August 08, 2009

A HORRID RIDE

First Val...
Then AWTM...

Sniff.

There are times you want to pull the emergency cord, and cannot. "Hey I want off of this thing", but even though it is a horrid ride, you pray this will be be the final terrible bumpy ride. Certainly, a ride can never match this one? In the back of your brain you know better. There can always be a worse road, you do not have to look far.

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TOO COMPLICATED RIGHT NOW

I haven't been a very good wife for the past few years.

I was thinking the other day about how miserably I failed for my husband's birthday.  Granted, we still didn't have a mailing address for him, but I was so nonchalant about it.  And this year I didn't get him anything for our anniversary either.  He comes in and says he'd like to give me my present, and I just stared at him.  Then he laughed and said, "You mean I freaked out and ran out to buy you something for no good reason?"  Ha.  The thought really just hadn't crossed my mind.

The first time he was deployed, I mailed him 24 presents for his 24th birthday.  It came so easily to me.

But I have been absentminded since then.  I have been so focused on this whole stupid having a baby thing that I have really been lazy about being a good wife.

And I feel guilty that now I miss him, but in a selfish way.  Like I need him to be here to dote on me, to encourage me, to be Randall to my Dante.  I am bitter that I have to cash my chips via email.

But he is busy and stressed and frustrated with his own issues.  And the poor man can't cash any chips at all.  He alludes to the desire to, but he's not allowed.

Our lives are too complicated right now, in two completely different ways.

I miss the simple days.  Bringing him sack lunch while he was the gold bar recruiter.  Quizzing him for his vehicle identification test at OBC.  Studying for our German driver's license together.  The first deployment, when all I did was brainstorm ways to make him smile.

I was looking at old photos of us the other day, and somehow my husband turned into a man while I wasn't paying attention.  The difference between 19 and 29 is astounding.

I've been too preoccupied to miss him yet...but I miss him this morning.

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August 07, 2009

THERE MAY BE SUGAR IN MY GAS TANK

I just feel somehow this day should end like this...

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RESOLVED

I got the referral today and have an appointment.
I also got a much-needed email from Julia saying that she absolutely supports doing the CVS test and has had to do it multiple times herself.
So I'm doing it.  End of waffling.  End of discussion.

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THERE IS NO MATH THAT CAN MAKE THIS WORK

Obama vs Mathematics:

But President Obama promised that he would raise taxes only on those in “rich” households.

That’s where the arithmetic gets especially interesting. Funding the new health-care plan on the backs of households making $200,000 or more per year would require permanently increasing their annual total tax payments by about 50 percent. So, for example, a household that currently pays $50,000 in federal income taxes would need to pay another $25,000. Remember, however, that Social Security and Medicare already face enormous shortfalls. Shoring up these programs — another Obama campaign promise — would require collecting 328 percent more tax revenue from the rich. No, we didn’t forget a decimal point: That is three hundred and twenty-eight percent.

Most households making between $200,000 and $500,000 per year would not have enough money to pay their federal, state, and local tax bills, much less eat. Rich households in California or New York would not be able to pay their tax bills regardless of their incomes. And a family of four living in a low-tax state (South Dakota) would need to gross almost $900,000 per year to have enough income left over to reach the poverty line. In fact, there is no mathematical configuration of taxes on the current rich alone — including additional levies on the “super-rich” making more than $1 million per year — that is compatible with putting the nation’s entitlement programs and the new health-care plan on a sustainable course.

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HE CAN'T EVEN DO THE LAST THING RIGHT

When my mother went to my doctor's appointment with me, she asked my doctor if he would also be delivering my baby.  I said, "Mom, it was his job to get me pregnant, that's all."  I had to stop myself from adding "thank fricking heavens."  My next appointment is set up with a maternal-fetal medicine doctor.  I am almost out of the fertility clinic for good.

Almost.

I need my doctor for one more thing.

You think he came through?

