Pap Smear With Benefits #Midlife Version

In the spirit of October’s Healthy Living Theme, the entire body will be in the limelight. LOL. Don’t miss Friday’s post!


V-jayjay Exam.checkmark

Botox.

Check and double check.

Time management at its finest.

Just like most females who endure that yearly gynecological wellness check, which may or may not be another sip of the Kool-Aid that we’ve been conditioned to believe is essential for good health and cancer detection, I too brave the silvery stirrups every twelve moons or so, although at my advanced #midlife status, it’s acceptable to wait a couple of years between these physically invasive exams.

My pre-check routine is to bathe and shave (this might be oversharing, but I don’t wax ‘cos I’m allergic to it and I really have an aversion to strangers hanging around “down there”) and make myself and my lady parts as camera-ready as possible.

If I could bedazzle or drape a scarf around it, I would, as I do loves me some accessories, so I attempt to spruce it up all up for the big reveal. I mean, you never know when you’re going to be discovered, right? Always ready, that’s my motto. As Norma Desmond said, “All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close up.”

A momentary pause for a brief rant:

 I gotta comment on the feelings of being post-menopausal and sitting in the same waiting room with full-to-bursting, fecund, FERTILE women.

It doesn’t feel very good. To be past — as in beyond — childbearing age.

It’s not that I want to have another baby even if I could– I’m no Michelle Duggar — the truth is that I only wanted one perfect child (which I have), but to be sitting amongst those who still have functional baby makers made me feel kind of dried up and old.

“I’m in the club”,  I whispered to myself. “I was just like you guys. I puked for four months and then ate my weight in blueberry pancakes and endless jars of gefilte fish (and I mean eating them straight from the jar and even drinking that disgusting jelly-like liquid) and couldn’t see my feet for the last two months before I went through the hell of a twenty-four hour labor and eventual Caesarean section delivery.”

I wanna pull up my shirt and pull my pants down just enough to proudly display my C-section scar, those battle wounds, my daily reminder of  the painjoypainjoy I endured to become a mom, which is all I ever really wanted to be when I grew up.

“My memories might be thirty-two years ago but I remember it like it was yesterday.”

Screw it. The solution should be separate waiting rooms. I can’t deal with the assault of fruitfulness slapping my aridity in the face.

Rant status: OVER.

Just like we all have to do whether we are the elite or the hoi polloi or even Kim Kardashian or Kate Middleton, I changed into the most unflattering shade of pure and blinding white scratchy paper gown with the narrow plastic belt/tie/thingy. The great equalizer. It was barely long enough to execute a proper bow. Or maybe it was a hairband? Now I’m not sure. Whatev. Is white paper the new black? The new orange? Nope. It’s still nothing that will ever be trendy or urban chic.

Great, the next step is the inelegant hop up on the also white paper-covered exam/lounging table. I must admit I’ve become so spoiled by 800-thread count sheets that I was quite offended by the scratchy but slippery texture. At least it’s sterile — and that pleases my OCD.

The doc finally sauntered in with a pleasant smile and bouncy hair, switching on that godforsaken bright light that serves to highlight each and every darling cellulite dimple that I’ve accumulated over the last few decades. ILOVEMYCELLULITEILOVEMYCELLULITE. NOPE. SERIOUSLY. I HATE MY CELLULITE.

“How often do you do a self-exam breast check?” Doctor Z asked as she was doing just that. “Never” I said, with my most winsome smile. “There really isn’t enough there to check…” She laughed at my little attempt at levity to lighten the atmosphere while she’s kneading and pinching and probably thinking about what she’s going to be drinking later on that evening — anyway, that’s what I was doing. White wine? No. Pinot Noir? No. Straight vodka from the bottle? Winner, winner, winner! 

That wasn’t soooo bad, but then we reached  the dreaded part of the visit where the doc always says, “Can you scoot down a little more?” And then, “How about a little more?”

