This blog chronicles my life as I try to balance healthy lifestyle habits with my husband's penchant for pizza rolls and my daughter's desire to watch iCarly 8 hours a day. It contains a mostly humorous, kind, and somewhat spiritual look at everyday life and the people who live it.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

This is Real Life, folks

I know that today is Green Tip Tuesday and I will definitely provide a Green Tip in another post, but I just had to tell you about my Real Life incident.

Today I went for my well woman exam.  Like many women, I carefully groomed and prepared for this exam.  I shaved.  I lotioned.  I exfoliated.  I dressed carefully, even knowing as I did that the midwife would never even see my clothes, I couldn't help myself.  I still dressed carefully.  Upon arrival I checked in with the receptionist.  She was friendly, outgoing, and LOUD.  The entire waiting room now knows that I was there for my well woman exam, that yes, I am still at my current address [insert address here] and yes [insert phone number] is still my current phone number.  No, I haven't had any changes to my health, and yes my husband is still the insured and yes his name is still Steve. 

Hipaa laws be damned, a medical receptionist with a loud voice will out you every time.  People talk.  That's real life.

In the examining room I undressed completely, hid my underwear inside my carefully folded clothes, put on the backless robe and covered myself with the sheet.  I was ready.  The midwife enters.  We chitchat a bit.  She does a breast exam, we talk about my favorite authors, she prepares for the pelvic exam, we talk about the book I am currently reading.  Finally it's showtime (so to speak).  I'm in stirrups, she's in gloves, in goes the speculum and out comes the gas.  What????  Where did that come from?  How could my body let me down like this?  How could my intestines provide this much humiliation???  Yep, I farted.  Broke wind.  Stepped on a duck.  Cut the cheese.  Flatulated.  Ripped one, as Steve would say.  With that many names it's obviously part of our human experience, but I was sure this had never happened to me before.  With each continued press of the speculum I pass more gas.  It's completely silent (I think...) but now I am worried that it's dreadfully smelly and I just don't know it.  I'm too far away!  The midwife's face, oh help me Rhonda, her nose, is right there!  She continues to chat.  I'm at a loss for what to do: do I acknowledge the gas?  Do I excuse myself?  What if she can't tell?  Do I act as if I don't know what's happening?  Is she in danger of passing out?  Blessedly the exam ends.  The midwife's eyebrows don't appear scorched so I suppose that's a plus.  She leaves.  I dress.  I leave.

Preparation be damned, a speculum providing pressure on your intestines will out you everytime.  People have gas.  That's real life.

I still feel embarrassed.  I'd like to think I'm not the topic of much hilarity and disgust in the staff lunchroom, but I think we all know better.  And I think we can all agree that somewhere on my chart the words 'Beware of patient's flaming gas' appear.  People embarrass themselves.  That's real life.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

You can't die laughing

Laughter is essential for life

Oh I'm sure there are a whole host of emergency room doctors who right now are saying "Well, actually...." but you know what I mean.  Are you laughing enough?  Have you laughed today?  I don't mean a sardonic grimace or a sarcastic chuckle, I mean true laughter.

If not, why not?

You may have to deliberately seek out sources of humor.  Unfortunately life doesn't always mimic the sitcom where fashionably messy homes are inhabited by quick-witted and adorable members.  Sometimes life has dirty laundry, grumpy spouses, overtired children, and hormonal teenagers.

That's okay.  You can still laugh.

Books, movies, people, whatever makes you laugh is good

Yesterday, on a whim I picked up a copy of Jill Conner Browne's Sweet Potato Queen's Guide to Raising Children for Fun and Profit.   Now Jill has a whole bunch of these books and each one is funnier than the last.  I like to read them in small doses because I find that I become a bit immune to comedy if I binge on it.  It turned out to be the best thing I've done for myself in 2 weeks.  I am finding myself laughing out loud and to my surprise laughter is exactly what I needed.  The past 2 weeks have been crazy: school started, I went back to work, field hockey started and who knew field hockey would be every afternoon all afternoon ending only right smack dab in the middle of dinner time?  Certainly not me.  The laundry has been piling up, I wake at 5:30 to work out but am too keyed up with stress to go to bed before 11.  Lack of sleep and too many meals-on-the-go had me feeling off balance, short tempered, and wondering how I was going to balance it all. 

Then I picked up a book, on a whim, and started to laugh.  I forgot that I need to laugh!

Suddenly everything is okay again in my world.  I have perspective.  I feel more relaxed after laughing for a few minutes than I have after the past 2 weeks of yoga. I need to laugh.  Every day.  And I'm willing to bet, so do you.

Seek out sources of laughter everyday.  A book, a show on TV, a website, a blog, maybe even a friend who never fails to entertain.  Whatever the source, guard it well and visit it often.  If you're laughing, you're alive.