Medical apologizers, people who don’t know it’s them, fluff butts.

Situations have been such lately that I have not been entirely comfortable putting as much of my personal business on the Internet as I might once have been, but you know what? Fuck it, and right the fuck up yours. You know what I mean?


-I had a lumbar puncture yesterday, and it was basically my least favorite thing to happen to me in about my last hundred years of existence. I was numbed, so it wasn’t as excruciatingly painful as I had decided it would be, but it was certainly one of the most uncomfortable experiences of my life, which of course caused me to apologize through the whole thing, just like I did all the way through labor.

“Oh, I’m sorry my sheet is so damp. I think I might be a bit sweaty. I’m sorry about that.”

Except this time, it was more like,

“I’m sorry, I think I might throw up. Can I have a bucket, please? Thank you. Don’t worry, I’ll hold it until I can move. I’m sorry. Can I throw up yet? Sorry to bother you. Is it almost time to puke? Oh, ok. I can hold still, don’t worry. I’m sorry. Is it almost time? Uh oh. I might faint. Can you faint laying down? Am I talking really loud? Sorry. No, I’m sorry. I think I might throw up. I’m sorry. Ok. Ok. I’m sorry.”

I am a compulsive medical procedure apologizer. I can’t be the only one, of course, as I am one of the most average people on the entire planet, so I am interested in hearing from the rest of you and your theories on why we feel we are such an inconvenience to medical professionals who are just doing their jobs.

What’s weird is that I didn’t start my serious medical apologies until late in life. You know who I probably really owed an apology to? That nurse who did a throat culture back when I was 10 or so, the one whose hand I slapped right the hell out of my face. Reflex. I’m sorry.

No, but seriously, lumbar puncture. That sucked a fat fart. I’m sorry.

OH AND TO TOP IT OFF? I rewarded myself a s’mores pie, which I HAD SEEN on the McDonald’s drive thru menu all the times recently that I had rewarded myself a large diet soda for such feats as driving Phil to work and driving to pick Phil up from work and wandering around Target aimlessly, and when we got to the speaker, they said they didn’t HAVE ANY, even though it was on the menu, and I bellowed, “BUT I HAD A SPINAL TAP!” from the passenger seat into the speaker. They were not swayed. No pies were had that day.


Okay. Okay. I can’t take watching one more “Let’s all sit around and brainstorm about what outside force is making people not comment on our blogs anymore” discussion. Is it Twitter? Is it Facebooks? WHY IS OUR CHILDREN NOT COMMENTING?

Okay. Two things.

1. It’s you.
2. It’s you.

Allow me to explain.

Point 1:  It’s you. Are you commenting? I mean, seriously. Be honest with yourself. Are you commenting on blogs? Not just once in a while. I mean with the frequency you are expecting comments to show up on your own. I mean effort. Every day. You don’t have to. There’s no law. Lots of people don’t. Lots of people don’t, and still get comments on their blogs. That’s the way of things. But if you’re not seeing comments on yours and that bothers you and you’re not commenting on other blogs, then come on. Because, shut up. You’re not special.

Point 2: IT’S YOU. When I write a blog post that doesn’t get many comments, I don’t sit here and think, wow, everyone must have something else to do that is keeping them from my awesomeness today. I think, shit, must have written a stinker. Okay, and I also think that maybe you guys are kind of ignoring my brilliance a little, because the posts that you think are stinkers, I think are hilarious but in my old age I have come to realize that no one really finds me as hilarious as I find myself AND THAT IS FINE.

And if posts and posts and posts go by with hardly any comments, then I assume I am writing lots of stinkers and also that I am not engaging with the people to let them know I am still out there. I don’t sit here and wonder what jerkwad piece of asshole technology is STEALING MY FAN CLUB. I assume that I am WRITING CRAP and IGNORING PEOPLE who are trying to connect with me.

It’s not Twitter. It’s not Facebook. It’s not… anything.

Other people are still getting comments. I mean, lots of other people. And lots of comments.

