Sydney & Denny

Sydney & Denny
September at the Park

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


I've went on and on here in my blog about my lack of professional success in life, and it's a "woe is me" type of thing. Well, that is not the tone of this post at all. Lately, I've gotten very introspective about my life and what I've actually accomplished(or have not accomplished that is.) I'm really trying to figure out why it is that I've fallen short of my goals in life. And, the thing is, I see this as a teaching opportunity. If I can figure all of this out, make a change in my life, it will show my kids that if you decide to put your mind to something, you can accomplish it. I feel like I have no legs to stand on when I tell them that now, and that if I don't figure this out, I won't have any legs to stand on when I tell them that in the future as they get older.
So many times in my life I've had the opportunity to do what I've always dreamed of doing. As far back as junior high, I've known that I want to teach and coach. I feel in my very soul that I'm meant to do those things. I've been in and out of college in the twenty years since graduating high school, and let every single opportunity go by the wayside. WHY??? That's the question I keep asking myself, and I have no answer for. I've always been told that I'm a very intelligent person, I even tested at genius level once on an IQ test. So, it seems like I'm more than smart enough to finish a Bachelor's Degree. So, there must be something else. I can sit here and make all sorts of excuses for myself such as getting sick during my first semester of college as an 18 year old, continuing to be in poor health as a young adult, and now being sick with my current ailments. BUT, they are all just excuses. So many people in the world have overcome WAY more than what I've had to deal with. So, there must be something else! What I keep asking myself now is, what is it that makes one person able to put everything else aside and accomplish their goals in life, while I sit here wishing I had? Why is that my buddy is living the exact life I have always dreamed of living? He is a football and baseball coach at a good high school, he has a beautiful family, a nice house and car. He is happy. Why was he able to do all that, and I haven't been able to? Now, that's not to say that I'm not happy, because I definitely am, but I want so much more. The fact is, I am going to be without an income in the next couple of months, and I'm not in a position to just go out and get a job that pays any kind of decent wage. For a person without a college degree right now about the only jobs out there are what I left 14 months ago. Stocking shelves, heavy physical labor. Well, as I've told all of you MANY times over, I'm unable to do that anymore. The job(career) I want requires a college education, and I don't have one.

So here I sit trying to figure this all out. I messed up and let the college loans I took out years ago slip into default status. Well, I can't afford to just pay for the classes I need to finish my degree out of my pocket. I also am unable to receive any financial aid to attend college due to my defaulted student loans. On top of that, I am unable to afford to make the nine monthly payments that I need to make in order to get those loans out of default. So what do I do? I really don't even know, and that's the problem. What did I miss in life that made me the person who makes excuses rather than getting things done? Is is something in my DNA, or something NOT in my DNA? Why didn't I realize a long time ago that I NEEDED to get that degree? Why is it that so many other people realize what they need to do in order to reach their goal, do those things, and accomplish what they wanted, yet I don't?

So, I've always heard that the first step to fixing a problem is admitting you have the problem. Well, I know I have this problem, and now I am asking you for help. How do I fix this situation before it gets worse, and more importantly, before my kids slip into the same pattern??? I want my kids to see that if you pull yourself up, you can make it all the way back. I just don't know how to do that. Any thoughts? Please!      

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Well, I think it's fair to say that at some point, all of our lives have gone a different direction than we had planned. I'm no different than anyone else in that regard. When I was a young man, let's say high school age, I had my whole life planned out. I had become somewhat realistic and accepted the fact that I wasn't going to a huge college to play any sports. Bummer, but at least I knew it wasn't the case. So, I decided that I wanted to go to college somewhere near home, get my teaching degree, find a job teaching high school and coaching one of my favorite sports. I'd meet some beautiful girl who would fall head-over-heels in love with me, we would have a family and live the old cliche' happily ever after.
Well, let's just say, that didn't happen! I won't go into great detail over where and how things veered off course in my plan(I've done that way too many times as it is.) I do want to tell you of some sort of "condition" I think I may have. I say "condition" because I don't know if it's something that other people may experience, or if I'm just the freak that I've always suspected myself of being!

I've always had this feeling in the back of my mind, or my soul, or my heart, or somewhere I'm not aware of, that even though I've made mistakes in life(and I mean A LOT of mistakes) I'll get it right the next time I go through life. I know: unhealthy!
Now I don't know if anyone else does this, of if they do, there is a name for it, but I think I've let it hold myself back in life. I haven't accomplished nearly anything in life that I have always wanted to, and I think this "condition" is the reason why! Okay, I'm tired of calling this a "condition", so I'm going to give it a name. How about something like "lazyafraidofsuccessprocrastinatingdufussness?" Okay, that's probably too long so maybe something like "lupus." No, that's taken. Maybe, "DennisSyndrome" I LIKE THAT!!! I'll name this, we will call it a phenomenon, "DennisSyndrome!" 

