Net Neutrality and Spreading the Good News

A few years ago, the FCC ruled in favor of “Net Neutrality.” What this is is that it ensures that any person (like me or any of your other favorite Christian, lifestyle, or mommy bloggers) who puts their content on the internet has an equal chance of people seeing that message. With Net Neutrality gone, internet companies will be able to bundle “packages” together to charge you more for the internet. For example, a basic package may start with CNN and Fox News (like on your cable package), but you would have to upgrade to get other services like Netflix, and upgrade even further to be able to play video games online.

Frankly, there’s no telling what will happen to blogs like this, blogs in general, or even Christian websites like bible.com.

As you know, I have multiple chronic illnesses and going to a physical church is often very difficult for me. When I can’t go to my local church, I attend at lifechurch.tv. Their online church (not just a recording, a meeting of parishioners as well) has spread the Gospel and converted hundreds of people to Christ.

Indeed, the internet at large has converted hundreds of thousands of people, including me. I would not be Christian today if it weren’t for me being able to access websites that aren’t popular or mainstream, and hear the good news from them.

If the FCC overturns the current Title II Net Neutrality ruling, control of the internet will be in the hands of mainstream media companies which, as you know, are rarely in sync with the values of most Christian denominations.

Please consider contacting the FCC and your local congress representatives to urge them to maintain Net Neutrality: https://www.battleforthenet.com/

Headcovering, the quiet, and being set apart

In contrast to my last statement about headcovering (where I go to explain how it can draw extra attention to you), headcovering can also be an escape from the world.

In Biblical history, a veil was used to separate the tabernacle from the people. This is something that designates it as holy and special. Like jewelry, we know that the rings behind the glass are finer than the rings on the counter rack.

Veiling might attract attention to you, but it sets you aside as different than others. After all, how many people in your church are wearing a headcovering? It marks you as something different, set apart from the others.

You have been set apart as holy to the LORD your God, and he has chosen you from all the nations of the earth to be his own special treasure. (Deuteronomy 14:2)

No, simply throwing something over your head doesn’t actually change you, your sins, or your relationship with God. But it does mark you as changed and you were changed via baptism. You are different now. You are set aside. People remark and look upon you as something different because of the headcovering.

My favorite part of wearing a headcovering is when I bend over to pray. When I’m kneeling (or, in the “Episcopal Squat”), the sides of my headscarf slide over and the world is veiled away. I feel alone — just me and God. To all the world, the veil on the tabernacle is closed as the priest is in prayer in the presence of God.

As much as the headcovering brings attention and questions to me, no one interrupts me in prayer when my veil shrouds me like this. It is clear that something special is happening here and there’s nothing more special than a conversation with God.

Headcovering and extra attention

Have you ever worn a red shirt to Target and had random people coming up to you, asking you questions? Often, wearing a headcovering feels a bit like that. It’s as if I’m wearing some church “uniform” and wearing a big sign that says, “Talk to me about liturgy!”

This is actually the most difficult part of headcovering to me. Just as putting on a uniform, or wearing your sorority letters, immediately turns you and your actions into a representative into that organization, putting on that headcovering turns you into an ambassador for Christ. You always were an ambassador for the Kingdom of God, but now you’re in uniform and everyone sees it.

This is excellent in the fact that it proclaims the coming of the Kingdom. But let’s not cover up the fact that this can be really draining for an introvert — an introvert like me.

Yup, I love headcovering but it often feels like work. I never feel like I get negative attention for it, but I do get attention and a lot of it. When I’d rather be in the shadows, people are asking me my testimony. When I’d rather sit quiet as a mouse, people are asking me why I wear it. When I’d rather have my nose in the Bible and the world shut out, people are wanting to tell me how beautiful I am.

I know it sounds awful. But part of being an introvert is that social interactions drain me, instead of revitalize me. I enjoy them, but they are draining none the less. A bit like how I love water parks, but they wear me out. I love these questions and things people bring to me, but I’ll be honest and admit that they wear me out.

But I think that’s part of the purpose of headcovering, at least for me. It stretches my comfort zone to push me to evangelize within the church (the “New Evangelization”). Merely me sitting there with this thing on my head is evangelizing. And every action and word I take with it on my head becomes a statement of “This is how a Christian acts.” To me, the challenge is draining, but I feel it’s worthwhile and when I get through each interaction gracefully, I am grateful that God carried me through.

