I've decided to do a 30 day writing challenge for fun as well as keep the creative juices flowing.
Day one is:
"5 Problems With Social Media"
I love Social Media, it has opened up my world more as a Deafblind person. No longer am I limited to learning about what's going on in the world to just my 5 foot "bubble" of what I can see or hear around me. Social Media has allowed me to meet other people and communicate easily as well as not being prejudged by my disabilities.
But that's not the challenge today. So here's my list of 5 problems with Social Media:
1. Less Live Social Interaction
Like the picture indicates, people have pretty much stopped talking to each other face-to-face. I've seen whole families at restaurant tables all glued to their screens and not acknowledging each other. So are the days of knowing your "neighbors" and social interactions at ballgames and other events over?
2. Unreliable Information
There's more and more false websites and accounts popping up that relishes spreading false news and rumors. Sadly there's also a lot of people who believe these sites.
To keep yourself from falling into this trap just fact check them on snopes.com, or just use plain common sense, which seems be getting rarer these days.
3. Lack of Privacy
With a lot of people owning smartphones with cameras, there's a growing lack of privacy in our lives. More and more videos and pictures are popping up online of people caught in "incriminating" activities.
Y'all might think this is a good thing....sure it is, but instead of right then to act on it, stopping it, or helping, they're posting it anonymously and way after the fact. So where's the community accountability there? The irony of exposing people but keeping themselves hidden.
There are also thieves who troll local people that announce their plans or "check in" to places. They'll know when they're not home and raid your place.
4. Staying Anonymous
People get to hide behind their keyboards and say awful crap about others without fear of retribution. These "trolls" contribute nothing but hate, hurt, and stupidity across the internet. Cowards who wouldn't dare to say the same stuff to one's face in real life.
They live off of the excitement of riling up others online. Y'all just got to treat them like the bullies they are, ignore them, don't even acknowledge them with a reply. Block them and move on with your life.
We get hooked on spending hours scrolling through social media, or online games that we become unproductive in our real life. Instead of hours playing games could we be getting some work done, learning a new hobby, exercising, meeting new people, or other more productive activities?
I know I fall into that trap too, but I'm learning to cut back. I've deleted all my Facebook games and deleted unproductive websites and social accounts.
So there's my first writing challenge. I challenge you to do the same.
"One finds limits by pushing them" ~ Herbert Simon
October, that time of year where the weather's just right, no more bugs around, the trees change to glorious colors, and it's Halloween time!
My girl thinks Halloween should be a year around event! Not for the candy or anything, but because she loves the decorations, especially skulls.
I'd thought I'd share some Halloween stories from the past and present with you.
* My girl is an artist, she recently painted a large pumpkin on a Pallet board to sell to a Flea Market across town. Which is good, but the funny part is....of all the 6000+ people in town, it ends up at the house across the street from us! Crazy!
* When my son was about 10, he went with his Youth Group to a local haunted event. It involved a Hayride in the dark and everyone gets dropped off at the end of the ride in a forest and have to make their own way back to the house and entrance. Well of course there's going to be scary people waiting in the forest, one jumped out and scared the group. My son reached behind him, grabbed his best friend's hand and bolted for the safety of the house and lit yard. About 3/4th of the way there his friend let's go of his hand. After arriving at the house and in the lighted lot he searched for his friend. "Why did you let go!?" he asked. "I never held your hand!" his friend replied. Soooo....who was he holding then???
* When my girl was about 11 she came up to me, "Momma, can you check on me while I take my shower?" "Why?" I asked. "Cuz I don't want to get Murder-lated" (Her word for "Murdered and Mutilated"). "Alright, but that's enough with the scary movies". Half way through her shower I opened the door and screamed "HAVE YOU BEEN MURDER-LATED YET!!??" "Mom!!! That's not FUNNY!" she screamed from the shower. "I thought it was" (evil grin).
* Randy & I got married on October 2nd, we spent part of our honeymoon in Niagara Falls (I know, cheesy eh?) We went to Clifton Hill which has all the tourist attractions and we went into Dracula's Haunted Castle. I don't remember what it was but Randy said something that got me into a fit of giggles for several minutes. The last part was a long dark hallway with curtains along the walls. Randy said "I wonder what would happen if I stuck our umbrella behind the curtain?" A loud sinister voice boomed "Ohhh nooo you don't want to do thaaaat". I lost it again and could not stop giggling.
* Another attraction on Clifton Hill was a Wax Museum, the basement was "Methods of Torture and Death". So we looked at wax figures in Iron Maidens and on Torture Racks etc. There was one figure in an Electric Chair with the metal headpiece and all. I moved on to the next exhibit but Randy called me back. "Did you see this?" he asked, pointed to the electric chair. "Yeah" I said. He says "Look at it again". So when I looked through the glass, he pushed a button on the wall which animated the wax figure to be "electrocuted" with violent shaking and strobe lights going off. I jumped and screamed and then started arm punching Randy. Damn that startled me!
