August 28, 2012 § 2 Comments
I was at the grocery store to pick up some bread and I mean real bread people, not whole wheat. Right now there is a stigma to buying anything bread related I swear I could by a bag of crack in an alley and get less disgusted looks than when I buy white bread. Yes, white bread made from Hell’s Kitchen and prepared in the devils oven-but I digress. So as it frequently happens I go in for one thing get distracted by free cheese samples and then suddenly find myself lost in unknown aisle completely confused on how I got there.
This particular instance I am amongst the Depends and female lubricant looking for a way out when I see something amazing. If you are the type of person that does not want to read someone going on about a new product please skip ahead to the end if you don’t mind me gushing over my new found love please read on. So tucked between the hemorrhoid cream, the adult diapers and basically any other product that makes you terrified to get old, there they were. Poise hot flash wipes and hot flash roll on gel. Yes that’s right body wipes that give off a cooling sensation and a roll on gel that guarantees cooling relief for up to 10 minutes-sweet glory! I load these two things in my cart because I don’t care if they are $100 at this point if these work I have found the holy grail of menopause. I get them home and can’t wait to try them so I wipe my face with the cloth & put the gel on my neck-Nothing! Damn I am defeated, well it was worth a shot. So I go about my business start preparing dinner (grumbling on about how some man must have invented these products of deception to give desperate women false hope-did I mention I’m generally crazy) and then all of a sudden it was like I had just entered the arctic circle. You know those commercials where they bite it to a York peppermint patty and they are suddenly dancing with penguins and sliding down igloos-it was like that. It instantly cools your whole body down & totally gets rid of the hot flash/sweat, I think I finally felt what the actual temperature was for the first time in 2 years. Now my instant reaction was to cover myself head to toe with the gel and wrap my face in the cloths, however I resisted temptation because realistically the gel was $7.00 for a small tube so I now was guarding it like Gollum & his precious, thinking any minute the hobbits would be there to take it from me.
There are just two things I wish they did differently 1) Please be aware not all women having hot flashes are on the Golden Girls and maybe find a better place to put this product. It’s not that I’m embarrassed to hang out amongst the female lubricants, denture cream and the prune juice, but I just feel left out as a customer. 2) On the product it says for women over a certain age and I am no where near that age and I have hot flashes, between AARP membership applications coming in the mail & having to make appointments to discuss my menopausal levels I would like one less product to make me feel well beyond my years.
August 2, 2012 § 3 Comments
I recently had a striking loss in my life, that’s right my favorite bra is on it’s last legs (well straps). You know that bra that no matter what outfit you have on it makes you look amazing. The bra that no matter what cut of neckline it always works. The bra that somehow never needs adjusting and is so comfortable you can sleep all night in it. You know the bra that when you finally find the perfect size, cut, brand and color; they suddenly stop selling. I mean it’s like it never existed not online or in the stores. Ask the saleswoman and she’ll give you a blank stare like you have invented a ghost bra that never existed. Did little bra elves and fairies drop this one bra in the store just for you and then never to be heard from again? But needless to say when you have “the bra” you want to keep it for as long as humanly possible, you make sure it goes in the locked safe just in case you get robbed.
Unfortunately the other day it happened. I was lifting a huge box and I hear a rip (I was overjoyed to see my pants were still in tact and my ass was not exposed) But upon closer inspection I found that my favorite bras underwire had broken in two and was jetting outside of the fabric. That’s right I have worn it so many times that the metal gave way. Now what would a normal person do? They would buy a new bra and be done with it. What did I do? I got some medical tape and taped it back together. So my beautiful black lace bra now has a huge mass of plastic tape around the bottom. Yes I am aware that it looks insane and probably looks as ridiculous as those people that attach their car windows with duct tape and plastic bags, but I was not giving up hope.
