Red Hat: Doctors Pride

redhatTwenty years ago, someone hurt me, we have been all through this and I am not going to bore you with the details. Twenty years ago, my body suffered a significant amount of damage that has cascaded into more damage over the years. Twenty years ago I had surgery to repair some of the most egregious of that damage and provide me with some relief, my spine from T2 to T5 were fused, we used human material, my choice. At the time, I thought the doctor was a miracle worker and the surgery a true miracle, my pain went from a nine on a scale of 1-10 to an average of three immediately, I was in heaven on earth.

That was twenty years ago, this is today.

I have been pondering my reaction to recent events with my doctor and his referral to ‘the best neurosurgeon’ in Dallas. Really, this clinic and this surgeon treats members of the Cowboys!

Let me tell you why this is my Red Hat of the year, my friends.

This has been a hard year for me pain wise. Last year it started to escalate. I know what is wrong; my regular doctors know what is wrong too. We have all been down this road for a very long time now. This time though everyone said, ‘no more injections it is too much and too far-gone, time for something else, time for an expert to take a look at the damage and determine next steps.’

Not really what I wanted to hear, but I didn’t disagree. My last MRI’s were 14 months ago, so when the new clinic called to make the appointment they said, ‘no the DOCTOR will want new film, don’t bother to bring what you have.’ I thought this was odd, but I did what they said and I didn’t throw all of my Cervical and Lumbar MRI film into my purse. On the phone, I asked did my doctor explain the referral was for both my Cervical and Lumbar; the nice young lady happily responded in the affirmative and explained I should set aside enough time for x-rays, MRI and a consultation.

I did just that, I took the entire day off to make certain I had the time blocked. Well that isn’t quite what happened, indeed that is nowhere near what happened.……..

There are eighteen doctors at The Clinic. They are apparently very proud of themselves, very proud of the fact they treat professional athletes and others of wealth and influence. Their clinic is a model of efficiency when it comes to your sign-in, making certain they have all your financial information that is.

This was not my Doctor, dammit

This was not my Doctor, dammit

Perhaps those with a great deal of money, or those who wear professional football jerseys don’t care how they are treated by their medical providers. Perhaps, they accept a lack of courtesy as part of the game.

On the other hand, I have a standard, even for professionals considered to be at the top of their field. Part of this standard is do not under any circumstance treat me as if I am stupid, unaware, beneath your contempt or not worthy of your time. Despite your years of education, the accolades of your peers and the worship of those professional athletes you have treated I am still paying you! Between me and my insurance cold hard cash is leaving our pockets and entering yours.

I am not a charity case; you aren’t climbing down off your effing ego mountain, wading through the muck to treat me. Indeed not, I drove to your clinic after spending the better part of an hour filling out reams of paperwork, providing you not only with my insurance information but also with my personal financial information and then waiting for you for 45 minutes after my appointment time because your time is clearly more valuable than mine is. After all that, you Herr Doktor had the unmitigated gall to act as if I wasn’t well enough informed, smart enough or perhaps interesting enough to be sitting in your treatment room.

First, you had not bothered to read the Referral sent over by the doctor who has been treating me for eight years.

Then you callously observed my throat and arms had been sliced open and demand an explanation. Frankly, Doctor, none of your business but since you must know my ex-husband tied me to a bed and took a straight razor to me.

When you finally got around to looking at the x-ray you couldn’t figure out what those strange ‘pathways’ in my neck and into my spine were. Had you read the referral you would have known they were bullet entrance and exit wounds, but you couldn’t be bothered so I had to explain it. Your comment to this, oh yeah; “I healed up nicely.”

pain

This was the first ten minutes; we spent another five exercising my right arm, which is periodically numb, periodically paralyzed, and periodically so painful I wish I could cut it off. You my good doctor, your diagnosis? I have arthritis in my shoulder and need a better painkiller and some physical therapy. When I explained I try to avoid painkillers so I can live a full life, you suggested I simply take more Motrin and handed me a ‘prescription’ for physical therapy, told me to go wherever I wanted and come back to see you in March. Are you even aware the damage 2400 milligrams of Motrin will do taken daily?

Mind you, I have never had arthritis. There is not a damned thing wrong with my shoulder and never has been, movement hurts because my cervical spine hurts and I have nerve damage you numbnut. Did I fail to mention, he didn’t have time in the first consult to deal with both the Cervical and the Lumbar, I would have needed to make two appointments for that. He didn’t order MRI’s. What he did say to me as he left the room…..

“You win for the best story of 2012.”Kickm

Well, Dr. Andrew Dossett of The Carrell Clinic wins for the worst bedside manner, least compassionate, worst listener and most egotistic medical provider it has been my experience to run into in many years.

Was this a bit incoherent? My apologies. I am between terribly peeved and in pain, have been for weeks now. I am also between a rock and a hard spot, so is my regular doctor, we will work it out but in the meantime I am stuck with how do I get through the day.

