Sometimes I Want to Hurt People

Sometimes when I read the paper, I come across an article that makes me look around to see if I’m living in some kind of surrealist nightmare.

Like the story about James Westcott. I had to re-read this story 3 times and then went to look it up on the internet because it just seemed way too absurd to be real. Also, I was getting very ticked off.

See, this Westcott person, 66 years of age, former elementary school teacher, was arrested in 1999  and charged with 24 counts of sexually abusing 11 girls at the west-end Ottawa school where he taught. The girls were between the ages of 6 and 10 and the wise judge, Ontario Superior Court Justice Roydon Kealey, dismissed all the charges because he reckoned the girls had made it all up in the throes of some sort of mass hysteria.

At the time, Westcott admitted that he did have a “very tactile” approach to teaching which was probably misinterpreted by those silly school girls and their parents.

So, I hope old Judge Kealey had a twinge of conscience when Westcott got caught a couple of years ago molesting a 3-year old girl.

This time he pled guilty this time – sort of.

Actually, what Westcott pled guilty to was “not thinking clearly”. See, the little girl poked him in the chest, so he figured that meant she wanted to see his penis, so he let her touch his fly. And then to make it even easier for her, he took his penis out and “let her touch it and squeeze it.”

Just to be absolutely clear, Westcott wants us to know that he ““did not initiate anything” and that “he didn’t get an erection and has no sexual interest in children.”

Westcott is being sentenced for that crime finally, which is why he’s in the papers again. His lawyer thinks he’s suffered enough and should be released since he’s already spent 31 days in jail awaiting sentencing. That this whole ordeal has been very tough on poor old Westcott and his wife, especially now that everybody is now going to think he’s also guilty of those crimes back in 2008.

Also, his psychiatrist says he’s at a “very low risk to re-offend” and that he’s learned his lesson; and that he’s really sorry because he’s lost the valuable reputation he’s built up over a lifetime and that even his wife is unable to get a teaching job anymore.

Boo hoo.

Westcott will be sentenced on Friday. He could face up to an entire year in jail.

Are we insane? “Up to a year”????

I don’t know how they treat pedophiles in other countries, but they’re pretty damn soft on them in Canada. For some time now, this country has been reknown internationally as a safe haven for pedophiles. We finally raised our age of consent to 16, but pedophiles still get very light sentences or probation most of the time.

I don’t understand why the criminal justice system doesn’t realize that these people are the most unique offenders out there and that we need to devise some unique way of stopping them. A few years in jail isn’t going to change their sexual deviances. Because, pedophiles don’t believe that what they’re doing is wrong. They are never going to be rehabilitated.

In general, I’m pretty liberal about the whole crime and punishment thing because I think a lot of criminals are victims themselves and could have been steered in a better direction when they were young and/or could still be steered in a better direction with a little or a lot of education and other rehabilitative measures.

I worked in a parole office when I began my federal public service career. I worked with murders and rapists and armed robbers and drug dealers and all manner of crazy, stupid and nasty criminals and saw how the system, — damaged though it might be – is successful in a lot of ways and can help people.

Pedophiles, however, are not helpable. They are the scariest people I ever encountered in that job. They are angry because they were caught; they are angry at their victims for turning them in; and they’re angry because they actually believe that there was nothing wrong with what they did and that the rest of us have a problem of intolerance.

And it doesn’t help that they are often supported and even enabled by spouses, friends and other family members.

The victim impact statements were heartbreaking to read.

Kids whose mothers would rather give up their kids than the freak who’d abused them. Kids who no longer have a home or family because everyone blames them for getting dad arrested. Kids who are thoroughly messed up for life because some guy just will not understand that children are completely out-of-bounds whatever bizarre sexual urges, ideas, thoughts, notions or proclivities he might have.

Dang! I feel all red-neck, string-em-up, irrational about stuff like this. I don’t like feeling like that because I think there must be a real solution somewhere, but I don’t for the life of me know what it might be.

Retiring Ronald

“What?” XUP Jr. said to me the other day. “They used to have television commercial for cigarettes?” She was dumbfounded.

