Wednesday, July 28, 2010

"A bon voyage, not a goodbye"

My beloved readers, yesterday was my last clinic day at the Morgentaler Clinic in Fredericton. Tears. For real.

It was a pretty good clinic. Pink Hat was out with her sad little one-limbed Jesus (why won't he heal himself?). I caught a glimpse of Crazy Legs, and the Holy Ghost was very vocal. And guess who else was there, for the first time (that I know of)? Father What-a-Waste, from the March for Life! You guys, what is he doing? He is so handsome and sweet. He told SL that if any of the other protesters started yelling or being aggressive, he was going to be very upset and disappointed. SL said "Wait."

I hope he doesn't come back, but on the other hand, his adorable naivete might add much needed amusement to the volunteers' mornings.

One of our patients today was a character - she was wearing a t-shirt that said "I'm a Virgin (but this is an old shirt)" and she was super sassy. I liked her a lot. When she came out to the waiting room after her procedure, she loudly assured everyone that it didn't hurt, and that the sedatives were AWESOME. It was hard to tell if she was still a bit loopy from the drugs, or if she is just always like that. Either way: awesome.

That is all the cool stuff I can remember.

It was hard to say goodbye to my lovely co-workers, especially our amazing doctor. She is such a warm and good-hearted person, and she has been a really strong supporter in my life for the last three years. What an excellent lady.

So that's it: the last regular dispatch from the clinic. I will continue blogging, probably on Canadian abortion issues until I figure out where I want to go next with this. Ideas are always welcome. The weekly reader will be a little late this week, because I don't know when we will get internet set up in our new apartment. If you think of it on Friday, send some good thoughts our way for the 16 hour drive with two cats. We will need it!

Thank you thank you thank you. Always follow your heart.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

One Foot Out the Door

I'm not going to apologize again for blogging so late in the week, because I am in the middle of trying to move to Ontario and quite honestly it is a lot of work. Not the packing and physical moving (we're not quite there yet), but just the making sure I see all my friends enough before we go. I am an introvert so I have to be careful about the amount of energy I expend by spending time with people, but I have so little time! It is hard.

Anyway, clinic on Tuesday was ok. The protesters were getting a bit aggressive at times, and Crazy Legs was out and causing lots of trouble, accusing people of shoving her, etc. Definitely being a pain in the ass.

Inside the clinic, I was training my replacement, which was super fun because she is an EXCELLENT lady. We get along very very well and could just talk for ages. I love when I click with people so easily - it doesn't happen to me a lot. I have quite a few good friends but it usually takes me a while to get to that place with them. Anyway I have a lot of confidence in this person. She is going to be great.

Yesterday we had our annual summer BBQ for the volunteers, which was great fun as always. They really are a wonderful group of people and I'm going to miss them a great deal. I have met some excellent people through being the volunteer co-ordinator. They are all good people who do good work.

This Tuesday is my last clinic day, and then Wednesday is my last day of work. Tears! This has been my best job ever, and I will be very sad to leave it. I'm still trying to decide in what direction I want to take the blog, but I think it will largely depend on what I end up doing in Toronto.

Here are some things I read this week:

Anti-abortion group gets funding, settles lawsuit with UVic.

Graphic abortion images spark outrage.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Weekly Reader AND MORE!

Another week of being terribly late to blog! I guess it's harder to blog about the clinic when nothing very exciting happens. Lately I've had a lot of available volunteers, which makes a noticeable difference - the patients are calmer, and the protesters don't try as much funny stuff.

One of the protesters was giving the volunteers an instructional lecture on rosary beads this week, but apparently it was totally good-natured.

Inside, I went to my last ever staff meeting at the clinic. Our wonderful doctor baked me a cake! It's really starting to hit me that I won't be working at the clinic any more; it makes me quite sad. It's been tough at times but all told it is a great job, and I work with some amazing people. And amazing volunteers! I will miss this gang a lot, and I will definitely be out escorting when I come home over Christmas (at least this year - I have no idea what our schedule/financial situation will be after that! Maybe I'll be home so much, you'll all be sick of me!).

I guess I'll even kind of miss the protesters. They have been interesting characters in my life.

I think I'm leaving things in capable hands. There should be someone hired for my job this week, and I know whoever it is will be awesome. And the momentum is with us, even in Fredericton. The other day someone spray-painted "choice" on the CPC again. It warmed my heart.

Here are a few things I've been reading this week:

You can take a free webinar on Emergency Contraception with the ARHP.

Two articles on abortion on TV (specifically Friday Night Lights).

Abortion still happens after 40.

Chasing anti-choicers around town (AB's #streetcornersforchoice project).

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Weekly Reader

Only a couple links this week:

Two pieces by our own escort AB: How pro-choice are you? and Abortion access in Canada.

An op-ed in the National Post by Joyce Arthur: There's no dispute.

Feel free to leave what you've been reading in comments!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Clinic yesterday was ok. It has been super muggy here in the last couple of days, but yesterday morning the rain came to cool us off. Which was a bit unfortunate for the volunteers, who got rained on. Luckily we have lots of umbrellas!

There were not a lot of protesters out this week - perhaps they weren't keen on marching around in the sticky heat. A lot of them are older people, so I imagine weather like this can be pretty uncomfortable for them. However, I did see some of the old favourites including Crazy Legs and Monochrome.

It was inside the clinic where my attention was focused this week. Not that it was particularly crazy or anything. I had one patient change her mind and just get up and leave. Generally when people decide not to go ahead, they come up to the front desk and let me know they are going. But this lady just put her little number card down on my desk and left without a word. She hadn't even had her ultrasound yet. I hope everything works out for her - her partner (who was with her) seemed supportive so that is good.

I like being in the clinic near the end of the appointments, when there are only three or four women left who haven't had their abortions yet, and there are no patients left in the waiting room, only partners. Things tend to get a bit more chill and sometimes the partners (or parents, or friends) of the patients get to talking to each other, which is what happened this week. There were three people, two of them male partners and one female friend, and they all started talking to each other about how hungry they were, which was both amusing and frustrating (I was hungry too!). But then it turned out they were all in similar lines of work, so they were chatting away about that. It just warms my heart when perfect strangers can just talk so easily to each other. And I think it puts them in a better, less anxious mood, allowing them to be more supportive of the woman they came with when she comes out of the recovery room.

Also, I only have three clinic days left until I move away! Sad face!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Weekly Reader and Apology

Hi friends. Sorry there was no blog this week. We did have a clinic, I just never got around to blogging about it. Mostly because of all the stuff that was going on in Toronto around the G8/G20 protests - I have been having all kinds of internet debates and eventually got kind of sick of furiously typing out my thoughts.

Also, this week I called it off with an anti-choice guy I have been debating through Facebook messages. I got kind of bored with the whole thing. I was just going to stop arguing with him, but he was being really mean so I blocked him as well. So yeah, I'm just kind of depressed at the number of people in the world who are utter jackasses.

I promise I will be back to regular blogging this week.

Only a couple things for the reader this week: two reactions to the maternal health initiative (both lukewarm), and a piece I wrote for Abortion Gang about looking for a job in reproductive health.

I hope you all (well, the Canadians and Americans among you) are having a lovely long weekend! Let me know in comments what you've been reading.