The Therapy Journals of the Fat-Headed Klingon Woman

One woman's journey to becoming Her True Self

Maybe I’m Too Easily Entertained March 25, 2015

My motto for life, apparently!

My motto for life, apparently!

Hello all!  Ok, I don’t think this is likely to happen:  I don’t think I am in any danger of anyone thinking I am cool.  Or hip.  Or with-it.  Or fleek, or whatever the word is these days.  Ok?  Pretty sure nobody has ever mistaken me for any of those things, BUT.  Just in case I’m ever on the verge of being thought of as having or possessing in any way, any modicum of cool-ness, let me dispel that notion right here and now.

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See, because it takes a certain kind of person, a certain kind of personality, to enjoy at the age of 42 something meant to entertain 6-year-olds.  Today on the way to school, The Boy and I were listening to a CD recording of a book in the Hank the Cow Dog series.  First of all, if you have never heard of this adorable series, let me just say it is Hilarious.  With a capital H.  It is, in fact, so cleverly written as to border on brilliant.  The books themselves are adorable, but listening to them read on CD is even more special.  They are read and voiced by the author himself.

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Now, the particular story we were listening to was called The Case of the Tricky Trap, wherein:

Someone has been stealing feed out of the feed shed, and Hank knows that it’s his job to do whatever he can to help nab the culprit. Slim sets a live-animal trap in the shed, and Hank checks it in the middle of the night. Unfortunately, the trap is a little trickier than Hank anticipated, and in the process of his investigation Hank manages to get himself…well…trapped. Can Hank find a way out of this sticky situation?

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The thing I enjoy most about these stories on CD is absolutely the voices.  What intrigues and entertains me about these voices is that they are all done by the same person, but each one is a completely different, completely developed character.  For the last two evenings I’ve been watching auditions for the new show ALT is doing, their final show of the season, Tuna Does Vegas.  I usually love watching auditions because it’s interesting to see how people interpret characters, and it’s something I am just learning.  Sometimes people take things in a way you would never expect, and the result is usually pants-wetting funny!

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So back to Hank.  As you might expect from a story set in the Texas panhandle, there are two buzzards in the series- a father and son duo of buzzards called Wallace and Junior.  In this episode, Wallace is getting a huge kick out of the fact that poor old clueless Hank has gotten himself stuck in a trap, and decides to entertain him with a song.  (There’s almost always a song in these stories, and they are genius!)

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Right about the time it was time for The Boy to get out of the car and go in to school, this song was cueing up.  Now don’t we assume that most moms would turn off the kid music when the kid gets out of the car?  Aren’t most moms dying for adult music, news, ads, talk radio, or anything you might hear on your morning commute?  Well, not this mom. The Boy gets out of the car, flashes me a wicked grin, and says “Enjoy your song, Mom!” And as he shuts the door, I crank up the volume a little more and listen to this:

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…and laugh and laugh.

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Maybe I’m just blowing off stress because I leave for Alaska SIX WEEKS from tomorrow!  I have three weeks to pack up my office and get it ready to move to Tennessee.  Then three weeks more to get new clothes bought and ship a few things I can’t take on the plane with me.  It’s going to go super fast.  Yikes!  Stay tuned for my new blog detailing my Alaska adventures.  Also plan to join Instagram for the purpose of sharing all the pictures people keep begging me to post, so watch for that.

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Until next time,

D.

 

So Many Moods, So Little Time! March 16, 2015

Filed under: General Observations — DDKlingonGirl @ 9:22 am
Tags: , ,

Pos Neg balance

Hello all!  Today has been such an emotional roller coaster day that it’s actually comical.  You can tell this by observing my first two Facebook posts of the day.  Except, oh- you can’t observe them because I posted them to Only Me.  That’s ok, Therapy Journals readers will be in the Secret Inner Circle. The day started great, and went downhill in a hurry.  My first two Facebook posts of the day demonstrate the point.

