Sunday, May 14, 2017

Brain Implant Helps Control Epileptic Seizures

Back in October of 2016, Intermountain Healthcare interviewed me regarding the surgery I'd had there in July.  The interview was for their annual technology report, showing others how advanced Intermountain Healthcare has become.  I had a Responsive Neurostimulation device, often referred to as Neuropace, implanted in my brain over the summer to help control my seizures, and I was chosen to be spotlighted for the report. 

To get caught up on my entire epilepsy journey, and to learn what a Responsive Neurostimulator is, click here

To read about the crazy interview experience, click here

I'd told my 6th grade student's about the interview back in October, and they were excited to see the magazine when it came out.  I'd been told it would be ready in April of 2017.

Half way through April, a few of my students asked me if the interview had been published.  I'd completely forgotten about it!  This afternoon, my husband and I went onto Google to see if we could find any information about the magazine, and oh boy, what we found was AWESOME!  My name actually came up when I typed it in the search engine. There is an actual VIDEO interview!  I thought it would only be in print!

To see the video interview, click here

It was a trip watching the interview, and finding my name pop up on a search engine.  My son keeps saying I'm famous.  No, I'm not, but it is pretty cool!!

I hope that I am able to continue helping those who are struggling with the decision of whether or not to embark on this journey.  Brain surgery is a VERY big deal, and is a VERY scary idea.  It's been almost a year since I received the implant, and I make progress each day.  I'm having fewer seizures each month, and continue to be happy with my decision.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Armed Intruder School Drill

As a school teacher, there are MANY different drills that we have to practice so that in the event the disasters actually happen, we are prepared to help keep the students, and ourselves, as safe as possible. The most common drills, such as fire and earthquake drills, are those that I have practiced throughout my life starting in elementary school.

These days, the type of drills we practice each month has skyrocketed. Some of these include, Lockdown, Shelter in Place, Evacuation, and Active Shooter.

For those who may not know what these are, the Shelter-in-Place Drill is a plan that protects students and staff in the event of potential exposure to a dangerous chemical that could be released through:

- an industrial accident
- a chemical spill
- a break in a natural gas pipeline
- materials transported through our community
- a terrorist attack

A Lockdown Drill occurs when there is a threat or potential threat to staff or student safety in the area. Most often, this is due to police activity unrelated to the school, but in the vicinity. In a lockdown, the school is closed to all visitors, and students are supervised indoors.

Last year our school practiced its first off-campus Evacuation Drill, where we all filed out, in one very long line, and walked down the street to the local fire house.

One drill that hasn't been practiced at the school I'm currently at, is the Active Shooter Drill. The purpose of this drill is clearly in the title, and with school violence increasing, this is a frightening, but necessary drill to practice. The idea behind this drill is to run, hide, or fight, based on your situation when the drill begins.

Our school is set up with a phone app which every staff member is connected to. During each drill, we keep in touch with each other through texting, letting each other know when each teacher and class is safe, if anyone is missing, etc.

After our staff meeting Friday, I found out by accident that our principal was about to administer our first Armed Intruder Drill. There were staff children still in the building, and they had to be removed since we aren't ready to practice this with students in the building. Since I was free to go after the staff meeting, I almost left.

One thing to note before I continue. Our school is not very big. It's all on one level, making it far more challenging to run away without becoming a victim. With that in mind, here's what happened next.

Suddenly our principal comes over the speaker telling us there was an active shooter in the building, and to run, hide, fight. I was with two other staff members. We didn't know where the "intruder" was coming from, so we couldn't RUN. Instead, we closed our window blinds, pulled up the magnet from our classroom door so that the door was now locked, and turned off the lights.  We decided to HIDE behind the main teacher desk. Strange, loud sounds came next. It wasn't music, and it wasn't anyone yelling, it was just scary. It began to feel very real. We knew the "intruder" was closing in on us since the sounds were getting louder, and were prepared to throw anything we could at him. Periodically, I looked at my phone app and discovered that staff members were actually making it out of the building, which surprised me. Others were texting that after throwing things at the "intruder", he backed away and left. Since we were as armed as we could be, we were hoping it would be enough.