Her question stemmed from some bit on TV about Joe Camel and the Marlboro Man. Those two mascots were retired thanks to the efforts of a corporate-responsibility watchdog group, Corporate Accountability International. This same group is now lobbying to retire Ronald McDonald

Retired physician Alfred David Klinger, a volunteer with the group, recently spoke at McDonald’s annual meeting, telling the company that:

Ronald McDonald is a pied piper drawing youngsters all over the world to food that is high in fat, sodium and calories. On the surface, Ronald is there to give children enjoyment in all sorts of way with toys, games and food. But Ronald McDonald is dangerous, sending insidious messages to young people.

In response, McDonald’s said something like, “No friggin’ way we’re retiring the clown.” What they actually said for the media was:

He communicates effectively with children and families around balanced, active lifestyles. He does not hawk food.


Since Ronald McDonald made his first TV appearance in 1963 (portrayed by Willard Scott), he’s become as recognizable as Santa Claus to children everywhere.

(Willard Scott’s original Ronald McDonald TV appearance, 1963)

Although Ronald seems to have left McDonaldland, Mayor McCheese, the Hamburglar, Grimace, Birdie the Early Bird, and The Fry Kids behind, he is still, and will continue to be The McDonald’s Corporation’s “Chief Happiness Officer.” (Yes, that’s what they actually call him)

But with childhood obesity a serious and growing problem, a lot of people are looking at fast food places to tone down their child-targeted advertising.

On the other hand, many people will say things like:

  • Stop trying to legislate how a restaurant wants to do business.
  • It’s parents’ responsibility to decide what their kids are going to eat, not the government’s.
  • Who cares about mascots and advertising – you always have the choice not to go to McDonald’s.

Except, as I’m sure parents of young children know, it’s not always that easy.

McDonald’s uses helicopters to search out locations for new restaurants. One of their main criteria is proximity to schools. So, if your kid has money and you’re not around, it’s easy for him to head next door to McDonald’s at lunchtime.

McDonald’s also offers free in-school shows to elementary schools. The shows, featuring Ronald McDonald live, are:  educational and interactive and help teach children about the environment, self-esteem, personal character, reading and fire safety. (And kids get valuable McDonald’s coupons and collectible toys)

In the U.S. children under 12 represent approximately $40 – $50 billion in direct purchasing power, and influence another $670 billion in family purchases every year.

Children aren’t able to assess and judge advertising in the same way adults can. Even one 30-second commercial can influence what a child as young as two wants. It’s no accident that the Ronald brand is everywhere – on TV, on the food wrappers even on the high chairs and bibs. And let’s not forget the PlayPlaces, Happy Meals and collectable toys. “Limited time” toy series are an excellent way of getting kids to keep coming back within a short period of time in order to collect the entire “valuable” set of toys.

But can’t parents just say no?

Advertisers rely on something they call “Pester Power”. It’s an aggressively studied, honed and carefully used tactic to get kids to nag their parents into purchasing something for them.

It takes a lot for parents to keep saying no over and over and over and over again – especially when it’s been a long, hectic week and everyone is hungry, cranky and in no mood to cook. Advertisers know this well. They have gone so far as to classify “Pester Power” according to identified stress factors and conditions like income, marital status, guilt and other factors that make parents more vulnerable to pestering. And then they use them to develop and target their marketing.

You Deserve a Break Today

Whaddya think? Should Ronald join Joe Camel and the Marlboro Man in the Former Insidious Advertising Mascots Retirement Villa?


“My friend Erin’s mom is such a bitch!” XUP Jr. declared over lunch on Saturday, apropos to nothing at all.

“Oh? Why?” I ask, always eager to hear about the problems other parents have with their teenagers.

Erin is one of the many kids who lives one week at her mother’s and one week at her father’s. Friday was transition day and apparently Erin had left her mother’s house a bit of a mess that morning. So, Erin’s mother had left Erin a message on her cell phone telling her she had to come back to the house after school and clean up the crumbs and jam and stuff she left on the coffee table (where she wasn’t supposed to be eating anyway) and she had to return her mother’s t-shirt and make-up brush that she’d borrowed without asking.

So, this, according to XUP Jr. was petty and mean of Erin’s mom and just a little crazy because what’s the big deal about a few crumbs? Plus it would mean that instead of taking the bus to her dad’s after school Erin would have to go to her mom’s first and then WALK for 40 minutes to her dad’s.

“Oh boy,” I thought. “What a great opportunity for a long-winded lecture mother-daughter discussion.

