‘Tis the Season to be Jolly

… or committed to a Sanitorium.  Your choice!  I am happy to say that I am happily engaged at probing, exploring, challenging the people and experiences of my life….

As my memory opens to this memoir, the words pour out like water from the spigot.  Either the time is right or I am making it all up.  I wouldn’t be the first writer to pretend a life.

It’s not all peaches and cream.  Every day after hours of cogitating and writing, I wonder what the hell I am doing.  My mind whirls around a familiar female self deprecating chant, “who the hell do I think I am”?   Who cares what happened to me in my life?   Boring!  Totally boring! But like the song of the same name; I Pick Myself Up.  Dust Myself Off.  Start All Over Again.

Whichever holiday you celebrate, as a gift to you, I am sending one of my life episodes. Please do not think me arrogant and overhubrised (a new word for Webster).  I miss you guys something terrible.  And it’s my way of keeping the connection going.  

Right???  Of Course, right!!! 

Love, Sally-Jane ❤️

An Excerpt from “Not Yet”…

It was 1948 and I was finishing my sophomore year at the High School of Performing Arts.  The school was moving to the new/old building on 46th Street and 6th Avenue in Manhattan. I was not going to move with it….  

My grandfather, my mother’s father, who won the immigrant’s American dream sweepstakes by becoming rich but not famous, gave my mother an ultimatum.

“What’s it to be, Anna?  I sold the old decaying Brooklyn house you were born in!   Are you going to live in the street or the house I bought for you in Westchester.” 

For me, the move was exciting.

I was ready. All those high school movie musicals with Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland prepared me for my next starring role. Judy Garland. Of course, Judy would have to battle it out with Betty Grable who to this day is still my special Star. 

I convinced my mother to buy the requisite saddle shoes. 

The school, a beautiful ivy covered building, was set on a campus.  A far cry from the aged run down schools of New York City. This school looked like the one on the set in the movie Good News with June Allyson and Peter Lawford.  And just like the movie, it had sororities.  I was ready to take the school by storm.

I was “rushed” for a sorority.  I had to look up what that meant.  When I discovered it meant they “chose” me, I was grateful.  I practiced  gratitude in the mirror for hours.  

One of the chores for a rushee was to read and memorize the Constitution of the sorority.

One day, as bold as you could print it in black and white, I read, “no Jews allowed’.

I kept rereading the sentence. I was sure I was mistaken. I was not.  

There was no mistaking I was Jewish.  I went to Sunday School. Back then, girls didn’t get Bat Mitzvahed. However, in the Reform sect of the religion, at 15 we were confirmed when we graduated Sunday School. As close as a Jew could get to being a Christian.  I lived in a house that celebrated Christmas as well as Hanukkah and if truth be told Christmas was the bigger holiday. 

My father finally came into his own playing Santa Claus.  A most peculiar Santa Claus.  Somewhere along the way of many celebrations he lost his Santa Suit. He still had the mask. No suit. In place of the suit, he wore this fantastic, fabulous enormous Chinese Embroidered Robe with his face covered by a Santa Mask.  Somehow, when paired with the robe, the mask created a very Asian looking Santa. The robe and the mask belonged together.  He was a sight.

The younger ones, like myself and Arlene and later on toddler grandchildren screamed in terror when he picked them up to sit on his lap.  I don’t think I knew Santa was my father until I was 6 or 7.  

That’s only one sample of the secularness of my  Jewish ancestry.  

Growing up in my house, we didn’t talk about the concentration camps and the six million Jews that were gassed in the ovens of those camps.  We performed the duties of good citizens during the war.  Paper and metal drives, rationing, voting for FDR. My father read the New York Times religiously and the New York Post which back then was owned by Dorothy Schiff a committed liberal Democrat and a very different newspaper than it is today.  He must have discussed issues of the day. Either because it was a “ not in front of the children” subject or I was deaf because it wasn’t about me.   

