Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Away for a few days

I spent the weekend at another Liberal Party convention, and had only sporadic access to the net, so I couldn't post until today.

But I was pleased to see the result of Madonna's Malawi court hearing on Friday. Apparently, the judge ruled that there was never a residency requirement for adoption. From AP News, "Typically, prospective parents are required to stay in Malawi during an 18-month evaluation period. But the judge who granted an interim custody order to the Ritchies on Oct. 12 said the issue of residence is not specified in the laws."

Even the groups who filed with the government in protest had to admit that everything has been done legally. So all they can do at this point is ask that the court monitor the adoption, which was going to happen anyway.

In other news, tomorrow morning I go into see the second opinion doctor, and I expect it will be interesting. I'm going to make sure she gets my thyroid scan results, and I'll try to bring the edited version of my health history. Of course, this also means I'll end up missing the Ashley's Warehouse Sale. I've always been there on the first day, crap.

Hmmm, maybe I'll end up spending less money? Probably not....hehe

And I finally got the guts up to talk to a leadership candidate about taking on infertility as a public health issue. I sat down with him for 15 minutes, poor guy, I think he thought I was going to ask him about Afghanistan. Instead, he got dead babies as a subject.

Shocked the crap out of him....but he did promise to talk more about it with me. Now I just have to get ahold of the rest of them. I can't let this go. I may never have another baby myself, but I have to do something to help other families.

And then I saw this news, and this item. The irony is killing me. It is actually easier to come out as a naked pin-up boy MP, (who happens to be running for leadership) or a nudist colony loving Supreme Court Justice than it is to come out as infertile, or as a mother of dead children...

I know it's for a good cause, and I like Scott Brison, but geez louise, what does it say about our society when we don't blink an eye over politicians and Supreme Court Judges being buck naked and people freak out and cry when I speak to them about maternal infant health?

Well, at least Canadians aren't boring, are we?

Friday, October 27, 2006

In defense of Madonna

I've seen too many critical posts about her. Someone has to step in, dammit!

I'm a mess about adoption usually, because mine was so bad, and because so many of them in the past were coerced. Baggage has convinced me that foster care adoption is a good thing, and now Madonna has me thinking about international adoption.

Why do we assume Madonna has to "sell" us on why she wants to adopt this child?I know many celebrities are very "out" like Brangelina, frankly to the point of exploitation of their kids, but Madonna has never done this. She's exposed herself everywhere, but NEVER the bio kids, so why would she treat this differently?

Would it be great if she did come "out"? Yes, but I would never "out" someone against their will. She has to choose, and we can't judge her for that, even if it hurts our own personal desire to educate the public.

Plus, I think Africa is a special case in the adoption world. We in the West have ignored Africa while AIDS has destroyed it. I've voted for politicans to send drugs and help for years and they have done almost nothing, a drop in the bucket.

The entire continent is now facing extinction. Even if we gave out billions of condoms and drugs for everyone, there are entire villages that are devoid of adults.

No teachers

No police

No social workers

No doctors

No nurses

No Mommies

No Daddies

Lord of the Flies, come to life, in Africa, sadly the probable reason the Lord's Resistance Army spread.

I can send money to any other place on earth and adults in those countries *may* adopt, or foster those kids, with enough time and support. But that will never ever happen in Africa, because there is no one left to raise the orphans, except elderly women and young girls.

I believe that my only ethical choices are to either move there (not medically possible for our family), or bring some of those kids to my country. Until my DH agrees to it, (and I'm working on him, seriously...), I'm going to defend anyone who is willing to step up and pitch in. I get that not everyone would suit adoption in Africa, and that really is okay, but how can the media go ape on her like this, when they do so little to help? Or is it because she refused to play their sick little media BS game and cry in public?

I'm still working on politicians every day to make maternal, infant, and fetal health major priorities, here in Canada, and in Africa especially, so I'm trying, but it's barely enough.

Africa is on fire, and she rushed into that burning continent to save at least one child. What the hell have any of us done? Sweet dick all...

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Twiddling my brain away

Well, I've officially discovered the problem with health care. Apparently Doctors are mentally incapable of email, checking a computer, or reading a lab result.

