My boobs were my tools of the trade for almost 20 months.

Once my youngest daughter weaned herself from the Magical Boob Juice, the fun really began!

(And by fun we all know I mean chaos!)

Pull up a chair, sit a while, read a few pages.

Keep and open mind and a joyful heart and you too can get pumped into the world of The Milk Maid.


So I still have this thing called a blog!

And I'm really awful at updating it these days! Wow- guess the least I can do is a quick photo update of the girls....

Ava... almost 4!

Faith... closer to 13 than I want her to be!

--The Milk Maid says, "Where'd the time go?"


And then there were four..

Four knee surgeries that is!

My fourth and (possibly, maybe) final procedure is complete on the ol' knee.

I had what is called a manipulation under anesthesia on my knee to break up scar tissue that had formed and frozen my knee joint. The procedure required anesthesia because of the level of pain involved during the breaking up of the scar tissue. Dr. Hottie McGropesalot also had my anesthesiologist pal give me a femoral nerve block to help deaden the pain that was sure to follow. I was one of the supremely lucky people out there who had a block that lasted for almost 48 hours!

Oh sure, I couldn't walk without crutches for that time, but I felt nooooo pain at all and kept my knee moving in my therapy chair thus keeping scar tissue from reforming.

I'm at 75% range of motion in my knee and I'm trading in my flexion chair for an extension brace that I have to wear a couple times a day just to keep my knee where it will straighten all the way out.

So... maybe this will be the last post about knees and surgery and therapies to bend and straighten and manipulate my lower extremity and perhaps we can get into more exciting stuff like how Ava has grown, yet still refuses to potty train and Faith being a tween and such silliness in her life like her friend who is a boy, yet is not her boyfriend whose nickname is Corn (he calls her Taco, so it must be a good match).

And, maybe- just maybe- we will pickup a new character along the way in the form of a baby. Not in the immediate future, but that dream is by no means lost.

--The Milk Maid says stay tuned!


I'd Tell You To Go To Hell, But I Work There And I Don't Want To See You Everyday

So, needless to say if you've drawn any conclusion from the title of this post, I am back to work. Dr. Hottie McGropesalot did not want to give me clearance, but since my short-term disability would not pay (long story I am sure I'll gripe about later) I had no choice but to hoof it back to The Lab.

Since last we spoke (or since last I typed and you read, technically) I got rid of my PICC line and IV pump- THANK YOU SWEET BABY J!- and I'm pretty much recovered from the infection which was classified as MSSA Staph (fun to google if you are bored!).

The only hitch (ha, you will laugh at the pun in a minute... wait for it) is that my leg wont bend at the knee any more than say 10 degrees. So I limp.

Really, really limp.

Think this guy minus the cane and vicoden habit, but pretty much the same highly sociable patient/health care provider rapport (I'm usually kidding about that last part).

--The Milk Maid says meet the new boss (same as the old boss).


I'm Back

I can't stand it. I can't stay away.

The Milk Maid is back.

And, as you may have noticed I changed my hair a little. I was trying to color it back to my natural dark chestnut brown shade. But it turned black. After a week of being in total shock and screaming at the stranger in the mirror every time I paced by, I grew to like my new shade of locks. I feel kind of powerful and bitchy. I stood up for myself a little bit more. I shot a bird at a coworker who called me Elvira.

I had knee surgery on December 15th for a simple arthroscopic plica resection and a lateral release. My "simple" procedure got infected so I was taken in for an emergency arthroscopic irrigation and drainage on December 29th. I had a picc line placed at the hospital during my 2 day stay and received IV vancomycin until January 13th when my surgeon announced my synovial white count (a measure of infection) was over 100,000. Normal is 200 or less. Yeah... it was bad. So, on the 13th I had yet another surgery to clean out the mess that was festering. Dr. Hottie McGropesalot decided that a 4 inch gash incision on the inner side of my right knee was the way to go.

Tomorrow, after 9 days of a continuous Nafcillan IV pump, I will see what my future holds when I see Dr. Hottie for my post op. (I guess technically my post-post-post op. Or post op-op-op. I dunno- anyways...)

So, now that we are pretty much caught up with me how have all of YOU been?

