Monday, April 30, 2007
And so, she called her doctor to talk about sterilization.
Her surgery was set for Friday, April 27. She went in and endured a seamless operation that would permanently change the course of childbearing, woke up to her loving husband and came home to a peaceful house (one of her boys was with me and the other two were with their grandparents).
Friday night she hardly slept a wink.
By Saturday morning, her pain was so bad that, although she had taken two of the Darvocet prescribed by her surgeon, she was unable to rest and was feeling extremely dizzy because she was literally high on pain medication that did nothing for her pain. Her husband began searching for the non-existent emergency instructions (I feel that I should interject that she gave birth to three boys at home with no pain meds at all--and one of them was 11 pounds--so, she's no wuss when it comes to pain) and found only a piece of paper listing two phone numbers. One for the office where the surgeon works, and the other for another office. There was no "after-hours" number and no instructions for what to do in any kind of abnormal situation. Nothing that detailled what was expected during recovery, or signs of problems that would indicate an emergency room visit. All they were given when they left was a precscription for Darvocet (100 mg) because, "it is the only pain med that doesn't make you as dizzy or nauseous as the other ones."
So her husband called the office number only to get an answering service that told him that he had dialed the wrong number and there was nothing that could be done for them via that number (he checked with the person on the phone to make sure he dialed right, he was just given the wrong number). So he called the other number and got another answering service that told him that, since the surgeon who performed my friend's operation was the doctor on call (for the hospital, I think) at the moment, she was not available to write out a script for a different pain medication. The nurse told her to take two more Darvocet (following the two already ingested) and four Ibuprofen (?????????). He (sort of) calmly explained that the Darvocet were making her sick and not doing anything for the pain, and so the lady told him that they'd have to go to the emergency room.
More money spent, more time wasted while this post-op lady is in excrutiating pain.
But, there was nothing else they could do.
After a while in the waiting room, my friend's father-in-law went to find out what was taking so long. He was told that they were waiting for a bed. He began yelling at the receptionist, telling her that she didn't need a fucking bed, she needed a goddamned prescription for something that would help her to not be in so much fucking pain. FUCK!
But he was told that they would still have to wait.
So, when they finally got my friend settled into a bed, two hours later, a nurse walked in with a glorious pain pill for our dear, pain-riddled heroine. However, the nurse looked at her and said, "I can't believe no one's started an IV on you yet."
And walked out of the room, pain pill still in hand.
About 45 minutes later, another nurse walked in holding a pain pill. This nurse also noticed that no IV had been started. And also walked away with the golden, shining prize in hand.
Finally, over an hour after she was assigned to a bed, someone came in with the proper machinery to start an IV on my dear friend's arm. As the IV was being placed, something went awry and sent intense shooting pains down the patient's arm, making her feel as though someone had just sawed her arm off with a butterknife. She thought a nerve had been knicked, but wasn't entirely sure what had happened. Great, more pain, and still no pain meds.
With the IV in place, my friend was finally given a high dose of pain medication and began to feel a little more comfortable.
Then the bullshit continued...
When the doc came in to see her, he decided that she needed a cat scan because sometimes people get bowel obstructions following general anesthesia. Um, excuse me, doc, but I believe he only thing this lady needs is her own bed and some FUCKING REST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
But she had to endure a cat scan anyway. Of course, nothing was found, so she was wheeled back to her bed.
Not long afterword, the nurse came back to take out the IV. When the bandage holding the IV in place was taken off, it tore about three layers of skin off, leaving a nasty abrasion on her arm. When the doc came in to talk with her one last time, he noticed the botched landscape of her arm left by the extra-sticky IV bandage and started talking about more tests to make sure she's producing enough of this and enough of that because her skin looked really bad. So it was explained to the doc that it was a result of the IV bandage and that they'd be going now. Just give them the goddmaned discharge papers and a fucking script for something that will actually work without making her sick. Are we displaying the model of drug-seeking behavior at this point? Well, what the fuck would you do? No, she doesn't have an addiction to pills.
But, she did have a very invasive, MAJOR FUCKING SURGERY, umm, like, yesterday. Um, ouch, she hurts like hell, as anyone freshly post-op most likely would, and the pain pills prescribed by the surgeon are not killing the pain, but they are making her quite sick. Shall we explain it again? One more time so you can understand?
