Sunday, April 30, 2006


I got into a car accident on Friday night. I feel really down about it for a couple reasons. Not only was my car totaled, but I had just paid it off in February. Additionally, I REALLY loved that car. I fell in love with it when I first saw it. It was the equivalent of when a pet looks like their owner...only we're talking about a car. We complimented each other.

The good news: The accident wasn't my fault.

So here's the story. The Boyfriend and I were coming back from Trainwreck, a sportsbar that serves bison burgers that we crave like wild animals smelling blood...only we don't smell blood, we just kind of fantacize about them.

We were on Manchester Road in Maplewood. A couple cars ahead of us braked hard, then the next, then the next...and we (I) squeeled my tires. Whoa, that was close...relief washed over me as my hands began tingling with adrenaline. BANG!! The car behind us hadn't seen any of these cars breaking and hit us going at least 35 mph.

I was in complete shock. The Boyfriend's first reaction was to turn to me and ask if I was ok. I nodded. I emerged from the crumpled vehicle and crunched through glass to the man who had hit us.

"Are you ok, sir?"

He nods, still in his vehicle.

He gets out after a couple minutes and asks if we're ok. We all were (mostly, I had a quivering in my spine, but I would deal with that later). Everyone was so nice. Nobody was yelling or blaming, we all clearly were thankful that nobody was seriously injured. Four cars were involved. Everyone but us drove away. My car's little heart had stopped. The key wouldn't even turn on the dash lights.

The police and tow truck driver were bickering over who had to drive us home.

"We really don't live very far. I'd prefer not to walk," I mention, hoping they'd realize we were standing in the rain, shaking in shock and carrying most of my worldly belongings that had been in my car.

Finally a cruiser takes us home.

First call: My parents (reflex)

Second call: My insurance company

Then we went to the Emergency Room. I'd become confused and lethargic. The ER was a circus side-show. Every person in the city who had chills or a cold was there for treatment. After I was unable to name my state of birth, they "fast-tracked" me. I came home with muscle relaxers (which should be kicking in soon, thank you) and an anti-inflammatory. I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I hadn't gone in. That first night would have been quite fitful sleep if I weren't practically in a medically-induced coma (they also gave me Adavan (sedative) the first night...I declined a didn't seem completely necessary).

I'm feeling a little better. I'm only taking the muscle relaxers as needed, mostly at night). The thing I keep coming back to is that I'm so glad the boyfriend was with me (if he'd been injured I may not be saying that). Just having someone there to support me made me feel everything would be ok. It might even be kind of fun to pick out a car together like grownups. That will be the most couple-y thing I've ever done...besides living together.

So, any suggestions on a car?
Let me help by giving some requirements:
  • Fuel-efficient (perhaps a hybrid?)
  • NO high performance sport tires (that basically means that they are expensive with low performance)
  • Under $20,000
  • Safe
  • 5-Speed stick

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Charlie's Angels!

I'm participating in the "Great Strides" for Cystic Fibrosis walk on May 20th, 2006. I'm walking for Charlie, who's a close friend's son. He's adorable, bubbly, full of life...and doing very well medically. But there really isn't the same hype for CF as for other diseases.

So, I'm going to raise at least $150.00 for the walk. I've added a link to the left (under the links heading) titled, "Sponsor Me As I Walk for Cystic Fibrosis". If you click on the link, you can make a donation online. If I recall correctly, and I usually do, they give you a receipt for tax purposes online as well. If you don't want to make it over your computer, you can mail me a check (I'm not posting my address on here, email me if you need it).

(Who could POSSIBLY say no to Lil' Charlie Boo-boo? This is not an actor...this is an amazing real-life kid that I see regularly. Pictured in this post.)

Any donation amount is greatly appreciated!!

Below is some information about Cystic Fibrosis:

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a genetic disease affecting approximately 30,000 children and adults in the United States. A defective gene causes the body to produce anabnormally thick, sticky mucus that clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections. These thick secretions also obstruct the pancreas, preventing digestive enzymes from reaching the intestines to help break down and absorb food. The mucus also can block the bile duct in the liver, eventually causing permanent liver damage in approximately six percent of people with CF.

