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On Thursday, August 21, 2003, at 2:45pm, my wife of 34 years, Rebecca, died in my arms in an emergency room.

The last words we spoke were in perfect synchronization: "I love you with all my heart."

 

 

"Home (we really don't) Care"

the cash pump game

 

The opinions, humor, and sarcasm contained herein reflect my own, personal opinions and viewpoints. 

The First Amendment of the Constitution adequately, particularly, and specifically provides

my right to my own, personal opinions and viewpoints.


Laughter Therapy?  Count ME In!

UPDATE:  Late November, 2013 - Recently, I had a "psych nurse" assigned to me.  She has been here 4 times, to "help" me.  She reads documents to me, and tells me things which I already know, and which she told me last week, too.  The last time she was here (which WAS her last time in MY home) she drove me slightly batty with all her babbling and suggestions.  I took notes of what she suggested to me, and figured this deserves part of a webpage. 

 

After asking a few questions, I discovered a "PSYCH nurse" is ACTUALLY a registered nurse (R.N.) with a little psychological training and background. 

 

She had a whole (40 minute) LIST of things which she recommended to me - different things which I could do to relax, and make me feel calm. 

Well - except for some specific situations, I AM relaxed, and I already DO feel calm.  Listening to her, I didn't understand where she was coming FROM, or where she was going TO.  She had an agenda - a long LIST. 

 

But the real mind-blower was "Laughter Therapy". 

 

Last week, she spent 35 minutes explaining about a man who locked himself in a room for FOUR MONTHS - and did nothing but LAUGH!

And when he came out, he was FULLY CURED!!

 

I don't know about you, but I would think he was also very hungry, and DESPERATELY in need of a bathroom.

Four months is a hell of a LONG TIME to hold it in.

 

Maybe she didn't remember telling me this from LAST week, so she went through it all over again THIS week - even though I remembered.

 

On November 25, my case worker (a really wonderful lady) came to re-evaluate me.    

 

Being the sarcastic rascal that I am, I told my case worker about this, and showed her the file on MY computer - the entire LIST of things which the "psych nurse" was babbling about.  My case worker was hysterical - along with the home care lady (who was a witness to this whole "psych nurse" scenario).

 

The next day, I wrote my case worker a short email - and she broke up laughing on the phone when I called her.  That prompted me to write her ANOTHER email, expanding on the LIST, but it was so long, I was too tired to cover ALL the helpful suggestions on the "psych nurse's" LIST.

 

Below, is the second email, which I did NOT send to my case worker (yet), because I'm waiting for her return call.

(Later - I decided not to send her the email, instead, I'll just send her the link to this page.) 

 

Try your best to make sense of it .... The RED WORDS are just a small PART of the "psych nurse's" LIST - the rest is my response.


Dear Mrs. SMITH
*,

(*Mrs. SMITH is not my case worker's real name) 

Due to my "Laughter Therapy" I was unable to finish my previous email to you.  I'm so sorry .... now, I can bring you right up to the minute.


I decided to take the "psych nurse's" helpful advice - top to bottom - end to end. 
Being short of time (you know how busy I am with all my work) I decided to try EVERYTHING, as follows:

Aroma therapy: I burned about 50 pounds of incense, almost burned the house down - no results, so I tried melting a plastic lawn chair. 

That was a REAL BIG mistake.  Please - don't EVER try that one yourself.

Acupuncture:
Luckily, I found an acupuncture technician at 1:00am, and she stuck needles in me - everywhere. 

It was very difficult to sit in my chair with all those long needles hanging out of me.

Aquariums:
I had several aquariums delivered last night. 
The name of the wonderful company is "Midnight Aquariums" - they delivered and set up everything, and those happy fish literally wagged their tails! 

YES!  THIS IS TRUE ALL the fish - except one - were wagging those tails! 

The other one might have been a "surface fish" - I don't know.  He just laid around at the TOP and didn't move. 

