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When Life Becomes A Preexisting Condition

Life As A Preexisting Condition

In the new guy’s version of life in this country, preexisting conditions should be allowed only for those who can pay for them. And one foolish congressman even went so far as to suggest that the sickest among us should be paying more than people who have remained healthy as if chronic illness or cancer, for example, are due to someone’s irresponsibility or negligence. He probably didn’t like it when the smart girl blew the curve in school either.

But here’s the thing. We live in a country where income inequality is the norm and that translates into not enough money to eat well. Most people don’t grow their own food anymore so they have no control over the pesticides used on the crops or whether or not the seeds used were genetically modified into something our bodies don’t recognize.

Instead, we’re put on the treadmill of chronic disease, beholden to the medical community, although well-meaning, who focus on symptom treatment in lieu of actually figuring out how we became sick in the first place. Other than doctors in functional medicine or herbalists and naturopaths, most don’t consider diet, mindset, emotional issues, or environmental factors that could be at the root of chronic illness preferring instead to prescribe this pill or that injection.

I suffered from rheumatoid arthritis for over thirteen years, but it was for that length of time that it was severe. Nothing the doctors did relieved any of the pain, inflammation, fatigue, swelling, or fluid retention that I experienced. Instead, I seemed to stay in one place, severe. When a commercial came on television selling a medication for RA they would always say it treated moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis. I would look at my husband and remark that someday I hoped my RA would be moderate. It was one of those moments of dark humor that got us through those years.

And now that I’ve been in clinical remission for the last six years and off the last of the prescribed drugs since September 2015, my doctor did some blood work and lo and behold, the daily coffees my husband makes that would make a barista blush have affected my glucose level. I got a call from her nurse and she told me that my doctor wants to schedule an A1C test to screen for diabetes. No discussion, or even the glucose number, just go have a test.

Perhaps they didn’t notice in my chart that my primary care doctor when I was so ill had prescribed Metformin after doing a glucose tolerance test and endless A1C tests, diagnosing insulin resistance when my glucose numbers stayed elevated. After becoming a cannabis patient in June 2010 and making my own concentrated medicines at the end of that year, two and one-half months later I was in clinical remission. I began discontinuing several of the prescribed drugs on my own that I could safely do, but when discontinuing the Metformin the same primary care doctor who initially prescribed it helped with that. A change in diet has always been the way to get my glucose number to come down but instead of having that conversation first, it’s test time.

Now with the republicans in the process of destroying health care in this country, the last thing anyone needs is to have a diagnosis of something that’s situational in nature that can then become a preexisting condition. You’d think if Congress wants to go this route of endangering the citizenry so that the wealthiest among us become even more wealthy, they’d legalize cannabis. The tax revenue alone would be staggering. Prescription drug costs would be considerably lower, our collective health likely improving overall, but then the drug companies who line lawmakers’ election coffers might not be so generous at the next election. So the struggle for truth and dignity continues.

Apparently, rape is now a preexisting condition if this monstrosity is signed into law. Does this also apply to children who are raped by their fathers? Will they be punished with a preexisting condition if they report the abuse? The congresspeople who voted for it, my own congressman included, exhibit an astonishing level of moral bankruptcy and have clearly lost their fundamental compassion for humanity. One wonders how they sleep at night, but after today’s kegger at the white house in celebration of their victory, I’m sure they’ll sleep like babies.

If this passes the senate, then women like my daughter-in-law won’t have their pregnancies covered. Medicaid will be trashed and Medicare is next. They’ll leave everyone hanging and people will die as a result. There has never been a clearer example of us versus them ideology than what we’re seeing now. It’s destructive and unsustainable, but it’s full steam ahead anyway.

Even if this doesn’t pass the senate, as members are signaling that it will not, today’s vote gives us a window into the mindset of the people who believe the death of our citizens is an acceptable outcome. But when we finally have health insurance that we can depend on and republicans want to either take that away or make it completely unaffordable, something tells me that our response will be greater than the republicans can imagine let alone survive.

The republicans shouldn’t have targeted women and children in this bill. They shouldn’t have targeted veterans, seniors, or the chronically ill. Because when a mother finds that her child with asthma or cancer can no longer get the care she so desperately needs, trust me the ground will open up around them and shit will get real. Women, mothers or not, are sick of the government’s interference in our lives and as republicans continue their destructive behavior, we’ll pay close attention and then we’ll vote their sorry asses out of office.

