Posts Tagged ‘Disability’

Disability and Homes (Originally Published in New Dreamhomes and Condominiums Magazine)

In Disability, Health, Home Decor, Living, Writing (all kinds) on April 21, 2016 at 3:00 AM

Open House signs for dream homes and condos are all over the city for most people who can get to them. What about if you cannot get to them? What happens when you are looking for a dream home and your sight, your hearing, your chair, your cane…prevents you from climbing those stairs or even reaching the newly renovated cabinets?

Read the rest of this entry »

How to Talk to Crazy People By Donna Kakonge Reviewed by Joseph Maldonado, MS

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, cars, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Home Decor, Living, Media Writing, Movie Reviews, Music, Opinion, Pets, Radio Podcasts, Religion, Restaurant Reviews, Sports, Technology, travel, Uncategorized, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) on March 20, 2013 at 1:31 PM

How to Talk to Crazy People

By Donna Kakonge

Reviewed by Joseph Maldonado, MS

Many different types of people, for many different reasons, read memoirs about mental illness. Some may be suffering from an illness themselves and are looking for guidance or inspiration. Some may have questions as a result of their friend’s or family member’s suffering. Others may be professionals in the mental health field. Then there are those who simply find such stories interesting. Donna Kakonge’s How to Talk to Crazy People is a memoir that will appeal to all such readers. Read the rest of this entry »

Book Review on “How to Talk to a Crazy People”

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, cars, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Home Decor, Living, Media Writing, Movie Reviews, Music, Opinion, Pets, Radio Podcasts, Religion, Restaurant Reviews, Sports, Technology, travel, Uncategorized, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) on January 13, 2013 at 3:00 AM

By Kathy Milton-Tapley

Donna Kakonge’s new book on “How to Talk to a Crazy People” gives a rare and honest account of

mania, depression and psychosis.  She depicts a revolving-door syndrome of being admitted to psychiatric  hospitals, when she refuses to take her medication.  Donna searches for relief from bipolar mood disorder in dreams, mediums, channelling, many boyfriends, frequently changing jobs, and travel to Uganda.  Read the rest of this entry »

Last Day To Get How To Talk To Crazy People Before the 24th – ENTER CODE FELICITAS

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, cars, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Home Decor, Living, Media Writing, Movie Reviews, Music, Opinion, Pets, Radio Podcasts, Religion, Restaurant Reviews, Sports, Technology, travel, Uncategorized, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) on December 13, 2012 at 10:30 PM


Press release for the 9th Annual Simply People Disability Celebration‏

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Movie Reviews, Music, Opinion, Radio Podcasts, Religion, Restaurant Reviews, Sports, Technology, travel, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) on September 27, 2012 at 3:00 AM
Please find attached the press release for the Simply People 2012
event.  Whether or not your organization has decided to participate
this year, we would ask for you help in forwarding the press release
to all interested parties.  The Simply People event on October 4th
represents an important opportunity to show support for the community
of people with disabilities in the Toronto area, and to increase
awareness of disability issues among the general public.  Simply
People strives to welcome all people who support a positive view of
people with disabilities.

Read the rest of this entry »

A Hire Awareness

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, cars, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Home Decor, Living, Media Writing, Movie Reviews, Music, Pets, Radio Podcasts, Religion, Restaurant Reviews, Sports, Technology, travel, Uncategorized, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) on September 14, 2012 at 3:00 AM

October is Lupus Awareness Month… yet lupus remains under-recognized and under-funded

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Writing (all kinds) on October 5, 2011 at 3:00 AM

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October 04, 2011 @ 10:00AM

Markham, ON – The first new treatment in 50 years has brought increased awareness across Canada of Lupus and its impact on patients and their families. This is great news for Lupus Canada and its provincial partners as we work towards a vision of life without Lupus. Known as ‘The Disease with 1000 Faces”, lupus affects tens of thousands of Canadian men, women, and children. In October, lupus patients and supporters across Canada will recognize Lupus Awareness Month as a time to reflect on what all Canadians can do to increase awareness of this under-recognized and under-funded disease.

Lupus affects over 1:1000 Canadian men, women and children, yet many people are still unaware of the disease. Between the ages of 15 and 45 though, 9 times more women than men will be diagnosed with lupus. Its symptoms often mimic other illnesses, and it can attack any tissue or organ in the body. Common symptoms of lupus include joint pain, skin rashes, sun sensitivity, extreme fatigue, fever, chest pain and hair loss. It is a chronic autoimmune disease that is life threatening and life altering and for which there is no cure. For this reason, Lupus Awareness Month is a critical way to help people.

Lupus Canada, working together with its provincial partners, is a national voluntary organization dedicated to improving the lives of people living with lupus through advocacy, education, public awareness, support, and research. We provide educational and support resources for people whose lives are touched by lupus, raise awareness of Lupus and provide funding for research. Through the support of events such as Walk for Lupus and generous, engaged individual and corporate donors, we are able to continue our work on behalf of people living with lupus.

To learn more about lupus, Lupus Canada, our member organizations and divisions, please visit or call 1(800) 661-1468.

Destigmatizing Mental Illness: Mental Illness Awareness Week October 2-8, 2011

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Writing (all kinds) on October 3, 2011 at 6:26 PM

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Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health promotes mental illness awareness, announces recipients of Ninth Annual Champions of Mental Health Awards

September 30, 2011 @ 08:00AM

Ottawa, ON – The Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH) is getting ready to kick-off Mental Illness Awareness Week 2011 on October 2rd – a week dedicated to raising awareness of the level of mental illness in Canada and reducing the stigma associated with mental health issues.

“Although we have come a long way since this campaign started almost 20 years ago, the stigma of mental illness persists,” said CAMIMH Chair Dr. John Higenbottam. “Through this campaign, CAMIMH celebrates those with the courage to speak out about their experiences with mental illness and acknowledges the great work being done by individuals and organizations across the country to advance the cause.”

Each year during MIAW, CAMIMH hosts the Champions of Mental Health Awards. The awards will be presented to five distinguished leaders in the mental health field at a gala event held at the Westin Hotel in Ottawa on October 5th. The theme of the 2011 event is sharing and collaboration. Champions have spoken openly about their own experiences, advocated for much-needed research, and supported programs encouraging diagnosis, treatment, and care for those affected by mental illness across Canada.