Finally she was sent home with a prescription for vicodin. Finally, she got some sleep.
I went to see my friend last night. When I walked in she was getting a gentle massage from her mom, who is a massage student. So I cleaned up their kitchen while they were finishing that, and then sat down with her for a while, listening to her story, trying not to get exceedingly angry. Then I brushed her hair and braided it, watched part of a movie, let her know to call me anytime (still mean it, lady!), made sure she was comfy and headed home.
It's really quite amazing, actually. Her third son was my first doula experience, and now I am with her for the cessation of her reproductive years. Damn, I love that woman. I know we'll be close friends for the rest of our lives.
Saturday, April 28, 2007
As I sit here in this semi-uncomfortable, squeaky chair in my living room, drinking coffee and trying to block out the background noise of "Bob the Builder" and my grumpy nephew, I ask myself,
"Why do I blog? I don't know that I am a particularly good writer, or that I really have much to say that is interesting to other people." I'm not very consistent with it--sometimes I go almost a month without posting; and sometimes I have two or three in a day.
The first time I ever heard anything about a "blog," it was in regards to Rosie O'Donnell. She had said something on her blog that people found offensive, and I remember thinking, "What the Hell is a blog?" I wish I could remember how long ago this was.
The point is, I didn't know what a blog was for quite some time after I first heard the term.
Then I found myspace.
Around that time someone told me that "blog" is simply a shortened way of saying "web log," which is an online journal of sorts. And so I wrote my first blog on my myspace page, which you can read if you wish at www.myspace.com/punkrokgrrl
Some of it is interesting; some of it would only make sense to someone who thinks the way I do. A lot of it is just plain silly.
Then I met Louisa and Niki. They are two of the blogginist people I've ever met. Except, of course, for my niece, who is constantly posting her poetry on her myspace blog. She's really quite good. If you're interested, e-mail me and I'll link you to her poetry.
Anyway, I finally asked Louisa how to create a blog, and >woohoo< she told me how (although she still hasn't linked me, heeheheheee). I decided to use my blog to chronicle my journey into the midwifery profession, which should, in theory, be pretty hefty. Lots of rants, and maybe a story about what has drawn me to this world of natural childbirth and women's health. Well, I began the story, and posted three times about it, but kind of left it off to pursue more pressing issues such as my depression, the death of my beloved Golden Lab and the subsequent meeting of our newest family member, Ruby, who is Yellow Lab, Pointer, and Greyhound. Of course, there are other things as well, and things that I haven't even touched yet. I contain a lot of unsaid frustration. There are things brewing inside me that I am too chicken to utter out loud...or even write in a blog.
Because the wrong person might hear it or read it.
I also want to use my blog to share my photography. I am actually quite proud of some of the pictures I've taken, and even done a few shows here in my quaint little hometown next to the sea. I've traveled a lot and been in some awesome places where the photo ops are endless. My husband is actually wanting to finally buy me that $800-1400 digital camera because he knows it would cut down on the film and developing costs. I would imagine I average four or five rolls of film a month. Figure about $4 for the roll of film, and $10 for developing...14 x 5 = 70. That's $70 per month; 70 x 12 = 840. That's $840 a year, over the ten years that I've been taking pictures, equalling about $8,400 that I've spent on film and developing.
The funny thing is, I've just recently learned to properly use my camera.
I guess in many ways I am still figuring out why it is that I blog, and whether or not I am going to be consistent with it. I'm pretty self-concious and needy at times, and I always feel the need to know that people are reading what I am writing...I wish there was a way to see how many people read my blog, but I don't know how that works, or even if it's possible to do it. Then again, it's nice to have this space where I can write down what's on my mind, even if no one's listening.
I would also like to figure out how to "search" for other, like-minded bloggers. Anyone wanna help me on that one?
Friday, April 27, 2007
A Short History of My Breastfeeding Career
By Deborah Craig
We fell in love with each other over breastfeeding, my daughter, Makela, and I. It happened during all the long hours we spent staring deep into each other’s eyes during feeding time; me, imagining how her life would unfold, she, memorizing the details of my face. If I close my eyes I can still see her smiling while attached to my breast, warm milk rolling down the side of her face, tickling her cheeks. For her my breasts meant comfort. Nursing calmed her fears, healed the hurt and soothed her to sleep. As she got older she gave no signs whatsoever to indicate that she was ready to give up her beloved ‘nursies.” Instead, she gave my breasts personalities, called them her babies and wanted to wrap them in blankets and kiss them each good-night. I breastfed her for three years, giving it up reluctantly when she started pre-school.
