Tag Archives: geek squad

Convicted Caper

Multiple sclerosis goes on the run

ID-100290358

As soon as I typed the above subtitle I started to laugh.  There are people living with MS who run, run well actually.  And often, they run races, half marathons and even full marathons, sometimes to raise money for MS research funding and awareness.

I’m not one of them.

I can’t remember the last time I ran.  That could be because it was a traumatic experience that I blocked or because MS has messed up my brain.  Anyway, if you’re a fellow MS’er who runs you have my support.

And my awe.

And my sympathy.

No, this blog is about a different type of running.

As in “on the lam.”

As in, away from the law.ID-100180737

Several months ago I wrote a blog (Lawbreaker) about how MS turned me into a criminal.  I thought that would be the end of the story.  I had repented of the unlawful sins I committed in that post and was now back to my law abiding, innocent self.  But apparently crime wasn’t done with me.

It started with my printer.

Yes, my printer.  I went to print something one day and my printer made this hideous, indefinable noise.  It sounded like- well, I can’t tell you because at the time it was indefinable.  But it was loud and scary and not very healthy sounding.

I took it to the computer store and the geek there-no I’m not being mean, I was at Geek Squad-defined the noise for me.

“It sounds like machine gun fire.”ID-100150936

And he was right. Me, who knows nothing about guns, had a printer that was set in the middle of a mob movie.

What was even more concerning about this was that it coincided with a car problem I was having.

I had to give up Gina Blue-my little blue Corolla.  She and her super leaky, unfixable roof were beyond due to go to that blessed parking lot in the sky.  I hope she is happy and at peace there.  I still miss her every day.

ID-10040236

Anyway, my mom came to my rescue and obtained a car for me to drive.

For this, I am especially grateful.  It is a very pleasant and efficient 2008 Toyota Camry, with one quirk however.  Every time I turn on the air vents, whether for heat or a/c this mysterious white powder comes flying out of the vents.

I kid you not; you can’t make this stuff up.

I have no idea what the powder is.

People tell me I should get it tested.  I have no idea where to do that.

Yes, I’ve had the filters replaced-twice- and had the car inspected several times.  No one can figure it out.  Yet, nine months after I started driving it, my car is still filled with this mystery.

The only thing I could come up with was that the prior owners must have been drug runners and there is a big kilo of something expensive hidden in my car somewhere.  Combine that with my printer’s constant gun shots, it’s hard to know what’s what.  I feel like I’m this close to having Joe Pesci and Robert De Niro show up at my door, demanding the goods.ID-100266028

Of course, these crimes were the fault of my new car and of my old printer.  But since they are in my possession I’m probably good for some kind of accessory responsibility.  The theft charges were totally due to multiple sclerosis however.

When I started my MS blog I had an awesome web guru that set it up for me and taught me how to use it.  He told me it was important to include images in my blog (they better attract readers) and showed me where to find free images.  I started blogging.

Then I started exploring.

And talking.

And questioning.

I met many bloggers who told me they get their images from the internet, all the time. If I were to broaden my scope I could come up with super funny images that would really make my readers crack up.

Yes, my web guru said this was dangerous.  But, I figured, he wasn’t a blogger and I had a bazillion bloggers telling me this was ok, especially if I wasn’t using the images to sell anything.

(Well maybe not a bazillion but close to it.)ID-10010474

And so I started scanning the worldwide web for free images.  And then I promptly got accused of stealing an artist’s conceptual property and copywright infringement and licensing violations and all kinds of scary other things.  Two different companies wanted me to cough up the bucks to make it up to them for the two images I used without permission, ie, stole.

I pleaded ignorance.

No dice.

I pleaded “other people are doing it too.”

As you can imagine, that didn’t jive.  They came back with “if everyone you know was robbing a bank would it be ok for you to rob one too?”

The irony of that is I need to rob a bank in order to pay these folks.ID-100317005

So my defense is simple poverty which is no defense at all.  Now I’m just hiding in hopes they get sick of looking for me.  Maybe if they truly come for me and expect me to cough up money I don’t have they might just settle for my car?

