Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Don't ASK me again... 

Inspiration for the Day, May 31, 2011: 

Monday, May 30, 2011

Inspiration for the Day, May 30, 2011: 

"Death is but crossing the world, as friends do the seas; they live in one another still. For they must needs be present, that love and live in that which is omnipresent. In this divine glass, they see face to face; and their converse is free, as well as pure. This is the comfort of friends, that though they may be said to die, yet their friendship and society are, in the best sense, ever present, because immortal."

- William Penn, "More Fruits of Solitude"

Sunday, May 29, 2011

More than a mere inconvenience... 

Another from a fibromyalgia Facebook page. The ailment may not be life-threatening, but it is definitely life-altering:

Fibromyalgia Pain Takes Toll on Everyday Life

When I was first diagnosed and read the optimistic brochure the rheumatologist gave me, I told the world that fibromyalgia was a mere inconvenience and tried to treat it as such. I ignored the symptoms and went about my business as if nothing had changed, the theory being that positive thinking would fix me (some people STILL tell me that). The result was a major decline in my health over the next year. By late 2001, I was bedridden with severe bronchitis and my thyroid bottomed out. That's when I realized that my quality of life was going to be PERMANENTLY altered by fibromyalgia.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Driving without adequately working brakes.... 

Good post explaining the Gate Theory of Pain in fibromyalgia. And of course more debate about whether or not fibromyalgia is real:

Just the Facts, Ma'am

This theory makes more sense to me than many I have read over the years. I can agree wholeheartedly that the medical community should look into ways to get the brain to put the "brakes" on pain on a neurological level.

You have WHAT?? 

Another good article from But You Don't Look Sick. It's about the difficulties we encounter getting decent medical care when we have rare and/or multiple ailments:

It's All Greek To Some

I did submit my latest book review ("Roadshow" by Neil Peart) to the site last week, but the editor is in the hospital for surgery, so it may be awhile before it shows up. Will post it here when it does.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The complexity of brain chemicals and fibromyalgia.... 

Got this from one of my trusty fibromyalgia Facebook pages. Glad someone is looking into this intriguing puzzle:

Serotonin & Blood Flow in Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

I wonder if science will ever find out for sure whether serotonin-altering medication can actually CAUSE fibromyalgia in some people? Because I am convinced this is what happened to me.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Inspiration for the Day, May 17, 2011: 

Things That Never Die
by Charles Dickens

The pure, the bright, the beautiful
that stirred our hearts in youth,
The impulses to wordless prayer,
The streams of love and truth,
The longing after something lost,
The spirit's longing cry,
The striving after better hopes -
These things can never die.

The timid hand stretched forth to aid
A brother in his need;
A kindly word in grief's dark hour
That proves a friend indeed;
The plea for mercy softly breathed,
When justice threatens high,
The sorrow of a contrite heart -
These things shall never die.

Let nothing pass, for every hand
Must find some work to do,
Lose not a chance to waken love -
Be firm and just and true.
So shall a light that cannot fade
Beam on thee from on high,
And angel voices say to thee -
"These things shall never die."

Monday, May 16, 2011

Inspiration for the Day, May 16, 2011: 

"Our legacy is really the lives we touch, the inspiration we give, altering someone's plan - if even for a moment - and getting them to think, rage, cry, laugh, argue ... Walk around the block, dazed ... More than anything, we are remembered for our smiles; the ones we share with our closest and dearest, and the ones we bestow on a total stranger, who needed it RIGHT THEN, and God put you there to deliver."

- Carrie Louise Hamilton, December 2001

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Your brain may be dozing off without your knowledge.... 

Had read this study recently about sleep deprivation and wondered if it might pertain to fibromyalgia. And then I got this link from one of my trusty Facebook fibromyalgia pages about that very subject:

Brain Fog & Sleeping Brains in Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

If this is really what is occurring, it would explain quite a lot about "fibro fog". The scary part is how often and in what circumstances I go completely blank. You would think being in the middle of a lively conversation would not allow one's brain to shut down, or while doing something that requires presence of mind such as driving or cooking. Talk about feeling like I'm not all there.

