Tuesday, July 29, 2008

you CAN put a price on education

Dave Ramsey, thanks for not accepting us into your college debt program because we didn't have enough debt. Here's what we're facing as a result if we can't pay Sallie Mae a penny more than we do every month.

The year will be 2027.
Carl will be 43.
I will be 42.

$53,816.40 (Carl's total paid) Original loan(s) in the neighborhood of $29,000.
$46,884.92 (My total paid) Original loan(s) in the neighborhood of $25,000.

$100,701.32 The amount that Sallie Mae will have stolen from us in principal and interest.

That's a house.

Love you private education.

week 12

12 weeks of sitting on a couch.
12 weeks of taking medication.
12 weeks of television (be it cable or not.)
12 weeks of being driven around.
12 weeks of feeling tired and worn out and not myself.

12 weeks without another big seizure. :)

Things are looking up.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


It's been a while since I've updated you on my seizure...progress? Journey? Whatever, here's where we are today anyway. My second MRI came back normal. I started a new medication back at the beginning of July. Well, it made my heart do bad things so now I've started another new one, today in fact. And guess what...a side effect is a very serious rash. So if you come up to me in the mall or at church trying to embarrass me by asking about my rash...I just might actually have something to tell you in all honesty. Haha! Anyway, we'll see how this one turns out. Back to the doctor on August 4th for more questions and answers and who knows what else.

In other news, our small group is going on a float trip this weekend! We're heading to Talequah, Oklahoma to float the Illinois River Saturday. Well, technically everyone else will be floating and I'll be basking in all that Siloam Springs, Arkansas has to offer as my sister babysits me. (Due to my medication and the fact that I have little endurance, strength, and don't know how this new medication will effect me...I've opted out of the river.) It will be nice to finally get out of this apartment after nearly 11 weeks of white walls, this blasted couch, and the same 'ole thing. Looking forward to it!

As far as requests go, I'd like a rip roaring good thunderstorm. Haven't had a good day of rain in a while and I think it's about time.

Oh and our dishwasher broke and we're getting a new one. Oh apartment landlord luxury!

Monday, July 21, 2008


In 2007 that HPV vaccine came out and that commercial with the moms and their daughters wanting them to be "one less" who gets cervical cancer.

"Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a vaccine that is highly effective in preventing HPV infection with types 16 and 18, two “high-risk” types that cause 70 percent of cervical cancers, and types 6 and 11, which cause 90 percent of genital warts. The HPV vaccine is recommended for 11- to 12-year-old girls, and if the doctor decides, the vaccine can be given to girls as young as 9. The vaccine also is recommended for 13- to 26-year-old girls/women who have not yet received or completed the vaccine series. The vaccine is given through a series of three shots over a six-month period. The vaccine should be given before sexual activity begins (before contact with the HPV virus). Those who have not been infected with any type of HPV will benefit the most from the vaccine. Girls/women who are sexually active should still be vaccinated because they can get protection from the HPV types that they haven’t been infected with." (source)

Again, I was watching Oprah, and her OBGYN was on having an awkward Q & A days, and a woman asked about the vaccine. The Doc said that only 4 strands of the HPV virus have been linked to cervical cancer and there are thousands of strands of HPV. 200 woman die a year from cervical cancer and it is one of the few highly treatable and preventable cancers. "The American Cancer Society says that the survival rate for cervical cancer is about 90 percent. Most instances of HPV infections, even the pre-cancerous or cancerous ones, resolve on their own." (source)

How's this: 1600 girls had adverse reactions and there have already been 3 deaths from the vaccine.

There's been a lot of speculation surrounding vaccines recently-not just this one. As someone who's had to be on a medication regiment and having to accept that to lower your chances or "risk" of something you have to sometimes "suffer" the effects of that drug. I'm wondering if all that risk is really worth the effects my body has to undergo to keep the statistics low.

