a story and a message

once upon a time, there was this girl. she was a nurse in the air force, forced to get annual physicals and take care of herself. then in 2002, she got married to a navy guy, pregnant and wanted to try and get her oldest a cochlear implant, so she decided to try and get out of the air force. in march 2003, 8 months pregnant...she did. and moved to WA, where her husband had been since oct 2002. in june 2004, she had her baby. in sep 2004, her oldest got a cochlear implant and the girl travelled two-hours one-way, to seattle, for cochlear implant appointments.  nine months after baby number two was born, to her and her husband's surprise, she was pregnant again. her husband deployed when the girl was three months pregnant, leaving her alone with two kids for the next six months. her husband came home a week before baby number three was born. and then they moved to california one month later (jan 2005). with a one month old, a 19 month old and a seven year old, they moved into a house that should have been condemned. in march 2005, they moved down the street, while their house was repaired. july 2005, they moved back in. oct 2005, they had an attic full of rats, maggots that dripped out of the ceiling vents and caught 200 files in two hours. in dec 2006, they moved again, this time to the house they currently reside in. in jan 2006, the girl began to pursue her dream...photography. in june 2006, a photography business was launched. time for self became minimal to none and continued that way for 2 1/2 years. in oct 2008, the girl's husband deployed again, for seven months. but things were different. the girl decided that she needed to begin taking care of herself. it started with running and trying to get into shape. the girl was never really overweight but that wasn't the point; she was grossly out of shape. soon, the girl realized that working out was not only good for the body, it was good for the mind...good for the soul. but the girl also knew that the 'taking care of herself' was more than just working out...she needed a physical, a pap, a mammogram, etc. but she didn't like her current doctor. and couldn't find anyone with her same insurance that was happy with their doctor. there was an option though...to change insurance plans and pay a co-pay, with a max of $1000 out-of-pocket per year. was she okay with that? yep. she decided to make the switch. did some talking, found some good doctors and began making appointments. first was internal medicine. then cardiology follow-up because of a history of a cardiac ablation in 2002. GYN because of terrible periods. dermatology for a skin condition. appointments for all the things she's been complaining about for years. a mammogram. chest x-ray. EKG. 24-hour holter monitor. labwork. ultrasound.  biopsy. and the list goes on. it was all a bit overwhelming at first, with at least three or so appointments per week...but damn, it felt good to get things taken care of. oh but...the girl so feared her mammogram because of all she heard was...

it hurts. they squish your boob so hard. it's so painful.

you know what? it was no big deal!! it didn't hurt. nope, not one bit. sure they squished her boob, but it was just fine. and lasted what...five...ten minutes, max. the girl also found out that they now recommend women to have their first mammogram sometime between age 35 and 40 (it used to be 40). having almost all of her appointment out of the way, the girl now swears that she's going to make those annual appointments...as she's supposed to do.


i share this with you--busy wives, homemakers, mothers, working women--because it's so easy to forget or put off taking care of yourself. first, my excuse was having babies and raising babies.  then it was my photography business.  well there's really no excuse!  it's so important that we take care of ourselves.  for ourselves. for our families. i have friends my age and younger, dealing with chronic disease and battling cancer. we're not too young.  we're not immune.  go make those appointments that you've been putting off because you're too busy. and damn it, don't be afraid of those tests that we only seem to hear the negative about. it just might not be that bad at all.

my heart is perfect. my cholesterol is high but ratio is good (no medicine...it's been this way since i was 24). i'm anemic. pap is done. had an endometrial biopsy (not that bad either). will probably have a uterine ablation before i leave san diego. skin condition is resolved b/c of appropriate medicine (i unsuccessfully tried to manage this myself for three years and actually made it worse). mammogram and chest xray were done today. i still need a wrist follow-up b/c of 2006 surgery for TFCC tear (my wrist kills daily). i am healthy. i feel good!

i leave you with another sky drawing, because it melts my heart--sky and her daddy. they're so excited to see him. 47 days to go...said with a smile and tears of excitement and anticipation :-)