Saturday, October 17, 2015

When the Helping Professionals Fail





     There are some general facts to which I subscribe and which are responsible to a large degree for my thinking and actions in certain key areas in my life.


a). The government is not responsible for my health, welfare, or happiness.
b). No other agency is either.
c). If I want something different, then I have to do something different.
d). It takes courage to ask for help.
e). It takes guts to get out when said help is becoming a hindrance.




     Within the past decade or so, I have experienced repeated actions of a particular agency-- whose described mission is to foster vocational rehabilitation among the disabled population who it claims to serve-- which appear to be contrary to its stated mission. The last straw was the supposed procurement of part-time work that I could have performed at home during my own scheduled hours. The job was temporary and seasonal. Although I'd been led to believe erroneously that the work itself would employ my ability to doctor photos [and it actually would not], I was willing to give it a go anyway.


     It was not to be. Contract was supposed to start mid-September until the work ran out sometime in December. I would have had bits of things to do throughout the year after that until the next cycle of mid-September through December [the busy time] and so on.


     State agency had to do its paperwork. Sister agency that was going to pay me for the first one hundred hours or so had to do its paperwork. Meetings had to be held. It became mid-October. Nothing was happening. I received word yesterday that my services would not be needed after all.


     I don't blame the employer for backing out. Business is business. Employer needed someone from mid-September, not from mid-October or afterwards. Neither is this one my fault. No love to the bean counters and pencil pushers for this state of affairs.


sapphoq healing t.b.i. says: I have referred myself to my own factoid labeled e). It takes guts to get out when said help is becoming a hindrance. I'm out. I have other options today. Screw your broken system. If you aren't going to help me, then get out of my way



Monday, July 13, 2015

Stop Hurting That Tree!




     I was out walking with the dying dog today [she has terminal liver failure but so far is comfortable and still eating and holding her own three months post diagnosis] when I came upon a mixed bunch of kids-- some were teens and some younger-- gathered around two trees. The older kids were harassing one of the trees. 

     Specifically, they were grabbing onto one of the lower branches, yanking down to several feet from the ground, and then attempting to sit on the branch and bounce on it. There were no adults in sight. [The kids were at some sort of day camp I think]. The property being used was board of education, i.e. school, property.

     The tree branch was not designed for what it was being put through.

     I had several choices. I mulled them over in my brain. I decided to do something in spite of my reluctance to get involved and my uncomfortability factor.

     I stood there with my hands on my hips. Then I projected my voice as loudly as it could go without giving myself coughing spasms. [My voice is soft. What other people consider to be "conversation level" sounds frightfully loud to me].

     "Why are you hurting that tree?" I asked.
     "Stop hurting that tree!"
     and finally, "Let go of that tree!"

     The adolescents-- to their credit-- did. A younger boy who was not involved in the tree incident waved at me in a friendly fashion. I waved back at him.

     A young adult then appeared at the doorway. The adolescents and basketballs dispersed. "Well, get into your groups," he told the junior high and elementary school aged children. He could not look me in the eye. I am not a proponent of eye contact so this was fine with me. 

     Life went on.

     Here is a picture of the tree an hour after having its branch jerked around. The branch is not where it should be. The teens were really going at it and I was afraid that the branch was going to be broken off.

The picture shows a large pine tree. A bottom branch was pulled from six feet to the ground a lot of times and it is out of position an hour later.
Bottom branch of this tree was pulled from about six feet to the ground numerous times. Picture was taken an hour later with the branch still not in its proper position. I took the picture myself so go away copyright monopoly trolls. You are not welcome here.

 sapphoq healing t.b.i. and resultant brain damage says: Speaking up is part of being a responsible community citizen. When choosing to do so, pick your words carefully. Do not attack the person, only the action. Those children and teens that you do not understand will be here long after both of us are dead and gone.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Oliver Sacks is Dieing




     Oliver Sacks has long been on my list of people I would dearly love to hang out with for an hour or two. He is a renown neurologist whose books gave me hope after my own diagnosis of traumatic brain injury incurred during a motor vehicle accident. Like me, Oliver Sacks has prosopagnosia, although I suspect that my case of face-blindness is more mild than his. Also like me [and Sir Terry Pratchett who died recently], Oliver Sacks is an atheist.

     Oliver Sacks has terminal cancer. My world was made a bit more beautiful by his presence in my library.

     I am grateful to Oliver Sacks for gently teasing out the mysteries of neurological conditions and for presenting his patients as human beings first.

     I love you Oliver Sacks.   


Oliver Sacks essay:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/19/opinion/oliver-sacks-on-learning-he-has-terminal-cancer.html


recent articles referencing Oliver Sacks:

http://www.cnn.com/2015/02/19/living/feat-oliver-sacks-cancer-essay/index.html

http://www.celebritydiagnosis.com/2015/02/oliver-sachs-terminal-cancer/

http://boingboing.net/2015/02/19/oliver-sacks-i-have-terminal.html

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/feb/20/oliver-sacks-reveals-terminal-cancer

http://www.theguardian.com/theobserver/2010/oct/17/profile-oliver-sacks-author-neurologist  an old article about face blindness or prosopagnosia



other info about prosopagnosia:

http://www.faceblind.org/

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/09/living-with-face-blindness/279898/