Ignominy. That’s the only way to describe it.

Quack quack

Quack quack

A Pap smear, also called a Pap test, is a procedure to test for cervical cancer in women by collecting cells from the cervix. That first involves the insertion of an instrument of torture called a speculum. FYI, the modern speculum was invented (by a man, of course) in 1845.

I can share with you after having gone through about a dozen gynos over the years, Doctor Z is the BEST. And I prefer a woman gyn. I don’t think a man can understand what our issues are, no matter what. Only a woman knows what another woman feels and experiences.  Doc Z has perfected a painless method of scraping the cervix and she’s never accidentally pinched that very sensitive area that makes you want to convulsively kick their faces across the room. FYI, that’s the real reason why the have those little wheeled stools so they can roll away FAST before they get punched out by a valiant v-jayjay.

The most dreaded part of the exam is over; time to stuff the paper gown in the trash and get dressed.

But this visit’s not quite over because Dr. Z has joined the ranks of a new breed of doctor; combining a medical specialty with the value added option of a little cosmetic rejuvenation in the form of Botox and fillers.

Ergo the Pap smear and Botox.

I consider it my reward for enduring the humiliation of exposing my inner workings. While we chat about being vegan and a new vegan restaurant in Encinitas called #Native Foods,  Doc Z prepares the botulism that will be injected into my face; to paralyze the correct muscles and stem the flow of aging —  if only for a few brief months.

But that’s good enough for me.

Maybe I can no longer have babies growing in my belly –but my glass is still half full; I no longer have to worry about “that time of the month” and my empty nest (and womb) affords me the opportunity for a little well deserved pampering.

What’s your experience with your OB-GYN (if you care to share, that is!)
Do you have a male of female doc?

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Gallimaufry. What’s That? Today’s Confused Hodgepodge.

Gal·li·mau·fry  [gal-uhmaw-free]
…a hodgepodge; jumble; confused medley.

That’s today’s title and a great descriptor…a little bit of everything ‘cos, well, just because.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Update on my son...

Staples removed (20+ of them!!) thanks to my good friend’s doctor hub whom we’ve known since our boys were in first grade and we used to go to aerobics classes together…he’s a topnotch internist at North County Internal Medicine.

A while back they added something special to his practice, NCIM Aesthetics — specializing in state-of-the-art laser skin laser technology PLUS my personal favorites: Botox, Juvederm, and Radiesse. Give ’em a call @ 760-726-2302 or email NCIMaesthetics@gmail.com

So far, the only hitch in Angel Boy’s recovery was a by-product of taking Augmentin for an infection he got in the hospital…another really awful stomach bacteria called c. difficile, but with a switch to Flagyl and some high quality probiotics, his fever and the infection disappeared. He’s finishing up his recovery in SF with DIL. Alll he needs to do now is build up his strength and gain back the nearly twenty pounds he lost over the last month.

Me (‘cos it’s always about me, right? I mean, even when it doesn’t seem to be all about me, it’s really ALL ABOUT ME.)

Suffering from writer’s block again, so I’m watching back to back episodes of Say Yes to the Dress, Real Housewives of Orange County (or New York), and Sherlock —  all very successfully helping me NOT create a post — or writing — of any value. There’s no real writing inspiration, just escapism.

Honestly, I don’t know who I’m crushing on more: Randy Fenoli from SYTTD (I’d kill for his eyebrows) or Benedict Cumberbatch as the ultimate Sherlock. I love them both! But not nearly as much as I’m lady boning for Richard Roxburgh as criminal lawyer Cleaver Greene in Rake, (the original Aussie one), not the US version, on Netflix.

Watching SYTTD and Housewives is something I can ONLY do when my tugboat man is out to sea; it’s one of those pesky non-negotiables when he’s home.

He literally REFUSES — says, “Im outta here” as he leaves the room, so I save them as my guilty pleasures when he’s thousands of miles away.

