Featured Post

Thoughts Of Suicide

Confession: March 24th was going to be the end for me. Months with no car, pain, painful treatments, meds screwed up, isolated, low on cash...

Friday, September 19, 2014

I've Lost That Lovin' Feeling for the NFL

I've been betrayed. Well, sort of. Most of it is my fault, of course, but it is still shattering to find out just how wrong I was about "my" NFL. I projected onto players, coaches and refs all sorts of admirable qualities like honesty, integrity, intelligence as well as phenomenal athletic ability. Yes, even refs are above average folks, right?  Have you seen Ed Hochuli's arms?
I loved supporting the guys who'd faced insurmountable odds in college and now were fulfilling their "destiny" in the National Football League. Gave kids around here the idea that maybe--they might be able to overcome the odds they were facing and make it to the pros, too. They could play the game they love, entertain millions, have even more fans, get a lucrative endorsement deal--and buy that house for their mommas! Unfortunately, they have to turn pro to do it.
As a football fan, the domestic abuse survivor in me doesn't seem that interested in the pro players anymore. Owners and coaches, too for that matter. I just decided that no matter how bad the NFL might look to us in the audience, there were a number of unseen entities that ruled the NFL and its employees with an iron fist. Apparently, the only one with a fist resembling iron was Mr. Rice.
I understand "protecting the shield" but to have an owner and management conspire to downplay an assault "their guy" committed so their buddy the commissioner would just give him a two game suspension seems criminal in itself. I bet the conversation sounded like this:
"Oh, Roge, he might've shoved her or something but TO BE FAIR she spit on him and I don't know any man that could take that from anyone. Besides, he's never been violent with me or anyone I know and he is really, really, really sorry. So let's give him a break...we need him to on Sundays!"
Goodell admitted that he had no personal experience with domestic violence and hopefully, neither of his daughters will ever be abused because I doubt he'd ever think much less ask or tolerate anyone asking, "what did you do to make him hit you?"
As for the 49'ers, where I live pregnant women are 'especially protected' by the law meaning no matter what she does--or what you say she did to deserve 'it' the unborn child must be protected above everything else. YOU go to jail. Unfair? Life protecting.
If John Harbaugh really did go to the Ravens 'brass' and ask that Mr. Rice be cut, I apologize for thinking he was part of the problem. At least he tried to do the right thing without hiding behind "due process." He is more of a man than his brother is out in San Francisco.
I have narrowed down the teams I support. #18 and #10 have always been men to admire both on and off the field so they'll still get my money but overall, I'll find better things to do with my money than spend it on jerseys, game tickets and souvenirs at stadiums.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Damn, The NFL is "Exactly Who We Thought They Were"

After this week of horrible publicity for the National Football League, I have to admit I'm not as interested in watching it anymore. I've been disillusioned. It really is just another business dedicated to making money and "protecting the shield." I should've always known that but dammit, I felt involved every time "my teams" played. I supported them in every way I could. Blind loyalty. But because of what we've found out going on behind closed elevator doors and in 'whipping rooms' of a player's home, I've gone from checking a football player's 'stats'  to finding out whether or not he can keep from abusing 'his woman' or his child.
I'm disappointed in myself for thinking a business that promotes a violent game and is dominated by men would even acknowledge an issue like domestic violence much less handle it properly. As a survivor of domestic violence, the NFL is acting exactly like I thought they would in saying things like: "It's between a man and a woman." "That's their personal business." "But he's such a great guy." "He's one of our superstars." "He's done so much for the community." "Did you see what she did to him?" "I'd knock somebody out, too if they spit on me." "We can't take their livelihoods away from them." "He's entitled to 'due process.'" "He's playing today because he is appealing his CONVICTION and we need him on the field!" "African-American men deal with 'their women' differently." "That's just how he was raised." "It's not like the fans or the sponsors will go away." "It will blow over soon enough." "Roger has made us a lot of money...we'll be fine. Besides, this isn't "Bounty-Gate," right?" And "Gotta protect 'the shield' at all costs."
I also heard this:
"If I were #12, I'd keep 'my woman' in her place. She has a job in the public eye, for God's sake--she makes more money than he does! How is a real man supposed to take that day after day after day? Maybe if he'd smack her around now and then, she wouldn't think she's so high and mighty.. He'd better show that b***h who wears the jock in his house." Unfortunately, these comments are not unusual.
As for why there are so few arrests/reports:
When there is a domestic violence call, the responders are mostly male cops. These cops usually never see the victim themselves but are met by the perpetrator who qualifies his actions by using the old "she's drunk,""she's just crazy," "you know how it is with women" and "look guys, she attacked me and I was just trying to keep her from hurting herself...but I'm fine and this is all just a big misunderstanding." Then when the cops leave (with no report filed or arrest made) the perpetrator says something to his victim like, "Cops said  next time you bother them with this s**t they'll take your ass to jail," "see, even the cops think you're crazy," and "They bought my version of what happened."
That's exactly what the NFL did, too. As the Ravens owner said regarding Rice, they "heard what they wanted to hear in the story because they wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt and they loved Ray."
That's how the "men behind the NFL machine" really handle off the field violence and we aren't surprised a bit. Damn.
Just as we thought.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Domestic Violence: Why I Left

