Monday, June 23, 2008

Jay: Collected Aspie Posts

Once upon a time, I learned that a thing called Asperger’s Syndrome exists.  Even though it and most such labels do nothing more than put names on shades of normal - no different from being labeled geeky or athletic or musical - it still provides fascinating insight.  It even makes autism seem less odd, since it adds fuzzy shading to the borderlands between “us” and “them.”

Over time, I have posted on that and related topics, and this is an attempt to collect and revisit that, most notably by reposting the hard to find first post, less than two months into my blogging career, on my rapidly abandoned first blog.  Some of the links are dead, notably those to Dandelion Wine, but are included for the sake of exactness.

This is that first post, which actually post-dates the beginning of my interest, but brought it online:

Saturday, April 19, 2003

Asperger’s Syndrome

A while back, Wired, to which I subscribe, had an issue with an article on ”The Geek Syndrome.” It was a fascinating look at Asperger’s syndrome, which is a form of autism, on the autism spectrum of disorders; sometimes also called high functioning autism. People with it tend to lead a reasonably normal life, and tend to be disproportionately computer/programming/engineering oriented. Thus the article was looking at the idea that a high rate of autism in Silicon Valley and the Route 128 region might be a genetic result of the large number of geek, and therefore possibly Asperger, parents in those areas.

I was reminded of all this by a post on the topic at Dandelion Wine

The Wired article had a sidebar of an “Autism Quotient” test, which purports to measure where you fall on the spectrum. From what I have seen, many people don’t think it’s a particularly viable test. Nonetheless, I found it interesting and so I link to it here:
AQ Test

My score was 30. They say at the top of the test page that “Eighty percent of those diagnosed with autism or a related disorder scored 32 or higher.” Looks like I push the envelope a little.

Related to this, Dandelion Wine also points us to a brain quiz, ostensibly ”how male or female is your brain.”

I took the interactive EQ test and then, clicking from those results, the interactive SQ test. Both require Flash. There’s an option for manual tests as well. From the test pages you can then go to this final page to work out what type of brain you have, using a grid to plot the results of EQ and SQ and see which shaded area you fall into.

For what it’s worth, my scores were:
EQ of 41
SQ of 53
Overall brain type “Extreme Type S”


The original Wired article and AQ test led me to actually buy books on Asperger’s and to read all about it online, because I seem to approach but not quite cross over to it myself, and I suspected my nephew was so afflicted. That and it was inherently intriguing, as I find anything to do with brain function to be, given my own history. That has always applied to IQ testing as well.

- Jay Solo, 2:25 AM

The next relevant posts I located offhand were at Accidental Verbosity, in the form of:
Autism As Extreme Male Brain
Asperger’s Schizophrenic Hyperactivity Deficit Disorder

That second one points to a related discussion, starting from adult ADHD and going into more in the comments.  It predates Caltechgirl having a blog, rather than being an avid commenter.  Her comments on the set of topics are especially cool.

Again with over- and mis-diagnosis, the attention deficit stuff is as much as anything an excuse for drugging kids into being uniformly submissive, passive bots who can bear not to have recess and won’t have normal traits some people find inconvenient or hard to understand.

These Quizzy Things are only marginally relevant, but I remarked about the Aspie relationship to the perfectionist quiz especially, but even the other two are about being a certain way or collecting certain facts.

In You May Just Be An Aspie... I linked to and quoted extensively the best of this You Might Be An Aspie If page of collected behavioral anecdotes.

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Aspieness had me linking a slicker AQ test, on which I scored 32.  These always seem to vary depending on mood and change in thinking over time.  Having written that, I took it again, going on a year later, and scored 36.  Oops.

Most recently, last October 29, in How Aspie Are You? I linked another quiz, which interestingly I just retook and scored 138 and 58, versus 161 and 54 last time, an improvement.  I must have gone less wishy-washy last time.  Basically it’s no/never, or kinda yes/sometimes, or really yes, all the time, with a 4th option for not sure/don’t know.  I saved the PDF, but didn’t bother with a screenshot.

