Thursday, April 17, 2014

The d word

That would be disclosure, in case you were wondering.

I'm finding myself in this interesting space where I'd like to write about something very profound happening in my life but it would make me way too identifiable. So let's tiptoe around it for a bit, shall we?

For a long time we have been trying to figure out what the deal with the kid is. She is a very quirky kid. Now we have a relatively neat answer and a label and that's exciting and terrifying. At this point it's hard to know if the label will stick but it seems like we just discovered the label had been attached to her all along and it was discovered rather than attached externally so I'm pretty comfortable with it overall. The label's big reveal is very helpful to me in how I approach parenting in that I know I'm not doing anything wrong but that what I know to do is based on a label-free child and that's not who I am parenting so my approach needs altering. It isn't that the everything we have tried was done wrong by us but that what we needed wasn't in the realm of normal "everything."

So to whom do we disclose this information? Does it matter? Should we be thinking about how a label changes the way she is perceived or is it inherently wrong to withhold information from those who might benefit from it?

Last night the spouse and I watched the movie Gataca (why yes I spelled that wrong) about a future where selection of specific genes is normal before a child is created via something like IVF. A lot of it boils down to how we discriminate against those with a certain label, whether that label is one that's visually apparent to everyone or one that is revealed by a test. The lead character really wants to be an astronaut but his genetic probability at birth says his life expectancy is only to 30 and he will have "a heart condition." He proves that he is mentally very capable despite that doom and gloom prediction of his odds of success in life as a baby. The genetic counseling session where the parents with the unordered baby protagonist in tow is really intriguing as the parents choose just how much they want to control the genetic probability of various risks.

But our world isn't just going to be like that if it changes and we order babies off a menu. It's like that now. Men and women get a different number of calls for job interviews, mentoring opportunities, and promotions with identical resumes. People with an "ethnic" name get discriminated against like there's no tomorrow (who gets called back about an apartment or a job or even the micro-aggression of having to explain where you are from to every person you meet). Fat people get their health concerns blown off and are told to lose weight as the sole solution to every problem. I got told my migraines would get better if I lost 20 lbs by a migraine specialist for example. They didn't of course.

To some degree we are people and we have to weed out people who are helpful from people who are harmful so discrimination is in our nature. I think that degree is tiny compared to the way we've structured society though. Look at who is in power and who isn't. There's a line and only a very certain set of people get to cross it. We all lose because of this narrow control of power.

So I am struggling with disclosing this label. How does the label move what people think about my kid, about my parenting of her? When do we tell her about the label? We have an appointment to look at this with her primary doctor next week and it's hard to know if she's old enough to know about the label yet, and if telling her does more harm than good, and if we should bring her to the appointment and involve her or if we should let her continue being her without the label wandering around in her psyche.

That of course is the heart of the matter - disclosure. Do we disclose what we know to her now and if not now, when? What's the age where the label will be something she can understand completely?

And who else do we let in on the label? Primary caregivers only or do we wait to see if she struggles and then clue in the primary caregivers? Teachers? We decided to see about what the school district has to offer so that cat is probably out of the bag but we need to know our options and figure out if labeled schooling matters or if she can succeed somewhere with no label beyond her name.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Transitions of care

My goal for the year was to be good and put my own mask on first. It's a reasonable goal I think, prioritizing self care over draining myself caring for others.

Of course, it hasn't happened that way as much as I'd like to. I have suddenly taken over a huge amount of childcare and household stuff and that's life and was pretty unavoidable. On the other hand I've been decent about maintaining my sanity by getting out of the house sometimes, better than ever before. It has been really good to get out to be an adult sometimes. I honestly am happy to lose 5% of my grade in some classes to have the time to be human and not just a studying machine.

But here we are, getting ready to transition from me doing lots and lots to me being gone during the week. When I was away for school in the fall I came home to a disaster area and it really bothered me. I worry. I don't want to come home every weekend and spend all my time doing dishes and laundry, but if every week is like that one, I will have no other choice. I can't in good conscience leave for the week if every dish is dirty and none of the laundry is clean.

