A polymath rambling about virtually anything

Posts Tagged ‘suffering’

Book Review: Leningrad: State of Siege

Posted by Scott Holstad on February 20, 2020

Leningrad: State of SiegeLeningrad: State of Siege by Michael Jones
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Westerners tend to think of their losses, sacrifices, etc., when thinking about WWII, and Americans in particular like to “brag” on how not only did they save the world twice in less than 35 years, but “won” WWII. I’m an American with family who fought in that horrible war, who went in on D-Day and suffered terrible wounds and casualties, so I’m not trying to make light of this situation, nor am I a Russian “fan,” commie supporter, etc., as some might accuse me upon reading this. But if you study WWII, the US certainly played a big role, and really carried the war in the far east, but as for Europe, well, we didn’t come close to suffering the horrible atrocities, suffering and losses the Russians did. Not even close. The US, in total, lost slightly over 400,000 people in the war, a horrible figure to be sure. But Russia, or the Soviet Union, suffered roughly 10 Million military deaths and combined with civilian deaths, the total was closer to 25 MILLION, which basically makes all of the other countries fighting in that theater look like they were going to a high school dance, because if you want to read about some true atrocities (aside from the Holocaust itself, of course), study the Leningrad and Stalingrad campaigns. We love to laud Patton as an ass kicker, and he was a charismatic leader, but he had nothing on the Soviets, whose Field Marshal Zhukov beat the shit out of the Germans while driving them back to Berlin where the Germans surrendered to him personally. I don’t write this to mock my own country, nor to disrespect our losses and sacrifices. But I’ve basically had it with “patriots” who love to talk about how America kicked everyone’s ass in WWII while saving the world when we barely partook of the majority of the years, battles and campaigns other countries did, and while our civilians at home had nothing to worry about as opposed to nearly all European countries, as well as many in the Pacific theater. If you are unaware of these facts, I advise you to read this book, read another on Stalingrad I have listed in my bookshelves here, and anything else educational, because it really opens the eyes and makes one appreciate just how horrible things were on the eastern front, and how many people in other countries might be justified in arguing that it was the Soviets and not the Americans who won the war… Recommended.

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Sorry For My Absence

Posted by Scott Holstad on July 11, 2011

Hi there. I’m sorry for my extended absence since the last time I posted. I have not been feeling well at all, for the most part. At all. I won’t go into all of my various afflictions, but one that has played a prominent role in my life for the past year was just diagnosed in May as Trigeminal Neuralgia, also known unofficially as “The Suicide Disease” as it is commonly thought to be the most severely painful illness/condition known to mankind. Yeah, good times. Trust me when I state that I would not ever wish my last year on my worst enemy. Yep.

Thursday I had an appointment with my pain management specialist. Naturally, I had to wait for what seemed like hours before I got to see him, but he’s a good doctor and he cares, so I’ll cut him some slack. I’m being scheduled for another Stellate Ganglion Block surgical procedure quite soon. It’s just being used as an occasional temporary pain blocking procedure. The next step will be my having to undergo a Radiofrequency Thermal Rhizotomy surgery. All of this to avoid the one procedure all of the doctors, specialists and neurosurgeons go out of their way to avoid — the MVD brain surgery. Apparently, a few too many people die as a result of that surgery for medical professionals to feel really good about going in that direction. The irony is that is the only treatment option that actually is a cure for TN — the other options are just temporary pain blockers, and that’s all. It’s quite frustrating. If I ever have to go that route, I’ll be put on Big Boy medication that makes Morphine look flat out silly, Fentanyl being the first and foremost. Massively addictive and 100 times more potent that Morphine, allegedly. And, by all accounts, getting off of Fentanyl and others like it is much worse than getting off Heroin. Would really like to avoid this. Of course, I’ve been trying to avoid being put on Fentanyl just as I currently am, as I live today, prior to even thinking about MVD surgery. It would be completely disabling, although in truth, TN itself is largely disabling, so I guess it’s a trade off….

Well, enough whining about that. Actually, I’m not trying to whine, merely explain. This topic is on my mind for several reasons, but as it relates to this blog because I feel like I’m neglecting my editing duties at Ray’s Road Review, the online literary journal where I serve as poetry editor. My buddy and RRR founder, Chris Duncan, graciously cuts me slack on this, but I still feel not only an obligation but a desire to work on poetry submissions. It’s one of the few creative outlets I currently have.

Meanwhile, I’ve got some big stuff going on in my private life. Complications, frustrations, other health problems too, as I indicated, and this morning, yet another doctor appointment. It gets tiring, but we all have our own crosses to bear, do we not? So, I just wanted to write something, to touch base with those few of you who know I’m here in blogland, and who care. I do appreciate it. Cheers!

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