Technology and human interaction

Friday, November 30, 2007

I just watched the movie, 'You've Got mail'.  It reminded me of a time when email was different - when people took the time to say something real.  I guess then it was still a novelty. It seems these days people use it as a quick and easy option.


In a world of email, instant messages, cell phone texts and social networks it seems to
me that people have forgotten how to really communicate and interact with each other
on anything other than a superficial basis.


Technology seems to be taking the place of human interaction. It seems
these days, people use it as a cop-out way to communicate without
having to actually commit to conversation or any real human interaction. We
send quick emails and say things like - 'Hi, just a quick note to see how you
are' which is fine, but if we really want to know, wouldn't we
take the time to really find out?  Or worse - We forward something that
someone else forwarded us! I absolutely hate forwarded mail - It's not even an original thought.


Today, we e-mail and instant message each other all the time, and many people
spend hours on sites like Facebook and MySpace. Are these ways of communicating
taking the place of actual human interaction? Why call or meet our friends for
lunch if we can just use our computers to catch up with them?


There are other ways we seem to disconnect from the real world too. With the
popularity of Mp3 players and Ipods, we have discovered another way to slip
inside our own worlds and ignore the outside reality. I can't deny that the
digital music player is a wonderful thing, but it does seem to have put a
certain distance between people as we walk around, headphones blasting, oblivious
to the other people around us.


I think that cell phones are perhaps the most isolating technology. Instead of walking from place to place chatting
with people along the way, we grab our phones and then txt instead of call!  We have
taken all the humanity out of communicating at all. Any time we are bored we pick
up our phones to distract ourselves instead of making a connection with the people
around us or in many cases, the person right in front of us - A huge pet-peeve
of mine is when you're having a conversation with someone, they get a txt, read
it and then actually reply to it while you're still in the middle of what was a
conversation.  It's rude!  I see it all the time and it seems to me
that people don't seem satisfied with what's right in front of them.  They
need more - more half-hearted, non intimate and superficial communication.


Don

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An attempt at normalcy

Thursday, November 29, 2007

In an attempt to feel like a part of the outside world, I went out today and ran some errands.  I did my hair and make-up and went to the shops.  I bought some flowers just because and walked around the cloths shops looking for something I could wear with my baby bump, but didn't find anything.  I swear this town doesn't have one maternity shop.
On my way home I ran into my personal trainer and the only person I would consider a friend in this country.  He hasn't seen me in a while and couldn't stop looking at my belly.  I had to say 'You just can't take your eyes off of it can you?'  He said no, it's just too weird!  We stood in the parking lot and talked for a few minutes and promised we'd have lunch soon.  It almost felt normal - like I have a life outside this house and it made me feel better.
When I got home, the police came to my door asking questions about my neighbor.  She apparently got out of her abusive marriage and is being harassed by the husband.  The police are going to all the neighbors to try and get statements.  I didn't want to get involved.  I mean after all - the woman and her children drive me crazy on a daily basis, but I know what she's going through and gave a statement anyway.
Her roommate came and knocked a little while later to explain the situation.  They met at a battered woman's refuge and moved in together to support each other through it.  I almost felt guilty.  It's them and 4 kids over there just trying to get by.  No wonder the kids have behaviour problems.  No wonder there's always a lot of yelling.  It doesn't make it right though.  Kids should have it better than that.  I still let her know I've been there myself and if they're ever in trouble to let us know.  The walls are so thin it wouldn't take much...




