Wednesday, November 18, 2015

God stuff

So, when I obsess over a post over a period of time, writing and rewriting it in my head while I try to sleep, I figure it's actually a post I need to get out of my brain and onto the screen.  Kind of like a brain pimple.

And what a lovely way to start a post in which I talk about God(dess).  I'm so uncomfortable writing this that I wonder if I'll even publicize this post (I will.  But I might delete it).  So why write about it?  See the first paragraph.

So, I'm of the Baptist flavor in which we are encouraged to be our own priest as well as priests to others.  To me, this means I get to think about the things I hear and interpret them for myself and that's my spiritual truth.  This is in stark contrast to Baptist flavors in which the preacher tells you what to believe and if you don't you're going straight to hell (something, that may not be so). I apologize deeply and profusely if my stereotype of other Baptist flavors is wrong.  (I'm serious about that)  Please inform me if that is not true.  One of the benefits/challenges of being a psychology professor with a spiritual practice is  knowledge of the pervasive and strong natural human tendency to favor our group and disparage others. 

So ANYHOO, what has been keeping me up a night and causing me to obsess over this blog post?  This!  This following thing I've been thinking about and has sparked a truth for me that I really like.  And WRITING IT UP MAKES ME SOUND LIKE THE BIGGEST GOOBER IN THE WORLD!!! Yes, I'm shouting!  I don't how to write the next sentence without sound so pretentious and stupid!  ACK!

Here goes.

So The Lord's Prayer.  ((See?!  Right!??!  What the heck)) Anyway, I'm still typing cause I'm still digging this.  Here is *my* walking-along-my-spiritual-path interpretation of the Lord's Prayer as someone who has a spiritual practice, is a psychologist, and writes a lot herself.  As I understand it, this is the only prayer Jesus taught his disciples, so it seems important, eh?  Well, here we go.

1.  Our Father who art in heaven/ Hallowed be thy name.

My interpretation (MI):  "Dear God, You are holy."  Personally, I don't know what "holy" is (i.e., how to operationalize it) but God(dess) is It.

2.  Thy Kingdom come/Thy will be done/On earth as it is in heaven.

MI:  Jesus is going to die in a few days.  Note that he doesn't say "I'm going to heaven!!  Nah nah nah nah boo boo!"  Instead he says "Let Heaven come to earth."  I can imagine some disciple saying "Rabbi, what do you mean?" And as I imagine it Jesus slapping Peter (who I think would ask such a question) in the back of the head and going "DUDE!!  What the Hell (Ha!), do you think I've been doing for the last 3 years or so?  I've been showing you what God's Will--um, Kingdom: Heaven!--is supposed to be!  Love, forgiveness, health, compassion, food, equality, power for the oppressed, mercy. Doing these things. That's what God(dess) wants. REALLY!?"  Jesus (in my mind) is a bit frustrated by this point.

3.  Give us this day our daily bread.

MI:  May we all have enough to eat.  Not a big house with lots of money in the bank--WHICH I WOULD REALLY LIKE--but may we all have enough to eat.  That's it.  That's the bar we're supposed to be aiming for:  enough to eat.

4.  And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.

MI:  We are all human and we say and do stupid things (sometimes on Facebook) or we don't say the right thing and don't do the right thing (pretty much anywhere).  We are human and that's what humans do.  Thank you for pointing that God(dess) knows that and we're forgiven.  And as a reminder, let's note that all the other humans here on earth do and say stupid things (often on Facebook) and they don't say or do the right things in real life and we should acknowledge they are humans, too, and let it go.

5. And lead is not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

MI:  Even though we are all human, don't make it any easier for us to be jerks.  And keep us away from Really Bad People and Events (and thank you for the unfriend button when it gets too bad).