When people don’t comment, it’s because YOU HAVEN’T WRITTEN ANYTHING PEOPLE WANT TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT.

People don’t just SHOW UP because you keyboard-slapped out some words that interested YOU and leaned back in your chair to wait. If that’s what you want to do, more power to you, go ahead, but don’t sit around and look for something else to blame when no one shows up to listen raptly at your feet, damn.


 Pen’s surgery is coming up fast, and I’m preparing by losing weight to provide a nice cushion for all of the chocolate cake I intend to consume while we’re waiting. I’ve read a lot about the surgery – well, as much as I could find, anyway – and no two accountings of it have been the same except for ONE THING. Every single recap of the surgery I have read has said that it was supposed to be a 90 minute surgery, but ended up taking 3 hours, or 4 or even up to 5. Every single one. I’m glad I read that in advance. Now I know to wear some stretchy pants. More room for extra anxiety cake. I know from our last stay in Phoenix Children’s Hospital that they have four varieties of chocolate cake alone.


Remember when I used to talk about cloth diapers a lot? Well, HERE’S A BLAST FROM THE PAST.

I use fitted diapers almost exclusively now, with the occasional all-in-two. I have several pocket diapers still hanging around, and Phil uses them from time to time, but I plan to sort through what I have and pull those out to be sold. I might keep one or two for outings, we’ll see.

In the house, Pen wears a fitted diaper and Babylegs. No pants. Since fitted diapers aren’t waterproof, this is the easiest way. I just change her every two to two and a half hours or when she’s stinky or damp. The picture above is of all my favorite fitted diapers soaking in Rockin’ Green Funk Rock ammonia bouncer. Stinkies happen, you guys.

Here’s some stuff I know:

  • There’s really no such thing as a super trim, super absorbent diaper. More absorbent means more bulk. Your baby is going to have a big butt.
  • Also, you have to change often. That shouldn’t be a big deal. It may seem like to to those used to disposables, but when you think about it like this – how long should your baby have to wait after she has peed herself for fresh pants – it really shouldn’t be a big deal.
  • Anti-pill fleece is cheap and you can cut your own liners for babies with sensitive parts. It keeps them cozy and dry-feeling.
  • Fitteds rule.
  • Rinsing takes an extra minute but saves a lot of hassle at wash time.
  • Good diapers are expensive but used diapers aren’t gross.
  • And nothing has to be all or nothing – Pen wears disposables to bed and often out of the house.

I have a favorite diaper.

95 thoughts on “Medical apologizers, people who don’t know it’s them, fluff butts.

  1. phancymama

    I typically read blogs on phone/ipod touch and not only is commenting difficult, I usually have little two year old hands helping. Or i’m reading at night and am too brain dead to be coherant. So it is partly me. And i’mparanoid about leaving a comment that is misunderstood (or on some blogs, just pointing out a different view than the blogger) and all the other commenters attack me! (Um, not here. But it happens.) Also, I agree with an above commenter in that I lose interst when the blogger doesn’t reply or conversate in the comments. To me, the comment section is a great place to continue the conversation. (See above, I love the cloth diaper info in the comments.) And my doctor’s office just called me back so now I have to cut short this comment and I hope it makes sense!

  2. Alex

    It’s exactly what you said, TJ. Those people who whine and navel-gaze and are constantly posting about The Dying Art Of Blogging (or some such nonsense) are shooting themselves in the foot. That’s why I don’t read or comment on their blogs anymore.

    Keep it real, TJ. You know we love you.

    PS: I’ve apoligised to my nurse practitioner for the tightness of my vagina before…so I feel you on the Medical Apologising. (Overshare!)

  3. H

    Oh her hair! My daughter had that hair too! I miss the days when she was that young and the photo of Pen’s hair brings that all back to me. My daughter is 2 months shy of turning 21. She still has curly hair but wears it shoulder length and curses at it every day because she hates the frizz and curl, but I love it.

  4. Laura Diniwilk

    I definitely kept stopping during active labor to apologize…I would say something like “I can’t do this!” and then follow it up with “I’m sorry, I know I’m being irrational due to the pain, I realize I actually CAN do this. I’m sorry I’m being ridiculous.”

