"Canada is like a close uncle who constantly argues, badgers, and complains about what you are doing, but when help is truly needed, you can't keep him away: he's right there alongside you. We have a unique relationship with Canada. We have different political positions on many issues, but our unique friendship has weathered world wars, global crises, and the ever-so-often neighborhood disagreement. "
What would you do if you were aware of horrific abuse going on in your neighbourhood? What if a woman and her children living down the street were routinely beaten and terrorized by a man who cared little if anything for them. Would you be the neighbour with the courage to involve yourself personally, risking your physical safety? Would you call the police? Or would you be the neighbour willing to turn a blind eye, comfortable in the knowledge that feigning ignorance meant your peaceful life would continue apace.
If you are the type of neighbour who would take action to stop such abuse close to home then I applaud you. Now imagine this woman and her children live across town, would you still want to help, or does distance away from your own home diminish the severity of the crime in your eyes. If you are the type of neighbour who would try to help those in need no matter what their address, then this message is not for you. If however, you feel that being wilfully ignorant of such atrocities is the same as having peace, then I ask you to consider a few things.
Consider the four soldiers recently killed in Afghanistan and ask yourself what type of neighbours they would have been. Given their sacrifice, it is obvious these men were the best people in the neighbourhood, willing to risk everything if it meant they could give hope to those in distress.
Now consider the activists protesting against what our troops are doing in Afghanistan and ask yourself what kind of neighbour they would be. These activists have the full knowledge of Afghan suffering, yet still want to pull our troops out of that desperate country. Under Taliban rule, Islamic thugs operating under a twisted version of their religion routinely murdered women. Afghan girls were kept away from school, because in the eyes of the Taliban an educated female was to be feared and destroyed.
I'm a word geek, I admit it. I love words. I like to use the ones I know for the powers of good and to seek revenge on cranky receptionists who have been rude and ignorant to me.
Woe unto them.
What bothers me is when the spoken word fails me. When I get flustered and I want to say something profound and all that comes out of my mouth is "oh yeah... oh yeah... well F*** YOU!"
This happened the other day (though I managed to avoid actually swearing) when the receptionist at my chiropractor's office was exceedingly rude. After her fourth phone call to try and sort out a problem (she was entering information wrong into her computer and getting errors in regards to my son's health care) she phoned me to say she had "fixed my problem".
I made a snarky comment back (I'd already spent half an hour on hold with the gov't to find out that the info crazy receptionist gave me was wrong and was in a snarky mood) and she said "well, I was just phoning to tell you that we fixed your problem for you. You're welcome." Click. And she hung up on me.
Now the problem with my city is that we are an oil city. As prices go up, people around here get richer and those in the service industry know that when one customer goes by the wayside, there are ten others lined up to take their place with their wallets open.
The only ones who are humble are the employers who can't pay staff enough to keep them on. Unemployment is at an all time low... employers are begging their staff to stay because there are far more jobs than applicants.
But that's just background info.
I got mad. I wrote a letter. That's what I do.
Welll.... The letter was faxed to my chiropractor's office, but Ms. Receptionist picked it up off the fax machine. So she calls.
She's mad. She says that she's going to "pass this letter on" to .... wait for it... the president of the company that I work for. Because she happens to be "very good friends" with him.
Yeah, ok lady. Let's first pretend that it's legal for you to do that. While we're smoking that dope, let's pretend that the president of the company cares that I filed a complaint with my chiropractor about rude behaviour on behalf of his receptionist.
Oh I won't pretend that I wasn't smoking mad at her thinly veiled threat, which, I might add, she left on my voicemail (yeah, that's smart... threaten to violate the privacy act on a voicemail where it's recorded). But by today, I was laughing. The voicemail - which I played to the amusement of my husband and several co-workers - also mentioned that I was rude and ignorant and that in thirty years of such-and-such admin-type career she'd languished in... no on had ever "put her through" what she'd been "put through" today by me.
What? Holding her accountable for her actions? Informing her boss that her behaviour reflects badly on him?
