Sunday, January 5, 2014

Goodbye For Now

Well, it's apparent I am a widely inconsistent blogger.  I just can't keep up with the demands of my life so I've decided some things gotta go.  Any extra time I have to write, because it is one of my favorite outlets, I now use to write our book.  I just don't have time to be a blogger anymore, which saddens me.  But maybe one day, when I'm not working full time, taking 16 credits, and maintaining a household I will pick it up again.  Heaven knows I have plenty of vegan recipes of my own, crafts, stories, and insights I'd LOVE to publish online.  All in due time though.  That's what I keep telling myself.  

2013 was a rough year, and this one may prove to be even harder.  But I'm ready for it.  I'm plunging in full force.  But in order to do so I have to cut back on the things that are less important.  In 2013 I married my best friend, made a house a home, went back to school after open heart surgery, got a full time job, made some AMAZING friends, watched a best friend make her way to heaven, and much much more.  Through it all, I remain sure of three things:  My Heavenly Father loves me.  There are so many things to be grateful for. And family is most important.  

I am so grateful for all the wonderful people in my life.  I couldn't be more blessed.  So for now, I'm focusing on them and my career.  When things settle down I'll be back online.  But until then, God Bless.  And Happy 2014.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

We're Writing a Book!

Before I begin can I just thank, from the bottom of my heart, those of you who consistently read and comment on my blog. I love getting feedback, I love hearing your own stories/opinions, and I LOVE the fact that someone other than myself is actually reading:) You guys are all wonderful people who I truly admire for very specific reasons.  Brittnee and Heather, you will always hold a special place in my heart.  You've been there during some of the most insane moments of my life.  And you are incredible women who I can't help but envy and love. To my family and other relatives, this is often the only way I can communicate with you about the goings on in my life, so to you all, I send my love and deep appreciation for who you are and what you do. And to other friends of mine who read, you know who you are.  And I can't thank you enough for influencing my life in the many ways you have.  From the bottom of my heart. Thank You.

Today I have a bit of news for the world.  Over the past year or so, several people have heard bits and pieces of 'My Story'.  Few have heard it all, but no matter. Even those who've heard parts of the whole have suggested Spenser and I collaborate and write a book.  I always just shrugged at the idea, thinking I would never have the time for that. It could take years.  And maybe it will.  But up until the past couple weeks I never even seriously considered it.  I didn't really see the point I guess.  Say we did write a book, then what?  Everyone and anyone knows the story?  Doesn't that kinda take away from the sacredness of it all? That's what I always felt anyway. Until I recently spoke with a friend who said, "ShaNae.  I'm not kidding.  You need to write a book."  And I said, "Nah.  I kinda feel self righteous and egotistical even considering it. Wouldn't you? Like 'oh look at me and my crazy life, aren't you jealous? Good. Cause you shouldn't be' You get what I mean?"  To which she replied, "No.  If I had experienced a life like yours I'd see it as an opportunity.  Crazy or not, look at the people you've already inspired! Imagine if you could spread that kind of thing world wide!"  My eyes got big and I said, "I get what you're saying.  But that doesn't change the fact that I hate being the center of attention.  Writing a book is crazy. That's a HUGE risk."  I then chuckled, thinking about some of the things that would have to be published, and said, "Can you even begin to imagine the kind of hate mail I'd receive?"  I just shook my head as she tilted her hers and said, "Yes I can.  But it wouldn't come anywhere near the amount of love letters you'd get.  From men AND women."  To that, we both laughed.  And I just looked down for a minute, playing with my pen. After a moment of silence she quietly suggested I just think about it. Seriously this time.

So I did.

For weeks.

Writing a book means putting it all on the line.  Throwing myself AND my husband out there for the entire world to critique.  I'm not down with that.   But what if she was right? What if I'm supposed to do this? To help someone, or maybe even multiple someones?  Maybe then it would be worth it...

So I weighed the pros and cons, did some hard praying, and finally made a decision.  The decision to write.  I had to do some research.  I had questions.  Like, can anyone just write and publish a book?  There's no way it's that easy.  And it's not.  But with hard work and some help we can make it happen.  We could have a top seller.  That's our goal anyway. With us it's always go big or go home.  So if we're doin this, we're going big, shootin' for a book that hits the shelves, internationally.  I don't care if it makes money, I just want it to be there, for the right person to pick it up. And this is the last you'll hear about it on the blog.  I want to keep the contents of the book on the DL until there's a tangible final product.

