Tuesday, June 21, 2016

'Nuff Said


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

I'm a New Yorker again.

Not a good visit to the dentist today. I thought this one tooth would've been only one visit and today's visit was the third and I thought it was gonna be a quickie. Just take the temporary cap off, but the new one on, let me go home. Notsomuch, didn't do much today but I found that and I needed to schedule a two hour visit for next time so they can do a gumectomy and drill away some bone.   Ack, I was just going to volunteer to get a head transplant, but my teeth are on the wrong side of my neck for that. FML.

I swiped my own MetroCard. 

I SWIPED MY OWN METROCARD!


I really needed to reset myself from this disappointing dental visit. So when I got to the subway instead of handing my MetroCard to my carer, I tried something new. It's been two years one month one week and one day since I entered the subway like every other adult in the city and swiped my own MetroCard.

Two years ago I was like a newborn. I spent most of my time in bed, and even had to be fed. A year and a half ago I was like toddler, just learning to walk again. But unlike the toddler, I was and I am aware of the joy of being able to walk again.
Today I walked right up to that turnstile, he took out my Metro card and swiped it.  It was ugly, and I'm glad there were no inpatient people behind me, but I did it myself.

Now I'm a New Yorker again. Free to go anywhere I want, independently, with the swipe of my MetroCard.

And I did it almost as good as Hillary. But at least I know tokens are only for collectors now


Sunday, June 12, 2016

Shit people say to someone who has recently suffered a life changing illness (Updated June 2016) (NSFW)



Update June 2006

A couple weeks ago I finished the Brooklyn Half Marathon. I'm getting a lot of congratulations from people who know me and even strangers. They ask what's next and I told him I plan on completing the New York City Marathon. Some people don't know what a marathon really is, so I tell them. Then they look at me kind of crazy and say something like, "Oh, have you done that before?" I respond, "yeah, before this crap happen to me I was preparing for my 30th marathon and this will be my 20th New York City Marathon. Ironically, the last New York City Marathon that I ran I was a pace team leader, and held up a sign that said 'five hours run with me'. This year, I'll be competing as an Achilles Athlete, that means I will have guides assigned to help me."

Then they look at me and tell me that I will run a five hour marathon again or I will be a pacer again. I smile and say something like, yeah... One step at a time. But what the fuck, do they have any idea of the difference between walking the marathon distance in 10 hours and training to run it in five hours or less. NO! Or, do they know something my doctors don't. I don't get it when people just open their mouths and tell me what I will do it again. Do these people know that I can't use a porta-a-potty without help? It doesn't make me feel better when people just open their mouths and say what they think is nice. The doctors, the best doctors in the world, don't know how much more healing is in me. It doesn't make me feel better to fantasize about what I might do. If you want to make me feel better, just acknowledge how far I've come.

The lawyers make us say certain things to protect stupid people from themselves. "Past performance does not guarantee future results." Unless you really know something that my doctors don't you should keep your mouth shut.



Update April 2016

If you are the person who spent their entire life minimizing the time you spend off the couch and now you can barely do your daily activities because your knees won't hold up your excessive weight, don't tell me to rest.

I spent four months in the hospital where I couldn't even roll over in bed, I rested enough. For another year people applauded me because I can stand up, I rested enough.

Now when people tell me the rest it just makes me want to run further.

Don't tell me to rest

Update March 2016

I haven't used a wheelchair in many months nor a cane in a few weeks. Sometimes I see strangers on a bus or in the park using the same kind of equipment I used to have or in a similar wheelchair. It's hard to figure out what to say. At one of the races I helped organize, a husband pushed his wife around Prospect Park, in the type of wheelchair I used to hate, one that was uncomfortable even for sitting and torturous while being pushed over bumps. I 'ran' over to her and told her that I used to be pushed around one of those and now look at me. "I can walk". She said "no my condition is different I'm never getting out of this chair...."   I met well, really. But I realized the most supportive kind of statement isn't always that supportive. It might just remind people of things they just don't want to think about all the time.

