Wednesday, December 23, 2009
This is the time of year when family and friends become more preeminent, when food, fun and merriment are the order of the day, and when there is a general interest in renewing and refreshing of the body, mind and spirit.
In this season, let a spirit of calm tranquility and an eveness of temprament prevail. Getting into fights, arguing about small and useless things, these eat into your own personal tranquility and ease of mind.
Take care of you this season. Do not lose your mind, nor your soul in harried trips to the mall. Rather, keep a cup of good cheer nearby, and sip on it liberally to refresh your soul. Rejoice and celebrate that which is good, mourn that which is lost, and let the Star which guided the Wise Men in their quest guide to to an oasis of quiet.
Friday, December 18, 2009
In consulting with a new mother-to-be, I asked her what her concerns were. To my surprise, her calm exterior dissolved into a torrent of scalding tears. As I comforted her, and prepared a cup of tea, I braced myself for the worst: is her husband abusive? is she concerned about finances? maybe she doesn't have any food or clothing...
The problem was revealed through hiccups. "I gained ten pounds! I am so fat, I will never lose this weight!" This set off a red flag in my head. It is normal to have some concern over weight, and in this country of weight consciousness, somewhat acceptable. The warning to me was of the utter hysterics posed by the idea of losing her perfect figure for even a few months.
To this client, gaining weight was the negative of pregnancy, and she fought every step of the way to keep slender: she exercised for an hour a day, she drank slim and non-fat milk, she tightly regulated her snacks and was rigid on her portion controls. Any deviation from her plan(one pound a month) made her desperate. She spent hours on the internet, researching low-calorie foods that she could eat and looking for tips of the trade on how to keep her weight down.
When she calmed down somewhat, I asked her when her next appointment was with her OB/GYN, and asked permission to accompany her, along with a professional friend of mine. She agreed.
At the next appointment, I and my friend, who is a psychiatrist, showed up. We listened as the client told the doctor how everything was fine, she was eating "loads and loads" and she nodded vigourously as the doctor admonished her to eat nutritious meals in order to have a healthy baby. Again, the client agreed.
There was a short pause. I gently said, "Is there something which you want to share with Dr._________? A concern that you raised with me?" The client stared at me, a mixture of fear and anger on her face. She denied vehemently that she had something to add.
I again said gently, "Don't you know that if your health or the health of the baby is in jeopardy, I cannot stay quiet?" At this point, Dr.__________ let the client know that I had sent a report, indicating that there might be some trouble regarding eating, and that I was very concerned with her nutritional balance.
The client was, to say the least, not happy.
This is when the doctor took over and asked if the client wanted to continue with my services. Livid,...well, we can all picture what happened next.
Would I change it again, perhaps hinted and prayed that the client would come to her senses? Surely I could use the retainer fee, especially in this season of Our Lord's birth, and hardly anything in the house. I could have just shrugged and let it pass from my eyes.
I could not, and cannot. This woman needed help, and I, as San Jose's Community Doula, could not turn my back on that fact, no matter what the consequences....
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers beat out five hundred of their closest competitors and correctly identified the location of ten red balloons released in select areas around the country.
Using the MIT website, text message advertising and other social media tools, the researchers received input from over 4,000 volunteers to accurately pinpoint the location of the cheery globules. The project was an exercise in determining the speed, accuracy and reliability of information culled from social media. In addition, the feasibility of using alternate communication in national emergencies or during situations such as Amber Alerts or interstate kidnappings was probed.
The researchers, basically were glad of the opportunity to use their skills to prove their work, which reflects on themes of social media in society. They plan to divide the money amongst charities and the top spotters.