Read: Men Rape Us And You Let Them

One of my favorite sites is For Harriet and I read such a powerful essay the other day that I just had to share it. This writer’s words resonate with so many of us that have been victims of sexual assault. You know that I’m a survivor, but many of you are also a survivor. Many of your friends, family or acquaintances may have suffered sexual assault or abuse. It never ends.

Before Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein or the many other famous men that have been accused, there are just normal men out here that are hurting women and children. No one should have to be a victim of abuse. No one should have to tell the story of their #metoo assault for you to realize that we have to be advocates. Advocates for every one.

My prayer is that you will start seeing that this is a problem in our country and finding ways to stop the violence. To stop the predators. To protect the victims before they even become victims. It will take a village.

Please read this powerful essay by Nicole Shawan Junior entitled Men Rape Us and You Let Them

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Note: I don’t own the rights to this photo. Through a Google search it came up.

 

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

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A Healthy Heart

I wrote a post a couple of weeks ago about the massive to do list that I have going on and how I’m just trying to take it in pieces. One of those things was to send information about Munch’s fundraiser to all my family and friends. I am very selective about fundraising and I try to not inundate folks with every single request to buy something. Why? Because I can’t do everything.

However, Munch came home a couple of weeks ago wanting to participate in the Jump Rope and Hoops for Heart Program that is sponsored by the Red Cross. His school is participating and he was so excited to get these zoo animals and wanted me to let him participate. I reviewed the paperwork and explained why I was letting him participate. I told him that we have a history of heart disease in our family.

I explained to him that his grandfather has congestive heart failure and just got a pacemaker put in. I explained that his dad had multiple strokes when he was an infant and they are always checking his heart. I told him that the heart is the most important organ and the one that pumps all of our blood through our body and we must keep it healthy.

I went on to tell him that’s why I want him to continue to exercise with swim classes and soccer. But, there is still work to do. I admittedly don’t serve vegetables with every meal and I’ve got to do better. So, that was the challenge we agreed to do. To eat vegetables with every meal at dinner and to take a walk around the block every evening. Let’s keep the heart muscle working.

Today is National Go Red Day and I wore my red to support this great program. As a woman and knowing that I have a family history of heart disease, I want to keep my heart healthy. According to the Go Red website “Cardiovascular disease in the U.S. kill approximately one woman every 80 seconds. The good news is that 80 percent of cardiac events may be prevented with education and lifestyle changes. Go Red For Women advocates for more research and swifter action for women’s heart health.”

I’m a woman and I’m a mother and I support heart health. I want to be around for Munch for many years to come and I want to give him the tools to keep his heart safe and healthy. So, I’m asking if you’re able to, please consider making a $10.00 donation to Munch’s Campaign. We set the goal at $250.  All donations are tax-deductible.

The link is here:  Hoops for Heart

Life of Regrets

It is at the end of a man or woman’s life that they really begin to ponder things. Did I live a good life? Did I enjoy it? Was I good person? Did I leave the world a better place than when I found it?

Or at least I hope that is what we’ll do.

I have been thinking a lot about the life yet lived and the mistakes that we make when faced with the possibility of death. No, I’m not dying. I’ve been sick, but I’m recuperating. That’s why my posts have seemed erratic lately. Please bear with me.

But, I told ya’ll last week that my daddy had a pace maker put in and I was worried about him. His family was calling and asking me about a living will and what do I want to do with the surgery and being his decision maker. I started freaking out. What do you mean? Is he conscious? Can’t he make the decisions on his own? I don’t know about the will. He mentioned it a few times, but I’ve seen or signed nothing. Ugh!

I was overwhelmed and frustrated to say the least. I was told they would call me back and they didn’t. I just called the hospital and spoke to his nurse in ICU. He was conscious. He was able to make the decisions on his healthcare. He wanted the pacemaker.

I got answers. I was happy that the hospital was being very concerned about my dad’s health. They took down my phone number and called me. There was a wonderful nurse who told me she was trying to let the social worker know what my daddy needed when he went home. He needed a nurse. He needed help. He didn’t have a phone.

She asked me about my dad’s military service. My dad said he was a vet. He is. He is a vet. He was dishonorably discharged. The nurse said “He told me he wasn’t dishonorably discharged and he has papers to prove it.” I sighed. It was 1:30 in the morning. I responded in exasperation “My daddy is an alcoholic. He’s had a drinking problem all his life or at least for the last 35 years. Too much drinking and smoking. His brain cells are gone. He can’t produce any paperwork and I’m too tired to argue.”

She was sympathetic as I explained that I am the only one of a possible 9 children still speaking to him. One out of 9. That’s his life. So, I have no reason to lie. He’s broke and sick. He’s one of the forgotten. I just don’t know how to feel.

She understood. She listened as I explained that God had told me to forgive my daddy. That God told me that it in order for me to be blessed I had to let go of all the pain my daddy caused by not being in my life. She said “Me too. I know exactly what you mean.” She said she would help him. She would exhaust her resources.

Apply for Medicare. Do everything she can. Thank God for her.

