11.30.17 Dora and the Explorers – Wacky Wonderful Thursday

Our teacher asked what my favorite animal was, and I said, “Fried chicken.”

She said I wasn’t funny, but she couldn’t have been right, because everyone else laughed. My parents told me to always tell the truth. I did. Fried chicken is my favorite animal. I told my dad what happened, and he said my teacher was probably a member of PETA. He said they love animals very much. I do, too. Especially chicken, pork and beef.

Anyway, my teacher sent me to the principal’s office. I told him what happened, and he laughed, too. Then he told me not to do it again.

The next day in class, my teacher asked me what my favorite live animal was. I told her it was chicken. She asked me why, so I told her it was because you could make them into fried chicken. She sent me back to the principal’s office. He laughed, and told me not to do it again.

I don’t understand. My parents taught me to be honest, but my teacher doesn’t like it when I am. Today, my teacher asked me to tell her what famous person I admired most.

I told her, “Colonel Sanders.”

Guess where I am now …

AMAZING PLACES AROUND GOD’S BEAUTIFUL WORLD
YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, CALIFORNIA
WILD HORSE BUTTE, UTAHVALLEY OF FUNES DOLOMITESTRYOL IN ITALY VICTORIA FALLS – ZAMBIA, ZIMBABWE

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing and textWhat is praise? It is adoration, thanksgiving, appreciation, and worship of our Lord and Savior. Praise flows from a relationship of love and devotion from us to the Lord. Praise brings us closer to Him.

It changes us and helps us grow in our faith. Praise reminds us of who God is. A life filled with praise places us in a position to receive God’s blessings.

C.S. Lewis said, “Only in acts of worship and praise can a person learn to believe in the goodness and the greatness of God. God wants us to praise Him not because He needs or craves in any sense our flattery, but because He knows that praise creates joy and thankfulness.”

Praise is not something that we do for God. Nor is it something that we do in order to get God’s approval so that He will grant our desires. When we praise God, we are changed — even if our circumstances are not. While God is present everywhere, all the time, He is present in a special way when His people praise Him.

Words are the expressions of our hearts. The Bible says, “Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34).
What happens to the person who continually complains about the problems and challenges of life? If he only focuses on those things, he will lose sight of his eternal destiny. He may become pessimistic, even depressed.

We all have tiring days, minor setbacks, and unexpected expenses. As believers, we can choose to find strength by praising God rather than sinking into despair.

Regardless of our problems or difficulties, when we praise God, our focus shifts. We become aware, once again, of who He is and His love for us. Why wait? Praise God now and experience His power, which is capable of handling anything you might face.

By: Peaceful Moments for Women
THIS WEEK’S FIVE FAVORITE PHOTOS
NUTS, NUTS, NUTS!!!

Reach out to someone in need this week!

Let others see Jesus in you this week!

Be His light in the darkness this week!

Have a Blessed Week!

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11.29.17 Dora and the Explorers – STILAD, Getting a dementia diagnosis and getting medical records from Dr. Shamsnia published 4.24.15

Wednesday, November 29, 2017 – If you suspect that you or a loved one has dementia this post is important for you to read.  So many people have asked me how I found out that what I was experiencing was dementia so here it is.

The first step is to make an appointment with a neuropsychologist to have a day or two of neuropsych testing done. My primary care physician referred me to the two doctors below but I don’t think you have to have a referral to see them.

I’ve seen both Dr. Susan Andrews and Dr. Melissa Aubert and would recommend either of them.  They are both in the same office in Metairie. Dr. Andrews had a second office in Covington when I saw her but I could not confirm that she still has that office now.

Office Location: 3925 N. I-10 Service Rd. West, Suite 201-A, Metairie, Louisiana 70002 Phone: 504-455-0109

Dr. Aubert’s E-mail: maubertphd@nolaneuropsych.com

Dr. Andrews E-mail:  srandrews.office@gmail.comm – This was the email she communicated with me years ago but I don’t know for sure it is still active.

I’m not getting any kickback from these doctors for referring people, I just know my experience was great with both of them and want to help ya’ll know where to get started.

The neuropsych tests that they do will show where your brain deficiencies are, if any.  If they find deficiencies they will recommend a neurologist for you to see and will send their testing results to that doctor.  The neurologist does the medical testing and diagnosis.  The neurologist, having the neuropsych testing information, can help them narrow down what medical tests to do.  I’ve had at least seven different medical tests.

Lots of people think they have dementia but if you haven’t taken neuropsych tests and/or the medical tests you really don’t have a true diagnosis.  If you have good insurance it will not cost you anything, so why not know for sure and get what little help is available for specifically what you have.

I don’t know for sure that Dr. Patricia Morgan will be my new neurologist but when I saw her she had her assistant do a few of the neuropsych tests before meeting her.  Questions that I found easy on the original and second neuropsych testing years ago were difficult now. I didn’t know what the date was (I got the month wrong). She told me three words and told me to remember them.  I tried to keep saying them over and over in my mind because I knew  she was going to ask me them again but I could only remember the first of the three words.  She asked me to walk one foot in front of the other which I’ve always done fine.  This time I looked like a drunk taking a test on the side of the road.  That’s from my balance being bad now.  Another test had me close my eyes and put my arm out to the side then trying to touch the end of my nose with it.  I didn’t make it to the tip of my nose but somewhere around my nose.  I think there was something else I didn’t do well but don’t remember now.

I realize that some of what I just wrote is also written below in the original blog from 2015 but I’ve gotten very frustrated trying to know how to make it flow right so I hope you can at least get something out of this.

Finally, currently I’m on day two of a three day at home EEG test to see if I’m having seizures.  I’m sure it’s necessary but it’s a pain to do.  And my head is completely wrapped up in gauze making me look like I had brain surgery.

We are heading to Hammond in a bit for the eye doctor’s appointment we mistakenly went to on Monday.  Hopefully we’ll get Roy’s cataract surgery scheduled for the first eye.

Original Blog – April 24, 2015 –

8756_415836921865239_221735958_nSince I have very little Alzheimer’s info to share and am creeping along in my own dementia journey, I’ve changed the name of the blog to Some Things I Learned About Dementia.

If you, or a loved one, is experiencing mental decline, today’s post may help you find where to start to get help.  I can’t say this is THE ONLY path but it is the one I know so I hope you can learn from this.  I don’t mind opening my life up if it will help someone else struggling and searching for help.