More than 10 million Americans are unknowing, symptomless carriers of the defective CF gene. An individual must inherit two defective CF genes—one from each parent—to have CF. Each time two carriers conceive, there is a 25 percent chance that their child will have CF; a 50 percent chance that the child will be a carrier of the CF gene; and a 25 percent chance that the child will be a non-carrier.

CF occurs in approximately one of every 3,500 live births. About 1,000 new cases of CF are diagnosed each year. More than 80 percent of patients are diagnosed by age three; however, nearly 10 percent of newly diagnosed cases are age 18 or older.

People with CF have a variety of symptoms including: very salty-tasting skin; persistent coughing, at times with phlegm; wheezing or shortness of breath; an excessive appetite but poor weight gain; and greasy, bulky stools. Symptoms vary from person to person due, in part, to the more than 1,000 mutations of the CF gene.

According to the CF Foundation's National Patient Registry, the median age of survival for a person with CF is in the mid-30s. As more advances have been made in the treatment of CF, the number of adults with CF has steadily grown. Today, nearly 40 percent of the CF population is age 18 and older. Adults, however, may experience additional health challenges including CF-related diabetes and osteoporosis. CF also can cause reproductive problems—more than 95 percent of men with CF are sterile. But, with new technologies, some are becoming fathers. Although many women with CF are able to conceive, limited lung function and other health factors may make it difficult to carry a child to term.

First Day of Class

My first day of Kaplan Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) Prep started last night.

I rushed straight from work only to be told that it would begin at 6 pm and not I had some time. I noticed a 20-something-frat-boy-looking character getting out of a Tahoe and decided I needed to flee the scene (no offense to anyone who happens to be a 20-something-frat-boy-looking character...but my baby brother happens to fit that description. I was now in a class with someone that reminds me of another someone whose diaper I changed. So wrong.).

I went to Walgreen's and walked around, chatted with my mom on my cell phone, bought a book of crosswords (easy addition...I REALLY don't need anything added to my life that may not make me feel smarter), bought candy...and headed back. I should also mention that I bought Rolaids because I had heartburn from anxiety. I never have any gastro-intestinal distress, but I had some chest pain I tell ya.

So before I go into what happened at the class, allow me to outline my concerns going in.

The first and most obvious concern is that the class is from 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm every Tuesday and Thursday, with 10 hours of homework each week. Plus, I work a full-time job where I just received additional duties.

Another concern is that I was never a good student. I got good grades and was usually on the honor roll...but good grades does not equal a good student. I didn't do homework or study. I was sassy, disrespectful and unruly. I was accused of being disorganized and lazy. At the time, females with good grades were not diagnosed with ADD because we often lack the hyperactivity seen in boys. I assure you, in lieu of hyperactivity, was lethargy, glassy-eyed stares, and lots and lots of attitude. My parents and teachers had NO CLUE that I had/have a cognitive disability. I'm just thankful I stumbled my way to college graduation without dropping out.

Most of my current anxiety has been from looking back at my earlier school performance. At the beginning of each semester of every single grade, I swore to myself that I'd apply myself. I would do all my homework, read what I was suposed to, and study. I had these hopeful images of doing all these things and making everyone proud. The first day of class came and went, and I succeeded. The second day...and I'm off doing something more interesting.

Why would this class be different? Had I changed? Could I discipline myself this time?

As a matter of fact, things have changed. I'm focused and passionate about going to law school, I paid a lot of money for the class (and I don't like spending money...unless it's on beads or candy), and I don't party anymore.

Back to the class...

I am the oldest person in there. I am older than the teachers. But I don't think anyone really noticed because, in my opinion, I dress younger than everyone (wait, is that a good or bad thing? Am I the creepy old lady? Hmm, must ponder these questions and perhaps perform an impromptu focus group with the baby bro to seek his opinion).

We took a diagnostic LSAT, to kind of see where we're at. It went fine (I hate tests), but we lost one during the break. She picked up her stuff, walked to the front desk, and asked for her money back because she didn't want to take a test every week. And then there were six.

All in all, it seems like it's going to suck really bad. But I think it's worth it. I'm determined to break these bad school habits, but I need some help...and darn it, those young whipper-snappers at Kaplan are just the kids to help!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Coppers, Sprained Ankles, and Tetanus

I did street outreach in abandoned buildings yesterday. This used to be my thing! I realize that after being pretty much a desk jockey for the last year and a half (the desk jockey thing came from a taunting by another outreach person who noticed my new shortcomings), I've lost my street chops.

