Oh Dear. Utah. Scary. brain dump

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

This past September was the 15th anniversary of coming back from Utah.  This has been the first year that I have not spent the day curled up in a fetal position waiting for the day to pass.  I actually only realized the date when I had yet another one of my nightmares about Utah.  Yes, I still have them with some regularity.

This morning, I looked at Princess and almost died. She is growing- up, she is not my little girl who chases geese and loves to swing at the park. It dawned on me, when I was her age I was already in the midst of an eating disorder.  A diagnosable eating disorder.

She is such an amazing person, smart, caring, strong, thoughtful, and kind.  I never want her to hurt like that.  I never want her to feel like she is not not enough just as she is.  She is special and unique and fantastic.  How can I protect her from this?  How can I keep her safe from that trip in a fun-house mirror. 

Thankful for eczema

Saturday, October 11, 2014

That is bizarre, right?  How could anyone be thankful of an itchy annoying rash?

I am.

The past 4 years have been full of crazy medical things happening.  So many surgeries. So many hospital stays. A lot of feeling unsure.

Eczema is something that I have dealt with my whole life, there is comfort in the familiar.  I get rashes from almost everything. 

Eczema may be annoying and itchy- but I am thankful for it.

Death with dignity

Thursday, October 9, 2014

There is a video has gone viral in which a woman has relocated to Oregon to avail herself of the Death With Dignity statute on the books in that state.

This is a pretty hot button topic.  Should an individual who is terminally ill have the right for request a doctor to request a prescription for a medication that will end their life?

I support this right.  I have not been diagnosed with a terminal illness. I have watched people I love suffer horribly, and yes, I have prayed for their suffering to end.

No one deserves to suffer and spend their last time in pain or dealing with unbelievable anxiety. Illnesses like this can rob a person of everything.  In the small amount of experience I have had dealing health issues- the lack of control is paralyzing. Giving  a little control of their destiny is just and compassionate.  Individuals can choose when they die, surrounded by people who love them. Not alone, in fear, in the hospital.

Life is precious and sacred.  Prolonging life by prolonging suffering is not respecting life it is not protecting the value in a person.

"First do no harm" is a crucial doctrine of medicine.  Is it harmful to make a person suffer? Is alleviating that suffering more important?  The Oregon law does not permit a doctor to administer the drugs to the individual.  They must ingest them themselves. This protects doctors from violating their oath.  Doctors are also not required to write these prescriptions.

There are safe guards to help ensure that people are not coerced, that individuals are competent, that individuals understand what they are doing. It doesn't make it perfect, but it helps.

There was a case of a person who wanted to to continue his fight and pursue more treatment, but his insurance declined to pay for it and instead offered only palliative/hospice care up to and including death with dignity.  This is horrible.  This is a decision that an individual needs to make on there own, not because of an insurance companies assessment of value.  This is one of my primary concerns with this law. No one but the individual affected should have a say in when enough is enough.  Different people will have different lines in the sand as where that is.

In a perfect world cancer wouldn't happen or be able to be cured with relative ease.  As that is not the case a person needs to have the right to protect their dignity.

I am not in this situation, but people who are need to have this choice. It is not the right choice for everyone and that is fine. We are all individuals and one size does not fit all.

There are lot of people who say this is against their beliefs and that is okay, one persons beliefs should not dictate another's rights.

Many more prescriptions have been written under the Death With Dignity law than have been used.  Suggesting, that having that piece of mind and sense of control is extremely important as well.

Mom Superpowers

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Growing a person is a miracle and superpower in an of itself.   Delivering that person (or persons) is also HUGE (I mean really- have you ever been through it? Or have you watched it? Its amazing)

Moms also make milk that is the perfect food.  It is specially formulated for the age the baby (or toddler) is.  It changes according to the time of day, what illnesses you (and child) have been exposed to, it takes on the flavors of the food mama ate so baby can be exposed to different flavors. 

The whole lactation thing is amazing. 

Moms often have a "mama gut" I can tell when my kids are sick and when it is more than just a cold.  Something just seems off.  My kids get a 'sick smell' I swear, there is a definite smell when my kids are sick.  I can also tell if my kids are really injured or if everything will be fine.

I do lack x-ray vision.  The other day, Pixie was feeding the horses apples.  One of the horses accidentally bit her. She screamed and cried so much! The poor horse felt so sorry! He was really upset. 

