Tag Archives: health

Who Knew?

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Who knew that little green thing in there could cause such drama? Not me…that’s for sure.

I’ve had kind of a crappy few months. Just before Christmas break I got some nasty virus. Of course it’s at Christmas time – because I had already asked off from work for the holidays, the kids didn’t have school…. Anyway, that virus escalated into near pneumonia which took about 2 weeks to get over. Miraculously I was better JUST in time to go back to work without missing a beat. Stellar holiday vacay.

Back to work, all is well – start to feel a bit under the weather. I wasn’t really sure what it was, just didn’t feel “right.” That is said in quotes and rather loosely because most who know me would say that I’m never “right.” Anyway. This one particular night my back seized up. I say seized up because I really don’t know any other way to describe it. I felt like I was being given a super rough bear hug by a sword wielding super ninja bear that was pissed off that his honey had been taken when he awoke from hibernation. Did I mention that he was pissed? I tossed and turned and shed some tears trying to get comfortable; standing, sitting, lying down – on my tummy, my back, my left side, my right side…..absolutely nothing worked. Then like magic, the next morning I was ok. A little sore from the bear wrangling, but not too worse for the wear.

This pattern continued for a week or so and then the pain began to creep around my ribs and settle into the center of my chest. I really just believed it to be strained muscles from all of the aforementioned bear wrangling – I would cry a little, take some Aleve and move on.

Long story short (don’t you love that…I’ve already spent 3 paragraphs on it, it’s apparently not so short – but hey, I’m Irish, we don’t DO short stories), I ended up in the Emergency Room on a lovely Monday night full of narcotics and signing a release to take out my wicked infected and inflamed gallbladder.

The next 36 hours were all pretty much a blur. I was in and out of consciousness, either from anesthesia or pain meds and quite frankly I was just fine with that. I was discharged Wednesday mid-morning  in a haze of drug induced happiness thinking that I would go home, rest for a few days and be good to go. Yeah – not so much.

I’m sore, I’m grouchy, I’m bored, I’m hungry……and supposedly this is all NORMAL?? What the hell? Seriously?

“You have to give your body time to recover from the invasiveness (is that even a word?) of surgery,” “Your incisions will heal in a few weeks time, just be patient,” “It’s completely normal to be sad and moody after general anesthesia, within 6 months you’ll feel better,” “Enjoy the time you have to relax and rest,” “Your digestive system will regulate itself over time,” “Just have everyone wait on you hand and foot.” I DID NOT sign a paper about any of this stuff. I know the pain meds were strong but believe you me I would’ve remembered this shit.

I feel ok as long as I’m sitting on the sofa but for the love of all that’s good don’t expect me to walk to the kitchen and back without being exhausted. I rest peacefully as long as I’ve taken a pain pill and I’m in the recliner on the sofa, but don’t expect to lie in my bed like a normal person and sleep. I’m bored out of my mind and no I don’t want to watch ANOTHER episode of anything at all nor do I want to watch any more Olympics nor do I want to….see where this is going? And while I’m this bored, don’t expect me to get up and actually DO anything because..well…I’m exhausted. I’m so hungry I feel like I could eat an entire pizza or a steak or a lobster dinner, but don’t expect me to eat anything other than scrambled eggs and toast because everything else has my tummy rumbling and me speed shuffling to the ladies room.

I suppose the moral to this story is this: if you have pain, get it checked out, and if you end up on the wrong side of a surgical scalpel try to remember that recovery is a process and it’s gonna suck for awhile. I’m just not yet sure for how long.

Silver lining: I’ve lost 9 pounds already. Now, could someone please make me a cuppa and pass the damn remote!!

