“The moral case for allowing such beings to be killed grows ever weaker, and its advocates resort to ever more absurd euphemisms to describe what they support.” Brit Hume
“The moral case for allowing such beings to be killed grows ever weaker, and its advocates resort to ever more absurd euphemisms to describe what they support.” Brit Hume
USA Today published an editorial calling for the Obama administration to back down on its ridiculous attack on the Little Sisters of the Poor.
Last week’s Catholic bashing column from US News and World Report, followed by their declaration that such Catholic bashing is now “fair comment” just about pushed me to the point of totally disregarding anything that comes from the msm. The USA Today editorial is a totally unexpected moment of sanity. In language that focuses on the issues and doesn’t bash anybody, they simply outline their reasons for believing that the Obama Administration needs to end its drive to continue the HHS Mandate.
USA Today says that they also publish editorials with contrasting views, which is a good practice. Hopefully, the contrast they publish on this issue will be as well-reasoned and focused on the issues as the one today.
From USA Today:
From a health care standpoint, the Affordable Care Act’s mandate that all employers provide coverage, without co-pays, for contraceptives is sound. It is important preventive care. So says the prestigious Institute of Medicine, arbiter of such things.
Wisely, churches and other houses of worship are exempt from the requirement, but the administration wrote rules so narrowly that they failed to exempt Catholic and other religiously affiliated hospitals, colleges and charities. Its position was constitutionally suspect, politically foolish and ultimately unproductive. The number of women affected is likely so small that the administration could find some less divisive way to provide the coverage.
Instead, the administration is battling Catholic bishops and nuns, Southern Baptists, Christ-centered colleges and assorted religious non-profits that filed challenges across the country. The lawsuits stem from an “accommodation” President Obama offered after his too-narrow religious exemption caused an uproar in 2012.
The accommodation is more of a fig leaf than a fix: Although religiously affiliated non-profits do not have to supply birth control coverage themselves, they must sign a certification that allows their insurance companies to provide it instead. Some non-profits have acquiesced, but not the Little Sisters and others who argue that this makes them complicit in an act that violates a tenet of their faith. If the non-profits refuse to sign, they face ruinous fines — $4.5 million a year for just two of the Little Sisters’ 30 homes.
I had an aunt who had blood clots because of the birth control pill.
We were lucky. Her bloods clots were in her legs and did not break off and move to her lungs, heart or brain. However, even this relatively “mild” side effect was painful and required a week in the hospital on blood thinners, which were also dangerous.
None of this was necessary. My aunt wasn’t using birth control pills because she had cancer and she needed them to save her life. She wasn’t using them because she had a disease of any sort.
My aunt took birth control pills because they had been aggressively marketed by the pharmaceutical companies and pushed by her doctor. She took them because the medical establishment and the culture as a whole has so little regard for true women’s health that they used her — along with the entire female half of the world population — as a guinea pig in social engineering masquerading as “women’s health.”
Birth control, as it is pushed by these people, is as much social engineering and eugenics as anything to do with women. Right up to the present day, dangerous chemical birth control, as well as equally dangerous methods such as the IUD, are pushed on women without regard to the consequences and without telling them that there are other, completely safe, methods of contraception.
The problem with the so-called barrier methods of birth control is that their monetary pay-off to organizations such as Planned Parenthood is relatively small or even nonexistent. It doesn’t require the expenditure of enormous amounts of federal dollars for people to simply go to the nearest pharmacy or Wal Mart and buy contraceptives off the shelves. Fitting someone with a diaphragm does require a doctor’s visit. But it is a one-shot deal.
Chemical birth control, however, requires repeated visits to medical personnel. Chemical birth control also costs a lot more than the greasy kid stuff you can buy off the shelves. Ironically, the pushers of chemical birth control are also the pushers of abortion on demand.
How do they justify this? They do it by talking about “birth control failure.” “Even the best birth control fails,” they tell us at the same time that they assure us that chemical birth control and all its health risks are a necessary evil. After all, they say, without the faintest blush of embarrassment, chemical birth control is the only “truly effective method” of birth control. However, they add, going in a circle, we need abortion as a “backup” throughout the span of pregnancy, right up to the day before delivery.
Let’s be clear about this. The greasy kid stuff works if you use it. You just have to use it.
The insanity of this whole paradigm slides right past most people, including parents. No one seems to consider that Planned Parenthood is in the schools, drumming up business for itself by pushing kids to be sexually active and telling them that they need to be “on the pill.” No one has stopped to consider that this has gone so far that a lot of parents’ first question when they learn that their young teenager is sleeping around is “are you ‘protected?’”