6.  For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.  Amen.


  • Sincerely, Jesus
  • TTFN, Jesus
  • You da man, brah!
  • See you in a few, Your son, Jesus.  
I'll be honest with you.  Should I have been editing this back in the day, I would have said "You're right.  You can't just from Deliver us from Evil to Ciao.  But this sentence doesn't really fit with the others.  It is not simple nor direct.  You need a sign off.  But you've already said You're holy.  This sentence doesn't add much.  Why don't you think about it a little more, work on this line a bit and see what you can come up with."  You know.  Because I'm a professor.  And I edit.  EVERYTHING.  Maybe in the future I'll see the brilliance of it (said every Grad student whose paper I've ever edited), but now?  Meh.  

So, um, yeah.  

Bizarre topic for this blog, eh?  But I do think about this a lot.  And I do try to gather lessons from it.  And if anything, I can now put some Clearasil on my brain and start obsessing on some other topic.  

Cause, you know, that's how I roll.  

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Meanwhile back at the Cesspool of Cough


I'm sick now.

And the twins' O2 is lower than we're comfortable with to send to school.

Also, apparently, it is possible for their to be outbreaks of atypical (e.g., walking) pneumonia.  Usually in the late summer or fall.  In crowded areas, like schools.  GO FREAKING FIGURE.    I'll be honest, this doesn't feel like Walking Pneumonia to me, which I've always thought was mild.  All 3 of my kids had a rough time of it (well, Bridget didn't, but she's a Squirrel, so there).  And I was under the impression that walking pneumonia doesn't have a fever whereas all of us are HOT BABY!!!

Also, can it freaking stop RAINING here??  I'm turning into a vampire and I'm afraid my skin will melt off when I see the sun again.  And can someone PLEASE invent a self-cleaning house? Is that too much to ask for?  And personal trainers?  Can't someone send one over to make me get my fat a$$ back into shape again?  I'm participating in a steps challenge at work and they are about to throw me off the team.  Usually I'm a leader.  Now I'm a ((sob, sob)) ..... I'm not going to say loser.  That's not good self-talk.  But I'm trailing everyone else.

I'm going stir crazy FOLKS!!!  Wine isn't appealing anymore.  Only whine!!! THIS IS NOT A GOOD THING!!!!

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Pneumonia Assvice

I am NOT the queen of pneumonia.  But with all three children diagnosed with pneumonia (X-Ray validation and all!!!), I do consider myself the Princess of Pneum.  The Duchess of D'Oh. The Queen Mother of All Dirty Words.

And as Her Royal Highness, I thought I'd share what my experiences with what pneumonia is like.

I got nothin'.  Every one of them has had a different experience.

Conor had spiking fever (103.7 one afternoon and 104.1 one morning), but I've seen viruses do that.  However, Conor was EXHAUSTED.  He couldn't even sit up to watch TV.  About all he could handle was lying down watching the new Curious George series.  Dr. Who and even cartoon Transformers involved too much cognitive processing.  His daily routine for 9 days consisted of: getting up out of bed; sitting at the computer doing school math for 10 minutes and watching Dude Perfect for the rest of the hour; stumbling to the sofa to watch Curious George and PBS Nature shows for 10 hours, and then be *thrilled* to go to bed because he was so tired.  We knew he was finally better when he could sit up and play Minecraft (this, after we started the Z-pack for atypical pneumonia).

Christopher's pneumonia was indicated only by a 105.7* fever on a Friday afternoon.  Let us pause for a second while that number sinks in.  Let me then describe walking in from a three day business trip.  Into a home of freshly baked cookies and art projects on the kitchen table.  Into a home, with children resting and watching some TV show.  "Oh, honey! It's so nice to be home, but let me check the children's temperatures!"  Bridget comes up with 102, which is high for most people, but moderate in our world.  Then I go to Christopher, slumping over in the corner of the sofa.  We're using my fancy under the tongue basal body thermometer leftover from TTC.  Our digital ear thermometer is unreliable.  When I shouted ONE-OH-FIVE-POINT-SEVEN, I might have become a bit agitated.

