Who Do You REALLY Trust to Help Vietnam Vets?
This lens is in defense of heroes.. Those who did their best and believed they were doing the right thing. They beileived they were doing the honorable, patriotic thing. They did what they were told to do. All soldiers march in line. OH..those honorable soldiers who are STILL giving their lives every single day for their country.
This lens is in ANGRY PROTEST in defense of these soldiers, forgotten, ignored and ultimately abused by the Veteran's Affairs system.
Saying, "We Support Our Troops" and putting a yellow ribbon bumper decal on your car... just isn't enough. It can be demeaning without an understanding of what Vets are going through because of their service. They need more. They need you to contact your Congressman to demand better care of soldiers after they come home, 'from any war' or designated service by our military.
New Zealand chose to HONOR and SUPPORT THEIR TROOPS by ADMITTING to fault, but NOT US GOVERNMENT. Peripheral Neuropathy is NOT recognized, no matter how grave, as being "SERVICE CONNECTED". It is insulting at best!
To victims of Agent Orange and Peripheral Neuropathy There ARE things I can share with Vietnam Vets here, that I will add to as I can. There are tests that WILL VALIDATE YOUR PAIN, NUMBNESS, ELECTRICAL SHOCKS... no matter the VA tells you that you are crazy. YOU ARE NOT! I am not a doctor or even a nurse, no I am just a wife of a victim, who understands the struggle for both you and oft times your caretaker, wife, lover, friends. Hang in there! There are people trying to find help for you. I personally doubt that the US Government will ever fess up, but there are new findings about Peripheral Neuropathy.
If you are testing mild to moderate for long nerve fiber neuropathy you might just have small nerve fiber neuropathy, which does not show up on tests done for long nerve. Small nerve fiber neuropathy is more painful, so if you were told you have nothing, or something mild to moderate? Or they are telling you that you're nuts or faking it? You are probably feeling major frustrated, so the good news? Ya ain't crazy!
INSIST they give you a 'small nerve fiber biopsy'!!!
Be careful too, as you know I am sure, just about every mother and brother has a cure all, it can get expensive and most don't help or work. Get Dr. Latov's book that I mention below for absolute sure OK? OK! Hugs when you need 'em!
THANK YOU FOR YOU SERVICE VIETNAM VET!!
THANK YOU GULF WAR SOLDIERS TOO ... info about Peripheral Neuropathy might help you as well.
IF NO ONE EVER SAYS THEY ARE SORRY DEAR VET?
I WRITE IT NOW TO YOU..
I AM SO VERY SORRY and I APPRECIATE YOUR SERVICE.
NOTE: Some of the postings in this lens are of my husbands words. I noted when.. or at least I tried. It is one cause in any case.
PICTURED IS DENNY LYING ON THE FLOOR WITH NO HELP. We were at the VA LaJolla for 3 hours, after they did NOT help him I told him we must go somewhere else. We went to Scripps who also let him lay on the floor for another 3 hours.. sweating and vomiting into a towel. No insurance except for the VA and his service to this country. Today.. 5/15/13 Dennis cannot breath due to improper meds distributed to him by VA LaJoll, CA. When he called they said he could go to ER. Let me ask you... If this was YOU on the floor at VA LaJolla would you thing by any stretch of the imagination that they would help you?
I cry for Denny and I cry for you.
Agent Orange Info
Table of Contents
- Agent Orange Info
- Turn On Some Music
- Dennis Needs Help
- A Soldiers Recent Story About His Fight With the VA
- NOTE TO SELF
- Another Update
- WHAT IS PERIPHERAL NEUROPATHY?
- Relevant Agent Orange You Tubes
- Agent Orange, Know Any Victims?
- Agent Orange Legacy.. PLEASE JOIN!
- Schaefer Portrait Challenge
- "Mr. Magnusen" Exhibited at Maui Cultural Center, HI -Schaefer Portrait Challenge 2009
- "Mr. Magnusen" 36x48x2 oil on canvas by Kathy Ostman-Magnusen
- Press: "Mr. Magnusen" on Exhibit at Maui Cultural Center, HI
- Help Links for Peripheral Neuropathy
- What is US Responsibility?
- Treating Peripheral Neuropathy With Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine
- "Shallow Grave"
- "Kill Anything That Moves" by Nic Turse
- Anything That Moves
- Vietnam Agent Orange Spray Mission
- I Started a Joke
- detail "My Soldier" 36x48x2 oil on canvas by Kathy Ostman-Magnusen
- Dr Martin a song by Dennis Magnusen
- Agent Orange -Tell Others!
- Get This Book!
- Tingling Limbs May Be Small Fiber Neuropathy
- Alpha Lipoic, Methycobalamin and CoQ10
- Lipoic Acid, CoQ10 and Methycobalamin
- FACTS ABOUT VIETNAM INCLUDE AGENT ORANGE
- Music From the Time
- NOTE TO SELF
- You Might Need Meds
- The Lie Became the Truth
- check out the links below
- FOR HELP AND INFO
- RESEARCH AND HOPE
- Veterans and Agent Orange
- Brothers in Arms
- Coping with Chronic Neuropathy the DVD
- TAKE CHARGE of YOUR OWN HEALTH!
- Reader Feedback
- KathysArt Twitter Follow
Turn On Some Music
Turn on some music... hopefully you will find that my info on this lens it to help you... and this is not an empty road to no where.
The lyrics to this song:
"Expecting to Fly"
There you stood on the edge of your feather,
Expecting to fly.
While I laughed, I wondered whether
I could wave goodbye,
Knowin' that you'd gone.
By the summer it was healing,
We had said goodbye.
All the years we'd spent with feeling
Ended with a cry,
Babe, ended with a cry,
Babe, ended with a cry.
I tried so hard to stand
As I stumbled and fell to the ground.
So hard to laugh as I fumbled
And reached for the love I found,
Knowin' it was gone.
If I never lived without you,
Now you know I'd die.
If I never said I loved you,
Now you know I'd try,
Babe, now you know I'd try.
