Was it murder or negligent homicide?

Dateline NBC on Sunday (29 Jan), showed a piece on Ariel Botzet, an 11 year-old girl who died of diabetic ketoacidosis. Her mother was charged with her murder.

I don’t have any sympathy for the mother. She said that she feels no responsibility for her daughter’s death. What kind of parent doesn’t feel responsible for their child’s well-being? If Olivia has one high blood sugar, I feel like I’ve done something wrong. If she has a night of highs, I feel like I’ve failed her. If she DIED? Forget it. I’d have to be commited because I would completely bat-shit crazy with guilt and grief. The feeling that this mother gave off was one of “Woe is me, I’m going to jail.” Not one of grief over the loss of her child.

Her attorney tried to blame the girl, saying she could have been sneaking candy and soda. True. She could have been. If her blood sugars were running so high that she had an a1C of 16.1 (her results just before her death), which means she had an average of 420 bgl over the last three month – 420!! Jesus, that’s high – then she was probably starving because her body was making so many ketones that it was eating itself. Had her mother been checking her blood sugar, she could have dealt with the high blood sugars then and there. Had her mother been in contact with an endocrinologist, the issues of cheating could have been resolved, had they been happening. It really bothers me that they are blaming the girl here, though. She learned by example and her example doesn’t seem to have taken her disease very seriously at all.

Someone (a friend with no D experience) asked if the daughter wasn’t old enough to be taking care of herself. Yes, at 11 years old, the girl could have been checking her own blood sugar. She could have even been giving herself her own shots. But if her mother was lackadaisical about her care, then the daughter probably didn’t realize the importance of being on top of checking. Olivia is 11 and checks her own sugar and boluses herself, but she’s on a pump. She would not be capable of doing the calculations needed to administer shots for food. She just can’t do the math yet. And even with the pump, which calculates her dose for her, she still tells me how much it’s telling her to bolus.

I do think that some responsibility has to fall on the father’s and doctors’ shoulders. Apparently, Ariel rode her bike across town to visit her father about a week before she died. From the sounds of it, she didn’t have her meter or any insulin with her. I know that I would not let Olivia ride her bike across town, diabetes or no diabetes. The father said that Ariel looked pale and a bit sickly. If he was so concerned about her well-being, why didn’t he take her back to her house to get her meter? Why didn’t he take her to the doctor’s himself? And if the doctors were so concerned over her high a1C results and her mother’s apparent lack of care, why didn’t they contact DSS or some other social service? I don’t think all the blame can be placed on the mother in this case, although she certainly should bear the brunt of it.

The case is very sad. Had someone stepped in, even a couple of weeks earlier, this girl might not have died.

It’s Not A Good Idea To Piss Off Oprah


Last night, TCBIM got home from hockey around 1 a.m.. I managed to sleep thru most of his rustling around, but around 2 a.m., the snoring started. At first, it just invaded my dream, but eventually it woke me up. I poked him, he rolled over, I dozed off and then bam! It started up again. This went on until 2:45 a.m., when I gave him a hard kick in the back of the thigh. He woke up furious, spitting nails, saying that he shouldn’t have to be kicked like that, that I should just put up with it. Well. At 2:45 in the morning, being told I should just put up with his snoring did not sit well with me. At all. I told him to go sleep on the couch and, on my way back from the bathroom, laid into him, telling him that the fact that HE snored was not my problem and that I shouldn’t have to listen to it and be awoken by it 7, 8, 9 times a night and until he sorted it out, he could either spend the night on the couch or spend it being kicked.

Needless to say, I was up until 4 a.m.. Did you know that Larry King is re-run at 3 a.m.? Now you know. They had a couple of people on, discussing the James Frey debacle. Oprah had Frey on her show yesterday and raked him over the coals. I’m sort of meh about Oprah, but in this instance, I totally agree with her. I feel like he perpetuated a huge fraud, that he’s making pots of money off of a big pile of lies. Michael Wolff, a writer for Vanity Fair, was part of the panel. Now, if you’re going to give your opinion on a book and the story behind a book, you probably should have read the book. This guy didn’t, but still felt it was ok to pontificate on the subject, mostly to mock those who have read it, saying that he was rather surprised that people were so outraged – that they should have expected lies from a junkie. Regardless of the fact that Frey has been sober for twelve years, the fact that he was once a junkie automatically makes him a liar in Michael Wolff’s world.

