Monday, October 2, 2017

The great debate

The 2nd Amendment

The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution reads: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." 

This language has sparked considerable debate regarding the scope of the Amendment. 

I started this blog post last year after the Arianna Grande concert. My teenage son had made a post that this was not the platform to have the great debate on. Guns don't kill people, people kill people. I made a remark, and from there several of his peers, also around 15 years of age, started to comment. 

One girl decided that she was going to debate with me on assault rifles. She stated that regular people do not need them, to which I agreed. However, she followed up with the idea of abolishing guns period., NO, and here's why, which really has nothing to do with the "rights" we have. 

Abolishing guns will not stop people from getting them. Taking away rights will not stop people from getting them. It's why they are called criminals. There will always be guns to be had. 

The tragic massacre at the Jason Aldean concert in Las Vegas last evening brings the rhetoric back into the conversations. I understand people are scared. Terrified, and the one's who go through these tragedy's are even more so. So lets really think about this. 

Will restricting gun laws, and our basic rights solve the problem. No, and here's why. At the risk of repeating myself, criminals will ALWAYS find a way. Now, I also realize that the shooter had no criminal back ground to speak of, BUT, his father did, and that can play a key roll in someone's mental health. 

Raised by his mother, a father who was in and out of his life, and subsequent divorce. These are all things that can contribute to a persons state of mind. 

Here's my suggestion before people get on their soap box over this one. We have to go through a back ground test to have a CWP. What we do not have to do is take and MMPI test. 

Most people probably are not even aware of what that is unless they have worked in the security industry. It is a definitive test that tells the giver of a persons state of mind.

The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory(MMPI) is a psychological test that assesses personality traits and psychopathology. It is primarily intended to test people who are suspected of having mental health or other clinical issues.

These are just thoughts from a upstanding citizen who owns guns, and has worked in the security industry. It might not be the answer, and I am sure we will have someone out there screaming about their rights to personal medical history, but it's the only answer I have at the moment. One that I have not seen brought up in any previous gun debate. 

My Prayers go out to the families and victims of the Las Vegas shooting. 

Peace~ Kat 

Sunday, October 1, 2017

A call to action/The Puerto Rico crisis

The articles we write are backed by fact, usually with a link to a credible news source, or other data that is public. For this one though, all I am finding is "opinion", from both political party's that seem to be slinging mud at each other like 2 year old's. 

Amidst all the news, fake or not, the "Trump international golf course" is being raised, over and over, and I am unable to find real data from 2008 when Trump stepped in. So what I can see, or discern, is, numbers are wrong, (it was not 100 million in debt) and there is not a news article that can show actual data. It's all surmised. Like, where did the number come from? Show the source people. Credible news. What makes this anymore credible than anything else?  Here is a news article from September 30th, from the Washington Post.

So that said, how about we leave the politics out of this natural disaster? Where is the humanitarian in this? Certainly not Trump, or the other politician's who are on the hill arguing about this while people are dying. 

Why is this an argument? There are people dying. Why are we allowing this. Why do we need a go ahead from Trump to drop aide over there, or go in and help? Where is the American Effort? During the flooding in Texas, I saw my own friends, use their own money to fly down and help with rescue efforts. Why is this not a trending topic on all the major websites? Facebook,  Instagram, twitter, ect?  

Facebook is always rife with political posts and opinions about whats going on in this world. So why am I not seeing my timeline saturated with posts of Puerto Rico. Whats different? God, this makes me so angry. Puerto Rico is a U.S Territory, and I see B.S on standing or kneeling? Where is the bravado now? Are you afraid to step out of the comfort zone of what you stand for?  Oh, I get that there are political issues with the NFL, why, I don't know. No one can keep anything simple! Leave the politics out of it. PEOPLE ARE DYING! 

You know what I see? Genocide, although you won't catch ANY news paper or article writing those words. Scary thought huh? We have Americans over there. They are Americans over there. It's a U.S. Territory, and why am I saying that? Does it matter if they are American? They are Human!! Yes, genocide is a strong word, but I call a spade a spade, and that is what I see. The "American" over there that are from the states are acceptable casualties. << I assume?

I wonder if a "credible" source wrote those actual words, "Genocide"  and the article landed on Trumps lap, would the outcome be different? Would the people be helped? I wonder, if this was Ivanka, or Melanie over there, would he do something then? We have always had 1st lady's that work for humanitarian efforts. Why in all this rhetoric have I not heard the voice of Ivanka? 

Unfortunately we have a President right now who is all about war, and not one iota about saving anyone. Those are the hard facts. Either we accept that, and bow down, or we change it in the next elections.  Right now we have no strong democrat against the republican party, so it's all about keeping their jobs. Do you get that people? The Democratic party right now is more concerned with not pissing off Trump than saving lives in Puerto Rico. 