I don’t often call out names in my Red Hats, but in this case well I just thought it was worthy. How does a Doctor, a person who takes an oath to ‘do no harm’ act in such a callous and uncaring manner. Wasn’t I in a big enough puddle on the floor? Did I not show enough abject misery?

Sorry Doctor, it isn’t my way to weep and gnash my teeth. But it should be your way to show compassion and treat the patient in front of you not your effing assumptions.

Turning the Tables: Why Conservative Christianity Bears the Burden of Proof — [D]mergent

Repost Comment w signatureTurning the Tables: Why Conservative Christianity Bears the Burden of Proof — [D]mergent.

Hard Stop Sanity

If I haven’t visited you lately I apologize, I had a very difficult time processing my feelings after the tragedy of Sandy Hook Elementary this past Friday. I have watched social media for the week, watched friends and family make their personal stands on the issues of gun control, mental health and a host of other surrounding issues. This is a disclaimer, I am not a mental health expert, I am not an expert on the Constitution nor am I an expert on all the issues surrounding firearms, murder rates or suicide. I am a parent and a grandparent, I am a victim of violent crime, I am a survivor of domestic violence and I am a citizen of the United States. I care about living in a civil and sane society in the future and I care about the future of my children and grandchildren.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

At what point, then, is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, If it ever reach us it must spring up amongst us; it cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time, or die by suicide.

Abraham Lincoln, Young Men’s Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois January 27, 1838

We are complicit through our inaction, through our fear and our refusal to acknowledge the issues we create through greed, ignorance and ideology. Yes, I said it we created the Hell that sees our children dying in their classrooms, in the streets, in the mall. We are responsible for this mayhem, this chaos this vicious cycle.

We are a nation of paranoids, a nation of victims wrapped in flags with Bibles in one hand and high capacity military grade weapons in the other. What are we afraid of? Oh sure, the government is tyrannical and somehow we must protect ourselves (hint: even with the weapons you have they have better ones). Of course, you need these high capacity clips and assault weapons to defend your home (hint: if you have fired 100 rounds in 30 seconds Bible&Gunsyou have likely killed your own family along with the bad guys and if they aren’t down you aren’t getting out alive).

We should not be quick to jump to conclusions, we should not be quick to slap that ‘insanity’ label on giving us the excuse to wipe our hands and carry on with our mundane lives. The truth is, most spree murderers are not clinically ‘insane’, do not have long-term psychiatric problems and are not psychotic. The make-up of the mass murder is changing, what isn’t changing is access to high-capacity magazines and military guns making the death toll higher.

The meme of those who demand their Second Amendment rights remain sacrosanct:

  • Guns don’t kill people Kill
  • 64,999,987 legal gun owners killed no one yesterday
  • Know guns, know peace and safety. No guns, no peace nor safety.
  • Gun control is hitting what you aim at.
  • The right to buy weapons is the right to be free.

Don’t you just love some of those? Yeah, me too they make me all warm and fuzzy; not.

In light of the tragedies of recent years, does the above stupidity hold weight? Can we honestly stand aside and allow our nation to continue to hold the record for death by gun violence among other high income nations, is this what we should be proud of?

Just a small slice

Just a small slice

I am pragmatic; the monster is already out of the box. We cannot fix what is already so tragically broken. We cannot change the minds or hearts of those who believe the only way to a Civil society is by arming themselves, arming school teachers, arming college students in their classrooms and dorms. We cannot change a society convinced they must be armed to the teeth, in their homes, their cars and walking the streets to protect themselves from the government, those violent ‘others’ they heard about or the zombie apocalypse.

Let’s start with some facts; I think it is important to make this a non-partisan issue:

  • Gun owners are both ‘Liberal’ and ‘Conservative’
  • When the Constitution was written, guns were breach load muskets single shot
  • Slave and Land holders wrote the Constitution; in fact, within the first ten amendments slavery is ratified. We do occasionally see the error of our ways and correct them, the Constitution was not written on stone tables by a lightning bolt shot from on high.
  • Anyone is able to purchase any type of firearm, including military grade semi-automatic rifles and handguns without a background check or waiting period in the secondary market (gun shows and private sales, including the internet). Forty percent (40%) of all legally purchased firearms are purchased this way.
  • Anyone can purchase as much ammunition in any clip size as they want without any tracking, registration or license on the internet.
  • Approximately 10,000 people are murdered every year in gun violence, many of them teenagers.

There are those who say their right to bear arms, their right to conceal carry, their right to own any weapon and any clip size is inviolate. They say armed rebellion would be the result of any attempt at Gun Control, they say SCOTUS has confirmed their right in District of Columbia v Heller to be armed and dangerous under any and all circumstances and without restraint.

This is what I say; I say there must be some middle ground that satisfies all of us. There must be some middle ground that stops the senseless deaths of our children and the murderous rampages in our public places.

