Wednesday, December 23, 2009

what did i do today?


Uterine cervix, cone biopsy
Histologic type: High grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (CIN grade III)
Tumor site: Left inferior quadrant (6 to 9 o'clock)

Endocervical margin: Uninvolved by neoplasia

Exocervical margin: Uninvolved by neoplasia

Deep margin: Uninvolved by neoplasia

in other words:
YAY!!!!! 4 weeks to sauna. 6 months til more people in my business. blessings
all around. merry christmas!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

what if i've been doing it wrong all along?

homeschool group monday night we had 2 homeschool alumni visit with us. the young lady was rather jaded-her experience seemed to consist of a lot of self-study in one area & not much of anything else. the gentleman seemed to have had the homeschool experience of a lifetime. both his parents had degrees in opposing fields which meant that practically everything a person might need to learn was covered and then some. something that he said struck me....

also attending the meeting was a girl who had a million questions about homeschooling as she is contemplating beginning with her son after the new year. so our meeting really ran the gamut-covering it all. something she was very curious about was the fact that many homeschoolers do not test. we do-our curriculum calls for it &, as our children attended brick & mortar school for the 5 & 6 years of their educational careers, we felt it would be best to continue in the same vein. she was concerned about being able to track progress if no testing was being done.

our guests had differing opinions on the subject. i believe they were both in non-testing situations. the young lady stated that she felt it harmed her further schooling experience, starting with the ACT she took during high school and continuing in to college. she also felt that it was harmful to her sister who was following in the homeschool footsteps. and then the man said something that surprised me. and i can't figure out if it is because i've misunderstood all along or if i'm just completely wrong.

he told our newbie that he suggested she be sure to read ahead so as to stay ahead of her student. and also to look ahead in the test booklets to be certain that she was directing him in the proper direction for success on the tests.

and this is where i'm confused. a major complaint that i have heard over & over again regarding schooling outside of the home is regarding "teaching to the test". which i've always understood to mean that teachers are not covering all material-just what is going to be tested. (and, after thinking on this, i'm beginning to wonder if this is in reference to standardized testing rather than regular classroom graded tests...gotta get that government money, you know!)

i make it a point to NOT preview the kids' test booklets ahead of time. i have textbooks & a lesson plan to build my lessons off of & i do my best to be certain that we cover all given material. i try to avoid spoon-feeding it to them as it concerns me that it will be a disservice to them in the future. they are 8th graders this year-big high school next year & hopefully college in 4 years or so. if i coddle them at this point, what would that mean for their future? i try to not take it easy on them as i don't want them to begin to expect it since i won't be their teacher forever. i definitely don't include piddly filler information in our daily lessons but thus far i don't think i've missed any of the important main ideas in any subject.

so...what say you? should i follow the alumnus' advice & look ahead at test questions to be certain i'm covering all pertinent information & not spending any too much time on information that will not be repeated again? or am i on the right track by expecting the kids to take the information i give them, the information they are responsible for learning on their own in their daily reading & "homework" that is completed once class is done for the day, and be able to put this together into a knowledge base that will serve them further in their educational careers? would it be more beneficial to be certain they are grasping by 100% a small number of facts-thus insuring (theoretically...these ARE teenagers i'm dealing with here) a high grade on tests & quizzes covering that material or is it more beneficial for their future to expect them to be able to glean information from the various lessons and independent work once they are asked for it at test time?

i don't feel like i am an easy teacher, by any means. one of my kids has a bad habit of expecting things to be handed to them & not being willing to do any more work than has to be done. we've been fighting a battle against "surface answers" recently-where the most basic of answers is given in response to a question without putting much thought into it & without truly grasping the crux of the lesson. i feel like the lessons that i impart to them in these years will stand them forever & that by being too easy on them, i am not pushing them to expand their knowledge or abilities. and i feel that by only pointing them in specific directions when it comes to schoolwork, they will not have the ability to self-teach once they are in whatever form of higher education they choose.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

i second the "wow"

i can't decide if this absolutely intrigues me or scares the hell out of me. very, very interesting. bit of a slow start but hang in there, it will pick up speed!

