Sunday, September 30, 2012

Dear Donna, Patty, Marge, Mary, Lisa and Regina,



                                                              Thank you so much for the laughs, tears, food, drink and your love and support. Old friends are the best friends. I have known you since we were teenagers. Many of us went our own separate ways throughout the years to become educated, work, get married and raise families. Thankfully, we reunited and even though many years have gone by, it seems like we just picked up where we left off. Yes. Some of us stayed in contact with this one and that one, but now we are all back together, "Our Posse".

We had great fun over the summer. We had great fun yesterday, and we will have great fun at Regina's October 27th. I find it totally amazing that when I needed you guys, you dropped everything and came yesterday with a week's notice. It is either Donna's organizational skills, or her threats (insert smile) that got you here. I wanted to talk about all the things that occurred over the last 20 months. I spoke about my fears, my losses, my need for support. You guys listened, preached and had me in laughter. I know you guys love and care about me unconditionally, and I know that I am really blessed to have friends who are there no matter what.

You guys had been patient. You guys waited until I was ready to talk, though you knew what was going on. You guys recognized my sadness, but never pointed it out. You remained silent until I was ready. I know now that I was never judged for my mothering skills, or my ability to be a good grandmother. I think I recall one of you saying, "I am gonna punch you in the head". LOL

Honest, straight forward, right from the hip with no holding back. I love it! At one point, I believe all of you were talking at once, while one of you (Patty the Lawyer), was taking written notes. That in of itself was funny as well. The one thing I noticed in that room yesterday over our wine and goodies was that we all became successful. We are all smart independent women. We are all mothers. Most of us are grandmothers. We are the therapist, nurse, lawyer, financial wizards, nurturers, caretakers. We are strong. We certainly are authentic. Glad there are others louder than me. (insert laugh)

I am glad the balcony was large enough to hold the cigarette smokers, and the dead/dying tree made a good ash tray. Still trying to understand, Lisa's need to spit over the balcony. I seriously believe she wanted to see how it would land on the ground below. By the way, I have so much food. What am I going to do with it? Not to mention, three cakes. Regina, your apple cake was breakfast this morning. Lisa, you should have taken a mason jar home for your hurricane. Marge, we will hold you down and dye your hair. Mary, I did not get evicted. I must say, you can use the "f" word with more fashion than I ever heard. Donna, it was funny watching you organize the girls, and the hoagies were just find even though one of your patients had the nerve to die when you wanted to cook. Thanks for taking that damn turkey off my hands, and I wonder if Bill will notice you drank his Captain Morgan. Patty, you are brilliant, and you really shoot straight from the hip and I am glad you could see the Center City Tower, you work in from my balcony. You came all the way from Jersey. I am grateful.

It is the morning after, so my writing may not be as elegant or my grammar (Donna) perfect. However, Donna did say I write more openly than I speak, so here it is. I love you all. Let me say that again. I love you all. I am really lucky to have friends like you.

                                                                                               Pat

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Girls Girls Girls Want to Have Fun and We Sure Did.





Beautiful Full Moon
Mums are starting to bloom on the balcony. The girls loved the balcony.

All Good

Good Morning Saturday, I slept about five hours last night and that is a record breaker for me this week. I feel good. I had a fun time chatting with my friends, Mom, sister and brother (Knoxville) on FB last night. We really laughed. Before it was all said and done there were 114 posts under the picture of Sons of Anarchy, which began the conversation.

The rare blood disorder my Uncle Jack is struggling with and my family members have died from in the past is what Robin Roberts from Good Morning America is struggling with that required her to receive a recent bone marrow transplant. The disorder which is so common in my family history is so rare only about 12,000 people get it. Myelodysplastic Syndrome is a failure of the bone marrow. First it produces tons of immature cells and is considered a blood cancer. My uncle Jack had a platelet count of 900,000 but was bleeding out from internal organs. Normal Platelet counts are between 250,000 to 400,000. In my uncle's case, all these immature platelets were clogging main arteries forcing the blood to back up and bleed out through the capillaries. We need platelets in order for us to stop bleeding. They are small fragments of a cell produced for clotting.

This afternoon, my girlfriends are coming over. I purchased some wine, fresh flowers for the table, veggie and fruit platters and goodies. The girls are bringing food also. They know how much I cook. NOT! That if they wish to eat, they bring food. KIDDING! We always bring food/drink to whoever's house we go to. We did this at Donna's shore house and on Oct 27th, we will do it for Reggie's house in Royersford who is married to the cop who use to chase us off the corner when we were teenagers so it is funny that he is part of the crowd now. Of course, he is retired from the Philly Police Force.