    Hope you and Penny are doing well – lumbar punctures and surgeries are no fun. Thinking of you guys.

  5. Alexis

    A few years ago, my husband and I went to visit a friend in the hospital in this very small town. We stopped at Pizza Hut. They were out of pizza. It was just a Hut. I think we had soup.

    Kammah Reply:

    “It was just a Hut. I think we had soup.”

    You are so matter of fact about this that makes me think that this is possibly my favorite blog comment ever.

    Please, if you aren’t blogging, do so immediately. I will read the hell out of you.

    (I will seriously be tittering about “I think we had soup” for DAYS.)

  6. Brittany

    I had a lumbar Puncture for something related to my Pseudo-tumor and it was just awful. I am a large woman and it felt like the doctor was looking for a needle in a haystack trying to find the right spot.

    He is good at his job, it just doesn’t help that well, I have ya know too much fluff back there. I am glad you did not get a spinal headache after yours.

    Btw, first time commenting, but I have been a reader of your blog for quite some time now. I should comment more often.

  7. the flashbulb

    delurking to say – I love your blog and am glad for whenever you’re writing (here or twitter, etc.)

  8. Erica

    For the first…year and a half? Of my blog, I averaged one comment per three posts or so. So the “commenting is a Thing” thing is new to me and I’m still getting used to it.

    Also, labor apologizers unite! Seriously, if you had been standing on the other side of the door while I was in the midst unmedicated childbirth, you would have thought I was maybe lifting some moderately heavy weights once in a while. But later I told my husband I was sort of bummed that I wasn’t CALMER. I also apologized very profusely for passing out for a few seconds because I felt bad about weirding everyone out.

  9. Dianne

    Wait. What? I promise I’m not a skimmer, but I feel like I woke up from a coma. I don’t know the medical stuff that is going on. I knew Penny had some issues, but I didn’t think you had said what it was and now surgery? What and where did I miss this? And you talked about dizziness in a post, but I didn’t know about the spinal tap. Is all this being discussed on twitter? I don’t really understand how to use twitter. I follow you, but I forget to go to twitter to read it.

  10. Rosa

    I might’ve commented earlier if I had noticed that you’d blogged again… but I understand you’re ‘a bit preoccupied’…

    By the way: my medical apologizer level: suicidal. I just don’t tell the doctors about shit because I don’t want to waste their time. ‘Cause arrhythmia is not a big thing or anything. Or barely being able to walk due to a stomache ache. Yeah, I’ll probably get a Darwin award one day or something.

  11. Cori

    I’ve been a devoted reader since John Green pointed me to your fantastic blog (Nerdfighters!). I have no baby but I do have 2 large fluffy dogs, so I feel like any input I have is, well, *lesser* than the content of your blog. Like what right do I have to comment. I tossed in my Butt Stamp story because it’s a good one, but I feel as if the best I can do is offer an internet “You’re doing just fine” or “Yes, spinal taps suck ASS”, and these are things that you all ready know.

    But I will de-lurk for a moment and say thanks, you have provided a very much needed place where I can come and find wisdom and hilarity and a person who understands that life is crazy. Oh, and there’s also the fact that you have one of the most adorable babies I’ve ever seen ever. So that’s awesome that you share her, too.

    Really, thanks for all of that. :)

  12. Tia

    I can’t believe no one else has commented about the S’mores pie! TJ, you totally dodged a bullet. I’m 34 weeks pregnant and will eat anything that gets within 10 feet of my mouth. The S’mores pie was NASTY. My husband agreed. Super dry, weird texture of both the “chocolate” and the “marshmellow” and just all around gross. Consider yourself lucky! Just in case you’re worried, I had also ordered a hot fudge sundae as back-up, so I did not go dessert-less after throwing away the S’mores pie :)

  13. Jem

    I’ve never heard of anyone using a fitted without a cover before – how weird. (I’m a lazy pocket/AIO girl myself.)

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