I feel strongly about this – so should you.

December 21, 2007 at 5:48 pm (bad things, blogging, doctors, for a cause, opinions, rambling, real life, reflecting, resources, worries/concerns)

I have been thinking about my cousin Karen’s situation with the only two pediatric cardiologists at her son’s hospital both leaving for Winnipeg in June. Her son (my nine year old cousin) Dylan had Kawasaki’s Disease almost 8 years ago and has some heart complications. He goes for yearly checkups to make sure that everything is still good. His case is not as dire as some of the other children at that hospital; the ones who make frequent visits and practically live there and count on the support of the pediatric cardiologists.

Personally, I think that the hospital should have recruited new pediatric cardiologists before its current ones made plans to take jobs in Winnipeg. What about all the children and families counting on them? Yes, I know, there are other hospitals (like my old Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto) but as Karen expresses in her post regarding the matter, trips that long from London would put a lot of strain on a family and a child suffering from major heart problems.

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Our healthcare system definitely needs to step up. In Canada, we have a lot of “free” coverage (which we actually pay for through taxes) and for the most part it’s really good, but then we get told that it is impossible to switch family doctors if you aren’t happy because there is simply not enough family doctors available. Why is there not enough family doctors available? If that is an issue, how come the government is not stepping up to solve the problem by hiring more doctors?

Personally, I do not like our family doctor. Nobody in my family does. We would rather go into a walk in clinic then book an appointment with him because he barely helps us. He shrugs off all of our health concerns and takes the easy way out for every question or concern that we have. So yes, we would love to switch family doctors — if there were any available. The only way to get a new doctor is to move to a new location, and even then it’s hard.

There are a lot of loopholes in our health care system that really need to be addressed. As taxpayers, we shouldn’t be allowing this issues of not having enough doctors to reoccur. We should be working towards solving the issue, instead of letting families go without doctors or having them travel long distances to see specialists.

What do you think?

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Life is Fragile

December 7, 2007 at 1:36 am (bad things, blogging, for a cause, myself & I, pictures & videos, real life)

Brad

 On Tuesday, December 4th 2007, one of my friends from high school died tragically in an auto accident. He had just turned 18.

Nobody is 100% sure of the details. Brad was leaving our high school and crashed head on into the guardrail. I’m not sure if his breaks and steering malfunctioned because of the weather, or if it was an intentional act. I’ve heard that he and his girlfriend had gotten into an argument…but I honestly can’t see the guy I knew doing that intentionally.

Brad and I were not best friends, and I won’t pretend that I knew everything about him. We hung out a lot in high school when I was dating his best friend, and when he was dating my best friend. I have a scar on my left knee from when he chased me up the escalator at the Science Centre and fell. He felt so bad about that…

Then there was the time that Brad, Devon (my ex-boyfriend) and two other of our friends hung out at Devon’s house. Brad was so hilarious…I laughed non stop because of him.

He had a way of making people laugh and smile despite how they felt. He listened when you needed someone to talk to, and he knew how to have fun. I can’t for one moment believe that he did this intentionally.

Tomorrow I am going to his visitation, and then the funeral is Saturday. I know there will be a lot of people. Brad touched a lot of people in his short life, and he is going to be greatly missed. The entire town is feeling the pain of his loss. He was too young.

I have been thinking about Brad a lot these past couple of days, about how if it was suicide…about how if he did drive into that guardrail with every intention of killing himself. I dream about him. He’s always trying to say something but the words are never there. I don’t think that Brad realized just how loved he was, just how much his death would affect us all. We all hurt, those of us who didn’t know him all that well included.

I have a message to anyone out there with suicidal thoughts; think about your family and friends, if anything. Think about how much pain they will be in. Think about how you won’t get the chance to be 19, to have your first [legal] drink, to get married…to have kids. All those things that Brad doesn’t have now.

If you feel like things are that bad that you would be better off dead, then they can only get better. So hang in there. Don’t give up on yourself. Parents should never have to burry their kids first.

Brad, if there is someway you could read this; I miss you. I wish I had known you better. I wish we didn’t let stupid crap keep us from being friends, I wish we had more memories together. I wish you had known that Hailey was never going to leave you. I wish you had known how much she and everyone else loved you. We still do. We miss you Brad. I still can’t believe it…last time I saw you, you were breathing. You were smiling. You were happy. I wish you had talked to someone…any of us would have been there in a heart beat.

I’ll see you again someday. I won’t forget you.

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Venting

November 17, 2007 at 2:00 pm (bad things, blogging, for a cause, helpful tips, opinions, rambling, real life, reflecting)

I find it extremely ridiculous that you need a license for everything but having kids. Even if you wanted to adopt a dog from the pound, they would have to check you out to see if you could handle it. How come it isn’t like that when it comes to having kids? Yes I know, you can’t prevent scum from giving birth, but what about doing follow ups to make sure the baby is ok? Hmm? Did the government ever think of that?

