Denise Dances: A Return to Perfect Health - Body, Mind & Spirit!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Memo

THE MEMO


(1) Sis K has been ignoring my phone calls, cards and emails since July 2008.

(2) I believe that B is using Sis Ky to brown-nose Sis K in order to get to the family coffers.

(3) I feel that Sis Ky and B are interfering in my relationship with Sis K and niece J since 2006.

(4) At the anniversary dinner for my parents in January 2010, Sis Ky and B told me not to arrive at the restaurant until 4:30pm, got there first and sat with niece J between them, so as to physically block me from talking to niece J.

(5) When I tried to talk with both Sis Ky and niece J, B kept interrupting me by talking and by his physical size, forming a barrier.

(6) Sis Ky and B owe a lot of money to pay for their vacation properties and partying in St. Barts and other destinations.

(7) I feel that Sis Ky and B are using my family to get to the coffers and pushing me out of the way.

(8) I refuse to participate in any more holidays with said family until my relationships are restored.

(9) I feel that I have been an easy target due to my diagnoses of Major Depression (ya think?) and the fact that I have a bad temper on occasion. (But is the arguing and gossipping so typical of my family any better?) As well, the fact that I have had no luck whatsoever and very poor circumstances in the work environment seems to work against me. This is despite the fact that I worked very hard for many years, both to put myself through college, 3x, and in each and every job I have held. I support myself solely on Social Security Disability. I have a great apartment in downtown New London and I've found my true vocation as an Artist, in oil painting which I show at local galleries periodically. I also feel that my efforts to do well at the Mystic Art Festival in August 2011 were undermined by various deceptive means.

(10) I would like to suggest psychiatric counseling and medical help to others, as needed, since I have already found the help I need.

Sincerely, (Somebody has to be!)

Denise Hickey
New London, CT

Friday, March 18, 2011

Goin' to Mystic!

On Sunday, March 20 at 1:00 pm, there will be an Irish Parade to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, ending up in downtown Mystic.  Anything to get away from downtown New London and "a thousand eyes!" Sure would hate to be framed for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. (Oh, wait. That's overwith...since I left The Residence over a year ago.)  The more things change, the more they remain the same. Hope to see you there!

Denise Hickey
WILLIAMS PARK APTS
# 803
News London, CT

Where I Stand

33 hits yesterday, everyone! It was St. Patrick's Day and I ate dinner alone once again. (And no, it wasn't the three hot dogs at Fred's Shanty.) For those of you who read me yesterday, I guess you can see where I stand in the pecking order of my family.  Profits over people is how business owners tend to see the world. I feel undermined in my relationships, esp those who mean the most to me. I refuse to take part in the gossip, back-stabbing (oh? but how can you tell?) --Why don't you ask me what really went on, during the weekend of the Mystic Art Festival? -- and slander that goes on, where I live and in my own family.  There are some relationships I hold dear, but I feel that I have been robbed of them. In order to move forward in my life and to have that relationship I've always dreamed of having, I refuse to put up with any more crap. I would like to have my birthday acknowledged with cards and a present. I would like to be included in activities in addition to holidays celebrated at Bayview (a facade). I would like to be treated with respect. And please, do not slander me so that even cousins who I hardly ever see are going to diss me on my birthday, as well. Until things improve, Auntie Denise   - who appears to have been thrown away in the trash since July 2008 -- will not take part in the Easter festivities (on Palm Sunday, at your convenience, of course) at Bayview Healthcare in Niantic until further notice. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Overlooked

Passed over for a promotion, time after time. For two years in a row, no birthday card or present. Now, no card from my cousin who always sends them on time. What's up with that? No more school pictures of my niece Julia -- since? I can't remember when...since...July 2008.  What's up with that? Oh, yeah, for some people, it has been the first recession of their lives. There was an empty seat beside me at the Coast Guard concert this past Sunday.  Not for lack of an invitation. It used to be occupied by Paula. Yeah, my best friend, but more like a mother to me. Negligence...abuse...abandonment.  This year, I refuse to sit down to a noon meal with liars and thieves anymore. Time stolen from me...time with my niece Julia. What else are they trying to steal? Those years I will never get back. Got it?  Stop playing dumb.....Mum. The jig is up.

