uh oh. it’s time again for Family Life Ed…
BC was extremely vexed, announcing that Family Life Ed was about to be foisted on her class. yes, it’s that time of year again — the last week of school, the week when our elementary school does it’s unit on birds, bees, tampons, and other exciting topics of dinner conversation. i tried to explain to BC that this is timed this way probably because the teachers hate teaching Family Life Ed just as much as the kids hate sitting through it. and this way, they don’t have to see your faces for a whole summer, giving you both time enough to forget that it all happened.
anyway, explanations or none, BC hates Family Life Ed: mooooooom, she whined, i already know all of this stuff. i know more than the kids in my class do. you talked about this stuff with me. why do i have to sit through this? it’s so embarrrrrrrrrrrrasssing!
i don’t blame the kid. i still remember a girl in my family life course in 9th grade who labeled the women’s nekkid picture with the names of male body parts. (i still marvel that this girl actually looked at a picture that was relatively just like her own body and labeled part of it a penis. i should look her up on facebook and see whether this was an early clue to her gender reassignment.) yep, family life stuff tends to stick with you.
i still remember 5th grade: they herded us into the auditorium, let us watch this 1960s movie about becoming a woman (ooooooooooohhhhh), with it’s frightfully deep overtones. and next thing you know it, you were carted out just as quickly, with this useless kit of sanitary napkins and — back then — a sanitary napkin BELT. yes, virginia, i am so old that it was around the time that i hit womanly status that they finally invented self-sticking pads.
and thousands cheered as they waddled down hallways, weighed down by a giant wad of dogknowswhat stuck onto your undies.
but i digress.
anyway, girlfriend and i do talk a lot about these sorts of things; we’ve done so from a very early age. my parents didn’t talk a ton with me about this sort of thing, so i always took it upon myself as some sort of parental ironman challenge to tackle these topics. it isn’t easy, and it took me awhile to stop calling body parts naughty bits. and while i’m not an expert, there are certain things i know for sure.
i think what kicked me into high gear on sharing my thoughts on this topic with the girl was hearing another mother talk of her daughter, a year older than BC. this child was in 5th grade at the time, and the mom still had not discussed menstruation with her daughter. visions of carrie entered my head:
nope. i’d rather struggle with finding the right words on touchy topics than have BC hit them head-on with no prior knowledge.
which brings us back to the girl and the class. mom, she continued, you know some kids are allowed to opt out of the class if their moms write a note to the school, right?
right, i replied. and you won’t be one of them, i added, smiling a little too cruelly. rite of passage, baby.
rite. of. passage.
you know the type.
so i’ve just returned from my monthly IV of gammaglobulin goodness, a ritual i endure every four weeks for the rest of my life. it’s not so bad — the ladies who take care of me are amazingly wonderful and endure ME relatively well, considering i have to go through seven bottles over the course of about 5 or 6 hours (on a good day) with veins like keith richards’. today, i blew first IV connection in my right arm thanks to having thick blood that apparently clotted, leaving the IVIG nowhere to go but backwards. poke number two in the left arm worked for a short while until something ouchy and stingy happened. luckily, by this time, i had only one bottle left, so the lady i annoy the most (and who i love to pieces) put in a butterfly on another site in my right arm and i did not move my arm for about 30 minutes. no biggie.
in fact, i was able to run to the nearby wegman’s, which was cool because jools had run out of his favorite Phillies Graham Slam ice cream, and wegmans is the only place around here that sells it. so, since i was finished at two, i skedaddled over to the wegman’s before starting the 40 minute+ drive home. since it was 85 degrees out, i decided to park in the “underground” lot. i zipped over to take the stairs, but as the elevator doors opened right up in front of me, i figured what the hell — i’ll climb in since it’s going up anyway.