Those who went down for Irish Weekend (not me) said, it was funny having a beer with him. We all grew or I should say most of us.

Anyway, this is the picture that led to 114 posts.
  Jax is mine. LOL

Friday, September 28, 2012

YAWN

Good Afternoon, Friday! Maybe, one night I will actually sleep. Insomnia kicks ass. I feel good with the exception of "lack of sleep". I am debating whether or not, I will stop at the courthouse in Norristown to check requirements about starting a business here in the Montco county. I already have been to the Media courthouse and Bill inquired in Philly. I want to start a part time private practice while working fulltime during the day. I figure if I got five patients to start, it would be manageable. I already have the space and liability insurance in place and one other therapist interested. Montco is probably where I will practice. I am not taking insurance so it will be a cash based practice. I deal with insurance companies now who dictate treatment so I am staying away from them. I will charge less as a result. I also want to focus on mental health and not drug and alcohol. Thank God, I had the foresight in school to keep my major half and half or else I would be stuck practicing one or the other. I could do both. I do it now. I rather deal with less drama and D&A has alot of drama attached.

The other thing I want to focus on is speaking engagements in schools taking a holistic approach. I truly believe in the holistic approach. What you eat has a direct impact on how you feel emotionally. I already teach holistic approach where I work and people in treatment love it. It is also important to teach people it is ok to talk about how they feel. Too many kids grow up in families where it is not ok to talk about how they feel. They end up becoming adults who shut down emotionally and become rigid.

Anyway, this is my post for the day, I know, "boring".


Thursday, September 27, 2012

And So

Here I am on a Thursday night wanting to write but coming up with writer's block? Perhaps? Great Therapy Session today. I now can consider myself the little girl lost within. Seriously, I cannot believe people actually pay to see people like me whom I am now paying someone like me to tell me things. I am probably a lost little girl inside. It is so damn complicated, it would take a year to figure it out let alone describe it. I feel like shit. End of story. Fix me.

Yes. Yes. Yes. I know change can only occur within the person. No one can fix anyone.

God, have I mentioned the amount of paperwork to take a FLM?

Or the amount of paperwork to get the short term disability, I have paid into my entire life? I purchased short and long term disability so I get paid when I am off.

That I cannot return to fulltime employment until the 22nd of October because I need to rest? I am already bored. I have asked for assignments to do at home. Nope! Cannot have any. Teaching? Nope!

Therapist will not slow down so they pulled out the big guns and said, "Rest". You can rejoin the insanity high pressured long hours on the 22nd. Ummm. It went something like this. "You pushed yourself for 20 months. It is time to slow down, regroup, address your attachment and loss issues".

Three against one. I lost. Sort of. A previous patient's parent had been trying to get ahold of me and my supervisor asked me if I could call him. Yes! Yes! Yes! Something productive to do.

Insert one hour and 15 minute break

As I was writing this my sister called me, so I placed this post on hold and chatted over a hour with her. It is great to have a sister. Yeah, I love my brothers, but a sister is different and we have much in common, though she out numbers me in grandchildren. She has three grandsons and a granddaughter. I have two grandsons and a granddaughter. Marianne told me she had been bringing little Sophia to work because her school is closed for holidays. Marianne was to take Joseph and Collin camping this weekend, but the trip was called off due to rain. I am sure they will end up at her shore house this weekend.

My posse support is arriving Saturday afternoon. I told them I needed them and here they shall be. They are even bringing the food and drink. Love those girls! I expect them around 2 or 3. We call ourselves "the posse" because we are a force united. How many friends does one have that actually plan to take their own personal vacation time to sit with one in a court room just for support. I am blessed. We had alot of fun at Donna's shore house this summer.


 Sometimes you just have to wonder why your best friend who you have known since age 14yrs old and was maid of honor in your first wedding at age 20yrs old is kissing a fake parrot.
I see tongue.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Uncle Jack

He has been transferred to Capistrano Beach Care Center and began palliative care. His disease is very rare in the general population, but not rare in my family history. I want to see him. I want to say, "Goodbye". I want to give his family a copy of the article I wrote years ago that was published. It was an interview with him, about his growing up years, his neighborhood, his friends, his connection to Laurel Hill. I gave him a published copy years ago. I am not sure whether or not he still has it. I want to give him another copy and one to his family. I know now, he told me things, he never shared with them. I want to share them. Not once did I ever speak to my uncle where he did not tell me, "I love You". He has been through hell. He lost his leg. He had surgery to stop bleeding in his stomach, liver, esophagus. Before, they took his leg, they tried to save it by cutting it open from hip to toe. All this over a rare blood disorder, a blood cancer out of control.

