Sunday, August 21, 2011

Linda's Wisdom

My friend Linda is a marvelous combination of left brain/right brain fusion. She's an artist and a microbiologist. She's emotional and rational all at the same time. Here she is at the West End restaurant when she visited me in Galveston in 2010.

Linda commented on my last post ("I'm Mad As Hell) with suggestions about actions we could take to correct some of our problems. (This in contrast to my rant, which consisted of bitching about problems.) Now, on Facebook, she has another suggestion, which I have shamelessly lifted:
We need jobs. I suggest the government tax the rich and start 50 (one in each state), let's call them "Health Grant Colleges," to train thousands of new doctors and health care workers. There would be more high paying jobs and we could start to solve the health care crisis.
I hope she comes up with more ideas. Maybe she should run for president.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I'm Mad As Hell...

and I have to speak out.

1. Hello, Supreme Court, corporations are not human beings. What were you thinking?

2. Does "No Child Left Behind" really mean that children who cannot speak and require diaper changes must be "mainstreamed" in middle school classes with those who are capable of learning?

3. Why does a cell phone recharger cost $33.3% more than a new cell phone and an identical recharger?

4. Mega-rich people pay lower tax rates than the people who work in their offices. Why do we refuse to  ask them to pay their fair share?

5. Why is health insurance such an expensive morass in the United States, while it works perfectly in Switzerland and other countries? (Crone's disease medication costs $75 a month in Switzerland, but $2,000 in the U.S.)

6. Do we really have to argue about whether "global warming" is human-caused?  That's just a semantic obfucation to avoid the fact that we are shitting in our nest and ruining this beautiful planet.

7. Does the United States really need to be a world power? Can we support military bases all over the world forever? Come on; it is impoverishing us.

8. Can't we make anything anymore? What happened to that great, proud slogan, "Made in The U.S.A.?

9. Will we continue to knuckle under to tea partyites who strive to impose their religious views on the entire nation? Will we defend the separation of church and state?

10. Is it possible for our culture to sustain rational thought?

Oh, Lord! Maybe I've become a cranky old woman, but I can't understand why our nation is on this self-and-world- destructive path.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Cleo's Inheritance

Last November I bade farewell to my last pair of fancy shoes. (Goodbye To All That, Nov. 1, 2010)

Then Nancy commented that my granddaughter Cleo has inherited my love of shoes. That got me wondering whether the shoes would fit Cleo and whether she would like them. As it turned out both answers were "Yes."

Here's Cleo at home in Colorado Springs today.

She's a runner and tennis player and totally sweet. Am I proud to pass my treasure on to this lovely girl? Darned tootin'!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Seeking A Modus Vivendi

Decades ago a news article said that Israel and the Palestinians must find a modus vivendi. I loved that term and, in spite of not having studied Latin, intuitively knew that it meant “a way of living in a difficult or intractable situation.” Somehow the term has stuck with me over the years, maybe because I associate it with the continuing Israeli-Palestinian conflict we've all grown disgusted with.

Living with rheumatoid arthritis for nearly 26 years has been a lot like the Israeli-Palestinian situation. I've watched parts of my skeleton fall apart, cartilage eaten up by inflammation and, consequently, bones coming apart -- sort of what happens to skeletal structure when a corpse decomposes. Like the Israeli building projects, rheumatoid arthritis has claimed a lot of my territory.

Small joints are especially vulnerable, producing the stereotypical rheumatoid arthritis fingers that turn sideways from the hand.  Feet are affected, too. I’ve had so many toe repairs that my feet look like they belong to two different people. Still, I can walk just fine.

My hands are almost totally shot, though. I've had four finger joint replacements; all have broken and remain in situ. The biggest problem is that both wrists have fallen apart, and there are a lot of bones in one’s wrist. Just look at a diagram of the hand. Bones everywhere!

Since arthritis struck 25 years ago I've devised many ways of doing what I want to do using defective mechanisms -- my hands. I've become adept at using tools to do what normal people do barehanded. I have a wardrobe of hand and wrist supports. But using my hands became ever more difficult.

Recently my left hand (I’m left-handed) has blown up. All the bones in my wrist have come apart. The entire hand is painfully sore and swollen. I can’t do the things I love any more. I've always been a maker of things by sewing, cooking, baking, gardening, making art, preserving food, and much more. I’ve done these things in spite of pain for so long, as if I would never have to face reality, that I am having great difficulty imagining a way of life that does not include them.

Reeling from the realization that I can no longer live as I wish to, I am seeking a modus vivendi. Wrist surgery is in my near future. How much it will enable me remains to be seen. In the meantime, achieving peace of mind is my goal.