All eight of us went to Sunday School.  All four of the boys were Bar Mitzvahed.

I remember my mother opening a special Christmas Savings Bank Account every year. My father played Santa. But I was still a Jew.

In bold print , in the sororities constitution, I was being told I wasn’t wanted.  

I was miserable. 

I went to the powers that be.   I explained I was not permitted to join them because I was Jewish.

They had a special meeting. 

They would make an exception in my case.  

I think. I am not sure. But I think, maybe for the first time, I was beginning to understand that being different wasn’t just about being special and gifted. It also meant I wasn’t wanted because I was different.

 I didn’t belong because I was different.  

My Brooklyn neighborhood was very mixed.  My New York schools, the students were of every stripe and color. 

I was never going to be a star here. Never.  

I didn’t want to be where I wasn’t wanted. I had enough of that at home.

I reapplied to the High School of Performing Arts.

Gave my saddle shoes to my sister.  

I never looked back.

P.S. Here is the real gift.  A selection of videos of the movies that not only influenced my life but during my darkest childhood hours gave me the support, joy, and mostly, the hope that my dreams would come true.  

These formulaic, trite, movie plots kept this little girl a believer.  

Try to remember I was born between the Great Depression and World War II.  Any movie that offered respite from a very troubled world was a gift.  To give you a perspective try watching a movie called Sullivan’s Travels, written and directed by Preston Sturges, a Hollywood genius.  His movie is exactly what these videos are all about.

Bye Bye Blah, Blah, Blog…

My Dear Friends and Family,
In another week I shall celebrate my 89th birthday. 

Who’s going to win the Golden Ticket? The person that is the first to say, “You know, you don’t look it!,” wins. Believe me, there are days I not only look it but feel it, too. Yeah, like mortgage rates the numbers keep going up. 

On and off over the years, I threatened myself that one day I would write a memoir.

As long as I was still performing, I didn’t take me seriously. When I slowed and eventually stopped performing, I searched to find a replacement for my overflowing creative juices. Writing these blogs fulfilled that outlet. I think that is when the idea of a memoir moved slowly from my subconscious to my conscious. 

As this birthday nears, I came to the realization of if not now, when?! So many stories always bubbling up inside me and I am just not the kind of person (ask anyone who knows me) that can keep anything under cover for long. If I want to write this book, and I do, I need to limit and focus my energies.

All to say, this is my final Blah, Blah, Blog… for now.

It is with sadness that I tell you this. And just to keep you close to me I shall conclude with an excerpt, in its infancy, from the memoir.

As it progresses I will periodically share a story as it makes its way into the book. I do not want to lose touch.

Here is a piece from A Piece of Eight. Please don’t hold me to that title. We know all too well that the only constant in life is change.

Right??? Of course, right!!!

Love, Sally-Jane ❤️

A piece from A Piece of Eight...

 I was born in 1933. The roost I was born into was ruled by a 5-foot strong, willful, super mom who for her own reasons raised her children in the belief she knew everything and about everyone. I was most puzzled how she knew about people she had never met. However, my survival instinct was very strong and I knew enough never to challenge her. The division of labor in my household was distinct and written in stone.  My mother was judge and jury, anointed by divine proclamation. My father, a la sentorian oration, laid down my mothers rules and regulations. He was majestical. He was a 6-foot handsome man possessed of a resounding, basso voice. These pronouncements engendered just enough quaking fear to keep the family, well, at least the girls, on the straight and narrow. From a very early age, I knew boy children, aka Princes, were the preferred sex in my household down to their extra portions at the dinner table.   

Whatever talents my four brothers possessed were enthusiastically supported. Piano lessons, violin lessons, chemistry laboratory, model airplane workshop. Before the depression, no expense was spared.  After the depression, the family made do with second hand clothes, tools and tutus.  

