Pink Ribbon

I had my mammogram a few months ago.

For those of you who have never had a mammogram- it sucks.

I’m pretty sure that the person who invented stilleto heels and corsets is the same person who invented the mammo machine…

Your breasts are literally pressed into a machine. You have to hold your breath. They need multiple angles to make sure they see everything. And if you have large breasts, let’s just say they are going to readjust you and snap quite a few pictures…

I don’t know anyone who looks forward to their mammo. It’s this necessary evil check list item that they tick off and breathe a sigh of relief.

For some people.

Some people choose not to have mammograms. Some people choose to play Russian Roulette with their health…

Some people are scared, or busy or whatever…

But I guess it’s your body your choice, so I won’t be telling anyone what to do.

But anyway…back to me…and my breasts

So I got my mammo.

Then I had to wait for the results.

tick…tick…tick…

Isn’t waiting for anything the worst?

I was quite lucky that I got my results back that afternoon…first I got the actual lab results, which is all in medical jargon. But I understand enough to know that I had no signs of anything bad. In fact, my breasts were labelled as “fatty” not “dense”.

It’s the only time you want to see FATTY on your medical results…Fatty breasts are good…

Let’s hear it for the girls…

A few hours after the lab results I got the letter…

Dear LA,

We are pleased to inform you…

I felt like I got into college…They’d reviewed my submission and found my breasts acceptable…

The letter went on to say that I should continue to monitor my breasts for further developments…and I should feel free to contact them if I have any concerns…because my breast health is very important to them…

Is your breast health important to you?

Anything Can Happen Friday: Practical

This week I’ve vented and ranted and got out all my emotions. But now it’s time for the practical:

I’ve reached the age where I now have to take medication and supplements.

Fine.

This happens.

But how do you put on your person what things you are taking, or what conditions you have?

Do you put it in your phone with an ICE (in case of emergency) number?

Do you keep it on a piece of paper in your wallet?

Do you take it behind you license?

Do you tape it behind your phone?

How do you let the world know what medicine or supplements you are taking if you were ever to fall ill and not be able to speak?

Where do you keep the phone number of your primary care physician?

I’m adding this after the initial writing because I realized that I wasn’t clear in why I was asking:

Say you pass out somewhere. EMT comes to your aid but you are unable to communicate. How do they know what they can and can’t give you medicine wise? Or treatment wise? Knowing what medicine you’ve taken could help medics help you

Inquiring minds want to know

The Answer to the Question is…

I recently went to the beach with some friends.  We set up our umbrellas and chairs in a little circle about fifteen feet from the waves.  The sky was a greyish blue, the sun peaking in and out of the clouds.  Temperatures were perfect- not too humid, not too hot, not too cold.  Light breeze.  We sipped on water and adult beverages (sssh- don’t tell) and ate grapes from the cooler. Then the conversation opened: “When did you have your last colonoscopy?” Which was followed by various dates and measures and frequency.  So the answer to the question “At what age do people start talking about their health, the amount of pills they take, and other medical related things” is 58.7, the average age of the people around our little circle.

I am now afraid to ask someone “How are you?” because I know I will probably not hear the response “Fine.  And you?” I will probably get shown their portable pill case, which is fine and all, but not necessarily the topic I want to discuss at a cocktail party or beach outing.

Don’t get me wrong.  I seriously care about the health of my friends.  I truly do want to know how they are doing, what issues they are dealing with, and how they are treating them.  But why do Doctor’s appointments have to become the opening line of conversation? Can’t we just go back to discussing the weather? “Wow.  Can you believe all the rain we’ve had?” “I know.  But at least it will stop the humidity.”

I know I’m fast approaching the age where health will become the major concern of my life.  I know it will be the first thing I think about when it takes me 15 minutes to get out of bed. (Fun fact- the name of this blog came about when I realized that at 49 I was able to spring out of bed with the first sound of the morning M101 limited streaming up from the street, and at 50 I had to set the alarm ten minutes early not so I can snooze, but because it took me ten minutes to stretch and unlock all the joints needed to get out of bed) But…can’t we try to not have it be the very first thing we think about/discuss?