No. He’s an author who wrote a memoir. Memoirs are, by definition, the story of a portion of the author’s life and should hold true to the facts. Not the truth, because truth is perceptive, but the facts should not be altered as dramatically as they were in this case.

People have said, “So what? It’s still a great story.” And it is a great story, but it’s a story, not what actually happened. He could have published it as fiction and it still would have had an impact. But because he published as what actually happened to him while he was going thru rehab and how he managed to stay sober without going thru a 12-step program, I feel he did everyone who’s struggling with addiction and looking to this book for inspiration a great disservice. It’s dishonest and shabby and smacks of moneygrubbing.

I’m also wondering why no one at his publishing company, including Nan Talese (and even I know who she is and I have nothing to do with the publishing world) checked up on his story. There were plenty of facts that could have been checked that would have quickly de-bunked his story, or at least raised a few red flags.

I don’t know why I’m so disappointed by this episode. I’m not an alcoholic or drug addict and I’ve never gone thru a 12-step program, but I still feel very let down by and disappointed with this author. At least I know I wasn’t alone in being duped by this guy – he even pulled one over on Oprah.

So that’s what I was doing between 3 – 4 a.m. – composing this entry as I watched Larry King. Does it warm the cockles of your little internet weirdo friend hearts that I was thinking about this blog, even in the middle of the night? Just tell me it does. Lie. Everyone’s doing it these days.

But that’s four weeks from now!

Finally, I got a therapist to call me back. The soonest he can see us is 27 Feb. ‘the fuck, man. That’s a month from now. I don’t want to feel like this for another month! I’ve called a couple of places, but this is the only one who’s called back. I don’t want to wait four weeks.

I guess I’ll start calling a few other places. I hate having to explain my problems over and over again to some woman who just answers the phone. I know it’s what they do all day, but it just wears you down after a while. Drip drip drip.

I need a vacation from my life.

Meme-stealing

Shamelessly ripped off from Joke’s blog – a blog I’ve never dared to comment on, but read daily.

Movies You Need To See To Understand Me Better:

When Harry Met Sally…
Grosse Pointe Blank
High Fidelity
Better Off Dead
Say Anything
The Breakfast Club
Lost In Translation
Office Space
Dazed And Confused
Dress To Kill (ok, it’s stand up, but it’s fucking funny)
The Princess Bride
Monty Python & The Holy Grail
Shaun Of The Dead

Albums You Need To Listen To Understand Me Better:

The Joshua Tree – U2
Hunting High And Low – A-ha
Aja – Steely Dan
Rhapsody In Blue – Gershwin
Born To Run – Bruce Springsteen
Rock Spectacle – Bare Naked Ladies
Forever And Ever, Amen – Ben Folds Five
August And Everything After – Counting Crows
Rum, Sodomy And The Lash – The Pogues
Turnstiles/The Stranger – Billy Joel

TV Shows You Need to (Have) Watch(ed) To Understand Me Better:

The West Wing (which they just cancelled, the PRICKS!!)
Northern Exposure
Monty Python & The Flying Circus

Books You Need To Read To Understand Me Better
(There are tons more, but I edited in order to conserve space and, y’know, not bore everyone to death. I read. A lot.)

Gone With The Wind
Little Women
A Wrinkle In Time
All the Little House On The Prairie books
Tom Sawyer
The Secret Garden
The Dragonriders of Pern series
Harry Potter 1 – 6
Firefly Summer
The Autobiography of Henry VIII
The Daughter of Time
The Fountainhead
…And Ladies Of The Club

Games You Need To Play To Understand Me Better:

Trivial Pursuit
Scrabble
Boggle
Mille Bourne

Periodicals You Need To Read To Understand Me Better:

The New Yorker
Vanity Fair

Catalogs You Need To Get–not necessarily order from–To Understand Me Better:

Signals
L.L. Bean
Pottery Barn
Ikea

Places You Need To Visit To Understand Me Better:

New York City.

