Good Morning and Happy Saturday to you! As usual I’m running late, but it’s the weekend and it just feels good to take the day a little more slowly than normal. That and I was pretty caught up with a new wonderful gift my Mother-In-Law sent to me yesterday, so last night my mind wasn’t really on writing. This morning I spent having a leisurely breakfast with hubby before I got started, but I finally made it! Let’s Celebrate!
Birth Mothers Day – In this world that appears to be filled with selfish people who think only of their own interests, today we recognize the biological mothers of adopted children. So many people today justify the use of abortion to rid themselves of an “inconvenience”, moving on from the precious life that they eliminated without another thought. If they DID think about it in retrospect, those are stories we don’t hear about. It wouldn’t do to allow anyone to see that there are regrets, pain and lifelong repercussions to murder. The women who give birth to these children that they perhaps didn’t plan, or maybe were the result of the crime of rape, or possibly life changed for them and they felt that they couldn’t properly care for the baby financially or emotionally, are heroes. These women made the choice to honor life and bring these babies into the world, and allow others who cannot have children of their own to have the gift of a family. Today we celebrate those mothers who gave up their children to be raised by someone else. This day was set up by birth mothers to educate, to remember, and to cope. Many of these mothers feel such remorse, such guilt, that they don’t feel that they deserve to be honored on Mother’s Day. Have compassion for these women, for every day they may find themselves searching the faces of people they pass in stores and on the streets, wondering if perhaps THAT is their son or daughter. They look for similarities, they dream and wonder what the life of their child is like. Some search for their children, or hope that their children will search for them. Today is the day to show compassion for the women who made the loving and selfless act of giving up a part of themselves, so that the child could have a loving home with parents who desperately prayed for children to come into their lives. Being a mother, I cannot fathom the strength it takes to let a child go, because I know that no matter my circumstances, I don’t have that kind of strength. God bless these women, and give them peace in their hearts. Happy Birth Mother’s Day. You know who you are – we honor you.
International Migratory Bird Day – We have had a lot of days to celebrate birds, but today we specifically focus on the incredible journey that migratory birds take each year. They travel 1000’s of miles between breeding grounds in North American, and their winter homes in Central and South America. This is the day to both support and to increase awareness of conservation efforts in support of migratory birds. Today perhaps would be a good day to take a walk in the woods to look for and enjoy watching migratory birds. We have the wetlands behind our neighborhood where we can see Canada Geese hanging out and doing the things geese do. It’s pretty entertaining and very peaceful.
Twilight Zone Day – Weird . . . mysterious. . . surreal . . . maybe a little scary? There are many more adjectives, but you get the pictures. Every once in awhile you need a day that is a little offbeat, much like the show The Twilight Zone. The show was created, written and narrated by Rod Sterling. It premiered on October 1, 1959, and was wildly popular, stretched the imagination and captivated viewers. It was on the air from 1959-1964. The funny thing is that nothing about this show has anything at all to do with today’s date . . . so I suppose it falls in line the mysterious and oddity of the day!
Cornelia de Lange Syndrome Awareness Day – This is a sad one, and something I’d never heard of before now. Cornelia de Lange syndrome (CDLS), also known as Bachmann-de Lange syndrome, is a genetic disorder present from birth. In most cases, CDLS is not associated with any family history of the disorder, but for others, siblings and/or parents may also have the syndrome. Researchers have identified a gene on chromosome 5 associated with CDLS. The following symptoms and other information has been copied and pasted for accuracy. My heart aches for these children and their families.
Symptoms: Many of the symptoms of Cornelia de Lange syndrome are present at birth. These include some or all of the syndrome’s distinctive facial features:
- confluent eyebrows that appear arched and well-defined (99% of cases)
- long curly eyelashes (99%)
- low front and back hairlines (92%)
- turned-up nose (88%)
- down-turned angles of the mouth and thin lips (94%)
- small lower jaw and/or protruding upper jaw (84%).
Other physical abnormalities which may be present at birth or detected as the child grows may include:
- very small head (microcephaly) (98% of cases)
- eye and vision problems (50%)
- excessive body hair, which may thin as the child grows (78%)
- short neck (66%)
- hand abnormalities, such as missing fingers, very small hands, and/or inward deviation of the pinky fingers
- heart defects.
Infants with Cornelia de Lange syndrome are generally born small, sometimes prematurely. The infant has very tense muscles, has trouble feeding, and may have a low-pitched weak cry.