A successful marriage is all about compromises, right? Do I want to have a fight about a stupid TV show? Nope, not this Princess.

With my very empty nest, it was time to put on my comfortable shoes and flex my weakened shopping muscles. It’s been a long time since I’ve spent the day as a little retail butterfly, flitting from one store to the next, checking out the offerings and laying down the “plastique”; I’m a bit rusty and needed a warm-up before attempting one of the big malls or my own personal mecca, South Coast Plaza.

After a great hour-long boot camp class at 24 Hour Fitness, I checked my watch, 10:00 a.m. and I was off! First to Target for essentials, then Trader Joe’s and a vacuum store for a new powerhead belt, on to Marshalls to test my shoe-spotting and ability to browse both-sides-of-the-aisle-at-the-same-time skills.

After the one hour mark, I was a bit tired and thirsty so I stopped to eat an apple and grab a bottle of water — it’s imperative to stay well-hydrated and nourished whilst shopping.

Revived, I meandered downtown to get my glasses adjusted and stopped at my favorite consignment shop where I’ve previously discovered Valentino and Missoni treasures –not so lucky on this day, but I didn’t leave empty handed; there was a sweet and comfy chartreuse bathing suit coverup  that called out to me.

This practice shopping excursion ended with a visit to Lowe’s for vegetable seeds, a pomegranate tree, and mesh to cover an apple tree that’s being eaten by nasty ground squirrels, presumably cousins of the elusive Spirit Squirrel™.
Click here to read all about it.

Still all about me, but on a serious note…

I was just diagnosed with vitreous detachment in my left eye which is sad because I thought the sparkles I was seeing was once-and-for-all proof positive of my Princess-ness.

However, I was wrong. Here’s the info from NIH (National Institutes of Health) in case you ever see sparkles and it’s not the optical or silent migraine type of lights.

It’s definitely NOT something to ignore…

What is vitreous detachment?
Most of the eye’s interior is filled with vitreous, a gel-like substance that helps the eye maintain a round shape. There are millions of fine fibers intertwined within the vitreous that are attached to the surface of the retina, the eye’s light-sensitive tissue. As we age, the vitreous slowly shrinks, and these fine fibers pull on the retinal surface. Usually the fibers break, allowing the vitreous to separate and shrink from the retina.

In most cases, a vitreous detachment, also known as a posterior vitreous detachment, is not sight-threatening and requires no treatment.

Who is at risk for vitreous detachment?
A vitreous detachment is a common condition that usually affects people over age 50, and is very common after age 80. People who are nearsighted are also at increased risk. Those who have a vitreous detachment in one eye are likely to have one in the other, although it may not happen until years later.

Symptoms and Detection
As the vitreous shrinks, it becomes somewhat stringy, and the strands can cast tiny shadows on the retina that you may notice as floaters, which appear as little “cobwebs” or specks that seem to float about in your field of vision. If you try to look at these shadows they appear to quickly dart out of the way.

One symptom of a vitreous detachment is a small but sudden increase in the number of new floaters. This increase in floaters may be accompanied by flashes of light (lightning streaks) in your peripheral, or side, vision. In most cases, either you will not notice a vitreous detachment, or you will find it merely annoying because of the increase in floaters.

Treatment
How does vitreous detachment affect vision?

Although a vitreous detachment does not threaten sight, once in a while some of the vitreous fibers pull so hard on the retina that they create a macular hole or lead to a retinal detachment.

Both of these conditions are sight-threatening and should be treated immediately.

If left untreated, a macular hole or detached retina can lead to permanent vision loss in the affected eye. Those who experience a sudden increase in floaters or an increase in flashes of light in peripheral vision should have an eye care professional examine their eyes as soon as possible.

But enough of THAT stuff, right?

On that happy note, I’ll wrap up this Wednesday gallimaufry and try to focus on a submission for Erma Bombeck Workshop all because I opened my big mouth on Twitter and kinda sorta got dared to do it. SCARED! Wish me luck, y’all!

ermabombeck

 

 

Pap Smear With Benefits (#Midlife Version)

V-jayjay Exam.checkmark

Botox.

