My brilliant, hilarious son

Published April 11, 2015 by JaynCameron

Saturday, April 11, 2015

To Drive or Not to Drive

I had an epiphany earlier today while watching episode 3 of The Crazy Ones, Robin Williams last sitcom.
In the show his daughter is in her 30’s and can’t drive. My son is in the same situation. Robin Williams character Simon, had tried to teach his daughter to drive by abandoning the steering wheel while doing a 70 mph on the freeway. He thought it was effective, but finds out from Sydney, his daughter that it traumatized her so much, she never even wanted to try driving again,
I suddenly realized I had tried to teach my son to drive in a CEMEtERY. I told my husband that’s probably why Brandon won’t learn to drive. He burst out laughing, but I was dead serious, pun not intended. I also realized that while we were driving, I showed him the tombstone of a guy I went to high school with who was killed our senior year in a CAR WRECK! Knowing how my child interprets things totally different than I do, I realized it probably scared the hell out of him.
My husband is still laughing. I wonder now what else I did that made him fear the world. It’s a miracle the poor kid isn’t in an institution. God help him, I may have damaged him beyond repair.


Mourning the death of Robin Williams

Published August 22, 2014 by JaynCameron

Friday, August 22, 2014

Mourning the death of Robin Williams

The recent suicide of Robin Williams really upset me. My husband and I started dating during Mork and Mindy’s first season and I’ve enjoyed all his work. Yesterday however I watched  Inside the Actors Studio: Robin Williams and now I think I understand it a little better. EVERYTHING he did involved talking and moving his well-controlled body. With a recent and secret diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease, I think he realized he wouldn’t be able to perform much longer since Parkinson’s involves speech and movement. I believe that with his beloved children grown, performing was his life,  and he had to be devastated by the diagnosis. Depression alone is bad enough, as I well know personally, even with treatment. The combination of these two diseases in such a brilliantly creative actor and comedian would be too much to bear, in my opinion. By the end of the program, I actually felt happy that he wouldn’t have to suffer the inevitable symptoms. If a god exists and I believe one does, I ‘m sure he/she/it is laughing today. I send my deepest sympathy to his family, friends and millions of fans. His death is a great loss to this world.

I would also like to say I won’t respond to the many negative comments this post may generate like I’ve read on various sites. It may not even be read. Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion and this is mine.

Premonitions and Ghostly Encounters

Published February 19, 2014 by JaynCameron

I’ve had a few experiences, none of them scary like you see on television. They’ll embellish everything for ratings, so don’t let them scare you. I think there are different dimensions in the universe and we just transition from one to the other. Occasionally we may see them overlap.
Three of my experiences involved my son when he was a child. I just knew if he was in real danger. I felt physically like someone was pressing down on my shoulders and had an intense feeling of dread. The first was when he was 3 and my husband had given him permission to go to a park the next day with his cousins. I immediately did not want him to go. I just had “that feeling.” But we let him to go and we went to a movie. I couldn’t enjoy myself because I was so worried about him. When we got home, the phone was ringing. It was my mother telling me he was alright but had been in a car accident with his cousins. He was the only one in the car who didn’t have a broken bone. My husband listened to me after that.The second time, he was about 8 and in his room playing video games while I went next door to sit on my neighbor’s porch and talk. After about 45 minutes, I had that feeling again and went to check on him. He had put pizza rolls in the toaster oven and forgotten to turn it off. It was just beginning to smoke, but since he was in his room with the door closed, he wouldn’t have smelled the smoke in time to get out. There were no smoke detectors back then. The last time it happened he was 11 and he and a friend had gone to work with my husband, who is a Systems Analyst/Programmer at a local university. It was on a weekend night and no other employees were there. I suddenly had the feeling after they had been gone about 4 hours. I called my husband who said he was okay, he had just gone to get snacks out of a machine on another floor. I insisted he check anyway, and it turned out my son and his friend had used an elevator that required a key to operate. It was open so they got on, but couldn’t get out. They’d been stuck for about an hour. That was the last time it happened. Call it mother’s intuition or what ever you want, but it was a physical feeling, as well as an emotional one.

