Sunday, October 12, 2008
What's wrong with this picture? We are assaulted with contradictions and temptations like this every moment of our lives. Is it any wonder that we are increasing in weight and decreasing in health and moral strength/will power?
Anyway, that's from my "For what it's worth" department. I ran across some quotes today that I thought I'd pass on to those of us struggling with growth in whatever form. From an e-mail I received from a friend, entitled: A Woman Should Have:
...one friend who always makes her laugh...and one who lets her cry. If they both come in the same individual, that is a real lifetime treasure.
...a feeling of control over her destiny. God is in ultimate control, but knowing Him gives us true confidence in our direction, because we can see Him when we can't see the direction.
...knowledge of how to love without losing herself.
...knowledge of when to try harder, and when to walk away.
...a youth she's able and content to leave behind.
...knowledge that though her childhood may not have been perfect, it's over.
...knowledge of what she should and shouldn't do for love...or anything else, for that matter.
...knowledge of how to live alone without being lonely.
...knowledge of who she can trust, who she can't, and why she needn't take it personally.
...knowledge of what she can and can't accomplish in a day, a month, and a year.
That last one brings me to a question I was asked by a Sparkfriend recently...why I don't blog more frequently? I'd love to, but with the CFIDS, I have learned to pace myself carefully and pay attention only to what I absolutely have to do...most of the time, anyway. My "normal" fatigue level doesn't allow me to do all that I'd like. But having each of you to interact with is a great gift to me. I don't take it lightly! You each bring encouragement and inspiration into my life as I read your blogs and comments around the site.
So for all of us imperfect people, here's my closing thought...also lifted from an e-mail. (I'm completely w/out originality today...)
"Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light!" Go shine some light on your world through your best efforts...no matter how imperfect!
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
I'm going to be traveling over the weekend and am presently frying all my circuits trying to get ready to leave. In the midst of the craziness, my brother sent me the following via e-mail. I had to stop and laugh. (especially since I "fit" into several of the mentioned categories!) Hope it brings some comic relief to your day as well.
BREAKING NEWS :
In 2009 the government will start killing
all the mentally ill people.
I started crying when I thought of you.
Run little friend, run!
MENTAL HOSPITAL PHONE MENU
Hello and thank you for calling The State Mental Hospital.
Please select from the following options menu:
If you are obsessive-compulsive, press 1 repeatedly.
If you are co-dependent, please ask someone to press 2 for you.
If you have multiple personalities, press 3, 4, 5 and 6.
If you are paranoid, we know who you are and what you want,
stay on the line so we can trace your call.
If you are delusional, press 7 and
your call will be forwarded to the Mother Ship.
If you are schizophrenic, listen carefully
and a little voice will tell You which number to press.
If you are manic-depressive, hang up.
It doesn't matter which number you press,
nothing will make you happy anyway.
If you are dyslexic, press 9-6-9-6.
If you are bipolar, please leave a message after the beep
or before the beep or after the beep.
But Please wait for the beep.
If you have short-term memory loss, press 9.
If you have short-term memory loss, press 9.
If you have short-term memory loss, press 9.
If you have low self-esteem, please hang up.
Our operators are too busy to talk with you.
If you are menopausal, put the gun down,
hang up, turn on the fan, lie down and cry.
You won't be crazy forever.
If you are blonde, don't press any buttons.
You'll just mess it up.
This coming week is National Mental Health Care week..
You can do your part by remembering to contact at least
one unstable person to show you care.
Have a great rest of the week, friends!
Friday, September 19, 2008
I feel sadly compelled to post this account from the LA. hurricane sagas. This perspective is never covered on the national news since it is entirely politically improper. Make of it what you will.
I am a nurse who has just completed volunteering, working approximately 120 hours as the clinic director in a Hurricane Gustav evacuation shelter in Shreveport , Louisiana over the last 7 days.
I would love to see someone look at the evacuee situation from a new
perspective. Local and national news channels have covered the
evacuation and "horrible" conditions the evacuees had to endure during
True - some things were not optimal for the evacuation and the shelters
need some modification. At any point, did anyone address the
responsibility (or irresponsibility) of the evacuees?
Does it seem wrong that one would remember their cell phone, charger,
cigarettes and lighter but forget their child's insulin?
Is something amiss when an evacuee gets off the bus, walks immediately
to the medical area, and requests immediate free refills on all
medicines for which they cannot provide a prescription or current bottle
(most of which are narcotics)?
Isn't the system flawed when an evacuee says they cannot afford a $3
copay for a refill that will be delivered to them in the shelter yet
they can take a city-provided bus to Wal-mart, buy 5 bottles of Vodka,
and return to consume them secretly in the shelter?
Is it fair to stop performing luggage checks on incoming evacuees so as
not to delay the registration process but endanger the volunteer staff
and other persons with the very realistic truth of drugs, alcohol and
weapons being brought into the shelter?
Am I less than compassionate when it frustrates me to scrub emesis from
the floor near a nauseated child while his mother lies nearby, watching
me work 26 hours straight, not even raising her head from the pillow to
comfort her own son?
Why does it insense me to hear a man say "I ain't goin' home 'til I get
my FEMA check" when I would love to just go home and see my daughters
who I have only seen 3 times this week?
Is the system flawed when the privately insured patient must find a way
to get to the pharmacy, fill his prescription and pay his copay while
the FEMA declaration allows the uninsured person to acquire free
medications under the disaster rules?
Does it seem odd that the nurse volunteering at the shelter is paying
for childcare while the evacuee sits on a cot during the day as the
shelter provides a "daycare"?