I also should mention I have joined the Achilles Running club for a lot of their runs. I've had the pleasure of meeting lots of people with disparate disabilities. I consciously did not say "see you later" as a way of saying goodbye to blind people. But I listened to them and realized that they were saying "see you later" to people all the time. I also learned that people who I just are blind  are not always totally blind. There are many degrees of visual impairment. After one of our runs we took a breather in a playground where my kids used to play. The guide who was helping my new visually impaired friend helped her walk around all of the playground equipment so she can touch it and know what I was talking about. Then she took out her phone and started taking pictures of the slides and ramps. She said she was going to go home upload them to our large screen so she could see what we were talking about. I had no idea....

Yesterday, I attended a big family function where I saw a lot of people who haven't seen me in a long time. They were really happy to see how far I've come. Some of them hadn't seen me since I've been sick and only heard that I was paralyzed. The question I wasasked me was, "Are you going to fully recover?" Or "How long will it be until you're fully recovered". I know, I know they really ment well. They saw how far I came and were excited about my recovery. My answer was vague, "If I can recover as much in the next 20 months as I did in the last 20 months I'll be very happy." But deep in the pit of my stomach, I really didn't like being reminded that I'm never going to be the same again.


Update January 2016

Included in the doctor's letters that they wrote for my disability insurance includes the statement, "the patient does not suffer from any psychological or cognitive impairments." The following two statements come under that category.

  • A friend asked me if I needed any help getting out of the car. I said, "No I'm fine." When I was getting out of the car his hands are all over me. Dude, you asked me a question and I answered it. Why did you ask it, if you're not gonna follow my instructions
  • another person thought it would be a good idea if I went to a certain meeting. Then he called me back and said it wasn't that important because of my condition. My condition does not stop me from making that decision for myself.
Here's the big picture. If I need help, I'll ask for it. Please don't make a big deal out of what you think I can and can't do. I don't know what I can and can't do so what makes you think you know?


Update December 2015

I just realized the same crap came out of this one person's mouth in just one week.

  • He said he didn't know where to sit in the car because he had to figure out where the "cripple" would sit.
  • He was surprised that I walked to a party that was a mile from my house. He said, "Did it take you three hours to get here."
  • I don't have enough strength in my hands to hold onto a pencil. He reached out to shake my hand and when I shook as he said, " Ack, you should shake like a man."
BTW, this was a grown man.



Update August 16, 2015

In one breath someone called me a gimp, and the next breath he said I might be too drunk to drive you can come with me you couldn't get any more fucked up. If I thought he was too drunk to drive I would've gotten the car, and I would've forgotten he said that.


Update July 29, 2015

Don't make jokes that you wish you had a wheelchair. Don't fain envy. Don't tell me you want to sit on my lap. Not remotely funny! And I have to clamp a thing onto my hands so I can hold a fork. Don't look at it and say I wish I had one. No you fuckin don't!

Update May 23, 2015


Last night I was reminded that Tom Cruise is a good actor.  He played Ron Kovic in Born on the Fourth of July.  That scene where he came home from the VA hospital in wheelchair His face as everyone told him he looked good. I cried inside.

Update, May 3, 2015

This is something that's been done by a lot of people who I really care for.  Just because of sitting in a wheelchair and my back is to you and I don't know you're there doesn't mean you could tap me on the head.  I hear fine if you say my name turnaround.


Update, March 16, 2015: 

The worst thing you can do if you see someone you think you know and suddenly in a wheelchair is  to look away.  Yeah, I'm the guy who helped to you unload a truck at the food co-op, or I might be the guy you ran all of the Park with, or I might be the guy who just cheered for you when you ran a race. I am still the same guy!!! You can say hello!!!


I know a lot of you people might be shocked to see me in a wheelchair.  But please engage the brain before you open your mouth
.
- Well, this might not have happened to you if you didn't push yourself so hard with all that running
Actually I probably would have been a lot worse off or even dead if I wasn't fit when this happen to me.

- Is disability temporary or permanent?
It depends how long I live and go fuck yourself.

