Monday, October 6, 2008

"Keating Economics: the Making of a Financial Crisis"

"Keating Economics: the Making of a Financial Crisis" is a documentary that shows why John McCain's failed philosophy and poor judgment are a recipe for deepening the economic crisis.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Proverbs 25

Today I chose Proverbs 25:28 which reads: "Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control." When I think of someone with a lack of self-control I think of a person with poor boundaries. A person with a lack of self-control would be quick to let something or someone bother them and in turn be quick to lash out in response. If you were to look at a person's boundaries as a wall around a city the wall would keep people or at least irritations out. If there are no walls/boundaries how easy is it for people to barge in.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Proverbs 24

Today I chose Proverbs 24:10 which reads: "If you falter in times of trouble, how small is your strength!" I think this goes beyond the obvious statement of being weak if you falter in times of trouble. It is easy to feel confident and secure when times are bad but the real test is one bad times come. This can also be applied to times when we are being tested by the devil or tempted. Shows how important it is to continue to read the word even if we are doing fine spiritual. If we don't have any thing to fall back on to help us we will succumb to the temptation more easily.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Proverbs 23

Today I chose Proverbs 23:15-16 which reads: "My son, if your heart is wise, then my heart will be glad; my inmost being will rejoice when your lips speak what is right." Wisdom is not only good for us, it not only keeps us out of trouble, it not only brings us closer to God, it also makes God glad and rejoice.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Proverbs 22

As you can see, I have fallen behind (way behind) on doing my one proverb a day. Rather than just saying forget it I will simply pick up today where I left off. Today I chose Proverbs 22:3 which reads: "A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it." This reminds me of another expression or question. What is the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over again expecting to get different results. While this is probably not exactly what is meant here it is very close. We have all heard people ask the question "Why does this keep happening to me?". If you were to look close enough you would probably find that they are doing a particular action that results in the troubles. For example, I have had many female friends who get into relationships that are doomed to fail. I am not saying this is just women or all women but the friends I am referring to have been women. They meet a guy who ignores them and does not give them time and complain about it rather than moving on to find someone who does treat them well. They will go after guy after guy who does the exact same thing. Yet others will continue to go back to the same person over and over and expecting different results each time. I guess this came to mind since I recently had a conversation with one of these friends about to do the same thing with the same person for the third time. Just in case anyone would read this and think of me nuts for making that connection to this scripture.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Proverbs 21

Today I chose Proverbs 21:23 which reads: "He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity." I like this one because I cannot count the number of times I have either put my foot in my mouth or said something I wish I could take back. I was thinking before I spoke or guarding my tongue.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Proverbs 20

Today I chose Proverbs 20:1 which reads: "Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise." Only thing I can say is this question. How many times do you know of that someone made a really good decision after they have been drinking?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Proverbs 19

Today I chose Proverbs 19:19 which reads: "A hot-tempered man must pay the penalty; if you rescue him, you will have to do it again." I'm sure anyone reading this knows someone who is constantly making the same mistake. Over and over and over. Be it an addiction, spending money, or just poor decision-making. Some people make a mistake and you help them and they go on their way. Other people you bail out once and they keep coming back to be bailed out for the same things.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Proverbs 18

Today I chose Proverbs 18:11 which reads: "The wealth of the rich is their fortified city; they imagine it an unscalable wall." This verse is not saying that wealth is secure. It is saying exactly the opposite. The rich imagine what that their wealth will make them secure. Real security comes from God and from within and not from material things.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Proverbs 17

Today I chose Proverbs 17:22 which reads: "A cheerful heart is good medicine, part a crushed spirit dries up the bones." You ever wonder why two people with the exact same condition can have completely different outcomes? One person will die quickly and the other will actually recover or at least live much longer than the first. All other things being equal it has a lot to do with attitude. A negative attitude and you will see everything as a disaster and lose hope. A positive attitude and you see hope. I personally believe that a positive attitude is why I am still alive and kicking while so many others with my condition die younger. Don't get me wrong, I do not mean to say or imply they didn't live this long simply because they were negative. There are a lot more factors that go into something like that. But the positive attitude is very helpful and can add years to your life.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Proverbs 16