Have government entitlements created this mentality and am I
facilitating it with my work?
Will I be a bad person, merciless nurse or poor Christian if I hesitate
to work at the next shelter because I have worked for 7 days being
called every curse word imaginable, feeling threatened and fearing for
my personal safety in the shelter?
Exhausted and battered,
Sherri Hagerhjelm, RN
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Yesterday, the Ouachita was whipped to a backward flowing turgid froth by Ike's outlying winds, swirling, sucking, and battering the interstate bridge pilings below me. The city raised the floodwall on my side of the river 3 days ago, because the backwaters of already swollen rivers and bayous had been emptying into this river for a week following Gustave's visit. Today, the river looks like slowly melting pewter glass beneath uncertain skies. I've been kicking myself all day for not taking pictures yesterday from my perfect vantage point! A friend's daughter's house a few miles to the southwest was robbed of windows by a tornado spawned by the hurricane system...thankfully, she and her family were unharmed. She said that small twigs lined all the crevices on her car doors as though they had been carefully and deliberately inserted upright by some mischievous child making a unique work of art! How incredible are the forces of nature set in motion by the hand of God at the beginning of time! I pray for all those who have been more closely and seriously affected by this storm.
I've done reasonably well this week on the "cut back on the dairy products" regimen. I've been fighting a throat infection all week, but I haven't felt the bloated, swollen head thing, so I think I may be on the right track. If I have to completely give up cheese and yogurt, though, it's going to be a difficult battle. I think I can almost live without chocolate more easily than I can live without cheese! But then, I suspect that the cheese and other dairy products may contribute to my craving for chocolate and other sugary things. We'll see. My sister has embarked on a similar dietary clean-up program, so we are being mutually supportive.
I maintained the Nordic Track sessions for the week. All in all, I'm satisfied...no weight loss yet, but I could zip my jeans a bit more easily! Whee!!
P. S. Tonight I tried fixing salmon a slightly different way than usual. I started off the same way...sauteed some sliced red onions in a spritz of olive oil, then added the salmon on top of the onion, sprinkled it with dill weed and cracked black pepper, and cooked covered (turning once) till done. When it was almost done, I added a squeeze of lime juice to deglaze the pan. I served it with a thin smear of roasted red pepper hummus spread over the top along with sides of brown rice and a bit of chunky guacamole. (That last one's for you, MOJO!! ) I have to say, I was satisfied...yum!
Saturday, September 06, 2008
This comment was in one of yesterday's sparkpeople e-mails:
"The groundwork for all happiness is good health." (Leigh Hunt)
There is another old saying that goes, "If you have health, you have everything."
I want to disagree with both of these statements. While good health is a wonderful gift, and being without it can be miserable, health does not necessarily ensure happiness, and neither does ill health have to guarantee misery. I have known a number of people who have had great health, reasonable financial security, and stable relationships, and they were still ungrateful, spoiled, selfish, unhappy people who would fail to be happy no matter what they had. I have also known people in poverty and illness who were filled with contentment, gratitude, and peace. Granted, the latter situation is a really, really difficult one to pull off. I know from personal experience. I'd much rather try to be happy in a position of abundance. To quote an old song: "I've been poor, and I've been rich, and now that I know which is which, I'd rather be rich!" Suffering in any form wears on the spirit which can, in turn, further drag down the body...a cycle of spiraling diminishing returns. But what is the ultimate value of and destination of our spirits? Are we designed for this physical realm alone? Just food for thought.
Meanwhile, the sun is shining over Northeast Louisiana today for the first time in a week. My Mother, brother, and uncle are still without a landline phone, and they were on generator power through Thursday evening. Water came down the chimney in torrents, ruining the living room carpet...it was like the wind drove it right through the bricks themselves! Here in my city, there were scattered power outages, wind damage, and flash flooding all over the city. One man was attacked by a huge gator in his front yard...made the national news...we don't see many alligators roaming the neighborhoods in this part of the state! There were cottonmouth moccasins slithering all over the place...again, they don't frequent the more civilized realms of the city...made me grateful to be holed up in my non-luxury third floor apartment! I hope those of you facing Hannah and her boyfriend, Ike, fare at least as well as I have.
Speaking of alligator (were we?)...I tasted the critter for the first time last weekend in my stay in Natchitoches. Had "Blackened" Alligator: marinated in a blend of Cajun spices and sauteed, served floating in a pool of buttery, peppery sauce...it was pretty darned good!...kind of a cross between chicken and veal...very tender, melt in your mouth, rich and light at the same time. The small portion didn't even run up the calorie count in too horrid a fashion! Besides, I don't eat like that very often, so I thoroughly enjoyed it!
On the diet front, I've been trying to cut back on the dairy products I'm so addicted to. I fixed a spinach and tofu fritata for dinner one night this week...w/tomatoes, bacon, (a teensy bit, just for flavor) mushrooms, and onions and used less than half the cheese I would have normally used. I've used soy milk in my breakfast protein smoothies to replace 2/3rds of the yogurt I'd normally use, and so on. The plan is to see just how much dairy I can phase out entirely and whether it makes any difference in my food cravings...especially sugar...and calorie count over the long haul.
I've gotten in 20 minutes on the Nordic Track 3 days this week. I'll hold steady at that level for several weeks and see if the CFIDS will allow me to keep it up. I hesitate to write about my small successes, since I am so used to having to give them up to the greed of this disease. But today, I am going to enjoy them and be grateful for them. That is a choice for joy! Cheers, everyone!
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