Fibro fog, pain, writing sandwiched in between. Quotes. Sermon notes. Encouragement.
A Texas Sunrise|
A friend, William Taylor, took this picture. He visits Surfside Beach with his dogs almost every morning, watching the sun rise while the dogs prance about at the water's edge.
This is only about ten miles from where I lived in Lake Jackson, Texas. Sadly, I only visited this beach about four times in the six years I lived nearby.
Each day is a challenge. A challenge to get by without thinking about the fibromyalgia pains. A challenge to stay awake when chronic fatigure wants to take over. And a challenge to navigate through fibro fog.
I haven't been writing as much as in the past. For years, I wrote at least 500 words a day. Now, I'm lucky if I write 500 words in month. Sigh.
For more information about what my day (or life) is all about with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, chronic pains, IBS, depression and everything else thrown in, check this out:
Born October 12, 1935 ~ Died September 6, 2007
Dr. D. James Kennedy
Born November 3, 1930 ~ Died September 5, 2007
I am not going to try to give a biography of each man. There will be plenty who will do that. One only has to do a Google search to discover what all the major news agencies are saying about the two men.
Dr. D. James Kennedy
No, my intention is to offer each man an apology.
I loved listening to Pavarotti's voice. But, alas, I did not buy his CD's nor even keep track of hiim. I didn't know his age or that his last major concert was in February, 2006. I realize that the few cents he would have made on any purchses I made would not have made a bit of difference in this man's life or lifestyle. Having an email or letter from me probably would not have made his day any brighter, if he even got to read his "fan mail." Still, I would feel better if I had told him what a wonderful gift God had given him.
When I lived in Florida, I listened to Dr. Kennedy regularly. Even after I moved to Texas, I tried to catch his TV ministry at least once in a while. I got some free information from his ministry about how to explain what the Bible said about Creation to a non-believer. But, again, I never did buy any of his books or contribute to his ministry. I would feel better if I had. I also did not realize that the last time he preached at his church in Coral Ridge was on Christmas Eve, 2006.
Oh, I realize that there will be more recordings of Pavarotti that I can purchase. And I have heard that Dr. Kennedy's sermons will continue to be broadcast by the Coral Ridge Ministries. Still, it might have been nice if I had shown some appreciation while these great men were alive.
And that is the message, not only about famous people, but about our own friends and family. We never know how long anyone will be with us in this earthly home.
Shouldn't we be showing our loved ones that we love them? Have you hugged your family members today? Or offered affirmations? One day it may be too late.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 NIV
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
|Every summer, there are reports of animals and kids being left in hot cars. Sometimes they survive; sometimes they do not.
You might have seen our local case on the national news last night. The woman - a vice principal - left her 2 year old little girl in her SUV for 8 hours. I imagine it would have been longer than that. The mother was not finished with work and was not the one to "discover" the child.
There really has been an uproar about the Cincinnati area about this one. Supposedly, the woman broke her usual routine and that's why she FORGOT that her child was asleep in the back of the car. I don't understand that one. How does one forget her child???
I know how hot a car can get. I don't have working a/c in my car. When I picked up Derek from the airport on Wednesday (in Dayton about 70 miles away), I made sure I had plenty of water to drink on the trip up and back. I also got an iced coffee at the airport. Even so, the trip, with the windows down and the hot air circulating around the car was pretty miserable.
I have also been known to wait in the car for Derek while he pops in to get his pay check. If he stops to talk for a few minutes, sitting in the hot car - with the windows open - gets mighty uncomfortable.
So...I cannot imagine what that poor child experienced. I have been tempted to see if there's a web site that would explain what she went through and how long it might have taken to die. But I really don't want to know that badly.
So, the taped interviews show the mom crying and remorseful, right? But what about the fact that our local news folks discovered that she has been reported/chastised for having left her child in the car (yes, only 15+ minutes) before. Her school employment record has notes that she has been told before not to leave her child in the hot car. One has to wonder how many times she did that without being caught.
I wondered why the babysitter didn't inquire about where the child was, but that was answered on the news too. The father often took care of the baby, without anyone notifying the babysitter that it would be so. When the kid didn't show up, she just assumed the dad was taking care of her.