Language and behavior problems: Infants with CDLS do not develop as quickly as other children. Most have mild to moderate mental retardation, but some may be profoundly retarded (IQ range 30-85). Because of problems with the mouth, hearing impairment, and developmental delay, children with CDLS often have speech delay. Behavior problems for children with CDLS may include hyperactivity, self-injury, aggression, and sleep disturbance. These children may appear to have autism due to a diminished ability to relate to other people, repetitive behavior, difficulty with facial expression of emotion, and language delay.
Treatment: focuses on helping each child achieve his or her potential in terms of development and language, and medical care for physical problems. Infants benefit from early intervention programs for improving muscle tone, managing feeding problems, and developing fine motor ability. Life expectancy is normal if the child was born without major internal physical malformations such as heart defects.
The statistics say that this happens to 1 in 10,000 children. I’ve never known anyone with this syndrome, I’ve never even heard of it, but now that I am, being aware and spreading the word, maybe that will encourage others to give to research to figure out how to prevent it, treat it, or at least help with appropriate and helpful therapies and counseling for the families.
Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Awareness Day– I know people who suffer from Fibromyalgia. They have been through years of pain and suffering with many doctors telling them that it is all in their heads, putting them onto anti-depressants and into counseling, telling them they just need to learn to live with it. The truth is that this is a syndrome primarily characterized by widespread chronic muscular pain, fatigue and insomnia. It is a difficult to diagnose syndrome and equally difficult to understand. People who suffer from the condition often fear they are being treated as hypochondriacs or are perceived as chronic complainers and lazy. They often fear disclosing they have the condition to their employer and co-workers because they might face discrimination or a hostile work environment. A decade ago many people would be hard pressed to say they had even heard of the condition.
American Chronic Pain Association survey
According to a survey done by the American Chronic Pain Association in March 2012 92% of the general population in America has heard of Fibromyalgia. This is a substantial increase in FM awareness in the general population, however, the survey also suggests people do not understand the difficulties involved with everyday tasks. For example, people were asked to indicate activities they believed people with FM would have difficulties with and people with FM answered the same survey. There was little discrepancy in the category of ‘do yard work or clean the house’ but there was a significant discrepancy in categories like ‘watch a movie’ or ‘drive a car’. The reasoning for this, no doubt, that pain must be caused by doing activities but with cases like FM it can be just as painful to be still or in one position for too long.
Do people know who FM afflicts? When it comes to who can get FM the same survey suggests people are not too clear on the idea. 44% said they were not sure who was impacted by FM and one-third said older women. When looking at FM prevalence the majority of FM sufferers are indeed women, however, men suffer from the syndrome as well. Diagnosis can come at a young age but there is an increase in prevalence of the condition in aging populations.
How are the FM disabled perceived? What is most interesting about the ACPA survey is how the general population perceives those who suffer with FM versus how they perceive themselves. The study states that people with FM believe society sees them as ‘complainers’, ‘weak’ and ‘lazy’. Whereas the results indicate the general population sees them as ‘courageous’ and ‘strong’. There are reasons for FM sufferers to have this impression. People who have had FM for over a decade have been exposed to doctors who have denied the existence of the condition or refused to treat them. They have been told they were ‘stressed’ or it was ‘all in their heads’. This leads, unfortunately, an unwillingness to disclose details to health professionals for fear they will be labelled as hypochondriacs. Others fear they appear as chronic complainers because their health concerns come up in every day life so often. They fear co-workers might believe they are using their health as a reason to ‘get out of work’ or as ‘an excuse’. They may have dealt with hostile work environments or family members who have had difficulties coping with having a loved one with the illness. They also tend to believe society, employers and family all have expectations of them, of anyone, that they are not fully capable of living up to anymore and the guilt of that is a heavy emotional burden. All of this leads to the general impression that the average person would have a negative view of their condition. Whereas the general population sees people coping with a chronic pain condition, with all the associated financial and emotional burdens, and yet still able to get through daily life. Pain may be a private experience and while it can be doubted by the outside observer we, as human beings, have the capacity to empathize and as such we can grasp the struggle someone is going through without having to feel the pain ourselves. It takes a great deal of strength and courage to cope with a complex, chronic pain syndrome like FM and clearly people are able to empathize with that struggle. It is profoundly encouraging to see that result to FM awareness even if only to bring to light to FM sufferers that all people do not perceive them in a negative fashion. Clearly there is more awareness of fibromyalgia as a chronic pain condition even if the specifics of how that pain affects daily living are not clear. However, FM awareness as a chronic pain condition is different than FM awareness as a syndrome. Very few people understand the complexity of the syndrome as a whole or the fact that there is a great deal more involved that just pain. Awareness campaigns that bring to light all aspects of the incurable syndrome not only help with public perception, which decreases decimation and bias, but can help push for research and eventually a cure to this debilitating condition.
