Wednesday, April 7, 2010

In your eyes...

Wednesday Apr 07, 2010

In your eyes...

...The light, the heat
In your eyes
I am complete
In your eyes
-Peter Gabriel, In Your Eyes

Entertaining follow up to my pinkeye post...

For those of you who aren't Facebookers, you need a bit of background. On Monday, I posted a status update about my pinkeye predicament. The first reply was from a friend who informed me that breastmilk could be used as a treatment for pinkeye. I assumed she meant that if your baby gets pinkeye, it goes away faster if he's nursing. I jokingly reply something like, "So, am I supposed to squirt it in my eye? Ha Ha." A long string of smart@$$ comments ensues, with others agreeing that yes, I should squirt my child's milk into my own eye. Ewww, Ewww, EWWWWW.

But curiosity got the best of me, and I had to hit up my old friend Google. (We already established that he knows everything, right?) Well, it turns out that my friend wasn't so off-base. People - a lot of people- really DO use breastmilk, applied topically (!!), as a cure for pinkeye. Oh my. And of course, those people write about it on the Internet.

Okay, Google may know everything, but my husband was educated in the school of, "If it wasn't discovered in a double-blind study and published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, it's just internet ramblings." And a little skepticism is probably a good thing. So, off to PubMed we go. And, guess what? It's common practice in India and has been analyzed pretty extensively there.

So, the question I know you're all asking yourselves ... did she do it? And the answer is ... Well, no. I'm just can't get over the ick factor. Had I heard of this before going to the opthalmologist (and spending $55 on a tiny bottle of actual prescription eye drops!) I might have asked the doc his opinion on said treatment. As it is, I'm gonna stick to proven western medicine this time. I'm all for attempting harmless natural approaches, but I'm not sure about putting stuff, particularly bodily fluids, in my eye. Or I'm just not that crunchy.

Posted at 02:10PM Apr 07, 2010 by Jen Foster in General | Comments[16]

I'm with you! Hope the medicine works...and hope I can do the math.
Love you

Posted by Annie on April 07, 2010 at 02:49 PM EDT #

Oats and Groats mann Oats and Groats! Crunchy always wins the race! LOL! Susie
I think someone at NCSU blog library has been reading my complaints. My question is 1+4=

Posted by Susie Hoffman on April 07, 2010 at 09:18 PM EDT #

See! I told you I really did pay close attention in that breastfeeding class! Imagine my disappointment that THAT piece of knowledge is the only real useful information I got. ...and you wouldn't give it a try. :( On the other hand, if you decide to bottle some of your extra and sell it for $55 an ounce, I totally deserve a cut of the profits.

Posted by Amy G. on April 07, 2010 at 10:07 PM EDT #

Hey - here's a question that was weighing on me since your facebook post, but I didn't ask. You may need to bring in reinforcement, aka Derek.

Okay - so, we discovered that breastmilk (incidentally, my computer doesn't think breastmilk is a word...hmmm. Is it two words?) has antibiotic properties. We also discovered (from Other Ginger) that calves get pink eye quite frequently. So why isn't the antibiotic property in breastmilk (breast milk?) not in udder milk? (Okay - seriously - another question for Derek - "udder milk" can't be the correct term.) Especially will all the "half of the world's antibiotics go into cows" news you hear?

Posted by Ginger on April 08, 2010 at 02:11 PM EDT #

*with ... not "will"

Posted by Ginger on April 08, 2010 at 02:12 PM EDT #

Very good questions, Ginger! I don't think it's officially "udder milk" - I think just plain ol' milk. But I'm gonna let the hubs weigh in on that one. He's also got an hour long lecture on the antibiotic issue. Honey - care to respond?