It has been decided that there will be no legal punishment for this woman, since it was an accident and not malicious. Folks seem to think that she'll have her own personal prison for a long, long time.
Meanwhile, there was a case of animal cruelty - against a woman of another race and one who was not well off like the vice principal - where the prosecutor had said he wanted her to spend 100 years in jail.
The case stemmed from a dead pit bull found in the woman's backyard. The defense argued that her nephew tied the the stray, sick, pit bull in her yard, where it later died, saying she never even knew it was there. Folks were pretty stirred up about this. About the difference in attitudes. About whether or not this was about race or affluence. The NAACP even got involved. Thankfully, it was decided that whatever jail time that woman already served would be enough.
Last night on the news, the comment was made that more "accidents" like this happen now than they did before air bags, because car seats have to be in the back seat and a sleeping child can be forgotten. (I still don't get that...)
So...couldn't there be a way to shut off the air bags to put car seats in the front?
Or...couldn't someone invent an alarm that could go off when there's a car seat in the back and someone gets out of the front seat?
There has to be a way...
You know what else? If I had a kid in the school where this woman is vice principal, I would be wondering how she could be trusted to take care of my child...
|kittiara gave me this merit badge. Isn't that waaaaaaaaaay cool? For inspiring blog entries. Guess I'll have to get back to it.
By the way...I found a few entries that I had marked "private" and never changed to "public." One, if you're interested, is called "Just some scribbling"
|Jake is fun to have around.
The Humane Society worried that he would have accidents in the house and would wake us up at 3 a.m. He was having those problems in his foster home. But since his arrival, he's had no accidents and has slept through every night.
He is quite anxious to get out when he and I do wake up. Sometimes he hardly makes it off the porch. Still...no accidents.
When he is really desparate to get out and do his business, he stands in front of the door and jumps - about 3-4 feet in the air. For a while when he first arrived, he would insist on going out, then rather than doing any business, he would head for the car. I think he was done with us and ready to move on.
Now, he's settled in pretty well. He usually sleeps smack up against me in bed. And if I'm gone for even a short while, he welcomes me home with doggie kisses.
Tonight, Derek needed to go to the store. (Yes, he's home from visiting Allison in Memphis.) We took Jake with us and Jake and I waited in the car while Derek picked up a few things.
There is lots of remodeling/construction going on in our nearest Kroger store. Sometimes the jack hammers are annoying. It's always a surprise to try to shop. They keep moving things as the remodeling progresses. Grrr.
Anyway, Jake and I were waiting in the car, and we both noticed a man inside the window on a big ladder. When the man started using a nail gun - quite loud even from where we sat in the outside - I thought Jake was going to jump out of his skin. After that, he sat in my lap and shook and whimpered. Made me wonder...has he been around guns or fireworks? Or in a really bad thunderstorm or something? He surely did not like those "pops" of the nail gun. Not at all.
|Some scantily clad blogster took one of my articles from ezinearticles.com and put it on her blog page. She kept my name and contact information with the article, so she did nothing wrong. That's what the free content site is all about. People are allowed to use the content as long as they keep the name and URLs with it.
I find it rather odd and funny that this is happening. I looked at some of the other content this particular blogger has chosen for her blog and, well, it's funny and sad.
The title of my article is, "What is it worth to you?" Like the last one, this title finds itself right next to the buns of this scanitly clad woman.
This lady is obviously choosing things just by their titles. My article is about pondering the cost of weddings.
She has also chosen things that are titled:
S*x Workers Needed in Washington DC - Lobbyists
How To Create A Burning Desire (To Buy With Your Small Business Marketing)
See what I mean? They have nothing to do with being a woman with a skimpy swim suit on. But the names are a bit suggestive. Or halfway so, anyway. Strange. Odd. Sad.
Here's my original article. (It's not the link to the one AT THE BLOG SITE.)
I did write a few things at Gather.com this weekend.
Pondering Patriotism and Righteousness
I Just Don't Get It
|We have Tiff this weekend - until Monday evening. Yippee!
We started out on Friday night thinking that we should go to Sonic for dinner. I wrote about that before. Hmmm. Perhaps it was my birthday? The only Sonic is about 20 miles from our house. But we also heard they were building one closer - at the mall about...8 miles away.
