Thursday, February 22, 2007

So, this is what it's like to be pregnant...

I kinda expected the cravings. I didn't figure it'd be for fruits, vegtables, and chicken though. I didn't expect the food aversions, but it's not as bad as it could be. I suppose it would have been alot worse if it was to pasta - one of my absolute most favorite foods!

It's been a bit complicated because of that whole appendicitus thing back in January. Now, I'm not sure if the muscle discomfort I feel in my abdomen is because I'm still healing up from that mess or my body adjusting to my growing uterus. I think, however, that I have started to feel the baby move inside me. I am not sure if the quick moments of queasiness that are gone in a few seconds are because of that or the suspected lactose intolerance. I thought it was going to be a little while before my hips started to bug me when I was walking around. I guess I was wrong.

Oddly enough, while many women panic about if they're too fat or looking fat when they're pregnant, I haven't had that concern at all. I think I can honestly say that I haven't ever felt better about my apperance then I do now. I'm not sure what's changed about it all, but suddenly I don't feel horrible looking in the mirror. I'm going to keep that whole thing fixed in my mind for when the pregancy thing is done. It is my hope that I will keep this healthy and happy/accepting outlook after I have the baby and the belly goes away.

The only thing that is a concern for me right now is finding a decent doctor. The doctor that I have been seeing... well, she's ok. Or at least, ok until I got pregnant. Last I checked, women who are pregnant are supposed to ask questions and find out about what they can do to take care of their health, if anything for the sake of the baby's well being. So what do I have to deal with, OB/GYN practitioners (as I've seen the others in this office) that get snippy with me for asking questions. I'm not going so far as questioning what their GPA at med. school was or anything else like that. I'm asking about what foods I can and can't have; what over the counter medicines are and are not safe; what kind of exercizing I can do; and many other related things.

You know, the usual concerns of pregnant women. The response I have gotten is one woman walking out of the office after I asked 3 questions and another complaining "I feel like I'm being interviewed." right to my face. Maeby I'm an unusual patient, because I want to take an active part in my care and do everything I can to ensure my and my baby's well being. I highly doubt it. Last I checked, alot of women feel the same way I do and haven't gotten attitude from their OB/GYNs for expecting them to work with them. I also don't think there's anything wrong with being indignant. I'm paying these people good money, earned by the sweat and blood of myself and my husband, for them to help me maintain my health, not look down their noses at me and treat me like just another ignorant hick.

I may be a country kid, but that doesn't make me dumb. I really hate it when people treat me like that. And this OB/GYN practice has been seeing me since when I lived out on the farm, so they know I'm from the country. They should also remember that I have an ivy league degree... but I guess they think I got that out of a Cracker Jack box. ... Ok, I'm not going to make more derisive and bitter comments.

To say the least, I got a recommendation from my general practitioner (a real nice guy who happens to be quite reasonable and smart) for another OB/GYN. Here's hoping that I can get into there and not have to deal with the rest of this horse crap.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

A few thoughts for today...

Last night, I learned something that only sank in this morning. It has me deeply disturbed and I honestly don't know what to do about it. So, I decided to do the only thing that made sense to me, write down my thoughts in the hapless (and hopeless) attempt to process what has me so troubled.

My youngest brother, the one who was in the US Marine Corps until last year, is going back into war. He joined the Army Reserve with the goal of getting money to go to college and to remain stateside long enough to get a degree before being rotated to Europe or somewhere else relatively safe. I remember my mother and his wife begging him not to join the Army Reserve. My brother felt that it was the only thing he could do since he finished his tour with the Marines. He felt that civillian life was ... not beneath him, but not suited for him.

Now, I learn that I still need to worry about my 'little' brother coming home in a body bag. God help his wife. She's got two daughters (ages 3 and 4) who are just now coming to know their father. Their baby boy is going to be born this summer. And now, she'll have to raise their children alone again, quite possibly alone for the rest of her life.

It makes me want to cry. I want to sit here and weep bitterly. I thanked every god that possibly could have had some kind of hand in bringing my brother home safely when he finished his time in the Marines. He had a hell of a time in there. Because my brother is basically a decent man (despite his bravado and his efforts to be a complete ass to everyone around him) he was passed up for advancement in rank, harassed by his superior officers, and generally didn't recieve recognition for his efforts. I realize, to many people, this sounds like the whining of some one who is ticked off that they didn't get that promotion they were hoping for that quite possibly happened for legitimate reasons.

