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Showing posts from April, 2009

What Would Mom Do?

My 21-year-old son just got a part-time job doing before school childcare. He is responsible for waking up two elementary school aged boys, feeding them breakfast, and getting them on the school bus. He came home the first couple of days shaking his head. “I have to say everything in triplicate!” I am not very sympathetic. In fact, I think my response is tinged with a bit of shadenfreude. He is caring for two boys who are in first and third grade. I remember those days. But when I had two boys that age I also had a pre-school daughter and another infant son. Only having to say something three times sounds pretty efficient to me.

This morning he came home feeling somewhat jubilant. He is making inroads in the child management process. He recounted this morning’s breakfast scene:

I made toaster waffles for breakfast as their mother had instructed. The youngest whined, “I don’t want to eat waffles again”. I told him to eat them. He said, “No!” I told him to eat them again. He said, “No!” …

One More Chick Retrieved

I am a happy mama. I have three of my four chicks home in the nest. I drove up to Baltimore today to retrieve my daughter. She was supposed to fly in yesterday, but the severe rain and flooding in Houston kept her from getting to the airport. She brought the rainy weather with her as she traveled northward but we did not get near the deluge that Houston suffered.

We are all snug at home now. It felt great to set one more place at the dinner table. It may be cloudy outside but I am feeling all sunshiny in my home.

The Washington Post Gets One Right

I subscribe to both the Washington Post and the Washington Times figuring if I read both I can sort the truth out as somewhere in the middle. Today, however, the Washington Post offers an editorial on health care reform that is spot on:

For liberals, labor unions and others pushing to make health care available to all Americans, however, the fixation on a public plan is bizarre and counterproductive. Their position elevates the public plan way out of proportion to its importance in fixing health care. It is entirely possible to imagine effective health-care reform -- changes that would expand coverage and help control costs -- without a public option.

The Washington Post has rarely met a big government option it has not embraced. Yet even the Washington Post is questioning the wisdom of government run health care. You can read more of my thought on health care by following the health care link on the side bar under serial posts. I do see a role for government, but it is as a safety net…


The white wisteria is blooming. I wish I could share the amazing perfume with you. Athena, my labradinger (labrador and springer spaniel), is enjoying the cool grass and heavenly scent as well.

Thomas Sowell on Medical Care

Thomas Sowell has some very wise words on the health care reform rhetoric that is emanating from the Obama administration Do follow the link and read his whole essay but here is a snippet:

People who believe in "universal health care" show remarkably little interest — usually none — in finding out what that phrase turns out to mean in practice, in those countries where it already exists, such as Britain, Sweden or Canada. For one thing, "universal health care" in these countries means months of waiting for surgery that American get in a matter of weeks or even days. In these and other countries, it means having only a fraction as many MRIs and other high-tech medical devices available per person as in the United States. In Sweden, it means not only having bureaucrats deciding what medicines the government will and will not pay for, but even preventing you from buying the more expensive medicine for yourself with your …


I do not want to trivialize the scandal of Notre Dame giving President Obama an honorary law degree, but this comment from Julianne Wiley at Amy Welborn's blog made me pause:

I very much doubt that Notre Dame would have invited as Commencement speaker or Law honoree a powerful political figure who consistently spoke out against, and effectively acted against, the value of collegiate football.

I hate to say it, but I think she is right.

Abortion is not the only issue with Kathleen Sebelius

Abortion is not the only issue that raises concerns about Kathleen Sebelius becoming Secretary of Health and Human Services. Senator John Kyl has some reservations:

Sen. John Kyl (R-Ariz.), the same senator who questioned Sebelius on her abortion ties, issued a press release Monday saying that he would not support Sebelius' nomination because she supports initiatives that could lead to a rationing of healthcare, to the disadvantage of the elderly and disabled.

"She [Sebelius] left me with no assurance that HHS, federal health care programs, or any new entity - such as the Federal Coordinating Council - will not use comparative effectiveness research as a tool to deny care," said Kyl. "And this should be a matter of concern to all of us."

