Friday, January 27, 2012

Necessary Evils

I'm going to talk about bodily functions and body parts and all sorts of stuff your mother told you was not polite to talk about in public. But I'm going to do it anyway because it needs to be done, and sometimes, it really is humorous.  Because you have to laugh at what you have to put yourself through to be healthy...or else you'd cry...and never do it.

Women suffer the majority of human indignities all in the name of health.  Men do not.  I blame Eve.  After all, it was her big idea to eat the apple.  And lets talk about that for a moment shall we?  You give up your right to live in paradise for an apple?  Please. It wasn't even a chocolate covered apple for goodness sake.  I would give up nothing for an APPLE!'s chocolate or you get nothing from me.  Just ask my husband.

Thanks to Eve we women find ourselves with our feet in stirrups more than John Wayne.  And it's not even the childbirth that accounts for most of it.  I've birthed three children.  If I only had to use stirrups three times I'd be throwing a party right now.  No sir, it's those yearly checkups we all love so much.  There is such indignity in a pelvic exam.  Put your feet in stirrups and then show parts of yourself that no one else should see, to people you hardly know.  Who came up with this plan anyway?  I'm sure it was a man.  And then, if you've ever been lucky enough to have an internal ultrasound...well, I can't even begin to explain how much fun that is.

And then there's the mammogram.  You find yourself unclothed from the waist up in a room that is 30 degrees below freezing.  As if it wasn't awkward enough to have your breasts exposed to a person you don't even know, the girls are standing at attention the entire time, acting like they like the process.  And then they put stickers on them...great.  Next you are forced to have your breasts squished like chicken cutlets being prepared for dinner.  The thinner the better.  Ouch.  And if you are amply endowed, (meaning you are overweight, like me) you suffer the added indignity of the side shot.  Yes ma'am, we need to mammogram your fat too.  Lovely.

I have to add, get your prostate exams.  I can't write about what that's like because, well, I don't have a prostate.  I know it involves the doctor sticking his finger in your rectum...but you'll get over it.  Just remember that you never had to push anything the size of a football out of your penis.  That should make you feel better.

So, as if the yearly pelvic exam and breast squishing, and the prostate exams weren't humiliating enough, once you get to a certain age ( or you have a family history, like me) you have to suffer further indignities.  And I'm happy to say, this indignity is an equal opportunity humiliator.  Men and women alike must suffer the indignities of the dreaded...colonoscopy.  Yes ladies and gentlemen, I'm going to talk to you about your rectum. (And at this point, I know my mother has turned a full circle in her grave.)  So the worst thing about having a colonoscopy is not the procedure itself, but the prep.  That would be the bowel prep.  You start out the day before the procedure on a clear liquid diet.  Now, I don't know about you, but clear liquids don't do it for me, so by the time noon rolls around I'm pretty cranky, and then around dinner time it's time to start the prep.  So basically your starving to death and then you have to drink some crappy liquid that literally makes you crap.  Some people can take a pill or a small cocktail consisting of a cup or two of liquid, to get the ball (or bowels, as it were) rolling.  But if you are diabetic, like me, you aren't so lucky.  You must drink a gallon of the most weird liquid known to man.  It doesn't taste like anything but it has a you could use it to oil and lube your car.  Oh, and you have to drink 10 ounces every 15 minutes until it's gone.  That's 12 glasses people!  Around glass 5 you're sure you won't be able to drink anymore (but you have to)...and the solution begins to do it's magic.  Now, you are on the toilet for the remainder of the prep.  And this is where you find out just how much your significant other really loves you.  Because you are unable to stay off the toilet...they must bring you the lovely liquid so you can drink it while you are sitting on said toilet.  Humiliating.  Eventually the prep is finished and you wish you could relax but you are still starving and now your ass feels like it's on fire.  Squish my boobs any day.

The day of the procedure finally comes.  You are still starving and you just want it to be over with.  You'll be happy to know that you are basically asleep while they do the procedure, so you don't feel anything.  But it's at the moment right before you fall asleep that you remember that your more than ample rear end is going to be exposed to a room full of people you don't know.  And then, the doctor, whom you barely know, is going to stick a camera up your rectum.  Double lovely.  Before you know it, you're waking up in the recovery room and if you are lucky, like me, they tell you everything is A-OK.  So you suffered through the biggest indignity known to man and you came through with flying colors.  At that moment, when they tell you you are healthy, it's all worth it.

