Tuesday, September 27, 2011

What Is CMP?

I originally posted this on my facebook page, but I'm slowly weaning myself from that site. I hope to reach a larger audience here.

If anyone has ever lifted weights in high school, run two or three miles too many or been involved in competitive sports, you know the "pain of stiffness" ..... That is what we deal with. We walk like elderly people, wake up every time we roll over, swell in random areas of our bodies and fall into a fog that makes the simplest of decisions insurmountable.

Welcome to CMP

CMP, or Chronic Myofascial Pain is a neuromuscular disorder, affecting the muscles and fascia directly. What is fascia? It's that transparent "skin" we have over our muscles and organs (think about that thin skin you see on chicken breast... that stuff). It runs throughout our bodies, both just under the skin and deep within, over our organs and tissues. It's everywhere. So imagine that when something goes wrong with this, it affects your whole being. There is not one area you can point to and say, "It hurts here." It hurts. It hurts everywhere.

CMP is not Fybromyalsia. Please just take a moment and let that sink in. They are two different things completely. One is a disease (CMP) while the other is a syndrome (FMS). If you'd like to understand the difference, please take a moment to google it. I'll wait.

*elevator music*

Done? Okay....

What we do know about CMP is that it is caused by Trigger Points. You can press on one area of our bodies and we feel pain in another (that's the "referred pain" point). Pain can be triggered throughout the body by hitting one of those points, by stress, by too much cold, too much heat, not enough sleep, sleeping in a weird position, sitting in one position for too long, too much physical activity not enough physical activity, and a change in the weather, just to name a few.

What happens around the trigger point is interesting too (if chronic pain can be classified as "interesting"). Think of a weight lifter. What do they do when they are training? They work one muscle to the point of exhaustion. When it reaches that point, the muscle relaxes, unable to do any more. With CMP, a muscle or muscle group will tighten, and continue to tighten, until it's rock-hard. It does not relax. Ever. I have hard lumps in various places all over my body, but mostly in my shoulders, back and arms. An overworked muscles cannot breath. It's starving for oxygen and is releasing toxins.

As far as the fascia goes, to put it in the simplest of terms, it's "sticky." No, it's not supposed to be sticky, but it is. So we have the equivilant of inner skin sticking to our muscles, organs and tissue, which are completely bound up, and no hope for any real relief. Toxins continue to build up, wearing us down.

Chronic pain is something I live with every day of my life. It is not who I am. It does not define me or my personality. Sometimes I "push through" in spite of the pain, and then I pay for it the next day. Sometimes I'm really careful and I pay anyway. Those are the days I spend in bed. It's impossible to explain to those who do not live with chronic pain how deeply it affects your life. Walking my son to the other side of the apartment complex and watching him slide down the slides, then walking him back is enough to send me to bed for the rest of the day. I have to break up my house cleaning into very small, managable portions. I can do the dishes, I can sweep and vacuum, I can clean the bathrooms, or I an cook dinner. I just can't do it all in the same day.

Emotionally, I think, it takes its greatest toll. It's easy to believe the voice in your head telling you how weak you are; telling you how useless you've become and telling you to take up a nice hobby, like reading sappy love novellas. Without a strong support system, CMP and chronic pain can become truly unmanagable.

Sometimes the pain causes me to fall into a mental fog. I don't remember people's names like I should. I forget appointments (thank the gods for smart phones and their ability to set reminders for EVERYTHING!), and much to my horror, I sometimes forget the simplist of words. ("You know... that thing you use in the kitchen... it flips things over!!! YOU KNOW!!)

Yes, I yell sometimes. I'm sure it looks like I'm angry at the people around me, when in truth I'm frustrated and hurting. I hate it when I yell... I do. But that's when I know it's time for me to go sleep for a while...

There are meds out there to help manage the pain. I haven't been on them for almost a year now. I don't know how I function half the time, but like I said, this would be absolutely unbearable w/o an amazing support system, which I have in my husband and children. Without them, I would be lost.