Today I chose Proverbs 16:9 which reads: "In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps." We as humans can make what ever plans we like but ultimately it is God who determines what actually happens. I always like to say if you want to make God laugh tell him your plans. We like to plan as if we are in complete control but that is impossible or at least an illusion.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Proverbs 15

Today I chose Proverbs 15:1 which reads: "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." If you approach someone angrily how do you think they will respond? Angrily in return. If someone comes to you angry and you stay calm and gentle and loving chances are they will calm down. Not a guaranteed of course. You will definitely get better results returning kindness.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Proverbs 14

Today I chose Proverbs 14:29 which reads: "A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly." I think the reason a patient man has great understanding is because he allows himself the time to gain understanding. Someone who is impatient is going to try to find shortcuts. He might get there but it is going to take at least twice as long. Also, someone who is quick with their tongue and temper usually looks very foolish. They are quick to judge and criticize which leads to them jumping to conclusions only to be corrected later. Looking foolish.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Proverbs 13

Today I chose Proverbs 13:20 which reads: "He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm." If you want to be wise you should seek out people to be around who are wise. If you are looking for advice on a topic you look for someone who is an expert on that topic. If you were looking for advice on how to run a business would you ask someone who never has run a business or worse yet run one in the ground? Of course not. You wouldn't ask someone who runs or has run a successful business.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

I am not in control

Today on the way back from church we were discussing whether or not to go to the night of worship at the CityPlace campus at 7 p.m.. We get home and tried to open the back doors of the van to let the lift down so I could get out. The door refused to open. A few months ago someone had tampered with the lock for that door but it would still open. Then about a month after that it would only open from the inside. So my father had to carry me from the van into the house and then lift the chair onto the ground. So needless to say any plans we had made were mute. Further evidence that I am not in control, God is.

Proverbs 12

Today I chose Proverbs 12:16 which reads: "A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult." I can remember several instances in my life when I had quickly taken offense to a comment someone has made causing me to respond inappropriately only to find out I had misunderstood them or their intentions. If I would have stayed calm and asked them to clarify I would have avoided embarrassment.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Proverbs 11

Today I chose Proverbs 11:25 which reads: "A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed." I guess another way of stating this would be you have to give to receive. Self-help gurus have been saying this for the past several years thinking they are saying something new or unique. I find that most things they say can be found in the Bible. God will take care of or reward if you will those who learn generous and take care of others. This is not to say we should be stupid and give away money that we don't have to give away or that we need to provide our own basic needs. But if we have faith God will take care of everything.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Proverbs 10

Today I chose Proverbs 10:12 which reads: "Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs." Have you ever seen someone who is hateful tried to get things done or have interactions with people? More times than not an argument is what happens. On the other hand, have you ever seen someone who is loving handle adversity or someone who is angry? Most times the love will overtake the hatred and anger and the angry or irritated person will become calm. Any parent can probably think of times when the love they have for their children has allowed them to overlook or forgive even the worst offenses of their children. This is the same love God has for us.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Proverbs 9

Today I chose Proverbs 9:8 which reads: "Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you; rebuke a wise man and he will love you." Have you ever tried to inform or correct someone and have them argue with you no matter how wrong they were? If you have ever had to deal with a teenager I am sure you know what I mean. This speaks to the first part of this verse. When someone is truly interested in the truth or having the right information you get a completely different response. They either say they never thought of it that way or thank you for your input. They appreciate it. This speaks to the second part of this verse.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Proverbs 8

Today I chose Proverbs 8:18 which reads: "With me are riches and honor, enduring wealth and prosperity." This chapter depicts wisdom as someone or something speaking to mankind. Encouraging mankind to seek wisdom. If you think of the great leaders of the past or the great inventors of the past they all have one thing in common. They were wise. This is not to say that someone without a formal education could not do great things. They can but they need to have wisdom. So basically this scripture is promising us that when we find wisdom we will also find riches, honor, enduring wealth, and prosperity.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Proverbs 7

Today I chose Proverbs 7:21 which reads: "With persuasive words she led him astray; she seduced him with her smooth talk." This chapter of Proverbs tells a story of a young man with a wisdom who is seduced by an adulterous woman. But I think this goes even deeper than that. When we think of times when we were tempted and led astray to do something we know we shouldn't (and I'm not just talking sex) but it was presented in a very attractive or seductive manner. It can be the words of someone else for it can be our own self talk convincing us. We can see many things on TV that are seductive and using sex to sell things. If we are constantly bombarded by these things it can wear down our resistance. This is why we must be wise in what we view and listen to.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Proverbs 6

