Adios, vesicula!

I promise to post a favorite recipe of mine next week.

After a hellish stay for a week in the hospital I am finally home. I went in thinking my superhero would be done in a day. I rushed there, grabbing enough for two days because I thought that was the longest I would have to be there. After all, that is what I was told.

Hospitals lie.

Nope first I had to have a test that involved shoving a tube down my throat to see if a gallstone was down there. There was one, and it was minuscule, but it couldn’t be left to wander around and cause complications.

So the next day I had an ercp, which got the stone out. Yay! Now I can go home, right? Now I can have the surgery? Sure! It will be right in a couple of hours!

Actually no not today but tomorrow. Day 3. Okay, fine. So I wait and I wait and I wait. I’m allowed to take a shower, finally. (3days of no showering) The surgery keeps getting pushed back. First morning, then 2 o’clock, then whatever time in the afternoon. Eventually I have to hunt down the nurse. The surgery has been pushed back another day.

During this entire time I am hooked up to an iv. I am basically naked. I’m dirty, stinky, and pissed. I also have a tiny baby who is running low on diapers and I am breast feeding- baby will not take a bottle so she screams during the pump and dump sessions (I learned later that those are not needed in most cases.) I also can’t hold her because my iv was put in the crook of my arm so awkwardly that I have to have it at a weird angle or it will pop out. I also didn’t get to eat anything other than chicken broth and jello and that was restricted too. Thank God my husband was there.

On day 3 I was allowed to eat. I even had a menu! But the line was busy, would close within the hour. and i had learned by now that you should never be patient and wait for anything at a hospital. So I went to the cafeteria and prayed id find something to keep my milk up an not cause a gallbladder attack. Stale pita bread and processed chicken with salad didn’t kill me so yay.I was so depressed and angry I lost hope. I cried almost every night. Nobody would give me an answer to my questions. When they did it was a vague non-answer or even a complete ignoring that I had even said anything.

On day 4 I packed my stuff. Surgery or no surgery i couldn’t take it anymore.i was no longer the cheery, talkative woman who went in. I didn’t ask the nurses for anything; I responded to their questions with less than a handful of words. Eventually the IV popped out, thank God, and was finally put where I had said it would work. (Nobody believed me before, because apparently you need to be an RN to remember where IV’s have worked well in the past.) While I was waiting to hear that my surgery had been pushed back, I just laid in bed. I was sick of going out in a robe that afforded no modesty and an IV that screamed “sick!”.

During my stay we couldn’t leave for diapers, so the baby got diaper rash. Eventually a kind nurse procured some for us- a size too big but they worked. We also came down with nasty colds. We couldn’t sleep due to having someone in our room all the time. If it wasn’t a nurse it was an assistant, if not an assistant someone to clean, if not someone to clean then a doctor.

By the way, doctors…go update what you thought you knew about breast feeding. I no longer trust any of you on that subject at all.

Things I learned…

1. Caloric intake DOES affect breast feeding. My milk took a huge dip. The doctors said it wouldn’t. Bullshit. I lost 10 pounds due to not being able to eat. My baby was incredibly fussy due to lower milk.

2. Unless there are some very unusual drugs being used for anesthesia, it IS safe to breast feed. If you want to be safe pump and dump for four hours only.

3. If the hospital says anything about how long things should take, take it with a grain of salt. There could be mishaps, emergencies, etc and you shouldn’t allow yourself to hope for anything. You WILL be disappointed. Plan accordingly.

4. My husband rocks. Words can’t express how grateful I am that he took care of me and baby as best he could.

Things doctors and nurses should know:

1. Sticking an iv in the crook of a mother’s arm essentially cripples her. Making it so that she can’t hold her baby, change diapers, breast feed without help, or even put on that ugly gown on her own is emotionally traumatizing especially when she came in for a problem in her abdomen. Take some time to stick the IV somewhere where she won’t be disabled and kept from doing the one thing she should be able to do-care for her child. You don’t need to care about mothers and babies but if you want an easier patient to work with, try it out.

2. Medicines stay in the breast milk for a very short time. Do some UPDATED research and find out that its RARE to have to pump and dump for 24 hours. Maybe you’re just trying to CYA legally, but screw the lawyers.

