From the Mommy Files…

Archive for the ‘Moms’ Category

Hey there! How’s it going?

Yesterday was the last day of school. Like you, I’ve been mired in all the end-of-the-year events, shopping for teacher gifts, etc. Plus, I’ve been working on an exciting new project, which I will share with you soon. I didn’t want you to think I had succumbed to a new malady, so I thought I’d better check in! 😉

Boo and Bebs enjoying the beach on California's Central Coast.

Boo and Bebs enjoying the beach on California’s Central Coast.

 

Like you, I like to read blogs. (Thanks for reading this one!) Some posts really resonate with me, and I share them on Facebook or Twitter. I thought it would be fun to share them here with you.

Here are my 3 favorite posts from this past week.

1. Saying These 8 Things To Your Kid Every Day Could Change Their Life

I came across this on Facebook, from The Breast Cancer Site. It really hit home. Recently, I have experienced a mindshift in my parenting. I’d been reciting mantras, reading affirmations, trying to motivate, inspire, uplift myself — and boost my confidence. I realized my kids needed this too. These are some great tips to help your kids feel good about themselves, gain confidence, security, and courage.

2. To Build (or Break) a Child’s Spirit

This one comes from Huffington Post Love Matters, by Rachel Macy Stafford. This post reminds us that what we say and how we say it can have a profound impact on our kids. We do get frustrated. Absolutely. No one likes to be yelled at — not even us. We aren’t bad people. Sometimes we make bad choices, and make mistakes, but that doesn’t make us bad people. We have to find ways to turn these incidents into lessons of what not to do, and how to do better. Even something as simple as spilling milk — I know, even when it’s the 100th time — can get our goat. I’ve realized that we need to be positive and use these as teaching moments. We can make they feel awful, or we can teach them that mistakes happen, and remind them they are loved, and they can do better. Sometimes easier said than done, but we all need the reminder sometimes.

Now something just for fun! 😉

3. Bohemian Momsody

This one’s from Scary Mommy. If you don’t subscribe to Scary Mommy, go now and do it! There’s some great stuff there, and some chuckles too. I’m sure we have all felt like this at one time or another. Enjoy!

What are some of your favorite posts this week? What are some of the other blogs that you follow?

Yes, you, Mom. I’m talking to you.

You need to make investments in you each and every day. You’re worth it, and you deserve it.

Now, I’m not talking about shopping sprees (you’re welcome, husbands). And I’m not talking about financial stuff. I’ll leave that to the Dave Ramseys of the world. I’m talking about doing things for YOURSELF. Every. Single. Day.

Like all moms, I always put myself last. And I felt awful—physically, emotionally. I wasn’t at my best. This is a tough concept for us moms to comprehend. My holistic health coach Roula at MyHealthySoma showed me how I could make space for it in my life, and why it was so important to my well-being, and that of my family

Right about now, you’re thinking, “There isn’t enough time,” or “It sounds so selfish.” You do have some time each day. And it’s not being selfish. On the contrary, this not only helps you but also helps your family. All these small investments add up to THE BEST YOU EVER. And you know what that means? It makes you a better wife, a better parent, a better daughter, a better friend, etc. Isn’t that worth it?

taking time for yourself (2)

Here are some ways you can invest in yourself every day:

