Dogs are fascinating how they sense pain

My joints hurt from time to time (sometimes more than others, it’s been this way entire life. When I was living in Virginia and Canada they would really hurt a lot when it rained. It’s probably lupus or some auto immune related).

It’s one of the medical problems I don’t talk about much, because I have so many more serious problems. Joint pain I’ve learned to live with, it may be inconvenient but it won’t kill me and when it’s super bad an Advil takes care of it.

My joint pain has always gotten worse when it rains, so lately it’s been a doosy, and Cookie must be sensing it because she won’t stop licking my knee that hurts lol.

Maybe she smells the inflammation?

I quickly looked at my knee to make sure I didn’t have a cut on the skin lol…dog licking skin can lead to worse problems than a sore knee, that’s for sure ❤️👍.

She’s just trying to help in her own way 😍.

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Cookie ❤️

When I was done writing my previous post I went back to bawling again of course. Cookie wants to lick my tears away. I’m not even supposed to have any pets let alone let them lick me.

Geezus I’m scared.

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Scared isn’t even the word for whatever I’m experiencing right now

Scared is the word you use watching a horror movie. Or the emotion you feel right before you realize it’s all a prank.

I’ve lived most of my life in isolation. Having a serious immune deficiency, it doesn’t take a rock scientist to put together people = germs therefore the fewer people in your life the fewer germs, making isolation a higher chance of survival.

I was doing okay for awhile…I’ve been literally preparing for this moment my entire life. Once upon a time ago I was even making a movie about the 1918 flu virus for fuck’s sake.

I got this, I’m ready.

When people were rushing to the stores to ’stock up’, I’m already there. Having lived in the ‘gotta be ready for the apocalypse at all times’ for the majority of my adult life, I’ve always had 3+ months supply of medications and food and whatever on hand — including an industrial sized extra freezer — in my apartment!

I’ve been so prepared for this, I’ve even had a few weeks of extra dog food the moment I got a puppy. She got automatically godfathered into the apocalyptic preparations entrenched into ‘Tara’s World’.

So I was doing okay…”I got this, I always knew this could happen, I’m ready—“

Then Kenny Rogers died.

Kenny Rogers. The Gambler. One of my father’s heros. Same father who passed on to me whatever to be named in one future century immune deficiency that we have.

And I started bawling. And bawling. And I didn’t even know why I was bawling so much. So many people have helped me stay alive — so many, impossible to name them all — some of these people have had staring roles in the life of Tara, and others have made cameo appearances but without their brief appearance into the life of Tara, the life of Tara would have ended without their contribution.

And now I have a sore throat.

A really bad sore throat.

So now I’m scared, ‘am I going to die from this?’

Then I was bawling because I thought I could really die for this, then I started bawling because I’m so fucking grateful to be alive right now to die from this. If hadn’t been for so many people who helped me, I never would have made it this far.

So I put on the Gambler. Burning a few hearing cells in my ears along the way.

And boom!

Noah opened the door to the living room,

“MOM!! What are you mumbling about??”


I spun around, scissors in hand from cleaning up boxes.

“Mom, what language were you speaking?”

Half in a daze, I looked at Noah, “you could hear me? I didn’t even know I was talking aloud. I was listening to this song the Gambler and cutting up these boxes and—“

“Why are you cutting boxes at 1 in the morning?”

Noah was now starting to wake up completely.

“I’m sorry I woke you. I’m just scared Noah. I’m grateful and I’m scared. And you need to hear this song, Grandpa Bill loved this song, here, listen to it.”

And I started playing it on speaker.

Unimpressed, Noah shook his head,

“Mom, what is going on.”

So I told Noah about my sore throat…and how scared I was…and how I remembered I had been prescribed the malaria drug from a rheumatologist once a few years ago but didn’t take it, and now I’m upset I can’t find the prescription.

And like a good doctor, Noah says calmly,

“You need to focus on what you can do right now that’s constructive and can help you and not worry about ‘what if’ this and ‘what if’ that. Drink some hot tea with honey and lemon, and if you’re really convinced this medication may help you, call one of your doctors in the morning. You’re not going to call them now at 1 in the morning, so worrying about it now won’t help you so drink the tea.”

I stood there for a moment, staring at how absolutely brilliant and kind son I have, wishing to hug him but knowing I needed to keep a safe distance.

“And please put the scissors down and stop cutting up boxes. The boxes can wait. Especially if you think you’re getting sick, lay down and drink some tea.”

I mumbled something about ’what if I died and left you a big mess’,

“Mom, if you’re doing to die I can think of a lot more important things to do than to cut up boxes.”

Damn it he’s right.

“Drink the tea.”

So I went into the kitchen, made myself some tea while Noah waited in the distance. Once the tea was finished and he saw I was actually drinking it, then he turned around and went to bed.