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First post:  (accompanied by a smiling picture of me in a new pink, lacy shirt my little sister gave my mom, who felt it didn’t fit her properly and passed on to me) “And the Pink Princess got both her contacts in on the first try and there was much rejoicing throughout the land.”

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Second post:  “If I don’t throat-punch someone by 9am, it will be a miracle!”  (I later meant to add, “Of epic proportions” but I haven’t yet.)

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The sad part is there’s really no huge reason for me to have gone from the first mood to the second mood so quickly. There were half a dozen tiny reasons, though.  When Daughter J. and I dropped Daughter S. off at her work, we went in and I bought a couple of things for my breakfast and lunch. Daughter J. had packed her a lunch at home, but unfortunately failed to grab it on her way out the door.  She picked out a replacement lunch and I paid for it, but then when we were leaving the parking lot, she stated that she wanted to go to McDonald’s.  I tried to convince her we should just go back in the store and try to find something healthy-ish for her breakfast, but I caved in, as I am famous for doing, and we went to McDonald’s.

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Before that, though, I called the telebank number for her and we checked her balance, and then I tried to check mine, and it kept telling my I had my password wrong, which was another annoyance that began to tilt the scale of balance of my mood. Anyway, back to McDonald’s.  Today is the beginning of Spring Break around here, so McD’s drive-through was dead.  We pulled in and I ordered J’s favorite, the McGriddle combo, but she likes it with bacon instead of sausage.  Here’s what I said:  “I need a McGriddle combo with bacon rather than sausage and a Sprite.”

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Now, this menu item, in its normal, company-ordained, prescribed design, comes with, does it not, 1)sausage, 2)egg, and 3)cheese?  Yes, I believe it does.  I just Googled it to make sure.  But what J got was a McGriddle sandwich….with ONLY bacon!  This turn of events annoyed me greatly, but what annoyed me further was J’s refusal to admit that she deserved what she paid for, and what she wanted, and that if we’d had time, which we didn’t, it would not be out of the realm of reasonableness for her to return to the restaurant and request that they fix it.  She kept trying to tell me I shouldn’t make a big deal of it, and she just wasn’t picky, and that maybe they were all out of eggs and cheese or something.  (This is how far this child will go in excusing other people’s stupidity.  She has a long history of it.)

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So she ate her food and went in to her job, and I went to the survey link on the receipt and gave them a scathing review, my attempt to call them and tell them on the phone what complete morons they are having failed when nobody picked up the phone.  Lucky them.

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Then I went to the post office to check the mail for my work, (while mentally telling off someone in another office that I have had to deal with recently about a REALLY annoying situation that is not getting anywhere and is time-sensitive) and there was a slip in the box to pick something up at the counter.  Turns out someone had sent something to us by return mail and it was POSTAGE DUE!  I had only brought in my car keys and my work keys, not any money of any kind, so I didn’t even bother with the pick-up slip.  I went back to my car, still grumbling like Yosemite Sam, and drove to my office. Dropped my fizzy flavored water bottle in the elevator, which meant I couldn’t open it for a while, lest it blow up.  Then when I was trying to unlock my office, I locked it instead, because I hadn’t done so when I left the last time.  Walked into my office and apparently the maintenance powers that be have decided mid-March is a great time to switch from heater to AC because my office is so cold I am pretty sure I could hang hogs in here.  Also, despite my having gotten my new contacts in on the first try today, they are blurring up a lot, which drives me insane and makes me waste half my day waiting for them to clear up.

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ANYWAY.  I checked Facebook as I so often do, and there were videos shared of my same type of church (but not my congregation) doing their normal Sunday morning acapella singing.  Which improved my mood again, because it was so pretty. And then for some reason I found myself scrolling through my friends list and I thought, “You know?  I have beautiful friends.  Look at this list of awesome beautiful people, and they are MY friends!  How cool is that?!”