I probably wrote about this elsewhere and didn’t find them all, but basically that’s what I had out there.  Besides any instances where I mentioned autism and slammed the idiots who won’t let go of the vaccine preservative autism nonsense people grasp at like so many straws.  But that’s an entirely different topic, though obviously these posts touch on it because of the clear genetic connection.  Geeks beget geeks.  Sometimes the curve goes too far and we call it autism.

It’s hardly shocking for two high IQ people with geek tendencies (remember, Deb went part of the way toward an engineering degree before resorting to expedience to graduate sooner) to have had Sadie, Valerie - who increasingly seems to make Sadie look normal and ordinary - and even, it appears, Henry.  You never know, after all.  I started out as charismatically sunny, amused and communicative and physically quick as he is.  He doesn’t merely look like I did.  He’s already getting into the “taking things apart” or “seeing how things work” kind of trouble I’d have thought would take longer.  None of which means aspieness, but it’ll be interesting to watch.  And again, nothing wrong with that.  Someone has to fall on that part of the range of human, and it’s not like you can’t function.  Well, kind of.  Mostly.  Sometimes.

12:30 PM | BloggingGeekeryKidsControversiesMedicalNewsQuiz or Meme • (0) CommentsPermalink

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Deb: Speaking of the Boy

He’s sleeping so much better!  I think he’s finally sleeping through more than he’s not, though if he goes to bed too early he’ll be up with the sun.  Or earlier.  But the lack of wake-ups between bedtime and morning are a new and very welcome development.  Yay!

01:42 PM | KidsControversies • (0) CommentsPermalink

Friday, May 30, 2008

Jay: Hey, Didn’t This Used to Be a Blog?

We’re kind of busy and distracted, so even with the modest availability things that I can still blog about without an oppressive sense of self-censorship, I just haven’t gotten to it lately.  Lack of birthdays has thus meant lack of posts, and the birthday posts are meant to be spice, not meat.  There are a couple others I may get to, one imperative and one landmark, despite over a week having passed since it came to mind.

That said, it’s relatively easy and of some interest to post about the baby and where he stands on the food front.  It seems these days the biggest problems are unidentified airborne or other environmental, with maybe a low grade effect from even some foods that are “safe.” To the degree we’re dealing with a salicylate sensitivity, almost everything is a source, and it’s difficult not to include a certain amount of high and moderate sources, even if you avoid the very high completely and the next ones down as much as possible.  There are also ambiguities, whereby a given item can be higher or lower depending on growing conditions.  At any rate, the chart we’ve found most useful notes that each level is ten times the prior.  Thus very high is 10x high is 10x moderate is 10x low.

There are two things that have been clear.  Three, if you count the big $2600 we can never afford to pay incident and the most probable cause.  Two, if you count dairy as singular.

He can’t have milk.  Period.  He breaks out in a rash almost instantly.  Not sure, but he may have gotten his hands on some during the Lactaid experiment, and reacted less badly, whatever that means - maybe ultrapasteurization breaking down proteins more being helpful.

The emergency room incident was almost certainly cheese.  It was also topical, never a breathing issue, but more a matter of looking so bad because of where it swelled.  The thing is, I seemed to react to that cheese, and as noted, cheddar particularly can apparently generate its own histamines.

Of the other candidates that night, well, he has put egg in his mouth and not reacted, and Deb’s test of eating eggs has shown she is free to have eggs and, by extension, mayonnaise again.  He can eat corn.  We’re skeptical of wheat being a problem, certainly not at that level.  The only thing that leaves from that night might be ham, which would have been a bit player and would mean an awfully extreme reaction to my having handled it.  Cheese is likely, especially given the milk thing and the histamine thing.

Of course, his own drool makes him rashy, and I believe he has a bit of a reflux problem, which may be recursion.  That is, stuff affects sinuses, sinuses encourage reflux, reflux makes sinuses worse and makes drool acidic.  Maybe stuff affects skin worse on contact due to the damage, for that matter.

Anyway, it’s not an item of concern for salicylates, but he had an extreme reaction to banana.  Now, that may have been interaction with other stuff, and may not have been as bad as it seemed, but he can wait to try again.