In the healthcare arena we talk a lot about transitions of care. Lots of bad things happen when people go from the hospital back home or to a different healthcare facility. It's easy to drop the ball when someone has been providing one level of care and it's suddenly gone. The new caregiver may have no idea what is needed to maintain adequate care. I think of the little old man with heart failure who goes to the hospital, stays a few days, then gets sent home on a few new medications whose little old life partner is bewildered by the whole thing. Which medications he took before the hospital should he still take? Did the dose of any of them change? What looks so bad that he needs to go back to the hospital and what should we call the doctor about? How much do all these new medications cost? What happens if he dies? What happens if I get sick? These guys come back to the hospital  pretty often because they haven't been taking medications properly and it's easy to get confused even if you are a very with-it caregiver. I've seen the little old caregiver in the pharmacy and they just look like they are in total shock. They nod and say they understand and sometimes can even repeat directions back but I don't think most of them have really understood a word of what is said.

Now we all in healthcare are looking at ways to smooth transitions of care for people so don't think we've given up on the little old caregivers completely. We do things like create detailed lists of medications and send home swaths of printed information about how things should go. We sometimes send home med lists that say specifically "stop taking medication x that you took before you were in the hospital" even. Discharge counseling for those leaving the hospital is far more than it used to be so hopefully the sick person and the caregiver(s) understand better how things work.

But sometimes no matter how prepared you pretend you are, you can't really fathom an experience with radical change.

I've been trying to ease the upcoming transition of care for my spouse, spelling out things that matter like that we need to do one load of laundry every day to keep up with things. I've been letting the mess pile up so hopefully my spouse recognizes it and deals with it without prompting. This means that a bowl that got smashed in the kitchen a week ago (by my spouse no less) is still in pieces on the floor.

I'm starting to panic honestly. I know that my rotations are what's best for my career and we as a family are in a place where it looks like it will be my career and not our careers. I get that it matters a lot that I do the rotations to the best of my ability. It's part of me putting on my own mask first. At the same time I can't believe I am really going to be gone for 10 weeks in a row. I have no idea how this is going to work. I'm scared to see how it works and that it really isn't going to work at all.

Next is my short to do list. Let me know what I've forgotten.

Figure out what dishes/pans I need to feed myself while I'm away and acquire them
Assemble work wardrobe and purchase anything I need to fill it out (new undergarments for sure, probably a few pairs of pants)
Get a proper pair of pajamas
Clean out the car
Get the car's body work done so it's presentable
Figure out the site requirements and get those accomplished before each rotation
Avoid panic if at all possible

Questions for you all: how many outfits/pieces are in your work wardrobe?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Privilege

So I sit in a place of privilege. I am very acutely aware of that and I think it's important for us white folk to recognize it and if we can, squash those who attempt to give us privileges over others around us.

It's an interesting place, seeing how privileged I am and seeing how little those around me see it. I guess it mostly makes me uncomfortable that I wind up in a place to call people on it and it's no fun to be someone who is interrupting things all the time to point out how we are excluding others.

Let's start with t-ball. I know the demographics of our town very well for a variety of reasons, and it mirrors national demographics with our young people mirroring where the US is predicted to be in 10 years with non-white kids being a slight majority and with Hispanic folk being the most numerous group.

My kid's t-ball league had 2 Hispanic kids and maybe 3 other non-white kids from multi-racial families (from what I could tell, it isn't like I met any parents I didn't already know attending t-ball twice a week for 8 weeks). 7 teams of about 15 kids each and that's it. So I was thinking about why that is exactly. Then it dawned on me that second shift was probably to blame. The major employers in town have at least 2 full shifts and sometimes run a pretty full third shift as well. I just bet that non-white folk work disproportionately not first shift, whether that's because they need the extra pay (if there is any?) and I also bet the white folks know a guy who can get them on the day shift. I also suspect that not all Hispanic folks stay in town for years to get seniority to get onto the day shift. If you work second shift, no way you could get your child to evening t-ball. T-ball did cut across classes with kids of doctors and executives and folks with very blue collar jobs playing on the same teams.