It absolutely disgusts me that there are parents out there who “don’t want to handle” their children with disabilities. They ship them off to live in group homes and never visit even though they live quite close. Then there are the people out their who are sorry excuses for parents. One child at one of the group homes was a perfectly “normal” child before her parents cracked her head off the side of the tub when she was two and set her on the bed for hours before deciding to take her to the hospital. Now she can’t walk or talk. It wouldn’t have been this bad if a) her parents had never cracked her head off the tub in the first place and b) if they had taken her to the hospital immediately.

Babies have no perfection grantee. If you don’t think you would be able to love your child, disability and all, before you have it; don’t get pregnant. And if you do happen to get pregnant and give birth to a child with developmental or physical disabilities, the least you could do is give it up for adoption so the child has  a chance of finding a loving home, not just a group home. We love our kids at the group home, but it isn’t the same thing as having parents and siblings.

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When to let it go

November 9, 2007 at 3:33 am (blogging, for a cause, myself & I, opinions, real life, resources)

Needless to say, I was pretty devastated when my boyfriend of a year and three months randomly broke up with me. I didn’t see it coming, and it shocked me to hear that he didn’t love me anymore, and hadn’t for some time.

But after 3 days of moping around, I’ve made up my mind; I won’t let this break me. I won’t give him the satisfaction of knowing I can’t live without him, because I can. I did it before and I’ll do it again. Sure, it was nice having someone hold my hand and come with me to appointments, but I’m a big girl now. I can do that for myself, by myself. Besides, college is a time for fun and experimenting, or so I’ve read anyway. Even if I am scared about being alone, I definitely won’t show it.

In other news, I received a lovely package in the mail this week. It was from Tiffany, and it’s her book Sick Girl Speaks! I am so excited I can’t wait to read of it! Thanks Tiffany! I’m getting off the net now so I can read it!

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I am a Person First.

November 5, 2007 at 6:57 pm (blogging, for a cause, helpful tips, myself & I, opinions, rambling, real life, reflecting, resources, story telling, worries/concerns)

We are all guilty of stereotyping someone based on how they dress, look, or act. We label them based on what we see. Most people would describe me as “that girl with the bone thing”.

Since there were so many girls in my class in grade 8, to differentiate between all the other girls who shared the same name as me. “Oh, she’s the one who’s always in the hospital; you know, the gimpy one?” where things that commonly came back to me thanks to word of mouth from my friends.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but that was stereotyping me. At the time, I just felt like crap because that was the label I had earned in middle school, and I knew that it would follow me throughout high school. That’s how everybody would remember me. I once wrote about the things my classmates commented in my yearbooks throughout middle school. Luckily, yearbook comments throughout high school weren’t as “disability oriented” as they were in middle school. I had worked hard to make people know the real me, not just see me as “the girl with a disability”. I worked hard to let my personality and other traits shine through the disability, and it did pay off.

Like I’ve mentioned before, you do need a support group. I believe that you need a support group for everything; as they are the people who will pick you up when you’re down and know you for you. They won’t describe you as “a person with a disability”, but as a person they like.

I have my family and friends to thank for me being successful in pushing my disability to the back burner. By the end of high school, I was able to have people say “Ya, I know her. She’s really nice” instead of “Oh ya, that girl with the disability”. It was empowering.

Unfortunately, it was also short lived. I don’t exactly have a label as “someone with a disability” in college, but I do lack that circle of friends that was my daily support group. Truthfully, it took me a lot of hard work to become comfortable in my high school atmosphere, but high school only lasted 4 years. Before I knew it, it was over and I was back to square one. It took me a year in middle school to make new friends; but likely those people were with me in high school. None of them are with me now, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it takes me a year to make new friends here at college.

At least the college atmosphere doesn’t focus on labeling someone based on race, disability, or gender. Yes, they still do the “oh she’s popular”, or  “she’s weird” labeling; but it doesn’t focus on my disability (unless I am literally weird because of my disability).

Recently, I found out about a group called People First, an organization formed because some of the people in the communities felt as if they were not considered people first. They felt as if they were talked to, about, and treated according to the disabilities they were labeled with. Their vision is that they wish everybody in the community was treated equally, regardless of mental or medical disability.

I think every community needs a group like this; a group that will educate them on how everybody is equal and we really don’t need labels. What do we even need labels for? Why can’t we just describe people by their positive traits, such as their amazing personality or interesting skills?

I suppose we put labels on people to make things easier. It is easier to label a group of people then to think of them as individuals with different personalities, morals, goals and achievements. But it’s wrong. Who wants to be known as a label? If you have a disability of any sorts, than you probably know what I am talking about. The feeling sucks. All you really want is to be known as you, not as your disability.

So here is an idea for everybody; let’s put people first and labels last.

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Distribute This!

October 25, 2007 at 2:55 pm (appointments, blogging, for a cause, helpful tips, myself & I, opinions, real life, resources, XanGo)

I am now going to actively distribute XanGo, so if you are interested in trying the mircle juice, check out my very own website and contact me regarding it! I’ll set you up! Seriously, even if you are healthy; XanGo can help you stay that way! You’ve got nothing to lose, so try it 😉

Anyways, I have added the link to my website in my blogroll. It’s under “My XanGo”. So go there now!