    • Get physical. Feeling sluggish? Can’t get through the day without a double espresso? Your body and mind need exercise to be at their peak. Think you can’t fit it in? Here’s how: Get up a little earlier, go walking or biking. Kill two birds with one stone, and ride your bike or walk to run errands. Bonus: You can shop local and support small businesses. After the kids head off to school, hit the gym. Get it out of the way in the morning so there are no excuses. Take a walk in the evenings after dinner. The whole family can do this together, too. A little every day makes you stronger. The benefits are far-reaching. We’re talking about your health. Exercise goes a long way in stress reduction, too. You’ll get fit, your mind will be clear, and your energy level will soar. Double bonus: You will feel better about you.
  • Rethink food. I don’t use the word diet, because the word has been corrupted to mean a deprivation in order to lose weight. We’re talking lifestyle here. Eat healthier, work in organics, and take the time to think about what you’re cooking and eating. Eat more fruits and veggies, add some probiotics, drink more water, skip the sugar and soda. Cook healthier meals. Small changes every day. You and your family will reap the benefits. Bonus: You’ll probably shed a few pounds too. And that always makes us feel good!
  • Read. Reading provides an escape from reality, taking you on a journey in your mind. Read books on productivity, something you wish to learn. I like to read while I’m walking on the treadmill, and also before bedtime. No electronics at bedtime! Your mind won’t be able to shut down. So get out that printed book or magazine! Even if you read for 10-15 minutes a day, you do this for you, and invest in your personal growth. Bonus: You feed your brain and keep your mind sharp.
  • Have a girls’ night. Yes. That means put on something stylish, some makeup, and get out of the house, away from your family. You need a break. You need adult conversation, and some girl talk. You must maintain your friendships. This rejuvenates you, and sends you home happier, less stressed. Enjoy a cocktail, but don’t go crazy. That’ll become an expense and not an investment. Bonus: You had fun and spent some time nurturing your friendships. We need them.
  • Transform your bedtime ritual. While you’re washing your face and brushing your teeth, turn on some soothing music. It will help to get you begin to relax. Maybe you put lotion on your hands and feet, or use essential oils. This is a great time to do it, and wind down. Read, pray, calm your mind. Make a to-do list for tomorrow and get it out of your head. Bonus: This pays you in sleep dividends. Another bonus: Well-rested moms are happier and more accomplished.
  • Practice gratitude: Do this every day. I start my day thanking God for giving me another day. After I say my prayers at bedtime, I thank God for all my blessings. It may seem tough when you start, but once you get going, you will be surprised how this flows. You realize you have more blessings that you thought. It gives you perspective. Bonus: You realize you really are rich, in the most meaningful way.
  • Start with positive thoughts. After I thank God for allowing me to wake up, I repeat some mantras. I say them for myself and my family. I start with me. It could be something as simple as, “I’m going to have a great day!” or “I’m going to complete my to-do list today!” I check in on my girls as they sleep. I whisper to them, “You’re going to have a great day,” “You’re going to ace the test!” or something like that. Then one for my husband: “You’re going to close that deal today!” or “You’ll make strides toward closing it!” Bonus: You’ve added to everyone’s balance. Another bonus: You set ta positive tone for the day.
  • Be an early bird. Whether you use this time to work out, read, plan your day, reflect, write—whatever – this is your time. Everyone is asleep. No one’s calling or you to do something. This is the perfect time to add to your account. Bonus: So much is accomplished in these uninterrupted moments.
  • Get a hobby. Is there something you enjoy doing? It’s always fun and enriching to do something creative, and having that outlet makes for a better you. This can be done with the family, too. Bonus: You develop or hone a skill, and have fun. You are enriched.
  • Chase a dream. Just because you are a wife and/or a mom, doesn’t mean you have to give up your dreams. Want to be an artist? Writer? Crafter? Want to help people? Do it! You can do this during that uninterrupted time in the morning (or when everyone’s asleep, if you’re a night owl. You know yourself best.) Bonus: A sense of accomplishment, confidence, and enhanced self-worth. Double bonus: You set an example or your kids, about working hard to make dreams come true and achieve goals.
  • That’s just a start. Trade a coffee for a cup of decaf tea. Meet a friend for a coffee or lunch. Occasionally DO get a mani/pedi, or a facial or massage. You will feel like a new person. You are worth it! A zillion times bonus: You look good AND feel good.

Small investments in you each day = happy you AND happy family. Remember, you set the tone for your family. They play off you and your attitude. Model happiness and joy for your family. Your investment in you benefits the ENTIRE family. You owe it to yourself – and your family!

~

How do you invest in you? If you aren’t why not? What can you do today to make your first deposit? Share your thoughts in the comments.

The day after we scheduled the biopsy, I walked around in a funk.

Do I have cancer, again?

I just got the all-clear in January: my vertebral artery dissection was healed. With my last chemo treatment 4 years behind me, and feeling really good, for the first time in nearly 5 years I am healthy. So, why? Why now?

Many thoughts raced through my mind. What about the kids? How would they handle it? Who would make their lunches and help with homework and take them to school? How would my husband handle this? Why can’t I just be healthy? I’d been healthy my entire life, until molar pregnancy ripped the rug out from under me, and caused a chain reaction of maladies that would impact every facet of my life and my family’s. I thought we were past this. So why? Why now?

I called a friend, who’s a nurse. She gave me a dose of tough love.

“It’s going to be fine. It’s probably nothing. I had the same thing happen years ago. It was nothing, and I’m fine. You’re going to be fine too. Stop worrying and get on with it.”

Get on with what? Life? Writing? Planning our summer vacation? All those things I’d put on hold until I had some concrete evidence – cancer or no cancer – because that would change everything.

