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Archive for the ‘Coping Skills’ Category

#Sleep of the Damned
   If Only I Could, I surely Would

 

“Life is all about timing… the unreachable becomes reachable, the unavailable become available, the unattainable… attainable. Have the patience, wait it out; it’s all about timing.” Stacey Charter

I know about the sleep of the damned. It’s not quite what you might think. No diving into a hellish deep, tortured souls tearing you apart – perhaps it is for some, but not for me.

Mine lies somewhere between a light doze and wakefulness. It’s the lightest doze imaginable where my heartbeat plays time with my thoughts. Thoughts in colour and action to make sleeping a sometimes joke. Occasionally I’ll slip in the transition between the two and fall into sleep’s welcome embrace. Of late, it’s filled with vibrant dreams, some easy to understand, some so confused I’m not sure where the middle, beginning and end are. But that too is immaterial here.

For several weeks, I have fought a good fight against the effects of a niacin flush. Sounds like a fancy cocktail, but without the little umbrella! Instead, it’s a detox strangle – melodramatic, I’m sure. Yet I told “them” I was allergic to “B” vitamins. I’ve had to be careful for years, guarding myself against anything containing “B” vitamins which it seems my body cannot tolerate, all except B12, in which I am so deficient they call it ‘Pernicious Anaemia’!

So my niacin flush – beautiful blushes of sunset red or sunrise hues – more like sunrise I think, as it’s followed by the rising heat of the blush and a raging conflagration – akin to a wildfire. It cannot be quenched or put out, nor tamped down. I have to allow it to – yes, flush through my body.

Like most things it’s good and bad. The good is the benefit of the detox, removing those things harmful to me. The bad – oh just the crippling migraines, light sensitivity, crushing aches and pains as though my body is being torn apart.

Even this could be managed with good rest. Yet the pain, muscle, bone, head all combine to throw a huge barricade across that nebulous boundary between the twilight doze and real sleep, hence the “sleep of the damned”!

It’s frustrating since I crave organisation. I like my ordered routines. Poetry, stories, conversation and more, photos and sharing my thoughts. That has been tossed out like yesterday’s garbage, until my niacin flush has gone away.

If I find it frustrating, it may be worse for those trying to follow my blog, since you have no idea what or when I’m publishing. It pains me to say it, as so much else does at present, but I’m having to learn patience. It’s a dreadful curse, one I’ve fought most of my life. But I promise you this, I will be back on track, with my writing and my schedule, just as soon as I’ve put out my bushfire!

Since today was my day to visit my doctor and half a dozen hypodermics later, thought is a vague thing, and vision is blurry. You might say the spirit is willing but the body is weak. Hence this little explanation for you to understand my dilemma. Now I look forward to another night of the sleep of the damned again!

 

Blessings, Susan, ♥

© Susan Jamieson, 2014

© Executive Sorceress, 2014

Image from http://www.josephienwallart.co.uk  

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#Communication. It's Only Words

Image courtesy of nashontechnology.blogspot.com

 

“From this point forth, we shall be leaving the firm foundation of fact and journeying together through the murky marshes of memory into thickets of wildest guesswork.”
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Have you ever stopped to wonder why words cause so many difficulties? After all they’re only words, the means by which we convey our thoughts and feelings. Yet so many times, what is a simple and forgettable word to one person, can be a veritable insult to another. Is it any wonder that there are so many hurt feelings and arguments over what we mean by the words we say to each other?

Many are the words uttered in anger, or whilst feeling under pressure or stress. Do these words mean the same thing if they were said whilst calm and unpressured? I rather doubt it. At least, that has been my observation.

Computers and computer programs, have the singular honour of creating the most intense feelings of frustration for many people, even over minor matters. They are such contrary machines, aren’t they? Some days, no matter how hard you try, or follow the same steps you followed the day before, the wretched program refuses to behave as it should. You’re blood pressure rises and you can feel the irritation begin to mount.

In retrospect, it is at this point that the rest of the household, or office, should embark for points north, south, east of west. Anywhere, in fact, to avoid the likely wrath to come. But no, everyone remains and the ensuing eruption of heightened emotion spills over and someone ends up feeling hurt or misunderstood.

#Communication - It's Only Words

Image courtesy of sherwoodfleming.com

“Using words to talk of words is like using a pencil to draw a picture of itself, on itself. Impossible. Confusing. Frustrating … but there are other ways to understanding.”
Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind

The irony is, the person struggling with the computer, or any appliance which is being contrary, should simple mutter under their breath, except….. Someone is sure to ‘demand’ that they repeat what they have just said. I can almost guarantee that the word “Stupid” will form part of the epithet. Guaranteed!   What’s even more certain, is that the person listening is going to hear that they are being called stupid. It may even sound as though that was the intention. Yet I am positive that the intention is that the computer, program, appliance, even the operator of the machine is really saying they are stupid for not getting it to work correctly. Perhaps if the person offering assistance has already pushed their help on the struggling and irate digitally challenged person, then they may mean they feel, momentarily that they are stupid for not being able to offer the solution.

However, I’m sure if you were able to ask that person what they meant, they would not have been accusing or abusing the other person of being stupid. Now we have a recipe for an even more bitter and disastrous interchange to occur. The mountain of misunderstanding rises moment by moment.

#Communication - It's Only Words
Image courtesy of twiki.org          No wonder my head hurts at times.

Now we have a struggling computer person, who is definitely not nerdy, feeling even more stupid themselves, plus the person offering to help, when they should have left well enough alone, feeling hurt and offended, because they feel they’ve been abused and called stupid. What a disastrous state of affairs. Why? Because of words. Words should be used to enlighten, to assist, to love and cherish, foster loving feelings and calm hurt ones, not to abuse and enrage. A classic case of miscommunication.

So where now? Somehow, through this veritable minefield of the English language, two people have to tread warily, and hope they can untangle this knotted ball of wool. I had a ball of wool recently, so knotted up that it took two hours to untangle it… I wasn’t sure I had the patience but I did succeed in the end. I know for a fact that I cursed that wool roundly and often – without it taking offense. Luckily for me!

