An open letter to friends and family who are shocked to discover I’m a liberal… (with commentary)

Not my words! Before I share this with y’all, I wanted to let you know that I added some comments to better illustrate how liberals can agree on the same thing but from different angles.

I’ve always been a liberal, but that doesn’t mean what a lot of you apparently think it does.
Let’s break it down, shall we? Because quite frankly, I’m getting a little tired of being told what I believe and what I stand for. Spoiler alert: Not every liberal is the same, though the majority of liberals I know think along roughly these same lines:

You got that right! So, what exactly does liberal mean? The dictionary defines it, as well as its origin, to be free from restraint, liberation, and progression. It is believed that the more one is informed about the advances of science, the more progressive one will be. Being conservative basically means keeping onto things like traditions and customs, conserving moral values, and often not keeping up with the sciences.

  1. I believe a country should take care of its weakest members. A country cannot call itself civilised when its children, disabled, sick, and elderly are neglected. Period.
  2. I believe healthcare is a right, not a privilege. Somehow that’s interpreted as ‘I believe Obamacare is the end-all, be-all.’ This is not the case. I’m fully aware that the ACA has problems, that a national healthcare system would require everyone to chip in, and that it’s impossible to create one that is devoid of flaws, but I have yet to hear an argument against it that makes ‘let people die because they can’t afford healthcare a better alternative. I believe healthcare should be far cheaper than it is, and that everyone should have access to it. And no, I’m not opposed to paying higher taxes in the name of making that happen. *Canada and the UK seem to have little problem with this. Why?*
  3. I believe education should be affordable and accessible to everyone. It doesn’t necessarily have to be free (though it works in other countries so I’m mystified as to why it can’t work in the US), but at the end of the day, there is no excuse for students graduating college saddled with five- or six-figure debt. *Many countries let you study core classes that pertain to your field. This is much like how homeschooled children would be taught. Teachers need to teach because they really want to teach, not because they want to collect a paycheque. Besides, schools in Europe focus more on language and general studies while schools here focus on the math and sciences. Nothing’s wrong with that, but I think we should find a balance between the two.*
  4. I don’t believe your money should be taken from you and given to people who don’t want to work. I have literally never encountered anyone who believes this. Ever. I just have a massive moral problem with a society where a handful of people can possess the majority of the wealth while there are people literally starving to death, freezing to death, or dying because they can’t afford to go to the doctor. Fair wages, lower housing costs, get access to universal healthcare, affordable education, and the wealthy actually paying their share would go a long way toward alleviating this. Somehow believing that makes me a communist. *And can we make more ethical multi-level marketing systems that might give pyramid schemes a good reputation? Evidently, the rick have mor power, and so they’re able to skew unethical systems to favour themselves. I believe in a classless society where truly disabled people can get the help they need, while those with manageable disabilities or inconveniences can get the support needed to be successful. It’s like a scale; if you’ve got too much on one side, you can simply remove some of the weight until it was balanced. Then again, perhaps hierarchising disabilities might not be the best approach by all means.*
  5. I don’t throw around ‘I’m willing to pay higher taxes’ lightly. If I’m suggesting something that involves paying more, well, it’s because I’m fine with paying my share as long as it’s actually going to something besides lining corporate pockets or bombing other countries while Americans die without healthcare… *or feeding our inmates who might as well be given the death penalty. We seriously need to get our government out of debt, or make it file for bankruptcy and start anew.*
  6. I believe companies should be required to pay their employees a decent, livable wage. Somehow this is always interpreted as me wanting burger flippers to be able to afford a penthouse apartment and a Mercedes. What it actually means is that no one should have to work three full-time jobs just to keep their head above water. Restaurant servers should not have to rely on tips, multibillion-dollar companies should not have employees on food stamps, workers shouldn’t have to work themselves into the ground just to barely make ends meet, and minimum wage should be enough for someone to work 40 hours and live. *And companies should hire more people who speak English, like from Britain, Australia, Canada, New Zeeland, etc. I hate talking to people from other countries on the phone because I cannot understand them, yet this is easier for companies to pay because they have much cheaper salaries. In order for that to happen, though, we need to fix our economy.*
  7. I am not anti-Christian. I have no desire to stop Christians from being Christians, to close churches, to ban the Bible, to forbid prayer in school, etc. By the way, prayer in school is NOT illegal; compulsory prayer in public school is – and should be – illegal). All I ask is that Christians recognise my right to live according to my beliefs. When I get pissed off that a politician is trying to legislate Scripture into law, I’m not ‘offended by Christianity’ — I’m offended that you’re trying to force me to live by your religion’s rules. You know how you get really upset at the thought of Muslims imposing Sharia law on you? That’s how I feel about Christians trying to impose biblical law on me. Be a Christian. Do your thing. Just don’t force it on me or mine. *Just like it is illegal to sacrifice a person, it should also be illegal to impose restrictions that would be detrimental to human civilisation. That obviously includes making so-called laws and policies that are unfavourable towards a minority group because of your religious upbringing. I mean, yeah, why force an entity to do something that’s against their religion when there are much better entities that can do just the same?*
  8. I don’t believe that LGBTQ2SIA+ people should have more rights than you. I just believe they should have the same rights as you. *The same applies to all other minorities; that’s why I believe in the #AllLivesMatter movement, not just the #BlackLivesMatter one.*
  9. I don’t believe illegal immigrants should come to America and have the world at their feet, especially since THIS ISN’T WHAT THEY DO (spoiler: undocumented immigrants are ineligible for all those programs they’re supposed to be abusing, and if they’re ‘stealing’ your job it’s because your employer is hiring illegally). I’m not opposed to deporting people who are here illegally, but I believe there are far more humane ways to handle undocumented immigration than our current practices (i.e., detaining children, splitting up families, ending DACA, etc). *There are certain Green Card eligibilities that pertain to skills in the science and art, as well as those seeking immediate refuge and political asylum under the Violence Against Minorities Act. Besides, what would be the point of building a massive wall across the Southern border? It not only shows that you are discriminating against Mexicans, but it’s a largely flawed idea. Determined people would find ways over, under, and around it.
    Screening people is important, but I think it needs to be significantly refined. Imagine that you are holding a really big party, and you invite practically everyone to come. How are you going to know which of those people who are coming are going to be potential troublemakers? I think we need to find a way to get better references from mutual acquaintances and reliable resources to know if a person can be trusted. That’s why criminal background checks exist.
    I think a lot of people have been misled by opposing parties and the media about what is really going on. For once, I’d like to ask Trump supporters why they think it’s okay for them to keep doing what they’re doing. Many would argue that everything was blown out of proportion. So, to get proof, I’d loke to work as an undercover immigrant and take audio and video-recording equipment with me. Evidence does not lie, unless it was tampered with.*
  10. I don’t believe the government should regulate everything, but since greed is such a driving force in our country, we NEED regulations to prevent cut corners, environmental destruction, tainted food/water, unsafe materials in consumable goods or medical equipment, etc. It’s not that I want the government’s hands in everything — I just don’t trust people trying to make money to ensure that their products, practices, etc. are actually SAFE. Is the government devoid of shadiness? Of course not. But with those regulations in place, consumers have recourse if they’re harmed and companies are liable for medical bills, environmental cleanup, etc. Just kind of seems like common sense when the alternative to government regulation is letting companies bring their bottom line into the equation. We are actually doing much worse than we are for future generations if we continue destroying this planet. *But, George Carlin said that this planet has been through times much worst than we have. If you watch Legally Blonde II, or as I call it, Politically Blonde, you can get a good taste of how strong corporations are, and what could happen if we made animal testing illegal unless they were ethical, or what could happen to the economy if we outlawed cigarettes. It’s a wonder why we make so many laws that are favourable to corporations, but not so much for the consumer. Just look at net neutrality! That’s why we need to come up with alternative practices that are moral and ethical, and obviously something that will benefit everyone.*
