Tuesday, April 17, 2012

the post that never should have existed

You know when things are going very wrong, but you think to yourself, "Well, this sucks, but it's going to make for an awesome blog plost (or story, for those that don't blog)?" Have you ever gotten to the point where it sucked so bad that you tried to fix it, at the expense of losing your precious, hysterical material?

Have you ever had things end up so fucked up that you tried to fix it and ended up with blogging material anyway?

That's where I'm at today.

So today I had my first real gyn appointment since having Parker. I'm on my last 2 weeks of birth control pills left, so I desperately needed to keep this appointment, even though it meant that I had to take Parker with me.

I drove 20 minutes to a clinic that ended up being primarily a charity clinic (aka, a medicaid clinic). Do you have any idea how these places work? Because I do....since medical students and residents typically run them.

This place was totally stereotypical for a medicaid clinic: TONS of people waiting, lots of people not speaking english, overbooked physicians with no sense of hurry or efficiency, and babies EVERYWHERE.

The only thing I had a problem with was waiting a long time, and the only reason I cared was because I had Parker with me.

Parker, on the other hand, thought I had brought him to the KING OF ALL PLAY DATES. He was SO excited to have little people to play with. He was giggling at everyone, and making this weird screech he makes when he is so excited he doesn't know what to do.

His bliss quickly turned to anger when he realized that he wasn't allowed to crawl up to everyone and poke them/taste their body parts/climb in their laps/pull their hair...etc.

I knew this was going to be bad. 

I called my mom to see if she could come get Parker. Despite the fact that blogging about the pelvic exam and pap with Parker in the room would probably be funny, I needed to abort the blog material and get rescued.

My mom's crappy GPS couldn't recognize the address, so she's on the phone with me "mother-f-ing" the GPS when I get called in by the nurse. I told mom I'd call her back but not to worry about finding us, we would be fine and somehow get through the visit.

The nurse took my temperature, blood pressure, and then asked me to step on the scale.


Umm...did I forget to put Parker down? Is this thing calibrated properly?

No, you are not still holding your baby, and yep it's calibrated. That's your weight. There ya go, in case you needed a reminder that you had a baby and your body will never be the same. But don't worry, there will be other reminders at this visit that your body has changed forever. Stay tuned!

So we get to the exam room and my mom calls and says that she thinks she has figured out where to go.

Except she hasn't. She keeps saying, "I'm passing a Burger King. I see a Chinese place. There's some trees. It looks like I'm entering a city."  Seriously, she said those last two.

"It looks like I'm entering a city."

Really, mom? I don't know what to tell you. I'm across from the hospital in a shitty clinic that is next door to a laundromat. Roll down your window and listen for Parker screaming in frustration because I won't let him mouth the biohazard trash cans.

My mom, bless her directionally-challenged heart, finally comes to my rescue. She takes Parker and we switch cars, since she doesn't have a car seat.

Finally, I can breathe.

And breathe I did, for AN HOUR, until the (extremely crunchy) nurse midwife came in to see me.

But right before she came in, I get this picture via text from my mom, with the caption, "locked out."
My mom's house key was on her key ring, which I now have because I have her car.



Enter crunchy, super nice, hoop-earring-and-ankle-length-skirt wearing midwife.

She takes my history, leaves so I can undress, and comes back in.

Here is where the "your body has been ravaged by a baby" reminders begin.

The breast exam.

It took negative 3 seconds to perform, because if my boobs were small to begin with, they are nothing but nipples now. If there was a lump, you'd see it...no need to even feel for it. And it would be called "my breast" because that's all that would be there.

Then she does my speculum exam. Have you ever heard of a clinic that heats their speculums? I haven't.

It's fucking weird to have warm metal inserted in there.

Again, very crunchy.

So she pops open the speculum and says, "Oh you have your period."

Oh, really?? Since when?

Since the stress of the prior hour resulted in uterine cramping and bleeding. Is this possible, you ask? Yes. Yes it is.

So after all that, I can't get a pap smear. I have to reschedule for a visit in a month, at which time I am getting Implanon inserted in my arm, so I don't have to deal with this shit for 3 years. 

Friday, April 13, 2012

back door disaster

The other day I had a particularly bad day. The peak of it resulted in my house key breaking off in the back door, so Parker and I were locked out. I had just gone grocery shopping, so I had $100 worth of food in the process of going bad. I tried calling Tim, who was obliviously sleeping in our room (he is working nights now), but his phone was off. I tried his work cell. It was charging in the living room.

