Friday, December 30, 2011

Every Dinosaur Poos!

With a sick Lil' Edges on my hands I thought I'd try to brighten her up with some Nick Jr. To my complete amusement this is what was on:

Quality children's programming.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

baby body bitchiness

It feels like I'm being bombarded of late by blogs, articles and essays written by 'real women' on their post-baby bodies. The main theme of these articles seems to be Miranda Kerr, Scary Spice, Mariah Carey and the like are doing a dis-service to the collective womanhood by looking great after having babies.

Apparently real woman gain weight during pregnancy and they don't have the time or the inclination to lose it after the birth of their babies. They're too busy looking after said babies and even if they wanted to lose the weight right away, they couldn't because it's just not that easy.

The thing that these articles all have in common is that the authors are guilty of doing the very thing they're bitching about. "I'm being criticised because of the way my body looks after having a baby" and then in the same breath they criticise women who look great or take steps to get back into shape after having a baby.

Shame on you ladies. You can't have it both ways. Either you accept that 'real woman' not only have stretched out belly's, dimpled thighs and saggy boobs but can also have flat stomachs, smooth skin and perky breasts and stop putting them down. Or you don't, in which case, cop the criticism you're so happy to dish out at others with good graces. It's hypocritical at best and just plain bitchy at worst.

I'm just a little bit over it all. The only people who give a shit about post baby bodies are women who've had babies and most of the time, its those women who are unhappy with themselves who are the most critical. Celebrities aren't to blame for women feeling shit about themselves. Women do it all on their own, after all who is it thats buying women's magazines in the first place?

I could assume that you gained weight during your pregnancy because you sat on your arse eating pizza and potato chips for nine months but I'd probably be wrong, so why is it ok for you to assume that a woman who doesn't gain weight doesn't eat properly? Or that she's doing crunches 10 minutes after giving birth?

So, you don't look like you used to and your body doesn't look like Miranda Kerr's. Get over it. It doesn't give you licence to trash her and other women who don't fit neatly into the little box you've crafted as normal to make yourself feel good. The only dis-service being done to the collective womanhood, is the ongoing need women have to put other women down who are not like them.

Just stop it. 'Real Women' come in all shapes and sizes, not just yours. It's not a war with the skinnies versus the fatties. Slagging off people who appear to have "bounced back easily" right after birth says more about you than it does them. It's only an issue because YOU make it an issue.

Acceptance goes both ways.

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Monday, December 5, 2011

Out of whack

Some things are disproportionally painful for the injury to which they belong. The funny bone is an obvious one or when you accidentally brush a finger against the hot roasting pan. Todays CRI is a perfect example. (Couch related injury. See, it happens. It's a dangerous lifestyle I lead this not working thing... but I digress...).

This afternoon while casually sitting on the couch trying to wrangle Lil' Edges who has turned into a wriggling squirming fiddling muppet over night, I caught the edge of my fingernail on something which tore it and then in the course of my sudden jerking movement, I proceeded to stab myself under the fingernail WITH MY OWN TORN FINGERNAIL.

"Oh fudge, you melon farming biscuit of an owie*"I exclaimed, grabbing the baby in a football hold with my good hand and running like mad for the bathroom to both clean up the blood and somehow remove the offending fingernail from it's excruciating location. 

Why should a fingernail injury hurt so much? If pain serves to warn you of the potential harm of an injury, to get you to stop doing whatever it is that's injuring you, why then does having something shoved under a fingernail make you want to hack your own arm off with a meat cleaver? Fingernails aren't really that important. Not in the grand scheme of things. 

Get back here cat!
Tooth pain is another example of disproportion. Can you imagine being a caveman with no colgate or dental floss or water fluoridation (or even dentists for that matter) to protect your teeth and gums? What did those poor bastards do when they inevitably cracked a tooth on a prehistoric chicken wing? It's my belief that the ridiculous amount of dental pain probably led them to jump in front of an oncoming Sabertooth shouting "Eat me, for the love of Mergatroid, just fucking eat me."

I broke a toe (and a wrist and once a bone in my foot) none of these really rated very high on the pain scale. The toe went a lovely shade of purple and throbbed a bit but mostly, as long as I didn't stub it on any furniture it wasn't too bad. I never once contemplated a home amputation or knocking myself unconscious with a heavy based frying pan. Surely a broken bone trumps a broken fingernail? Shouldn't my body be more concerned with things that may actually be problematic should I need to make a hasty getaway from an emerging predator? 

Why does a minor burn, so minor that it barely even tints the skin pink, need to throb for hours? Yes the pan is hot, I get it nervous system, you can stop sending the pain signals and release the endorphins. And yes, this ice cream is cold, thanks for alerting me via brain freeze before I wound up with frostbite in my throat. On a similar note, thank you teeth for that sharp nerve sensation when I eat something really sweet, God forbid I die in a horrible Pavlova incident.

Seriously, unless the injury requires actual medical attention (and no running something under cold water or putting a Flintstone ouch-aid on it doesn't count), then I don't want to know about it. If tearing a fingernail at the quick is a 1 on the serious injury scale and being decapitated by a low flying helicopter is a 10, then I don't want to be bothered for anything less than a 3, say a gash requiring at least 6 stitches. 