I’ll just tag whoever feels like playing along.

Needed: One Swift Kick In The Arse

I need to start logging O’s blood sugars again. I don’t know why I got out of the habit, but now I have no idea what’s going on, pattern-wise, and I’m just reacting to the most recent bg reading instead of trying to figure out if it’s a trend that needs to be addressed with basal/bolus rate corrections.

I don’t seem to have any motivation to do this, though. I have been saying for months that I need to load the pump software onto the PC, but I’ve yet to do it. I bought a bunch of log books, but I haven’t used one since well before Christmas. I just can’t seem to muster up any energy to do any of this right now. This has been an on-going problem, not just since TCBIM started to flake out.

O hates logging her own information and point-blank refuses to do it. It’s kind of hard for me to get all over her about it when I won’t even do it myself, so I need some sort of goad to get myself going. I feel terrible that I’m not doing it, but does that change anything? Nope.

Le sigh.

________________________________________________

My other quandry: How the hell do you go about finding a good marriage counsellor? I mean, really. What the fuck? How do I know if they’re any good? I hate the thought of going to twelve different people and telling my story to each and every one of them. It just sucks. This is why I don’t go to therapy any more – I can’t find anyone that I can click with, so I just keep taking my medication and hoping that things will be ok. I fear I’m headed for disaster.

Gone With The Wind

I think TCBIM is, possibly, the stupidest human alive. He handed me his phone last night to show me pictures he’d taken of the girls. I was scrolling thru it and just below a very cute picture of the baby, were pictures of himself, naked, in a rather…aroused state, along with a text message to someone named Becka which started off “Hey baby…”

You want to hear his story? It’s a fucking beaut.

He’s been going to that porn site I talked about it this post. It’s a voyeur site; the kind of thing where people send in videos of themselves that they’ve taken at home. He claims that he started talking to this girl about a threesome because this is something he’s been interested in exploring with me, but he didn’t know how to bring it up to me. So instead, he decided to talk to some stranger on the internet about it. And send her pictures of himself, naked.

He says he can understand why I’m mad – so, he’s not completely brain dead, just the stupidest fucking person on the planet. He says he wasn’t having a thing with her, that it was just talking about this threesome thing. I say bullshit. I say, you don’t start a text message with the words “Hey baby…” if you haven’t got some sort of relationship with this girl. I say, sending pictures of your naked dick to someone is cheating.

He claims that he loves me, that the kids and I are more important to him than anything. If that’s the case, why did he feel the need to talk about our sex life on the internet with some woman? Why did he feel the need to send her some photos of himself?

I’m just sick. I spent most of the night awake, grinding my teeth and crying. I feel like we need to go see a marriage counsellor but he thinks we can sort this out by just talking about it. What is there to talk about? He’s ruined everything, he’s destroyed the trust I had in him. How am I just supposed to go back to our normal life when it feels like that life was a big fat lie?

He says he’s sorry. I’m reminded, of all things, of that line by Rhett Butler – “You’re like a thief who’s not sorry he stole, but is very, very sorry he got caught.”

I have no idea what I’m going to do now.

Breathing again

Everything went fine today. There was a heartbeat of 158 and I’m exactly on target for my due date.

Whew.

There was a double rainbow yesterday afternoon over Worcester. I took that as a good sign.

Frea. King. Out.

I have an ultrasound tomorrow. I had one last week, but for some reason, the OB wants another one. And TCBIM can’t come with me because his dickhead boss won’t let him leave work. Bastard.

I am, of course, a nervous, neurotic mess about this. Two years ago, on Jan 23rd, I had a misscarriage. I was 13 weeks along, had already seen the heartbeat, had started getting a bit of a tummy, had started talking about names when, one night, in the middle of the night, there was excruciating back pain, vomiting, diarreah and blood. And that was that. I had to have a D&C because my body didn’t actually miscarry the baby. I was a mess after that. It only took me 6 weeks to get pregnant again, but I spent more than half of that pregnancy being worried out of my mind, terrified that something would go wrong. I spent a lot of time combing the internet for reasons why, ways to prevent it from happening again, stories of successful pregnancies after miscarriage, some shred of comfort in the howl of fear that was my life.