And then it happened. The "intruder" unlocked the classroom door. I figured that was going to happen. I didn't realize it was going to be so easy. He flipped the light switch on, which left us temporarily disoriented, and began throwing stuffed animals at us; the drill's equivalent to actual gun fire, or some other type of weapon. We threw what we could at him, our version of FIGHT. It was really just a stapler, water bottle, and a few other COMPLETELY pointless items and then he left. I'm pretty sure that had this been real, we would've been dead.

I couldn't believe how scared I was. My heart was POUNDING. The "intruder" was dressed in full riot gear, and he was wearing a helmet that reminded me of the one Ant Man wears.

Once he left our classroom, we didn't know which direction he went. We decided to try and RUN. By this time, our adrenaline had kicked into high gear, and we ran towards the nearest exit. To our dismay, the doors were LOCKED, which we didn't expect at all! We probably could've run to the next set of doors, but that would've put us back into the hallway where the "intruder" was. Hiding in the bathroom was our next best choice.  We turned off the lights, each got into a stall, locked it, and stood up on the toilet, like this:

A few minutes later, we heard the "intruder" coming AGAIN! We figured we'd be safer in the bathroom since he'd already been down that hallway. We were wrong! The lights were turned on again. I seriously thought I was going to have a heart attack. The "intruder" grabbed the door of the stall I was in and began violently shaking it. I managed to not pee my pants while standing ON TOP OF the toilet seat! Then suddenly, more stuffed animals were being thrown into the stalls, and one of them landed in mine. Once again, I would've been dead. After he left, and we were no longer hearing the sounds, we decided that we were done with the drill and walked back to the main office. We'd also died twice already, so we were finished trying!

The "intruder" was up there, with his helmet off. I went up to him, with a smile on my face, and told him that he wasn't very nice! I also informed him that had I known he was in full riot gear, I would've slammed a chair into his face when he first came into our classroom!! I didn't want to hurt an innocent person, but man, that would've been awesome to try!!

I learned many things from this drill:
- instead of hiding behind the teachers desk, standing by the classroom door with a chair ready to hit him when he walked in would've been MUCH MORE EFFECTIVE! Again, had I known he was in full gear, this would've happened. Whoever was in the room with me would've been armed with something MUCH MORE likely to hurt the "intruder" and help keep us alive.
- The RUN option is first for a reason. We were sitting ducks in the classroom. We had no idea where he was, but if we had, we would've kept running until we found an open door.
- Adrenaline isn't always a good thing. It was very difficult to make smart choices while my heart was basically in my ears! I don't think this would change though, had it been real.
-I'm much more aware of where I should run, if this drill were to happen again...or if it was actually happening.
- I'm grateful the students weren't there for this. There were staff members who genuinely lost control of their emotions. Even though we knew it was a drill, it FELT SO REAL. Some hadn't heard the last part about it being the RUN, HIDE, FIGHT and weren't expecting anyone to barge into their classroom.
-It turns out that most of the staff "died" during this drill. It really puts things into perspective when you realize how quickly life can change.
-I don't feel nearly as safe inside my classroom as I did before that drill. I also believe that we need more training about how to properly handle this, should it ever actually happen.

I'm hoping that there is some sort of school-wide debriefing, and that the gentleman who was the "intruder" leads that debriefing. I want to know what we did wrong, and how we can fix it in the future. Tips are always welcome!  It turns out that he works for the National Guard, and does this type of drill often.

I found this in my house yesterday. Technically it belongs to Brandon, but he's not into stuffed animals anymore since he's almost 10! In honor of the stuffed animals that were being thrown at us, I've decided to donate it to the cause!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

NeuroPace RNS Surgery Recovery: 6 Months

Well, it's been 6 months since my RNS surgery; I can hardly believe it's already been that long!  If you're unfamiliar with my story, you can get caught up here.

