Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Look back in anger

Please read this. Then go and read the Lamott piece as well.

Between them they say more than I ever can hope to, and far better. Know, also, that anger is okay. It's how you express it that makes the difference. It's my new project, working on my anger. I'll let you know how it goes. But don't expect me to be cheery about it.

Three little steps to a better you

Dude took his first staggering steps last night, lunging at me like a drunk on a treadmill. DH made it into the room to see it, and we held each other and sobbed like a couple of drunks. What else are you supposed to do when someone with no (common) sense and no concept of danger decides it's time to start waltzing around the house? And? It was SO freaking CUTE.

He did it again today for his grammy. Happily, he still seems to prefer four-wheeling it, so for now I'm just going to pretend it never happened. Lalalalalalalalalalala! Tralalala! You see? I sing like a bird to celebrate my ability to deny the facts even though they stare me in the face. And try to jab me in the eyes with sticky fingers.

My new heroes

heroines? Whatever.

Monday, January 29, 2007

DH on meds

Husband has been given a prescription for his heartburn; I'm glad because it's about time, and seriously? guys don't do sick too well. But I'm so pleased with him for even going to the doctor that I don't diss him for it as I should. Much.

He just came in and asked whether he should take the dose he missed this morning. I said that the next dose is far enough in the future that he should probably just pop today's now and go on his merry way. Because I'm a doctor. No, really, I am, I just haven't gone to school for it. But really, you should take the pill. On time. Every day.

"Good thing I'm not a girl; I'd be pregnant a lot."

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Goodbye, Grammy Sue

My dad just called. When I saw the caller ID, I knew what he was going to say. And I knew when I talked to her the day before yesterday that the call would be coming soon. I just didn't think it would be this soon.

She was a fiesty old bird who rarely had a cross word to say about anyone (one of the most shocking moments in my life was when she called my cousin's ex-wife "a four-square bitch.").

For years, I planned on interviewing her, taping her, to hear her story. She saw more change in her lifetime than I think any of us can even dream of: Commercial airlines. Jet engines. Antibiotics. Birth control pills. Cures for diseases that killed thousands but are now considered an inconvenience. AIDS. Space flight. Republicans in both houses (she HATED that). The end of smallpox. The 1918 flu. The reduction of TB to a treatable disease. The rise of drug-resistant TB. Microwave ovens. Air conditioners. Cars and houses that are affordable for all but the poorest people in the country. World War II (my grandfather was in Patton's Second Army). The Korean war. Vietnam. Nixon. Fluorescent bulbs. No smoking in the workplace.

I could go on and on.

Now, it's too late. I always thought there would be another opportunity. Another chance to delve into her history, to ask what she made of everything she saw in her life, more time to just talk.

I called her on Tuesday and I just knew. She was dying. Her body was giving out on her even though her mind was just as sharp as ever.

I told her that I would call her again today. While I was putting my daughter down for her nap, my grandma slipped away.

Call your family. Tell your friends you love them. Don't wait until there's no more time.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Buddy, can you spare a crime?

Somehow or other I've gotten onto a list of suckers people who donate to random charities. I have no idea how, since I haven't had a job since Perp was about 3 months old, and really, if I'm going to give money away, I'll choose the charity thankyouverymuchHeiferInternational*koff*.

The thing that outrages me is that they call and say, "This is Heywood Jablome from Random Widows and Orphans Charity That Sounds Official. I'd like to thank you for your generous support last year to RWOCTSO."

A) I have never heard of RWOCTSO.
B) I sure as hell didn't give you any money last year (sorry, orphans!)
C) If I HAD money, it would go to a reputable organization that, you know, I've heard of.
D) What the fuck?

I get the same call from the same guy for the firefighters retirement charity. WTF? Working for local government doesn't get you some kind of retirement benefits? Find another job, dude.

Am I a hardass here? I don't think so. I think calling up and conning people into donating based on a fictional previous donation is unethical if not illegal. Oh, fine, it's probably not illegal, but it should be. Lying to potential donators to either embarrass or cajole them into giving their money away to an organization that exists to fill a need that the supposed receipients' employer fills? There's a special place in the IRS's corner of hell for you guys.

Next time they call, and I know they will, I'm going spider monkey.

Friday, January 19, 2007

And the winnner is

My 3500th page view goes to ....

Dyke One! (Unless Dyke Two is home and checking me out [mrrowr]).

