July 2006 Archives

it never rains but it pours???

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The house is on the market - let me know if you want me to link to the listing. We've had one person through already.
I'm still assembling the pile of documentation that my new state requires for licensure. What a headache! Thankfully, the office manager at my new practice is helping me a lot to pull it all together.
We have half our garage packed with boxes to go. Mostly books and bookshelves. I took a carful of books to the used book store over the weekend - I'm waiting to hear from the owner as to what he can use. I have 6 boxes of children's books that are waiting for their new owner to pick them up.
It has been hot here. Very hot. Very sticky. We don't have air conditioning. I have some painting I need to do but the weather isn't co-operating. Yesterday when I was on call, no one remembered to pick up the vegetables from the CSA. I am so bummed. I am hot, sticky, tired and hungry and I can't seem to think of what to make for a very late dinner tonight.
I got an email from one of my old friends in Los Angeles. Her mom is dying as far as can be determined. My friend has spent much of the last few years spending every day seeing that her mom was fed, cared for, and able to stay in her own home. She has shared that work with her sister. Both of these ladies have many other things to do, but they have shaped their lives around helping their mom as mom had once helped them. And now that time is coming to an end.
I got a phone call from my sister yesterday, too. My dad is back in the hospital, and a further amputation was scheduled for this morning. I know that I need to call and hear the news, and find out just how high up they had to cut, but I'm afraid. Diabetes is a nasty disease. Piece by piece, it robs you of life. It's a case where the absence of pain is a curse, not a blessing. People with diabetes can injure their feet and get horrible infections and not even know it because the nerves have died from sugar poisoning. (and yes, that is a medical oversimplification but bear with me - I'm not in the mood to be my usually precise and accurate self here).
It's time for me to put into practice some advice that Julie D passed on - something about smiling when you feel under spiritual attack, because that way the devil will think that you are not suffering and will leave you alone. I think it was Julie D. If it was some one else, speak up and I'll correct the attribution. I haven't had the time to read my usual blogs and I am currently looking at 300 unread emails in my inbox and the only stuff that I am actually reading are the ones from people I actually have a relationship with who are writing to me personally. My listservs are getting totally ignored.

And did I mention that I had a horrible day at work earlier this week? I can't give details (confidentiality and all that) but I ended up sending several pregnant ladies to the hospital with bad complications that involved having to turn their care totally over to the high risk specialists. And a favorite patient of mine, her baby flipped from head down to breech at the last minute and snagged his bag of waters on the way past, so that we couldn't turn him the right way. So, she ended up with a cesarean after many normal births. Not the worst thing in the world, but still a disappointment for both her and me.
I think that it is time for me to go downstairs and try to scrounge dinner.

Mitzi's choice: staging a controversy

I think that the playwright has some nerve to quote Thomas Aquinas.

why I have been scarce lately

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I have been waiting to make some news public. I sincerely hope that we've told all the right folks (especially the kids) first. Ever since my niece announced her wedding, after the fact, on her MySpace, I've tried to tell folks stuff individually first. But with a large and geographically scattered family, I am sure there is some one that I have forgotten. If so, my apologies.

We are in the throes of getting ready to move about 1000 miles away from New England. We're going to give the Midwest a try. I'm scheduled to start a new job in mid-September if the state licensing board can do their paperwork on schedule. Meanwhile, we are packing and cleaning and giving away tons of stuff, so we can put the house here on the market and sell it quickly.

So I will be very scarce for a while.

If you need me for some reason, personal email with an eye grabbing subject line is probably your best bet. Blog comments are emailed to me as well.

Thanks for all the prayers of support.

I'm not planning to abandon the blog!


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please pray for all involved

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Pregnant Teen Died Of Medication Error At St. Mary's Hospital

The late Dr. Robert Mendelsohn used to say that going in to the hospital should be like going to war. You go in only if you absolutely have to, you take all the qualified allies you can find, and you get in and out as fast as possible.

Errors happen in the best of hospitals, because ultimately we are all human and we all make mistakes. I can only imagine what hell on earth the nursing staff at this hospital are going through. No one intentionally makes even a slight error. But right now we have a illness care chaos in this country, not a health care system. With the best of intentions, and more $$$$ per capita spent than most of the industrialized world, we still have some of the worst outcomes overall.

We have too many specialists, and not enough generalists. We have lots of high tech rescue procedures and not enough basic prevention available. We have committees that focus on nit-picky details and ignore the big picture.

I don't pretend to have the answers. I will continue to do what I can from inside to try to protect my patients and help them to get and stay healthy. And, BTW, I refuse to demean my patients by calling them consumers. They are not just economic entities who purchase a commodity of health and illness care - they are human beings to whom I have a responsibility in response to the trust they have put in me.

I think that we need to return to the days when we saw medicine, nursing, and midwifery as a sacred covenant.


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I've been in a Dory Previn frame of mind lately. Have been going to sleep exhausted and waking up tired, yet unable to sleep in even on my days off. Fragments of song lyrics dance through my head, from another time, another life. Last night the song was "The Game". Can't find the lyrics right now, google keeps sending me to sites with annoying pop-ups. Basically, the song speaks of that bad sort of pre-destination, that kind that leads to depression and acts of desperation. Closing lines:
The game is fixed. OK, allright. OK, all right.....deal me in.

