It's been almost 3 years since I wrote a diary here. That diary was a howl of pain and rage. My mother had suddenly fallen ill and I was trying to cope with the medical and emotional onslaught during a completely overwhelming situation. I poured it out in mid-crisis and haven't written here since. .
This community gave me an incredible outpouring of kindness and support. I should've written an update. I definitely owed you thanks. But I just couldn't do it. The truth is, I lost heart. My mother didn't survive that ordeal. She passed away on May 6, 2010, the day after her 66th birthday. It's taken me a long time to grieve. Even longer to have the patience and fortitude required to engage in political discussion.
I'm still not sure I'm ready. I've bumped into some politics in real life and on my morning scans of facebook, and it has not gone well...
I don't think I've cried so much my entire life put together as I have in the past 3 1/2 weeks. Tears of sadness, tears of loss, tears of helplessness and exhaustion and every variety of grief. Right now, I'm crying tears of pure rage.
My mother, my dear, sweet, helpless mother is right now curled in a ball in a bed in a nursing home 400 miles away from me, crying please, please, please over and over.
My step-dad is there with her. And his daughter-in-law. His son is driving to their home to retrieve my step-dad's nitroglycerin medicine because he's having chest pains. The whole family is distraught and overwhelmed.
And in the midst of the frantic phone calls about what to do and what's happening and what can possibly be done, I had the stunning realization that we're all frantically hoping that my mother's latest test results show something is wrong.
I apologize in advance for this short and personal diary, but I'm in a situation that's left me reeling. I desperately need a recommendation for a good trust litigation attorney and no one I know in meatspace has ever had any experience with one.
Despite sometimes having differences of opinion within this community, I know of no other group as a whole that is so knowledgeable about a variety of issues and generous with their help, so I'm turning to you. Also, frankly, I could use your company and solace, at this point...
Folklore has it that if you have a tapeworm, you can entice it out with a bowl of warm milk. This is one of those things almost everybody has heard, but no one knows where it came from. The origins are presumably lost in a misty past. Or a wormy past. Definitely a past in which the tapeworm figured large.
Anyway, there are two schools of thought... well, thought isn't exactly the right word in this discussion... let's say factions. There are two factions in the warm milk theory of enticing a tapeworm -- whether or not to place the milk in front of your mouth, or behind your... well, your behind.
In either case, the thought that someone would welcome a worm crawling out of either orifice just goes to show the lengths people are willing to go to when they're sick and just want to feel the hell better.
Not that tapeworm is a big problem here, currently, but with millions of folks in the US without health insurance, I figured there'd be more of this kind of 'wisdom' being passed around and, having some experience in the folk remedy arena, decided I'd write this handy guide to curing what ails you, without benefit of a doctor.
"I've been actually able to see my mom and tell her how much I love her and how much I miss her."
Jada Pointer's tummy ache was cured with a smile.
It was the perfect smile: her mom's. The 9-year-old from Perris hadn't seen that comforting smile in more than a year.
Nine-year-old Albert Gonzalez held onto his mother's long hair like it was his lifeline. The boy from San Bernardino twisted it, tasted it, tangled it through his fingers and plucked a strand or two to save for later.
"I need it, Mommy," he said, gripping a strand in his hand. "I need it to take home."
These are the stories of the kids who take the annual Mother's Day bus ride to visit their moms in California's prisons.
Ripped from the headlines...
"The major difficulty in achieving home ownership in the past was a mortgage system that had become archaic, far too expensive, and actually dangerous -- for it encouraged high prices, hidden charges, and overbuying."
"...the old mortgage system has often been a hindrance rather than a help in the achievement of home ownership."
"Today, and in the future, those desirous of owning a home will wisely demand [a mortgage] free from hidden charges, lump-sum maturities, and the whole package of old system trials and tribulations."
Yes, this was the United States Federal Government's response during the Great Depression to some of the depredations of the Gilded Age. I guess that during those Roaring 20s, people with money, let's just say bankers for instance, had gotten a bit, well, greedy.
I recently came across this handy booklet in which the government describes exactly how to handle and respond to a mortgage crisis.
You may have read yesterday's headline that scientists have found that Monkeys Can Distinguish Unfair Situations. Apparently, the Wall Street Journal has yet to catch up with them.
Ironically, on the very same day we learned that monkeys "fuss over inequality" we found the WSJ flinging poo at those at anyone who dares "fuss" about income inequality.
If you've been listening to Mike Huckabee or John Edwards on the Presidential trail, you may have heard that the U.S. is becoming a nation of rising inequality and shrinking opportunity. We'd refer those campaigns to a new study of income mobility by the Treasury Department that exposes those claims as so much populist hokum.
The article then admits:
OK, "hokum" is our word.
No, sweethearts, it's not just your word, it's your trade.
When I got the notice that my polling place had been changed, I was alarmed to say the least. When I saw that it was in the next city over, I was outraged. When I read that it was in the lobby of the Assembly of God Church, I was filled with dread and knew no good could come of it.
These were all the ingredients of a disaster in the making.
My first thoughts were along the lines of "WTF?!? Isn't there supposed to be some sort of separation of church and state thingy in this country? (my impromptu outraged thoughts aren't excessively articulate)... Surely, voting in a church is the THE one line that should never be crossed. Is this a Bush thing? When did it start?"
But I told myself I was being prejudiced and irrational in my trepidation about the new polling place. That the words "Assembly of God" were coloring my outlook. That I was just suffering from a knee-jerk church aversion reaction. Think of it as just another public gathering spot, I told myself.
Little did I dream that the reality was going to be so much worse than I imagined.
There are certain things in life that are too large and complex to take in as a whole. The mind simply balks at certain prospects. The enormity of some things can't be felt all at once lest the heart becomes too heavy. We can only be guarded, glance at them, let in just a little.
Cancer is one of these things. They tell you to face it head on, but they're wrong, it's impossible. You've got to deal with it in pieces. Meet it obliquely. Think of it in bits. Feel it in moments.
Let your guard down, take too much in and you're caught overwhelmed, catching your breath, collapsing into a seat, buckling at the knees, not knowing what to do next.
Cancer is simply too big.
If you want proof that the drug war is inhumane, our laws unconstitutional, and our justice system unjust, you need look no further than the case of Richard Paey. A disabled father of three, Paey is now about three years into a 25-year sentence for narcotics possession and drug trafficking.
Paey's crime was being in pain and taking prescription medicine. He had no illegal drugs. He never sold any drugs. There was no real evidence of any fraud or wrongdoing, yet his conviction was perfectly legal in the state of Florida. And perfectly unjust.
Currently there a clemency petition before the Florida Governor. There's a good chance that our support could make a difference to correct this gross injustice. Not only would it help Richard Paey, but it gives us a chance to express our concerns about mandatory minimums and the drug war.
Please continue over the jump for the contact information and details about the case...
They refused to treat the woman and ignored her, even when she was in agony and couldn't walk. They ignored her husband's pleas, even while she was collapsed on the floor from the pain. When she vomited up her own blood, the janitor came out and mopped around her as though she were a piece of furniture.
Edith Isabel Rodriguez was a 43-year-old mother and grandmother. She died May 9 of a perforated bowel at the emergency room of King-Harbor Hospital in Los Angeles. But let's face it -- people die all the time, and her medical condition, while serious, is not uncommon. What's more unusual in this case is the seeming callous disregard with which the hospital treated her. Or didn't treat her.
Desperate, her boyfriend called 911 from the pay phone outside the ER. Eight minutes later, another patient called 911 begging for someone, anyone, to help Edith Rodriguez. Finally her boyfriend found someone interested in Edith -- the police. They arrested the dying woman on a warrant, assuring her boyfriend they'd give her medical treatment.
There's no doubt Edith Rodriguez died of her condition as she was being wheeled from the ER to the police car, but she did not have to die. Edith Rodriguez was killed by something else.
The globe-trotting TB guy all over the news is driving me crazy. I'm sitting here right now with the flu. I woke up this morning, only the second day of it, with that tight feeling in my chest. And something else I can't describe, but it's as real and oppressive as the air right before a thunderstorm.
I know this feeling like I know my own face. I've had it more times than I can count -- it's bronchitis on its way and I get it most times I get sick, if I'm not really careful.
So I'm sitting up typing, trying to distract myself when all I want is to be laying down. But I shouldn't lie down, so I thought I'd tell you about when I had tuberculosis, which is why I'm worried right now. Which is why I get bronchitis at the drop of a hat. Which is why I hate TB guy.