All posts by Ripper

Kidney needed

My name is Anthony Geremia, I was diagnosed with kidney failure in 2010 and have been on dialysis since then (I was actually told on Dec 23rd, 2008 that my kidneys were in trouble, but the final straw was a water pill I was put on that did them in).

I must point out that my kidney failure was a direct result of high blood pressure. I have been asked, more than once, if I was a heavy drinker. I was not, and kidney failure has NOTHING to do with alcohol. My kidney problem was inherited. My paternal grandmother died from kidney failure and everyone in my family has high blood pressure, making all of them poor donor candidates, as well as possible kidney failure patients.

I have been on the NY kidney list since 2010, but that list can take up to 12 years to produce a donor. I am searching for a live donor. The donor does not even need to match me, they just need to be a viable donor. That means someone who is relatively healthy (no high blood pressure, no diabetes, no illnesses that affect the kidneys). The facility can and will arrange what they call a donor swap. If I can produce a viable donor, even if there is no personal match, they will make the match with someone else.

Donating a kidney, while a big deal for me, is not that bad for the donor. Yes, there is an operation, and pain, but the donor actually heals quickly and can return to their normal life in about 2 weeks, sometimes less. The donor will have no loss of quality of life from their donation and they automatically go to the head of any list if they ever need a donated organ. They will also have my undying gratitude as well as the same from the rest of my family.

I am currently unable to work, although I managed to keep my business going until 2012. I am a musician and artist. I ran a fairly successful automotive customizing company until I was unable to work any longer. I would love to reopen, but I cannot at this time. Dialysis is taking a toll on my stamina, energy and ambition. I need to get back to being a productive member of society. Getting a kidney would help in that immeasurably.

I am currently receiving no help or assistance of any kind. I am not on Welfare, Food Stamps or any other state-run program. I am living off my bank account, which is dwindling quickly. Luckily, I have health insurance. Dialysis costs $74,000 per month. I’d be completely broke in 2 months without my insurance. Paying my rent, utilities and car insurance, not to mention food and any extras I may need, is emptying the bank quickly……

me

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February 2015

I found a new treatment facility. Lynbrook Dialysis. I like it there. The staff is friendly and they know their shit. Much better than the last place. I have lots to do and mot much time to post updates. I will when I can though.

January 2015

Well, I made it back from Las Vegas in one piece, no thanks to my social worker at dialysis, who outright lied to me about what my treatment options were while traveling. My new mission is to find a new treatment facility. I tried today, but being a holiday, no one was working. I skipped my treatment for today as I do not want to ever see those people again.

I did manage to get the job done that brought me across the country with some time to spare. I also managed to win some extra cash, even though I’m not a fan of gambling. Boredom caused me to sit at a slot machine. I won fairly quickly, got up and walked away, but needed to kill more time, so I sat back down and won again.

I miss the warm temperatures, but I’m glad to be home. I have lots to do. I don’t miss the smell of cigarettes everywhere.

When I got home, I realized I brought the wrong house key with me. I also gave a copy of the same key to a good friend who was supposed to check on the place while I was gone. Needless to say, she couldn’t get in. I had to break the door down. Another friend said it’s a good thing I don’t have a pet that needed food…..

New year

Hopefully the new year will bring better luck for me and many people I know. I have been making this wish for many years without much success and I hear that things have to change, but they haven’t changed yet, except for the worst.

Things have gone from bad to worse since 2008. It wasn’t great before, but it definitely went over the cliff then. Between the economy, which still hasn’t recovered, my health which went off the deep end in one day and hasn’t rebounded yet although it hasn’t gotten much worse since 2010, which was when I went on dialysis and work, which followed my health right off the cliff, and I haven’t recovered from that yet either, things are just “wonderful”…

To top it all off, I am a musician. I rely on my hands for that. As long as I can play my guitar, nothing else is that bad. As of the end of November, I can no longer do that either. I don’t know what’s wrong and I am waiting for a doctor’s appointment to try to find out what is wrong. If I can’t play my guitar, I don’t know what to do. It’s my last refuge from everything that is going wrong.

All that being said, I am optimistic that 2015 will be a year of positive changes. I have to be or I’ll be walking into the ocean, heading for France….

I hate to keep bringing up Sandy, but…

Someone asked me a question on one of the forums I moderate. To answer his question thoroughly, I would have had to consult my color books, which were lost during Sandy. It made me think about what I lost from that storm.

