Today is not a good day.

I woke up with a migraine- breath-stealing, nausea roiling, light/sound/smell/touch-sensitive; and all I wanted to do was take my meds & sleep it off. Stress has been high lately, & I’ve had more migraines in the last few months than is normal. I can’t afford some of the meds they want me to try, so I have to deal with them by smothering the pain in sleep. The doctor doesn’t understand… It doesn’t matter if a drug might help me, if I can’t afford it. It’s not even a guarantee of pain relief, just a chance. A maybe. 

I don’t make enough to throw utility money at a Maybe.

Then, I get a call from my regular doctor’s office. 

I have osteo arthritis in my hands, diagnosed by a rheumatologist. Most of the time, my hands, mainly my finger joints, feel as though they are full of broken glass, grating & grinding on itself, just under the skin. Occasionally, when there’s pressure put on those joints, the glass sets itself on fire, just for that extra-special kick.

He told me he couldn’t do anything else, as far as treating the pain long-term went, that I had to go to the Pain Clinic for that. I was to call my regular doc & have her send a referral to the Pain Clinic for me.

They sent a note back to her this morning saying they won’t see me.

Regular doc says I have to call rheumatology doc back, to see what my other options are. 

So, basically, the health care system here is telling me they want someone else to deal with it. No one is willing to actually sit down, LISTEN to me, & help figure out a solution. I don’t know if they don’t believe me about the pain, because no one is actually talking to, or listening to, me. They’re all looking at xrays & blood tests, thinking that tells the whole story.

I’m not a hypochondriac looking for attention. I’m someone who’s been through a lot of medical crap in her life, & because of that, has built up tolerances to certain pain meds. 

I don’t like taking pills. I don’t want to feel stupid & slow at work, & I don’t like the loss of control the drugs make me feel. I’m a control freak when it comes to my own body. I’m in charge, & I hate not feeling like I can say what happens with it.

In 2001, I finally had surgery that fixed a problem with one of my kidneys – that took 5 years & every test known to man & his dog to figure out. 5 years of flaring, excruciating pain, without a diagnosis to even give me a sense of reason. 

In just the past 3 years, I’ve had to deal with having my gall bladder removed due to gall stones & severe pain caused by inflammation.

I’ve had endometriosis, adenomyosis, & an ovarian cyst, which ended up with me having a hysterectomy. Following my surgery, my surgeon said he couldn’t figure out how I’d been walking upright, much less how I’d gotten into the hospital on my own two legs, due to the extensive pain the numerous occlusions of endo & adeno would have caused.

And now, the arthritis diagnosis.

I know pain.

I know how it steals your breath, messes with your senses, & turns your world into a small, very self-focused, & seemingly selfish, place.

I know that other people can’t feel my pain, they don’t understand that – even picking up files, taking a cap off a water bottle, using a pliers to take apart rivets & staples (part of my job, taking apart books held together by these things) – all these things cause my hands to flare, & tears to spring to my eyes because of it.

I gave birth to all 3 of my children naturally, without any drugs to aid the process, & ended up in shock due to blood loss during one of the deliveries.

I know pain. Don’t tell me I’m not perfectly aware of what my body is telling me.

I just want to be able to go to work & live my life without being either half-stoned on pain meds, or in constant, grinding pain.

Where do I turn now?

While I sit here with my hands full of glass, my head pounding, & my chest full of anxiety, depression & hopelessness.

What do you do when all the doctors, the “professionals” tell you that you’re not worth their time…..

Taking Me Back

I’ve been spending a lot of time alone, lately. Not necessarily by choice, but because of circumstances beyond my control, the other people I usually associate with have all been preoccupied, absent, or geographically inconvenient.

Geographically inconvenient.  I like the phrase, hate the meaning.

Anyway, I’ve been working on filling my “me time” with things that need to get done, or that I enjoy but haven’t been able to do for a while. 

Take my house, for example.

I’ve been wanting to work on a few reno projects for a while, & after my dad put in my new front door, I decided to get started. I’m tired of waiting for anyone else to help me, or motivate me. No one’s going to jump forward & say “Hey, let’s do this!” 

