Tag: Health

How To Get A Girl Pregnant (The Telephone Theory)

“Let it be a lesson to you to be less busy in the future!”
– Georgette Heyer, The Grand Sophy

Calm down, minions, I’m not talking about me.  Today we bring you a morality tale of A) staying out of other people’s business and B) not exaggerating.

We have an EMT internship program on campus and all of our kids are highly trained to assist in medical emergencies, often they are our first responders.  But they, like us, are often dispatched to non-emergencies because of faulty (not to say completely false) information.

Yesterday we received a call that there was a pregnant woman with vaginal bleeding on the floor of a restroom and non-responsive.

Our valiant EMTs burst into the bathroom, surprising the poor girl (who was not unconscious but bent over the counter and probably wishing she was dead from both pain and embarrassment).
“You’ve had some vaginal bleeding?” an EMT asked professionally.
“Well, yes,” she answered, confused.
“How many months pregnant are you?”

No, the other kind of hysterical pregnancy.

There was a terrible pause.  She paled and clutched at the sink.
“I’m pregnant?!”

It turns out she had been brought low by menstrual cramps, excused herself from her companions and went to the restroom.  A concerned friend relayed this information in a rather garbled way to a another friend, who in turn relayed yet a more garbled version to another friend, who in turn called 911.  Thankfully all was sorted out with some profuse apologies, pain killers, and a vigorous telling off for the person who called us without having a clue what was going on. And so, my likely-red-faced darlings, let that be a lesson to you: get your facts straight.  Otherwise people end up hurt.  Or pregnant.

Cutting Cutting Corners. And Ice Cream.

“This just in!  The secret to weight loss revealed: eat less, move more!”
– a friend’s Facebook status

Despite that three day nosedive into blissful sloth and inactivity, I’ve been doing rather well on the health end recently.  See, I’ve finally learned some of the keys to weight loss and exercise – none of them revolutionary to anyone with a functioning brain, but helpful nonetheless.

Principle the First: Garbage in, garbage out.  I’ve hit my mid-twenties and my metabolism has hit the wall, which makes me want to hit things.  Lots of hitting, but I digress.  I now understand why Mum eats large salads and few deserts, this dizzying cocktail of hormones that is feminine existence means that small things will have big effects on my system.  If I eat junk food I will feel awful.  Period.  Plan meals accordingly.

Principle the Second: exercise will trim the fat, not the skeleton.  I will never again go through the cycle of wanting to be thinner, working my bum off for months, and then throwing myself down a well of despair when my ribcage hasn’t shrunk to give me a longer waist.  My skeleton isn’t going anywhere…but the underused muscle will tone up because –

Principle the Third: underneath this shell of laziness and love of caramel, I actually do have a pretty nice little figure.  Willowy?  No.  Slender?  Ha.  Hourglass and the hallmark of a different era?  Yes.  But with a little effort, fabulous.  However –

Principle the Fourth: all the potential in the world is wasted if I don’t actually do anything about it.  Therefore one must watch the calories and make sure the ones going in are good, indulge rarely, snack better, and work out everyday.

Result: I’ve lost 5lbs in two weeks.  And since this is in no way tied to New Year’s Resolutions, the urge to quit hasn’t reared its ugly head.

Food. Fights.

“I don’t like to eat snails.  I prefer fast food.”
– Roger van Oech

J. eats three or four times as much as I do.  He buys junk food and, if left to his own devices, would subsist on mac and cheese (the evil boxed kind that I like to think of as the spit of Satan), frozen burritos, and ramen bowls.  He chows down on hot dogs, burgers, and any form of fast food he can get his hands on.  If I don’t dish out dinner, he’d never eat vegetables.

Minor annoyance 1 – he’s LOST weight since we’ve been married

Minor annoyance 2 – I twit him about his eating habits from time to time, but now I’ve lost the right.  Our insurance pays for us to get our cholesterol, glucose, and other blood levels tested for free once a year.  Our results just came back.  He’s in perfect health.  Curses.

Dear Birth Control:

“For birth control I rely on my personality.”
– Milt Abel

Hey. How’ya doing? You good? You look good. Work going well? Glad to hear it.

Just so we're clear, I honestly believe you are one of the greatest, most important, and most influential scientific and medical developments in the history of the world. But...