She offered to accompany me to my appointment, for moral support. At that moment I felt like she was being insensitive. I was in despair; I called for comfort. I didn’t realize this until the next day. I was so grateful for that call. I’m glad she didn’t offer sympathy, or even pity. It was time to get on with life. I got a kick in the ass, and I’m so glad she did it. Why was I sitting around feeling sorry for myself? I’m fine. Everything’s fine. It’s time to get off my ass and do the things I have been putting off – planning that vacation, launching my website, enjoying my time off with my girls. Enough with the pity party. I prayed. And prayed. To God, to the Virgin Mary, to St. Nectarios (patron saint of cancer patients), to my deceased mother-in-law (who died from cancer nearly 10 years ago), to our angel baby. And then I prayed some more. And then it hit me.

Even if it is cancer, there is no time for feeling sorry for myself. So I went about my life, didn’t think about it, started writing, making plans, “getting on with it.” I also called my friend and told her I would appreciate if she’d accompany me to the appointment. I needed the support.

As the days went on, I reverted to old ways – I have this thing about bothering people and asking them for help. So I spent 2 days trying to convince her not to go with me. Lucky for me, she saw right through it.

Two days before, a mom I knew posted on Facebook. “I was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, and tomorrow I’m having surgery. I demand that you all go get your boobs checked. I had no symptoms. Do it. Don’t wait.” I sent her a private message. I wished her well, and shared my story. She couldn’t believe it. We cheered each other on. That morning, I posted an image of St. Nectarios on Facebook, asking him to pray for her. The prayer chain began. I stalked Facebook the entire day for news about her surgery. Finally, she posted, and she was OK. Thank God! Surgery went well. She would eagerly await my news. I prayed for both of us.

Tuesday. I shopped, cleaned, did laundry, prepared meals. I didn’t want to have to worry about it later, and I didn’t know what would happen next, but I felt better knowing it was done.

My appointment was downtown at 2:00 pm. With traffic and limited parking at the hospital, we left 1-1/2 hours early. My friend is sharp. She told me I had to drive, because she had to leave her SUV for her husband to drive kids around, and she didn’t feel comfortable driving his new car. So I drove, and the conversation was about everything but my impending biopsy. Thank God for her!

We arrived pretty early, parked, and made our way to the hospital. We approached the security desk. “4th floor please,” and the attendant handed us guest badges. “I really hate the 4th floor,” I told my friend. “After today, I’m not coming back. This is my last trip to that damned floor.”

biopsy (2)

I was starting to get a little nervous, but was able to contain it. We checked in. Within 5 minutes, I was called to Registration and after signing consent forms, I was on my way. It was 1:45 pm. They told me to expect to be there 2-3 hours because they never run on time. Here they were running early. I was glad. To me, it was a good sign. It would save me some trepidation for what was to come, and get me home sooner.

Same routine: Go through the door and wait for the volunteer. Volunteer arrives, gives instructions, takes you to the dressing room, gives you a lovely green gown. Wait! It’s beige with stripes. Woo hoo! I’m liking the diversity. I take it as another good sign. After changing, I go to the waiting room. Quick! Quick! I’d just taken out my Kindle and started reading when they called me. Deep breath.

A nurse took me to a small room to explain the procedure. I asked some questions. Then the radiologist came in. She asked me if I had any further questions. I pulled out my handy list, printed from Cancer.org

“Hey, you’re prepared! I like that!” the doctor said. “I wish more people wrote their questions down, because once they’re here, anxiety takes over, and they forget to ask, or don’t write down responses, and forget what we discussed.” “I know,” I said. I spent a lot of time on the other side of this floor, and I learned quickly that you have to be prepared, and to take notes. “You’re a pro!” she said. “Will there be a scar?” I asked. She took out a pen. “I will make an incision like this,” and she drew a line :__________. “There is a chance for scarring, but more than likely, you will just have a bruise, because any time you break the skin, you will bruise.” Great. I bruise VERY easily. This should look lovely. “The nurse will come to get you in a minute to take you to the ultrasound room.”

There, I had to partially undress, and lie down on the table. Turn onto your left side, let’s put this pillow under you. Raise your arm above your head. Let’s put this rolled up towel under your arm for comfort.

We’ll give you a local anesthetic to numb the area. You will feel some burning. Then we’ll insert the instrument to extract the tissue. You will hear a clicking sound. Let me show you what it looks and sounds like.

The tech proceeded to show me a device that reminded me of those lighters that you hold a button and click and it lights at the end of the wand. Then she demonstrated the clicking. It startled me. She then said she’d go get the nurse and the radiologist and we’d get started. She left the room. I made the sign of the cross and I prayed. And prayed again. I’m Ok. Let’s get on with it. Deep breath.

The trio returned and the doctor advised she’d check the area with the ultrasound wand for accuracy. The screen was positioned so I couldn’t see. Maybe that’s better. I didn’t know what I was looking at anyway. She found the spot. “11 o’clock, 8 cm from the nipple,” she told the nurse, who scribbled some notes. And the doctor drew on the spot with a marker. “We’re ready to go.”

