Out on a Limb

At the low end of the learning curve.

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Name:
Location: Asburypark, New Jersey, United States

I am an unwilling nomadic soul looking for a place to put down permanent roots. I have lived in all but 9 states (soon to be 10) as well as 4 Canadian provinces. I have learned more than I ever wanted to know by these means. All things considered, this should be an interesting space, put together by a person known for staying quiet while others take center stage. I think my turn has come to toss out gems that have been residing within for more years than I care to admit to. So who am I? I've been asking this same question for most of my life, so having a ready answer for you does not seem likely. Maybe in this journal, we can discover this together. About my habitation on the planet; for now I will say I am a female, a mother, a wife, a nomad, an artisan, an idealist, a keeper of secrets, a caring soul of the state of all things natural & most of my life, supportive & non-judgemental. And a very loyal friend to all. I feel very strongly about people in my life knowing that if they ask my advice or my opinion, they will get it. I believe that if a person wants to hear answers that suit them every time, then they should record those answers for themselves and play them back.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Learning The Ropes

Learning the ropes

I'm dipping a tentative toe into the blog world with these first few words. I have not always tagged behind people, so this is really rather different for me. However, it's only one part not having the know-how & equal parts wondering if I have anything to say that might be of interest to anyone else. But then, I guess that really doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things because primarily I'm doing this for one person only, & that's myself. If I can help anyone along the way, that's a bonus. As I peek in & read other blogs I see it all comes down to that end anyway, so here goes! It's cheaper than going into therapy & we really want to stay away from those drugs now, right? Or hey! Worse..."supplements". They aren't even regulated.
Ephedrine...or Ephedra is a supplement & not considered a drug.

As I ponder & contemplate the things that have occurred to me the last five years, I realized I needed a place that I could lay it all out to examine & analyze it's nuances. So many times when something medically immense has taken place in a person's life, we don't know how to deal with it. Because it's brand new & because it's not usually something we get the chance to practice on, we so often flounder & get it wrong. We are also 'directed' on how to deal with it by others who have no clue how to deal with it themselves, yet feel that they are because they have a degree & are armed with text books & journals. Or because they love you, they're expert advisors for you. Right up front I have to say, until you've worn the moccasins, (as the saying goes) stick to suggesting, but don't try to tell me how I feel. Or should feel. I already know that. And it's not even close to the way you imagine.

Five years ago I had an aneurism. It ruptured. And it was heavyduty! Pre to that, I had been an extremely active person; I ran daily, biked & hiked weekends, climbed mountains twice a year...or as often as I could get to them. I ate healthy & stayed fit in my own complete home gym. I didn't smoke & rarely drank but for special occasions such as weddings or the holidays. There never seemed to be enough time in my day for the things I wanted but I crammed as much as possible into every 24 hours & loved it that way!
My life was generally full & not complicated with health issues of any kind.

Then race day arrived. I found I wasn't as energetic as I wanted to be in prepping for a Memorial Day marathon. I needed something to keep me going without lagging. I knew because of the hilly terrain I'd be running, I needed that energy boost. So I bought some Metabolife to balance my metabolism. Yessirree! I was going to make a good showing in that marathon. Much the same way Steve Bechler felt that day in 2003 as he was getting ready to pitch his game for the Baltimore Orioles. But like Steve, that wasn't in my future. I say "like" Steve, because Steve died. Metabolife contained the Big E. For those who still haven't heard about this wonder herb, that's Ephedrine. The herb that people are trying to get put back on store shelves because they want to 'look good'. Gambling with their own lives for vanity. Russian Roulette for the buff body. All of which could be viewed very prettily laid out in a casket.

I took my first little pill in the morning of that first day, another in the afternoon & pill three before bed. I was feeling pretty good about all this; I was doing something healthy for myself & it was going to pay off by raising money & awareness for systemic lupus kids. So! In the morning, I took my fourth pill & went outside to pick the newspaper up from the lawn. That was the last thing I remember until I 'woke up' in hospital seven weeks later totally paralyzed on the left side. My good fortune & what probably saved my life was that I had a doctor living right next door to me & he was tending his garden when I hit the ground. He made an immediate evaluation & had me medi-vaced to the hospital downtown in eight minutes.