A new American way? 

Here's another item I had wanted to post on Thursday but couldn't. Even if you don't agree, it's food for thought:

Some Final Thoughts on the Death of Osama bin Laden …a letter from Michael Moore

"The Nazis killed tens of MILLIONS. They got a trial. Why? Because we're not like them. We're Americans. We roll different." – Michael Moore in an interview last week

Thursday, May 12th, 2011 


Last week, President Obama fulfilled a campaign promise and killed Osama bin Laden. Well he didn't actually do the killing himself. It was carried out by a very brave and excellent team of Navy SEALs. Not only does Mr. Obama have the overwhelming support of the country, I think there are millions who gladly wish it could have been their finger on the gun that took out bin Laden.

When I heard the news a week ago Sunday, I immediately felt great. I felt relief. I thought of those who lost a loved one on 9/11. And I was glad we finally had a President who got something done. This is what I had to say on Twitter and elsewhere on the internet in that first hour or two:

I want to point out that Barack Obama took two years to do what Bush couldn't do in over seven. That's the difference between STUPID in charge and SMART in charge. STUPID pursues two reckless wars, lets OBL escape from Tora Bora, keeps looking for him in caves and invades the wrong country. He bankrupts us to the tune of $1.2 trillion for the Iraq War (it will eventually actually be over $3 trillion), and worse, he cost us the lives of almost 5,000 of our troops, not to mention hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan – and, after all that, he STILL couldn't bring the perp to justice. In fact, in 2005, Bush closed down the CIA station that was devoted to looking for bin Laden! What does SMART do? He sends in a small elite strike force, no troops are killed, and the perpetrator is stopped for good.

I was thrilled that the Osama bin Laden era was over. There was now an end to the madness.

Being near Ground Zero that night, I decided to head over there and join with others who saw this event as a chance to have some closure. On 9/11, Bill Weems, a good and decent man I knew and worked with (we had just recently completed a shoot together in Boston), was on the plane that was flown into the Twin Towers. I dedicated 'Fahrenheit 9/11,' in part, to him.

But before leaving to go to the former World Trade Center site, I turned on the TV, and what I saw down at Ground Zero was not quiet relief and gratification that the culprit had been caught. Rather, I witnessed a frat boy-style party going on, complete with the shaking and spraying of champagne bottles over the crowd. I can completely understand people wanting to celebrate – like I said, I, too, was happy – but something didn't feel right. It's one thing to be happy that a criminal has been captured and dealt with. It's another thing to throw a kegger celebrating his death at the site where the remains of his victims are still occasionally found. Is that who we are? Is that what Jesus would do? Is that what Jefferson would do? I was reminded of the tale told to me as a kid, of God's angels singing with glee as the Red Sea came crashing back down on the Egyptians chasing the Israelites, drowning all of them. God rebuked them, saying, "The work of My hands is drowning in that sea – and you want to friggin' sing?" (or something like that).

I remember my parents telling me how, on the day it was announced that Hitler was dead, there was no rejoicing in the streets, just private relief and satisfaction. The real celebration came six days later at the announcement that the war in Europe was over. THAT'S what the people wanted to hear – not just the demise of one evil madman, but the end to all the killing. 

When the atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, people didn't pour into the streets to whoop it up. Yes, people were happy that it might help end the war, but there was not a public display of "Yippee! A hundred thousand Japs have been fried!" If they had done that, well, who could have blamed them after so many tens of thousands of their sons and fathers had been lost in the war (including my uncle, a paratrooper, killed by a sniper near Manila). But the sailor kissing the girl in Times Square was on August 14th, 1945, when the Japanese surrendered and the war was officially over. That's when America went crazy with joy – not over a killing, but over an announcement of peace.

We are a different people now, aren't we? Well, sorta. There was no blood lust euphoria on the day Timothy McVeigh was executed. We were silent. The families of the Oklahoma City dead were silent, relieved. What is the difference between McVeigh and bin Laden, other than the number they slaughtered? I wonder. I think we know the answer.

