Saturday, August 29, 2009

Long Time, No Post

This post was written/added to September 6 but most was drafted earlier (thus it posts as last weekend):

We've been busy with the kids' schools and paperwork and new activities, so I've not been writing my own posts. Busy for me is, of course, less busy than it is for other people, but I have to watch so pain levels don't spiral out of control. I've also been helping my son to focus so he can get through violin practice, multiplication facts (eep, he forgot everything), handwriting practice since he takes an hour to write out a few pages and that keeps him from finishing work, and reading about 40-50 pages of fiction on the days he has time (as he needs to do). All that's in addition to regular homework, plus have been trying to guide my daughter through the organizational changes and grooming issues (new earrings, more attention to appearance, a tiny amount of makeup). My friend will be my daughter's volleyball coach this year (yay!, you can bet this will make my life easier), and since she also coaches her other daughter's team who's just a year younger, my daughter can double practice if she wants and has time.

The hip and ischial bursitis is good enough to allow me to do a reasonable amount (most people would not consider being out a few hours without being in total agony a reasonable amount, but I've lowered my standards), though now the arthritis in my shoulders is killing me the same way my hip and SI did late spring/early summer when the changes showed up on x-ray. Go figure. Did a lot of cleaning out of kids' rooms (this involved a lot of me-deciding and everyone else doing) and ebaying (I write up descriptions, he sorts and takes pictures, does the mailing). Appointments. And am exhausted/in pain when I'm not doing something for someone else.

My grandfather is not doing well and so my sister and her children visited for a weekend. His difficulties are maybe to be expected since he's 87, though sad. I've also been dealing with guardianship issues again (another relative wants my uncle with her) and this has been a strain--that's an understatement. I am glad to do what I am asked to do but don't deserve others' anger for being willing to do so. I was called and told to "back down" about his care (it wasn't my idea, though I'm beginning to see why they may have asked me) and again to "back down" when we called to offer my grandfather help in getting to an appointment, told that I wasn't his daughter (this from another relative, not him). He had missed his last one because he was too ill and tired, though it was an important one. My sister was also called and told not to come by this relative, which left her in tears. She did come, and it was good to see her.

So I've not disappeared, but have just been busy.

We also have a small stack of referrals for my son. The little guy went to the new pediatrician on CHIP recently. Instead of nodding over hypothesized connections between my issues and his when taking his history, about his heel pain and back pain and headaches, she put out some effort. She had him take off his shirt and, so that she didn't have to tell us directly, asked us if his shoulders looked level. No. Obvious problem. His right foot also turns out some when he walks, which she noticed and we hadn't. This is new and could account for the heel pain. He'll see the Shriner's hospital for scoliosis (he had an x-ray already), podiatrist for the heel pain (we went last week but the doctor's daughter was in labor!, reschedule), may have to return to the PCP based on podiatry appointment for an additional rheumatology referral at the Shriner's hospital. Plus he has an upcoming 6-month visit with the autism specialist and new visits with a new OT due to the change to CHIP (including another long assessment, siggggghhh, exhausting, missed school) and should be in the autistic spectrum social group at the university. I really hope his scoliosis is minor and stays minor, that all we need to do is monitor it, that the heel pain and headaches are just normal childhood issues or within the range of normal anyway. I'm feeling sick from the stress of all these appointments given our challenge getting through our daily lives but for now have temporarily pushed down my fears that he will have some of the same problems I do. I just want things to be easier for my kids. I really don't like seeing pain on his face. I'm hoping the right shoe insert or support will relieve the foot pain and maybe in turn some of the back pain. The Shriner's appointment is in December--they do take a while, and maybe some of these others will be out of the way soon. Really, he could stand to have his tonsils out, and I should have had done it right about the time I got my scooter and was struggling; my husband would take him to urgent care for strep throats since that was fast and we could sign in at home rather than wait at the clinic. He's already been sick this school year again and people are commenting on how easily he gets respiratory infections. Scccrrrrrreeeeeaaaaam. I think that just may need to wait right now. Christmas break after seeing how he does this semester?

When my pain medicine was refilled this week, the rheumatologist's office called since it's been a while since I've been in to schedule an appointment. Hahahaha, yeah, lots of time and energy to take care of myself.