I grew up in two families. The first five, by age, Raymond, Allyn, Marilyn, Elliot, Lucille were born before the depression.  The last three, by age, David, Sally-Jane, Arlene were born after.  The depression took a big bite out of the family budget.  Yet, even then, my parents sacrificed to provide the best teachers and classes for their eight talented children.  

When I was very young, my three sisters and I were also encouraged to explore our talents as well… until… drum roll… MENSTRUATION.

If life is about anything, it is about timing.

After the death of a gazillion patients, Joseph Lister sanitized surgery.

After the death of a gazillion patients, Arthur Fleming discovered penicillin.

After a gazillion unwanted pregnancies, Margaret Sanger promoted birth control.

My mother, expert in all things, informed her girl children that Sanger and her methods were nothing but ‘’dirty smutty dirt smut.”   Her law would be all the birth control her daughters would ever need. Her words terrified me. She was the reincarnation of all the movie monsters that frightened me to death; Frankenstein, Dracula, Wolf Man. Was this the beginning of my neurotic, anxiety ridden life. Just think about it. I loved my mother, or so I dutifully thought. And here she was swearing she would be the death of me.  At the very least, her words confused me.

Like a cobra, my mother hissed at me. All right already, so I was never in the same room with a cobra. Sue me!

My mother preached the horrors and evils of sex. I have to tell you, after those lectures, I never would have married if I thought there was any other way to escape.  It doesn’t take much to remember her words: 

“If any of you do IT, I will know.  If you do IT before you are lawfully wed as a virgin, or, God forbid, you get pregnant before you are lawfully wed as a virgin…”

(At this she lifts her eyes to heaven like Charlton Heston on the Mount receiving the Commandments, without the beard nor in a clean white sheet)

“… I swear on my dead mother’s grave to which I will force you to go with me next time I go to the cemetery, I will send you to that Island in the middle of the East River where they keep the insane and diseased city poor.”

All that glorious preaching fell on deaf ears. I didn’t know what IT was. I didn’t know any of my body parts. Where they were. What they did.  After my mother’s curse, I didn’t understand what got a girl pregnant.  Could I get pregnant from a hug?  What about playing Post Office or Spin the Bottle? Safe to say, my thoughts and feelings about sex were deeply affected. Ask any of the men in my life. That might be difficult.  At my age most of them are dead. Being an actress of some ability, along with scores of other women, I was able to fake it.  Meg Ryan’s fake orgasm in When Harry Met Sally was good.  Mine was better.”

TO BE CONTINUED…  

Feminine Fraudsters

My Dear Readers,

In the 1980’s, in an attempt to take advantage of the exploding feminist movement, Virginia Slims cigarettes created an advertising slogan, You’ve come a long way, baby. Do you remember it?

If you are a streamer, like I am, you must have noticed the many movies and television series are now featuring a growing number of women who have lost their way… aka… Feminine Fraudsters. For all psychiatrists and therapists these women offer a study of a modern day feminine pathological, psychotic liar, exhibiting criminal behavior in technicolor. 

I say modern day because the behavior itself is not new. However, I think the dark side of females of the past has been tied to their powerlessness in a patriarchal society. Exceptions to this rule exist of course, but for the most part, power for women came through faking it. 

All right already so what’s my point?

Women are equal now, right? They don’t need to do dastardly deeds to succeed, right? They can partner on par with their male partners in business and at home. The patriarchy is no more. What planet do you live on?

When I first noticed how many popular major shows were about these fraudulent females, I began an inner dialogue with each of them: “What’s wrong with you? Don’t you realize in the past the only power women had was in their sex, literally and figuratively? Our choices were not only limited, they didn’t exist. Why did you dishonor the hard earned gift of choice and equality from the women who came before you?”

I answered my own question. Because equality does not exist. I grant you every now and then, like Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s elevation (we hope) to the Supreme Court and Kamala Harris’s Vice Presidency, equal rights appear confirmed. Do not be fooled. The Equal Rights Amendment sits on a shelf in a closet somewhere, unpassed. The anti-lynching law was just passed over two hundred years after the Emancipation Proclamation.

