Answers December 8, 2013Posted by Judy in Musings.
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To all of my friends who are nurses: you are amazing and wonderful and so under-appreciated. You all do so much work to take care of your patients, and as a thank you, you get poor pay, crappy hours and terrible treatment from the doctors. So I just wanted to say thank you for being amazing and wonderful and know that your patients appreciate you!
Remember the nurse from the BCI who was very thorough and just lovely? She’s truly a model of an amazing nurse! I had a 15 minute conversation with her on the phone the other day in which she answered all of the questions that had been rolling around in my head . . . . questions that I did not have the presence of mind to ask the radiologist the day of the ultrasound and mammogram. I know not everyone wants to know all of the details of their exams and such, but I do, and she was able to provide such thorough explanations, leaving me feeling much more informed. I was actually expecting to be talking with the radiologist, and she was more than happy to leave him a message, But she also said she would do her best to answer my questions. By the end of our conversation, I didn’t really feel the need to talk with the radiologist as everything had been answered.
Many of my questions were procedural in nature: Can I have a support person with me while I sign consent forms? Can we ask a jillion questions before the procedure? Can I see the ultrasound and mammogram images and have them explained to me? Talk to me some more about how nursing post biopsy is going to work. I also wanted to know the level of experience possessed by the radiologists in the realm of breast imaging and more specifically, reading images of the nursing breast.
I saved the million dollar question for last. I needed to know how we went from “This is likely a plugged duct.” to “You need to have a biopsy.” Let’s start with the ultrasound. The u/s is able to show what is going on in the milk ducts. They can trace the ducts back up into the armpit and see if there is any “junked milk” as they call it. In my case, there was none, nor did they see anything else that would lead them to believe it was a plugged duct. This is why I then needed a mammogram. Come to find out, it wasn’t just any old mammo, it was a diagnostic mammo, which is apparently the most painful one you can get. Lucky me! So for all of you who were freaking out about mammos as a result of my last post . . .don’t. The regular screening mammo is called a “soft compression mammogram” and is just what it sounds like . . a soft compression. If they find something there, then they do a diagnostic mammo. The nurse didn’t give it a name, so I’ll call it the “smash you flat like a pancake mammo.” The reason for the extreme squishage is that they want to be sure that they get the clearest picture of the tissue, and this is best done when the breast is practically flattened. I’m pleased to know that mammos from here on out will be smooth sailing!
Anyway, so the mammo showed that I have an irregularly shaped mass with “feathering and wobbly borders”. (The nurse has such a colorful way of speaking and describing things!) So THAT is why I need a biopsy. We need to find out if the mass is benign or malignant and the biopsy is the only way to know that. While I wouldn’t consider this information to be good, I WAS happy to finally have the information. I can’t help but wonder why the radiologist didn’t share this information with me at the outset. A different radiologist will be performing the biopsy, so hopefully he’ll be more forthcoming. And if he isn’t, my previous experience has garnered me wisdom, so I’ll be ready to shoot questions from the hip. And, I still have the phone number for the wonderful nurse and I know she’ll be more than happy to spend the time answering my questions.
So now, we wait for Tuesday morning to roll around. We push aside the nagging voice that keeps reminding us that there’s a big history of breast cancer in my dad’s family. We pray that all will be well and hold on to that verse in Mark 11:24 that says: “Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.”
Clarifications November 30, 2013Posted by Judy in Musings.
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Wow! I’m completely humbled by all of the amazing people in my life who I call my friends. Over the past few days, I’ve received an outpouring of love, support, advice. People have shared their own stories, offered up prayers and kept me in their thoughts. I’m so, so blessed to have all of you in my life!
Based on some of the commentary, I think I may need to clear a few things up.
- The biopsy will be a needle biopsy, not a surgical biopsy. So it’s less invasive and I think the recovery time is shorter/easier.
- I may have given the impression that I was saying “The heck with the biopsy.” That’s not really accurate. I WAS very annoyed with the very low quality of the care I received. But, I will likely go ahead with the biopsy. The further I get from the initial visit to the Breast Cancer Institute (hereafter known as the BCI), the more clarity I have, and I can see that my annoyance stemmed from two things.
