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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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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

Friday
Jul142017

Freewheel Attachment on the Beach

🐾Zippity Do Dog Zippity Yay🎶 Using front attachment FreeWheel - makes different land covers possible but hadn't yet tried it on wet sand. All week I was sitting back and kind of down as I really had wanted to be at the waters edge to walk with husband, kids, and feel the waves come in, so I broke out my freewheel and gave it a shot! I had no idea how well it would work but dang it sure did!!!! 😜 www.friednervesandjam.com

 

PS!

Besides the Freewheel making any ground cover a piece of cake, Blue's size is unbelievably deceiving so please be at ease knowing she is the happiest pooch in the world! She's been assessed by the best trainers and each has been blown away at her power. The irony is she was the runt of the litter! 

She was supposed to be our family dog but no one could walk her (she dragged my husband down the street). I tied her leash walking her in my chair and she couldn't get enough! It took me two years to train her NOT to pull so hard. This is a trait she had that we curtailed into a service. Not the other way around. I love the concern from some because I'd feel the same way too! The Brittany breed craves running and exercise. It's also the reason there are so many Brittany rescues out there. Thank you for watching our burst of freedom!

#servicedog #brittanysofinsta #servicedogs #wheelchairadaptors #beachlife #imabeachonwheels 

 Service Dogs UK FreeWheel Wheelchair Attachment #wheelchairs

 

Monday
Jul102017

Vlog Day 13 of Stem Cell Transplant Recovery

Vlog Day 13

Sunday
Jul092017

Canabliss - My Introduction to CBD and Its Effect on Pain

I have not mentioned this before. Sometimes its takes time to reflect and realize what needs to be shared.  And Lordy knows I share everything. Even a little side boob. There was one thing that helped me survive my flares aside from the machinery and pain devices in my body, the dozens of medications we have attempted or I am on, that alleviated the excruciating existence that has been the past six years. Cannabis. It sounds so much more civilized than Marijuana. I never would have believed it until my son did some research - now, I don't exactly know what kind of research - and showed me a video. At that moment I was curled in a fetal position asking God to pass a cup of sugar. This was last Christmas and that particular flare had been ongoing for about six months. 

 

For those who don't know, I have Arachnoiditis and CRPS of the spine, the two most painful conditions on the McGill Pain Scale above childbirth and Phantom Limb. They can last weeks or months with labor-like contractions in my spine that last 3-4 minutes each- with a peak that literally feels like a baby's head is crowning - every 15-20 minutes around the clock. This last one lasted nine months. Just enough time to have the kid! Oh, on top of that, when they peaked my thighs felt like someone was shoveling the muscles off my femurs with butcher knives. Damn that does not sound like fun. 

 

In any case, name the drug I met the thug. I tried every medication a celebrity has ever loved. Nothing would take that pain away. Nothing. 

 

Until I met Cannabis. 

 

Now, the one thing many folks don't understand is it's not like us pain patients are laying here toking all day, and the kind of Cannabis we use is not the fun and happy kind or I'm sure we'd be a lot happier and having more fun. One of the forms I take when needed is prescribed by a doctor and is Medical Grade oil No.5. Sounds like a perfume, right? Number 5 means it is half THC and half CBD. CBD is the hemp oil that is burned out of the leaf that contains a majority of the healing aspects of the plant. CBD is not psychoactive. This means that it does not change the state of mind of the person who uses it. However, it does appear to produce significant changes in the body that result in medical benefits. 

 

I order my capsules from a company called Statewide Collective who I was referred to by my doctor, Dr. Franklin at Greenbridge Medical on Wilshire in Santa Monica. Statewide has you sign a couple forms, send in a copy of your prescription (all scanned in and sent via my phone) and anytime you need an order it is on your doorstep within 24 hours. 

 

For anyone who has ever felt a stigma about Marijuana, please know I did too, and I even grew up in Hawaii with a friend's grandmother (Tutu) growing it (Pakalolo) in her front yard. I had seen news segments on its use for medical conditions, but when your pain is shredding your body from the inside out the last thing you think is going to help is a puff off the happy stick, smoking trees or mowing the grass. 

 

However, when you have tried every possible medication known to one of the most accomplished pain management doctors in the world, it's kind of hard to just say, "No". It was the last resort for me. The nude beach of medicines when you throw up your arms and just say f%*# it. 

 

The sad thing is, I had used it before, but it made me feel paranoid - and guilty for having tried it. Plus, I wasn't in pain so how would I have known it helped for pain? Although it did make me pretty numb. 

 

Back to the video. A man stood mid-sentence facing his friend's camera holding a vaporizer in his hand. His hand was shaking terribly. I assumed Parkinson's. But he was so young? Whatever the condition, his youthful complexion belied any aging state, a scruffed beard patched just enough to suggest otherwise. Several young men scattered a room befitting a college student - Then came the sobering part. An honest confession of a life too similar to my own. One with a semi-colon, paused for an extension of something else that it could someday become. He explained the doctors, prescriptions, and battles lost. Then he lifted the vaporizer with Cannabis oil to his lips, and with one inhale, the tremor in his hand stopped. His hand was suddenly doing what hands are meant to do.  He exhaled and held his hand to the camera like an airplane without turbulence. An applause from his audience - and a silent one of my own. 