Check and double check.

Time management at its finest.

Just like most females who endure that yearly gynecological wellness check, which may or may not be another sip of the Kool-Aid that we’ve been conditioned to believe is essential for good health and cancer detection, I too brave the silvery stirrups every twelve moons or so, although at my advanced #midlife status, it’s acceptable to wait a couple of years between these physically invasive exams.

My pre-check routine is to bathe and shave (this might be oversharing, but I don’t wax ‘cos I’m allergic to it and I really have an aversion to strangers hanging around “down there”) and make myself and my lady parts as camera-ready as possible.

If I could bedazzle or drape a scarf around it, I would, as I do loves me some accessories, so I attempt to spruce it up all up for the big reveal. I mean, you never know when you’re going to be discovered, right? Always ready, that’s my motto. As Norma Desmond said, “All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close up.”

A momentary pause for a brief rant:

 I gotta comment on the feelings of being post-menopausal and sitting in the same waiting room with full-to-bursting, fecund, FERTILE women.

It doesn’t feel very good. To be past — as in beyond — childbearing age.

It’s not that I want to have another baby even if I could– I’m no Michelle Duggar — the truth is that I only wanted one perfect child (which I have), but to be sitting amongst those who still have functional baby makers made me feel kind of dried up and old.

“I’m in the club”,  I whispered to myself. “I was just like you guys. I puked for four months and then ate my weight in blueberry pancakes and endless jars of gefilte fish (and I mean eating them straight from the jar and even drinking that disgusting jelly-like liquid) and couldn’t see my feet for the last two months before I went through the hell of a twenty-four hour labor and eventual Caesarean section delivery.”

I wanna pull up my shirt and pull my pants down just enough to proudly display my C-section scar, those battle wounds, my daily reminder of  the painjoypainjoy I endured to become a mom, which is all I ever really wanted to be when I grew up.

“My memories might be thirty-two years ago but I remember it like it was yesterday.”

Screw it. The solution should be separate waiting rooms. I can’t deal with the assault of fruitfulness slapping my aridity in the face.

Rant status: OVER.

Just like we all have to do whether we are the elite or the hoi polloi or even Kim Kardashian or Kate Middleton, I changed into the most unflattering shade of pure and blinding white scratchy paper gown with the narrow plastic belt/tie/thingy. The great equalizer. It was barely long enough to execute a proper bow. Or maybe it was a hairband? Now I’m not sure. Whatev. Is white paper the new black? The new orange? Nope. It’s still nothing that will ever be trendy or urban chic.

Great, the next step is the inelegant hop up on the also white paper-covered exam/lounging table. I must admit I’ve become so spoiled by 800-thread count sheets that I was quite offended by the scratchy but slippery texture. At least it’s sterile — and that pleases my OCD.

The doc finally sauntered in with a pleasant smile and bouncy hair, switching on that godforsaken bright light that serves to highlight each and every darling cellulite dimple that I’ve accumulated over the last few decades. ILOVEMYCELLULITEILOVEMYCELLULITE. NOPE. SERIOUSLY. I HATE MY CELLULITE.

“How often do you do a self-exam breast check?” Doctor Z asked as she was doing just that. “Never” I said, with my most winsome smile. “There really isn’t enough there to check…” She laughed at my little attempt at levity to lighten the atmosphere while she’s kneading and pinching and probably thinking about what she’s going to be drinking later on that evening — anyway, that’s what I was doing. White wine? No. Pinot Noir? No. Straight vodka from the bottle? Winner, winner, winner! 

That wasn’t soooo bad, but then we reached  the dreaded part of the visit where the doc always says, “Can you scoot down a little more?” And then, “How about a little more?”

Ignominy. That’s the only way to describe it.

