Monday, August 31, 2009


If you read my profile you may have noticed I've listed "Total recall memory" as one of my attributes. Just to avoid confusion, let me explain. A total recall memory is not the same as a photographic memory. A photographic memory is something you can acquire through patience and training. It is an oddity in my opinion. The ability to look at a page in a book, store it in memory and look at it like an old snapshot is weird. You probably do not know any famous people who had that ability. Einstein, Galileo, Newton, Goddard and Hawking; brilliant minds in deed. But none of them had a photographic memory. The only famous person I know that had a photographic memory was Jim Morrison. In his book "Nobody Here Gets out Alive" he describes the phenomenon that he possessed. But he never uses that term.
The most recognizable example I can offer is Cliff Claven, the annoying mail man on the TV show "Cheers". I have that kind of memory. I have an encyclopedic memory full of little-known or cared-about facts. It comes in very handy when taking a test or conducting an argument or trying to teach a lesson without the book handy. But other wise it annoys people. Combine that with my inability to keep my big fat mouth shut, my bad attitude and the chip I used to have on my shoulder. And you may begin to understand why I grew up as a fighter.
I try to learn something new everyday. But because my mind is like a sponge, soaking up everything I see. I put my mind on cruise-control and try not to learn anything from Television. Except when watching The History channel, The discovery channel, Animal Planet and The Simpsons.
There were plenty of government warnings in my life. Some I heeded. Others I scoffed at. The Surgeon general's warnings on cigarettes made complete sense. Smoke enough and it will kill me. Simple and to the point. Other warnings were not so clear. If you smoke dope you will go insane. LSD causes chromosome damage. Drugs are bad. All very well meaning. But none of them were true. Marijuana does not cause insanity. LSD does not cause chromosome damage. And drugs are good. Drugs are so good you may get addicted to them. They may become the central point of your entire existence. They are so good that nothing else in your life will matter. That warning may not be a deterrent to some. But it is at worst, accurate and truthful.
Every human has a whole in their heart. It is shaped exactly like God. We try to fill that hole with everything from lust to drugs. But nothing really fits. And some of the things we try will kill us.
So now let me segue into the rest of my story. RTFL2: Read The Friendly Label, 2 times. I have read thousands and thousands of labels. I weighted all of them on the face of their merits. And they all became a part of my memory. But the one label I never saw, and one that would have saved me from where I am today. Never existed! It would have read "Caution! This product contains Benzine. Benzine has been proven to cause real chromosome damage that will manifest itself as rare and deadly forms of Leukemia, a blood cancer, and could kill you forty years after exposure." Would you have heeded that warning? I might have if I had seen it. But it never existed. And benzine was a chemical additive in every can of paint, primer and thinner used in the Navy. It shortens the drying time. And can shorten your life too. But what is more important? The ship has no rust (metal's cancer). Or the expendable sailors who may die some other more glorious way, anyhow?
It turns out that the PML I had is directly linked to benzine exposure. Had I contracted the disease 10 years earlier I would have died and been in Arlington. There was no treatment and causation was unclear back then. Today the molecular mechanics of the disease are well known and documented. I learned this from my studies when I was first diagnosed. My friends and family pointed this out to me also. Everyone suggested contacting the VA for assistance. "It only fair" they all supported. But I saw this as being a little un-American. To blame my country for my condition. I love this country. I have been in fist-fights on every Continent of this planet, with the sole exception of Antarctica. And there is no place like America. I was conflicted on the inside. Do I wage war on my homeland. Or do I grin and bear it. In the end I want to say that I served my country out of Love and devotion to duty. Money was never a concern. No one gets rich in the military. And money never was an object of desire for me. My country owes me nothing. Our debts are even. But my family has needs and I have to do what is necessary to take care of them.They made as many sacrifices in my career as I did. Sometimes even more.
Next time: The Empire Strikes Back.


Heart2Heart said...

So does this mean you are going to at least research your claims or inquire about them. It's not like you are placing some blame but you can be eligible for some benefits based on your service years. It would be worth checking in to and you'll never know what you'll find.

Here is walking that journey with you in spirit and in prayer.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

My ADHD Me said...

I agree with Heart2Heart. Although I never served in the military (I tried but waited too long and was too old......since then they have changed the age limit and I would have been able to)...ANYWAY, Our country needs to help those who have helped Her. At the very least, needs to be aware.

Also, I thought you meant photographic memory too. Nevertheless, total recall memory can definitely be a good thing. I would be happy if I could remember what were we talking about???

My ADHD Me said...

Still catching up on a few of your more recent posts. I left comments at the last 3.

You probably know that already. I'm the type who forgets to go back and check. I get emails that let me know when I get new comments but never get around to checking my emails, then I dread opening my account. Last time I checked their were over 1300 unread emails....sigh (lol)

Edie said...

I'm glad I stopped by, I was thinking today that I needed to send ADHD-Jo an email... but alas...

I'm with Kat and ADHD-Jo. You are entitled to benefits for serving your country. Out of all the people in this nation trying to claim entitlement, our vets are the only ones who have a legitimate claim. We received the benefit of freedom because of people like you. The benefits offered you are a meager token of appreciation. Besides, if this *health care* reform passes, your opportunity is likely to be axed very quickly.

Thanks for your kind words on my blog today. I much prefer blunt truth to false flattery any day. And I wasn't looking for flattery. I knew the *girls* in the blogosphere would be able to relate. LOL.