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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Dear Anonymous:

Yesterday, I checked the Spam folder for my blog. I must admit, I don't do this often and it's been awhile since the last time. I used to check it more frequently, before I put up that "prove your not robot" picture thing on the comment section. Since then, I get very little in the spam folder. Yesterday, I found three messages.

The first spam was offering me "Great deals on Porta-Potties!!!!" Oh-kay. Ha! I hit delete.

The second spam caught me off guard as it didn't make a lick of sense. Posted by "Anonymous", as a comment on my blog about Bob's new I-Pad, on June 16, it read:

"Nice having your own blog where you can delete
truthful but unfavorable comments that you
don't want to face up to. You can't have your generous
blog friends seeing that, although I'm sure some of them
thought the same thing.
Isn't it time you stop using good-hearted people?"

I read this message and thought, Huh? I read it a second time, then a third. Since it wasn't signed, I had no clue who this person is/was or what they were even talking about. So I hit delete.

Then I read the third spam, also posted on June 16th by "Anonymous" about an hour earlier from that second spam, as a comment on Bob's new I-Pad. It read thus:

"That was a really bold and selfish thing for you to ask of Dan. 
 You should have waited until you got your money, or you should have 
purchased it on a credit card. If you don't have one, I am
pretty sure one of the companies would give you one now.
I certainly hope you pay it forward."

All righty.  So now I know what that second nasty spam message was all about.... At this point, I had a couple of choices. I could hit delete and forget about it. I could revert the spam into an approved comment on that blog post, but since the post was over three months old, I doubt anyone would read it. Or I could do this, blog about it, which will give me an opportunity to respond (and others an opportunity to comment.) So here's my response:

Dear Anonymous: (May I call you Anon?)

First of all, Anon, I find it irksome when folks don't sign their comments. Why are you hiding?  A long time ago, a writing instructor told my writing class that one should never publish a single word that one is not proud to own, i.e. no hiding behind pen names, no hiding behind "anonymous", if you are not proud of what you have written, proud enough to put your name on it, don't publish it. Good advice, if you ask me.

Secondly, I did not delete your comment. It ended up as spam. This is done by a spam detector which I have no control over and I don't know why your comments ended up spam, but perhaps because the comments weren't signed? Or maybe it's your brower or server or address....? I don't know. I'm not that high tech. All I know is I did not delete your "truthful but unfavorable" comment. I did not even read it until yesterday. 

Then, Anon, regarding the whole I-Pad situation, I do hope my blog readers don't think I was "bold" or "selfish" to accept Dan's very kind offer. I had already accepted his offer, which he had sent to me out of the blue, and after mediation where we "resolved our dispute" with the hospital, I wrote to Dan and told him I would totally understand if he wanted to withdraw the offer. I also told him that, if they still wanted to send the refurbished I-Pad, I knew Bob would really appreciate it now and I would "pay it forward" by giving it to another aphasia patient in need. I left the decision completely up to Dan and friends and they decided to go ahead and send it.

And also, Anon, as far as credit cards go, do you realize that we had nearly $30,000 worth of unpaid medical bills and defaulted credit cards in collection at that time? I do not think any credit card company would have given us a card, on just my word, until that mess was cleared up. And the one card I had was nearly maxed and needed for monthly medical supplies.

I wonder too, Anon, if you know how hurtful your comments were to me and do sincerely hope that no one thinks, like you, that I am a "bold" and "selfish" person who "uses good hearted people". But I suppose it's an easy thing to write hurtful comments when one doesn't have the courage to sign their name...

Diane @ The Pink House on the Corner

FlashApps Animal Category
All that said, Dear Readers, I want to take a moment to thank Dan & Company again -- your gift to Bob was not just a gift of an I-Pad, but truly a gift of speech!

And really, who'd have thought? I can't believe how beneficial this I-Pad has been for Bob. I mean, who would believe something like an I-Pad could help speech therapy so much?

