Category Archives: Iba’s Diary?

8/25/2017

Looks like today is going to be one of those days.

Our mental doctor passed just a little while ago an we are currently waiting for a new one.  This in its self isn’t a problem.

The problem we are dealing with today is a medication screw up.  Our old Doctor, Doctor Lee, still trying to adapt to the computer made a mistake with Meta’s prescription.  I’m not faulting him, stuff happens.  The mistake was a simple one that slipped by us.  He shorted Meta 15 pills on her Amoxapine which means she is currently out.  The problem is getting enough medication to last her until the beginning of next month.  This kind of a process with meds close to out and taking fewer meds so that she does go completely off her nut is nerve wracking.  She is trying to sort this out right now.  Her Medication situation just got away from her.

We, she and I, understand that this is the way the system down here works.  She and I are coping, generally, with our conditions better than most in the system.  In other words we are wheels that don’t squeak.  In simple terms it takes time for the staff, stretched so very thin, to get all their ducks in a row.  I can feel my own nerves starting to jingle as I am some how ties to her.

I wanted to get something up today and this is the best I can do.  Just thought somebody might be curious.

It will all work out.

Have a better than average day.

Acknowledgement of a Man 8/7/2017

It was just a few days ago, Tuesday or Wednesday that Meta and I found out that our Psychiatrist had passed away the weekend before.

Meta was on the phone talking to someone about our Psych Prescriptions.  I was only really listening out of the side of my ear, not paying particular attention.  There wasn’t any change in the tone of Meta’s voice as far as my ear could consciously detect.  New appointments were made for our case manager and so the conversation went.  I was struggling with some piece of software or some other ridiculous bit of semi-make work in my hole that I commonly refer to as my cubby.   I practically live in the place.  That’s when she broke from her phone call for a minute stating to the person on the other side “Wait a minute I got to tell Iba.”

I didn’t give her the chance.  I simply stated that “Doctor Lee is dead, Right?”

She wasn’t shocked or amazed as this type of response has happened before.  There is a logic to it but I will spare you that.  She quickly returned to her conversation.

Doctor Lee was our third personal headshrinker and practitioner of the mental health medical arts.  My first Doc was one Dr. Funk.  I know and I am not making it up.  I don’t think I worked with her for a full year before she had moved on to a private practice.  The second Doctor was one Dr. Zick for a little over two years.  Then, after a long distance relocation, a new apartment and finally a new Doc, Dr. Lee.  Dr. Lee was our longest, time wise, psychiatrist at a little over twenty three years.

Doctors Funk and Zick both worked at a mental health clinic in a college town that was at the center of an otherwise rural county.  It was entirely funded by a small percentage added onto the local sales tax, if memory serves.  Our appointments were frequent, sometimes twice a month and generally about a half an hour.  That clinic didn’t have admitting privileges at any hospital so they dealt with everything that they could out patient.  They also had a lower number of clients or consumers if you prefer.

Doctor Lee on the other hand worked in many clinics, all in the same system, over several counties in a far more urban area.  He had admitting privileges at the Psych Ward of the local hospital as well as the Psych Wards at some of the larger hospitals in a very large near by City.  This system was largely federally funded and, I think, served as a magnate for people needing treatment.  Each appointment that either Meta or I had with Doctor Lee was about 15 minutes long,  This is clinical work and many do not know that this is a clinical quarter hour so I actually spent about 7 minutes talking with the Doc which was fine by me.

For most of the time I have been seeing him, he had slightly over two thousand patients or clients under his supervision.  Just a few years ago he reduced the number to about 800.  I think I maybe have spent more actual time talking to him than doctor Funk but because it was spread out over all those years and in small doses it gave me time to acclimate.  Meta explained to me that he had been practicing here since the early 80s.  Not a glorious job or even a well respected position but he stayed at his post.

I had grown accustom to the fact that he would always be here.  I wasn’t conscious of that fact until the other day.   I fully expect that any morning that I awake my family, those few that remain, and close friends will all be dead and I am grateful when they are not.  The thought as far as Doctor Lee was concerned never crossed my mind.  I may have been able to get more out of, or put more into the relationship if such a thought had crossed my mind.

I will remember him.

24

Meta and I passed our 24th wedding anniversary some days ago.  It is on these occasions that I spend some time looking back and remembering.  Memory is like a garden in that it has to be cultivated in order to yield anything.  Memories that are left unattended for any real length of time will die or fade if your rather.  At times it does feel like that many years have passed which is a peculiar space to inhabit.  Other times it feels like the last many years are nothing but one long day.  These two extreme states seem to be based on internal moods.  Meta and I .lived together for about three years before our journey to the Justice of the Peace and dated (that’s what wee called it in polite company) for a year before that.