As I commented to Dani the other day on her blog, it seems like almost overnight your kids become grown-up. Parents with young children, like Dani often feel that their lives seem like a never-ending round of getting them up, getting them dressed, hurrying them up, feeding them, cleaning them up, helping them with homework, ferrying them to soccer and music lessons and friends homes, attending their school events, reading them stories, playing with them, taking them on outings, wiping their tears, fixing their boo-boos, forcing them into the bath, putting them to bed, etc., etc. — all while trying to manage all the regular stuff a human being needs to do to conduct a life.

And when you’re in the middle of that cycle of chaos it often seems so endless and completely overwhelming, but in retrospect, it was over so quickly. Children claim their independence little by little without you really noticing until suddenly one day you realize that your entire parenting role has changed. Yes, you still have to set some rules and boundaries and they might even want you to wipe up a tear or two now and again or mollycoddle them when they’re not feeling well, but other than that all they really want you to do is:

  • Fork over money;
  • Keep the fridge stocked with food; and
  • Provide transportation occasionally

What they don’t want you to do, but which you really feel like you have to do is inundate them with advice because it dawns on you that there’s a lot of stuff you might not have yet managed to fully drill into their heads and soon they’ll be out in the big world all alone.

So what I talked to XUP Jr. about regarding Erin and her mother is this transition time. This weird time when everything changes quite rapidly for both parents and kids. Kids are demanding to be treated like adults…or at least their vision of what adults are – being allowed to come and go as they wish; making their own decisions without interference; indulging in adult vices, and so forth. And parents are delighted to have their own lives back; to come and go as they wish.

I told XUP Jr. that we would love to be able to treat our teenagers more like adults, except – they don’t behave like adults most of the time…or at least not the type of adults anyone would want to live with. 

A person does not want to come home to find that another “adult” in the house has borrowed their clothing without asking and not returned it. A person does not want to come home to find that another “adult” in the house has left the place a mess.

“So you see, “I said to XUP Jr., in conclusion “We really, really don’t like treating fully grown young women like toddlers. It would be good, for example, if we didn’t have to keep cleaning up after you.”

We’ve had variations on this discussion probably about a million times, but it just doesn’t seem to sink in. For instance, whenever I go grocery shopping I ask her if there’s anything in particular she wants me to get and she always brushes me off with an “how should I know” because, unlike a real adult,  she only thinks about food when she’s actually hungry. At which point, of course she complains that there’s nothing good to eat in the house.

Also, I always do laundry on Sunday morning and every Saturday  night I have to remind XUP Jr. to put her laundry in the hamper if she wants it done. This Saturday night I forgot to remind her, mainly because she wasn’t home, so her stuff didn’t get washed.

Boy, you’d think I’d sold one of her kidneys while she was asleep the way she carried on about having to do her own laundry and why didn’t I remind her and now she has to waste her day off on Monday doing laundry, boo hoo hoo.

And on that note, may I’d like to wish everyone in Ontario a happy Family Day. I hope you all get to spend it doing something really nice with your family — unless of course you’re  a federal government employee who — even though everyone else in the province gets the day off —  don’t get Family Day off because it’s not a federal holiday – boo hoo hoo.


FAMILY DAY UPDATE: On my lunchtime run today I was really heartened and gruntled to see so many, many families, of every possible configuration, skating on the canal and careening down the various designated and non-designated snowy hills . I only wish (yes again) I’d had a pair of camera sunglasses so I could have captured all the family joy going on out there.

How we made it to 17

One half a score and seven years ago today, I brought forth on this planet a new infant conceived in….

…the usual way.

And today she’s 17.

I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who never thought we’d make it this far. I was always a big fan of the adage, “when the going gets tough, the tough get going.” I tend to run away when things get difficult. Yup, I’m a quitter from way back. I quit jobs, I quit places, I quit people, I quit eating meat, I quit smoking, I even quit drinking all forms of alcohol once for almost a year. And then I thought, “Why did I do that?” and had a glass of wine.

So, when I first figured out that I was going to be raising a child by myself, you’d think my baser instincts would have kicked in and I would have left her on someone’s doorstep, wouldn’t you?

But no. I reckon birthing must seriously mess with your hormones and your head. How else can you explain what you’ll put up with?