I did my bloods a week ago, but they still haven't sent the results to my family Doc, and big shock, Dr.Evil hasn't bothered to call either. They even faxed a request to the giant monolithic hospital asking for the results to be faxed, but nothing...

Do you think it's really like Grey's Anatomy? Where everyone is too busy screwing everyone else to treat patients? I had always hoped it would be like House, where everyone rushes around and tries as hard as they can to diagnose the patient.

For example, my ultrasound results came back and showed that I had one nodule they could measure. Meanwhile, I watched the guy measure everything on the screen, over and over again. Basically thyroid nodules look like follicles on your ovaries. After this many ultrasounds, it's totally obvious to me he measured lots of little circles, but the report didn't say size, hot or cold, or any other criteria.

So I'm left praying for House to be my new Doctor. Dr.J. is great but she is not a specialist. She has told me herself that my case is too complicated for her. I really like that part about her. She is realistic about her skills and limits, and willing to get me help when I need it.

That said, I was crying this morning when I realized that unless someone helps me soon I may never have another baby. If I am considered borderline hyperthyroid, or TMG, some protocols say you should wait until the patient goes through several cycles of feeling up and down, basically until they are good and sick, THEN treat them.

I'm late thirties, I have only one or two weak crappy eggs left. I don't have time to do this. I'm getting depressed.

It's the hardest part about my losses, the feeling that my babies didn't have to die. If someone had just figured out what was wrong in time, I would have 2 beautiful daughters. My son could not have lived, but they could have.

Yes, I have 2 sons. But having living children is an interesting double-edged sword. They are so wonderful and amazing and fabulous that they remind me of what I am missing, at the same moment that I take joy in who they are. I've told my support group before that if they had kids as awesome as mine are, they'd never give up trying to have children. Because mine are literally the most amazing human beings ever created. And who wouldn't want to replicate that?

And now I may never get to.

I'm so depressed.

Monday, October 23, 2006

How Liberal or Conservative are you?

Your Political Profile:
Overall: 5% Conservative, 95% Liberal
Social Issues: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal
Personal Responsibility: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal
Fiscal Issues: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal
Ethics: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal
Defense and Crime: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal


So the Turducken turned out well, and it tasted really good. The one we had was from Cajun stuff so it was a bit spicy in spots. I had wiped the red cajun paste off the top before cooking, because spice is nice, but crust is a bit much!

Everyone couldn't eat all that turducken so I'm left with leftovers and loads of gravy. I sent my kids to school with turducken and gravy in thermos'. This could be their fate all week. And no, no more dreams about c-sections and babies--

I saw something cute on another blog, in the meantime. I took this survey and this is what I came up with.

You Are a Frappacino

At your best, you are: fun loving, sweet, and modern

At your worst, you are: childish and over indulgent

You drink coffee when: you're craving something sweet

Your caffeine addiction level: low

They have other surveys, too. The Liberal and Conservative result was weird. It's American, so I came out looking like a communist. I'll post it later.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Turducken dreams...

Friday night we decided to make the Turducken for today, and invite some people over. I haven't heard a thing from these Docs and I need a little stress reliever, so socializing is good, right?

I look at the box. Easy, just thaw and cook for five hours at 350 F. They even have website, www.turducken.com. I take it out Saturday morning, start letting it thaw on the counter.

I google Turducken images, sites, I am immersed in side dishes, cooking methods, variations like Osturducken, and Chuckey, and a traditional West African wedding dish that involves a camel, stuffed with a cow, stuffed with a sheep, stuffed with yadda, yadda....you get the idea. Bascially, I get completely screensucked & distracted

I fail to notice that the Turducken is still rock hard last night. DH and I put it in the fridge, thinking, well, you can't leave it out all night, right? This morning it's still frozen, and I freak and look up the instructions for cooking it from frozen. 8-10 hours at 25o F. Not enough time.

So we have put it into the oven for about 6 hours at 350 F and I'm hoping it will work. We're about 3 hours in at this point, and its at 115 F in the middle.

So why turducken dreams? Because I dreamed that I was pregnant last night. And had a baby, a live one, in some sort of completely unnatural pain free birth. And my DH and I were just hanging out with the baby, in the kitchen. Neighbours started to come over, and asked me how I was. But, I was fine, totally. I'm so over all my neurosis y'know? Easy....

