alicia: September 2006 Archives

2 weeks

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That's how long I've been at my new job. I am still limited in what I can do because I still don't have a permanent license. But I am getting to know the paperwork and have had a chance to meet quite a few patients.
I guess that God has decided that I need to develop some patience as well!
Some random pix.


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We've unpacked a few more boxes and have now gone to two different Sunday Masses at our new parish. Our realtor stopped by yesterday to see how we were settling in. We're finding out just how hard well water can be, and are seriously looking into a softening system. I don't like my tea to precipitate out! so I have been buying bottled water to make tea with for the time being. Even the Pur filter doesn't touch it.
Otherwise, there is a lot to say but not a lot of time to say it in.

by the way

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those of you who told me I'd
love the midwest - you were all right
let me know if you want an invite to my housewarming
i don't know when it will be
sometime after the boxes get unpacked

a cat story about the trip

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We got on the road fairly late in the morning of Saturday September 9. It was a strange feeling to drive away from the house, knowing that is was no longer home and that as yet, we really didn't have a new home established. The two black cats, Allie and Gary, were fairly sedate in their carriers - Allie from drugs and Gary from I think sheer panic. Hazmat, the orange tiger kitty, had been given a sedative but it didn't seem to touch him. He managed to claw a hole in the cheap canvas mesh carrier that had been used for trips to the vet, so we stopped at PetCo and bought a Sherpa brand carrier, rated for airline travel, to put him in. A couple of hours into the trip, he managed to tear a small hole in that and I had to pull over to the side of the road when he decided to jump onto my lap. We closed the flap over that mesh panel and pushed it up against the back of the seat and he settled down and went to sleep.

We stopped at the Divine Mercy Shrine and took turns going in so that one of us was near the car to be sure that the cats were OK. We then proceeded to drive to Albany and checked in to the motel and let the cats out to use the litter box etc. We were able to leave them in the room to go get dinner.

The next morning, we loaded up the cats again and headed to the North American Martyrs shrine to meet up the NY Moss family for Mass and brunch. It was cool and quiet enough that we were comfortable leaving the cats in the cars for mass, but when we got out again, Allie's carrier was empty and the top zipper was partially unzipped. The little critter had figured out how to rub against it and get it to open. I found her under the driver's seat and got her resituated in her carrier, and off we went to brunch. The cats behaved fairly well while we were at brunch - they snoozed in their carriers in the car - and we thought that we were going to be OK.
John had Allie with him in his car, while I had the two boy kitties with me. Somewhere between Auriesville and Syracuse, Haz went ballistic and tore two more holes in the carrier. We pulled off the interstate several times to try to figure out how to deal with the situation. He has a collar and I had a leash but he slipped the collar and wanted to get up to the highest point in the car, which happens to be the dashboard. Not a safe situation at all. At one point, I was driving one handedly with the other one holding the cat and praying like crazy - John eventually called our daughter in Memphis on his cell phone and asked her to get on line and find us the closest PetCo or Petsmart or anything, and I followed John off the road right into the parking lot of a PetCo in Syracuse. I was a bundle of frayed nerves.

Let me tell you, the folks at PetCo were awesome. We went in intending to buy a hard plastic/steel kennel (suitable for a medium doggie) because John had the idea that Haz was freaking out because of claustrophobia. I insisted that we should take in the Sherpa carrier just to show the folks at PetCo what one determined 10 pound runt of a cat could do in less than 24 hours. I could not lay hands on the receipt, but they ran my PetCo P.A.L.S. card and gave us a full refund for the Sherpa carrier - which basically covered the cost of the kennel.

John was right. Haz did much better in a carrier with headroom. He still complained a lot, but he eventually settled down and the rest of the trip went much more smoothly.

Oh, and we quit giving the kitties the tranquilizers, and they were actually calmer. Go fig.

prayers please

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we start our new jobs tomorrow
a friend of mine had an important court hearing friday and is awaiting the results
our NH house is still unsold
pray that a family member will be able to find affordable housing soon on a very tight budget
a fellow midwife is in turmoil about a birth situation
thanksgiving for a semi-miracle that happened yesterday
thanksgiving that so far there have only been a few broken dishes or other casualties of the move

computer problems

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more later
we've barely moved in

we're here (well, almost)

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We have arrived in our new hometown and are staying at a hotel with internet. YEAH!!!! Motel 6 is great for traveling with 4 legged family members, and a good value as well. But no internet access. We close on the house tomorrow, and then we will start moving in. Our household goods are scheduled to be delivered Thursday.
I will soon try to find the time to blog more details, such as how a 10 pound runt of a cat shredded an airline rated soft carrier. Or how much fun it was to meet up with fellow blogger Pansy Moss and her family for Mass and breakfast. And of course, comments about Niagara Falls which I finally saw for the first time in my life, as well as hopefully a restaurant review about one we found more or less by accident. More later.

bye bye stuff

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take the long way home

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We will be hitting the road tomorrow, headed west. The house in NH is still unsold, and no one has even been by to view it for over a week.
We are heading by way of Stockbridge MA (Divine Mercy Shrine) and Auriesville NY (North American Martyrs) and hope to connect with at least on blogger on the way. Will probably not be connected again to the internet until late next week. We close on our new home next Wed and start our new jobs the following Monday.

The cats are totally baffled. They have actually been retreating to their carriers voluntarily and napping in them. I hope that this means that they will not be quite as combative when we load them up tomorrow morning.

Our household goods just hit the road in the back of an ABF U-Pack truck. 22 linear feet packed tighter than sardines. Pray for good travels for them and for us.

