Huntsville


Before Christmas, my mom said that she had a sinus infection, so I knew that I, at some point, would also have a sinus infection. I know that they aren’t supposed to be contagious, but my immune system has yet to figure that out. Well, a couple of days after Christmas, it finally showed up. It seemed to be really nasty on Tuesday, almost gone on Wednesday, and back by Thursday. But when I woke up on Friday morning, I knew something was horribly off. I was coughing more than I usually do, which is pretty amazing considering that I cough on a daily basis. My left eye was runny. At first I thought it was just tears from the pressure of the infection, until I decided to wipe my eye with a facial tissue.12 It wasn’t tears. It was pus. As the night went on, my eye kept getting more red. My cough was also increasing and I was starting to have trouble breathing.3 I went to bed and was trying to get comfortable but I just couldn’t breathe. Eventually, I called the on-call doctor and she told me to get my butt to the ER for a breathing treatment. Unfortunately, getting to the ER at about 4:30 in the morning is not the best way to get quick treatment. Most of the ER shuts down after midnight until 8 in the morning, even on the last weekend of the year. I was triaged quickly and had an X-ray, blood work, and EKG hours before a bed was available for my butt. I waited around 4 hours for that bed and my breathing just kept feeling like it was getting worse; my eye was also getting more nasty by the minute. Oh, and my infamous cough was starting to scare everyone in the waiting room. When I first got to the ER, one or two people had on masks. By the time I was called back to a room, almost everyone had one on. I honestly started to empathize with Typhoid Mary at that point. It’s odd to be treated like a biohazard when you can’t breathe. After the sun came out and the television had gone from infomercials & overnight news to Saturday morning children’s programs, I was called back to a room. It was another hour before I had my breathing treatment, and another hour after that before the doctor could secure the “eye room” to do a proper examination of my eye. He4 wasn’t sure if the conjunctivitis had caused any lasting damage to my eye, so he wanted to view it under a slit lamp. The room was empty and across the hall, so I’m not totally sure why it took so long or why, after it was over, I wasn’t allowed to just walk right back across the hall to my assigned bed. While I was in the eye room, the nurse brought me three 20mg prednisone tablets. She kept asking later if the steroids were helping. I kept responding that I couldn’t tell if the steroid was working, but that I knew that the breathing treatment had helped. By noon, I was being discharged with a diagnosis of conjunctivitis and bronchitis. I also had a prescription for the ophthalmic version of Neosporin ointment.5 I didn’t have any prescriptions for the bronchitis. I guess that they thought they had done enough to help get that under control.6 Since it was a holiday weekend, I couldn’t get in to see the family doctor until at least Tuesday, so I was trying desperately to make it through without going to the hospital again. There were a few times when I didn’t think I would make it. But I did. Instead of getting a Tuesday appointment, I got a Wednesday one and the family doctor, who I don’t always agree with, agreed with my belief that the Emergency Room doctor should have given me a prescription for another 4 days worth of prednisone. Because it had been five days since the initial dose, he had to start me on a new 5 day course of the drug. He also told me to use my inhaler regularly until I was feeling better. I’ve spent most of the last week just trying to pass the time. I’ve been avoiding social media and anything that required any real energy usage. I became even more of a recluse with a sad, unfulfilling life7 and a penchant for tantrums89 while I was recovering. Kidding.10 Fancy talk for a Kleenex. ↩Really fancy talk for a Kleenex from a Star Wars box. ↩No, I don’t always have trouble breathing when I cough. I cough like healthy people do healthy stuff. Cough variant asthma is the funnest. ↩Yeah, I never got to see the on-call doctor I had talked to on the phone. ↩No, really. ↩They hadn’t. ↩Did I mention that that creep has a reference to me in his Twitter bio? ↩Oh, he had more words for me after I turned down his altruistic offer of a possible book deal: I tried at least. BTW, I’ve been a pro writer since 1983. You have no idea how much damage you’ve done to your writing career before it even got started. No agent, no publisher, will want to deal with someone who intends to damage another writer’s sales over a disagreement on social media. They’d be too worried you would do the same to them if you ever got mad at them. Easier to give you a form rejection and move on. And trust me, this little tantrum you threw on Goodreads is going to be seen by every agent and publisher you submit to when they Google your name. Good luck with your career. I think you’re going to need it. Yep. Now he wants me to be afraid that I will never be published because I didn’t take kindly to his insults and his tacit support of a friend’s outright bigotry. ↩It takes chutzpah to say a woman would be a […]