I am worrying about my son missing school for some appointments (some of these places assign times, take it or leave it, absolutely). At least the appointments will be near free, but really, does he need to be missing "kid time" to go to OT and to the social program for autistic kids at the university (which would mean leaving school early)? And getting behind on homework and missing activities for appointments after school? I guess this is something I can bring up at the autism appointment. I want to maximize his success but don't want him to suffer to get there or to have academic problems from missing school time. What a catch-22!

My only positive memory from the Shriner's hospital (though the incident horrified me as a teen, it makes me laugh now) is that of a young visiting German doctor asking my mother if my sister and I were heterozygotes or homozygotes. My mother, misunderstanding, lit into the doctor. The doctor did not know the English "fraternal" or "identical," and my mother had not had much biology. Oddly enough, that's because she was in high school a half day on hardship so she could care for her siblings while my grandmother took my uncle to the Shriner's hospital. Anyway. When I had to go, which wasn't often, I hated going, hated missing school, always felt too old for pediatrics and thus felt really embarrassed, hated the exercises which my parents made me do at home when I wanted to do my schoolwork, and was always uncomfortable there and felt under the microscope, good as the care is. Ah, grumpy pre-teens and teens.

My son's teacher did lighten all of his materials at school so he doesn't have to carry heavy items and books class to class (at the GT school, he changes every class, and they typically carry two heavy books around all day plus all of their supplies--not just pens and pencils--and some spirals/workbooks in a plastic tub). So a lot of his materials will be kept in the classes. His violin weights 7.0 pounds with the case, so we may still have trouble keeping everything light enough for him. Extra textbooks will be kept for him here at home, so no trekking back and forth with the math book.

My cousin has arachnoiditis, not ankylosing spondylitis. So she definitely knows about pain issues. Haven't talked to her yet. But I did talk to another disability blogger on the phone--that made my Friday! And I've spent lots of time with family, some of it just watching movies or talking, but that's been good. My mom bought a copy of Jodi Picoult's book about OI for me at a used bookstore, so I'm finally reading through that.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Genetics?

My mom says that one of my cousins I haven't seen in a long time uses a wheelchair, and that her husband sometimes has to carry her around (she is tiny, but there are also a lot of steps where she lives). She said it was something with her spine and that it started with an "a."

"Ankylosing spondylitis?"

"Yes, that's it."

My son is getting heel pain a lot, sometimes back pain. Hopefully normal childhood issues; we'll see.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Cancer Email from "John Hopkins"

Last week I received the email at the bottom of this post by someone who was pretty upset about it. There are a few, but not many, facts, and those that do exist are skewed to support illogical conclusions.

Unfortunately, the text of this email has been reproduced all over the alternative medicine web as fact. The "facts" in it are laughable; distilled water is perfect at a 7.0 pH--it is not acidic! This is very basic science. It's funny that someone concerned about dioxin in plastic bottles would recommend covering microwaved food with paper towels--plastic doesn't contain dioxins, but paper towels are bleached with dioxins. There is truly bad science and lack of logic in every numbered item in this email. But again, it's reproduced all over the web. People believe it.

This kind of misinformation below harms, however; it is not at all innocuous and can lead patients to very bad decisions that can take their lives. According to one study, many people believe that surgery will spread cancer (a misunderstanding of metastasis or recurrence) and would not have lung surgery even if a doctor dispelled the myths (http://caonline.amcancersoc.org/cgi/content/full/54/1/2). While chemotherapy is toxic, your chance of surviving breast cancer, for example, is 92% with it but very small without.

The email seems to ignore the ever-increasing survival rates of cancers that result from surgeries, chemo, and other therapies. I have been told that my pre-cancerous uterus was caused by eating sugar and not eliminating it absolutely 100% without exception. Anyone who's taken biology and thinks about it remembers that food is broken down into lipids, proteins, sugars, etc. Sucrose is not different from other carbohydrates that are metabolized into glucose (milk sugar becomes lactose and fruit sugar fructose), though unrefined carbohydrates and a balanced diet are best for a number of reasons. If food is to blame, and we can't know for sure, it is far more likely that I was harmed by drinking soy formula and then soy milk daily until I was 11 because of milk allergy (excessive soy causes cancer, though it's recommended below) and other hormonal therapies to try to control my bleeding for many years.