And then along came my son. Right from the start Mario was a vigorous nurser who pulled and tugged and squirmed. With one breast in his mouth he would pound his small fists into the other breast. And, later, nursing as a toddler, her too gave them personalities. He named my breasts Jo-Jo and Jo-Jo 2, insisting that they were boys, knights in shining armor, Power Rangers, Ninja Turtles. He would ask, ”Can Boo-boos ride a bike? Can they juggle, can they do a somersault?” Unlike my daughter, he slowly began to lose interest in breastfeeding too busy to stop his constant motion. I was sad to know my breastfeeding days were coming to an end.
But before my milk was completely gone, my nephew was born. After a long labor and an unexpected C-section my sister was left exhausted and emotional. Her son lost weight and the lactation consultants all had their various theories confusing us all. Finally mother and baby went home to figure it out themselves. I knew how I could help. I would come over in the afternoons, give my sister a chance to nap while Shamus and I settled into the big chair for our own special bonding. Breastfeeding my nephew seemed natural and he took right to it. It made it easier to baby-sit him when my sister returned to work and my son had no problem sharing with his cousin.
My milk is gone now and when I see a new mother nursing her baby I feel something close to sadness, close to longing, close to a fond recollection. My 4-year old son still doesn’t miss an opportunity to ask “What are Boo-Boos doing?,” still insisting they are boys. When I ask him “Where did all the milk go?” he answers, “Three babies drank it all. Me and Mimi and Shay-Shay.”
I should begin by saying that my daughter had a wonderful time during her spring break and made it home safely to the loving arms of her family. She had great stories to tell and bought us all gifts with the money that was given to her (thanks, Bree. i heart u). She was very thoughtful and seemed so much more grown up when she came home. She seemed to have more confidence and this warm glow that really made me realize that she is actually growing up (thanks again, Bree. i double heart u). It seems like yesterday that she was a tiny baby, helpless and so needy. She smelled so good. I read a great book recently (called Moon Women--ladies should read it!), and a character in it claims that her absolute favorite smell is a newborn baby's head. I'd say i have to agree with that. There's really nothing quite like it.
All of my children are amazing me lately.
Zack has been officially enrolled at Job Core for four weeks and seems to be doing well. When we visited him last weekend he was happy and adjusting well. I think he's getting just enough freedom to whet his appetite, but with just enough structure that he has to hold himself accountable. This just may be the thing that turns him around. Kisses, Zack, I love you so much!
My baby baby is also growing up very quickly. He's so helpful and fresh every day. It seems like he's always optimistic and wants to help in any way he can. And he's so handsome. I trimed his mowhawk and bleached his hair, so his beautiful eyes are really standing out. Oh my.
I, myself am very torn.
On one hand, I'm missing school. I read semi-regular posts from the ladies of the class I just left and am missing them and the program quite a lot. I know midwifery is my path and I will be a midwife some day, but it seems like there are a lot of obstacles to my success. The latest thing is home-buying. If I go back to school in January, which is the plan now, then we'll have to put off buying a house until I'm finished with school and am employed. If I put school off even just one more year and work, we could buy a house now.
The housing market is so unstable around here. Four years ago, a person could buy a three bedroom house for $130k...$1000--1100 per month mortgage including taxes and insurance. Now, that same house goes for $230--250k with a $1500--1600 per month mortgage. We actually have friends that bought their house three years ago and are selling it for $100k more now. But I've heard that the market is supposed to be coming down, which would make sense because the average Joe arouns here doesn't make enough money to be buying houses at those prices. However, I've been hearing this for a while but am still waiting to see results.
So, the $64,000 question is: do we put off my education for another year and buy a house now, which may result in us making money off of the house later or losing money altogether; or do we go ahead and pursue my education now and buy a house later, which may cost us less money, or the housing prices could skyrocket again and we'd be paying $400k for the same house as described above?
I can't decide which is more important. Any advice?
Did I mention that my husband is wonderful?
Well, he is.
Here is some of my photography for you to enjoy.
