Friday, March 31, 2006

The Latest and Greatest!

I've had this on my bulletin board at work for years, and thought, "I should post this on my blog!" It's honestly one of the funniest letters I've ever received from a company. You'll have to click on it and get in close to read it, but I think it's worth it. Let me know what you think!

Thursday, March 30, 2006

The Comparison Game

Well, it's been a week since my last post. I guess I've moved into the "bloser" realm along with LilCherie (and Tingle, this week anyway). Must be a rough one for everyone.

*I sent the letter mentioned in my previous post and am waiting to hear back.
*Bubba is walking around without problems--his leg is healed and he is tooling around like nobody's business. It's wonderful and sad all at the same time.
*J. and I are getting along quite well this week. I get the sense that he is really trying. He's had two individual therapy appointments and has set up another for next week, and actually did his homework assignment, writing a letter to his parents. They both died within a week in 2000, and he is trying to work through some unresolved grief. He has set up all these appointments on his own and seems committed to trying to help himself, which is such a relief to me. He shared his letter with me and it was heartbreaking. I'm so glad he's doing this and hope it leads to some real healing. He has also been putting forth more effort at home, both housework-wise and also in communicating with me in loving ways. I'm cautiously encouraged.

Topic of the Day
There's a woman at work whom I used to refer to as The Breastfeeder. Her son was born (full term) two months before mine. I called her The Breastfeeder because she was SO into it and didn't want to stop and always had to tell me about it, blah blah blah, feeding into my own insecurities about my inability or, rather, my choice not to continue the harrowing ordeal for more than 6 weeks.

Well, she's not breastfeeding anymore, as the boy is now 20 months old, but she is focused on her child in a way that seems to me almost unhealthy. I mean, it's all she talks about with me. She stops by my office almost every day to tell me about him -- we'll call him Nigel. I guess I could start calling her The Bragger, because more and more that's what it seems like she is doing. She has been telling me for several months now about all the wonderful, smart things her child is doing. "Last night Nigel said "Nigel wants cookies." Or,"The other day, Nigel pointed to the crib and said "Nigel wants to go night night." Or, here's a story I heard not once, but twice this week because she'd apparently forgotten she'd told me: "Last week we dressed Nigel in blue pants and he said 'No blue pants.' So I asked him "What color pants do you want to wear, Nigel?' and Nigel said, 'Nigel wants brown pants.' And once we put him in the brown pants, he was completely happy!" Another one: "Last night Nigel said, 'Put bear in rocking chair.' "The other day, Nigel said 'Watch animals on TV' because he wanted to watch his animals DVD--and then, he named them all when they came on!"

Meanwhile...J. and my conversations with Bubba usually consist of trying to figure out the inflection and context of his numerous "bah!" noises. Yes, they mean things--he says "bah!" for balloon, ball, SpongeBob, bath, bus (okay, that's more of a "buh!") but you catch my drift. Often times his main form of communication is crying until we figure it out. He has words, yes: most impressive right now is "Hi" and "Bye" and "milk" and "more," and he says other ones like "hi kitty" and "Nuk" for his pacificier and "No" for the answer to any question posed to him. But for Christ's sake, my 18-month-old doesn't know his colors, knows three animals (kitty, crocodile and puppy), doesn't refer to himself by name or otherwise, and hasn't mastered his fucking prepositions, okay?

These conversations don't worry me. I am fine with Bubba's development, happy that he is learning how to talk and walk and that he's a happy, fun kid. Mostly, happy that he is simply alive and well and here for us to love. I don't feel jealous of super-genius Nigel in the least. I just abhore these conversations. I can't stand the "let's compare our kids" game. It is so transparent and so...well, I guess the word seems to be cruel to me. It's all about making oneself feel great and trying to make someone else feel lesser than.

To me, it's one of the most common and insidious ways that women work against each other rather than banding together. On the surface, it looks like you're bonding over stories about your children. But really, it's a war. It's a "my kid is better than yours" war. I refuse to participate in this. If Bubba does something totally exciting, like the first time he walked on his own or slept through the night, or more likely, does something completely hilarious like walk around with my pink bra thrown around his shoulders, yes, of course, I'll share it. But I don't offer a day-by-day running commentary of every word he says, every skill he masters, every color he learns and every wonderful thing he does. I don't counter her stories with a "well, Bubba did THIS last night." (Okay, usually it's because Bubba cried and grunted his way through dinner before we finally figured out he wanted to watch SpongeBob instead pf eat. Sidenote: The Bragger's kid only watches Baby Einstein. Close your eyes now and imagine the sound of me puking.)

I just don't want to play the game. I can't very well tell her to stop talking to me about him--but I can stop the cycle when it gets to my turn. Usually I just smile and say something like, "Oh, that's so cute!" or "That's great!" and leave it there. It's funny though. She'll come down to my office for no other reason than to tell me that Nigel did this or that.

Why do we do these things to each other? Ever since Bubba was born, it's been a never-ending stream of the Comparison Game. "Are you breastfeeding?" "Is he sleeping through the night/rolling over/sitting up yet?" "Is he on solid foods yet?" "Has he said any words yet?" "Is he crawling yet?" "Is he walking yet?" Maybe these are honest conversation starters between parents, but why couldn't we ask questions like "What's your favorite thing your child does?" or "How do like being a parent?" Or "How have things changed in your life since your baby was born?" Or "What's your favorite activity with your child?" or just anything more relevant, more interesting, and less judgmental?

Something I find interesting in The Bragger's case is that she readily admitted to me, during and after her pregnancy, that if they had found evidence of Down's syndrome or any other neurological problem they would have terminated the pregnancy. I can't get into an abortion discussion here because I don't know how I feel about it. After losing my daughter at 21 weeks, the issue got a lot dicier for me. But--and I'm not bragging or judging here--I know that with both my pregnancies, by the time I'd reached the point where such conditions could be detected, I'd already fallen in love with my baby, to the point that the only way I would consider termination is if there was no way my child would ever enjoy any part of life. The Bragger and her husband's stance suggests to me just how important "smarts" were to them, and her ongoing comments reinforce that.

I guess I just find it amazing that for some parents out there, intelligence is of so much importance. Yes, I want my child to be smart, to excel, to succeed. But more than anything, I wanted, and want, my child to live, to have fun, to enjoy life, to be happy.If that means he will be an "average" child with a great sense of humor or a passion for bowling or whatever, that's fine. If it means he will be a "delayed" child with a heart that can love and find happiness in affection and play, that's fine. If things had gone differently and it meant that he would be a child with Down's syndrome who could still enjoy hugs and smiles and swimming and swinging and watching a funny movie, that's fine.

