Government Dumps and Spoils Good Food in Michigan

The safety and health of the food was not in question.  The issue was paperwork, a regulatory glitch, selling over the internet.  AT no time was there any stated issue with the food itself.  So our government insisted that every single egg be broken, and gallons and gallons of milk sprayed over fields.  It couldn’t even be given to pigs.

This is madness, but there is a method to it:

ask yourself this question: When was the last time you saw government agents seize and condemn food from a place like Foster Farms or Taco Bell or Del Monte or Kellogg’s or Trade Joe’s when their food has been found to contain pathogens, or made people sick? There’s been not even a suggestion that food at My Family Co-Op contained pathogens or made anyone sick.


There were all kinds of other ways for the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to have handled any problems they saw with My Family Co-Op. They could have warned Jenny Samuelson, the co-op’s owner that she was possibly violating a 2013 policy statement on herdshares. They could have given her a citation, listed the charges against her, held a hearing where she and the owners of the food could have attempted to answer the charges, and then levied a fine if she was found to be in violation. (Actually, the fine and such can still happen, since the seizure order placed on the food last week carries possible penalties, at the MDARD’s discretion.)


But those kinds of civilized steps would have forced the state to be businesslike and law-abiding. Collective punishment isn’t about being businesslike and law-abiding. It isn’t about presenting charges and letting the accused respond. It is about brute force and complete control. It is about sending a message about who is in charge, and what happens if you cut into corporate profits.

From the comments:

My Family Co-Op has just posted some videos of the food dump on Monday.
In this one, you can hear the MDARD inspector, Michael Juhasz, explain to farmer Joe Golimbieski the view that My Family Co-Op is re-selling food and thus needs a food handler’s license. (Explanation begins at about 2:06 of the video.)…

You can watch eggs being smashed here:…

Here the MDARD inspector seems to indicate that My Family Co-Op’s problem was that it was selling food via the Internet. When told this has been going on for at least two years, he backs off, doesn’t want to discuss. Then, he refuses to get involved in dumping any food to speed the process up, and says it can all be delayed further if co-op doesn’t have the labor to accomplish the dumping of 250 gallons of milk.…

The Facebook page with all these videos is at:


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Great-Grandmother’s Journal, Second Half of July, 1952

4 generations


Pictured to the left: My great-grandmother Mary is in the bed, holding one of my little brothers- the only little brother at the time, the other wasn’t born yet.  Mary had four children, two girls and two boys.  My grandmother Anne is her older daughter (I forget if she was the first or second born child), pictured in the forefront. I think I still have that hat of hers, and if it’s not her hat, it’s remarkably like. I am the adorable little girl in pink, standing on the side of the bed. I’m probably about 3 in this picture.  Granny Tea, my mother, the remarkable Anne’s daughter is the pretty brunette in the back. (Grandma Anne was only 5’2″.  Granny Tea is 5’6″.  Mary, when she was well, was a stately woman of full figured proportions).

She kept a regular journal up for about ten years after her husband died. I’ve inherited them and from time to time I share some entries from the oldest two, usually timing them roughly with the same dates for today.


In the last half of July, 1952 (I’ve temporarily mislaid 1951), Great-Grandma Mary complained that temperatures were in the 90s, and it was just too hot to do anything outside. She stayed inside and made playsuits for the children.   Her renter cut out two of the sun suits and one for Grandma.  Grandma finished sewing those and then did two more.  She hand washed her summer dresses.  She babysat one of her grandsons.  She visited with ‘Marilyn Jean and Mrs. Fish’,  worked in the garden, mowed a lot of deep grass, cleaned up the whole house, had houseguests, made 3 glasses of jam from red raspberries and plums, she did a big wash of ten sheets and a lot of towels, got a few pole beans left from the rabbits, weeded and staked her tomatoes, had black cows with my mom and aunt (her grand-daughters, they were tweens about this time, black cows are root beer floats or ice cream and coke floats, a family tradition for grandmothers and grandchildren that dies with me because I don’t like them at all).

Her nephew came for a visit (the nephew’s father, Mary’s brother, had just died, I mentioned this last entry)- in preparation for that visit, my grandmother Anne killed two chickens and somebody else dressed them. John, the nephew, contributed a huge summer sausage.  Mrs. Cornwall (Cromwall?) baked an angel food cake for them.

