Tag Archives: rant

I have very little sympathy for medics who moan about not knowing what to do.

A friend recently told me that his fellow medics tell him about patients with fibromyalgia coming to them and “whingeing” about their symptoms.  Thankfully I was just in crash post-wedding so I didn’t immediately tell him what I thought of his fellow medics but I did say I was more than aware that a dx of FMS got me immediately treated like … I used a rude word for poo.  His response was that the doctors didn’t know what to do about fibro – it’s difficult to deal with.

If I had been more with it at the time I might have given him a message for his colleagues; poor didums don’t know what to do with a very sick patient who comes to them because after all they are supposed to be DOCTORS trained in medicine and very well paid for it. Understandably the sick person would like some help. Doctors need to grow up and start taking seriously the responsibility of being a doctor, or go and find a job they can do, like cleaning the streets or something where they can’t do any more damage.  They will never be any good at being a doctor if they spend all their time soaked in their own narcissism with the delusion that the only important person in the room is them.

581088_443019292382627_1301756826_nThe major problem in medicine these days is that it is seen as a prestigious career for ever-s0-clever people, rather than a vocation to help the sick. People who spend all their time being told how clever they are do not like to face seriously complicated diseases like fibro, ME or any dysautonomic disease. It’s too difficult, involves focusing away from the doctor and onto the patient and does not lend itself to a tick box on a computer.

Treating patients with respect costs nothing and could save a life or two – or at the very least make someone’s life a little more bearable. I think the knock-on effect of patients being treated like persons with intrinsic dignity would be that doctors could cope with failure better and have more job satisfaction.

There is something so wrong in our culture when doctors not only treat patients so appallingly behind closed doors; but have no sense of irony is complaining publicly about how annoying really seriously ill people are when they come for help.

Looking at the state of medicine – and it’s not just in the UK, the same horror stories are told by people all over the Western world – is we have ditched God and with Him we have ditched the natural law and the recognition of personhood with it’s intrinsic dignity and intrinsic rights.

Atos “doctors” could be struck off?

The Guardian are running a story saying that up to 12 medics could be struck off for misconduct because of the dishonest and cruel way they are working for Atos.

Our Government have paid a great deal of money to this French organisation which treats disabled and seriously ill people to such astoundingly undignified and dishonest assessments in order to remove benefits. Story after story of people being deemed “fit for work” who were on transplant lists or so disabled they couldn’t be asked to work. This story in the Telegraph follows the story of man deemed fit for work after a gruelling assessment – who died a few weeks later.

Having read personal stories on the lists of the astonishingly bad attitude and behaviour of Atos, including having no disabled access to assessment centres so a lady in a wheelchair was taken to the cargo lift by a porter!

Despite the outcry, patently fake assessments and serious injustices perpetrated against sick and disabled people, the Government have given them another 3 year contract!

I remember the days when Maggie Thatcher removed benefits from the long term sick leaving them in serious debt and with no homes. She filled the prisons instead silly woman Didn’t save the country doing that did she?

I haven’t heard from Atos yet – but I don’t doubt my time will come and I am sure they will treat me the same and remove my DLA. God will have to come up with a miracle. So far, He hasn’t let me down.

It worries me that we are a country that has so little care for those who are vulnerable that not only is there no willingness to provide a descent health service, but we are all sitting back and allowing another attack on the sick and disabled.

Fibro and CFS/ME and the heart failure link.

I worked as a pyschi nurse for about sixteen years, so I should be more than aware that research based practice is more mantra than reality. Even so, I was a bit of an eejit and followed the general advice put out by the NHS on the best way to deal with fibro, cfs and ME and any other illness of the type that takes years (in my case 8 years) to diagnose. The advice was the usual “don’t smoke” (I don’t) “Don’t drink more alcohol than the Govt allows” (I don’t – I drink less) and “eat healthy” (I do) and then do lots of exercise to push past the pain and in the end all that hard work will pay off and improve your health.