I petted him a few times (very, very good therapy) but he still didn't move.

Pets:
I called "Late Nite Pet Supply" last night and ordered some of each.  Gosh!  Now my house looks like a zoo, and all these pets are jumping, flying, swimming, climbing, and crawling everywhere!  I hope I don't accidentally flush a turtle down the toilet - there were 3 of them in there last time I looked.

Mrs. SMITH*? - Do you know if those big Amazon lizards drink beer?  I forgot to ask.

"Allergic to all anti-depressants":
I felt real bad when the "psych nurse" told me this, so I decided NOT to be allergic to all those great medications. 

I tried a few of each - and, gosh!  They solved ALL my problems within a few MINUTES!  I even shared them with all my new pets!

You've never seen so many happy faces! 

Yoga:
When the yoga instructor arrived (about 1:30am), I tried to bend my body into many unusual positions, but the acupuncture needles interfered, and pets were crawling and climbing all over me - it was somewhat chaotic. 

With her professional help, we eventually folded me into the "Pretzel Position".  You can believe that's EXACTLY what I looked like - a pretzel. 

I asked her to take some photos to show you my progress, but she didn't have a camera, and I could NOT unfold myself to get mine. 

She unfolded me at about 2:10am - thank goodness!  She promised that next week, she would try the "Paper Clip Position" with me.

Electric shock:
I was unable to contact a doctor at 2:30am, so I just plugged myself into an outlet.  It was a very unusual experience.

I think I did something wrong, because everything in the den looked like it was made of COLORFUL NEON - but that went away after awhile.     

Meditation:
This helpful one was pretty nice.  I sat very quietly - and calmly observed the destruction of my home, as all my new pets joyously broke one thing after another.

I'net dating sites:
Gee - you'd never believe what I've been missing!  Within 45 minutes, approximately 100 women fell in love with me! 

Over 50 women proposed marriage, if I would just send them some $$ to come to Florida from Ghana, Africa. 

Mrs. SMITH*, I really hate to ask you this, but would it be possible to borrow a few million $$? 

They all promised to pay me back immediately when they arrived here, so it would be a very short-term loan. 

You can believe me - and we can believe them, because they promised they love me.  What a warm, wonderful feeling! 

I'm just delighted the "psych nurse" told me about this!     

J
azz music: Turned on some jazz music - it made me feel real jazzy.

Nature music:
Turned on some nature music, too.  I don't understand why I got soaking wet when the "Waterfall" song came on.

I struggled into the bathroom, got a few towels, dried off, and now I'm OK .... but there is 6" of water all over the floors. 

The next song was named "Wind" - I was a little unsure of what might happen, so I turned off the nature music.

 

Aquarium screen savers: I looked on the computer and found a beautiful aquarium screen saver.  I downloaded it, turned it on, and watched for a little while. 

I don't know how this happened, but several of the fish swam OUT of my computer monitor, and flopped around on my DESK. 

I put them into the aquariums as fast as I could.  I hope they'll be OK, and adjust to their new homes quickly.


Go to your "happy place":
 I located several places in the den, kitchen, and living room. 
These MUST be "happy places" because the parrots were squawking (actually SCREAMING) ....

HAPPY PLACE!

HAPPY PLACE!

 

So I just took their word for it, and marked the exact locations with masking tape and labels.

"There is no magic wand": All I can say to that is, "That's what SHE thinks!" 

After trying these things on her LIST, I'm convinced - this IS magic. 
 

Well, Mrs. SMITH* - it was very hard work, and it took me all night and well into the morning, but I did it. 
About 9:45am, I tried to go to bed, but the bedroom was filled with my new pets, so I just curled up under the kitchen table. 

I sure hope the NEXT list is shorter than the LAST one.  Could you please add this to my progress report?

 

Thank you very much,

Steve


First of all, have you got ANY idea where you are?  Well, I'll remind you.  You're in the AMUSEMENT section of my website.  If you thought you were someplace else, you need to try another brand of think.

