short excerpts...other writings...upon occasion or as prompted...
The tiger in the water? A representation of my life -- spirit and environment!


Saturday, June 4, 2011

Turn Anger into Positive Action

Anger is one of the most difficult emotions to deal with. Too often, our anger leads us to take an accusatory attitude or in other ways to offend the very people who help and support us and whom we really need. Rather than getting angry, it is more helpful to take an action that will prevent other people from going through the same negative that we have gone through.

For example, after I stole my son, Doah, from Renboro Hospital (name changed for obvious reasons), I was quite angry with the doctors there. It turned out that those doctors had misdiagnosed the cause of Doah's subglottic stenosis. As a result, we had lived through a year of trauma associated in those days with a tracheotomy: five serious episodes of apnea requiring hospitalization, three cardiac arrests, one collapsed lung, and a life-threatening case of tracheitis (inflammation of the trachea).

In addition to the surgery issues, I was angry because Doah had a tracheotomy and the only help the doctors planned to give me at home for monitoring his breathing was to tie bells to his shoe laces. That year, most of the trached children at the hospital died after they were sent home. Obviously, they forgot to kick their feet and ring their bells when they stopped breathing. I talked to the doctors at Children's Hospital in Massachusetts, to which I had taken Doah after leaving Renboro Hospital, and they helped me track down an apnea monitor rental company in a city four hours away from where we lived. Doah survived his first winter, thanks to his pediatrician, the Massachusetts doctors, his parents, and the monitor.

Perhaps we could have sued Arrogant Hospital or its doctors, or perhaps we could have raised another kind of ruckus. I'm not sure what good either would have done. Instead, we decided to change that hospital's practices. In lieu of a lawsuit, we insisted that the hospital bring onto its staff a tracheotomy care expert and that all parents of trached children be provided an apnea monitor when their children were released. The administrator hedged and called in the financial officer, who offered to cancel our bill. We insisted: not money, but action. The administrator promised to think about it.

He did. Two months later our apnea monitor rental company opened a branch in our city. We asked why. The answer was that since the time we had talked to the administrator there had been so many requests for apnea monitors from Renboro Hospital that it was worth the company's investment to open a local office.

More was to come. A short while later, the mother of a child who had been trached for ten years called me in excitement. There was a new tracehotomy specialist in staff, and he thought he would be able to remove her son's tracheotomy and get him breathing normally.

The epitome of turning anger into action, I think, is John Walsh, the host of the popular television show, "America's Most Wanted." The disappearance of his young son, Adam, later determined to have been murdered, drove him to see criminals brought to justice. Somewhat by chance and more a result of determination evolved the television show that has put hundreds of criminals behind bars who would otherwise still be on the streets today. Talk about turning anger into good!


Excerpted and adapted from a collection of vignettes I published, copyright 2003.

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About Me

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I am the mother of 4 birth children (plus 3 others who lived with us) and grandmother of 2, all of them exceptional children. Married for 42 years, I grew up in Maine, live in California, and work in many places in education, linguistics, and program management. In my spare time, I rescue and tame feral cats and have the scars to prove it. A long-time ignorantly blissful atheist converted by a theophanic experience to Catholicism, I am now a joyful catechist. Oh, I also authored a dozen books, two under my pen name of Mahlou (Blest Atheist and A Believer-in-Waiting's First Encounters with God).

My Other Blogs

100th Lamb. This is my main blog, the one I keep most updated.

The Clan of Mahlou
. This is background information about various members of the extended Mahlou family. It is very much a work still in progress. Soon I will begin posting excerpts from a new book I am writing, Raising God's Rainbow Makers.

Modern Mysticism. This blog discusses the mystical in our pragmatic, practical, realistic, and rational 21st century world and is to those who spend some or much of their time in an irrational/mystical relationship with God. If such things do not strain your credulity, you are welcome to follow the blog and participate in it.

Recommended Reading List

Because I am blog inept, I don't quite know how to get a reading list to stay at the end of the page and not disappear from sight. Therefore, I entered it as my first post. I suppose that is not all that bad because readers started commenting about the books, even suggesting additional readings. So, you can participate with others in my reading list by clicking here.
I do post additional books as I read them and find them to be meaningful to me, and therefore, hopefully, meaningful to you. One advantage of all the plane traveling I do is that I acquire reading time that I might not otherwise take.