enough chester county spca, enough

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Maybe I am post -surgical cranky, but I want to hear from State Senator Andy Dinniman and others on this.

I just had a WTF moment when a friend of mine texted me to let me know that the Chester County SPCA fired her (again) today. And oh yeah, they used the West Goshen Police Department to do it.

I am about to almost use a bad word: BULLSH*T

Once you get past the whole how-do-you-fire-volunteers of it all, I am stuck with how is it the Chester County SPCA continues to use a local police force like their own private security detail?????? (And yes my friend gave me one of the badge numbers but I am not disclosing this here as it is not the officer’s fault.)

Who is paying for this??? Are taxpayers/residents of West Goshen and Chester County on the hook for this misuse of municipal resources ???

I am completely and utterly disgusted. I hope the media eats the Chester County SPCA for breakfast. I hear some of the media is already working on stories.

I mean how can you get “people and animals together” when you keep using the local police as bouncers to fire volunteers?

And I thought it was bad when they used the police the last time…but two police cars to confront a woman????? REALLY????

room(s) with a view

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I have used blogging for many things. Today I am using it as a form of pain management – a self distraction tactic. We’ll see if it works.

I had surgery this past Thursday. Not an elective, but rather a must-have-must- get -out -of -the -way kind of a thing.

Like many other hormone-driven breast cancer survivors with either pre-existing gynecological issues or who are BRCA gene positive, I had a full hysterectomy. Sorry to gross out my male readers, but it happened and I hurt. I am bruised and my insides have been augmented and re-arranged.

The Cliff Notes version is I am the BRCA negative, pre-existing gynecological issues variety of this surgery. I also had ovarian cysts and fibroids removed. I had no idea how big those suckers were so my surgery took longer than expected. Once again I don’t get how people undergo elective surgeries because BLECK this is NO fun.

I went back to the hospital of my birth and where I had my breast cancer surgery – Pennsylvania Hospital in the Society Hill section of Philadelphia. My surgeon was amazing but wow the pain is intense at times right now. I have been trying to breath through it, so now I am trying to blog through it. Short puffy breaths while typing sitting up in bed is a challenge (and probably looks funny too!)

It was a hard surgery. Not because of what was happening because it was necessary. What made it particularly hard was two days before my surgery, my mother had open heart surgery. So it has been quite a few days. And I had room switches post surgery a couple of times.

I woke up early Friday morning in a room overlooking Mikveh Israel Cemetery. That is the oldest and very historic Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia. Some might think it was weird or creepy waking up in a room across the street from a cemetery, but it didn’t bother me. My father, once upon a time was on the board of trustees of that cemetery with a friend of his. So in a weird, fey way, it was actually comforting. And I got to speak with my mother by phone right before and right after my surgery.

My hospital care was amazing and one of my nurses, named Kathleen,was from Coatesville. One thing that happened after my surgery that while some could over-react about , I found darn funny.

I was barely out of recovery and basically post-op gorked out of my mind and just in my first room when a very tall elegant female doctor with the inevitable trailing resident came into see I thought me. She was a neurologist. She introduced herself and asked me if I could tell her about my “episodes” .

HUH? I know my sweet man was calling me zippy longstocking right before they knocked me out for pre-op but recalled nothing else so I asked if something had happened while I was under anesthesia. Then this doctor looked totally confused and picked up my chart.

She was sent to my room, but the wrong bed. She was there to speak to my roommate- who along with the issues that made her wrong for my room post-op also had a very active head cold. They moved her.

What wasn’t amusing and a commentary on healthcare and hospital administration today was the next roommate they gave me: an elderly woman with full blown dementia and a very loud family. When they left, which was sometime between 11 p.m. and midnight, the woman turned on all the room lights on her side and the television. The television was set for the hard of hearing. And then she started to scream and cough. That lasted until the nurses moved me at 2:30 a.m. So waking up in a room with a cemetery view wasn’t such a bad deal, considering.

I came home Friday afternoon. Thanks to the poor design and conditions of PennDOT roads, it was a super long and truly painful ride.

So now I am home with my normal room with a view. It is so peaceful to wake up with my own woods around me in my own bed. Truly, there is no place like home. Now I need to rest, and that is a challenge for me since I am not used to being still.

Me having surgery and my mother improving but still being in the hospital really makes me take stock of my life. I am really lucky. I saw so many others in the hospital who weren’t. My mother came through surgery well but isn’t home yet.

Life has gone on around me while I was taking this surgical time out and I have heard from people who I had to tell I could not really talk to them that I had just had surgery and was a little out of it. I felt bad saying that, but it was the truth.

People being what they are, I have also heard from people who aren’t really my friends regarding my surgery. Some people love hospital tales and medical gore. I don’t get it, but different strokes for different folks.

