My response to the post "This forum is ridiculously biased" (long)greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
Dear You know who:
I read your post earlier today, and thought about it a very long time. I thought about while I mowed my lawn, walked my dogs, and did some general work today around my home on one of my few days off. I debated putting this under your post, or putting it under a separate post. I wanted your attention so this is a separate post. I don't care if I'm analyzed by my response and I'll probably get accused of feeding the pollies and trolls, but I am taking some of my precious time today to respond. This will be a long, long post.
First some personal history.
I am a 42 yr old woman, a nurse, married 21 years to a wonderful man and we are the proud parents of a 13 year old daughter. We live in a relatively small town of about 13,000. We became aware of the y2k problem last year in the last week of December, shortly after Christmas. My husband works with a computer-related industry, that makes computer components. I work in home health care, with pediatric special needs. That means kids at risk, who have severe disabilities. I also have a special condition: I have a kidney transplant. On March 18th, 1982, I received a second chance at life, which to me was a miracle. That enabled the second miracle in my life, the birth of my daughter. I depend on medication on a daily basis, much like a diabetic does, to stay alive.
I have some questions to ask you:
Was I an idiot, when I discovered the "y2k problem", to assume that if the worst would happen that I would die? Was I an idiot to assume that since I cannot take it for granted that the manufacturers of my medications will be able to make the meds I depend on? It did not take me long to understand and grasp the concept that if the problem is systemic, that I and my family would not be in good shape. Are those of us on this forum who have conditions such as diabetes to take the word of the companies that they will live? If you were in my place would you be willing to place your life in their hands, knowing you had NO guarantees?
Was I an idiot to prepare for the worst, because in doing so I will not only assure the survival of my family, but also myself? There was a post recently entitled "100 Things y2k taught me" - something like that anyway. One item stated that the lives of one's children can be a powerful motivation. I'd like to add that the desire to see them grow up into adulthood can be a powerful motivator also. If YOU have children, do you want to see them live, do you want to live LONG ENOUGH to see them live? My daughter is, to my husband and I, a most precious gift from heaven. I want to live to see her grow up. A very simple wish. Am I an idiot to wish to see her 16th birthday?
I work with special needs kids. I have had the good fortune to NEVER see a child die. Am I an idiot when I say that I hope I never see a child die of the cold, of hypothermia, because the family would have no heat? I am sworn to uphold the santity of human life; am I an idiot because, as a nurse, I feel helpless sometimes, knowing that next year could bring a multitude of unnecessary deaths of children, who could die due to the neglect of their parents, and yes, our government to sound the alarm sooner? Am I an idiot to be angry, that even though I am sworn to uphold the santity of life, that our government at all levels does not seem to care to do the same?
You say next year will be nothing to be excited about. I hope you do not have children, because how will you explain it to them that you thought it was going to be a joke when the repercussions of y2k finally are known? What if there is no food deliveries to your town, no medicine, no electricity, no heat, no water, no sewer, etc. How will you explain to them the decision on your part to do nothing when they are hurting?
Am I an idiot to presume the worst when I saw, with my own eyes, what happens when a PCA pump ( that's patient controlled analgesic - means the patient can give themselves relief from pain through a machine by pressing a button ) when tested for y2k, with a saline solution run through the line gave 4 TIMES THE DOSE? Think about this for a minute - what if morphine is in the line? Any nurse or med professional would shudder at this - it would mean instant death. Am I an idiot to fear what I know can happen when machines that patients depend on to give them relief, may give them death instead?
Am I an idiot to put to use this year many of the skills my parents taught me when I was a child? I planted a garden for the first time in 5 years, was I being stupid when I did so? I also canned and dried some foods, put in a wood stove so we don't freeze to death, in short, put to use many skills that I doubt that you have. Long ago, my parents would have called these skills common sense; what makes them the skills of an idiot?
I prefer not to be called a "doomer" if anything I am an realist, knowing that since none of us have any knowledge of what is down the road only a few months from now, it made sense to prepare. I am also an optimist - yes, that's right, an optimist. Because we will have a chance, to make the world a better place to live in if we need to start over. Maybe we will relearn the lessons of the Depression, that you may not have any money, but will be "rich" in blessings in other ways.
Am I an idiot to prepare, not only for my family, but to help my brother and sisters and their families? I am limiting the help I give to my immediate relatives, 2 people who are disabled in wheelchairs who have NO resources to prepare, and 1 family who means the world to me. I cannot help anyone else. Is it any surprise that not one "realist" would help you if you don't take reponsibility for yourself? Even Paul Milne has said something to the effect of he will help if someone knock on his door, but if they steal it its a different story. Are we idiots to believe that what we have worked for and planned for and paid for with our hard earned money should not be stolen?
