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November chitchat

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    Agate, I agree with flatcap about having to be reviewed for the paratransit system. I assume it is because of fraud, but it does seem that there should be an easier way for people with a chronic disability with no cure. I also agree that they should take a person's age into consideration. Some people might be eligible based on age alone. Not all older people are comfortable driving a car. Some have poor eyesight and/or poor hearing, which could be dangerous to them or others.

    I have to confess that I have not looked into anything where I live to see what is available, but I will have to find another way of transportation in the future and it has been a worry for me. There are a number of older people who live in the townhouses where I live, but I have never known one who didn't have their own way of being transported. I knew one who hired a driver she called when she wanted to go somewhere. That would be out of the question for me. She had to pay a lot.

    As for cell phones. I am definitely not against them. My husband died in 1987, long before they were popular. I was reasonably young, working and having to go places, not to mention the fact that I lived just outside the city limits. My brother gave me a phone that was big and bulky and stayed in the car all the time. I felt so much safer and have never been without one since.

    I do have a lot of contacts in my phone. I have learned that is one of the best places to keep people who might come to power wash my deck, clean my house, clean my carpets and on and on. Also nieces and nephews and others who do not live here. I get text when I need to pick up a medication. When I was in the hospital and rehab I remembered a couple of appointments I had and was able to cancel them. However, safety is the number one priority for mine. I have needed to call AAA a couple of times and have been very glad I had my cellphone.

    I do get irritated when people that are eating with me take their cellphones out and start flipping through them. I have made that known in the family, without trying to make a big deal out of it. I think for some people it is habit. When eating with someone years ago who made a long business call, I got up and walked out of the restaurant. Since that was the only ride I had home I couldn't leave but I think I got the message across that it was rude.

    Flatcap, I am sorry you had a crown come out. The cost as well as the inconvenience makes that not a good thing. I hope the Dentist doesn't charge you if you go back to the same one who put it in.


      My current dentist didn't do the old crown. A now retired dentist did over ten years ago. The adhesives they used then don't last forever. They have much better crowns now, too, and the adhesives are vastly improved. Beyond that, it boils down to how well the dentist does his work. I am impressed with this new one so far, so I'm really not worried.

      You have me thinking I shouldn't be so anti-cell phone. I can definitely see how valuable they can be to a woman for security. Things were bad enough in the old days, and they haven't gotten any better as far as I can tell.

      Which reminds me of a couple of lines from a movie. A father writes to his son that the worst thing about growing old was that other men no longer see you as dangerous. You become a target.

      Perhaps I should be carrying my phone with me. It would likely never ring, but I should probably have it with me in case of emergency. It's not guaranteed that anyone else would call 911. I could also dial the road assistance service my insurance provides if I were in an accident or my car died, or even if I just had a flat tire.

      Except for the prospect of dropping it, I don't know why I haven't started carrying my phone. It might be like the cane. I was all-in for a few days there, but now I'm fighting it. I keep saying to myself I don't need it. Then I think, no, I have to slow down even more than my normal sluggish pace and face the music. It's a battle.
      Last edited by flatcap; 11-15-2023, 06:41 PM.


        Good morning - At 9 AM I went to Taco Bell to buy some gift certificates for the local police and a cop car was in the parking lot. That car left as I was parking. When I went inside some of the staff were talking about the police and what had happened. That policeman had stopped a pick-up which pulled into the Taco Bell parking lot. The reason was a tiny kitten was clinging to the open bed of the truck!! That officer wanted to save that tiny creature. Isn't that nice!


          Yes, it was very nice of that police officer to save that kitten. Showed the fireman who's boss, that's for sure. Lol

          Thanks for posting the vignette and supporting your local police. I'm sure they appreciate it.

          We could all use a good cops-and-kitties story from time to time.


            I thought I posted in this thread this morning but I don't see the post. I must have done something wrong.

            jingle, I had no idea anyone tipped policemen. I guess different communities have different customs. But I am a bit surprised that they would accept a monetary gift, since they're public employees.

            In the HUD building I live in, it's against the rules to give anything "of monetary value" to the building staff. A few years ago the rules were relaxed a bit but only small gifts of food were allowed.
            SPMS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2001-2004. Copaxone 2006-2009. Glatopa (glatiramer acetate = Copaxone) since December 2020.


              agate, that is interesting.

              From what I have recently come to understand, some of the apartments in the 55+ community I live in are subsidized. I saw on the weekly calendar of events that residents are taking up a collection to buy all of the staff something for the holidays. This would be to show our appreciation for all they do for us.