And RainbowMama, I hope I can make you laugh a heck of a lot starting now!

--The Milk Maid says she may be a bitch, but at least she's the pick of the litter.


Not sure if I'll be back after this.

Lots going on. Not much I feel like sharing.

I don't have the voice or the power I once had. It doesn't mean as much. Then again, not much does.

The people I used to write with and for don't seem to be on the same plane as I am right now and instead of lagging behind, dragging my feet, and drawing out the painful conclusion I might as well go ahead and wean you all from this Milk-Induced breast.

--The Milk Maid has a sad.


Still Here... Really

I'm still here.

Work is chaos. Life is stressful, but getting better. I'm feeling down and out, but this too shall pass.

Contemplating the future of Milk-Induced Coma. Love my blog- my other baby in a way- but here I am the Milk Maid, sans milk for the first time in over 3 years and no immediate plans of revamping the breast milk brigade. Desire, yes. Practical, no.

On a positive note I have starting writing a book. Ten whole chapters so far! It's kind of in the style of how MIC (milk-induced coma) used to be- funny, witty, sarcastic, fast paced, and utterly silly. Hopefully I can keep the motivation to finish the book and then work on getting published.

All around me there are new blogs to represent new beginnings and different directions and change. I'm feeling a little left out of the swirl, but I just don't have the drive any more. In so many ways I have given up on myself. The past year, two years, more- it's been a struggle to cope and survive. Today I am just trying to make it through until tomorrow and then the next day and then perhaps the next.

I'm not alone, but I'm lonely. I miss things I still have because of the fear they will leave me like every other thing in this world seems to have done.

I miss each and every single one of you in blog-land. I've been terrible at keeping up with the friends I have made over the past 3 years and it's no one's fault but my own. I apologise because you all mean more to me than you can ever know. Again, I'm a failure.


More Blab From The Lab

Two very exciting things happened to me today. The first exciting (and admittedly scary) thing that happened was a small centrifuge's rotor exploded into a million little bits. The sound was like a gunshot a full two rooms away. Roxy was sitting next to the centrifuge as it exploded and was splattered with shrapnel. She was totally fine except a small ringing in her ears and staying very skittish for the remainder of the day.

The second exciting thing that happened was the interaction I had with a patient. Great Austrian Accent Man, a repeat customer, came in for some basic blood work today. As I was prepping to draw him he made a comment on how his skin was looking old and crepe-like. I told him it wasn't bad at all and I bet he'd keep kicking for another 20 years (he was 82 by the way, but doesn't look to be in his 80's or even close to 70). After drawing him and joking about being in a wonderful mood because I'd had sugar cookies for breakfast he took my hand to shake and then pulled me in for a hug. Normally I don't make any more contact that necessary with patients, but I felt very close to Great Austrian Accent Man at that moment and hugged him just as hard as I could. He thanked me for being so kind and gentle and said that it meant so much to him. I told him my name and said he could ask for me any time he was in the lab and I would be sure to take care of him.

Sometimes it is the small things that remind you why you get up and go to work every single day. It made me think of a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson that says, "To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded."

Today I succeeded!

--The Milk Maid says life is good.


Oink Like A Pig

We have already started "sick season" at work. There was a total of 14 confirmed cases of flu A (possibly the H1N1 swine flu strain) today in our 3 locations. Of course I swabbed most of these disease -ridden little twirps. We've also had numerous cases of strep throat and a couple of office mates have been out with the "throops"- that's Faith's term for throwing up and pooping at the same time.

Luckily, knock on wood, I have avoided the most recent emergence of the plague although it seems every child with strep has either barfed in my floor or hocked a loogie in my hair (or face). Everyone cross your fingers and pray I stay well so I can go mop up vomit and blood 5 days a week.

Jef started a new job today as parts manager of the local mitsu*bishi dealership today. He's been in and out of work since the beginning of the year so here's to hoping this job is all it's cracked up to be and we can dig out of the financial pit we are living in.

Faith is in middle school - my big 6th grader now. She's been making good grades so far and seems to enjoy all her classes. She came home sick today, but her doting mother confirmed that it isn't flu or strep so I gave her some sinus meds and sent her to bed to rest and recover.