The fact of the matter is, you don't get to choose what you are given when it comes to children. You can choose to keep or discard what is given to you, but you can't choose who or what your child will be--and I wonder if people who want that choice should really be having them. I got what I most wanted, and to me it was a pretty simple, basic want--for my child to be alive. Everything else--his wonderful sense of humor, his adorableness, his funny gestures, the way he begs for SpongeBob and flirts with waitresses and waves the stink away from his own farts--are wonderful extras that I am lucky, LUCKY, to have.

So what it comes down to, for me, is that I don't really give a shit that Bubba doesn't know his colors yet or all his animal noises or whatever. He's happy. What more could I really ask for???

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Response from University of WKWKYKBYSOUM Hospitals and Clinics....and my response back

I received this in the mail yesterday.

March 21, 2006

Ms. Depressionista
Patient Drive
Potato City, Ohidoa

Dear Ms. Depressionista,

As a follow-up to your recent correspondence, your account and customer service contacts have been reviewed. I do apologize for the frustration you have experienced while resolving the billing for your visits in 2003. Your feedback has helped us identify where additional training is needed to reach our goal of superior customer service.

Per our customer service notes, the letter you had requested confirming your current patient responsibility balance of $0 was sent on 3/9/06. Your 1/31/06 and 3/3/06 billing statements included patient responsibility from your 6/23/03 date of service which has been adjusted due to untimely billing.

We appreciate your time in notifying us of the service difficulties you have encountered. If you have further questions, please feel free to contact me at (xxx) xxx-xxxx.

Mr. Director, Patient Financial Services

cc: Ms. CEO and Director
Mr. Director of Payment Processing

My Response

March 23, 2006

Mr. Director, Patient Financial Services
University of We Know We Killed Your Kid
But You Still Owe Us Money Hospitals and Clinics
Slaughterhouse Drive
Potato City, Ohidoa

Mr. Director,

I received your letter yesterday regarding my recent correspondence about my account.

I understand that my account has been adjusted due to untimely billing. However, although the customer service notes may indicate that a letter was sent confirming my current patient responsibility balance of $0, I have not received such a letter. I would appreciate getting a copy of this letter since it says in my record that one was sent.

However, my request, which I communicated to the billing clerks I spoke with during the week of March 6 and again on March 13, as well as to you, Ms. CEO and Director, and Mr. Director of Payment Processing, is NOT a letter stating my current patient responsibility balance.

What I would like is a letter from the University of We Know We Killed Your Kid
But You Still Owe Us Money Hospitals and Clinics stating that I do not currently, and will not ever, owe anything to UI Hospitals and Clinics for the year 2003.
As I stated in my previous letter, I have been told many times that my account balance for 2003 is $0, only to have another bill for that time sent to my home. I would like something in writing stating that I will never owe the hospital anything from 2003, so that I may show it to billing clerks in the future when yet another bill from 2003 arrives.

I hope this is clear. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to write me another letter. At this point, I prefer all correspondence to take place in writing rather than over the telephone so that I may keep a record of it.


Patient Drive
Potato City, Ohidoa

cc: Ms. CEO and Director
Mr. Director of the Payment Processing Center

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Lessons from Dad

Today I went with my Mom and Dad to my Dad's doctor's appointment for a chronic cough he's had for about two years now. They've pretty much ruled out any kind of cancer, emphysema, COPD, asthma or other scary things, but he's still coughing, so much so that he can't lay on his left side anymore at night and he can't exercise outside. My parents are getting older, and my father has a tendency to get a little confused sometimes in situations like this. My mother, therefore, has to spend most of her energy trying to explain to my father what the doctor is saying, and doesn't get a chance to think about it herself. So I went as translator, question-asker and general observer.

My parents, especially my Dad, are growing old. Today the doctor set out three options for further testing. My father could have a) a laryngoscopy in the pulmonary clinic, which would not be as detailed as one that the otolaryngology people could provide but would rule out anything obvious; b) he could make an appointment to go to the oto people to get the detailed laryngoscopy; or c) he could make an appointment to come back and have a bronchoscopy, which would show any obstructions in the larynx area as well as in the lungs.

Dad could not understand this concept. He got very confused about where he'd have to go for what and when it would happen. Mom and I had to explain it to him about four times. This kind of situation with my Dad has become more and more common, especially over the past three years or so, and it just hurts me to see it.

I'm not ashamed to say I'm a bit of a Daddy's girl, and for all of my childhood and most of my adult life I believed that my father could do anything--and usually, he could. He could build a house, and did indeed build my childhood home, the one my parents still live in. A star athlete in high school, Dad could race me across the backyard (and win, although he usually ceded to me). He built me a ballet studio in the basement, complete with a barre and mirrors, and a bar to practice gymnastics on in the backyard. When our half-witted dog chewed up the heel of my brand new clogs in sixth grade, my Dad took them down to the basement workshop and returned them, having filled in the hole, patched up the leather and stained the whole thing so that you'd hardly notice. When a school project was at hand, he would jump right in, helping me (or rather, making me) a model of a cell from a styrofoam ball and automotive putty, or making my niece an alligator "float" to pull down the hall, complete with a mouth that opened and shut as you pulled it. He took (and still takes) an active part in my Halloween costumes, and has made most of the furniture that's now in my house.

My father has fixed countless cars, made cabinets, cedar chests, tables, cases, picture frames, and detailed, accurate, working recreations of a spinning wheel and an artillery carriage for a Civil War era cannon. He's even made his own gun. He could talk intelligently about almost any topic that might come up and quite a few that never would. I say these things in the past tense, but most of them are still true. It's just that I see his abilities slowly eroding with time.

I can't even describe in words what it was like to grow up knowing that you could count on someone who would--and COULD--do almost anything for you. Spoiled? Yes, but somehow my parents taught me not to take advantage, not to take it for granted, to be honestly grateful. Probably because that's how they were to each other and to us as children when we did something for them. It's a security I've had the privilege to feel for most of my 34 years. Now, it is shifting. I know my father would still do anything for me, but sometimes now he just can't.

My father never went to college, but he never stopped learning--and still hasn't. I think now he is in the process of learning how to be "old," how to adapt to his body that won't do what he wants it to all the time anymore, that tires out too easily and makes him take naps, and keeps him up coughing at night for no apparent reason. How to maintain his independence when he sometimes can't understand people, either because of his poor hearing or because of the confusion that the diabetes brings.

