Sunday, January 27, 2008

There is Hope...

I love to follow politics. I'm not all that smart at it, and don't have the memory for the historical politics that my husband has, but I do really love to follow the current politics. This year has been exceptional for people like me. There's a convergence of some truly amazing things happening this year and I find it very exciting.

But it's not all excitement. At times, it forces you to take a hard look at who we are as a country and what I see isn't always palatable. Case in point last week I was reading about some pre SC primary polling that showed an enormous amount of blacks intended to vote for Obama, and a similarly skewed percentage of whites intended to vote for Clinton or Edwards. I was disheartened. Just days past our country's observance of the great MLK, I was saddened to hear this data and realize that the divide between the races is still deep. It angered me. When will people realize that we are all human, and the color of our skin matters not? We all matter. We all have gifts to offer. Will we ever have equality? I have always hoped so and worked towards that end, but after seeing these polling numbers I began to question whether we'd ever see it, and felt certain I'd never see it in my lifetime.

Today, however, I discovered there is hope, and it's hiding deep within the exit polling numbers I read this weekend at If you dig way down into the "Age by Race" grid you'll see it. It's there. Hope lives. What I see there is that the younger generation is more color blind than the older ones. 52% of the non-black 18-29 year olds voted for Obama! Compare that with 15% over 60 yrs old who voted for Obama, and even in my generation a measly 25% voted for Obama.

Now, I'm not saying that I'm an Obama fan - I don't really know who I will caucus for. But, as I told my husband the other day, it doesn't really matter to me now that my candidate Richardson is out of the race, I'll vote for whoever the democrat nominee turns out to be. But I am so heartened to see that maybe the younger generation, my kids' generation, will finally make some changes in this country. There is hope!

Sunday, January 20, 2008


Last year I told you all about my recent issues with my "good" hip - see story here. I just wanted to update everyone about it.

Since I wrote that blog, the saga has continued. That cortisone shot didn't do much good for me. It was intended to address bursitis. I told my Doc that it was bone pain I was feeling, but they didn't see any bone-on-bone action happening in my hip so they decided to treat the other pain that is more obvious to them - tendinitis. They can tell I have that because it smarts when they poke their finger into my hip muscle. But, the cortisone shot did little for me.

The next week, then, they tried a steroid shot into the muscle area where the tendinitis is. It didn't do much for me either.

Then I went to see Dr. Morrey about a month later. He also said he didn't see any bone-on-bone stuff going on, but wanted to investigate further, so he sent me for a bone scan. I've had them before, they are painless so I wasn't freaked out about it, but I had forgotten about the stuff they have to inject into you three hours before the procedure. As usual, it took them three sticks before they could inject me - that was lovely.

A week after the scan my doc called and said they wanted to do a hip study where they would attempt to withdraw some of the fluid from my hip area to study for infection and such, and then inject me with steroid and anesthetic there in the socket area. I won't go into the dismal details, suffice it to say - I had the same reaction before - out cold. It wasn't fun. And, they were unable to get any of the fluid out either.

However, I got up from that procedure and was able to walk - almost skip - out of there. Had I mentioned I had been using crutches for the week before the procedure? Yeah, it was that good.

So, I've had some relief, now the pain I feel is mostly the tendinitis which is pretty awful at times, but that deep bone pain has lessened considerably.

This past Monday I had an appt with my doc. He showed me the results of my bone scan - there was significant uptake of the stuff they injected which means there is something going on in the bone even though the x-rays don't show it. He said upon closer examination of my hip he can detect a deformity on that side that is similar to what happened to my left side, but to a much lesser degree.

Bottom line: I can do the cortisone shots up to once a year, and once they no longer last me that one year I will have to have it replaced. Not the best news but, and I know this sounds cliche', there are so many people so much worse off than I. I know a family who put their 19 year old daughter in home hospice care this last week...things could be so much worse. We all have challenges, and this is simply mine. But that doesn't get you all out of sending me flowers and cards and chocolates and visiting me when I finally do have the surgery...I have to get something out of this, right???

Friday, January 18, 2008

Politics and Bullshit

This about sums it up for me. Thought you'd all enjoy:

Unfortunately, it's sad but true...

