Thursday, August 17, 2017

Heritage and History

I had a great car in high school.  I still remember it fondly as the slack mobile.  It's long dead & gone but I still remember it, even without a monument to it.  History books used in schools (mostly written in the 1950's, that have had little to no updating done) don't mention me or my car.  It doesn't mean we didn't exist or that I never happened, we were just not significant to the writers of the book at the time that they wrote/updated the history.  I think that my life matters.
Can you see where monuments are not the only history that we have?  History books have omitted a lot of things over the years that the men who wrote them didn't want to remember, so they wrote them focusing on what was important to them at the time.   As we have matured in our thinking and understanding it is time to adjust the things that we have held onto as being our heritage and history.  It is not that one group is owed something, or that one group is going to rise above the over but rather we are at an intersection that calls for a merging lane, and both sides need to yield!
I do not believe that the friends on my social media pages are really neo-nazi supporters but I see them re-posting things about "What's next? removing the pyramids?" or "Washington had slaves too!" or probably the hardest for me to understand "Black Lives Matter are thugs who are just as racist as the KKK."   I also have friends on social media who say "Where are the cops? IF BLM protested they called in the National Guard!" "All cops are racists!" It makes me wonder if they don't secretly believe that ALL WHITES are racists too? (We're not!)
I actually feel like I do have an answer, not just lamentations!  First, white people need to realize that white privilege IS a real thing. We need to understand that being equal is not being "over ran" or "replaced."  Secondly, I tried to explain on social media that Robert E Lee was a general for another country.  Jefferson Davis was the president of another country.  The confederate flag was the flag of another country.  When you look at it like that it does seem silly to have a monument to them here in our country.  That would be like Texas having a monument to Santa Anna who was the defeated president of Mexico that once owned this land, and people flying the Mexican flag on poles in their yard! It is time to let that part of history live on in textbooks and not monuments glorifying that time in history.  Thirdly, it's time to do a self analysis of why all of this makes you so angry.   What is it that causes you to become so angry that you lash out at others or say/post something that you KNOW is hateful, hurtful and wrong but you think it's "too funny not to share."
Likewise, on the other side of the isle, if you want to protest that BLM, please understand that not all whites are racist.  It's just as wrong to condemn "all" of anyone.  I don't really have a lot of suggestions as to how /what you can do to help unite our nation.  I don't know what it is like to be black in America.  I am not qualified to  offer you suggestions, but please be willing to talk to me and other whites who are earnestly seeking an end to this hate.  

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Mirror mirror

A dear friend of mine recently wrote a post explaining how she had cried out to God about something and he ever so gently replied with, come, let me show you something. Then he proceeded to show her some of the ugly inside her.  Before you rush to judge, let me just say, he has been dealing with me the same way.  On a recent family trip I got the opportunity to share with my brother some of the self revelations about myself.  Not all were a surprise to him, he's known me his whole life and he knew I could be that way. Isn't that the way the truth goes?  We get a stunning revelation from God about an ugly trait of ours and those closet to us are like, how could you not know you were that way!!!  
We are great liars to ourself.  If you really want your feelings hurt read what God feels about liars! It's not hard to understand that portion of scripture!  If you are seeking wholeheartedly after God with everything in you & you don't feel like you're making progress, ask him to show you what there is between you that's keeping you apart.  If you're ready, ask him to show you your heart.  It's time we get real, and honest. Not just with God, but with ourselves. 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Love is love is love is love

I left the punctuation out for a reason.  I recently read a beautiful piece written by a dear friend of mine who related the moving Tony's moment by Lin-Manuel Miranda as: Love is, love is, love is! (*repeat x9).   Because that is the life filter in which she was viewing the moment.  At that moment she needed to hear Love IS!  We all needed to hear love is.  We needed to hear it everyday before and we'll need it everyday since that day in Orlando, because there will be other days.  One day will be our day, and we'll need to hear, know, understand and feel that love is...still.  Love is not dead, love has not gone away for us to wait for its expected return.  Love was left for us as a way to carry on.  We have cheapened it, abandoning it to be an emotion, a feeling of expression, a lust, a new pair of shoes or a favorite pizza flavor.  Yet in our darkest hour we once again see that love is.  We have pop culture references to remind us that All We Need Is Love, but we turn to everything but love.  We want a revolution, a revelation, a new person, place or thing to remind us of the one simple truth. Love is.  It angers us when we can't change it, hurts us when we think it's left us, and all the while Love simply is.  We rise up when we think others are perverting it, when all we need to do is realize that love can't be manipulated, bought, sold, traded, begged borrowed or stolen.  We all have the same measure of love, whether we are single or part of a large family.  Because you can't own love.  Love is.

