Get well soon … or, be eternally damned!

Great car­toon from Ragged Edge. I want to get that notepad print­ed up!

The mag­a­zine also has an excel­lent blog and some very good arti­cles. I just fin­ished read­ing their spot­light on invis­i­ble dis­abil­i­ties, which linked to the car­toon. There’s plen­ty of excel­lent read­ing mate­r­i­al on their site.

Dragon Con, weekend planning, and back to school

I won’t be going to Drag­on Con unless a tick­et (or pass — hey, I’m will­ing to do pan­els, ya know) falls out of the air. Sam will be run­ning games and the girl will be work­ing the con, so they both got passes. 🙂 

I’d hap­pi­ly meet out-of-town­ers for lunch or some­thing, though. Jean­nie, you still coming?

I expect lots of fun pho­tos (with you in them, not just of the crowds!) and sto­ries from y’all next week to make up for not going, of course.

I’m try­ing to plan some self-care so I don’t get too lone­ly and grumpy over the week­end. I’m fig­ur­ing in stitch­ing time, def­i­nite­ly, but could use some sug­ges­tions as to movies to watch while stitch­ing. I nev­er go to the cin­e­ma, so you can safe­ly assume that if it’s been out in the last two years, I haven’t seen it (except Seren­i­ty, of course!). 

Oth­er sug­ges­tions for the weekend? 

My cur­rent “fun” read­ing is Wid­der­shins by de Lint, but I’m not real­ly get­ting into it for some rea­son. I need to see if the library has some­thing fluffy like the “Undead and ____” nov­els. Yeah, they’re eas­i­ly bought, but I read them like lit­er­ary M&Ms, so the high cost of paper­backs just does­n’t seem jus­ti­fied. Dekalb’s library does­n’t suck, but I miss Gwin­net­t’s far bet­ter selec­tion of genre fic­tion, as well as liv­ing close to a branch of the PINES sys­tem as we did in Cobb.

I did some­thing for me today, though: I put things in motion to return to school. If all goes as the school thinks it will, I could actu­al­ly be doing some online class­es next week! That is, if they give me the finan­cial aid pack­age I want. If not, I’ll wait ’til Jan­u­ary. But I’d real­ly like to go back now, as I’m feel­ing extreme­ly emp­ty-nest­ed with Katie gone back to school. I don’t want to do just online class­es, because I real­ly miss the dis­cus­sions of a “real” class and I think it would be good to have some­thing reg­u­lar for which I have to leave the house. 

On the oth­er hand, online class­es take lots less ener­gy, which leaves more for the actu­al aca­d­e­m­ic pur­suit and the rest of my life.

Hap­pi­ly, Katie prefers doing her home­work next to me rather than hol­ing up in her room as I did at that age, so I get a fair amount of time with her when she’s home. That real­ly does push the need for a lap­top, though, as she can’t be online (or just typ­ing) and be in the liv­ing room with me and Sam. When she had one she made real­ly good use of it.

I real­ly like the fact that she’s attend­ing a school with a good loca­tion and com­mu­ni­ty ties. We could­n’t real­ly ask for bet­ter than where she is in that respect. I’m look­ing for­ward to mov­ing clos­er to the school, though.

Consideration for ourselves, changes in podcast format

It seems that many of us who suf­fer from fibromyal­gia and chron­ic fatigue are per­fec­tion­ists. I know that I am.

One of fibromyal­gia’s hard­er lessons has been pac­ing myself and adjust­ing to chang­ing (but always low­er than before) ener­gy lev­els and con­cen­tra­tion. I know I’m not the only one who isn’t as con­sid­er­ate of myself as I am of others.

I’ve fall­en into the per­fec­tion­ist trap again here, with the pod­cast. I’ve had a hard time post­ing unless I feel I have some­thing “impor­tant” to say, or to release a new episode of the pod­cast that isn’t a cer­tain length. I’ve been using things like the length of my part­ner’s pod­cast episodes as a stan­dard for myself. We have dif­fer­ent abil­i­ties and audi­ences, and his stan­dards aren’t appro­pri­ate for me.

Expect an episode soon, in a new format.

Katie and high school

Katie is absolute­ly lov­ing school. 

Well, she loves the social aspect, and the chal­lenge of inter­act­ing with new instruc­tors. She isn’t hap­py about liv­ing by a bell, and of course all of us are adjust­ing to liv­ing on the school’s timetable in general.