So now I am typing with frozen fingers  (I didn’t even bring a jacket today because it wasn’t that cold OUTSIDE!) and my mood is about on an even keel.  For now.  I just lit a candle on my desk to see if I could bring the temp up to frigid.  Also just remembered that, DUH, I have a space heater right behind me that I forgot I had to buy because they didn’t turn OFF the AC in this building until like October.  Ah, the joys of life.  Good, bad, or in between, there is always something that’s gonna tick us off, and always something that’s gonna make us smile.  The trick is to try not to notice so much of the former and try to noticre a whole lot more of the latter.

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Until next time,

D.

PS- Stay tuned for my Alaska blog, in which I hope and plan to chronicle in detail my journey and experience in Alaska over the summer.  And here is the pic that accompanied my first Fb post today about the contacts.  That really did make me happy. Later, guys!

pink princess contacts pic

 

Guess I’d Better Get On the Ball! January 29, 2015

Soon to be Home Away From Home!

Soon to be Home Away From Home!

Hello ALL!!!  I have really got to learn how to do shorter updates here, more frequently.  There are so many times that something runs through my head and I’ll think, “Oh, that would be a great blog entry” or “I really have something to say about that, I should blog it” but then time gets away and I don’t.  The other day I wanted to talk about how much I love it when things happen like my son being pretty cranky on the way to school and then something reminding him about one of his favorite songs from the show I’m in right now for Ardmore Little Theater, and he starts singing it under his breath, and then we both do the whistling part, and then by the time he gets to school, he gets out of the car and says “Thank you for making my attitude better.”  I really like that.

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Or how one of my huge-est, most unbelievable dreams is coming true and I’m going to Alaska in three months to work at a tourism job (Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge) All. Summer. Long!  More on that later.

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But for right now I wanted to talk about my list of 101 Things to Do in 2015.  I wrote this shortly after New Years Day as a road map for the year and a reminder of things I wanted to accomplish.  I didn’t actually make it to 101 things, though.  I got stuck at about 89.  But here’s what I have so far:

 

