Friday, February 24, 2012

Poetry Corner: Whoopee Cushion Memories

I've been giggling lately over many memories of the potty humor variety. So, I thought I would share the fun times with a potty humor poem I wrote about one particular memory. 

I'm simply enjoying the chuckle and I hope you have fun with the comedic relief as well. 

Whoopee Cushion Memories

sling shots ‘n bubble gum,
silly putty ‘n water guns,
too many moments to convey
my youth -
but of them all,
my favorite can only be experienced...

deep breath and exhale directed,
captured –

creeping up on normalcy
as innocent as can be.
making the drop
for it
be seen.

‘neath cushions ‘n pillows
or simply dropped into seat,
slipped under a descending rump
or blatantly squeezed.

placing a whoopee cushion
is about
the element of surprise
and can only be rated
by the sound of your audience,
your poor victims cries.

By Diana M. Bateman

Friday, February 17, 2012

(la-la-la) Dear Ego, I Refuse To Hear You

When it comes to motivation, goals and achieving them, there's one key thing that really makes it all happen. 

It's the thing your parents struggled to teach you, the thing you struggle to teach your kids. It's the thing that you wish your spouse or partner would just get a grip on. 

Most importantly, it's the thing you will do anything not to have to admit that you don't have. It's all about discipline. Agh! Shh, ugh, yes, I really just said it $#&@!

I wish I had a magic pill for you to take, but I don't. This is a topic that I'm still working on. I fail daily. I'm also committed to recommitting, to becoming more disciplined - daily. Odd, but there's a huge sense of freedom in this thing called discipline.

Where do you lack? Look yourself in the mirror while asking this question. Make eye contact with yourself. Where are you lying to yourself? Start there. Restart there, then... start again.

Do yourself a huge favor, do not take the path of least resistance today. Then commit to trying the same thing again tomorrow. Frustrate your ego consistently and you will find a tremendous amount of inner strength that you never knew you had. 

Be free of whatever bogs you down - even if it's just for a few hours. It is the taste of momentary freedom that will help you to keep trying. 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Doing Most Everything!

Question: What do you think of when you see the acronym DME? 

Depending on who you are and what you face daily, DME could be a Moscow airport, Digital Motor Electronics, a chemical solvent, a Canadian brewery, or if you are like me Durable Medical Equipment. 

The term seems relatively harmless. Individually the words are actually very strong, frequently used words. But for some reason when combined, Durable Medical Equipment tends to carry a hefty punch in the gut, especially when the term is used in relation your own personal abilities. I know because I've experienced it. 

I've had home health nurses hook me up to IV's and I've walked with a cane out of need. I already know what the transition of able bodied to "needing assistance" feels like. 

But it's the public stare you get with "disability" that can test your hope, motivation, and positive outlook; it can even alter your perception of self.

I have a dear friend, who is about my age, and she also has multiple sclerosis. She is absolutely beautiful, inside and out. She has a genuine sincerity and glow about her. 

My friend used to be a dancer; however, her legs no longer perform like a dancer's. But my dear friend is still living life fully. She has kids, a husband, she's a normal mom. 

She has things to do, activities with kids and family. She's also a patient advocate speaker. This last December we travelled back from our patient advocate conference together. 

I was assisting her through the airport by pushing her two-wheeled walker and transporting her carry-on bag, while someone from airport security wheeled her to our gate in a wheelchair. 

While walking through the airport she told me to look at people as we walk through the airport. She wanted me to notice how often people stared at me specifically while pushing her walker. 

I pushed her walker as though I needed it to walk. It was simply easier to move it and her bag that way. In all reality, it appeared as though I was using the walker out of need. 

Oh dear, people really do stare... sometimes people are so transparent that there's no guessing as to what they are thinking. 

I got stares when I used a cane - but not like this. I now know the look and feel of pitiable concern - I do not like it at all. After a while I found that it had negatively affected my spirit. 

I really wondered about my ability to cope with that situation, if my level of ability were to ever require "assistance". 

I have another friend that was in an accident in his early twenties and it left him a quadriplegic. I was talking with him not too long ago.  He's been in a wheelchair now for more of his life than he's been without one. 

He's now at the point where he doesn't personally view himself as "disabled". He's married, lives a very full life. Travels for work, for pleasure and yes there are always considerations that have to be made in order to do that, but it's second nature now for him - it's normal. He said he doesn't even notice all the stares very much anymore.

It may be a hard pride hit to go from your own ability to using a DME (cane, walker, wheelchair), but recently I've really liked my new take home message of what a DME is. 