I was very schizophrenic at the time and just beginning the process of learning  my new limitations.  There was my first change of doctors during this time as well.  The first Doctor left the community clinic to start a private practice.  With the second Doctor came a change in medications, at my request.  After a year or so I began to reduce my medication on my own, leaving the Doctor out of my decision.  The idea of being institutionalized worried me.  One of the early mechanisms or tactics I developed was avoidance behavior.  If I found any given situation disturbing I would either avoid it entirely or extract myself from it as it unfounded around me.  I didn’t see this as possible once inside the big state institution and I understood that this would lead to violence.  Basically I had a hard time trusting the Doctors.  There is a quote form the film Gothica that nicely sums up this particular paranoia.  “You can’t trust some one if they think you are crazy,” matches my internal atmosphere nicely.  My experience here was compounded by trying to be honest with my Psychiatrist who insisted that I had to trust her because she was a professional.  I still have a hard time with this statement even though I have been able to develop more trust on my part of these last 20 years.  It just isn’t a very convincing argument.

There were a lot of weird shit that went on over those first 10 years and one that I still find fascinating today was the notion that I wasn’t real, in the strictest sense.  I was instead nothing more than an extension of Meta’s mind.  I can rephrase that, I was Meta’s imaginary friend.  My entire world from past to the moment was simply an internal construct of her imagination.  When people talked to us, the mostly looked, if not only looked, at Meta, it seemed.  Now this simply could have been a subtle illusion.  I have no problem admitting that.  Could it be that all those memories of my lengthy relationship with some of our shared friends was fabricated?  This could be true as far as I was concerned.  Our closest friends referred to us as MetaandIba.  One word like one name. her name was always first.  My brother, brother number two in the birth order, was the one person whom seemed to be able to dispel this feeling.  I never viewed this as an identity crisis in the traditional sense, it was just a strange feeling that I had a hard time shaking.  It caused me to take a second look at both Descartes and Turning.  Descartes’ I Think Therefore I am and the famous Turning test.  Both of these have to do with the ideas of being real, sentient.  Descartes argued that he knows he is sentient because he knows he is thinking.  He approached the question by looking at himself.

Turning on the other hand was interested in seeing if he could prove if people other than himself were thinking, thus the famous test.  The Turning test was a thought problem, it was never intended as an actual test.  By the end of Turnings thought experiment he realizes that you can’t tell if any one other than yourself is intelligent, sentient or Real.  The test is passed when you can no longer be certain that the individual in question isn’t sentient.  IN other words, the machine or the person is no longer an obvious mimic.  There in lies the trick, it does not prove intelligence or sentience, it only shows that you can no longer tell the lack there of.  The machine could just be genius at manipulating symbols (language, words) and the same could be said for any person you meet.  So this notion of intellect is based on a negative.  When the is a absence of the lack of sentience or intellect becomes obvious.  Just remember that when some one in a white lab coat tells you that you can live forever in the memory bank of a super computer.

Back when I was confronted by the possibility that I wasn’t real, that I was an extension of Meta’s mind, her imaginary friend if you will. I thought about both Descartes and Turning and developed a thought experiment of my own, sort of.  I wanted to see if anyone could prove to me that I was real.  I looked at it as if it was some kind of a game and that is how I treated the exercise.  At first I said nothing and just looked for signs in other people that I was real not just in the sense of intellect but also in the sense of physicality.  I found myself impacted by The Turning Test head long.  What if MetaandIba’s guests were behaving they way they were because Meta’s was queuing them,?  It would have been something nonverbal, something learned over a long time.  Also what if MetaandIba’s guests were nothing but Mimics, brilliant Mimics but Mimics none the less and all they were doing was manipulating symbols.  That they themselves were not sentient.

That fucked with me.  So I got Meta to play the game after explaining this craziness to her.  This is were the real frustration began.  It seems that it is impossible to prove to someone else that they are intelligent or sentient if they don’t believe they are either.  She tried, and we plugged away at it for most of a day before she had become quiet frustrated.  Is this why self esteem and confidence are so important?  Is it possible that no one is sentient or intelligent or could it be that these two things are to poorly understood to be tested at all?

The ideas of intelligence could be so poorly understood that the best you can do is look at yourself as Descartes did because the movement you try to prove someone else anyone else anything else is sentient intelligent or mentally real you find yourself at the edge of an abyss.  Crossing an abyss requires a leap of faith.