I was really excited, but also a little anxious because I knew the amount of work piled on my desk. Can I really use this time for outreach? If I enjoy it this much, is it work?

The second spot we hit was the "Lost City", where I sprained my ankle jumping over a trench of green goo. I played it off that it didn't hurt, but it's a little swollen and pretty sore.

Most of the action happened in the first building, an old brewery that I shall not name (mostly because it's SO FREAKIN' cool that every person that reads this will go running through it...and it's really not all that safe).

We got in by rolling under a fence that held a No Trespassing sign. These have never stopped us before. Especially not now, one of the agencies present has a contract with the city of St. Louis...we were confident we could talk our way out of any trouble that came our way (ie. police).

The inside was dark and creepy, and also beautiful. Old staircases wound overhead with too many steps missing for us to climb. We found a back staircase and headed up. There wasn't as much graffiti as we expected being this was a prime squatters spot.

My first indication that I was out of street shape was that it was harder to navigate broken steps and walkways. I had a hard time getting up a board and actually cut my hand on the nastiest, most corroded, rustiest sharp thing ever (I went in today and got a tetanus shot since it had been 15 years or more). Since I take Aspirin to thin my high cholesterol blood, I bled the rest of the time.

Then we got to the top floor and I went to look out...and who should be staring up at me? An officer in a patrol car...parked across from the marked outreach van. I'm sure they suspected we were in there after seeing the van. I jumped back and reported my find.

New mission: find a back way out so we don't get arrested (note: initially, we were all cocky about talking our way out. After seeing an actual threat we all agreed getting arrested was a real thing). We backtracked, wound through the mazing beast of urban decay. I began trying to pry open a back exit. P suggested it wasn't the best way to get out...if we were caught, we weren't just in trouble for trespassing, then we'd have damaged property. Good call.

Finally, we came back around to the original entrance. I tried to peek out. I couldn't get around far enough. P went to the next floor down and craned his neck upwards. Too short. He built a little platform out of bricks that were strewn about (a little too neat and OCDish for the situation we were in). Not tall enough. I told him to go higher. Still too short.

And then he said what I knew all along..."This is just like the RV. I say we walk out". For anyone that read my blog entry on getting stuck on top of the RV...this same character was with me both then and in the building. This time we'd dragged an MSW/JD student from WashU into our mess.

When we were stuck on the RV, he eventually went down the front and we were embarassed to realize that it was really easy. So now, in this building which was symbolic of the RV situation...he walked out the door and into the sunlight. The student and I followed him.

The police were gone.

(I did not take the above photos. I got them online, but I chose them because they really closely resemble where we were.)

Trauma Comes in Many Forms

Here is a new and interesting feature on my blog...a Guest Writer. Some may know him as a snarky commenter that tormented my pal ElanFlux...others know him as Chris. Either way, he and I jointly experienced something the other night that was so disturbing that I let him take the lead on describing it. But fear not, I shall have the last word to correct/add anything that was incorrect/missed.

And now...I give you Chris...

Trauma comes in many forms. Sometimes it takes the form of a natural disaster, Pompeii, Mt. St. Helens. Sometimes, it comes in unnatural forms; car wrecks, slips on ice, or emotional trauma caused by nasty break-ups or gossip.

Wednesday night, I was subjected to a trauma that can only be rivaled by a lone Sherpa stuck on Mt. Everest, left to freeze to death. It is a trauma that is only spoken about in whispers. I believe the “street term” is “ Plumbers Crack”. I am not aware of a legal definition or even a medical term, though there should be one. I was in a meeting, a support group if you will (I’m letting the irony go) when out of the blue, I was forced to stare at this approximate 3-4 inch crack of someone’s ass that looked like a crack in the sidewalk. My upbringing kicked in and said to me, “Ignore it.” However, this became an exercise in futility, as the expansion quickly took on a life of its own. The San Andreas Fault could not have been more of a distraction. I can’t recall who noticed it first, myself or my friend Carolyn. What I do know is that both of us were held hostage for the next hour by this crack of power. I felt like Patty Hearst and the crack came to symbolically represent the Symbionese Liberation Army.

I leaned over to Carolyn and said the word “Infinity” seemed to sum up what was happening here.

