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The Importance of a First Mammogram

Women often avoid talking about a certain topic. Which one? Well it’s not going to the gynecologist, but it kind of related. This time, I am referring to getting a mammogram. Doctors keep changing when a baseline should be performed and how often screenings should be done after that point, so it important to talk to YOUR doctor for guidelines. Today I am sharing my journey.

 Mammogram Machine

Last year, I went to see my gynecologist and was given homework. I love her and followed her when she went to a new practice. It isn’t every day that you have someone you love, trust, and respect who also knows way more about some body parts of yours than you do. At that last visit, she told me that I needed to get some homework done and get back to her. She wanted to know more about the breast cancer that is on my father’s side of the family tree. I have written about my Aunt S many times before. She was diagnosed with breast cancer almost nine years ago just before NHL was born.

What I did not know was much about Mimi’s mother. My great grandmother passed away from breast cancer when Mimi and Aunt T were very young. What I found out was my great grandmother was actually younger than me when she was diagnosed and she passed away at my current age. For those keeping score, I am 35 years old. In April I called my doctor’s office to inquire about things. I figured if my appointment was in May, I would go in April to get the mammogram done before. They sent me a script because they were requesting it be done early with my family history. It arrived while I was packing to go to Disney World. The script may or may not be in Orlando right now.

I never had a chance to call and my appointment was canceled twice. Finally, I was able to get in to see the NP in the office while both of the boys were still in school. She did not seem as worried about the family history, but agreed a baseline would be good. She gave me a script and told me to walk down to the hall to the Breast Center. If I was lucky, they may be able to do a walk in. So I grabbed my things, made another appointment for next year, and walked to check about a mammogram.

Much to my surprise, they were able to do it at that moment. They were about to head out to a meeting, but said that they would do mine quickly before going. Ten minutes later, I was in the dressing room putting on my new stylish shirt with easy access to the girls.

Mammogram fashion

I went into the waiting area near there and a few minutes later I was called back into the room by a technician. I wish I had gotten her name she was awesome. I explained why I wanted to take some photos. I was inspired to do this thanks to Robyn and her post about getting a mammogram. The technician thought it was a brilliant idea. Before starting, she asked me if I had any powder, deodorant, or anything else on. Since this was not planned, I did put on deodorant that morning, so I was given some wipes to make sure to remove it.

Then, it was time to begin and the technician immediately put me at ease. She explained everything step by step, helped me to position myself so I was not on my toes as much, and was sweet chatting with me. Before I knew it, the mammogram was over and I was ready to get dressed and head home.

Mammogram myths

So did it hurt? Not for me, but I have heard that for women not as “blessed” with cleavage it is more uncomfortable. For me, the hardest part was holding my breath while standing on my tippy toes and being squished. Seriously, that was the worst in my mind. Still it is a small price to pay IF it will find something that I otherwise would not know about. Just over a week later, I heard back that my mammogram was normal. Now if all goes well, I can wait five years for my next one.

So I beg you, if you have breast cancer in your family, noticed something strange on your self-breast exam, or are 40+ years old – PLEASE talk to your doctor about when you should start having your mammograms done.

It's Me

P.S. A special thank you to Robyn for inspiring me to document this to share with others. Her posts several years ago really had an impact on me. Oh and Rene, I told you I was not waiting and holding back.

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ER Visit in the Night

Dear JSL,

Wednesday was a great day. After your graduation from nursery school, you had a special request for a lunch out. We went there, played outside, played at home. Then, you helped me to finish writing your birthday thank you notes. When we were done, I asked you to head with me to the mail box. It was at this point that I realized that we never did buy the gift for one of NHL’s teachers. NHL also mentioned that the following day he was supposed to bring in a snack to celebrate his summer birthday.

So you and I went to Price Chopper because I knew we could get some cookies without nuts and gift cards. When we got home, we talked with our neighbor while you ran and ran and ran around the house. Then, we took things inside and went to the mailbox. At bedtime, you started coughing. No matter what we did, you were not able to stop coughing. It was time to try something to help. I assumed it was asthma kicking in.

Nebulizer time

Once the nebulizer was over, it was already pretty late. We put you back into bed and sat in the room to make sure you would settle. Suddenly, I heard Daddy try to get you out of bed fast. You were throwing up and gasping for air. You were whisked away to the bathroom, where you were shaking horribly and could not stop this from happening over and over. We eventually got you into our bed and comfortable.

Sleeping for a short time

I dozed off briefly until you started to toss and turn. You started to cough again. We pulled out the nebulizer for another treatment since it had been five hours. Nothing got better. Your color was getting worse and your breathing getting more labored. Your little body was clearly in distress. We called Nana and Papa to see if they could take us to the ER. I was afraid to drive you alone with your breathing the way it was.

The ER brings back some bad memories for me. Thank goodness you do not recall a lot of the times you have been there for your fevers. The nurses were really great and had a doctor come to you in triage. They immediately noted that you had croup – that barking cough echoed down the halls. I’m not sure why I thought you were too old for that. The nurse and I tackled you to start some steroids to help the cough that was still horrible. Since your lungs were clear, we were told we just had to keep the meds in you and then could head home. We were moved to an area in the hall to sit in a chair. You immediately curled up in my arms to try to sleep.

