A Breasty Situation

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“You will need to return for a sonogram” were words strung together and thrown at me. Me. Clearly she didn’t know who I was. I’m a doctor. I’m a warrior mom. And our type don’t get … nevermind.

Secretly, I’ve always thought that those multiple breast jabs and elbow stabs that I’ve endured from my dual-diagnoses, Autism/ADHD, son was bound to show up on a scan somewhere. He is relentless.

But true to my profession, I’ve ignored “self-care” and the phone call. Not to mention, it took nearly an act of Congress to get me to the Mammogram. My doctor sent me that prescription in all forms but a telegram. It eventually got done. And again, true to my profession, I strongly recommend you getting one.

But now they want me back. Oh for heaven’s. What for?

Alright. Let’s run the possibilities.

1)It’s fake. The results are fake news. Aka, artifact, aka scars (thank you, Nolan), aka plain-ole tissue density. Yea. Yipeee! All because I paid the extra $75 for 3-D imaging in search of every spec. And … thinking deeply … paying for that kind of test kinda means that I do want to know. Doesn’t it? Moving on.

2)It’s real. The results are truly news. Aka, not artifact. Aka, not scars. Aka not plain-ole breast tissue density. Alright. I’m breathing. Then what the heck is it?

Let me ask you a question? Have you ever taken a photo of a pond, through a screen door and then converted it to a black and white photo and then tried to determine what kind of bug was flying by as you snapped the shot? Neither have I.

But you would be close in saying that it was a flying insect as opposed to a leaping frog. I’m also sure that it would be challenging to say that it was a yellow jacket and not a bee.

To be certain, you would have had to be by the pond and notice the bee and the hive up close in person. In medicine – we would akin that to a tissue biopsy.

But the nice thing about imaging, whether it be a picture or a mammogram, is that it gives you a very good idea of what you are looking at. Aka, it’s a flying bug or it’s a mass that does not look like the surrounding tissue. The limitations, however, are such that it cannot be specific.

Yet, here I sit, tooled with knowledge, having not made that phone call.

Is it because 2 years ago, I went through the same and the follow-up sonogram was negative and now I’m complacent? Or is it because I’m a dual-diagnoses autism/ADHD mom and I have a plethora of annoyances that leaves me too drained to drive? Or is it that I’m using my love of blogging to procrastinate?

Yes.

Seated with you, in the office, hearing you rattle off the above, I would level with you and say “Stop making excuses.”

And would likely have gone on to saying something like “The sick you is of no good to the busy you or to your life’s priorities. So, make the call. Get your screening done. Complete your follow-up.”

Pausing for effect. And my own thoughts.

What’s my final action? Thanks for the talk. I’m ready now. My booth is waiting. I’m off to make that call. Cue the soundtrack to Super-Doctor-Mommy!

5 Steps To Overcoming Depression In 24 Hours

overcoming depression
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Have you been feeling sad for a while now? Are plates piling up at bedside and showers a necessity? Has it sickened you, deeply, that you haven’t phoned a friend in weeks but you just cannot seem to snap out of it. Well, seeing as there is no such switch, here are 5 easy steps to changing your life. On your own. In just 24 hours.

But first. Over the next 24 hours, you have my permission to ignore the laundry climbing your walls. Then feel free to apply that concept to all things unsanitary in your surroundings, such as the kids bathroom and possibly your hair. That’s thoughts for another day.

Second. Let go of all nagging thoughts. None of it matters today. Hakuna Matata. Namaste. No problem, Mon. Pick your favorite phrase and let your worries die down. Because you are ready for your 5 easy steps?

Here goes …

Step 1. Set your alarm for a time in the morning that you are likely to awaken. You wont need a clock for this step because your mental timing and cracked circadian rhythm will do. So set your mind to waking in 8- 12 hours. This will give you something to look forward to … or be afraid of. And these, by golly, are emotions that studies have shown, strike that, life and common sense have shown are new emotions that replace sadness.

Step 2. Mentally locate your most comfortable shoe and clothing. You may even set them aside at this time. Searching for apparel is a known morning frustration that leads to returning to bed so skip the morning drama. Plan ahead your comfy wear because tomorrow is very near. No shopping required.

Step 3. Take your night pills. Those vitamins that you bought won’t take themselves. So whether it be your SamE, sleeping pill or SSRI, set yourself up for morning success by prepping your body. Rest is coming up as one of the 5 steps so be ready for a rejuvenating rest. In this step, you may also benefit from a soothing cup of chamomile or lemon balm tea. And in case you were wondering, now is not the time to take a stimulant. So no caffeine, nootropics or those pills you purchased online for energy boosting for at least 8 hours prior to resting. Additionally, skip any over the counter medications that may make you feel drowsy in the morning.

