Monday, April 21, 2008

Government task force seeks Child Development Specialist

Every time I go to the hospital for lab work, I have to register. It's a very time consuming process, and very lame, especially when I am only there to drop off a 24 hour urine sample. I have in the past tried to just dump my pee on someone, but no, I have to sit and wait to be called, and then go through the "registration" process, which consists of somebody asking me my name three or four times, and checking all of my insurance info, my address, etc, etc, etc.

One of the questions is about employment. I'm technically not employed at the moment, but I am a trained and licensed Speech Language Pathologist. Of course, if I tell people that I'm an SLP, they inevitably ask who my employer is, or an address, or something, and I am forced to admit that I'm not working. "Then what do you do right now?" is the next question, and I have to tell them I'm a mom.

"Homemaker" is the technical term that gets written in the little blank box. And I confess. I hate it when they write that.

It's not that I hate being a homemaker. Ok, cleaning isn't exactly my favorite thing, and yes, I know, there are all kinds of quotes from all kind of people about how being a homemaker is a wonderful grand thing that is the most important occupation in life.

But even if I believe it, or my husband believes it, or a million Mormons believe it, I still know medical personnel would need some convincing. And in their minds, "Homemaker" often translates to uneducated, unemployed, ignorant woman who is largely disconnected from the outside world.

I don't mean to speak slightingly of medical personnel, really I don't. I've worked with doctors, so I know a little about how things go down. When you have to explain medical things to people who are not familiar with medical terms, it helps to have an understanding of where they come from, a baseline, if you will, so you know if they will understand the word "larynx" or if you should use the word "voice box". This is just an example from my own experience, and I'm not a doctor. I'm sure the communication barriers are even bigger for doctors, which may be one reason why they generally suck at it.

Moving on....

When setting up my blogger profile years ago, I couldn't bring myself just to put SAHM (Stay At Home Mom.) Being a mom means that you have be the expert in so many things, including but not limited to early childhood development, nutrition, sleeping patterns, growth cycles, med administration, gross and fine motor skill development, and, last but not least, psychological warfare. "Homemaker" doesn't even begin to describe it all.

So in my profile, I try to make a little joke, and I call myself a Child Development Specialist, for all the reasons I listed above.

Imagine my surprise, then, when I opened an email this weekend addressed to "Heather O., Child Development Specialist".

It was from Dan Larsen, President of the PKD Foundation. At first I sort of thought it was a joke, as I know and like Dan Larsen, and he can crack a joke or two, I suppose. But it wasn't a joke, or at least I don't think it was. It was information about a task force that the PKD Foundation wants to set up to address efficacy issues related to legislation and liasions with law makers. It sounds like an interesting project, to be sure, and I'm honored to be invited to be a part of it. But I'll admit I had to giggle when the "Invited Task Force Members" list came up, and there, among some other highly qualified individuals, was my name and resume, which included three lines:

*Former Speech Language Pathologist
*Child Development Specialist (A mom)
*Author of "Living With PKD", blog listed on PKD Foundation's website.

If that doesn't sound like task force material....

I really am excited to be a part of this thing, even if I do find myself underqualified. I've never done anything like this before, and if nothing else, it promises to be a good learning experience (and probably good blog fodder, which is always a plus in my book).

I just hope nobody asks me any questions about my supposed expertise in child development. Expounding my views on potty training with Mike 'n Ikes is probably not all that helpful to the cause.

1 comment:

Rob Monroe said...

Oh yeah, the Big Bottle of Fun.

Hospitals are the worst about check-in stuff, especially when you realize that you're only there for a ten minute drop-draw-and-run. Argh.

Be proud to be a Child Development Specialist, focusing on round-the-clock care. :o) I would love to be stay-at-home, but it's really not feasible in this part of the country, especially when married to a teacher.

Enjoy the PKD gig!