Friday, August 22, 2008

the scare

I had a terrible night's sleep, lying awake thinking about my problems. When I woke up, my first thought was to take action on one particularly pressing problem: to send out an email asking AGAIN for an emergency vet appointment for my foster kitten who is going blind (when I took her in previously, she was only seen by a vet tech, which annoyed me no end as I specifically asked to see the vet and I am not a foster parent given to creating emergencies when there aren't any). While I was writing that email, the Sober Husband (who had himself not yet had a shower or gotten dressed) came in disturbed. "I think you should come downstairs." My twenty-year old niece was downstairs, thinking that she was having a miscarriage.

"Just a MINUTE. I'm sending an email," I said.

"I think you should come downstairs right now. She's crying. She wants to go home early and see her own doctor."

"I'm almost done sending an email ABOUT MY CAT WHO IS GOING BLIND, and I just need to finish this," I said crankily. "There's nothing you can do about a miscarriage in the first trimester, anyhow," I added somewhat callously.

I put on a bathrobe and a sensitive, caring expression and went downstairs. My niece was at the dining room table sending email herself. My nephew was out back smoking. When my niece saw me, she started crying. I pulled a chair up next to her and rubbed her back. "What is it, sweetie?" I asked.

She reported, among tears, that she thought she was having a miscarriage because "my pee is red."

"Honey, you had beets for dinner last night. That's why your pee is red. If you're not bleeding, then I don't think there's anything wrong with the baby."

"But it was red before I had the beets last night."

"Sweetie, you had beets the other day, too. Remember? We all had beets? I'm peeing red, too." I had roasted a big pan of fresh beets with tarragon and olive oil, which we'd eaten over a couple of days.

It turned out there were no other symptoms. I explained how one's diet affects one's urine, using asparagus and dehydration as other examples. My niece took the point and gradually calmed down. The Sober Husband came downstairs while he was trying to rebook her flight on his iPhone, and we told him to forget it.


MarĂ­a said...

I will be 24 years old in just a few days and yet I had no idea that beets turned your urine red. I feel very small, and very dumb. *lol*

Silliyak said...

Oh the drama.

Amy said...

See? Nothing good can come of beets...

hokgardner said...

I agree with Amy, nothing good can come of beets. And I had no idea that they turned your pee red.

Anonymous said...

I remember the first time I saw the red pee...I was freaked too.


Anonymous said...

one time i ate a huge pink grapefruit. the next day i thought i was dying from colon cancer.

Anonymous said...

Callous definitely explains the kind of person you are, I just randomly found this and I can't believe some people have the nerve to be so cold!

I myself have suffered through miscarriages and know the pain that comes with them.

For you to be so heartless to a girl that is of your own blood, really makes me lose respect for the human race.

JKG said...

Posting anonymously makes me think you're a coward.

But I wouldn't want to judge someone out of context, would you?

Oh. Wait. You did. Nevermind.

Silliyak said...

Thank you Jim for being so eloquent and efficient with your thoughts. This is my third attempt at a comment. The first two were overlong and best summed up as "ARGH".
I would hate to live in her world where we are about to have a Muslim/terrorist president and a plagerist (does he have to register as a sex offender for that?) VP. ARGH!!!

the Drunken Housewife said...

Darling Anonymous,

I have actually had two miscarriages myself, and I certainly cried and felt the anguish. Why did I act so callously? Because, my dear Anonymous, it would be sparing a baby a world of pain not to be born to my niece. Let's review the facts: first baby severely assaulted by teenaged father, airlifted to hospital, nearly died, put into foster care for a year, now clearly delayed. Unemployed, anorexic young mother with the one toddler with issues pregnant again by different man (30 year old construction worker) whom she doesn't intend to marry. Can you judge me for being really sad that she's pregnant again and heartbroken at the prospect of yet another child being set up for a life of misery? Incidentally I offered when she was pregnant the first time to have her & her baby come live with me so I could help, and when the baby was in foster care, I talked to 2 lawyers about the possibility of me trying to get custody (not an option as I was out of state).

Dear beet haters, it is only fresh beets that turn your urine red. If you are accustomed to canned beets, you have not yet experienced the rich joys of a fine beet and the unnerving color of the urine to follow. Beets can also be used to dye fabric (the beet, not the piss).

Anonymous said...

They don't turn my PEE red... (cue previous comments about colon cancer here.) We laugh now about the time I screamed bloody murder from the bathroom at a family gathering featuring borscht.

Also, Anonymous... do bugger off, would you? Your self-righteous judgmental indignation is putting me off my delicious breakfast.

the Drunken Housewife said...

Yes, come to think of it I have had some technicolor colon products as well after some fine beets.

Beet haters, you should try (a) tiny beet dice cooked in wine -- so delicious and (b) chocolate beet cake, so rich and moist! Beets are traditionally used in red velvet cakes to give a dark, deep color and moisture.