Saturday, June 25, 2005

And Mr. Risky Business Can Join Him

Among the comments Ecclestone made in the interview and to Patrick was that "women should be all dressed in white like all other domestic appliances."

So I assume that means he wears nothing but brown.

My computer is located in our partially finished attic, and the air-conditioning doesn't reach up here. So until the weather decides to calm down and be reasonable, I won't be here too much. Peanut is doing fine as long as she receives a steady stream of entertaining objects.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Yes, I Called Him Mr. Jackass Prosecutor

Ok, it isn't that I think that what this woman did was all right, but damn, people! Have a little compassion! She's got six kids under the age of four! Several with health problems! And a husband who is a long-haul truck driver! If I lived in that town, I'd be over there right now offering do to her laundry, or cook, or whatever, and I'm really freaking tired at the moment. Think about what led her to this point, for heaven's sake. She needs help, not felony charges. And Mr. Jackass Prosecutor, you know perfectly well you didn't have to file charges. Parenting plan, my ass. I'd like to see you take her place for 24 hours, except it wouldn't be fair to the kids.

This is how I talk, in case you are wondering. In exclamatory sentences. And the accent is closer to Da Superfans than Fargo.

And Anna's here! Yay! I'm going to the farmer's market in the morning with Anna (if I can get my ass out of bed)! I don't know when she'll have computer access (she can borrow mine if she wants to), so those of you who come here after you read her blog because I am a poor, poor substitute know why she isn't posting.

Elsewhere, the book meme is for *all* of us, not just me :-)

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Sorry, Elsewhere

Anna's moving here tomorrow! Anna's moving here tomorrow!

So me, Anna, and BabySlave will now make up a Madison MommyBlog Posse. Attempt a parenting drive-by at your own risk.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Not My Internet Service!

We've been offline due to problems with our internet service. We're ok here. I have some housecleaning to do, and then maybe I'll get back on and post a picture or two.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Before Surgery

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She's Home

She's drinking a moderate amount, eating a little bit, and mostly sleeping. We've got the special car seat, but we have managed to get her comfortably in our regular stroller, and will get a wagon she can be propped up in. I will just have a hard time going to the grocery store with her, as there is no way I can put her in the cart. There is a reason you don't often see kids in hip-spica casts out and about town.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Poor Kid

Peanut is one miserable child. I don't think she's in much actual pain, but is she ever unhappy. She will not eat or drink, and hasn't given me a smile since we walked into the hospital. She's pretty zonked on her pain meds, but also very homesick, I think. The problem is that she can't get her IV out and go home until she starts to eat and drink on her own, and I don't think she'll start doing that until she gets her IV out and comes home. Hopefully she'll perk up a bit tomorrow, though I doubt it. Tomorrow is when she gets her cast all trimmed down nicely and covered in pink fiberglass wrap, as well as getting her new carseat and other adapted stuff. As she cries as soon as anyone other than family pokes his or her head in the door, I am not thinking that any of this will make her any happier. You know when your parents told you they would do anything to take the pain away when you got stitches or a cavity filled? It's true. I'd give my right arm for her never to have to go through anything like this again.

Monday, June 13, 2005


She's done and in her room. She was in surgery for about four hours, but her doctor is very pleased with the result. He said it was a very difficult surgery. Because of the AMC, the joint was filled with fibrous tissue and the anatomy is different, so it was slow going to make sure they had everything where it needed to be. But he said they got it cleaned out and everything looked secure. We got up to the recovery room about 1:00, and she was just really waking, and immediately cried a hoarse little cry, which continued until we'd gotten into her room. She wanted to be picked up, but when she was moved it hurt, so I bent over the crib and cradled her against my body and that soothed for for a bit. However, some of the pain medicine started to wear off and she got this frantic, screaming cry which cut me like a dull blade in the gut. But because we warned them about her last surgery and the difficulty controlling her pain, they were ready this time with more pain medication and it took effect very quickly. She also did not have the problems breathing that she had last time, thank God.

Right after we got settled, of course, she had to get moved again for her CT scan. The doctor ordered one to make absolutely sure that the femoral head was where it should be, and it was. She fell asleep during the scan when the meds fully kicked in, and slept for the next hour or so, even when they moved her back from the CT machine to her crib. She woke when they were taking her temperature (I don't know if this means anything, but she HATES having her temp taken under the arm. She does not mind one bit having it taken rectally. My child is strange). She had worked herself up into a bit of a fever, so they gave her some antibiotics. She is back down to normal now, and according to Big Daddy she is resting comfortably if no one pesters her. He is with her now while I got to come home for a bit and rest, as I will be spending the night there. I ache all over, after having been tense for so long.

