Category Archives: Parenting

To Doctor or Not to Doctor? That is the Question

Does putting a stitch in your own child’s scalp make you a bad parent? The other day while my kids were roughhousing in the front room, Bee fell and split her head open on the sharp corner of the wall. I cleaned it up, and thought I might put a butterfly on it, but after I cut away a chunk of hair, it was still bleeding too much for anything to stick, not to mention that I would have had to shave her head in that spot, which I KNOW she would not have put up with . . . so I got out a needle and thread and put a stitch in it to hold it shut. And then, she happily ran into the bathroom to take a bath.

Mind you, she did kick and scream during the stitching process, but only after my 12-year-old shouted “What are you doing? Are you sewing up her head?!” After which the first stitch that I was just getting ready to tie off was yanked out because that is when she started the kicking. And the screaming. Good grief! So I had to start all over again.

The most screaming was done by the kids who were not actually being stitched up. My 15-year-old daughter yelled at me and then stomped off to her room and refused to speak to me until the next morning. I think her exact words were “If she needs stitches, why aren’t you taking her to the emergency room?! I’m never touching that needle again! (I used one of her beading needles, because they are really sharp)

Ok, her question may seem logical to most people, but in my defense, a trip to the emergency room would have meant trying to keep all that bleeding at bay in the van on the way to the doctor’s office. Then holding her still and keeping the bleeding at bay while waiting in the waiting room for an hour so that a doctor could then come and put a couple of stitches in her head. I had the tools, I had the know how, and best of all, I did it all in less than 5 minutes right in my own living room. Without the extended drama. I mean we had some drama, but it was really more of a mini matinee and not a 5 act play.

I know that scalps are not like the most sensitive part of the body. I remember in my old punk rock days seeing punks with mohawks bopping around with safety pins in their scalps in the mosh pit. Granted they were probably drunk when they put them there, but considering the fact that Bee didn’t even know her scalp was being pierced until my son shouted it out for the whole world to hear, I don’t think it hurt her much. Maybe next time I’ll use orajel first – I think I still have some left from the good ol’ teething days . . .

Practicing Insanity ~ One Mom’s Perspective

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Quest for a Better Life

There are so many things that kids (and adults) like that are not exactly good for you. So, if you didn’t start out using healthy cooking habits, and then something happens that makes you realize that you have to change your eating habits, how do you do it? Food is such a fundamental part of life that any big changes are really hard to stick with, especially if your kids (or husband) are picky eaters!

The problem is that we have been so inundated with information from the media and what I call the ‘pop heath’ culture of America that it can be very confusing to try to eat healthy. For example, why is it that when you cut all of the salt and fat, and follow that elaborately crafted food pyramid, that all you want to do is go find something that is chock full of fat? The next thing you know, you find yourself coming out of the drive through with a super-sized double bacon cheeseburger and a giant chocolate malt with a huge pile of greasy fries, or sitting in the middle of a pile of chocolate wrappers, holding an empty giant-sized bag from Costco, thinking “Did I really eat all of those?” So the next day, you go on a rampage to get rid of all the junk food in your cupboards, and you replace them with all of those ‘healthy’ no fat, no sugar junk foods that you can find at your local heath food store. And then you find that you still manage to eat a whole bag all at once, and you feel all bloated and after a week you have gained at least 5 pounds. So you decide that you are really going to start being ‘good’ and you apply the stringent self discipline of a monk. After forgoing fat for a while, you may find that you itch all the time, and you start finding more of your hair in the brush, shower drain, laundry;  and your energy levels drop and you can’t seem to get enough sleep. You are yelling at your husband, your kids, your dog, AND inanimate objects, you’re having fits of road rage, and pulling even more of your hair out.

So then you try the no/low carb diet, and replace your ‘artery hardening’ butter with a margarine spread, start drinking low-fat skim milk instead of diet soda, and you lose the weight you gained eating diet snacks, but you find that you are having insatiable cravings for sugar.

The next step is to go to the doctor, because there really must be something seriously wrong with you. . . after all, the healthy diet just isn’t working and you are pretty sure they work for everyone else, because you saw the before and after pictures in Woman’s Day. He takes one look at your lab results and says, “You’re fine. Just get more exercise and lose some weight,” in a very condescending tone, (how hard can it really be?) and he looks at you like you are some kind of deranged hypochondriac wasting the time he could be spending with ‘real’ patients. You look at him and you are pretty sure he has never had a weight problem, or any other kind of real health problem in his life, so how can he possibly understand yours? And geez, they guy just gave you a breast exam, so you go home and ball your eyes out, and when your husband asks what the doctor said, you wail, “He said I was fine!”

