Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Halloween and impatience

We went off to a Halloween party on Saturday night at the Sporters bar. Entertainment was of the karaoke variety. Watching the devil sing "Closer" is a very poignant experience. I managed to find a black Tree of Life, Morticia type dress that actually stretched over the enormous hippo attached to my front half. Crash did his death costume again, and succeeded in genuinely disturbing a few people.

The DJ was flabbergasted by a crowd who had, in general, made an impressive dress up effort and were singing rock through to serious heavy metal karaoke. I think other than the odd joke song, the closest thing to the standard karaoke fair of Robbie Williams and his ilk was Space Oddity (in the style of David Bowie of course).

It was a good night, but for an abundance of cigarette smoke whose origin I could not identify. I ended up having to leave as a result. Also, sadly, the symphisitis made dancing a complete impossibility. Particularly frustrating during such classics as Sweet Transvestite and Paradise by the Dashboard light. I was up there singing and dancing in spirit.

And the pregnancy countdown is reaching critical. I can no longer sleep in any normal way, or for more than a few hours (after about 3am). Contractions and heartburn are completely overwhelming for most of the night. Arrgggg!!! GET IT OUT!!!!!!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Another day, another diagnosis

Back to the obs today, and complained about pelvic pain. I was instantly diagnosed with pubic symphysitis. This is basically an inflammation of the joint in the pubic bone, apparently pretty common in pregnancy. The treatment is to avoid walking, stairs, and any number of other activity, added to wearing a belt which essentially holds the pelvis together whenever activity can't be avoided.

I was shuffled off to a physio instantly, and being more careful about how I move does genuinely seem to be helping. The belt actually feels helpful when I put it on, so I imagine I will be a good girl and wear it when necessary.

On the plus side the obs tells me the baby is well down and is more than happy for me to go into labour as soon as we hit the magic 37 weeks. Apparently the baby is "a good size". She didn't comment on size for the other two, so this may be code for "huge". :)

I'm thinking 2nd November is a perfectly good birthday...

As a post script to the ophthalmologist stuff, the obs is fascinated by the whole thing, and thinks I should have the MRI - mostly for her curiosity I think. :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

How to waste time and money

I got a cancellation appointment at the ophthalmologist today in order to diagnose the problem with my left eye. So Crash had to come with me, since driving after drops is a Bad Plan. It was in Wentworthville at 10am.

2 hours, $200, 2 sets of drops and a stern lecture later, I still have no idea what the diagnosis is. I could have an MRI to look at the optic nerve all the way along, but we both agreed that might be regarded as overkill. It is probably optic nerve hyperplasia, but she's not sure and it isn't normally genetic.

I could also be lying about the treatment I had as a child and it was the turn in my eye that caused it all. Since there is no-one left alive with the same problem, it is very hard to do anything about it.

So we just carry on with super vigilance with the kids.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Putting those theories into practice

After my rant about body image and weight control, yesterday Ben was telling Charlie that he was fat. I didn't hear all of either of the incidents, but I think the gist was that Ben was superior to Charlie in this respect. Ben clearly not being fat, in the same way that Ben is never misbehaved, is the fastest runner and all the other ways in which Ben is the best. Just ask him, he'll tell you, at length. :)

So in the interest of not promoting "fat is inferior" but at the same time promoting good eating because getting too fat makes it harder to do the fun things you want to do, how do I tell him not to call people fat? Strangely enough, when I told him not to, he asked why. Hmmmm. So after faffing around a bit, reiterating that the only problem with being fat is if it gets in the way of doing stuff, I decided that the truth as I see it was the best way, even if he didn't really understand it. So I told him that he shouldn't tell people that they are fat because it makes them sad, even though it probably shouldn't. A bit of "you don't want to make people sad do you, because you are a nice boy" (another way in which Ben is clearly superior!) finished it off and hopefully it will at least be a while before we hear that again.

I'm not sure if this is likely to be a successful strategy in the long run, but at least I don't feel like I'm being a hypocrite.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Life's little milestones

This morning Ben (4 and 3/4 yrs) got himself up at some ungodly hour (why oh why didn't we go to daylight savings two weeks ago?) and since I told him to go back to bed, he snuck away, bothered his father for a bit (who had decamped to the upstairs bed to get away from pregnant tossing and turning) and then slunk downstairs very quietly.