1) The pressure tactics. It really felt like there was this huge pressure to take care of everything NOW! I felt like if I didn’t do the mammo the same day or take the soonest available biopsy appointment, all hell would break loose. You know those telemarketers that say “Well, you have to decide today, or the offer will no longer be available.”? Yep, that’s how I felt the healthcare professionals were behaving. I was given no time at all to think about what was happening to formulate my own opinions. I’m not cool with that.
2) The utter lack of information given to me. I get that many people are happy to do as the doctor says without asking questions. I’m not one of those people. You see, I am an informed consumer. I read alot. I ask questions. I like to know why. Case in point. During my sophomore year in college, I took a Theory II class. On a particular morning, we were given a handout and told we were starting to learn about part-leading/writing. And then, the teacher proceeded to give us a bunch of rules:
-you can’t have parallel fifths
-you can’t have parallel octaves
- tritones have to be resolved in one of two ways
- no crossing of voices
This all seemed out of the blue to me, so I asked “Who made up these rules?” “Why do these rules exist?” “So what if you have a parallel octave?” The teacher fumbled about and didn’t really give a good answer. I think it was something like “That’s just the way it is.” I crossed my arms and said, “Hrmph! That’s dumb!” And was pretty unreceptive to the rest of the rules given that day.
Extrapolate that to the current situation, and maybe you can see why I was annoyed. The only reasons I was given for the exams were “This is totally customary to do another test.” It was almost as if the employees were robots and they were simply spouting the party line, with no regard to whether or not it applied to my situation. Another case in point. From the time I made the phone call for the original appointment with the midwife until the meeting with the radiologist, almost every person I came into contact with said something to the effect of, “You’re not breastfeeding, are you?” Excuse me? Was this info not written in my chart? Have you people not READ the chart? Yes, I AM and have been breastfeeding for SIX YEARS! Can you see how the medical providers were losing points left and right?
The meeting with the radiologist was really the worst of all. As you can imagine, I wasn’t really thinking clearly, so when she asked if I had any questions, the only available answer was “No.” because my brain was so busy processing the information I’d just been given. Now that I’m several days out and able to think more clearly (i.e. not under duress), I have a whole pile of questions I’d like to have answered prior to the biopsy. I also wished that the radiologist would have given me something concrete to look at rather than just expecting me to take her word for it. How hard would it have been to pull up the images on the computer and say, “Here is the mass. This is why I’m concerned enough to have you get a biopsy. This is what a healthy breast should look like.” There are so many more things that she could have said in addition to, “Yes, there is a mass.” More points flying out the door.
So, the BCI will soon find out that I’m a question-asker, and frankly, they may come to be very annoyed with me and my questions. But you know what? It’s my health and if I don’t advocate for myself, I’m in trouble because they certainly don’t seem to be in the business of advocation!
The deets November 28, 2013Posted by Judy in Musings.
I’m not one to beat around the bush, so I’ll get right to the point.
I have a lump in my breast and it’s going to be biopsied on the 10th. But I should back up a few months.
I’m also able to talk the hind leg off a horse, so be ready for an epistle.
About 6-8 months ago, I had a plugged duct, the first one in six years of nursing. I have to say, I’m glad that I hadn’t had one before, because it was not fun. Whenever a let-down would happen, yeouch! I spent three days applying warm washcloths and massaging during nursing sessions. At the end of the three days, I proclaimed the ducts to be unplugged since I didn’t get crazy pain during let-downs. The area was pretty sore still, but I figured it was from all of the massaging.
Fast-forward a few months and we arrive to 4-6 weeks ago. I noticed a pain in a similar place to where the plugged duct was, but it didn’t feel like a plugged duct. It was sort of sharp, but not like a shooting, stabbing pain. The best way to describe it is to tell you a story. When I was in high school, a girl sitting next to me in chapel pierced her ear with a safety pin. She just sat there and slowly pushed the pin through her ear! Totally crazy, right?!?! Anyway, that’s the kind of pain I was having . . .a slow, persistent stab. It lasted for about 3 days. Just as I was thinking “I should get this checked out.” it went away. A week or two later the pain came back, and then went away, and then came back, etc. It would be there for 20 minutes, then gone, then return for 3-4 hours, and then gone. As with the first instance, there seemed to be no change during nursing sessions. I kept meaning to make an appointment with the midwife, but then life would happen I wouldn’t get around to it.