What I was planning to cover mainly is what he can eat.  With Valerie confirmed to be unable to have milk, even Lactaid, without losing bladder control, it’s made him less likely to have accidental drinks of it.  It makes him so happy, but the result isn’t fun.  We’ve been able to speed up trying new things.  It’s challenging to be operating on the cheap, but hey.


The only meat of concern might be cured, spiced kinds of things, so I haven’t given him hot dogs when we’ve had them.  I thought he might be reacting mildly to pork at times, and when I did a series of “rub things on his skin” tests one day, grease that had primarily rendered from pork during frying was the only thing there might have been a reaction to, but it was ambiguous.  My antiperspirant, Irish Spring, some stuff like that all passed.  He gets plenty of meat.

Oats (oatmeal)
Rice (including puffs, cakes)

Some tastes of things that technically contained wheat.

Corn, as a vegetable.
Corn, in tortilla chips soaked in water or chicken broth to soften them.

Sweet potato

White potato in any form, though I’d avoid giving him skin even if he could chew it.

White sugar, avoid brown sugar as it charts and he may have reacted to it.

Green beans
Parsnip, probably - some ambiguity and small sample
Pinto beans
Chemicals that qualify to be called lemonade when mixed with water (seemed to react a little to the fruit punch mix).

Canned pears in heavy syrup.  Light syrup is pear juice, which is processed in a way that involves the skin.

I swear I’m forgetting something.

Soy seems not to bother him.  Usually that’s in the form of oil for cooking.  He’s also had stuff fried in Crisco, which would mean exposure to cottonseed oil.

He’ll get to try peas soon.  He had a too small to harm him taste of strawberry jello and seemed to be unaffected.

As far as seasonings or veggies used mainly for that purpose, he seems fine with onion and garlic.  Black pepper I avoid especially for him.  Red pepper and the like, and some of the other things I use routinely, all high, but the quantities in food can be minute.  We use caution, but he has or might have eaten food with red pepper, cumin, oregano, garlic, onion, ginger, celery, allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, sage, savory, rosemary, or whatever having participated in the making.  Not sure exactly which.  If it’s, say, chicken, it’s in the oil and on the outside of the meat, but I’ll emphasize giving him bits from the inside with minimal outer layer.

Cauliflower.  He tried cauliflower and that went fine.  We love that when it’s on sale.

Fruit is the biggest problem.  Especially in juice or uncooked.  Pear is the lowest of the fruits and he clearly reacted to pear juice.  Essentially he needs a caveman diet.

Overall he’s doing well.  A lot of the itching he does is emotional, a reaction of habit.  Getting sleepy equals uncomfortable.  Discomfort equals itchy.  Ithchy equals scratch yourself bloody.  He is helped a lot by pre-emptive doses of gas drops and Tylenol, assuming he doesn’t decide he does not need one or both, as he did today.  Absolutely refused gas drops, period.  Refused Tylenol one time, accepted it later.  As I always say, he’s little, not stupid.  In fact, he’s scary.

Now if he wants to eat he starts dragging his high chair across the kitchen.  He also seems to have learned that if food is left in the seat, he can shake the chair to get it where he can reach it.  He was mad at me for cleaning up right after he pigged out for supper, because after his bath he was foraging for more.  For supper he had chicken, a tiny bit of beef, potato, about 2/3 of a good sized sweet potato, corn, and plain pinto beans.  When I found him foraging, I gave him part of a rice cake, but that just wasn’t the same.

Looking at this decent food list, which I need to review in detail again to figure where we are going with trying other things, I was reminded that he seemed to react heavily to sucking on raisins the girls left on the floor for his benefit.  Ditto for a couple of the cranberry whatever juice combos.  We’ve gone almost exclusively into powdered drink mixes, mainly lemonade, but also fruit punch and - though the girls haven’t warmed to it - iced tea.  Lack of juice may also be helping Valerie, though if that was a factor, it was still at least 90% the milk.

I’m barely staying awake, so this is probably rambling and incoherent, and likely incomplete.  Oh well.  I had some pictures to post, and will have some stunning ones after the camera is next downloaded.  He really put on a show today.

