Saturday, May 23, 2015

Duggar Family Loses Their Show and People Go Nuts

Credit USMagazine
So people are all up in arms over the Duggar Family losing their show 19 Kids and Counting. The show went down because of news that the eldest son committed several acts of molestation when he was 14. On one hand, that might sound a bit harsh for TLC to cancel over such old news. But with reality show track records lately, it's hard to blame them.

Before I get into that, I want to address the most ridiculous argument for the family that I've heard. It's the Freedom of Speech argument and it's completely inappropriate. People need to remember that the First Amendment is to protect you from government action. It does not protect you from other consequences of saying stupid things. This situation has nothing remotely to do with any freedom of speech and everything to do with TLC trying to protect their own image. Believe it or not, they actually have the right to do that.

Now, for those who seem to think that happening when he was 14 couldn't have been so bad, I have a question: What do you really know about the details of those cases? He didn't stop at just one right? And were the victims the same age as him or were they much younger? This is information not released so far (but some has been). So how can any of you  make a realistic decision based on what you don't know? Forcing himself on girls his own age is very different than fondling say, an 8 year old when you're 14. But we have no idea, and neither does TLC. Where do you take the gamble when it comes to  your image? The same goes for everyone who calls for his forgiveness. You don't know what you're forgiving him for. (for actual case details, see the article links below)

I just wish people would use some critical thinking. I personally think that victimization of children is the most heinous and deplorable crime there is. I'm not talking about a 19 year old who got stupid with a 16 year old. I'm talking about the real monsters who aim for younger than preteens in manners I won't describe here. But I don't know the facts of this guy's case. So I really can't judge him one way or the other. I do understand TLC's actions however.

Just look at TLC's luck with this issue so far. Honey Boo Boo (horrible show) got the kick when the mom decided to have and keep a relationship with a convicted pedophile.

Then we look at Discover channel's Sons of Guns cancelled because of child molestation charges. (Discover and TLC are owned by the same people).That was Will Hayden.  Tyler Smith of Doomsday Preppers was arrested on gun charges because he's a felon and not supposed to be anywhere near guns. He's also a level 1 sex offender.

It almost looks like reality shows have a bad knack for attracting these people. If you keep all of them on, you risk making it look like your company supports that behavior. Yes, I know reality shows have all sorts of depravity, but I'm glad they draw the line somewhere.

So it really comes down to the company and their own image (no matter how ironic that may be) and has nothing to do with anyone's "rights". And whether you are defending Mr. Duggar or condemning him, you still have no idea what you are actually applying that decision to because no one knows the pertinent details of the case.

So chill out. Your show got cancelled. Hardly the end of the world. Before you go on a riff, stop and think a bit. It will do you some good.

Just to add some extra details about the accusations and cover ups for those seeking more details:

ARTICLE 1

ARTICLE 2

And you can google tons more. So now I leave you with one final question. If you think Josh Duggar should be forgiven and protected (which he clearly has been for some time), how do you feel about his victims?

UPDATE: Wow, just one day in and apparently someone thinks I defend pedos. Let me explain something and make it crystal freaking clear. Way back in my past psychological history, I have the label written that a pedophile is actually NOT SAFE IN MY GENERAL VICINITY. In other words, they discovered (since I'm a survivor myself) that I am likely hurt that person. On two occasions, I've made that the truth. In one, I was a teen and got in a car with one who touched me. I pulled a knife on him and made him let me out. In the second, some old creep tried to take a neighbors little girl from my driveway and found my hand firmly locked around his effing windpipe.  All I'm trying to do is get people to think for a damned minute, especially people who are defending this family and what is becoming one of the nastiest sexual abuse coverups of the decade. Go figure.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

How did I get here?

At times I find myself reflecting on what I survived and how I got here. Memories don't like to stay away, but then sometimes it's important to remember. It's important to remember that I survived this long for a reason. Bigger and badder events have tried to take me down. They failed. Why should current events be any different?

Not that anything really bad is happening right now. I've had a few difficulties in recent days and struggling with MS has been nothing less than frustrating.

Yesterday I wanted to bag up some of the leaves that have been in my yard for months. I managed to pull off a bag and a half before nearly reaching collapse stage. I was furious; mostly at myself. How weak it seems that I can't bag some stupid leaves. Yes, they were wet and rotting, therefore heavier. Yes, it was 84 degrees outside and MS hates heat. But still, I wanted the work done. I still want the work done. Oh, I did also use the push mower to do the front yard (by push I mean no engine) which is a staircase of tree roots. I probably should have stopped there.

