Skin cancer

If you follow my blog, you’ll know that I went to the dermatologist to have a tattoo checked out that had failed to heal due to a red ink allergy. While there, I pointed out and itchy, flaky spot that looked like an infected mosquito bite or a pimple. I can’t recall when it appeared but I do recall my clothing and seat belt irritating it this summer. The dermatologist looked at it quickly and believed, as I did, that it was simply an Actinic kerotosis (AK) ( or anAge spot hm mmm!) . She removed it and sent it in for a biopsy since I’m not a child of the sunscreen generation. Suspecting a possible pre-cancerous Basel cell, it surprisingly came back as squamous cell, a more severe form of skin cancer but not as serious as melanoma. Luckily, it was caught early and though I wear sunscreen on my face regularly, the spot on my collar bone may have been caused by sun reflected by my car window. We can never know. Childhood exposure, I was a spring board diver, and later exposure on areas missed by sunscreen. It happens. Please be checked out. Ask your regular physician and follow any referrals to a dermatologist if needed. I’d recommend a plastic surgeon for any larger biopsies, because that’s what they do. And do well! I follow up next week for a final freeze, I hope, and then will see the derm every 6 months for the next year. Not too bad, but I could live without it.
Think! Live! Love!
Namaste
April

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Before and after: a hormone story

When I turned 40, my life flipped upside down. I had always been active and busy and could lose weight easily. I’d simply control my intake or increase my activity before a trip or the summer and, zoom, I’d be back in a bikini in no time.
After I turned 40, everything changed. I became lethargic, needing multiple cat naps each day. I blamed this on the fact that I wasn’t sleeping well and having frequent night sweats and hot flashes. When I brought it up to my regular OB/Gyn, she assured me that I wouldn’t possibly be heading toward menopause at my age, increased my estrogen only birth control pills, that I didn’t need for birth control, but as a hormone replacement. This was November of 2012 and by the following April, I was worse than ever! Gray, exhausted, exhibiting the thyroid chin of late life and absolutely desperate, I contacted a customer of mine that specializes in hormone replacement therapy.
I’m going to share with you a photo that chills me to look at, but that needs to be shared. Despite the smile on my face, I was miserable. Everything seemed to be falling apart at the same time and I certainly wasn’t happy with that!

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My first appointment was April 4th and I had 5 hot flashes during an hour and a half appointment that probably lasted 2 hours. At least it seemed to. I forgot to put on my mascara and was generally foggy and hurried. My life is stressed and fast but I’d always dealt well, making lists and checking calendars.
Enter my new best friend and who I call my “fat” doctor! She isn’t fat! As a matter of fact, she’s fit and thin, and it’s all because of her program. I’ve seen her before and after photos and I could see the results the first time I began her program. Of course, I had no idea just how bad off I was. We started with basic questionnaires and the above horrifying photo, and ended it with a very candid conversation. I left with a salva test kit, a prescription for thyroid medication and a small dose of appetite suppressants, as well as an okay to stop the oral contraceptives that were making me sick and causing me to have more migraines. I began tracking all my calories except my exercise. This was a completely opposite approach from what I had tried before as I depended heavily on my life as a yoga teacher and exercise fanatic!
Progesterone cream leveled off my hormone fluctuations and the thyroid increased my energy levels. After the second month I noticed a massive difference in the way I felt and the way I looked.

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Don’t allow anyone to tell you what is normal to feel at any stage in life. If you feel sad, lonely, depressed, or overweight or under nourished, seek help. If your physician tells you that it’s a natural progress of aging, seek a second opinion. Talk to your friends, your pharmacist and your physician until you can come to a plan that brings you back to life. I feel better than I have in years, and I couldn’t have done it without the information and guidance of a like minded physician and her staff
Think! Live! Love!
Namaste
April

Pauline, southern Belle

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My grandmother once referred to powdering her taint with a powder puff. I’ve always wanted a powder puff and I found out today what a taint is.
“T’aint your ass, and T’aint your twat but that area in between!”
Love my Mamaw Pauline!
She also had what she called a “whore” bath or a depression bath where you just washed the stinky parts! When you’re a mom, you’ll appreciate this!