And just for the sake of comment arguments, let's say I'm of age to have a teenage daughter and this vaccine is out. I think I'd rather muscle through a series of uncomfortable conversations about sex and STD's and allow her to make a personal choice than make a trip to the doctor's office for a vaccine that hasn't been proven to be trustworthy yet. (And a vaccine that my daughter would only need if she contracted a certain STD and if that STD led to developing cervical cancer.)

What do you think?

Saturday, July 19, 2008

babies and Oprah...hear me out okay?

So, last week I stayed at my mom's house while Carl was at church camp with the teens. (For those that aren't avid readers, I can't stay anywhere overnight by myself...yes I know, I'm a scared-e-cat.) Anyway, she has the bunny ears not the cable tv. No big, I watched the bunny ears for 22 years. So, I had to watch Oprah for a week. I was surprised that I actually caught two good episodes that didn't have to do with fashion or celebrities or giving away un-Godly amounts of materialist crap. However, I want to preface that the word "good" here means that it caused me to think and question and got the cogs in my head a turnin'.

Episode #1: Lisa Ling did a special report about couples who are paying women to be surrogates in India. Obviously the couples have fertility issues. One of the couples that came on the show had already spent over $100,000 in the US to several different doctors and gone through several different treatments and hadn't gotten pregnant. They had considered adoption, but wanted to have a biological child. They found out about the surrogate option in India which is roughly $6400USD. They have made 2 different trips for about 3-4 weeks at a time and will make one more for 1 month when their child is born. The amount of money the Indian women make from carrying just one child successfully (the success rate is about 60%) is enough to bring these women and their families out of poverty and change their lives. The documentary showed the house where one surrogate lived before and the home where she lived now with her family. Most women are surrogates only once. I've never been pregnant. I don't know if I have fertility issues. I also am open to adoption. Since I was in middle school I wanted to foster/adopt children. So, I just don't understand the longing, craving, obsession, and extreme lengths that some couples will go to in order to have a biological baby. I don't understand the insane amount of money they will spend to "roll the dice." But I am extremely uneasy with outsourcing a pregnancy to another country...even if it could change that woman's life.

Martha Stewart's daughter was on at the end of the show. She's 42. She spends over $28,000/month to try to get pregnant. In 2 months she could pay off my college debt.

*In Oklahoma County alone, there are over 15,000 children, ages 0-17 ready and waiting to be adopted by a warm and loving home. Adoption isn't free, but it's got to be a lot cheaper than trying for something that may not be able to happen. And yes I said county, not state. There are 76 other counties in the state, and 49 other states.

Episode #2: This episode centered around the first sperm donor babies who are now all grown up and asking lots of questions. There were several sperm donors on who were offering their view and opinion. One guy said when we was donating, he looked at it like donating blood, he just got paid for it. Um...except that donating sperm means giving the potential for human life, not just transfusions. Don't worry, the guy is only a pediatrician with 9 "donor children" as their called. He also doesn't call them his children because he didn't go through the physical act of conceiving them. Dude, you are their biological father! They have your physical characteristics! Remember your sperm? They carry your DNA. Aren't you a doctor?! Oprah interviewed 4 "donor children" and talked with them about the questions they have and why they want to know who their father's are. Most of the kids interviewed were in their 20's. They knew their dad was donor "24H" or "4Qs2"etc, but no name, no medical history, no family heritage, no nothing. All of them expressed an emptiness and a void and longing to know a side of them that they feel they can't know without knowing at least a person from that side of themselves. Some of them have been connected with a 1/2 sibling or relative in someway. Some have found their donors and been received very well, but most have no answers and have grown up an only child being loved by a single-mom.

Do you think it's selfish of these mom's to use a sperm bank to have a baby if they know the child will grow up without a father and will eventually ask questions and want answers? It sounds similar to a child that's adopted that eventually wants to know about their birth parents...not because they don't love their adopted parents or love them any less, but because they need that piece that hasn't fit for so long to fit if it can. I think it has to be similar for "donor children." There's a piece that's not fitting and they're trying to find the right piece. The only problem is, there's hardly any resources to link them to their piece. www.donorsiblingregistry.com is the only one going right now. They've linked over 4,600 siblings and donors so far. It's a start.