So, I’ve begun painting my walls. Yeah, it’s going to be a slow process, which I’ll work on during the weekends, & when I have time, money & motivation to get it done. I want to see it finished before Onlyson graduates in the spring, so I’ve got some time.

It started like this…

After I ripped down some hideous ’70s paneling, I was left with a few dings in the plaster & a bunch of liquid nail crap that had to be sanded down.

Repairs took a few days, but I got to this…

An electric sander & a big bucket of plaster patch helped smooth out the dings & bumps.

And last weekend, I did this…

Aaahhh, so much better! A nice dove gray, I’m going to do almost the whole inside of my house in this color. Clean, crisp & fresh!  After 16 years of beige, it’s about time.

And then, there’s this…

After  a 25-yr. hiatus, I’m taking a horseback riding class! No, I don’t really need “teaching”, but I do need to remind my body what to do when on a large quadruped. I’m sore in places I’d forgotten I owned, & was reminded sharply just how out of shape I am.

This is the 2nd horse I rode that night. The first one dumped me off sideways when she decided to back into another horse because she was tired of hauling humans around. The other horse took exception to my horse’s butt in her face, & nipped her, causing my mount to shie sideways…which I wasn’t expecting. Landed on left hip & shoulder, & had the wind knocked out for a minute, but I got back up, dusted off & switched horses.

The best remedy when dumped off the horse is to immediately get back in the saddle. 

And the 2nd horse was a dream to ride. Responsive, quick to listen to what I wanted & eager to go, we actually cantered around the arena for a bit, which was what I’d been wanting to do all night. 

Yeah, after the night was over, I was reminded just how old I’ve let myself become. But that’s changing, now that I’ve been back in the saddle.

I’m determined that I’m not going to let my out-of-shape body defeat me. I’m going to get back to strength, so I can do the things I really love without suffering for days on end afterwards.

Fuck being old.

I’m taking ME back.

Checking In & Checking Out

A lot has happened in the last few days.
Here’s some of it.

**After the Great Phone Loss about a week and a half ago, I did get a replacement…
But I have since discovered that I’ve lost about 3/4 of the phone numbers & contacts that were in my old phone.

I guess that’ll learn me to write phone numbers down in an address book, & stop relying on having them in my phone.

** I spent most of Tuesday night in the local ER.  I’ve been in a lot of pain, due to my ovarian & kidney cysts, & have been having trouble getting a doctor to see me in a timely manner to discuss options.  So my regular doc suggested the ER, saying that there would be a ob/gyn on call, & I’d be seen.

Well, no.  The ob/gyn called in his recommendations, brushed me off, & told me to set up an appointment with his office… AFTER having a CT scan AND yet another ultrasound.

Only to tell me – that I have cysts.


Cause I didn’t know that already.

And the cat turd on the sundae?

None of the ob/gyns can see me until MAY.

So I have to wait another month to even get in to see yet another doctor who’s going to tell me that my cysts are too small and unimportant to warrant surgery, and I can’t possibly be in this much pain.


That’s the sound of me hitting rock bottom as I hang up on the doctor’s bitch secretary/nurse who told me that I should have called them months ago, since I’ve been suffering with this for 6 months or better.

As if I wasn’t in the middle of trying to get someone, anyone, to listen to me at that time.

(Ok, rant over…for now)

**I’m currently working on a wire tree for a friend of my parents who has bladder cancer.  I have finished a wire tree for a benefit at the end of April, that is being thrown for one of my uncles, who has esophageal cancer.  I’m hearing the “C” word waaay too often lately.


Purple wire, jade stone chips, all twined & tied onto a piece of cactus wood, & finished with a purple ribbon.


View of the “back side”.


And here’s one I finished for my nephew.  He ordered this so that he can gift it to someone else, & I’m pretty proud if this one.  The blue stones look great with the silver wire.

** And that’s about it for news I’m willing to talk about.  The rest is just… still being processed…so I’m just not ready to share yet. But, I most likely will before long, seeing as how I usually put most everything here, eventually.

That’s the news, goodnight.


*with the tune from Dashboard Confessional running in my head, I write*

I’ve finally got a diagnosis from my doctor!