#Communication - It's Only Words

Image courtesy of webdesignledger.com

“I personally believe we developed language because of our deep inner need to complain.”
Jane Wagner, The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe

Human emotions are not as easy as a ball of wool. You can’t hurt the feelings of a ball of wool. You may chop it into pieces if it is really annoying and tangled, but it isn’t going to be hurt or upset. Yet here we have two people who have to walk a tightrope and hope they reach an understanding. Why is the English language so fraught with traps? What is meant by one is not meant by another and this misunderstanding of the use of the same word can cause irreparable damage. Someone, at some time, definitely did not like people conversing.

So, I’m about to try to walk the minefield of knotted logic and understanding and hope I can get my point of view across and understand theirs, so that harmony can flower in the home once more. What puzzles me the most, is that we are speaking the same language. It isn’t as though we are talking different languages and it is an interpretation problem. Or perhaps it is. Perhaps that is the missing key.

English has been added to over the centuries, as the various conquerors have added their offerings to the base language and idioms. In retrospect, it’s not surprising there are so many misunderstandings. Perhaps I should go back to school and study English again, although I fear everyone may need to so we can all be on the same wavelength.

#Communication - It's Only Words
Image courtesy of http://www.iusb.edu    Build the base for communication.

“Oh what a wicked web we weave”. My aching head is going to bed. Good intentions will succeed in the end – survival depends on it.

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”
Nelson Mandela

Very wise words.

 

Blessings, Susan.♥

© Susan Jamieson. August 2014

 

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“I believe in intuition and inspiration. Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution. It is, strictly speaking, a real factor in scientific research.”
Albert Einstein, On Cosmic Religion and Other Opinions and Aphorisms

~

Something went slightly awry today and my routine changed. As a result of that I went into my reader before I did my post. It spawned a changed of topic.

There has been much debate about the proliferation of self-development courses, which I am differentiating from professional development and Spiritual development. All have elements in common but I don’t wish to get embroiled in the necessity for or against professional or spiritual development. Suffice it to say that there seems to be a consensus that there is no need for self-development courses other than those which are followed ad hoc via free online tutorials. They have their place, but are they fulfilling the needs of society?

When I read through the posts in my reader I found some of the posts I expected, the poetry which I enjoy, including the various themes from spiritual to mythical and love. There were the inspirational image quotes and just straight forward quotes, always something a little different.

There were my usual posters who talk about various struggles with illness and how to cope with different aspects of them. Obviously I’m following these people because they know their subject, are very helpful and supportive and have become good friends. In a mutual supportive environment it is gratifying to find people who are altruistic enough to share their triumphs and failures and help each other out.

In other topical pieces I found references to posts which were basically a running commentary on the applause for self-gratification in one’s own sexploits.  Again, I have no problem with this as I can read it or not since it is reader beware.

Then there were a number of reblogged articles. Reblogs are helpful because you learn about a far wider audience than you might hope to cover alone.

There was:

  • an article about a young African American still in prison after 3 years because she defended herself from domestic violence;
  • the harrowing open letter by Dylan Farrow about her sexual abuse by Woody Allen
  • the pollution of the Dan River in Eden, N.C after an aged pipeline burst, sending poisonous grey ash into the river
  • the FBI sting which rescued 16 child sex slaves and 45 “pimps” at the time of the Superbowl, which the FBI have asserted is common practice for these groups when any major event is on
  • Suicide Prevention week in Canada coincides with Love Yourself month, an indictment on some of the most famous originators of self-development such as Nathaniel Brandon, Virginia Satir and Wayne Dyer, who made improving oneself big business and forgot about really helping people to improve their self-esteem
  • The US allegedly using Weather Warfare against the Philippines
  • Top Black History Month Scholarships – a great idea unless it is balanced against the abysmal treatment of African American students elsewhere in the school system
  • The ABC reveals the scam claims by Big Pharma that the anti-Cholesterol lowering drug Statin reduces cholesterol. Big Pharma pushing medicine which does not work, again
  • Judging Philip Seymour Hoffman, a lovely article which does not seek to criticise or condemn but simply regrets the passing, too soon, of a good man with a problem
  • Black History Month in Canada where artists were acknowledged
  • Facebook celebrates its 10th birthday with a ‘movie of your life’ day. I didn’t know it was 10 years old which speaks volumes
  • A young woman in Scotland who cannot get decent treatment for Fibro or other ailments after leaving the UK
  • More from Sochi, first they are killing all the dogs near the stadium, now the facilities are falling apart and repairs are impossible, and finally
  • How there are 7 things from High School repeated later in life

From the posts I have briefly mentioned, and I hasten to add I am in no way passing any criticism on these blogs, they are all excellent posts and have valid stories, but this is my point. Of those listed above, of the fourteen stories (14) there are ten (10) which are bad/depressing/just plain wrong news plus one which rates 50:50.  They are wrong in the sense that they are a poor indictment on society.

#Enough or Nor Enough

image from ceslava.com

What are we doing accepting wrongful imprisonment of a woman defending herself from domestic violence? When did it become alright to arrange child sex slaves for big events? How did we let Big Pharma con us with all their nasty pills and potions which are making us more ill and not less? Why did we applaud a paedophile for making big money making films and ignoring his deplorable behaviour? Child sex abuse is an offence and it doesn’t matter who the hell you are, you do the crime, you do the time. What you don’t do is haul the child, now grown, over the coals for being unable to see the case through to the court stage where she would have been blamed for the events anyway.

This brings me back to my first point. We may have lost faith in the big names of the personal development arena that have become rich telling us how to act, but if the above is a representation of the norm for behaviour then self-improvement is still needed, and it doesn’t matter what you call it.   We are supposed to evolve to become better people as time goes by, not revert to base animal behaviour and not against children and the ill.

Society, in general needs to take a hard look at itself and take the steps to improve. Unless, of course, they are trying to tell us that the behaviour of the day is stupendously wonderful. I pray not.