Except that I woke up with a start in a cold sweat, because I realized that in my dream I was about to serve the baby to the neighbours on a platter. Just like Turducken.

You know, the turkey with several smaller birds in it's belly.

Damn, my therapist is gonna have a field day with this one...

Wish me luck, I have to go perform a c-section on a turducken this evening. And try not to lose my mind with all the neighbours watching....

Thursday, October 19, 2006


I've had that word running around my head for ages. So I thought I'd blog it. Try saying it with your tongue stuck out of your mouth.


I had a long day at a campaign office today. I'm helping out my candidate, from now on known as Dear Leadership Candidate, or DLC. He's not actually a Kim Jong-Il clone, it's just that there are so few women in the party that my cover would be blown in seconds if I specified which one, so DLC it is.

So I'm working on financial records, and reading the letters with the cheques, because there really are so few people who give to candidates, and yet some people are heartbreakingly sweet. Like the elderly man who really wanted to contribute, so he sent a cheque for $10, even though he couldn't spare it at all. There are also millionaires who write cheques for $5,000 like it's nothing, and for them it really is nothing.

The public thinks that only the millionaire gets heard and gets what he wants. Yet, in reality, the majority of politicians I've worked with thank the millionaire, listen politely and walk away. It's the old man who gave up his food budget they really listen too. They can't always help him right away or perfectly, but they really really care about his interests, because he's given something up.

So why does the public think that guys like my DLC won't listen to them? I like to say that if every Canadian gave one dollar a year to a politician and made one phone call or sent one email, the world would change. 30 million Canadians = $30 million annually, more than enough to run all the parties and the elections. (Yes, this equation applies to Americans too.)

The religious right is phoning, the lobbyists are phoning, the special interest groups are phoning, and of course, the conservative voters, & the NRA. And jaysus do they give money...The politicians I know would LOVE to turn down all those cheques and they would love to hear from average voters, you know liberals, small c conservatives, moms, dads---but they never call. They rarely send in $10 or even $1.

I hear from my neighbours that politicians don't listen. Well, I'll give you this, sometimes they are late to return phone calls or write back, sometimes they say stupid things, BUT they always look at their call sheets. And they always know who has sent money. So the next time you are wondering about something, like infertility treatment costs, or health care, or gun control, or schools, or just any ol' thing, CALL THEM, email them, tell them to read your blog.

Just say more than Bluurghhh----

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Size might matter?

I've been feeling mildly uncomfortable about something in the blogosphere lately. And I'm not sure if I'm handling it the right way. So let me know if you have any advice/assvice etc.

Basically, my thyroid problems mean I'm starving, STARVING hungry all the time. And my method of dealing with it is to eat, and eat, and eat some more. So I'm splitting out of my clothes.

And to read this you'd think I need to go on a diet, now. Maybe you'd think I weigh a lot, especially after all my pregnancies.

But I don't. I weighed 112 pounds six months ago, and now I weigh 130ish pounds. (I don't own a scale so I don't know exactly.) The only reason I'm talking about it, is because the weight is disease related, and therefore unusual, at least to me. My DH has said he thinks I look good, and finally have some curves. I know there were times 2-3 years ago where I looked way too skinny, and gulp, had to try to keep my weight UP.

Then, when I read various blogs, many of the women seem to describe themselves as overweight. I was taking this with a grain of salt because society seems to impose "perfect weight standards" on women. I didn't know if they really were overweight or if they see themselves that way in the mirror, and would look normal to me. In fact, sometimes they post the number of pounds they need to lose, and it seems like a lot sometimes.

So I try to be supportive, but I also feel like maybe I'm not part of some secret club. Because I can't really know what it's like to need to lose 100 pounds. I gained 60 pounds when I was pregnant each time, and lost it by breastfeeding and just doing the same things I'd always done. No exercise, no feel the burn, zip.

I've done yoga and Tai Chi to keep my flexibility and tried a little weight-lifting to stay off the osteoporosis I deal with from my premature ovarian failure. But really, I am inherently lazy, and it's damn hard to motivate yourself when even the Doctor admits you are doing well.

