A Child’s Voice

I’ve been trying to change my earrings today – remember I’ve not long had them pierced? It’s proving to be difficult and since it  hasn’t been quite 6 weeks, I’m going to leave it a little longer. Damn things won’t budge!

It made me think of a lot of articles that have been littering Facebook. Piercing your young child’s ears: OK or not? My instant reaction to this is ‘No. Not OK.’ Simply because it is a fashion statement and something that young children do not need and should be able to make their own choice on the matter, when they a.) Know what it means/entails b.) are old enough to change the earrings themselves. As I say, I am struggling to change mine and I’m 28. I chose to do this to myself and they are a bit sore. Children with ear lobes 20 odd years younger, who did not choose this, should not have to be probed and pulled at in order to change them. The child above in the image does not look happy. They won’t be any happier when they have them done. Because they won’t even know! Who gains from this process?

There was the issue of ‘child abuse’ on one of the threads that I read. Some people were throwing this term about and saying it was indeed abuse, whereas some were saying this is a term that is said too frequently and something like this doesn’t warrant abuse. Well, it isn’t the same abuse as beating a child, or sexually abusing a child or mentally bullying a child. And it shouldnt belittle any of those horrible examples in comparison. But I still think it is a form of abuse: you are doing something physical to your child that they have no choice over. You wouldnt tattoo your child, would you?

Another example was immunisation  – which is a bit of an idiotic example if you ask me. Yes, it is something physical you are doing to your child without their will, but it is medical and to keep them healthy, and perhaps in some incidences alive. Another silly example was about keeping a child in a push-chair. They may struggle to get out, so you are physically doing something against their will. But again, this is safety. And, I’m not a parent myself, but don’t you have to do things against the child’s will in order to parent them? I just think ear-piercing doesn’t need to be one of them.

Circumcision was another interesting example. People were saying that gets done, so why shouldnt ear-piercing? Well, again this is a lifestyle choice (yes, I know it is sometimes determined and directed by religious choice) and I also think the child should decide when they are old enough.

I guess the reasons people pierce their child’s ears is to make them look prettier perhaps? Which to me as an insult to the child. If they need some sparkly things to make them look cuter, then maybe the parent’s genes weren’t attractive enough to start with! I can’t really think of another reason why people would want to do it to be honest – to make them grow up quicker? This is sad though, because kids grow up too fast as it is. We may all disagree on what actual age children should be. I think they should have them pierced as teenagers – when they are old enough to go to town with their mates and all have it done together. There is no rush for something like this. There are plenty other options of jewellery to make them ‘pretty’. I should know – I had 28 years of that ‘limited’ choice! Also, rememeber you have to be 18 to have a tattoo, yet there is no age for ear-piercing. Barmy!

I always wonder if it is some kind of control, like a branding. Do parents think this is way of making their children more customised to their personal ideas and choices? A bonding experience of blood and scabs between child and parent? I’d be happy to hear some further ideas as to why, as I just don’t get the need for it.

Religion as a whole is another example of children not having a choice – yes I know, I’m banging on about it again!  Should children get christened when they aren’t old enough to decided which religion (if any) they want to follow? I was christened but I am not a Christian now (through my own choice). My Mum said once that I was christened with holy water from Jerusalem and it was wasted on me! Haha. Maybe being christened doesn’t matter, because you reject the religion later anyway – but I still think, like the piercing, it should be a choice made by the person themself.

The importance, is not their ears, but their voice. Their voice gives them a choice – as we all have the right to.

Holes or holy – we all have our own right to decide 😉

XSXS

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Sorry, who are you?

I have a relative recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. I won’t go into too much detail as I have some family members who don’t like family business going on the world-wide web. But, it is a horrible condition and I’d actually written some poems about it a while ago. Remember on Coronation Street a while ago when Eileen’s bloke Paul had a wife with Alzheimer’s? I became quite interested then and wrote a poem from, in this case, the woman’s point of view and then the carer’s/male’s point of view.

Last weekend, when I visited my relative, he didn’t know who I was. 😦 You can prepare yourself for this all you like, but you are never fully prepared for that look they give you. No recognition. No love. Just blankness. He also thought I was another relative dressed up as someone else in order to fool him. I was caught between laughing and crying. It is difficult because you don’t know how much you should try and jog their memory. He was getting frustrated you see, as he knew he should know who I was.