Babe, now you know I'd try,
Dennis Needs Help
To whom it may concern,
My name is Dennis G. Magnusen, I used to be a mentor teacher in Hawaiian Gardens, CA. This was a hard place for a kid to grow up, gangs were well established in this area. I taught junior high during the day, home students in the afternoon, and high school "gangsters" in the evening out of a community store front school. I loved my job; I took it very seriously. I became an educator because of my experiences in Vietnam; I did not like what war did to people nor to children, therefore, I taught peaceful resolution to conflicts whenever it seemed necessary. I had to quit teaching in 1990 due to the effects of Agent Orange; I moved to Hawaii.
HERE IS THE PROBLEM: My VA doctor of 18 years (Dr. George W. Ross, Chief of Neurology for the state of Hawaii) finally admitted that he knows nothing about my medical condition. He always told me that "I should not be in so much pain" and that "it is not going to kill me". As it turns out, he could not be more wrong.
In early 2008 I was diagnosed with severe small fiber neuropathy from a biopsy that was sent to Therapath Lab,NY. This is a very painful disease that controls the autonomic nervous system; this has never been addressed by the VA. The only thing the VA has done is to load me up on drugs; Fentanyl patch 75-100 (changed every 2 days instead of 3), 45-100mg morphine, 2100mg neurontin, 600mg serzone, and 7.5-15mg mirtazapine for sleep. Most doctors are amazed that I can even get out of bed with this many medications. I need treatment (i.e. IVIG), not more meds.
In 2008 Dr. Ross recommended that I see Dr. Mandaville (at Univ. Calif. at San Diego and also with the VA in LaJolla). On January 15, 2008, I was to meet with the VA's neurologist who was going to turn me over to Dr. Mandeville. Instead, the VA's neurologist (Dr. Vivan) said that they were going to "re-test" me. It has been a year since that meeting and nothing has changed, they schedule me 4-6 months after each test to see a neurologist, and then order another test.
I need help. In December of 2009, I had to go to the ER twice. The first time I went to a local hospital, I was convulsing and could not breathe ( I was throwing-up continuously and therefore could not keep my meds down), the pain was severe. The next day it happened again. This time I went to the VA in LaJolla, a 25 mile drive. I had to wait in ER for 5 hours before being seen. Once again in severe pain. I was admitted for 3 days before being stabilized. I can't help but to think this wouldn't happen if I was not on so many meds.
In the VA's Patient Right's, it states: "You will be treated with dignity, compassion, and respect as an individual. You will receive care in a safe environment." I've never felt like I was a recipient of this kind of care, it's more like DENY, DELAY and DEATH.
So far I've been diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy, avascular necrosis ( left hip has had a full replacement, the right hip is still deteriorating), cardiomyopathy, COPD, chronic pain, chest pain, PTSD, persistent insomnia, acute sinusitis, acute tonsillitis, malaise and fatigue, cough, pyronies disease, gastrointestinal motility, and small fiber neuropathy, as well as a few others.
I need help. All I want is a doctor who can help me. There are still things in this world that I want to accomplish. I want the VA to treat me with dignity, compassion, and respect as an individual, and give me that care in a safe environment.
A Soldiers Recent Story About His Fight With the VA
YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
Lets join together, protest, and become one huge sounding voice that can no longer be ignored!
Aloha, my name is Dennis Magnusen
I am a Vietnam Vet.; I served in the army from 1967-1970, my time in Vietnam was 1968-1969. I was in Saigon during the Tet Offensive for about a month, then in Can Tho (Mekong Delta) for the remainder of my tour. My rank was sergeant.
I learned the devastation of war first hand, I saw too many dead and mangled bodies. I questioned myself, what can I do to prevent war? I became an educator (Mentor Teacher). I taught 16 years; the first 8 years in grades 1-3, & 6, the last 8 years as a math teacher for 7th & 8th grades during the day as well as "home students" in the afternoon and high school in the evening at a "store-front community school" in the evening. Those
last 8 years I taught in a hard neighborhood for kids to grow-up in, Hawaiian Gardens, California.
Although I taught a variety of subjects, in between the lines I spoke of tolerance, peaceful resolutions amid conflict, and allowing others to speak their "mind" even though their views may be different. I encouraged them to speak up for their "rights". I respected my students, in return, they respected me.
In 1990, I had to go on disability leave; the effects of Agent Orange (dioxin), Agent White (dioxin), and Agent Blue (arsenic) finally took their toll. I now spend most of my time in bed, unable to do most of the things I used to do.
It took the VA 18 years to properly diagnose me, and even then, it was at my persistence.
I had to dig and research until I found a test that would do the job, the VA was of no help in this matter, if fact, they resisted. My neurologist, Chief of Neurology for the VA in Hawaii at Trippler, always told me that there was nothing they could do for me, and always questioned my pain that was progressing. They said it was a "mental problem".
Finally, I called Walter Reed (mid 2007), I talked to nurse Nancy Reed in the neurological ward. She told me of a nerve biopsy test at Therapath Lab (therapath.com). It took my neurologist months to finally authorize it. On 3/19/08 I finally got the results, but not from my neurologist. I got the results from an "outside" doctor who performed the biopsy. On the test from Therapath it stated:
DIAGNOSIS: left calf & left thigh; skin with significantly reduced epidermal nerve fiber density, consistent with small fiber neuropathy.
My neurologist was supposed to interpret, with more detail, the results of this test to me as well as a course of treatment. But he can't, he doesn't even know what small fiber neuropathy is, and this is the VA Chief of Neurology for Hawaii. I can only imagine how many of my fellow vets, from Vietnam to the present, could be properly diagnosed with this test from Therapath. They don't need to be told they're crazy, they need to be helped; But THEY'RE JUST WAITING FOR US TO DIE.
An on-line friend who writes for the Neuropathy ass. newsletter was wheel-chair bound. He went thru IVIG treatments (intravenous immune gamuglobulin), now he walks; I am close to that wheel chair.I asked my neurologist if I could have IVIG treatments. He said that it was too dangerous, that it would destroy my liver and that I would be on a dialysis machine for the rest of my life. We did the research, it's been used for 25 years without complications for a variety of diseases.
As for me, I still have things to do. Remember the back cover of Richard Bach's book "Illusions";
"Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished; if you're alive, it isn't."
There are so many vets who need help in getting properly diagnosed and treated, the VA has to wake-up. This has become my mission, I'm still alive. Think how many vet suicides this might prevent, how many bodies could be saved from deterioration; my fellow vets still have missions to finish.