Also, I pulled up my big girl panties and went to Dr. Shamsnia’s office to make a stab (not not at him!) at getting my medical records and my MRIs.  More on that further down!

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10703805_824649437580941_2651549357672239530_nOn Tuesday I traveled to Metairie, Louisiana to see Dr. Melissa Aubert.  She is a Neuropsychologist in practice with Dr. Susan Andrews, who I saw 3-4 years ago.  Dr. Andrews no longer takes my insurance, but Dr. Aubert does.

She was wonderful.  We spent an hour together covering everything I could think of from the last time I saw Dr. Andrews until now.  She asked many questions about my current mental capabilities which allowed me to open up and really talk about what’s going on in that little space up there called my brain!   What a relief that was to have the words coming out of my mouth to someone who understands.

Due to the lack of information I was getting from Dr. Shamsnia I decided to pursue having a new neuropsych test done before leaving town for this years journey to the Northeast.  The10801589_855311604510077_5207705261697921312_n previous neuropsych test results showed specific areas of deficits, specifically learning new things and short term memory.  Having the retesting done will provide a comparison between where I was then to my current capabilities.  I handle things better the more knowledge I have about it.  The unknown worries me more than knowing.

The testing is a day (sometimes more than a day) long series of paper tests designed to show strengths and weaknesses.  Most of the tests involve answering questions or performing tasks. You may be taking some of the tests on a computer, using pencil and paper, or using other objects.

Doctors use a wide variety of tests for neuropsychological testing. In most cases you will take a series of tests, rather than a single test. The tests you take will depend on the particular brain functions that your doctor wants to check. The tests are meant to test your limits, so don’t be discouraged if they seem hard.

The tests I took in 2011 were:

The testing was very interesting the last time I did it in 2011, and I am happy to say they were able to schedule the next one for next Wednesday, April 29th!!!  The testing in 2015 included the following:

I can’t recommend strongly enough how beneficial this testing can be if you have any question about your memory or your mental capabilities declining.  It’s worth a day of your time to have these answers.

Once the testing is done, the Neuropsychologist reviews all the information and her notes from our visit to come up with her final report.

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When I left Dr. Aubert’s office I drove a few streets over to Dr. Shamsnia’s office.  I prayed before I got out of my car and said to myself “Girl you’ve got this!” I walked into the elevator and up to his office.

923515_10151922468590806_2082669326_n Seeing that there were no patients in the waiting room I breathed a sign of relief and walked up to the window.  The nice young lady and the nurse recognized me and I explained to them that I would like to have my medical records including the MRIs which I had been told were sitting on his desk.  They explained that normally they needed a form signed and it took 7 to 10 working days to have the files copied but they would go see what they could do.

I sat down, prepared to wait a while and who gets off the elevator but Dr. Shamsnia.  He looked at me briefly and said hello and went down the hall.  Whew, no face to face encounter!!  The ladies came back only five minutes later with a manilla envelope and my two most recent MRIs on disk.

I asked about the old MRIs and they said they didn’t see them.  I now firmly believe the office has lost my MRIs since several efforts to find them have been made by several different people.  How they could lose big old MRIs I have no idea, but they have.

I thanked them for always being nice and walked out.  The relief that washed over me from knowing I didn’t have to 9808_1100980976594842_8340971622499789430_ngo back there again was overwhelming.  When I got in my car I prayed prayers of Thanksgiving to God for seeing me through this dark time and bringing me out safely on the other side.  Not having to deal with the stress and frustration of working with that doctor eliminates so much of a burden from my life.  Only God will walk through all dark times with us and use it to strengthen our lives.  Only God.

I’ll bring my records to Dr. Vales, my primary care doctor, for safekeeping, until I can find a new neurologist when we return to town next year!  North Oaks Hospital Radiology told me they have duplicate copies of the MRIs that Dr. Shamsnia can’t find so I’ll be having those sent to the neurologist at the appropriate time.

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I just got word from North Oaks Sleep Lab that they have an opening for me to have my sleep apnea test redone TOMORROW NIGHT!!!!  Whoop whoop!  When I originally called to make an appointment they didn’t have anything open for weeks until after we left.  This is again another blessing from God!  I love how He cares for me!

Okay, now on to living life!

Isaiah-41-10

 

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11.28.17 Dora and the Exploers – STILAD – My little brain, published 4.10.15

Tuesday, November 28, 2017 – Somehow when this was originally published it was out of order date wise. I don’t know why a post written in February 2015 wasn’t published until April 2015. This doctor visit is the same one I wrote about on November 26, 2017 and I don’t know why I wrote two different posts. This one was written so that friends and family would be aware of potential odd things I might do because of my shrinking brain. The one on November 26th was to share the beginning of the end of my relationship with this doctor.

Today, Monday, Roy and I went to Hammond to see his eye doctor about having cataract surgery. We found out when we got there (after waking up very early) that the appointment wasn’t today, it’s on Wednesday at 1 pm. It was in my phone’s calendar as Monday at 10 am so now we have to go back there on Wednesday….. This is the doctor’s office that likes us hiding rocks, so at least there were some hidden there today.

My new neurologist, Dr. Morgan ordered a three day at home EEG which will start Tuesday morning. I’ll write about that when it’s over and she gets the results.

537410_424890400919640_291293599_nOriginal Blog from April 10, 2015: Hi everyone! Roy went with me to the brain doctor (neurologist) on Friday, February 20, 2015.

I’ll try to keep this brief but informative. I had blood drawn two weeks ago to determine if my blood was low in any

vitamin or other thing that might be causing my brain to shrink. I was hopeful this was going to be the cause, since if it was, I could take more of whatever vitamin or other that it was. However, all my vitamins, thyroid, inflammation levels were normal. Even Vitamin D which the doctor said is rarely normal in anyone, was normal for me. Yay for being normal in something!!

This being ruled out, we still do not know what has caused the shrinkage. He gave me the report he prepared for me which includes the following information: He says I have significant atrophy in my temporal lobe, frontal lobe, cerebellum, and posterior fossa. He also states that he considers me to be disabled because of this and I will be sending the letter to Social Security to go with my disability application.

I pulled up my big girl panties and asked the “is it dementia” question and yes it is. We do not however at this point know what type of dementia it is. He does not feel it is Alzheimer’s.

