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The Soldier and the Squirrel introduces children to the Purple Heart

through a loving story of a friendship between a newly wounded soldier

and Rocky the squirrel with his backyard friends. This story began as a

blog during my first year in bed after my incident. With much

encouragement, it is now a book and has been placed in the

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum. Please watch the video

on the About page to learn for the Soldier & Rocky are changing children's

lives.

 

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Tuesday
Aug082017

Day 41 Stem Cell Transplant Recovery - Ozone Infusion

Tuesday
Aug082017

Day 39 Stem Cell Transplant Recovery - Travel Crash & Burn

Tuesday
Aug012017

DAY 34 Stem Cell Transplant Recovery - Cleaning House

Tuesday
Aug012017

DAY 30 Stem Cell Transplant Recovery- The Beach

Monday
Jul242017

Open Letter to Faux Emotional and Service Dogs

Emotional Service Dogs and Service Dogs abide by a different set of rules. ESDs can be removed from almost any establishment at any time, especially if it is not trained. ESAs are not trained to perform tasks or recognize particular signs or symptoms but are distinguished by the close, emotional, and supportive bond between the animal and the owner to provide mental and/or emotional support that must be documented by a licensed physician (NOT ONLINE) verifying the exact service your ESD is providing for you. This makes it very easy for those who wish to violate the law. One does not need to state their psychological disability, but must have a doctor's letter on hand at all times. Service Dogs are more difficult to imitate as it takes at least 2 years in most cases to train them to perform the services needed, and in turn are mind blowingly (I know, not really a word) obedient. However, here's where we are keeping it real. 

 

For psychological support, anyone feels comforted by having their animal next to them; This is NOT to take away from individuals with legit conditions and physician sponsored documentation (This is the reason ESD's are so invaluable). However, if you are purchasing a vest on Amazon without having been to an official living breathing doctor (who's breath you've smelled of garlic after his lunch or seen the sweat on his brow of exacerbation with insurance companies) who has written for you a legitimate letter of verifying your need for an ESD on letter head - not a scanned letterhead upon which you killed with med-speak) and are posing your animal as on ESD, you are not only breaking the law you are literally, every single time, making another human being's life (with legitimate disabilities)more difficult.  Even us IN WHEELCHAIRS with fully years-in-the-making hard-core trained service dogs tied to us, PULLING US into a store, get raked over the coals and interrogated by uninformed employees because of people abusing the very laws - that took decades to implement - created to protect us. Every time you think of pulling out that little red vest you got at such a great price (Prime shipping rocks!) and placing it on your animal so you can take him to dinner (because he's so cute and doesn't bark so he'll be fine) or so he can fly with you or stay in a hotel without a charge, every single time, imagine you are placing a disabled person in handcuffs. People who have struggled their entire lives to make it through one day without wondering if there is a God. People who would probably give up their permanent handicapped placard for you just so they wouldn't ever HAVE to use it again. Disabled 'privileges' are not. If you think they are, take my wheelchair for a day and try to maneuver the world. Take my actual service dog with you each day and see how many people wonder if it's real. You, my friend and supposed supporter of those in need, have crafted this environment perfectly to a tee. Those extra few feet you have to walk because you don't have a placard? Take my spot and try crawling into the store. I'll trade with you any day of the week. 

I was the lady rejected from Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at JFK because the employee thought all service dogs were ESDs and needed a letter of verification. Why? Because of those who abuse the system. Corporations don't know what's what because all they can see are fakers polluting the air so the legitimates are now invisible. You have won the race! Congratulations! There is already so much confusion out there because of those 'beating the system' because they can. Because you can, doesn't mean you should. Every time you can, you are bringing 'can't' to the millions of those who would never dare breathe that word. 

So, the next time you think of going shopping, to drinks, on a flight or to a hotel and decide how lucky you are because you are tricking the system so beautifully, believe me, you aren't. The public sees through everything. And if they don't, then it's because you have trained them (years in the making) to believe that all SD's and ESDs  are fake. So either way, you're frowned upon the minute you walk in the room. Just like us now. It's not cute. It doesn't make you look special, although deep inside we know you are. Just Imagine every time you walk into a business in your cute outfit with paws in your purse or your confidence boosted with your chic magnet in tow, minds like windmills passing by. It is not a breeze that causes turn, but the stirring assumptions of exactly who are you, why you have done it and the damaged it has caused. 

If I sound bitter, I am not. I'm angry. Even after dozens of surgeries and procedures, six years in bed and rolling the fires of Hell, I am still in love with life and blessed a thousand fold, so why am I on a soap box? Because a death by a thousand cuts can ruin anyone's day and sometimes even a life. We are an invisible community so often too hard for you to see - especially those with invisible conditions who bare the brunt of your deeds. We are an army with regiments supporting our own and one where everyone leads. So please, I beg of you with all of our hearts, the next time you pick up that leash, think twice not only of how you will look, but all of the lives you'll never lead. 


Monday
Jul242017

Goodwill ADA Violator Santa Clarita CA

Sunday
Jul232017

Follow up to Day 24 - The White Walkers

Saturday
Jul222017

Day 24 Stem Cell Recovery - To Camp and Back 

Day 24 of Stem Cell Transplant Recovery: We were able to make a last minute drive to surprise Emma Jane at camp! A month ago I could never in a million years even fathomed such an attempt. To get my body stabilized and managed enough to even get dressed would have taken the same amount of time as driving to the camp itself. I can't begin to find the words to express the overwhelming feeling of not just accomplishment, but JOY upon rolling into that game room and seeing her burst in the air toward us in tears and embracing me. It has been sitters, grandparents and Don making these moments happen in life, moments I only wished that I could do. FINALLY it's ME and to top it off I woke up this morning knowing that I could - Not laboring over pros and cons and if it was worth falling into the hell of a flare so deep I would cry myself to sleep.  

 

Today I was a passenger, although laying back with pillows and props, for a 2.5 hour drive there this morning and the same in the afternoon on our current return. We arrived at the camp and immediately spent time with a tour of her favorite things, then took her to lunch at a random place called Chad's BBQ Joint. We ate and played pool, I lost but in my heart I'd won. Upon returning her to camp we said goodbyes outside like the other moms and dads under trees - Not from the car where my station has so often been defined.  I was able to meet her friends from each of three summers past, Sophie, Yasmine and Tonya and CIT's she has spoken about for so long. I left knowing where my baby has been. I can see it now in my mind, not an illusion I created in mind, and it was more beautiful than it could ever be. For once in a very long time, six years it's been, I have the chance to be the Mom again. 

This was a lot today and we will see where I am at, at home. But whatever it is will be a celebration of coming so far to place I never want to leave. 

 

 

www.FriedNervesAndJam.com

Thursday
Jul202017

Day 22 Stem Cell Transplant Recovery 

Tuesday
Jul182017

Horse Face Wheelchair Cam

Fried Nerves Wheelchair Cam