101 Things to Do in 2015

1.  Get The Boy’s CDIB card and tribal citizenship

2. Make 2 new photo albums every month

3. Build bookshelves in the garage

4. Vacation Work in Alaska

5. Climb a mountain

6. Hang pictures around my house

7. Make theatre scrapbooks

8. Get Daughter S. to the doctor

9. Visit the Chickasaw Fitness Center

10. Use my grill

11. Haul off the junk on the north side of the house

12. Clean out garage

13. Really organize garage.

14.  Get new car

15. Feed a homeless person

16. Start and finish major writing project

17. Study philosophy (or philosophers)

18. Begin re-decorating house

19.  Price new carpet

20. Get a massage

21. Visit an Oklahoma tourist attraction

22. Take a solo road trip

23. Attend a writing conference

24. Build a yard shed

25. Give a random person $20

26. Continue taking voice lessons

27. Learn a song in another language

28. Send a card to Grandpa every month

29. Read 5 classic novels I’ve never read

30. Read 20 new books randomly recommended by someone

31. Exercise

32. Walk a 5K

33. Run a 5K

34. Try caviar

35. Read through the entire Bible

36. Memorize a psalm as a poem

37. Build a fire pit

38. Have/host an ALT party

39. Get a NEW dishwasher and microwave

40. Get a good yard sale couch and loveseat

41. Grow a plant and keep it alive (maybe a bonsai)

42. Attend a Mass

43. Attend a cultural event in Ardmore

44. Learn to cook again

45. Family game night once/mo.

46. Car headlight fixed

47. Road trip with each kid solo

48. Get to know The Niece

49. Random gifts (Dad, Mom, Sisters, Bros-in-law)

50. Get Charleston pics framed

51. Postcards to 3 cousins every month

52. Walk on a beach

53. Babysit for a friend so they can have a date night

54. Sign up for health insurance (Done)

55. Cure my toenail fungus

56. Special beauty treatment once a week

57. Teach Daughter S. to cook

58. Teach The Boy how to tie a necktie

59. Teach Daughter J. something important

60. Learn to make candles like Grammy did

61. Take makeup lessons from Elisa

62. Develop a character

63. Track WW 6 days out of every week

64. Road trip with all 3 kids

65. Buy The Boy a nice dresser

66. Try cotton candy grapes

67. Stage manage again

68. Attend an Open Mic Night

69. Sing with Community Chorale

70. Have Christmas presents bought by Thanksgiving

71. Clean and organize kitchen

72. Help build a Habitat house

73. Visit an art gallery

74. Write a love story that doesn’t have a happy ending

75. Learn to change a tire.  Actually do it.

76. Ride Amtrak to Dallas or OKC for a day

77. Offer to carry a baby for my sister and her husband

78. Buy a new Christmas tree

79. Wear a colored wig for a day

80. Use my PiYo mat and routines 2x/wk

81. Play in the rain

82. Rent paddleboat at Lake Murray Lodge

83. Transition TGOC to TN

84. Play ball with The Boy 2x/wk

85. Pay bills on time

86. Vote

87. Bury a dog (I only added this to the list after I actually had to do it in early Jan.)

88. Clean and organize bathroom and keep it

89. Be in a play (Done)

90. Learn to love myself for real

91. Go to one of those Wine and Art things (where everybody paints the same painting)

92. Raft the Chulitna river

93. Ride an ATV on a bear-watching adventure

94. Paddle a kayak on Byers Lake

95. Visit a place called Devil’s Canyon

96. Visit an Alaskan sled dog kennel

97. Float the Talkeetna river

98. Ride in a plane that lands on a glacier

99. Catch a salmon

100. Make a new friend

101. Live Out Loud with a Capital L

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So there we have it.  That’s my plan for the year. Those last few completed my list after I spent this morning looking at the CruiseTour excursions offered from my lodge location where I’ll be working in Alaska.  Employees get discounts.  I hope they’re good discounts, because otherwise I’m going to spend every dime I make up there!  I’m sure I will be starting yet ANOTHER blog, detailing my Alaskan adventures.  I can’t wait to get started.

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Until next time,

D.

 

Thoughts On January 1, 2015 at 10:23 PM January 2, 2015

Filed under: Dreams and Passions,Looking Forward — DDKlingonGirl @ 4:27 pm
Tags: , ,

dawn pic

Who do I want to be in a year?  Where do I want to be?  There is no way to know, NO way to know, what the future will bring, but … but what?  I stopped that sentence and didn’t know what to say.  But odds are whatever the future brings will be survivable with the right attitude?

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What are my dreams?  What do I want to see come to pass in the next year?  I mean what do I REALLY want to see?  First, I want to see Daughter S. healthy and happy.  Whether she is working at a job or attending school or both.  I want her to take pride in her health and her life.  I want her to make an effort to be alive.  I’d like to see Daughter J. happy and safe.  If she is married to The Boyfriend, then so be it.  I want to see The Boy happy and continuing to do well in school.  I’d like to see him taking pride in his health and grooming.  I’d like to see him begin to formulate a dream or a plan for his life.  What does he want to do or be for a career, and how can he make sure it happens?

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And now, what do I want to see for me, for myself, come to pass in 2015?  Who do I want to be?  I want to be a person who cares more about people.  Not just who pretends to care, but who genuinely cares.  I want to be a person who smiles with enthusiasm at people going out as I am coming in, people on the elevator, people in line behind me.  I want to be real and honest.

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I want to find out how to live within my belief system.  What do I really believe?  Do those beliefs by definition necessitate a certain course of action vis. morality and religion?  Does belief in the existence of things define how I live my life, or just inform my life?

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I want to enjoy my gifts.  I want to enjoy my ability to sing, my love for theater, my talent at writing.  Maybe all in the same place, maybe not.  I want to exercise those gifts, strengthen them, hone them, develop them.  I want to start and finish a major writing project this year.  I want to be published in some printed media beyond blogging.

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I want to be a person who loves and accepts herself.  I want to look at myself in a mirror and see someone of value.  I want to love my body because of the things it allows me to do, not hate it because of the things it hinders me from doing.  I want to lose weight and get healthier and fit into the cute clothes I rescued from the garage.  I want to believe I am beautiful always.