And I'm in the process of learning, too, of how to be there for the person who has always been there for me. I am learning how to support my father without taking away his dignity. Sometimes, like today, it means going to the doctor and being patient when explaining something to him. Other times, it means laughing at a joke that he hasn't articulated quite right, pretending like it wasn't that big of a deal that he almost ran that red light, or helping him as unobviously as possible with physical tasks that might be challenging for him now. I'm not always perfect, and sometimes I step over the line and know that I have stepped on his feelings, but I am trying. I am trying to become the daughter of a 69-year-old man, and not just a daughter, but a good daughter.

I watch my father playing and bonding with my son and I wonder how many of these years we have left, and what it will be like when I remember these as "the good years." Sometimes I feel an urgency to spend as much time as possible with him, to soak in his laughter and his voice and the feeling of his big, rough hands that still dwarf mine, still make me feel like a little girl, still make me feel like everything's going to be okay. But I don't do it. I don't get out the videocamera and interview him about his life. I don't set up that lunch date with just him so we can talk. I don't arrange for us to take a walk in the woods or visit a museum together, just him and me. I know I don't do these things because it's admitting that he's slipping away, no matter how slowly; it's admitting that 'we have to make the most of the time we have left.'

But I also know that by not doing them, I'm robbing myself of something I'll never be able to get back. I'm going to work on it. But in the meantime, I'm just going to enjoy that laugh whenever I hear it, hold his hand when I get the chance, rub his broad-but-a-little-bit-slumpy-now shoulders like I did today at the doctor's office...and just be conscious of the fact that my father is here now, and I love him.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Catching Up

We had a rough therapy session last week. J. told me he didn't want to have sex with me because he feels I don't respect him because of a number of really minor things that have happened--I think he used that as an excuse, but in any case, divorce was discussed, tears were know, the usual.

Then we kind of let it sink in for the rest of the week. We haven't talked much. Last night I wrote him a letter telling him that I do still love him, but I think the person he is right now is not the "real" him--that I think his real personality is being masked by depression. I wrote that if he really wanted to work on his depression, and really was committed to working on it by trying different medications if necessary and doing regular therapy, that I would basically wait for him, that I would try to help him however I could. On the other hand, I told him that if he really just doesn't love me anymore, he should let me know. It was a sympathetic letter, and I really meant what I wrote.

I woke up this morning and J. greeted me, nothing was said for a few moments and then he said, "Thanks for the letter." I said, "You're welcome." He said, "What made you write it?" I said, "It's just how I was feeling." He said, "Maybe I am depressed." That was the whole conversation. I was a little disappointed in his reaction, although I don't really know what I was expecting. Maybe I was hoping that he would open up his arms and hug me and say, "I know I'm depressed, I need help, I don't want to lose you" or something to that effect. Yep, in fact, that is what I was hoping for.

Oh well.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

General Update

The letter has been sent. Yesterday I went to the post office and sent the CEO letter as registered mail, and should be expecting a receipt today or tomorrow telling me someone received it. The other two copies I just mailed first class. I will keep you posted on what, if any, responses I get. Thanks to all for your support! It felt pretty damn good handing that one over to the postman.

LilCherie's been telling me there was a full moon this week, so perhaps that explains my generally erratic, moody behavior...or it's PMS, I don't know. Regardless, there's been a lot of clonazepamming going on. Thank god for the little green pill!

Bubba's been cruising around on his bum leg, putting weight on it pretty consistently but still tentative about walking on it. Called doctor's office this morning and they've advised us to continue with the Motrin routine until Monday, and if he's still favoring it in any way at that time we'll have to go back in....but it's very encouraging that he's shown some big improvement since last weekend.

J. and I have another therapy session this afternoon, during which he's supposed to explain why he doesn't want to have sex with me anymore. Can't wait to hear it!

That's the news....I'll try to write something with some entertainment value today as well.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Letter I AM Going to Send

March 14, 2006

Ms. Director and CEO
University of We Know We Killed Your Kid But You Still Owe Us Money Hospitals and Clinics
Slaughterhouse Drive
Potato City, Ohidoa

Ms. Director and CEO

I am writing about a recent billing issue that I am trying to resolve with University of WKWKYKBYSOUM Hospitals and Clinics. In case you need to look it up, my account number is xxxxx, my name is Depressionista, my birth date is xx-xx-xxxx and I live on Patient Drive, Ohidoa.

In February 2006, I received a bill for $147.28, the majority of which (about $138) was from a D&C I had on June 23, 2003, after the mid-pregnancy loss of my daughter at your institution due to incompetent cervix.

During this traumatic event in my life, my care at University of WKWKYKBYSOUM Hospitals and Clinics was botched from beginning to end. To list just a few examples: nothing was done to stop my labor; I was misdiagnosed by a resident and almost sent home without a pelvic exam; no high-risk obstetrician saw me for four hours after I’d come to the hospital bleeding; the obstetrician told me my child was dead when really she had a heartbeat for nine minutes, during which time a nurse held the child instead of giving her to me; the nurse told me we’d had a boy and then, two weeks later, genetic tests revealed our child was a girl; and finally, placental tissue was left in my uterus, causing me to hemorrhage two weeks later, thus, the visit to University of WKWKYKBYSOUM Hospitals and Clinics on June 23, 2003 for an emergency D&C.

After I regained my health, I received bill after bill from University of WKWKYKBYSOUM Hospitals and Clinics for charges relating to the birth and death of my daughter and the D&C incident two weeks later. I even received a $900 bill for “nursery charges” even though my daughter spent all 9 minutes of her life being held by someone, and then went straight from my arms to the funeral home. This charge, after repeated calls and contact with patient representatives, was eventually written off.

On April 21, 2004 I personally came to the University of WKWKYKBYSOUM Hospitals and Clinics business office and told the clerk, “I would like to pay ALL of my medical bills from 2003 and this incident in my life, because I don’t ever want to get another bill for this again.” After writing out a check for $1,323.32 (see enclosure) I thought I was finished.

Until Friday, March 5, 2006, that is. After two automated calls to my home that resulted in dead air when I picked up the phone, I hit *69 on my phone to find out where the calls were coming from. It turns out it was University of WKWKYKBYSOUM Hospitals and Clinics billing services with a “courtesy reminder” of the $147.28 I have outstanding in my account. When asked what it was for, it turned out that, as I said before, all but $10.50 was from that D&C performed almost three years ago.

