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Bertha Venation

Profile Information

Gender: Female
Hometown: Huntington Beach, CA
Current location: Charles County, MD
Member since: Wed Oct 15, 2003, 08:30 PM
Number of posts: 21,467

Journal Archives

Gout in the knee.

Preliminary diagnosis today, waiting for labs to come back.

I've read about gout online, six or seven articles, textbook-type stuff. But I hope to hear from people who have/have had it. What was your treatment and how long did it take for the pain to subside? How can I keep it from coming back -- or can I?

Here's how I found out I have it. I'm not happy. I've had this pain for weeks.

I've been begging my orthopedic surgeon for six weeks to help me with my right knee. I have problems with both, and am scheduled for arthroscopic surgery on the left. But the right hurts more. A lot more. I can barely move it and it's very hard to walk. It's as big as a bowling ball. She kept saying we can't address the right knee until we fix the left.

I went in today for the last in a series of hyalgen shots in the right knee (for arthritis pain. It's not working yet). I tried to be more forceful, and pleaded with her to do something, give me stuff to do at home, anything to alleviate the pain. I even asked her for narcotics.

Damned if she didn't tell me to lay down so she could examine it -- jesus, finally! She barely touched it and I jerked and yelped. She touched it all over, and I jerked and gasped every time. She said, "I think you're gouty." She did horrible things to the knee with two big syringes and showed me the result. *shudder* She sent me for blood work and said to come back next week.

Like I said -- I'm not happy.
Posted by Bertha Venation | Wed Mar 18, 2015, 10:38 PM (17 replies)

I got ripped and I didn't deserve it. I got hurt bad.

I am so hurt, deeply hurt.

Mrs. Venation has a friend back home in east Tennessee, Doug. He is a professional musician and music teacher. He and Kathy were reunited on facebook after 40 years and became close. I met him at Christmas. We hit it off. We've traded messages and statuses on facebook and have had fun.

Yesterday I posted this photo for Mrs. V. "Far" translates to "fire." Her brother, Woody, as big a redneck* as ever there was, pronounced fire this way. It became a great joke in the family. I knew she'd laugh. (Here's the post on facebook. Hope the link works. http://tinyurl.com/pasvj6v)

Back to Doug. He posted off-topic to ask about my progress in re-learning to play the guitar. He had some suggestions. I replied, he replied, I replied, and then I went to bed. We discussed my progress, his suggestions that I learn blues scales patterns and that I build a repertoire of oldies and entertain folks at nursing homes (he does this at his mom's home and loves it, loves what it does for the folks). He further said among other things that if I'm paying more than $30/hour for lessons he's going to kick my ass. I begged him not to, said my teacher was very good, mentioned that he had brought his Les Paul to a lesson and played it for me, etc. (In the recent past I have waxed rhapsodic about my new Martin.)

I ended my last reply with, "I think I could give them (folks at nursing homes) a good time. I just have to pick the songs and practice. Thank you, sweetie. I am open to any advice, ideas, or suggestions!" Then I went to bed.

This morning I got this:

Doug: You seem to be really caught up in the brands of the instruments and that is important if you are going to play professionally. Les Paul is a wonderful instrument and the Martin Company makes outstanding instruments as well. Very nice, expensive guitars. All that is great and good and wonderful but look at what Willie Nelson does with that beat up, banged up old guitar he plays. The name brand of your axe really isn't important. It's what the person behind it is doing with it. I can't remember the name of the first guitar I owned. There was a lot of distance between the strings and the fret board. I was going thru my first divorce and wanted a guitar to learn to play. Going to lose my blues in this new instrument. I mentioned it was hard to play and this longtime guitar player, now deceased, told me, "boy, if you can learn to play this guitar, you can pick-up and play any guitar." He was right. Every guitar after that instrument has been easy to play after learning on one that made you work to get the notes or chords to speak.

Be careful hanging around these choir people. I know from experience that many involved in city choir and orchestra members have a very pretentious air about them regardless if they can back it up or not. Don't let that "Bertha Better n Yew" attitude rub off on you. It can easily happen when one is around these type personalities. I've seen it happen with lesser symphonies such as Knoxville and Chattanooga. If they are THAT good then why aren't they with Chicago, Philly, or London? Don't let that person become you. They are ugly and the type of person people avoid. Stay humble.

If there is a question of your health or a performance with a choir, your health comes first. There will be many more performances. I makes no sense to suffer physically for a choral performance. Take care of yourself first.

Next, have you noticed how Kathy hasn't responded to this post? Have you noticed how some of your friends have responded to this post? Hair.... har. Are you superior to your mate? Do you not see how offensive that is to people of the South? Would you post something this offensive toward a gay person or a kitten or a person of another race or a whale? The "Firewood Nuts" post of the picture you made here in Clinton Tennessee was funny. It was Christmas. The establishment obviously had firewood and selling chestnuts for the holiday. This post has only one intent. That is to make yourself and some of your friends (har) feel superior.

This is not the person I met at Christmas. We obviously don't know each other at all. While I am not going to unfriend you, I am going to unfollow you for a couple of months. What I am seeing is a person that is no better than someone who makes a racial slur or a derogatory comment against lesbian marriage! I've only noticed this behavior since you started with this choir. You're just another person attempting to learn to play an instrument and just another voice in a choir. SNAP! Next. Easily replaced. Please reconsider your attitude. If this is the type of person music is turning you into, perhaps music isn't for you. Y'all come back now, ya hear?

I don't remember the last time I've been so hurt.