Blacks, women, all minorities… damn… we go two steps forward and one back and call that progress? I suppose that is the way progress proceeds. 

There is a constant battle between our his or her or they or them animal vs. human nature. In the animal kingdom, except for some rare species, the male is all powerful. Oh, sure, don’t touch the young of any female animal if you value your life. That’s a different mechanism. In everyday life, all hail the male. Today in the human kingdom, with very few exceptions, the male still holds the reins of power. Alas, today there is an illusion that females have an equal share of that power. We have been gaslighted. 

My friends, before I get into why I think women have been had, I want to get into distinguishing the Alpha Male from other men. I think the human side of the Alpha Male’s brain is undeveloped so they operate solely on their dominant animal aggressive behavior… eating and swallowing up men, women, and children as they go. Stream just one episode of the very successful television series Succession for a brilliant illustration. These men make no pretense about female subjugation. How do I square the modern day opportunities in education, careers, life choices, with ongoing female subjugation? It’s insidious. It’s where the gaslighting comes in. The power hungry alphas have learned to talk the talk about sharing power with women. Unfortunately, women buy the talk. But those of us that have gone over that bridge time and time again know he or she has to walk the walk. Words are good. Action is better.

All the protagonists of the Feminine Fraudsters hit that glass ceiling that most women know still exists. Discovering the ceiling was still there, they circumvented the straight and legal path to achieve what they thought had been promised to them. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Yes, we have come a long way, baby. But we still have miles to go before we sleep… miles to go.

Right???  Of course, right!!!

Love, Sally-Jane

P.S. Here is a list of a few of the Feminine Fraudster shows for your edification:
I Care a Lot
The Eyes of Tammy Faye
Inventing Anna
The Drop Out 

What Is Past Is Prologue

My Dear Friends and Family,

Your first quiz, for a free pass and tour of the National Archive Building:

What Federal Building in Washington, D.C. has that statement inscribed on it?

You are just too smart for me. You are right!

Northeast corner of the National Archives  Building in Washington, D.C.

Sooo…. What has any of this to do with anything? You always know the right question to ask. 

The news of the world at the present time gives me very little pleasure.  I really do try to limit the news media of the day, but somehow it creeps in, not on little cat paws, but earthquaking Shrek-sized feet.  I have lost my Pollyanna credentials, but still keep an optimist’s eye, even if it is a little cockeyed, on what I read and experience.  I don’t know about you but for me it is getting harder and harder to join Candide (by my dear friend Voltaire’s character) in his famous exclamation,

“This is the best of all possible worlds.”  

Really???  I don’t think so!!! Maybe instead he should exclaim along with the rest of us as we struggle with the ways of the world,

“Wha’ happened?”

How many times can I quote Voltaire again?  “History doesn’t repeat itself.  People do.”

If something still bites me, I shall of course put my Five Hundred Dollars in.  It used to be two cents but with inflation…

So I am going to go back into my memories to write about them.  Not to worry family and friends, no names.  And the only fool you will find in my stories? C’est moi.

Here’s a sample…

Even if I need fingers and toes to count, I think I can figure it out.  I just turned 88, right?  So if this wedding took place when I was 8, then that was 80 years ago.  Get out!  80 years ago… Yikes… we are talking 1941.  On October 19, 1941 my eldest sister got married. 

I was there and I loved every minute of it.  Against parental sturm and drang, the lovers persevered.  Like every World War II movie you ever saw.  The parents said wait until the war was over.  Unequivocally, my sister said, NO!  (You must have heard that word from her a million times)  Well, having missed out on my eldest brother’s wedding because they had eloped (which they were never forgiven for), Nana surrendered and told Pop to surrender too.  (That’s the kind of marriage they had)  Here comes the juicy stuff.