Having been a child of the depression, raised by a blacksmith and inflicted with polio, and later becoming a WW II wife, my grandmother was indomitably strong. She always said what she thought with no filter at all. The people on the street in her small east Texas town simply called her Ms. Pauline. Back in the days of segregation and propriety, surely she was as misfit as her limp was to her beauty. She once told me that “Black people are as smart as white people, but they never had a chance.” And that, “All people like a little sex, even them fiddling with themselves or a tree. It feels good.”
(Pause, and breath)

The women in my family seem to all be indomitably strong but what else have we carried over from our southern roots? A deep drawl, an inability to keep our mouth shut, and a need to wear lipstick? No matter the occasion, we wear lipstick!
I remember walking into my parents house, home from my first visit from college, and my mother asking,
” You couldn’t put on a little lipstick for me?”
I was more than a little razzed, being a modern and upcoming professional at the brilliant age of 20. But as a southern belle and being a former pageant girl, I quickly coated my lips with the color of the early 90’s and everyone was happy!20130922-165821.jpg
My mother is the oldest of Pauline’s four daughters and my aunt, Kelly, is the youngest at just 7 years older than me. (My mom is far right with me, and Kelly is upper left with my little monster!) I thought Kelly was my sister until I was about 4, because my brother was actually 6 months older than her.
Ok.. Enough of the family tree..

**You know you’re Mormon if your mother and mother in law are both pregnant at your wedding, but you aren’t.**

My grandmother wasn’t Mormon, though she may have leaned towards it at the end, especially if she had lived past 63.
It’s just a joke! And not even a great one.
Had my grandmother been able bodied, I could have seen her as Rosy Riveter or any other pin up gal, but she had a heavy, but very proud limp from a foot atrophied by polio. She refused to use a cane but would hold your elbow stiffly, and she wore 3 inch wedge shoes all day while she was awake so she wouldn’t limp. I can’t imagine the hip or lower back pain she must have suffered her entire life!
She had two young daughters when my grandfather went to war, and I’ve heard stories of rations and letters and a broken man returned home. I later heard stories of a woman I never knew, of arguments and leaving, of leaving your kids in the car while you go into a bar. I think the war broke them both more than we ever will know. My grandmother outlived my grandfather by 6 years and I knew her the best then. Her wisdom about “boys” and her advise about sex, I find myself repeating but in a more modern, and professional manner to my own kids.
“The best form of birth control is an aspirin. Hold that thing between your knees, and don’t let it fall!”
(ME: But if you do drop it, use a condom!)
These stories keep us connected to the women in our life and our past, and will drive a husband crazy in about 2.4 seconds. We quip back and forth with one liners that “you had to be there” for and looks that mean only something we know!
These women are my friends, my relatives, my family, and my confidantes. We share love, loss, hope, prayers, curse words, recipes, work and history.

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There’s nothing better than a family full of women!
Think! Live! Love!
Namaste
April

What is beauty?

The angry backlash from the Miss America pageant is very disturbing to me. This is America, the home of immigrants and freedom, and it appalled me to see the tweets posted when an Indian-American, Miss New York won the title. The second Miss New York to take the title in as many years. Last year the winner was blonde, blue eyed and beautiful. This year when Niva Davuluri won, the tweets and comments where nasty and racist.

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It just so happened that the LA times ran an article on the 50 most beautiful women celebrities the week prior to the pageant. These are a few of the women America chose, but then racism and stereotypes flew through the press when a non-white woman won Miss America!

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Ladies and gentlemen alike chose these women. Beyonce was number 1.
Salma Hayek, Heidi Klum, Gwenyth Paltrow, Eva Mendez, Jennifer Lopez and Aishwarya Rai were all top on the lists. All ages, races, and ethnicities are found beautiful, so why all the hubbub, bub? We find beauty in many people and should appreciate the diversity that creates beauty.