“Folks, it’s time to evolve. That’s why we’re troubled. You know why our institutions are failing us, the church, the state, everything’s failing? It’s because, um – they’re no longer relevant. We’re supposed to keep evolving. Evolution did not end with us growing opposable thumbs. You do know that, right?”
Bill Hicks

Blessings and prayers, Susan ♥

© Susan Jamieson 2014

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“I did the only thing I knew how to do: I built my own walls of silence to disguise my desperation and what later came to be recognized and diagnosed as depression.”
Sharon E. Rainey, Making a Pearl from the Grit of Life

A strange thing happens when I sit or recline to write. Either I’m eager as a beaver because I feel I have a stunner of an idea, I sit and look at a blank screen and finally something surfaces like a safety line thrown to a drowning person, or I languish forlornly staring at the accusing emptiness and suddenly words will flow and something is on the page. Ideas like bubbles blowing in the breeze wash over me in a magical haze and words appear in front of me.

Amazingly, the latter are the best of all, so I need to tap into my well spring of creativity or, do more prep work because I love writing and love seeing the finished item as I hit that publish button. I was told many months ago that writing for the acclaim of others was a waste of time. If I didn’t like writing for myself it was a lost cause and I should simply stop right then. Incredible as it sounds, that advice was true then and is still true now.

Having said that, it certainly is wonderful having people enjoy what I write and comments are always appreciated because they give me a chance to learn more, about myself and this craft of writing. Yet this is not what I wanted to talk about.

I am a terrible ‘patient’. Terrible doesn’t cover it. Abysmal is closer to it really. I hate the whole illness, can’t do things, must take pills by schedule, do this, do that, everything ordered by someone other than myself. This is not independence. I am, or rather was a fiercely independent person. No – I still am. I haven’t changed, I simply have had to accommodate some changes that irritate but I have to accept as a necessary evil! Temporarily!

For three days I’ve been incredibly emotional after a unpleasant , horrific dream. Even though it turns out the dream is not as bad as it felt, it left me emotional. I hate emotional. It is a loss of control, it is an undermining of the little independence I have left and it leaves me tired, in pain, unimaginably so, and with a burning desire to do something, anything to make me feel, even for a short time that I am ‘normal’ once more.

#Desperate Measures

Ocean Shores 4.30am

Normal, what a stupid word to use. What is normal? Well, for me it is being able to do what I want, when I want without needing any assistance, even that given freely and with love. Independence. It is a heady draught and having it taken away is dis-empowering. Yes, everything revolves around empowering ourselves. Illness removes that empowerment in the cruelest way.

So, after another sleepless night and emotional day before it, I lashed out. I secreted my clothes and sand shoes in the laundry before ‘officially’ going to bed. At 4am I decided my husband was deeply enough asleep I could afford to get up. He is used to me getting up and down during the night now anyway. Quick trip to the bathroom and a little makeup, just in case someone should see me and I crept out to the laundry where a light wouldn’t disturb anyone.

Yes, I sneaked out of the house like a teenager breaking curfew! I even had the forethought to grab a water bottle and my phone. I haven’t walked to the beach where I live and I’ve been here a year. I haven’t sat on the beach and seen the sunrise (at the beach) for a year either. I used to do both regularly when I was alone, independent, before I was engaged or married. I was like a drunken sailor, or a drugged up lunatic, weaving and staggering down this hill. I thought the beach was at the bottom of the road. A kilometre later I reached the sandy access to the beach.

All I could hear was the pounding of the waves. I wished I’d brought my camera but I don’t think I would have made it to the beach if I had. My whole body trembled from the exertion and I staggered down onto the hard sand to sit down. Thankfully seeing someone staggering in the soft sand doesn’t raise eyebrows. I was there and I wasn’t going to be able to move. But I was THERE!

#Desperate Measures

Sunrise at Ocean Shores Beach 5am

I watched the sun rise above the horizon and the clouds.

It was beautiful. It wasn’t hot – I can’t take the heat and the meds had made me burn easily. I could feel the calm wash over me with every wave breaking along the shore line and the rays of the sun peeking over the horizon.  I hadn’t known it was a dog beach. A dog. OMG – how much I want a puppy, a miniature fox terrier and all my own. It’s like an ache, never ending. The dogs began appearing with their owners and I was truly happy when they came over to say hello. To pat them, scratch behind their ears and look into those kindly brown eyes, was blissful. Strange how little it can take.

My photos are grainy – even the lauded iPhone can only do so much. But I will be returning with my camera,and soon. By 7am I was beginning to feel more than a little uncomfortable. Couldn’t move my legs properly and turning around brought a sharp twinge.  A few more canine cuddles and I knew I couldn’t wait, it was time to start the trek UP the hill to get home.  The sun was now a blazing ball in the sky but it was still cool.

#Desperate Measures

Sunrise Ocean Shores 6am

I hit my first hurdle. I couldn’t stand up, couldn’t twist around and couldn’t bend my legs enough to kneel up.  Just a little problem. Soft sand….. I finally managed to flop around like a beached whale until I I got one knee pulled under me enough to lever myself onto hands and knees. Humpf!  This is what emotional independence gets you. Somehow I made it upright only to fall flat on my face – almost, hands and knees again. After my third staggering attempt and fall someone noticed it wasn’t quite normal and offered to help.

Help! I had to acknowledge I needed help to get up that soft sandy dune and she was a nice and concerned lady. So we managed to get to the seat at the edge of the dune so she could stretch after her walk and I could regroup after hiking up the sand dune! I was determined to walk up that darned hill. I stood up and walked to the footpath with my new found friend. My body, not one part of it, wanted any part of moving in a co-ordinated fashion. I staggered like a drunken sailor with palsy until I finally reneged on my independence and accepted a lift to the top of the hill.   So much for being independent.  After showering and changing I’ve been sequestered in bed, complaining body reminding me of my foolhardy outing at every turn. Yet desperate circumstances require desperate measures to be taken.

#Desperate Measures

A mini foxie friend at Ocean Shores

I may have paid for my intemperate haste to be independent, but I have my doggie pics and a few hours of remembering what it felt like to be able to go where I wanted, when I wanted to with impunity. For a while I forgot I was this person with an illness. I was Susan all over again and it felt wonderful. One day, one day soon, I will be that person again… come hell or high water I will be.

Blessings, Susan x

© Susan Jamieson 2014

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#What's the Safety Word?

Image from footage.shutterstock.com –

“It is an absolute human certainty that no one can know his own beauty or perceive a sense of his own worth until it has been reflected back to him in the mirror of another loving, caring human being.”
John Joseph Powell, The Secret of Staying in Love

Everyone has heard about the ‘safety word’. The safety word is the serious-I-mean-it-now time-to-stop word. The word the ‘client’ arranges when he visits his S&M bondage person so he doesn’t accidentally get himself killed during the ‘play’.

