Welcome to my coffee shop in the cyber neighborhood!


Yes, I’ve been gone a while…a long while. I’ve had some other physical and subsequent mental issues. I don’t really want to talk about them. It enhances the stress and potential depression. I read an article that explains the MIA from blogging probably better than I could.


Isolation: When Our Disease Makes Us Withdraw


So whether it’s starting over or
just continuing like I was never gone…

Welcome to my coffee shop in Cyber Space
Try the pumpkin spice scones!


Contact Nani at
chroniclesofnani@gmail.com

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Weekend Playlist, November 25

Oh the wonderful, inspiring, world of music! What I'm going to talk about today is probably what nobody thinks after reading the playlist! Hehe

But first, here are the five songs from my Music library that got me there:

Pray For Me, The Weekend, Kendrick Lemar (Black Panther)
Soothe My Soul, Depeche Mode
You're Going To Miss Me When I'm Gone, Brooks & Dunn
Fools Rush In (Where Angels Fear To Tread), Tommy Dorsey 
It’s Now Or Never, Elvis Presley


There are a number of Elvis Presley songs that were "borrowed" from the classics. “It's Now Or Never" is one of those ones that has very special meaning for me.



You see, when I was young my dad played accordion very often, especially when there were family gatherings and lots of us kids around. We absolutely loved to listen to him play and when I hear a solo accordion tune of any song now it always makes me think of my dad playing for the family. He played for the adults too and they enjoyed listening to it but I don't think it was quite as special as it was when he played "On Top Of Spaghetti" for us kids. He always did that as a major sing-along with all the kids gathered around him. He absolutely loved that.

But now, let's get back to Elvis.. The other kids may have loved “On Top Of Spaghett” but my favorite song that my father played was "It's Now Or Never”. The funniest part of that is when Pop played it, at least when I was really young, he wasn't playing "It's Now Or Never.” He wasn't playing Elvis Presley at all. He was playing “O Sole Mio.’

Please keep in mind that I was born in 1966. I don't have any video of my dad playing accordion. I only have one or two photographs of my dad with an accordion. But believe me he played often and played well. I do have a video of, not my father, but someone else playing…"that song" on the accordion.



I was a kid. But what song do YOU think it is?


As I got older and my love for a classical music got stronger I started to realize there were a lot of old Elvis tunes that I really liked that weren't Elvis tunes when they started out. I still love “It's Now Or Never” and it still reminds me of my dad playing the accordion every time I hear it. But I have to admit especially with their bit of comedy in the song in the video The Three Tenors version of “O Sole Mio” is probably the version of that melody I love the most.

Well, Second most. My memory of my dad playing what I thought was “It’s Now Or Never” on his accordion will still always be the best version in my heart.

It seems that for some reason not possible to embed the Elvis Presley version the song. But as a special treat today here's that version of "O Sole Mio"by The Three Tenors I love so much.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Blame It On The Drugs

I'm eventually getting get my parts of the week straight, just not quite yet. The last couple of weeks have been um, challenging. So remember last post when I told you about surgery. The wonderful thing about anesthesia was it didn't affect me, Woot, woot! But now the next day was kind different.

That Tuesday was election day. It was also the day that I planned to give a call across the street because I'm concerned about the neighbors and I wanted to make sure they were okay. But it ended up being the morning that I was put on a stretcher and wheeled out to the ambulance to be taken to emergency.

It had nothing to do with the surgery. Everything was okay there except that there was a little bit of bleeding which is normal and it had to be explained to the EMTs who were just a little concerned. I was having problems with some discomfort in my back I wanted to move back because my bare feet were slipping and pulling me out of the chair. I don't think David heard the first couple times that I asked to please be pushback or something done with my feet sliding because when it became a frightened emergency he complained about everything's a crisis with me and finally put my shoes on so I wouldn't slide. The unfortunate problem is he didn't stick around long enough to make sure I had my balance. I didn't. I fell, quite painfully, forward.

David called 911. My aide, Heather, came in just before the EMTs did, so she had no idea what was going on except that David did let her know “Davonna’s on the floor.” That kind of launched her into instant caregiver freaking out mode. The EMTs got there got me rolled over on sling for the Hoyer lift so they could use it to put me on the stretcher and covered half naked morning me and carted me out to the street to put me in the ambulance and get me to the hospital. NOT the way I expected the day after surgery to be. I was planning to relax all day, take my meds and recover.

