Advocating For Your Health

It’s a crazy time we live in with healthcare being what it is today in America.  I consider my family to be blessed that we have the options of healthcare through my husband’s employer or mine, and that we’re able to make the decisions and receive the care that we do.  We pay for a portion of this health care out of pocket, but it’s absolutely worth the peace of mind knowing that we will be covered if (and with 5 people, 3 being children, let’s face it when) something happens.

I’m not sure if many people outside of the medical field realize the strain that new healthcare laws and rules are putting on our physicians and the medical community.  Instead of your doctor being able to order a test or proceed with a procedure that’s right for you, they have to go through the rigor of running other tests and seeking approvals before proceeding on a course of action.

I grew up in a medical family and 3 of my siblings have entered the medical field.  Truth be told, I wanted to me a doctor but I knew I didn’t have the commitment needed for medical school or the long hours that would follow in a career in medicine.   But I know a lot about a lot when it comes to medicine; my undergraduate degree is one many future doctors share as their undergraduate.  And I’ve spent a lot of time learning through personal experiences and other outlets about diseases and other things I’m interested in.

While I completely understand that this isn’t something that interests everyone, I have recently become acutely aware of the amount of people who know and participate so little in their health care and decisions, and it saddens me.

Most of my experience with this recently has obviously been in the world of pregnancy.  I’m blessed to have a phenomenal doctor and, along with her staff, trust them implicitly with the health of me and my unborn baby.  But I recently had an experience in which I was told by another medical professional that she was going to perform a procedure; I promptly cut her off and told her she was not.  From the look on her face, I gathered this was the first time that she had received that response.  This both shocked and saddened me.  The procedure was minor, carrying almost no risks, and yet it wasn’t something that was appropriate for the stage of my pregnancy, and it was something I had discussed with my doctor previously as not being appropriate at all for me.  Yet here was this woman, assuming that I was going to go along with whatever she wanted to do, as if my care was ultimately in her hands.

Please don’t get me wrong, I am nowhere near a doctor, or even a nurse for that matter- those people are well trained in their profession.  I would agree that most times these medical professionals have their patients best interest at heart; after all, they’ve committed their lives and careers to helping others.  But sometimes, we as the patient, need to advocate for our own care.  Once in awhile we have to ask for a second medical opinion.  Sometimes we have to do some research and ask the right questions so we know more about the plan.  And sometimes we have to step up and say “no” to a test, a procedure, a general plan of care.

You should feel comfortable with those providing your care at all times, and if you do not, it’s time to find someone with whom you do.  I urge you to speak up if you feel that something is not in your best interest or the person whose medical care you are in charge of, be it a parent or a child.  Ask more questions, get the answers you deserve, and make sure that you are entirely aware of the reasoning behind a decision.  Ultimately, it’s you who is charge of your health, no one else.

It’s Ruining Your Life

This summer, 5 of our closest friends were married.  As I was sitting as a guest at one of these weddings, I could not help but to notice the amount of people around me who were “capturing the moment.”  Let’s put aside the fact that these couples had hired someone to document their day, in print and some in video, and realize what this actually means.  Instead of watching their friend or family member tie themselves to another person during a beautiful ceremony, they were watching it through their phone.

As disheartening as these moments were, watching these people step back and basically dissociate themselves from these beautiful memories just to capture them on a phone, it’s hardly the first time I’ve seen it.  I see parents dropping their children off at school or picking them up, all the while tied to a phone- talking, texting, “participating” in social media.  I see couples ignoring each other and their children while one or all use devices at restaurants or basically any event.  I hear people asking “did you see that (insert life event or funny sorry here) happened?  I posted it on (insert social media site).”

It’s a sad sad world that we live in that people feel the need to constantly be “connected” without ever actually connecting to anyone; that people feel they must document every moment and end up missing the chance to make a memory.

I know there are hundreds of other blog posts and videos about it lately, but everyone seems to watch, share, and move on.  I urge you to put down the phone, miss the picture, and instead enjoy the moment.  Once you do, you won’t ever want to go back.