We drove all the way out to the Sonic and discovered that it was closed for remodeling. Hmmm. That wouldn't make sense if the other one had not yet opened. Since the other was on the way back to our house, and near a whole bunch of other fast food resaturants we might try, we decided to find out where the new Sonic would be.
Guess what!?! It had opened that very day. Yep, we could now go to Sonic only about 8 miles from. We got in the line and waited. We could have chosen drive-thru but we selected having a car hop serve us.
We waited and waited. There was a 40 minute wait. For fast food!?! Guess that's what we get for trying to eat there on the first day. Grand opening, ya know?
The food was good and we DID get a $5 off coupon for the next time we go. And while we were wating, we DID get to sample some drinks. Peach was the one we sampled. Yum.
We took Jake with us. What an experience. The day before I had taken him to the vet, so we thought a car ride with food as the ultimate goal would be good for him. (Don't want him to think that car rides means going to the vet!)
On Saturday, we went to play putt-putt golf. Par for the course was 46. I got 55; Jim got 66 and Tiff got 70. Not bad for this 'ol gal who had not played in about 10 years, I guess. Not bad for Tiff who had not played EVER. Wonder what happened to hubby. Must have been his logical approach to it. You know. It's a guy thing. Apply math to hitting a golf ball?
|At that other site...the one where I spend more time now, there was a picture prompt. It was a beautiful picture of a small bridge over sparkling water. Weeping willows surrounded the bridge and reached down to touch the travelers who crossed the bridge. The photographer asked that everyone close their eyes and imagine a paragraph or two to go with the picture.
Here's what came to my mind:
Her father told her that girls didn't need any "book learnin'" so she had to sneak out of the house to read. She strolled along reading and not paying attention to her surroundings. Something brushed her face, and as she looked up she realized she was on the bridge - her bridge - where the weeping willows reached out to touch or embrace. During the day it wasn't too frightening. But at night? Those tree fingers seemed to come to life. Now, though, it was safe. Safe and beautiful. And she stopped to listen to the water gurgling below, the birds singing and the small animals chattering. All was right with the world. Except that she really did like book learnin' and wondered how she could make her father understand.
Hmmm. I wonder if I was thinking about my own father as I wrote those words. Back when I was a teen, he made it perfectly clear that he would not pay for college. Girls just didn't need to go. I had to take out loans or work my way through. That's what I did. You know...I have about 225 college credits strewn amongst 7 colleges in 4 states. I started going to college in 1970 and took my last classes in 1993. More than enough for a degree, but with no degree. Because of the different colleges, different states, different times. That's why I figure one day I'll get it together and get some college that rewards for life experiences to allow me to gather those credits (Many of which were so long ago now that they don't really count...I never could understand that. Some things never change! Those credits should count.) and put together a life portfolio and see how much credit I can get for the whole lot of it.
I once worked for a woman who received an associate degree for her life experience portfolio - without ever attending one single college course. I helped her type up and organize that portfolio. What an awesome project it was!
Perhaps once my disability comes through and I no longer have the stress of not being able to afford anything, I'll be able to focus on a serious project. Perhaps...
When my next sister - 6 years younger - came along, he had not really changed his mind much. Fortunately for her, she received a full college scholarship. She and my parents only had to come up with $800 a year, I think, the whole time she was in school. Her scholarship was with one of the car companies. They provided her education and employed her every summer. Her only obligation to them was she was finished with college and had interviewed and collected a few job offers, she had to allow that car company to make their own offer. They promised to meet or exceed any offer she had. They did. And she turned them down and went to work for a chemical company. That was in 1980, and she has worked for that same chemical company ever since. Today she is a sr. vice president. For years, my sister only had her bachelor's degree in chemical engineering and was supervising folks (mostly guys, still, of course in that industry) with master's and PhD's. She finally did get a master's degree herself. Not sure of the emphasis. Business, most likely.
By the time my baby sister got to college age (she's 13 years younger) my dad was okay with paying for college. But baby sister chose to get married and start having kids at only 18.
Now she's 42 and about to be a grandma. She'll be the first grandparent in our family.