This is what I believe must happen if we are ever to begin to heal this nation:

  • Require national registration
  • Demand Conceal Carry permits only in the following circumstance and make this a federal mandate:
    • Show true need (e.g. over the road truck drivers, certain security personnel, off duty police)
    • Attend regular training
  • Require same background check and waiting period in secondary market as in gun stores
  • Create national mental health registry
  • Update criminal background check registry to include domestic violence
  • Do not allow restoration of civil rights after time-served to allow gun purchase for violent criminals
  • Update background check to include Terrorist Watch List
  • Limit Clip Size to 10 rounds
  • Do not allow private purchase without background checks, make private sales illegal even between family members
  • Shut down internet sales of ammunition
  • Require gun safes in the home of all gun owners with children under 18
  • Raise the age limit to 25 for legal purchase and gun ownership
  • Require gun safety class before purchase
  • Change Stand your Ground laws to apply only to personal property / personal homes make this federal rather than state by state
  • Create a federal buy-back program to get illegal guns off the streets of our cities, give it two (2) years. Within the scope of the buy-back program, strengthen the laws and penalties for owning an illegal gun, selling a gun illegally and for using an illegal gun in the commission of a crime.

I don’t want to take your guns. I want sanity and safety. I would rather not call it gun control, I would rather call it Gun Sanity. These days I am afraid to go to the theater, the mall or anywhere else. If you are a gun owner, frankly I am afraid of you. Is this really the world any of us want?

http://www.academia.edu/1199492/Hegemonic_Masculinity_and_Mass_Murderers_in_the_United_States

http://www.bradycampaign.org/facts/gunviolence?s=1

http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/18/in-gun-ownership-statistics-partisan-divide-is-sharp/

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2012/jul/22/gun-homicides-ownership-world-list

Hunting Goodwill

560px-DespondentAngelMetCemHeadWander the malls festooned with fake glitter and false boughs of pine, blasting Christmas carols of peace on earth and goodwill towards all men. Peace and goodwill, one has to wonder how we accomplish this wondrous peace and goodwill when one of our nation’s most dominate and viciously protected rights is the ‘right’ to bear arms.

“A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

Goodwill indeed, twenty children under 10 years of age dead, twenty-eight people in all but TWENTY CHILDREN shot to death in their classroom. Twenty mothers and fathers, who will never again kiss their children goodnight, never again tuck them in at night. Twenty parents, who will not see their children grow to adulthood, who will not watch with pride as their children graduate, marry and have children of their own. All their dreams lay wasted at the end of a gun wielded by a twenty year old with access to the legal guns of his mother. LEGALLY OBTAINED GUNS.

The Second Amendment is ensconced in our national psyche, come hell or high water we will hang on to our effing guns. No matter the innocent lives laid in the cold ground, the families in mourning, by God and all his Angels we will keep our guns and our ammunition and our rights to bear it all without interference of any kind. No one will touch those rights, no matter what. My and other people’s personal right to safety on the streets, in the mall, in theaters or in the classroom will sgen577hnever be considered, we do not count in the grand scheme and neither do any other gun violence victims. So long as the Neanderthals in the NRA can convince enough people it is viable they might someday need to protect themselves from the government, or save a life during a mass shooting, or battle a zombie horde by keeping a well-stocked arsenal in their basement and a side-arm concealed, just in case.

Without Registration and without Limitations, we will by all that is holy and by Hell and the Damned, protect our Right to Own our Arsenal, to Conceal Carry and there is not a damned thing anyone can do or say to limit this right. If anyone suggests otherwise they will be demonized, they will be called fanatics; they will be debrided, sometimes painfully so. They will certainly be taken to hard task for their unpopular position; friends and family will drive them into corners with meme that are not defensible in the face of the innocent lives lost.

I have been lashed with it all before and those who have lashed me both friends and family forget sometimes I was left on a dark road with three bullets in me bleeding out and dying but they by God thought it important for me to know I was an effing idiot for my position. So be my guest in the future, call me a fanatic. I am sick in my soul of hearing about gun rights and the Second Amendment. Call me a fanatic, those of you who believe your rights outweigh my rights or the rights of the following:

  • the twenty children and six adults dead today at Sandy Hook elementary school
  • those wounded in the mall last week in Oregon
  • the twelve dead Aurora victims
  • the two teenagers victims of Stand your Ground killings in Florida in this past year (Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis)
  • or tell Nick Rainey the 30 year-old salesman also killed in Florida, with a defendant also using the nefarious Stand your Ground defense
  • Gabby Gifford and the six dead in the same shooting victims of the Arizona shooting
  • the victims at the Sihk Temple in Wisconsin
  • the Chardon victims, Daniel Parmertor, 16; Demetrius Hewlin, 16; and Russell King Jr., 17

These are just 24 months’ worth of random killings or attempts at them. We thought Aurora was terrible, we mourned for a brief moment social media blew up for a minute, apparently not hard enough or long enough. We demanded justice for Trayvon, but barely blinked for Nick or Jordan. The Chardon victims barely made the news, and the Ohio mall was not even a blip on our radar likely because there was no massacre, no random death to titillate us or incite the media for hour upon hour, day upon day.

