Monday, January 28, 2013

It Would Suck To Be a Homeless Person With a Food Allergy

Tonight, after our last childbirth class, we stopped at Arby's for a late, cheap supper.  We'd had a really good night and were joking about lots of things.  I then saw this man, the only other person in the place.  I immediately thought he looked homeless.  It made me sad, then Karen-brain took over.

There's a nurse I work with who once asked the Facebook local world where all the panhandlers in the city stood.  She wanted to make them a bag lunch or something like that. 

I put the nurse thought together with the man sitting across Arby's.  What if you're that homeless person on the street corner?  What if some generous soul brings you a PB & J on whole wheat as a selfless act of giving?  What if you have a severe peanut allergy? 

I mean, it's not like you have the time to write on your cardboard sign, "Will work for food...*only foods accepted are tomato, peanut, onion, and shellfish free.*  This wouldn't work for many reasons.  One, no one reads the whole sign.  I mean seriously, I see "Mother of 3" and I stop reading.   Two, if I happened to be going through the drive-through at Mickey D's and I grab a sack full of extra hamburgers to hand out, I'm not going to read that and tell the woman, "I'm sorry.  You'd be allergic to my donation" and drive off.  If I were her, I'd be so pissed off. 

Although, as the average commuter driving by, this could be the conscious-easing way to get out of giving a handout.  You could be the person saying your food only has those ingredients and you'd hate to send them into anaphylactic shock, so maybe next time.

I just see this is a bad all the way around.  Maybe there's a universal or divine intervention that prevents the homeless from having food allergies.  I haven't ever actually seen a news story about a homeless vet on the corner of Cloverdale and Medical Center Blvd who ate a freebie and ended up in the ED half dead.

Then, we got up to leave.  The man did not have food.  He had a couple of used plastic grocery bags and he looked very unkempt.  I felt bad again.  I'd have offered him something, but I didn't want to kill him.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Audacity of a Title *explicit language*

I am furious.  I don't know what else to call it. 

Today, I had my regular follow-up OB appointment.  Recall that I go to a High Risk OB group.  I have seen the midwife most of my visits, but as I'm nearing delivery and she doesn't deliver, I thought I should branch out and see more of the physicians.  The one I was scheduled to see today, let's call her Incompetent, I had only seen once before.  That particular visit, I waited an hour and 40 minutes and she blamed it on the new computer system.

Today, I waited for 2 hours.  No one warned me upon check-in that there was such a delay or any delay at all.  When I humorously asked at 1 hour 15 minutes if they'd forgotten me, I was just told they were running behind.  Oh, I'm sorry.  You're running behind?  What about the roomful of patients waiting to see you?  We are now running behind as well and are stuck. 

When Incompetent finally managed to see me, she blamed the wait on her being the only physician there today.  She definitely wasn't taking extra time with anyone based on her, "Let me listen to the baby and measure you, then you can get out of here" statement.  I had concerns today that I wanted addressed.  I was completely bullshitted.

As lamented in my previous post, I have severe Restless Leg Syndrome.  I have it always.  It is not a pregnancy condition.  It is a neurological diagnosis.  I told her I was completely exhausted because I can't sleep.  I told her why.  I told her the OTC recommendations weren't working.  I was almost in tears.  This was my response...

Incompetent suggested I see their new counselor about getting an anti-depressant.  (I certainly would if I were depressed.  That's not what's being discussed here.)  Next, she suggested I wear ankle weights to bed.  That's right.  I'm supposed to put 2-5lb weights on each ankle and let them hang off the edge of the bed.  Weighing my legs down might stop the jerking.  Are you fucking kidding me? 

I can handle someone telling me they don't know an answer.  I can handle that there just may not be anything I can do right now.  I cannot handle patronizing virtual head petting telling me I'm "almost there" and this complete horses' assery of medical advice.  That fancy M.D. behind your name does not mean you can spew forth complete bullshit and it be accepted.

In addition to all of this, she didn't even bother to check my cervix after the weekend visit at the hospital due to contractions.  I have a call into the Service Excellence department over their office.  I thought about it for a couple of hours before I called.  I didn't want to overreact.  I have come to the conclusion that I am not. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A Collection

Before you get all excited about Jersey cows or miniature pigs, no, it's not that kind of collection.

I haven't written often in a few months.  I didn't want to bore people with my tales of pregnancy and baby.  I actually pay attention and love that I have readers all over the world.  If you're so inclined, please shoot me a  message and tell me if you have a topic you'd like to see here.