Charlie woke at 6ish and I put him back to bed. When I woke up at 7:20am, I thought they must all still be asleep. Then I went out on to the landing and could smell toast. Charlie was indeed still asleep, but Ben had been up for about 2 hours and had made himself cereal (Weetbix and Allbran) and toast for breakfast. Not bad for a kid consistently behind in his self-help skills earlier on in his development. Very chuffed really.

Oh yeah, and that non-stick dressing was not so non-stick...

Monday, October 15, 2007

Armed and dangerous

Warning: Blood and gore content!
On Saturday night I tried very hard to remove a chunk of my finger. I was cutting lamb into cubes, and I think the knife followed a sinew line, rather than where I was intending it to go, and went right into my left index finger. It didn't seem deep, but it was at quite an angle. I stuck a bandaid on it, wrapped it in a bandage since it was still bleeding and ignored it.

Next morning I attempted to change the bandaid and discovered it had welded itself to the finger. So I put another bandaid around it and ignored it until last night. Then I soaked it in some normal saline to get both bandaids off. After 20 minutes or so, all but the very last bit had been removed. When I finally got the last bit off, a reasonable chunk of skin went with it. It hurt. A lot. Nausea inducing stuff.

So now I have a non-stick wound pad taped around the hole and I guess I wait for the skin to grow back. It's not hurting much today, although I needed paracetamol to get me through the night. Mostly I like sharp knives...

Monday, October 08, 2007

Small blessings

It is the little things that make life more bearable. The "little bit of sinus pain" turned into more than enough to stop me from sleeping or coping well today at all. Pharmacists all tell me that I can't take anti-histamines whilst pregnant, but various people have told me otherwise. So I called Mothersafe and got a completely lovely woman who said they get regular calls about it, and recommended three options that have all been shown to be safe by all normal standards. One of the three I had at home, and am now feeling much better.

A fantastic service manned by fantastic people in my experience.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Nearly, but not quite

So we had not quite seen the end of the croup season. Ben came in last night at 2am barking and having trouble breathing. I got up and got dressed to go to hospital, but by the time I was dressed, Ben had gone back to sleep, breathing quietly, in our bed.

There was still a bit of a cough this morning, and I barely slept listening to the occasional noisy breath last night, but at least we avoided 4 or 5 hrs in emergency. Looks like he has just about grown out of it.

Apparently I have the offending virus too, with a sore throat and a bit of sinus pain. The next 4 weeks can't pass quickly enough...

Friday, October 05, 2007

What sort of child gets croup on a 35 deg day?

Mine apparently. I went to visit the newborn Gates family member, Griffin, on Wednesday. On my way home about 6ish Crash mentioned that Charlie was sounding a bit croupy, but he was fine when I got home. I checked him several times after he went to bed, all good.

Then at 11ish, about 2 minutes after I had dozed off, he woke up screaming and sounding very croupy indeed. So I took him in to RPAH, with him clearly getting worse on the car trip. He has had many visits before, but he normally gets better in the warm, calm car trip, not worse.

So I don't know about RNS, but I can definitely not complain about service at RPAH. I had not managed to write Charlie's name on the admission form before the triage nurse came out to us and took us straight to resusc. He had a neb of adrenalin within 5 minutes of us walking in the door. A shot of steroids and all was good again.

The only small stress we had was that our very lovely (but possibly overenthusiastic) doctor decided to read the manual. Bad plan. Turns out the hospital policy is that any child given adrenalin must be admitted. We have had adrenalin several times before without being admitted, and the nursing staff were most surprised to discover this policy. Being admitted is not a good thing. It results in tired kid, tired mum, and much slower recovery. I made my objection clear, but the doctor was standing by policy.

Thankfully, once our mandatory 4 hr stay was up, I was told we could go home. I owe much to the nursing staff who clearly assisted the doctor in changing her mind.

