Ignorance is not bliss...

And last I checked, no one ever said that hypocrisy was bliss. And yet it seems to run rampant through the world and launched at others from on top of the high horse that our opinions are the opinion.

I generally stay away from the news in all its forms because I greatly dislike all the drama drummed up. H1N1 was/is a prime example of that recently. I caught it from my husband who caught it on our wedding day. It was nothing compared to the normal flu and more like a stubborn cold that produced an ear infection. Sometimes the news finds me, however. Usually these pieces are actually interesting. Sometimes it's just plain irritating. Like all the fusses people make over anothers point of view. Most recently, it was about a Catholic United States Rep. being asked to forgo receiving communion and priests supposedly being informed not to give communion to him. Naturally, this raised a stink, most likely because it's comming from the Catholic church, but who knows why people do these things.

Many seem to think that a religion opposed to abortion and contraception have no business being in a country that has legalized it and that they have less right than anyone else to voice their opinions and even that they are being hypocritical being in the country. Just as many seem to think that the religion is run by nothing more than sexual predators, pedophiles and the like. Honestly, what gives? Oh yeah, there's "something systemic in the Catholic church that turns these men into disgusting human beings." Because only in the Catholic church are there pervets, fetishists, pedophiles and rapists. Yep. No one else in the world is guilty of these things. And what of all the murderers and kidnappers and abusers? Surely our prisons are not filled with Catholic priests!

In that light, I suppose that we should label teachers the same way and lets not forget to label all Muslims as terrorists. What in the world is wrong with people? Abortion wasn't always legal. It's a relatively new thing, actually. A group of people lobbied for the legalization because they believed that women should have the choice and not have to risk their lives getting it done illegally. Personally, I don't agree with abortion, but to each their own. If they feel that is their only option, then so be it. I'll not judge them or condemn them for it. Yet when the church voices it's own opinion that abortion is morally wrong, everyone gets pissed off about it (except the people smart enough to let it be and the people who agree with the church). I see no difference between either group, when it comes down to it, except that they have differing opinions and one is being persecuted for it from a high horse. You don't see this where I live. The church lobbies outside the hospital on a regular basis, promoting anti-abortion. Everyone just takes a glance and goes on about their day. It certainly doesn't make the news and gather an angry mob of people on the internet spewing condemnations. I'm truly glad not to be part of such a country that seems to do this every week and sometimes daily.

Perhaps one reason for the persecution is that people keep throwing around that there is a separation of church and state. Okay. Well, President Bush did a lot to diminish that one to begin with. But what is wrong with them voicing their opinion on a matter they feel strongly about? Because they're from the church. Let someone not from the church voice the same opinion and it's received less indignantly, even if it's no more appreciated or welcomed. These same people are crying out and throwing stones over the fact that this Rep. has effectively been denied communion by the Catholic church because he is a strong proponent of abortion. This is somehow a matter of politics rather than a matter of religion, which I don't get whatsoever. It seems purely about religion to me. This Rep. goes to church and receives communion while going against his faith outside the church. Yes, everyone has a right to their opinion. The Catholic church makes their opinion clear and this Rep. makes his opinion clear.

Now, there are many different schools of thought in Christianity. There are many churches who interpret the word of God and the life of Jesus differently. The Catholic church is the only one that is still against abortion and contraception outside of natural family planning. Does it not stand to reason then that, if you do not believe in the teachings of the religion you are in that you perhaps belong to a different religion? I stopped going to church because I did not believe in everything they stood for. Through my marriage, I'm back to attending and I take from it what I do believe while letting the rest slide by. I do this for my husband and for our future children. I also refrain from going up for communion because I believe that I would be hypocritical in accepting it because I don't believe whole-heartedly in what they teach and certain actions that they take. Mainly, I do it because I do not wish to be a hypocrite.

Some mention that the church should be more accepting of others' beliefs and not deny them anything because their beliefs go against those of the church yet they still wish to participate in said church. 9 out of 10 priests I have known have made clear that, if you are not Catholic in name and in practice, then you are welcome to come forward for a blessing rather than communion. I see no problem with this. I do see a problem with professing to be Catholic while going against the very faith you claim to follow. Yet so many feel righteously vindicated to practice something they don't believe in. This seems strangely like a world of selfish, spoiled children used to getting things the way they want it. No one is holding a gun to your head and making you be Catholic. If you do not agree with their teachings, there are many different teachings and one of them is bound to fit your own beliefs and translations of the church; which, quite frankly are one and the same. Their interpretation of the bible and God is their belief, not just their interpretation that is to be taken however you wish to take it. No one is forcing anyone to be part of anything, so why get so upset over it? Why not let the church have their beliefs and hold true to your own beliefs? Why lie to yourself and claim to be Catholic when you dislike their interpretation and their tennets?