And all of this came from a picture prompt...
|Hey. Gather.com is a pretty cool place. A networking place for grown-ups, kinda. Share stories, pictures, now even videos. Free.
Points for posting stories, images, videos. Points for commenting. Turn points into gift certificates. Or for really busy folks...into $$$.
Have 5 of your friends sign up and you get a $20 Border's Gift Certificate/Card. Y'all need to just click here and sign up. So far, I have 2 friends who have done so. Just need 3 more. Come on. I want that $20 Border's card.
Seriously, it's a fun place. Not everyone is serious about giving in-depth reviews. But there are groups for that. In fact, there are groups for everything. Yep, just about everything...
Today, I posted a thing called, "My $800 Potty." It's all about some government spending I found rather wasteful. (Go figure. )
Here's a link to come and join in the fun:
And here's one about that $800 potty.
Click the first one.
|Well lookeee there. An entry for every day in August. Who woulda thunk?
The past couple of days have been tough. Or maybe it's been a week now.I'm not sure when it started... But, boy oh boy, am I tired. Chronic fatigue has hit with a vengence. No amount of sleep makes it better. I just feel like I need to sleep. Could too, any time - day or night. I'm not liking this very much.
Maybe it's because of the high heat and humidity we've had for a month now. Maybe that's getting to me. Funny, huh? Since I used to live in TX and FL and went through this every year?
Seems that I may have gotten used to it NOT being so hot in the summer. But I HAVE NOT gotten used to it getting cold in the winter. I still hate winters. I still loathe snow. Oh, it's pretty to SEE - if you're inside in the warm looking out at the snow through a window.
I heard from my son last night. He was in a bit of a panic. Said he probably needs me to wire some money to him for motel for the rest of his stay.
Seems Allison's mom is still mad at him for breaking up with Allison. Derek and Allison HAVE stayed friends. Talk every day. And were planning this week to be a time to discover or rediscover what they still mean to each other. I guess instead of letting them do that, instead of letting them walk down memory lane and ponder different future possibilities, the mom is just being ugly.
Hopefully they've worked some things out, 'cause he was going to call back and tell me how much money he needed to borrow. But he never did. Guess I'll check with him later in the day to make sure everything has been smoothed over.
Why do parents stick their noses where they don't belong? I hate to say it, but the mom's attitude might just make Derek think that a future with Allison would not be a wise decision. After all 1) the mom is a bit of a pain 2) Allison likes living in Memphis - near her mom and 3) women often end up like their mothers - even when they think it will be otherwise. Or when they try to make sure that doesn't happen.
Just ask me and my two sisters. We each have a bit of Mom in us - and not always the best parts.
In the time since Allison went back to Memhis, I think Derek has grown and Allison has not. I think she will, once she's situated in Spain - away from her mom and her old stomping grounds. She'll be forced to grow and mature a bit. A year in another country should be a growing experience.
Oh well. This mom tries not to meddle. I'm just here. For Derek and for Allison too. If they want to talk, to vent, to cry.
Still...when Derek's computer wasn't working and he was researching which one to buy to replace it, he had to use my computer. The computer he used when he was 13-18. The computer that has lots of pictures of Allison on it from that same time when she was 11-16. He remembered how cute and perky she was. How much fun she was.
I wonder where that girl went? I think Derek was wondering the same thing. And hoping she was hiding somewhere...
|A 55 year old white lady and a black family - possibly from Africa - made a connection that day...all because a small child needed a "grandma hug."
Here's the rest of the story: http://www.gather.com/viewArticle.jsp?articleId=281474977102101
|I struggle with how to respond to well meaning Christian friends who say, "If you just prayed harder..." or "If you just believed more...". They seem to think that my chronic pain is my own fault, that if I prayed harder God would take away my pain away.
When I'm having a bad day, comments like this really get to me. I begin to wonder if these well meaning folks might just be right.
Then I remember that Jesus asked that to take the cup from him.
Mark 14:35-36 NIV
Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. "Abba, Father," he said, "everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will."
And I remember that Paul asked three times that his affliction be taken away.
2 Corinthians 12:7-9 NIV
To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."
