Tag Archives: people

Turns out I am an abstainer after all.

Way back when before all these kids, I was a music therapist at a psych hospital, and I ran other groups as well.  I used to share all kinds of ideas and articles, including one from Gretchen Rubin on abstaining vs. moderating which she describes here and further discusses here.

I would talk about it perhaps in terms of addiction, or maybe just in a positive thinking type group, but I generally thought I might have been a moderator – but what it boiled down to was I didn’t want to fully give anything up.  That is no way to live! Surely I can moderate my diet/internet use/what have you.  I need my desserts, darn it!

But I can’t, and in the second article, perhaps she is arguing that maybe only very few especially temperate people can truly be moderators.  My Grandad, for instance – who just passed away this year – I think would be one. And then there is me.  I recently read about someone’s experience with compulsive overeating and it sounding a little too familiar.  If you’ve watched the new show This Is Us I can relate to Kate quite a bit.  And you might look at me and say well you aren’t nearly as big as her, but it wouldn’t take too many steps for me to get there. (I’ve since stopped watching after episode 2 – I have enough stress in my life, I don’t need anxiety from a tv show!)

So how did I come to this new self-knowledge?  Brian and I are rewarding ourselves with $5 a week for maintaining certain rules and mine is no sweets, except for a snack at church if available during coffee hour, or a special occasion like a birthday or outing.  And it’s easier.  It’s easier to have a rule.  I am, at heart, a rule-follower. The rule becomes freeing.  I can even scroll through pinterest, note how delicious everything looks, and move on.  I am no longer tempted to put things in the grocery cart because they are simply not allowed, and then I don’t have to try to not eat half a container of cookies that are in the house.  Our allowance of sorts is helping the budget as well, by cutting down on extraneous spending.

I’m tempted to use a further example, the thing, ahem, you usually think of when it comes to abstaining.  I’ll just leave that there for you to ponder.

So which are you?  Any true moderators out there?  Any rebellious rule-breakers who balk at abstaining?  Anyone else like me who is finding (or has found) freedom in boundaries?




Phone Calls

Do you know what I dislike? When non-medical professionals who answer the phones at doctors’ offices try to talk to you about your medical problem.  Three stories:

  1. When we first started looking into infertility testing, the first recommendation was to use an ovulation predictor kit to make sure I was indeed ovulating.  I was, and called back to find out the next step.  “So have sex” was this person’s brilliant advice.
  2. When Leland was 3 weeks old he spiked a high fever.  I took it in his armpit because I was too nervous to take it in his bum. I think in his armpit it was around 101.5? This person on the phone said he was probably fine because his actual temperature would be lower. Turns out you need to add a degree to get a rough estimate of actual temp from the armpit, and he ended up being up over 103 by the time we got to the ER. (Side story: The original person set up an appointment and I was on my way in.  They called back to say I needed to take the temp in his bum, so I had to turn around and drive home, go back up to our third floor apartment with a 3-week-old in his carseat, take his temp, and find out it was high enough to go straight to the ER.  Thankfully my Aunt Denise was visiting at the time so she came with me.  He had a UTI and was in the hospital for a few days)
  3. While I was hanging out in the NICU with Elliot (3 months ago already!) my feet swelled very badly, I could barely walk.  When I called to talk to a midwife on call, the answering service person said “Oh that happened to me, I think it’s normal.” Turns out I had postpartum preeclampsia and I was hospitalized for a day.(Another side story: Do you think I could get my blood pressure taken in a hospital?  We were at a different hospital than where I gave birth so I wasn’t a patient.  It took all day before a NICU nurse finally swiped a blood pressure stand from another floor and then promptly sent me down to the ER)

Do you know who I love talking to?  There is a woman at the OB/GYN office in our town where I used to be a patient.  She did all of the organizing and scheduling of our infertility testing and she was so very helpful and kind.  She would call me with results and talk about everything with me.  I only ever met her in person one time for a few seconds but I spent a lot of time on the phone with her.  I just called her again after 3 years because we are looking for a new provider and she talked with me for a good while about what is going on with my health and what I am looking for in a new doctor,  She was so glad to hear that we are no longer dealing with infertility and about our kids, and was more than happy to take time to chat about my concerns.  She is just truly a wonderful, supportive, and helpful person who I think goes well beyond her required tasks.

She is also someone I always refer to by her full name – Barbara Baxter is a household name for us!