IMPETUS

(1) impetus: n [L, assault, impetus, fr. impetere to attack, fr. in- + petere to go to, seek -- more at FEATHER] 1a: a driving force: IMPULSE b: INCENTIVE, STIMULUS 2: the property possessed by a moving body in virtue of its mass and its motion - used of bodies moving suddenly or violently to indicate the origin and intensity of the motion.

(2) impetuous: adj. [Me, fr MF impetueux, fr LL impetuosus, fr. L impetus] 1: marked by force and violence of movement or action 2: marked by impulsive vehemence or passion (an impetuous temperament) syn see PRECIPITATE.

(3) manipulate: vt [back-formation fr. manipulation, fr. F. fr. manipule handful, fr. L manipulus] 1: to treat or operate with the hands or by mechanical means esp in a skillful manner 2a: to manage or utilize skillfully b: to control or play upon by artful, unfair or insidious means esp to one's own advantage 3: to change by artful or unfair means so as to serve one's purpose: DOCTOR syn see HANDLE.

(4) maniple: n [ML manipulus, fr. L, handful, fr. manus hand + -pulus (akin to L plere to fill); fr. its having been originally held in the hand -- more at MANUAL, FULL] 1: a long narrow strip of silk worn at mass over the left arm by clerics or above the order of subdeacon...2: [L manipulus, fr. manipulus handful; fr. the custom of using a handful of hay on the end of a pole as a military standard: a subdivision of the Roman legion consisting of either 120 or 60 men.

(5) familial: adj. [F, fr L familia]: 1: of, relating to, or characteristic of a family 2: tending to occur in more members of a family than expected by chance alone (a familial disorder).

(Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners???...* * * :) (S.O.S. 6:10)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Parade in NL 3/17

Before I leave the Groton Library this evening, I have one question: What time does the St. Patrick's Day Parade start in downtown New London??? Guess I could "grab 'n' go" the usual time, 10:00 a.m. sharp, a learned behavior where I can tell if I'm being stalked or not! (Only in New London?) The Geneaology Lecture here tonight revealed a ton of informative websites. I only wonder if I'm up to the challenge. I will see you all here on next Monday or Tuesday, as it is getting late and I must get back home -- to watch -- "Hot in Cleveland!"

Denise Hickey
Descendant of Catharine Hickey

Carousel

(1) stalk: vb [ME stalken, fr. OE bestealcian; akin to OE steale lofty, stealan to steal -- more at STEAL]  vi 1: to pursue quarry or prey stealthily 1: to pursue by stalking 2: to go through an area in search of prey or quarry -- stalker.

(2) stalking-horse: n 1: a horse or a figure like a horse behind which a hunter stalks game 2: something used to mask a purpose 3: a candidate put forth to divide the opposition or to conceal someone's real candidacy.

(3) stall: vt 3a: to bring to a standstill: BLOCK, esp: MIRE b: to cause to stop 1: to come to a standstill.

(4) stall: n. [alter. of stale]: a ruse to deceive or delay.

(6) stamina: n. [L plural of stamen warp, thread of life spun by the Fates]: STAYING POWER, ENDURANCE.

Killing Me Softly

As I step down from my soapbox today, I have something to add. It's about a different kind of murder. The kind that kills softly, before you realize it. I am describing the kind of murder that takes place with words. Sometimes very soft words. So soft you can barely hear them. Words put into your own head. Words that tell you, without telling you, that you're no good. Sometimes these words can be defined as "slander." Some people feel they have nothing to do and so choose to slander others, whether they realize or not the harm they inflict on someone's health and well-being. But when it occurs under your own roof, within the place where you live, slander can be impossible to escape. But know this: THE WRITER DOES NOT PLAN TO EXCHANGE WORDS WITH THE PEOPLE WHERE SHE LIVES EVER AGAIN.

Denise Hickey
WILLIAMS PARK APARTMENTS
# 803
New London, CT

48 hits!