I sat by the new hives out in the apiary today watching the new bees become acclimated to their new homes. They exist in unified presence with each other, each one valued and necessary. They work together to feed the brood and to protect their queen. Everything is about the survival of the colony, a notion of family that escapes republicans now in control. None of this surprises me, however, now that the fascist floodgates have been flung open. The cruelty present within the republican mindset is breathtaking. It’s nasty and to think they celebrated with a beer after it was done.

So now we await the Senate’s response. I won’t be holding my breath. Besides, in the process, I’d probably develop another preexisting condition, irresponsible person that I am.

Just ask Mo.

Update: got my blood test results and after Jerry’s insane coffees it was only 114. Now I see why she neglected to mention the number. I wouldn’t have mentioned it either lest I be laughed off the phone. Now ADA recommends <100 even though the test range is 74-106 for fasting 12 hours except that I probably only fasted for 7 or 8. Why does the number keep going down? My theory: it puts more money in the pocket of Big Pharma as more prescriptions are written. Still not drinking anymore of that coffee even though it’s yummilicious. 

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Regaining Inner Balance ~ Tarot for 5 Nov 2016

Regaining Inner Balance

I’d like to believe that we’ll all regain our inner balance after Tuesday, that we’d put country and family over politics, but I just don’t know. The vitriol will no doubt continue because of momentum it’s gained brought on by the biggest case of diarrhea of the mouth ever to run for President. A line has been crossed and it may be difficult for some to regain a more balanced focus. I tried to do this reading with my Morgan Greer deck, but I just couldn’t get into the flow of it all. One time I drew male Court cards which gave the impression of more nastiness with the outside cards, a Knight and a King, facing each other. Maybe the conversation was friendly. Maybe.

So I gave up on that deck, having had enough of male testosterone for a while, and took out my Thoth deck. It’s my favorite but it’s different from most decks, although some of them are so individual and interesting, the non-traditional decks have almost become the norm. Everyone sees tarot from their own unique perspective, so it’s no wonder there are so many decks to choose from. I have a bunch, and most speak to me, but a few don’t and they sit in my tarot drawer, waiting to connect at some point in the future.

Two cards from the Major Arcana (still not using the T word), The Hierophant and The Priestess, along with the 5 of Wands comprise today’s tarot spread. Finding inner balance amid the strife we feel appears to be the theme of the reading. The numerology consists of two 5’s and a 2 combining to 12 and reducing to 3. Three is interesting in that it is the result of 1 plus 2, and in tarot, that represents combined energies of the Magus and the Priestess. From there, the Empress emerges from their union as card 3 of the Major Arcana. And it’s she who creates the Emperor. The presence of the Priestess in this reading reinforces its inner aspect. Three is catalytic, the alchemy of creation in play, the Empress as the creative presence giving birth to her experiences.

Beginning with the 5 of Wands, Crowley considers this card to be filled with strife, competition, and cruelty. I prefer a less gloomy interpretation and see it as balance that’s off. Five can indicate change and we’re all feeling that these days. A single wand stands before four others in a fiery balance, as if waiting for something to happen. Change is afoot and although we’re ready, we haven’t yet come to grips with it. The five also indicates the pentagram, or Spirit controlling matter, so the five tells us that our focus should be on our alignment with Source Presence.

Moving to The Hierophant, another 5 card, the Holy Guardian Angel sits within the Merkaba, with a key in his right hand two fingers of his left pointing downward and to the left. Beasts and creatures surround him, a star on his chest. The Hierophant, the enlightened teacher, has mastered the three worlds of structure, tradition, and knowledge. He embodies divine wisdom and reflects inner guidance.

Finally we come to the Priestess, the High Priestess in other decks. She sits on her throne, her arms outstretched in supplication to the Moon. She is the counterpart to the Magus, the Triple Goddess personified, the Feminine Divine possessing intuition, revelation, and inner wisdom. She is the gateway to the unconscious Self. She stands in the in between, embracing change with flowing grace and beauty, her eyes closed, relying only on her inner vision.

The 5 of Cups is telling us that we need only look within to know the way forward. We know a con when we see one. We’re not fooled by this man.

The emotional strife we’re experiencing is instigated by someone who has none of our best interests at heart. It’s time to stop listening to him.

His words, his lies, instigate only hate and terror. It’s time to stop listening to him.

He cannot make our country great again, because it never stopped being great in the first place. It’s time to stop listening to him.

