Thursday, 29 July 2010

Medical fees - how my colleagues embarrass me

Medical fees must be one of the most unregulated, outrageous things ever.  For some reason shopping around with medical fees is not like shopping around for a car or your groceries - people seem to think that once you have one that's it.  But it amazes me sometimes how much people charge and what they can get away with.

It started with my parents a few years ago when they had a colonoscopy.  Mum told me that the colonoscopy cost $2000 and the anaesthetic was $800!  I nearly fell of my chair.  That means that they were WAYYY out of pocket.  I gapcover all my scopes, because they're such quick procedures, you'll make good money already.  But $800! For a 20 minute anaesthetic?  Maybe 30 minutes?  I mean really does anyone think they're worth $1600-$2400 an hour???  And what makes them better than me?

On Tuesday we were discussing fees and what people charge (amongst my anaesthetic colleagues).  At the San (Private hospital in Northern Sydney) a relative of one of my colleagues was $700 out of pocket for a knee scope!  And they're with Medibank Private!  Which means that the knee scope probably cost close to $1000 for the anaesthetic alone!  My fee is less than half of that!  So do people REALLY think (patients that is) that they're getting a better anaesthetic for that ridiculous price?  I do post op follow ups, I am considerate and caring and I give plenty of advice about what to do for pain relief after the operation and what to expect.  I bet you half of these slack dogs don't even do that.  And nobody does a thing about it.  And some anaesthetists charge $1000 for an epidural IN HOURS! For labour pain.  And that is more than double my fee EASILY.  The things people get away with.  It's truly astonishing. 

Sometimes I feel like I should write an anonymous letter to the paper or Today Tonight or something looking at the price of medical bills.

Sometimes I am temped

Starcraft 2 is out!

Well finally Starcraft 2 is released!  I haven't had much time to play, having gone out and had meetings and so on but I have to tell you I'm pretty bad at playing Zerg - I keep getting wiped out!  I think I need to make a defensive team with offensive backup to start.  I was annoyed because I had so many network dropouts!  And I was winning one game too.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Julian unwell again... is he ever healthy?

Julian came down with some febrile illness last weekend, and was rather miserable. It turned into diarrhoea by Tuesday and Wednesday and on Thursday was really lethargic and off his food. Even my nanny was worried, she called me about him, just to let me know but didn't think he needed to go to hospital or anything. Anyway yesterday he was looking a bit better, more chirpy but still miserable and he came out in an all over body rash spotty thing. Measles looking but I don't think it's that, I'm not exactly sure what it is. But I haven't been able to catch any poos, they're all going in the nappies. And I feel bad because I've been throwing nappies into the bin with poo in them, when I should at least spray them off. And the amount of disposables we're using... geez my environmental conscience is yelling at me! Though it is a lot easier to get rid of diarrhoea poo that way...

Oh and I have diagnosed it! He has Roseola infantum. Also known as 6th disease. Starts off with fever and when fever breaks they get a rash all over their trunk and spreads to arms, legs and face. Says the fever can last 3-7 days and the rash a few hours to a few days. It came on pretty quick the rash. Hopefully it will fade just as fast.

Poor Julian has such a red bottom from his frequent poos. Looks so sore!

Monday, 19 July 2010

First electricity bill after solar rebate

Oh I forgot to mention I got my first electricity bill after having the solar panels installed and the meter in place.  My electricity bill was $18.57!  Now the interesting thing was that it was all from late fees... because I forgot to pay my last electricity bill on time.  Solar rebate got me back $409.67 (602kWh @ 68c).  And we used 2091kWh.  So that was really good!

Mobile monster-baby

Geez Julian is climbing everywhere!  He is climbing the stairs, getting up the bookshelf (!!) and pulling books out - yesterday he was standing on a bucket pulling things off the bookshelf.  He does like to stand at the printer and the windowsill and also at the table.

Converted the trike back into a walker for him though unfortunately Erika seems to like "helping" which is basically pushing the walker along for him which of course is too fast and he falls flat on his face!

It was only last week that I put him in that space around the staircase - I have the gate around it so I thought well he can't go up, and he's contained by the fence so he can't go anywhere.  I went to the toilet and then I heard Ivan yelling my name, so I came out and saw that Julian had made it up to the third step!  On the weekend Ivan decided to see how far he could go and he managed to go up the whole flight of stairs!  He got stuck on the top step because he couldn't get over the safety gate edge.

