Friday, December 16, 2016

Breaks in the flow

   More and more, I find myself griping about getting older, saying that I don’t like it.  I guess this shouldn’t be a surprise, since, at 56, I am no longer young, and this will be more the case.  What I tend to gripe about is being more fatigued, most likely more noticeable living with a severe disability, which takes considerable energy.  I also don’t like it that I’m having more health issues, whether they come from getting older or my Cerebral Palsy or, most likely, some combination thereof. I’ve realized I’ve been quite lucky in not having many such problems for so many years.   
   Back in September, I posted about “getting my penis back” when an internal catheter was removed after an incident of urinary retention, in which I felt no urge to and couldn’t pee.  This was the third time in 16 years that it happened.  It was a rare, bizarre thing that any urologist I saw couldn’t explain. 
   Well, I spoke too soon.  Less than a week later, I was eating my words and wasn’t urinating and had to go to the E.R and be catheterized, a traumatic and quite painful experience, as I detail in my September post.  This was most alarming, not only because of this but also because it happening just a month instead of years later meant it could happen at any time.  I couldn’t deal with this. 
   I had a real dilemma.  On the one hand, I didn’t want to worry about not peeing and then having to go through the experience of having a catheter inserted. On the other hand, having the catheter in is inconvenient, involving some more care and work, but it also means I can’t engage in any sexual activity, at least in a pleasurable way involving my penis.  It’s no fun when it hurts to have a hard-on! 
   I still have a catheter in.  Ugh!  No wonder I’ve been grumpy – as if the election wasn’t enough.  The urologist I’ve been seeing agreed with me that the retention is likely related to my C.P – a muscle spasm? – and referred me to a neuro-urologist at the USC/County hospital that I’m seeing.  I feel hopeful that he can find out what’s going on and how I can both not worry about peeing and have my penis back, so to speak, even as I’m nervous about going back next month for a scary sounding test involving tiny sensors. 
   No, I don’t like this getting older shit.  Then again, when I had the catheter replaced yesterday – they shouldn’t be in for more than a month – it didn’t hurt as much as before! 
   Perhaps in the spirit of getting older as well as the holidays, I’m taking a long winter’s nap.  I plan to resume posting by late January.    

Friday, December 2, 2016

Not time to go away

    It might not be time to celebrate, but now is the time to get out and strut our stuff.  Now is certainly not the time to go away and hide. 
   I certainly feel like going away and hiding, now that Donald Trump will become our president next month, now that he is picking his cabinet members and it becomes evident that he intends to undo most if not all of President Obama has accomplished (health insurance, environmental protections, climate change, consumer protection, etc.). And that’s just the start. 
   Yes, this is a tough time for Democrats and all who value fairness and justice.  Not to mention the truth, with the way Trump and his supporters rely on “facts” and “news” that clearly are not news and facts.  (And will Trump be president on Twitter and YouTube videos, not doing press conferences and interviews, where he can be questioned and held accountable?) It is very understandable that many of us are licking our wounds and feeling like giving up.
   It is hard to make sense of what is going on.  I had a hard time hearing Dolly Parton talking about remembering the Christmas season’s message of peace and love, when no doubt the majority of her fans voted for Trump, based on fear and anger.
   No wonder many of us feel hopeless and like going away and hiding.  No wonder there is talk in California, which voted overwhelmingly Democratic, of seceding from the Union. 
   But, for years, the people in the rural, northern inland part of the state, who voted for Trump and have felt ignored in Sacramento, have talked of breaking away from California into the State of Jefferson.  
   Those of us who feel like giving up and going away need to keep this in mind.  The State of Jefferson folks felt ignored and grumbled for years, and now, for better or worse, they have been heard. 
   We need to grumble now.  But that doesn’t mean going off into a corner and sit and grumble and whine.  No, we need to get up and make our grumbling heard.  And seen. This doesn’t mean sitting in the corner, and it definitely doesn’t mean whining.  Grumbling doesn’t mean whining. 
   For me, it means getting out even more, like I’m not supposed to do, being disabled. Not only that, but it means that, now more than ever, I need to get out with all my peace signs and rainbows and bright, true colors.  Now is the time to get out there all the more  in my pink overalls and my tie-dye. 
   Of course, wearing peace signs and tie-dye won’t accomplish what needs to be accomplished.  That’s certainly not what I’m saying.  But we should be heard and seen, loudly and clearly, in all our different, bright, true colors.  Or, more to the point, we shouldn’t be afraid to get out and be seen and heard. 
   Just like Trump’s supporters did. 
   And, besides, our tie-dye and pink overalls and rainbow peace signs are beautiful, prettier, more hopeful.  There was a quote recently in the Los Angeles Times from a man in San Francisco who, like almost everyone in the city, was upset about Trump’s victory: “When you are so angry, and you feel like doing something negative, the best cure is to do something positive.” He was applying adhesive tape to the multicolored sticky notes on which people had written messages after the election (“Discrimination is sin,” “Pray,” “Don’t lose hope”) and left on a subway wall.  The guy wanted to make sure the messages won’t fall off or get blown away.