Tag Archives: Midwest

Icky Reasons for IVF

5 Jun

I know IVF in Kansas was for infertile couples who desperately wanted a child.  As an egg donor in the Midwest, I felt my contribution was part altruistic, part financial.  The parents on the waiting list seemed to really want a healthy child.  I never got the vibe that people wanted a model-genius or anything like that.  At most, I knew parents wanted a donor that resembled them–probably so the parents could sort of see what their genes looked liked together and also so their family would look more cohesive.

Then, when you get to California and even Seattle, IVF is more a way to genetically engineer a beautiful, smart, child. A lot of the questions on the surveys regarded test scores and accomplishments, rather than just the health background I had in Kansas City.  And no one in Seattle ever picked me as a donor.  Maybe because the West coat market is more saturated with women wanting to donate, but also, I suspect, because I didn’t Ace the SAT or get signed by Ford.  It creeped me out that parents are picking traits they want in a child and trying to exclude different or unique characteristics.

It’s the variability in people that makes us special–however problematic for society.

Plus, that was some of the best (easiest) money I’ve made in my life.  Most definitely the easiest.  Even with the drugs, needles, and 2.5 hour (one way) driving time.  It honestly didn’t inconvenience me very much at all–especially when they handed me those big checks after surgery 🙂  I could certainly use that kind of income now!  Except, I’m running out of time.  You can only be an egg donor until age 30.  I have about one year to get picked.  Listen up, infertile people in Seattle–pick my profile, hurry!  *sigh* I need to go back to the Bible Belt so I can utilize my last 2 donations (you get 6 in a lifetime).  I should see if MT, ID, or Eastern WA have an IVF program. . .

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Do I meet the Requirements (AuD back up plan)

14 Nov

I looked up the pre-reqs and the admissions standards for all of the schools offering AuD in states that I could stand to live in for 4 years.  It took forever!  Now to narrow the list according to what I found. . .

Program links:

http://www.worldaudiology.com/courses/usa/

1:) U of Northern CO

BS degree, 3 letters of recommendation, and goal statement

GPA min of 3.0 min

400 on quant and min 400 on verbal and min writing score of 3.5.

2:) I really like Tuscan when we visted even though U of AZ is even CLOSER to Mexico.

BS, personal statement, 3 letters of recommendation

Completetion of 1 course in each:bio sci, physical sci, social sci, math, stat, and **hearing sci

must complete communication disorders I and II for no credit during the 1st semester of AuD program

best chances go to applicant with: min 3.0 GPA min

400 verbal, 550 quant, and 3.5 writing scores on GRE

experience in field

app deadline is 2-1-12

3:)  U of NC (though Cool wouldn’t love being so far away)

min 3.0 GPA in last 2 years, **3.6 GPA min preferred

combo GRE of 1000 or up

diversity

varied background w/lots of extracurriculars

preferance given to those who have completed pre-prof req

app deadline is 1-6-12

4:) U of TN in Knoxville, TN that I absolutely fell in love with.

combo GRE above 1000

**min GPA of 3.5

5:) SW MO U

CSDCAS application (like the VMCAS)

BS-must contact department if it isn’t in communications sci

min GPA of 3.0

app deadline is 1-15-12

5.5:)  Washington U in STL

BS, 3 letters of recommendation

all students are encouraged to apply (10-12 accepted/yr)

min GPA 3.0

min GRE scores of 400 verbal, 400 quant, and 4.0 writing (but overlooked if other areas strong)

app deadline of 2-15-12, but later apps are placed on a wait list

6:)  Arizona School of Health Sciences BS, 3 letters of recommendation, personal resume, criminal background check

min 2.7 GPA or min 3.0 in final 60 credits

min 2.5 GPA in a science courses(???)

experienced in word processing

**get CPR certified

complete pre-req courses (got ’em all)

6.5:)  AZ st U

**1 yr of deficiency courses at AZ st U since my BS is not in communications

min GPA 3.0

min GRE of 1000

3 letters of recommendation 200 word statement of intent

courses in:  **human anatomy and **physiology, **neuroanatomy and **neurophysiology, genetics, physics, chemistry, psychology, sociology, **anthropology and non-remedial mathematics

app deadline of 1-15-12

7:)  UT st. U

3 letters of recommendation, letter of intent

**BS degree in communication disorders

8:)  E TN St near the Cherokee Reserve

BS, 3 letters of recommendation, personal statement

**min GPA 3.25 for last 2 yr

app deadline 2-12-12

9:)  U of S FL gets gay points for being less than an hour away from St. Petersburg.  Also warm/ocean.

