of the top touring comedians, SNL Alumn beloved radio guest/host and manic cackler brought his 82 year old dad along for the ride on his Breuniversity tour for this Doc.

Like Breuer, More Than Me is layered with compassion humor love and pain. Breuer shows the singular pain, doubt, and fear any caregiver feels all while showing how much he loves his Octogenarian father.

Brewer's dad a WWII bomber airman, and hero has seen time ravage his body yet takes it all in that certain stride that only those of his generation seem to be able to muster. Mobility issues, unwrangled bowel movements and what is certainly a bit of dementia, a diagnosis Breuer fights with the best of us keeping his dad engaged and reminded of his loved ones.

After trying the full time nurse route Breuer explains how he knew both he and his dad would be better off with his taking over the Care-giver roll. So off on the tour bus they go through foul smelling bathroom incidents and incidents that fall short of the bathroom to loving conversations and good natured pestering The Breuer men find out more about themselves and their relationship than I bet they bargained for.

I come to More Than Me from both directions having taken care of my dad, moving him in with us and becoming his primary care giver as well as being now in a situation where my own illness leaves me in need of care and support.

My dad a strong proud Air Force Veteran and former track and field athlete lost both of his legs after a long fight with diabetes, a fight he did not have the weapons to wage that took a lot out of him. Still dad after his long stay in the hospital and rehab centers came home and seemed as though nothing was wrong. Legs, what legs? I saw while caring for and living back with my dad the relationship we should have had all of my life but dads are busy working and living their own life to be there for their children especially back then.

Now I have always had a very close strong loving relationship with my boys and that hasn't changed one bit, but I have seen the weight my sickness has laid on their shoulders and the fear they have grown to live with. They have had to watch their dad fall from Super Hero status to barely able to do a damned thing and I feel so guilty over this sometimes that I can hardly stand myself.

But back to Breuer anyone whether care taker or cared for should watch Jim Breuer: More Than me they will assuredly come away with a new sense of themselves and the relationship they can have with their parents.



Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Continuing Saga Of Jack Christ Messiah In Waiting

Episode 15 The Spanish Mission

mi padre es el Espíritu Santo
my father is the holy ghost
mi padre es el Espíritu Santo
my father is the holy ghost
mi padre es el Espíritu Santo
my father is the holy ghost

Jack sat in the back of the bus listening to The new Spanish language CD He Picked up on clearance at CVS, the one with the chubby kid behind the photo counter, not the Gay CVS downtown.

"MI PADRE ES EL ESPIRITU SANTO", "MI PADRE ES EL ESPIRITU SANTO", Jack bellowed out to his the strangely side-leering fellow passengers.

mi hermano habla demasiado
my brother talks too much
mi hermano habla demasiado
my brother talks too much
mi hermano habla demasiado
my brother talks too much

Not being a stranger to side ways glances Jack caught on quickly and quietly repeated, " mi hermano habla demisiado".

The bus lurched to a halt with a screeching of tires and a throwing about of young mothers, teenagers, drunkards, and a selection of the less vehiclized of the cities denizens.

Climbing from the bus the portly, badly groomed, and rather pungent driver ran past the screaming and until recently stroller-pushing mother, dropped down onto his curvy belly to investigate the badly twisted umbrella stroller caught up under the front of his bus and scratched his head. No baby!

The screaming mother stood staring at the plumber's crack of the driver and sobbing gushed,
" Where the hell is my baby".
With no sign of the baby beneath the bus the driver got up and started looking around to see if the child had been thrown clear or was dangling from the front of his bus.
"How the hell should I know I just drive the bus, I don't watch for flying babies", the bus driver scratching his head walked to the sidewalk and flopped down onto the curb with a loud "humph"
"Well you'd better damned well find him!" the child's mother screamed as the police sirens began to close in on the increasingly strange accident.

Jack holding a small wiggling bundle got up from his seat and walked to the front of the bus and down the steps, handing the child to his mother he repeated, "Mi padre me entregó el bebé. then went on about his business, still listening to his CD.

Hungry, always hungry since his Padre sent him down into this gooey, hairy body Frank was always hungry and a little sad, so off to look for food he went. Turning the corner Frank saw just exactly what he had been looking for walked in the door up to the counter and repeated "Dos tacos blandos y Mountain Dew, por favor."