48 hits yesterday, everyone! Did any of y'all actually read through all of this? I didn't mean to downplay the horrific tragedy in Japan, the tsunami/earthquake/explosion with my "whining and pining." We can all do our part to make a difference overseas and within our own backyards, using our own unique gifts which God has given us.
I had the pleasure to speak with Ms. Lois Constantine, a former student of Robert Brackman, one of the founders of the Lyme Academy of Fine Art. Brackman was a former teacher at the New York Art League and in Madison, CT as well. After seeing the exhibit of her students at the Garde Arts Center, I began to question my own "modus operandi." That of Solo Artist, carving out my  own time most mornings in my studio gone indoors, OASIS: Outdoor Art Studio - isolated scene - birthplace of my actual painting - or should I say...rebirth! OASIS was born at the Observation Deck, at the end of the Nature Walk alongside Alewife Cove at Ocean Beach in July 2009. This is where I completed my first painting since the early 90s, "Dream House."
What am I driving (at)? As a resident of Mystic, Ms. Constantine is removed from "the scene of the crime," the horrific tragedy here in our own backyards, the merciless stabbing of the young man, Mathew Chew who was walking home from his job at Two Wives Pizza, adjacent to the New London Library, one evening last October. Admiring the architecture, the restaurants, and the cultural scene here in New London, Ms. Constantine feels I live in a great location. As do I. However, she felt that the crime in this region is "overplayed." "Not when you can look outside your window and see the place where someone was murdered," I said.
What effect would a love and practice of art have on a life of crime?
Who were these kids who so heartlessly stabbed one of their "brothers" in the heart? Moreover, who are their parents? Kids do not practice what they don't know. Is murder a learned behavior? Who did these kids learn this behavior from? And, why can't we all slow down and live more simple lives? Sure, we all need money to live. But how much do we really need? And why should we allow ourselves to be overworked and treated abusively in the workplace? And why do people keep turning their backs on the ones they profess to love?
And if one was forced to, or actually chose to slow down and reduce their "carbon footprint" on the face of this volatile Earth, what could we accomplish by "working from home?" By practicing a craft, whether it be oil painting, knitting or crocheting, sewing, gardening, cooking, carpentry? Practicing any art or craft takes discipline, as I well know. When I first moved back to Connecticut, I took an Adult Ed class at Montville High School, evenings, in Oil Painting in 1992. In Fall 1994, I took up the practice of an ancient martial art, T'ai Chi for several years. In Fall of 1997, I took Ballroom Dance lessons. Believe me, this is a discipline. It takes hours of practice, many evenings a week for a few years for most people to master the several smooth and rhythmic dances. Forced or chosen to master a craft? Doesn't leave much time for killin' other people, or the desire, does it?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

At this point...

At this point, I would like to say goodbye to you for today. I don't know if it was good for you, but to me; I don't really enjoy "regurgitating" all of this stuff. I don't know if I am trying to justify my life to anyone or just to myself. Or to say, "It's not easy being an artist." Or.. in this day of instant gratification..."I didn't become this successful overnight!" Or just to ensure that all of these things I have just described don't happen to anyone else. (Denise...this could only happen to you.")

Take care, all! I probably won't see you again until I return to my post here at the Groton Library...on Monday or Tuesday, next week!

Until then, take care. Do what you can to help those in need...whether it is the victims of the tsunami/earthquake/explosion in Japan or right here in your own back yard. I hope I'm doing my part to make the world a better place with my endeavors. Always remember: Use your gifts that God gave you wherever you may be.

Denise

UP NEXT

Up Next...or should I say, "Upchuck?" As I think that's what you're all about to do after reading this. Up Next: "Manisses Nativity Scene: Animal Count." (Noah's ark-style.) For more info, go to: http://sites.google.com/site/makingartaffordabletothepublic/ where you will be able to view "Manisses Nativity Scene" shortly. I have lovingly given this painting to my niece, Julia, who loves animals, for her eighth birthday. Happy Birthday, Julia!

As well, I may review the U.S. Coast Guard Band concert which took place at The Garde Sunday.  A most historic event, as it hosted a guest conductor, Colonel Nikolai Ushapovsky, from St. Petersburg, Russia.