That was to be the first day of my second life. The one where you find out you're incredibly more resilient than you ever thought possible; the one where you find out through sheer determination that you can amaze yourself & as well as the medical world. The one where, if you look at things as a challenge instead of a disability, they are surmountable. And the one where you find out who your friends are & sadder, just how weak your family structure is. Those people who 'loved you' were all of a sudden too busy to call or lend a hand. The ones who will 'try to get around' or if they find the time will pick up that item you're needing but can't get yourself. Have they always been that self-involved or have you just been too self-involved yourself to notice? New life; new questions.
Counter that however, with those you never noticed in your life before. They come forward & quietly sustain you as you plod along in your new life. Supportive, helpful, not just given to lip service as surprisingly, family members only seem to manage. These quiet friends are there to bring you out of the hospital for the day & take you for long drives & to a wheelchair-friendly restaurant for lunch. They run the little errands for you that your loved ones are (sic) too busy to run & they sit & listen as you try to figure out what happened in your life literally overnight.

I am learning so many valuable lessons in my second life. Some I wish I hadn't needed to ever learn; others I am eternally grateful for learning. As Maya Angelou so eloquently stated:
"Courage allows the successful woman to fail & learn powerful lessons from the failure...so that in the end, she really hasn't failed at all!"

At any rate...bear with me here...I'm still learning. Now there's this blog thing! ~*wink*~

Saturday, August 26, 2006

So this is blogging...


Now wouldn't it all be nice if I actually had the time to be doing this? The glaring gaps between entries is almost embarrassing. But there you have it! This is the problem with having to pack up house & home every three years or so & cart everything off to a new locale. Well, I am undaunted. I will keep pecking away at the keyboard & try to create something...even if it's just to say "I have a blog."

So, to jot thoughts about this move; I have been informed by the estimators that I now have 27,000 pounds of belongings. It's funny when you look at your home...your tables & chairs, lamps & bric-a-brac...you don't think about it in pounds. "Oh darn, that 26lbs is really dusty!" "Gasp! I just broke grannies best 13 ounce teacup!" But that's the way they do it. We're not moving my pretties...no no; we're moving sizes & weights. And paying them gobs of money to do this. Even though they won't take paint, or aerosols, or nail polishes or any sort of room freshener. Nor will they take your vehicle, or your plants or your pets. This is your responsibility. You get yourself a trailer & you haul that stuff yourself, Bubba. And get a car carrier to take your second vehicle. Someone needs to remind me why we're paying the movers. I wanna know who wrote these rules. I know I wouldn't have signed on if I'd gotten a glimpse inside that rule book!

Aah well; such is the life of a nomad & not a very upbeat addition to my journal. The positive thing about this one is that the next one has to be better...doesn't it?

Thursday, August 03, 2006

What if someone you know is living a lie?

How important is honesty? Where do we draw the line between 'little white lies' and fraudulence? And why should we differeniate between lying in cyberspace, on a message board, the back of a book or record album or to someones face? Does honesty change simply because it can't be challenged by family and friends? Is lying in these venues alright? And does it make the liar feel loved when they add new friendships? Because they aren't friends they've made. They are friends of the person they've created with their lies; a fictitious character.

This all recently bubbled to the surface for me when I discovered a very close friend of mine had been living an enormous 'other-life'. She was so proud of herself and warmed by the fact that so many people have embraced her into their fold. As I read her profile online, I wouldn't have recognized the person I grew up with there as my friend of some 40 years. I have known her since the age of 3.
It was at that time that I began to worry they may want to meet with her. What then? She couldn't present the person they'd befriended.

She had lied about how much education she'd had, where she went to school; she lied about her parents and how she was treated by them growing up. She lied about musical talent; she is able to play an instrument; to hear her tell it in her profile, she practically has specialized brain modules to bring her on par with Beethoven. She totally rewrote her own history.

But I think the most disturbing thing in all of this is that she is a person who will tell you that the number one important thing in her life is honesty! She is adamant in this. Nothing holds more importance to her than people being honest with her!