Tomorrow I will be nearly 12 weeks along and close enough to my miscarriage anniversary that the superstitious side of me is taking over. I’m scared to death that I’m going to get to the appointment and there will be no heart beat. Of course, today would be the day that I feel fine – no morning sickness, no headache, no nothing. Which, in my uber-freaked out brain, translates to no more baby.

I NEED to chill.

A random cat post


This is Oscar.

I love this cat beyond reason. I got him a week before I had my miscarriage, two years ago. He was my consoler when no one else could stand my tears. He talks to me when I’m sitting on the couch. Gets right up in my face and starts meowing at me, especially if I’m reading a book. Tries to filch Veggie Stix out of my stash. Gets into bed with me and puts his paws around my neck. Licks my nose. Yells at me when he wants to be fed.

You can keep your dogs. I’ll take a cat any day.

Oh, and apparently, in true julia’s always The Last To Know fashion, it’s de-lurking week. So de-lurk, dammit!

Take head, insert in sand

After mulling this over for most of the week, I figured I’d put it out there for my imaginary internet weirdo friends to comment on. And I know, it’s Bad And Wrong to end a sentence with a preposition. Strunk & White can bite me. Both of ’em.

I went online on Saturday morning to check my hotmail. That Canadian Boy I Married had been on there before work, so when I brought up the hotmail page, he was still logged in. I honestly didn’t realize this and just clicked on the bottom email. It was a receipt from a porn site, something he’d signed up, and paid $30 for, in May. Nice.

Being the nosy person I am, I decided to look at the email in a folder marked Product Information. In it were about 15 pictures, taken with a camera phone, of a woman doing various and sundry graphic things to herself. They were all sent from a Sprint phone, from a number in West Virginia.

After a few moments of stunned shock, I called TCBIM. He claimed to not know what I was talking about. Claimed he’d never heard of the person in the pictures (K.L. Gettel, if anyone wants to know). Claimed he gave his email password to the guys at work. Claimed it had to have been one of them getting these pictures. Came home and reiterated all these things, several times. Said he didn’t care that I’d gone thru his email. (Although he did say “If I had pictures like that, do you think I’d keep them?” – yeah, that’s reassuring.)

So, now what? I’ve had my head in the sand over this all week. The pictures were dated over a one week period, last March. That doesn’t mean that there weren’t more, just that those are the ones that were saved. And is he really that dumb that he’d give out his email password? Seriously. I know he’s not a rocket scientist, but I didn’t think he’d be so fucking stupid.

On the one hand, he seems very sincere that he didn’t do this, that he would never do this, that he’s not that kind of person. On the other….there are those pictures. 95% of me wants to believe him, because he is a good person. Yes, he has his faults and there are days when I’d trade him for a Five Star Fruit & Nut Bar in a heartbeat, but most of the time, he’s a solid, stand-up guy.

If it had been saved pictures from a porn site, I wouldn’t have cared. I don’t get the same thrill out of porn that he does, but I certainly don’t care that he looks at it sometimes. It’s not all the time and it’s not an obsession. It’s a normal guy thing, as far as can tell.

But now I have this little voice in the back of my head, every time he’s late getting home, every time he goes out without me, every time he stays late after hockey. And I hate that voice. It took me a long time to get over the screwing over I got from my ex-husband. It took me forever to start trusting again, and it’s still a slightly warped, tentative, run-away, run-away kind of trust. I think it was three or four years after we got married that I didn’t start thinking “He’s going to leave me” every time we had a disagreement.

But in one swift moment, I’m back in that place. Only now, I’m back in that place and I have a child with him and another one on the way. I actually started checking out apartment rental rates the other day. I don’t want this to become a huge thing. I want it to be true, that it was one of the guys at work. I want to be able to continue to trust him.

It’s terrifying.

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