Snuggles on Mommy

I sat there thanking my lucky stars that it was nothing more serious. Your lungs were healthy, your ears fine, and you were getting enough oxygen. A few hours after we arrived in the ER, we were sent home. You crawled into bed and managed to sleep for a few hours

More sleep after ER

I was not able to sleep. I watched you breathing and holding onto Perry who had also comforted you at the hospital. My mind was racing and I just wanted to see you rest in our home. Thank goodness you are feeling better now and soon you will be up to speed to really begin our summer vacation.



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Another Febrile Seizure Anniversary

As a parent, we love to remember the days that our children take their first steps, say our name, and other milestones. I have those memories in the front of my mind, but some others still haunt me to this day. The days that my boys have had febrile seizures will always be something I remember. NHL only had one, but it was the first that I experienced as a parent. JSL has now had five of them since he was nine months old.

Febrile Seizure 5

After each of the febrile seizures that the kids have had, we would get especially nervous when the boys would have another fever. We practice very strict fever lowering protocol thanks to our doctor. Every week and month that goes by after a febrile seizure is a wonderful accomplishment. It typically means we are less likely to have a repeat event. Of course, JSL is not the typical child. He has shown us that even after 20 months, they can happen again.

On June 3 of last year, my heart skipped a beat. It was the moment as a parent that you never forget. It was getting a call from school to meet your child with a full emergency response team out on the playground. At almost the one year mark, we are thrilled that we have made it this far without another episode, but my guard is not down.

The timing right now could not be worse. On Tuesday, JSL went for his five year well visit. I knew that we had to make up some vaccines that had not been done earlier since he was not feeling well. Since he was healthy, happy, and good to go the doctor, I agreed to allow JSL to have his DTaP and Polio vaccines. We are holding off on the MMR until later in the summer. With his fever tendency, everyone felt that combining the MMR and DTaP would not be good.

Before we left, the doctor and I talked about preventative fever measure. We were going to give JSL ibuprofen around the clock for at least 24 hours. Right before bed, JSL had a dose of medicine. He was sleeping so soundly we didn’t have the heart to wake him in the middle of the night for more medicine. At 6:45, we heard a scream from JSL. He was howling and burning up. All day Wednesday we battled the fever. At one point, it was 102 with medicine (his normal temperature is just about 97).

Fever be gone

With any luck, this fever will come and go and his body will fight off the reaction to the DTaP vaccine. Of course, now I am bracing myself for the next shot in a month. I just hope we can get to that year mark and beyond. Each month that passes, JSL gets older and kids usually do outgrow febrile seizures by 6-7 years old. I just hold my breath and hope.

Do you have one of those parenting moments that you can not forget? Please feel free to share and vent below.

It's Me

P.S. The other night I was in tears reading this post from Megan on Velveteen Mind. Her little girl also had a febrile seizure. So very close to home and brought back a flood of emotion. The truth is posts like ours help to raise awareness. Not only are they therapeutic to the parent after, but they let others know the signs, symptoms, tell-tale signs IF their children have a similar experience. We are not trying to scare people, but help people to be aware. A parent will forever remember that moment seeing their child’s blue or gray lifeless body.

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A Whoopee Cushion Parenting Moment

Alright everyone, it’s time to fess up on something. Do you often cringe when your child has the opportunity to pick something from a prize box? It may be a prize after having a shot at the doctor, doing something well at school, or trading tickets in at an arcade. Let’s be real here – none of the prizes are usually meant to last forever and can often be annoying to those around them after they come home.

Case in point: This is a prize that my son picked our after an appointment the other day.

Whoopee Cushion

No, I am not kidding you. This came home with us and I cringed. I did not want to be THAT parent that said no, so I allowed it. Soon after we arrived at home, the fart jokes, loud blasts, and laughing began. It was cute at first, but then it got old quickly. This lead to me sending out a Tweet. The Tweet was replied to by Janice Person. As I was Tweeting, the boys were trying to figure out how to make a bigger, louder, and more impressive fart noise from said Whoopee Cushion.

First group of Tweets

Almost immediately after I sent that last Tweet out, I heard a giant BOOM from where the two boys were playing. I knew it was not a good sign, well not for the Whoopee Cushion at least. Tears, screams, and more Tweets followed.

Second group of Tweets

After the kids calmed down, and I gathered my composure back up I eventually took this photographic proof:

There was laughter

So my question to you this week:

What is the most annoying prize that that your child has ever won or received and why?

It's Me.


Thanks to Kailani at An Island Life for starting this fun for Friday. Please be sure to head over to her blog to say hello and sign the linky there if you are participating.

Aloha Friday by Kailani at An<br<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
    /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
    Island<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />

Aloha #203

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The Humidifier Saga

Our doctor has been telling us to us a cool mist humidifier with the boys to help them when they are sick. For years, we have tried humidifier after humidifier and they have never worked. Each time the doctor tells is, we have to remind him that we are THE ones that are the joke of of the humidifier industry.

A while ago, my Aunt T needed to downsize a humidifier to one that she would be able to refill on her own. She knew that we were having issues and gave it to us. We had never set it up until Sunday. When I got back home, the little guy was miserable. So TechyDad hauled out the humidifier and tested it out in our bathroom. Check out what happened.

It actually works

Why yes, it actually works. Not only is cool mist coming out of the humidifier, but the water level goes down after a short amount of time. So now with any luck, we can set this up with the boys for tonight to help the little guy who is so stuffed up. For now, JSL is intrigued with the “smoke” that is coming out of the machine.

Hoping this helps

Do you have a cool mist humidifier? I would love to know what you have that works. We may purchase another for use in a different room.

It's Me

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