So, now I'm going to get serious on you.  Because this is the actual reason for this post.  Take care of your bodies.  Listen to what they tell you.  If you have symptoms that concern you, go to a doctor.  Don't be afraid that it might be nothing and you're wasting the doctor's time.  That's what they're there for.  And they love being able to tell people everything is OK.  Suffer the indignities of the pelvic exam, the mammogram, the prostate exam, the colonoscopy and any other tests you might need.  Because it means life, not death.  I lost both my parents to cancer.  My father to colon cancer, my mother to breast cancer.  I can't afford not to keep up on my yearly breast screenings and my colon screenings whenever my doctor tells me they are necessary.  The humiliation and indignity are necessary evils of staying healthy.  Because I care about you, I implore you to do these things so I don't have to lose anymore people to these insidious diseases.

And because I am asking this of you, I am going to make a promise to you.  I am basically a healthy person, but I have this awful weight issue which has caused me to have high blood pressure and diabetes.  I need to lose the weight so I can get off the meds and be completely healthy.  The weight is the key to it all.  So my promise to you in 2012 is that I AM going to lose the weight, get off the meds, and keep myself as healthy as I can.  In return, you can get your screenings done and stay healthy so I can keep you in my life.

Thanks for reading...and happy screenings to you all!

Quote of the Day:
"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure"  ~Ancient Proverb~

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Bliss of an Ordinary Day

I love ordinary days.  They are my favorite.  I love the simple things that make up an ordinary day: 

Waking up next to my husband...even when I detest waking the best start to any day.

A hot shower and some electricity to run my blow dryer. 

A car to drive to work...even when it's a car I despise. 

A commute buddy...even when we don't talk.

A job to go to...when so many others aren't lucky enough to have one.

A text from my youngest child....lets me know she's still alive and she still needs me...for something.

A bill to pay...and money to pay it...means I have the means.

A great book to read while I eat lunch.

A TV....even a 500lb non HD compatible TV...for watching my favorite shows.

A hook and some yarn to create something beautiful...or useful...or both.

A daughter who loves to cook dinner.

A few chores to make myself feel useful.

Going to sleep next to my husband...the best way to end a day.

I love an ordinary fuels my soul.

Quote for the Day:
"We can learn to rejoice in even the smallest blessings our life holds.  It is easy to miss our own good fortune; often happiness comes in ways we don't even notice...The ordinariness of our good fortune can make it hard to catch."     ~Pema Chodron~

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

New Year...Same Old Me

I have not gained a new me in the New Year.  Too bad.  I could use a new me.  This old me is just too disorganized.  I still don't have all of my Christmas stuff put away.  This despite having two three day weekends since Christmas.  I finally got my big tree down yesterday and my living room is basically back in order.  It feels good, until I look to my left and into the family room...where everything that is Christmas is piled everywhere.  Oh'll all get done in time, right?  At least that's what I keep telling myself.  I have many projects I want to get started on in this New Year.  None will happen until Christmas is packed away.  Maybe what I need isn't a new me...maybe I need more me's.  Too bad I couldn't have one me for every project I need to tackle.  That would be nice.  Oh, and a me that likes to cook...that would be awesome!

Speaking of cooking (great segue huh?)....Sarah and I will be doing our first mother/daughter blog this Friday.  We will be discussing the joy of cooking...well, Sarah will probably discuss the joy of cooking...I on the other hand...well you'll just have to tune in and find out :)

Hope everyone is having a good week!

Quote for the week:

"A place for everything, and everything in its place."  ~Isabella Mary Beeton~

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Today I Bought a Stove

Judging by last several posts I know you must be thinking that I have some weird obsession with appliances.  I can assure you...I do not (well, maybe with the refrigerator but that's all). 

