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Getting down to crunch time for Zoe. A little over two months from now she'll be done with high school and on her way to dancing across Europe for four weeks. The only bump in the road for her now is senior project, which she's working on - she's going to do a how-to presentation on the Japanese tea ceremony in Japanese with English translation. Bought some macha, powdered green tea, yesterday and it is really foul stuff. An acquired taste I'll not bother to acquire anytime soon. I like Japanese food, but some of it is just beyond my ability to choke down. Take Natto, for instance - beans that are fermented until they get to that nearly spoiled, sticky stage. Smells like death on a cracker. But its a beloved snack in Japanese culture - they even dispense it in vending machines. I DID try some once and it was like Epicac in bean form. Again, an acquired taste with a steep assimilation curve.
Another obstacle to cross before Z-girl flies off across the sea is getting her annual done. She actually has two coming up - one focusing on her diabetes care and the other on the rest of her. No surprises expected but since I'm not allowed in on the exam one-on-one with the docs (Zoe's taken over her own care since she's turned 18) I get info second hand. Particularly when it comes to female stuff, which as you can imagine, are tough for a guy to talk about with his daughter. For this I employ my four sister's help. I've told them to ride herd on Z-girl's private health for me. Presently they are bugging me to get her a Gynocologist to see in addition to the general practitioner. Well, okay then - I knew women had two docs but I didn't know it was standard procedure. My sister Gracia tells me, "You have four sisters and you didn't know this?" Yeah, like I talk to them about gynocological care all the time. Jesus. So anyway we have that coming up and trying to get a referral from the GP for a Gyno is like planning a moon mission. Of course, its the HMO that's causing all the red tape to bloom. I thought HMOs were supposed to make it easier to work referrals in, but evidently not.

Funny story about this medical roundabout - two weeks ago I was in Indiana visiting and we dropped in on my dad and step mom. Dad's 88 and kind of in his own world and my mom is 78 and still sharp, but now that she's in her Golden Years, she's given up self-editing to save anyone's feelings. We get to talking about the doctors and Zoe. Zoe mentions that she'd like to see what more could be done about cramps and the heightened anxiety she gets every month. Dad and I automatically start having our own side conversation to drown out the Girl Talk. In the midst of talking about dual carburetors with the old man, I hear mom tell Zoe that its likely that her hard cramps could be caused by Ovarian Cysts. "That could mean cancer, you know." she says as Zoe looks on wide-eyed. "You need to get a Gynocologist to check you over just to make sure its not something bad." It's at this point that I remember just why the fuck I don't go visit the folks too much. Zoe held it together though and remembered that grandma's a crazy woman whose cure for nearly every minor ailment is a mustard poultice. Not to mention that she voted for George Wallace. Twice. But that's another issue. Zoe makes a face at grandma and blurts out, "Jesus, grandma! I don't have cancer." Mom's eyes narrow and she points a bony finger at Z-girl, "Now mind your manners, young lady. You never know until you know, the good Lord could give you cancer no matter what you say. Best get an expert to take a look is all I'm sayin'." I stop the conversation just as Zoe opens her mouth to dive into a theological discussion with step mom that I know will only end badly. I divert that conversation towards Zoe's boyfriend. Mom loves talking about all of us kids' love lives. She briefly skips over the recent highlights of Zoe's relationship then turns to me. "So you know Tom, there's no reason for you to go through the rest of your life alone." Zoe screeches into uncomfortable silence and I resist the urge to blurt out, "I'm not alone as long as there are hookers left to hire." Instead, I just shake my head and give the standard response, "I'm in no hurry, Ma." She shakes her head, she's heard this before, and sensing that I'm not going to talk about my own love life, gives her usual reply, "Well we're none of us getting any younger, you know." At this point dad pipes up and asks if we want to stay and watch the IU ball game with him. Zoe shoots me a panic-stricken look. Three hours more with grandma and grandpa? Good Lord no! I make some lame excuse and soon we're out of there. On the drive back to my sister's house I tell Zoe that I've been seeing someone who might become her new mom. "Her name's Stormee and she's a dancer just like you. She's what they call an "exotic dancer" and she wears really cool costumes and dances with a pole like you see in a firehouse." Zoe rolls her eyes. "God dad, you are so weird."



Apr. 2nd, 2012 09:00 pm (UTC)
Stormee made me laugh.

Many girls use their gynocologists as their primary health care providers. Just so you know.

Z-girl's menstruation issues may be diabetes-related. Estrogen has some effect on insulin asorption. (I used to be a nurse -- did I ever tell you that? True! That's how come I know so much physiology. I haven't done nursing for 20 years. But the knowledge stays with you.) Estrogen typically shoots up before bleeding commences, and I wonder if the anxiety might be related to that. There is a link, actually, between polycystic ovaries and diabetes, but typically the link is to the kind of insulin resistance that's associated with Type 2 and I'm guessing Z-girl is Type 1.