What I wonder, is the safety word when you’ve had enough of the ‘merry go round’? I’m referring to that time when you feel you literally cannot face another minute of the hurt, the pain, the torment, the abuse, the depression, the………. (just fill in the blank).

It almost sounds like the beginning to a play or a movie script. The notes followed by the story board before shooting begins. Except it isn’t part of a fictitious film, instead it’s a serious and real part of life. Not the calculated gambles people want to take with their fetishes or fantasies. If something goes wrong there then you almost have to say – ‘they knew what they were getting themselves into.’ But what happens when life pushes you too far?

Talking to people is easy. For some reason I’ve been fortunate that people find it easy to talk to me. I’ve been told many things. I’ve been blessed by sharing the good news of a daughter’s engagement, a son’s engagement, marriages, the unhappier news of divorces, accidents, windfalls and tragedies. It may sound strange to include windfalls as part of the unhappier news, but for many people it hasn’t brought them the happiness they hoped for. Sometimes yes, but many times they have found themselves in a much worse place than they were before their good fortune.

Sometimes there simply are no words to express how you feel. Sometimes you need to rely on a hug or holding someone’s hand and send them strength because there is nothing you can say or do to change things. Having to tell someone their child, husband or wife is dead is one of those times. Words just aren’t made to let people understand you feel their pain.

I had many talks with ‘Sharon’, a lovely lady who was always putting herself down. She simply couldn’t believe she was good at anything she did or that she was wanted or needed by anyone. Despite having a good job she was convinced she was stupid, since her husband continually told her she was. Even though she had two children she couldn’t persuade herself that there was any purpose to her being there. She convinced herself that they would be better off if she was no longer around.

Sharon took a bottle of pills and curled up waiting for the end to steal quietly over her. Her husband came home early and she was rushed to hospital. Unfortunately she didn’t get the help she needed and her unhappiness and feelings of low self-worth grew. Her husband helped her with that part. When she finally left him he embarked on a calculated plan to undermine her self-confidence and she found herself spiraling further down that dark hole.

She moved and I lost track of the family for a while. In trying to out run the influence of her ex-husband she isolated herself from everyone who knew her. She avoided anyone he knew and anywhere he was likely to go. There was nowhere for her to turn to. Her children moved out, as they do when they finally grow their wings and she fell into a deep depression. Depressed or not she still managed to work.

I met her again a short time ago. She often spoke to me of her struggle with ‘The Black Dog’, but being alone it was too difficult for her. She began trying to out run her problems. She would drive day and night when she was not working until she finally fell into a stupor to get some rest. But you can’t roll those dice for long before the stakes get too high. It’s almost like putting your hand in a basket of snakes and expecting not to get bitten.

Sharon told me she didn’t want to leave her children without some kind of support. She didn’t want them to be dependent on their father to “look after them”. Years later he still influenced how she thought and she didn’t trust him to do the right thing by his children. So her game of Russian roulette on the roads didn’t seem to make much sense on one hand, but knowing how her ex-husband had eroded her self-worth, it did.

It felt as though she was holding on by some tenuous thread and at times I wasn’t sure she really heard me. She did see a doctor and get medication, but it was going to be a long haul back.

Sharon died in a pile up on the motorway. She was on her way home from her mother’s funeral. A drunk driver had lost control and ploughed into the oncoming traffic. Her car was hit head on.

What was Sharon’s safety word?  I can’t help but wonder if she had a safety word.  Who could she have called out to, so that she could stop the merry go round? If she had a safety word when should she have used it?

Tell me, do you have a safety word?

#What's the Safety Word

image from s279.photobucket.com

Blessings, Susan x

© Susan Jamieson 2014

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#Pushed to the Limit

image from ogdenutahcriminaldefense.com

“Never esteem anything as of advantage to you that will make you break your word or lose your self-respect.”
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

There are times when, irrespective of how much you try to do otherwise, you fly off the handle. These episodes are usually preceded by periods of intense pressure, things not going according to plan or life generally not playing out the way you hoped. Colloquially they are called “knee jerk’ reactions. They are usually regretted almost immediately as soon as the blood cools down sufficiently for coherent thought to return.

If, like me, that cooling off can be fairly quick, most of the time, it leads to a great deal of soul searching and castigation for behaving in a manner which isn’t liked. However, many times the damage has already been done. Trying to set things right is quite often impossible.

All my life I’ve been told I should behave in certain ways. I was “better than my protagonist” and so held to a higher standard.  “I knew better than that” and so should have controlled that impulse to retaliate.  When you are placed on a pedestal and expected to live up to everyone’s perception of who you are, it can be extremely difficult to find the real you.  You may not even recognise the‘real you’.

#Pushed to the Limit

image from cstl.semo.edu

There have been times, over the years, when that pedestal has rocked alarmingly as I tried to keep my footing living up to so many other people’s ideas of who and what I was. Can you imagine how difficult it might be to understand what you want in life when you are so busy living up to someone else’s ideal? The saddest part of the situation is that it all begins with the best of intentions.

Hard as it may be to understand I was a very shy and quiet child. Head down and mouth closed so I drew as little attention to myself as possible. Yet all the time I was trying to live up to firstly my parent’s expectations of me and later my first husband, my work colleagues, my brothers, and then it seemed everyone else. Everyone had this idea of who I was and how I would respond in certain circumstances.  My first husband had a whole list of ways in which I was allowed to behave and respond that I hardly knew who I was. Sad, pathetic but true. The fact that I did respond as they expected, because it was expected, simply cemented these thoughts in their mind. Sadly, very few of these personas held more than a grain of the real me.

Not wanting to disappoint anyone it was easier to continue to play the roles I was ‘given’. It was safer in one particular area to follow the ‘rules’ than to face the consequences. At the same time I was able to hold down responsible positions, firstly as a police officer, later as a bank official and mother, school chairpersons and so on. I wasn’t actually hidden away where it may have been easier.

Realisation, when it seeped in was the beginning of the real humiliation. Knowing I had been this milksop of a person when I could think, had opinions and could do so many things was quite devastating. The fact that my husband was a police officer meant that I had nowhere to go and no-one to go to. Who would believe me over a serving police officer? It simply didn’t happen, not when the domination is psychological and emotional.