At the end of the very first day, she called and asked if she could go hang out with her new friends at a near­by cof­fee shop. That’s my girl, the extro­vert. She’d already made friends and con­tin­ues to do so. So much for any wor­ries (which we did­n’t have) about her social skills.

She’s doing well aca­d­e­m­i­cal­ly, too. We talk about her school work and she asks for input at times, so I know what she’s doing. It isn’t near­ly the same as the lev­el of involve­ment required for home­school­ing, but it’s something.

She isn’t accus­tomed to the adver­sar­i­al rela­tion­ship some teach­ers and staff mem­bers auto­mat­i­cal­ly assume towards stu­dents, and it isn’t some­thing I ever want her to accept as right or nor­mal. Expect­ed at this lev­el, maybe. But not right.

I’m still hav­ing some “emp­ty nest” feel­ings, but see­ing her thrive cer­tain­ly helps deal with them. Home­school­ing was def­i­nite­ly the right thing for us for the past few years, and did pre­pare her well for high school. We have no regrets at all there!

Monday: sick kid, annoying doctors

Katie is under the weath­er, and after I real­ized she’d been exposed to strep throat last week I took her in to the doc­tor today.

See­ing the doc­tor took far less time than find­ing a doc­tor to see. Her “pri­ma­ry care provider” as des­ig­nat­ed on her insur­ance card was­n’t in her office. No prob­lem, I did­n’t mind see­ing any of the oth­er four doc­tors in the prac­tice or even a nurse prac­ti­tion­er. We just need­ed a strep test, right?

Not so fast. They did­n’t both­er to tell us this when I ini­tial­ly “inter­viewed” them, but Katie’s doc was the only one in the “fam­i­ly med­i­cine” prac­tice who sees any­body under 18 years of age.


I think their def­i­n­i­tion of fam­i­ly is off, to say the least. 

They told us to go to the emer­gency room. I don’t think so! We’d still be there wait­ing, and we’d be con­tribut­ing to the over­crowd­ing that caus­es treat­ment delays for those who real­ly have emergencies.

I did­n’t want to deal with that prac­tice any more, so I called the insur­ance folks to change providers. They’d be hap­py to do that, and the change would be effec­tive Octo­ber 1. Oh, we need­ed to see some­one today? Well, if Katie’s doc­tor was closed and nobody was see­ing her patients, we could go to the ER.

I’m begin­ning to under­stand why it took hours to be triaged when I went to the hos­pi­tal (and was even­tu­al­ly admit­ted) back in June.

I final­ly argued some­one into acknowl­edg­ing that she could make a change effec­tive imme­di­ate­ly, after which I called around to find a doc­tor who was
1) on the plan
2) accept­ing new patients
3) the real kick­er — will­ing to see Katie today.

She was miss­ing school already, and I want­ed to avoid hav­ing her miss anoth­er day if pos­si­ble. And hon­est­ly, by then it was A Thing. My child would see a doc­tor today!

I found one, called the insur­ance peo­ple back—and had to edu­cate the next rep­re­sen­ta­tive as to the fact that he could indeed make a pre­ferred provider change effec­tive today.

Final­ly, we went to see the doc­tor. I admit to ask­ing far few­er ques­tions than usu­al, but I was stil­ll floored when we walked in to the exam­in­ing room and I saw a home­path­ic ref­er­ence book sit­ting next to the doc­tor’s chair. (Yes, her chair. She sits in a rock­ing chair most of the time.)

Had I been seek­ing an alter­na­tive care provider, I prob­a­bly would­n’t have been able to find one. That was­n’t what I want­ed, though. I thought I was tak­ing my kid to a good, old-fash­ioned allo­path­ic prac­ti­tion­er and was giv­en no indi­ca­tion that she was any­thing else. (Don’t even start with me about how much old­er-fash­ioned herbal reme­dies are, much less homeopathy.)

Her ver­sion of tak­ing care of things was to give us a mess of arti­cles and emails print­ed out from Dr. Weil’s web site, some of them recipes for herbal reme­dies that we could choose from and “just try any of them.” My judg­ment from read­ing them: expen­sive exper­i­ments that the girl might or might not agree to even taste.

She did, at my insis­tence, do a strep test. The fast test was neg­a­tive. We should know some­thing about the nor­mal test in a day or two.

So now we’re look­ing for a doc­tor, again. This time I’ll be ask­ing, specif­i­cal­ly, if the prac­tice is “holis­tic” or not, as that seems to be a code word for “uses homeopathy.”

