Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Garbage Day

May 28, 2014

Wednesday is the day I put the garbage out. When I was married I NEVER put out the garbage. I was too delicate....couldn't lift the recycle bins or drag those heavy trash cans to the end of the driveway. But guess what? Since my divorce I've managed to put out the trash every single week! Isn't that amazing?!!

But recently Hamden issued new trash bins. One for recycling and one for trash. Huge, monstrous things on wheels. Big enough to dispose of almost anything! And don't think I haven't fantasized about what could go in there. But now I have gone back to dreading putting them out. I have to put one foot on them to tilt them back and then drag them down the driveway. When I get to the end I have to go out into the street to turn them around and position them just so on the lawn. There are rules about where they can be and how they need to face the street. The wheels are making big ruts in my lawn, not to mention the room they take up in the garage. It seems everyone has the same size contraption no matter how many people live in the house. I don't know how the elderly can possibly deal with these things.

I understand the need for recycling and I am grateful that the town has curbside recycling. I am not complaining, really I'm not. But there are only two of us living here. Maybe it would have been too difficult to have a variety of sizes. As it is clearly stated, I do not own the bin, it stays with the house. As if I would take it if I moved! So a very minor thing to deal with, I know. And I will deal with it because I have no choice. But this morning I thought for a fleeting second, maybe the guys who are coming to cut the trees can drag this down for me!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Top Ten Things I've Learned About the Gym

May 22, 2014

10. When I miss some days due to vacation I feel REALLY old.

9. I always feel good about myself when I get there. Especially if I really had to force myself!

8. I actually leave the house wearing my glasses, hair pulled back and NO makeup. Sorry Claire,
    if you are watching me, I know you told me NEVER leave the house without lipstick!

7. I am still a back of the room participant.

6. Spinning is fun! ( Really... who would have thought I would ever make that statement! )

5. It still annoys me to see the skinny lady with the complete color coordinated outfits. Down to the
    water bottles, hair bands, sneakers and bags. And different colors for different days.

4. I can't muster the energy to go to a 5:45AM class. No matter how much I think about it the night

3. I actually plan my day around the class times.

2. I have my own gym bag. But it doesn't match anything!

1. I still think about what or where I will have dinner, even while exercising.

Monday, May 19, 2014

#BringBack Our Girls

May 19, 2014

Nicholas Kristof, a New York Times op ed columnist, author and Pulitzer Prize winner, recently wrote a column about the missing schoolgirls in Nigeria. He frequently writes about the plight of under privileged women across the globe. And he brought up an interesting question. Why are these fanatical religious groups afraid of educating women?

My own thought strongly relates to my "Boys are Stupid" theory. If women were educated and encouraged to succeed the world would be a much different place. Maybe a better place. But we all know it is much more than that. Women are oppressed throughout the world, especially in third world countries where religious fanaticism is rampant. Forced prostitution, genital mutilation, inadequate health care for high risk pregnancies and lack of birth control are all debilitating problems for women around the world. The lack of clean water is a problem in some countries, especially Africa. Girls have dropped out of school to haul clean water for their families.

So let us keep this in mind when we proceed in our very privileged daily lives. And next time you are wondering where to make a donation there are several at the end of the article I've included.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Reflections on Mother's Day

May 12, 2014

The wedding weekend is over. It was wonderful and I kept my vow to keep the sarcasm in check. But now I want to share a few thoughts on motherhood. And I know I'm going to hear flak about this. But I'm ready.

News flash.... There is a conspiracy surrounding pregnancy and motherhood. Everyone is sooo happy to hear someone is pregnant. "Congratulations!" "Best time of your life!" And my favorite, " I never felt better!" Really?!! I was scared, lonely and my body took on a life of its own. Even though I was a nurse I still couldn't figure out how this huge object was going to emerge without me being in, to put it mildly, extreme distress. And guess what? No amount of breathing techniques, water baths, walking around or hanging upside down made it any better. I knew only my own perseverance would get me through. AND the fact that women have been having babies for centuries and the species has survived. And I did it twice! Without any push gift!