 

It was then that something stuck. Neurologically this had to make sense. It calmed his nervous system. Perhaps it could calm my own. I had heard of people struggling for years then finding Salvia-ation. I had seen it in the news, parents begging insurance companies to cover the one thing that saved their baby's life, so why was this the video that struck a chord? It was from my son. He is the one who asked, who pleaded for me to watch, really watch, and to take the leap, and so I did. 

 

Due to the neurological and inflammatory autoimmune conditions, Dr. Franklin suggested the Number 5 capsules. 

 

The moment of truth came as soon as I opened the package. Little red and white capsules like Nurse Jackie. It took about 45 minutes to an hour until the peaks of the spinal contractions began to quell. Suddenly the bracing of my hands into the bedsheets were left hanging, waiting for that moment that never came. I was managed just enough so that I could endure each contraction.  For anything at all to help manage this level of pain (documented as 1000 on a scale of 1-10) was unthinkable. Anything similar would need to be a hospitalization with hoards of the most potent IV steroids and opioid medications allowed and even then my doctor always had to push the envelope for me to receive even the slightest bit of relief. In all of his twenty years of specializing in CRPS, he had never seen a case like mine - I'm not bragging or edging for the Pain Patient of the Year Award, but simply to clarify the enormity of the impact Cannabis usage has made on my quality of life. 

 

Outside of an active flare, the capsules masterfully cover what other medications have tried and failed horribly. 

 

Since my stem cell transplant I have changed my capsules to a Number 4, which has less THC and more CBD as the neurological flaring has subsided. I am now dealing with more of the bone pain from the mechanical issues, than the neurological tantrums. It's like somebody finally took them, sat them in a corner and threatened to take their candy away. The Number 4 also makes me less sleepy during the day. 

 

According to CBD Oil Review, here are some documented facts about CBD:

 

10 CBD Facts You Need To Know

#1: Key Ingredient

Cannabidiol is a key ingredient in cannabis, one of more than 60 compounds unique to the plant and grouped under the umbrella term “cannabinoids.” Cannabidiol, otherwise known as CBD, and THC are usually the most common cannabinoids in the plant and are therefore the most widely studied.

#2: Won’t Get You High

CBD does not get you high like THC does. THC causes euphoria by binding to special CB1 and CB2 nerve receptors in the brain. CBD does not bind to these receptors, so cannabidiol does not get you stoned.

#3: CBD From Hemp is Legal

CBD can be made from medical marijuana plants or industrial hemp plants. Marijuana is illegal under federal law but legal in some states. Industrial hemp when grown in other countries can be imported legally into the United States, making it easier for consumers to get CBD treatment without breaking the law.

#4: Cannabinoid Levels Vary

CBD and THC levels, known as cannabinoids, vary between plants. Marijuana plants grown for recreational use tend to be high in THC and varying amounts of CBD. Industrial hemp plants are very low in THC while medical marijuana plants are typically high in CBD.

#5: No Prescription Needed

It is legal to order CBD made from industrial hemp plants online for use in any state without a prescription. Individuals ordering CBD products made from medical marijuana plants must live in a state where medical marijuana is legal and have a prescription.

#6: Has Medical Value

Scientific studies show CBD provides therapeutic medicinal benefits. According to a 2013 review published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, soothes nausea and vomiting, acts as an anti-oxidant to reduce free radicals that cause neurodegenerative disorders, and works as an anti-inflammatory to reduce swelling. CBD also stimulates appetite and relieves pain.

#7: Benefits the Mind

CBD also combats psychological issues, including working as an antipsychotic to combat psychosis. Additionally, CBD works to reduce chronic anxiety and depression disorders. These benefits of CBD are also helpful for patients struggling with temporary anxiety and depression resulting from a more serious medical condition.

#8: Combats Cancer Spread

CBD products may reduce the spread of some types of cancer cells. The National Cancer Institute reviews several studies that show cannabidiol may have a protective effect against cancer. This review includes research investigating the benefits of CBD treatment for a variety of cancers, including breast, colorectal, and lung cancers.

#9: Reduce THC Fallout

CBD counteracts the negative effects of THC. According to research published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, CBD seems to prevent THC-induced memory impairment. CBD may also ease paranoia and other negative side effects commonly associated with THC.

#10: Helping Children with Seizures

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted University of California at San Francisco researchers permission to study the effects of the purified cannabidiol drug on children with uncontrolled seizures. Study participants are all between the ages of 1 and 18 years, and all suffer symptoms resistant to conventional treatments. Many participants have Dravet syndrome, a condition that begins in early childhood and causes frequent, disabling seizures on a daily basis. The FDA and Drug Enforcement Agency promise to monitor the research closely. Pending FDA approval, more institutions will take up the study.

 

I hope this helps to clarify not only what CBD is, but the impact it can have on a life. 

