FIRST / PREVIOUS / NEXT For as long as I can remember, the Polyamory community has had a strangely sex negative segment that was largely born of the desire to distance themselves as much as possible from the widespread assumptions by people outside of the community that polyamory was all about fucking around indiscriminately. It’s […]Deviant Life #33 — Discerning Deviant
1 a : a crime (such as treason) committed against a sovereign power
b : an offense violating the dignity of a ruler as the representative of a sovereign power
2 : a detraction from or affront to dignity or importance
Lèse-majesté (or lese majesty, as it is also styled in English publications) comes into English by way of Middle French, from the Latin laesa majestas, which literally means “injured majesty.” The English term can conceivably cover any offense against a sovereign power or its ruler, from treason to a simple breach of etiquette. Lèse-majesté has also acquired a more lighthearted or ironic meaning, referring to an insult or impudence to a particularly pompous or self-important person or organization. As such, it may be applied to a relatively inoffensive act that has been exaggeratedly treated as if it were a great affront.https://www.merriam-webster.com/word-of-the-day/l%C3%A8se-majest%C3%A9-2019-09-25
For most of us, living in Canada or most western countries, think that criticism of our government is a fundamental human right, acknowledged and supported by our laws and courts. Within some limits, defying authority or calling authority into question is one of the most crucial of our human rights to the maintenance of democracy.
This fundamental human right is not so fundamental if you live in Thailand. To most Canadians Thailand is just a great place to go on a vacation, not a place where human rights take a backseat to the monarchy. In Thailand, criticizing the government comes with very real consequences, including long jail terms.
And you don’t have to be the author of the criticism, just ask Chanoknan “Cartoon” Ruamsap, who made the mistake of “sharing” a controversial Facebook entry. A pro-democracy activist, Chanoknan “Cartoon” Ruamsap fled into exile on Sunday, ahead of arrest by military order for sharing on her Facebook account a BBC profile of His Majesty the King.
But in the end, it’s me who made the decision. The time I spent to decide was so short and quick. I had less than 30 minutes to decide whether to stay or to leave. What is difficult is the fact that I won’t return after this journey.https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/politics/1403522/activist-chanoknan-flees-lese-majeste-summons
Then I went to say goodbye to dad and mom. Everyone was shocked but agreed. No one wanted me to be in jail for five years merely because sharing a BBC news story.
On the first day I arrived here, I only cried because I saw no way out. Everything seems puzzling and confusing. I didn’t know how to deal with them. I kept asking myself a question whether I made the right decision to seek refuge or I should go back, and I can meet family and friends as usual after serving the jail term. But I got the answer that I couldn’t backtrack now.
And lest you think that these laws are unique to Thailand, with its backward government and oppressive system of administration of justice, think again. There are current laws in Denmark, Germany, Iceland, Netherlands, and Spain, in Europe against insulting the crown, and committing lese majeste, under which an offender could also spend years in jail, or face significant fines or other penalties. Kuwait, Jordan and Saudi Arabia as well as the African nation of Morocco, and the Asian nations of Malaysia and Cambodia all have similar laws on the books, which are various enforced in modern times.
So why would a modern nation, like the Netherlands, or Denmark, maintain what seems like something out of medieval times. Don’t they understand civil rights, and the right to speak out to authority? Well, it turns out, not so much. Both of those countries, as well as Thailand, do allow criticism of the government, or of government policies. What they don’t allow is insulting and gratuitous attacks on the crown, or on the government leadership.
In Canada there are no lese majeste laws, as such, but even in Canada it is important to frame critical comments against the government or the crown in language that is not personally insulting to her majesty, the Queen or her family. But not because there is laws against it, but because it is unnecessary to personalize criticisms against the government or crown.
It’s fine to attack the monarchy, if you would prefer a republic, for example. Just do it with class and reasonably good manners. Most Canadians would be quite unhappy to hear someone committing lese majesty, even if its not illegal.
