This post title is the answer I got upon foolishly inquiring what my 8-year old and her friend were actually doing stuffing those popped and withered balloons with cotton, patching them with duct tape, and then drawing gnarled faces on each with a permanent marker. The result was reminiscient of the shrunken apple heads we made as kids, but more morose -- and with a much longer shelf life (plastic doesn't grow).
Uh, who the @#!!%^& teaches kids these things today? It sure weren't me, I think.
But somehow I just know there's a tie-in to my disease here -- the fact that on bad D-days, I tend to rant about "not going back to the hospital!" and "not having my kidneys flushed!" and other medically incorrect tirades. Somehow I know that my daughter "gets it" enough to be thankful that I'm not checking in for surgery (as some of our friends have recently, although unrelated to the Big D).
Sometimes I just get morbid. I guess we all do. A newly diagnosed friend wrote to me recently:
"It is one hell of a shock that I'm still coming to terms with. Thoughts of mortality, life expectancy, and your family depending on you flood your mind -- your assumptions about being immortal and indestructible suddenly get rudely torn down."
TRUE... And in light of these feelings, I was especially heartened to learn that the California HealthCare Foundation is offering sizable grants to researchers working on "chronic disease self-management support — providing patients the education, motivation, and equipment to make behavior changes... (which) leads to improvement in health status, increased patient satisfaction, and, in some cases, reductions in utilization and costs." What this means is, they're putting money into helping PATIENTS manage their own chronic conditions. Amen.