3 letters of recommendation, 1-2 pg letter of intent

GRE scores (each section) at or above 33rd percentile(???)

GRE writing score of 4.0 or higher

min GPA of 3.0 for last 60 credits(???)

10:)  Nova SE U in FL, it would be expensive, but warm and near the ocean.

**min GPA of 3.2

11:)  U of WI

min GPA of 3.0

min GPA of 3.0 in my major(???)

**25 clinical hours (observation hr may be acquired before acceptance) OR hrs accumulated during 1st year of program

statement of professional intent, 3 letters of recommendation

app deadline 2-1-12

12:)  Central MI U

min GPA of 3.0 (class avg = 3.73)

class avg GRE = 1063

**23 credits of pre-req coursework

12.5:)  Western MI U

acceptable BS(???)

**aud coursework

min GPA of 3.0 in last 60 credits(???)

competitive GRE scores(???)

13:)  Wichita, KS, which SUCKS, but it would be really cheap.  Probably the cheapest place.

CSDCSA app, 3 letters of recommendation, personal statement

min 3.0 GPA in last 60 credits(???)

app deadline 2-1-12

14:)  Vanderbilt U in Nashville TN might be too conservative for Cool.

???

app deadline 1-15-12

15:)  Memphis TN, near some substancial water, but down on the list b/c I don’t know if I could convince Cool.

???

16:)  NE desolate, but relatively close to KC and Des Moines and cheap.

min GPA of 3.0 in major(???)

3 letters of recommendation, personal statement

**6 courses in aud which can also be completed concurrently with 1st yr AuD courses

17:)  U of OK, also super-sucks but would be just a little more expensive than KS.

**BS in Communications Sci

18:)  OH St U

avg GPA = 3.6

avg verbal GRE = 480-520

avg quant GRE = 570-620

avg GRE writing = 4.0-4.5

**3-5 aud courses that can be taken online or in conjuction to 1st yr AuD curriculum

18.5:)  U of Akron in OH

BS, 3 letters of recommendation, personal statement of purpose

CSDCAS app

min 3.0 GPA

app deadline 2-1-12

** = I have not completed this and still need this prior to applying

Speeding Ticket ^ 3 [8-14-07]

2 Jan

Last day pre-move:

My last day at Noah’s Ark was August 1. I was to travel the 24+ hours from Missouri to Nevada the next day. At the last minute, I decided it would be a good idea to take my car in. I just wanted them to change the oil and make sure nothing major was wrong. Don’t forget my crazy car (bad) luck—everything that could go wrong with the dinosaur will. It was no exception this time. I got a call that said my brake fluid was leaking because the lines were broken. It would cost a minimum of $250 to fix (in mechanic language this means at least $350) and the car would be ready the next afternoon. Translation: Ready the next week. Nope, no way. I was expected in Nevada in a couple days. So with an unsettled feeling I picked up my broken car and decided to proceed with the traverse halfway across the country.

Day 1 of Move:

I packed the car with enough stuff to last a year and hit the road after Fraiser the next day (Thursday at 10 am). I’m driving along, and no further than Kansas City, my dashboard started flashing red and orange symbols—not good. I didn’t know what the pictures referred to, but I figured it probably had something to do with the leaking brake fluid. As I was preoccupied contemplating what I would do if my car broke down, I absent-mindedly moved around a slow plain blue car into the left lane. I got just in front of it and suddenly there was an explosion of color. It was a secretive police car and it was pulling me over. I had been going 79 in a 70 zone—big deal, right? It was my first ticket ever though, and I didn’t know what to expect. When the friendly police guy handed me the paper I didn’t really even look at it. About an hour down the road, my embarrassment at getting pulled over so stupidly, subsided and I looked at how much I had to pay. Insert your guess of the ticket amount here ——-. Go ahead say a number to yourself right now. Nope, wrong—try $503!!! Yeah that’s $503.00 for going 9 over on I-29 at Saint Joseph. I about had to pull over a second time for the heart attack I suffered when I read that. Let’s see, so now I am being very careful not to speed in my (remember) broken car. Crazy lights are flashing on the dashboard and there’s always the fear that my brakes will fail. It wasn’t until 7 hours later that I finally looked in my driving manual and read the symbol key. My car needed coolant/water—it had been overheating for about 9 hours! Stupid, stupid! So I merely poured a bunch of water in (after letting the car cool for 45 minutes) and the problem was solved-yay.

Night 1 of move:

I wanted to trek the entire way to Nevada (24+ hours if you forgot) without stopping. I didn’t want to waste money on a hotel. My big plan was to drive until the early morning hours than stop at a McDonalds parking lot to sleep a little. 2 am came and I couldn’t keep my eyes open. In the west, the towns get few and far between and I was 100 miles from the next big town in Wyoming, so I had to settle for the next exit—whatever it may be. It was not the best situation. I ended up in a town that consisted of one gas station—wait let me clarify—one abandoned gas station. Not an optimal situation. There were some semis already there and I pulled under a light and hoped none of the drivers were out of Joy Ride. I slept for an hour and a half than continued along feeling somewhat refreshed and very happy that I was unscathed by any crazy truckers. For those of you who don’t know, Southern Wyoming sucks. It looks just like Kansas, Utah, and Nevada. Nothingness for miles. I had to journey through fog and rain all night, and got tired again. I stopped for 45 more minutes to sleep in a resort parking lot. That was all the sleep I got the entire drive.

Day 2 of move:

Oh, on a completely different note, did I mention I was driving with Foley? Foley who is blind and doesn’t like to be on furniture for fear of falling off? Foley who gets in the car and shakes the entire 2 minute ride to Noah’s Ark? Yeah, she was my only driving companion. It made for complicated stops. I would have to eat, go to the bathroom, feed her, let her go to the bathroom, all while not leaving her in the hot car for too long. I started making stops for just me, then stopping for just Foley. It made for a lot of stops. She was a good girl though. She slept the whole way like a pro and did what was needed (quickly) at the stops.

Later day 2 of move:

I anticipated getting to Nevada by 10 am Friday. It was supposed to be a 23 hour drive. Not so much—It was about noon and I was super-tired, even more super-grungy and if it’s possible even more impatient. It hurt to sit down. I couldn’t get comfortable at all, and I was really, really tired. I didn’t arrive until 4 pm Friday—which means I had peregrinated for 30 consecutive hours in the car after my departure.

K.C.! [originally posted 11-23-06]

1 Jan

Sarah and I had so much fun in Kansas City!!! We drove up Thursday after work got out and stopped at the gas station. I hadn’t eaten dinner, so I was super-hungry. I ended up buying a coffee drink, 3 candy bars, 2 bags of buffalo-ranch Doritos (awesome!!!), and 3 things of candy. When I went to pay, the man at the counter was like, “got the munchies huh?” He totally thought I was stoned-ha ha. Anyway, I didn’t know what the food situation in KC would be like so I had to stock up. So we get to KC and Sarah had found a bunch of places we wanted to go. We started driving to a Louisiana-type eatery, then realized why the food was supposed to be so authentic–we were in a scary part of town. After about a half hour of driving, we both realized we did not want to get out of the car. We turned around, without eating, and drove back to the vicinity of our hotel.

side note: I don’t type, I hunt and peck. Usually I’m very proficient and fast at it. I was brushing Bob–he still had some remnants of A/D in his hair from being at the vet hospital, and he decided he had enough and chomped my finger tip. It doesn’t hurt, but I was noticing red traces on my keyboard so I am having to type this w/my middle finger instead of my index finger. Slow.