Though bin Laden is dead, we are told that Orwell's Permanent War – the "War on Terror" – must continue! Not allowed to have our V-J day and run into Times Square with exhilaration! No, there could be terrorists there. So all we're left with is to cheer the death of one evil man, and that is supposed to make us feel powerful and good. There can be no celebration for the end of the Afghanistan War because the war isn't ending. The war must continue! Even though our own CIA tells us there are no more than a few dozen al Qaeda left in Afghanistan. We still have 100,000 troops there fighting a few dozen crazies? We say we're fighting the Taliban, too, but the Taliban are Afghan citizens, not an invading force, and, for better or worse, they seem to enjoy the support of many of the common people throughout Afghanistan. (If you don't believe that, ask any soldier who has served there and seen it. Every day is like 'Apocalypse Now.' Poppies, anyone?)

Meanwhile, we – me, included – get lost in the weeds of how this one madman was killed. The official story from the Pentagon changed four times in the first four days! It went from OBL firing on the troops with one hand and using his wife as a human shield with the other, to, by the fourth day, not single person in the main house, including bin Laden, being armed when killed. Instantly, this created a lot of suspicion about what really happened, which itself was a distraction.

Here's my take: I know a number of Navy SEALs. In fact (and this is something I don't like to talk about publicly, for all the obvious reasons), I hire only ex-SEALs and ex-Special Forces guys to handle my own security (I'll let you pause a moment to appreciate that irony). These SEALs are trained to follow orders. I don't know what their orders were that night in Abbottabad, but it certainly looks like a job (and this is backed up in a piece in the Atlantic) where they were told to not bring bin Laden back alive. The SEALs are pros at what they do and they instantly took out every adult male (every potential threat) within a few minutes – but they also took care to not harm a single one of the nine children who were present. Pretty amazing. This wasn't some Rambo-style operation where they just went in guns blazing, spraying bullets. They acted swiftly and with expert precision. I'm telling you, these guys are so smart and so lethal, they could take you out with a piece of dental floss. (And in fact, one of my ex-SEAL guys showed me how to do that one night. Whoa.)

In a perfect world (yes, I would like to reside there someday, or at least next door to it, in Slightly Imperfect World), I would like the evildoers to be forced to stand trial in front of that world. I know a lot of people see no need for a trial for these bad guys (just hang 'em from the nearest tree!), and think trials are for sissies. "They're guilty, off with their heads!" Well, you see, that is the exact description of the Taliban/al Qaeda/Nazi justice system. I don't like their system. I like ours. And I don't want to be like them. In fact, the reason I like a good trial is that I like to show these bastards this is how it's done in a free country that believes in civilized justice. It's good for the rest of the world to see that, too. Sets a good example.

The other thing a trial does is, it establishes a very public and permanent historic record of the crimes against humanity. This is why we put the Nazis on trial in Nuremberg. We didn't do it for them. We did it for ourselves and for our grandchildren so that they would never forget these horrors and how they were committed. And we did it for the German people so they could see the evidence of what their elected leaders had done. Very helpful. Very necessary. Very powerful.

And for those who wanted blood back then – well, the majority of the Nazis all hanged in the end. So, it doesn't mean the bad guys get away – they still swing from the highest tree.

My own spiritual beliefs do not allow for capital punishment, and I was raised in the state (Michigan) that in the 1840s was the first government in the English-speaking world to outlaw it. So, I'm just not inclined that way. I don't believe in "an eye for an eye." I know the old book said that, but I like its sequel better (a rare case in which the sequel – like Godfather II, Star Trek II, Terminator II – is better than the original). If you don't believe the way I believe (it's also the official position of the Catholic Church, for whatever that's worth these days), then that's your right, and I understand.

Perhaps there was no way to bring him back alive – I sure as hell wouldn't want to be in that dark house trying to make that snap decision. But if the execution was ordered in advance, then I say we should be told that now, and we can like it or not like it.