Grandma Mary went to the show Pat and Mike (Wikipedia says “Pat and Mike is a 1952 American romantic comedy film starring Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn.”). She says she didn’t much care for it. After the movie, she made up a ‘big batch of noodles from egg yolks Mrs. Cornwall gave me.”

She collected 110 dollars rent (from two tenants).

And the week she sewed the four sun suits, babysat her young grandson, she described her Saturday as ‘hot and lazy.’  It rained July 23, and that made it much cooler.

She went to our Chautauqua, where she heard Max Gilstrap.  She says he was a ‘grand speaker, in the evening he gave bird calls and whistled some good music.’  I don’t know if he’s the same man mentioned here, or if he’s this man:

Or if the two men are the same.

rattery door lock

Front door lock at the Rattery/Spiffery

The house she lived in when she stayed down here near my mother’s family is the Rattery, where Pip and Mop Top live now. To heat that house (and perhaps for cooking?) She laid in a ton of Pocohontas Briquette coal from the local Farmer’s Co.Op for 16.00. The receipt is in her journal. It says for coal, you pay ‘strictly cash,’ and there’s a place to write in the ‘name seam or vein” and penciled in is the word ‘Brigs’.  Whatever that means.

There are pictures of the cellar on our Facebook page.

Of course, it doesn’t look like that now.  It’s all cleaned up.  My husband power-washed the empty cellar (nearly killing himself in the process- seriously, carbon monoxide poisoning- he was taken by ambulance to ER, our home away from home and his levels were just barely below ‘why aren’t you dead already?).

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Orange Chicken Salad

orangeMakes two or three servings

Two cups cooked, cubed chicken

1 cup sliced celery

1/4 cup chopped walnuts or almonds

1 teaspoon grated onion

1/2 tsp salt

1/3 cup orange juice

1/4 cup mayonnaise

2 oranges, peeled and sectioned

1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Combine chicken, celery, walnuts, onion, salt, orange juice and mayonnaise in mixing bowl; mix well.  Cover and refrigerate for an hour.  Stir in the orange sections.   Spoon mixture into a pie pan or square casserole dish, sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

If desired, eat it cold, or bake in 350 degree oven for 25 minutes until mixture is heated and the cheese is lightly browned.  Serve with rolls.

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A slice of history

Caroline HedgerExcerpt from an article in the 1919 edition of a magazine for ‘the kindergartener,’ as at the time the kindergarten was a progressive social and political movement as much as it was an educational one. The article is titled The Retardation of the Foreign Woman, and it is written By Dr Caroline Hedger of Chicago.  She speaks of the necessity of educating the Foreign Women into democracy, and putting into her mind the picture of freedom.

“The matter of building up the trait of persona decision, personal freedom, the degree of responsibility, in other words,  facing the music, must be done because it is right,  and because it is right,  it must be done. This is the problem that is ahead of us and of the foreign woman.  It is not the easiest portion, but it is the portion of spiritual evolution and growth, and if we mean to go ahead to carry out this democracy that our men have fought for for two years in the Great War,  we must face responsibility.  We did not do it before the war.  Are we going to now?”

‘Before the war [WWI] we sought escape from personal responsibility, and there were two or three avenues of escape that were interesting. The dance craze for seven years before the war, for instance. Why did people dance morning, noon, and night? To escape thoughts and responsibilities, introspection. They were successful, I know. I myself can dance the blues away at any time. I know an escape from this consciousness if we are big enough to take it, the next step in spiritual evolution.  Why do people go running over the country in high powered automobiles? At twenty five miles you cannot speak and at thirty you cannot breathe! They do this so they won’t have time to do the necessary things of life, and thereby escape the thought of their responsibilities. The rapidly passing scenery takes their thoughts for the time from all else but the movement of the car, and the delight in being carried along without seeming to think about it makes them forget obligations.

Then again the movies!  Why do intelligent people go to the movies?   They surely do not go to see what they see there, although they claim it is the screen star and the plot of the play. They are

deceiving themselves. I have a friend who is a frequenter of the movies and often after such an evening, she will stop in to chat with me. This is the usual conversation: “What did you see?”  ” Oh, a movie.”  ”Was it good?” ” Oh about the same thing as they all are.”  Why does she go to the movies? To escape serious thought of her responsibilities. The constantly moving film with the story that for the time being is interesting, takes her mind from all else and is an escape from what is binding and obligatory.