**courtesy of Kathy Petersen's Blog


and totally unrelated to the PSA but it just occurred to me that the title of the last post should have been anatomy IN a korean hospital. i think that would have been funnier. anyway....

so. little sister is going to belize. as in that little bitty country in central america that is stuck to the eastern coast of mexico & a huge chunk of guatemala. she's going all by herself for at least a year to manage an avian (that means birds) rehabilitation clinic as a volunteer. she'll receive a tiny bit of money on occasion & all of her living expenses will be covered so she won't be wanting for anything but extras.

she has a heart for conservation of our planet & trying to clean up the mess that we've made of it in any way that she can. she's followed this heart from south carolina to texas & hawaii & now out of the country. these positions have been (and continue to be) internships or volunteer positions but her purpose here isn't to make any money. it's to do what she believes so strongly in that she is willing to put aside her material wants & completely rearrange her life time and again in the name of her heart.

so if anyone wants to follow her along on her journey-which doesn't officially begin until mid january (but preparations are already in full swing)-you can hop on over to her blog and keep an eye on her. and if you feel led to assist her on her quest, she has a donate button on the blog as well.

i hope to join her for at least a week at some point. which will necessitate me flying halfway around the world again & possibly killing myself on some dang mayan ruins or something since she seems to have unearthed a hiking gene in me somewhere but how often does one get to go to belize? and know someone there?

and i guess i could add as a postscript that i'm pretty dang proud of my brave little sister. try to keep up with her on her journey-i think you'll enjoy it!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

anatomy of a korean hospital

and it began yesterday when someone called me & (i think) told me to be there at 8:00 am instead of 7:30. again, i think. so that's what we went with. good thing i heard on korean television yesterday that a person can be up to 30 minutes late to a person's home in korea without it causing an international incident.

and at 6:30 this morning, out the door we went. into the rain & nasty & down the road.

and i showed the fellas in suit jackets my little piece of paper & they used their badges to let me in the door & into another door where surprise! the lady who met me there didn't speak english! oh this should be interesting!

but somehow an english speaker was located & came out to take me to the changing room & tell me to take off my everywhere? and my underwear? and all this accompanied by hand motions as back up. and a baby screaming in the room i'm headed for. and a basket to put my stuff in with a specific bag for my shoes. he was very specific that that bag was for my shoes. not, apparently, for my head. or my broken self. which, come to think of it may have been easier.

and so i took off my everywhere & my underwear & put on korean hospital pajamas which are top & bottom & no parts exposed (hey! USA! take a note here!) & had the name of the hospital on them in case, i suppose, i ran off or something they would know where to return me to. and put my stuff in the basket & my shoes in the bag & the whole nine in the locker thoughtfully provided & equipped with more sign language to get the thing closed up. oh and take off your glasses & your earring. and no you can't take your ipod to drown out the poor little screamy fella 4 beds down. because men, women & children start off in this preop room with 8-10 beds.

and then hurry up & wait. and someone from the international clinic came to ask questions about eating (11:30 last night) & was someone here with me (1 in the waiting room) and blood type (O...uh...crap. can't remember + or -!). and some tissues for my eyes that seemed to not want to stop tearing up at being left alone in a hospital in a strange land. and then the dreaded nose ring conversation. "you should take it out." um. "you can't or you don't want to?" don't want to? and then rapid fire korean with more hand motions. and then "they will use an electricity to stop bleeding. if you don't take it out, it could make burns." oh. well when you put it that way. and out it came. sigh. and then a few more questions. and a timeline. and this was at 8:00 and they would come get me at 9:30. so what on earth does one do in a korean pre-op room for 1 1/2 hours? sit and wait, that's what.

and an iv showed up at some point. yuck. and then i had to potty. but apparently my limited korean (hwa-jang-shil?) was not very understandable to the poor lady on duty. and since the iv, i couldn't just jump & run for it & lock the door before they got me. so mr. changing room translator was called back into play. and we got sorted out. and then waited some more. and then i got a hat. it was blue & matched the spots on my jammies. and all my hair got tucked in & tied with a bow. and that apparently meant they were coming to get me soon.