03:36 AM | BloggingFood & CookingKidsControversiesMassachusettsMedicalMoneyNothing • (1) CommentsPermalink

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Jay: Obligatory Post

Actually, I didn’t have a birthday until I saw one mentioned elsewhere, so I’d planned this to be something for a “no birthdays” morning post.

I was sad but not surprised Amanda Overmeyer was executed last night.  Kristy Lee Cook is one lucky country-twanged long-legged hot blond in a short dress.  I might prefer to see Amanda to her if I were attending one of the concerts, but I won’t be, it’s not that strong a preference, and this means, as I noted, Kristy needs the performance of her life next week.  Though a couple others flopping sufficiently might be enough, if she’s adequate and being cute.

I was shocked that Carly was in the bottom three.  She was too good for that, so there has to be some combination of the controversy sucking away votes, people thinking she’s safe, her support not being as strong as I might have thought, or David Archuletta’s lopsided vote totals sucking the oxygen out of the room and making funny things happen with the rest of the totals.  Face it, unless there’s enough controversy, backlash, or something, Achoo is the winner and this is a race for second through fourth now.

Today I have to call the nice lady at the hospital whose sole job is to line people up with insurance if they lack it.  Because this Republican Socialism thing, it won’t add bureaucracy at all.  Probably about the time we’re squared away with free insurance for the poor, I’ll land a job that includes it.

I’ve been meaning to do a giant fundraising edition of Carnival of the Capitalists.  It might be worth a few hours of that to fetch a little grocery money or even an additional week of rent and make me think people actually appreciated my efforts all these years.  Which I know they did, and not just the few who have expressed an interest in still seeing it or helping.  I’ve been told I should emphasize it and look for business development work, or something like that.  That may be gotten to soon, before it becomes moot.  I’ve been accumulating links for it.

And yeah, fundraiser notwithstanding, you are always welcome to use the PayPal tipjar button, now more than ever.  Or use the address for Deb’s, which is actually better, deb at neatlytangled dot com.

It’s so cute.  Valerie has taken to putting a mitten on a foot, like a very heavy sock.  She just had me put a shoe on the other foot.  She loves to change clothes and play dress-up.

Speaking of money, there’s nothing like going to the store with $16 available, needing diapers and groceries, and being focused on eliminating certain things from the diet.

Although we think we have a good idea what is going on with Henry, and what the allergic reaction was about.  That and the idea that food proteins consumed by the mother survice intact in breast milk appears to be bogus, if you research it sufficiently.

Still, the discovery that corn, usually corn syrup, is in almost everything was rather startling and something we’d like to start avoiding.  It’s also shocking that companies would put known likely allergens in some of the earliest foods one would feed a baby, thinks you buy because they are safe.  I’m also wondering about my own levels of food sensitivities, which are not the same as allergies, for which I once tested negative.

I am not only down 29 lbs from my high plateau and 39 lbs from my absolute high (and annoyed it hasn’t budged further for a few days), but also thinner than the current weight would imply.  I went from 42 required to falling off to 40 fitting comfortably to 40 wanting to fall off.  Which means some of the tighter pants in that size I have somewhere should fit.

This was supposed to be quick.

The job hunting proceeds apace, subject to excitement and interruption and confusion and mild sickness and such.  I have to make a list and follow it today.  I’ve been doing a lot of networking-related activity.

Okay, I can’t remember anything else I might have intended to say.  I need to get to the actual stuff to be done, starting with an announcement about CotC and link to the resume over at Bizosphere.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Deb: There are days when I wonder if my children are related to me.

I’m not sure they got a gene of mine at all.  Really.

Latest evidence?  Last night we fed Henry a bit of broccoli.

And he liked it.

A lot.

He was picking it up and stuffing it into his own mouth because we’re too slow, he liked it *that* much.

Weird, weird children.  The others like it too, you know.  *confused*

03:56 PM | Food & CookingKidsControversies • (1) CommentsPermalink

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Jay: Happy Anniversary

To us!  One of the earliest and best known pairs of bloggers to meet and marry entirely on account of our participation in that medium.  It’s now been four big years, with the fifth being the one where the dust clears and we mold the future into a useful shape.

