Author: Kate Hanley

When My Perfect Dinner Caused a Nervous Breakdown

I believe I have suffered two nervous breakdowns in my life. The first was the day my mom dropped me off at college. You mean I’m staying here?!? The thought of that much freedom, that far from home, made me woozy. My more recent breakdown came in the weeks after my second child was born. You mean we have to keep them BOTH alive? Somehow the responsibility didn’t feel like it had doubled — it had exploded into millions of tiny needs, each of which was wriggling away from me no matter how hard I tried to contain them, like the magic green seeds in James and the Giant Peach. I know we actually had it very good. I had an involved husband who wanted to help out. We had money to hire a sitter. Both kids were healthy. It’s just that it felt like there was so very much to do, all of it essential. Breastfeeding. And naps. And vaccinations that I wanted to space out so as not to expose either of my …

When Having a Colonoscopy Feels Like a Vacation

Don’t get me wrong. I was dreading my colonoscopy, for obvious reasons. But in the back of my mind I kept thinking, “How bad could it be? Katie Couric had one done on national TV! Although I am seven years shy of the recommended age of 50 for getting a baseline colonoscopy, I scheduled the procedure for two reasons. One, I have a family history of rogue colon cells, and two, my college BFF was recently diagnosed with stage II colon cancer. (She now has a clean bill of health, I’m so happy to report.) So I took my cues from the universe — and my mother’s GI doctor — and made an appointment for a Friday in mid-August. [pullquote]Mom said she’d make me some Jello and that she’d just bought the second season of Homeland on DVD. Call me crazy, but it sounded a little bit like heaven.[/pullquote] It’s true — on a day when most Americans had planned either a vacation or at least a long weekend at the beach, I opted for …