So today... I had a chiropractor's appointment.
The office manager (chiropractor's wife) was there to take me into the treatment room and 'discuss' the issue with me. It was obvious that she was on the side of her employee. When I mentioned that her receptionist had threatened to send my letter off to someone outside of the office, thereby violating the health privacy act... she said "oh I don't think that's what she said".
I informed her that I had it recorded on my voicemail and had listened to it several times. She didn't respond.
Then she threw in a "you say you are so busy and yet you had time to write up this letter"... to which I responded that I'm a writer, I type at roughly 75 words per minute, faster than Ms. Dumb and Dumber can talk actually (ok, I left out the dumb & dumber part) and that I'd written the letter during the half hour that I spent on hold with the government seeking information I already knew for her incompetent staff member.
In the end, I realized I was up against a brick wall. I knew from previous conversations that Chiro Wife is walking around with a big chip on her shoulder. She's anti-establishment and proud of it. She's a fighter for the underdog (as in her staff member, an underdog because of her low IQ) and she doesn't like anyone challenging her (oh I heard all about her fight with the school board because her kids were unvaccinated... she loved that fight). She made a comment that she hoped we were both big enough to get past it. I reiterated (because no, I can't let it go) that my only concern was that her staff member kept things professional.
I just shut my mouth and waited for the doctor to come in. He came in with hands raised saying "I just want to practice chiropractic, haha" and I knew right then that he just wants to let the wife fight the battles.
As I went to the front to make the next appointment, Ms. Receptionist just GLARED at me. I mean hard core glare. She put everything she had into it. Hard line, pursed lips. Steely eyes. Chiro Wife had to make the appointment for me.
I politely asked if next Tuesday at 4:30 was free. Chiro Wife said yes. Rude-Receptionist glared.
I smiled and made eye contact with both.
Oh, and could they tell me just which day that was?
May 2nd said Chiro Wife. Rude-Receptionist sighed and glared.
Thanks! I smiled and made eye contact with both.
Then I realized... harridan: A worn-out strumpet; a vixenish woman; a hag.
Look, I found a harridan. Now I know how to use it in a sentance: The chiropractor's receptionist, with her dyed blonde hair and pissy attitude was a total harridan.
Where practice = attempt to capture the attention of six kids under six by changing drills every 5.6 seconds and game = attempt to funnel three children at a time towards a goal.
It was a blast and M. had a lot of fun. He (along with most of his team) hasn't quite figured out that the point is to take the ball from the other team. That would be, like, stealing! I almost felt bad teaching my son that it is ok to take the ball away from another kid.
The coach (I'm the assistant coach) would run with the kids, and I'd sort of follow along... then when our team got the ball, I'd yell, "kick it this way! kick it this way!" We did manage to score a couple of goals... mostly because the coach's daughter is a rockstar soccer player. She's watched her older brother play soccer and her mom (the coach) still plays. So she had it down pat.
I felt bad for the other team though... I heard one kid getting upset, "I can't play this way! I need a goalie!" It was kind of sad, I saw the other kids push ours a couple of times and had to remind myself not to get too upset, they'd have to learn to take care of themselves. The other team were all inches above ours, but still... I watched the coach's daughter demonstrate some awesome sportsmanship... a kid from the other team fell and she turned away from the ball (allowing the other team to get it) to ensure that he was ok. She wasn't even my kid and I was proud.
I can't wait for practice next Monday.
Except with these sickos.
Please note: When you go to their blog, up in the right hand corner of your screen you'll see a 'flag for objectional content'. Please use it.
"When the 'overemotional' button has been activated, all data produced by this model will be coloured by emotion. This model is unable to separate emotion and logic and attempts to process both at once, resulting in system overload."
"When the 'cranky' button has been activated in conjunction with the 'overemotional' button, you may be required to hard boot. Please press buttons 'ctrl' + 'alt' + 'escape from reality' and back slowly away."