My question is, protected from what? Protected from the emotional damage of being reduced to meat to be sexually used? Protected from sexually transmitted diseases? Protected from the death-dealing short and long term sides effects of dosing their young bodies with artificial hormones?
Are they being protected from the risks of uterine perforations, blood clots, heart attacks and strokes that are a big part of the side effects of these things?
Are they being protected from getting breast cancer later in their lives? Who protects them from the chemotherapy and radiation that goes with that?
Are they being protected from being able to form genuine emotional commitments with young men?
What, exactly, are these young girls being protected from?
And why are we allowing the pushers of these drugs into our schools to sex educate our daughters to use them?
A current article in Vanity Fair raises disturbing questions about one of these dangerous birth control devices called the NuvaRing. Do you remember the NuvaRing? There were a lot of ads for it.
It was marketed as a freedom from the onerous requirement of taking a pill every day. The ads encouraged young women to just pop in a NuvaRing once each month and get their daily dose of artificial hormones the thoughtless way. The only trouble is that NuvaRing has turned out to have side effects that may require a number of not-so-convenient stays in the hospital and even funerals. Like every other form of chemical birth control, NuvaRing can be a killer.
Let me ask you this: If it was your daughter who died of a “massive, double pulmonary embolism” caused by this device, would you consider that “complication” an “acceptable risk” for “preventing unwanted pregnancy?”
When did this kind of catastrophic “complication” for a treatment that is being given to people who are not sick and who do not need it become “acceptable?” The fashionable — and stupid — answer is to juxtapose the statistics of complications of pregnancy and child birth with the complications of using chemical birth control. The unthinking and sheep-like public eats this bogus logic up with a spoon and allows their daughters to be sacrificed to the lie of it.
And it is a lie. It is a lie based on a totally fallacious assumption.
The fallacious assumption is that chemical birth control is the only way to prevent “unwanted pregnancy.” That is absolutely untrue. Chemical birth control is not the only way to prevent unwanted pregnancy. It’s just the most dangerous way.
This is a NuvaRing commercial. Notice that it does — due to legal requirements — give a list of warnings. It does not include a list of side effects, including the catastrophic side effects that have actually occurred. But anyone who is really listening and not brain-washed by our contraceptive culture, would run the other way.
And from Vanity Fair:
When 24-year-old Erika Langhart—talented, beautiful, bound for law school—died on Thanksgiving Day 2011, she became one of thousands of suspected victims of the birth-control device NuvaRing. Elite army athlete Megan Henry, who survived rampant blood clots in her 20s, is another. With major suits against NuvaRing’s manufacturer, Merck, headed for trial, Marie Brenner asks why, despite evidence of serious risk, a potentially lethal contraceptive remains on the market …
… Karen was on the golf course when she saw Erika’s number on her cell phone. “We can’t wait to see you!” she said. Then, she would recall, “my world stopped. It was Sean, telling us that Erika had collapsed and that the E.M.T.’s were in the apartment.” In the ambulance Erika had two heart attacks, and she was semi-conscious by the time they reached Virginia Hospital Center. According to Karen, a doctor in the emergency room asked her over the phone: “Was your daughter using birth control?” Karen said, “Yes, NuvaRing.” He removed the device and said, “I thought so, because she’s having a pulmonary embolism.”
Racing for the last flight to Washington, Rick and Karen Googled “double pulmonary embolism NuvaRing.” Dozens of results came up—“NuvaRing side effects,” “NuvaRing lawsuits.”
… Before Karen and Rick reached the hospital, Erika was placed on life support. She died on Thanksgiving Day. On the program for her daughter’s memorial service, Karen stated, “Cause of Passing: Massive, Double Pulmonary Embolism—a direct result of the NuvaRing.” She had entered, she told me, “another phase of life. How I wish I could change places with my daughter.” Then her voice broke. “I am living every parent’s nightmare.”
Supporters of the HHS Mandate often refer to an “opt-out” as a reason why the Mandate does not put the government in the position of forcing Christians to violate their religious beliefs.
One commenter in the Washington Post even went to so far as to label the Little Sisters of the Poor and their ministry as “religiously affiliated” rather than “religious,” meaning, of course, they aren’t a “legitimate” religious enterprise. This is the sort of specious argument you can expect from people who are trying to thread the needle of the HHS Mandate without admitting that they are attacking the First Amendment. The same author called the arguments in the lawsuit filed by the Little Sisters of the Poor “hooey.”