Now Julian is constantly standing in his cot.  I wonder how long it will be before I have to lower the cot.  If he climbs this much he probably could get over the cot edge before long.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Meeting People in Real Life after only knowing them online

When you play online games like World of Warcraft with the same people every day for years, people become your good friends.  People who don't meet people online often don't understand this.  They think that you can't know someone unless you have met them in person.  But seriously, you meet someone at a bar, you pick them up, you take them home.  How well do you REALLY know that person, come on!  People often think oh people you meet online are stalkers, axe murderers, criminals, perverts - you don't know anything about them!  But how do you know some guy you meet on a date isn't the same?  Or any other colleague or peer for that matter?

But on to meeting my online friends.  At our big Frostwolf party when Madcow (Moopie) came to visit seeing some people was like.. wow is that what you look like.  Take Lacrox, a golden haired metrosexual looking Blood Elf.  In real life he's round, dark and bearded.  Ghistal, hilariously, looks exactly like a dwarf.  And Frostie was gorgeous in real life.  Davith was like a gentle (vegetarian!!) giant, Silentogre looked like a scary scrawny Nazi to me... and Saintzhul and Kaz were just like they were online, loud, brash and friendly.

Then when Mil and Thinto came to visit, I was worried because they kinda look scary from their pics... but Mil is actually very pretty and crazy, and Thinto is also very nice but scarily observant!  Why does it feel like all boys who play WoW are overweight and bearded/unshaven... got to see Arstor for the first time there too and he was very pleasant looking as well as being nice to talk to and totally non snobby like.  Totally don't like their drunken and drug taking behaviour though.  Makes everyone totally annoying and just outrageous thinking they can get away with stupid things.

Then on our 5th birthday party when we went to Tout's place, Melfina looked totally... hate to say it... bogan  (Bel's words not mine)!  How on earth does he have 2 girls at once and raid 6 hours a day and work.... /rolls eyes.  Eboniee looks older than we thought, and for some reason I thought she was blonde but she's dark haired and a bit overweight too (but she's still sweet and lovely!).  Fue looks pale and quiet, and had less hair than I thought since I remember his pics from when he was 18 on the website!  So yeah online Fue is calm yet in command but in real life is quiet and not bossy at all.  Caedis was actually what I thought he'd look like.  And his voice sounds different for some reason.  Arstor was gorgeous as usual and even Eboniee thought so!  Would have to say he's the best looking WoW player I've met so far.

Then when we went to Sev's place the other weekend because Aza came to visit.  Aza has long hair - flowing golden locks he says - and he's very tall but his enthusiasm in real life is just like he is online.  He looks different to when I met him 3 years ago!  I have to admit that I was a bit grouchy thinking that Sev was going to meet up with Tout but hadn't met up with me and hubby because I always thought we were better friends and I was letting him have his space... and I was prompted a little by thinking I can't let them meet him before I have!  I know I know, totally petty!  So I shamefully admit one of the driving forces for going to see Sev was that I didn't want everyone to do it before I did...

Sev is pathologically reclusive so I never feel like I should force him to do things.  And he was so nervous with entertaining... you should have seen all the drinks in his fridge!  He could have fed a classroom for 2 days!  So we went out for Indian food which I really liked and unfortunately Tout didn't like.  And silly old Tout he did his usual thing - "I can take you to the BEST place for Indian"  he cracks me up with how he always knows the BEST of everything, the best dentist, the best restaurants, the best bar... poor Sev if that was me I'd feel really embarrassed that I took my friends to place and they didn't like it!  Sev said he looked like Fue... maybe in terms of paleness but other than that not really.  He did look awkward though - shy mixed with some hesitation.  But he was happy enough, he wasn't sullen or anything and seemed genuinely pleased to see us.  I was glad I met him, it doesn't change my opinion of him, and we're still as good friends as ever.  His brother though, was not what I expected!  Perhaps I expected someone a bit more like Caedis, being the brand name shopper that he is - but he is obviously one of those who likes to dress designer without looking designer grunge!  Long hair in a ponytail, glasses, skinny but friendly - he looks like somebody from a comic book store!  Sometimes I wonder if I should mention to Tout his lack of tact - though when I try to point out his faults and lack of insight into them I am told I'm being paranoid and not being his friend!  Blah!  LOL don't want to make this a whole whinge about Tout post, I might have to make up a separate one for whinging about friends!