as the doors were about nearly closed, i heard a voice shriek: hold that elevator! my pavlovian response, of course, was to stick my hand on the door and get the sensors to realize the doors shouldn’t shut. (why didn’t i press a button, you wonder? well, you need a PhD to read the actual buttons on that particular elevator; for a machine that literally only goes between two floors, it’s a bit unreal.) in walks a tall, poodley-haired suburban blonde lady and her equally tall, late teen/early 20s daughter. thanks, she said. i smiled politely, nodded at her, and did what all self-respecting people do on an elevator; i moved to the far corner. i hurt my foot this morning she announced, perhaps to the daughter, who didn’t say anything. yes, i hurt my foot this morning, she repeated louder, clearly looking to justify why she had made a person stop an elevator that was nearly closed so that she could ride. i looked at her, wondering what exactly she wanted me to do — perhaps break out my medical kit?
then, she looked at my two bandaged arms. in a voice usually reserved for naughty children who have just pushed someone else’s child down off a cliff — or maybe her bichon frise just made a little pooh on your lawn, she exclaimed, “Uh oh! Uh oh!”
realizing that she had not, in fact, turned into a teletubby, i knew i was the reason for the uh ohs. for that split second, i wanted to say well, i was shooting up my smack today, but i missed. shit could happen to anyone, right?
but i didn’t. somehow, though, i knew she was demanding an explanation for bandaged arms. and as the nice girl i forever am, i had to give one. i had some IVs in my arms today.
am i riding this elevator with rainman’s mother?
the IVs save my life.
that gave her an inscrutable look. the doors then opened, and i made a beeline for the frozen food section.
…and it’s all thanks to you, president obama!
i am not surprised by the lineup of state attornies general who are preparing to go to war over this law, though i have already called and emailed the attorney general in my state to cease and desist with his efforts. (i’m sure the intern charged with reading those things is probably laughing his or her a$$ off at my verbage.) i don’t want my tax dollars wasted on a groundless and absurd effort to get rid of a law which frankly benefits me and all americans. but i’m sure these folks want to put on a good show (they are, by and large, mostly elected officials) for the portion of the electorate that brung them. which, in my commonwealth, would not include me.
(incidentally, if you’re in VA and would like to share your views with the attorney general, you can find him here.)
anyway, i want to share why i think this admittedly somewhat imperfect law is still the best freaking thing since sliced bread.
1) eliminating pre-existing conditions for kids immediately and for adults in 2014. unless you have what would be considered a pre-existing condition, you would have no idea what this means to a person, to a family.
i have often joked with BS that i married him for his sugar-daddy health insurance. of course, back then, i didn’t have a pre-existing condition. now, of course, i do. if for some insane reason he lost his job, i would personally ding my entire family’s ability to get health insurance unless his next employer offered insurance without any sort of pre-existing condition clause.
this idea has hung over my head for four years now like an ominous cloud. when i first came home from the hospital four years ago, when i should have been focusing on getting well, i was instead completely wigged out at the prospect that should i ever need to get my own health insurance, i could not any longer. my family’s health was in potential jeopardy simply by virtue of being related to sickly me. how would i provide for my children’s medical care? it truly made me sad. it truly made me feel helpless, captive to a condition that i didn’t create for myself. it’s just in my genes. and the only way to have a fighting chance at wellness was a therapy that cost upwards of $10,000 every four weeks. without insurance.
now, there’s a law on my side.
2) lifetime caps on medical coverage goes bye=bye: yes, those of us who have freakish illnesses that don’t simply require us to take an aspirin and call someone in the morning rack up an impressive set of bills, even with health insurance. honestly, no one ever expects to get sick; but when it happens, it happens. and if it happens with a hospital stay or lengthy and expensive treatment options, eventually, one wonders whether one will hit that point when his insurer and he will have to part company. someone i love had a fairly innocuous surgery, only to go into kidney failure, a coma, and infection hell and end up in the ICU for three months. (he’s better now, fret not.) that sort of thing hits the hundreds of thousands of dollars. in a lifetime, stuff happens, and you amass these costs… it’s not pretty.
but what is our choice? let people die? sorry, mrs. jones, but we can’t pay for your cancer treatments anymore. you’ve really fought hard over these past 5 years, and you’ve beaten certain odds impressively. but you’ve hit your cap. you’re done now. good luck and goodbye. GOOD LORD, it must never come to this. but i suspect for some people, it has.
and now, G-d willing, it won’t.