Up next: MAAP, The First Year and The Second Year: the "business" end of my artistic endeavors.  As well, OASIS: The First Year and The Second Year: the actual making of the artwork, the product, the paintings themselves.

Up next, we have "Art for Life", details of my up and coming gig. (Yes, I'm in it for life! Sorry, all of you who consider yourselves the real "business owners!")

UP NEXT, we will have the sporadic stanzas of RENASCENCE, the 1917 poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay. And the true meaning of RENASCENCE, as well.

This will conclude my series beginning with the Deal on Depression and concluding with the Renascence.

Up next, we will have more from my life in the Desert Southwest. For more info, go to: http://novelnewyorkcity1987.blogspot.com/

I hope to provide some travel links for those of you inspired to travel to the Desert Southwest.

UP NEXT to Fool's Gold: New York Revisited.

And up next, I promise to  have for you soon, maybe next week: For those of you who have never been to Block Island, a photo essay of the voyage from New London Harbor to Old Harbor!

(There is only one thing left do do. Get busy. I must carry on! Land ho!)

Denise...Denise Dances...2011

Addendum: Other Trips

There were other trips which I took to Block Island since the passing of my best friend, Paula. There was the one I took in July 2008, which I do not wish to describe here. And there was the one I took in June 2009, where I started my new business venture MAAP and actually wrote my first ever "Business Plan" (yeah, if you can call art a "business.") There was the trip I took to Block Island in August 2009, also a "business trip" to network with other artists at the Block Island Arts & Crafts Fair on the grounds of the Narragansett Inn. In 2010, I was not able to return to Block Island until mid September 2010, for just a brief couple of days.  The weather was quite cold and the flowers had all since passed. The next time I go to Block Island, I plan to go when the flowers are in bloom and the sun shines!

THIIIIINK SUNSHINE! And hoooneyyyy, see you all at the beeeeach! (Already!)

Block Island Trips: A Retrospective

Closely following on The Deal on Depression, I would like to follow up today with A Retrospective of my trips to Block Island in the 1990s.

(1) "The First Time:" Since childhood day trips, I returned to Block Island for the Fourth of July holiday weekend, 1995. The Harborside Inn was the first place I ever stayed on The Block. I enjoyed about three days of early morning T'ai Chi on the front lawn of the Spring House hotel and lots of Mountain Biking with my new, used mountain bike recently acquired. I was in the best shape of my life, as you can see from photos (if you've visited my sister Kelley and her mate Brian on any occasion!) I went with a "crowd" of just seven people on this trip and it was a great adventure!

During the past summer 1994, I'd been rear-ended by a car on my way to counseling for the first time in my life. Suffering with the very painful condition of back and neck pain, known as Whiplash, I became unemployed from my summer temp job at the Southeastern Connecticut Tourism District in New London. I took up the practice of an ancient martial art called T'ai Chi and was able to heal my pain to about a 5 % disability rating. I still suffer with back pain and require a very firm mattress, chair and couch, as well as regular excercise.

(2) July 1996: The Gables Inn was a reasonably cheap accommodation but very noisy, as it was across the street from the Yellow Kittens Tavern! I had just completed the year-long program, University of New Haven M.S. in Education program, where I worked as a Special Education intern by day at Pawcatuck Middle School ("love at first sight!") and attended courses by night on the campus located at Mitchell College in New London, overlooking the Thames River. Needless to say, I was feeling burn-out by this time.

(3) July 1997: The Rose Farm Inn, high up on the hill, adjacent to the Spring House. By this time, I was a teacher at Huntington School of Business & Allied Health in Norwich, CT, which lasted just for the summer. There were disciplinary problems here and the textbooks and workbooks had contradictory and confusing information. (I often felt as if I were "looking down a gun barrel.")Although I endured many hours of work outside the classroom, I was paid only for part time teaching with no benefits.

(By Fall 1997, I was to come into the best job I've ever had in my life as a Special Education Aide at Fitch Middle School, in the seventh grade classrooms. Still, with very low pay and no benefits, it was a one-year temporary position. Even still, I had enrolled in very costly ballroom dance lessons at Arthur Murray in Niantic.)

