Thursday, September 11, 2008

Fleeing From Hurricane Ike

(10 Sept. 2008) --- This picture of Hurricane Ike from earlier today was downlinked by the crew of the International Space Station, flying 220 statute miles above Earth. The center of the hurricane was near 23.8 degrees north latitude and 85.3 degrees west longitude, moving 300 degrees at 7 nautical miles per hour. The sustained winds were 80 nautical miles per hour with gusts to 100 nautical miles per hour and forecast to intensify. Photo Credit: NASA

I have been waiting on family to arrive from Beaumont Texas since 8:00a.m., It is now 10:30pm and they yet to arrive. The drive normally takes nine hours; I could not live in the path hurricanes travels. I wonder how people with chronic illnesses handle the stress of mandatory evacuations. It was less than 2-weeks ago they had to flee Hurricane Gustav. Hell, I wonder how people who are healthy handle the stress. I plan to ask my sister-in-law, nieces, and nephews while they are here this weekend.

When Hurricane Katrina and Rita hit the coast, my husband and I prepared for relatives or friends seeking refuge. Instead, family members got out of harms way by going to Shreveport. We could not blame them for not wanting to travel all the way to Tennessee when they were able to be out of harms way closer to home. That is why I was surprise when my husband called me early this morning telling me that some family members where coming here to escape Ike's path.

The past few days I was in my own world, listening to good jazz and meditating while I was readjusting my body being on morphine again. I had no idea Ike changed course, grew in size and strength. The last I heard Ike was heading towards Florida and was weakening. My brother-in-law called to see if his family made it here and I ask him why they where seeking refuge in Tennessee this time. He told me Ike was about 100 miles wide and his strength was increasing. He wanted to make sure his family was safe and told them to drive to Tennessee.

Damn you IKE! I was not ready to leave my serene world. More importantly, I hope IKE does not leave a massive path of destruction.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Letting Go Of A Lifelong Friendship

The woman in the front of me taught me a valuable lesson about female friendship in the workplace. I befriended her when I started my first job out of high school at General American Life Insurance. She was married with children and I was single with no children. Turns out she was jealous of me and talked badly about me behind my back, but always wanted to be around me. She taught me not to be trusting of females in the work place. I thought once I left elementary, middle, and high school women got over their jealous spiteful ways. Unfortunately, if they are like that in elementary, middle, and high school they are like that the remainder of their life until they grow up and mature into REAL women. The woman behind me is S.C. the only woman outside my older sister; I let into my inner space and shared my fears, hurts, pain, disappointments, joy, dreams, and plans for my life. That is why this is the most painful post to date.

There comes a time in life when you know in your heart that it is time to let go of someone you believed for many years was a friend. I was hurt very deeply, this week by the words of a person I thought was my oldest and dearest friend/sister for over thirty years. I literally cried while I read what she said. I could have retaliated with some vicious words that would have broken her down like a two-dollar bill. Out of respect and love, I kept it short, sweet and simple.

I always consider my oldest sister my best friend. When we were younger, we had our sisterly fights, mostly because I did not want her to tell me what to do. Yet, I always wanted a best girlfriend that was my own age. I thought I had that in S.C., I noticed our friendship was changing when her son got in trouble with the law. She became very depressed and she did what most women do when their son get in trouble the first time with the law, she went out of her way to get him out of trouble by borrowing $10,000 for legal fees.

I met S.C. when my family moved from South St. Louis to North St. Louis in the 60’s. I never ran with many girls because I was a tomboy with girlish charm. I did not become friends with S.C. until we started high school; she got tired of running with the crowd she ran with in elementary and middle school. I on the other hand was not a follower, I was my own person because I learned early in life that females were jealous hearted and catty and I did not play those games. I was a straight shooter, what you see is what you get and I had no time for the bullshit.

S.C. was my matron of honor in my first wedding; my daughters grew up with her son. We did everything together. She never married or kept a man very long because she was picky and to this day she is still picky. If a man, tooth looks wrong or his shoes are not right she had a problem with him. I use to tell her she was too damn meticulous. I watch her run off some good men over the years. We shared the good and the bad in our lives, but I never in a million years would have thought she was resentful of me. The following of what she said is what hurt me the most:

Our communication since K.C. has been in prison has changed, I'll be the first to admit it. It's because your conversation has always been about how well your daughters are doing and don't get me wrong I'm very happy for them. I can't brag about my child and frankly I got tried of listening to it. I'm sure it bother me only because of the heartbreak K.C. has delivered to me, we all expect great things from our children and believe me it's no reflection on "T" or "N", I just wanted as much for K.C.. You made one statement and I quote "I raised them well, so if I die tomorrow I know I did a wonderful job"! Well, I believe (K. and I) did a damn good job as well, but our children chose their own path and it's not because we didn't raise them just as well. I do understand being a proud parent, and believe me I want to share in the same conversations, but I couldn't so I was always left speechless. What I'm doing is what's giving me the only excitement besides my grandson, and I shared these things with you because not only are you my friend, but you have daughters that will someday walk down that path of marriage.

