Confessions of a Middleagedmom

surviving motherhood in the “middle ages”

I Know I’m Out of Shape! July 30, 2009

Filed under: health,middleaged,moms,women — middleagedmom @ 11:25 pm
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Caution: This is going to be a long one!

I recently went to the doctor as a follow-up visit. (See earlier post.)

I’m not sure if being middleaged has to do with my health issues but it sure seems like it might. As I mentioned in previous posts, I was getting monitored for my enlarged thyroid. As it turns out, it is not serious and it actually could be hereditary. Besides the thyroid concern, I am supposed to get my blood sugar/glucose levels checked periodically since I had gestational diabetes with my last pregnancy. As of now, my glucose levels are good.

While talking to the doctor I mentioned a few other concerns that I had. For one thing, I noticed that my asthma attacks have been getting more frequent. Since I’m not considered a chronic asthma sufferer, I don’t always have medicine. It seems like my asthma is related to my allergies and the weather. The doctor prescribed me some Advair.

Another thing that I mentioned was that I had been experiencing some tightness (pain) in my chest  It was probably going on for at least a month and happening about 3-4 times a week, usually in the night. Sometimes I even feel like my heart is racing. The doctor explained that as a precaution, because of my age, I should take an EKG (electrocardiogram). Apparently, it is not uncommon for people in their 40s to suffer from heart attacks. An EKG tests the electrical activity of the heartbeat. My EKG test was performed right in the doctor’s office and the results were good. Besides the EKG, a treadmill stress test was also recommended.

To prepare for the stress test, I had to eliminate caffeine 24 hours before the test. Yikes, no coffee and no diet/regular coke for me! I also had to fast after midnight so that I wouldn’t accidentally “barf” while on the treadmill. I was asked to wear comfortable clothes and walking/running shoes. The test would take approximately 3-4 hours.

So a few weeks ago I went to the hospital to get my thallium treadmill stress test done. When I got there, I had to fill out and sign a bunch of papers. I also had to sign a paper confirming that I was not pregnant and if I was then I was choosing to take this test anyway. At the time I didn’t really realize what was involved in the test so I didn’t know why this paper was important. (BTW, I am not pregnant!)

After a few minutes, the nuclear medicine (Yes, nuclear medicine!) tech came to escort me into the exam room. He explained what would be happening throughout the test. For this thallium treadmill stress test, I received  an IV of radioactive dye so they could  take images of my heart at rest. After the initial IV, I had to wait a few minutes for the dye to get into my system. Then I reclined on an x-ray machine that goes back and forth over the chest. The x-ray takes about 20 minutes. Then I had to do more waiting until the cardiology tech escorted me to get all hooked up with electrodes. After the electrodes were placed on me, I went to the treadmill room where my blood pressure was taken and my electrodes were hooked up to a monitor. Then I did more waiting and waiting. Finally, the cardiologist came in with the cardiology tech and the nuclear medicine tech. The cardiologist was present at the test just in case my heart goes haywire during the test. Don’t worry, this is standard protocol.

The cardiologist asked me if I knew why I was taking this test. I explained about my tightness/pain in my chest. He said that it wasn’t uncommon but getting a stress test to check my heart was a good idea. The cardiology tech asked me to get on the treadmill so they could start the test. Just as she began the test, she noticed that one of my electrodes was not signaling so I had to get that adjusted and taped up. I got on the treadmill and started walking. For this type of test, the treadmill speeds up and inclines in 3 minute intervals. At first, the walking was pretty easy so I was feeling okay. Then about 30 seconds into the test, one of my electrodes was not signaling again, so the cardiology tech came alongside of me and taped me up again. This was happening while I was still walking. Not too easy! 

After about 3 minutes passed, they told me that it was going to speed up and incline. She counted down from 10 to 1.  At the beep, I had to start walking briskly and I could feel the “hill” I was climbing.  I was beginning to feel my heart pounding and my breathing getting harder. Then I could feel my legs getting weaker. The techs could tell that I was starting to tire. The doctor told me to keep going. I said I would try my best. He wanted me to get past the next level. The cardiology tech started counting down from 10 to 1. Then came the beep.