Tepeyac Family Center
It used to be, if you went to a Catholic doctor or hospital, you knew that certain things were not going to be there. It is a sad commentary on our times that there is usually little or no difference any more. Consider these two paragraphs from the article:

Critics, however, worry that the practices are segregating medicine along religious lines and may be providing inadequate care by failing to fully inform patients about their options. The critics are especially alarmed about the consequences in poor or rural areas with few alternatives.

"Welcome to the era of balkanized medicine," said R. Alta Charo, a bioethicist at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. "We've had this for years with religious hospitals. What's happening now is it's drifting down to the level of individual practitioners and small group practices. It essentially creates a parallel world of medicine."

Hello there! Medicine has always beenbalkanized in the USA. Always! If you don't have the dollars, and can't travel, there are LOTS of care that just isn't available. Like home birth, midwifery care, elective cesarean on demand, various forms of cosmetic surgery, orthodontia, etc. What stands out in this article is a prevailing belief that practicing gynecology without offering contraception and artificial reproductive technology is somehow inferior. I would question that basic premise.

Medical school and other forms of training for health care practicioners are intentionally a form of "brainwashing" - they wash the brain of one set of knowledge and beliefs to make room to then indoctrinate one with the culture of health care as practiced in the 21st century Western World. Cultural anthropologists talk about the process of tearing down and rebuilding identity during various rites of passage. And that is what happens to many, if not most, of us who have come through training in health care in the USA.

The WaPo article cited above is also an example of a very real attempt on the part of a mainstream media organ to present a fair and balanced view. Unfortunately, it becomes very obvious very soon that the reporter is totally baffled as to why otherwise 'normal' folks like the Tepeyac practice do things the way they do.

One quote is very telling:

"I felt like he was judging me and putting pressure on me. . . . I am the patient. I am the client. It should have been about me -- what I needed. Not what he needed or believed."

In childbirth circles, this is called the "Burger King" approach - after the commercials that featured the jingle, "Have it your way". My comment in reply was like the old margarine commercial - "It's not nice to fool Mother Nature". If it really is 'all about me', then why do we have any regulations about the practice of medicine, nursing, pharmacy, or other health care professions? Why do we not follow the example of many other countries and make almost all medications including birth control pills and antibiotics freely available through a pharmacy?

In my fantasies, I put together a presentation for a national mainstream medical group titled "But I don't want to take the pill" - in which I would present all the non-contraceptive treatments for the various conditions that my colleagues routinely treat with birth control pills. Maybe next year I will find the time to find the supporting research and documentation.

St. Joseph and my last day at work

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It has been a long and exhausting week. I've been trying to take care of the everyday business of life while at the same time working to get and keep the house in showable condition and preparing to move a thousand miles. Monday I took the cats to the vet and got them treated for ear mites, made sure that their shots were up to date, and got them micro-chipped. We are continuing to pack up our household goods and some personal possessions. The weather has shifted, and I am starting to regret that I packed all my turtleneck sweaters.

Tuesday at lunch my office had a big good-bye party, for me, for our dietician (who is moving home to the Carolinas but going on a medical mission trip to Africa first) and for one of the family practice docs who is leaving as well. From the time I came to that clinic 6 years ago to now, there are only 3 people who have remained. Me, the other midwife, and the site director. Now there are only two. Tradition is that they take up a collection for a group goodbye gift and circulate a card - I was given a gas card, something that will come in very handy on the move! I figured that the goodbyes were pretty much done, and I focused on these last few days as a chance to get my charts all caught up and to see as many of my patients as possible.
I was very surprised when I came in this morning for the weekly High Risk clinical meeting. This is an hour when the prenatal team discusses our patients who have risk factors and who need extra care. Their care is provided by the OB docs and residents, but we midwives also carry the weight of making sure that these patients do not have their other needs ignored - needs like education, emotional support, etc. Usually the meeting is pretty focused. This morning, though, there were baskets of fruit, muffins, and juice and lots of well wishes sent in my direction. The directors of the OB residency program gave me a very nice card and a gift card for an online bookstore.
The day continued in this vein. Everytime I turned around, some one was handing me a gift bag or a card. It was frankly overwhelming. But there was one gift that really got my attention.

I've been, frankly, bitching about how the house hasn't sold yet. The site director told me that she would have her mother light a candle for me, and then she handed me a gift bag. In the bag was a green cardboard box titled "The Authentic St. Joseph Home Sale Practice". You can imagine my inner thoughts. I said thank you, and went about trying to see patients, clean off my electronic desktop, answer questions, clean off my physical desktop and pack up my office.

When I got home (way too late, but what can I say), I was showing John the kit. The front of the box says "Includes an introduction, the way of St Joseph, a petition to St Joseph". So I opened it up and found some quite theologically sound commentary. For example:
"Mission: to displace the current quick-fix 'magic of burying a statue' with the age old 'miracle' of asking and believing". The kit also included a small but nice statue of St Joseph, a prayer to St Joseph that states that it was found around AD 50, a petition to St Joseph, and a request to consider supporting the Pious Union of St Joseph in their attempt to build a shrine to St Joseph as the patron of the dead and dying. I was a little bit abashed and quite impressed.

So now, what do I do? I have my little shrine set up inside the house - do I take this statue and put it outside? Maybe near the rosebushes (I mean, traditionally roses are for Mary - do you think that Joseph would be OK there?) Do I bite the bullet (eat my words, more likely) and bury the statue with due humility? Ideas? Suggestions?

February 2013

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The WeatherPixie

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This page is a archive of recent entries written by alicia in September 2006.

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