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Friday, June 19, 2009

Yes I am Neurotic

I am enjoying an episode of I Love Lucy. Little Ricky has yet another bout of tonsillitis and must have his tonsils removed. She is freaking out about leaving him there at the hospital and now she appears to be concocting a plan to sneak back in of course. I do love that show. I haven't seen too many episodes that involved her being a neurotic mom. I followed a blog by that name and knew I'd found a place that definitely described my own personality. I really cannot help it. If my kid has a fever, I hover and spoil them. I always prepare myself for the worst but hope for the best. It's who I am and let's just say getting cancer didn't help me.

Things in my own life have helped me to become who I am. First of all I had my first baby at 21. It wasn't bad. Lexi is my oldest and was a great baby. I was neurotic in checking on her every 5 minutes I swear. I was so bad. I got very little sleep. My second daughter Mikayla came along and I promised myself to NOT be so worried all the time. It worked until she turned one. I got pregnant again not planned and suffered a miscarriage. That devastated me and put the fear in me. I was ok but a couple of weeks later Mikayla started having fainting spells. I think that's what started it all. I became obsessively worried that something was wrong with her, but it was just her personality. She sometimes fainted when hurt or scared. Kids cry when they get hurt right? You know how they shriek at first, then there is silence. You know they are building up for that next ear piercing scream that will shatter your windows. All kids really do this. Fall, scream, silent scream, builds up, builds up, SHRIIIIIIIIIEK! Mikayla didn't do this. She cried, silence, silence, silence, then she would faint. She couldn't catch her breath after that point. She tried and sometimes I noticed her looking scared because you could see she couldn't get that breath. I learned a trick. Blow on her face. If you blow on someones face it makes them suck in a bit of breath involuntarily. My grandmother who had 16 kids told me this and it worked. We had an EKG, sleep study, EEG and all the good stuff done to Mikayla. She was fine. She just is a very nervous, sensitive child. Now that she is older we see that personality in her. She has a nervous stomach too. She is very very visual as well. Don't tell her about some wound you got. She gets nauseated because she can feel it herself. Seriously! She's just so sensitive.

Regardless this is what caused me to be neurotic. I got pregnant with Angelina and since my last pregnancy was a miscarriage I was scared out of my wits. I had the triple marker, or Alpha Feta Protein test (AFP) done and guess what? Yes they called me and informed me my tests showed that I was at a higher risk for having a baby with Down's Syndrome and all kinds of terrible problems. These tests are KNOWN for high false positives. I refused it with Gabbi. I was a nervous insane wreck the entire rest of my pregnancy. I refused amnio because it has it's own risk. We had a high level ultrasound that showed she was fine, which she was...but a few days after birth she began to develop a hemangioma. She had a birthmark on her lip that grew and grew and grew. It was scary, but we got that taken care of as well. I was on the news for that one too. She took prednisone and the birthmark shrank.

Now onto my last pregnancy with Gabbi. Ummm cancer? haha Yeah. Do I need to even go into detail? Would you believe I worried about my pregnancy LESS with Gabbi than I did with Angel? It's true. I just had to have faith. I didn't have to sit around wondering if something was wrong. It was. I just didn't know what the end results would be. I know my sister Cindi if she is reading this is nodding her head yes. She knows I worry about my kids and I really can't help it. I have to say it makes me a better mom though. I would rather worry too much than too little and honestly I think I have earned it. haha!

I just found this episode of I Love Lucy. Read about it here:

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Zicam. I Knew It.

A few years ago I came across a product promising shortened duration of the common cold...lessened flu symptoms etc. I read the ingredients which I think was mainly Zinc. I admit, it seemed to work. Or maybe it did. How would I really know how long my cold would have lasted without it? How would I know how bad my cold could have been without it? I don't. But I was going to college and not wanting to miss a lot of school I tried it.

It did sting a tiny bit, but nothing major. I took a Nutrition class at school and the teacher recommended not using it too often because your body can get used to it, then it won't work anymore or something like that. Then I read something in the news about a woman using it and losing her sense of smell. The company claimed it wasn't their product or that it wasn't something that happened often or something like that. They blew it off. The woman was basically ignored or at least pushed to the back burner. It made me nervous. The woman claimed she couldn't smell anything and reminisced of smelling babies, and chocolate chip cookies. She cried about the sense of loss and I understand. Could you imagine? Imagine not being able to smell a gas leak or smoke in your home? I didn't know what to believe. I decided it was best to avoid it. Well guess what? The FDA has recalled it. Every single Zicam product. It IS causing people to lose their sense of smell!!! I used this product many times. I am freaked out and so glad I wasn't one of those people. I guess they claimed to be a Homeopathic drug and therefore didn't have to report anything to the FDA but due to all these claims of loss of smell it has been pulled. I am thankful but feeling they should have done something sooner. Claims began as far as 1999 I read and even more so in 2004 (which is when I heard about it).

If you have this product? PITCH IT! Zicam is arguing it of course, but this many complaints just seem to me not worth the hassle. I say, just deal with the cold.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Pregnancy Symptoms, Cancer or Chemo Symptoms?

You know, I think my last pregnancy coinciding with cancer AND chemotherapy kind of messes me up in the area of giving advice to pregnant women. It's my last pregnancy. Even though I have FOUR kids I still tend to relate my latest experiences to pregnancy. The problem with this? Some of my "pregnancy" issues, symptoms or problems may not have been pregnancy related at all, but rather to the cancer or the chemo or combination of both. My morning sickness? It never ever started until I had my biopsy surgery. They gave me a "narcotic" to calm my nerves before surgery and I got sick. I didn't stop feeling sick and sometimes throwing up until I had that baby. I had the worst reflux ever imaginable. I could hardly eat anything. I always had reflux while pregnant but NEVER that bad. How much can I blame on baby? I have no clue! I'll never know. It's odd. I had back pain. Upper left shoulder pain was the worst but I think it was because I had to lie in bed, with 5 pillows propped behind my back. I couldn't move an inch in either direction or I would feel like I could not breathe. I got pretty stiff. So.....I have to think back to other pregnancies. I don't really think I can relate the pregnancy experiences with Gabriella to ANY body else's pregnancy symptoms.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Relating My Experiences and Brushing My Teeth a Million Times a Day

I finished up this week's Psychology assignments and quizzes today. We do two chapters a week. Today was fairly easy for me because the subject I chose was maternal diseases or illnesses. We had to design a class that would focus on one topic and explain why it was to be taught, and things that should be taught and maybe some sources that you could information from. Well here was my opportunity to speak about cancer in pregnancy! I did just that and though I wrote about 2 1/2 paragraphs (all that is required) I could have went on and on. It was nice to be able to write about something I know. It's also something I feel I could teach!

As for brushing my teeth? Well not now. I brush my teeth normally now but yesterday I had some garlic bread. The taste just would NOT go away from my mouth. It was awful. I felt like my breath must be killing all those around me so I rushed to the bathroom to brush. It reminded me of when I was sick. I do not know how many women out there have bad tastes in their mouth while pregnant. I always did. Everything made me feel sick especially after tastes of pretty much any food. Chemotherapy also comes with it's own bad tastes in the mouth. I must have brushed my teeth after every drink, every nibble and sometimes just because I had sat there for too long without brushing. It was the only thing that helped and really brushing alone wasn't enough. I had some alcohol free mouthwash and rinsed often with that too. While on chemo they say not to use any mouthwash with alcohol. Mouth sores are quite common while on chemotherapy, or at least the kind I took. It's nice to not feel that way anymore though! I was reminded yesterday and honestly felt very free that I wasn't married to my toothbrush anymore.