Month: August 2018

Help the homeless and reduce litter!

There are things I do and don’t do. If I see a homeless person sitting there day in and day out just asking for a hand out, I don’t hand out. But, when I see a homeless person walking the streets and picking up crap and bottles from the streets and ditches, I’ll stop them and hand them a few bucks and thank them for the hard work they are doing and encourage them to keep it up. Surprisingly enough (to me) I have received a few hugs for this gesture and that’s ok with me… (considering I’m not much of a hugger).

Anyhow, the reason I’m here today is to talk about an idea I’ve had for years. The idea is simple, when you go the store, be it a 7/11 or a coffee shop or what ever and grab a drink or bag of chips or a chocolate bar etc… there should be a deposit fee. I know this will upset a lot of people out there who don’t want to pay more for the crap they eat, but it’s time you suck it up. I am so tired of seeing all this stuff in the ditches and if there was a way to charge a deposit on this stuff, not unlike the bottle return fees, image how clean the city would be.

A cup of coffee 5 cents, the lid 2 cents, bag of chips, chocolate bar or candy wrapper 2 cents. I know a few people in my neighbourhood who collect bottles for extra income/ living income who would be making some good money, due to all the lazy people who prefer to toss their crap in the streets. I could go on… like, charge me 5 cents for a bag at the grocery store? You better refund me 5 cents when I bring it back, straws, cigarette packs on and on and on.

Think of all the things we could add fees to? Like I said, this will piss some people off, but, it may also prevent people from littering, and maybe even slow down the amount of junk food you eat… did I mention fast food wrappers, I need to stop here, but you think about it.

 

Chip and Honey Toodee

1.3 Surviving the death of your child.

It took us 15 years to discover we had PTSD. Every year around the anniversary date of our daughters death we would start to feel all kinds of things… Honey would start having sore breast and thought she had cancer, she would forget things to the point that we thought she might have Alzheimer’s. I would start having chest pains to the point of thinking I was having a heart attack, I would “shut down” and not talk to anyone for days. We would both go into a depression and suffer various amount of mental stress. I would feel guilty for being alive and felt like I didn’t deserve to live, I would get angry at the drop of a hat or a towel on the floor…

Every year my wife would end up at the Doctor’s office and she would ask about tests to see if she had breast cancer. One day the Doctor told her that she came in every year at this time to ask the same question? Amazingly enough we would forget that part every year, and on and on it went.

Then one year, our 16 year old daughter told us that we suffered from PTSD, “what ever” was my response… “we don’t have PTSD. We’ve never been to war or anything like that!” Then, she asked us a few questions, like: Do you feel chest pains every year at this time? Do you think of suicide? Do you shut down? Are you angry? Guilty? Sad beyond comprehension? Our daughters had watched us suffer every year, I never even thought about what they were seeing… I was so stuck in my depression that I was blinded by it. “Do you do this on purpose?” she said. That’s when she explained what Post Traumatic Stress Disorder was, it was our bodies reverting and reliving the pain of our daughter’s death. The dreams, the memories, the pain, all a response that was out of our control.

We discovered that if we started talking as soon as the symptoms arrived, it would help to ease the weight and side effects. The pain doesn’t disappear, but the symptoms are lighter. Every since then we take the time over a three to four week period to make sure we go for walks and just talk about what ever we are feeling. We also take time with our girls and share what we feel, and let them know we love and appreciate them.

It saddens me to think that we’ve given our daughters their own PTSD from watching us suffer and them having to deal with it. In the past few years we’ve discovered that they would sit together and wonder what was going on with us. Were mom and dad going to split up? Are they mad at us? What did we do? I wish that I could change the past for them, and make things different, but I can’t. All we can do is move on and be there for each other.

The pain is still real, I still cry when I see pictures and on days like today I sob. Today is the anniversary of TC’s death. It’s a day I spend thinking a lot about what we went through, but I also think about those parents who today will walk into a hospital emergency room and discover that their child is not well, and I morn for them, I am saddened for them, I suffer with them. I pray that they will have some form of comfort and support, that they will survive the pain and find ways of healing and coping with a situation no parent should ever see.

 

Chip and Honey Toodee

Dyson Handheld keeps turning off and on?

