Aimee Copeland Breaks And Pleads For Painkillers

June 28, 2012 at 3:07 pm (aimee copeland, bravery, christina symanski, coping, death with dignity, meditation and pain, pain medication, Uncategorized) (, , , , )

for weeks now aimee copeland has been in the news.  about a week ago the headline for the Huffington Post stated that Aimee had  now asked for the morphine doctors had been offering her for the pain she was experiencing.  here is a little about her if you  have not heard before now. though her father has not characterized her decision as “pleading” that is how the headline ran.

It was nearly seven weeks ago that Copeland sustained a cut on her calf during a fall from a homemade zip line over a west Georgia river. She was diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis, an infection from a rare flesh-eating bacteria. Doctors were forced to amputate her left leg, right foot and hands. The Georgia student, 24, originally refused pain medications due in part to her personal convictions and graduate-school background in holistic pain management techniques. Her preferred method of dealing with the pain was meditation, but that has done little to assuage the sting of skin grafts and muscle flaps that were necessary

“I am blessed to be able to have a challenge that not many others get to have,” Copeland’s father wrote, quoting Aimee. “I am blessed to have the capacity to share my experience with others and have a chance to improve the quality of someone else’s life. I’m blessed to be different.”

when reading this short article my mind wandered back to the young woman who through an accident of adventure had become a quadriplegic. this young woman had been sort of the poster girl for the disabled.  she was an artist, gave speeches, was active in the christopher reeve organization and seemed to be moving on with her life “bravely” as some might say.  tragically she ended her life.  she decided her life was not worth living the way it was.  she was in pain and yet it would seem the psychic pain was perhaps the breaker.  the organizations for the right to die with dignity used this as an example of why we need to change our laws.  the disabled were outraged that she was used in this way.  there is such difference between  someone who is terminally ill, has no chance of recovery, and someone who is disabled. this does not in my opinion make the case for death with dignity.  it was her  dignity at issue for her, however, was her inability to accept dignity in a different form the heart of the problem?

it is my deepest wish that Aimee is allowed to be weak without making headlines.  if asking for pain medication is a weakness at all.  meditation is a tool to be used and as corny as it sounds it is just one tool in the tool box.  her family is suffering as is this young woman. she made a decision out of youthful exuberance and is now paying a heavy price.  my heart goes out to her and if i could say anything to her it would be to embrace her tears as well as her joys.  sometimes bravery is crying and accepting the pain medication.

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barnes and noble with a side of life

May 31, 2012 at 8:32 pm (coping, family) (, , , , )

Barnes & Noble is as familiar to me as my own home.  to the right are rows of stationary and journals. they are displayed with great care. slowly browsing the glittery covers, the leather-bound, some spiral bound, as much variety as the seekers could want. so what does it say about me that i choose one made of  plain brown recycled paper? it feels like a good fit to me.  my life is sort of plain  and recycled.  being plain affords me the opportunity to observe without alarming the beauty around me.  while some gain energy from the attention or spotlight it has always been the opposite for me.  hearing other’s stories, watching other’s lives unfold, even in my last days this is what transports me, perhaps it is what holds me here.

as reverent as a true believer entering church and expecting a miracle, it begins.  a young girl on her cell phone, speaking a bit too loud, seeming to invite all present to witness her one-sided play.  she will not be attending the prom with that cheap blah blah blah….   wandering off to share with other’s her continuing tirade.  her conversation is punctuated with laughter easily mistaken for a bad laugh track, a bit too loud and forced.

laughter from a young couple leads me down the sci-fi aisle.  there are giggles shared in these early moments of love. the private jokes, the teasing. “promise if i buy this book i am not going to hate it.”  ” i swear you are going to love it.”  they glance at each other and move closer…. then like frightened gazelles realizing they are not alone, dance over to another aisle. my breath has caught in the memory and the beauty of those first love moments. our own first kiss at the Tower Book store. one kiss and we were on our way to many more.  it surprises and pleases me that you still remember that day, that kiss, as i do.

unkind words, muttered by a man leaving the  christian book section, as he crosses the path of the young couple as they encircle arms to protect each other from the homophobic assault.  sad in this intrusion on civility, our sanctum has been breached.  they are already at the astrology section and laughing again.  they are leaning into each other, i am grateful to have witnessed this moment.  my own love is just around the corner in the history section, he shares a tidbit and then a stolen kiss. although all my kisses are freely given to this man. this man who loves books, would never say an unkind word in judgement of others.

i am an observer.  this has been one of my joys.  we recently visited family in oklahoma and it was a chance to hear the stories and see my love as he is with those who have been a part of his life before.  next month we will be in charleston and the bahamas family will be there. it is another opportunity to make memories and to remember how delight can rush through your whole being at moments like these.

too many don’t observe their own body and what it is telling them.  even in my desire to observe others i continue to observe my own state of being.  he was watching and waiting to see if we could really make this journey. it was “not advised” that i fly anymore  and though my habit is to take life as it comes it would be foolish not to listen to my body.  as mentioned in previous blogs meditation has been of great benefit to me.  listening and controlling my breathing, remaining calm as it becomes harder to breathe, this helps me for the short flight.  holding his hand, looking at that face, this helps me.

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