I remembered that I used to be a soldier. I used to do 50 pushups at a time. I can do 20 now, but it wipes me out for hours. I went to basic training in South Carolina where we marched in 90+ degree heat. Now I can hardly tolerate just standing in 90 degree heat.

But I'm still breathing and functioning. I'm still doing a lot of things that defy the odds. I've lived my life doing this. I've been put down and kicked while down and still got back up. So maybe I need a check list that reminds me?

Abusive alcoholic/drug addict stepmother: Survived.
Severe and violent bullying through school years: Survived
Run away from home and become a street urchin child: Survived
30 years of chaos and loss because I didn't know I had Asperger's: Survived

All that and managed to stay away from drugs, alcohol and crime. So I have a lot to be thankful and for and a lot that didn't take me down in the first place.

I know I can only hold back MS so much. I know I can only keep doing my artwork for so long. I just need to remember how I got here and what's important today. Bit by bit and piece by piece is how I have to do things. That's just the reality of it.

So maybe sometimes, the musings over the past can reflect on the present. It all depends on how I utilize those memories. Or something like that.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Facebook commentor says autistic children deserve incineration

First, you need to see this story about the Tigard family and how they were forced off a plane because of a child with autism. Oh and language warning for the quote below.

Link HERE.

Get Mrs. Tigard's full explanation of events HERE.

I want to point out that the child in question, never harmed anyone. The Tigard family were in an unfortunate set of circumstances that are not possible to fully control. Imagine being that family for just a second. Okay, try for longer than a second. Your child is headed for a meltdown and you are frantically trying to make any arrangements you can to avoid a very embarrassing and public situation. You have a special needs child. But the world doesn't stop for that. Planes still board and expect to take off on time. So when your child is refusing to eat (under the influence of their condition) and you are faced with missing your plane. What do you do? If you just spout off that you would miss your plane, you clearly don't live your life with a special needs person. And how many flights are you willing to miss?  The treatment of this family is appalling, but then you get people Josh.

Josh posted a comment on the second link above and it was as follows:

Josh comments from Houston, Texas. Note the f-bombs for extra class. Note the severe lack of empathy or understanding by calling a child 'it' and using a word like 'deserve'. I don't know where his hatred of disability comes from, but it's quite a shock to the system. It's comments of that kind that show us our job is not done when it comes to awareness for autism. Maybe Josh just likes to be a troll? Hard to say. If you look at his page, you see that he at least cares about police officers being shot.

But clearly, he has no idea what a person with autism struggles with. The lower the function of the person, the greater the struggle. Maybe our schools need to start teaching humanities? Maybe there needs to be special classes?

People like Josh, make life 10x harder out in public for special needs families. Usually because of lack of tolerance for the needs of other human beings. This is why awareness campaigns much continue. The must continue for the education of the steward and captain on the plane and bystanders like Josh.

UPDATE:

Josh's account may be fake! First see it for yourself:  LINK.

Now, if you do an image search you will find THIS. And more because it's a stock photo being used on thousands of websites. How creepy does a person have to be?

Now this is either a stolen photo or actually his face in Wikipedia. Hard to be certain. But there are some interesting things on his FB page.

He likes the Bay City Texas, Police Dept. Which suggests he may live in Bay City instead of Houston. He like Texas A&M University and is on their AG Confessions page. He likes the Eyeworks optometry center?  HERE. Take a look.

The real name of the mug in the photo is apparently Jack Hills. Are the one and the same person. Hard to say

What this does say, is something for the apparent cowardice of people who behave like this online.



Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Helping the Birds

Our dryer is out in the shed. That's where several people around here have their dryer hookups. So when I do laundry, I have to take the wet clothes from the washing machine in the kitchen, and go outside to the shed in the carport. You might think that's a crazy place for a dryer until you consider that this is Louisiana. In Louisiana summer temps can break 110 with stupid ease. In tiny houses like ours, having a massive heat element inside when you're trying to keep cool is counterproductive. But then, I didn't want to go on and on about drying clothes in the shed. I want to talk to you about birds. Stupid birds. Better than that, I want to talk to you about helping them.

Yesterday, I walked into the carport and thought that the dryer had suffered a blowout. Lint was everywhere. The dryer was fine however so I dismissed the issue until later. I brought the issue up with my wife later on the phone. It wasn't a complaint, rather "hey, guess what happened to me today". That's when she informed me in casual repose that she tossed the lint out into the yard and it must have blown into the carport.