3. Realize that asking a mother to essentially starve a baby for 24 hours is traumatizing to mother, child, and her husband. Don’t act as if introducing a bottle is easy. It’s not. Some babies NEVER accept the bottle no matter how much you try. I was trying for weeks before my surgery, even before I knew I had gallbladder issues.

4. Don’t expect a mother to have a good milk supply when she hasn’t eaten any significant calories in four days. If the mother is starving so will the baby. And guess what? Some babies REJECT formula!

5. Warn people that while yes, the surgery itself can have the patient out on the same day, the surgery might not happen the day the patient is admitted. Don’t give false hope so that the patient plans for a day or two when its really going to be a week.

6. When you say you are going to send someone to interpret to the husband, actually do it. Consistently. I thought that was a given…

7. Don’t try to imply that a mother is somehow irresponsible for not bottle feeding her baby on a regular basis. That is one of those areas where you aren’t supposed to be showing your opinions. And they are nothing more than opinions, no matter what degree, if any, you may have.

I’m also changing peds after this. Not only do I hope and pray to never go back to the hospital (except for births and then may I stay as short as possible) but I also learned that when its 1am and my baby is literally starving and screaming the best advice I can hope for is “if it looks like there is a problem go to the emergency room” and “of course she will accept a bottle!”.

No, my baby won’t accept a bottle. Especially while screaming. And the emergency room doctors were the ones who were even more clueless about breast feeding than most.

So about 10 hours after surgery I broke the 24 hour pump and dump rule after doing my own research, since I was getting no answers from anybody.. AND NOTHING HAPPENED!

She ate, she slept, she breathed normally, and was only clingy due to having been separated for so long. In short she is back to normal.

Happy as I am to have that gallbladder out, and grateful as I am that we found help at the last second…I officially hate hospitals now. I appreciate all the hard work the hospital staff do (I’m in awe of a lot of it, actually) but I never want to be in that position again.

Also is it too much to ask hospitals to come up with gowns that don’t sap dignity?

Dear gallbladder, to hell with you

What the hell am I supposed to be doing with my life?

I’ve got a lot of college debt in a degree that gets a lot of “oh so you can talk to dem dirty immagrints” kind of comments. It’s a degree that’s proven great for getting me into various customer service jobs that make me hate humanity.

I am very intelligent. I have a mind like a steal trap when it comes to everything except math (and then I have a disability). I know 2 other languages besides English, read grad history textbooks for fun and actually understand them, am teaching my husband English, and I think Medieval English is easy and medieval Spanish is more than easy.

My daughter is going to be one of the privileged few kids who will be Latina AND know her literary history. She will be reading Don Quixote, La Celestina, the writings of Santa Teresa, as well as whatever Chicano lit the feminists haven’t pissed in. She will learn Mexican history and American history, and will learn both dark sides of both countries.

Somehow, I still have no clue what to do. I would love to stay at home longer, educating my own kids until they’re old enough to go to school. I would love to have a job…but all it seems I am worth is as a faceless lady that people too dumb to know what “web browser”means get to scream at for no reason.

I’m also a hard worker. I have worked on farms, in offices, in schools with autistic kids. I am thrifty. I’m 26, and I’ve already got most of my canning done. My husband hunts for a lot of our food and I am used to using a hand crank to make burger, and I know how to store the meat.

I know people still in college that don’t even know how to do their laundry. Canning is something people did in WWII and what the hell is freezer paper anyway?

And now, I’ve got a gallbladder that needs to be sucked out and no freaking insurance. I’m told to get on whatever trendy, already failing facet of fetal Obama care there is, or find a job that has an insurance shitting unicorn raining glitter everywhere.

One, Obama care is a crapshoot for various reasons. One of which is being informed that as I am so poor I can’t pay for insurance I will be fined for being too poor for insurance which will make me poorer, and too poor for the insurance I will be fined for…

Two, a job you say?

OMG TIDDLYWINKS! I did not think of that! I’ve been searching for a job for months. The problem is, no employer will take you while pregnant. Women’s liberation only helped women who acted like men- being pregnant still apparently means you become a disgusting mentally ill thing to be hidden away. How dare you show off that you are a woman and not in fact a more effeminate male!