So I am wearing my bra and quite frankly pretty darn impressed with myself and my combination of MacGyver & Project Runway smarts. From the outside you can’t even tell, like always it looks perfect and my outfit looks amazing. So I didn’t hestitae wearing it to my doctors appointment. It was just a rountine checkup, he usually just asks me to breathe, checks my throat and I’m out of there. We are in the middle of take a deep breathe in, when he says “Michelle Your breathing is a little uneven and your heart rate is a little elevated I would like to an EKG just to make sure there’s no cause for alarm. I’m going to get a nurse in here but I need to you get in a gown but you can keep your bra on” Then it hits me, not that I might have some weird heart diesease but I a wearing my bra that is held together by tape and dreams.Shit what the hell am I supposed to do? I guess I could run out of here & blame it on the hormones, it also occurs to me that I could just take off my bra but that would mean the nurse is walking in on some crazy topless woman.No I have to accept what is coming, so I take a deep breathe and the nurse starts putting wires on my chest and then hones in on the huge patch of tape wrapped around the underwire of my bra. I can tell she doen’t want to bring attention to her staring but really she can’t pull her eyes away she’s really trying to figure out what the hell is going on or thinking “She didn’t look homeless when she walked in” She went the route of ignoring it completely (which was fine with me, we will both ignore the crazy woman in the bra held together by tape) just when I thought I was out of the woods I heard the following “We aren’t getting an accurate reading I need to slip this under your bra” (I still believe she just came up with this to get closer to my tape bra) I start to take off the bra and realize that with it being so hot today the tape has actually melted onto my skin and I’m going to have to rip this off like a friggin band-aid. So with a huge smack I finally got it off and realized it was time for a new bra (Maybe?)
May 20, 2012 § Leave a comment
For my birthday I posted the 10 reasons it’s better to be 30 than 20 but I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t also do a post of 10 things that get worse in your 30’s (Sorry but I can only be an optimist for a limited time)
At 20: When I got a phone call at 10:00 pm on a Friday I thought “Alright there’s a party somewhere” At 30: I get a phone call at 10:0o pm on a Friday and I think “Oh great someone’s been in an accident or dead”
At 20: They were just “my jeans” At 30: They are “My skinny, one day I hope to fit into them again jeans” ( I secretly keep them in my closet still convinced that my new dryer shrank them)
At 20: When my mom used to take me to a movie in the middle of the week I used to give her an eye roll when she said “Why is it so packed on a weekday? Don’t these people have jobs or school?” At 30: I recently went to see Hunger Games on a week day (the first showing because tickets are a $1.00 cheaper) and as we pulled into the parking lot I caught myself saying “Why are these kids here isn’t there school? Is it a holiday? Don’t these parents work?” (Kind of a double whammy because you catch yourself saying things your mother said and you vowed to never say them when you got older)
At 20: I used to be able to eat anything I wanted At 30: My meal choices are based on whether I have to be up early the next day or if I remembered my heartburn pills.
At 20: I used to date guys with mohawks, black eyeliner and neck tattoos. At 30: I see a group of those guys and I wonder what they are up to.
At 20: Listening to Nirvana and Pearl Jam meant you were rebellious and on the cutting edge of music At 30: No one knows who the hell Nirvana is and they are under Classic 90’s on Pandora.
At 20: A Saturday night out consisted of bar hopping, going to one of our boyfriends shows (that’s right we all dated musicians back then) and not getting home until 2:30 am Sunday At 30: A Saturday night out is picking up my Chinese food
At 20: Dinner was anytime after 9:00 pm At 30: We try to have dinner at 5:00 to “beat the crowds”
At 20: I only took naps when I was sick At 30: The promise of a nap is sometimes the only thing that gets me through a day
At 20: Moving only took a half a day and only cost you a case of beer At 30: I have put off moving for 3 years because I worry it will be mistaken for a Hoarder intervention
May 19, 2012 § 3 Comments
Last year I turned 30 and went through menopause all in the same year, so one would think I would have nothing to fear from this birthday (I mean short of me being in the same room with all my ex’s, me gaining 30 pounds or suddenly realizing they forgot to take out my uterus this should be a piece of cake…mmmmm. I want cake) So I was really surprised with the growing anxiety of my impending birthday. You know those people that say things like “age is just a number” and “your only as old as you feel” well frankly they piss me off and they are only saying it because either they are a hell of lot younger than you or because they know they look friggin’ old. Also I just heard some annoying jackass on TV refer to 30 as being middle-aged, they should censor shit like that. If you are going to fine Janet Jackson (Miss Jackson if your nasty) for showing her boob ( I’m sorry her middle-aged boob) then the FCC should fine that idiot,t00.