Letter Carrier’s Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive Day – Today is the 21st annual food drive where more than 1,400 post office branches in just about every city, state and territory will have letter carriers, family member and thousands of volunteers out and about to help collect, sort and distribute the cans, boxes and jars of non-perishable food items left in bags next to customers mailboxes. This is the nation’s largest one-day food collection drive. By now many food pantries and other service organizations are pretty much tapped out, so the infusion of food from this drive comes at just the right time. The 2nd Saturday in May was specifically chosen for this annual event. The sad reality is that people give generously around Thanksgiving and Christmas, but they push it to the backs of their minds by this time of the year, and the shelves are running bare. It’s sad and the reality is that widespread hunger in America is a tough problem to solve, and it’s something we can’t just focus on one time of the year, and ignore the rest of the time. Last year the food drive gathered more than 70 million pounds of food, bringing in a grand total from all the drives to about 1.2 billion pounds. There is one thing I would like to note to everyone. I spoke with a lady a couple of years ago who was one of the managers at a local food bank at the time. This was right after this food drive, and she was showing me a pile of food that they couldn’t distribute to the bank because it was all VERY past expiration. Do NOT use drives such as this one to unload a bunch of stuff that you wouldn’t eat. Rule should be . . . if YOU wouldn’t eat it. . . nobody else will want to either. That’s just rude. If you are being generous, be TRULY generous and give something meaningful, rather than garbage.
Mother Ocean Day – I looked and looked for what this day signifies. All I could find was a note that on this day people stand at the edge of the ocean and throw roses into the waves. No explanation as to why, where it started, or anything. It’s a nice gesture though. The ocean provides a home to all kinds of life. This is actually a great day to celebrate the life the ocean not only nurtures in its depths and on its shores, but that it provides for us. Ships transport goods on its waters, it provides wonderful recreational opportunities like cruising, sport fishing, surfing, sand castle building . . it also gives us wonderful seafood. Our world would not exist as we know it without the oceans. This means we – every single one of us – even those of us in a landlocked area – must protect and respect the ocean and all of its inhabitants. You can participate in today’s celebration by thinking about what you are pouring down your drains – everything eventually is connected to the ocean and the end of its journey in one way or another, so be aware of the damage you could be doing to the life that lives in the ocean. Adopt a sea critter from your local zoo – or from the World Wildlife Fund. It has more than 40 animals you can symbolically adopt, including those that live in the ocean like dolphins, whales, sea turtles, sharks, sea lions, octopi and clown fish. Maybe you could watch a deep sea movie to learn more about what happens under the waves. And respect the beach if you visit it, never litter, and respect the nests of the animals who live there.
National Miniature Golf Day – I really enjoy miniature golf. I am really intimidated by REAL golf, but miniature golf is something I can do and have fun doing it! Did you know that miniature golf has been around since the 1800’s? During that time people considered it to be highly inappropriate for a woman to raise a golf club above her shoulder level. (there were some REALLY weird ideas going around throughout history!). In 1867 the Ladies’ Putting Club of St Andrews, Scotland built a small scaled-down golf course so that women could play the sport without creating a scandal. It was the first the first miniature golf course in history. Miniature golf courses began popping up in America during the early 20th century. However, these facilities were usually located at hotels and private resorts so they weren’t yet available to the masses. In 1916, James Barber of North Carolina built the first quintessential miniature golf course – it was named “Thistle Dhu”. The design of the course was neo-classical, similar to the styles of the Tuileries Garden at the Louvre in Paris. By the 1930s, miniature golf had become a popular pastime all across the country. Maybe today, for National Miniature Gold Day can go enjoy a round or two!
Stay Up All Night– Well, I saw that there was a day set up for this one, but could find ABSOLUTELY nothing to explain it. It’s pretty self-explanatory anyway I guess. It’s all about staying up all night! When I was a kid I would have LOVED this, as a teen it would have been the norm for a weekend, but now? No thank you. I appreciate my sleep too much for that . . . I’ll leave this celebration to other people. Have fun!
Food Celebration of the Day –
So, it’s no longer morning, now that I’m finally finished, but it’s still a good day to celebrate. I’m off to celebrate Eat What You Want Day and make some cookies in the new, amazing, commercial mixer my mother-in-law sent to me yesterday! I’m so excited! Have a wonderful Saturday, God Bless You and I’ll see you tomorrow!