Why I Blog

While I was on my blogging break, I thought a lot about the reasons that I blog. I had thought many times about beginning a blog before I actually did. My first post was a little heated and was the perfect jumping off point. I thought about blogging about cooking or children or many other things. It wasn’t until I began reading more blogs that I realized I could blog about all of these things and more.

Ever since my freshman (in high school) English class I have been obsessed with writing. Long before that, I was obsessed with reading. I quickly learned that for me, the two go hand in hand.

Over the last few months, I have spent so much time writing that I had not spent any time reading. Once I started reading, I couldn’t seem to stop. I was hungry for new words, to read all different types of new (to me) books.

I know that I am better with writing my words. I’ve always been better with writing than speaking, both in my personal and professional life.

Writing has become a sort of therapy for me. I love to talk (shocking news to anyone who knows me personally) and I love to write. I love to share my advice and opinions with other people, but I also loving hearing what others have to say. So this blogging world is the perfect place to do that. And not just here, on my own blog, but when I get to comment on so many of the other wonderful bloggers I follow!

So that’s it, fairly simple- I blog because it feels good to do it. Why do you blog? Or if you don’t, have you ever considered it?

Catching Up!

I can’t believe it’s been so long since I’ve posted.. 20 days!! 20!!!!

To be honest my friends, I have been so entirely overwhelmed and tired.  So I thought I would just tell you all a little about what’s been going on in my life these last (almost) 3 weeks.

Little G is due in 7 weeks now.  It doesn’t even seem possible!  So any time in the next 3-7 weeks (I’m personally hoping for somewhere around 5), I will finally get to hold her.  It’s been a long road, and I’ve been very tired, sore, and the whole lot of it these last few weeks.  You know the deal, especially repeat mamas.. things stretch and ache and hurt even sooner every time!  But I’m keeping my chin up, and only complaining occasionally!  Her room is nearly ready.  We painted it once and the color is entirely wrong, so that’s hopefully getting fixed this week.  And then all of the baby items have to come out of the attic.. that will be next week.

D1 and D2 are loving preschool this year.  They are so incredibly tired when they come home, but they’re having a blast while they’re there and I couldn’t ask for a better school to send them too!  They’re very excited about the upcoming arrival of their sister and have been telling everyone all about her.  WIth the cooler weather, they’ve actually been even more active, which has been a challenge being stuck in the house most days.  D1 has actually been asking when it will snow so that he can throw a snowball at daddy.. please kid, give it a few more weeks at least!

The last few weeks, and next few weeks, have been some of my busiest ever in my career.  We have so many new fun and exciting things coming up.  It’s been craziness some days, but that’s a good thing.  In the midst of it all, I’ve been working with the people who will be replacing me while I’m on maternity leave, so some days it’s double duty.

And my books.  I felt the need to take a little break from writing to actually do some reading.  I absolutely love to read and I read quite a few books over the last few weeks.  I feel refreshed and I may even share some reviews with you on the ones I read!  My taste is all over the place with what I like, but I may even do a book review or two in the coming weeks!

So that’s really about all.. when I’m not chasing a toddler or working, I’ve been attempting to relax as much as possible.  Of course, now that I’ve had a little break, you can expect a multitude of posts coming from me in the next few days and weeks!

Life With Toddlers and Preschoolers

Life gets crazy sometimes, or at least mine does.  A toddler and a preschooler running around, and another baby on the way very soon, combined with work and life in general- it just gets crazy.  We’ve all read the funny posts about “how to enjoy your morning coffee in 73 steps with a toddler,” or how frivolous it sometimes can be to attempt to clean your house with a toddler (I recall something relating it to eating Oreos while brushing your teeth).  While all of these are true, and often hilarious, I truly hope that it is all what we as mothers, as parents, expected before having our children.  I knew that my house would be messier than I would like and my back would ache quite often, and while I can’t say that these things excite me, I am content with the small bumps along the way because I am raising smart, healthy, happy children.

But there a few things that I never thought would be so hard to keep up with, most of them so obvious that it’s comical, and I wanted to share those!

