Gratitude Sunday: Accepting Blame

Gratitude * Sunday

Quote of the Week – “A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.” John Steinbeck

Sunday Haiku
Heavy lilac spears
scent my yard; when cut, fragrance
my living spaces.

Sunday Musings
Do you own your mistakes? Do you admit when you are wrong? Do you apologize and try to make amends? Do you find yourself being blamed for stuff that isn’t your fault and then blaming yourself thinking maybe it was your fault?

I am really good at owning my mistakes. I make plenty of them. Failing is how we learn, if we bother to be attuned to the lesson. Some folks don’t learn, but that’s not me. Still, while I might not repeat the mistakes I’ve made before, I continue to make new errors. It’s like a Human Resources person at my last place of employment said to me when I congratulated him on moving his career forward with a new job. He called me a “diamond in the rough.” I was a little offended, but he’s entitled to his opinion. I see his point: I may be a bright and shining jewel on the inside, but outside I am not polished, conventional, or smooth. I am opinionated and plainspoken, or I am so politically correct you might not get my point, and while I may sometimes be tactful (to the point of missing the point), I can lack finesse. You may not like my grimaced smile, my resting bitch face, my wild fat body, my informed but radical opinions, or my mouthy attitude, but I am myself, and what you see is what you get.

There comes a point, however, when it isn’t about me owning my mistakes. As my therapist reminds me, sometimes it might not be about me at all; it might be about the weirdness of other people and has nothing whatsoever to do with me.

An example could be my being fat. It is my body, that thing that carries my brain through life. It eats and evacuates, and breathes and blinks, and cries and hugs other people for me. It is what it is. To borrow a phrase from Roxane Gay (one of my favorite contemporary authors) I have an unruly body. I have spent many years on the journey toward feeling better and better health. I don’t smoke, I don’t drink. Over the years I have lost 30 pounds and gained back 40 so many times my metabolism no longer functions optimally. I have learned I can control what I put into my mouth and how much exercise I take. I have also learned I cannot control what the cells and functions of my body do with all that nutrition and movement.

Stress is a big culprit in those functions of storing fat; when your body is constantly under attack mentally and emotionally the physical parts get confused and don’t know how to perform. Well, it does know how to perform in its own way, but the constant onslaught of adrenaline, even at low levels, and the countering equalizer of cortisol confuses normal metabolic processes. Additional physical stressors, such as silver-mercury amalgam fillings in your teeth, are just another assault the body must fight. There are many recommendations for “controlling” stress, but like controlling fat, I think these methods of “control” are only minimally successful for some, even most, people.

Doctors don’t want to admit to the dangers of some of the procedures they use. They won’t admit, for example, the ill effects of silver-mercury amalgams are the effects of the neuro-toxicity of heavy metal poisoning. Sounds scary doesn’t it? Because it sounds so scary, doctors and dentists will label you as “allergic” to mercury. Nobody is allergic to heavy metals, but foreign elements introduced into the body often create reactions. The body does not manufacture heavy metals, nor is is an essential nutrient.

I recently had an MRI with contrast dye injection. The contrast dye element was a surprise, not mentioned by the doctor who ordered the test and introduced at the last minute by the radiologists who were forceful about what procedure they wanted to do. Informed consent was vague, murky at best; I wasn’t even informed what I was consenting to and done at the last minute like that I had no time to do my own research. I informed the test givers I have bad and weird reactions to pharmaceuticals and drugs in my body. They wanted to do what they wanted. Contrast dyes are made of heavy metals; heavy metals are neuro-toxins, i.e., poison for brain cells. Heavy metals placed in the body for whatever reason is effectively poisoning via physician.

When one has a poor medical reaction, one is often dismissed with pat phrases such as “That’s not supposed to happen” or “I’ve never heard of that reaction before” or “A reaction is really rare”. Nonetheless, I am sitting here, in front of you, reporting my personal experience, and you, the professional, are discounting what you are being told or even what you see before your very eyes. That takes my experience, what I own, and turns it into yours, and you should own it.

The 8 hour migraine I endured after the dye injection and the more or less constant headache I have had since that MRI is discounted. My doctor had never had a patient report ill effects from a contrast dye injection and called it a rare reaction. I requested she do her homework, and explained I thought the reaction is more common than thought because doctors don’t want to admit they might be complicit in causing patients ill health and often the after effects come at a later time and are not automatically connected to whatever procedure caused them. It happens: doctors are not perfect, nor is medicine a perfect science.