I guess you could go with the obvious deep-thinking in that statement. But it might be more informative to consider what the arguments in the lawsuit actually are. The simplest analogy I can use to try to explain those arguments would be to say that even if all you do is hire a hit man to kill your neighbor, you are still guilty of your neighbor’s murder. By the same token, even if all you do is require someone else to commit a grave sin in your stead, you have still taken part in committing that grave sin.
Requiring a Catholic to hire a hit man to kill their neighbor is forcing them to violate their religious belief that murder is a sin. By the same token, requiring the Little Sisters of the Poor to hire an insurance company to provide contraceptives and abortion coverage to their employees is requiring them to provide those things themselves.
For those who aren’t acquainted with the concept, it’s called morality.
If you want to read the exact language in the Little Sisters of the Poor’s reply brief, you’ll find it here. Go to page 8 and read for a couple of pages to get the Little Sisters of the Poor’s position.
The real issue here is not the same old meaningless arguments that we keep hearing from HHS Mandate supporters. It’s why religious people are being forced to answer them by making obvious points over and over. Is this really the best they’ve got?
This isn’t rocket science. Only people who are deliberately refusing to see the truth can deny that the Little Sister of the Poor and their ministry to frail elderly people are a good deal more than just a “religiously affiliated” organization. If there’s any “hooey” going on here, it’s the attempt to claim (for political purposes) that the religious commitment of these nuns is not for real.
By the same token, I, at least, am weary of explaining that forcing someone to hire someone else to do something for them is not an exemption from that activity. I think the people who keep repeating this nonsense are just saying it because they have taken a position and this is the best argument they can come up with to defend it.
Instead of going around in circles by repeating the same completely bogus argument or resorting to crude religious bigotry, perhaps they should own their HHS Mandate for what it is and be done with it. The HHS Mandate is a blatant attempt to restrict the historic religious freedom given to all Americans by the First Amendment by limiting it to only organized and federally recognized churches. It is aimed directly and obviously at the largest single denomination in America, which is the Catholic Church.
It is an egregious attack not only on the Catholic Church, or even only on people of faith, but on the bedrock freedoms on which this country was founded and which has made it the great nation that it is today.
The HHS Mandate is an obvious and deliberate government attempt to destroy the moral and prophetic voice of the Catholic Church by forcing it to violate its own teachings. The HHS Mandate is designed to force the Church to kiss Ceasar’s ring.
Since the Mandate was first promulgated, the administration’s running dogs in the press have put forth these identical arguments over and over ad nauseam. Any time the administration gets its nose bloodied in court, all you have to do is count 3, 2, 1 and here they come with the same old stuff they’ve been peddling since the beginning.
Does anybody believe that these people all wake up in the morning with the same set of thoughts in their minds? I admit they do come across as the Stepford Columnists, but I think it’s far more likely that they’re working from the same script and that script was generated, either directly or indirectly, by the administration.
Here is a summary of the impact of the HHS Mandate.
Check out The Anchoress for more discussion on this topic.
The Little Sisters of the Poor, the stand up nuns who’ve taken on the Obama administration over the HHS Mandate, are a bunch of tough customers.
I mean that in the best understanding of the word “tough.” Providing frail elderly people with loving care on a 24/7 basis is work that would make the average Navy Seal turn weak in the knees.
When I say 24/7, I mean twenty-four hours, right around the clock; every single day, right around the calendar. Caring for a frail elderly person is more demanding in a lot of ways than caring for a toddler. They are both sweet, precious and strong-minded. The differences are that the toddler isn’t always trying to die on you, and they don’t have a memory of having once been a strong, independent adult.
The Little Sisters of the Poor do God’s work here on earth by providing care for people who are at the end of their earthly journey. The last phases of life are not a waste, and they are not a bother. Elderly people are beautiful, wonderful gifts to all of us. The fact that they require a bit more of us than our me-ism allows only makes them more precious.
The closest anyone will ever be to God in this life is not while sitting in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament, but when they are sitting on the bathroom floor at 3 am, holding a croupy baby while the shower runs, or when they are changing the sheets on the bed of their incontinent elderly parent. Jesus is standing right beside you when you do these things, because when you do them for the least of these, you are truly doing them for Him.
This work of caring for those who can’t care for themselves is the life’s work of the Little Sisters of the Poor. They have given their lives to caring for Christ in the disguise of our frail elderly.