I met with him again Wednesday to discuss doing a test that will map the baby's chromosomes and prove definitively whether this baby carries the unbalanced translocation that would be its death sentence.  Every person I've talked to -- my doctor, the genetic counselor, the OB nurse -- has posed the same question: What will you do with this information once you get it?  What will you do if your baby receives a death sentence, because if you're not going to do anything about it, then there's no point in gathering the information.  Ignorance is bliss, right?

I disagree.

It's entirely possible to carry this baby the entire nine months, birth it, and watch it die hours or days after it's born.  And if that is my fate, I need to know it.  Because that means that hitting the second trimester, the point when most women sigh with relief, means nothing for me.  I cannot sit here and wonder every week if this will be the week my baby finally dies.  It could happen in week 7, as my previous pregnancies, in week 18, as Julia experienced, or in week 25, 32, whatever.  And I just need to know if this is my fate, because I cannot enjoy this pregnancy and bond with this baby if I keep waiting for it to die every single day.

So I encourage nurses and genetic counselors to ask their rehearsed question of what a patient will do with the info, but to also conversely ask "Can you live without knowing?"  I believe I am the type of person who can't.

This test has to be done between 10 and 12 weeks, and since I am already 10 1/2 weeks along, the decision had to be made fast.  Ironically, I never felt like I had to give this much thought yet because I kept expecting the baby to die on its own.  So this decision snuck up on me.

My doctor sat with me on Wednesday and asked the "what will you do with this info?" and pretty much let it be known that he advised against the test, but in the end he said that if I want to do it, I should call the referrals lady and she would get me another appointment at the major metropolitan hospital that I went to for the genetic counseling.

I went home and called the referral lady.  She said, "Honey, I can't make you that appointment without your doctor putting the referral in the computer.  And he has left the office and won't be back the rest of the week."

I am just dumbfounded.  I now have to wait until Monday to get a referral to then try to get a same-week appointment.  Why didn't my doctor just put it in the computer while we were sitting there if he knew he was going to be out of the office the rest of the week?  Why did he take an already stressful situation -- making life and death decisions -- and make it even more stressful by having me sit on my thumbs for an extra five days waiting for his stupid self to code something in the computer for me?

What an asshole.  Pardon my language, but I am just so done with that man.

Oh, and to add insult to injury, literally!, as I was getting up to leave, I recounted something that happened the last miscarriage.  The miscarriage-inducing drug that was given to me during my second miscarriage was inserted vaginally so it could work its magic more quickly.  Because that was an emergency visit, I did not see my regular fertility doctor but whoever was on call.  That doctor explained in detail how the medicine worked and what I was supposed to do with it.  So when I saw my doctor for the third miscarriage and he prescribed the same medication, well, I had already been to that party.  I said I had already taken that same medication once, and my doctor said that breaking the pills in half would make the drug act even faster.  So that's what I did.  I took eight jagged, broken pieces of pill and inserted them gingerly and painfully into my vagina.  Oh holy moly, that hurt.  So I wanted my doctor to know this because, ahem, he doesn't have a vagina himself and maybe has never considered the abuse that jagged pills can inflict.  Maybe it's not worth it for them to act Even Faster! if it causes that kind of discomfort.

He just stares at me and goes, "You were supposed to put them in your mouth."

Four months ago, my doctor handed me a medication with no accompanying written instructions and expected me to know how he intended me to use it, when he knew darn well that there were two different modes of employ.  And then he looked at me like I was a complete moron for having chosen the wrong method.

Seriously.  Flames, on the side of my face...heaving...breathless...

I want that referral and I want it now.  And I want to get him the hell out of my life.

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August 06, 2009

"THE LEPER'S BELL OF AN APPROACHING LOOTER"

BigD said she hasn't yet found time to read Atlas Shrugged. She also said that she is sometimes so surrounded by lefties that she forgets that there are other people out there who think like she does and have the same values she does.

BigD, you are not alone. This is for you...

