Patience is a virtue
I just wanted to let you know that I appreciated Carol Phillip’s article “You don’t look disabled” in the Chapel Hill News Opinion section.
I work with elderly and disabled individuals and am learning firsthand some of the challenges the mentally disabled face. I appreciate Carol bringing to our attention some of the issues she deals with, which should make us think twice about becoming impatient with people ... ever.
Joyce B. Frank
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Thank you for posting Carol Phillips column “You Don’t Look Disabled.” The column made me realize that I am not alone or crazy! There are many who suffer all types of “invisible” diseases.
In about 1978 when the world was turned on to exercise, I found that no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t keep up. I couldn’t breathe. My heart raced after 30 seconds of any type of strenuous activity. Friend after friend and doctor after doctor told me I was basically a wimp. I needed to work up to jogging, running, jazzercise, dancing, but my heart and lungs would not cooperate.
A group of friends and I prepared to go on a 23-mile, five day hike on The Milford Track in New Zealand. I bought new hiking boots and tried my best to get in shape. On the third day as we climbed to the summit I found myself in next-to-last place. Only an 80-something year-old-couple lagged behind me. My lungs burned and my heart pounded in my head when near dark I reached the campsite. The others had gone on another adventure traipsing down to the bottom of the New Zealand’s tallest waterfall, Sutherland Falls. They were just returning from that all giddy and excited. When I saw them I broke into tears. I had to have been two hours or more behind the rest of the group.
After that trip I visited yet another doctor who had little sympathy for my physical state. In 2013, after 35 years of suffering I began to feel weak. By late afternoon, my energy level hit zero. When I lay down to rest, I began coughing. One day the cough turned productive. After a series of doctors just shook their heads I was referred to UNC Department of Pulmonary Medicine and was immediately diagnosed with Bronchiectasis, NTM (Nontuberculosis Mycrobacterium) and a MAC (Mycobacterium avium complex) caused by a case of whooping cough when I was a child. The pulmonary physician prescribed three big-gun antibiotics for the MAC and multiple aerosols and nebulizers to clear my lungs. I remained on the antibiotics for almost two years. Thirty-five percent of my lung tissue has deteriorated over the years – one percent for every year I wasn’t diagnosed.
I am happy to say that now, at age 72, I can finally walk on an elevated treadmill for 20 to 30 minutes without gasping for breath, I can walk uphill, and I could probably ride a bike or swim or maybe even do jazzercise! I can almost double my heart rate. Before I was diagnosed I got into trouble when my heartrate hit 104. Since I fall under the COPD umbrella I just want to add that I have never smoked. I still cough and will until the day I die, but I can BREATHE!
Shelia Bolt Rudesill
Columnist Mark Zimmerman has made false statements In each of his two most recent columns.
In his April 3 column about the potential sale of the American Legion property to a builder of luxury apartments, he wrote:
“Fortunately, the developer has already promised to donate land to an adjoining park and provide walking trails.”
There is no evidence in any public record to support the claim that the developer has promised to donate land, nor are the town’s elected officials aware of any such promise.
In his May 1 column concerning media coverage of Mark Kleinschmidt’s and Donna Bell’s campaign finances, Zimmerman wrote:
“Instead, the reporting covered critics who denounced candidates for accepting money from developers.”
Neither the reporting in the Chapel Hill News nor in the Durham Herald contained any denunciations of candidates for accepting money from developers. Rather, people throughout the community, including real estate developers, have faulted Kleinschmidt and Bell for not adhering to campaign finance reporting law (e.g., by filing late, incomplete reports) and have criticized Roger Perry for delaying delivery of contributions he had solicited in a way that prevented pre-election disclosure.
As the saying goes, each is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts. The editor of this paper does not have the time to personally fact check the statements in the opinion pieces the paper publishes, so he needs to be able to rely on columnists to ensure the factual accuracy of the columns they submit. It appears that Mr. Zimmerman is not reliable in this regard.
Mark Zimmerman responds: It may be the park land was discussed but not yet promised. So, I’m happy to be corrected. But the dedicated trails connecting to the park would have a similar effect. In Town Manager Roger Stancil's words, it would be “ ike extending the town's recreation area without the town spending any money.”
As for the articles, part of the stories were on timing, but quoted comments by CHALT members Julie McClintock and Charlie Humble critically pointed to candidates' support from and work with developers, respectively, regardless how the contributions were reported.
But, if Mr. Schwartz’s concern is signaling that developers should be involved with the political process, that is a welcome development.
Threats to well-being
By virtue of our training in social science research methodology, we cannot ignore the difference between scientific evidence and spurious mislabeled "facts" generated by unfounded fears and misinformation.
The protective laws and ordinances removed by HB2 benefit our communities and pose no risks. Conversely, a wealth of research indicates that laws like HB2 that discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and gender-nonconforming people threaten community members' occupational, academic, psychosocial and emotional functioning, contributing to increased stress and poorer health.
We have witnessed the harm experienced by individuals who are treated unfairly based on their core identities, and HB2 has already exacerbated this.
HB2 mandates using public bathrooms consistent with sex assigned at birth rather than one's core gender identity, and it strikes down protections against workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. These consequences are counter-productive to LGBT individuals' daily engagement in academic, work-related and community social activities. In addition, research has confirmed that public discriminatory discourse around such legislation is harmful itself.
We want to ensure that all North Carolina residents live in a society that recognizes the dignity and value of each person and fosters mental health, physical well-being and full and equitable participation in society.We strongly urge North Carolinians to advocate to repeal HB2.
Erica H. Wise, Ph.D.
Kimberly Z. Pentel,
clinical psychology doctoral student
A runner now
Regarding Lee Storrow’s column “Personal best,” on completing the Tar Heel 10 Miler:
Congrats, Lee. I’ve heard that the difference between a jogger and a runner is an entry blank. You’re now a runner. Cheers.
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