Friday, October 02, 2015

Oregon Shooting

I'm going to put this out there and you can agree or disagree but normal, mentally healthy people DON'T GO ON SHOOTING RAMPAGES!! Blaming the weapon and not the user is like blaming a woman's rape on her looks! More importantly the stigma associated with mental illnesses in this country and the lack of treatment options needs to be addressed. Many insurance policies don't cover the cost of mental illness or mental health. Seeking treatment is often viewed as a weakness rather than a strength. It's not easy admitting a mental illness exist.

In my profession it can be detrimental. Per the nurse practice act of Florida if a nurse has a mental illness it can cost them their license (Section 464.018).  However, if a person is receiving treatment, a person with mental illness can function in society without any restrictions or limitations.  It is only when a person who has mental illness does not receive treatment, or doesn't follow the prescribed treatment plan, that they become a danger to themselves or others.

Every time I hear of a mass shooting I am immediately curious at to the mental status of the person.  What is it that caused them to not seek treatment or to deviate from their treatment plan and snap.  As a nurse it baffles me that the media or the leaders of the nation can't see or understand that the real issue isn't the weapon of choice but rather the person behind the weapon.

This particular shooting also brings into sharp focus another issue plaguing this country.  Racist bigotry is defined as the intolerance of people who hold a different opinion from oneself.  In the Oregon shooting it has been reported that the shooter asked the religious preference of each person before shooting them.  How is this not viewed as an act of terrorism against the Christian faith?  Why is the first and primary discussion about the use of the weapon?  During 9/11 was the plane the main issue or topic of conversation?

Acts like this one are very polarizing causing each side to stake a claim to their side of the argument.  Either pro stricter gun laws or pro arming the public for defense against such acts.  I have had a hard time finding anyone addressing the mental health aspect of this act.  To me it is glaringly obvious.  As I stated before, no mentally healthy person considers taking the life of someone else to further their agenda.  Maybe if we had better access to mental health treatment, and a public that was willing to have conversation about mental health without facing the stigma attached to it acts like this will decrease.  Friends and family members of other mass shooting perpetrators have been reported to state that they knew something was wrong with the perpetrator but weren't able to get help for them.  I haven't heard anything about this particular shooter, but I wouldn't be surprised if the reports were similar.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

This is not a costume

I'll be the first to admit that I don't watch ABC's show The View. So I am not familiar with all of the personalities or even the demographic audience that watches the show. I was alerted today on social media about a segment that aired on the show: 

When I saw this it angered me, probably more than it should have.  I heard the question: "Why does she have a doctors stethoscope on?"  As if to imply that only doctors should ever need one of those! It also suggested that Ms Colorado was wearing some sort of costume. The segment also stated that Ms Colorado "basically read her emails out loud." All to a sound track of laughter.  I dare say they didn't actually listen to anything that Ms Colorado had to say. Her monologue was not the stuff of forward:forward:forward emails.  It was a heartfelt, honest portrayal of what a nurse does daily. 
Nursing requires not only intelligence, dedication (and a college degree) it also requires a certain level of skill and tact in dealing with emotional families/ patients in what is often a very stressful situation.  This shouldn't be new groundbreaking information. You'd  think that the talent of a cast that has a national platform would have known that Ms Colorado wasn't wearing a costume, in fact you'd think they understood or used their vast research department to learn what a stethoscope is used for, and who it is that uses them. I hope that this faux pas on the part of the entertainment team of The View catapults into conversation what exactly is a nurse. I am tired of everyone who wears scrubs at a hospital being considered a nurse. Just in case someone reads this who has a question: a certified nursing assistant is NOT a nurse. A medical assistant is NOT a nurse. (But guess what? Both of those professions also require the use of a stethoscope!)  While we're on the topic, there IS a huge difference between a licensed practical nurse (LPN) and a registered nurse (RN.)  I will address that later. My hope is that nursing, specifically the RN profession, will use this to help educate and define what it means to be nurse!! 
I recently broke my arm (at work) and while I am a patient I am still working taking care of patients. Because I am a nurse and #ThisIsNotACostume 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Female/ Fat/ Forty/ Family HX ??