The girl has been soothed with Tra­di­tion­al Med­i­c­i­nals Throat Coat tea (which con­tains some of the same things rec­om­mend­ed by Dr. Weil), frozen fruit bars, Nyquil and lots of cuddles. 

I have noth­ing against herbal reme­dies, but I know how to read web sites, too. Very well, in fact. We don’t have to go to a doc­tor for that. We can even print out arti­cles right here at home! And, obvi­ous­ly, I don’t have any truck with home­opa­thy at all, and I will not trust the health of my child to a physi­cian who prac­tices that nonsense.

I sup­pose I’ll be on the phone a lot again on Tuesday!

On the pos­i­tive side, my girl has health insur­ance, so we weren’t wor­ry­ing about how to pay to get her to a doc­tor, as many peo­ple would be. I did­n’t have to take her to the ER. She did get to see a doc­tor. She prob­a­bly does­n’t have strep throat, so we did­n’t have to get on the “will she be aller­gic to this one” mer­ry­ground of antibiotics.

The day did end on a more pos­i­tive note. Katie is sleep­ing bet­ter due to the Nyquil, and seemed much more cheer­ful after the tea and pops helped her throat a bit. 

Sam picked up a new-to-us reclin­er via a gift­ing group. (I’ve want­ed anoth­er reclin­er since mine died a year or two back.) We had yum­my left­overs from his cook­ing yes­ter­day for din­ner (faji­tas) and he and I did a big gro­cery run togeth­er. I’m sit­ting here enveloped by the smell of the flow­ers he snuck in amongst the comestibles now. If I could put my hands on the digi­cam I’d post a pho­to, but I may have to be patient ’til tomor­row for that part.

A good part­ner makes a huge dif­fer­ence after a try­ing day!

Baptist Church Votes Not to Accept Black Members

By way of Rebec­ca Blood­’s blog, more bad news on the civ­il rights front.

The North­east Mis­sis­sip­pi Dai­ly Jour­nal reports that Fel­low­ship Bap­tist Church in Saltil­lo vot­ed on August 6 not to accept black mem­bers. In doing so, they rescind­ed a pre­vi­ous invi­ta­tion to join the con­gre­ga­tion that had been extend­ed to the fam­i­ly of a bira­cial child who had “accept­ed Jesus” at the church dur­ing a revival.

Pas­tor John Stevens resigned after the vote.

The church was “afraid Joe might come with his peo­ple and have blacks in the church,” Stevens said. “I could not go along with that. There would always be a wall between us, so I resigned that night.”

At least they seem to be embar­rassed about it, as the con­gre­ga­tion began deny­ing that the vote ever hap­pened after an August 17 meet­ing in response to press inquiries.

BTW — when most of us think of Bap­tists, we’re think­ing of the South­ern Bap­tist Con­ven­tion, which is the biggest group. This church is part of the small­er Bap­tist Mis­sion­ary Alliance. The arti­cle does­n’t men­tion any response from the denomination.

Livejournal Crossposter and LJ as an aggregator

Live+Press works, but it gives me lots of messy error mes­sages. I don’t like error mes­sages, even if the post does even­tu­al­ly go where it’s sup­posed to go. Odd­ly, it works just fine on Katie’s site. We’re using the same ver­sion of Word­Press on the same serv­er. Very strange.

So now I’m test­ing Live­Jour­nal Cross­poster. We’ll see how this one works. It’s sim­pler, with far few­er options. I can’t cus­tomize the LJ post in any way (user pic­ture, mood, etc.) but most of those options weren’t real­ly work­ing in Live+Press anyway.

I’ve got­ten the idea that some of you just won’t com­ment if you can’t do it on LJ, so I’ll just go back to hav­ing com­ments in both places. At least I’ll get noti­fi­ca­tions (or should). 

That’s a real prob­lem I have with using LJ as an aggre­ga­tor: there’s no way to get LJ to dis­able com­ments on the syn­di­cat­ed feed account, and the blog author nev­er know the com­ments are there. Few peo­ple actu­al­ly go back to the blog to respond, and blog­gers (on LJ or else­where) want com­ments. They are the ego-cook­ies that make us hap­py. You would­n’t want to miss your com­ments, would you?

Bus driver orders black children to give up seats to white children

I feel like I’m stuck in a time warp. How could this hap­pen in 2006?

From the Shreve­port Times, dat­ed August 24, 2006:

COUSHATTA — Nine black chil­dren attend­ing Red Riv­er Ele­men­tary School were direct­ed last week to the back of the school bus by a white dri­ver who des­ig­nat­ed the front seats for white children.