Some of us are religious others of us are not. There is a wide range of beliefs on this forum. Some of us have guns, others do not. Some of us have generators, others don't. But the one thing most realist on this forum have in common, even with some of the pollies, is the opinion that we are about to see one of the most significant challenges America has ever faced, and it will have deep implications that will change our lives permanently. To what degree, is where the disagreement lies. We have a wide range of posters on this forum - not just Ed Yourdon, but Paula Gordon, Jim Lord, and other well known names in the effort to educate people about y2k. Are these people, with their solid credentials, idiots also? Are the companies who are spending MILLIONS on remediation idiots too, if its going to be nothing?
If you have info that can show, with 3rd party independent verification, that real progress is being made, I have a challenge for you: Send it to the forum moderators, and let them post it. Most of us would be ESTATIC to see something like this.
I have learned an ENORMOUS amount of info this past year on this forum - how computers work, what is happening in other states and countries around the world in regards to the problem, about fractional reserve banking, JIT inventories, just to name a few. But contrary to your opinion, those of us on this forum still live in the real world. And its this real world, with its unpreparedness, that drives us, not some fantasy that it'll all go away.
I bear no animosity toward you. Animosity is a waste of my time, energy and spirit. But after I am done writing this, I will be preparing to go to church, and I WILL pray for you. You are going to need it.
-- luann (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 09, 1999
luann, terrific post. The words are probably wasted on that moron but there's always hope. You've beautifully expressed how a lot of us feel. thanks
-- (email@example.com), October 09, 1999.
This is the post that has touched me the most. I admire you for your spirit and wisdom. Continue with all that you have, for your family is indeed very lucky to have a fine lady such as yourself.
-- (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 09, 1999.
Excellent post! I suspect that YouKnowWho is simply looking for attention. It seems to enrage pollies that people want to prepare 'just in case' things turn out to be worse than expected. YouKnowWho seems to think that his/her word should be accepted without question by masses of adoring, fawning groupies. He/she/it also thinks that those of us who are concerned believe everything we are told by Ed, Gary N. and others. Any assumption like that is simplistic and far from the truth. But I can understand that point of view if you're dealing with someone of limited intelligence. Let them think as they wish. Best wishes for you and your family. Let's all hope that it's no more than a bump in the road. But unlike morons like YouKnowWho, I'm in a position to help out the neighbors if it's more than a BITR.
-- b (email@example.com), October 09, 1999.
One of the best posts on the personal view of Y2K that I have ever read!! A copy should be shown to all Don't Get Its!
Luann, for the benefit of our skeptical pollies, can you provide the make and model of the PCA pump, along with its serial number? It seems a silly thing to ask, but that seems to carry a lot of weight with those who constantly try to "de-bunk" the reality of Y2K.
-- King of Spain (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 09, 1999.
Wonderful, absolutely wonderful.
-- no talking please (email@example.com), October 09, 1999.
Luann, you have captured many of my feelings in your poignant post. We have a major factor in common--we both share a need for life-sustaining medication. Just yesterday I got very busy and forgot to take my early morning tablet. Within three hours I was feeling dizzy. That's all it takes--less than three hours and the slide begins.
As of last week, I have four months of medication stashed. On December 1, I should have six months. Luann, I hope you have at least as much.
-- Old Git (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 09, 1999.
--Thank you luann!
And for those of you who do not think others are preparing, I submit that behind the scene others are just as quietly going their way laying aside for the CDC. I also suspect Pollies are doing the same. Why else would they be here if they were not concerned?
-- Tommy Rogers (Been there@Just a Thought.com), October 09, 1999.
Outshtanding piece of work...bloody mhavelous!!
-- Billy-Boy (Rakkasn@Yahoo.com), October 09, 1999.
Luann, WONDERFUL...WONDERFUL...WONDERFUL! You said it all and then some. Sounds like your family has one great mom, and your patients one great nurse!
-- Debi (LongTimeLurker@shy.com), October 09, 1999.
As one of the moderators, I would be GLAD to post the requested data, if it ever drops into my In-box.
BTW if it WERE morphine, they might not die as fast as that, though they MIGHT start to breathe REALLY slowly (like 0-2 times a minute or two). Been there, seen that, ran the Narcan X 2.
