Mardy Pops In via Pen Pal Program - A Return to Looking Forward to Getting the Mail. YOU Start!

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Mardy Ross's picture

It's the last day of the month as I write this, before sunrise.  I have my morning beverage next to the keyboard.  I'm more comfortable typing than I am talking, and way more comfortable than hand writing.  Yet, I created the first two pieces for the Mardy Poppins Pen Pal Program at the table -- my morning beverage on my left by the paper, pen in my right.  Old school for me.  And for the recipient to kick back and relax at some point in the day -- can we share this through letters? O'Rio Grande, of course, nearby.  He's never far away -- the watcher dog.

©2017 Mardy Ross  (and O'Rio with Santa, 2016)        © 2011 Mardy Ross


I wanted people to see how my writing appears on paper with pen and pencil, because it goes along with the story conveyed in those initial offerings.  I've always had coordination problems, learning disabilities, and was highly intelligent and diligent. And writing was difficult for me.  I'd be considered 'on the spectrum' of autism if a child today. And I'm not alone with my generation. My mother suspected the experts weren't diagnosing me, and would become a teacher, at my elementary school no less. In retirement (early, forced for doing things against the grain) she tried to publish her system for helping the coordination through learning and doing cursive in an innovative way. BigAcademia publishing said no.

Oh, the ironies!  If O'Rio were a person, he'd not have good writing either.  He basically has doggie autism, fibromyalgia, movement disorder, behavior disorders, and so on.  He has trouble gently taking food from your hand, though remarkably, that improved recently, and I will share about all these things via the letters. In veterinary circles it's recognized by some as dysautonomia, and that's a helpful shift for humans to make if they're plagued with problems, too. About the time the photo with Santa was taken, I noticed a billboard raising awareness about dysautonomia, over the bridge coming across The River into Grand Junction from the south.  Many medical consumers come from that direction to this "medical hub".

Everyone's looking at the statistics to tell us how many are affected with various things, but the statistics are way off because they're based on diagnosis when someone goes into the mainstream providers -- human, dog, cat, etc. Increasing consumers don't seek mainstream. Then the provider has to want to diagnose, be capable of it, and not dissuaded. The statistics are not from a study capturing a cross section, though it is known other research has been done, mostly not for the outsiders to see. 

My mother ended up inadvertently doing ad-hoc research as a teacher at my rural, mountain area elementary school outside Denver, Colorado between 1968 and 1978 or so, and screened all 3rd graders for neurological processing, and only one -- in about 1,000 -- had no evidence of impairment.  I've interviewed that 'girl', and will share about that.  Suffice it to say diet is ever so important, it seems, from that 'subjective information'. I believe it's worthy of attention.

I currently believe this to be in the realm of dysautonomia. The veterinary educator I found on YouTube about canine dysautonomia stated most people will have some dysautonomia, which lines up with what my mother was finding.  But why? And are those of us more affected with perplexing physiologic and/ or psychologic/ behavioral health issues with more, and not less?  Is there anything we can do to change? There is. And I am.

I believe our pets have more of an issue with it than we and the overall veterinary world realize, too. So you're as likely to get not helped or more messed up going to many providers, same as with what we've found happened in mainstream human medicine.  The providers are doing what they're taught.  We must come up from the grass roots (where we learn in various ways) and be the powerful consumer with every service and product purchased.  We must learn what's really going on and gracefully guide getting what we need in order to have the health we wish to have for self and beloveds, pets included.

I believe that is why 'that which is guiding' (TWIG, I call it) lead me to seeing my way to doing Mardy PopIns, then connecting to O'Rio in 2015.  The RV van in my mind's eye that started my process in 2014 was at his house when he came out barking at me and my car at our first meeting in 2015! 

O'Rio is impressing me every day with what improvements can come to those in middle or older age and with significant problems.  He was a mess, I doubt he'd be alive today had Mardy PopIns not blown his way and intervened when he was 10; he's now 12.  I recently heard his sister hikes 14-ers, which speaks volumes about "environment", in a small single case way of course, and can give us hope for what we can DO if we know WHAT TO DO. 

And so, I hope you will CONTACT ME (not at the Contact Us tab, as that's not updated and can't be done now -- Lumigrate needs some maintenance, which is costly) ---  and we'll get started as Pen Pals.  

My phone (and I text) is ----- 970 as area code, 462 is the prefix, and 8662 are the last four.

My address is: Mardy Ross; Suite 400-197; 2536 Rimrock Avenue, Grand Junction, CO 81505

PayPal link is: paypal.me/MardyRoss (or you can use my name or phone number, above, too)


I'm on Facebook (Mardy Ross). If you must, my email is mardy dot poppins at yahoo dot com.

(My box is 197 and suite 400 is a wonderful UPS Store where I spent a lot of time on a big project for much of the last year, very honest nice people.  This way, if Mardy PopIns blows on the wind out of town, either with or without O'Rio, temporarily or longer, they can pack and ship my mail to me ..... and I can keep the Mardy PopIns Pen Pal Program going from wherever ($17/month rental fee!). Low tech 'R' us! Phone's $45+tax.

It's paced by YOU, you'll give to me, and then I'll give to you the initial letter.  You'll hopefully look forward to seeing it in your mail, and enjoy reading it while relaxing with some sort of nurturing and nourishing / relaxing beverage, or in a relaxing spot. That's just my suggestion, read it wherever -- I used to read on the StairMaster in my years devotedly going to a gym as part of my recovery from my initial crash.  At my worst, I could walk half a block without stopping, and was throwing myself in the chair upon return. I was late 20s -- thirty years ago.  A far cry and fall from the pedestal of field day's 100 yard dash blue ribbon in first grade!