When I challenged this bill, the billing clerks took it under consideration and talked to a supervisor. When I called back during the week of March 6, I was told the charges had been adjusted so that my balance is now $0. I asked at that time that the billing office mail me a letter to confirm that I no longer owe anything from 2003, specifically the incidents on June 9, 2003 and June 23, 2003, or any visits relating to those dates of service.

On Saturday, March 11, I received another “past due” bill from University of WKWKYKBYSOUM Hospitals and Clinics for these exact charges.

On Monday, March 13, I received a voice mail from “Rochelle” in the business office telling me she was unable to provide me with such a letter. When I called back the number she gave me (the general 1-866 number, not a direct line) I got a clerk who could not tell me why this was impossible. I am now waiting for her to call me back to explain why I cannot get this letter.

I am sick and tired of being reminded by University of WKWKYKBYSOUM Hospitals and Clinics about this extremely painful time in my life. I am sick of being reminded of University of WKWKYKBYSOUM Hospitals and Clinics' incompetence in everything from patient care to billing. I am tired of receiving bills for things classified as “abortion services” for a daughter I deeply wanted and miss every day.

I do not want to spend any more of my energy or time trying to get this resolved. I have been told many times before that my account balance from this time in my life is $0, only to get another bill one year later, two years later, three years later. I want it in writing that I am done with 2003. Three years is enough time for the University of WKWKYKBYSOUM Hospitals and Clinics to figure out its charges. I feel that further charges or communication from University of WKWKYKBYSOUM Hospitals and Clinics about any treatment in 2003 will be harassment.

I am sending this letter certified mail to make sure someone receives it. Since I’m not sure who to send it to, because the billing office “couldn’t give me a name, only an address” for billing disputes, I am sending copies to anyone I can think of who might have interest or influence in this matter.

I would appreciate any and all responses to this letter that are appropriate, but mostly, I just want a letter that says I have paid all charges from 2003 and will not be billed for anything from that year ever again.



Mr. Director, Payment Processing Center
Mr. Senior Assistant Director, Business Office/Administration

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

ODS Update: Choke and Die

Saw Therapist today.

•J. doesn't know why he doesn't want to "do it" anymore. He's going to think about it and report back at our next session.
•J. says that one of the reasons he didn't want to have sex with me after I tried to come on to him with the "dirty" story I wrote is that it seemed "juvenile." The other reason? That he felt my desire had nothing to do with him, that it was just that I was horny. Gee, sorry for trying to have sex with you there, stud!
•J. says he "feels like an afterthought" because I spend so much time on the phone with my friends at night — even though I ask him, every night, what he would like to do for the evening and he always tells me he wants to play PlayStation...even though I ask him if he will feel neglected if I talk to my friends and he says no. Not sure if he just wants me to sit there and watch him play video games or what.
•J. says he's noticed my extra effort "but it's so up and down" and that the adjective "indifferent" would probably accurately describe his reaction to my efforts.
•J. "fears" that our relationship is just so damaged by the past six years of hardship that it may be irrepairable.

Depressionista says: Fuck it. Fuck the ODS, fuck the effort, fuck this stupid marriage. As I said to Tingle, how long can you keep trying to fill an empty bucket before you are empty yourself? And why keep pouring yourself into that empty bucket without ever being replenished yourself?

We're seeing Therapist again on Thursday. Don't have very high hopes, although I'm am hoping to find out if it's my thighs or my personality or both that have completely turned him off. I'd just like to know so that I can beat myself up appropriately.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Bubba Update

Doctor sent us for x-rays, which were traumatic (holding down a screaming child on an x-ray table is NOT fun), and, so far, they are negative for any fractures or other abnormalities. Our pediatrician told us to medicate Bubba with ibuprofen every six hours until Thursday, and if he is still limping/favoring/not bearing weight on his right leg, we will go back in for more x-rays or possibly something called a "bone scan."

Apparently, there's an actual condition called "toddler fracture" and sometimes it doesn't show up on x-ray right away or at all. If indeed this is what he has, he will need a cast for a short period of time. If he has just sprained something, the ibuprofen should help alleviate pain while he heals and gains back the courage to stand on the leg again. So we will drug him up and see how he does over the next couple of days, and then reassess. I've already told J. to try to clear his schedule as much as possible for Thursday in case a doctor's appointment is necessary. We'll see how it goes.

As promised, a non-ODS post

I only have a few minutes, since my parents are coming with Bubba to pick me up from work and go to the doctor. But, let me see what I can do.

My friends Tingle and LilCherie and I had a discussion awhile back about our "work spouses." Work spouses can be male or female, gay or straight, young or old. They are the coworkers who make our days more pleasant, the ones we have a special bond with, the ones we share work gossip and secrets with and know they will go no further. Sometimes they are a mentor or a mentee, they always share our sense of humor, and things are just all-around better when the work spouse is present. As in a regular marriage, sexual feelings are not always present, and if they are, they aren't an issue in the relationship.

Well, my work spouse has gotten another job. A better job for him that will take him to an office across town but still working for our main employer. I could barely congratulate him due to my own grief. I am already mourning. We don't know yet when he will physically leave, but I'm already having sad dreams about his empty office. He was/is a mentor to me, and we have had a lot of fun over the past 8 years working together. I hope we don't lose touch the way it often happens when someone leaves a job.

So to all of you out there...appreciate your work spouses while you have them. You never know when a better offer might steal them away.

Too busy

Over the weekend, Bubba twisted his ankle or something, merely two days after he'd really started walking on his own. Since Saturday he will not stand on his right leg. He'll crawl around, but when he pulls himself up, he bends his right leg so it won't touch the ground. to the doctor we go again this morning, and again, without Daddy.

Lately J. has been "too busy" at work to attend doctor's appointments for Bubba. Nevermind that I have to take work off (even though I'm not that busy, but still, it's kind of a respect issue). J. had an "important meeting" when Bubba had to go in for his orthopedics appointment to assess his leg before he was walking; he was "too busy" to go with us for Bubba's sinus infection appointment on Friday; today he is "too busy" to go with us for this appointment. So my parents are going with me, just like my Mom went with me for his ortho appointment. I guess deep down I just can't really understand being "too busy" to attend doctor's appointments for your child. I guess when I had Bubba I assumed that he would be my top priority, over my job. Maybe it's easier for me because my job is a) not that demanding, b) pretty flexible and c) I'm not constantly trying (in vain) to get promoted. Still, this is disheartening for me.