By now, I was running! All I could think about was I am going to fall down soon! I yelled out, ” I don’t think I’m going to make it!”  By that time another cardiology tech came in and stood behind me and put his hands on my lower back for support. The nuclear medicine tech and the doctor told me to hold on and keep going until they gave me another dose of the radioactive dye. I had to keep walking for 1 long minute after the dye was put into my IV. Then I heard the cardiology tech count down 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, ….1. Finally! The treadmill slowed to a stop and I got off with the assistance of the cardiology tech who was standing behind me. I felt like I didn’t have legs. If the tech wasn’t helping me to the exam table , I would have fallen.

As soon as I got to the table, I had to lie down and get my blood pressure checked. They continued to monitor my heart for about 10-15 minutes. The cardio tech emphasized that in “real life” I wouldn’t lie down after such a brisk walk/run. The cardiologist asked me why I thought I couldn’t go any farther. I said, “My legs couldn’t do it. I know I’m out of shape.” His stern reply, “Yes, you’re out  of shape. You should have been able to get through that level. Your heart looks fine. You should start going walking for at least 15 minutes a day. Go with your child.”

Okay, let’s get real here. Obviously I know I’m out of shape! I don’t really need a cardiologist to tell me that! I know he had good intentions but geez, he sure knows how to make someone feel so inadequate!

After leaving the treadmill room I had to wait another 30 or so minutes for the radioactive dye to circulate through my body. By that time I was starving!  I was allowed to drink some juice and eat some crackers. I was also instructed to drink some water to help the dye move out of my stomach. 

Then I had to go back to the 1st room and get another x-ray scan of my heart. That took about 15 minutes. I would be done if this scan showed enough of my heart. Well, this scan was not good enough! So I had to go to another part of the hospital to get a scan lying down on my stomach. One of the nuclear medicine techs took me downstairs and explained that actually about 90% of the people have to get this secondary scan. It supposedly has to do with your diaphragm blocking the view of your heart. 

On the walk downstairs, the nuclear medicine tech asked me how I was. I explained that this test was so hard for me. He said that he could hear me breathing hard. He was in another room and he could hear me! He said that I just happened to have the ” tough” cardiologist. I said, “I thought so!”

My treadmill stress test took over 4 hours! I was so happy when it was over. The first thing on my mind was a cup of coffee.  The whole day and night my legs were aching. It was as if I had just ran a marathon!

So did I experience a “light bulb” moment? Did the test motivate me to start exercising? NO!

Actually, I just asked Mr. MaD to dust off my little stair machine. I think I’ll start off small…maybe 1 minute at a time!

 

Wordless Wednesday – almost July 29, 2009

Filed under: children,family,toddlers — middleagedmom @ 3:50 pm
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Baby’s 1st pony ride. She cried at first but was fine after a few steps.

Baby's 1st ponyride

 

How to Traumatize Your Toddler in Three Days July 26, 2009

Filed under: children,dad,family,moms,toddlers — middleagedmom @ 5:39 pm
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My poor Baby!

Last week she had a very traumatic stressful 3 days!

I noticed that when Baby turned 18 months, her “personality” changed a little. She’s always been very strong willed but now she is so “verbal” about it. When I say verbal, I’m referring to her strong lungs expressing her unhappiness about not getting what she wants, when she wants it.  Yes, she has started showing tantrum behavior! She is also in the midst of a whiny stage, esp. when she is afraid of something.

One night this past week, I decided that I would vacuum her room before she went to bed. She was relaxing on the floor in the family room watching one of her favorite videos. (Yes, she does watch TV.) As soon as she heard me turn on the vacuum, I heard a loud wail and she came running into her bedroom straight for me. She wanted me to carry her. So, I turned off the vacuum and took her back to the family room. She calmed down and started to play with her blocks so I snuck away to finish vacuuming. Not 1 second after I turned the vacuum on, she came running back to me screaming. I finally had to carry her and finish vacuuming.