Waves, Ballard Lochs, Fall 2005
Times Square, New York, Fall 2005
Snag at the Donner Settlement, Truckee, California, Spring 2005
Sears Tower, Chicago, Summer 2006
Reflection, Skagit Valley Tulip Festival Spring 2006
Dead Tree in Northeastern California, Spring 2006
Madrona Trees, Orcas Island, Summer 2004
Child's Footprint in the Sand, Rialto Beach, WA Summer 2005
Black and white tulips, Skagit Valley Tulip Festival Spring 2006
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Today, my baby girl hopped on a plane and is, as I type, preparing to land in a place she has never been to before; then she will hop on another plane and fly to her final destination, which is 3000 miles from home, which she will not arrive at until 8:00p.m., which is a place she also has never been to before.
Yes, she's flying alone. She's 10. (Is it safe to post that here?)
We hung out this morning and talked and played a little. Here and there, she would well up with tears and I would hug her and tell her she would be fine and that I love her very much. I think it was just as much for me as for her.
You see, when the time came for the flight attendant to come to the gate and get her I couldn't stop the tears as I watched her go. We hugged and hugged and hugged again before they said they had to go.
She's supposed to call me when she gets to her first destination where she will have a layover a little more than an hour.
She can handle it. But can I?
Monday, April 9, 2007
We bought a brand new Gateway GM5426 for a great price and were so excited. We brought it home and started it up, configured it to our satisfaction and began playing the demo games and having fun. The next day I bought a wireless adapter for it so that we could increase the speed of our Internet connection, brought it home and had some trouble installing it, but our computer savvy friend came over and touched it with his magic finger and voila! It worked.
Then it happened.
At some point that evening, the computer turned itself off and never turned back on.
So, hubby and I took it back up to Best Buy for a quick look-over and found out that it had a faulty power supply. So we were offered an exchange. The catch: they didn't have anymore of that model in stock and were so backordered that they didn't know when they'd get more in. They said they could see if another store would hold one and we could go pick it up. Problem: the stores that had them in stock were in Federal Way and Tukwila--at least a 100 mile drive from where we live. The customer service guy tried to convince me that the Federal Way store would hold one for me and allow me to exchange the computer we had for a new one when I was going to be in the area many days later, even though my name wasn't attached to the line of credit it was bought on. To top that off, he wouldn't get a name of a person that I could ask for to ensure that it wouldn't be a waste of my time. My faith in that transaction was nil. I decided to try and talk to someone else.
I was able to catch another guy to talk to and he offered much more assistance. Apparently he was present when they trained for customer service. He offered us a $150 upgrade to an even better computer for $50 and we took it. Great deal.
Fast forward to today.
We've been using this new computer for four days. It's been running like a dream and we just love it.
Today, the sound quit working. I got home around noon after running errands with the kids and sat down to use the computer to find out that there was no sound and nothing in my repetoir of computer knowledge could fix it. I called Best Buy to try and speak with someone in the "Geek Squad," what a name, but I guess if they don't care (the "Geeks"), then I don't. I was told they were busy and could I leave a name and number where they would get in touch with me in about fifteen minutes or so. Knowing it would be much longer than fifteen minutes, I left my name and set out to get the problem dealt with. I went to the Gateway website to chat online with a tech support person.
I spent about an hour and a half chatting with this person whom I allowed remote access to control my mouse and keyboard, and never really getting the issue resolved. I can't even begin to tell you about the computer organs I played with today. I feel like I should marry the stupid thing, I got so intimate with it.
Then I called Best Buy again, approximately three hours after I originally left a message. I was talking with this lady who was helping me, but then she decided to transfer me to a cordless phone and I got disconnected. I tried calling back but was left on hold for about twenty minutes and hung up to call back.
I went straight for the jugular. My conversation began with, "Yes, hello, may I please speak with a manager?"
The supervisor finally got me in contact with the Geek Squad supervisor, and she and I spent another twenty minutes trying to work it all out. To no avail.
The sound still doesn't work.
So tomorrow, I will make my eighth trip to Best Buy in the last week and a half to return yet another computer. I'm so glad we got our fixed laptop back today.
Wish me luck, friends. Or, maybe you should wish Best Buy some luck, cuz I'm gonna rip them a new one if something good doesn't come out of this trip tomorrow.
Did I mention that the new computer is running Windows Vista, which totally blows?