The problem with finding a job is that because the insurance being forced upon businesses is too expensive to be sustainable for full time workers, the hours are being cut and so is the pay. So the best I can hope for is 20 hours per week, hopefully at 10.00 USD per hour. Which seems great until you figure in that I have to pay gas to drive 30 minutes one way to work, and that some places like to give you two hours one day and ten hours the next. And still no insurance.

Figure in things like grocery and oh I don’t know HEALTHCARE, and I am actually losing money by getting a job.

And no, I am not on government assistance, in case snarky pampered 30 something’s want to know.

At the moment, I can’t move to another state where the economy is 5%less shitty.

What the hell am I supposed to do to make money? Enter another soul sucking, back destroying customer service job? Yay! Nothing says “kill me now” ever so eloquently as sticking someone in a cubicle for 16 hours straight, making breaks so strict and short you can’t feasibly leave your desk even to pee, and cutting lunch so short you eat very little due to time constraints (urination needs to happen at some point).The kicker? Being a college grad who worked her ass off, speaks 3 languages, and is not or ever will be described as lazy getting passed up for hire by a lazy high school grad who got in because he “knows” Spanish. Can he read it? Barely. Write it? Lol, jajaja, no. Speak it? Comprehend it? Maybe if you add a lot more Spanglish and a lot less, actual, y’know…Spanish.

I should write a book. If Stephanie Meyer can write the longest fanfic ever and get paid…maybe my craptastic skills will serve me well…

Damn You Tostadas!

First: Easy Peasy Tostadas

You will need:

Pre made circular tostadas (yes you can make your own, but it can be a pain) basically fried tortillas.

Onions (sliced thin)

Cabbage (sliced thin)

Tomatoes

Cheese (I like feta goat cheese)

Veggie oil or Manteca

Sour cream

1 can of refried beans

Whatever other toppings you prefer

Fry some of the onions, then add the beans. Then slap it all on a tostada and enjoy.

Enjoy, unless you are going to be having a gallbladder attack. In that case you will not enjoy this at all.

After ending up in the emergency room with pain that reminded me of giving birth, having fluids stuck into me, blood tests, and an ultrasound… I found out that my gallbladder has a nice pile of stones and one bite of delicious tostadas is all it took. I went from “gee, my stomach feels bad” to on my knees, nauseated pain in less than 10 minutes. It felt like contractions.

Apparently if you’re post partum, have lost a lot of weight (I have lost all my pregnancy weight and then some) in a short amount of time, and have a family history of gallbladder disease you are a prime candidate. I always thought it had to do with being overweight and eating bad, which doesn’t help but isn’t the biggest factor.

My grandma died of this condition. It scares me even though I know complications are rare.

So now I am taking it easy, am terrified of eating, and wondering how to keep my milk supply up and healthy when I need more calories for breast milk but less for the gallbladder. At least this didn’t happen during pregnancy.

Thank God I have my husband.

Hopefully soon I can get the blasted thing out and get on with my life. I miss my chiles…

Honor Thy Father and Mother

Children of abusive parents have it hard. They will struggle their entire lives because of what was done to them and the neglect they suffered. They will forever wonder what’s normal in a family, what’s acceptable behavior. They will constantly doubt themselves and their own history, because they’ve been gaslighted believing that what happened didn’t happen. Learning how to relate to others, how to handle conflict, criticism, praise- is difficult. Some abused kids never acknowledge their abuse, and either become abusers or enablers of abusers. The shame of being an adult child of abusive parents is heavy. That adult always wonders how much to tell, to whom they can tell it, and fears how much blame they will have to take for their own abuse.

I should know. I am an adult who grew up abused.

Some misconceptions about abuse:

1) it must happen every day.
2) It must be physical or sexual.
3) it must be severe enough to leave visible marks.

A common misconception is that emotional abuse doesn’t count. I think that the emotional aspect of abuse is the worst. Physical abuse doesn’t need to happen every day for it to “count”. Because it is so easy to get caught for physical abuse, physical abuse is used irregularly- but the mind games are what takes things to a sick new level. I was only hit by a belt once- but it was used as a threat so effectively that I hid every single belt in the house, and deliberately made myself forget where they were.