It’s time now to go within, to seek calm from the noise and vitriol caused by someone who simply cannot control what comes out of his mouth. He will never make anything better because he has no solutions. And on Tuesday, we will make our voices heard. We will send the message that he doesn’t speak for us. He doesn’t speak for women or children or anyone with any sense at all. He doesn’t speak for men who can think beyond themselves, and has turned many in his own party to the opposing side. They see him for who he is in all his ugliness.

There are no words that can adequately describe the horror of this man, this candidate for President of our great country. Yes, we have problems. All countries do. But we don’t solve any of them by electing this travesty. Some empaths just feel things. Others can see the past and future as well. I tend to do all of it. And I can tell you that the channel I see with this guy is dark and terrifying. Typically I can see various probabilities or outcomes, but with this guy, there’s only one.

Do we want a future that circles the drain or one that has hope? Aren’t we sick of all the obstruction that’s been going on for the last eight years? Isn’t it time to move past all of this and into better days? We have a responsibility to do what’s right for our children, if not for ourselves. Do we vote for a woman who has spent her life helping others or do we vote for a guy who has ever only helped himself?

Three more days, my friends, three more days. It’s time to stop listening to his words and believe what you already know. Regain your inner balance. Catalyze your intention.

And then vote.

Blessed Be

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The Effects Of Passive Aggression

passive aggression

I’ve really come to the conclusion that passive aggression is rampant amongst humans. It can take many forms, sometimes focusing upon the passive side and sometimes the aggressive. Passive aggression is not easily dealt with, by anyone. It tends to be self-reinforcing so it’s difficult for those who behave this way to experience life any other way even when they see how counterproductive their choices are.

Enter the empath. We notice energies surrounding us. They’re interesting. When we experience energy that’s chaotic, it’s even more interesting so we feel in and then try to make sense of it. And that’s a mistake. It may sound unfeeling, but if an empath doesn’t stay out of a passive aggressive person’s energy, they’ll be sucked in forever.

Passive aggression is a learned strategy or response, sometimes born from abuse or observation. I knew a passive aggressive woman once whose focus was passive and could control any room she was in. All she had to do was look worried and it was all over. She had everyone doing her bidding from that point forward. A passive aggressive person is powerful, particularly in their helplessness. And for an empath, it’s hard to stay aligned if immersed in that energy.

I’ve noticed a few articles of late that suggest that women are having a difficult time with the election. All this talk of sexual assault and rape culture is creating emotional hell for many women. Listening to the male candidate is more than many of us can bear as he embodies the aggressive side of passive aggression, his kind of chaotic aggression particularly devastating to experience by abuse survivors of any kind. His continual disrespect towards anyone who disagrees with him, his targeted tirades at rallies and on social media, all contribute to an uneasy feeling at least, panic attacks and abuse reactions at most.

As an abuse survivor and an empath, I potentially experience a double dose of this. It’s exhausting to feel the rage at the rallies and to hear his messianic tone. I watched as he loomed large behind Hillary at the debate, as I thought, okay..I see you..I see what you’re doing. Because here’s the only thing we need to remember. Passive aggressive people know and understand what they’re doing. It’s all by design, whether it’s their behavior or their subsequent denial of that behavior, in an effort to get what they want. They’re capable of manipulating every outcome. So it makes no sense whatsoever to engage with them. In fact, we should become militant about not doing so.

Our outrage should drive our militancy as we take back our power from people whose sole focus is on themselves. The guy running for President doesn’t deserve our pain, our panic, our terror. He deserves nothing, not our focus, not our attenti0n, not our emotion, and certainly not our vote. Our peace of mind is more important than something he’s either said or tweeted.

Whether one is a survivor or an empath, it’s easy to become drawn in by someone like this. His ability to stir up hatred in the room is terrifying to watch, so it’s probably best avoided. Remember, it’s not about them. It’s all about preserving your sanity.

All we are is energetic vibration. Passive aggressive people aren’t aligned to their Source Presence when they behave this way, their lack of alignment the uncomfortable vibration felt by others. They experience life on the margins rarely moving to a still point or center. So it’s hard to get them to focus and see the effects of their behavior, let alone consider giving it up for a better engagement with others. Staying in our own energetic lane keeps us out that nasty energy and far happier in the long run.

We can’t fix the guy running for President. No one can. Not even him. So do whatever it takes in the final days of this election to stay aligned and at peace.

He’s not worth our collective misery. We all deserve more than this guy. Our dignity alone is worth more than that guy. Five more days…

Blessed Be

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What Women Remember

Women know what it is to experience oppression. And although it sometimes seems as if younger women don’t fully grasp some of what older women have experienced, they’ve lived with their own share of this problem just the same. So this isn’t going to be a discussion of who understands what.