So to those who suffer from chronic pain, I feel your pain. Not YOUR pain, exactly, but I do relate. You are not alone. And for those who don't, do not feel sorry for us. Do not feel guilty and do not take our anxiety (ahhh...another symptom I forgot) as your own. All we need from you is a little understanding when we don't get things done as quickly as we should, a little patience when we can't think of a word or worse, your name, and a little help when we can't clean the house or meet up with you for lunch like we promised we would.

Thank you all, for your love and support.

So I'm Blog-Hopping

I'm not very blog savvy... but a friend is doing this and I thought I'd give it a try

Step one: I'm supposed to put this link in my post somewhere - http://www.bloodandmagickseries.com

Okay...done. Now I have to go fill out a form. Be right back.

*cues hold music*

Still here? Groovy....

Ok, now I get to enter the html code:

Well that was fairly painless... Feel free to join in! What is it supposed to do? I'm not sure, exactly. Something about bringing more traffic to your blog. Let's see if it works. I'll be posting a "real" blog later.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Hulk Hogan and American Heros

September 11, 2001

We all remember where we were; what we were doing; how we felt. Many of us lost loved ones that day, but even those who didn't, felt like America had been cut off at the knees. The silent whisper of "We Shall Never Forget" has been echoing for ten years now.

If you think this is another sappy, feel-good blog about 9/11, think again. I did nothing special to commemorate that day, as I have done nothing special for the past 9 years (I did light a candle on the first anniversary) except to reflect quietly for a few moments here and there throughout the day.

I saw Facebook littered with, "Where were you?" posts and their responses. I didn't read any of them. I've said it so many times, where I was, how I was feeling, that I didn't feel the need to say it one more time. And I didn't necessarily feel the need to read where others were or what they were doing when the towers fell. This is not to belittle or diminish others' grief in any way, of course. I just didn't personally feel the need.

One post, however, did catch my eye. It was a link to a youtube video. The title of the video is, "Hulk Hogan Attacks World Trade Center!!!" and without much of a thought either positive, or negative, I clicked the link.

Warning: The following video may completely disgust and anger you. Click and view at your own risk.

I'm not sure which is more offensive, the supposed "levity" of the video, or the fact that it is so poorly done, to say that it is a complete piece of shit is such an understatement, that I might as well say, "Water is wet." That's what I get for being married to a video/special effects guy.

The "Facebook Friend" that posted this video is known for his controversial posts, but in nearly every case, save this one, I've actually enjoyed what he's had to say. I commented under his post that I found this video to be distasteful, to say the least. His response was disturbing. He basically said that people need to "get over it" .... it's been 10 years.... move on already.

I don't even know how to begin to respond to that.

He also claimed that stuff like this happens in "several middle-eastern countries on a daily basis."

Let me give you a few facts from 9/11, and then tell me again, with a straight face, that this happens in several middle-eastern countries on a daily basis:

  • Total number killed in attacks (official figure as of 9/5/02): 2,819
  • Number of firefighters and paramedics killed: 343
  • Number of NYPD officers: 23
  • Number of Port Authority police officers: 37
  • Number of WTC companies that lost people: 60
  • Number of employees who died in Tower One: 1,402
  • Number of employees who died in Tower Two: 614
  • Number of employees lost at Cantor Fitzgerald: 658
  • Number of U.S. troops killed in Operation Enduring Freedom: 22
  • Number of nations whose citizens were killed in attacks: 115
  • Ratio of men to women who died: 3:1
  • Age of the greatest number who died: between 35 and 39
  • Bodies found "intact": 289
  • Body parts found: 19,858
  • Number of families who got no remains: 1,717

  • (taken from http://nymag.com)

    Hell, tell me with a straight face that any of that has taken place once in any middle-eastern country, and I'll come lick your boots.

    So to the dick-wad who created that video: You can keep your followers who actually gave you a thumbs-up on it and then left comments like, "Hulk hogan we're coming for you nigga," and "ME TOO BORTHER! ALL THE HULKAMANIACS NEED TO GET TOGETHER AND RUN WILD ON ALL THESE LITTLE PANSIES CRYING ABOUT THE PAST!" [sic], I say to you, fuck off, you third grade, wannabe gangsta pieces of shit. Go get a high school diploma and grow the hell up.

