Thursday, February 24, 2011

Pulling No Punches

I'm not sure I really understand that idiom.  Do you want to pull punches or not?  What does that even mean?  Is it good or bad?  What made me think it should be the title of this post?  No clue.

I offer you today's jumble of thoughts on various topics:

* I got this book (title escapes me, book in other room, I am lazy) of daily meditations to work your way through grief.  Everyday for a year.  I was highly skeptical.  It's actually really good even though the cover art is uber lame and yes, I do judge books by their covers.  I hate that reading it in the morning makes me feel a little better.  I hate that the book knows I don't want to feel better.  I hate that it says peaceful and helpful things about holding on to love and letting go of grief.  I hate that I need this book.

* Yesterday I got a bill from the lab that did all my bloodwork in January.  My insurance declined to pay for any of it.  It is very expensive.  So today I called my insurance company.  The woman who took my call sounded bored as she explained that my plan does not have coverage for "routine" bloodwork.  Oh really?  You think this was routine?  Long story short, I burst into tears and said my baby was stillborn and the bloodwork was not routine and then the insurance lady tells me how sorry she is and then goes on to say that her baby died when he was 8 days shy of his first birthday and she just passed the anniversary on February 17th and even though it happened five years ago the pain is still very fresh for her and then I'm crying harder and trying to tell her that I'm sorry for her loss, too, and then she suggests that I take a deep breath and have my spouse make these phone calls.  Then she gave me the claims address and told me to have my doctor submit a medical note explaining everything so my claim will be reviewed.  I guess I should feel relieved that I may not have to pay this bill.  But all I can think about is how bizarre it is that the world is so full of people who are this fucking sad and before we lost Eliza, I had NO IDEA.

* We've been watching Dexter since one of my students lent me seasons 4 and 5.  Dexter's sister has a mouth like a sailor and I think it's kind of awesome.  Basically I want to drop the f-bomb all the time.

* Little Mac is still carrying on with her crazy antics on a daily basis and last night I caught her on video, flipping out, chasing her tail, and barking and growling maniacally at David as he harassed her by hiding behind the love seat.  Unfortunately, David does not want me to post the video.  Evidently he feels it might harm his professional reputation for him to be on the internet, teasing a small white dog by crawling on the floor and popping out from behind the couch while she goes berserk.  Or maybe he doesn't want me to post a video of him wearing a wife beater and pajama pants? But also on the video you can hear me talking to Little Mac in the voice I reserve for talking to the dogs and I sound pretty ridiculous so maybe it's just as well we don't let this thing go viral.

* Today I have to go to the bank, the dry cleaner, the library, and Target.  In another life, that would have been a sort of fun morning, busily running errands and crossing things off my to-do list.  In this life, that list sounds mostly do-able, except when I think about having to take a shower and get dressed and walk out the door and then it all just sounds too hard and I'd rather just continue my latest and most pressing project of shaping the couch cushion to my bony butt.

* Related:  I may need an intervention because I cannot stop watching the Dr. Oz show.  Even though he kinda creeps me.  And the show is a glorified 7th grade science class, catering toward the whims of middle-aged women with its emphasis on diarrhea and yeast infections and delightful gifts for audience members in the way of electronic toothbrushes.  I'd rather watch Ellen.  I mean, she's hilarious and her wife was on Arrested Development.  Win-win.  But instead I find myself watching Dr. Oz and being totally creeped.

* I'm thinking about posting a blog with recommended reading material. Not just the kind of how-to grief manuals, but also why sad people should read The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and also Little Women.  I may work on this.

* Under the guise of "teaching," I have my students watch and analyze an episode of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer.  I use an episode from season 2, in which Buffy attends a frat party and nearly gets sacrificed to a giant demon snake in the frat house basement.  This semester, none of my students had ever seen the show before.  (Oh, how terribly young college freshman are.)  But teaching it has really been fun.  It makes me want to re-watch more of Buffy (available on Netflix instant queue) because Buffy experiences a devastating loss in season 5 and the grief that she feels, and her struggle to continue to keep up with her responsibilities while mourning her loss, well, let's just say I can obviously relate.  Even though her responsibilities consist of slaying vampires and fighting demons, and mine consist of grading papers and running errands today.  Not so different, really.

