Talk to ME Dr!

Everyone puts a lot of trust on doctors. I am not about to attack the profession. I respect it, I have doctors in my family. I have doctors that are my friends. That said they are still human beings and do not have WebMD downloaded into their brain. They make mistakes, your health is YOUR responsibility and also the life of your child.

After enduring the various videos the hospital made us watch. “You will kill your child driving home 2” followed by “Your child will die while they sleep 15.” You are petrified by the whole experience of childbirth and here comes the never-ending flow of information on how you will more than likely mess up somehow and put your child’s life in jeopardy. Did you know a simple infection can leave your child blind, or that talcum powder will give them asthma? Did you know that there also tons of unexplained reasons why a child just does not make it.

I feel sorry for everyone that has to go through any of this and lose a child, or even go through the pain of a miscarriage. I sincerely don’t think all the gloom and doom videos can help to prepare you mentally for a loss of that magnitude. So inside of this frame of mind think of how it will feel when a Dr start going through a chart and talking to a resident rather than talking to you.

Again, we have been very lucky, dare I say blessed that our little tyrant was very healthy. That said she did not cry a ton when she was born (which worries you because that is what you see on TV.) and she was also tiny. We had no clue about this, but on an early ultrasound they found something that the tech noticed. We were never informed and the Dr discussed it very non nonchalantly with the resident. First time hearing about this and other things that ended up being “normal” terrified me to no end. I was patiently waiting for the Dr to be done with the conversation and come and address us, when they both just left the room.

I was pretty livid.

Naturally I wanted someone to suffer the anguish and anxiety I was feeling because that is the productive thing to do. I kept it together and found a nice nurse that came in and went through the whole chart with us in detail and explain what she could. She did put in a note for them to come back and go through things with us.

A resident came by the next day and more terrified than helpful he did not say much. I did catch the Dr eventually and had a conversation with her. What she told me kind of baffled me.

She said she was very surprised. Most parents in that hospital did not want the details or even review the charts of the kids. She told me that our daughter is lucky because we were already ahead of the game by being involved and interested. I’m still shocked for many reasons.

– How do doctors become so used to patients not caring… even for their own children.
– Maybe the reason they give you all those videos is that more people take an active role?
– Am I just that paranoid?

I am thankful that everything was. Everything is normal with the baby. I am more relaxed about things now, but still super freaked out because being a control freak and having a child are pretty mutually exclusive. I can only hope for the best and be involved.

Watching a TV show gave a new dimension to this conversation. Without going into too much detail a summer camp for blind children talked about how the goal was for them to learn to become their own advocate. Not so much about educating their PE teacher about how they could be included, but the child saying hey I can play kickball if you use this ball that makes a sound. Or I can run with someone if you use a rope for me to hold with someone.

I am learning this parenting thing little by little, but the lesson here to me is that we need to be advocates for ourselves and teach our children the same. They need to be responsible for that advocacy and make sure they understand that it is important to speak up.

This post is part of a series!
Hurry Up and WaitHere she comesAnd who the F@ck are you?Talk to ME Dr!

And who the F@ck are you?

Motherhood is something that is hard to understand unless you see someone experience it. Society in the US has a really weird relationship with nudity. It is supposed to be shameful and nobody is supposed to see anybody else naked, yet the internet traffic’s highest percentage goes to porn. So someone is watching live nudes. All day, every day.

Boobs don’t offend me and never have. Something switched in my head when my wife started breast feeding, it is one of the most natural things I have witnessed and there is no shame on the practice at all. Not sure why people get all up in arms if someone feeds a baby in public. I do digress.

Our little tyrant was born in a teaching hospital, which means that there are double the people around because they are still “learning.” As a patient you do have the option to not let students be a part of your care. We did not mind people learning but at the same time wanted the birth to feel like an intimate experience.

That is the exact opposite of what happened.