Last week, I got a call from a friend in which she shared that she has breast cancer. It was the kick in the pants I needed to make the phone call. The next day, Friday, I called and was able to get an appointment for that very day. Before heading in, I took a shower, naturally. I discovered that there was a lump/mass on one side, right where the pain was originating. Our bodies are symmetrical, so I checked the other side. There was nothing there. I honestly have no idea if the lump was there the first time I felt the pain 4-6 weeks ago, or if it appeared at a later point. I do know that I noticed it for the first time just shy of a week ago.
The midwife agreed that there was definitely something there and agreed that it could be a persistently plugged duct. She recommended I have an ultrasound to see if that gave us more information. She didn’t want me to do any plugged duct remedies until after the ultrasound, which was on Tuesday (two days ago). She did say if nothing came of the ultrasound, she could talk to the wise nurses at the breastfeeding clinic or talk to the OB’s. Although, in her opinion, the OB’s have no idea what to do with a nursing breast, so that probably would be less helpful than talking with the breastfeeding nurses. She didn’t think a mammogram was necessary since I’m still nursing, but she would defer to the healthcare providers at the breast cancer institute.
Tuesday afternoon rolled around and I walked into the breast cancer institute. It’s a fairly new section of the hospital, maybe two years old and it’s sole focus is the human breast, female and male. I had the ultrasound, and just like the ultrasounds I had when pregnant, I had no idea what I was looking at on the screen. The tech informed me that the radiologist would look at the pictures and either do a further ultrasound or make another recommendation. She made sure to emphasize that “having her do another ultrasound is totally normal.” Uh, okay.
She decided not to do another ultrasound. “In an effort to be thorough, the radiologist would like for you to have a mammogram.” I couldn’t think of a really good reason to protest, so I had the mammogram. I think many of my friends are young enough to not have had a mammogram. If you are in that “never had it” group, let me tell you, they are awful with a capital “A”! Your boob is handled and flopped about like crazy, and then it gets flattened like a pancake. More specifically, your boob is laid on a surface and partially smooshed by the tech, who then lowers this plexiglass like thing onto your breast that very quickly becomes a vise. Not only is your breast smashed flat like a pancake, you have to stand in crazy positions with your arms all funny and you have to hold your breath. This in and of itself is really uncomfortable. Now imagine this happening in an area that is lumped and painful. Seriously, it was worse than childbirth! The tech apologized when we got to the lumpy section. “I’m sorry, this isn’t going to be very comfortable. But you seem to be doing okay, not in pain.” To which I replied, “Oh, no. I’m REALLY good at masking my pain. I’ve been in labor 4 times, and every time, the healthcare professionals didn’t believe I was in labor until I was practically in transition.”
Anyway, that was not the highlight of my day. After the radiologist read the mammo, the tech came in and said the radiologist would be talking to me and a nurse would be coming in with her “which is totally normal.” I’m guessing they say things like that to make you feel less stressed out. I’m here to tell you, it doesn’t work at all. I sat in the room with my mind racing. A million scenarios were playing out in my head. I was preparing myself for terrible news, and then rehearsing how I would react. It was a very long seven minutes.
The radiologist entered, followed by a nurse. The radiologist asked me to tell her what had been going on with the pain and lump. At the end of my short tale, she tells me that yes, there is definitely a lump. (It made me wonder if people feel imaginary lumps? Why would she need to confirm that there was a lump? Weird!) And she says that the mammo didn’t really show anything conclusive since the breast tissue is quite dense given that I’m young and still nursing. And then I thought to myself, “What was the point of having the mammo if you knew it would be hard to see anything through the dense tissue?” This thought was interrupted by her saying that she wanted to have a biopsy done on the mass. It would either show that it was related to nursing or that it was something else.
So the biospy got scheduled for the 10th, two weeks to the day after the ultrasound/mammo. I got extensive instructions on how to handle nursing after the biopsy, and then I was sent home. After lots of thinking and talking with DH, I’ve sort of decided that I don’t know if I want to do the biopsy. Thinking about the experience at the breast institute, I got the feeling that I was shuttled from one procedure to the next with very little explanation. And it sort of felt like, what was the point of the ultrasound and mammo? Why not just jump straight to the biopsy. On the other hand, is the biopsy really necessary? Couldn’t there be other things that could be done to try to unplug the duct (if indeed it is plugged) before doing a biospy? It sort of felt like all of the procedures were just a CYA type of thing. So at this point, my plan is to talk to the breastfeeding nurses tomorrow to see what their opinion is and if they have thoughts on unplugging a persistently plugged duct.
