Sunday, September 4, 2011

The reality of good health

I had quite an eye opening experience this summer. What started as a small red spot on my breast turned into a large and painful spot in just a few days time. It was diagnosed as an abscess and cellulitis. My word of wisdom is that if you have any type of change in breast tissue you should get it checked out immediately.
In my case, I was busy with home and family just like always. It was not painful or worrisome at first. It seemed like something that would heal and go away on it's own. By the time it became apparent that I would need medical care my doctor was on vacation and I delayed a couple of additional days so that I could see my regular doctor. My husband and I went to her office for my appointment expecting perhaps to have it lanced and to come home with an antibiotic. We were very surprised to have her emphatically state that I would be admitted to the hospital immediately.

In the end I ended up having it taken care of surgically. It was painful and caused me to spend several days in the hospital. I also discovered that I have diabetes. It was a disheartening few days of medications and life changes as well as a big change in my frame of mind.  Turns out that it could have been a very big threat to my health and well being had the infection been of a more serious type. Who knew? Well, now I do. So I've made it my business to remind people that breast health is important for both women and men.

A plus of having my diabetes diagnosed is that I found out why I had not been able to lose weight. For months I had been exercising and watching what I ate. I have fibromyalgia so many of the symptoms I was having were simply blamed on the fibro. Plus, being right around early menopause, hot flashes were not exactly something that anybody thought was a big deal. Well, with the meds for the diabetes I have not only found it easier to lose weight but have found exercise easier and the hot flashes have disappeared. I admit that I am much more motivated also because diabetes does run in the family and I am quite cautious. Over all I am enjoying improved health and I am relieved and happy to have more energy.

Not to be preachy but it is often easy for women as the caretakers of so many in our lives to neglect ourselves. This is especially true in the area of good health. The truth is that it has taken me this long to learn that I am a much better person, mom, sister, daughter, friend if I feel good and healthy. It is something that I wish I had learned a long time ago. I hope that I pass along to my daughters to be good to themselves. I also hope that I inspire you to be good to yourself. Go ahead. You deserve it. 

Friday, September 2, 2011

A new box of crayons....

Getting ready for back to school. It happens this coming Tuesday. I was commiserating with my sister, whose youngest is going to be a senior this year, about how time flies. I remember the day we put our rising senior on that bus for her first day of kindergarten. ((sigh)) Yes, time certainly does fly.
My husband and I enjoyed some of the freedom afforded having the elementary school "upperclassmen". At school orientation we were allowed to simply go our own way. We met the teachers, picked up our packet of parent homework (sheesh, such a load of paperwork to fill out every year) and purchased our new tie dyed school t-shirts. We are set. No need to make that appearance to the gym for that long dreary and dragged out version of orientation. Whew!
And so our girls are growing up. They will be in third and fifth grade this year.  I've had my melancholy moments of missing the time when they were babies but something stopped me the other evening. I realized that I loved the time when they were babies. I also loved last year. And I will love this year. So I've gone back to the drawing board. I've opened my new box of crayons. I've decided to draw myself a new frame of mind. Instead of wishing for days gone by, I will look forward to the days ahead  and be happy. I will share with my girls the joy of blossoming womanhood.
I was quite amused the other day to hear my ten year old announce to her sister that she is not a child but "practically a young woman." Amused, but sobered, by the knowledge that this is indeed true. She is growing quickly into a young woman and I intend to be there with her to enjoy the time and guide them both every step of the way.