Happy Hair Loss Restoration Month!”


Hair

What in the world is going on in this country? Does everyone who has a product to promote, get a month or day, set aside for their ailment,so we can all spend money for the cause? Today, I saw a guy on some show, claiming that it is, Hair Loss Restoration Month. Gee, I didn’t know. Perhaps I should be sending cards to my friends, who are slowly losing their locks. The “hair challenged.” I suppose it’s an offensive remark now, to call someone ‘bald.’

I know this ailment. My father was completely bald, and he seemed proud of it. “Grass doesn’t grow on a busy street!” He always used to tell us. Over the years, we had seen him receive gifts, of ‘The bald comb,’ a coonskin cap, etc. He loved it. The time I saw his picture in his navy uniform, on my grandmother’s dresser, I exclaimed, Wow! Dad, you had hair!” I thought how handsome he looked. Only a boy. He’d lost his hair quite young.

Then there’s my mom. She had always had very thin hair. And even now, she refuses me to curl it, or fix it in any way. I get frustrated. I had pulled it into a cute pony tail, and she told me, “she didn’t want me to do it again.” I laughed, at the fact that her and I are completely different in this area. I always enjoyed fixing my hair and doing makeup. At a very young age. I would take her makeup out of her bedroom and put it on. I would study magazines and learn all the techniques. I took a charm book she had from her, when I was about 10, and studied it, as if it was my bible. I then took some of her dresses, and hand tailored them to fit me. She just laughed. I learned how to stitch them to fit my body. I would turn them inside out, and pin them all the way down each side and stitch them. I’d hem them to ‘mini-dress,’ length, and voila! I had the best dress around.

Now as I listen to this guy ramble on about ‘hair loss,’ I remembered the joke. I used to say, between my mom and my dad, I don’t stand a chance. Sure enough, I had suffered trauma, and I noticed in the shower; little gobs of hair. Then it seemed to be shedding like crazy. I started to panic.  As I looked into the mirror, I could see the thinnest hair, and swore I could see my scalp. Well,of course, I had lost a great deal of weight, and that was probably contributing to the hair loss. But I didn’t care about the weight as much as the hair. Well, I began to buy the shampoos, which claimed to stop hair loss. I went to get cortisone shots in my scalp. Although, I don’t really believe they gave me anything in that needle, as I never received a bill, and I sure never noticed any results.

At any rate, I can sympathize, and if I would have known, it was “Hair Loss Restoration Month, I would have been so appreciative of a card, when it happened to me.  But no. Nothing. Just pats on the back from friends, telling me, “Oh, you’re not losing any hair. That’s normal.”

Now I also heard an advertisement for people suffering from; Work Shift Disorder. Oh yes, I can definitely relate to this one. It’s for people who have a difficult time,waking up in the morning, or falling asleep, at night,  because of their work shift?Hey, it’s called, work, for a reason!  I wonder what kind of medicine, we’re  supposed to take for that?  I always thought, the antidote was, vacation or retirement. And which company is responsible for promoting this ailment? I’m curious. It sure isn’t the corporations which hire all of us, with the screwed up schedules. But they may be  unwittingly investing in the drug manufacturers, which are trying hard to convince all of us, that it is a deadly disease. It certainly would seem to be a conflict of interest to a corporation, to go along with this.  It’s an excuse for ‘nonproductivity.  Not just something called, ‘Life.’

Now let’s not forget about ‘Restless Leg Syndrome.’I love this one. I have restless legs a lot. Am I beginning to sound like a hypochondriac? Or is it that this world, is constantly trying to convince me that all of this is abnormal?

My mother has complained for quite a while about, ringing and buzzing, in her ears. I said, “you know what? I actually saw ear drops, for that. We went to Walgreens, and bought some. It’s supposed to relieve the ringing. I laughed as she was reading the label. She’s squinting and reading the small print and said, “Place in the ear channel.” I laughed at this, and said, “Mom, did you say, channel?” “Yes,” she said, “that’s what it says.” Ok, I knew the word was canal, but I told her, if you have a channel, you might be tuning in to the local radio station. Why don’t you change the channel?” She was cracking up, as I said, “what channel is it on? I hope it’s not talk radio, cause then you definitely need those drops!”