Emergency Room bag — Preparing to make bad times less bad

No one likes having to go to the emergency room. Most of the time you’re sitting there waiting and waiting and waiting — and that’s if you’re lucky and they aren’t having to do more invasive things. But there are ways to make a trip to the ER more bearable by making sure you have the things you need or want to have. By packing a bag with these things and having it ready to go at a moment’s notice, you can take a load of stress of of your shoulders. This way, you can focus on the actual crisis knowing other things have already been taken care of.

Comfort

  • Socks
  • Comforting religious item (rosary, prayer card, etc.
  • Change of underwear
  • Pajama bottoms
  • Tank top
  • Comfortable wireless bra
  • Snacks and favorite condiments
  • Bottle of favorite drink
  • Normal daily medications and vitamins

Communication

  • List of phone numbers of friends and family
  • Current list of medications
  • List of current doctors
  • Instructions on how to call in sick for work
  • Information about bills (in case you’re unable to drop off that rent check due to the ER trip)
  • Spare phone charger (remember the part that plugs into the wall)
  • Power brick
  • Notebook and pen for writing down doctor’s instructions

Hygiene

Doctors and nurses in the ER generally don’t care about your usual hygiene — they’re just worried about keeping you up and running. But feeling dirty can make a stay feel more miserable than it has to. Doing a few little things to help yourself feel cleaner can help keep your mood optimistic during an unexpected stay. This also goes for your caretaker. Travel size bottles are perfect for your ER bag.

  • Mouth wash (when you can’t brush your teeth, this helps)
  • Dental floss
  • Dry shampoo
  • Hairspray
  • Wet wipes
  • Deodorant
  • Hand sanitizer (easily accessable — MRSA is no joke)

Home

If your family is anything like mine, the first thing out of their mouths is an offer to help. But detailing out long plant watering instructions is the last thing you want to do when you’re in the ER. I, basically, have a little kit in our bag explaining what they can do to help us take care of the house while we’re in the ER.

  • Spare house keys
  • Write instructions on how to feed the pets, water the plants, etc.
  • School and babysitter info so they can help get any children where they need to be.

Entertainment

If you’re lucky, your ER trip is less drama and more boring. Waiting for tests, waiting to hear from the doctor, waiting for blood sugar to finally come down. Pack some things to help make it a little less boring.

  • Old Gameboy with batteries
  • Favorite book

Remember to pack things in the bag for the caregiver, too, not just what the sick person might want. They’re in the ER with you!

We keep our bag right by the front door, hidden behind a chair. A coat closet is perfect for this. If the weather in your area is mild, you could even keep this bag in your car.

As for bag choices, we had a spare backpack. No one cares about fashion in the ER, anyway. I think this bag was my middle school backpack! Having shoulder straps makes it easy to carry along with my shoulder purse, and it also keeps it gender neutral for either of us to be carrying around.

Death of an insulin pump — Omnipod failure!

She’s dead, Jim.

diabetes, pump, omnipod, insulin pump
The last known picture of my omnipod insulin pump

She’s served me faithfully since I was diagnosed over 3 years ago. I was put on the pump almost immediately. My family had taught me how to carb-count all through growing up, so I was an ideal candidate.

Yesterday, I had taken  off work due to some sort of stomach flu and I thought I would just sit on the couch with a bucket and comforting movie marathon. If only. I bolused and it screached and told me to call Insulet. It’s done this before (maybe that was signs of it dying), so I wasn’t worried. They were going to tell me some magic button combination to get it work again. But, no, the logo came up and down and up and down and never past the logo. It was dead.

They said the earliest they could have it to me is Friday, so two days away. For those two days… do what my Endo says. I had to call my endo on call (who was none too pleased). He was in disbelief at first — he always has contingency plans for his Medtronic users but never in his 20 years has he seen an Omnipod PDM break. I guess I’m just lucky that way.

Much running around to get Lantus as the stores are closing around me. Then trying to figure out how much Lantus I need. Then trying to figure out how to pay for it all. It was a 6 hour ordeal.

So far from that “rest” that was needed for my stomach flu.

I’m just thankful it was under warranty. I’m thankful I was able to get it all done. Being pumpless feels a bit… defenseless and scary but God is getting us through.