In the three months since my last update, I've experienced many lows.  The most frustrating thing is that my seizures haven't really decreased.  Instead, they have increased.  We're not talking about having a ton more each month, but enough that it's upset me. This surgery wasn't an easy decision to make AT ALL, and it was done with the reassurance that my seizures would decrease. I went 24 days without having a seizure right after surgery before the device was even turned on and I began wondering why I'd even had the surgery if this time frame between seizures was possible! The goal with this surgery is to NOT HAVE SEIZURES, not to have MORE of them than BEFORE brain surgery!

With this in mind, we became more aggressive when it came to my RNS adjustments.  During the last 3 months, I've only had the device adjusted twice.  I wanted it adjusted much more often, even two or three times a month if possible, because again, I was ready for this to be done, and was frustrated. I needed to see more positive results.

I was told by my neurologist that I can't have the device adjusted weekly, or even bi-weekly because as I transfer data from my computer to the NeuroPace "home base", it learns more and more about my brain to present the most accurate information to my neurologist so it can provide me with the best results.  The "home base" needs a good month of data to know how to best make it all work. My neurologist told me that it will probably take a good year before there is enough data to really get my seizures "controlled". This really frustrated me. I was looking forward to possibly applying for full time teaching jobs in March for the upcoming school year in August. I can't do this with my seizures still uncontrolled.

The past three months I've had to remind myself that this is a process, and I need to exercise PATIENCE while it does what it needs to do. This isn't going to just magically fix itself over night. My brain has been continually screwed with for almost 20 years as the seizures have taken over. I suppose I can continue to wait while this surgery is given the opportunity to do its thing.

Okay, now that that's out of the way, here are the much more positive things that have happened.

Physically, I've pretty much completely healed.  As you can see from the picture, my hair has started to grow back (the hairs sticking up on the right side of the picture!) It's going to get interesting during the next few months because this chunk of hair doesn't want to lay flat with the rest of my hair!

Where my seizures have increased, they continue to change in good ways. They are shorter in length, and MOST of the time I know exactly when they're coming, and can snap out of them much quicker. One morning I was getting ready for work, and was fixing breakfast.  When I went to pour milk into my cereal, I almost put water in it instead because I went into a seizure!  Luckily, I was able to catch myself right before the water went in!

I went to see Dr. Strange in the theater in November. There is a part of the movie where there are A LOT of strobe lights. I was able to make it through that part of the movie without any trouble, knowing that my mom was watching me the whole time out of the corner her eye!

My scar has also healed.

I'm so grateful that I've taken the time to write these experiences on my blog. One reason I've done it is because if it helps just one person decide whether this surgery is right for them, or simply helps give others more information about it from an actual person, instead of just a doctor's perspective, then it's worth it. Another reason I'm glad I did this is because my memory is garbage.  I don't want to forget this experience; the good and the bad. This meme says it better than I ever could:

My hope is that this device does the trick. It's going to take longer than I wanted it to, but that's okay. Does it suck that it won't happen as fast as I want it to? Yes, yes it does. However, like I said, I've been dealing with this for 20 years; what's another year going to hurt?

I'll see you in another 3 months with an update!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Carrie Fisher Tribute: Our Princess

I was working on my Rogue One review, but the news of Carrie Fisher's death has warranted a post about her. Where I realize that she is an accomplished author, screen writer and comedian, and mental health advocate, I'm choosing to focus on the role she's known best for: Princess Leia.    

When news broke last Saturday that she'd had a heart attack while flying to Los Angeles from London, I was stunned, and worried, as many people were.  Many people survive, and recover from heart attacks. Throughout the day, we began to hear that it wasn't simply a heart attack, but that she had to be resuscitated continually while waiting for the plane to land.  It started to become clear that she may not survive this. Memes, and twitter messages such as this popped up everywhere on social media throughout the Star Wars community.