The 2011 Champions of Mental Health are:

Hon. Lisa Raitt, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Labour
2011 Champion of Mental Health, Public Sector

George Cope
President and CEO, Bell Canada and BCE Inc.
2011 Champion of Mental Health, Private Sector

Dr. Martin Antony
Chair, Department of Psychology, Ryerson University
2011 Champion of Mental Health, Research

2011 Champion of Mental Health, Community (Organization)

David Granirer
Founder, Stand Up For Mental Health
2011 Champion of Mental Health, Community (Individual)

CAMIMH’s year-long Face Mental Illness campaign shares inspirational stories of Canadians from coast-to-coast affected by mental illness. Campaign materials were distributed in English and French to thousands of organizations across Canada. These materials feature the five “Faces of Mental Illness”, selected to share their exceptional stories of recovery. They are:

Harmony Brown, a public speaker, mental health advocate and non-profit housing employee from Toronto, Ontario; Jeremy Bennett, an author, professional speaker and television personality from St. John’s, Newfoundland; Roberta Price, a mother, grandmother, and member of the Coast Salish Peoples in Richmond, British Columbia; Shana Calixte, who is completing her PhD in Women’s Studies at York University, is the leader of a community organization, and a loving partner and parent from Sudbury, Ontario; and Steeve Hurdle, a support worker at a homeless shelter in Sherbrooke, Québec.

“Our Faces demonstrate that it is possible to overcome the challenges associated with mental health issues and lead full, rewarding and productive lives”, said MIAW 2011 Chair, Dr. Pamela Forsythe. “These individuals are truly exceptional, and help spread the campaign’s message to all Canadians that Recovery is Possible.”

About Mental Illness Awareness Week
Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) was established in 1992 by the Canadian Psychiatric Association to raise awareness of the level of mental illness in Canada, reduce the stigma attached to mental illness, and promote the positive effects of best practice in prevention, diagnosis and medical treatment. Since that time, participation has grown to include not only other professional associations but also community groups, primary care facilities, educational institutions, family support centres and individuals. For more information on MIAW, please visit

About MIAW Sponsors
Mental Illness Awareness Week and the Champions of Mental Health Awards cannot take place without the support of dedicated sponsors. They are Bell, Fleishman-Hillard Canada, Lundbeck Canada, Janssen, Lilly, Bristol-Myer Squibb and Rx&D.

OISE/University of Toronto Event

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Technology, Writing (all kinds) on July 11, 2011 at 3:00 AM

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“Why Disability Studies?”

Wednesday, July 20th, 5:30-7:30

OISE Library, Main Floor, 252 Bloor Street West, U of T, Toronto

Above the St. George Subway Stop

Explore the significance of disability studies for our scholarly, creative and everyday lives with panel members

Free, Open, Refreshments, Accessible, ASL provided

Panel & Public Discussion with:

Dr. Nirmala Erevelles, Department of Educational Leadership, Policy, and Technology Studies, University of Alabama

Dr. Dan Goodley, Psychology and Social Change, Research Institute for Health and Social Change (RIHSC), Manchester Metropolitan University

Dr. Rod Michalko, Sociology and Equity Studies in Education (SESE), Ontario Studies in Education of the U of Toronto

Dr. Tanya Titchkosky, Director of the Disability Studies Summer Institute, SESE, Ontario Studies in Education of the U of Toronto

Contact 416-978-0451 if you have any questions or accommodation requests.

Funded by Office of the Dean of OISE, SSHRC, OISE Library


Long Road to Overcoming Celiac Disease

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Environment, Health, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Writing (all kinds) on April 3, 2011 at 6:00 AM

Celiac Disease – Photo Courtesy of Google Images

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by Julie Wendell

I’ve always had significant digestive problems my entire life. In fact, when I was an infant, my parents lovingly called me “diarrhea-baby”. By the time I was in kindergarten, my mom was tired of my complaining about having a stomachache every day, so she finally took me to see the doctor, who diagnosed me with lactose intolerance and completely cut out dairy from my diet.

So throughout elementary school, the stomachaches were less severe, but still there. In middle school and high school, I remember not being involved with too many social activities, since I always had to make sure I was within 10 ft of a bathroom. My friends thought I was strange and somewhat of a hermit, and they rarely invited me to go anywhere with them. Besides, I was just embarrassed to be around people and hated that I was always in a lot of pain. No one understood what I was going through, and they all thought I was over-exaggerating and feeling sorry for myself. And honestly, I didn’t know exactly what was wrong with me. All I knew is I barely got any sleep and the toilet became my constant companion.

In college, I continued having pain and diarrhea but finally got to see an actual gastroenterologist when I was 20. (My mom never took me to a gastroenterologist when I was younger because we couldn’t afford it.) The doctor did a colonoscopy and endoscopy on me, and told me that my digestive system and its problems were equal to what he sees in the average 70 yr old. The doctor diagnosed me with GERD and IBS. In my early to mid 20’s, I still suffered from a lot of pain. I should’ve bought stock in Imodium, Phayzyme, Tums, and Pepto Bismol, I took so much of those type of medicines. My entire life seemed to revolve around pain, nausea, and diarrhea.

But by the time I was 26 yrs old, my health took a definite and sudden turn for the worst. I could barely get out of bed every morning and take care of my 2 yr old son at the time. New symptoms flared up severely, and they included severe dizziness joint pain, and also muscle pain/tingling, jolts (spasms) of my whole body, hot flashes, cold sweats, severe abdominal pain where I could barely breathe, major motion sickness in the car, anxiety and panic attacks, and depression. I lost a significant amount of weight in a matter of 3 months, though I was trying to eat anything that would stay down. By this time, I was down to 105 lbs. (And at my sickest point, I was 97 lbs!!!! and I am 5’5 tall!) I was literally spending 5-7 hrs in the bathroom in a 24 hr period.

I kept going back to the gastroenterologist, in desperate need of help. He ran about 15 tests on me, including another colonoscopy/endoscopy, barium enema (one of the most painful tests they ever did!), small bowel series, CT scans, ultrasounds, Xrays, bloodwork, you name it! The most frustrating thing was that every test came back completely normal, except the small bowel series, which did indicate flattening of the villi that would indicate only Celiac Disease, so the doctor ordered the Celiac blood test, and did a biopsy of my small bowel (during the colonoscopy). Both tests came back negative! So, of course, he didn’t further investigate the Celiac aspect.

Finally, the doctor admitted that he was truly puzzled about my case, so when he recommended that I see a neurologist, who wanted to test me for Meniere’s Disease (chronic vertigo) or even a brain tumor. So I underwent 2 MRI’s of the brain, both showing that yes, I had a brain (thank goodness!) and yes, it was healthy. But the doctors were still at a loss as to why I was so sick. All he could do was prescribe Phenergan for nausea, Imodium for diarrhea, and Wellbutrin for the anxiety/depression. And all I could do was pray for a miracle.