(4) July 1998: The Rose Farm Inn. My job at Fitch Middle School had just ended. I was awaiting my temp assignment from Olsten Temporary Agency as a temporary office worker at Pfizer in Groton, CT.
Yes, I recall throwing a temper tantrum while waiting for The Group to decide when and where to get going during one of our infamous mountain biking trips around the Southeast side of The Island. ("I never promised you a rose garden.") I also recall feeling very upset about a relationship with a young dancer from Arthur Murray which didn't work out.

In the Fall of 1998 is when I began seeing my afore-mentioned "friend" from the dance studio, who was quite a bit older than me, and which I do not wish to go into here.

(5) July 1999: I can't recall if I went to Block Island this summer or not. At this time, I was employed by LEARN at a summer school program held at Essex Elementary School, as a classroom aide with middle school aged kids. While I enjoyed this assignment very much, there were a few disciplinary problems, which exascerbated after I left this assignment to begin a one year temporary position as an English Teacher at Harvard H. Ellis Regional Vocational Technical School in Danielson, CT.

By the winter of 1999, my temporary assignment at Pfizer had ended. I became -- Depressed! However, my painting, "Spring Freshet" had been accepted in the Pfizer BARE (Bringing Art to the Research Environment) Employee & Family Exhibit! (February - May 1999).

During the Winter of 1999, as well, I began seeing a therapist for the first time at an agency in New London, encouraged by "my friend." ("You seem a little depressed. There's medication...") The only thing I have to say here is this: THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A FREE LUNCH.

Summer 2000: By this time, I had moved to New London, at The Residence of afore-mentioned posts. I became employed once again in the teaching field, this time as a Classroom Aide in the LEARN summer school program, this time at an elementary school in East Lyme.  The kids had major disciplinary issues at this time. My job in Danielson had been terminated prematurely, as I couldn't handle the classroom of high school kids in "the class of 2000 is the worst class to come along in years!" and "Some teachers leave their keys on the desk after just two weeks.") I lasted from late August 1999 until late December 1999. Take that! (Fortunately, my health insurance covered the surgery I was to require shortly thereafter. Needless to say, I was treated very well at the medical center in Danielson and at Backus Hospital, Spring 2000, with Anthem BC / BS health insurance coverage.) I didn't go to Block Island this year as I was on my own again by this time.

August 2004: This was a day trip to Block Island, given to me by my sister Kelley and her mate Brian, and accompanying his family! This trip was punctuated by frequent gunfire from water pistols purchased at the Block Island Pharmacy (which doesn't sell drugs, by the way.) We also enjoyed a bumpy rides on the Bumper Boats in the Block Island boat basin, located in New Harbor. I had been successfully employed as a front end bagger at Shop Rite since March 2002. (I got a job for my 40th birthday and a niece for my 41st birthday!)

July 2005: A day trip with Paula. We witnessed the Parade. I had outgrown it by this point and felt disappointed by the antics of the college youth presence. Paula and I walked to the Narragansett Inn at New Harbor, where she described some appartitions she perceived at the Inn, as we sat on the patio, overlooking the boat basin. We frequently had to stop by the roadside, where I massaged her back, helping to alleviate some of her arthritic pain, along the rambling stone walls. We enjoyed lunch at the Narragansett Inn, petted the farm animals at Manisses Farm, and sat on Crescent Beach before taking the ferry back to New London. We had a great summer, that year, with frequent forays to Ocean Beach. It was the last full summer we were able to enjoy together, as by Summer 2006, I was beset with stomach pain due to fibroids in the uterus and had become so ill by this time as to feel forced to quit my job of four years very suddenly in April 2006. (Health issues too numerous to list here. ("If a woman can survive her forties, she will live forever.")

The Constantine Group

Lois H. Constantine carries on the tradition of the Old Lyme Impressionist art colony of the 1800s. Residing in Stonington, CT; she teaches art to a select group of artists, The Constantine Artist Group, on location outdoors in Southeastern Connecticut and Rhode Island, and in her studio. Her exhibit is on display at the Garde Arts Center, until the end of March 2011. Do check it out! For more info, go to: http://www.loishconstantine.com/

and: http://www.loishconstantine.com/constantine-exhibitions.php

I've felt for some time that this is the direction in which I wish to take my painting. Yet still with a back log ("roster") of projects, both inspired from my recent past while at Ocean Beach (in Summer 2009, sparked by my imagination one day in mid July); and dating back to the early 1990s when I first moved back home to Connecticut (The Transformation Series)...I have many inspirations to fulfill. Spring 2012? and beyond.