Before I go any further, let me toss one point in that will quickly become important. It's been raining here. It's been raining a lot.

Now dear wife explained to me that she avoided the trash can standing next to the dryer, took the lint out and tossed it over the backyard gate in order to help the birds. Stupid birds.

ME: Do you think the birds need your help?

HER: Well, no, but it's nice to do.

Is it now? Well folks, let me ask you; have you ever seen a pile of wet lint? I have. Just past my backyard gate, draped over one of my son's toys he left out. It looks like an 80 pound cat hawked up half its fur. It's about as pleasant to step in, I can tell you that. Feeling the mass slide under my shoe had me thinking of anything except wet lint.

Do the birds really need out help with nesting materials? Has anyone gone outside and actually looked at the ground lately? Birds don't need our help. Arguably, they get too much of it already in our super littered world. And what are these birds good for? All a bird does is eat bugs, pump out eggs and crap on cars. No, I know better than that. Don't get mad. But seriously, they don't need our help.

But then she said this: "I've seen them make nests with ribbon."

This morning as I write this I would like to point out that she is not giving them ribbons. It's hairball material from the guts of the dryer. It's hair, dirt, and clothing fragments. I know I did not step on a pile of slimy ribbon. I have yet to see the dryer regurgitate ribbons as our laundry's cast off. No. It's not ribbons. It's crap.

So, it seems I must suggest an alternative or two. 1) Give them actual ribbons maybe? 2) Toss out bird seed; it's far more entertaining than stepping slime. And it's a far better way to enjoy your birds.

I love my wife very much and she knows this is all in good humor. Be well everyone.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Throw the spaghetti!

It's been a tough MS week over here. When I make spaghetti, I break the strands in half. Normally that's no problem for me, but last night I lost my grip and threw them all over the stove top. A couple caught fire and I went into panic mode. This triggered the beginning of a sensory overload because of the sudden stress and panic. Normally such an accident would be hilarious, but I wasn't seeing that at the time. My wife came to my rescue and helped me pick up all the noodles like a game of pickup sticks. Dinner wasn't ruined and we got on fine. If it weren't for a stark hatred of MS, I might of felt like laughing later, because it had to be just a little bit funny. I have these days once in a while where I go from dropping something, to immediately tripping over it, than standing up and bumping my head on a cabinet door. If anyone saw me, they wouldn't be able to help themselves in laughing. I wouldn't be feeling it though.

Several days have been rocky like this so far. Today, not so bad. I'm inking new artwork and pushing forward in my projects.

That's just how it works. It  grabs you and throws you down and you struggle to get up for a day or few. You utter some choice words as you spill and drop things or throw them all over the room because you flinched weird. It's hard to see the slapstick comedy of such accidents when they feel more like an insult from your medical condition. But there it is.

Tough MS days also come hand in hand with depression. Your enthusiasm is about as active as a dead fish. That's been mine the past couple of days. I recognize it too. I know it's happening and I'm open to admit it during the course. And I feel bad because it rubs off on others and makes the day sad for everyone. So I have an internal wrestling match, trying to cough up a chuckle or two. Sometimes it works, but it feels fake to me. And it is.

What can you do when you are having a low MS time? Not much. Ride it out. Get an extra nap in. Take a walk if you can. Watch funny movies. All the basic tools against depression as you wait for the MS tide to go back out again. When you do feel better, you best take advantage of it. Try to do those projects that you've had to put off for days on end.

Finally, you have to remember that it's not your fault. You have MS and it's a rotten demon to live with. You didn't ask for it or invite to live with you. It pushed its way through the door on its own. Keep your chin up and keep fighting the good fight.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Multiple Sclerosis: What you don't see

I saw this image today on Facebook from MSstation and knew what I would be writing about today. First, let me tell you that MSstation is an educational group page on living with MS. If you live with MS and you are on Facebook, check them out. On this infographic there is a list of what we live with in MS.

Numbness and Tingling sensations are both listed and they go hand in hand. I can't sit in one position for long or my legs will give me hell. It feels like circulatory problems. According to tests, my circulation is fine. It's the MS.

Tinnitus: ringing in the ears. I don't get this one as often, but I have it about once a month.

