NO contact possible: mugged at gunpoint
Monday, December 30, 2013 45 Comments
If you’re just hearing why I’ve been tough to reach . . .
read from bottom to top to get the story in order.
Newest updates will be at the top — some are links you must click to read.
New comments after this post add context and additional information.
APRIL 3, Thursday afternoon
Sincere apologies to anyone who has attempted to reach me by PHONE, phone service STILL not working reliably — grrrr! — read all about it HERE .
March 15, Saturday night
For anyone interested, my most recent progress was left in my response to a comment under the post on PTSD, “When Fear Becomes Entrenched & Chronic — Chronic Anxiety & PTSD” (Part 2 of Understanding Fear & Anxiety)
(To jump straight to the comment following the article itself, click HERE.)
EARLY morning Thursday, 3/13/14 update immediately below:
Peggy Ramundo came to my door earlier “today” (Wednesday afternoon), saying that people “all over the world” were calling HER, worried that they could not contact me.
The battery life on my “burner” phone is lousy, so it wasn’t possible to make a call to check on me instead – and the phone was “hidden” in the pocket of a sweater with no way to locate it by calling the number once she had arrived here.
- She said her call went directly to voicemail, where a message told her that voicemail had not been set up.
- I have NO idea what that is about, since I was getting voicemail messages in January and February.
- I will have to handle this latest phone wrinkle whenever I awaken “tomorrow.” (Have I mentioned lately how much I truly dislike Cincinnati Bell?)
My apologies to all who were concerned by my lack of contact – said “burner” phone turned out to be Cincinnati area only, and I still have not been able to jump through all the hoops necessary to get my replacement iPhone up and running on my old number (service with Verizon – which I newly appreciate more than I can say!) – so it seems that neither number was working for most of the time I was away.
I am now back in Cincinnati, following a mad dash on Monday/Tuesday to catch an overnight bus back from Little Rock, when illness left my dear and wonderful hosts unable to manage the ten-hour car trip as planned (10 hours EACH way!).
- My appointment at the Hand Clinic mandated my own return and, checking out options, a l-o-n-g bus trip turned out to be the only way to get it done.
- Several delays en route left me hustling to make my doctor’s appointment – but I arrived at the hospital in the nick of time, since they were running a bit late themselves. Whew!
Once I made it back to my apartment and unpacked my luggage, I was bushed! Since Greyhound rousted us off the bus to stand in line to reboard at every pitsy stop, I was running on two hours of sleep since the night before the night before THAT. I crashed and burned – and finally awoke about an hour before Peggy arrived at my doorstep.
A trip down the street to pick up something to eat, then setting the computer back up and running to be able to get to ADDandSoMuchMore.com to approve and respond to comments left while I was away brings me to now. My recently located burner phone is charging as I type, and I’m off to BED as soon as I post this update, since it is well-past 4 AM already.
Good News about my Hand!
My latest X-Rays show that my bones are effectively healed, so I no longer have to wear even my most-recent “removable” cast (for bathing, etc) – nor must I continue to restrict the weight carried by my right hand to 3-5 pounds.
Although it will be a bit of time before my hand strength returns to anything near what it was in December and my two middle fingers don’t seem to want to respond to commands with much precision (and tingle as if they are “asleep”), I can finally see a glimmer of light at the end of what seemed like an eternal tunnel of darkness right up until my recent appointment.
I have finally been advised to “push through pain” to get the tendons etc. stretched and flexible and my muscles working in tandem again — and I can’t tell you what welcome news that is to me.
Until now, pain was supposed to be my signal to STOP, and you have no idea how I hated that particular advice. ONLY the threat of potential surgery following re-injury kept me “honest.”
Feeling physically fragile has been more of a problem than I realized. It made me feel ancient! It is SUCH a delight to be free to walk down the street without fear of falling (lest I do additional damage), and I am excited about my newly returned sense of autonomy.
I truly despise being helpless!
Even though I have discovered that I still have a hair-trigger startle response now that I am back to the PTSD triggers of Cincinnati, the pervasive fear of the past two months has softened enough that I am encouraged to believe I will be back to my former self once I am able to jump through all of the hoops necessary to replace everything stolen from me at gunpoint.
- That amounts to a daunting number of in order to-s that I’m sure will frustrate me to no end and will take more time than anyone will believe. I pray for patience! If you are of the praying persuasion, please add your voice to mine.
- I left a message for the hospital social worker that I am ready to explore some counseling options that I’m sure will speed my recovery as it helps me to deal with the frustrations I encounter as I am finally able to begin to put everything back in place.
My sincere thanks to all who have been praying and commenting during this time. Jeanie and Wayne have taken WONDERFUL care of me, and I am feeling much calmer and more resilient as a result of their kind attention – I am forever in their debt.
And NOW, to sleep! I’ll check back here (much) later today.
