Wednesday, June 14, 2017

We were playing doctor . . . .

Unresolved feelings. Last night, my daughters had a friend over, let's call him Eric. My girls love Eric, as do my husband and myself. we could hear the three of them downstairs, listening to 'Annie' music. We have been doing this since April, when our sitter played the delicious part of Ms. Hannigan.

I am stuck. I am having difficulty writing this. Fast forward an hour. I am talking to Eric's mom outside in my backyard when my older daughter came outside. I say,

"Ladybug, where are your sister and Eric?"
"Mom, they locked the bathroom door and won't let me in?"
"Locked the bathroom door? What are they doing in there?"

Needless to say, I was concerned, but not too concerned, because Eric is a nice kid. Moments later, he shows up outside with our cat.

"What were you doing in the bathroom with Honeypie? That is not appropriate!" his mother says firmly to him.

They leave. I go inside and I speak to Honeypie. I am not mad at her. I am concerned, however, I think that my tone indirectly shamed her. We talk for a few minutes. Eric pulled her pants down. She said that she did not want that to happen and that she covered her parts.I explained to her that this was not her fault, but then in the same breath talked to her about who is allowed to see her parts.

Afterwards, Honeypie was angry. She wanted to throw her birthday present away. I simply held her. I feel emotionally barren and unable to fully provide the care she needed in that moment. 

Ironically, Eric's mother called me after the incident where we talked about this.

Feeling Overwhelmed . . .

I am in search of some inspiration. At the present moment, by husband is about to lose his job; I am beginning the job search as well as entertaining the idea of returning for the FNP in efforts to add to the stability of our family.

I have been looking for a sign of sorts, something to point me concretely in the direction that I should choose.  Alas, I have not been able to discern a clear answer. What I do not want to do is to make a decision based on fear. I want to make a decision based on joy and enthusiasm, a search for a new adventure that provides a level of mindfulness that I can embody and be with my family.

So time is ticking and I need to write a compelling personal statement as to why I am qualified to be admitted to XYZ University for a post-master's certificate. Forget the fact that I obtained my original NP degree from them. Forget the fact that I have already gone back for a second certification at this institution. What I am concerned about is the fact that I left the doctoral program and that they may not want to re-admit me.

I need a story as to why I want to add the pediatric component to my already Adult and Women's Health Care Certification. The one word answer  simply is BRIDGE. Bridge. I believe that as an FNP, I would be a more effective bridge, a bridge between parents and children; a bridge between educational systems and health care; a bridge between the perceived self and the authentic one.

The Ache

I really like my job as an NP in a small student health center. While the pay isn't great and truly, there is no prestige, I have the opportunity to meet a variety of people of a variety of ages (believe it or not) and I get to live vicariously. 

Many of these students embark on amazing life journeys, whether that is to Australia, Zimbabwe, or simply to downtown. Their lives are pregnant with possibilities, ready to emerge into this world at that right time. I meet musicians, future veterinarians, law enforcers. 

While much of the above can be said about any clinician's office.  What is special about mine, is that I have been privileged to have the time to listen, I mean really listen to their life stories.  I get to witness, and sometimes hold their pain with them, when they need a little respite.

Enter Sarah (of course, not her real name). Sarah is a thirty year old female who is studying to be an elementary school teacher who came to see me for a breast ache. This ache, which was located in her right breast, primarily, had been an ongoing issue for months.  While not able to palpate any bumps or lumps, this ache, which had not altered, and in her mind was not musculoskeletal related, was weighing heavily on her mind.

Like many of the students that I see, Sarah has way too much on her plate.  She is working part-time, going to school full-time, is married and has a nine year old daughter and a four year old son.

Monday, January 11, 2016


It is cold out. So cold, I can feel the hairs in my nose begin to freeze, see my breath in white clouds. My heart this morning is filled with this ebullient sense of gratefulness.  How did I get this lucky? Why? Then it hits me. Why question it. Instead, pass it on.

Growing Up

Both my little beans are growing up quickly. I can hardly get over the fact that they will be 9 and 4 this year. As independent as they are, thankfully, they still like to hang out with mom for a bit.

This past fall while I was immersed in a mountain of laundry, my flat-chested eldest sneaks behind me and  asked me when I was planning on getting her a bra. A bra?  Who has to wear a bra in the second grade?

ME: LB, do you know what a bra is for?
LB: Yeah, to cover your boobies (Where she gets this from, I don't even know.  These have been known as breasts, mommy milk, and occasionally boobs).
ME: Actually, they are to help support your breasts as they get fuller. Yours don't look like they quite need support. Does someone in your class wear a bra?
LB: Yes. AA and BB do.
ME; Thinking. These girls are not very developed, so it seems a bit odd to me. "Say, do they wear a sports bra?"
LB: Yes, how did you know?
ME: Well, I guessed. (But in my head, I began to think that maybe we should consider having more discussions about the body

So, in the last few weeks, we have begun having impromptu conversations about periods and changing bodies (much to the chagrin of my brothers-only husband). I had bought this book at a second hand shop a while back and since I was re-organizing my desk again, I found it and decided to give it to LB to have  a look.

I did not give it a thorough perusal, but as a mom and a clinician, it seemed developmentally appropriate for an 8 year old to start learning about her body and the monthly cycles that will ensue in the next few years.  I liked this book, because it did not introduce sex yet.

Ladybug seemed to gravitate to this book she had chosen it to be read at bedtime one night over break.  So instead of reading Geronoimo Stilton or the Berenstein Bears, there we were, Ladybug in one arm, Honeypie in the other, lightly skimming Period before bed.  Both were interested in the illustrations of the female body (which are cartoons), and thereby I think, less scary. Neither girl seemed embarrassed to ask questions, which was great.

Fast forward to yesterday's conversation. LB and I are coming home from the City. A billboard before us states that "Over 100,000 children are in Foster Care, waiting to be adopted."
ME: Whoa, that's sad.
LB: What, Mom?
ME: That billboard over there.
LB: (She reads the billboard). Mom, why don't people like kids?
ME: Well, it's not that a lot of people don't like kids.  Perhaps they have them at too young of an age, like in their teens.
LB: But mom, you said that people don't get married until they are older.  How can they have kids if they are a teenager?
ME: Well, some people make decisions in their teen years that result in them having a baby before they are married.
LB: Mom, the kids at school say you have to have a boy and a girl to have a baby. Is that right?
ME: (Keeping hands on the wheel and eyes on the road) Well, to have a baby, you need a boy and a girl, but to raise a baby you can have many family types. Some families have two mommies, some two daddies, some a Grandma, others like ours have a Mommy and a Daddy.

From here, we went on to discuss what our Faith Tradition teaches, but not before I inquired;
ME: Say, LB, do the kids at school talk about how a baby is made?
LB: No.  And if they did, I would not participate.
ME: Well, if they do, please come to me and ask.  I want to make sure that you get the right information. OK?
LB: Sure, Mom. You know everything about the body.
ME: Well, I don't know about that, but I do know more than your classmates.

Meanwhile, her little sister wants to be a Daddy when she grows up. More to investigate for another time.