Thursday, May 29, 2008

I don't know what to title this

I read this website for the first time today: First Do No Harm: Real Stories of Fat Prejudice in Health Care. I have heard stories of fat prejudice before, and have some of my own to tell... like the doctor who wanted to treat my depression after my mother's sudden death with a 1500Kcal/day diet. And I will admit here that I am loathe to go to see the doctor because I don't want to get into a discussion about my weight (yes, I know I am fat). Not a healthy attitude for a cancer survivor to have, given that I may need to continue to see doctors. But there it is.

Anyhow, these stories were heart-breaking. And they make me think... what makes these medical "professionals" think that browbeating their patients will even get them to lose weight? There are stories popping up in the media continually about how fat people get more diseases, are sicker, harder to treat, yadda yadda yadda. Did they ever stop to consider that the fat people in question might not have gotten as sick, if they weren't terrified of being verbally abused? And another thing... it's human nature to rebel... many of us don't like being commanded to do something, and so will do the opposite to prove that the commander doesn't control us. Cutting off our noses to spite our faces? Perhaps... but it's how people are.

My employer banned smoking on campus a few years ago. Did that cause the smokers to stop? A few maybe; the rest go off campus for lunch now when they didn't before. At all of our hospitals you can find employees, often in scrubs or other medical gear, outside smoking just off the premises of the hospital. That's a good image for a medical facility, eh?

But I digress...

There seems to be a perception among many people in our society (not my faithful readers I'm sure) that fat people are less human than other people. It seems to be okay to make fun of them, to discriminate against them, to ridicule them as simply lazy gluttons. We're the enemy in the "war on obesity". Meanwhile, we have lovers, children, relatives and friends who love us as is. Sometimes those people close to us consider us the enemy too, which is extra painful.

Let's just say for the sake of argument that obesity is a character flaw. I don't believe this to be true, but for the moment go along with me. Do people not have other character flaws? Ones that are not so visible but still there? Why is it okay to hold fat people in such contempt for their "flaw" but not other people for theirs? Actually, why judge anyone like that? So you are within the range of weight considered "normal". You don't eat emotionally, you haven't yoyo dieted, good for you? Why am I less of a person because I have?

I know someone who has worked hard on weight loss over the past couple of years. She really restricts her eating and gets a lot of exercise. Oh, and she also smokes. The reason she gave for not quitting in the past few years, even after watching a close family member die of lung cancer? She is afraid of gaining 10-20 pounds. So she has wanted to lose even more weight first. Recently someone else close to her was diagnosed with lung cancer; this has caused her to decide to finally do it before cancer catches up to her. I know that nicotine addiction is extremely hard to fight so I'm proud of her for even trying. Funny thing though... she is one of those people who can't understand other people's perceived weaknesses. If you're fat, you diet. If you drink too much or take drugs, you stop. End of story. She thinks people shouldn't have weight loss surgery because it's the easy way out. I know quite a few people who've had WLS and they will tell you, it's anything but.

Can't we try for a little respect of people who are different from us?

ABC meme

A is for age:
43. You got a problem with that? I don't... beats the alternative!

B is for burger of choice:
Medium rare, with cheese, tomato and sometimes mushrooms. Love Red
Robin's blue ribbon burger minus some of the stuff on it

C is for what kind of car you drive:
Honda Accord though looking to get an Odyssey

D is for your dog's name:
Three of 'em; Bailey, Trixie and Gracie

E is for essential item you use everyday:
Mr. Coffee Jr for my morning fix

F is for favorite TV show at the moment:
LOST - also watching Heroes season 1 on dvd

G is for favorite game:
Haven't played any in a while, maybe Monopoly

H is for HomeState:
Ohio

I is for instruments you play:
None, but did take piano lessons for 3 years. Does that count?

J is for favorite juice:
Cranberry, even without vodka. (Ok, hardly ever WITH vodka)

K is for whose butt you'd like to kick:
Nobody in my personal life at present but a whole bunch of people in
the public eye.

L is for last restaurant you ate at?
Longhorn

M is for your favorite Muppet:
Grover

N is for Number of Piercing:
3 (ears)

O is for overnight hospital stays:
1971 - Umbilical hernia age 6.5; 2002 - childbirth; 2005 - unknown
kidney pain; 2005 - kidney removal; 2005 - childbirth. I don't care to stay in one again.

P is for people you were with today:
Hubby and girls, folks at work.