After cleaning out the owie out- she still wasn't calming down the way I would normally expect her too.  This is the child who didn't cry when she got stitches in her head after running into the table.  I tried to convince myself it was just the first time she had ever been hurt by an animal and she was really upset. A little voice in my head was needling me that something was just off. We went to the ER to be safe.  I called B and told him what was happening.  He asked "Is it broken?".  WHY WOULD HE ASK THAT? I mean really.  Her bone was still inside her skin... there was no obvious deformity--- it just was not quite right.

I took 5 kids to the ER alone and after an incredibly brief visit-  we were on the way home.  Pixie had a small chip in her bone. 

Another super power I have is knowing the location of almost everything.  No one looks for things- they just ask me... "Mama have you seen xyz?" most of the time I can give a very detailed description of its location.  Sometimes I can't there are 5 kids and one of me.  The odds are never in my favor.

What super powers does the mama have in your house?

Bleeding Heart Liberals

Thursday, September 11, 2014

We live in a very conservative Christian town.  Ostensibly this would mean that there is a huge charity focus, residents would be non-judgmental, kind, and accepting.

And I was called a bleeding heart liberal- because of my political leanings.

I prefer compassionate.

I do not like seeing people have to choose between medical care and food- I strongly oppose that.

The environment needs to be protected- we only have one planet- we need to treasure it and care for it.

I do not like seeing oppressed people further oppressed. I will stand with anyone who tries to stop it.

I do not like seeing people victimized.  I will stand with any one to try and stop it.

My beliefs and morals are mine... and they guide my behavior and choices- but I may not impose them on anyone else. Our government was founded on the principle of religious freedom (freedom of religion and from religion).

Maybe I am a bleeding heart liberal.  I hope I can raise my kids to be compassionate bleeding heart liberals too.

Long time no write

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Quite often as I am going through the day, I think of things I want to write about and even go about composing a post in my head.... then something else happens.  It is an occupational hazard of having a big family.

Have you ever noticed the "Mama feeling"?

The other day Princess came downstairs and said her throat was sore- not terribly sore just a bit scratchy.  My mama radar started dinging.  Something was off. She wasn't running a temperature and she was not acutely ill- something just seemed off.  I swear I felt like Ms. Clavel from the Madeline books.

I already had appointments for 2 kids at our doctor for that afternoon (we see a family practice doctor so we all see the same person) so I called and added her on.

She had strep. I talked with B and he said that he thought she seemed fine and would have sent her on her way. There was nothing concrete that I could say: this is why I took her to the doctor.  Just a feeling.  Its not the first time its happened either.

Does anyone else have mama gut? Or just a feeling something isn't right?

On Suicide and Mental Illness

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

If I remember correctly I have addressed mental illness briefly in this blog after a tragedy.  I had hoped, in vain, that maybe, possible there would be a real discussion about the mental health issues in society.  Obviously, this is not the case.

People are still stigmatized by their mental illness.  People are still isolated.  Even the people who have access to the best medicine has to offer, are over powered by these diseases.  These diseases (and that is what they are: diseases- just the same as diabetes, asthma, cancer- and just as deadly) are powerful.

It is not cowardly to commit suicide (it is an act of desperation) it cowardly to call a sick person names and judge them.  The illnesses are powerful and scary, they can take over and rip lives apart.  The illness is in control not the individual.

A person with depression or mental illness has as much choice in the matter as someone with any chronic illness. Would you tell someone with kidney failure to just think positively, or to make their kidneys work?  No (and I certainly hope not). Then don't do it to someone with a mental illness.

Robin Williams was a genius, a gifted man.  Sadly, he was also a tortured soul as so many geniuses are.  His dramatic roles in (Dead Poets Society and Good Will Hunting are two of my favorites) changed lives.  His comedy was brilliant. He brought joy to so many people. He was able to reach into peoples hearts and touch them. The world has lost a great man.

O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
                         But O heart! heart! heart!
                            O the bleeding drops of red,
                               Where on the deck my Captain lies,
                                  Fallen cold and dead.

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
                         Here Captain! dear father!
                            This arm beneath your head!
                               It is some dream that on the deck,
                                 You’ve fallen cold and dead.

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still,
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will,
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
                         Exult O shores, and ring O bells!
                            But I with mournful tread,
                               Walk the deck my Captain lies,
                                  Fallen cold and dead.
 Walt Whitman

Patch Adams and his character's suicidal feelings seem all that much more poignant now