Sunday, August 27, 2006

Adventures in the MRI tube

Okay, some background. About 4 years ago I fell off my bike in an amazing display of super-clumsiness and end up breaking my elbow. More specifically, the radial head basically split in three directions. It hurt like a mother fucker, my friends. Seriously. Anyway, it healed as best as that kind of fracture can heal.

Over the past year or so, it's really started hurting again. Popping at random times, dull achy pain, etc. It finally got annoying enough that I went back to the ortho to have it checked out. I expected there to be some arthritis, but the x-ray was clear. That's good news - no arthritis... But doesn't explain why it's hurting.

So the next step was to have an MRI done of my elbow. I've never had an MRI done before. I've seen pictures though. You get to lay on your back and take a nice nap while they little machine does its thing, right?

WRONG - did you know that to have an MRI done of your elbow you actually have to get into the world's most uncomfortable position and then HOLD IT completely STILL for over 30 minutes? I had to lay on my stomach with my right arm extended in front of me, then sort of had my head off to the side laying at a bizarred angle on top of the little arm rest thing. My other arm is at my side, basically under my hip so I will fit into the tube.

Now at first, this position is sort of uncomfortable. After 5 minutes, it starts to hurt. After 10 minutes, I am in pain. After 15 minutes, my arm starts to go numb and I realize that I have a single hair tickling my nose, which I cannot scratch because I can't move either of my arms. I spend the next 5 minutes trying to blow the hair away but my head is at a weird angle so I'm blowing but it's not really in the direction of the hair so that doesn't help.

So now I'm at about 20 minutes and I think I'm starting to have some sort of weird reaction. I'm starting to lose track of time and that MRI is LOUD so I start kind of listening the ticks and pings and whirs to distract myself. At this point I sort of fell asleep (went into total zone out mode, more like it). Then the lady says - doing great, only a few more...

By now my hand is completely numb and my shoulder really really hurts. At this point I resort to the trick that got me through labor... I just started saying the alphabet over and over and over... A sort of zen mantra for me.

Now we'are at 30 minutes... The lady says only two more... Okay, I can do this... alphabet alphabet... zone out... whir click whiiiiiir, click click click... Why didn't I ask for some valium or something? Being high would make this so much more pleasant... a, b, c, d, e, f....

That voice again - only one more... 3 minutes and you'll be done... Okay, I will now recite the alphabet 9 times and when I am done, this will be over... I open my eyes and start noticing all the little things inside the MRI tube. I can see that damn hair in front of my eye. My shoulder has gone numb. I can't feel my fingers.

Then silence. I'm done!!! I'm done!! The lady comes in and I suddenly realize that my arm is completely numb and I can't get up. She helps me up and my fingers start tingling as the blood rushes back in. Then she asks me to sign something. I tell her to give me a few minutes until my fingers become functional again.

I go sit in the lobby and look at the clock - to my surprise I realize I was in the tube for over 45 minutes. I completely lost track of the time. My shoulder aches. They hand me my films to take back to the doctor. I'm done. I call my husband to come pick me up. He asks how it was. I tell him that tonight I will definitely need a shoulder rub.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Some pics...

This is my princess, at her 3rd birthday party.

This is my son, complete with ketchup from dinner on his face, preparing to show off his power wheel skills.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

High on cough syrup

You know all those little things on medicines that say WARNING MAY AFFECT ABILITY TO DRIVE. Yeah, those little things are right. Only you don't know it until you are already out the driveway half way down the street and you just MUST HAVE a meximelt because you are hungry and your husband didn't have time to get you dinner because he was running late for the dinner with his grandmother that you are missing because you are really really sick and you'd feel bad if you went to the old folks home and someone died of the flu you carried in on your sick ass.

Shit, what was I saying?

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Letting my children fail

I recently read this post on a friend's blog:

I also read this article as well:

I've been pondering this.

The other day my three year old daughter was flipping through a book of pictures while waiting for my son to finish gymnastics. An older boy (I'd guesstimate about 6 years old) came over and pulled the book away from her. My first instinct was to jump in. To grab the book back and tell the boy he was rude and talk to his mother. But I stopped myself. I wanted to see what she would do on her own.

She gave this boy the look of death and grabbed the book and dragged it right back to her. "I was reading that." And then she continued to flip through the book and the boy just stared at her. A few minutes later when she was finished, she closed the book and then pushed it back to him. "Now I am done."

What if I had intervened? Would she have learned that she needs to wait for me to take care of it? By me stepping back, she had to figure it out herself - and she did a damn good job.

I let my children fail all the time. If they can't get their shoes buckled, they try again. If they lose a game, we play again. If they get in trouble at daycare, I ask them why and we talk about it - I do not yell at their daycare mom for sending them to time out. If they can't do something, we do it together, so they can learn how to do it themselves.

They know how to speak for themselves. They order their own food at restaurants and if it isn't right, they know how to ask the server to fix it. They pick out their own clothes, even if it doesn't match. I ask their opinions about things - what they want for breakfast, where we should go for dinner, what should we do today?

In my line of work, I deal all the time with kids and their parents. Kids who clearly have a drug problem and parents who are enabling them. Bailing them out of jail, giving them money, helping them out, trying to keep them from getting in trouble. I tell them, sometimes a little harshly - you are not helping your kid. Your child needs to fail. Your child has to suffer the consequences of these choices. Sometimes they listen but usually not. Then a year later, the kid is back, this time it's much worse and there is nothing anyone can do to save the kid now.

I don't want my kids to be wimps. When they go to college, they will know that they are loved, but they aren't perfect and sometimes they will screw up and they will just have to deal with it. They will know how to stand up for themselves but know when to let it go.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

To go, or not to go...

I knew this day would come eventually. My nephew is being baptized, and of course, the whole family is invited. Here is what is going through my head right now...