- I know someone who has something like what you have.
No you don't, you don't even know what I have.

- I just remembered another one. When I was in the hospital and couldn't get out of bed people asked me if the nurses who bathed were hot.
I honestly didn't think of that until people asked. But it did make me wonder if their moms were hot. 

Okay, The crap above represent shit that came out of peoples mouths who knew me. Below is the shit people say to be to a stranger
I'll pray for you
Really, which God?  The God that put me in this chair or the God that you gonna pray to that will take me out.  I think it's pathetic that these believers assume I'm one of them but I've learned to just say thank you.

Everything happens for a reason
I don't even know if this can possibly mean. And my being punished? Am I suffering because of the fact that someone else got lucky?  Do they think that they has to be some sort of balance in the world and I need to be on the bottom put them on the top? So I just roll my eyes and ask someone to push me away from that person.

I'll add more as people say more shit to me.  Or you could leave your stupid shit n the comments.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Best birthday present ever! Ever!!!

The last time I saw it my physiologist was in December. He told me I needed to be back in six months. So, what the hell, I scheduled a visit on my birthday.

My visit to my doctor's office at the Rusk Institute  started really well. I got there a little early and stoped by to see my old physical therapist. Jenna got me from wheelchair-bound to being able to walk comfortably without a cane.  She gave me the confidence to try to do the things that I didn't think I could do. I'm glad she was able to come out and say hi and it's a good thing she was busy. Because when I gave her my finisher's medal from the Brooklyn Half Marathon we were both going to cry. Since I'm not sure if I could cry and walk at the same time I hurried up and went down  to see my doctor

There are certain moments that get stuck in the repeating loop in my mind. One of them was when I was in acute care and having my first relapse. Dr. Ahn saying, "I think you have the chronic version of GBS and we will have to treat this more aggressively." "Chronic", "aggressively" and GBS in one sentence. NotSoGood. I never held a grudge against him for promoting me to chronic. I was only there a few weeks before I got another promotion and became acute. (I don't know, which is worse having a chronic condition, when you have to live with for the rest of your life or in acute condition, which is really bad just once?)

Anyway, the first thing I did when I saw her Dr. Ahn was give him my other Brooklyn Half Marathon finisher's medal. (Yeah, I have good friends who gave me their medal so I can just give it away.)

Then, Dr. Ahn measured the strength in my legs. He noted that in the last six months they significantly improved. Significantly Improved. Significantly Improved!! My progress has been coming in itty-bitty increments. It's so hard to see for myself how I have been improving.

But I have been improving. Two years ago I needed help to roll over in bed two weeks ago I walked 13.1 miles without stopping.

Don't ask me how much better I'm going to get. Ask me how much better I got.

I'm going to start my next chunk of physical therapy in the Sports Performance Center. I am an Going to get treated like an athlete again.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Focus

The little update on the results of the Brooklyn half Marathon.  Of the 27,410 people who finished the Brooklyn half I finished 27,403rd. I personally knew three of the people who technically finish behind me. My average pace was 21 minutes and 40 seconds per mile, which is still two minutes per mile faster than I ran a whole mile a month ago. Below are some of my favorite photos that I found on Facebook. 
This was just after the 13 mile mark. Just after I turned onto the boardwalk and was joined by so many of my teammates. They said I was like Rocky going for a run and being followed by all the kids in Philadelphia. But I wasn't focused on what was behind me, I was busy changing gears from running to walking.




Just after I crossed the finish line being greeted by Peter Chaccia of the New York City Road Runners Club. He has been the guy who make sure everything goes right on race day. That was kinda my old job.







Getting my medal. Just like the 27,402 people before me and the seven people after me.









And then the photo ops quickly began. Peter grabbed me and brought over Michael Capiraso, the CEO of the roadrunners club. I don't have the pictures but someone walked over to me and had me pose with them who I'm told was a state assemblyman and then the community board leader wanted to have a picture with me.

And on the entire course I was continually being filmed by my friend Josh. I'm not sure if he's making a documentary about me for some sort of short story with me as the star.