  11. I believe our current administration is fascist. Not because I dislike them or because I can’t get over an election, but because I’ve spent too many years reading and learning about the Third Reich to miss the similarities. Not because any administration I dislike must be Nazis, but because things are actually mirroring authoritarian and fascist regimes of the past. *My question then is, why do some people still believe in the confederate flag? What would happen if we had a dictator who was extremely smart and ethical? There have been plenty of satirical posts about eugenics and breeding empathic humans. Obviously, our founders didn’t count on our country’s being so diverse. That’s why we had a huge civil war to decide the fate of this country. And, fortunately for us, unity triumphed, and we can do the same today.*
  12. I believe the systemic racism and misogyny in our society is much worse than many people think, and desperately needs to be addressed with intersectionality. Which means those with privilege — white, straight, cisgender male, economic, etc. — need to start listening, even if you don’t like what you’re hearing, so we can start dismantling everything that’s causing people to be marginalised. WE must also have a fighting force that is open to everyone. *We love to categorise others into groups because of selfishness. Tell me, did you care what race or ethnicity your playmate was when you were growing up? Nope, because you didn’t even know what those were! Also, we need to make compulsary military service the same as jury duty–no one person should be given preferential treatment because of their assigned sex or gender at birth. Similarly, if anybody tells you that they don’t like white Africans (those who talk ghetto), well, I’ve got news for you, buddy. Read this article first, then put your head down and do some problem-solving, and write I must not be racist a hundred times. All of us, our entire species, actually originated in Africa, at least based on evidentiary record kept by scientists. So, whether you are white, Asian, or anything like that, then you are still an African, and so am I, because we are Africans by origin; we just moved around every few generations and adapted to our environment. Besides, if you think about it, why aren’t there AfroBritish, African Australian, etc? If you are white, dye your skin black, and vice versa. Think about what it’d be like to have white slavery (black people enslaving white people), like in the case of Italian child musicians (though this wasn’t necessarily based on race) in the beginning of the industrial revolution.*
  13. I am not interested in coming after your blessed guns, nor is anyone serving in government. What I am interested in is sensible policies, including background checks, that just MIGHT save one person’s, perhaps a toddler’s, life by the hand of someone who should not have a gun. (Got another opinion? Put it on your page, not mine). *I am thinking of requiring tests the way driving and ham radio do, but owning a gun is currently seen as a right, not a privilege, so having guns out in public would put others at risk. However, that is not to say that you have the right to use your gun in public irresponsibly without some training. If you conservatives think we want to take your guns away, then think again. We must find a stalemate. I also proposed the idea of having smart guns with advanced sights and tracking, but many people have strong oppositions to the government spying and encroaching on their privacy, not to mention that they are supersticious about the mark of the beast because I suggested we use biometric sensors. If you don’t want to be tracked, don’t carry your gun into an area where they’re not allowed. However, if we banned all guns, people will find other ways to conjure up massive destruction through things like the dark web. So, is it the guns, or the people?*
  14. I believe in so-called political correctness *and euphemisms.* I prefer to think it’s social politeness. If I call you Chuck and you say you prefer to be called Charles I’ll call you Charles. It’s the polite thing to do. Not because everyone is a delicate snowflake, but because as Maya Angelou put it, when we know better, we do better. When someone tells you that a term or phrase is more accurate or less hurtful than the one you’re using, you now know better. So why not do better? *Even if it doesn’t make sense to you, take a moment to feel it from another person’s perspective.* How does it hurt you to NOT hurt another person? *I always like transparency. I do not want to use words that are vague or misleading, or that tend to screen out a particular group of individuals, which is why I will explain why you should say this instead of that. I know what some people will say… sticks and stones will break my bones. Not always true! Also, I am extremely opposed to using gender exclusive language and will do whatever it takes to eradicate it, even if I have to sacrifice part of me to make that happen. This means that you cannot say things like he or she, he/she, s/he, etc. unless you also included a gender-inclusive pronoun. You will also not say men and women, women and men, unless you also said and those in between. Also, do not use any male-default terms, like mankind, congresman, etc. So, beware, you have been warned! We need to rewrite the declaration of Independence, and edit out Neil Armstrong’s speech, like the way some people removed the N word out of Huckleberry Finn. On the same token, is it a good idea to misgender our pets?*
  15. I believe in funding sustainable energy, including offering education to people currently working in coal or oil so they can change jobs. There are too many sustainable options available for us to continue with coal and oil. Sorry, billionaires. Maybe try investing in something else. *Yeah, why don’t you do us a big favour and get an amateur radio licence, so you can just learn how to build your own self-containing life support system? As a matter of fact, that’s what the International Space Station is using for their power source, plumbing, food, and air supply. Also, believe it or not, we can use the waves of the ocean to spin turbines, too! Dan Gutman has explored this in some detail on the tenth book of his Baseball Card Adventure series. Go here for the perfect example.*
  16. I believe that women (cisgender and transgender) should not be treated as a separate class of humans. They should be paid the same as everyone else and who do the same work, should have the same rights as everyone else and should be free from abuse. Why on earth shouldn’t they be? *What about including our nonbinary folks, i.e. those who identify as neither male or female? What about Tranimals and animals? It is not natural for us to not be grounded to earth and not to connect with nature. We have a lot in common with animals, so we should never abuse them. What if they found a way to abuse you in return? Then you would know how it feels. We should also be using more harmony-based vocabulary, like saying reproductive choices instead of abortion, as Pete Buttigieg once said. I’m sure he said this because some trans-men (and those with uteruses) may not like the term abortion, and because abortion generally has unwanted connotations. Also, don’t take this the wrong way, but I don’t want anything having to do with feminism. I personally find that term as arrogant as the #BlackLivesMatter. If you really want true equality, consider using the term egalitarianism or equalism.*
  17. *And, speaking of abortion, I have my own outside-the-box views on the matter. I think we need to consider medical abortions, i.e. abortions that are medically necessary as a human right, which would therefore make non-medical abortions a privilege. I also believe that as artificial wombs are further developed, we could transplant the foetus without killing it. If the government only funded medical abortions, then it would be your responsibility to cover a non-medical abortion. If you can’t afford it, too bad! Consider adoption, instead. Yes, I know that some people used to end pregnancies using coat hangers, but I would strongly discourage such practice. Also, think about it this way. If you let yourself get knocked up at a party without protection, you have made an irresponsible decision that will irreversibly change your life forever. The baby didn’t ask to be brought into this world or give consent, it was your own carelessness that did it! So, you might as well enjoy your work, or consider adoption. Now, if you were raped in the legal sense, you might have a different story to tell. Bottom line is: I believe in pro-choice, not pro-life or pro-birth or whatever, because once they’re born, we simply forget about them.*
  18. Speaking of abortion and reproduction, I don’t think we should permanently end our pet’s ability to reproduce *unless* you gave them at least one chance. This is because if we required everyone to have their pets fixed, we would be causing the whole breed to go extinct, or maybe even the whole species. Someone once told me that they are extremely ubiquitous, and they are likely to hide in forests, so it might not happen. Still, we have no way to know what our pets want. Did they say to you, ‘I don’t want to have babies, so spay, neuter, sterilise, desex, etc me’? So, for that reason, we need to compromise. Let them have at least one litter. Then maybe we’ll find non-sergical birth control options that have been proven to be successful in humans. Removing these organs may negatively affect hormone profiles, though causing osteoporosis like in humans is highly debatable. Remember that George Carlin said that we have already done enough as it is and tampered with nature, so why not leave it alone? Let’s build a statewide, nationwide, worldwide, etc network of foster pet parents and ship them to places with more room, so as to cut back on animal euthenasia.