Our relationship was strained and torn and mended again and bruised and worn. I think it still is. Even to this day, the only thing I can really tell her is that I trust her with my son. I don't think she realizes the meaning and the depth and the vastness of that action.
For the first year of his life, my son was not babysat by anyone. At the most I left him with his dad (my ex) so I could run to the store, but even then I'd get a phone call to come home after half an hour. But I could not bring myself to leave him with anyone, not even family for the longest time.
My reasons were deeply personal. Reasons I've shared with less than a handful of people in my life.
I have tried to explain to my mother that leaving my son with her, even just to babysit, is the most profound act of trust for me. I'm not one who believes that kids will just make do with the care that they have, I have strong beliefs on how my son is to be raised.
I think that these, among many other factors, come in to play during these times when he's mad at me. I have to remind myself that as a small boy, he will be mad at me sometimes. Mad and angry. Just like I was with my parents. I try to explain to him that it's ok to be mad, but it's not ok to be mean. Something I was never taught. In my childhood, anger was to be squashed. It was the anger that was the problem. But anger is a natural feeling, it's there for a reason.
This morning, my son crawled in bed next to me and whispered that I was a good mommy. The anger and tears from last night had been forgotten and I had to remind myself that he's just learning how to be mad. He's learning how to be angry. It's my job to teach him these things.
As just about any parent will tell you, children are born masters of love. They know instinctually how to love, you don't have to teach them.
It's the rest of those darn emotions that get in the way.
My son (4.5 yrs) was mad at me. We had gone out for burgers and half way through he began to wig out. I would have sworn it was a sugar high, but he hadn't eaten any sugar. I gave him the "I'm going to count to three and if you are not sitting down and behaving, you are going to go sit in the truck." (The secret being that we actually would go sit in the truck and go home.)
I was getting a bit frustrated and in turn, he was getting frustrated. His tactic was to tell me that he wanted to go to daddy's right now. He wanted to go and didn't want to come back. He wanted to take all of his toys and go to daddy's. This went on for half an hour and by the time he was in bed (crying because he was in bed) it had turned into his little mantra. And it was getting to me.
I laid down with him to sing him his songs and he wanted none of it, just wanted to go to daddy's. I didn't know what to do or say. I don't kno wif my tactics were the right ones, but I told him that when he says that it makes me sad - sad that he wants to go away and not come back. I asked him why. He said he wanted to go and play with his toys there. I reminded him that he goes to his daddy's every Friday night, but he wanted to go tonight.
I admit, I was upset. You know, the jiggly chin and teary eyes. I tried not to, but here I was, pregnant and stuck up on the top bunk ... it wasn't like I could get away. I didn't want to cry in front of him, but I did.
I knew how he'd react and sure enough, he started crying. It really upset him to see me upset and he started saying, "but I will come back, mommy. I said I would come back, I will come back mommy."
So I just hugged him and said I knew that and that I loved him and that it was ok and mommy was ok. I laid with him for another half hour and told him a couple of stories that made him smile and rubbed his back and hugged him. When it was time for me to climb clumsily out of the bed, he was yawning and drifting off. But he seemed back to his normal self.
I'm just not sure that I am.
How can I compete with his weekend home (friday night to saturday afternoon at daddy's) where there's a brand new game or movie or toy just about every weekend? And then usually my mom wants him for Saturday night... so I don't usually see him from Friday night to Sunday afternoon. I miss him when he's not here. I try to look at it in a positive light... look at the time I get to write and go places on my own.
But I can write when he's here. And I don't want to go places on my own.
I don't want to get dragged into a materialistic fight. Whose house had the better toys. Whose house has more candy. Whose house has fewer rules. Because in the end, he will lose.
I just hope that I can last until he realizes that.
I like her even more because her opponents are so freaking crazy that she could post the alphabet and they'd flip all over themselves to call her names and pick apart each sentence with a fervor usually reserved by normal people for the power of good. I love a good debate and it's always exciting to read opposing views when they are presented respectfully. Unfortunately, her opponents - they aren't worth linking to - are sad and pathetic creatures who get mad and resort to vulgar and racist crap. You can just feel their frustration ooze off the screen ... they just can't get the words out without swearing and drooling on themselves.