Then there’s the intense desire for women to have long eyelashes. Never mind that they also shed. I have been blessed with long lashes, so I have never had ‘lash envy.’ However, when I see the advertisement for this potion, and listen to the side effects, “may develop brown spots, on eyes, which are irreversible?” Well, that’s wonderful. You have the most beautiful lashes, on your liver-spotted eyes.” Hmmm, that’s the tradeoff?

Well, I tend to believe, it is just a whole lot of ridiculous manipulation going on, in the advertisement industry; Now.I’m convinced.  As I just turned on the television to hear some friends complaining about how lame their buddy is, for having a “naked toilet paper roll.” Oh how sad, for this guy. He invites his friends over, and all they can do is complain about the fact that they can actually see his toilet paper! What kind of people are these? In my house you’re lucky to be able to find the spare roll. If I can keep on top of the ‘supply and demand issue.’ That’s the priority. If a person doesn’t like the way my toilet paper looks, I’d just as easily shove it into a coffee can. I believe in repurposing, when possible. So what better way to do this? Then you can also infuse the air with a scent of coffee. Hey, it works on the airplane. Yes, that’s right. When you see those bags, hanging on the door, or setting on a counter, in the lav, don’t be tempted to take those. We use them to eliminate odors.

One day, I had a female celebrity on my flight. This woman is one of the icon’s in Hollywood. I’ll just call her, May Funaway.    She refused to take her seat,when the pilots came out. The captain, asked, why she was standing by the near the galley, when he came out. The purser explained, that she told her, “I don’t have to sit.” She believed that those security rules, did not apply to her. After all, she is a diva. Coincidentally, I had Eunice Shriver on the same flight, and she couldn’t have been more gracious. Not one bit pretentious. But Ms. Funaway, said, “It doesn’t matter, I have to use the bathroom.

After, she had completed her duty, I joked with my flying partner’s that I should sell that coffee bag on Ebay. If I told everyone that it was the same bag which hung in that bathroom, that May Funaway,  “toileted,” in? Wow, Eu De Toilet Funaway. Hmmm, on second thought, I told them, it wouldn’t fetch very much, as  her’s, clearly doesn’t stink.

So, back to reality. All these marketing ploys. It’s not bad enough to tell you that if you’re feeling depressed, you can take that pill. Oh, but the side effect might make you suicidal! What? I think I’ll just take the plate of depression, thanks. I don’t want the pill that’s going to send me over the edge.

Let’s not forget  to mention the people who have a ‘weak stream,’ when they urinate. This is not to be confused, with those, who must stop at the bathroom, every few minutes. That’s a different problem. And yes, there’s a medicine for that.

Since when did this a weak stream, become a problem? How do they diagnose this? Does the doctor come into the room and say, “Well, Doug, we’ve received your test results, and I’m afraid I must tell you, “You have what’s called,  A weak stream.” Now, don’t worry, it’s not fatal. We do have a drug to control this.

I told my girlfriends, that this would certainly be a question to ask a man, if you’re considering a mate. “By the way, I need to ask you, Do you have a weak stream? What would you say your ‘rate of flow,’ is?  How would anyone even gauge this? Do guys stand at the urinals and compare. “Hey, did you see that guy in there? What a “weak stream!” Laughing they all point at him when he walks out. The man shrinks down into his seat and hopes the embarrassment will pass. “Yea, and I bet he has a totally naked toilet roll! You can just tell by looking at him.”

Ahhh, Mick Jagger sure had it right, when he sang, “I’m drivin down the road, and a man comes on the radio. With some useless, information, tryin to drive my imagination…., I can’t get no, Satisfaction!”