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I want to identify other goals and dreams.  Where to I really want to be?  What do I want life to look like?  What will it take to accomplish that?

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I want to find a different job.  One that will pay well and allow me to accomplish my goals and dreams, but also one where I have a contributory value.  One where I am making a difference and being challenged.  I want to not be afraid of the fact that ONE of the possible careers I just described is Teacher.

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I want to enjoy every day, be present in the moment, and reject the negative.  I want to be a source of inspiration, encouragement, and strength for my friends and family.  I want my 2015 to have an overall theme of love and joy, strength and determination, growth and exploration.  I want to forge my path with purpose and yet be open to possibility.

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In short, I want to Live, with a  Capital L!

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Until next time,

D.

 

Everything’s Coming Up Roses! December 19, 2014

Up dog

Hello all!  And a very Merry Christmas to you!  Ok, so I think I have just diagnosed myself with a serious disease.  I have dubbed it UDSS:  ‘Up’ Dog “Squirrel!” Syndrome.  That’s where I have so many things flying around in my distractible little head, that I can’t really latch on to one and think about it before another one catches my attention and I go all “Squirrel!!”

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For right now, here’s what I’m thinking about.  Kindness.  Kindness to a child, is what I’m saying.  Today I had a really lovely fulfilling morning being kind to a child.  The Boy had his last day of school before Christmas break today, and all they were going to do was have breakfast and trade gifts, so I stayed with them.  (He attends a small, private Christian school, where there are only about 12 kids through the whole 12 grades.  It’s basically kind of a group homeschool, and I am not sure how much training or education the two teachers have beyond years of actual experience.  It may sound kind of iffy, but it is working for my son, so I’m not questioning it too much.)  Anyway, there is a new boy in the school.  He seems like a super sweet little boy, but he has a LOT, and I mean a LOT of challenges.  He’s clearly very affected by attention deficits, he has speech delays, and he doesn’t understand a lot of social cues and boundaries.  On the opposite side of that, he is obviously very smart and very interested in a lot of science questions and how’s and why’s, AND the kid was humming “Carol of the Bells” all morning.  So yeah, very complex and very special kiddo.  So I spent the morning trying to help keep this child down to a slow whirl, and I think I was pretty successful.  Ok, he did manage to spill hot cocoa all over his leg, but we got through that.  I tried to listen to him, I tried to talk to him, and I tried to help him behave within acceptable limitations.  It was really great.

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First of all, it was just awesome for me to be able to actually have patience for a kid like that, because I have been so used to The Boy testing it!  I get so tired of dealing with my own son sometimes, and it was nice to be able to work with another kid and actually handle it well and be able to help him.  Now, here’s where the “Squirrel!” part comes in.  It made me consider, just for a brief moment, if maybe I should go back to school and get my certification to teach elementary level or special education.  I have a degree in English education and a (lapsed) certification to teach middle and high school level English.  But maybe I should look into taking a few special ed courses or ed psych courses, or something to be able to work with these kiddos.  The thing is, I really don’t think I want to work daily in public school.  It’s a mess, and the paperwork and bureaucracy and politics are beyond my ability to tolerate.  I don’t necessarily want to be a counselor, and I don’t want to take that much time going back to school.  So my thought was “I wonder if I should just start my own little private school?”  But that takes money and time and just… I don’t know.  Hard work and stuff.

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Anyway.  I’m not sure where I was going with all this.  There’s that UDSS again.  I just know it was really nice and fulfilling to spend a morning showing love and kindness and patience to a kid who clearly struggles. Part of me was thinking maybe I could just go visit the school once a week and work with the kids on some sort of social or personal behavior-type issue, and just help be a positive force in the little school.  It was just a thought.

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Other thoughts:  More theater stuff is on the horizon, as usual.  Auditions for Spamalot are January 4-5, and I’m simultaneously looking forward to and dreading them.  I’ve got my audition song.  I think.  So I just have to breathe and survive until the time comes and see how it goes.