I didn't shed a tear. Although I thought I would. Now when I saw the finish or even when I got that medal. I was ready to, but I was to focus on not falling down. I almost choked up a little this morning when I met a bunch of my GBS friends and they congratulated me. Some of them saw my Facebook status the morning of the race. 

 For everyone who helped me up.
For everyone who could not get up.


Above this line was written the day after the race
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Below this line was written the day before the race

On this date two years ago, I couldn't tell you what hospital I was in without checking my records.

On this date one year ago, people applauded me because I could stand up and rotate myself 360° without holding onto anything.

Last week, I could not hold back my emotions when I told a room full of GBS survivors that I would be participating in the Brooklyn Half Marathon

It's been hard to focus lately. And when I say lately, I mean for the past two years. Guillain-Barré syndrome... Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy.. Acute motor axonal neuropathy... They are all conditions that affect the motor nerves. But who's to say what's going on in my brain. Maybe this peripheral neuropathy has nothing to do with my cognitive function. Or maybe I'm still recovering from all the shit that happened to me in the past two years. Maybe I have PTSD, but I don't have the time to find out. Sometimes, I find it hard to maintain a sustained thought. Sometimes and having a conversation and I forget what word I'm about to say. I told this to my neurologist and she suggested actual sleeping pills. Yeah maybe I'm a little better, but I'm still a little bit out of whack upstairs.

Whatever, the day after tomorrow on the be running completing the Brooklyn half Marathon. I'm will walk I half a mile to the starting line and then I'm gonna walk around the Brooklyn Museum / Botanic Garden then around Prospect Park and then all the way to Coney Island. 13.1 miles. It will happen. My training hasn't been much. Last week I covered 10 miles into chunks on Thursday. And a week before I completed a 6.2 mile race. I'm pretty confident I'll get to that finish line. I'm not thinking about the start, I'm not even thinking about the finish line. I'm focusing on that park bench that's going to be 10 or 20 feet from the finish line. All I keep thinking about is crossing that finish line and getting to that bench and crying like a baby.... Yeah, I'm focusing on that moment where I could let it all out.

I think a man enough to admit that since May 7, 2014 I have been no more than three deep breaths from completely losing it. And by losing it I mean having an out of body temper tantrum or crying fit that I'm afraid would never end. That's where my focus has been going. It's taken a great deal of mental energy to just keep my head on straight. Okay, just saying that made me feel little better.

If you want to keep track of me you can use this app you don't even have to know my bib number just type in my name. Michael Ring, or you can go on Facebook and follow my two friends arre going to chaperone me for the whole race, Nicoletta Nerangis and Josh Pesin.

By the way, this is at least the 13th time I'll be running the Brooklyn half Marathon. I say at least because I'm sure I was a bandit more than once. In 2013 I actually managed one of the water stations. I was supposed to do it again in 2014 but I vaguely remember answering the phone and saying "I am in intensive care you have to find someone else to do this." You can also read about me in last Sunday's daily news.

So it looks like it's going to rain on Saturday. Fine! Let it Reign O'er Me!



I don't sing out loud very much. But on those rare occasions where you can be alone in a park in New York City, when it's pouring raining, I would look up at the sky and sing the chorus.

I wonder if they knew it was Global Running Day?

G

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

How to make a living finding MetroCards (Updated 5-24-16)

Update, May 24, 2016

It's been a long time but I'm finally updating this.


It's kind of ironic but the MTA gave me a Metro card with my picture on it. I don't have to put money on it and it just comes loaded with eight swipes a day. I guess they'd rather have me on public mass transit then send an Ack-Stress o Ride to go get me. This past Saturday when I was approaching the starting line to the Brooklyn half Marathon there was a Metro car on the ground. I can bend down but it's hard to pick things up off the floor, so I compels my friend Josh to pick it up. He didn't need it so I wound up running the whole race with it in my pocket. I just checked it, and it's going to work till May 31. 



