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Jun. 11th, 2010

Friendship

I've been thinking lately about what it means to be friends.  Real friends.  In the last six months or more, the only posts I've made here have been for a very small filter of people who understand the alternate meaning of TLDR.  But this is a more general issue, so I decided to make it a public post.

In school, friendship was having the same interests and hanging out.  It was talking on the phone until late at night.  It was crushing on the same boys who usually didn't notice me.  But I'm a grown up now.  I don't have the kind of time I used to.  Friendship has to be more with less.

I want friends who will be honest with me.  I want friends who will be honest with themselves. I want friends who respect and value me enough to want me to tell them if I think they're doing something that will be harmful to them, their family, or people they love.  I want friends who will not question my loyalty or my character for being honest, though I fully admit I may not always find the right words to convey my feelings.  I want friends who know me well enough to know that my motivation would be both care and concern. 

I want friends with enough awareness to see when what they're doing is going well or going poorly.  I want friends who wouldn't dream of jeopardizing the health, safety, or emotional well-being of their children.  Ever.  

I want friends who will support me and help me find my way when I'm lost.  I want friends who care enough about me to tell me when they think I'm doing well, or when I'm making a big mistake. 

I want friends who will continue to broaden my horizons and make me a better woman.  I want friends who will encourage my growth and change as I encourage theirs.  

Who's with me?  

Mar. 28th, 2009

Dental Woes

I went to the Dentist on Wednesday for a rather spectacular toothache that was keeping me from eating and sleeping (activities I rather enjoy). Apparently, I need a couple of root canals. I elected to only have one right now because they're expensive, and only one tooth is bothering me at the moment. When it's paid off, I'll do the other. Anywho, they won't prescribe anything for me until they get a list of safe medications from my OB's office.

My OB's office didn't get them that list until Thursday afternoon. At which time, they call in two prescriptions, one for an antibiotic and one for a pain reliever. Or not. I went to the Target pharmacy and there was no record of them. So, I call the office. It's closed. So, I call the on-call DDS. After 2 hours of phone calls and begging, I leave Target with 15 Tylenol #3 and the order to call my dentist the next day to work out the issue.

So I do! I'm responsible! I called on Friday. Only my dentist wasn't in. Neither was the oral surgeon who's doing my root canal on Monday. The receptionist tells me that other dentist in the office (who's number she provides me) won't call in the prescription for more Tylenol #3 because one has already been called in and the on-call DDS didn't fax over what she ordered. She tells me I can call the dentist on the weekend when I run out. I don't want to do that! I want this taken care of!

So, the receptionist calls the pharmacy to see what prescriptions they've gotten and they tell her that they have a prescription for an antibiotic and a pain killer. So, she tells me sorry for the mix up, but Target has my prescriptions and I can go get them.

Today, after work, I head to Target to get my medication. Only, it's not there. Those prescriptions the receptionist told me were in the system, were the ones called in by the on call dentist.

Target calls the on-call dentist (exactly what I was trying to avoid) and she refuses to prescribe more narcotics for me since she's never seen me. Understandable. But I'm at my breaking point now, and literally stand in front of the pharmacy counter trying desperately not to cry. After all, the only thing I want is to NOT BE IN PAIN.

So, I call the on call DDS. Twice. And after an hour I hear from her. I tell her the whole story, and that I've done everything I was asked to do. From liaising with my OB's office regarding safe meds, to calling my dentist's office on Friday, I did it all. And I think it sucks that errors on their part mean that I don't get the pain meds I need.

These meds don't make me feel good, mind you. I get a little nauseous and a little loopy. But I still prefer it to the sensation that my jaw is on fire and the desire to beat at my face with a hammer. (I know, kooky, right?)

So, she calls my regular dentist (finally someone who can get something DONE!) and my dentist verified that I'm having a root canal and can have the Tylenol #3.

So, now, after hours of wasted time in the pharmacy and on the phone, and MORE than a little frustration, I finally have my meds.

And the best part? This whole process has been excruciatingly painful and I haven't even had the root canal yet!

If you got through that, God love you.

Jan. 17th, 2009

(no subject)

I watched last weeks episode of Private Practice tonight and was angered and saddened by what I saw. I was angered that, yet again, we non vaccinating parents were portrayed as superstitious whack-jobs, and saddened that the general public might believe it.

In the episode a mother brings her three sons into the Pediatrician. The oldest has Autism and they've been off exploring therapies in Switzerland. She's bringing her second son in today, however, because he seems to have a cold. Only, it's not a cold. It's the measles. So all hell breaks loose. The doctors begin discussing how vaccination shouldn't be an option. Another doctor says that they shouldn't turn children away just because their parents believe in conspiracy theories.