Well, as I face not even being able to get upstairs without being winded and finding just everyday life makes it difficult to breathe and now I am drugged to the eyeballs with meds for lungs, heart, BP and pain, I find that it has been known since 1996 that doing aerobic exercise with these illnesses can cause and/or exacerbate heart failure. In fact an MP in Britain dropped dead after taking the exercise advice.

So all that time I spent forcing myself to push that little bit harder, walk that little bit further and psuh past the pain, wasn’t helping me at all. In fact it has likely led to me being this ill.

I have seen quite a bit of research showing the CFS/ME/FM link with heart failure, the most recent in 2006, so I was more or less resigned to this happening. But finding that the advice I so readily took back when I could do it has probably made me worse rather than better is somewhat soul destroying.

My Cardio appoitment is on Wednesday. I hope I will be allowed to discuss this with the doctor when I see him. But I bet I wont.

Heart failure deaths happen an average of 25 years earlier in people with CFS/ME/FM. A little more care and awareness would be helpful!

Are Home Educating parents selfish? Phil Gayle from the BBC wonders!

It has been noted that in Oxfordshire and a couple of other places around England that the numbers of home educated children has risen by over 50%. This rise has caught the attention of the local BBC in Oxford who put out this video in which they briefly look at one family and talk to one “expert”. The mother of seven is home educating her oldest son after his move into secondary school proved pretty awful. She intends to HE her other children through secondary ed but is happy with their primary school.  She calls home education “the poor man’s private education,” – which is an interesting view. It is more and more recognised that  private schools offer a far superior education to state run schools, strangled by the National Curriculum.  I came across a few nurses over the years working double shifts and other jobs to pay for a child to go to private school. I think home ed is easier than doing that.

The “expert” is a professor at the University of Buckinghamshire. He was introduced with the words that “experts” believed that the rise in numbers may be due more to improved paper work than more children being removed from school. It’s funny how whenever anything rises- such as autism rates, Ritalin prescriptions or depression in children, someone always suggests it’s about the paperwork – and no one ever produces the evidence for the theory. Whatever the reason, the numbers have increased significantly and it leaves me wondering how many more non-registered families are out there. Most of the HE families we go around with are not registered at all.

So what did the “expert” have to say?

Educating children at home is a very important
freedom, but it is something that really needs to be embarked upon with great
care. It is a tremendous commitment. It may well be that your son or daughter
are not lost in a big impersonal school system, but there are great advantages
to going to school. One of them is that you can see what other children are
capable of. It’s also true that you miss out a lot on the social interaction.
So you may have been protected from bullying but you may not have learned how
to handle it.

I note the “with great care” bit. Does anyone ever tell parents that sending their children to school is an important freedom but should be embarked upon with great care?  After all, schools can leave your children depressed, self harming, alcoholic, illiterate and incapable of holding down a job or making decisions.

He admits that a child can be lost in the “big impersonal system” which surely is a very bad thing indeed, but insists that schools offer great advantages. And these advantages (over home education) are?  Er..that bit was vague and weird.

You can see what other children are capable of in school, he says. Home educated children can see this too, any time they like and they can see it in children of different ages and with different problems to overcome. You see, unlike school children, home educated children get to mix with all sorts of people, because they are not segregated from children on age and ability. Because of this they not only learn what others are capable of academically, but more importantly, in life skills and virtue.

His assertion that home educated children miss out on a lot of social interaction is simply untrue. They certainly have less negative social interaction than school children, but that is a good thing.

The final sentence is yet more evidence that those in positions of power and the “experts” of this country have no respect for children as persons. No one I have ever met who was bullied in school has learned how to deal with it better in adult life. Just the opposite in fact. But then if this “expert” was pushed around, hit, kicked, spat at, half strangled, threatened, mugged, urinated on and robbed he would call the police and demand the perpetrators were arrested. But when it happens to a child in school, either nothing is done or the victim is the one punished. I really do want to know how being systematically abused at school prepares anyone for a healthy adult life. There is no evidence to say it does and plenty of evidence to say it does nothing of the sort.