Why have we had within the last two or three decades a growth of new religions made up of repetitions of all other religions? Because the old religions became slow, and we were not willing to face our responsibilities and take our religion consciously, but are constantly looking for something more absorbing. Before the war we were trying to escape from our consciousness. There probably never was a time when so many people were on the verge of being responsible for their acts as preceding the war. Then when the sufiering was so intense it was necessary for us to think and to act as well.  I, myself, am a reformed pacifist but when this country called the men to arms and the women to assume the responsibility of keeping heads up at home,  then it was necessary to obey.  There was nothing else to be done but obey.

Can we gather up again the loose threads of ourselves,  of individual decision,  of individual will to do right? Can we gather them up? If we gather them up, are we willing to pass them on to the foreign woman who needs such things in order to live as we would have her live among us? Can we bring her to this sense of responsibility? If we cannot,  we shall be a failure, and I, who am a good suffragist say this. We must get into the game and take this foreign woman by the hand and lead her into a degree of freedom and responsibility.  It is the duty for every one of us to face the music and take that next step in spiritual evolution, that is, to do what is right because it is right,  and take the consequences.”

So much of interest there, isn’t there?  The idea that that moving at 25 miles an hour made it impossible to speak (which it might, in a car with inadequate wind barriers, I suppose), her views on the movies which might still apply today, the terms this very progressive woman who was active in the woman’s movement and in social justice issues of her day used to talk about the need to educate the foreign born into democracy.  It’s interesting to see the evolution of ideas, and to ponder how horrified she would be to see the fruit of some of the best efforts of the era.  And who is Caroline Hedger, exactly?

Carloline Hedger’s name appears in the “Program for the joint annual meeting with the American Eugenics Society“, held June 2, 1928 at the American Museum of Natural History. She served on the Committee on Popular Education, along with Josephine Arnquist, S.J. Crumbine, William M. Goldsmith, William Dayton Merrell, O.M. Plummer, Florence Brown Sherbin, Edwin E. Slosson, Paul Voelker, and A.E. Wiggam

There is at least one large apartment building in Chicago named after her.

Hedger is the topic of a research paper titled The physician of Packingtown: the life and impact of Dr Caroline Hedger.

Here’s part of the abstract:

“Findings – This research concludes that Hedger was an instrumental force and tireless advocate for the improvement of public health and social change. She was a constant driver for the creation of better living and working conditions of poor laborers, especially immigrants and women, desired the enhancement of child welfare, and was also helpful in supporting the labor movement and educating those involved in the process.

Originality/value – This is the first manuscript to explore the role played by Caroline Hedger in relation to her impact on the importance of the health of workers and their families. Her story is a testament to the powerful effect of a single person in a dynamic world, and demonstrates how understanding a worker’s health contributes to greater insights about management history.”

She was the author of a book called The Well Baby Primer, here’s a blurb about it at the time of publishing:
“This unique book is prepared by one who has exceptional understanding of the needs of the foreign mother. Dr. Hedger is a graduate of the Illinois Training School for Nurses, as well as a physician, and is specially interested in the welfare work in Chicago.
The author states that the object of the Primer is twofold: ‘to get the message across in time to save the baby’s life, and to bring the women into American (sic) standards by teaching English.’ The book is arranged in lesson form, like a primer, and actual demonstration of methods is urged. Each lesson is illustrated with an attractive photograph of the baby; or the method of caring for the baby. Particularly at this time, when the propaganda of church and state is for Americanization by adequate education, this Primer is both timely and useful. Price 15 cents…”"

The book had only 128 English words in it and was ‘profusely illustrated.’

This influential but now mostly forgotten woman at least once delivered a paper to a nursing organization, Her paper was titled VENEREAL DISEASES AND MORAL PROPHYLAXIS. She delivered the paper in person to a professional organization in NY. She wrote:

“I think we can arraign society to day on three counts.
One is the increasing amount of divorce. That is an ominous matter.
Second is the decreasing birth rate. You cannot have a state without citizens. If we are to have an America that is to be worth while we have to have Americans. If you want Americans made second hand from Bulgaria and Turkey that is a different matter.”

She also stressed the importance of children being reared by one father and one mother, and of proper sex education, which she said ideally would come from mothers, but since the mothers hardly knew anything about it, must come from nurses instead. She spoke briefly on the scourge of abortion and how bad it was for women themselves, and at length on the evils of prostitution and how it was causing a plague of syphilis and gonorrhea, but that if women were only given the vote, she knew they would eliminate prostitution through their power at the ballot.

