Monthly Archives: October 2012

Year of Faith: You are a priest forever..of the order of Melchizedek

On Sunday the Second Reading was from Hebrews 5 about how a priest is called, made and what he is supposed to do. The central role of the priest is to offer sacrifice for sin. The author of Hebrews speaks of the role of the High Priest showing it’s continuation from the Levitical priesthood into the Hight Priesthood of Christ and to the priests He handed on His authority to. The central part of the role has not changed. A priest offers sacrifice for himself and his people in reparation for sin.

In the old Covenant of course the sacrifice was conditional and had to be repeated and was never enough. Then Jesus came, fulfilled the sacrifice with His own Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. He was the one High Priest whose sacrifice was “once and for all” never to be repeated. He completed the act of salvation for us in rising from the dead and now everywhere, all over the face of the earth where Mass and Divine Liturgy are said that once and for all Sacrifice with the risen Body Blood Soul and Divinity is represented for all of us.

But that wasn’t the part of the reading today that struck me. It was this line about the priesthood; (Hebrews 5:4)

And one does not take the honour upon himself, but he is called by God, just as Aaron was.

I’ve heard a few things recently, and a lot over the years about people who demand to be accepted to the priesthood. They insist they have a “right” to be ordained and that the Church has no business deciding whom She will and will not accept to ordination.

The fact is, from the very first days of the Church no one thought there was a “right” to be a priest just because you felt like it. The priesthood was then and is now a calling from God and He asks a mighty amount of those men He calls. They are to give up everything, take up the cross and follow Him. They are to serve vast amounts of people, many of whom are less than grateful.

I never hear the willingness to serve, sometimes in awful situations, from those demanding the “right” to be ordained. Their whole discourse is power and politics based and nothing to do with sacrifice, sacraments or service.

When I hear these people going on about their “right” to “power” in the church I can’t help thinking of my parish priest. I know from personal experience how much time he takes with the seriously ill. His care of my friend was excellent and I know she wasn’t the only one he showed such care for. He visits the sick and the elderly regularly. My son has met him at work, much to both their surprises. I also know from others about the quiet work he does to help mothers in crisis pregnancies. He doesn’t shout out his work. We hear along the church grape vine when people speak of how kind he has been. He sits with the dying, and comforts the grieving.

The day after my friend’s funeral, which was such a difficult, difficult day, I heard he had a funeral for a baby. No rest for him. Barely time to grieve for my friend who was his friend too.

God calls men like that, They don’t tell God He needs them. They don’t tell God they have “rights” and He had better take note.  The Church tests them and ordains them. She sends them out to work and work. That’s not a right, that’s a vocation.

Cardiologist POTS Spec appointment.

I went off for my appointment at the hospital this morning. I am more than aware of how all this works so I had no hopes raised and accepted I would be given the brush off in some way.

There are words I never expected to have come from my mouth or keyboard, but here they are; The Professor was lovely! He was respectful, honest and straight forward. He made no assumptions but actually asked me questions about my wheelchair use and lifestyle. He did a short poor man’s POTS test and said that he tries to avoid sending people for Tilt Table Tests (for which I was so grateful!).

He says it doesn’t look like classical POTS as my BP goes rocketing up with my pulse. Pure ANS dysfunction or failure would cause Hypotension. I’ve read this so I knew what he was on about. I assume I have that narrow band of POTS where hypertension is part of it and that would be adrenal. I don’t know yet.

Next step is a 24hr  ECG. I should get wired up in 4 to 6 weeks for that.

He noted the complicating factors for my tachy being how bad the asthma is and the very strong meds I’m on for that.

And of course he noticed the Amitriptyline.  He’s not going to rush into taking me off that. He seems to know a few patients who need it for pain.

I asked him the question I am now going to ask every doc I see. Which camp are you in over FMS and ME – the “real disease” camp or the “all in yer’ead” camp. The man accepts that both FMS and ME are diseases we still don’t know much about. He pointed out that the same can be said for POTS. He would accept the limits to our knowledge rather than assume the patient is making it up or has a mental health problem.

With the complications I have he couldn’t promise I wouldn’t have to have a TTT in the end, but he’s going to work hard to find some answers and a treatment that can get my heart rate down.

As we were leaving the nurse who works with him said, “He doesn’t give up easily you know.”

WHoohoo! He even agreed with her!

I know there won’t be any easy answers. But at least I think I may have found a doc who actually wants to find some answers.

Dysautonomia Awareness Month: As I learn more the jigsaw looks clearer.

Having been ill for ten years, you’d think I would have a grip on the research about what my body is doing to me. But to be honest I was too cautious in reading it. Nearly all doctors

, (with the exception of my GP thankfully) are extremely precious about medical knowledge and the last thing they want to see is patients who have read the research and, worse still, understood it.

Even in my nursing days I heard doctors grumbling about patients who had “Been on the internet,” and were asking questions. So I thought I might be better off keeping anything I knew to myself and not doing much research.

This has been a colossal failure as a method to ensure good medical care. So I have changed tack completely and I’m reading and listening to as much research as my foggy brain can deal with.

