Sunday, March 16, 2008

Hurricane Drew

Ok - he is only 2, but trying to keep up with his brother.
In fact, he has done stuff Matty never dreamed of and it scares me. All of it. Terribly.

-drew on the computer screen with black permanent marker

-regularly climbs up and sits on the kitchen table, and sometimes, stands to swing the light haning there (you hear the expression "swinging from the chandelier"? - well, it is just a matter of time I am afraid..)

- regularly climbs up the back of the kitchen chair I am sitting in (quietly) and starts blowing on my hair (I dread the day I don't see/feel him there and I get up

- spashes in the tub like there is no tomorrow. Matt stands up and says, "Help mommy - wipe my face wipe, wipe..."

-gets into the dryer and closes the door

- has no fear of any playground equipment - slides, walls, stairs, swings

-is a hair twirler and I swear one day I will have dreds from all his twisting and pulling - or maybe I'll be bald. I am letting his hair grow out. Let him pull his own hair.

We didn't all go to medical school

I teach, so I am used to telling people something and then they write it down in a notebook. Sometimes I even write what I want them to know on a chalkboard so that they can see what is important to write down. This way they know what I just told them. They can look back at their notes to se what I said - especially if it was important information.

So I hate when I go to the doctor's office and they tell you to take two of these three times a day on even days only and put this cream on your elbow for 10 days on and 5 days off and this other ointment on your knee twice a day for 3 days with 7 days off. I walk out confused and wondering what the heck I am supposed to do with my packages from CVS. Usually the pharmacist can decipher the doctor's heiroglyphice from the RX sheet, but there have been times I had to ask again or call the office and confirm.

My mom is not good at being assertive. She is a product of her culture and her era. She has gone to the pharmacy and come home with meds she didn't think she needed and meds she didn't even know what they were for.

I wish doctors approached their jobs as if they were a teacher - teaching the patient like a student of their own health. Explain or better yet instruct the patient as to what medication to use when and where and have them write it down so they know what they are doing and using the meds right.

I also remember being in the hospital after my first c-section and someone (a nurse) asked me what did I want for pain. I do not know what the names of any pain medication are - I am a teacher, not a doctor, pharmacist or nurse. So my answer was, "I don't know." So I got nothing. I sat writhing in pain - crying for 4 days with no medication at all. It was horrible. But I didn't know any better - this was my first hospitalization ever. Why would a worker in the medical field think everyone knows all the jargon or vocabulary of their field? I don't call my students' parents and drop slang like CST, M-team, jigsaw, aural participation, dbq, curricular objective, xyz pdq, et cetera and assume they know what I am talking about.

My advice to anyone going to a doctor or hospital: treat it like school. Take pen and paper. Write it all down - especially any directions or instructions about your care or health. Ask questions - stand up and be an advocate for yourself. Get what you need and don't be afraid to say, "Can you please tell me what you are talking about?"

TIme Flies

Almost a year between posts. I have been so busy this year I have, at different times, not had time to ......
- wash my hair
- mail in insurance claims
- tear a coupon off something I'm buying to get something else free
- call to schedule my kids doctor's visit
-go to dance class
- call friends
- e-mail friends
- go to the gym
- eat lunch
- apply for a scholarship I needed/wanted
- get a nice jacket mended
- put on make up
- put the thousands of photos of the kids in albums
- buy a gift card for the school fundraiser
- get a haircut

I was talking to a friend in 2006 about how with a 2 year old and a newborn, I didn't have time for a shower that day and she (having no kids) told me I could have made time for it.

I think it is different for everyone. Maybe for me it was a shower I was willing to forego, but to someone else it might be something else. Eating, shopping, wearing shoes, blogging - whatever. But parents do give up something because the kids need you more. Recently I was driving alone thinking that I might not want to move from ths stupid state because it might not be the right thing for my kids. Whoooo. Scary. Did I just sound like a parent?