It is still hard for me to write these words, to accept them as reality and realise what I allowed myself to become – a doormat. I was a slave programmed to perform to command. I can never look at a woman in a domestic violence situation and condemn her, man, woman or child in that situation because it can be started so insidiously that it is too late by the time you realise. I was a slave to my ex-husband’s drive to achieve financial stability. The fact that he failed to support his children after I left, usurped part of my settlement and told the children it was theirs, all added to the ongoing manipulation. He is still doing this to my children, though they are grown and through them he is doing it to me because he knows they are the only way he can reach me.

#Pushed to the Limit

image from paulissakippisms.com –

Why have I told you all this. Because if it happened to me it can happen to anyone and if someone reads this and recognises where they are in this cycle and can get out, it is worth my embarrassment. If it helps someone reach out, to me or to someone else it is worth the embarrassment. I am tired of allowing him this hold over me. I am taking my life back, all of it and I refuse to allow him the space in my mind, in my life ever again.

This is real. It can happen to anyone, at any time. Please, if you recognise someone who is drowning under this type of treatment, offer a helping hand. Tell someone in authority and help them before it’s too late.  Life is a precious gift and shouldn’t be destroyed by insecure bullies.

#Pushed to the Limit

I am a woman, flesh and bone, heart and soul.

“Every woman that finally figured out her worth, has picked up her suitcases of pride and boarded a flight to freedom, which landed in the valley of change.”
Shannon L. Alder
Everyone has the right to respect, like breathing, take it away and the soul dies. – Susan Jamieson

Blessings, Susan x

© Susan Jamieson 2014

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“What you do, the way you think, makes you beautiful.” Scott Westerfeld, Uglies
#Medical Alphabet Soup

image from commons.wikimedia.org

That which God said to the rose,
and caused it to laugh in full-blown beauty,
He said to my heart,
and made it a hundred times more beautiful.
Rumi
Illness: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship medical ship Disease. Its five-minute mission: to explore strange new names, to seek out new diseases and new acronyms, to boldly go where no few doctors have willingly gone before.

Some of you may have noticed that I have been “Missing in Action” for a few days.  I literally jumped onto WP and dropped in a few songs and jumped off. I haven’t been in a good place and I wasn’t sure I could get my brain cells to co-operate enough to write something which was going to come out coherently.  Well, here it is and something a little different, a rant with an edge.

I had to attend an appointment with my doctor. I’m reaching  have reached the point where I detest going and feel infuriated when I am returning home. It makes going there counterproductive. I have always had an inherent dislike for the labeling system, and not just within the medical fraternity. It is endemic in society.  Now, it isn’t enough to append labels to everyone, thereby dehumanising people by placing them in an arbitrary group for the benefit of…..who? The Government? It’s almost irrelevant if it wasn’t so invasive, but its aim is so that we are able to be “controlled” with greater ease.

Not content with being labelled and grouped we are now being reduced even further by being diagnosed as little more than a group of letters. Such as:-

ADD  and ADHD Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a disorder that appears in early childhood. You may know it by the name attention deficit disorder, or ADD. ADD/ADHD makes it difficult for people to inhibit their spontaneous responses—responses that can involve everything from movement to speech to attentiveness.

http://www.helpguide.org/mental/adhd_add_signs_symptoms.htm

The information I found basically made ADD and ADHD into one category. All the signs, symptoms and treatments appeared almost the same. They appear to simply transition adults with greater ease if they are placed in the ADHD basket.  By that I mean if a child is diagnosed as ADHD they move into adult ADHD, there appears to be a very small number of adults referred to as having ADD.

Bipolar Disorder Bipolar disorder is the name used to describe a set of ‘mood swing’ conditions, the most severe form of which used to be called ‘manic depression’.

http://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/public/bipolardisorder/bipolardisorderexplained/ 

Bipolar is treated the same as any other ‘mental’ disorder. It appears that any depressive illness is graduated eventually towards Bipolar, a nice easy fit for the sake of treatment.

#Medical Alphabet Soup

image from theredpillnews.blogspot.com

ME/CFS – (Myalgic Encephalomyeltis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) suffer from post-exertional malaise (flu-like symptoms following activity). CFS is a neurological condition that can affect children and adults of any age. Other symptoms include pain, disrupted sleep, difficulty thinking, and changes in blood pressure, hormones and body temperature.

http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Chronic_fatigue_syndrome

FMS – FibromyalgiaFibromyalgia (Fibro) is a name given to a group of symptoms marked by generalised pain and muscle stiffness. These symptoms can be felt in all different areas of the body. Extreme fatigue (tiredness) and sleep problems are also common in fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia does not cause inflammation or damage to the painful areas, but seems to be due to an over active pain system.

https://www.arthritisvic.org.au/Conditions-and-Symptoms/Fibromyalgia

These last two are cut from the same cloth. All that is being done is simple semantics being argued. Post exertional malaise is different from muscle soreness and stiffness? It wasn’t when I went to the gym. Tiredness and sleep problems are the same as disrupted sleep – within parameters. It is all another way of segregating people into nice little baskets and putting labels on them. But why?

This may seem like a gigantic waste of time, however, my point is that the medical “powers that be” are manipulating the terminology to describe various conditions for their own purposes. Purposes we are not made aware of.

Whilst one source will say that ME/CFS will occur often with Fibromyalgia, another source will declare that FMS and ME/CFS are totally separate ailments. Yet the descriptions themselves show overlaps. I’m not wishing to be contrary, however, I am trying to show that this is a veritable minefield when someone is trying to find out what is happening to them, and getting a diagnosis.

Many of those who have been visited by one of these delightful acronyms over the years, have battled for years to get a differential diagnosis from ONE doctor, let alone a consensus so we can get the best treatment possible. Most of the time we have to struggle on alone, trying to get someone to ‘admit’ there is ‘something’ wrong. Not only is it wrong, it is criminally wrong.

In my opinion, splitting each part of the symptomology into small groups and relabeling it slightly, is another way for “the powers that be’ to be able to say, a smaller percentage of the population is ‘suffering’ from this or that ailment.  Then the real fun begins as they hyperventilate over which medications can be given to which group of people to treat their specific symptoms. Is this a cost cutting exercise?