So, does anyone else in the world feel as though when they get a second chance, a reset button maybe, that they will get it all right? I can't be the only one who stands in the shower thinking about all the times I've screwed up in life and that I'll do it all right the next time right? Somebody else out there has to have let themselves down and justify it to themselves that they won't do it again when they go through life the next time right? I'm not alone in my ability to fool myself right?

Something just occurred to me. I HAVE accomplished something in life besides having the most beautiful wife and kids imaginable! I have an entire phenomenon named after me!!! That's right "DennisSyndrome" is a real thing, and it afflicts millions of people around the world who don't "seize the day." On top of that, I have a cure for this phenomenon! It's called "Getoffyourassanddostuff." It's in large quantity in all of us, we just have to find a way to release it. I think I'll start a public service announcement!  

Monday, October 17, 2011


So, I have this problem, and I've told you all about it many times. My health sucks, and in case you haven't read my accounts of it, here you go. On top of the RA, and the Fibromyalgia, I now have some sort of issue causing me esophageal issues that I have to take yet another pill for. And, on top of that, I'm undergoing tests to determine if I'm diabetic! So yeah, I have health issues to deal with. But, that's not the point of this blog post/rant. What I really want to talk about is my health insurance!

Every two weeks my wife receives a paycheck from her employer, and every two weeks they take out health insurance premiums. I'm not going to go into specifics of what we pay, but it's not terribly cheap, and it's not outrageously expensive either. But, she does pay it, and in return shouldn't we expect to receive health care coverage? Yeah, that's not too much to expect is it? Well, that's not what I am receiving at this point. And, I'm sure if you went around this great nation of ours, mine would not be the only case like this. 
How am I not receiving health insurance benefits you might ask? Well, let me tell you about one instance in particular. Bear with me, this might take a couple paragraphs. About a month ago, my wife had the day off, I think it was a Tuesday. I woke up in my typical amount of pain, stiffness and fatigue. It's a regular thing for me anymore, and I'm starting to get used to it. However, as the morning progressed, I started to feel a pain in my abdomen that is not my "usual" pain. I can only describe it as feeling as though a ninja had taken his sword and attempted to cut me in half at my belly button! Yeah, it hurt like that. I laid on the couch writhing in pain, knowing that I have had instances of this a handful of times in the last couple of years. What usually happens is I show up at the ER, they get my vitals, set me up in a room, give me pain meds(usually pretty powerful stuff like dilaudid,) make me drink some contrast so I can have a CT scan of my abdomen, get the results and tell me everything looks clear, and are unsure what is causing me so much pain. So, basically nothing gets done other than I get pain medication. Well, this last time was a little different, a doctor actually took the time to listen to what was bothering me and was able to hopefully solve the problem. She figured out from listening to me that it isn't in my bowels(from which I had my entire large intestine removed due to Ulcerative Colitis.) It is more of an esophageal issue and she prescribed me Prilosec. At last, a solution!
Of course, here is where my current rant comes from. Last week we received in the mail the typical explanation of benefits from our insurance company, BC/BS, telling me that none of my ER stay was covered by them due to "Diagnosis is Pre-Esisting." Let's just say WHAT THE HELL???
This explanation of "benefits" by BC/BS is just the last straw for me. I am unable to work at this point due to my health, and I'm lucky enough to still be drawing unemployment for a couple of more weeks, and believe me I'm totally grateful for that, but it's not enough for our family to get by. My wife works and earns what would today be called a decent wage, but again it's not enough. We never have enough money to pay all of our bills on time, but we manage our finances so that nothing is too late. Where the problem arises is my medical bill. I see a family doctor, a rheumatologist, and of course my ER visits. On top of that, they all want blood work done, so I have to go to a lab. Well, all of those doctors and labs charge money every time I go there, and they bill my insurance. My insurance doesn't cover all of any of those visits, leaving me with an unpaid balance to all of those parties. Well, I make payments to all of them, as little as $10 per month, but it's gotten to be too much. I had to change family doctors because the one I was seeing said my balance was too high and my payments too low, and they refused to see me. Now with the insurance company refusing to pay for a NEEDED ER visit, which was only $6,549.25! I have no way of paying that, so what am I going to do? No, I'm really asking you, what am I going to do??? It's getting to a point where no one is going to see me because I can't pay for my medical bills, yet I can't get a good paying job to take care of the medical bills due to a serious medical situation! So, this is exactly what "a rock and a hard place" feels like!!! What's the point of my wife having insurance premiums taken from her check if that insurance company isn't going to pay any of my medical bills??? It just seems really unfair that this insurance company is looking for a reason to not pay out on something like this. So, from now on when I have intense pain that makes it feel as though my insides are going to burst out of my body, I'll just stay home and suffer. I guess that's where we are headed in this country. The phrase "I can't afford to be sick"
Does anybody out there in the blog world have any ideas on how to fix this predicament? If so, I'd love to hear them please!!!

What is it about bacon that after you make it on a Sunday morning, you can still smell nothing but bacon in your house on Monday afternoon??? Don't get me wrong, I LOVE bacon, but at this point, the smell is starting to make me a little sick to my stomach!