She also wrote this for the Bulletin of the American Academy of Medicine, Volume 11

“The profit that shall accrue to a man who loses his own soul is but a suggestion of the profit that shall accrue to a state that slaughters its children.  You may heap warehouses with goods, but if those goods are made by women whose babies die untimely deaths your chance for future life of the state is gone.  Women work for pay,  six million of them. Where do they work? Either at home or away from home.  What do they work at?  295 different occupations: everything but firemen, soldiers,  sailors,  US marines,   roofers helpers,  copper smelters helpers,  street car drivers.

Did they always work for wages? Not to quite this extent.  In fact the increase in trade and transportation from 1870 to 1900 was 2369 per cent.

She was a doctor and a suffragette who nevertheless believed that soceity needed to reconsider working women, particularly in connection with “Those occupations that affect women in such ways that their child bearing capacity and instincts are injured,” and “Those occupations taken up by women after marriage that threaten the life of the child directly.”  She wrote that “We must consider every trade condition that depletes the woman’s vitality so that puny children are born,  every work that so fatigues the mother that her milk is bad whether at home or abroad,  any and every trade or occupation that takes a mother away from her baby longer than a normal nursing interval,  whatever conditions or work which attack moral standards,  and we have a right to consider these,  and when found,  to regulate such trades.”


She was one of Upton Sinclair’s sources for background information for his book The Jungle, particularly on the terrible health conditions for those who lived in ‘Packingtown,’ as she was a doctor and longtime worker in the settlement houses there.

And in spite of being a member of a eugenics society, she also wrote: “no one can do good Americanization work who has not a real love for human beings…. You cannot make Americans by going at the foreign born either in a hsotile spirit or with an idea that you are a superior being, about to confer wisdom.”

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Craft Project: Make a Swing for a Paper Doll

how to make swing for paper doll

From The Kindergarten and First Grade, Volume 4, published in 1919
I found it at Googlebooks

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Three Good Reads

Good read on essential oils:

our primary concerns are as follows:
(1) We are concerned when essential oils (or other alternative treatments) are marketed as having spiritual benefits that should only be ascribed to God;
(2) We desire to give clear warnings that the alternative treatment industry, on the whole, is almost entirely unregulated, and to educate others about what the implications of this are; and
(3) We are concerned when Christians choose to partner with, promote and sell products in tandem with companies that are undergirded with New Age/New Thought beliefs (i.e., being “unequally yoked”).

The Mop Top has some blunt words on Fifty Shades of Grey.

Cocoa Farmers try chocolate for the first time:

You would think that chocolate is universal. Something that is everywhere, that everyone can enjoy. It’s not. There are people who have never tried it, even the farmers who break their backs to harvest cocoa beans for a few cents in the Ivory Coast. Watch their faces light up when they eat it for the first time.

I found it humbling.

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Leslie Charteris (The Saint) Mysteries, 1.99 at Amazon

For the next little bit, Amazon has some nice mystery selections for just 1.99 per e-book.

This link should work: 200 Mysteries, 1.99 each

If not, search for Leslie Charteris (The Saint books)

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Murphy’s Law For Mothers

frazzled momDoor bells and telephone bells seem to have a sympathetic connection. When one rings, the other almost always will ring too. IF you are still in pajamas, the probability of both ringing at the same time increases by a factor of fifty.

Likewise, those mornings you sleep in late after going to bed leaving the front room in a state of disaster, don’t get dressed, and your hair is a mess will be the mornings somebody comes to the door.

The septic tank never backs up when I’ve had my shower, the dishes are clean, and I’m all caught up on laundry.

Children never get sick enough to make you wonder if they ought to go to the doctor on Mondays. No. This only happens on Friday night.

Likewise, puppies.

The quickest way to find something you’ve lost is to go ahead and buy a replacement.

Scheduling a family picture is a sure way to bring up a crop of cold sores, bad hair, blemishes and facial bruising,  as well as a stopped up septic tank.

The item that falls out of the fridge will inevitably be the item that is the stickiest, splashiest messiest substance in the fridge, and the lid will always fly off.

The most brilliant, erudite, and lyrically written blog-posts are the ones you forgot to save when blogger or your computer cease to cooperate with you.

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Good Quotes on Good Habits


Heroic spiritual lives are built by stacking days of obedience one on top of the other. Like a brick each obedient act is small in itself, but in time the acts will pile up, and a huge wall of strong character will be built – a great defense against temptation. We should strive for consistent obedience each day.’
Life Application Study Bible, NASB, Intro to Samuel.