Below are some of the quotes we have used to form the basis of our literary message. Standing where I stand today, having seen what I've seen, there are three things I still truly believe in.  That's God, humanity, and the power of will.  And when the book's finished, it will be easy to understand the hows and whys.

So that's that.  Let the work begin!

What may seem now to be mere unconnected pieces of tile will someday, when we look back, take form and pattern, and we will realize that God was making a mosaic.

-Neal A. Maxwell

❤ absolutely LOVE this!!!

Your life as a Christian should make a nonbeliever question their belief in God

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Now She Done It...

Before I say anything I have to preface this post by telling you I've been where you are, reading some newly-gone-vegan's blog, and thinking, "So weird.  And so gross". If you told me even a year ago I'd be vegan by now, I would have shaken my head and said, "oh no. how little you must know me."  When the real problem was, I didn't know myself.  Not well enough anyway.  I didn't understand what was happening to my body every time I put something inside it.  But now I know.  Not everything.  But A LOT  more than I did six months ago, and what I know has led me to make some pretty big changes.  Good changes:)

It started about a year ago, after my open heart surgery, when my cardiologist, whom I admire and deeply appreciate, recommended a vegan diet.  You can imagine what I said....No Way.  I even scoffed at her.  As if I could do that.  Instantly, I thought of three reasons I couldn't.  1.  I LOVED FOOD, and thought vegans were people who used their diet as an excuse to starve themselves.  2. I knew it could be super time consuming...ain't nobody got time for that  and 3. I knew it could be really expensive.

So, she simply recommended I look in to it, and instinctively, I put the idea on my mental back burner.  Then, as I was looking up recipes one night, I came across this vegan's blog.  Her entire layout caught my eye and so even though I knew all her recipes would be plant,whole-foods based, I read on.  And before I knew it, I'd printed more than 30 recipes, all containing ingredients I'd never even heard of.

But that was it...for at least 5 months.  I decided to find, and purchase all those Vegan, non-GMO, Organic ingredients was just too much for me at the time.

But one really important fact remained.  I was not losing weight, I was feeling worse every month, and I was NOT at peace with food.  This sounds extreme to people who have not experienced something similar, but I had a personal vendetta against food.  Why? Because I'm a heart patient.  I am extremely restricted physically and therefore hate putting anything inside my body.  At least I did...You could say I may have suffered from a form of eating disorder.  I wasn't anorexic, I couldn't starve myself.  But I had literal, physical anxiety on a daily basis due to the simple fact that I HAD to eat...and wouldn't be able to exert myself enough to work it off.  I hated food. And I HATED my heart.  I HATED ME.

No fun.

Something had to give.

So, when my mother in law told me she'd left a book on nutrition for me to read on her china cabinet, I felt this strong feeling I needed to read it.  It was random, it wasn't expected, and I wasn't looking. Quite frankly I'd just given up.  I guess you could say she was inspired...because that book literally changed my life.

The book is called The China Study by T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell. A father-son literary collaboration, written by two world renowned doctors who spent their lives designing and executing scientific medical trials.  The china study IS 'the most comprehensive study of nutrition ever conducted' and proves it, with it's research and background.  I wish I could stand on the rooftops and preach the contents of this book to the world, because it literally saves lives.  If you haven't read it, READ IT.  Even if you have absolutely no health or weight concerns and could care less about changing the way you eat.  READ IT.  The information within will BLOW YOUR MIND.

Their research, confounded with others', over decades, across the GLOBE, has proven scientifically that a plant-based, whole foods diet, can not only prevent disease but REVERSE it.  When I read it, initially I was blown away.  But also a little sad.  Sad, because all the beginning chapters proved eating like a vegan could prevent diseases of affluence, but didn't necessarily say anything about helping someone like me.  Someone with chronic heart disease that is believed to have resulted from some sort of genetic trigger. Someone who has already experienced multiple heart attacks, or episodes of syncope, and was on a downhill spiral. It didn't address people like that...until the last half of the book.  Then, there was an entire section for people just like me:) People with heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and more! A whole entire half of a book that proved eating a vegan diet COULD and DOES help people with chronic or genetic illness. Helps us by completely catering to our bodies microbiologic needs, nutritional desires, and chemical order.  By not only preventing what may come if we continue our NORMAL diets, but REVERSING what has already begun, thus providing a longer, higher quality life.    *it's all very scientific and fascinating!

I'm not going to write a million words on what's contained within that book, and many others I've read similar to it.  Because if you care to know, you'll read it yourself.  I've simply summarized what I read that led me to make a major change.