I really don't have a lot on this subject. I am appalled. I am ashamed to be in a country that would allow this to happen, yet, proud to be able to say I have the freedom to write what I want. 

Monday, September 25, 2017

The addiction Epidemic

I had thought to title this, "Opioid vs Heroin Epidemic", but in doing a little research, I changed my mind. 

This is a long fought battle between legitimate chronic pain sufferers and what the medical community labels "drug seekers".  
In presenting this argument, I'm going to draw off my own experience, and "statistics" aka propaganda.  (believe what you want if it makes you feel better) 

I watched a documentary last night on NetFlix. Dr. Feelgood. "The reason a Doctor is a Doctor is to make people feel better". William Elliot Hurwitz.  In 2003 he was convicted of drug trafficking and sentenced to 25 years in prison. He was vilified in the press, and called the Doctor of Death. 

Interesting enough, I was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disorder in 2001. Retro peritoneal Fybrosis  (You guys can look this one up. I'm not doing all the legwork for you)  By 2002, after having been told I would die if I did not follow the treatment my care team prescribed, I was raising 4 children, 5 and under. 
I was taking Tamoxifin, which is oral chemotherapy, dilaudid 4mg every 4 hours, morphine ER 15mg every 12 hours, Sublingual morphine 20mg every 1/2 hour, Vicodin 1500mg, 2 every 4 hours. At one point, my Doctor had also prescribed 80mg oxycontin, although that did nothing for me...I took it back to him, and he laughed. "Do you know the street value of this stuff?"  I did not, so he told me. A buck a milligram. That's 80.00 a pill. "Most people would kill to have this amount prescribed", He said. 
Anyway, Quite the cocktail I was on. 

By 2003, I had decided that I was tired of the medicines and stopped them all. Oh boy was my Doctor mad! You could have killed yourself he said.  I saw nothing wrong with what I had done. I was long past the date they said I would die, and even though I was still dealing with pain, I just didn't feel the need for such high doses. I wanted quality time with my kids, but I also wanted to go back to work. After about 5 weeks of having no pain meds, I went back to my Doctor, and requested pain management. After taking the required test to prove I was not an addict, I had my Doctor put me on 15mg ER morphine, 1 every 12 hours, and up to 3 Vicodin's 500mg  a day for breakthrough as needed. Over the years, I would go on this management plan for 3 to 6 months, and then go off for 6 months to a year. . I never built a tolerance to require more. But, in saying this, according to FDA standards, I'm a potential addict. 

Now we come to 
You'll find in the link above that there is a standard protocol that the FDA uses to show the public the "dangers of potential addiction". 
If you read how this is done, it does nothing less than boggle the mind. Anyone with any level of intelligence is left with more questions than answers. 
For instance; we know that addiction is inherited. We know the science of that and have an understanding of the pitfalls if there is addiction in the family. So why are we testing lab rats, and then moving on to humans? Speaking of that, how many humans are we testing to throw a blanket number at the population and then say that this is what's going to happen? 
So it is said, that one in 7 people suffer addiction. 1 in 3 suffer chronic pain. This according to FDA and other data that has been collected in the last 10 years. 

In 2014, I started experiencing very extreme stomach pain. At the worst it would double me over. I went through a surgery and it went away for about a month. Then it came back. I kept returning to my Doctor and finally went back in for pain management. I was back on a low dose again, but it was barely touching the pain. I was working, but missing work frequently. I had not been on pain management since the mid 2000's. Then my insurance changed, and in the midst of that happening, we had the government regulating the prescription drug industry in a huge way. This was impacting everyone. I had several conversations with my Doctor about treatment, however, we really did not have a diagnosis to treat. He was scared, so it left me hanging, and in pain. By January 2017, my stomach pain had increased again. I was schedules for a biopsy. 
Here is the interesting thing. When I was being prepped, and getting ready for surgery. My surgeon came in, and said, "hey, did you know that it was reported in the New York Times, that they had just discovered that the Mesentery was a separate organ.  Coincidentally, the organ they were doing a biopsy on. I looked at him, and said, "Did you not take biology in med school?" "You guys just figured this out?" "What about bisecting cadavers?" "Wow". The whole time I am thinking, great, this idiot does not even know what hes doing.  Post op, I was treated for pain the 1st 7 days. 
By February, I had a diagnosis. Mesenteric Panniculitus. Originally named the screaming disease

So, did I get treatment options? uh huh, yep. Tamoxifin, or, wait for it... Azothioprine. I wanted neither. I do not have a spleen, and no, I never had a spleen-ectomy. Azathioprine is an auto immune suppressant, which if I took, puts me in a higher risk group because of not having a spleen, and of course we already know what Tamoxifin is by my earlier diagnosis. Pain meds? OUT OF THE QUESTION! Why? Because Uncle Sam has decided he knows whats best for us. Shouldn't it be my choice what my treatments are? Why would I stay on a medicine that would have to be taken for the rest of my life, and put my self at higher risk for more disease and more infection, rather than taking a low dose pain management, to allow me a decent quality of life, which we already know by history works for me, when in the end, either the disease kills me, or the long term use of ANY medicine would kill me. Why has the government taken away MY choice at a better life?