Anyway, back to the story. So it is now about 10:10 pm and we still haven’t eaten. Sarah and I drove to Westport to check out the group of restaurants there. Guess what? They all stop serving food at 10 pm-aahh! So our first night in KC, we eat in the McDonald’s parking lot. We took pictures in the hotel of how we were sober and going to bed at about midnight. I posed with my stock of candy, as if I had passed out from eating too much. Drunk on candy-good times.

The next day we started out at Walgreen’s. I managed to spend $50 on makeup (I forgot mine) including some eyeliner and mascara designed to make my eyes look greener. For the record, I tell myself I have blonde hair and green eyes. We went to the conference, blah, blah. Oh, we went in the Westin-Crown Center, which is a ritzy, upscale shopping center aimed at the over 50, rich crowd. Of course, we could not find the conference location, so Sarah asked a nice older woman working at a map store. After much questioning and calling people in charge, the lady asked who put on the conference. Sarah said the task force. The lady asked what it was for (I was dieing, by the way) Sarah said LGBT. The lady said, “what does that stand for?” Sarah started to say lesbian, gay. . . And the lady interrupted and said “oh my!” It was hilarious–in a mortifying kind of way.

After our workshops, Sarah and I went to some thrift stores. We had so much fun!!! We were putting on random clothes and taking pictures in the goofy outfits-ha ha. Wait for the pics on myspace. . . At the end of the night, we went back to Westport. We went to one-80 (the only place we had gone the night before) to get some martinis. Here are some of the names: Sumo in a side car, tequila mockingbird, drunk monk, dirty, dirty daddy. Ha, ha. Let me tell you–the martinis were excellent. As a matter of fact, Sarah was sitting there writing all the recipes. So we go back to the hotel and decide we should drink water so we won’t be the least bit fatigued at the conference the next day. After an extensive search, we discover our hotel has no ice machine. We have to go up to the guy behind the front desk. He goes to the kitchen and gets us some ice then says, “stay warm” in a dirty man kind of way–maybe you had to be there, we laughed about it at the time. . .

The next day was our big workshop day. We were in Westin-Crown the entire day. During breaks from the workshops, Sarah and I perused the upscale stores. It was humorous, because you could tell every store put out something gay to attract the conference people–but the store obviously did not carry this type of thing on a regular basis. Sarah and I started to take more awesome pics. We found a bird-tree for Kurt, 2 angels dressed in rainbow loin clothes, and a street-walker lamp. All very funny–I’m telling you, the pictures will be the best!!!

One last story–this slow typing is making me crazy. Lori came into town and I wanted to take her to the one-80 because it was so good. The guy who opened the door was like, “welcome back” and the guy who waited on us, definitely recognized me. I went to the place 3 nights in a row-ha ha!

Surgery #2 [12-6-08]

1 Jan

I had my second surgery yesterday.  This one hurts a slightly more.  Who knows why.  Last time, I didn’t follow any of the aftercare instructions, and I went right back to work the next day.  This time, I feel sort of like I have a side ache across my entire abdomen.  I can’t imagine lifting anything!  I’m uncomfortable ALL the time.  I’m also really tired, but I can’t sleep because things are a little tender. . .  Needless to say, I didn’t go to work today and won’t be going back tomorrow. . .

It might not have been the preeminent (did I use that right?) idea to have a chicken chimichunga, salty tortilla chips, a margarita, and peanut M&Ms the night before surgery.  I forgot I wasn’t permitted to eat or drink after midnight, and my surgery wasn’t until 1 pm the next afternoon.  Needless to say, I was thirsty the next morning!  This might account for the fact that they couldn’t get any blood out of me.  I was probably thoroughly dehydrated and I was cold to boot.

It took probably 30 minutes, 5 nurses, and so many needle sticks that I lost count, to finally find my vein.  I was bright and upbeat the whole time though, cause I figured my blood draw karma was coming back to haunt me.  Mostly, I get blood without difficulty, but there are times at work when I can’t find a vein, have to poke numerous times, or end up digging around.  Sidenote:  It’s not the poking that hurts, it’s the digging!