Ten years ago, in my late 40s, I'd leave providing mainstream medicine OT (occupational therapy -- how you occupy time are occupations, so basically everything you "do" is an occupation) because in that system I wasn't able to help the people wanting my help to know what I'd found that addressed the underlying reasons for symptoms. It was simply not allowed.  The System will let you know subtlely when they've decided it's time for you to go.  It was my time to go.  And how that happened, is a story for another day. 

Get off the screens, away from the electromagnetics, and take a break -- go retro as a pen pal of Mardy PopIns and remember a simpler time.  Reconnect with a different place in yourself -- and with thoughts of dogs (and cats) and kids AND US!   And maybe let that influence you longer term! 

When you give/send to me the second time, you'll receive the second letter, and so on.  (I'll keep track of where you are in receiving the letters.)  And you can send me suggestions or whatever, in addition to whatever amount you wanted to give.  It won't take a lot from any one "pal" if we get enough pals giving to keep things going. And I can continue lighting the path to health and well-being for all who find their way there on the Internet, seeking to find and learn, share, and help teach others (including Facebook efforts).  

I hope some will offer to sponsor others as a gift -- either someone they know or someone I learn of.   (Right now I have a handfull I would like to find sponsors for, and that will be kept anonymous, as will who gives and not, and any details.) Your contact information will be kept by me similarly, as it would have in the old days when I was simply doing my yearly love letters (I sent Valentines letters instead of Christmas as it was less busy and more special when received). I'm frankly worn out trying to keep up with the high tech stuff, and wanting to go back to "those times" in some way, myself!

Letters will just be the highlights, without detail, as you'd expect in a little letter from a friend writing you a note as Pen Pals of the Pooch and Mardy PopIns.  (For as long as the pooch is in the picture, that is.... I am Mardy PopIns, after all....).                               GRATE-FULL-Y ~~ Mardy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

__________________

Live and Learn. Learn and Live Better! is my motto. I'm Mardy Ross, and I founded Lumigrate in 2008 after a career as an occupational therapist with a background in health education and environmental research program administration. Today I function as the desk clerk for short questions people have, as well as 'concierge' services offered for those who want a thorough exploration of their health history and direction to resources likely to progress their health according to their goals. Contact Us comes to me, so please do if you have questions or comments. Lumigrate is "Lighting the Path to Health and Well-Being" for increasing numbers of people. Follow us on social networking sites such as: Twitter: http://twitter.com/lumigrate and Facebook. (There is my personal page and several Lumigrate pages. For those interested in "groovy" local education and networking for those uniquely talented LumiGRATE experts located in my own back yard, "LumiGRATE Groove of the Grand Valley" is a Facebook page to join. (Many who have joined are beyond our area but like to see the Groovy information! We not only have FUN, we are learning about other providers we can be referring patients to and 'wearing a groove' to each other's doors -- or websites/home offices!) By covering some of the things we do, including case examples, it reinforces the concepts at Lumigrate.com as well as making YOU feel that you're part of a community. Which you ARE at Lumigrate!

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Mardy Ross's picture
Mardy Ross
Title: LumiGRATE Poster - Top of the Totem Pole
Joined: Feb 16 2009
Posts: 1933
User offline. Last seen 11 hours 38 min ago.
The Setup / Back Story for More Details

The Back Story --- SKIM or SKIP of READ, It's Up to You.  It's Just History.

I go into detail of this in what I hand wrote, though it was frustrating for me to read it. I realized I should type them up and simply include a small sample of my handwriting. So here's the information, and a sample will be below of the "download" so you can see my writing. 

The Old Days of Letters, Phone Calls Where We SAT and COMMUNICATED

I was inspired to do this Pen Pal project a while back, it just took a while to get the time to 'switch gears' on my time to generate in-coming funds.  I'd been reminded of the history of letter writing in families and between friends (and lovers) recently, and of my excitement going to the mail box as a child or young adult when the old fashioned regular mail was our primary means of communicating when not in person with someone we valued.  We had the telephone, but party lines allowed for only short conversations.  Long distance charges dissuaded or prohibited as well.

And people were on a phone attached to a wall.  There'd be a chair there, or a stool, to sit and talk.  You did not have a conversation ever with someone saying "hold on, I have to figure out where I'm driving", or "can I call you back, I have to take this other call", because the phones weren't that sophisticated; the calling party would get a busy signal and call back.  I think the grandest time was when we had answering machines attached to phones which we could call and check from another phone somewhere, and beepers. I've had many instances in recent years where people did not remember entire portions of conversations, and it was largely due to them being distracted when talking to me, and a phone was involved -- and either walking or driving, etc.  It's NOT GOOD for relationships if it's your primary or only time with someone and you're being interacted with this way. 

I'd be reminded of Christmas letters, and the progression I saw as a child from my mother hand writing a note which would be included for every home receiving a card, to making one letter of the family's highlights that was photocopied and sent in a card.  Both were great, the later are all I have a sample of.  From 1981, the year I was married, and the year my mother was told 'no' from the mainstream publisher of her handwriting for better functioning program.  Some people keep every letter and card they ever receive.  I'm not one of them, but I do recognize that keeping them allows for the overall history highlights of a person or family. 

So I created a "Christmas 2016 Letter to You" on Lumigrate, and planned for 2017 to take me into letters with people and short stories. Finally, at the end of summer, I'm starting. Just as Hurricanes hit the U.S. "Timing is everything", as they say.

Meaningful Coincidences / Synchronicities and TWIG

I'd have a meaningful coincidence when going to copy the initial letters, to distribute by hand in person to just get a sense of reception to how it looked and felt, and to acknowledge some of those I feel were 'part of the reason why' I'm doing what I'm doing. The mail man was the only person who came into the reprographics shop while I was there!  And he had one item of mail that was to their address and was just checking to be sure it was not for them.  The owner was empty handed and so --- I put something in it.  