Even in countries like Canada or the United States freedom of speech has some limits.
BCSC Bans Author and two others.
September 20, 2019
Vancouver – The British Columbia Securities Commission imposed a total of $1.7 million of financial sanctions on three B.C. men and two mortgage investment companies after finding that they committed fraud.
Patrick K. Prinster and David Scott Wright were each ordered to pay $250,000 and Donald Bruce Edward Wilson was ordered to pay $150,000 for diverting investors’ funds from mortgages secured by real estate, which was the purpose described in marketing materials.
The panel also permanently banned Prinster, Wright and Wilson from the following activities:
- Trading in or purchasing securities or exchange contracts
- Using exemptions set out in the Securities Act
- Becoming or acting as a registrant or promoter
- Acting in a management or consultative capacity in the securities market
- Engaging in investor relations
The panel noted that Prinster, Wright and Wilson diverted the funds and carried out their misconduct “despite warnings and concerns expressed to them from multiple sources.”
The panel imposed financial sanctions of $561,479 on DominionGrand II Mortgage Investment Corporation, and $500,961 on DominionGrand Investment Fund Inc.
Almost all of the $1.1 million raised from investors was lost, though the panel did not find evidence that Prinster, Wright or Wilson had been personally enriched by the diversion of investments.
I received a notice of the Securities Commission decision this morning, and have spent the last few hours reviewing their decision and considering how to react to this disheartening news.
Whether or not to appeal the decision is pretty much moot. Neither I nor the other two individual respondents in this civil administration case had the financial resources to defend ourselves in the first place. Both of the companies named in the decision haven’t existed as legal entities for years. We certainly don’t have any more financial resources now than we did when this case first was started.
Legal processes are ferociously expensive, and lawyers fees pretty much out of reach for most people caught up in this type of hearing. If we’d actually benefited personally from the diversion of investment funds to the parties, maybe we would have had the money to defend ourselves and our reputations. We didn’t. However, as acknowledged in the decision, we were not accused of benefiting personally or receiving any significant benefits from the wrongful use of the investors funds.
In reality the pressure of being under the gun by the BC Securities Commission and the BC Financial Institutions Commission at the same time, pertaining to the exactly the same set of circumstances left me pretty much stripped of any ability to do business in the ordinary course, or to protect myself from numerous lawsuits that eventually cost me my share of the equity in my home, and in other assets as well.
A net result to me personally, is that I filed bankruptcy a year and a half ago, after pretty much losing everything I owned.
And in the middle of all of this, my health went to hell, maybe as a result of the incredible stress of the situation, or maybe just an accumulation of unrelenting pressure from almost every part of my life, personal, financial and professional.
There is a point at which I no longer functioned at any reasonable level, and much of my world collapsed around me.
For those of you who follow my blog, both this one and Rain City Review, will know that I’ve been struggling to find my way back to a meaningful future, where once again I can hope for something, and begin to work towards restoring my damaged reputation, and improving my financial circumstances.
But before I can move on I need to deal with this decision, and accept responsibility for what I have wrought. Clearly I took a wrong turn at some point, which led to the destruction of everything I built. Life is lived one day at a time, and I honestly did my best, each and every day, both in regards to these two companies and the others which failed, either in concert with these or on their own for other reasons not useful to go into here. My best wasn’t good enough.
I worked really hard to get in so much trouble, and cause so much damage to other people’s financial position, despite my every effort to contribute positively to my investors’ and clients’ financial lives. Clearly I made a number of wrong decisions, some only understood in hindsight, and not at the time.
I feel like hell for what happened, and my role in it. It is not useful to look for excuses, and it certainly won’t make my investors, family or friends feel any better. I don’t know that anything will.
All I can do at this point is move forward with my life, and vow to do better in the future. I’m sorry. I’m extremely disappointed in myself and my decisions that led to this. I will continue to deal with the consequences and fallout from this decision, and make such reparations as I can under the circumstances. I’ll do my best.
