Listen: Soft, Quieter Voices Need To Be Heard Too

Guy Fawkes 2006

Guy Fawkes 2006 (Photo credit: Max xx)

My friend’s voice is soft, she is not a leader but a follower, I have no problem with this but some of my more straight-shooter, take control friends might. They have dominant voices, sit in attendance at board meetings, screaming, making a loud fuss about things that are important to them. Quiet people can’t or won’t do that but they still have their opinions. Louder people yell sometimes so that they don’t hear the soft voices in the background because nobody wants to speak over them.

Why should they? When they start to softly voice their concerns sometimes they feel berated. “Anyone who is scared to stand up for what they believe in is a scaredy-cat” loosely paraphrased someone said. Exhibit A. That, my friend, is a judgment, name calling.  Softer voices have opinions too but are not as equipped as some of the more confident, take charge people to talk at meetings, to make a fuss but their opinions, sometimes silently, count too. They also vote. Some people shy away from conflict, this is not a judgment call, I would call it a style.

Where am I in all this? Straight down the middle like a true Libra. Balancing each side, over and over again. Quietly. Making a huge fuss when it is important to me.  Family. Family. Family.

When my daughter was young she hid behind me and if she was shy or afraid, she would place her arms in the air in front of me and say “Up, Up” and I would lift her up and feel her body instantly relaxing against mine. Our son, the first-born,always bossed people around, he still does.  Our daughter had planned her birthday parties years in advance and stuck to each theme, always wanted to see her cake beforehand and read the last page of every book before she decided to read it. Our son loved the element of surprise, he had to be the good guy and I was always the bad guy and left rooms always trying to have the last word, saying “No more conversations, no new conversations.” Two adult children, two very different styles. I love them equally.

It took me a long time for me to find my voice, as a second child with an older sister who was very strong and bossy, (Some other people would call it overbearing.) When I was young I was shy, bashful so I can truly understand both sides. As soon as my sister went to college I found my voice and it was dramatic and beautiful and real.

Listen. Try silencing your voice and make people feel safe and don’t criticize them automatically for their fear or reluctance, I know you do it, you know it too. Not everyone is like you, though, the world is not made of people as strong as you. They need their own voices to be heard, in their own way. Sometimes with care, sometimes written, or spoken in whispers to friends who are willing to take the time to listen and not judge.

Whether you outright say it or not, people feel your judgment straight from your body to theirs, not all judgment is verbal, of course. You can feel it from someone’s eyes  or body language.  I will not judge you for hushed tones like a sleepy mouse, I will applaud you if anxiety  enabled you to speak softly about it in the first place.  We’re all just different in how we express things. Let’s try to play together, without judgment or criticism. The point is, everyone, in their own way, is entitled to be heard.

candle, candle in glass

candle, candle in glass (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dedicated to my good friend, D.E.G.

for getting the conversation started.

(credit to above named photographers)

Do over (Friday Wrap Up)

English:

English: (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do over. Can I call do over? Because this entire past week, has been downright miserable. Medical tests, doctors appointments, dizziness, nausea, balance tests from hell and condescending (male) doctors. I thought it was all over and  I was safe last night but then my dog projectile vomited yellow stuff all over the white wall. I prided myself on having two kids that had never done that, now, my dog?  After having children, you know when something is up or about to be up chucked. Ugh.

I write about food and my love for food and strange combinations. How did I rescue a puppy from the shelter with the same feelings about food? Heads up to the “nurture” theory, I swear she gets so excited at mealtime that she throws up in anticipation. Leave it to us to have a dog with food issues and who is an actually dog “foodie.”

Tonight, I thought ahead, I gave her a third of a cup of dog food before dinner just to calm her down and will give her the rest of her meal later. I also soak her meal in warm water so her delicate stomach can absorb the food. If it happens again, I’ll call the vet and see if there is an anti-acid that I can give her to stop this anticipatory reaction. Oh dear, the dog is just like me “nature” I too have anticipatory anxiety at times. Win-Win!

Unfortunately, I can no longer take the dog out for walks unless I am with my husband. Lexi is so strong, all muscle that she will literally pull me down in two seconds flat. She doesn’t mean to do anything wrong but she is incredibly muscular. I, however, have no balance and it’s gotten worse. Using a pink cane is not exactly an asset while walking an elephant strength, red-haired, adorable, short-haired mutt around the block. Please, no more advice, we have every collar, leash, zapper that is known in the animal kingdom, she defies all odds. Four well-respected dog trainers have admitted that. We are focusing on love, her better quality. She’s a sly, slick dog, that is so stubborn she makes me seem like a pussy willow.