In completely different news, today I will be visiting my family doctor at the walk in clinic and hopefully I will be getting an x-ray of my back. My back aches have not gone away or improved in the slightest. They seem to have gotten worse. Last night it took me forever to get to sleep because my back was aching no matter which way I was lying down. I suppose I have working so hard to thank for that, but there isn’t much I can do. It is only my first week at my job and they seem pretty happy with me. Each night I have been thanked by the shift head and told I’m doing a great job.

Anyways, So I shall see a doctor, finally, and hopefully sort this mess out. I’ll keep everyone updated on the results of the doctor’s visit and x-ray.

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So True

October 20, 2007 at 12:23 am (blogging, family, for a cause, helpful tips, myself & I, opinions, pictures & videos, rambling, real life, story telling, worries/concerns)

There is a lot of controversy about this video. People are in an outrage because it’s too graphic for the age group it is directed at, which is girls ages 10-12, otherwise known as “tweens”.

The fact of the matter is that kids are acting way to old. Have you seen the stuff in La Senza Girl? Raunchy little shirts that say “caught you looking”, now why on earth would a little girl feel the need to wear something like that? Why are they making clothes like that for young girls? What are we telling them?

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My self image isn’t perfect. I am guilty of looking at fashion magazines and critically comparing myself to the girls in them – even though I fully know the photos are airbrushed. Still though, I’ll read those magazines and long to be just like them. Gorgeous, scar free, extra bone free, and thin. Glowing. Gorgeous. Healthy. Perfect. I think my situation was a little harder then most because I wasn’t just average looking, I had a medical disability that made me look different. I have crocked legs and lots of scars. I definitely did not resemble any of those girls in the magazine. Seeing what beauty “should” look like and comparing myself to it only made me even more self conscious and insecure, further away from my goal of becoming confident and strong. For a while, I thought that in order to be confident and strong, you had to look the way the media said was pretty.

Thoughts like these are what causes eating disorders and the need for plastic surgeries. Thoughts like the ones I commonly have can destroy self conscious and make you want to be anybody but yourself. Thoughts like these are damaging. At least I didn’t start thinking that way until my middle teens. But tweens are thinking this way! 10 year old girls who should still be playing with Barbie dolls and having a carefree childhood! Instead, they listen to very sexual music that touches topics even more horrible then that Dove video did. They are acting much older then they should be, they are dressing raunchy and wearing makeup. They are being skanky.

All because it’s encouraged by the media. All because it is what’s available in the stores. All because it supposedly looks great to show off your body to everyone, that’s what the models in those fashion magazines do, isn’t it?

Maybe if the media were to stop telling the world their definition of “true beauty”, girls and women wouldn’t have to have this negative self image. It’s the 21st century, why hasn’t this changed? It’s only gotten worse.

I personally love this video. Yes, I know that Dove is just trying to sell their products in the end, but still. It’s an amazing video. I suggest you talk to your daughters about this; show them the video, and break it down for them. Let them know that they are gorgeous the way they are. Let them know that the fashion industry knows nothing about true beauty. Encourage them to dress tastefully.

I realize that all that I have said is a lot harder to do then I make it seem; after all, I’m not a mother. But I am a daughter. My parent’s have always told me that I’m beautiful the way I am, but they didn’t really break it down as much as it’s needed now in the present today. When I was younger, 10 year old girls weren’t dressing as raunchy and they weren’t anorexic. They were happy. They listened to boy bands and played Barbie dolls.

So please, talk to your daughters. Lets try to silence the media and its warped opinion of what beautiful is.

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Week Without Violence

October 18, 2007 at 12:24 am (blogging, for a cause, opinions, real life)

week without violence

For those of you who weren’t aware, we are right in the middle of The YMCA Week Without Violence. This week is dedicated to preventing violence.

Violence comes in all shapes in sizes, to name a few there are physical violence, emotional violence, and self violence. Obviously, Week Without Violence is dedicated more so to the physical aspect of violence, but I have been considering all types.

I told myself that this week, I would avoid getting mad and yelling at anybody. I told myself that I would not think negatively about myself, because I commonly do that. It is a lot harder then it looks to not get mad at superficial things. If something bugs you, it bugs you. You tend to get mad. Luckily, I’ve never gotten physically violent when I’m mad. I tend to clam up and not talk about what’s really bugging me. I always seem to loose my words!

Tomorrow I am attending a lecture that is all about preventing violence. No quiz, no pressure, just attending a lecture on healthy ways of dealing with anger. I think everyone would benefit from attending a lecture such as this one. I don’t mean to speak for the world, but I know that when I’m really mad about something, I tend to snap at people. That isn’t acceptable. I strongly support this cause because there are a lot of people out there who deal with their anger in really bad ways, and making this known is one step to stopping it. If everybody learned healthier ways, then there wouldn’t be as much abuse. I know this may not be completely true; these are simply my thoughts on the matter.

I have a question for all of you guys out there; what do you do when you get mad about something? How do you act? How to you treat others around you?

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