Our Health Our Responsibility


Our Health Our Responsibility
By Bernadette A. Moyer


You can be as ill as you want to be or in many circumstances, as healthy as you will yourself to be! My mother was a Masters educated nurse who always encouraged us to be healthy. Often she made statements like, “sick people are in the hospital and you are not one of them.” She worked for more than 30 years in hospitals from pediatrics to critical care units and later assisted living. The bulk of her career was in a Catholic hospital where all life was valued. She never wanted her children to be ill or require any truly unnecessary hospitalization.

I used to joke that “I wasn’t allowed to be sick!” Not in her eyes and in many ways it served me well. If you ever find me admitted to the hospital, I am ill, very, very ill. People die in hospitals and I don’t want to die and certainly not there.

And yes there are procedures and hospital stays that have turned people lives and health from bad to good, but it NEVER happens without the patient being part of the wellness practices. And YES there are hospital stays that have turned patient’s health from bad to worse. Just ask any medical malpractice attorney. A patient has to want to get healthy; they have to be willing to be a part of the process. If the patient is a child the parent has the responsibility. But there is no hospital or no doctor or no pill that will make us healthy if we don’t want to become healthy.

Since July of this year I witnessed our adult son admitted to the hospital for at least 6 different hospital stays. Most often he was escorted there by a “crisis team” after shocking public displays of odd and assorted behaviors. He is an adult and he alone is responsible for his care. I have come to believe that he likes being admitted and enjoys all the attention he receives at the hospital. It has been communicated to us that since July he has spent the better part of two months in a psych unit of a hospital.

Most people in the hospital can’t wait to get out, he loves going in. I am so sad and conflicted because I believe he does not fully appreciate what he is doing and the long and short term ramifications of his behaviors. I also believe he has all the power and that he will not become healthy until or unless he alone decides to become healthy. There is no magic pill, there is no magic doctor and there is no magic hospital that will bring us to good health if we don’t do the work necessary to be part of the process it takes to heal ourselves.

What I have witnessed is well-intentioned social workers, doctors and nurses that think they are helping him. What I have also witnessed is a slow and steady decline since they have all come together to help him. In many ways his attitude and his behaviors are far worse than they have ever been. The magic doctor, the magic pills and the magic hospital are not helping him at all. He needs to help himself and he is not doing that.

As a small child if he fell and skinned his knee and you babied him and coddled him his screams would become longer and louder and more dramatic. But if you addressed the wound and comforted him and eventually said okay now knock it off he would gently respond with “okay” it was almost like he took all his cues from how you addressed him. I learned early on how to manage him. Not a single one of his “crisis unit” like episodes ever happened inside our home.

The last day that he was admitted, he walked himself into the hospital and as he was waiting to be admitted he posted a video of himself on social media about where he was and what he was doing in the hospital. He clearly was NOT in any distress. And he also seemed to enjoy the camera being on him. If I had any lingering feelings about what to do seeing that post drove home for me that if and when he wants to get well he will and if he doesn’t want to he won’t. It is pretty clear.

Everyone is different some people are born with disabilities and illnesses that do require treatments and hospital stays. What I am referring to here is someone who has displayed an ability to be fully functioning and manage a full life. I am talking about mental health and seeing in the past what someone is capable of and knowing that if they alone decide, they will once again be capable of a fully functioning life. They may also decide not to be fully functioning. So much of the quality of our life is all about the decisions that we alone make for our lives.

Once we become an adult, our health is; our responsibility … and good health can only come about if we want it.

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer

All books by Bernadette on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Three Stories of Three Unattractive People


Three Stories of Three Unattractive People
By Bernadette A. Moyer


The ugly side of humanity that I witnessed this past week, it has stayed with me so like any good writer I must write it out to share them and to purge these stories. Here they are …

The first story …

My husband and I were headed out to Walmart to pick up some pool chemicals. We parked by the garden shop and were just a short distance from the entrance when we heard what appeared to be an argument. It seemed like two men were fighting. My husband started ushering me to his left side and then I heard the sounds of crashing merchandise to the ground and security detaining two guys. They wrestled the shirt off one guy and there on the ground went about 10 to 12 video games that he had stuffed into his pants. ”Get off me man, get off me man” he screamed.