Waiting for this decision, after waiting more than half a decade for the hearings to take place, has been excruciating. But I’m sure no more for me than for the investors harmed by these transactions.
It’s not enough, I know. But its what I can do. I’m sorry. I wish things hadn’t turned out this way.
“…I can’t abide what the world has become, the frozen-ness of our product this evil thing that we kiss the ass of every hour. I want a dailiness that is free and beautiful.”
Definition of dailiness
: daily or routine quality : ORDINARINESSthe dailiness of family life
As I have often said before, “I love words and language.” Discovering a new word is, for me, like finding a twenty dollar bill on the street. It is being rewarded for the simple act of curiosity about the ordinary things of life, in the dailiness of every day.
In some uncomfortable way, the word brings to mind the ordinariness of both good and evil in our lives. Great deeds are seldom made out of massively heroic and exceptional circumstances. Rather, great deeds are the result of the very dailiness of an individual’s existence. Routinely going about doing good, as done by Mother Teresa, to her fellow humans in the slums of India, came to her as a very ordinary thing to do by a very ordinary person. The extraordinary thing about Mother Teresa is that her virtue was lived every boring day, and every exciting day as well. Her humility was a revelation that great good could be the result of just that… a pretty ordinary person committing to extraordinary acts, even as daily habits.
Evil is likewise ordinary, an accumulation of the tiny acts over a period of time which ultimately result in great evil, despite the banality of the individual steps that gets someone there. Hitler’s Nazi Germany was not evil because the railroads ran on time, it was because in the midst of one of the most efficient industrial states of the twentieth century, human beings were destroyed equally efficiently and with banal malice by other humans as a daily matter. This was so much so that the destruction of millions of lives was just another aspect of the dailiness of life in the Third Reich.
Words have the potential to stimulate great changes in us. Words matter.
As human beings we are responsible for our actions, and the necessary consequences of those actions. Accepting, and remembering the harm we cause others is the foundation of permanent change and growth – a vow to do better is nothing if it is not followed up by the small actions involved in turning virtuous behaviour into daily routine.
Nude Photography – Sex and Art and Love and Lust
This is a reblog of an earlier posting from 2011. A lot has changed in eight or nine years, including my experience of a sense of broken trust with my wife of somn years.
The truth is that I was fooling myself, in believing that my wife was okay with my photo shoots with nude models. The only thing she was okay with was not talking about it, or expressing her feelings on the subject. This is now over, and she is quite vocal about her point of view, which is negative in general, and frustrated in particular.
She honestly believes that she never agreed to the terms of our marriage as I understood them, almost forty years ago. The whole idea of “open marriage” or a “poly” relationship is fundamentally offensive to her sense of what is necessary for a marriage to work, ultimately. Today, while we continue to cohabitate, she no longer considers our marriage valid, and considers herself to be unmarried, or perhaps, never really married at all.
In some ways things are actually better between us, in that she is now open to express her honestly held beliefs and her emotions. Now we’re both somewhat bitter about the whole thing, and yet still are trying to find a way to function as a couple.
Life is funny. Despite everything we love each other. Can’t always stand each other, but still have deep affection and respect. We just don’t agree on marital fidelity and a lot of other things. At the heart of it, I’m the one incapable of cleaving to one and only one woman. She’s convinced that it is a function of my inability to really trust anyone completely. She might be right. But just saying it doesn’t change it for me, and it doesn’t resolve it for her.
A close friend of mine, a photographer in Vancouver, with well-developed skills and a wonderful eye, is struggling with a major conflict between his intimate relationship with a long-term woman partner and his even longer term artistic exploration of the female form through nude photography.
I think it’s important to define both – what I mean by an intimate relationship with his partner, and what I mean by nude photography. They may both seem pretty self-evident, but trust me when I tell you that neither is as simple as it seems.