The anesthetic came with a long needle. I tried to block that from my mind. The needle went in – not so bad – but then it felt like she put in a needle with teeth—tiny saw-like teeth cutting away into my breast. It didn’t feel like burning, it felt like cutting. I prayed. Then the tears came streaming down my face; I couldn’t contain it. I was in full cry-mode. “I’m sorry,” the doctor said. “This won’t take too long.” Again, I thought of my kids. We can’t go through this again. I can’t. What will we do? We can’t do this again. We won’t.

The clicking instrument now bore a long, silver “stick” resembling a flat, thin screwdriver. The radiologist inserted it, there was a beep, the click, and another beep. She’d hand it to the nurse, who’d put the sample on the tray and hand it back. We’d repeat this 4 more times. All the while, the ultrasound tech was monitoring.

Once the tissue extractions were complete, a small titanium marker was implanted at the site. This marker would delineate a point to check carefully in each subsequent mammogram. Steri-strips closed the incision. Then it was time to visit “The Crusher “, again. Yup. They had to verify that the marker was placed correctly and was stable.

Step forward, lean in, turn your head, hold your other breast away. I have to pull this really tight, sorry. Take a deep breath, don’t move. Beep, beep. Ok, let’s do the side view. Sorry it will have to be a little tighter, as tight as I can get it. Lean in, deep breath, now don’t move. Beep, beep.

She checked the images, and we were done. Then she applied some gauze and tape, and advised me to leave it on for 24 hours, then remove it, but keep the Steri-strips in place for 4 days. Guess she didn’t want me to view the wound. They’d call me with results the next day at 4 pm. Go home, rest, no lifting, no exertion, take it easy. Page the doctor if anything unusual happens.

I quickly got dressed and went to meet my friend. I felt like I was walking in a fog. I was in another reality. What was happening to me? Who was I? I’m not a cancer patient! I’m a mom, a wife, a daughter, a friend, a writer. I’ll be damned if I surrender to this bullshit again. I still felt weird, as if I was straddling this world and another, waiting to learn my fate. We walked out the door, and I noticed the clock. 2:45. It took exactly one hour. Why did it feel like 5?

Check back later this week for Part 2.

The next morning I got that message. The one we dread.

Huh?

I called. “Can you come on Tuesday?” I tried to keep it in perspective, since I was warned that I’d likely get the call. “Tuesday’s 3 days from now,” I thought. Perspective. I set the appointment, telling myself I’m OK.

Over the next few days, I’d remind myself repeatedly, that it was a formality; I’m OK. I even tried visualization: The doctor says, “We had to double check, because we don’t have any comparison images. Everything’s fine. See you next year.”

That morning, my husband and I discussed the day’s events. “Last week was the “Panini Treatment.’ Today, ‘The Crusher!’” I said, in my most sinister sounding voice. I thought he’d laugh, but he gave me a bewildered look. “Glad you’re keeping a sense of humor,” he responded. Do I have a choice?

I got the kids off to school and headed downtown. I approached the women’s hospital and thought, “I really hate this place!” This is the same place I went for my D&C, and chemo. I reminded myself that my younger daughter was born there. I walked inside, and remembered waiting with my husband by the front windows for the tour of the then-new hospital. Smile.

Then there was that familiar feeling: “Here I am again on the damned 4th floor!” I gazed to the right—the cancer center—where I’d spent so much time a few years before. I’m OK. I’m OK.

This time it was a left turn. The sign greeted me: “Diagnostic Mammography/Breast Ultrasound.” Couldn’t miss the big sign on the back wall: Lynn Sage Comprehensive Cancer Center. Deep breath. I’m OK. A volunteer greeted me and showed me the changing room. Ahhh, the lovely green ensemble. This one had a different print. How chic! NOT.Imaging Sign

“You brought a book!” the volunteer said. “You’ve been told how things work here.” “No,” I responded. “I spent a lot of time on the other side of this floor. I know how it goes.” She looked puzzled, but then gave me instructions.

I waited with 2 other ladies, all in lovely green gowns with different patterns. No one spoke. We all waited. One lady was called for her test. The other was told she would need an ultrasound for verification. No one made eye contact. Everyone seemed to do their best to keep calm. I opened my book, but then took out my notepad instead. I wrote: We just had to double check, because we don’t have any comparison images. Everything is fine. See you next year for your regular mammogram. I recited the mantra over and over. Everything is fine. It HAS to be.