    Friday, September 9, 2011

    Beyond Healing, Or Beyond Belief?

    Last week on the Sacred Division Radio Show, Bishop James Long welcomed guest John Lucas, who apparently claims he can heal any pain instantaneously.

    Well, sort of.

    Mr. Lucas made a rather big show of repeating over and over, "I make no claims. I am not a healer." What did he claim? It was difficult to pin him down on that little detail, but he used the words, "deletion" "protocols" and "quantum" a lot.

    I had the honor of being the first caller to the show. I really didn't believe for a moment he could heal me of my chronic pain (diagnosed CMP, possible undiagnosed FMS), but apparently belief on my part was not required (unlike in the case of most faith healers). John, (may I call him John?) said he "erased" pain via quantum physics. When pressed for more details, he rattled off something or other about his fingers and flicking and... I don't know, it was all very difficult to follow and he was very good at something bordering on doublespeak.

    So what, exactly, did happen that night? Great question. I called in, and told him that I was diagnosed with CMP, which is Chronic Myofascial Pain, and that I dealt with pain on a daily basis. Before I could even complete my first thought or sentence, he was interrupting me with a series of rapid-fire questions. While the following discourse is not verbatim, it's darn close.

    Are you in pain now? (Yes) Where was the pain? (All over, I can't pin-point it to one area) Are you in pain now? (Yes, I'm always in pain) Where does it hurt the most? (It's difficult to describe, because it's not localized. If I had to point to one area, I'd have to say my back and neck) But you're in pain now? (Yes)

    He then proceeded to mumble a bit. Something about, "Let me try this." And then 4 or 5 seconds later, "How do you feel now?"

    Me: About the same.
    John: (more mumbling) And now?
    Me: Truthfully, I feel some warmth and (I test my neck by bending it forward, chin touching chest) there was some pain at the very top of my neck, at the base of my skull.  That appears to be gone. But the rest of my body feels about the same
    John: (mumble mumble) And now?
    Me: (honestly trying here) Uhm, yeah... about the same.
    John: Well sometimes these things take more than a day to fully manifest. See how you feel over the next couple of hours and days. (man, if I had a nickel for every time I heard that excuse in the faith healing circles, I'd be a rich woman... except I probably would have spent it all already, on yahoos like this guy)
    Bishop Long: Anna Marie, would you be willing to call back later in the show and give us an update?
    Me: Absolutely

    The rest of the show consisted of people calling in, claiming the same warmth I had felt, and then being amazed that their pain was gone. Even Bishop Long, who had the beginning of a headache, was amazed when the pain melted away.

    Now, as some of you know, I spent a good number of years in the Word of Faith/Evangelical World. I, myself, had the apparent ability to "heal" people of simple things like headaches and "emotional and spiritual" issues. How was this possible? I believe it was the power of suggestion, more than anything supernatural.

    How was John able to remove pain from the listeners? Again, I think it boils down to power of suggestion, more than anything.

    Toward the end of his interview, I called back in and gave an update. I reported that the pain at the top of my neck was still gone, but that the rest of me still hurt. John said that I should wait a couple more days, and suggested that the pain might dissipate over the coming days, or even weeks. In the mean time, I had looked up his prices from his website and to coin a Utah phrase, Holy Heck! Now I have absolutely zero issue with people charging for their services. Doctors charge for theirs. Nail techs charge for theirs. I am a tarot reader, I charge for mine, and I know a good many excellent psychics who charge (as well they should) for their services too. Our time is money, as they say, and that is basically what you're charging for, in addition to the service.

    But again I say, Holy Heck! This guy's fees, based on the amount of time he spends per person offering said "service" roughly equates to $3840 per hour. And that's on the low end. His cheapest "protocol" is $320. Based on the fact he spent maybe 45 seconds with each guest on the call, I think I'm being more than generous in saying he might spend a whopping five minutes with you on the phone. His most expensive service? $33,000. No, that is not a typo.