Since I haven't updated, let me do my ODS stats...but it's not that impressive. My resolve is melting away pretty swiftly.

I believe I left off on March 9, so we'll try to go from the 10th.

Friday, March 10
•Had Bubba all day as usual. Took him to my doctor's appointment in the morning because J. was "too busy" to go in late so that I could go to the doctor by myself. I did not bitch at J. about this.

•Took Bubba into the doctor at 11:15 that morning by myself, see above. Did not bitch at J. about this.

•Took Bubba shopping and bought him two pairs of shoes and some spring outfits. Showed J. but did not ask for reimbursement for his half (yet). Then took sleeping Bubba to drugstore, thusly waking him up, to get our Zithromax (both of us had sinus infections), therefore sacrificing the afternoon nap.

•Came home and began working on laundry while watching Bubba, then made dinner so it was ready when J. came home so we could all have dinner together.

•Cleaned up after dinner to be nice instead of making J. do it. Didn't complain when J. never said anything even remotely close to "thanks for making dinner" or "thanks for cleaning up."

Saturday, March 11

•Watched Bubba alone all morning because J. had to work, and simultaneously cleaned up the kitchen and packed up all Bubba's stuff and my stuff for the weekend at my parents. Did several more loads of laundry.

•Had small skirmish with J. when he came home and had purchased smokes for himself but none for me, even though he knew I was out since I had to bum from him that morning. When I said, "You couldn't have bought me a pack too? Jesus!" he snapped at me that he didn't have enough cash at the time and that I should "realize how I talk to him." Silence ensued for about another three hours before I let it go.

•I had a minor breakdown at my parents' house because I just became so TIRED of it all, with Bubba limping and spitting up, which he never does, and him being constipated, and my back hurting from a muscle I pulled and then reinjured doing the laundry on Saturday, and J. doing nothing while we were at home to help me, instead he is in the bedroom playing "Guitar Hero" with my niece and my sister. Cried to my mom and sister but not to J. Got it together and went to my niece's play.

Sunday, March 12

•Had nice visit with family while J. played on the computer, played PlayStation and then took a 2.5 hour nap.

•Came back home and fell asleep in car, then came in and slept in bed for about 4 hours while J. watched Bubba.

•Woke up, went to grocery store to get pop and basic groceries (J. has not purchased anything to support the household yet this month except some diapers for Bubba and a meal or two).

•Came home and straightened up kitchen mess leftover from Bubba's supper while I was sleeping.

•Watched the end of a movie with J., and when he asked if I wanted to watch another movie I said yes, but he then decided he wanted to play PlayStation instead, so I went downstairs and spent time on computer.

•Above all, I didn't bitch about any of the above.

Monday, March 13
•Bubba needs to go to doctor; I ask J. if there's a better time for him, morning or afternoon, and he says no, he's busy all day. J. says, "I'll go if it works with my schedule," and I said, "It doesn't ever work with your schedule, though, does it?" Pretty calmly. He says softly, as if he knows he's being a bad parents but can't stop himself, "No, not usually." I'm thinking to myself, "Just think if we get divorced. Then you might HAVE to take time off of work to take Bubba to the doctor when you have him at your house." Didn't say it though.

So here we are. Thanks for reading.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Heavy Petting

Oh dear good readers,
I read back on my last post and thought, "SNOOOZE!" So while I'm still committed to providing the ODS updates for my own reflective purposes and also as written proof, I have instigated a self-imposed rule that there will be no ODS update posts without an accompanying "real" post, preferably about something other than my crappy marriage or, if it is about my crappy marriage, is something a little more narrative than "I washed J.'s socks for him."

This weekend J.,Bubba and I went back to our hometown (well, J.'s and mine, not Bubba's) to see my niece in her high school play. We went "home" Saturday afternoon and stayed overnight until this afternoon.

It was very surreal going back to our old stomping grounds. The play was performed in the town's Operahouse Theater, an old movie theater that was renovated while we were in junior high. Today it serves as the town's movie theater as well as a venue for school and community plays.

The Operahouse is a particularly "charged" zone from my past, in both good and bad ways. In high school, LilCherie worked there (see "Poop Stories: The Operahouse") so we often hung out there and talked while movies were playing. On weekends before the theater opened she would take me up into the projector room and showed me how she changed reels and whatnot. It was really interesting...we whiled away many hours there.

The Operahouse is also the scene of my first date -- ever, and with J.(both were the same event) on January 23, 1987. We saw "Stand By Me." After we'd become serious, LilCherie would let J. and me up into the balcony, which was closed off to the rest of the crowd, and we'd make out, etc., up there until just a few moments before the movie ended. We'd come down the stairs all flushed and sweaty and LilCherie would just laugh at us. (LilCherie, god bless her, also drove J. and me around many a night so we could make out in the back seat of her parents' brown station wagon. AND she let me give J. his first blow job in her bedroom closet while she and her family ate lunch downstairs. Have I mentioned what a great friend she is? Sheesh. I shudder with embarrassment at what we put her through).

One day after I'd started dating J., my father took me into the guestroom for a "serious discussion." I had no idea what this was going to be about until my dad told me that "someone" had seen J. and me "heavy petting" at the movie theater and thought he should know about it. And yes, he really did use that phrase. I would have laughed if I hadn't been scared so shitlessly at the time. I never found out who that "someone" was, and I often wondered if it was my father who'd seen us and whether he was testing me or not. I've never asked because I (and my father, I suppose) was so emotionally scarred from the discussion that we've never mentioned it again. else could a 16-year-old answer that question except to say no? After that, however, J. and I kept our Operahouse action to holding hands.

So it was odd last night to walk into this theater that hasn't changed at all since we were there back in the day, except that it does seem smaller. No wonder "someone" saw us getting it on. We sat down towards the front of the theater, and a few rows in front of us, in the very front row before the stage, was a group of innocuous but somewhat restless teenagers. In the middle of the group was a couple, who spent most of the evening entwining their fingers in each other's hands or hair and kissing sweetly now and then, obviously in the "can't not be touching each other" stage of the relationship. Watching them was bittersweet. I wondered if I was watching the beginnings of a marriage, wondered if in 15 years they'd be coming back to the Operahouse reliving their own youth, or whether this was just a fleeting high school romance that she'd barely remember in a few years.

As I sat there watching them, I couldn't help but hear a voice in my stomach that just wanted to shout to her: "Run."