After all the testing (4 ultrasounds & a urologist – ordered nuclear Lasix renal scan) I have finally been vindicated in my pain.

The doctors kept telling me “No, there’s nothing wrong with your kidney, aside from it being enlarged from the past issues, it’s functioning within normal parameters.” (Translation inside my head being – “You’re imagining it, there’s nothing wrong with you.”)

But this latest round of ultrasounds proved them wrong.

I actually have a cyst apiece on my right kidney & on my right ovary.

Exactly where I kept telling everyone I was hurting.

And yet, the doctor still wanted to put off doing anything about them. Because? Well, according to the Dr., there’s not much they normally do about cysts… or so the nurse told me over the phone.  

Unless, of course, my pain gets worse or more frequent.

“The pain can’t get more frequent,” I told her. “It’s every day, all day long.”

And it has gotten worse. 4 days now, and counting, of pain that has caused me to take the stronger pain-meds I hate taking, because they make me sleepy & I feel stupid when I’m on them. Foggy, slow & non compos mentis. But, in order to get through the day, I do what I have to.

So, the nurse set up another appointment for next Tuesday for me to discuss options with the doctor.

I can’t continue being in this kind of pain. It’s worn me down to the point where it’s interfering with my life, my work, & my sanity.  Either I need a better pain-treatment plan, so I can get back to functioning normally, or we need to discuss surgical options for removal.

And I feel guilty saying that I can’t deal with the constant pain, because I have friends & family members who have to deal with chronic pain. Worse than my own, I know, & it makes me feel as though I should be stronger, I should be “toughing it out”.

But I can’t.
It’s too much, overwhelming.
And I’m still trying to manage all of this on my own, which is difficult. Not having a life-partner to help me cope…hurts. No rock to lean on, just me & my shaky anxiety & depression. I have friends who are good cheerleaders, but it’s not quite the same as a life-mate you can cry to at 3 AM, or you can vent with after a disappointment, or they’ll go with you to the doctor, & stand up for you when you don’t have the strength to do it yourself.

But, somewhere down deep, is that “give- no-shits, take-no-prisoners” woman who refuses to give up.

Permaneo.  To last, to stand, to never give up.

So I stand, alone in my house, maybe, and shaking on the inside…

But I’m standing.
And I was right. I am vindicated.

Specializing in Not Much

2016 seems to be my year.

It’s my year- – – for specialists.

A few months ago, I started having pain in my right side. Right where my kidney is. The kidney that I had to have surgery on in 2001, and thought I’d never have trouble with again.

And here I am, having troubles.


So, I packed my happy ass off to my regular doctor, & told her all about it. She ordered the usual suspects – blood tests, urinalysis,  and an ultrasound.

Some results pointed at a possible issue, but it’s not kidney stones, so she didn’t know what it could be.

Whoopee. Time to swing out the big guns.
A urologist.

Monday, I went to see Herr Doktor – and wound up seeing Herr Doktor’s Nurse Practitioner instead.  We’ll call him “Precious”.

Why? Because I had to wait a freaking month just to get in to see a Nurse Practitioner, for one.

Two? Because Precious didn’t even do an exam! He talked to me, asked me where it hurts, what makes it better, what makes it worse, blah, blah ,blippity  blah.

He didn’t even have me get on the exam table so he could do the usual prod & test of the offending area.

He sat on his little rolling stool, legs crossed, and talked to me as though I am some kind of hysterical, hypochondriac female.

And when I told him my history – how I’d been through testing before my surgery – 5 FUCKING YEARS OF TESTING, with the exact same pain I’m experiencing now, same place, same batchannel, same bat time – you know what he told me?!?

No, you don’t,  because it was so far out from left field, I couldn’t believe it when he said it!

“I think it’s musculoskeletal “.


AND, he can’t schedule any additional testing, he has to make a recommendation to the urologist.

Precious little got accomplished at this visit, but you can bet it’s going to cost me a precious penny or 12.

When did it become impossible to actually SEE a doctor?

When did it become a mine field of obstacles, nurses, automated phone systems & “nurse practitioners ” surrounding the Precious Doctors like a Wall of Doom?!?