    But while on the phone with him this second time, I was attempting to discuss his pricing system with him. He jumped down my throat and insinuated that I was asking him to offer his services to me for free. The thought had not even crossed my mind. There was more I wanted to discuss with him, but he wouldn't let me speak. I was constantly interrupted so I finally manged to squeeze in, "John, John," (had to get his attention), "It's obvious I'm not going to get a word in edge-wise, so I thank you for your time. Have a wonderful evening." He laughed at this and after I hung up, continued to defend his position on not giving his service out for free. Again, I never asked or even insinuated that I wanted his pseudo-healing "deletion" service for free. He jumped to that conclusion all on his own.

    Now here's the kicker. Not everyone was healed (he even did a "mass healing" of everyone in the chatroom... no one claimed to feel better after that). All those that called in, with the exception of ONE person "lost" their "deletion" with 24 to 48 hours. In other words, the pain came back, in most cases, within hours of the show. Thank goodness we didn't pay him. As to the one who still claims no pain five days later, she had back and hip pain. She said it "melted away" and hasn't returned. She is the only one I can find who still has no pain after said "deletion."

    John was proudly claiming a 99% success rate on the show that night (I was the 1%, but then I'm always that 1%. It's my lot in life). From what I can gather, based on my subsequent follow-up of those in the room, he actually had a 1% success rate, not failure rate. Stick that in your pain pill and ... uhm... swallow it.

    Here are some quotes from those who initially claimed healing:

    "I called and was in the chat for the 'mass healing'... I felt better during the call, but the pain came back and I ended up putting on my Tens Unit (electro-shock therapy thing that the dr's use) and I'm feelin okay this morning..."
    "well 'healed' at the time i felt better... but today is a new day. (I feel the) same as i did before the show yesterday..."
    "no results with me and mom"

    Even Bishop Long told me that while he was initially shocked to realize his headache was gone, by the time he took his co-host home, his headache was coming back. He had to take his migraine meds in order to stave it off.

    So, having clearly established this guy is a hack, let me point out a couple other things from his website: Aside from charging ridiculous fees (to which he kept responding that he drove an '89 car.... and?? that just means no one is buying into his load of crap), he also insists on cash only. That's right. No PayPal, no checks, no credit cards, no paper trail. I wonder if the IRS knows about his little hobby.

    No refunds after services are performed, though he claims he will return your cash if you change your mind before said services take place. *smacky lips noise*  Yeah.

    He also has a fairly complex set of rules regarding contacting him. They involve a series of steps with email, voice mail messages, a slide ruler and an abacus. Good luck.

    What he claims he can do (from his Bio page): After 30 years in the so-called Wholistic or Natural Health Field I have developed an ability and a system using the laws of physics, intention and non-contact muscle testing to access anyone or groups of people anywhere in the world and delete the frequency or energy cause of any problem they may have whether physical, mental or emotional. This includes and is not limited to virus, bacterial infections, fibromyalgia, post traumatic stress syndrome, pain of injuries, migraines, etc. The results are generally instant and immediately verified by the person being treated.

    Then turns around on his "Disclaimer page" and says: The protocols listed on this web address and/or any other protocols are not meant to nor do they claim to treat, mitigate, cure, diagnose or in any way refer to or access in anyway any disease or treatment of disease or disease processes, injuries, damage, symptoms of any kind, allergies or anything or any physical, mental, psychological, or emotional problems of an kind or any such thing or anything which in any way should, could be, or might be considered to be diagnosed or treated in any way by a physician or therapist of any kind anywhere or at any time. This is and only is a deletion of possible frequencies using distance-non-touch methods and a suggested possible input of harmonious frequencies for a possible harmonic or harmonious response claim made only by the individual or individuals receiving such possible frequency deletion and/or input in/at a non-physical/non-biological format or level. An individual or individual or individuals who require, or think, or believe that they require, or who have been advised by their advisors should seek any required, recommended, or desired care of their professional whether medical, dental, psychological, emotional or otherwise.

    So, can ya do it, or not? I'm a little confused.

    Oh wait... right. Not.