There is nothing bad about getting older.  In fact, I’d rather get older than the other option.  But age is a mindset.  While we must learn to take proper care of our older bodies, and be on the lookout for new and interesting maladies, we can’t keep thinking about our health and it’s slow deterioration.  It’s inevitable: our bodies will show signs of wear and tear.  That doesn’t mean we have to be hyper focused on it.

So yes, read about health related issues.  Go to the Doctor.  Talk to your friends about what’s going on. Lead a healthy lifestyle. But on a beautiful day, when you’re sitting at the beach, just look at the ocean and think about how great it is to be alive.  Cause that’s the thing- live while you’re alive.  Find new things to talk about, and challenge yourself in different ways. Don’t think that because you have to watch heartrate or cholesterol level you must constantly focus on health related issues.  that it becomes the main topic of conversation. Remember all the other things that make up who you are. Come up with a better opening line.

And just live life the best you can, no matter what age you are.

 

 

Resolution: Exercise

How many people made a resolution to exercise more/be more fit?   My gym has seen a surge of people…

I know I did.  But I set that as a goal every year.  And I keep it.  I set my goal as 5 days a week, but truth be told, I usually exercise 7 days a week.  In a perfect world, I do spin class twice, two weights classes and elliptical 3 times a week.  This year I propose to replace an elliptical session with a Pilates reformer class.  I need to get more flexible- that’s my actual fitness goal for the year- flexibility.

But back to you guys:  How do you keep up an exercise regimen?

  1. Start slowly.  Don’t rush out and join a gym.  Look at the different fitness options available- there are so many now.  Find something you are going to enjoy doing and will look forward to.  Seriously.  Exercise should be fun- it shouldn’t be something you dread.  And exercise is anything that gets you moving.  Dance class, jumping rope, swimming, fencing, soccer…..it’s up to you!  Choose what you want!!
  2. Now this brings me to my next point- I know the following opinion goes against popular opinion, but DON’T EXERCISE WITH A BUDDY.  This is setting yourself up for failure.  First off, you may not enjoy the same exercise- so having your friend along side you will not make it any better.  Secondly, if your friend is sick, would you still go?  The motivation should not be solely based on your friend riding an exercise bike next to you, but because you want to be on that bike.  But I understand the allure of having a exercise buddy.  My suggestion is simple, find the exercise you like, and find a new friend who enjoys it.  I have gym friends.  I have friends in my exercise classes and friends I elliptical next to.  These people help keep me motivated, because we are both enjoying the same things.  So rethink who your exercise buddies are.
  3.  Start slow.  I know I began a paragraph like this already, but this is something slightly different.  When you are starting out, set your goal to be working out 45 minutes a week.  Seriously.  Say you are going to work out once.  When you do it, it will feel good.  after a few weeks, add another session.  Build up slowly.
  4. Ease up.  In January, I see all the newbies start out in a class, and they take that first class full throttle, the heaviest weights, the most reps, the highest jumps.  They are all in.  Until they’re not.  Because I rarely see these people again.  And maybe it’s cause they don’t like this sort of workout.  That’s fine.  But it’s also because they work out hard, feel like crap (cause you will- using muscles you never use isn’t pretty) and decide it’s not worth it.  So, my advice, that first class, that first session- get the lay of the land.  Figure out what’s expected.  Find your pace.  Concentrate on doing something the right way.
  5. Make sure you love what you are wearing to exercise.  I know this sounds shallow, but if you don’t like what you are wearing, you will be less motivated to work out.  Workout clothes don’t have to be expensive- but you should be comfortable and able to move about freely.

The goal of an exercise routine should be to get fit, but remember, there are all different ways to reach that goal.  Figure out your individual path.  Figure out what makes you happy, and what will keep you exercising and healthy.

I know you can do it!

These are my personal observations.  i have no degree in anything related to this- I just exercise every week and these are things that got me started.