The top of both hands, my wrists, both forearms, and the inside of my elbows are all critically sore!  I also have multiple, diminutive bruises, even though I never bruise!  By the way, the contusions hardly show the pain I feel—NOT fair!

 

For part 2 of the story:  My memory sucked a lot when I woke up.  Last time, I remembered all the details:  The nurse roused me, I said 6 on the pain scale even though I felt a 2-3, and I chatted with the nurses, begging for extra food.

I don’t recollect waking up this time.  I also don’t remember what number I gave on the pain scale.  Apparently, it wasn’t high enough to warrant extra drugs.  I tried to change my pain digit, but the nurse said my first answer was final. . . Pity, I’m putting 6 in my mind for next time.  I am much more sore this time—probably cause I didn’t get that extra hit of injectables!

The first thing my (male) nurse said was, “Let me check your pad.”  What?!  I was super-mortified.  Both by the fact I was wearing a pad, and because a total man-stranger wanted to look under my gown.  How much worse could it get?!

Since we were now so intimate, I felt like we should conversate.  I asked my nurse what he was doing for Christmas.  He said, “You just asked me that!”  Oh. . .  I didn’t remember the response, or asking the question.  I guess one of the side effects of the anesthetic is short term memory loss.  I tried another inquiry, I don’t even remember what is was now, but he said, “I already told you.”  I DO remember him mentioning his girlfriend of 5 years a bunch of times.  I don’t know what I said, but evidently it led him to believe I was hitting on him. Maybe he was just one of those lame guys that thinks he’s hot and EVERY girl is hitting on him.  I wasn’t, by the way—far from it!

Well, I hope I remember posting this, and I sincerely hope I feel better tomorrow.  I want to enjoy my day off!

Sock Puppet

1 Jan

When I first woke up I thought it would be a good idea to take off my hospital socks.  I don’t remember if I was hot or what.  I, in fact,  don’t really remember the thought process behind that decision at all.  .  .  I took off those socks though!  Apparently, the hospital staff doesn’t want you to take off their socks.  My nurse immediately noticed I wasn’t wearing my socks, despite the fact my feet were under the covers.  She knew my feet were bare, and said, “Let’s go ahead and put your socks on.”  I was just like alright. . .  I figured why fight it—I don’t remember my reasoning for taking them off anyways. . .  It was quite random.

Not much happened after that, except I had to wait and wait. You are legally intoxicated 24 hours after you wake up from surgery (a cool fact I didn’t know before), so needless to say, you can’t drive yourself home.  Most people are picked up by family, but mine is super-far away.  Some are picked up by friends, but the people I know live 2 hours away from the hospital.  I was staying with friends (thanks Josh and Lauren!) in KC, but neither of them got off work until 6:30.  Lots of waiting. . .

I think the hospital was concerned about the trouble I could get into at the hospital, so they sent for a cab.

As I was waking up, they asked me my friend’s address.  I hadn’t been to their new apartment yet—I didn’t know.  My phone wouldn’t work in the wake-up area either, so I couldn’t ask.  The hospital staff just kept demanding repeatedly an address.  My friends were at work, which made the situation even MORE stressful.  I didn’t know what to do—I  was still a little muddy from the anesthetic, I guess.  Finally the nurse called my friend at her work herself, and obtained an address.  No one ever told me what that address was.  I was just relieved they stopped asking me questions I didn’t know the answer to.

I felt fine—completely normal, actually.  Mostly I was bored sitting there waiting for the cab to arrive.  It took the better part of an hour *yawn*  and when the cab DID arrive, I was not trusted to even stand up.  A nurse had to supervise me as I got dressed, which of course is mortifying.  She also thrust a pad at me.

TMI side story:  The only time I EVER wore a pad was the first day I ever had my period.  I was home alone and only used it because I wasn’t very familiar with the tampon.  As expected, the pad was uncomfortable, diaper-like (crinkling when I walked and sat), and dirty!  As soon as my mom got home that night, I received a tampon instructional and never went back.  I NEVER use pads—because they are filthy and disgusting.