Well, Birth Control, you know how fond I am of you. I like to think we’re pals, you keeping me baby-free until I choose and everything. I really do appreciate it and I know not all women are as lucky as I am to have the options you give me. But, Birth Control, you’re kind of sucking these days. Now I don’t want to poison our relationship, but really I think you need to start treating me a bit better.

See, I’ve gained 20 pounds since marriage. And I don’t think it’s entirely my fault. I work out regularly and am conscientious about my diet, after all, I’m not a teenager anymore, I’m aware of it and try to eat accordingly. Lots of salads, lean protein and a hamburger once a month if that. I admit a weakness to deep fried potatoes, but I simply avoid them and other such badness by staying away from temptation. I’ve reworked eating plans several times and cut back on/out everything remotely bad, upping veg intake and forgoing sugar. And yet, when I weighed myself in Los Angeles, I was at 140. I’m (barely) five feet tall, and weighed 120 pounds a year ago. Un-bloody-acceptable.

And speaking of Los Angeles, do you know how humiliating it is for your father-in-law to find you on your hands and knees in the dirt by the dumpsters emptying your stomach of its contents while on vacation? Before I got on you, Birth Control, I had a migraine maybe once a year in times of deep stress. First few months our our marriage I got one every once and a while. Then once a month. I’m up to almost once a week now.

Like this.

Do you know what a migraine feels like? Like a sociopath stabbing one repeatedly in the eye while jumping up and down on one’s stomach, banging a mallet against one’s skull. The slightest light or noise hurts like the Furies and any movement means careening to the bathroom to rid oneself of whatever food or liquid one has managed to keep down thus far. It means dehydration, hours of dry retching, and the shakes for two days after. It means pure, unadulterated misery.

And finally, I have been experiencing random explosions of irritation at people. Not mild eye-rolling, but brief yet intense feelings of wanting to rip some people’s heads off. Roller coaster rides of rage. These have been increasing along with those migraines we just talked about, and I don’t think the two are unconnected.

None of this existed before you and I got involved, Birth Control, so it’s pretty simple to draw a few connections and conclusions. If, in spite of self awareness and attempts to correct the problems, things keep getting worse, I think I’m justified in leaving you for one of your pharmaceutical cousins.

So, Birth Control, you’re on notice. I’m reworking my diet/exercise regime again one more time, but if I don’t lose the weight, the headaches, and the desire to kick baby seals, you and I are through.


This. And That.

“Good God, woman, where have you been?” he cried furiously.
A morbid lunacy overtook her.  She smiled fiercely and held up the bag.
“Shopping.  Want to see what I bought?”
– Lois McMaster Bujold

My wallet is now under permanent lock-down.  Because of going to That Show, I bought this and this (the latter for my sister-in-law’s upcoming wedding), but unfortunately not this because it did not look at all good on a less-than-five-foot woman.  I looked a frilly mess.

Pictured: the THAT in question.

Then, the other day, Venice called me (from two doors down in her flat) and said I had to come over right now.  I obligingly threw on some basketball shorts and scampered on over only to behold this
“Where did you get that?!” I screeched in excitement. 
“From that place we hate,” she triumphed.
“You’re kidding!”
“Nope.  For $87.00!”

The next step was to get J. to agree.  I pitched it as the perfect solution to this problem, which has been exacerbated since getting married as the only time I really get to see my husband is the time I used to go to the gym.  I pinky-promised my way through the usual litany of bargains (to use it everyday, not to be a little grump when he reminds me that I haven’t worked out that day, etc.) and expounded its virtues (it’s cheap, it’s nice and small – C. sized! – it’s light, and it’s portable for future moves). 

If anything else, the sheer guilt that would come from having that sitting in my house (staring at me) will motivate me to use it.  It’s easy to ignore the gym when it’s not sitting in your living room!  So, with J.’s consent, I bought it. 

I really think this could be a solution to my exercise problem.  After coming home from work in the evening to feed this guy, coupled with the desire to enjoy this, and the lack of desire to drive back to campus to deal with this, the idea that I could work out in my own home sounds pretty darn good. 

What do you think of this plan, darlings? 

**And by the way, if I start talking about buying anything else in the near future, jump me, steal and hide my wallet, and under no circumstances return it to me.

Know-Nothing. Party.