Thursday, March 09, 2006

ODS: A Challenging Week

I originally began this post by apologizing for not updating the blog this week. Upon a moment's reflection, however, I thought--why apologize? Is it really that big of a crime? No, it's not, especially since all of three people are reading this right now--maybe. So I return unapologetically, because it's been a crappy, rainy, sick week. In future, I will try to refrain from apologizing unnecessarily.

Let's start with a quick Operation Deep Swallow update. It hasn't been pretty, folks. After putting myself out there to J. on Sunday, and I mean really, actually coming on to him, he gave me the old slap in the face by finding ANY reason NOT to do it. His big reason? "The Oscars are on tonight!!!" I mean, c'mon folks, we're just talking about 20 minutes, 30 minutes tops. This initiated tears of rejection on my part and a silence between us that lasted until Tuesday morning, at which point we "moved on" and decided to at least talk to one another about little crap that doesn't mean anything. In the meantime, I emailed him and said he either makes an appointment with Therapist for us to talk about this incident or, if he didn't, I would take it has a statement from him that he no longer wishes to continue therapy and is, in effect, giving up on our relationship. He made the appointment and we're going next Tuesday. To add a dash of real pathos to the whole thing, the night before this incident I'd bought him a card to give him for no reason at all that says, "How do walk around without the "Caution: Hot" warning all over you?" and then on the inside says, "Is that legal?" I guess I'll save that one.

So it's been difficult, to say the least, to continue with ODS, especially when I feel like J. really doesn't want me, ya know? So I won't say I've gone above and beyond this week, and I've been crabby at times. J. did most of the childcare duties on Sunday and Monday evening while I slept off my depression (and also still felt crappy from this cold). Tuesday evening was okay, we both pitched in, and yesterday was more normal. I guess my most notable achievements in the ODS realm this week are:

•Not engaging in a huge fight about the rejection incident but instead suggesting we work it out with help.

•Showing concern toward J. yesterday when he had to travel in bad weather, calling to make sure he got there okay, and picking him up from the rental car station without complaint even though Bubba had fallen asleep and I was sick.

•Telling J. yesterday that I love his sense of humor and giving him a hug after he made me laugh with his thoughts about names for really small cars (the one that sent me over the edge was the Hyundai Smidgeon).

•Not freaking out when I finally got desperate enough to make a doctor's appointment today and then, upon calling J. to arrange the car transfer, found that I would have to reschedule said doctor's appointment because J. had a lunch date with a colleage and HAD to have the car. So now I'm waiting another day to go, and will likely have to take Bubba with me, and then just a few hours later will have to take Bubba to HIS appointment by myself....but I didn't complain, no sir, I didn't, I just said, "That's okay, I'll reschedule," and did.

To be fair, J. washed a load of whites last night so we'd have towels and took me and Bubba out to dinner without expecting me to pay for any of it.

So enough about ODS. Just wanted to keep my record up to date...after all, we are visiting Therapist next week, and I need to be able to prove that I've been trying.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Poop Stories

Everyone who knows me knows I love a good poop story, and in fact, most of the people I associate with do as well. If I had to name the number 1 (or should I say number 2?) across-the-board funniest topic of discussion, I'd have to say the poop story. So I thought maybe I'd share some of my favorites here just for fun. In the interest of my fellow bloggers who may want to share their own favorite shit stories, I will only include those in which I was directly involved or those I have heard from others not including LilCherie or Tingle.

The Operahouse
This one goes way back to my high school days. LilCherie used to work at the local movie theater The Operahouse. While the movies played I would stand up at the concession counter and keep her company until people came out or someone came up for popcorn. If memory serves, we probably consumed a goodly share of the buttery popcorn ourselves, along with a Mountain Dew, one of my favorite beverages back in the day.

Like a strike of lightning, the cramps hit with full force. I immediately knew this was urgent and NOT something I wanted to take care of in the Operahouse's basement bathroom, where the stall doors were suspiciously high off the ground, enough so that you felt quite exposed sitting there. LilCherie, being LilCherie, knew what I meant when I said, "I have to go!" I run-walked with butt cheeks clenched to my good old sky blue Chevy Citation and started her up. Already I was nearing catastrophe, and it took all my will as well as the full power of my sphincter muscles to keep it inside until I reached the safe haven of my home. I only had to go about seven blocks, but by the last four, I was going 60 mph and running stop signs. I screamed into the driveway, jumped out of the car and left it running, ditched my winter coat in the hallway on my way to the bathroom and ahhhhhh....sweet relief! Even after all these years, I think that may have been one of my most satisfying releases.

Michiana Shores
Last year, Tingle and her husband S., me and J. vacationed for a long weekend in the Michiana Shores area. It was a cold, blustery day, and yet we longed to walk along the beach and explore an austere and beautiful pier made of stone. We had just had lunch at some kind of bar and grille type place so we were in for a lazy walk. I grabbed my camera bag and we disembarked from the car. S. and J. walked ahead in some kind of manly unspoken competition to see if they could get to the end of the pier without someone wussing out. Tingle and I took it more slowly and walked just along the first part of the rocky construction.

As we walked quietly amongst the stones, watching the water lap at the shore, Tingle began having the signs of an impending diarrheal dump. It soon became clear that there was no way she was getting back to anything resembling civilization before she had to acquiese to her body's needs. Tingle, well known for her ability to piss anywhere, anytime, decided she had no choice but to duck down behind a rock and go for it (at which point I took one of my most favorite photos ever).

There was only one problem, however...neither of us had one scrap of paper, tissue, or even a leaf for clean-up purposes. In a moment of brilliant inspiration, I offered her the handtowel I kept in my camera bag to protect the equipment. Without choice, she accepted it gratefully, and like a cat, buried it, along with the rest of her deposit, beneath the sand. A few weeks later she sent me a replacement towel with a nice note reminding us of the hilarity on the beach. It sits in my camera bag, tag and note still attached, ready for its next use, whatever it may be.

The Cornfield
This one comes from the wife of one of my husband's coworkers--let's call her Joan. While she and her husband were in the "getting serious" stage of the relationship, travel plans took her to the vicinity of her future in-laws home. They made plans to visit, even though her beloved, their son, was away in the service at the time. So there she is, with a group of virtual strangers who will be her family, riding in the car following a nice lunch out. Now, you may think this story is about Joan, but no, it's even better. It's about her mother-in-law. Apparently Joan's MIL has bowel issues--major, unpredictable bowel issues, and this condition reared its ugly head on the drive home from lunch that day. "Pull over, pull over," she frantically shouted to her husband, Joan's future father-in-law. MIL jumped out of the car, leaving FIL, Joan and Joan's future brother-in-law in the car. She ran into a cornfield and let it rip. This, mind you, is just hours after Joan met this family for the first time. I know I'm not relating this one as humorously as Joan herself can do, but I still love it for the total awkwardness of the moment. And she still married the guy!