So at the hospital, which I requested because I was sure I had broken many bones in my feet, I got to go through all kinds of interesting things. I was lying in pain for a long time before they gave me anything for the pain. In fact that one point I screamed “OW, OW, OW, OW,” when a spasm was making my foot go insane, a foot that I now know was broken in two places, and heard a woman at one of the desks in front of the room where I was mock my screams and she and the man and woman sitting next to her laughed pretty loudly. With all of my pain it was everything I could do to keep Heather sitting down and not running out to kick butt. She did get the photograph of the mocking woman at UTMC election day morning.

People who loudly mock people in pain need to find a different line of work.
You know, one where human beings aren't involved.

They did finally come and give me a tramadol, which is one of the drugs that I do take. They took x-rays of both my feet. I can promise you when you have broken bones and they're turning your feet all over the place so that they can see the broken bones it hurts like you can't imagine when they've only given you one pill for pain. The doctor on staff took a look at the X-rays and said that because I don't walk and have weight bearing on my feet it makes the bones of my feet very pale and breaks very hard to see. They wrapped up both of my feet in ace bandages and sent me home telling me to continue taking tramadol and Advil.

For the three days after my surgery I had aides in for the full day while David was at work. So thankfully after Heather went back to get the wheelchair van, that thankfully David had already put the wheelchair in before he went to work, and brought me home, Patty was already there waiting to takeover. For my part, I just sat the wheelchair and screamed. One pain pill I already take and wrapping up my feet really didn't cut it as far as easing any pain. When we got me in the recliner and got a hold of Diana my primary care CNP, she added taking the tramadol and valium I'd been prescribed already “as needed” and to add putting ice on my ankles a half hour on, a half hour off. Patty came back for a couple of hours to do the ice until I could fall asleep. Between that and the painkillers David was at least able to sleep without me screaming all night when he had to work next day.

Diana made phone calls and hand delivered prescriptions for me so that every four hours I could take tramadol, Valium and vicaprofen together. Vicaprofen it Is Vicodin for people who are allergic to acetaminophen. Taking those every four hours actually did work at relieving the pain enough for me to fall asleep for a few days until Diana could get the full report from the emergency room and come and look at my feet.

Health insurance does a wonderful job of making sure that people in incredible pain can't get the narcotics they need. There are lots of ways for addicts to get the pills they want. For a while I was really tempted to find them and get the pills it took two days for my CNP to convince them I needed. SMH

Diana is visiting me once a week, while she is working on getting the visiting podiatrist to come and decide what will need to be done with my feet. My right foot is sprained with a broken big toe. Spasms have done a great job working the sprain back normal. (Remember we're talking about me and I always look what the rainbow even if it doesn't seem like there is one.) Now my left foot is fractured in two different places, the heal and the bone in front of it. It may need a cast. It may need surgery. The podiatrist will have to tell. Right know, thanks to (sarcasm) wonderful insurance (/Sarcasm) visiting podiatrist is not in network so my broken foot will have to be carefully covered up from cold so that I can be taken to an in network podiatrist. (sarcasm) because they truly believe increased pain will make me a stronger person. (/sarcasm)

For right now, I been moved up to every six hours for my trifecta of painkillers. I'm willing to put up with a little bit of pain, not the incredible pain I am right now without drugs, but Diana also knows my terrible fear of addiction. But believe me, if I have pain after about five hours I have the pills in my hand and I'm ready to shove them down my throat!


David was gone but he did bring 2 bananas and flowers for me.


David left Friday for a football game and a long weekend with his family in Florida and was back yesterday after work. I’ve needed almost 24/7 care while he was gone. I've had two wonderful friends who've had coffee with me every morning. One even brought me two cream filled long johns! My aides have been here longer during the day, my doctor visits once a week and texts daily, and a nurse spent the night every night he was gone. I was well taken care of. The good news is that the ER visit maxed out my out of pocket expense with the insurance company. That means, although they don't cover home health aides, everything else is free. That means the MRI I still need to get and if they have to do surgery on my foot, at least it's free. See? Rainbow.