The very next day we took her to the pediatrician for her well baby check-up. As soon as Mr. MaD put her down to get measured (for her length) she started to scream. I knew right then and there what this visit would be like. We went to the exam room and I had to undress her down to her diaper. She started to cry. I quickly distracted her by carrying her and showing her the fish mobile that was in the room I had to carry her while her temperature was taken and her head got measured. When the doctor came in, she was a little whiny. I asked the doctor about her fear of the vacuum cleaner and he explained that at this age, she is more aware of her surroundings and can develop more complex fears. He also reminded me that the vacuum cleaner is very loud. He also asked us to get another blood test done for Baby within the next month to check on her anemia. Soon it was time for the exam and the doctor decided to look in her ears. She began screaming again. Actually, it was good because it gave the doctor a chance to look into her mouth. We finished the rest of the exam with me holding her in my lap just to get her to calm down a little. The doctor said that her anxiety and crying were not that bad. It could have been worse since she was able to calm down a little. Then came the dreaded shots! Oh my gosh, we tried to get Baby to lie down but she would not have it. She fought with her arms and legs. So again, I had to carry her while she got her shots. I held her arms, Mr. MaD held her legs, and the nurse gave her the shots in her thighs. She screamed the whole time, even before the shot ever touched her.

The next morning Mr. MaD decide that Baby should get her blood test done since he had to get one done also. Poor Baby! We took her to the lab and because she didn’t remember going there before she was as happy as ever. Until, I sat down in the room with her on my lap. It’s as if she knew that this room was not a good place to be.  Soon, 2 lab techs entered the room. Baby began to cry as they examined her arms. I asked if they were using her arm or her finger and I explained that the last time she came they drew blood from her finger.  They said they could use the finger but the arm might be better. So I said OK to the arm thinking that it might make the whole ordeal faster (more blood being drawn from the arm vein than the droplets from her finger). By this time, Baby is screaming and I’m beginning to sweat. The lab tech ties off her arm and preps the area. Soon another lab tech comes into the room. That’s a total of 3 lab techs, Mr. MaD, Baby, and me! I’m holding Baby’s one arm, Mr. MaD is holding her legs, one lab tech is holding her drawing arm, the other lab tech is poking her, and the other lab tech is holding the vials. I think they drew about 3 vials of blood. Baby screamed the whole time and I was tearing up by the end, all the while trying to calm her down by telling her it was almost done. Yeah, right! She could care less what I was saying, she just wanted out of that room.

After the blood draw was complete, the lab tech tried to offer Baby a sticker. She threw the sticker on the ground and began crying more. I quickly thanked them and took her back to the reception area.  We sat down and I quickly wiped her hands (with my recent puchase of CleanWell wipes) so that she could put her finger in her mouth to calm down. Did I mention that she sucks her finger? That’s another reason why I didn’t want to blood drawn from her finger.

As we waited for Mr. MaD to finish his blood test,  the lab techs came out to try to make friends with Baby. They talked to her, smiled at her, waved at her but she did not even want to look at them. When one of the lab techs tried to approach her, she put her head down on my shoulder and began to whine.

I knew it was time to leave. Thankfully, Mr. MaD finished his blood test so we quickly thanked them and left the lab. As soon as we got to the car, Baby grabbed at the gauze that was wrapped around her arm and pulled it out so we decide to just unbandage her. Having that bandage wrapped around her arm was a constant reminder to her of her traumatic morning. Thankfully, she didn’t get a bruise since we didn’t have pressure applied for at least 5 minutes.

As we drove off, I told Mr. MaD that I felt so bad for Baby. She had such a stressful and traumatic 3 days. I pray that her blood test for anemia comes back okay so that we don’t have to go through this again. Unfortunately, in 6 months she’ll have to get shots again.

 

Adobe Photoshop Project July 24, 2009

Filed under: children,family,moms,preschool,scrapbooking,Uncategorized — middleagedmom @ 12:16 am
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Here’s an Adobe Photoshop project  that I worked on. It’s part of a gift for one of Princess’s teachers. (I used Adobe Photoshop Elements 7.)

 

adobe teacher project 

I used this to add to a 5″ x 7″ solid blue background paper inside an acrylic frame to create  a post-it holder. I was fortunate to have a picture of Princess’s teacher with her son at one of the school’s events.

The background paper is created by Summer Driggs of Summertime Designs. She creates great digital scrapbooking stuff. The frame and mask are from Jessica Sprague’s class as mentioned in my earlier post.  The font for “my boy” is called karabine . The arrow journaling spot is from a kit called Sun Porch created by Amy Teets available at ShabbyPrincess. The font inside the arrow is First Grader. I’m not sure exactly where I got it from but here’s one place where you can find it.