  • You never get to sleep anymore because the kid cries every hour or so, 24 hours a day, wanting food or wanting out of a wet diaper or just wanting human contact.  You have to do, like, everything for them for years.
  • They can’t feed themselves for the longest time. (They don’t even come with teeth, for pete’s sake).
  • They poop wherever and whenever the poop feels like sliding out and you have to clean it up.
  • You can’t just send them off for a bath because they’ll drown without constant supervision.
  • They can’t dress themselves until they’re around 30. Even now I keep having to remind her that it’s almost winter and that she’ll probably be cold if she leaves the house in just a t-shirt.
  • You can’t go anywhere with them because they’re always wailing about something or shouting out embarrassing things or breaking stuff or doing something gross like sucking the snot out of their own noses or wetting themselves or throwing up for no apparent reason.
  • And you can’t go anywhere without them because they’ll burn the house down or fall on scissors or something. And also, it’s illegal.
  • Kids are bloody expensive, too. They need an entire new wardrobe at least twice a year, every year until they move out. That’s clothes, shoes, boots, coats – the works. Plus there are all those school supplies, extracurricular activities, lessons, musical instruments, skates, toys, electronics. And let’s not even discuss the cost of food. They never stop eating. Never.


I could go on and on, but I think you get the point – how the hell did we make it to XUP Jr.’s 17th birthday?

Well, nature makes the little humans really, really cute so they’re difficult to just give away or otherwise dispose of. Often they look a lot like you, which makes it even freakier. And, the very helplessness that sucks the life out of you, also makes it impossible for you not to care for them. I mean, you have to be pretty heartless to turn your back on a completely defenseless little critter that needs you for absolutely everything, right?

And then, as they get older, unlike pets, kids develop some self-sufficiency. They learn to tie their shoes and read and how to aim their poop for the toilet and even, eventually, how to wipe their bums properly so that you don’t have to do a separate load of laundry just for their skiddy underpants.

  • And then they get to the point where you can almost see a real person about to emerge. You can have actual intelligent conversations with them.
  • You can leave them on their own for days without worrying too much (as long as you call two or three times a day just to make sure they’re still in one piece).
  • If you close the door to their bedrooms, you can pretend that your house is occupied by normal, tidy adults.
  • And, the really fun thing is that they’ll do almost anything for money, so for a few bucks they’ll do all the chores you don’t feel like doing anymore.
  • And you find yourself liking them as people – people you’d want to spend time with even if you weren’t being forced to because of your parental obligations.

A really weird thing is that somewhere along the line you even find yourself liking yourself more and you realize it’s because of the kid. They seem to find your flaws and weaknesses and are somehow able to smooth them over or turn them into strengths. For instance:

  • By trying my patience remorselessly, XUP Jr. has actually made me a more patient person.
  • By demanding constant attention, she’s forced me to stop focusing so much on me and fretting about stupid self-absorbed stuff. 
  • By needing so damn much, she’s obliged me to stop farting around and buckle down and stick to a job and make a home.
  • By depending on me for everything, all the time, she’s given me a reason to get up every morning.
  • And just by being, she’s gifted me the incomparable feeling of absolute and unconditional love for another human.

Like every parent since time began, I know I messed up plenty over the years and wish I could have do-overs for more than a few things I’ve said and done. And I know she has a list of ways I’ve ruined her life which she will hold on to forever and torment me with when I’m hold and feeble. But, nevertheless, so far she’s turning into a lovely young woman. She’s happy, confident, smart, opinionated, outgoing, articulate, kind-hearted, funny, talented, interesting, engaging,has good values, etc., etc.

So, I guess overall, we’re doing okay.

Happy Birthday, darlin’

Ethereal Light Emanation

In response to yesterday’s post, a couple of people said (more or less jokingly) that maybe the dogs are seeing my aura and that maybe I have an odd aura or something. Which started me thinking about this whole business of auras and pets being “in tune” with stuff like that.

First, let’s see if we actually believe that such a thing as auras exist. Do people walk around with some sort of energy field around them or is that just a bunch of new-age hooey?

Well, if you’ve ever walked into a room where 2 people have been fighting or having a very serious conversation, the second you walk through the door and without even looking at the people in the room, I think you can feel the tension or heaviness. What’s that if not you sensing these people’s energy?

When you meet people, part of what attracts you to or repels you from a particular person is the unexplainable “vibe” you get from them. True?

And, if you’ve ever watched a person die, you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that between that moment of life and death, something vital disappears. 

But it’s not just people that have this energy field – all living things are surrounded by some sort of energy field. The expert aura people believe that children under 5 and animals are naturally able to see auras. (Adults can teach themselves to become more sensitive to auras and learn to see them.)