Throughout the weekend I was hoping to hear something...anything about her condition.  News finally broke yesterday morning that she'd indeed passed away, and for the first time that I can remember, a celebrity death not only devastated me, but practically brought me to tears.  She was only 60 years old, but I'd be willing to bet that the many years she struggled with drugs, and bipolar disorder added to her early death.

As I sat on the couch, scrolling through Facebook while people continued to share the news, I wondered why this was hitting me so hard.  To be honest with you, I felt a little silly as I became choked up while talking about it with my husband.  There have been MANY celebrity deaths this year, and they never bothered me.  It was sad that they died, but it didn't effect any of my day to day activities. And then it hit me. MY princess, the face of a character I've loved and dedicated YEARS of my life to, was gone.  Star Wars is a HUGE part of my life.  I live and breath Star Wars.  I know the movies line by line (not the prequels), can debate them with the best of people, and LOVE getting into discussions about these fabulous movies! I've written many blog posts about this franchise.  30 Days of Star Wars  is a blog challenge I did, completely dedicated to this franchise. It explains my obsession with it perfectly! Princess Leia is on decorative plates that hang from one wall, on the wreaths that also hang from another wall. She is found many places inside my house.

Her passing would've been sad no matter when it happened, however, it hit harder because she was in the middle of completing the latest Star Wars trilogy.  She was back in the spotlight, and more popular than ever. Fans, like myself, waited DECADES for movies following our ORIGINAL heroes to be made. We never thought it would really happen, and the idea just fell away from the minds of all Star Wars fans. We were finally rewarded with The Force Awakens last year, and looking forward to episode 8 which will be released this coming December. Mark Hamill, the actor who plays Luke Skywalker, confirmed to us at Comic-Con last September that they had finished filming episode 8, so I know that she will have at least one posthumous appearance as the Princess.

The question on the minds of many fans, myself included, is, "What will they do with the character of Princess Leia now?"  We don't know how episode 8 ends, and it has been stated for years that the role was to be reprised for episode 9. So how do you handle this devastating loss? Well, you CAN NOT recast this role. No one except Carrie Fisher is Princess Leia. Case closed.  I have no doubt that there would be a massive outcry if they tried to fill her shoes with another actress.  Rogue One created a CGI version of a young Princess Leia who appeared at the very end of the movie. There were other CGI characters that looked wonderful, there was even one of a former Star Wars actor who passed away in 1994, and it worked very well. However, the CGI of Leia just didn't look right, in my opinion. I suppose they could try that route, but would it be too soon to try it? It's one thing to use CGI to recreate an actor who has been gone since 1994, and was only in 1 movie. It's completely different to try it with a central character. Sure, episode 9 won't come out until 2019, but this loss cuts deep.

Real Leia

CGI Leia

They may have to simply kill her character off-screen.  Where Princess (General) Leia's character was at the end of The Force Awakens, it was obvious she wasn't going to just get up and leave the Rebellion any time soon.  It's a very sad issue that the writers and the franchise now has to deal with.  Any time an actor dies during the production of a movie, it's tough.  Will they go back and make changes to the end of episode 8? Guess we will have to wait and see.  One thing is for sure; it's going to be very bitter sweet on December 15, 2017 when episode 8 opens. Knowing this is the last time we'll see her as Princess Leia, and the last we'll see Princess Leia at all...lets just say I'm betting it will be an emotional experience for many, maybe even myself.

Carrie Fisher was also known as someone who told it like it was and was very blunt...and hilarious at the same time.  Here's her roasting George Lucas a few years ago.  I dare you to watch this without laughing!!

And finally, I've spent hours looking for the right video for the end of this post.  I wanted one that had clips from A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, and The Force Awakens.  I was also hoping to find a video that was set to the theme music for Princess Leia, that was written by John Williams.  I found that in this video.  Set to the song, "Leia's Theme", by John Williams, here is a fabulous tribute video.