Now, she does look like an angel lying down on my bed next to me. Not only does she keep me company if she knows I am feeling weak or tired, her head or her side, some part of her is always leaning in to me, always touching but with strength. With the kids in college it’s nice to have my dog home with me, she protects me and loves me. She barks like an attack dog if someone even passes in the street outside.

The last day of the week is warm and beautiful. The late afternoon sun is shining on the yellow-orange leaves, it is quiet. I’m hoping tonight will be the end of this past horrific week. Next week already has its own scheduled appointments and tests so we start anew. A dear friend of mine called me “awesome” but there really is nothing awesome about me. We all do what we have to do, we don’t have a choice, here, on my blog, is where I can think out loud, complain, where people understand me. There is nothing more I can do, except looking at alternative health care, meditating and continuing on, step by step, day after day. To me, there is no other choice.

Yellow Magic Madness #37: TAXI !!!!!!!!

Photo credits to the photographers mentioned below:

VAZ-2101 modified into a taxi limousine, in Tr...

VAZ-2101 modified into a taxi limousine, in Trinidad, Cuba (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Taxis

Taxis (Photo credit: Joe Shlabotnik)

The famous yellow taxicabs of New York City.

The famous yellow taxicabs of New York City. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Retro Checkered New York Yellow Taxi in Greenp...

Retro Checkered New York Yellow Taxi in Greenpoint, Brooklyn (Photo credit: ChrisGoldNY)

The Measure Of Time

English: Woman undergoing a mammogram of the r...

English: Woman undergoing a mammogram of the right breast (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some people measure how quickly time goes by with the start of a new year, January 1st, others by  their birthday, or the start of school. I measure how quickly the year goes by at my annual mammogram appointment, where I sit in that same musty, intolerable room, sweating with the other women, waiting for our names to be called.

I am not the measure of confidence, breezy, smiling with designer shoes and handbag when I go in but I admire the women who seem to be that way. Count me out. I go, this time with soft, well-worn gray pants, and a loose striped shirt, my hair in two short pig-tails to get it away from my face, my face showing fear and anxiety. The day before this I had a grueling day at The Balance Center so I thought, perhaps, I could catch a break today. Yeah, right.

They call my name rather quickly and for that I am grateful, I have a friendly technician who realizes I have lost weight, by the size of my breasts? Whatever. She finishes the films and I sit down and wait for my name to be called, imagining my relieved smile, walking out the door, perhaps celebrating with a pumpkin spiced latte from Starbucks. No such luck.

After waiting another fifteen minutes, they call my name again and I proceed to the doctor but unfortunately that is not where they want me to go. Another technician tells me the doctor wants a repeat of some of the films, actually of my right breast and my heart plummets to my feet. I feel weak so I try to hang on to the bar on top of the machine and I try to ask  the technician questions but she gives me no answers. I am already trying to accept my fate and think of myself categorically planning the next step. Why me? Why not me? No one is exempt from this horrible disease, I don’t have any lucky charm or special karma, it’s really a number’s game, isn’t it?

The free pink pens and pink peppermints on the table don’t do much to help my nerves or anyone else’s, I don’t see many people taking the free samples. I take a pen and pop a peppermint in my mouth for the sugar. After another twenty minutes, yet again, a different technician calls my name and I steel myself for the news of the radiologist good or bad, I will be strong, I will cope, not that I have a choice.

Instead of seeing the radiologist, this technician whisks me into the ultra-sound room and focuses heavily on my right breast. I’m not an idiot, the doctor wanted extra pictures of my right breast and the technician is spending 80 percent of her time trying to get clear pictures of my right breast. I timidly ask politely from the technician if there is anything she can tell me. Cool as a cucumber, she says, somewhat haughtily, “the doctor will tell you the results” she looks like she’s 15 and I know it’s her job but again, patient sensitivity is sorely lacking.

She tells me NOT to get dressed (not a good sign, I think) and she will show this to the doctor. I get dressed anyway. After ten minutes she comes in and says she will take me to the doctor. I don’t remember walking there, I just remember being there. Inside a jovial sounding man who I can now image only as Owen Hunt from “Grey’s Anatomy” says “take a seat.” I remain standing because I cannot move. He said ‘you’re fine.” “What?” I ask? He repeats  in a casual, breezy tone, ” you’re fine.” I find my voice and say “what about all the extra pictures and the ultra sound and the emphasis on the right breast?” He leans back in his chair and laughs, “Oh, you have a lymph node there but you’ve had the same one for the last ten years, nothing to worry about. Come on now, not even a smile?” I just stare. Once again, he asks “can I just have one smile before you leave?” I turn my back, and walk quietly out the door.