Step 4. Go to bed. Those words are music to my ears and to many who suffer from depression. This recommendation however is a means to an end. The end of depression. But more than likely, this is where that nagging feeling returns. What if I can’t sleep? What if I wake up too late? What if there’s a spider in my room? Scroll back to the top of this post where I said Hakuna Matata. We do want this first 24 hours to work. But if it doesn’t. You’ll get another one. So get some rest.

Step 5. The big finale. The one you’ve been waiting for. The cure of all cures. The mother of all … ok, I will get on with it.

Step 5. Simply go outside. Put on those comfortable shoes (Flip flops. Florsheims. Fubu. It doesn’t matter) and those comfy clothes and march your unbrushed teeth and need-a-bath body out the front door. We need no deterant to getting out the door, at this step, aside from getting dressed. Why? Because there’s nothing quite like the dread of brushing your teeth when in the grips of depression. So forgataboutit! Do it later. Tomorrow. Soon.

Be it winter or warm weather, studies have shown (seriously this time) that sunshine and fresh air does a mind and body good. So take this step seriously and plan your outing!

What will you do outside? My favorite is nothing by the beach. But you can go crazy and walk all the way around the block or better yet, a stroll in the park or just sit on your front door steps. Next thing you know, you will be signed up for country line dancing and running a half marathon. Hey, it’s been known to happen.

So there you have it. 5 easy steps to overcoming depression in 24 hours.

Want more easy steps, try the 8 laws of health: the NEWSTART principles. This website can tell you more: https://www.heavenpreparation.org/the-8-laws-of-health

I would love to hear how you did. Leave me a comment. Drop me a line. Follow my blog. Just be sure to take care of yourself. And remember. Rome wasn’t built in … 24 hours. It took a lot of persistent work over a long time period. So just stick with it and improve on every 24 hours that you are given. Call your doctor or mental health professional for additional care.

Exposure Conquered The Beast

We did not yet have a date to close but we knew that one thing was for sure: moving with Nolan was going to be a monster tamed only by exposure.

“Nolan” I said. “Do you want to see our new home?” I was scared to make ownership statements not having ownership status but it was a necessary evil. He didn’t respond and he didnt really have to because we were already on our way.

Nothing about the drive sparked excitement. Left turn out the driveway and down streets reminiscent of a school bus ride. He didn’t bat an eye. We were only moving a few towns over.

Crayons and markers were everywhere. In the crevices, carved into the cream leather seats, chewed and sprinkled onto the carpet with a few scattered marking on actual paper. Those all evidenced his freedom to stim and the nearby I-gave-up-years-ago expression on my face. So it was in keeping with keeping him comfortable, in his own skin, that we took off to the nearby town.

“This is the house, Noly.” I said as I bumped the curb, my eye catching the In-Contract sign. “Would you like to live here? We can move all your things here. And play in the yard.”

On and on we spoke. Not so much for the sake of dreaming but for the sake of being onsite. For the sake of touching the door handle. For the sake of feeling the newness. For the sake of seeing the physical property and hearing the sounds of his new world. All his 5 senses were present such that where one layed dificient, another would take its place.

We knew the stats. It drove us into action. Moving to a new home is listed as a life’s major stressor. It skips hand in hand with death and divorce. So, tacking on a special needs kid to those dynamics, you then understand our need to nip a melt-down in the bud months in advance.

The day came. The papers were signed. The house was ours. The shrubs, the windows, the rooms. Ours! But wait, the room. THE room. HIS room. Time stood still. It has to be duplicated, and identically, to his current room. Afterall we are risking no new behavioral outbreaks people! So off to buy paint we were. Yankees gray and Yankees blue. Brushes, pans and rollers all new. It was like we didn’t have another kid named … aaaahhhhh, as we braced for the Nolan new home horrors.

Then … Nothing.

Well, not nothing nothing. We didn’t cure his autism or anything. He still rammed us with his head and grunted like a wildhog as his pre-ram alert. And he still stims a crayon like Michael Angelo himself, but we were already all over that. #sawthedentist.

But, the dude took to the his new home so naturally, and dare I say, so excitedly, that it was as if we over did the whole exposure, exposure and identical room plan thing. Seriously. We even return to the old house, with him in the car, to retrieve more items and little-hyper-man not only remained seated in the car, he requested to go back home. Ya! “New home, please” said he – because he is quite the verbal gentleman despite having bulldozed you earlier.

It was then that we realized our transplantation success. We overdid it and it was okay. Hi Five Hon! Bring it in.

As for our daughter, #autismsibling, should you find her, drop us a note below.

Jk. Shes around here. Somewhere. Lol.