Here is last year’s post, which contains links to the posts from back then about getting married and containing pictures.

And yeah, four years also pass like nothing.  It’s sometimes shocking to think Sadie will turn four this year, and she’s half teaching herself and half being taught by us the alphabet and beginnings of reading already.

03:02 PM | BloggingKidsControversiesTotally Random • (4) CommentsPermalink

Monday, November 19, 2007

Deb: Working on my entry for the “World’s Worst Mother” Award.

Last night?  Let my three-month-old taste applesauce.

Clearly I am going to parenting hell.

09:42 PM | KidsControversies • (2) CommentsPermalink

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Jay: Submit the word you see below

Hey comment spammers, fuck off.

The rest of you, disregard this post.  I am attempting to mess with the results the manual comment spammers from Ukraine, Russia, or wherever they may lurk, get by searching Google the title of this post in quotes for this domain only.  That is why I am marking this post as being in every available category, because then every category should come up as a link in Google that is not a distinct individual post page with comment entry available.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Deb: Carseats?  Check.

I should probably include this under “controversies” since I installed them myself, and you all know how the internets frown on that.  Got the girls moved, Val turned around, and the baby seat in.

Now the van is really officially not allowed to die, like, ever.  Because have you had to move your carseats lately?  Dear Hypothetical Universal Intelligence, it’s a workout.

12:22 AM | KidsControversies • (4) CommentsPermalink

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Deb: Pardon my language, but…


There’s nothing like having three kids in three years to draw stupid comments.  I’ve been letting people think it’s an accident because it seems to upset them less that way around.

Why I care, of course, I’ll never know.  But I sort of wish that instead of telling the whole world about what we’ll be doing for birth control, I’d found an offensive answer to hand out in honor of the offensive question.

Because really, people.  Not. Your. Business.

11:16 AM | KidsControversies • (4) CommentsPermalink

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Deb: Why I’m reluctant to tell people when, exactly, this baby is scheduled to be evicted.

It’s not because I’m a bitch.  Really, I swear it.

It’s because like any elective--meaning non-emergency--surgery, the damned things are subject to schedule changes all the way up to the first incision.  We moved the date yesterday, and there’s no guarantee that it won’t get moved again.  Or, for that matter, no guarantee that baby won’t demand out before then.  About all I can say about it with any confidence is that since I’m on blood pressure meds, they’ll start getting really, really itchy to get it done when I hit my due date.  Other than that?  Not much more way of knowing than if we were doing this the old-fashioned way. 

01:07 PM | KidsControversies • (2) CommentsPermalink

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Deb: Time flies when you’re having fun…

Another midwife visit yesterday.  Everything still looks really, really good.  I’m beginning to believe all those myths about boy pregnancies being better are true after all.  31 weeks, which meant it was time for the Big List o’ Questions.  Pediatrician?  Yes, Dr. Our Family Doctor.  Breastfeeding?  Yes.  Circumcision?  No.  And we know you have all of the baby stuff you’ll need, ha ha ha.  Ha ha.  *snicker* *snort* I just can’t believe we’re to this point already.  If the birth stays scheduled where it is right now, this child will be here in less than two months.  Two months!  8 weeks!  Ack!

And yay!  Because no matter how many times people tell me that they’re easier to take care of inside than out, I’ll always answer them, maybe, but they’re a hell of a lot more fun when they aren’t sitting on your bladder.  Because they are. 

02:55 PM | KidsControversies • (2) CommentsPermalink

Friday, June 15, 2007

Deb: I don’t see anything in the news I want to bitch about this morning.

So let’s pick on someone.

I can’t remember offhand what got me going again, but sometime yesterday I was reminded how much I dislike a certain brand of natural birth promoter.  Note: if you’ve never tried to make someone feel like shit for scheduling a C-Section, or for having one in general, this post is not about you and you can go take your defensiveness out somewhere else.

The thing that bothers me so much is the same thing that bothers me about a lot of other people right now.  We’ve replaced organized religion with nasty superstition, and a lot of people spend a lot of time blaming people with imperfect lives for those lives in some sort of twisted belief that they, too, can live forever if they just spin three times before they go to bed every night and orient themselves precisely on a north-south axis.  No rolling over allowed.