Another amusing comment is that the church is being hypocritical by being against contraception and abortion, yet "bemoan all the starvation and suffering due to famine and overpopulation...." Somehow, this comment figures this means the church expects people to "Keep popping 'em out and watch 'em starve to death...." How so? It's not like the church comes to the doors of Catholics these days and looks to see if your wife is either pregnant or nursing. As a matter of fact, they've provided Catholics with an alternative to contraception. That being natural family planning, which is not just about abstinence, but about viewing everything you do together as a couple as something inately sexual. They are trying to heed the problems of the world and provide practicing Catholics with a way to do be conscious of these things while remaining true to their faith. And what about all the help they extend to the poor, the homeless and those less fortunate than ourselves? How many times does a non-profit organization knock on your door asking for help and you say "sorry, I don't have anyting" even when you do? Yet the church is the one being hypocritical.

Yes, I find a lot of hypocrisy in the church. It's a large reason why I don't receive communion. The things being thrown around in argument as being hypocritical is just laughable. Are the majority of people really so ignorant and blind? You live in a country that spouts freedom and yet you would condemn the freedom of Catholics to practice their religion because they are doing so in a country that has put up laws legalizing things the Catholic church is against. So they're hypocrites for practicing and should leave. Um...they were there before those laws for one. Freedom of speech and freedom of religious belief for another. Or do those things only apply when you say they do? Is an oppressed woman lobbying against oppression in a country where it is legalized a hypocrite? There is far more hypocrisy in the arguments against the church and in the world at large than there is in the church. Double standards all around!! Get your daily dose right here!

The biggest reason for abortion seems to be the case of women who've been raped. To each their own, that's for them to decide if they think it's the only course of action. I was there. I couldn't stomach the idea of aborting the child, and am still troubled by it's natural loss after 5 years. I'd rather give a child up to a loving home than kill it, if I couldn't stand raising the child myself. This is my opinion and I'm not about to make anyone else follow it. But there are always options that don't mean the loss of a life. It's a choice. Be for or against abortion, it makes no difference to me, but be careful when you throw around the word choice. It's also a woman's choice when she kills her own child after it's been born. Should that be legal as well? How about someone who chooses to kill or otherwise harm another human being or an animal dependent on them that they "lovingly" took into their homes and, for some reason, chose to torture and/or kill. If that's what you think, then lets let everyone out of jail today because it was their choice and, for whatever reason, they decided it was something they should do. On the other hand, there are abortions due to life-threatening pregnancies. I don't know about you, but there's a Catholic hospital where I live and they actually perform abortions if it means the life of the mother. Let's face it, chances are, if the mother dies, the child is probably going to die unless it's reached a late enough stage of pregnancy. Most people seem to think the church will let the woman die in the hopes that the child lives. Maybe there are some. I haven't come across them.

In the end, no one forces you to be Catholic and no one forces you to listen to them when they speak out against something they believe is wrong. They are doing what they think is right for the good of everyone/everyone's souls. Just like pro-choicers lobbied for legalization of abortion. They're put up on a pedestal while the church is condemned. It doesn't make much sense at all. Give freedom to all; oh, but wait, not you, you're Catholic. Isn't that a bit hypocritical? I don't uphold your teachings, but I demand my right to receive communion from you! Where's the logic here? Why do you care about Catholic communion when you don't care about the teachings of the Catholic church? There are many other Christian churches. Same God, same Jesus, same prohets and saints. Different interpretation of the writings and, thereby, different faith. I went out and found my home (regardless of where I am today), perhaps you should do the same. Get off your high horse. Everyone has an opinion and a right to their opinion. Don't like it, let it be and be with those who share your opinion. While many churches have differing views, I'm pretty sure the majority want you to love your neighbour, no matter the differences. Perhaps you should take a look at yourself and take a look around you before you throw stones. We live in a world of choice and opportunity. We live in a world of freedome and in a world of rules. No rules are being broken except in your imaginary world of self-righteousness and indignant fury that the Catholic church, of all groups, should oppose your opinion. Just ignore them if you don't like it. No one's holding a gun to your head and making you listen or making you practice a faith you don't truly believe in. They aren't hurting you, they're just speaking their mind and standing up for their values. The same as you are. Except you can only do it by lodging a smear campain and throwing ignorant insults with little to no basis and as much (or little) intelligence and information.