I just spoke to Nancy Spencer, a nurse in the neurological ward at Walter Reed. About a month ago my neurologist, Dr. Ross (Chief of Neurology for the state of Hawaii, VA) at my insistence, was to talk to her about reading my biopsy test for small fiber neuropathy since he could not; he does not even know what SFN is. Dr. Ross has not called me since their conversation. I have left a message every week at his office at the VA in Honolulu, he has not called me back. Nancy Spencer told me that she told Dr. Ross to refer me out to someone who could be of help. She also said that Dr. Ross never asked her help in reading my biopsy test results. She was shocked. Nancy told me to go to my computer and look up NIH.gov, then click on National Institutes of Neurological disorders & strokes for information about treatments that would help me. Nancy also said to write my congressmen, I am a vet, someone should help me. Nancy ended our conversation by saying "hang in there, don't give up".
Dennis G Magnusen
Dennis is still waiting for someone within the VA system to explain his biopsy to him, as crazy as that sounds. It will be one year this March. An appointment has been made for him with an neurologist outside the VA because NO ONE within the VA system in Hawaii is qualified or knowledgeable on the subject. He is scheduled to be 're' tested (again) before they will give him any sort of info. More hoops in the way of getting some kind of help.... Sad at best.
To this date NO ONE has ever explained my Small Nerve Fiber Biopsy. I am waiting to get a new Neurologist since my move to California but have not seen one as yet. It has been six months now since my move to try and get better or any I should say care.
7/26.09 Update: Still waiting for treatment.. want IVIG treatment. Does anyone know what they are doing within the VA if you have more than a cold? Ya have to wonder.
12/05/09 Update... STILL waiting.
10/1/10 Update... YES STILL WAITING. To date NO ONE at the VA has ever explained the biopsy of Small Nerve Fiber Neuropathy and the VA in California continues to ignore it. It is overwhelming.
4/18/11 Update.. Still waiting.
11/28/11 There will be no real help. There will be no acknowledgement.
I will continue to update this as NO HELP but let me just add that it is indeed a disgrace to the USA that they do not help the Vietnam Vet except for medical, and let me tell you that those visits are a sad, sad experience, as the VA continues to demean the Vietnam Vet, including my husband, by telling him that he has no claim. Tell me please.. IF YOU.. bathed and drank water tainted by RAID, a bug spray, which does not come close to Agent Orange, for 9 months ,do you think your body would react?
I will continue to fight the fight.
Well it is the new year. There is a group that has promised to help Dennis recently. I will update here is they actually do. Health is worse as it is a degenerative disease. Not much to add to that. I don't want to sound hopeless though. I think it is important to cherish the moments that are sweet.. flowers and leaves on tress; the smell of rain. Blessings to all.
5/15/13 Don't think there have not been incidents.. there have been. Sad.. I feel sad. Today: Denny cannot breathe.. he called the VA. It is the meds.. FU ~VA! They said to go to ER. Thank you so F-ing much.. last time it came to $3K ~FU DENY-DELAY.. and Death...
NOTE TO SELF
Hang in there Kathy. Meditate, exercise and do your art.. it will save you.
“Maybe acupuncture? Yes as of 8/19/12 it is helping some.”
There will be no real help from the VA so forget that. Really.. get that notion out of your head. The government will not ever honor you or thank you for your day to day ACUTE PAIN due to AGENT ORANGE EXPOSURE. They will give you meds, if you co/pay for them according to how much money you make, but they will never honor their RESPONSIBILITY for Peripheral Neuropathy.. you will NOT get that needed "Service Connection" status.. forget it. You will be the CHEAPEST meds on the market though as the VA gives it to the LOWEST bidder. Know that not all generics are the same and if you suffer from Peripheral Neuropathy your body is highly sensitive (daa) and changing meds on a monthly basis is not an option... but if you are in the VA system? Too bad.
It has been really hard lately as the pain my husband suffers from Small Nerve Fiber Neuropathy and Peripheral Neuropathy is complicated by COPD.. among other things. Thank you US Government for Agent Orange Exposure in Vietnam and refusing to give him "Service Connection" so that he can get outside care since the VA is so inept. Good for common problems like a stroke but very unkind to Vietnam Vets who have been affected by Agent Orange. In any case, life moves on and with it so do the symptoms. My husbands oxygen level was at 88% a couple weeks go. That is no big deal unless you suffer from COPD. VA set up an appointment for 6 WEEKS later. Since then screaming fits on my part have brought that appointment up. It took 2 weeks for the first test and the second it still pending, the outcome to be oxygen in the home. When that will happen who knows. And I hear Vietnam Vets saying, "Deny, Delay, Death"
OK.. on to the subject at hand, which is neuropathy... Acupuncture! My husband has achieved a lot of relief in the past from it so we decided to try it again. We get it for him according to our bank account balance as it is out of pocket and unfortunately it is not always big enough to add acupuncture to the list. It works so we do get it when we can. Now because Denny cannot breathe besides being in so much pain acupuncture is a must. It is helping noticeably with his breathing. The acupuncturist says that once we get Denny's breathing more in check he will move on to the pain from Small Nerve Fiber Neuropathy. In the meantime Denny's pain escalates.
In the evenings Denny can be found in the bathroom on the floor, on the floor by our bed, sitting up, getting up and trying different things to help relieve the pain that yes does seem to be worse at night. He puts lidocaine cream on his feet and legs and sometimes puts a patch on both calves. It does some good, a fraction. You would think that with all he pain meds he is on that lidocaine would not help, that the pain meds would take care of it, but they don't%u2026 as you stated.
I am going to look into the ReBuilder. I am hoping I can find one that can be rented. It is expensive. Yet another gripe I have with the Government.. the co/pay for Denny's meds each month. Why should we have to pay out of pocket $100. per month for meds or anything for that matter, for something he got while serving his country and that the US Government gave to him? We put out around $1000. per month on acupuncture, herbs/teas from the him, and other homeopathic efforts ie: daily high doses of methycobalamin (form of Vit B) injections, which stop the leg thrashing and twitching.. well worth that expense.