But the real conspiracy surrounds motherhood itself. No one told me how HARD it would be. I'm going home with this baby!! I can't go home. Why can't I live in the hospital and send this kid back to the nursery at night? I don't know how to care for a baby. 24/7. I brought him everywhere with me. Even into the bathroom when I took a shower. I worried about everything. Breastfeeding was a nightmare. It seemed like I took off my shirt more than I wore it. Was he eating enough, too much? Was he sleeping enough. Was I sleeping enough? The days were long and lonely. Going back to work was looming and I didn't know how I was going to leave this baby in day care. And in the end I decided to have Jennie take care of him. Even though I drove from Hamden to East Haven and then to New Haven to work. And then in reverse at night. Ahh, the things we do to survive.

So in closing I want to talk a little about Andrea Yates. Ever since I heard her story so many years ago I felt sorry for her. Her husband Rusty left her at home with five little kids after she had been hospitalized for postpartum psychosis. He had been warned not to leave her alone. When he left for work she drowned her kids in a bathtub. I have always felt for her. She was an honor student in high school and is now in a state hospital in Texas. Rusty has remarried and now has a new family. How nice for him. Hopefully the women who need help and support after childbirth will not have to suffer like Andrea. And if we can recognize that it is HARD to be a new mom more people will come forward and seek help.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Wedding Bells

May 9, 2014

I love weddings. I love the church music that makes me cry. I love the beautiful, radiant brides. I love the handsome grooms waiting at the altar. I love the flowers, the receiving line, the first dance, the champagne toast. A wedding is a day of celebration and love. A new chapter in the lives of the couple. A reason to believe in true love.

Tomorrow Megan and Shaun will become Mr. and Mrs. McGrath. They will begin a new journey together. Shaun, you lucky devil. You will not only be married to one of the prettiest girls around, but you will have acquired the gaggle of women that come with her! Or is gaggle just about geese? Ha... I already know what you're thinking. And Megan, you will have a husband who is not only handsome but can sing you to sleep.

Best wishes to the happy couple. Rain or shine it is going to be a glorious day.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Viva Las Vegas

May 5, 2014

A nursing convention in Las Vegas. That should be fun, right? I was there many years ago on my way to Bryce Canyon. The kids were teenagers. As we drove from the airport the city arose from the desert like OZ. We stayed at the MGM Grand.  I HATE to gamble. I work too hard to throw my money away like that. But it was hot, which I love, and we went to great restaurants and saw some good shows. I spent most of the day by the pool. We were only there for three days. I think that is key to an enjoyable experience.

Las Vegas is like Disney World combined with Times Square on steroids. Both two of my least favorite places in the world. The next time I go to Disney it will be with grandchildren. (If I have any!) And the only reason to go through Times Square is to get to a Broadway show. We are not REALLY in Paris, Venice or New York in those casinos. Just like we are not really in Mexico or Morocco at Epcot center. It is make believe. Go see the real thing.

And the weather. It rains one inch a year in Vegas and both times I have been there it has rained. Am I bringing the clouds? And this time the Santa Ana winds brought cold weather and windy conditions. Even though I sat by the pool on my free day it was too cold to go in the water. And let me tell you a little about the hotel. When they tell you to bring your own coffee pods, be very afraid. Not only the pods but a cup, which we purchased in the gift shop. That's all I'll say on that subject. I'll leave the rest to your imagination. Just let me assure you that physicians would never be expected to have a conference at this hotel.

But I'm not really complaining. While our colleagues were working Jeanne and I DID have a good time. We learned new things, networked with colleagues from around the country and had some memorable moments. And let me add a picture of our poster so you can see that we actually presented one. I'll refrain from posting the picture of our component night where we had to dress up like show girls. Some things are better left a mystery.