Her cast goes down to her toes on the right side, but only down to her knee on the left. She'll be in it for six weeks. She has a plate and four screws in her hip, and the doctor isn't venturing a guess as to when they'll come out yet. It will be fun to explain the hardware to the security guards at the airport in NYC when we go for a wedding this fall...

I just realized I left out a bunch of stuff the last time she had surgery. In a nutshell: Someone poked themselves with a used needle during her surgery, and didn't report it until after she was in recovery, meaning that in order to get the blood needed to test for HIV, Hepatitis, etc., they had to stick her while she was awake instead of doing it while she was still in the OR, as is usual. I gladly gave permission to do this, because having worked with needles myself I know how agonizing it would be to not know if you got something, even though you've been reassured by the parent that the kid is healthy. However, it took several attempts by three different phlebotomists to get the sample, and if the last one hadn't worked I was pulling the plug. The poor kid didn't deserve to go through that just because someone couldn't make up their mind whether or not to report a finger-stick. Then Peanut had trouble breathing, they thought due to the morphine. Morphine, and other narcotics, depress the respiratory drive, and she was not taking full, normal breaths, plus she had a lot of junk in her lungs. She managed to keep her oxygen saturation up so they didn't need to intubate her again, but it was a roller-coaster of good numbers and bad for several hours. Finally, they decided to stop the morphine and give her some codeine to see if that would help. It did, but the codeine didn't stop the pain. However, they apparently could not give her more morphine because of the codeine dose, so I sat and listened to her whimper for four hours until they could give her the morphine again. At that point, her lungs were clear and she was breathing normally. I wanted to tear someone's head off, but I was too exhausted. The moniters in the room can't be heard from the nurse's station (this is one reason they are building a new children's hospital), so I had to listen to the alarm go off every five minutes until things settled down. Anyway, this time was much better. None of the breathing problems, very little of the pain problem. Whew.

We're On-Updated 11:45 am

She's in surgery. Expected to last until 11:00 Central. I believe I am supposed to be comforted by the fact that no fewer than four people asked us when the last time she ate was, did she have any allergies, etc. The weird thing is, they all seemed to write it down in her chart...

Yesterday we took her to the beach. Well, the beach as in the large pile of sand on the lakeshore. The thing about living in Wisconsin is that I am rarely the heaviest person around. In fact, at this beach, I wasn't even close. I could have shown up in a bikini and looked like Paris *Motel 6* in comparison. The funny part was, Big Daddy was the one feeling insecure. Every single man on that beach was in great shape, even the middle-aged guy with the big compensating boat. They all, to a one, had tattoos as well. We ended up sitting next to a couple with a young daughter nicknamed (I hope) "Booger" and a dog they had tied to the bench with an extension cord. Big Daddy walked into the water with Peanut, who was not really a fan. I think it had more to do with all the people and noise and the unfamiliar environment, but she ended up happy enough to play with our sunglasses without complaint. She wilts in the heat just like I do, so I feel no responsibility to take her out there again for quite some time.

Ok, these computers have a suggested time limit, and I've reached it. I'll be on to update again later when I can. I can't call everyone, so please check back here.

9:30 am UPDATE:
The surgeon just called us in the waiting room. While everything is going well, it seems that her hip socket is too shallow to perform the operation as planned. So in addition to the femorol osteotomy, he will be performing a pelvic osteotomy as well. He said this wasn't an uncommon finding, or completely unexpected in her case. I think he went in hoping it wouldn't be necessary. If it isn't done, he's afraid that the bone will just pop out and we'd be back in here again. Nothing to be worried about, just (just! like I'm the one it's happening to or something) more broken bone and a bit longer in the OR.

UPDATE 11:45 am
She's done, the surgeon is coming down to see us, I guess everything is now ok. I won't be back for a while because I'll be with her until tomorrow morning in her room, and I don't know when I"ll get a break.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005


I went to get some things checked out at the doctor yesterday. I see a nurse-practitioner. I spoke to her about how I'm still very tired compared to most people I know, including other mothers. She asked if I was depressed, and I said I didn't think so, that I didn't feel sad most of the time. She asked me if I felt angry, angry about Peanut's health issues. Of course, I said, I wish this wasn't happening to my child, any child. She said, "that's what depression is, repressed anger".