There are many, many examples floating around popular culture at the moment, and nowhere are they thicker than they are surrounding pregnancy and childbirth.

Think it’s hard to figure out what to eat now?  Try getting pregnant.  So far as I can tell, there are no foods considered safe in pregnancy.  Every meal is supposed to be a careful balancing of risks.  Take that attitude and project it onto birth, and what you wind up with is a horror show.  And the “natural” folks are every bit as bad as the “medical” folks, but they’re a very special brand of obnoxious because they consider themselves countercultural, as though one could figure how correct one’s views are by their distance from the mainstream.

I have no doubt that people give ‘em crap for skipping the drugs and sometimes the doctor.  Because they certainly shovel it out, and we all know that human nature being what it is, these things always go both ways.  It’s just that I’m on the receiving end of the “why didn’t you VBAC?” crap, so that’s what gets under my skin particularly.

Also, I happen to believe modern medicine is a good thing.  A very good thing.  A very, very good thing.

That it can cause more problems than it solves is not exactly a secret (and someday maybe I’ll tell you about what’s happened with this pregnancy to earn me double the monitoring for being absolutely normal...and maybe the minute this baby gets here I’ll forget that I was ever pregnant and ride off peacefully into the reproductive sunset, because I’m really, really bad at the pregnancy and birth thing, but afterward? I rock, and I can’t wait to forget about the parts I’m not so good at).  The point is not that they don’t have a point at all.  The point is that whatever its failings, modern medicine is very good at keeping people from, you know, dying in childbirth, so forgive my not giving a shit.

Of course, I’m biased, because so far as I can piece together what happened, I was one of the people so rescued at one point.  So, yeah, happy not to be dead?  Totally coloring my views here.

I’m rambling, and I haven’t gotten to the point yet because I could easily write about this for oh, say, a week and never get to the bottom of what I want to say about it.  Especially in light of the growing drive to try to codify and standardize motherfucking everything.  I don’t give a damn where you have that baby, just like I don’t give a damn if you have a plastic flamingo on your lawn.  I’m a big fan of everybody leaving everybody else the hell alone.

But the magical thinking bothers me.

We’ve fallen under some kind of grand societal delusion that all human disease is preventable.  We discover penicillin, conquer the plague, and almost immediately set to berating people for not managing their “risk factors” properly.  Eat eggs?  You deserve to die!  Ooops, not this week.  This week it’s margarine.  No, wait!  Transfats!  Aaaaaargh!

This is terrifying enough.  But applied to pregnancy and childbirth, it’s downright tragic.

A woman has a difficult birth, and the first thing some people do is blame her for it.  Because if they can figure out some way to make it her fault, then they themselves are safe.

So a woman venturing onto the internet looking for support after a C Section is likely to hear--even in the middle of a support group, as they are frequently invaded--that it’s her fault for: birthing in a hospital.  Not being in the proper postures during labor.  Having an epidural.  Having the baby continuously monitored.  Seeing an OB.  Seeing a hospital-based midwife.  Allowing glucose tolerance testing.  Allowing vaginal exams during labor.  Allowing an induction.  The list is lengthy and varied.

If she offers up a specific medical reason for the surgery, she hears: there’s no such thing as CPD.  Your body won’t grow a baby bigger than it can birth.  The medical definition of *insert complication here* is wrong, it really isn’t dangerous until *insert level that makes the critic right here*.  Fetal distress is a myth.  Monitoring is unreliable.  Monitoring makes no difference statistically.  Doctors say things are wrong so they can go home at 5.  Did your section happen during the day?  See?  There’s no such thing as failure to progress.  You probably didn’t have *insert complication here*.

If the birth was complicated by preeclampsia or gestational diabetes, she’ll likely be treated to a discourse on one nutritional fad or another.  Generally at some point this degenerates to the point where the woman is accused of not eating enough eggs.  Because a certain person whose last name refers to the making of beer, or if you prefer, a midwestern baseball franchise in the singular, actually discovered a way to prevent preeclampsia, but the medical establishment would go broke if it stopped trying to kill mothers and babies so they won’t tell you about it.