Then it was my turn. “Microcalcifications,” the tech explained, showing me the original mammogram. “We don’t know why women get them, but usually they’re harmless. Oh, and it has nothing to do with how much calcium you get in your diet.” She also informed me that 1 in 4 women are summoned for further imaging, and of those, 75% are first-timers—meaning it’s the baseline mammogram, and they require additional imaging to see all angles so they have images to compare in the future, and also to get a closer look at anything suspicious. Both breasts were to be imaged, because both had these pesky, tiny “white” calcium spots. Again, I’m one of the “Chosen Few.” I’ve already been one, twice already. Enough.

Disrobe. Approach the torture machine. Be twisted, flattened (even more so than the last time).

I think she took four images on each side. She interchanged different pieces of the machine, then mushed and crushed, and basically put my breasts in a vice. “The Crusher” for sure.

Deep breath, hold it and don’t move. OK. Step back. Now come straight in, hold the other breast away, lean in, sorry I have to make this really tight…

The images would be viewed by the radiologist, and then they’d discuss them with me. I would leave with results! I was escorted back to the waiting room. Woman #1 was back, and was soon called to be told she needed ultrasound. A new woman was in there waiting. Was it the same routine for all?

Twenty minutes later, a new tech came, calling my name. “Come with me. We’re going for ultrasound.” She showed me the images, and told me they needed a closer look at several areas. As I lay on the table, arm behind my head, all I could think of, was “I hope my pits don’t stink too bad!” No deodorant is allowed day, as on the imaging, it can resemble something daunting.

I watched the screen. I was curious. I’d watched all the ultrasounds I had with my pregnancies – even the molar pregnancy. But these images were foreign. She clicked, measured, moved around. I don’t know how to read all the abbreviations on the screen, but it sure added to my anxiety level. At one point, I thought I saw a face, formed by things in the scan. I’ve seen this face before — in the ultrasound where we first suspected the molar pregnancy. I was sure my eyes were playing tricks on me.

“The radiologist is waiting. Just stay here and try to relax. Likely, she’ll want to come and double check.” A few minutes later, the tech and the radiologist entered the room. “The microcalcifications are nothing to be concerned about,” the radiologist said, and gave me the “baseline speech.” Phew! I’m in the clear!

Not so fast!

“This is the area that I wanted another set of eyes,” the tech said, pointing to the right side of my right breast. Using the ultrasound wand, the radiologist scanned. I didn’t know what she was looking for, as she click-clicked to capture images and measure things.

Then the other shoe dropped.

“It may likely be just an unusual convergence of the ducts, but something looks suspicious. I can’t really tell by the ultrasound. You have two options: scan again in 6 months, which I don’t recommend, or biopsy,” the radiologist explained.

Are you kidding me?

“It may be nothing. The only way we’ll know is to check. It’s small. We need to know what’s in there, and we can’t wait. Let’s do a biopsy.”

“Now?!” I murmured, trying not to freak out.

“We can’t do it today. Our scheduler will schedule it for the next few days. Let’s not wait.”

I walked the long hallway back to the changing room. It felt like the last mile. What just happened here? This can’t be happening. Slightly numb and feeling sick to my stomach, I changed and waited for the scheduler.

She wanted me to come back tomorrow. No-can-do. “OK, come back Tuesday at 2 pm. Arrive at 1:45, and plan to stay 2-3 hours. We never run on time.”

I have to wait a week until the biopsy. One week of all kinds of things running through my mind. One week of agonizing over the possibility of throwing my kids’ lives into chaos – again. As I drove home, I prayed. I asked God. “Am I missing something?” “Am I not grateful enough?” “Am I not doing something fast enough, and you’re trying to light a fire under me?” There’s a reason here. I just kept thinking about my kids—I don’t want them to suffer through another malady.

Now, I wonder: For a baseline, why aren’t women brought in for the full gamut of images from the start, instead of scaring the beejeezus out them by summoning them for further imaging? That would make sense, but nothing makes sense in the world of medicine and insurance.

Have you ever been summoned for further testing? Have you ever had to ponder the what-ifs of a life-changing or threatening illness? How did you react? Have you ever had a biopsy that showed everything was fine? Do share in the comments below.

I’m not talking about lunch.

If you’re over 40, you know what I’m talking about.

MAMMOGRAM.

I hadn’t had one yet, even though I’m over 40. With all my health issues, I think my doctors thought I was being monitored closely, and if anything were going on, it would show up in the CT scan and x-rays I had prior to beginning the chemo resulting from the malignancy of the molar pregnancy, and then later the many MRIs and MRAs I’ve had to have over the last 2 years due to the vertebral artery dissection.

