My name is JD and I live in southwest Missouri. I guess I have lived an interesting life where I have been able to travel a lot and study interesting subjects.
Over the years I have worked in several different industries and studied a few different subjects. I have worked as a cosmetologist, a makeup artist, a photographer, a travel agent, and an airline agent to name just a few. At university I have studied theatre, religious studies, anthropology, archaeology, and fine arts (I have commitment issues when it comes to a major, but I think they all work together well).
I enjoy reading, ceramics, fiber arts, stained glass, gardening, cooking, photography, genealogy, and computer games. You can’t always tell that these activities are of interest to me. If you looked at my yard you would think that I was trying to grow beds of weeds, and all my stained glass tools have a thick layer of dust on them.
I am disabled. I am learning to deal with what has come to be known as chronic pain, a family of neurological issues where the brain and nervous system start flooding the body with pain signals and all the associated symptoms of trauma also making the individual extra sensitive pain (not the best or even most accurate description of it, but I really don’t know of an easy way to sum up the six weeks of classes the hospital put me through when I was diagnosed so I could understand what was going on and learn ways to deal with it, that description is as close as I can get).
Researchers have only been working on these types of issues for a few years. Until recently most medical professionals just wrote their patients off as hypochondriacs or attention seekers. When some researches finally decided to look at what was going on and try to understand it they found changes in the functioning of the brain, changes to pain receptors, and the body being flooded with chemicals that are beneficial to the person when the brain produces them for a couple of minuets during a traumatic injury or fight-or-flight response, but are severely damaging when they are produced constantly for 10 or 20 years. It is great that they finally found that there is a medical issue, right? Yes, but there are three major problems. One, the researchers can’t stop arguing over who has the right definitions and categories for this family of issues so it is hard to make sense of a lot of the information that is out there. Two, most medical professionals were never taught that these issues exist and have not bothered to look into the research so that they are informed and able to properly diagnose and treat their patients. Many still subscribe to the belief that the issues don’t exist and that the patients are just hypochondriacs and attention seekers and their patients suffer because of it. Three, no matter what they say scientists don’t really have a full understanding of how the brain works and how to fix it when something goes wrong. They know a lot about what the brain does and can see when it is doing something wrong, however they don’t know HOW it does it or HOW to manipulate it to fix it or make it fix itself when something goes wrong. If they had this level of knowledge, what is really needed to solve these kinds of issues and many others, we would have biologically based computer systems that make today’s most advanced computers look like pocket calculators from 1970. Until we reach that point, they are just putting band-aids on broken bones and throwing mountains of medications hoping that something works.
This has severely impacted much of my life. One of the most frustrating issues is that it took so long to be diagnosed. Over almost a 10 year period my issues were becoming more and more prominent the doctors that I saw kept telling me that there was nothing wrong and would send me on my way. They just assume that you are a drug seeker (which I have refused to take since I learned that they do little good if any at all, and in most cases cause more harm than good). I was not lucky enough to find a doctor who would listen to me and take the time to figure out what was going on till I had reached a point that my pain had overwhelmed my life and I could not function. When the doctors started educating me on what was wrong and ways to deal with it I had a lot of life rebuilding to do. I am still in the process of rebuilding some parts of it. One day I had to ask, “So are you telling me that if years ago, when I started trying to find help, the doctors had diagnosed this correctly it would not have progressed to this severity and my life wouldn’t have fallen apart?” The answer was “Yes”, but with a few clarifications. It would have progressively grown worse over time, but if I had been aware of how to properly deal with it, things would have progressed more slowly and probably would never have reached the severity that it is now. Also, who knows if my life would have fallen apart or not. These clarifications did not help to make me any less angry. The carelessness of doctors is unbelievable and unforgivable. They play god with people’s lives and do not have to live with the hellish consequences of the half-assed performance of their jobs.
I think that one of the most important things in life is questioning the world around us. To always keep exploring, reading and discovering; in other words learning. Learning keeps us growing and changing. From my point of view if we stop growing and changing we stop living.