Harden the fuck up, nervous system.

*Or words to that effect

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Sunday, December 4, 2011

In Memoriam

A year ago today my mum died. While she had been unwell, I certainly didn't expect her to die on that particular sunny Saturday afternoon and I miss her terribly. I am saddened that she missed the arrival of her first grandchild by a mere three months and I feel her absence every time Lil' Edges reaches a new milestone. Below is the eulogy I wrote for her funeral.


One of the earliest memories I have of my mum is of her dancing around in the kitchen to Donna Summer while she cooked. With the music turned up loud, she twirled around singing and adding ingredients to whatever dish she was creating while I clapped and giggled at the show. Later, when I was a little older, mum would let me help and we soon had our own special chocolate slice recipe that we always made together. Mum had a number of brilliant dishes, her pasta sauce, her wine trifle, her coleslaw to name just a few but she hated cooking. In fact I’m pretty sure that she taught my dad to cook the Sunday roast just so she wouldn’t have to!

From Mum I learned to have fun doing chores. I learned that music can transform the mundane into the extraordinary.

Mum was always trying new things. She was creative and talented. At one point she developed a taste for renovating Antiques. She dragged us all over the countryside looking for bargains. One time, Mum was rummaging around in what appeared to be a pile of rubble. Eventually she emerged triumphantly with four dusty pieces of broken wood. “Look at this!” She exclaimed. Dad and I exchanged confused glances before turning back to haggle with the storeowner over the price of an acoustic guitar. Three weeks later Mum emerged from the garage with a beautifully crafted antique picture frame, which now houses their wedding photo. We were amazed. Somehow she always managed to find magnificent pieces hidden in an obscure corner covered in dust.

From Mum I learned to look into things more deeply. I learned to try new things and to persevere when things seem hopeless.

Mum was fiercely independent and encouraged me to get my driver’s license as soon as I was able. We were driving home from Shepparton one afternoon soon after I got my learner’s permit, with me behind the wheel and mum in the passenger seat. Mum had been a bit nervous about letting me drive but as I pulled into our street she relaxed and started flicking through a magazine. Although I slowed right down as I pulled into the driveway, I forgot to apply the brake and crashed her beloved car into the gate. We peeled the mangled gate off the front of the car to survey the damage. The left indicator was hanging about three inches off the bumper blinking away. “Hey, at least the indicator still works.” I offered. Mum was not impressed.

From Mum I learned to be self-reliant. I learned to find a way to get where I wanted to go.

Mum was excited about becoming a grandmother. On the night before mum passed away, for no reason in particular, we watched the ultrasound dvd. She was captivated by the detailed images of her grandchild moving about.

Mum, although you didn’t get to meet your first grandchild in person, you can rest assured that she will know you and learn all the wonderful things that made you who you were. 

You are in our hearts, always. 

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Friday, December 2, 2011

Becoming Complacent

In a recent conversation with a woman I am just getting to know I mentioned in passing that I had this transfusion thing next week and wouldn't be able to do anything on that day. She looked horrified, then deeply concerned as I explained what it was and how it worked. I realised that going into hospital every 8 weeks for a transfusion is not normal to most people.

This woman patted me on the hand by way of offering support? condolences? sympathy? and stated that needles were horrible and she couldn't imagine anything worse than having to have one stuck in your arm for a whole day every two months. Then she actually shuddered at the thought.

I see it a bit differently.

Not too long ago I was about as sick as I’ve ever been. I remember telephoning my specialist every day in tears, begging him to admit me (which he did after five days). The surgery I'd had a year earlier had made things worse instead of better. I was in more pain than I ever though possible and could not go more than 20 minutes without needing a toilet including having to get up 6 or 7 times a night. 

After two days of observation, the doctors were all in agreement. Medication wouldn’t work. There were too many ulcers, fissures and strictures and they were too widespread to operate. The only solution: Colostomy bag.

I cried for a week. I pleaded. Anything, absolutely anything but THAT

Eventually after three weeks in hospital on high doses of steroids, daily injections, humiliating and excruciating enemas, a couple of strictoplasty procedures and a whole lot of begging on my behalf, they decided to try Infliximab. They weren’t really convinced it would work since none of the other similar class drugs had worked. I guess they just took pity on the poor sad creature who was desperately clutching at straws.

“There’s every reason to believe this will work.” I must have uttered that phrase 60 times a day to everyone who would listen, oblivious to the doubtful looks and words of caution about getting my hopes up. It was too late for that, they were already way the hell up there, it was going to work. It just had to. And work it did. Infliximab seemed to work from the first transfusion. Sometimes I wonder if will power and pure determination is enough to make medications do their thing.

Fast forward to today and I am probably as close to remission as I'll ever get. There's been no talk of colostomy bags or surgery. So to me, these transfusions are far from something horrible or a reminder that I have an illness. Infliximab saved my life and I am very lucky to have these transfusions every 8 weeks.

Every time I have the transfusion I’m reminded of where I was and how far I’ve come. I’m reminded of how bad things have been and that they can easily be that bad again and I’m thankful that, in this moment, I’m healthy. It reminds me that I am alive and well and that things are good and I come away from it feeling revitalised. 

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