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A Father’s Love


A father and his daughterThe innocence of youth

 

I have been thinking of my father. It happens every year at about this time. I know his birthday is coming, (September 30) and I become depressed.  I know it’s something I feel. A darkness shrouding me. I start getting depressed, and I beg the Lord to help me out. My father died in April of 88 and my brother died a year later. It was too much to bear. I started working for my company, a year after the death of my brother. The fall, which normally is my favorite time of the year, became something I dread. It is a symbol of death. The leaves on the trees, which are beautiful, as they are turning, are now a picture of gloom.

I was in a ‘holding pattern,’ for a long time, as a result of this. I went into a training center, which became another picture of depression. But yet, the Lord, allowed all of this. Perhaps it was to protect me, from myself. He knew, that I was suffering. Had it not been for my roommates, and the fact that I had just returned to the Lord, I would have withered away. I felt desperate and alone. I used my humor and the friendships, I had developed in training, to keep me grounded.

My father had asked me, “to give his love to my mother.” I believe I am doing this every day. But he didn’t realize how difficult all of this would be. To leave in such a manner, and to wrestle my mother, on every little bit of her loss of independence. She refuses the help she needs, and I’m growing weary from the constant complaints. She believes she can “take care of herself.” I know she can’t.

My father left, because he couldn’t handle the depths of despair, which he felt he lived with. Caused by his drinking, and his own company. I understand, the anger, he felt. I’ve experienced this myself. There’s no justice and no way to understand, without the Lord. Life isn’t fair. That’s just a truth, I’ve accepted. It is for those who can afford it.

Now, I debate, what to do for my mother. What is best for her? Do I try to give her what she so desires, or ignore her pleading, as many say, and keep her with me. I know it is just going to become more difficult. I long for my father’s advice. What did he mean, “Give my love to your mother?” What would he do?

I know my father was totally dysfunctional, as all of us are. Some of us just don’t admit it. I know my faults and loved him, in spite of his own. The Lord reminds me that, “although your father loves you, he is imperfect, but I am the perfect father.”

I will be 54, in October. The same age my father was when he died. Even my birthday, is a thing of sadness. So many times, as a child, waiting for my father to show up. Left me on a porch all alone. My mother, slapped me in the face, once, as I came in to the table and sat down, crying. I was exasperated that my father, failed to show up, once again. And she was angry, that I was crying for my father. I told her I still loved him. And she became angry. Her own feelings of contempt, taken out on me. She does the same thing to me now. But, just as my father was not in his right mind, I accept this with my mother, as well. Yet, it still hurts. I feel the darkness sweeping over me.The memory of me standing right in front of him, begging him to “hang on.”  Yet, my cries went unheeded.

Now, I feel a need to run to my heavenly Father. “Help me Lord. Help me to do what is right for everyone. I don’t want to live according to my will, my ways. I want to see on the other side of this, darkness. The light of His love, and His grace.

As, I wait on the Lord, I’m asking that He turns this time of the year into a thing of beauty for me. To remind me that, after the death of all the creation, comes resurrection! The spring brings new life! I want to stay focused on this, as I enter into this season. A new beginning.

Thank you Father, for sending your son, Jesus Christ, to remind us all…this is not the end.

Being a mother at 5


Mom

I try to search for answers. I am amazed and sad at the same time.

My mother, who started out with trauma as a young woman, has never experienced anything else in her life.
Losing her son when he was just a baby and divorcing at the same time. Having six other children to deal with and another two that were mentally challenged with cerebral palsy. This was caused from birth complications.
The culmination of these events put her into a hospital and I, being the oldest capable child, inherited the position of mother.
My mother has had more trauma since then, and we have all learned to be resilient, since it wasn’t just her grief, but our own that we had to bear.
My sister reminded me of how childlike my mother is and totally dependent on us. Although she will never say that…it is a fact.
My sister also reminded me that “although three of us, raised mom, we didn’t do a very good job!” lol I thought that hilarious, but the reality is that it’s true.
I know this, yet seem unable to see others as manipulating me. Although I can see it being done to them and it makes me angry. I don’t feel this sense of anger when someone does it to me.
Does that seem odd? I know if I was watching someone else enduring all that I have endured, I would say, “why doesn’t she do something about that? It’s obvious that they are taking advantage of her kindness? Yet, I am always reminded that the word, “co-dependent” is not found in the bible.
So, this is how I have learned to live. Is it a bad thing? I don’t know. I always ask the Lord to show me
 