I guess it would explain why children often seem to dislike people for no particular reason or seem to “know” when things aren’t right. There have been lots of stories, too, about pets being able to sense illness in their people.

  • says that dogs can often predict when their person is about to have an epileptic seizure.
  • Studies have shown that dogs are able to warn their diabetic people when their blood sugar is too high.
  • 60 Minutes did a thing on dogs being able to sniff out cancer in humans.
  •  And there are other stories of pets being particularly snuggly or unusually calm and gentle when their person is sick or very sad or upset.

I don’t know; maybe this is all more about scents than sense. Maybeillness giving off smells that trigger a response in pets. Or maybe part of it is that pets are able to see or sense when their people have something some sort of energy/chemical alteration.

What do you believe? Is there such a thing as auras? Can you sense auras if even you can’t see them? Have your pets or children ever exhibited any aura-sensing abilities?

I’ve noticed my cat, Bazel won’t leave my side whenever the pizza stone comes out of the cupboard because he knows there will soon be cheese flying around. He sure loves cheese. Yup.

Single, White, Middle-Aged Male

Is there any group of creatures on this, or any other planet, more hard done by than the single, white, middle-aged male?

The poor guy was raised to believe he’s special and privileged and advantaged; that the world is his oyster; that not even the sky is his limit; that he could be and do anything! And what happened? Well, he got royally reamed,  didn’t he? Didn’t he? Just ask one, he’ll tell you. 

He’ll tell you that he is from the era when,  just as he was ready to take the world stage by storm all the rules changed.

Starting with Women: There he was, about to plunge headlong into the dizzying pleasure-orgy of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll when it all disappeared. Turns out sex and drugs could kill you and rock ‘n’ roll gave way to Billy Idol.  Make-love-not-war women snapped their bras back on and demanded a “commitment” before even giving him the time of day.

Less befuddled men got right on board with the new program and grabbed a wife, bought homes in the suburbs and began reproducing. The slower,  more befuddled men suddenly found themselves sliding haplessly, involuntarily and irrecoverabley  into middle-age —  alone.  And here they are. Now they look around and their “realistic” choices are limited to men or middle-aged women who, of course,  are not appealing because they don’t look 25.  Also, they’re too demanding. They expect men to be perfect and talk about “feelings”. They expect men to know (and DO!) stuff like cooking and laundry. And let’s not even get into how judgmental they are about you-know-what.  And,  middle-aged women all have kids — every last one of them. They can’t seem to help themselves. Who wants to be saddled looking after and paying for someone else’s kids, right?

Then there’s the workforce. Being a single, white middle-aged man wouldn’t be so bad if one had an exciting, dynamic career to absorb one’s attention,  like everyone else does. But no, here again our boy has been shafted. Some weisenheimer decided that white males had dominated the workforce long enough and came up with Employment Equity and Diversity – the bane of the white man’s existence. Now he can only get a job if there are no women, visible minorities, people with physical or mental disabilities or married/gay white guys applying. (No one knows exactly how or why married white guys got on this list, but every single, white guy knows they’re there). Never mind that the single white guy is 10 times smarter and more skilled than any of those people. He can’t get a decent job to save his life. So now he toils away at some meaningless, pointless, demoralizing job for less than half of what he, the single white, middle-aged male, is really worth. And he has to kowtow to a  boss who is either some know-nothing Employment Equity and Diversity person or some know-even-less married, white guy who was fast-tracked through the ranks.

And he has to pay taxes. Taxes irk the single, white middle-aged male to no end. Here is is working at some shitty job, making next to no money and to add insult to injury he has to fork over a big chunk of his pathetic salary to the government because he doesn’t get the tax breaks all those “breeders” get. And if that isn’t enough to make him eat his hunting rifle, then they use his taxes to pay for schools and daycares and social programs for poor people and for libraries and hospitals and other stuff he gets absolutely no benefit from. Yes, he, the single, white middle-aged male is single-handedly supporting every last tax-funded perk everyone else is getting and WTF is that all about?

And speaking of benefits. The single, white middle-aged man is the only human being on the face of the earth not entitled to any special benefits whatsoever. Breeders get parental leave from work and get paid for it (through programs paid for by his taxes!). They get to take “family-related” days when their snivelling brats get sick. People get married and there’s a big party and everyone gives them tons of gifts so they don’t even have to buy their own household goods. The single, white, middle-aged man, on the other hand, has to drag his sorry ass to Canadian Tire and buy his own toaster.