When asked about her win, Niva graciously stated,
“I’m so happy this organization has embraced diversity,” she said. “I’m thankful there are children watching at home who can finally relate to a new Miss America.”
I must say congratulations! Rise above racism in any form and embrace the fact that unless you’re a Native American, you are an immigrant as well.
Think! Live! Love!
Namaste!

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Blog ideas

Blog ideas!!!!!

Tattoo removal

Soft ice bags

Closure

Dealing with another persons illness

Reaching your goals

Well being, finding your happiness

Positive energy

**Addicted to reading

Hormone testing

What would YOU like to learn about?

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We will never forget!

20130911-100912.jpgThis is not a political forum but I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge this day in history when America changed forever, 12 years ago.
I had just dropped my oldest son off at school when I heard the news on the radio. I drove to work in stunned shock as the announcer wondered how a pilot and air traffic controller could make such a fatal mistake. As I parked, the second plane hit the other tower, and the frightening reality set in. I rushed into work and turned on the small television we kept in the office for my children to watch Disney movies and cartoons. As my employees arrived, we gathered together and cried. I have never wanted to pick up my son from school so much, but my husband reassured me that he was in the safest place he could be and that watching the broadcasts would only terrorize him. I never imagined how true those words would be. The bells on the pharmacy doors jangled rarely that day as we all set glued to the visions of horror being played over and over again.20130911-101546.jpg20130911-102600.jpg
Americans changed that day. We held our loved ones closer and we hugged each other longer. We fell to our knees and prayed. We cried and ranted in anger and frustration. We gathered as neighbors and communities, in churches, synagogues and schools.
We proudly flew our flags and demanded answers and justice. We appreciated our freedom to say, we are one Nation Under God, whomever may be that god to you. Many have died for this freedom so appreciate it and defend our country. Be kind. Smile more and speak to strangers. Everyone here is here by choice. If you don’t like it, you have the freedom to leave. Support our military and the heroes in our communities that put there life on the line for us everyday.
Think! Live! Love!
Namaste

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Do you gag when you’re brushing?

Ok, this seems to be too much information for most people apparently, but if brushing your teeth, a vital part of your healthcare, makes you gag or vomit its a serious issue.

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So, this photo freaked everyone out because when I updated my bathroom, I added a toothbrush and toothpaste holder to my shower. My son brushed his teeth for years in the shower and I thought it strange, until I reached my stopping point at puking or gagging each morning when I brushed my teeth.
I could brush my teeth numerous other times during the day, but that first one in the morning was bad! Ugh!
Is it unhygienic? You leave your toothbrush by the sink where you wash your hands every time you use the restroom. In the shower, I’m the cleanest I am any time of day.
One of the most uncomfortable feelings you can experience is involuntary gagging. Unchecked, it can leave your throat raw and sore, and give you a painful case of laryngitis. Your voice may actually change from the acidity of the stomach acids.
The first thing you absolutely have to do is…
Relax. The gag reflex is triggered by a combination of psychology and physiology. For some people, the psychological aspect will play a larger role. Maybe you’ve had a traumatizing experience at a doctor or dentist’s office in the past, or in general, you have a fear of losing control.
Sometimes stimulating the area with your toothbrush can desensitize the gag reflex. 1/3rd of the population have no gag reflex and roughly 1/8th have an over active reflex
Tips at the dentist:
Music-ear buds drown out the drill sound and help you focus
Legs elevated- keeps the blood flow to your brain. Also keeps you from becoming shocky during long procedures.
Sun glasses-prevents the glare from the lights above.
Blanket-my must have!! As well as nitrous oxide. It’s comforting and also prevents shock or chill.
Last but not least, get the nitrous oxide. It costs more but if you have the issues I have, it’s worth every penny.
Use a private dentist, not a chain group, and tell them your issues. A good dentist and hygienist will appreciate your candidness.
Think! Live! Love!
Namaste!

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I should refer here to a blog posted July 6, that said I wouldn’t promote anyone but my dentist rocks! Dr. Verni Waldron of Waldron Family Dentistry. Here’s to 18 years of friendship.

** footnote: I also have a toothbrush in a holder by my sink for the rest of day!