We have a heroin epidemic in this country. Why? Well, the government would have you believe that it stems from the over prescribed opioids. So let me ask you this; Where does heroin come from? It's not from here. Its shipped in. It's not made here, and there is no medical use for it. We do know that morphine sets off the same nuero transmitters in the brain that respond to heroin. It's called dopamine. Dopamine is the chemical that makes you feel good. Is it the same as heroin? Of course not, or everyone in America would be an addict. We also know addiction is a gene. Then begs the question, is it just the gene, or is it social or economic back ground that contributes to the addiction. 

So what is addiction? What is considered the epidemic? Opioids or Heroin? What came 1st, the chicken or the egg? All of these things the government tells us is the Doctors fault, or the pharmaceutical company's fault. That is like me saying, I'm an alcoholic and it's your fault. I call bullshit. This country needs to stop being mamby pamby babies and start taking responsibility for themselves, and time for the government to get the hell out of our bedrooms and do their jobs by bringing down the cartels. 

My question again, is why are we allowing the government to dictate what is best for us? 

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Parenting 101 (I think hostage negotiation would be less stressful)

So, I was asked to write a blog on parenting. I literally thought the guy was messing with me, I am not the greatest parent and I have one child (not a child, she's grown now)  who considers me a devil mom.  

Before I write this, I'll add this caveat. I did not raise my oldest daughter, but I raised her 1st child. So Parenting, or good parenting is in the eye's of the child. 

There is no book on this. I was raised by wonderful parents, but did not think so until I was older. I swore to god, I would not give my children the rules that they gave me. (this sworn oath lasted all of 10 seconds, if that.) I took one look at my child and thought, oh no; there are bad people out there. I must protect them at all costs. 

I have 4 Children, my youngest being almost 16 now. Like I said, I did not raise my oldest, but raised her oldest. I have 3 boys of my own and my granddaughter. 

I was married twice. My oldest son's dad and I divorced when he was 2, and I married my other 2 boy's dad by the time he was 2 and a 1/2. 

I wanted my children to have the same advantages I had. A home, 2 parents, love, roots, and a rich up-bringing. (Not specifically meaning money) No child is the same. I know many parents that treat their children equally and that to me, is one of the biggest mistakes a parent can make. The 2nd biggest is thinking they are exactly like you. They are not. They may carry similar traits and even similar dreams, but that is not the same. 

One of my rules as my children were growing up was, "I meet the parents of friends". They hated this, but what I learned with that rule, is, kids need guidance. This was one of my parents rules. Even though my kids hated this, they did follow it, or they were stuck home. I had several smaller rules also, make your beds, pick up your toys, bring your laundry to the laundry room; ect. Again, all rules they hated, and took their time doing. That was OK. The idea was, they do it. Not in my time, but that it was done; period. 

Teaching my kids, responsibilities, integrity, honesty and humor was my main goal. I'll say too, humor is the number one advantage you will have getting through raising children. No matter what, they needed to learn these to become responsible productive adults. There were many trials and errors, as with anything in life, "shit" happens. Making mistakes is part of learning, for you and the child. They are not the mistake, and neither are you. 

Being a parent means having an address book full of names like "Lindsey, Ella's mom, it means on-line shopping because kids are jerks in a store, it means endless sleepless nights with sick children. It means, broken bones, emergency rooms, and Christmas mornings with family. It means having the beginning of every horror story start with, "So, I stepped away for like 3 seconds".  It means, panic, stress and fear. It also means joy and happiness,   Being a parent can be one of the most rewarding things you have ever done, just keep it in perspective. There is no right way or wrong way to do this. 

I am by no means the perfect parent, but I gave it the "ole" college try. My kids have grown up beautifully and all have dreams and goals that they are working towards. 

I guess the best advice I could give as a parent, is to let your child be who they want to be. It is their life, not yours, and they have to live it. Support them 100%, even if you do not agree with how or what they may be doing. Build their self-esteem, tell them you love them, and let them fly. They will. 

And don't worry. It all works out in the end. 

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Obscuring Reality

I've realized that the longing for art,  like the longing for love is a malady that blinds us, and makes us forget the things we already know....

Like with passion comes pain; with gain comes loss. 