A lifetime ago, I was married to the man of my dreams; the first person I ever met at college and my best friend from that day until graduation. We married shortly after graduation and then Real Life started happening.
I worked as an RN while my husband had trouble finding a job. I'd go to work for twelve hours, come home, cook, clean, pay all the bills and 'take care' of my man while he seemed to be getting more and more resentful of me. Female friends told me that I 'didn't need to shove it in his face' that I was the breadwinner and an "occasional insult, push or shove was no big deal." As the insults, pushes and shoves became more frequent, I told myself: He doesn't mean it. He's really a great guy. He's never been like this before. I'm not the easiest person to live with anyway and no man wants to live off 'his woman.' Besides, it's not like he's ever punched me.
That all changed one Sunday morning.
I came home that morning from the night shift to find 'him' seated at the kitchen table wanting 'his breakfast.' I went back to the living room for something and 'he' came in there, pushed me onto the couch, grabbed me by my ears tearing the left one off and banged my head against the wall. He hit me on the left side of my head rupturing my eardrum then punched me in the face breaking my jaw. He said things like, "If you knew how to do anything right, I wouldn't have to do this." "You think you're better than me because you have a job." Then, "Yeah, you WOULD have to go and bleed, wouldn't you! Now I have to take you to the hospital."
He drove me to the hospital I had left just a couple of hours before, telling me why I'd made him do what he'd done to me the entire way. I decided right then I was leaving him no matter what. If I went back to him after this--he'd kill me next time and Life is too short for this.
He walked me to the ER and told the admissions clerk (who kind of recognized me but wasn't sure), "She fell." I said as best I could, "He did this to me." "That doesn't matter, " he said, "she needs help."
The staff separated us, took me to a trauma room and began treating me. I told them I wanted to press charges so I spent quite a while having all my injuries photographed as evidence by the police and giving statements. At that time, it was rare for a wife to press charges against her husband and domestic violence wasn't a term yet. It was considered a "private matter between spouses."
I pressed charges, he went to jail, I divorced him and never saw him again. I went thru some post-traumatic stress disorder but the only things that remain are a few scars that have nothing to do with the wonderful life I have made for myself. But I was lucky. I had a career, money, no children by him and above all choices. Very few victims of domestic violence have real choices. For some, all they have is hope...hope that 'he' will change...and the hope that things will get better. Unfortunately, in these situations hope can get you killed.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

My Breast Cancer 'Support' Experience and the Nursing Shortage

Diagnosed with breast cancer 6/20/14.
Double mastectomy 7/7/14.
1st chemo 8/11/14.
Hospitalized with Cellulitis in area where  right breast was removed from8/24 to 8/28.

 I bought into the 'hype' about the resources, support and 'pink ribbons' available to women with breast cancer so I am hope I am that "rare case" of disappointment/disillusionment. and the woman they mean when someone inevitably says ,"We can't take care of everyone....there's always a 'few' that fall thru the cracks."
 Booklets/resource material I've received in the mail are great and have the latest general information/guidelines available. I read in a booklet about how "breast cancer can be devastating but you will not be alone," I take comfort in that. When I read, "the doctors and nurses will treat you as an 'entire' person--not just your breast cancer,"I take comfort in that too. But my personal experience has been my doctors just treated my "body part' with no interest in the rest of me. Reality? Not many nurses on the surgical floor I was on. Hire More Nurses!
 Hire more nurses if for nothing but public relations because the things I read in my booklets I expected to happen neither did nor were offered or at least be offered! Hire More Nurses.
This particular hospital's had a sheet of paper in my room that read: "You will be visited by one of your caregivers" then in all caps: "EVERY HOUR from 6a to 10p and EVERY 2 HOURS from 10p to 6a." Never happened. Couldn't have. The nurse to patient ratio on that particular floor is dangerous. Answer? Hire More Nurses!
As for the "we treat the entire person," I took that bait, too. I assumed they'd take my chemo into consideration--what do they say about "when you assume"? Exactly!
My surgeon was "supposed to know" the particular chemo drugs I received on the 11th, were still in me and their particular side effects continue for 28 days or more. Of course my hospitalization would coincide with my "3rd week past chemo." I have all the luck.
Had he factored in my "entire person" he would've seen my "chemo-combo" raised blood sugar, caused  mouth sores, nausea and a touch of 'chemo brain,' and not ordered the fingersticks, sliding scale insulin, fluid restriction and a regular-yes, regular diet! How the hell was I supposed to eat? The very smell of food made me sick! Any halfway decent GN, LPN or RN would've looked at my "chart" seen my chemo was just 13 days "prior to admission" and individualized my care throughout my hospital stay.
 At no time did any caregiver check me every hour from 6a to 10p and every two hours as "promised." Realistically, IMPOSSIBLE! The skeleton crew worked the 6a shift and even less worked the 10p one! Hire more nurses! They will solve all of this!
It "got out" that I was a nurse so instantly, I turned into a 'self-care patient.' Rarely saw anyone. I got the old "You're a nurse so you know how it is." I do know 'how it is and what the minimum care is for a surgical patient with chemo "on board." Nurses do, too. Hire More Nurses!
My son brought my laptop to me. Hospital internet access made me feel less isolated. Didn't all the booklets tell me I'd never 'go it alone'? Trying to get some of the things I read I "could expect as a woman with breast cancer" probably got me labelled as a "horrible patient," and with the 'skeleton crew' this floor had I wouldn't blame them at all! Solution? HIRE MORE NURSES!!!!!!!!!!!