It’s no surprise to me that someone like this would become such a thorn in the side of the mighty and powerful United States Department of Justice. It’s also no surprise that those who want to force these sisters to accede to the will of a galloping secularism that seeks to mow down religious expression in public places in these United States should find the Little Sisters so problematic.
How do you turn public opinion against a bunch of nuns who have given their lives to care of the frail elderly?
The usual method in cases like this, where the problem persons are just too good to attack directly, is to redirect your venom by choosing an easier target. You might, say, go at a Catholic Supreme Court justice and that mean old Catholic Church and, of course, everyone’s favorite bugaboo, the Catholic bishops.
The trick is to make the fight about something other than those sweet little nun ladies with their bedpans and rosaries. Shift the focus and make the fight about the big, bad Catholic Church and you can count on the Pavlovian Catholic haters lining up on your side of the argument.
But the fact is, the argument is precisely about the Little Sisters of the Poor, along with their bed pans and rosaries. It’s about every Christian everywhere who wants to exercise their right as free Americans to practice their faith without government interference.
As much as its proponents try to twist and turn it, the HHS Mandate is a direct attack on the Constitutional protection of the free exercise of religion of American citizens.
The HHS Mandate is a regulation, promulgated by an appointed committee and signed by the president. It has the force of law, but it is not a law. It is a star-chamber bit of special interest government bullying that seeks to make an end run around the First Amendment of the Constitution. It is a vile piece of work that directly contradicts the guarantees in the Affordable Health Care Act, which is the legal authority by which the HHS Mandate was created.
Did that last bit go in a confusing circle? There’s no surprise in that, since it is circular. Congress passed the Affordable Health Care Act, which contained guarantees of religious exemption. The act also gave regulatory powers to the Department of Health and Human Services. Then (deep breath) …
… HHS created a committee to draft these regulations, and this unelected committee of representatives of special interests wrote the HHS Mandate which goes against the specific language in the law guaranteeing religious exemptions that gives the committee its power to promulgate the regulation in the first place.
Now. Is that clear as mud? The truth is, if the whole thing seems circular, it’s because it really does go in circles. But, to add to the confusion, this circle, unlike every other circle, has a starting point.
That starting point is a president who lied.
The HHS Mandate directly contradicts the president’s own executive order guaranteeing religious exemption as part of the enforcement of the Affordable Health Care Act. The fact that the president signed the HHS Mandate and has staked his presidency on it, means that he lied when he issued that executive order, in the promises he gave Congressman Bart Stupak and to the American people.
Enter, the living saints, the Little Sisters of the Poor and their tough-as-nails insistence on their Constitutional rights as American citizens.
What to do with a bunch of nuns who take care of sick old people?
I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see attacks on the nuns themselves sooner or later. That would be the usual behavior track. But for now, the administration apologists are confining themselves to attacking the Church.
For information about the on-going debate on this topic at US News and World Report, check out Frank Weathers.
Have I told you that Deacon Greg Kandra is my hero?
Seems I have.
But let me repeat myself. Deacon Greg Kandra, journalist, Deacon and Catholic Patheosi extraordinaire, is my hero. I wish I could write headlines like the Deacon writes them. I wish I had a nose for news like the Deacon’s got. I wish … well you get the idea.
When Deacon Greg Kandra gets enough, you know that anybody else would be froth. The Deacon got enough when he read an over-the-top Catholic/Christian bashing opinion piece in US News and World Report.
The topic of the opinion piece? Why, it’s the Little Sisters of Charity and their “outrageous” appeal to the courts that they be allowed to follow the teachings of their Catholic faith. You know, that First Amendment stuff about the government not interfering with the free exercise of faith.
In case you don’t know about that part of the First Amendment, here is the whole thing for your consideration, emphasis mine:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Isn’t that beautiful? I mean, aren’t those words in that magnificent document beautiful?
Think for a moment about the self-proclaimed Constitution worshippers who want to shear the first clause from the second and use it as a club to beat religious people into silence. Can you imagine any of the Constitutional-rights-for-me-but-not-for-thee crowd actually writing a law like the First Amendment?
US News and World Report, by publishing a Catholic-bashing hate piece posing as an opinion piece, has jumped on the bandwagon of hating on Christians and publicly hazing them. The subject of this particular piece was those pesky nuns with their bigoted religiosity and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. It was all about Catholics and Catholicism and how we are out of line for not letting the government tell us to stop practicing our faith.