Repressed anger? Moi? That one made Big Daddy laugh and laugh and laugh. When in God's name have I ever repressed my anger about this? I may or may not be truly depressed, but it ain't because I hold anything back.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Odds And Ends, Though Really Mostly Odds

Quickly, because I really need to go to bed:

My Brother -- He's doing well and has a better handle on things. I can't go into much detail because it's really rather personal, but he wasn't pulling an Audrey Seiler/Jennifer Wilbanks thing. He sincerely hadn't realized how we'd all be worried about him - he just wasn't thinking about it at all. I have a friend who worked as a 911 dispatcher, and he told me that you'd be amazed at how many people have car breakdowns or minor accidents, or take spontaneous vacations, etc. without informing their loved ones about what is going on. That is why the police don't jump to conclusions about people who've gone missing. Almost all the time it is for some benign reason. Though it doesn't really help to know this at the time. I knew a girl who disappeared off the face of the earth when we were teenagers. No trace of her has been found, and while her friends and family have suspicions, there really is no proof of what happened to her. So I tend to get a little freaky about this sort of thing.

Camping -- It wasn't really that bad. I ended up not leaving until Saturday morning when Big Daddy came with us, and it was not because I chickened out. Peanut woke up screaming bloody murder each night and was nearly inconsolable for about an hour each time, in the nice quiet campground. While I am well aware that having a toddler that could walk and need to be constantly pulled away from the poison ivy would be challenging too, it was not as easy to entertain her as I had hoped. When she was a newborn, the one thing that worked nearly all of the time to quiet her down was to take her outside. She was perfectly content to watch the leaves on the trees blow in the wind. Of course, I didn't expect her to be that easily entertained this time, but I thought she'd be more distracted by the raccoon that visited camp than she was.

Big Daddy -- I told you I'm not saying.

Pictures -- You haven't been seeing many pictures here because I have been getting some really freaky Google Image Search hits, like multiple hits on one photo in particular (not of Peanut) from all over the world, literally. And way too many fetish hits for my comfort. I am all for whatever turns your crank if it involves consenting adults, but even I get the jibblies when I see people getting turned on by and wanting to wear medical equipment my daughter will need to use to be able to walk. Taking the photos down hasn't done a thing to stop the parade, and I haven't been able to get it removed from Google. So I am thinking about changing to a different blog platform, one which I can lock certain posts so you have to receive permission to look at the photos. I would pretty much let anyone who asked look, unless you had something like *medicalfetishist* as part of your email address. I don't want to remove my whole blog from searches because I want people looking for AMC information to find me. Anyone have any suggestions?

The next few weeks might be slow around here, because a week from today is Peanut's hip surgery. This week we will be involved in having some last-minute fun with her and her non-casted legs, and afterwards we will be living in hell for several weeks. Who knows, I may need to blog as a respite, but I can't promise anything. I haven't responded to individual comment posts and most emails regarding this blog lately, and it isn't becaue I don't appreciate them. It is because I am too damn lazy, honestly. I mean to, but damn, I'm tired all the time. I just want to say that it means a lot to me that not only do people who love (or at least like) me in real life read this regularly, but that there are people who are total strangers to me following my life on a regular basis. If you've left a message and have a blog, please know I check it out and probably have it on my blogfeeds. Thanks for everyone's support.

Oh, and Peanut got her new splints. She can stand. She needs some help to balance and a little spotting under her butt, but she can stand.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Book Tag

It's not fair getting book tagged by Carlos, because I feel inherently inferior. I drive my husband nuts--he is reading Joyce's Ulysses right now for fun, but he is a slow reader and it will take him weeks, months. I am a ridiculously fast reader (though I've slowed down a bit because of my minute attention span), but I prefer to kick back with the newest John Grisham novel. So while I'd like to feel cool about reading the entire Encylopedia Britannica as a kid, Carlos goes and decides to make organizational trees for everything in it. And remembers which edition, and even knows that there was a difference between the editions other than updated facts. I'm not even getting into his other choices--you should read them yourself. I have learned not to compare myself to him most of the time, but sometimes it is a little hard.