Although I cannot really rejoice and be glad FOR my trials, I can learn to be thankful IN them.
James 1:2-4 NIV
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.
I think I am able to do that. I think I am able be joyful in spite of my pains and ailments. That was proven at the hearing before a judge last month about my Social Security disability claim. The judge commented, "All of your doctors have noted that in spite of your pain, you appear to be happy."
I am happy. Even today when the pain is so great that even my skin and my scalp hurt and the thought of anyone or anything touching me makes me cringe.
When the thought of human touch makes me back away because the pain is so great, God chooses at that moment to wrap His arms around me and give me a heavenly hug. And I can go on. I can perservere. After all, "I can do everything through him who gives me strength." (Philippians 4:13)
|Today at Gather.com, I shared some of my childhood memories. I've shared the same things here. Sitting in the backyard cherry tree writing poetry and drawing pictures to go with them. Eating sweet cherries from that tree, and peaches and grapes from my yard. Finding crab apples and raspberries around the neighborhood, and wild onions in the woods. Swinging on vines in the woods.
I also mentioned what fun it was to gather at night and watch the slag dump. We were easily entertained back then.
I couldn't find any pictures of the slag dumps at night in Pittsburgh, PA, but I did find one from Tibet and one from Soda Springs, Idaho.
If you've always wondered what a slag dump looked like at night (I know you have! ), be sure to check out these links.
And stop by to read the whole childhood memory thing at: http://www.gather.com/viewArticle.jsp?articleId=281474977099580
|Most of us think we we're safe from harm. We don't think we'll be hurt in car accidents or at work. But sometimes it happens. That's when you realize that the world is not such a wonderful place.
I was injured on the job in Florida in 1997. It happened after I had worked about 3 1/2 months at my job. But you know what? Florida has this formula for computing what kind of benefits one receives. They went back 13 weeks from the day I was injured and computed my weekly pay on that. It was my first week on the job and I was in training and worked only 13 hours that week. So...my worker's compensation was computed as if 13 hours a week was my normal pay. I received 80% of 13 hours at my regular pay amount. There was no getting around this decision. That was the way things were computed. I don't know what would have happened if I had only been on the job for 2 or 3 weeks when I was injured.
Florida was pretty good about treating my back even when I moved to Texas. But they finally got tired of the whole thing and said that I could choose receiving treatment for my back for life or $10,000 so that I could get treatment when/where I chose. I would have opted for the treatment for life, but my attorney was having no part of that. He said it was because Florida was known for saying they would pay for lifetime treatments, then change their decision 2 or 3 years later. I'm pretty sure my attorney suggested I take the settlement so that he could get his 25% cut.
In 2002, I was injured on the job in Texas. I had only been there for abut 6 weeks and, thankfully, they didn't compute earnings like Florida. I received 80% of my normal pay for 11 months. Then, after having my knee checked out first by a foot doctor and then by a hand doctor, it was decided that I had reached "maximum medical improvement." As soon as that decision was given, the checks stopped. I could not go back to work, but since the docs said I would not improve, the checks stopped. I never did understand that. .
That's when I started the process of trying to get Social Security Disability. Since then, I have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. Still, like most folks who apply for SSD, I have been denied twice. That's just the way the system normally works. It isn't fair. It isn't right. But that's the way things work.
And that's why I'm reminding you of this. Because the system is unfair and you or someone you love may need it someday.
I belong to an MSN Group called Social Security Disability Coalition. Here is a link to a petition to change Social Seciruty Disability. I hope you'll take a look and sign it.
And here's a link to a free online book called America's War On The Disabled: 1975-1992: (A History of the Social Security Disability Reviews of the 1980's) by Tennise Broeck Morse. http://members.tripod.com/~TBMorse/freebook.html The author says, "If you feel this book has value PLEASE: tell at least one other person about it and how to find it. Mention it on your homepage, link to it, put it on your forum as a topic for discussion, post it on a bulletin board, or write a letter or e-mail about it to an individual or a group." So be sure to pass on this link. It took Ms. Morse longer than most to receive here disability benefits. And she has multiple sclerosis.
Every time I think about the struggles that everyone has with getting Social Security Disabilty, I think Life's not fair, but God is good.