Then there's the La Leche League meetings. It gives me this super guilty feeling to attend these because the extreme whiteness and extreme upper to middle class environment kinda makes me gag. I like it because it's nice to talk about nursing and children and cloth diapers without anyone giving you the side eye because nobody but the lucky few have time for discussing any of that, let alone doing it. I hate it because a discussion of how awesome raw milk is doesn't get squashed and it turns out lots of people are all "wahoo! raw milk!" (hint: it is dangerous so do not think there is any way to make it safe, I promise I read the primary literature and looked at the data and just say no) and the levels of middle class and upper class signaling are staggering. The designer diaper bags and fancy toys and even designer labeled kid clothes just rub it in my face that I am in a space that doesn't feel welcoming if you don't belong there. I save up my personal little cache of spending money so I can make the extra trip into the city for the meeting because I need the support since I really don't like nursing the baby that much. It is very obvious that if I said that, I would get a lot of silence or stories about "when we were in medical school" (hint: spouses of med students often say this, and I get that it's a very awful situation to go through but only one of you is a doctor so you weren't both in medical school... ahem...) and it reeks of privilege and I am uncomfortable while being more comfortable at the same time.

There's a mom who I've kinda made friends with who's exclusively pumping and I feel like she and I have more in common than a lot of the other ladies - we aren't saying much about something that's really significant in our lives (she doesn't mention pumping during meetings, I stay silent during discussions of nursing attire because that is a million miles from in my budget in the past year). I have a body type that would blend in pretty well in one of those awful Mad.ea movies and so some of it is body awareness - I do not look like the skinny yoga moms who run marathons with babies in strollers, nor will I ever, no matter if I hit my fitness goals and quiet weight goals. I can't nurse my baby in a cross body hold because my gut is in the way and my boobs just aren't located there anyway. It's nice to see what that should look like, sure, but it's a reminder that this is not really my place.

Of course there's the fertile discomfort element too. A few of the gals are having 4th or 5th babies in the near future, some having surprise additional babies. While I'll grant you that Little Monster really surprised me, it was after 3.5 years of hoping to stay pregnant out of the first trimester so it feels different than "whoops!" There's the guilt too that it will never be that easy for us, never so simple as "well, I'm about 7 weeks now so it's safe to tell you."

The LLL movement was founded by a bunch of stay at home white gals who were pretty well off and it shows in the main handbook (which I read an edition ago so maybe it's better now?) and to a large degree in who attends the meetings. It is weird to me to hear about moms deciding to stay home because it's best for their babies. I mean I suppose it is but it's not an option for me or most people I know IRL.

One of the things I try very hard to do is to get out of my comfort zone and to recognize my neighbors as people just like me. At this end of being broke, where we've asked enough of our close family that we can't ask again for at least a decade and where we are one car repair away from a month of skipped meals for an adult, I have a lot more in common with my neighbors who send money to their families in other countries than I realized. I have a lot more in common with the rest of the 60% of families in my town whose children get free or reduced lunch than I do with my upper middle class white "peers" who do things like take vacations. I'm excited I get to go to a conference next month. It's required for school (to go to any conference for a minimum number of hours) and on the expensive side but we pinched every penny to make it work. I know I'm eating rice and beans while I'm away on rotations next year because there's no other way for us to afford all that travel. I'm stockpiling them now in fact.

The first step to overcoming the divide between us and them is seeing that the divide is there. The second step is reaching across and knowing that the line between well off and destitute is so narrow any of us could get there any minute now. The third step is looking at our skin and our gender and our relationship status and noticing all the privileges we get just for showing up. Then once we see where we are, we step back from privileges given us unfairly whenever we get the chance.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The vanishing act

Things have been quite wild around here so here's a speedy update with bullets.

  • Little Monster is now officially one. She walks and says a few words and climbs stairs. It boggles my mind. Sometimes she gets close to a tantrum when expressing her opinion like by violently smacking away a sippy cup of milk repeatedly while asking to nurse (so that's how weaning is going...).
  • The mystery health problem has resolved itself simply and in time, things should be all back to normal. That's just about the most exciting thing ever.
  • The kid is excelling at pushing my buttons and testing every limit and every boundary every opportunity she gets. It is infuriating and stressful and I am not coping very well.
  • School carries on. Senioritis is severe at this point. My rotations are all confirmed and I got all my first choices and I'll be out of town for over half of next year.
  • The trip to visit my friend in hospice went really well. Little Monster was a saint baby and only one person was rude to us. She screamed and fussed for less than 5 minutes total on each flight. On the way out we didn't check our carry-on suitcase but on the way back I was so tired I succumbed. It was a good choice. The visiting part was really nice and fun until the last day when sad baby was super sad the whole day. It's a hard experience to see someone for what's probably the last time even if we'll chat more over the next few months but it was fun too to get to visit in person.
  • I'm at the point in the semester where I'm sure I failed the crucial midterm and I'll wind up having to take a leave of absence and spend another freaking year in school. The grade for the exam won't be done for ages so it isn't like the stress will go away.
  • I am trying to keep up with reading blogs but I make no promises about commenting as things are so crunched for time.
  • Very soon I will be gone during the week and home only for weekends. It's weird for me to think through how that will work. It's weird for me to imagine being gone that much. It's weird to think about rotations being real after so much time in a classroom. Work! Real work! Patients and people to talk to who aren't going to call me a kid (this is my favorite compliment and I say so often to my professors, especially those who are fewer than 5 years older than me)!
  • I miss sleeping a whole lot. I think my first rotation if I have time off in the evenings, I'm going to sleep 2 or 3 hours early to try and catch up.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Starting small