All I want is someone to fucking listen to me, to believe me when I tell them that, after going through 5 years of pain, and every test known to man and his dog, then surgery… that MAYBE, JUST MAYBE I KNOW MY BODY PRETTY FUCKING WELL?!?

#\$&$\!\#*$(@*!&!&/! $@!*#/(/($£7=£&!&×!!!


Oh yeah, and I had to go to an Endodontist today to have a root canal redone. The guy was pretty cool, actually, & is Donny & Marie Osmond’s nephew.

And all it took was $1000.00 out of my pocket after my insurance paid their part.

But he’s got a nice tenor voice, and a good sense of humor, so there’s that.


Brain Rabies

I think I’ve been infected.

It started with a sniffle, which moved to post-nasal drip, and stealthily worked its way up into my sinuses and back into my ears.

There is now a soft, but constant ringing noise in my right ear.

I will go insane because of this.

Oh, wait.  Crazy can only get “er”.

I’ve had my voice fluctuating between normal and husky – all the way to non-existent.  People are going to think the multiple personalities are finally coming out to play. 

They’re not – I keep them locked up good and tight with the other Voices in my head.

I know that most people refer to this as “the common cold”, and write it off as a small inconvenience.


It’s brain rabies, I know it!

I’ve heard about brain rabies, a friend with her own troop of flying monkeys told me about it, and so I know it’s real and dangerous, and can only be cured by copius amounts of alcohol and bacon.

For realz.

One of the other symptoms of this heinous disease, so I’ve been told, is that you can’t focus on one thing for more than

Hey! Squirrels! I thought they were hibernating for the winter!

Awww… look how cute they are…

Uh, where was I?

Oh – that’s right.

Brain Rabies – seeee??

No, I didn’t plan that wild tangent all out and go googling for pictures of cute little squirrels to distract you – it was just like it happened here, honest.  It’s the rabies, man.

I’ve had a million and one things floating around in my brain lately, all stuff that I wanted to blog about, sorta…

But, have you ever had 2 colors of play-doh, and made something where you mixed it together?

Yeah, it doesn’t ever look right again, and you can’t pick those 2 colors apart ever.

Hey… doesn’t this look a little like a squirrel, if you cock your head to the side a little and squint?

 Jumping tracks again, sorry.

And I just had the crap scared out of me!

While googling  for a picture of “mixed up playdoh”, I ran across this:

This is a picture of another blogger’s cat.

Here’s Sally, mine: 

Twins?  Doppelgangers? 

I don’t know, but I do know that if there are 2 out there like my Patchwork Sally – in all her rabid-squirrel-coon-cat glory…

We’re all doomed.

Brain rabies is only the beginning.


Talking to EldestDaughter last night, I was… well, the only word to describe my state of mind at the time – is “elated”.

Considering the surroundings she’s in right now, court-forced treatment (because of a technicality, and a vindictive state’s attorney who has awful professional ethics), my ED has been going through some serious navel-gazing.

And she’s come to some realizations that I’ve been hoping for YEARS that she’d find for herself.

And, as awful as it sounds, maybe this treatment that she was forced into… won’t be the worst thing in the world for her.  Maybe this is exactly what she needed, at exactly the right time.  I just wish the circumstances surrounding it hadn’t had to happen the way they did.

I know, this all sounds so murky and round-a-bout.

I’m trying to protect ED’s privacy here.

Needless to say, the circumstances that got ED where she is now, where she has to be for a little while yet, have fallen behind the strides and gains ED has gotten from the people she’s surrounded by now.

Last night, after talking to her, and finding out all that she’s come to see – with both eyes open – and the complete shock that enlightened epiphany most often brings – I wanted to cry with relief.

It’s been a long road, and I just hope that ED can see it all the way through.  It’ll be so much healthier for her in the long run, and she’ll be so much happier at the end of this journey – if she just sees it to its conclusion.

Opening your eyes to who you really are – seeing it reflected in other people, through their own eyes – is not always easy.  It’s often painful, confusing, and can cause anxiety, anger, and depression.  But it can also spur you into making changes for yourself.