This was my response to her hurtful words:

S.C. it is not worth it anymore, your response displays your resentment. I have been nothing but supportive and encouraging in everything you do and have thought to do. If you think my email was tacky than so be it. I am not going to argue with you. I have never said you or "K" were bad MOTHERS, I have always said that you two were DAMN good mothers. Most importantly, I have said the choices your son and K.'s sons made was not a reflection on how you two are as mothers.

I do not need the stress of trying to repair something that was obviously never real. I wish you nothing but the best S.C. Goodbye

It hurt to realize that S.C. was resentful of my daughters’ success over the years, and to take my comment, "I raised them well, so if I die tomorrow I know I did a wonderful job"! out of context and personally take it as an attack on her as a mother. All it meant was I can die happy knowing my daughters will be able to take care of themselves. I became sick when my daughters were very young. That was my worst fear dying while they were still minors. I made preparations in case that happened. For S.C. to take that and twist it the way she did was wrong. She was out of line to bring my younger sister in it and speak for her.

I gave her and her son unconditional love, support and encouragement. She obviously forgot it was the letter I wrote on behalf of her son when he got in trouble again was what reduced the time the judge planned on giving him. She called and personally told me what the judge said, “I had already filled the paper work out to give K.C. the maximum amount of time, until I read the character letter I received from Mrs. D. S. Because of what she said about K.C. and his mother I was moved to reduce his time to seven years.”

I concluded that S.C. is carrying a lot of baggage, jealousy and resentment. I cannot do anything about what is in her heart and soul, she has to fix that and come to terms with it. It saddens me deeply that I can no longer consider her a dear friend/sister. I do not believe in holding on to something when it has revealed itself a LIE. My mom and older sister hope we can work it out one day, but I told them, “Her words cut as if she stabbed me with a knife and she has issues that she has to work out. I do not need the stress of repairing something I did not break.

I am okay with my decision especially after listening to T.D. Jakes this morning talking about baggage. Moreover, Rev. M. Elaine Flake put the final validation on my decision to let go of my thirty-year friendship. When she preach the following:

Envy and Jealousy are Sins Roman’s 1:29 and Gal 5:21 tell us that envy and jealousy are vial sins. Envy is defined as painful and resentful awareness of the advantage or accomplishment enjoyed by another person. It is resenting another person for having something we don’t have but want and the key word here is resent. Envy is void of resentment it is when resentment or competiveness enters into the envy that it becomes unhealthy and unacceptable. Jealousy which is also connected to envy is defined as the intolerance of rivalry it becomes sinful.

It is okay to rival it is okay to compete, but jealous becomes sinful when it grown out of a fear that someone is going to become equal with us, or replace us, or might become superior to us. Rather it is jealousy or envy we must realize that both can be and are sinful and to give into those feelings is to challenge God and God’s sovereignty.

We who are believers cannot afford to become entangled with envy and jealousy when we honestly understand that God has a plan and God has a place for all of us. In addition, when we give into envy it really means we are not pleased what God is doing in another person’s life and feels that God is not fair and just.

God in God's sovereignty gives us all as human beings, give us all our talents, our gifts and our abilities, and we that know God knows that God will bless whom God will bless. God will use whom God will use. God will elevate whom God will elevate, and there comes a time in all of our lives that if we trust God. We just have to decide that God has a bigger plan and when we have questions when we are questioning God we need to turn to Isaiah 55:8-9

What I was thinking when I received those hurtful words from S.C. both T.D. Jakes and Rev. Elaine Flake preach it this morning. I am at peace with my decision and I honestly pray S.C. renew her spirit before it is too late.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Feel Good Sunday

Never Would Have Made It


Back On Track

Day two of having the Solu-Medrol infusion is over and tomorrow I can finally take the IV out of my hand. I am feeling so much better; I can move my head again and walk without the use of a cane. I am not going to lie, I am too vain to be walking around with a cane and I will do whatever it takes not to have to use it more than I have to. I am a realist and I know the day might come where I will have to use more frequently than I do know, but until then I am going to move around everyday I use of my legs. I was devastated when I had to stop wearing my three-inch heels. Hell, I catch grief from my doctors coming in with a one-inch heel. If you were, a shoe fanatic as if I am you would know how I feel. If I told you how many pairs of three inch heels I had to replace you would think I was nuts. Therefore, I will not reveal how many pair of shoes I own :)

