Thursday, February 28, 2013

PM... what?

I was walking through one of the units where I work yesterday when I overheard two nurses looking at a patient's schedule for the day:

Nurse #1: "What's this thing on the schedule? PM...R? What's that?"

Nurse #2: "I have no idea."

Nurse #1: "Oh, here's Dr. McFizz, maybe she knows. Dr. McFizz, do you know what PMR means?"

Me: "You're kidding me."

They weren't kidding me.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Starting early

I've made a few offhand comments or jokes on this blog about weight. A few times, I alluded to the fact that I was skinny, and got some really angry responses. In all honesty, I've found it really sad that there are people out there who are so obsessed with weight that I could make a comment like "I lost some weight and now I feel cold more easily" and this could cause that person to say they never want to read my blog again. It's sad that I can't even mention weight casually without bracing myself for an onslaught of angry responses. How does this attitude get started?

My daughter has what you'd probably call an athletic build. She's very tall, always the tallest in the class, very strong, muscular, and active. This has been her status quo since she was two months old and only drinking breastmilk. For a girl, she's got an enormous amount of energy and could probably run for hours if I let her. (Or more likely, dance. Or jump on the bed.)

At our last pediatrician appointment, she ranked 90th percentile for height and 80th percentile for weight, although this somehow got her to 70th percentile for BMI. I guess because she's not one of those stick-thin kids where you could wrap your whole fist around her thigh. And though the pediatrician (who I actually really like) told me she was "perfect", she subsequently launched into a talk about giving her low fat milk. I don't know, they very well might do this with every child who isn't underweight.

We have whole fat milk in the house because the person who drinks the most milk by far is the toddler who is at the 10th percentile for weight (how did that happen??). I'm not buying two varieties of milk, seriously, and she mostly just drinks water anyway. But now my daughter is nervous about eating things with fat in it. I mean, I get that there's an obesity epidemic, but she's not overweight. At all. And I think making kindergartners worry about eating fat is pretty horrifying.

I mean, can we at least let kids get to eight years old without being obsessed with their weight?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Saying No

I am really bad at saying no.

Scratch that, I'm really good at saying no. I say no all the time. I don't let anyone push me into doing anything I don't want to do.

However, at the same time, I feel totally racked with guilt with each no that I give. Even when I feel totally justified.

For example, a couple of years ago, there was a hurricane in town. Naturally, I came to work. The hurricane wasn't supposed to hit real bad till the afternoon and I figured I could be out of work by then no problem because my census was light. Then on my way to work, I got a text from a fellow consultant asking if I could help out with consults on her floor because she had a ton of them, and wanted to leave early enough not to get whisked into the hurricane on the way home.

I said no. I mean, I didn't say an absolute no. I said that she should leave when she felt it was safe to leave, and I'd help her with the consults when the hurricane was over. These were non-urgent consults, after all, and a state of emergency had been declared. I didn't feel like I should have to stay later and risk my own life just to get through some paperwork.

The other consultant never gave me a hard time about it, and she got home safely. But I felt really guilty over my no. I could have done a consult or two for her and probably still been able to leave safely before the hurricane, especially since I didn't live that far from work. I felt like I wasn't a team player, that I wasn't available to help my fellow employee. (For the record, I did follow through do some of those consults for her AFTER the hurricane was over.)

Guilt is kind of a pointless emotion. I wish I could keep from feeling guilty whenever I say no. And a lot of other times too.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Good attitude

A conversation I had during my intern year:

Me: “I think the best way to look at internship is that you have to be in the hospital all the time and any time you’re allowed to come home, you should just be grateful for it.”

Resident: “Wow, you have a really good attitude.”

Me: "Yeah, that would be a good attitude, if that were actually my attitude."

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Go with him

There's this song running through my head and I can't figure out what it is. And Google is NO HELP.

It's sung by a female. The only lyrics I can clearly recall of the song are something like, "Oh! Alone!"

Little help?