It's about the same reaction you get when you hear about someone torturing a cat, dog, any pet and even really small children (not so much the teenagers it happens to, nor the adults). Man throws cat in washing machine? "We should throw HIM in a washing machine and see how he likes it!" "He deserves to die!" "I want to see him burn! The disgusting pig!" While I agree that it is deplorable and wrong of him to have done, it doesn't warrant similar action be done to him. Sure, it sounds nice and it would be fair, but it makes you no better than the man you're sentencing to death. You're just doing it from a self-righteous high horse, or (the case of the death penalty that these same people want to bring back just for these people that do these attrocious acts) behind the law as an authority pulling the trigger. You're no different, you just found a legal way to go about it. An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. Should they be punished? Sure. But who are we to do the punishing? What gives us the right? What makes us better? If you truly want to be better than the one who tortured the cat, then be smart and live your life well.

And stop lying to yourself. If you are going to church and receiving communion, it should be because you believe in what they are teaching and you live your faith. Not because someone told you that you should or because you were born into it. You have a choice. If we could all be honest with ourselves and with each other and if we could live and let live, the world would be a better place. By the way, look at the wars you've launched in the name of your beliefs. You're actually worse than the Catholic church you are condemning. They aren't forcibly trying to cram their beliefs down your throat. They're speaking out like anyone else. Throw your stones when they start killing people for supporting or turning to abortion. Oh, but please only bother throwing them when you stop killing in the name of your beliefs. If you think I should die for disagreeing with you and actually speaking instead of insulting; you first. But no, seriously, how can we be a world of freedom when everyone is still so intollerant?

I married a Catholic because he is a wonderful man. I go to church because I support my husband, not because the church told me I should. To me, marriage is supporting your spouse and their beliefs. As such, I will do my best. I will also raise my children Catholic. Not half-heartedly and hypocritically, but to the fullest of my capabilities and when they are old enough to think for themselves they can decide whether or not the religion is for them. If it is not, I hope that they will find their path and their home as I did in the religion I followed in my life without even realizing it. There is a home for everyone in this world and there is a belief system to support yours. You just have to find it. There are countless religions in the world. Enough that there is no need to be a hypocrite and no need to lie to yourself. You only hurt yourself by doing this, whether you realize it or not. Find peace and be content in your life so that you don't need to attack others who happen to live their lives differently.

There is no matter of politics here and it should never have even been made into a public debacle. It's a publicity stunt in a war of differing opinions meant to hurt the opposing view. Nothing more. Just because you don't hear about it on the internet or in the news doesn't mean normal people are not asked to forgo receiving communion. On the same token, why would the church feel the need to deny you communion if you weren't actively speaking against their teachings in a public setting in such that they hear about it? Obviously they can't deny you communion if they don't even know that you are against their teachings. If they knew, obviously they would ask you to desist. Because it's hypocritical and that is more hurtful to yourself and/or your soul than you believing in abortion or not.

By the way, in case anyone who wishes to condemn me over this has forgotten or doesn't know; I'm also persecuted by feminists for being a traitor to all women because I stated that I'd be as happy being a housewife as I would be earning money in a job. It's a choice people. Stop trying to force others to accept your choices and to do so without compromise. I don't even call myself Catholic and I still defend their right to voice their opinion the same as everyone else has that right (oh yeah, and I'm persecuted for being Catholic too, even though I can't help being born into the religion and don't identify with it). Oh yes! And lets not forget that I'm persecuted by still others because I am actually not against the idea of natural family planning. No sex for 1 or 2 weeks? Impossible! How dare they! You know, sex isn't everything. And all those couples cheating on each other because they've lost the "spark" in their sex lives? Ever thought that going without for a while might actually be beneficial in that it would make it more exciting and more electrifying when you actually do have sex with your spouse? It's rather like staying on your honeymoon, honestly. And don't forget to include being a traitor to women's rights because I don't agree with abortion, even though I couldn't care less if a woman did choose to abort. Did I miss anything? Probably.