I had been eating the bland BRAT diet (Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast) to try to stop diarrhea. I had also been eating plain bagels, graham crackers, saltines, anything to alleviate my stomach pains (and unknowingly I was poisoning myself even more!), and yet I was in the bathroom constantly. So at this point, I picked up the yellow pages and looked up dieticians in the area. But unfortunately, most of the dieticians in the area would not even see me, since at the time I was on Medicaid. Finally, I found a wonderful dietician who talked to me on the phone for a few minutes and decided she would see me even though she didn’t take my insurance. She was determined to help me.

After some discussion, the dietician asked me whether I had gotten tested for Celiac Disease because I did have flattened villi in my small intestines. I told her, yes, but the tests came back negative. She said that the celiac tests tend to be only 70% accurate. Therefore, she wanted me to start the gluten-free diet right away, regardless of the fact that Celiac had been ruled out by the doctor. Then she said to call her in a week or so, and let her know how I was doing. I had no idea what “gluten-free” meant, so she gave me some information on it, plus I had to do some research on my own. I didn’t even think this insane diet was going to work, but I was at the end of my wits, so I was willing to try anything!

So the next day, I started the gluten-free diet, and within a few days, I started feeling TONS better! Diarrhea and the abdominal pain diminished, and I stopped feeling so dizzy. I called the dietician back the following week and thanked her for saving my life, both in the mental and physical sense. In the following months, I regained about 8 lbs! I felt so relieved that the worst part of my suffering was finally over, and that there WAS an answer to my problem! And that I wasn’t crazy after all! The gluten-free diet was a complete miracle for me, and the exact answer to my prayers!

I called my gastroenterologist and told him the news. So he reviewed my long-term symptoms, put two and two together, and officially diagnosed me with Celiac Disease, an auto-immune digestive disease. I will have to follow a strict gluten-free diet for the rest of my life. Gluten is a wheat protein, and it has many derivatives that I also have to avoid.

Finding foods that do not contain gluten is a challenge, but I would rather deal with that than what I have dealt with for the majority of my life–excruciating pain! I have found a few health food stores in the area that carry foods I can eat, and have been broadening my food spectrum whenever I can. I have learned to be very open-minded and adventurous eater when it comes to my diet. I eat a lot of tofu, brown rice, potatoes, vegetables, and fruit, and make sure I take my vitamins every day, esp Vitamin B12.

I have been gluten free for seven years, and have gained almost all my healthy weight back, so I’m about 114 lbs now and feeling the best I have ever felt in my life. Yes, I still do have my bad days, but overall I can say my health has improved 3000%!!!! It was a complete miracle that I came across the dietician that was willing to help me even though she didn’t accept my insurance. If she hadn’t been so generous and willing to help me, I have no idea where I would be right now. I sometimes think back at what I went through and wonder how I endured such pain. Sometimes I even get teary-eyed, because I am so thankful that I have my life back. I am a new person!

My wish is to become an educator and spokesperson of Celiac Disease and also an advocate of Celiac Awareness. I want to provide help and support for those who are suffering like I had suffered. Sometimes diseases and tests do not follow the “rules” of the book, and so that’s what makes Celiac disease so tricky. I have already helped 2 friends discover they have Celiac. They both told me how they were feeling physically, and so I suggested that they ask their doctors to test them for Celiac, and sure enough, their tests came back positive. They are both feeling so much better on the gluten-free diet. So I want to help much more people! That is why I wrote this article, and also I have started writing a book about Celiac Disease, and I’m hoping to publish it by the end of the year. It’s important to me to help teach the public about this under-diagnosed auto-immune digestive disease that is not widely known throughout the world.


In Beauty, book reviews, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Writing (all kinds) on April 2, 2011 at 6:00 AM

Living with Fibromyalgia – Photo Courtesy of Google Images



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by Julie Wendell

“Mommy, open this, please?”, my 3-year-old son asked as he handed me a cereal bar early one morning. I tried to tear off the top of the wrapper, but my fingers would not move or grasp the wrapper! Terrified, I tried opening it again, but to no avail. I had lost all strength in both of my hands! As calmly as I could, I asked my 7-year-old son to open the cereal bar for his brother. But inside, I was panicking because the weakness in my hands persisted for about an hour. What was happening to me??? Little did I know that the morning of February 10th, 2008 marked the beginning of a myriad of severely painful symptoms. My life was about to drastically change.

Over the course of the next few weeks, I started to experience alarming new symptoms. In addition to the weakness in my hands, I noticed that the joints in my hands were very swollen and stiff. I even took pictures of my hands from all angles to make sure that their odd shape was not just my imagination. I would often feel sharp zinging pains in my extremities, especially in my hands, wrists, knees, and ankles. My muscles and joints ached like I had the flu. There were times when I would be convinced I had a temperature of at least 101, just to find out it was completely normal every time I checked.

My level of fatigue went from “full time single working mother” to “full time single working mother who also ran 100 miles a day”. I was physically exhausted from dealing with so much pain every day. To make matters worse, I started noticing that when I woke up each morning, I would not feel refreshed, even after full straight 6-8 hours of sleep. Instead, it felt like I only slept for one hour each night. So not only was I physically exhausted, I was emotionally drained as well. The overall level of exhaustion was indescribable, the worst I have ever experienced in my life! But I was hoping that whatever was plaguing me would just stop on its own.

One afternoon in April 2008, after I got off work and picked up my kids, I couldn’t get home fast enough. My body was overwhelmed with pain like I never felt before. As soon as we walked through the door, I immediately headed for the couch, where I spent the next four days. I had to call my mom to help me take care of the kids. In addition to my existing symptoms, I also suffered from oppressive chest pain, muscles/joints that felt bruised, extreme coldness in my arms and face, and TMJ-like jaw pain. I also had the sensation that my aching spine and pelvis were going to slide out of my body. I cried often because I had no idea how to cope with these bizarre symptoms. I tried heating packs, ice packs, Tylenol/Advil, but nothing even remotely helped me. My temperature was still normal at 98.6. My mom, who is a nurse, thought maybe I had a virus, but most of the symptoms did not even resemble any virus I had ever had in the past, plus I was not running a fever. Even after the four worst days of feeling severely “sick”, most of my symptoms never fully disappeared.

At this point, I was at my wits’ end, so I finally decided to get some help. So even though I was terrified of the possible outcomes, I made an appointment to see my primary care physician. After reviewing my list of symptoms and seeing the pictures of my hands, he thought it was very likely that I had rheumatoid arthritis. He immediately referred me to a rheumatologist, who wanted to test me for not only rheumatoid arthritis, but also lupus, mononucleosis, and multiple sclerosis. He ordered some x-rays of my hands and a lot of bloodwork. He also prescribed a week’s worth of steroids to see if that would help.