His mission complete Jack sat down to eat his tacos and smiled sweetly at an old couple not long for this Earth.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

10 Easy, cheap, and manly things you can do to make the life of your chronically ill guy friend a bit better.

First of all we are guys and don’t seem to want your help, can’t ask for it and wouldn’t know how to if we did, but we do need it, just look at us.
Just like the girls we don’t need a lot of money spent on us and would probably only feel guilty if you did, after all we are or were the breadwinners. Christine at BYDLS wrote about being thoughtful, we’re guys we don’t do thoughtful; at least not in public still help and company are appreciated.
Being a guy and being chronically ill is a double whammy, when asking for help it’s hard for us to inconvenience you and even harder for us to look like we need help.
I stole this next part from Christine Miserandino at just copied it and outright stole it thanks Christine you are an inspiration to us all.
The hardest thing about chronic disease is that it is chronic. I had a friend who had a really bad flu and she received flowers that very week. With me – since I am sick all the time… I get nothing. Am I any less sick, sad, frustrated, lonely, or bored. NO, I need your love and support now more than ever. When everyone else forgets that I am still in this struggle with my illness….. please remember. It didn’t go away, I didn’t forget. I need you to be my friend.
So like they say at Nike:

Just Do It!

So here is my list enjoy and add to it in the comment section.

1. Come spend time with us you don’t have to do anything just sit there, we are guys we don’t need to talk about “It” or anything else for that matter if we want to we will, otherwise just be with us.

2. Take us somewhere not something big just to Lunch some of us can no longer drive and are prisoners in our own homes. You know us, you know our restrictions so maybe rock climbing is out of the questions but all you can eat wings at Wings R Us would be awesome.

3. We had big plans to fix the drippy faucet or repaint that wall covered with dark blue paint and can’t do these things anymore so come over and Sneaky Pete help us to do it. Remember we are fragile beasts and have to think we are still capable of doing things so at least let us think we are. Oh and don’t just show up with the supplies and expect to get to work we will let that unintended insult fester. Hint: we must shop for our own supplies at the Hardware Store.

4. We already have the gadgets surprise us with a season of one of our favorite series or movies, software, etc.

5. E-Gift Cards to I-store (blech) or Amazon Digital our gadgets need filling this is where we do it.

6. Guys don’t do Sudoku we do math problems and Crosswords keep that in mind and pick us up some Puzzle books, we don’t have the attention span for the ones with one kind of puzzle so get the mixed ones. We like our puzzle books like we like our nuts easy to chew mixed and with the answers at the back.

7. Magazines don’t let us fool you most of us don’t give a darn about car magazines we look at them to look cool in waiting rooms, secretly we would appreciate People, US Weekly, or other pop culture mags.

8. Lotion, lotion, lotion, this is one of those things we don’t get for ourselves and to tell you the truth most of us will go around looking like a lizard before we even think to moisturize. As a guy buying lotion has a certain connotation, so going to the store to pick it up can be embarrassing.

9. FOOD not the hospital stuff, but real good American junk food, even just an order of McDonald’s fries will make us swoon, especially if we have been inpatient for awhile. Check with our doctor and the hospital to make sure this fits in to their dietary plan then ignores it and get us some fries.

10. Just ask, we are not likely to ask for any kind of help be it physical or psychological so just ask if we need anything we are likely to say no but ask anyway.
You Never Know

Friday, December 9, 2011

Mayo Clinic Jacksonville

Good morning children,

I've done my inpatient time at Mayo, and let me tell you first it is an entirely different level of care patient oriented and comfortable.
Room Service you don't order your meals with a stubby mini-golf pencil on a card with one or two options you have a full menu with great and worldly selections. There are Perkins all over the world right.
Well anyway after two days of sleep deprivation and food restriction (only allowed 2 meals), together we pulled multiple nasty syncopes out of me which showed nothing on the EEG.
My Neuro case managing Doc Dr. Shih sent my files over to the Neuro Oncology guys who found some lesions on my brain.
I am going back on the 12th, 13th, and 20th for more autonomic testing and Doc chats.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sir Ladle duLaq

A brave knight defending his family and aiding the helpless once carried a shining silver ladle of peace. With his mighty ladle he protected the land and all its inhabitants. He protected the children of the land from bullies and their own bad decisions with the aid of his mighty bat and glove. The knight protected his family and friends with his steely will, never ending strength and superior wit and wisdom coming to their aid in their times of need. He protected the world with acts of kindness and strength asking nothing in return.

Now the knight has been dishonored stripped of his ladle and left with naught but an ever decreasing handful of plastic spoons and the occasional spork (for jabbing at stuff). With his world left undefended and his manhood and lust for life gone the once mighty knight has struck out upon his trusty malamute Chewie to right the wronged and help the helpless, that is as long as he has a spoon left, otherwise he is bedridden and napping.

To be continued.....

Monday, October 24, 2011

Disability Denial Letter

The following is the letter I wrote to Mutual of Omaha as a appeal against their decision to deny me Long Term Disability benefits.
Please use or comment on it anyway you see fit.