My throat hurts really bad.

I can’t even remember the name of the rheum doctor who ordered the malaria drug. I remember he was a young doctor who seemed genuinely interested in my case, I just wasn’t interested in taking a malaria drug with potentially bad side effects so I never went back to see him again.

Now I want to take it.


I’ve seen so many doctors you’d think I would have developed some kind of organizational system to keep track. Maybe there’s been too many to keep track.

Damn it.

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Overview: What to expect with Coronavirus

Did you see the news reports of all of those idiots hanging out on beaches in Florida? A lot of ‘bored’ college students who’ve decided they’re now on an ‘extended vacation’ 😡.

I feel like we’re sitting on the Titanic, and we see the iceberg, and some of us are doing everything we can to turn the boat,

but it’s just too late…

We’re about to hit the iceberg.

On Mar 16, 2020, at 5:43 PM, DrSavaard wrote:

Coronavirus: Why You Must Act Now – Tomas Pueyo – Medium

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Latest viral updates

This is a really good article about the CoronaVirus…one of the best ones I’ve read. It’s a wake up call.

A few hours ago, Noah and I decided to take Cookie out for a walk, and we went to Starbucks in Beverly—closed. Reduced hours. No seats anywhere in the store. When Starbucks is open, now it’s a ‘grab and go’ place.

Noah and I just stood there for a moment in a daze. It was only 7pm on a Sunday, much too early for Starbucks to be closed. But of course if it had been any normal Sunday evening, Noah and I wouldn’t be at Starbucks anyway, would we. We’d be at home, getting ready to go to bed to face a school week. But there is no school week. And there might not even be another school week for the rest of the year.

So we just stood there in a daze, noticing the less than normal cars going by, the abandoned and closed shops, the absence of pediatricians walking on the sidewalk…

It’s like those photos from the Great Depression come to life before our very eyes…

On Mar 15, 2020, at 7:09 PM, DrSavaard wrote:

 Here’s a good (depressing of course) view:

In a message dated 3/15/2020 5:03:44 PM Pacific Standard Time, teddyleigh writes:

Wow…yikes. Sometimes I feel like this is like watching a car crash in slow motion…

How are you doing? How are things at home? It’s hard to be cooped up. Having animals helps because to them it’s just another day lol. 🤪👍

On Mar 15, 2020, at 12:06 PM, DrSavaard wrote:

Coronavirus live updates: Puerto Rico enacts curfew over coronavirus; travelers face hours-long delays at U.S. airports – The Washington Post

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We’re definitely heading towards a world wide economic ‘Depression’

This Coronavirus scare is going to continue to take a heavy tool on the world.

There’s going to be a short term dip (plunge?), then a little bit of a recovery as we head into summer,

but then there’s going to be a serious down turn this fall when the CoronaVirus comes back with a vengeance.

I agree with the experts who say the CoronaVirus might become part of the new seasonal flu pattern — mixed in with everything else — while the CoronaVirus is deadlier than the regular flu, it’s not as deadly as SARS or MERS that it kills more of its hosts, leaving fewer people to transmit

What’s so scary about the CoronaVirus is that people can be infected with it — and give it to others — and not have a single symptom themselves.

What’s happening now is only a warm up to what’s coming this fall. This is the pattern of other viruses in the past, including the 1918 flu virus. The general public doesn’t realize the 1918 virus actually popped up months earlier, then slowed over the summer, before roaring its ugly head in the fall of 1918.

My predication is we are going to see a repeat of it, and given that we’ve never had anything quite like it in our modern tech connected world, there is no way we can really properly prepare. There are too many unknowns.

For long term people in the stockmarket, it doesn’t matter, they can ride out a 2-3 year downturn and a 5+ year recovery, but people who need that money now might be in trouble.

Seth was just saying how his parents are glad they took their money out of the market a few months ago and bought the condo he’s living in. The housing market will definitely drop again as well, so buying right now is probably isn’t a good idea, but Seth had a good point, at they at least will have something no matter what happens in the housing market. They’ll still own a house.

Of course there are no absolutes, and god knows anything can happen (Trump won an election 99% of people thought Clinton was gonna win),

but I was reading an article about a list of all of the airlines that have canceled flights because of the virus — hundreds and hundreds of flights — not just China but Japan and Iran and all these different counties —

And I thought to myself — wow — what a massive undertaking on what’s basically a futile mission. At this point, any hope we had of containing the CoronaVirus is over. We lost. It’s coming. It’s not a matter of If it’s a matter of When.

And what bugs me the most,

Is in all of their panic,

People aren’t talking enough about doing the simple things — like washing their hands for 20 seconds *minimum* under the water — things that really will help prevent the spread of the virus. Splashing hands under the water doesn’t do shit to get rid of germs. Most people just rinse for a second. We need more discussion and education.