My daily life started becoming a real chore for me. Everything and anything I usually did without a problem were now unbearable or overwhelming. The mornings and evenings were the worst times of day for my pain, fatigue, and weakness. I tried to stay strong, especially for my children, but there were days where I felt like giving up on everything. I tried talking to a few friends and family members about how I was feeling, but they would just say that I was complaining too much and/or accuse me of being a hypochondriac. I had never felt so alone in my life.

The results of the blood tests and x-rays came back the following week and were completely normal. Also, the steroids ended up not helping me at all. Based on these findings, the rheumatologist suggested that I may have fibromyalgia. He prescribed an NSAID called Mobic to help with my muscle/joint pain and an anti-convulsant/anti-neuropathy medication called gabapentin to help with my nerve pain. The doctor said that diagnosing fibromyalgia was very tricky because there are no actual diagnostic tools. Instead, the diagnosis is made after everything else has been ruled out. He also wanted to wait and see how the next few months went with the new medications before confirming the suspected diagnosis.

During the following months, both of the medications had made a difference to where my daily activities became more tolerable. I still felt very fatigued, but my quality of sleep seemed to be more restorative (due to the gabapentin). My muscle and joint pain were definitely persistent but they were on more manageable levels (due to the Mobic).

When I went back to the doctor in August 2008, he reviewed all of my test results and evaluated me again, then officially diagnosed me with fibromyalgia, a syndrome characterized by chronic pain, stiffness, and tenderness of muscles, tendons, and joints (definition by The treatment for fibromyalgia includes pain medication and exercise. The doctor advised me to continue with the medications I was currently taking and to try doing light exercise when possible. He also warned me that my medication combination was not always going to be perfect. He said it may take a few tries with various medications before reaching optimal pain management, and what works for me now may not work for me in a few years. I was completely devastated, knowing that I was going to live with unrelenting complicated pain and severe fatigue for the rest of my life.

Sometimes, in addition to medication and exercise, doctors recommend a gluten-free diet to help alleviate fibromyalgia symptoms. Coincidentally, I had already been on a gluten-free diet for 4 years already, due to having an auto-immune digestive disorder called Celiac Disease. Unfortunately, being on this diet did not stop me from having fibromyalgia nor had it eased its symptoms. My doctor said that I’m one of the unlucky fibromyalgia patients who was not positively affected by a gluten-free diet. Sometimes I like to think that being gluten-free has stopped my fibromyalgia symptoms from becoming uncontrollable.

A diagnosis of fibromyalgia carries a negative stigma in society because the symptoms are very vague and are not so clear-cut as other diseases/conditions. I have actually heard people say that there is no such thing as fibromyalgia, or that the symptoms are fake and they are all in the person’s head. It is also widely believed that people who have fibromyalgia just want attention and/or medication. There are many doctors do not recognize fibromyalgia as an actual medical condition. Therefore, people who do have fibromyalgia usually have to see numerous doctors before receiving a diagnosis. Luckily for me, reaching a diagnosis for my symptoms only took 6 months and involved seeing only 2 doctors. Some people suffer for years before finding an answer.

Since my diagnosis, additional symptoms have added themselves to the original list, such as hypersensitivity to stimuli. For example, if there is too much light or sound, I start feeling very overwhelmed and need to remove myself from the situation. There are times where I cannot be touched when even my clothes feel like too much overload on my skin and receiving a hug actually HURTS. I also started becoming sensitive to the weather patterns, especially low-pressure systems. I jokingly call myself the “human barometer” because I seem to predict rain better than the weatherman! During periods of damp or cold weather, my muscles and joints heavily protest, and in turn, the pain increases substantially. I found that I have a low tolerance for any kind of exercise, it makes me feel worse rather than making me feel energetic and refreshed. I have also developed difficulty with my short-term memory and concentration (ie-“fibro-fog”), which has affected all aspects of my life, especially work.

Today, it remains difficult for me to deal with the pain and fatigue that I experience every day with fibromyalgia. My doctor has changed my pain reliever from Mobic to tramadol, which is a bit stronger, so my pain is at a tolerable level most of the time. But I definitely have my share of bad days. On a positive note, I have learned a few things from my experience with fibromyalgia. I’ve learned not push myself to do more than I can handle, but I’m still learning that it’s okay to ask for help. I have also learned to prioritize what is actually important and to just take things one day at a time. Having fibromyalgia has made me realize it is so important not to take anything for granted. After my diagnosis, my rheumatologist had pointed out to me that fibromyalgia is not a deadly or destructive disease, which is very fortunate. However, living with chronic pain and fatigue is still a difficult challenge, no matter what the cause. Yes, fibromyalgia is REAL.

The Entrepreneur

In Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Religion, Sports, Technology, travel, Writing (all kinds) on February 17, 2011 at 3:00 AM

Photo of Stephan Bevan – Courtesy of Facebook

Stephan Bevan's Profile Photo

“Back in about 1993, when I was 23-years-old, started experiencing muscle spasms in my leg and it would last for about a minute,” says Stephan Bevan CEO of Adventure Capitalism. “In January I met my wife, and we have been married for about 17 and a half years.”

In January 1994, Bevan experienced the muscle spasm. It was so bad he had to lie down on the ground while shoveling the snow and he felt like he was dying and it was going on for about eight months.

“My doctor set me up for EKG,” Bevan says. “I started getting an ice cream headache. I got pins and needles on the left side of my body. My wife called the ambulance. I was living with my parents at the time. In an instant, I lost all movement on the left side of my body.”

There was a brain tumour on the left side of Bevan’s body and it had been growing and it caused a hemorrhage. With a tumour, it was a double whammy.

“I was in the hospital in total for five and half weeks. They started me on radiation. Because I was 23-years-old at the time, I had a good chance of survival. That was in January, in July, my wife and I got married.”

Bevan went through the physiotherapy and managed to work his way through it.

“I managed to use my left side again. It was a similar effect as a stroke. The brain and body had to learn how to walk and how to use my arm. Still, have only 60 percent use of my left side. I’m lucky there are some people who have completely lost mobility. I spoke in front of the doctors. The fact I lived through that surprised a lot of the doctors and nurses. Here I am 17 years later.”

In about 1997, Bevan and his wife Sylvia started learning about business doing things like network marketing. They started a computer sales and repair company. In 2002, Bevan was working with Honeywell Aerospace as his full-time work.

“We started an investment club. We were giving away copies of Rich Dad, Poor Dad. We created our investment education club… If you ever meet me you would see I still have a disability, but it was uncomfortable for me to speak in front of people. I would shake. I got more comfortable with it.”

Bevan learned to face many of his other fears. On his 10th wedding anniversary, Bevan and Sylvia went to the Haliburton Tree Canopy Tour.