now a lot of people are up in arms over having to have health insurance. honest to G-d, people, you’re required to have home and car insurance by law. yeah, maybe it’s state law, but probably because that’s how it panned out at the time. who the fuck CARES whether it’s federal law? if you need to be prepared to pay somehow when your home is destroyed by fire or your car takes out another person’s car, then why the HELL shouldn’t you be responsible to have insurance about a certainty: you will one day become ill. maybe seriously. i, for one, really hoped for a public option to make things even easier for people who truly cannot afford insurance.
oh, right. it’s socialism, requiring people to buy health insurance.
let me give you a little lesson, john and jane q. teabagger. THIS is what socialism is all about. (i know it has some really big words, and i know because glenn beck isn’t providing his own special narrative that it might be difficult to understand. but i have faith in you: give it a go.) guess what: no one has taken private health insurers out of the loop. you know, health insurers are companies trying to take part in that great concept you know and love called capitalism? barack obama won’t be out there, lining people up and pushing them into some government clinic. it will still be your doctor, your country, your world.
and yes, i know the economy is awful right now. but if i have to hear one more bit about small companies possibly dying on the vine because now they have to provide their employees health insurance? well, maybe it’s that great capitalistic system telling you that you ought not be in business. i mean, so you should be essentially using other people to make money for yourself — but not take care of them? i’m, sorry, but i don’t think so. this is a new cost of doing business. (and i’m sure a lot of you will find tax lawyers who will, in turn, find loopholes so you can escape this somehow. i’m counting on it.)
there are failings in the law, to be sure. for one thing, as i mentioned, i wished for a public option. while it wouldn’t directly benefit me, it benefits all the people who might not otherwise have the wherewithal to be insured. and i would be smacked upside my head by my BTD if i didn’t mention tort reform.
but hell. it happened. and i’m hoping that we, as a society, have not sunk to the depths of caring only about ourselves. i’m thrilled beyond words that our elected officials — at least, SOME of them — actually put their necks on the line for something bigger than themselves.
and i feel good — really, really, good — for the first time in a long time.
I say, “I remember you.
You drive like a PTA mother.”
yep. today is my birthday. and, as your wildly narcissistic pal, i tend to really love the day because it’s all about me. (well, all about me and everyone else born on the same day… which, among my friends, includes three other people, particularly one high school friend born on the same day in the same year. i’ve never established who was born first. me, i was born just after lunch, so she has the greater likelihood of being born before, i suppose.) in fact, i love the whole week before and the whole week afterwards as well. life is short. 24 hours is too little time to feel delighted to be on the planet another year.
this year is a somewhat big (though not ending in a zero big) year for me. so, now that i’m 25 (oh, stop it — i’m doing inverse dog years), i thought i’d put some goals together and put them out there. hell, it may keep me honest. and maybe, it will inspire someone else to put their goals on the road, too. sure, it’s over two months since new year’s, but my new year always starts for me on my day of natality.
so, as we celebrate what one of my beloved pals from grad school would refer to as wrekehavoc awareness day (and yes, her tongue would be so firmly in cheek that it would indent), in no particular order, the list of goals:
1) improve my health. well, we all know my health has been a struggle, thanks to a genetic crapshoot i lost. but (and with apologies to those doing the 12-step boogie) if i can get some of that serenity to change all the things i can change, then i need to exercise and lose weight. consistently. one of my friends has lost over 30 pounds; she has inspired me to take charge. and while i’m not using any particular diet program, i am watching my calories, using an online tool she steered me to, myfitnesspal.com. (no, this isn’t an endorsement. this is just letting you know what i’m doing.)
another friend — the wife of my husband’s best friend, which sounds scandalous when it’s put like that — has inspired me in the exercise department. i have always attempted the all-or-nothing approach which has yielded me exactly that — nothing. unless all consists of injured, disgusted, and not fit. anyway, she has used her wii consistently and has lost 30 pounds over the course of a year. while it won’t make me the hottest bod in the land, it is certainly a great first motivational step toward bigger things. it gets me started in a way where i hopefully won’t kill myself in the first week.