An example of a situation in my life. I shared that a few months ago, I helped my mom pack boxes and get her apartment ready for a move. She was dead set on moving to another state, even though I didn’t feel good about the whole situation. I ended up being stuck in Milwaukee because of a snowstorm and I felt this was the Lord showing me that I could help my mother.
I could see that she was in a lot of pain and she complained of her leg hurting her. I asked if she was going to the doctor and she assured me that as soon as she arrived at her destination, she would have an appointment.
Of course the people who were supposed to show up and help her move did not show up. My brother and cousin and I did all the work.
 
I was so upset about this whole move, that I cried. My mom seemed so frail and I would massage her legs for her and try to care for her so she’d be comfortable All this in addition to her name-calling. Yes, she’s very argumentative and will come out with names such as “stupid,” all the time. It’s something I’ve been accustomed to. She had a slew of names for me as I was growing up. and she never notices the hurt. Although at one point when she stated, “I would have rather had all boys than any girls” I think she saw the hurt on my face.
I just chalk this up to her problems she’s had since we were children. I realize I can’t become a boy and more than she can stop saying these things.
 
So, the other day, to receive a phone call from her, was rare. What was even more rare is that she was saying she absolutely could not stand the pain she was in, and she needed help. She also stated that she no longer wanted to live in this state that she so recently moved to.
 
I asked why, my sister had not taken her to the doctor and she told me that she didn’t have insurance. I had to tell her, “you do have insurance with your Medicare, and besides, I don’t care if you do or not, you need to get to the doctor!” I realized that it just wasn’t happening unless I made an appointment for her.
I Googled the offices in her area and made the call. I made the appointment and was told I had to get her to sign a medical release and fax it to her other doctor in Wisconsin. All the time while I’m wondering, why hasn’t this been taken care of already?
 
When I made my repeated phone calls back to her, she kept stating, “I’m ready to move! I can’t stand this anymore!” I reminded her that she had always been welcome to live with me and I had thought it the better choice since I’m in Florida. But she had been here years ago and didn’t want to stay. I suspect it was because my nephew, whom she had raised, was living in Wisconsin.
 
I told her, “Mom, you can have the guest room or I can even convert the family room, if you can’t go up and down the stairs.” “You can? What about the furniture?” “Listen, furniture is nothing, I’ll just sell it or move it.”
Then she asked about her things. I honestly wouldn’t have moved anything from that apartment she lived in, but it seemed every piece of junk meant something to her. She also seems to think that furniture has some hidden value. I had to tell her, “Mom, there is no way, I’m going to rent a truck and move all that, if you decide to come. You just need to go through your sentimental items and we can ship them. But furniture isn’t worth the price you pay to move it.” (Especially hers)
She seemed to understand and agree….that is-until the following day.
 
Yes, this is the bi-polar mom kicking in. I call her the next day and she tells me, “You know, I’ve been thinking, I am not leaving any of my stuff here!” “Mom, I told you I’d help you move, but there is no way, I’m doing that with a truck. You just did that and it wasn’t worth moving that stuff once, let alone twice!”
“Also, ” she goes on, I’m not living with anyone. I want my own apartment.” “Ok, mom, this just isn’t going to work. There are community buses in the area that come right to the house and will take you anywhere you want to go.” “Oh, you mean for old people?” “Oh, my gosh, mom! They are for anyone, especially if a person can’t get around! Stop being so critical!”
“I’m not being critical, but I can get around!” “What? Are you now telling me that your leg is better?” “Yes, it’s feeling better,” she tells me. well, why don’t I just cancel that doctor’s appointment I made for you?” Now she backs down. “Well, I don’t always expect it to feel like this!” When I was visiting her, she could barely walk from the living room to the bathroom and my sister told me that she advised her to use a shopping cart to steady her weight, since what she really needs is a cane, but heaven forbid! That’s for old people! And hey, 80 is still quite young. Perhaps middle age. I’m sure 160 is the average lifespan for a person.
 