So in celebration of me turning 30 (for the second time) I am listing 10 instances of why I’m glad I’m 30 and not 20 anymore:
At 20: I once had a boyfriend who waited a month to break up with because he wouldn’t have a ride to school At 30: My boyfriend owns his own car (and it runs)
At 20: 2 items from the dollar menu came dangerously close to over-withdrawing my bank account At 30: I have overdraw protection and a savings account
At 20: I thought all wine came in a box At 30: I actually have unopened bottles that I’m purposely saving
At 20: I used to buy Bartles & James from my local Rite Aid At 30: I visit wineries & local vineyards
At 20: I only owned one pair of shoes At 30: I have a cute pair for every outfit and occasion
At 20: Some of my part-time jobs included ( I am not making these up): Magicians Assistant, Face Painter, Merch Chick for local punk band, Living Art Model and Thrift Store Sorter At 30: I teach students in their twenties
At 20: Some of my ex boyfriends included ( I’m not making these up either): A Magician, An anarchist, a guy who looked like a pterodactyl, a guy who had the entire Lord of the Rings story tattooed on his arms, a guy named Cooter, a guy who roller bladded inside the house and a guy who asked to borrow $20 bucks to get to another girls house At 30: Dating the same man for 7 years (even if he irons his sweater vests, weirdo)
At 20: Always worried that I was pregnant At 30: Never have to be worried about pregnancy again
At 20: Was trying to get everyone to like me At 30: Everyone should like me because I’m so friggin awesome & if they don’t they are obviously the person with the problem
At 20: I thought 30 was really far away At 30: 40 seems right around the corner (wait that’s not better, shit)
April 22, 2012 § 3 Comments
One of my friends is an amazing photographer who recently took a series of pictures of me to put my self image back into focus. Many woman after being sick for a period of time or go through a hysterectomy when they are young can forget that they are still young, sexy woman. That feeling gets lost along the way (I’m pretty sure it’s some where between worrying if you’ll wake up with a beard from the hormones and being surround by the cast of Cocoon every time you go to the doctors office)
My friend did an amazing job and I wish all women could experience having an amazing photographer showcase them in a way they haven’t seen themselves in years. She recently wrote a blog post about our session and I wanted to share it with you:
Watching a young woman struggle, search for answers, and be denied proper health care has to be one of the biggest heartbreaks I’ve encountered as a friend. Watching the emotional and spiritual change in someone because of health issues just compounds the situation.
My dear friend Michelle began feeling ill about 3 years after we became friends. It took two years for her to finally convince a doctor that the radical choice of a hysterectomy at age 29 wasn’t the insanity they thought it was, but was actually a life-saving, life-bettering choice for her. It wasn’t an easy choice to make, and then to have to battle the system for her right to choose – all of this took more strength than Michelle thought she had. It’s been over a year since her surgery, and while her health has been on-track, and her recovery has certainly been better than her illness… those of us who ‘knew her before’ still felt something missing.
Michelle sparkles. She’s spunky, witty, clever and talented. None of that has changed, but it had dimmed, and I watched her fight her way out of a darkness she didn’t realize was there until she began to pull herself out of it. In the last 12 months, I’ve seen her begin to take more risks, to accept less of what she is handed, and start to demand more of what she is due.
When I asked for volunteers to try new posing and portrait techniques, I didn’t expect Michelle to say yes. I’m thrilled that she did, and I’ll allow her to share her experience in her own words:
Initially when Lani showed me Before & After images of what she wanted to try in her business my reaction was “Well of course they look great they’re all beautiful women in the first place” and “those women must have huge amounts of confidence” both of which I wasn’t really feeling at the time, so when Lani asked me to model for her camera my initial reaction was not an astounding yes. My head was filled with “I can’t pose like that” “I don’t want people seeing me trying to look pretty” “they’re going to think I look ridiculous” and “It’s a good thing Lani knows Photoshop” But the whole thing got me thinking, When did I become so fearful? I used to be fearless, I used to love posing for pictures, I was a model for The Art Institute’s photography students (where everybody saw your images and had to critique them) and I didn’t blink. Today you couldn’t get me in front of camera unless it was nighttime and I was in full makeup, even then I could undoubtedly see all the flaws in the picture. I am guilty of what so many women are as well: we have a distorted idea of what we look like. We no longer recognize the women looking back at us and can easily find the beauty in others but are convinced we look the monster in Predator.
