Monthly Archives: October 2010

>Hepatitis C Virus Damages Brain Cells

>Hi All,
I just wanted to share this article and the link to the blog on which it was originally posted. I haven’t done a thorough reading yet but from what I’ve seen it appears to be well written, organized and full of information and resources.

 © 2010 Jennifer Hazard
Originally posted on  


>Still Searching

>I realized it’s been a while since I’ve posted here; there’s been a lot going on lately. I am still searching for resources in my area, and still coming up short.
I sent a letter to the head of the Communicable Diseases Division of the City Health Department over two weeks ago.
I have  not received any response. Nice, huh?
I found the contact information for the State Department of Health Services which does have a contact person for Hep B and C,  today’s task is to send her an email.
As far as any other of my ambitious plans (because some days even getting out of bed is ambitious) I haven’t gotten there, yet.
Lately I’ve been focused on finding a smaller more affordable apartment, because I can’t possibly sustain myself and my son here now that my income is drastically reduced. The good news is I found the perfect place, only 3 blocks from here, and much more affordable. It will be so nice to have even a little money after the rent and bills are paid. The thought of packing and moving is daunting, but it’s one day at a time and supposedly the agency that helped me pay my security deposit can help pay movers. The frustrating thing is, it’s a week away and I still don’t have confirmation of that fact. This is a true test in faith and stress management,, because I HATE not knowing what’s going on. It is also, in my opinion, proof that there is a huge service gap in this community. The funds are there, from the recovery and reinvestment act, but for some reason they’re not being distributed as they should. Most people don’t even know that the re-housing program exists, much less how to access it. It’s only because of my experience as a Social Worker/Advocate that I knew where to even begin looking. When I finally found the one agency that manages that program I was initially told that no such thing existed! It wasn’t until I sent an email to the Director of Homelessness Prevention Programming, that I finally got a response. I’m sorry but one should not need a Master’s Degree in Community Advocacy to figure out how to access services. And that is part of my mission, not only to urge lawmakers to make more funds available, but to ensure that they are accessible, and distributed fairly.
Today is one of those sick feeling days, and I think I’m getting a cold in addition to the usual generalized malaise (Ha ha I love that term) . I feel like I have very little fight in me, but one phone call to The Department of Health and one blog post which will hopefully reach someone who is experiencing similar frustrations with service delivery, or even someone who has adequate resources but knows the struggle of fighting this disease, and motivate people to unite in demanding services tailored for our needs.
Wishing everyone well!

© 2010 Jennifer Hazard

"Murphy’s Lie", falling shoes and other barriers to Happiness

We all know “Murphy” of “Murphy’s Law”. The law that states whatever can go wrong , will. It guards against undue optimism and enjoyment, reminds us not to be too happy or something bad might happen. And if we do happen to enjoy some success Murphy is standing behind us whispering in our ear.  Murphy is the Eyore, The Debbie Downer, the archetypal Sad Sack. He tells us to fear not only failure, but success as well, because after all, according to him it will all eventually turn out badly; inevitably the other shoe will fall.
Many people are familiar with this mind set, this legacy of overworked caution, but no one has perfected it more adeptly that children of Alcoholics, and with good reason.
Growing up with an alcoholic parent involves learning to negotiate ones way through a maze of mixed messages, to maintain balance on the fault line of shifting boundaries and to be able to become invisible when its safer than being seen, or heard.
One can only be invisible for so long before she begins to fade, the more parts of You that you hide, the less accessible they become. The more we fade, the less we believe that we need, or deserve. So naturally two things happen; our cloak of invisibility becomes a barrier that filters out not only the negative but everything else as well. We create an energetic block that prevents us from receiving Love, Prosperity and anything else pleasant that might come our way. If some amount of Love or good fortune sneaks it’s way past out armor, we quickly recoil. “How did that get in here?!’ as if a snake had slithered it’s way under our bed. We are uncomfortable with it’s presence, it frightens us because we don’t quite know what to do with it. What we do know is how to sabotage it, one way or another, to make it go away so we can remain safe in our familiar belief system known as Murphy’s Law. Like so many other lies society teaches us, we have incorporated it into our core set of beliefs so deeply that we don’t even think to question it.

Once we begin to recognize Murphy’s Law for what it is, the rusty old remains of an obsolete coping mechanism, we see that it is really Murphy’s Lie.  Like any other step on the road to personal growth, health and recovery recognition and acknowledgement is the first step.  many will tell you the first step is the hardest, I don’t know that’s necessarily true, but I think it is the most disruptive. It rattles our cage, it challenges our inner Eyore, it throws us a little off balance. But once the cage stops rattling, and Eyore calms down and we get our “sea legs” we can begin the next stage of acceptance, we can stop judging ourselves and get down to the philosophy of “it is what it is, and it ain’t what it ain’t” and we are on the path that will eventually lead us to be able to accept being Happy when we are Happy to be in that Moment  not give a thought to Mopey Murphy and his proverbial falling shoe.

© 2010 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard

SURVIVOR: Be A Hero For Sara

Hello all,
I hope you are enjoying fall, the brilliant colors of the changing leaves and the cooler evenings that make for good sleeping weather.
I wanted to share this link for a few reasons. First I think it is a worthy cause to write a letter or sign a petition on behalf of Sara, I think you will feel the same if you read her story.
 This is a public issue, Sara has willingly given her story to the public in hopes of gaining support, and it is a brutal example of the kind of cruelty that truly creates awareness and empathy. number and statistics slip in and out of our mind. Statistics don’t have faces, feelings, stories and voices. We need this kind of reality check, it prompts us to ask ourselves, where could intervention have occurred,? Was support was available to this young woman? And, since this happened over 20 years ago, we can take stock of some of the changes that have been implemented, that may have prevented this tragedy.