The bizarre thing is that I myself am not depressed nor desparate. My own life is going well right now. Things are happening that, while stressfull, are basically good. I can see the blessings and rejoice in them. It is a time of transition, a season of change, as our last child gets ready to leave for college. But these are not the stresses that haunt me.

What haunts me are the vicarious stresses. The burdens of friends and family who have asked me for help, both physical and spiritual. I've always been a resource person - even as a teenager people would come up to me and ask for information, for suggestions, for help and for prayer. My very profession of midwifery is based around helping. I get involved with families in what one of my colleagues calls 'intermittent intimacy'. I hear their stories, listen to their lives, do what I can and then, I move on as they move on. And the call for confidentiality means that I carry most of these stories in my head, letting them blur into each other, and only able to share in the broadest of generalities. I wonder sometimes if this is a shadow of what priests must feel after hearing confessions day in and day out.

We wake up to EWTN radio, and right now I am glad to be listening to the Divine Mercy chaplet. Almighty god, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

more on Regina's son

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mark windsor returns to blogging


a story of birth

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a medical student remembers a midwife
You will need to register for medscape to read this. It's worth it. Medscape is a service I have been registered in for more than 10 years, and they have never once sent me spam or sold my email.

The Oracle of Starbucks
claims that I am
Personality type: High Maintenance

You pride yourself on being assertive and direct; everyone else thinks you're bossy and arrogant. You're constantly running your mouth about topics that only you would find interesting. Your capacity for wasting other people's time is limitless. Your friends find you intolerable, that's why they're plotting to kill you.

Also drinks: Water. Bottled, chilled, with four ice cubes, a twist of lemon, in a crystal glass.
Can also be found at: Trendy martini bars

I don't drink water, but if I did, that is how I would drink it.

personal prayer request

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last week, I had two suspicious skin lesions removed and biopsied. One, on my back, was verified to be a normal mole. The other, a pigmented lesion on my L big toe, was found to have mild to moderate dysplasia (abnormal cells). I am going back for a further removal and biopsy of this lesion in a few weeks - August 15 is the date that has been scheduled but it might be earlier if there are cancellations.

Sad news, prayer request

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I received the following in an email, and have not been able to confirm it, but I trust the source of my email.

Evidently, Regina Doman who wrote the book "Angel in the Waters", had a tragic accident yesterday.

Her 4 year old son somehow climbed from her vehicle without her knowledge and as she backed up, she must have hit him. The paramedics tried to resuscitate but he did not make it.

Andrew Schmiedicke, who wrote for Caelum et Terra magazine, is Regina's husband.

PLease pray for them and for all their family. And if, by any chance, I have posted anything in error here, let me know asap.

thanks for all the fish

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I remember listening to the original radio series of "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" way back when, before it had been turned into even one book. It fit very well into my quirky view of life as it were, back in the early 1980s. I can't remember what year this was, as I can't associate listening to the series with living in a particular house.
All my life, I've keyed my memories to places and then I would be able to figure out either how old I was at a particular time or what year it was. As an example, one of my earliest memories is of being barefoot outside in a driveway, and this weird white stuff started falling out of the sky - and it was cold and wet! this would have been right around my third birthday because it was when we lived near Denver - and my other memory from that place is coming home from the grocery store with bags of cereal and going down the steps into the basement apartment where we lived.
I moved a lot as a child. A lot. By the time I was 14, I had lived at 14 different addresses - and when you consider that at least a couple of times we stayed in the same house for 3 years, that is a lot of moving. The longest I've lived anyplace was our last place in Los Angeles - we lived there from October 30 1983 to January 1997. Then we moved to Oregon, where we lived in the same cramped townhouse for 3 1/2 years, and then we came to New Hampshire. In September, we will have been here for 6 years - five of them in our current house. The fruit trees we planted when we first moved here have still not really started bearing. Last year we got one peach and then the bugs attacked and the peach tree did not survive the winter. This year the Bartlett pear seems to be having a bumper crop - but the D'anjou didn't blossom, and neither of the cherry trees seem to be happy.

Planting fruit trees, like planting rhubarb or asparagus, is kind of an act of faith. It says that you expect to be in a place for a long enough time period to enjoy the fruits of the labor. But life has a way of surprising one.

The Hitchhiker's Guide was full of surprises and quirky changes. Lately, I have found myself wanting to be able to just listen to it, as it was, again. I suppose that the full set is available somewhere on CD - and I could very well listen to the whole thing on my hour long commute. Or I could just use my imagination and 'hear' the voices of those BBC actors from a generation ago, and remember that the hitchhiker's best tool is his towel.

great news!!!!!


love and butter


Love is not lowfat.

food and the theology of the body

reading while I am otherwise occupied


kids on marriage


more email from my mom, by way of my texas cousins

Not necessarily. As reported in the NY Times (registration required.)

photo fun


If you want to see the 'alternate picture', click here.
Happy Independance Day!

e mail from my mom


Monday Funnies
If you're not familiar with the work of Steven Wright, he's an erudite scientist who once said: "I woke up one morning and all of my stuff had been stolen... and replaced by exact duplicates!" His mind tends to see things a bit differently than the rest of us mortals.
Here are some samples:

I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize.
Borrow money from pessimists - they don't expect it back.
Half the people you know are below average.

one of the pictures

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Five of my children, two of their significant others, and the mater and pater familiae.

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The WeatherPixie

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from July 2006 listed from newest to oldest.

June 2006 is the previous archive.

August 2006 is the next archive.

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