Archive for the ‘LIFE EVENTS’ Category

End of March, Beginning of April 2022   1 comment


Except for one afternoon–while having lunch in a restaurant—when it poured from the time we got to the restaurant until we left–the weather has been beautiful–what we call “Tourist Weather”–warm and sunny during the day with low humidity and cool at night.

By the way that brief storm cause flooding, especially the entrance to Gateway! They have been working on 19th avenue for the 22 years I have been living here from putting in sewers, to leveling the avenue to whatever and we still get flooded at the entrance. It is right off the canal–a branch of Karen Bay–so unless they do something about the canal wall the prediction that Gateway Terrace apartments will not be here in 5 years due to weather change and flooding will happen. I don’t want to move!!!

With the way the weather is I can’t look out my window or go down to The Point of Karen Bay without seeing canoes being paddled or boats going by or, particularly at The Point, people sunbathing! We are supposed to have a dip into the 50s a morning this week but ‘they’ claim that will be the last winter day we will have! (Yes, it is called a ‘cold wave’ here when it goes below the 70s and winter below the 60s!! LOL)

I don’t know why I took the last picture and posted it but that door leads to my walkway to the elevator and runs parallel to the canal–a great walk on a sunny day!

Posted April 10, 2022 by greatmartin in FORT LAUDERDALE, LIFE EVENTS, WEATHER

“Help ME! I’ve fallen and can’t get up!” Gadgets!   Leave a comment

After falling off the recliner (which I still don’t know how that happened with those wide arm sides) and waking up an hour and as half later in a pool of blood and, instead of calling 911, I crawled to my bedroom, leaving a trail of blood, got up on my bed and, after falling off it 3 times, decided to stay on the floor and sleep there! (Stop laughing!)

I woke up the next day, and seeing the trail of blood and still bleeding, I finally got smart and called 911 the next day December 20! I stayed in the hospital getting an IV for a bacterial infection—that’s a whole other story–until December 29 and came home where I continued the IV eventually having to learn how administer the equipment and giving it to myself.

I had been looking at these ‘help I’ve fallen and can’t get up’ gadgets for awhile and in the mail I got an ad for a ‘special’ gadget to help you when you fall which was selling for $149 instead of $299.99 and no monthly payments whereas most companies selling like gadgets also charged a monthly charge anywhere from $14 to $20+. This one can be clipped on your belt or worn around you neck.

Most times I will read reviews on things I am buying just to get an idea of what to expect but I didn’t with this which was a  error on my part! It came within 2 weeks and I quickly opened the package and, yes I did, I read the instructions in the booklet that came with it. I had a problem with the wire that came with it that you attached to the gadget so you can wear it around your neck at home and/or when you go out. I didn’t know about the latter because, as I said, you could also clip it on your belt but I figured I would hook it up to wear at home so I didn’t have to carry my phone from room to room. Cutting to the chase let’s say the wire and I didn’t get along!

That wasn’t the major problem because, as I said, it had that clip on BUT I failed to read one important piece of information that, yes, was included in the ad, included in the booklet, and the reviews I finally read. It finally dawned on me it wasn’t what I wanted because when I fell and was out for some time I would have to press the button on the gadget and it would connect me to 911 but they wouldn’t have my location! I would have to tell them my address so they could relay it to the emergency motor transportation. Oh, so that’s why you had to pay the other companies! When you fell their gadget would connect to whoever (not sure) and they would automatically know where I lived, including my apartment number, and my phone number and would have been there before I woke up and crawled into my bedroom. It might have even saved me from having that bacterial infection and having to go to an infectious disease doctor and learn that I would have to take pills for the rest of my life (which by the way were to cause me problems and had to be changed a month later!)

I did send the “Fast Help” back—I had to pay $8 for mailing and they deducted for P & H so of the $162+ I paid them it cost me $21 for something I can’t use. Yes, I realize that $21 would have paid a month if I fell and had the right gadget! A case of ‘penny wise, pound foolish’

Anyone know of a ‘I’ve fallen and can’t get up’ gadget that works when you fall, can’t press a button and doesn’t cost too much a month???