“My wife was a really big support. Terrifying to walk on a thin plank. The tour guide said there are many able-bodied people who get up there and decide to come back down. I had to climb up a 40-foot pole. This was in New York. Feel the Fear and Do it Anyways. I could do it because of the Haliburton Canopy Tour.

“Whenever someone asked me to do speaking, I always said yes. Need to continually stretch my comfort zone. Real estate investing, stock trading, vending machines, multiple streams of income.”

In 2002, the Bevans got an opportunity for e-commerce. Alan Ginsberg, Ebay’s top-seller became his mentor and that is how they started selling online. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) in 2002 and eventually they became good at it and other companies approached them to do it for them.

“In 2007, we were selling on Amazon and eBay. We became the biggest pickup for Canada Post and UPS in our area.”

The company Adventure Capitalism makes in the low six-figure sales in e-commerce between Bevan and his wife.

“We never slept, we never took vacations. Steady six figures with our business now. Finding a balance between work and family. Purposely make dates every week. And have business hours in order to maintain that. You can have a successful business, but if you lose your family in the process, there’s a problem.

“Balancing your family and your relationships with your business. Customers will always be there. The family is forgiving; sometimes things cannot be repaired, so it needs to be a priority. Our faith is number one, number two is our marriage (our family), other relationships with family and then number four is our business.”

For more information about Stephan and Sylvia Bevan’s web design and search engine optimization business, please visit:


In Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Health, Home Decor, Living, Media Writing, Music, Opinion, Religion, travel, Writing (all kinds) on November 15, 2010 at 3:00 AM

Image result for Lizard

On the dirt, road children walk bare-footed and chickens are loose from their cages on the volcanic isle of St.Vincent. The silence was a distraction.

My mind was flitting about, like a flirtatious girl’s hair. I looked out from the porch and didn’t see pigeons, or streetlights, or concrete sidewalks. I realised how much I missed home.

A plane ticket to St. Vincent was a 14th birthday gift from my grandmother. I thought it would be pleasant to see her, but in fact, I looked forward to the few days left. I would not even look out the airplane window until I could see Toronto.

Granny lived in a small bungalow painted in peach, and inside it always smelled like codfish. Although it was always sunny outside, in Granny’s house it was dark. She had sheers and heavy green velour drapes on the windows that were usually drawn. When I asked her if she could let in a little light, Granny would draw the green drapes open and splashes of luminance came through the sheers… fuzzy.

I spent most of my days sitting in the living room trying to get a clear picture on the small Sears television set given to Granny by my mother. St.Vincent got their television shows mainly from Barbados, and there wasn’t much to watch. Since I had been in St.Vincent, I had watched the Agatha Christie movie “Evil Under the Sun” three times.

“Why don’t you go for a walk?” Granny asked.

The idea worried me. I had been there for a week and had never gone anywhere by myself. I kept having visions of a wild animal attacking. I had spent another day getting only as far out of the house as the porch. A walk would be good for my skinny legs. I just was not used to the heat in St.Vincent. Although Granny’s place was hot, it was still better than outside.

The nights were cooler, so I decided to visit Aunt Pansy and see if she was home. She lived just down the road and I hadn’t seen her since I’d been in St.Vincent. Granny had told me she was in the hospital for being “funny upstairs.”

I let Granny know I was taking a walk and hit the street, or brown dirt path.

The air was so hot and thick, its heat molested me. I followed the road, occasionally wiping the sweat from my eyes. I followed the bend in the road and passed in between two houses where I heard singing.

The tune wasn’t familiar, but it sounded like a calypso song. I walked towards the sound wondering who it could be singing so loudly. The voice sounded young and sweet, like a child’s.

There was a rickety brown fence that looked like it was put up with scrap pieces of wood to protect a backyard. The singing was coming from the other side. I didn’t want to climb the fence because it looked like it would fall down. I walked around it. On one side, I saw an opening. I started to walk to it, ducking my head to avoid the low hanging leaves of a tree. I made it to the hole in the fence.

“Jump up, jump up!” the woman sang jumping. “Ya got to shake to de beat, shake it, shake it . . .”

Every time she said shake it, the broom was tucked to her chest as her shoulders wiggled. With one hand she grasped the broom and shook it so hard the wood handle looked like rubber.

I decided to visit my aunt later. I began to crawl and felt something scurry down my back. I jumped up and shook, trying to whip off whatever it was on my spine.

Turning around and barrelling through the hole in the fence, I fell. The thing had now crawled underneath my dress. I rolled around on the grass, desperately grasping at my back, trying to catch the thing.

“Hole on,” I heard. I kept rolling, unable to keep still while the thing kept crawling.

“I tell you I can’t kill the thing if you don’t stop moving.”

I dug my fingers into the grass, keeping as still as I could.

“Hurry,” I said.

“Git on ya belly.”

I lied on my stomach, trying to keep my face away from the grass. Its smell offended me. I could feel the dirt in my nails.

I felt a foot hit my back in the spot where the crawling was, then felt nothing.

“Is it off?”


I sprang to my feet then watched the woman go after what was crawling on my back. I walked behind her, watching her stalking the little animal which was scurrying through the grass. Pansy held the broom in the air, towering over the animal, as I leaned over her shoulder, I could see it was a lizard. I shuddered.

The lizard came out of the grass and ran across the concrete towards Pansy’s back door. Pansy brought down her broom on top of the lizard. She hit it and I turned away, not wanting to see its destruction. I heard three other thumps, then silence.

“He’s dead,” Aunt Pansy said.

She bent down and picked something up.

“You want da tail?”

She dangled a little green piece of lizard flesh in my face. I took a step back quickly.


Pansy shook her head.

“The tail grows back you know? The lizard is lucky, he lose and get back.”

I looked at the squished lizard on Aunt Pansy’s concrete thinking there would be no tail growing back on this one, then I looked at my Aunt. Aunt Pansy eyed the tail, looked at me, and then brought the tail to her mouth. She licked it.

“I think this’ll be sweet in my soup.”

My stomach felt queasy. A funny taste was in my throat. It felt like bile.

“Ya look sick, chile. I tell ya joke, me a joke wit’cha.”

I looked at her and noticed she was wearing makeup. Underneath all of that was my Aunt Pansy. Her lashes looked long and fake, and so heavy I was surprised she could keep her eyes open as wide as they were. On her eyelids and under her painted black brows was a frosty purple. On her cheeks were two large circles of red which matched the shiny glossy colour on her lips. Her lips looked so wet. Her grey hair, streaked with black was twisted on her head.

I tried to smile weakly at her joke, still feeling sick and unable to let go of my stomach.

“I’ve got ease for ya belly,” she turned and walked to her back door. “Come.”

I hesitated.

Aunt Pansy walked to the back door and looked over her shoulder to see me still standing in the same place. She went through the door, disappearing inside, but left the door open.