This month's Who Needs It? Challenge is to Start Small in de-cluttering.
I decided that, given my forced pause in de-cluttering the house, now was a great time to start small and feel accomplished that I got SOMETHING done at least.

I opted to start with my dryer and the shelves above it. Here's the before pictures.

Above the dryer on the top shelf are a folded, clean t-shirt, a bell.a band, a paperback book, my wide brim black with glitter hat, a baby fedora. On the lower shelf is a bag sling someone gave us when the kid was born (I think these are deemed unsafe now, I deemed it unsafe when we put her in it once, somehow it stayed at my in-laws and they helpfully gave it to us when Little Monster arrived), a lone brown knit mitten, and a Quiet Book which is hiding a small fabric toy sheep. You can also see a reusable grocery bag that was washed some time ago and hung up to dry and just behind it is a sweatshirt that's likewise been "drying" for months now.

Here's on top of the dryer itself.
We've got a bag of Rockin Green detergent, a box containing another bag of the same detergent, a box of store-branded bleach (note the censoring mitten hiding the brand, same mitten from the self above), a half full box of other detergent that we aren't using at all, a pair of the spouse's pants complete with belt that's sitting on top of a plastic tub containing some additional dirty laundry and the hair dryer (tub is meant to store socks in our closet).

I removed all the stuff that didn't belong in the laundry room anymore for starters and got the laundry put in a proper place (the washer or a basket of clean laundry, respectively). I then used the suddenly vacant shelf space to store the laundry soap and empty boxes plus some homeless stuff from the kitchen.

Here's the after picture, taken so you could see both areas at once.
Here you can see the soap and bleach are on the shelf, the hair dryer is also on the shelf since I don't have room upstairs for it in/near the bathroom, there's a box of baby bottles with lids that I'm not getting rid of yet (the red one), a plastic tub of pump parts I have decided I'm not getting rid of (yet) since they're my size and fit both major types of pumps, plus an empty small box and empty plastic tub. You can also see that the laundry that's hung up is stuff that is currently drying (wet bag, bibs, bag for laundering undergarments that are also drying) rather than that grocery bag and sweatshirt. The top of the dryer is EMPTY which makes me very happy.

Feelings: I really like it that this space is uncluttered. It's soothing to have usable space. I even cleaned the top of the dryer so it's sparkly and everything. I imagine that when I'm out of town I'll move the soap back down to the dryer but only one package. This space is also small enough that I can keep it clean. Any clutter that wanders in can be voted out quickly and returned to its actual home because this is meant to be an empty space.

For my next small space, I'm considering the dining room cupboard top. I'd like to put some of the dining room plants back up there so the cat quits eating them but it means creating a better cat-invasion-prevention barrier than a wall of empty cans. Zie previously would swish the cans down with a swipe of a paw or tail and then hop up to chomp on the plants. At the least, the assortment of pharmacy journals and holiday cookie tins needs clearing out.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Faith and business

So I've been tiptoeing around the issue for some time, and it is time to have out with it.

I think it is a terrible crime that we are imbuing non-persons with person-like attributes. I think we in America should stop now.

Let's back up and consider when and how and to whom this refers.

Primarily I am concerned that businesses are not people and should not be treated like they are people. It also worries me when we assign potential people (embryos and fetuses) the rights of people because, well, not people. Embryos and fetuses certainly are closer to people than businesses though, and they ought to get their own discussion of personhood in another post.

