A friendly drug rep

“How was your holidays?” he asked, upbeat and friendly.  Sometimes we have pharmaceutical reps bring lunch to the office and tell us about their new drugs.  I could write a separate post about the ethics behind this, but I will spare you the details.  One thing I will say is that there are so many new drugs (so many drugs, period) out there that I can’t possibly know them all.  Having someone (so be it, biased) tell me about one while I’m eating is helpful.  Whether it’s a lunch they provide or one I bring on my own matters little to me.

Drug reps are hired to be friendly- they are sales people and want us to prescribe their drugs.  This one was representing a menopause drug and since I prescribe only a few of these kinds of drugs a year (most of my gyn patients are under age 40), he gave me his spiel and then he just made small talk.

I took a second to think about what kind of response I wanted- honest? polite? pleasant?

I went with honesty.

“Kind of sad, actually,” I said pleasantly, but without expanding.  Why lie?

“Oh, I can imagine,” he responded.  “I saw your sign.”

I looked at one of my assistants. “I thought we took those down.”  She nodded, confused as I was.

“I saw it last year.  I think it’s amazing that you’re back here.”  Honestly I think he was also a little amazed that I walked into the lunch room with a general friendly disposition too.  He was genuine and kind.

“It was a rough year.  But it’s a new year now and I’m hoping this one will be kind to me.” I recited my new standard response.

“Me too. I hope it is for you.”

He was a nice drug rep.  The company hired well.  I don’t remember the name of his drug, but the food was good.

How do you answer “How was your holidays?”

I’m not a total Grinch

I’m just not into Christmas this year. Thanksgiving is the big holiday in our family and there was a lot of emotional build up for me beforehand and very emotional during the holiday. I was relieved when it was over. Christmas, I feel less stress, less pressure. We told our families that this year we would be having a nice quiet Christmas at home- just me, Chris and the puppy. We’d still do gifts and everything for everyone, but I knew I wouldn’t really be in the mood for festivities. I can’t even seem to bring my self to get a tree. We had a super nice offer to cut down our own from a friend’s property. She warned us, it would likely be a Charlie Brown type tree, which seemed very fitting. Plus, she herself is a babyloss mom, so it seemed like the perfect solution. Yet I still could not seem to get my act together to do it. I would have not even thought about a tree had it not been for some beautiful ornaments that friends and family had given us in memory of Mabel. Instead, we decided to give our year round houseplant, Igor some Mabel festiveness.

I promise, Igor is not as sad as he looks.

I promise, Igor is not as sad as he looks.

I’m not a total Grinch. I don’t even care that others are having baby’s first Christmas or celebrating with their complete families. I could be bitter if I let myself, but I think I’m ok. I think I’m just simply sad that my family is one less this year. I bought presents happily for others and celebrated an early virtual Christmas with some far away family.

I also decided to donate in memory of Mabel this holiday. As I mentioned before, I can’t seem to do the more traditional “buy a gift for my own baby and donate it” that a lot of other babyloss parents do. Still too painful to shop for a 10 month old baby. So instead, I was inspired by another babyloss friend who felt similarly and adopted a senior citizen. I was a bit late in the game and there wasn’t really a similar program around me, so I cold called a local nursing home and asked if I could donate some small presents and what their residents might like or need. After talking I learned that a lot of the men in their home get neglected when it comes to donations and so I agreed to make some gift bags for them, with needed supplies. I assembled ten gift bags with male body wash, cologne, lotion, tissues and socks. I put them in festive bags and attached a little note:

“Merry Christmas! A gift for you in memory of Mabel, a beloved baby who lived for six precious hours on February 15, 2014”

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So I’m not a total Grinch. I’m just doing Christmas my way.

How are you doing Christmas this year?

Sunday Synopsis

Five ways to help those remembering Babyloss this holiday season– I really like this article- it’s short, it’s sweet and it’s to the point.  Having survive one holiday and bracing myself for the next, I can already appreciate somethings my family has done (especially #2- something I was worried about, but worked out just fine).  I would also add that holidays may be a time you’re seeing people for the first time since loss (especially if it’s year one)- I’d want them to know saying something is better than saying nothing at all (it’s in the vein of #5).  Even in a large group, it could be easy to avoid the bereaved parents, so simply saying hello and letting them know you’ve been thinking of them is an easy way to do so.  I had a cousin do just that at thanksgiving- and it was a pleasant surprise.

Darkness and Light– this really got me thinking about the contrast and and honestly the seasons- how now that winter is approaching its peak darkness, how that may affect our grief (not the total intention of the article).  Winter is my grieving season and early darkness doesn’t help.

Twelve Days of Christmas- Have you been following?  All the posts are great reads during this prelude to the holidays and some have spoken to me veery intensely.

This compassionate dog… Ok, i know this isn’t related to grief, but it’s about compassion.  Wouldn’t you want a friend to wake you up from a nightmare?

 

Sunday Synopsis

When a child dies and another is born… I don’t like this article.  I feel like it is almost critical of those who want to have a child after loss.  Granted, I am reading this from a babyloss perspective and not the perspective of a subsequent child after loss.  Personally I think it’s demeaning- as if we all just figure another child would replace the one(s) we’d lost. Newflash: Mabel had Down Syndrome and multiple medical complications- no one could replace her.  Her condition was one in a million.  Even if she was healthy, she was her own person.  I’ve always wanted several kids (a desire I had taken for granted) and if I choose/am lucky enough to have more, I hope people don’t judge me.

EIght tips to help someone grieving through the holidays: a nice article. do you have any other tips to add?

Lessons from the stage: The term “yes, but…” is avoided in good improv for good reason- it kills the story.  It is strikingly similar to the “at least” we often hear in loss.  I’m going to try to be more conscious of this term now too.