Monthly Archives: November 2005

Took Allie to the cardiologist today

Her aorta’s 1.9 cm, up from 1.8 in May. Her mitral valve is leaking–wasn’t even prolapsing before (mine always prolapsed without a leak, until a couple years after my aortic root replacement). I actually pointed it out–I’ve seen enough echoes to know what MVP looks like.
She still has the “minor” leak in her tricuspid valve.

The doctors in her practice are pediatric cardiologists, and Marfan is one of their specialties. We were fortunate to have them open an office in Fredericksburg.
In May, the doctor asked me to critique their page on Marfan syndrome.

The doctor asked who my cardiologist was. I told him. He asked if I’d like to start seeing him. I said, “But you’re pediatric.”
He said (not an exact quote, but the gist), “Yes, but I specialize in Marfan syndrome. I see a Marfan, I get excited. Don’t send me some 40-year-old with myocardial infarction, but if I see someone with a congenital defect, I want to see them; I don’t care how old. I’ve treated a Marfan in his 50s before. You don’t just need a cardiologist, you need a Marfan specialist. Besides, I think it’s better to have a whole family treated by the same doctor.”
So I said sure. I was just surprised. Usually, I hear stories of Marfs being treated by pediatric cardiologists up until they hit their 20s, then the pediatric doctors insist they see someone else, and they have a hard time finding a competent cardiologist. So I was glad to have the reverse happen in my case.

Selfishness masquerading as compassion, once again

I wanted to post this on Tuesday, but I’ve been too busy to draft a full response.
After a really good story previously by a journalist who has a child with Down’s syndrome, in comes Maria Eftimiades, a 42-year-old who’s shacking up with a 52-year-old. Apparently, neither one of them has ever been married, and neither one has ever “had a child.” (I suspect they probably both have quite a few children, both together and with other partners, who are now praising God in limbo, but that’s another story).

So, fancying themselves a latter day Zechariah and Elizabeth, but lacking the divine messenger, these two were quite pleased to learn that Maria was pregnant. Eftimiades worried about the “insensitive” remarks from “second-tier” acuqaintances regarding their marital status.
Falling into that modern attitude that, as Judie Brown points out, sees children as commodities, Eftimiades “tried to be careful.” She insisted on eating “fresh fruit every day,” getting the “right” prenatal vitamins. . . .
“I even wrote to Starbucks to request they add black decaffeinated tea to their menu. (Herbals aren’t good for pregnant women,)” she notes.
Three good points made in the discussion at Amy Welborn’s site are
a) how she says “bad for pregnant women,” not “bad for the babies,
b) amniocentesis is far more risky to pregnancy than caffeine,
and
c) she exemplifies our society’s obession with having a “perfect child,” as if it’s some kind of competition with other yuppie parents.

Next comes this zinger:

One Sunday morning I told my softball friends I was pregnant and they cheered the prospect of a new player and told me I’d done the team well by producing a boy.

After all her discussion of “insensitive” comments about being unmarried, it’s funny to include this as a good comment, since I consider this the *epitome* of an insensitive comment, the kind of comment I’m constantly gritting my teeth about now that I have a son.

She quotes condescending comments that her mother made about her Catholic sister-in-law.
Then she uses the classic straw man of equating all pro-life demonstrators and sidewalk counselors with clinic bombers.
Now, she asks,

If your child will be born with a severe disability, is there a “Get Out
of Jail Free” card or are you still a baby killer?

Nope, sorry. It makes you worse than a baby killer; it makes you a Nazi.

And now the honest truth:

While I have no doubt there can be joys and victories in raising a mentally handicapped child, for me and for Mike, it’s a painful journey that we believe is better not taken

What she means is that it’s too “painful” for *them*, the self-centered and status-hungry parents.

Next comes, “To know now that our son would be retarded.”
a) She doesn’t “know” this. Amnio is notoriously unreliable as a diagnostic tool.
b) Interesting how liberals are the advocates of “politically correct” language until it hits them personally. Suddenly, “mentally challenged” is “retarded.” When it’s a liberal’s relative, “gay” is suddenly an insult.
c) Before she goes condemning people for being “retarded” or “mentally challenged,” Eftimiades better take a look in the mirror, and at the laundry list of fallacies she’s used in this piece.

Now, the greatest whopper of them all:
“I’m sure pro-lifers don’t give you the right to grieve for the baby you chose not to bring into the world.”
?????
EXCUSE ME???
We’re not the ones who insist, “It’s just a blob of tissue.”
Has she ever heard of Project Rachel? Obviously not; after all, she thinks all pro-lifers are terrorists.
We’re the ones who believe life begins at conception. We’re the ones who get told that we’re not permitted to mourn the babies we lose to miscarriage or stillbirth, because to admit their reality would contradict the “pro-choice” mentality.
So when a woman miscarries and mourns her lost child, the “compassionate” pro-choicers send her a psychiatrist.

