Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Christmas Wish

I have a personality defect that I am pretty sure I inherited from my mother. Obnoxiousness. I don't actually TRY to be obnoxious; I just sometimes end up that way. That being said, it is time for my annual X-mas card. Stop moaning! I don't write about how intelligent, successful, and athletic my children are (not that they aren't those things). I just put in some of the real stuff, which I have been told communicates what my kids are really like. I also tend to put in a teeny weeny smidge of my liberal nature. I don't mean to piss off the Republicans in this family (that is just an added bonus). Actually, by now they have come to expect this from me.

Anyway, given the result of this year's election - the complete repudiation of Bush and his cronies from even the most Republican of states - Democrats regaining significant control of the House and Senate - even the stock market reacting to the promise of intelligence in power. I'm feeling a little validated. I like that. So how much gloating is acceptable under these circumstances? You have to keep in mind that I have listened ad nauseum to certain members of this family airing racist statements, complete and utter ignorance, and yet feeling quite comfortable deriding me for my opinions.

I am not going to gloat as much as I would like to. I do think that it would be funny, though, to re-write the poem "Twas the Night Before Christmas" in a funny (ok, gloating) fashion. This is what I have so far. I am open to revisions.

Twas the night before the election, when all through the White House
Not a creature was stirring, not even the louse.
The ballots were cast by the voters with care
In hopes a new President soon would be there.
The Dems were nestled all snug in their beds
While visions of Obama danced in their heads.
Ma with her valium and me with my rum,
Had just accepted the notion of global recession
When on CNN there arose such a clatter
I sprang from my stupor to see what was the matter.
When what to my pessimistic eyes should appear
But a map of blue states, a few red, there and here.
A black man in the White House, could it be true?
You mean someday a woman could be President, too?
The crowds cheered as they called them by name
Now Bush, now Cheney, now Rove and Condi,
On Rumsfeld, on Ashcroft, on Gonzalez and Libby.
Get out of the West Wing, get out of the hall.
Dash away, dash away, dash away all.
He walked off the stage and gave Palin a wink.
History was made, making all of us think.
But I heard him exclaim as he rode out of sight
Yes we can - Yes we did - Republicans, good night!

My bad?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Fine Art of Preventative Medical Malpractice

It's 11:30 p.m. and despite my dire need for sleep combined with the consumption of a fair bit of alcohol, I am not sleeping. Why am I not sleeping and why am I drinking caffeinated diet coke? I'm glad you asked. As I stated in my last post, my 14-year old had a tonsillectomy two days ago. He is sleeping upright in a recliner (to minimize swelling) and it is my turn to sleep on the couch. He fell asleep about an hour ago, and I noticed that he seems to breath in about two deep breaths and then no breaths for 10 seconds (I counted with the tick of the clock, so I am not exaggerating). I find this rather scary. I told my husband. I told my husband, who like many men, think moms are over-protective.
Not to be dissuaded, I decided to call the doctor. I don't care if I wake them up. It's their job and that's why they get paid the big bucks! I explained what was going on to the on-call doctor. He said to ease up on the Percoset, because that can cause breathing irregularities. I said "so I shouldn't be freaking out?" He said " no, but if you have any concerns, take him to the ER." So I asked what kind of sign should I look for that would send me to the ER. In a tone that suggested I am an idiot, he said, "if you are concerned. I'm not there so I can't make an assessment." I felt like saying I wouldn't be calling if I wasn't concerned, and you're the medically-trained professional, and I don't really know when it becomes a dangerous situation since I didn't go to med school and you don't have to be here because I accurately explained what was going on. But I didn't. I said thank you, hung up, and immediately said to my husband, "these guys sooooo cover their ass."
In the evening of the procedure, my son kept complaining that he couldn't breath well and that it felt like there was a glob of blood in his throat that he couldn't get up or down. So, I called the doctor and described the symptoms. (The doctor that did the procedure was on call that night.) He said that Aidan's uvula was swollen and he should not be lying down. (This would have been useful information to have when they sent us home after the surgery). And, strangely, he added the comment that he wasn't here, so he couldn't make an assessment. That was the first time that I hung up the phone and said that they were sooooo covering their asses.
I get that doctors face malpractice suits and that their insurance rates go up. While everyone would like to blame this on the lawyer, I blame it on the malpractice. If they didn't commit malpractice, no one would sue them. Most people understand that medicine is not an exact science and outcomes will not always be the same. Malpractice occurs when a doctor does someting, or does not do something, that is an accepted thing under the particular circumstances (this is not the legal definition, but I don't do malpractice law and it's 1 a.m.)
So I would assume that the Pediatric Ear, Nose, and Throat office would have done so many tonsillectomies that they would recognize common results and would know when something was serious enough to go to the ER. By turning over the medical judgement to me, they are absolving themselves of responsibility. So when Aidan begins to have slower breathing or this pattern goes on for one hour, or two hours, or three hours, I won't know if he needs to go in and since they said they can't make an assessment, they are clear. Fuckers!
So, in my non-medically trained way, I woke Aidan up so that he would breath regularly, turned on House (which, ironically, is his favorite show), and gave him a big glass of 7-Up. He's not very happy with me right now, but, too bad. The doctors opted out of this situation, so I have to take over. And I don't know squat except that as long as he is awake, he is breathing and I don't have to be in a constant state of panic.

What Are You Thankful For?

