I cannot remain silent

19 03 2012

By Julia Indigo/@juliaindigo

I know that the recommendation is to avoid politics and religion on a writer’s FB page or blog, but I simply cannot be silent while overweight, pasty, fundamentalist white men demonize my sisters. I’m sorry for any of my friends or readers who find reading my political postings showing up on their RSS news feed distasteful. I cannot sit idly by while my sisters are oppressed by our patriarchal system.

Women who are younger than I cannot imagine the strides that women have made in the past 100 years here in the US. Whatever your political persuasion, you can now own property, have money in your own name, VOTE, live as a single, defend yourself when your husband turns violent, get a divorce, any number of things that our Great-Grandmothers COULD NOT DO. When I say that you couldn’t hold any property, that included parcel, livestock or homestead. You couldn’t defend yourself in court, couldn’t open a line of credit at the sundry store, couldn’t travel without either a chaperone, or a letter of permit from your guaridian, even if you were a woman in your twenties.

All that can be taken away in an instant – with the signature of a Governor’s pen – and let it be known that there are other countries (mostly in Northern Europe) where women’s lives are significantly better than ours are today, in 2012.

We can no longer wait for others to take up the banner in our defense. In memory of our Grandmothers and Great-Grandmothers, do not let their sacrifices be in vain. Don’t delude yourselves – these men will not stop. Don’t think going back to the 50s, they won’t stop at that. Think 1890. And when you think, remember. Do you have, or intend to have children? Will you have a daughter? What kind of country do you want to leave for her?

Yes, I am mad as hell. You can read one woman’s experience of the new degrading Texas law requiring pre-abortion ultrasounds here. If you are a Texan, know that there will be a march on the state capitol on April 28, 2012. I’d love to meet you there. More info here.

 Feel free to share, re-write, with or without attribution. Diana Castilleja contributed to this post.

Finally feeling better!

11 03 2012

By Julia Indigo/@juliaindigo

I have been on overwhelm, dealing with illness (see below), and have not been writing. At all. It’s times like these that make me doubt my determination to be a writer, at least, until I remember that I’m not a ‘slow and steady’ type. I’m a sprinter, not a marathoner… in every way but literally. I work best in fits and starts, and when I’m going full-out, it’s great.

As I mentioned before, life has caught up with me, and it still has me by the throat. Last August I noticed something odd – I was Reiki-ing myself as lay on my back, and as I relaxed more and more I noticed that the back of my tongue was falling back into my throat. I thought,”That’s odd, and not a good thing!” So I slept on my side from then on. It wasn’t always comfortable, and my shoulders bother me from time to time, but oh well. Some of you know where this is going, and I did, too. Sleep Apnea. Denial is not just a River in Egypt, and I avoided doing anything about it.

This past December I was sleeping sitting up, because I was bothered by reflux. In the middle of the night I woke to a loud “GAAH!”, which erupted from deep in my throat.

Okay, there was no denying this anymore. I had a problem, and I knew it.

I called my doc and made an appointment for after the holidays, which was delayed and delayed. Eventually I had a sleep study,which was jolly. YOU try sleeping in a strange, plank-like bed, hooked up to about 30 electrodes, with some stranger watching you on infrared video, and let me know how well you sleep! I didn’t sleep much, but well enough for them to determine that I have moderate obstructive sleep apnea. I never made it to sleep stage 3 or 4, my REM sleep was 9%. Now I knew why I don’t dream. I averaged 22 ‘episodes’ in an hour, and each of those non-breathing episodes further interrupted my sleep.

The good news? My blood oxygen level never went below 91%. I’m not going to die in my sleep. The bad news? I will be sleeping with a CPAP for the rest of my life. Further good news? It works! I’m feeling better!

I had been shatteringly exhausted for weeks, and finally on March 1st I had a day when I felt almost normal. I’d been using the CPAP for just shy of a week before I could tell any difference in how I felt.

It continues to be an adventure. Fitting the mask so it doesn’t leak is a work in progress, and I get contact dermatitis from the plastic, so I had to buy a mask liner. I still wake up with a red spot on the bridge of my nose some days, but it’s a small price to pay for FEELING BETTER.  I only have had one claustrophobic night, thank heavens. And one morning I took off the mask, then went back to sleep. I woke with a snort… a strong indication that I really do need this thing.

Given what the alternative diagnoses for my fatigue could have been (hypothyroid, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, cancer, heart failure, you name it), living with a CPAP is easy. The hose doesn’t bother me, and the machine is very quiet, so no problems there. One problem: I like to read myself to sleep, and it’s hard to see my kindle with the mask on. I haven’t been reading much in consequence.

Before I got the CPAP I was running on fumes. Exhausted, emotionally strung out, unable to do more than the bare necessities. It was work/food/trying to sleep, and some days I had to call in sick. The work I do is very mentally taxing, quite intense… and I just wasn’t up for it. But now I’m gradually able to add more to my life. Like meeting up with writer friends (Hi, SJ! Hi, Ali!) Getting back on twitter, blogging… and…


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