And if all of this depresses her, she’s again at fault for allowing all of this to happen to her, and encouraged to plan the “right” kind of birth next time.  And (surprise!) told what to eat.  Because depression?  Totally fixable by nutrition, just like everything else.

Because otherwise it could happen to the women giving this “advice,” and the idea that the universe could throw them a random medical curveball?  Totally intolerable.  Because they did everything right, and the universe is obligated to reward them for it.  Dammit.

The thing is that the universe is a pretty random place.  Non-smokers get lung cancer, skinny people have strokes, fat people live to be 95, and people who eat eggs?  Their fate is up in the air.  LOL.  Seriously, though, we’ve managed to learn a bit about what puts you at risk for what, but none of it is a guarantee, and not much of it is a strong enough association to base your life around.  And no matter how “perfect” you are, you’re going to die someday anyway.  That’s just the way it is.  And when it comes to making more people, no matter what we do babies are still going to die sometimes, and mothers are still going to die sometimes, and modern medicine is the best we can do to prevent that from happening.  And it’s nothing more than a sign of how very effective it’s been at that task that there are people who think that *it* is more dangerous than birth is.  The same feeling drives the anti-vaccination thing.  We’ve never seen a mother die in childbirth, and we’ve never seen a child die of measles, and therefore we can’t bring ourselves to believe that medicine, no matter its flaws, might be responsible for this state of affairs.

The way things are right now feels natural to us.  It’s the way our brains work.  And it’s a dangerous thing not to be aware of, because it leads to huge errors in thinking.

Like I said earlier, I could go on about this for weeks.  But I won’t.  I’ll just say that I’m glad this is my 3rd section, because I’m finally in the golden zone where nobody wonders why I don’t want to VBAC.  It’s peaceful here.  I just wish we could all leave each other the hell alone.  But meddling breeds meddling, especially when you’re trying to codify and standardize motherfucking everything, and the harrassment of women who just want to have babies in peace is nothing more than another manifestation of the modern need to make 1984 into a documentary.

Everything is political now.  But it shouldn’t be.  And much of what’s making it that way is this weird magical thinking.

And I don’t like it.  Not. One. Bit.

02:49 PM | KidsControversies • (1) CommentsPermalink

Monday, June 11, 2007

Deb: Mmmmm, housework.

So yesterday I wound up doing 4 loads of laundry, cleaning the girls’ room, and sorting out the rest of the baby clothes.  I took all the little pink things that were left, boxed them, and put them out on the landing to wait until I can find them a new home.  And all of the neutral-to-boyish stuff I collected in what people have given us over the last couple of years went in a basket to be washed and sorted today.  So I’m tired.

We also had a 3 am visit from Sadie last night.  As close as I can work out, something woke her up and she couldn’t go back to sleep because I had turned her fan off before I went to bed.  I guess I won’t be doing that again!  Kid would rather freeze than forego the fan, but I thought I was safe enough sneaking in and turning it off.  Guess not.  Took me a good hour to go back to sleep, so I’m running a little slower than might be ideal today.

I am so having another cup of coffee.

(Yes, I consume caffeine while pregnant.  Bite me.  /gratuitous injection of ranty goodness)

02:20 PM | KidsControversiesTotally Random • (4) CommentsPermalink

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Deb: Jay already mentioned that it’s my brother’s birthday today…

So it’s kind of wild that Flea would choose to post about the Hib vaccine today.  You see, that brother had epiglottitis when he was a kid, and he’s had about 24 bonus birthdays since then.

I cannot say enough times how fucking happy I am that folks don’t have to go through that anymore.  Even better, kids don’t have to DIE of it anymore:

The vaccine has made Hib epiglottitis almost disappear. Flea knows board-certified Pediatric ED docs in practice for 15 years who have never seen it. This news won’t make the front pages, but the virtual disappearance of Hib-related disease constitutes a public health triumph that has changed dramatically the practice of Pediatrics in this country.

This is a modern miracle, people.  And anybody who thinks it’s a bad thing can kiss my ass.

02:40 AM | KidsControversiesNewsHealth Care • (0) CommentsPermalink
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