To me they're not only canes, walkers, wheelchairs, catheters, and such. They are also shoes, railings, ramps, a steady hand, and trekking poles to name a few. Even more recently, they are running shoes, cooling vests, iPod, knee brace, ice and pillow. 

All of these things are designed to get you from one location to another or to assist you achieve a desired action. To help you keep living life, in whatever capacity you can currently participate.

My DME's (left to right): cane, running shoes,  running water belt,
trekking poles, sharps container, needles, porcupine massage ball, knee brace.

After evaluating both of my friends and their circumstances as noted above, I have decided that because of my accumulated DME, I am and already have been, Doing Most Everything. 

I know that when people had a fixed gaze on me while using my cane a few years ago, and while pushing my friend's walker through the airport, that judgments were being made. 

But even if I weren't using those things, judgments were still being made. We can't escape that in life, so why let those judgments define our own beliefs and abilities? 

This is where the Imaginary Villain (the ego) seeps into our life. It is also precisely when we must commit to live life without limits.

If my time comes to live life fully in a more modified fashion, I pray that you will help me remember that I am still Doing Most Everything, just in a different way. We all need this kind encouragement. 

Friday, February 3, 2012

Ragnar Runner #3

Good heavens what have I gotten myself into!?! So - this blogpost is purely informational... Okay, so this is exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. 

By way of the Huntsman Hometown Heroes (HHH) I'm running the Canyonlands Half Marathon and I have found myself on the Myriad Genetics team for the Wasatch Back Ragnar also via HHH. For the Ragnar, I'm currently slated as Runner number three which is set to run a bit over nineteen miles of the total two hundred mile relay race. 


Here's our team video clip. I am in this video clip as well. Good times! Here's the Myriad team fundraising page, if you would care to donate in support of cancer research.

If you would like to follow what our team is up to during training for the Ragnar, you can visit our team website that our team leader is hosting. Collin is a very good guy and bringing us home as Runner #12.

That's all I have to say folks! This is a big year and I need lots of motivating cheers, 'cuz I feel a bit overwhelmed... yet, at the same time, I am excited for all the opportunities that lay ahead.

~ Diana

Damn Nylons!

I literally almost didn't go on a mission for my church because wearing nylons would be an essential part of my daily wardrobe. I did end up going on a mission though, but it was due to the genius that invented knee highs.

It took me a long time to figure it out, but I actually occasionally struggle from the effects of claustrophobia and the restriction of something so tight on me, (like nylons), that I am just agitated the entire time I'm in them. 

I was also obese at that time and my body just wasn't built to put nylons on easily. Apparently there's an art to putting nylons on, but I don't have that skill. 

I didn't understand the claustrophobia issue during the mission or even just a couple of years ago. I just thought that nylons were the creation of the devil, reinforced by popular society to be a required standard for women in skirts and dresses. As it turns out, minus the devil part, that last statement is kind of true (in my opinion). Screw that society! 

I actually discovered the claustrophobia issue much later. Over the years it has become more and more apparent pre and post MRI. MRI's are a frequent requirement to aid my continued medical management with Multiple Sclerosis. 

Now, I'm totally fine thinking about getting an MRI, but then come the day before and I get really anxious. In that state of mind, I start to get worried about how stiff I get in the darn machine. 

Then I think about having to lay perfectly still for an hour, while loud obnoxious noises rattle everything inside of me; praying that the rattling bursts of offensive noise won't startle me enough to make me move, which would require that MRI sequence to start over. 

Then my mind starts to worry about the tech and if they will be able to find a good vein easily, in order to inject the gadolinium dye, that acts as an illuminating contrast to enhance the scans that they are taking. 

If they don't get the vein right, then the side-effects of recovery from the dye getting into the body, outside of the vein, is very unpleasant. Then I start worrying about the results... 

My last MRI was a week ago. I don't know the results yet. I think my doctor is just going to wait on giving me the results until my next follow-up with him in March. I'm assuming that if there was a problem, they would have reached out to me by now.

The list of things that my mind thinks about pre and post MRI could go on a lot longer, but the reality is that darn glamour shot they took of my innards doesn't change the fact that I feel good right now. I am happy, right now. I am living life the best I can and gosh darn it, I'm having fun - right now. 

I should have smiled for the picture, then my big concern would be if I could hold the smile long enough. Better yet, maybe next time I will take a couple pair of nylons with me and require that the technicians wear them the entire time my photo shoot is running. 

I know it's not their fault, but it would sure make me feel better. Damn nylons!