My friend is struggling because his wife of about a year is absolutely mortified that her husband wants to take pictures of naked women, and spend time in intimate situations with naked women who are not her. This is despite the fact that her husband, before marriage, was one of the best known local boudoir photographers in…
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Garniture – accessories in life
- 1855, Robert Browning, “Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came”, XVI:
- […] I fancied Cuthbert’s reddening face / Beneath its garniture of curly gold, / Dear fellow, till I almost felt him fold / An arm in mine to fix me to the place / That way he used.
- 1888, Henry James, The Reverberator.
- They believed that the ladies and the gentlemen alike had covered them with endearments, were candidly, gushingly glad to make their acquaintance. They had not in the least seen what was manner, the minimum of decent profession, and what the subtle resignation of old races who have known a long historical discipline and have conventional forms for their feelings—forms resembling singularly little the feelings themselves. Francie took people at their word […] It would not have occurred to the girl that such things need have been said as a mere garniture. Her lover, whose life had been surrounded with garniture and who therefore might have been expected not to notice it, had a fresh sense of it now […]
- 1855, Robert Browning, “Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came”, XVI:
I like new words. New to me, that is. I’d never heard the word garniture and if I had I wouldn’t have know how to use it in a sentence. The above quotes give us examples from Wikipedia of the proper use of the words.
Which means, an accessory of sorts, but one designed to enhance the object or person being so accessorized. What my mother would have called “gilding the lily.”
So a room with furniture but no garniture, would be a room with essential furniture only, but without any other decorations. No table ornaments, no wall hangings or painting, no fancy lights, to mats on the floor or, for the matter, on the table. A room without any style at all, in fact. The kind of room preferred by my mother, due to her Swedish roots.
The word has other uses. Imagine that a “boy toy” for a wealthy movie star as garniture, making her look good. Or yard ornaments to upgrade the garden. Or nice pictures of food in a takeout restaurant, something to look at while your waiting for your take out dinner.
Garniture. Like furniture. Bears the same relationship to garnish as furniture does to furnish. Another interesting example of how the english language evolved from Norman French.
All things considered, I’d rather be in Tuwanek, for me a most unwonted place, filled with old but vivid memories from my early years, and periodic trips down memory lane on subsequent day trips to the rainforest village area.
I love the word unwonted, for all its unfamiliarity, and despite its similarity to the word unwanted, which sounds pretty similar, despite have a completely different meaning and emotional impact. The word “unwonted” sounds familiar, but it means extraordinary, unusual, and exotic – exactly the opposite of unwanted.
What makes this tiny point of land so special? Mostly it is special because of the flood of memories evoked when I remember summer holidays in my parents’ cottage, just a few hundred steps from the beach. My parents bought the property for use by the family after buying a summer vacation property on Savary Island, further north past Powell River which had never really worked out well because it was simply too far to get to for a short holiday. It took virtually a whole day just to get to Savary Island and another to get home at the end of the holiday.
There were two main benefits of buying in Tuwanek, after their experience on Savary Island. Tuwanek is a drive of less than an hour from the terminal at Langdale, where the ferry delivers cars from Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver. So we could leave our home in North Vancouver, catch the ferry and drive to the cottage in a little over two hours, assuming that we caught the first ferry and didn’t have to wait for the next ferry.
Travelling all the way up to Savary Island is a long trip, with two ferry rides required, and the family taking its’ own water transportation to get to the island as there is no ferry to Savary Island, not even today. That means a boat, which was a major expenditure for my dad and mom. Sechelt is a lot closer, with only one ferry to catch, and it is on a road directly accessed from the Sechelt Inlet Highway.
It’s proximity to West Vancouver also meant that as we kids grew older it was practical to go up for a weekend, instead of reserving it for long holidays. But even with easy access, comparatively, it became increasing a rare weekend visit once we went off to university or into other pursuits as young adults.
It did serve as the location for my honeymoon (of sorts) after I married my second wife. I don’t know if she ever felt that we really had a true honeymoon, already having had a couple of kids before we got married. It was a great place all of us to holiday, and we loved spending time at the beach with the kids in the water.