There was also a radio programme covering the same piece of news but interviewing a different parent. The radio host asked on more than one occasion whether homeschooling wasn’t a selfish thing for parents to do.

There was a call from a home educated student in which she eloquently explained why HE is so good.

Despite both the mother and student talking about the exams they or their children have/can sit and of course doing Open University courses, the question over how home educated children can gain qualifications was asked again. And despite the clear message about how children learn together the work “isolation” was still used to describe HE.

Before I answer question about how selfish we are, I want to look at what the other host on the radio show came up with. She said that taking children out of school undermined the school system. She said of the school system “What’s the point of it, if people aren’t using it?” (Oh what a lovely question.) She went on “Its something we pay our taxes for. It’s something I’m immensely proud of.”  But she doesn’t say why she’s so proud of it – what does it genuinely offer as a system? What about all those children the system is failing? What about the shocking drop in literacy levels and the complaints from employers about the uselessness of GCSEs? What about the fact that Universities have had to put compulsory essay writing modules into their first year courses because even students with straight As at A’level can’t write an essay? I could list more, but get my drift.

Then Phil Gayle the host went on to repeat the “is it selfish?” question and also wondered how wealthy we all must be. You would have to be wealthy he thought.

The woman thought we got help. She doesn’t know a thing about HE obviously.

So to answer Gayle and others, no, those of us who spend our time and adjust our tight budgets to home educate our children are not selfish. We want our children to grow up whole, happy and well educated. We want them to be able to live independent lives able to make good decisions and think for themselves. We want them to have the freedom to make those choices, rather than find themselves shoved into a rut created by someone else. And we are obviously massivley counter-culteral because we believe that our children are persons and have an inherant dignity to be treated respectfully.

Our children get a wider, deeper and stronger education than schools can offer. While home education may not be the best answer for all children or all families it certainly is the best answer for very many. And while some children do well in school very many indeed do very badly indeed and an even bigger number of children get a mediocre education from a one-size-fits-all system.

As for the finances we save up, we do without so that the children can have what they need. We share resources, food, curriculum, time and talents. How often do we have to repeat all this before some journalist somewhere gets it? *sigh*

The Statue of Responsibility because the bar for ordinary behaviour has dropped too low

Anyone who has read Viktor Frankl’s books will have heard of his idea that the USA needed a Statue of Responsibility to be built on the west coast to put some balance on the Statue of Liberty. (click on picture for link)

He was a brilliant man who even before he went to the concentration camps for the ‘crime’ of being a ‘subhuman Jew’ understood that the meaning of life was rooted in love and hope.

He didn’t mean pink and sparkly love or silly hope he meant the love that involves sacrifice and suffering and the hope that is rooted in reality (an ontological absolute reality- not fluff, smoke and mirrors).

I’ve had a few conversations with people recently that have illustrated real love and trying to offer real hope but when I told my dh about one of these he said the grandmother in question was “extraordinary”. I have to say I disagreed.

Continue reading

End of term. Rant and tired. (sorry)

We finished off a week of home ed with some bean and pea growing in bags. They are sitting along the kids’ window ledge at the moment and thanks to the fact that they have something that resembles heat now and then, they are actually growing.

I don’t know what the Jackbooted ones would think but the children also spent a bit of time watching a Silly Symphony and Shirley Temple singing On the Good Ship Lollipop. Now just before you think I’ve completely lost it (if I ever had it) there was a reason. Ronan is reading 26 Fairmount Avenue and Tomie is telling of his childhood and the things he enjoyed including watching Silly Symphonies at the Cinema and how famous Shirley Temple and May West were. So we had a quick look on Youtube and of course there were examples.