-- Chuck, a night driver (email@example.com), October 09, 1999.
God bless you Luann. May god keep you strong and clear visioned. I know from experience the difficulty in assisting those who are unable to care for themselves. Patience, caring and concern...you are blessed more than you know. The enormity of information I have received in the last few months from this forum has been overwhelming. God bless you for your eloquent response and caring attitude.
-- Big D (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 09, 1999.
Hello Luann, well thought out post. I don't know who "You know who" is, but I hope he/she reads your words. And no, of course you are not an idiot; IMHO idiots fail to use their minds to useful purpose.
I want to take issue with your "no electricity" comment. The folks you listed as having "solid credentials" (Yourdon, Gordon, Lord), do not have expertise in the area of electricity, nor do I think they claim to. But Yourdon and Lord have published things about the Y2k readiness of the electricity industry, suggesting that there will be serious problems. They don't work for power companies, and I doubt that they've ever Y2k tested a single device used in power. Although I post here as an individual, I can tell you that I've worked full time on Y2k remediation at power companies for 2 years, and I've Y2k tested dozens of devices used in the industry. Of the thousands of devices tested across North America, virtually none of them have been found to fail. My point is that I have yet to hear from a single person with actual Y2k power testing experience predict anything more than some short term, local outages come Y2k day.
Am I telling you or others not to prepare? Certainly not. But I am saying that the industry uniformly agrees that Y2k will not bring down the electric grids in US and Canada.
-- Dan (email@example.com), October 09, 1999.
Great post and lots of best wishes for you and your family. Hope your daughter takes after her mother.
-- Brian (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 09, 1999.
Thanks everyone for your kind words. I will read them in greater detail tomorrow. Sorry, I won't answer questions till then either; I have been up since 4:15 this morning and its nearly midnight here in MN. If I don't go to bed right now I'll fall out of my chair. Sleep well, everyone. Tomorrow is another day to prep.
-- luann (email@example.com), October 10, 1999.
luann: I hope that you will allow me to print out your post for my DGI friends and neighbors. I have given the same arguments, but you know the old saying, "the prophet is dispised in his own land". Perhaps if they read your passionate response, it may move thier spirits just enough to begin the "what if" thought processes going. You could be the "siren in the night" that guides the lost ships into the safe waters. Thank you for posting here and thank you for your love of your family and the people in your circle of life. I'm blessed to have known you through this forum.
-- shepherd (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 10, 1999.
OK I'm up. Got about 6 hours of sleep.
First, in response to your request KOS: I wish I could. But the machine was tested way back in March, and it was immediately replaced. I happened to be at my agency office while the machines were run. The entire office was stunned. My director put it well: the PCA pump was "as good as garbage".
Old Git: I have a year's worth of meds stored up. I bought them payig full price. I had no other choice. I couldn't take time off for a trip to Mexico if I had tried, so I paid over $1500 for them. Some investment in my mind, for peace of mind.
Dan: Read my response more closely. I never said that Ed, Paula, and Jim were experts on electricity. But you have to understand something: I live in MN. On January 1, it could be bitterly cold. Even 72 hours a relatively short time without the juice on, could be life-threatening to some of my clients. I certainly hope you are right, that the juice stays on. I'm glad you have that confidence. But to little kids with respirators, a cut in the juice would mean no energy to give them oxygen. Some of the families our agency services have kids with that need. Alot of them cannot afford generators.
Chuck, I too am very grateful for Narcan. But in home care to special needs kids, an overdose would be very life-threatening. These kids, unlike you or I seem to be more sensitive to even standard doses. And in home care, Narcan is not always available.
Shepherd, reprint my response for your neighbors as you wish. I'll give everyone blanket permission to do so. If it prepares one more family, one more neighborhood, it was worth it to take the time to write it.
SOme of you sent private e-mails to my house. I have a small favor to ask of you. Put your e-mail (real one) in the body of the message. I don't know why this happens, but when a message is sent to my house, if the emial is not included in the body, there is no emial listed as to where it came from.
Thanks for your kind words everyone. It is a comfort to know the words were not written in vain.
-- luann (email@example.com), October 10, 1999.
Thank you luann. There is so much of myself in your post. The miracle of a child through a high-risk pregnancy, the fact that my wife is an insulin dependent diabetic, being a realist and and optimist...
I'm sitting here with goosebumps and teary eyes. Not a bad way to start a Sunday morning. I'm off to give my wife and son a hug.
-- Michael Taylor (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 10, 1999.