Impressionist Denise

Irish Geneaology Lecture 3/16

IRISH GENEAOLOGY LECTURE Wednesday, March 16 at 7pm

Michael Spellmon, a professional geneaologist, will present a lecture on tracing your Irish heritage. Spellmon will discuss Internet sites featuring church records, civil registration, and land records. Adults. No registration required. For more info, contact the Groton Library.

Over the past winter, I dug into the dusty records on the basement level of the New London Public Library's history room. I discovered that my ancestor, Catharine Hickey arrived on the Mayflower in New London, CT from Ireland at the age of 21 as an indentured servant.  If you would like to meet the ghosts of your pasts, please come to the Groton Library and invite them into your life. Now is the time!

It's Time...

LUNCH TIME! (...Be back soon.)

The Deal on Depression

THE DEAL ON DEPRESSION

(1) depression: n 1a: the angular distance of a celestial object below the horizon b: the size of an angle of depression 2: an act of depressing or a state of being depressed: as a: a pressing down: LOWERING b (1): a state of feeling sad: DEJECTION (2): a psychoneurotic or psychotic disorder marked by sadness, inactivity, difficulty in thinking and concentration, and feelings of dejection. c:(1): a reduction in activity, amount, quality or force. (2): a lowering of vitality or functional activity (3) a depressed place or part: HOLLOW 4: LOW 1b 5: a period of low general economic activity marked esp by rising levels of unemployment.

(SOURCE: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, G&C Merriam Co., Springfield, MA, Copyright 1973.)

(What're you, crazy? Think you got problems? Are you kiddin' me? I don't get no respect!!!...* * * :)

Probable Cause

MORE SKINNY ON THE SCHIZ

(1) schizomycete: n [deriv. of Gk schizo - schiz - + myket-, mykes fungus - more at MYC-]: BACTERIUM - schizomycetous.

(2) schizophyte: n [Deriv. of Gk schizo- + phyton plant - more at PLANT]:  any of a division (schizophyta) of plants comprising the blue-green algae and bacteria and characterized by unicellular or loosely colonial and often filamentous organization, by lack of an obvious nucleus, and by chiefly asexual reproduction.

Millstone Information & Science Center, East Lyme, CT: Manpower temp receptionist, Spring 1999.
There was a faxed news print-out every morning on the status of the sea water in Niantic Bay...the shellfish population...there was a touch tank featuring "skates," that is, "sting rays"...there was a gourmet coffee shop across the street...This building is now occupied by none other than...the East Lyme Police Department. (I still  have my blue ruler from this most unique temp assignment which I enjoyed in a very educational environment: marine science. I now use my ruler for measurements in my art projects!)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Also Up Next!

FIND ME SOMETHING TO WEAR...about my trip to The Mall to beat the DESERT SOUTHWEST heat! For more info, go to: http://novelnewyorkcity1987.blogspot.com/

For those of you who need new specs, I highly recommend COHEN's in the Crystal Mall for accurate eye exam and SEARS OPTICAL, Crystal Mall, for great deals in new eyeglasses!

Don't forget to walk a lap or two! Oh, yes, and the rams came running over to greet me today on my break! They know me! They like me!

Tomorrow, I will also update my listing, PAINTINGS FOR SALE on Facebook Marketplace, available to everyone. For more info, go to: http://facebook.com/marketplace

Until tomorrow,

Denise

UP NEXT: My Journey

UP NEXT..."The Deal on Depression"...what it's like to be dx'ed with a "mental illness"...Block Island Trips: A Retrospective" (an essay of my voyages in the 1990s and where I was at  in my life at the time)..."Manisses Nativity Scene: an animal count"...(dissect my painting, Noah's ark-style!)...OASIS - The First Year and OASIS: The Second Year (diary of my paintings in the at-home studio I call OASIS)...MAAP - The First Year and MAAP - The Second Year (chronicles the venues of the past two years in which I have exhibited my artwork)...and more on RENASCENCE, a 1917 poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay...and finally, my latest gig, "Art for Life" Auction up-and-coming on Saturday, April 9 at Mystic Art Center!  This should complete my latest series, chronicling my depression-laden years, questioning its definition as a mental illness, and my resulting journey as an artist in New London since, actually Spring 2009.