We had met what we thought was all the staff that was going to be involved with the birth. Oh how wrong I was. Once the practice pushing moved to the actual pushing phase the room filled with about 15 people. I am not even exaggerating, from the 3 doctors already there and the handful of nurses we had met it multiplied and filled the whole room.

I did have a huge issue with one of the people, but more on that later.

The part that makes this difficult is that there are people coming into a very private moment and you have not even had a chance to learn their name. They all had some kind of role and I am sure they were there for our benefit more than anything else, but it was still very hard to get over the fact that a bunch of “strangers” are now going to be part of one of those once in a life time moments.

I know it is almost unrealistic to expect us to meet everyone before they come in and I am thankful that if something would have gone wrong there were plenty of people there with specific skill to deal with certain situations. Still, the intimate setting that a child birth could have been was lost on the sheer amount of people that came in when it was about to happen.

I think I would have digested the moment better but one of the nurses tried to push me away from the bedside because I guess she could assist the pushing better? Maybe she just wanted a better look. That really kind of pushed me over the edge and I said no, I will stay by my wife’s side. I’m glad I was part of it and the fact that I did not pass out.

This post is part of a series!
Hurry Up and WaitHere she comesAnd who the F@ck are you?Talk to ME Dr!

The race of my child

I wish this topic was a lot less complicated. Race relations in the US are already a multi-layer mess full of landmines. Add to that the fact that I have a hard time trying to fit into that complicated structure of labels and you have yourself a very difficult conversation that I will someday have to have with my child.

Daddy, what am I?

Start by the fact that I had to be told I was not white as soon as I moved to the US. That said (and it is probably a good idea for you to read that post) I don’t have identity problems. I have problems fitting into American society labels, but I am very proud of my heritage. Not just as Colombian but every day I learn more and more about what it is to be Latino in the US.

If I had to have the conversation with my daughter today I would probably start by saying, you are half American and Half Colombian. I think nationality is a good way to start the conversation. It will continue with, you were born in Kansas City but your Mom was born in Denver and I was born in Cali, Colombia. I will eventually get to the ugly labeling of human beings part, but I want her to first think of people as a complex set of experiences and not just the color of their skin.

Race has been on the news a lot lately. Ferguson is now something cemented in our brains as a negative from both points of view. You can’t win that argument with people that are polarized by it. Then you have an NAACP advocate identifying as black when she was really white. I feel she has been treated unfairly because she should be judged more for the work she does rather than what she identifies as. Eminem did not get rejected by Dr Dre when he found out he was white.

Today another incident is being labeled as a “hate crime.” 9 people are dead supposedly because of the color of their skin. We call it a tragedy, but in reality it is something that should simply not happen anymore in a modern society. We watch Game of Thrones and at times think of that world as barbaric. In reality we are really not that far away from that world where people kill in the name of an affiliation.

I have no clue how much discrimination my daughter will have to face. I don’t want to make her afraid of other people or think of the “race card” as something real. I am curious as to what other parents of mixed background or with mixed children think.

Happy New Year 2015

I cannot believe that I have not written in here for so many months. This was probably one of the only places that used to keep me sane. I am almost ashamed to admit that I was a little scared of the internet for a while. I hated the feeling of exposure when it came to my feelings being here. Everything that you put out there is there for the scrutiny of everyone. While this has been true from the beginning and there are many posts here that could probably be taken the wrong way I decided to keep the blog up and continue writing.

The domain and hosting lapsed right around the holidays and it did not feel like I was losing much. That was probably the hardest thing to accept, that even though a big piece of me is here; not touching it for a while had made it almost that old diary that you bump into when cleaning the attic.

First I have to give thanks. 2014 was a fantastic year. It was a year of learning, experiencing and in many ways shedding old skin. The way a snake sheds its skin can be kind of repulsive, if you have the chance to see one at a pet store you might agree with me. However that is probably the most accurate way to describe the feeling of this year that was transitional in many ways.