I think that about covers it. Bottom line is that I’m a liberal because I think we should take care of each other and treat our furry, feathery, scaly, etc creatures as family members rather than personal property. That doesn’t mean you should work 80 hours a week so your lazy neighbor can get all your money. It just means I don’t believe there is any scenario in which preventable suffering is an acceptable outcome as long as money is saved.
So, I’m a liberal.

Some thought-provoking thoughts on our political system

Hello, my faithful readers.
Today I thought I’d give you all a quick reality check regarding our current political dilemma by sharing something I saw on Facebook a couple months back. After you read this, feel free to watch the supplemental video.

Civil rights, women’s rights, LGBTQIA+ rights, ADA, social security, it’s all a hustle. They happened because lawyers insisted the LETTER OF THE LAW be followed, and judges and congress went along. 
Word, the constitution, bill of rights, and the declaration our republic was founded on were not built for all y’all. The words written were of, by, and for the people who wrote them. They were the elite white, Christian cisgender heterosexual males with money, status, and power. They looked around the room at all the other household names, people with servants and concubines, people who could sign for anything they wanted, people with so much land they’d likely never seen it all in some cases, and they built a country for themselves. 
That they ended up hoisted by their own petard, their descendants forced to share a little of the great bounty of a continent was not what they expected.  It was a clever game taking advantage of the rule of law. 
They didn’t build it for us. They built it for themselves, and their natural heirs, names you know, people with jets and metric shit tons of money.  Insisting on equality against such a backdrop  is as foolish as the child who insists on having their own money. They pat ’em on the head and give them a quarter to make their bed, something they made them do anyway, then charge them thirty cents for lunch. 
Until and unless we confront the very nature of the republic, we are still playing a game, running a con, hustling the hustlers who set the whole thing up. 
If we are to have equality of opportunity and equitable allocation of resources, we must first call the game what it is, then rewrite the rules. Otherwise we make our beds and go in debt for lunch, and the adults snicker behind our backs and pat us on the head.
I hear you.  The more I peel this onion, the more I realize it is, like an onion, the same all the way to the core. 
Western and middle eastern cultures, those based on abrahamic traditions, are sorting systems through and through. I don’t know enough about eastern religion to comment too much on those. 
When your culture is based on a sorting of “us vs them”, damned vs saved, when that is a basic tenet, you’re pretty screwed to build an inclusive society in anything more than name only. 
I’m kinda an oddball. I was 11 years old when I questioned the catholic dogma of salvation through baptism and confession. It was 1967, and I’d seen the iconic photographs of Buddhist monks setting themselves on fire in protest of the war. I asked how it was that obvious martyrs very like those I’d learned about in my catholic school were not going to heaven because they were not catholic. That seemed so arbitrary and immoral to my 11 year old self I couldn’t accept it. I
Left the church soon after, convinced that arbitrary sorting based on the luck of birthplace and what church your parents take you to was nothing I could honor. 
Though a working class kid, first in a small town then out in farm country, I learned the redneck code, and the ethnic sorting of the mill town, where Italians and polish  and Puerto Rican’s and blacks had their own neighborhoods, yet a half Irish, half French Canadian and Mohawk kid didn’t really belong in any of them. In the rural area I learned the Methodist and baptist churches looked down on one another, and both derided Catholics. They only all agreed on one thing, those who were not members in good standing of one of the above were “lowlifes”, to be avoided. Hello, present and accounted for. Now watch me dust your asses on the regents exam. But I didn’t get many party invites, don’t ya know. 
Military service and college and living in different parts of the country and later in the Caribbean, exposure to cultures from around the world, working in industries as varied as teaching “educable retarded” to running a literacy agency, to my own shooting sports accessories business, to working as a contractor, I’ve worn all the shirts and hats, spoken the lingo, and followed the party lines, all the while aware that I was an imposter, a chameleon, the devil walking among them. 
In my quiet times I wrote a fair bit, never too deep, lest I blow through the veneer. 
What I learned is this. If you’re looking for GOOD people, there is no magic formula. You can get stabbed in the back in a sanctuary or university conference room as easily as in an alley. They just use different tools. 
I’ve learned to live my life loyal only to one race, the human race, without regard to anybody’s version of who the cool kids are. I’ve been treated well and badly by about every stripe of people you can pigeonhole. If they’re consuming energy and oxygen, they’re somebody, and have value. Some do terrible things they get locked up for. Some get to live in houses on top of hills after committing atrocities. Good people are where you find them. Any effort to stratify and exclude based on unearned characteristics is bullshit, only works for the chosen as long as they can keep it, and is unfair on its face.
For those of us by definition less able than the fully fit, understanding  where we fit in the mindsets of the dominant culture is a survival skill. If you don’t know what they’re thinking, how they allocate resources when it gets tight, you better be good looking, talented, and lucky.
Words are stunningly versatile things.
They have the ability either to create or to destroy, to lift us or to level us, to give us wings to crush us beneath their weight, to inspire us to reach
the loftiness parts of our nature or to drive us to the depths of our blackest darkness.
We know this from the way other’s voices have shaped us in both redemptive and debilitating ways.
The words of others can become for us the language for all we harbour unspoken in our hearts; every unfulfilled longing, each unhealed wound, every beautiful
aspiration, all the catalogued defeats, each perceived wrongdoing.
And the words of powerful people become catalysts for revolutions; hubs around which multitudes gather in tribes of affinity to create the world they dream
of, whether hopeful or horrific. Religious prophets and pop stars and political leaders all tap into the hearts of people in order to move those people’s
convictions from heart to hand—to move them.
Cesar Sayoc is the logical manifestation of the language of this President.
He is the sum total of his every reckless insult, irresponsible untruth, and calculated attack; the disfigured Frankensteined monster, made from every
factless conspiracy theory and incendiary rally rant, each corrosive verbal attack on people of color and immigrants and women (cisgender and transgender) and the media.
Cesar Sayoc is the clear accumulation of a seemingly endless Presidential Twitter feed, filled with nonsensical ramblings, spewed from the head of a man
who feels no accountability for the collateral damage of his words—either on those who are his targets—or those weaponised by him against them.
The words of a President weigh more than perhaps anyone else’s. There is a gravity to the voices of our leaders that corporately shape us in ways few things
do. They have always determined the trajectory of our nation, carried us through unthinkable tragedy, clarified who we are as a people, driven us to reach
for dreams that we believed were beyond us.
The words of a President, when wielded responsibly and with decency, help us to tap into our shared humanity; to remind us of our interdependence, of our
commonalities, of the responsibility we have toward one another.
But when tossed around carelessly, the words of a President (like this President), ratify people’s phobias, stoke the fires of their bitterness, sanction
the violence they cultivate in their heads, legitimise their irrational bigotry toward their neighbours.
Cesar Sayoc isn’t a surprise.
He may be an terrifyingly extreme extension of this President’s words, but he finds himself on a long and growing continuum of millions of angry, scared,
unloved, people who believe the world has wronged them—and now have someone (the most powerful someone), to tell them that they are right.
Whether it’s in racial epithets screamed at strangers in traffic, xenophobic signs posted near voting booths, venomous racists social media diatribes from
grandmothers, xenophobic outbursts at holiday meals, or vans plastered with anti-media propaganda—monsters are being made by this President’s words.
Yes, words make things and they kill things.
Cesar Sayoc is the kind of monster this President has helped create in unhinged campaign rants and social media tantrums and “lock her up” chants” and
dehumanising rhetoric—and the worst of it all, is that he seems oblivious to his culpability, defiant in his outrage, and determined to double down, no
matter how many people he places in harm’s way.
He refuses to use his words for anything but division and injury and enmity, and so those so desiring war, those seeking consent, those who share his heart—find
licence to be horrible.
 This President is a monster-maker.
It’s time we admitted it.

