Monday, March 26, 2007

Career paths and other stuff

I’m not really sure how people enter certain occupations. For example, some chick on NPR this morning devoted her entire doctoral research to studying the communication patterns between insects. This, of course, led her right into the communication patterns of elephants. You’d be amazed at the similarities between the two!

Another time I thought about this was a few weeks ago as I walked into my yearly OB/GYN appointment with a new doctor – a man. What went through his head when he made this career choice? Didn’t he realize how this choice would ruin the way he approached sex forever?

I tried a woman last year. One of my mother’s dying requests was that I immediately schedule a mammogram. I assured her I already regularly got them (due to high risk) but that I would get another one right away. I threw in a physical exam to boot. The female doctor I chose (due to her office location alone) was disappointing. She was fast, nonspecific and generally uninterested. I sat in her office, a grief-stricken wreck, begging her to give me ever cancer screener on the market. She basically told me that I was fine and to stop worrying. No blood work, no in-depth questioning about my lifestyle, no fancy tests. I left feeling unheard.

So the pressure was on with this new doctor. I wanted to go to our teaching University this time and they scheduled me with a male doctor. I went in open minded not wanting to believe that he couldn’t be extremely effective even if he didn’t possess his own set of ovaries.

He was pretty good at first. He took my concerns seriously and followed up with tests. One of which was an ultrasound.

As I laid on the table, my belly full of goo, the technician pushed down hard on my extremely full bladder.

“Ok – there is your bladder,” she began, “wow – it’s really full.”

“It’s supposed to be,” I responded. “They told me to drink 32 ounces an hour ago. I do what I’m told.”

“You’re not from around here, are you?” she asked.

“Why do you ask? Because I’m a rule follower?” I defensively answered.

“No,” she laughed, “it’s just that you have what we call…a…well…a…beer bladder.”

I absolutely lost it – I laughed so hard. Then I asked a bunch of questions.

“Is it all stretched out? Is it too big? What?”

“No,” she calmed me down, “it’s just that I’ve had people complain pretty loudly with half the amount that’s in your bladder. You can REALLY hold a LOT.”

Why thank you.

The test results are inconclusive. I even had a biopsy, but thankfully it came back negative. I told my dad what was going on and he became pretty upset. His parents, and his wife, have died from cancer. I probably shouldn’t have unduly upset him. It’s just that I’m so used to telling my mom every detail of everything – I still try to do some of that with him.
The doctor failed in the end. I’m in complete limbo. He didn’t offer to search any farther for the cause of my symptoms, and he forgot to follow through on some other things. I feel like I’m back to square one. I hate the thought of being gender biased, but maybe I should go see a woman.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Birthday "swumming"

Ella is picking up the Utah accent faster than I can blink. It's driving me crazy. If she insists on having an accent, then I want it to be from the Midwest - I want her to say kaaahn-kreet (that stuff that sidewalks are made of) with strong confidence. I do NOT want her saying "Brigh-in" instead of "Brighton" or "moun-in" for "mountain." I especially hate "swum" instead of "swim." We've worked on it over and over. She cannot correct these misspeaks!

Today was Ella's birthday party at a local indoor pool. She is turning five on April 3rd. I will not be here. That makes two more things that will not make me mother-of-the-year. First, was forgetting the candles for her cake today. Second, will be flying to Florida to spend time with my dad over her birthday. I have Spring Break that week, and the kids don't, so I found a flight that keeps me there over her birthday. In my frugal madness to find the best deal, I didn't even notice the dates.

She is so laid back, and concerned about others, that she's already assured me that it will be okay. She's really excited that she'll be receiving a long distance call from me.

Birthday parties are so much work. The tension this morning got pretty thick. We almost didn't get everything done because I insisted on having a party game. "Pin the wings on Tinkerbell." Chris is a great sketcher. He can draw anything. Tinkerbell, however, turned out to be a challenge. She came out looking...well, a bit evil. Chris even noticed, after we had her hanging on the wall, and said, "Why do I always do that?"

Ella invited a bunch of kids from her preschool class. They had so much fun - they just love each other. I guess that's what it's all about.
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