(Also, if you know why I titled this post as such, I will be majorly impressed. Mr. McFizz is excluded.)

Weekly Whine: Sell my product

Because this blog is moderately popular, I've been getting a lot of requests recently to do link exchanges or promote other websites in exchange for goods and services. Here are some things I've been offered:

1) Free BLS/ACLS (which I get for free anyway)

2) Free scrubs (which I don't use)

3) A free book (that I probably don't want to read)

4) A chance to have my site linked to on their site!

5) A free boring article that I can bore my readers with

6) Very rarely, money

If it's money, I sometimes consider it, but the truth is, these interactions are way more trouble than they're worth. Is it really worth $100 to me to have some crappy ad up that I have to tweak like a dozen times before they are happy with it? I spend more than that every week on groceries.

So in general, I just ignore all these emails. And some of them get ignored for me, since they get filtered directly to the spambox.

But hey, I can't blame people for trying. You've got a product you want to promote, so you're doing what you can. I can't fault them for that.

What pisses me off is when I ignore them and they try again. I feel like that takes gall. Like:

"I'm still awaiting your response to see if you'd like to post a link to my site in exchange for a big pile of crap sent to your doorstep!"

Clearly my ignoring people does not send a strong enough message.

At some point, I got really sick of this. A woman sent me several annoying emails saying she wanted me to write an article for my blog, and then have that article link back to her website. Finally, I said okay, and I gave her a topic. She wrote the article and I said that it wasn't what I had in mind, and I asked her if she could rewrite it completely differently. She did. Then I said it still wasn't what I had in mind and I didn't publish it.

I felt a little guilty. But seriously, she started it.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Perfect Attendance

I was reading an article recently about how it's not such a great idea to offer attendance awards for perfect attendance during a brutal flu season, because it encourages kids to come in when they're sick with the flu.

I'm a little bitter about perfect attendance awards. In high school, I never stayed home sick once the whole four years. But did I ever get a perfect attendance award? No. Because I'd be out for math competitions and somehow those would get recorded as absences, even though I was doing freaking math.

Still, even if I had legitimately been out sick one day with the flu or something, would I really deserve an award less than another kid who didn't get sick with the flu? I mean, it sucks enough to get the flu, but then they take away an award?

And really, who is making the decisions about whether a kid stays home or not when sick? Isn't it the parents? I couldn't just waltz up to a teacher and say I decided to take the day off because I felt like it. I needed a note from my parents (or guardian).

I think it's good to reward attendance, but not in a way that punishes kids who are legitimately ill. And it perpetuates that pattern in certain professions I can think of.... *cough* doctors *cough*

Of course, I think an important point to make is that kids who are going to play hooky probably don't give a crap about getting some stupid certificate. I missed the part of Ferris Bueller where they're freaking out about not getting a perfect attendance award.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Oh Yeah

My toddler's new favorite word is "yeah." As in, if I ask her if she wants a cracker, she'll say, "Yeah."

I remember a while back, I was at some playground and I heard a mom scolding her son for saying "yeah." She instructed him, "Say yes."

I feel like I have better uses for my time than forcing my one-year-old to say "yes" instead of "yeah." But still, it's pretty funny when she says it.

Me: "I don't understand why she always says 'yeah'."

Husband: "It's because we always say 'yeah', that's why."

Me: "No, we don't."

Husband: "Well, what's a situation where we'd say 'yes' instead of 'yeah'?"

Me: "Like, if someone asked you if you were a God, you'd say yes."

Husband: "..."

Me: "What?! It's true!"


(If you don't know what movie I'm referencing, this punch line will make absolutely no sense to you.)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

2 Drinks

Two substances I don't like that make me feel a little left out:

1) Coffee

2) Wine

Practically everyone I know over the age of, like, 12 loves these two substances. In med school, some people had coffee cups surgically implanted to their left hand. What doctor doesn't drink coffee? I felt so embarrassed telling people that I don't like the taste of it. I find it completely disgusting.