There’s not enough of a global conversation of things we actually can to help prevent the spread around us, things like “institute mandatory government sponsored paid sick leave in every country, proper handwashing tutorials in schools ie singing happy birthday under the water, oughing into your elbow and not the air, etc, etc, etc’

Canceling flights here and there around the world is not going to cut it.

And the real reason they’re probably canceling these flights is that people aren’t buying those tickets anyway — hence why I believe we’re headed nose dive into a Depression.

They’re not canceling flights to save lives. They’re canceling flights because no one wants them or countries have barred them.

This is going to leave a scar on people’s sense of traveling and connection to the world for a long time to come.

One things feeds the next feeds the next feeds the next.

The government will try to call it something else for lots of reasons, like avoiding responsibility — ‘Depression’ is a heavy word —

but history will judge this period as the beginning of a Depression.

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The night started as any other plane flight.

The night started as any other plane flight.

I was running behind. Throwing things into suitcases praying all essentials made it along for the trip. I ordered Uber eats, as a special ‘last meal’ for my distracted son and exhausted sister before heading to LAX.

At LAX, the line for cars picking up people at Arrivals was more of a parking lot than a moving line….‘note to self’…as I gratefully moved along in the departure lane.

Last minute hug to my friend for dropping me off, then off to gate 50B.

It was a full flight from LAX to Philadelphia, a packed red eye which heightens the unwanted opportunity of a sleep depriving noisemaker. The crying breath of new life or an anxious middle of the night ‘I’m so excited to be on a plane I want to chat and meet everyone’ to even an obnoxious snorer or too. A mini wish for a peaceful flight.

After take off, an hour into the journey everything was relatively quiet except a few whispers. The white fluffy service companion slept along with his owners and other than the odd pee break passenger,

it was an unremarkable flight.

But something didn’t feel right. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but something didn’t feel right. Or sound right.

Every red eye I’ve ever taken, and until this point red eyes were my favorite flight so I’ve taken countless, an hour into a red eye I’m deep asleep. I’ve always timed my red eye flights to be super exhausted when I arrived at the airport, to help me slip into unconsciousness so I can experience the immediacy of the eyes closed/eyes open and you’re there phenomenon. Love that Star Trek blink transportation.

But I was awake. Listening to the passengers, listening to the sounds. Feeling the sway of the plane through the air.

Then quietly, flight attendants are mumbling back and forth through the aisles.

Then the pilots voice.

“So….well, I regret to inform you that we’re going to have to make a diversion.”

What was that aisle flicker?

“It looks like the plane is having…the plane is having a fuel capacity issue. [Ya, that’s it.] It looks like the plane might not have enough fuel to make it all the way to Philadelphia.”

Okay. I’ve flown hundreds of times. They always check the plane for fucking fuel. We ain’t flying across the entire country without a full tank of gas.

Is it secretly a medical emergency?

“I apologize for the inconvenience, I know most of you are scheduled for connecting flights in Philadphia, but I don’t feel comfortable flying this plane anymore.”

I don’t feel comfortable flying this plane anymore.

Was that a warning or a confession?

By now, most people had awaken from their light slumber,

(except the fucker on my left who was sleeping through everything)

and an eerie silence saturated the cabin.

The few middle of the night talkers were silent.

What the fuck?

So I immediately picked up my phone, switching off airplane mode and praying my middle of the night buddy was awake because I wanted some human connection.

Were we going down?

Bump. Sway. Cabin lights weird flickering again.

Descending down into the clouds threw a storm, up and down,

what the fuck is wrong with the plane that would be so bad the pilot is going to take us down through a storm to an airport in the middle of god knows nowhere?

Bump. Sway. Swish. Flicker.


I’ve never been so glad to hit the ground.

The eerie silence continued. The slumberer next to me dazed awake “philly?”

“We’re at Alburque International Airport. The regular maintenance crew isn’t available, so we’re going to have to call a contractor to come and look at the plane. For your convenience, we’re going to have everyone exit the plane where you’ll be more comfortable inside the gate.”

A collective nod rippled across the room.


As people deplaned,

I sat in my seat, waiting for most of the people to leave.

‘Not enough fuel to make it to philly?’ that’s got to be the worse excuse ever to make an emergency landing.

It felt more like the go to bullshit reason to land a plane in an emergency.

So I sat back, waiting for most people to leave,

And as I approached the door,

I noticed the cockpit was open. Instead of the pilots standing waving at everyone,

they were quietly hiding back in the room.


So I popped my head into the cockpit (is that legal?)

“Thanks for landing the plane safely.”

And I meant it.

