Our theme is to empower; the goal is self-reliance. An ancient, intuitive proverb sums it up: If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day; but teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime. The Latin phrase ‘Tuum Est’ means It is up to you – an echo of the struggle faced by myself and many others with chronic disease or physical disability.
Tuum Est is an educational website which publishes:
Send emails to share your story, to vent, to comment, to ask questions or offer suggestions, to discuss encounters with disability stereotypes, or just to connect with someone whose journey mirrors your own.
We are planning a section devoted to stereotypes aimed at the physically disabled. It would be useful to map the nature of each stereotype, how firmly those stereotypes are entrenched, and whether they change across regions of Canada, and across the globe. As we analyze the underlying cause of each stereotype, we are led to workable counter-measures.
We reply to most emails, but time constraints mean we cannot act as advocate or adviser on an individual basis. To provide any meaningful advice – to suggest a probable next step that you haven't already tried – would prove a hit-or-miss process unless we knew your history. We cannot set aside days or weeks of time for that work, worthy though each case may be.
The Resource List above is a guide to the type of material we cover. The list is by no means complete; it outlines only the major topics. Our site expands each year, and we respond to reader suggestions.
When you contact us, your name, email address, and the experience you describe will not be published nor alluded to on our site without your express permission. As stated on our FAQ page, Tuum Est has no built-in Forum or Comment capability. We definitely applaud the search for resources, but our visitors are often struggling with injustice and prefer to start their work in private. In time, when ready, readers may decide to publish their own story.
Take a moment to read the following Tuum Est Policy pages:
My musical instrument was the Highland Bagpipes. For a decade I marched as Pipe Sergeant in the Bonnie Bluebells Pipe Band of Saskatoon, Canada. At every celebration, the city asked us to parade in our kilts of Ancient Sutherland tartan, playing sprightly Scottish strathspeys, reels, and slow-airs. In solo competition, my Piobaireachd trophies took pride of place on my mantlepiece, as I love this classical music of the bagpipes. My sports were aerobic dance, and Judo at the level of green belt (4th kyu).
My education includes two university degrees in Physics. At the University of British Columbia, my thesis research, titled Non-Linear Resonant Photoionization, used tunable lasers as the experimental tool and non-linear optics as the theoretical foundation. My thesis was written under my maiden name Petty, as were my publications in Physical Review Letters and the Canadian Journal of Physics.
After graduation I worked full-time as a research scientist in physics and systems analysis until I developed a cascade of serious autoimmune diseases, which at time of diagnosis were considered uncommon (Guillain-Barre Syndrome, Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy or CRPS Type I, and Interstitial Cystitis).
As a hobby, I constructed logic and math puzzles. A handful of my early puzzles are online, for example Bumper Crop. When time permits, I will publish on Tuum Est new and original puzzles in the categories of word logic, figure logic, and brain teaser. Difficulty level: from one-star (easy) to five-star (expert). Enjoy thinking in three dimensions? Try Cubism and Cube Trio. For a logic puzzle in rhyme, go to The Cubist Painter. You will find other creative writing in the Reflections segment, including a satire titled Medi-Caper.
The main focus of our site is medicine and law. Note: There is a difference between general advocacy (which we can do) and giving medical advice or legal advice (which we cannot do). To give advice means to list all the known or viable options, and recommend which option you should choose to suit your individual circumstances. That would require access to your full medical chart or legal case-file, plus a university diploma in Medicine or Law.
The Tuum Est Webmaster, with university diplomas in Physics, works on general advocacy principles. We are similar to a Support Group site, though our coverage is broader (we focus on more than a single disease). We have the same expectation: The course of action that is recommended is for you to share the material with your doctor or lawyer – take it in to an appointment and negotiate a team effort on your case.
This is easier said than done if the doctor or lawyer him/herself is the instigator of injustice, and if politics within the profession blocks you from finding a local replacement. In that event you need an advocate or adviser in your own town or city who works either outside or tangential to the system – for example a pastor, a university med-student or law-student, or someone in an adjunct role such as a nurse or paralegal.
If you file a malpractice suit in Canada, your ultimate opponent will be the Canadian Medical Protective Association (or CMPA). Job one is to find an attorney not hampered by a conflict of interest, without close ties to that malpractice insurer.
Tuum Est took a couple of weeks to survey the field, then published lists, by province, of the CMPA Law Firms in Canada. These are law firms whose intense loyalty to the CMPA is self-proclaimed or established.
On the other side of the coin, to find who to hire, we suggest searching news reports which discuss the scorched earth tactics of the CMPA. For these reports, lawyers are invariably interviewed: their opinions are a guide to whether they support defendants (doctors) or plaintiffs (patients).
For the general but serious legal case, there are Innocence Projects staffed by lawyers who courageously crusade for justice. They retain private investigators who surprisingly often succeed in uncovering solid evidence that police missed. Examples:
(formerly Association in Defence of the Wrongfully Convicted)
|■||United States||Innocence Project|
After 2020 when our website is more nearly complete, we may, if time permits, offer a paid research service. At present, we offer free access to our extensive archive of material acquired when writing our articles. Readers who wish details beyond that published on our webpages may write to request links, documents, or more ideas on how to access resources in Canadian medicine and law. Refer to our Resource List at the top of this page.
Note: Tuum Est is pronounced ‘toom est’.
Tuum Est - It Is Up To You
What the caterpillar calls the end, the rest of the world calls a butterfly
Lao Tzu (601-531 BC)
Pre-WWII postcards depict a “Saskatoon Girls Pipe Band.” In the 1960s the “Bonnie Bluebells” band was formed. Members wore deep blue velvet jackets with kilts in Ancient Sutherland tartan. The band marched on parade and competed at local Highland Games until the 1980s.
Photo: Competition Quintet at the Kinsmen International Band Festival held annually in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. The five Bonnie Bluebells are:
Pipe bands play Ceòl Beag (Gaelic for little music): marches, strathspeys, reels, jigs, retreats. Classical bagpipe music — Piobaireachd or Ceòl Mór (Gaelic for big music) — suits only individual pipers because it has intricate groupings of grace notes (taorluath, crunluath) fitted lightning-quick in between the melody notes.
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