The human condition is in itself a malady.  I'm to full to be half loved.  In art as in love, you need the richness and passion to grab you, the fullness.  Like the creation of art, you have to create to become. 

Art is obscure, but real. Love can be both, or neither. Tantalizing, filling the senses, but elusive.  Most people are more than one person, virtue wears a veil, vice wears a mask. Both are mimicked. Their thoughts, someone else's, their passion a quotation. 

There are extraordinary things in the mundane, hidden treasures in the darkest shadows.  You cannot do epic things with basic people.  When you take a lover, take one who looks at you like you are magic.  If you do not, life, like art, goes up in smoke. 

The longing becomes elusive. Forgiveness is like this, the windows closed, the curtains drawn. The sun is out, but you cannot see it.  If you can love someone, something,  with your whole heart, then there is salvation in life, in love and in art. 

Imagination is everything, it is the preview on life's coming attractions. Reckless danger, narcissism and whiskey. Creating art with words, love with photos, life from life.  Passion. The manifestation of the independent mind. Reality obscured.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Pivotal Moments

I've talked about pivotal moments before in my life. 

I've have learned at my age, that I am not a casual person.  It is all or nothing. I'm coming to realize that my standards are changing, and what I require for myself.  When Paul walked out, my self image took a hit, and continued on a down hill spiral. I didn't require anything at that point.  I was looking for fun, to escape the pain. 

Well, that is what I got, and a lot more than I bargained for.  Here we are now, 6 years later, from that moment when my entire life went upside down, to still attempting to recover. 

I set goals in the beginning, then put others before those goals. I re set goals, and still I had things happen that I did not foresee, or plan on,  I would continuously change those goals. I procrastinated, holding out hope that my life would go back to normal. 

I realized that it would never go back to normal, unless I made some major changes, not just in my thinking and behaviors, but in my belief in myself. 

In the last month, is when I actually started making some of those changes.  Keeping people around me that encourage what I want.  People who support me even if they do not agree with how things are for now. 

Commitments that I made to myself and my boys, I am working on keeping. Commitments to myself.  My writing, my jobs, my life style. I have been happier this time around in working towards these things, then I have been in the past 6 years. I think the difference has been, that I mean it. 

I meant it in the past 6 years too, but did not follow through. Everything I was doing for the kids, was peripheral. What I was doing for me, was not what I should have been doing. I'm not going to beat myself up over this, because I did it, and now I am done with it. 

I was there, but not there. My heart was broken.  Not from subsequent men in my life, but from the one man I thought would always be there, and I used that brokenness as an excuse to do what ever the hell I wanted. Most of the time, not in my best interest, and certainly not in my children's. 

So, here we go again. Another pivotal moment, or series of moments. These have taken place in the last month, between conversations with friends,  and decisions that I have made and plan to stick too.  It was like a weight on my shoulders, that all of a sudden is gone. 

So I guess, you all want to know what that pivotal moment was? :) not saying, because I have said in the past, and then it does not come to fruition. I guess you'll just have to stay tuned this time. 

The American Dream

California or bust 
This is one of those Mondays, that is the epitome of a Monday. There is a reason for stereotypes, and that is not just for people, it is for days of the week, and months of the year too. 

Today, the 1st day of "spring" forward, a Monday of all days, which, for some reason always falls on a Monday. Well, not technically, it's on a Sunday morning, but the effect is on a Monday. 

Work started off with me in pain, per my normal work day, then proceeded to get even crappier, since I could not get a hold of the clinic I needed to. In the meantime. my son is texting me, saying he has been put on call, because his job does not have enough work to keep him even part time. 

His car is a P.O.S,  and his father does nothing to help him. Nor does his "ex" stepfather. My 16 year old son who lives with me, has mechanical issues with his car also.  Another P.O.S, and his father refuses to help make the car safe for him to drive, knowing he also has college and a commute for work. 

"Mom" to the rescue again. Not sure how I am pulling this one off since I am barely making it myself, but somehow I always do. I feel as though the men in my sons lives do this purposely so they can get back at me for some unknown reason, yet all it does is hurt the boys. 

In the meantime, I am on calls, and in text with a few friends, to see if I can at least get one of these cars in safe working order. The one "car" guy I know that is going through some major shit of his own, responds to my text.  (I think we both have for the past 6 years of knowing each other) I asked how it was going, and I ended up with the major laugh of the day. 

His answer? "living the dream" "one nightmare at a time!" He was so spot on. 

So, if you know me, and know me well, I respond to most crisis in my life with sarcastic humor, which is why when I got that text back, I laughed my ass off. I don't think I would make it through some of the events that I have made it through, without my friends, my sons, and lots of humor. Sarcastic or otherwise.