So, you got yourself a Dyson handheld DC model vacuum that keeps turning off after a few seconds of work? Well, try these tips and see if it helps at all.

Here’s what some people have commented:

  • My God this video changed my life. Wife was ready to trash my favorite gadget. Thanks
  • U have probably saved thousands of pounds for people with this fix…I’ve been using mine like this for years now!! I will pass this fix on to the rest of other suffering Dyson users like my mum for example.. Cheers fella u rock
  • Thanks alot. I was trying to disassemble the whole thing to check if it was electronics after trying to buy batteries for it. I have 2 orig batt so for them both to have the same problem was unlikely thats why i haven’t purchased any new battery. I just cut a piece of cardboard and wedge it in between the filter and switch (black rubber switch inside) and hey, presto. It works as you showed.
  • “Dude you just saved me $120 this has been driving my wife insane! Thanks for the tip”
  • You are hysterical and nothing short of a genius. Thanks. ” (as if I wasn’t gonna add this one.)
  • DUDE…..this video!!! My wife texts me on my way to work almost “Crying” because she loves our Dyson so much, watched this video and VOILA!!!! Amazing man, thanks, this fixed the exact same problem!
  • I seriously doubt this is actually the fix. My Dyson doesn’t even have the safety switch for the filter to press, but has the problem. It seems highly unlikely that I would have the same problem with a completely different cause.
  • OMG. You are incredible! I flipped the filter and – wham – problem solved! Thanks for you video. In sanely great advice!

1.2 Surviving the death of our child.

It’s really hard to remember the first couple of weeks after we left the hospital… just the two of us. I remember waking up in the morning and thinking is was just a dream, then I would walk to TC’s room and find it empty, and then, my heart would sink and my head would spin. I would go and lay down on her bed and smell her blankets and her clothes, I don’t think we washed her stuff for months… we would just sit there at times, holding, smelling and crying.

 

At the time I was taking some college courses, I took 3 weeks off and then returned to school to finish up. I thought maybe, the change of scene would ease my mind and heart. Somehow it did. When I went to school, I fell into some weird sense of denial. It was like I could remove myself from the situation and pretend it wasn’t real. When I came home, I found it really hard to talk to Honey, I would shut down and just not talk, and if I did it was minimal. She would spend most of the day at home crying, and being all alone. I had the luxury of leaving and having people distract me. While at school, I started hanging with this girl, we would spend lots of time talking and joking around and it felt nice not to be reminded of what was real. After a few weeks, and a few coffees together I realized that this relationship was getting a lot more friendly. Every night I would go home and Honey and I would be drifting further apart. Then came the day that I knew something was about to change. I knew that if I met with “the girl”, it would turn into something more that just flirting, it was going to get real…

I had to do something, I had to say something… Every time I came home, I would drop emotionally, I crashed and shut it all down. I would come home, she would still be crying and I was just angry about being there. I knew this relationship at school was going to move to the next level, the following day, I also knew that I loved Honey, and that I loved her enough to tell her my feelings were changing. So, we sat down and I let here know.

“I know that you don’t want to hear this” I began, “but I have to let you know”. I told her about the girl and how my feelings for her were growing and how I just didn’t want to come home anymore. She cried, I cried, we kept talking for hours. Finally I left the house and got in the car. It was over. I sat in the car for a long time, it felt like hours and hours. I sat and thought about what I was doing. Here is the woman I love, and I can’t be around her. Every time I see her face it causes me pain. But, I love her. Then, a small part of me realized finally that she was suffering too. I hadn’t really thought about it. I was so busy dealing with my pain that I no room for anyone else’s pain. I went back in and I think we talked all night. I really don’t remember. I know that over the next few days we talked about the pain, the sadness and that we needed to support each other in what ever we were suffering through.

We compared ourselves to a couple we met at the children’s hospital. C and R, surprisingly they lived up the street from our house, and they had lost their son while we were at the hospital. While they were morning, she wanted to put pictures of her son everywhere in the house, so that she could see him all the time. Her husband on the other hand wanted to get rid of all the pictures and pretend that he never existed. When Honey and I looked at their morning form an outside perspective, we came to the realization that we were morning in different ways too. But, C and R never came to compromise, one that would simply allow the other to morn in their own way. They began to fight constantly, and soon their marriage was over. So, that night  and over the week, we worked on helping each other, and the hardest part was just talking about everything, it was also the biggest part of our healing. It didn’t really ease the pain, it just eased some of the symptoms.