Quack quack

Quack quack

A Pap smear, also called a Pap test, is a procedure to test for cervical cancer in women by collecting cells from the cervix. That first involves the insertion of an instrument of torture called a speculum. FYI, the modern speculum was invented (by a man, of course) in 1845.

I can share with you after having gone through about a dozen gynos over the years, Doctor Z is the BEST. And I prefer a woman gyn. I don’t think a man can understand what our issues are, no matter what. Only a woman knows what another woman feels and experiences.  Doc Z has perfected a painless method of scraping the cervix and she’s never accidentally pinched that very sensitive area that makes you want to convulsively kick their faces across the room. FYI, that’s the real reason why the have those little wheeled stools so they can roll away FAST before they get punched out by a valiant v-jayjay.

The most dreaded part of the exam is over; time to stuff the paper gown in the trash and get dressed.

But this visit’s not quite over because Dr. Z has joined the ranks of a new breed of doctor; combining a medical specialty with the value added option of a little cosmetic rejuvenation in the form of Botox and fillers.

Ergo the Pap smear and Botox.

I consider it my reward for enduring the humiliation of exposing my inner workings. While we chat about being vegan and a new vegan restaurant in Encinitas called #Native Foods,  Doc Z prepares the botulism that will be injected into my face; to paralyze the correct muscles and stem the flow of aging —  if only for a few brief months.

But that’s good enough for me.

Maybe I can no longer have babies growing in my belly –but my glass is still half full; I no longer have to worry about “that time of the month” and my empty nest (and womb) affords me the opportunity for a little well deserved pampering.

What’s your experience with your OB-GYN (if you care to share, that is!)
Do you have a male of female doc?

A mom is a mom forever

I’m an A to B kind of Princess, black and white like the colors of a Chanel Boutique.  Ziggy zaggy paths or gray areas…not so much. I had a clear-cut idea about how I was going to approach my topic du jour but like an annoying kid pulling at my shirt while I’m on the telephone, other ideas were poking at my consciously unconscious subconscious and I had to put aside my wonderfully witty post about vacuuming (!) and take a detour.

Listen up, moms!

Our children are ours to love and protect no matter how old they are — newborn, two years, sixteen, twenty-one, or even in their thirties, like my own Angel Boy.

The fragility of life smacked me in the head a few days ago. You just NEVER know when that call will come that stops you in your tracks.

I wrote a post last week about getting Botox and Juvederm with a couple of my girlfriends.
On Friday, my friend C and I stopped by the Chanel boutique inside Macy’s so she could get her makeup done. She’s doesn’t wear a lot of makeup but she’s going to the Dominican Republic with her boyfriend  for a couple weeks and would be attending a formal event and wanted to be glammed up.

While she’s being pampered and beautified, her iPhone rings. It’s her son, thirty years old, a really sweet boy, her only child. He was sick and didn’t know what was wrong with him. He sent her some pictures. His left eye was completely swollen shut and it looked very puffy and angry. He was in a lot of pain and had a headache. He told his mom (I’m having her repeat everything to me) that he woke up that way a few days before, had gone to an urgent care facility, and they sent him away with some antibiotics (I don’t know what kind) thinking perhaps it was a spider bite. The alternative diagnosis was herpes zoster (more commonly known as “shingles”). The headache was becoming unbearable.

My mom was a Registererd Nurse, and I have a pretty fair medical background because I listened to her a lot and I worked for my doctor cousin back when I thought I wanted to be a doctor myself, but I was no brainiac in math and science. I’m the one people call when they have a medical issue and want advice, and I always tell them to go to a doctor, but try to help them become educated patients or caregivers or parents.

I asked her to ask her son if he had a fever. Of course, he didn’t have a thermometer, (come one, everyone needs a digital thermometer!!) but he was having chills and his girlfriend said he felt warm.

I told my friend to tell her son to go back to the doctor immediately. If it was a spider bite, I was concerned that the location of the bite was near his eye and brain and needed more aggressive treatment. If it was shingles, he needed a more educated diagnosis and a different approach.

