Tag Archives: Decades

Facebook Literally Saved Her Life

SquareP is alive today because of Facebook.

Yes, I mean the Facebook you’re all thinking about, the social media gathering place for all of us old people now that the young have bolted for places like tumblr, snapchat and Instagram and others.

Okay, yes, Facebook did have a little help, but I think it’s safe to say that, without Facebook, there’s a very real possibility that a woman I’ve known for decades, SquareP, could be dead.

It started last week when my wife, known herein after for this post as The Doc, was out of town giving a couple of different lectures. She’s only been on the Facebook for a couple of months and has taken to it like a duck to water.

So, she was out of town and being driven from one lecture in Tennessee to the second lecture in Asheville, NC. As she was being driven along, she decided to check in on Facebook to see what was happening.

In her stream, she found a post by SquareP that said she was having a really bad headache and wanted suggestions.

“I couldn’t believe it,” The Doc said. “Is this how we get our health care now? From Facebook?”

When she related the story to me later, I told her to think of it as someone hanging around in the breakroom and asking co-workers if they knew anything for a headache.

Moving on.

The more The Doc read about SquareP’s headache, the less she worried about the rest of the posts and the more worried she became about her friend.

“Initially, I told her it was a migraine and suggested some medications that could help,” said The Doc.

However, SquareP insisted she had never had a migraine before and denied that it was one because this was the worst headache she’d ever had in her life. At which point all the alarm bells began ringing in the back of The Doc’s brilliant brain.

“The worst headache of your life. . . That’s a prime reason to go to an emergency room or urgent care and get evaluated. It could be a lot of things and none of them are good.”

The Doc posted that SquareP should call her. Immediately. The phone conversation consisted of The Doc listening for a few minutes and then suggesting — in the strongest, most order-like fashion — that SquareP hie herself to an urgent care facility or emergency room stat! Apparently, The Doc managed to scare SquareP enough that she did just that.

I’ll let SquareP tell the next bit in her own words.

Was diagnosed with a blood clot in my brain. Scared the hell out of me but it’s completely treatable. So if you find yourself having horrible headaches especially if you’re not prone to them and they come out of nowhere, get yourself to the ER. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Yes, dudes, a blood clot in the brain. As SquareP said, very treatable with blood thinners and the like, but damn scary. It had nothing to do with me and it nearly scared me insensate.*

It was an amazing set of coincidences that allowed all this to happen. SquareP happened to post asking Facebook for help about her headache at just the exact same time that The Doc just happened to be flipping through Facebook and had the time to respond. SquareP actually called The Doc and The Doc talked SquareP into getting evaluated in person by a medical professional.

Long-distance scaring by The Doc leading to a longer life for SquareP. And today she’s home and all is good.

Without Facebook, none of this happens and the outcome could have been much, much worse. And here I was thinking bad thoughts about the usefulness of Facebook. I take it all back.**

Footnotes & Errata

* Ha, ha. Yes, fine. It doesn’t take much. Very funny.
** Well, most of it, anyway. There’s still plenty to annoy.

Share on Facebook

Do You Remember This?

Memory is a fickle thing.

You might remember the phone number of your girlfriend from high school, but not be able to remember the phone number you just looked up on the computer and have forgotten it by the time you get your cellphone out of your pocket.

You might remember that horrifying time you accidentally ordered sheep’s brains in a French restaurant three decades ago, but not remember what you had for breakfast this morning.

Students, of course, have the most contact with the fickle side of memory. I’m sure every single kid has studied their butts off the night before a test and gone to sleep confident they know everything there is to know about the subject. However, when they sit down in class to actually take the test, the answers remain frustratingly out of reach.

I wish I’d remembered to take that sort of thing into account when my young dudes were, in fact, young. I would have saved a lot of money I spent at Walt Disney World, I’ll tell you that.

Latest research talks about childhood amnesia or infantile amnesia, which means we remember nothing before we’re about 2 years old. The more sporadic holdover takes us up until about age 10 and, from those years, we retain fewer memories than we should, based merely on the passage of time.

And, yet, still we took the young dudes to Walt Disney World because we wanted them to have great memories of the place from when they were younger. We knew about childhood amnesia, but thought we’d be different.

Which explains why I was in Walt Disney World last December, accompanied by Hyper Lad and his mom, my wife, known to me as She Who Must Be Hankering For More Mickey. See, we talked with Hyper Lad and he said he had never been to Disney World before. We begged to differ. He stood firm and we realized he just didn’t remember it.

Which led to me asking his older brothers and I found they didn’t really remember any of their trips with a great deal of clarity, only bits and bursts. Hyper Lad, though? Nothing.

At least, that’s what we thought until we got there.

We were walking through one of Disney’s resorts on our way to a dinner when Hyper Lad had a flash of memory. He stopped still and pointed to the window sill on a room we were walking by.

“That,” he said. “I remember that. We stayed here.”

No, actually, we hadn’t. We had, however, stayed at a hotel where our room was right next to the pool and there had been a windowsill like that outside of our room. He remembered something, but it required some visual and tactile reminders to trigger it.

You might want to keep that in mind the next time you’re considering an expensive vacation with a young dude or dudette. Or even a massively expensive birthday party for one of your spawn.

Which reminds me. . .  Let’s talk more about this on Wednesday, yeah?

Share on Facebook

Where Am I?

The question isn’t is this embarrassing. No, the question is one of degree.

Just how embarrassing is it to get lost in your own “hometown?”

Even worse, this isn’t the first time it’s happened to me. I’m beginning to think I might have a problem.

The first time was when I was in junior high school. (For those of you unfamiliar, that was the school between elementary [k-6] and high school [10-12].)

We had some friends come in from out of town. They wanted to go to Six Flags over Texas, which was just outside of the small suburb of Dallas where I grew up.

We managed to make it there all right, with only a few minimal disruptions. The problem came when we headed home and there weren’t any more signs leading us to our destination. This was (way, way, way) before cell phones or the like, so we were on our own. The older kids from out of town didn’t know which way to go and they looked to me for answers.

I turned around to see who they were looking at behind me. I had a vague notion of the direction to go, but it wasn’t all that good of a vague notion. I was asked — repeatedly and forcefully — how I could live in a town and not know my way around it. Mostly it was because I wasn’t driving yet and spent most of my car time with my nose buried in an actual paper book.

We didn’t starve to death. We eventually found our way home (hours and hours after curfew, but the parents had been too busy partying to really worry) and all was good.

Until the last weekend when I got that horrible flashback feeling. My friend, Pitt (who I’ve known since high school and who recently moved here from Pittsburgh) and I were headed to a fundraiser put on by the P Strong Foundation to raise money to support research into rare cancers.

I was in the driving seat, a position with which I was intimately familiar considering I’d been driving for more than three decades. I thought I knew my way around Charlotte. Turns out, I was wrong.

Pitt, who’s been here less than two years, knew where the event was. It was Pitt who knew where to park and how to get from the parking garage to the Bal Masque Gala at the Marriott City Center.

The first one I can blame on youth. The second time? I’m still going to blame that one on youth. Not my own, of course, but my young dudes. See, I’ve been so busy rearing the young dudes since I came to Charlotte fifteen years ago that I never got a chance to really know my way around the city. Unless you counted the areas around the Chuck E Cheese and other young-dude attractions.

That counts, right? You dudes are buying that, yeah? Right?

Share on Facebook