Today I am inspired by Meg.  I read her blog religiously.  I love her.  She has a wonderful spirit, is crafty and just all around fun to read.  Today she inspired me to buy a stove.  It's called : 2 Years. 2 Stoves. 2 Friends.  Basically, it's been 2 years since the earthquake in Haiti.  They need these stoves to better their lives.  It only costs $20.  You should try to get 2 friends to follow your lead.  Go read Meg's blog, she explains it much better than I do and I'm sure you'll be inspired.

We all have so much more than we realize and when I watched the video on the donation made me think about how lucky I am to have three healthy children who don't have to eat over a wood burning stove.  I would love to help another mother accomplish that.  So, I bought a stove.  I hope you will too.

"Whatsoever you do to the least of my people, that you do unto me."
(Matthew 25:40)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Don't Turn Your Back on the TV

I have decided that appliances are passive aggresive.  At least mine are.  Instead of just asking nicely to go live somewhere else, they do sneaky things to make you get rid of them. 

My old washing machine for instance, decided to not stop filling up one morning as I lay in bed reading.  I went to check on the laundry an hour later and stepped into a hallway full of water.  Water which had run out the laundry room, through the garage, down the driveway and into the gutter...running away...ever so passively.  She was promptly replaced with a newer, happier model.  So far our relationship is good, but I don't turn my back for long.

My old refrigerator peed on my floor...constantly.  She has been replaced by this beauty.  She has already acted out once by eliminating ice onto the floor...we'll see how this relationship progresses.

Two nights ago I was happily watching my lovely flat screen TV. He and I have spent many enjoyable hours wasting time together, watching forensics shows, scary ghost stories and of course the Food Network.  I thought he was happy.  I left the room for no more than 3 minutes and when I returned...he had taken away the picture.  He left the sound but took away the picture.  I had no idea he was unhappy...all had been well until then.  Now I am watching an old, 500 lb, non HD compatible TV that was hibernating in my garage.  All I can say is, I hope he doesn't hold a grudge for being banished to the garage because I cannot afford to replace him right now. 

I'm going home now to make nice with my computer....

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Refrigerator Love

Happy New Year!  I know, I'm a little late, are you surprised?  You shouldn't be. 

Once upon a time I had a very nice refrigerator.  But like everything else I own (and me) it got old and decided to start leaking everywhere.  Yes, I leak, but that's a story for another post. 

(Excuse the mess in the kitchen...this was taken right in the middle of the great cookie debacle)
Over my Christmas vacation we bought a new refrigerator.  It's a thing of beauty and I am in love with it.  I never knew you could be in love with a household appliance before...wait...I take that back.  I was in love with my flat top stove when I first got it so much.  I mean I still like it and all ...but the love has faded.  I wonder if that will happen with my refrigerator...I hope not.  I could stand and look at it for hours.  The gleaming stainless steel finish (that matches nothing else in my kitchen, by the way) mesmerizes me.  It has French doors.  I've wanted French doors for a very long time...I just never knew that when I finally got them, they'd be on my refrigerator.  Oh well, a girl takes what she can get.  I swear the thing has mood lighting.  When I open the beautiful French doors I am not blinded by a naked bulb glaring from the back of the unit.  No, I am welcomed by a soothing, diffused, blue aura of light from above. It's almost heavenly.  I love it.  It also has filtered water and ice in the door.  I have now been able to rid my sink of the lovely filtering appendage that gets in the way of everything you try to do in the sink.  Another plus, another reason to love.  It has a huge bottom drawer freezer with another filtered ice maker.  This is important for someone who drinks a lot of ice water.  Heaven I tell you.  Sometimes I open the refrigerator just to look at the pretty inside...don't tell anyone, I'm sure you're not suppose to do that, but I can't help myself.  I am a slave to my Refrigerator Love.

I do have one issue with the new appliance, however.  I feel that if you spend an exorbitant amount of money on a state of the art appliance with a computer brain, there should be a sensor in the brain that says, "Your master has the freezer drawer open, don't drop the ice!".  But no, sadly, that is one feature this awesome silvery giant does not posses.  The other day I opened the freezer drawer to stare lovingly at rearrange the interior, only to be met with the sound of the ice crashing to the floor beneath.  Lovely.  In that moment, I lost a tiny bit of the love.

Can you put a refrigerator in time out?