We're a world of intolerance. A world of selfishness. A world of greed. A world of oppression and violence. A world of ignorance and idiocy. Where's the world of freedom we claim to be? Where's the world of peace? Of acceptance? Of loving ourselves and our neighbours? Of intelligence and enlightenment? I still don't wish to take part in this world we live in. I want to live in the world we claim to have, but in fact couldn't be further from. Humans are so sad.


Explanations are just an art form

It started at around 03:30 this morning. Having finally satisfied my curiosity and finally having settled the debate my body was going through over sleep and hunger, it was time to go to bed.

I'd spent the day at my boyfriend's and we'd watched Stay Alive before dinner. While the acting left something to be desired (although, I find that this is so with nearly every film as most actors can't act all that well outside of who they themselves are as a person), I found the concept really interesting. It's nothing to do with anything (at least, I don't think it is), but we watched teh first 20 minutes of Eleventh Hour before returning to my place, being disappointed that the mystery had been revealed so quickly and before anyone on the show got a clue about it.

At any rate, after he left, I started looking into Elizabeth Báthory again, dipping up facts as well as lore. I also looked up the film to learn more and, I admit, partially to see if there was any talk about fashioning a game after the game in the film. Not that I'd have been able to play it should it exist, but I was disappointed all teh same that there was not. Again, this is neither here nor there to the events that followed. The search sprung up others, like the Loomis Crowley connections mentioned, and which I read up on as I nibbled on some cold turkey left over from Thanksgiving in order to bring my stomach to a point of non-hunger with which I could actually sleep. I was left with an uncertain doubt of any connection other than a blending of the two names and see no reason why it should have been mentioned; neither in relation to the character nor to the story. It did make for some interesting reading.

And so it was that at 03:30 I finally made my way to bed with thoughts of writing about the philosophical question of existance that plagues my mind every now and again. After I'd turned my light off, I realized I'd left my studs in. I didn't want to get teh kittens all excited by turning the light back on so I sat on my bed and began to switch the studs out for hoops. No sooner did I have the studs out did I think that I felt something drop beside me onto the comforter. In the instant replay of my mind, I was pretty sure I'd even seen a dark form about the size of a mouse drop from the corner of my right eye. Looking back again, I can't say if I actually saw something as it happened or if my mind planted that I had seen it. In the very short moments it took my brain to process these thoughts, I swore I felt that something move toward me. Reflexively, I jerked the comforter to displace whatever it was while I jumped from the bed and turned the lights back on. My heart was racing. There was nothing there.

Now, I don't charictaristically scare easily. I'd watch a mouse run across the flood with curiosity back when I had them, before I watched a co-worker's cat. I love to sit down and watch horror movies and, I admit, it's largely in an attempt to find one that will frighten me. I especially love to sit there and watch them in an empty house in the dead of night with no lights on. Child's Play and Dolls remain the only two that I can't watch because I'd seen them as a young child and every time I watch them, I return to the frightened mind of that child even though I know that it is not real. The scariest thing about Dolls had been the fact that I had a similar looking doll made by my grandmother in my likeness sitting in my room. It is like I am trained to be frightened of these things because I was frightened by them as a child. I'd watched Stay Alive twelve hours before going to bed, had not been frightened by it and had found nothing frightening in the reading I'd done following watching the movie. I have no idea why I'd been so open to being spooked.

And yet, despite all this, I felt no choice but to sleep with the light on for fear of more scares of things dropping onto my bed and coming in my direction. Since my lamp was burnt out and the overhead light is impossible to sleep under, I went and grabbed another lamp from elsewhere in the house. As I lay there, I thought about how the mind feeds itself if you don't take control and stop it. So it was that my heart skipped a beat at every little sound.

The lampshade re-adjusting itself since I'd skewed it to divert the light away from me sounded like something brushing up against it. Yet I couldn't bring myself to turn around and look at the lamp because my mind conjured up this image of some creature and then of a nightmarish lamp that was altering shape behind me.

Small noises from outside my window were things out of horror movies. The kittens, now running around and playful since I had the light on, because sounds of a possible intruder ransacking the place. The light reflecting off the zipper of my luggage was suspect enough that I entertained thoughts of covering it, especially when the little black dots that occasionally float through the vision of my left eye gave the illusion of movement from the corner of said eye. And I thought about how the mind plays tricks and how, if you start looking for something, be it fear or coincidence or any such thing, you'll find it in abundance. I'd had a scare and now my mind was conjuring up fear in everything. Just as, when you happen across a coincidence and dwell on the coinsidence, you start to see coinsidence everywhere.

