December 19, 2006

Well, if my poetry hasn't gotten accepted, at least I can write a letter that is. I wrote one to the largest Connecticut paper at Halloween and they took that one, and this time I wrote one to the NYTimes, after the furor surrounding Eli Lilly's revelations concerning weight gain and diabetes with Zyprexa. Now it seems they may publish that one in the next few days, at least that's what they wrote me today. It is the very first time I have written to them, or one of the very few. Gratifying, to say the least.

All through with anything to do with Christmas shopping and such. If I ain't got it, I'm doing without! But I think I have what I need to cook those dishes and wrap the presents. I treated myself to the torture of a haircut and color (yeah, I do...) -- hate the shampoo in particular, but hate the whole experience! I'm glad it is over with now, for the next 6 weeks at least. Having very short hair is a problem in that way, because I have to keep cutting it to keep ity short, whereas when it was longer, I got away with its growing out a bit more, and changing the style until I decided to cut it again. Then I'd color it myself, to save money and avoid a beauty parlor. But when I had it cut, the beautician said she could tell I did it myself, and used a spray in color! So that convinced me to go to a salon to have it done. Another thing Lynnie pays for as I could never afford it on my check. I never knew how expensive haircuts have gotten, and coloring? Forget it!

Joe and Karen got back from the Clinic late this afternoon, having checked out the AAC devices -- Augmentative Assistive (speaking) Devices. Two were keyboard-like and needed a lap or hard surface to type on, therefore not really better than the laptop Joe already has, and presumably used when one is in a wheelchair and is already seated. The other is handheld, and apparently quite the gadget as Joe is very enthusiastic, doesn't feel like it will make him look too much like an invalid or "geeky" as he puts it. So they are putting through the paperwork for Medicare, and they will purchase it for him, though Joe will have to pay his share of 20% or $500. These machines can run into the 5 or 6,000 dollars so this one was actually a bargain at $2500. It's amazing that one can buy a laptop for under a thousand dollars and download a text to speech program for a hundred dollars, but to buy a small device that does NOTHING but speak when you type in a sentence it costs many thousands of dollars. Does this make sense? They also talked to Karen about the fact that there would come a time when Joe could not use a keyboard...implying that a laptop would be useless. But I have done research and have found that there are all sorts of ways to control a computer that do not require hands or even muscle control, except maybe one muscle or eye movement, or sometimes just thought...I dunno how thought works but eye movement is a fascinating thing to communicate with. You can even talk by spelling out words just with eye movement. And it's a very very easy way to spell. and Low tech to boot. All you need is a transparent board with the alphabet between you and the person who wants to talk. That person looks at the letter he wants to communicate, and you find his gaze with yours, and see the letter he is looking at. That way you can see what he is spelling and listen to him after a fashion.

Anyhow, when they got home at 4pm Joe was so tired he didn't even call to let me know. I had to call Karen at 5pm to find out they were back. But I'm hoping that Joe rests well tonight as he has a cousin coming over tomorrow and he needs to be alert and awake.

I have got to go eat something. Yesterday I barely ate 500 calories, just couldn't get more down and didn't remember to eat at all till it was nearly midnight. It is 7:30 now and I think I'll make some vegetarian noodle soup. So I'm sorry if this is short tonight, but I'd better eat or Ana, the night visiting nurse, will have my head. 8D

Posted by pamwagg at December 19, 2006 06:41 PM


Just read your letter in the New York Times. Congratulations! I'm going to keep it. The main thing (aside from writing your poetry) is to keep trying to get published. Don't get discouraged and keep at it. I'm glad you're going to send your poems to another publisher. I think you deserve to be published for what that's worth. And you have a wellspring of material now. One step at a time Pammy!

Posted by: Kate K. at December 20, 2006 07:03 PM

Congratulations on a great letter in the NY Times!

Posted by: Debbie at December 20, 2006 04:46 PM

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