Now the kids are teenagers and aren't interested in Trick or Treating anymore, which is fine by us. They might still go to the local haunted places. I don't go anymore, my nightblindness is to the point where I can't see anything in front of me and any source of light is just full glare. I really wish I could go to something like Halloween Horror Nights, but I know I won't get anything out of it.
So, what was your favorite Halloween memory?
One finds limits by pushing them" ~ Herbert Simon
I know I haven't blogged since May, I've been pretty fatigued and not "up for anything". Even though regular visits to my Nephrologist showed my numbers were steady, I felt myself slowly feeling worse.
Then on June 23rd, in the middle of prepping dinner, we got a phone call. It was the Kidney Transplant Clinic and they found a kidney for me! I rushed around packing a hospital bag, and waited for Randy to come home from work. Our son stayed home, which was a good thing because later in the car we realized our cellphone doesn't go international and we couldn't call my folks in Canada for any updates, so he was the "Relay". Our daughter came along with us.
The Hospital is an hour and half away from us. Halfway there the realization hit me that someone had to die for me to receive this gift of life, I cried the rest of the way to the hospital.
We had requested an interpreter, but after checking into my room, lo and behold there's a laptop case on the table. It's a laptop to connect to VRI (Video Remote Interpreting). Oh gawd no! It connects to the hospital's wifi and y'all been in hospitals know the wifi is crappy, you have to sign in every 15 - 20 minutes and it's not "high speed". So how the hell do I have a conversation if the screen freezes due to a slow connection, or the connection drops every 15 - 20 minutes? Why must Deaf people be burdened with this? The hospital doesn't do this for Spanish, or other language speaking patients! Besides the "sign in" alone is overwhelming! "Enter Department Number, Department Head, Floor Number, Room Number, Patient Name, Patient's ID Code, Name of Firstborn, 5 Hieroglyphics, Goat Sacrifice". Ok the last 3 I'm being silly, but seriously if you're in a hospital, on meds, groggy, pain, etc. You just don't want to deal with that crap! Luckily I had my iPad Mini and I used the Notepad app to communicate.
After settling in, we were informed that the surgery will be at 5am with Prep starting at 3am. Randy & my daughter went home. Shortly after, a technician came in to insert a large bore I.V. in my NECK! What a terrifying 10 minutes that was! I think I only got about half an hour's sleep that night. 5am came and I was wheeled down, the usual checking in and I was out.
Here's what they do in a Transplant:
The standard hospital stay for a Kidney Transplant is about a week with 2 or 3 days in ICU. I spent a 1 1/2 days in ICU and was home 2 days early! I was given a looong list of Medicines, anti-rejection meds which are for life, and anti-infection meds, which will be weaned off in about six months. At first I was taking like 14 different pills in the morning, and about 8 at night, but three weeks later I'm already taken off one meds, reduced down to about 10 in the morning and 6 at night.
Diet restrictions is bottled or canned drinks only, 6 - 8 16oz. bottles of water a day, no raw veggies or fruit for 3 months, limit salt and phosphates, but eat all the protein I can.
I also have to avoid crowds for a while and wear a mask in public as my immune system rebuilds itself.
Today's my 3 week "Transplant-versary" and I'm feeling great! The fatigue is gone, gaining energy every day, I'm still a bit weak and I shuffle around like an old lady Heh, but getting there!
The other night I had a dream I got a tattoo on my scar line, who knows, someday I might just do it.
I'm so looking forward to getting stronger, getting more energy and getting more done!
One finds limits by pushing them" ~ Herbert Simon
A while back I wrote "Housework is Dangerous" for my Blog "Under My Fingertips" over on Deaf Insight.
I still think housework is dangerous! Late last night one of the dogs got into the bathroom trash and shredded tissue waste all over our bedroom floor (a favorite pastime of theirs). I just swept up the majority of it and waited until today to vacuum. So, I lugged out the Tri-Star again (yes it still works!) and started vacuuming.
Soon I noticed the same "pile" was not getting picked up. "Great, the vacuum's broken" First I check the basket to see if it wasn't full, it wasn't. Then I sat down on the floor and took a look at the rotating head. Yep, it needs a "haircut", I pull out all the hair and string and whatnot. It's still not working, sit down again and feel around inside the head, dammit it's plugged up. I remembered Randy had just bought a package of skewers, so off I go to the kitchen. Well...they were RIGHT here!! After a 5 minute fruitless hunt, I send off a quick text to Randy. "In the Garage" he replies, so off I go, found 'em! I get a wooden skewer out and sit down on the floor again with the "enemy". After a sparring battle I manage to wrestle some debris loose enough to "reach" so I mindlessly put the skewer between my teeth to hold. I quickly remembered that it was just recently deep in the bowels of dirt. *Hack! Hack! Spit* After ten minutes of wrestling, the vacuum is now clear and working! I'm glad I only have one carpeted room to deal with (the kids do their own).
