Thursday, September 25, 2008

Happy Birthday, Dad

My dad, my sister and I have a long-standing joke between us when we are together. Someone will say, for example, "gosh, I'm hungry!" Inevitably, one of us will respond, "not near as hungry as me!" Which then leads to "I could possibly be one thousand times hungrier than you are!" and it continues, escalating and certainly ad nauseum, until we laugh to much to go on.

And yes, we are all adults. Grown up adults, as you can see.

I am so blessed to have such an amazing father. So much of who I am today was shaped by this man. I inherited this strange, mostly inappropriate sense of humor - finding jokes less funny and preferring quick one-offs and biting commentary. This sense of humor that gets us in trouble. Like the time in the hospital when the doctor told me that my liver function had improved and I responded that it was a good thing I'd stopped drinking. Needless to say, only Dad found that funny. Which was really how it was intended all along.

I also learned about eating from my father. A fearless eater back in the day, he'd eat street food in Mexico without a care. "You don't have to like it, but you have to try it" was the rule at our table. That rule lead me to my love of all ethnic foods - Thai, Vietnamese, Ethiopian...there isn't a food I won't try. And the response when I report that I had Puerto Rican stewed pig ears and belly? "Good for you!"

Now only did I learn what to eat, but I learned how to eat from Dad. One time at a church potluck, while grace was being said, I caught Dad moving out of the corner of my eye. I quickly followed and we positioned ourselves near the buffet in order to be first, trying not to laugh. By the time grace was over, we were positioned and ready. Always be first - so that you can be coming in for seconds while the line ends. Yes, we are an embarrassment to our kind.

I'm so proud to be Dad's daughter for the things that he has accomplished. At the tender age of 60, Dad decided to learn a new trade. And he uncovered a hidden talent to become a primo videographer, editor and flash designer. I call him for questions in Illustrator and he always has time to be technical or design support for me. I nurture my artistic side foregoing a more lucrative and more ambitious career in paralegal work because I want to know what I want do when I grow up NOW rather than later.

And of course, the passion I have for politics. It's no surprise that we were both political science majors. And even though neither of us do anything in the political science field, as you can see from this blog and his blog, it is a lifetime love.

So, today is the old man's birthday and I want to wish him the best. I love you a million billion times more than anything, Dad. And you can't top that.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

My Fault

"Can I ask you something personal?" That's how many of the conversations about my heart transplant start. Of course, is my reply. Believe me, it's hard to surprise me with a new question.

Every once in a while, though, someone will surprise me. I've actually had several conversations with people in the "personal responsibility" school. Someone who will say to me, "but don't you think maybe you are responsible for this happening?" That throughout my life, I've made a series of choices which have lead up to this critical event. Seriously? Yes, that makes perfect sense. Juvenile fibromatosis is every three-year old's dream.

I firmly believe that we need to take responsibility for what is ours. We can control certain factors that can worsen or even cause our own health conditions. I put this into practice myself. Both pre- and post-transplant, I've made sure to eat right, exercise and follow my doctor's orders and recommendations. I have always been proactive about researching every drug, every medical procedure and even track my lab results. I am a patient who, as one of my doctors says, requires more information before making a decision than any patient he has ever had. I am my own best science experiment.

But even under all this surveillance and care, I still had to have a heart transplant. Not the cheapest of procedures to have. Not the cheapest of conditions to maintain. Not the cheapest of health insurance policies to need.

That stupid argument that all our health issues are a direct result of our own choices is bull. I have had that discussion with several friends but I could've had it with John McCain. Here is what he has to say about health and mental health care:

I have stressed the central role of personal responsibility in leading to lower health care costs. Personal fitness and better lifestyles, especially reduction in addictions of all types – food, narcotics, or cigarettes – can yield dramatic improvements in the cost of chronic illness and high‐cost medical care. We can do a better job of treating addictions, but we also have an obligation to do a better job of teaching our children the benefits of good lifestyles and the perils of addictive activities.

Compare the candidates views on health care and the priority of mental health care in their campaigns. The choice is clear.

Obama/Biden 2008. Vote.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Best Political Ad I've Seen

Somehow, I like being treated like a thinking adult.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Taking a Break from Transplant Talk

Which is what this blog is sort of supposed to be about. Post-transplant talk, that is.

I'm taking a break to urge everyone to do their civic DUTY this November and VOTE.

Check out this clip from Craig Ferguson - voting isn't a Democrat or Republican issue. It's an American issue.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Thanks, but No Thanks

Thanks but no thanks implies that you are appreciative of a gesture/item/service, yet you refuse to accept it.

I didn't realize that it now means thanks, but no thanks for federal tax monies for a bridge but hey! just leave the money someplace else here in my state.

Do the research.


Obama/Biden '08

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

How Does Your Party Define Religion?

The true definition of religion, as defined by the bible itself, is "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world" (James 1:27, NIV)

I am not going to judge but instead, if you consider yourself a religious conservative, take that definition and compare it to the stands on the issues by the candidates. You can do that here.

My questions to the GOP...

How is allowing a broken and corrupt health care system to continue to exist taking care of people? How is protecting the corporation yet hanging the less-fortunate out to dry taking care of people? How are we stewarding the earth by continually raping it for coal and oil? How is sending our youth into a war based on lies taking care of people? How is taxing an already burdened middle class (and unless you make over $5 MILLION a year, this means YOU) taking care of people? How is enforcing the Patriot Act taking care of people?

I think Barack Obama said it best:

We may not agree on abortion, but surely we can agree on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies in this country. The reality of gun ownership may be different for hunters in rural Ohio than for those plagued by gang-violence in Cleveland, but don't tell me we can't uphold the Second Amendment while keeping AK-47s out of the hands of criminals. I know there are differences on same-sex marriage, but surely we can agree that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters deserve to visit the person they love in the hospital and to live lives free of discrimination. Passions fly on immigration, but I don't know anyone who benefits when a mother is separated from her infant child or an employer undercuts American wages by hiring illegal workers. This too is part of America's promise - the promise of a democracy where we can find the strength and grace to bridge divides and unite in common effort.

Yes we can. Jesus rules. Do the research. ObamaBiden '08