I sleep a lot right now. But sleep will help me heal. When I sleep it is probably the deepest sleep I have had in years. I dream of my gardens yet to be among other things. I don’t remember most of the rest of it, but I remember the garden stuff for some reason.

I can’t wait to get back into the garden.

My friends and family have been amazing once again through this, I am blessed. I have also felt the love and support of my mother’s closest and oldest friends this time around. You know that book Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood? These are my mother’s Ya Yas. What a truly divine bunch of ladies. It’s like they rallied for me and my mother to buoy us through. Having a post surgical step-parent isn’t fun for kids so special kudos should be given to my step-son. It’s not cool to say a teenage boy is sweet and considerate but he is all that and more.

So guess what? I am sleepy again and the pain I was feeling has abated. So I guess blogging as pain distraction/management works!

What else? Can you believe it is supposed to snow tomorrow? Enough already, right?

And does anyone watch The Good Wife on CBS? If so what about that episode last night? Quite the emotional plot twist, eh?

TTFN faithful readers and thanks for stopping by.

crumbling by the highway

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Next time you are a passenger in a car, pay attention to the sides of the road. It can be fascinating.

Take the Schuylkill Expressway, for example. It is dotted with abandoned and derelict structures. Looking for them helps break up the annoying traffic jams….but only if you are a passenger. No sight-see driving, please….

These two photos can be seen on either side of the highway when you are headed east towards Philadelphia.

The green roofed structure is some sort of crumbling mill building. It is somewhere along the river between Gladwyne and West Conshohocken. The roof caved in this winter.

The thing that looks like a 18th century farmhouse probably was. I am not sure of its exact location, but I think it is Gladwyne – it is on the other (non-river side of the Schuylkill Expressway) adjacent to the eastbound lanes.

There are buildings like this alongside many highways. I always wonder what the story is. Route 202 between Chester County and Delaware has structures like this too.

These buildings are the forgotten and abandoned. Have you seen buildings like this? Do you know any of their stories?

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usps they deliver for who?

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We have an awesome mail carrier. But I think the actual post office he is out of has issues. Frazer, PA in the shopping center to be precise.

We have had packages opened and resealed when they ended up being boring things like the vitamins I sometimes have to get delivered by mail because as a breast cancer survivor of a hormone driven breast cancer I need to take vitamins that don’t contain soy or other phytoestrogens and it is hard to find them at chain drugstores regularly. We have had things just not get delivered. We got a Christmas card written shortly after Thanksgiving the first weekend in March.

When something is damaged our delivery guy makes sure he speaks with us and doesn’t just leave it. Again, he is awesome and conscientious. But when we have to call Frazer and speak with Cranky the office manager it’s a different story.

Cranky is the perfect civil service type. He has his little fiefdom there and extends himself to no one, especially women. I used to think my difficult experiences were just me, except if you call the Malvern Post Office to see if they can help you and avoid Cranky they laugh almost…even they get it.

The first time I had to deal with this Cranky on a misdirected package, the first thing out of his mouth was not how can he help but rather did I try the USPS.com website. And every time I have to call, he is the only one who ever answers the phone and he always says the same thing, or occasionally he says something borderline rude or even sexist. Bottom line? He never goes out of his way. If you can get to the actual postmaster you can get help when you need it and he is very nice, but this Cranky is just perpetually cranky.

I find that frustrating. My old post office wasn’t perfect, but they actually attempted customer service at the post office branch level. Face it , after you try to either get a live person if you call the toll free number of the United States Postal Service or attempt via their convoluted website how to send an e-mail if you have a problem, you would naturally think it would be so much simpler to just call your local post office, right? Face it, most of us operate under the delusion that the postal service is still that folksy place where people who live in your neighborhood work.

Wrong.

They lose and mutilate mail. Stuff gets pinched and when you have the temerity to actually call them, you get attitude. It’s not just things that come through Frazer Post Office, it happens all over. I don’t get how we can have nice actual mail carriers and the office people aren’t . They aren’t out in the elements, they are in the offices. They aren’t the one delivering mail when the rain is beating down.

Today I realized something I had ordered had not arrived. So I tracked the package. The tracking said it had been delivered March 13, only I was home and I never received it. So where was it? And guess what happened when I called the post office actual office and got Cranky for a change? He asked me if I had used the website to track my package!

I had had enough today so today I pushed back. Yes I was snippity because I had checked the website and THAT is why I called. You know to see if I could file a lost package report or something?

So I just have to ask: when the United States Postal Service runs their multi-million dollar advertising campaigns stressing customer service and that slogan “We Deliver for You” I always think it should be “USPS, They Deliver for Who?”

And again, I want to make it abundantly clear that our regular letter carrier is awesome. It is the office Cranky and the problems with packages and mail I am less than enthused with.

I don’t order much. I don’t order super expensive or frivolous things. I think I should get what I pay to have delivered and also get packages that are un-opened.