There’s a reason for it 


Over the past 30 years or so,  we in North America have seen the disappearance of our pubic hair. Both men and women have decided that you’re not well groomed unless your genitals are bald. For men, the reason is aesthetic, less hair makes the penis look larger. And what guy says no to having a bigger penis ?

For women, however the reason is much more complicated. Many of us, 99%, don’t see beauty when looking at the vagina ,women are taught to be ashamed of their genitals. You hear the word penis on television all the time, but vagina has only just begun usage. Until recently we had to hear women refer to their vagiña as ‘down there’ Just another body part women are forced to obsess over to the point where they can’t enjoy sex. So, we shave, wax and Lazer away any trace of hair in hopes that it’ll be prettier and cleaner. Hair represents dirt to us users of vacuum cleaners. But we are cutting of our noses to spite our faces. Female pubic hair is a necessity. It acts as a barrier between your vaginal opening and dangerous bacteria . Women with pubic hair get far fewer yeast infections, bladder and urinary tract infections, and are less likely to have a strong odor.  We have pubic hair for the same reason we have nose hair to protect us from illness. If your guy is squeamish about a little hair, get a new one, they’re everywhere, just waiting for the chance. 

There’s nothing wrong with a little trim of the area for aesthetic reasons but your hair is there for a reason. 

Slow but sure


Yesterday marked my final physio therapy session. After 12 weeks of treatment I’m happy to announce improvements. When I began my post hospital physio on March 30th,  I was able to walk, heavily aided by my therapist on my left side, while clutching onto a hemi walker with my right hand. My maximum distance was 20 meters with at least one break to sit. Yesterday,  I walked unaided by a person, while using a quad cane for 70 meters without breaking. On my first day, my balance was tested through 12 different tasks, 5 of which I couldn’t do at all. Yesterday the same tests were given and I could do all but one, placing one foot directly in front of the other, which wouldn’t be easy before the stroke.  About a month ago, we timed me walking 10 meters using a hemi walker ,which looks like a step stool without the steps,  and therapist at 2 minutes and 4 seconds. 

Hemi walker


 Yesterday I was timed using only a quad cane at 1 minute 47 seconds.

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Though I have been expecting a period of plateau in my near future, I am still improving.  Crying uncontrollaby for no reason, but improving.
The next step begins in one week, when I start to work out at a local gym specifically for disabled folks like myself.  I’ll be working with kinesiology students in a terrific atmosphere for as long as I need to. I’ll get unlimited access to the gym for $50  per month. While life is getting easier, it’s still an exhaustingly tough slog. I’m a long way away from ditching the wheelchair yet. Walking in public is still very scary. Especially when everyone feels the need to cut me off.  Quick tip for all pedestrians,  a wheelchair or a person with a cane or walker ALWAYS has the right of way.  Imagine getting hit by a power chair or knocking down someone with a cane, the second you save yourself comes with a price. And it’s more than I can afford to pay.
I still have no idea if complete recovery is probable. I only know it’s going to take time, effort and more tears than I care to admit.
Until then, I am a proud member of the  …