And wine... who doesn't like wine? Well, me. Especially red wine. To me, it has that taste like when you brush your teeth then drink orange juice. (Most people will agree with this comparison, but still like wine.) I do actually use it in cooking, but I hate the taste of it on its own. And that makes me feel so left out, because when adults go out to dinner or socialize, there is often a glass of wine involved. Plus that Sideways movie just went completely over my head.

This is why I have to start watching Downton Abbey*. Because if I'm not going to drink coffee or wine, I have to like at least one thing that everyone else in the world likes.


*Not Downtown Abbey, as I believed until like two days ago

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

My Favorite M&M

For those of you who don't know, in the medical world, M&M stands for Morbidity & Mortality conference. Basically, this is a conference where we go over Bad Things that happened to patients and why it was all the fault of the damn resident.

When I was a resident, there was an M&M discussing a patient who I will call Mr. Smith. Mr. Smith was a patient of a resident named Herbert, who was the one presenting the case. It was a bit of a mess, but in summary, Mr. Smith kept having massive GI bleeds on the rehab service, he'd get transferred to Medicine and they'd get him to stop bleeding for just long enough to force us to take him back, then the next day we'd transfer him back again for massive bleeding.

I was on call during a Saturday when Mr. Smith got sick of bleeding and instead decided to have chest pain and tachycardia. I spent practically the whole day dealing with him in addition to the other 70 patients I was covering. My call was officially over at 7AM the next day, and I got a page (at home) at 6:30AM saying that Mr. Smith was bleeding again.

I got dressed and started to go to the hospital, then before I could leave, I got a second page, saying that Mr. Smith had become unresponsive and a code blue was called.

I called the attending on call, Dr. Sneak, and she told me she was on her way in. I arrived at the hospital about ten minutes later, and the patient had already been whisked away to the ICU. I made a halfhearted attempt to see the patient, but the Medicine service kind of shooed me away. They knew the patient much better than I did, and I was sort of in the way. Apparently, when a patient is coding, rehab getting the chart to write a note is not high priority.

Since my call was officially over at that point, I phoned Dr. Sneak again. I told her Mr. Smith was safely in the ICU and that I hadn't been able to see him. Dr. Sneak was on call Sunday as well, so she told me she'd see the patient later that day.

Truth be told, I didn't write a note. I probably should have, but I couldn't get near the chart, and my note would have just been something along the lines of: "Patient coded. Medicine took him." I did mean to maybe go back and write the note later, but since Dr. Sneak said she'd see the patient, I figured there was no need.

Fast forward to the M&M:

Herbert is talking about what happened that weekend to the patient. I realize I know some details he doesn't have so I do the stupidest thing imaginable, which was to volunteer that I was on call when it happened.

I got skewered. Mostly for not having written a note on Sunday morning, but also for not seeing the patient on Sunday, even though I wasn't on call that day. It's not like me seeing the patient on my day off would have made any difference to anything whatsoever.

And all the while, Dr. Sneak sat there, not saying a word. I didn't mention that she had told me she was going to see the patient herself on Sunday, but failed to do it. It just seemed like a bad idea to say that right in front of her.

In all honesty, if you are the attending, the buck stops with you. If your patient codes, you better see that patient, whether the resident sees him or not. I was pretty pissed off that nobody seemed at all curious who the on-call attending was that day. But that seems to be the way these things go.

Anyway, I did learn one valuable lesson in that M&M....

Herbert: "I was trying not to mention your name. Why didn't you just keep your mouth shut, you idiot?"

Yeah, good point.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Do as I say....

In residency, it seemed like often attendings have a lot of opinions about how specific things should be done and then make the same mistakes themselves.

For example, I got yelled at once because I forgot to put the date and time on one of my progress notes. This was apparently a really serious mistake (OK, I know it's a JCAHO violation), although the attending who spotted it didn't bother to fix it when she saw it. She said that I had to go back and fix it, except... get this, she couldn't remember the approximate date that the note was written or which patient it was. So she wanted me to look through every single patient's chart to find this note with no date.