The Puppy
This one's short but sweet. Sometime last year, I took a shit and looked down (as I always do, to see what came out) and I swear to god, my turd was in the exact shape of a sleeping puppy. It was kind of like when people see the Virgin Mary in a puddle of oil or something (except I saw a puppy molded out of my own excrement). I was so excited I had to call my sister and Tingle right away (can't remember why LilCherie didn't get notified immediately--but I know she's heard about it by now). I refrained from taking a photo, though, which leads us to....

J. took a dump last year that was SO big, it was honestly hard to believe that it made it out of him with only a minimum of bleeding. As he is wont to do, he called me in to look at it. It literally filled almost the entire hole of the toilet. This REQUIRED documentation, and a photo was taken. Unfortunately, I didn't think to drop a penny in there, so it's hard to gauge the proportion of this bad boy. But trust me--I was in awe. And THIS leads us to....

The Hardees Hall of Famer
Once, a long time ago, J. was an assistant manager of a Hardees fast food joint. One night, a bus full of football players came in late in the evening following a game. Now this is bad enough in itself, as I'm sure you understand if you've ever worked fast food. But the horror story comes later, after the players had gone, and J. was finishing up his shift. He had to do a sweep in the restroom to make sure everything was clean before he left and....there it was. J. swears on his parents' graves on the size of this thing. He said it was so big, it actually was BIGGER than the hole in the toilet. We're talking like the size of a jar of spaghetti sauce here or something. Poor J., he had to take a plunger and BREAK THE FUCKER UP just to get it to flush down. I think for J., that moment came to symbolize his entire career with the Hardees food corporation!

You know, I could probably blog for days on this subject alone. So how about I leave you with these and give you the opportunity to send me some of your favorites, or perhaps blog the topic yourselves. And, as always, the topic remains open for visitation at a later date if I so desire.

Go forth and evacuate!

ODS Update

Just a quickie, to catch us up and keep me in line. Let's see...last time I updated was Wednesday, and we were all in the thick of the horrible cold-that's-worse-than-a-cold-but-not-quite-the-flu.

So...I'm having a hard time remembering, but I'll try. Thursday, J. stays home sick. I know he is not feeling well so I let him sleep and get Bubba up, feed him and get him ready for daycare. J. will still have to drop him off so I won't have to pay $$ parking. I get to work, and call at noon "just to check in" on J. and see how he's doing. It's at this point that he tells me he took DayQuil at 8 a.m. What the???? When I have a sick day--which I did, just the day before he did--I take Benadryl cold, NyQuil, clonazepam, old Tylenol with codeine, horse tranquilizers...whatever is necessary to make sure I get some REST. But J.? He takes DayQuil. Anyway, I suppress my natural instinct to say, "Jesus, you dumbass, why'd you do that?" and tell him sympathetically that maybe if he took some Benadryl now he might be able to get some rest. "I have to pick up Bubba later," he says pathetically. I tell him, "You have five hours. Get some rest and I'll give you a wake-up call before you have to go get him." I think he took my advice because at 4:45 when I called he seemed rather dozy.

I happened to get home a bit early, so I went with J. to pick up Bubba and in fact offered to do it alone but J. said he wanted to go. On the way I bought smokes for the both of us, no charge to J. At home, I offered to make J. supper but he couldn't decide what he wanted. I made supper for Bubba and fed him, played with him and did most of the nightly routine with him while J. rested. J. did lay with Bubba at the end of the evening during the "wind-down" routine but that was about it. I also cleaned up the kitchen and did some miscellaneous straightening.

As for emotional stuff, I hugged J. a couple of times without solicitation and told him how sorry I was that he was feeling bad. I believe I brought him medicine, can't quite remember, and asked several times if I could get him anything. In general, I gave him what I would consider decent "sick" treatment (something he is not very good at giving me).

Today, I had Bubba by myself and we had a good day, I bathed him, took him for a walk outside, generally straightened up the house, etc. I then made Manwiches for dinner so that we could have a "family meal" AND I cleaned up afterwards. J. got Bubba ready for bed and we both worked on entertaining him until he finally went to sleep at 9 p.m. Whew! I made sure to ask how J.'s day was and how he was feeling and suggested that we watch a movie together but J. didn't seem up for it. He's still feeling pretty blechy. The rest of the night he spent lying on the couch and I talked to friends and family on the phone.

One thing concerning me about ODS so far is that maybe these things are not all that above and beyond--although at times they feel like it. Now that I am on the mend, hopefully I can do a few more thoughtful acts that will be more obviously out of the ordinary acts of love. I do have to commend myself, however, for being more patient even if inside I'm gritting my teeth. I can't really tell if there's much more than the usual coming from J., since we're all feeling crappy. But tonight we did have a good time playing with Bubba and we have been getting along alright. So, I will forge ahead, and bore you with these constant updates as long as I can stand writing them.

Friday, March 03, 2006

The letter I'd like to write but won't

Today the phone rang at 9 a.m., and when I picked it up, there was that "click, click--nothing" that you get when telemarketers are cold-calling you. Nothing unusual. Half an hour later, while my kid is sleeping, it happens again, so this time, I *69 it to see who it was. I got a 1-866 number so I called it and found that it was the business offices at University of We Know We Killed Your Kid But You Still Owe Us Money Hospitals and Clinics.

***Sidenote--I actually work for this slaughterhouse, if peripherally: I do public relations for the medical college associated with it. I don't want to be specific since it is my employer...but let's just say it's one of the "biggest teaching hospitals in the country" located in a state that's often confused with the one that grows potatoes.***

Anyway, I don't want to get too in depth here into my experience at U of WKWKYKBYSOUM Hospitals and Clinics because it would just take too damn long, but the crux of the matter is that on JUNE 9, 2003 (this is an important date) when I was pregnant with my daughter and came in bleeding at 21.5 weeks of pregnancy, they did absolutely nothing for me and in fact hastened the premature birth of my daughter, and left part of the placenta in which caused me to hemorrhage and have to have a D&C two weeks later, and told us our daughter was a boy until two weeks after her birth, then continued to harass me with bills for things like a "nursery charge" even though she lived only for nine minutes and never saw the inside of a nursery, or letters asking me and my healthy baby to participate in a study about postpartum depression (somehow they never quite got it that she was dead, okay?) etc., ad infinitum.