Increasingly, people encourage an "alkaline" rather than "acidic" diet. This is nonsense. While vegetables are good for you, so are fruits. Quick fact-checking suggests that the normal pH of the blood is 7.3-7.5 and should not go over or under this much (dire circumstances can occur). There is little most people can do to change their blood pH, however; blood pH is an example of homeostasis--the body maintains it.

Both Johns Hopkins and Snopes dispel this email, though I am a bit disappointed they do not address more details, such as the nutritional ones; brevity perhaps helps people to read through all of it. http://www.hopkinskimmelcancercenter.org/index.cfm/cID/1684/mpage/item.cfm/itemID/1016 http://www.snopes.com/medical/disease/cancerupdate.asp

While I don't think anyone would make their decisions on a single email, hearing this kind of material over and over (as with the acidic/alkaline garbage, or that chemo directly causes recurrences) can lead people to poor decisions not based in fact, to alternatives that have little effect or that can even harm. I am not opposed to alternative and complementary medicine that has evidence to support its claims, but this kind of nonsense is harmful.

-------------
FW: JOHN HOPKINS MEDICAL - Good Article!

Don't know how true it is but sure makes sense....


Health Info that I think we can all use.

Subject: JOHN HOPKINS
MEDICAL

Very informative !!!

John Hopkins
Update - Good article

AFTER YEARS OF TELLING PEOPLE CHEMOTHERAPY IS THE ONLY WAY TO TRY ('TRY', BEING THE KEY WORD) TO ELIMINATE CANCER, JOHNS HOPKINS IS FINALLY STARTING TO TELL YOU THERE IS AN ALTERNATIVE WAY.

Cancer Update from Johns Hopkins :

1. Every person has cancer cells in the body. These cancer cells do not show up in the standard tests until they have multiplied to a few billion. When doctors tell cancer patients that there are no more cancer cells in their bodies after treatment, it just means the tests are unable to detect the cancer cells because they have not reached the detectable size.

2. Cancer cells occur between 6 to more than 10 times in a person's lifetime.

3. When the person's immune system is strong the cancer cells will be destroyed and prevented from multiplying and forming tumors.

4.. When a person has cancer it indicates the person has multiple nutritional deficiencies. These could be due to genetic, environmental, food and lifestyle factors

5. To overcome the multiple nutritional deficiencies, changing diet and including supplements will strengthen the immune system.

6. Chemotherapy involves poisoning the rapidly-growing cancer cells and also destroys rapidly-growing healthy cells in the bone marrow, gastrointestinal tract etc, and can cause organ damage, like liver, kidneys, heart, lungs etc.

7. Radiation while destroying cancer cells also burns, scars
and damages healthy cells, tissues and organs.

8. Initial treatment with chemotherapy and radiation will often reduce tumor size. However prolonged use of chemotherapy and radiation do not result in more tumor destruction.

9. When the body has too much toxic burden from chemotherapy and radiation the immune system is either compromised or destroyed, hence the person can succumb to various kinds of infections and complications.

10. Chemotherapy and radiation can cause cancer cells to mutate and become resistant and difficult to destroy. Surgery can also cause cancer cells to spread to other sites.

11. An effective way to battle cancer is to starve the cancer cells
by not feeding it with the foods it needs to multiply.. *CANCER CELLS FEED ON:

a. Sugar is a cancer-feeder. By cutting off sugar it cuts off important food supply to the cancer cells. Sugar substitutes like NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, etc are made with Aspartame and it is harmful. A better natural substitute would be Manuka honey or molasses, but only in very small amounts.. Table salt has a chemical added to make it white in color. Better alternative is Bragg's aminos or sea salt.

b. Milk causes the body to produce mucus, especially in the
gastro-intestinal tract. Cancer feeds on mucus. By cutting off milk and substituting with unsweetened soy milk cancer cells are being starved.

c. Cancer cells thrive in an acid environment. A meat-based diet is acidic and it is best to eat fish, and a little chicken rather than beef or pork. Meat also contains livestock antibiotics, growth hormones and parasites, which are all harmful, especially to people with cancer.