Yes, lady, the pro-lifers are the ones who won’t let you mourn.

Only now do I understand how entirely personal the decision to terminate a pregnancy is and how wrong it feels to bring someone else’s morality into the discussion.

Got news for you. “Wrong” is a moral term. This statement is itself a moral judgement, except that her morality is based solely on “feelings.”

As for that baby that will never be, I will remember him always. But I’m quite certain that I made the right choice for the three of us.

Sorry, he *was*, and he *is*, and you killed him. And I hardly see how that was the best decision for him. It may have seemed like the best decision for a couple of self-centered upper-middle-class materialists, but it’s sick to claim any compassion for the victim here.

I read about this in _Celebrate Life_

I used this link because it’s the best commentary I’ve read yet. Kirsten Johnson, a 26-year-old with brain damage, was taken to court by her legal guardian, her aunt Vera Howse, to order her sterilization because, as a mentally challenged person, she allegedly is incapable of caring for children.

That may be so, but let’s look at the following statement from a University of Chicago professor:

The article was about Kirsten Johnson, 26, who suffered a brain injury years ago
and today requires help with basic tasks. She is sexually active

If she only has the “cognitive abilities of a pre-teen,” then why is she sexually active? It’s funny. She’s allegedly incapable of the adult decision of having children, but she’s allowed to make the adult decision of having sexual intercourse?

How about taking her to court to force her to remain chaste? But *that* would be moral outrage to liberals. Then they’d be crying “individual rights.” Uh-huh. . . .

Now, in addition to the usual problems with birth control, sterilization violates the principle of bodily integration. The Church teaches that the body of an “innocent person” should never be altered except for medical necessity (many of us interpret this to include ear piercing, and it definitely includes circumcision).
The “innocent person” qualifier leaves room for corporal punishment of criminals, and that would seem to include sterilization under certain circumstances.

However, Kirsten Johnson is not a criminal. There is a clear alternative, stated above. And as “Minivan Mom,” whose post I linked in the title, points out, this just sets precedent for anyone deemed “incompetent” to care for a child, whether due to mental or physical disability.

Harold Pollack, the sociology professor above, throws out the following Culture of Death bugaboo:

“Would you stand ready to raise that child in the likely event that she proves unable? “
Short answer? Yes.

One of my favorite priests, Fr. Deusterhaus (can’t recall his first name; last I heard, he was active duty in Iraq), gave a homily on this very topic once. He said, “I don’t know a single family in this parish [it was a very conservative parish] who wouldn’t love to adopt a child that would otherwise be aborted. And I know every one of those families would very easily qualify for adoption, except maybe a couple families whose fathers work for parts of the government that don’t exist. . . .”

This is one of those issues that liberals like to claim are “complicated” and “heart-wrenching” as they goose-step along in their agenda of forced eugenics.

But it’s really much more simple. A person with the cognitive abilities of a child should not be having sex. Anyone having intercourse with such a person is no better than a pedophile.

The big picture, or, "Aslan is on the move."

Since the events of Rue de Bac, Lourdes and La Salette in the early 19th Century, and Fatima in the 20th, there has been great attention to reported Marian apparitions, often with apocalyptic messages. As a friend of mine points out, “the greatest lie is 99% truth.” Certainly, Satan can masquerade as an “angel of light,” but I wonder if he doesn’t do this in part to clue us in on his own plans?
_The Thunder of Justice_ by Ted and Maureen Flynn sat on my shelf for several years. I finally read it in 2002, finding many references that were quite timely in the light of 9/11 and the sex abuse scandals. One story involved a reputed locutionary who lived in New England in the early 1980s and was supposedly endorsed by Cardinal O’Connor, among others. She predicted that “World War III” would be started by 2 Arab leaders, after the year 2000. One Arab leader wearing a turban (Osama?) would attack NYC with “two missiles.” That would start one war. Another war would be started by an Arab leader in a beret (Saddam?), leading into WWIII.

Pope Leo XIII famously predicted that God had given the Devil 100 years to try and destroy the Church, composing the St. Michael Prayer to aid the faithful in one of the greatest spiritual battles in history. Popes Paul VI and John Paul II, among others, have stated that the Church is in one of its greatest spiritual battles of all times.

When the notorious “Third Secret of Fatima” was finally revealed, it bore a remarkable resemblance to the prophecy of St. John Bosco regarding the Ship and the Two Pillars.

The reported apparitions of Garbandal, Spain, in the 1960s said that there would only be three more Popes in “these times” (meaning the the time of trial for the Church), making JPII the last pope of “these times.”
After his death, the apparition predicted, the world would enter a time of chastisements.