 

So the next time your kid insists you watch a YouTube video about something that just might change your mind, it might not be such a bad idea but to give him a moment of your time. 

Tuesday
Jul042017

Loop This - Days 5-7 - Stem Cell Recovery

  Day 5 

The honeymoon seemed to come to a close this morning. I was warned, so no surprise, but my spinal pain returned in the morning. Can't blame it for wanting to see what the fuss is all about. Evidently the jackhammers were a bit too loud for a Sunday morning. Thankfully, it was still not its fireball self, but nowadays I'm viewing every shift in my body through a microscope; Something it would probably be healthier to refrain from, but as part of a trial, it's my duty to document and notate each symptom for my doctor's logs. If ignorance is bliss, I guess I am to be one angry futher mucker. 

The incision sites and encircling acreage are still quieting down, but dang I am not opposed to raising a barbed wire fence around my trunk. Poor Don, every time he merely lays his arm on my side as we watch TV I hit the ceiling, and him. I'm not the only one black and blue around here anymore. It's incredible how sensitive the recovering areas are. It makes me wonder how anyone could ever possibly - with a sound mind - opt to and pay for liposuction, on purpose! And then I thought about Cindy Crawford's waistline at the age of Goddess and it all became clear again. My whole life I've wondered what my tummy, booty and thighs would look like with liposuction.  Until I moved into my wheelchair and realized I'm never going to have to worry about that again! My tummy is pretty much behind a curtain, no one can see my booty, and my thighs are horizontal -I've hit the female insecurity jackpot! No more thongs! Spanx are just a verb! I did try to look at the bright side, until  I reflected on the whole not being able to walk thing. 

After that I got to work on my sloth imitation. A sloth with a migraine. Let's just I was rudely reminded this is not a sprint but a marathon. There's a funny thing about the 6-9 month recovery period after a Stem Cell Transplant, the days you feel you are going backwards, are the days the transplant is moving forward. The nature of the process is deconstruction to reconstruction. Specific parts of your body are literally under construction, the scar tissue, structures are being broken down and then built all over again. The new Cells are repairing and eliminating others. So much is going on inside that the body needs every one of its resources to accomplish what is hopefully going to be a miraculous task. 

 

A remedy I am practicing is distraction. The Real Housewives of New York always makes a day look easy. Compared to Ramona and Bethhenny's ongoing row, the battle inside of me looks like a day at the spa. I'd like to see Ramona shed some cells for mankind sometime. You know, a good old fashioned dermabrasion always builds character. 

 

Day 6 

Woke up and my whole world turned around! Out of bed by 10:00am (unheard of!) and did some laundry. Very little spinal pain but still hovering as to warn me to behave. I even drove and partied with Blue Belle under rainbow noodles in a drive-through car wash. Then 4:00pm and my damn glass slipper fell off and had to drive my pumpkin home. 

 

The one common denominator of my days is unpredictability. As long as I can chalk that up to being exciting, this is all going to work out just fine.  

 

 

Day 7 

Ok. Someone has placed a vice on my forehead with an implanted chip, blue tooth of course, and is lurking outside my home logged onto our wifi and controlling it via their iPhone 7 Plus; The Plus, because it is larger and has a greater operating capacity, especially since we just upgraded to unlimited data. I have been body-snatched by a 'temporal' pschitzophrenic. One hour I'm eating a Bon Bon, the next my head is spinning while plastering the walls with chocolate spackle. 

 

The good news is it is only six days out and I can unequivocally say that my post op pain is about 84% healed! Specific times call for specific measures. Each incision has almost completely healed the bruising gone! A key to this was the doctor's order to begin and continue Bromelain and Arnica prior to the transplant, both of which I ordered through Amazon.  The only bruising left is immediately surrounding the incision sites. 

 

For the headaches I take powdered packets of Cambria, a potent Diflucan steroidal type of medication. Be sure to put this in only a couple ounces of water, not milk or juice or anything else. It has a minty flavor that you is quite unfavorable, so at first I tried milk instead. It tasted so much better, but it was only half as effective. Then I read the package. Doi. I'm really trying to drink as much water as possible as well. I've found watching TV and bright lights can bring on the beast so have resorted to wearing my prescription sunglasses inside. Not only is it effective, I look damn cool doing so. That and the Bon Bond and I am one hot Mama!

 

Speaking of hot, whether it's good for me or not, nice warm/hot showers help with muscle stiffness. The areas of muscle along my spine where the stem cell paste was injected are still squawking. Lidoderm patches work beautifully as well as my prescribed not-for-sissies anesthetic Compound cream. This has a combination of topical opioids so always consider this when combining this with patches and oral medications. Everything I use or do is under careful the moderation of my pain management doctor. 

 

I have laid lower than a snake's belly today (as my grandpa used to say) with the hopes of making it out tonight for a family 4th of July celebration at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. If I don't make it back at least I'll have appropriate accommodations!

 

So, the end to another interesting day in the rebuilding of me. As loud as it may seem, it's not that terrible an almost-place to be.