I have been accused of being too open, and too dark, that I need to paint and sculpt happy and cheery things. What I have to say to that is NO.. if a person feel sad or dark that is exactly what they should paint or sculpt.. anything else would be a lie.
To this day Dennis has never seen a MUSCULAR Neurologist as promised. I am wondering if there even is one within the whole VA system... I really am. Latest issues are med changes, well what am I saying this is a continual problem within the VA. They take the lowest bidder for med.. for all vets. Nothing like giving our finest the very best right? Not.. not by a long shot. Generics are NOT all the same most especially for someone in Denny's condition. Each time he renews his meds it is a crap shoot.. will he be sicker than usual or not, depending on what med they send. The last few months now have been HORRIBLE. We spent a full day at he VA ER because he could not breathe and could not stop throwing up. Can YOU remember having he flu? Throwing up and not being able to enjoy your day? Well that is how Denny's LIFE is.. there are no good days and no getting better. At the very least though you would think that he could at least be given the meds his body tolerates best. It is a lonely journey.
The image is of my painting "Peace" it is a 24x48 oil on canvas.
WHAT IS PERIPHERAL NEUROPATHY?
According to the Neuropathy Association:
Peripheral Neuropathy is one of the most common diseases most people have never heard of and yet, upwards of 20 million Americans have it. Peripheral neuropathy is caused by damage to your body's peripheral nerves. This damage disrupts the body's ability to communicate with its muscles, skin, joints, or internal organs. It is like the body's wiring system breaking down. If ignored, neuropathy can lead to numbness, pain, weakness and incoordination. However, diagnosed and treated early, peripheral neuropathy can often be controlled, slowing the disease's progression. Learn more at their website:
http://www.neuropathy.org (the LIVE link is below in the link list for an easy click)
Buy This Book by Dr. Latov!
If you have Peripheral Neuropathy or even think you might, this book will change your life and validate you! It is at the Neuropathy Associations website.
"Peripheral Neuropathy: When the Numbness, Weakness and Pain Won't Stop" by Norman Latov, MD.,Ph.D
It is only $10. so you might want to get one for you and someone else.
(the LIVE link is below in the link list for an easy click)
Facts about Vietnam,specifically noting Peripheral Neuropathy due to Agent Orange, White, Blue, Pink and Purple. Dennis Magnusen,a victim of both Long and Short Nerve Fiber Neuropathy bathed in the Mekong Delta on a daily basis during his term. He was told he was crazy or a faker when he described numbness, electrical shocks and burning sensations. He was not! Sound off here fellow victims or if you are someone who loves them. All victims of PN are welcome Agent Orange related or not.
Relevant Agent Orange You Tubes
This UTube speaks of the truth and what has happened to the people of Vietnam and their children as well. It is a sad heritage and one knows exactly why US Government is waiting for all their Vietnam and Gulf War Vets to die.
Agent Orange, Know Any Victims?
Agent Orange, Know Any Victims?
Agent Orange Legacy.. PLEASE JOIN!
PLEASE JOIN AGENT ORANGE LEGACY!
from their site:
"Agent Orange Legacy is dedicated to improving the lives of the children of Vietnam veterans & families of veterans exposed to agent orange that have fallen victim to a legacy of birth defects, some known & many more not yet identified, chronic
illness & pain, emotional & behavioral disorders, learning disabilities, developmental disabilities, & other conditions as a
result of their parent(s) service in Vietnam and exposure to toxins such as Agent Orange."
"Our Mission~ Create & maintain a permanent lobbying presence on 'Capitol Hill'"
"Mobilizing to fight for the services, support & rights of the Children of Vietnam Veterans & families of veterans exposed to agent orange."
http://www.agentorangelegacy.us (this link is live below within the link list)
Schaefer Portrait Challenge
Below is my 'other' painting of Dennis, called "Mr. Magnusen" it was accepted into the Schaefer Portrait Challenge 2009 YAY!
"Mr. Magnusen" Exhibited at Maui Cultural Center, HI -Schaefer Portrait Challenge 2009
"Mr. Magnusen" 36x48x2 oil on canvas by Kathy Ostman-Magnusen
Artist's Statement:"Mr. Magnusen", 30x40x2 oil on canvas, by Kathy Ostman-Magnusen
Mr. Magnusen, the subject of my painting, shares many of my same memories. We grew up not far from one another In S. California and later attended the same high school. It was in high school that I fell in love with Dennis G Magnusen. That love story was put on hold for some 30 years.
In 1967 Dennis was drafted by the US Army, and subsequently went to Vietnam in 1968. Circumstances and follies of youth would cause us to follow separate paths.
While in Vietnam Dennis was strongly affected by the children he saw there. "Children were never meant to experience war", he told me years later. He decided that he wanted to do his part to change the world. "Real change in any society begins with the children," was Dennis' mantra, so he became a teacher. He worked with gang zone high school kids in the evenings and intermediate students in the afternoon. Grades of F's and D's were bought up to A's and B's. Mr. Magnusen reached beyond his own expectations, leading kids to an understanding of their own worth, thus opening doors to their potential futures. He created a surf club and got the community to help. He was often featured on local TV and newspapers as someone who was making a difference in children's lives. Dennis also became a Mentor teacher, lending help to other educators. Being somewhat of a rebel he advised fellow teaches of ideas that reached beyond standard textbook techniques.
Sadly the ghost of Vietnam took away Mr. Magnusen's strength in the form of Peripheral Neuropathy, caused by Agent Orange. By 1990 he was too ill to continue his beloved teaching career. It broke his heart. Seeking rest, relief from stress, needing a special place to deal with the physical pain that comes with Small Nerve Fiber Neuropathy, he relocated to Hawaii. Hawaii has been his solace and a cool breeze when memories of who he once was for kids becomes faint.
About three months ago "Mr. Magnusen" was contacted by a former student. Amy had been looking for him for eighteen years. She had heard he had died from Agent Orange complications, but still hoped that she would find him. You see, Amy became a teacher and she wanted to find Mr. Magnusen to tell him how much he had affected her life. While working on her Masters in Literature, Amy wrote a paper describing the most influential person in her life. That person was Mr. Magnusen. Amy called to tell Mr. Magnusen that she wanted to make a difference in this world too. For a teacher there can be no greater reward.