I did have a key to the building's main front door, and since the front door is close to our bedroom, I figured I could bang on that until I woke Tim up...hopefully before all the perishables perished. So I had to put Parker back in his car seat (since I didn't have a gate key on this set of keys) and drive the alley to the main road to get to the front street.

Parker was in dire need of a nap, so he is SCREAMING his face off...like he is the one having the bad day. I get Parker out of the car and we climb the stairs and I start pounding on the front door. After both my knuckles were red, swollen, and feeling broken,  I realized I had a can of garbanzo beans in the grocery bag I brought with me up the stairs. So I started pounding with that.

After a while, Tim woke up, but not before a huge area of paint had chipped off the front door from me pounding at it with the can.

Beating the hell out of the door felt good. So good that I still don't feel bad about the paint.

Anyway, that was 2 days ago. I haven't had a chance to have a key copied, so we have been parking out front on the street and leaving our front door unlocked (since our building is locked and we know and trust our 2 neighbors).

Today Parker and I got back from Target and he was napping, so I decided to go into our bedroom to get toilet paper for the bathroom in the hallway. It was locked.

Now why would Tim lock the bedroom door???

The only reason I could think of was one that I didn't want to walk in on, or disturb, for that matter. So I waited 20 minutes.

Door still locked.

Half hour goes by.

Still locked.

Okay, I'm no expert on men matters, but how long does it really take? I mean, it's not like you need to light candles, put on music, or set a mood...right?

And aren't you kind of an expert by now? You're not 14 years old...

At 45 minutes I had to poop so bad that I decided to knock on the door. The cat's out of the bag....or should have been by now. But I had to use light, quiet knocking so as to avoid waking Parker up.

The irony of the situation is absurd, because...

wait for it...

the actual reason the door was locked?

"So no one would steal me while I was sleeping and the front door was unlocked."

Are you serious? Do I really believe this?

Coming from my husband...yes. Yes I do believe it. 

I haven't told Tim I waited 45 minutes, until I nearly pooped my pants, thinking he was in the bathroom doing something else. He will know the truth when he reads this. And I hope I get some serious "awesome wife" points for it.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

my deep, dark secret

I consider myself to be a pretty easy person to read. You can easily tell how my day is going by the look on my face and the tone of my voice. It's nearly impossible for me to lie and therefore I don't have any secrets.

Except for one.

On a daily basis, I think to myself, "How much longer are these cats going to live for?"

It's terrible, I know. Do I feel guilty about this? Sometimes...like when my cats are calmly sleeping next to me (NEXT to me, not ON me) on the couch, or when Parker is literally putting one of their rear, clawed paws in his mouth to bite and the cat still doesn't shred his face open.

Let me tell you when I don't feel guilty wondering about the life expectancy of my boys: when I am cleaning up their vomit on an almost-daily basis, when I am constantly tripping over them, when they feel the need to love-bite me, when my husband's allergies flare up, when Parker is digging in their litter box.....the list could go on and on.

The one that makes me contemplate "accidentally" leaving the back door open or adopting an un-neutered 100 pound pit bull is when they won't come out of Parker's room when I am trying to put him to bed (!!!!!). In moments I am not proud of, I have reached under the guest bed (where they hide) and have pulled them by the tail out from under there.

The thing is, that these cats are, literally, the sweetest two cats in the world. Not by coincidence, they are also the dumbest cats ever. Only with domesticated animals is it actually an evolutionary advantage to be stupid. Because with their stupidity came sweetness.

Is it a good idea to cat-walk out the window onto the 2 inch railing of our 3rd story apartment?


(To be honest I almost had a heart attack coaxing this cat back inside. You should have seen the way he leisurely turned around on that railing...)

Should I eat an entire plastic bag and then vomit it up?

You bet.

Should I paw my clean water and make it dirty within seconds of having the bowl filled up?

That's reasonable. And makes perfect sense...because then I won't drink it and will demand clean water, which I will promptly soil again.

But with all their flaws, we still manage to have moments where I remember that somewhere, deep deep down inside, I love these two pains in my ass.

Oh yeah...and then there's the problem that Parker is obsessed with them.
So weighing all this information, I will continue to put up with these two trouble-makers, and will remember that I love them dearly.

But seriously, how long do cats live for?

Monday, April 2, 2012

day care disaster: part 2

This day care thing just keeps getting better and better. I think I might be the world's unluckiest person in the world when it comes to finding a place for Parker.