One has gone so far as to post her personal phone number, her home address, and her husband's work number. Even worse, he put up a picture of her neighbourhood with a big ol' circle around her house.
Why, you ask?
Because Malkin got a hold of a press release and ... gasp! ... put the information on her web site.
What part of PRESS RELEASE do you not get? Should I type slower for you?
If you WRITE a PRESS RELEASE and then SEND IT OUT... you can reasonably expect that the PRESS will RELEASE it to others. That's kind of the point.
Malkin has responded on her blog, and I believe that she's actually had to change her phone number. It's really quite a sad state of affairs that one side just can't grasp a few tiny little facts that make so much sense to all the... well, sensible people.
I just don't want to speak it or say it. As soon as I found it, I ran and told Major Man... and then thought, I can't tell anyone else or sure as hell I'm going to have a boy.
I'm sure that it's a girl. We'll see.
M. still believes that it's a boy, he's helping pick out the boy names.
Because I am so certain that I am having a girl, I am obsessed with Girl names. Here's the current list in no particular order:
I have to admit a certain fondness for Flynn... because it means "heir to the redheaded". And who could resist Maralah... which means "born during an earthquake."
Feel free to register some suggestions and votes!!
I feel like a huge lit-geek, but honestly ... raise your hand if you can honestly say that you've read Pride and Prejudice without being weak in the knees for Mr. Darcy.
It's seriously EVIL.
Thanks A LOT KIRA!
I completely admit to being competitive. I had 'soccer coach training' this week and I learned that I really and truly am a competitive freak. I have always ridden horses and you can't really get competitive while actually PERFORMING the sport... because you just have to concentrate on what you are doing. It's just you and your horse.
I was never on a 'team' in school... other than the swim team. Which I quit because you can only be called fat so many times before you don't want to put on a bathing suit. (Truly, 120 pounds when you are 14 may not be SKINNY, but it sure as hell ain't FAT...)
So when I got paired up with this
Until she kicked me in the shins a couple of times.
Then I was mad.
Apparently my temper and my competitive drive are inter-related.
I began to notice a little voice in my head growing "my ball, my ball... that's my g.d. ball, back off biatch!" Not the sort of thoughts you want your kids' soccer coach to have.
By the third kick in the shins (with our instructor saying "ooooh! Shin kick!" each time) I was ready to start getting a bit physical with this woman. I may have been leading with my shoulders and you might have thought I was leading with my elbows a little bit... and I was definitely throwing my weight around... because that
I totally could have taken her. You know, if I weren't five months pregnant.
After attending four appointments with the doctors at the clinic, I remain disappointed with the service I have received and it culminated with my appointment on Friday, April 7th, 2006.
Although this was my fourth appointment, it was only my second appointment with you. Rather than introduce yourself, you simply walked into the room and began speaking to me. Considering the fact that patients are rotated through the three doctors, I would imagine that it would be prudent with new patients to introduce yourself for the first few times you see them so that they remember you and are comfortable with you rather than to assume that they know which doctor they are meeting.
The appointments I have had were disappointing for the following reasons:
- Each appointment was less than five minutes long. Doctor walks in. Says hi. Takes blood pressure. Writes notes. Checks baby with Doppler. Asks, “any questions?” End of appointment.
Information given to one doctor was not given to all doctors or if it was noted in my chart, was not passed on or read prior to subsequent appointments
- Questions regarding my care do not appear to have been given careful, respectful consideration.
- During all four of my visits I mentioned that I did not want to take the Glucose Tolerance (GT) test unless it was medically indicated. My reasons were given four separate times. On the fourth time I was told by you that you “did not change the way you managed pregnancies” because I believed a test was unnecessary.