So what do you think? I”m still learning how to use Photoshop. It’ a lot of  fun but a lot of work.  Any suggestions or comments are welcome.

If you use any of the products listed in my post, please let me know so I can see what you’ve created or link back to my post.  Enjoy!

 

Daddy Doesn’t Do Fashion July 17, 2009

Filed under: children,dad,family,moms — middleagedmom @ 11:11 pm
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Mr. MaD (aka “daddy”) doesn’t do fashion. I don’t know about your husband but mine is clueless when it comes to dressing his girls.

Here’s the evidence:

  • When Princess was about 8 months old, Mr. Mad put her in a little onesie that had embroidered flowers on one side, obviously the front. Okay, maybe it was only obvious to me. Well, Mr. MaD didn’t think anything was wrong with it when he put the side with the flowers on her backside. I said, “You put that on backwards!” Mr. MaD said, “Why, what’s wrong with it?” I said, “The flowers go in the front.” Mr. MaD said, “Oh? I couldn’t tell.”
Princess in her backwards outfit.

Princess in her backwards outfit.

  • Just recently, Princess came home from school and I noticed that the neckline of her shirt was right up at her neck. Then I peeked in her shirt and it was backwards. Mr. MaD happened to dress her that morning. I said, “Princess’s shirt is on backwards.”  Mr. MaD, “Oh, I couldn’t tell that it was backwards.” I said, “Just look at how high it is up on her neck. It’s practically choking her.” Mr. MaD laughs. Okay  just to give  him the benefit of the doubt, it was a shirt without a “label” tag. It was one of those shirts with the iron on type label. So it did actually have a “label”.
  • This morning I had an early doctor appointment so Mr. MaD had to get Princess ready for school. I had already put out her clothes so he didn’t have to choose that. It was an outfit that you could obviously tell the front from the back. That wasn’t the problem.  The night before Mr. MaD tells me, “Should we wake Princess up early (almost 30 minutes earlier)?” I say, “Why does she have to get up so early?” Mr. MaD says, “So you can do her ponytails.” Okay, her ponytails are not that complicated. He’s seen me do it a million times. Okay, a million is an exaggeration. But you get the gist. So I say, “All you have to do is divide her hair in the back and ponytail each side. Add some gel so her hair stays in place. Then you’re done.”
  • He’s dressed Baby in an outfit backwards too! Lucky thing he hardly has to dress her.

There are similar examples that I don’t have to list. I’m sure you know what I mean by now. Some might say it’s my fault since I tend to do everything. Then again, it isn’t like he hasn’t seen me dress them before. But like they looking and seeing are 2 different things. He’s been looking but he hasn’t really been seeing!

 

Crocs May Become Extinct July 16, 2009

Filed under: children,family,random thoughts — middleagedmom @ 4:45 pm
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I just read this article about Crocs at The Washington Post.

Everywhere I look I see children and adults wearing Crocs. Most children are wearing the Crocs shoes with little embellishments on them. I see a lot of adults wearing either the shoes or the flip flops.

The interesting thing about the article is that one of the reasons that Crocs may soon be gone is because of it’s durability. During these tough economic times, people just aren’t spending money on a lot of extras. So why would we buy another pair of  Crocs (even if we want another color) if they are in such good condition. 

My girls have 1 pair of Crocs each. That’s it!

babycrocsresize

Isn’t it funny (well, maybe scary) that one of Croc’s biggest selling points may now be it’s biggest downfall.

Another one bites the dust?

 

Using a Clipping Mask July 15, 2009

Filed under: scrapbooking — middleagedmom @ 5:07 pm
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I tried my hand at Jessica Sprague’s  FREE Photo-Editing: Special Effects & Frame-Ups class assignment. Day 4’s assignment was to use a clipping mask. I wonder if it makes a difference what photo you choose. Her example used a photo of flowers. That was pretty. I didn’t have any photos of flowers. So I chose one of the ocean. 

Here it is.

clippingmask

I really do like the look of  a photo when using a clipping mask. I think I’ll try my hand at it again. I’ve seen exmples of other masks used with people. Some of them are incredible. Jessica says that once you use a clipping mask you’ll want to use them on everything. She could be right!