Today I chose Proverbs 6:23 which reads: "For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the corrections of discipline are the way to life," While the context of this is when it comes to avoiding immorality and adultery, this one statement applies to all of God's teachings. What does a light do? It illuminates and can light the way on your path. So by following God's commands and discipline we find the way to life. Not just for life after we die but a fuller life as we live.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Proverbs 5

Today I chose Proverbs 5:21 which reads:

"For a man's ways are in full view of the Lord, and he examines all his paths."

Basically, God is watching so act accordingly. Before you do something ask yourself if this action I am about to take brings honor to God. This chapter of Proverbs is dealing mostly with adultery. I don't know the statistics to give you an exact number but both pornography and extramarital affairs are at all-time highs. To the point where it is breaking up marriages. How wise the Proverbs were about avoiding adultery.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

I Want To Believe

Today I went to the movies to see The X-Files: I Want To Believe. It was a great movie for any diehard X-Files fan. Everyone I have spoken to who is a fan enjoyed the movie but everyone else thought it was mediocre. I know how us fans hate spoilers so I will not give any. I would call this movie the goodb we never got. If you are an X-Files fan I would definitely go see this movie. I want so bad to discuss some of the things but I will wait until it is no longer in theaters so others can get the same enjoyment I got from the movie.

Proverbs 4

Today I chose Proverbs 4:14-15 which reads: "Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evil men. Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn from it and go on your way." Some people think it is okay to get close to evil or skirt the edge. An example would be what we watch on television. If you watch nothing but violent programming you become numb to it and it becomes a normal thing. If you watch nothing but sexual or sensual programming eventually you will want to do the same things they are doing on the screen. The and of verse above says "turn from it and go on your way." Good advice. Being in the presence of evil or sin eventually brings us down to that level.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Proverbs 3

Today I chose Proverbs 3:19 which reads: "By wisdom the Lord laid the earth's foundations, by understanding he set the heavens in place;" I have recently been watching shows on the history Channel and Discovery Channel all about the earth, the planets and the universe. The more I watched the more amazed I am by God's creations. Our planet is in the perfect spot. Any bit closer to the sun and we would burn up. And a bit further away from the sun we would freeze to death. I do not know how a person can look at that fact and at the grandeur of the universe and say it all happened by accident with a big bang. Don't get me wrong the Big Bang could have happened with God's hand directing things. Any other planet in our galaxy would not be suitable for our life.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Proverbs 2

Today I chose Proverbs 2:10 which reads: "For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul." Not much I can say on this one. The verses leading up to this one are talking about looking for wisdom and knowledge and the fact that if we do this God will give it to you. I have found in my own personal experience that the more I learn the more I enjoy learning. This is true of my learning of a God and of my learning about things that interest me like history and electronics and how things work. If we study God's word enough we will start to act from the heart but in a wise way. Finding the truth about the matter becomes a pleasant task.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Proverbs 1

Three Sundays ago the pastor at our church gave us each the assignment of reading one chapter of Proverbs a day. After each reading we were to take one verse that spoke to us and look at it several times that day. I am behind...No, I have not even started. Better late than never so I thought I would do this assignment starting today and post my picks on the blog with a brief explanation of what I got out of that day's verse. So here goes with Proverbs 1. I chose Proverbs 1:7 which reads: "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline." I know most people may read fear to mean to be afraid of God but usually the word fear in the Bible has more of a meaning of awe and reverence. So to be truly wise when it comes to spiritual knowledge you must first start with respect for God. In the context of the Bible wisdom is defined as discovering and applying God's truth to our lives. Even if we are not talking about the Bible I am sure we all know foolish people who get themselves into trouble by not heeding wise advice. Or people who have no respect for the law and lead a life of crime. If more people would heed the word of the Bible they would find that their life is less troublesome. When it says fools despise wisdom and discipline it is true. I have known several people who are actually proud of the things they do even if they are illegal. When they finally get caught they wonder what happened. Then they go right back out and do the same type of thing over and over. Even if you are a person who does not believe in God or is not a Christian you have to realize that most of our laws started with the 10 Commandments. We would all agree that these are wise things to follow in a civilized society. I think my thoughts may have been a little scattered with this one so will try to be a little more clear and concise with future posts.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Dark Knight (slight spoiler)