Palliative care is a step up from hospice. There is really no difference. I cannot imagine what he is thinking. He was so strong, which is why he has survived all these bleed-outs and surgeries. He ate healthy, walked miles everyday, enjoyed his life, laughed, loved, did not drink or smoke, took vitamins, washed his hands to avoid viruses. He was so much like my grandpop. He even resembled him. Out of three sons, Uncle Jack looked like my grandfather. Today, I hold him close to my heart and hope I am on a plane to Southern California in the near future.
  Uncle Jack with my cousin John and his son, Finn. We are a tall family and Uncle Jack reminded me of my grandfather who when he walked into a room, you felt his presence.
Grandpop holding my son, Shaun in 1978. I adored this man.
Uncle Jack and Aunt Polly's children and grandchildren. They had five boys before they had a girl. From left to right, Matt, Kathleen, John, Paul, Brian, Eric, Aunt Polly and Uncle Jack. My cousin Kathleen is 6 feet tall. She is the tallest female granddaughter/cousin among the females in our family. I am the shortest at 5"7". Birth order of my California born cousins are; Eric, John, Brian, Matthew, Paul and Kathleen. Uncle Jack is the second oldest of five children born to William and Anna McCaffrey Gallagher.

My grandparents named all their children after a family member; William Joseph (after his Dad), John Patrick (after my grandmom's Dad), Collum Eugene (after my grandmom's cousin and the priest(Father Eugene) who was godfather to my great grandmother Mary Keller Gallagher), Mary Louise (after my great grandmother and the Blessed Virgin) and Ann Marie (after her Mom).

Soccer Days

I am in the second row, second from the left. I was 17yrs old. Lansing Soccer Team in 1977. Many of these girls on this team are still my friends today and will be over on Saturday.

Bill's Work

This is a series of pictures Bill put together from New Orleans. These pictures really give one a real taste of what New Orleans is really like.
Click on for a better view.

Friday, September 21, 2012

PTSD

How is PTSD treated?

The main treatments for people with PTSD are psychotherapy (“talk” therapy), medications, or both. Everyone is different, so a treatment that works for one person may not work for another. It is important for anyone with PTSD to be treated by a mental health care provider who is experienced with PTSD. Some people with PTSD need to try different treatments to find what works for their symptoms.
If someone with PTSD is going through an ongoing trauma, such as being in an abusive relationship, both of the problems need to be treated. Other ongoing problems can include panic disorder, depression, substance abuse, and feeling suicidal.

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy is “talk” therapy. It involves talking with a mental health professional to treat a mental illness. Psychotherapy can occur one-on-one or in a group. Talk therapy treatment for PTSD usually lasts 6 to 12 weeks, but can take more time. Research shows that support from family and friends can be an important part of therapy.
Many types of psychotherapy can help people with PTSD. Some types target the symptoms of PTSD directly. Other therapies focus on social, family, or job-related problems. The doctor or therapist may combine different therapies depending on each person’s needs.
One helpful therapy is called cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT. There are several parts to CBT, including:
  • Exposure therapy. This therapy helps people face and control their fear. It exposes them to the trauma they experienced in a safe way. It uses mental imagery, writing, or visits to the place where the event happened. The therapist uses these tools to help people with PTSD cope with their feelings.
  • Cognitive restructuring. This therapy helps people make sense of the bad memories. Sometimes people remember the event differently than how it happened. They may feel guilt or shame about what is not their fault. The therapist helps people with PTSD look at what happened in a realistic way.
  • Stress inoculation training. This therapy tries to reduce PTSD symptoms by teaching a person how to reduce anxiety. Like cognitive restructuring, this treatment helps people look at their memories in a healthy way.

How can I help a friend or relative who has PTSD?

If you know someone who has PTSD, it affects you too. The first and most important thing you can do to help a friend or relative is to help him or her get the right diagnosis and treatment. You may need to make an appointment for your friend or relative and go with him or her to see the doctor. Encourage him or her to stay in treatment, or to seek different treatment if his or her symptoms don’t get better after 6 to 8 weeks.
To help a friend or relative, you can:
  • Offer emotional support, understanding, patience, and encouragement.
  • Learn about PTSD so you can understand what your friend or relative is experiencing.
  • Talk to your friend or relative, and listen carefully.
  • Listen to feelings your friend or relative expresses and be understanding of situations that may trigger PTSD symptoms.
  • Invite your friend or relative out for positive distractions such as walks, outings, and other activities.
  • Remind your friend or relative that, with time and treatment, he or she can get better.
Never ignore comments about your friend or relative harming him or herself, and report such comments to your friend’s or relative’s therapist or doctor.