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Life as I know it...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

It's 6am.  I don't sleep well these days.  I don't think I've slept a good night in months.  I know I don't write as often as I should, but I find it difficult lately to find the words for what I'm thinking and feeling.  It's odd really - I've always been the sort to keep a record of my life.  I've always kept journals or found some outlet to write down my thoughts - to get it out.  I have bought 3 pregnancy journals so far, but have yet to have a pen touch one.  I can't find the words.
It's not just pregnancy though - it's the day to day life of living here and having no-one but my husband.  Since I got sick, Wayne has had to work a lot of extra hours to make up for all the time he missed when I needed him home and now he's getting ready to shut down his business for a month when we go back the states for Christmas.  I am alone more than 12 hours a day and it's wearing on me.  Some days I accept it as just the way it is, some days I think I'll go mad and others I feel like I'm just quietly disappearing. 
This house is bigger than the last and somehow makes me feel more alone.  And then there's invasion of the noise from the neighbors...  I don't want to say anything to Wayne because what can he do?  He's doing the best he can, but by the time he gets home from work around 8pm, he showers, we eat and do the the dishes we have just enough time to curl up on the couch together for some TV before I fall asleep around 11(with pregnancy I just can't seem to stay awake past 11 I only wish I could sleep through the night). 
The weekends are precious and the last month or so they have been spent packing, moving, unpacking and doing work around the house.  I can't contribute much so most of it's down to him and I still end up spending a good portion of the day by myself before he's back to work on Monday.
Every morning I get up, turn on my computer and check my email hoping for some contact before the hours I will have to wait for the time difference to not be an issue, but friends don't email - they'd rather save it for when we talk. The truth is I don't want a short and sweet email - I want the kind of correspondence where you exchange real thoughts and experiences... So throughout the week, I call my friends and family to try to stay sane and practice my social skills (I sometimes worry I have none left), but it's not the same as sitting across from someone and having conversation and human interaction.  My cats just don't cut it (although they rarely leave my side and I don't know what I'd do without them and their company).
All this while experiencing pregnancy and facing the concept of becoming a mother.  Is it no wonder I can't find the words?  All I can say is I can't wait to get home for this visit.  In 3 weeks I will have a normal life of not only the relationship with my husband, but friends, family and even the freedom of driving again (not to mention the comfort of being back in my own country and not feeling out of place all the time).



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A quick update...

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I just wrote an entire entry that I deleted because I haven't written in a while and I didn't think I should start by complaining.  We moved on Friday and long story short - my hideous neighbor that lived next door to me in the last house just happened to move in next door to our new house!  What are the chances right?  This time the walls are thin and I don't have to have the windows open to hear her, her terror of a toddler or the music.  This morning I was woken up by the child screaming and I have the flu so my mood is a bit...
Anyway, it's been a busy time.  Leading up to the move, I did as much as I could, but Wayne had to take care of most of it.  The day we moved was a lot of the same and since then I've been trying to do as much as I can each day so that Wayne isn't bogged down this weekend.  I still can't do much lifting or bending so I feel pretty useless and if I do too much and end up in pain - Wayne ends up pretty angry with me.  I feel like I've spent the last few months sitting around getting fatter by the day.  My beautiful husband tells me every day - you're not fat - your pregnant.  I feel fat AND pregnant.
My belly popped out of nowhere and I look pregnant which is really cool aside from the rest of me expanding so much as well, but I guess with all the bed rest I've had it was bound to happen.  I do love my belly though and can't complain too much.
I finally took the bandage off my incision this weekend!  The wound has finally completely closed! It's not very pretty and I can say with almost certainty that my bikini days are surely over.  I feel a lot better, but still have some pain that I think may linger for a while, but I'm just glad to have the bandage off  after  so long.
I know I still ended up complaining, but this entry is nothing compared to the last one! :-)
By the way - Happy Thanksgiving.  Enjoy the day.  What I wouldn't do to be home for it, but at least I'll be there for Christmas!



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Going Home!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Last night, I booked our trip home for Christmas!  I'm so excited because this year we'll be going for nearly a month (25 days to be exact)!  We'll be leaving on Dec 17th and coming back on Jan 10th.  It's a really long trip and I'm really happy we'll be doing it this year.
I had my doubts we'd be making the trip.  We've had a lot of extra expenses lately and we've both missed a lot of work due to my surgery and recovery.  Wayne missed 2 weeks and I missed over 3.  We both have our own businesses and we don't get paid if we don't work. 
Our house has just sold so we're moving on the 16th and the move is costing a couple thousand pounds.  I also had to apply for my last and final visa last month which cost a whopping

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Amazing!