Send me a prayer, are wish me luck.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Weekend Playlist, November 11

Music really is one of the coolest stimuli in the world. You know that ages old philosophical question "if you had to give up your ability to see or your ability to hear which would it be?”

Oh I'm not going to answer that question. As a scrapbooker, how could I ever think of not being able to see? It would be the end of one of my favorite hobbies. Every year when David puts his best train photos together and picks out the music to create his end-of-the-year multimedia presentation, I do the editing which absolutely requires vision and hearing. Editing has been my favorite part of every video job I’ve had and working on David show, in addition to some other small things that I do, is one thing that makes me feel totally alive. So for me the answer to the philosophical question is another philosophical question. "at what point does a person lose so much that they don't care what else they lose?"

So here are the last 5 songs that played with my library on shuffle before the feature song today:

She’s Like The Wind, Patrick Swayze
Chocolate Girl, Keith Sweat
Ant Music, Adam and The Ants
Knocking On Heaven’s Door, Heaven
All In A Mouse’s Night, Genesis


All In A Mouse’s Night was on the Genesis album Wind & Wuthering, released in 1976. The first time I had ever heard this song was on February 14, 2006. It was the first truly romantic Valentine's Day I ever had. I used to host "Stag Parties" on Valentine's Day when I would invite anyone who didn't have a date over for chili and what ever the worst B-film we could find on video tape. I am absolutely sure that there will be people who read this that remember The Toxic Avenger and films as such. Heck, I even remember word about those stag parties getting out and one couple begging me that if they promised to sit I'm opposite sides of the room and never look at each other could they please come this year? I have to admit that made me kind proud but my mom donated the chili every year and it had quite the reputation too.


But into 2006 it was different. I'd had dates on Valentine's Day before and it had been many years since we did the stag parties. But in 2006 there was this new guy. He’d been in my world almost a year and we even frequently used the “L-word.” I was almost 40 and had decided I was fine with, in fact I wanted to be, my own person. Casual dating was fine, even in the occasional relationship as long as it wasn't serious, but I liked me unattached. But then 6 foot and 5 inches with light blue eyes on top that I absolutely melted over walked into my life and screwed up everything.


David worked late enough that I could get to Toledo and prepare shrimp scampi for dinner with a little help from Wolfgang Puck for the lobster bisque. I chilled a bottle of Savignon Blanc (no that's not great memory about the wine. That’s been my standard to go with shrimp for, like, ever.) But what I cooked I do remember. I'd put together a chocolate fondue for two and we ate by candlelight.

I remember talking about music and discussing what we thought were romantic songs. Mine was Diamond Rio’s I Know How The River Feels. He told me is wasn't so much a romantic song as much as he wanted to dance to it. I was cleaning some dishes in the kitchen and he started the Genesis song Your Own Special Way and he came into the kitchen and we danced. Guys, you may not totally get it, but gals, I'm sure you understand that everything around you disappears the moment your significant other pulls you away from the sink and slow dances with you in the kitchen.  * sigh*

In further conversation about music while we had our dessert he played this song for me, just a fun and really cute song about a mouse. Oh, this song is so strange too to entertain two cat-people. Think about it. Why is the cat always the bad guy in cartoons? Poor Tom, Sylvester, PePe.. Wait, no, he's only attracted to cats (LOL) but you get one I mean.



This song is not a hit single, so no video this week, but I hope you enjoy giving a listen.

Oh Man!

When I rejoined the blog-living it was not my intent to be a weekend blogger. In fact this week I planned to start off Tuesday talking about anesthesia. I had surgery on Monday and spent the last couple weeks scared to death because I’d never been completely knocked out before.

Nani and Pop: “We will MAKE you smile with us”

I cover my fears with humor. That’s genetic. My dad does the same thing. The surgical procedure was a feminine one. I had some bleeding which is totally unnatural because my last period was 14 years ago. More standard testing revealed some polyps, I’d had benign polyps before, so that wasn’t an alarm to me, but the lining of my uterus was thicker than it should be for someone past menopause.

-male readers who are squicked or embarrassed at this point, especially if you have kids, shame on you!-

As I was saying, the doctor ordered a D&C, Hysteroscopy and Cervical Biopsy. The combination of things all done at once required complete relaxation of everything, that meant control freak me taking no part in it. They had to put me under.