It has been a week since the fare went up and the MTA is collecting an extra buck if you don't refill you existing MetroCard.  The is not less litter.  In fact, I have seen many people pay the extra $1 for a new card when the top of the MVM is strewn with cards.  I also assume that I will start finding many $1.95 cards instead of $1.70 cards. People are just going to put $10 in the machine and get a $9.45 card.  After they ride 3 times for $7.50 they will toss the card with $1.95 on it.  (3-8-13)



The card to the above was found sitting
 on top of the scanner box.  It had $7.25 on it
.
So next week the MTA will start charging $1 if you need a new card.  I really don't think I will find any less.  People leave $45 cards on top of the MVMs because they are careless, not because they don't care about the money.  So instead of finding a lot of  $1.70 card I will find a lot of  50 cent cards.  (3-1-13)

The other day I watched a guy freak out as he was trying to swipe his way onto the subway.  He kept swiping cards and  could not get in.  He slammed a pile of cards on top of a payphone and stored over the the machine and bought a Single Ride.  After he went through the turnstile I check the value on those cards.  They added up to over $20, mostly $1.70 cards and a few larger cards that had recently expired.  People just don't know that they can go over to the booth and get them combined. (12-25-11)

Now the bonus is 7%.   $10 gets you $10.70 and the fare is $2.25.  But, 4 trips is $9.  With $1.70 left our the card there is no extra ride when someone buys a $10.00 card.  Since 2011 started I have been finding cards with $1.70 on them for every one that used to have a nickel on it.


In the sidebar of this Blog I list the sum of the value of the MetroCards that I find. If I find 5 or 10 cents in a given day I don't post it, I wait till it adds up to something worth typing.

I would like to point out that I believe that every MetroCard that I find was lost by somebody. They were not put there for me to find. On more than one occasion I found some valuable cards (Transit Check Gold) and moments after I scanned it at the reader I saw a desperate individual looking at the ground in a subway station. Asking that person if they lost their MetroCard and returning it to them was more satisfying that riding for free for the rest of the month.

I think the design of the MetroCard lends itself to getting drooped. It is the thinnest thing in your picket. If you keep it with your cash or keys it can slide out without being noticed. I would urge everyone who uses a MetroCard to use a MetroCard holder of some sort.

That said; finding value on MetroCards is like winning at gambling without the risk of loosing your own money.

If you are interested in doing this either for sport, competition or to save money or to supplement your income; here is some advice.
  • The further you are from the subway the more likely the card has value on it. The highest value cards that I have found have been in on the Brooklyn Bridge, on the courses of races, in the middle of intersections, in supermarkets, parks, etc. These were not drooped by careless litter bugs. Nobody would walk to the middle of the Brooklyn Bridge just to flick their MetroCard onto the sidewalk. It was dropped by somebody pulling their camera out of their pocket. So if you see a MetroCard in a place having nothing to do with the MTA, pick it up.
  • The cards just inside the turn-style are not worth picking up. I have seen countless slobs swipe their MetroCard with one fair left on it and drop it like they drop everything they have no more use for.In a subway station don't just look at the MetroCard Reader. Look on top of the MetroCard Vending machines. Look in the cracks in the vending machine. Look on the little shelf on the front of the "token booth". Especially the stations that do not have anybody working in them; the burgundy stations
  • Most of the cards I find in the subways station have 5 cents on them but many have $1.50 or some other amount under the subway fare. But like the lottery slogan, "Ya never know" sometimes there is $20 or more just sitting there waiting to be pickup. The upcoming increase in fare will obviously improve the quantity of cards with left over fare on them.
  • Many of the cards I find with more then $10 or $20 on them are "expired" I don't think many people know that you can exchange them for a new one
  • Follow the instructions on the card reader. If it says "Please Swipe Again", do it, just 2 or 3 times, then put it in the trash. If it says "See Agent" do that, but first try it again another day. That card probably has some value on it.
  • When it comes to combining MetroCards, don't over burden the "token clerk". It might be their job to combing MetroCards into a usable amount but some evoke unwritten "I can only combine 4 or 5 rule". Some have refused to help me at all because they said they have been on the ground. One clerk even told me her machine did not combine cards. I would not advise arguing with these people. They work in a bulletproof booth and it is an extra felony to "assault" them. They also have a pretty crappy job, there is no point in giving them a hard time.
  • If you look at the rest of my blog, you will see that I am a marathon runner. I run a lot. When I run, I make a point of passing through subway stations (I get some stair training). Also loops around Prospect Park can be a little repetitive. A larger loop can include many subway stations. The F train: Prospect Park and 7th Ave, the Q/B Train Parkside, Prospect Park and 7th Ave and the 2/3 Train Grand Army Plaza and Eastern Pky/Brooklyn Museum.
I once found a Transit Check Gold MetroCard. It worked for 3 and a half months. The original owner did not tell their payroll manager it was lost. But most of the monthly MetroCards I found did not work for as long as they should. The original owner contacted the MTA and reported it lost. They got a prorated refund. I was kinda glad.