By the way... You really need to come and visit me at Gather.com. Check it out. It's free. And now you can even upload your videos. Click here. Now!
|Every day - and sometimes multiple times throughout the day - I get email alerts from http://www.newswithviews.com. When a new article is posted, I get an alert.
I've said it before. Some of the articles on News With Views are pretty strange. They're written by folks who cannot get their views covered in the mainstream media. Even so, I believe it is valuable to read articles from this source. Sometimes I discover news that the liberal media chooses to ignore, even though it is of importance to many Americans.
Today, for instance, I learned that, "The state of Oklahoma recently approved a new law that requires deportation for illegal aliens who are arrested, and limits benefits and jobs to those individuals. "
The article I read said that hispanics are leaving Oklahoma because of this new law, scheduled to go into effect on October 1. It also said, "Officials say many of those departing apparently are heading either to Kansas or Arkansas. But that may not be for long, since Arkansas is about to adopt a law similar to Oklahoma's, and Kansas is considering a similar move. "
Billboards have surfaced questioning this new law and the fact that it promotes hate. On one TV station's forum, there was this response, "We need to put up more signs that say: OKIES don't hate illegal immigrants they just want them legal! Deport all illegal immigrants now."
Here is the link for this whole story:
I also get an email each day called CR Daily. It is a reminder of new articles submitted to The Church Report Online.
Today the topics included:
Fred Thompson to Announce in September.
Louisiana College to Create a Christian Law School.
Malaysian Paper Apology for Jesus Image.
Perhaps it's because I worked for a newspaper and discovered how "news" was chosen that I find it necessary to seek news and current events from several kinds of sources each day.
Where do you find your news?
And...do YOU think this new Oklahoma law is about hate? Or is it about doing what should have been done all along?
|When you have an injury or chronic pain, doctors, physical therapists, chiropractors, etc. want to know about your level of pain on a scale of 1 to 10. When I had my time in front of the Social Security judge last month, he also wanted to know about the level of pain that I have on a daily basis.
It helps to know how a person defines pain. They usually tell you that level 10 is the worst pain you have ever experienced.
For me, remembering the worst pain(s) I've ever had is easy.
First there were the two times that I have been burned. Not many people have the same identical burn injuries twice in a lifetime.
The first time I was burned was in about 1976. I was heating water on the stove in a tea kettle. When it started to whistle, I grabbed the kettle to make a cup of instant coffee. At that moment, our new Irish Setter puppy came running into the kitchen and bumped into me just as I was pouring the hot, steamy water into the cup. I had 2nd and 3rd degree burns from my fingertips to my elbow, on my left hand/arm. (I'm left handed.) I was screaming in pain when my then spouse drove into the driveway. From the sounds of my screams, he thought I was being killed. I think I wished...
In 1983, I had the same injury! Again, I was heating water to make instant coffee. Again a dog (adult, not puppy) bumped into me as I was pouring. Again I was burned from my fingertips to my elbow on my left hand/arm. 2nd and 3rd degree burns. Different spouse, different city, different dog. Same kind of burn.
In spite of having serious burns, I have no scars. They really do have some excellent burn creams that help in healing. I guess it also helped that I went to the hospital every day to have them dress the wounds. There was no way I could handle getting rid of dead skin and bandaging my own hand and arm.
Each of these deserve a level 10 on the pain scale.
My son was born in 1984. I had labor pains for about 14 hours before the doc decided to do a C-section. At one point, I opted for an epidural and rather than stopping the pains, they were transferred to my chest area. I had labor pains in my chest and thought I was having a heart attack. That caused me and the baby to have too much trauma, and that's when the C-section was scheduled. Those pains were what I think of as level 10.
In 1985, an 85 year old lady ran a red light and hit my car. The car was totaled. I had no broken bones, but boy was I bruised, especially where the seat belt grabbed me. Some of the bruising deserved a 10.
In 1997, I hurt my back at work. It was a stupid injury. I was unpacking boxes in the storage room of the gift store at Bok Tower Gardens. I thought the box I was lifting held books, but it only held cards. There's quite a difference in the weight of books and cards, and when I lifted the box thinking it contained books, I was caught off guard at how light the box really was (with only cards in it). I lost my balance and twisted my back. I have been dealing with that ever since. When I first injured my back and for days afterwards, the pain level reached 10.