I went to see Dark Knight yesterday after church. In one word, AWESOME! I could not believe that a movie would sell out at 1 In the afternoon on a Sunday. No wonder it broke a box office record For opening weekend ticket sales. When we got to the theater every seat where we usually sit for wheelchairs was taken. No place for me to sit and be with my family. Then as my eyes adjusted I realized there was a ramp instead of stairs to get down to the lower area (a.k.a. The break your neck to see section). So I sat front row center but fortunately with the tilt Mechanism of my chair I was completely comfortable.

The movie was able to keep my attention the whole time. I am not one to give spoilers so I will not give any movie details or comment on my favorite scenes. I will say this though, just as I thought they were wrapping things up they go into more scenes and end up having enough for two movies. I like movies like this because for the price you pay to get in you need to feel you got your money's worth.

In part of the plot the Joker was able to get normally upstanding Citizens to do things they normally wouldn't by preying on them at moments of weakness. When they were having extremely hard times in their life. I really saw that as a representation of how the devil works. At our most difficult moments, at our weakest points he is right there trying to tempt us. Doesn't mean he has to win but those are the moments when we have to be the strongest.

Even if you don't agree with that the movie has a lot to say about how humans can change and literally turn on each other when the chips are down. It was a great movie and I would recommend it to anyone. Unless you have young kids who shouldn't be seen all the violence.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Kids are the future

