Wednesday, August 13, 2014

"I'm Sorry You Feel That Way" is NOT an Apology!

So I'm not going to rehash the situation with UPS here as I've already posted on Yelp. Let us just say that a UPS driver in particular and the local UPS center more generally really doesn't get how to do customer service. This is not news. UPS has had low customer ratings for years and has not done much about it.

But I write here because today's fiasco is all too familiar.

The Scenario:

First person points out that the behavior and actions of second person is creating problems, not just for the first person, but for a lot of people who share commonalities with the first person.

Second person responds with ridicule, insensitivity and contempt. Second person is caught doing so. Second person is asked to apologize. Second person says, "I'm sorry you feel that way" to first person.

Wow. WRONG!!!!!!

First, it is a lie. Second person doesn't feel sorry about anything other than getting caught.

Second, it is impossible. You cannot be sorry for someone else's feelings.

Finally, it is an insult. First person isn't pointing this out because their feelings are hurt. First person is trying to teach second person some empathy. First person doesn't have any moral or practical obligation to teach this lesson. First person has generously chosen this path, usually because first person hopes against hope it will make the world better for everyone.

Conclusion: Second person just doesn't get it and, more probably, just doesn't give a damn.

This is not a good way to run a society and that should be enough. But even if you are the most cynical, right-wing, free-market, big-business, anti-social person on the planet, you should still care. Because this is also no way to run a business.

So at the moment Big Brown thinks, "Well, we've gotten away with this for so long, we can continue to do so." But commerce is unforgiving in the end. So one of two things in Big Brown's future. This will grow into a total collapse of the business or this will be one more indication of a total collapse of the economy.

Unfortunately, I'm think the odds are on the latter. Too many people do business this way.

The Lesson:

This, my friends, is what is wrong with business, with the economy and with life in our society.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

What If...

Here's what it feels like to get some respect. For years now, I've been telling doctors, "excuse me, but I think something more is going on here than just neuropathy. My symptoms started long before I had any specific metabolic symptoms and they began with an injury. Isn't there some way to make sure what it is?"

And for years I've been patted on the head and been told that I'm fat (like I missed that bit of data) and that therefore it was "obviously" diabetic neuropathy and "obviously" would go away if I was a good girl. How did we know I was a bad girl? Not by looking at metabolic numbers. No. But, because I was in pain. Yep we know the source of your pain because you have metabolic conditions and we know you are not taking good care of those metabolic conditions because you are in pain.

I took a course in logic when I was 17 years old. Spock was my favorite sci fi character. I can recognize a circular argument at 50 paces with my eyes closed.

Well today, for the first time, a doctor listened.

I'm going for more tests, but she actually said it might be something different and something more treatable. Physical therapy, supportive prosthetics, different medications and, maybe in a year or two no more daily pain. And...

(Dare I write it?)

Maybe, just maybe, with a little bit of luck and a lot of hard work I can walk again without help.

I really, really, really don't want to get too excited here, but I am hopeful about my body.

Possibly for the first time in 17 years.

I won't know for months and maybe years if this is going to work out, so I am prepared for some ups and downs.


What if...

Friday, September 13, 2013

The mechanisms of microaggressions

It is this simple.

From your point-of-view, you have done one little thing. "I was only parking there for a minute." "I only blocked that door for a little while." "I only said something unkind once."

From my point-of-view, I run into it day-in-day-out. I hear it day-in-day-out from everywhere.

You are part of a collective and when you act within that collective from the privilege positions you have, it is not little.

Your one act may be drop in the ocean, but the ocean is real and I am drowning in it.

And that is why I am so angry.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Handi-Crap Parking

It is hard to call it a law if it isn't enforced. One of the many points we would like to make with our documentary.

The project has been put on a back burner but it has not been abandoned.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Friday, April 12, 2013

DAY 12: Hey me from the past...We are still here!

Dear Me from the Past,

I wish I could go back and tell you how beautiful you were and that you didn't need to make such drastic changes in your body in order to be acceptable to others. You were (we are) a bright, talented, kind and loving person who has had a lot to offer the world.

The journey from you to me has been fraught with burdensome lows and accelerated with victorious highs, but I cannot help but wonder how much better it might have been if you had understood that we have dignity when I was your age.

Having said that, we are doing okay. So the most important thing I would have you to know is that we are tough. We have survived lots of setbacks. We are still here.

That fact. That knowing we can survive, we can thrive, we can learn. That is the basis for my faith in the future. That is what makes life moving forward much easier than it appears some days.

