The Latest from Lola's Diner

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Listen when your body tells you something...

I have been having a lot of tests since December. In fact I think my MRI punchcard should be full at the end of the month when I have MRI’s and arthrograms of both shoulders. And no, I haven’t Googled the procedure. My new orthopedic doctor was kind enough to email me a link to watch videos of the procedure! Ugh! No, I haven’t watched them yet, I figure I’ll wait until the day before so I don’t ruminate on it. I’m hoping they partially sedate me because the MRI machines make me claustrophobic, and I’m sure getting a shot of dye into the shoulder joints is not going to be a day at the beach.

My point of this post is listen to your body, if you’re having pain, go to the doctor and have it checked out. I have. If you’ve got a cough or laryngitis for more than 2 weeks, go to the doctor. I did, turns out a medication I had taken for 20 years was the cause of the cough and laryngitis, so he switched me to something different. It did take almost a month to get that medication out of my system. My cough is gone, and so is my Brenda Vacaro voice.

A friend of ours has been dealing with terrible pain from being mauled by a pit bull at a shelter. The dog tried to tear her arm off, the arm she recently had rotator cuff surgery on. So she’s in a hella lot of pain. Her husband had been having abdominal pain and kept stealing her Norco. He stole so much that she would run out halfway through the month. This has gone on at least 2 months that we know of. He went to the doctor this week. He has a large mass in his colon. They were told it would be a couple weeks for biopsy results. It could be cancerous. Had he listened to his body, not self medicated, and seen a doctor at the onset of the know.

I guess you can call this post this month’s PSA.

Update: The today the husband was doubled over in the fetal position. He is now in the hospital on morphine. 

           Lola’s Diner  cc 2008-2018

Sunday, May 20, 2018


I belong to a Facebook group called Old Milwaukee. I grew up in a suburb of Milwaukee so seeing posts and photos is a real trip down memory lane.

Quite a bit of the photo’s are early 60’s and prior. I enjoy the photos and stories nonetheless.

Quite a bit of the posts are of restaurants no longer in business. The names and buildings are familiar, but most I’d never been to. 

The places I did frequent hold fond memories, not just the food, but the friends and family. Burger Chef and Whaler sandwiches on some Fridays during Lent, Sandy’s Burgers with their burgers as big as a plate, Shamrock Inn for some Friday fish fries, Wanda’s Pizza from a bar called Wanda’s that my Dad frequented on Friday nights. These places I went with my family or my Dad brought food home. 

After I got my first job I went out more often, Ling’s Chinese, Shakey’s Pizza with their pizza and Mojo potatoes, Howard Johnson’s, George Webb’s for breakfast or late night burgers and chili, Leon’s Custard, KMart lunch counter, Arthur Treacher’s Fish & Chips for fish and hush puppies or buckets of peel and eat shrimp (small buckets), Jerry’s Subs, Rocky Rococo, Chi Chi’s, Ponderosa Steak House, Sizzler’s.

When I read the posts of other people close to my age, it makes me think, all these places they went out to eat, their shopping trips. I always thought of my family as middle class. My Dad worked at AC Sparkplug, Delco, AC Delco (same place, different names over the years). My Mom was a stay at home Mom. When I see these posts it strikes me, we weren’t middle class. We weren’t poor, we had a home that was built for us in 1962, a decent car, not new, but reliable. We got clothing at the start of the school year and Christmas, that was it. Shoes at the start of the school year. My Mom never bought herself clothing, maybe a dress or 2 that I recall. Remember the polyester stretch pants with the a seam down the middle of each leg?  And the dusters! My Dad had his work clothes and shoes that were replaced when needed, and a suit. I guess we were lower-middle class. I’m not upset about it. My Mom was a great cook and always found a way to put nutritious meals on the table. Not a lot of variety, but good Italian, Irish, and American dishes that I still make to this day.

My family, when my kids were small, went out to eat all the time. Lots of Family restaurants, Chinese, pizza joints. I worked like a dog earning for the family while my now exhb (from another life) stayed at home and trashed the house I was killing myself to pay for. Long hours, I’d come home and no dinner (there was food, he knew how to cook, but....grrrr). I couldn’t come home late, make dinner, spend time with the kids, then get up before the crack of dawn. 

Now my kids are grown. I’ve taught myself to make all the types of cuisine we used to get take out or eat out. Chinese, Thai, Japanese/Sushi, Indian, Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, Greek, Jewish, Italian, Irish. Not because I want to show off, out of necessity, out of the need for variety, and to not feel deprived/depressed that we can’t buy take-out or eat out. We’ve had some long periods of reduced income, several months no income. Name a cuisine, I’m sure I’ve made a dish. 

My daughter got me an Instant Pot for Christmas. Best thing since sliced bread! Throw frozen food, spices and liquid and you’ve got a meal in a little under or over an hour and it’s a dinner that you don’t have to stand over or constantly check. My kids help a lot too.

Lola's Diner ©2008-2018

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Some strangers are da bomb!