So that's that.  I have fully transitioned to eating a plant based, whole foods diet.

And I haven't felt this good in a very.long.time.

I have more energy, I've already dropped some weight, and I feel better in every way.  I am finally on my way to being at peace with my body and with food.  After 12 years, I'm finally there.

Now, was transitioning to this diet a slow process? Yes.  Was it time consuming? Yes.  I had to make it a priority.  Was it more expensive? Yes.  But, am I ever hungry? NO.  And do I love the way I feel? Yes. Once you find the right foods, the right stores, the right recipes it becomes a normal part of your life.  It becomes something you can't NOT do.  And something you have no problem following to the T. I won't ever go back to my old diet, the things I used to eat on a daily basis. And here's why.  This is what I tell everyone who asks me, "Why the switch to veganism?"

Because if I've read, and now know the facts, the facts that may be my LAST chance at avoiding heart transplant or any other potential health risk, why wouldn't I do everything I can to do just that? Avoid the risks?  I've gotten surgery, I take pills, I keep my exertion low, I drink A TON of water, and now it's just a waiting game. So why wait? Why wait and see what will happen when maybe, just maybe, the chance that my heart could stay where it's at is completely within my control, simply by changing what I eat.  You better damn well believe I won't wait.

Therefore, I made the switch, and like I said, I already feel the difference.  And it's only been three months.

Now more than ever I've become dedicated and more involved in the quality of my own life, and specifically, my heart.  I want to live as long as my husband, and eating differently can do that.  I honestly, truly believe it.  Given my own scientific background with a Bachelors in Science, I was more able to understand the validity of what China Study and other books were trying to convey. And wish I would have discovered the research sooner.  Everyone should read it.  It's applicable to EVERY SINGLE PERSON.  If you're alive, if you're human, the books about YOU.

Anyway, now that this has become such a huge part of my life, a new passion of mine, be sure you'll find some recipe posts on here every now and then.  There is a lot of trial and error when learning how to cook these kind of meals, but eventually you figure it out.  And there is SO MUCH out there we are not regularly exposed to that is SO GOOD! And so good for you!  Here are some pictures of meals I've prepared and LOVED already.





My husband is by no means a vegan, or even a vegetarian.  He loves meat, he loves midnight runs to Beto's and he loves his whole milk.  But he's darn well the most supportive husband ever to be found. He eats my food, even some of the new recipes that aren't so great...it's been a journey for the both of us, he hasn't left me hanging or made his meals separate from mine.  We do it together, and guess what, he doesn't starve either:)  And right now i'd say he's satisfied, as a full on carnivore, 7 times out of 10.  We're hoping to bump that number up to 10 out of 10 eventually;) But for now, I can make do with 7.

Anyway, that's my spurge on that! This really has turned into a love and passion of mine.  And I'm excited about it!  Till next time:P

Friday, August 16, 2013

Couple Spotlight!!!`

I love doing these! They are one of my favorite kind of posts to write because I have such a love for these people.  The couple I'm spotlighting today are the Aunt and Uncle of one of my good friends from high school.  Allow me to introduce you to Adam and Lori. They adopted their first child, a boy named Hudson, two years ago.  He's the stinkin cutest thing ever, and just like his parents, anxiously awaiting the next addition to their family!


Adam and Lori photo

Adam and Lori photo

Adam and Lori photo

This couple is from Utah, loves the outdoors, loves good food, values education and religion, and is just down right beautiful.  To see more pictures, or view their whole profile go to https://www.itsaboutlove.org/ial/profiles/27893087/ourMessage.jsf. Or try www.itsaboutlove.org, on the left hand side click 'view adopting couples profiles', then click on the blue 'continue' box to view them as a guest. Then all you have to do is type in their names, Lori and Adam, and voila! You'll have it all, pictures, letter to expectant parents, and more.  If you or someone you know is looking for an adopting family, please check them out!  Thanks, and till' next time!;)