What happened to me? The Agony of my Recovery

If you remember from my testimony, I told you that I am living with a very finnicky brother who doesn’t like certain people if they give off negative vibes, doesn’t like using public bathrooms, and hates boarding other people’s cars, though he doesn’t mind boarding busses. I’d like to talk a little bit about one of his best, and probably only positive experience my brother has ever had in school.
If I upload the court case audio recordings, all the parties identities will be posted for everyone to see and hear. This wonderful man was a teacher of the visually impaired for my brother and me. He was the one who had sued the North-West Regional Education Service District in July 2012. While litigation originally commenced in 2011, the actual trial was held a year later. I purchased the court records from the courthouse on Monday, 5 March 2018. He previously lost his vision for about two years, but a cornea transplant had restored his sight. Then he met somebody else who was blind, and it interested him. He took up music, journalism, and something else I can’t remember while he was in school. When he went to study at Community College, he helped a student who was blind get through chemistry, because the professors were claiming that a blind person wouldn’t be able to take that class. After that, he moved out of state where he married and adopted three kids. He and his wife applied to become foster parents, and over the next five years, they adopted fifteen foster kids, mostly kids with developmental disabilities caused by drug use during pregnancy, and others due to brain trauma. They kept the last child because they had reactive attachment disorder, and they wanted to give that child a good home so they wouldn’t feel so abandoned. Losing his job with the regional education service district really put a toll on his family, especially this child, according to court records.
Anyhow, he had an opportunity to come back to Oregon to work at the Oregon School for the Blind in 2008, and he learned that the legislature was planning to shut the school down because they were claiming that there were only twenty or thirty students going at a time. He and the rest of the OSB staff testified at a few hearings, trying to convince the legislature not to shut the school down unless they had a plan on how to transition these kids, and help the rest of the students, even if they never attended the school in the first place. All the things they had told the legislative members fell on deaf ears, and the staff eventually looked for employment elsewhere. To try and make the long story short, this teacher was asked by the vision service coordinator to work at the ESD in Fall of 2009. When he arrived, he was given a caseload containing eight or fifteen students, I can’t remember how many. He asked which city or county he was to be working, but all his supervisor said was that he was to be working around 185th. That didn’t make any sense, so he asked specifically where he was to be working. They finally provided clarification, and he started working accordingly. That is when I happened to find out that I was on his caseload, and that is how we ended up striking up quite an acquaintance.
When our teacher was hired, he thought he was hired to help the ESD spend the $2.985 million that the legislature had set aside. Instead, he was told by the vision service coordinator’s supervisor that someone else was already in charge of that. Well, over the course of that year, he noticed that the ESD wasn’t doing anything more to enhance the level of service that these students were entitled to according to the new law. He went to numerous staff meetings, talked with parents and teachers, and wrote up several letters to his superiors. Instead, he was written up multiple times, complaining that he was edging over the boundary lines from service to one of advocacy. They had also said that the ESD was not there to serve students. They were there to serve the districts.

‘In a meeting with [the vision services supervisor,] I was told that “We are an education service district. That means we serve districts.” I objected to this and told her that I do not serve districts. I serve students. By doing my best to serve students I fulfill my role as an ESD employee, and the districts are served as well. I won’t change. This is what you got when you hired me.’