Despite the fact that the faith in this particular frying pan was Catholic, the same treatment extends to every traditional Christian. Make no mistake about it my brothers and sisters in Christ, it was about all of us.
Deacon Greg took it on in his typically measured, fair and well-founded manner. Frank Weathers followed with a hilarious segue into Chuck Norris (an Oklahoma boy, I might remind you,) while The Anchoress gives a brilliant survey of the power politics and faux feminism involved, while Tod Worner compared the Little Sisters with St Thomas More and Joanne McPortland took a turn at bat, providing us with absolutely delicious Joanne irony. The Catholic Patheosi have got this handled.
I don’t have much to add that I haven’t already said a hundred times. We are not the aggressors here. The government is trying to force religious people, in this case, a group of nuns to violate the teachings of their faith. The fact that this commenter thinks that allowing nuns to forego violating their faith undermines the rights of all women doesn’t even begin to make it so.
When someone stoops to this kind of bigoted name-calling to defend their position, it is usually either because they are too stupid to defend their position intelligently or because the position itself is indefensible. I would guess that in the case of this commenter, the reasons she is resorting to this tactic are that her position is indefensible by reasoned argument, and also that bigotry against Christians, particularly Catholics, is so widespread in certain circles that she thinks an appeal to it will win unmerited support for her ideas.
The bottom line for those of us out here in the audience is this: If you are a Christian, you need to stand up for Jesus.
Don’t be a jerk about it. By that I mean keep your language clean, don’t name-call or attack any person. Do not try to use satan’s weapons to fight satan.
Just stand up strong for Jesus Christ and the right of Christians to be Christian without being attacked, reviled, slandered or bullied in our society. Make your case as the son or daughter of the living God.
Bigotry is bigotry, even when it’s aimed at the followers of Christ.
From US News and World Report:
Et tu, Justice Sonia Sotomayor? Really, we can’t trust you on women’s health and human rights? The lady from the Bronx just dropped the ball on American women and girls as surely as she did the sparkling ball at midnight on New Year’s Eve in Times Square. Or maybe she’s just a good Catholic girl.
The Supreme Court is now best understood as the Extreme Court. One big reason why is that six out of nine Justices are Catholic. Let’s be forthright about that. (The other three are Jewish.) Sotomayor, appointed by President Obama, is a Catholic who put her religion ahead of her jurisprudence. What a surprise, but that is no small thing.
In a stay order applying to an appeal by a Colorado nunnery, the Little Sisters of the Poor, Justice Sotomayor undermined the new Affordable Care Act’s sensible policy on contraception. She blocked the most simple of rules – lenient rules – that required the Little Sisters to affirm their religious beliefs against making contraception available to its members. They objected to filling out a one-page form. What could be easier than nuns claiming they don’t believe in contraception?
Sotomayor’s blow brings us to confront an uncomfortable reality. More than WASPS, Methodists, Jews, Quakers or Baptists, Catholics often try to impose their beliefs on you, me, public discourse and institutions. Especially if “you” are female. This is not true of all Catholics – just look at House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. But right now, the climate is so cold when it comes to defending our settled legal ground that Sotomayor’s stay is tantamount to selling out the sisterhood. And sisterhood is not as powerful as it used to be, ladies.
Catholics in high places of power have the most trouble, I’ve noticed, practicing the separation of church and state. The pugnacious Catholic Justice, Antonin Scalia, is the most aggressive offender on the Court, but not the only one. Of course, we can’t know for sure what Sotomayor was thinking, but it seems she has joined the ranks of the five Republican Catholic men on the John Roberts Court in showing a clear religious bias when it comes to women’s rights and liberties. We can no longer be silent about this. Thomas Jefferson, the principal champion of the separation between state and church, was thinking particularly of pernicious Rome in his writings. He deeply distrusted the narrowness of Vatican hegemony.
The seemingly innocent Little Sisters likely were likely not acting alone in their trouble-making. Their big brothers, the meddlesome American Roman Catholic Archbishops are bound to be involved. They seek and wield tremendous power and influence in the political sphere. Big city mayors know their penchant for control all too well. Their principal target for years on end has been squelching women and girls – even when they should have focused on their own men and boys.
We’ve are living through a breast cancer plague. The numbers of women who are living and dying with this terrible disease keep multiplying.
Ask yourself, what has changed in the past 50 years that might have something to do with this?
If the wholesale pushing of chemical birth control on women doesn’t come to mind, I would be surprised. Women have been subjected to any and every form of dangerous birth control that comes along. Their monthly periods are suppressed with depo provera; they are exposed to dangerous, even fatal infections, perforations, etc with IUDs.