It probably comes as no surprise to anyone that while I am high in Big 5 trait Neuroticism, Dave is very low in trait Neuroticism.  I had called the doctor's office, gone through the triage wait, pushed 0 because it was urgent, gotten the nurse, told her the numbers, was throwing cold rags on various parts of Christopher's body and prepping my travel bag to be a purse to take to the nurse who said "GET IN HERE RIGHT NOW." During this time, Dave gave Christopher his ibuprofen and was gently untying the knots in Christopher's shoes to put kindly on Christopher's feet.

Ahhhh, marriage.  I like to use examples of this in class to show how those of high in trait Neuroticism react quickly, we move like the wind, we are loud (or at least I am), we constantly scan the environment, we see the problem, and we Get. It. Done.  People who are low in trait Neuroticism are preferred by society.  They are methodical, slow to get worked up, calm in any storm, and highly likely to be yelled at by their high trait neuroticism wives to put the damn shoes in my bag, and carry the kid out to the car.

Honestly, there was no other sign in Christopher.  He was coughing more than Conor, but Christopher has asthma.  He coughs.  The doc heard a crackle, sent us off for X-ray, and by jove, it was pneumonia.  However, no energy?  DON'T YOU WISH!  He is running around the house like a crazy boy, except for the afternoons when the radio begins to close in on 105.7 WKIT, as we now refer to this incident.  (You might have to take a moment to get that pun)

I would also like to point out that after 105.7 WKIT, there has been some rearranging of roles in the family.  From now on, Dave is the child life specialist and as always, the cleaner of cat yak and dead bugs.  I am the nurse on call and the picker upper of the crap laying round around the house.  (Not literal crap.  Dave still has to do that)  But 105.7 WKIT has clarified our strengths in playing hospital.  We all have a role to play in the family, I am the no-nonsense check your stats nurse, and Dave is the fun one they all want to stay home with.  I do give more kisses and snuggles, though.

So Christopher's cough has gotten progressively worse as have his oxygen numbers.  Dave and I spent 15 minutes last night (at the beginning of Panther's game!) staring at the pulse ox moving from 85 to 89 while he slept.  Yes, them there's numbers to go the hospital, but as discussed with our doctor, we wake him up, he goes to the the hospital, his numbers are fine, and they send us home.   (90 is the cut off of good/bad oxygen) FORTUNATELY, Christopher had a major coughing fit, puked up a ton of phlegm, and went back to sleep with an absolutely fine (at this point) 90, 91 and 92 oxygen saturation.  This morning he's sleeping with a perfectly fine 95 to 96.  THRILLED.

Bridget is in between the boys.  Her temp has stayed 100.5 mostly, with a few 101 to 102 peaks.  She's puny sometimes and she is developing dark circles under her eyes.  She coughs some but her oxygen is fine. She's not been below 96 for any period of time.  BTW, Conor's was *100* during his pneumonia.  Bridget is a very steady 97-98.  However, the doc can hear crap all over her lungs and 4 days of fever are not good.  So her X-Ray showed pneumonia, too. We've started the shaky vest with her and called the pulmonologist.  She's doing the best of the 3, which is not what anyone would have expected.  That little trickster squirrel!  Keeping us on our toes!!

I think we've turned the corner getting the twins on the Z-pack.  I'm hoping two more days at home and then we're back to normal.

I, of course, have developed a productive cough.  But Moms and Dads don't get sick, right?  I don't.  But I am looking forward to some productive work once they all go back to school.

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Pneumonia B-Shite


This should be a Facebook post, but I have too much to whine.

AAAAARRRGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!  Bridget is the one who is supposed to have oxygen problems, not Christopher.  But Christopher is the one whom I'm watching right now as his O2 numbers on the pulse ox range from 92 to 93 while he's sleeping.  It's such a weird mind fudge:  I start getting anxious when their O2 numbers hit 95 and then I beg for them to stay at 93 because 93 isn't so bad, really.

Other adrenaline bursts of late?  When one's son gets a 104.7* fever.  On Ibuprofen.  After 48 hours of antibiotics.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that HE HAS THE SAME FREAKING ATYPICAL PNEUMONIA THAT HIS BROTHER HAD TWO WEEKS AGO SINCE THOSE ARE THE ONES THAT ARE CONTAGIOUS!! Two X-ray confirmed, suspected bacterial pneumonias in one house that are not related is (are?) statistically unlikely.