Getting older is a bitch.  It happens to all of us sooner or later, usually it's later.  Depending on circumstances, it could be sooner.

But the good news is that we have government assistance.  See, it works like this: you work all your life, maybe 35-40 years, and you pay all those taxes.  I suggest that you don't ever sit down and figure out that you probably paid about $17 million in taxes - you're gonna feel real bad if you ever add it all up.  Then, when you get older and something happens to you, you can't work any more.  That's when that tax money you paid comes back to help you.  If you believe that, then you probably believe Charles Manson got out of jail last week, too.

I'll explain some of it.  Here's an example: MEDICARE and MEDICAID.  I've got one of each (I think).  MEDICARE takes real good care of me.  Even though their rules change every 48 hours, I know I can depend on them.  And if you believe that, then you probably believe that 9/11 never happened at all.  I don't even know what MEDICAID does, I can't understand all that complex stuff, but at least I have it.  That's what counts.  I have all these official cards, and don't have a clue what they mean, or what to do with them.

Here's some of what MEDICARE does (I think):

They got me a DOCTOR.  She was a dominant woman - I'll just call her Dr. Sogo.  That's REAL close to her real name.  Maybe she'll read this someday, she'll know who I mean.  She slowly and patiently got to know all about me - that took her about 12 seconds.  That's the sign of a good, caring, professional doctor - get to KNOW your new patient.  In less than 3 minutes, she stuck her finger in my face and ANNOUNCED, "I'm putting you on Effexor!" 

Hold on - I've already BEEN on Effexor - it doesn't do a thing for me, except make me walk into walls.  I don't have enough problems, I need to walk into walls, too? 

I guess I screwed up.  I had the nerve to politely (and I truly was polite) disagree with Dr. Sogo - plus, I've got TWO, not one, unopened bottles of this Effexor medicine here - probably a couple hundred capsules.  I figure I paid for them, so I'll save them for a rainy day, and use them for fertilizer for the weeds in my yard or something.

Fact:  I don't like people coming here unannounced.  Often, I don't feel well, and I'm in bed.  It took them close to a year to get my phone number in "the system".

Dr. Sogo apparently did some planning and thinking.  For a few weeks, strangers were coming over here without calling.  They were "Specialists", which Dr. Sogo gave "orders" to.  But wait - what do I need with these "Specialists"?  I don't know why Xray technicians and physical therapists and other unpronounceable "professionals" are showing up here .... yes I do!  THEY CAN SEND THE BILLS TO MEDICAID!  They found an ACCOUNT!  They found a CASH PUMP! 

  

Sogo had one chance, she's not coming here anymore - I want no part of a doctor who doesn't care about me.  Time for a different doctor.  A few months later, they sent out a male doctor.  He's a really nice guy.  At least this one actually asks questions and listens sometimes.  He's been here 3 times, and only one thing makes me nervous.  He writes more prescriptions than two drug stores can handle in a day.

I want to say this: I am not prejudiced.  All people are created equal, but some people BEHAVE differently than others.  Therefore, that's a pile of shit.  If all people are created equal, then how come some people don't know how to think?  Please explain that one to me.

Did I mention food stamps?  I qualify for food stamps, too.  For a long time, they gave me $22 per month.  Ever meet anybody that could live on $22 worth of food per month?  Now I think I get more, but I'm not positive.  I could find out, but that's one full day's work.  You have to call a phone number.  It has a recording with about 76 different choices in different languages.  If you press the wrong number - even just once - you could die, right there on the phone.  If you start all over again, it's too late - the office is closed for the day.  Better days are coming, or so I've been told.

MEDICARE (or is it MEDICAID?) is helping me so much, that I qualify for "home care".  That's right!  I'm supposed to get 8 hours of "home care" every week.  So far, that's happened about 5 times.  Can you count to 8?  I can count to 8.  Before you get the wrong ideas, let's clarify that. 