Back to the point:  Even if I did use them, I certainly did not want to put one on in front of somebody.  As I dressed, I hid the unused pad in my bedding.  Crafty, huh?  Then, she put me in a wheelchair.  My first time being pushed was exciting.  But mostly because I don’t need anything like that in real life.

It was my first cab ride, but I was pretty sure that you were supposed to sit in back.  My nurse deposited me in the front seat.  I think it made my driver feel just as awkward as I felt. She handed my driver a voucher, then left us.  He immediately asked what my friend’s address was!  I STILL didn’t know.  He started pushing random things into his GPS, and drove aimlessly.  The toll clicked higher and higher as he drove.  He asked what neighborhood my friend lived in—I didn’t know.  He asked what state they lived in.  I thought probably Missouri, but didn’t know for certain if they were on the Kansas side.  It’s these kinds of thoughts that I look back on and come to the conclusion I WAS intoxicated, by the way.  I called my poor friend (at work) again, and got some highway numbers.  This satisfied the driver so I relaxed.

I observed a McDonald’s billboard advertising the new coffee beverages and asked my driver if he had tried them yet.  He said he hadn’t and asked if I wanted him to stop so we could get one.  I said no [in my head:  Dude, I was just making conversation].  Then, my driver seemed to be driving aimlessly again.  The toll was at $50 dollars or something and we were still on I-435.  Then, he pulled off the highway, and seemed to be heading in a bizarre direction.

This could have been a very perilous situation.  I’m all alone (and intoxicated) with this strange cab driver in a foreign place. Foreign in the sense I didn’t know it well, not actually in another country, mind you.  He got back on the highway, but then exited again, this time to fill his gas tank!  The entire time, the toll was ticking upwards!  Not very ethical—but I guess the hospital makes enough money to handle it.

Finally, we got to the apartment complex.  When it was in view, he stopped for me to get out.  Normally, this is whatever.  I don’t mind walking.  You have to remember I was loaded into the cab from a wheelchair!!!  What was he thinking making me walk 2 blocks?  Besides, he could have gotten that little extra (above and beyond the $78 he racked up from Overland Park to Blue Springs) toll from driving me up to the door.

 

Potatoes Are the Devil [posted 7-12-07]

17 Jan

I said that (the blog title, I mean, for those of you not running on all cylinders) when I first came to Missouri, and got crazy looks.  Guess you can’t really call anything the devil in the Bible-belt without being taken seriously.  Anyway, on to the blog, huh?  Here’s a very random story for you. So, last August my parents finally visited after 3 years–this is not the point of the story. When they were here they insisted they go shopping at Wal-Mart because they didn’t think I had enough food. Among other things, they bought a bad of potato chips. While they were in Missouri, I took them everywhere (I’m a good host) and they didn’t even open most of their groceries. The potato chips were included in the unopened supplies. So if you didn’t know already, I HATE potatoes! I mean, it’s to varying degrees, I will eat chips and potato salad if I’m really staving (really, really starving), I can tolerate baked spuds (tolerate in the way that I would NEVER chose to eat the horrid things, but can avoid barfing if I choke them down), and under NO circumstances will I eat a French fry. Even as a baby I spit French fries out when my parents gave one to me to gum on. I can’t stand for French fries to be on my plate–why are potatoes always given as sides, and why can’t I ever remember to replace them with something else! One of the worst things besides eating the f-ing things is smelling them. I absolutely can’t tolerate anyone to eat fast food fries in an enclosed car-yick!!! Anyway, now that you have the background, back to the unused groceries. So my parents left this entire bag of potato chips in my cupboard. More background info: I hate grocery shopping myself, and can’t stand to throw away leftovers. I couldn’t quite bring myself to eating the bag-o-spuds though. Well, I lasted until the end of June, then–yup I bought dip and ate the year old chips! MY friend asked, “weren’t they stale!” Completely disgusted at the thought of me eating a bag of year-old chips. Well, potatoes are so crummy in the first place the freshness doesn’t even matter. . . Aren’t I hard-core?