Eventually my parents no longer used the cabin, and sold it to my sister, who lived there after returning from eastern Canada, where she worked for the New Democratic Party in New Brunswick. To this day she still lives on the Coast, buying a small farm on the road to Port Mellon.
The original inhabitants of Sechelt are the Sechelt Nation, a British Columbian First Nations band who call themselves shishalh (or shishalh Nation). Before English was spoken, the town of Sechelt was called ch’atlich in she shashishalhem (the Sechelt language). For thousands of years, the Sechelt people practiced a hunting and gathering subsistence strategy, making extensive use of the natural food resources located around Sechelt, and its strategic location for access into the Sechelt Inlet. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Synonyms & Antonyms for unwonted
aberrant, aberrated, abnormal, anomalous, atypical, especial, exceeding,exceptional, extraordinaire, extraordinary, freak, odd, peculiar, phenomenal,preternatural, rare, singular, uncommon, uncustomary, unique, unusual
common, customary, normal, ordinary, typical, unexceptional, unextraordinary,usual
I hate to admit not knowing an English language word, or compound word, such as is counterfactual. When I first read it, on an Instagram posting by miriamlewis34575 this morning, I didn’t believe it was a real word, but quickly realized that the word makes perfect sense, and describes something that otherwise wouldn’t have a simple noun to encapsulate it. So, getting beyond the fact that I didn’t have a clue about what it meant, I immediately sought out a definition that I could work with in the course of the conversation with this person.
If only I had known the meaning of the word before chatting with Miriam, I might have appeared to actually know what I am talking about, instead of being caught off guard. I might not have looked like a complete and utter ignoramus to this erudite young woman.
And that’s the point. Counterfactual actually means projecting alternatives to what might have happened if such and such occurs in reality. If I’d only done this or that…
What a useful concept.
It seems to me that what it describes is a condition commonly experienced by EVERYBODY on the planet, and is often responsible for the most negative or positive interpretations of events that occur in people’s lives. Not the events themselves, but how we feel about them, how we cope with the actual events by reinterpreting them in terms that make sense out of otherwise potentially random and senseless events.
Unfortunately, a lot of the time, the interpretation we give an event or series of events is far more emotionally damaging than justified by the events themselves.
“If only I hadn’t been five minutes late for the exam, and failed to get into law school, my entire life would have been completely different.” Of course, rationally a person knows that such counterfactual thinking is somewhat dangerous to your forward progress in life. It makes excuses instead of inspiring more efforts. At least sometimes.
In my own experience most of my regrets come from counterfactual thinking, often leading me into emotional downturns, and wasted upset, often over things not in my control. Counterfactual thinking can ultimately be disabling, freezing me in my tracks and preventing positive planning to overcome a bad situation.
Of course, that refers to Negative Counterfactual thinking rather than Positive. But Positive Counterfactual thinking can also have negative consequences, if it causes me to fail to recognize that the unfortunate events which occurred were the result of a series of decisions well within my control, but which I chose to avoid dealing with in time to deal with the actual consequences. It suggests that in those situations I may fail to change my future behavior as a result of learning from my own mistakes.
I don’t think that anyone can avoid counterfactual thinking. It’s basic human nature. But we can be analytical and rational in our interpretation of our own feelings, and thereby perhaps improve our long term outcomes.
It’s the journey, there is no end point
Whenever religion is used to suggest that there is a certainty: about the nature of God, if any; the nature of humanity, as if knowable; morality, if unconnected to pertinent circumstances, then religion is dangerous because of instead of generating genuine reflection and a healthy quest for more information and spiritual growth, it postulates that everything is already known and not worthy of our intellect, our compassion, or our investigation.
The world’s great religions are aligned with the journey of discovery, the mystery of spiritual enlightenment, and the challenge of learning ethical conduct for all human beings.
It is not religions that fail, it’s religious people who seize upon an imperfect understanding of faith, and seek to impose it on themselves and all others.
