When I sat down to do the research I wanted to do for this article, I typed in the words “Chronic pain” to a journal database and up popped a list of articles on training patients in mindfulness training, meditation, and coping with the pain. As the right side of my head throbbed in pain, this translated to me: “this pain will never stop, learn to live with it” and tears rolled down my cheeks for the 3rd time today. I didn’t want to learn to live with it, I wanted it to fucking go away.

But with all of our medical advances, with how far we’ve come in so many things, pain – especially chronic pain –  is still something we’ve yet to quite grasp.

I have been suffering with migraines for 2-3 years now, and seeing a neurologist for 1. I have learned “mind-fullness” over the years, you have to at some point in order to function, and mine aren’t as bad as some migraine sufferers are. I don’t vomit, I haven’t since was 5, I just don’t have the reflex I guess. Most days I can eat, some I can’t. I used to have to go into clinics to get the butt shots (as I like to call them) for the pain, I haven’t for 8 months now. I can get a migraine anywhere from once a week, to 3 or 5, and they can last anywhere from 4 hours to 3 days depending if the Imitrex I’m prescribed decides to work (hint: it doesn’t always). Bonus factoid for readers: Insurance only allows for 9 pills a month, you can only take 2 a day. Do the math, and here’s how much it costs without insurance.

One gets pretty desperate when one is in pain, and good-intending people like to offer “advice.” I’ve tried nearly all of it. Hot showers, cold compresses, massages, trigger/pressure point massages, lavender oil and tea, caffeine, orgasms, inflicted pain as a distraction. Riboflavin is the new hip scientific thing my doctors are raving about, so I’m trying that. And well-intending people are always suggesting to me to try marijuana, but the research has yet to be done  and I have bipolar disorder and multiple, albeit insufficient, studies here and here support my personal experience that cannabis can exacerbate mental health symptoms. Shit – today I even when out and got a daith piercing cause why the fuck not? A lot of this, like many things, has little scientific support, just anecdotal evidence. The daith piercing, for example, I put off for a long time because,the Atheistic skeptic that I am said there’s real reason to believe it works. But people say it works, and today I was in crying fucking pain, and my pills didn’t work, so I was ready to give shoving a needle through the cartilage of my ear a go if a handful of people said it worked for them. There isn’t enough research and funding into researching for migraines, so what else is a gal to do? Well, next up for me is the botox shot treatment which, at least from the attached study of 106 patients (more research please….?), 51% reported complete reversal, and 38% partial so here’s hoping.

Putting my personal tale aside, there is something more universal that can be drawn from the reality of experience of pain. I could for selfish reasons encourage you to give to migraine research, , but the issue of pain so much bigger.
As a medical field, we as a species do not have a sufficient, even border-lining on the humane, grasp on pain management. When it comes to end-stage pain, we haven’t a clue what to do. Our patients often end up suffering needlessly for far too long. In a study on the management of pain in elderly patients with cancer, of 4003 patients reporting daily pain 16% received a class 1 pain medication, 32% a class 2, only 26% received morphine. 26% did not receive anything to relieve their pain. The report states that those over 85 were significantly less likely to receive assistance for their pain.

Let that sink in, and put yourself in that hospital bed for a moment.

Now, hopefully you are a person of action so I will end this this some ways to make a change. What can you do about it?

Don’t Give Unsolicited Advice

Linked to another blog mainly for consistency because the rest of my list had links….. but yes!! Please don’t… If someone has a disease, or is in pain, we knooooow (kinda) that you mean well with the “have you tried….” but we’ve also probably already heard it, and tried it, many times before, and you are not their Dr. Please just save it and skip to the bottom of this list.
Support Cannabis Research

Despite my personal experience with it, it does help many people with chronic pain – especially those in terminal situations. I support that, and I think you should too. We need more research, for sure, to know what it does help and does not, to divide the anecdotal from the scientific. But if it helps someone, why the hell is it still illegal?

Support Death With Dignity

Also see here for more useful information on if it’s not legal in your state. It can be a hard topic, but we all die, and no one wants to suffer needlessly. Know your options.

Be Compassionate

The link has some lovely ways to do this, but basically, show some love to those you know who are in pain. Hugs are always nice. Educate yourself, be compassionate and understanding. Listen. Love, love love.


What would you do to make a change [this IS solicited ; ) ]? Comment below!


Evaluating a Website

evaluating a website

Taken from a video seen here on how to evaluate information found on the internet. The above graphic design was made using a program called Inspiration. You can download and use a free trial of this program, and it is great for use in educational settings.

Most of the information provided is pretty standard for people who have used the internet for information. In the example used in the video, if you go to, it’s pretty obvious to most people that this is not a website one would want to use in a research paper. As I jokingly said to my husband: “I’m pretty sure any website that has a “Rap Lyrics!” link under a picture of Martin Luther King Jr. is not a reputable site.”

With all jokes aside, I do think the 4 key categories of judgement are useful in arguments. For example, I will see to this day many people use blatantly biased sites as their “proof” that their argument is valid. We see this a lot when it comes to controversial, emotion driven topics such as the abortion debate, or gay marriage.