Meanwhile, as Our Lady of Fatima made note of Lucia’s being around to see things fulfilled, and as Sr. Lucia lived to such a ripe old age, many of us expected her death to be significant in world affairs.

As it happened, in the past year, both Sr. Lucia and Pope John Paul II went to their eternal rewards within a short time of each other.
John Paul was succeeded by Joseph Ratzinger, Benedict XVI, whose papacy has been the hope and prayer of many of us for many years. More importantly, some have made striking comparisons to Benedict’s election and the aforementioned vision of Don Bosco.

Recently, even Peggy Noonan has suggested that our society is doomed for collapse.

The Culture Wars have “polarized” the US to a point not seen perhaps since the 1850s. The devastation of 9/11 has been overshadowed by the devastation of Katrina and Rita. Billy Graham once said that God would owe an apology to Soddom and Gommorah if He didn’t do something to certain American cities. Of course, Jesus says that the Judgement is far greater on those who are given faith than it would be on even Soddom or Gommorah. Jerusalem, says the NT, is far worse than Rome or Babylon.
Thus, it is the “Catholic” city of New Orleans that gets devastated in the worst disaster of US history.

Now Paris, the city of riots, is burning in uprisings by Muslim immigrants, and those uprisings are spreading throughout Europe.

In C. S. Lewis for the Third Millennium, Peter Kreeft says that postmodern society is at least as bad as Ancient Rome, and Rome was bad enough to warrant the coming of the Messiah.

9th Circuit Court of Appeals: Parents have no rights over their kids’ education

Parents are perfectly free, the court so generously says, to tell their kids about their religious beliefs, but they can’t keep public schools from undermining the parents’ beliefs.
This is such a nightmare, I don’t even know what to say. . . .

My question is answered

Bain, whose attorney is drafting a wrongful termination lawsuit, said she would not comment on Loretto’s decision to expel the family. But she said: “It’s a shame the school is being hurt by this when they didn’t go looking for trouble in the first place. It’s a wonderful school.”

(NOTE: I got the quote from a post on Katelyn’s blog; the Sacbee requires login).
So Marie Bains, radical abortion activist, thinks Loretto is a “wonderful school.” I’ve been asking why she would want to be involved in a Catholic high school. Some have suggested it’s merely because she needed a job. Perhaps, but still. I have been desperately in need of work, but I’ve never hidden the Catholic and pro-life aspects of my resume. No matter how desperate I’ve been for employment, there are some places I would never work.

Maybe she just doesn’t even have the courage of her own convictions.
But it seemed to me it had to be one of two things: either she intentionally infiltrated the school or the school presents an image, a culture, a curriculum, that a radical feminist thinks is “wonderful.”

My post below gives demonstrable evidence that was available to Sr. Timothy regarding her background at the time of hiring.

So, what do we have:
1. A radical feminist actress/”drama teacher” who thinks Loretto is a “wonderful school.”
2. Loretto students who think that Loretto is “wonderful” for teaching them to be “free thinkers” and “form their own opinions” on issues like abortion and contraception. They throw out “Karma” left and right. They think that the Mass is “dead” without their creativity. And we have a few comments from orthodox Loretto alumnae who value the school, yet still admit that the school’s leadership does not believe in obedience to the Magisterium.
3. A nun who would hire someone with Bain’s credentials to teach at a school. A religious order that welcomed Sr. Jeanine Gramick after she was censured by both the Vatican and her original Order. When ordered to fire radical feminist drama teacher, nun does so “reluctantly.”
4. Religion teachers passing out info on Planned Parenthood under the guise of “abuse counseling.” Posters saying “women can be all they want to be” and showing witches.
5. A family of conservative Catholics who are pro-life activists who “don’t fit in,” whose presence is “threatening” and “disruptive.”

Connect the dots.

A solution to the vaccine problem?

I read about this in Newsweek at the doctor’s office this morning, and so I just looked up a version of the story.
Basically, these dudes in England have figured out a way to inject viral DNA into a cell, to stimulate the immune system, without using a full-fledged inactive virus. A delivery system like theirs is exactly what researchers have been looking for in terms of curing adults with genetic disorders: inject the corrected DNA directly into a cell. So it’s good news, in that it’s an alternative to IVF as a means of “curing” genetic defects.

But what about tainted vaccines? Even as much as I’ve read about the issue, I’m still confused as to exactly the ways in which fetal tissue has been used for developing vaccines. Does it have more to do with the vaccine itself or the delivery system?
Would they still be getting this viral DNA from virii cultured in fetal tissue, or would it bypass this?

Anybody got a guess? I’m gonna e-mail Debi Vinnedge about this.