I recently received a e-mail from someone who had listened to the podcast I was doing a year or so ago. I thought I would share what they had to save not to pat myself on the back but to share the story she told about visiting some children at an elementary school. This individual is disabled for yourself and was there to speak to the children which I believe were also disabled. I believe it's important for us over disabled people to try to help the younger ones get a good start before they have a chance to have society put any sort of limitations upon them. Before I start to ramble this is what she wrote: Hi Dwight, This is going to be long, but you've put in the time for advocacy, so you deserve some appreciative writing in return. At the Maryland rally to close Rosewood institution last October, we thought we might like to fold our stories and demands for civil rights into paper airplanes and fly them over the fence into the Governor's back yard. "That's another thing I never learned to do, next to standing ovations and high-fives," said a quadriplegic man. Governor O'Malley declared a program for its closing in January of this year. Sometimes showing up is more important than whether or not you do everything that happens there, eh? I wish I could have taken a photo, but the imagery is like this: lines of people in wheelchairs, or with walkers, unsteady gaits, and all their assorted aids and advocates, storming the State Capitol building in Annapolis, rolling by police officers, exercising their rights to rally, speak, and petition the government. I work for an agency in Maryland that helps people with cognitive and developmental disabilities achieve full community life. My partner works with two brothers living with MD who work on a self-employment project. They own their own multimedia business. I'm a geek, so seeing these forays into technology are the most exciting things in the universe! Your CripCast project and Blogspot are wonderful. I am up late because tomorrow I have a meeting with my college disabilities services coordinator and I am nervous. I am struggling to get through school at the complications of my own health. I want to share with you the following things I have learned in a lifetime of working with people who have disabilities, and ultimately finding myself in the same situation:-I am incredible.-Life is harder when you need extra help to get through it.-People with disabilities are so patient with each other, but often it's hard to be patient with ourselves.-I have confidence in all my friends and coworkers with and without disabilities, but their confidences in me often seem to fall short. I have to do extra work to reassure them of my capabilities and to make sure they also understand my fears.-I would never have become so creative if it weren't for the way my life has been. I have always made myself available to people with disabilities. I have always volunteered and stayed active, advocating here and there. Now, I need the advantages I've worked to preserve. This is a big change for me. I think of myself as an activist. But now that I'm in it, I am compelled to do even more than I did before. I suppose it's just the peak point that we all reach where it's sink or swim. So I've started a YouTube: but it's still kind of a side project while I try to get my life together. I am meeting with people and researching. When I pose in photos, I don't take my braces off of my hands or my ankles or knees. This is what I look like, and if people want to be a part of my life, they cannot edit out the parts they don't like. I read about your Trach... I know they're tough to work with even if your hands work to keep them clean and comfortable. You'd think the technology would be a little further along by now... what kinds of changes would you make to a Trach? If a person has a cognitive disability on top of all of it, do you think there could be some kind of blinking light to flag for them when they can speak? Today I went to 7 classrooms in a local elementary school to explain what it means to use adaptive technology, assistive technology, and why information technology is a growing field for people with disabilities. It was really hard to put the lesson together. I'll paste my rough write-up: -=-=- The wiggly one in the red shirt had something on his mind. His attention peaked when I pulled out my IBM Model M keyboard and talked about how people who think differently do a lot of the same things, like recycle old keyboards. The child in a light blue t-shirt with an audio headset accommodation thanked me in ASL after the most important lesson was over. He was 6, had autism, and knew exactly what I was doing. THANK YOU! He screamed. This is the most incredible moment I have ever experienced in explaining disabilities. Every child could relate to being different. Howard County is privileged, and still, some children were invisible. It hit hard when I saw children left out. The boy in blue was taken to the back of the room while I passed around an ethernet cable to show what it was like to be connected to each other. One at a time, each child passed end over end, through the tangled pile of kids, so everyone had a chance. Two girls in the back row and the boy in blue missed a chance. I started over, and the two girls got the cable this time. “Is that everybody?” I asked. “Yes!” they said, glad they’d done it again and gotten everybody. “NO!” said another boy. “Who didn’t get it?” I let that boy share the cable with the boy in blue. The boy in blue passed it on, and the cable made its way back to me. The other students learned that it takes an extra effort to think of everybody, that they sit in different places or have disabilities, or they’re just not outgoing. They watched their classmate stand up, reach out to one who had no chance, and make sure everyone was included. Some hands meandered like finger painting in thin air, while others rocketed up and down as I asked questions: who likes video games? Who turned in a library book today? Last week? Who has books at home? Who’s rich? What does it mean when we use something again? Who would rather use a telephone than a calculator? Who uses a screwdriver? Who thinks about things? Who likes to remember things? Who reads? Most hands went up when I asked who had seen a wheelchair. “How do you feel and what do you think when you see someone in a wheelchair?” The answers: they might have a broken foot, they might have a broken arm (we tried that one again), they might have to stay there, it’s sad. The answer I expected was what my generation gave me: there’s something wrong with them. No one raised a hand when I asked who had heard the word “disability.” I was about to encode young children with a word that, if delivered wrong, was going to carry a life-long stigma. Teachers, computers, parents, and the library are reportedly where kids go for answers. No student said they ask their classmates. No hand ambled upward when I asked if anyone could think of at least one classmate that they thought was smart. Today children heard a new word: Douzo. I said it over and over again. “Douzo, douzo, douzo. Doesn’t that sound different?” The girl with blonde hair and blue eyes whose parents spoke Japanese sat alone at a table, and I don’t know why she was there. She didn’t get the yellow ethernet cable. When somebody brought it to her, I let her tell the classroom what Douzo meant. If they hadn’t reached out and included her, they would not have learned from her that douzo means please. They might not have unlocked that from her, and she would not know that being able to read is an accomplishment. She would not know that she could give information to other people, even so young. What a sense of self-worth, to know something and share it at age 6. She was a teacher for a moment, and if no one had reached out, she would have been silenced, excluded. “Um, what’s wrong with your hands?” asked the wiggler. Joyous day, I thought, this boy understood my lesson on asking before you feel sad about someone’s disability, because you might just not understand. I had just spent a half hour explaining how I use technology to solve problems, but I hadn’t said a word about what was “wrong” with me. I didn’t say the word, it didn’t matter. What mattered was what was wrong: my thumbs don’t hold together like other people’s thumb bones, and that I’d used technology to fix it: splints. It didn't compute for the students that a person standing in front of them would talk about what it's like to be in a wheelchair. Could someone really only need a wheelchair some of the time, and not have a broken leg? I had set the children to wondering before they decided that sad was the right way to feel. That was my goal, just to get them thinking about it. I didn't have a lot of time to turn around their emotions; they'll have to figure that out on their own. But still, success! I taught everything I am today, and where I come from: multilingual, technological, strong, poor, creative, living with a disability, a good listener, a reader. Every child was one of those things. There is not one child I didn’t reach. It didn’t take a plenary session, money, a Federal Act. It took a bunch of kids sitting on the floor in a room, and some old technology I didn’t throw away. I could learn anything, change my world to match my needs, think about other people and solve problems, and earn enough money to make a living. I don’t know who will remember me, but I do know that every child I saw this morning got an “a-ha!” moment about themselves. I hope they will pay it forward. -=-=- I hope this little note has given you some encouragement for the time you put in to reaching out. The MD community, especially, has never had the chance to get together and advocate. I'm so glad you are speaking up! I have so much hope for the future. I hope you can know for at least this day that you have reached an attentive ear, and that there are people in it with you, even though you can't see us. I think kids are getting the point at younger and younger ages. Here in Maryland, the schools are wildly diverse! I've never seen anything like it! So they all know what it's like to be different. So many of them, though, didn't know that a wheelchair is a good thing. I thought of tying their legs together and having them wiggle around until they knew how much of a relief it would be if they could use a wheelchair. :) Have you ever wanted to do a lab like that? Or put vaseline on sunglasses, put them on the kids, and have them write a letter, address and stamp an envelope, fold and stuff the letter? If only I had more time. I'm gettin' kinda rambly. The point is really to thank you and share some of the things we're doing up here to do our part. Keep it up! Be well,Sama