As for me? I found Dennis once again after 30 years, through a miracle of circumstance, but that I guess is another story.
by Kathy Ostman-Magnusen
Press: "Mr. Magnusen" on Exhibit at Maui Cultural Center, HI
Schaefer Portrait Challenge 2009
Schaefer Portrait Challenge Press
This is the link:
...and below is the article for your convenience. I have have highlighted the part where Mr. Orwig talks about my painting, "Mr. Magnusen"
ARTISTS FACE OFF
Portrait challenge uncovers the islands' identity
POSTED: January 11, 2009
Faces. You see them every day - brushing your teeth in the morning, passing neighbors on the street, doing business with a coworker. But the face is taking on a unique look thanks to the Schaefer Portrait Challenge 2009, a new exhibit at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center.
"What we have is something that is very common in a relatively uncommon place," says Schaefer International Gallery Director Darrell Orwig.
The still eyes beaming back at you look so familiar. It may be tough to connect the faces with the names, but you swear you've seen these people before. It's that tiny hula dancer prepping for Merrie Monarch, the respected Filipino elder flashing her infectious smile, a child unleashing his art with a stick of chalk and the community "uncle" jamming on his ukulele.
"It's a good way for us to sort of reflect back to the community what it looks like," Orwig says of the portrait challenge. "To see it though the eyes of a variety of artists in so many different ways, I think, makes us better people. It makes us better human beings because that's what the portraiture tends to be in a general sense - is that deep sense of humanity."
First held in 2003, this triennial exhibition was inspired by the acclaimed Archibald Prize portrait competition held in Australia. But like many things that make their way to the islands, this adaptation has taken on a unique local flavor, and is exclusive to local artists who must depict subjects living in Hawaii. The statewide juried competition includes 56 pieces by 53 Hawaii artists, representing Maui, Oahu, Big Island, Kauai, Molokai and Lanai. The artists range from established figures in the art community to promising college-aged participants, all vying for one of the biggest art competition payouts in Hawaii, including the $15,000 Jurors' Choice Award. Another prize, the $5,000 People's Choice Award, will be selected by gallery visitors who cast their ballots by Feb. 13.
For the first time in its history, portions of the exhibit will travel beyond Maui shores, showing at The Contemporary Museum at First Hawaiian Center in Honolulu from May 29 to Sept. 8.
The collection is more than a bunch of pretty faces - each work displays the essence of a person captured in a single expression. Those subtle moments can be seen in the confident glare of a young skateboarder in Kelly Bandalos' "Julian at the Legal Wall," the strength of character in a husband's stare in Anita Bisquera's "William" or the fearless defiance of a friend battling cancer in John Woodruff's "Doc."
Organizers were thrilled to see several artists pushing the boundaries of traditional portraiture by creating stylized images or utilizing untraditional materials like ceramic, a wooden surfboard, silk and other mixed-media.
"Conceptually and technically this show has more variety in terms of what form portraiture might take," Orwig says.
Exhibit Programs Manager Neida Bangerter agrees.
"I think the stretch that some of the artists took, that's really going beyond what we know portraiture to be, and that's where the word 'challenge' comes in," she says.
Criteria for the previous portrait challenges said that the subject must be a prominent figure the community. But organizers opted for a change this year, hoping to encourage a more personal relationship between the artist and subject. Both participants were also required to have at least one live sitting.
"With that change there was an opportunity for people to really delve into a subject that they know well," Orwig explains.
Turns out, that's exactly what happened.
"The stories behind these pieces are much more engaging than they have been in the past," he continues. "That's not to say there haven't been some great stories, but this year we see much more personal accounts with more emotion."
Orwig pauses before mentioning Kathy Ostman-Magnusen's portrait of her husband titled "Mr. Magnusen."
"I can't even talk about that one without choking up," he whispers.
The power of this image lies beyond the weary eyes of Dennis Magnusen - a Vietnam veteran who was inspired to become a teacher after seeing children affected by war, only to be forced to abandon his calling because of poor health caused by Agent Orange exposure.
"There's almost a book there, there's so much substance to it," Orwig says.
"And you can see the story was so well portrayed in the sadness of his face and the colors used and the textures of the brush strokes," adds Bangerter. "It's an emotional piece to look at - it's heart-wrenching. When a piece is really done from the heart, you can sense that.
Maui artist Kirk Kurokawa chose to portray his dad, Reggie, because like his painting, he is larger-than-life. The 65-by-36-inch oil painting towers over the viewer, like a watchful parent observing his kid's every move.
"My dad kind of comes across as a gruff guy with this tough-guy image, but he's really just one of the softest, most kindhearted people I know," explains Kurokawa. "So the idea behind it was to have that kind of attitude where he's starting down at you, but he also has a dog that's all soft and cuddly."
"And that's actually his dog," he adds with a laugh.
Kurokawa, 34, is a veteran when it comes to the Schaefer Portrait Challenge. His work has been accepted into all three shows, and his "The Real McCoy" portrait of Tadashi Sato earned him the $15,000 Jurors' Choice Award in 2006.
"This show is a great because it really brings a different look to what Hawaii is all about," says Kurokawa. "And over the past few years it has definitely grown and a lot of artists are really stepping up to the plate, so it's been exciting to watch."
This year's coveted Jurors' Choice Award went to another Maui artist, Rich Hevner, 46, for his "Marriage on Paper, Looking For A Sonnet" portrait of himself and his wife, Lauren.
"Marriage is a pretty dynamic sort of institution and it plays a big role in my life," explains Hevner. "So when I'm in the studio, my relationship is always attached to me, even creatively."
While other artists chose to focus on a single subject, Hevner's piece dives into the multifaceted bond of marriage, and is the only portrait in this year's show that depicts the relationship between two people.
"She's had a huge influence on me, both as a person and as an artist," Hevner says of his wife of 10 years, Lauren. "This was an opportunity for me to really explore that relationship."
For Noble Richardson, 24, life's ugly moments sparked his stunning self-portrait. Finding inspiration in the ugly reality of drugs and corruption that pervades Maui's idyllic vistas, Richardson's piece exposes the dark shadows that form just behind the swaying palm trees.