I knew that I'd never get to sleep at that rate and my mind was spinning with writing down this unusual (for me) experience that I figured I might as well give up the fight and write so I could regain control of my mind and eventually get some sleep. It is times like these that I think I could benefit from some strong sleepling aid from a doctor so that I can quiet my sometimes overactive mind.

One hour since the beginning of this and I have halted all the irrational fears running rampant in my mind, but I still don't dare look behind the curtains and out my window. Just the thought of doing so to prove that there is nothing there brings flashes of images in my mind's eye. Sometimes a face which is sometimes a monstrous face from some horror flick and sometimes the face of your average peeping Tom with the latter of the two being the more frightening thought. Sometimes it's some blody tableau, be it on my window, on a face in my window, or a bloodied hand running down and smearing my window. At least I've quelled the rest with the writing of it. I think I'll wait for daylight before looking out my window.

This all begs the question to what extent our own experiences can lie to us? The human mind can deceive itself to an extraordinary degree. It's impossible to draw a clear line between the real thing and a hallucination; both in theory and in practice. Maybe that distinction, between what is illusion and what is reality is really unimportant. But what is reality? We know that there are limits to logic and the things we can prove. We know that there are limits to what can be known simply because it is inherently unknowable. Still, scientists go on probing and discovering new particles and coming up with theories and refining equations in pursiot of one unified theory that explains everything. There are things that defy logic, yet the human mind is wonderful at rationalizing these things. There are things that logic can neither prove nor disprove. Such as our reality.

"But suppose," I said, "just suppose it's a hopeless quest. Suppose the universe isn't made up of any one thing that we can finally put our finger on and say "That's it". Suppose all that ever happens is that when we look at something closely enough, it turns into something else? Mass becomes energy; a wave becomes a particle; a particle becomes a superstring; and so on ad infinitum. In other words, reality is a stack of Russian dolls - open one and there's another one inside. All we're really doing is chasing our own tails. Sure, we're building rockets to Mars and microwave ovens, but those are by-products, not the goal. It's a scary though that maybe there is no goal. Maybe it really is turtles all the way down - turtles or whatever. But no final answers. Because we're looking in the wrong place." (Excerpt from Coincidence by David Ambrose)

People say such things as "I am what I am" or "I think/feel therefor I am." But what are you, really? How do you know, for that matter, that what you take for granted as your reality, as your life, isn't just a dream? Maybe you're dreaming the whole thing. Or maybe someone else is dreaming the whole thing. I think therefor I am. This neither proves nor disproves that what you are is more than a dream. Neither does saying that it's an awfully long dream as time is a subjective concept. Is reality equally subjective? How about truth? Are you lying when you say you didn't do something when you can't prove you didn't do it, but you believe you are telling the truth? Maybe we're even in a string of dreams going on into a possible infinity. Haven't you ever had a dream where "dream you" is dreaming?

A spin on the same question arose from David Ambrose's Coincidence. What if we're all just part of a computer program created in another reality for research purposes? And what if that reality is also just a program that was created and is running on a computer in yet another reality? You can neither prove nor disprove that this is not true.

Reality becomes as subjective as time. All we have; all we logically know is what our experiences tell us via our own mind. But what if that's all a lie? What is the truth? Does it even matter? Does it really make any difference if all reality is is just a dream or a computer program? Would it change anything for you? Would it change your perceptions? your actions? Does the truth, being as subjective as time and reality, matter?

Perhaps it's all just turtles in the end.


Various Discoveries Made About Different Bodies Thanks to a Fall on Black Ice

Now, I fell a few times in the last month due to the city wanting to cut corners. One such corner was to neglect to salt the sidewalks this winter. There is enough traffic on the main streets that they don't pose much trouble to the pedestrian, nor to the driver. The side streets, on which most people live, are another matter entirely. Most of the winter, due to the nature of my job, I could lessen my chances of falling by walking on the road as I was up long before traffic started up and, by the time I headed home again, traffic, or mother nature, usually took care of things so they weren't so trecherous. Not always, but usually. This isn't what I want to write about, however. What I wanted to write about are the things I have seen as a result of my last fall.