Security escorted him into an office and we watched a cashier ring up all the game totals to get the price of the robbed goods. Later the police arrived. By the time we left there were five police cars there. Another lady who showed up after the fact and after seeing all the cop cars said, “This isn’t Dunkin Donuts!” Normally I ignore people like her but I felt compelled to answer, “No this was a robbery.”

I have a vision of that guy who stole video games from Walmart and all I could think was “Was it worth it?” Now you are a criminal” And for what?

The second story …

Last weekend was spent in Williamsburg Virginia and for the most part the people were so nice. Small chatty conversations, holding doors open and just southern charm was our experience. After a nice breakfast on a Saturday with temperatures that rose to over 80 degrees we headed out on Colonial Parkway driving from Williamsburg to Yorktown. We had the convertible car and were driving top down really appreciating the nice weather after days and weeks of rainstorms.

When we arrived in Yorktown they were having a street festival and had blocked off parts of the road. The covered parking area was closed off from the access that we drove in on and normally we would make a left turn but it was closed. We drove a short distance and happened upon another parking lot. It appeared almost full when we noticed a car getting ready to leave and we were next in line and pulled directly forward. I was driving.

As I was getting ready to put the top an orange Mustang came in reverse from about three cars up. When I first saw him I thought he was waiting for a car up ahead. As he reversed to get closer to our car he screamed “asshole” at me? I was stunned!

When you drive past a parking spot, in my view you gave up your rights to it? Clearly after his barrage of words he had an issue. His ilk stayed with me, I thought, you have a woman and a small child in the car with you and you talk like that? Not very attractive behaviors and all this over a parking spot?

The third story …

This one hits us little closer to home and it makes my mother’s blood boil. It started out to be a beautiful and a happy day. It was sunny and cool and a pleasant May Monday. Our son has many achievements but getting his driver’s license has eluded him. He tried and he tried and he just was not successful until yesterday. It was one aspect of the driving he couldn’t seem to get and in his defense the Jeep he has been driving it one of the largest vehicles I personally have ever driven. But he got it! Finally he had success.

A few hours later he interviewed for a new job and was immediately hired. More success and God knows he needed it. He is a really good person with a big heart, an artist with an artist’s sensibilities. He has had his share of struggles.

About a week ago he started dating a girl that he liked. Last night after the gym they went to see a movie together. Here is where the ugly comes in; sometime during the movie she excuses herself. When she doesn’t return he goes for his phone that was placed in the cup holder. It is missing. He goes to the front desk to report that he lost it.

It is not in his nature to think negatively of anyone let alone this girl. Again he liked her. What he doesn’t know is that she has been using his phone and texting from it to both me his mother and his father. Her text messages that appear to be coming from him since they are from his phone are not only disrespectful but antagonistic. They are weird not like him and later become sexual in nature. I am stunned and his father is furious. How could he speak to us like this? How could he treat us like this?

Well he was just as stunned when he returned home and read them himself. I don’t think he likes this girl now and I know he feels sad and badly that he trusted her.

Just another story of the unattractive people that live side-by-side in our society, normally I choose to ignore them but today I had to write it out and to share them. So what do you do when you witness firsthand the ugly behaviors of people in society?

We see a robbery we see rudeness and we witness dishonesty and deceitfulness in people, it can tear our heart apart or we can look and we can learn. We learn what we don’t want in our life we learn to appreciate all that is good in life.

Sadly there will always be ugliness in people, the unattractive ones, we can allow it to affect us or we can move closer to the good people, the ones who are naturally attractive because of their goodness. I am thankful that I know better, I know the difference between what is right and wrong, I know what good looks like just like I know what is most unattractive.

“Don’t let the behaviors of others destroy your inner peace.” Dalai Lama

Hang on to the good people in your life … there is some real ugly in this world … the darker side of humanity all I can think is that is it really worth it?

Stealing video games, cursing at people you don’t know in front of your own family and stealing a phone from a guy while on a date? And how do you live with yourself when you make such poor choices? How do you look into the mirror?

God Bless us all …

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer
Books by Bernadette A Moyer on Amazon and Barnes & Noble