C.’s Quick Translation for Online Oppinuendo on Health Care

You liberal/conservative idiot! :   I respectfully disagree with you.

Don’t you have a brain?! :   I respectfully disagree with you.

The Republicans/Democrats are out of touch with the American people!  Down with them!  Drag them into the streets! :   Rep-R/Rep-D voted against my personal opinion! 

Obama is the Antichrist! :  I’m conservative.

Obama is brave to take this problem on! :   I’m liberal.

Stop making asinine comments! :   I have weighed and measured such information as I have found, and I now find myself on the other side of the aisle from you.

You socialist nazi! :   I respectfully disagree with you.

You conservative nazi! :   I respectfully disagree with you.

This is a choice between good and evil! :   This is a choice between political ideologies, about which I feel very strongly.

It’s unconstitutional! :   It personally offends my sensibilities.

I can’t even begin to tackle your logical fallacies! :   I refuse to attempt to see things from your liberal/conservative point of view and prefer to argue.

As a future doctor I don’t want to have the government dictate the terms of my work (requirements, treatment standards, paycheck, etc.) to me! :   I much prefer to dictate the terms of my work  (requirements, treatment standards, paycheck, etc.) to my patients myself.

Go ****/$$$$/@@@@/%%%%  yourself! :   I’m afraid we just can’t see eye to eye on this. 

The End Times are coming! :   I am seriously displeased with the turn of events.

I’m moving to Canada! : I am not actually moving to Canada despite ranting to the contrary for some time. 


There, now you find yourself able to navigate the intricacies of Facebook, comment threads, and forum mudslinging.  Take a few calm breaths to recharge and think of some withering profanities, and when you feel ready, charge back into the fray.  Discussion doesn’t seem to be the name of the day, so feel free to bandy tired clichés back and forth, quote the pundits/talking heads in lieu of actual original thought, and mistake insults/gloating for a solution.  Carry on!

Self. Denial.

“You should give up hamburgers for Lent.”
“Why on earth would I do that?”
“Well, I’m giving up something bad for me, so you should too.  Be supportive.”
“I’m giving up smoking.”
“You don’t bloody smoke!”
“See?  I’ve improved myself already.”
– C. and J.

I’m at a loss.  New Year, the time for such bursts of ardent revamping passed without so much as a guilty twinge.  The number on the scale creeping upwards gave me pause, but not enough.  The subtle tightening of my trousers was acknowledged, but then dismissed (though oddly enough my shirts displayed no such variance).  No no, friends.  What gets C. back into the gym, swearing off junk food and dedicating herself anew to salads?  

Alright, I'll work out. I'LL WORK OUT!


Of course I’m not going down by myself so J. has been bugged, hounded, and generally harassed until he agreed to give up Mountain Dew (though not all sodas, he would like it noted).  He’s also being dragged to the gym with me to keep me on the straight and narrow.  I got on an elliptical machine today for the first time in six months and clocked nearly three miles before doing a half hour of weights, so I forsee the traditional Lenten feelings approaching tomorrow: sorrow, remorse, and reliance on prayer to get one through. 

I’m already craving sugar.  Keep me strong, friends!

Adventures in Food

“Is it bad that I want Thai food for every meal of my life?”
“No, Thai is the food of the gods, although we should probably shake it up with Italian just to keep our carb quotas up.”
-Venice and C.

Not only did we take my younger brother Gio and his friend to Tucanos (amazing and amazingly expensive Brazillian food place) this weekend, J. and I also cooked up a storm in our tiny little kitchen.  After perusing some of the (millions of) cookbooks people heaped upon us for our wedding, I created a rather ambitious list of new recipes to try.  I kicked off my experiment sunday with pan seared salmon with a mango salsa topping.  And it was rather impressive, or so I think.  J. was ordered to be ultra-enthusiastic whatever the outcome so I may not have had an entirely accurate reading…

corsetWe also stocked up on cookies and banana bread so I have a new found reason to recommit to the gym.  Gym psychology is fickle.  I spent six months busting my bum five days a week, and then six days doing wedding and honeymoon stuff and poof!  My gym motivation evaporated.  Forcing myself there everyday has been a horrid, horrid chore.  Eating all my delicious (or maybe not so delicious, but if it isn’t don’t tell me!) food seems much easier than working it off!