There are more, there are always more aren’t there? The children lying in the streets of our cities mowed down by illegal guns. The women and sometimes their children, lying in pools of their own blood murdered by their partners by legal guns in fits of rage.  Yes, please call me a fanatic, call me a zealot, call me anything at all I simply do not give a damn what you call me because I am all those things. I will become all those things, I will stop here and now trying to strike a balance between politically correct and my honest belief guns are no longer needful things in the hands of private citizens without limitations, regulation or oversight.

I am tired of all of it, the senseless death, the random violence the terrible and horrifying loss of life. I am tired of children losing their life before they reach adulthood. I am sick of the politics of money taking the front seat to the lives of people. I am tired and worn out, heartsick as I watch news of the shooting of Sandy Hook Elementary and the 26 deaths at the school, plus the shooters mother in her own home and by one of her own legal guns. I am sick to death of those who wrap themselves in sanctity and patriotism, scared to say no more, it is time to change the rules and be damned the NRA and the love affair with violence and guns.

I am bored with the idiotic motto of fools with guns and a love of random and unnecessary violence, ‘Guns don’t kill people, people kill people’.

Well, I guess Sandy Hook Elementary School just goes to show what happens when a Human is wielded by a Gun doesn’t it?

I am effin’ tired of the idiots who suggest a car is an equally dangerous weapon. Or murder would still happen with a knife if a person wanted murder, yes you azzhats that is true however, a lunatic with a knife could not kill TWENTY CHILDREN in less than 5 minutes.

This morning the bodies of the Sandy Hook Elementary School victims have not been moved from where they fell. The children remain on the floor of the school, unreleased to their families, as the school remains a Crime Scene under investigation.

I weep for the families, all of them. I know what my family went through when I was shot and left for dead. I know what I go through even now twenty years later. These survivors, the children will need enormous support systems for years to come. The families who lost children will never fully recover, their loss is unspeakable what they have lost will never be recovered.

I tire of hearing ‘now is not the time, each and every time a tragedy happens and we see terrible loss’, I must ask if not now then when?

Soaring through Turbulence

Perfect isn't it

Perfect isn’t it

My friends have been worried, so have been my dearly beloved and my children. Admittedly, I have been on a bit of a tear lately about all the things wrong, all the things pulling my spirit spiraling down. I want to say though this isn’t the only thing I feel day in and day out; there are wonderful days as well, days that despite or maybe because of those clouds I am just plain old happy.

My friend Deb Bryan has taught me through her series For this I am Thankful to see life with gratitude, to see through a prism of thankfulness for all I have been given.

There are days when I climb out of bed and grab my first cup of coffee and a big smile is plastered across my face! Dearly Beloved has risen before me and made the coffee all I have to do is pour, then yell ‘Good Morning honey’. Coffee is huge; that Dearly Beloved has learned to make it is enormous!

I am working and not traveling right now. This is an unusual circumstance for me, driving to a client site each day, sleeping in my own bed each night and in the arms of my dearly beloved. My normal work requires me to be on a plane every Sunday, in hotels all week and not home until Thursday, sometimes even Friday. In most of the years of our marriage, this working in the city we live in, it is a rarity. It is nice and I am most grateful for it, for this time we have. With luck, we have until April of next year with this contract I continue to hold on and hope.

This past year we moved my second mother into Assisted Living, this was quite the learning experience for me. She and I have had a troubled relationship for most of my life. I learned I could let go, I could open my heart, danceletting go of old hurts without the requisite ‘I am sorry’ from her that I had always wanted to hear. I could do this because it was simply the right thing to do for all of us, me, my brother and her. In the process of this move, I found old history, old photos I am still cataloging. This is one of my favorite things, these photos and slides, this connection to the past. Remember I said I loved dance, it connects me to myself, this is me!

Part of the trip to Seattle didn’t just reconnect me to my second mother; it reconnected me to another part of my history. I finally dropped the barriers and reached out to my first mother, made the trip to see her. We had spoken once and written once or twice since our emotional break nearly a decade previously. Now we are moving toward each other, easily and with more loving hearts. With her I am moving toward others in my biological family also, sisters and brothers who have been in my heart but not in my life.

On Friday past I went to my first acupuncture session, I was scared! Don’t know why I was scared, I mean really I have thirteen tattoos, what about some little ole bitty needles should scare category17me right? Nevertheless, I still walked into this first session with not an insignificant amount of trepidation. I suppose we always face the unknown with fear. I walked out feeling better than I have in weeks, perhaps months, I am returning today for my second session.

