Saturday, February 24, 2018

If the body is a car, I am a jalopy!

What a whirlwind few days it has been. No, this doesn't serve as an excuse for why I am not doing this every day like I am supposed to be doing.  But, whew ... it's all gotten away from me.

So Wednesday, I was back at work and posted about being sick, yadda yadda.  After that, we were surprised by the news that the news media was coming in to take some video footage of us while we worked.  The reporter was told they were not allowed to talk to us.  Cool.  Let's get some awesome dispatchers on the news, eh?

It all went to shit.

The headline that was posted that night was my lovely face (not) sitting at my desk doing dispatchery things, and the headline above was all about how the emergency response to the big fires in October was an "epic failure".

*record scratch* I'm sorry, what?

So I watch the clip, see lots of dispatcher footage and the reporter talking about how Sonoma County didn't activate an emergency notification system that would have alerted people sooner, etc. Hmm, we don't have access to this system that he speaks of.  We used every notification system that we possibly could and got our asses handed to us for weeks on end.

Since it was my face on that horrible headline, I was enraged.  Then, to see the hard work and heartbreaking experiences of my co-workers shamed in such a fashion with some careful editing of a 'fire victim' interview where she calls it an 'epic failure' and even says "Shame on you if that is the best you can do". You better believe I was fired up as shit.

So, I did what I do best when I am angry.  I write.  And, I wrote and wrote.  Several drafts.  I let my co workers look at it, including my friend who was on the air when the fire broke out and worked tirelessly through hell on that channel. Everyone provided input and I handed it to the manager to see if we could post it on the Sheriff's Office Facebook page.  He decided they would go a different direction but I was free to do what I pleased with the paper.

I emailed it directly to the reporter, I sent it to Frank Somerville with a different news station, and I posted it publicly on Facebook.  It has since been shared 2100ish times, has 2500ish likes and 1500ish comments and it is still growing.

My first reply from the reporter was polished and basically accused me of misinterpreting his story, except all the comments from the public show that they also felt it was a slam piece on dispatch and everyone else who was involved that night.  Long story short, he was finally pressured to removed the photo of me and change the headline, because my Sheriff got involved. The new headline isn't as catchy, and everyone has seen that picture he used so it isn't as flashy.  It's no longer 'click bait'.

This is a minor victory against the media who uses careful editing to turn stories around and 'embellish facts'.  Irresponsible journalism needs to be addressed and changed in this internet age where information is available at the click of a button. 

So that was Thursday and into Friday morning.  Friday evening, I tackled my first CrossFit Open workout as the Open began.  18.1, as many rounds as possible of 8 knee-ups, 10 dumbbell hang clean and jerks with a 20lb dumbbell, and a 12 calorie row ... for 20 minutes. I've never 'competed' in CrossFit before so I was petrified.  Combine that with my sporadic attendance to my workouts and I wasn't feeling ready.  But I am SUPER pleased with my performance. 

And today ... ah yes, chemo day. The beast known as Wegener's Granulomatosis got it's major zapping by my miracle drug.

I feel like this, combined with a clean eating diet of foods used as 'fuel' and not comfort, and a regular CrossFit regime will help my disease perhaps get into a remission style that doesn't require chemo every six months.  That is my hope. 

I will use this blog and Instagram to show others with my disease that there are normal lives available to them. Yes, not everyone may be able to achieve the kind of life that I am having.  I understand this, but I want to give them hope that even their circumstances can improve.  I want to show people who might be overweight like me, that CrossFit really is for everyone, and it is incredibly empowering, it is not as intimidating as it looks.  In fact, it's probably this most positive and supportive environment I have ever been in.  Seriously!!!! Dispatchers should especially be a part of a CrossFit box.  We do a disrespected, thankless job ... and when I walk into the box ... I don't feel disrespected and I feel like I am being carried on the shoulders of everyone in there as a champion and I hope I give them the same feeling.

I feel so empowered and inspired right now.  My post has received so much support.  And, I truly feel that I would like to keep this ball rolling to bring more awareness to what it is a dispatcher really does.  Not like that new show on Fox about 911.  I want to show them what a dispatcher REALLY does.  Will I be able to make that happen? 

Right now, I feel like absolutely anything is possible.

However, this jalopy of a body is feeling terribly shitty from the meds so I am going to wrap this up and take a nap.

Have a fantastically beautiful day everyone.  Find something good in your day today.

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