From My Sinuses, With Love


Oddly enough, I was reminded of Rachel of Nottingham last week when I was awaiting a referral to an orthopedist for my five-year-long hip issue and for my year-old dad-inflicted (unintentionally) wrist injury. Dottie is still “working” at UAB, so I’m on week three (technically) of the waiting game. She delayed on a post-respiratory failure referral to a lung specialist for my mom for six weeks. Dottie should retire, but she’s never going to leave. I kinda wonder how many people will die or have permanent ailments (that should have only been temporary issues) because of her laziness.  My hip feels like someone is slamming a hammer into the joint. Occasionally it has a sharp twinge that lasts an hour or two; that can be breath-taking1 and frightening. It can also be nausea-inducing.  My wrist doesn’t hurt much. I just can’t hold things well since the incident; I drop almost everything I hold for more than a couple of minutes. It also pops every time that I move it.  But enough about those issues that everyone knows I’m lying about, what’s new with you?  In a bad way. ↩

Just Whinge-Ing It



I’m still trying to raise money to fix my house, but the situation has gotten a little more dire. The city of Huntsville is giving me four months to get the repairs done, at which time they can inflict their wrath by sending me to court for the issue. The violations include rotted exterior siding and trim, holes in the eave, and chipped/flaking paint on the siding, fascia, eaves, and trim. We’ve tried contacting the Community Development people multiple times this week, but when we call, no one is in the office. I’m really concerned after looking at the code itself. From section 7-351: Where the literal application of the requirements of this article would appear to cause undue hardship on an owner or tenant or when it is claimed that the true intent and meaning of this article or any of the regulations in this article have been misconstrued or wrongly interpreted, the owner of such building or structure, or his duly authorized agent, may appeal the decision of the housing official to the housing board of adjustments and appeals, as set forth in section 7-354. That doesn’t sound so bad until you look at 7-354, which is the ordinance that makes it okay to prohibit occupancy in a residence. Prohibiting occupancy means eviction and condemning of the property. As I’ve said on Twitter and on my GoFundMe, without the repairs, people who violate the municipal ordinances that Community Development enforces can be punished. I could go to jail for up to 6 months, be fined up to $500, and my house could be condemned. My family would then be homeless. Honestly, that’s making me worry about what the city of Huntsville will do if we tell them that we can’t afford to do the repairs that they want done. Ways to help directly: GoFundMe: gofundme.com/helpmorrisfam PayPal: paypal.me/janersm Square: cash.me/$janersm Ways to help indirectly:1 Ebates: ebates.com/r/JANETM1804?eeid=28187 Ibotta: ibotta.com/register?friend=xkdrqhe I’ve been lucky enough to have several people donate and other suggest organizations that I should try contacting, and I am so thankful for what they’ve given, but it’s still not enough to get things fixed and in working order. If you can’t afford to donate, please consider passing the links along. If you know of an organization or an agency that can help, please let me know about them. If you feel the need to say something hateful about this post, my family, my house, or me, please see yourself out of my life right now. Thanks. Click to Donate Now! These are through referral fees. Ibotta gives a $5 and ebates gives a $25 referral. ↩

The Poor House


1
If you’ve been following me on Twitter, you know that I am currently rather pissed at the Huntsville CBS affiliate, WHNT, for their planned special tonight called the Dark Side of All Hallows’ Eve. In the ads for their story talk about Huntsville’s police department once having a special occult crime division. The ads also feature images of Jeffrey Franklin and comments about the crimes he committed on March 10, 1998. Jeffrey killed his parents before trying to kill three of his four siblings on that night. He also attacked the best friend of his 14-year old sister. I can tell you a lot about the night. More than a lot of people can. His sister was my friend. His sister’s friend was also my friend and on Yearbook staff with me; she talked about that night in class. My mom was the person who carried the medical records of his sister to the hospital. She stayed there until my friend was in the ICU. We went back to the hospital on a regular basis until it was time for them to leave town. From the start, Jeffrey was painted as evil by the media. Even when the evidence came to light that he had 10 times the normal dose of Ritalin in his blood twelve days after the crime.1 Even when people started mentioning that he was mentally ill. Even when the state of Alabama thought he was mentally incompetent from 1999 until 2001, and even though the state of Alabama has had him in the mental healthcare unit of the prison since his sentencing began, instead of in general population, he has been portrayed as this supernatural killer. That kind of stigmatizing attitude is damaging to the whole community and it needs to stop. Personally, I’m tired of reliving that night. It’s been almost twenty years and local news outlets are still pushing it. They keep trying to make a buck off of the suffering of my friend’s family. They keep trying to profit on the suffering of the people I grew up with, of the choir that we were in together, of me, of my mom. This has to stop at some point. I know that the story was shocking and gruesome and that it sticks with people. It’s stuck with me, too. At a certain point, enough is enough. I wish he hadn’t made the choices he did that night. I wish that a lot of things were different about that whole situation. But forcing us to go through it over and over is cruel. He had been in jail since the night it occurred. ↩