Like I said, covering fear with joking is hereditary. Pop even enjoyed my freak out thought that, because finding a virgin in 2018 was so difficult, the second coming would most definitely come from a postmenopausal woman, likely one who never had a child to mimic the original “never felt this kind of pain before.” Well, so that would explain the uterus lining being too thick. The angel just hadn’t visited me yet! My aide, Heather, was laughing with me and asked, “so your the new Virgin Mary?” I said “no, I’m the Postmenopausal Mary.” Then I stopped abruptly.

You see, I was raised Catholic and in the Catholic Church you have to be baptized with the name of a saint. In 1966 there was no saint Davonna. So I was baptized as my middle name, Maria. So according to the Catholic Church I AM Mary!

All jokes aside, I of course do not believe I am destined to carry the second coming. But when discussing the different ways people come out of anesthesia, and my aide describing when she's been under anesthesia it's coming out of it like she's drunk. I realized that, being somebody who is a silly drunk, I probably needed something pinned onto my hospital gown that said “please, please, please, don't be offended by anything that I say coming out of anesthesia!” I’d planted in my brain a very crazy and offensive thought. I’ve always believed God has a sense of humor, but I also believe in never insulting someone else’s beliefs. Now I’d given myself new stress.

The good news is those wonderful genetics that I get from Pop, coming out of anesthesia, I was asleep and then I woke up and it was just like waking up. I didn't have any moments of stupidity or goofiness, it didn't affect me at all. My dad said he did the same nothing when he's come out of anesthesia before. Good genes or a strong brain, my inner control freak resisted all the way through!

The doc promised to call as soon as the pathology reports were available. And that call was Tuesday. I asked if she was calling to post check on me and she said no, the lab results were back already: Benign, no cancer. YAY!


Oh, there is a ton about Tuesday I’ll write about in a few days. Stay tuned! It was quite a week!

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Weekend Playlist, November 4

I stopped the shuffle this week in a spot that made me kind of sad, it also made me understand some of my feelings this week and why they've been weighing so heavy on me. I'm not used to dealing with truly major problems alone. The first time I tried to do that I ended up seeing a psychologist for a few months. (Maybe a couple of sessions this week would've helped.)

Here are the last five songs from my library on shuffle:

Don’t Stop, Jon Batiste
Deep Cuts The Knife, Helix
Don’t Lie To Me, Barbara Streisand
One more day, Diamond Rio
Silent Lucidity, Queensryche


John and me at a New Year's party, I think I was about 19

Silent Lucidity was John’s favorite song by his favorite group. You see lots of kids in the video but the lyrics speak of giving strong quiet support and protection. John was like a big brother to me since we met when I was 15 years old. He was one of my closest friends and that unconditional support was always there. He considered me to be a strong person and a generous person, someone who always made sure no one was left behind. But the truth is, anything that is considered good about me couldn’t possibly compare to the man that John was.

I guess that song struck me right now because I really wish John was here. In October 2009, I lost the last person who could let me be worried, who could let me be weak and not feel like I was less of a person for being so human. I have a surgical procedure scheduled for tomorrow. This week has just been hell for me. My brain is tortured by nightmares because I’ve never had anesthesia for anything before, not good for the psyche of a control freak. And also for the last week I’ve not been allowed to use any of the vitamins or supplements that I take and I’m starting to feel the effect of some of those not being in my daily routine. There are vitamins and supplements that I take in lieu of advancing to drugs for some things and I’ve been cut off of some of the drugs that I take that keep some of the MS pain at bay. I’m pretty much miserable and scared. Mostly what I’ve heard from others have been things like, “don’t worry about it everything‘s gonna be fine,“ “suck it up buttercup, it’s just part of life,“ “just shut up already, it’s no big deal.“ people mean well when they tell me not to worry but I need someone to just listen, tell me they understand that I am afraid and comfort me, talk to me, make me laugh to divert the fear. John did that for me on more than one occasion.

Our last picture together at my wedding reception, July 2009

I need somebody to comfort me and quell the demons in my own brain but there’s no one left to do that for me. I miss my friend.


Friday, November 2, 2018

Middle-aged Grumblings

When I turned 50 I made the declaration that “now that I am over 50 years old, I never have to be wrong again." In the years moving towards 50, I heard so many people that seemed to believe people younger than them couldn't possibly be doing something right because it was different then they do it. I looked forward two having that superiority.