So how do I relate? Is it enough to just say I feel for them? Should I say nothing ever? Or should I hide my skinny ass? In real life, I've actually had a number of people assume that because I'm skinny my life must be perfect. I never know what to say to this...there are good things about my life, but it's not perfect.

Like.....I have two healthy living children, BUT they both have learning disabilities, and challenges. No, I didn't have to use IVF, but I needed fertility treatment to have one, and lost 3 other children along the way. I have a wonderful husband, but he has personal challenges too, and our marriage has been a rollercoaster from the start. My childhood started out very badly, but my adulthood is generally good now, after a lot of struggling.

Every life has ups and downs and it's not about ranking whose life is better or worse, in my mind. I do believe people have to take some responsibility for their own health, which is why I'm trying to do it for myself. And I wonder about some people who are depressed and overweight and who seem to not want to even try to feel better. I know the weight is related to their mood, and that a therapist or nutritionist could help them a lot, but am I even allowed to say that? I, the skinny person, as opposed to any other overweight or depressed person?

I've never been fat, but I've been depressed, and at times my nutrition has been a disaster and my sleep wake cycle has gotten messed up. And it's all connected. I want to be a helpful supportive friend, but how the hell do I do that?

Monday, October 16, 2006

Weekend Updates

After I posted on Friday, the amazing Dr.J. called. She is my GP and absolutely fabulous, understanding, smart, yadda, yadda. Because she has a young family she is working fewer office hours but still communicates with me by email & phone.

Which is awesome...and she had a good take on Dr.Evil as well. Dr. J. never gossips or denigrates other Doctors, which is wonderfully professional but can be hard to interpret sometimes. I've known her for years so I'm getting better at it, though. For example, she had a copy of the same report that Dr.Evil had. Dr.J. immediately told me that I had a toxic multinodular goiter, and that we should schedule an ultrasound with doppler to look at it closer, check for hot or cold nodules, etc. After that then we could discuss biopsies of any nodules. She also wanted me to get some more blood work.

Totally reasonable, thank goodness. She asked what Dr.Evil had said.

I told her that she had just called and told me there might be some nodules on my thyroid, but really nothing, maybe. And that she said the uptake report wasn't relevant. But I could get an ultrasound. Maybe a biopsy if I begged.

Total silence on the line.

I also shared that Dr.Evil has no plan, no follow through, and is disregarding the report because it doesn't correspond to the cheapie TSH test.

"Well, I guess we'll just have to find you another Dr., don't worry..."

Open mouth hitting floor, cause that really is the worst slam Dr.J. has ever made in my hearing.

So today I picked up the ultrasound requisition and blood tests, and got my bloods drawn and have an ultrasound scheduled today at 3:30. I have to put the kids in study hall to do it, but that's okay, considering...I certainly don't want to drag them there.

I had a second opinion appt. already set up for Nov. 1 with another endocrinologist, so maybe she can make a plan with me... and help me figure out why the tests are showing such strange and wild results. Like why my antibodies show Graves Disease, and the scan and uptake showed hyperthyroid with nodules, yet the TSH is up and down like a merry go round?

And somewhere in here, I'm trying to make Halloween costumes, keep the house together and book hotel reservations and transportation for the leadership convention.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

In keeping with yesterday's theme...

I'm thinking about taking the Canadian route to dealing with stress. Piere Berton has now passed away, (after a long and happy life, TG).

But, his favourite medicine to help deal with stress, weight loss, and general blah, was not the usual for an 80+ year old guy, scotch. No, he decided to use something else.

Happy Weekend!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Dr. Evil Finally Called

And it's not good. But it's not terrible, yet, I think.

My RAIU test came back showing hyperthyroid, but Dr. Evil (that's her new name) insists that it's impossible because the blood test for TSH showed normal TSH, T3 & T4. Except that I was on beta blockers very shortly before that. And emedicine and every other website I've checked all say that the blood test can be wrong if certain medications are taken at the same time. And I've been on some of those.

Plus, my scan showed a "mottled" result, most likely multiple nodules of some sort. And I have active antithyroglobulin antibodies, although she wouldn't share that result until I asked, because god forbid I know my own health results.