In my gut, I really don’t think it’s a plugged duct. It has always felt different from the original plugged duct.
-It doesn’t hurt more or less during a let-down.
-It’s a slow, stabbing pain.
- Sometimes it’s a burning pain.
- Sometimes I get numbness going up into my armpit and partly down my arm.
It just doesn’t feel like a plugged duct. But, in my gut, I’m also feeling like a biopsy is overkill for right now. *sigh* I’m not sure what I’m going to end up doing. I have some time to sort it out, talk to my pathologist FIL, talk to my mama, pray, talk to the breastfeeding nurses, talk to the midwife, talk to anyone that might have any advice or an opinion. I’ll update here when I figure out what I’m going to do. Until then, I’d appreciate continued prayers, good thoughts, etc.
All night November 19, 2013Posted by Judy in Musings.
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We almost hit a deer last week. Not just any old deer, but a big ‘ol buck with huge antlers. We were driving on a section of road where deer are frequently sighted. The deer crossed quite a ways in front of us and I said to the babes, “Hey look, there’s a deer.” It was funny because we were just talking about another time when three little deer had crossed in front of us in the same place. So I’m zooming along at 45 mph and we are still discussing the deer when out of the corner of my left eye, I see the deer coming up again, and it crossed in front of us, but this time it was MUCH closer. I slammed my foot on the brakes and was horrified when we merely coasted. It was like we were just gently slowing down for a stop light. Now, I realize that it takes a giant truck a bit of time to actually slow down, but this was ridiculous. I was thinking “Shoot! We are going to hit that animal!”
You know how it is when deer are confronted with a car. There’s a reason there’s the saying “like a deer in headlights.” That crazy thing got partly across then decided to go back and forth a few times, meaning that it was right in my path for much longer time than I was comfortable with, especially given the abyssmal functioning of the brakes.
We finally came to a stop within 3-4 feet of the deer. Okay, maybe it’s wasn’t that close, but it sure FELT that close! Man, my heart was pounding like crazy! I kept thinking that either I was terrible at slamming on the brakes, or something was not right. The seatbelts didn’t even lock up and we definitely didn’t jerk forward at all. Given the force with which I stomped on the brakes, we should have felt a jolt.
I mention it to hubs and he thought it would be wise to have the brakes inspected. He took the truck in today. When the mechanic looked at the brakes he was like, “Oh, well, your rear brakes are locked open.” In non-mechanic speak, that means “the rear brakes don’t work”.
Eeep! How long have I been driving my crew around in a car with non-functional rear brakes? Goodness gracious! All I have to say is that clearly, our guardian angels have been at work, making sure we stayed out of harm’s way. So now we have new rear brakes and I feel much safer.
All night, all day
Angels watching over me, my Lord.
All night, all day
Angels watching over me!
Flowers November 17, 2013Posted by Judy in parenting.
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Yesterday, I read this blog post about parenting. It was tough to read because I could have written that post. Not word for word, but certainly the basics were there: the frustration, the anger, the constant frowning and grouchiness, children who seem to have picked up strange habits. I decided that I needed to make a change. I needed to start seeing the flowers rather than the weeds.
I saw my first flower today. I came home from my church job and the middletons (the 3 and 5 year olds) had all of the party streamers out and were decorating the house. My first thought was, “Nooo! WHAT are you doing?” I just shook my head and walked away, trying really hard to just ignore it. But, I couldn’t just ignore it. They were blocking off the whole house, we couldn’t move around. So, I told them it was time to clean up. Amazingly, the 5 year old cheerily started putting them away.
But wait, I still hadn’t seen the flower. I was still annoyed and scowling. I told myself, “Snap out of it!”, and forced myself to say something positive to the 5 year old.
“What pretty decorations you guys put up today.”
But I was still annoyed, so no flower.
Then, the 3 year starting crying that he didn’t want to put them away. “Waaaaaah” I really, really wanted to just be steely faced and say, “Too bad, these aren’t toys, they are going away.” Instead, I gave him 3 very short strings of streamers to use. Problem solved. He was happy and I didn’t have a giant mess.
The first flower just bloomed.
Wasted October 16, 2013Posted by Judy in Musings.
Tags: fire, kitchen
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I once went to an open house at a firestation and learned that kitchen fires are among the most dangerous in the home. A fire starts on the stove and the cook puts the fire out and doesn’t call the fire department, thinking that all is well. Several hours later, they have to call the fire department because their house is on fire. I didn’t fully understand the mechanism, but it was something about the fire getting into the walls and smoldering unseen for a few hours until erupting into a full-fledged fire. So the lesson there was to call the fire department for any fire on the stove.
We had a kitchen fire the other day in the oven. Since it was in the oven, we felt safe in not calling the fire department. Maybe that was a dumb move on our part, but we are still here, so I guess we won that game of Russian Roulette!
I’m going to place the blame squarely on the broiler. They are evil. It seems every time I use the broiler, something bad happens! The food was basically done. I just needed to broil it for 2-3 minutes and then we could have lunch. The food went in the oven, I set the timer and I started washing dishes. The timer went off just as I was getting ready to go into the dining room. I initially thought about continuing into the dining room, but at the last minute decided to check on the broiler. I opened the oven and saw that the top of the dish was charred black.
“Shoot!” I thought. “I burned the food!”
I bent a little lower to get a better look and thought
“Sh*t! There’s a fire!” Now this wasn’t your regular old, Sh*t! There’s a fire!” It was a “Sh*t! There’s a fire AND I have a baby on my back!” I immediately realized I couldn’t and shouldn’t handle this on my own.
“RICK!!!! I need some help in here!” I hear his office chair rolling.
“There’s a fire in the kitchen! There’s a fire in the kitchen!” He came bounding up the stairs, zoomed into the living room and returned with a fire extinguisher. I opened the oven again and we both looked at the flames. I slammed the door shut again. This was one of those times you often hear about. You know, the times when married people communicate without having to say a word? We both decided that the fire extinguisher wasn’t the way to go. I cleared out the sink, and then Rick brought the casserole dish over and I turned on the water.
Now some of you reading this are saying “NOOO! Not the water!” The rest of you are wondering, “Huh? Why not?” Well, here’s your science lesson for the day. When something cold hits something hot, the shape of the hot thing changes. In the case of glass, this shape change is not a good thing. When the water hit the casserole, it cracked and fell into the sink. Rick knew this was going to happen, so he was ready. I was too busy being shocked by the whole incident to think about the shape change, so I was surprised when it broke. I immediately jumped back and shoved Rick’s hands out of the way.
And then I just wanted to sit down and cry. You see, I had just learned how to make corn tortillas that very day. The tortillas weren’t very pretty, but they were homemade and oh, so good. I started at 11am. After a few minor mishaps and many phone calls back and forth with my mom (who would then text her sister for help) the tortillas were done at about noon. I then spent the rest of the time, up until the fateful fire at 12:30 assembling the burritos. As you can imagine, once the casserole dish broke, the meal was completely ruined. So here we were at 12:30 with not a single thing to show for the past hour and a half of work. I just wanted to sit down and cry!
I ended up getting pizza for the kids and Rick and I had the few left over tortillas with the left over filling. It just wasn’t the same, though. Had we been thinking a little more clearly, we probably would have just smothered the fire with a dish towel and then the meal would have been saved. Alas, in the heat of the moment, clear thinking just wasn’t there.
I’m telling you, there’s never a dull moment in our house. Never!
Reading July 9, 2013Posted by Judy in Musings.
Tags: ereader, kindle
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I love to read. I learned to read at the age of 4 and always had a book with me. My parents would get so annoyed with me because I’d sit in the bathroom for inordinate amounts of time just to finish up a chapter. I also would develop deafness while reading. I could still hear them calling me in the background, but I would be so engrossed in the book that I didn’t want to respond. Yeah, they didn’t like that either! In grade school, I wanna say it was maybe the 7th grade, there was a reading contest. I read far and away more books than the 2nd place person. I love to read!
After I got married, DH and I spent several idyllic years sitting around and reading books. Sometimes we’d read aloud, but mostly, we’d sit in the same room, each engrossed in their own books, occasionally sharing nice tidbits from our reading. Once we became parents, that all came to a halt. Sure, I still read or skimmed through lots of books about pregnancy and delivery, parenting and baby sign language, etc. But, all of the reading was informational, there was a purpose. None of it was just for fun.
In March, I joined a book club to try to get back into the swing of “just for fun” reading. It was so nice to be engrossed in a book again. Yes, it was tricky to find the time to be engrossed, and my reading took place in very short snippets, but the reading still happened. I decided I really needed to just read more. For one, it was nice for me. For two, it set a good example for the babes. I always tell them they should go read/look at a book when they are bored . .. why not model the behavior?
I’d been toying with the idea of getting a Nook, either an actual eReader or a tablet. I chucked the tablet idea out the window since I really didn’t want the computer screen-y sort of look. I finally took the plunge two weeks ago and bought a Kindle Paperwhite. At first, I didn’t love it. In fact, I still don’t love it. I’m old-fashioned. I like to be able to flip through the pages to see how much is left in a chapter. I like the visual cue that tells me how much of the book is left. I get annoyed that sometimes the page doesn’t turn, or that it does turn when you don’t want it to. And the interface could use some improvement. But, overall, I still REALLY like my Kindle. It allows me to read all. the. time. I’m nursing the baby and I’m reading. I’m laying down trying to get the baby to sleep and I’m reading. I’m sitting waiting for the babes to get ready to go and I’m reading. I’ve read several short books already, and the babes and I have read a handful of kids books. I found a study Bible that has a daily passage from each of the testaments. I’m so so happy to have found it because I’m actually reading my Bible again!
So I’ve had the Kindle for less than 2 weeks, and I already have almost 100 books on it. I have no delusions that I’ll be getting through those any time soon. But, I have heard that if you find a book for free that you might like, grab it. So, I’ve grabbed all sorts of books ranging from fiction to religious to comedy to self-help. I can’t wait to see what the books have in store for me! And all of this, thanks to a little electronic device! I guess I’d better get reading!
Instincts April 4, 2013Posted by Judy in Musings, parenting.
Last week, I slipped and fell down the stairs.
I was holding the baby.
It was horrifying.
It happened so fast and in slow motion.
I realized my instincts are terrible.
We recently moved into a house with hardwood and tile floors throughout. Our new rule is that you have to be barefoot or wearing rubber-soled slippers if you are going to be running around. I wasn’t running around, but clearly, my socked feet should have been wearing slippers.
The baby was on one hip, and I was holding a small box of toys in the opposite hand. I took one step down the second flight of stairs and slipped, landed on my butt, and then slid down the rest of the flight (6 stairs). Had the flight been longer, I’m sure I would’ve kept sliding as the only thing that stopped me was my feet touching the basement floor. As I was falling, I looked over and noticed the baby bending backwards and thinking “He is going to hit his head!” I also remember holding on to both the baby and the box for dear life.
I heard myself making a grunting sound as I fell/slid. I sat, stunned, at the bottom of the stairs, and I heard DH washing his hands in the bathroom upstairs. The baby started crying. I called for DH and he came running down. When I talked to him about it later, he said it was pretty terrifying to hear the WHUMP!. He was sure that both the baby and I had met our demise. Fortunately, neither of us was seriously hurt. The baby was just startled. I have a bruised tailbone and a healthy respect for slippery, wooden floors.
I have no idea why I held on to that crazy box to tightly. I DID consciously lean back to keep myself and the little boss from tumbling forward. But, I should have also let go of that crazy box and used that hand to support the baby. I’m realizing that my “protect the baby” instincts are just not that good.
That is a sobering thought.
Some things never change January 5, 2013Posted by Judy in Sewing projects.
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Growing up, we ate lots and lots of fruits. We had a little rolling cart with 4 baskets that was always full of fruits, and we would go to the grocery store almost daily to get more fruit. I generally didn’t mind all of the fruit, that is, until I turned about 6 or 7. At that point, certain fruits – citrus, apples and grapes – would make me upchuck. My parents, dad especially, would be so annoyed with me and thought that I was puking just to be a recalcitrant child. (As a side note, I can handle most bodily fluids, puke is not one of them. I cannot even fathom doing that just to be obnoxious!!)
Anyway, I remember a time when I was maybe 9ish. Oranges were served and I, of course, complained, knowing what the outcome would be. I ended up losing it in the bathroom sink and my dad was all kinds of mad at me. I’m not sure that I ever convinced my parents that I wasn’t making this up! I eventually learned to just eat the fruit slowly and not think about it too much, and then I would be okay. I still felt mega nauseated, but was able to keep it to myself, so to speak.
When I was about 12, we went to a fall festival and they had a game where apples were dangling from the ceiling from strings. The point was to run up, take a bite out of the apple without touching it with your hands, and then run back and tag a team member. I thought about playing, but then smacked myself in the head and said, “heck, NO!”
It wasn’t until college that I was able to comfortably eat apples. I think I managed to figure out that the mealy ones were the ones that would do me in, so I just made sure to only eat the crispest apples around. Grapes were still out and citrus was a total maybe.
By the time I hit grad school, I was able to eat most fruits about 85% of the time. One time, we were at a friends’ house and oranges were served. This happened to be a time that fell into the 15%, so I steered clear. When asked why, I gave a brief explanation and moved on. A friend was intrigued by this ailment and kept asking questions. He clearly had no idea how cloyed I was feeling about the oranges! After several calm attempts to get him to stop, I lost it and said, “Dude! Unless you want me to puke all over you . . SHUT UP!” He looked a little shocked, and stopped, but I could tell deep down inside he REALLY wanted to get to the bottom of it all!
So, I wasn’t being a recalcitrant child all those years ago. I’m 36 and some fruits can still send me running to the porcelain throne! You might be wondering what brought this to mind? Let’s just say that I won’t be eating any more of those chocolate dipped clementines we had for dessert today! :D
Perfection November 3, 2012Posted by Judy in Musings, parenting.
Tags: motherhood, parenting
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I’m a perfectionist. I always have been and always will be. It’s part of what makes me a good musician. It’s part of what makes me a good seamstress. It’s the reason some of my students loved me while others hated me: I expected nothing less than perfection of them, or at least their best attempt at perfection. It’s a blessing and a curse, all at once, but it’s who I am, I don’t know how else to be. Seeing that perfectionism is found at the core of my being, it’s interesting that ever since becoming a parent, I haven’t really thought about being a perfectionist. That is, until today.
I belong to a local parent’s group that is pretty large. Some people I only know in passing, others have become my good friends, while others fall somewhere in between. Today, one of the moms sent me a little note on facebook.
I know i don’t know you that well, but whenever I see you, you inspire me. :)You seem to love being a mom so much it is great! It seems a lot of people I know with four young kids complain a lot about how busy/hectic life is….and you always act like it is the best thing in the world (which I know it is!!)….I just love your positive attitude!
What a lovely note to receive from someone, right? It totally made my day and made me walk around with this goofy smile on my face. Earlier in the day, I had two other encounters that, coupled with this note, got me to thinking about my parenting.
While at church this morning, I was talking with two other parents about my newborn. One parent was amazed that I had four babes and said, “I don’t think I’ll be following in your footsteps!” The other parent responded, “You are just amazing!” I just smiled. We continued talking and I mentioned that I never imagined myself having a small brood of children. I shared with them that while pregnant with #1, I recalled telling a friend that although I had enjoyed the pregnancy experience, I didn’t really want to do it again and was done having children. That changed the instant #1 was born. I remember thinking “Let’s do it again!” When I said that, another lady who does not have children said in a completely shocked manner, “Wow!” It was like she couldn’t at all fathom having that sentiment.
So I got to thinking about those encounters today. To me is seems like no biggie to have four babes, and I don’t really see myself as having it all together or exuding an overly positive attitude. I definitely don’t see myself as Supermom, a moniker DH uses often. I have high expectations for how things should be and what my parenting should look like. I expect that I should be able to have and stick to a daily schedule while having happily adjusted children that are obedient and polite at all times. When that inevitably doesn’t happen, I feel totally derailed, and then it feels like chaos ensues. Some days I feel like I’m just stumbling through, barely making it from one disaster to the next.
It would seem that others do not have this view of me. It would seem that I really do have it together much more than I think I do. It would seem that my perfectionist tendencies have been running in the background for the past five years, sabotaging my confidence making it seem like I was failing miserably at this thing called parenting. For the first time in my life, I’m feeling like I need to kick perfectionism to the curb and just enjoy this crazy ride called parenting. Enjoy the ride and believe that I am doing a good job and that I do have it as together somewhat.
So, maybe, just maybe, it’s possible that I won’t always be a perfectionist. It will probably always be at the core of my being. But maybe, just maybe, I’m starting to figure out how to not let it run my life and how to let it out in manageable doses.
I’m a perfectionist but perfectionism is no longer calling the shots.