Okay, that proclamation really was a tongue-in-cheek joke on my part. I personally think people that are that close minded and refuse to continue to grow are both people that should be avoided and pitied. My mom always told me that's the day you stop growing is the day you start dying. But the fun part of the joke is it's a joke that never ends. But sometimes I really have to wonder if complaining about what seems to be change for the sake of change is really a joke.

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My first complaint today, as a 52-year-old woman, is one that I'm a little suspicious might be something that's the fault of someone, or a gang, my age or older. When did it become the custom for hospitals to call patients a couple of days before a surgical procedure and press them for money? This happened with a different hospital and a different procedure a couple weeks ago too. It's something that never happened to me before. In the past, I schedule a procedure, the hospital and my doctors have all of my ID and insurance information, the procedure is done and a few weeks later I received the bill for the portion I owe. Now twice two different hospitals have called me just a couple days before the procedure disguising the call as if it's a courtesy call to be sure you're ready for the upcoming procedure and if you have any questions. Then they tell you that you have a patient responsibility of “X” amount of dollars and can you pay that right now? Wow. It's not enough if I have insurance? Both times I said I'd like to be billed and they said okay and that was really the end of the phone call, leading me to believe that that was the only purpose of the phone call. I haven't been into the emergency room in a while. Do they still treat people in an emergency even without insurance?

I have to be honest, I was both insulted and unsettled by the phone call, especially the one I got today. I'm having a surgical procedure done on Monday and, believe it or not, I’ve made it 52 years having never been under anesthesia. I'm nearing the end of the week where I haven't been able to take vitamins, half of my prescriptions or even drink herbal tea. I'm nervous and frankly, scared. The last thing in the world that I want is for the hospital to be calling me about money days before my surgery. Are they suspicious of something I fear? If I die on the operating table how will they ever get paid?

I don't truly believe that my impending death is the motivation for the phone call. Personally, I’d hate to be the person given a list of phone numbers and money that's not owed yet because services haven't been rendered, and be told that I needed to make phone calls to shake the patients up for their lunch money.

Yeah, it's business, right? It's no different than your favorite baseball player on the home team will probably not finish his career with your team and will probably be playing for someone else's team when he becomes a free agent. If I'm not so important to athletes or teams as a paying fan why should I expect hospitals to give a damn about me as a patient? Surely there are more hospital patients than fans of any particular team which makes us even more expendable.

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My other current social complaint truly is about the whippersnapper generation. I don’t, for the life of me, understand how Dr. Seuss and PG ever end up in the same advertisement. But there's a Grinch movie out this month that's computer-animated and rated PG.

I haven't seen the movie, nor do I have any intention of seeing it. That is actuallyone of the cool things about being 52. I am completely fine with the animated version of the Grinch on TV that's been out every year during the holidays since I was a child. I also don't actually have to see it to criticize it.

A bad guy with a network TV rating 

Oh, but work with me here. Those of you that cyber-know me and especially that know me in person or on the phone, know that I'm not going to criticize something I haven't seen. But what I'm criticizing, what I'm questioning, is what part of a movie that is made to attract young children makes it a PG rather than a G movie?

How is making a Dr. Seuss based movie with a PG rating incredibly different than marketing cigarettes in a way that’s attractive to children? Candy and bubble gum cigarettes don't exist anymore unless you find them in an "Old Timey" Candy store. I used to love the bubble gum cigarettes especially because if you blew on them they puffed smoke like a real cigarette. I think the fact that adults in my world smoked and I wanted to emulate them had a lot more to do with what ultimately made me try cigarette smoking than the fact that I occasionally indulged in the sugary puff. That's especially true since when I was a kid I was more likely to spend 15 cents on a pack of baseball cards or big pickle in a plastic bag with lots of pickle juice.

What did they do to a children's story to earn the PG rating? Does the Grinch say something like"Christmas sucks. I don't care if I'm an ass?" Or does the new version have him deciding to steal Christmas as a result of a drug trip? I just want to know what do you have to do to make a children's story a PG movie? And couldn't that have ended up on the cutting room floor so it's still a family movie that you can take young children to see?

I may be disabled and not working now, but as part of the greater entertainment media field, I'm truly disappointed that my former industry would create this.