I have officially lost 34 lbs since the beginning of the year. I'm having to buy new clothes because I look like a whole family has moved out of the butt of my pants... if I can can get my pants to stay on in the first place.

--The Milk Maid says paddle faster I hear banjos.


As I Lay Me Down To Sleep

Last night as I tossed and turned restlessly trying to bargain with sleep to come to my body I started to ponder the spacing in age of children. The children whose spacing was in question was of course my children, present and future (oh yeah I'm still all about having a 3rd kid - someday before the next eon).

I realized as I lay awake that I have single-handedly managed to create a perfect storm of child spacing. My brain turned to oatmeal as the reality settled in of having a pre-teen (in all her that guy from Twilight is hot and I'm growing sizable boobs glory) and a child in the throws of her Terrible Two's and soon to turn Even Worse Three's (no I didn't make the part about the three's being worse than the two's up at all!).

While I am tossing all my irons in the fire let's go ahead and remind everyone of the fact that I also have a 23 year old step daughter who I swear does the Devil's Bidding from the far away land of Argentina.

I do declare I have managed to create the Trifecta From Hell when it comes to the spacing of my children.

Of course I wouldn't trade any of the precious girls (except the step-daughter) for anything (and if you are interested in a whiny, lazy twenty-three year old we can negotiate terms on the spot), but there was definitely a lack in creative thinking when the whole deal of birth order came to be.

So with the question of when to birth the next spawn still up in the air, as it has been for 2 years, I wonder just what spacing would be "best" for not adding to the already stormy land of the Casa de Leche.

Oh what the heck, I can wait until Ava is 9 and repeat the pattern I know so well... I will have had lots of practice!


I Always Thought This One Would Have Been Funnier

My 500th post is brought to you by the letter G (for Guilt over not blogging in the past 2 months) and the letter U (for a slight Urging to Update).

What can I say about my absence over the last almost 60 days? Not much in fact- that is mainly the problem. Nothing has been happening at the Casa de Leche you haven't heard before like the fact that I have been working my ass off, I've been sick like 4 times (thanks pediatrics for the upper respiratory infection turned bronchitis and all the other junk I've had), Jef didn't work for months and now has a pretty darn good job selling life insurance, Faith is going to cheer camp next week, and Ava's new word for sandwich sounds an awful lot like "dammit". Oh and I've managed to lose 25 pounds since April-ish.

Now that you are up to speed I can shove the keyboard to the side once again, right? No, I didn't think so either (the Milk Maid smiles a devilish smile somewhere around here).

--The Milk Maid says there will more- promise!


I Ain't No Beetle, But I Wanna Hold Your Hand

I'm feeling a little vulnerable. I might even be clingy. I'm definitely without inspiration to write on my blog.

The meds I'm taking are making me feel very normal. Too normal. So normal that I'm just all blahblahwhocares.

The voices that would inspire me to write are gone for the most part. No more verbal jousting with Jim Morrison. I would do a link to the post were I explained my conversations with Jim, but damn that's a lot of effort.

The absence of creativity has been colored in with a couple new emotions that are most likely in the hue of red: Anger and Agitation.

Mimi Therapist-Pants has upped my dose and cut my dose trying to regulate me somewhere between whacked out and comatose to the point that I am really thinking of finding a new therapist who will just leave me the hell alone pretty much and let me be me minus the huge mood swings that caused me to lock myself in the bathroom and cry for hours for no particular reason (which is all I wanted fixed in the first place!).

So, here I sit contemplating the future of Milk-Induced Coma and The Milk Maid. I don't have a lot to write about even if I was in the state of mind to string words into semi-coherent sentences. I'm hating my header and bi-lines.

The Milk Maid fears she may have clabbored.


And Then She Asked Me How It Made Me Feel

Yep, the psychiatrist asked me the question I dreaded the most. And I humored her by answering, but only after telling her I did not like that question and informing her I would comply just once by answering her.

I started doubting the ability of Mimi Therapist-Pants and her 10+ years of doctoral degree education when she said, "I think you might be OCD". Come on people, anyone out there who has read more than 2 pages of my blog could tell you that.