It was through my work taking me to use that shop's services over the past year, and reproducing in various ways a document about a woman's life story as part of her end of life process, that I saw how the story of O'Rio, who'd come with me, was interesting to others.  And part of the life story 'book' included her "Christmas Letters".  Letters she was using now to remind herself of her life.  It was somewhat reminiscent of the movie The Notebook, except she was reading her own writing years later.

I'd also have an interesting "coincidence of timing and placement" (now called "synchronicities" due to David Willcock recently publishing a book about it)  this spring while shipping off some of those stories (and related items to family and friends) when my gut told me to go into a nearby restaurant. 

I figured I should pick up a paper menu in case I wanted to order and take out, since I'd be in the area frequently. I don't know how to explain this when I get these 'guided moments' to go a different direction driving or walking and you're kind of going with it and wondering why -- now I at least know that something's going to happen, you just have to wait and see who you run into. 

I ran into the doctor / surgeon who had unwittingly been part of the 2006/2007 turning point in my professional life. Even I did not realize it was a turning point at the time, but I see it clearly now. Sometimes it's harder to see our own lives, future or present, than fore-see or see presently what's going on in ours.

The surgery went great, he even got a wonderful photograph of what a "mess" my uterus was, but then while he was home sleeping or at the hospital delivering babies, an error occurred with medications due to inexperienced or inattentive nursing, or a combination of both.  It didn't kill me, it didn't mess me up longer than 36 hours, the way other medication errors had, and I believe it was needing to occur in order for me to get into a state of mind to receive a 'download' of sorts.  "A fate meant to be," you might say.

I was clearing from the bungling medications' effects and the fear I'd felt while in my bungled state for well over 24 hours, and knew my ride was arriving soon to take me home. One of the problems with having 'older parents' who were leading edge of these health issues and having fertility problems AND in a family pool of similar is there's a growing number of 'orphans' when it comes to medical impairment and the System. 

It's like we need foster care. And these are called patient advocates, most of whom work For the System and not for You the Patient, but some do work independently and for you.  You have to pay them out of pocket of course.  And we have a wonderful one on Lumigrate in the forums, who happened along later, of course, because Lumigrate was not yet even a twinkle in the corner of my eye yet, as the saying goes.  That was about to change.   

Pulling myself together -- a little mascara, lipstick, hair into a pony tail after putting clothes on, a thought came into my head (as a downlad, which I translate into words as best I can (and include a bit more so you understand the background better)): 

"As much as you know, as planned as you had this, in a hospital as good as this one  (which I went out of my way to request) and in a city this good at health care (known for being a leader in mainstream health care results) -- if this could happen to you, think what's happening to others elsewhere.  A bunch of people are going to solve this, and you're going to be one of them."

I'd feel almost "possessed" the next day to go to the holiday party of the behavioral health group from the medical building where I provided occupational therapy services for two years, where I was located within a physical therapy clinic. The PT clinic was on the garden level, like legs are, and the behavioral clinic was on the top floor like the head is.  In the middle was lab, x-ray, urgent care, occupational health, primary care for children and pharmacy. 

I'd take the stairs if I felt safe and energetic at the time.  I'd take the elevator the rest of the time. It was about half and half.  (The good news is that a decade later I feel it would be about the same percentages, but if I were in the lower level when the power went out and a patient needed assistance up the stairs to the parking lot, I'd not be as confident in being able to assist as I was then.  Which is okay because after I helped when that happened the first time, the fire department arrived and then I knew they come ASAP to get anyone in the elevators and take anyone out of the building needing to go who cannot do stairs and wants to go.

I'm pleased to say what I helped initiate with the PhD psychologist's suggestion and encouragement after this turningpoint had an impact on leading to "integration" of that building's services, which in turn can have an effect, I now realize, on health care in the US and beyond as 'reform' occurs, just because of what that building is within the national health care system in general. Not that it wasn't already going in that direction, driven by mainstream, ultimately, and the consumers, but it helped them take a big step beyond where they had been.

We both had military medicine experience, where you're allowed time to talk to providers as part of what you're paid to do, which is not how insurance-based medicine works where you're only getting reimbursed for certain things and talking to other providers is not one of them.  It meant we were essentially donating / giving our time to do what was beneficial for our patients, beyond the time and whatever we got reimbursed for via their copays and insurance.

"Always do the right thing" just simplifies life so much, though in the short term it will drive you away from systems and individual people not doing congruently to how you would....different realities, you might say.

After two years (2005-2006) he (and his group) and I (and my group) had a good rapport and groove started. I'd had most of my patient referrals from him, and they'd all done very well. I'd forseen getting more referrals for OT from the PTs in my group, but that was not the case. It was slow going and didn't make sense for the number of patients I could see just looking at them in functional activities in the building.  As my mother's 1981 Christmas letter said about her not getting anywhere with the education publishing System, "hmmmph".

My first new patient of 2007, before I had even been for my post-op and officially being deemed ready to work in terms of my body and it's healing, was a woman who had the same overarching diagnosis I had been given. Also diagnosed many years before. 

Her Rx for OT eval and treat was from the same doctor who'd told me in the late 1990s, when I was working in the Valley temporarily, that what I had was called what it was called then ("fibromyalgia", some still diagnose it with that label today, but it's being replaced by more difinitive things recently). BUT  it was not a diagnosis you wanted to get in your chart, as you'd be "uninsurable".  He was right about that.  So we operated knowing that's what I could be diagnosed by someone with, but we'd continue on with "chronic fatigue" and "chronic pain", "migraine", and symptoms like that which didn't make you "uninsurable" by the System. 