He wrote these daring words as part of a four-page rebuttal letter, which he handed over to the HR department, in response to a letter written to him by his superiors that if he continued to do what he was doing, he would be terminated. Everybody knew that making statements like this were guaranteed to be protected by the first amendment, and they knew they couldn’t fire him on these grounds. Once they found their first opportunity when the TVI had let his teaching license lapse for a month, they did.
While all of this was going on, he had an opportunity to meet my older brother. He and I were in twelfth and tenth grade, respectively, and he and I were in the same school. On the first day, he saw that my brother was raging and angry because he needed something, and in this case, he just wanted to go to the bathroom. So the teacher tried to find out if my brother knew how to say that he needed to go to the bathroom, and within a few days of coming in each morning, and signing to him that this was the bathroom, it became very clear to him that My brother could communicate what he needed. Before that, the teachers were making him wait until they said it was okay for him to use the bathroom. Nuh-uh! When nature calls, you’ve got to answer it, otherwise you’re going to end up with a very nasty message. He simply told the teachers that if my brother wanted to use the toilet, nobody should stop him. Just make him say where he was going. Over the course of the next five months, The TVI worked with my brother extensively, teaching him about thirty signs, and utilising a calendar system to help him develop a concept of time, choice, and sequence. Once My brother’s days became predictable for him, his acting-out behaviours were dramatically abated. The TVI was also directed by a deaf and hard-of-hearing consultant as to which signs were appropriate to teach somebody who was both deaf and blind. Because casting someone with multiple disabilities aside in the bureaucratic world is unfortunately not too uncommon, my brother never had a specialist who knew how to work with prelingually deaf-blind people.
The TVI once recalled a time when My brother was told that he should finish the task first before he could play with the cassette player and put it directly over his ear. I don’t know if he could hear a little bit, or if he liked the vibration, but My brother signed ‘no’, and moved the tape player to the ‘now’ position in the calendar tray. Rather than forcing My brother to finish the task, The TVI congratulated him and told him ‘Good job!’ My brother told him so clearly that he didn’t want to wait, he wanted to do it now.
In another incident, my brother was dragged to this mysterious place indoors where people picked up giant rocks, put them on a weird frame, pushed them forward, and then got more rocks and did the same thing, over and over and over again with no end in sight. As far as he knew, those rocks just went to the rock quarry. He got so mad that he ended up refusing to budge. Of course you probably figured out that he wasn’t picking up rocks. He was picking up bowling balls and pushing them down a ramp. But, because nobody told him what this was, why he was doing it, etc, there was no way for him to associate that this was fun. He couldn’t see nor hear the pins clattering about as the ball hit them. He couldn’t hear when people cheered. How could anybody think that was fun if they didn’t know what was going on? Fortunately, the TVI arrived and attempted to explain the situation to the rest of the special education teachers, including my brother’s one-on-one. He tried to show my brother how the ball knocked the pins over, but still, it’s really hard for him to associate this activity as being fun.
In mid to late January of 2010, his supervisor came to do a surprise evaluation on The TVI’s teaching skills, and when she saw him communicating with My brother using sign language, she waited until that was over before asking him why, if he was a teacher of the visually-impaired, he was teaching somebody sign language. He wasn’t a teacher of the deaf, and it was only the teacher of the deaf’s responsibility to work with that student. The TVI said, ‘Well, I’m not an English teacher, but I communicate with my students in English. I know German, and if My student could only speak German, I would talk to him in German. Why need I be a teacher of the deaf to communicate with a deaf person using signs?’ In other words, he was objecting and saying that anybody who happened to know another language besides English should be entitled to use that language to communicate effectively with that student. I had always thought that when employers hired you, they want you to have great skills. I wonder what would’ve happened if The TVI had said in his resume that he was proficient in American Sign Language. Well, I can understand to an extent why they had a problem with this. They didn’t want someone who wasn’t certified to teach my brother flawed sign language.
In March of 2018, I spoke with the supervisor’s successor, who held the same attitude that his predecessor had held, mainly that a licensed teacher should be the one to communicate with a deaf or deaf-blind person. He also told me that I should look at his former IEP to find out if they had specifically indicated why My brother was not eligible to receive services for the deaf and blind. It was likely that he was declared incompetent, and unwilling to learn, and they didn’t want to spend a lot of time working with him. Instead, he was transitioned to a three-year day programme at a place called ARC. It stood for Association for Retarded Citizens. Nobody taught him sign language while he was there. They just had him work on basic occupational skills during that time.
When My brother started getting used to not going to school every day from 2013, he started getting things his own way. He went about the house totally naked, and he refused to put on certain clothes, and more recently, any pair of shoes. He was able to wear some clothes when we went out, but now, he only wants to be naked as a way of saying, ‘if I don’t put on clothes, I won’t be able to go out. If I don’t go out, I won’t have to worry about where the bathroom is or deal with things that do not make sense to me.’
In mid to late August of 2016, we discovered that My brother would not let himself be coaxed to get inside my aunt’s friend’s van. Our minivan’s steering column had malfunctioned, and we needed to get home. My brother whined and squirmed, trying to get away. He flat-out refused to get in. So, my mother was obliged to leave him with our aunt and take me home, then go back to walk My brother home in the heat.
So, on March 9th, 2017, the van broke down a second time in front of the store, and since My brother had demonstrated that he didn’t want to get inside another person’s car, he was obliged to walk home in the rain. Since my mother was now deprived of any means to get more food, that left me having to do everything I could to survive. As I had already deposited three hundred dollars into the secured credit card, I had no other funds available, so I had to overdraw my bank account to get more food from nearby fast-food joints. My card arrived a week later, one day after my birthday, and I was able to cover the overdraft. I was able to get some food for the remainder of March, and I thought things would get better come April. I was using Lift, as in the Uber and Lift app.
For whatever reason, probably due to a technical error at the bank, I paid off my credit card when I had no funds available to pay it off, so I ended overdrawing my bank account to over three hundred dollars. I knew I couldn’t pay it back until May, so I began looking at other funding sources. I finally managed to get approved for a second credit line at PayPal for $500, and I used it to cover the overdraft. Combined with the secured credit card and the credit line, I was in $800 of debt.
I knew that Summer and the hot weather were fast-approaching, so I had to think about what I could do to reduce my anxiety and stay cool. I was able to get a prescription for Clonazepam, which was also not covered by Care Oregon. I started taking 0.25 MG once or twice a day, and at first, I didn’t find it helpful, but the more I used it, the more relaxed I felt. On the first warm day of the year, which was my teammate’s funeral, Wednesday, 3 May 2017, we reached the eighties. I took 0.75 MG throughout the entire day, and as I was riding home from bowling, I felt extremely sleepy, and I was able to get through the next day without problems. My doctor also prescribed an antidepressant called Sertraline, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. It wasn’t meant to be used to treat anxiety, but they also wanted me to not get addicted to the benzodiazepine, so I began taking that regularly.
I was paying approximately five hundred dollars to both of my credit accounts, and since I wanted to boost my credit scores as much as possible, I continued to make payments every time I charged my card. I was caught up in a cycle of paying my debts and then immediately creating new debts. It wasn’t easy, and I realised that I would have a much better chance to get out of debt when I got my deposit back in March of 2018.
In November of last year, I went to the bank to increase my credit limit, but because I was using a secured credit card, I had to deposit another $100 to increase it to $400. Combined with my PayPal credit line, I then owed $900. Since PayPal did not report anything to the credit bureaus, I only paid my secured credit card in full each month, while I only paid part of the debt to PayPal each month.
I was desperate to get food during the time that the van broke down that I reached to as many agencies as I could, and I eventually made a connection with the Helen Keller National Centre. The representative from the Seattle regional office came out to our house and heard testimony from my mother, My brother’s case manager, The TVI, and me. The representative and I worked throughout that summer and fall of last year and part of this year to see how we could get funding to bring two staff members from New York, of different genders, to work with my brother and train the new staff member and my mother on how to communicate effectively with him. In February of this year, I made a connection with the executive director of The Hull Foundation for the Blind. That is where I did my sky-dive five years ago. The TVI donated $120,000 to them as part of his settlement. The person who worked there turned out to be the past district governor of the Lions Club, and they agreed to help us raise the funds to start work on saving my brother’s life. Click here to donate. They were also very incensed by the attitude the ESD had held towards people like my brother. They told me that the ESD didn’t want to admit that they had failed duly in their duty, and that’s why the new vision service coordinator told me what I told you. It is quite embarrassing when a large entity, corporation, or bureaucracy loses to one individual in a civil case as this. Still, I can sort of understand to an extent why they strongly objected to this.
Well, since I couldn’t go back to school for several reasons, I decided to try my hardest to get the services my brother is entitled to, since our mother doesn’t seem to be well-informed about the resources that are available to her. She, speaking only Spanish, and having attended but five years of school so she could work in the farm, was never prepared other than what God had given to her. The problem is that she and I have different viewpoints about how my brother’s needs are to be met, and we can never come to an agreement. My mother thinks my brother’s needs are fine just the way they are, whereas I think she’s sheltering him too much, and not disciplining him enough, and that she’s spoiling him. She argued by saying that I am wanting attention and food, and that My brother is stubborn, and not willing to accept anybody else other than his mother. True, everybody needs attention, and everybody needs food. I like different foods that my mother and My brother usually eat. Besides, if my mother dies, my brother has to be tolerant to having someone else take care of him, especially now that he won’t leave the house. These arguments seem rather tenuous, in my honest opinion. So, I often must show my mother how to prepare things for my liking. It is also true that when a sick or disabled family member gets all the attention, their siblings would feel left out and might feel as though they were less than what they really were.
At the suggestion of the HKNC representative, I went to seek mental health therapy at a nearby location, and it is through they that I came up with a plan. My therapist had asked me what part of my experience that happened to me in Arizona did I take with me that I had turned it into something much bigger than it actually was, and something that was least likely to occur, and let it control my quality of life. I don’t have a clear answer to this question, but I do know that this is just one of many negative things that have happened to me in the past, and I guess, as sort of a self-defence mechanism, I avoided similar situations so I wouldn’t have to deal with another experience. And yet, I should learn to prepare for something like that in case it does happen so that I have a plan to make sure someone will be there when I need them. I told my therapist that I was afraid of losing my balance from the constant rocking sensation, or that I would be trapped in a hot and stuffy place, with no way to cool down, or that I would faint, and nobody would help me. I was also afraid that there wouldn’t be enough food. I also related to my therapist about how, when I came back, I’ve had frequent flashbacks and nightmares of either biting my brother back whenever he bit me severely, or how I called 911 every time I felt dizzy and had an out-of-body experience, sleep paralysis, or astral projection. I’d feel as though I were struggling to pick up my iPhone so I could hold down the home button and tell Siri to call emergency services. In my dream, I was a frequent 911 caller, and the dispatcher had assigned me an account number so that I wouldn’t have to tell them what I was dealing with every time I called. Usually, the dispatcher would tell me to try to stay calm, and if I were feeling dizzy, that I should try and get water until they could come to rehydrate me. These dreams stopped sometime in late March, and I haven’t had any since then, except for maybe one or two ambulance rides that occurred once or twice in 2018.
So, here’s what I think. Our brains hasn’t gotten used to the changes in our culture. Our brains perceived something as a threat, so we get physical symptoms that alerts us of danger, and we are prepared to run or fight, or even freeze. I think this post from WebMD has some good information on what constitute triggers. Going through such an ordeal would’ve probably caused my brain to not create short-term memories, but I guess it didn’t do so in my case, or else I wouldn’t have recalled everything in great detail. However, it were the thoughts, the places, and the dreams that were extremely triggering.
The older we get, the more sensitive we become of our environment. Think of the heat in Arizona as a threat. My brain was like a watch person. It kept making sure I was staying alive all the time. When we take anti-anxiety pills or anti-depressant pills, we’re telling the brain to stop keeping watch temporarily and pretend there’s no danger. Make sure that neurochemicals like serotonin stay in the brain longer, or create more serotonin to stabilise your mood.
Some people may say that a simple heat exhaustion is not itself traumatic. But I disagree. Anything that can cause you to change your entire brain chemistry in a short amount of time is considered trauma. I did some Google searches and found that I’m not the only one who has agoraphobia and panic disorder, and who has had a past history of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. I’m sure there are others like myself who are wondering the same thing.
Well, once I was through working out the negative experiences I had in 2016, my therapist and I talked about how all of my plans have been put on hold because of the massive amount of time I had to put in recovering from that ordeal. As of this year, things are slowly getting better–slowly but surely. I feel now that the best times for me to travel is early in the morning and late at night during the summer. Otherwise I feel fine travelling during the late fall to early spring. It’s been a while since I started dealing with these life-altering symptoms, and I want to resume a normal life, free of ringing in my ears, dizziness, and imbalance.
Now that it is 2019, I helped my mother get the things needed to have a central air conditioner added to our furnace last year from Four Seasons Heating and Air Conditioning, and it has worked wonders! I figured out how I could cool the rest of the house down. I was confined to my bedroom in all of Summer 2017 because I was using a window air conditioner.