              Not to be a humbug, but I think this is way out of line. As good as they are — and this place is by far the best-run apartment community I have ever lived in — I think residents giving the staff gifts for what they are paid to do is inappropriate, and for the staff to accept them even more so.

              It will be interesting to see what, if anything, comes of this. Meantime, I plan not to donate. This situation just isn't right.
              Last edited by flatcap; 11-21-2023, 12:33 AM.


                That doesn't sound good to me either.

                There are two kinds of federally subsidize (Section 8) rental housing when it comes to apartment buildings--buildings that accept some people with Section 8 vouchers in hand and buildings that are "project-based" Section 8 housing. I have usually lived in the project-based buildings. When I lived briefly in a building that accepted Section 8 vouchers, which must be the type you're in, flatcap, I had the distinct impression that the people with the vouchers got the less desirable apartments, the ones the owners had trouble renting.

                I don't know what the HUD policy is on gifts to the staff in that type of housing but I suspect that anyone whose rent is HUD-subsidized there would not be allowed to give gifts. I dislike the practice of holiday tipping for people who are paid to do a job too, though I do understand that cab drivers, waitresses, hair salon staff, etc., depend on tips because they don't get paid much. So the public is being expected to come up with the money their employers are too cheap to pay them--and that is sad.

                But building managers? It looks too much like a bribe. Those who "remember" the building manager generously are entirely too apt to expect (and maybe get) preferential treatment--prompter and better repairs, for instance.

                Some years ago the office manager was away for surgery for about 8 weeks, and someone got up a collection to send her flowers or a plant. Fortunately for me, I saw the notice about it too late for me to contribute. This time she's out again for surgery, for even longer, and so far nobody that I know of has taken up a collection for her.

                We do sign get-well cards for people who are in the hospital or for their family if they die, but that's all we do around here. There are people here who are quite needy (they go through trash in the dumpsters for bottles and cans to take to recycling centers for cash), and it would be shameful to expect them to come up with gift money, it seems to me.
                SPMS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2001-2004. Copaxone 2006-2009. Glatopa (glatiramer acetate = Copaxone) since December 2020.


                  There are people I expect to tip and don't mind doing so, but there are others that are paid much more than I make in a month and yet they do expect tips. This I don't like, but sometimes it is necessary to do it in order to keep the help that I need.

                  As some of you have been on here for a long time, you might have noticed that I have not been around quite as much in the past few weeks. I just wanted all of you to know that I am thankful this Thanksgiving for this board. My own body seems to be deteriorating more rapidly than I like to think about.

                  Monday I made my usual rounds of going to the pharmacy and the hairdresser to get my hair cut. Then I went to the grocery store. It was about 6:30 or 6:45 when I got home, which is dark here now. I made one trip into the house and went back for a 2nd load of groceries. I have to walk down a sidewalk to get to my front door. It is on the side of my house. I got between the car and my front door and started losing my balance. I felt like I was tipping forward and could see the cement coming up to hit me. I lowered two bags of groceries to the sidewalk and was trembling so bad I just stood for a long time. I finally got to my door, but without the rest of my groceries. I didn't know what I was going to do. My sidewalk is located where no one actually sees it because I am the only one who uses it. My car trunk was full of groceries and the lid was open. All of a sudden, my neighbor next door came running up bringing the two bags I had left on the sidewalk. She then made two more trips from the car getting the rest of them in. I don't know how she and her husband knew there was something wrong because they cannot see my sidewalk from their house.

                  I have lost my confidence now and don't know what to do. I had a similar incident on that sidewalk just a couple of weeks or so ago, but I was able to make it in with all the groceries that time. I feel like this time was so close to me hitting the cement that it scared me really badly. I kept trembling for a long time. My brother says he will drive here and help me, but he has to come on a freeway like road which is so heavily traveled that I worry about him driving here and back and it is a long way to his house. I hate to admit I am such a weakling, but I have been close to tears since this happened. I just have a hard time giving up and giving in. My brother says I am like our grandmother was. She was truly a fighter and he says I have too much of her in me. LOL

                  Not sure what I will do other than I will start ordering more from Instacart and doing things like that. If I felt I could afford to remain in an independent apartment for the rest of my life I am about ready to think of going. Even that presents a problem because I would have to get my place ready to go on the market and I don't feel up to doing it.

                  I am staying home for Thanksgiving. My brother is insisting on bringing me food. His wife is cooking for their family. What are the rest of you doing.

                  I wish I lived where I had a fenced in yard and could have a small dog. I miss having a dog.


                  • Virginia
                    Virginia commented
                    Editing a comment
                    PS What's up with the notifications lighting up. I can't tell if anyone has posted, nor can I tell if I get a message. I had all this until recently. I thought no one had posted and then saw that they had. I just have no notification or message lights. Do all of you still have yours?