For nine years I wrote and I said that Osama bin Laden was not hiding in a cave. I'm not a cave expert, I was just using my common sense. He was a multimillionaire crime boss (using religion as his cover), and those guys just don't live in caves. He had people killed under the guise of religion, and not many in the media bothered to explain that every time Osama referenced Islam, he wasn't really quoting Islam. Just because Osama said he was a "Muslim" didn't make it so. Yet he was called a Muslim by everyone. If a crazy person started running around mass-killing people, and he did so while wearing a Wal-Mart blazer and praising Wal-Mart, we wouldn't automatically call him a Wal-Mart leader or say that Wal-Mart was the philosophy behind his killings, would we?

Yet, we began to fear Muslims and round them up. We profiled people from Muslim nations at airports. We didn't profile multi-millionaires (in fact, they now have their own fast-track line to easily get through security, an oddity considering every murderer on 9/11 flew in first class). We didn't run headlines that said "Multi-Millionaire Behind the Mass Murder of 3,000" (although every word in that headline is true). You can say his wealth had nothing to do with 9/11, but the truth is, there is no way he could have kept Al Qaeda in business without having the millions he had.

Some believe that this was a "war" we were in with al Qaeda – and you don't do trials during war. It's thinking like this that makes me fear that, while bin Laden may be dead, he may have "won" the bigger battle. Let's be clear: There is no "war with al Qaeda." Wars are between nations. Al Qaeda was an organization of fanatics who committed crimes. That we elevated them to nation status – they loved it! It was great for their recruiting drive.

We did exactly what bin Laden said he wanted us to do: Give up our freedoms (like the freedom to be assumed innocent until proven guilty), engage our military in Muslim countries so that we will be hated by Muslims, and wipe ourselves out financially in doing so. Done, done and done, Osama. You had our number. You somehow knew we would eagerly give up our constitutional rights and become more like the authoritarian state you dreamed of. You knew we would exhaust our military and willingly go into more debt in eight years than we had accumulated in the previous 200 years combined.

Maybe you knew us so well because you were once one of our mercenaries, funded and armed by us via our friends in Pakistan to fight the other Evil Empire in the last battle of the Cold War. Only, when the killing stopped, the trained killer, our "Frankenstein," couldn't. The monster, you, would soon turn on us.

If we really want to send bin Laden not just to his death, but also to his defeat, may I suggest that we reverse all of that right now. End the wars, bring the troops home, make the rich pay for this mess, and restore our privacy and due process rights that used to distinguish us from any other country. Right now, our democracy looks like Singapore and our economy has gone desperately Greek.

I know it will be hard to turn the clock back to before 9/11 when all we had to worry about were candidates stealing elections. A multi-billion dollar industry has grown up around "homeland security" and the terror wars. These war profiteers will not want to give up their booty so easily. They will want to keep us in fear so they can keep raking it in. We will have to stop them. But first we must stop believing them.

Hideki Tojo killed my uncle and millions of Chinese, Koreans, Filipinos and a hundred thousand other Americans. He was the head of Japan, the Emperor's henchman, the man who was the architect of Pearl Harbor. When the American soldiers went to arrest him, he tried to commit suicide by shooting himself in the chest. The soldiers immediately worked on stopping his bleeding and rushed him to an army hospital where he was saved by our army doctors. He then had his day in court. It was a powerful exercise for the world to see. And on December 23, 1948, after he was found guilty, we hanged him. A killer of millions was forced to stand trial. A killer of 4,000 (counting the African embassies and USS Cole bombings) got double-tapped in his pajamas. Assuming it was possible to take him alive, I think his victims, the future, and the restoration of the American Way deserved better. That's all I'm saying.

Good riddance Osama.

Come back to your ways, my good ol' USA.


Michael Moore

WebMD is aware of fibromyalgia.... 

This was on my browser for awhile. There are several good articles here from which to choose:

Fibromyalgia Special Feature Stories and News

I do wish more actual MDs were more informed about fibromyalgia. Even in 2011, there are still too many who do not consider it a real ailment.