About three years later I'd be hiring an employment attorney for the first time in my life.  My employer of six months would not give me the promised benefitted position after doing well on double the usual probationary period (allegedly they forgot to submit at the start of 90 days to their insurance company, so they had to do it at the end of 90 days and then in another 90 days I'd get insurance).  Nearing the end of the second 90 days I got the paperwork for the insurance and filled it out honestly and sent it in.  And that included "the F word" (fibromyalgia), as I jokingly called it, and to my knowledge coined that expression on the Internet via Lumigrate in 2009.  "We are self insuring and we just don't want to pay for your medical costs, you're too high risk" the VP of my employing company said. They liked my work, offered $2/hour more to buy insurance. Ugh.

The second time I'd need the attorney was a hospital system which I'd wanted to work for only because they paid into the same retirement plan I'd been part of in my many years working at Colorado State University. With his help through the city attorney and mine, we agreed I'd not be "gagged" and I'd "resign" rather than being fired for the things they'd cited. Hence I can tell you that right now. And the details. All the consumers and providers wanting a GOOD SYSTEM of health care can benefit from hearing what goes on with the bad system, and too often the departures come with gags. 

Since those cited things included that I'd not commited billing fraud as they taught employees to do (and apparently really wanted you to do, since I quietly just did it the legal way and the inpatient manager wrote me up for it -- and other employees went along with not really realizing, apparently, it was illegal -- or maybe only caring that their way helped the productivity numbers be higher, and that was how you were judged in large part as an OT, PT or SLP). 

I had come up through skilled nursing and contract providers, where things are scrutinized by Medicare, and hospitals typically hire new therapists out of school when they can.  There's always someone around, it's very supported and so it's a good first job for new graduates, they had said. I came to it by the outpatient clinic wanting to hire a part time experience therapist to help the neurological specialist OT, and when I mentioned I could retire in 12 years if I got full time, the assistant manager sprung on that and talked to their new, innovative overall therapy services manager who'd wanted to have a full time therapist from OT and PT floating around to all three components of the system. 

I am proud to say that after our kerfuffle, I went to that new innovative manager and told her what had occurred so that she would know from my perspective, and asked for her name to be a reference since I'd need that for employment / income searching. She was happy to.  That is an example of a good person, doing the right thing, within a buraucracy.  They do exist! May they keep at it and prevail or get out and support!

She'd had this new idea of bringing in an experienced OT and PT to slide around wherever there were needs in their system.  They had so many needs at outpatient and inpatient  for OT, due to the neuro OT going off on a big medical problem that was allegedly unexpected, I never made it to working on their rehab unit. She was only part way done training me. She'd helped in the hand therapy room in her extra time, to increase her productivity too, and so I was not being expected to do something I was not at all prepared and never would have the ability to do.  But that wasn't part of it when they hired me.  It was like 'oh and you also need to...'.

That very good PT had told the medical director and whole staff at a meeting with the rehab unit that the M.O. of therapists at outpatient, being condoned by the management was to clock out and work off the clock in order to get the paperwork done properly and meet the productivity expectation. 

I'd not done that because I'd actually been fired for doing that in a previous job, when pausing when leaving the building to talk to a nurse who had questions on what to ask for orders from the doctor that Friday afternoon --- and by getting the orders I'd be able to start helping those patients with their needed positioning issues first thing Monday morning.  Management in my therapy company out of California did not care, all they cared about was what my productivity was and how much money they were making or losing. The facility people cared about their residents -- I cared about their residents.  I did the right thing but it hurt me AGAIN.

So on this subsequent job I'd learned from my mistakes, and did my documentation on the clock and then tried to show them where the inefficient aspects were that took more time which could easily be changed, but rather than change the system they opted to make up a technicality to fire me on.  And when I surprised them and passed the test they required, they fired me for doing it late. 

But their assistant manager had moved the date of my testing with him to after when the due date was.  I'd asked about the due date and he said it wasn't a problem.  Hence we had a good lawsuit if we wanted one.  We didn't want one.  I took my "ungagged voice" (and hands as I type this now) and went on.  And here I am.  Here you are, perhaps interested in letters from me in the future about what I'm doing currently, knowing the 'background' here.

Since I missed rehab unit experience at that fine city hospital system, which is now under a state not local government system, I'd get acute rehab unit experience in my career elsewhere. It's as if That Which is Guiding (TWIG) was just making sure I got a taste of everything I needed to know before the opportunity arose to create Lumigrate and now the Mardy PopIns pen pal letters.  

The hospital was well known by medical insiders for 'being good at making money' was how I heard it, and even to me as difficult as things are for me to sort out until I've had more time typically, they were so clearly doing billing fraud that after my first day I questioned my manager.  Who told me "we're fast paced, I'll just say that", to which I said "I'll complete what you've scheduled me for, but don't schedule me for any more." 

Always do the right thing.   But again I'm the one without income. And with health issues adding to my costs.

The PT at the government hospital system did get to go to all three places, and actually floated the way the innovative new manager had forseen it would supposed to work. And it worked. To have such a wise, talented, and advance trained PT to influence the staff overall was a benefit to all via the ripple effect. 

He was one of the top five PTs I've known in my career as a patient and as a provider.  It was "meant to be" that I work with him in those two departments because on three lunch hours over six weeks, in minutes squeezed after eating and before needing to clock back in to "work", he solved my significant, limiting ankle problem from a fall in a not-well-lit and not well repaired parking lot the original fast food healthy Mexican chain rented space in, right around  "9/11/2001". In 1996 they had only three stores, in Denver, and I lived near store #2. 

They'd never heard of anyone wanting a burrito without a tortilla due to not eating wheat.  I helped inspire the burrito bowl.  To their credit their insurance would have covered my claim had the location's not, and in the end I was rewarded by that insurance company for not doing a lawsuit, which I would have had a very good case they said.  It basically made up the lost income in these work outages for doing the right thing.  