I look forward to the arrival of this book.  Carrie Fisher was on her way back from London after doing a promotional tour for it.  I didn't realize it was all about a diary she recently found that she wrote while filming A New Hope. If the entire book is as good as the pages Amazon would allow me to read, I'm in for a lot of laughs!!  

    I couldn't have said it better if I tried  

As was said in The Force Awakens, "She will always be royalty to me".  We will miss you, Princess Leia. The Force will be with you...always.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Sears Customer Service; The Bedding Story From HELL!!

In one word, Sears Customer Service SUCKS

October 21st Nick and I bought a new mattress from Sears.  Since it's a bigger bed than what we have now, we needed to buy new bedding to fit it.  The bed wasn't scheduled to be delivered until November 1st, so we used the gift card we were given from Sears to purchase bedding online on October 24th.  It was set to be delivered on the same day as the mattress, so where it was going to be close, we knew we'd be good to go for when the bed arrived.

We received our bedding early, on October 27th.  That was the ONLY positive thing about this experience! The moment I opened the HUGE box, I knew something was wrong. To put a spin on a well-known Star Wars quote, "This isn't the bedding we were looking for"! This is a picture of what we ordered:

MP-10 338
And this is what we received:

MP-10 388

In all my years of online comfort shopping I've never received the wrong package.  I understand that mistakes happen, so I was ready to make an easy call to Sears, return my package to the local store, and have them fix the problem.  Little did I know this was just the beginning of the most RIDICULOUS "customer service" experience of my life.

I started by going to the Sears website to find a phone number for customer service.  I wanted to make sure I did the return the correct way.  Their website doesn't give you access to a phone number, because that would be too easy!  They have this service option where they bring someone on to "chat" with you about your problem, and then they try to help you fix it. It's really just a text conversation. So, even though I believe it's a much better idea to speak to an ACTUAL HUMAN BEING, I began a chat.  

I calmly explained my situation. I believe that you catch more flies with honey, so I always try to be polite to the people I'm talking to.  It's not their fault that something wrong happened.  Anyway...

I was told that I couldn't take the bedding back to the store and just have the new bedding ordered.  I have NEVER purchased something online from a store where I couldn't just take it back to the local store if there was something wrong and just reorder it right then and there. I was told that since it came from the Sears warehouse, they won't accept it inside the store.  SAY WHAT?!?  The only way to return it is to send it back through UPS to the warehouse in OHIO even though the bedding originally came from CALIFORNIA!  

This was not going to work for me.  Our mattress was scheduled to arrive in less than a week. It would take 5 days for the wrong bedding to get back to Ohio, another 3-5 business days for them to add the money back to the gift card, to RETURN THE EXTRA MONEY WE HAD TO PAY TO BEGIN WITH since the bedding cost more than $100, and then another 5 business days to get the correct bedding back to me!!  The last thing I was going to do was get a brand new mattress dirty by sleeping on it without bedding!  No thank you.  

I expressed to the person I was "chatting" with that I need that bedding.  They messed up, they should do everything they can to make this right.  The employee added notes to our "conversation" that due to their error, I would receive a 10% discount off the next order I placed. Then I was told that the only way to reorder the bedding that day was if I paid for it out of my pocket or wait until they receive the incorrect bedding back from me!  I understand that they want to make sure I'm not stealing their property by having me return it first, but that's what I wanted to do:  TAKE IT BACK TO THE STORE AND REORDER THE CORRECT BEDDING WITH THE GIFT CARD MONEY!!  I don't have any more was just spent on a mattress! That's why we were using the gift card to purchase the bedding!  10% off was a nice attempt to make this better, but it wasn't going to help me get my bedding before the mattress arrived!

After more than an hour "talking" with this person, I'd had enough.  I was ready to punch my computer screen and was tired of "chatting" with this person and was feeling like this:

Image result for being frustrated images

I decided to take the bedding to the local Sears store and see what an in-person customer service representative could do to help me.  