I grew up terrified. I was the scapegoat, so I was blamed for everything no matter how illogical. If something broke while I was using it, doubtless it was because I was deliberately avoiding work, or being rebellious. I was constantly told I was a spoiled brat, that I was ugly, smelly, incapable, annoying, stupid. Almost every compliment was followed by an insult. Compliments said in front of my mom would be punished later, often with her screaming “you think you’re so good/smart/etc don’t you!” I always knew that trouble would brew if I painted my nails or dressed nicely. It would start out slow, with just being called lazy. Then a steady stream of criticism would begin, and it was designed to make me want to fight back. When I did, it would lead to a screaming match, and that’s when it would come out that I must have been horribly lazy or selfish to have wanted to look nice. If I didn’t fight back, the criticism would still lead to screaming about my supposed laziness. My mom still tries to pull this off.

Society is big on the idea of honoring one’s parents. But what about those parents in which the adult child finds nothing honorable? The Bible also says to not provoke your children to wrath. Jesus, in another of those moments that shows he was not a soft hippie, says that its better for adults that lead children to sin to have a one ton millstone tied to their neck and have them thrown into the sea. Do some research on drowning. It’s an excruciating way to die.

Having abusive parents makes a child less likely to trust God. If the dynamic is like my family dynamic, the abusive parent makes you believe God is a vindictive, capricious person who will be kind one moment and cruel the next. The parent who enables the abuser and doesn’t stop what the child can’t hope to escape, however, teaches that God is impotent, so you have to do for yourself what nobody else will do. After so long, I am finally learning to trust God. Some days I don’t trust him still, but luckily he has patience and understands even when I don’t. I finally learned that after having a screaming fit where I was so angry, I asked why he made me so ugly that my parents hate me. I finally said what I have felt all 26 years of my life, and I finally realized how absurd and messed up it is that I believe that.

I don’t know how to honor my parents. I am no longer a child, so obedience is no longer necessary. So what is honor? Does it mean keeping quiet about my own suffering, keeping my abuse a big secret? Does it mean continuing to interact with people who I do not trust, who turn the blame on me for my abuse, or pretend as if it never happened, or as if I were exaggerating?

What am I supposed to say to my new family, the family of my husband? I haven’t had anyone from my family over to help since my beautiful girl was born. (Thank God!)I’ve been told all my life that no one would believe me. I’ve been told all my life by my family and by society that if I dare let the truth out then I will just be dragging my family through the mud and therefore I will come out looking like the villain.

I don’t know how to honor my parents right now. I don’t know what honor in this sense actually is since I was never honored myself. All I can think to do is to minimize the damage- I will not allow them more opportunities to mistreat me, or my family. I will not allow them to provoke me to wrath. I will keep them at arms length, or further, like they are dangerous. Because they are dangerous.

Honor thy father and mother is a good commandment, and like most of the commandments it has a flip side- parents are to honor their children as well. Many people believe that the Commandments and laws of the Church are there to control people and make their lives miserable. The truth is the Commandments and laws are closer to observations than regulations. Those who don’t honor their children, who abuse them and make them scared and suspicious of the world around them, will not get the benefits of a commandment about honor. Love God above all else…or else you will find something else to worship that will fail you regularly. Love your neighbor…or you will end up hating him and isolating yourself. Do not murder…or you will never be able to escape the consequences if your actions. Don’t lust after someone else’s husband or wife, because you will be degrading your own relationships in the process.

I think the reason Jesus was so serious about those who would harm children is because the commandment about honoring parents (and children) is the one commandment where the effects harm the innocent much more than the sinner. My parents will have to suffer a lackluster, distant relationship (if even that). A formerly abused person gets to suffer from the emotional scars, gets to have to fight to love freely and trust others, gets to relive the abuse, and when the parent dies gets to suffer knowing that a part of them is relieved while the other part is tremendously guilty.

Honor. Treat your children with love and kindness, or they will suffer for your sin for the rest of their lives.