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Anxiety And Me

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      Anxiety issues. I have them. Walking my mother daily through the heart wrenching decline of her health at 84 years, declining mental competence too so she tells me - hers very distinctly unique and not like my dad who was smacked over the head by fast acting Alzheimers, dying quickly from it as it suffocated his brain - his loving wife of 61 years whose fidelity never wavered - at his side.

      Four years out now from Dad's death and its not not bit the same - my Mother's path. But it's here. Every day I sense decline and know this kind of decline is not going to be reclaimed. But onward we went to the rhododendron test garden in Portland yesterday, the same one Mom and Dad took their four kids to - as well as any neighborhood kids they could round up - and cormorants and canadian geese and wood ducks were our reward for all of the preparations that were necessary to make the trip - along with rhododendron and lily's of the valley and and saucer magnolia trees - in full bloom.

      Anxiety. Doesn't let me appreciate beautiful days like the trip to the park for too long. I resent my siblings for not being here - only able to visit Mom from out of state a couple times a year - when they come they take Mom to dinner, buy Mom a new sweater. See you in another six months or so. Mom. Shame on me for quantifiying their love for mom or me - like that. But anxiety will do that to you....

      Anxiety. You imperfect gauge of me. I know I am healthiest when I remember to take my blood pressure medication (the reason for the anxiety attack of all anxiety attacks years ago) and remind myself - anxiety isn't my journey. My journey is honoring those I love and being loved back. Step into it. Don't look back.


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      Life During War Time

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          Thirty six years ago, give or take I was happily doing my job in an Army warehouse on Ft Campbell. My most sacred duty was calling, "Gut truck!"over the intercom, the second that it touched our gravel. We may have been wearing cammies, but they were jungle cammies, not the desert style of today. I was still wearing my green's, too. We were the last basic training unit to receive the old style green pickle suits.

          So one day, maybe a Tuesday or a Thursday, I called gut truck, everyone rushed to the big loading dock doors, they got in line and just as things were getting started, the air raid siren next to the warehouse went off. Not a huge deal, really. Ft Campbell sits in Tornado alley and it is likely the only flat part of Kentucky of Tennessee on it's borders. That particular day, was cloudless and blue sky as far as the eye could see. It wasn't cold, it wasn't hot. It was particularly puzzling, because there was no storm. Within seconds, the Duce and 1/2's showed up and if it wasn't on our body, we were not taking it with. We hustled back to the barracks, we dug our combat gear our from underneath the stuff we actually used, signed out our unloaded weapons and within a couple of hours, we were sitting on a C130, on the tarmac at the Air Field on the north side of the post.

          You could have heard a pin drop on the hollow monster that was surely to big to leave the ground. It was maybe the first time in months that I was not in earshot of a boombox. It was deathly quiet, other than the occasional conversations between the Sr NCO's who felt a little immortal, having been grunts in Nam. Supply is where you go, when your recruiter lies to you or when you lose your knees and ankles, jumping out of perfectly good C130's, Huey's and Schinooks. Artillery, is next but then you lose your hearing and it is either supply or the worst case, Ft Living Room before you got your twenty in.

          The buzz, at the time was Costa Rica, maybe Panama. Iran Contra was in full swing, but of course, no one knew. My ex and I had recently moved in together and he was somewhere there, in another C130. He was Special Ops on a C130 full of grunts, airborne orphans of the 82nd and the Combat Engineers.

          It dawned on me, that I had never once, even seen the field computer that I would have to depend on to do my job better than I'd ever done it before. When Ft Campbell deployed as a unit once a year, everyone left but those of us who worked with computers. Training is one thing, but we worshiped at the feet of an IBM 360 that sat in a sterile room surrounded by glass. It did not go to war, and neither did those who babysat, "the system."

          Then again, there I was sitting next to my roommate, on a bench on one of the sidewalls. We couldn't see the other side of the massive plane, the back had been opened up into a ramp and they'd driven the whole motor pool into the middle of the plane.

          They shut the back ramp, the engines started and we taxied down the runway and I decided it would be a good time, to own that I was a soldier and I was going to war. I had to ask myself, that very minute, what I would die for. Yes, I sure as hell could shoot someone dead, if ordered to, or to protect myself or those with me. I would not think twice and that's kind of an odd thing to say. It just is and I don't doubt it.

          My ability to speak my mind, to vote and to be the master of my own soul was my conclusion. It has occurred to me that in spite of all the changes that I've gone through in the last 35 years, that has not changed. I have added to that my children, which weren't even a glimmer in my eye, in those days.