I’ve looked up what atrophy in each of these brain parts does to someone to know what “might” be in my future. I say “might” because he’s told me to eat brain healthy foods and keep mentally active to help fight against the shrinkage. I will do all of that, so right now I’m hopeful it won’t get any worse. That may be my positive life outlook causing me to be determined it will not get worse. I’ll take a positive outlook over a negative doom and gloom one any day. Since we don’t know what is causing it yet, I don’t know how possible it is that eating brain healthy and staying mentally active will stop the progression.

blue imagesSome of the things that atrophy in these specific brain parts can cause are:

Frontal and temporal lobe atrophy – planning and judgment; emotions, speaking and understanding speech; and certain types of movement including muscle coordination, shaking, falling, muscle stiffness in neck and back and eye movements. Further description of these changes are: they may speak easily, but their words convey less and less meaning. They tend to use broad general terms, such as “animal” when they mean “cat.” Language comprehension also declines. They lose their ability to generate words easily, and their speech becomes halting, “tongue-tied” and ungrammatical. Ability to read and write also may be impaired.

Posterior fossa atrophy causes: dilated pupils, eye problems, face muscle weakness, hearing loss, loss of feeling in part of the face, taste problems, unsteadiness when walking, vision problems.

I’m copying this information from websites and some brain atrophy’s have more information than others. This one for cerebellum atrophy was very wordy but here it is.

-Difficulty maintaining normal upright posture, balance, coordinated walking, and running. Unsteady gait, staggering, tripping, falling, unsteadiness on stairs or maintaining balance on moving platforms, such as escalators or boats. -Difficulty with handwriting, cutting food, opening jars, buttoning clothes, sewing, typing, playing an instrument or a sport. –Speech: slurred, slow, indistinct, abnormal in rhythm. Swallowing: difficulty swallowing or choking (especially with liquids). -Blurred vision or double vision. Reading: difficulty moving from word to word. Problems following moving objects or shifting gaze from one object to another. -Patients with cerebellar atrophy often experience unexpected fatigue when performing normal activities. The impaired regulation of coordinated movements may lead to increased fatigue because of the need to expend more effort to perform activities that are no longer fluid or coordinated. -Patients with cerebellar degeneration may have cognitive and emotional difficulties. The cerebellum plays a role in some forms of thinking. Patients with cerebellar atrophy may have impaired recall of newly learned information or difficulty with “executive functions” such as making plans and keeping thoughts in proper sequence. Personality and mood disorders, such as increased irritability, anxiety, and depression, are more common in persons with cerebellar degeneration than in control subjects. blue images That’s about all the information I have to pass along. It is what it is and I appreciate all prayers! I’m pretty determined to not let this stop me from living my life. Our RV lifestyle keeps my brain active seeing so many new amazing things. My faith in God will see me through anything life has to throw at me in whatever form. I have the best, biggest God imaginable who can do anything. If He’s chosen for me to go down this path I will strive to handle it with grace and praise Him all the way! When we get back from many months out west I will have a new form of MRI where they can see into the brain deeper. I’ll meet with my doctor after that to see if he can tell anything more definitive then and also see if it has progressed any. He won’t have the new MRI machine now or I’d get it done now. If you are not a Christian you may not understand praising God in the storms. It’s hard for me to explain but having Him as my Lord and Savior gives me peace and knowledge that He will carry me through all the storms of life, including this one. The words of this song by Casting Crowns are amazing. I urge you to google the song and listen to the whole song. Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear! praise-you-in-this-storm

 

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11.27.17 Dora and the Explorers – STILAD, PART TWO – Another day at the doctor’s office published 04.08.15

Monday, November 27, 2017 –  This is part two of the end to my relationship with the brain doctor I had counted on so much.

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Wednesday, April 8, 2015 – Part Two

I left yesterday morning at 8 am for my 10 am appointment appointment in Metairie with Dr. Shamsnia. The waiting room was packed (all 25 chairs) when I arrived. It always is.

Like I said in my earlier post everyone is always upset about how long they have to wait to see Dr. Shamsnia, and I’m always his champion. After the four hour wait I was called and the nurse took all my information, blood pressure, weight, the usual. She said Dr. Shamsnia should be in soon. While I was waiting, I heard him twice say he was going somewhere and would be back in a while.

About 1 hour after I was waiting in the room, (now 5 hours into the visit) a nice resident came in and talked to me for quite a while about everything I needed to talk to the doctor about. He felt a new Sleep Apnea study was due, because even after sleeping at least 12 hours every night I am still tired. Maybe my machine needs to be re-calibrated. We talked about the form I need Dr. Shamsnia to sign, the sleep apnea, the MRI comparisons and how I’ve called his office every couple of weeks to see if Dr. Shamsnia had compared them yet. I also said I need to know what type of dementia I have and wanted to know if there was a newer, better medicine than either Plavix or Aricept. He said he’d present all this to Dr. Shamsnia before he came in. Before he left I asked him (as I had asked the nurse originally) to make sure he has, in his hands, my MRIs to compare.

After another hour Dr. Shamsnia came in with the nice male resident and another female resident in tow. I’m use to that because he’s a teaching doctor and I appreciate that. Doesn’t bother me a bit. He sits down and says “You have a form for me to sign?” I said yes it’s from Social Security, and I explained I sent it in the mail but you said I needed to come in. He made several comments about it, saying “It looks like a legal form from an attorney. ” I assured him it came directly from Social Security to me. He goes over the form, circles yes and no, where appropriate and signs it. He stands up and heads to the door. After waiting 6 hours to see him, and having more things I needed to talk about, I grabbed his arm as he tried to leave. He looked at me and I said “Why are you leaving?” He said “Oh I just need to copy this form.” Thinking he was coming back I let go and then saw him give the form to one of the residents who went to the copy machine, while Dr. Shamsnia walked into the next patients room. I could not believe he did that and since the door was now open I could see the back office activity. When he visited with the next patient about ten minutes and came out I saw the nice resident try to have a word with him about me and Dr. Shamsnia blew him off. He then walked into the next room (there are only 3 patient rooms) with the residents and closed the door.