Businesses. When I think of a business, I think of a group of people that provide a good or service others buy such that the group of people can get paid salaries and the purchasers get whatever it is they pay for. A friend of mine runs a business that has one regular employee (my friend) and occasionally it hires some other people but for the most part, it's just my friend doing business and keeping business separate from play by incorporating so it's clear what's business and what's fun (it's an event planning business). This friend's spouse works for a multinational corporation that employs thousands on several continents. Size and scale vary.

But let's talk faith for a moment. Faith is a word with a specific set of meanings. It is a belief in something with no justification or reason for that belief, a set of religious beliefs such as Islam, an obligation of loyalty (Johnny acted in good faith to mend the rift between the white hats and the black hats.), or a trust or confidence in the abilities or intentions of another person (I have faith that Johnny will be able to find the cat). Faith is a noun. That means that an agent is needed to have it because it's that certain kind of noun that gets possessed. But if you look at those examples, you'll note that people are the agents in all of them.

So faith is something people or groups of people have and isn't something that could be possessed by an inanimate object. My chair has no ability to have faith or to act in good faith. I'll make the case that animals can't have faith either because they aren't sentient actors. Animals are unable to possess ethereal things like faith or an idea of an afterlife by definition because they aren't people.

So this brings us around to businesses. A business is a construct for the purpose of making money and therefore because it isn't a person, it cannot possess faith. A business is made up of people who work for it but the business itself can't exhibit the characteristics of a person because it isn't a person. A business cannot love. A business cannot get married. A business can't get baptized or have a bar mitzvah or participate in any faith-originated sacred event. This means a business, in addition to not being a person, has no ability to participate in a faith and therefore isn't capable of having faith in the same way a person can. Can you bless or curse a business? Sure! But that makes the business the subject of a faith-based action rather than the actor in it.

This is where the rubber hits the road. Some business owners are mad that they have to pay for health insurance for their employees. I get that, but it's a cost of doing business if you are over a certain size. If we had a different system where we had a single payer model for healthcare, we'd charge businesses or people more and call it something different (or just call it a tax) to pay for health coverage at that time. Business comes with costs - you need to rent office space probably, you need to pay for supplies, you need to pay your employees fairly, you need to pay whatever else your local area charges businesses who incorporate. Businesses in the US also pay specific taxes that support the common welfare: medic.are and Soc,ial Secu.rity. There's no denying these are taxes and no pretending the business can have any say about how these programs play out once the business pays them.

Let's talk about the difference between owning a business and the business itself. If you own the business, you get to set the tone of the business. Check out corporate cultures as disparate as Costc.o and Walm.art as some examples. One encourages unions, pays a living wage, and employs most people full time. The other discourages unions, pays minimum wage and sometimes holds food drives at its stores to help its employees make ends meet, and employs relatively few people full time. The owners and major shareholders of these companies shape these choices, and if you have a big company then obviously some of what happens locally differs from what the corporate central office imagines might happen. The owner(s) of the business are people and they are not the business, no matter how influential on the business they may be.

Let me hammer on that distinction again. Because businesses are not people, the people who own them cannot "be the business" no matter how much they influence the doings of the business or are the only one doing them. People remain people and businesses can never be people, therefore nobody can "be the business" and no person's attributes can all belong to the business because there are some things that are people-only.

Based on businesses not being people and the people who own businesses being unable to change that piece of semantics and hopefully reality, businesses can't have faith and therefore can't use faith as a reason not to pay for health care of a particular nature that the faith finds objectionable. For lots of reasons that are icky (another post!), we in America require by law that employers of a certain number of people pay for health insurance for employees. There is no faith in that whatsoever, just business. For some reason we have decided it's the employers' job to pay for this, and I won't argue the whole system is ridiculous, but it is what we have. Employers pay taxes that support those government programs and they have no control over what employees do with that tax money in the future. Requiring employers pay for yet another thing is just par for the course then.