And then I fell down yelling, “Make it go away!”



Local news showed a story about the Madison County GOP’s pre-Presidential election meeting. At the very end of it, one of the speakers can be heard saying that he wants to “whip” Hillary Clinton. It may have been an innocent comment, but it’s still odd to say you want to physically accost the opposing candidate. That’s especially true when the candidate is a woman and in a culture that one beat women into submission–and not for kinky fun times.

Madison County GOP wants to whip Hillary Clinton


Are you fucking kidding me? The post-Olympics local news is talking about Jeffrey Franklin. Fuck off, Broussard. — Janet Morris (@janersm) August 6, 2016 from Twitter – August 05, 2016 at 11:32PM via IFTTT I have heard way too much about Jeffrey Franklin this summer. My mental health is being taxed each time it comes up. Why do they always have to talk to the District Attorney Rob Broussard & get his input on the mental state of Jeffrey? He always says the same thing: he thinks Jeffrey isn’t mentally ill, he thinks he’s evil, and he thinks that the fact that Jeffrey wrote extensively about harming his family before he did it proves this. No one mentions that Jeffrey’s own parents acknowledged that he had a mental illness before he killed them, that his friends do as well. He doesn’t mention Jeffrey’s tox levels. Instead, he sticks to this sensationalized narrative that’s out there; one he probably promoted when he first tried the case. And it just makes me remember everything that did happen and I’m agitated and have a sort of “mental itch” for days afterwards. I know that I can’t move on completely from that night, but it would be easier if they wouldn’t hype it up so much.


These pictures start in the late part of 1984 and go into 1985. They will include my first trip to see my dad’s first cousin Teresa, one of the few gingers in the family and one of the first gingers I ever met, in Atlanta, my first Christmas, and my first birthday.

Our Brown and Gold Album (Baby Pictures)


Well, I scheduled the appointment with a family doctor. Not mine. Mine isn’t on the schedule for the rest of February and they don’t have her schedule available for March either.1 I don’t know the doctor that I will be seeing. I’m not anticipating anything good coming from the appointment, but I knew I had to make it anyway. New doctors and me don’t really mesh well. Actually, doctors in general don’t mesh well with me.2 My doctor has had some cringe-worthy moments, but she does listen to me. She understands that I am trying to take care of myself and I’m not trying to do something that my body cannot handle.3 And she’s encouraged me to exercise in the past.4 I’m hoping that she can talk to the doctor who will be seeing me or leave a note in my chart explaining that I’m not a complete masochist who wants to die from falling off a stair-stepping machine. I sent her an email explaining that I needed her help. I need a medical clearance for the Wellness Center to continue my physical therapy exercises on my own. A form was sent one to you, but I was called this morning & told someone else denied clearance because of the Ehlers-Danlos. Specifically, they mentioned skin involvement, which is mild for me. I know what exercises I can and can’t do without hurting my joints. The only things I was thinking of adding in were Pilates and pool exercise, which are both considered safe for people with Ehlers-Danlos because they’re low resistence, high repetition. I’ve never met the doctor that I’m supposed to see, which is hard for me because I tend to be intimidated by new doctors & feel like new doctors don’t always listen to me. I’m scared if Dr. ******** refuses that the strength I’ve built up since last summer and especially since the surgery will disappear. I’m worried that without continuing to do the exercises I will end up having more surgeries. Can you help? Hopefully, she’ll be able to do something. I also sent her one letting her know that I did try to get an appointment for the mini-pill prescription. I tried to schedule an appointment for the Norethindrone prescription, since it is a high-risk medicine for me, but the prescription was called in without an appointment. I thought you might want to know that I haven’t had any signs of clots while I’ve been on it. I also haven’t had any excessive bleeding while on it. Dr. ******, my hematologist, said that being on birth control is going to give me another year without infusions, but that I will probably need one this coming December or next year sometime based on my ferritin levels. I want her to know that I am trying to do things that I’m supposed to do to prevent future health problems. I’ve been by past doctors accused of not trying to take care of myself. I refuse to be blamed for these things. I refuse to let doctors, nurses, and random office workers5 who don’t know me and who don’t care about my overall well-being sabotage the progress that I’ve made and risk my life in the process. UAB Huntsville is prone to this sort of “well they aren’t on the schedule” and “oh, we don’t have a schedule for next week or next month available yet” thing. They do it to every patient, no matter what is wrong with them. No matter how dire the situation. And I’m not saying my situation is dire, but they’ve done it with my mom when she’s tried to schedule appointments for diabetes and blood pressure. ↩When you have a soft voice and you cry easily, doctors walk all over you. When you have a soft voice, cry easily, and chronic illnesses, they walk all over you while wearing heels that have Lego blocks on the bottom of them, bumpy side down. ↩Or she has acted like she understand this. ↩If she doesn’t support my use of the Wellness Center, then she’s being hypocritical. ↩The person who decided that I didn’t need the appointment for the norethindrone prescription was a receptionist with no medical training. ↩

