Sunday, March 22, 2009

Spring Break(!!!) Part One: The City of Angels... and Doctors and Octuplets

Radio silence has fallen on the blog due to my wandering over to the West Coast for spring break. There are many funny, youth-ifying things about going back to school, but having "spring break" and "summer vacation" make me feel the most like a kid again.

I spent the first half of the week in Los Angeles, visiting my best friend since middle school and her husband, who are both doctors. Since my friend will be specializing in fertility, a recurrent topic of conversation was Octo-mom, aka Nadya Suleman, the California woman who just popped out eight little ones after fertility treatments. My friends tell me that Suleman will be making over six figures per year thanks to California's generous welfare system. When babies are born to low-income Californians, the state provides a monthly stipend. If the babies are born premature (as all the octuplets were), the stipend is higher. Now that Suleman has a litter of over 10 kids (several preceded the octuplets), she'll be making close to $10K per month, per my friends' estimates. Maybe I should drop out of J school and sign up for baby-making school. Sounds like the money's much better.

(As an aside, most fellow doctors think poorly by Suleman's doctor for his willingness to implant her with a ridiculous number of embryos. If you were to play word association games with his name, the following would come up: Unethical, disgusting, shameful, a disgrace to the profession.)

In the course of the conversation, my friend raised an interesting question being discussed within the medical community -- what to do with unused embryos? When a couple decides to undergo fertility treatments, they usually stash away at least 10 embryos. Sometimes, people don't end up using them at all. Or the first two implanted take, and they don't need the rest. What do you do with the leftovers?

Other things in L.A.:
Picked up LA City Beat, an alternative weekly, and recognized an NYU journalism grad among the bylines. Good to know a few of them have found employment... Saw my dad's best friend from high school who is now a screenwriter -- economy is bad for them too... Interviewed a professional matchmaker for my dating beat -- my favorite quote from her, regarding the difficulty in finding matches for babyboomer women: “If she was ever beautiful, she expects to be with a beautiful man. Even if she was only beautiful when she was in the 7th grade. And now she’s 55, and she’s lost her figure, and her face looks like it was run over by a truck.”

Stay tuned for San Francisco adventures.

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