This weekend Bel is coming to Sydney because Fae has a presentation of some sort.  I asked him briefly if he wanted to meet up, he was evasive so I didn't bother pushing it, after all, it's probably not an ideal thing if a married dude is meeting up with a chick in Sydney (even though his Mrs may be present).  But then I find Tout has asked him over for lunch!  I think I'll just avoid the whole thing, just to be on the safe side.  After all, guys meeting guys is ok.  I don't want to upset Fae!  I'll happily stay at home and besides I'm on call.

Friday, 16 July 2010

More ARGH!!! Husband whinge No #2

So annoying!  Hubby brought kids home and then got fed up of them coz they were crying when trying to be fed.  So poor Julian was crying while trying to be fed so I put him to bed.  I said but he hasn't had dinner, and husband said feed him dinner in an hour.

So Erika was whinging and crying while being fed and he got fed up and stomped off.  So I coaxed her to eat congee and some fried rice.  She even drank a little bit of Ribena and I took her to poo.  And then I told husband to go get Julian and he said after putting Erika to bed.  So I put her to bed and I fell asleep as well.

It's 924pm now and I went to check Julian but he's sound asleep.  So I told husband why didn't you feed him dinner?  And he says oh well I didn't know I was supposed to feed him dinner.  What has he been doing?? Playing playstation!!!  So I said well you can get up and feed him then when he cries tomorrow morning, and he says well that's fine I can wake him up later.  GRRRRR!!!  I am really cross with that.  And I have to change Julian's nappy to his night nappy.  AND I'm on call, it's Friday, at Liverpool.  You'd think that would mean something, at least help wise but NOOOOO.  I was going to let Julian sleep but with the nappy thing I'd better get him up.  Geez.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

OMG Holy Hand foot and Mouth! My progress with it

Well, I officially have hand, foot and mouth disease!  Sounds disgusting!  I think I'll just call it Coxsackie virus, sounds a whole lot cleaner I think.

It sounds so funny now, I had fevers on Tuesday and a sore throat, had a dreadful sore throat yesterday with minimal fever, and last evening I went to the garage and I stepped down onto my shoe and I got a pain in my foot and I thought I'd stepped on a splinter, I was looking and looking for it but couldn't find it.  Then when I got up this morning at 4am my foot was still sore and I was looking on my foot and there was a little lump that was tender and I thought I hope that's not a pus bubble, maybe it's just a blister.  I was even thinking of going to see a podiatrist.  I put Julian on the toilet, gave him some milk then put him back in bed.

Then when I got up at 630am I went downstairs to peel pear for Erika's brekky and the crease in my thumb interphalangeal joint was painful and I looked at my thumb and there was a painful red spot there... then the penny dropped!  I looked closer at my hands and there were little red lesions everywhere!  And they were tender too!  Suddenly my foot wasn't so sore because I knew what it was!  And now that I think about it there are lots of painful spots on my feet but the knowledge of what it is makes it much more bearable!  So what does it feel like? Kind of like how pins and needles feels when you get that in your hands and feet.  Probably not even that sore.  Kind of like how your feet get sore after you walk too long.  Like when you're starting to get a blister.. or ten.  In my case, more like 50!

Fortunately nothing around my mouth.  I'd hate to look like I've got sores all around my mouth!  I'm going to take some pictures of my hands and feet and put it up just for interest.  Sorry for all my blog readers (there aren't that many I know!) if this is TMI but it's actually really fascinating!

Wow it has really progressed over the day!  Now it's up my arms and everything!  Hope it doesn't affect my plans for tomorrow...

Friday: Wow these lesions are sore today!  And they're up my arms, on my legs, groin... and it's quite painful to walk on them, and man are they itchy!  They swell up like blisters when i scratch them.

Saturday: So much better today, but the lesions now look like bright red splotches.  And not so itchy and not so painful.  Here's hoping they're even better tomorrow.  The backs of my hands don't look so bad, it's only looking at my palms and the soles of my feet that it looks bad.
Tuesday: Well thank god the pins and needles feelings are gone.  Now the lesions are just like.. blisters under the skin, almost warty looking (god I hope they don't turn into lots of warts!)  The mouth ulcers are killing me though - I can't stick my tongue out to do anything it hurts too much!

Wednesday: Mouth is feeling better

Thursday.  My hands still feel bubbly, not smooth, just kind of lumpy.  Mouth is heaps better today.  I can stick my tongue out now!  But it's just a tiny bit uncomfortable.  My feet look shocking though, I feel like it's made more callouses if that makes any sense.