Monday, August 5, 2013

See the Unseen

So, sorry for not writing in so long. Well sorry but not sorry because we've been on vacation!  I took my husband out to California where my heritage springs from.  San Francisco.  Monterey. SacramentoValley.  It was a blast, especially cause my brother and sister came along.  We all gained weight, thanks to my Portuguese Grandmother who insists we're starving every 90 minutes. And we lover her for it:) We enjoyed the beach, the city, and lots of good food.  But we're back, back to reality, and to be honest, I've had a million different things come up that I wanted to write about.  First, I wanted to tell the story of my Mammaw, the Portuguese wonder woman out in Cali, because she has one of the most incredible life stories.  But then I thought better of it, because it's her life story, not mine, and I'd want her approval before it went viral. So then, I was going to write about diversity, my spin on it based off life experience and my recent time spent in one of our nation's melting pots, San Francisco. But then, I felt like I'd be beating a dead horse.  Everyone writes/talks/blogs/preaches about diversity these days.  About equality, acceptance, love, hate, . . . . and so on.  So I picked something a little different.  I've selected a few very key events in my life to highlight in this post.  Each event has been something to change my life, my way of thinking, my way of doing and being, in some way.  Big or small.  They're things I don't often talk about, things I'm sure many others have felt and experienced.  But unique to me, the following events and discussion are part of my story.  Part of what makes me, ME. And it's not like I think the world wants to read all about me. Wants to know my life, my ideas, my stories.  I'm no narcissist.  I know in the grand scheme of things, no one really cares. Rather, we're all looking to relate and to learn, especially from each other.  So that's what I'm doing here. Hoping we can somehow relate using some of the most important, special, moments of my life. Moments where I felt this indescribable, overwhelming, unique sense of peace.  A peace that to this day, gives me the chills when the memories come creeping in. It's not of this world, this feeling of peace.  It is sent from somewhere else.

June 1st, 2010.

Probably one of the most significant moments of my life.  For obvious reasons.  It was the day my daughter was born.  I've told the story a million times.  Here, at groups, conferences, to friends, family...but there's parts of the story I always leave out.

Sophie's birth taught me something very important.  That this life, as long, scary, intimidating, tiring, or lonesome as it may seem at times, is one of the shortest, most insignificant parts of our history.  When I told my Doctors I was pregnant, I was advised to terminate the pregnancy.  It was too risky for someone like me.  They advised me of the risks I was taking and the complications I would face.  But for some reason, by some miracle, it never, not ever scared me. I thought about it a lot.  I mulled over the "What If's" in my mind.  But it never caused me to panic.  I never second guessed my decision to give Sophie life, even when it meant putting mine at risk. So, when the time finally came for Sophie to enter this world, we were well prepared.  The whole team knew exactly what they were doing, and I was ready for anything.  At one point in the delivery room I felt myself blacking out.  And for a moment,  I thought, "This is it, I've done my job.  And now I'm leaving." And again, I wasn't scared.  I was OK. I felt this overwhelming sense of peace. This unusually thick, warm blanket of serenity. The room was in chaos.  But to me it was quiet.  All the noise seemed dimmed by my mind.  I could hear voices, but they were so far away.  I felt my heart exploding with love for this tiny human being that had finally been born.  But she was off being cleaned up. It was just me, a light, and a very warm, calm sense of companionship I felt between myself and something or someone else unseen. When I think back to this moment I tear up because it has left such a lasting impression on me.  My mother was there, she made sure I got the oxygen mask ,that I was okay. She was taking care of me, along with a whole other team of very special people, all the while I was off somewhere else. In a place of pure peace. Until I got to come back.  And watch Sophie experience this world for the first time. And understand that her birth was sending ripples.  Ripples I was just beginning to comprehend.

I don't know everything.  I don't have answers for much.  But I do know one thing.  That Sophie and I are kindred spirits. That our history began before a time I can remember.  I know that.  I saw it and felt it that day in our delivery room.

And I don't believe God necessarily intended for me to make mistakes as a teen, mistakes that would lead me to get pregnant.  But I know Sophie was part of a grander plan.  Too many things took place for it not to be 'meant to be'. I can't have kids anymore. Sophie was my one and only child that will ever be born of my own flesh and blood.  Sophie HAD to come when she did.  She HAD  to get to her family somehow, and I was the missing piece to that puzzle.  But I NEEDED her too.  For so many reasons. You can't tell me there isn't a bigger plan after I've seen what I've seen and felt what I've felt.  You can't tell me there isn't a reason why she's here against all odds, and I am too. That day has forced me to look at life through very different eyes.  Sophie's birth was huge, but so small compared to what her life and the change in mine, will produce.