What with the heating during the day that kept melting the snow and ice only to freeze it again overnight, it was a very good environment for black ice. So it happened that I had a few falls on my way to work; a couple of them helped by a problem with my right hip that has, for almost 6 months, randomly dislocated to varrying degrees while I walk. It is nearly 100% likely that I will fall if it happens over ice. I found it better to fall with a dislocation though, as I would already be halfway down when I fell, but something that would not happen if the city was looking after things. This was not the case at 4 am on March 6th.

I started off walking on the sidewalk, but moved to the road after a few near misses of losing my footing just going around the corner. They had already been out to thros dirt on the roads. My first discovery, as I went from just walking on the road to walking squarely on the "path" of thrown dirt, was that it doesn't help in the least. No matter where I walked, the result was the same and it didn't even matter how slowly or carefully I walked. So it was that I moved back up onto the sidewalk, knowing it would be safer to fall there than to fall in the middle of the road. I had gone four or so blocks in an agonizingly slow thirty minutes before I lost my footing completely and fell hard on my right hand. Next I knew, my arm was flying out from under me and twisting sharply as it shot behind me. I slipped about a dozen times after that and nearly lost my feet again another 6 before I could get help as I couldn't release my right hand long enough to even make an attempt to reach my cellphone and call for help.

I can't recall, but I believe it was around noon when I found myself sitting in the emergency room at the hospital to get my wrist looked at as the pain and swelling were going nowhere fast, except to get worse. I'm stubborn or I'd have been there sooner. If I'd not called my mother, I'd probably not have had it checked out for a few days and might even have tried working, which would have promptly failled. My penchant for being stubborn kept me from taking anything while I waited, prefering to be fully capable of feeling and measuring the pain while it was looked at. I was seen nearly 12 hours after I had injured myself.

The next thing I found, which I already knew, but had never been able to compare all in one treatment, are the different ways in which you are treated. You are faced with someone who is coldly clinical, someone who is over sympathetic, or someone who knows what it feels like and wants to make it as easy for you as possible. I have dealt with many of these varrying personalities in the time I've spent trying to heal, and not all of them to do with this injury, but with older injuries. The most point blank display of this was in the x-ray technician who manipulated my wrist into the positions she wanted for x-ray upon seeing how slowly I was comfortably moving. I quickly lost count of how many times I whimpered in pain, bit my tongue, or saw stars. Then another tech came in to x-ray my elbow, taking shots out of sequence to minimize how much I had to move and letting me do the majority of the work rather than trying to twist my arm for me, all the while apologizing profusely every time I so much as winced. I'd gone from one extreme to the other. In all of this, I found the most comfortable environment is with a professional who is not so clinical and who is not over-sympathetic, but who is somewhere in the middle; doing what they can to make it easier and more comfortable for you, asking if there is anything they can help you with. Unfortunately, those are rare and I've only encountered two who pulled it off perfectly. My old doctor, Dr. Paddon and the woman who put me through the bone scan for my hip. Another thing I liked about her was that she said she had her students raise their arms the way they ask us to so that they know what it is we are feeling. It gives me some measure of hope that there will be more people like her in the profession. Perhaps if there were more like those two and less like my current doctor and the x-ray technician who looked at my wrist, people would be a little less inclined to avoid doctors.

After the x-rays, it was back to the waiting room. Eventually, I was seen by a doctor and told that the only anomally on the x-rays that the radiologist was concerned about was with my elbow. One thing that bothered me was how vaguely the doctor answered any questions I, or my mother, asked. What I got from it was that my elbow bone was bruised, but that it did not require a cast and that I should try bending and straightening it after a couple days to avoid stiffness. Despite my wrist showing the classical swelling and bruising of a break, not to mention having 90% of the pain and impossibility moving it, I had only badly sprained it. I was put in a splint and given a flimsy cheesecloth sling that couldn't hold the weight of my arm and keep it straight without my constant tugging it back into place and told that I should try taking the splint off and moving my wrist to avoid the same stiffness after 4 or 5 days. The doctor suggested that I do this by removing the splint overnight and directed me to otherwise not use my right arm for 1 week, after which I was to go see my doctor for a check-up.

The next discovery was seeing just how ill-informed my place of employment is as I was getting conflicting information from management. Adding to what I already knew of our current management through my little dealings with them and through observing what others went through dealing with them, I was rather taken aback when I was asked if I could still go to work out of town after I had informed them of the ER doctor's directions.