As far as ghosts, the house I grew up in was a two story basic middle class house. From the time I can remember, I had never felt comfortable being upstairs alone, even in my room. At about age 3 I saw something green and scary in my parents bedroom doorway. After hearing me screaming, they turned on all the lights and showed me nothing was there. But it was futile. I had seen it, and I remember it to this day. For years, if I had to go upstairs alone, when coming down, I raced down the hall to the stairs. I just felt like something or someone was watching me. After my father died and my mother sold the house and moved into an apartment in the basement of my brother’s home, she told us the previous owner of the house had shot himself in the bathtub. I have no idea what was upstairs in that house, but something definitely was. My younger brother had felt it too, but never mentioned it. My mother had offered the house to any of us who wanted it, but none of us did, It was a nice home, but creepy, to say the least.

My second ghost experience was when I was a senior in high school and my friend and I had skipped school, which I’m sure none of you young people will EVER do. We went to a small Catholic cemetery overlooking a road where we could see traffic but nobody could see us. After smoking and talking for awhile we decided to leave and we couldn’t find her car keys anywhere. We had only been on the bottom of a slope on a small hill, sitting on the marble grave stones of long dead priests. After spending about 30 minutes on our hands and knees searching fruitlessly for the keys. I got up to stretch my legs and noticed at the top of the hill a small ornate gazebo and decided to go look at it more closely. I walked up the hill and noticed it said Marguerite, who had apparently died at age 12 in the 1930’s. I didn’t notice the last name, but there was an angel statue in the center with a pointed gazebo roof and a stone railing around it. It was such a peaceful place and I could tell she had been a much loved child. I called for my friend to come look at it, as it was so unusual. As she walked up the hill toward it, I saw, lying on the stone railing, her car keys. We hadn’t been anywhere near that area of the cemetery. Neither of us felt frightened. It was like a child had played a trick on us. We left, relieved to be able to get home right after school was out for the day.

I had forgotten about it until years later when I was married and had an 8 year old son. Another friend came over with her daughter and 2 year old granddaughter. The little girl was thrilled with a pair of pink heart shaped sunglasses she got free with a kids meal at one of the fast food chains. She wanted to go to the park so she could wear them. The park was crowded with older kids so we decided to visit the little cemetery again. We walked up the hill, my son holding the little girls hand and walking about 10 feet in front of us, looking at the ancient tombstones of clergymen and women from the local parish. After awhile I noticed the little girl had taken off her sunglasses and was carrying them in one hand while holding my son’s hand with the other. In a short time, she began crying saying she had lost them. We looked around where we had been walking, when I suddenly remembered the car keys incident. I told my friend about it and we walked farther up the hill to Marguerite’s gazebo. We hadn’t gone near it, yet there on the railing lay the sunglasses.

My friend’s daughter was terrified and insisted we leave immediately. I still felt like it was just a child playing with us. Neither of the children were afraid and my friend felt peaceful, but we left to appease her daughter.

Thinking about it later, I realized I had never noticed Marguerite’s surname, and didn’t really care to go look. Who knows what it was? A child who didn’t realize she was dead, or some trick of nature but I do know it really happened. I was raised in a Baptist church and as a result of being threatened with hell every week of my childhood, I’m not particularly interested in religion, although I do believe in a higher power. I don’t attend church. This didn’t feel like any type of religious experience, just an incident that couldn’t be explained.

After I married and had a child, we moved into a house with a ghost cat. I would see it just out of the corner of my eye. A snow white kitten sleeping. My son , who was 5 at the time, also mentioned seeing a white cat a few times, but my husband chalked it up to both of us being mental cases. I worked midnight shifts as a nurse at that time and frequently felt like it was playing with the blanket on my feet. I even kicked it off a few times.

Five years later, my husband was in the attic looking for a leak and found a mummified young cat up there. Interestingly, about a year later, during a snow storm, my neighbor’s children brought me a half frozen kitten their mother wouldn’t let them keep. It was gray with the slush from the street, but when we gave her a bath she was snow white. We had her for 18 years, before she died of natural causes. Maybe we had seen a premonition of her coming into our lives, but who knows? It can’t be explained.

If ghosts are real, I hope I never see one, but I often feel the presence of family members and friends who have died. If I can type after I die, I’ll be sure to let you all know what happened, ;).

Inside Intensive Care

Published February 19, 2014 by JaynCameron

Inside Intensive Care

by Jayn Cameron

I spent twenty five years as a Registered Nurse. ER was my specialty, but I worked in almost all departments, the last twelve years as house supervisor, Not all of my stories are as serious as these, in fact many of them are quite funny. I will share them as well. It’s not my intention to depress anyone with the following accounts, but I do believe the public should be aware of the painful truth of the situations of many of these critical patients. I saw good outcomes too, but these stories will stay with me until I die. These stories were written about events that occured in 1995 or earlier. That was my last year of nursing. I hope things have changed for the better, but I sincerely doubt they have.