In 2002, I hurt my knee at work. Again, it was a stupid injury. I was working in the boys' department of a department store. It was nearing Easter, and we had lots of suits and ties to hang. I reached down into a box to get out some ties and lost my balance. I landed on a chair nearby, hurting my already hurting back. But as I lost my balance I also heard a loud crack. That was my knee injury. My co-workers also heard the "crack" and went to get help even before I asked. At the time of the injury, my pain was at level 10.
In 2004, I went to the emergency room with chest pains. Definitely level 10.
These are how I define level 10 pain. Zero pain level is just what it says - no pain.
Most days, I wake up with about level 6 pain all over my body, with level 6-8 in my knee and back. Sometimes I can get the pain down to a level 4-5, but without knocking myself out, I can't take enough pain medicine to be totally pain free.
Back in Michigan a few years ago, one "lovely" (as hubby says, not my word for him) doctor informed me that pain was never a disabling factor.
Really? Boy, oh boy, it was hard to maintain my good Christian attitude with that doctor. You know I wanted to wish some of my pain on him. But I didn't...
|Isn't it funny, how the mind wanders? Last night in my dreams, I had a profound thought, something about which I knew I should write. In the old days, I would have wakened, turned on the light beside my bed and written that thought down in the notebook that always sat on the nightstand beside my bed. But that was before fibromyalgia hit. Now when I sleep, I sleep deeply. The same thoughts race across my mind in my sleep, but I cannot or do not waken to write them down. Sometimes I remember them later. Sometimes they are lost for a day or a week or a month. Sometimes they never resurface.
Try as I might, I cannot remember what was so important last night in my dreams. But in pondering, other thoughts have raced to be first in line.
For some reason, I remembered learning to write in cursive. Second grade. Mrs. Clauser. I'm left handed, but I don't put my paper at funny angles to write, nor do I curl up my hand upside-down as some left handers do. That's thanks to Mrs. Clauser. She placed one of those pink erasers on my hand as I practiced writing. If the eraser fell off - because I was allowing my hand to take up a funny position - she would come by my desk, slap my hand and put the eraser back in place.
Oddly enough, I learned to write upside-down almost as well as I learned to write right-side up. I practiced that at home, though. I also learned to write backwards.
Perhaps that's why it didn't come as a surprise when Derek learned to recognize the alphabet upside down just as easily as right side up. What did come as a surprise was that it was at the age of two that he could do that.
Back then, we called each other whatever our names would be backwards. It was our code, one we thought no one would crack. Nyliram was my name backwards. I answered to that for years.
See where the mind goes...
When I was called to write on the chalkboard, I discovered that I could write with either my right or left hand. For some reason, making bigger strokes across the chalkboard allowed me to write with either hand. I never could write on paper with my right hand, because I couldn't get the positioning of the pen or pencil right. But on the chalkboard, I wrote with either hand. (My friends thought that was really cool. )
School funding and school costs crossed my mind as I was trying to bring that profound thought from my dreams. Strange. Schools never seem to have enough money anymore. They're always complaining about that, cutting programs, wanting to raise taxes.
Back in the dinosaur days when I was a kid, we didn't need as many administrators. We did didn't need as many of any school employees, actually. We had one secretary in my elementary school, a school of about 600 kids from kindergarten through fifth grade. There were no computers to keep track of attendance or grades. All of that was done manually. At lunch time, the school secretary joined the teachers in the lounge. I often ate my lunch in the office. I was a fifth grader and a patrol, and my "job" was to answer the school phones and to be there in case a visitor came in while the staff ate lunch.
Fifth grade patrols ate their lunches with the younger kids, so the teachers could eat together. Afterwards on the playground, maybe one or two teachers would be assigned to watching. But the fifth grade patrols were to watch out for the younger kids. I was orginally assigned to a second grade class, but they were almost as big as me and didn't really want to listen.
That's why my permanent assignment ended up being that I answering phones in the office. Adults usually called or dropped by the office during lunch time. And adults were easier for me to handle.