I don't know how I feel about all this. I do know it keeps me up at night. And it doesn't keep me up at night because I'm thinking of ways to change people's minds. It keeps me up at night because our society is still treating life with disregard and keeps coming up with ways for people to get what they want without thinking of the consequences.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

trantrum over.

Did you know critics are calling "The Great American Dog" (tv show), "the greatest reality show of all time." (----------------------------------dead air) WHAAAAAT?!?!

Okay, but seriously. I had a long conversation with Kendra the other day about how humanity doesn't know how to care for each other. What I mean by that is that they don't know how to show concern for each other. Example: So, I had a seizure almost 10 weeks ago. We did the hospital, doctors, medicine fiasco thing,(and we still are.) If you're an avid reader you've heard some of the stories. Anyway, the constant through it all was the question, "How are you doing?" If I'm anything, I feel I'm a consistently honest person. When I was present to answer the question in person, my answers varied, but one time I answered "we're doing okay", which I felt was fairly accurate. I was shot back with "No really, how are you doing?" I looked confused and said, "No really, we're doing okay." --Go from that to a lady telling me about her son who has seizures who's 25 and lives at home and is pretty much a vegetable--Go from that to a guy who told me about his uncle who was having seizures and they couldn't find out why he was having them and ended up having a tiny tumor and had awake brain surgery after 5 years of going to doctors.--PEOPLE! What happened to Sonic runs, and having lunch, and funny jokes, and reading blogs?

I had a friend during college that had cancer. He struggled with it off and on during my 4 years in college. During his times away from school, I tried to think of the most ridiculous things to send either in packages or in emails that were either just to make him smile, laugh, or help pass the time. I've never had cancer, but it sure doesn't sound like buckets of rainbows and sunshine. I tried my best to put myself in his shoes and think "If I was feeling sick, what would I want from my friends?" I texted dad jokes, emailed funny stories from the lunch table or SGA office, rallied ridiculous toys from the dollar store and mad libs already filled in, and music music music. I don't know if my ideas worked, I just know I didn't want to be one more person asking about cancer.

I'm not saying it's not nice to be asked how I'm doing but personally, I feel more cared about when Bennett offers to have TV time with me, or when Kendra/Shenold, and SB take me to Saturn Grill for dinner, or someone from our small group offers to cook us dinner. That translates to care 7 days a week more than, "How are you doing?" on Sunday morning ever will.

What do you think? Agree/Disagree?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


I'm avoiding blogging even though I have a stockpile of them to post because I felt my last one was REALLY good and it seems only 2 people read it.

And that makes me want to fold me arms and go "hrumfph" and stomp off with my piggy tails swinging in unison.

My tantrum can't last too much longer...my stockpile is getting pretty large.

Friday, July 11, 2008

3 posts in 1

Josh, I know you said you expected me to give each subject I wanted to blog about previously a fair and seperate post, but I already have a LIST of new blogs going and I'm dreaming about those so these will not be shortened...but just one long post instead of 3 separate ones.

Okay, #1: Anthony Bourdain. This guy is bringing culture back. He's an award winning chef who grew up in New Jersey, studied and lived most of his career in New York City, and now works for the Travel Channel going to countries abroad sampling their trademark cuisine, living among the people, and seeing the land up close and personal. On a recent episode of No Reservations (the show Bourdain hosts), he was in Laos. "Laos was dragged into the Vietnam War, and the eastern parts of the country were invaded and occupied by the North Vietnamese Army (NVA), which used Laotian territory as a staging ground and supply route for its war against the South. In response, the United States initiated a bombing campaign against the North Vietnamese, supported regular and irregular anticommunist forces in Laos and supported a South Vietnamese invasion of Laos."(wikipedia) So, in the episode, Bourdain sits down with a farmer and his family and they share a traditional Laotian meal. This man lost his leg and arm to a mine that went off in his field. There are over 3.5 million of these mines (active bombs) that are still in Laos from the Vietnam war. 400,000 have been recovered since the Vietnam war which is remarkable since their technology is so limited and primitive that it takes forever for these mines to be discovered. There was footage of what looked like a man-made metal detector in the shape of a rectangle that has to be carried by 6 men. If metal is detected, then another crew follows up with another type of detector, then if they go to the next step, another crew comes in to carefully dig up the bombs and then transport them to be set off in a safe location. The Vietnam war ended in 1975, so in 33 years, the Laotian people have been left to find these deadly weapons on their own that have been killing and injuring their people and been given no help or support to find these mines! Is that not an injustice?! My favorite quote was Bourdain saying, "Every American should see the effects of war first hand." I loved this because he was in a country still suffering the effects, over 30 years later, several wars later, and America marches on, in first place, dominating.