Posted by Jen on April 09, 2010 at 07:40 AM EDT #

I'll try my best at Ginger's questions--we just call it milk. Occasionally we will use a species designation (sheep milk, goat milk, cow milk, etc.) if we need to differentiate for some reason.
Use of milk to treat pink eye--cow milk does have some antibiotic properties (not great hence pasteurization is needed) which might help with pink eye. More than anything, I bet it helps decrease some inflammation and improves healing (serum is sometimes used as eyedrops for this reason). The realities of treating cattle will keep this from ever being useful--eye meds are typically applied anywhere from twice a day to every 4-6 hours. Cows don't like their heads being messed with, so catching them and restraining them that many times is impractical. A single dose of systemic antibiotics will cure 95% of cases of pinkeye in cattle so that is what is routinely done.

Posted by Derek on April 09, 2010 at 09:45 AM EDT #

Half of world's antibiotics go to cows--short answer is nobody knows. The quoted numbers are extrapolated from some very wrong assumptions--they looked at all the antibiotics that can be used in food animals (not just cows) and assumed that they are all being used in all cases. I'm not giving a cow every antibiotic that is an option when it gets sick, I'm only using 1, not 15. So those numbers are an overestimate of what is actually used. As for the antibiotics in the milk, all milk is tested for drugs. Any time I prescribe a drug, I have to tell the farmer how long he must throw away the milk from that cow because the drug will be in the milk. If any drugs are found in the milk during milk processing at the bottling plant, it is traced back to the offending farm, and they will be punished (anywhere from a fine to no longer being able to sell milk). If I prescribed the antibiotic, I could be fined, lose my veterinary license, or go to jail. I'll get off my soapbox now.

Posted by Derek on April 09, 2010 at 10:23 AM EDT #

While we didn't treat pinkeye with it, breast milk did help with Grace's diaper rash (but not the antibiotic yeasty ones, for whatever reason). Other friends of mine swear that it helps with ear infections too, and while I did try to aim in her ear, it didn't seem to help, as her tubes attest. Hoping that the eye drops help and soon this is just a distant funny memory.

Posted by Erin on April 10, 2010 at 12:04 AM EDT #

So did the pinkeye transfer to one of those beautiful boys? Hope not, but was just rereading your prev post and got to wondering...
Love to you and yours,

Posted by Susie Hoffman on April 19, 2010 at 03:43 AM EDT #

Wow! Okay - when I just read your latest post (sorry your maternity leave is up!), it dawned on me "hey...I asked a breastmilk/cow question, and forgot to check back on it...wonder if they answered." And you did! THREE ANSWERS to be specific! Awesome!

And Derek - phew! When I was hearing that antibiotic stuff with the cows, I was thinking that they were getting antibiotics ALL THE TIME, just for nothing - like it had some "makes more milk" side effect or something. Your explanation makes me feel better about pouring that awesome skim over my Frosted Flakes! Thanks!

...I wonder why cows don't like to have their faces messed with... I bet if I had a cow, my cow would let me mess with its face. Did you know? I give my cat eye drops twice a day, every day! Cat - cow - practically the same thing, right?

Posted by Ginger on May 03, 2010 at 05:00 PM EDT #

Monday, April 5, 2010

You can't hide your lyin' eyes...

Monday Apr 05, 2010

You can't hide your lyin' eyes...

...and your smile is a thin disguise
thought by now you'd realize
there ain't no way to hide your lyin' eyes.
The Eagles, Lyin' Eyes

Ahh, can't hide the red in these lyin' eyes. That's cause I have pinkeye. SERIOUSLY?! Isn't that something that kids get? Aren't you supposed to grow out of that?

Yesterday, we had our windows open as the clouds of yellow pollen rolled in. (Smart, eh?) So when my left eye started feeling itchy and icky, I didn't think much of it. I took out my contacts and went back to our Easter celebration with my family. But as the afternoon went on, they eye got goopy, and I started to wonder if it might be more than allergies. When I work up this morning with my eye sealed shut and bright red, I was pretty sure there was bad news in my future. So, off to the optho I went ... and bad news I did indeed get. It is in fact pinkeye - both viral AND allergenic conjunctivitis. Oh joy.

So, now I'm taking bets - how long will it be before I make a trip to the pediatrician for a kid with pinkeye? Which kid?