I was also not surprised (because I am the Queen of Dr. Google) that she diagnosed me as Bi-Polar. Again, even if you are a casual reader of this blog, you have probably noticed the highest-highs followed by the lowest of lows and then a bounce back. Rarely (if ever) is there just a nice and normal (normal-schmormal) day where everything flows along without the ebb and flow of 20-foot waves of life crashing me.

Just as I was thinking I could have self-diagnosed myself and ordered meds from Canada or something, little Ms. Mimi Therapist-Pants floored me by asking, "In the 12 or 13 years you have been on anti-depressants have you ever felt relief from these symptoms?"

I blinked. I cocked my head to one side and then another. I really thought about the question at hand. Has anything I tried over the past decade plus truly relieved my symptoms?


Taking everything in to my head, processing it and rolling around my new found diagnoses like a piece of hard candy you want to savor the flavor of as long as possible, I came to the conclusion that I don't think I have ever been truly just "depressed". After reading this handy little wiki-article it all made so much sense. It's the reason why I could be happy as a clam one second and lock myself in the bathroom for 2 hours and cry the very next breath- for no reason at all. It's the reason I'm singing and dancing one minute and can't bear to speak the next. It's the reason I start writing a story with true passion and then can't even imagine having to open the saved file a day later.

Perhaps I have turned a page. Perhaps I have started a whole new chapter. I might just be writing a whole new book on how my life got turned around.

However this all pans out, you know there will be adventure and chaos attached.

--The Milk Maid says her therapist didn't even have a couch!


Apparantly, I'm Really Wacky

Lady Doc (who goes by a nickname that makes me want to rub my legs together and make chirping noises in the summertime) managed to decide, after a very brief chat, that I am "way beyond her level of expertise" and referred me to a psychologist. She did agree with me, before turfing me to the shrink, that my meds were not working (yay for you on that 10+ years of med school, your parents must be soooo proud) and decided to go "old school" (yeah, she said that) and tank me up on some Pro*zac until the shrink could get a hold of me.

And by Pro*zac I mean something like 50mg of Pro*zac once a day (with permission to take it 2 times a day if I was "really in need".)

So, in my mind I heard the following from Lady Doc:

"You are completely kooky and I cannot help you and/or I am afraid you will sneak up the stairwell* and poke my eyes out with a 21 gauge strait needle as I am doing a pelvic exam on some one's grandma."

(*My ob/gyn is located directly above the lab, hence the reason why I point towards the sky whenever I say coochie doc, be it at work or home. And admittedly, when I am at home it is a little weird to say GYNO(!) and point to the ceiling fans.)

On a funny note, the shrink I've been referred to is named Mimi. I cannot pronounce her last name, so I refer to her as Mimi Smartypants. Oooh yeah!

Please stay tuned for the next episode of "OMG! They think I'm as nuts as I think I am (finally)!"

I am waiting for the moment the shrink asks me, "Well how does that make you feel?" and I punch her in the face and reply, "Yup- about like THAT!"

--The Milk Maid says she would never sneak up a stairwell (she would scale the side of the building!)


Filling In The Blanks

Since we last met at The Casa De Leche...

I have decided that I hate my job. No, rather just the people at my job and they way they use me willy-nilly like their own personal bitch. I will explain one day when I have more energy to give a damn.

The "new" medicine my loverly lady-doc has put me on for depression that was supposed to also help with other various symptoms (which again the details bore me and I'm sure they would have you yawning with delight) is basically the same medicine as the Lexi I was on. Sure, it's a different size and shape and cost. And doc-lady said it would be BETTER for me and my needs... Which I think means she will get free lunches from the drug reps.

So (cue My Pal B's frenzied phone call here where she yells at me- lovingly- telling me I'm all nucking futz for doing the following, especially without her consult) I decided to stop taking my new meds. I'm weaning gradually, so keep your panties unbunched. I have decided that if I'm feeling completely nutzo and ready to bludgeon co-workers to death with packs of gauze as I squirt rubbing alcohol into their eyes then I may as well save the money I'm spending on the wacko-meds for a nice attorney and bail money.

Before you all stage an intervention and show up on my doorstep I am going to have a little chat with lady-doc asap. I will have lots of spare time since they've cut my hours. Yet again.


--The Milk Maid says pass the gauze.