Total Number of Books I Own
Huh. I have no idea. So many of them are in boxes right now, and do you really count old textbooks? I can tell you that we have about 36 shelves full throughout the house, plus stacks and boxes in the attic. So a lot, though that's all relative. When I was in college, I lived in a small studio apartment with one bookcase. I was dating a football player, who I thought of as reasonably intelligent, and he came over. "Wow, you have a lot of books. Have you really read all those?" I had four shelves, two of which were full of textbooks. Hey, he was really hot.

The Last Book I Bought

Gonzalez and Daughter Trucking Company, by Maria Amparo Escandon. A young woman in a Mexican prison tells the story of how she got there. I thought the ending was a little too good to be true, but I still enjoyed it a lot.

The Last Book I Read

Poison, by Kathryn Harrison. The story of a doomed Spanish Queen and a poor silk-grower's daughter in the latter part of the 17th century Spain. Incredibly detailed and fascinating information about the Spanish silk industry, and life in general at that time and place. I wish she'd spent as much time on the story itself. If you already know all you wish to know about what happened in the dungeons of the Spanish Inquisition, this is not the book for you.

Five Books That Mean A Lot To Me

In no particular order:

One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
I had never read anything like it, and I just devoured it. Opened up a whole world of Latin American literature to me. I think I want to read it again, now that I'm thinking of it.

Mother Nature: Maternal Instincts and How They Shape the Human Species, Sarah Blaffer Hrdy
A wonderful book about the bases of mothering behavior. Why some women kill their children, what sort of trade-offs mothers make to raise their children, all based on evolutionary and primate research. Look at the professional reviews of it--they are more helpful than what I am saying.

Little House in the Big Woods, Laura Ingalls Wilder
I was one of those little girls who wanted to be a pioneer after reading the Little House books. They've stayed with me even as an adult. I know a little more about her life now, so reading between the lines of the books can be heartbreaking, especially The First Four Years, about the first years of her married life. They lose the crops, go deeply into debt, lose a newborn son, the house burns down, her husband suffers a stroke. This manuscript was found after her death, and I can imagine her sitting at her desk writing it, remembering these things, and not being able to bring herself to finish, even knowing they had a long and happy life together later on. If you haven't read them since you were a child, you should try again, if only for the line spoken to nine year-old Almanzo by his mother in Farmer Boy: "You are still abed, Almanzo, it's five o'clock. Be you ill?" As hard as your life is, it isn't that hard.

The Paladin, Brian Garfield
Subtitled A Novel Based on Fact, it is about a young Englishman that ends up working as a special agent for Winston Churchill in WWII. It's pretty much been discredited as far as I can tell, but I didn't know it at the time. My family was on vacation in Galena, IL, at a condo my parents rented for what I recall as our first really nice family vacation that didn't involve relatives. This book was there, and I took it home with me. I think at the time I justified this by leaving another one there, or it was an accident, or something, because I was not in the habit of stealing things. Anyway, the kid in the story was about fourteen, and I had never read a book about war before, so it really stuck with me.

Bloom County Babylon : Five Years of Basic Naughtiness
, Berkeley Breathed/ The Calvin and Hobbes Tenth Anniversary Book, Bill Watterson
These titles are just for example. I know they aren't really books like I'm supposed to put here, but they move me all the same. Bloom County got me started thinking about the conservative politics I was being taught at home (did you know I was a Young Republican once?), leading me to question and eventually reject the teachings. All the stuff I was taught about being a good person, telling the truth, do unto others, etc., seemed so contradicted in the political writings I was encouraged to read. We got three mainstream/conservative newspapers at home, as well as the National Review, and I read them all. Bloom County made me realize that I was not alone in questioning this stuff. And Calvin and Hobbes, well, if you don't like Calvin and Hobbes I'm not sure I want to know you. The collections are what I read after September 11, and during that week that I thought Peanut was going to die. The hopefulness in the books, as well as the sheer silliness, was exactly what I needed.

So now I get to tag some people. Hm. Ok, Anna, you're it. Elsewhere, I think you did one of these a while back but I would still love to see your answers, if you've forgiven me for stealing Anna away. Dana, we haven't talked about books for a while so I'd like to see yours too. Jen, I don't even know what books you read, and I am your child's godmother. Pronoia, if you are out there and have a little time, I would be interested in yours too. I'd just as soon see the answers from everyone on my blogroll, personally, but I'll start with y'all, if you don't mind. But if you want to do it, consider yourself tagged.