About the choir: I've sung all my life, and in January joined the Maryland Choral Society, the best group I've ever been with, with the best director I've ever had. I have posted a lot about it on facebook because I'm thrilled. But I do not have a single god damned pretentious bone in my body.

About his being insulted by the photo, my god, he couldn't be more wrong. Mrs. V. replied to his rant and gave him the context, but he dismissed her:

Doug: Sorry. I'm fixin' ta get a har cut and git ma teeth fixed. There ya go. Knock yourselves out.

That he wouldn't listen hurt even more. I can't believe that someone in this world thinks I'm racist, thinks I'm classist. I know him well enough to know that he had a moment of being kind; that's why he didn't simply post that he thinks I'm a stuck-up bitch.

I posted this just now:

Bertha: Doug, if you're out there at all, please read this. I have absolutely no idea whatsoever how you got the ideas you have about me. None whatsoever. This is not criticism but a fact: you could not be more wrong about me. I look forward to hearing from you when we can talk about this. We need to talk. I want very much to remain friends.

God, I hurt so badly. I can't believe this. Time will heal the hurt. Whether Doug and I can remain friends -- and I mean friends IRL, not just facebook -- remains to be seen.

* As LGBTQ came to own "queer," thus removing the power of the slur, Mrs. V. proudly owns the term "redneck." She is fond of saying, "I come from a long and distinguished line of rednecks!" She sometimes substitutes "white trash" (I come from white trash, too, so we don't have a mixed marriage ).
Posted by Bertha Venation | Tue Mar 17, 2015, 11:15 AM (39 replies)

INTERVIEW TODAY - can you help with an answer?

I've never known how to answer the question "what is your greatest weakness?"

I've always had an answer but they've always seemed lame. "Too organized" (not possible), "patient to a fault" (not possible), etc.

I don't wish for you to answer the question for me as you don't know me, but any advice you can offer to direct me would be welcome.

Thanks so much.

Posted by Bertha Venation | Thu Mar 12, 2015, 06:39 AM (21 replies)

Your Nominee for Today's Worst Sentence?

Think of the articles you've read today and, if you can get back to the article, c&p your nominee here.

Here's mine:

It was reported by different sources that one person was having breathing problem that lived at the home and CPR was being given.


Posted by Bertha Venation | Mon Mar 9, 2015, 01:40 PM (2 replies)

Do you know anything about this sweetener?

I started using it because of what I've read about Splenda. But now I'm thinking I should ditch it.

The nutritional info:

Serving size: 1/2 tsp
Calories: 5
Carbs: 2
Sugars: 2

I'm new to all of this, so whatever advice you can offer or thoughts you can share would be welcome. Thanks.

(I have type II.)

Posted by Bertha Venation | Sun Mar 1, 2015, 06:12 PM (4 replies)

I'm going home!

I'm going home to Huntington Beach for a week in April. Can't wait!

I miss my sisters so badly. It's a deep, indescribable heartache that never goes away.

But I'll see them in two months!

Posted by Bertha Venation | Tue Feb 10, 2015, 06:35 PM (25 replies)

Quick! What is the best site for booking flights?

Should I use Expedia? Kayak? Go directly to a carrier's site?

Inquiring minds want to know!
Posted by Bertha Venation | Tue Feb 10, 2015, 05:39 PM (10 replies)

Mrs. Venation's mom passed away yesterday.

Alice had been ill, so fragile, for a few years. Kathy's dad died in July, and mom declined dramatically since then.

We were on our way from Maryland to Kathy's home of east Tennessee when Alice took a drastic downward turn. We got to the hospital just a couple of hours before mom died. She waited for Kathy.

Mom went peacefully. Kathy was holding her hand when she died. She was unconscious, but when Kathy talked to her, mom squeezed her hand.

Alice's mom died on Christmas day when Alice was five. Strange how a coincidence like this can be so significant, but of course it is.

Please keep Kathy in your thoughts. Thank you.

Godspeed, Alice. You were one of a kind, and one of the kindest women in the history of mankind.
Posted by Bertha Venation | Fri Dec 26, 2014, 09:49 AM (27 replies)

Help! Need assistance in shopping for a six-year-old girl.

She wants "stylish-looking grown-up clothes." And dress boots. I have no idea where to begin.

Can anyone point me to some sites where I can get such clothes? Help!

Mrs. V's grand niece is six, with flaxen hair and blue eyes. She lives in eastern Tennessee, is already a cheerleader, and is already a diva. She's a delight.
Posted by Bertha Venation | Sat Dec 13, 2014, 04:34 PM (7 replies)

resume advice


For the last 13 years, I worked as a legal secretary. In July I left my job. After caring for my wife post-back surgery, I began looking for a job near home.

I've applied for over 40 jobs since then, admin, clerical, and secretarial jobs, jobs I know I would kill, I mean I would just knock it out of the park.

I haven't had one single bite. Not a reply email, not a phone call, and in all but four cases, not even a "thanks but no thanks."

I am imagining that employers see 13 years in legal and don't look any further. This is very frustrating because I have the skills and experience all of these employers require! And I'm drawing on 20 years' admin and 15 before that in jobs so varied that it's nearly impossible to quantify their value to what I have to offer.

My resume is pretty standard: employers/experience first, then skills. I am wondering if I could make my resume unconventional, put a summary of experience and skills first, then just a list of employers and dates. Or something like that. What do you think?

Any advice for me other than re: resume?

Is there a relevant forum I can cross-post this to?

Edit: I am not looking for work as a legal secretary.
Posted by Bertha Venation | Thu Dec 4, 2014, 10:20 AM (13 replies)
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