Okay, #2 Shannon wrote a blog about the G8 summit and the irony of those in attendance being served 6 & 8 course meals while talking about world hunger and poverty. Wouldn't this be like world leaders getting together to talk about the energy crisis and being shuttled around in Hummer limos? I mean, wouldn't we laugh at them and disregard their proposed solutions? I know I would. Now, I don't know what I expected from the leaders at the G8 summit...maybe fasting is too extreme...but is a meal really necessary? If world leaders did meet to discuss the energy crisis, where would they meet? Outside in a tent? Haha...

What's left...Oh yea, 30 Days. Okay, this week on the show "30 Days", they spent duh, 30 days on a Navaho Indian reservation. There are a lot of sterotypes surrounding the Native American people. First of all, don't get me started on the whole Trail of Tears thing and them being removed from their native land and forced to assimilate by the Europeans...as recent as the 1970's, the Bureau of Indian Affairs is still trying to pursue a policy of assimilation into the broader US culture and off the reservation. On the show, the reservation was in New Mexico. Indian reservations typically have a high amount of poverty, alcoholism, and unemployment. They get little assistance from the government even though through treaties, laws and agreements they were promised to have the basic necessities of food, water, and education for their people so their culture and traditions would be protected. It was very sad to see these indigenous people who were run out of their native land continue to suffer a century later and be struggling to survive under a government who promised them they'd be taken care of. And again, those giving a voice to these overlooked people aren't being heard.

Ugh. I hope you read all of this. More posts to come.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

don't fence me in...

Okay, so I'm riding in the car with my mom the other day and I noticed this house on the corner of 50th and Grove doesn't have a fence. Those of you that know me even a little bit know that I'm a scared-e-cat, paranoid, whatever. I've had a fear since I was little of someone breaking into my house....and of a house fire...and of being shot at. Wow, tangent, ANYWAY! So when I saw the house with no fence I was like "WHOA! I would not be able to sleep at night without a fence!" Then I kind of called myself out because I grew up my entire life with a chain-link fence which is basically...let's be real...invisible. I mean, it divides backyards I guess, but it doesn't really keep anyone out. While the chain-link it's really stylish...I like being able to see if my neighbors were outside, what they were doing, be able to pseudo-pet their dog,and be able to easily hop over it to get the softball we hit into their yard.

Now, I never grew up with the wooden fence so obviously I'm speaking into something with which I have had little or no personal perspective or experience. The little experience I have had with them...I think they make a yard look and feel smaller. And for some reason, they seem to be the ones always falling over in the great wind storms of the mid-west. They are more aesthetically pleasing-I will give you that. I don't know...I just feel so closed in with them.

Regardless of which you have or grew up with...unless you're putting Master locks on your gates, friendly wanderers can still pass through your backyard...fence or no fence. Personally, I think I'm going to take an older house with a chain link fence so I can see my neighbors and pretend to share one big backyard instead of have a new home, not know my neighbors, and feel like I have a tiny yard and can't breathe in mine.

What do you think?