Whenever I find a student MetroCard or a Senior/Disabled Card I hand it to the "token clerk". They are issued to specific individuals and it is against the law to use them.


Karma works both ways. If I ever see someone looking for a "swipe" to get them on the train, I always give them one. Also, I befriended a man in my neighborhood of little means (I don't believe he his homeless). We started talking about all the things that can be found. I told him I find lots of MetroCards. He did not even know what they were, he has not ridden mass transit in years he said. Now he picks up MetroCards and keeps them in his picket till he sees me. I do not give him the value on them. I give him 10 times the value on them or $10, whichever is greater.



I asked this question to the MTA:

Customer (******* ****) - 05/06/2009 12:18 PM
I read in the news that a man was sentences to jail time for bending metrocards.

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/30/bent-metrocard-is-forgery-court-rules/

Are there any regulations against


1. Picking up discarded metrocards from the floor of a subway station or on the top of the metrocard testing machine?
2. Asking the booth attendant to combine them into a usable amount?
3. Using them for personal use?
4. Giving them to a friend or family?

This was the response I got:

Response (Melissa Glasgow) - 05/06/2009 03:21 PM
This is in response to your recent e-mail message to MTA New York City Transit regarding MetroCard.

As you may know, you may have uneven balances of several Pay-Per-Ride cards (that you have previously purchased and hold primary ownership of) moved to 1 card at the service booth of any one of our stations. You may only process 5 cards at a time (four old+ the one that the remaining values are being transferred to). This limitation exists to prevent fraudulent activity. You may also send your MetroCards to MetroCard, 2 Broadway, Room B11.59, New York, NY 10004. Due to fraudulent activity at our MVMs, this transaction/feature was removed from our MVMs, several years ago.

However, under the circumstances you have described, the station agent has the discretion to refuse to perform the transaction and summon NYPD Transit assistance, if he/she suspects fraudulent activity at our booths and/or turnstiles.

http://www.mta.info/mta/news/releases/?en=080625-NYCT85
http://www.mta.info/metrocard/termsunltd.htm

Thank you for having taken the time to contact us.

I asked what law I would be violating. The responded by telling me to submit a Freedom of Information Act request:

This is in response to your recent e-mail to MTA New York City Transit requesting information regarding the MetroCard tariff and the laws surrounding it.

Please be advised that the information you seek may be available under the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL). You must submit an electronic FOIL request to the appropriate MTA agency via the FOIL request page on the MTA website. If you send an electronic FOIL request in any other way or to the wrong agency, you will not receive the records you are seeking. You may submit an electronic FOIL request at www.mta.info/foil.htm. Be sure to select the appropriate MTA agency. Otherwise you may contact MUNY directly to investigate the feasibility if your request - http://www.mta.info/mta/aft/muny/

We hope this information is helpful and thank you for having taken the time to contact us.