As the ass owner shifted in his chair, I swear the crack seemed to be trying to communicate with us, almost directing us, telling us secrets, begging us to explore the labyrinth of confusion, of ecstasy.

A sudden thought occurred to me, I needed to…..had to put my pinky in there and see what happened. I told Carolyn of my covert mission where I was about to send my pinky. Carolyn was shaking like she was having a seizure. Tears were in her eyes (people thought she was moved by the speaker).

My pinky made a symbolic move towards the secret cave and I pretended to smell it. I offered a whiff to Carolyn who at this point almost had to be removed from the room.

Now my insanity that was being directed by the almighty gap, the life taker that was now more famous than the crack in the Liberty Bell. I couldn’t take it any longer. My pinky must be thrust into something….anything. I asked Carolyn’s permission to lift her pant leg and thrust my finger into her sock…..ahhhhh, sweet relief.

I’m not sure what lessons can be taken from this. I left the meeting and had an overwhelming craving for a hotdog in an oversize bun. Go figure.

Well said, Chris. I think his tale adaquately conveyed the situation. However, I was not the lone person with tears in their eyes. We were BOTH heaving and shaking as quietly as possible after the damnable "infinity" comment. We were also adjusting, contorting ourselves so that part of the chair covered the trainwreck of crack before us. Chris put his book up strategically so that even if he did look, he couldn't see it.

And the most important thing that was left out is how hairy this crack was. It was hairy.

Note to My Mother: I'm hoping that this tale will shed some light on my hysterics during band concerts. I usually expected to be grounded after concerts for my bad behavior. But was it all my fault? As I waited patiently, trombone in hand, all someone had to do was say something funny and I'd be laughing...then talking. Ok, so it doesn't explain the excessive talking at inappropriate times...but I think it lets me off the hook a little...kind of shows a vulnerability. :)

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Buswrap Social Marketing Campaign

For the past 2 years I've been working on a really exciting and innovative social marketing campaign. It has also crushed my will to live. I'm not getting into the politics of it, but the process was not nearly as smooth as I would have liked. I guess when you spend as much as you would on a car, it involves more than a phone call...but years of gut-wrenching negotiations and counter-negotiations. Anyway, here are some pictures of part of what I do (not really what I DO, but what I'm privileged to do when we have extra money that we need to spend.

The idea behind this campaign was to promote pride, safer sex behaviors, and wrap it in a glossy, urban-chic design.

The male side (first photo) originally featured 3 African American men in basketball gear and uses a "Real Men"-type slogan pertaining to using condoms and making a difference in their community. We had some "issues" with the bus company not wanting all men of color, saying it would point a finger at a particular segment of the population. I countered their request with a pointed question about them not allowing empowering visions of black men, but they had run a sign with a white supremacist organization on another bus. According to them, as soon as they realized what they stood for, the information was removed. your research. I refused to add a white person (as I was asked) because it dilutes the message, making men of color feel like the message isn't targeted specifically to them. I preferred no men instead of a compromise I didn't feel good about.

The female side (second photo) features one woman from our agency (the one in the middle), and one from the city health department (far left). The message is a little different, with the focus being on preserving and promoting one's future through responsible sexual health. I love this side. It's girly and elegant, but also stands out on the streets.

The back (last photo, my favorite part) is a merging of the two styles. A man and a woman's hand comes together to hold a condom.

We got a really good deal for the amount of time we bought. It's running on the Kingshighway and Natural Bridge route in North St. Louis City for 16 weeks.

I've had friends call me to say they saw the bus, and our testing appointments have SIGNIFICANTLY increased. I'm really happy with it, and it's getting our name out there where it really needs to be.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Sex Tourism Thriving in Bible Belt

I don’t usually post whole articles, but this is something that I continue to find troubling and I was shocked at some of the information (especially that St. Louis is one of fourteen child sex trade centers in the US). More and more, the media’s uncovering this type of information. I’m sure it’s always been this way, but it’s brought to light more. I’m not naïve, I realize this has been going on since the beginning of time, but I just can’t understand how adults think it’s ok to have sex with children. With the internet available to so many youth, it’s only furthered sexual predator’s access to children and teens that are alienated or rebelling. Anyway, here’s the article…

Sex Tourism Thriving in Bible Belt
By Verna Gates and Mickey Goodman
Tue Apr 4, 9:10 AM ET

In a sleazy hotel room, "Brittany," then aged 16 and drugged into oblivion, waited for the men to arrive. Her pimps sent as many as 17 clients an evening through the door.