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Who knew?

You are the World

Completion, Good Reward.

The World is the final card of the Major Arcana, and as such represents saturnian energies, time, and completion.

The World card pictures a dancer in a Yoni (sometimes made of laurel leaves). The Yoni symbolizes the great Mother, the cervix through which everything is born, and also the doorway to the next life after death. It is indicative of a complete circle. Everything is finally coming together, successfully and at last. You will get that Ph.D. you've been working for years to complete, graduate at long last, marry after a long engagement, or finish that huge project. This card is not for little ends, but for big ones, important ones, ones that come with well earned cheers and acknowledgements. Your hard work, knowledge, wisdom, patience, etc, will absolutely pay-off; you've done everything right.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Thanks to mama WEG for clueing me in.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Just heard on NPR

"Secretarian differences"

What, one side prefers staples and the other likes paper clips?

The Dude, he loves his boobies. Almost as much as his daddy, so I guess we know where it comes from. He squeezes, mashes, pats, strokes, twiddles, and fondles. Sometimes it's cute, even endearing. But a good part of the time, like when I'm up at 3 or 3:30 or 4, and he just wants to nursenursenurse, it can get kind of annoying. I know that I will lok back on this and miss it, but right now? It bugs.

Top that off with Perp nursing 3, 4, 12 times a day and you have potential for Cranky Mama syndrome. I don't like being Cranky Mama. But I don't want to force her to wean, so I suck it up.

Hey! I made a funny. What are the odds.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

On informed consent

At the outset, let me state that I firmly believe most Americans do more research before they buy a car than they do on their own health care. Not only is it a shame, I think it's scandalous and I can't believe no one makes a bigger fuss over it. What the fuck, people? It's YOUR body. Get to know it. Take charge of its care and feeding. Well, maybe not so much with the feeding (as she mows her way through another Lindt truffle).

This being said, it can be really, really hard, perhaps bordering on impossible, to obtain true informed consent. For most people, the word of their doc is good enough and is easily traded for personal knowledge. So maybe it shouldn't be a surprise to me that Average Joe knows more about the 50" plasma tv he's about to buy than the flex sig he's to undergo Tuesday next.

When I was pregnant with Perp, I had crazy frequent Braxton Hicks contractions from fairly early on, around 19w, give or take. I had no previous experience with pregnancy, and you could say I wasn't entirely in tune with my uterus unless it was involved in its favorite, complicated sloughing procedure. So I trotted off to L&D to be monitored.

Nice Nurse checked me and there was no cervical change, nothing to indicate anything was Going On Down There, but had me wait for a doc to be sure. I leafed through a magazine and half-heartedly watched the montior from time to time. It is oddly hypnotizing, I'll admit.

Young Intern flapped her stick arms in distress when she saw my contraction pattern (every 2-4 minutes, which I could have told her, had she asked).

She scuttled off to kibbutz with the resident and came back an hour later (I shit you not, there was no one in labor and everyone else was chilling at the nurses' station) she came back and declared I needed "a medicine to relax your uterus and stop it from contracting." Despite no cervical change. "It will make your heart beat kind of fast and you may feel a little woozy." Because it's an asthma medication. Off-label. Not approved for obstetrical use.

Do you know anyone who takes Neurontin for peripheral neuropathy? Did you know it was tested and approved as an epilepsy drug?

Methotrexate? Approved for treating neoplastic disease. But not chemical abortions. Or multiple sclerosis.

How was I supposed to give consent? I accepted the terb based on the information I was given. It never occured to me to ask if the drug was approved for my use; I just assumed it was. Why would I think otherwise? I had no access to anything supporting or contradicting her claim. All I had was her word and her limited, get-the-patient-to-agree spiel. She made me believe the pregnancy was in jeapordy. She swayed me with fear.

So I accepted and she gave me the shot. And when I got home and looked it up, I was beyond pissed that she would gloss over several important facts regarding its use, and present it as necessary despite clear indications that it wasn't.

How are patients supposed to wade through the morass of selective information so many docs offer? I am not, of course, suggesting that all docs are like this. And I understand that expediency is important. But it is equally important, if not moreso, that patients understand what is truly at stake. What the true risks are. Whether the drug has even been tested for this particular use or if it's being prescribed because someone noticed a salutory effect and hey, why not use it that way even if we don't KNOW it's okay for this patient group (hello*, Femara)? Aren't indications listed for a reason? Isn't testing done for a reason?