Still calm, remembering that the people inside the store aren't those who have made me crazy, I proceeded inside the store.  It took quite a while to find someone who could help me.  You'd think that in a store of that size they'd have more workers.  Maybe this is one of the many reasons this store is caving!  Eventually, a very nice boy helped me.  I call him a boy because I am easily twice his age...and now feeling old!  For over an hour he did all he could to help me.  He was stunned that this huge box was delivered WITHOUT A RECEIPT...don't even start me on that!  He called their corporate office, explained my situation and the mistake they'd made.  He completely agreed with me that this was ridiculous and even after spending ALL THAT TIME on the phone with the powers that be, I was still told the same stupid story about this bedding!  He did give me the number of the corporate office because there was NO WAY they weren't going to hear from me! 

The next morning, I called Sears' Corporate Office.  By this point, I was seriously ready to poke someone's eyes out with a fork, but I was as calm as I possibly could be and explained my situation to the nice lady on the phone. During the beginning of our conversation, the call dropped and she was gone. Great...just great. Fortunately about a minute later, she called me back and apologized...she hit the wrong button when she went to place me on hold.  After once again being told the same crap from the night before, I began to let my frustration show in my voice.  I mentioned that if I did order it again, I needed the bedding expedited to me so that I'd have it before, or on the day that the mattress arrived.  She told me that they could do that, but it would cost $80 to expedite it to me!  ARE YOU ABSOLUTELY KIDDING ME?!?  First they screw up my order, then they have this BEYOND RIDICULOUS return policy. If I wanted the bedding before the mattress arrives I have to pay for it again, or wait 3 weeks for this mess to be sorted out, and now they're telling me that if I do order it again, out of my pocket I HAVE TO PAY $80 FOR THEIR MISTAKE?  That was it. Stick a fork in me, because I WAS DONE!!  I told the lady that I would be returning the bedding and would purchase my bedding somewhere else; that this was the most ridiculous customer service experience I've ever had.  Apparently that declaration led her to put me on hold and see what else she could do.  A few minutes later she tells me that if I purchase the bedding again, they could take half off of the expedited fee...still charging me $40 to get it to me on time. Well, that just changed everything and made me want to order my bedding again! What a fabulous compensation for their mistake!!  She told me that was all they could do.  I laughed, told her that they need to rethink their return policies and hung up.

Having done all I could to express to them my frustration and pointing out that their customer service is awful, I focused on finding a bedding set for our mattress arriving the next Tuesday.  I called Target, Walmart, and a few other stores and we learned that stores around here don't sell California King bed sets in the actual store.  Great...just great.  I priced out bed sheets and discovered that simply buying another bedding set would cost the same amount as the sheets on their own, so I started looking around.  I found a bedding set online from Target.  Since we still had the problem of getting the sheets to us on or before the mattress, we had to pay to ship the bedding faster...thanks again, Sears.

Our bedding was to come via UPS on Tuesday;, the day the mattress was arriving.  When we received the Sears bedding the week before, the UPS man who delivered it left it in the complex main office since we weren't home and I picked it up there later.  I checked the tracking on the new Target bedding and it said that they attempted to deliver it, we weren't home, and they would make another attempt THE NEXT DAY!  What the...????  WHY DIDN'T THEY LEAVE IT IN THE OFFICE?!?  

By this time, I felt like this:

I called UPS on my lunch break and asked why it wasn't left in the office.  Apparently it's up to each individual driver to decide if they think where they're leaving the package will be a safe place.  Wait...the COMPLEX OFFICE isn't considered a safe place?!?  Once again trying to stay calm, but pretty much done with all this crap, I let the person know that we paid extra money to have this expedited to us and we need it TODAY!  I was told that they would deliver it again later that day, and leave it in the main office.  I was hoping that this mess would FINALLY be over.  Man, was I wrong.