It made me think of my poems again. See what you think:

Sorry, who are you?

(From a wife with dementia to her husband)

‘Sorry, who are you?

I like that picture.

Yes I’d like some orange

 Juice.’

‘Sorry, who are you?

I like you a lot but

why have you given

me orange juice?’

‘Sorry, who are you?

I hate that picture!

Let me tell you a story. It’s

really funny.

‘Sorry, who are you?

I don’t feel like telling a

story, I just want to go home!

Sorry, who are you?

Where is my orange juice?

I’m parched, I want it now!

It’s meant to be a rambling poem in terms of the form, structure and content. A lot of repetition and forgetfulness  – as these are the kind of things you here in the old folks’ home. Here’s the husband’s response:

I remember who you used to be

(A reply, to the woman with dementia, from her husband)

I remember who you used to be,
so happy and content and carefree.
Taking care of others then,
And we always watched the news at ten.

Your long hair flowing, you took such pride,
No imperfections, then, that you had to hide.

Now I take care of you
Since it took over, I have to.
I don’t resent it but it’s not easy,
‘cos I remember how you used to be.

Your eyes showed a knowing smile,
Your clothes sang an elegant style,
Your chatter and laughter filled the room,
From that day we were bride and groom.

Now, you glance the room, as if it’s not home,
But it was you who made it, made it our own.
I still love you as ever before
Even when you forget who we are,

I can get by each day you see,
because I remember how you used to be.

They still need a bit of work but I think they capture the thoughts and feelings overall. At the old folks’ homes I visit, you really do see some funny habits. There is one woman, who used to be a head teacher. She, now, patrols the corridors of the home all day, closing windows, moving things, checking on people, telling them they are smart etc. It is like she has regressed to that job role now. Once a head teacher, always a head teacher. Sad as it is, she seems happy. It was funny when I last went, because she put her head around the corner and gestured me to come to her with a pointed finger – just like a teacher would to a naughty pupil. I was tempted to go, but she soon forgot and walked off!

There is another woman, who is lovely. She sits there all day and it amazes me because she has her hair done nicely, wears her jewellery and smart clothes. One day, she said to me, ‘excuse me, can I say something? Aren’t you pretty?’ That was nice to hear and I thought ‘ooh I like coming here!’ Another day, she started the same, ‘Can I say something?’  I thought to myself, ‘ooh the compliment’s coming again.’ But she said,’ your husband is really handsome.’ Haha, it was his turn that day, ‘my husband.’ I had to check she didn’t mean my dad! But, luckily, she did mean my partner!

I recommend going to an old folks’ home if you can. It is great to go and talk to someone, even if just for half an hour. It brightens up their day. My boyfriend’s mum visits one of her relatives regularly and now takes her puppy border collie. He has a profound effect and made the old people interactive – and one woman spoke to the dog, who hadn’t spoke in years!

So people with dementia can still have a good quality of life, they need understanding and visits and patience. And a relative in disguise occasionally it seems! 😉

Screening their Humanity

I came across a post on Facebook last night because one of my friends ‘liked’ it. It was an open, public post where a woman had wrote on the British Gas page. She was sharing a story of how her daughter had been choking that afternoon and a British Gas worker, who was with her neighbour, had shot round to come and help her daughter because she was too shocked to do so. She was mainly posting to thank this man and give him the public recognition he deserves. She also gave a few other details about the fact she hadn’t had time to get the man’s name but she had called her husband in panic for him to come home. The husband managed to get the gas man’s number plate, whilst the mother was comforting the daughter we assume. All a nice story right? My first thought was, ‘wow a positive story for once!’ My second thought was ‘oooh a lot of comments, that’s great!’