So while I was searching through one patient's chart while the attending was writing her note, I found no less than TEN notes written by the attending with no date OR time. Naturally, I couldn't keep my mouth shut about it. As I fixed each one, I kept saying, "Look! Here's another one you didn't write the date on!" All I got was an, "Oops." There were also about half a dozen notes from consultants that were lacking the date and time.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

School cut-offs

What is the deal with school cut-off ages?

I was born during the summer. So in school, I was always sort of in the middle in terms of my age. People born in January through June were older than me, and people born in September through December were younger than me. I think this was a universal thing because there was some study saying kids who were born in January or February were better in sports and school because they were the oldest and biggest kids.

Now it seems like the cut-off has changed though. In a lot of places it's September, so I would have actually been one of the oldest kids in the class with my summer birthday.

Something about this bothers me, and not just because it screws over people who plotted to have a January baby to ensure their child's success in school and sports.

I guess no matter what, there are going to be kids who are nearly a whole year older than other kids, but I feel like basing it strictly on chronological age isn't entirely fair. A kid who's really physically large and academically advanced shouldn't necessarily have to wait an extra year to start school just because they were born in July.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Weekly Whine: Gone!

One thing that irritates me more than it probably should is when I've written a whole long response to a comment or post, then I accidentally press some button on the keypad, and the whole thing is gone and irretrievable.

Why is it possible to do this??

And then of course, you just stare at the screen, thinking, "Do I really want to type all that up again?" The thought of it is nauseating. Yet you had something important to say and you don't want it to go unsaid, damn it!

Generally, I end up writing a much abridged version of the original.

I remember I was once in a big online argument with some woman about homebirth, and I made a bunch of arguments I thought were really strong. She replied to me, "I wrote this big reply with all these links refuting your arguments, but it got deleted before I could post it, and I just don't have the time to write it again." Well, you can't argue with that, can you?

Friday, February 15, 2013

Ouch

Me: "Have you had any thoughts of hurting yourself?"

Patient: "No, not at all."

Me: "How about thoughts of hurting others?"

Patient: "Oh yes."

Me: "Uh... anyone in particular?"

Patient: "No, not really. I pretty much want to punch everyone I meet in the face."

Me: "..."

Patient: "Nothing personal."

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Duplicates

OK, this is the strangest thing ever:

When any couple comes together and combines their CD collections, there is bound to be a few duplicates: CDs that both couples own a copy of. My husband and I have a few duplicates. Some of them are real duplicates, in that we each separately bought a copy of the CD. But some of them are duplicates because it was a CD that one of us really liked so we copied it for the other person. In any case, there are two of them. Or at least, there were.

Ever since we moved, every single CD that we had a duplicate of is gone. Both of them.

I find this incredibly perplexing. Where did these CDs go? And why did BOTH copies vanish? It also puts us in the unfortunate position of every CD we both liked being gone.

Now this doesn't mean that dozens of CDs are missing. But it's definitely a good few. 40 Oz to Freedom is gone, Tragic Kingdom, and By the Way. What the hell happened to them??

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Women vs. Men at Work*

I would never make a statement like, "I can't be friends with women." I love women. Aside from my husband, pretty much all my friends are women now. I like working with women better than working with men--of the people I work with, I highly prefer the women to the men. (Which is lucky, because I work with mostly women.)

That said, it occurred to me recently that of all the people I've worked with that I've had MAJOR issues with, like people who brought me to tears on a nearly daily basis, they were all women.

For example, there were two senior residents I worked with who were above and beyond mean to me. Jessica, my senior resident as an intern, was possibly the worst person I ever worked with. And then on OB/GYN, I worked with this evil little witch who was cruel for what seemed like the fun of it. I worked with a lot of male residents who were jerks and I didn't like them a whole lot, but none of them even came remotely close to those two women (or really, any of the residents on OB/GYN).