During the time he was with the other two patients I began to realize I couldn’t take him as my doctor any longer. I rosalyn use 2know my blood pressure, which was 118 over 78 when I came in, and at that point it had to be sky high. I didn’t say this before but when I first saw Dr Shamsnia years ago he stressed that I needed to eliminate all stress from my life or I would absolutely have a stroke. That’s when I put on Facebook that I was at the clinic and if anyone heard I was in jail, it would be for murdering the doctor. Had to let out some stress somehow!

The nice nurse came in the office (thinking Dr. Shamsnia was finished with me, since he’d given her my chart for me to check out) and said for me to go to the front window to get my next appointment. I burst into tears and asked her (very calmly, I don’t know how I did it) to have all my records, MRIs, other tests, etc. gathered for me because if he did not come to see me next, I was leaving and going to another doctor. She apologized to me, as has everyone in that clinic at sometime because of how he’s started to treat patients and his erratic behavior (they didn’t say erratic I did – he’s their boss they wouldn’t want to get fired).

I sat back down in the room and cried uncontrollably. The storm gates had opened and out came the tears. I 10407058_10153007783151718_8439821164716253461_nheard the last door open and close and heard someone say something to him and he came back in. He said, “You want something else?” I said (trying to calm down because I need the information) “I need to know if you have compared my MRIs yet?” He proceeds to tell me that my file didn’t show he has compared them, so he must not have. I asked him to do it now while I wait. He proceeds to fuss (nice word being used) at me saying that he does not take the time to do this for anyone. I said, “But you’re my doctor so who else will do it?” He said it could take hours, and he hires attorney’s to do the comparisons and he guess he just hasn’t gotten to it yet. He goes on about how much money he has to pay attorneys to take care of things. Then he goes on about the form he had to sign, how it’s worded trying to trick doctors. He said he does not sign these unless he can look the patient in the eye and know who they are. When I sent this to him I had just been in the office less than a month before. Okay, I understand that. He has to protect himself. He kept talking about what a wonderful, highly praised doctor he was. That he was well know for giving testimony in court and other things because if the words came out of his mouth they were golden (not exactly those words but the gist) That all of his patients knew that they had to wait a long time to see him but he was worth it. I told him as I was still sobbing that yes, he use to be that doctor, but he wasn’t any longer. My last visit was only 5 minutes and this one was only 2 minutes. I also told him that I needed him to be a better doctor for me and I needed him to explain more to me. He didn’t offer anything, just more self indulgent rantings about his superiority. He said “I don’t do for many patients what I did for you sending the Social Security his physicians report.” I again told him how deeply I appreciated it, but that he never told me the things in the office that he put in the report, and that I need to know more. There was MUCH more said on his part but I don’t remember it all. Except that his tone of voice and attitude had become very ugly.

I had gotten very quiet while he ranted and knew what my next statement would be. I told Dr. Shamsnia that I was going to have my primary physician order my sleep apnea test. I didn’t say this to him Isaiah-41-10but, the only reason I originally planned to have Dr. Shamsnia’s office do the test is 1) because they do those tests and 2) because when I first brought my original sleep apnea test to Dr. Shamsnia he called other doctors quacks and said that he should do it himself. I also very calmly told him that I wanted my files and everything so I could take them to another doctor who I knew would review my MRIs and take better care of me. He starts telling me that most doctors cannot even read MRIs and they don’t have the expertise he has and the years of study and practice that he has. Then he said he had a comparison report in the file. When he pulled it out it was the comparison between my 2011 and 2014 MRIs. Not the old ones when my brain was bigger compared to the newer two, when it is smaller. I pointed that out to him. He proceed to go on about other doctors inadequacies and that I’d never find another neurologist like him. Thank the Lord!!!!

The nice young male resident was in the room and kept putting his hand on my shoulder to comfort me while the doctor proceeded to brow beat me. I was so hurt and upset by this time that I told him I write a blog, and that today’s blog would be about the visit with him today. I told him that I’ve always told people he was a wonderful doctor but in the last year or so he’s completely changed.

Okay, hold on, this next is unbelievable. He proceeds to tell me about YELP and how people rate their doctors on that and other sites. He said, “If you have a bad rating on YELP or others, those companies will come to you asking for money to raise your rating.” He said NO to paying them. Then he proceeds to tell me that in his new building next door he’s setting up a room with a computer with internet. On this computer, patients who like him will be allowed to go in there and enter their positive rating, thus bringing up his overall rating. The audacity of that man. Did he think I would not tell any one about this? The young resident looked floored and knowing that it was the resident’s first day at the clinic I felt so sorry for him, as well as me. I had told the resident earlier what a wonderful doctor Dr Shamsnia had been but that lately things had changed. He was getting to see first hand how crazy this little Iranian man really was.

At the end he finally said he will compare the MRIs, but not today because he has patients lined up until midnight. Maybe tomorrow or later in the week. At that time, no one had found my MRIs and brought them to me and it still hadn’t happened when I left. These are big approx. 20″x 26″ film that do not hide just anywhere.

10993455_821131654621733_4917288774200550534_nLet me stop here and go back to when we were in the waiting room. During the usual long wait conversations, we discovered there were four of us in the room with 10 am appointments and several for all appointment times before and after. When I left, the waiting room was full again with those people who might be waiting till midnight. No doctor should over book four patients at a time. Absolutely unacceptable.

When he rose to leave I told him that I would allow him to review the MRIs (I really need someone to) and will consider my next step. The resident again touched my shoulder and said I’m so sorry. Dr. Shamsnia said I could have my money back for today’s appointment.

The young nurse again came in and started to say something, and changed it to “Is he coming back?” I said I really don’t know, but I have to go. I sat in the room for a moment trying to calm down and then I went down the hall, through the waiting room and when I got into the elevator the tear gates opened worse than ever. I started sobbing so hard I was hyperventilating. I used my asthma inhaler to get me breathing. I’m sure the people in the waiting room, and the people in the parking garage, probably thought I had just received some terminal diagnosis. I really thought I’d die right there by all the cars.

I calmed down enough to make it across the street to my car. Roy wasn’t answering his phone (he had a great reason so I don’t blame him) but Chip answered his. I can’t imagine what Chip thought, but at some point while I was still in the doctor’s office I texted him to pray for me at the doctors. He did pray, so he knew something was wrong. During him calming me down, he said something about the doctor should give me my money back. I remembered I left without doing that. So I went back in, still red faced and teary eyed and walked calmly up to the 10440729_10152842929131718_3051818747705415572_nwindow. The nice receptionist opened her eyes wide when she saw me and I said “He said I could have my money back from today’s visit, and I’d like to have it.” She said “yes mam” and gave me my money back. When she did that she took my hand and again said she was sorry. They all had said they were sorry at some point during the visit, except Dr. Shasmnia. She then said “He’s looking everywhere for those MRIs.” I very nicely, because this was not at all her fault, said “He should have done that two months ago.” And I left.