O2 up to 94!!  Happy, happy gal-dang joy!!!

Hall-e-freaking-luia!  He just had a bad coughing fit, I used the chest PT they taught me with Bridget and he is UP TO 97!!!!!!!

Ok.  Battery died and has been replaced.  Hanging at 95.

I'll take it.

Hoping it stays that high and his temp stays low for the rest of the night.  ((It did come down to 101* eventually))

And did I mention that Bridget has started acting puny?  Her O2 is fine (95-97) but she's acting puny. I don't know what parents say outside of the south, but here, "puny" is a medical term.  And it's not good.

Great.  Christopher is now at 90.  Back to 93.

Can I live tweet/blog this all night long?  Don't you want to go through this with me?


Ok.  Christopher's O2 is up and down (and by down I mean dipping into the upper to mid 80s down)  We have experience in this realm.  He wakes up, gets energized and his O2 at the hospital is 96.  We come home; he goes back to sleep and his O2 is borderline needing oxygen support.  He's 93 right now and we're 12 hours from seeing a doctor.

Let's just go ahead and agree that my putting out running clothes for a morning jog before Dave leaves for work and Conor leaves for school is overly optimistic.


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

My Children's Lungs: Part You are Fracking Kidding Me

So let me start this by recognizing that YOUR children do not get as sick as mine.

I get it.

I fully understand that you and the vast majority of children in these United States do not get sick.  Or at least, they do not get the funky lung problems that our children do.  Your children don't get hospitalized.  Your children don't get multiple bouts of pneumonia. I get it.

I also get that you might think that we are hypochondriacs.  That I take my kids to the doctor more than usual.  Or that I demand antibiotics for every cold they get.

I. Do. Not.

I am health conscious in that we try very hard not to eat processed foods and we use natural remedies for whatevs and I fracking HATE going to the doctor for a "virus."  I can handle colic by myself.  I can handle hand-foot-and-mouth and gladly check it off the list of childhood illnesses. We don't do ipuprofen for less than 101.5*. I know fever isn't dangerous until 107.  (I think; I would call the doc at 105+, but I wouldn't worry too much until 106+) I don't need a doctor to tell me what is going on with most illnesses.  I pride myself on not over-reacting.  ((I heard that cackle you just made.  I swear I did!!))  :->


I understand that my kids aren't normal.  And they have been hospitalized a lot.  And I don't even post about ALL the colds, coughs, fevers and general illnesses we have.

But here is the part that makes me want to smack someone.




Conor is the healthy kid.  Conor is the kid whose enactment of a bad stomach bug is that he doesn't eat all of his dinner.  (As opposed to me, who can gleefully lose 7 lbs in 3 days!!)  Conor doesn't get fevers.  Conor doesn't get sick.  And now Conor has pneumonia.  FOR THE SECOND TIME!!

I keep shouting this because although all of my children have been diagnosed with pneumonia, only Conor has actually had it.  Kit had RSV with 5 days hospitalization.  Bridget has her atypical reactive airways disease ("asthma"), but she's been kicking her lung issues like a champ for 20+ months.

Conor had pneumonia when he was 3 years old.  Only indication?  Clinging-to-mommy fatigue.

Conor has pneumonia now--after catching this virus from Bridget who LAUGHED in the face of this wimpy virus.  HA!!! HAAAAA!!!  HAHHAHAHAHAAA!!  She said!

Apparently, this virus is biting a few older elementary kids in the butt.  I don't know how this works and my nurse friends might be saying "no, you've got this all wrong" but the doc thinks this has turned bacterial with weird spiking HIGH temps (104.3 this morning!! I said ugly words at that one, but I didn't rush to ER or immediately call the doc) and serious fatigue and opaque X-Rays spots.

Can someone tell me if this could still be viral?  The doc says that it will take about 48 to 72 hours for the antibiotic to start working.  Is that the same time viral pneumonia should get better or are we really dealing with a bacterial one now?