2 weeks later - my hands and feet are still peeling!  And the interesting thing is the kids feet are peeling too so that means they both had it!  Hands are finally getting a bit better but it was pretty yukky for a while with peeling skin all over - looked like I had Clag on my hands!

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Topics that bring out the worst in mothers - Breastfeeding, immunisation, circumcision, controlled crying

An article in UK's Mother and Baby recently brought outrage to mothers around the world when the deputy editor decide to write about why she bottle fed.

Under the headline “I formula fed. So what?”, Kathryn Blundell says in this month’s Mother & Baby that she bottlefed her child from birth because “I wanted my body back. (And some wine)… I also wanted to give my boobs at least a chance to stay on my chest rather than dangling around my stomach.”
She goes on to say: “They’re part of my sexuality, too – not just breasts, but fun bags. And when you have that attitude (and I admit I made no attempt to change it), seeing your teeny, tiny, innocent baby latching on where only a lover has been before feels, well, a little creepy.”
She concedes that “there are all the studies that show [breastfeeding] reduces the risk of breast cancer for you, and stomach upsets and allergies for your baby. But even the convenience and supposed health benefits of breast milk couldn’t induce me to stick my nipple in a bawling baby’s mouth.”
She continues: “I don’t think I’m the only one, either – only 52 per cent of mums still breastfeed after six weeks. Ask most of the quitters why they stopped and you’ll hear tales of agonising three-hour feeding sessions and – the drama! – bloody nipples. But I often wonder whether many of these women, like me, just couldn’t be fagged or felt like getting tipsy once in a while.”

 Now I bet there are lots of people out there who think as she does.  And of course there are those that are totally outraged by the whole idea.  Nothing brings out the worst in people like breastfeeding.  However I think a lot of people are just like me - yeah, it's good to breastfeed but you shouldn't condemn or pick on those who choose to formula feed.  Sometimes the breastfeeding nazis really can be quite annoying.

It is not surprising that men agree.  After all they feel like they were there first, they should belong to them!  Is there something sexual to breastfeeding?  I admit myself, then when I first did it, I felt a bit awkward - after all would I be turned on by breastfeeding like I am if a lover is at my breast?  The thought of that made me uncomfortable.  But after breastfeeding both my children a little over the 6 month stage, I have to say that I didn't really have that sort of feeling.  There would have to be an emotional component to whoever is at your breast to make it erotic or sexual.  After all, running a hand down someone's back can be immensely erotic but if you do it to a friend or a child, it's not the same thing.  The same goes for the breast I think.  Holding your child's hand as you cross the road is not the same feeling you get as you hold your lover's hand as you stroll in a park.  But there are limitations when you're breastfeeding - stimulating the breast when you're full of milk ends up in messy leaky situations - such that you'd have to make sure you've "milked yourself" before you go around for some horseplay.  Which of course can sometimes kill the mood - "Oh wait, let me empty my breasts first before we.. you know..." Hehe.

Immunisation - another topic bound to have people on both sides of the fence hurling insults at one another.  Though I tend to be in the proimmunisation camp - a bit hard not to be when you're in the medical profession.  Sometimes these people who carry on about how vaccinations can be bad for you... people in 3rd world countries are amazed that we can have something for free which prevents the complications that you can get from major childhood illnesses and they wish they could have it.  But I have to admit I have had the occasional (well maybe more frequent than that) thought about wishing that an epidemic would wipe through Australia and those who were immunised were protected from it and those who were not had serious disabilities or died from it.  Harsh yes, but sometimes I do think it serves them right for being so silly about the whole thing.

Circumcision is something I've never though was barbaric - after all, I'm an anaesthetist and the procedure is done under general anaesthesia and they are given good analgesia at the end.  Maybe people are misinformed as to why circumcisions are performed?  I know there are religious reasons for Muslims and Jews but as long as they do it humanely I don't think there is an issue.  Look at all the phimoses that occur, gosh you wouldn't want to be uncircumicised and have problems when you're older.  Of course if you're doing it without analgesia/anaesthetic I think that's a terrible thing and I agree that should be condemned.

Controlled crying is one of those things that some people really hate but for some people is a blessing.  Those who are against it say that you're torturing your child and you're an uncaring parent.  I don't think that though, for some people it is a necessary thing which leads to salvation of their sanity.  Sometimes babies cry because they want attention, even after everything is done for them.  And you need to break them of bad sleeping habits. 

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Does the cycle of Child illness ever end??