How can I help myself?

It may be very hard to take that first step to help yourself. It is important to realize that although it may take some time, with treatment, you can get better.
To help yourself:
  • Talk to your doctor about treatment options.
  • Engage in mild activity or exercise to help reduce stress.
  • Set realistic goals for yourself.
  • Break up large tasks into small ones, set some priorities, and do what you can as you can.
  • Try to spend time with other people and confide in a trusted friend or relative. Tell others about things that may trigger symptoms.
  • Expect your symptoms to improve gradually, not immediately.
  • Identify and seek out comforting situations, places, and people.
NIMH

Thursday, September 20, 2012

PTSD

Why do some people get PTSD and other people do not?

It is important to remember that not everyone who lives through a dangerous event gets PTSD. In fact, most will not get the disorder.
Many factors play a part in whether a person will get PTSD. Some of these are risk factors that make a person more likely to get PTSD. Other factors, called resilience factors, can help reduce the risk of the disorder. Some of these risk and resilience factors are present before the trauma and others become important during and after a traumatic event.
Risk factors for PTSD include:
  • Living through dangerous events and traumas
  • Having a history of mental illness
  • Getting hurt
  • Seeing people hurt or killed
  • Feeling horror, helplessness, or extreme fear
  • Having little or no social support after the event
  • Dealing with extra stress after the event, such as loss of a loved one, pain and injury, or loss of a job or home.
Resilience factors that may reduce the risk of PTSD include:
  • Seeking out support from other people, such as friends and family
  • Finding a support group after a traumatic event
  • Feeling good about one’s own actions in the face of danger
  • Having a coping strategy, or a way of getting through the bad event and learning from it
  • Being able to act and respond effectively despite feeling fear.
Researchers are studying the importance of various risk and resilience factors. With more study, it may be possible someday to predict who is likely to get PTSD and prevent it.

NIMH

My own comments in regards to PTSD as it has come to light as a result of the military men returning from war. When we think of PTSD, we think of war. However, most people who develop PTSD have never been to war, but have experienced a trauma in their everyday life.

When a trauma occurs, the first reaction is known as ASD (Acute Stress Disorder) and this is the time, one should seek help because ASD can lead to PTSD. Though, it should be known that everyone with ASD does not develop PTSD. There are several factors such as how long the trauma is prolonged, resilience factors and potential fall out from the trauma, especially if one loses the support of people or a loved one.

Despite my best efforts of avoiding PTSD, I have it. After 20 months of pushing ahead through ASD, throwing myself into work and school, taking over responsibilities of others, I found myself in the mist of all the symptoms associated with PTSD. I recognized them and tried to work through them until I was unable to do so on my own. I am not ashamed to admit the therapist has a therapist and for me talk therapy is best. Zoloft was replaced with Cymbalta. I will not take any other drug whether used on or off label. Since I worked with patients, I took a few weeks off to do some self care. The would haves, should haves, could haves will not change the course of my future or get back what I have lost. I know this now. All the responsibility I felt was not my responsibility at all. I learned this. There are emotional boundaries I need to set, but it will come with baby steps. I am now aware. One of my strengths is research and writing and this is the reason why my focus is on PTSD. It shows its ugly face through depression, angry, nightmares, feelings of self-doubt and extreme periods of anxiety. I am more fortunate than others as I have a very strong support system. I also know that I am not alone.  

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

!940 Record of Frank C and Mary A Maier


PTSD

What are the symptoms of PTSD?


