Truly Blessed

ALS patient James Martin shares his journey.

Voodoo Dolls

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James Martin
Wednesday, October 3, 2012

There is an episode of Gilligan's Island where voodoo dolls of Gilligan and his mates are made. The evil witchdoctor (as if there is any other kind) uses the voodoo dolls to control Gilligan and the other castaways. They are powerless to control their movements, and of course hilarity ensues.

According to the internet, where everything is true, you may make a voodoo doll in six easy steps. Not surprisingly, modern technology has come to the black art of voodoo. You are encouraged to use a laser printer to print an iron-on photo and then stuff it using 100 percent recycled material. It appears that even black magic is going green.

For a nominal fee you may order pre-made voodoo dolls. I looked at the packaging and was surprised to find a prominent Surgeon General's warning: "Use of voodoo dolls may be hazardous to someone's health!" Well no kidding, that's the point. I feel much safer with the government watching my back. I am sure that people using the doll will heed that warning.

The directions on the DIY voodoo doll recommend using hemp cord, especially if you plan to burn the doll. Where's that General on the health risks of that? First the environmentalists, then the Surgeon General, if voodoo is subject to political correctness, then nothing is safe.

Once the doll is complete, it is time to use it. The next step is to use colored pins for voodoo doll acupuncture. This enables control of the subject. Certain pins bring certain results, but I'm not so certain. Apparently if you wait too long between uses, the doll must be "reactivated" by sewing on a new article and then typing in your Microsoft authorization code. Bill Gates is as intrusive as the Surgeon General. Fortunately, there are a number of open source voodoo applications to get around uncle Bill.

In some ways, a voodoo doll is a good way to explain how ALS impacts the body. Something out of our control steals our ability to move. The pin goes into the doll's left foot and my ability to use that foot is lost. Another pin in the left hand, and I no longer have the ability to wiggle my fingers. Slowly squeeze the doll and my breathing is restricted. The doll does not feel pain and nor do I, but I feel a disconnect in my body. I feel the message going out to my parts and feel it reverberate back and return amplified, confused and undeliverable as if my body has been hijacked by a voodoo doll.

So if you are cleaning out your garage this fall and stumble upon my voodoo doll, please pull out the pins. And if you get the chance there is an itch on my back that I just.......can't ...........reach.

Last updated: 10:46 am Wednesday, August 28, 2013

James Martin is a former attorney and graduate of Gonzaga University and Marquette Law School. He lives in Spring Prairie near Burlington. He has been diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. He is married with 6 kids. James is a community blogger and is not a part of The Gazette staff. His opinion is not necessarily that of the Gazette staff or management.

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