"It becomes a portrait of hope for victims of hard times, and justice that turns its cheek to the frost that blights the valley of Wailuku known as 'Happy.' " he writes in his artist's statement.
"I felt like a lot of the art around here is all happy stuff. You go to Lahaina and see dolphins, nice sunsets and still lifes of fruits and flowers, but people need to see the other side of Hawaii," Richardson says. "In any place there's two worlds - the good and the bad - and I think people should be aware of that."
Whether the subject was a friend, family member, prominent figure or even the artists themselves, there's a story behind each face. Now it's up to the viewer to pick up that dialogue where the artist left off.
"It's an opportunity to see not just a picture on a wall, a label with a name on it and a description of the medium," says Orwig. "It's a chance to find out something about the person and the story behind it."
Lehia Apana can be reached at email@example.com.
What is US Responsibility?
It would be impossible you may think, for the US Government to accept responsibility for the effects of Agent Orange in Vietnam-the $$ costs would break the bank. US is already under great financial stress so there is a lot to consider. Does it come down to what is right or wrong?
If US does not take responsibility will they continue to abuse their power and do like things on their own soldiers and other countries?
Should US Government be held accountable for Vietnam and Agent Orange? Should the limits be put on US there? After all, what followed next was the Gulf War, another situations where US does not claim responsibility.
When and where will it end? What are they doing to the soldiers in Iraq? Besides not taking care of the disabled when they return.
Same old same old!!
Treating Peripheral Neuropathy With Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine
by Nicholas LaFasto
Peripheral neuropathy is a condition that causes a patient to experience pain, numbness, tingling, or burning sensations in their hands or feet. The condition is due to damage of the nerves, usually as a result of trauma, diabetes, medications, infections, exposure to toxins, or secondary to another medical condition. It is a condition that can cause someone to experience chronic pain that easily affects the other aspects of their life. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can offer relief to those suffering from the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy.
Usually, the diagnosis of peripheral neuropathy comes after another diagnosed medical condition because neuropathy is considered a symptom, not a condition by itself. A doctor may use electromyography or conduct a nerve biopsy to help diagnose neuropathy. Additionally, they may order x-rays, a CT, or MRI scan to look for pinched nerves, herniated disks, tumors, or other physical abnormalities that might be causing the peripheral neuropathy and rule them out first.
Patients with peripheral neuropathy may experience different sensations, and can be described as:
Sharp, stabbing pain
Sensitivity to touch
An electrical sensation
The Western medical treatment for peripheral neuropathy consists of:
Prescription medications - including pain relievers, anti-seizure medications, antidepressants, topical anesthetics to numb the local area
Tens units - when small electrodes are attached to the skin, and a gentle electrical current is sent through the electrodes to help stimulate the nerves
Massage - which may help provide temporary relief of your symptoms
Avoiding body positions that prevent circulation for extended periods of time, such as sitting with your legs crossed
The Chinese medicine treatment of peripheral neuropathy involves diagnosing which pattern of disharmony your body is experiencing that is causing the peripheral neuropathy symptoms. These may include:
Damp-heat - usually due to an unregulated diet
Yin Deficiency - can occur due to aging, or sometimes as a side effect of medical treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation
Liver Qi Stagnation - can be due to excessive stress wearing on the body over time
Blood Stasis - a complicating factor that can occur with chronic diseases
Spleen Qi Deficiency with Damp Obstruction - occurs over time with damage to the digestive Qi
Any of these patterns may present alone or in combination with one another. Treatment will be aimed at reducing the pain, tingling, or burning sensations, as well as increasing your core Qi to help your body heal faster.
There are many acupuncture points on the body that can treat the above patterns as well as Chinese herbal formulas that can help treat peripheral neuropathy and reduce the symptoms. Additionally, nutritional recommendations may be made to help decrease the pain. Your practitioner may also recommend including a practice into your daily life such as meditation, tai chi, yoga, or biofeedback to help with the emotional side-effects and stress of chronic pain.
Since peripheral neuropathy can be a deep rooted, complicated condition, it can take a few treatments before the symptoms begin to improve, and may take months before a very noticeable effect takes place.
If you are looking for a Centennial acupuncture clinic, please click the link to visit Nicholas LaFasto's website. Nicholas LaFasto is a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist practicing in Centennial, Colorado, just outside of Denver.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Nicholas_LaFasto
1. Bury my rifle
in a shallow grave
covered with dust in a hideaway
up in the hills it was paradise
down below tears fill my eyes
2. Bodies lined up
on a chopper pad
flown in by birds of prey
forty years doesn't change a thing
I wish I could just walk away
3. I cover my songs
in layers of blood
it's just too hard to see
memories that fade return in the night
they won't let go of me.
4. Don't need your words
it doesn't work that way
you can't understand what you've never seen
if you've never been blown away.
I've never needed you more
the view from the top
isn't quite the same
when you're soaked in blood on the floor
you can't stand up
you just can't open the door
no way to find that door.
5. Crossing the night
my chariots on fire
to the depths of Mauna Kea
into the sea this ball of flame
like the path of Kilauea.
6. Wrapped in a shroud
of my babies dreams
covered with snow and ice
boots marching through the night
while up in the hills it's still paradise.
7. Two hundred and twenty volts
running through my veins
I'm pinned against the wall
take me now to the dead of night
let mercy break my fall.
Dennis G Magnusen
23 August 2008
"Kill Anything That Moves" by Nic Turse
"How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?" ~John Kerry
I was watching Bill Moyers on PBS the other day. He did a great interview with author Nic Turse who wrote "Anything That Moves". It is the story of the atrocities committed in Vietnam but the US military. The author revealed that much has been kept secret about it all. He did many interviews and uncovered documents covered up by the military. My husband has shared with me things that he saw while there and he validated all the John Kerry had said in his speech before Congress oh so many years ago. John Kerry was swift-boated for his speech when he ran for President of the US. Shame on those people. John Kerry is an American Hero.
"How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?" ~John Kerry
I have posted UTubes below, one a review and others on John Kerry. I could not fine a YouTube of of his speech before Congress but it can be found at: http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/181065-1
Check out the book by Nic Turse as well. Vets tell their own personal Hamlet stories.