PTSD can cause many symptoms. These symptoms can be grouped into three categories:
1. Re-experiencing symptoms:
  • Flashbacks—reliving the trauma over and over, including physical symptoms like a racing heart or sweating
  • Bad dreams
  • Frightening thoughts.
Re-experiencing symptoms may cause problems in a person’s everyday routine. They can start from the person’s own thoughts and feelings. Words, objects, or situations that are reminders of the event can also trigger re-experiencing.
2. Avoidance symptoms:
  • Staying away from places, events, or objects that are reminders of the experience
  • Feeling emotionally numb
  • Feeling strong guilt, depression, or worry
  • Losing interest in activities that were enjoyable in the past
  • Having trouble remembering the dangerous event.
Things that remind a person of the traumatic event can trigger avoidance symptoms. These symptoms may cause a person to change his or her personal routine. For example, after a bad car accident, a person who usually drives may avoid driving or riding in a car.
3. Hyperarousal symptoms:
  • Being easily startled
  • Feeling tense or “on edge”
  • Having difficulty sleeping, and/or having angry outbursts.
Hyperarousal symptoms are usually constant, instead of being triggered by things that remind one of the traumatic event. They can make the person feel stressed and angry. These symptoms may make it hard to do daily tasks, such as sleeping, eating, or concentrating.
It’s natural to have some of these symptoms after a dangerous event. Sometimes people have very serious symptoms that go away after a few weeks. This is called acute stress disorder, or ASD. When the symptoms last more than a few weeks and become an ongoing problem, they might be PTSD. Some people with PTSD don’t show any symptoms for weeks or months.

NIMH

Sunday, September 16, 2012

NIDA


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Process with Progress

Has been started as of today. I made some important decisions and followed it up with action. It is just the beginning, but at least it is a beginning.

On another note, I am not feeling well. My blood pressure is up again. I have been worried about my uncle Jack who resides in California and have kept in touch with my cousin. I am worried about my uncle Gene who resides in New Jersey. Both uncles are in the hospital. My mom has been by their bed sides and when she left the one in California to be with the one in New Jersey, she was filled with guilt and worry. Both my sister and I are worried about our mother who is doing the caretaking and now struggling with all the anxiety, fear, exhaustion on her own. I spent some late nights talking with her, my sister and cousin. I am so glad "superwoman" actually agreed to have someone help her. My Dad went down today.

Seems to be a trait within my family. Women trying to to help everyone else without asking for help themselves. No wonder, we crash and burn at times. But we always get up and move forward. I told my sister if our mother did not slow down, I was going to kidnap her to an undisclosed location without cell phones or computers. Thank God, I have a sister.

I feel the days ahead will be tough.

My husband has been great.

I think I am more focused today and less scattered than yesterday. I have taken advantage of my intern whom I trained in June and will be with us for a year. He has been an amazing help with my patient caseload this week.

I set some new boundaries last night.

God granted me intelligence. I have used it. I intend to really use it.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Do No Harm

It has been pounded in my brain every single blessed day in college. I wish some would adhere to the statement as it is our job to meet people where they are at, to provide a service that leads to healthier choices in life, while guiding and advocating for those who do not have a voice.

God Damn, maybe some others should take this into account, before making decisions without having the knowledge. I speak in riddles sometimes. I have some choices of my own to make that will result in the best interest of what I believe. I refuse to give away my integrity and/or principles based on a bottom line decision. Lately, I have been struggling with issues in both my personal and professional life that have managed to do one thing, doubt myself.

I am not going to bend on any issue, I feel is a just cause. I know what it feels like to be humble. I have experienced humility. Time to move on. I will not compromise my integrity and become a pathetic human being for anything or anyone. That being said, I was applauded at the condition of my office after the painters were in there. First of all, I was given a total of five minutes to get out of my office. A counselor without an office is a book without a shelf. Who cares that I had 12 patients coming in for a group. I left. I did not say a word. I did my group in another area. This was Monday.

Tuesday morning I arrive to work and climb the steps to my third floor office. I open the door and stop dead in my tracks. I turned around and walked out.


This is my desk as a result of painters. This file cabinet does not even belong here. Papers everywhere. Assignments I give to patients everywhere. Books on my desk covered in all kinds of shit. My phone knocked off the hook. But the worse part is my lamp broken and left sitting on my desk. I touched nothing. I photographed with my Iphone, closed the door and made my way down those three flights of steps and directly into the Director's office at 7:30am. The only words that came out of my mouth are as followed;
  • Horrified
  • I want to know the company name of the painters so I never hire them for my house.
  • I will not return to that office until it is back in order.
  • I am not housekeeping.
  • They broke my lamp.
This afternoon, the boss of the painting company sought me out and apologized. Then, I came back into the office and saw this.
A new lamp and an Orchid. Finally, someone heard this voice. It was pissed. Sometimes, a voice is actually heard. I discovered this twice in one day.