Bob's ST found a free speech app called FlashApps which is geared for Bob's specific aphasia problem -- that of using the wrong word in the right category. For example, Bob will call a "cat" a "dog" or  his "arm" his "neck". He's in the right category (animals or body parts) but has the wrong word. FlashApps provides 12 categories (everything from body parts to animals to colors etc) with a series of photos of four different things in that category. The voice will say the word and Bob has to pick the right photo. If he chooses wrong, the photo he chooses gets X'd out and he's told to try again.

Bob is getting really good at FlashApps, going from 20% correct to 100% correct answers on every category except "body parts" -- he is still very very bad with body parts. But, he is also speaking more spontaneous correct words! The ST is very excited with his progress and has graduated him to harder assignments involving comprehension and memorization and forming complete sentences. She still uses the I-Pad for showing him a variety of photos/scenes and asking/cueing him to construct sentences to describe what he sees.

So, as Anon insists, if I am truly "bold and selfish" for wanting the best for Bob, well, I'm glad, because having this I-Pad in conjunction with this therapist at that time and place has been nothing short of a miracle. If I had waited until the first settlement payment (in September) Speech Therapy might have been over, ended for lack of progress, as has happened in the past.

And believe me, I will never forget the generosity and support that Bob and I have received from so many wonderful people over these very trying, long four years. And I will do my best, to the best of our ability, to pay that generosity and support forward. I already have a person in mind to send the I-Pad to (as soon as I have time to get Bob a newer one!) and that person is the husband of a friend/fellow caregiver I met online, and he suffers from aphasia (the result of a traumatic brain injury) and they are financially struggling...


oc1dean said...

Wow, I usually don't give any anonymous comments the light of day for the exact reason you had about signed comments.

J.L. Murphey said...

If the person does not have one of the accts listed to post a comment it comes up anonymous. Like Dan, but he signs his. I chose the filter that doesn't allow anonymous comments which leaves poor Dan unable to comment. Shucks!

Behind ever chat type application, even blogs, there are those who say nasty stuff behind the wall of pixels. You handled this brilliantly by the way.

Barb Polan said...

Maybe your Spam-detector could tel he was a mean hypocrite.l.

Helen of WI said...

If Anon ever falls on hard times with huge medical bills, maxed out credit cards, and car problems, I am sure he absolutely will not accept any help from anyone else whatsoever. (That's sarcasm of course.) He is probably wealthy, with awesome insurance, and in good health. Why would he think anyone might possibly need a helping hand. And if something does happen to him, would his wife (if he even has one) stand by him life you have stayed with Bob.

You just keep doing what you are doing. I think you are great.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, there are hurtful, hateful, angry people in this world and one of them has decided to pick on you for some odd reason.

As the donor of that I-Pad, I too can tell "anon" I did so because I wanted to help. You did give me the opportunity to back out of my offer when your settlement was confirmed, but my family & I agreed to sent you the I-Pad anyway, knowing it could be months before you saw any of the settlement. It was also agreed between you and I, the I-Pad would be "paid forward" to someone else in need when you were able to purchase a new one for Bob, and I knew that would indeed happen. It was with great pleasure I made the donation, and I'd do so again in a heart beat if replayed.

It's too bad my generosity got "anon" so bent out of shape he had to reach out with venom toward you.

As I've said before; your commitment, strength, love, and devotion toward Bob is like no other, and I tip my hat with awe in all that you do.

As always; hugs & prayers to you both, Dan

Mike Furr said...

Reminds me of a quote Brene Brown use's and refers to called "Man in the Arena". Look it up, it's worth your time. If it's spam or someone can't own their words then it isn't worth your time to even look at them in my opinion.


Rebecca Dutton said...

My mouse died so I wasn't able to respond quickly to this post. Anon sounds like an Internet troll who likes to get attention by being nasty. I think your arrangement for the iPad was an honest interaction. I am so glad Bob has had the benefits it brought.