February 2, 2001


The patient is eighty years old. He worked on the railroad for forty years of his life. He has been on a ventilator for almost a month now. He came into the Emergency Department at two a.m. on that first night, having suffered a massive stroke. He had been without oxygen for almost ten minutes at home. No family member knew CPR and that’s how long it took the ambulance to get there. The paramedics were required by law to intubate him and administer emergency cardiac drugs. Unfortunately, for this man, they worked. His heart resumed beating, but his brain was irreparably damaged.
This damage is invisible to his family, however, who judge his condition by the pattern of electronic lines constantly crossing his monitor screen. Every few minutes, he appears to moan, silently though, since the breathing tube threaded through his vocal cords prevents any sound from escaping his throat. After a few days, he was started on a tube feeding, ordered to be administered twenty four hours a day. Two days after the feeding was started, he developed almost constant diarrhea. Since the nursing staff has been cut to three or four registered nurses to care for twelve patients, and all the patients in the unit are critically ill, it isn’t feasible for his diaper to be changed every fifteen minutes , as it should be. His nurse changes him as often as possible, but sometimes he goes for an hour or more without being changed. All the while, the acidic liquid stool he produces burns and eats away at the skin of his buttocks. The nurses try over the counter creams and anything else they are allowed to use without a doctors order. A few nurses try forbidden treatments, ones that physicians are supposed to approve, but don’t. Those few nurses are not on duty every day though, and soon the lesions on his buttocks become infected. Despite conversations between the nurses and his doctors discussing the fact that nobody eats twenty-four hours a day, and that maybe that’s why he has the diarrhea in the first place, the feeding orders are not changed.
His face is now contorted in an expression of pain almost around the clock. His family visits twice a day. Every grimace and involuntary movement is interpreted by them as a sign of recovery, a sign of life. They love him and will never consent to turning off his “life sustaining” machines, as long as he is moving. His pupils are dilated, he has lived his life, but his wife can’t let him go. Seeing him only twice a day, she can’t see the suffering he endures. Really, only the nurses who are with him all day and all night can see it. Even some of them can’t.
On one day, a nurse goes in to perform a urinary catheterization, does it successfully, and in an act of unspeakable negligence, leaves his frail body uncovered when she leaves the room. He is naked, exposed to passersby, cold and bluish. It may be an hour before a more compassionate nurse passes his room and notices. She covers him with a warmed blanket and strokes his thinned hair before charting off, clocking out and going home. He will live, rather exist, in this undignified and cruel state of being for another three months, before finally, blessedly, dying.


She is thirty-four years old and has been comatose for over a month. She came in originally with varicella, simple chicken pox. The herpes virus invaded her system though, and the resulting sepsis brought her to the Intensive Care Unit. She has three small children in foster care, due to her past drug problems.
Her stepfather, a self proclaimed minister, visits her every chance he gets. The nurses notice he frequently seems to touch her inappropriately, in intimate places. Her mother stands by silently, indifferent and perhaps afraid. Her need for this man has long outweighed her concern for her daughter. She loves her daughter, she later admits, but “a good man only comes around every so often.”
The patient is unconscious, yet she feels pain, a fact her nurses are reminded of by the grimace on her face when they turn her, clean her, barely touch her. Her agony is apparent, yet time after time they push that Code Blue button on the wall. Compelled by law and afraid of losing their ability to earn a decent living, they code her every time she tries to escape her tortured existence. They succeed for a full four months, through fifteen cardiac arrests, until a greater power determines that enough is enough.


He is eighteen, and an overdose patient, or O.D. as the emergency room staff calls him. He is the adopted son of a man and woman of good intention, but he never really felt he belonged to anyone, and no matter how he tried, he just couldn’t seem to live up to the expectations everyone in his religious family had of him.
He ached to belong, but believing he never would, he turned to a chemical cure, an anesthesic for his raging emotions. One dark, desperate night, he simply decided it wasn’t worth it anymore, and with a glass of bourbon, swallowed every pill he could find in his parents home. Twenty Halcion prescribed for his mother, sixteen Elavil his father had needed temporarily a year ago, and thirty-two Midol his sister used for her monthly relief.
Society tells us that no decent person uses drugs, but in reality most all of us do. They just happen to be legal, purchased from a pharmacy instead of a dealer. He survives for two weeks on a ventilator. He has no control over his bodily functions, and when his school friends visit, he is often found soiled. If he were conscious, he would be mortified. When his friends aren’t there, his family is at his side, usually discussing their belief that he will burn in hell for killing himself. Can he hear them? Who knows? But why take the chance? Sometimes his nurse falsely tells the family she has to change him or turn him or check his rhythm strips more closely, only to get them and their condescending remarks out of the room for a while; to “give the kid a break,” she says. When this child finally dies, only his seventeen-year-old girlfriend cries.