Some comments were congratulating and lovely, but others? Well I was shocked and disgusted. I would say the comments were 50/50 and nobody was sitting on the fence with this issue. Issue? Yes, I didn’t think there was one either. I just thought people would show concern for the mother, the daughter and give praise to the gas man. It is amazing what people say when they are safely tucked away behind a screen. People were criticising the mother for not doing first aid herself, when she had claimed to have had tried but she was in shock. One comment actually read, ‘you are a tool of a mother!’  Can you imagine someone saying that in person if they were told about this in the street? People think they can say anything on these threads and they are purposely put there to give their opinion. People were also saying ‘how he is going to see that on here? You’re just doing this to get ‘likes,’ you sad person!’  Er, pot, kettle black?! So what if she does want to get ‘likes’? That isn’t really the point here. She wanted to publically give her appreciation and hopefully the message would get back to him somehow. Isn’t that one of the advantages of a social networking site? She wanted to show off the good deed he had done and share some good news for once. I did actually post a comment to say, ‘It is nice to hear good news for once. It is clear we don’t get enough good news as people are trying to draw the negative out of it and it is making them cynical and bitter.’ I was so appalled by what I was reading on there. Some people were even giving advice on what the mother should have done in their opinion, yet the advice was wrong!! Never put your fingers down someone’s throat when they are choking! This stupid man seemed to think this is what the mother should have been doing rather than runnig out panicked in the street. If he knew anything, he would know that this would have most likely pushed the object further down causing it to become even more stuck. (I’ve included the procedure at the bottom.)

Some people had actually gone onto her profile and noticed the day before she had ‘liked’ the British Gas page. This was sinister apparently and all part of this ‘set-up’. How ridiculous! Surely it was a coincidence and meant to be that she ‘liked’ them since one of their workers was going to save her daughter’s life the following day. As if she would create a scenario about her daughter choking in order to post on the page or to win a holiday as some people put. Some also thought she had relatives working for British Gas and this was a way of putting them in a forgiving light after all the increased prices. Again, absurd! I do really worry how people’s minds work! I wouldn’t dream of coming to these conclusions! Again, the big picture is being missed by so many people. It wasn’t about British Gas, who the man worked for, how she knew the man or how she got in touch with people about it. At the end of the day, an everyday, ordinary man helped save another’s life. I had some faith in humanity restored…. until I read the comments and realised there is still a lot cynical, sly, untrusting, spiteful scum out there.

Some people were actually researching the number plate to either prove the man was actually from British Gas or to be helpful and track him down… I wasn’t quite sure what the intentions were there. I assumed, after all the other negative comments, that it was for suspicious reasons. The old saying from Thumper in Bambicomes to mind; ‘If you can’t say nothing nice, don’t say nothing at all.’ Even though that has always bugged me that it is a double negative and actually means the opposite! I guess the opposite is what many of them followed!

I know, realistically people aren’t all going to send their best wishes. People are always going to disagree and have different theories about things but it was just so saddening to see some of the thoughts. Taking a heroic, happy incident and ripping it apart in their own free time. That was another thing I didn’t get and that was the fact that they were moaning about her putting it on Facebook, yet they were reading it and commenting on it on Facebook. People sit in their computer chairs or with their laptops balanced on their knees and think they have the right to give their twisted opinion and then complain that the thread shouldn’t be there in the first place. Well guys, if you didn’t comment then threads like that wouldn’t exist. And if just the decent people commented then threads would be a lot nicer too and represent the actual scenario much better.

Sometimes things don’t need to analysed or looked deeper at (this is coming from me who loves nothing more!) but sometimes things and stories should be taken at face value and people can get some happiness from it. And next time you type think to yourself, ‘would I say that in person?’

If I could tell this to those posters in person, then I would! Not that it would do a lot of good. Some people are pessimists through and through and will always jump to the dark side when there is normally a silver lining.

I say well done to the British Gas man and I hope he is there is many other’s hours of need! And I am glad the daughter is recovering well and her amazing parents are okay too.

https://www.facebook.com/britishgas/posts/10151356931195649 – take a look for yourself. You have been warned!

XSXS

Like Pulling Teeth

 

 

Yesterday, I went to the dentist. You find this when you have half term holidays, not being free in the week the rest of the year, that you make appointment after appointment. This week I have had my flu jab, dentist check-up, hair done and tomorrow I am having my nails done! Fun, fun, fun! Anyway, the dentist was OK, just a check-up and everything was fine. I don’t like going though – who does?! I always feel  little resentful because I know my teeth are fine, yet I must have them checked and fork out £17 to be told that they are fine! In the past, I have also been told to brush them better and one dentist even got a model out and demonstrated… I was thinking, ‘I am not five!’ Maybe I am a little lazy doing it sometimes when I want to go to bed but I know what to do!