This is as true of fundamentalist atheists as it is of Jihadists of all other descriptions. To assume that one person actually knows the true nature of the universe, including the total certainty that there can be no God or universal consciousness of any kind is as religious as an absolute faith in any other religion and is just as dangerous as fanatically believing in any other cant.
Fit? OMG! Thriving or suffering in our bodies?
A couple of suggestions and questions.
- Don’t smoke
- If you smoke, quit!
- If you quit and still get COPD, what the hell do you do then?
I’m not exactly in the best physical condition, considering everything. I’m a type two diabetic, dependent on insulin. I’m way too heavy, as my lifelong personal physician put in my chart – obese! She was far too polite to say that out loud to me, so I found out only after she retired and sent me a copy of the charts for my next doctor to see.
Up until 12 years ago I was a heavy smoker, having nearly started in the cradle, with both parents chain smoking my whole childhood. I stole my first smoke from my mom before going to elementary school! By the time I was ten I was smoking pretty regularly, and spent high school pretty much hanging out in the smoke pit with the other addicts. Both parents scolded me for smoking, but then doing what you do rather than what you say does not give parents a whole lot of credibility. None, actually!
Still, although it might have been their fault that I started smoking, they didn’t hold the stick in my mouth, and force me to smoke for the next forty years. That was my own doing, and there’s no getting around the fact that I smoked a lot! for a long time! and didn’t really think about the consequences much.
Actually that’s not true. In my periodic journals and diaries over those years, I remember bitching and complaining about how much damage I was doing to myself by smoking, despite hating what it might doing to me long term, I still kept on smoking. I was totally resistant to all efforts made to get me to quit.
I did try from time to time. Once, in my forties I stopped smoking for almost a whole year, before giving in to the filthy habit. So I guess I did know how harmful it might be to me in the future. And eventually I did quit. Twelve years ago next January. It wasn’t easy. In truth I might still be smoking if I hadn’t ended up in hospital for near a month as a result of blocked colon surgery.
Part of quitting was about trying to be a better example of a human being to my grandchildren than I had been to my own children growing up. Twelve years ago I didn’t have any grandchildren, yet, but I was encouraged by believing that it would be better if they never saw me smoking at all.
I really hoped that by quitting when I did that I would avoid the worst consequences of smoking, such as COPD or lung cancer.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is an umbrella term used to describe progressive lung diseases including emphysema, chronic bronchitis, refractory (non-reversible) asthma, and some forms of bronchiectasis. This disease is characterized by increasing breathlessness.
Well, I hate to say it, but so sad, too bad. I have COPD, having pretty much avoided it until I caught pneumonia in August 2016 which triggered it, with severe breathlessness and a pretty severe and sudden restriction in my lifestyle. The following list of things I could do comes from the Mayo Clinic website:
Doctors often use these additional therapies for people with moderate or severe COPD:
- Oxygen therapy. If there isn’t enough oxygen in your blood, you may need supplemental oxygen. There are several devices to deliver oxygen to your lungs, including lightweight, portable units that you can take with you to run errands and get around town.
Some people with COPD use oxygen only during activities or while sleeping. Others use oxygen all the time. Oxygen therapy can improve quality of life and is the only COPD therapy proven to extend life. Talk to your doctor about your needs and options.
- Pulmonary rehabilitation program. These programs generally combine education, exercise training, nutrition advice and counseling. You’ll work with a variety of specialists, who can tailor your rehabilitation program to meet your needs.
Pulmonary rehabilitation may shorten hospitalizations, increase your ability to participate in everyday activities and improve your quality of life. Talk to your doctor about referral to a program.
Lifestyle and home remedies
If you have COPD, you can take steps to feel better and slow the damage to your lungs:
- Control your breathing. Talk to your doctor or respiratory therapist about techniques for breathing more efficiently throughout the day. Also be sure to discuss breathing positions and relaxation techniques that you can use when you’re short of breath.