She didn’t have to go above and beyond. It was appreciated. I wasn’t there. I knew at that moment that I needed to go home to see about him.

I talked to him the next day. He was moved to ICU to his own room. I called and heard his voice. He’s alive. He’s able to make his decisions. I told him the calls I received from his relatives. He said that he knew.

I was exhausted. Emotionally and mentally. It’s hard loving a man that you don’t really know. I’ve spent 11 years of my life with this man and 31 without him. It’s hard trusting him to not come in my life and hurt me again. I’m not his only child. I’m one of many.

My dad said that he wants me to contact his other children. To reach out to them and ask them to talk to him. I won’t. I can’t.

I feel that God gave me the message in order to move me from the pain to the promise. He may not have given my siblings that message. It’s not for me to clean up my daddy’s mess. I’ve said to him that he needs to find a way to clean up his own mess. That you can’t ask me to do what you should have done a long time ago. Be a man to your children.

I know that he’s living a life of regrets right now, but I can’t help him. We are all responsible for the choices we make. Good, bad or indifferent, you have to know that there will come a time when payment is due for your negligence. I wish that his regrets were more of the life not traveled, but I know they are more about the man he wasn’t and the forgotten children.

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month #abuse #domesticviolence

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and several of my posts this month will focus on the seriousness of #DV. If you are in an abusive relationship, find resources from a “sa…

Source: October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month #abuse #domesticviolence

The Bubble Chronicles

Well before I had children, I decided that if I had children they would play in bubbles. They would wear all white and never get dirty or catch germs from grimy hands of other children. Mud and dirt wouldn’t exist in my home. Only giggles, sunshine and white. White was a pure color. White was beautiful.

Then I became a mother and reality set in. Munch was a preemie so I was overly scared of people bringing germs to my baby. Everyone had to wash and sterilize their hands up to their elbows and then put a clean blanket across your outside clothes and then you could touch him. No kissing him though.

You could kiss his feet only. Unless you were his mom or dad. Apparently, my mom thought she was the mother too because she was kissing all over my newborn’s sweet preemie face. I was livid. She didn’t care. Ugh! Mothers!

Back to the point…so I did everything I could to protect my little one’s immune system. I was trying to keep him healthy. He was the most sickliest little child. Always sick. Always a cold. A respiratory infection. Always something. He got swine flu at 18 months. He missed three weeks of daycare.

Every parent told me that it is a good thing when your child is really sick as an infant because that means when they get to school he will have developed a stronger immune system. Really? I fell for it.

Now my Munch doesn’t just get sick on a regular and consistent basis. He gets obscure illnesses that we’ve never heard of and are on the local health department’s website. Remember last year he got shigella? Well guess what folks? This year it is scarlet fever. Yes, scarlet freaking fever.

I thought that they had eradicated that back in the early 1900’s. Apparently it is still around and mainly affects children between the ages of 5 and 15. The exact time last year he had shigella he gets scarlet fever. This is also on the health department’s disease control list. Yep, that probably means another quarantine unless their lab confirms that he is symptom free.

His dad and I are wondering what’s next?

My best friend said “Maybe he should go in the bubble”. Yeah, that’s it. The bubble doesn’t seem so bad now huh?

 

 

 

DomesticatedMomster

The Musings of A Diabetic – Part 2

I called Mr. C. in frustration and shame. How the hell could I get diabetes? I’m 41. There is no family history of it. He calmly stated “It’s going to be fine. You can beat this. You should take the medication and keep working out. We’ll find out what you can and can’t eat.” I sighed. I knew it wasn’t going to be that easy.

Life never is.

But, he was optimistic. He was supportive. He was encouraging me. He wasn’t going to let me suffer a defeatist attitude and proclaim the end of my demise. He was going to be there pushing me to the limits to not give up.

I accepted it. I needed it. I needed to know that I wasn’t alone in my desire to LIVE. To live for my Munch. I had too much work to do.

I started increasing my steps. Stretching. Watching what I’m eating. Everything was scrutinized. Reduced my alcohol intake by 95%. I was going to fight this.

I tested my blood, took the pill and continued my workouts. Chicken. I eat a lot of chicken and lean protein. I have water all the time. With every meal. No thank you to wine. No thank you to dessert.

The doctor said that my numbers have to be less than 100. It was at the 121 range. More water. More research.

Then last week I needed a caffeine boost. I wanted a soda. I went to the vending machine. The choices were few. I wanted a soda. I hadn’t had one in months. I needed some caffeine. Ugh! They only had Pepsi products. I’m a die-hard Coca-Cola drinker. So, I settled on a Dr. Pepper. They didn’t have diet but I needed a Dr. Pepper.

I took it back to my office and drank a little less than a third. The need was satisfied. I was feeling satiated by the caffeine. I put the top back on the bottle and continued about my day.

The rest of the day was normal. I went to work out, ate a healthy chicken salad and drank water. Took my shower and went to bed.

The next morning I awoke and took my blood sugar before I left the house. It said 161.