Why has this latest visit caused so much ire? As many will already know I was diagnosed with Lyme disease last year. It doesn’t exist in Australia, according to the ‘powers that be’ and that creates a bucket load of problems, not least being there are no doctors who have the authority, from the Medical Association, to treat you. Some of the symptoms for this delightful ailment are, ‘flu like’ symptoms. In its lesser aggressive state it can cause inflammation of the joints, especially the knees, (arthritis.) The heart can be affected, (heart failure), Bell’s palsy, meningitis and so on. The arthritis of Lyme disease can look like many other types of inflammatory arthritis and can become chronic. Anxiety and depression occur with an increased rate with people with Lyme disease.

But it doesn’t exist here so I don’t need to worry.  My GP does not recognise that Lyme exists in Australia and therefore I do not have it. I’m not doing terribly well and I need to understand what’s happening. After all, it is my body we are talking about.  I’m a good researcher. It’s what I do when something bugs me. I research and my results led me to Fibro. This has been going on for years. I’m listed as a ‘chronic pain’ sufferer. The ‘argument’ is that Chronic Pain is an accepted diagnosis so why do I need to find out if it is Fibro? Simple – I need to know so I can understand what I can do and where I can go to get help.

Under pressure – I was finally told, Yes, I have Fibro. Chronic Pain is Fibro. I cannot have an operation because my spine is Swiss cheese. I have had this for so long it has degenerated too much to do anything with it. Let’s have a Party!

#Medical Alphabet Soup

image from opencaremedicalcenter.com

So I now have a generalist who says I have Lyme disease: who isn’t allowed to treat me because the Australian Medical Board has restricted his license. Why – well it doesn’t exist here and he was stupid clever enough to make a ‘you tube’ video advertising his treatment of it. Smart move! I also have a Medical practitioner who says it doesn’t exist so he won’t treat me for it. I have Chronic Pain, or Fibro, or both, or ME/CFS.  And they wonder why people get depressed or anxious!

Sarcasm is the final stand for people who are being ignored or not listened to. I shouldn’t need to be as wealthy as Rockefeller to get good health care. I shouldn’t need to go to the UK or US to get medication. I shouldn’t have to wait an additional ten to fifteen years to get medication already approved and in use in those countries.

#Medical Alphabet Soup

image from http://www.label-makers.com.au –          Is this our future?

Reducing every ailment or disease to an acronym, for convenience, not only depersonalises the situation it also dehumanises those affected. We are not numbers, nor acronyms. We are not our disease or ailment, we are people and should be accorded the dignity that warrants.

I have one final theory – is this a concerted effort of ‘the powers that be’ to introduce eugenics in the population under the guise of ill-health? Now that is a scary thought.

“You can truly value life, when you have looked Death in the eyes and held its hand.”
Lionel Suggs

Blessings, Susan x

© Susan Jamieson 2014

#Medical Alphabet Soup

image from fineartamerica.com

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and hold no medical qualification. All the descriptions used are taken from an Internet search and relevant bodies who advise on these conditions. All opinions stated are mine.

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“The purpose of government is to enable the people of a nation to live in safety and happiness. Government exists for the interests of the governed, not for the governors.”
Thomas Jefferson