                  Like you, Virginia, I am thankful for this forum. I am also very glad you are here. In addition to being a very nice person, you have given me a lot of useful information. I especially appreciate your pointing me toward the Orgain nutrition shakes. I credit you and them for helping stabilize my weight.

                  I don't know much about notifications because I have them turned off. The indicator showing I have messages when I login still works (I think, anyway; it did before), but I don't know if any of the other notifications are working.

                  I have an invitation to Thanksgiving at the home of the in-laws of a server at a restaurant I frequent. She asked me about my plans, and having none, she invited me over. I don't do well in groups, but I am thinking of going anyway. We'll see if I can screw up the courage.

                  I empathize with you about not having a dog. I can't tell you how much I miss having a cat.

                  Your experience nearly falling carrying your groceries is scary. I feel like I should be helping you somehow, but all I can come up with is to recommend you consider buying a cart. I have a small one, and they keep a few larger ones in our independent-living apartment building for residents to use. I wouldn't dream of trying to carry my groceries inside without one.

                  I am sure you know about these, but this is the type of cart I am referring to:

                  Only registered and activated users can see links., Click Here To Register...

                  If you decide to try a cart of this type, be sure to look for one on which the front wheels pivot so you can steer it easily. Some have wheels that only rotate around the axle, and you have to really lean into the cart to steer it around. That can be dangerous. The dbest Cruiser Cart has front wheels that pivot. I do not have that specific cart, but it looks like it would work well. There are many others on Amazon in different sizes, etc.

                  If you decide not to try a cart, I would beg you to not carry more than two small bags at once — at most. It is not worth the risk. If you can get the help you need from Instacart, that might be a better way to go. I'll probably have to take that route someday myself.

                  I would also say, again, let your brother help you if you can. I understand your hesitancy and your rationale for it, but you aren't doing yourself any good by refusing his help. And I will say, again, you would probably be doing your brother a favor by letting him help you. If something bad happens to you, like a fall, and it was because you wouldn't let him help you, he might feel he was at least partially at fault. Why put yourself and him through something like that? And even if nothing bad happens, I would bet my bottom dollar that helping you in any capacity would make your brother feel good. Why not give him that gift?

                  Please think about these things, Virginia. Like your brother, all I want to do is help.

                  Speaking of which, take care of yourself. Always.
                  Last edited by flatcap; 11-22-2023, 03:59 PM.



                    I looked again, and it turns out they are collecting cash to distribute to the apartment staff, presumably in equal amounts. I think that is worse than residents giving them gifts.

                    I don't know who came up with this idea, but it surely isn't a good one. For one thing, I think the rent is already [much] too high. For another, whether legal or not, it just isn't right.


                      Flatcap, thank you for your very kind response. I have a cart in the trunk of my car. It has wheels that are supposed to go up stairs. However, when I tried to use it I found that it wasn't that easy because of the stairs I have coming into my house. It doesn't work as easy as it was advertised when I try to get it over the curb onto the sidewalk. Then when I get it to my front steps I have to turn backwards in order to pull it up the steps with my right hand while trying to bold to the railing with my left hand. I finally gave that up. It would be the solution if I didn't have the stairs. When I ordered it from Amazon they had a video of a lady pulling heavy stacks of copy paper of steep stairs, so I was very disappointed to find it wasn't quite so easy.

                      My brother told me he was not surprised because the cement walkway is somewhat uneven and I absolutely cannot walk on uneven surfaces at all. I didn't know when I bought this place that I had MS, and other than not having a garage it is a good place, but that has turned out to be a real drawback.

                      I was diagnosed with MS 23 years ago, but after seeing my medical records the neurologist I had then told me I had already had it for at least 25 to 30 years. I was very blessed to work as long as I did, but I hate this disease. If not for MS I would still be able to do all the things other people can do. I think most everyone on here who has had it long enough to progress a lot will agree. I will add that some that are younger have already progressed. I know you flatcap and Agate have your share of problems due to our shared disease.


                        I was diagnosed in 2005, and the neurologist I saw told me I had probably had it for at least ten years. I later learned she specialized in MS in her training, so I guess she knew what she was talking about.

                        I count myself lucky my MS hasn't progressed more than it has. Things certainly could be worse. I still get around pretty well and can do almost all the things I need to do without help. Just another thing to be thankful for this year.