If you assume that, then you assume that my brother is a liar. And, quite frankly, my brother may be a complete jerk at times, but one thing he most definately is not is a liar. When confronted with his drinking problem, he owned it. When confronted about other problems he had in the past and in the present, he owns them. Sometimes, he doesn't see the problems as problems and is quite proud of them. Other times, he will bluster with bravado that he's fine and the confess in some intimate setting to one of the few souls he trusts the fear and consternation he feels over the issue in question. Either way, my brother does not lie.

If you think such things of a man before you even know him, you should look into your own heart. You should look into your own heart and ask a very direct question: why do I assume that this person is a liar? I'll also add one other thing, quite frankly, people who assume all others are liars are often liars themselves. I'll leave that point aside, as I don't want to digress into what could turn into a tirade of potential personal attacks upon you, my Reader.


I ... I am at a loss for words right now. Grief that is far too deep to measure sits in my heart right now. Horror that can not be contained in words vies with such rage that I still can not voice it. Some may wonder why I feel rage at what was, after all, my brother's decision to return to the military. My rage is not directed at my brother. My rage is directed at the blindness of our leadership in this nation. My rage is directed at the leadership of our nation's military. My rage is directed at the complacent attitudes of my fellow citizens.

This war is a meat grinder. We are sending 18 year old boys into it and expecting them to lay their lives down for the propigation of a lie. What is this lie? The lie is that they are defending the United States and it's Constitution in this military action. If they are defending our homeland, show me the enemy who is waiting at the gates? Prove to me the validity of this war and why I should be willing to sacrifice my brother, my friends, my neighbors, and my students to it's cause. Prove to me why, if there is a draft, I should be willing to sacrifice my husband, the father of my child and provider of my household? Why should I be willing to sacrifice these people?

Because the President says so? Because "reliable intelligence" indicates that some nebulous enemy halfway around the world is collaborating with a nation that we have tense relations with to do bad things to our country, though we don't know what those bad things are? Because it's the beginning of an Election cycle and we need to show our strength and unity to the world in this war effort?

Please, give me a real reason. I can come up with several miles worth of reaons that are like the ones I listed above. Al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden have been inflated to the point of being great boogeymen used by the propaganda machine to terrorize us when when begin to rouse from the stupor induced by the media. Name the last time you had to worry about some one blowing up the bus your children rode to school. Name the last time you had to question if the municipal water supply was safe enough to drink or if your groceries had been coated with some biochemical weapon prior to arrival at the store or distributor. Describe to me your fear that these great monsters is going to come and ruin your life or those of your neighbors.

September 11, 2001 and the events that unfolded that day was not another Pearl Harbor. The sooner this nation wakes up and realizes it, the better. So many people are doing their damndest to turn it into one. And we wonder why that fell flat. People recognize we weren't attacked by another nation. So, we can't rally behind the tragic events of that day and up hold them as the reason why we are at war. Instead, this war relies on the apathy and miniscule attention span of a great nation that has been reducecd to an ignorant, self-centered and apathetic population controlled by war-mongering imperialistic facists. Yet the pundits, talking heads of the media, town fathers, and common man all wonder what the hell is wrong with this nation?

We're being controlled by fear. The same fear that makes you turn off the evening news because you don't want to see the slight glimpse of bodies and wonder if it's your brother/son/uncle/father/lover/friend/neighbor lying in the street, that same damn fear is exploited everyday. And *you* think that there's nothing wrong with it! Subtle suggestions that al-Qaeda is waiting to jump upon our nation, ravage her, and leave her for dead is hinted at all around us. Everything from the terror alert system to the increased "security measures" in our airports spreads that subtle suggestion that we need the government to protect us from the boogeyman.

We surrender our rights to this government as a result of this subtle, pervasive fear. And if you think that is a good thing, you have succumbed to the brainwashing that has been operating in this nation for the past twenty to thirty years. How many of your rights can you even name? Do you even know why things like the right to own and bear arms is written into the foundational documents of our nation? Do you know what the Declaration of Independence is and why it is one of the most dangerous documents in history? I can tell you that the vast majority of the children graduating from highschool can't confidently answer those questions. I can state with a very high degree of confidence that a very large percentage of our population can't answer these questions either.

Why? Because we have been taught that these things are a part of the past, and it's not that important. Today and the things that we are dealing with today is important. The fear that I mentioned earlier, it's not just affecting adults. I've had 15 year old boys telling me that al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden are the biggest threat to the United States today and that they are afraid of what they can do to us. I have had children who weren't even alive when the events of Sept. 11th 2001 unfolded express to me their fear that al-Qaeda was going to come kill their parents and themselves. Television shows like Jericho and 24 are fiction, but people fear that these events will happen. People see these things and become afraid.

