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Friday, December 4, 2015

Public Shaming Disabled People and Other Thoughts

I have a friend, who like myself, is suffering the effects of having fibromyalgia in a society that doesn't like to face the fact that there are disabled people around them who might need a helping hand. She has applied and been denied disability through Social Security multiple times and has to work in order to support her children and herself and she is getting grief from her co-workers about taking time off when she is ill.

Why is it so difficult for people to understand that when a person feels bad while at work, they are not able to function as well as the other workers. Why is it so difficult for our government agency that is supposed to be helping in these situations to step up to the plate and give these people a little help or let them collect the disability that is there for them? Are we so sure that a majority of people trying to get aid are really able to work and don't need aid, that we are willing to let people who need aid "fall through the cracks" and suffer?

When I talk to this friend, I'm reminded of my own struggle to get help. I had to reapply several times before I finally was able to get disability and then, it was the lowest amount they could award and not enough to support me. I only got awarded, my worker told me, because I had several chronic conditions that aggravated each other, or I would have never been able to get help. Even now, I am scrutinized by the agency continually to make sure I "deserve" to get disability. Every where I go, everything I do, I have to worry if someone is going to decide that I'm not "worthy" or that I'm faking my disability. Even though I know that I need to be parked close to the doors at the supermarket, I have to worry that someone will see me park and get out and walk into the store without a wheelchair or cane and will decide that I'm not disabled (they need to remain around to see me drag myself out, exhausted, after a mere grocery shopping trip to get a load of what I look like when I've used all my reserves on something so mundane). I have people who innocently ask me why I can't work at a business to support my family if I can work from home to do so. I have to patiently explain that most bosses won't allow workers to drop what they are doing and nap mid way through their shift, or spend an hour staring off into space when they should be attending to work. I get asked how I can get laundry done, do dishes, volunteer at something,etc. They feel I need to explain my movements to them. 

To the "nay sayers" I say, "Are you a medical profession that knows my history and case? Because if you aren't then why are you second guessing my doctor's advice to use a parking placard, get in a walk every day, try to stay as active as possible, and be on disability?" What do you know about me and my story that you feel I should be ashamed about what I do during my day? What gives you the right to judge someone else? Do you really think that I want this life? That I looked forward to and worked towards having an aching, sore body? That I want to be trying to live my life while sleep deprived and exhausted? Do you think people chose that? I always hear people say, " and so is really just trying to get attention". REALLY?! I have plenty of talents and abilities that can get me positive attention, why would I seek negative attention?

My advice to you, pay attention to the areas of your own life that could use a little work and stop worrying about what I do. When you are around someone with a disability, attempt to use kindness to deal with that person. They can stand to hear something positive and uplifting and not be shamed about something that they often have no control over. Treat them like you, yourself, would care to be treated. Our world can use a little more positive kindness and a little less negative meanness.

That is all, go about your day...

Thursday, December 3, 2015

More Studies Done on the Good Effects from Knitting

I found another article about studies done on how knitting and other textile hand crafts can improve mood. Not only that, but what really caught my eye on this one is that they say they have found that knitting also helps with inflammation. Since I'm trying to lower inflammation right now through exercise and diet, that is particularly interesting to me.

I've been working on reviving my energy towards my knitting lately. I'm working on knitting up some things to sell on ebay and for members of my little group of family and friends. I started off yesterday by working up some fingerless gloves for myself. I'm having joint pain issues in my thumb again so I decided that I need to have gloves to keep the joint at the base of my thumb warm while I knit. They worked up so quickly that I plan to make a couple pairs to sell as well.

fingerless gloves/mitts in acrylic yarn

I'm also doing some research on how my fibro affects my spirituality or my spirituality affects my fibro. I know that when I'm not fogging out and sleep deprived, I tend to delve more deeply into everything spirtual.
Well, back to knitting and meditating.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Invisible Disabilities

I'm reading an ongoing discussion on one of the facebook groups I'm on for knitters and I just have to say, I think that people who deal with invisible disabilities have to be some of the most resilient and strong people around. They not only deal with pain and suffering from their illness and how to cope with that, but they also have to cope with other people who are judgmental and cruel, who make unsolicited comments and have attitudes that bully and hurt. I know that people will all kinds of disabilities have to deal with that some, but it just seems more prevalent with people dealing with something that isn't immediately obvious to the observer.

Unfortunately,  it isn't usually a stranger, but someone they know well, who lives with them or comes to their home that makes the comments, gives the exasperated expression, etc. As a person who has had fibromyalgia for a few years, I know that I am on the sensitive side and tend to pick up on it way too easily. I have to resist the urge to immediately defend my actions, when I really shouldn't ever have to.

I have to say that I'm really lucky to have the family that I have. They support without judgement and understand that pain isn't something that a person "chooses" to have in order to get attention. They know that I would give anything to be able to work and support myself instead of depending on the Government to support me. They know how important it is to me to be able to do all that I physically can before I ask for help for something and when I do ask, they know that it's my last resort and I don't do it for attention.

Its my prayer that everyone else can have the same support and love from the people that are important to them.

Gentle Hugs

Monday, March 2, 2015

Hand stretching exercises for knitters

I always hear people on the different knitting groups talking about the arthritis, and other types of pain that they have in their hands. There are a plethora of products to help with it. On one of my earlier posts on this blog I put a link to a site where you can buy gloves to help with the problem.