And then there was residency. There were a few male attendings who had a reputation for really being hated, but I didn't get along badly with any of them. My biggest clash was with a female attending, who came down on me really hard when I was struggling with some medical problems plus a death in the family.

When I first started working at my current job, I was in a different unit of the hospital. And I worked with this female secretary who used to literally make me cry a couple of times a week. As soon as I moved, I was much happier and I think it was largely because of this one toxic person.

As I said in the beginning, I generally prefer working with females. But it is interesting that all the really horrible people I've worked with have been female.


*No, I'm not talking about the Australian Band

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Alrighty then!

Lately, I've noticed that I've started saying "alrighty" to patients.

I don't know how this evolved. There are often a lot of silences when you're dealing with patients and sometimes you feel a need to say something to fill the void. For me, it used to be "um." Then it became "okay." Then I guess it became "alright." And now it's turning into "alrighty." And I've just been letting it happen.

This is not really acceptable to me. I'm not sure what kind of person says "alrighty," but I don't think I want to be that person. Certain nobody models themselves after a person who says "alrighty."

I'm going to take a stand. No more saying "alrighty." Yesterday during clinic, every time I noticed myself starting to say it, I made a conscious effort to leave off the "y" and just said "alright."

Monday, February 11, 2013

History of PM&R

Regarding Dr. Frank Krusen, one of the founders of PM&R:

"Frank quickly forgot his studies to give his full attention to courting Margaret. As a result, he found himself repeating his first year of college."

And thus the quintessential physiatrist was born.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Generation gap

My daughter comes in wearing a pretty flower-print dress.

My mother: "Oh my gosh, you look so beautiful! Like Elizabeth Taylor. A young Elizabeth Taylor."

Me: "She has no idea who that is."

Mom: "I mean, you look like Brooke Shields."

Me: "She doesn't know who that is either."

Mom: "You look like Snow White."

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Weekly Whine: I'm glad you're not my doctor

One statement people make online (and I've probably been guilty of it myself) is saying very dramatically on a blog comment, "I'm glad you're not my doctor with that attitude!"

I could absolutely understand saying that if the doctor was making fun of their patients in a cruel way or talking about how uncomfortable they are performing surgery. I definitely wouldn't want someone like that as my doctor. No way.

But often what prompts that statement is something entirely unrelated to the practice of medicine. It seems like almost a blanket statement that people use when a physician posts ANYTHING they don't like.

For example, a while back I made a post about how I thought parents who had difficulty finding childcare should have first dibs to get certain holidays off. And several people, in their blind fury, took it upon themselves to comment, "I'm glad you're not my doctor!"

Now regardless of whether you agree with my opinion or not, does that really impact whether or not I'd be a good physician to you? At all? Do you go around polling your physician on all their personal or political opinions, and then make a decision on whether you want to see them or not? Of course, you can't, but even if you could do such a thing, would you?

In my personal opinion, if you would, you don't have much common sense. And that's what I think of you if you make a comment like that.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Thursday, February 7, 2013

My phone

Who has a landline in addition to their cell phone?

*raises hand*

My husband insists we don't need one, and that our phones are fine. But when I've got a kid who has a non-zero chance of dropping my phone in a cup of water, and I've already personally thrown my phone in with the wash, I feel more comfortable having that extra phone in the house. It's like for emergencies. I may not use it, but I feel safer knowing it's there.

That said, I hate our landline. Roughly 100% of the calls we get on it are from people giving surveys or trying to sell us stuff. And if someone else called, actually for us? We'd never know. Because we finally turned the ringer volume off because we were so irritated by these spam calls. I got sick of my husband saying, "Put us on your do-not-call list!" Because they never do.

Once, many years ago, I agreed to answer a phone survey. I guess I felt sorry for the surveyer, because what a crappy job. She said it would be just a few minutes, and she starts asking me if I saw various movies and how I'd rate each one on some stupid scale. After about ten of these, I was getting a little sick of it and told her so. She said, "Just a few more." Except she kept going, naming more and more obscure movies. Finally, I literally had to hang up on her because she would not stop.

