Showing posts from May, 2011

The worst of all possible worlds

The other day a friends was telling me a story and finished with "How could it get any worse than that?" Right away I rattled off a half a dozen gory ways it could indeed be worse. Horrified, she stopped my listing. While I was indeed trying to get a rise out of her, I also truly believe that it could be worse. It can always be worse. There are myriad ways it could be worse.

Today I was talking to a patient with fibromyalgia. In the middle of her recitation of her aches and pains she said "and I know you said it will just get worse." There I halted her. I told her that while she will have exacerbations, she will also have remissions. This is a stable disease. While it tends not to get better, it also does not tend to get worse over the long run. But her self-talk had led her to believe that she would just keep getting worse. I told her "On bad days tell yourself 'it has been this bad before. I have made it through days as bad as this. Tomorrow…

Severely Disabled

I was reading an article about how people with severe disabilities are paid. In a law that was meant to get more disabled people working, it is not a necessity to pay them minimum wage. You can pay them based on the amount of work that they do. In some cases it's cents a day. And those are the lucky ones. The unemployment rate for the developmentally disabled is about 70%. Let me say that again. 7 out of every 10 developmentally disabled adults is not employed.

It got me to thinking about a lot of things. How little we value these people. How low a priority of helping them to live rewarding lives our government, and most of our populace, has. How much we are willing to send the jobs they can do to to India where people will do the same jobs for about the same amount of money and then ship it back here for us to buy. How, instead of rewarding employers for hiring people with disabilities, we encourage them to devalue them.

I was on the board for a sheltered workshops. I…

Pile It On a Little Higher

In my life I have heard thousands of variations of "I've got it so bad." I've offered up, and invented, a few of mine own. It's healthy to grouse and complain a little. Kvetch, whatever you call it.

Where it gets out of hand is when you start believing "no one has it worse" in your heart of hearts. I suppose, theoretically, there is someone, somewhere in the world, who is THE Worst Case Scenario. But it isn't me, and it isn't you. When you believe that, even a little, you start to defeat your own self. You start to live on the Pity Planet where nothing ever gets better, and no one REALLY understands you. Where there is no sense seeking help, because no one really cares anyway. Where you spend your whole day in bed, because why bother to get up and face the world where no one understands how much you go through every day.

Some days I have more energy and more willpower, and some days less. Some days I'm a great parent, and some days…