So, even though every other test shows clearly that something is wrong, she refuses to believe the results are real. Because, hey the $2.50 test must be right. We absolutely have to ignore the very expensive RAIU test and scan...

Her nibs would condescend to give me an ultrasound requisition and a blood test requisition to check on the giant nodules in my throat. And she even had the graciousness to agree to a biopsy, cause y'know, it's important to be all casual and stuff about CANCER.

I have to go get requisitions right now, and I'm desperate to find another Doctor who will give me a second opinion, and oh I don't know, maybe, gee, CARE about the clock ticking away on my health.

This isn't the worst moment of my life, (that was when my son died), but it's ranking right up there on the stress level.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Turducken, my love

You weren't expecting me to be in love, were you?

With Turducken, mmmmm?

And you thought I was joking about sticking my head up that turkey's butt? While I was there, I stuffed up veggies and pork sausage, a boneless chicken, and a boneless duck. In the turkey, really.


Okay, I just bought the Turducken, but it was the last one, and it was half price, and I've never ever seen one for sale except at the extortionate St.Lawrence Market, a lovely overpriced tourist trap, for sure...

So there is a Turducken in my freezer, two half price turkeys, and a rib roast. I'm feeling mmmeaty.

Just in time for my darling-way-too-skinny-older son to come back from his overnight trip to the outdoor education centre. I hate when he goes overnight, even though he is getting older. Like 10. So why can't he just live with me for ever and ever and not grow up? *sigh*

But my Turducken will never leave me. Nooo, it will stick to my thighs forever.

(And no the doctor didn't call, but she did get the report September freakin' 25th. Must be a state secret, right? Must.not.share.with.patient.)

So go along with me on the distraction thing, k? And say it with me, TUUURDUUUCKEN MMMMMM

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Thanksgiving Holding Pattern

I'm stuck in a turkey. Me and Mr. Bean.

And a rut.

First the turkey, we had Thanksgiving this past Monday, (Canadian version for you Americans) and my DH decided to invite 13 people, buy the largest, most expensive turkey he could find, and then brine it. Turkey brine is bizarre. Makes a good bird, but yeesh, the whole soaking of a raw turkey in salt water freaks me out. I keep thinking of Salmonella, even though I know it will be fine. (There's a whole procedure to make it work safely, but still...)

So this week we will be having turkey soup, turkey and gravy, turkey blah, blah, blah...

As for the rut, I've been waiting for this @#$% doctor to call me back, but of course, why bother, right? This is the thing about medicine that I find strange. We all hear about waiting lists, and money and HMOs and governments but no one ever talks about the plain old silliness and incompetence issues. Why is that? I mean, do we like blaming governments and ourselves and everyone else except Doctors? Do we worship Doctors this much?

So to get around the problem, I'm going to call radiology this morning and ask if they've sent the test results to the endocrinologist, and then ask them to send the results to my family Doctor. She doesn't know much about the endocrinology, but she'll tell me the results right away, either by phone or email.

So then I'll know, hyperthyroid? Thyroid inflamed? Thyroid tumour? Benign or malignant?

At minimum I'll be able to go back on my estrogen soon, or at least take a vitamin, maybe an Advil...I'll certainly need it if I get bad news.

But at least I won't be in a holding pattern anymore, and that has to mean something, anyway.

I'll write more when I know more.

And yes, when facing a crisis, I either run screaming into the street, or make sick jokes. Today I picked the sick joke option. Tomorrow, who knows?

Friday, October 06, 2006

I'm just not getting it, maybe?

So, when someone sits on your blog for like 6.5 hours, you sort of wonder about them, right? Cause really don't they have better things to do? Especially because they don't seem to have simply fallen asleep, or wandered away, but are clicking and hanging out and stuff.

And then I think, well, I click back and forth on some blogs myself right? Because I can't get every blog on bloglines, due to my technical ineptitude. Plus, I like to comment and read peoples' archives, etc. But, actually I've never hit 6 hours, maybe 1 hour?

But the next one creeps me out, because ummm, what do you need to sit on a blog for 20 hours for? I mean, puh-lease, get real, it didn't take me 20 hours to write it for pete's sake!