In December, I went for my annual check-up. You know, the glorious visit with the gyne, in which you count the seconds until it’s over? My doctor asked, “When was your last mammogram?” “Never,” I reminded him. “Well, you’re overdue!” he said, and wrote the order.

Fast forward to the night before the appointment. As my husband and I discussed the events of the following morning, I informed him that I was going for a mammogram.

“Ah, the old ‘Panini Treatment!’” he joked.mammo

We’ve all heard the stories of having your breasts flattened like a pancake and squeezed like an orange. I couldn’t imagine.

Now, you will survive this, like every other unpleasant exam. And early detection saves lives! It’s pretty quick. You may have red marks from the machine. Some who are very sensitive will actually bruise. But one thing is for sure. It hurts.

I once compared a breast pump to a Chinese torture device. But let me tell ya, the pump’s got nothing on a mammogram machine. Yowsa!

You get one of those fashion-forward green gowns, and are told to undress from the waist up. Then you get to show off your lovely new outfit in the waiting room until your name is called. The tech explains what will happen, even makes small talk to distract you. Then it comes. You must disrobe in front of this stranger, and stand there with your boobs hanging out. Literally. Talk about feeling vulnerable.

So as your breasts are squished and manipulated into this machine, here comes the “pancake maneuver” —  it pushes down to flatten you out. This compression allows for a better picture of the breast. Fortunately, you only have to hold this pose – and your breath – for a few seconds. It feels like an eternity, but then it’s over. But wait! You have to do the other side! And then there’s the side view – both sides! And if your bones are “high up”, the technician will press on them, to move them out of the way.

The things we have to go through!

While I put on the lovely green ensemble and prepare to be dismissed, the tech asked me if I wanted to see the images. So we had a look. Interesting.

Then came the warning: first time screens many times are called in for a follow-up screen. Huh? Apparently, there are some false readings and since this is the baseline and there are no previous images to compare, many women receive a letter or a call (scaring the crap out of them), summoning them for further imaging.

So I likely will have to repeat this little adventure in the next couple of weeks? Ugghh.

That breast pump is looking more fun right now!

And I shudder to think that I will have repeat this experience regularly for the rest of my life.

As I prepared to leave, the tech reminded me that this will be a regular occurrence, and explained that it will get easier. “Right now you have nice, firm breasts. As you get older, they will be less firm, more jiggly, and it won’t hurt so much.” Like that’s supposed to be something to look forward to? Well, at least I have that going for me right now – nice and firm. LOL

And if the men want to poke fun at this humiliating, uncomfortable and often painful experience, I invite them to envision the same type of machine used to scan their body parts for cancer. Then they may change their minds! He he

A hint for the men: do not tease women about these diagnostic checks. We are submitted regularly to basically being violated in the name of health. And there is no dinner or drinks before, or a cigarette after.

Now excuse me while I get the ice pack.

Have you had a mammogram yet? How was your experience?

 

Been away for a while dealing with my elderly parents. I’ll update you on their situation another time. So much has happened.

 

Let’s shift back to those small beings living in our home…our kids. 😉

 

Bebs is home sick today.

 

Again.

 

On Monday, I heard about this stomach bug that lasted a day, causing vomiting.

I thought, “Phew. Dodged that one!”

 

Spoke to soon.

 

We were up all  Tuesday night.sick_clipart

Just when you think you’re done changing the bed linens for the night…

You know what I’m talking about!

Bebs stayed home from school on Wednesday.

 

Uggh!  I had things to do!

 

 

I’ve got a very full schedule, and not including pick up/drop off, I have about 5 hours, 5 days a week without kids to accomplish it.

I’m singing your song, yes?

 

You’re worried, feel awful for your sick child, and you tend to him/her.

 

But what about the other stuff?

 

I began complaining about all the things that wouldn’t get done that day.

 

You too?

 

Well, there’s my trip to the gym.

I have health issues, and this helps me keep those in check, not to mention it curbs stress, improves my mood, and gives me a sense of “Yeah! I did this just for me!”

I also use that time to read.

Scratch that from the list.

 

Then there’s the grocery shopping, and errands.

 

Oh yeah, I was planning to write.

 

And there is, well, that part-time job.

The one that helps me to celebrate my Greek heritage and culture every day; keeps me involved in the community; gets me published regularly; has been responsible for great learning; offered me the opportunity to meet some really great people (including a mentor!); and, well, I’ve garnered some fans along the way, and their praise and encouragement feeds my ego, and eases my writer’s doubt. It’s more than a job to me.

 

Then there’s volunteering. These days, we must be involved in our kids’ schools.

