Mar 15, 2014

Different Cultures, Different Mindsets, aka Are They Behind the Times?

I wrote a Facebook post on mammograms that started off humorously, I think and still do, with this picture (, that said, "Men basically have two things to worry about: erectile dysfunction (yes, ED has an awareness platform, too) and the prospect of prostrate cancer. Big deal. But most men don't know what it takes to be a woman because they've never walked our mile." I then went on to elaborate that "our mile" consists of elusive tampons, bipolar-ish pregnancy hormones, and itchy, non-tested make-up. I thought it was funny, sarcastic humor at its best, at least the best I can do. 

I have pissed off two countries. But seriously, the reality is, both sexes have problems, and often the same, like money issues or additional health problems. That post set off a firestorm of direct hits on Facebook and emails that I got to thinking, it must be a cultural thing.

The overwhelming majority of responses came either from Great Britain or Australia which have a shared language, accent (at least, to the undiscerning, American ear), and legal system based on common law. They also share a monarch--Queen Elizabeth II. It all made sense, now that I thought about it. Here's a thought: If all the English and Australian people were suddenly beamed up, Star Trek style, to America (which isn't possible because America, as far as I know, has no teleportation), the overwhelming majority of them would join the Republican party, or go the Tea Party route. (Again, another piece of American humor. Ha ha?)

Anyway, there's no doubt about it that there are cultural differences between Americans and Brits/Aussies, like mentioning tampons in the post was a no-no, or diaphragms? Good lord! The fact is, tampons and diaphragms are the real deal, but hasn't reality set in yet with most Brits and Aussies?

Those responses to my post got me thinking further. Probably overall, there may be  some questions for more on how we do things here in America, like how we have stupid, reality television shows about the broads (I give them that "title" purposely) in major cities (like The Real Housewives of 'you-fill-in-the-blank-and-who-gives-a-shit-anyway), like why we blame Obama for the government's healthcare website when bugs come with every website launch, why we drink supposedly healthy, bottled water in the billions annually, yet we don't give a damn about what processed, fast foods we consume. And more. Lots more.

So to Brits and Aussies, though I stand by my post, I apologize if it offended you. To all those in the same, aforementioned group who "liked" it (a Facebook term) and got a chuckle out of it, congratulations on your being thick-skinned, enlightened, and reality-based. 

Whoops. I did it again.

Mar 3, 2014

Distractions, Disablements, Displeasers, aka Whew! There Are Others!

I have my contact info in my blog. So I was not surprised that I recently received an email from a lady named Grace, and this is what she said:

Hi - I like your blog, but it's hard to read because of the "ink stain" (the wallpaper of your blog). As a stroke survivor, any visual distraction can be hard to deal with.

Thank you, Grace, for that comment. In an effort to satisfy all my readers, I changed the wallpaper.

Here is what my blog looked like before:

Here is my blog now:

I chose the first wallpaper because it made me feel like I was a columnist for the newspaper again. I chose the latter wallpaper because of Grace.

But that email gave me an idea. How many other people didn't read my blog because of the ink stain? As Grace put it, "any visual distraction can be hard to deal with."

I don't have visual distractions in that way, from wallpaper with ink stains, but right after my stroke, my friend took me to "Avatar," the 3-D movie. When we sat down, I put on the 3-D glasses that the theater provided and the movie began, but I immediately had a headache and dizziness, and took off the 3-D glasses. My headache and dizziness stopped. After about 10 minutes, I put the glasses on again, testing myself, and the headache and dizziness resumed.

I sat for over an hour putting the glasses on--and off--at first, thinking it was an anomaly, but I couldn't chalk it up to a mere coincidence. The headache and dizziness always returned when I watched the film with the glasses. Eventually, I closed my eyes for the rest of the lengthy movie and listened, but I missed much in the high-action film. But at least, the headache and dizziness didn't return. The stroke, somehow, was the reason, disabling indeed.

I received another email recently that said: "I have no filters on what I'm saying. I always say something hurtful." The email was signed Anonymous and I won't reveal the address, but it looked ordinary enough,
like (Sorry, "joe," if you're reading this post). So back to  Anonymous. I have that problem, too. If people brush too close to me in a store, I'll say, "Ex-CUSE ME!" Anyway, it's very displeasing to me, and to the person, if they even heard me.

Are stroke survivors having these problems? The question is rhetorical. Of course they are about 800,000 strokes a year worldwide. They may be not having the exact stroke "side effects" I just mentioned, depending on the extent of brain damage and where the damage occurred, but trust me. Hardly anyone gets a stroke and comes away unscathed. So Grace and Anonymous, and to all the other stroke survivors out there, onward and upward. Like I say in the description to my blog, I have two options: live with the stroke or... well, you know the alternative.