Recently I was offered a part-time job helping a friend’s mother regain her speech following a stroke. I really, really like this woman and her mother and I am actually looking forward to helping them both get through this. Yesterday I tagged along to a hospital appointment with the speech therapist and I was struck by my friend’s energy and good humor as she guided her mother through her exercises. She has been taking her mother to appointments in the evenings and doing this alone for months after working long and physically and mentally exhausting days and seeing her teaching her elderly mother how to speak again nearly broke my heart.
My friend’s mother was a teacher in her previous life and apparently they used to play word-association games in the car during road trips, the kind of “games” that seem to be the playground of the generationally literate, the kind of wordplay I was never able to do or even care about to save my own life. I can tell that her mother is still very much “there” and that she just has trouble grasping and uttering the correct words (she asked me how to spell my name and after that she did not forget or stumble with it again). Apparently, the mother was initially extremely frustrated at her speech limitations and fought against the stress and exertion (and compounding failures) of her speech exercises but has since calmed down a bit; she does her homework and participates in her exercises without much complaint. My friend told me they try to have fun with it and they end up laughing a lot. I’m glad she told me that explicitly — that they were deliberately trying to make it fun — because that is not a tack I would’ve known to take as I find the whole thing very unsettling in the vein of Dworkin and her comments on female old age and how that plays out under late stage capitalism and patriarchy. I’m glad they had me go once as an observer to see how it’s all supposed to work. Of course, after observing for a bit I had a question.
In my isolated, sick and medicated state, while I can still write and watch videos (and read in moderation) I actually think my own speech and memory skills have begun to fail. My friend and the speech therapist were running my friend’s mother through word association and “priming” exercises which went something like this: “Watermelon, fire truck, camping, blood, starfish. Which of these things are red?” I should mention that she also lost a lot of her eyesight in the stroke so she can’t look at the list, or refer back to it, she just has to remember the list as it’s being read aloud and then only afterwards is given the “category” she is supposed to be sorting them into (e.g. things that are red). Considering her circumstances she does remarkably well at remembering the list when I myself was having a difficult time remembering the items and then sorting them after the fact.
The way it played out in practice made it completely clear to me that if she can’t remember the list, they are going to think her troubled response is a speech-related problem and not a memory-related one. And although I had a feeling this outcome was unintentional, I didn’t know for sure or whether it mattered because the policy/intent behind speech therapy in her case had not been explained to me. For an elderly woman who has just had a stroke, this seemed needlessly cumbersome, not to mention cruel and unfair, assuming the exercises were not intended to include the obvious memory challenge that was baked-into doing it that way.
Continue reading “Helping a Friend’s Mom Recover Her Speech After a Stroke. Moron Medical Incompetence.”
I highly recommend Teri Strange’s Antinatalism series on her YouTube channel, as well as the comments below the vids. In the spirit of Christmas, I would like to offer a little perspective on “family” and exactly what family means (and doesn’t mean) in the context of capitalism and patriarchy. In case anyone is wondering or just not completely clear why their family stresses them out so much, about why the holidays suck, about why everyone drinks heavily and talks small (or fights, or uses passive aggression) when they get together “for the holidays” or why they never get together much if at all, I hope this will help. I understand that this will be controversial for most of the human population but don’t bother trolling me with pro-family comments, I am completely immune. Having a family myself I fucking know better, and I know that as much as anyone defends “family” with jerking knees thinking that what I’m saying doesn’t apply to them, the kinds of things I am talking about here are actually universally applicable and apply to everyone under the current system even if the details are not exactly the same. And like everything that’s true and real, it’s true and real whether anyone chooses to believe it or not.
And remember: just because you don’t personally know about it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.
So without further ado, I offer the following Christmas Family Portrait(s):
Christmas Family Portrait I.
Grandfather. Your grandfather was the man who was legally entitled to rape his wife, your grandmother. And we all know that men will be goddamned before they decline to exercise an actual or perceived right; in a sexual context that’s especially frightening because the other thing men love to do is push boundaries, and beyond that, they take things to which they aren’t entitled at all. So if he was legally entitled to rape your grandmother you can be pretty certain he did and he probably did a bunch of other horrific shit to her too. If your grandparents weren’t legally married he may not have had the legal right to rape her, but then where did your parents come from? Think about that just a little bit. Do you really think your grandmother probably said “Hell yeah!” to the prospect of being ejaculated into by your grandfather when there was no such thing as reliable birth control back then and when abortion was probably illegal? Was your grandfather just so fucking sexy that she actually had to fuck him even though she could literally die? Or is there another — any other — explanation that makes more sense than that? Think before you answer. And don’t lie. Also, for all you know your grandfather could’ve been an unknown assailant or John.
Continue reading “What “Family” Means to Me. A Lil Holiday Perspective. Or, Christmas Family Portraits I & II. (An Antinatalist Post)”
I have seen it pointed out elsewhere that some “conditions” for which the medical establishment offers consumerist goods and services are not actually bona fide medical conditions at all and are in fact money-making schemes advanced by wealthy investors and others who stand to make a fortune off of anyone stupid, naive or deranged enough to accept them. The conversation I am most familiar with pertains to the medicalized transgender movement where people are persuaded that they can achieve the impossible through medicalized interventions, in that case, that “transgender” individuals can change their biological sex through consuming expensive and dangerous cross-sex hormones, puberty blocking drugs, and surgeries including castration, so-called “facial feminization” surgeries and others.
Whether anyone accepts the psychological or physical transgenderism of individuals or not, the issue remains that there are billions of dollars to be made globally on this phenomenon and thinking people are prone to thinking about such things. “Follow the money” is a familiar admonition and politically-minded people understand what that means. They generally accept the reality that where there is money to be made, there will be corruption and wealthy people and entities working in the shadows to further their own interests. In the above-linked article by Jennifer Bilek entitled “Who Are the Rich, White Men Institutionalizing Transgender Ideology?” she asks and answers that question and names names. She concludes that it is “Exceedingly rich, white men (and women) who invest in biomedical companies [who] are funding myriad transgender organizations whose agenda will make them gobs of money” including billionaire businessmen George Soros, “Jennifer” Pritzker and others. And it’s difficult to argue with that conclusion which is demonstrably true. But let’s go further.
Continue reading “If A Disease Is Untreatable, Incurable and Progressive, Is It A “Medical” Condition at All? Ft. Trans Criticism.”