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Generations


Recently my 73 year old mother and I were having a conversation about how my husband’s workplace is treating him, when my mom said well that’s the way it’s done. To which I responded, that doesn’t mean that it’s right.  To which she remarked, you’re spoiled and I replied with a long explanation of how that isn’t true. This exchange bothered me, so being of my 50 year old mindset I started thinking about what caused this gap in our take on the same scenario . Now , my mother comes from WW II era Germany and tends to accept things without question more often than my generation does. One of the famous sayings of her day was, you can’t fight city hall. This generation just took an answer at face value and got on with the business of survival, but they raised kids who grew up without the constant threat of a violent end around every corner.  The sense of safety we enjoyed due to a wonderful upbringing in a better world,  bred boredom that spurred questions about how and why the world works the way it does.  I was born in 1965 in western Canada, in the middle of huge social changes. My generation thought, if you don’t like it,  change it. We had the privilege of teen angst combined with a belief that we could do anything. We were the first generation who believed this as a fact.  So,when faced with an answer we didn’t like,  we searched for other ways to achieve or defeat the issue. This is a big part of why we’ve enjoyed so much social change over the past 50 years. Marry this with technological leaps and you get a generation of millenials who think they are entitled to get whatever they want by simply asking. Because the parents of my generation fed these kids on how special and perfect they are we get kids who don’t know that they must fight for change.  It’s understandable that parents want better for their children. It’s unfortunate that when parents reach this goal, they don’t understand why their kids seem spoiled. So, Mom if I seem spoiled to you, it’s due to how much better the world is because of you and your generation making it a better place. This should be a point of pride . It means that you fought long and hard to provide a more peaceful life with greater opportunities. So thank you for spoiling me.

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Coping with the curse, period


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Finally red being used with tampons

As necessary as toilet paper, perhaps not as often, but just as necessary menstrual pads and tampons are not luxury items. Last year, Canada took a step in the right direction and stopped taxing menstrual products a full 12%,which is what we tax any item that isn’t a necessity. It’s actually two taxes , GST or goods and services tax covers 5% and goes to the federal government  and PST, or provincial sales tax covering the remaining 7% which goes to the province in which the item was purchased.  Those numbers vary by province, but this isn’t a tax seminar.  So, the federal government has cut their tax on menstrual products, which, in my province means we still pay 7% on top of the sticker price.
Last week New York city scored big when the city council voted 49-0 for free tampons and menstrual pads in public schools, homeless shelters and prisons.  Though there is still a full sales tax in place outside the aforementioned venues.
It’s about time this conversation started legislation. I also think that toilet paper should be tax free and that every establishment that provides free toilet paper should be providing free pads and tampons.
Besides food, water and a roof over your head, what is more necessary than being able to wipe after a good shit or being able to have your period without a telltale red streak or puddle as proof you were there?
Yes, menstruation is gross and difficult to discuss . It’s bloody and messy, mood altering and painful . Why it isn’t called an exclamation point? Does it also have to be expensive?

Bremaining


I fully admit that I know very little of the economic and or political ins and outs of the Brexit (have we really gotten this lazy?) British exit vote . What I do see in the wake of the vote however,  is a country where 52% of the population were either terrified of change or too selfish to understand teamwork and it makes me sad. These borders we’ve built around ourselves do us great disservices every day. They solidify the notion that we are different. So different, in fact that we should fear the other. Unfortunately it’s impossible to trust someone you fear and in any union you must have some sense of trust in those with whom you’ve joined. Now, I’m not so stupid as to think that everyone is deserving of trust.  For example, the only thing I trust Isis/Isil to do is kill anyone who may offend them by being free of religion , gay or female. The goal of the European Union seems to be strength in numbers. Granted there have been missteps along the way, as with any new concept, the bugs will have to be worked out, but that doesn’t mean you run screaming at first sign of trouble. I understand the fear of the unknown here after all the folks in my city hate change so much they’re petitioning to stop much needed renovations of a beautiful old privately owned  hotel like they have a say. Never mind that the place was dangerously falling apart and getting horribly infested. We never want to let go of our memories, yet we seem to forget that we don’t have to. Just because something changes doesn’t mean the memories are gone. In fact, change is an opportunity to create new memories. I’m sorry to see Britain make the wrong choice here. The point of countries coming together is that over time, hatred of the other dissipates, generation by generation acceptance will come. The European Union is a long game and today the British announced to the world that they are not capable of that kind of long term thinking,  well 52% of them anyway. I see the hatred of other countries as easier to overcome than most. It’s human nature to fear and reject something unknown, the only way to combat the hate is to take away the fear and the only way to do that is for us to meet each other and connect via proximity.  I remember the horribly racist things that would come out of my father’s mouth about the Italian, Japanese or Indian people when they first moved into the neighborhood, and then he got to know them. Slowly, over the course of several years the racism that had long been drummed into his brain,  dissipated . Change for the better always takes time. This vote today is historic in that it’s one of the last times the oldest generation will have such a majority. After all it’s the young who push us forward. Sadly as we age those memories become more important to us and we begin to think that we are attached to our memories, but they are attached to us. If you want those memories to live on, take pictures, tell stories, write your history but don’t forget to include your hopes for the future generations.