Posted at 08:19PM Apr 05, 2010 by Jen Foster in General | Comments[6]

Oh Jen, sometimes reading your blog is more painful than I can bear! Memories, pressed between the headache in my head to paraphrase a song...
So been there and done it oh so many times to count. The joy of Motherhood at its finest.
Dr Susie's advice, cold compress and a glass of Trader Joe's finest wine. Just a thought, and it doesn't hurt to get in the tub light a candle and tell Derek you will be out when everyone is in bed. Worth a try?
Hang in...Susie
Math time? Curses I say, Curses!

Posted by Susie Hoffman on April 05, 2010 at 09:59 PM EDT #

Ugh. I say both kids... Pink eye is the worst. Sooooo contagious.

Did I ever tell you about the party I went to in college? It was my freshman year. Went to the party on a Friday or Saturday and woke up on Monday with pink eye. One of my roommates got it too. I had a class with the guy that had the party and when I went back, he said EVERYONE at the party got it. Gross! How does that even happen??? It was like some fool rubbed his eyes on the keg tap or something. Ick!

Posted by Ginger on April 06, 2010 at 10:46 AM EDT #

Oh! And feel better soon!!!

Posted by Ginger on April 06, 2010 at 10:46 AM EDT #

Two thoughts as I sit here w/ wine in hand and cold washcloth on eye...

@Ginger - Ewwww! I've become fanatic about handwashing, but I fear you're right. It is an evil little virus, that apparently even alcohol can't kill.

@Susie - I don't know what's up with all the spam I'm getting lately. Apparently spammers are better at math than you are! :-) Wish I could make it easier on you, but then what would you have to complain about?

Posted by Jen on April 06, 2010 at 11:03 AM EDT #

Just in case you haven't thought of this or the Dr didn't tell you, change your contacts and serilize your lens case (can put it in the dishwasher). I hope the boys don't get it too.

Posted by Ali Perry on April 06, 2010 at 05:37 PM EDT #

UG! I hope that the drops make it go away quickly. I got pinkeye for the first time from Grace, and she never even showed symptoms. I think maybe Jay brought it home from daycare without anyone knowing... (Poor Jay can't even defend himself) I hope that everything clears up soon, because we really do want to visit! (Grace keeps walking past Luke's little stuffed animal that we're bringing and saying "Dog? Dog? Dog?" and reaching for it, so we really do need to bring it to you lest she decide that it's hers...)

Posted by Erin on April 06, 2010 at 09:51 PM EDT #

Thursday, April 1, 2010

And here's to you, DOCTOR Robinson...

Thursday Apr 01, 2010

And here's to you, DOCTOR Robinson...

Your friends love you more than you will know
God bless you please, Dr. Robinson
The Wolfpack holds a place for you today
hey-hey-hey, hey-hey-hey
-Mrs. Robinson, Simon & Garfunkel (with lyrics just slightly edited by me!)

My apologies to Paul Simon for needing to tweak his lyrics a bit this time. But I have to give a shout out to two friends on their major academic accomplishments this week. First kudos (and song lyric inspiration!) go to my colleague, friend, and faithful blog reader, E, who successfully defended her dissertation this week. YAHOO!!!! Completing your PhD is a huge accomplishment, and this oh-so-talented woman has done so while working full-time and being a fantastic mom to Jay's future daycare classmate. And did I mention that she manages to blog in her voluminous spare time?! Rock on, sister - I am so impressed and can't wait to see you wearing the red cap & gown in May! (Did y'all know that NC State is changing its graduation gowns from black to red? Pretty cool!)

Second shout out goes to A, school-librarian extraordinaire and my most frequent blog commenter. She sent off her National Board portfolio today and now gets to hold her breath until NOVEMBER when she'll finally learn whether she earns the prestigious National Board certification. She feels compelled to point out that only 30% of applicants pass, but whether she's in the lucky 30 or not, I am impressed at the efforts she put into the application packet. It's been a long few months, but I'm hopeful that her hard work will pay off!