As a result of their fear, they flail around for some way to assuage it and reduce it to manageable proportions. Some go into denial (actually very many do this) and steep their consciousness in the sensationalized detrius of reality television, shows like Desperate Housewives, or something equal part banality and offensiveness. Some surrender everything they can for the greater good, hoping that their efforts and sacrifice will be rewarded with protection and safety. This surrender is not a bad thing, if done in moderation. But, when you are ignorant about why you have your rights and just what the hell they mean, you can be taken advantage of.

The government, friends, is always seeking more power. It is a self-perpetuating monster. It feeds upon gaining power and keeping it. The closer we move to a totalitarian state (and we are, don't be fooled!) the more power the federal government has and the longer it can perpetuate itself. It does not serve the interests of the citizen. It serves it's own interest of self perpetuation. This may sound like the words of a jaded cynic, some one that could be declared as 'hating America'. They're not. They are the words of a student of history and a person who has a keen understanding of just what the hell government's proper function is supposed to be.

Now, you may be wondering what all of this ranting about the government, al-Qaeda, and how the nation's populace at large has lost their collective spine and independent thought processes is related to my brother's going back into war. It's simple. It is so simple that it is painful.

This war is founded upon a lie. That lie is that al-Qaeda is a threat to the United States and the Consitution, as are all nations theoretically aligned with it. Al-Qaeda is a pack of morons who want to blow up the United States, yes. But they are a fairly small pack of morons who have the power of a schoolyard bully. We have no evidence of nations aligned with al-Qaeda with the exception of Afghanistan (an assertation which I have questioned from the beginning). We are sending young men and women into be brutalized by the horrors of a war comprible to the battle of Iwo Jima on a national scale.

When these warriors return home, their sacrifices are ignored. Their long standing pain and horror from being in combat and having their clothes soaked in the blood and brains of their dearest friends is ignored. So, they feel that they have no place in civilian life and return to the meat grinder of an unjust and illegal war. If they dare to oppose this war, they recieve punishment, not support. They are scorned. It is right and just for each and every member of the United States armed forces to stand up and oppose this war. Each person from the newest recruit to the top brass has a duty to do so. But the machine of the government that is present today works actively through intimidation, lies, and simmilar forms of bastardry to force the military into a state of subjugation. And it is working on doing the exact same thing to the rest of the nation.

So, I sit here, questioning if I should be drafting up what I will say at my brother's funeral. Grieving for a man who is not yet dead because he has been given a death sentance of a game of Russian Roulette on the largest scale. And I know, in my deepest of hearts, that I will be named a traitor by so many people for saying that this is wrong. I, the descendant of Revolutionary war heros, will be named an ideological traitor and an apologist for "the Enemy" for standing up against the rising tyranny in my homeland.

The immigrants in my family came here from Germany shortly before World War II to escape this. My Great-great grandfather came here to build a new life in liberty. His descendants were to live in freedom.

Where is that freedom now?

Saturday, February 03, 2007

killing braincells on the internet with drugs...

Mmm... Percoset is a beautiful thing when you're recovering from surgery.

Add that to access to the internet, you can amuse yourself with stupid things. Here are the fruits of my labors!

A nifty little cursor trick -

Another nifty little cursor trick -

3-d pong in a box! - *

Stickman dies in style - **

Acapella car choir? -

Funnel of DOOOM! - ***

* Even drugged up, I'm good at this. Get me when I'm healthy, I'm killer. Can't do it with other games though. :p

** From the same genius as, I think.

*** Yes, I've seen the cheezy kids show. I admit it.

One of the reasons why I haven't been posting ...

Part of the problem is that I find I am quite tired at the end of the day. Several times over the last several weeks, I have been getting home from work at 3 pm and taking a nap until it's time to go get my darling husband from work. Then (if I'm not too tired) I'll make dinner and go to bed. While my sisters-in-law have told me that the first trimester of pregnancy is exhausting, I wasn't really feeling it until recently. Sure, I took some naps during last month, but not as many as I have been this month.

My sense of time is rather thrown off. Apart of me says that it is still January, while the calendar says that it is February. This confusion is not a result of the recent exhaustion. I wish it was. Last Tuesday, I think that was the 29th but it may have been the 28th of January, awoke at 2:30 am with a feeling like gas pains. This is a fairly familiar feeling to me by now because instead of having the fun of morning sickness, it has been gas. I tried to use all of the tricks I knew to make this worsening gas pain go away. Now, some folks may think that gas pains aren't that bad. I assure you, when I get gas pain, I fully empathise with the flatulent infants who wail at the tops of their lungs. I've had them so bad that I nearly vomited because of pain.