Monday, April 7, 2008

Live Like You Were Dying

I had a really great day yesterday and thought I would share it with you all. I started my day at about 6 a.m. with my morning medications and breakfast. I had the most delicious breakfast. Because of my condition I sometimes have trouble swallowing so if I am eating a food I know gives me trouble I have to purée it. I mention this because I used to love an omelette with kickers from Domino's pizza but when I lost some swallowing they would get stuck in my throat choking me. I'd assume puréeing would be rather disgusting in this case but was pleasantly surprised. It gave the eggs a lot of flavor and actually made them moister which gave me an easier time when eating. This might sound mundane but for someone in my situation and it means a lot to find another enjoyable food I can actually eat. After breakfast and a nice bath it was time to head to church. This week was part 2 of a four-part series on living like you were dying. I'm sure you have all heard the song by Tim McGraw. Part two was all about speaking sweeter and the effects that our words have on each other. Also that we need to choose our words carefully because they can either build someone up or care someone down. It was a very good service that made a lot of good points. At the end they interviewed (on a video) a man with ALS talking about how he regrets the bad things he said in his past and not seeing more good things especially when it came to his wife. It was very moving and I'm sure quite a few people needed tissues afterwards. After church we took Emma (our one year old Boston terrier) to a place downtown called city place. It's basically an outdoor marketplace but with very expensive stores. A great place to walk around especially since it was such a beautiful day. This was the first time we have ever taken her to such a place so it took her a little while to calm down. I think she couldn't figure out why it reasonable person she saw wasn't paying attention to her. She kept trying to fight the leash to go over to people. Also she kept trying to chase pigeons. At one point my dad left my mom and me with Emma while he walked over to the Starbucks to get some coffee. The dog started crying like someone died or something. After that she seemed to calm down and several people came up to ask about her. Mostly older couples. I told her afterwards she needed to get younger females to come over. I'm sure this was not the most exciting posts but it has been so long since I've posted I felt the need to write something to get back in the habit.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Transitioning to a trach