I was able to do more and harder work and walking / hiking / skiing and other things ever since -- I'm so grateful! And work, being able to still work as an OTR got me to Grand Junction in 2003, I was lifting and moving quite well, for someone who has this medical malady 'stuff' lifelong. I was told that at that time I was "The Golden Employee".  And then .....

....this became the third time for hiring an employment attorney, that situation was like the others -- "a fate meant to be".

I'd be available to be working somewhere -- anywhere -- after that at JUST the right time and happen to meet TWO people within a week who connected me to the clinics in the building with the PT and psychologists, which I've told you about, above, which had me running up and down stairs or taking the elevator in order to do communication IN PERSON about the patients. And so I'd create an LLC and "hang out a shingle", just after midnight of New Years 2005.

In early 2007 after that first patient with "fibromyalgia" inspired the education group, we'd be brainstorming about the suggested model given to me by a rheumatologist in 2005 of what patients with "fibromyalgia" needed, from his standpoint.  His and other specialties once a year, but ongoing OT, PT, and behavioral health and support services.  What we came up with worked in the group fabulously and you see it today as the Lumigrate YOU! Model.  And from day 1, in March 2009.

What we were effectively doing in the building with the few providers I was connecting  through to benefit the patient was similar to the "collaborative care model". YOU, the consumer, are in the middle of things and involved. It's up to you to decide what providers of education, products and services you put around you.

In allopathic / mainstream medicine you, the consumer, are not being talked about, just documented about by each provider, and there's a run-around that occurs for the consumer.  And the providers are running around crazily trying to make 'productivity' and sometimes being forced to break laws if they want to keep their jobs.  Or don't, and have to hire an employment attorney every job. And move on. And eventually see it's not a fit for them and leave the system.    

So, that one patient that came just after my surgery for the first time ended up inspiring the PhD neuro psychologist to get me collaborating with him and through the building, which he was an owner in, on starting a live education group ... which turned into a seminar series .... where I saw the value and need for a website which would hold the information for anyone on the Internet to access and benefit. 

It would grow nicely, smoothly (mostly) and by a year after my surgery and post-operative 'download' .....again......          

.... I'd be sitting with a video camera and tripod recording a presentation for the first MD who wanted to come learn but could not make the place and time of the seminar on "medicating for chronic pain".  It was being given by the psychologist's Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner.  The equipment was brought to me by a doctor not from our building, but one of the ones I'd sought out for my own health, and who had sent patients to me, including a complex patient with "fibromyalgia".  That complex patient tried to attend the weekly education meetings and he'd been intrigued by her feedback (and my requests to participate).

So, sitting at a table watching the presentation, over on the left side of the room, I recall thinking

"I could maybe have someone put this on DVDs for me and I could give them to other providers too ..... I'm needing a website for this education group anyway, I wonder how much it would cost to do a website that had video.... I wish I had the money to do that."   

It was a weeknight evening near the end of the week.  

Unbenownst to me, arriving in my mailbox that day, was a check from a 'distant relative' if you look at a geneology chart, but whom I'd been rather close to, particularly after my mother died when I was a young woman.  We weren't even related by genetics, because of my father's adoption, but in their family adoption and only children was the norm rather than exception. She'd not had children (nor had I) and wanted to pass on the Norwegian traditions, family stories, and hinted at wanting me to travel and see the world when I was retired, too.  

"Maybe someday you'll be able to do some things like this too, when you retire..." she's say, knowing my retirement was all goofed up because of working for two systems, and the one being the reason I'd worked for the hospital which I'd end up not gagged about.  I'd only needed to work 12 years for them and I'd retire with amazing retirement income and benefits.  But they were .... 'not well managed'. And so I continue working. Very differently -- for you, the provider or the consumer seeking information -- and that now includes as my pen pal as Mardy PopIns. 

What I received from my "auntie's estate" as people think of it, was enough to pay off my student loans, finally, after over a decade, which was the last of my debt, and upgrade to a newer used car. Which I still have and has just passed 90k miles and is in need of a timing belt since summer started.  

After that I had enough left to front the hefty upstart costs of a website business -- basically I had all the expenses you'd have being a provider in the integrative clinic, plus all the furniture and tools for a video/ photography recording and editing "production" studio leading to a website. 

I'm what people call a Ludite -- I just don't take to technology easily due to my injured brain.  Hence I had a full time assistant for 15 months until the money ran out for rents and employees and trainers and website people, insurances and so on. They don't make it easy on those outside the System, we have the same costs but no System support so ....... I'm appealing to people to recognize the contribution I'm making and reply in kind.

We had good base skills between us, but nothing to do with lights, camera, action (and photoshop, Constant Contact, etc.).  I'd try buying subscriptions for learning by video, but we needed in person. There's just something that does not come through via video that does with in-person.  (And vice versa, there are advantages to video, too).

Lumigrate Launches / Goes Live

Lumigrate would become what the website was called --- light melded with integrate / to bring together is where the word came from.  The long-anticipated website would go live at a random time from our end when the guy was finally done with it (way later and more expensive than planned, but isn't that the new normal?). 

"Coincidentally" I'd be attending a repeat performance of one of the seminars being given by the PhD neuropsychologist and his wife, who is also one of the area's primary experts in her niche of behavioral health, which is children (and thus autism and childhood trauma's results on adult health and lifespan -- this was a perfect marriage of their professional specialties).  They were presenting to a morning meeting of  the area's mental health providers. 

I'd be so excited to get the text from my assistant saying the website was up, and was eager to see the website at the office her (and others in the clinic space we rented within).  Our phones in those days did not 'do' that yet.  But rather than rush out,  I'd go up to his office when invited to share in a discussion about adverse childhood experiences and the effects on the brain.  "If a smart occupational therapist could just figure out what to DO about it...." he said.  ......