 © 2010 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard

SURVIVOR: Be A Hero For Sara: “Today, YOU have the opportunity to be a hero in the life of Sara Kruzan…a survivor of human trafficking. The daughter of a drug addict, at

DV awareness, are we really aware?

As part of my small but determined contribution to Domestic Violence Awareness month I’d like to say a few things. First having an “awareness month” for anything evokes mixed feelings for me. No one can argue against dedicating time to increase awareness of a social issue and it provides opportunities for survivors to be heard. But what, I wonder, does it really accomplish? Do people carry that awareness with them for the rest of the year? Does the help increase additional funding and programs?  Does the publicity really illuminate the experience and challenges of what families of D.V. face?  Are people told that every day women are turned away from shelter because there are no beds? Do people know that women, and even children turn to prostitution as a way to escape their abuser? Or how many women turn to alcohol and/or drugs to escape the reality of their miserable lives, to quell the fear that quakes in their stomach most of the day? And how about the long terms effects of living in a heightened state of fight or flight; how that changes your brain functions and disrupts serotonin and cortisol? There is a phenomenon known as complex PTSD, which is the result of long term regular exposure to trauma. How about the kids who grow up under these conditions? These kids brains are forming and developing under these conditions what does this say for their prognosis as adults? And given that fact how many of these children go on to become abused or abusers themselves?

There is a lot of emphasis put on getting women out of abusive relationships, or preventing them from getting into them in the first place (most of which are ineffective), but there is little long term support for women and children to assist them with the ongoing issues that linger even after leaving the relationship. And what about then abusers? They are basically lumped into one category…abusers, and yet there are different types of abuse. The Coercive control type is probably the most dangerous and the most difficult to treat. Men who use coercive control are the horror stories we hear about not letting their partner work, attend school, go out with friends and tend to more physically violent and very clever in their skills of manipulation. Abusers are dealt with via the criminal justice system, they generally don’t do much time and  they are usually mandated to attend some kind of “anger management” program. It takes more than a few weeks of anger management for someone to change a lifetimes worth of conditioning and damage that makes someone capable of hurting the people they love. violent behavior is often a mental health issue and needs to be treated as such.  Just as we have to listen to victims to understand their needs, we have to listen to perpetrators to understand why they do what they do, to begin to understand ways to effectively intervene. I sincerely believe that, with some possible exceptions, most abusers don’t want to be abusers, just like most addicts don’t want to be addicts, but there are some behaviors that are formed early on in life that effect us in ways we can’t control…until we learn differently. There are ways to do this, but they are not quick fixes, they don’t come in a pill and they are not applied, or even taught to most service providers. There are a lot of things that are changing in the world. 20 years ago a woman would have to press charges against her abuser or he was off the hook, there were fewer resources for help for families experiencing violence, and women were less likely to come forward and ask for help.
We have moved forward in so many areas of response to DV and that is a wonderful thing, but we need to continue to move forward, to always be open to examining new interventions and solutions to problems, and to not be afraid to try something new. This is the kind of awareness I choose to focus on, to dig deep to look at the BIG picture and to tell it like it is, both what’s working and what’s not. And please remember abuse happens every minute of every day, don’t forget about it once October is past.

© 2010 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard

>I’m on a Mission

>Today’s tasks in Jenny’s world of Hep C, were to reconnect with the discussion forum at Hep C Nomads. If I haven’t mentioned them before they are a welcoming supportive, knowledgeable online community with members from all over the world. I highly recommend checking it out if you have questions, need support or just want to compare experiences. They also have a forum for caregivers, an often overlooked yet relevant determinant in the experience of Hep C sufferers and those on treatment or experiencing the wait and process of liver transplant.. I hadn’t posted in over a week and it felt good to catch up. It also reminded me how vital emotional support and understanding is to my state of mind and coping with the Depression that accompanies this process.
I am extremely grateful to have found this group and will include the link at the bottom of this post.
Task number 2 was to investigate, online, the city of Milwaukee Health Department and determine what, if anything, they are doing to educate, prevent and advocate for Hep C. Not surprisingly I didn’t find much. It was clustered in the classification of std’s and other communicable diseases. Many of the statistics and “facts” were incorrect or outdated. so I decided to send an email explaining, politely, what some of the needs of the Hep C community are and which are not being met. I specifically suggested that public education and training for physicians and nurse practitioners be given priority. Too few people are getting tested, and even the medical community knows very little about the signs of Hep C and it’s prevalence. We’ll see what kind of response I get. One thing I learned as an advocate is if you don’t receive a response in a reasonable amount of time, you find out who occupies the next rung on the ladder. I’ve followed that ladder all the way up to State Assembly on more than one occasion, just to help someone get Medical Benefits.
Tomorrow’s task is to contact the Veterans administration, as they seem to be more on top of the topic of Hep C than most local entities I’ve encountered so far. Then my plan is to finally attend the support group that meets at one of the local teaching hospitals. Now that I’ve discovered Medicaid will pay for transportation, I’m finally able to make it out there.
So, that’s where I’m at so far and I will report back with updates! As usual, I’m open to ideas and suggestions either by comment section or by email at
Take care all, drink lots of water, get your rest and take care of YOU ❤
 © 2010 Jennifer Hazard