It was to be a home wedding… 

~ SJ Heit October 19, 2021

Stories like that one give me a sense of peace and continuity. As I begin to write some memories, there are many thoughts that crowd into an already overcrowded mindball.  I think the most important thought for me is this…

When does my memory meet with a perspective that will allow me to remember the memory and at the same time, give it enough air to be able to see it in a perspective of whatever smarts I have gleaned over these many years? 

Not many, I can assure you.  

My favorite Three Little Words have always been, I LOVE YOU. Abused, misused, and ultimately, on good days with great humility, expanded to include the judged, and found wanting persons who brought grief to my person;  a real achievement for this Master of Judgement.  Today those 3 words are neck and neck with these 3 words, I DON’T KNOW (for every control freak I have ever known, including yours truly, this is yet another miracle).

The Heit Family on the Atlantic City Boardwalk Circa 1938

There will be some memories that I shall want to share with you and some I shall not.  Not because of shame or guilt. Come on guys, we have all lived with those emotions forever, so as not helpful as they are, they are very familiar.  And in this case, familiarity really does breed contempt.  Most importantly, hopefully, there is a way to acknowledge their presence and yet fold them into my life.  

Oi vey, who asked me to do this?  No one, that’s who.

Not true.  I am asking me to do this.  

Today, this is the phrase I trot out for all important occasions and decisions, IF NOT NOW, WHEN???!!!

Right??  Of course, right!!!!

Love, Sally-Jane

TESTING IS NOT ONLY FOR THE VIRUS

My Dear Friends and Family,

In life and circumstances you make and lose friends just like in marriages and other kinds of relationships we lose partners because one or the other changed… grew in different directions… moved apart… (I’ve even heard of divorced partners who were better friends after the marriage ended than before…no comment!)  But testing a friendship just didn’t seem necessary because in friendship as in life there is an almost natural flow or evolution of the personalities involved as they navigate life.

The pandemic has changed all that. Who we are and the decisions we make in and around Covid 19 has created havoc with relationships ie, friendships.

In the past, I liked it when my friends agreed with me.  However, you didn’t have to.  I would say, “Hey, honey, let’s just agree to disagree.” And believe me, as Ms. Judgemental , this always made me feel super virtuous.  

Not so today. If you think the virus is not real, or masks or safe distancing is a joke,  you are not going to take the necessary steps for safety and healthy living.  Right away we have a problem. I was going to write I have a problem. But the pronoun we is the appropriate one.  

How can we be with each other, or even talk to each other, if we don’t agree on the basic steps for survival. It feels like being a Jew in Germany 1929, 1930, 1931, 1932, 1933… it’s time to leave… the handwriting is on the wall…. How long do you have to wait until you know for sure, if you stay, you are not going to survive? I recognize that hindsight creates 20/20 vision but I think it is through hindsight we can maybe get just a glimmer of foresight.   

I have finally earned enough years on this planet to understand how basically we are all the same, but how in detail we are all so different. I want to be able to say with a full and open heart, “I respect your decision”.  On a most bizarre level I do. Which, for me, means I love you but dare I say it… KEEP YOUR DISTANCE.

At a time when age itself seems to limit the number of  my friendships, I really resent this pandemic for adding another painful reality to an already complicated existence.  

I’m not alone in my thinking…. Friends Are Breaking Up Over Social Distancing (The Atlantic)

And another tree (aka friendship), falls in the forest….

I know this much. I am nothing without my friends and I am sad when I lose one by the appearance of that hooded figure with the scythe or by changes in our life values and circumstances or for reasons even a nitpicker like me does not understand. And as the years pass each loss becomes more difficult and harder to absorb into my life.  

All to say to the friends that I have, “Play nice. Wear a mask. Wash your hands. Sanitize as you go. Safe distance or no ice cream and cookies!!”

Right???  Of course, right!!!

Love, Sally-Jane

P.S. This is exactly how I feel:

P.P.S. Here are Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers telling it like it is.