Well I don't if Erika has hand, foot and mouth disease or not, but her and Julian are not well today.  Erika is febrile and was off her food a bit, and Julian was grouchy today.  Yesterday DH said they were quite well and happy.  Erika's temperature on her skin of her back was 40 degrees just before bed!  So I gave her some nurofen and put her to bed, hope she sleeps ok.  Probably will until the nurofen wears off and she feels like crap again.  Wonder how our night will be then.  She has a few tiny spots around her mouth.

The good thing is they both went to sleep really easily!  Julian has been very sleepy today.  Erika went to sleep at around 1130am and slept for 2 hours.

Friday, 2 July 2010

Hand foot and mouth disease - sounds terrible but really.. isn't!

On Wednesday, my nanny took the kids to a friend's house (where they go a lot) and one of the other friend's children was diagnosed with hand foot and mouth disease!  The name itself sounds TERRIBLE but after googling it, it's actually quite a benign disease but the mouth ulcers/blisters can be rather UGH.

What is it?
Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) is a common childhood illness that is caused by a viral infection (most commonly the Coxsackie A16 virus). It typically affects children under the age of 10 years, but older children and adults can also be affected. There is no relationship between hand, foot and mouth disease and the condition known as foot-and-mouth disease that affects animals.

What are the symptoms?
Symptoms generally start to appear 3-7 days after becoming infected with the virus, beginning with a mild fever, tiredness, reduced appetite, and sore throat. The characteristic features — mouth sores and skin rash — usually develop one or 2 days after the onset of fever.
The rash appears as flat or raised red spots, which may form blisters. The rash is not itchy, and usually affects the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. In younger children, especially those still wearing nappies, the rash may also appear on the buttocks. The mouth sores, which start as small red spots and form painful blisters, often turn into ulcers.

Is it infectious and is it serious?
You can catch the virus from an infected person if you come into contact with their saliva, secretions from their nose or throat (through coughing or sneezing), fluid from blisters, or faeces.  You can help prevent the spread of the virus by washing your hands frequently, as well as washing and disinfecting contaminated items and surfaces. Try to make sure your child doesn't share items such as eating utensils, cups or towels while they are ill.  HFMD is usually a mild disease, and children generally recover within 7-10 days. Rarely, a child with HFMD may develop complications such as meningitis (inflammation of the membrane surrounding the brain).

It's a viral illness so you can't give antibiotics or anything.  Mostly symptomatic relief like paracetamol for analgesia and fevers.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Husbands!!! They can sometimes be so GRRRR!!!!


This is a venting post so please do not read on if you don't want to be offended!

Today, 1st July, my husband did the most UNREASONABLE thing!  A very good friend of mine asked me to pick up his contract from work (I happen to work there also) and I was going to see him the next day.  So the next day he signs the contract, and asks me if I can take it back to work.  But we had a better idea, another friend, who is a colleague who works in the same field as my friend lives in my street, only about 12 houses down or so.  So I was going to drop the contract off at his house.  I got side tracked playing PS3 and forgot to do it until about 7pm and I thought I'd better do it now because if I don't I'll forget and I'll be online playing World of Warcraft and won't be able to do it for ages after that.

Julian was put in bed by me already, so I ask Erika if she wants to go for a walk - she doesn't. So I left her at home at 6.55pm.  Halfway there I get a call from my husband saying why didn't I take Erika, she's crying and wants mama.  So I came home, and asked her if she wanted to go, tried to pick her up and she's crying again, saying No No No so I left her at home. It's now 7pm.  Walked to the colleague's house and they invited me in for a drink, so I had a glass of coke and was chatting when the phone rings and it's my husband saying what are you doing hurry up and come home, and hung up.  Rude.  So I make my apologies, wash my glass and go home.  It's 7.12pm when I get home.  When I get home Julian is on the floor, Erika is on the toilet and my husband starts yelling at me saying your STUPID friend is too lazy to use 60c to post his contract and I have to put up with 2 screaming kids, I don't want to see your friend, I don't want to MEET your friend!  Totally unreasonable.  So I tell my husband he's an idiot, pick up my soon, cuddle him and kiss him and put him back into bed.  Then I go get my daughter, take her off the toilet, change her into her nappy and pyjamas and put her in bed after I lie down with her for a while.  By the time I'm done it's 7.40pm.  MEN!  Such a huge drama about nothing!  Anyway men are idiots, and I'm just glad I have the patience of Job!  And a blog to whinge about stuff in!