We have those moments in life that open our eyes in ways that can never be closed again. It started several months ago while in a business ethics and I had to read a chapter on animal cruelty. The brochure I received in the mail yesterday reads, “[ASPCA founder Henry Bergh] understood that the measure of any society is characterized by that society’s treatment of the defenseless.” I am now a member of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Below is a excerpt from a post saved in my drafts that I never published.

We make ourselves numb to unethical behavior because ignoring the problem is a whole lot easier than accepting that it exists. Granted, I cannot have children…as such, I am sure Sophie receives similar affections as a parent would bestow upon a child. However, anyone who truly loves animals knows this to be true; pets become your children. A friend at work had to put her dog to sleep last year and she missed a day of work to grieve. Some of you are scoffing at this: this post is not meant for you if you are.

I have struggled with eating meat for a few years now. I have not made the plunge into full vegetarianism as of yet, mostly for social reasons: one person at the table exercising a lesser acknowledged conscience seems to be an uncomfortable reminder to everyone else. I am not meaning to be cruel when I say this, merely honest. I come from a family of meat eaters and none of them are malicious people in the slightest!

But I can make a choice about the products I buy. I immediately researched the personal care items that I use on a daily basis. Most of the makeup got tossed, the only lip balms in my possession that made the cut were Burt’s Bees and Carmex. I researched every brand of product sold at my salon. I was so haunted by the senseless cruelty (a redundant phrase, I’ll grant you) and often death inflicted upon animals for the sake of vanity that I was fully prepared to throw away hundreds of dollars worth of product (I spend a lot of money on my hair—we all have our splurges). Fortunately, the salon products were safe, Nick’s too.

The shower was next on my list. I was already using Burt’s Bees for my face, so that was fine, but nearly everything else I had did not make the cut. My shower gel was also by a company that checked out. I’m sorry, but do you really need to blind a bunny rabbit by clipping open it’s eyes and pouring shampoo over them just to see whether or not you should put shampoo in your eyes? If you haven’t learned by now that you should put just about nothing in your eyes, then you deserve what you get.

I have no respect for bullies, and I never have. I am a pretty understanding person with most personality types, but I have no time with people who have lost even the slightest grip on humanity. I grew up surrounded by farmland. I suppose that environment teaches children a respect for all living things. Nick and I were sitting waterfront at the Union awhile back, throwing popcorn in the water for the ducks. Young children were sitting nearby with their parents who were more preoccupied with their beers than they were with their children who were throwing large rocks at the ducks. Is this where life is heading?

Physical Therapy

So I am in physical therapy now, and I don’t know how I feel about it. They have given me a TENS unit which makes a lot of life’s activities livable to me again. We do find it discouraging that they can treat my symptoms but cannot cure the source of the pain, but such is life I suppose—at least electrotherapy reduces the need for so much pain medication.

My physical therapist sent me home with exercises to do every other day because apparently I have very little strength in my butt. On my belly, she had me lift one leg and [try to] resist while she pushed down. I think she merely exhaled and my leg fell back to the table. So, as the paperwork says, I am officially in butt-retraining. I guess that’s what happens when you spend three years with an HMO who would rather give you pills than send you to a specialist.

I’m glad I switched at the beginning of this year, but I am kicking myself for not doing so sooner. I told myself that my problems would be temporary and not worth the headache to switch. Turns out, they’re not so fleeting after all. In the half-year I’ve been with my new insurance provider, I’ve seen a colorectal surgeon (without a referral process that I’ve had to fight to get approved!), referred to the pain clinic, undergone steroid injections to my sacroiliac joints, and been assigned butt exercises. I know it’s not as posh as prescription narcotics, but my tummy isn’t as upset anymore.

Physical Therapy has also been the only place where someone has really explained to me why sitting hurts—I mean, pulled out models, diagrams, and even my own x-rays to show me what a sacrum is supposed to look like. Honestly, call me ignorant all you want, but I had never even heard of a sacrum until my mother was diagnosed with end-stage cancer, and it had something to do with that area.

Beyond PT, I’m still plugging away at school and work while trying to enjoy the warm(er) weather. After homework, I’m usually not thrilled to be on the computer for anything non-essential. Sophie got a haircut last week…a summer doo, if you will. She seems to like it, rubbing up against walls and the carpet because itching yourself without all that fur is much more effective. Nick (who famously has not mastered stairs), up and broke his toe on Friday, so there’s his update. Until next time, ta-ta!