Thursday, August 16, 2012

House Partaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!

Good morning friends.  This is quite possibly my most serious blog post yet.  I've been reading Instructing A Child's Heart by Tedd and Margy Tripp.  Now that I've been staying home quite a bit more..........after my whirlwind ride at my most previous place of employment.....I have been trying to self-reflect as a parent and see where I can improve.  Lemme (yes.....that is a word where I grew up) tell ya a few things about myself before I get to rambling about my parenting skillz.  Or lack thereof.

1.  I am a procrastinator.  Working on this one. (haha......see what just happened here???)
2.  I tend to get stuck in ruts.  If this is you, it needs no explanation.
3.  I can be very hard on myself at times........
4.  I fall into bouts of mental laziness.  Which in turn manifests itself as physical laziness.
5.  I have a tendency to be an absolutist......I'll explain.

So how does all of this play into parenting, reading this book, my relationship with God and my day-to-day existence?  Well.......sit back and have a looksee.  I shall take you through it one painstaking step at a time.

This book.  It talks about formative instruction in conjunction with corrective discipline.  The first being an ongoing dialogue with your kids and using day to day instances to teach.  The second being the times you do the this-is-going-to-hurt-me-more-than-it-hurts-you-thing or some variation thereof.  I began to really think about these two concepts.  I think about all the times I have sat down with my kids and really talked to them.  Like REALLY TALKED.  About life, God, Jesus, salvation, obedience, siblings, love, the golden rule, not jumping off bridges if your friends jump too, eating your vegetables, gravity, sharing, consequences, reflection, heaven and hell, kindness, sympathy, discernment, cleanliness, discipline, worldliness, and how the world perceives them.  THEN.........I think of all the times I have spent the day just barking orders, yelling, cursing and creating general chaos in their lives.  And it devastates me (see #'s 2 & 3).  As someone who met and married my lifelong friend/partner by the time I was 19 (and this is not a bad thing folks........Kevin was divine timing in my life), I oftentimes doubt(ed) that I'm truly equipped as such a young and immature parent.

BUT THEN.............life-altering revelation for me here people..........I REALIZED.........

I, STEPHANIE SANDERS, REGARDLESS OF AGE, GENDER, SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS, RACE........AM NOT PERSONALLY EQUIPPED TO BE A GREAT, GOOD (OR EVEN MEDIOCRE) MOTHER.

It is only through God, and His Son Jesus Christ's shed blood, that I am able to do this.  It's like being a really sick person.  And you gotta go to the infusion clinic each day to get the life-blood that you desperately need to stay alive.  You go......sit down in a (semi) quiet place.......and hook yourself up to that IV line (the Word) and begin the infusion.  You are filled with  Encouragement and Hope and Love and Forgiveness and Peace and He even throws in some Grace and Mercy and for good measure.  The big step for me has been taking all of those heart nutrients and implementing them throughout the day.  Some days, I kick ass and take names (i think).  Other days.......well......see #'s 1 & 4.  Then I snowball into #5 and convince myself that I'm the world's worst parent and I can't do ANYTHING right.  And THEN, I have a pity party that I invite a few select people to (you know who you are).  And you see where the night ends up.


It's like a house party gone really wrong (or as expected).  The place is a mess.  All the dishes are broken, there's glass everywhere, bodies strewn about and general mayhem abounds.  Some guy is wandering around your house with a busted eyebrow and he's bleeding all over your mom's new carpet.  There's a girl you don't even know sleeping in your sister's bed.  The kitchen table is in the bathroom and a raccoon is sitting in the sink washing the dishes.  The  wardrobe door to Narnia is wide open and there's snow blowing in all over the furniture.  Dad's gonna kill me.  (I could really go on all day like this people.  It's a disease).  0_o


Back to reality now. The Bible and this book, are together teaching me that corrective discipline in the absence of formative instruction does not bode well for my future as a parent.  It's teaching me that the laundry and dishes and errands and all the blavin of daily life can wait just a few more minutes so I can have that conversation with my kids in order to help shape their hearts and minds.  And it's only through His grace and mercy and daily reliance on Him that it is possible.  MAN!  I wish (where are you robin williams in a blue genie suit when i need you????) I had known these things 10 years ago.  Why is it that you don't get "it" until you start getting older?  Ugh.  Thanks for that one God.  Way to design it where we spend the first 30 some odd years of our lives as dummies who can't figure it out.  (i can hear you all screaming at the monitor, "speak for yourself sanders!").  I've got A LONG way to go peeps.  My goal here is to model Christ-like behavior for my children.  I so often see them emulating me in the way I speak to others.......and them.  Sometimes it makes me beam with pride.  And other times, I cringe at the content of what they say and the tone of voice they use.  It's me........in all my "glory".  Being displayed through my offspring.  Thanks again God (and this time, I really mean it) for using my children as a mirror.  A mirror that hopefully causes me to stop and take a hard look at my reflection.  You've got a lot of work to do Steph.  So get off your arse and the computer and go hang out with your kids.  Don't mind if I do..........

Peace out.





Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Not-So-Gradual-Decline of the "Health" Care System

Hi friends!  (Meaning the three people who actually read this). 

Welcome to my random rant once again.  It's good to have you.  So sit back, relax and marvel at how long I can sit here and type about nothing.

I just gotta get this off my chest.  Been stirring it around in the old brain and stewing about it for about 4 days now.  We all are acutely aware of the universal "health" care (this will be in quotes henceforth because it really is a gross misnomer) bill that was passed in late 2010 and is currently being implemented, rather poorly I might add, by the current administration.  I, Stephanie Sanders RN, get to witness the implementation of this government administered monstrosity on a daily basis at my place of employment.  It is a sad sad sad day ladies and gentlemen, when I see what any free-thinking rational human being would consider a grave grave grave disservice being done to a fellow human.  Apparently, these other free-thinking rational humans are running in short supply.

Soooooooooooo............enter government run "health"care victim #1275328743095405843.  Here's the short and skinny:

The blind gentleman slowly walks over to the stretcher to sign the consent form for his cataract surgery.  He happens to be a VA (Veteran's Administration) patient.  He also happens to have UNCONTROLLED Type II Diabetes and UNCONTROLLED Hypertension.  Glucose tests at 353 (normal is 70-110) and Blood Pressure is 196/98 (normal is 120/70 and anything higher is considered prehypertensive until the top number gets above 140 and the bottom gets above 80, then you have "high" blood pressure).  Now one of the major side effects of uncontrolled glucose levels for sustained periods of time is diabetic retinopathy.  This results in major, almost irreparable damage to the retina and surrounding structures, including the optic nerve, resulting in blindness.  Uncontrolled glucose levels can also result in kidney damage, nerve damage to the hands, legs and feet, impotence in men and a myriad of other health issues.  Uncontrolled high blood pressure can result in stroke, atherosclerosis (hard arteries), heart attack, aneurysms, and eventual death if not treated.  I have not even given an exhaustive list of all the horrible things that can happen when we don't take care of our bodies, but you get the picture.  So this gentleman had gone blind due to his diabetes.  So my question is............WHY IN GOD'S NAME ARE WE BRINGING HIM IN FOR SURGERY ON HIS ALREADY BLIND EYE????  Was I the only one on this page today?  How is this possibly in his best interest?  Why are we subjecting this man to this increased risk of infection  (http://www.allaboutdiabetes.net/post-operative-infections-and-diabetes/) to remove a cataract from an already blind eye?  Why aren't we sending this man back to his primary care in order to get his diabetes and blood pressure under control before doing unnecessary procedures??????? Why are we finger plugging the hole in the dike when there's a broken gushing dam right around the corner? The anethesiologist replied, "Well, if we cancel his surgery and bring him back later, I suspect his sugar will still be high, so we may as well go ahead and do it now."  YEP.  THAT'S PAR FOR THE COURSE LADIES AND GENTLEMEN.  Go ahead and slice him open so you can get your paycheck.  Nevermind that he's an actual human being with actual medical needs that supercede your desire for another maserati or house in the dominion/rogers ranch.



Nevermind that what he really needs is someone who will invest the time to do some patient teaching and education on what it means to eat food with nutritional value and take meds on a regular basis to avoid uncontrolled glucose levels which led to this predicament in the first place.  THIS is government medicine people.  This is non-sensical silliness that will continue until we DEMAND that it stops.  This is what our AGING PARENTS have to look forward to.  This is what WE have to look forward to.  This is what OUR CHILDREN have too look forward to.  And this is only the tip of the iceberg.  Common sense is pissed away in the wind where copious amounts of money are concerned.  Just ask about 95% of people who have won the lottery.  Money (or the influence of it) makes people do really stupid things.  Remember?



Sorry Michael Jackson.  I'm not hating on you.  Just trying to illustrate the point that the influence of money tends to make us all lose our ever-loving minds.

Not sure if I've managed to convince anyone of anything here.  And if you have a differing point of view, I would love to hear it.  I am not even sure what the solution is to all of this (got a good idea though), but I'm for damn sure it's not the current system we have in place.  My job as a nurse is to advocate for my patients, and you can be confident I made my position known that day.  My patient was resigned to follow the only advice given to him up to the point of surgery.  And I must say he was grossly ill-advised.  It hurts my heart for that portion of the population who knows nothing other than the misinformation that is fed to them through differing outlets.  Sometimes I feel so small in comparison to the behemoth medical model being practiced today, but I know that my God is BIG.  I know that my faith and trust in HIM is paramount.  It is also my job, as a believer, to share the amazingly Good News with my fellow (wo)man.  I fail miserably sometimes (well......more than sometimes), but His Grace and Mercy are underservingly given to me on a perpetual eternal basis.  I know I'm waxing all theoretical on you now, but even as I type this, it's a reminder for me.  Reminding me that I am His child and I can lay all my cares and worries at HIS feet.  Including the above mentioned.  And I have to make sure that I listen for His still, small voice when He instructs me on how to handle and conduct myself on the world stage.  Because we are His messengers. 


..............and we gotta make sure it's HIS message. 


Peace out y'all.  Thanks for reading.