Last week I mentioned that there was a project that I had been working on. Well, I can share it now! I had the privilege of being part of a video for Voices for the Voiceless that was released for World Down Syndrome Day! The video was posted to social media today and it shares various stories about the experience myself and other moms had upon learning that we would have a child with Down Syndrome. Sadly, many of us had a less than pleasant experience with medical professionals and faced people who suggested that we abort our precious babes. For the record, no mother should ever have to defend the value of her child’s life! I encourage you all to watch the video and feel free to ask me any questions. If you haven’t noticed I absolutely love sharing about Reese and our very special world. Also, tomorrow is World Down Syndrome Day and as you all know Reese is my hero! So we will be celebrating HUGE!
Well, I hope you all have a day where you love an EXTRAordinary human!!! https://youtu.be/okgcAn4uIEA
This morning after I drove Libs to school I had a brief moment to just sit. So I decided that I would SIT in bed. YES, I went back to bed with coffee in hand. I was like, WHY NOT?!?! I deserve a calm moment before I jump into my busy day. So I settled in and started going through my emails.
Now, I have to explain something before I go on. I always use a disposable lidded to-go cup on school mornings. I know they are wasteful but I’m in and out of the house so much and have to walk away from my coffee so frequently, that I found that they spare me from spills and drinking cold coffee. So, I use them.
Now, back to my morning. Engrossed in my emails, I took a sip of my coffee, and suddenly had a warm feeling between my … boobs. I was a little surprised, but GET THIS. I just assumed that I had drooled all over myself. DROOLED. Like that is something normal for me?!?! Not thinking anything of it I cleaned myself up and went back to my emails. When I went to take another sip of my coffee I reminded myself to be careful not to drool all over myself again. Because that is what you do when you are suddenly and spontaneously a new drool-er. But guess what?!?! It happened again, ONLY WORSE! It was like a coffee boob bath! This time I was a bit more concerned. WHAT is wrong with my face?!?! WHY can’t I get this coffee into my mouth like usual?!?! Have I COMPLETELY lost this ability?!?! And if I have, WHY?!?!
So, what do I do?
I begin to do a mini medical assessment. I feel around on my face. Am I numb? Do I have facial dropping? Yes folks, THIS is where I went with my thoughts. OY.
PERHAPS, the first thing I should have checked was the lid to my coffee cup … like a normal person. Ya know, to see if it popped off. LIKE IT HAD. No major medical crisis here. Just an unsecured lid and a coffee drinker with a wild imagination. Good Lordy.
Well, I hope you all have a day where you don’t panic for ABSOLUTELY no reason at all!!!
Does your stomach growl? Mine ALWAYS has. I remember being at a physical when I was 14 yeas old and having the doctor listen to my stomach sounds with his stethoscope. The look on his face was hysterical. He said, “Well, it certainly growls!” What’s even crazier is that I don’t have to be hungry. It just gurgles it’s loudness for no reason at all. And WHENEVER it wants. Some days are way worse than others. Like today. YIKES!
Well, I hope you all have a day where you don’t emit beastly sounds!!!
Happy World Meningitis Day everyone! Being that I’ve battled viral meningitis twice I wanted to encourage everyone to check out all the fact sheets out there on meningitis. There are two kinds, viral and bacterial. Both can have some pretty devastating side effects and outcomes. Being aware of causes and symptoms is so important! And probably the biggest thing I want everyone to walk away with today is to TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS and ACT FAST. I only had a headache the second time around. No fever or other symptoms, and all my labs were normal. But I remembered THAT headache from the first time I had it and insisted that medical staff continue running more tests. I even had an ER doc yell at me! But I refused to back down. I just knew I was sick again. And I was right! Thank God I am a social worker with lots of medical experience because with as severe as my encephalopathy was, had I not adamantly advocated for myself, I would be lucky to have survived without significant neurological issues. OR WORSE! So please take the time to read up on meningitis today. Tuck the information away in your memory, just in case.
Well, I hope you all have a day where you learn some pretty important stuff!!!
Wouldn’t it be great if every time we looked in the mirror we loved what we saw? And I don’t mean just our faces. I mean EVERYTHING physically.
Why do I ask this? I went to the dermatologist today. I love my dermatologist but I absolutely hate that appointment. Probably more than any other doctor’s appointment I drag myself to. My dad died of melanoma and I have a lot of sun damage from sunburns I had as a child. These have lead to years of freezings (OUCH) and one biopsy (HOLY OUCH). On top of all of that you strip down to your undies and for about 30 minutes you get to search your entire body for all of your skin flaws. FUN … NOT.