P.P.P.S. Happy Birthday to a loving friend who knows how to play nice.

The Pandemic Pause

My Dear Friends,

Of late, a lethargy of sorts has infused my being. I, who explore and investigate the minutiae of my life… ”Why does that damn house mosquito keep attacking the same spot on my neck?”…

These kinds of psychological and philosophical meandering alert me to an important change in my life.  Initially that change was so gradual I didn’t notice it. But now as I begin my day I am noticing there is, for lack of a better word, a hesitation, a pause before deciding what I should do next. As I was writing a text of apology to a friend, all was revealed…

 I am curious enough to ask, is anyone else experiencing life in the waiting lane?

Sorry it has taken this long to respond to your text. And if you think I can find a good enough reason for the delay other then pandemic pause which is another name for mind and time wandering please think again. I am finally actually living my favorite play. Waiting For Godot. I have always loved that play because these two characters meet to spend the whole of the play waiting. And I find that is what I’m doing on a daily basis. WAITING….

Please don’t ask me for what. My understanding in the play is that they are waiting for God or death or both in various philosophical as well as physical situations. I think I love the play so much because I think on some level that’s my take on life. Not as a nihilist, but rather… ain’t that where life leads us all anyway?

Look what at what I just did. I simply wanted to apologize and say hello and the above kind of mind-wandering is the definition of my pandemic pause

Right? Of Course, right!!

❤️ Love ~ Sally-Jane 

P.S. Well! There are some of us who know what to do with our time… 

My Weekend Update: A Laugh A Day Keeps the Doctor Away

My Dear Family and Friends,

As we all wait, some patiently most not so, (I’m in the latter category) for science to discover the vaccine that will rid us of this very dangerous and contagious virus and for our quarantines to begin to show a down turn of the spread,  I have found myself sinking under the avalanche of virus related electronic transmissions.  And as if these statistics and charts are not enough to affect me, friends are sending me the very sad stories that come with this trail of sickness and death. 

I have always been what my nearest and dearest say lovingly, overemotional.  It is the trademark of the neurotic.  I cry at supermarket openings.   

It’s not just the virus that is contagious.  It is the mood and spirit of us humans that is very catching.

And yesterday, in response to my being glued to my electronic  instruments of torture, my blood pressure spiked.  Ahhhh, I get it.  I was stressing myself out. 

Cease and Desist!!

There are things I can’t fix, like finding toilet paper!  Toilet paper????

But I can fix my own mounting stress and if you will allow me, if any of this resonates with you, help you with yours.

Over the past weeks, friends and family have been sending me humorous cartoons, videos, and the like.

When I need to, and I find I need to more often as the quarantine continues, I go to one or two of my videos or cartoons and there is an immediate relief and release of my tension.


I have not yet decided where to spend Easter, whether in the bedroom or in the living room…”

I have put together my antidote for stress.  A compendium (I just love that word) of what makes me laugh.   

Join me in SHAKING THE BLUES AWAY…

Love ~ Sally-Jane





The Cuomo Brothers
https://twitter.com/thunderrmuffinn/status/1242273378893025282



Italian Mayors losing it as people violating #Covid19 quarantine.
https://twitter.com/protectheflames/status/1241696164782669824


And don’t every forget… music doth soothe the savage beast…

THIS IS THE WORST CONGRESS EVER!!! (NOT BY A LONG SHOT!)

As the impeachment moves into the Senate this is what I am hearing more and more. Now if you will all sing along with me to a song written by Burt Bachrach made famous by Dionne Warwick… ready?

🎵WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS NOW IS LOVE, SWEET LOVE…🎵

..and some perspective for goodness sake, and some history wouldn’t be a bad thing either.

Not that this Congress would win any medals in the “for the good of the country and its people which I have taken an oath to serve” department. They have been singularly obstructive and divisive and wholly partisan.  

However, this is not the first time and since Congress is made up of human beings (although I think on an individual basis that is debatable), it will not be the last time that we have a self-serving partisan Senate. 