Eventually you figure out that all of these popular health fads that you read about in Prevention or Woman’s Health don’t ever offer any real lasting diets that can offer you permanent solutions and that your doctor can’t and/or won’t do a single thing for you. They rarely know anything about nutrition other than what is in the food pyramid, and you already know everything about that because you learned about it every year throughout your entire public school career, starting with preschool, and then again in college health class.

So, do you give up? Or do you practice insanity by trying to do the same thing over and over and expect different results? Of course we all practice insanity . . . what else can we do?

There comes a point where we either accept that there is nothing we can do about it, and we endure our poor health (even though the doctor says we are perfectly fine) and we live life dragging our bodies from one day to the next, and we start taking medications for this that and the other because the doctor advised it, OR we do something different.

So, if there is nothing else that can be done, what can you do? WHAT IF THEY ARE ALL WRONG?

This is the question that you ask right before you experience paradigm shift.

You suddenly realize that all those diets you have read about that have nifty menus like 1 scrambled egg white, a half a piece of toast with a quarter teaspoon of buttery flavored canola spread, and 1/2 of a grapefruit for breakfast, with all of these new unfamiliar recipes, DO NOT WORK! (at least not for most people.) And they especially don’t work if you have a husband and kids. Unless you want to fix six meals a day instead of three.

Almost EVERYTHING that I thought I knew about healthy lifestyle was wrong, and I’ll tell you why. It is because all of the pop health propaganda is influenced either by big pharmaceutical companies or the food industry. These corporations only care about one thing, and that is NOT your health.

“So, what are you? Some kind of anti-capitalist conspiracy theorist now?” you may ask.

My answer to that is no, but that’s a whole other blog entry. Just think about this for a minute — and use some common sense. Big Pharma does not make any money if you are healthy, they only make money if you are sick. Food companies do not make money on natural, healthy foods, because they can’t sell them fast enough to prevent spoilage from cutting into their profits.

So, what can you do? Do you have to make drastic changes like becoming a raw vegan? My answer to that is also NO. In fact I don’t recommend that at all.

So what do I recommend? Well, take a seat because this is where it starts sounding really crazy. If you have just gotten off the merry go round, this is really going to twist your Twinkie. Stop eating margarine and  ‘heart healthy’ processed vegetable oils. Replace those with cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, organic coconut oil, butter, lard, and beef fat from healthy animals. Replace your white sandwich bread with organic stone ground whole wheat bread (watch for the fake brown bread with caramel coloring.)  Cut out processed foods, white flour, high fructose corn syrup, pasteurized milk products, and refined sugars. Stop buying cold breakfast cereal and start reading labels.

Now before you say “I thought that there weren’t going to be any drastic changes,” take a deep breath and read on.

One universal truth that our parents have taught us is that we are what we eat, and if you are going to be healthy, we need to eat healthy foods. Your grocery list will still look about the same as it did before, but you will change out your ingredients for higher quality ones. You MUST read labels. You have to switch from processed flour to whole grain flour. Buy another brand of peanut butter that doesn’t contain high fructose corn syrup or hydrogenated oils. Switch to whole grain pasta, buy fresh or frozen vegetables instead of canned ones. Buy fresh organic food whenever possible. Find out where your local farmers markets are – these are the best places to buy organic produce. Find a local dairy that sells fresh unprocessed raw milk.

“RAW MILK?! are you CRAZY?” You might say this, but remember that we have been lied to by the food industry. We have been taught to be afraid of wholesome natural foods. Be smart about it, sure. I mean don’t buy from a farm you have not visited in person and seen for yourself the condition and state of health that the cows are in. Ask the farmer what he feeds his animals. And, if you can’t handle the idea of raw dairy products, forgo dairy altogether. (Look for a future post to explain the benefits of raw milk and how to choose a good raw dairy.)

The best part about this is that for the most part, you can use your old recipes! You can have your comfort food, and maybe you won’t get skinny like Angelina Jolie, but you will start feeling better. Trust me, I’ve been there.

Upcoming Posts: Why Would Anyone Drink Raw Milk? and 5 Easy Changes for a Healthier Life