I picked up the bedding when I got home and was thrilled that it arrived.  The mattress was set to be delivered by 7pm that night...we did it.  I began opening up the bedding and immediately noticed that something was wrong.  There was a comforter, bed skirt, pillow cases, and bed pillows, BUT NO FLAT AND FITTED SHEET, which is what I needed more than anything else!

Image result for being frustrated images

That was it.  I was done.  I had to actually start laughing or I would've ended up in a mental institution!  I looked at the bag the bedding came in and wanted to just throw up.  The package said it came with all the items I received, but never mentioned that there was a flat and fitted sheet inside.  WHEN DID BED SETS STOP INCLUDING FLAT AND FITTED SHEETS?!?  This one was my fault, plain and simply, but I will blame it on Sears just because they started this mess!!

By now the mattress was being put together and we still had no bedding.  Finally it occurred to me that we have a Bed, Bath, and Beyond nearby.  I don't shop there because it's very expensive, but by this point I was beyond desperate.  So I called them, and they have California King sheets!  I got there and wanted to die when I saw how much a flat and fitted California King sheet would cost me.  SERIOUSLY?!? Wow...just wow. The only good thing to come from that is that I received a 20% discount due to an app on my phone! 

FINALLY, after 9 days of stupidity, we had at least the two things we needed to keep our beautiful, new mattress, well...beautiful and clean!

The bedding from Sears made it back to Ohio the next day.  I called to verify it's arrival and to ask when we would be receiving the $100 gift card, and our extra money back.  It would take about 3 days for them to simply email a new gift card code to us, and another 3-5 days for the rest of our rebate.  Whatever.  As of yesterday morning we still hadn't received the email, so I "chatted" again with customer service.  They hadn't even started fixing the problem.  Let's just say they put it on the fast track and I received it later that day.  I was excited for this to FINALLY be over, for us to purchase the bedding that should've been here to begin with, and then return to bedding we bought from Target because it didn't have the sheets we needed...and because we could TAKE IT INTO THE STORE TO DO THAT!!!

Last night, I had my final "chat" with Sears customer service.  Our gift card email said that our balance was only $88, instead of the $100 we began with.  I was told that we don't get refunded shipping and handling, and taxes.  Once again, ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?  I informed this person that there is a 10% discount that was gifted to me, and I wanted it applied to this order.  I also managed to get this person to not charge us shipping and handling since the card didn't really refund the entire $100, and they have screwed me over so many times during the past 9 days.  I stopped fighting it because with these two discounts, the bedding now cost less than the gift card, so we wouldn't have to pay anything out of pocket.

I gave the man all the correct information about the order, and the gift card number.  He began to place the order.  5 minutes later he comes back and tells me that the order won't go through on his side.  I have to order it from my end, give him the order number, and then he can apply the discount and take out the shipping fee.  So basically, I had to completely order the bedding using the $88 on the gift card, then pay for the shipping and handling, and the 10% I'm supposed to have discounted to me.  In another 3-5 BUSINESS DAYS that money will be refunded to me, along with the out of pocket money we spent on the FIRST PURCHASE!  

Luckily, I've now learned the hard way about the exclusion of a flat and fitted sheet, so I made sure to purchase a set that will match the bedding that had better be correct when it arrives!!!

NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER again will I EVER purchase something from Sears. Their customer service is the biggest joke I've ever heard of, and I am just crossing my fingers that the bedding will be CORRECT this time, and that our money will be refunded WITHOUT me having to converse with this company again!!

Sears should really pay attention to this last meme.  There is so much truth to it.  Not only will I never shop there again, but I'm sharing this experience with as many people as I can to warn them of the stupidity of this company.  Apparently I'm not the only person this has happened to.  I've read many, many comments from people who have also had issues with Sears.

Have a great day, and here's to hoping that I'm done with this place!!  If I was a drinker, I'd be drunk as a skunk by now.  Since I'm not, I'll go eat some chocolate!!!

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