I’m still in shock but I am grateful.

ramblings from a tired, overwhelmed dizzy girl

Brain scanning technology is quickly approachi...

Brain scanning technology is quickly approaching levels of detail that will have serious implications (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

i’ve hunkered down, too tired, overwhelmed to care about anything, just want to lie down quietly and recover. recover just from the world of medicine and tests and bad vibrations all around me and doctors who make me cry and don’t even acknowledge it because they frankly don’t care, it’s not their job. i thought the younger doctors had been taught differently but no, not yet. sad statement for people in the medical world, in my medical world. i’m tired, so tired that my arms can barely reach the keyboards and my fingers click the keyboard automatically.

i still live in fear of the balance test i had two days ago, alone in this capsule-like, completely dark, dark what? it wasn’t a room or a cubicle it was literally like a big capsule whose black door slid open until you were seated belted in and then everything was completely black. you could hear a woman’s voice telling you what to do, to focus on the red lines or the black keys or the white keys as i was tilted and spun like the nightmare of a scary amusement park that i shy away from. this was one living nightmare and mere will to figure out this problem and self control made me complete that test, it lasted at least over an hour and then it spun me quickly and i had to hold my stomach in order not to get sick. that was just the first part.

there was one lucid thought that popped into my brain that said being imbalalnced and using a pink cane is better than what i was being subjected too but i couldn’t stop and start the test, it had to be done all at once. so after the darkened, claustrophobic capsule i was led by the arm to another room where i could lie down with heavy glasses on my face and again, the room was pitch black. again i had to follow red dots, first slowly than quickly and talk to the tester to keep my brain active and say things like a boys name that starts with v is victor, a boys name that starts with b is bob, a boy’s name that starts with g is glen…you get the idea. more darkness, a different position, i had to fall back, the trust game and i did not trust have learned not to trust any physican but again, i was stuck so here i was in the darkened room having to quickly twist my neck, first left and then right, feeling my muscles tense and then flop on my back trusting nobody but not having a choice.

my only strength coming from the fact that i need to find out where my imbalance is coming from, so i can get rid of the cane and feel more confident and i am sure they will suggest occupational or physical therapy after they get the results of the cat scan or mri or whatever they are scanning my brain, once again, and i will be tempted not to go to the place, which immediately as you arrive, smells like an old hospital smell which turns me off, and flips my stomach over immediately.

i can’t go on like this.

A Kinder, Gentler, Simon Cowell? (Pop Cop)

English: Simon Cowell at the National Televisi...

English: Simon Cowell at the National Television Awards at the Royal Albert Hall, London, October 2006. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I can’t honestly say for sure but in my gut I’m sensing a kinder, gentler, Simon Cowell just from watching episodes of The X Factor. Could that be possible true or is it my imagination? First of all I love the show and as critical as Simon is, he’s gained a tender, playful side to him that I’ve never seen before. He even referenced that he was going to be a father, unless I didn’t hear correctly?  He did say something to that effect, didn’t he? I believe he did.

He seems to still tell the truth but on a “not-so-nasty-shove-it-in-your-face-twist-the-knife-kind-of-way.” He genuinely smiles now. He’s not half as snarky as he used to be. Someone tell me I’m not dreaming because it seems so surreal. If Simon Cowell can actually look tender, there is hope for the world, right? Stranger things have happened.

Whoever his lovely lady-friend is, Ms. Lauren Silverman, I say “Congratulations” you must be a very special woman. I don’t care about the specifics of your relationship or the behind the scene interactions that’s your business and not mine and I am not one to judge. Just watching Simon smile and fool around with the other judges makes me grin foolishly. How silly, I don’t even remotely know this man yet I am happy for him, I really am.

He seems grounded now, he doesn’t need to talk about himself all the time, he has a lady-love and a baby on the way. Who would have thought of Simon as a family man? Simon, I am happy for you and you will never know who I am but that doesn’t matter. It makes ME smile to see the way your eyes crinkle now in laughter, to see you laugh at yourself and have fun. Mazel tov, you will be a great dad.

Who knew?