Because I’ve often said that you can never change another person.  And no one can ever make you change yourself.

You have to choose, for yourself, to make changes because you want them.  It’s the only way that the changes work, it’s the only way that they’ll ever stick, and it’s the only way to do it without resentment and recrimination.  Because it’s all you.

ED has been surrounded by people who have it worse than her, people with problems that she can’t imagine having to shoulder through.  But, through listening to them talk, and through hearing about some of the things in their lives that closely mirror her own… she’s finding that she now understands so much more about herself, and why she does some of the stupid things that she does.  And she’s gaining the tools necessary to not only forgive herself, but to forgive others for their past mistakes – so she can let go of all the old resentments that have been eating away at her for all these years. 

Once she can reach that point?  Everyone who has a problem with her will have to deal with their issues on their own, she won’t feel guilty for them anymore, and she can simply choose to walk away from the negativity, instead of trying to fix everyone else and make everyone else feel better by giving up pieces of herself.

We talked about how one of the people in her group was talking about being a “people pleaser”, always trying to make everyone else happy, they emptied themselves out of emotion, energy, etc.  And when they had given everything they had, and there was nothing left, they had to “fill” that gap with something else, to take away the pain.

And ED realized that she’s been doing that with her Paternal Gene Donor for most of her life.  Trying to please him has repeatedly “emptied” her out.  Trying to “fix” others has repeatedly drained her dry of energy and will.  And once empty, she grew resentful.  Resentful that it was never enough, could never make those others happy.  So she would try to fill the void within herself with what she and I have taken to calling “dangerous fun”.  Those things that sound like so much fun, and friends will try to convince you are just “the best time ever”, but are dangerous to you, to others, and are almost always illegal.

And the one thing that ED realized that really made me want to cry?  That she is stronger than she ever thought.  She will make it through this, she will be better for it, and she will know that she can walk through fire – on her own if necessary – but that she also has a strong, loving, and unconditional support system waiting for her if she needs us.

I think my baby’s finally growing up, for real.

Thank you, Goddess, for letting me be a part of this, and for helping my little girl get through this time.

Problems, who me? No- Let’s Talk about You

I am a chronic “helper”.  There, I said it.

I suffer from the “in-denial-about-home-issues” and “all-over-other-people’s-problems” syndrome.  I hope there’s a name for it, cause I just ran out of hyphens.  I’d much rather help someone else with their stuff, than deal with my own most days.  It’s a form of denial, I know, but I still do it.

And now, for a short segue:

I grew up in a household full of medical know how.  My mother is an LPN, my grandmother was an RN.  Both of my parents had periods of their lives while I was growing up that they were First Responders (rural equivalent to EMTs that get there before the ambulance).  I even had a stint as a CNA at a nursing home,  as well as working in a grouphome setting for developmentally disabled adults for a while when I was younger. 

I don’t profess to have a LOT of knowledge about all things medical *laughing*, far from it.  But I do know how to ask the right questions, where to look for answers, and I know the value of “getting there quickly”. I have a strong Good Samaritan gene streaking through my DNA.

Back to the topic at hand:

And so, even though there are times in my life when I just want to crawl back under the covers, hide under tables, whatever, when a friend tells me that there’s trouble a’brewing in their lives? 

I’m all over it.

I’ll gladly chuck my own problems over my shoulder, race wherever my spidey senses tell me the emergency is, and pitch in till everyone’s safely out.  “Here, let me help you with that – What me?  Problems?  No, Let’s talk about you.”

Example:  Recently, an old friend and member of my “chosen family”, someone I consider like a little brother from my younger years, told me he has a serious medical condition.  Without going into details, let’s just say that my spidey senses went haywire, and threatened to fry my little ant brain.  Needless to say, all my own problems jumped to the end of the line, and I went all “medical commando”, trying to get as much information as I could, asking questions, and telling my friend to call me anytime, any day, no matter what.  If he wanted someone to prop him up, I was his gal; if he needed someone to kick him in the hind region to motivate him, just whine; and if he needed an ear to vent to, or a shoulder to cry on, I’d get some clean tissues.