I believe life is short.  So very short.

words to live by

June 3rd, 2012

I went to Africa knowing I was taking a risk.  If anything were to happen to me I was in big trouble.  There are no hospitals adequately prepared to help a heart patient in trouble in Tanzania.  But I didn't care.  I was dead set on going, had been for years.  I didn't care if I died there, I was going. Well knock on wood, I died there.  Died and came back to life twice. (thank you ICD) Sounds ridiculous, sounds dramatic, but that's what happened.  And I don't care.  Because I'm here now, things worked out.  And I got to feel it again.  That peace.  The first time my heart stopped we were out on a dirt field.  I don't remember passing out.  What I do remember is a very bright light, distant voices, and a total sense of peace.  My words and descriptions CAN NOT give what took place the next 72 hours justice.  Again, utter chaos.  Panic.  Terror. For everyone but me.  I wasn't there.  Mentally I was.not.there.  Something took me someplace else.  To keep me from panicking.  To keep me calm.  Those who know me, know that I am SO VERY IN TUNE  with anything and everything that goes on inside my body.  How fast my heart is beating, how my head feels, how my legs feel, how my skin looks.  To the point that I'm paranoid.  If I had been coherent during those days in Africa, I would have created more of a panic, I probably would have caused more problems.  So, I went somewhere else for a time.  And I got to feel the peace again.  A feeling that I try to re-imagine daily because I yearn for it.  Who wouldn't? For a while I knew without a doubt that things were okay.  Nothing scared me.  Should have, lots of thing should have scared me.  The fact that I was dying in a third world country should have scared me. But I thank my Father in Heaven all the time for what he did for me there.  What he taught me, showed me, gave me.  Incredible.

June 1st, 2009

My brother Clint had just left on his mission.  I was working at subway that summer. On this day, my good friend Erica walked in to the store.  For a moment, I smiled and thought, "What a pleasant surprise!" Until I noticed her face was red and there were tears in her eyes.  My heart sank.  I couldn't breathe but I said, "Erica, what is it, what's wrong?" And before she could say a word her voice trembled and her body shook, more tears started to fall down her face, and she told me it was my brother.  Initially I panicked, thinking my younger brother at home was in trouble and we had to go. NOW.  But then she shook her head and said no, it was my older brother. Clint.  The one eight hundred miles away.  The one I couldn't run to and make sure things were alright.  The one we had, just two weeks prior, placed into the Lord's care.  I left work with Erica immediately.  I was in shock the whole drive home.  I'm sure I cried, I don't remember.  But I do remember thinking I needed to hold it together.  I had younger siblings at home who were going to need me.  My parents had already jumped a plane to California to see Clint. He had gone running that morning in a park with his missionary companion.  He dropped to the ground and quit breathing when his companion began to yell for help and two park workers, who also just happened to be volunteer paramedics, approached the scene and administered CPR until the ambulance arrived.  Clint was defibrillated several times before they got any kind of rhythm.  Long story short, Clint was gone.  Someplace else, experiencing that same peace I felt in Africa, the same peace I felt when Sophie was born. He was in a coma for over a week, intubated and all. The prognosis was scary.  If he woke up, he could have serious brain damage.  Or he could be fine. Either way, if he survived, he was going to need an ICD, like me. I was finally going to have a twin in the family. Long story short, Clint woke up.  Thanks to some amazing nurses and doctors, a Mother's tender love, and lots of faith and prayers.  And he got the surgery for an ICD, and went right back out on his mission, completing the full two years without ever coming home.  He's a rock star.  He's seen it all.  He knows God and Angels are real.  Ask him.  He'll  tell you.

When my parents left to go see him, I didn't know what we'd hear the next time they called.  As far as I knew he was already dead, and they were taking him to an E.R.  But I prayed and prayed and prayed for a miracle. We all did.  And as we prayed, Clinton was in the care of some great people.  Some seen and some...well, not seen.

Today

On this day, and every day, I can smile when life gets rough. I can cry.  Because I'm human.  And a girl...But then I can smile because I remember what it feels like to know none of it matters.  There is SO MUCH MORE in store.  So much that DOES matter, amongst all the things in life that DON'T. And I thank God every day for teaching me that so young.


I'm so grateful for what I've seen and felt in just the first 22 years of my life.  Not one day goes by that I don't think on the things/people that have changed me the most.  My mother is one of the most amazing people I know.  No, she IS the most amazing person I know. She's never had it easy.  She's never had it all.  Yet she's so at peace.  She's so close to God, she's so giving, so calm, so selfless.  I can only dream of ever becoming half the woman she is.  She's taught me a lot.  She's carried me through even more.