Always look to your muse.

Have a better than average day.

11/10/2015

It is amazing how time races right passed you, or me in this case.  Its been like that since I turned my television off permanently back on 9/11/2001.  I don’t have any sense of the passing of time any how so things tend to distort and then at some seemingly irrelevant point it all catches up to me in a surreal mental explosion.

That is basically what I am feeling today.  The old man, my father died two years ago this coming February. Meta has been rolling along on her manuscript to a staggering 940 pages which I find impressive.  I on the other hand have been trying tto quit smoking with less than remarkable success. Managing up to four days smoke free at a time.  The problem is that I don’t want to quit and only under the condition that this state of quit would only be a temporary thing have I been able to achieve what little success I have had so far.  I figure the better approach would be to limit not only the number of packs I buy in any given month but also limit the number of days I smoke.

I’ve been two days smoke free this night and i hope to sty that way until the afternoon of the seventeenth the Thursday next.  I’m not doing this for my health.  Meta and I live on a small fixed income and in this economy, especially food prices. the cost of everything is becoming obscene so if I cut down on my luxury because we need the cash for other stuff in our little life.

No Matter and No Worries.

Everything seems to work out one way or the other

9/26/2014

Time is harder to hold on to than water with greasy hands.  Earlier this year a weird realization came over me.  It stopped me in my tracks and I have spent time over many late nights trying to digest it.  I have known my wife, Meta, longer than I knew my mother.  I have been carnal with Meta longer than I knew my mother and in three more years I will have been married longer than I k was my mothers child.  It left me rather unsettled.

Its been during this time that I have struggled with quitting smoking.  Mom and Dad both smoked thou it was a car that killed Mom not tobacco.  There are far sadder stories than mine and I did learn a great deal about finite mortal living.  I passed my 50th birthday which has driven to me to try and figure out what I have learned in this life and hope that it is something worth sharing.  I’m kind of a freak as it is, sort of a walking anomaly.

So my love affair with tobacco, cuz that’s what it is, an affair.  First thing, those anti smoking advertisements must be aimed at non smokers because every time I see one I can’t fight the urge to light up.  What’s the deal with that anyway?  Is it possible that some clever marketing man figured out away to fulfill the tobacco settlement and advertise smokes on television?

Damn if that doesn’t sound paranoid.

I want to say, for the record. that I do not disagree with the statement that cigarettes pose a serious risk to my own health and the health of others, and that tobacco, especially factory tobacco is addictive.  I am addicted.  But I also like smoking.  The weird thing is that the audio, visual and tactile effects of being schizophrenic (hallucinations, illusions or delusions) get worse while I am quitting.  I barely leave the apartment as it is.  This isn’t an effort to convince anyone of anything, just is whether you believe it or not.  It seems these symptoms get  worse now then before dialysis (That’s a whole other story for another time.)

The loss of my Mom taught me to get to know the people you care about before you loose each other cuz at some point it will happen.  You will lose each other.  Know your beloved gives you better memories and less shoulda, woulda. coulda than the alternative, say it later.  Regardless of the conditions of the day always end your time by saying “I love you,” if indeed you do.  While I was dealing with kidney failure I was terrified that Meta and I would ppart ways before I coulld say it to her one last time. I wasn’t afraid of the fatal moment.  What frightened me was the idea that I woulpd goo with out taking the sound, touch and her image with me.

Total corn but true none-the-less.

I am not quitting smoking for my health nor Meta.  This is the simple contradiction of being human…to be smart enough to know the right road to take but not wise enough to take it.  I am not quitting because I want to and no I don’t have cancer.  Its the economy that’s provides the motivation.  It irks me to use a charge card to buy tobacco and food prices have blown through the roof.  I use to be able to smoke and eat less but cigarette prices have gotten outrageous as well.  The whole mess is a real cash bonanza if you’re a member of the right group.  Yet a best I can manage two days before I cave.

It might just be a case of Akrasia (I don’t think I spelled that right) or weakness of the will.  The problem is that I don’t want to quit smoking, I have to quit smoking.  I’m not interested in vapping, the patch or the gum….seems self defeating to me to use nicotine to quit nicotine.  The trick is to keep busy, my hands and my mind and have plenty too eat.  By the way, celery and carrot sticks don’t cut it, chocolate is better, besides its a mood altering drug in its own right.

The stress is probably the hardest thing but there is the dulling of mental agility and I lose the ability to keep track of time.  That last one is a major pain in the ass.