With any luck, this will be the last for the season.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Can of worms

Apparently Mim's "Stop putting life on hold" post opened a can of worms, at least in my mind. Toni and I were discussing various aspects of what she wrote and the related issues, and I still couldn't seem to get my thoughts clear on it. So whilst listening to the wind valiantly attempt to blow in the balcony doors last night, I tried to work out my own issues with this subject. (Sleep, after all, was definitely not an option.)

I think in my world, there are three separate issues associated with weight, diet etc. The first one is the question of what constitutes a healthy, sustainable diet and lifestyle for me. This is the one I think I've cracked - even if by accident. My body doesn't like carbohydrate rich food at night, and needs much less of it in general than I previously thought. The CSIRO diet works for me, even if I did only discover this because I was too lazy to do my own meal planning. On the exercise side of things, resistance training is very good. One Pump class a week is better than 3 aerobic classes. If I add a belly dance class and one decent walk or something similar a week, that is enough. Once I do this much, my energy levels go up and my incidental activity is greater. This is a pattern than I can sustain, or at least get close to (exercise is harder, just due to logistics, but this is at least an exercise regime I enjoy.) So it has worked, and my weight is in the normal range (ignoring pregnancy). So why is this not done and dusted?

Toni pointed out that I still "diet" a lot. She is right, in that I am always still trying to lose weight. What does that mean and why?

If I've sorted the global food issues, I definitely haven't sorted the acute, right there in front of me issues. While I have found an eating pattern that I enjoy and is healthy for me, when sitting in front of food, I eat whatever is there, irrespective of ... well anything really. I eat it even if I don't especially like it. I remember when I was seeing a dietician and I was writing down everything I ate. She noted a large quantity of chocolate eaten and said "This is too much chocolate (pure genius!), if you want chocolate just have two squares." I looked at her expression of bewilderment that I couldn't grasp this simple concept, and considered my sense of bewilderment that she thought that all I needed was to be told not to eat an entire family block of chocolate and realised this woman was never going to help me.

I truly have no clue why I have no brake, there is no signal that I can identify that tells me my body doesn't need this. I have enough impulse control to manage alcohol, a budget and so on. This is what I have the greatest concern about passing on to my kids. If I have no handle on it, how do I avoid recreating it in them?

And then there is the body image thing. I have all the normal female body hangups, no doubt with all the normal factors that created it. (I remember my mother telling me that it didn't matter that I would never be beautiful because I was smart.) I don't feel much better about myself in the normal weight range than I did when I was obese. I think this may be where the school of thought that says you must learn to love how you look now, and not be losing weight because of how you look, comes from. If you are only losing weight to feel better about how you look, there is a reasonable chance that when you lose the necessary amount of weight, you will still not be happy with how you look. I don't know about a hard line approach to this philosophy, but I can certainly see that if we could just appreciate the beauty of how we are now and combine this with the healthy lifestyle that works for us, we could all enjoy the smaller body when it comes along a hell of a lot more and be much happier along the way.

We all need to look more sensibly at the female population of the planet, and realise that all bodies have good points and bad points. Make the most of the good ones, ignore the bad ones and get out there and enjoy our bodies. I have not mastered this problem, but I can see what I need to do. I hope I can avoid passing this on to the next generation. I want my kids to have realistic ideas of what bodies look like, both their own and other people's. I am going to try, despite the media's concerted efforts to do the opposite. Maybe I should record "How to Look Good Naked" and make them watch it every week until they are 25... :) That show has normal women and lots of them.

The other thing I've realised from watching these kinds of shows, is that basically the world's attention is grabbed by boobs, waists, butts and legs. Everyone has at least one of these features in spades. If you flaunt the one you've got and don't accentuate the failures in another department, you'll look great. Mim's bustier and Susie's infamous Melbourne Cup dress (sadly no photos, but anyone who was there remembers!) are proof positive. So the point is, we are all stunning in our own way, if only we could convince ourselves of it. Our bodies change shape our whole lives even if we are perfectly healthy, we will never be happy if we have one image of how we should look.

Anyway, enough babble. I needed to clear this is my head. Now if I could only resolve the issues rather than identifying them...