Of course, the child gets sicker. At this point they're pushing the mother to have the youngest, and as yet un-vaccinated son, immunized. She's refusing because she doesn't want to risk him getting Autism (because of course that's the only reason parents ever refuse vaccines) and the doctors begin saying how they should call the Department of Child and Family Services because not vaccinating is child abuse. Yup, child abuse. Now I'm ready to throw my shoe through the screen.

Eventually the tension leads the pediatrician to corner the youngest son and immunize him against the express wishes of his parents. My jaw hit the floor. That's assault. But of course he did what he thought he had to, to protect the poor boy from the crazy mother. And to drive home the importance of vaccination, her middle son dies. Because it is a risk of the measles.

Of course, they left a ton out of the picture. So, here's the skinny on why I don't vaccinate for the measles (among other things):

There are risks associated with the measles. Those risks include pneumonia and encephalitis (which can be dangerous but are treatable), and death. These risks are very small. Measles were, in my parents generation, what the chicken pox were in mine. The complications rate is about 1:1000 cases. The death rate is about 1:3000 cases. Those numbers drop even lower when we're talking about healthy children. The risks are greatest in the elderly, the immuno-compromised, and the malnourished and impoverished children who most likely lack access to quality health care.

There are also risks with the vaccine. Those risks include deafness, long-term seizures, coma, or lowered consciousness, and permanent brain damage. I got those from the CDC website. Those are the most severe reactions of course. Other reactions are milder and transitory with the exception of anaphalactic shock in the case of an allergic reaction.

Note that I can treat the worst reactions associated with the measles, but not all the worst reactions associated with the vaccine. The chances of those complications are rare, but the chances of my healthy kids dying from the measles is pretty slim as well. It's a risk vs. benefit issue. They can't tell me that an amniocentesis, which leads to miscarriage in 1:200 cases is safe while telling me that a 1:3000 risk in the case of the measles is dangerous.

Also the ingredients in the MMR are not things I want in my children's bodies.   Things like chick embryonic fluid (taken from the brain cavity of an embryonic chick), and human diploid cells from aborted fetal tissue.  Nice.  And let's not forget that it's a live virus, so your child could actually get the disease from the vaccine itself.   

I wont even begin to get into the antibiotics and the ingredients used to preserve the vaccine (like formaldehyde) or how even those that are now "mercury free" have only been washed of their mercury and have high doses of aluminum (a known neurotoxin).  I won't get into the fact that thousands upon thousands of people report vaccine injuries every year.  After all, you're welcome to head over to the VAERS website and look at that yourself.  I won't get into the lengthy discussion about FDA approval and the ethical issues that have occurred surrounding the approval of vaccines without much, if any, safety research by doctors who were on the payroll of the companies manufacturing them.  And I won't bore you with all of the information about how vaccination doesn't necessarily promise immunity.

Let me just promise that those of us who don't vaccinate do NOT make that decision because we're uneducated, or haven't read the research.  I read a lot of research, from both sides of the argument.  And while my convictions about vaccines are strong and sincerely held, I respect that other parents feel differently, and I believe in their right to make informed decisions for their children.  And I very much resent being portrayed (as is often the case) as a nervous busy body easily swayed by fear tactics, as if those tactics are never employed by the establishment that has a huge financial stake in making sure that their product is injected into every child. 

I've done my homework.  I believe the risks outweigh the benifits.  That's my right as a parent and I will exercise it.  I made that decision before I knew I had two sons on the Autism Spectrum.  

Jan. 13th, 2009

Who Knows You?

I may just be getting a little too deep for my good, as I have a wont to do.  But I've recently gotten in touch with a number of people that I haven't seen in years, through the magic of the internet.  The last year has been a big one for reflection and introspection and I was left wondering if those who knew you thoroughly at 17 can still know you at 31.  After all, the girl I was at 17 is a foundational part of who I am at 31.  Conceivably, someone who knew me then could know me far better than someone who knows me now. 

That just got me thinking about how different I really am now.  And you know, I think that's a good question.  I'm not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, and there are still parts of my character that need work. 

When I was little, I was horribly picked on.  I'd been sexually abused before I even started school, and that made me different.  Add to that I was a geek with a pretty good vocabulary, short hair that made me look like a boy, and an odd wardrobe, and I was ripe for the picking.  Over time I learned two strategies to deal with that (mind you, these took years): rebellion and blending.  Rebellion has it's drawbacks once you get to a certain age.  Thus blending became a much easier way to "make nice" and get by.  I think blending also has the added bonus of being able to experience more.  But the drawback is that sometimes I haven't been completely sure that what I'm doing is me and not someone else.  Sometimes I'm seen as being wishy washy or trying to "play both sides" when the truth is I'm probably just trying to see both sides and understand them.