We sow our thoughts, and we reap our actions; we sow our actions, and we reap our habits; we sow our habits, and we reap our characters; we sow our characters, and we reap our destiny.
I’ve seen this attributed to Desiderius Gerhard Erasmus, to anonymous, to ‘somebody,’ to C.A. Hall, Charles Albert Hall, and it appears in a 1911 book titles ‘An Exposition of the Litany By Arthur Crawshay Alliston Hall

Sow an action, reap a habit.
Hannah More

Pursuits become habits.

Ill habits gather by unseen degrees, As brooks make rivers, rivers run to seas.

Bad habits are best rooted out by replacing them with good habits.

The Glimpses of the Moon(free for Kindle) by Edith Wharton:
“Will power, he saw, was not a thing one could suddenly decree oneself to posess. It must be built up imperceptibly and laboriously out of a succession of small efforts to meet definite objects, out of the facing of daily difficulties instead of cleverly eluding them or shifting their burden on others. The making of the substance called Character was a process about as slow and arduous as the building of the pyramids…”

habits sherbert colors

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This week’s therapy post brought to you by the symptoms memory loss and heightened startle reflex

miss muffet had exaggerated startle reflexThis would be my weekly after therapy clearing the brain stuff, but it’s not because my therapist was a no-show for the second week in a row.  That would make a really hilarious scene in a black comedy show.  It wasn’t amusing last night at all.  But more on that later.

We had company this past weekend. They’ve been stationed overseas for a while, but now are moving to a base about a day’s drive from us, so en route, they stopped to say howdy.  While they were here I learned something startling about myself.

To give a quick recap of the first three months of our year, in January the FYG broke her leg in multiple places and it was horrible, required surgery, rods, screws, and a hospital stay of 8 days, plus two ambulance rides.

In February, Pip totaled her car on the highway in horribly dangerous place, the car bounced off the guardrail and ricocheted back across both lanes of the highway into the median guardrail on the other side, and it is a miracle she walked away relatively unscathed.  Miracle is not a word I use lightly.

In March, The Cherub came down with a still unknown virus or infection of some sort which caused a lung to collapse and another ambulance ride and 11 days in the hospital so she missed her sister Pip’s wedding, and, of course, in March we had Pip’s wedding.

Last month the Equuschick ended up with an overnight stay in the hospital because first they thought she had preterm labor (they expect their fourth in September) but we think it was kidney stones, and when she was released from the hospital her family spent a few days at our house so she had childcare and cooking help while she recovered.

I think I’ve always had PTSD.  I know I’ve had it the last seven years in the wake of that of which we do not speak because that whole avoiding any discussion about it is one of my PTSD issues.  And then this year was a doozy for hitting all my triggers and then some and probably adding a few dozen to the mix.

That’s the background.

During the course of our conversation with visiting friends this weekend, I learned that something else that apparently happened  in February is that the husband of the family that stayed with us this weekend was in the states so he came and spent some time with us.  I have almost total non-recall of that visit. I remember one thing about the visit, and nothing about it puts the visit in February.  I know that he came to visit us and brought us Kindereggs – but in order to avoid the wrath of the CPSA, they separated the chocolate and put it in one bag and put the capsules with toys in a  separate bag.  I mainly know this because I keep several capsules with toys from kindereggs in the toy cupboard in my room where the grandbabies get them out to play with them, and I know they aren’t available to the poor beknighted citizens of the USA because our government doesn’t trust the products of its own institutionalized school system, and these friends have given us kinderegg toys before so a logical deduction is that they brought these to us.  But if  asked, I would have put his visit to us squarely in the year 2013, not in February of this year.   Even though I now know it was in February and have this cloud of witnesses testifying to the same, I still remember nothing else about it.  No matter how I try, I cannot believe in that Feb. visit because there’s just nothing about it in my memory.  And that feels unsettling.

In July of this year the family had a big volleyball, fourth of July celebration.  I don’t do fireworks for obvious reasons.  My son bought the fireworks and he tried to pick out a number of very pretty , less noisy versions, the idea being he’d start the fireworks with those, and then I would take the Cherub and go home before things got noisy.

