Monday, June 23, 2008

Another Healthcare Post

The SkipNikZ clan has been sick. Zoe got sick last Monday. I started feeling bad a couple of days later and then Skip got sick.

Skip and Zoe are almost back to normal, except for a cough and feeling a bit tired. I, on the other hand, still feel like crap. I also have a sore throat so I went to the doctor this morning.

The strep test was negative, as was the mono test and the blood test for infection. They didn't find anything, which makes the doctor think that I have a virus. He told me to get lots of rest, drink lots of fluids and gave me a rx for an antibiotic. I didn't understand why he had given me the perscription because he had just told me that the blood work didn't show that I had an infection. When I asked him about it, he said "oh, you don't need it." This is the second time in a month that a doctor has prescribed antibiotics when there has been no evidence of infection.

These doctors are not stupid and I don't think they have some hidden agenda (after all these are generic drugs). When I question them, they all agree that the antibiotics are not necessary. They look at me like they agree with me but that's the way the system works, kind of like the response I gave people who questioned the anti-productive things I did at my job because my boss had his head up his ass.

My theory is that modern medicine doesn't know as much as people would like and when people go to the doctor they want to be fixed. If the doctor just tells them to rest and drink lots of water then the doctor didn't "help" them.

Or maybe people want to feel that they are getting something for their money. I paid $208 for my visit today. That's the discounted price because I have health insurance, even though they most likely wont pay a penny to a health care provider on my behalf this year due to my high deductible. If I didn't have insurance I would have owed them over $400.

On a side note, the nurse who saw me first thought that my birth date was a misprint because I looked to young to be 30 :)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Ever since I read the introduction and the first couple of chapters of Positive Discipline, it's all I can think about. In just these few pages there is so much information that explains human behavior... I feel like I can't take it all in at once. I've read the first chapter twice already.

Up until this point my main concerns with Zoe have been basic - eating, sleeping, pooping, growth, milestones, etc., but lately I've been thinking about what skills I want to teach her to live. I want her to be confident, self-reliant, excited about life, adventurous, thoughtful, respectful of herself and all living beings, to be able to follow a logical argument, and to have wisdom. So how on earth am I going to be able to teach her these things? That's what I'm trying to figure out right now and that's why I picked up the Positive Discipline book.

One thing that really caught my attention was the description of how children behave if they are raised by strict and overly controlling parents on one side, and overly permissive parents on the other side, and then presents the case for Positive Discipline, which is somewhere in the middle. The information presented is fascinating. It's too complex to spell out in a post and I'm not sure that I fully understand it yet. Check out the book if you're interested.

It got me thinking about my own childhood. My father falls into the overly controlling group, and my mother falls into the overly permissive group, so I got both of those in my early years. Then my parents got divorced and my mother remarried when I was 9. My step father was overly controlling and abusive. I've had a few step moms over the years, but they didn't really play a parental role in my life. Then I went back and forth between mom and dad until I went to college. I can honestly say that I can see the shortcomings of both parenting styles. I have a lot of issues that I'm still working on to put it nicely.

I feel like I'm starting from scratch with learning how to be a parent. I know what I don't want to do, but I'm not completely sure how pass along the teachings I mentioned before. I think this book is going to be my jumping off point. I have the feeling that in raising Zoe (and any other kids we might have) that I'm going to be learning as much from the experience as they are.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Did I happen to mention that....

My knitted sculpture Rain Cloud was chosen for the Outside the Lines 8 show! Yippie!

This exhibition was juried by 3 local art professors and one gallery owner. The Outside the Lines focuses on artwork that is outside the mainstream.

The opening reception is this Saturday night for all you local folks. Love to see you there.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Hospital Visits

I've made 2 hospital visits in the past 24 hours. Zoe came down with a high fever early Friday morning. Saturday afternoon she developed a rash and we took her to an urgent care center. The doctor told us that it was probably viral and to keep an eye on her rash to see if the spots changed color or didn't disappear when pressure is applied (which is a sign of meningitis). Sure enough right around bedtime last night she developed new spots on her feet that were a dark red and didn't dissapear when pressure was applied. The nurse on call told us to take her to the ER.

Poor Zoe. We woke her up and rushed her to the ER where they proceeded to give her an IV, take a urine sample via catheter, x-ray her chest, and poke and prod her. I wish I could have done more for her. She fought the nurses with everything she had. They had to bring in an extra person to hold her down. One of the nurses commented on her strength saying that we don't need to worry about her on the playground.

All of her tests come back fine. The ER dr said that he thought the rash looked viral, not bacterial, but give us an rx for antibiotics. I questioned him about why he was prescribing antibiotics if he thought it was viral. I asked if he thought she had a virus and a bacterial infection. He gave me a blank stare and said "just in case". It was after 1am and I was too tired to argue with him. I couldn't tell if he was trying to placate us or to cover his ass. I think it's time to switch to a more holistic pediatrician.

This afternoon my father informs me that my grandmother is in the hospital because she was having difficultly breathing. In fact she has been in the hospital since Thursday but he thought she would be out by now and didn't want to worry me by telling me about it. This is my 84 year old grandmother with one lung! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. I went to see her this evening. Overall she seems to be doing well. They have the breathing problem under control. They are keeping her because they are now concerned about her heart. She's having a stress test in the morning.

I'm making a rule that no one else I care about is allowed to have any serious medial issues for the next 6 months. Everyone out there take note.