Saturday, 2/22/14 update immediately below:
Man plans; God laughs
The Wednesday 2/19/14 update still applies, BUT severe storm warnings on the route they needed to take prevented my dear friends from traveling as planned – so I’m still here and they just arrived LATE Friday night (2/21)
Part Two is set to auto-post while I am away (Monday at midnight), hoping that will give some of you enough time to read [the much shorter] Part One first — even though both stand on their own, they are more powerful in combination.
If you are struggling with ANY of the anxiety disorders – and especially if you struggle with TBI or PTSD, make sure you put reading these posts into your schedule. They will help explain a LOT.
In a HUGE leap of faith, I have woven many of the details [new in my experience of myself] of my own current struggles with extreme anxiety & free-floating FEAR post-mugging into an article that explains what’s going on in the brain, WHY what we are feeling defies logic at times, why it is so difficult to get beyond it, etc.
It is my hope that my disclosure might help you to treat yourselves kindly and with patience (and relate to anyone else struggling with anxiety disorders of any flavor with a bit more active compassion – including ME, currently).
It’s designed to make a BIG difference, and introduces a series of articles I plan to write about what I, personally, will be doing to heal.
New Day/New Plans
As soon as they awaken today (Saturday), my friends will be helping me run around town to pay bills, etc. so that nothing new falls apart while they are taking care of me at their abode. We plan to leave to begin the 10-hour trip back to their home early Sunday morning.
I am MUCH calmer and more focused since seeing them even for a few minutes early this morning (the coffee they took me to buy helped a bunch too – I’ve been out for a while & unable to get to a store).
I’m not sure when I will be returning (before my next appointment at the hand clinic in early March, in any case) — but, until I am back, I won’t be able to approve comments that will need it, or respond to comments posted by those who have commented on ADDandSoMuchMore.com in the past, (which “should” be auto-approved, if WordPress works as designed).
I won’t have administrative WordPress access while I am away – since the purpose of the trip is to focus on my own healing, I’m not planning to attempt to deal with the stress of figuring out new ways to do THERE what is already set up here.
If you’ve never commented before you won’t be able to see your comment until I get back home to approve it (sorry, blame the darned spammers!).
Comment ANYWAY – it will give me something to look forward to on my return, when I’ll approve and respond to all comments left for me while I was away — on ANY article.
Onward and upward!
Wednesday 2/19/14 update immediately below:
Calvary Arriving Tomorrow!!
I just heard from a DEAR friend several states away that she and her husband have rearranged their lives to be able to leave tomorrow for the 10-hour trip to “kidnap” me. She has been supporting me “long-distance” until now, and this idea was total surprise — a gift from God through her family.
After helping me pack a bag and set up bill paying structures to keep things in place here, they will be driving me back to their home where they are going to feed me and keep me company so that I can recenter enough to make a plan to be able to move forward. Thanks to all who have posted your support and love during this time.
I will probably NOT have ready access to internet or computer, but will get back in touch when I can next manage it — and will respond to any future comments left here on ADDandSoMuchMore.com at that time.
I DO hope that while I am away I will be able to have the assistance I require to find someone who can help me set up my replacement phone so that my “regular” number will again be available. My contacts all have to be replaced, so most of you who have that number will have to call ME (if we have not spoken on my temporary phone, I no longer have a way to contact YOU by phone).
ALL is a process of replacement at this point. Since my brain is flying at half-mast in a PTSD-like emotional reaction, it may take longer than any of us would like (or believe!). With some in-person time and attention I will NEVER be able to repay appropriately, I feel hopeful I will be able to fashion a way to recover and move forward.
- God protect those of you who are attempting to recover from traumas far greater than mine – and those who are walking through that process with you.
- I now understand your struggles in a whole new way.
- At this point, all I personally am able to offer in support are my prayers, but I hope to be able to do more in the future.
I must be back for my next appointment at the hand clinic in early March – at which point I will most likely be able to focus on putting my former life back in place. It will take the time it takes, but I will be in a better place emotionally to do what must be done: a LOT!
Loss of autonomy is a VERY scary thing, but isolation has been the worst amygdala activator EVER!! Everything seems to worsen in a vacuum. I have felt, at times, that I was losing my mind.
No wonder solitary confinement is used as an instrument of torture. Truly, it needs to be illegal – certainly in our prisons, which need total reform in any case. It is inhumane to warehouse human beings with no chance for rehabilitation. But then, America is an inhumane society with MANY things that those of us with hearts and souls need to speak out AGAINST to BE the change we want to see in the world.
I hope to eventually be in a place where I can, once again, work as an instrument for change. Right now I need to focus on my own healing.
Monday 2/17/14 UPDATE HERE
Thursday 1/30/14 UPDATE below:
Modern medicine is very different than the last time I had broken bones – in my right leg – but, unfortunately, bones don’t heal correspondingly rapidly.
I came home from my Jan. 28th appointment with Xrays that showed enough healing of the multiple spiral fractures I sustained during the robbery to move to the next step. I now have what is called a “removable cast” on my right arm. supporting further healing of my right hand.
