Tuesday, January 17, 2017


I was diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) about 25 years ago.  It used to be really bad where I had an IBS flare-up at least once a week.  Now it is at least once a month.  But it took many years of trial and error, and research on my own and not listening to doctors and dietitians about how I can control it.

The most popular thing people tell you is to use fiber.  That is great if you are constipated.  But not all IBS sufferers have constipation.  Some of us have diarrhea, or both.  I just have the diarrhea, never constipation.  During a flare up I had terrible stomach cramps and spent half my life on the toilet.  My butt was so sore I had to sit in the tub and soak my poor tush.  

Therefore, when I have a lot of fiber or roughage, I poop even more than normal, and I have an IBS flare-up.  People don't believe me sometimes, as if I am making it up so I don't have to eat healthy.  I love to eat healthy, but my body doesn't love it so much.  I tell them maybe they would like to sit with me while I am on the toilet half the day.  I call myself the poop queen of Anoka, or Miss Poops-a-Lot.  

My theory is that because I am so small, there is just not enough room in my torso for all my organs.  It seems when I have my period, my IBS also flares-up, thus the once a month excursion to the toilet.  When I was growing up, I could not chew meat or hard things like vegetables, so I often ate soft things.  Which didn't help me nutritionally either as I was and am still a very fussy eater.  Therefore, I think my body was not used to such roughage.

So now I try to watch what I eat, with little meat and vegetables.  I eat more breads, dairy, and fruit.  I try to eat low-fat as that also aggravates my IBS.

I have also learned that artificial sweeteners also trigger an IBS attack, like Nutrasweet (aspartame), and Splenda (sorbitol).  Sorbitol is a laxative, which is the last thing I need.  But they never tell you that.  So they put these artificial sweeteners in so many things, even things I had no idea.  We all know it is in gum, sugar-free soda and sugar-free candy.  But it is also in cough drops, cough syrup, and toothpaste.  I have to look at the label all the time to make sure it does not have this.  Sometimes it is like a treasure hunt, for they don't always make it easy to reveal what all the ingredients are.

So if you have IBS, congratulations!  And do your research, educate yourself, and don't listen to anyone who doesn't have this.  They don't know what it's like, and that it is different for everybody.  And they don't know how it can affect your life.  It's not a joke, and there is no cure.  But there is hope.  You just have to advocate for yourself, and do what you think is best for you.

Monday, January 9, 2017

The Last Discriminated

I am sure that you have heard of the horrible video on Facebook last week about the four adults kidnapping and abusing an adult with a disability.  I couldn't bring myself to watch the video, thank goodness Facebook finally took it off.  I don't know how they allowed it in the first place.

But I was reminded, yet again, that the disabled are the last discrimination.  I can't count how many times I have been stared at, discriminated against, bullied, and generally disrespected.  It would take too long and get me too riled up.  I don't even consider myself disabled.  But because of my appearance and the way I sound, it leads to the impression that I am.

My parents never treated me different. In fact, they raised me to be tough and not expect help. I know some people think this sounds so pessimistic.  But we are realists.  We know what we would like the world to be like.  But we also know what the world is like.

It is a world where people like me have to cope with discrimination, prejudice, and bullying.  It is a world where google images have memes that mock the disabled.  As Freeman said, it is the lowest display of power.

People who mock and abuse the disabled are among the lowest form of beings in society.  They are the cowards, and there is no excuse whatsoever in this attitude.

People with disabilities don't choose it.  We are born this way or something happens to us.  We don't choose to be victims of violence, even though we are more likely to be.  We don't choose to be judged based on our appearance, instead of what really matters, our character.  Like MLK Jr., he dreamed of people being judged on their character, not their skin.  Or any appearance for that matter.  

As I always say, this body is just a suitcase for this earthly journey.  It may not be as pretty as other suitcases, but it has a lot of interesting things in it.  If only people took the time to open it and learn.

We must rise up and speak up for ourselves, because apparently no one else is.  The only ones that do are the ones that have a loved one with a disability.  Otherwise, there are no protests, no demonstrations, anywhere.  No celebrity talking about it.  No politician talking about it.  It is like we don't exist.  And when things happen, it doesn't seem to garner the level of attention other prejudiced groups do.  Why is that?  I know we are not glamorous or popular.  But we still have value. We still have worth.

When will people rise up?  

Wednesday, January 4, 2017


Minnie enjoying a puppuccino.

About two years and three months ago, my beloved cat, Chocolate passed away.  It took me a year to stop crying all the time about him.  Even though I adopted pets throughout that year, in the hopes that they would fill the void, I just wanted my Chocolate back.

So I gave up adopting and decided to live pet-free for now.  I still am not ready.  I think I gave all my love to Chocolate, and when he died, it went.  

I was too attached to him.  We were together 24/7 for 18 years, and I felt the void so deeply that first year without him.  

Minnie helped me through this time, and continues to do so.  She is like my part-time pet.  I can love her and spoil her, without making that full-time commitment that I am not ready to make.  

She helped comfort me in my time of loss, and she continues to make me feel special.  Minnie is always happy to see me, and I so enjoy being with her.  She makes me smile, without the worry of her state of mind.  
I know she is happy where she lives, with my mom and dad.  She loves to run around on their property, barking all the critters away.  She loves to sit on the old love seat in the garage on a warm, sunny day with the door open, feeling the heat cover her body.

She loves to have me pet and scratch her.  I think she would never tire of it, and she doesn't like it when I quit or have to leave.

It's nice to have a dog who loves me without worrying about her being happy in my home.

I know she wouldn't be.  She needs to run around outside.  She is so attached to my parents that when they are gone, she is despondent, and won't eat or drink for a while.  