Anyhow, I had said before that I wouldn’t be able to get out of credit card debt until March of 2018, and that was true. However, due to some not so favourable changes in my income, I had to enroll in a debt management plan that was licenced by the National Foundation for Credit Counselling. That’s why I’m doing everything I can in my arsenal to fight back by publishing my manuscripts, creating and monetising podcasts and other things. In addition, I sold some stuff on eBay and a local pawn shop, as well. Also, I learned that Next Door offered a way for neighbours to buy and sell stuff. So, I ended up having to sell all my musical instruments.
I had literally lost enjoyment of life because of what I went through, and I made some enquiries as to whether I would have a reasonable cause of action for personal injury because of all that I went through, but my lawyer told me that there were no reliable witnesses, and it’s possible that I might’ve signed a waiver, which I don’t remember doing.
Well, I think this has been a rather long enough post. I hope that you have found everything to be informative. So, my current goals are to start venturing out again in small steps. I already began this by attending a retreat at a political advocacy programme called Catalyst, and start learning how to make pottery on the wheel. In addition, I’d also love to learn how to build a brick-and-mortar ham shack or studio. But, these things cost money, which is why I’m going through all this trouble to get the life I need and want. So, I began looking at investment opportunities, and I learned about Edward Jones. It is through them that I now have a mutual funds account.
In the next post, I will be talking about what you can do if you want to build your credit history for the first time, and what you should look out for, so that you don’t end up making the same mistake I made.

What happened to me? The beginning of a never-ending nightmare

Hi, my fellow humans
This is going to be another long post again, and the way the introduction starts suggests that I haven’t posted here in a long time. That’s partially true, but here’s what happened.
After realizing that I wanted to be an independent WordPress owner, I got help from someone who knows how to use Linux boxes. Together, we rebuilt my blog and attached my basic HTML web site that I started working in my last two years of Hi School. As luck would not have it, though, I lost all my posts because I didn’t check to make sure the SQL files were generated properly. I tried importing the XML file I got from my old wordpress.com account, but it evidently didn’t get saved. Fortunately for me, however, I kept an archive in text form of all the posts I had ever written, and I spent time going through it and reposting them, sometimes splitting them up into multiple parts and editing them. So, this is where I am now.
I know it has been quite a long time since I last posted, and I thought I’d inform you of what I’ve been doing for the last three and a half years. This is going to turn out to be long, so I would suggest that you find some time to sit down so you can spend about half an hour to forty-five minutes reading and re-reading through this article.