For today, it's a collection of thoughts from the only things I know.  Let's talk sleep.  I can't really talk about sleep as I have had so very little the past three months.  It is getting more and more difficult to feel even a little rested.  I have the typical ailments of late pregnancy.  I'm physically uncomfortable and it takes a lot to get to a decent position.  I have to pee every 45 mins to an hour.  I have the nasal congestion which is causing me to snore horribly.  Then, there are my restless legs.  Those are not unusual for pregnancy either, but I have it all the time and pregnancy is exacerbating it in the worst kind of way.

I first had symptoms when I was pregnant with Olivia.  They faded after she was born for a while.  I honestly don't remember when they came back with a vengeance.  Boy, did they, though!  I went through every dosage of Requip, the standard medicine prescribed, with little relief.  I remember when Olivia was nearing the end of her life and we were in bed all the time.  Her nurses would comment on my amazing jerking legs.  Once, I was in the ED with a migraine and my sister said they should be called something stronger like 'volcanic'.  If you aren't familiar with Restless Leg Syndrome, then I am so thrilled for you.  It's a neuromuscular condition in which your legs take on a life of their own.  Symptoms vary between people and so does timing.  Some only get it when they go to bed.  I do that, but if I'm sitting around relaxing or watching a movie or on a long car ride, it can occur.  A few years ago, when I drove with a friend to the Florida Keys, I remember them being so bad that I had bruises on my knees from them hitting the dashboard in the van.  Shortly after that, I was put on a different medicine that controlled them really well and I almost never had symptoms.

In pregnancy, none of those meds are allowed.  I have been dealing with this sleep-stealing beast for 8 months.  As soon as I get close to being able to doze, the tingling starts.  I can handle that.  Then, the burning comes.  It's like there is a hot poker being trailed up and down my legs, particularly my calves.  Then, the jerking.  Sometimes, the legs jerk without any thought control.  Others, I have to move them to try to get relief.  The only real relief I get is if Kelly massages them or a hot bath.  I don't mean warm.  I mean nearly scalding hot to cover my legs.  I don't cover all of me.  I know that's not safe either.  For some reason, the heat stops the torture.  There are times I wish I could sleep in that water because I think I actually could.

Last night was the worst night of the pregnancy.  I was so tired when I got home from work.  All I wanted was to lie down.  I did.  Then, about 30 minutes later, it started.  Kelly rubbed my legs for about 30 minutes and I was drifting off.  Next, the vicious jerks returned.  Around 2 am, I headed for the bath.  I lay in there for about half an hour.  Kelly also came and massaged them in the water.  When I got out, I cried when I lay back down.  I was so exhausted that I couldn't stop the tears.

Sometime before 3:30 am, I dropped into a less than refreshing sleep.  I was up again after 5 to go to the bathroom.  Then, I was up for good by 8.

Luckily, today is my day off.  I've had breakfast.  I'm watching VH1 and snuggled on my sofa.  It's another hideously rainy day here in NC.  If God and the Universe allow, I hope a nap is in my future.

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Impending Pain of Labor and Its Current Mental Portion

I'm sitting here on the sofa after returning from our first childbirth class.  Emory has the hiccups and is apparently trying to swat them away.

Time is drawing near for him to make his grand entrance into this complicated world.  I am thrilled and have now reached the point where I'm afraid as well.

Why, you may ask, would I take a class since I've already given birth?  There are a few reasons.  First, my husband has never had children.  Second, it's been 13 years (minus 28 days) since I did.  Next, my labor with Olivia was not great.  Finally, it just seems like a good idea.

When I had Olivia, my water broke first.  It's not the norm, I hear.  Supposedly, only about 12% of women start labor that way.  Then, my contractions weren't regular, so they gave me Pitocin.  It's a synthetic version of a natural hormone that catapulted me into hard labor with no warm up period.  It's common to get an epidural for pain relief with Pit.  Our class instructor told us so tonight.  I tried one with Olivia.  It was almost as horrific as the eventual natural labor and delivery I endured.  For some reason, as we saw again when I needed a lumbar puncture last year, getting at that space in my spine is a challenge for physicians.  So, I went through the pain of that with Olivia, then the damn thing didn't work.  My goal this time is to have a better handle on natural pain management techniques.  If they don't work, so be it, but I wasn't nearly prepared enough last time.

I am truly afraid.  I don't need platitudes of  "You can do it!",  "Your body was meant for this!", or "Don't worry!"  You know what? I know I can do it.  I did it.  That doesn't mean it didn't hurt more than words can possibly describe.  Yes, our bodies are meant for it and women have been doing it for thousands of years.  That still doesn't mean it won't hurt.  I assure you, the first person to tell me not to worry will be punched in the throat.  Don't worry, you'll recover.

I'll go back now to focusing on these little acrobatics in my belly.  Except for the sharp jabs, they mostly make me smile.