She looks like an angel, with her blonde hair brushed lovingly on her pillow . Her little chest rises and falls with the forced respiration her machine provides. She had left her home the day before to go on her first vacation with her family. She and her brother and sister were so excited to be going to Disney World. Not even halfway there, a coal truck slammed into the back of the minivan her father had stopped at a red light, forever changing their plans and their world . She is their baby, only six years old, and she will never open her eyes again.
At the hospital, when I see her, her pupils, hidden under white baby lashes, are fixed and dilated, her brain dead. The organ procurement director has already arrived. Her parents have amazingly decided to donate whatever organs can be salvaged. I have to witness her father sign the permission form. It is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. From his hospital bed, I put him in a wheelchair and take him to a conference room. There the cororner, the organ procurement director, and I, the nursing supervisor, have to explain what will now happen to his little girl. He wants to see her electroencephalograph strip one last time. It is flat, there is no brain activity. Just a strong, beating heart, functioning kidneys and liver, and viable corneas remain. Shaking and sobbing, he signs the form.
Discharged from the hospital, he and his wife insist on staying until the surgery is performed. They want to follow the hearse that will carry her back to her hometown. In the hall, as they are leaving, they inadvertently run right into the physician who has removed their child’s heart, and is carrying it now in a red and white cooler. Nobody speaks but everyone knows.
Weeks later, I write a note to the family, expressing my sympathy and applauding their selfless act. Some time later, I receive a letter from the child’s mother. “I’m doing alright,” she writes, “But Bill still has nightmares that our baby wakes up screaming on the operating table.”

“The Birthing”

Published February 18, 2014 by JaynCameron

The Birthing
by Jayn Cameron

March 28, 2001

I used to write on a now defunct site called Themestream.
This is a response to Edmund Conti’s challenge,

We had to use the following poetic terms, correctly of course!

couplet, tercet, quatrain, villanelle, prosody, poetaster, sestina, limerick, slant rhyme, iamb, trochee, anapest, dactyl, sonnet, vers de societe , proem, doggerel, dirge, jingle, pentameter, end stop, enjamb, triolet, partoum, envoi, poesy, ode, clerihew, edda, epode, caesura, ballade. metric feet, alliteration, onomatopoeia, rhyme scheme, abab, stanza, elegy, aubade, persona, phoneme, lay.

When Phil and I first became a couplet, we spent many long hours discussing having abab. After we married, we spent many a quatrain trying to lay successfully in order to produce a little persona. One day, I had good news! I called Phil and said, “Oh Sestina! Iamb pregnant! He was overcome with alliteration that the rhyme scheme had finally worked. Our friends were green with envoi!

The little poesy grew and grew. Ode, all we could do was stanza and watch. As the months passed, I spent more and more time on the triolet. I was caesura I would never have this baby! As I grew bigger and bigger, Phil became the dirge of my ballade. I kept wanting to enjamb my fist down his doggerel pentameter! I was miserable! Would this ever end stop?

One day I said, “Phil, this is all your fault! You big villanelle!  I hope you die because you’re a jerk anapest!” He knew I didn’t really mean it, that it was just me being tercet because I was so onomatopoeia! He really is such a great partoum! It made me feel so clerihew, that I had been so trochee lately. I felt so bad that I made him a big pitcher of limerick, his favorite dactyl drink.

One day, I began to feel a jingle in my vers de société , and I knew the time had come to epode.   I said excitedly, “Phil, phoneme my mother and Aunt Edda! It’s time for the little prosody to arrive. When Phil called my mom, she said, “Are you sure this isn’t a false aubade?” He was adamant. “Just get your elegy to the hospital! The little poetaster is coming soon!”

Off we went to the hospital. In the time it takes to read a slant rhyme, our little proem was born.  We were so thankful that he had two metric feet!  Suddenly, my mother came running down the hall screaming, “Is it a boy or a girl?” Phil smiled broadly and said proudly, “It’s a boy! A perfect little sonnet!

I won. 🙂