I gave my mom this poem last year as a gift, because she's always telling me everything you should hear from a mother.  "You're beautiful, you're strong, you're smart..." But for the first time in my life, I finally believed it, and it was thanks to her consistent praise and support.  She, aside from the heavenly peace I've felt, is the one thing I can always count on to make things okay.  She's truly an angel.  And if you know my mother, then you know she's special.  And so anyway, here's the poem...


People always say I have a laugh like my mother does.  Guess that makes sense.  She taught me how to smile when things get rough.  I've got her spirit, she's always got my back.  When I look at her I think, "I wanna be just like that." When I love, I give it all I got, like my mother does. When I'm scared, I bow my head and pray, like my mother does. When I feel weak and unpretty, I know I'm beautiful and strong because I see myself, like my mother does.





I guess the point of this post is to describe how I've came to understand the phrase "live like today's your last day".  Cliche I know. You hear it all the time.  But until I cheated death a few times myself, came close to losing people closest to me, I didn't REALLY get it.  I didn't really TRY it.  But now, it's on the fore front of my mind, all the time.  And it is what has made me ME.  It is what has influenced my life the most.  
Anyway...as always, I hope this has sparked some kindling of thought in your mind. 'Till next time;)
Spiritual

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Intellectual Honesty

Last night could have been one of the most relaxing nights I'd had in a long time.  IF it weren't for absolutely everything and everyone that made it into the exact opposite of what it SHOULD have been.  This post is obviously turning into a vent session.  One I might regret later on, since it will indubitably give people an insight into my very own "Mr. Hyde". However, on the same hand I don't mind all that much.  Because some things just need to be said.  And ya know, every now and then I get a family member or a friend say to me, "ShaNae, I love your blog because it's authentic, it's real.  You don't hold back.  It's completely YOU."  To which I let out a sigh of relief knowing my deepest intent has reached my readers.  I AM HONEST.  And sometimes brutally so.  If something needs to be said, if there's an elephant in the room, I'll be the one to  tear off the sheets.  Not because I'm always abrasive, though sometimes I am.  But because just like the rest of the human race, I have a streak of egotism.  At the end of any given day, almost everything I did was for myself. We are not an altruistic race.  FACT.

So let me clarify.  I'm not brutally honest or authentic for your sake, though keeping you from going out in public in that dress WAS doing you a favor.  I'm honest for myself.  Because I can't physically function without being honest about how you or him, or them, or that, is making me feel. I'm honest because I can't shut up and smile when what you're saying makes me wanna scream and spew. If I trust you, you'll know it.  If I don't trust you, we won't even speak. There's a reason I am who I am.  There's a reason I'm not my mother, but I'm not my father either.  There is a reason I am the perfect mix of both.  Allowing me to be honest but diplomatic, abrasive yet soothing, assertive yet composed. I've grown to be brutally honest through my father, while using diplomacy and a continuously improving brain filter through my mother.

So, back to the point of this post.  Last night was date night.  Spenser and I have been working our tails off this summer and felt like we hadn't REALLY seen each other in days.  So, I proposed we make it a date night once he got off work.  We ended up with free dinner at my parents house and a cheap movie at the water gardens.  It was easy, low budget, low stress.  Exactly what we like.  Shoulda been a great night.  Shoulda ended great too if you know what I mean.

BUT NO.

Okay, let me just ask you this.  Ever done something to fully and completely embarass yourself?  Don't you usually know, getting some kind of sixth sense, that you're embarassing yourself? So you stop whatever it is that you're doing?  Unless it was all done and over so quick that all you can do is grovel and hope to high heaven it doesn't leave a lasting mark on your record? Most of us have, I should hope, born naturally within us, the ability to rocognize when the motors running our mouth should stop.

MOST OF US.

Last night at the movie I sat by a group of young adults who more than lacked this ability.  MORE than lacked. Meaning, not only did they not realize what they were doing. They kept it up the ENTIRE two and a half hours we were there.  They were oblivious to the glares coming at them from all directions. AND, they got louder with each passing minute.  Okay, so in the movie, for those of you who haven't seen it, Mr.Gatsby uses the name 'Ol' Sport'...a lot.  It's a term of endearment.  Kinda like my siblings call me Nae, or my husband calls me babe...nothing special. Just 'Old Sport'. Oh, but to the boistorous group seated next to me, that was down right, the FUNNIEST thing they'd ever heard.  The whole movie was funny to them.  Every little thing a normal person might find artistic, classic, creative, or exciting, they found...HILARIOUS.  So they'd force out ridiculous laughter, then chat about what they'd seen for thirty seconds to follow.  Needless to say my Gatsby experience wasn't ruined by an unhappy ending, it was ruined by a group of people with a gaping lack of social skills.  At one point I turned to the boy sitting nearest to me, with rage boiling behing by eyes and ears, opened my mouth to say a thing or two, but something stopped me.  Something, probably the filter aquired from my mother, stopped me.  Because honestly, I wanted to stand up, walk over, grab his drink and pour the soda all over his lap, then tell him to PIPE THE *$#! DOWN.  But I couldn't.  All I could do was glare.  Because I knew making a scene would only fuel the fire burning in everyone else's chest.