Q is for what you do with your quiet time:
Internet, reading, some tv

R is for biggest regret:
Not trying more for kids while my dad was still alive (got pg for the
first time a month after he died).

S is for status:
Tired but wishing it was earlier so I could surf more

T is for time you woke up today:
5:45am.

U is for what you consider unique.
The two crazy girl-children in my life. :-)

V is for vegetable you love:
Zucchini, corn, sauteed green beans

W is for worst habit:
Laziness, lack of follow through, whatever you want to call it.

X is for x-rays you've had:
Abdomen, chest, pelvis. (CTs every 6 months, baby!)

Y is for yummy food you ate today:
Chicken salad and tomato wrap

Z is for zodiac sign:
Libra

Sunday, May 18, 2008

A little spilled milk goes a long way

Okay, confession time here. Our house is a wreck, our yard is a wreck. The yard part will improve greatly within a month; more on that later. But somehow we've just gotten ourselves into a morass of clutter. We're able to get things reasonably picked up in the common areas prior to big events like the girls' birthday parties, but then conditions slide back down into a mess. Slowly Jim and I have been working on changing this, so that our home can be an oasis rather than a source of stress, and so we don't panic at the thought of someone showing up unexpectedly. But it's very slow going and we do backslide.

Our kitchen table is, like many people's, a dumping ground. We would work on getting rid of the papers, books, toys, etc. on it, and make headway, but next thing you know, the piles have risen like floodwaters. I recently told Jim that we need to take everything off the table, put it into a box, and sort it from there, so that we could start fresh. Early this week Rebecca accelerated the process. One evening at supper, she tipped her milk glass. It was a small glass and wasn't full, but there was definite spillage. This has happened before, and we've cleaned up the area around the spill, but this time, I watched something in Jim snap. He started methodically taking stuff and putting it away. A lot of it was his, as he'd been using the table like an office desk. I was able to clean the table with oil soap, and put down new placemats the girls and I had bought early this year (Valentine's theme but hey, love is year-round!). And the best part is, we've kept it up all week. Yesterday it was raining outside so the girls ended up painting on the kitchen table. It's been a long time since we've had enough space to do that. Jim has a small pile starting again, but I will be bugging him to dispatch it after he wakes up this morning. :-)

I debated whether to post about this, but in the interest of full disclosure I decided to go ahead. Maybe letting everyone in on the "secrets" of my messy life will help me to be more neat and organized.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Three year anniversary

I am sooo behind... last Saturday was the three year anniversary of my simultaneously being confirmed to have, then likely cured of, cancer. Most of the time it seems like it never happened; the only time I focus on it is when my next CT scan is looming... not until July for the next one. It's been a weird time as I know other people who are currently fighting a battle with cancer or other serious diseases. By contrast, I almost feel like I can't be classified as a "cancer survivor" because I didn't know for sure I had cancer until it was gone, and have fortunately needed no other treatment. Don't get me wrong, I am so grateful and happy that I haven't had to fight, especially since metastatic kidney cancer is only just now benefiting from research to the point where there are a few drugs available. I am not sure what I am trying to say, other than it just feels surreal to me.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Polka dot dresses

A few people have commented to me about the girls' dresses in the photo here. They are cute, aren't they? We went to Kohl's a few weeks ago to get some spring clothes for Rebecca; being the firstborn she gets a new wardrobe every new size/season. :-) She loves dresses and saw the red one on a sale rack. I tossed it in the cart and continued shopping. We meandered over to the toddler section; while Caroline doesn't "need" new clothes, I thought she should get something since sissy was getting a lot. Usually she likes pants better than dresses, but I thought a cute dress would be fun. I pointed out a number of dresses, including one with Dora the Explorer on the front - or as C calls her, Dora Ta Plora. No dice. Next thing I know, C was standing next to a rack of fancy dresses, telling me she wanted the blue dress. It was fancier than I thought she would like but the price was right so I got it.
It wasn't until we got home and they put on a fashion show for Daddy that we realized that the dresses were the same style, just in different colors! I like that they "match" but are not exactly the same, even though we have a pair of totally matching dresses in their closet. (Easter dresses that couldn't be worn due to the cold temperature.) On the day the photo was taken, their grandmother had taken them downtown to see The Emperor's Groovy New Clothes. They both wanted to wear dresses to the play, and I like dressing them up for grandma.