The part that pushes that soft spot in my soul is that Conor doesn't have lung problems.  Conor is healthy as a horse.  And now all three of our kids have odd things that YOUR KIDS DON'T GET.

My response to the universe is: YOU ARE FRACKING KIDDING ME.

Dave wonders if there is something environmental in our house.  Dave and I don't have lung problems.  Is there something in this old house that we need to figure out?  Statistically speaking, something seems off and I SWEAR TO YOU, it's not our paranoia nor our insistence on western medical treatment.

Sweet baby lemur.  This is funky ash.

I may update this in the morning after a good  night's sleep.

ETA:  I realized quite a bit through the night that even though Conor has pneumonia, we have a pulse oximeter and his O2 is *great.*  Like, he was hanging at 96% O2 this morning for a bit, but generally he is really around 97 to 98% most of the time.  Those are great numbers and nothing to worry about.  He is starting to cough more and Dave and I keep telling him this is just the beginning of coughing.  That does not make him happy.  But overall, he is doing Just Fine.  He's so tired he can barely move. But he's *not* hospital bound.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Current Goofy Phrases

You know how, when you're really cool, you quote phrases to show people that you've seen them and you're cool? Well, considering for me, I was quoting a lot of Monty Python Movies, I'm not sure I was cool as much as I was signalling to the other geeks that I was cool in their world.

Or maybe I was signalling to other dorks.  I never did know.

Well, the movies and TV shows I'm quoting from now all indicate that I am a complete loser, a parent of you children and not only do I watch their shows, I think they are funny.  In no real order, phrases that are commonly heard around our house.  And in my classes.

Curse you, tiny toilet!
I think it was the shlond poofa. (Correct spelling!)
Yes.  Yes, I am.  or No.  No, I'm not.  
Nanny McPhee, we need you!
Hello, Sweetie.  
Nervocited (which I am right now)
Cross my heart, hope to fly, stick a cupcake in my eye.
I done did dood that!!

And this is not a quote as much as a childish misunderstanding. We were peeling eggs and Christopher asked what something is.  "It's the membrane," I replied.  "Yes," Bridget added, "it's the memory brain so the egg can remember things."  I let them call it a memory brain for quite a while before I said membrane again.  Then they morphed into memberain and I hope it never changes.

Monday, September 28, 2015

On Not Second Guessing

The twins are doing GREAT in re-K (what we're calling this year of repeating Kindergarten).  They are going so well, that--I have to be honest--that I wonder if they should have gone on forward.

And then my wonderful, supportive friends (Julie, Carrie, lots of others), look at me and say "That is wonderful you made the right choice".

I don't know what first grade would have been like for them if we had let them go forward.  It could have been bad.  It could have been just fine.

But I do know that right now, Bridget and Christopher are starting to "get" reading.  Both Bridget and Christopher are having fun doing their math and love to show off printing their letters very, very well.  The teacher really and truly lets them be helpers when they are ahead of the game on some activities.  Bridget, in particular, LOVE LOVE LOVES helping the other kids when they are struggling with something.  She's really *helping* them with some writing or drawing challenge.

They are both blooming and they love school right now.

Who wouldn't love positive feedback on their performance?

My undergraduate motivation class spends a lot of time on how self-efficacy ("I can do this if I try hard enough") is one of the biggest predictors of effort and thus motivation and thus performance.

I really hope that this re-K gives my twinnies the belief that they can do it.  That they can master successfully the material with enough effort.

I can't help but to wonder about what would have happened had we sent them on to first grade.  Right now, it is literally unknowable if they would have succeeded.  ((That's really hard for a researcher to accept. I feel like I could know lots of different things by designing the right study))

But I do know that right now, they are doing great.  They are positive, they are succeeding and they are actually LEARNING what they didn't quite get last time.

I think I have to stop second guessing and go with what is empirically valid right now:  they are doing well and re-K is/was the right choice.

I might have to read this post a few times (re-k-read) to make sure it sinks in.