I never thought I could suffer a nervous breakdown until I actually experienced one. I mean, I’ve had bouts of panic attacks and astral projection from sleep paralysis, and I’ve survived three blood donations and two wisdom teeth surgeries under nitrous oxide, and although the side effects were tolerable, nothing prepared me for what happened to me a few months later.
I was getting ready to race with my dragon boating team in Tempe, Arizona from September 30th to October 2nd of 2016. I kept attending all eight mandatory practices before the race. Had I known the severe hardships I would endure; I would have backed out as soon as I could. As it was, I suffered a great deal, and it took me nearly two years to recover from the aftermath.
When I arrived in Tempe on Friday, 30 September, I was doing just fine, even in the great heat. So, it was quite a surprise when, on Saturday, I started exhibiting symptoms of heat exhaustion, starvation, dehydration, hyperventilation, or panic attack, that lasted for several hours, even though I was in a shaded tent, and it was around ninety degrees Fahrenheit. Although I kept drinking plenty of water and Gatorade, I wasn’t provided with enough food, and our team was only supplied with a light continental breakfast. I first felt slightly lightheaded when I was accompanying my team down to the lake, though it could have been my imagination. After about twenty minutes of being seated in the tent, I started noticing that my mind was racing, and I was starting to breathe more rapidly. I began having problems with my thoughts. I was thinking about one thing over another until I realised that I was thinking of every possible scenario of why I would not be able to survive in the extreme heat. Then I started to feel like I was in a fog. My brain felt very hazy, and I had the strongest urge to pass out, but I fought it off by constantly being in motion. Then, since I was afraid of fainting from experience, I did everything I could to keep myself awake. I am extremely afraid of fainting, for I have never fainted before, so I didn’t know what sensations I would expect to feel, or if anyone would notice.
Eventually, I started feeling my fingertips and toes tingle if I didn’t move, though it went away when I did. I alerted one of my teammates, who had also felt this way when I was in Portland last month, and she told me to keep drinking more, as if I weren’t already. She alerted the coach, and she told me to stay in the tent, even though I asked to go back to the hotel, and she also told me to drink more Gatorade without offering me any food. I was excused from racing after that. I tried to solicit other means of help to get relief, but no one came to my aid. My Android phone, which I was using at the time, failed me greatly, and I was not able to call emergency services. Had I had access to a ham radio, I would’ve probably used that to call for aid.
All those events took place from nine thirty in the morning until around fourteen hundred. I kept going to the bathroom every fifteen minutes because I kept drinking so many big bottles of Gatorade and smaller bottles of water.
When I went back to the hotel, I was feeling somewhat better, so I went to sleep, and I woke up when it was time for my team to go to dinner. I had trouble walking because I was still dealing from the effects just hours before, but I managed to keep drinking, and I ate a big meal, which kept me going through the night and into the morning. I even saved some leftovers so I could refrigerate it. I don’t know if Room Service could have given me relief at the time.
Come Sunday, I was worried about whether I would be able to race, and what I would do if I couldn’t. Again, we were supplied with a light breakfast, but I vowed to find more food at the venue. The temperature was climbing slowly, and I prayed that it would rain, and incidentally, it did, about half an hour later. I was relieved to receive a good shower outdoors, but soon, the water got too cold, and I was obliged to retreat to the tent. I heard one of the team members say that there was a peculiar odour about the place, and when I sniffed, I detected a sweet, pungent aroma that I associated with electricity, although it was more like the smell of static electricity mixed with gunpowder. I later learned that this was ozone, which is a Greek derivative, as I later learned about in a text adventure game called Curses. When I learned that we might have a thunderstorm, I felt as though the blood were draining from my face, but fortunately, I remained standing. Later, when I got on my computer, I made a joke about the rainstorm on Facebook, saying that I got an answer to my prayers from the heavens, and that I was saved. That downpour drenched us all, and our wet clothing offered us means of cooling afterword. I was able to partake of the last two races, and then we packed up to go back to the hotel. Some members were leaving on Sunday, while others, including myself, went home the following day. Just as we were getting ready to leave, though, I heard a loud retching, coughing, and wheezing sound. I went over to investigate, and I witnessed one of our teammates throwing up, possibly due to a concussion. I learned the next day that this teammate had been falling down all weekend, and they were being made to paddle despite these mishaps. Since nobody made plans for going to dinner on Sunday night, I didn’t know what else to do. I wasn’t sure if I could use room service, and therefore, I was extremely hungry. I managed to save a piece of chicken meat, and I ate it cold. I ate an apple, and some beef Jerky. I waited, but my appetite wasn’t yet satisfied, but then I remembered saving the leftovers from the day before, so I ate it cold, since there was no microwave available. My hunger was satisfied after that, and I went to bed. If I had access to UberEats or DoorDash, I would’ve felt fine afterword.
On Monday, I awoke to take a nice, warm shower, which went without a flaw. I decided to see about how to get breakfast. I went into this warm and stuffy cafeteria, but that nearly proved disastrous, for no sooner had I gone inside, and while I was sitting at one of the tables, I started to feel my chair tilt and sway, and I felt waves of hot flashes rolling down my body. I knew I was going to faint again, so I fought it off by shuffling my legs around. I also made the mistake of drinking apple juice, which has sorbitol. And, when you’re already dehydrated, it makes it much worse, because it will cause you to have diarrhoea made by pulling water out of your system. So, I went back to my room and I had my meal delivered there. I noticed that I was having trouble walking again, and I heard a low humming sound in my right ear, around 225 Hz, the same sound you hear if you’ve ever had a tympanogram. I lied down to get some rest, but after a few minutes I had to go to the bathroom again, and I noticed that every time I released stool, it caused me to feel a stinging sensation. I drank tap water, which tasted salty, every time I went to the bathroom to replace what I lost. I called the airline the day before to see about changing it to an earlier day, but it was more expensive to carry this out, so I requested a wheelchair so I wouldn’t have to walk far.
I waited until it was around ten thirty, then I did my best to walk outside. I was feeling so dizzy I could barely stand up, but I managed to lug my suitcase to the couches, where I stopped to rest. I talked with the teammate who alerted the coach on Saturday, and who accompanied the invalid to the hospital on Sunday. She tied my shoelaces, for they were not well-knotted. It would be the last time I ever interacted with her, for on April 26th, 2017, four days before her birthday, she died in her sleep. She would have been seventy in four more days of her death. Anyhow, I went outside to wait for our cab, and I leaned heavily against the wall for support. When it came, I was relieved to sit down again. I sat in the middle seat in the back. When we got to the airport, I tried to accompany everyone to the check-in line, but it became evident that my dizziness was getting the best of me, and I was forced to find a bench until they could get me a wheelchair. I’m glad I had requested this in advance. I walked through security check and sat back down on the chair. I went to the bathroom, and the coach’s spouse got me some more Gatorade and a banana for me to snack on. With all these things, I was able to avoid hunger for just a bit longer.
The flight was uneventful, although I noticed that my breathing tended to stop just as I was falling asleep, and I would wake up immediately. This usually happened after an episode of near fainting. I previously started feeling such symptoms when I rode in a car, shortly after drinking coffee. I also over-donated blood back in June, though I had previously donated twice, and I had to deal with similar symptoms. I was hospitalised this last time, and I had to put up with some of the remaining aftershocks for several weeks. I drank coffee again in August of 2016, six months after I dealt with my last bout, and again, I experienced a panic attack when I was riding in the cab. This time, I remembered to eat a substantial meal, so I ordered some McDonalds food. I felt much better in about an hour.