Melissa Glasgow
Associate Staff Analyst

See more information in SubwayBlogger.com ,Yelp and The New York Post has an article about a women who finds cards. The New York times has a story about Single Ride Cards and refills. AM New York says the MTA is budgiting $48 Million in extra money from lost and unused MetroCards.  The Daily News thinks this is news.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Anti-theist

I've been getting some grief lately from the fact that I have been very public about my atheism. A little bit loud about it in fact. So I thought I would explain myself.  First of all, I am an atheist because I don't have faith in anything. I don't believe in things that I don't understand. If I felt there were some supernatural force that created, controls, cares or even exists then I would believe in it and I would not be an atheist. But none of that ever occurred to me. There have been people who told me that I should hedge my bets. Not say anything bad about their god in case I am wrong. Will there are so many gods that I would have to be praying to. Why should I choose yours?

But let me back up, I was brought up by Jewish parents. I honestly don't know what that ever meant to them. I don't know to this day if they really believe in the God of Abraham and Moses, or if they just chose to follow the traditions of their parents. But for whatever reasons they tried to bring me up in their image. Beginning at the age of eight or nine I attended an after school program called Hebrew school. I honestly don't remember anything they tried to teach me there. I do remember I hated it and didn't understand why I was there at all. I also remember I did not attempt to hide that from my teachers. But in the beginning I had no choice but to attend, this was a requirement for my bar mitzvah another thing I had no choice to do. It was made clear to me that until I did this ritual at the age of 13 I was not in charge of my own religious decisions. However, there was some flexibility in actually attending Hebrew school. Since I misbehaved so much the principal/Rabbi made a deal with my parents. As long as they pay the tuition I would graduate from the Hebrew school program. So the one thing I learned in Hebrew school is that paying money to the principal was more important than learning anything.

So I did get bar mitzvahed and that was the last time I did any religious ritual at all. It's a good thing my wife and I were on the same page because we got married by a judge. The only reason my son was circumcised is because I didn't want to have to learn a new skill in how to deal with that thing. 


But then there's the question as to why I moved from being an agnostic (I
don't care), to an atheist (I assert there is no god). The answer lies in the fact that I went from being an exceptionally healthy human being to at death's door in a few days. When people found out I was in the hospital, suddenly they were praying for me. I know they meant to be nice but all that went through my head was which fucking God you going to pray to? The one that put me in the hospital? Is there a different one that can get me out of here? I really started to get annoyed with the people who said they would pray for me. I knew it would do nothing, and I was just wishing they would bring me a doughnut or something.


Then there were the people who told me everything happens for a reason. Which implies that everything happens according to God's plan. I remember laying in my hospital bed unable to scratch my own nose and wishing I can kick these people right in their groins. This totally implies that I did something to deserve the shit. FUCK NO

Tim Lawrence is a much better writer than me and he said, "Let me be crystal clear: if you've faced a tragedy and someone tells you in any way, shape or form that your tragedy was meant to be, that it happened for a reason, that it will make you a better person, or that taking responsibility for it will fix it, you have every right to remove them from your life." He even offered a replacement for the platitudes that people thoughtlessly say to a person who is been suddenly disabled. "When a person is devastated by grief, the last thing they need is advice. Their world has been shattered. This means that the act of inviting someone—anyone—into their world is an act of great risk. To try and fix or rationalize or wash away their pain only deepens their terror."

"Instead, the most powerful thing you can do is acknowledge. Literally say the words: I acknowledge your pain. I am here with you."  

I really liked it when some of my friends visited and just sat with me. But, I was kinda perplexed when someone said I'll pray for you and then they had a leave to go pray. WTF!

All right, I'll get back towards my feelings about organized religion and God. This study shows that children who do not believe in God are more moral. "the children in non-religious homes most likely to be generous toward a stranger. The longer a child had lived in a religious home, the stingier he was compared to his secular peers." Here is another super scientific study that shows that non-religious children are more altruistic than children that believe in God, "Overall, our findings cast light on the cultural input of religion on prosocial behavior and contradict the common-sense and popular assumption that children from religious households are more altruistic and kind toward others. More generally, they call into question whether religion is vital for moral development, supporting the idea that the secularization of moral discourse will not reduce human kindness—in fact, it will do just the opposite."