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


I was all set to rant about the Michigan primaries today when something more profound occur ed today upon which I wanted to take some time to reflect. We all have those pivotal points in our life where we have to make a major life decision. You know the ones I'm talking about, they have major downline consequences, they're difficult (if not impossible at times) to make, and you hate being in the situation that has cause the need for the decision.

Regrets? I've had a few. Actually, at age 44 I probably have more than Frank Sinatra did when he sang it (but we know he's not the one who actually wrote the song!). Hindsight is a cruel thing at times, but I guess it's how we learn. It's how we grow. When I'm getting down on myself I often review those pivotal decisions and imagine how my life would be different if only...

If only I hadn't married my first husband at the tender age of 19 (mostly to spite my parents). If only I had taken my parents offer for the ivy league education. If only I had continued on to the Ph.D. program instead of changing career paths. If only, if only. I could "if only" myself to death!

I recently saw the movie Charlie Wilson's War. The movie is all about the real life story of how we (the USA) secretly funded the Freedom Fighters in Afghanistan against the Russians, but in hindsight we can see now that it laid the groundwork for the Taliban, and we all know the downline consequences of that action. In an interview with the real Charlie Wilson, the interviewer asked if he regretted his actions in that effort considering what happened on 9/11. Charlie answered by saying absolutely not, it was the right thing to do at the time.

I have, however, never regretted having my children. I have, certainly, regretted various and sundry decisions I've made in my parenting, but I know I'm not alone in that and I can honestly say I always tried to do right by them, even at my expense. That's what a mom's supposed to do, but it's usually a thankless job.

Today, however, I experienced some validation for a decision I made about a decade ago. In 1997, my girl's father and I were divorced. It wasn't something I wanted. I was angry. I was hurt. I suddenly knew and understood why people who divorced had ugly relationships - the anger gets in the way. I was faced with a decision back then about how to interact with my ex. Would I take the road so many before me had taken and be vengeful and spiteful? It would have been so soothing to my person. But, I knew it was not the best thing for my girls. I decided that I had to "make nice" with him. I had to try and have a positive relationship with him, for their sake.

I knew it wouldn't be easy. But I never dreamed the "making nice" would evolve into a genuine relationship. Once the anger subsides and you move on - the healing takes over. Mark now lives in Australia, working for 3M there. The girls haven't seen him since last fall, and he flew into town tonight.

Here's where I got my warm fuzzy tonight. Both girls were so excited to see him. They have missed him and couldn't wait to surprise him at the airport. I am not taking credit for their relationship with their dad, he has a lot to do with that. But what hit me tonight was that they feel comfortable sharing their joy and excitement with me. They don't feel the need (as I've seen in other families) to protect me and not share this moment with me. In hindsight I can see that my attitude towards him and actions in how we dealt with the divorce was the right decision. In the midst of all those "if onlys" it's so nice to look back on one decision that had a positive impact downline, one that I can be proud of. And, as Charlie Wilson said - it was the right thing to do!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Paradise Lost...Stomach Flu Found!

The hard reality of coming home hit us this week. As I have been longing to return to glorious Maui, I was snapped back to reality when at 3am on Monday morning, Kaitlyn came to me and said she was throwing up. Great! Just what I need! Isn't it enough that I am having a hard time with the re-entry into daily life, but now I have to deal with the stomach flu? And who would get it? How bad would it be? How long would it last? These are the things I HATE HATE HATE about Minnesota winters.

They say it happens because we close up our windows and doors and breathe a lot of re-circulated air. If that's the case, can't "they" find a way that we can live in sub-zero temperatures and have the windows wide open? Lets freeze those damn viruses right out of our bodies! I'm on a mission now...there has to be a solution. somewhere. someday...

Of course, my Tasmanian She-Devil (Kelsey) got it too, and then I had a touch of it as well. But none of us had it as badly as Kaitlyn, poor thing!

I guess I have to look on the bright side. I started weight watchers last September and had lost 24 pounds prior to the holidays. Then we went on that wonderful trip to Maui and I gained 3 pounds! I guess I have to thank Mr. Virus, because this morning my scale was back to my pre-Maui weight. Thank you Mr. Virus, but if you don't mind - I'd prefer to lose it the hard way next time!