The dentist scraped round all my teeth yesterday. I am in two minds about how I feel about this. Part of me wants him to do it because it shows he is checking them properly and I feel I am getting something for my £17! On the other hand, I hate it and I have some sensitive areas near my front teeth and I get quite wound up waiting for the big, evil, metal scraper coming near them. I start to squirm and fidget. The dentist actually said to me yesterday, ‘You need to sit still and let me do it or there is no point in you coming.’ I thought, ‘Oh I am sorry! I pay you and choose to come, therefore you can hurt me as you wish and I just have to sit and take it!’

The worst I have had done is have a tooth out. This was only a year and a half ago and up til then I had never had any work done on my teeth… not bad for a, at the time, 25 year old. The only reason I had a tooth out, too, was because it was a wisdom tooth that was growing into my gum. I was very scared actually but it was over in seconds. I felt a bit poorly and tired the rest of the day though. But all in all lit was OK.

Once when I was at the dentist, a woman was waiting to have some work done in the waiting room and sat next to me. She started to watch the TV and suddenly put her head backwards…  I thought she was not impressed with the programme, but no, she was having some sort of fit. She started to twitch. People put it down to the hot weather and her getting wound up about her treatment.

Teeth are a funny thing aren’t they? We need them to chew, yet it is odd, I think, how we have one set and then have to grow another set as they fall out! At my old school, there was a boy who had grown his new teeth but his baby teeth had never fallen out! No tooth fairy visits for him! He hd two sets of teeth! This obviously could cause problems so he will have them out but how odd! Wonder if he can chew twice as quickly or twice as much? Teeth make our smile, show that we take care of ourselves. My sister has always had pretty strong teeth. When she was little, she tried a sip of my Mum’s wine and bit straight through the wine glass! She also had a lovely ring bought her by our grandparents and but through that until it bent. My Mum had fun explaining that one! Luckily I was never  a victim to these teeth…..

I like using the phrase ‘like pulling teeth’ and I use it a lot at school! If I have been working with frustrating or very weak kids, I say ‘god, it was like pulling teeth!’ Fnny really, because having a teeth pulled out, you can’t feel. Of course you would without anesthestic. But I suppose it links to the pain of it. Doing certain things can be painful, frustrating and annoying like having your teeth out!

I hope you don’t experience anything like that today and show your teeth in a nice, pearly white smile 😀

XSXS

Today, I saved a life….

Yes, today I did something amazing…. I gave blood.  You know their slogan that says that? Well, it is kinda true, even if it isn’t directly. It is the only thing that gets me going down there and giving up my time anyway. I make sure I do donate the red stuff regularly for a few reasons: I am fit and healthy, I feel OK after doing it and also I am a rare blood type (O- , which not many people possess but it can go into anyone). The thing is though, even the people who have ‘common’ blood (sounds like a mud-blood typed character from Harry Potter doesn’t it?!) then they are just as needed because there are people out there who need different types. It is something I feel quite strongly about and I do think that people who are medically and physically well should give. It should perhaps be a legal requirement to give. Because it takes an hour of your time just three times a year and yes sometimes I feel a little sore after an a little light-headed but that is all. In strong contrast it can save someone’s life just by giving something that can easily be replaced in 24 hours.

The statistics that go with giving blood are shocking. I had a leaflet delivered about a year ago (so apologies that the numbers may not be completely up to date) and it said that 5% of people who are able to give, do. 5%! I hope that that figure has changed actually and increased a lot. My blood type O- is only possessed by 7% of the nation. So I feel I need to do my bit for this small percentage!! Imagine out of the 5% who give with O-? 35% of the nation have A+ blood, this includes my boyfriend. I teased him saying ‘trust you to always get an A+!’ A- is also only 7% but the whole A group can go into half of the people out there so also just as vital. I won’t go into all the blood groups but I just wanted to give a taster of how important it is because no matter what blood group you are, someone needs it! So if this blog, encourages just a few people to give then I will feel I have helped a bit more.

