Friday, November 20, 2015

Islamic migrants

The LDS church asked us to aid and comfort migrants and refugees. I will follow their counsel even though I do so with discomfort. I believe that many would call me intolerant but my reluctance is based on the history of incidents involving Muslims in this country. On the positive side I am now related to a Pakistani through marriage.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A time to Rejoice in the Midst of Mourning

Yesterday I had cause to rejoice as I talked to my youngest daughter and learned that she had given birth to Leviticus Rex, her fifth child and my thirty first grandchild. At the same event I was attending when I called my daughter someone asked me if I had any great grand children. I said no, but the question caused me to reflect on the reasons why I have no great-grandchildren. Although my oldest grandchild is married and in her late twenties she has not been able to have a child. The next oldest grandchild has chosen to delay having a family as he and his wife embark on a year long tour of the world. The next two grandchildren, both of them boys, died shortly after birth. It would not be reasonable to expect the next three grandchildren to have children at this time based on age alone since all are in their late teens. However the nineteen year old is is impaired by autistism to the point that her parents were required to obtain extended custody. The next has Down's Syndrome and the next has decided that she is a boy.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Monday, July 13, 2015


After a recent exchange of comments on my Facebook page in which a person unknown to me has tried to gaslight me (I wasn't familiar with the term 'gaslighting' until lately but essentially it means a person sets conditions to convince you that you are not thinking straight.) I now believe there's an attempt being made to 'gaslight' American conservatives by the government. When we express concern about certain actions that are going forth such as the categorization of Texas and Utah as alien territories for the purposes of military training exercise. When veterans and others such as I express doubt about the wisdom of the project, media gets on board and accuses those who show concern about this as not thinking straight. Some of my close relatives namely my sister and my nephew dismissed my concern. I pointed out in one of my comments on Facebook that I have experience in my life that gives me insight into the workings of the government. From childhood my brother would attempt to convince me of various things and I would resist. One time he accused me of being slippery as I was not willing to accept the premises that he would set but even then I realize that premises are the basis of logical conclusions and it is in the premises that one can be misled. As far as official recognition of our intelligence, both my brother and I were identified as merit finalists as high school juniors. in other words our knowledge and intelligence were significantly more than most of our peers. Both of us were offered the opportunity to attend elite institutions of higher education however the financial realities of our family meant that both of us attended the University of Utah. My brother obtained his bachelors degree, I believe the subject was journalism, after returning from serving in the United States Marines. I attended two years of college before my marriage but returned after having 10 children and eventually graduated from University of Utah. However I also attended George Mason University in Virginia and Brigham Young University in Utah. My brother worked as a journalist usually in editorial positions in California and Washington state while I was a stay-at-home mother. However I was the primary influence in the upbringing of my children. Six of my nine living children were Merit semi finalists, two were given recognition by the Merit Foundation and one scored well into the 90s on college selective tests and her school career included being selected for Governor's School in Virginia which is a highly selective program. Some of my nieces and nephews are also very intelligent however as far as official recognition is concerned, none of them have received the same acknowledgment. Tests and awards alone however are not truly the mark of intelligence. In my opinion the ability to think independently and creatively without being herded along by whatever the media says is a more valid indication of intelligence. By this measure my children rank very well. I believe that to some extent fruits vindicate the value of the branch.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Alive for Now

A few weeks after publishing the previous post my weakness and fatigue and periodic painful episodes of what I identified as indigestion still plagued me. I suspected heart disease and diabetes were responsible. My lack of any medical insurance but medicare part a made me wary of getting involved in a search for answers. Finally, on October 18 my daughter Nancy, an MD, decided I should go to the emergency room. She suspected atrial fibrillation. She drove me to The Allen Wing of New York Presbyterian Hospital, a small hospital just south of Spuyten Duyvil Creek and The Bronx. Within minutes my pulse and blood pressure were being taken as I was admitted. Next I was led into a room where blood was taken and an EKG administered. Next I was led into a curtained area to wait on results of the various tests. Blood pressure normal, pulse normal, heart normal, but then the emergency room physician returned in something of a hurry. "We've found the problem. You have about 30% of normal hemoglobin and are severely anemic." I was given two units of blood then taken to a room. I discoved that my roommate was a Mormon woman from Puerto Rico named Liria Cruz-Pacheco and we enjoyed a lively conversation. When her problems with obtaining oxygen supplies were settled after a few days they brought in a young woman who had attempted suicide. She apparently resented the cheerful noises made by my visitors who included three granddaughters and a baby grandson with their assorted parents and requested a different room. She was taken to a room across the hall where the other patient moaned in evident pain or called for nurses. Before long she changed back to my room. Over the next few days I was given various tests includind a simultaneous endoscopy and colonoscopy. I was sufficiently aware to watch the monitor that showed the progress of the camera through my large intestine. I saw the narrowed opening and heard the radiologists confer about the blockage that prevented them from exploring any further. That night I was taken down to radiology again for a CT scan. An 'apple core' tumor, so named because the tumor left an apple core shaped opening which had less thana centimeter opening. I realized that my bouts of 'indigestion' resulted from temporary blockage. Surgery was recommended and I agreed. My son-i-law Lata and his home teacher gave me a priesthood blessing. The tumor was causing bleeding and would eventually close off my gut completely. I was taken to surgery on Friday evening,October 24. The anesthetist introduced himself and indicated the cross he wore around his neck. "I'll be praying for you." he said. Later, in the operating room, the nurses found that they had somehow misplaced a mat under me. They asked me to lift my hips and shoulders off the mattress at the same time so they could shift it down. I said I no longer levitated and I would lift my shoulders, then my hips. A few months later several of my young grandchildren demonstrated that they could balance on their heels and head with their bodies lifted. I'm simply not young and lithe enough. Meg came up from Virginia and waited through my operation and recovery then sat up with me all night and chatted, sharply reducing mystery use of self administered morphia. I finally released her from my thrall and she was able to return to Nancy's apartment for sleep, returning later with avocados and sea weed to relieve my awful post surgery diet of 'clears'. My attractive young surgeon stopped by on Sunday morning and said I was his favorite patient. On Monday, two and a half days following my surgery I was released from the hospital with a few very small scars. The laparoscopic surgery had removed half of my large intestine from the exit of the small intestine to the center of the transverse section at the top of the square shaped loop, including much of the omentum with 30 lymph nodes and the associated blood vessels, all through a three inch long incision just above my navel. Several 1/2" incisions were made for various cameras and surgical tools including a stapler to join the edges of my shortened large intestine with the small intestine. I didn't feel the need to use the prescribed painkiller or laxative once I returned to the apartment. With a month old baby and a heart patient already in residence I knew I would have to see to my own needs, but I had not required nursing in the hospital. My recovery was rapid. I am using alternative methods to subdue whatever cancer may remain in my system but my doctor called with a pathology report and only three of the thirty lymph nodes removed showed signs of cancer.