And, when he tried to dissemble and say that he was “going to be fine”, I called Bull.

Told him not to blow smoke there, and to stop worrying about me worrying about him.

He told me that I was the first person to tell him to stop worrying about others, the first person to say that we (his friends and family) have to handle our upset over this on our own, and that he needs to be selfish and think about himself first

Yeah, it’s that kind of serious.

Yes, I’m upset about it.  Yes, it scares me right down to my toes, and I pray every day that the treatments work.

But that’s my own emotional crap.  And he doesn’t need to hear it. 

So, I wait.  And I hope.  And Nurse Brea sits at attention, ready to fly.

Old Wounds in Present Tense

I’ve been having some difficulties lately, as I’m sure most of you who read this regularly are aware, there’s been some stress in the house.  Which in turn, due to my anxiety and depression, causes physical issues.

Due to the extreme stressful situation lately, the pains have been centering around my right kidney. 

When I was about 4 or 5, I had to have surgery to enlarge my urethra, the tube leading from the bladder out of the body.  I’d had chronic bladder and kidney infections as a kid, and the doctors figured it out and fixed it.  I do remember the teddy bear the candy stripers gave me, in fact, I still have it.I didn’t have any more troubles with this for a couple of decades.  Then I started having children.  This changes your body in many different ways, some pleasant, some not so much.

In 1996, I started having pains in my lower right side, almost like a runner’s cramp.  It would start as an ache, and move to a sharp pain.  I figured it was from sitting at my computer for too long in one position, so I didn’t worry about it. My mom, though had other ideas.  She’s a nurse.  “Get it checked” is the family motto.

They took x-rays and ran blood and urine tests.  I had the dreaded colonoscopy.  They poked, prodded and pushed.  Couldn’t figure out what was going on, so they kind of threw up their hands and wished me luck.  The pains came and went for 2 more years, getting progressively worse.

In 1997 and 1998, when I was pregnant with OnlySon, I spent at least 1/3 of my pregnancy in the hospital with this pain getting more and more debilitating.  After OnlySon was born, they ran A LOT more tests.  They were pretty sure it was my gall bladder, and talked about simply removing it.  By this time simply eating a salad or drinking half a beer would put me in the hospital with pain so severe I was almost incoherent with it.

Then I met Dr. M.  He was the urologist that my OtherHalf had for the big “V”, and I was referred to him for my troubles.  In 2001, after 5 years of pain, hospital visits, drugs, tests, more tests, he finally discovered the problem.  The ureter, the tube leading from the kidney to the bladder, was pinched almost shut  We went to stints, plastic tubes in the ureter, to drain the kidney, but this caused a whole host of other problems and pain.  They tried using a tiny balloon, and it too failed to do the job.  And then, I had the biggest episode yet, and was forced into the ER.  Dr. M. told me that he was going to do my surgery the following day, because any more of this and my kidney was going to turn septic and kill me.  We went into surgery, and he found that he hadn’t really identified the problem correctly.

I have too many parts.  Literally. 

On a “normal” kidney, there is one main artery that leads into and feeds the organ.  My right kidney?  Has 2 arteries leading to it.  And one of them was laying on the ureter, pinching it shut, and causing all the trouble.  He moved the ureter around and away from the artery, and I was done.  With a foot-long scar in my right side, and a lot less pain, I was happy.

But, now and again, when the stress is really high, and I’m struggling, it comes back.  I have a habit of repressing emotional distress until it bursts out -volcano style.  And when it’s really bad, the volcano lives in my kidney.

But just by writing this, by screaming out into the darkness of the blogosphere, I feel a little better.  This is my fumarole, if you will.  A place for the pain to escape, if only for the few minutes it took to write it all down. 

I know this hasn’t been my normal happy Friday post.  Sorry.

I can tell you though, when I told my parents about diagnosis?  My dad said I owed him for extra parts.  I told him I wanted a refund, due to manufacturer-faulty device.

We called it a draw.