Last week I spent all my free time (aka Parker's nap time) calling day cares and people who run home day cares in order to try to dig myself out of our original day care disaster. By word of mouth, I got the number of a woman who runs a home day care. She seemed nice and responsible on the phone and said we could come by immediately to check out her home. So that same day Parker and I went over there.

It seemed great! Her day care room was being remodeled, so it was under construction and she had all the kids in her living room. The kids seemed happy and well cared for. When it was time for the kids to go down for their naps she kissed them all and told them "I love you." I was totally impressed and the cost was insanely affordable.

She emailed me her application and I filled it out. I emailed her back to tell her I completed it and could bring it by this week. She said that would be fine, but she wanted to inform me that she got 2 dogs over the weekend.


I was so sure that this woman got two small breed, child friendly dogs that I emailed her back that I was "okay with dogs." I asked her what the breeds and sizes were.

This response is a direct copy from that email:
"5 month old. One a rott, well trained and the other is also 5 month pitt which was in an abusive home. The foster family had kids and was pregnant. Moving to an apartment. Would like you too see both."

Are you f-ing kidding me?!!!!

I'm comfortable with a lot of things, but not with my son going to a day care where there is an abused pit bull who is now in a new environment. I honestly can't believe that the other parents would be okay with this! And it really shows a lack of good judgment for the care provider.

So now I have to back out of the deal and am out of day care again.


I got a phone call today from one of the local centers saying they have an opening! Parker and I booked it over there to take a tour, and it was beautiful. It was everything I dreamed of and more. After the tour, I was told we would be contacted prior to starting to do a home visit, to make sure I knew what to bring in with Parker, and to pay up.

I finally had a stroke of luck!

Then I got home and read their pamphlet. They charge $2000 a month.

I honestly don't think we can swing that much. It was going to be a stretch to pay $1300 a month at the original place!

Yet again, I am back at square 1.

Are you wondering if that center who screwed me over in the first place (the $1300/month one)  ever called to let me know if they will make an exception for us? They haven't called back yet. Maybe they will later on this week...

We have an appointment with another day care tomorrow, so maybe it will be "the one."

Sunday, April 1, 2012

respect: a novel concept

This post is a little different from most of my other ones, but I think it has a good message and it's been something I've been mulling over for at least a year now.

Neither one of my parents went to college after high school. I consider them happy and successful people who raised 4 awesome kids on very little money. The fact that 6 people survived on their income is a testament to how successful they are as people. I grew up going to public schools and having normal friends, some who went to college, and others who didn't.

When I graduated college and went to medical school, I became increasingly aware of the pride my colleagues had of their own academic accomplishments. A lot of times, entire conversations occurred where it was just each person patting oneself on the back. I, myself, went through a phase where I can honestly say that, in a certain way, I thought I was better than "uneducated" people. The thing is, it was a short-lived phase and totally embarrassing and immature. I have a problem with those who have not given up this sophomoric arrogance after graduating and having real-life experience working with people.

Maybe doctors just have a stronger propensity for narcissism than other people and so I've become jaded with over-exposure to it. It's really a problem though. For example, I've seen doctors talk down to nurses and other medical staff for no good reason. When did we lose the concept of the "health care team"...where everyone is working together for the common good of the patient?

You just can't talk down to people because they are "below" you in an arbitrary hierarchy. I have a specific example I was witness to in medical school. There was a scrub tech who was an incredibly mean and arrogant person. One day we were all scrubbed for surgery when I overheard her telling the circulating nurse a story.

Scrub tech: "One of the other scrub techs told a surgeon to shut the hell up. I mean, he is a doctor! You can't talk to a doctor like that!"

Nurse: "You can't talk to anyone like that."

Point very well made. This whole world needs to operate on the grounds of mutual respect for people as people. You can't tear down the people you rely on to facilitate all your orders. Trust me, if you are rude to the wrong nurses, they will make your life a living hell. They will page you for the dumbest of reasons at 3 a.m. And you will probably have brought it upon yourself.

Similarly, I've seen nurses talk badly about techs in the hospital. They do all the work that no one else has time/wants to do! How can you demean them? Also, you never know someone's background story. A lot of techs are working as techs in order to go to nursing school eventually. And a lot of them are perfectly happy with just having a steady job!

Basically, what it comes down to is that it is a privilege to take care of patients. It doesn't matter what your position is...we should all be working together for the same thing: the best possible outcome for the patient. This can't be done unless everyone shows everyone the same amount of respect.