as we all know goals don’t mean crap unless you operationalize them (thanks, grad school professors for that knowledge!). so the operationalization:
-work out three times a week
-write your food down at least 5 out of 7 days/week
2) institute a writing schedule. i blather, and i blather in a lot of places. this results in a lot of blather that isn’t really taking me where i want to be. if i make a schedule and stick to it, i might actually finish a new book by year’s end while continuing the quest to get the first book published.
yet i still love to blog; and after 8 years in the bloggy trenches, i am not about to give it up. but i think i ought to stick with a schedule for when i write to make sure that i contribute regularly there but not too much! that will be tough to stick to, i know. i love to blog. maybe i’ll only allow myself short bits on days when i am not scheduled to write…
(can you see me caving already?)
so. operationalization, please…
-work on new novel tuesdays and thursdays.
-blog mondays and wednesdays
-friday – open season! squee!
3) unplug the kids. since the snowpacalypse, my kids, especially my beloved son hellboy, have become much more plugged in. in fact, i fear one day that either the star wars video game or the wii lego batman will one day come alive and pull him into the tv to live forever, shooting at dog-knows-what. while i suspect my kids will not grow up to become serial killers (note to self: which parents think their kids WILL?), i need to make a concerted effort to find ways to occupy them — or, more to the point, get them to occupy themselves!
here’s the challenge. hellboy has no kids his age nearby. zero. zilch. nada. BC has one. of course, it’s easier to get BC out of the house and on her bike, especially since i am not as worried that she’ll be in the street when someone zooms up at 60 mph in a 25 zone. but what to do with hellboy? how do i get him into the backyard to play when he’s all by his lonesome? do i book up his weekends with playdates months in advance (since these kids all seem to have much busier schedules than mine do)? gone are the days when you could just run up to your neighbor’s door and ask him to come out and play. (and, in hellboy’s case, there’s no appropriate neighbor’s doorbell to ring.)
hmm. here goes nothin’.
1) look at the calendar at the beginning of the month and plan at least one playdate for the boy/girl.
2) research fun backyard things that the boy would enjoy doing. the girl is pretty good at occupying herself, but the boy will need more than a few slimy bugs to entice him away from luke skywalker.
okay. so three should be a start, right?
anyone out there have ideas to help me meet my goals? that goal three is a bear for me, and i know there are parents out there who do it all much better than i do. please enlighten me with ideas, websites, and hope.
and heck — share your goals if you have any. maybe new year’s came and went for you. so hell — you can say it’s your birthday today, too.
see, i’m 25 today, so i know how to share.
(no awful ’80s earworms today. promise.)
today is world AIDS day, a day started in 1988 to bring awareness and education to the plight of those living with HIV and AIDS. years ago, when i worked at the US Dept of Education, i had the privilege of putting together two years’ worth of WORLD AIDS Day commemorations plus helping to develop training materials for fellow employees so that they would understand how to deal with employees who were HIV+/AIDS patients. (in short: treat them as you would want to be treated. you won’t catch the disease from working with people.) i was proud to volunteer the Department’s building to house part of the AIDS Quilt, which was at the time laid out on the National Mall for all to see. while sadly, the quilt has gotten larger, we seem to be learning more about slowing the disease and helping those afflicted live longer.
i know people who have died of complications from AIDS. i also know people who are living with HIV/AIDS.
yesterday, i was talking with my kids about AIDS, which is not easy to do when the kids are 10 and 6. i explained that it stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. BC looked at me a little scared. don’t you have immunodeficiency, mom?
in fact, when i was first diagnosed with CVID, some people thought i had AIDS. i do, honey, i replied, but that’s different from AIDS. the A in AIDS means “acquired” which means doing something to get the virus. i didn’t do anything to get this immunodeficiency; i just was born with these particular genes. and you can’t catch it from me unless you have the same genes, too.
hellboy wasn’t getting this, really, but girlfriend was. and she continued. so what do you have to do to get AIDS? she asked.
well, basically, you can get it from other people’s body fluids.
she crushed up her nose. you mean, like pee?
once again, i am the one with the fun topical conversations, not BS. well, things like blood, for example. before they knew more about HIV, they didn’t know much about the blood supply, so people who were hemophiliacs who got transfusions sadly ended up dying of AIDS.
what are hemophiliacs?