I was devastated. This was the highest it had ever been. I couldn’t understand what did it.

I packed my lunch of chicken breasts and beans, water, strawberries, watermelon and water. I grabbed a couple of Greek yogurts and headed to work. Stressed as heck. Not sure what the hell was going on in my body I started to freak out.

I called Mr. C and he instantly knew something was wrong. I told him my levels and how I didn’t do anything differently so I didn’t know what the issue was. He told me to relax and that we would get this under control.

He reminded me that I didn’t become diabetic overnight so it would take time for me to figure out what I can and can’t eat. He said, “It’s only been a month. We’ll figure it out.” Hmm, I like that. We’ll figure it out.

He calmed me down. I started to feel a little better until I got to work. When I went to put my lunch in the kitchen I saw this sign:

I had an Aha moment! I know knew what sparked my elevated sugar. That damn soda. I had no idea how many grams of sugar were in that Dr. Pepper. It has 64 grams of sugar. Women are supposed to have no more than 6 teaspoons of sugar daily. That damn soda was triple the amount of my supposed daily sugar intake.

Worst part? I didn’t even drink it all. That little taste of soda elevated my blood sugar. After feeling better about what I learned I began to research ways to lower my blood sugar and monitor sugar in every little thing.
Mr. C sent me some great articles including this one about 12 Powerfoods to Beat Diabetes and I went to the grocery store that evening. I purchased some apples, citrus fruits, cinnamon (to sprinkle on everything), steaks, spinach, and apple cider vinegar. I’m trying everything.

I grilled some steaks that evening and packed a lunch of a grilled steak, spinach greens with tomatoes, cucumbers, sprinkled with cinnamon and a little bit of a raspberry vinaigrette dressing. I packed my fruits and bottled water. I was going to live.

I took my blood sugar the next day and it was 142. Higher than normal but it was coming down. I don’t know if it was the 2 tablespoons of vinegar that I digested an hour before I ate or not, but I’m going to keep digesting the vinegar, sprinkling ½ teaspoon of cinnamon on my meals daily and eating leaner and healthier food.

Now, if I could just find a quinoa recipe that I can cook (easy) and doesn’t taste like crap, I’ll be in business.

The Musings of A Diabetic – Part 1

“I have the sugar”. Those were the words I uttered last month when I found out that I am now in the diabetic range. My A1C was 7. I was officially diagnosed as Type 2 diabetic. I sighed. I was feeling overwhelmed.

I met with my doctor to go over my numbers. He was angry because I hadn’t repeated my labs or seen him since August of last year when the numbers indicated that I was pre-diabetic. He wanted to know why I hadn’t bothered to see him or return his calls. He was acting like I stood him up or something.

I guess in reality I did. I had been so busy and pre-occupied with life that I put my health on the back burner. Yes, I still worked out. Yes, I still kept losing weight and increasing my water intake. But, my life was in a tailspin last year. I couldn’t focus on me. I had to focus on everyone else.

My son got shigella. My daddy got diagnosed with cancer. My son was having emotional issues. I was going through a horrific time with my ex. I got a kidney infection and ended up in the hospital. My car got hit by a U-haul truck while it was parked. I thought I had breast cancer.

There it was.  A lot of the load that I was carrying had weighed me down. My health became minor. I had to work. I had to pay the bills. I had to take care of my son. I had to get a grip on reality. I was having a nervous breakdown and I couldn’t have one because there wasn’t any time to have one. Who would take care of my Munch if I did?

He listened. I said, “I need you to understand the plight and burden of being a mother. A black mother. We carry the weight of the world on our shoulder and we often neglect our health.” He said, “Okay, well now you can’t neglect your health. It’s serious.” I felt defeated as I responded, “I know.”

We spoke about my weight loss. He was happy. He sees the scale going down. We talked about my work out routines. My activity levels. My stress levels. My eating habits. There it was. My eating habits. I mostly ate healthy but I didn’t know that my love of carbs was killing me. Oh, how I love pasta, rice and sauce. I dreamed of pasta and warm breads. They comforted me.

They were slowly killing me. “I don’t want medication. My mom says that I could become dependent on medication and she doesn’t want me to take it. She wants me to reverse it. She’s a chemist you know.” He sat there and slowly responded “Nothing against your mom but you need the medication. I don’t want your pancreas to have to work so hard to get that sugar out of your body. The medication helps to get rid of the sugar. I wouldn’t recommend it unless I thought you needed it.”

“I know” I muttered.

“No one changes their eating habits overnight. It takes time. This medication will start to work while you continue to try and make better choices.”

“I know” I replied with tears streaming down my face.

“Look, since you’re against it I will start off on a low dosage one pill daily, although I would normally recommend two pills a day. I want you to test your blood sugar every other day and I want you to continue to work out and change your food choices. Keep a journal of what you eat so you can see the things that make your sugar levels rise. We will retest in 3 months. We will see what’s going on.”

I agreed.

The nurse came in and showed me how to test my sugar. Simple finger prick. Once every other day.

I could do that.

I left the office feeling defeated.