d. A diet made of 80% fresh vegetables and juice, whole grains, seeds, nuts and a little fruits help put the body into an alkaline environment. About 20% can be from cooked food including beans. Fresh vegetable juices provide live enzymes
that are easily absorbed and reach down to cellular levels within 15 minutes to nourish and enhance growth of healthy cells.. To obtain live enzymes for building healthy cells try and drink fresh vegetable juice (most vegetables including bean sprouts) and eat some raw vegetables 2 or 3 times a day. Enzymes are destroyed at temperatures of 104 degrees F (40 degrees C).

e. Avoid coffee, tea, and chocolate, which have high
caffeine. Green tea is a better alternative and has cancer fighting properties. Water-best to drink purified water, or filtered, to avoid known toxins and heavy metals in tap water. Distilled water is acidic, avoid it.

12. Meat protein is difficult to digest and requires a lot of
digestive enzymes. Undigested meat remaining in the intestines becomes putrefied and leads to more toxic buildup.

13.. Cancer cell walls have a tough protein covering. By refraining from or eating less meat it frees more enzymes
to attack the protein walls of cancer cells and allows the body's killer cells to destroy the cancer cells.

14. Some supplements build up the immune system (IP6, Flor-ssence, Essiac, anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals, EFAs etc.) to enable the bodies own killer cells to destroy cancer cells... Other supplements like vitamin E are known to cause apoptosis, or programmed cell death, the body's normal method of disposing of damaged, unwanted, or unneeded cells.

15. Cancer is a disease of the mind, body, and spirit. A proactive and positive spirit will help the cancer warrior be a survivor. Anger, un-forgiveness and bitterness put the body into a stressful and acidic environment. Learn to have a loving and
forgiving spirit. Learn to relax and enjoy life.

16. Cancer cells cannot thrive in an oxygenated environment. Exercising daily, and deep breathing help to get more oxygen down to the cellular level. Oxygen therapy is another means employed to destroy cancer cells.

1. No plastic containers in micro.

2. No water bottles in
freezer.

3.. No plastic wrap in microwave.

Johns Hopkins has recently sent this out in its newsletters. This information is being circulated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center as well. Dioxin chemicals cause cancer, especially breast cancer. Dioxins are highly poisonous to the cells of our bodies. Don't freeze your plastic bottles with water in them as this releases dioxins from the plastic. Recently, Dr. Edward Fujimoto, Wellness Program Manager at Cast le Hospital, was on a TV program to explain this health hazard. He talked about dioxins and how bad they are for us. He said that we should not be heating our food in the microwave using plastic containers. This especially applies to foods that contain fat. He said that the combination of fat, high heat, and plastics releases dioxin into the food and ultimately into the cells of the body. Instead, he recommends using glass, such as Corning Ware, Pyrex or ceramic containers for heating food You get the same results, only without the dioxin. So such things as TV dinners, instant ramen and soups, etc., should be removed from the container and heated in something else. Paper isn't bad but you don't know what is in the paper. It's just safer to use tempered glass, Corning Ware, etc. He reminded us that a while ago some of the fast food restaurants moved away from the foam containers to paper. The dioxin problem is one of the reasons. Also, he pointed out that plastic wrap, such as Saran, is just as dangerous when placed over foods to be cooked in the microwave. As the food is nuked, the high heat causes poisonous toxins to actually melt out of the plastic wrap and drip into the food. Cover food with a paper towel instead.

This is an article that should be sent to anyone important in your life.

Monday, August 17, 2009

On Crucifixion and Dying from Pain

This weekend my husband and I watched a History Channel documentary on crucifixion. (The kids were spending the night at their grandparents'; this program is not kid-safe material.) The program demonstrated some important aspects of intractable pain and disability for people of any belief.