Until next time,

Take care all!

Denise
(Denise...Denise Dances...2011)

P.S. You may get a review out of me yet -- for the most recent U.S. Coast Guard Concert hosting a guest conductor from Russia!

UP NEXT: The Deal on Depression

"It takes one to know one." I will probably see you here tomorrow.

The Skinny: 3 Cases

THE SKINNY ON SCHIZOPHRENIA: 3 Cases in Point.

I. D.D, (initials changed): middle-aged male, upper class, Waterford, CT. His identity will remain anonymous. Apart from all definitions, I have known three people diagnosed with schizophrenia, from three different social classes. The first person I met with this diagnoses became a good friend of mine. Although he struggled through college and refused to socialize with the other kids in school, he was employed by his uncle's company for about thirty years in an office environment. I met him at a local dance studio where he appeared very quiet and indeed, catatonic at times. There were signs of another side to his personality but there were few, the main one being that he became very impatient and sometimes even angry with his partners while dancing, often blaming them when he made a mistake. The "other half" didn't become apparent until late Fall 2004, immediately upon the death of his uncle and legal guardian, with whom he resided for many years. He instantly became rude, obnoxious, vicious and insulting, loud, and talkative, where he used to be very quiet, sedate, and even catatonic most of the time that I spent with him from Fall 1998 until Fall 2004.

II. A.R. (initials changed): Middle Class, Quaker Hill, CT. Usually, he appeared calm and easy-going as a grocery bagger with whom I worked alongside at a local store. He was given a set schedule with no weekends, and refused to share the workload of picking up trash outdoors and sorting and returning items to the shelves. He admitted to acting rude and impatient to his doctor at a local public health service agency in New London, while waiting for his prescription to be written. Said doctor threatened to call the police, he admitted to me. I heard from a relative of his and close friend of mine that he was very rude and obnoxious in speaking to his mother at home. He was eventually fired from said grocery store and forced to seek employment in another store.

III. A.J. (initials changed): Lower Class, Groton, CT. From my conversations with this woman at a local coffee shop, she appeared to have multiple personalities and I learned she was formerly incarcerated. I visited the shop for lunch where she worked, about five days a week for close to two years. At the time I knew her, she admitted her boyfriend had been incarcerated as well. She appeared to be gregarious, funny and smart, but at other times delusional, vicious, or depressed and angry. She may have been an alcoholic. Her mother was overweight, diabetic and verbally abusive. She had difficulty in her relationships with her mother, her children and other family members. She often took sick leave. In the end, it was apparent that she was attempting to deceive her coworkers in order to get gifts and money from them, as well as attempting to violate confidentiality of the employees and customers where she worked. I believe her employment was terminated due to her retaining her criminal connections.

The Skinny on Schizophrenia

(1) schizophrenia (schizoid): literally means "split mind." Major psychosis affecting usualy young people (see pages 69, 207) GLOSSARY/INDEX, page 400).

(2) schizo - split. schizo phre nia. (phren = mind).
(Chapter 10, "Bacteria, Colors and Other Root Words, page 69).

(3) schizophrenia: major mental illness (several types) usually affecting young people. "Heavy tranquilizers" are used in treatment.
(Chapter 24, "Nervous System").

(SOURCE: Medical Terminology, Third Edition, Text/ Workbook, Alice V. Prendergast. Addison / Wesley Nursing, Div. of Benjamin/ Cummings Publishing Co., Inc.  Copyright 1991, Redwood City, CA.)

(1) schizophrenia: n [NL] a psychotic disorder characterized by loss of contact with the environment and by disintegration of personality expressed as disorder of feeling, thought and conduct.