Trigeminal Neuralgia: There's a fun one to say. It's a nerve condition that causes shooting pains in the face. I get what feels like cramps around my ears and into my jaw.

Speech and Swallowing difficulties: Oh yes. I bite myself while trying to talk and mess up words into gibberish. I also have esophageal spasms throughout the day. They make it look like I'm choking, but I'm not. They can cause actual choking if I'm trying to eat.

Optic Neuritis-Diplopia and Nystagmus: In order they are inflammation of the optic nerve, double vision and involuntary eye movements. My vision used to be awesome and it still kind of is; except when I can't focus my vision. Because this happen intermittently, glasses won't help. So my vision can come and go. May have my regular awesome vision one day, blurry the next.

Depression. Who wouldn't get depressed? I've dealt with depression all my life. This explains a lot.

Bladder Control. I definitely have to go more than I used to. I also have a stretched bladder due to my career before being disabled. Basically, I was too busy with emergencies to stop for bathroom breaks. But that's another story.

Tremors. The bane of an artist. My handwriting was never good, but it's horrid now. I used to able to write letters, but now they must be typed. I have to make a lot of adjustments for my artwork. The finer the detail I try to draw, the more it will just be a wavy mess.

Restless Leg Syndrome. My legs will kick or just shudder. Tough MS days always make this worse.

Insomnia. I definitely get sleepless nights. This can be made worse by fatigue that takes me down during the day and messes up my sleep cycle.

Nocturia. Overnight waking up to urinate. Like sleep problems weren't already an issue.

Constipation. Nuff said.

The MS 'hug'. It feels like you have a vice around your ribs and your being crushed. Mostly I just get a cramp on one side of my ribs, but it's pretty painful.

Balance issues/stumbles/trips/falls: There's a T-shirt out there that says: I'm not drunk, I have MS. Get the idea?

Dizziness/vertigo: This can be triggered by nearly anything. Sitting up, standing up, bending over, kneeling, or a jolt of physical exertion. It's hard hitting and the landscape looks and feels like it's tilting sideways for me.

Headaches and migraines. Hand in hand with everything else that happens at head level.

Cognitive Issues. I have trouble finding words and get confused over nothing at times.

Debilitating fatigue. Anything can exhaust me for no visible reason. Basic household chores have to be done in parts to make it through my day. Fatigue makes all the other problems act up worse.

A couple I'm adding:

Joint failure: Particularly in my knees. It's like having someone tap you behind them to make you dip. I've fallen a couple of times as a result. I also drop things or miss when I reach for something and smash my hand into something.

Susceptible to temperature and barometric pressure: Moderate temps are fine. Heat will sap energy fast and cold just makes everything tighten up.

Every single thing your body does is dependent on your nervous system. Without your nerves, your heart will not beat, your lungs will not breathe, your organs will not process and ultimately you will die. That's why it's important to slow the process of MS any way possible. I have injections for this and there are new medications being worked on even now.

So, for all you see on the surface, there is a war going on underneath.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Sensory APP for therapy worth a look

Routine, routine, routine. If anyone is sensitive to routine, it's our autism kids. Not only that, there's a massive amount of sensory built into this. It can make your world chaos in more ways than one.

Recently I was approached through my Galaxy Zento page and told about an app that helps with schedule and sensory routines. I don't have an iphone because I'm archaic, but if you do you should check this out. LINK.

Sensory Processing Therapy is by Sensory Treat Ltd. Not only does the app have suggestions for activities but you can schedule and tailor to your child's specific needs. It boasts over 100 color coded activity illustrations. The activities are designed by occupational therapists (be sure to click on the description on the page for a very comprehensive list of possibilities).

Of course I'm posting some of the screen shots here, but if you scroll sideways on the page where the screen shots are, you will see several more.

I'm amazed at what's possible here and the suggestions for kids activities. Not only can you form a routine that works with your day and your child's needs, but they all have therapeutic value. I'm impressed.

You can put in your child's entire daily routine, enhance it and schedule the simplest of tasks or events. We all know how the littlest things have a mountain of effect on our kids. This is like having an assistant to help guide you while you spend your time redirecting and working with your child. It looks to me like an app that can help regardless of your child's functioning level.

Our kids' success is all about having the proper supports. This may just be one of them. Now it is pretty new so there aren't reviews to show. But I think they have demonstrated the possibilities very well in what you see.

One of my exact purposes in writing this blog is bringing things to my fellow autism parents that may be of help to them. I think this is worth a good look.