To start off with, and this is the worst loss ever. Mom got pneumonia due to the storm. We lost power and heat for 3 weeks. I had previously installed a gas fireplace for her, and we used that as our heat source, but it wasn’t enough to keep her from getting sick. It was too much for her.

Aside from the devastating loss of the center of the family, I also lost many personal items as well as work stuff. I lived in the basement, so my apartment was under 7 feet of water. This included all of my furniture (I had a custom made wooden bedroom set hand made by my grandfather), a dozen guitars, many keyboards, keyboard and sound modules, 3 computers, 2 terrabytes of songs I recorded over the years, all of my backup drives full of data, collectibles including a 1934 Lionel train set, every Hess truck from 1964-2012, many still in boxes. Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars from the 60s up to recent, all in original boxes or packaging, many 1/24-1/25 scale plastic models from the 70s, HO trains, some as old as 1940, N gauge train sets, n gauge bus set, Aurora/AFX car and truck racing sets, books, records, movies VHS and DVD, cassette and 8 track tapes. I am sure I’m forgetting lots of stuff, like cooking utensils, pots, pans, plates, silverware, glasses, bedding, towels, clothing…..

Then, we go to the shop. The shop had a foot of water, so all the tools in the bottom drawers were lost. I kept all the power tools down there. I had just bought a few vintage power tools. They were on the floor. My jacks (4) were all lost as were Many other tools that were out as I was in the middle of a project when I went home for the day that fateful day. My welder was damaged, as were some of the other electrical equipment. My color books were on the bottom shelf of the paint mixing machine. I lost them as well as the entire bottom row of tints.

All in all, I lost about $250,000.00 in stuff I can never replace. I got exactly $0.00 in help from FEMA or anyone else anyway. We got just enough at the house from FEMA to replace the boiler, hot water heater and electrical panel, all of which were under water for two days. We lost out on getting more money because Mom was the owner of the house and when she passed, the lines of communication with FEMA were shut down instantly. We ended up selling the house as we couldn’t afford to finish fixing it and pay the mortgage as well. I am now renting an apartment, which is a new experience.

Not sure what to say

I try not to get political, as too many people take every word and twist it to their own meaning, but lets just say I have a lot to say, but I’m holding my tongue. We have lots of problems in this country and in our world, and I am not sure what the answer is to fix those problems.

What I do know for sure is, it seems no one else has an answer either. The people in power in this country, at every level, seem to be clueless and only care about advancing their own agenda and gaining more power. Every day just proves this more and more.

November

Well, November is here. That means winter can’t be far behind. Glad I don’t live in Buffalo though. Time has come to reevaluate my business choices. I have already taken the website maintenance site down as it was just doing nothing anyway. The site is still there, but all the content is now gone.

I also removed all the content from the recording website. It was just sitting there, taking up web space. I may pull both down or just forward them to the main site (this one), which is the only one that has generated any income in the past few years.

Next up might be the removal of the airbrush forum site, No one is using it and takes money and work to keep it running.

And, finally, I may give up on the shop. It’s been getting harder and harder to get work done. Ever since I got sick and my partner did his best to destroy the business while I was home recovering, it has been an adventure, to say he least. With all the new rules regarding sprinklers and fire suppressors, it would cost almost $200,000.00 to set up a shop to spray and I just don’t have it.

October

I’m not a fan of fall. It means winter is not far behind. Winter never used to bother me. I worked all winter wearing just a thermal sweatshirt over my clothes. I did towing at all hours in all weather. I enjoyed shoveling snow. The cold was just another thing to deal with on the job. Ever since I got sick, the cold bothers me. Even if it’s 50 degrees, I’m cold. Cold, wet, snowing, freezing rain, ice storms and the rest… You can keep it. If I could afford it, I’d have a winter home somewhere warm.

That said, I don’t ever give any real thought to leaving NY. If it gets worse though, it may be something to consider. I have a friend who wants me to open a shop in Miami. I have to admit, I have given it some thought, especially during last winter.

August

So, it’s August already. It feels like I was just out shoveling snow yesterday. But, I digress. Still working on getting work space. Looked at several buildings, some for rent, some for sale. Nothing worthy yet, except for one building for rent in Westbury. It went before we could make a deal. A previous prospect who was unsure, became sure….

I can’t tell you how much work I have turned away while looking for work space. I get phone calls and emails daily from people looking for custom work and looking for me to do it. I’ve even made a deal or three to go to the customer to do the work. I can’t operate like this normally, but in a few instances, it is possible to get the job done this way.

On a personal note, I am also still waiting on a kidney transplant. Many changes have happened, but there is not much new to report. I will update if and when things change on that front.