Flying with Small Children – Benadryl or No Benadryl?

Sometime ago I got into a debate with a very good friend of mine who was a flight attendant at the time. She, rightly, was aggravated with loud, screaming, unruly children on flights she worked. She recommended that parents be more prepared with traveling with children and give them Benadryl to sedate them on long flights. At that time, I started a firestorm debate over whether this was ethical to misuse medication for convenience. I was a new parent when I started that firestorm and spoke from principle rather than experience.

Three and half years later, now a mother of two, who has traveled multiple trans-continental and international flights with infants and toddlers, including several as a solo parent, I’d like to elaborate more on my position.

See, my opinion is that there’s a time and place for drugs. Drugs are critical for precise medical situations and are life saving. They are very important and shouldn’t be disregarded. But beyond that, their use should be questioned.

When you use a drug designed for a specific medical purpose to exploit a side effect like sedating a child for a flight, what in essence are you achieving? What are you demonstrating to your kids by doing this? How is that different from sniffing white-out to get a high? When does this cross the border to recreational drug use?

In The Way to Happiness, L. Ron Hubbard discusses the subject of drugs in Precept 2.1 – Do Not Take Harmful Drugs:

People who take drugs do not always see the real world in front of them. They are not really there. On a highway, in casual contact, in a home, they can be very dangerous to you. People mistakenly believe they “feel better” or “act better” or are “only happy” when on drugs. This is just another delusion. Sooner or later the drugs will destroy them physically. Discourage people from taking drugs. When they are doing so, encourage them to seek help in getting off of them.

So you give a child Benadryl so they can be sedated, how are you affecting them mentally and physically? Is it Ok because it’s just here and there? When does it become not OK? These are rather philosophical questions that I think a new parent should deeply consider.

We all want the best for our kids. It’s these kinds of questions we should ask ourselves that help us make the best decisions so we can give them the best chances in life.

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Pink Ribbon Blues

October is a tough month for me.  I love October in California, both in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Los Angeles.  Having now lived in both cities for equal lengths of time, I’ve grown a greater appreciation for this state.  The weather is great, temperatures have cooled from the summer highs, Fall decorations are in the stores, Halloween is around the corner, followed very closely by the end of year holiday festivities.  October is what I view the month that beckons for cozy, quality, family and friends time.

But, October is also Breast Cancer Awareness month.  In addition to the usual Fall and Halloween merchandise, there are shelves dedicated to the Pink Ribbon.  On the consumer side, the Pink Ribbon is a wonderful marketing tool to raise funds for Breast Cancer Research.  On the personal side, I’m reminded of the friends and family I’ve lost and am losing.

Yesterday, I heard news that a very close friend of mine will not win her fight.  This is the third recurrence of Breast Cancer, and all the previous remedies and treatments that worked in the past didn’t work this time around.  She’s in the hospital going in and out of consciousness, so we don’t know how much time is left.  My heart just aches for her and her family.

I’ve lost count of the number of friends and family lost to cancer.  I’ve been fortunate to have religion in my life to get through these tough times.  As a child, I was raise both Buddhist and Christian.  Today I practice the religion of Scientology while maintaining my Buddhist and Christian upbringing.  Without these deep-rooted faiths in spirituality, I can’t image where I’d be emotionally and mentally.

Nonetheless, cancer is simply a terrible disease and I feel takes too many lives too soon.  I want to see a cure.

Why did I get a Microsoft Surface?

For the longest time I’ve wanted a tablet that would be a fully functional desktop replacement.  Back when the Toshiba Portege was around, I marveled at the idea of a laptop that doubled as a tablet.  It was a great idea, but clunky. The stylus and touch mechanisms weren’t very smooth, and back then they were clearly early market versions that didn’t quite reach a polished product.

When the iPhone released, I like everyone, loved the touch screen, but I also immediately thought, “Wow. Wouldn’t it be great to make that whole screen a tablet that ran a full OS?”  My dream was coming closer to reality.

Along comes the iPad. Well, I was really excited. And, equally disappointed when I heard it only ran iOS.  Why hasn’t anyone developed a touch screen laptop replacement?

So, when the Surface was released, I was stoked.  But then came the bad reviews.  I mulled this over for several months.  Then in May, Zack finally convinced me to just get it.  Even with the bad battery life, the baby eco-system, the buggy Windows 8 OS, I can finally grasp and hold a tablet style laptop replacement.  And he was right.

I waited almost 7 years for this.  Go get it.  And so I did.  And I haven’t regretted it since.

Moving In

In two days will be the three week mark we will have moved into our new rental unit in Sylmar, California to be closer to our Los Angeles based family and to allow our children to attend Delphi Academy of Los Angeles.

With our main essentials unpacked, kids settled in school and daycare, and this being the start of a new chapter in our lives, I thought it would be a great time to start a blog about this.

Welcome.