I am hoping that what I am about to share with you will give you the hope we need to carry on and remember, “This too shall pass.”

Let me take you back to 1776, the first Continental Congress, the beginning of the American Revolutionary War. Only 13 colonies. Each colony a kingdom unto itself. Divided geographically and culturally, coming together only in common cause to separate from their Mother Country, England.

The Declaration of Independence, written and approved by the delegates, aka Congressmen, was their Declaration of War against England.  A war because of the selfish, partisanship, and venality of its members would have surely been lost and the United States today would still belong to England.  And don’t think for a minute that today the English think we would be far better if we had not separated. It’s a very love/hate relationship… sibling rivalry. But that is another subject.  

Back to Congress almost losing the Revolutionary war. Our history lessons gave us the Boston Tea Party, Bunker Hill, Nathan Hale, The Founding Fathers, etc. But did you know that each of the colonies, to the point of almost losing the war, played the same unpatriotic game of  partisan politics. 

Did you know that George Washington had to play along with these political games and placate this Congress to try and pay his soldiers, organize his staff and select his generals to fight a war against the largest most highly trained military machine of its day?  That his position as General of The Revolutionary Army was not at all assured? Each of the New England colonies had a favorite son they wanted nominated to take over for General Washington. He had a rag tag army not getting paid and he did not have this Congress’s full support.  The new United States of America stood on the brink of doom if the Congress had had their way.

If you want to know how the Revolution was saved from this self serving obstreperous Continental Congress then you must go to the library or your favorite book store and read Nathaniel Philbrick’s book, Valiant Ambition.

As the absurdity of, dare I call it… The Impeachment Process continues – and really what it should be called is the… You Scratch My Back and I’ll Scratch Yours Tango (a little lower please), reading this book offers a perspective we desperately need.   

The Union that brought forth this nation, conceived in Liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal, was saved.

Let us hope it not too late for this expanded Union today.

Right?  Of Course, right!! 

American Health Care, aka KAFKA KARE

My Friends,

Everyone knows, it is de rigueur not to get sick between Christmas and New Year. Now tell me something I don’t know. As someone who lives alone even with help,  eventually they go home and as luck would have it, take vacation days right after Christmas through New Years Eve.

I really tried to be brave. We all know I come from a long line of mother martyrs. I was all right.  Nothing is wrong with me.  I even start singing…

The sun will come out tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar…

By the time New Years Eve rolled around, I was finished with Tiny Tim and James Stewart and Edmund Gwen and Margaret O’Brien (and just to throw in a name to struggle to identify) Guy Lombardo. For the first time I understood the full meaning of BAH HUMBUG!

A few days before Christmas, I had returned to Florida from a brief and fabulous family holiday in New York. I was wiped out. I thought a few days of feet up would fill the bill. It didn’t. I was only more tired. After Christmas, I was no better and even more fatigued.

I called my Florida Doctor which I discovered is as much an oxymoron as Florida Health Kare. She was unavailable until January 2 and I was referred to the Urgent Care Center and so began my Kafkaesque journey, which I have written as a play…

Kafka Kare

A Play by: Dr. Mother Martyr Heit

Scene 1

Urgent Care Center Waiting Room, Florida. New Year’s Eve. The last day of the year every person who doesn’t have health insurance in Ft. Lauderdale is waiting in the waiting room.

While at home trying to figure out what she was dying from, Mother Martyr Heit had spend days assuring her daughters by phone that all she needed was to rest. After all hadn’t they just enjoyed a brief and fabulous family holiday in New York? OK, maybe rest and a blood test.

Dr. Mother Martyr Heit (DrMMH):

Excuse me, how long will I have to wait?

Receptionist:

About 3 hours, give or take.

Scene 2

Urgent Care Center Waiting Room, Florida. New Year’s Eve – 6 hours later.

Receptionist:

            Ms. Heit?