The other points are also very useful in discerning a website’s validity. Is it current? Information and science is continually changing, and a website from 2001 may contain obsolete information. Can the author of the website be clearly identified? What are his or her credentials and what authority does he/she have on the subject?

What about sources? Are there any? Are they reputable? Are they clearly linked? A good argument will always have sources to back it up, and these sources will follow the same guidelines we use for judging the quality of a website.


So quick debrief for blog followers:

It was a long process, but I finally came to realize that what I really wanted to do with my academic career was to teach. So I found an amazing program at a local University that ends in a M.A., teaching Credential, and finished Internship in about 18-months time.

I am excited about it! Sure, I’ve been talking about going for Doctoral work in Philosophy or Theology for some time, but I’ve also always only wanted to teach with it and most of doctoral work is in the research. The research part, although I enjoy doing, isn’t necessarily what I wanted to do with my life, it was the teaching.

For now I’m pursuing an English Credential, but Social Studies calls to me as well so down the road I might either switch to that, or tack it on as a second credential.

Where does Philosophy fall? A way of life and thinking. A critical awareness with a desire for continual lifelong search for knowledge and wisdom. What better way to use that than to impart knowledge learned into young people’s minds?

With all that being said:

I’m taking a 100 level technical class this semester which required us to learn to set up a blog. As I already have one, I can use this one for my assignments so figured I would. So look forward to blog posts with new technology stuff that I’ll be using to present in class. Yay!

We’re all Monsters

Monster by Skillet. Yes, I'm still very partial to Christian rock and metal bands.

Monster by Skillet. Yes, I’m still very partial to Christian rock and metal bands.

A topic just in time for Halloween. We all have one that creeps out and in hindsight, we look back and cringe at how horribly inhumane we acted. This horrid snarling monster spewing things we would normally never say. It can be a lovely human experience though, something to learn from. Sometimes we can look back and laugh, othertimes it’s just that bad that it never gets talked about.

I had my own instance come to my mind from listening to the radio and I had that revolted feeling wash over me. So before I ask the blogging community to share their own stories of human monsterhood, I’ll share mine.

I was going through the initial separation period before a divorce and I was in a very stubborn, angry, and vengeful stage. Most of my nights were filled with drinking and ridiculously obvious flirtations. Well, kind of. I was (and am) a total geek, so all of my crazy activities were done online in a MMO role playing game. My separated husband played on the same server, in the same guild. So one night our guild held a voice chat karaoke party on a day me and him was not getting along in any way shape or form, and I vengefully plotting how to piss him off with someone I was flirting with.

I chose to sing Timbaland’s “Appologize.” You know the one: “It’s too late to apologize.” Yeah. With him present and knowing damn well what I was doing. He left the group, and, if I do recall, called me to tell me how horrible I was being. Instead of fessing up, I drunkenly professed that I didn’t know what he was talking about.

Separation and break ups bring out the worst in all of us, sure, but that was just some passive-aggressive, spiteful, immature bullshit right there.

So, if you don’t mind sharing, what’s something you’ve done that you look back and cringe over? Make you feel like a monster?

Happy Halloween everyone!

HuffPost: It’s over


Some time ago, I took the plunge into the massive Facebook orgy with all things Huffington Post. I figured, I’m fairly liberal and agree with all their talking points, so let’s get this shit on my newsfeed so I know what’s up in the world, without the right wing slant added. And hey, I don’t have TV series so don’t watch the news. Plus, cute kitten videos.

It did not take long for things to get repetitive. There were many times I asked myself, “wasn’t this posted before?” I wondered for a while if it was just Facebook’s annoying coding, or if HP was really reposting the same article multiple times.

It’s time for the relationship to end. I simply cannot learn the same things 50+ times any longer.

Without further adieu, I’ll celebrate this decluttering of my feed with what I have learned from HP:

  1. All things Feminism.
  2. Mothers are amazing
  3. Motherhood is not as amazing as you think.
  4. Dads and husbands can be cool too. Mar
  5. But mainly, mother’s breast feeding.
  6. All things Abortion
  7. Obama does funny/controversial shit
  8. Approx. 150+ relationship and marriage advice
  9. Approx. 150+ reasons why I should get a divorce.
  10. More reasons that singledom w/o children is awesome.
  11. GUYS LISTEN: “Yes” means “yes,” everything else means “no.”
  12. Cute kittens & Puppies everywhere
  13. Other baby animals are adorable
  14. Marriage equality.
  15. 100+ ways to be more productive/healthy/confidant

In celebration, and without forgetting the purpose of this blog:

How do you go about newsy feeds? What do you read/watch on a daily basis? Basically, what are your thoughts when it comes to all things news/what’s going on the in the world acquisition?

Penny for your Thoughts?

Taking of innocent life


For the past few days, my neighborhood has been in shock. Three reckless men, one as young as 19, robbed a local bank and took 3 hostages.