Why the title? Because soldiers were "ordered" to KILL ANYTHING THAT MOVES. This is a TRUE story meant to bend a deaf ear to hearing the truth and to take that truth to create a better future.
Anything That Moves
Dr Martin a song by Dennis Magnusen
Agent Orange -Tell Others!
Get This Book!
Coping With Peripheral Neuropathy
How to handle stress, disability, anxiety, fatigue, depression, pain, and relationships
By Scott Berman MD, CIDP
Peripheral neuropathies are a large group of chronic illnesses that cause changes in your life far beyond simply damaging nerves. Sufferers often confront pain, weakness, depression, anxiety, fatigue and insomnia. In addition there are long term changes in roles and relationships.
Dr. Berman tackles these psychological and social issues in Coping with Peripheral Neuropathy from the viewpoint both of an experienced psychiatrist and of a fellow-sufferer with neuropathy. He details strategies to deal with changing roles at work and at home. He explores relationships and sexuality. Dr. Berman lays the groundwork for learning to cope and improve your quality of life in the face of these chronic diseases. He draws on experience treating chronically physically ill patients including neuropathy patients, as well as his own experience of having a neuropathy for ten years. Many good references are included to expand your knowledge and provide additional help.
About the Author:
Scott I. Berman MD is a psychiatrist with extensive experience working with chronically physically ill patients. In addition, he personally suffers from a neuropathy (CIDP). He lives in Bethlehem PA with his wife and three children.
Purchase as an Ebook $6.00 or softcover $12.95 @iuniverse.com
Tingling Limbs May Be Small Fiber Neuropathy
by Athikit Supab
Do you ever feel strange, tingling sensations in your arms, hands, legs or feet? Are they accompanied by an occasional numbness, or total loss of sensation? If you are suffering from these symptoms, you might be in real danger. Small fiber neuropathy is one of many diseases which cause the aforementioned symptoms. However, unlike diabetes, another disease famous for its symptoms which include pain or numbness in one's extremities, neuropathy is about real, sometimes permanent nerve damage which can occur for a number of reasons such as poor nutrition or diet, or sometimes for no discernible reason at all. Because the symptoms of neuropathy are similar to the symptoms for numerous other diseases and illnesses, the diagnosis may come too late for some people.
Throughout the human body, the central nervous system carries electrical impulses from the brain to your limbs, commanding them to move, shake, grab or run. When nerve damage occurs, for whatever the reason may be, these commands can be blocked from receipt by your limbs; you may want to get up and move around, but your left leg has gone numb and you cannot. Even though your brain is pretty much screaming for your muscles to respond and move as directed, the command does not arrive and you do not move. Sometimes, with the right nutritional therapy and exercise, damaged nerves can be repaired and return to normal function. Unfortunately, a high number of people who suffer from small fiber neuropathy, often without realizing it, take too long for their illness to be diagnosed and are already facing permanent nerve damage by the time they know what is happening.
Imagine being unable to feel. You try to get up and move, and your leg is asleep, causing you to fall, or at best sit back down from where you just rose. It is as if you were handicapped, or crippled, even though you never suffered a serious injury to your back or other nerve centers; at least, not an injury of which you were aware. Possible illnesses race through your mind and you consider your family history for things like diabetes, heart disease and other potential causes of this numbness. The thing many people fail to consider, which you must after reading this article, is the possibility of small fiber neuropathy being the sole cause of your bodily distress. If detected early enough, any damage sustained may be completely reversed, allowing you to live your life exactly as you did before the illness. It is of paramount importance that you see your doctor or physician as soon as these symptoms arise; if it is nothing, then good for you, but if it is something serious than you will be in a much better position to deal with it than if you had let it slide for some months, or even years.
You can find more information on Small Fiber Neuropathy at http://www.small-fiber-neuropathy.com
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Athikit_Supab
Alpha Lipoic, Methycobalamin and CoQ10
I'm not a doctor
There is a trial shown on the Neuropahy Associations Website that shows trials and research. Here is a test below being done with Lipoic Acid.
"Lipoic Acid to Treat Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating" There is an ongoing study being done by the Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon, United States. For more info on the trial:
Subjects started on a single daily dose of 600 mg of alpha lipoic acid or placebo for the first 4 weeks and then increased to 1200 mg for the remainder of the study.
Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) is a progressive disease leading to paralysis. CIDP is an immune-mediated disorder resulting from a synergistic interaction of T cell-mediated and B cell-mediated immune responses directed against peripheral nerve antigens. These immune mediated responses in turn increase the production of reactive oxygen intermediate and cause oxidative damage of the peripheral nerve system. Although corticosteroids, plasma exchange, and intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) reduce impairment caused by CIDP at least temporarily and can be used as a first-line treatments, they are not ideal for long-term treatment because of serious side effects and cost. Alpha lipoic acid (LA) is an antioxidant that also possesses anti-immune activity. It is effective in treating diabetic neuropathy. It is also promising in treating patients with multiple sclerosis.
Those suffering from peripheral neuropathies often take alpha lipoic acid. Based on our new understanding of peripheral neuropathy, it may be prudent that anyone using alpha lipoic acid also take at least 5 mg a day of sublingually administered methylcobalamin to ensure that alpha lipoic acid will be bioavailable to the peripheral nerves. http://www.prohealth.com/library/showarticle.cfm?libid=481
Claims: Methylcobalamin: A Potential Breakthrough in Neurological Disease http://www.prohealth.com/library/showarticle.cfm?libid=481 From that website:
Some of the disorders that may be preventable or treatable with this natural vitamin therapy, called methylcobalamin, include chronic fatigue syndrome, Parkinson's disease, peripheral neuropathies, Alzheimer's disease, muscular dystrophy and neurological aging. Americans have immediate access to this unique and new form of vitamin B-12, and, unlike prescription drugs, it costs very little and is free of side effects.
Vitamin B-12 is a general label for a group of essential biological compounds knows as cobalamins.
The cobalamins are structurally related to hemoglobin in the blood, and a deficiency of vitamin B-12 can cause anemia. The primary concern of conventional doctors is to maintain adequate cobalamin status to protect against anemia.