If they pull it apart they might find interesting property hidden inside worth way more than unlawful use of two internet pictures.

For the record, I no longer own the printer.  I had that destroyed.  The drug running car is still in my possession however and it is still covered in an unknown, possibly illegal substance.

I’d offer to pass it along to someone but I may need it in exchange for bail money….ID-100265697

FYI- When I started this blog a wise friend told me that eventually, MS was going to run out of topics to offer up.  Well, 150 blog posts later, it finally has.  Yes, it’s true-this particular post numbers 150!

I would like to say MS is done with all the weirdness that I can exploit in my blogs but I highly doubt that.

Here’s the thing- this hot summer I have sweated, bled, cried, slept, tried to balance, laughed, griped, whined and wrote.  After doing all of this I have come to the unfortunate realization that I need to step back from blogging weekly and focus on taking better care of myself.

(Learning to run would be a good start, never know when the law will come a’ calling.)ID-100153663

I will still blog as I believe it helps me to process all of the crazy. But I won’t be on a blog schedule.  This means that a new post will be posted the next time MS does something super crazy, or I get so frustrated with MS that I have to beat something and a blog makes me feel like it’s MS I’m beating.

I hope you will still choose to follow my random posts.  The best way to do that would be to either sign up for my Feedblitz Subscriber Service or by following my Twitter account @yvonnedesousa or by following my website Facebook page, Yvonne deSousa.com

I will miss your awesome comments and your weekly stats.  But I hope we will still be in touch regularly.

In the meantime, please keep smiling my friends…ID-100286821 (1)

 

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Mister GC at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of anankkml at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of think4photop at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of jesadaphorn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Idea go at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of saphatthachat at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of iosphere at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Sicha Pongjivanich at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

The MS Money Suck

Multiple Sclerosis gets spending

ID-100315347

Everyone knows that MS sucks.  You don’t need a degree to be able to figure that one out.  But, if you’re one of those science type people who need an official hypotheses I can back up this statement.

Hypothesis-MS sucks

Examination-MS patients complaining about sucky MS symptoms

Research-observation of MS patients dealing with sucky MS symptoms

Proof-MS sucks

Still not convinced?

Then there’s this; immediately after my MS diagnosis my then neurologist told me that, MS sucks. She had all kinds of fancy titles, degrees and med school debt to back her up.ID-100249751

And we don’t have to be an Ivy League grad to realize that living with MS is expensive.

Hell, living with any type of chronic illness is expensive.  Just thinking about words like insurance, pharmaceuticals, medical tests, therapy, copays, and sick time and even the cognitively slowest person (ie, dumb) starts to appreciate how costly it can all be.

Therefore we all know that MS and money clash in the poorest of poor ways.

I expected this upon my diagnosis and tried to start preparing and saving.  What did me in were the ways in which MS would leave me financially strapped that I couldn’t even anticipate.

For example, due to multiple sclerosis I am extremely temperature sensitive.  Extreme cold can be painful and extreme heat can make it hard for me to breathe.

If given a choice I prefer the extreme cold as rumor has it that breathing is pretty important.

My ideal living and sleeping temperature is 73 degrees.  And lucky for me, I live in New England and so there are several days in the year when my environment naturally drifts to 73 degrees.

Five of them, to be exact.

Yes, for 5 days a year I don’t have to worry about air conditioning or heat.

ID-100335503

Every other day I’m using some nasty utility company to heat things up or cool things down and as such, I’m watching good green cash blow out the a/c filled window or burn up in the fiery furnace.  Actually, to make the money suck even worse, I don’t have a furnace.  My heat is electric.  And yes, the electric company loves me, the stingy money grabbers.

Here are some other unexpected ways that multiple sclerosis is super expensive.

I have the most basic of basic cell phones- an actual flip phone.  Yes, they really do exist even if they are impossible to find.  They are officially the dinosaurs of technology and I have long been convinced that they are called flip phones because people like me are constantly flipping them somewhere.