I had given up on the thought of being a parent for many reasons. As I approach 40 I thought the window had closed…and then BAM, you are going to be a father. Not only that but you are going to marry someone that is a fantastic as your dreams have always made that person to be in your head.

I had tried to hang on to a lot of things this year, but it was really more about letting go. I let go of a lot of thoughts, I let go of a lot of behaviors and feedback loops, I let go of a lot of “friends.” I seriously never realized how much effort I was putting into relationships that did not matter to them as much as they did to me. It has only been recently when I have felt reciprocity in many relationships that I saw the wasted effort.

That said, I did make a lot of relationships stronger this year. I am surprised by how strong some of those are and were all along. I have a fantastic family and some exceptional friends that are moving my life forward in many special ways.

Overall this coming year will be about being more present. You cannot bank on an unrealized future or dwell on a past that can’t be changed. All that matters is now, today, and taking steps forward. I had missed on expressing a lot of things for the sake of not revealing to much. I want to get back to writing and taking pictures and riding my motorcycle more. Concentrate on living in the now and experiencing things. Funny thing is that now that I have a wife and a kid on the way everyone thinks that I will not be able to do those things more… in reality I feel that by having them in my life, everything has come into focus and I see a lot of things more clearly now. It is important to be true to self to be able to be a part of someone else’s life.

Packaged Deal

This outlet seems to has falter in the last year or so for me. I used to organize my thoughts here quite a bit and it made it interesting when other people were somehow inspired or pissed off by what my inner monologue sometimes came up with. Life changes thought, and the last year saw a lot of changes for me. The most significant to me was the death of someone really close to me which shook me… a lot… a lot more than I sometimes let on. I know how irrational it can sound, but sometimes when my leg falls to sleep for sitting in a weird position on the couch it brings terrible thoughts of ALS and paralysis… i know, irrational, but stills scary.

While a lot in my life has changed, a lot has stayed pretty much the same. I think I have changed a lot more than life around me. Even though I have spent my life preaching about opening your eyes about what is right in front of you, at times I was just as delusional as everyone else seemed. So yea, it still me, still the same rambles, still hoping it makes you think when you read what the weird voices in my head say.

I am still thinking that this place might have run its course and it might be just left to be an old book that I come back and read. Even though some entries are still living and getting comments, overall I don’t create content here like I used to. Some days I want to change that, some others it feels like the medium is tainted like photography still is to me in some levels. Something that you do for fun, should be enjoyed.

Which brings me back to packaged deals. I am told constantly that I deal too much in absolutes. I am aware of this deficiency on my way of thinking. People are not computers, or math equations… even if they do behave as such sometimes. At least that is how I understand some of them. I try, really I do, but seldom do people really tell you what they are really thinking or feeling, and often times people don’t even know how to put into words what they are feeling either.

Friends and groups of friends always come with some added benefits. Sometimes it is that some of them get you access to cool underground parties or a shorter line at the DMV. Other times those same groups of people come with a price, the person that makes everyone uncomfortable but nobody calls out. I always see those as packaged deals, you kind of have to take the good with the bad and just ignore the losses. I know that applies with not just groups, couples, etc but also with people.

Do you take all the good of a person and try to ignore some of the bad, or most of it? Is the friendship really worth it? Is the time investment something that truly will benefit you in the end.

I spent a good part of the first decade in this century figuring out that cutting people that are destructive in your life need to go. They are a waste of energy. What happens when those people come in a package though? What is then the deal breaker? When does a second chance come into place?

Confusing, I know. Maybe that is why I need to write more again. It seems like my brain is quite a mess at the moment. Funny thing is that it isn’t. I am at a very peaceful time at the moment. It is not void of issues and problems like life is, but I am ok with them and with the plans I have in place to move forward. However, the “nice” person in me feels like I should always reach out and give second chances in situations and not call things done. Maybe that is the part of being human that I am so uncomfortable with. You know the pan handle is hot, you know that you should get the oven mitt before you touch it, but how much can a little test touch can hurt?