Having recently learned of the research that shows Fibromyalgia is likely to be dysautonomic I have made lots of little discoveries that fit a lot of the other symptoms into the ANS disorder.  I would never have worked out I had POTS if I hadn’t read the research. I would never have known there was a good poor man’s tilt table test if I hadn’t read the research and I would never have discovered why my heart can gallop to 148 on  a bad day and my legs swell and mottle. All of these pieces of the jigsaw are now neatly in place.

You could say, but there’s still no cure, and not much treatment. And you would be right. But the fact that I decided to take charge of my own health and fight for it has made a big difference to me. I am still getting gradually sicker and sicker. I’ve crashed out this week completely and been useless to be around. It’s not good, but at least I now know WHY this is happening, even if no doctor ever reads the research, I have, and now I know.

Knowing what’s happening, even when you can’t stop it, is much better than not knowing. It’s better to know for sure there is no cure and treatment is difficult, than to be left with the nagging sense that if only some medic could really pay attention there might be a cure.

Sadly 21st century medicine is nowhere near as advanced as fiction on tele might suggest. Too much medicine is strangled by the weeds of ego and self-serving along with political interests and of course money grabbing. Nothing new under the sun there.

Real Education is a dangerous thing for some

This article via Nonna reports that the German minister Norbert Blum has spoken out for intrinsic family rights.

In Germany parents are not allowed to decide for themselves what is the best form of education for their children. They are forced, violently at times, to send their children to school, no matter how bad the school might be.

Parents who have removed children to home educate – which is an intrinsic right – have been persecuted, their children forcibly removed, and parents threatened with prison.

Sounds like a Nazi regime doesn’t it? And that might be because the law against Homeschooling dates back to 1936. It’s one of the few Third Reich oppressive laws that wasn’t repealed.

from the article:

Michael Donnelly, GHEC2012 secretary and director of international affairs at Home School Legal Defense Association, the world’s largest home education organization, underscored this impact.

“Norbert Blum has said what no one else in Germany has been willing to — that Germany’s iron-fisted monopoly on education is unhealthy for children and families. I hope Angela Merkel and others in her party will listen to the wisdom and advice of this German statesman and take action soon so that parents in Germany can homeschool like millions around the world,” Donnelly said.

The German government have received heavy criticism from those fighting for human rights over the years. unfortunately they are somewhat sheltered from proper condemnation by the strange anti-family culture of European power bases.

I am sure the nod-wink of European politics to family oppression is why Ed Balls and his strange sidekick Badman felt comfortable in citing German law as a reason to come after home educators in this country.

One of the primary goals of most home educating parents (as far as I’ve seen locally and internally) is to teach our children how to learn. We want them to be able to make their own discoveries, to discern right from wrong, truth from twaddle (as Miss Mason would say). We want our children to learn to think critically and be able to understand language use and misuse.

The Taliban are quite right to be deeply afraid of a well-educated populace. They are even more right to be terrified of educated women. It has been shown in missionary work that when the woman and girls are educated they educate the men and boys. Then education spreads from families to local communities and out there. A real education is a genuinely empowering thing.

People who want to bully, control and oppress don’t want people who can think for themselves. Spoon fed education and mass dumb media are great tools for them.

I am grateful I can still home educate my children.

Year of Faith: Thank Christ for Confession.

It’s too easy to take the Sacraments Christ gave us for granted.  God pours out a gratuitous amount of grace for us to use, and we often forget, or refuse it.

As I was sorting the washing t’other day I was listening to Catholic Answers phone in for non-Catholics. I think the non-Catholic phone ins are my favourite because there are some really thoughtful questions at times. But it’s the thoughtless ones that sometimes remind us of what we have.

A ex-Catholic phoned in with that strange kind of desperation to be right that is so often the hallmark of those who have run away from Christ and His Church. He insisted that the Bible contradicted Catholic teaching all over the place. Patrick, being more than fair, held the man over the break and gave him ample opportunity to ask about one issue in Scripture that the Church contradicts. When the break was over the poor man simply had nothing, so he took a scatter gun approach throwing out lots of Catholic practices, including Confession.

That’s the one Patrick and his guest Bishop Conley took up.  John 20: 21 to 23,  where the risen Christ hands on to the apostles the authority to forgive and retain sins.  There’s a great Biblical overview of the Sacrament here which not only shows the Biblical basis, from the very mouth of Christ, but also shows it was part of Church practice by the time the Didache was written (around 80 AD) and is therefore in the Didiache.

If there is one person who has and does understand the deepest complexities of human nature it is Christ – obviously. He is the number one psychologist. It has often been noted that as the practice of Confession has declined the pockets of therapists have filled.

The fact is when we have done something awful and we are suffering the consequences in both guilt and fallout, we need to speak out loud to someone. It is a sop to personal pride to say we can keep it between “me and Jesus”, and that’s before you even consider the fact that refusing to confess is disobeying Him anyway.