Kyl highlighted one particular project that Sebelius supports, which promotes cost effectiveness research as providing "accurate and objective information to guide future policies that support the allocation of health resour…

Secretary of State Clinton Rejects the Truth

Watch as Nebraska congressman, Jeff Fortenberry, respectfully offers Secretary of State Hillary Clinton the truth about abortion. Secretary Clinton rejects this truth and asserts that the failure of the United States to promote and fund abortions as part of our foreign policy has been detrimental to women around the world. We need more representatives like Mr. Fortenberry who will steadfastly support the intrinsic dignity of human life from conception to natural death. You can find contact information for Representative Fortenberry here. Let him know you support his efforts.

Rec League Catholic?

I have spent a good portion of the last seventeen years on the sidelines of soccer fields. All of my children have played soccer from the beginning leagues through high school. They have not all played at the same level. The level of their play was determined less by their natural ability than by their willingness to work at the game.

My two older boys played recreational league soccer. You show up for practice once per week and play one game per week. When you are at practice or a game, you work hard and play hard. But when you are not involved in team activities, you don’t really think about it too much. This leaves plenty of time for Boy Scouts, music lessons, jobs, youth group, and just hanging out. It is a great way to enjoy the beautiful game of soccer in a low stress environment.

The youngest son plays travel soccer on a mid-level team. He practices twice weekly with the team and also practices fairly regularly with a private trainer. His team does a couple of local tournaments e…

Good For The Soul

The sun is shining brightly today. What a contrast from yesterday when the rain just kept on coming. Athena, my one-year-old labradinger, was behaving like a cooped up toddler. When the deluge slacked off to just a steady rain I took her for a walk. We do this walk daily. Sometimes it is the 2.5 mile walk to the lake to the west of us. Sometimes it is a 4.5 mile walk around the lake to the east of us. Without regard for the weather, Athena needs her daily walk. And, truthfully, so do I. In my pre-dog-ownership days, I would have blown off such a walk due to the rain. Athena, however, allows me no such excuse. It has been great for my waistline. I am in the best physical shape I have been in the last decade. I sometimes wonder why I will walk for my dog but I am not motivated to walk for myself.

This resistance to do what is good for me is not limited to daily walks. Think about the Sacrament of Confession. I know it is good for me. I know it is important. I feel great right after Con…

Blogging Resumes

I know it has been a while since I have posted. My vocation is wife and mother so when those duties call, my avocation—blogging—has to wait. Just before Easter, my husband’s dear grandmother passed away. She was 102. She was buried in Arlington National Cemetery last week so I hosted several out-of-town family members who traveled to be here for the graveside service. She was a very gracious woman whom I am very pleased to have known. Please offer a prayer for the repose of her soul.

Réquiem ætérnam dona eis, Dómine,
et lux perpétua lúceat eis.
Requiéscant in pace. Amen.


Alleluia! Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

The Gates of Hell Will Not Prevail

From Pope Benedict XVI's Easter Vigil homily:

And must not the Church, so to speak, always walk on the sea, through the fire and the cold? Humanly speaking, she ought to sink. But while she is still walking in the midst of this Red Sea, she sings – she intones the song of praise of the just: the song of Moses and of the Lamb, in which the Old and New Covenants blend into harmony. While, strictly speaking, she ought to be sinking, the Church sings the song of thanksgiving of the saved. She is standing on history’s waters of death and yet she has already risen. Singing, she grasps at the Lord’s hand, which
holds her above the waters. And she knows that she is thereby raised outside the force of gravity of death and evil – a force from which otherwise there would be no way of escape – raised and drawn into the new gravitational force of God, of truth and of love. At present she is still between the two gravitational fields. But once Christ is risen, the gravitational pull of love is s…

When Medical Decisions are Made From Afar

Yesterday I pointed to the danger of making medical decisions without considering the individual patient. Today the Wall Street Journal offers a similar discussion. Here is a snippet:

