Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Whatever do you mean?

It has been a while since I've been here. I've kept up with reading all those special blogs, which seem to make me feel even more inadequate and boring than usual. But I don't want all my loyal readers (all 6 of them) to give up on checking here, so I thought I'd ramble on a bit, random micro thoughts indeed.

Didn't I suggest that Hurricane Katrina might not be the last this year? I also think there's plenty of time for yet more hurricanes, Rita being content with munching on Galveston and Houston instead of the Big Easy. Did I mention that these late ferocious storms are quite consistent with global warming? Well, if I didn't, I should have(*see addendum).

I am currently reading an excellent book about Dissociative Identity Disorder, called The Myth of Sanity by Martha Stout. I think she's been listening in on my therapy sessions, her descriptions and explanations ring so true. Whenever I'm faced with bits of life I don't understand, my instinctual response is to search for a book about it. The things I hear seem to go to one part of my brain; the things I read go to another. I need both to understand. I don't want to air all my personal problems with having DID, alters, whatever, but I do want to recommend Dr. Stout's book. As a therapist herself, I can also better understand why my first therapist eventually wished me well and sent me on my way, bewildered and at sea. I feel that in some sense he manipulated me into agreeing to stop therapy with him, and that I should have spoken up before the end and expressed my fears. Anyway, the book is providing lots of food for thought, so if you, or someone you are close to, sometimes "becomes another person" that is wildly different from their "everyday" person, you might want to give this a read. DID is a lot more common than people believe.

I'm having a lot of physical problems right now, and my new doctor is doing lots of testing to help figure out what's going on. I really expected to last longer than this before I started to fall apart. I don't want to be one of those middle-aged women who spend all their spare time going to doctor appointments and complaining about their health. But Damn! I take 6 to 8 different meds every day, don't you think that should cover pretty much everything? Now they tell me I have liver problems and kidney damage. Sheesh!

I've been doing another round of laboratory safety inspections and I'm finding it fairly discouraging. In lab after lab, I find dirty dishes and silverware in lab sinks (ugh!), eye washes that have been disconnected from the sink because they were "in the way", safety showers with the handles tied up to the ceiling so they won't bump people in the head (and so no one in an emergency will be able to find and climb a ladder to activate them), and on and on. I write it up and send it to the appropriate admin., but I can't MAKE anybody do the right thing, I'm not a policeman (although I'd love to pass out citations so the fines would ding them where it hurts). Probably it will take a serious accident or a death to get everybody serious about lab safety. The most common accident in a lab isn't chemical accidents, or radiation accidents, it's fire. And people burned in fires are a hideous way to say "pay attention" to safety.

All the horses are doing fine and enjoying the cooler weather. One of the indoor cats has discovered the pleasures of the great out-of-doors and now watches like a hawk for any chance to scoot out between your feet and head outside. Why the outdoor cats are being so tolerant of this trespassing I don't know, I figured they would whup his sissy ass the first time out, but they just watch as he skulks around. Hopefully he'll give up on this eventually, it's getting old playing do-si-do every time we go in or out. Especially carrying in groceries.

*Addendum: It's true, as commented by Steve below, that even the experts don't agree that global warming is contributing to the recent weather show Mother Nature has been sharing with us. It is true, however, that since 1970, global mean ocean surface temperatures have risen one degree, as has global air temperatures. Two weeks ago, Science published an article that said although globally there has not been an increase in frequency of hurricanes, a team of scientists did find that while the number of Cat 1, 2, and 3 hurricanes has fallen slightly, the number of Cat 4 and 5 hurricanes has risen dramatically, from an average of 10 per year in the 70s to an average of 18 since 1990. In Nature journal published last month, a scientist looked at 4,800 hurricanees in the North Atlantic and North Pacific over the past 56 years and found that although the total number did not increase, their power, measured by windspeed and duration, had jumped 50% since the mid 70s. All of the speculation about cause-and-effect is not straightforward, but it is also true that warmer water and higher air humidity helps fuel storms by feeding them the energy that fuels their intensity. There are cycles to these events, and our ability to correctly interpret the data, and to collect the data in the first place, is radically better now than it was in the 70s. Any scientific debate that is also intensified by the politics of global warming and environmental damage is bound to gather adherents on both sides of the question. I guess the real debate is, if we ignore mankind's contribution to the greenhouse effect, will we have time to fix things if we are wrong?

"Knowledge is power -- if you have the manual."

Carry on.


Carolyn said...

That book sounds like something I should read. I get depressed in the winter too (well, more so than usual, hehe). Seems to run on my mother's side. My mom does become another person frequently, a vicious type. I hope & pray I don't get that way.

"Knowledge is power -- if you have the manual." Sounds reasonable to me! Now where do get the manual? :)

Steve said...

Well, now you have seven readers.

I disagree with this post blaming everything on global warming. Everyone wants to try to explain all the extreme weather that happens with one simple cause.

The Atlantic hurricane basin goes through 25-35 year cycles of inactivity and hyperactivity. A cycle of hyperactivity began in 1995. Most people who weren't alive in the 40s and 50s during the last hyperactive period don't remember how many hurricanes there were then.

And the 88% of hurricanes that occur in the other oceans of the world haven't increased or decreased in intensity or frequency. If global warming were to blame, then one would expect more hurricanes everywhere.

Games are for Children

Carolyn said...

Knock-knock, Marilyn: I tagged you for a little phrase game. Come over to my blog and get the instructions if you want to play :)