After nearly a year of unending bills, at the beginning of 2004, I went personally to the business office of U of WKWKYKBYSOUM Hospitals and Clinics with my checkbook and said, "Tell me everything I owe, because I'm paying it now and I never want to get another bill for this event ever again." I forked over more than a thousand bucks and, silly me, thought I was done with it.

Back to today. Turns out, "Mr. Ricki" on the other end of the phone says, that I still owe U of WKWKYKBYSOUM Hospitals and Clinics $138 for the D&C I had on June 23, 2003. Mind you, the first inkling I had that this was even out there was a bill I received three weeks ago for something I thought was already paid. I asked Mr. Ricki if there was someone to whom I might complain about this bill, and he said they don't have a name they can give me, but instead gave me a P.O. box number to address a dispute letter to.'s the letter I'd like to write.

Dear P.O. Box 530459238:

First, let me thank you for calling me twice and hanging up, forcing me to call you back and wait on hold to find out I owe U of WKWKYKBYSOUM Hospitals and Clinics $138 for the D&C I had almost THREE FUCKING YEARS ago to remove placental tissue that was left in my uterus after your asshole physician staff misdiagnosed my pregnancy complication, did nothing to stop my labor and in fact talked me into taking drugs to hasten it, then told me my daughter was a boy, then told me she was dead when really she lived her only nine minutes of life in the arms of a stranger instead of the arms of her mother where she should have been.

While I'm writing, I'd also like to thank you for the diligent follow-up care I received, from the prenatal classes coordinator who called me the day after I lost my daughter wondering when I was going to pay the fee, to the head of the OB/GYN department who sagely counseled me to "move on," "forget about it," and to seek psychiatric care for my "anger issues" over her staff's incompetence. Oh, yes, I'd also like to give a special shout-out to the U of WKWKYKBYSOUM Hospitals and Clinics medical records department, who took so long to get a copy of my medical records to my lawyer that the medical expert I had hired to SUE YOUR ASS actually DIED FROM NATURAL CAUSES before he could even see them.

I'm so glad I got the opportunity to speak with you today, because due to the recent lack of bills for "nursery charges," the absence of the numerous calls from your postpartum depression research staff wondering how me and my baby were doing, and the fact that nobody from the U of WKWKYKBYSOUM Hospitals and Clinics insurance department has called me recently wondering why I haven't yet had my daughter vaccinated, I had almost managed to bury the deep, murderous rage I feel toward your institution with its shriveled up shells-of-human-beings for doctors, crusty-crotched department heads and automaton nurses.

In fact, I had buried it so deeply that just last week I took my 17-month-old child, yes, my second child, the one I conceived, carried and birthed AFTER the incident for which I am still being billed, to the U of WKWKYKBYSOUM Hospitals and Clinics orthopedics department for a consultation last week. I was even planning to avail myself of other services at your institution until I heard from you today, reminding me to NEVER SET FOOT IN YOUR FUCKING SHITTY-ASS, RUNDOWN "HOSPITAL" again.

Back to the business at hand, I just have a few questions for you about this bill. Is there any sort of statute of limitations for how long you may continue to bill me for this event in my life? Just so I can be prepared, is there a possibility that when I'm 78 and 25 years out from my hysterectomy that I might still be receiving bills from my D&C in June 2003? Would it be advisable for me to set up a trust fund in my will in case a bill surfaces sometime around the turn of the next century? Will my heirs be responsible for continuing to "settle" this debt every three years or so until the end of time?

I hope you will be able to answer my questions in a letter, although I'm not quite sure how a P.O. Box writes letters, or for that matter, handles "disputes." All I can say is that it's going to suck to be you, Mr. or Mrs. P.O. Box 530459238, because I suppose to a P.O. Box, this letter will be a hard ass-fucking that will TEAR YOU UP, motherfucker.

Now go on and try to squeeze the next dime out of somebody else who isn't as smart or as angry or as able or as healthy as I am, because my fist is closed tight and ready to do business.


Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Operation Deep Swallow: Update

Well, things have been tough around the Depressionista ranch this week. We are all sick with a cough-fever-extreme congestion type cold, a little more vicious than your average run of the mill cold. Therefore, my ODS actions haven't been as proactive as I'd like them to be. In the spirit of fairness, I'd like to report that I came home and slept yesterday and did nothing to support the household except clean up the kitchen. Still and all, I'd like to report the following:

*During the most intense phase of my illness, I didn't bitch at J. for not giving me the sympathy I needed.

*I did not hassle J. about how as soon as I started feeling bad, he also started "not feeling so well." This happens whenever I get sick, and usually it's some kind of psychological reaction to me being sick therefore absolving him of having to really go the extra mile and take over the household for awhile. However, this time he really was sick.

*I took Bubba to his leg appointment this morning with my mother (even though I was feeling horrible and it meant I had to miss a meeting at work) and did not throw a fit when J. wasn't at his office where he said he'd be, thus requiring us to drive across town again to pick up our car in another location.

*I took today off work and fell into a Benadryl coma this afternoon, awakening only at 5:30 p.m. when J. came home with Bubba. He burst in the door and started angrily barking, "I feel horrible! We're going to have to tag team things this evening because I really feel terrible!" When I said I also felt bad, he blew up at me, saying, "Fine!!! I'll just take care of everything!" I calmly told him I wasn't saying I wouldn't help, I was just trying to wake up and was letting him know I wasn't feeling well. He went to bed and I took over Bubba duties for the evening without complaint. When he awoke, he did apologize for being crabby. I brought him Benadryl, a drink of cranberry juice, and some tissues, and also offered to put a blanket on him, brink him more to drink, and make him something for supper. I also moved the cat so he could lay down more comfortably on the couch.

That about brings us up to today. As you can tell, fun times around here.

As far as Bubba goes, the orthopaedics people said they see nothing wrong with our little guy. They think he is just on the later end of doing things; however, they did recommend that we get an assessment by a developmental pediatrician just to make sure he doesn't have any delays that are of concern, since he's been at the later end of the spectrum for all his motor skills milestones. I'm feeling pretty confident that he's okay, but we've set up an appointment for March 28 to get that checked out and either put our minds to rest, or find out what we need to do to help him "catch up."