With all due respect, you are not “managing my pregnancy” you are providing health care to a pregnant woman. There is a difference. I am curious as to why, at the three previous appointments, my declaration that I did not want the GT test unless medically indicated were met with no concerns. When I attempted to explain my reasons today, I was not met with any concern for my informed consent, but rather grilled for names of research papers I had read, specific studies I could cite or reputable research to back up my opinion. I was also told that it sounded like I was basing my opinion on anecdotal information.
During the appointment on Friday April 7th, I was unable to reference research material to your satisfaction. Again, with all due respect, while I am pregnant I have to think a little bit harder to tell you my correct age. I do not have the propensity to remember specific book titles or research papers that I have previously read. However, as I mentioned, all information was garnered through respectable institutions such as Douglas College in New Westminster, BC and the International Childbirth Educators Association. At this time I offer one of many sources I consulted.
From ‘Third Edition: A Guide to Effective Care in Pregnancy and Childbirth’ published by the Oxford University Press and written by Enkin, Keirse, Neilson, Crowther, Duley, Hodnett and Hofmeyr in 2000:
“This test is not reproducible at least 50-70% of the time, and the increased risk of perinatal mortality and morbidity said to be associated with this condition has been considerably overemphasized. As no clear improvement in perinatal mortality has been demonstrated with insulin treatment for gestational diabetes, screening of all pregnant women with glucose-tolerance testing is unlikely to make a significant impact on perinatal mortality and morbidity. An abnormal glucose-tolerance test is associated with a two- or threefold increase in the incidence of macrosomia, but the majority of macrosomic infants will be born to mothers with a normal glucose-tolerance test.”
I interpret this to mean that the test is of limited value. I have other references to state, but do not believe my time should be spent seeking validation from someone who is no longer my health care provider.
With my previous pregnancy, I also declined to take the GT test and my doctor discussed my decision with me in a respectful way that reassured both of us that I was in fact informed enough to consent to decline the test.
During my appointment I felt attacked, belittled and dismissed. I felt as though you thought perhaps I thought I was an expert in pregnancy care because I had taken my CBE certification. Your suggestion that I might also want to decline the Group B Strep test was peculiar, however seemed to indicate that you perceived me as someone who might be inclined to decline this test as well. In fact I am not, I do believe that it is impossible for me to discern for myself whether or not I would test positive for Group B Strep, and therefore would be more than willing to have this test administered. I am not an expert in pregnancy; I am an expert in my own body.
I have stated that the dates on my chart for my baby’s due date are more likely to be August 2nd and that I carried small with my first pregnancy – my son was 6lbs 11 oz at birth and was overdue (he had dry skin, long fingernails and there was mecconium in the waters despite the fact that he was under no stress - all indicators of a late term baby). My current pregnancy was planned. I know when I conceived. I know when I had sex and when I did not have sex. Unless you are telling me that my husband’s sperm have somehow managed to quadruple their life span, then I am pretty sure that I am due on August 2nd – making me 23 weeks pregnant.
When I asked if the GT test was in fact medically indicated (as I believed my baby was not measuring large) you indicated that you felt that I was measuring large: 23 cm.
You had already discredited my assertion that I was 23 weeks rather than 21 weeks, therefore the measurements could not possibly indicate that I was actually correct in my dates could it? On the contrary, the information was used to indicate a large baby rather than to confirm the due dates I believe to be accurate.
According to the Canadian Diabetes Association, risk factors for developing Gestational Diabetes are as follows:
· a previous diagnosis of GDM
· age over 35 years
· a history of polycystic ovary syndrome
· hirsutism (excessive body and facial hair)
· acanthosis nigricans (a skin disorder characterized by the appearance of darkened patches of skin)
· being a member of a population considered to be at high risk for diabetes, including women of Aboriginal, Hispanic, South Asian, Asian or African descent.
I have none of these risk factors, nor am I showing any signs or symptoms of gestational diabetes. When I mentioned to you that I did not have any symptoms of gestational diabetes, you told me that you have women who are (5”11 and small) not supposed to be at risk of developing GD, but do show that they are borderline diabetic after taking the test. (Actually you stated that you even see "Asian women" who are "not generally at risk"... it seems that the Canadian Diabetes Association disagrees with you on this point.) I am not sure, but that sounds like anecdotal evidence to me. Are anecdotal reasons for an opinion only allowed on the doctor’s side of an argument?