A "john" could even pre-book the pretty young blonde for $1,000 a night, sometimes flying in and then flying out from a nearby airport.

None of this happened in Bangkok or Costa Rica, places that have become synonymous with sex tourism and underage sex.

It took place in Atlanta, the buckle of the U.S. Bible Belt, where the world's busiest passenger airport provides a cheaper, more convenient and safer underage sex destination for men seeking girls as young as 10.

"Men fly in, are met by pimps, have sex with a 14-year-old for lunch, and get home in time for dinner with the family," said Sanford Jones, the chief juvenile judge of Fulton County, Georgia.

A new federal law passed in 2003 ensures that American sex tourists landing on foreign soil and hiring prostitutes under the age of 18 can get 30 years in prison.

But in Georgia, punishment for pimping or soliciting sex with a girl under 18 is only five to 20 years, according to Deborah Espy, the Deputy District Attorney of Fulton County.

"Men are coming to Atlanta to have sex with a child," said LaKendra Baker, project manager for the Center to End Adolescent Sexual Exploitation (CEASE).

Half of the street-level prostitutes in Atlanta are believed to be under 18, according to experts.

Others are booked through Internet sex sites and from social sites like Black Planet, where girls innocently post profiles, said Baker.

Just in March, police arrested a Canadian man meeting a 14-year-old girl he found through the Internet, said Cathey Steinberg, executive director of the Juvenile Justice Fund, which funds treatment for abused girls and prevention.

Another man drove from North Georgia, with a bag containing a teddy bear, a love note and condoms, snorting methamphetamine on the way.

He expected a 13-year-old girl, but instead found Heather Lackey, a corporal with the Peachtree City Police Department.

"People are stunned that Atlanta's the No. 1 sex center in the country," said Steinberg.

The FBI has identified 14 U.S. cities as centers for the sexual exploitation of children. In addition to Atlanta, they are Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, San Diego, San Francisco, St. Louis, Tampa, and Washington, D.C.


In all, an estimated 200,000 to 300,000 underage girls are prostituted in the United States, according to a University of Pennsylvania study.

Most youths caught up in the sex trade are runaways, like Brittany, whose 19-year-old "rescuers" soon demanded a return on their investment.

"I didn't have any place to go. My mom hated me for what I was doing to the family," said Brittany, who did not want to be identified by her real name.

Up to 90 percent of runaways are believed to end up as prostitutes, with a third lured into prostitution within 48 hours. Some are sold into sexual slavery by their parents, according to a 2005 study by the Atlanta Women's Agenda.

Some get seduced by recruiters. Pimps use handsome young men and sometimes girls as fronts.

"A 16-year-old controlling a group of girls will not face the same penalties an adult would receive," said Patricia Crone, director of the Office of Juvenile Justice Demonstration Project.

Once snagged, the grooming process begins. Typically, the pimp's friends sleep with her, then come threats, beatings and gang rapes. Caresses and gifts, including drugs and alcohol, follow abuse, the Atlanta Women's Agenda study found.

Brittany said she was showered with fancy dinners, clothes and methamphetamine. But she also describes horror. "It made me feel dirty.
It was demeaning," said Brittany.

The sex slaves are trafficked in and out of cities to supply sporting events, conventions or rap concerts.

During the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, one man kept boys and hosted sex parties nightly, said Baker of the group CEASE.

The pimps even held an annual "Player's Ball" in Atlanta in 2003, openly buying and selling women and naming a "Player of the Year," according to the Atlanta Women's Agenda study.

The risks are worth it. While there are few reliable statistics, child sexual exploitation is believed to be the world's third-biggest money maker for organized crime, said Stephanie Davis, policy adviser to Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin.

One reason for the demand is the false assumption that youths are disease-free.

On the contrary, with tissues not fully developed, they are more prone to lacerations. HIV infections among females aged 16 to 21 are 50 percent higher than for men, a 1998 study in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes reported.

Atlanta has won two new federal grants to establish units to fight the trafficking of underage sex slaves and to hire more undercover detectives, said Carole Morgan, director of the North Central Georgia Law Enforcement Academy.

But the experts fear that may not be enough.