I'm supposed to get some help with certain things I can't do.  I don't care how nosy you are, it's enough to say that I have some medical issues which are none of your Goddamn business.  There are some things I just can't do anymore.  "Home care" is supposed to take care of that.

Now it's time to introduce Infinitely Health Services, featuring Stephanie, Kelly, and a whole collection of other winners.  I've been slowly working on this page for over 5 months, and today is the day!  It's close to the end of February, 2008, and the time has COME!

At first, they either send somebody out to "interview" you, or they just do it on the phone.  I really don't recall, there have been too many headaches since Infinitely Health Services entered my life. 

If you're thinking lucidly, that's actually called "marketing" or "selling".  The one that interviews you has some intelligence, can actually speak English, and she can articulate fairly well.  She knows exactly what to say to gain your trust.  That's a big part of "selling".  That's why she's actually in sales or marketing.  Unfortunately, that's not the person they send to your home to provide "home care" - oh no - no way. 

I'd like to introduce some Infinitely Health Services "home care professionals" - the women who are supposed to actually provide "home care" - but there have been so many, I can only remember about 8 names.  Infinitely Health Services goes through them like running water.  Here today, gone next week. 

Some of them have told me what goes on "behind the scenes" at Infinitely Health Services.  They're great stories.  I learned a lot about how Infinitely Health Services operates their business.  It's enough to give me nightmares.

The very first Infinitely Health Services "home care professional" wrecked my new vacuum cleaner.  Clouds of smoke filled the room, rubber and plastic melted - it's a unique smell.  I was in my bedroom, asleep.  She woke me up to tell me something was wrong with the vacuum cleaner.  What's wrong with the vacuum is the person using it - that's what's wrong.  She didn't just burn up the belt, either.  The spinner brush part actually melted, too.

About 6 months later, two other Infinitely Health Services "home care professionals" did the same thing to my other vacuum cleaners.  Obviously, these brilliant, well-trained women just don't understand how to use a vacuum.  I wonder if they do this to their own vacuum cleaners?  They probably can't smell burning rubber and plastic - too busy with their cell phones.  Now I have three broken vacuums.  The Infinitely Health Services "home care professionals" don't have to worry about vacuuming anymore.  They'll find something else to break soon.

Not too long ago, a different Infinitely Health Services "home care professional" was assigned to me.  She worked at a different "home care" client before coming here, so when she arrived, she was tired.  She stretched out on my big chair and ottoman and talked on her cell phone for an hour, then slept for three hours.  Not bad!  You can be certain Infinitely Health Services collected from the cash pump, too.

I need a job like that.  Where do I sign up?  I'll just work from home!

Another one from Infinitely Health Services came here with her boyfriend.  She had no car, and he had no place in particular to go, so they spent four hours, drinking my sodas, and complaining about their crack dealer neighbor.  And would you believe this?  The crack dealer got them evicted from their apartment!  I'm sure Infinitely Health Services got paid for the 4 hours, though.

A different Infinitely Health Services "home care professional" had amazing hands and nails.  I honestly believe she must have spent $400 having her nails done.  No wonder she didn't want to touch or do anything.  She might damage her nails.  She had no problem using her cell phone though.

There are plenty more.  I'm lucky, because all that money I paid in taxes is helping me now.  There's only been about $800 in damages to my belongings so far, and nobody is responsible at Infinitely Health Services.  Just think of how much more stuff can be wrecked as times goes on.

Most of the women who are sent here by Infinitely Health Services are truly amazing.  Almost all of them have $15,000. worth of jewelry on their hands.  Is it any wonder that some of the coating has been literally scraped off my refrigerator door?  The refrigerator is about 2 years old - never a mark on it until Infinitely Health Services arrived.

If I dare to call the Infinitely Health Services owner, she sounds like she'd like to KILL me, right on the phone.  She doesn't want to hear about any problems - she just wants that cash pump to keep pumping.  THAT was perfectly clear to me.  That's how I learned not to complain.  As long as I'm nice and quiet, she can bill MEDICAID for the "services" her Infinitely Health Services "home care professionals" aren't providing. 