Maybe I'm missing something, but what's the point? What's the point of forcing someone to rate 20 billion movies, none of which they've ever seen, trying to force them to stay on the phone until they completely run out of patience and have to hang up on you?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The long wait

I remember when I was an intern, I came in to see some patient in some clinic (I like to be really specific in these details). Anyway, we were pretty behind, and the patient had been waiting a long time to see a doctor. And of course, when I got into the room, he didn't want to talk about his medical problems at all, only the fact that he'd been waiting for like an hour.

There was nothing I could say to this guy to calm him down. It was like, he'd wasted all this time waiting for us, then decided he just wanted to waste his entire appointment. And him wasting more time wasn't doing the other waiting patients any favors.

The thing is, we doctors get it. We don't like running behind. And we are patients too and have experienced it from the other end. When I was pregnant, I used to wait an hour sometimes for five minute OB checks, and it got to the point where I decided that if I had another baby (I won't), I would never use that practice again.

These are some of the many reasons why falling behind is not the doctor's fault:

1) Patients who do not show up on time throw off the entire schedule. Or a patient may show up on time and then there's some issue when they're checking in that ends in them being roomed late.

2) It can be hard to predict how long you will spend with a patient. It's not like baking a cake where you put it in the oven for X amount of time. You can't say to a patient that their 20 minutes are up, so seeya. You must address their issues and that can again throw off the whole schedule.

3) Patient don't show up or cancel at the last minute. Seems like that should make the schedule run faster, right? Not really. If you know that a certain number of patients will cancel or no-show, then in order to be able to pay your huge overhead and not starve, you have to book patients with that in mind. Then if they all show up, you may be screwed.

4) Emergencies come up frequently. In my OB practice, I know things got backed up when doctors would get called out for deliveries. Or even if it's not an emergency per se, it's some phone call regarding a patient that you absolutely must take at that moment, or something else that must be done at that moment.

5) Sometimes you are forced to overbook because a patient really needs to be seen.

I'm sure there are tons more reasons that aren't coming to mind right now.

But here's the thing that I don't quite understand:

I mentioned how long I had to wait for appointments with my OB during my last pregnancy. During my first pregnancy, I used a different practice (in a different state), and I never had to wait more than like ten minutes to get in for appointments. Ditto with pediatric practices I've used--some consistently had a very long wait, others would always take us in right away.

So what's the difference between these practices?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

P.S.

I guess you guys convinced my husband. He read my novella this morning.

He said he liked it.

Dream Job

Probably my favorite show on TV is Top Chef, and I have to say, in another life, I totally wish I were a chef.

I know it's kind of a shitty job. One thing I learned from Top Chef is that chefs don't get paid that much. (I figured it out when a chef won like $30K and was like, "OMG, that's more than I earn in a year!") And the hours have got to be rough, because they have to work at restaurants during dinnertime, when other people are, like, eating dinner.

But I really, genuinely love to cook. And I'm not great at it, but I get so much enjoyment out of it, as well as watching people (usually family) enjoy my food.

So I fantasize a lot about the future. When my kids are older, I'll take a good cooking class. When my kids are older, I'll start experimenting more with recipes online. I'll throw dinner parties. I'll start a little catering business on the side. I'll try out for Masterchef and win an apron.

I know this is all just fantasy though, for now. These days, I'm really proud of myself if I manage to cook anything, even if it originated in a box.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Convince my husband

Over the years, I've done a fair amount of writing, as you can imagine. It's something I enjoy doing, usually more for myself than for others. I wrote a novel during my last year of college that I sent out to an agent, who really liked it and I signed a contract. Unfortunately, it didn't sell to a publisher, so... that was that.

When we were first dating, my husband read that novel and (claimed he) really liked it. Over the years, he's read a couple of other things by me that I specifically think he would like. He seems to enjoy quirky stories. For example, I wrote a story about a man who has a love affair with a housefly that he really loved.

