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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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?

Am I REALLY That Old?

Dear AARP,

My postman just delivered the mail; a few bills, a dental cleaning reminder, hub’s Professional Mariner magazine, my White House Black Market catalogue, and this:

AARP

AARP: American Association of Retired Persons.

I’m one thousand billion percent sure that you have the wrong address.

You must have made a mistake. A belated April Fool’s Day joke, perhaps?

This envelope must belong to someone else. Here. You can have it back.

There is no way this was meant for me. No Way. I’m shaking my head. No. Way.

If you know to whom this was supposed to be delivered, please let me know and I’ll forward it to the proper address.

I’m not that old. Am I? What? I AM?

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Say it ain’t so. Pull-eez.

My MOM belonged to AARP. My mom was OLD. I am not OLD. How did this happen? When did I get old enough to be a card-carrying member of AARP?

And how did you know? I thought it was my own little secret.

Was it my hands that gave me away? They say you can always tell your age by your hands. Was that it? The skin’s very thin there, not so hydrated. Or was it those little brown spots that are popping up everywhere? Now what did my mom call them? Liver spots? LIVER spots? WTF? Remember Carter’s Little Liver Pills? I do, I mean I don’t. No, I don’t remember that at all. Ya wanna know why? I’m not OLD enough.

Is this payback for when I was so smug that I thought I would never ever in a million years have a single hair on my chinny chin chin – and now I have a 10x magnifying glass so that I can hunt and destroy every single rogue hair that shouldn’t be there?

What? I can’t hear you. Did my son put you up to this?

Is this his way of retaliating because I’d never allow him to eat the cereal that all his friends ate? No Cocoa Puffs or Captain Crunch for my little boy. Poor kid. I knew it was going to cause him emotional trauma one day.

Or maybe it was the time I put brussel sprouts and cauliflower in his smoothie. All right, all right, I admit it. Some vegetables can’t be disguised no matter how hard you try. I’m sorry. Bad mommy.  Oh, I bet I know why you did this to me. Is it because I embarrassed you last year at commencement when I screamed “That’s my Angel Boy!” so loud that I was surrounded by security guards? (True story.)

Look, I still wear skinny jeans, OK? I work out at the gym five days a week. Fifty-ahem-eixxxxght is the new twenty-five, right? Damn right it is.

So maybe it’s been a few moons ago since I needed to say, “it’s that time of the month” – THAT ship has sailed, but I still have them in the bathroom cupboard just in case. I mean, stranger things have happened. Whatever. I’m prepared, that’s all. Prepared.

I’m gonna put on my spectacles, my reading glasses, so I can see the fine print.

Hmmm, a free tote bag with membership? Maybe it doesn’t sound so bad after all…

Sincerely yours,

Princess Rosebud

PS. My birthday’s actually the 14th, not the 17th, but thanks for that – — I’m now three days younger!

Beginnings and endings: 1966 and 2007

“Nature gives you the face you have at twenty; it is up to you to merit the face you have at fifty.”–Coco Chanel

Two special dates: July 1966 and April 2007

Beginnings and endings.

July 1966 – Detroit, Michigan

I’m in the bathroom, calling out to my mom.

“MomMomMOM MOMMEEE!! Where ARE you? Guess what?”

You know what they say, a mom always knows.

“Honey, I bet you just started menstruating, am I right?” (She was a nurse and always always used a medical term instead of slang. Like we always said “urinate” instead of pee; vagina and penis instead of -well– instead of anything else.)

After a hug and a lengthy (yawn) tutorial about personal hygiene, my mom took me out for lunch and a shopping spree to commemorate this milestone towards womanhood. She told me that when she first began to menstruate, all she got was a slap in the face from her mother, some kind of archaic ritualistic symbolism that had something to do with the fact that her father (my grandfather) was a rabbi. She told me that she was horrified and never forgot it, and if she ever had a little girl, she’d mark the occasion with a celebration, not a punishment.

At school it was called “Aunt Flo” or “Secret Sam” (don’t ask me why.)

Back then everyone used cumbersome huge Kotex pads attached by a hellish contraption known as a “Kotex belt.” Made up of white elastic encompassing your waist along with two plastic clips that attached to each end of the pad, it took some getting used to — and felt very much like my biking shorts do now. It was a great day when I graduated to tampons.

That started years of worry. Worry about waiting to “start”. Worry about what to wear to avoid an accident, and later, worry about NOT starting, waiting every month with a silent prayer to the Period Goddess — please oh please let me start; I’ll be more careful next time. And then getting married and wanting to start a family; holding my breath every month and willing my body to NOT– becoming compulsively scientific, taking temperatures and  stressing over ovulation days and counting. Worry, worry, worry.

Worry about the baby I did become pregnant with…will he be healthy, will I be a good mom, will I produce enough milk, can I protect him from all harm and sadness–the what ifs drove me crazy.

April 2007 was the date of my last menses, my last period. At the risk of alienating my peers, I have to be honest and admit that I had no symptoms of menopause — I experienced none of the common complaints. Oh, I had an occasional hot flash–which I actually enjoyed since I’m always cold — for a few brief moments, it felt like I had my own personal heater. And once in a while, I’d feel a bit tingly which brought back awesome memories of a similar feeling when I was breastfeeding and my milk “let down”. I told my doctor all this and she nodded her head and said she had experienced the same sensations.

I am so happy to be done with all that worry.  I don’t have to check the calendar every month and worry about when or if I’m going to need to carry tampons with me.

It’s not that I’m not still kinda crazy, but my level of worry is diferent. Not that I don’t worry constantly about my son, but he’s a grown up thirty-two- year-old Yale professor and my worry for him is a bit less intense.

I feel freer. Tranquil. Confident. Satisfied. I can take a deep breath now and exhale.

Don’t get me wrong; I do believe Coco Chanel. I still work out like a fiend every day to fit in my size two skinny jeans; I fight the good fight with Botox and color my gray hair, but I’m a very happy fifty-eight-year-old, and proud to say it. Bring on the next chapter of my life. I’m ready!

This post is written for a Generation Fabulous BlogHop. Generation Fabulous is a new website for and about women who are rocking middle-age and beyond. Please click here to see more.

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?