The X Factor (Australia)

The X Factor (Australia) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am sick, I am not sick, I am

Pain #TP637

Pain #TP637 (Photo credit: ConnectIrmeli)

I am not sick. I am. I am sick if I feel pain, pain hurts. Sick is pain, not bumping up against walls and tremors. So, I am not sick. Not now. Not yet. You did hear me, right? I am not sick. What happens when invisible illness become visible? When a pink cane accompanies me everywhere? I am not invisible anymore. People see me and give it a thought, “oh, there’s something wrong with HER, I wonder what it is.”

I think the same thing, flatly, without terror, at least today. What IS wrong with me. I have shut down for the most part and if I could stay in bed in my white-flowered pajamas, thin and comfortable, I would do that all day and night. I can’t. My kids are home today for a visit and as most parents know, I would do anything not to scare them or put them through any unnecessary concern.

I am unbalanced, imbalanced. I cannot walk a straight line. My neurologist was cavalier the first time he saw this, in fact he ignored it. Why would he ignore something as strange as that? Maybe because he ran over his 8 minute limit.  I don’t like him. I don’t like a doctor who does not acknowledge emotion, who pretends it is not there. I need to switch. He didn’t want to give me this second MRI but my” huggable rheumatologist” insisted. He is a doctor I respect. A person that you can be proud to call your doctor.

I need a favor, I have asked a friend and she can’t do it. I have asked another friend and I haven’t heard back. I hate asking for favors. Do I ask again or just call a cab? I’m too tired to even make this decision. My room is disgustingly disorganized and I don’t have the energy to clean it but I will try for ten minutes. There is a banana bread in the oven baking for my son for his 24 hour visit, I would have crawled to make that for him, I had to lean on counters but I did it. I just hope I don’t burn it since I am lying down upstairs.

I’m getting very tired. Tired of tests, tired of illnesses, tired of sickness upon sickness piling up on me. This blog is the friend I can always talk to. I do not tell my mother half of what is going on because I don’t want her to worry. Here, I can say anything, I am not seeking pity, just a few minutes of peace of mind. It generally doesn’t work but I give it a try. I have nothing to lose. I cannot hide because I am here, just because I don’t complain does not mean I don’t hurt.

photograph credit to the noted photographer above.

no rights.

Plinky Prompt: Good News, How Do YOU Celebrate? (Food Pop)

  • English: A shrimp cocktail.

    English: A shrimp cocktail. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • You receive some wonderful, improbable, hoped-for good news. How do you celebrate? See all answers
  • Celebrate good times
  • Food, Glorious Food. Always Food. If I had to drink I’d have half of one very weak Amaretto Sour, which I learned about from my college age kids.I would then quickly change to cranberry-pineapple juice. Several, no ice, please. But, celebration and happiness go hand in hand with a really good meal with my family at a fabulous restaurant.

    Some of the choices would be:

    Hot French Dinner Rolls, with (Soft) Butter

    Appetizers: Shrimp Cocktail (the shrimp is just a vehicle for the cocktail sauce) salad, small but entertaining with many ingredients i(.e. raisins, avocado, cheese, fresh tomatoes,) creamy leek soup, crunchy lamb spring rolls with a yogurt dill sauce. All of the above.

    Entrée:
    Beef Wellington
    Filet Mignon
    Chicken (the one with the fresh lemon sauce and capers)
    Lobster (out of the shell, grilled, buttered with cream sauce if or plain.

    Side orders of:
    Rice, Grilled Asparagus, glazed carrots, roasted baby brussel sprouts with carmelized onions, creamed spinach

    Dessert:
    Chocolate layer cake (Hazelnut mousse inside)
    Blueberry and almond bread pudding, marzipan
    Vanilla/almond cake
    Vanilla/Chocolate ice cream
    Fresh berries in season (ha ha ha)

  • Oh, and the meal is free. Congratulations to me.
  • English: chocolate-hazelnut mousse cake

    English: chocolate-hazelnut mousse cake (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Plinky Prompt: Time Stands Still But You Can Change One Thing

  • Field of Daffodils with an old barn in the bac...

    Field of Daffodils with an old barn in the background. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    For a moment today, time stands still — but you can tweak one thing while it’s stopped. What do you do? See all answers

  • Standstill
  • I would turn back time, not for very long, just a few months. Instead of Winter approaching, I want it to be Spring again. I want to see luscious green grass with fields of daffodils waving their thin yellow arms to greet the sun. I would take out my sandals and head to the beach, walk outside, sit on a bench and people watch. It’s definitely the official day of ice cream. Soft serve, vanilla with rainbow-colored sprinkles. Nothing could be better than that…