Seriously, companies should hire me in their Product Testing department. I'd find EVERY fault with their products!
"R & D Department - Please use thicker gauge rubber coating on all vacuum cords from now on. The Deafblind tester ran over the cord and stripped it down to the wiring"
"Swiffer Wet Jet Instructions - Do not use Jet Spray near cats to avoid any injuries to user"
"iRobot Instructions - Do not use in rooms that are pet "accident" areas. The robot will pick these up and smear it all around it's perimeter"
Yeah, I've avoided any major catastrophes and the house is clean.....for now....
One finds limits by pushing them" ~ Herbert Simon
After reading this story online "Hospital takes Baby from Deaf Parents", it made me think back to when I was a new mother.
I had read similar stories of various parents, either Deaf or Blind, that had their babies taken away from them because the doctors, or child services, didn't think they were capable. The children were later returned after a review, but the damage was already done.
I started making absolutely sure that my baby son was clean, had matching clothes, had enough clothes and supplies and all the other obsessive mothering you can think of before we left the house. I was not taking any chances!
At baby checkups at the Doctor's, she'd say my son was above average for growth and weight and was really healthy. I'd get copies of the growth percentile chart to keep as proof just in case.
One morning we were heading somewhere, Randy had the baby carrier and I noticed the baby had mismatched socks. I lost it, I threw a hissy fit in the truck and kept telling Randy "No, it's gotta match, they'll look at me now". Randy as his usual calm, patient self, calmed me down and said "Just blame it on the stupid husband".
By the time baby number two (and the last one, thankyouverymuch) came along this fear faded away into the background. Until one late winter I decided to take the kids to the indoor playdium. I checked the weather and saw that it was only going to be in the 60s, and dressed the kiddies up in their snow jackets and hats and off we marched to the bus stop. I don't know why I didn't take the stroller and this was before I was using my cane. The bus stop is about 2 to 3 blocks from the house, and we didn't have any trouble getting there or to the playdium. Unbeknownst to me, it started to get colder and snowy during our time inside. After getting off the bus and trying to trudge home in the new snow with a 1 & 3 year old and a diaper bag, the kids were starting to fuss and whine. I picked up the youngest and encouraged the oldest to keep up. We were half way home when a car pulled over and a woman called us to get in. I said we were almost home but she insisted and with 2 whiny kids I figured sure why not. Well after telling her the directions and hugging my kids in the front seat, the driver proceeded to shame me for having the kids out in this kind of weather. I tried to explain that it wasn't like this when we left, but it was no use. I politely thanked her for the short ride and briskly took the kids into the house.
Then the fear came rushing back, "She knows where I live now", "She'll call Child Services now", by the time Randy came home I was in tears and almost a full blown panic attack. I calmed down enough to tell him the whole story. He just rolled his eyes and said "She probably has never had children, and even then she had no right to say that to you". Later I learned that both my Mother and my Mother-In-Law had people do that to them, it's a common occurrence for parents and really didn't have anything to do with me being Deaf or Blind. Well that eased my mind.
Now that my kids are 15 and almost 13, if someone said that to me now I'd just reply "How the hell do you think they've survived this long?"
Telemarketers, can't live with 'em, can't live without....oh wait yes we can....
We've all dealt with Telemarketers in our lives. Whether it's from ordering a magazine, donating to charity, or your name on a mailing list, we end up on a computer's dialer.
Very few are polite and patient to deal with a Deaf person on a captioned phone, so that's why I ignore the majority of the phone calls & let the machine pick up.
I think it's funny to hear stories how people deal with this annoyance, here's a few of ours:
- Sports Magazine calls hubby for renewal but after several polite refusals, hubby just puts down the phone while the telemarketer is still going through their speech and walks away. He hangs up after the line has gone dead.
- A friend would give the phone to his toddler whenever a Telemarketer calls and let's the child jabber away.
- Telemarketer calls us, my son answers. "May I speak to your Mother?" "She's Deaf" "I don't believe you!" "Ok" *click*
- Telemarketer calls, my daughter answers "May I speak to Tracy" "Shes Deaf and can't hear on the phone, can I take a message?" "That's OK I'll call back later" *click* My girl yells into phone "She's still going to be Deaf later!"
- Newspaper calls hubby asking...no wait...begging for renewal. "No thank you, we just don't have the time to read it" "But sir it's a good renewal price!" "No thanks" "But what about your WIFE! Wouldn't she want to read it?" "I said No!" *click*
Those are some of my experiences with Telemarketers, I would love to read about yours! Comment away and share the laughs.
"One finds limits by pushing them" ~ Herbert Simon