    Thursday, September 8, 2011

    Oh You Worthless People, You

    You know what really chaps my hide? Self-righteous people, wallowing in their own clueless shit.

    Example: Just because I'm sitting in the same room as you, doesn't mean I want to talk to you or hear about your day. And I definitely don't want to hear you bitch about your food stamps. Get a second fucking job like I did you waste of flesh.

    Waste of flesh?? Really?? That's a bit harsh. In case you didn't notice, there's a recession depression going on. You were able to find a second job? Great, give me one of yours and then we'll both have one.

    Example: Standing behind the person in the grocery store as they text on their smart phone while paying for their food with TANF. I bet I could afford one of those phones too, if I were on food stamps!

    You obviously have no idea what it takes to qualify for food stamps, or the stories behind those of us on them. Smart phones are cheap to free now, and the plan prices are coming down too. If we don't use a land line, we can sometimes afford the plan on a cell phone. Are we wearing nice clothes? We probably already owned them before the damn recession hit. Or maybe, just maybe, we have a relative or friend who loves us enough to give us some very nice hand-me-downs so we can look decent while looking for that non-existent job out there (because the jack-wipe in the first post took two jobs instead of one...leaving me jobless).

    And don't assume for one second that just because we are on TANF, that we are lazy, shiftless, no-good abusers of the system who use drugs and sleep till noon. Where the hell did that idea ever start?

    You know what I think? I think you're jealous. You're pissed cuz we were smart enough to ask for help when we needed it. Do you think we like being on food stamps and medicaid? No, we don't. But right now, in this economy, it's saving our asses.

    And don't even start with  me about Obama. He is not the reason we are in this pickle. This started on Bush's watch and it damn near put the country out of business. That said, this is not a political debate blog. If you post anything in the way of inflammatory anything, I will block your ass. Thank you.

    Now, back to the question at hand:

    The person in front of me is buying nothing but junk food, and paying for it with food stamps! My tax dollars should only be used to pay for healthy food...UNBELIEVABLE!!!

    Shut. Up. Seriously. You've never had to go through the line to buy a cake and goodies for your kid's birthday party? You've never had a "pizza night" at your house where it was pizza, wings and soda? Never?? Then shut the fuck up. We cannot buy "hot" or prepared foods (though the battle line has apparently been drawn in Oklahoma. I won't go into the pros and cons here, but generally speaking, there should be a few exceptions to the hot food rule. Fast food? Bad idea, IMHO), and if we budget our allotment carefully, we can afford the occasional "junk food" treat. Do some people buy only pre-packaged foods? Sure they do. Is that my problem? Not in the least. They either won't have enough TANF to get through the month, or they don't know how to cook, or whatever. It's none of  my concern. It's none of yours either. I can usually tell who is a regular buyer of the "bad" stuff based on body girth, but that has nothing to do with me. At least they aren't starving to death.

    Judge not, lest ye be judged
    Matthew 7:1

    Have you ever had to worry about where you were going to get the money to feed your children? I mean really, really worry? Have you spent months on end living on rice, potatoes and pancake mix (the kind that mixes with water... forget that "add eggs and milk" shit) because that was all you could afford?

    Face it, America is now a Food Stamp Nation. 46 million Americans are on food stamps. That's roughly 1 in 6 or 7 people. Chances are, you have a friend or loved one on food stamps. Why are we on food stamps? Because we would starve; our children would starve, if we didn't utilize this god-send. Will the majority of us stay on them forever? No. As soon as the economy grinds back into gear, and we can afford it, we will no longer qualify, and the food stamps will stop. I will rejoice in the day I can afford to purchase my own food again.

    Until then, if you don't qualify because you make too much money, rejoice that you have a fucking job. We work, yes. But a second job? There aren't any out there. Trust me, we're looking.

    I'm just so sick and tired of this economy. I'm sick and tired of people's ignorance, but I'm especially sick and tired of the venom they spew forth in that ignorance, perpetuating the stigma behind "government subsidy." I'm standing here today. I'm standing without shame. We have not abused the system. We will not abuse the system. We are not a minority in that mindset. Those of you that are looking down your noses at us, stop it. You'll get a crick in your neck. Try turning your eyes skyward instead (you won't even have to adjust the angle of your neck) and asking the God you believe in to send a little help our way, then maybe take some action and send a little help our way.

    Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor 
    will himself call out and not be answered. 
    Proverbs 21:13

    It May Be Bigger, But That Doesn't Mean Better

    I woke up this morning and through my coffee-deprived, bleary eyes, this is one of the the first things I read:

    Texas is actually pretty awesome, it's just this backwoods town that refuses to get into the 21st century.

    Unfortunately, Texas is 98% "backwoods." I know... I lived there for some eight years. Sure, there are great cities, with mostly normal people, but unless you've been to Texas and spent some time there, I don't think you can really appreciate the enormity of the state. Try driving through it. Or better yet, try driving from El Paso to Houston in a day. Go ahead, I dare ya. I'm not sure it can be done, even if you eat and pee "on the fly."

    Let me put it to you this way: Texas. Is. Huge. They have the big cities of Dallas, Austin, San Antonio and Houston (El Paso doesn't even really count because while large, it's at the very tip of the corner edge of the state. They were lucky to make in in at all, it's so far out there). In between these four (okay, fine... five) cities is either a vast amount of nothingness (that's from El Paso to anywhere) or thousands of tiny, obscure, backwoods towns. I'm not exaggerating.

    There are a few things in life that get my ire up, and quickly. One is lying for the sake of lying, and the other is un-founded pride. When they say, "Everything's bigger in Texas," they aren't lying, but they are also including their sense of pride for no other reason than they feel they deserve to have it. 

    If you are not "from Texas," and by that I mean, born there and have a lineage of people you can point to, also born there, then you are looked upon with suspicion and disdain. I'm speaking of the 98% that is not one of the big five here, so don't write me if you live in a city and tell me I'm wrong. I spent my time there in small towns, not so much the big cities. I'm not wrong. 

    lo*cal: noun of or pertaining to a strict, unspoken qualification in order to be considered "Texan enough." If you do not meet these qualifications, you are not Texan, regardless of how many years you spent in that hell of a hole.

    I can't tell you how many times I was having an otherwise pleasant conversation with some local (and by god, they're everywhere!) when they would ask the seemingly innocent question, "Y'all from around here?"

    I was probably asked that questions hundreds of times. I was never, that I can recall, asked by anyone that lived in one of the four (alright dammit, five) cities. The body language of the inquirer never changed. The conversation always went like this, verbatim: 

    Local: Y'all from around here?
    Me: Yes, we live down in the Summerside Division.
    Local: (eyes narrow slightly) But are ya from around here?
    Me: We moved here a few years ago. I'm originally from Oregon.
    Local: (turns body slightly away from me, looks me up an down suspiciously, as if my non-nativeness might be catching)
    Me: But my Great-Grandmother was born and raised here (here, meaning Texas, of course)
    Local: (turns body back, ever-so-slightly; still looks at me suspiciously) Don' say....

    The conversation always got really awkward and weird after that.

    Did I meet good people there? Absolutely. Will they be life-long friends? I sincerely hope and believe so. Will I ever move back again? Gods that be, I hope not. 

    Is there a point to this post? Not really. I'm mostly just glad we finally escaped (yes, escaped) from that dreadful state. They can keep their spiders, poisonous snakes, scorpions, cactus, mesquite thorns, heat index, humidity and most of all, that damned Texas Pride. I will continue to shake my head sadly at those who get hyper-defensive when anything negative is said about "their" state. 

    And one last comment: Let 'em secede. Please.

    Wednesday, January 19, 2011


    Before reading any further... make sure you have read this post first. Go ahead. It's not long. I'll wait.....

    *whistles and plays a little Cityville to kill the time*

    Done? Okay...

    The results? I tested negative this morning. I'm actually a little surprised. Still haven't had a visit from good ole Aunt Flo yet, but unless informed otherwise, we'll just assume the test results are accurate.

    You may now resume your regularly scheduled lives. Thanks for tuning in.