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ALASKA NEWS!  I actually applied online for some summer tourism jobs in Alaska.  I don’t have the foggiest clue how I’m going to pull it off if I actually do get one of the jobs, but I think I can make it happen.  I’m very lucky right now, my job is pretty flexible.  The kids are older, and it’s time for me to start seeing if there is somewhere else I belong in the world.

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Anyway, I’m feeling the love and happiness today.  Maybe it’s just a bit of a manic phase, or the excess of caffeine I’ve had today but I feel like I’m firing on all cylinders.  That usually means I’m headed for a full-speed crash into the wall meltdown, but maybe we can avoid it.  We’re going to give it our best shot.

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season!

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Until next time,

D.

 

Couth- And Why Do So Few People Have It? December 3, 2014

Filed under: Fierce Woman Roaring,General Observations — DDKlingonGirl @ 10:10 am
Tags: , , , , ,

politeness

Hello, all!  It’s a cool, drizzly, rainy day outside my window.  The route I took to work this morning followed the route for our local Parade of Lights which was held last night, and in which I took part as a member of Ardmore Little Theatre.  ALT entered a float in the parade, and I was one of the three people walking in front of the tow-vehicle and carrying our banner.  It was a great time, and thankfully, I’m not as sore as I feared I would be from the unaccustomed and rather speedy walking I did last night.

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It was a well- attended parade.  Particularly toward the beginning of the route, people were packed in shoulder to shoulder.  There were plenty of little ones in strollers and lawn chairs, wrapped in blankets, clearly having a great time.  So what does this have to do with the title of this post?  Well…. it’s not a pretty picture.  This morning as I drove that same route to get to my office building, I noticed the sides of the streets looked very littered.  Candy wrappers, coffee cups, soda cans, and water bottles, just left there on the sidewalks and curbs for… I don’t know, someone else to pick up?

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Am I the only person bothered by this?  It sickens me.  It astounds me that people will go out to a public event, a thing that is free for them to attend, that hundreds of people have worked countless hours to plan, organize, and complete, and not even be thankful enough for others’ effort, not even be proud enough of a community that offers such pleasant holiday events, to pick up their trash?!  How is this so hard to do?  How is it hard to say “Hey, kids, look around and pick up your trash before we go.  This is our hometown.  Let’s take pride in it and take care of it.”  Am I just completely over-idealistic?  I mean, I don’t know about the rest of the world, but I was brought up on “Let’s leave it cleaner than we found it.”  Same applies for entertainment and sporting events.  It drives me bonkers to leave a movie or a football game and see trash left everywhere in all the seats, floors, and aisles.  BON… KERS!!!! How hard is it to carry it out with you and dispose of it properly?  For that matter, how hard is it to return shopping carts to the store or the cart rack?  I almost always bring in at least one or two carts left in the parking lot when I enter a store.  It’s really not that big a chore, folks.

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When did people get so tacky?  I’m just asking.

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Here’s another example.  So many people nowadays, “celebrities” and non-famous folks alike seem to think it’s great to show off their bodies to the general public, both on social media with their half-nude “selfies” and on the streets and sidewalks by the too-tight, too-short, show-and-tell, immodest clothing they wear.  And if it’s not clothing that shows off their own bodies, it carries pictures of others’ bodies, or signs or slogans that objectify, denigrate, and disrespect others’ bodies.  And if it’s not offensive content relating to bodies, then it’s just disrespect in general.  Questionable humor, distasteful words, slogans, language.  When did society decide it was ok to show off the content of our intellect by advertising it on our clothes?

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I realize that overall, the subject of manners, common decency, politeness, and “couth” as I called it in my title, is a huge, deep, multifaceted conversation to have.  We could talk about causes, roots, contributing factors, and historical culture differences all day long.  I’m not really able to intelligently discuss how or why we got here.  I don’t know.  All I have is a call to action:  My fellow humans…please…Let’s try to have more consideration, more gentility, more refinement, more manners!  Or at the very least, bring a trash bag to the parade.  Let’s just start there.