I spoke with her about honesty a few months back and how people now will skirt the issue of honesty and lie. And to what degree should we hold these things paramount?
We expect others to be forthcoming and honest with us, yet we can't afford them that same privilege?
This new thing; pathological dishonesty, "Convenient Disremembering" to create the person we wish we were instead of changing the person we are to reflect that person. Or just basically accept who we are, foibles and all. I told her that the test came when we could look at our reflection in the mirror and say to that person that we were not liars, not frauds, but honest people who could be trusted. She assured me that above all else she could do that!

I wonder if I should tell her she can't?

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The Big Question:-

As I listen to my dear friend of many years explain why he's taken up smoking again, I endeavor to make any sense out of what he's telling me. He tells me that it's really a number of things that have brought him back to this habit; his financial worries, his tension at work, his always feeling ill and having to go to see his doctor for tests all the time. I sort these things in my head and wonder which part of all this is 'fixed' by taking up smoking again. Smoking certainly doesn't take away financial problems. As far as I know anyway, they haven't yet started paying us to smoke. And I don't know what a pack of cigarettes is in other countries like Canada or England, but I know here in the US it's approx. $2.50 and in California I think somewhere around $4.00. There's also a ballot measure in California calling for a 300% increase in the tobacco tax in an attempt to make it too expensive for people to light up. That'll sure alleviate financial woes for smokers.

And even though this strategy hasn't shown it works in other states toward slowing smokers or cigarette sales down, you can bet it's only a matter of time before they impliment it.
Then it's created a black market and smuggling problems; an incentive for criminal organizations (terrorist groups included) to have this avenue for crime. Which in turn becomes an even bigger burden on an already over-burdened law enforcement agency.
Just something else for smokers to stress over, huh? Even though they've created the problem with their addiction much the same as the drug user has.

My friend says he's always feeling awful. Well yes, I can see where lighting up a cigarette first thing upon waking is going to just make him feel so much better! Dragging in that wonderful carcinogen-packed smoke is going to add years to his life I'm sure. And if by some stroke it didn't remove years, the quality of those years would be extraordinary, wouldn't it? Just think what he has to look forward to. Aside from the spat of different cancers and lung diseases, and those other peachy problems we have drummed into our heads daily (if we're listening) there is also hair loss, cataracts, depletion of vitamins A and C, wrinkling, tooth decay, osteoporosis, stomach ulcers, psoriasis, deformed sperm (leading to questionable offspring) Buergers Disease, not to mention those lovely yellow-brown teeth and fingers. Only your best friend would tell you this baby, but you're no joy to be around and you really stink too!

What makes it even more of a mystery to me is that my friend already has been scared in the past by them finding an unexplained shadow in his throat. This scared him so much the day he got that phone call. All his friends gathered around and assured him that things would be fine; he had an advantage because he was smart enough not to smoke!

Well, he does now!
I look at my friend and he is no longer a boy...not even a teen. He is a man in his mid forties. A seemingly intelligent individual. I say seemingly because with all that we know now and with all that he's been scared with, he still dips into his meager funds and buys something that will reduce the quality of his life even further than it is.

When I was growing up, smoking was what you did. It was your passage to adulthood. You crossed that invisible childhood line...puberty came and went and you did 'grown up' things. That's not to say they were smart things; only that they were what we saw our parents and our parents friends doing. As well as all those very cool characters in our favorite films.

At 40, this shouldn't have any impact on our conciousness. Or at least one would hope. I only wish I could fathom the rationale behind this choice. Maybe once I was privy to the principle, I could reach some understanding of this inane practice.


Thursday, July 20, 2006

What are they putting in Philly water? This girl is sensational.


Note to self: drink at least 8 glasses of water daily.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Learning the ropes

I'm dipping a tentative toe into the blog world with these first few words. I have not always tagged behind people, so this is really rather different for me. However, it's only one part not having the know-how & equal parts wondering if I have anything to say that might be of interest to anyone else. But then, I guess that really doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things because primarily I'm doing this for one person only, & that's myself. If I can help anyone along the way, that's a bonus. As I peek in & read other blogs I see it all comes down to that end anyway, so here goes! It's cheaper than going into therapy & we really want to stay away from those drugs now, right? Or hey! Worse..."supplements". They aren't even regulated.
Ephedrine...or Ephedra is a supplement & not considered a drug.

