Thursday, November 19, 2009

Crow Time

I love sunset. I used to love it when I could witness spectacular sunsets in Western Mass. We don't get those so much here in the Sacto basin. However, we do have crow time at twilight.

It is quite magical to see hundreds of crows flying to their night roosts in Sacramento and Davis. A steady stream of these intelligent birds comes in like clockwork from the daily forage in the fields - bunches of birds from this field and that one converging and calling and greeting each other. Then the story telling begins. The members of the congregation call out their adventures of the day from amongst the trees they call home.

Beware of your car if you should be so unlucky to choose a spot under one of these trees! You will be laughed at by your fellow townspeople when they see the evidence of your mistake. We've all done it. Cars bespeckled with white splotches of crow poo.

When we have the inevitable winter foggy days (tulle fog - low and extremely dense), I look out my office window to wistfully witness the occasional crow emerging from the depths and disappearing again like a smudge of a ghost.

I love crow time and I will surely have to post about bat time in the future. Some call dusk the magic hour.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The EDNF needs help - please

The Ehlers-Danlos National Foundation, a group I highly depend on and gladly volunteer time for, is another non-profit struggling in this fiscal climate. I, and others like me who deal with this underdiagnosed and mismanaged condition, can't afford for the foundation to fail due to lack of funding.

What the EDNF does for me:

  • creates a safe place to ask questions about EDS - to understand what is going on in my body
  • provides a wealth of resources - Medical Resource Guides, Loose Connections, medical articles, etc
  • helps me educate my doctors and medical professionals about this strange disorder
  • allows me to advocate for others who need help finding information and connecting with medical professionals in my area
  • creates fun and invaluable learning conferences where I can meet others with EDS and listen to professionals present the latest findings or discuss ways to treat our common problems
  • gives me opportunities to use my skills and interests to help others
  • creates space to form long-lasting friendships
  • and so many other things I can't think of right now!
As Eliot Chack, on the EDNF Board of Directors, writes so well:
"Please help sustain our community so it can continue to educate caregivers, patients and their families and carry on the call for further research funding. If you can only give $10, $15, $25 or if you are fortunate enough to be able to give more please do, any amount will help a great organization helping families like ours. Please click below to donate, and thank you for your support." 

I've donated. Can you? Please? 


"Spotlight: In a world of hurt" - UCDavis Pain Management

Hi all,

I feel that this spotlight on pain and pain management from the UC Davis Medical Center really deserves some attention. Though the video does not discuss EDS, the topic is critical in these days of medication addition vs dependence. Also, Dr. Fishman is an amazing physician and has been trained to understand EDS by one of our most knowledgeable EDSers, Maggie Buckley - Advocate Extraordinaire.

"UC Davis gains ground in war on chronic pain

Addiction to prescription painkillers now outpaces illicit drug use as a public health problem in the United States, affecting people from all walks of life — not just celebrities like Michael Jackson, Anna Nicole Smith and Elvis Presley.

UC Davis is at the forefront of addressing this growing problem. In an eight-minute documentary produced for UCTV, top experts explore why prescription drug addiction is on the rise and how the problem can be stemmed.

You’ll hear from:
  • Scott Fishman, one of the nation’s foremost pain medicine experts, about which painkillers are most often abused, who is most likely to abuse them and how prescription drug addicts obtain their drugs.
  • Richard Kravitz, who studies the health care system, and Michael Wilkes, known for his innovations in medical education, about the role that physicians play, and
  • Professor Prasad Naik, an expert in marketing, about how pharmaceutical advertising contributes to the problem.
You’ll also see inside the UC Davis Health System’s renowned Pain Medicine Clinic, and watch as pain medicine specialists use the latest tools to attack the problem of pain for thousands of Northern California residents."

Video and story link

Videography by Ken Zukin; produced by Paul Pfotenhauer

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Stu Garlicson

Not a real person or even thing - just words stuck in my head. :) 

It's 12:40 am and I can't sleep tonight. Don't know if it is because it's been a long day of a long week, stress, or the full-ish moon. Sleep is just beyond my reach despite plenty of snooze-inducing pills in my system and earplugs. So I write...

I tend to be my most prolific just before bed. Anyone else have that phenom? It's often nothing I can capture in writing, but the poetry is still there. 

So many things going on and several I can't yet say have been solidified. Living in a state of minor chaos and uncertainty but all stems from a place of love and striving for peace. I will let you know when I know. 

