Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Response to Responses to NBC News

So. My national television debut was yesterday. The hits on my blog doubled, and I received a total of three (3) e-mails/comments from people that did a google search to find me as a result of the news piece. Millions of Americans watching, and I hear from 3 of them.

One person wanted to sell me some vitamin juice that will cure all that ails us.


A second person has offered to give me "$$$$$" for topless photos. He repeats that he will pay "$$$$$$$" (7 dollar sign's worth!) , and signed off, "I am very serious."

Um. Yeah....

Not gunna doit.

There was one, though that I responded to; I figured this might come up, and it didn't take long. I got a note that read, in part:
I too saw your story and googled for your blog today. You and the others in the article bring light to a difficult situation facing many today.

I am disheartened by some of your posts, though. It seems people are more excited about your TV appearance than what you are facing.
Also, I question what people are willing to sacrifice over medications. Will cable TV be sacrificed? That Starbucks coffee? How about internet access?
I wrote what I thought was this gracious response:
Most of the people here, if you read back, have been with us through heartache and tough, tough, decision making. They rejoice because we're gaining a voice. I hadn't thought about "newcomer's" response to this glib entry. It's been a running joke; we've been postponed on NBC 3 times already. We finally made it.
But I've had some time to think about it, and I've decided that I bristle. I do that sometimes, stew on a thing, and then bristle.

I'll address the "sacrifices" first.

If you're to the point that you're skipping your own life-saving medications so that you can put food on the table for your children, Starbucks coffee isn't an issue. When you're freakin' broke, a $5 cup of coffee is pretty much on the same plane with owning your own yacht: Unaffordable. It's not a sacrifice; It is out of the question. You don't get it until you've been there.*

As far as being excited about being on National TV?

Let me explain something to you.

I had a "day to myself" last Sunday. Yay! I used that time doing my mother's laundry, changing her sheets, cleaning her closets, mopping her floors, cleaning her sink and toilet. When that was all done, I got a nice hot shower going...and gave her a bath and washed her hair.

I would have given her dog a bath while I was at it, but a big-ass pine tree fell on her house during last week's ice storm, and I spent 90 minutes watching a couple of guys (Thanks, Craig & Cecil!) clean that mess off. We then searched for something to patch the hole in the roof until the insurance adjusters can get to us.

A TV spot, national or not, is a mere surreal novelty in my life. I watch the show, and then get back to the laundry and the hole in the roof, and the trying to figure out what's wrong when Mom says she's sick but doesn't know the word for whatever it is that hurts.

We took a minute yesterday to hoot and holler and high five, and you are disheartened with us for that?


Bite me.

*I reiterate here, as I have to every radio station, newspaper reporter, and television reporter, that we do not fall into this category. My Mother is by no means destitute, and I've never meant to portray her as such. She is incredibly fortunate, compared to so many others portrayed in these stories. We remain frugal and thankful.


  1. StFarmer5:50 AM

    I'd like too add that you only scratched the surface of all that you do for your mom, family, friends and total strangers - all at great sacrifice to yourself. I think the regular readers realize that about you and love your giving spirit.

    Celebration or not, the bottom line is that attention was brought to the issue and I, for one, celebrate along with you.

    Also, while I'm at it, I think there is something wrong with a society that believes that people need to count pennies over starbucks before they are allowed to complain about the high cost of medicine. [rant off]

  2. StFarmer6:06 AM

    Oh yeah, send the guy with the $$$$$$ to me. I have some pretty impressive man boobs. :)

  3. That didn't show even a second of nuance as to why you made the decision. The NYT piece was way better.

  4. StFarmer: Thank you. Oh, and I do have an email address for you, to send your topless photos to.

    Rayne: This piece definitely wasn't about my mother and our situation, specifically. The media has to squeeze a lot of information into a pretty small time slot, and I do think that John Murphy's story was a better representation of the issue at hand. I can't imagine how much time it would take to tell all that could be told, or what the solution will be, in the future.

  5. May those that don't "get it" never have to walk in your shoes.


    And .. I'd show boobs for bucks! J/K!

  6. Nancy: Great, I'll be your agent, I get 10% of the proceeds.

  7. Hey, hope I didn’t offend in any way.

    I do alright too and I think it’s outrageous to pay $77 for Celebrex, 20 capsules, an arthritis med for my bad left shoulder (too much golf). Arthritis is for seniors like me. A contemporary drug, with more stomach side effects, Meclofen, was $10.

    Screw OPEC, I really want to see the drug companies take it up the wazzoo (sp). I don’t have any interest giving all of my money to drug companies. I could afford my own insurance if it weren’t for the medical people charging out of control. Hospitals are good for sucking retirement savings dry. What a scam. I’m glad Madoff heisted $50 billion from the wealthy. Working stiffs like me get heisted everyday.

    Incidentally, neither of those two drugs I mentioned really worked. You’re right, they can BITE ME too. I hope whoever wrote that gets a heaping dose of something smelly.

    So, ah, did you sign the contract I sent you and don’t you dare take off your shirt.

  8. Ron: Not to worry, I don't offend easily. The cost of meds = outrageous. Mom's heartburn meds were costing $155/month. I asked for a cheaper Rx, got one for Prilosec. The Rx came to $55...for the very same pill that I could get for $17, OTC. I went with the OTC, at the pharmacist's recommendation.

    From $155 to $17.

  9. It could have been worse. You could have been on Katie Couric's show, then nobody would have seen it.

  10. Some people have nothing better to do than be disgruntled and cranky and heap their disgruntled-ness and crankiness on everybody else. Sad,sad,sad.

  11. Anonymous10:01 AM


    You might get "brissled" however I get pissed off. I would love to have the email address or a way to contact the man that stated he was "disheartened" with you. I would like to explain to him how "disheartened" this American Soldier is at his obvious pathetic statement.

    You are the light for many of my Soldiers when they feel as if they can't do it another day. You are the smile of a sad, scared, lonely Soldier when they feel as if they have no one in the world that cares about them and receive a box from you. You are the love in the eyes of a child who dosen't even have shoes to wear and I show up carting a box of shoes and beanie babies because of you. I could go on for days but unfortunately don't have the vocabulary to put in words how special you are.

    I can only hope in my last moments on earth that I am loved a fraction of the amount that you're loved. I can only pray that someone as kind as you will be with me at the end as you are with your mother. I can only try and hope to make such a tremendous positive impact on humanity as you have, and continue to do everyday.

    If there is anyone in the world I aspire to be like, it's you my dear friend.

    You are one of a kind, and keep doing what you're doing...and send me that boobs contact information so I can tell him how "disheartened" I am.

    All my love to you, your mom, and your sister



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