Could it be true that she worshipped the devil? Granny said that’s why she was “funny upstairs.” I peered through her door and wanted to see inside. It was getting dark, the sky was red and purple. I couldn’t stay long anyway.

The first thing that hit me about the house was the smell. It was of shortbread cookies, my favourite. It was saner than codfish. The house was small, from where I stood at the door; I could see the whole place except for what was down the hallway, which to my guess would be a bathroom. The floors looked dusty and like they were made of a dirty brown wood. Her living room had a fancy sofa with the plastic still on. A small coffee table had picture frames all over it, some in gold, and some in silver. I could not see from the door the pictures in the frames. In the corner of the room was an artificial Christmas tree, kept standing by red metal poles, each gripped into the plastic trunk of the tree? It was decorated with silver apples and red bells which looked like they were made out of wrinkled paper. There were pale yellow lights on the tree, which were the only lights on in the room. On top of the tree was an angel with a black face. She was in the kitchen, beckoning me to come in.

There were two large black dolls across from the rocking chair. They looked like brother and sister. The boy doll had short curls and denim overalls and the girl doll had two curly ponytails stuck above her ears and a short-sleeved denim dress. Their large eyes looked alive and I had to look at them carefully to see that they were glass.

“Those are my babies,” she said. “Just seat dem on the sofa, dey want ta listen to the radio now anyways.”

I picked them up and moved past the Christmas tree to seat them on the sofa.

“They’re cute,” I said.


“What are their names?”

“Peas n’ Rice?”

I sat in the rocking chair and turned to look at the dolls.

“Peas n’ Rice?”

“Yeah, the girl is Rice, her favourite thing to eat.”

I moved my eyes away from the dolls and looked at the tree.

“It’s pretty, eh?” Pansy asked.

“Yes, it is.” Christmas all year round? I wondered.

“I like pretty things.”

I looked at her. Well, she was definitely eccentric, but so far I could see no signs of devil-worship.

“I was baking before, I made shortbread cookies. Once I have done these, dey’ll be in de oven and baked in no time, ya’ll have some.”

“No, that’s okay,” I said, not wanting to accept any food.

“They’ll make ya belly feel nice,” she said kneading the dough. “Ya too thin anyway, ya’ll have some Pansy cookies and feel nice. Ya Granny’s cooking can’t be good.”

Pansy stood up and then picked up a tray of star-shaped unbaked cookies.

“Dem cookies must be done by now. Hole on. Ya belly will feel sweet soon.”

She disappeared into the kitchen.

From where I sat at the dining room table, a large oak buffet covered the wall. Within its frame it had oak drawers on the bottom; I couldn’t see how many from where I sat because the table cut off my view. On the top were glass doors, where inside many crystal glasses and china plates, cups and saucers were showcased. I stood up to look closer. On the middle shelf was a crystal glass with a colourless picture taped to its front. The picture was of former Prime Minister of Canada, Pierre Elliott Trudeau. I thought I would have to ask Pansy about it.

I could see Pansy coming back from the kitchen with a tray of those cookies. She placed them on the table.

“Ya gonna want some milk to go wit da treats, right?”

I looked at the cookies, then at the picture on the glass.

“Sure,” I said without looking at her.

Pansy went into the kitchen.

I took my first bite of a cookie as Pansy placed a tall glass of milk in front of me. My teeth sank into the shortbread and chewed the morsels, trying to keep the taste on my tongue as long as possible. I didn’t even realise that Pansy had her large bottom hanging off the edge of the seat, watching me eat.

“Ya like dem?”

I nodded.

“Best I think I’ve ever had.”

Pansy smiled so wide, exposing that she had two bottom right side teeth missing.

“Have plenty, I make plenty.”

I looked up and noticed the picture in the case again.

“Pansy, why do you have a picture of Prime Minister Trudeau?” I asked pointing to it.

Pansy spun her head to look and then turned her head quickly back at me.

“My friend Annie sent me dat picture when she first went to Canada in 1966. Vincentians in Canada speak well of Trudeau and de Liberals. I keep it to remind me how good I got it.”

“What do you mean?”

“‘Fore he came minista, Canada didn’t let in lots of black people. Liberals like black people. Now, plenty of Vincentians left this place and went to Canada. Ya momma went dere ’cause Trudeau let her in, so did Natalie, so did Jensen,” she started kneading the dough again and I noticed that she was sniffling.

“I lost most of my loves to dat place.”

“You don’t like Canada, Auntie Pansy?”

“I hate it.”

“How could you say that, Auntie?” I was confused. “Have you even been to Canada?”

“Just once, that was in 1967 to visit Annie. I missed her. She lived in Montreal, in a pretty place. She even had a car after only one year. But de place was so cold. I still can’t get de chill out of me bones. It changed me for life, I’ve never been de same.”

“Anyways, I wish everybody was still here,” Pansy said. “Things were good when I could walk to any of my family’s house. When you needed comfort, all ya had to do was knock on a door, and somebody be dere to love ya.”

“But, my mother wants you to live with her, Auntie Pansy. She would be there for you. You don’t need to be alone here.”

Pansy stopped kneading the dough and just looked at me.

“But this is my place, Su-zann. I can’t breathe any other air or live in any other place but here. If I left I’d be as unhappy as everybody else. I don’t have a car here, but you ask ya momma if having a car makes her happy?”

I finished her cookie then looked at my watch. It was half past eight.

“I won’t have any time to eat all those cookies, Aunt Pansy, I should head back to Granny’s.”

Aunt Pansy went into the kitchen and came back with a bag. She filled the bag with the cookies.

“Su-zann, I have something to ask you.”

I nodded for her to continue.

“Do you think I’m crazy?” Aunt Pansy asked.

I didn’t know how to answer. What did crazy mean anyways? Granny told me that Aunt Pansy was like a rollercoaster, she went up and down and had been like that for as long as she could remember. Pansy probably kept the dolls because they reminded her of Natalie and Jensen, her children that were taken away from her when she got sick one time. I had never seen Aunt Pansy sick, but Granny told me it was quite a sight. Sometimes Pansy was so sick she wouldn’t get out of bed and wouldn’t talk and other times she was so sick you couldn’t keep her down and she wouldn’t stop talking. I had never seen those sides of Aunt Pansy, I just thought she was eccentric.

“I don’t think your crazy, Aunt Pansy.”

She smiled.


I Can’t Hear You.

In Beauty, book reviews, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Technology, Writing (all kinds) on August 5, 2010 at 5:00 AM

Jennifer Winters Writes About Hearing Impairment – Photo Courtesy of Jennifer Winters

Jennifer Winters - August 5, 2010

Written by: Jennifer Winters

Sirens, shattered glass, and babies crying are all sounds that a deaf person is unlikely to ever hear. Unfortunately in today’s society ignorant people still exist and fail to acknowledge that people who are deaf are no different than anyone else. Gratefully, there is a Deaf community that is simply a group of people that share and express their concerns, language, and experience.