"So you think that money is the root of all evil?" said Francisco d'Anconia. "Have you ever asked what is the root of money?...

keep reading

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STATISM RUN AMOK

My favorite Cash For Clunkers blog post so far is at Reason.  Read the whole thing, but here's a snippet:

But for some of us it's also a nearly perfect symbol of economic statism run amok. The federal government is taking from the many, giving it to the less-than-many, destroying functional cars, funneling money to an auto industry that it already largely owns (at a hefty taxpayer price tag), then taking multiple (and multiply premature) bows for rescuing the economy and the auto industry in the process.

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August 05, 2009

BETTER THAN A KANGAROO

Our baby has a growing brain.  Hands and feet.  Individual fingers and toes.   John Elway baby wiggled his arms and hands in a little dance.

And I sobbed.

I don't cry at the bad ultrasounds, just the good ones.

With each week, I grow more confident.  But with each week I also grow more attached to a baby I know could still have fatal problems.

But my heart is happy because I know, at least for today, that a little baby is dancing inside me.

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August 04, 2009

WORSHIP OF WE

At first, man was enslaved by the gods. But he broke their chains. Then he was enslaved by the kings. But he broke their chains. He was enslaved by his birth, by his kin, by his race. But he broke their chains. He declared to all his brothers that a man has rights which neither god nor king nor other men can take away from him, no matter what their number, for his is the right of man, and there is no right on earth above this right. And he stood on the threshold of the freedom for which the blood of the centuries behind him had been spilled.

But then he gave up all he had won, and fell lower than his savage beginning.

What brought it to pass? What disaster took their reason away from men? What whip lashed them to their knees in shame and submission? The worship of the word "We."

I thought of that passage in Anthem when I read this.

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IT'S A LIBERTY ISSUE

Mark Steyn sums it all up:

Government health care would be wrong even if it “controlled costs.” It’s a liberty issue. I’d rather be free to choose, even if I make the wrong choices.

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August 03, 2009

IT'S NOT 50/50?

FbL sent me this article today, about how coin tosses are not 50/50, that there's a bias towards whatever is facing up when you begin the toss.  Oh lordy, say it ain't so.  Because my coin has been facing tails for a while.  Heh.  Neat research there.

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BOOK LIST III

The next ten books in my 2009 George Bush Reading Challenge.

JULY

30) Anthem (Ayn Rand)
Quick and good, as usual.

29) Hemma hos Martina (Martina Haag)
I try to read occasionally in French and Swedish, since reading is the only way to keep up my skills.  Only until this year, I thought I was doing it a lot more frequently.  It's amazing how few books I can read in a year!  But my friend sent me this book at Christmas and I hadn't gotten around to reading it yet.  And thank heavens, because it was about a pregnant lady.  It might not have been so charming to read a few months ago.  But I got to learn lots of new Swedish words that never come up in regular conversation: moderkaka, förlossning, fostervattnet, mödravårdstant, etc.  Because when I lived there ten years ago, I didn't have conversations about placentas and amniotic fluid.

28) Cool It (Bjørn Lomborg)
I loved the article "Get Your Priorities Right" when I read it three years ago, and Cool It is a fleshed-out version of how we would get more bang for our buck solving other problems like malaria and AIDS than global warming. I usually use Lomborg's ideas when debating global warming with believers because, while I am still skeptical, Lomborg definitely believes in anthropogenic global warming...yet he still doesn't think we should make it our top priority. It makes for good middle ground with believers: even if you concede that global warming is real and is caused by man, there is still a debate to be had over whether it is our most pressing global issue. Bjørn Lomborg says no way.

27) The Sandbox (milbloggers)
I still have to review this for SpouseBUZZ.  I will link my review once I write it, hopefully by the end of this week.
Update: Um, it took more than a week, but here it is.

26) Congo (Michael Crichton)
I was halfway through The Sandbox when my husband deployed, and I didn't exactly feel like reading military stories the night he left, so I grabbed a Crichton book instead. It didn't disappoint.

25) Blowback (Brad Thor)
My favorite Brad Thor book so far. But "so far" is definitely a relative term.