Posted April 3, 2022 by greatmartin in LIFE, LIFE EVENTS

February 2022—The Bad—Part 3   1 comment

(In Fort Lauderdale no day is completely bad, with our weather!)

Where to start with the telephone calls?  3 hours talking to people (8-10!!!) and being put on hold with 4 of them only to be disconnected after talking to one for 16 minutes and another for 22 minutes? I would like to think it was technology—either on their end or mine–but I don’t think so. Then, of course, you have to call back and you never get the one you were talking to and I always wonder, what about “This will be recorded” announcement? Or the fact they have my number but don’t call back.

First it seems that my insurance company changed the way they do referrals and were waiting for me to give them the date of the appointment (which I did) but the doctor’s office never got it. Add to that for the first time in 22 years I didn’t call and book a ride so I would have to take uber, lyft or a yellow cab which could be anywhere from $25-35 each way, depending on time.

As it turned out the insurance couldn’t send the referral in time so I would have to change the appointment day/date which I did immediately, got the insurance team to send the referral NOW and I called and made my ride appointment.

As I said all the calls took 3 hours and I forget how many different people I had to talk with. And, oh yes, after the second disconnect I was getting a ‘little’ testy so I started off the rest of the call apologizing to whoever answered to the effect, “I know it isn’t your fault and I am not angry at you but you answered the phone so I apologize if I come across angry AT you!” You would be surprised how that can change a conversation! :O)

In any case I have an appointment with my previous cardiologist on Wednesday, March 9 at 3:30—his office has the referral, I have the rides booked and, maybe, just maybe, I’ll find out what is going on with the body of an 86 year old with the mind and attitude of a 21 and a half year old!

So far March has been good!

Posted March 2, 2022 by greatmartin in HEALTH, LIFE, LIFE EVENTS

The Bad–Part 2–February 2022   Leave a comment

It’s coming eventually!

Bad enough my birthday didn’t come out the last day of this February but I had a 3 hour (at least!) nightmare on the phone!For those who have been following my physical ailments you know I am very unhappy with my current cardiologist and though I was hesitant about changing midstream I decided to search for my former cardiologist who supervised my aorta valve replacement in 2008 as I remember he was caring and listened but, just as important, explained in plain language what I could expect before, during and after.

All I know was that he was part of the current group of doctors in this office and one day he wasn’t and I met his ‘replacement’ and when I asked no one (seemed) had any information about the departed doctor. I wasn’t having any problems so I decided to stay where I was and I had very little interaction with the new doctor and I was impressed with his nurse practitioner. It wasn’t until the beginning of 2021 that I started to have problems again and after a few interactions, lacking any information, that I started to think about ‘looking’ for the previous doctor!

After doing some research—yes, Chuck, I googled him–I found out the previous doctor was still with my insurance company and had offices not too far from me! I waited a few days thinking and talking to my primary doctor about switching and he advised there was no harm in getting a second opinion about my current problems . The next day I canceled my upcoming appointment with the current cardiologist, called the office of my former cardiologist and got an appointment for February 28.

As I don’t have a car I, generally, use either my HMO insurance that offers free rides and/or TOPS, our local department of transportation that offers rides to those who do not have local, convenient bus stops that they can walk to and, in many cases, free rides. I had spoken to Allen a few days before and he mentioned a doctor’s appointment on February 28 so we, briefly, discussed  his picking me up, after his appointment, and bringing me home. Using the 2 services mentioned above are great GOING to an appointment, but COMING home waiting for your ride could take an hour, even 2, sometimes.

I woke up early–for me–on Monday, February 28, morning with a feeling something was wrong and all I could think of, after talking to Allen who had the wrong date for his appointment, that, maybe, for the first time, I hadn’t arranged a ride for this appointment!!! Also, I had a feeling they may not have gotten the referral that is needed for me to go to specialists so I decided to check that first as it was early enough that,  maybe, they could get it faxed before my appointment which was in the afternoon at 2:30!!
And the phone ‘fun’ began—part 3 tomorrow