Following directions, I took the splint off after four days, on March 10th, and attempted to move my wrist very carefully without using my left to manipulate it. The result was so much pain my vision blacked out and I started feeling really sick. And so I looked at filing for Employment Insurance so that I could get some money coming in to make sure that I would continue to be able to pay my bills and put food on my table if things took longer than anticipated. Doing so told me that I needed to request my Record of Employment from my employer, which I promptly did. My boss told me that he wouldn't change my status or request the ROE until I had my check-up and that if I did not have confirmation before Friday March 14th, I would have to wait another 2-3 weeks for this change to take place. Odd.... Meanwhile, I was playing phone tag with my doctor's office and told that he was out of town and I could either see him in walk-in on the 18th or wait until the 27th to see him. The very next morning, that same office called my mom to set up an appointment for the very days I'd been trying to get in myself. My doctor has proven very difficult to deal with and not very competent and helpful when you actually do get to see him, but this took the cake. Unfortunately, things here are such that if you already have a doctor, you may not go and get a new doctor if there are any accepting patients because too many people in the city have no doctor. It does not matter in the least that most express the opinion that they do not want a doctor. And so, I am forced to keep the one I have and rely on walk-in clinics should I want better treatment than that I have experienced with him.

I went to the clinic with my mother in the hopes to see my doctor through the walk-in or get squeezed in with her as he will sometimes do. They had closed the clinic early and refused to open it for the last half hour despite there being only 3 people waiting and my doctor was supposedly double booked. Needing to see a doctor, we went on a hunt for another clinic after my mother was done with her appointment considering my apparent deadline the next day. I was seen in relatively short order by a very pleasant woman and asked to remove my splint and try moving my wrist so she could see the range of movement. At this point, I had a little and the benefit of stopping as soon as I felt a spike in pain. I was given a prescription of more anti-inflamatories and told not to use it for 2 weeks. She also suggested that I try replacing the splint with a brace for added comfort. A suggestion I jumped on, but knew I was in too much pain to try for at least half a week. So, I bit through the pain as I fired off a message to my boss and ran around town to fill my prescription and buy some braces.

On March 20th, I sent another message to my boss, enquiring about my ROE as it had still not arrived, despite the fact that another pay period had passed. Despite the passage of time, I was as dubious over my check-up as I had been about the prognosis at the ER as the swelling in my wrist and hand had not gone back down since the check-up and neither had the increased pain. Had I been less stubborn and less busy with appointments, be they medical or social, I would have, and should have, gone to see another doctor and had more x-rays done. I'm sure that the bone scan I had scheduled for the 18th did nothing to help decrease the swelling and pain as I had to put on and remove a pair of pants 6 times that day and jostled my arm around many other ways to get through the test. While not quick at getting things done, my boss is at least quick in his replies and assured me that my ROE should be on it's way, but that I may get it the following week due to the Easter holiday and that I should notify him if I still did not have it by the end of the following week; this week.

Had I been able to work, I would have had my pay deposited into my bank account at midnight on Wednesday or Thursday. Being unable to work, I have nothing coming in. As my ROE has still failed to materialize, I do not even know when I can apply to have EI supplement my pay and ensure that I remain able to pay my bills and put food on my table. By all appearances, I will be forced to go downtown to file for EI and have the government force my employer to relinquish my ROE. Trouble I really hoped to avoid going through. It has been nearly one month since I fell. Nearly one month since I have been capable of using my right arm. Nearly one month since I have been able to earn a living. Nearly one month and still no idea when I will be able to work again.

Now, on the 22nd, I had myself in a brace. My fingers needed a lot of slow movement to stretch out the muscles, but I had to settle for massage mostly because the little movement sent pain spiking through my wrist and partway up my arm. Using it was out of the question. But I was able, for the first time, to leave the brace on without any more pain than I experienced in the splint. Until Monday night when I had to take out the trash. Try as I might, I have not figured out how to tie a bag without using the fingers of my right to hold one half steady so that I can tie with the left. It didn't help that my landlord had filled my recycle bin up so that it was both too full and too heavy for me to lift with just my left so that I needed my right to lift it high enough to prop on my hip. I was confused by the feeling of something, yet again, seeming to move painfully in my wrist and was back in the splint as soon as I could get help getting it on.