Doubts about the relevance of quality metrics to clinical reality are even emerging from the federal pilot programs launched in 2003. An analysis of Medicare pay-for-performance for hip and knee replacement by orthopedic surgeons at 260 hospitals in 38 states published in the most recent March/April issue of Health Affairs showed that conforming to or deviating from expert quality metrics had no relationship to the actual complications or clinical outcomes of the patients. Similarly, a study led by UCLA researchers of over 5,000 patients at 91 hospitals published in 2007 in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that the application of most federal quality process measures did not change mortality from heart failure.State pay-for-performance programs also provide disturbing data on the unin…

More on Solidarity and Subsidiarity

Like yesterday’s post, today's post is a merging of ideas. Start out with lawyer Elizabeth Schiltz’s essay at First Things:

A significant consideration in assessing possible responses to these questions should be the application of subsidiarity. Subsidiarity is a fundamental tenet of the Catholic Church’s social doctrine. As Pius XI wrote in Quadragesimo Anno:

Just as it is gravely wrong to take from individuals what they can accomplish by their own initiative and industry and give it to the community, so also it is an injustice and at the same time a grave evil and disturbance of right order to assign to a greater and higher association what lesser and subordinate organizations can do.

The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church cautions that it “is impossible to promote the dignity of the person without showing concern for the family, groups, associations, local territorial realities.”

Then read Tony Blankley’s commentary in today’s Washington Times:

After first squeezing …

The Golden Rule

It is not uncommon as I peruse my daily blog routine that two seemingly unconnected posts strike a common chord. This happened as I read this post from Amy Welborn and this post from The Anchoress. Both of these posts address the extremely profound effects of seemingly small actions. For Amy, the extra effort of a grocery store bakery worker was a salve for her wound of grief:

I explained the situation to the lady on the other end, trying to hold back tears, trying not to let the subtext of the moment burst through:

This is my son's eighth birthday, and his first one without his daddy, who died two months ago today - oh, in fact, it was at this very moment, about 2 in the afternoon, yes, two months ago today, I was sitting in the emergency room at the hospital, contemplating his broken heart and mine, and ours...please help me figure this out. If not all of it, just this one little thing. This cake.

The woman explained that the Pokemon cake sets were old now, and no one had them any…

When You Get the Miracle

Those who have been reading this blog regularly may remember that this past Thanksgiving I took a tumble while walking the dog and shattered my wrist. I’ve made a remarkable recovery and really have no functional sequelae from the fracture or subsequent surgery. Even the little twinge I felt a few weeks ago when I made the sign of the Cross has disappeared. Today I had a follow-up x-ray. The results are truly amazing. If you didn’t see the metal plate and screws you would never know the bone was recently broken. The anatomical contours of the joint surface, the radial styloid (which was completely missing after the fracture) and the facets that cup the little carpal bones look perfect. I complimented my surgeon on her good work. She looked at me and said, “Surgeons do not get these kind of results. This is the work of God.”

Her words made perfect sense. I know that prayers were storming Heaven when I had my surgery. In my own clinical practice history, I can recount numerous times wh…

Human Lives are Never Worthless

Creative Minority Report reminds us that four years ago, we as a nation watched the euthanasia of Terri Schiavo. Terri Schiavo was not dying. She was profoundly disabled but medically stable. The withholding of nutrition and hydration was done with the intent of causing her death. That is, by definition, euthanasia.

Since September, I have been diligently studying bioethics from a Catholic perspective. I am working towards my certification in Catholic bioethics from the National Catholic Bioethics Center. I am not exactly sure what I will be doing with this certification once it is completed, but I am certain the Holy Spirit has a plan.

One of the nuggets of truth that I have gleaned from my study is this:
Treatments can be deemed useless or excessively burdensome. Human lives are never useless or excessively burdensome.

In the case of Terri Schiavo, the medical treatment was the insertion of the feeding tube. This medical act was quite simple and without burden. Feeding Terri Schiavo th…