J-Dub’s: A Series of Unfortunate Events #6 #neverforget

After 1999, things were rolling along, going well.  We built and moved in to our new house in January of 2000.  Y2K was not the Armageddon some people predicted it would be.  I remember a friend of mine was stock piling canned goods and bottled water.  I thought she had lost it but never told her so.  Personally we didn’t do anything to prepare.  Gamblers at LIFE!  The kids were good, we were good.  Things were actually pretty mundane until …

Fast forward to September 11, 2001 when our nation experienced a tragedy that will live in the annals of history.  As I write this today, on the 15th anniversary, I feel like it is that day all over again …  Lots of wordless moments.    Unable to describe the true depth of my feelings.  Not just my unfortunate event; but rather our unfortunate event. Unfortunate does not seem strong enough a word to describe the events of that day but disastrous is and disastrous is a synonym of unfortunate.

Personally, my family was on the periphery.  We did not know anyone directly impacted.  Still in the shock and grief our collective hearts were broken.  In the ashes, we united.  Silver linings all around.  Everyday people became heroes; those are the stories on which we should focus today and always.  To quote Sandy Dahl, wife of Flight 93 pilot Jason Dahl “If we learn nothing else from this tragedy, we learn that life is short & there is no time for hate”

When the question is asked, where were you? Here is what I remember.  I challenge everyone to do the same today.  To remember, to honor, to never forget:

Billy Bob was at work, Lulu was at Mother’s Day Out, and Pony Boy was in school. I was working nights back then but it was a regular day off.

Sister and I were planning dad’s annual birthday dinner out with cake and ice cream at the house after. We stayed on the phone (not saying much) just on the phone as we watched TV simultaneously, in two different cities.

One crash, then two, then they are saying the crash was on purpose. People jumping from buildings as a choice to burning to death. All of it was un-freaking-believable. One of those moments that we’d look back on and remember where we were and what we were doing on that infamous day. Trying to make sense of something that defied logic.  Promising myself that I would do better and make every day count. 

I have slipped in the last 15 years but fortunately; I can start over.  I will start over.  And there is no better day than today to get started.  Wishing you Peace.


I’d say I’m a pseudo hypochondriac but instead of doing anything about my pain, real or imagined, I’d just worry.  I worry and I say whatever comes to my brain to Billy Bob, who always answers the same way … “Jill, stop it already.  If you don’t stop, I’ll call AT&T to cut off the internet so you can’t go to WebMD”

When I do go in for regular check-ups, sometimes there was just enough wrong to feed my frenzy.  Recently I decided that I was sick and tired of being sick and tired.  I read some not so good things about a medication I was on to help with nerve pain (by process of elimination diagnosis-must be nerve pain since almost everything else ruled out).  The med helped me with a variety of ails – not just the left side quadrant “nerve pain” which it calmed down – didn’t get rid of all the pain, just made things tolerable.  Cheered me up … this is an older antidepressant now used for different purpose.  So while not prescribed for depression, still affected my mood favorably.  The biggest plus was I finally slept through the night again.  First time in YEARS.

However, this med can cause dementia (I don’t need help with that and/or I am not taking any chances!) and it should not be taken long-term – something about slowing heart rate in the elderly.  Definitely should not be taken by someone over 60.  I know, I know, I am not 60 yet BUT … don’t want to wait until then and be stuck trying to find options.  Plus when I really thought about it, I had never really been given the cause of my pain – an official diagnosis.  We know what is it NOT but we do not know what it IS!  If I was medicating for unknowns that had no cause, how could I ever be cured?

I weaned off the med and the left side pain came back in a fury.  Only this time, not only the lower left quadrant hurt, but pain travelled up to my left shoulder.  I went back to my family doctor and she reviewed all that we had done to this point – all the tests had come back inconclusive.  I have arthritis, slight stenosis (typical for my age and should not case the pain I described).  Slight scoliosis, again, should not cause the pain I describe.  Osteopenia – not painful … Not gastro – no current symptoms … had the colonoscopy in 2013 and I don’t go back for that again until 2018.  Doc said that there is not really much else to do but give me a referral to pain management.

I really like the pain management doctor.  She got why I stopped taking the meds – there is a “cousin” med without same side effects that we might consider later.  She gets that I do not want to be on pain meds – unlike others seeking her out specifically for that – oh the paperwork I had to read and agree to … and in the waiting room, talk about your walking wounded … mainly car accident victims and worker’s comp cases.  I could almost hear the pain as we waited on uncomfortable chairs until our turn came around to be taken back.

Which led me to today – the newest MRI to see why the pain is travelling higher.   I went in head first, instead of feet first!  I needed the helmet with the mirror to trick me into thinking I was outside the MRI machine.  I get those results next Friday.  I am hopeful that something will show up but also scared – for both – that something bad will be there … or worse … nothing will be there and I will still have no idea why I hurt.

I am also back in physical therapy which didn’t really help all that much the first time but didn’t hurt either.  At one point, my returned pain was so bad, I got out the worksheets and re-started my at home stretches.  I’ve had one in office session followed by my favorite – ice cold electrical stimulation.  The first time I did that, I HATED it.  I could not turn my brain off and I hated being still and having time to THINK.  Ugh.  But now, I like that the BEST.  I get 15 minutes of ME time.  I don’t think, I just lay there and RELAX.  Novel idea huh?

Anyhoo, wish me luck.  As always, more to come …


J-Dub’s: A Series of Unfortunate Events #5 – Jimbo Pete

My brother – Jimbo Pete passed away on July 19, 1999.  This is one of those stories which is not really mine to tell.  Only to say, my heart hurts for the pain he went through.  He was deeply loved and I wish he had known that.  We were family despite defying the traditional definition.   He called me Peaches just like the big brother Willie from the TV show Family called his little sister.  We’d make up games to play when we were bored … which was never because we always found something to do.  We rode bikes around the neighborhood.  Climbed the cypress trees in our front yard and listened to his ham radio.   Played all assorted board games, cards or dominos.  Liked the same music.  Liked to read.  A real Mayberry childhood in a neighborhood full of kids.  I will be forever grateful for my experiences.  Silver linings and choosing to remember the good.  Miss you brother. RIP