What a lot of Hokum for We The People.

~~~~~

I had originally decided to do a short blog and call it ‘The Spirit is willing but the flesh is Weak”. Yet the more I thought about it the more I realised it simply was a hoax. Most importantly I was simply fooling myself. It sounds so pathetic to continually say, “It’s been a bad week” or “I’ve had a rough couple of days” or any number of other platitudes.

That’s not to say that they aren’t true, it’s just that I’m tired of using the same statements as if I trot out one after the other when things are… challenging. I’m not sure quite where I am on this sliding spectrum which I use to gauge how well I’m travelling. Truthfully, I’m feeling more than a little sick and tired with being sick and tired and not really knowing if I’m on the right track.

For so long I dragged myself to the doctors and presented the same old symptoms, tiredness, aches in joints and muscles, my motivation slowly drained away as it became more and more difficult to do things. I’m a perfectionist. I’m also a control freak. I like things to be neat and tidy. I can find nothing wrong with being able to tell anyone exactly where to go to find anything they need in my home. At least I could do that a couple of years ago.

There are my detractors who accused me of OCD, but heck, at least I didn’t need to upend my home to locate a letter I need. I revel in my individuality and I don’t expect anyone else to follow suit – each to his own.

#What a lot of Hokum

image from frommylivingroom.blogspot.com                                      Everything in it’s pace and a place for everything.

Then I was told about Lyme disease. It seemed to fit so many of the anomalies in the symptoms I had. The medication protocols are – unpleasant. If Fibromyalgia causes Brain fog then Lyme – its co-infections and the medication to ‘treat’ it definitely increases it exponentially. But I’m no quitter. I’ve gone through the protocols, dragged myself in ever decreasing circles of confusion and despair trying to determine if I’m simply grasping at straws. And I’m still not finished.

I’ve blogged about it because I’ve struggled to find support groups or people who are willing to share information. How odd. Here is a disease the AMA refuse to accept is in Australia, penalise doctors who treat it and we cannot find anyone to give us recommendations to people who are helping the ‘sufferers’. Those who find these people, usually friends, or friends or friends, keep that information to themselves. Why? Is getting well to be a hoarded treasure? Bygone days of the privileged living and the disadvantaged fading away unnoticed.

#What a lot of Hokum

image from alternews.com –      Where did the floor come from?

I’m not simply tired, I’m exhausted. My arms scream at me in pain for typing, but this is my only outside contact. It’s lonely not being able to see or speak with people. One more day of crawling up the hallway is making me shake uncontrollably. Is this Lyme disease, Bartonella or Babesiosis or some other confounded co-infection I’ve yet to be advised of; or is it Fibromyalgia, ME/CFS or one of its familiars?

I was feeling blah this morning. I had several appointments and I’d had a rough night. In fact I crawled up to the bathroom and cried for about an hour. I’m not giving in, but where the hell do I go?  How do I persuade my GP to look at my symptoms differently – not simply hand out stronger pain meds that leave me FOGGY!!!

To be able to think is such a gift. To know you are making sense and perhaps helping someone who needs to read this… that is my impetus for continuing. I have no answers, just a zillion questions. I want answers because I feel the medical establishment owe us that much – and then decent treatment. I have a right to a quality of life that is good enough to let me do what I’d like without crippling me. There is no need for it. If the damned doctors and insurance companies had done their due diligence when I had my accident, my simple accident, I wouldn’t be in this predicament now. I truly believe so. I wish I could sue the bejaysus out of them.

For the first time today, I ‘listened’ to someone who had always presented a positive push for the treatments they were given, the illness that accompanied them and was able to do so many physical activities I dream of doing’. Today I listened to them bemoaning their shuffling gait to reach the beach, crying because of the brain fog, the inability to raise your head from wherever it lays, and not be able to DO anything.  I admire this person, but here they are, for the first time in my space.

I want to offer advice but I am unable since no-one shared advice with me, I have none to offer except to say, I understand, I am there still, drowning in this misery but determined not to let it win.

#What a lot of Hokum

image from http://www.bannerhealth.com                                   I’m right here, You are not Alone!

I am going to search for these mysterious support forums and try to find out if these diseases have the same symptoms or not and what works for them. I have a few answers from dear people today. Yoga terrifies me because the pain is well established but I’ll try. I may not have  an answer, but by heavens, I will control my environment as much as I can so I can enjoy, to the fullest extent, the life I have been handed. I will also pass on any information I uncover – as a reference only, to be talked over with your doctors so that perhaps, in the fullness of time, we can beat these blasted torturous diseases. Such is my hope. Such is my prayer for all of us.

#What a lot of Hokum

image from childrensbookshop.circlesoft.net         Here come the answers!

As human beings, as Spirits having a human existence we search for answers. This is a prime directive so that we can learn. There is “a strange new world” out there, “new life and new civilisations” and, even more important, “The Truth is Out There”.

#What a lot of Hokum

image from aliens.wikia.com

What more could we ask for?  Who was right, Spock or Kirk?  Does “The good of the many outweigh the good of the few” or Does “The good of the one outweigh the good of the many?

We all deserve a better future.

Blessings, Susan x

© Susan Jamieson 2014

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#My Husband, # My Lover, # My Friend

Ray and I on our wedding day May 11, 2011

“This is what our love is––a sacred pattern of unbroken unity sewn flawlessly invisible inside all other images, thoughts, smells, and sounds.”   Aberjhani, The River of Winged Dreams
My Husband, My Lover, My Friend

It’s been a rough week here and although I’ve tried to play it down, inside my head and in my posts, there have been times when the thought of simply ‘giving up’ wasn’t far away.  It’s very difficult to remain positive when you wake up and the moment of consciousness brings the awful knowledge that your entire body is screaming in agony.

It’s becoming a real nightmare, a waking nightmare and this morning was the worst to date. Let me explain, although it’s really hard for me to write this. I cannot move my legs, body, head or shoulders. I am fortunate that my hands and lower arms appear to be okay. I wake up feeling as though I’m in a roasting oven, on well done!  I cannot push the covers off and I cannot get out of bed, (I can’t move).

#My Husband, # My Lover, # My Friend

image from autobio-blogs.plazilla.com

I’ve tried everything I can think of to get out of bed without waking my husband, especially as sometimes I wake really early and I’m ruining his rest. He needs it, he has to look after someone who is cranky because she can’t do the things she has previously done alone and I’m not in the right head space to “give in gracefully” and acknowledge that for the moment, this has to be my reality.

#My Huasband, # My Lover,#  My Friend

image from http://www.123rf.com Is this what is coming?

So let’s go back to this morning. I had a magnificent sleep, six hours of deep sleep. It’s a shame it was drug enhanced but I can’t fight that any longer either. But, I heard Ray get up and that was enough to wake me.  It was a world of hurt and I had no idea what to do. My entire body was locked in this agonising position and I had to move. I simply had to.

From a mental angle it is full on despair, a waking nightmare I cannot banish. Giving in is against my entire world view. I have always stood my ground, but that has become a joke since I cannot stand. Not first thing in the morning.

The first challenge is getting upright and Ray has to hold my hands and when I say “Pull” he has to pull me upright quickly. This morning I screamed as he did this.  (Going slowly is more painful.) Ray has to slowly pull each leg around until I can reach the floor and then once again, pull me to my feet. He has to make sure I don’t fall backward or forwards or I’ll be on the floor. I’ve mentioned the ‘damned stairs’ before but this morning they almost defeated me. But he wouldn’t let go, nor would he give in and we painfully made our way along the corridor.

#My Husband, #My Lover, #My Friend

image from owlsandorchids.com       Is this all that’s left?

It has brought home the simple dignity chronically ill people suffer which is taken by others as something they just have to get used to. I wonder if, in the same position, they would find it so easy or welcome! Well, we made the journey, back to bed and sitting back brought another stifled scream. (I have some pride left). It was not going to be an easy day. I swore I wouldn’t take the tablets but I was afraid, seriously afraid I might have to call the ambulance.  Maybe it’s the meds but that’s tantamount to throwing in the towel and I’d rather the unthinkable than that.

