A Letter to Julia

All Rights Reserved ©

Chapter 9

Her Own Business, Building Plans

Mary had battled chronic fatigue and nausea since she was a teenager.This had been a constant in her life.In spite of her chronic illness she persevered.In all of this Helen and I traveled along with Mary.Sometimes we tried to talk her out of decisions we felt would be harmful to her, other times we were encouraging.Always we were there to help when fatigue and nausea got the better of her.Working was especially hard for her since she couldn’t always lie down when she needed to.She needed a job where she could work from home, lie down when necessary and be there to take care of Julia.It turned out that during the years we were building on the lake home Mary was working on this problem and in doing so planning a new and better future for her family.

A large company, such as Microsoft, had contracts with a myriad of different companies.Some were small, as with vendors that provided candy machines, and others were for millions of dollars.Once the details of a contract were worked out, the contract had to be reworded into a binding legal document.While working for Accenture as a Contract Administrator Mary had noticed that the contract rewriting in many cases were being handled by expensive law firms at hundreds of dollars of fees per hour.Mary began thinking that she could do the same for a lot less and still improve her financial position.I was busy building and Mary was working on this idea all on her own.I know that parents of children without a chronic illness are happy when their children move out on their own and start building their own lives.Parents of a child with a chronic illness will understand how thrilled Helen and I were when Mary did the same.

Mary researched the requirements for starting her own business.She determined that there was a market for the contract services she would offer.She obtained her business license and started Magalhaes Services on March 25, 2003 and in October Mary started on her first contracts.Mary’s yearly income before she started her own business varied, but was on the average below $20,000.This was because of her need to work part time to preserve her health and strength.Magalhaes Services really brightened he financial future.Now she was averaging over $90,000 per year and getting to work from home.I was just down the street working on the lake home and when I visited Mary she would often be in her bathrobe busily working away on her computer while Julia played nearby.I was so extremely proud of her.

Mary’s business was also a big benefit to Helen and me.Once we were married Helen had stayed home and taken care of the kids.We liked it that way as Helen was free to come on the various University of Washington field trips that came along over the years.Also, with Helen home to clean house and take care of the other domestic chores our weekends were free for other pursuits.After the first set of kids was grown Helen had taken a job at a local farm, Farmer Dan’s, which gave tours to school children from the city.Helen was never keen to pick up animals, but got used to taking children to the pens, picking up the goats and other animals and telling the children about them.Occasionally Mary helped there also, but this was for only a short period of our life as the owner soon moved to the East Coast.Otherwise, Helen stayed home.

Once Mary completed a contract it needed to be taken to Microsoft offices in Issaquah, about a 30 minute drive away.There was also extensive copying to be done.Mary was not always up to make the Issaquah trip, or endure the physical work of copying contracts.Helen took over these chores for Mary.In the past we had helped Mary when necessary, but now Mary could pay Helen.Soon Mary’s siblings were working part time for her also.Mary not only lifted her own family’s financial prospectsshe also lifted her extended family’s.With the income from her new business Mary was in a position to move forward on the building of her home on Pipe Lake.

March 7, 2011: Another email just came in.Mirapex caused compulsive behaviors must be a world wide problem.Living in the United States it is easy to see things just in terms of our own country.Getting this email from another country is eye opening for me.I want to protect the privacy of the person who emailed so I will only include this excerpt as it was sent.

“There is no doubt among medical Personnel that it was the medicine that made me start with the gambling.

But getting the court to understand that you are so crazy in your head because of the medisine. That you are not able to stop i by yourself, is not easy.

I’m sure there are many out there who have experienced these side effects, but choose notto tell anyone about them. Because they are embarrassed and are afraid that they are notbelieved that it’s the medicine that makes them crazy.”

This email tells about yet another sad story of a life and plans for the future ruined by the compulsive behaviors caused by Mirapex.I try to get Mary to read these emails, but she is not emotionally up to it.I think that corresponding with other victims would help both of them, but asking her sends her into crying into another room.I’m trying to help the people who are emailing me and Mary at the same time.The emotional burden is taking a toll on me. Never before in my life have I given up and I don’t plan on doing it this time either but too many of the emails I’m receiving are from people that are considering ending their own lives as they see no future for themselves.

Our financial burdens are crushing me.We are trying to get a home loan modification, but are so far unsuccessful.The flower shop is not making any money. I frequently deliver flowers to viewings for the deceased.I’m struck with how peaceful they look laying in their coffins. I fantasize about how nice it would be to just lie there and be done with all these problems. But I know how devastating suicide is on the victim’s family who can’t understand why someone that loves them would want to prematurely leave them.My family and Mary need me. I have to shake these thoughts.