The younger pilot on my left instantly jumped, excitedly, like he had just won a mini lottery,

“Oh, don’t thank me!! All the thanks for landing the plane safely goes to this gentleman!!” And he dramatically extended his arms like an award ceremony.

Holy fuck.

I look over at the hero pilot, a good looking man in his 40s, flush with blended adrenaline, confidence and sweat,

He nodded kindly at me,

“You’re welcome.”

We locked eyes. Instantly I knew not only had the problem been serious, it had been even worse than I thought when I was busy freaking out making my ‘I promise I’ll turn a new leaf’ declarations midflight,

and now locking eyes with that pilot I knew for sure it was even worse.

He was glowing and I know that glow. It’s the glow ER doctors have when they’ve just left a patient’s room where they worked some god like miracle that involved all of their training and skill and chutzpah in a saturated “every second counts” miracle. The kind of event they train for, but only the best of the best, only the really gifted for medicine pull off successfully.

And it feels good.

This pilot had that glow. And now that he knew that I knew it was that serious, and he knew (and appreciated) that I was grateful for the magic he just pulled out of a hat for all of us.

So I said it again, looking him squarely in the eyes,

“Thank you for landing the plane safely.”

“You’re welcome. I’m sorry I couldn’t land you into a more exciting city.”

Flirty smile?

His joke about the city reinforced like a firewall the seriousness of whatever had just happened.

I smiled in a ‘holy fucking shit’ appreciative chuckle, “no worries about the city. Thanks for bringing us down safely.”

And I bowed slightly, with all of the respect in the world for people who work miracles,

and walked alive in one piece through the tunnel to the deserted terminal opened solely for our rescue.

Once in the airport, which was empty except for us cuz it was closed —

Feeling the closed airport was like a cherry on the emergency sunday, we had to get down so quickly we’re at an empty airport —

Once safely inside, with the shock wearing off (much faster for the ignorant, who had no idea of the brush we just had with a real disaster), but soon the mumbling started…the bitching about missing connection flights…the worried questions about belongings that never would have even thought twice about in the afterlife…

And one guy started bitching louder than others, his voice rising above,

an entitled asshole consumed with his own inconvenience,

“I have NO IDEA why the pilot landed us in New Mexico. He should have taken us to DALLAS where there are MORE FLIGHTS. This doesn’t make any sense. I can’t believe this…”

Now, I’ve been around the block enough to speculate pilots are probably a little like ER doctors, in that they accept most people don’t appreciate the magic they do, especially the magic they do behind the scenes that most people don’t see. Like ER doctors, pilots don’t expect people to appreciate them. They didn’t go into their business for accolades or personal attention, otherwise they would have become actors. They got into their profession for the love of their profession, and for the best for them maybe even moments like this.

So I can only take so much shit about them, especially since I knew for sure that something incredible had just happened, an incredible I can’t fully appreciate because I don’t have the knowledge but I’m as sure as hell grateful I lived through it—

Even though they don’t need me sticking up for them, I had to yell out, loudly, so the 50+ passengers in the near vicinity of where I was sitting could hear me,

“Look—clearly the pilot landed the plane in Albuquerque because there was a serious problem with the plane, otherwise we wouldn’t be here. The pilot made a judgement call for our safety, and clearly as we are all standing here it was the right call.”

In their sleep deprived haze, a few people turned to me, ‘who is this little know it all beech?’ or ‘ya ya ya, whatever’ or ‘hmmm…she might be right’.

As this arrogant snot debated a response,

Announcement: “maintenance has arrived to check over the plane. If the plane is approved to continue on with the flight, we’ll reboard after the inspection.”

I knew that wasn’t happening.

I knew for sure from my conversation with the pilots that this plane wasn’t going anywhere but the airplane operating room.

However, however people became a little optimistic. Smart. Dosing the crowd up with hope got most people to settle down and shut up.

Of the 150 people on the flight, I was one of about ten people to get in line with the one gate attendant. While the others rested with their optimism of a continued flight in the near future, a couple of us knew our future with this plane was over and it was going to be time to figure out a plan B.


An hour later confirmed “we’re sorry to announce, after maintenance inspected the plane, we’re going to have to bring in a rescue flight to take you to philadelphia.”

Rescue flight?? They seriously have to use that terminology??

I’m going home. I need hug Noah. I need to hug my bratty little sister. I need to hug Grampa Joe. I need to hug my doctor Dr. Sherman. I need to hug the people who make life worth living, the people who literally make my life possible, the people who live and work tireless to help me stay on the planet.

Do I thank them enough?

I don’t want to do anything until I hug them.

Eventually I’ll be ready to get back on a plane again. I know the statistics and the odds of that this night happening again are small. I’ve been flying for years since I was a baby and had never lived through something like this.

Touchdown Los Angeles.

I just made it. I’m here, I’m back.

There’s no place like home ❤️.

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