As I ponder & contemplate the things that have occurred to me the last five years, I realized I needed a place that I could lay it all out to examine & analyze it's nuances. So many times when something medically immense has taken place in a person's life, we don't know how to deal with it. Because it's brand new & because it's not usually something we get the chance to practice on, we so often flounder & get it wrong. We are also 'directed' on how to deal with it by others who have no clue how to deal with it themselves, yet feel that they are because they have a degree & are armed with text books & journals. Or because they love you, they're expert advisors for you. Right up front I have to say, until you've worn the moccasins, (as the saying goes) stick to suggesting, but don't try to tell me how I feel. Or should feel. I already know that. And it's not even close to the way you imagine.

Five years ago I had an aneurism. It ruptured. And it was heavyduty! Pre to that, I had been an extremely active person; I ran daily, biked & hiked weekends, climbed mountains twice a year...or as often as I could get to them. I ate healthy & stayed fit in my own complete home gym. I didn't smoke & rarely drank but for special occasions such as weddings or the holidays. There never seemed to be enough time in my day for the things I wanted to do but I crammed as much as possible into every 24 hours & loved it that way!
My life was generally full & not complicated with health issues of any kind.

Then race day arrived. I found I wasn't as energetic as I wanted to be in prepping for a Memorial Day marathon. I needed something to keep me going without lagging. I knew because of the hilly terrain I'd be running, I needed that energy boost. So I bought some Metabolife to balance my metabolism. Yessirree! I was going to make a good showing in that marathon. Much the same way Steve Bechler felt that day in 2003 as he was getting ready to pitch his game for the Baltimore Orioles. But like Steve, that wasn't in my future. I say "like" Steve, because Steve died. Metabolife contained the Big E. For those who still haven't heard about this wonder herb, that's Ephedrine. The herb that people are trying to get put back on store shelves because they want to 'look good'. Gambling with their own lives for vanity. Russian Roulette for the buff body. All of which could be viewed very prettily laid out in a casket.

I took my first little pill in the morning of that first day, another in the afternoon & pill three before bed. I was feeling pretty good about all this; I was doing something healthy for myself & it was going to pay off by raising money & awareness for systemic lupus kids. So! In the morning, I took my fourth pill & went outside to pick the newspaper up from the lawn. That was the last thing I remember until I 'woke up' in hospital seven weeks later totally paralyzed on the left side. My good fortune & what probably saved my life was that I had a doctor living right next door to me & he was tending his garden when I hit the ground. He made an immediate evaluation & had me medi-vaced to the hospital downtown in eight minutes.

That was to be the first day of my second life. The one where you find out you're incredibly more resilient than you ever thought possible; the one where you find out through sheer determination that you can amaze yourself & as well as the medical world. The one where, if you look at things as a challenge instead of a disability, they are surmountable. And the one where you find out who your friends are & sadder, just how weak your family structure is. Those people who 'loved you' were all of a sudden too busy to call or lend a hand. The ones who will 'try to get around' or if they find the time will pick up that item you're needing but can't get yourself. Have they always been that self-involved or have you just been too self-involved yourself to notice? New life; new questions.
Counter that however, with those you never noticed in your life before. They come forward & quietly sustain you as you plod along in your new life. Supportive, helpful, not just given to lip service as surprisingly, family members only seem to manage. These quiet friends are there to bring you out of the hospital for the day & take you for long drives & to a wheelchair-friendly restaurant for lunch. They run the little errands for you that your loved ones are (sic) too busy to run & they sit & listen as you try to figure out what happened in your life literally overnight.

I am learning so many valuable lessons in my second life. Some I wish I hadn't needed to ever learn; others I am eternally grateful for learning. As Maya Angelou so eloquently stated:
"Courage allows the successful woman to fail & learn powerful lessons from the failure...so that in the end, she really hasn't failed at all!"

At any rate...bear with me here...I'm still learning. Now there's this blog thing! ~*wink*~