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The many faces of a stroke


Recently, one of the brightest men on the planet, Richard Dawkins suffered a mild stroke. Even a mild stroke leaves evidence. In a statement he wrote Dawkins talks about losing access to one of his arms and that buttons have become a real challenge. Dawkins was lucky, like me, he still has full  cognition and his memory is fine.  Even after a mild stroke, you can see a difference in his face, one side drooping slightly.

http://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/79f3d3d57725a508c58fae7483e79288

Another victim of a stroke, but this one was considered massive,  Tim Curry  had his stroke in July of 2012. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to recover control of his body enough to get him out of a wheelchair. Looking at Tim Currys face, you can more clearly see the damage that the stroke caused.

Then there’s Bette Davis. I still recall seeing her on the tonight show post stroke and being horrified to see her once stunning face looking like it was making a break for it.  Her speech was muddled and slurred. I remember crying through the whole interview. That was the first stroke I’d seen and it was tough to watch. Her legs had wasted down to toothpicks, but she was walking, and in heels! Upon second viewing, she had rebounded remarkably well, especially considering that it was the 1980s and technology wasn’t near where it is today here’s the video from that interview.

.https://youtu.be/QfS-zyst1VA

Last, but not least, my face. I got lucky, just a slight gimp to the mouth noticeable more when I speak or smile or when I’m tired and the left eyebrow doesn’t lift as much as the right. I have been able to recover pretty well so far. I can stand and walk with a quad cane with an AFO brace, but without the help of a therapist. The longest distance I’ve been able to walk so far was 77 meters. After which, I felt like I’d run a marathon. Still trying to get my energy back from that (and the walk was last Monday ).

A stroke is a curious thing. Generally caused by a blood clot imbedding itself in the brain, there are a myriad of different types of strokes depending on what part of the brain the clot hits, for example, if the clot ends up in the occipital region of the brain, your eyesight will be damaged. For me, a part of my myxoma tumor broke away and lodged on the right side of my brain knocking out access to the left side of my body entirely, from my toes to my throat. Even my neck muscles have yet to come back. I was in the emergency room 15 minutes after collapsing , which was incredibly lucky. Had I not collapsed in public I’d likely still be paralyzed completely, or be dead. The weird thing is I just felt like I lost my balance, my brain didn’t skip a beat. Strokes are oddly mysterious things that require a tremendous amount of inner strength to overcome.
Here’s my post stroke face.
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And the hits just keep coming


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I have to say that I’ve been dealing with the loss of so many of the things I love pretty damned well.  I miss dancing.  I miss going for walks. I miss seeing the world at the height of five foot seven and not staring at kids faces as grown asses all day. But something I lost recently might just take me to the end of my tether . Let me explain. What with spending so long in hospital working to overcome paralysis all thought of a sexual nature were out the window. Then I got home and hubby and I have tried. To my horror, I am now experiencing a great deal of pain during penetration. It feels like his member is covered in razor blades. At first I blamed menopause, then my physio tells me that it’s likely stroke related. So now I have a prescription to see a specialist in what is known as pelvic floor therapy. Ironically, my pelvic floor has been exercised to death. I’ve been doing Keigel exercises since the age of 15, but none of that matters ,  thanks stroke. The therapy isexpensive at  $100 per hour, so script is necessary to pay for it. All I know so far is that the therapy will be invasive and uncomfortable, but I’m determined to remain a sexual creature no matter what . Ah  newlywedded  bliss.