I spent about 2 hours today at my in-laws for Thanksgiving (enough time for me to eat, drink and be a little bit merry) before my 14 year old son, Aidan (I don't want to hear any crap from you Jim - it's a common Irish name) called and asked me to come home. He had his tonsils and adenoids removed on Tuesday and he has been in an acute state of misery since then. Although he had said that he didn't mind if we left him home today, that was before my mother showed up shortly before we were to leave. She announced that she would not be going to my in-laws today and would stay with Aidan. So I told Aidan that he could either come with us or stay home with Granny. He had to think about those options for a while, but, in the end, decided to stay home. Luckily for him, Granny only stayed for 2 hours.

This brought back the fond memory of when my 4 impacted wisdom teeth were removed. It was spring break during my 2nd year of college (everyone else went to Mexico). I remember walking out into the waiting room feeling more than a little loopy to find my sister, Charmaine, holding a large bouquet of red balloons each of which had drawings of blood drippings She's quite the comedian!

She redeemed herself by providing me with a constant supply of hot tea with lemon and honey as I suffered in bed. Eventually, though, even her caretaking abilities could not make up for the even more painful presence of my mother, and I had to retreat to my empty dorm (which provides no food service or anything else during spring break). Sadly, it was better to be alone in the dorm than in the house with my mother.

So I am thankful that my son finds my presence to be helpful, comforting, and sympathetic during this difficult time. God knows I didn't learn this skill from my mother!
The photo is Aidan and Charmaine during Charmaine's last visit.
When stating what you are thankful for at your very Republican in-laws' house, don't say "A Democratic President, Senate and House of Representatives."

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Music That Used to Be About Music

Am I wrong to think that a musician nominated for something on the American Music Awards should show up in some kind of outfit that doesn't suggest they just rolled out of bed and picked up the clothes that were on the floor? I mean, are you trying to say that you are so cool, and this is so routine, that you treat it as though it is no more special than going to the grocery store? That pisses me off.
I mean, I'm pretty sure my kids nominated me for Mother of the Year. When it comes time for the ceremony, I'll put on a suit, maybe even a dress (if I really have a chance of winning). More importantly, I will bring on stage with me a posse of scantily clad women dancing around me in a type of sexual worship. Oh. Ooops. I'm not a man. Nevermind.

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Case of the Missing Scallops

While some might assert that any attempt of mine to make dinner is somewhat of a mystery in and of itself, today it reached a new and unprecedented level. My scallops vanished. Did you ever see the movie "The Vanishing"? (The original foreigh version is waaaay better than the US remake). It was terrifying. And I am very concerned that my scallops have been buried alive somewhere just like that woman. But I have gotten ahead of myself. It all started with my grand plan to make dinner tonight (damn the Food Network and that bitch, Rachael Ray)!

In these economically-challenged times, I attempted to make dinner from what I had on hand. A few days ago, my mother brought over a package of frozen shrimp and a package of frozen scallops (a.k.a., the deceased). My eldest son LOVES seafood, and given his mom's equal (if not more) dislike of seafood, he never gets it. So, I thought, ok, I need to figure something out for this. I scoured through my many unopened cookbooks and found a recipe that actually called for shrimp and scallops. And, hallelujah, I had everything else that the recipe called for.

But then, it happened. I put the shrimp in the fridge to defrost. Then went to get the scallops, but they weren't there. Ok. Did I already put them in the fridge? Umm. No. Ok, let's go through the freezer again. Umm. No. Ok. I threw out some freezer-burned stuff in the freezer. Did I accidentally throw them away. This will require that I dig through the trash. This is my fricking dinner, so ok, I'm a trooper. Damn it. They're not there!

Pantry? Cabinet? Under the sink? In the oven? Downstairs fridge or freezer? Downstairs trash? No. Take a "What Not to Wear" break. Start over. Empty freezer - again. Downstairs fridge and freezer. Cabinet. Trash (yes, I did that again). No luck. I had to accept the fact that the scallops were gone.

Yes. Dinner went on. It was pretty good. But there was an empty feeling in my stomach. There were no scallops. And the question remains - whare are the fricking scallops? Seriously.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Yes We Can - And Yes We Did!

This isn't the election night speech. This is the "Yes We Can" speech after New Hampshire. The end of this speech was incapsulated into a greeting card thing that I received months ago from the Obama campaign. With a little help from my eldest son, I recorded it and saved it as my ringtone. Then I sent it to every Republican that I know. I don't know about them, but I thought it was funny!

Monday, November 3, 2008

One More Sleepless Night

It's 1:15 a.m. and I am not asleep. I stopped trying after 1 1/2 hours. Nothing on tv, which surprises me given all of the channels (although I'll have to say there are some fabulous special offers on products that end back pain, a steam cleaner that cleans and disinfects everything from cabinets, toilets, sneakers and even a colon cleanser). So I opened up a diet pepsi (yes, caffeinated) and raided my kids' halloween candy.

My brain can't stop thinking about the upcoming election. I am still stunned that the race is this close given the debacle of the last 8 years. So I am not comforted by the Sunday morning pundits all predicting an Obama win. The percentages reported in the polls for the battleground states are small. Small enough for the underlying, and often, unexpressed racism that still exists to tweak those percentages in the other direction. So I can't sleep.
And I can't sleep because I am so sad that Tim Russert died before seeing the conclusion of what he considered the most fascinating and historic presidential election of all time. I know that I keep coming back to him, and everyone thinks I am nuts since I didn't know him, but I can't help it. If I apply my Psych 101 training, I might conclude that Tim's death brings me back to my father's sudden death when I was 17. But it's not. At least not completely. I'm gonna go with my original reason as stated above.

Anyway, if Obama doesn't win, my 9 year old, who took a lot of crap from my in-law family, will be bummed.