andat some point, peace came over me and i relaxed and accepted that i'd be fine. combined prayers of the korean hospital & peninsula & south carolina i'm sure assisted this along. it was such a strange sense, i thought they had drugged my iv. but, no, it was just antibiotics.

and at about 10, as i was contemplating asking for the bathroom again, they came. and "laying down please" as i had been sitting up in the bed & down the hall we went. to operating room 8. and there were about 10 people in there. and one took off my shirt. and one asked if i was married & had baby. and one strapped down my left arm. and one strapped down my right arm. and i think the same one did something to my iv site. but i don't know what because i i didn't look. and the same one asking about my baby said "2 babies delivered normal presentation?" and i said yes. and then someone strapped down my belly and then 2 other someones took off my pants, as i was strapped down & couldn't manage myself. and then someone who looked so young asked my name & what was my surgery & was surprised when i didn't know the name of the surgery so i said cervix & apparently that was sufficient. and the doctor came in & people bowed & he said hello in his british accent & i said hello back. and the same young one looked in my mouth for chipped teeth & then came a mask. "this oxygen mask? you will go to sleep? breathe deeply"..."breathe deeply"...and the beeping & conversation got further & further away and then i woke up.

and the pain woke up & i asked what time it was (11:00) & where was 1 (in the waiting room & i could see him later) & my throat hurt from being intubated & i got a shot of demerol or cocaine or something but whatever it was DIDN'T HELP. and i couldn't go back to sleep because the shot lady said so. and then i went back down the hall to the first room. and they pulled the curtains & put my pajamas back on & opened the curtains & then i went to sleep. and then 1 showed up in his snazzy blue hospital gown & flip flops & aunt jemima hat. and asked for more pain medication. and then things were a little fuzzy & then he left & then i went back to sleep.

and at 1:30ish, i asked for the bathroom. and when it was open, i could go but i didn't have an iv stand & so when i tried to be sneaky & stop at my locker & get my phone & my ipod, i didn't hold the bag up & blood ran up the line. but they allowed the ipod & phone even though i had been naughty & forked up my iv line. and put me back in bed again where i could text & listen to music & occasionally hear my name spoken but still no hope of release. and an xray tech was pressed into service as a translator & asked what did i want (um? to go home?) & if i had any pain (yes! here!) but that was my lower abdomen & i had surgery on my vagina & uterus (well, sort of) & did i have any OTHER pain. well, no. but can i go home?

and at 2ish someone told me i could go home at 3ish. and then someone pulled my iv line. and then 1 showed up in his hospital clothes & then international clinic lady from the early morning question episode showed up & then i could go put on my clothes & mrs. brandi? on the bathroom door in case i needed a pad but i was prepared for all this crap so no thank you, i have one. and then they took my flip flops & i put on my shoes & we slowly slowly made our way downstairs. and paid 1.25 million won for the privilege of allowing them to have me in their esteemed hospital. and then went to the bakery because really? i haven't eaten in about 14 hours & probably i'm a little hungry? and then i got a pretty orchid plant in a pretty little bucket from 1. and then we came home in the rain & at 6ish i took some medicine & slept again. and now i'm awake. for a minute.

these koreans i think are stoics. and i don't think they gave me enough pain meds. so i think sleeping might be the next activity on the agenda as that seems to be the way to deal with this. along with my heating pad.

and we go back to the byeong won tomorrow & again in 2 weeks & again in 4-6 weeks. and no exercise for 2 weeks & then light exercise for 2 weeks. and in 4 weeks i can go to the sauna again. and other things. and then in 6 months dr. park will see us again.

and no more getting sick around here for a year. the medical fund has run dry. between broken me & allergy littlest, we're done. hear that? done! oh. and the nose ring is back where it belongs. and i think i will leave it alone for now. that hurt.