The most common form of vitamin B12 is called cyanocobalamin. However, over the last ten years, a number of central and peripheral neurological diseases have been linked to a deficiency of a very specific cobalamin, the methylcobalamin form, that is required to protect against neurological diseases and aging. The liver converts a small amount of cyanocobalamin into methylcobalamin within the body, but larger amounts of methylcobalamin are necessary to correct neurological defects and protect against aging.
Published studies show that high doses of methylcobalamin are needed to regenerate neurons as well as the myelin sheath that protects nerve axons and peripheral nerves.
READ MORE ON THEIR SITE AND RESEARCH ON GOOGLE. College Pharmacy in Colorado will mix injectable high doses with a doctors script. Our experience is that you will need a homeopathic or at the very least an open minded doctor to fill this script.
Co-Q10 (Coenzyme Q 10) is the enzyme required to make cell energy (ATP) from blood sugar/glucose and oxygen. As one of the electron carriers in the electron transport system, it helps cells utilize oxygen very efficiently. Since an adequate supply of oxygen is necessary for tissue repair and immune function, numerous therapeutic effects of coenzyme Q10 have been reported; most notably in areas where oxygen deficiency is a known causal factor. http://www.peripheralneuropathytreatments.com/treatments.htm
Other Vitamin B's
Methycobalamin is a Vitamin B12.. Vitamin B needs the rest of the Vitamin B family as well as a multi vitamin to be effective.
Lipoic Acid, CoQ10 and Methycobalamin
FACTS ABOUT VIETNAM INCLUDE AGENT ORANGE
Facts about Vietnam, 58,148 Americans were killed. Vietnam War summary, 304,000 were wounded from the 2.59 MILLION who served. Vietnam War Memorial? Vietnam War Statistics? 75,000 were severely disabled.
Casualties remembered? Some of them died alone, some live with alone, still, in their denied claim of pain due to Agent Orange, White, Blue, Pink and Purple.
"Facts About Vietnam and Agent Orange - My Soldier Has Been Wounded"
has been wounded
in his soul
and his heart
and he's come
to some conclusions
in the dark.
I check on him
and then again
in the morn
and although I sleep
in his pain
he is alone.
~ And it feels like a long way home
a long way from that war
yet as I look around me now
I've seen this man made war
is a soldier
neglected by a country
he's asked to
take a stand
~ And it feels like a long way home
a long way from that war
yet as I look around me now
I've seen this man made war
Don't tell him
when all is said
a love song
pure and free
in our alone hours
~ And it feels like a long way home
a long way from that war
yet as I look around me now
I've seen this man made war
I see it all
and in a plea
that I cradle
in this song
by a country
not looking back
a new war
has been started
between the cracks.
~ And it feels like a long way home.
03 September 2008
by Kathy Ostman-Magnusen
Music From the Time
NOTE TO SELF
Do your best, that is all you can do. Try not to be too hard on yourself when you fail or fall apart. LIVE IN THE NOW
You Might Need Meds
You will lose friends and possibly family, you will be alone in this but then you probably are already if you are at the point where you have decided you need high potency pain meds. PLEASE consider though that your pain will NEVER leave you, no matter what you take for it. I say this from my heart.
Here then are some of the meds to consider. Some are not narcotics so considering them is a good thing if you are in a lot of pain and they will in fact change your life for the good. One of these being gabapentin.
Because analgesics (e.g., aspirin, ibuprofen) are usually ineffective against pain caused by neuropathy, treatment often involves medications that target nerve cells.
Duloxetine hydrochloride (Cymbalta®) has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Common side effects include constipation, diarrhea, dry mouth, and nausea. In some cases, Cymbalta® causes dizziness and hot flashes.
Although anticonvulsants such as gabapentin (Neurontin®) and topiramate (Topamax®) and antidepressants such as amitriptyline (Elavil®) are not approved by the FDA to treat neuropathy, they are often prescribed to treat this condition. Side effects of these drugs include drowsiness, dizziness, low blood pressure, and fatigue.
Other medications include anticonvulsants (e.g., carbamazepine [Tegretol®], lamotrigine [Lamictal®]), local anesthetics (e.g., lidocaine [Xylocaine®]), and antiarrhythmics (e.g., mexiletine [Mexitil®]). Anticonvulsants may cause low white blood cell counts, nausea, vomiting, and dizziness. Side effects of lidocaine and mexiletine include nervousness, lightheadedness, drowsiness, and double vision.
Topical treatment with capsaicin cream (Zostrix®) may be prescribed for patients with focal neuropathy. Capsaicin causes stinging upon application and is often combined with a local anesthetic to reduce this side effect. Axsain® (.25% capsaicin in Lidocare® vehicle) contains a higher dose of capsaicin in a cream that reduces stinging and burning. Lidoderm® (lidocaine patch 5%) has been shown to be helpful for localized areas of tingling or burning.
Pregabalin (Lyrica®) has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat post-herpetic neuralgia (shingles pain). Common side effects include drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, weight gain, and swelling (edema).
Injection therapy involves injecting a nerve block (e.g., lidocaine) into the area surrounding affected nerves, preventing the nerve from carrying impulses to the brain and temporarily reducing symptoms. Injection therapy is often used with other treatments (e.g., medication, physical therapy).
AFTER THAT... the slippery slope I mentioned which would include morphine and fentenyl in pill and as a LAST resort patches.
Be well in your heart dear friends.
The image is of my painting "Little Girl" an 18x20 oil on canvas by me
The Lie Became the Truth
"Everything faded into mist. The past was erased,
the erasure was forgotten, the lie became the truth."
(From "1984", by George Orwell
The image is of my painting "Turquoise" it is an 18x24 oil on canvas. If you are interested in purchasing the original work contact Bob Hogge at Monkdogz Urban Art, New York: http://www.monkdogz.com Tell him where you saw the image. ~Kathy
“Where can you find the latest info for Vets w/ Peripheral Neuropathy due to Agent Orange?”
RESEARCH AND HOPE
KNOWLEDGE IS OUR POWER
Brothers in Arms
TAKE CHARGE of YOUR OWN HEALTH!
If you've got your health, you've got everything..
I realize that not everyone will take my point of few... yet soldiers fought and died, and many continue to be victims of wars, so that you will have a right to speak.. thus I give you this spot to write your feelings.
I still reserve the right to remove some comments if I feel they are abrasive to me.