So, now I have her dictating to me, what and how she’s going to move and where she’s going to live. She starts arguing with me and I have to remind hr that I am taking care of my special needs brother and her two grandchildren as well. I brought my brother to live with me because I didn’t feel he was getting the best care in the place he was in, yet this is my mom’s first-born son, and she doesn’t seem to think about this. I know there is a lot of denial she’s living with, but once again, the hurt lands on me. And once again, I tell myself, she doesn’t know what she’s saying. Don’t take it personally.
 
Yes, if anyone has parents like this, you know how difficult it is. I didn’t grow up in a home where my mother lavished affection on me or praised me for any accomplishments. I had to fight against all the odds of listening to her prophesies of failure over me. The hurt and pain of dealing with a mother who needs our help, yet never acknowledges what we do for her. Instead, with one demand that is unmet, she will criticize.
 
I know she’s like a child and it’s her own hurt that causes her to hurt others. But as a child, we don’t really process this understanding of personalities. Now as an adult, I realize how serious a role, we play in our children’s lives. It has been my only desire to see her comfortable in these years of her life and she almost seems to gravitate to misery. Perhaps this I will never understand.
 
My prayer is that I will not become like this and will always acknowledge my children for their strengths, not their weakness. This is the fertile soil that allows self-confidence to grow.
I am of the belief that her mother treated her this way, and I do not wish to repeat this cycle.
 
I love her in spite of all of her shortcomings and my prayer is that one day she will be healed of her emotional pains as well as her physical.


Trauma, a state of being...What is Post Traumatic Stress? Why after all of my trauma, would it pay me a visit now? I asked this question after my trip that fateful day in July 2005.

After my experience in the London bombings, I returned home and I started to go through horrific experiences. Oh, yes I tried to assimilate into my life with some new found friends. Nothing seemed to alleviate the real physical and mental problems that followed, however.

I started to lose my hair and at first thought it to be the medication used to treat the PTSD, but that wasn’t it. I had finally after a few years, regained hair growth in spite of the fact that I was still taking the medicine.

I lost so much weight that I looked anorexic. I was fearful of the things that I had never feared before.

Then I began to experience intestinal problems and even went for a colonoscopy, of course thinking the worst. It was one thing after another. But my question was, why? I had lived through the most intense traumas in my life and it didn’t seem to affect me like this? Why now?

As my counselor spoke to me one day, the light went on. “It is like an egg she said. With each trauma, you develop a small crack. Then one day, you experience something that cracks the egg wide open. It’s similar to the straw that breaks the camels back.”

Ahhh, now I have a visual and yes, this is exactly how she described it. I had questioned how I could be so tough and now I felt as if I was falling apart. Afraid of so many things, even losing joy in the smallest of things. I started to detest lound sounds. The fireworks brought me anxiety and I felt sad that I would retreat to my house when my son was having so much fun watching them. I didn’t want to infect him with this fear. I know that a person cannot live in fear.

I slowly became stronger in my faith in the Lord, once again and have learned to lean on Him in my fearful moments. I trust Him and no one else. I realize that man is fallible and even in business, I understand that no one is ever going to care about me as a person and I must rely on the Lord for His supernatural protection.

He is the good shepherd that watches over me and He has. He will always be the rock that I can stand on. I continue to pray for those that are responsible for my pain and suffering and for those that were in that incident with me. We were the forgotten ones. Our superiors proved that we were dispensable. Our lives didn’t matter on that day and afterward. We were to forget what happened and continue on, business as usual. But hey, why should they care? They sat in their cushioned leather chairs in the lofty office in a nice air conditioned room the day that someone made those decisions to intimidate us to go into the streets with so much at risk.

But I wonder, would they allow their loved ones to do what they demanded that we do that day?Or better yet, would they have done it?

Now that’s the million dollar question, isn’t it???????