                          Notifications? Lighting up? I'm afraid I'm not familiar with either of these features here. I haven't had e-mail notifications from BrainTalk for many years, and the only way I know when I have a PM is by remembering how many were showing up at the top right of the screen and seeing if that number has changed. But then I don't see anyone's signature line here either. I believe that if I look at this board on the iPad, things are different. I will check to see if that's true.

                          Virginia, that near-fall must have been very unsettling! I agree with flatcap that a shopping cart like the one he showed is a must. I would never be without one. Getting them up and down stairs when they have groceries in them can be a challenge and might be impossible.

                          I've had years of experience with shopping carts and stairs. One solution is to ask the bagger at the store to please pack the bags light. Then when you get to the stairs you can lift some bags out of the cart and lighten the cart that way.

                          Or you can lift individual heavy items out, set them aside or carry them individually inside, leaving the cart outside, and returning to it for more trips. That's a lot of trips sometimes but it does get the groceries in.

                          Would more frequent trips to the store be a way to make things easier? Or would that just make things harder?

                          The delivery service I use has a weight limit for its weekly deliveries, and I have trouble staying within that weight limit. If I order heavier items from Amazon or Instacart, I can get other groceries through the service and not have a weight-limit problem. I wonder if you could figure out a way to get the heavier or bulkier items delivered so that your trips to the store for groceries won't be so taxing?

                          Might the shoes you've been wearing be part of the problem? I don't know how many times I've found that my shoes were causing me to have poor balance. Shoes that are just a little too heavy can even create problems.

                          How lucky that the neighbor happened by!

                          Moving out of your house to an apartment sounds like a drastic step but if you do decide to sell your house, my guess is that you wouldn't need to fix it up at all. I have the impression that your place is in apple-pie order even though you think it isn't.

                          A dog might be an idea, maybe even a service dog? I've heard that there are dogs who can do quite a few things. I'm not sure a dog could help bring in the groceries but you never know. As somewhat of a cat person, I'm tempted to say that a dog would probably be great at bringing in the bags of doggie treats but maybe not so adept with the other groceries, but that is a slur against dogs, and I apologize.

                          A neighbor down the hall has a service dog as well as a companion dog. There's a rule against having more than one dog but she got around it by having the two types. I'm not sure what services the service dog does but he's a very nice dog.
                          SPMS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2001-2004. Copaxone 2006-2009. Glatopa (glatiramer acetate = Copaxone) since December 2020.


                            Originally posted by flatcap View Post

                            I looked again, and it turns out they are collecting cash to distribute to the apartment staff, presumably in equal amounts. I think that is worse than residents giving them gifts.

                            I don't know who came up with this idea, but it surely isn't a good one. For one thing, I think the rent is already [much] too high. For another, whether legal or not, it just isn't right.
                            Very bad idea, I agree. And the people who are opposed to it on principle or who are financially too strapped to have the money for it feel put on the spot and uncomfortable.

                            SPMS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2001-2004. Copaxone 2006-2009. Glatopa (glatiramer acetate = Copaxone) since December 2020.


                              Agate, I am going to try some different shoes. I don't know that it will help, but it is worth a try. I can't wear any shoe that has laces because my feet and ankles start to swell.

                              What a big Thanksgiving dinner my brothers brought me. Both of them came but could only stay a few minutes. My youngest brother had to get back home because he and his wife go with my niece, her husband and two little boys to choose Christmas trees for both families. My middle brother said our niece and her husband took the two little boys to see him yesterday. The two year old was chasing their dog around the house and he said "stop you silly goose". So he has reached another stage - he was saying words and now he is putting sentences together. Forever changing!

                              Here is the menu:
                              Turkey, dressing, gravy, cranberry sauce
                              Honey baked ham and a couple of rolls
                              Squash casserole, sweet potato casserole, string bean casserole, glazed carrots
                              Broccoli slaw, deviled eggs
                              Coconut pie, pecan pie, pumpkin pie, apple dumplings

                              I had a nice meal today, but some of it I have not tasted. I will have more tomorrow and probably the next day, unless it begins to look old. My middle brother's wife sent several frozen containers of soup and chili. I shouldn't have to go out to the store until I need some more staples because I had bought quite a bit when I went Monday.

                              My brothers are a true blessing in my life. My middle brother wanted to come alone and my youngest brother wouldn't let him drive here and back. I am glad. However I feel sure that he wanted to come alone so he could talk about how much he misses his son that died in May. He feels like I am the only one who understands and the only one he opens up to a lot about it.

                              So what did everyone elsewhere have to eat today? Flatcap I hope you really enjoyed your visit with your new friends. If I remember correctly Ikoiko and her boyfriend were going to their club and Jingle had plans to go to a Chinese restaurant. I hope everyone's plans went well.