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Death as a side effect

August 3rd, 2017 at 06:49 pm

So dad has chosen one of the 3 realtors I lined up for him to list his house. It's the one I liked the most. She wanted to list it this weekend but called to tell me (becus dad wasn't answering his phone) the place has fleas and will need to be treated. So she had to cancel the photographer coming out to do the photos.

I have suggested to dad umpteen times he'd find it easier to use a landline, but he's a tightwad and doesn't want to spend that much. So he uses this old clamshell with a tiny LCD screen he can't read and much of the time he must push the wrong buttons becus he claims he doesn't hear the phone ring when there's an incoming call and of course his mailbox is perennially full so no one can leave a message.

It's now even more of a problem now that realtors are trying to reach him, and so now they're calling me instead. Sigh. Problem is, I can't reach him either. It's really frustrating.

UPDATE: We haven't resolved anything about his driving. I'm not trying to tell him not to drive (altho that's what he thinks) but I would like to see him avoid driving the highways going down to Jersey, especially when I'm with him and could do the driving. We talked about it more today but he can be a hard ass.

He basically said it's your prerogative not to drive with me if you feel uncomfortable but it's my right to drive when I want. Which is obviously the case. I again tried to say that when we were together, why not let me drive since otherwise it's a higher risk if he drives. He acknowledged that he is going blind but said he still feels he can drive. This is what's really behind his defensiveness and belligerent attitude on this.

This is the father I remember from when I was growing up. I did't see him much (my parents divorced when I was 6) but when I did see him I was a little afraid of him. He was very strict and he had a short temper. Over the years, I thought he mellowed quite a bit.

This whole encounter has left me thinking he does not have very good conflict resolution skills. Normally you try to find common ground and go from there. There is room for compromise.

I know this isn't a nice thing to do, but a part of me wishes he would realize how much I do for him and then perhaps he'd be more willing to compromise instead of digging his heels in and refusing to budge.

We have dinner together every Saturday. I was thinking of skipping it this Saturday because he's been very abrasive and unyielding and testy and a 2nd talk today did nothing to clear the air. I realize skipping the dinner is really like trying to punish him becus I know he looks forward to these dinners. When you get older there are fewer things you can do but enjoying a good meal is one thing most people can do. So withholding this would accomplish nothing but I admit to being an imperfect human being and wanting to skip it.

Today's my birthday. He rarely remembers, but I wasn't expecting him to.

I spoke to my friend R. who is returning to Sloan Kettering. He has numerous marble-sized tumors in his body. They'd given him a choice of either starting chemo or enrolling in a clinical drug trial that does not involve placebos, only the drug.

Since he finds it easiest to pop a pill, that's what he chose, so he has to take the train and a cab early tomorrow and will be mostly spending the day getting various baseline scans done.

So yeah, upon reflecting on LIvingAlmostLarge's post today about appreciating what we have, all I need do is think about what my friend is doing, fighting for his life. Remarkably, he is in fairly good spirits.

Tomorrow I decided I will head up to a local gallery to swap out 3 or 4 pieces that reside there now for some summer-themed pieces my mother did with sailboats and so on. I checked with the gallery owner today and she was fine with that idea. I probably should have done this in June, but life got in the way.

Dad's came over earlier becus we have to again fax a court eviction order to the NJ electric company who claimed they didn't get it when we faxed it the first time. It's really annoying, making special trips to library, etc. etc. May try calling them again and seeing if we can scan and email it instead of fax. The tenant was behind on paying her electric bill to the tune of $2300.

Taking care of parents can be a full-time job.

Not much else going on. I went to another MS lunch-lecture, had a delicious meal and met many of the same MS people who I'd seen at the dinner the week prior. This month, I'll be going to 1 of these each week. I enjoy the chance to socialize and of course the great meals.

A little history on MS drugs. When I was diagnosed, they had exactly 3 drugs: the so-called ABC drugs: Avonex, Betaseron and Copaxone. Nearly 30 years later, they have about 14 drugs to choose from, and it's the drug companies that make these drugs that host these dinner lectures for MS patients.

They pay a local neurologist I'm guessing $1,000 or $1500 to give their PowerPoint presentation and the MS people get a free meal. Not bad for a half hour presentation and most leave as soon as they're done, not staying for the dinner. There are 3 or 4 neurologists in my area who constantly do these talks; no doubt they find it worthwhile to earn a little extra cash for very little time spent.

It kind of makes me feel like the drug company is the pimp, the doctor is the prostitute and we MS patients are the johns.

Sometimes the drug companies also pay an MS person to talk about their personal experience with MS and how wonderful the drug is. They pay to fly them out to these little dinners all across the country. It's like a regular gig for them.