It’s almost 24 hours since I left, and I am still totally drained from that experience. I will never go to that doctor again and I firmly believe what he did to me was mental abuse. I hope no one I care about, will ever be a patient of Dr. Morteza Shamsnia on Kingman Street in Metairie at Advanced Neurodiagnostic Center and Sleep Center. If you do choose to do so, you’re at least warned.

When (and if) he does find my MRIs and does compare them I will be thankful for that. I have already contacted my primary care physician to have the new sleep apnea test scheduled asap. They are also working up a list of recommended neurologists in this area for me to see. I will interview each one before I choose, because I NEED someone who doesn’t make me wait more than one hour (I think that is extremely fair) and someone who will take the time to know my case and help me through this horrible process of having a shrinking brain like I need them to.

I also should have had a followup neuropsychologist re-testing before now, and I will know more about the current condition of my brain by doing that. I called Dr. Susan Andrews who did the first one, and I found out she no longer takes Blue Cross. What a let down, but her partner takes Blue Cross PPO and we have Blue Cross HMO so they are trying to find out if they can cover me with her partner. I also asked my primary care physician looking for someone else to do the retesting in case that doesn’t work out.

I mailed off the form Dr. Shamsnia signed, this final piece in the current phase of Social Security processing. It is now in the Philadelphia Social Security’s hands where they do the medical review. Hopefully I’ll get a determination from them soon.

If anyone local knows a neurologist and/or a neuropsychologist on the Northshore in Louisiana, and that doctor is great, please let me know. We hope to be leaving here soon for a year, and I now need to get the sleep apnea test done, the neuropsychologist testing redone and a new neurologist on board.

My God is GREATER than anything Dr. Shasmnia could throw at me. Knowing I had His loving arms around me kept me from totally going over the edge. I failed to mention earlier above that during the last two hours, when things were the worst, I read the Bible’s book of Acts on my Kindle. It helped me focus on my God and take comfort from His words. If you don’t know that kind of Love and comfort that only God can give, please ask me to tell you more, I always want to share!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

psalms 40 2

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11.26.17 Dora and the Explorers – STILAD, A day at the doctor’s office – yes ALL day! Published 04.08.15

Sunday, November 26, 2017 – I’ve thought a lot about whether to republish this blog post about the second to last visit to my previous brain doctor. Also the next one about the very last visit to this brain doctor. I’ve decided to share it again in case it will help even one patient avoid this doctor. These personal blog posts were shared originally in between posts about other dementia related info. I’m going to post my personal blog posts in order after this one and will then get to the remaining non personal dementia posts.

 

Original post from April, 2015: TODAY’S BLOG IS ANOTHER OF MY VERY WORDY, LONG BLOGS. I WANT YA’LL TO KNOW ALL THIS AND I AM WRITING IT FOR MY OWN RECORDS. IF I WROTE THIS WHEN I GOT HOME YESTERDAY IT WOULD BE MUCH LONGER (HA!) AND MORE EMOTIONAL. A GOOD NIGHTS SLEEP HELPED THE EMOTIONAL PAIN SUBSIDE SO I’M TRYING TO KEEP THIS FACTUAL.

Tuesday, April 8, 2015 – First let me say Happy 36th birthday yesterday to our oldest son Chad. Second, a big Happy Birthday to my sister Harriett Roussel!

Dr. Morteza Shamsnia is my neurologist whom I’ve seen for about four years now because of my brain. He was highly recommended by Dr. Susan Andrews, a Neuropsychologist. I went to her after having some odd symptoms of memory loss. She did a very extensive day long test and two separate meetings with evaluations. She determined that I have significant deficits in new learning and short term memory. They were very much in the abnormal range when compared with my overall IQ. She told me all about this brilliant neurologist who used cutting edge treatment and technology and that I’d be so lucky to see him.

I made my first appointment and after he did at least 5 different brain tests he concurred with her finding and said that the deficits were being caused by multiple TIAs and brain atrophy. Visits for the first few years were fine. He was highly recommended and even though I thought he was a little eccentric when I met him, I liked him and felt very blessed to have him as my doctor. I think I even wrote nice things about him in previous blogs. He deserved all of them (except I mentioned nothing in my last one – about my visit there – about his bad behavior.)

There was a 2-3 hour wait every visit the first few visits, but you got to really talk to Dr. Shamsnia and I left feeling better. The last year or more the wait got to 3-4 hours with less and less quality time with the doctor. I saw physicians assistants, nurse practitioners, and residents many times before finally seeing the doctor. However, when I saw Dr. Shamsnia finally it was like I had never told the first ones I saw anything because they didn’t pass it along to him or either he didn’t listen if they tried. I say that he didn’t listen because I saw it first hand yesterday.

During the four hours I sat in the waiting room yesterday, everyone complained about the wait. This always happens but I’ve learned over time just to use this as a time of rest. I bring a snack and my Kindle and read or watch TV during the wait. The ladies next to me were complaining and I assured them he was worth the wait and they agreed. When I left his office I had been there 6 hours and 30 minutes. This is unbelievabl,e but it’s not why I will never go to him again.

You need to know about the wait because no one should ever have to wait that long. Though for a doctor who knows your case, seems to care and spends the time needed with us I’d do it every time.

The visit before last (two months ago) Roy came with me because I need Roy to understand what is going on with my brain. That visit was only 4 hours long but Roy got to meet my crazy little Iranian, but I always give someone a chance regardless of past bad experiences and I don’t stereotype people.

At the doctor’s previous request I asked North Oaks Hospital (here in Hammond) to dig back in their storage vaults for any MRIs I had 20 or so years ago. It took them a while but they got them all. A really heavy thick folder of every type of CT, MRI, Mammography I’ve ever had. I pulled out the two MRIs. One from when I had the first TIA 25 years ago, and then another of my head and neck when I had a tumor removed from behind my ear. I brought them with me along with the CD I recently received from an MRI in December 2014 and one in 2011 when I first began seeing him. HE ASKED ME TO DO THIS, remember this. This was back in the days when he was a good doctor for me.