Vincent Colucci

Ormond Beach, FL 32174

October 21, 2011

Group Insurance Claims Management

United of Omaha life Insurance Company

Mutual of Omaha Plaza

Omaha, NE 68175

Appeal against denial of Long Term Disability benefits

Dear Xxxxxxx

My name is Vince Colucci, and I am writing this letter to respond to the denial letter of disability benefits that I received on July 13th 2011. My Social Security number is xxx-xxx-xxxx and long-term disability policy number is .xxxx-XXXX.

I am no longer represented by council as they have told me it would be irresponsible for them to handle my case seeing as my payment from your Company would be so small that their cost and fees would be such that after reductions due to SSI payments there would be very little left.

Please allow me to refresh your memory as to my case. On February 4th of this year I reported to work and soon after clocking in began to hear the sound of a nonexistent music box, I blacked out and lost control of my arms and posture. When I came to I felt an incredibly painful tingling as though I had been struck on the funny bone over my entire body. When I was able to come to fully and be aware of my surroundings I had thrown my phone and papers I had been holding across the room. I was incredibly frightened and went to the emergency room. There I was told it was a syncopal event and we all have them from time to time.

Upon returning to work on the 7th I worked my normal day and felt tired but relatively normal, I had a lot to catch up with purging claims files 180+ bankers boxes and fulfilling my duties as to retrieving radiology charts for the facilities on my way back from our Daytona Beach facility to our Holly Hill facility I felt strange and a strong need to cough worried I pulled over to a turn lane and put my work van in park. At that time I coughed lightly a few times and began to tingle all over, then blacked out. When I came to I felt my right hand uncontrollably slapping at the passenger seat and very weak and disoriented. I called for some reason the Member Services Dept. of FHCP and told them what was going on also that I thought I could drive the quarter mile back in. Before I could get very far I approached a red light at which I blacked out again coming to very tingly and with a dull muscle pain all over my body.

Stupidly I continued driving and returned to the facility a very lucky man. I then called my supervisor and asked her to contact my wife and have her meet me in the parking lot to take me to the ER. I was admitted to the hospital several tests were run and I was released.

Since this time both my Primary Care Physician Dr. Wesley Driggers and my Neurologist Dr. Mary June Derbenwick have stated that I can no longer drive, or return to work and that I should observe seizure precautions.

It has now been over eight months since I have been allowed to work at a job that I loved and was good at. I am no longer able to do the things I once enjoyed, walking my dogs, bike rides, cooking meals, or even taking walks by myself. I am now under increased care of Psych doctors as the depression and anxiety of no longer being a competent and confident adult has become too much for me to bear.

I continue to have as many as 4-6 syncopal events a day and in the interim feel weak and bone tired as though my entire body has been overused and abused. I spend much of my time in a neurological fog and feel lost and confused. I can no longer take an active roll in raising my two sons and feel as though I have in a way abandoned them physically.

The mounting stresses of the great financial loss my lack of salary has placed on our family have caused great problems in my marriage and we are very close to foreclosure on our home and having trouble meeting general obligations.

The Doctors still have no answers for me and my condition is worsening starting to effect my digestive system due to peripheral neuropathy and making me less capable of living a normal life much less working. I have requested and been granted a referral to the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville FL at the end of October and hope in vain for some answers then.

I beg of you to please reconsider my claim as the loss of income has disrupted my life and that of my family and may cause us to lose our home. My disability has become increasingly taxing both physically and mentally and I hope you can understand the situation I am facing as well as the situation of my family. The Long Term Disability Plan that I had held for many years can come to my families rescue in this our time of need.

I once again appeal to you to consider my request on any grounds you deem appropriate and please let me know if you need any further documentation from me or my many physicians.

Thank you for your time I am looking forward to a favorable response and working with you in the future to satisfy whatever questions or documentation you may require.

Yours Truly,

Vincent Colucci

Transcribed by Diana Colucci

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

First New Word Vomit

Here is the first word vomit of my newest writing venture

Ghost Story

Amelia sat quietly listening to the cicadas and watching the young cardinals, still the color of old cardboard hopping from green heavy branch to the freshly mowed carpet of her grandmother’s lawn. The thick willow leaves at the edge of the lily coated pond rustled lightly in the late summer wind reminding Amelia that school and all the problems that came with it was just a few short weeks away.
Moving to a new school was always hard and the change to high school would be even harder. Pushing up on her palms Amelia lifted herself from the cool concrete bench where she liked to sit in the early mornings while leaning her thin back against the dewy morning's warming glass of Gram’s Greenhouse.
Cripping across the yard to the call of Gram’s, “Amy dear come in and eat something before we leave.” Amelia paused for a second as the feeling of being watched crawled up her spine like a humming bird flitting about a row of honeysuckles.