24) The 5000 Year Leap (W. Cleon Skousen)
Glenn Beck has been promoting this book, so I picked it up. It was good, but it's kinda...basic for me. I think it would've been much more valuable to read when I was 18 instead of now. There were some more in-depth lessons that I appreciated, such as the one on the origins of separation of powers, but overall I think I already grasped most of the lessons. But I'll hang on to it and hand it to my kid someday.

JUNE

23) My Grandfather's Son (Clarence Thomas)
Back in February, Amy recommended this book. I went back and read her recommendation today, and she was totally right: I got such a jolt when Clarence Thomas first discovered Thomas Sowell! I enjoyed reading this book and was saddened that the only mental association I previously had with this man had to do with a Coke can. To have worked his whole life, up from not having electricity and running water, to have it culminate in that. It's depressing, really.

22) Natural Selection (Dave Freedman)
This novel's premise was Michael Crichton-esque: What if nature made an evolutionary leap and a new predator emerged from the depths of the oceans? The cover proclaimed the book to be a great "beach read," but that would've scared the bejesus out of me. As it stands, I have been wary of my plecostomus ever since...

21) Discover Your Inner Economist (Tyler Cowen)
While there were times when it felt like Cowen was a little too SWPL for me, overall the book was interesting. I especially liked learning about micro-credit, and I immediately went to Kiva.org and donated to a bricklayer in Tajikistan. I begged my husband to let us pick out someone to lend to once a month. I have long felt like I wanted to do more giving, and the idea of "lending to the working poor" immediately appealed to me. I am so motivated to keep this up.

Previous lists:
Book List II
Book List I

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August 02, 2009

HE MAY NOT GET TO SEE IT

Deployments are like snowflakes: they're all snow, but no two are alike.  And this one is weird so far.

On my end, I am entirely too preoccupied with worrying about our baby's death and feeling morning sick all day long to miss my husband very much.  I just haven't dwelled on it.  I am too busy trying to find foods I can actually eat to sit around and miss him too much.

On his end, he is bored.  The team hasn't started missions yet, they might change locations, and he has made a big proposal to completely change the type of missions his team would be used for, so the bigwigs are mulling that over.  So they have no job yet, just playing X-box all day.  Because he doesn't have internet access.  Apparently super-secret FOBs are much tighter on communication.  He has no access to my blog, no ability to IM or skype, and he can only email sporadically if he waits in a long line.

Figures, the one deployment where both of us look interesting -- him growing that absurd beard and me growing a belly -- and we'll never get to webcam.

So he'll probably never get to see this post, but still...

Happy Birthday, husband.

I'm saving your present to give to you when you get home.  (Hint: it's a baby.)

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August 01, 2009

ODDS AND ENDS

Why I Oppose National Health Care:

I'm afraid that instead of Security Theater, we'll get Health Care Theater, where the government goes to elaborate lengths to convince us that we're getting the best possible health care, without actually providing it.

That's not just verbal theatrics. Agencies like Britain's NICE are a case in point. As long as people don't know that there are cancer treatments they're not getting, they're happy. Once they find out, satisfaction plunges. But the reason that people in Britain know about things like herceptin for early stage breast cancer is a robust private market in the US that experiments with this sort of thing.

So in the absence of a robust private US market, my assumption is that the government will focus on the apparent at the expense of the hard-to-measure. Innovation benefits future constituents who aren't voting now. Producing it is very expensive. On the other hand, cutting costs pleases voters this instant.

Clunkers Is ‘The More Urgent Priority’

A greater irony than the raid of Title XVII is the Clunker-bill provision that requires the destruction of traded-in cars, as I reported yesterday. The very people who want us to recycle plastic bags, glass bottles, and aluminum cans are now shredding finely engineered machinery that took enormous amounts of time, skill, and energy to create.

Live slogan-free or die!

"The Governor's Task Force for the Recruitment and Retention of a Young Workforce for the State of New Hampshire" stated in its official report: "Our State portrays an unfriendly message that every individual has to succeed on their own, rather than count on a support system for assistance (Live Free or Die is not a friendly, supporting message that appeals to young people)."

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