Why I don't want to go -

Because my entire former ward will be there, including the bishop who processed my resignation and all my parents' friends who have known me since I was born and watched me grow up into the perfect Mormon girl (HA) and then watched me go apostate and isn't it such a shame. Because I may actually want to throw up at the thought of another one of my dear nieces and nephews being baptized into what I consider a real mind fucker. Because I remember all those baptisms I went to and how I always really enjoyed them and I am sure I will be very sad that I don't feel that way any more. Because it will just emphasize how painful it was to lose my own faith. Because my children will see this nice ceremony and how their cousin got to go in the river in a cool outfit and get dunked, and what if they ask question and want to know when they get to do it too?

Why I should go

Because it is an important day, to my brother and my nephew. Because I had no problem going to countless non-lds weddings and christenings and confirmations, so why should this be any different. Because my son wants to share his cousin's special day. Because it is family.

I think my biggest fear is that I will get emotional at this baptism, and those around me will interpret that as "The Spirit" touching my heart. I just can't handle the thought of well-meaning folks approaching me and asking questions. Questions I still can't answer completely myself - about how it feels to lose faith and how it affects every single tiny aspect of your self-worth and your life and your family and your world view. And why even though it is the worst thing I've ever gone through, it is SO worth it to be on the other side.

Which leads to the big question:

Is it wrong to hope for a case of food poisoning to strike me and my children so we have a reason no to go?

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Things I am loving right now

Okay, usually I try to make some sort of point when I blog, but for a change, I am just going to tell all y'all the things that are making my life better right now!!

1. Lush. I am expecting a delivery on Tuesday and my kids are almost as excited as I am. I love the bath bombs. There is just something inherently fun and wonderful about taking a bath in pink sparkly water with flowers floating in the tub. My kids go WILD over the bath bombs - even my son.

2. My Gym. My son went to a birthday party there about a year ago and was in love. It is well worth the money. The instructors are all amazing and you can tell they genuinely love working with kids. They change the set up every week so there's new equipment and exercises. They do a great job of blending exercise with fun with teaching skills with free play with music.

3. Flex spending accounts. This year between the health care and dependent care FSAs we will save about $3000 dollars in taxes. And I get this nice credit card I can just use to pay for all our Rxs and doctor co-pays. It's really cool. I am not exaggerating when I say that we easily spend $50 a month on prescription co-pays alone. Asthma is not a cheap condition, I'll tell ya that. That doesn't even begin to include the money we spend on physician visits for everyone through the year.

4. And speaking of asthma - Pulmicort turbuhaler. This has made my life so much easier. Instead of the daily 15 minute nebulizer struggle with my five year old, he is DONE his daily dose of pulmicort in 0.1 second.

5. Zoloft. I am not shy to admit that I come from a long line of clinically depressed folks. I've had bouts of the blues since I was in high school. I really always wondered when it would really hit me. This year, it finally did. After almost a month of feeling like I was losing my mind and nights crying on the bathroom floor, my husband convinced me it was time. I was nervous about side effects. But I had a great response to a pretty low dosage, and I feel like me again. It does make me sleepy. But given the choice between wife who won't get out of bed ever and wife who needs a little extra nap on the weekends, my husband is willing to give me the extra nap time.

6. Bra tanks. Let's face it, after a combined total of 5 years pregnant and/or nursing, my boobs just ain't as perky as they used to be. Yet, I do love wearing tank tops. (I do think this is partly due to sheer joy at being garment-free) I am very thankful that now I can wear a tank top AND have a nice looking chest.

7. Intuition. The razor. A little pricy, but let's be honest. This is the only reason that my legs and armpits do not look like sasquatch. It just requires so little effort to shave now.

8. Charmed bracelets. My friend Dana makes these. She is amazing. I have several custom made bracelets from her that I get dozens of compliments on every time I wear them. I have also given her bracelets to my sisters and friends as gifts. She truly is an artist.

9. Yahoo coffeehouse. I listen to this at work. It is mostly music that I haven't really heard before, but I like about 95% of it. And it is mellow enough for work.

10. Grind and Brew. I'm telling ya - there is just nothing better than waking up to fresh ground and brewed coffee every morning. This sucker is my alarm clock. I hear the grinder come on in the morning and know... In five minutes I can wake up and have COFFEE!!

So there you go. My product plugs. Enjoy!

Deciding we're done

So at my last appointment with the midwife, she asked if I was having any more children. Two years ago, I wasn't sure at all. Last year, I was pretty much thinking I was done. This year, I'm sure. I'm done. We're taking permanent measures to make sure that we are done. My older sister's surprise pregnancy 7 years after her reportedly last child was born prompted that decision. (That will be the topic of a later blog post - right now I'm not allowed to talk about. My husband won't let me. If I try to bring up the impending "appointment", he just closes his eyes and puts his hand over his balls and sighs like he's about to lose a dear friend.)

I know this is the right decision. I look at my family and it feels complete. I try to imagine another baby, another place at the table, another person on my lap... and I can't. I try to imagine myself pregnant again, nursing again... and I can't. I remember asking my mother how I would know when I was done. She said I'd just know. I didn't believe her. Now I do. I just know.

But I am still a little bit sad. My friends are still having babies. I hold their infants and remember how it felt to smell a baby and tickle tiny toes and pat cute little padded diaper butts. I see a mother nursing and remember that closeness and warmth and love. I miss that. I won't ever have that again.

Then again, I also won't have nursing bras, diapers, and spit up stains on every suit.

The other day my husband and I were having lunch and a toddler boy passed by, babbling and laughing and being very adorable. We watched him and we both smiled. I asked my husband, are you sure you don't want more? As if on cue, the boy started throwing a monster tantrum. We both just laughed.

Yup. We're done.