I did not realize he was talking about ME, I was so 'into' thinking about the focus my past year of preparing the seminars and getting ready to have a website with a blog and forums and shopping cart, products and so on, that JUST WENT LIVE (and I'm eager to see it at my office .......).  Oh, so embarrassing and funny when he looked at me as I was coming up with suggested OTs in town that might help him.  

What to DO to HELP these kids and adults, so their health effects -- which the body's responses to trauma has a part in --- was what he was sincerely and enthusiastically requesting of me, and attempting to engage me in. I'd eventually come up with what I think are the solutions.  And it's all on Lumigrate, piece by piece, over the days, weeks and years.

Lumigrate's First Years -- Birth to Pre-School (First Four Years)

I'd get another five years of funds for supporting my expenses working and living in my rented duplex ("home for almost 9 years when I left) with my father's end of life.  The way these passings occurred when, and as they did, I believe was "a fate meant to be", as well.

I'd known that if I sold advertising space on Lumigrate at that time, which I wasn't necessarily wanting to do, it would provide about half what I needed.  Without the cost of my housing, I'd be fine with that.  That's quite a sacrifice, particularly for someone who has sensitivities as I do -- that's just part of being what is called "autism spectrum" (in people) in some circles.

I'd get the graphics artist who did the YOU! Model and the Full Barrel Syndrome model for the launch to create the landing page graphic and replace stock used by the web-maker guy (who looked like Carrie Fisher / Princess Leah, in a lab coat, but he'd overlooked having us think through the BIG impression of the LANDING PAGE graphic ... ugh) to also create this one -- to show we're online, I come through the computer to people -- diet, lifestyle, supplementation, Earthing / grounding to the Earth, joy in being --- flowing upwards.  I just love it.  

 

My theory today is we're all a little or more quirky, and it's hand in hand with environmental illness' spectrum. I can feel pretty well, and act well, because I do what I do to be that way.  If someone else is not doing that, and therefore isn't well, problems generally emerge. 

Increasingly, relationships are difficult between people and within organizations.  Because of the environment we're in and it being so difficult for people to figure out, and afford extra things, to assist them with being well.  Like slowly raising the heat on a frog in water..... we don't realize we're going to die once it gets enough!

A marketing group's president had known how to value a new, non monetized website, and it was worth 2x what I'd put into it at that point, and that was, to me, a "good investment" of my time, energy, and of course funds.  It would be a total loss to go work for someone else and not figure a way to have significant time and energy to devote to Lumigrate and those I connect with. My parents had given up on dogs after 10 years of not making a profit at their kennel, which was largely due to their not knowing about nutrition as we can know today if we study.  Which is part of what I'll be weaving into the letters about O'Rio and Mardy PopIns.  

Besides, I was realistic about my age and my health, as well as my long-term costs for living.  Complex chronic conditions aren't cheap.  And Lumigrate was a way for me to provide for the rest of my life while contributing to the the people out there making 'this happen'.  And live without being dependent on The System.  I really encourage people who are not well to look into disability if they're not getting results enough by learning and trying things helping many others, and wish to provide them with this program affordably.  With the live education group which was a cross section when it came to finances, they all agreed that $5 a week was something they'd gladly pay to learn what they were via the group. 

(As an OT you look to make $25/hour at a minimum and so if 10 people attended it would pay my time to host the group in 2007.  This ironically was the amount my first client as Mardy PopIns suggested for my in-home advise in early 2015. It's based on what you pay for other things and what value you put on the service you're getting in relation.  Caregivers were $15, the hair person was $40, the massage therapist was ....... they didn't even want to say because they were realizing NOW they were getting into the ballpark that I'd make typically and so they figured they'd pay me somewhere between a caregiver and a hair do-er.  That was where their head was at and I wanted to help, they needed badly what I knew well to advise about.)

I was, however, identifying "brain injury" as where I wanted to go next, professionally.  Not the kind with physical trauma, necessarily, I've done that already, though of course those will always be involved in most cases (though unrecognized in most people due to under-diagnosis). 

Rather, I could see my new focus needed to be on other things that damage the brain.  Hypoxia, chemicals, microorganisms, "interlopers", nutritional deficiencies and psychological trauma and how THAT feeds into it all --- in the mix.  And so on and so forth.....

Soon I was 'going down the rabbit hole' on the Internet to learn about a bunch of stuff that took me from being on one side of the fence to the other in terms of  the "reality model" I subscribe to.  And I took Lumigrate with me, thought I have continued to post conservatively in terms of what the content is compared to what I would post if I were doing a website for people who see things as I do.  Because -- it's all about not seeming too 'far out there' when YOU come. YOU may be a provider who's looking for information, a consumer who's not that familiar with things beyond allopathic medicine. 

That's when I started getting the vision in my mind's eye of "the RV camper" ... and start selling my things ... and then got the idea to create Mardy PopIns (and I PopOut when done), which would reduce my housing costs. Lumigrate's traffic was warranting $250/advertistement with space for 8 ads at that time.

But savvy consumers know that advertisers can control content and so I wanted to find a way to raise the funds by a cross section of consumers and providers and everyone, the way the original education group was set up -- we're all in it together learning together, it's 360. 

And Then O'Rio Grande -- Of the Big River. One of a Kind Dog (or Not?)

I'd get connected as Mardy PopIns to house #3 to simply dog-sit 'O'Rio' and his house (and property)  about six months after leaving my home, and being exposed to all kinds of things I'd not forseen when picturing staying in people's homes.

Out from the garage (one of the two doors left partially open) he came, barking ferociously while wagging but with scruff and back hair all up ... it was a wierd mix for a dog's response to a car driving in during the day with people home.  And next to him was THE RV. 

And here we are!  Two years later, and we have a dog teaching me so much, continuing to improve with what I'm applying and learning ongoing, which I can share and make the letters so fun, I hope! Enjoyable at least... I'm pretty sure they will be enjoyable. 