I can't summarize in an ordered beginning-to-end way. But some of the highlights are this:
-Crucifixion was a routine torture in the Roman empire used as control and preventative. Jesus and the two next to him were not by far the only ones crucified.
-Christ died quickly on the cross, after about six hours. This was a short time after crucifixion--the agony sometimes lasted from three to nine days. The Romans liked to prolong the torture.
-Volunteers have demonstrated some of the physiological effects of crucifixion (they are secured with ropes and not nailed, and the feet placed into a cuplike holder on the cross). For these athletic, healthy volunteers, their heart rate immediately goes up from 75 to 175 and the body is under immediate distress. Their muscles shake and they begin to sweat. Breathing capacity immediately drops by 10%. The volunteers could not endure it over about ten minutes, and this is without nailing and breaking of bones.
-For Jesus, it's hypothesized that he would not have been able to speak at the end if he was already so short on lung capacity. Instead, this early in the process, he probably had bruised his chest and heart from falling with the 100-lb. cross. The high heart rate caused by the pain would have made his heart unable to bear the strain and would have given him a fatal aneuyresm (thus he could still speak and was aware something sudden had happened).
-The question was asked, "Can pain kill?" The answer: "Yes." For most people who were crucified, pain caused death. The documentary refers to the collapse of the body's functions and organs due to the severe stress on them. In part, autonomic dysfunction secondary to pain. Despite the effects of dehydration, loss of blood from beatings, and reduced lung capacity, death resulted from the pain, not from asphyxiation or other causes as originally believed. (The theory of asphyxiation is that people move themselves up to relieve the pain; lung capacity is measurably reduced by the physiological stress.)
-Crucifixion was considered to be shameful, a shameful way to die.

Some suggest that Jesus' sweat turning into blood was hematohidrosis, a documented reaction that occurs from severe anxiety, and that Jesus also experienced severe shock. Shock occured from the flaying and the breaking of bones during nailing as well as from dehydration.

I have seen some people mock the crucifixion; while I understand dislike of organized religion and its effects, Jesus was a rebel against the government, a hippie who ignored laws and rules that were harmful, putting people first. When people can mock this kind of pain, I am reminded of John Donne's "No man is an island." The Nazis also used crucifixion. Many have suffered and died without just cause, for thinking differently or undermining an authority. Who can hear about a poet dragged through the streets of an Eastern European country to his death and not be moved, thinking of one's own friend who lived there and also wrote poetry against the government, who narrowly escaped with his life?

However, people like to think that pain can't kill. Sometimes we hear that pain doesn't kill or can't harm people. We also like to think that people can't feel pain as much when they're in shock or having autonomic dysfunction. So long as they're reasonably conscious, this is absolutely untrue, although they may not have the reserves to complain or respond. The shock that occurs after a major fracture can and sometimes does kill. Prolonged unmitigated pain, whether or not trauma is involved, can result in cardiovascular complications, including heart attack and stroke (http://pain-topics.org/pdf/IntractablePainSurvival.pdf, among others).

We often hear that chronic pain does not harm and that people should push past the pain and do more, but for some patients pain can harm. While it is good to keep or build one's capacities to maximize independence and health, to endure some fatigue or pain temporarily to increase endurance and to lower pain for the long term, for a small minority of patients, pacing is particularly important and pushing oneself can have difficult and even dire consequences. I don't really know how to explain how bad the pain is that results in autonomic dysfunction; I only know that most doctors and other people cannot and do not understand it. A resting heart rate of 150 is not normal! Would it be 175 without the beta blocker? Probably.

I do not mean to suggest at all that pain and suffering makes people Christlike; most of us do not choose to be in pain and take measures against it. Enduring pain does not make us better or worse than another. What I do suggest is that that we should be alert to the pain and suffering of others and do what we can to alleviate it, not increase it. I think more people should know and understand what severe pain is like. We can never fully know the experience of another, but we can approximate and understand. Pain is not something we can just overcome with mental strength or will; Christ did not overcome it but died from it. The severe anxiety that turned his sweat into blood, the beating, the falling with the cross, the betrayal, the mocking, the unjustness: vasogenic shock occurred even before the nailing.

Pain is not weakness or a failure of character. It is not shameful. It just is.

A number of people have told me that when they have become ill or disabled that some people, Christians (an atheist wouldn't say this) blame them for it, say that they must have done something wrong to deserve it. They forget about the crucifixion. They forget that in healing people, Jesus did not condemn. There was no ADA, no wheelchairs (as far as I know), no access; to be disabled was to be unable to work and to participate in daily life. Too often we are labeled as sinners and wrongdoers by those who misunderstand, by Christians and non-Christians who believe that those he healed were the worst sinners or who believe in the Law of Attraction or karma, who forget this passage:
"His disciples asked him, 'Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?' Jesus answered, 'Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God's works might be revealed in him'" (John 9:1).