* I have six more papers to grade.  My attitude used to be to get them all done as quickly as possible.  Get the pain over with, don't keep dreading it.  But my former motivations are lost on me, so I drag this on.  And on.  And on.  I pledge to you, Internetz, that I will grade these papers before David gets home from work today.

So now I'd better get myself going.


  1. loved this post. first i have to say, D and i lol'd so much yesterday reading DYAC. it's my new fav site to go to for a laugh.

    -i hate that you (hell, who am i kidding, me too) need a daily meditations book. i wish we could just have our babies back

    -i know what you mean about not knowing how many people in the world are affected by the loss of a child. how many "zombies" are out there just walking around dealing with such horrific tragedies. my eyes are open now, unfortunately for me.

    -the f word is my new fav word. it gets used quite a bit.

    -i'm liking your new blog idea. and would be one of your 1st followers!

  2. Isn't so bizarre all the people that come out of the woodwork? I emailed the hospital billing office to see if we could make payments on my bill and Olivia's bill (we got screwed on insurance because I had just started a new teaching job and they were in the process of switching insurance plans so I was only under that plan for 1 flipping month. Since I was like 18ish weeks pregnant at the time we were deciding, of course I picked the worst/highest deductible plan thinking it was only one month. And my hospital stay was Sept.28th-Oct.2nd, so the new plan started Oct.1, with a new fabulous deductible.) So anyway, I mentioned to the person that our baby had died and we were still figuring out funeral expenses and stuff and could we please make payments...her baby had died too. Very random.

    Insurance companies are such a pain. That bloodwork is expensive but luckily that's one of the things we did not get hit with. I hope your doctor can get them to cover it!

    Also, just an FYI, if you spend 7% of your income on medical bills (doesn't matter if the bill was from last year if you are paying this year, you can count it for this year), you can claim it on your taxes. If you get pregnant sometime this year and decide to go the high risk route, the bills add up pretty quickly at least with our crappy insurance. So do yourself a favor and start keeping track now! Trying to backtrack all of our expenses from last year was a gigantic pain. (But we're getting an extra $1000 in our refund because of it.)

  3. Also. I like Dr.Oz, sometimes, too. (Totally agree with you.) And I definitely like Ellen more too. Unfortunately, both shows play dumb games with dinging and buzzing noises that freak my husky out, so I have to change the channel if/when they play a game or he'll be on my lap shaking. So I don't watch them as much anymore.

  4. I am reading this blog while ignoring the giant pile of papers next to me. I hear you.

  5. I've decided I am going to start reading your posts whilst commenting. It makes it easier.

    Okay: *I need the title of the grief book you hate that you need. Maybe I will hate that I need it too. But I need *something*. I hate that.
    *I had no idea others were suffering like this either. No. Idea. WTF?? I went to get Love's pictures developed today and told the lady that these pictures were *very important* because they were of my baby who died, and her baby had died too many years ago. Crazy. And sad. (side note: the pictures were totally blurry and not what I thought they would be. Knife to heart.)
    *Isn't Dexter THE FRICKEN BEST??? At first I didn't like Deb, but now I LOVE her. And the last season was so great. I loved that Dex found someone who really got him. Anxiously awaiting the next season...
    *If you do do a "what to read" blog, please let me know. I totally hate not knowing what to read next. I have read 5 books by the same author (Phillipa Gregory) because I don't have the energy or the mental capacity to find something new to read right now. Need a change soon though...
    *Never seen Buffy, but I hear that this is a big mistake. If I ever get Netflix, I will watch. I need to see this musical episode everyone speaks of so highly.
    Sorry if this was too long.

  6. Pulling punches is what you do when you're acting out hitting people, so they don't really get hurt. So if you're not pulling your punches, you're really hitting - doing something properly. I think it works as a title :)

    I'm glad the woman in the insurance company was helpful, even if it's horrible that she's a BLM too.

    I love Dexter's sis too :)