Monday, June 21, 2010

Diva Dis, Diva Dat.

Emma's Grade School "graduation" was today. They have a lovely ceremony for the now middle schoolers, where they call each one to the front, present them with a certificate, and then let the parents take pictures of each class. It's age-appropriate.
Emma sat with her 'mainstream' class - she shares time between regular class and a special ed class - and clapped happily for all of the announcements and for her classmates as they were introduced. Then came the announcement  - "Emma Goble!". She immediately put her hands to her face, and started to cry.
Now, my little Diva rarely shuns the spotlight, but this, apparently, was just too much for her. I don't know if it was her runny nose, or if she just hadn't been properly introduced (I was told that there was a run-through where she'd done 'just great'), but she wasn't going to leave her chair. My expectation was that she was going to take her sweet time getting to the podium, like Meryl Streep, stopping to thank all the little people on the way. . .
The principal - who is a Wonderful Man, hardly skipped a beat. He said to the teacher, "We'll go to her," and they came down the steps of the stage and handed her her certificate. Applause. Ceremony continued.
I reached her a few moments later, and she perked up when she saw me. I put my arm around her and tried to prompt her to go up on stage, but she'd just pull my arm tighter around her. Let the rest of them stand up there. We were together in that crowded, noisy auditorium, and the rest of it didn't matter.
So, I don't have any pictures of her 'graduating'. Here's a snapshot apre~cake; chocolate cake is always good for celebrating.

You just never know what Emma's going to do; know that she's going to do it her way.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Beta Tester

I’ve discovered something.
I’ve been taking medicine to control high blood pressure since 1993. Over time, it gets higher, prescriptions change, side effects occur, weight is gained, lost, and regained, you know – the beginning of the slippery slope on the downward turn of the circle of life thing. I’m given a particular mix, sent off with sample bottles, and it takes 3-5 weeks to see if A> it has the required effectiveness (the Doc’s agenda), and B> it doesn’t make me sick, sleepy, not at all sleepy, and/or scream its' way through the synapses of my brain all day(my particular agenda). Sometimes, it has been a process that has taken nearly a year to properly implement to meet both our criteria. A trumps B ( I still maintain the will to live, most days), for the most part , which has produced the subject of this post.
Such experimentation has been underway for the past several months. One of the agents that has been steadily increased has been what’s known as a beta-blocker. In addition to its' overall effect on the cardiac system, it also has an effect upon emotional states, namely anxiety. It is used specifically by some for this purpose. I didn’t realize (I was not paying attention) to this aspect until the dosage reached a point where it was disturbing my sleep (it affects serotonin and melatonin levels), as well as making it harder to stay awake and/or focus during any conversation lasting more than about 90 seconds. Went to see the Doc, and he set me off on a different course, still including a lower dose of the beta blocker. I just happened to have a work schedule that included 3 days of off-site training – sitting in a classroom (i.e. a resting state), so I decided to do an experiment. I quit taking the beta blocker.
I literally felt my head begin to clear after about a day and half. I felt better, I had an attention span again, etc. -  I actually read something and teared up a bit. I started posting, and halfway long ones, at that, on the online places I inhabit. Sacre Bleu! I have an excuse for not writing! There has to be a reason for everything, right? This Level-headedness is also passionless-ness, and I realized that it has been hard for me lately to really give two hoots for much of anything enough to do something about it – whatever it might be. I quit playing any music – the guitar broke a string, I put it away. That was two months ago. I bought some strings, yesterday.
Relax, T, I’m back to  my full prophylactical potential. I don’t know if the veil will descend; my base med has changed, and the side effects seem manageable, so far. This latest round has fostered renewed resolve to do some of the things I should be doing that could conceivably remove the beta-blocker from the equation, entirely. I do so appreciate your continued interest. I do need to write. And some of you need to write, too. You know who you are.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

An Honest Mistake

I'm finding fewer and fewer reasons to endorse the Human Race, particularly among those who parade and promote in public. I was really quite pleased, then, by the events surrounding an umpire's blown call, that cost a Major League Pitcher a 'perfect game', this week.
This world has seemed so jaundiced, lately, so much so in the 'heroes' category. It seems that even Lance Armstrong cheated while deliberately misleading everyone - lacked even one cajone for the truth. California Ballot initiatives are written so that "No" means "Yes", backed by advertising and endorsements that distort the truth past the point of propriety. Everyone is willing to turn the economy to mush as long as they get theirs. BP turns a tragedy into another toxic lesson about corporate greed, including profits from selling itself the most environmentally damaging dispersant that they happen to manufacture.
How grateful I am, then, to see two men in prominent positions exceed our ever-crumbling expectations of how they should act. One man knew instantly that the other was wrong, along with a sizeable portion of the assembled crowd. In our current society, this was clearly an opportunity to exploit, to assert one's primacy via injury in full prima-donna fashion. Instead, the opposite happened. The player accepted the call, returned to the mound, and finished the game. This is not just good sportsmanship, it was a recognition of many levels of respect - beginning with the player for himself, the umpire, and the rules of the game - that it is a game, with what has always been the possiblity that sometimes the truth suffers. Truth, as it currently stands, is not paramount in Baseball. It has been and continues to be a topic of debate.
The umpire also demonstrated great integrity. I can only imagine what it took him to rise from the replay to go to this player's locker to look him in the eye and apologize. To do so, again, publicly.
To be forgiven, graciously.
Roger Ebert talks about the "elevation" of the human spirit that movies often provide. The conduct of these gentlemen elevate us all. As it should be, the particulars of a game pale when compared to the performance of character.
We needed the lift.