I also think the program holds some promise for Christians to have better understanding of the suffering of those within their congregation through understanding the Christ's suffering. Suffering comes not only through physical pain or disability; it also comes from others who mock us, blame us, abuse us, or attempt to shame us because we are disabled. Christianity is not the only religion that has been used to blame people for disability, and atheists as a group can be far easier to talk with about disability and more humane about it. This idea would surprise many. There are exceptions: the uber-fitness, we're better than weak and unhealthy people, "you can-overcome-anything with the right pill, exercise, drug, thought" line of thinking, whether based in conventional or alternative medicine, judges and insults with presumptiveness, misinformation, and poor logic. But I find spiritual and religious people (who are not themselves ill or disabled) far more likely to propagate such beliefs. It's time to correct that.

Again, pain is not weakness or a failure of character. It is not shameful.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Second rounds of interviews

Second rounds of interviews (both jobs), coming up!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

More on unfair quizzes and...interviews

A quick google tells me there are a lot of quizzes gauging how "retarded" someone is. Also there's a quotation by David Sedaris about being retarded that about 350 people voted that they liked on a literary website. This is GoodReads. You, too, can vote on it as your favorite quotation, but you can't indicate anywhere that it's discriminatory. I know I didn't grow up using the term because I knew what it meant and how it could harm--I remember the first time I heard it used as a slur on the playground to another child. I was shocked. My husband has never used that word. He's always accepted my family readily--I also have a cousin who is very severely autistic. And honestly anyone who didn't wouldn't have been with me any longer. My sister's boyfriend, now husband, was the same way. Unfortunately, this can't be said of absolutely everyone.

When I was small, I remember my mom becoming angry and leaving a church event because someone was making fun of people. Not just using the word, but making fun of them. A few years later, this woman's own child was left permanently brain damaged after a car hit her when she was on her bike when she went into traffic. An instant can change everything. I hope her beliefs changed, but I know that many people don't find their disabled children fit in with their lifestyle.

I didn't remember anything being different about my uncle. I didn't think it was odd that he lived with my grandparents--my aunt did too until she was married. My great-grandmother was always there and other relatives visited and stayed. I remember he was an endless source of art supplies as well as my favorite cassettes, and in retrospect, he showed a lot of patience. My mom had to explain eventually to my sister and me, as I did with my kids.

How do I expect to be changed by being his guardian? More patience and more calm, and not for the reasons people would expect--not patience and calm with him, but patience and calm because of him and the way he reacts to the world. He shows these virtues himself and is a good role model for others. He doesn't speak poorly of others and though he will get angry, he doesn't act on it. He does have good insight into others' emotions, able to point out that someone was just jealous and thus reacting negatively to others (an observation without speaking badly of them). He would like to live with us, and it's important to me that our home be a comfortable place for him. As my mom says, he's good company and she'd rather be around him than someone who would make fun of others.

My cousin is more profoundly impaired and I haven't seen him in a long time due to circumstances more complicated than I can write about here (not my choice, or his sisters'). I can only hope that he's not in one of the terrible state institutions now that he's reached 18, though I can't see him fitting a step-parent's lifestyle since his sisters didn't. But I cannot see making fun of him--what he has difficulties with is not funny. And what he enjoys doing--listening to books read by others, cuddling with his sister, playing with his toy cars--is heartwarming to think of. I worry about him, as do his sisters.