There are other things this year has brought me, things I feel good about and that make me believe the world doesn’t entirely suck all the time. There are days when I feel like I have done good, made life better for someone been able to touch someone in a positive fashion and that sticks with me and makes it brighter. This year I have learned to be more open and to look for opportunities to give without thought of return. Each time I have done so, the return is tenfold as my heart expands and my happiness quotient is measured in thousands. That I have the means to give, that I have the means to help even as I whine about what a terrible year it has been rocks me back and forces me to consider just how blessed I am to have all that I have.

I know I have been on a tear.  There are days I admit, it is hard and I simply want to sit in my room and pout. It isn’t every day though, truly it isn’t every day.  It seems I am spiraling down and unable to lift my wings and fly, it is just the turbulence though; most days I find I can catch an updraft and soar.

This song speaks to those days of wonder, enjoy.

Sandpaper on Silk

This has been a rough year, I mentioned that in a previous post and I mentioned some of the reasons why. This year I celebrated (I use this word tongue in cheek) my twenty year anniversary, February 7, 1992 was the day myrubyslippers life changed though at the time I wouldn’t know this single event would be life changing. All year I have been exploring my inner world and the events of my life that created that inner world. Some days I feel caught, as if I am Dorothy but the tornado didn’t drop my house in Oz and I do not have Ruby Slippers.

Nearly a year ago I told the story of February 7th, for those who have never read it feel free to jump over to Crime, Punishment and Victims. As part of that story, I provided this simple table, which I have changed to provide release dates:

Charge Sentence Date Release Date First Eligible Release Parole Date Birth Date Actual Release Date
Att Cap Murder w/ Deadly 8/12/92 3/13/12 3/31/97 12/14/75 3/12
2 counts Att Cap Murder w/Deadly 4/13/93 3/9/27 7/12/00 6/18/76 10/12
2 counts Att Cap Murder w/Deadly Agg Robbery w/Deadly 3/8/93 3/5/27 3/12/00 3/5/76 11/12

Yes, you read the above right, all of my personal offenders are now free. When I wrote On My Knees in October, only one had received his parole approval. Since that writing, something else happened, in November the final blow to my already shattered spirit, shortly before Thanksgiving the last of the three walked free with his parole. I simply could not write then, I couldn’t put fingers to keyboard, it has taken me weeks till now in truth to say they are all free.

Yesterday morning I was in my doctor’s office, we were discussing the weakness in my arm. Why during the course of the day my right arm will suddenly become weak, I suddenly can’t type, why the escalation in pain over the past several months. I adore my Neurologist, for several reasons but mostly because he is patient with me, patient with my complaints. We both know what is wrong, I suspect we both know I cannot continue to ignore the obvious, but he has not pushed me to surgery earlier than I was ready to accept the inevitable, I am not going to miraculously leap up healed. He is also not a pill pusher, which I appreciate even more than anyone could possibly imagine. We now have a plan, I don’t love the plan; I have been avoiding major surgery for a few years, it is likely I will not be able to avoid any longer.

When the first of the three walked out the prison gates, he had served his sentence. It was a mixed set of emotions I felt, but he had served his entire sentence he was done and free. When I received the first notice of parole in October, I was as the title of my post says on my knees. I couldn’t breathe for days; my fury was so hot I lashed out at everyone around me. Then November came, the third letter came. Honestly, I thought this one would be a notification of denial, surely they wouldn’t grant another parole, would they?

Parole

Really? Parole?

  • I can’t sleep through an entire night, because of pain.
  • I can’t sit for more than two hours without tears of pain.
  • I can’t walk for more than fifteen minutes without my right leg going entirely numb.
  • There are times during the day, I can’t feel my right arm, my hand goes numb, my entire right side goes numb. There are times I am in so much pain I want to scream.

Parole?

What have they done to deserve parole?

I have to have more surgery. I have to risk my life under anesthesia for the possibility of life with less pain.

They get parole seventeen years early.

Parole? I am trying to find my compassion button.

compassionbutton

I am trying to find the place in me that agrees this is fair and just. I am trying hard to say this is not about me but simply part of the system. Victims are truly not part of the equation, though we are notified and we are invited to say our piece to courts and parole boards, it isn’t truly about us. We are not part of the criminal justice system; it is not about us in any real sense. I know this, intellectually I know this; my heart doesn’t follow my mind.

When an offender is arrested and goes to trial it becomes THE STATE vs THE OFFENDER

That is the truth; it isn’t really about the true victim any longer. The victim is simply a witness to the crime. No matter how horrific the crime, no matter the terror, no matter the injury, no matter anything at all the victim is simply a witness for the State, the State is in fact the Victim. I always have to remind myself of that simple and ugly truth.