Shortly after we landed, I was wheeled out to wait for my ride. Once I got home, I changed to some more comfortable clothes, and I slept for a while. My mother offered to buy me some comfort food, and I got up to eat it. On Tuesday, everything was about the same, but I wasn’t feeling any better. I ate as much as I could, and I had my mother deliver meals to my room. I started noticing for the first time that whenever I walked, I felt as though the floor were moving beneath my feet. If you’ve been on a boat in rough seas, or ever stood on a dock in a windy day, you’d know what I’m talking about. I felt the floor bob and sway, and it made it more difficult for me to walk about. I asked my mother to buy me some VitaLyte, or something similar. It is a rehydrating fluid containing glucose or dextrose, and electrolytes, which made it taste very sweet and salty at the same time. I downed one bottle, and then I drank some Gatorade as well. I continued doing this on Wednesday, and that is when I had my first real out of body experience, or astral projection. I remember thinking to myself in my dream that if I were to have a seizure, I wouldn’t be able to wake up. Then, I started to feel lightheaded, and I felt tingles come at me in big waves. Then I found myself floating in my bedroom, and I was drawn to my cordless telephone. I tried to reach for it so I could dial 911, but I was not successful. This was the first of several reoccurring nightmares that were to follow for the next five months.
On Thursday, I still wasn’t getting any better, so I told my mother everything. She offered to drive me to Urgent Care instead of the emergency room, and she did this because the ER would have been busier than if we went to Urgent Care. It would also mean that it would have been more expensive. We left at around nine in the morning and got there at nine fifteen. I checked in, and I was taken to an examining room. I told them what I’ve gone through, and they performed some tests, including an orthostatic blood pressure test, electrocardiogram, and a urine sample, followed by a blood draw. Ever since I’ve been seeing my naturopathic doctor over at the National University of Natural Medicine, I was really fascinated with the needles, syringes, catheters and IV lines, so I was really surprised when I was able to get my hands on a venipuncture kit from The Apprentice doctor back in early 2016 without a Drug Enforcement Administration Number. So, I finally got to feel some butterfly needles, some vials and ampules, and more.
Nearing the end of my visit, I was given diazepam, or valium, as is sometimes known. It was given to me in the form of a tablet containing 5 MG. After about twenty minutes, I started to feel more relaxed. The medical assistant arranged to have me taken to the emergency room if I wasn’t any better by the time I went to my doctor’s office on Friday.
Once I was through, I was taken back out, and my mother drove me to Jack in the Box so I could get something to eat. Then she bought me my first iPhone from Metro PCS so I could have something to play with. When we got home, I was feeling much better, and I spent some time setting up my iPhone. But we all know that some good things can’t always last forever, right?
On Friday, I woke up, and I was feeling pretty good. I got something to eat, and then I continued working on my iPhone. I also talked to a friend of mine, and I thought things were going quite smoothly. Well, when it came time for my mother and I to depart to Portland, I started feeling the old symptoms come back, including diarrhoea. I have a suspicion, but I don’t know if it would be warranted that if I consumed products from Pizza Hut, I’d get the runs every time. I thought I could get some rest on the way to the clinic, but alas, that didn’t work out in my favour. I guess the effects of the valium had worn off, for my anxiety was causing me to feel the same as I had felt on Monday. I could barely walk up to the desk, so I leaned heavily on my cane, which wasn’t designed for that purpose as it wasn’t a walking stick. Once it was my turn, I checked in as quickly as I could, and then I plopped down on the nearest chair. I waited for about five minutes, but I knew I couldn’t walk such a long distance. So, when my name was called, a wheelchair was brought up to me, and I was asked if I wanted some rescue remedy, which uses the placebo effect to make you believe that you were being given a dose to help you relieve your anxiety. It’s kind of like this: if I gave you a chocolate chip cookie or a brownie, and then two hours later I told you that they had weed in them, your body would react immediately as if there was. The truth is that it never did.
Anyway, I was taken upstairs, and I was administered the same tests I was given at Urgent Care. They also checked my skin elasticity to make sure I wasn’t extremely dehydrated. The doctor did not prescribe me valium, as I had asked, but instead, they prescribed me something called Propranolol Inderal, 60 MG 24-hour release capsule. I saw in later research that if you were to take this medicine shortly after experiencing trauma, your brain might respond to it differently. Unfortunately, this didn’t work.
At first, taking this beta blocker once a day had no major effects, although my blood pressure readings had gone down somewhat, and my heart and breathing rates were slightly lowered. After about a month of taking it, I started noticing some subtle changes, like being more sensitive to heat, though this could have been related to what happened to me. I went in for a blood draw, one day before Trump was elected president, and I nearly fainted from that in the car on the way home, since it was a fasting blood test. I sort of surprised the phlebotomist when I told her that she was using a winged infusion set because I felt the rubbing of the tube against my arm.
My mother told me that I started getting heavier, and she noticed my cheeks rounding up with adipose tissue. I also purchased some Lavela, which is a lavender-based essential oil enclosed in a soft gel. I requested to have a balance evaluation report, so I went ahead and did that with Pacific Ear Clinic.
By late November through early December, I had purchased some equipment to measure my vital signs, and a scale to see how much I weighed. In January, I also purchased a glucometer so I could see how my blood glucose was doing. By that time, I was into two months of taking my beta blocker, and I started noticing major changes in my appetite. I got hungry every four to five hours, instead of nine to ten hours like I normally would. This might have been a trick that caused my body to believe I was in a famine, which is why I probably gained so much weight afterword. By late November, I had received my physiotherapy and vestibular reports, which were sent to my ear, nose and throat specialist, who arranged to have me undergo an MRI in late December. I will post about my MRI experience later. I was also told that my potassium levels were quite low, so I ate bananas, and I also took potassium supplements.
In January, I had a feeling we were going to be snowbound, so I tried to get as much food as I could, via the Safeway Home Delivery programme. As it was, the snow came in earlier than I had anticipated, and Safeway was not able to deliver my order. My mother, not wanting to risk going out in the snow, was not able to provide me with much food, either. On top of what I’ve gone through, I was ready to give up. Then, the snow started melting, and Safeway was finally able to deliver my order. A few more days and I was out of the woods. I had started going to some physiotherapy exercises beginning in January, but because of the snow, it got delayed. I went in for about three or four visits, but it wasn’t really helping me much. I got to ride the Alter G antigravity treadmill, though, and I experienced sensory fatigue when my legs were used to being nearly weightless for several minutes.
I had already suspected that the cause of my excess hunger and weight gain was due to my beta blocker, so I gradually began to lower my dosage without letting my doctor know, and, since I didn’t want to stop suddenly, I tapered off of it completely by the beginning of February.
In November of 2016 and in January of 2017, I received two intravenous treatments, one consisting of a push, and the other one containing a solution which dripped slowly over the period of two and a half hours. Both treatments were not covered by insurance, so I had to pay out of pocket for these treatments. I didn’t feel a whole lot better, but it was worth a try.
I had another blood draw on Wednesday, 23 February 2017, and they discovered that I might be dealing with fatty liver, and that I was possibly prediabetic. They also found that my cholesterol was quite high on the HDL, I think, and my blood sugar was at 109, even when I was fasting. I had also risen to 194 LB, and I wondered how I could gain forty pounds in just four months.

By the end of February, my former partner, who is still my friend, suggested that I try out DirecTV so I could try and learn more about humour and the latest social trends. So, to oblige them, I did. I had a lot of trouble with DirecTV at first, mostly having to do with technical issues in not being able to make the device talk. I soon got it resolved, and I was able to use it more independently.
Back in August of 2016, I was interested in the possibility of getting a secured credit card, so I applied for it, but I didn’t have enough funds to put in the minimum deposit of $300 to get $300 in credit. I waited until February of 2017 to try again. I was finally approved for the secured credit card, and the $300 was deducted from my account. Had I known that I was to be in dire peril, I would have waited until I was out of it before getting the card. As it was, I had to make many sacrifices to survive. It was all because of my two-year older brother that my mother, my brother, and I were all put in this predicament.

%d bloggers like this: