Monday, February 9, 2015

Just some things


I'm just going to come out and say it: I wish this beautiful, late-spring weather in February would stop. It was nice at first but now we're going into our second week of it and it just feels weird, like we skipped ahead two or three months on the calendar. It's lovely to take walks and play in the park without a jacket but I'm worried about the trees and the bulbs; it's bound to get colder again and the buds may be killed. Then we'll have no flowers, or fruit later in the year. We'll have had weird, creepy heat in the middle of winter though, so that's something. Or so people keep trying to convince me, but I disagree. I want flowers and fruit, darn it.

I feel cantankerous right now in general. I'm anxious about having my annual "lady-parts" exam later this week. Have I ever mentioned that I have severe medical anxiety? It's true. It's real and it's crippling. Most of my problem can be traced back to my son's birth, and the pregnancy and labor, all of which were fraught with problems. My daughter's were also difficult and that didn't help. But it goes back to before I ever had children, a long string of negative and scary medical experiences. I've been fortunate to find a local midwife who treats women in all stages of life, not just pregnancy, and I feel okay about her.

My main problem is having my blood pressure measured. My pregnancy and birth issues center around having had severe preeclampsia with both babies. This disease features extremely high blood pressure in the mother. I topped out at about 190/120 with each baby. I needed an automatic blood pressure cuff and it took readings every five minutes, day and night, for an extended period of time, and it really affected me. I became terrified of having my blood pressure taken. Years later, it's still like this, and I can feel my blood pressure skyrocket just calling a doctor's office on the phone. I would rather have my weight taken, and announced, in front of a whole stadium full of people than have my blood pressure taken in the presence of one nurse.

I know I don't really have high blood pressure because I have my own monitor at home and it's normal here. My midwife is understanding and she lets me bring in a record of my at-home blood pressures when I have a visit with her, instead of taking it herself in the office. This helps a LOT, but I still hate going there. I wish I didn't, and it's not her fault, she's very nice and not at all threatening, but it's the history. Your eyes are probably glazed over by now, but wish me luck. You'll be horrified/pleased to know that I've preemptively bribed myself with a drive-through at Sonic for a milkshake when it's all over...

On a more lighthearted note, the small Bears are having a great week for lost teeth so far. The LB lost one last night (his tenth lost tooth), and the GB discovered her first loose tooth ever just this morning. It's a top front tooth, which seems unusual to me because I thought they mostly lost the bottom front ones first, but I suspected it was becoming loose over the past few weeks because it was moving away from the tooth next to it. She was getting a space she'd never had before. The loose tooth is loose enough that I think she could lose it by the end of the week. I should go to the bank just in case; I'm almost out of dollar bills. One funny thing about their tooth-losing is that he started getting teeth much younger than she did, four months old versus twelve months. And he started losing them at just about eight months younger than she is now. Isn't that strange? I'm sure it's just a neat mathematical coincidence, but I like to look for these things in my life, they make sense to me.

Thank you for your kind comments lately. I hesitate to spend much of my time here blogging about blogging, because I think it's so "meta" as to be boring and pointless, but I've been enjoying blogging more than ever these past few months. I will say, though, that I've been having lots of trouble with my blog feeds lately (I have a main one and a backup, and both are acting up), so I think I'm missing posts. I'm sorry about that. I'm also noticing that Blogger is no longer sending me emails for each comment on my own blog, so there are times I don't even realize they are there unless I go directly to the comments on a given post. And I've heard that my own new posts aren't always showing up in a timely way in others' feeds and sidebars. What is with you, Blogger? Fix this, please, Mr. Google! So, readers, if I've seemed absent in some way or another lately, please bear with me.

50 comments:

  1. Hey Jennifer,
    No eyes glazing over here. Just sending lots of love and support from over the water. I hope all goes well, and I can completely empathise with the reasons behind your anxiety about doctors and hospitals. I have really enjoyed your posts of late. I like the regularity of the posts, and the diverse subjects. And it shows different sides to your personality and your lovely sense of humour too. So keep them coming.
    With much love,
    Leanne xx

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  2. I completely agree about the weather. It's starting to be creepy how warm it's staying. I want winter! :-/ Good luck with your medical appointment. I'm glad you have found a midwife you trust. That makes all of the difference!

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  3. Awe good luck for the end of the week Jennifer, I'm sure all will be fine!

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  4. Oh, poor you. Hope all goes well with your appointment! I don't generally mind medical appointments but ladies tests, mmm, no way. I ignore the first two or three letters before I pluck up the courage to go!! Take care. Sharon. Xx

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  5. I am just the same, blood pressure shoots up at the mere thought of anyone actually measuring it. Good luck and enjoy the milkshake :)

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  6. Sending you a hug, wishing you well for your next appointment.

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  7. First of all I hope the exam goes well and that all is OK. I think that treating yourself afterwards is an excellent idea!! I am very pleased to hear that you are doing that for yourself. As regards blogger, I noticed that I am not getting some comments e-mailed to me, but as I moderate all comments I read them then. It is annoying though isn't it! Sometimes I want to reply and there isn't an e-mail to reply to. Also, the reader thing is irksome isn't it. I only use one reader, and only follow people there, but sometimes posts don't appear. If only we could work this out! I am sure it will all come good. Well done again for treating yourself! xx

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  8. Hello Jennifer,

    It is very brave of you to write this post. It cannot be easy sharing these personal fears, but, perhaps, it helps to verbalise them.....or, at least, to write them down here. Somehow, talking about medical issues and one's fears attached to them is often seen as taboo and, yet, we feel that this helps to normalise the situation and reduce the anxiety rather than feed on it.

    Your fears are very real to you and, when faced with unpleasant things, our mantra is to take small steps and project yourself into the future. Concentrate on the milkshake and everything up to that point will just take its course and be over before you realise! Whatever, we do wish you well, and hold you close!

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  9. My fear is blood tests! After having some really bad ones it takes a lot of good ones to restore faith in anyone who's going to take some! I hope your exam goes ok x Thanks for following me, very kind. I keep meaning to thank new followers in the following post but I keep forgetting!

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  10. I agree about warm weather in winter, it's all wrong. A couple of years ago we had an incredibly hot autumn, and there were even ducklings and a bit of apple blossom. Nature gets confused and then suffers later. Someone told me most of the (twelve!) ducklings survived, and I like to think they did. I had a similar check-up this week too, they're not fun even without a tricky history. I always sink my nails into the palms of my hands! It sounds like you have good medical support though, and I do hope you get through it okay. Having your own blood pressure monitor is an excellent idea. My biggest boy has a really wobbly molar at the moment, it's quite painful, but not quite ready to come out. I asked him if he believed in the tooth fairy this afternoon. He grinned at me and said, "Yes". I have a pot where I save extra shiny pound coins for just such occasions. I'm sending you a cyber hug, keep focused on that milkshake. CJ xx

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  11. I like the seasons to do the right thing at the right time too. I thinkI just like order!
    I'm not sure anyone really enjoys going to the doctors for examinations, but well done you for not ignoring the appointment and facing it. Enjoy that milkshake. xx

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  12. Hi Jen, I feel for you regrading examinations. That's why I think there is such a long gap between my children. This second birth was far worse than the first! Glad you got through your appointment nerves, I also want to highlight you to a giveaway on my blog if you want to go check it out x

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  13. Jennifer, that photo is beautiful. I never tire of seeing pictures of the New Mexico landscape. Blood pressure is a cause of anxiety for me too, and I also suffered pre-eclampsia with pregnancy. These days I take medication (reluctantly), and have my own monitor. At the doctor's, my reading is always about 30 points higher - doc calls it White Coat Syndrome! Good luck with it, and enjoy the milkshake. I reward with a nice coffee afterwards :)

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  14. You know that I can somewhat commiserate with your medical anxiety. My worst is the dentist (as you know). I can't trace mine back to any previous trauma though...I've always been afraid of the dentist. Maybe because I've had dental problems since I was 8 years old? And let's face it, shots in the mouth and continuous drilling and a stranger's hands in your mouth aren't exactly pleasant. I'm fine with regular medical exams, blood tests, mammograms, ultrasounds, even MRIs. But tell me you need to cut something off of me - even a mole - and I'm totally freaked out. I'm also past due for a colonoscopy (you're supposed to have a baseline one at age 50...I'll be 53 in August) because that freaks me out, too. Anyway, I'll be thinking of you with your dr's appointment. I think the anxiety beforehand is actually worse than the exam itself. And good for you for rewarding yourself with a shake when you're done. I do that (drive-thru at Culvers) after my dentist appointments. :-)

    Blogger stuff...I don't read anyone's blog through my feed. I just rely on my sidebar blog roll and that way I can just click on blogs and read them when I wish. I also don't get emails when someone comments on my blog (I guess I have a lot to learn still - I didn't know you could choose that option!) - I just go in and look at my comments.

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  15. Jennifer, I am so glad you shared this part of yourself with us. Do you mind emailing me to tell me the day of your appointment. I will be praying for you specially that day. Your fears are very real and my care for you is also very real. I think a milkshake to celebrate being done is a perfect idea! Wish I could join you. Blogger is messing with me too. I don't get emails of comments a lot of the time. It's very frustrating. I hope you can feel all of the love and good wishes we all have for you this week.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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  16. Wishing you the very best with the appointment and understand your anxiety....Mine is dental but I do go every year or even every 6mths and hyperventilate wish they would just knock me out even though I have great teeth, just a severe dentist while growing up....testing my bp at the moment every few days xoxoxo

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  17. I hope your appt goes well. Glad you have an understanding Dr. I hate getting weighed, but worse than that is going to the dentist!
    Blogger has been messing me up too, and I worry about missing posts too.

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  18. I have white coat syndrome when it comes to my BP too ... just like you I have to take it at home, so I do sympathise. But a yearly exam, don't knock it, they're three yearly here meaning there's plenty of time for things to go wrong in between.

    I'm guilty of the meta things sometime, but the whole thing fascinates me ... why we blog, how we blog, what it all means.

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  19. Saying a prayer for you when you go to the doctor. I am the same way about the dentist. I lost almost all my baby teeth due to decay not natural falling out because I was so terrified of the dentist that I would get sick before going/get an actual fever and then they couldn't treat me. I think blogs are no different than journals that people have kept for the last century. The only differance is that they are open for other to read and make comments on. I think they are a fantastic way to record history for other and for ones family. My family loves my blog because they can go back and see what we have accomplished.

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  20. I do hope all goes well. I had the same experience last year with my blood pressure, just before I had a hysterectomy and it would go very high so I had to stop and talk about something to the doctor to distract me. My blood pressure is now great. I get severe anxiety too but only if I have to drive on a road along a cliff or over a high bridge for some unknown reason. I hope that one day you will stop having medical anxiety as it is very stressful.

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  21. Oh dear.. that lady parts investigation thing is something I wish I never had to do again. I gamely do it once a year, but I think I keep moving the making the appointment thing farther and farther apart. I hate the BP taking too.. it seems like they're squeezing my arm off. I actually have Daphne blooms opening up! It's so weird. I'm glad you're enjoying your blogging.. so am I.. it's a happy thing. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  22. Beautiful photo - your weather looks gorgeous, but I can understand about rather having the flowers and fruit. Best of luck with the exam - a self bribe is an excellent idea. I have done it with the girls when they have the 'trauma' of being measured for a bra - costs me a book every time! Just trying to find a parking space at the GP's is enough to send my BP rocketing! x

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  23. I am returning your visit - thank you - but looks as if I have called at a difficult time for you.
    I am sure that many of us will empathise, I would rather run a mile, than go to the doctors, and also hate having my blood pressure taken. The thought of it puts mine up, and I hate the sensation as it squeezes the top of the arm.
    I wish you luck, and next time I visit it will be all over.

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  24. Bless you, anxiety, over anything can take over.....I care for people who have anxiety ever day so I know the impact! Check ups are a way of keeping our bodies healthy, it's good we can have them. Have you tried relaxation techniques? They could help :) xxx

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  25. Hello there lovely lady.... Special,special calming thoughts being sent to you. I wonder if you have ever tried Yoga. It has helped me so much. Try an imagery walk as the procedures begin. Place your imaginative self in your favourite place in the whole world and focus like mad on walking there.close your eyes,see the sights,smell the scents and immerse yourself in the sounds and most importantly BREATHE. In and out,calm and long,even and strong xxxxxxx

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  26. I have stopped going to the Doctors not from fear but because every time one of us goes there for a routine test we bring home flu or a really nasty cold. I haven't set foot in one for five years now. I hope that you are able to cope with your test and can really enjoy your milkshake afterwards ;)

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  27. Blogger can be a pain sometimes lets face it most times. Sorry to hear about your anxiety issues Jennifer, but we health professionals are used to it so please try to relax, although I can talk I need some scans myself and I know once the appointments come through it will be like a dark cloud over my head until they are done, then there will be the worry of the results. I'm blanking it I've learnt to do that up to a point. It will soon be over don't worry thinking of you and sending a virtual hug. :) xx

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  28. Send me your warm winter weather, I'm fed up of being cold and I can't wait for spring to come. I hope everything goes ok this week, it must be terrible to have such anxiety over a routine medical test but it sounds as though you've got a very understanding midwife and looking on the bright side, once you've got it over and done with, that will be it again for a good while. I held on to my teeth for ages as a child, I was so late in losing them and Daniel and Eleanor have been just the same. Some children in their class had lost all their teeth before they even started losing theirs, I'm hoping that bodes well for the future and that their teeth are good and strong.

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  29. Hi Jennifer, sending positive vibes your way for your appointment. That doesn't sound easy for you but it's great you have worked out the best solution for you with a trusted midwife doing the exam. I'm glad you are loving blogging, I"m only slowly finding my way back to it...take care! Mel x

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  30. Anxiety is always such a crippling thing, Jennifer. I remember you writing before about your difficult pregnancies. I'm so glad you have a trusted midwife who gives you care. If it was me I would up the ante a bit and throw in some new yarn along with that milkshake. Just saying... :-)

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  31. I'm glad I'm not the only one that has problems with Blogger. Well - no - that's not exactly the way to say it! I wish none of us had problems with Blogger. I really feel for you having to go for this check-up. I feel anxious about other types of things but anxiety is anxiety whatever it is caused by. And it's extremely hard to overcome. If only there was a simple answer.

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  32. Good luck with the check up. Make sure you have that milkshake afterwards and enjoy it.
    X

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  33. I hope everything turns out OK with your "lady-exam". I can understand you're not really keen on medical visits - especially that one ! If it is any consolation, I am quite sure none of us here goes to the ladydoctor without fear !!
    Is the weather so abnormal over there ? I wouldn't mind a few degrees more here...not that I don't like winter, on the contrary, but enough is enough...

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  34. Hi Jennifer, my legs were crossed when I read the first part of your post, and I really hope everything will be ok - make sure you enjoy that milkshake, you deserve it! Ah, the tooth fairy, a very expensive business :-) xx

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  35. Oh Jennifer, I wish you well for your appointment, treat yourself have two milkshakes!! Blogger is being a right pain at the moment!

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  36. The weather bit is upsetting to me because it is a deeper issue that many don't want to confront which is the changing of our overall climate in general.. We have had very strange weather patterns here in Chicago as well....a winter...but less snow for the most part. Makes me want to shake government officials and get them on board with every possible environmental friendly bill there is. Good luck with your appointment...mine is next week too and my anxiety about it is already hitting the roof. Sending you positive think thoughts on all levels!!! Wish you a great week friend! Nicole xoxo

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  37. thinking of you, hope all goes well xxx

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  38. I wish our lady checks were yearly. It's every three years here, and of course I can never remember when my last one was, and then I worry that the letter telling me I'm due a check up got lost...but yes, they are horrible but necessary. I hope yours goes ok. I'm really glad you're enjoying blogging so much. I certainly enjoy coming here and reading your posts - for inspiration, friendship, humour and all sorts of other things. :-) xx

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  39. Just to let you know that I have nominated you for an award, the details are on my blog. Please don't feel under any pressure to accept, I just wanted to let you know that I enjoy reading your blog.

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  40. Gosh yearly, ours are every three years here & over a certain age too. I hope it goes well for you & I'm sorry you are struggling so much with your fears, we can't pick what makes us scared & fearful. Yours certainly came from a traumatic experience. I've always found your blog a comfort to read & really enjoy visiting it. Hope you got your milkshake in the end. Take care xx

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  41. First I wish you the very best on your visit to the Doctor, you have mentioned this before to me and I wish I had words to help you. Maybe some really relaxing breathing or meditation before you go in. I have the same issues with BLooger, some of the blogs I have been reading the longest no longer show up in my emails so I cannot comment back, which sort of breaks up the flow of your conversation.

    Hugs to you,
    Meredith

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  42. I hear you... I've even had my husband have an appointment for me (obviously not exam), I can't bear going, but do have high bp and a few other medical problems that need monitoring, and then get more anxious because I know I don't go when I should. Glad to hear your midwife is understanding, enjoy your well deserved milkshake after xx

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  43. Hoping your check up all goes well. Thinking of you. I know what you mean about the weather, it can't seem to make up its mind what to do. P x

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  44. I certainly understand about crippling anxiety and I too have it dealing with doctors to name just one area . Some people just cant fathom that someone that may appear outgoing in many aspects has such a debilitating uncontrollable disability that they cant see . Its not always an easy thing to explain or talk about , thank you for sharing.

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  45. Anxiety about medical examinations is something many women share, but your history has made it all harder for you. I hope you get through it ok and all is well....and just keep looking forward to that milkshake reward. The tooth fairy is so expensive these days, my grandson is accumulating lots of savings at the moment!
    Helen xox

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  46. Oh, dear sweet Jennifer, I could have been reading my own story -- except for the birth issues. My doctor calls it "white coat syndrome," and won't wear her lab coat when she sees me, but she just doesn't understand that it's the situation and not what she's wearing. I, too, have to keep a record of my BP. It's always extremely high in the office. My "doctor phobia" stems from my childhood when I was kind of sickly. I won't go into details, but it wasn't pleasant for a child. I Do feel a bit better knowing that I'm not alone with this crippling phobia. My heart goes out to you, Jennifer, and I'm so glad this particular ordeal is behind you!

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  47. I have the same problem having my BP read. I once had to wear a a special monitor for 24 hours and basically it was determined that I have something called 'white coat hypertension'. I basically get tense at the thought of having my BP read and as a result it's always high in the doctor's office. So now whenever I have it read the Dr or medical professional reads it at the beginning of a consultation and at the end. And of course once I have relaxed a bit it is always much lower :-) Good luck! x

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  48. I know so many people who suffer with 'white coat hypertension'. One of my closest friends went for a lady check and the nurse thought she was about to have a stroke until she read her notes! I'm overdue on my check through sheer laziness - there's always an excuse but I'm determined to make the appointment now. Hope it was OK xxx

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  49. This is weird, because I will quite happily show anybody in a white coat my bits but I freeze if I have to see a dentist; I would rather give birth than have a filling. I hope this all went well (told y'all I would catch up in the end!)

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  50. I'm so glad that you have found a good medical provider even though going for appointments is still difficult for you, Jennifer. While I have not had the same issues as you, my own experiences have primed me to dread medical inspection of my person. So even though I am commenting after you have gone through your ordeal, I at least can appreciate a little bit your stress and I admire your determination to care for yourself. Bravo!!! xx

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Thank you for leaving a comment. It's so good to hear from you! I don't always have time to reply but I try to answer questions when I can.

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