At the last MS lunch I went to this week, the speaker was a guy who was a motorcycle fanatic. He used to race them. When he was diagnosed with MS, he had to give much of that up, but his did in fact ride his motorcycle to the luncheon from NH. The speaker at the dinner before that was from Chicago.

Only a few of the newer drugs are pills; the rest are the original, old injectables, like the Copaxone I take, or infusions you have to take in a hospital.

They are uber-expensive and thus pharma thinks it worthwhile to pay for a whole lots of dinners as a means of getting prospective users of their drugs to hear their message. Maybe they should just lower the price of the drugs.

I pray to god i would never need to use most of these drugs becus many come with some pretty serious potential side effects, like death, or require regular blood work to make sure your liver's not damaged or your white blood cell count doesn't drop too low.

So, um, no thanks, I'll stick with Copaxone, which is less effective than the other drugs in slowing disease progression (roughly 30% fewer relapses and brain lesions vs about 50% ) but I'd rather not have to worry about other health problems caused by these drugs.

Not much new on the job front. I've applied for a few jobs that I felt perfectly qualified for but never heard a word from employer. Actually, I was maybe a little over-qualified. A few ads even said "recent college grad ok." So maybe that's their preference.

I contacted the DOL becus there's a possibility I may qualify for a new round of partial benefits based on the contract job I had in May/June. I feel like kind of a loser even putting in for that, but I have paid into the system for 30 years.

But I watch the news daily and see how Trump's threat to withdraw funding for ACA subsidies has thrown the insurance market into chaos, with the 2 remaining health insurance issuers considering pulling out of the market entirely. This is really problematic, becus they estimate prices will rise by 20% in 2018, so the subsidies are needed for low- to moderate-income people.

14 Responses to “Death as a side effect”

  1. Petunia 100 Says:

    Happy birthday! Smile

  2. creditcardfree Says:

    Happy Birthday!

    Yep, Big Pharma are pimps and provide major money to political campaigns, and media. It utterly disgusts me, as I'm not sure there is any incentive in that industry to cure anything.

  3. Carol Says:

    Happy Birthday 🎂!!
    Taking care of parents can be a full time job. I never was good at winning battles, but I learned to broach the subject, say think about it, and come back to it later when my mom had a chance to think about it. Otherwise, her default was always "no." I also would say " I love you and ... or I love you but ... " Sometimes worked, and,at least, the conversation started from a better place.

  4. Laura S. Says:

    Happy Birthday!

  5. CB in the City Says:

    Happy Birthday! I find my friend C is almost always in good spirits, and she is fighting for her life, too. I think it must have something to do with appreciating every moment.

  6. Kymberlee Fisher Says:



    Generally speaking YOU don't pay into unemployment. That is an employer's responsibility/tax to pay.


  7. Merilee Says:

    Have you reported your father's driving to the local Secretary of State? In my state, you can ask them to do a review of your loved ones driving skills This is done anonymously. This often results in the removal of the loved ones driving license, but does not put the burden of forcing them to stop driving on you.

    Happy Birthday!!!

  8. snafu Says:

    Happy Birthday. I hope you had a fun day

  9. snafu Says:

    Happy Birthday. Smile

  10. rob62521 Says:

    Happy birthday!

    Sorry you are having these struggles with your dad. It isn't easy and I can't say it will ever improve. However, when he passes, you will be glad you didn't fight with him or forget him. I think as people get older, they get frustrated because they feel their bodies are letting them down and they can't do stuff so they take it out on those that mean the most. It still hurts when they do this. Hang in there!

  11. LivingAlmostLarge Says:

    Happy Birthday! My aunt has been 15+ years on Avonex. As someone who knows pharma yes there is incentive to cure disease. Most people working on it truly want to find a cure for anything. Everyone doing it especially in academia is in it to help others. Others in pharma are super proud if you ever get a drug into clinical trials let alone to market. Truly people dedicate their lives to research. Many people in academia straddle the market and techologies are bought from universities and turned into companies. Without innovation and dedication many of these drugs would not be created. People really do spend a lot of time thinking and working. The jobs are not punch a clock 40 hours. They are way more.

    Good luck to your friend R. I hope it gets better.

    Can you call your dad's dr.

  12. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Happy belated birthday! You share your birthday with my husband. Smile

  13. Tabs Says:

    I have many, many harsh words to say about Trump and GOP's handling of both the ACA, as well as their foolish attempt at passing their AHCA. However, I will refrain as this isn't the time and place to do so.

    I do want to say, however, that I just saw Luther the cat's quote, and I fully agree with him haha. So long as it doesn't cost too much money of course.

  14. Tabs Says:

    Happy belated birthday!

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