**Here’s your new word for the day: iatrogenic, which means physician induced. I did not do this to myself.**

Even worse, she tried to blame my body’s reaction to a heavy metal neuro-toxin on my fat. I can’t tell you how many owies and illnesses have been blamed on my fat, as if it were something I could control. Doctors have said my migraines, ingrown toenails, skin tags, sinus infections, kidney stones, vertigo, and clumsiness and uncoordination were all caused by my fat. How is it slender people get migraines and ingrown toenails and vertigo if fat causes them?

I own my body. It is fat. I own my brain. It has moments of intelligence. I also get to own my reactions to medicine and medical procedures, because it is what happens to my body and brain. Doctors aren’t all-knowing god-like; medicine is not an undisputed science, it is ever expanding following new discoveries, which means doctors have to continually educate themselves. They make their best educated guess depending on the physical evidence reported to them. They aren’t always right, though they are taught to think they are. The medical community should own its responsibility in the health of its patients, not necessarily to the point of litigation but at least to the point of fully informed consent and support for the patient, and not to the point of blaming the patient, especially the fat patient, for their reactions to the guesses of the medical community, just as I own my own mistakes.

Color Watch
– colorful attractions in my neighborhoods this week – The brilliant orange of Oriental poppies. Pink dogwood sprayed out against a blue sky. Fat purple spears on a lilac bush. Bunches of purple blossoms make scented lilac spears.

Current View – {These are only my opinions about movies and books, but don’t let me stop you from trying these reviewed items yourself; your opinion may differ.} Jules et Jim (1962, not rated), a black and white art movie directed by François Truffaut, this French language movie is about a love triangle. Thank goodness for English subtitles as my French isn’t that good. And boy, how colors pop on the TV after two hours of black and white. * All The Money In the World (2017, rated R) about the kidnapping of John Paul Getty III, which was a big deal in my history. Paul was only a few years younger than me, and this happened not long after I graduated from high school. It was one of the first times I realized money meant nothing if you couldn’t take care of other people when his grandfather delayed paying ransom, and though young Paul was rescued, he came back irrevocably damaged. And reality check for me, though I know the teaching of history is lacking these days and has been for many years, when the son asked what movie I was watching, and I explained about the main players, he was clueless, had never even heard the name J Paul Getty, a name that used to be a household word for “wealthy”. I’m at the lowest end of the income spectrum, but I absolutely know the responsibility of vast amounts of money brings its own challenges.

Currently Reading13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl (2016, fiction short stories) by Mona Awad. This was a fast read and I loved how the stories read together like a novel, but was definitely a series of vignettes. Ms Awad totally pegs the fat woman’s experience with clothing. I enjoyed this author’s writing style and would recommend for summer reading. * I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer (2018, true crime) by Michelle McNamara. I have loved true crime writers since I was a teenager. They are often the reason a crime gets solved. Ms McNamara spent most of the end of her life working on this book, and I feel fortunate to get it from my local lending library at a time when the authorities think they have found this criminal. I hope I can get it read before it is due back as there is a long queue for it, and I expect the line to get even longer now. True crime often renders me glued to the couch trying to solve the mystery.

This week I have been grateful for:

  • The tenacity of true crime writers.
  • Patiently enduring iatrogenic headaches.
  • Being able to lie down as needed, instead of having to work through or with a headache.
  • Watching a neighbor cut down a tree in our adjoining back yards in a manner I thought for sure would have a bad result, (hubster and me watching Gladys Kravitz style through the back bedroom window, with phone in hand to call 911 if needed, and for a brief second the tree was falling straight toward my house then fell inches short of the fence dividing our properties) that turned out OK in the end. No damage to neighbor, fence, my house, or his house, and no 911 call.
  • Listening to the crow scream at the neighbor for cutting down his tree.
  • Wild swaths of bright California poppies with their particular shade of orange blooming next to the roads and highways.
  • The lilacs are here!
  • The hubster bringing me the first vase full of cut lilacs of the season to scent my work desk.
  • How a handful of lilacs can scent the whole house.
  • Next week marks the beginning of farmers market season in my little burg. Looking forward to a bag of fresh greens.
  • Water.

Hoping you have a lovely week.

Namaste. Peace. Blessings.

Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch

This entry was posted in abundance, Aging, Education, GRATITUDE, Grief, Health, History, Medicine, Nature, Nutrition, Photography, Poetry, Science and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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