Better late than never.... 

Yesterday (May 12) was Fibromyalgia Awareness Day, and I had items lined up to post, but wouldn't you know it, my blog site was down! So pretend it's Thursday again when you read this:

Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Awareness Day

On an interesting note, the banner to the left for Fibromyalgia Awareness Day was one that I created for Fibrohugs in 2002. But now it has been popping up on Facebook as other people's profile pics! Trying to find out where they got it.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Useful tips for accommodating just about anyone with an invisible chronic illness.... 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Watched this nodding in agreement with tears in my eyes.... 

How do you KNOW you have M.E.? 

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Giles compares M.E. to similar and/or concurrent ailments.... 

Stalkers on the "Jersey Floor"! 

Life, love and chronic illness.... 

My latest article for But You Don't Look Sick has been posted! It's lengthy, but I'm glad I wrote it:

When Your Caregiver Is Also Your Significant Other

My next article will likely be a book review as I tend to do them on alternate months. I have at least four books I have finished reading but have yet to comment upon. And maybe the month after that I'll write something about brain fog, if I can remember what I want to say, heh heh.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

If you have M.E., what might you experience? 

Proof! That the President has a sense of humor. 

For what are YOU grateful? 

Another link that was waiting around for me to post. I like the idea of focusing on what is going RIGHT in your life:

Gratitude List

And if you can't always have what you want, think about all the things you don't have that you don't want, heh heh. I can't remember who said that originally, but it's a good quote.

Another response with which I can agree... 

This link appeared in an e-mail from Global Ministries, which is affiliated with the United Church of Christ. As many of you know, I have particular interest in interfaith groups:

Interfaith Leaders Speak Out on bin Laden

I am relieved that President Obama opted to not put photographs of bin Laden's dead body on display. I don't need to see them. But I do realize that doubters all over the world will demand the opportunity to view proof, so it was a tough call to make.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Just how debilitating is M.E.? 

The next in a so far excellent series on M.E. by a man named Giles. Will add more after I view them:

2. What is M.E.?

Am intent on doing nothing, or as close to nothing as possible, tomorrow as I have appointments on Tuesday and Thursday of next week, the following week, and the week after that. Don't know yet if I will be doing more physical therapy until I have talked with the pain management doc on May 10th. It occurred to me today that perhaps the sleep medication I have been taking since November isn't getting me into as much restorative sleep as the previous med and that could be exacerbating the flares I've been experiencing? I have an appointment with my primary care doc on the 19th and will ask her if I should go back to my old med.

First hand experience of M.E. 

Have had this link languishing on my browser for quite a while. It is the first in a series of four:

1. Introduction - Get Well from M.E.

I will post the others after I've viewed them. Tonight was my first visit online since Saturday. The post-physical therapy exhaustion hasn't let up yet.

Inspiration for the Day, May 4, 2011: 

‎"Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."

- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Mixed feelings about the mission accomplished.... 

I went online tonight with the intention of blogging about the end of the 10-year manhunt for bin Laden. But this article, posted on Facebook by my friend Valerie, sums up my sentiments pretty well:

Celebrating Osama bin Laden's Death Is Anti-American and Not Very Biblical

I too am relieved the man is dead. But the news doesn't excite me the way it has others. I cannot bring myself to be excited about another human being's death, even when it is deserved and may stop thousands more from losing their lives. Killing someone is grim business.

When I saw the footage of Americans dancing in the street on Monday as if their team had won the Super Bowl, I was nauseated because it looked eerily similar to the celebrations that occurred in the Middle East after 9/11. And I fear it may stoke the anger of those who want to do more harm to Americans. I know we need to acknowledge that the worst terrorist in the world has been vanquished, but could we please show a little decorum? I would like to think we are not barbarians.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Even better than the cow jumping over the moon! 

Check out this amazing video! Link courtesy of Ken:

Deer Jumps Over Biker

Trying to get caught up on links and other goodies since that I've finished the article for April. Problem is, now it's MAY!

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