I had a comment posted on one of my posts but I could not figure out how to reply to the person. Either you can't on blogger or I am just not seeing it. So I will write a brief applied without (hopefully) giving away this persons information. Basically, the person has a fresh trach (a few weeks ago) and is feeling a bit self-conscious about people staring. I apologize ahead of time if this person does not appreciate this blog post but I thought it important to respond to him. I have been trached since I was about 19 years old and was very self-conscious about it for quite a while especially when going out in public. I always felt like that is all they could stare at. After some time and becoming comfortable with it I believe at least 50% of the time I was being overly sensitive. I by no means mean to imply that you are wrong for your feelings. I know they are very real. I find that when someone stairs no matter what the reason my best response is to simply say hello. It will do one of two things; embarrass them for being caught staring and being rude or put them at ease and let them realize it is okay to talk to you. I find that most people would like to say something but are afraid because they have never had to deal with a situation like that or they fear that asking you about it will embarrass you. It will take some time to get comfortable with both the trach and people sometimes staring. Part of the problem is that so many things in society program us to believe that you and I being disabled or different somehow makes us inferior to others. This can apply to anybody not just you and I. I have a friend who is overweight and has the very same issues when it comes to being out in public. I wish I could give you some trick to just make all those feelings you have when you go out in public and/or people stare go away. Unfortunately, that is something that you will have to work out for yourself. You have to find a place within yourself where you can feel and realize that you are not inferior to anyone and have just as much right to do the things you do as they do. As far as not being able to speak in complete sentences, I believe that it's not uncommon. You are lucky actually because when I was first trached I could not speak for several months. They had given me a cuffed trach but as soon as I switched to a cuffles trach I was able to start speaking that day. I had to learn to time my speech with my ventilator when I was on it. When I was not on a ventilator it wasn't quite as bad but still could not speak to the length I was used to. I was not sure by the person to comment if they were on a ventilator or not. Or if they were using a Passey-Meur valve (I'm sure I didn't spell that correctly). They make a Passey-Meur valve when you are not on the ventilator and one for when you are on a ventilator. If you are not sure about this just ask your respiratory therapist or whoever supplies your medical supplies. If the person who commented would like to speak to me more on this than they can contact me at my Hotmail address which is God bless you and I wish you the best!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

A Beautiful Weekend

I had a great weekend. It was a beautiful day on Saturday. Only about 72° or so with the sun shining. Managed to wake up to buy 10 a.m. which is good for me. Was out of the house by a little before 1. We headed to the movie theater and saw The Bucket List. It started out a little slow but turned out to be a great movie. But hey, how could you go wrong with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman? It was good therapy for me with the recent death of my friend. Some of it really reminded me of them especially since we used to do quite a bit together. Even without that it was a very good movie. You'll laugh and you'll cry. Afterwards we had lunch at Friendly's. While I did not have room for dessert I made sure to get something to go to eat later as a late-night snack. It was some sort of chocolate fudge Brownie dessert. It was so rich I could only eat half of it if that. Then after getting home and resting for about an hour I was able to watch the online Saturday night service at my church. It was good and was able to chat with some people from the church afterwards. Then this morning my brother came for breakfast and brought his new puppy. His name is Prince and is Boston Terrier mixed with boxer. Him and my dog Emma wrestled almost the entire time he was here. So it was a great weekend all around. Until next time.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

A Return From A Long Hiatus From Blogging

I have not quite felt moved to write a blog entry in months. I am finally up to it and will probably be brief because several things have happened since my last real entry. I don't want to go into great detail on every little thing.

I guess the biggest thing that happened is that a friend of mine died two weeks ago tomorrow. Some of you may know him if you live local to me. Richard Barrera died the day after turning 39 years old. He succumbed to Beckers Muscular Dystrophy. He was unfortunately the type of person who would not take any measures to prolong his life. He had got much weaker over the past year or two and was pretty much confined to his house which is out of character for him. He was always going out and doing things. He recently was having trouble swallowing and after a swallow study was told nothing was going down correctly. On top of that he was having severe constipation. Several weeks before he died he started with hospice. He called me before hand and we were able to say goodbye. I tried to call him twice afterwards. The first time he had just taken some morphine and was out of it and could only speak for a few moments. And the second time he had already lapsed into a coma. But someone held the phone to his ear so I could speak and hopefully he heard me. I think maybe two days later he had passed. I will miss him greatly since he was a great friend. When things like this happen it makes you appreciate just how short our lives or so I vow to live my life to the fullest.

I can only remember two things I have done in the past few months off the top of my head but I am sure I have done more. The weekend before Christmas I spent the night at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino. We had a great time but we still did not see the entire place. We played some slots and I played some poker (which I did better at than at the slots). I lost $50 but that is actually not that bad for my skill level. We were exhausted by 11 at night so went to bed before getting to check out any of their nightclubs.

Most recently I went to a street painting art festival in downtown Lake Worth. I am always seen stories about it after the fact but now have finally gotten to see it. They have all sorts of people using chalk to do grinds on the street. It was a very nice day and some of the artwork was actually pretty good. Well that is all I can think of to write for now but hopefully will have some new adventures before long to write about.

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