If you’re suffering from a loss, find someone to talk to. If you’re dealing with what we dealt with, find a way to open the communication with your husband or wife. Let each other morn in your own way. Talk, support, love, be there, even if being there means just sitting silently or holding each other. There will come a time when things get easier and you’ll move forward. You’ll never truly move on, but you will move forward. You’ll just have to give each other time. Just remember that talking is your greatest weapon.

 

Next post we’ll talk about PTSD and how it took us 15 years to figure it out.

Chip and Honey Toodee

1. Death of our child.

There are things in life that you simply can never prepare for, and loosing your child is one of them. The pain, the anger, the sadness, the stress, the loneliness, the depression the list goes on and on.

The night before was a little unusual, TC our 11 month old walking almost talking daughter was tired. It was weird because she wasn’t a sleeper. When she was first born, we would have to take shifts walking her outside so we could rest a few hours. I would take her out in the stroller and walk for 2 hours and let Honey sleep, then she would take care of TC a few hours and I’d sleep. The first 6 months, I swear she only slept 3 or 4 hours a day. So the fact that she was pulling us to her room and falling a sleep was weird, but we thought maybe her no sleeping faze was over and we finally tired her out.

She slept through the night. Wow, we got up in the morning at about seven and peeked into her room, yes, she’s still breathing, let’s go and make some coffee quietly and chat. Then, 8 o’clock came around, then 9? I’m gonna go wake her up? Was I crazy? So, off to her room I went, laid down beside her on her little bed and gently started to wake her up. I could see that she was trying to open her eyes and wake up, but couldn’t… man is she tired, I thought to myself. But, soon I realized something was terribly wrong, she couldn’t wake up.

Panic. I picked her up called Honey and we jumped into the car. The day before I was carrying her down the stairs and I fell with her in my arms. I took the beating from the stairs, but I thought maybe she’d got shaken up, maybe, she had a concussion? We went to the walk in clinic and told the lady at the desk that we couldn’t wake our daughter… The Doctor saw us right away, not one minute into it, he looked at us and told us to take her to the emergency room at the hospital, (which happen to be across the street), “they’ll be waiting for you” he said.

When we got the emergency room there was a team of nurses and doctors waiting for us. They took TC and started doing all kinds of tests, pricking her with needles, checking her eyes, blood work and on and on. “What’s wrong?” we asked, “we don’t know”, into the CT scan she went… “Your daughter seems to have an abnormal brain” they said, “what does that mean?”, “We’re not sure, but we’ve called for a helicopter, we’re flying her to children’s hospital”. Within minutes the helicopter was there and Honey jumped on board. I made a call to her parents to let them know what was going on… I dialed the number, they picked up, and I couldn’t utter a word. I couldn’t speak, I tried, but nothing came out, so I hung up the phone. I turned around and by some strange coincidence our friend was sitting in the emergency room waiting with her son. I choked out the what ever words I could, I explained I couldn’t tell my in-laws… “Can you call them for me?” she did

By the time I got to the children’s hospital, TC was in surgery. We found out she had a brain tumour, a very rare one. They took out what they could, and in the end we were left with the knowledge that she a had about 9 months left to live. After spending what seemed an entire lifetime at the hospital, we took her home with dreams of full recovery… there was no way she would die on our shift. We tried to drag out every moment of every day, tried to make them last for ever… but, the day came.

The night before she past away, we camped out in her room. We slept on the floor, and when I awoke next morning, she was not breathing. I jumped up and started CPR, she’s back… “Call the ambulance”. Back to the helicopter, back to children’s hospital, back to ICU. I held her in my arms while she was in  a coma, and Honey held her while she died, and long after she past. If you want something to Fuck up your life for ever, this is it. We went home without our daughter, TC was gone, and we were alone, together.

Now what?

Chip and Honey Toodee

To be continued…