This time around, the only problem I had with the Solu-Medrol was severe stomach cramping the first day. Today I was energize and I got a lot things accomplished around the house and caught up on reading chapters from my online History II class. My neurologist advised I go back on the Fentanyl patch. I discussed the emotional incident I had in May and I stopped in June thinking the emotional breakdown was from the Fentanyl patch. She had a point about the Fentanyl patch did keep my pain level in control because I was getting a daily dose of pain medication, I did not have daily tingles and numbness, and I did not have an exacerbations while I was wearing the Fentanyl patch. She also said that she is not comfortable with how many Lortab I have to take. With the kind of pain I suffer, I need daily 24/7 dosage of pain medicine going into my system.

I talked with a pharmacist and ask him if the Fentanyl could have been the cause of my emotional breakdown in May, he said Fentanyl does not cause that kind of reaction and that it could have been another medication I was taking. After that incident, I stopped taking all the medication. I do not plan to start my Fentanyl patch immediately because I am feeling fine from the Solu-Medrol. My plan is to take my Copaxone injection daily, and my Fentanyl patch. When it is time to put another Fentanyl patch on the third day I will skip a day or two then put another patch on.

I know my body better than anyone does and I believe this plan is best for me. My doctors want me to take an anti-depressant, but I am not willing to get back on an anti-depressant. The side effects of the anti-depressant have mental mood changes. Therefore, if it was not the Fentanyl that caused my emotional breakdown in May, it had to be the anti-depressant. If I feel, I need to go on an anti-depressant than I will make that decision when the time comes. The Fentanyl patch has dangerous side-effects, but you have to take the good with the bad and I am willing to take that chance again because it did work for me.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Republican Party Double Standards Exposed

Jon Stewart EXPOSES the double standards of the Republican Party. Check out the the written and video tape over at The Huffington Post.


Forget all that clicking above click straight to the video

Thursday, September 4, 2008


The person that did this to an EIGHT DAY OLD BABY deserves to DIE.


Solu-Medrol to the Rescue

I believe MS is a jealous disease. Remember when my body felt split in half, eventually my right side was slowing mending back to my left, but it still feel different from my left side, just not as intense from when I first talked about it. Two weeks ago, the right side of my head down through my neck and slightly below my right shoulder was becoming more painful than the other part of my right side. In the beginning I brushed it off thinking maybe I slept wrong, but as the days went by the pain intensified to the point, I could not move my head.

Still not wanting to believe it was an exacerbation creeping up on me. I start taking my Lortab for the pain and Zanaflex for the spasticity. I thought I had it under control because the drugs were working. I continued with my life attending the candidate I support for Mayor meetings and rallies. With the holiday, approaching I was ecstatic that my youngest daughter was coming home and I would have all my girls home for the holiday. I start preparing all of their favorite foods and while I was at it, I cooked collard greens and pinto beans to freeze for later use.

Nothing was going to stop me from enjoying my girls and grandson Labor Day weekend; it has been since July, that all of my girls were in one room. I was overjoyed of having my family together, that is when I realized MS is a jealous disease, my pain and spasticity that Lortab and Zanaflex had in control was being overpowered. I was no longer getting relief from the drugs. I put on a brave face and enjoyed my family; I REFUSED to lie in bed during their visit because of how I was feeling. I am paying the price now for not giving in to symptoms of MS that tried to take my joy away. Had I given in to MS I know I would have become depressed. Exacerbations had robbed me of many fun times with my family that put me in a depress state of mind. After my last bout of depression, I developed an attitude of fight or die and I am not dying anytime soon.

When I woke up Sunday morning, I could not walk; the pain and spasticity in my head went into my upper right hip. MS was showing me it could take me down no matter how hard I was fighting. The drugs were no longer helping the pain; I was wishing I never stopped taking morphine. I finally waved the white flag and called my neurologist, I need reinforcement. This MS exacerbation was not going anywhere soon. I no longer could move my head, or walk without the use of my cane, and the pain was too intense.

Solu-Medrol to the rescue, today is the first day of three 1000mg of steroids. (I am hoping for that high energy euphoria feeling this time around. The last time I had steroids I was one angry agitated witch.) Symptoms of MS did not win this go round...

I WON this battle because I enjoyed my family the holiday weekend.