And, there are all sorts of support groups and special interest groups for women and for people of colour and for the differently-abled and for gays and lesbians – they even get parades and designated “awareness” days. There are books written for and about them. TV shows dedicated to them. Documentaries filmed about them. Funds are raised for them on international television by hoards of celebrities. They get grants and scholarships to go to school. Oprah cries for them. It’s all so unfair!!

And then they inflict their kids on him. As if his life wasn’t miserable enough he has to put up with the offspring of all these horrible people who’ve usurped his rightful place in the world. Wherever he goes people insist on exposing him to their children; and talking about their children; and showing him photos of their children. The single, white, middle-aged man is fairly certain that his own seed is going to die with him so he does not need to be reminded day in and day out that his gene pool is being drained, dismantled and filled with dirt as we speak.  But who would want kids anyway? They are so damned demanding and loud and full of mucous and exuberance and hope for the future. It’s extremely irritating.

He’s so misunderstood. And yet despite the entire universe conspiring against him, he forges on, trying his best to fit into this new confusing world of political correctness, vegetarians, environmentalists, fitness-freaks, twitterers, iPhone-toting, child-bearing, coupled-up, blissfully employed humans. He tries (he really does) to be sociable, presentable and not whine too much about his plight, but still he doesn’t get invited to parties. It’s too “awkward” to have a stray male hanging around stuffing canapes into his pockets for tomorrow’s lunch.  No one wants to hear his brilliant stories of using duct-tape to hem his pants or share his joy in finding a perfectly good spatula in the neighbour’s garbage.  Everyone gawps and gapes at everyone else’s photos of their children, but no one gives a second glance to the really nice snapshot of the vole in his basement.  Sure, they all admire the guy in the wheelchair competing in the paralympics, but no one admires the single, white middle-aged male for being able to cut his own hair or for the fact that he did the dishes twice last month. All of them! AND put them away. With no one telling him to! No. No one appreciates any of his deep, inner, stirling qualities at all. Life sucks.


I helped my daughter prep for an upper and lower endoscopy this weekend. This involved her not eating anything or drinking anything other than clear liquids for 2 days and consuming stuff to help clean out her entire digestive system.  This was a lot less fun than it sounds.

It involved a lot of pain and hunger on her part and very little sleep for both of us. Then we had to show up at the hospital for 6:30 this morning where she was knocked out and had her innards filmed.

She was diagnosed with Crohn’s 5 years ago and it’s been a never-ending round of hospital visits, specialists, pokings, proddings, scans, check-ups, tests, tests, more tests and questions.  Nobody knows where this disease comes from, what exactly triggers it or how to treat it.

All the medical community knows is to dole out an escalating series of drugs and when those stop working (which they inevitably do) they start cutting.  We fought to avoid all drugs for the first 3 years and managed the disease with diet and complementary therapies. Then puberty hit and the increase in hormones created enough havoc in her body to force us to agree to a very mild immune-suppressant drug.

The effects of this drug are now on the wane and her GI wants to get out the big guns: intensive drug therapies whose side effects are longer than the trans-Canada highway and include links to cancer in the long-term. There’s no guarantee these will work and every evidence that they don’t work for long.

There’s no way I can agree to this. My daughter has been a champ, a star, a gutsy wee thing throughout – putting up with all the crap so far.  Especially because she feels pretty well most of the time. She occasionally has flare-ups, but is otherwise very healthy. She’s active, happy, eats well and has the discipline to stay away from junk which I believe has gone a long way in keeping things more or less under control.

So, I’m on the hunt for an Ottawa naturopath with some experience with IBDs who can help keep her stable and maintain growth and development, so we can tell our GI what to do with her nasty pharmaceuticals with some confidence and authority.

I’m open to any recommendations/warning for natural practitioners in Ottawa, as well as any other relevant information. I’ve done more research on Crohns than I’ve ever done on anything in my entire life, but I always find anecdotal evidence valuable.  Research always seems to be scrabbling to keep up with what the people who’ve lived with the disease have known forever.

All in all it’s been an unpleasant few days,  but not nearly as unpleasant for me as the weekend has been for the young mother I met in the hospital corridor today whose 9-year-old son was rushed to the hospital on Saturday with sudden, severe back pain and who was diagnosed today with leukemia.

Shit like this shouldn’t happen to kids.