          The plane taxied for what felt like forever, then it stopped, they opened the back end of the plane marched us out, emptied the motorpool back onto the tarmac, we put everything up and went back to our normal. We did't ask, where or why. I don't think anyone really cared to know. I don't think anyone even discussed it. It didn't happen, as far as all involved were concerned.

          It was a stealth training exercise, that is my story and I'm sticking to it.

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          The Difficulty In Losing A Friend

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              In life we understand that death is inevitable. The day that you are born is the day that you begin die. Over the weekend I had begin the process of trying to find answers to why my friend and her immediate family was taken in an instance. This is a very difficult time for me as I have faced various issues that have already rocked me to my core.

              This loss has hit me in a different way when a husband, wife, and child prematurely is taken due to another person poor decisions and judgement. I am forced to visit places in my mind that I haven’t been before. I just want to understand the “why” in this tradegy and “how” this will help. Not to mention “what” am I supposed to learn from this situation.

              My friend will never walk this earth again and sure I will have the memories of our relationship and the recall of our conversations. Unfortunately, at this moment the pain is immeasurable due to how my friend was forced to leave this world. My friend including the family wasn’t given a choice. Their lives were sniffed out. I don’t even know how to end this.

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              Pundit Post

              The Audacity Of Whiteness

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                  I read this piece on Facebook this morning and decided to share it here. This is something most Black people experience, if not all.

                  By: Ally Henny

                  1 hr ·
                  “So let me tell you something about the audacity of whiteness...

                  “I am currently in seminary. I’m studying Christian theology and my concentration is on race. One third of my course of study has been on the topic of race and studying black theology in particular. I have a library of books on the subject of black theology and I’ve written several research papers that involve black theology.

                  “Yesterday, some person pops out of the woodwork on Twitter and had something smart Alec to say about black liberation theology. I told them that they were seriously misunderstanding a major argument of a well-known black theologian (James Cone’s assertion about the “blackness” of God, if you’re curious).

                  “So this person proceeded to argue with me even though they, by their own admission, had only had a passing interaction with black liberation theology.

                  “So here’s where the audacity of whiteness comes in...

                  “White people, especially white men, think that they are experts on something (especially other cultures) just because they’ve had a perfunctory level of interaction with it. I cannot tell you how many times this sort of thing has happened to me, not just in my studies but in my entire life, where a white person has proceeded to tell me about something that I know, have studied, or have experienced. It’s insulting.

                  “The most insulting part of it is the presumption of superiority. Like my years of study and work on a topic are nothing compared to a white person interacting with something in passing. My lived experience is nothing because a white person didn’t observe the same thing. Nothing exists unless a white person observes it with their senses.

                  “And this isn’t a validation issue. I couldn’t care less what some rando thinks they know. The problem is that these kind of folks also have the audacity to traipse into my personal space with their nonsense and to try to talk over me when they do. This has happened to me both online and offline and it is as annoying as dog crap.

                  Whiteness uses self-insertion as a tool to co-opt and redefine others’ narratives. Whiteness lacks its own self-understanding and so co-opting others’ spaces is a way to re-establish white supremacy. Whiteness exists as a mechanism to deem others as inferior and so it must continue to re-establish authority; without manufactured authority and superiority, whiteness cannot thrive. Whiteness seeks to lay claim on that which it does not own, and what cannot be colonized is deemed inferior.

                  “The level of caucasity it takes for somebody to argue about something of which they know comparatively nothing is galling.”
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                  Pundit Post

                  Update On My Shoulder

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                      Saw the surgeon on Tuesday. It seems I have more problems with my shoulder than just a torn rotator cuff. Major arthritis. Another problem I inherited from my ancestors. Seems I will need a brand new shoulder.

                      Since I have a tendency to have seizures in post-0p after surgery, I can't have surgery at a day surgery center. They do it at an actual hospital. My surgeon has limited time at an actual hospital, and already had April booked up. My surgery is May 3rd.

                      I told the doc I have two new knees and will a new shoulder. I am becoming the bionic woman. That gave him a good laugh.

                      To top it off, I had my eye exam this week. My Grandmother went blind due to macular degeneration, and my Mother is blind from the same thing. As a result, we were told we might get the same thing. I was told 5 years ago I had the beginnings of the disease. Great. Another malady I have from my ancestors.

                      My exam today was not good. It is progressing in my right eye very fast. I have to see a specialist tomorrow. I will probably have to start getting those injections in my eyes. I have to tell you, I knew this day would come, but I didn't think it would be here so fast. I walked out to my car and cried all the way home.

                      Oh well. Such is life. It's not boring, that's for sure.

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                      QUESTION FOR ALL

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                          this is a pic of my mom and dad when they were young, and my older brother. below is a pic of my dad a few years before he died last nov. i am thinking of getting dna ancestry test done. by looking at the pics what do you all think ill get back?