In the Sacrament of Confession God not only pours out His grace for us, but He enables us to hear the words “I absolve you in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, our sins are forgiven you.”  That is such a wonderful moment.  So many people who have come back to the Church or have Confessed hideous sins such as abortion will speak of that moment when the weight is lifted and they leave Confession a free person.

On the other side of the psychological coin is the temptation to simply ignore our sins. So what if we said horrible things, it was a bad day. So what if we were too busy to bother visiting that sick person, they are too ill to notice. And as we quietly bin the corporal and spiritual works of mercy and get on with our busy busy lives, we slip into the horrible mind-set of “thank you Lord that I am not a horrible sinner like that person over there…” and the astonishingly common mantra “I’m a good person.”

Going to Confession takes humility and honesty. That’s why so many of us find it so very difficult to do. A good priest will often turn over a few extra stones with you so the forgotten and hidden things are exposed, cleansed and forgiven.

There is a beautiful story about Blessed Pope John Paul the Great. Someone had seen an old tramp as he travelled through Rome to the Vatican.  I can’t quite remember the details here but either this priest or someone recognised the tramp as having been a priest at one time.

On hearing about this the Holy Father asked that the man be found and invited to dine with him. This was done and the tramp was brought into the room where the Pope was going to eat with him.  The man and pope talked and it was true he had once been a priest but had fallen on hard times. The pope took his hands and said “Please will you hear my Confession Father?”

And so the first thing this priest who had become a tramp did to begin his road back to the priesthood was hear the pope’s confession.

For those of you blessed enough to have Confession readily available to you, thank God for that, and pray for us who can’t get there very often.

Epilepsy Clinic

Saw the doc at the clinic yesterday. He spent a lot of time telling me how it wasn’t epilepsy, even after I said I never thought it was. He didn’t know what to do next as the report from my hospital admission wasn’t clear. He asked me a couple of times what I wanted him to do. The EEG was clear of course.
I’ve noticed this question comes up a lot with doctors these days. Is it part of a new protocol where patients must be so well versed in their sickness and must be so well that they are able to clearly request what they need from the medic?
If so, I might be bold and tell them what the research actually says. …. or not.

I was tempted to ask him to wave a magic wand over me and make it all stop. LOL! Well, he did ask what I wanted.

I did ask quite firmly whether he believed FMS was a “real” disease or if he was in the “All in yer’ead” camp. The question made him quite literally squirm and he wouldn’t answer. So, that was my answer.

The next step is to await the next seizure and get whoever might be there to film it.
Yes, you read that right. It’s like some kind of Shame Attack Exercise! I remember those from my psychi days.
My coping strategy had been to tell the kids that if I should have more seizures they were to leave the room and let me get on with them, and I’d call them back when it’s over.
Not any more! It’s grab the camera and film me!!

It’s a great shame that no doctors are capable of taking detailed histories any longer.

Cardiologist POTS specialist next week. And no, I am not raising my hopes.

Home education when ill; Quo Vadis mater pt 2.

The question has come up, and I dare say will come up again, about whether I am doing the right thing in continuing to home educate.

Looking at what my friends have to do first thing of a morning and last thing at night, I don’t think school is an option. I can barely function at those two ends of the day. I am usually able to move around fairly freely by half nine in the morning, but it can take me over half an hour from getting up at half seven to getting upright to come downstairs. Then I tend to sit quietly and do morning prayer before I put the work out.

I then crash around half three, really can’t function them, and am semi crashed by after dinner. I home ed in the middle between half nine and half two and then cook mid afternoon because I can’t cook later afternoon or evening. I just can’t think straight.

I know there are a lot of very sick homeschoolers out there and very sick mums with preschoolers for that matter. I haven’t come across mums coping with sending and fetching kids to and from school and making sure the homework gets done, but I daresay they are out there. My friend has told me the homeschooling doesn’t stop once they’re in school, it just shifts to evenings and weekends. That just wouldn’t work here, where I often can’t string together a coherant sentence in the evenings.

So it looks like home education is the best option for us, as things stand. I’m not being heroic in continuing to home ed. I honestly can’t see another choice at this point.

Honestly, I don’t know how anyone without help from Himself gets through this sort of thing. At least I know He will make sure I can do what needs doing until it doesn’t need doing any more.

Ronan and Avila are pretty independent as learners now. They know how to learn which is the basis for any education. Even on bad days when I’m just the blob-mum they can get on with it.

I’ve cut back a bit. We are sticking to basics and that means that history and geography aren’t being covered as well as I’d like. But a lot of that is covered in Language Arts and Science, so it’s not a complete loss. Latin and Greek are down to once a week.

On good days or better days I add in the stuff we aren’t doing so much of. That way things tick over

Both are good strong readers now and read a lot at bedtime. I think I’ll re-introduce the quiet reading time after half term. They do this sometimes without my suggestion but I think I could ensure certain books get read, and encourage it as a routine.

Thankfully Iona will take them out of the house for an airing when I can’t.

As things stand they are getting a good education. If it came to the point when what they were getting was actually worse than what they’d get in school we’d have to rethink.
So far, so good.