When did I become full of fear? One day I woke up with a stomach ache… and two years of being on every medication, misdiagnosis, a variety of unpleasant symptoms that made my weight yo-yo and finally led me to full hysterectomy and going through menopause at 29 (You think you had a bad time with thirty? throw in some hot flashes and getting AARP packets in the mail)
These sessions aren’t about the pictures or how you look they hone in on how you FEEL. Lani tries and finds that part of yourself that is buried or that you felt is lost. Within two clicks of the camera you are fearless again and totally at ease. Once you see the images you have a moment of “who is that person?” and then you realize it’s you. She finally takes your self image and puts it into FOCUS.
I couldn’t have said it better myself. THANK YOU Michelle, for finding your Fearless.
To view the article in the original source: http://www.laniharmon.com/fearless/
March 17, 2012 § Leave a comment
A day before my consultation with the surgical oncologist I got a call from one of the people in her office just to make sure I was prepared and if I had any questions on what to bring. Should be a fairly uneventful conversation, right? So I have no idea when the conversation took a weird unexpected turn:
“Hello Michelle I am calling on behalf of Dr. What’s Her Name to just briefly go over what to expect from your appointment tomorrow.” Great, thank you. “So you should arrive 15 minutes early and make sure you bring the forms we sent you. You have filled out the forms we sent you right?” Of course, I filled them out the day I got them (shit I’ve got to fill out those forms, double shit I have to find where I put those forms) “Wonderful. You would be surprised by how many people leave them to the last minute” Really, you don’t say (Seriously where the hell did I put those damn forms) “You will be meeting with the nurse to go over your medical history and then you will have an exam with the doctor, any questions so far?” (Um yeah what happens if you loose your forms.) Um, No questions. ” As for clothing it’s really important that you wear something that you can easily get over your head. The easier the garment can me removed the better” So what I usually wear on dates, Got it. “We prefer a bra that can you can snap on & off fairly quickly” (Ok now you sound like my boyfriend.) “Unlike the mammography office we would prefer you wear deodorant and please make sure all hair in and around the area is shaved” (Ok seriously I don’t take this long on anniversaries to get ready. That is a lot to ask for someone I haven’t even met yet. I usually like to be wooed a little. You have to earn shaved armpits and an easy access bra.) “Depending on where the mass is the doctor might require you contort your upper body so prepared to be a little sore the next day. And I think that’s it, Any questions?” (Did I accidentally make my appointment with a brothel?)
March 13, 2012 § 1 Comment
Actual questions from one of the forms I had to fill out (Please keep in mind that the appointment is at a Women’s Breast Health office):
3. Height: _____________ Weight: __________________ (Please do not lie we will be weighing you) Yes. It actually says don’t lie. Holy Shit my medical form is threatening me to divulge my actual weight. Also if your weighing me anyway why do I have to fill it out, I swear they are doing it just to catch me in a lie.
15. Who discovered the lump? Circle ALl that Apply. Friend, Partner, Family Member, Doctor, Nurse, Unknown Relationship (I would hope if they were touching you, you would know your relationship to them) or Trusted Religious Leader or Spiritual Guide (does that give anyone else the creeps)
21. Do you still have your uterus? Y or N If you answered No answer the next question if not skip ahead to question number 23.
22. What caused you to loose your uterus? Circle One
- Birth Deformity
- Gender Reassignment surgery
- Other (if you mark other please explain in detail) now I’m not an expert but really have the first 3 what other ways can one loose their uterus and I so want to write down the most outrageous thing just to see if they would notice-my three favorites below
I’m pretty sure it was the aliens, I woke up in Mexico in a bath tub full of ice and it was gone and a tragic miniature golfing accident, there more common than you would think
32. Which breast are you having problems with? Circle One. Right. Left. Both or Other (Seriously what other could there be, oh yes my fourth breast is really the problem)
47. Before reading this I’ll have you remember my appointment is at The Center for Women’s Breast Health Gender: M or F
and what questioner would not be complete with an essay question. It’s like the SAT’s all over again and like the SAT’s I’m going to leave it blank.
50. In lines provided below please describe your breast especially the nipple for us. (it just seems like something they would use to lure men in on “To Catch a Predator.” )