However, there were other people there, including other teen age boys who did not know of this arrangement or the reason for it, so random fireworks started much earlier than planned and I was given absolutely no warning.  My son and husband were playing volleyball and very focused on their game.
I was visiting with others in the party barn and tried to maintain my composure, but I guess something about being hunched over with my fingers in my ears and and the panicked look on my face wasn’t as convincing an imitation of calmness as I thought because two people offered to take me home. I stood up, politely and graciously (I thought) said my goodbyes to those persons nearest me and walked off to the vehicle of one of my ride offers.  A part of me stood back and looked on, and noted that the expressions on the faces of those to whom I was making my gracious good-byes indicated that my idea of polite and gracious probably looked more like panicked escape than I imagined.

So, I arrived home to a calm and quiet house.  A few minutes later my eldest daughter and her family also arrived- their little ones don’t like noisy fireworks, either.  Strider had a box of pretty fireworks that didn’t make loud booms and such, so we sat in the driveway and watched those for a while, and then played with the babies a few minutes while they gathered their things and they went home.  I retired to my room to watch a K-drama and recover my own equilibrium.

Exactly three hours after the moment I left the party, I remembered that I was supposed to be watching the Cherub, and I had gotten up and left the party without her.  Now, in my defense, our house is a five minute walk away from the house with the party, and the Cherub’s father was still there. When I left,  all of her siblings, five of whom are legal adults, as well as her 16 year year old brother were all there. Three of her brothers-in-law were still there as well.  Pip’s in-laws were there, and they are kind, thoughtful people.  There were other adults as well who know the Cherub’s limitations and know where we live, and know that they should pay just as much attention to her when she gets up and walks around as they do to any unaccompanied 2 year old.  She was in no danger.  But did that knowledge, at some unconscious level, inform my actions when I left without her?  I am afraid I don’t know.  I want to believe that is the case, but I don’t want to take the chance that it isn’t.

I could go on- those are the two biggest incidents that I know of in recent months, but my days are filled with me asking questions like “What did I just tell you do? What book did you just read for school?  I know I asked this five times already, but what time do you have to leave?  Why am I in the kitchen?  How long have you been my kid?”


The wrong kind of alarm clock to have if you have PTSD, but yes, it’s mine.

I walked into Walmart last night (after my non-therapy session) and as I set foot in the store I had no idea what I had gone in to get.  I wandered aisles trying to jog my sullen, recalcitrant memory awake, but I had to quit after about 15 minutes when I started to feel panicky about it all.  As I was checking out with all the stuff I had not gone into Walmart to get, I noticed batteries. I knew I needed batteries for my alarm clock.  I still don’t know if that’s the one thing I went in to get, though.  But at least I have batteries.  And also crackers, whopper candies, new peechee folders, pencils and a pencil sharpener, cheese spread, new fine line sharpies, and crayons for the grandbabies.

Sometimes reading up on PTSD makes me feel worse, and I can’t do it for very long at a time.  But sometimes, it makes me feel better, like when I read stuff like this:

“These problems of memory loss can contribute to increased anxiety and the sense that we are “going crazy.” While the symptoms of memory loss are often debilitating and quite annoying, there is no evidence that they will become permanent. You are not developing dementia.

An area of concern in the military is the overlap of PTSD with TBI.This has been referred to by some as the “signature injury” of the Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom (OIF/OEF) (Warden, 2006). Thus, the shared characteristics of TBI and PTSD have been studied extensively.

Symptoms that overlap the two disorders include the following:

  • Verbal Memory Impairment
  • Attention Deficits
  • Problems in Concentration
  • Working Memory Deficits
  • Impulsivity
  • Mental Confusion
  • Slowed Mental processing of Information
  • Sleep Disturbances
  • Deficits in Abstract Thinking
  • Depression and Stress

Memory problems and other problems of thinking can occur with the development of PTSD. It is important to rule out the effects of trauma on memory loss. This form of memory loss associated with trauma is reversible with proper diagnosis and quality treatment.”

And this:

“Studies suggest that the psychological effects of PTSD may in fact correspond to the actual physical damage to the brain as a result of trauma. Particularly affected by stress is the part of the brain called the hippocampus, which is responsible for organizing memories and making associations. Thus can memory loss be a symptom of PTSD. Fragmented and dissociative memory are some indications of the impairment, and experiencing flashbacks or nightmares may be related symptoms.

Brain scans using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can illustrate the amount of physical damage that has been incurred in relation to PTSD. A number of Vietnam War veterans have been found to have an 8% reduction in the size of their right hippocampus, while no other differences were seen in other sections of the brain.