A personal interest in the Deaf community brought me to a beginner’s class on how to sign, as this is one of the methods to communicate. Being an outsider of the Deaf community I realized I wasn’t that different as far as the concerns and frustration. I am a person who stutters who constantly struggles to communicate and it is a great concern and can bring down my self-confidence when someone laughs or makes rude remarks. The difference is I can hear what they are saying; it does not make it any less hurtful or demoralizing. It is enlightening to know that with a stutter community there is a Deaf community that gives people a chance to address their concerns on their personal development but in a social aspect as well. There are athletic, book, social clubs all over Canada for deaf people to be a part of.

Primarily those who are in the Deaf community use “signing” as a method to communicate. At one point in time, there were all different types of “sign languages” depending on the country. Today ASL (American Sign Language) is known as the “continental” language and for those who do sign, it is most commonly used. Like any other language, it takes time and patience to learn and can be confusing. There are schools that have been developed over 150 years ago for those who were born deaf or grew up to be deaf. Those who are apart of the Deaf community and who do use the sign as their primary language have the ability to teach on to others who do not sign but have a great interest to do so.

Gaining knowledge and experience in general is a study of its own. Learning a language because it is the only way to get through life and succeed, as a member of society is another thing altogether. That outside of the Deaf community taking speaking and listening for granted, even as a stutterer who struggles daily I do as well. Having the opportunity to join forums, blogs, and groups online about the Deaf community and being welcomed is wonderful as well as taking a class that allows me to communicate properly with others who sign.

Living today and keeping up with social status has become outrageously unrealistic and is comforting to know that anyone can overcome any challenge or obstacle and has the chance to be themselves. Just by being at work I have had many instances where fellow co-workers “pass on” customers who are deaf to myself because they feel that they cannot sell to them and that it is a waste of time. Obviously, this is a false statement, and people who are deaf are by far the furthest thing from unintelligent. However, there are those who are deaf that would strongly benefit from school, or surrounding himself or herself with people who do sign. This is not always the case, there are those that would prefer to right or use verbal expressions, which they are entitled to. The Deaf community has the ability strengthen people for who they are not what they have.

Work Cited:
1. The Canadian Encyclopedia Online. Deaf Culture (2010). Web.

Social Awkwardness

In Beauty, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Writing (all kinds) on July 31, 2010 at 5:00 AM

Jennifer Winters Writes About Asperger\’s Syndrome – Photo Courtesy of Jennifer Winters

Jennifer Winters - July 2010

Written by: Jennifer Winters

The thought of not being apart of society or not fitting in can start at such an early age and unfortunately continue through adulthood. Getting bullied, talked down, abused any one of these things probably more can develop into social awkwardness. It is quite sad how society as a whole reacts to people that socially awkward. People who suffer from social awkwardness are described as “active but odd”, which is true, but since when was that a bad thing? If we were, all the same, would we really be satisfied? Social acceptance has become ridiculously overrated where people are so quick to judge.

When I think of the word social awkwardness I think of the TV show Boston Legal. There was a character (Jerry Epenson) played by Christian Clemenson. The character Jerry was obviously a little different than the rest of the characters, random outbursts, and odd behavior. This led me to be irritated and was going to stop watching the show, then my partner said, hold on it gets better you just have to wait and see what happens next. Being a television addict I stayed and watched the next few episodes. It was later discovered that he had Asperger’s syndrome without even knowing it. This led me to feel that I had judged and felt quite like a tool. Granted this was just a television show, but Asperger’s syndrome is real and the character Jerry is somewhere a real person in our reality who probably does not get the respect he deserves. Several months ago when I was talking to a friend about this character I had mentioned Asperger’s and she had no idea what I was talking about. The truth is if we were to see someone on the street flapping their arms and in “odd” behavior, we may look; stare, gloat, or worst of all walk away. People who do have Asperger’s are usually highly intelligent some are even gifted; unfortunately rarely get the recognition for it. Asperger’s is a mild form of autism, which is where the social awkwardness is developed. According to Asperger’s Society of Ontario, 74, 356 individuals in Ontario living with an Autism Spectrum Disorder.

There are various groups in Toronto alone for people who are not comfortable being in a social situation, it just takes a little effort to find something that suits you. No one should ever suffer from something they have no control over, times a different; there is a group for almost anything today.

People who do not even have Asperger’s can just be uncomfortable in a social situation; I used to be like this due to my stutter. I had shut off from the world for a period of time. I was sick and tired of being judged for a little stutter that I did not want to be apart of a society that wouldn’t accept me for who I am. Over a long period of time I am overcoming this, and seeing I am far from being alone, and if someone can’t accept you for you who are, let them have it on their conscience, not yours.

Simply People Festival – July 20th

In Beauty, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Sports, Technology, travel, Writing (all kinds) on July 10, 2010 at 7:38 PM

Paul Santos Writes About The Simply People Festival at Nathan Philips Square – Photo Courtesy of

Paul Santos - July 10, 2010

By Paul Santos

Hundreds to gather at Nathan Phillips Square on July 20th at the 7th annual disability pride celebration in Toronto

TORONTO—To mark the 7th annual disability pride celebration in Toronto, Simply People: Celebrating Our Lives & Identities, hundreds will gather at Nathan Phillips Square on July 20th from 5:00PM to 8:00PM. This free outdoor event is open for all to attend (rain or shine).

On stage, there will be several guest speakers, along with performances by singers Joel Martin and Serena Pryne, humorist Libby Thaw, writer Carol Krause and the bands Symphony of Nine and Ordain. There will be a number of display tables setup by organizations/groups to provide information about their products/services.

“Our vision is to bring as many people together to celebrate our lives and identities in an inclusive environment of positive synergies and attitudes of being proud,” says Uzma Khan, a founder of this annual event.

One of this year’s guest speakers will include John Rae, the first Vice-President of the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians. He will be discussing the progression of the disability rights movement and his 30+ years of advocacy work.

“Canada’s ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities provides rights holders and their allies a new tool to remove barriers and expand opportunities for all Canadians with disabilities,” says Mr. Rae.

This event is brought to you by Canada-Wide Accessibility for Post-Secondary Students (CANWAPSS) and friends of CANWAPSS, including LinkUp Employment Services, Abilities Arts Festival, VoicePrint, Easter Seals Canada (Access 2 Entertainment), diversityworX and Scadding Court Community Centre.

ASL interpretation, attendant care, and transcription services will be available onsite.