What I really felt that day was what I felt twenty years ago after they were arrested and I sat in the DA’s office talking about their sentencing, I knew someday this day would come. I didn’t know then I would evolve or change, I only knew I was furious and wanted revenge. I told him I didn’t want them in prison I wanted them on their knees in front of me, on a dark street, I wanted the gun they had used to shoot me and I wanted to shoot them in exactly the same way. If they survived as I had, under the very same circumstances they could remain free, if not Que Sera. I was primitive that day. I was primitive twenty years later, it was as if I hadn’t evolved at all and I was a little bit ashamed.

So, back to this has been a rough year. As I line up those dominoes so I can hopefully knock them down. The second letter of parole, yeah that was one, that one knocked me over. That one hurt. Honestly, I don’t often call myself a Victim, I don’t like the word and I certainly don’t like it applied to me. But that day, when I opened that letter Victim was aptly applied to how I felt.

I am struggling to breathe through all these different issues and find my footing. I refuse to allow this year a stranglehold, yes it has been rough, sandpaper would have been gentler. There is light though and it is not a train, my soul takes flight even through these difficult patches of pain, anger and frustration. One by one, I am going to let them go, the dominoes will fall and I am eternally grateful for the wonderful friends in my corner who keep shouting at me…….

JUST BREATH

From Megaphotos, as always dance is my idea of breathing

From Megaphotos, as always dance is my idea of breathing

I weep for America

soapboxpileOnce again, the United States falls short of their previous greatness. Once again, we have successfully shown the world what we have become. What is that you ask, well you should.

  • Narrow minded
  • Bigoted
  • Fearful
  • Small

As I watched the vote yesterday the vote on the UN Convention for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, I wanted to weep. Well, let me be clear I wanted to weep only after I wanted to stomp into and through the halls of the Senate and shake those 38 Senators who voted ‘Nay’, when given the opportunity to ratify the Convention (Treaty) of Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

I watched as Senator Elizabeth Dole wheeled her husband, the elder statesman Bob Dole onto the floor of the senate. He supported the ratification of this Treaty, he had only been released from Walter Reed 5 days earlier but thought it important to come that day to show his support. It wasn’t enough.

Senate Floor, December 4, 2012

Senate Floor, December 4, 2012

I watched as two normally pugnacious foes stood up for the same thing, to ratify this Treaty. John Kerry and John McCain both spoke from the floor of the senate yesterday on the same side of the fight. Both Senators spoke from their experience as wounded war veterans; both spoke from their hearts and were compelling.

I watched as the vote called, I was dismayed after that I was furious. If you don’t know the history of the UN Convention for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, here it is in brief.

  • Adoption by General Assembly, December 2006 (modeled after the 1990 US Americans with Disabilities Act signed by President George H.W. Bush)
  • Opened for Signature, March 2007
  • First Session of Committee, February 2008
  • Entry into Force, May 2008
  • First Conference, October – November 2008
  • Signed by President Barack Obama, July 2009
  • Second Conference, September 2009

The Senate had the opportunity to ratify a Treaty that required nothing of us as a nation, no changes to our laws no changes to our systems. The Senate had a chance to show the world we are not the narrow minded, fearful conspiracy nuts we appear to be, no thanks to Rick Santorum and the rest of the Tea Party nutcases, they failed.

Let’s talk about Rick Santorum, who is now a featured columnist for World News Daily, home of some of the best conspiracy theories, the most egregious of the Birther theories, the ongoing climate denial and my favorite the ongoing fear mongering of Islam and Socialism combination. Yes, Rick fits right in with these lunatics. The thirty-eight idiots in the Senate who voted ‘Nay’ adopted his UN Black Helicopter conspiracy about this particular Treaty, his leap of giant faith that somehow ratifying this treaty would usurp parental authority.

So, here we are once again proving to the world we are nation in decline. We are a nation without a moral compass, one that no longer values even our own accomplishments in leading the world. The Tea Party wins, even those Senators who in the past have voted their conscious have been beaten into submission, fearful of losing their place at the table.

America I weep for you, I weep for all of us.my.opera

Link to the Treaty: http://treaties.un.org/doc/source/RecentTexts/IV_15_english.pdf

Who has signed, ratified: http://www.un.org/disabilities/documents/maps/enablemap.jpg

Awards times two

DSC_0262Awards are tremendous, especially when funky town seems to be the address on all the junk mail. Awards just make you feel better, lift up your spirits and stroke you spine. Awards are nearly better than the first cuppa coffee (note I said nearly cause nothing, not one single thing on the face of earth is better than that first cuppa joe).

Recently I received two fabulous awards from two fabulous fellow bloggers. I follow these gentlemen and scholars and adore their contributions to our communities. I am most humbled they would think to consider me of merit.

Each of these awards carries special properties so I must with due diligence address them separately. Without further ado, in the order received:

Beautiful Blogger Award from  http://chiefwritingwolf.com/

beautiful-blogger-award

The rules ask that I link back to the person awarding me, thank you Alejandro this is most kind of you. The rules also require me to list 7 random things about myself. Hmmmm…where shall I start? There isn’t much I haven’t already revealed about myself on these pages, not many things you don’t already know, here goes nothing.