I have accidentally flipped my phone across the room several times.

And dropped it on the ground.

And banged it against a wall, car or furniture.

One would think that replacing a boring, basic phone would be cheaper than replacing a fancy/schmancy updated one.

One would be wrong.

Very, very wrong..ID-10034354

Moving on-cognitive difficulties are also super expensive.

Here are two pricey examples.

Because I’m constantly flipping my flip phone I worry about replacing other pricey electronics as well. It’s not unlikely that I will drop my laptop and so I always get the insurance protection on it.

This past January I called my geeky friends at Geek Squad and wrote down all they told me about renewing this policy.  The first thing I had to do was respond to an email they would send me on a particular day.

On that day I received the email and looked at my notes to see what I needed to do at that point.  What I needed to do was renew the policy as my notes clearly stated.  What I did was delete the email, thinking it wasn’t important.  Later I realized that the policy was canceled and now my little old computer, also ancient at 6 years old, is alone in the world with no protection and clumsy me acting all dangerous around it. ID-10075806

We are just one unexpected trip away from complete financial, technical destruction.

While trying to build up a writing career I applied for a grant that would help me out financially while I wrote the next great American novel masterpiece, you know, like 50 Shades of Grey.  I read the rules for applying for the grant several times.  Then I read them several times again.  I updated my grant submission and just before hitting send, I checked the rules yet again.

And several days later I realized I had messed the whole thing up and my submission would likely not count as I hadn’t followed the rules.  And the deadline had passed.  That little bit of cognitive difficulty cost me $5000.

(Well, $5000 assuming I would have been awarded the grant as opposed to other ambitious writers but I choose to assume I would have won if not for that damn costly MS!)

Many people with MS also live with another serious illness.  Mine is germ-a-phobia.  Yet, MS makes me constantly exhausted so I need a lot of help with cleaning. Most of this help comes in the form of disinfecting wipes.  And these wipes don’t come cheap.

Luckily I can sometimes find coupons to use for purchasing these amazing energy saving, germ killing power house cloths.  And the coupons do help, if I remember to use them.  Which, of course, I never, ever do.

While talking about shopping let’s take our meager pennies to the grocery store, shall we? ID-10043818

I try and try to be a saver and the grocery store is no exception.  But disinfecting wipe coupons are not the only coupons I forget.  I forget all the coupons.  I could deal with that, really, how much do coupons really save?

The problem is that I have picked up this bad habit of buying the wrong thing.

Even as I’m looking at an item and putting it in my cart.

Even as I bring it home and put it away.

I will still see the item I needed.

Then I open said item only to discover that it is the wrong thing and thus, unusable. I would return it for the right thing but the product is now opened and the receipt was trashed a long, long time ago.

It’s enough to make a person crazy.ID-100178602

Or, it would be if we MS’ers didn’t already feel crazy.

Thankfully, there is a remedy.

It’s called wine.

I try to save there too.

I bought a bottle recently and saw a promotion where if I save my receipts and bought more bottles I could get a rebate- $3 off two bottles, $6 off four etc.

I was so pleased by this that the next time I was at the liquor store I bought that specific bottle.  I can fight the MS money suck after all.  Wine is crucial and why not get some money back when I drink it?

I was so pleased with myself and my savings effort that I was home and had the bottle open before I realized that I had forgotten the damn receipt!

Good thing the rebate called for big bottles of wine.  I’m going to need them……ID-10012629

Hi friends,

                I would love to hear of some of the unusual ways MS is robbing your piggy bank.  Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

                Also, my friends over at the Accelerated Cure Project asked me to remind my readers of the fabulous research they are doing with the I Conquer MS project.

                iConquerms.org is a patient centered, patient powered research initiative that needs the help of all of you!  And unlike most things MS related, it won’t cost you a penny!

Please check them out  iconquerms.org

Image courtesy of saphatthachat at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Photo kanok at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of kittijaroon at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of renjith krishnana at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of watcharakun at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Mister GC at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Simon Howden at FreeDigitalPhotos.net