Did you know that a $9.99 drive thru car wash costs $100.00?  It's true!  I explained to another Infinitely Health Services "home care professional" exactly which car wash to bring my van to, exactly what to have done, exactly what it would cost, and gave her the only cash I had that day:  a $100 bill.  She had her cell phone and my phone number, so she certainly could have called me.  She came back 3.5 hours later with this:

ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS?  The van hadn't even been vacuumed. 

I never asked for "hand wash" or "detail".  I asked for a simple, drive thru $9.99 wash and vacuum. 

She put about 90 miles on the van, too. 

The car wash I specified is 5 miles from here - I've gone there for years. 

$9.99 - wash and vacuum.

The fun continues, and it's really my fault.  I just don't have the kind of personality to say, "Look, bitch - are you here to work, or talk on your damn cell phone and argue with your boyfriend?  If this is how you "work", get your fat, lazy ass out, and don't come back."  I can't seem to bring myself to confront someone in that way.  I guess it's easier to do it on a webpage than in person.  Well, I'm learning.  Maybe one day soon ....

I recently discovered I have a case worker.  After almost 4 years, I have someone to call with my dumb questions.  Before that, I thought I had a case worker, but when I called the number, the recording said it was no longer in service. 

Sometime around 5 months ago, while patiently waiting for those "better days", a very nice Infinitely Health Services "home care professional" was "permanently" assigned to me.  She was great.  Her name is Lynda.  Almost 21 years old, she's even crazier than me, and a magician with her cell phone.  She can send 16 text messages, and argue with 3 people on the cell phone, all at once, while she scrambles eggs, and cooks bacon!  I liked her, and she took her job seriously.  For months, she was working out just fine, so Infinitely Health Services assigned her someplace else.  Then she was supposed to be re-assigned to me, but that was another Infinitely Health Services fairy tale.  Lynda really is OK.  She doesn't bust up my belongings, and I can trust her with cash.  Once, she drove my van - I don't think she ever drove a van before.  It took her about 27 minutes to back out of the driveway - about 75 feet - and about 4 minutes to go to the store and return.  We sure laughed about that one.  Lynda was a very nice, decent person, and I'll truly miss her.  We always had a laugh about something or another.

I think the next Infinitely Health Services "home care professional" that came here stayed about 6.5 minutes.  She was terrified of all the knives and guns.  So she called and reported that fabricated story to her office.  (I heard all about it later.)  But there's a problem with her story:  there ARE no knives or guns visible around my house.  The few remaining weapons which I haven't sold are put away in secure places to prevent their disappearance by Infinitely Health Services "home care professionals" or others.  I had a .45 Colt stolen once, (that incident had nothing to do with Infinitely Health Services), and I've kept my weapons well out of sight ever since.  Besides, what kind of idiot leaves guns and knives laying around?  Not me.  I might be a little crazy, but an idiot I'm not.  

Today, some other Infinitely Health Services stranger showed up (naturally, no phone call).  I never know what the hell is happening from day to day, because nobody ever bothers to call and tell me.  It's too much of a problem to call and say, "Steve, Lynda is sick today.  We'll send someone else, unless you'd like to wait until Thursday?" 

But they have no problem billing the CASH PUMP!


2/19/2008:  Today, I finally built up enough courage to call my case worker.  I discovered I can change agencies!  Infinitely Health Services no longer has an affinity for me.  They have been officially disconnected from my cash pump. 

Isn't that amazing?  A new company is scheduled to start soon.  My personal experiences and opinion of Infinitely Health Services can be summed up in one word - traumatic.  (with the singular exception of Lynda) 

I'd strongly suggest that Infinitely Health Services never has anyone call ME for a recommendation. 