But the lying liars who make money off this keep on telling us that the sum total of “women’s health” is to give the female half of humanity ever increasing dosages of these things and then use abortion as a “back up” when it fails. It’s gotten to the point that young girls are being given the morning after pill (which is an even higher dose of the same hormones) in public schools.
A recent study quantifies the intuition that there is a connection between chemical birth control and breast cancer.
From National Catholic Register:
NEW DELHI — A new study of women in India reveals that having used birth-control pills elevates the risk of developing breast cancer nearly tenfold, and having had an abortion increases their risk of breast cancer more than sixfold.
The study, published in the most recent issue of the Indian Journal of Cancer, matched 320 women with newly diagnosed breast cancer with 320 healthy women of similar age, economic and social status and medical background, and it found that “the risk of breast cancer was 9.50 times higher in women having a history of consumption of oral contraceptive pills.”
Doctors at the Department of Gastroenterology and Human Nutrition Unit at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi conducted the study to investigate the association of various reproductive factors with breast cancer.
“We found long-term use of oral contraceptive pills (OCP) higher among those suffering from breast cancer, 11.9%, compared to healthy individuals, 1.2%,” Dr. Umesh Kapil, a lead author of the study told the Times of India. Breast cancer is caused by repeated exposure of cells to circulating ovarian hormones, he explained, and long-term use of birth-control pills, which contain estrogen and progesterone, may contribute to the elevated risk.
“The relationship between contraceptive use and occurrence of breast cancer is not known,” Dr. G. K. Rath, the head of Bhim Rao Ambedkar Institute Rotary Cancer Hospital, told the Times of India in the wake of the study. “But there is enough evidence to show the hormonal imbalance caused by them, increasing the risk. Early menarche, late marriage and childbirth and abortions are important factors.”
The risk associated with oral-contraceptive use in the study was higher than all the other known risk factors examined, except a lack of breastfeeding. Women who breastfed fewer than 12 months had a 14.9 times higher risk of getting breast cancer than women who breastfed longer than 12 months.
Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/study-birth-control-pill-and-abortion-spike-breast-cancer-risk?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+NCRegisterDailyBlog+National+Catholic+Register#When:2014-01-8%2008:35:01#ixzz2ppObt5Rx
Mama, out on the town at her favorite hamburger joint. She made the bead necklace she’s wearing at Adult Day Care — her “Job.”
My mother smoked like a diesel for almost 70 years.
I guess she was lucky.
She didn’t get lung cancer. She never had asthma. But at the ripe old age of 85 or so, she developed COPD.
I’d heard of this disease, which, nearly as I can tell, is basically emphysema with complications and a larger understanding. But I didn’t know a lot about it. I have to admit that now that I’ve been the caregiver for someone who has it, I still don’t know a lot about it.
Extreme old age is tricky.
People this age have an overall feistiness that, when it combines with the lack of memory that goes with dementia, means they can fool you. One of my worst memories of care-giving was the time about a year ago when my mother almost died because I thought that making an appointment with the doc and taking her in the next day would be enough.
As I said, extreme old age is tricky.
They can be doing their “I’m ok,” feisty act one minute and gasping for breath the next.
We’ve had several close calls in which we had to literally pick her up and carry her to the car, then drive the few blocks to the nearest ER (if it had been further, I would have lost her.) But that day was the closest of close calls, and it was, as these things always are if you don’t act quickly enough, complicated by other problems.
Extreme old age is tricky.
Everything in the body is worn out and running on habit. When one thing (breathing) goes wrong, then the old heart starts to beat funny, and when the heart starts to beat funny, the lungs get cloudy, and when the lungs get cloudy, the heart stops being able to do its job, which somehow or other craters into kidney failure.
All in a matter of minutes.
If you don’t get it stopped at the breathing is getting difficult point, it’s like taking that first step out the hatch of the airplane without your parachute. It can take days to get her back ticking again.
That particular night, it was hours of ER close calls and docs who told me they didn’t “like the looks of it” followed by a week in the hospital.
Then Mama came home, feistiness fully intact, and thanks to no-short-term memory, blissfully unaware of most of what had happened. But I remembered. For a while after that, I was taking her to the ER if she coughed twice.
Extreme old age is tricky.