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Until next time,

D.

PS:

COUTH:  ko͞oTH
humorous
adjective
adjective: couth
  1. 1.
    cultured, refined, and well mannered.
    “it is more couth to hold your shrimp by the tail”
noun
noun: couth; plural noun: couths
  1. 1.
    good manners; refinement.
    “their hockey team had more talent but less couth”
 

Tomorrow Is the Anniversary of A Sad Story November 14, 2014

Filed under: Bad Luck,In Memoriam — DDKlingonGirl @ 10:47 am
Tags: , , ,

TRIGGER WARNING:  Pregnancy, pregnancy loss, pregnancy trauma

Hello all.  Just a little while ago, I stumbled across a Facebook page called WTH- What The HELLP?  It is devoted to a disease of pregnancy called HELLP syndrome that often occurs concurrently with pre-eclampsia.  There were many stories there on that page of women who had suffered from this syndrome in their pregnancies, and there was a place to submit your own story.  Well, as most people close to me know, I experienced this.  I had pre-eclampsia and HELLP with my first pregnancy in 1992.  It was a pretty traumatic event, and I am not sure I ever realized at the time how seriously ill I was.  Here is my story, mostly as I shared it with WTH:

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I was 20 years old and pregnant with my first child.  I was in nursing school full time and driving to campus and back, a 40 minute one-way drive every day.  I wasn’t married at the time, and although my fiancé was there, I was dealing with the stress related to being unmarried and pregnant, due to church things. (Believe it or not, our church building had actually caught on fire and burned, and as unreasonable as it sounds now, I was terribly upset because I thought the whole congregation was being punished because of me.)

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I was approximately 23 or 24 weeks, and went in for a regular appointment with my doctor.  I knew I was extremely puffy and just generally felt unwell.  The night before, after church, I had sat out in the car and cried from sheer exhaustion and wished that I could be admitted to the hospital so I could rest.  At my appointment, I had all the markers.  My blood pressure was high and my urine showed significant protein.  They told me to go straight to the hospital, which was right across the street, because I needed to be admitted.

*

It was Monday night, Nov. 9.  I was admitted to the hospital and they continued trying to treat and monitor me.  I don’t think they started any IVs when I first got there.  I lay there in our small local hospital for a couple of days and started having upper gastric pain.  They kept asking me if it was gas.  Finally, I guess my local doctors decided they didn’t know what was going on with me, (or maybe they knew all along, but thought they could handle it) and they called a specialist in a larger teaching hospital about 100 miles away.  The specialist said, in effect, “Put her on an ambulance and get her up here, NOW.”  They started an IV of magnesium sulfate and sent me from Ardmore to Oklahoma City in an ambulance, and that was the first time I ever got any IVs. (It was also the occasion of several other firsts:  it was the first time I’d ridden in an ambulance, and I also got to experience the joy of trying to use a bedpan in a moving vehicle with a male attendant.  Just, you know, to throw some levity in there.  The mag sulfate IV induced a serious need to pee, and that was one of the few parts of this story that make me laugh a little.  The other part was that one of my anesthesiologists later strongly resembled Superman.)

*

I don’t know how high my blood pressure was at the time, but I’m thinking my bottom number was at least 100 or 115.  I know that my mother, who rode up there with me in the front seat of the ambulance, claims she is positive hers was higher.  (As a side note, many years later I would understand her claim when I too, rode in the front seat of an ambulance to Oklahoma City with my daughter in the back, but that’s a story for another day.)

*

They admitted me to OU Children’s Hospital, and continued treating and monitoring.  They couldn’t find any good veins for IVs because I was so terribly swollen.  They were searching in the tops of my feet, if that gives any idea.  Also they considered starting a line in my neck.  I was incredibly thankful they didn’t have to do that. But the guy who was doing the searching was the guy I mentioned a moment ago who looked like Superman.  That was the only good part.