- Clear your airways. With COPD, mucus tends to collect in your air passages and can be difficult to clear. Controlled coughing, drinking plenty of water and using a humidifier may help.
- Exercise regularly. It may seem difficult to exercise when you have trouble breathing, but regular exercise can improve your overall strength and endurance and strengthen your respiratory muscles. Discuss with your doctor which activities are appropriate for you.
- Eat healthy foods. A healthy diet can help you maintain your strength. If you’re underweight, your doctor may recommend nutritional supplements. If you’re overweight, losing weight can significantly help your breathing, especially during times of exertion.
- Avoid smoke and air pollution. In addition to quitting smoking, it’s important to avoid places where others smoke. Secondhand smoke may contribute to further lung damage. Other types of air pollution also can irritate your lungs.
- See your doctor regularly. Stick to your appointment schedule, even if you’re feeling fine. It’s important to steadily monitor your lung function. And be sure to get your annual flu vaccine in the fall to help prevent infections that can worsen your COPD. Ask your doctor when you need the pneumococcal vaccine. Let your doctor know if you have worsening symptoms or you notice signs of infection.
It might seem obvious that I need to change my habits, if I’m going to improve the quality of the rest of my life.
Dr. Tsang, my pulmonary specialist, referred me to the Fraser Health Respiratory Rehabilitation and Education Program at the Physiotherapy Department at Langley Memorial Hospital close to where I live.
It is a six week Pulmonary rehabilitation program pretty much as described in the Mayo Clinic Internet website. A rehabilitation respiratory counselor provided lessons and counselling, and worked with a physiotherapist and dietitian to provide useful information. The classes (my class had five COPD students) run for about three hours twice a week, and for me personally, were extremely useful.
There is really two different types of learning that goes on in the classes, both of which are useful but one of which is essential if a person really wants to get the benefits of the information provided in the handouts and lectures.
All the materials presented are readily available on the internet or at your Public Library. You could find them yourself, read them, and then do what is recommended. You’d think that as a adults we could do that, and save everybody a lot of money in providing these classes. Hell no! Because information without reinforcement and actual exercises is only a small part of the learning process. In some ways the biggest thing I learned in the program was how to let go of my fears, anxieties and panic, when experiencing extreme shortness of breath.
It’s no party, not being able to breathe freely. In fact, its terrifying when you discover yourself unable to catch your breath any time your do any exercise at all. For me, even walking up a flight of stairs seemed beyond what I was able to do. I thought I was going to die, and the more afraid I became, the more difficult I found it to catch my breath.
The doctor told me that it wouldn’t likely kill me to breath, no matter how short of breath I am. Her advice was helpful, although I’m not sure I actually believed her when she told me.
What was more useful was sharing the experiences of the other students within the context of the classes, where we were encouraged to stretch ourselves and learn to manage our boundaries while improving our cardio vascular health. We walked, biked and did stretching exercise as a group, with the instructors monitoring our oxygen levels and pulse levels.
After six weeks I gained insight into better management of my health, and an improved sense of opportunity to control my future.
Before I started the class I had already begun to walk and do more exercise four or five days a week. After completing the program I’m committed to walking and exercising more, as well as changing my diet to improve my weight. I know that doing so will also improve my diabetes and blood sugar levels.
I no longer feel so dis-empowered by my COPD, and see it as somewhat similar to my diabetes, which I also resented like crazy when I was first diagnosed. Just as I have learned to manage my blood sugar levels through a combination of medications, insulin, exercise and diet, over the past ten years I will get control of my cardio vascular health, and reduce to a minimum the impact of COPD on my life.
I have learned that just because it’s hard as hell to breath when I exercise is no reason to stop exercising. In fact, the opposite is a fundamental truth. Use it or lose it, as the old saw goes.
I now make real effort to get and walk every day, and to exceed the minimums recommended in the class.
Instead of taking the shortcut every time, I’m learning to take the longer road home