From our own experience and from the emails I’m getting it is clear that the Mirapex caused compulsive behaviors are very different from other drug side effects.All the victims I’ve heard from so far and including Mary were rendered incapable of understanding what was happening to them until extreme damage was done.

We finished building the lake home in the summer of 2004 and I turned 59 in July of that year.I had been building on homes in every decade since I had gotten married in my third decade.Now in a year I would be starting my 6th decade and I was ready for a break.In 2004 Mary started the preliminary planning for her home rebuild by hiring a surveyor to verify the property lines on their lake property.This was necessary since in a survey before we built our own log home we found our property lines to be off by several feet.We were just a half a block away and we were afraid the problem would carry through the intervening property to Mary and Joe’s.The surveyor confirmed our suspicions and the modified property lines were marked out.

With the new property lines established the way was cleared to begin developing house plans.I had always drawn the plans for my own homes and gotten the permits myself.This had saved us thousands of dollars.In order to do that the rules were such that the actual home owner had to draw the plans.I could help Mary in the drawing, but she would have to physically draw them herself.Mary knew I was tired from building the lake house and her improved financial position made it possible for me to help when necessary, but not be the principle person everyone depended on.Mary and Joe went to the Seattle Home show and stopped at the booth of an architect that specialized in remodeling older homes.Subsequently he came out and looked over their cabin on the lake.He crawled underneath and looked at the property.He agreed to act as their architect.For the first time in my life I could relax and have the fun of being in on the building without the hard work.

Magalhaes Services made it possible to start building on their redo of their cabin.It also made it possible for Mary and her family to have better vacations.In October of 2003 Mary had celebrated the starting of her new business by treating her family to a trip to Disneyland.Throughout 2004 Mary’s business had been thriving and in May of that year they traveled together as a family to Hawaii.Friends had provided a condo they could stay in for free.Joe had been stationed in Hawaii as a Marine.This trip meant a lot to him as he could show Mary and Julia around the island and recall the good times he had in the military.

As 2004 ended we were all feeling great.Mary’s business was helping us out with our finances as Helen was still working for Mary.Mary and Joe were looking forward to starting building in 2005.All our children were with us on New Year’s Eve.Mary not only had survived Lupus but had thrived in spite of it.

Helen and I were really enjoying living on the lake that first year.We used to come out to the property quite often in the summer and occasionally in the winter when the lake froze over.But now, spending all year gave us a new perspective on lake living.When we moved there we purchased a plastic paddle boat, the kind that is unsinkable; where two people sit side by side and pump bicycle type pedals.The paddle wheel is hidden undercover between them; no splashing and plenty of fun.It’s great for the grandkids as they can’t tip it over.We used it all year around, even in winter.The week between Christmas and New Years of 2004 we paddled around at night looking at the Christmas lights people put out on their docks.Some lake owners even had lighted Christmas trees complimenting the lights.We didn’t have a dock, but Helen bought some lit-up deer that we put down in our yard.

We had good friends that we went dancing with.Before they visited our finished house for the first time at Christmas, Sharon mentioned that all the lighted deer that people put in their yards at Christmas really “drove her nuts”.We all had a good laugh over that one.

March 8, 2011:Only one day later and I’ve gotten another email in response to my video.This is by far the worst one yet.Here are excerpts from her email that show the living horrors of Mirapex, but hide the identity of the victim who I will fictitiously call Jean

“ As I look around and survey my house, I see the remains left by a person who was driven b an unseen force to leave the house as early as 4:30AM in the morning EVERY DAY (including
Xmas, New Years, etc.) and bring home furniture, clothing, appliances, food, luggage, shoes, linens, sporting equipment, construction materials, tools, jewelry, household goods, chandeliers, lawn equipment, medical equipment, books, toys, stuffed animals, office supplies, etc.
without regard for :
* weather - frostbite on fingers (still healing)
* personal safety - Fell upside-down in a dumpster last Sept. breaking my hip
(still healing)
* my family - They cannot sit at a table to eat, or in a room to visit with anyone. Why ? Because they are drowning in a sea of COMPULSIVE LITTER.”

Jean had quit taking Mirapex and is under a doctor’s care for severe withdrawal symptoms.The good news is that she stopped all compulsive behavior and she has the support of an angel of a husband.It seems the people who survive the compulsions of Mirapex have supportive families.

Mary’s house plans were finished and the building permit was approved in the spring of 2005.Joe had started to remove the decks that surround the cabin and they have paid to have the necessary trees removed.I’m not sorry to see the trees go after the terrifying experience during the windstorm.There was a single car carport right next to the road that also had to go.It was in good shape so we had a family workday, took it apart, loaded it in a rental truck and drove in West Seattle to my daughter Amy’s house.This replaced a rickety carport behind their home.Another family work day later and the carport was successfully reassembled on their property.

