As a follow-up to my article on dealing with disability, next week I will have the nerves in my neck and lumbar region burned off with radio wave ablation. This became necessary after the nerves grew back and my cervical spondylosis and lumbar arthropathy got worse. This is why I urged disabled individuals to find a neurologist and physical therapist who can work in a symbiotic relationship to provide care for the disabled patient.
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Boston is a great town. I loved living there, but lately I keep hearing all these complaints about snow.
Let me tell you about the city I lived in before Boston, Syracuse, New York. Syracuse has 300 overcast days a year. When I would mention that I used to live on a farm in Oswego County they used to turn up their noses. I never understood how residents of the most overcast major city in America could look down on someplace else.
People in Oswego County don't much care what people in Syracuse think about them. It's not like being looked down on by Hawaii. But even Oswego can look to the east and chuckle. My brother told me yesterday that Copenhagen New York now has 21 feet of snow. It's in Lewis County in the Tug Hill Plateau. Since you know that the wind blows across the Great Lakes from west to east, and Ontario is the last great Lake, you might think that all that moisture had to drop somewhere. That's why God invented the Tug Hill Plateau. You can't drive up there this time of year. People dig tunnels from the farmhouse to the barn under the snow so they can milk the cows. One year a man died in the Tug Hill and they put him in a snow bank to keep him fresh until spring, when the minister could come up from down below and give him a Christian burial. (this is absolutely true).
So while I feel sorry for Boston, my compassion is limited.
Of course, three days ago it was 91 in my home office in Westwood, Los Angeles, California. I decided to turn on the air conditioning. There is no way I would ever live again in any of the other places mentioned in this article.
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
In the past 10 or 15 years, I have seen the America that provided me with so many opportunities turn into a land divided by income inequality, a deficit of compassion, and the reverence towards strange ideals that allow our elected representatives to make our government a dysfunctional atrocity.
Let me make something clear. I'm descended from two different Mayflower pilgrims and I love my country. I grew up in a time when I could be supported by Social Security but still obtain a PhD. That America no longer exists. We have the 1% and the rest of us, and it seems never the twain shall meet.
Let's take the concept of the Corporation as an individual. That was always a financial concept, but when the court allowed wholly-owned companies to deny basic rights to their employees, the reality became distorted.
When the Supreme Court decided in the Citizens United case, that free speech meant you could spend as much as you wanted on a cause or candidate, the cause of equality took another blow. Now the Koch Brothers can spend as much as they want to try and return us to an America that is mostly a fiction. That America treated African-Americans like chattel. That America refused to let the Chinese become citizens. That America refused to save Jews before they were sent to the gas chambers and certain death. In that America you called a Native American "chief" and nobody cared.
Let's not kid ourselves, money is always what counted in America, but there were pockets of compassion which allowed some of us to become all that we could be. Today America's upward mobility is lower than Canada's and much of Europe's. Are those tears in the eyes of the Statue of Liberty and do they weep because what she once stood for has become a myth?
Monday, March 9, 2015
I have some advice for disabled people with spinal and joint problems. There are some people who can really help you. Because you all don't live in Los Angeles, I will describe my support here and hope you can find the same combination in your area.
First, I have a neurologist who isn't afraid to work with a well-educated physical therapist. Her name is Dr. Mollie Johnston, and she's a professor at UCLA. She is very compassionate and stays in contact with my physical therapist, Dr.Li-der Chan, who has a DPT from USC. He also has incredible instincts and never gives up on a patient.
Because these two are operating in a symbiotic relationship, there are times that I need medical procedures in order to continue functioning. At that time, I know to alter my physical therapy, until the procedure is completed.
Because dealing with arthritis requires a lot of will some days it feels like you're running faster and faster just to stay even. But if you can discover a neurologist and physical therapist who work together the result can be helpful. As long as you know that this process is never going to end, you can deal with this.
The last time I saw my grandfather he couldn't move anything on his body because of arthritis. It is an image that haunts me, so you never should give up. Oliver Wendell Holmes said "to live is to function" and so we must keep trying.
Friday, March 6, 2015
One fact has me wondering about the value of Twitter. In almost every case people who follow me ask me to talk to them on Facebook. I find it interesting that Twitter seems to be used as a way to generate Facebook followers. Does that mean that Twitter is inadequate as a means of communication?
I dropped Facebook years ago when I saw information on me, which could only have come from Facebook, sold on the Internet. Since it involved my offspring's communication with me, I was appalled.
However, in retrospect, while I sold a substantial amount of books, I could have sold more if I used Facebook. Twitter doesn't really help you sell books. My recent experience with followers has me questioning the role of Twitter.