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                          SOTU- The Children Of Fears

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                              Preface: Some medication issues have cut me off from my best abilities at introspect. There is a saying that if you have a problem with other people, places or things... Then the problem is usually yours. So in an effort to get through some of the closed off pathways... I would find out what I had a problem with, then go back and pick myself apart. Oh, and needless to say it is just an Opinion piece with some rings of truth.

                              The Children of Fears

                              Castigated, chastised... reeling in anticipated consequences. The once great populace curdling into fetid chunks of mold. This is no more than an infantile reaction to various inputs..en masse...

                              Trying to dig down into the bedrock of us these days is impossible. The constant accumulation of muck is too slippery to be caught up in the normal trappings of civilization. The compost too thick for the weakened and brow beaten agents of information to even attempt to lift or spread evenly. Captives of our own cultures and fears, being twisted and stretched at every image, at every sound bite. This is evident, obvious, and overt, and it is being ignored and buried in the hyperbole sections of beliefs.

                              This addiction to more is as runamuck as the best drug addicts story. This make believe it's a functioning addiction has hit the rails hard. There is an opioid epidemic and the opioid here is angst, fears, and lies. Releasing the same drugs into the body as any addiction will do. There is little bedrock to be found when the land of the populace is so thick with excrement, with needless bullshit, with stirred up animosity toward just about anyone and anything. Watching and listening as puppeteers play with the marionettes that is us and being reminded about chasing symptoms by my doctor, who then helped heal me through going after the causes.

                              Let's just get it out, everyone is wrong, nobody is right. The best you could do was get us here? I don't care which side or part you see yourself as being a part of, but you are wrong, I am wrong, they are wrong. We all screwed up! OK? Once we get that through our collective heads, then we can begin to look at the causes, the symptoms that are killing us. Time for a shunt for the heart, core workouts for the backbone, and some new librarians for the head spaces we think we know.

                              Yet, we can't do that... Change and tolerance is just too hard of concept for us to understand until we are forced into it. Until we are made uncomfortable enough to actually do something about it. Keep 'em sitting down just barely... is working. Appeasing the wounds just enough so that they don't burst and attention to the causes are then too obvious. The manipulation is as bright as the Sun and the suntans have all turned to carcinoma. Yes, just children, not able to take care of our collective asses anymore and giving the responsibility over to the the first feel good we are presented. Might as well be chasing the van with the candy in it, hoping we can at least get our sugar fix one more time before we end up on the milk cartons.

                              Our indignation has been normalized, the news cycles circus atmosphere just another day's nonsense. The mindlessness has lead to a numbing, the skin too charred from the burning anger and injustices to feel anymore. The mind is constantly digging the ruts of divisiveness and the foxholes of strife instead of the freedom that was promised, that was honored. The purple mountain majesty is just another place for bunkers, fences, and walls. No trespassing signs go up in the real world and are equally if not more so erected in the mental ones.

                              The evidence that we can't cope well with many things psychological is written in every news story and personal post online. The critical thinking that should be widespread is paper thin and a blockage against deeper observations it seems. Sure, we know what we should do, we have been educated to right?... We have been educated to be a part of, a part of the economy, a part of the workforce, a part of this or of that. We were not educated to look at ourselves, our motives too deeply, or our burgeoning addictions to... more. We were educated to vote for those things and colors, those bells and whistles, the ideals we really think we have... Until it is uncomfortable, crunchy. Then we bail, change, believe something else for awhile. It's written up as being awoken, eyes opened, the truth... It's part of the mirror of affluence, the comforting windex that makes us feel like our images are cleaner. It's affluence, addiction to the emotional yin and yang that is being spun on a string like a yo-yo, making the illusion of it all seem like it is just the way it is supposed to be.

                              A child told the U.N. that they are not mature enough to be responsible for the solutions to Climate Change. In the very same breath the children that is us come to reflect the same beliefs in our own leadership. The policies and practices of a different era and function is now the anchor that is pulling the entirety from that undiscovered future. It is manipulated and spun, undone and rebranded, re-tried and retired... We are educated to accept it as part of a grander plan, it's always worked out in the past, it is just a part of our growth as a nation... But it's not.

                              Deep stuff, the kind that people turn away from because it is too hard to try to understand exactly what is being said. It is all of this deep stuff, the kinds that make heads tick and tock and viral videos to spread that we are being manipulated on by so many levels it is staggering in it's immensity. That is what we are educated to do, to react to output to the inputs on cue. That is what we do so often that it is normalized too. Reduced to a Roman colosseum of toga's with their arms outstretched and a thumbs up or thumbs down. Darwinian, distopic, and deserving, all wrong... and shrinking the rights left to use.

                              The accumulative crash and crumpled systems were being watched, it's not like it is all new news. The generational beliefs were held hostage for so long that the world will not accept them any longer. They are part of world that is systematically disappearing in the unstoppable edict of change. Time itself had been challenged and it not only took our lunch money, it knows where we live. It laughed at the audacity of power and made us hold it's beer as it taught us, and teaches us again and again. You don't get to figure it out completely, get to hold it for any real matter of time. Power is that ability to see that what we have is just the next stone over the rushing river, the next rung either up or down to cling to... get going if you don't want to be sucked back down into that abiss that is the illusion of power that humanity toys with.

                              When we know which deck of cards we are dealing with; When all of the jokers are presented and checked against their worth, we will again begin to grow. Until then adolescent children with a built in cannibalistic feed and feed off of, a parasitic existence that is not envied as much as witnessed. Entrapped by our own laws, our own checks and balances that are willfully ignored and the damage to true justice forever diminished. The damage to the collective of children who don't cope well... immense. We are smart enough to know better and affluent enough to believe it will just go away, but it never has and will always guide us... The children of fears.

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                              I Am Back, Briefly, To Write Why I Have Been Gone.

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                                  I have a torn left rotator cuff. It is extremely painful to do much with my left arm, especially anything that entails moving it right or left, lifting, moving it backwards, etc.

                                  Now that I am on Medicare, it is taking longer to get everything done. I am back on an HMO system, which means every one I go to, other than my primary care physician, must get preapproved.

                                  Unfortunately, almost 2 years ago, when I first felt the mild twinges of pain in my left shoulder, I had no idea I had actually torn my rotator cuff. According to my physical therapist, that's exactly what happens. You feel at bit of pain, which eventually gets worse over time. Two years ago, I had regular insurance and if I had been in severe pain, I could have picked up the phone and made an appointment with the orthopedic surgeon that worked on my husband's shoulder and put it back together.

                                  Unfortunately, when I was in the back yard, throwing the ball to my dog, I just felt a bit of pain, and could not throw the ball as far as I normally could. I thought it was something that would pass. Instead, it got worse. By the end of 2016, it was so bad that I was having problems putting on my coat without help from my husband, I could not carry my purse in my left hand, I could not open a door with my left arm. Something was seriously wrong. Unfortunately, I was going on Medicare the next month.

                                  I did pick a really good Internist, who is great at giving my the referrals I need. I went to see her in January of 2017. I told her what was going on and she suggested physical therapy as well as a steroid shot in the shoulder. I waited for the approvals. Went to the P.T., which helped a bit, but the shot is what helped with the pain more than anything else, or so I thought.

                                  The pain slowly started to get worse by early September. I was getting terrible headaches and my husband could not even touch my arm. It got so bad that it was affecting my sleep. Now, this is not good. I had a meningioma the size of a gold ball removed in 2009. One of the many side effects both before and after is that I still get seizures. What causes my seizures? Illness, lack of sleep, pain, stress of any kind. I started getting worried I was going to have a seizure over this. Like I needed more stress, right.

                                  I called my Internist for an appointment and told her what was going on. She said I might have a torn rotator cuff, but she would send me to the orthopedist for another shot in my shoulder again. It took me 6 weeks to get in. The shot gave me limited relief, in the sense that I did not have searing pain in my arm any longer the next day, but that was about it.

                                  I notified my Internist that the shot had not helped that much, and he had informed me if it had not, that I needed an MRI, because it was a torn rotator cuff. She informed me he also wanted me to go back to P.T., and that Medicare would REQUIRE it before they approved the MRI. So, back to P.T. I went.

                                  My physical therapist agreed that I had a torn rotator cuff, and there was nothing she could do for me. However, she told me she had played this game before with insurance companies. We would do the minimum amount of appointments, she would tell them I needed an MRI, and that would be that. She did give me a helpful tip though. She told me to put a small little pillow under my shoulder when I slept at night to keep it stable. Once I did that, this solved the problem I was having sleeping at night.

                                  I went to P.T. again and she sent her letter to my Internist. This takes us to mid January of this year. I then waited for the referral for the MRI. Got that and took it the end January. It showed what everyone knew. I have a torn rotator cuff, as well as fluid in the lower part of my should, and arthritis. No wonder it feels terrible! Now I asked for the referral to the surgeon to fix it.

                                  In the meantime, just writing this has caused me pain. Which is why I have not been on the site. I don't want to be reading all your posts and then not be able to write a response. It is just not me. Better to just be off. But, I will be back once I have my surgery. Promise.

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