Needless to say, I REALLY don’t like going and when I do my anxiety is astronomical. It’s so bad that even my normal blood pressure skyrockets when I go. NO JOKE. It’s noted in my chart that I have to have it checked because it’s always so high when I first arrive. Thankfully it usually normalizes before I leave. But still, I am THAT anxious! Anyway, all that being said I couldn’t be more thankful for such a great doctor. She’s thorough and compassionate and really hears me when I talk to her. It is a blessing to have access to such great care and I will never take it for granted.
So back to what I started with. Wouldn’t it be great if we loved what we saw when we looked in the mirror? ALL. OF. IT. Bumps, bruises, scars, ripples, dimples, you name it! EVERY perfect imperfection! And unless you figured out a way to airbrush your humanness, we ALL have them! So why then, if we all have them can’t we learn to love them? You read that right! Learn to love our bodies just the way they are. Hmmmm.
Sure, days like today are harder for me to do that. REAL HARD. Good Lordy, can you blame me?!?! I spent the morning focusing on what is wrong with my skin. Ugh. I truly LOVE the idea of LOVING what I see. And I’m going to work more on this. I am turning 50 in July and I want to embrace the changes I see happening in my body. I want to accept them as part of my life story. This incredible body has been through and survived a lot! And it has gifted me with so much joy! It deserves my love and respect until my last breath. I want to love myself in this time of my life, inside and out. And I think I just might be on the right path. This morning after yoga, a long walk and 15 minutes of breathing techniques I arrived at my doctor’s appointment … and for the first time in YEARS I had a NORMAL blood pressure! GO ALMOST 50 YEAR OLD ME!
Well, I hope you all have a day where you feel happy in your skin!!!
Today I had my annual mammogram. It’s always a little nerve racking for me, as I would assume it is for all women. It’s incredibly hard to sit there calmly when I have to answer questions about my mom and the disease that took her life. I literally want to jump out of my skin. Today I decided to have no coffee before I left for my appointment. Sleepy and lazy is way more beneficial to me sitting there waiting for my name to be called, than amped up on caffeine and nutty. Trust. Me.
I arrived to the hospital early and got called back very quickly. I was in and out of there 10 minutes before my scheduled appointment time. WOW! It all went as usual but the tech took some extra images. That freaked me out a little until she explained why. She actually showed me why on my images. My boobs for didn’t fit in the whole image frame. HA! This happened to me years ago. I believe I was told that they try to use the same size imaging plates every year for continuity, so if you gain or lose weight that can alter what they see. I was fine once my tech told me why and thanked her for being thorough.
Anyway, for me mammograms will always be scary. I will never go into one anxiety-free. Nor will I feel relieved until I get my results. Mammograms are, at minimum, very uncomfortable and can be downright painful. I will always want to cancel my appointment, but I will show up anyway. And … I will always stand in front of the mirror in the dressing room and take a good long look at myself before I go in to the imaging room. It is here where I ground myself in my truth.
I am Donna’s daughter.
And yes, she died of Breast Cancer.
But I am also me.
I am who God created, and I have my OWN life journey.
It does not have to be the same as my mother’s.
Perhaps one day it could be.
But for now, I will just take care of myself in the best ways I know how. Even if it terrifies me to do so.
Well, I hope you all have a day where you do what you gotta do!!!
Reese went back to her ophthalmologist today and the appointment went great. Two months ago Reese was diagnosed with Exotropia. It’s a form of Strabismus or eye misalignment. In its’ simplest terms it is known as a wandering eye. I noticed it after she was sick twice in about a month. Luckily I had already scheduled her an appointment with her doctor so we didn’t have to wait a long time to be seen. At that time, her doctor said Reese was controlling the Exopropia very well but that she would need to start wearing glasses. And, if the glasses didn’t work, she might need surgery to correct it.
I’m sure you can imagine how worried I’ve been these past two months. I had Reese’s glasses ordered the day we left that visit and she was wearing them within a few days from that. She had about a two week transition period and then it was like she has been wearing them her whole life. PHEW.
Today Reese had her re-check her doctor said that she was doing so well that he didn’t feel he needed to see her again for a whole year. WOW! He said that her glasses appear to be helping, that Reese is still controlling the Exotropia very well and that he saw no need for surgery at this time. THANK YOU GOD!
I appreciate this doctor so much. He has been Reese’s doctor since she was just hours old. The first time he saw her was in the NICU and he has given me so much peace of mind ever since. He has never let me worry unnecessarily and makes sure that he only tells me things once he is 100% sure of what he finds, good or bad. So when he tells me something I trust him enough to I believe it.
Well, I hope you all have a day where you feel relieved!!!