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Scared Salt-Free

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I am a mother of three children between the ages of 11 and 17. I am supposed to be a much shorter version of Wonder Woman. I typically don’t get sick, even when the kids do. I can function on very little sleep, although I will admit that as I get olde…..er….more mature, sleep becomes more of a priority for me. At any rate, I’m not the one that usually has to have medical attention. As a matter of fact, I purposely do not seek medical attention – unless I feel like I’m on my deathbed or if I go simply to silence those around me from complaining. Such was the case today. Yes, I’ve had a stiff neck for two weeks. Yes, my vision has suddenly gone blurry. Yes, I’ve had a constant headache for days. But I have rational reasons for all of these issues. My neck has been stiff because I twisted oddly at work and tweaked the muscles. Those take time to get back to normal. I’ve been having blurry vision because I’ve been reading A LOT and I haven’t been wearing my reading glasses as much as I should, and let’s face it, I’m not getting any younger. And the headache….well, I think I mentioned that I have three kids. One who is a high school Senior and I tend to worry about his future a wee bit. And headaches are normal really. They happen.

So anyway, today I gave in and went to the doctor, mainly to silence the critics of my poor medical attention seeking habits. It turns out that my blood pressure is kind of crazy high. And apparently the headaches are coming from that. And then, when she listened to my little ticker it was making a “clicking” noise – one that apparently isn’t really supposed to be there. Long story short – I have an echocardiogram appointment in a few days and a return visit to my doctor a few days after that. And I’m supposed to be relaxing, taking it easy….stress-free. Oh yes, and the salt thing. No salt. None. What???? Who eats that way? I promptly came home and began researching low sodium foods. Fruits and vegetables. Fresh ones. That’s it. *sigh

But I will admit that this has scared me. Hearing the numbers when she kept checking my blood pressure was frightening. So I guess I’m going to suck it up and try to go salt-free the rest of this week and see how it goes. Or at least salt-minimal. I’ll try it. If you have any suggestions or amazing recipes that don’t involve sodium….or peas because I really don’t like them….clue me in!

Oh, but I was right about the pulled muscles in my neck….see….I didn’t need to go to the doctor. Pfft.

One Of These Things Is Not Like The Other

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ONE OF THESE THINGS IS NOT LIKE THE OTHER

Do you know which one it is? Can you venture a guess?

If you chose the photo on the far right you would be correct. Because you see, THAT is the only one of these items that politicians are not attempting to control.

Am I the only woman in America who is completely fed up with the hypocrisy that is our politicians? First the regulations started on birth control. What began as personal and/or religious reasons for choosing or not choosing to use birth control has grown into an arena that is larger than many of us realize. It’s now okay for a pharmacist to refuse a woman birth control – even if she has a prescription for it from a doctor – if it is “against said pharmacist’s beliefs.” Um, WHAT??? So, my choice to conceive or not to conceive is dependent upon the “beliefs” of a pharmacist? But it doesn’t stop there, no no. Now we’re facing every old, white, male Republican who “believes” that a woman’s place is barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen making dinner and knitting socks. Because you see, it should be apparent that these men know what is best for us ladies. Certainly we just weren’t built to handle such harrowing decisions as whether we want to give birth or not.

Surely these fellas, such as John Carter (R Texas)

or Tom Price (R Georgia) know more about what is best for me than I do.

Let’s move on.

Now we have Mayor Bloomberg of New York City putting a new initiative in place beginning in September that he says is an “effort to encourage breastfeeding.” On the surface I thought this was a great idea. I generally tend to agree with Mayor Bloomberg’s ideas on things, he is an Independent and doesn’t seem quite so bound by party line decisions. But, this initiative, in my opinion, is a massive trampling of women’s rights.

“Latch On NYC” will “encourage” women to breastfeed by placing formula on the same type of lock-down dispensing regulations as medications. Formula is only to be given to new mothers (even samples in the going-home gift bags) if the mother has a medical need or specifically asks for them. Nurses will have to document how much formula they dispense and to whom. Um, WHAT????

While I agree that breastfeeding is great for baby this form of encouragement is not. What about ladies who have to return to work immediately because they have no maternity leave therefore they cannot breastfeed even if they want to. What about ladies who have given birth out of an unplanned pregnancy – whether it was an “oopsie” or from rape because we all know that really it makes no difference (please note sarcasm) – but maybe the “miracle of motherhood” is not what a lady wanted and has a serious issue with a tiny human latching on and suckling from her breast. There are a myriad of other scenarios that could go in this paragraph but I think the point is made. Shall we now make our new mothers feel extreme guilt and/or worthlessness or as if they are horrible mothers if they cannot or choose to not breastfeed?