people whose blood doesn’t have the stuff in it to help them stop bleeding. a little cut could kill a hemophiliac if not treated properly.
girlfriend was connecting dots again. you mean, like when you had no platelets and were bruising? she looked sad.
that’s a different problem, and i’m better now. but sort of. (time to divert the attention in order to get her away from the thought of my demise.) anyway, people who share needles when they shoot up their drugs can give it to each other. so don’t do drugs and that’s one problem solved.
ewww! who would do that!!!! she exclaimed.
not anyone with any sense, i said. anyway, another way of getting HIV is… i looked over at the boy, who was probably busy thinking about star wars and continued cautiously…through sex.
girlfriend’s eyes now got HUGE.
we can talk about that part away from your brother right now since i don’t think he understands this the way you do. but know that there are things you can do to keep yourself as healthy as you can be.
girlfriend seemed satisfied with that answer, only stopping to note: mommy, isn’t that guy on EastEnders a guy with AIDS? (we’re so far behind in our episodes here in the US that Mark Fowler is still alive.)
yes, honey. and he still is living like everyone else on the show.
i got a nod from her, and then we moved on.
it’s never easy talking with your kids about AIDS, but i figure if i start early at ages when they can understand and in words that they can comprehend, maybe i’ll help them out somewhere down the road.
then again, maybe somewhere down the road, there will be a cure for this scourge and moms won’t have to have these sorts of conversations.
every year, i participate in blog action day. i like to tilt at windmills as much as the next grrl, and they always pick topics about which i tend to care.
this year, the topic: climate change.
as a mom and as a somewhat crunchy being, i tend to worry about polar bears and glaciers and all sorts of seemingly unnatural alterations to our present time-space continuum. i often wonder when the day will come when kansas develops coastal waterfront property. i ponder whether my kids — and, G-d-willing, their kids — will inherit a world that continues to turn and continues to exist as we know it. and, being one whose own health is a somewhat fragile topic, i also do imagine the potential health issues that happen when climates go awry.
greater heatwaves hit people, especially those poor folks who don’t have air conditioning or who choose (insert tongue firmly in cheek as that word is said) to live al fresco. (well, that’s what my conservative friends tell me. homelessness, apparently, is a life choice. and apparently, climate change is a complete farce. next, they’ll be telling me that i should trust in big business and the free market. but i digress. per usual.) and when it gets very, very hot, all sorts of diseases can become even more of a problem before. for example, mosquitoes would dig climate change, if they had brains bigger than an atom, because it increases their ability to find a date and dinner, which of course can lead to all sorts of happiness for mosquitoes but also a whole world of trouble for us two-legged buffet tables.
and when it’s cold, well, in short, people freeze to death.
i suspect there are potential long-term problems in the offing. agriculture can suffer, which could mean people could go hungry, people might have to move. while in the midwest recently, i saw a news segment about a farm that had a bumper crop of pumpkins thanks to the hotter, wetter summer. however, every other crop of theirs — tomatoes, etc — went straight to hell thanks to rot. i’m not especially a fan of pumpkin pie, and i don’t want to face a future where i have to eat any sort of squash in order to maintain my existence.
see, one can only eat so much zucchini before one contemplates something drastic.
now some people think that global warming is a crock of shit. but i find that a lot of the commentary on global warming tends to be from people who cherrypick their data. i will freely admit that as someone who doesn’t study the topic 24/7, i try to comprehend the information that bombards me. but i cannot understand people who shut down the discussion. i have plenty of friends who think the whole idea of global warming is bunk, and they pull my tail at all turns (and they will likely pull it in the comments section as well. go for it, kids.) even if you believe global warming is bunk, can you not fathom the idea that perhaps looking toward some better practices could only improve health on the planet? is it so wrong to try to develop and use new technologies to use fewer amounts of non-renewable natural resources and possibly, just possibly, make the air cleaner and easier to breathe? is it wrong to try and work on agricultural solutions that don’t employ so damn many chemicals, some of which are polluting not only the earth but ourselves, thanks to the toxicity of these antibiotics and other supposedly-safe substances on our systems?
i get very tired of the naysayers who don’t want to explore solutions and who only want to piss on the progress parade.