Thursday, I followed the advice of an old friend I had run into, who looks a lot like the new boss we got in our office, and went to yet another clinic that had an x-ray lab attached. Again, I was seen in relatively short order and met with very friendly faces. I also had the bemusing, and very pleasant, first-time experiebce of being treated by a doctor who sang softly as he worked. In about two and a half hours, I was in, x-rayed, treated, filled a prescription and on the way home, feeling as though I had received much better care and more competent care, than any other doctor I had seen for this injury. It turns out that my wrist had been fractured. Whether or not it is also sprained, I do not know, but, for the first time, I had been told that I most definitely broke it. Lucky for me, it did not appear to be a complete break and seemed to still be in place, so nothing had to be rebroken and set. I was then given the choice between keeping the splint on, or having my arm casted. A quick discussion over the inadequacy of a molded splint held in place by a tensor wrap saw me being wrapped in plaster. The relief in the joint was nearly immediate after the plaster was on and drying. The waves of pain are gone except for the occasional needle of pain when I have my wrist below heart level for too long. The current estimate is that it will be 4 additional weeks and I should be hearing from a clinic dealing specifically in breaks to this area for an appointment.

Saturday, I finally get a reply from my boss about my ROE. This time, my boss wants me to wait until Wednesday, at which point he will get in touch with head office to track it down. I'm sorry, what? I've been off work since March 6th and been trying to get my ROE since March 10th and you want me to wait longer before you do anything about it? Unfortunately, EI takes long enough as it is and I have bills to pay, never mind that I need to eat. What I should have done, I suppose, is go to EI as soon as I was put off the first time and gotten the ball rolling. Now I have to wait for Monday to get it rolling because I sure as hell am not going to wait for my employer to keep dragging it out until I get the okay to return to work. And that's assuming I get the okay before I run out of savings to pay my bills. Perhaps I wouldn't be so angry over this if it were the only way this company tells it's employees that they don't care and to bugger off. Sadly, it's only one of the many areas where they seem to walk a fine line with workplace legalities with less than a handful of cowokers exhibiting even professional courtesy; even less than that displaying respect of others and the belongings of others. My experience with this particular branch of the company keeps getting worse at a nearly exponential rate. I certainly did not expect to be faced with so much delay and hassle to get something the law says employees have a right to request at any time and the employer an obligation to provide.

What I have not yet figured out is how the fracture, which the doctor said was very clearly shown, was so completely missed. Is it due to the fact that they want to move through patients as quickly as possible in the ER and do not take the time to properly look at things? Was it a mix-up with another x-ray? Or did the swelling in my wrist hide it from view? I may never know the answer to that. I do know that I am rather shocked at having gone so long without knowing it was broken and that, by following the advice of the doctor, I may have set my healing back quite a while. It is somewhat disheartening, though not nearly so much as dealing with my employer through all of this has been. And all of this is because of a little slip on some black ice because the city does not take care of the sidewalks. Nor do homeowners bother with it. I often see them clearing the snow in front of their houses so that they do not need to trudge through the snow when the plows neglect to pass through, but only 2 houses along those first 5 blocks had bothered to throw salt on the icy sidewalks in a little one foot square. There is really nothing to be said about it. It has, however, lead to many discoveries and even more questions.



My apologies for my continued long absence from this blog. I have been very busy with my life. I am continuing to piece together my essays, but my time is limited and there are few essays I can post to this blog. I am currently in the process of trying to arrange another bit of space on the web where I will continue to write on a regular basis using a pen name. The reason for all of this is that Mr. Smith knows about this blog and he continues to visit it. I do not wish this man to use my work to further his own goals and do not want to give him anything he can take and claim as his own work as he has done with all the work I did for him and his "organization", SCRI Foundation. To this day, he refuses to give me credit for the work and refuses to give me the payment we agreed upon for that work. There are possibilities of taking him to court over these things, but my time and options remain very limited. So until such a time as I find another space in which to post my work, there is little for me to write in here. I will try to notify everyone of the move and I will be keeping this blog open regardless, it will just be limited to contain those essays that do not pertain to my work and from which Ian has nothing to gain.

I apologize for the inconvenience and the long bouts of silence. I am doing what I can to get this back up and running on a regular basis while protecting my intellectual property from someone who has made clear that he would use it for profit while taking steps to ensure I cannot use it at all.