He's improving, but he was intervened with at 10, and is now 12. And for now, this is where I am, learning new tricks! And I'm pretty sure he's not one in a kind, he has a lot of other dogs who have similar whose owners / humans / guardians simply do not know what they have, and this can help them and the people! 

I, with The Mardy PopIns Project, am seeing how this truly is a way of morphing what was great about occupational therapy and health education from the allopathic / mainstream medical system and applying it to homes with families, pets, yards and visitors. 

I'm seeing that showing the similarities between O'Rio and me in symptoms -- and causes -- AND WHAT HELPS TO REMEDIATE -- is a really fabulous way for people to get the information.  About dogs, kids, cats, themselves.

My first 'letter' in the pen pal series, if you should wish to become a person I send letters to, which I wrote yesterday morning, is about the mercury sensitivity we share, and how I've learned about that this summer -- literally starting on Memorial Day, and I'm only part way through being able to 'test' on my own.  I'm learning via an MD in Germany when he has time, and I have time (and am not in bed, there's an 8 hour time difference). 

Last I learned, he was with a 'scar' visible (via energy 'stuff') on the left side of his body.  He needed a bit of iron and B6 and then he'd feel better.  You see, this way of thinking MINIMIZES the amounts of supplements needed.  Yeah, who'd want THAT?  Not those who make money on supplements.  But since I don't, and want people to get well with the least time, energy and money involved, I do! 

So far all the dogs and cats photos I've had the Doctor look at were sensitive to an element, usually mercury. One person so far that I'm aware of has none.  Lucky her! 

I truly wish that people overall see that pets, like people, have had shorter lives than lifespans would allow, with more problems and pain than was necessary.  They are usually suspecting diet and wonder about what they're feeding, which of course is a significant part.  But are they suspecting a tiny residue from soap, laundry products, cleaning products, and so on? I had some on pants that would affect him when he'd touch my leg, and it was affecting me too -- I'd not washed them correctly to get out previously used mercury-containing laundry soap. 

In closing, I was reminded by Facebook that on August 31, 2011 I shared the photograph, below, and am loving the 'synchronicity' that the photographer was one of the afore-mentioned I tried to connect with personally to start The Mardy PopIns Pen Pal Project.... I didn't hear back from them.  But at least I did the right thing and tried.

This is what I mean about kick back, relax with a beverage of your choice..... Join me! 

 © 2011 Mardy Ross

__________________

Live and Learn. Learn and Live Better! is my motto. I'm Mardy Ross, and I founded Lumigrate in 2008 after a career as an occupational therapist with a background in health education and environmental research program administration. Today I function as the desk clerk for short questions people have, as well as 'concierge' services offered for those who want a thorough exploration of their health history and direction to resources likely to progress their health according to their goals. Contact Us comes to me, so please do if you have questions or comments. Lumigrate is "Lighting the Path to Health and Well-Being" for increasing numbers of people. Follow us on social networking sites such as: Twitter: http://twitter.com/lumigrate and Facebook. (There is my personal page and several Lumigrate pages. For those interested in "groovy" local education and networking for those uniquely talented LumiGRATE experts located in my own back yard, "LumiGRATE Groove of the Grand Valley" is a Facebook page to join. (Many who have joined are beyond our area but like to see the Groovy information! We not only have FUN, we are learning about other providers we can be referring patients to and 'wearing a groove' to each other's doors -- or websites/home offices!) By covering some of the things we do, including case examples, it reinforces the concepts at Lumigrate.com as well as making YOU feel that you're part of a community. Which you ARE at Lumigrate!

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Mardy Ross
Title: LumiGRATE Poster - Top of the Totem Pole
Joined: Feb 16 2009
Posts: 1933
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Giving to Support a NEW Topic or Revision of Existing

Lumigrate has always, in my mind and actions, been intended to be a collaboration of consumer and providers, with the CONSUMERS in the key position.  This is reflected in the YOU! Model, which is the cornerstone of my work since 2007 when it was brought to life in a brainstorming with the single most supportive professional provider I'd had the pleasure of collaborating with in my years 2005-2008 (and then even into 2010 when I was 'outside the system'), Dr. Chris Young. 

I had been given a model by a rheumatologist in 2005 when first marketing my new 'shingle' I'd hung out to provide general OT services within a PT clinic within a big, allopathic, mainstream medical building. The building, unbenownst to me at the time, is essentially a model for 'reform' going forward in time in the United States / North America. The model suggested to me in early 2005 was shot down completely by the PT clinic management, but I'd liked it. From their perspective, the chronic pain / fatigue patients were not a fit for the type of services they knew how to provide; from my perspective there was a demand for it, I'd been one of those 'difficult patients' and they helped me, so it was merely a matter of getting some patients coming my way who were more frail and getting them underway with how I knew how to help, and transition them to SELECT PTs in the group, as appropriate.  It worked! It was a win, win, win -- most importantly that meant patients who were leaving in better shape than when they began. 

So by discussing what the rheumatologist in 2005 wanted (and would send TEN PATIENTS A WEEK, he'd said) in a one hour session with Dr. Young in early 2007, he drew out the first version of this model.  We'd use it in our live education group we started in the building in June 2007, which was short-lived due to "lack of support" you might diplomatically say, from the building's overall administration. 

In 2008 I'd devote the year to being in a new clinic, one not reliant on The System's insurance money and totally reliant on the pockets of the consumers.  I'd hire a full time talented assistant and we'd get the clinic and the providers up off the ground by supporting and creating their live seminar series. And, basically, in trade for their time, I would get a repeat performance of select seminars in front of our cameras in the Lumigrate video production studio.  It was exhaustively expensive in time, energy and money, and by July of 2009, three months after Lumigrate was a website live on the Internet, we were laying off, moving all the physical things into my rented 2 bedroom single car garage duplex, and onto Plan B.  In those days people were used to paying $10 to go to a movie, so would pay $10 to attend a live seminar of value to them, but to purchase a video version of the same thing, with ways to print out the information included, for $20 --- the consumers and providers simply did NOT SUPPORT IT.  Today, 2017, it would be a different story.  We were just 'ahead of the curve'.