Posted March 1, 2022 by greatmartin in LIFE, LIFE EVENTS

The Good—Part 1–February 2022   Leave a comment


The ‘Christmas Cactus’ wasn’t aware that I don’t have a birthday this year bloomed anyway–the pictures of the Mother plant and the two ‘babies’ were taken February 27th and 28th. They never fail to acknowledge me no matter if February has 28 or 29 days!Though we had a few days where we hit the 50s overnight in January and, at the beginning of February, we had one or two nights that the temperatures went below the 60s (and I moaned and groaned about them though I knew it would warm up a two or day later) I was surprised that we have had at least 14 days reached 80 degrees or above and March will start with a high of 83 degrees, with low humidity! When we had rain the past two weeks it was a light rain or happened late at night or early morning with the days being warm and sunny!
I am curious to see what the Spring and Summer will bring to South Florida weather wise except for all those people running away from the bad winters they had to clog our beaches, streets, restaurants, etc. but, to end this part—the good part–I will admit they do bring a lot of money so I’ll smile and welcome them (you)!
Part 2–the bad–I needed at least 24 hours to believe it really happened!–tomorrow

Posted February 28, 2022 by greatmartin in LIFE, LIFE EVENTS

REPLACEMENT TRANSCATHETER AORTIC VALVE   Leave a comment


On July 21, 2008, I stopped smoking just before I was wheeled into the operating room to receive a pig aorta valve to replace the one I had and my only thought was “Why a pig valve in a Jewish boy?” In any case I haven’t smoked a cigarette since that day!Everything was going fine though I would think that Jew/pig and, also, I had read that the ‘lifetime’ of a replaced valve was about 20 years but really didn’t spend too much time on either though I will admit a conflict about pigs as it was the 4 pound ham I ate one night over New Year’s Eve that caused my going to the hospital with congestive heart failure and a relative of THAT pig provided the valve I needed to save my life–so I cut back on eating bacon and pork, not completely.I won’t get into the whole story about the ’10 year lifetime’, 2021 being 13 years, dealing with 2 new cardiologists, their not mentioning the valve but starting to ‘push’ a pacemaker and after referring to an expert in that field I didn’t hear anymore until I was told I was booked into the hospital for a aorta replacement in August but that was cancelled because ‘the machine was broke’–what machine? The Coke machine?
In any case it was at that point I started to think of the cardiologist that had done the pig valve replacement operation and that I should try to get in touch with him as I was very comfortable with him and he spent a lot of time answering my questions but I kept putting it off.I would bet that I dealt with and spent more time with the Nurse Practitioner of the 2 new cardiologists then I did with both guys but that was okay because she is great! I won’t go into everything because I have no one to blame but myself for not following through looking for the original cardiologist or asking any and old questions of the new guys.I went in knowing very little of what would happen before, what to expect during the operation and what to look for after the operation—THE LATTER WAS A HUGE MISTAKE!! Won’t go into details but I have never experienced any kind of fear when it came to my body whether the congestive heart failure, the pig valve replacement, having my appendix taken out in my 50s. etc., etc., but I was terrified, horrified, waking up in the middle of night in the hospital this week bleeding, and in pain, from a place I never excepted or warned that could happen.I don’t remember seeing either doctor before, during or after the operation except when it came to discharge time and that in itself was an additional horror. (Oh yes, the doctor did say I wouldn’t have any problem with breathing–BUT I DIDN’T BEFORE THIS DOCTOR!!)
I got home Wednesday afternoon and though I could walk and didn’t need help doing anything I am floored that for 3 days now I have slept from 1 AM straight through to 1 PM without waking once which is very odd for a guy my age plus I who have never been a ‘napper’ find myself napping 2-3 times between 1 PM and 1 AM!!!I have zip energy–took me about 3 hours to type this–and made the decision to NOT go to the ER and to wait until Monday to call my Primary doctor for advice and to call my insurance company to track down my ‘old’ cardiologist and see if I could come to his office.
This is really the first time I have had  uncomfortable experiences/feelings with doctors and will be the last.  A word advise from an old man:IF YOU ARE NOT COMFORTABLE WITH YOUR DOCTOR, IF HE/SHE DOESN’T ANSWER QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD HAVE OR WON’T LISTEN TO YOU PLEASE, PLEASE GET ANOTHER DOCTOR!!!PS With all my moaning and groaning (and, yes GAINING 12 pounds the 24 hours I was in the hospital!!!) as you can tell I am well enough to smile, take selfies and I talked about getting a my semiannual crew-cut and shave with our local barber!!