Yesterday I found out that my son has been bullied for three years by four older boys on his bus. He sits at the front and my daughter at the very back and she reports not knowing (which I believe, by the amount of noise emanating from the windows when the bus pulls up). Plus it sounds like these boys hid it, briefly standing up over the bus seat to hit him, for example. He is vulnerable even though he is just a little different--he doesn't initiate conversation with a lot of people and generally doesn't converse or respond as fully as others do (this can be really frustrating when I need information). He doesn't defend himself unless it's with his sister, and I've never known him to "tell" on another child before, not once. He just doesn't take initiative like that, even when he should, even when people took his supplies at school (I asked why he didn't have them anymore). An observer in his classroom noted that another child picked up his chair and moved him over and he did not respond at all--most every child would at least object. There's some concern now since his sister is going to middle school and will not be on the same bus. This situation makes me really sad--I guess somehow I expected he'd tell me if something came up. Instead, he'll often refuse to do something or go a person's house if he's been uncomfortable, without telling me why. I am not pleased about having to pick him up--not upset because of him, but because it victimizes all of us--that uses about 35 minutes of my 2 hours a day of sitting up. What do I do on days I'm more bedridden? We also share a car, making it more difficult--this means picking up my husband before and after work as well if he gets a new job, without him just taking the van and leaving me here about 50% of the time.

I am also worried about the bus driver's abilities and judgment for a few reasons too.

Sigh.

Parents have got to talk to their kids about difference and bullying. Difference doesn't mean you pick on someone.

Anyway. My husband has some upcoming interviews and is at a couple of specialized job fairs today for companies actually doing some hiring. Some of the opportunities he's called about would require a cross-country move, but that could be nice, depending on where. Wish us luck!

Monday, August 3, 2009

FW: Im 45% Retarded! Rock on

At the bottom of this post is an email my daughter has received many times over the weekend. She initially replied to it, and now I've started to. It disappoints me that so many preteens (and even adults) think that this is okay, that using the word "retarded" as a slur is acceptable. I have a hard time believing how wildly popular this email is compared to all the other junk they forward each other.

As my husband says, we have an uphill battle against the use of the term in such a way. My daughter's response:

"please don't use the word retard or retarded or forward this to other people. It's just as bad as racist terms. I have a great-uncle who is developmentally disabled and he's a great person! Thanks!"

So far we've only received one "yes ma'am" back (goodness) and one "you can't control me." Others have apparently not read what she wrote and forwarded it again anyway.

The email:

This is funny!

This is interesting to see if u can remember if u did this
Lets find out how retarded u r.
1st read mine then press forward and erase my answers and put an X between [] if it is true. Wen ur done mark ur grade @ the top and reply to every1 u can (including the person who sent it 2 u)
>>>> 1. [x] You have choked on water before.
>>>> 2. [x] You have tripped into a pole
>>>> 3. [x] You have walked into a door.
>>>> 4. [] You have pushed a door the wrong way
>> 5. [x] You have walked into a wall.
>>>> 6. [x] You have fallen going UP the stairs. >>
>> 7. [x] You have jumped off something.
>>>> 8. [] You have been electrocuted
>> 9. [] You have put metal/aluminum in the microwave.
>> 10.[] Right after a commercial comes on you have forgotten the show you were watching.
>> 11. []You have forgotten something that someone said.
>>>> 12. [x] You barely ever understand stuff / jokes, or it takes a long time to figure them out.yea
>>>> 14. [] You have bled and not even noticed it. >>

15. [] You've worn something backwards / inside out the whole day without knowing.
>>>> 16. [] you have stuck a fork / knife in a toaster before.
>> 17. [] You have played with fire.
>>>> 18. [] You've stepped on a flat iron / curling iron / straightener.
>>>> 19. [x] You didn't even notice there wasn't a number 13 in this quiz.
>> 20. [x] You just checked to see if there wasn't a number 13.

>>>> Now count how many x u have and find out the percent>>>> So how retarded are u??
>> 0% - 0/20 x's>> 5% - 1/20 x's>> 10% - 2/20 x's>> 15% - 3/20 x's>> 20% - 4/20 x's>> 25% - 5/20 x's>> 30% - 6/20 x's>> 35% - 7/20 x's>> 40% - 8/20 x's>> 45% - 9/20 x's>> 50% - 10/20 x's>> 55% - 11/20 x's>> 60% - 12/20 x's>> 65% - 13/20 x's>> 70% - 14/20 x's>> 75% - 15/20 x's>> 80% - 16/20 x's>> 85% - 17/20 x's >> 90% - 18/20 x's >> 95% - 19/20 x's>> 100% - 20/20 x's

>>>> write the percent u got and send this to all of your friends and send it to the person who sent it to u.>>