I haven’t given up yet.  I’m going to take another run at it tomorrow.  I have a doctors appointment on Tuesday.  If I make it past that and don’t find myself on a three day pass and manage bot to smoke. …Well, that would be a big deal.  I don’t like to think that far ahead though, not when it comes to Tobacco.

Hope you are well,

Be Blessed.

The Doorknob Incident 1/28/2014

This incident took place a week ago Sunday.  The exact date would be January 19th 2014.

Meta had been made mention for some time that she was having problems with the doorknob, this particular door knob was part of the front door to our apartment.  She had stated, directly most of the time and indirectly on the rest of the occasions that the afore-mentioned doorknob didn’t seem to want to work, that it was sticking somehow.  In later discussions Meta would state that she had been having this for a couple of weeks or so.  Though it seems to my recollection that it was longer than that possibly a month maybe six weeks but I would be forced to acknowledge that the frequency of the incidents that she had been reporting had increased dramatically in the last two weeks.

I had no point of reference for what she was saying.  Better stated, I hadn’t experienced any problems with accused doorknob in any way.  I felt nothing when I turned the handle, no resistance and the door opened every time.  I did something I think my father would have been proud of, I chalked up the reports of her experiences as some form of female hysterical delusion lacking any resemblance to rationality.  This single mental act I had never done before.  When Meta told me something I always took it seriously previously, I may not have done anything about it but I didn’t just mentally blow it off and chalk it up to some weird assessment of female inferiority.  There could have been other reasons why the doorknob behaved when I turned it.  It could have been my massive strength being a he man and all,  maybe it was an  expression of my paranormal power, possibly some sort of spiritual blessing or odds are, just plain old luck.

I was operating from a deeply seated assumption that reality is some how intransient, unchanging.  This is an underlying operating assumption that I have been aware of in humanity for sometime and Meta and I had talked about it at some length several times in the recent past.  The phenomena, in the simplest terms, If I have an experience with the doorknob today and it works for me, indeed every time I use the doorknob it behaves accordingly then that is the way it is for every one all the time.  Its the empiricists interpretation of knowledge.

So it was sunday the 19 in northern Ohio during a january that is beginning to look a lot more like winters past.  Meta and I had decided to make a run for essentials, pop and cigarettes, we had everything else, before the weather turned again.  Rain and freezing rain over the next day or two followed by snow and a sudden impending cold spell combined with the lack of a car and the fact that neither of us are spring chickens anymore prompted us to move on a clear day in the middle 20s temperature wise.  She would run the errand and I would stay inside, I know, I am a lazy dog, but I can live with it if she can.  It was then that I experienced problems with the doorknob right along with her, it just didn’t seem to want to let go of the doorjam.  But we managed and it opened.  I stood in the hallway, we traded I love you’s and I told her to call me so that I could be at the down stairs door to carry up the supplies.  I watched as she headed down the hall and turned and began to descend the 44 stairs down to the street entrance.

It was then that I glanced down at the doorknob and turned it back and forth. It seemed ti me touch and my eye that it was working just fine.

“Should I leave it open until she gets back?” I thought to myself.

“You getting delusional now, hysterical maybe,” Stated another voice in my head.

(Don’t be alarmed, I am a schizophrenic and these types of strange mental activities are fairly frequent)

“Go ahead and close it, you can sit ’til she calls, be comfortable,” This was stated by a second voice.

“I don’t know if that would be wise,” I thought back, “I think there might be a problem with the door.”

“Don’t be a pussy, shut the door already,” Stated the first voice.

“Be a man and close the door, you look like a dufus,” That would have been the second voice.

I don’t know why, it seemed logical that everything would be just fine and the nagging sensation that maybe I had missed something was fading but not gone. This would be what NoahBoddee, my brother, would have refered to as a dumbass attack.  But the thing about dumb ass attack’s are that what everything has to be done first before you realize that every action was an idiotic endeavor.  Most of these last couple of sentences are reflections as I had put enough though into what I was doing.  It was just a nagging feeling so I shut the door.

I stood there, hand open only inches from the doorknob and I could not take my eyes off it.  The fading nagging sound had become quiet loud again.  So I figured I see if I could open the door and put the noise in my head to rest.  So I gripped the handle and turned, first to the left and then to the right but the door would not open.  There was no lock on the door, other than a dead bolt.  I repeated the cyclic move several more times and regardless of how hard I pulled I could not get the door open.

It was then I realized that I had a dumbass attack.  That I was in fact something of an idiot.