Posted November 20, 2021 by greatmartin in HEALTH, LIFE EVENTS

UNCONDITIONAL LOVE   1 comment


About 2 weeks ago I decided to take on a project I had been thinking about for about a decade. I have over a thousand pictures in photo albums and I wanted to copy and put them on USBs—-even out and bought a dozen of them—hey I’m not an IT, I don’t have any idea how many pictures one holds–but they were sitting next to the desk top computer until two ago.

It is taking a lot longer than I expected because so many pictures brought back so many memories.

An example is the first set of pictures. They were taken at the Melody Diane Bakery in Sunrise, Florida, and was owned by my aunt Flo and her husband Richie. He did the baking, she took the money and they both said about me, “He is the official taster!” The first picture is Flo and me outside the door, Richie checking the rolls and, Flo at the cash register. I could and did spend many hours thinking of Flo and how important she had been in my life. She was the first person who taught, showed and expressed unconditional love to me.

Then there was the card I came across. It took a little investigation but I was finally able to trace it back to my 10th Leap Year birthday which I held in the Memphis Hilton Hotel inviting my closest 300 (!!!!) friends but I still haven’t figured which of the 300 sent that card!

It is fun going over the past with so many good memories–I have a feeling I may never get all the photos transferred to the Internet as I have only done about 20 pictures in two weeks—I think!

Posted October 29, 2021 by greatmartin in LIFE, LIFE EVENTS, LOVE

October 2021 Surprises   1 comment

October 2021 started off with a surprise when Chuck called to say he and Terry would be in on Monday October 4 around 4 PM to spend the week. I hadn’t seen them since Leap Year 2020 and since then they had moved from Memphis, Tennessee, to Port Richey, Florida, about 280 to 300 miles from Fort Lauderdale so I was hoping I would see them more than once every 4 years

The main things we did was talk, eat and drive around. We ate at Peter Pan’s Diner, Ferdo’s, Osha’s and stopped at Kilwin’s for some ice cream. Between Tuesday and Wednesday we went for a drive down to Hollywood and up to Boca Raton. Seems construction is going on all over this State! Unfortunately they got a call from a neighbor of theirs that water was leaking out of their new home so they had to cut their trip short and left early Thursday. I was disappointed but was really glad to see them!I had another really unexpected, very pleasant surprise at about the same time that Chuck told me they were coming here.

Long story short–In 1979, shortly after I arrived in Fort Lauderdale I met Emir, we became friends and he ‘disappeared’ in the late 1990’s–a couple of weeks ago he ‘found’ me on facebook and since he was coming to South Florida to visit his mother we arranged to get together for dinner. When I opened my door I saw the Emir I knew 42 years ago. My mind knew that wasn’t possible but it is the same with Chuck who I met when he was in his 20s and now in his 60s that is the Chuck I see.

I haven’t been out on a Saturday night in a long time but I was surprised at how hard it would be to have dinner and talk leisurely as most places take reservations and, in addition, stopped serving at 9 PM! We finally went to IHOP where we had the place to ourselves! Since he comes to see his mother every month I hope our getting together will be a regular thing.

By the way you are never too old to learn as I learned! The second picture in the top row on the left there is a blue reflector which I didn’t realize are all over the roads in the city and didn’t know what they are for until Chuck/Terry told me they were as a signal to fire trucks that a fire hydrant is nearby.  “While you might not notice them while you are driving around, they are useful for vehicles attending a fire because they can quickly locate a source of water.”  Now I see them wherever I go! Does your city/state have them?

And on another note–I have never seen Matt Amadio, the contestant, who won 38 nights in a row and $1, 519, 601 on Jeopardy as I stopped watching after Alex Trebek died and they started having all those different hosts. Last night I decided to watch him and called Allen and told him that if the guy loses he can blame me. Guess what? YES!!! He lost!

All in all the start of October has been great–well, maybe not for Matt–and I am looking forward to seeing Emir again and more trips from Chuck and Terry!