I'd hussle and get great people with chronic pain and fatigue writing in the forums, in the absense of providers from the now-fractured clinic group participating as planned. I found wonderful people on Facebook. Articulate, not angry, wise, hard working, and really thankful for a website that was providing information that would truly help their condition if they simply learned what we were teaching. Easier said than done. But we got a good layer of content that brought people Searching to Lumigrate.com. 

Naturally, that would be inviting to providers who wanted to get exposure with consumers.  Within a year I was with a provider on the phone seeing the traffic and clients they got from their presence on Lumigrate being 'worth' paying me a fee every month.  And with that came expectations.  "Strings attached."

And with it, also, came the savvy consumers saying 'we don't trust that you say what that provider is about is good now, because they're paying you'. I scrubbed that plan right then and there.

So I continued to find ways to get by financially, and that would include in 2014 selling the things in my rented home and going to being Mardy PopIns in order to stay 'affordable' to providers and consumers who recognize they are benefitting from my efforts and the existence of Lumigrate.com.  In 2016 and 2017 for about six months I steadily worked helping re-home and organize and write a history story for a family matriarch on the home stretch of life. I'd rehabilitate a dog for two months after that, a full time 'job' with a complex animal, and with good results, thankfully.  And then I got to doing what this thread is about. 

The topic beginning this thread is about the low cost, low effort, FUN, easy Pen Pal program from my persona, Mardy PopIns.  To set it up for starting the process by gifting some money to get the first letter, the first person wanting to be a pen pal insisted paying by Pay Pal. 

So that opened a little and good can of worms.  Maybe it was a little can of oysters or something ... ha! Around that time, I had a provider and a consumer at the same time say they wanted to support my work in a more significant way than what you'd expect for getting Pen Pal letter, and I asked if they'd like to be a 'team' to support revising the topic they were interested in.  (Anonymously from each other and to all if a 'consumer' but if a provider who is wanting to be known as supporting the efforts then that will be credited how desired.)

They would be essentially funding a day of work for me (benchmark on that is $100) to revise a topic they both wanted to use, but wanted it to be more polished than I'd had it.  That topic (on Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome) was created while I was just underway selling my household items.  I'd intended to come back to to in time and polish it.  So I did.  With their help, and I gave credit where credit was due on that topic. 

So that's what this comment is about.  If you have an interest in a particular aspect of Lumigrate's content and you want to see something NEW provided or something EXISTING improved, I'm asking for your support -- and will be 'balancing' the efforts through a variety of people and in these smaller ways without long term commitments so there are no 'strings attached' of significance. 

And then we can ALL be resting assured that what I'm suggesting on Lumigrate is what I really DO think people will benefit from knowing. 

I hope you will CONTACT ME (not at the Contact Us tab, as that's not updated and can't be done now -- Lumigrate needs some maintenance, which is costly) ---  and we'll get started discussing your ideas for content and support / giving.  

My phone (and I text) is ----- 970 as area code, 462 is the prefix, and 8662 are the last four.

My address is: Mardy Ross; Suite 400-197; 2536 Rimrock Avenue, Grand Junction, CO 81505

PayPal link is: paypal.me/MardyRoss (or you can use my name or phone number, above, too)


I'm on Facebook (Mardy Ross). My email is mardy dot poppins at yahoo dot com.

(My box is 197 and suite 400 is a wonderful UPS Store where I spent a lot of time on a big project for much of the last year, very honest nice people.  This way, if Mardy PopIns blows on the wind out of town, either with or without O'Rio, temporarily or longer, they can pack and ship my mail to me ..... and I can keep the Mardy PopIns Pen Pal Program going from wherever ($17/month rental fee!). Low tech 'R' us! Phone's $45+tax.)

^ mentioned to give people some ideas of amounts they might give in trade for my work giving to the mileau of the Lumigrate / Internet offerings, as these are actually significant amounts for giving when you're in the "known truther" circles where we don't have all the 'benefits' (and hindrances) of being in The System (with the "known liars".

Live and learn.  Learn and live better! ~~ Mardy

Give and grow.  Grow Our Lumigrate and Help Others Live Better.  ~~ A twist on my usual signoff for this purpose.   Thank you, in advance, GrateFullY ~~ Mardy

__________________

Live and Learn. Learn and Live Better! is my motto. I'm Mardy Ross, and I founded Lumigrate in 2008 after a career as an occupational therapist with a background in health education and environmental research program administration. Today I function as the desk clerk for short questions people have, as well as 'concierge' services offered for those who want a thorough exploration of their health history and direction to resources likely to progress their health according to their goals. Contact Us comes to me, so please do if you have questions or comments. Lumigrate is "Lighting the Path to Health and Well-Being" for increasing numbers of people. Follow us on social networking sites such as: Twitter: http://twitter.com/lumigrate and Facebook. (There is my personal page and several Lumigrate pages. For those interested in "groovy" local education and networking for those uniquely talented LumiGRATE experts located in my own back yard, "LumiGRATE Groove of the Grand Valley" is a Facebook page to join. (Many who have joined are beyond our area but like to see the Groovy information! We not only have FUN, we are learning about other providers we can be referring patients to and 'wearing a groove' to each other's doors -- or websites/home offices!) By covering some of the things we do, including case examples, it reinforces the concepts at Lumigrate.com as well as making YOU feel that you're part of a community. Which you ARE at Lumigrate!

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