Blood, Sweat, and Tears




In just a few hours, I get to find out if my months of physical therapy are actually coming to an end. They should be, but the way that Brant talked on Tuesday makes me think it might not be.  If it is: I am planning on going to the Wellness Center to sign up to continue my rehabilitation on my own.1 If it isn’t: No trip to the Wellness Center will take place. I will come home as usual and continue my appointments. I will try not to be too cocky about the possibility that it may happen, but I will also try not to be disappointed if it doesn’t.2 I mentioned the possibility of changing family practice physicians the other night. It looks like that won’t be happening. The billing folks at UAB have written off the appointments. Apparently, they were all assigned to an attending who only briefly worked there. He never became certified with our insurance company. They seemed to be as frustrated with anything related to him3 as we were. So, yay, no new doctors!4 Anyway, I guess that’s all for now—except that I should point out how fucking awful Nazis/Neo-Nazis are. If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably seen my “conversation” with a self-proclaimed Nazi5 lately. They aren’t just bigots, they are assholes. No, wait. Assholes have the potential for good feelings. Nazis are the feeling lactose intolerant individuals get when they’ve just consumed massive amounts of ice cream, cheese, milk, etc.6 They. Are. Awful. And this guy is no different. They’re also incredibly boring, as there is only so much they can actually manage to say.7 And they piss. me. off.8 And I keep wanting to walk away from the arguments, but that ignoramus says something even more grotesque and my brain just goes into “must tell him he’s a racist jerk” mode. I should just walk away and maybe I will this time or the next. Just curious, but how would you interpret this picture?910       Oh well. I better go twiddle my thumbs11 for a while until it’s time for therapy.  My insurance plan covers a membership at the Center. ↩I am fairly certain that it will happen. ↩Re: He caused more problems than he solved. ↩I think I hear Handel’s “Messiah” playing in the distance. ↩This is where he’d go “@janersm *National Socialist.” But fuck it, he’s a fucking Nazi. If he doesn’t like being called such, he can stop being a fucking Nazi. ↩If you aren’t lactose intolerant, imagine the worst attack of nausea, fatigue, wooziness/dizziness, headaches, gas and either constipation or diarrhea you’ve ever had. Now multiply all of that by about 100. Voilà! ↩Blah, blah, blah. Jewish conspiracy. Blah, blah, blah. Lies. Blah, blah, blah. White is right. Blah, blah, blah. Holocaust? What Holocaust? Blah, blah, blah. I’m a pathetically ignorant shitbag, but I’ll never admit that. Blah, blah, fucking blah. ↩Considering how much time I’ve spent trying to learn about why & how the Holocaust and other bigotry has happened, this should come as no surprise. ↩@Bobasnotdead is the Nazi you’ve been looking for. ↩^ See what I did there. ↩Sleep. ↩

Hours Feel Like Days