We have to know who’s in the schools, what they’re doing, and well, if we want activities for our kids, we have to be there to organize and work them – you know. We must also be the teachers’ partners in our kids’ education.

My girls go to two different schools. And Boo attends Greek school on Saturdays.

That’s three schools/PTAs requesting my time.

And I serve on a school board.

You know those days when you have to call and cancel out on something because your child is sick, and it just happens to be the day that everyone else is canceling for the same reason? Yes. We feel guilty when that happens.

 

I’m doing a lot of things, but they’re all very important to me and I make the time for them.

Except on days when I have a sick child at home.

 

NOW WHAT?

 

Most of the to-do list doesn’t get done, and it makes me stressed, and I’ve lost my sense of accomplishment for the day.

Those little things like checking off parts of your to-do list go a long way.

 

I started to complain, and then I stopped myself.

 

I pulled out the to-do list.  to do list (4)

 

Time to re-work it.

 

What could I accomplish with my child home?

Is there anything on tomorrow’s list that I could do at home, and shift some of the other stuff to tomorrow?

 

As my daughter slept, I took the opportunity to write.

 

I made some phone calls, did some work.

 

CHECK. CHECK. CHECK.

 

Then I switched to some household tasks.

– Planned dinners, made the shopping list.

— Cleaned out a cabinet, then started to file some papers.

Those were much lower on the list, but I’m here, can’t go out, so might as well.

 

I couldn’t get to the store that day, so I had to plan something else for dinner with what we had.

 

No gym.

– Watched what and how much I ate that day.

–  Since I was stuck in the house, I made a few more trips up and down the stairs for good measure.

 

I moved my “outside” tasks to the next day.

 

When Thursday rolled around, I got up a little earlier.

– I took care of my writerly tasks before the family woke up.

– I took the kids to school, got that workout in right away – and did a little extra.

– Work

– Volunteered at Boo’s school

– Attacked those errands that I couldn’t do

 

Then it was time for pick up.

 

I actually thought I had caught up from the sick day, and was ready to attack today.

 

GUESS AGAIN!

 

I got up at 5 (These are Golden Hours. I do whatever I want!). Wrote. Answered emails.

 

Then it was time to get ready for school.

 

Boo went to school.

 

Bebs didn’t feel well. Slight fever, lethargic.

 

Staying home…again.

 

As I began stressing about all the things I’d have to give up today, I stopped.

 

Time to re-work the schedule…again!

 

– Fortunately, I checked several things off the list this am.

– Gym? Nope. Extended workout on Monday.

– Lunch with a friend? Raincheck.

– Grocery shopping? Will have to wait until the evening.

 

That frees up some time.

 

What’s on tomorrow’s list?

 

Oh yes.

Laundry. Cleaning.

Let’s go.

 

I’ll be so happy tomorrow. Then I can just play!

 

As winter approaches, we’re all going to have those days when our kids have to stay home from school, and it throws off our day(s).

Try to remember that it’s OK to re-work your schedule.

 

This is a great reminder to not put things off, because you don’t know what the rest of today – or tomorrow – will bring.

 

It’s a reminder to prioritize.

 

Remember that saying, “Man makes plans and God laughs?”

 

It’s so true.

 

Life is unpredictable.

 

We have enough stress. Don’t add to it.

 

Some ideas:

– Make sure you leave some flexibility in your day.

– Schedule the most important tasks early in the day so you’re sure to accomplish them.

– Don’t put off going to the gym until tomorrow, because who knows what the day will bring, and why feel awful that you let yourself down?

– Make that trip to the grocery store today, while you can.

– Don’t leave all the errands for one day a week. Do these throughout the week, when time presents itself.

 

Check these off the list!

 

Take a moment to remind yourself that you aren’t perfect, you are a mom (or a dad), and life is unpredictable.

 

You know what?

 

You’re a superhero already.

 

Know why?

 

Cause you are MOM. Or DAD.

 

Plain and simple.

 

Give yourself a break.

 

Don’t stress.

 

Now, back to my housecleaning.

Did you ever have one of those days – or weeks or even years – when you said to yourself, “I didn’t sign up for this crap!”

I think I’m the poster child!

Life seems to get more complicated by the day.

Can we start 2014 again?

I seem to have lost half a year!

Let me explain…

I started the year all fired up… hospital sign

I had a meeting with my editor to jump start the rewrite on my molar pregnancy book.

I had set some goals.

I was going to make things happen.

It was going to be my year.

Then reality set in.

My 5 year-old, who’d spent 3 days in the hospital in November for Encopresis, had begun seeing a psychologist to help her get over her refusal/fear/aversion to poop.

These sessions resulted in hours more work for me.