I'd love to be able to say that evidence-based medicine is the answer but of course, women are chronically under-researched. Even in obstetrics, apparently. When 1 in 5 prescriptions is written for nonapproved use, perhaps it's time we included the patient in the equation and asked how they felt about being part of an uncontrolled experiment.

*I'll give you a nice prize if you can find mention of letrozole's approved use on that site.

Monday, January 08, 2007


While it's lovely of you to offer a three-month rental for women who need to pump for their NICU babies, there are even more of us out here who need to pump for our term babies. Some of us work. Some of us would like to, you know, have a baby-free day so we can shop, clean, or even (gasp) sleep. Some of us have babies who don't latch well or have physical limitations that don't allow them to nurse effectively or at all. Some of us even have psychological histories that leave us unable to breastfeed but we still want the best for our babies.

I can't quite understand why you feel that, what? 80-90% of breastfeeding women? shouldn't have easier access to quality breast pumps. And I'm not talking about crapass manual ones that take 20 minutes to squeeze out an ounce or two. I'm talking about electric pumps. Ameda. Medela. Avent. You know, the ones you used to cover. Maybe you'd prefer infants of working mothers have formula instead. Are you getting a kick-back from Mead Johnson or something?

I guess I'll keep limping along with my broken-down mule of a pump, and consider myself lucky that I even have that option.

Oh, and fuck you very much,

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Lip service*

All the smokers: raise your hands.

Okay. So when you were in that too-cool-for-school roll-your-own phase, remember how the paper would stick to your lip like it was superglue and if you didn't lick the paper or get your lips really wet** you'd rip off about thee square yards of skin and bleedbleedbleed while you tried to smoke through the pain?

Did you know you can do the same thing if you hold a postcard from Gevalia in your mouth while you try and, I don't know, make like you're an octopus and talk on the phone, diaper the baby, and spread peanut butter onto a cracker for the toddler? Yes! It's true!

AND! Did you know that if you repeatedly bite the inside of your lip when you eat because apparently it sticks in when you chew, you can gnaw almost all the way through and that blood and ham, while a piquant combination, isn't probably going to be your favorite meal of the day? Also true!

*I kill me.
**Leading to soggy smokes that go out even faster than normal since loose 'baccy doesn't seem to have the same agent orange-like chemical in it that prevents commercial, pre-rolled smokes from EVER going out unless you MASH them heartlessly into the eyeball of the asshole who got you hooked on hand-rolled in the first place.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Home again, home again

No. It's not our home. But it *used* to be. If you go back far enough. Like, 300 years enough. Welcome to Codmore Farm, near Chesham, Buckinghamshire, England. It belonged to an ancestor on my mother's side, and if I may say so, it it exceptionally cute. Quite what I picture when I imagine my English cottage estate. Not that "cottage" that the hoi polloi own, but an honest-to-God one, white washed and all.


Then again, we have reliable birth control and antibiotics, so I shouldn't go pining for the past too deeply. Still. Wouldn't I look fetching in the front garden with a wide straw hat? Of course I would.

Today is my birthday and I spent it fighting off the Mongolian Death Plague. Again. Dude has something but it is only manifesting itself in gallons of snot so things could be worse on that front. On the downside, it makes nursing an ugly aural experience, I must say. sucksucksuckssssnnnnnnnngggggxxxxxxxx *gasp* sucksucksuckssssnnnnnnnngggggxxxxxxxx. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Now that Holidailies and NaBloPoMo are (finally) over and I can actually ruminate on things, I have a few interesting things to talk about, but right now I'm off to my death bed for another 12-hour stint. Can you believe it? I went to bed after the kids and got up once to snort Dude at 4, then back down until about 7. God, I don't know why I don't do that more often. AND? I got a bit of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell in to boot. I only wish I could stay up longer. It's quite good.

Last night I dreamt that we were in line for food somewhere that had those steam trays, like a quickie Chinese place. The woman who was serving us took liberal samples of everything she was serving, just munching the food she had gripped in her silver tongs. And no one thought twice about it! Apparently living off of the kids' leftovers is taking its toll.

Monday, January 01, 2007

The best news of ever

is over at Barren Mare.

Go, then. Share the joy. Praise the ovaries.

Will it never end??

Another book I must read. There's no catching up, here. Bonus? Worthy site to peruse. Sweet!