We had a wonderful time in New Orleans. We stayed at the lovely Royal Sonesta. They made the mistake of asking for a survey of our stay at their hotel. I answered truthfully. The hotel was beautiful. The bath products top of the line. The room well kept. The front desk rude. Construction five rooms down started at 6am. Ear plugs provided. No new room assignment offered away from construction. The consignere was beyond rude. One day later, I get an email asking for a good time to call me at home to discuss my survey.

The Struggle

I am unable to sleep. There are so many emotions and thoughts swimming around inside me, I cannot lay any of them to rest. I have learned over the last two years to learn how to laugh at myself and with others. I believe that has been a major factor in holding on to any sanity, I may have left. Some days are harder than others. Tonight is one of the harder ones. Fresh back from vacation, re-energized for work, increase changes at work and to be frank, I do not think I can carry on anymore changes. Not here. Not now. I watched as an entire life changed over a matter of months and with that change has come incredible unbearable hurt and loss.

There is not a soul alive who can comprehend what I struggle with on a daily basis. There is not one soul alive, I can talk to without the guilt. I have never been one to express my inner most thoughts or feelings and right now, under these conditions, I feel completely shut down and with that very much alone.

There have been three major changes at work in the last two years. Three different Directors of this program and now again the new Director wants to make another potential difficult change that will impact all that I have worked so hard to achieve. Yes. I have my job. No. I do not expect to lose it. My work is well respected. Others look to me for guidance. That being said, I would rather be laid off, then to do what they are proposing, as I see a future full of frustration and stress at a time, I cannot endure anymore stressors.

Work has been my escape from all the wrongs in my life. If I do not have my work, I will be left with nothing. I already lost my way of life, my home, my loved ones. How can I bear another loss or change? I can't. I won't.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Final Photos of New Orleans Vacation

Playing around


Day Five

Breakfast via room service for me this morning. Bill went out early this morning to take pictures and find the authentic Louisiana Hot Sauce. There are many places selling hot sauce but I want to bring home the original. I also will be bringing home their beans and rice with creole seasoning, Leah's pralines in all flavors and whatever else I can fit on the plane.

Today, I seemed to have lost the inspiration to write. I have not slept much on this vacation and I am glad I gave myself an extra day before returning to work. This was not a beach vacation. We did a lot of walking. We were up late and up early. We did see everything on our agenda. We have a flight to return home tonight. Hopefully, it will not be delayed and/or have mechanical problems. I do not think my sister needs another half dozen calls from the airline as she is down as my emergency contact. Our plane on the way down here had problems. I watched as the staff on board taught two little girls how to get out of their seat belts quick and had them practice several times while she timed them. I have flown alot and never witnessed this. The captain really did not need to tell us there were mechanical problems with the computer. HELLO! The computer on the plane is our radar among other things. Then, there was that statement about Wind Shear. Where were we to go? We were stuck on the plane in seat belts. Some information, I really did not need to hear.

Let me go enjoy my breakfast.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Day Four

I saw some of the damage done by Issac today. Though, the Garden District did not flood, it sustained wind damage. We saw plantation style homes with their windows still boarded up, trees and wires down, construction crews and the National Guard all over town. When we got off the trolley, we had to step over a wire that still hung. We stopped at a place called O'Henry's and sat on the upstairs balcony and ate Bourbon style chicken and Death by Bananas dessert. Believe it or not, it was the first dessert I actually ordered since our arrival here.
This place is known for eating peanuts and tossing them on the floor.
This was a beer on someone else's table.
A glass of wine here cost 4 dollars as oppose to the 10 dollars in or near the French Quarter. What is cheap on Bourbon Street is cheap brand beer. French Quarter is expensive to eat so if you come down here walk down some of the little side streets where you will find delicious Cajun food at a better price.
The only way to travel to the Garden District. By the way, I wonder if the trolley driver will one day see this blog post and say, I never gave her permission to photograph my back.
Death by bananas. Does not seem so scary to me.
Other sights.
Back to the hotel, we came across these young folks.
It seems like everyone is doing some sort of hustling down here. I will tell you about the conversation I overheard on the bus trip back that soooo reminded me of work. It took everything in my power not to say, you guys need help.
But then, I remembered I was not at work but on vacation. Though I was taken back when I went into a local CVS to buy a bottle of water and came across wine, beer and every kind of liquor.
Down here you can buy alcohol anywhere and drink it while walking down the street.
If you tried doing this where we live, you would be arrested for public drunkenness, unlawful beverage that is open. Down here it is the way of life. I am going to have to research the statistics for chemical abuse in New Orleans vs. chemical abuse in Philadelphia and see what the % for addiction is between the two cities.