HOWEVER.

Being an egotistical human being unable to function without expressing my fervent emotions, I had to do something for myself.  Something to satisfy the anger I felt toward these vociferous, raucous, riotous, uncouth, insolent, ill-mannered, ridiculous people.  So, I vented to my husband the entire drive home.  Not exactly what I had in mind.  I was hoping to engage in some kind of verbal brawl out in the parking lot after the show.  I knew the vocabulary of my perpetrators was minimal, based on their behavior inside. I could beat them into the ground using only words in a matter of seconds. My honest self sure wanted to.  Hell, my honest self still wishes I would have. But thanks to my even-tempered husband, and the image I try to uphold when he's around, I kept my mouth shut this time.  I used a slightly less satisfying, yet probably more commendable alternative to channel my fury. I simply vented.  Cursed and screamed inside the safety of my own car.  I saved myself from a possible throw down, and still got to be honest with my emotions. A win-win.

But obviously my vent session couldn't terminate in the Nissan.  I had to write about it. Why? I don't know.  That's a stupid question. It's besides the point. Maybe so you'd know that acting disrespectful during a movie while I'm around is a threat to your own safety and self esteem.  Or maybe so I could remind myself using retrospect that engaging in lesser forms of abrasiveness is okay, I'll still FEEL OKAY, knowing I've exerted my honesty.  Sometimes, when things like this occur in my life, my husband or others close to me will say, "But aren't you glad you didn't stoop to their level?" To which I say, "Oh no.  You see, I could NEVER stoop there.  I could NEVER lower my IQ enough to stoop there, not even for five seconds.  What I wanted to do wouldn't have been stooping. It would have been educating...so as to save someone from future embarassment"  That's all.  No curse words.  No high volumed senseless chatter.  No Yo Mamma jokes because I hate what you did back thur in that thur movie.

Just brutal, intellectual honesty.

And to my friends back at the late showing of Great Gatsby on July 1st, 2013.  If we ever cross each other again in similar circumstances, that is exactly what you will recieve.

And You're Welcome. It may just save you from someone or something far worse in the future.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Oh The Controversy


video


Signing up to be an organ donor is one of the most generous things you can do—especially when you consider that a single donor can potentially save eight lives.  That’s eight people who won’t have to spend agonizing months or years on the transplant waiting list, who will get a second chance, because you made the selfless decision to be a donor.

If you would accept an organ why wouldn’t you give one? By deciding to be a donor, you are providing hope for the thousands of people awaiting organ transplants and for the millions of people whose lives could be enhanced through tissue transplants.  It’s the greatest gift you can give—the gift of life.

The video plainly explained why I do this.  Why I'm writing this post.  I have a very personal connection to the topic.  However, even if I didn't, I'd still support it. Below, as promised in the video, I've answered some myths that surround organ donation and remain responsible for the stigma pressing the issue.  