Damage to the hippocampus can get in the way of making new memories and overall cognitive function as well. Some of the latest research show that among the functions of the hippocampus is to build new nerve cells, also called neurons, which are responsible for transmitting brain impulses. Stress, especially PTSD, can damage this function. Respectively, a decline in the number of neurons results in poor memory function. Among the many concerns regarding the implications of the research is that those who have experienced trauma, especially in childhood, can be at a great disadvantage when it comes to learning.”

Article Source:

What was I saying?


Anyway, Last night I had that therapy appointment.  It’s hard to get to it for me because I cannot be in the car with any level of comfort, and because my family’s schedules are varied, complicated, and constantly changing- I had scheduled it for yesterday because my husband told me he was off, and then he wasn’t, so Shasta had to step in, but then the FYG and FYB had made other plans that, hah, I didn’t remember, so there was nobody to watch Cherub, so FYG canceled her plans and then at the last minute it seemed better for all four of us (the three kids and I) to go into town a little early to do some banking before the appointment.  Driving with me as a passenger is rough on everybody.  I jump, yelp, flinch, and sometimes actually chew my seatbelt as every little thing startles and/or panicks me- lane changing, other people lane changing, somebody putting on the breaks, turning in front of us, and horns and or sirens are just totally right out.   I do what i can- i wear sunglasses, pull a hat over my eyes if possible, listen to loud k-pop on my i-pod, try to close my eyes  (but sometimes that’s worse), and remain so tense that I am stiff and exhausted just a few minutes in.

That’s all bad enough.  Last nigiht, The FYG had an altercation with a pole at the bank drive-thru, and that was tense for all of us.  Outside of the first shocked shriek I think I handled it well, but what do I know?  Plus, even if I really did, I am sure she was on pins and needles waiting for hyperventilating, crying and other PTSD type outbursts.  I did have a moment of panicked desire to immediately step out of the van and just start walking, but I couldn’t open my door because it was blocked by the machine in the next bay.  I was pinned in, another sensation I don’t enjoy.  The FYB had to get out of the van to help her straighten it out without more scrapes and scratches.  We’ve been thinking of selling it, btw, since it’s a 12 passenger and there are only five of us still at home.  The HM was filled with chagrin that we hadn’t already done that before the scrape on the side lowered the resale value.

Then I got us mildly lost on our way to the office- there was never any doubt we’d find it, it’s a small town, but I accidentally directed us down a road that curves back on itself and took us a few blocks the other direction, missed a turn we should have taken, and then resorted to going three blocks out of the way but at least on a route I knew I wouldn’t get wrong.    Getting lost can be one of my triggers, so yay, me.

And then we got there and the door was locked.  The phone number on my appointment card is to a disconnected number. There was no email in my inbox, and no voicemail either.  Last week she was also a n0-show, but there was a voice-mail, we just hadn’t thought to check messages before leaving for our appointment.  This week, nothing.   Last week was understandable.  One of the therapist’s children had a medical emergency while at a sporting event.   Of all people, I do understand medical emergencies.  But that wasn’t it.  I sent an email expressing my hope that all was well, since I had no email or voicemail and didn’t have a working number for her or her office.

Her reason?  She’d let her temporary state license expire and had been called before the disciplinary board and that had taken much longer than she’d planned, and she didn’t have my number with her (it was in another town quite some distance away, so that she could let me know.  Her license is re-instated at the moment.  There was more, but I don’t know that it’s fair to share it all so I won’t.

I don’t even know what to say.  This is so perfectly, totally, typical of my town and county that I’m laughing, and it’s so not what I expect from a therapist.

I mentioned before that when i left my first appointment, she was crying.  Well, she’s cried every appointment since.  Honestly, the first time we met when she cried, it was because of all the reasons I had for being in therapy.  But the two subsequent times, it was because of some hard stuff that’s going on in her life.  On the one hand, I am really, really sad for her, it’s heartbreaking. On the other hand, I am thinking, you are the therapist, not me.  Should I even know all these things about you?  She’s told me enough about it that i don’t even feel comfortable sharing it with my family- it feels like that would be a breach of patient-client privilege or something.
Updated to add: I have looked into other therapists- the nearest I can find are 40 miles away.  That’s just not an option right now.  Maybe later, but there’s no way I can commit to a 40 mile drive one way each week.   I’m trying to look into online therapy options in the meantime.  And thanks for all the positive comments here and elsewhere.-=)
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