Monday, November 5, 2007

I had my 3 month ultrasound today and the first phase of the test I wrote about last week.  What an amazing experience it was!  I didn't expect the baby to look so much like a baby yet.  I just had an ultrasound 2 weeks ago after the surgery, but there wasn't much to see then.  Today, I saw a fully formed baby that appeared to be sucking it's thumb at one point!  I watched it move around and saw the little heart beat away!  I am overcome with emotion and such happiness.
The test results were quite good.  Judging by the measurements they took, the odds of down syndrome went from (judging by age and family history) 1 in 200 to 1 in 1200!  The doctor said that couples with this result don't normally go through with the other test. 
Wayne and I didn't expect the numbers to change so drastically.  We're leaning toward not going through with the other test.  It's invasive and there is a risk of miscarriage.  We called the midwife to discuss it with her, but she wasn't in.  When Wayne left for work we were pretty sure we weren't going to do it and I can't imagine the midwife saying anything that will cause us to change our minds.  We have until tomorrow to decide (it's a test that has to be done in the next week).


I feel like I've been through enough and the baby has made it through such odds that I really don't want to do anything else that could put it at risk - I'm so glad Wayne agrees.  I still have to discuss it with the midwife, but it looks like it might finally be time to stop worrying, relax and start enjoying being pregnant. What an amazing experience it was this morning!



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Really emotional today

Thursday, November 1, 2007
I'm really emotional today.  I have an ultrasound on Monday followed by a consultation for a test I have to have done which will take place within days of the ultrasound.  The test is called CVS testing.  It's a test that detects chromosomal abnormalities such as Down's syndrome.  Because of my age and the fact that I had an aunt with down's syndrome - the test is something that my midwife highly recommends I have.  It's a lot like amniocentesis only done much earlier and is supposed to be much safer.  They go in with a needle and take cells from the placenta.  It's safer, but there is still a 1 in 100 chance of miscarriage following the test.
Wayne and I discussed this sort of thing before ever trying to get pregnant.  We always knew we'd have the test done and when it came up, we instatnly agreed to it. 

That was before I had the surgery and came really close to losing the baby (they didn't give very good odds before operating).  After all I've been through, the thought of doing something that will put the baby at risk again is just awful.  I spoke to the midwife and the OB when I was in the hospital and they both said that the surgery will not make my risk any greater when I have the test, but it doesn't make me feel any better.
We have to go into London to see a specialist for the test.  I'm still not recovered from the surgery/incision bursting (I still have an open wound in my gut) and the thought of a long train ride while I feel like this doesn't help matters, but it can't be put off.  The test has to be done between 12 & 13 weeks.
I guess because of all I've been though from the very start of this pregnancy, I feel really attached.  I heard the heart beat at 6 weeks (not at all the norm to hear it that early) and since that moment, I've felt such a great love for this little life growing inside me.  My belly is starting to bulge a bit which makes it that much more real for me.  I dread this test.
Because of the pain from the start of this pregnancy, combined with the miscarriage I had in June, I've been superstitious about things.  I haven't pulled out any of my pregnancy books or done anything a first time mother would be doing when newly pregnant (except for the things regarding health of course - prenatal vitamins, eating right, I gave up caffeine, alcohol and of course haven't touched a cigarette since I took the test).  I've tried so hard to keep myself in check for the first 3 months, that I haven't allowed myself to really be happy.  Now that the 3 months are finally nearly done, I want this all to be over so I can start being happy about this and start looking forward to the baby and start actually enjoying being pregnant.  I really can't wait for this test to be done and over so I can finally breathe and feel good about all of this.

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