December Guest Blogger Submission Open

December’s theme is: The Impossible Holiday;  Deadline: December 7, 2012

As you know, I tried a Guest Blogger feature back in October. I had only one submission for a three-month term and I needed to think about how to make this feature work both for my readers and for myself. So here’s what I came up with: I’ll announce a theme and accept submissions from potential guest bloggers through the first seven days of each month. I will post the top five submissions at varying times through the month. Selected contributors will be able to have a brief bio and a link on a static page on S & I. You need not be a professional writer to participate! My goal is to highlight different perspectives and to provide a small forum for creative thought. Interested? Read the guidelines:

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Well said, Mr. Stephens!

The World of Special Olympics

The following is a guest post in the form of an open letter from Special Olympics athlete and global messenger John Franklin Stephens to Ann Coulter after this tweet during last night’s Presidential debate.

Dear Ann Coulter,

Come on Ms. Coulter, you aren’t dumb and you aren’t shallow.  So why are you continually using a word like the R-word as an insult?

I’m a 30 year old man with Down syndrome who has struggled with the public’s perception that an intellectual disability means that I am dumb and shallow.  I am not either of those things, but I do process information more slowly than the rest of you.  In fact it has taken me all day to figure out how to respond to your use of the R-word last night.

I thought first of asking whether you meant to describe the President as someone who was bullied as a child…

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A Note on Founder’s Syndrome

This is a time of major change in my life. I am changing jobs—going from one full-time job in the social service field to a couple of part-time jobs in education. I have left the board of an organization that I co-founded with a few friends. My youngest living child has started high school. My oldest is starting college. Transitions like these are similar to walking a tightrope over a chasm with spikes at the bottom.

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Although Zack didn’t receive hospice care, we were constantly making choices about quality or quantity, even when we didn’t know it. This post reflects the importance of those decisions.

Memory Bears by Bonnie

Life without quality isn’t much of a life at all. Quantity of days without quality is like a desert without water. Breathing in and out is to exist; taking pleasure in each day is to live. The choice of quantity without quality is a dismal existence.

One of the goals in hospice is for the patient to enjoy as much quality of life as possible. Keeping any pain to a tolerable level or less helps greatly towards this goal as pain can quickly remove quality from one’s daily life. Keeping the patient alert as possible contributes to their quality of life with their family and friends.

Life is to be cherished. It is within us to do whatever we can in order to live. We fight with all we have. We take on every possible opportunity for cure, for remission, for life. All of this is well and good…that is…

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In consideration of and for hospice workers: Thank you for all you do.

Memory Bears by Bonnie

It is common knowledge that most people do not want to talk about death and dying. Everyone knows they will die someday, but maybe think if they don’t talk about it, then it won’t happen. To them, denial is better than talking about death.

This may surprise some of you, but the health care field is the same way. Most work in areas where saving lives is the goal. In hospice, the goal is to help the terminal patient live a quality life, then die with dignity and not alone.

I always smiled when other nurses who did not work in hospice would ask where I worked. When I told them “hospice” the conversation was over before it began.

We are all going to die someday and along the way be touched by death, yet so many spend so much wasted energy fighting against that idea. Many will live their…

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