The great news is that, after 31 very grungy and self-esteem decimating days, I could finally take a bath and wash my hair. Also that I can begin the process of training the fingers of my dominant hand to work in consort again.
Since tendon damage over the breaks has currently “crippled” my two middle fingers, I still cannot type very well (or rapidly), but I am now, finally, able to practice – and to use my trackball.
Please be consciously careful about how you communicate to me about this good news.
Everyone means well, I’m sure, but “cheer up” communications meant to be motivational land differently when so much still must be accomplished before I can say I have recovered – it will be good news when I have my life back again, and not until.
There is still MUCH to do to recover proof of my identity,pay all my current bills (now that I FINALLY have a debit card, despite the fact that the name on this new card is incorrect so it must be replace AGAIN), handle the problems of a stolen phone so that I can get my business on track to be able to pay my bills going forward – and to find ways to keep services on before tomorrow’s beginning of month domino problems add to my load.
I have not needed “an attitude adjustment” – I have needed empathy, attempts at understanding the implications of what I am dealing with, communication that did not require my ability to do what I cannot currently do, and practical help.
MANY thanks to those who have communicated to me from that paradigm.
Given all, my “attitude” is quite amazing, thank you – especially for someone who could do precious little but watch Hulu reruns, dining on peanut butter out of a jar and vegetables out of a can as I waited on “the kindness of strangers” for 33 solid days — each, understandably, VERY busy with their own lives.
It seems that we ALL need an “attitude adjustment.”
I am forever changed by what I observed during the last 33 days, and will be writing articles about my experience as time permits.
Our society is empathy-averse, and I plan to speak out about it in the next few months, as I put my own life back together — in support of those who are dealing with conditions that will not recover so “rapidly” – or may not recover at all.
Our society has become very self-focused and competitive in the 30 years since my last experience with broken bones. I may not be able to do much to change it, but I am driven to name it and to speak out against it. Perhaps THAT is the silver lining to this cloud.
“Tough” and “love” NEVER belong in the same sentence. They are very different things. Time creeps for those awaiting attention and help once autonomy has been stripped.
I am slowly preparing an article about this very thing – it is good exercise that will strengthen the muscles in my right fingers.
Meanwhile, pay some kind attention to those in YOUR lives who have been waiting for you to have time for them. Attempt to cheer them up without making them wrong for needing cheering — simply listening (without “up-languaging”) is a very kind thing to do, and easy to offer.
1/23/14 UPDAT E below:
bones knitting – swelling down so I can finally move right hand fingers – cast restricts usage so still stuck w/ non-dominant hand 1-finger typing & cross keyboard trackball — bummer!
Getting better at it but not enough to do much of anything that doesn’t take FOREVER!! So no blogging in Jan. 😦
Next Xray & cast removal or cast change is 28th — prayers appreciated.
SO sorry — unavailable for [inserted 1/9/13] AT LEAST a week MORE — probably longer.
MORE 1/9/13 UPDATE details HERE
well, THAT didn’t work see below:
u R all WONDERFUL!!
FINALLY got cast on yesterday – no ID proof & holiday closings made things slow & complex.
It will be a while B4 all back in place. I’m ok othrwise — if a bit jumpy! 🙂
Left hand learning oh-so-slowly slowly & no time to locate an asst yet (try logitech trackball mousing w/ non-dominant hand as you hunt & peck — long-time touch typists have NO idea where the keys are 😦
BRIGHT SIDE: Gotta’ be GREAT 4 neurogenisis, huh?
Details of original incident, written immediately following, below:
My houseguest Cindy & I were jumped by a band of thugs as we returned from dinner the night she arrived (Sat.). Thieves got phones, datebook (w/ backup contacts), meds, wallets w/ cards & cash, checkbook, keys to house & car, etc.
Police said we were 3rd victims in normally safe ‘nabe (same nite, same MO) . They pistol-whipped Cindy & broke my right hand; grateful nothing worse & that no guns fired — hanging in as well as possible, given all.
We are both scrambling to put basics back together — not really possible ’til banks & offices open again & new cards and ID’s arrive, which complicates all. But first we need sleep!
C. located affordable replacement phone in Kentucky (Craigslist), and we *just* returned with phone — almost midnight, she is off trying to activate. Took ALL day & into nite trying to handle sans phone, cash or credit.
I can’t type (dress, cook, or do anything much w/o use of VERY painful right hand) — EVERYTHING takes me forever sans help – so things will be slow-going for some time.
Things will improve a bit as soon as ONE of us has a phone we can use at will (and she is available to help ME until she can return to Knoxville), but I will have no time or bandwidth to return calls, etc. until we BOTH replace necessary items, deal with locksmiths, etc. — nor will I be able to approve comments or answer ANYONE on blog or email.
This will be my only contact for a while. We’re slammed.
So sorry – and apologize for this post — my only way to contact right now, and slow-going at that. Thanks for your understanding & patience at this time.
God bless, stay safe, keep your eyes open, and don’t carry more than you must (and can afford to lose).