I was nervous when I started really thinking about what was me and what wasn't.  But what I found is that I'm a lot more solid in what I believe than even I thought I was.  It seems I've spent a long time taking the best from different beliefs and worldviews and making them my own.  Who knew? 

And I've finally gotten to a point where I think I'm actually okay with the idea that people will like me and others will not, maybe for no reason at all, or because they don't really know or understand me.  I mean, really, why the hell should I care anyway? 

I read once that realizing that the spark of divinity lives in us is easy to understand but learning how to live from that place of understanding is very very difficult.  I agree.  But I feel like I've spent enough time thinking about me, and I'm finally ready to start learning how to live out my faith in a more authentic way, even if I fail, a lot.



Jan. 2nd, 2009

Good In Bed

I recently started a new book called Good In Bed.  It's about a girl who finds out that her ex-boyfriend has begun writing a column about loving a larger woman and she is the larger woman.  As I read the main character's description of her body, she began taking shape in my mind.  In my head, she appeared much larger than me.  Perhaps that was due to the use of words like "lard", I don't know.  So, imagine my surprise when she reveals the size of her pants, and they're the same size as mine.

Now, I know I'm not Twiggy.  But I'm not remotely in need of a gastric bypass either.  Since when did I become the big girl?  And why does it bother me so much?  I feel like I finally got to a point in my life where I actually thought of myself as pretty.  Even after Reagan was born, I got my figure back.  Not immediately, but I did get it back.  This time, though....5 pregnancies in 6 years just hasn't given me time.  And now I don't feel pretty any more.

I know attractiveness isn't tied solely to weight.  I find my husband attractive and he's a big guy.  He was a big guy when I married him and I was a size 4.  I know that attractiveness is also affected by things like personality, character, sense of humor, and a thousand little traits that make up who we are.  So why is it that I can be made to feel unattractive simply by what size I'm wearing? 

I don't blame society for setting me up with thoroughly unrealistic ideas of feminine beauty.  I don't blame the Southern California culture that I grew up in which pushed those ideas on girls relentlessly.  I blame myself for somehow buying into it, even when I know it's not true.  And I'm frustrated with the love hate relationship I've suddenly developed with my body. 

This body nurtured my children and brought them into the world.  This body provided them food to eat, and still provides the main source of nutrition for my baby.  This body has served me well for over 30 years.  In some cultures I'd be considered smokin' hot.  I just wish I saw myself that way.

Dec. 26th, 2008

Kids Kids Kids

I did this post once and it was eaten and again and it was eaten.  WTF is up with LJ tonight?

I took my mom to meet ladysea , fiddle_dragon , and songwind tonight.

What I learned was that 4 teen/tween girls + 6 other kids + Christmas presents = exhaustion and a good sized headache.

Still, spending time with dear friends totally makes it worth it.

Dec. 25th, 2008

Merry Christmas

This has been a very eventful year.  It's been a year that's made me very grateful for all that I have.  Besides the family that's related to me, I'm really blessed by a family of friends.  So, Merry Christmas and a Blessed Yule to everyone.  Thank you for the gift of your friendship which has more value than I can express.

Nov. 2nd, 2008

Halloween

My LiveJournal Trick-or-Treat Haul
anne_mommy goes trick-or-treating, dressed up as Pirate.
azfiregirl gives you 13 teal chocolate-flavoured gumdrops.
dipster tricks you! You lose 8 pieces of candy!
hairstylinmama gives you 18 purple cinnamon-flavoured jawbreakers.
jennfurr tricks you! You get a scratched CD.
ladysea tricks you! You lose 20 pieces of candy!
mamaskin tricks you! You lose 1 pieces of candy!
mnfiddledragon gives you 8 dark blue peach-flavoured wafers.
mrissa gives you 5 light green evil-flavoured pieces of bubblegum.
skylar_n_alex tricks you! You get a block of wood.
songwind tricks you! You lose 8 pieces of candy!
anne_mommy ends up with 7 pieces of candy, a scratched CD, and a block of wood.
Go trick-or-treating! Username:
Another fun meme brought to you by rfreebern.


And for fun, Reagan was a winged reaper, Piper was a leopard girl, Bridget was Hello Kitty (she calls it Hello Little Kitty), Ciaran was a spider (who didn't like to wear his gloves), and Quin was a baby since he's so cute as one.

Here's pics:


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Oct. 4th, 2008

Don't Vote?



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This Sucks

I finally got a call from the Neuropsych.  They can see Ciaran to evaluate him for his medical diagnosis of ASD in....9-12 months.  Yes, really.  Thank God the school district has already diagnosed him and are offering him services.  If I could only go the medical route I'd have to wait until he was nearly four.  Isn't early intervention the key with Autism? 

Is it wrong that I nearly told the woman on the phone that she could stick her 9-12 month wait in a very uncomfortable place?

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