  • LAUNDRY.  I am aware that there are days each person in my house wears 2+ outfits (pajamas, clothes, sometimes replaced by different clothes after school or work).. but I am telling you that my laundry gets together and has laundry babies.  Because there’s just no other explanation for the amount of laundry we produce on a daily.. weekly.. monthly basis!  Not only have the clothes themselves grown (obviously my 3 year old isn’t still wearing tiny newborn clothes), but they just must be multiplying..
  • Other Laundry.  On top of the clothes, there are all of the things you never thought of when there were just the two of you.  Sure, maybe once a week you had to wash sheets or towels.. how about every 3 days?  Not only do the clothes grow as the children grow, but so do the size of their bed sheets and towels!  (I won’t complain about the extra 2 loads of laundry I do every week for diapers, because it is more convenient than running out for a box of them!)
  • Feeding the children.  Some days, I feel like they never stop eating.  There was a day a few weeks ago, that by noon, I actually thought “I have no idea what else to feed you because you’ve eaten everything I know of that you like!”  There are often screams of “I’m hungry!!!” without the real need for a scream.. kids can truly be bottomless pits when it comes to food if they’re going through a growth spurt!
  • Hygenie.  I’m not talking the early days of “I can’t remember when I last showered,” but the things like- I could have sworn I cut those talons you call fingernails just 2 days ago and they’re already out of control!  Also, “find where I hid my toothbrush” is a beloved game played often by my children, how about yours!?
  • Batteries.  Why does every toy need a battery, or five?  And the fun ones are never AA, they’re always C.. or AAA.. or something ridiculous like that.  When one goes, they all go.  We’ve started buying stock at Sam’s Club, and then pretending things are just entirely broken when it’s too much to replace the batteries in the fifth toy of the day.

What do you think fellow supermom, what is stressful or difficult or exhausting about being a parent that you hadn’t thought about before having kids?

How I Met Your Father

I think I always wondered how I would meet my husband. Would it be a high school sweetheart? Someone I knew most of my life? Would it be in college, or after- someone in my career field?

It turns out that it was in college, but almost at the end.. a few weeks before the end to be exact. But let me back up a little..

Entering into my last year or so of college, my class and lab schedule was demanding. I was a Biology major, taking courses in organic chemistry, calculus, immunology, and the like. I had worked as a waitress since high school, but it was difficult finding a restaurant that would keep me on money-making shifts with such a limited availability. So I began working as a promotional model for various companies. The money was great, anywhere from $18-$25 per hour! It was enough to support me through the final chapters of my college career, and it was extremely flexible, with short 2-4 hour shifts.

One of my regular promotional shifts was a Sunday from 1-3pm at a liquor store. I was taking 19 credits over the summer, my last semester, and it was one of the only times I could fit into my grueling classwork schedule. There was a fairly steady flow of people through the store, especially for a summer in Happy Valley. In walked 2 guys and a girl, all my age. I offered them a sample of the products I had on the table and there were a few other words of exchange. The man standing to my right was a complete stranger to me, but I was hoping he wouldn’t be for long. As we all chatted, it turned out that the other man was a friend of my roommates and we talked a little more before they all proceeded to fulfill their shopping lists.

I immediately texted my friend and asked her if she could find out who her friend’s “cute friend” was. She said she would be seeing them tonight and would do her best to find out a little more about him (most notably of course- if he was single).

That evening, as I was watching boring summer Sunday night TV and working on some homework, I received a phone call from my friend. Only it wasn’t her, it was the “cute friend” calling from her phone. Turns out that he indeed was single, and was inquiring about me as well.

The next few weeks involved many dates and homemade dinners by each of us. We were still both broke college kids, but we were ok with that. It’s easy to say that “the rest is history,” because it really was that easy. We hit it off quickly and I always say- we didn’t have to force anything to work; we just fit into each other’s lives so seamlessly. A few months later we were engaged, and we were married a little over a year after that.

This summer marked 6 years since that fateful day, when I went to work hoping for the day to pass quickly, but instead met the man of my dreams. Just 6 short years, with a wedding, a house, and (soon to be) 3 children; and too many beautiful memories to ever count.