For more information about this event, please e-mail the organizers at or visit Join our Facebook group at Simply People – Disability Pride Celebration in Toronto.


In Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Music, Opinion, Technology, travel, Writing (all kinds) on June 23, 2010 at 9:57 PM

Queer Disability - June 23, 2010


with ASL interpretation !!

After our last year’s event was a SOLD OUT success, we’re back with the

“2nd annual Hard & Able: celebrating queer disability”

and this time as part of Buddies’ Queer Pride Festival

12 Alexander St. just east of Yonge, Toronto, ON

Come on out on a Tuesday, June 29th 8:00 pm

to be entertained by a group of amazing queer disabled artists.

Hard & Able Artist Line-up:

Philip Cairns, Lindsay Sarah Czitron, Amanda Davidson aka Brown Sugar, Kirk deMatas, Nish Is Rani, Shereen Mohiuddin, Rainbow & Romeo, Luka Sidiaravicius, Onyinyechukwu, Udegbe, Kai Yapp,

featuring the Hard & Able dancers

Hosted by: Jay Stewart

This venue (including the stage) is wheelchair accessible

Tickets can be purchased at the door for $5.

For more information on this event, check out

Plastic Makes Perfect

In Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Writing (all kinds) on May 12, 2010 at 3:00 AM

Chris Temelkos Writes About Plastic Surgery – Photo Courtesy of People Magazine

Chris Temelkos - May 12, 2010 - People Magazine

By Chris Temelkos

Plastic surgery is becoming more popular among young and old alike. We are now able to fix our imperfections to our liking and become real-life Barbie’s and Ken’s. With a variety of magazines and television shows dedicated to cosmetic surgery and society’s love of celebrity, humanity is much more accepting of plastic surgery and some are even addicted to it.

I feel that making the big decision to have elective surgery is up to you, if you are willing to take the risks involved for the sake of good looks, then so be it. In regards, to how much is too much? Well, that again is up to you. Heidi Montag of Hills fame had ten cosmetic procedure done in one day including a mini brow lift, Botox in forehead and frown area, nose job revision, fat injections in cheeks, nasolabial folds and lips, chin reduction, neck liposuction, ears pinned back, breast augmentation revision, liposuction on waist, hips and inner and outer thighs and finally buttock augmentation. She is still recovering from the surgery.

In my opinion, the need for cosmetic surgery has a deeper cause, low confidence, and self-esteem. When you’re in such a state of mind, you may feel that changing yourself physically will boost your confidence and self-esteem, but often times it does not. To look good on the outside, you must feel good on the inside.


People Magazine

Februrary – The Month of Celebrity Suicide

In Beauty, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Religion, Writing (all kinds) on March 7, 2010 at 8:05 AM

Angela Rotundo Writes about the Suicide of People Such as Alexander McQueen – Photo Courtesy of


Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010
Online Story 5
By Angela Rotundo
Headline: February – The month of Celebrity Suicide

As the end of the month came near, February proved to be the most depressing month of the year thus far. In the closing weeks, there were three celebrity-related suicide deaths, proving that even the lifestyles of the rich and famous cannot escape the demons that come with depression.

The first to reach the tragic status that comes with suicide was a fashion icon, Alexander McQueen. On February 11th, he was found dead that morning by his housekeeper at his home on Green Street, in London.

The second celebrity to take his own life was former Growing Pains actor Andrew Koenig. After it was reported he went missing, his body was found in a Vancouver, British Columbia park.

The last was notably most tragic since it was the suicide of a celebrity’s child that rendered its attention. Michael Blosil the teenage son of singer Marie Osmond was found dead outside of his apartment after apparently jumping to his death.

Since then the surge of depression ads and celebrity emotional outpour has flooded the airwaves. Everyone from actor Jim Carrey to singer Alicia Keys feeds the public with their own views on how to deal with depression.

According to ABC News, Alicia Keys confessed to a two-year bout of depression. But the singer-songwriter said she can work through her depression.

“Pain … it’s just an immediate feeling that drives me to write. But now I can say that even in joy I can express myself,” Keys told the Toronto Sun in 2009.

It’s evident that this recent boost in celebrity suicide will drive depression-driven companies to promote the message that “you’re not alone” more than ever.

For more information, go to


In Beauty, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Sports, Technology, Writing (all kinds) on February 24, 2010 at 9:21 AM

Sarina Adamo Writes about the Paralympics – Photo Courtesy of

Sarina Adamo - Februrary 24, 2010

Sarina Adamo

En retard. French. Adj. To be late or behind schedule.

Canada est en retard.

It is safe to say that North America is also en retard.

Technologically speaking we are fairly quick with posting news online. However, we are not the greatest at keeping up with the Paralympics despite them being posted and streamed live online.

NBC’s Olympics website registered 4.8 million viewers for the Vancouver Winter Games opening ceremonies. Historically, their ratings have been well into the millions. This is simply online statistics.

The Paralympics ratings in the past have only been counted for certain countries, with numbers in the thousands. Other countries don’t receive the television feed and the numbers aren’t making up for the loss online.

Is it just my opinion or are we behind schedule in equal rights for the Paralympic athletes?

The Paralympics aren’t as well advertised, well organized, or as well respected as the Olympics.

Should we not be honoring the athletes that, despite their physical imperfections, still participate in athletics with ease? Basketball is quite difficult without being in a wheelchair. Skiing and biathlons are just as physically grueling with sight, never mind without it.

I’m awaiting the viewer results for the Paralympics 2010 but feeling tells me we’ll be en retard with releasing those too.


New! Dropouts Published

In book reviews, Business, Creative Writing, Disability, Education, Entertainment, Events, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Religion, Writing (all kinds) on October 12, 2009 at 8:25 PM
Donna Kakonge Just Published the Book Dropouts on Sale Now - Photo Courtesy of

Donna Kakonge Just Published the Book Dropouts on Sale Now – Photo Courtesy of


Fiction and journalism stories about the mind are hot off the presses. You can buy for today only with a 14.92 percent discount at Just enter the code PINTA. Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!

Wii’s impact on mental health growing

In Culture, Disability, Entertainment, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Writing (all kinds) on September 3, 2009 at 4:55 PM
Rachel Muenz Writes About Video Games Affect on Mental Health - Photo Courtesy of

Rachel Muenz Writes About Video Games Affect on Mental Health – Photo Courtesy of

Rachel Muenz - Mental Health - September 3, 2009

By Rachel Muenz

It wouldn’t be surprising if the Nintendo Wii became an integral part of mental health therapies in the future.

Though Wii is mostly being used for physical rehabilitation and fitness in hospitals and nursing homes, it also seems to be gaining a place in the mental health field as well.

Read the rest of this entry »

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