A very special THANK YOU to Stephanie and her staff of "professionals" from Infinitely Health Services.  You won't be forgotten.  I won't be sending a Christmas card, either.  Someday, I'll repair my vacuums and find my "misplaced" belongings.


9/2/2008:  It never ends.  Add two more "Home (we really don't) Care" companies to the list.  Unusual-Way and Loyal-Way.  And include countless lies, fraud, and forgery, too.  Did I just type "fraud" and "forgery"Yes, I did.  A home care worker turned in a time sheet for 8 hours, but she actually worked for 3 hours.  She also signed my name to the sheet, which I never saw at all.  What is the correct word when someone else signs your name?  I thought that's called "forgery".  Am I mistaken?  


6/5/2014:  It REALLY never ends.  Nobody would believe the horror stories, so I won't bother with them.  The current "home care" lady - whom I always call "Ma'am" or "Ms. (name deleted)" CANNOT go to the grocery store (1.5 miles away from my home - it's right around the corner) in LESS than 1 hour - but that's when I'm lucky.  She actually thinks that I don't know she's taking advantage of me - and here's an example: last week, she went to the store to buy about 5 items.  (About 1 hour.)  Then she returned here - AND I ACTUALLY TIMED HER FOR 15 MINUTES, sitting in her car, on my front lawn, talking to her kids on her cell phone.  THIS is what she calls "working".  THIS is what I call being ripped off by "home care".  Today, she spent OVER NINETY (90) MINUTES to go to the grocery and buy eggs, butter, and a steak - exactly THREE (3) ITEMS - and her "excuse" for today was "the store was crowded".  How Goddamn STUPID do I look?

Excuse me for a moment, and pay attention to this suggestion.  Whatever you do, do NOT get older, and do NOT become disabled in any way.  Do anything you have to - join a rock band, buy a jet, or have a sex change - whatever it takes.  Just do NOT reach the point in life where government agencies can begin to confuse you.  Once it starts, there's no end.  They have "programs" - which they don't even understand - and they admit it!  Their rules change every few days.  I'm convinced the entire purpose of these "programs" is to confuse you.  Once you're completely baffled and bamboozled, you don't even want any programs anymore, you just want to get off the phone, lay down, and read a book.  By then, you're sure it's going to take 3 days to recover, unless they call you back to confuse and bewilder you some more.

Every "program" has a name, but who knows the actual name or meaning?  They're all cryptically referred to like: "QHCB" or "GACC3W".  Anyone knows the "GACC3W" program is different than the "GAR3E" program, but what does it all mean?  It's so confusing, I can lose 5 pounds on the phone - within 12 words after "Hello?" 

They also send you official looking letters.  It's nice to get mail, if you can understand it.  These programs don't ever send letters you can understand.  That's the whole idea!  Instead, the letters look like top secret coding, 6 pages of paper, and you can comprehend possibly one sentence every so often to keep you interested.  They usually have a notice on them - "If you have any questions, call:" - of course, there's no number printed there. 

That's when you go back to the toll free number with 76 menu choices, pray you don't make a mistake, and hope you start at 5:00am, so you might speak to someone before 5:00pm.

A PROVEN SOLUTION

There is a sensible solution to this situation.  GET MARRIED.  Do NOT get married for love, lust, or any reason other than MONEY.  When I say "money" I do not mean a few hundred thousand, or a few million.  I'm referring to Bill Gates size money, or maybe the owner of Wal-Mart.  The choice is yours, but think it over.  Don't waste time fooling with little kiddy type money - go for the real cash. 

Ultimately, you'll thank me for this idea.  Nothing in the world compares to having enough cash to buy an entire city if you want to.  The concept of "home care" becomes absurd when you own a city, and everyone in it.  Why should you settle for 3 jets and 6 limousines when you could own both companies?  Why settle for anything?  With enough cash, just buy whoever you choose, and re-enact a modern form of high paying slavery.

If you're not laughing, just ask for a refund.  Maybe MEDICARE will pay for it! 

More coming - stay tuned!


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