At this point, my friend was becoming really freaked out. We’re sitting in two makeup chairs and she’s worrying about her only child, her baby boy. She asked me what I would do if it were my son. I didn’t hesitate. I told her I would be on a flight to him right that instant. Sometimes the most random medical things can deteriorate at an alarming rate and she needed to be with him in a worst case scenario. I would. In a heartbeat.

We left the store and she promised to keep in touch.  He went back to the doctor, had a temp of 101 and a persistent headache. They told him it looked like he had shingles, gave him a steroid injection, and sent him home.

He had a bad night with a severe heachache that kept him awake.

My friend drove to the next state where he lives, a six-hour drive.

She emailed me that he had suffered a seizure and was in intensive care. They were doing tests to try and figure out what was wrong. Along with his other symptoms, a grand mal seizure in an otherwise completely healthy young man is very troublesome.

My last email from her was that the doctors had no clear answers, but he seemed to be feeling better and might be released in a couple days.

Did you think this was going to end with a story about every parent’s nightmare? I really thought it was going in that direction. I’m hopeful he will have a diagnosis and he doesn’t have any more seizures and this was simply a random, aberrant episode in his otherwise happy life. I haven’t heard from her today. Fingers crossed.

But it made me sit back and think. Being a mom is immutable, enduring, never-ending — and that’s the way it should be. The days of changing diapers and nursing them to sleep might be over, but they will always need us to be the one constant in their lives–the one person they can turn to who will run like the wind to wherever they are.

That’s what a good mom should do. That’s a mom’s job.

You never know when it’s going to be the last time you see them. The last I love you. This is a reminder for us all to treasure all of their precious moments, no matter how old they are.

(Before I hear from any dads out there, this is MY perspective and MY opinion as a mom.)

I confess to having a love affair…with…Botox

i-love-botox-by-wam

Yup, I got Botox today.  I confess. I’m not ashamed to admit it.

Why do I love Botox?

Without those little injections, I’d look like a Sharpei.

Cute for a dog, not so cute on me.

shar-pei

I’m not ready for a rocking chair.
I’m unashamedly fighting, kicking, and screaming before I succumb to that abyss.img-thingrockchair

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. (Dylan Thomas)

I’ve read it all — boomer this and boomer that– and the resignation to the inevitable expanding waistline of the post-menopausal.

Not me.

I won’t throw in the towel and accept defeat.

MV5BMTUyMzYwMTQxMF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwODU2NDE1Mg@@._V1._SY314_CR16,0,214,314_lisarinnaI organized an event at my doc’s office, Dr. Nagi Ibrahim, for two of my girlfriends and myself.

We have realistic expectations.

We don’t want to look like Lisa Rinna or one of the Housewives of Anywhere; we’re hoping for a natural, fresher, enhanced version of ourselves.

We’re not doing this because we feel insecure or because we feel inferior.

We want our outside to match how we feel on the inside. We work out and eat healthy; like getting a mani-pedi or a facial, this is another way to feel pampered and well cared for.

I’ve had Botox several times and I’ve been really pleased with the results.

This time I added a little Juvederm to the menu. 

Juvederm is a clear, smooth gel made out of hyaluronic acid (HA) – a natural substance that adds volume and hydration to your skin. Juvederm is used to restore or add volume anywhere on the face. It’s a   favorite product for enhancing and sculpting the lips, and terrific for filling in folds, wrinkles and creases.

We chose  the newest version, J3,  which can last approximately eighteen months.  We all had the same areas “enhanced”– lips, nasal labial folds, and chin area. It takes a while to see the effects of Botox, but the filler was immediate gratification; plumper lips, no saggy cheeks, it’s amazing! It’s not really that painful, either, but you know what they say…no pain, no gain!

syringeAre you satisfied with your aging process or do you want to hold back the sands of time as long as possible?