Scene 3

Urgent Care Center Exam Room.

Nurse:

            First, I’m going to take your blood pressure.

Dr. Mother Martyr Heit (DrMMH):

Of course, look all I really want is a blood test.  The menu outside says I can have one for $120.

Nurse:

            I have to take your blood pressure again.

DrMMH:

            Sure. And then can I get a blood test?

Nurse

            I have to call the Doctor. Your blood pressure is 200 over 110.

DrMMH

            That is high!  All the more reason to give me a blood test, right???

Nurse leaves.

Scene 4

Urgent Care Center Exam Room, Florida.

Doctor Enters and introduces himself.

Doctor:

I am going to take your blood pressure!

DrMMH:

OK.  But I think if you give me a blood test we shall discover what is going on!  Don’t you?

Doctor:

 It’s very high! 

DrMMH:

 So everyone says!  How about the blood test?

Doctor:

 Oh, I can’t do that!

DrMMH:

 What???  Why not??

Doctor:

Well, you already have a doctor!  And we have to wait for her to give the order to give you any medication or tests!

DrMMH:

My doctor will not be back until January 2nd !  It’s December 31st!  Is it all right with you if I walk out with that number on my blood pressure???

Doctor:

Our policy is if you have a doctor she has to order the tests for you!

DrMMH:

So, let me understand this!  I have blood pressure that could cause a heart    attack or stroke and you are not going to do anything to help me.

Doctor:

Madam, you can insult me all you want but that is this urgent care’s policy.

DrMMH:

Doctor, let me tell you, if I was insulting you, you would know it! I am simply and absolutely incredulous that you call your policy “health care”!

Doctor:

You can go to the Emergency Room at the hospital.

DrMMH:

I’m not sure I have another 6 hours to wait! This is just too Kafkaesque!!

Doctor:

 Oh, is that the name of your Dr.?

Dr. Mother Martyr Heit calls Uber. Goes home. Takes a valium.  Her blood pressure comes down.  She goes to sleep, hibernating until her doctor returns Jan. 2.

The End

The end of the play but not the end of Kafka Kare in Florida.

When my doctor returned I called with my blood pressure reading and she told me to come in.  She gave me a very inclusive blood test and urine test.  A major infection, some antibiotics and on the road to recovery.

“The sadder but wiser girl am I.”

I have already told this story a few times. No one raises an eyebrow. 

“What’s your problem, SJ?  You’re in Florida”

Last time I looked Florida was part of the U.S.A.  What happened to make the US Healthcare System the star of the third world?

Dr. Kafkaesque is alive and well in the United States.

Love, Sally-Jane

Addendum to Waiting for Godot…

My Dear Friends,

I come from a Jewish Christian Science mother… figuratively not literally.  As one of 8, in the depression era of the 1930’s-1940’s, there wasn’t a lot of money for doctor visits. So if you awoke with any health complaint, it was usually ignored.  I think this is called the grit-your-teeth-school of  grin and bear it.  You had to be brought home in a stretcher for medical attention.  From that environment, I learned to ignore the signals of any health problem.

With the first “incident”, my body finally had enough of the mind control I was exerting over my symptoms. This brought me to my knees and the emergency room. 

And now we come to the point of this addendum.  There has been a cloud over my head for several months.  Like waking up with a hangover…oh, yes, I remember that well. A very simple blood test, a very good doctor, and suddenly there is an answer. 

AN ANSWER.

Not definitive but hopefully it will lead to the definitive, and herein is the core of what I want to impart to you.  I threw off  my mental hangover.   And let me be the first to tell you that the sun is always there right behind the dark clouds. I said to a friend this morning after learning what might be the central cause that knowing what is going on in my body is 50 per cent of getting better.  She replied. 50?? Oh, no, not 50 per cent, 85 per cent!!!

RIGHT ???  OF COURSE, SHE’S RIGHT!!!

Love Again, Sally-Jane