And after 20 hours, no comment, no email to explain?

Either I'm putting people to sleep....or they have issues. So please get some help, whomever you are, really, you really really need it. And explain what happened. Did you sign in at an internet cafe and walk away? Or did you fall ill at home and leave your browser open?

Am I being wayy to kind and naive?

Monday, October 02, 2006

5 things that feminism has done for me

So I'm joining in, k? And some of these relate to the Status of Women Agency, and some relate to feminism in general, but they all matter to me. I've tried to write them, not just as in terms of what it's meant in the past, but also the future. Oh, and I don't always agree with individual feminists, but feminism isn't some sort of Borg Collective. Not everyone looks at the world the same way.

#1 - Feminism has given me the right to save my own life, and the right to give my son a dignified death. When my second pregnancy went wrong, when I risked bleeding to death, and my son was dying, I terminated my pregnancy and ended his life quietly and gently with grace and dignity. He did not suffer tubes and surgeries and procedures he could not live through, but instead was surrounded by love and warmth. I didn't need a surgical D&E in my case, induction was safer, but feminism & I will still fight laws that prohibit late terminations just because of stories like mine.

#2 - My right to control my own body has also extended to every citizens' right to control their own body and their own death. It's known as the Charter Right to Security of Person. But around my family, it's a little more personal. 5 years ago, when my mother-in-law didn't want to suffer through another round of drugs and indignities in hospital, the doctors couldn't force her. 25 years ago they did, and she hated them for their experimentation. Same for my father-in-law. Doctors used to be Gods. Now they are accountable, and that is no bad thing.

#3 - Feminism provided me with safe and fabulous daycare for 2 kids, easily accessible if you plan ahead and do some research. And because we have 9 months of pregnancy and another year of maternity leave and parental leave, we can plan. Sorry critics, but even feminism can't provide enough spaces for last minute changes on a dime, but we're still trying for more, really. Even for emergencies.

#4 - Feminism has kept me safe from predators, from bad dates, from bad adoptive parents, from awful ex-boyfriends, and made it safe to call 911 if god forbid I ever need to. It used to be awful for all women, and then advocates for women stepped up and demanded that the cops arrest batterers. And now they do, but not always the right way, cross-charging still happens, and judges and lawyers can make mistakes. And saddest of all, poor women and aboriginal women and rural women still can't get the help they need. Which is why we still need to keep fighting.

#5 - Voting, which may seem like an oldie, but darn it's still relevant. Right now, I, a white middle class articulate woman, can vote because of feminist fights in the past. We still need feminism, because on the weekend, an immigrant woman told me how she was denied the right to vote at this weekend's DEMs for the Liberal Party. (And I know Tory women who have gotten left out of this kind of vote, so every party has problems on this front.) To this day, women who don't speak perfect English, who can't always advocate for themselves, get robbed of this right, around the world, (think Afghanistan) and in the first world too. I've seen it in the U.S. when I worked in politics there years ago, so it's not over.

But I wouldn't even have the right to begin with if it wasn't for feminism.

There's more reasons, maybe I'll post more tomorrow, or tonight. I'm thinking about Baggage, who recently adopted as a single mother, and couldn't a few years ago, or Manuela, who gets to wear fabulous shoes and talk about frilly stuff but doesn't have to put up with Dr.Famous telling her how to give birth. I'm thinking about all of the zillions of women in the blogosphere who get to practice free speech every day with their fingers and meld the personal and the political.

Because the personal is political. Always.

See Progressive Bloggers for more links to more posts on the subject.

I'm doing the delegate dance!

Wee, hee I'm a delegate, I can't believe I actually got elected, holy freakin' mackerel.

And yes, I'm trying to clean up my language, k? So mackerel it is.

Yep, Liberal Party Convention in Quebec, here I come!

Doing the happy, happy delegate dance. And yes, I am THAT LAME. But that's okay because so are all the other Liberals, especially if you get us drunk. In fact, as lame as I am, I quite often look cooler than many of the other liberals in the room.

I was also addicted to the ticker over the weekend. Check it out, here. You may have to go to home then back, because so many of us are hitting refresh we have almost crashed the darn thing. Utterly addicting, seriously.