The building permit for Mary and Joe’s cabin was for a remodel instead of the building of a completely new home where the other one stood.This saved a lot of money and made it possible for them to stay in their home.We had done a similar thing with our second home in West Seattle so it seemed natural for Mary and Joe to do it.The plan was to dig a new basement under the one story cabin using the old floor of the cabin where possible.The new basement was to be about twice the size of the old foundation so the cabin would have to be supported by columns (cribbing) ofstacked four by fours over nine feet high while new basement walls were built outside of the cabin.We had built log homes where we had to lift log joists ten inches in diameter and sixteen feet long two stories high, but digging out underneath the cabin and supporting as we dug seemed too much to tackle ourselves.Thank heaven that Magalhaes Services made it possible to pay to have it done.

In August 2005 the digging started.A friend of one of the construction workers that was digging the foundation lived across the road from our lake home.He wanted to extend his from yard and level it so the extra dirt from the digging was trucked there.I liked coming home from work and walking down to see the progress.I watched them put in place a steel I-Beam under the front of the cabin which they temporarily supported on house jacks. Then they lowered the beam and the front of the cabin onto two stacks of four by four cribbing.The cabin had a glass sliding door from the front room opening onto a lakeside deck.Now if anyone stepped out of that door they would plunge over nine feet to the ground.Everyday I was very thankful I could watch instead of working.

March 15, 2011:It is only eight days later and there is another heartbreaking response to my video on YouTube; more marriages in tatters due to the compulsive behaviors caused by Mirapex. I want to remove my video and hide from the world, but hiding will not fix our problems.I want Mary to read this and respond, but she can’t bear it.I can hardly bear it.Helen will at least read them, but she has trouble responding.I should be glad that I’m adding to my compilation of Mirapex caused compulsive behavior, but I can’t seem to build up much enthusiasm for it.I’m depressed every day.I wake up depressed and go to bed depressed.

I wish I could print these emails just as I received them, but I shouldn’t.Here is my reply.

“Thanks for your detailed and nice reply. My daughter has almost fully recovered from the effects of Mirapex, but it’s been two years. She is still depressed over what happened to her however. Her problem was spending every waking hour and most of the night either looking for bargains on the Net, or sewing clothes that she never finished. No sex and gambling. We now have a lawsuit against the manufactures of Mirapex and I can give you the contact info for her lawyer if you would like. I also understand that there is a class action lawsuit against Mirapex in Canada.”

I’ve started out giving victims the contact information for the lawyer that is handling Mary’s lawsuit.H. Lee Thompson cannot solicit from victims directly but they can contact him.I haven’t yet heard that anyone has contacted him but I don’t suppose it would be legal for him to tell me anyway.

My years as a scientist taught me to put aside any emotional connection to my research and strictly stick to the facts in front of me.Sometimes that meant agreeing with other scientists that I could hardly stand to be in the same room with, but such is the making of a good scientist.I’m trying the same technique with these emails I’m receiving.I’m trying to treat them as pieces of data, like the temperature or the make up of clouds.Unfortunately Mary’s experience has made everything to do with Mirapex personal for me.I’m hiding my true feelings from everyone around me. They know I’m depressed but they don’t know how badly depressed I am.I think everyday of dying.I can’t afford to break down.

In November of 2005 Mary and Joe’s home was not completely supported on the temporary cribbing.The back of the cabin needed to be reset on the steel I-beam that now supported the back of the cabin.The cribbing was braced, but I wasn’t convinced that a severe earthquake wouldn’t shake it loose.The digging and bracing had cost more than Mary had budgeted for that phase of the project.This did not surprise me as my sister-in-law had hired a contractor to remodel her West Seattle home.Much to her dismay the costs ran way over the original estimate.These cost underestimates also seem to normally plague public work’s construction.Mary took the sensible approach of asking me to help Joe with some of the work so she could save money.

Joe and I decided to finish firming up the cabin on the temporary cribbing, then quit for Christmas.For the first time in my life I was scared working on a building project.It was frightening standing under their cabin with the I-beams supported by the cribbing.I wondered how fast my 60 year-old legs could run if an earthquake struck while we were working.I pictured being squashed like a bug.I had seen a picture of someone in Africa that had been run over by a tank.It was a cartoon-like image of a person several times normal size and flat as a piece of paper.This is how I thought I would look if the cabin fell on me.An earthquake didn’t happen, and using a house jack I inherited from my father, Joe and I completed the bracing before Christmas as planned.

March 28, 2011:Jean and I have been emailing continually as she is suffering from DAWS (Dopamine Agonist Withdrawal Symptoms).Mary has finally agreed to at least read some of the emails I’ve been receiving.This is a big step forward for her.I’m forwarding Jean’s emails to Mary today.

Continue Reading Next Chapter

About Us

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.