In Texas in about 97-98, I used to have to pick up my niece from her school to take her to dentist appointments and such. Her elementary school had about six office personnel in a school no bigger than the one where I went. I always wondered why there were so many...
We didn't have a full time music teacher. For "regular" music, our regular teachers were supposed to be able to teach us. That was part of being an elementary school teacher! But we also had a real music teacher who came by about two days a week. The other days, he spent at other elementary schools in our district. Two at another school and one at a smaller one. So one music teacher was shared by three schools. If today's schools did that, they could save money. Right. Rather than considering going back to something like this, they choose to just do away with music teachers. Dumb.
Same thing with art teachers. In elementary school, our regular teachers had to know something about teaching art too. But we had a real art teacher who came by once a week for special projects. Schools could do that today too, keeping art as something important in schools, instead of just dumping it.
Some kids took up playing instruments so that they could get out of regular classes a few times a week for lessons. That wasn't my reason for deciding to play the violin. Frankly, I don't know why I ended up playing the violin. Perhaps it was because of the fiddle player I watched on The Lawrence Welk Show. Or perhaps it was the least expensive choice for my parents. I really don't know. But I did play it from 2nd grade through 12th grade...and haven't really touched a violin since. I was good...but I walked away from it.
Anyway, I was wondering what the kids did who didn't take lessons. I never really thought about that before until today. They had to do something... I just never knew (or cared, I guess) what.
Our junior and senior high schools also had less personnel than today's schools. And, as a baby boomer, my schools were filled with kids, sometimes in places where there were not supposed to be classes. (Like basements!) And yet, there could be fewer staff than today. One reason? We were respectful of adults. They didn't need lots of folks to keep us in line.
In high school, we had a principal and one vice principal who were able to handle a school with over 2500 kids. They also handled the first school strike while I was there, SDS girls streaking topless through the hallways and a race riot. Oh, I imagine they might have called on a few local cops now and then to help out, but normally they were able to handle eveything quite nicely. We certainly didn't have a regular cop on duty.
I remember when I was in Florida (86-97)...and heard that one high school nearby had four vice principals for a school with 1200 kids. Plus a full time truancy officer. I wondered what all those vice principals did...
So that's where the mind wandered this morning. I still have no idea what I was thinking last night in my dreams that seemed so important. Perhaps it will come to me again. Perhaps not.
|When I saw the first mention of Kid Nation, I wondered about the show. I had some bad feelings...
I didn't see the ABC mention of CBS' Kid Nation this morning, but I did find it on Yahoo when I logged on. It seems my fears about this show were probably right on.
First, I have to wonder what the parents were thinking. Seriously. They all signed 22 page contracts giving CBS and the Kid Nation producers the right to tell their kids what to do and how to do it for 40 days. For $5,000. There's a confidentialty clause that says they'll be fined $5 million if they come forward and share "secrets" about the show.
The parents took their children - ages 8 to 15 - out of school to be on this show last Spring. A show where the kids were in charge of themselves. Except where CBS might tell them they had to do things or couldn't do things.
What were the parents thinking????????
And CBS? They selected a state that has more lax laws about child labor? I always thought there were federal laws about child labor. The kids had no running water. Obviously no sanitary conditions, if there was not even running water. CBS didn't announce their presence, like they would usually do when setting up a TV show anywhere in the country. They quietly sneaked in, filmed for 40 days, and by the time authorities were alerted, they were gone. The reason? They were doing something quite out of the ordinary. Illegal? Probably. If these kids were real TV actors, they would have had teachers on the set. They would have only been allowed to work for a certain number of hours and days each week.
Here's what ABC had to say about this today. And a TV critic...who said the trailers made him want to puke.
Are you outraged about this? I am - at both CBS and the parents.
There are quite a few CBS shows that hubby and I watch. We're not ones who have to watch shows every time they're on. But we have been known to watch these shows: CSI, Shark, NCIS, Numbers, Jericho, Cold Case, Without a Trace.
The TV critic in the ABC clip thinks that Kid Nation will never air. I hope he's right. I've done my part. I went to CBS feedback to let them know that even though I enjoy a number of CBS shows, I'll give up watching every one of them if this show airs.
But that's just me...