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


I have like 14 posts in my head...so many things that I want to blog about. Here's just an overview.

i've been thinking about fences and why we have them and the difference between chain link and wood plank fences...And then I saw this amazing episode of Anthony Bourdain in Laos and he sits down with a man who's lost his leg and arm to mines that are still in Laos from the Vietnam war,close to 3.5 million are still unaccounted for...and then I've been thinking about the irony of Shannon's blog regarding the G8 conference and the 6 & 8 course meals served to those in attendance while talking about world hunger and poverty....the most recent episode of "30 Days" where Morgan Spurlock spent (duh) 30 days on an Navaho Indian reservation and the injustice that the government is doing to them...

ps-I felt really good yesterday. (Not so much today, but still)

pss-day 5 with no focal motor seizures (May my new meds really are bomb!)

Saturday, July 5, 2008

oh it gets better

July 3rd
So I started my new meds on Monday night...didn't really notice any new side effects till today. My taste buds are jacked. I got a DP at lunch and I would've bet you $100 that someone had poured a salt shaker into it. So when I got home, I looked up my new med side effects...indeed it's true. Taste changes! !@#*(@#! Supposedly it's only supposed to last for the first few weeks or so. And no worries, since I'm on TWO medications at the same time I'm only TWICE as tired. So I'm basically flat-lined most each day. For someone who was super active to not very active I have now become...almost non existent active. This is the most annoying time in my life.

July 4th
Today I saved up energy by laying around and watching tv. I do so enjoy fireworks. But you have no idea what fireworks can be like on 2 seizure medications and a benedryl while being slightly dizzy standing atop a parking garage dodging lit cigarette butts and spitting. It was a truly joyous occasion. Love all of you who were present. However, my night was ruined when I had another dang focal motor seizure after a 3 day free streak. OH, and then I either broke or severely sprained my right pinky toe when I ran into Carl's bag on the floor by the bed last night after I turned the light off to get into bed. It's black and blue and swollen. haha!

July 5th
So spent today...exhausted. Really bummed because I've been looking forward to today because it's one of my friend's weddings. At the least I was planning on making the wedding, signing the book, and skipping the rest. No such luck. That's the most annoying part of this brain lesion...I never can really make plans. I make plans and hope to keep them, but a lot recently I've had to cancel because I just don't have the energy or ability to do it. If I don't cancel, then I have to crash on a couch or a bed for at least a little while to re-charge my batteries.

PS- You should go see WALL.E...it's pretty fantastic. And it's a fairly quiet movie so if you get overstimulated easily like me-it's perfect!

Hopefully you enjoyed some loud patriotic music with some cutoff American flag t-shirts and crying babies. God Bless America.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


There is no point to a DVR if you're home to actually watch your shows in real time. People, I'm running low on energy. The television is all I have. I look forward to my shows, okay? Right now i have to wait 8 more minutes until "Shear Genius" starts...which the DVR is set to record but I have nothing else to do so I might as well watch right?

Cox Communications: You owe me $5.

Oh, and another show you should check out (if i haven't mentioned it yet) Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations. It's on the Travel Channel at various times on most every day of the week. Where can I apply for his job? Travel (check), Eat, (check), Critique, (check), all while my TV crew follows me...yea, I could do that.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

what you're missing

Obviously, all but one of you haven't taken my advice about Flipping Out because I haven't been receiving any hilarious quotes from anyone. Come on people! Here's a taste of what you've been missing from Jeff Lewis.

"I think your birthday is conflicting with my schedule...can't we just postpone it a week?" -Jeff

"What I'm concerned about is her learning the law and her rights...and Zoila's becoming dangerous." -Jeff

"Are you no bite me Jeff?"-Zoila

"I look so ugly! Thank you so much! It's so ugly." -Zoila

"We're yelling at each other, we're screaming, we're firing....I think that's what a work environment should be." -Jeff

"I think that was an over-reaction on Jeff's part. As an employer I think he overreacts to try to strike fear into the hearts of his employees." -Chris Elwood

"Rather than make that personal phone call, he could've pulled over and written that *beep* down. " -Jeff

"And what about the voice changer, like just for fun, how much is that?"-Jeff

Set your DVR's now for next week's episode. Tuesday, 9pm, Bravo.