Driving an hour to the appointment, an hour there, an hour back.

Then there was the charts, and then coaching and cheering, and sourcing prizes and incentives.

I realized I was spending about 3 hours a day on this.

And I didn’t have 3 hours to spare.

I never thought I’d cheer for poop, sit so long in a bathroom trying to coax a poop out of my child.

It seemed we’d take one step forward, then five back.

Then I got a sinus infection.

My immune system has never been the same since chemo, and when I get sick, it knocks me on my rear, and for a long time.

There were days I could barely get out of bed.

To put breakfast on the table, make lunches and pack backpacks was a difficult thing.

My husband had to take the girls to school and pick them up – every day.

After three weeks, I went to the doctor. He decided it was something bacterial, and put me on pneumonia watch. Yikes.

Two different kinds of meds, and those ribs that I fractured a couple of years ago when I had a bad, enduring cough during chemo?

Those were sore again from the coughing.

It took about a month for me to recover.

Now you may know that my mother has had a lot of health issues, and we have been dealing with her refusing to take her meds, her growing meanness to my dad (the only reason she was not in a nursing home was because he put all his energies into caring for her, and waiting on her hand and foot, though it was never enough for her)

In the beginning of February, Mom was not feeling well.

We wondered if this was her way of bringing attention back to her (she’s done this before) following the death of my dad’s brother’s wife (my dad began calling Greece day and night, fearing his brother would soon follow his wife), and the issues with my little one.

I got a call from the nurse at her doctor’s office.

Mom had gone to see her.

I had no idea.

She had a UTI, and they were going to prescribe antibiotics.

I spoke to Mom, she said she didn’t go to the doctor because she thought she had a UTI, she just wanted to go.

OK, well, at least we found this infection.

She is a frequent flyer on the UTIs.

My guess was always poor hygiene, and a growing laziness to even get up out of her chair to use the bathroom.

Mom was always a difficult sort, and seemed to be her own worst enemy.

A few days into the antibiotic, she seemed to grow weaker.

My aunt—Mom’s sister—is a nurse, and lives a few minutes away from my parents.

She went to check on Mom and decided we should press the emergency alert button and summon an ambulance.

Mom couldn’t get up out of the chair.

She didn’t think she could make it to the door.

My mom seemed out of it.

When I got to the hospital, they were still running tests, working her up.

Finally, they told us her UTI had not responded to antibiotics.

Mom is allergic to many antibiotics and has grown resistant to others (since she takes them so much).

Her bladder was severely infected.

She’d have to be admitted, for some heavy duty antibiotics to be administered via IV.

We gathered her things to go up to her room.

As we got Mom out of bed, I noticed something I hadn’t noticed before.

Mom had lost a ton of weight.

Now we thought she’d lost a little; we could tell in her face.

Mom was well over 200 lbs, and she’s only 5’3”.

She could stand to lose some weight, but wow, she had lost quite a bit.

Once in the room, the nurse brought in a scale.

Mom was 157 lbs.

Not two months earlier, she tipped the scales at 215.

What was going on?

She never got out of her chair, and never changed out of her huge nightgowns, so how would we know?

Mom was almost lifeless.

She was incredibly weak, and they started her IV antibiotics.

The next day, they told us the antibiotics weren’t working.

There was no change.

They’d have to increase the dose and the duration.

Hopefully that would do the trick.

In the meantime, she begged and pleaded with Dad not to leave her alone.

She was scared, thought she was dying.

Dad never left her room that week.

A psychologist took us out in the hall to speak to us briefly, and Mom freaked out.

Dad barely ate.

I took him home a couple of times to shower and change, and he wanted to go right back.

Mom expressed to him that she was afraid she’d die, and didn’t want to die alone.

And then of course she threatened that if she were to die alone, she’d haunt him forever.

So what’s a man to do?

So here we are, mid-February:

I’m not 100% well yet.

I’m dragging the Bebs to the psychologist, being a “poopy” cheerleader.

Boo is feeling a bit neglected, acts up. Rare for her.

Then one night, while sitting on the toilet, between poop cheers, Bebs blurts out,

“Is YiaYia going to die?”

I guess I hadn’t thought much about it to that point.

“Will you lose your Mommy?” Boo asked.

Honestly, I lost my mommy a long time ago…but that’s another story for another time.

I guess it was really possible that her body was finally giving up.

The phone rang.

It was the urologist who I’d been chasing for days to get more info on her test results.

 The news was worse than I anticipated.

 


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 51 other followers

BooBoo BeDoux

Bebs LaRoux

frthemommyfiles

Latest Tweets

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

Content is registered and protected.

MyFreeCopyright.com Registered & Protected