(2) schiz - or schizo - comb form [NL, fr Gk schizo - , fr. schizein to split] 1: split: cleft 2: characterized by or involving cleavage 3: schizophrenia.

(SOURCE: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, G&C Merriam Co., Springfield, Ma, Copyright 1973.)

(3) catatonic: does not talk, move, or react; observed in schizophrenia (SOURCE: P. 206, Chapter 24, "Nervous System," MEDICAL TERMINOLOGY).

(Note: The Medical Terminolgy Workbook is from a course in which I received straight A's, in Medical Terminology taught by Barbara Miller at Pequot Health Center in Spring 1995.)

(Note: Webster's Dictionary is a prize awarded to me: The Dr. Charles E. Murphy Creative Writing Award from Palmer Memorial School, in sixth grade, 1974). For prize winning fiction, go to: http://novelnewyorkcity1987.blogspot.com/

Mental Illness Linked to Short Life

MENTAL ILLNESS LINKED TO SHORT LIFE By Marilyn Elias, USA TODAY.  Adults with serious mental illness treated in public systems die about 25 years earlier than Americans overall, a gap that's widened since the early 90s when major mental disorders cut life spans by 10 to 15 years, according to a report due Monday.  "We're going in the wrong direction and have to change course," says Joseph Parks, director of psychiatric services for the Missouri Dept of Mental Health. He's lead author of the report from eight states -- Maine, Massachusetts, RI, Oklahoma, Missouri, Texas, Utah, and Arizona -- that will be released at a meeting of state hospital directors in Bethseda, MD. About 60 % of the 10.3 million people with serious mental illness get care in public facilities, 90 % as outpatients, Parks says. They have illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression. Although the mentally ill have high accident and suicide rates, about 3 out of 5 die mostly from preventable diseases, he says.

ODDS ARE NOT GOOD
People with serious mental illness die at age 51, on average, compared with 76 for Americans overall. Their odds of dying from the following causes, compared with the general population:

CAUSE:                                                       TIMES MORE LIKELY TO DIE:
Heart Disease                                                3.4
Diabetes                                                         3.4
Accidents                                                        3.8
Respiratory ailments                                     5
Pneumonia, Influenza                                    6.6  

Obesity is a serious problem. These patients often get little excercise, and many take a newer type of anti-psychotic, on the market for 18 years, that can cause drastic weight gais, promoting diabetes and heart disease, Parks says. He thinks these drugs are contributing to deaths from cardiovascular disease.  Recent studies question the advantage of the newer drugs. "Many could be switched to safer medicines," Parks says. Schizophrenics are thought to have a higher risk for diabetes already, he says.

Mentally ill adults also are more likely than others to have alcohol and drug-abuse problems, and to smoke. Because of their mental disorder, patients often aren't good health advocates for themselves, says Andrew Leuchter of the UCLA School of Medicine. When patients do seek help, "I hear of great difficulty getting appointments even for simple problems like high blood pressure...The public health system is underfunded and it's gotten worse over the years." 
Medical needs of the mentally ill are least likely to fal through the cracks when psychiatrists and primary care doctors practice in the same facility, according to a 2003 report from the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law. But integrated clinics are "quite rare," says Bazelon policy director Chris Koyanagi.
Sometimes internists disregard medical symptoms of the mentally ill, chalking them up to the patient's disorder, says Kenneth Duckworth of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. And needed treatment may be harder to get. He points to a study showing that after the mentally ill suffer heart attacks, they're less likely than other patients to get state-of-the-art care.
Parks thinks agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should track the health of adults with mental illness, just as they do other vulnerable groups, to identify problems and solutions.
"Many struggle for decades to overcome mental illness," he says, "and after all that struggle, it's particularly cruel to think that you would die young."

(This article is re-posted from an earlier date, September 2008, when I first began my blog, "Denise Dances," in order to chronicle my journey back to better health.  God has blessed me, so that I may be a blessing to others.)

(Does it come as no surprise to you...by now...that I mean what I say...when I say...that I would consider a return to perfect health payment enough???...* * * :)

(Denise...Denise Dances...2011)