Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Pollen, Asthma & Swine Flu

My 8 year old daughter has asthma. Now that my car is covered with a coat of pollen, she has begun wheezing due to allergies. We usually go through a bout of flare-ups during seasonal changes and when abrupt weather fronts go through. So yeah, this is prime time for this to happen. It was 90 yesterday, 60 today.

As moms with children with asthma can attest, this creates a problem with the school. I usually get a letter threatening me with a fine from the magistrate if my child misses any more school days without a doctor's note. I haven't gotten one yet, but I'm expecting one. And not for anything, but those co-pays add up! The result is that we're very careful about how often we let her stay home. If she doesn't have a fever, she goes to school. Isn't that what I have her inhaler at the school for?

So this morning my daughter wakes earlier than usual, climbs in my bed and we watch the news together during her nebulizer treatment. Then we're off to the races. Two hours into the school day I get a phone call from her: "Mom, I think I have Swine Flu." I could barely keep from laughing. "No I'm just kidding, I was coughing and threw up a little so the teacher sent me to the office." Little smartass.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Giant 'G' is lit in the sky...

Those wandering in from various parts of cyberspace, here is the backdrop: Gabe is my best friend Kristin's youngest son. (The link is a video of him from her blog) Last summer Kristin had an unfortunate mishap involving her lawn mower, a bent blade and some four-letter words. The result was the beginning of an obsession, to go along with his current Volcano obsession.

I picture Gabe wearing a reddish-orange outfit with black boots and a red cape. He is Volcano-Man! He can melt metal with his black gloves and laser vision. Of course he can fly, he jumps off the couch regularly. His stunning finishing move is the eruption! (He doesn't need special powers for that one. He's 3.)

Dear Gabe:

I need your help! My husband has bent the lawnmower blade! He tried to fix it, but it didn't work. Can you help me? Now he wants me to go to the store to buy a new one. I wouldn't know where to start! But you could soften the metal just enough with your special gloves to straighten it out, couldn't you? Hitting it with a hammer isn't working very well. Maybe your laser vision? Or maybe you could just use that to cut all the grass? Please come soon!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Global Warming Caused by Obesity?

This gem of a news story is brought to you today by London's Sun Times. Well this news must be a big sigh of relief to many of my neighbors, as I happen to live in coal mining country. Perhaps now their jobs will be spared. Despite whether you believe in Global Warming or not, this is rediculous. As if many overweight people don't feel bad enough about themselves, now we're literally putting the weight of the world on them too. Now I certainly have more than a few pounds to lose. While I'm not sure if I would be considered clinically obese or not, that threshold seems to lower daily. I believe there is an over-simplification by the skinny populace as to why people are or become obese. If the answer was simple, the diet and fitness industry wouldn't be the million-dollar industry it is. Obviously they are missing key components that can't be waved away with a simple rote answer.

So does this mean the EPA will shut down fast food restaurants? That's not such a stretch anymore. New York City Councilman Eric Gioia wants to ban all fast food restaurants within 500 feet of a school. Given NYC's population, that's almost every block. I wonder what would constitute as 'fast food'? Would that only hit the big chain offenders, such as McDs, Wendy's or BK? Or would that include pizza joints? Sub shops? Chinese food? Where does it end? Since when is it the government's role to decide what is available where in the public arena? If Dad wants to take Junior out for a slice after school, that's his business. Maybe the schools should pay more attention to the mystery meat on their own lunch menus. How about removing chocolate milk? My kids' school even has strawberry flavored milk. They don't get that at home.

I'm not sure if I should laugh at these news stories or be scared of them. Whatever happened to personal choice and personal responsibility? How about real support instead of blame? How about treating overweight people with respect and dignity instead of staring in disdain? Here's a thought: maybe magazine covers should feature HEALTHY women instead of size zero anorexics?