One, a mother, just going into draw out money, lost her life while being used as a human shield. Her 12-year old daughter watched from the car while Misty was first taken as a hostage.

Usually, I try to ignore the news. So much gets reported and twisted that I block it out lest the negativity overwhelm me. This was too close to home, and too destructive.

I had a couple come in to my work to eat. As they left, they left a beyond generous tip and asked in return to make it if possible, or to at least spread the word about a candlelight vigil for the deceased hostage. I was too moved by her desperation and community empathy to respond adequately. All I could do was spread the word.

There is something horrifying about reckless taking of innocent lives. Yes, there is a horror towards premeditated and war, but this is quite different. Random, sudden, and without regard for human life.

3 suspects raced through our neighborhood armed with assault rifles, riddling police vehicles with bullets as well as some local businesses.

I can’t quite adequately reflect on this. Only share.

But a penny for your thoughts. If you will. Even though loss happens all around us in many forms, we can all still stop to reflect.

Liebster Award


I was pleased and a little confuses to see a notification on my page from hessianwithteeth nominating my blog for a Liebster award. Being me,I had to go google what it was. I’ll spare the length here since it is easily findable online.

I feel icky sending personal messages about this though. Makes it feel chain mail-y so excuse me, the 2 people I did message it too. Sorry, skeptic at heart and I also hate being invasive onto people’s blogs. Just me. It’s really cool still though! Good bonding exercise.

Basically, it’s a neat little thing for newish bloggers. I bit, and here I am. It was a lovely exercise. The project: 11 random facts about self, 11 nominees for the reward, answer 11 questions asked to you, then ask 11 questions to the nominees. Very nice.

First, the random facts:

1. I’m a 1st generation college kid with a pending dual major in Bible and Philosophy.

2. Intermediate immersive Ancient Hebrew of 2 years.

3. Pure bred cat snob. Raised breeding cats, with most experience with Siamese.

4. My amazing mother had 2 strokes in her early 30’s. She is my idol. Despite the damage, still brilliant and going to college in her 50’s!

5. Been married twice. Still in contact with my ex, I believe love never ends just changes. Current husband 5-6 years my junior, and happily in love.

6. I have an unseen disease I do not discuss, but is a daily struggle for me. Last hospital stint leading to a month disability.

7. I have 300+ poems written covering 10 Years of my life.

8. Alarayeth and Nikeyo are pen names of mine. The former from a novel my mother wrote and has been a name I’ve gone by online for 15 years.

9. I’:m 3rd generation Italian, with my great-grandparents coming through Ellis island. Great-grandma lives just long enough to have a picture taken holding me when I was born. She passed days later.

10.  Most of my life I was a fundamental Christian: baptised in water and spirit with manifestation of tongues, lead a youth group in Queens, NY and miraculously healed a dozen or so (supposedly). Turned Atheist in college.

11. “Doubt everything, even this” is my philosophical mantra. I know nothing.

Questions asked of me:

1) What convinced you to start blogging?
I was making lengthy status posts on FB when a couple people suggested I blog. So instead of flooding people’s walls with my long posts, took it here!

2) Do you volunteer? For what cause and why?
Not as much as I want, but when I do it’s to raise awareness for a local Atheists and Freethinker group I’m a part of.

3) Do you consider yourself an activist?
I do. Not as active as I want, but I fight for what I feel strongly about.

4) What is your favorite genre to read?
For leisure, the occasional sci-fi. But I enjoy philosophy, science, and biblical studies more.

5) Who is your favorite author and what is your favorite book by them?
When anyone asks favorite book, always go to the Bible. It’s my nerdy historical fascination. Author? Can’t pick one. Everyone has a voice, and I enjoy reading it.

6) If you could spend the day with any well-known figure (alive or dead), who would it be and why?
Socrates. His dialectic style makes my mouth water. Father of philosophy and the simile of the line? Yes, please.

7) What truths, if any, do you hold as self evident? Why?
“I think, therefore I am.” That’s about it as far as self-evident can get, isn’t it?

8) Do you attend any conferences? If so, which ones any why?
Nah. I’ll attend the occasional colloquium or lecture if it’s about religion or science though.

9) What is your dream job?
Professor of Philosophy at a University.

10) If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
Hunger, eradicate that shit for Pete’s sake already. Basic life need, food, and we’re worried about our gadgets. Baffles my mind how that is still a thing in this world….

11) If you could make a movie, what would it be about and who would be in it?
My Aunt Karen’s love story with John…. It needs to be written and seen because their love inspires me every day. She blogs about him ever since his soul-crunching departure from our lives:

My nominees:

My questions for them if they choose to accept:

1. Why do you blog?
2. What inspires you?
3. What’s one book I/everyone should read?
4. What’s on the top of your bucket list?
5. What social justice issue is closest to your heart?
6. Favorite movie and why?
7. Favorite quote?
8. What makes you laugh out loud?
9. Who had the biggest influence on your life, and do explain?
10. What do you like about blogging?
11. What do you dislike about blogging (yours or/and others)