The Nurse Practitioner that had been in several times kept saying how sorry she was that we were waiting so long. She said she’d let him know exactly what we need but never was given a chance to do that. You can see their office area when in a room with an open door. By the time we saw the doctor he (the doctor) was trying to get out of the office for the day to catch a plane. The nurse practitioner had already told us that all my vitamin and mineral levels were great from the blood work. Dr. Shamsnia spent maybe 5 minutes with us and said he didn’t have time to review the MRIs from 20 years ago to the recent two MRIs I had in 2011 and 2014. I asked if we could do some test to determine what caused my brain to atrophy since it wasn’t vitamins and his response was “You want a test that can cost $500,000 to run and you will no nothing after that.” He told us he didn’t have time to take care of what we came for that day and he left. His words exactly but he did have time to tell us how very busy he was and all the things he took care of – all non patient related.

I thought Roy was going to run after him and punch him but he restrained himself and we went home knowing only that I have dementia (only because I stopped him from leaving and asked the direct question) and that he doesn’t know what kind of dementia it is. He gave me the report he prepared for me for Social Security and I thanked him profusely for doing this since I knew the importance of what he had to say. I learned more from the report than HE HAS EVER TOLD ME. The total extent of what he’s told me the last three visits is – you have dementia, your brain is really shrunk – and that is it. Everything else I’ve learned has been from the report and looking up phrases from the report on the internet.

Can you begin to see how especially frustrating and awful this is for someone whose brain is significantly shrunk and who has lesions in her brain from having multiple TIAs. However, I’m now focused on qualifying for Social Security Disability and I knew I had to see it through with him until that’s over.

About a month ago, one of the packets of info I needed to complete for Social Security included a form for him to say that he does prescribe the two medicines I listed, Aricept and Paxil, and that without them I wouldn’t be able to do the work I use to do. Even with them I can’t do the work I use to do but that’s what the question stated. I sent the form with a complete letter explaining why I needed him to sign and enclosing a stamped envelope addressed to SS. About two weeks later Social Security called me because they received my portion of the packet but not his. I called his office and spoke to his nurse who said she didn’t see it so I scanned it and emailed it to her. He seems to be rarely in the office lately between flying places, building his new huge building next door and teaching at Tulane Medical Center so it was a few days before she got back to me. She said he refused to sign the form and he hadn’t reviewed the MRI’s for difference yet so I’d need to come in. After the last visit I decided that after we went on the road for a year I’d see him again and then transfer to a better doctor but I had to go see him this time to get the form signed.

The rest of this is going to be very long (it is already, sorry) because I want to share all the details of the visit yesterday. I need to go into the house and put a second coat of wax on the stained concrete flooring and while I’m feeling okay and rested I need to do that. I will post this and pick up as soon as I finish the floors.

Be back in a bit! Rosalyn

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11.24.17 What I’m THANKFUL for!

In past Novembers I posted on Facebook something I was thankful for each day of the month. I tried to work on this earlier in the month and it just didn’t happen.  Doesn’t mean I am not thankful for a lot so I’m going to share some of the things I’m most thankful for here!

Today we are having Thanksgiving dinner at our son Chip’s home with his wife Misty.  I am thankful that this young family is willing to take over this family tradition, giving Grannie a day to enjoy instead of being responsible for hosting!  Before I went to sleep last night I thanked God for all the work and cooking I knew they are doing before we all arrive there today!  Thank you Chip and Misty!

I am most thankful to God for all the blessings he has bestowed on me, and his mercy. I am terribly thankful for His Grace that I don’t deserve

I am more thankful than ever for God’s unconditional love.  God loves me even though I am a sinner, a dumb blonde, don’t deserve it and make it extremely difficult for him to love me. But he consistently and overwhelmingly loves me. I’m very thankful for the secure feeling of knowing he’s walking with me every day as a child of His.  I long for the day when I begin my eternal life in Heaven with Him and others who have given their lives to Him.

I am thankful for my husband of almost 45 years (November 25, 1972). He looks past my fat old self and  treats me like the young chick he fell in love with. He puts up with my mind slipping away with love and kindness. The saying that some things get better with age was meant for my honey Roy!

I am thankful for my church family at Trinity that has been an amazing support for my family the past 30 years since moving to Hammond.  So many of them have been my rock through really horrible times and been there to rejoice with me through the wonderful times. I thank God for the musical abilities He has given to many at our church.  Worshiping God through music and His Word at Trinity is a blessing.

I’m thankful for my oldest son who doesn’t want his name included and for our youngest son Chip. They opened the big world of motherhood to me and I thank God for them every day.

Our sons are both married to very special ladies. They have children which makes me a Grannie to six little darlings!  We’ve gone from the two of us to twelve of us including us, our sons, their wives and the grandchildren.  So much to be thankful for in those sweet wonderful faces of our grandchildren.

I’m thankful for my mama Josie Blum Traylor who went to live with God in 2007.  Her deep love and pride in her family, the family traditions she passed on, the care giving she provided my children when I couldn’t be there, her love for God and living a devoted Christian life. God gave me the mother that I needed and I miss her presence and support in my life each and every day.

I am especially thankful for my sister Harriett. Even though she is several years older than me we are very close. We are very different types of people being raised in two different generations but we were both raised by our mama and that makes us very similar in many ways. She is a giving, compassionate person who is always doing for others and I admire her a lot.

I am thankful for the pain and suffering I’ve experienced in life. It’s done many positive things for me. Once I pulled up my big girl panties and stopped whining about whatever it was, it has always drawn me closer to God. He is the one that I know I absolutely can always count on being there. Having a relationship with God has given me grounding and a strong rock to always be able to turn to.

I am thankful I have a husband who can do anything!  He can build, repair, create, figure out and fix anything!  He’s tired of doing all that now and doesn’t let his brilliance in these areas be seen too often lately but when he does I can say he’s still got it!

I am thankful that I am an American.  I have become disheartened in recent years with the direction in which our country is going and the lack of Christian values becoming more prevalent.  I see this changing with President Trump’s administration. Big thankful there!  I am thankful for our ability to freely vote and being able to freely worship without the fear of harm.