And the primary care-giver is also the first diagnostician. I make a lot of medical calls for my mother, including the all-important when to go to the doc or the ER. That’s dicey for the simple reason that I don’t know what I’m doing. I’ve never dealt with this oddball combination of small child skating along on the ice in an 88-year-old body before.
And she is a small child.
A pampered, spoiled, demanding small child.
The further she gets into the dementia, the more childish she becomes. For instance, she loves for me to take her out for drives.
She loves for me to take her out for drives frequently. In fact, I think she would be happy to have me chauffeur her around all day, every day.
If I’m working on something, she says, “I want you to take me out for a drive now.”
I say, “I’m busy. We’ll do it in a few minutes.”
She looks at me almost exactly like the actor pretending to be a toddler demanding a cookie in Convos with My Two-Year-Old, and repeats “I want you to take me for a drive now.”
She doesn’t quit until I give up and do it.
She goes to Adult Day Care every day. I am going to write in more detail about Adult Day Care. It is a wonderful program. She loves her “job” as she calls it.
She loves it so much that she gets up about 5 every morning and starts announcing that it’s time to “go to work” and she’s going to be late. You can’t turn her off. It’s. Every. Morning.
Even though she loves Adult Day Care, she has a very short attention span. If there’s a lull in the good times, she’ll call me and tell me to come get her. Sometimes, she’ll announce that everybody is just sitting around doing nothing and she wants me to come get her. I remember once when I called the Director of the Day Care Center and told her Mama had called and I was coming to pick her up and she said, “You don’t want to watch the dancers, Mary?”
There were dancers, getting ready to perform, and my elderly toddler got tired of waiting for them to get with it and called for me to come get her. If I’d gone over there, she would have gotten miffed because I stopped her from “having fun” watching the dancers.
If the “I’m bored,” explanation doesn’t move me to come get her, she’ll tell me she’s sick. I always go when she says she’s sick. I don’t have a choice, since there’s no way to know if it’s real or bluff.
In fact, I got one of those calls just a few days ago. Obedient daughter that I am, I drove over, parked the car, went in and got her. As I was guiding her and her cane/jacket/stuffed animal-she’d-won/painting-she’d-made to the car, she told me “I was having fun.” It seems that between the sick call and when I got there, the staff had gotten the fingerpaints out and Mama had gone from too sick to stay to having too much fun to leave.
On the last day of May, the whole town was under threat of the widest tornado in history. As our family gathered around the tv to watch what was happening and decide what to do, Mama kept talking.
She does that.
Talk, I mean.
Non-stop. Just like a toddler. You can’t really have a conversation with her anymore, but she rattles non-stop as long as she’s awake.
I usually just un-huh her the way I did the kids when they were babies.
But we needed to hear the tv.
“Hush,” I told her.
She paused for a beat, then started in, talking about one of the lamps or something.
“Mama,” I said, waiting until she stopped chattering and looked at me, “Hush.”
She stared at me a moment, then turned away. “Well alright. I guess if I can’t say anything, I’ll just be quiet. I don’t know why I can’t talk. But if you want me to just sit here and not say anything, then, I’ll shut up. If that’s what you want, then I guess I’ll have to do it, but I don’t see why I can’t talk
“That lamp shade is crooked. Or maybe it’s made to look like that. No. I think it’s crooked. Mary Belle had a lampshade like that. Only hers was pink. Or maybe it was purple. I want you to take me for a drive …..”
We give her the medicine she’s supposed to have. Then, we watch her swallow it. Otherwise, (for reasons I do not know) she will hide it behind her bed.
We hide her medicine so she can’t find it. Otherwise, (again, for reasons I do not know) she will decide she’s not getting enough and upend the bottle into her mouth.
I give her money to take with her to her “job.” But I can’t give it to her too soon because she will hide it, and then she’ll forget that she hid it and tell me somebody stole it.
She gets lost in the house.
She tells everyone that I “stole” her car from her.
And to this day, if I needed a heart transplant, she would say, “Here. Take mine.”
My Mama. My sweet, baby Mama.
I love her so much it makes my teeth ache.
It is no burden, taking care of my Mama.
It is a blessing and a privilege. I cherish every day with her.
Today is the day.
Did you know that the “women’s health” advocates in our government are making sterilization available to teen-aged girls without parental consent?
I could rant about the obvious hypocrisy in this. I could also talk about the hundred-year history of eugenic sterilizations and manipulations of women’s bodies that continues into the present. In fact, I AM going to do both those things. For a starter, check out another of today’s posts here.