Posted October 12, 2021 by greatmartin in LIFE, LIFE EVENTS

Abortion “Laws”   1 comment

These are just a few ‘comments’ I found on facebook—and agree with!!
Just as I don’t understand any Gay person voting Republican I do not understand how any Woman can–the only argument I hear pro Republican is that they ‘don’t give away money like the Democrats’–they will sell their soul for a few dollars????

So you can read it!

Posted September 9, 2021 by greatmartin in LIFE EVENTS

Why Medicare is so expensive?!!??!?!   Leave a comment

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Things are getting crazier EVERY day!! I was reminded of the Marx Brothers, Abbott & Costello, the Keystone Kops, Laurel & Hardy, etc. today. (For those of you old enough to remember them—mmmmm—wonder who is their equal today?)

After not being able to call any of the medical offices about my going to the hospital on the 14th I finally was able to connect with the nurse practitioner who was handling the aorta/hospital/heart paperwork for the 2 cardiologists–she was surprised that my insurance gave me 3 days for the procedure but she didn’t tell or say anything about THE procedure EXCEPT the machine (WHAT MACHINE???) is broke and that she would get back to me Wednesday—no, Thursday–and we will go from there!!!

WAIT!!! That was only the beginning of the day!

I called my pulmonary doctor’s office to check if they got the referral for my appointment on Monday September 27 at 1:45 PM and if he had scheduled the CT exam on Monday September 20 at the Broward hospital and if a referral was needed for that—I, also, explained what was going on about the hospital the previous week and I don’t know if I will be able to keep the following 2 appointments. Their response????? What CT exam??? What appointment with Dr. Singer on the 27th at 1:45 PM?!?!? I checked the calendar on my computer desk and I checked on the calendar in the kitchen–both verified the appointments!

Wait!! Round 2!

I decided to call Michelle, my primary doctor’s office manager, who is really on top of everything–no, she didn’t know about the hospital appointments because neither cardiologist or the nurse practitioner had informed her about it or what was going–all she had was the appointment for the neurologist in January 2022! When I asked her about the CT and Singer appointment she told me they never inform her what is going on and that my insurance never informs her about referrals. She added that the only time she knows what other doctors are doing is when I tell her or I bring in their reports or if I call her for a referral for doctors that I know need one for me to see them .And now Act 3!!!Take a look at the pill bottles above and the dosage of each.  I went to CVS to pick up 4 prescriptions and, since I was there, get my annual flu shot. No problem with either–well with one of the meds. My insurance covers most of my prescriptions except for Eliquis, Breo and Prasugrel. When I got the Eliquis I saw there was only 1 jar with 60 pills (taking 2 a day)–I explained to the woman behind the counter that I usually get 3 months supply as whether I get 1 month or 3 months it costs me a total of $9.60 which is why I take the 3 month supply.When I got home–instead of taking a shot of scotch or eating a carrot cake–I had a cup of tea, made my entry about the flu shot and took out the pills to put them away.  When I first started taking Eliquis I was taking a 5mg dosage once a day but between that, aspirin and Prasugrel I was bleeding profusely when I hit myself on anything so the cardiologist stopped the aspirin and cut the Eliquis dosage down to 2.5 mgs.

Do I really have to tell you??? Yes, it was the 5mg dosage not the 2.5!! First of all at 5mgs the pill is too small to cut in half and second of all IN FLORIDA THE LAW IS ONCE YOU TAKE A PRESCRIPTION OUT OF THE DRUGSTORE YOU CAN NOT RETURN IT!!!

I called Tim, the pharmacist, and explained what happened but he said there was nothing they could do about. By the way Michelle who I mentioned before gave me sample 20 boxes—14 tablets of 5mgs each–when my primary mentioned to her I was now on it.

I now have 14 boxes left with 196 pills for a total of 376 pills of 5mgs each which will go to waste and that is a waste!!! I will call Michelle and see what she can do as far as maybe giving them to patients who they are prescribed for, at least the boxes if not the jars!

Do I have to mention that I didn’t even have a chance to call my dental insurance and/or insurance
caretaker to look into that whole replacement business–I left messages and they are supposed to call me back—I’m waiting!!

More of the farce to take place tomorrow I am sure!!

Posted September 7, 2021 by greatmartin in HEALTH, LIFE EVENTS, medicines

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