so all right. who knows whether the ice age is coming. who knows whether we’ll all evaporate into vapor. who knows whether animals as we know it will die out. we could all be drinking beer with jimi hendrix in heaven tomorrow for all we know. but i believe that it is our responsibility as people on the planet to encourage anything to help us all live healthier lives, and that includes voting on policies that encourage safer and environmentally-friendly industrial practices. who knows: there may be an economic stimulus in there somewhere that will help us get out of this global financial rut we’re in as well.
it could be a win-win on the health front: our health, and the health of our world.
a special guilty pleasure. and not just because my beloved macca is involved.
elvis costello, in my estimation, is one of the best songwriters of the 20th/21st century. it was no surprise to me, then, when, in the late 1980s, he teamed up with paul mccartney (no slouch in the songwriting department) to co-write the album spike. (and paul plays that hofner bass on the album, too! squeee! okay. okay. i’m back now. i’m calm.) i am not terribly fond of some of costello’s output in the mid-1980s, though upon reflection, there are some incredible gems that i simply wasn’t ready to appreciate in my younger years (like his magnificent modern jazz standard shipbuilding, for example. [bummed i can’t find a version with the incredible chet baker trumpet solo.]) but spike seemed to be a musical kick in the pants for costello — his musical energy rebounded, and he produced some fine work.
veronica actually ended up a hit in the united states; and what a curious subject matter for a hit record. costello writes about an older woman who is clearly battling with some memory-robbing illness — dementia, alzheimers, or something of the like. she floats in and out of lucidity, remembering the scary parts of life as well as the blissful moments.
i suspect this song has always made me think of my grandmother. my grandfather died about a year before this song was released; and i think when he passed, my gram as i knew her passed, too. though her body was in tremendously healthy shape, she started down that slippery slope of dementia, just as veronica did. it was very hard to watch; i will never, ever forget the feeling of having someone who loved me dearly not know who i was. but once i realized that my gram was essentially gone, it became a little easier to bear. i started to think of her in a more scientific way: i was fascinated to hear about the places where her mind decided to visit. some days, she was a young girl in new york. she’d speak yiddish, and i was at the mercy of my parents to translate how old she was in that time and what she was doing in her mind. (and unfortunately, their yiddish was not quite what it was, so sometimes, we just had to smile and nod.)
and yet, there were those moments when she was there. by G-d, if you were not respecting her, she’d hand your head to you.
you never knew which lady you’d get when you dropped by the nursing home.
anyway, gram’s been gone now for nearly 13 years, but fortunately, the gram i remember is a feisty, tough-as-nails lady. the lady who wasn’t all there? that wasn’t really my gram.
Veronica sits in her favourite chair and she sits
very quiet and still
And they call her a name that they never get
right and if they don’t then nobody else will
But she used to have a carefree mind of her
own, with a devilish look in her eye
Saying “You can call me anything you like, but
my name is Veronica”
the lady may have had issues with her memory, but i’d like to think that she was going to hold onto her dignity no matter what.
and she did.
(or why i refuse to let a knife and fork dig my grave.)
in a moment of insanity fit of hysteria second when i was inspired to just do something about my weight and health, i committed myself to an asylum a month-long bootcamp. a bootcamp that i can continue with until the end of september if i so desire. a bootcamp that is both land-based AND amphibious. (as in we run AND we swim, somewhere in between squats and other excruciating moments with our instructor, a triathlete.) a bootcamp for which i must awake at 5 am every morning (and which also means BS must awake at 5 am, causing him much unanticipated happiness, as you might imagine. who loves you, BS? the most wonderful, supportive husband on the planet i have, you know.)
today was day three of the saga that you’ll hear about already in progress; and i’m here to tell you that i am, in fact, the class bottom feeder. because of the bionic knee (and the zillion pounds atop it), i ran/walked a timed mile today (where others did two. yes. there were people who lapped me. they did two miles in less time than i did one.) yesterday, i swam a timed 150 meters where others did 200. (and also lapped me.)