This brings me onto another problem though, which brings me onto a bit of a catch 22 situation. They want people to give, need people to give and encourage people to give, yet there isn’t always the facilities to give. Today, I actually went to my old school (where I did my A levels and worked for 3 years too). I have donated at many different places in our small town, mainly because places stop doing it after a while and find another building. Really, we need all the buildings putting on regular sessions and the nurses to staff it in order to cater for these extra donors that they want. They encourage you to make appointments so that you don’t have to wait but then people who do not have an allocated time, get turned away. So really the appointment system is just a first come first served basis. New donors are then never going to get to donate. More places need to exist, certainly in our town anyway. I don’t know if anyone has experienced that in their towns? So, I could be encouraging you to donate your blood and you could then get turned away.

Today, there was six beds and 47 people had appointments in the first hour. Each donations takes roughly 20 minutes. Does that add up?  My maths isn’t great but people would be waiting a long time I imagine. The sad thing is some would give up and go home after the long wait and those appointment free people, who got turned away, could have given. Hopefully, this will improve eventually.

The process of giving blood has changed a lot in the ten years that I have been giving. It’s funny how they change how they do certain things but that is the world of medicine improving and developing all the time I guess. It’s little things like them wiping you with an antiseptic wipe before hand. It used to be a quick wipe and now they have to wipe you vigorously for 2 minutes. you have to hold your fingers firmly on your wound afterwards for 3 minutes after to ensure it is not still bleeding. Everything is about time. The main change this time was the chairs/beds. They discovered that it is better to sit upright to give, yet they then found some people were getting dizzy so they recline people back in them anyway. Good to have the option though. You also used to have to lie there for 10 minutes after before you sat up but now you pretty much do straight away. Oh another change is that you have to drink a pint of water before you give now. To make sure you are hydrated. With this and the teas and biscuits (which happily have never changed!!) at the end, I am always dying for a wee! So I normally donate two lots of liquid in the building haha.

The hydration thing is a great thing. My friend once fainted when we went to give. This was a few years ago and me, my boyfriend and our friend went to donate blood after a night out the night before. Our friend was dehydrated from lots of drinking and hadn’t had a drink that morning. He gave blood and we were sitting having the tea and biscuits after and mid-sentence he fell to the floor. I thought he was messing about because it seemed to comical. He had fainted though. He was fine in the end but that is what can happen when you aren’t hydrated.

My main problem when I give, is my small or very hidden veins! They always struggle to find a juicy one, which means they have to probe and poke at me… sometimes both arms…. in order to find a suitable vein. This makes it very uncomfortable and my arm has been sore all day actually and I bet I will get a nice bruise. But it is a badge of what I have done and I won’t let it put me off. And you do get a real badge too if you do enough donations. I received my bronze award badge last summer, which quite frankly could be a silver or gold by now because there have been periods where I haven’t given. I didn’t give during my Uni years because quite frankly my blood was pure alcohol haha! No, seriously, I couldn’t give for 18 months after going to Dubai because there was a reason that ou couldn’t give back then if you had visited Asia. (I don’t think that’s so anymore.) Also, I had a tattoo so couldn’t give for a year and sometimes I have missed donations. So I feel guilty for missing the odd one, do you feel guilty for not giving at all??

I actually drafted a couple of poems a while ago when I received that leaflet. I wanted them to be persuasive poems and I was going to send them to the newsletters. A flaw in the plan though; only donors receive the newsletter! It is the non-donors that we need to get through to, so any ideas where I could re-post this blog or send my poems would be great. I haven’t actually finished the poems either but see what you think of what I have written so far:

Giving Blood – (orginal title I know! needs work)

We cringe when we see it,

in its deep red form,

but we need it to be fit,

from the second we are born.

You can be positive or negative,

you can do the right thing,

(That’s it so far of that one.)

I like to Give

Yes, I work full-time

do the housework too

but I never commit the crime

of not saving a life or two.

I remember birthdays

sometimes presents as well

I never forget those other days

when I give another gift … (needs work to rhyme)

It doesn’t matter what the type

A, AB, O or B

you need to listen to the hype

your blood is precious, you see?

Only 5% are generous

out of those who are able

so do think about it

and get up from the table.

Any feedback would be good. Today is a long blog, but it is a subject close to my heart (just like my blood is!) so if I have persuaded just one of you out there to find somewhere to donate then this blog has done some good. Go on, do something amazing!

Now, I will bloody well shut-up 😉

XSXS