She is a good dog, and a great blessing to my family and I.  I love her, and I am so grateful for her.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Fidget Cube

Yesterday I was at the Mall of America's Greater Good store, and I found this amazing little tidbit.  It's a cube that fidgeters can use instead of peeling or picking at nails or scabs like I do, or any other annoying only to others habits that us fidgeters do.

There are four sides, like a dice, and each side is unique to the movement of the fingers.  I found it helpful as I was waiting for my family to finish their shopping.  I don't always want to use my phone, especially when in public using an iffy wifi, or draining out the battery.  

And picking and peeling has been aggravating my old arm tendinitis, so I am hoping this this little doohickey will help.  

I  just mention this as there are lot of us out there, and even as adults, we still have bad habits that are near impossible to break.  So it is better to find a healthy alternative.

This will be available in early February, although I have seen knockoffs already on eBay and amazon.  I don't know how I got this one, and I don't have the box, I tossed it at the mall and went to work on it right away!  So maybe mine is a knock off too!

Nevertheless, I would like to make a New Years resolution to stop picking and peeling.  Maybe this will help.

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Peace on Earth

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote the song, "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day," during the Civil War, when his son was wounded, and his wife died.  Even though this song was written years ago, it still resonates with us, as we celebrate Christmas in a time of war.

Today I read in my Bible, "Too long have I lived among those who hate peace.  I am for peace;
    but when I speak, they are for war." (Ps. 120: 6-7) This seemed a fitting passage to relate to this song, in that even though most of us want peace, and strive for peace, there are the few that want war and work for war.  
But in this I have hope: that God is not dead, He doesn't sleep.  The wrong shall fail, the right prevail.  With peace on earth, good will to men.  

I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play
And mild and sweet their songs repeat
Of peace on earth good will to men

And the bells are ringing (Peace on Earth)
Like a choir they're singing (Peace on Earth)
In my heart I hear them
Peace on earth, good will to men

And in despair I bowed my head
There is no peace on earth I said
For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men

But the bells are ringing (Peace on Earth)
Like a choir singing (Peace on Earth)
Does anybody hear them?
Peace on earth, good will to men

Then rang the bells more loud and deep
God is not dead, nor doth He sleep (Peace on Earth, peace on Earth)
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men

Then ringing singing on its way
The world revolved from night to day
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good will to men

And the bells they're ringing (Peace on Earth)
Like a choir they're singing (Peace on Earth)
And with our hearts we'll hear them
Peace on earth, good will to men

Do you hear the bells they're ringing? (Peace on Earth)
The life the angels singing (Peace on Earth)
Open up your heart and hear them (Peace on Earth)
Peace on earth, good will to men
Peace on earth, Peace on earth
Peace on earth, Good will to men

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Story of the Jews

On this past Sunday, I spent some of it watching this TV series on PBS.  I found it fascinating, learning more and more about the Jews, than I ever had before.  

I know that I wrote about how Israel belonged to the Jews because of the Holocaust.  And Schama stated that as well, reminding us that the governments of the world at that time wasted so much time, of which they could have saved so many more Jewish lives, if they had not waited so long.

Which is true.  I have heard the people were tired of war, after WWI, but even so, if we had not intervened, we would be speaking German right now.  

Whole Jewish communities were obliterated during the pogroms in Eastern Europe during and after WWI.  There were times and places where the Jews had relative peace, but eventually something bad would happen and the Jews would be scapegoated again.

The first ghetto was created in Venice for the Jews.  They were enslaved in Egypt during Moses' time.  They wee kicked out of Spain during the Inquisition.  They were conquered by multiple empires in Biblical times.

So much has happened to the Jews and yet they still exist.  As God promised, they cannot be completely wiped out.  Other people groups have come and gone, but the Jews have and will exist forever.

Nevertheless, after the Roman Empire, they never had a home.  The British Empire envisioned a home for them in the turn of the century, the Victorian Age.  But they also envisioned an independent Palestine for the Arabs at the same time.  Thus, it was inevitable that there would be war in Israel.

Even so, the Jews were willing to fight for it.  After WWII, when the Jews came home, they were still shuffled around by the British military.  They found resistance from the Palestinians.

Yet, they are a resilient people, not willing, not ready to give up.  

So I still say, after all they have suffered, the least we can do is let them have their home.    

Monday, December 5, 2016

Pearl Harbor

It will be 75 years ago when Pearl Harbor was attacked, the greatest generation's 9-11.  

This past weekend I watched some documentaries on the History channel and the National Geographic channel about WWII.  

I saw again the horrendous piles of the dead Jews in concentration camps.

I have seen these photos and videos numerous times over the years. But it never fails to affect me.

I am  in shock and wonder how such an atrocity could have happened for so long to so many.

To treat the Jews as if they were nothing, to take away all that made them human.  To treat them as garbage to be thrown into a pile.

Then I think of Israel, and all that is going on over there, through the years.  

No matter how Israel became a country in this century, it seems to me that it is the least that we can do for the Jews, to give them a place that they can call home.

They have had no home, no nation, for 2,000 years.  And although it was not the Palestinians that took their home, but the Romans, it is just a little strip of land.  Land that was considered the Promised Land that God gave to His people so long ago, before Islam.

And even though the Israelites took it from the Canaanites, were the Canaanites the first people there?

I honestly don't know.  And I feel bad for the Palestinians who have lost their homes when Israel was created.

I wish that the two groups could peacefully co-exist, or that each group could have their own country.  But that doesn't seem to be an option for the few that create problems for the whole.

But I do know that no matter what, after seeing those piles of dead bodies like garbage, I am convinced that Israel belongs to the Jews.  It is the least that humanity can do.