I am thankful for the Word of God, his Holy Bible.  I read it, learn from it, try to  live my life by it and as the years go by I realize how very much it is the only instruction manual a Christian needs.  I was blessed to have the privilege of teaching the Books of the Bible to 3rd and 4th graders for many years and teaching them to cherish the Word of God.  They knew this was just the first step to learning the wonders and mysteries of God’s Word.  There is nothing like hearing a sermon from The Word.  It helps me understand how to look in His Word for the answer to my life questions and to draw me closer to Him.

I am so thankful that God has allowed us to change our lifestyle and enjoy our time on the road these last five years.  The travels we’ve enjoyed and our discovery of the beautiful elements of nature around this country is indescribable.  The lack of stress, responsibility and freedom experienced living in an RV on the road is something everyone (retired or not) should get to do.

This list of things I’m thankful for has opened my eyes to the abundance of blessings God has given me, the special people in my life, my dear family members, true friends and most of all God.

Ya’ll come back ya’ hear!

11.22.17 Gratitude and Thanksgiving by Debbie McDaniel

Gratitude and Thanksgiving
By Debbie McDaniel

“O Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; Let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation. Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.”  Psalm 95:1-3

We have so much to be grateful for in this life. Each and every day. But reality is that sometimes constant life demands, struggles, and worries give more room to defeat than to a heart of thanks. Or we forget, in the midst of busyness and pressures, just to pause and give thanks, for all that God has done, and continues to do in our lives.

gratitude-complaining-your-daily-prayer

Sometimes it really is a sacrifice to offer praise and thanks. We may not feel like it. We’re struggling. We’re weary. Or maybe, we feel like He let us down. We think God seems distant, like he’s far away, or doesn’t really care about what’s troubling us. Painful life blows and losses might have recently sent us spiraling.

But here’s what can make a lasting difference. We have a choice, every day, to give him thanks. And with a heart of thanksgiving, we realize that no matter what we face, God doesn’t just work to change our situations and help us through our problems. He does more. He changes our hearts. His power, through hearts of gratitude and focused minds on Him, releases the grip our struggles have over us.

We’re strengthened by His peace, refueled by His joy.

Happy Thanksgiving from the Chauvin’s home to your home!

 

11.21.17 Who Dats Saints, Found Rocks

Our New Orleans Saints are on an eight game winning streak.  Last time I can remember this happening was the year they won the Super Bowl! Everywhere we’d go stores, homes, and workplace had signs up announcing how many wins they were at in the streak.  After losing the first two games this year it was like a winning switch was turned on and they are barreling down everyone they play against, until this Sunday.  They pulled out the win but  it was heart attack city until the last second!

 

Here’s excerpts from an article Mike Triplett, an ESPN Staff Writer wrote.

Saints so hot that a 15-point deficit in final minutes doesn’t stand a chance

NEW ORLEANS — If this winds up being a special season for the New Orleans Saints, they will point back to Sunday’s win over the Washington Redskins for years.

Just like 2009 all over again.

The Saints (8-2) had no business winning their eighth straight game Sunday after trailing by 15 points with less than three minutes remaining — just like those ’09 Super Bowl Saints had no business coming back from a 10-point deficit at Washington in the fourth quarter. Fittingly, the hero of that game — receiver Robert Meachem — served as the honorary captain on Sunday.

Drew Brees also had his finest moment of the year, completing 11 of 11 passes for 164 yards and two touchdowns on the Saints’ two quick touchdown drives at the end of regulation. The Saints haven’t asked Brees to be Superman during their win streak because the defense and run game have been so good, but he sure played the role when needed on Sunday. Tight end Coby Fleener also came up huge, among others, on those drives. And Kamara’s bobbling 18-yard TD catch went from a possible disaster to a thrilling moment.

It was far from the Saints’ prettiest or cleanest victory. But sure enough, two quick touchdowns, three defensive stops and a field goal in overtime led them to a 34-31 victory and kept them flying as the hottest team in the NFL (even on their worst day).

The Saint’s new running back Alvin Kamara #41 is so much fun to watch.  He’s everywhere!  Unless you are in Louisiana you may not know how spectacular our Saints are doing so little old me is broadcasting it here!

We plan to spend Thanksgiving Day with our son’s families this week at Chip and Misty’s home. They told me last night all they are making and it sounds like a massive feast!  I am bringing some things including a sweet potato casserole that they said I made last year and I don’t remember making.

I learned this week that the EEG Dr. Patricia Morgan (neurologist) ordered for me is a three day thing.  Not a 30 minute EEG in the office. The little I’ve learned about it was from the EEG company calling and telling me about it and looking it up on the internet.  They wire you up all over your head, like a regular in the office EEG.  All the leads go to a machine that records bursts and seizure events in the brain, 24 hours a day for three days.  They also put video cameras in your bedroom and living room to record any physical signs of seizures.  I won’t be able to bathe or wash my hair, and am suppose to try to not do anything strenuous, just rest for the three days.  This type of EEG captures much more than a 30 minutes or so EEG in the office would catch.  I’m pretty sure I’ll have it next Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  I’ll share more about it while I’m doing it!

Roy is busy down at the pond this morning cutting down some of the smaller pine trees that have died (we think they died from the water in the pond being so high). I’ve started making Christmas themed rocks so there is red and green everywhere now!

Roy had his OCT test this week at Dr. Greiners.  While we were there I got to meet a staff member named Bailey.  Last time we were there we hid rocks and she found some and loved it.  When I called to make an appointment for Roy the receptionist told me how they loved the rocks we hid.  This visit I found that Bailey has two rocks from our last visit sitting on her desk!  I told them we hid more outside and Bailey got one while we were seeing the doctor.  I offered more to her so she could hide them were she’d like to.  She came out to the car with us and said it was okay to take her picture.  Here she is!

When we made Roy’s next appointment they were happy because that means we’ll be back with more rocks!!!

This young man, Mr. Butler, found one of our rocks at Ponchatoula High School the day of the play Annie.  We got to talking about the rock project and since he doesn’t have a computer to post that he found it, he said I could take his photo!  His wife Kay Butler has dementia and it turns out she was my Theater professor at Southeastern several years ago.  I really enjoyed visiting with Mr. Butler.  God puts great people in our lives when we least expect it!