I am really proud of both of these talented women, and I admire the stick-to-it-iveness that they each have shown in getting to this point. Most of you know from my January & early February posts that I'm a grad student in Communication, and that this semester I'm taking a class on the use of social media. And the observant ones among you may have noticed that I haven't posted anything class-related in a while. Someone should have mentioned to me that taking a class the semester that you have a baby might not be the brightest idea. Oh wait, I think some of you actually DID mention that when I was expecting Jay. I listened then, and probably should have listened this semester. I thought that because the class is taught partially online, I would have plenty of time to work on it while on maternity leave. (Stop laughing - I really thought that!) I set a goal to finish my Master's before Jay starts kindergarten, and skipping one semester would mean that's not so do-able anymore.

I'm always amazed at people who manage to successfully juggle all the pieces of their lives. No matter how many times the Today show or Parenting magazine talk about how to create "work life balance," it is NOT easy. I think it's particularly difficult for women - even though we've been significant contributors in the workforce for a generation, we still bear the lion's share (or is lioness' share?!) of the "home" work ... the laundry, the bill-paying, the doctor's appointments, the meal planning. And when I see women who manage to balance not just full-time career and family but furthering their education at the same time, I am left wondering where they find the extra hours in their day. (I'm guessing they don't waste time on Facebook like I do!) I just take one measly class per semester, and I feel like I am not really successful in any of my priorities. I get my classwork assignments done, but I don't always complete all the readings - a quick skim is often the best that the textbook gets. I attempt to keep the Foster household running, but the bills usually get tossed into a pile until the day they are due (or occasionally a few days after they're due - uggh). I try to stay on top of things at work, but sometimes there are students whose emails go unanswered for a week, by which time they've figured out the answer to their question themselves. I get it done, but there are definitely days when I feel that I do a lot of stuff and don't do any of it particularly well.

So I just keep trying to muddle through and do the best I can with the 24 hours I get in a day. And I continue to take inspiration from talented friends like E & A who manage to do great things, and do it with a smile. I just have to believe that they, too, have eaten cereal for dinner, and eaten it out of a Cool Whip container because every bowl in the house was dirty. I'm sure I'm not the only one who does that, right?

Posted at 01:43AM Apr 01, 2010 by Jen Foster in General | Comments[7]

Jen, I can't tell you how much I needed this post this week! It is so easy to get overwhelmed and depressed because you don't know how you are going to make it until you can crash into bed. Reminding us all that you can do more with organization, determination, faith, friends and maybe a little loss of sanity, helps put things into perspective. Thank you!

Posted by crystal on April 01, 2010 at 09:07 AM EDT #

Awwwww...Jen, I don't know what to say. I guess now that the portfolio's in the mail, I should tackle the dishes and laundry. FYI -- I haven't fed my family in weeks, unless you count stopping by Whole Foods to pick up prepared meals and Chick-fil-a too many times to count.

Posted by Amy G. on April 01, 2010 at 12:06 PM EDT #

LOL! This reminds me of my visions of maternity leave! I was going to paint a border in P's room and finish all kids of projects. I think it is all like labor, you forget what it is like!

Posted by Bethany Watkins on April 01, 2010 at 05:33 PM EDT #

If there is one thing I have learned in life, it is to prioritize that which is important. And I must say proudly that you do that better than anyone I know. Spending time rocking your baby, visiting with family and friends, and letting others know you love and are proud of their accomplishments - those are the things that are important in life. So know in your heart that the education will get completed, the dishes and laundry will get cleaned, and the bills will get paid, late or on time. But most importantly, you are staying on top of what matters the most. You are a wonderful wife, mother, daughter, and friend.

Posted by laura on April 04, 2010 at 12:43 AM EDT #

You do an amazing job, too!

Posted by Lisa on April 05, 2010 at 08:23 AM EDT #

Thanks for the wonderful honesty. I *so* understand where you're coming from in terms of dishes, laundry, meals, etc.

You are a rock star of a Mom, friend, student advocate and daughter, not to mention graduate student. Don't be deluded into thinking that you aren't.

I think that I owe you lunch when you come back so that we can laugh about the many ways being Mom is more than a full time job.

Hugs from here!

Posted by Erin on April 06, 2010 at 09:46 PM EDT #