I Freaked.

first I tried the old driver’s license/credit card trick, I had always been able to use this to unlock a door from the inside, not dead bolts.  Fail.  It seemed to me that the license and the credit card were too flimsy and it had been a while, maybe I was mistaken.  Next came a butter knife, I could not get over how stubborn the lock was, after all this was from the inside, I was trying to break out.  The idea of Meta being stuck in the hallway only added to my overall level of anxiety.  Then two butter knives, a flurry of action, metal clicking against metal.  Meta would later say that she could hear the noise those two butter knives were making all the way down on the first floor.

We had managed to make contact before she got home so that she would know the situation and the fact that I would not be downstairs to help her haul.

As soon as I am certain of the world it does something to remind me that I don’t know what I am doing, hell, I don’t know what I am thinking.

I played with the idea of taking the door knob off but I hesitated, our land lord is on good terms with us and I was planning to keep it that way.  It wouldn’t be until Meta herself suggested that I take off the door knob, after she had been sitting in the hall for nearly forty minutes.  I am not mechanically inclined, my brother constantly warns that I should never be allowed to handle tools.  None the less I found the proper sized Phillips and quickly removed the knob.  the internal workings would be different though as it appears the mechanism had sprung and had to be removed in pieces.

Meta would say later that evening that I should feel bad about the incident, that it could have happened to any one any where.  I don’t know about that.  It wasn’t until I explained that it wasn’t so much her being trapped in the hall or hauling the groceries up the stairs with out help.  It was because of the way I had blown her off, not taken her seriously.  I shouldn’t have done that.

I realize that this post is a little late.  I guess its taking more effort to get my sea legs back then I thought.

Remember, be blessed

april 2013

If I had a million dollars…I think that is how the song lyric goes.  I have spent time here and there over the years wondering what I would do if I had a millions dollars.  I was just thinking about that a few hours ago.  Now as the age in my personal chronology aproaches 49 I find that a million dollars isn’t what it use to be.  I think really a million dollars is a phrase, if allowed some peotic license, that really means: In a place where you don’t have to worry about money.  A certain kind of riches or wealth and now when I am 49 and I wonder what I would do with a millions dollars I find myself thinking about things.

Things like owning my own home some where out near the wilderness but not so near that I can’t get to a doctor when I need one.  I may find myself back on Dialyisis at any time and I need to be aware of that possibility and plan for it.  It would be nice to own a car, nothing fancy, just something reliable of course but a little flash could be cool.  Maybe buy some new clothes and a decent pair of shoes and I have always wanted a suit made to fit me.  The last new clothes I had managed to obtain were a couple of pairs of J.C, Penny old Gork, Dork, golf pants and a couple pairs of thermals (Always handy).  Boy that just sounds so old and before that I received a new pair of overalls from my great aunt back in 1998.  I keep hearing about the social security and food stamps gravy train but apparently I don’t know where it stops in my home town.  I’d love to take Meta out to a nice resturant where she could be waited on hand and foot.  I know the whole thing seems rather pathetic and small minded for with my million dollars I would be things and comfort.  Its kind of silly in a way for Meta and I have things, maybe not the most comfortable or the nicest and we really had to work to get them into our appartment but things none the less.  The United States has the best garbage piles in the world.  Its amazing what our brother and sister citizens just throw away.

I think really, in order for me to gain any insight into why I would spend my million dollars the way I would today I would have to remember what I thought I would do with a million dollars when I was 20 something let’s say.  Probably just after college and I parted ways when I worked two full time jobs to make ends meet.  I was single and had no children (That’s a whole nothing long and insan e story).  Yet I still thought about that million dollar question.  I think everybody does from time to time, unless they have a million dollars of course.

I still remember those fantasies, that’s the simplest term to describe them.  What would I do?  I would travel.  I would have the time to do do the things I love like writing or Art,  and of course sex and lots of it.  As I work to rememebr what it was I wanted so much then I find that I have those things now.  Maybe not in kuxury but I still do those things.  I write.  I’ve been writing a lot over the last twenty years.  I like to think that I am getting pretty good at it.  I am an exhibited artist, nothing amazing but exhibited none the less and have wone a few awards and I have a great relationship with a horny older woman.  We have even managed to travel some, camping style, but we did it.  It took planning to be sure.

I find it fascinating that as I study my world and find all the things that are lacking in it today.  Through reflection I find that I somehow, I don’t really know exactly how, I have many of the things I was wishing for years and years ago.

Reflection can serve many purposes, mostly to give us a point of reference and to help us appreciate hat we have, what blessings we have received.

I don’t know what else to say except Be Blessed.  The Blessings are all around you all you have to do is learn to see them.