So, when I say that my gas pains are getting bad they're starting to approach the nauseating level of pain. Then the feeling of pain moved some. I assumed, as I experienced yet another burst of pressure release for the gas, that it was possibly constipation. By this time, it was almost 4 am. I was exhausted and in pain, to say the least the thing I wanted the most was to go to bed. That was to be wishful thinking as the pain got worse. At about 6:30, I acknowledged defeat to sleeplessness and called out of work. I also called my parents for some helpful home remedies for my stomach discomfort.

I never realized just how horribly disgusting baking soda was until I drank a teaspoon of it in a glass of water. While I know this works quite well for gas and helped to settle my upset stomach, it tasted revolting. It didn't help with the pain either. At 7:30 am, my husband woke up for work and found me doubled over on a chair in the kitchen. I didn't get the option of arguing with him when he decided that I needed to go to the doctor. I had digressed from grunting with discomfort at 2:30 am to almost constant mewling and sobbing with pain at the time we were at the doctor's office. I think we were there for 15 minutes before the doctor sent us up to the hospital emergency room.

The doctor said that there were three possible reasons why I was in such pain. My gall bladder, my appendix, or an ecoptic pregnancy. I went from not only being in white hot blinding pain but to terrified white hot blinding pain. To say the least, I was not an easy person to deal with. I refused, however, to be crying and screaming with pain in public. I reserved such emotional breakdowns for when I was alone with my husband. I'm amazed that I managed such a stoic demeanor, to be honest. I guess I truly am more stubborn then an old mule. As I was in the ER, the nurses got a little nervous because of my lack of crying out. It was obvious that I was incredible pain. I was gripping my husband's hand white knuckled, very taicturn in my responses to questions, and I had tears streaming down at times while I ground my teeth.

Some where in the midst of having 4 doctors and I think just as many interns interview and poke me, one of the presiding doctors proved the soul of mercy. I was given a dose of morphine and the pain which was making me see stars eased. I slept for a little while, though I don't remember how long. A brief time (or perhaps a moderately long time) I was transported to the Radiology department for an ultrasound. This produced one of the few good parts of this entire experience. The baby was shown to be in the correct position. My husband was with me, having a difficult time distinguishing what part of the fuzzy picture was our baby and being facinated with the computer. I was delighted to see the baby. Perhaps I had an easier time seeing the baby because I am more familiar with the pictures that I have seen of my womb and ovaries when I'm not pregnant. Being a woman who has a problem with poly-cystic ovaries, I'm quite familiar with the process of an ultrasound. I've come to find them more enjoyible then the general gynecologial exam. You don't get poked so much.

Anyways, his attention was caught when the image on the monitor moved. We were both delighted to watch as the baby moved. As they took more still pictures, hubby's interest was drawn back to the shiny object infront of him. It's cute how much of a gadget man he is. Then, they stunned him. They played the sound of the baby's heart beat. I don't know if words can describe the joy and wonder that was on his face once he understood what the sound was. I may have been heavily medicated, but I was still thrilled and the parts I remember, I remember clearly. I know somewhere around here, we have pictures. Perhaps I'll learn how to scan them and I'll post one up here for everyone to see.

Once the fact that the pregnancy was in the correct position and the baby was ok had been confirmed, I was sent off to more testing. I don't clearly remember that part. I know that I was stuck with needles and had blood tests. I've got some marks on my arms from that. I can't recall what else. Morphine does that to you. It was a blessing to actually sleep after being up so long and to feel less pain. Even though I was getting poked and prodded, I didn't mind quite so much. So, after an army of tests, I was pronounced as having appendicitis. Briefly, the possiblity was tossed around that I may have a kidney stone, but it was rejected quickly when the doctors learned that I have no history of kidney disease, kidney stones, or other urinary tract problems aside from the occasional bladder infection.


It's sad, but I'm now confused as to where I am in my 'saga' of suffering. They've got me on some intense pain medication right now. It makes it easy for me to get confused and a bit drowsy. I don't like being on pain medicines (or most other kind of medicines) but the other option is not acceptible right now. I'll post more in a few minutes. Right now, I need to stop and do something different so I can refocus. :P Obviously, I'm not going to be at work for a few days or driving the car. It's not the best thing for me to do when my attention span is shortened and I'm easily confused. :p