Phriday Philosophy 9/17/10

I’ve exhausted my stock of “Fun Facts” for a while, and my desire to post them is waning, so I’m going to change things up a bit.  Today, I’m starting something new.  Phriday Philosophy.  It may be actually thoughtful, or it may be a completely twisted take on something that has been rattling around in my brain.  We’ll see where this goes.

 Heroes, Villains and Sheep

A blogging friend, Laura, over at Fetch My Flying Monkeys raised a thought in my brain this morning.  She talked about an experience she had when she was a young woman, in which she had her faith in human nature and compassion shaken to the core. 

Which begs the question:  Why?

Why are there people that instantly rise to the occasion, doing what needs to be done, taking the hero’s role in the story – the “Everyday Joe – or Joan” that performs a heroic act of compassion?  What makes them dive in at the first hint of chaos, willing to possibly put themselves at risk for another?  Does this make them heroes – or just people doing what any “normal” person would do?

My parents were both Volunteer First Responders for years.  We lived in a rural area where the nearest ambulance and hospitals were 30 minutes away, in either direction; which meant that emergencies could turn to tragedies very quickly.  The First Responders were local people, trained, but not licensed, with big orange medical bags full of advanced first aid, that could get to the farms quickly, call for ambulance and rescue with their radios when phones weren’t available, and help the injured, sick, etc. until the ambulance could reach them.

My parents taught me that people are basically good, but that you shouldn’t rely on it.  Instead, you should rely on yourself, and your knowledge of right and wrong to help you make a decision when confronted with an emergency.  Can you help – or will you only be in the way?  If you’re in the way, do you need to be the one to call for outside assistance?  Is there ANYTHING you can do to help?   There are 3 choices, and all of them have lasting consequences.   For a lot of people, they freeze when confronted with these choices.

Choice 1: Villain-  Some, honestly, really don’t care, as long as it’s not happening to them.  They may not be working to make the emergency situation worse, but they are completely apathetic until dragged, screaming, into the middle of it.  I classify them as villains.  Apathy shouldn’t be tolerated, or it is condoning it.  And of course, they never see themselves in the “villain” light, they’re just “Looking out for Number #1”.  (more like Number#2, if you ask me)   

Choice 2:  Sheep-  Most fall into this category.  Really.  It’s an effect of Mass Hysteria.  People don’t like stepping away from the herd, they like predictability and safety in numbers.  And when that is shaken through tragic events, they freeze like an animal in front of the headlights.  They freeze, panic, and lose all functionality;  their thought processes seem to grind to a complete halt.  They have to be “woken up” out of their shock to respond to outside stimuli.  It’s sad, but it’s a fact of life.  Sheep need to be led.  Or herded.

Choice 3:  Hero-  They are out there, I promise.  You might not see them, or if you do, you probably won’t recognize them without their uniforms.  They could be doctors and nurses (active and retired), EMTs or First Responders, dishwashers, plumbers, furniture salesmen, secretaries, waiters and waitresses, cooks, bakers, candlestick makers.  You won’t know them by their faces, you’ll know them by their actions.  They stand up on the bus for the pregnant lady to sit, they help an elderly person load their groceries in their car, they’ll hold a harried mom’s little one while she writes a check at the  store.   They’ll go to another country to help teach local rescue people how to be heroes too.

They’ll stop whatever they’re doing to save a life.  They’ll push themselves to exhaustion and out the other side, if that’s what it takes to keep someone breathing until help can arrive.  They are the people that, when lightning strikes, they’re off and running towards the fire it leaves behind, ready to put it out, pull people from the flames, or whatever’s necessary to be of service.

And that’s really what’s behind it.  The big questions that decide what type of person they are.

Villain- What service does this do for me?  What do I get out of this?

Sheep- What?  Service?  What’s that mean?  Ooh, look, that’s so bad.  I’m scared of it.  Where’s the service that takes care of this kind of thing?

Hero- How can I be of service today? 

A Villain can be changed into a Hero, but not into a Sheep.  A Sheep can become either, given the right “wake-up” call. And a Hero?  Well, they’ll remain Heroes their whole lives.  Just ask my parents.  A Hero’s work is never done.

Thus ends today’s philosophy session.  Thank you for letting me explore this with you.  Questions?  Comments?  All are welcome.