On Friday we were all too exhausted to really get the lessons on the go, so Confuscious will have to wait, though I have the worksheets and chapter if we want to do it this week….shall we? …erm. No.

We did however practice the songs for the Troy Story musical they want to get done by Summer. The boys were LOUD. The rap bits are hard though and will take quite a lot of practice.

While the comments are still being posted on Barreness Deech’s blog I notice there has been no response from her. I think there is a chasm between her and us. She doesn’t understand us and I surely don’t understand her attitude one bit.

I think I am becoming more and more removed from parents who send their children to school as well. I know many have to. Life situations do not always allow for home education. But I no longer understand why school is the default setting for families.

Josh is at Uni now and surrounded by “children” 18 and over who have literally moved from one institution to another without ever thinking about doing something outside of institutional schoolish walls. They are supposed to be adults, but they’ve never had a job, paid a bill or some cases cooked a meal. There is a horrible toxic culture of selfishness, spitefulness, drink and sex.

Meanwhile in the comments column of the thoughtless Barroness one parent shows the absolutely vile attitude and language of girls even younger than Iona.

I am tired of hearing about how important A levels are; and science A levels are supposed to be the ‘measure’ of a young person’s worth now apparently. What is so marvellous about a degree from Oxford or Cambridge if you are miserable and/or nasty at the end of it?

One mother wrote of the wonder her children experienced while out on a nature walk and someone asked her if her children could classify the lichen they saw on this walk. Ye gods! Talk about missing the point. Children are worth only what they can put on a test sheet.

When was the last time you heard anyone (outside of the HE Community) talking about their children in terms of who they are and how they are, rather than what exams they are taking, passing and what Uni they might or are going to?

Well. I am watching some of it up close and it looks like a train wreck from my angle. Parents need to wake up. Children are not machines for testers thanks.

Rant over. (for now)

Ye gods not Oona Stannard AGAIN! CES stabs Home Education families in the back {no one surprised of course}

For over 2000 years the Catholic Church has taught that the family is the domestic church, the bedrock of a healthy society and in the sacrament of marriage, holy. She has taught that parents have a right and duty to the education of their children and She has supported that right and duty through teaching, pastoral care and through schools and universities. (Remember the Catholic Church invented the university).  Schools were there to SUPPORT parents, never usurp their role. These teachings were repeated over and over with documents on the rights of families right up to  Vat II and after. There is the beautiful document FAMILIARIS CONSORTIO written by Pope John Paul II which encapsulates the whole teaching in a simple way.

But in England we have the CES.education_imagelarge

Nothing that comes out of the CES surprises me these days. It has long proved itself no friend to Catholic families, or to real education and to call it a service is stretching a point-although it certainly serves the anti-catholic, anti-family government very well indeed.

Oona Stannard, who has no authority within the Church to dictate to families how we should bring up and educate our children seems to think she can force her views down our throats.  She is already considered dangerous to the welfare of children by parents objecting to the appalling “All That I Am” programme. She is blamed as the “chief” who ensures that schools are not allowed to buy in orthodox and well rounded Catholic curricula even for RE (let alone anything else). Despite having absolutely NO CHURCH AUTHORITY whatsoever she insists on barging in on family life at every level even when parents demand otherwise.

It is long past time the bishops of England and Wales acted on this. She should have been sacked a long time ago.

Stannard has now gone on to stab home educators in the back and makes a special effort to twist the knife in those of us who are Catholic. Nice. H/T Maire.

Worse still, I know this will be reported as ‘Bishops’ supporting the Government. On the whole I try not to be harsh to our bishops. They have a tough job and I wouldn’t want to do it. But their silence on this issue is gravely damaging. They have been complicit with Stannard’s bullying behaviour for far too long.

I am going to fisk Stannards document in a while. Then I think Catholic home educators need to get together and write to our bishops and write to Bishop O’Donoghue who seems a good man. We should have turned to him before now I guess.