We went into town in Amite this evening and hid about 20 Thanksgiving love rocks all over the town!  Tomorrow morning lots of businesses will be greeted with one that I hope makes them smile!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

 

01.15.18 Stay at 17 inches by Chris Sperry

In a world where it seems that many people want to bend or change the rules to fit their personal agenda, this article bucks that trend.

In this inspiring baseball story, retired coach John Scolinos shares his experience on the topics of accountability and facing challenges with courage.

Twenty years ago, in Nashville , Tennessee during the first week of January, 1996, more than 4,000 baseball coaches descended upon the Opryland Hotel for the 52nd annual ABCA’s convention.
          While I waited in line to register with the hotel staff, I heard other more veteran coaches rumbling about the lineup of speakers scheduled to present during the weekend.  One name, in particular, kept resurfacing, always with the same sentiment — “John Scolinos is here? Oh, man, worth every penny of my airfare.”
           Who is John Scolinos, I wondered.  No matter; I was just happy to be there.
           In 1996, Coach Scolinos was 78 years old and five years retired from a college coaching career that began in 1948.  He shuffled to the stage to an impressive standing ovation, wearing dark polyester pants, a light blue shirt, and a string around his neck from which home plate hung — a full-sized, stark-white home plate.
           Seriously, I wondered, who is this guy?
          After speaking for twenty-five minutes, not once mentioning the prop hanging around his neck, Coach Scolinos appeared to notice the snickering among some of the coaches.  Even those who knew Coach Scolinos had to wonder exactly where he was going with this, or if he had simply forgotten about home plate since he’d gotten on stage.  Then, finally …
“You’re probably all wondering why I’m wearing home plate around my neck,” he said, his voice growing irascible.  I laughed along with the others, acknowledging the possibility.  “I may be old, but I’m not crazy.  The reason I stand before you today is to share with you baseball people what I’ve learned in my life, what I’ve learned about home plate in my 78 years.”
Several hands went up when Scolinos asked how many Little League coaches were in the room..  “Do you know how wide home plate is in Little League?”
          After a pause, someone offered, “Seventeen inches?”, more of a question than answer.
           “That’s right,” he said.  “How about in Babe Ruth’s day?  Any Babe Ruth coaches in the house?” Another long pause.
           “Seventeen inches?” a guess from another reluctant coach.
           “That’s right,” said Scolinos.  “Now, how many high school coaches do we have in the room?”  Hundreds of hands shot up, as the pattern began to appear.  “How wide is home plate in high school baseball?”
           “Seventeen inches,” they said, sounding more confident.
           “You’re right!” Scolinos barked.  “And you college coaches, how wide is home plate in college?”
           “Seventeen inches!” we said, in unison.
           “Any Minor League coaches here?  How wide is home plate in pro ball?”…………“Seventeen inches!”
           “RIGHT!  And in the Major Leagues, how wide home plate is in the Major Leagues?
           “Seventeen inches!”
           “SEV-EN-TEEN INCHES!” he confirmed, his voice bellowing off the walls.  “And what do they do with a Big League pitcher who can’t throw the ball over seventeen inches?”  Pause.  “They send him to Pocatello !” he hollered, drawing raucous laughter.
“What they don’t do is this: they don’t say, ‘Ah, that’s okay, Jimmy.  If you can’t hit a seventeen-inch target?  We’ll make it eighteen inches or nineteen inches  We’ll make it twenty inches so you have a better chance of hitting it.  If you can’t hit that, let us know so we can make it wider still, say twenty-five inches.’”
Pause.  “Coaches… what do we do when your best player shows up late to practice? or when our team rules forbid facial hair and a guy shows up unshaven?  What if he gets caught drinking?  Do we hold him accountable?  Or do we change the rules to fit him?  Do we widen home plate? “
The chuckles gradually faded as four thousand coaches grew quiet, the fog lifting as the old coach’s message began to unfold.  He turned the plate toward himself and, using a Sharpie, began to draw something.  When he turned it toward the crowd, point up, a house was revealed, complete with a freshly drawn door and two windows.  “This is the problem in our homes today.  With our marriages, with the way we parent our kids.  With our discipline.
We don’t teach accountability to our kids, and there is no consequence for failing to meet standards.  We just widen the plate!”
          Pause.  Then, to the point at the top of the house he added a small American flag.  “This is the problem in our schools today.  The quality of our education is going downhill fast and teachers have been stripped of the tools they need to be successful, and to educate and discipline our young people.  We are allowing others to widen home plate!  Where is that getting us?”
           Silence.  He replaced the flag with a Cross.  “And this is the problem in the Church, where powerful people in positions of authority have taken advantage of young children, only to have such an atrocity swept under the rug for years.  Our church leaders are widening home plate for themselves!  And we allow it.”
           “And the same is true with our government.  Our so called representatives make rules for us that don’t apply to themselves. They take bribes from lobbyists and foreign countries.  They no longer serve us.  And we allow them to widen home plate! We see our country falling into a dark abyss while we just watch.”
           I was amazed..  At a baseball convention where I expected to learn something about curve balls and bunting and how to run better practices, I had learned something far more valuable.
From an old man with home plate strung around his neck, I had learned something about life, about myself, about my own weaknesses and about my responsibilities as a leader.  I had to hold myself and others accountable to that which I knew to be right, lest our families, our faith, and our society continue down an undesirable path.
           “If I am lucky,” Coach Scolinos concluded, “you will remember one thing from this old coach today.  It is this: “If we fail to hold ourselves to a higher standard, a standard of what we know to be right; if we fail to hold our spouses and our children to the same standards, if we are unwilling or unable to provide a consequence when they do not meet the standard; and if our schools & churches & our government fail to hold themselves accountable to those they serve, there is but one thing to look forward to …”
           With that, he held home plate in front of his chest, turned it around, and revealed its dark black backside, “…We have dark days ahead!.”
           Note: Coach Scolinos died in 2009 at the age of 91, but not before touching the lives of hundreds of players and coaches,including mine.  Meeting him at my first ABCA convention kept me returning year after year, looking for similar wisdom and inspiration from other coaches.  He is the best clinic speaker the ABCA has ever known because he was so much more than a baseball coach.  His message was clear: “Coaches, keep your players—no matter how good they are—your own children, your churches, your government, and most of all, keep yourself at seventeen inches.”
           And this my friends is what our country has become and what is wrong with it today, and now go out there and fix it!
          “Don’t widen the plate.”
In God We Trust.