My sweet brother made a comment about my list of blogs I follow - along the lines of it being a reflection of where I am in the world these days. Wondering at the level of pain I express, etc. True, I do follow EDS and health-related blogs, but I have two primary reasons for doing so. 1) There are so many people who don't know about EDS and how much support and good information is out there. I see my list as a resource for those new to the idea of EDS, who are searching for anything that will help them understand what is going on in their lives. I list what I was looking for when I first got diagnosed. 2) I feel like I am an advocate for this bizarre syndrome that affects so many people in so many different ways. If you have it, you have to know about it to get the care you need. Maybe my collection will help someone somehow. A side benefit is that so many of these people are really interesting. :) 

I just noticed that I've been wearing a larger than usual caretaking hat lately. My husband is #1 for a variety of reasons I can't explain right now. My boss, as issues relate back to my husband that might have an impact on my work. A menagerie of cats... 

I have my lovey cat, Aubrie, two young sisters, Luna and Ruby, and a Siamese that doesn't live in the house but camps out at my back door. As for the cats, my husband can't stand the sight of Ruby because she doesn't have a tail. She is the one I'd choose between Luna and Ruby because she has a more submissive personality that suits Aubrie, she is interested in reaching out to Aubrie for play, and I adore her. Luna is beautiful, cuddly, trouble (she can open doors with latches), and doesn't understand that kitties don't go on kitchen counters. She is dominant and is more difficult around Aubrie, which stresses my baby out. I hope I can find a good home for Ruby in this sad state of animal abandonment and full foster homes. I'm trying to train the sisters so they will grow into good kitties. Both girls seem to have two layers of fur and Ruby has traits of manx in her. Makes me curious where some of their heritage came from.

The Siamese is back. She has a habit of coming by around 9am and after dark in the evening. In the mornings, she comes for food. Although someone put a flea collar on her and seems to have tried to take her in, looks like her bad temperament got her kicked out of that new home. She has a mean, defensive side, though she is pretty desperate for affection. She's clearly been neglected for a while - poor fur, long nails that look like they are becoming a problem, and so skinny you can see her ribs/spine. She is hand shy and the claws and teeth come out when she thinks you are too close or you try to give her food when she is super hungry. Don't know why I seem to be attracting all these cats lately. Hubby is NOT happy.

I'm avoiding talking about my husband and boss for now, but let's just say that I had to cancel the movers last week. 

Facebook is evil but I recently signed up for an account. I linked my blog to my space there so perhaps EDS and my followed blogs will get more attention. I've managed to find two lost cousins and some old friends. Lots of memories there. It's weird how FB works in that there are so many connections I didn't realize I could find. 

I would love to work a few hours less per week. There are many things I'd like to do with my time. Facebook kind of ties into my interest in geneology. I'd like to do more research into EDS and be able to share my thoughts on some scientific articles with you. Nevermind being able to have early dinners with hubs and catch up on emails/ phone calls, and other friend/family related stuff. Plus I just need some more time to sleep/rest. (funny considering my current state of sleeplessness)

Things are generally under control health wise. My slipped rib is getting better and only bugs me every few minutes rather than all the time. It's on its way to bye bye land.

I had a great evening with my younger kiddo. She came home from college for a day so we could go car shopping (her car is dying). Pops wasn't feeling well and went to bed early. Since K was staying over, she and I spent time eating ice cream, talking about life, and crocheting. Well, let's say that she was crocheting and I was making a mess. The cool thing is that she taught me how to do a basic crochet stitch, which I was doing completely wrong. It's fun when your kidlet wants to teach you stuff. 

I'm reading an interesting book that's been out a while, "Eats, Shoot and Leaves", and it usually calms me for bed. Not tonight. It's a really cool book on punctuation, funny to boot. I'm fascinated by editing right now. I've discovered it is something I am good at and enjoy doing. There are things I need to brush up on like proper use of colons. I primarily edit scientific stuff for work, which has its own style, making it a bit challenging to know what is proper for general writing. I, of course, don't pay much attention to punctuation when I am blogging or emailing. This phenomenon is changing puncuation and grammar usage, interestingly enough. I like the book also because the author talks about some of the history of various marks. Neato. 

Does anyone know where the phrase 'cool beans' came from? My dad says it and I find it coming out of my mouth on occasion when I get tired of the other words/phrases in common usage right now. Ha ha! I had to look it up. No wonder my dad uses this phrase often:

Looks like my battery is going to conk out before I do. Sigh. 

Thinking of: P, Barb, K, Angel, Kayla (bubble girl), grampa, my sis, JB in India, my boss (though I'd rather forget we have a grant due in the morning - oh, that's a few hours from now!), Dr. Yo, God, Aubrie, lilac lady, G, Dad, homes for kitties, sleeeeeeeep...