Saturday, April 25, 2009

Mothers, Part 2 of 2

So my mom (Hi Mom! How are ya?) was down here visiting last week and we got into a random conversation about what I'd do if I suddenly had a lot more money. I told her about an idea I'd had ages ago about starting some sort of free/nominal fee service for pregnant women on bed rest in the hospital I spent so many weeks in myself.

Bed rest is horrible. There's no other way to describe it. While everyone around you is making variations on the same joke ("Better get that rest in now before you've got a baby to take care of!!!" "Gee, I sure wish MY doctor would tell me to go lay around in bed for a while!!!"), you are lying in bed, terrified that your baby is going to die, wondering if it was because of something you did, and your body is slowly going to pieces. Your muscles atrophy, various medical staff poke you with a variety of needles as part of your treatment, and everything seems set up to deprive you of any and all chances of actually getting any of that rest you’re supposed to be getting. (Hello! 4 AM! Time for blood draws!)

There was a flier up in one of my hospital rooms about a service where someone would come to your room and give you a massage or a pedicure or something else along those lines. I’ve occasionally thought since then that I’d like to set up some way for women in the perinatal unit to have access to something like that without spending a fortune, especially as the bed rest may be unexpectedly depriving them of a large portion of their income (as indeed it did for me). Mom (Hi Mom! How are ya?) and I talked about this for a bit and then moved on with the conversation.

I guess it’s been percolating in my mind since then, because as I was administering an exam to my lecture students this week, I found my mind returning to the idea. Looking back, while a massage for my aching back would have been fabulous, an even better gift would have been to have been aware of, and had access to, the ALI community from that hospital bed.

(Side note: this exam marked a new first for me. One of my students actually FELL ASLEEP during the exam. I glanced around, and there he was, arms crossed, chin resting down on his chest, fast asleep. In much the same position my mom (Hi Mom! How are ya?) assumes when she falls asleep in front of the TV. So, I was at a loss. What’s the protocol? Do I ignore him? Poke him? Stand immediately behind him and clear my throat loudly? Plus, am I really THAT boring? Fortunately for Mr. Sleepy, he woke up on his own after about 5 minutes as I was pondering getting the guy next to him to elbow him in the ribs. Always the professional, I pretended not to have noticed anything amiss as I giggled into my coffee mug.)

Anyway, while he was snoozing and the rest of the class was working on my (fascinating, engrossing, and brilliant) exam, I got to thinking. These days I do the majority of my blog reading from my iPod. It certainly would have been handy, while curled up on my left side, towel rolls, pillows, nurse call button, IV line, fetal monitoring cords, etc. all carefully arranged, to have been able to surf the internet on a tiny handheld device instead of trying to perch a laptop sideways somewhere in this mess. Also, not everyone can afford a laptop. Or an iPod for that matter. The hospital does have free wireless for patients. I'm sure a large number of women who land in the hospital on bed rest were just wandering through what they thought was going to be an uncomplicated pregnancy, and they probably aren't aware that all of you wonderful ladies are out there blogging.

So, here was my thought: scrap the whole personal grooming idea. What women on bed rest need is (1) a loaner iPod, and (2) a handout with a few starter blogs listed on it (I bet Lost and Found and Connections Abound would probably be enough, but say there were five or so to get your feet wet, plus the link to March of Dimes, Sidelines, etc.)

What do you think? Any obvious refinements? Pitfalls? Do you think nonprofit status and a nicely phrased letter to Steve Jobs would get me 25 free iPods? Oh, wait. I guess not.

And seriously, ASLEEP during an EXAM??? This is college, people! Good grief.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Mothers, Part 1 of 2

I'd like to extend a warm welcome to Michele, who is the author of comment #5 on my previous post, and also happens to be my...

...wait for it...

my mother!

Yes, Mom found me. EARLY LAST YEAR, people. Talk about lurking!

So, some housekeeping. As you might imagine, I immediately searched my archives for any references I'd made to my mom (Mel's search engine is wonderful for this, by the way) to see if I'd written anything terrible about her, which apparently I had not. (But I MIGHT HAVE. She being such an EVIL LURKER!!!) I do seem to have mentioned in several places that I kind of like her. A little. That is, I used to... before the DELURKING.

My mom has a wonderful blog of her own, Bell Street Journal, which you can find here, or alternatively through the link in her comment. It's mostly about her artistic pursuits and her extensive travels. She occasionally mentions me there, and Dee, and Buddy, and H, and where we live, all by our real names. And there are photographs. (Next she'll probably post a map to our house, as well as what expensive electronics we own and where we hide the spare key.)

As you can see by my very sporadic posting, I'm not really going anywhere with discussion of my (retired) uterus anyway, so I thought I may as well take this opportunity to come out of the closet, remove things from my archives that I really wouldn't want certain individuals I know to encounter (cough*BROOM*cough) and blog a little more openly.

On the other hand, I don't really want any of my students to find their way here. So, I have been pruning my archives accordingly, and I will continue to use the pseudonyms I've been using for everyone all along. But I guess I can now admit I'm an actual person with a mother:

Isn't she cute? She says she's 5 feet 3 inches tall, but we all know she's exaggerating by an inch. People that are 5'2" find it much easier to unobtrusively LURK.