Well, today I actually found some exercises to help with the pain. My own remedy is to take frequent breaks or to switch up to another type of craft or way to hold your needles to give certain muscles and joints a break. When I take a break, I usually stretch my hands and rub lotion into them to help. I really look forward to trying out these exercises.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

My Latest Attempts at Getting Healthy

I was looking at my daughter and the somewhat morbid thought ran through my head, "What would happen to the kids if I were to die young like their father did" and it startled me. I realize that as much as I love both of them, they aren't ready to go it alone yet. Age is a number only. Even if your child is an adult, there isn't a magical cut off date when they'll be ready to move out on their own. Through no fault of their own, or any fault of Randy and I, they just are not ready yet, either emotionally or psychologically to do it on their own.

So that made me realize, that until they are ready, I need to do what I can to get healthy. That means I need to stop making excuses for why I'm not watching what I eat and I'm not getting regular exercise. No more blaming my lack of motion on my fibromyalgia and arthritis and no more telling myself that it is too hard to eat properly to deal with my diabetes. I just have to get on it.

I went to my doctor last week and let her know that I want to start the Veteran's Administration's M.O.V.E. program for weight loss and exercise. I got signed up on Friday and saw a nutritionist. The put in a referral for my doctor to ok me to visit the gym on the hospital campus and  to go to meetings for weight loss support. I started yesterday officially, but today I went to the park and got exercise by walking my dog. I also got a blog started to track my weight loss and blood sugar and to encourage myself to keep going.

This is me and Shadow at Spanaway Park in Washington (near my home in Lakewood). You may notice that I have my knitting bag on my arm. It goes with me everywhere, and yes, I did stop at one point and do some public knitting.Haha!

So wish me luck. I'm hoping the exercise and weight loss will help me with all my health problems, including my fibromyalgia. I will keep everyone updated on my progress, hopefully without boring everyone to tears with it.LOL

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Why I Don't Go to Church Anymore

Dear Visiting Teacher,

Please stop calling me. In order for me to listen to your message, you take minutes away from my phone that I need for doctor appointment calls and I can't afford more minutes.

Besides, I've stopped going to church and don't intend to go back. You see, I only make enough money on Social Security to pay my rent and utilities and nothing more. Yes, I do get food stamps, but they don't cover the cost of living each month. I have enough money left over after rent and utilities to pay for my bus fare for the month and half of the laundry, none for tithing, toilet paper, dish soap, cleaners, cat food, clothing, or anything lunch with my church friends, or an extra casserole for a funeral. If my food stamps don't make it to the end of the month, I eat nothing but biscuits or potatoes until the next batch of stamps arrive in my account. (I might make a copy of this to give to my doctor who suggests that I eat wild salmon a couple times a week and organic vegetables to regulate my blood sugar)

 In order to control my skin conditions, I wash my cloths by hand when the laundry money runs out so that my skin won't break out. I gave up my cable for my TV, I don't have a phone, other than the little track phone that I have to pay to put minutes on, and I get fabric and yarn from clothing that I find and friends that have been generous, otherwise I can't afford to spend on that as well. When I didn't have money to pay for milk, I bounced my checking account and was forced to sell my wedding bands to pay the fees. When a surprise fee was withdrawn for a book store account, I sold my violin to pay the bank for that oversight. I have nothing left to sell to make up for any other mistakes or emergencies that I might have happen.

So when you tell me that I need to have faith that God will step in when I pay my tithing each month, and that he will get me through, I'm not listening any more. I know better. When the Relief Society President and the Bishop tell me that I need to rely on food stamps for my needs and that I can only ask for help from the Bishop Storehouse in the case of a dire emergency, I smile indulgently and turn away, because, for some of us, getting through each month is a dire emergency. And when you tell me that I should try and convert my inactive son and my non member daughter to the church, I laugh. If it weren't for them, I would be homeless right now.

As a church member, my only help would be if I were to marry someone just for convenience sake and have them support me. I don't intend to go there.

Yes, I could kick out my daughter who works part time so that she can deal with her anxiety and OCD that she is unable to get disability for and my son who chooses to deal with his autism without being labeled as disabled and held back from accomplishing his goals that he has set, even if I was able to get past my conscience and do that, I would not make enough to continue living here and would end up homeless or in a dangerous neighborhood where the rent is lower. Right now, the only way we are making it at all is to stick together.

So, I guess you can say that I've been questioning my faith a lot lately. I don't believe that God would be able to love his children and still leave them desperate and hopeless. Would he have me pay tithing and be homeless? Because that is what I look at when I make that decision. There are no other ways to trim expenses and cut costs here. There isn't another "source" of income to be had. I have no other valuables to sell. My health doesn't allow me to miraculously start working again for income.

Do I believe in God? Yes. I believe that he knows my situation and he has given me the intelligence and resourcefulness to find a way to survive, but I don't believe that he expects what the Church expects. I don't think that he expects me to have blind faith and that he'll provide for me while I do.


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

More Proof that you should pick up those needles!!

Seems that whenever I get my rear in gear and update my blog after being dormant for way too long, I come across a new article and want to share it...after I already published my blog entry.
So here it is (if I already published it, I call a time out due to Fibro fog. It's a great excuse).

I know it helps me, if for no other reason than the fact that while I'm knitting, I'm sitting and resting and still getting something accomplished.LOL