My daughter was diagnosed with asthma a little over a year ago. She has multiple inhalers that she uses and a nebulizer machine. She got a brand new one through her insurance. Tiny little thing, we bought a camera case to protect it. Too bad it didn’t save it from a nearly 7 foot fall. A housemate knocked it off the top of a tall free standing cabinet. I don’t need 2 guesses to know who did it. Anyway, regardless of how it happened they say my daughter has to replace it. At a cost of over a hundred dollars, we just don’t have it.

So, I posted on a local ‘Trash Nothing’ site (I guess it’s the new Freecycle.) asking if anyone had a unit in good working order that they no longer needed. It was more than a 2 week wait, but today we picked one up from a very nice older couple who lives not far from us. Nicest couple. Chatted with them for quite awhile. Such a blessing!

It goes to show, there are still nice people in this crazy world. Many thanks to that couple.

Friday, February 16, 2018

What is wrong with mental healthcare in the U.S.?

What is wrong?

It has become increasingly more difficult to get treatment for mental illness. 

Symptoms of mental illness: 

     Hallucinations of any kind. 


     Acute manic episode.


     Schizophrenia (out of touch with reality, delusional, paranoia, confused thoughts and speech).


     Suicidal thoughts.

     Homicidal thoughts.

     And more.

In the late 1990’s a person could sign themselves in to a hospital psychiatric ward. Not sure when the changes began, but it likely was around the time the parity law came to be. It gradually got more and more difficult to get a person admitted into a hospital for treatment of mental illness unless they are suicidal or homicidal.

How can we help people:

Improve access.  

The important thing that needs to change is that the gatekeepers to the behavioral health units (psychiatric wards, mental health wards) need to loosen the requirements for hospitalization. Those gatekeepers, usually social services, interview the person seeking help and the person who brought them. That person seeking help must be suicidal or homicidal in order to be admitted. 

There are many other symptoms that need care in a hospital setting in order to find the appropriate medication combination to manage symptoms. They need round the clock monitoring in a healthcare setting to watch for allergic reactions, adverse reactions, monitoring of vitals which can be affected by some medications, for safety reasons, and compliance monitoring.  

The other thing that needs to change is proximity to treatment. The odds of someone who needs treatment getting it decreases the farther they have to travel to get it. The hospitals my kids go to are 50+ miles from home. There are closer facilities, but they don’t accept their insurance.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Like Blue Apron for SNAP...Not likely

This article made me laugh out loud. Blue Apron boxes are meal kits of FRESH meats, vegetables, fruits (at least that’s what I see in their ads). #45’s so called USDA America’s Harvest Box is government surplus canned meat, canned fruit, canned vegetables, shelf stable milk (is this code for powdered milk?) 

Have you ever eaten canned government meat? I’ve had the chicken, it’s nasty. 🤢 Just thinking about it makes me nauseous. How many people on SNAP do you think will eat this swill? The canned vegetables and fruit are fine, but fresh is better. In some areas SNAP benefits can be used at farmers markets, I think expanding that to more areas would be healthier than the canned stuff in these “harvest boxes”. Harvest what? Canned food?

Has anyone considered the logistics? All those cans have weight, they cost money to ship from the canning plant to distribution centers. Those distribution centers need to be staffed. How do the people who cannot get to the distribution centers get their food? Delivery service? That costs money. Where is the savings? Where is the savings when no one will eat this stuff?

Crack down on abuse, keep SNAP, bring back government cheese! 


Now that was REAL CHEESE!

Lola's Diner ©2008-2018

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Bubba aka Lucy-My wife’s cat

I should have been more clear. Bubba is female. I don’t know how you get the Bubba nickname from Lucy, but then again I didn’t name her. She is Lucy after Xena. Her markings are unusual. To me she looks like the Phantom of the Opera mask. Lol!

Monday, February 5, 2018

PSA-Please take your blood pressure medication as prescribed

Many adults don’t see a doctor on a regular basis. Those who do, don’t necessarily follow doctor’s orders.

I’m referring in this post specifically to high blood pressure medication. It must be taken daily as prescribed.

Why am I writing about this? Today someone from my old neighborhood posted on Facebook asking for prayers for a co-worker. This person has bleeding on the brain. “Untreated high blood pressure is a major preventable cause of brain hemorrhages. Aneurysm.” (

“Up to half of all people with intracerebral hemorrhage die. Many of these deaths occur within the first two days. For those who survive a brain hemorrhage, recovery is slow. Only 12% of people are able to recover complete or near-complete functioning within 30 days of the stroke.” (

This is serious, scary stuff. I don’t know if the person requesting prayers knows the seriousness. But I do know I Google too much. To my family member who is very lackadaisical about taking high blood pressure medication as prescribed, I hope you will take this seriously.

I, myself, take any doctor prescribed medications as prescribed. For me it has become routine. If I haven’t taken it by the time I finish getting dressed, I stop and take it. If there is something I need to take later in the day, I set an alarm on my phone. 

Lola's Diner ©2008-2018
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