But for today, I think I’ll let the facts speak for themselves. This is an excerpt of a CNS article talking about the phenomena of government-sponsored sterilizations for teen-aged girls without parental consent.
Oh, and one more tiny thing: This is one of the things that the HHS Mandate would force the Catholic Church and all Christian ministries to pay for.
I’ll talk about this more in the future. Stay tuned. Here’s the article:
Washington D.C., Sep 25, 2012 / 04:06 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Minor children on their parents’ health care plans will have free coverage of sterilization and contraception, including abortion-causing drugs, under the controversial HHS mandate – and depending on the state, they can obtain access without parental consent.
Matt Bowman, senior counsel for the religious liberty legal group Alliance Defending Freedom, said the mandate “tramples parental rights” because it requires them to “pay for and sponsor coverage of abortifacients, sterilization, contraception and education in favor of the same for their own children.”
The Department of Health and Human Services ruled in January 2012 that most employers who have 50 or more employees must provide the coverage as “preventive care” for “all women with reproductive capacity.”
The mandate also requires the coverage for beneficiaries, including minors, on the affected health plans, Bowman told CNA Sept. 20. That means that a minor on her parents’ plan could be sterilized if she finds a doctor willing to perform the procedure.
“She can be sterilized at no cost,” Bowman stated. “Whether her parents will know and/or consent might differ by state. But the Guttmacher Institute and other abortion advocates explicitly advocated for this mandated coverage of minors so that access without parental involvement might be able to increase.”
The Guttmacher Institute, in a Sept. 1 briefing on state policies, said that an increase in minors’ access to reproductive health care over the last 30 years shows a broader recognition that “while parental involvement in minors’ health care decisions is desirable, many minors will not avail themselves of important services if they are forced to involve their parents.”
The institute, the former research arm of abortion provider Planned Parenthood, said that 26 states and the District of Columbia allow all minors 12 years and older to consent to contraceptive services. At least one state, Oregon, allows 15-year-olds to consent to sterilization. (Read more here.)
Last week in The War on Girls: NYC Schools Pushing Plan B on Young Girls I wrote about NYC’s outrageous policy of pushing the morning after pill on teen-aged girls through the schools.
This week’s story is from a September 26 CNS article detailing an even more outrageous update to the guidelines of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists to make dangerous IUDs and hormonal implants the “first-line contraceptive options” for teen-aged girls, which should be “discussed at each doctor’s visit.” The updated guidelines recommend that doctors suggest these “longer term alternatives” that “can be left inserted inside a woman’s body and left in place for several years.”
I am seriously beginning to question if the health and well-being of girls is of any concern to the population control people. Also, just who is in charge of our various medical associations? It appears that social agendas take precedent over patient care with these groups, at least when the patient in question is a girl.
According to Dr Bill Toffler, professor of family medicine at Oregon Health and Science University, the devices this new update recommends in the Ob-Gyn guidelines are
“… typically expensive, costing hundreds of dollars, although under the Affordable Care Act, minors will have access to IUDs and other contraceptives at no cost, and in some states will be able to receive them without parental consent.
“The devices also release powerful hormones within the body and can lead to a significant risk of infection, especially during the early stages,” he said.
“Essentially, you’re putting a foreign body into a normally sterile cavity,” he explained.
“In addition, one in every 1000 women who use an IUD will have their uterus perforated, potentially putting their future fertility at risk,” he said.
Toffler warned that the promoters of the new guidelines “have thrown these concerns under the bus” in their zeal to reduce teenage pregnancy rates.
However, their attempts to do so may actually contribute to teenagers having “less inhibition” about sex and engaging in increasing levels of risky behavior, he said.
“People may be falsely reassured,” he explained, noting that with the average teenage relationship lasting only three months, many young people are already involved in numerous “fleeting” sexual relationships.
In addition, Toffler said, the promotions of IUDs are misleading, and women are not properly informed about how they function.
He explained that it is an undisputed fact that “one of the ways they work is to interfere with implantation,” thus ending the life of an already-created human embryo.
Some women who think they are simply using a preventive form of contraception may not realize that the device is also an abortion-inducing agent, he observed.
Toffler also said that he has had personal experience with women who became pregnant while using IUDs, posing a risk in removing the device. Such situations are also associated with higher proportions of ectopic pregnancies, which occur outside the womb and can be life-threatening for the mother. (Read more here.)
Click here throughout the Year of Faith, as the Catholic Channel at Patheos.com invites Catholics of every age and stripe to share what they are gleaning and carrying away from this gift of timely focus.