In 2006, while I was pregnant with my oldest, I wrote a novella of about 50,000 words (maybe 120 pages). It's sort of a thriller, but it's a little hard to describe. I intentionally put in parts that were quirky in the way I knew he liked. After I finished it, I emailed it to him and told him I'd like him to read it.

That was 2006. It's now 2013 and he still hasn't read it.

He keeps saying he will. At one point, he had it on his desktop, which I think may have been just to taunt me. A few times, he's promised me he will definitely read it, but seriously, it's been seven years. I'd have to be an idiot to believe him at this point. I've written many other things, but I know he won't like them, so I haven't asked him to read any of it.

Here are his arguments for not having read it:

1) He doesn't like to read books. This is true. He doesn't read novels ever. But still, this is my novel.

2) He doesn't know when he'd find time to read it. Except it's pretty short and could probably be finished in a couple of hours instead of playing crosswords on his phone. It's not War and Peace. My writing style is pretty readable, I think.

So I need you guys to help me convince him to read my novella.

It's been seven years and he's promised to read it multiple times, so normal arguments won't work. You have to come up with something really persuasive to get him to do.

Thanks in advance!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Yeah, I trust you

A couple of years ago, I had a cleaning woman who used to drive my blood pressure up on a bimonthly basis.

Every time, it was something different. She canceled or switched her day a few times due to some issue with her son. Other times, she would leave me these notes, saying anything from "I need more money for the day I just cleaned" to "I can't clean the microwave, that's extra" to "I don't want to take your trash out anymore." I used to dread her little notes. She never did the dishes. I mean, we had a dishwasher, so occasionally, there'd be a few spare dishes in the sink. And she'd just leave them there. That's the ultimate insult--to pay someone all this money to clean your house, and then you come home to dirty dishes in the sink.

I let it go on because she'd come well recommended so I truly believed that this was the best cleaning people could be. Now we have an actual decent cleaning person and not one note in nearly two years complaining about something he didn't want to clean.

Anyway, after this woman acted like a complete flake for several months, one day she left me a slightly different kind of note: it was a photocopy of her BLS certification, and an offer to babysit for me if I wanted.

Right, because you've already proven yourself completely unreliable for cleaning my house. Naturally, I'd trust you with my child. If she had a dirty diaper, I'd probably just find a note stuck to it when I came home, saying she didn't change those.

It amazes me how people will act like total flakes and then expect you to hire them for childcare. That is one thing I won't do. When we were looking for nannies years ago, we scheduled two appointments on two different days at 3PM. At 3:15PM on the first day (late), a nanny showed up. Except it was the wrong nanny. One of the two nannies showed up on the wrong day and the other didn't show up at all! We literally ended up hiring the first nanny who showed up at the correct time and date.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Weekly Whine: You don't get it

Is there anything more frustrating than when you're having an argument with someone about, say, parenting in medicine, and they other person says to you that "you have no idea what it's like to be a parent"?

I mean, how do you respond to that? Not only is it really condescending, but it shuts down the conversation entirely.

Now that I'm on the other side of things, I really try not to ever say that because I remember how obnoxious it was. But the truth is, it's difficult. Because sometimes you're talking to someone and you realize that they really have no clue what they're talking about. And it's frustrating. So it slips out.

Friday, February 1, 2013

10 out of 10

When a doctor or nurse asks a patient to rate their pain on a scale of 1 to 10, the example usually given for 10 out of 10 pain is "being in labor."

Here's the thing: I was in labor twice and I can't say I ever had 10/10 pain. Maybe 7 out of 10 at worst. I mean, the contractions didn't feel like kittens were licking me or anything, but it wasn't the worst pain I could possibly imagine. The L&D nurse actually yelled at me at one point for being "too stoic" and not telling her I was in pain (?).

And then I got my epidural prior to actually giving birth, so that didn't hurt very much at all.

I know women have all kinds of different experiences, but for me, labor was just not all that painful. My husband looked like he was having way more pain than that when he had kidney stones.