We vote by mail here in Oregon. It’s great. Our ballots arrive in the mailbox and we vote in our living rooms. Or wherever. Then we mail them back. It works brilliantly. I filled out my ballot earlier today and I’ve been thinking about what a momentous election this is. It’s not that electing a woman as our President is going to instantly erase all of the sexism and misogyny women have experienced throughout the years, but that we have a chance to chart a new course. Women have felt the effects of the current course long enough, thank you very much.

Some memories..

I remember when my parents were divorced in 1974, my mother had to establish credit in her name which would have been impossible only a few years earlier. I remember my father recommending that I become a teacher so that I would be home with my children in the afternoon and summers. And I remember in the early 80’s when my mother sent me a check for my birthday written out to Mrs. Jerry Erickson. I nearly sent it back to her. I called her to ask her what she was thinking. She couldn’t believe I felt the way I did. I explained to her that I didn’t exactly lose my identity when I married my husband even though I chose to take his last name. Even that was a newer choice women were making then, taking our husband’s last name or keeping our own, as opposed to hyphenating.

When I began training in martial arts, I co-owned our karate school with my husband who was also my instructor. Training daily, I was promoted to Black Belt three years after beginning my training. It wasn’t easy. I worked diligently. But even female students from other schools made disrespectful comments because after all, I was the wife. My husband was a task master. He didn’t give away rank. In our school, rank was earned. But truth didn’t matter.

I co-owned a motorcycle shop with my husband for fourteen years, closing that business in 2013. Even though I was seriously ill for over eleven years of that business, my husband and I spent the first six years putting in ninety-eight hour work weeks. Yes, that’s not a typo. We were there seven days per week from early in the morning until late at night. We were the sole employees and we had to compete with the dealership in town.

I learned how to tune fuel injection motorcycles on a dyno, thoroughly annoying some of the male customers we had. One guy, who actually was my neighbor at the time, would come in the shop and announce to anyone who was there that my husband did a great job tuning his bike, knowing that it was me who did the tune. I could also put together engine jobs and discuss the rationale behind whatever I was suggesting to men who had no idea what I was talking about.

It was odd because so much of the engine information I would share with customers came from some of the top engine builders in that industry. I would call them and ask all sorts of questions and before I knew it I would be furiously taking notes as they educated me. None of them condescended the way some of my male customers did. Each one of these top guys in their industry treated me with respect. One really well-known guy shared with me his secret for carburetor tuning. And yes, I shared it with my husband. But the point was there were only a handful of guys who could have one of these conversations with me. Most of them had no idea what I was talking about and viewed me with complete suspicion, some with complete contempt. The guys who would sit and talk with me, however, were awesome.

Women see the world in a unique way..

I hesitate to say that I know what Hillary is going through because I don’t think there’s a woman alive who has experienced the level of misogyny that she has experienced. But in a sense, each woman does know what she’s experienced because we’ve all been there in one capacity or another. It’s the lack of trust that we deal with. We can’t be the boss because our children might need us. We’re unreliable and emotionally unstable because we menstruate. We have opinions that differ from our male counterparts so we’re definitely not to be trusted. And Goddess help us if we tune some guy’s motorcycle. Or put together an engine job for him. I was the woman who did both.

But we also might have the answers. Women see the world in a unique way. We have the survival of the species within us and that awareness often influences the decisions we make. So we’ll defend the family when necessary. But we’re savvy about it. Maybe our response amounts to a nudge, or a suggestion, when appropriate. But make no mistake about it. If our family is threatened, we act. And we do so in a decisive manner.

Not all women are Black Belts, but all women think like them. Trust me on this. We’ve had no choice in the matter. And we’re not going to stop until patriarchy is relegated to the dustbin of history. Because as Hillary’s opponent has suggested, we’re nasty like that.

In two weeks our country is likely electing our first female President. We made history in 2008 and 2012 by electing and then reelecting Barack Obama as our President. As amazing as that surely was, what we’re about to do has been a long time coming. Conservatives saw her coming back in the early nineties when they began their campaign to discredit her. But she worked for all of us in spite of them, becoming a Senator and then Secretary of State. And now, Hillary Clinton is poised to become the next President of the United States.

Chris Matthews said on Hardball one day that this is a really big deal for women of a certain age. He’s right. It is. For all of us who have experienced oppression in any form, electing a woman represents a goal that has taken far too long to achieve. And now, here we are, that long awaited goal in sight.

Blessings to all!