The argument that because the owners of a business have certain faith-based beliefs, they shouldn't have to pay for very specific pieces of health care is ridiculous. The logistics are awful for one (defining the faith beliefs, determining if they are real or the employer being cheap or misogynistic, etc), the idea that what amounts to a tax that businesses get some say in how much to pay can be skipped entirely because of such a personal belief is just silly (who gets to skip taxes they don't like to pay? Nobody! Not even non-person businesses!), and it is impossible in my mind to set proper limits. For example, some faiths believe that blood transfusions are immoral and inappropriate. Can a business say they won't pay for blood transfusions, even if the employee needs and wants one to save her life? What about if a woman has an ectopic pregnancy and needs medication to resolve that but her employer has forbidden the use of very specific medications that are viewed as immoral? What about the case of the schizophrenic person whose faith says that all medications starting with the letter S are immoral who suddenly owns a company through inheritance? It's too messy to decide individually what's what, so it's best to just have the law be the law and be done with it. Pay for health insurance that meets minimum standards to prove it counts as health insurance or stop doing business (or be awful and cut your employee's hours so nobody is full time anymore and therefore nobody gets health insurance).

This lands me in a personal spot where there's this lovely pharmacy down the street that would be a nice place to do a rotation. The problem is a tip jar on the counter. It's for the local church-group-run crisis pregnancy center. I have several problems with this but what crosses the line for me is the presence of faith in a business. If the jar is on the counter, it means the business (and not its employees or owners) endorses it. Businesses have no place supporting one faith over another. I've worked in places where we had similar jars for the humane society or a nonprofit children's hospital or to support some local sick person in need of expensive care. I cannot in good conscience work in a place that allows faith to bleed into business like that, particularly because crisis pregnancy centers ARE NOT a place to get health care and if you are in a pharmacy, it suggests an endorsement of any health-related things advertised. Pharmacies should not advertise fake health care options because it is dangerous to do so. I think I would get sued if I told a cancer patient I refused to order their chemo medication because they ought to just die instead of going against G*d's will. I wish we recognized that this faith-based intrusion is just as inappropriate as refusing to fill a prescription for contraception (as a business, remember, not a word about individual pharmacist ethical choices based in a personal faith in this post).

Business is about money. Using the "faith of the business" is logically faulty and very likely an excuse to avoid paying more to employ people, or as a way to show off how faithful the owners are to their friends. Don't accept the idea that businesses can have faith and should act on that faith. It's bogus.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Leaps

I have mentioned before that one of my good friends is dying of cancer, sooner than later. So far the news is bad but not worst and there's no real sense for how long she has.

Firstly, thanks a million to everyone who's commiserated with me. It is awful and it hurts my heart to know her family (4 kids, oldest is 12) will be without her too soon.

It's been very moving to hear how positive she is though, despite knowing her prognosis. She's just stayed so hopeful and thankful for every day she gets. It's a great reminder that this life can be way too short and that today is pretty awesome, no matter what mess is happening.

So I made this irrational and expensive choice this afternoon that I'm going in person to visit her and her family for a few days. Little Monster is going to come with too. This means flying and renting a car and oh my scary but important.

We also decided that instead of birthday presents, Little Monster is requesting donations to my friend to help her afford the expenses that come with leaving the hospital when she's ready/able/allowed. Right now she's been in for a couple weeks and she's lost all below the waist motor function so she'll need a variety of things to be able to be home.

My kid is considering doing the same for her upcoming birthday too. Often I feel like she is in this totally selfish phase and then she wants to send all her "give to others" money to my friend to help her out and is considering skipping birthday gifts to help too. Sneaky surprising kids, learning things when we aren't looking.

I'm hoping that I'm being sensible and choosing a priceless opportunity over most of a month's rent. In the long term a little more debt is a drop in the bucket (that's a depressing thought... oof...) and this is it. There is no other time beyond this to go visit.

I read this interesting piece about this couple and their bunch of cats and I was reminded of the time we decided to spend a couple months' worth of rent on fixing up our cat. The broken jaw cost us thousands to repair plus hundreds in fancy food and meds after the surgery, but zie is a happy and healthy cat today 3.5 years later and I'm absolutely glad we spent that money. I guess it's an important factor to consider what we're getting from our loving relationships (even with our pets) as compared to what we're getting out of our financial stability.

In the long run, am I going to regret splurging and going to see my friend one last time? Nope. It's worth the leap to ditch financial solvency and to go see her. Sometimes it's worth it to save your cat even if it costs thousands. Visiting with Little Monster's awesome auntie is priceless and I'm glad I decided to take the leap and I intend to be glad every time I'm eating rice and beans in the coming months to pay for it. I'll probably be crying too but that's a side effect that's unavoidable.