"It won't stop until people say, 'My city isn't safe for kids anymore,"' said Crone. "This is a place where you can buy, sell or rent kids. It must be stopped."

Monday, April 10, 2006

My Crack - All Things Jewelry

I've already discussed the woes of my wire and bead jewelry-making addiction. I haven't spent much time making things, but I spend a lot of time obsessing about what I will make...researching methods, display ideas, etc.

I looked for a book at Borders last week. They were all in the $25-30 range (the writers probably have a clear understanding of what addiction makes normally rational people into animals that will spend that much on a crap book about craft techniques). I felt sad. I'm not quite in that advanced stage of compulsion that I can justify spending that much.

That was on Wednesday. Friday, I got a $25.00 gift certificate for in the mail.

Hmmm, what could I possibly buy on

I looked this morning and found two GLORIOUS books about exactly what I'm looking for. One is a basic-intermediate wire and bead technique book with ideas about how to modify designs. The other is a little more advanced, and includes sections on how to make retro jewelry with found items, such as bottlecaps (that is SO what I want to learn).

So, the best part of this story is this: I got both books, free shipping, and used my gift certificate.

Total cost to me=$.96

Total value of how happy and excited I feel=Priceless

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

I'm the Biggest Hypocrite EVER

I really hate Walmart, and I'm quite vocal about it. I tell my parents, friends, and co-workers about the evil Walmart is spreading across our country. Are low prices really worth selling our souls?

Apparently they are for me if I REALLY REALLY need something bad. I've been obsessing about jewelry-making lately (no thanks to Elanflux...thanks for making my compulsion seem totally're messed up too!).

So Elanflux and I were tweeking out at my coffee table, frantically, sliding our little beads of heaven (envision drooling, heavy breathing, and lots of "oh, girl, that's so cute!" "No, yours is so cute!"). And then I did what I should not have done...I used some earring components that were divine. They were exactly what I needed.

And I needed more. This would be the new phase for me (my styles change monthly pretty much).

She'd gotten them at Walmart. The devil.

The next day I looked at Hobby Lobby, Ben Franklin, and Ladybug beads. Nothing. Walmart is right across the street from Hobby Lobby. I bought the supplies I needed from "the Lobby" (as only a really dorky and crafty lunatic would say) and went across the street to the great center of commercial monopoly. Could I pull this off without admitting I'd been there to my parents or the boyfriend? Would the boyfriend think less of me?

I had to take the chance. I was goin' in.

I became totally and instantly overwhelmed by the vast inventory that was crammed into this warehouse-type space. I stalked proudly to the craft area and entered underneath the requisite flowered archway that let's you know you're amongst your kind.

They had what I needed, I grabbed three packages (along with a couple bags of glass beads that SCREAMED at me to buy them) and began towards the front of the store.

And then I realized what I was wearing. My face reddened, I felt ashamed. How could I wear my "I'd Rather Be Fighting the Man" t-shirt in here. I might as well announce my feelings towards Walmart, and then announce over their loud speaker, "I'm Carolyn, and I'm a beading addict".

I purchased my jewelry-making supplies of sin and self-loathing and I headed home to make some kick-ass accessories!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

They Don't Make It Easy...

I finally built up the nerve to ask for accomodations for a cognitive disability for the LSAT in June. It took some time and swallowing my pride before I realized that it just made sense.

I'm not doing it to get preferential treatment. The only section I need more time on is the Logic Games. I can't stay focused on the rules long enough to know the logic involved to answer the questions.

I saw my headshrinker yesterday and he agreed. I asked him if he thought it would be unfair for me to have this extra time. He assured me that I'm entitled to these accomodations by law and I should take them. He also feels I should be in a room by myself to avoid distractions.

So, we've established that there are laws to even the playing field, I had the forms that we both needed to fill out...and here's the snag.

In order to get these conditions, I have to take a long battery of tests performed by a state-certified investigator, which costs over $500.00. I don't have enough time to get this done. I don't want to spend the money either. All my doctor can provide is that I've been treated by him for almost 5 years, how he reached a diagnosis, my prognosis and treatment.

In summery: I honestly could do much better on the test with a little help, but I'm willing to go without (that's really my only option at this point). As my headshrinker said, "These conditions are important so you can show them what you can REALLY do".

I guess I feel a little sad that it didn't work out.