The anecdotal evidence I presented was of a co-worker whose hypoglycemic wife was instructed to take the GT test and began spotting a mere 10 hours later. She went on to give birth to their premature son. You stated that you “had not heard anything like that in 15 years”. That is interesting. They were patients at your clinic during that time.
My trust with your clinic has been irreparably damaged and the result is that I am choosing to seek care elsewhere.
Please forward copies of my medical records to the following address, pursuant to the Health Information Act of Alberta, (Section 7(1)).
Can you not hear that!?!?!?!
What the heck, you're freaking whistling dixie over there....
1. I am pregnant.
2. I am pregnant.
3. I am pregnant.
4. I am pregnant.
Is there really such a thing as 'pacifism'? Or as Major Man would say "I wish there were more pacifists, it would be easier to take over the world".
Diary of a Food Whore - a new blog I love.
Joshilyn has good tips for writers. And you should write something for B4B this week.
Go Fug Yourself... the whole thing is time well wasted.
Jenn has a cute baby.
All the news that's fit to stage. Why am I not surprised. "Hi! We'd like to CREATE some news for you... please, do something to provoke those around you so we can show everyone how evil they are!"
Ok, ok, here's another new favourite. I can't even read this woman while I consume anything.
Woulda Coulda Shoulda... definitely shoulda. Don't drink coffee while reading.
For those addicted to Grey's Anatomy.
Summary of Mentors:
Warm and lively people who focus on the needs of others (I can buy that... although I'm much more selfish than I used to be!)
Bring people together and encourage group participation (except the people I don't like... see where the selfishness comes in?)
Think of themselves as intelligent, outgoing and sensitive (I like the 'think of themselves as' part...)
May become overbearing in their quest for harmony (me? overbearing? stop laughing Major Man!)
And while you are at it... try taking the Spot the Fake Smile test... I got 15/20.
So here I am Monday morning, watching Airline. It's on from 8 am to 10 am on Saturday mornings and is my excuse for not getting off of the couch yet. I stayed at work yesterday long past the time where I was fully functional. I did get my work done, but I was neither efficient or effective. Thank goodness that no orders went sideways.
Airline is one of my favourite shows. I love to fly. I grew up at the airport. We lived in High Level and both of my parents worked at the Footner Lake Airport. My dad worked at Peace Air as an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer and for a while, my mom worked at Time Air as something... baggage or admin or something.
Being in an airport, you are surrounded by people going somewhere, meeting someone, leaving someone... everyone's life is in a state of flux. There are two types of people at the airport: the type that want to be there and the type that don't.
I'm always in the former group. In 2004/2005 I dated Major Man long distance. From September 2004 to July 2005 we made several trips back and forth. I think I travelled there three times from Calgary to South Bend, IN.
O'Hare is my favourite airport, followed by Midway. Every time I landed there I would rush off the plane to meet Major Man. The leaving was not nearly as fun, but I was still there with him, holding his hand or leaning on his shoulders. I'm not a fan of the Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport after I almost spent my Christmas 2004 there by myself. Stoopid snow storms.
Every trip I've ever taken, I can remember the airport. Barbados with it's cement walls, painted in bright colours with cut outs through the walls. O'Hare with it's crazy tunnel and Space Odyssey music coming out of the walls. The San Francisco Airport with the booths for special interest groups that want me to give them money for SF homeless people in exchange for directions to my gate. Vienna's crowds that crush you with their weight and spit German in your ear. Prague's old fashioned tickity-tickity-tickty arrival and departure board, the old propaganda speakers on the runway, the runway models with small dogs in carriers and the multitude of guards with VERY LARGE GUNS. Vancouver, Toronto, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Denver, Miami, Orlando, Tokyo. They all have special features that make them unique and memorable.