Myth: If I agree to donate my organs, the hospital staff won't work as hard to save my life.
Fact: When you go to the hospital for treatment, doctors focus on saving your life — not somebody else's. You'll be seen by a doctor whose specialty most closely matches your particular emergency.
Myth: Maybe I won't really be dead when they sign my death certificate.
Fact: Although it's a popular topic in the tabloids, in reality, people don't start to wiggle their toes after they're declared dead. In fact, people who have agreed to organ donation are given more tests (at no charge to their families) to determine that they're truly dead than are those who haven't agreed to organ donation.
Myth: Organ donation is against my religion.
Fact: Organ donation is consistent with the beliefs of most major religions. This includes Roman Catholicism, Islam, most branches of Judaism and most Protestant faiths. If you're unsure of or uncomfortable with your faith's position on donation, ask a member of your clergy.
Myth: I'm under age 18. I'm too young to make this decision.
Fact: That's true, in a legal sense. But your parents can authorize this decision. You can express to your parents your wish to donate, and your parents can give their consent knowing that it's what you wanted. Children, too, are in need of organ transplants, and they usually need organs smaller than those an adult can provide.
Myth: An open-casket funeral isn't an option for people who have donated organs or tissues.
Fact: Organ and tissue donation doesn't interfere with having an open-casket funeral. The donor's body is clothed for burial, so there are no visible signs of organ or tissue donation. For bone donation, a rod is inserted where bone is removed. With skin donation, a very thin layer of skin similar to a sunburn peel is taken from the donor's back. Because the donor is clothed and lying on his or her back in the casket, no one can see any difference.
Myth: I'm too old to donate. Nobody would want my organs.
Fact: There's no defined cutoff age for donating organs. The decision to use your organs is based on strict medical criteria, not age. Don't disqualify yourself prematurely. Let the doctors decide at your time of death whether your organs and tissues are suitable for transplantation.
Myth: I'm not in the best of health. Nobody would want my organs or tissues.
Fact: Very few medical conditions automatically disqualify you from donating organs. The decision to use an organ is based on strict medical criteria. It may turn out that certain organs are not suitable for transplantation, but other organs and tissues may be fine. Don't disqualify yourself prematurely. Only medical professionals at the time of your death can determine whether your organs are suitable for transplantation.
Myth: Rich and famous people go to the top of the list when they need a donor organ.
Fact: The rich and famous aren't given priority when it comes to allocating organs. It may seem that way because of the amount of publicity generated when celebrities receive a transplant, but they are treated no differently from anyone else. The reality is that celebrity and financial status are not considered in organ allocation.
Myth: My family will be charged if I donate my organs.
Fact: The organ donor's family is never charged for donating. The family is charged for the cost of all final efforts to save your life, and those costs are sometimes misinterpreted as costs related to organ donation. Costs for organ removal go to the transplant recipient.

Now that you have the facts, you can see that being an organ donor can make a big difference, and not just to one person. By donating your organs after you die, you can save or improve as many as 50 lives. And many families say that knowing their loved one helped save other lives helped them cope with their loss.
Also, some of the problem isn’t that people don’t want to donate organs or even that they don’t sign up to become donors. It’s that currently, the health care and legal systems don’t ensure that a person’s wishes regarding organ donation are honored. Even if you sign a donor card or the back of your driver’s license, if your family doesn’t give its approval, the hospital will not procure your organs — in spite of your prior written consent. The National Network of Organ Donors believes that signing a legal document should guarantee, without exception, that your wishes are met.

That’s why they created the network, and why we’ve made it their mission to get every adult in America to join the registry. They want to remove the barriers, both legal and emotional, that can prevent life-saving transplants from taking place.

The Network understands that a grieving family may not be in the position to make a decision about organ donation at the time of their loved one’s death. And yet, that’s precisely when doctors must ask family members for permission. Why do hospitals need this consent if you have already signed an organ donor card or the back of your driver’s license? Because they may fear a lawsuit if they go against the wishes of a patient’s family, especially if the family is vehemently opposed to organ donation.

So educate your families people.  Let them know what you want.

Also, regarding stem cell research.


Growing up I was told by some people that stem cell research was wrong, immoral.  Even murder.  Stem cells are primal cells found in all multi-cellular organisms that retain the ability to renew themselves through cell division and can differentiate into a wide range of specialized cell types. Basically, say someone had Parkinson's. This disease sets in when cells in the brain that secrete a specific chemical die out, so we could turn stem cells into the missing cell type and implant them in the brain, curing the disease. Paralysis results from damage to the spinal cord, but we could turn stem cells into nerve cells and use them to bridge the gap. If a person has a severe heart attack, the heart muscle becomes damaged and can't work as well, making the person progressively weaker and leading to death, but we could turn stem cells into heart cells and replace the damaged tissue.


We could cure just about anything.


But funding for the research has stopped because of ethical issues involved.  Stem cells come from three places.  Embryonic stem cells, adult stem cells, and chord cells.  It's only when they're taken from embryonic cells that people start to raise questions.  Is it ethical?  Is that the taking of human life?  Well, do the research.  And make your own decision.  But remember, there are other sources for stem cells too.  They don't all come from embryos.  So in my opinion, the research needs to move forward.  We're over a decade behind the rest of the world in the research.  There's tons of potential.  And if we don't commit to the research, we'll NEVER see the results.  


So, that's my long, exhuasting blurb for the week.  Hope I stirred some thought!  Till next time!