  1. I know how to twirl tassels, left, right and in opposite directions
  2. I have belly danced in public
  3. I was born with a third nipple, my mother had it burned off when I was 11 she was embarrassed by it
  4. I sleep with a light on, always
  5. I am mostly night blind which is why I despise driving in the dark
  6. I love spicy foods and will eat them until my taste buds are burned out for the day
  7. I love the taste of Ten Gin, I don’t drink anymore due to epilepsy but when I did Ten straight up in a chilled glass was the only thing I drank (other than great wine)

I am supposed to nominate others for this award. There are so many on my list. So many I read and love, some new who deserve to be read and followed.

New to the blogging world, a wonderful voice whom I have been following since she put up her first post. http://63alicetea.wordpress.com/

Noleen astonishes me with her grit and bravery, her voice has been soaring lately and I am always happy to see her posts hit my in-box. http://wordsfallfrommyeyes.wordpress.com/

I am always breathless after visiting here. Breathless with gratitude for the open kindness, the giving heart and lessons: http://knowmyworth.com/

My friend at Daily Dose makes me think I could be braver, even if just by living vicariously through her! I await her wonderful postings and then scurry over to enjoy her adventures or simply sit back to take a bit of peace from her thoughtful offerings: http://yourdailydoseblog.com/

Soma over at http://somkritya.wordpress.com/ is simply a bit of this and a bit of that, sometimes great fun and laughter and at others, well she is simply thoughtful and beautiful.

To all those I have nominated for the Beautiful Blogger Award, if you don’t accept awards, I understand. I hope you will still accept my most heartfelt appreciation of your contributions to my life through your blogging.

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Now, to a slightly different one, my great appreciation to Jueseppi B over at http://theobamacrat.com/  for this nomination. It was very unexpected and so greatly appreciated. It is also very different, you will see.

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Jueseppi and I met through our politics. Yes, we were on the same team and we ran across each other frequently over the last campaign season. Ultimately, I ended up following his blog to keep up with news I didn’t always find elsewhere; he has an unerring ability to ferret out information!

The Rules as Stated from The Thought Palette

Notice there is only one star up there filled in but six waiting for gold, this award is one that just keeps giving until you collect all six. Pretty cool, right? I thought this was a great idea. So here are the rules:

  1. Select the blog(s) you think deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award
  2. Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen – there’s no minimum or maximum number of blogs required – and ‘present’ them with their award.
  3. Please include a link back to this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award – http://thethoughtpalette.co.uk/our-awards/blog-of-the-year-2012-award/ and include these ‘rules’ in your post (please don’t alter the rules or the badges!)
  4. Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the ‘rules’ with them
  5. You can now also join our Facebook group – click ‘like’ on this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award Facebook group and then you can share your blog with an even wider audience
  6. As a winner of the award – please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award – and then proudly display the award on your blog and sidebar … and start collecting stars…

Yes – that’s right – there are stars to collect! Unlike other awards, which you can only add to your blog once – this award is different!

When you begin you will receive the ‘1 star’ award – and every time you are given the award by another blog – you can add another star!

There are a total of 6 stars to collect.

Which means that you can check out your favorite blogs – and even if they have already been given the award by someone else – you can still bestow it on them again and help them to reach the maximum 6 stars!

For more information, check the FAQ on The Thought Palette.

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There are so many great, wonderful, marvelous, thoughtful, funny …. I have run out of words for them suffice to say there are some great bloggers I follow, so many of them absolutely humble me. How do you pick just one or one hundred out of all of them? Do you pick from subject matter? Do scroll through and find some who have not received recognition for their wonderful contributions? I couldn’t decide, so I simply followed my heart and selected who had recently touched me.

Because she sometimes makes me think we might be sisters of another mother, she makes me laugh but she also makes me thoughtful: http://whyamihereinahandbasket.com/

Because she is living a life that makes perfect sense and she shares unstintingly: http://lazyhippiemama.wordpress.com/

Because her art never fails to make me smile, never once: http://adamsart.wordpress.com/

Because she is prolific, wise, funny, charming and the sister of my heart: http://mommasmoneymatters.com/

There are so many others I could elect to this award, I am going to stop here though. If you don’t accept awards, I understand just know I think you deserve it.

Get off the Funk Train

UntitledThere are times when it feels the world is working against you, this year has been like that for me and I couldn’t put my finger on it. Each time I tried the reason, the cause for my angst slipped away. It wasn’t that I was particularly sad, depressed or angry; no, that wasn’t it at all. It wasn’t that this has been a terrible year, not a terrible one for me personally anyway. Something though sat in the corner, like a shadow just beyond my vision, sapping my strength, my energy and my emotional reserves.

