That was enough …

I went to the dentist today. And I survived.

Well, I hope you all have a day where that was enough!!!

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Finding out who you are …

Over the weekend I found myself at Urgent Care with Reese. Saturday night she presented with some signs and symptoms that seemed vaguely familiar to me. After putting all the pieces together, it hit me like a ton of bricks. Reese has a hernia. Sure enough, my suspicions where right. She was diagnosed with an abdominal hernia, and after seeing her pediatrician yesterday, they suspect that she may also have a small ulcer from stomach acid and the stress she experienced from vomiting so much. This makes everything she has been through the past few weeks finally make sense to me. Which thankfully brings me a lot of peace of mind. Not knowing was very upsetting. But with the learning of this kind of information, actions must follow. This is when being a social worker, with a boatload of medical experience, and a mom all seem to come together perfectly. Or so, this is my hope.

If you ask most people who know me, they will say that I’m a pretty happy and excitable person. But when it comes to stressful situations, I’m calm. Unusually calm. So calm that it often angers my children. They think I’m too “matter-of-fact” sometimes. But I honestly, can’t help it. Usually when I’m presented with a fairly stressful situation I consider the information I am given with objectivity and discernment. I look at all of the facts, tap into my existing knowledge on the topic, research any questions that I may have, develop a plan and go from there. This whole process gives me a feeling of control over seemingly out of control situations. This also pairs nicely with a promise that I made with myself long ago as a way of dealing with some anxiety that I was experiencing. I don’t worry about ANYTHING unless it is literally sitting on a plate in front of me. The bottom line is, for the most part, I can remain rational when most people can’t. But I will tell you that as a parent, having dealt my children’s health issues in the past and as of present, this can become hard. REAL HARD. I am thankful that I can boast a pretty successful track record of “pulling it together” … so far.

I admit that in the past few weeks I have been emotional regarding Reese’s health. Her symptoms have been concerning and I was presented with no solid answers to why she was experiencing them. Well, we had some, but my mama’s instinct said that there was more. And there was. But that period of unknowing really unnerved me. Thankfully, we now know what we are dealing with. And even better, it’s fixable. THANK YOU GOD.

So now it’s time for action and THIS what I’m good at. THIS I can handle.

Today we see the surgeon. It is all happening much faster than I expected. I’ve already done a ton of research on treatment plans and I feel ready for this meeting. Finally KNOWING the UNKNOWN I feel confident again. I want my daughter pain-free, symptom-free and restored to her happy healthy active self. I know that these goals will keep me focused, grounded and driven. And that feels good.

When I earned my MSW in 1995 it was YEARS before Reese was even a thought in my head. Yet it is through her that I have a complete understanding of my being. You see, God knew she was coming. Gracefully and purposely He molded me into exactly what Reese would need to live her best life. He educated me through books and life and love to turn me into the mommy I am today. A mommy full of crazy fierce protective unconditional love for this incredible little girl who has so much to teach the world. Today that mommy and the social worker in me collide (again) and I get the privilege of doing my life’s calling, my purpose, for her. For this amazingly beautiful little soul that God has gifted me with to raise and to love. I can’t help be but humbled by His trust. And grateful. So. So. Grateful.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you find out who you are!!!

Easy peasy …

Yesterday I took a flight by myself and didn’t panic. Not ONCE. This is not like me. I was on a very unpleasant flight over 20 years ago and it really stuck with me. So now when I fly I’m usually a big ball of anxiety, complete with gripping my armrests and sometimes tears. Sometimes LOTS. And it all just happens. I can’t do much to control it other than breath through it and have some wine, HA! But honestly, it’s a terrible feeling. And I feel badly for anyone who sits near me. But yesterday I did great. It all went so smoothly. I have no idea why, but I was able to rest and relax the whole time. I had a window seat, which is DEFINITELY not my favorite, so I kept the shade down most of the time. But I did peek A LOT and I actually enjoyed the views. I was so proud of me! Anyway, I don’t know if this will last for my future flights but I sure am happy that I got through yesterday without issue. Yay!

Well, I hope you all have a day that goes easy peasy!!!

The right way …

Prior to and on this trip of ours I made a lot choices about where to go and what to see … and it really got me thinking.

Life pulls us in many different directions AND it gives us many different choices. Which is really really good! I can’t imagine not being given an abundance of both. But it certainly can leave you guessing. I’m at an age now where I get curious to see how things turn out. I still worry and get anxious about some of the choices I make, but it’s different now. I have learned to trust my judgment to make the best decisions that I can with what I’ve been given. AND I have the wisdom to understand that even my best laid plans can be derailed by things beyond my control. I have made peace with this and I find it all a bit exciting to see how things will turn out. I guess with maturity I have come to a place where I do what I can and hope for the best. Then I sit back and enjoy the ride … even if I get rerouted and hit a few bumps along the way.

Well, I hope you all had a day where you went the right way!!!

Happy in my skin …

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!!!

Do what you gotta do …

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!!!

Do what you have to do …

I used to love going to the dentist. Yep. I was one of THOSE people.

But not now.

The day I got my second round of meningitis I spent the morning at the dentist so I will FOREVER connect the two. God love my dentist and the entire office for how good they have been to me. They have done everything they can to get me back to that dentist loving patient again. I can’t appreciate them more. I truly believe that dental health is beyond valuable. So as scared as I’ve been, I’ve kept going. It hasn’t been easy. Trust. Me. The first few times I went back, I will admit, I cried! Yes, my fear was THAT bad.

Today I had another appointment scheduled. I was a ball of nerves on the drive over and sitting in the waiting room my stomach ached! I didn’t want to go. I wanted to cancel my appointment but I showed up anyway … because fear will not stop me from doing what is best for my health.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you do what you have to do!!!