The key word here is CHOOSE. For both of these issues the problem comes down to choice. Why does someone other than me have the right to choose for me? Especially with things as intimate and personal as whether I conceive or whether I breastfeed. Please note, I have three children so I am not oblivious to the joys of being a mother. But I CHOSE to be a mother just like I CHOSE to breastfeed my babies. I chose, not politicians. I want my daughter to be able to choose for herself. Why are we taking steps backwards?

This brings me to the third picture – the one that is different. You see, that image is of the only intimate decision that there is not an attempt to regulate. Medications for erectile dysfunction. Pecker pills. It’s interesting to me that the same men who have apparently been bestowed with almighty knowledge to know what is best for every woman also believe that there is no reason for a man to not be able to choose if he wants to have an erection or not. Does anyone else see the hypocrisy here? Essentially, women should procreate and breastfeed because the men say so, and it will happen frequently because the men will be taking medication to ensure they are ever-ready with their erections. I mean let’s face it, you never know when the moment will be right.

I wonder how many times a man will be refused ED medication by their pharmacist…..oh wait….none, because they don’t have the right to refuse the men this. They can only refuse women the medication to prevent pregnancies from the erections they are selling the men.

There are so many other things that our politicians should be focusing on. Unemployment, Social Security, Medicare, Education, Oil Prices, Inflation……but no, let’s worry about women and their girly parts.

Makes sense.

Inconceivable

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CAN YOU EVEN BEGIN TO IMAGINE THE REALITY OF THIS???

Have you ever been pregnant? Have you ever given birth? For those of you who have you may connect to my sensibilities a little closer. But, for those of you who haven’t – male OR female – just for a moment try to imagine:

You have been carrying a child inside of you for roughly 9 months – give or take some days. You’ve changed your eating habits in an effort to be healthy for this child. You’ve felt this child kick and move, you’ve heard their heartbeat, you’ve seen their image…..

Now, let’s imagine that you’ve done something naughty; something that lands you in prison. Maybe you wrote a boatload of bad checks, maybe you shoplifted for the 3rd time, maybe you drove the getaway car when your boyfriend held up a bank, maybe you killed your abusive husband…. Do you deserve to serve time? Yes, of course. We all must be held accountable for our actions. Do I think some acts are more justified than others…yes I do…but that’s for another post.

So…you’re very pregnant and incarcerated. You give up some personal liberties just by virtue of being naughty. That’s normal and expected.

BUT – Do you give up the right to experience a humane childbirth? I think not.

Many studies have been conducted on the safety of the mother and baby during the birthing process. It should come as no great surprise that a woman’s body will naturally move into positions that are conducive to successful birthing with minimal  difficulties. (I say this a bit tongue-in-cheek because birthing is difficult by definition). In addition to the aforementioned studies, many studies have been done on the effect of mother/baby bonding or lack thereof initially following childbirth. It is crucial. Not only for the mother but for the baby as well. Feel free to look it up if you don’t believe me. It’s of utmost importance.

Shackling a woman to the birthing bed/table via ankle and/or wrist restraints is cruel and inhumane. Your range of motion is relinquished, restricting the ability of your body to adjust to birthing in a natural way. Your arms are restrained keeping you from creating leverage from which to push. You are unable to hold and swaddle your baby immediately following birth. All of the things doctors and psychologists and child behavior experts and decent human beings in general realize are absolutely necessary are stripped from incarcerated women.

The main argument seems to be that these women are a flight risk. REALLY?? For those of you who have given birth – can you imagine even harboring the thought that you would get up and flee while in the midst of pushing? Not to mention the fact that the birthing rooms are guarded by armed guards. But seriously – you can barely stand (if that is your preferred method of pushing), much less walk or possibly run. It would be impossible. The idea is preposterous. For those of you who are trying to imagine this scenario – you’ve seen movies – do you think it’s a reasonable concern?

I do not take offense at pregnant women being incarcerated. Sometimes we’re naughty. When we are, we get in trouble and we have to face the consequences. But, being naughty does not mean we should no longer be treated humanely. She’s not going anywhere. This practice is archaic and dangerous. Stop it.

Come on humanity….be humane.