But nevermind these studies. I just don't understand why parents have to reproduce children in their own image. Why do parents make their kids grow up thinking that they are right and everyone else is wrong.













Then his ass holes like Ted Cruz. Thank fucking God he's not running for president at this time. So I was cursed with my sickness? You and the millions of ass holes who would vote for you really fucking believe that my sickness was caused by my ear with moral behavior.

This is why I think the planet would be better off without religion.






Then there's the ass holes who think that what they believe is more real than science. These are stupid people who are too lazy to figure things out and just float in the sea of randomness and attribute everything to what God said must happen.










Sunday, May 15, 2016

Marathon runner diagnosed with debilitating Guillain-Barre Syndrome driven to recovery, plans to walk Brooklyn Half Marathon

Two years ago, Michael Ring was paralyzed when he was stuck down with Guillain-Barre Syndrome following a stomach virus.

 (DAVID WEXLER/FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)
Two years ago, Michael Ring was paralyzed when he was suddenly struck down by Guillain-Barre Syndrome. Saturday he plans to walk the Brooklyn Half Marathon.
That Ring, 52, of Park Slope, Brooklyn, is moving at all is a credit to savvy doctors and his own indomitable spirit.
“At the end of April 2014, I had a stomach virus to end all stomach viruses,” Ring said, describing how his nightmare ordeal began.
Days later, “I had insane pain in my legs and feet, which I just ignored,” he recalled.
On his twins’ 14th birthday, the family went to see “Avenue Q” and the pain switched to fatigue.
“I was dropping dishes, stumbling,” he said.
On May 7, he went to his doctor, who sent him straight to a hospital. She gravely explained he had Guillain-Barre Syndrome.
On the way to the hospital, Ring Googled it.
Ring deteriorated quickly. Within a day, he was unable to stand or walk . He fell into the unlucky 5% of Guillain-Barre patients who have a severe and unusual strain, according to Dr. Myrna Cardiel, a neurologist at NYU's Langone Medical Center.

Ring was driven to recovery
by a desire to run marathons.

 (DAVID WEXLER/FOR
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)
“Guillain-Barre is a fairly common condition that normally follows an infection,” she said. “Most patients have that for one or two weeks and they peak and don't worsen.”
Doctors administered different rounds of medicines, including plasma transfusions and chemo to Ring, who responded well to the chemo.
He needed a wheelchair, then a walker, then crutches and continues with occupational therapy once a week.
What kept him going and why he now hopes to walk the world’s largest half marathon is his spirit.
“His mentality is unbelievable,” said Dr. Jung Ahn, director of rehabilitation medicine at NYU’s Rusk Rehabilitation.
“He never expressed or demonstrated depression as to what he had lost. His initial goal was to get back to running as soon as possible.”
Ring is the first to say that as a runner, he has always been a slow poke. Growing up in Sheepshead Bay, Ring started running in high school. He was never fast but he was steady and ran in all weather.
He stopped running in college. Then as a senior he decided to try the New York City Marathon.
“I threw up all over the Queensboro Bridge,” he recalled.
But later, trapped in a massive car jam because of the 1991 NYC Marathon, Ring vowed again to run it, this time training for two years.
From 1993 until 2013, he ran every New York City Marathon. In all, Ring completed 29 of the runs.
There were some where by mile 20 he was done. “I took a ride with an ambulance to finish,” he said.
These days he writes a blog about his recovery from Guillain-Barre Syndrome and hopes to get back to full marathons after the half.
“If I can do the half without dropping dead, then I can do the whole thing and then plop,” he said.
Despite his stilted stride and only regaining limited use of his hands, Ring plans to walk and run daily.

His current goals, he sums up, are “to finish the New York City Marathon and to use a doorknob.”
To the left is the print edition. Half of page 22 of the Sunday edition of the New York daily news on May 15, 2016. There are more than a few factual inaccuracies in the article but none compared to the headline.

Here is a link to the whole article

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/marathon-runner-paralyzed-walk-back-health-article-1.2637253





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