and in between it all are pushups and squats and all sorts of torture designed to make your muscles wake up and realize that they have a purpose other than waving at the french fries as they pass by on their way to the tummy. damn – every time i rolled over in bed last night, i woke up in pain — my stomach muscles are probably in complete and utter shock, having been on vacation since 2003. our instructor is cruel but fair. she’s a late-20s lady who probably does all of these things and more before she comes to our class. but bless her heart, she does the job.
okay, okay. so the only reason i didn’t come in dead last today in the run was because a 50-something guy who is a runner had knee surgery, so he has to walk. (his wife is also a triathlete. what is UP with these people. they do this FOR FUN?) but here’s the good part:
and i figure, if i keep this up and i watch my food intake, i might lose a few pounds like my pal leifer, who is slimming down, too.
it’s funny — i’ve been working out on ellipticals and treadmills and such, and yet none of that seemed hard, like this is. i think i have a tendency to coast when i am on an exercise machine. (hell, i sing and dance on the elliptical when a great song comes on, much to the laughter of the people at the community center who pass me by. like i care.) so for now, i’m trying exercise the old fashioned way.
yeah, it would be more fun if i were playing a sport. but i figure i’ll do this. i need to think up a reward system: finish a week, do X. finish 2 weeks, do Y. finish a month?
so i’ve just returned from something called a sleep study. i haven’t been sleeping well for awhile — and not just because there are little people who occasionally wake me up at night over a nightmare or feeling barfy. i don’t quite breathe right, and every morning, i don’t exactly wake up fresh as a daisy, so to speak. my pulmonologist decided i might have sleep apnea and sent me to get a sleep study. in theory, this might be the easiest test you ever take. in reality, perhaps not so much.
our sleep center happens to be located in our local hospital — yes, the same one where i not only had two babies but also spent two weeks searching for my dear departed platelets. jools was soothed enough when i told him that they would send me home by 6 am (the same time he wakes up), but BC was completely wigged out. seems that the girl remembers my history of going to the hospital to check something out and then getting locked up there for awhile. in short, she was afraid.
it’s very difficult to be ill as a parent. it’s hard enough to be ill, of course; but when you’re a parent, there are other people who are younger and more sensitive to think about. it destroys me to know that my daughter will forever be freaked out whenever i go to a hospital, even for the most benign reasons (such as a sleep study.) we had sturm; we had drang; we had a lot of tears. but the time came, and i had to leave my girl, sobbing in her daddy’s arms.
to be honest, i wasn’t exactly enjoying the idea of spending a night in the hospital. i had to check in through the Emergency Room registration, as regular registration is closed at 8:45 pm. i dread ERs simply because i do not want to catch whatever the hell is in there. luckily, then, they speedily send you to sit in the main lobby and wait for the sleep team. as i am friend to the friendless, i ended up talking with a hospital employee who was sitting and waiting for someone. we talked about how his night-shift work was destroying his life and himself. (yeah, i have that affect on people. i have missed my calling as a talk show host.)
eventually, the sleep team came and escorted me and two men up to our expensive hotel rooms our rooms, which had bathrooms with showers. oddly enough, no complimentary soap. i filled out some forms, had electrodes placed all over me, and learned about the cpap machine (in case they needed to use one on me in the night, they didn’t want me to be freaked out by someone putting as mask over my face while i was in a dream state.) who knew that there is a mask simply for women? (i was told that as women age, our heads get bigger but our noses shrink. that’s one for the books.)
and then, nighty-night time. on the bright side, the hospital now has regular TV remotes instead of the huge thingies that don’t let you do anything but move a channel forward. however, i was so tired, i just turned it off after 5 minutes of la grande illusion and tried to sleep.
try would be the operative word. i tossed. i turned. i couldn’t get comfy all wired up. oh, and i was afraid i would have to wake up and hit the loo, which would mean that the lady who helped me would have to actually come in, unwrap me from my cords, and take me to the bathroom. no thanks. i think i slept a tiny bit, but most of my night i recall being awake.
so i’m not entirely sure what they’ll study.
not an april fools joke. my mom went to the hospital this morning with chest pains. i’m sure she’ll be okay, but she has to have a heart catheterization to make sure. i may be scarce from here for awhile.
sorry i’m not funny today.
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