There have been many changes this year, many things I have brought on myself. Explorations of my own history some of which was difficult, soul scrubbing even, these were not the cause of my bother. Then there has been the very ugly political season, I found myself in battle royale’s with friends and family, more times than I might wish. While the campaign season was nasty and brought out the ugly in many of us, myself included at times, this wasn’t what sucked me down into this muddle either.

So, what is it that has me in a funk? I feel sometimes I am swimming in a morass of quicksand with nothing to grab on, nothing to pull myself out

Truly, this year has been troubling to me; the more I sought answers the more my head and heart seemed to slip out the back door and away from my inspection. The greater my introspection and the more I searched for cause, the more the shadow seemed to grow, surrounding my days and sucking my energy along with it. On the one hand, I was releasing my history and I was lighter for it, my soul and heart were expanding and I could feel those pieces of me flying off to the winds. Was this what was wrong? Did I need those pieces to be whole, to be completely me was I really only me when I held on to the pain of my history; surly this wasn’t the truth. I hadn’t told everything, I still had my secrets those parts that I hadn’t let out that I hadn’t shown, was this what was wrong? No, I didn’t think so, some stories can wait I think until we are ready to tell them, one I had told to two people without comment so it was in their keeping for now.

This year was difficult, despite some of the great things and great people I found along the way. My energy was sapped, I couldn’t finish projects and I let people down. All too frequently, I ran away from interaction, from telling people there was something wrong. Even knowing there were communities of true friends I could turn to, I hid simply stopped communicating rather than say, “There is something wrong”.QuestionMark

What was wrong with me this year?

Part of what is wrong is simply physical, I am in pain and it is draining my energy. I have allowed this to continue without dealing with it head on. I am tired. That is the truth. It has been twenty long years; it is not ever going to get better. I am tired. I am tired of always hurting. I am tired of living in an alternate universe where pain is the norm and I live on a scale of 5-10 rather than 0-5. I am tired of having to explain.

I am tired of what pain does to my body. I am tired of being fat because moving hurts and keeps me away from doing anything healthy for myself. I am tired of being too embarrassed to go to the gym. I am tired of hurting too much to walk. I am tired of all the numb spots on my body that get worse if I stand too long or walk too far. I am tired of having to explain this to perfectly healthy, body perfect people my dearly beloved included who doesn’t understand what it means to not live in pain every single day of their lives.

I am angry, yes, I am angry because in October of last year someone rear-ended me while I sat at a stop light. That act caused me more harm; progress I had made with my physical therapy was entirely undone. I ended up losing a contract and thus losing income. The other person’s insurance company treated me terribly in large part because I had a pre-existing condition. This still hasn’t been resolved, an attorney who is a member at the club dearly beloved works offered to take the case on contingency. Yes, there is a contract and thirteen months later, we are still waiting for him to do anything. In fact, despite multiple times of him telling me he is preparing an offer for the insurance company he has done nothing. This week I have sent him two e-mails asking why, he hasn’t responded to either.

What is wrong with me this year?wellmoney

I lost a third of my normal income through that accident, because I couldn’t travel for months. I am the primary breadwinner in our marriage, always have been. No one seems to be at all concerned, but me perhaps because finances are my purview just as earnings are my responsibility. As I look at the year, though I realized I failed to live up to my end, but it feels like it is a domino effect. If I weren’t already hurt that accident would have been nothing, I would have walked away.

If it weren’t for fearing repercussions against dearly beloved I would take action against this attorney who is doing nothing. I do though; I fear greatly DB will be harmed if I take action so I am bound by ribbons of love and my own failure to act.

What is wrong with me this year? Why am I in such a funk? Why can’t I seem to move through the bad and focus on what is wonderful and what is great?

I don’t know the answer to the above. I just know I have been trying without much success to take on small projects for months now. It isn’t there haven’t been wins; they just don’t seem to be enough to push the blues out of my way to wash the fog from my brain entirely. I know I need something to compel me, something to spin my wheels.

Don’t misunderstand; I am not always sad or unhappy. I am just in a funk this year. There have been changes and some of them have worked my nerve. Some of them I have to deal with, I have to do something about so they don’t work my nerve next year too.

So, that is some of why I am in a funk, some of what is shadowing me. I don’t know what I will do to fix it, but somehow I must over the next four weeks get proactive. My funk is affecting my marriage, my work and my friendships. I refuse to allow it to follow me to next year.

That being said, I leave you with this wonderful group of children.

We are what we learn.

Sarvodaya

The Little Klansman

Georgia State Trooper at a Klan rally in the 1980s.

It’s hard to remember that bigots, tyrants, and criminals were children once, and that most of them endured abuse, neglect, and hate-filled indoctrination. The child in this photo has no say in what is being drilled into his head. He is at the mercy of his parents and community, whom he didn’t choose and couldn’t escape from for some time. Imagine how I’d turn out if I was raised in his place? I wonder who this little boy grew up to be?

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