When I went to nursing school we learned all about the dangers and complications of being diabetic.  The risk factors that they taught us were the four F's: being female, fat, in your forties, with a family history of diabetes.  My mother and father did not suffer from diabetes so I thought that I would be safe.  However, when I turned 40 I started asking my physician to check my hemoglobin A1C at the same time that he was checking my thyroid levels every year.  My results have been in the range of 5.6 - 5.8 every year, until this year when I went to the doctor and asked him to check my levels.  I was shocked when it came back at 7.5.  I asked for a redraw, surly this was incorrect.  The redraw one week later was 7.6.

The scariest thing about this for me is that I have had NO SYMPTOMS of being diabetic.  I have not had an increase thirst; I haven't had blurry vision, no increase in the amount of urine output, no numbness in my feet, no excess fatigue, nothing.  Had I not requested a test be done, I would not have known my levels were elevated.  It would have taken an illness or a complication of diabetes before I would have been tested and then damage would have already been done.

Because I asked for a redraw I know that cost to me of this test, with my insurance, is $28.  From doing a quick search online I have found that even without insurance the cost of having an A1C done is roughly $50.  I recommend every female who is in their forties (or above) to have this test done at least once to get a snapshot of your numbers.

Now about the “fat” portion of this scenario…I wear a size 12 (or 14 depending on the maker).  I do not consider myself to be overly obese or “fat” per se, but since I did have three of the other four “F’s” in my corner I considered myself at risk.  I mention this because if you are female and not in the medical chart of “ideal weight” for your height, and/or extremely fit, or if you have any two of the four “F’s” against you, please have the test done.   It’s too simple of a solution to a problem that could seriously end your life.   It is listed as a silent killer because of the way that it sneaks up on you and slowly destroys you before you even know that you have it.

Today I begin I new chapter in my life, that of being a diabetic.  Since I haven’t had any known damage done I am bidding a fond farewell to sweet tea and beginning a 15-minute a night walk around my neighborhood in hopes of reversing the curse of diabetes.  And here I thought that I was active with all of my hikes and photography adventures.  I pray that this adventure will be short lived, but it has been a wake up call to my life, love and pursuit of happiness for sure!

Friday, April 17, 2015

This is unfailing love!

 When I was 6 years old I stood up in a Baptist church in Junction City Kansas and answered the question the pastor had posed of: "Do you know what your favorite scripture is?" with Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." ( I don't think he was really asking; I think he was making a point of do people really read and retain the word.) And a gracious older lady stood up behind me and said: "I'll follow that with: Being justified freely by his grace though the redemption that is in Christ Jesus!" There was laughter in the congregation. It is the FIRST memory that I have of church.  Later that year I discovered that redemption and became a Christian.  It has been a long, twisted, stumbling walk but He has never left me and never let me forget that I need redemption now just as much now as I did back then! 

When I got the call that Roy had died in a house fire February 14th it was hard to bear.  But even today as I sit and ponder life, love and the pursuit of happiness, its Ann's death that is still what brings me to tears.  I cry.  Still.  Mom has died since Ann's death, yet I can manage the milestones, the birthdays, the holidays the every day life without the liquid eye meltdowns.  But I can hear a song that transports me to a time, a memory, a moment with Ann and I can't help myself.  I cry.  Still.  I'm crying now.  I wonder if I’ll ever stop, or if I even want to stop, like if I stop crying will she be gone from my memory…from my heart.   I know that’s silly, of course she won’t.  But there are so many memories of daddy that I have to sit and think, try to remember his voice.  Lately it has been only the one bad memory that plays over in my head, from February 1979 that happened right after my granddaddy died in house fire just like Roy.  He asked and I forgave him…moved on.  Maybe it is just the situation being similar that has dredged up those old memories that I thought dead and buried. 

I know God loves me.  I know that He knows me.  I’m just not sure why I’m walking though this now.  I’m looking for the lesson so I can learn and move on.  My new job takes me away from church, family, my life here, and my home.  It’s only a 13-week assignment and I am entering week four.  I can do nine more.  I just miss everything, my friends, my church, my family, my cat, and Ann.  Some things will still be here when I get back, for everything else I’ll have to lean on His grace to see me though.   I do know one other thing to be a sure fact in my life; isolation opens up creativity!  One day, I’m going to have a house like Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings where I can sit and stare at the water, or my fruit trees and be free to write, or paint!