*

All this time, to the best of my knowledge and recollection, the baby was fine.  She was not as big as she should have been, but I don’t think they thought she had any other serious health problems.  If they did, I don’t remember them telling me.  Unfortunately, the illness and the years have erased a lot of the details.  They began doing all the tests, and I still had sky-high blood pressure, still had protein, still had upper gastric pain, and now they also knew I had HELLP.  They did a scratch test to determine clotting time, and a scratch that should have clotted within a minute took 22.  C-section was ruled out, and delivery was a must.  They gave me medicines to start contractions, tried to start readying my body to do something it wasn’t supposed to do for another 3-4 months.

*

At one point, they were trying to dilate my cervix using something I remember them calling “mechanical dilators” which they said would be painful so they gave me morphine or something.  I remember waking up from my medicated haze, legs in the stirrups, lifting my head, and there at the foot of my bed was practically an entire medical school class, observing this procedure because I was, at that time, an incredibly rare case.  I just closed my eyes and dropped my head back to the pillow and tried not to care.

*

I wasn’t making progress, and they decided they needed to rupture my membrane.  They had put monitors on me and on the baby, and I didn’t know at the time what they knew, that once I had my membrane ruptured, the cord, which was ahead of the baby, would probably become compressed as the fluid rushed out, and as she moved down toward the birth canal, and she would probably die.  They came in and turned the volume down on the monitors, but I didn’t know that was why until later. They had asked me if I wanted to be enrolled in a study they were doing with the use of surfactant, a substance premature babies don’t have yet in their lungs that makes them expand.  I gave them permission to use the baby and give her this surfactant if she was born with any attempt at breathing.

*

My poor mother had finally left the hospital to go shower and rest, and they called her back because they were taking me to delivery.  I couldn’t push.  I didn’t know what I was doing, didn’t know what it was supposed to feel like, and I was sick and exhausted and scared.  The nurse helped push down on my stomach and all I remember was that my mom’s surgical suit was white and the rest of them were blue, and her green eyes stood out.  I thought she looked like an angel.

*

It was November 15, 1992.  Finally they managed to pull the baby out, and I remember the doctor putting her face right in front of mine and saying, “Baby has no heart rate, no breathing effort.”  Ok, then.

*

They delivered the placenta, which I remember hurt worse than the baby. (Because it was actually bigger.)  Katrina DeAnne (Katie) was 11 inches long and weighed 13 ounces.  She seemed to have suffered some significant trauma during birth because her head was misshapen and squishy.  I think they told me she had some water on the brain or something.  They fixed me up and wheeled me back to my room, and here I was, holding this oddly colored, deceased baby.  I felt embarrassed.  I felt that people were looking at her and seeing her as scary or disturbing.  I didn’t hold her as long as I later wished I had, because I thought people would think it was weird to spend time holding a dead baby.  I wish now I’d been a little more sensible about that.

*

I stayed in the hospital a few more days, and I don’t remember any of my numbers- my blood pressure or my platelets or how fast they returned to normal.  I just had to go on with my life.  I had to quit nursing school because they won’t let you make up clinicals and I had missed some.  I finished the semester of my regular non-nursing school class and life went on. Well, sort of.  We had to go through the funeral and everything.  Some people might not have bothered, but it never occurred to me not to.  There was a dear lady who went to our church who actually owned a monument business and she gave us Katie’s headstone as a gift.  My cousin Gene was asked on the fly to lead everyone in singing ‘Jesus Loves Me’ and he never faltered.  It was a cold, cloudy day.  That much I remember.

This was not her actual casket spray but it looked very similar to this.  The real one was destroyed in our house fire in February 2009.

This was not her actual casket spray but it looked very similar to this. The real one was destroyed in our house fire in February 2009.

*

I have since been pregnant twice.  The next time was with my twin girls, who were born healthy and perfect a year and two weeks to the day after I lost Katie.  Their baby brother was born in May of 2001, and he too was healthy and I had no serious problems with either pregnancy.  But my experience with Katie will always be in my mind.  Here is my one other post related to Katie, and how I spent what would have been her 18th birthday.

Thanks for reading!

Until next time,

D.

 

 
Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

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