Me from the Present

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Day 11: Gadets! The Accu-Chek® 360 Android App Reviewed

Most people regard me as a diet failure because of my current weight. But the truth is I was really good at dieting. I like projects and going on a diet was always a project for me. Most of my diets did not end because I went on a binge or fell off the wagon. They ended because I was told by a medical person that if I continued starving myself, taking drugs and/or over-exercising, I was heading for the hospital. Low potassium, trouble with kidney functions and severe viral infections were the usual catalysts. Of course, once eating "regular" again, I quickly gained. I know now that most likely I had subclinical hypothyroidism and without thyroid treatment, I was messing up my metabolism even more. For those who think I am disabled because I am fat, please understand that my health problems began when I lost 130 pounds (half my body weight), not when I gained weight. In my early adult life, I was athletic and health even while fat.

I tell you all this to give you the background on why I really like my new Android app the Accu-Chek® 360. Because of my background of disordered eating, I am leary of doing any kind of "dieting." Having blood sugar difficulties in my 50s first put me in a tailspin emotionally.

I have worked hard to know my body in this area. I eat when I am hungry and finish when I am full (something others call "intuitive eating," I just call it "natural"). If treating my metabolic disorders meant "going on a special diet" then I was trapped. It didn't make sense to me that the behavior that got my body into this mess would get me out of it. I sought other answers.

Through a combination of medications, exercise and medical monitoring, I do have both blood sugar and thyroid under control (as well as cholesterol and blood pressure). I continue to eat when I am hungry and finish when I am full. I found that I did better if I waited a little longer to determine how hungry I am and what I wanted to eat. Usually, the answer is clearer and has less impact on blood sugar when I do. I also know that exercise is key. I stretch every morning and I lift weights. I hope soon to add some aerobics to this, probably deep water aerobics because of the nerve damage in my left foot. What has held me back is a place to work out with a warm pool.

But when I found this app for my tablet, a lot of stuff has come together. Mostly, I think I find it emotionally satisfying because it is a project and it has a measurable-do-it-yourself-style of defining success.

Basically the app allows me to record blood sugar, exercise, medications and supplements, health status, stress levels, pain levels, blood pressure and pulse rate. If you are into carbs counting, there is a place to do that as well. I just record whether my meals were small, medium or large. Also, I do not weigh myself, but there is a space for recording your weight. I record my pulse there and just ignore the "pounds" designation.

I do not take insulin, but insulin records can also be kept, so I would assume this little gadget would be extremely valuable information for those who have to adjust insulin depending upon food and exercise. It has a place for "pair testing" to allow you to further track insulin effects.

If you take a lot of pills (mostly supplements) on a daily basis, this is an especially good gadget. It remembers previous entries and so all I have to do to keep a medicine/supplement record is check boxes. Since I can have some memory problems when I am in pain, having a record of whether and when I last took medicine is important. This aids in that extremely well.

There is also a way to send the results over a specific period via email. I have not used this feature yet, but I would assume if one is working with a medical professional this would be a nice way to provide data for them so they can assess your situation more fully.

The thing I enjoy most about this is that I can look back over time and see the effects of stress, sleeplessness and exercise on my health, especially my blood pressure. BTW, as long as we are talking about gadgets, I use a wrist cuff to measure my blood pressure. I bought a Kroger brand for $35. Arm cuffs hurt me to the point of crying and were extremely dependent upon who was doing the measuring, which made my blood pressure look much worse than it was. By monitoring my own blood pressure, I have been able to convince doctors to stop giving me high doses of medication that were making me so dizzy, I could only take before bed. I suspect I had low blood pressure for a few years based upon over-medication. I now take the cuff with me to doctor and thus avoid the arm cuff. I learned my blood pressure and pulse are higher at the doctor's office than when I am measuring at home (look up "white-coat syndrome"). There are problems with a wrist cuff under reporting, so I aim for about 10 points (bottom number 70) below "normal" just to be sure.

What I've learned from using this app is that my pulse and blood pressure are greatly influence by my sleep patterns and my stress levels. When I am getting enough sleep and not overworking, the numbers are much lower. High stress weaks drive the readings up, especially at night. Meditation helps.

So my project oriented, detailed-loving, objective-data-loving self is happy that I have ways to measure my progress in improving my health that do not rely upon weight or BMI.

Finally, I have no idea if this app is better than any other of the glucose monitoring apps out there, but I've used this one for about 3 months and it has made a difference in my health. I highly recommend it or finding something similar to it, especially if you love projects and control.