So, doped up and basically incoherent I remained in a land somewhere between reality and who knows? I do know that after Ray had left I felt someone sitting down and then a cuddling into my legs, but that’s another story.

We decided on a bath, detoxing again, but with added special things Ray thought up. He helped me to the main bathroom, (when we build I’m having a bath in the en suite!) and the most beautiful sight met my eyes. My special bath salts, lavender-scented had been liberally placed in the bath, extra Epsom salts, my coconut body wash, coconut scented body cream, candles, my bath pillow and my iPod. I could have cried. It was exquisite – and I forget to get a photo so this will have to do…

How can something so wonderful be so painful? Getting in and lying back caused another loud groan, but I wasn’t going to let it stop me. (Note to self – larger bath needed in our en suite). It was hot, as it needed to be and as I felt the warmth slowly seeping into my body, I felt a wonderful feeling enveloping me. I got my iPod and some meditation music and I was left in peaceful silence.

I came back to myself as the water lost its heat but over an hour had passed and I was a wrinkled prune – almost. Helped out and dried off and then the final surprise, the beautiful coconut butter lotion… He carefully and slowly rubbed it in from my toes to my neck and down my back. I had the most incredible massage of my back. His magical fingers caressed the painful knots and tender spots and relaxed the rest of my back. I was covered from head to toe with lotion and I felt amazing. Every muscle had turned to jelly.

Helping me dress and back upstairs we had a beautiful cup of tea.

I realised how lucky I was. I found in one inexplicable gift from the Universe, my soul mate who is my husband, my lover and my best friend. The pain notwithstanding, I realise I’m so darned lucky. To be loved and accepted by such a wonderful man, someone who not only stands by me, but helps me through my nightmare is a rare blessing. I don’t make it easy on him at times and my guilt becomes another torment. I feel stuck in this limbo, yet supported by a magical earth angel.

What more can I say? Love is beautiful and found in unexpected place and at unusual times. Enjoy it anytime you can.

#My Husband, #My Lover, #My Friend

image from 2guysphoto.wordpress.com

I feel my love flowing to all my friends out here, and to all the people everywhere. Love will eventually change our world. It is too great to ignore forever.

Blessings and love to all.

Susan x

© Susan Jamieson  2014

~

For the Love of My Life and for the Love of Your Lives, whoever they may be.

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We the People.

I am going to be critical of our respective health care systems and patient treatment, so if you will be offended, skip this post.

I have read posts from friends I care about, posts which have reduced me to despair. I wonder where we are all going and what the purpose behind this is. It seems almost too much to ask a person to accept and yet that is what we are being asked to do – but by whom?

In my heart I see the suffering of my friends and search my heart, my soul, for some way to help them and stop this insidious separation of healthy people from those who are struggling with theirs. Why has this treatment of the ill as an unwelcome burden on society resurfaced with such callous indifference?

This reminds me of the days of biblical times where the lepers were isolated because they believed all forms of leprosy were a curse from the gods and contagious. It reminds me of more civilised days where the ill and infirm were locked way as an embarrassment. The improvements in our healthcare systems, in the knowledge of our doctors and specialists were supposed to bring better healthcare to the sick.

#We The People

image from http://www.leprosymission.org.uk       Spinalonga, off the north-east coast of Crete operated until 1957

It appears from changes that are occurring that this is now in decline. The day may come, sooner than we wish, when only those with money are able to have good healthcare, good doctors. I am at a loss to understand the thinking behind these changes.

As part of the “first world” countries, we send doctors, nurses and billions in healthcare to “third world” countries whilst at the same time we fail to offer the same degree of care, the duty of care, the Hippocratic oath doctors must swear, in the care of people in our own countries.

I am truly grateful that we have “Doctors without Borders” and other groups. I admire and respect their dedication and service. I would like to say the same thing about the service offered at home.

#We The People

image from hellaheaven-ana.blogspot.com

The reality is apparent. Politicians, doctors, specialists, have the financial means to see the best person to attend to their needs in hospitals or otherwise. OK, they have earned it. I do not believe the rest of society, because they are not as financially independent, should be denied the same level of care. I am grateful for their abilities, I am grateful they are successful, yet I fail to see why these abilities should be the privilege of the wealthy.

Recently I read a letter from a doctor who said he was only responsible for diagnosing the problem and ‘ordering’ the medication for the patient. Any ancillary care was up to the patient to arrange, if they could afford it (detoxing, herbs, massage, science, food as medicine, meditation, alternative therapiesor physiotherapy etc.). Is this a case of Russian Roulette?

#We The People

image from http://www.nnym.org Which one today? Red and Yellow and Pink and Blue, Purple and Orange and Green..

Things in Australia are different from in America or Britain. I understand the new ‘Obama-care’ is reviled for disenfranchising people. In Australia, if you are ill and are unable to afford private health insurance you may as well forget care at all because by the time the public system gets to you, you are probably too ill to benefit from it.

It is the usual case, if you cannot afford to pay for private health cover (I did until recently) then you are out of luck. You cannot see a specialist, go to a private hospital or get any assistance from any source. You go on a never-ending waiting list. Yet the doctor says: go to your local hospital. But, whatever you do, do not go via a friend’s car or you will sit in the waiting room forever. As unpalatable as it sounds, and as much as you wish to be “independent”, take the ambulance. At least you will be in the emergency room; probably in a hall, but there none the less.

You see, here in Australia, unfortunately I cannot speak for America or Britain, we have a dire shortage of doctors, even if the Government and AMA disagree. We accept overseas students to train to be doctors and specialists, who then, instead of returning home afterwards and thus saving every country the need to send OUR doctors there to treat their people (remember “Doctors without Borders”), they remain here for a much better lifestyle and pay. We cannot even afford to see these doctors. We therefore accept trainee doctors in hospitals from overseas and the commentary of that defies logic.

Why can they not allow our children who want to be doctors and specialists to train in our Universities and then treat us? Why? Because all the places are taken by these overseas students who amazingly cannot speak English and need translators when they get into difficulty. I beg your pardon? They cannot speak English? How can they study or treat patients later? It’s a miracle; they develop the ability by osmosis the moment they graduate.

I am told we need the overseas students to help pay for our Universities. What is our damned Government doing, in fact what is every damned Government doing? My friends, and countless others who are ill and in pain, who need to see doctors, specialists or have hospital care, are being manipulated by the various systems being underhandedly put in place to see that they are not cared for.

If ‘we’ as a global society can spend billions on overseas healthcare in aid programs, then it behoves us to ensure that at home, our own people are given the best healthcare possible. After all, each “first world” country accepts hundreds, if not thousands, of refugees each year. Each person is given free healthcare – but the tax payers of the country are treated with less dignity and respect than the refugees.

#We The People

image from http://www.news.com.au        Just swimming in cash

I do not begrudge anyone healthcare, irrespective of who they are or where they hail from. I simply believe that, as the Americans would say, “We the people” are entitled to the best care possible without gouging our pockets to receive it. I’m sorry, but I have yet to see any healthcare professional walking around in pain and not able to obtain assistance. We should also be able to.

#We The People

image from happy-people-group-fb.jpg articles.mercola.com –

May peace, love, health and happiness be yours.

Blessings,  Susan x

© Susan Jamieson 2014

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