Laughing Mama's Blog

My inner monologue with myself inside my head put in this blog out in the open for everybody to read.

So… I Had A Heart Attack (AKA: “Someone gave me a vag shiner”) September 22, 2013

Filed under: Life,Women — laughingmama @ 9:38 pm
Tags: , , ,

Let me start off this post by saying that I’m still having a hard time processing what happened this week. At 41 years old, you don’t really anticipate writing a blog like this. And for those of you who don’t know me, I’m not a huge person who sits on the couch all day eating pork cracklins. I’m certainly no poster child for the physically fit, but as of a month ago I put into place a better diet for myself and my family based on eating “real” food only and have started walking every day. A friend of mine and I had even gotten up to 5.5 miles each time over hilly terrain.  And then came Tuesday.

I’ve been asked a lot what it felt like, what my symptoms were, so let me start there. It was around 2 p.m. I had finished lunch (a southwest grilled chicken salad) about 30 minutes earlier and was watching New Girl on Netflix trying to get myself geared up for a walk before carpool. I started feeling a burning in my chest- right in the middle. It reminded me of heartburn. I take an anti-reflux medication every day so it was a little odd, but not out of the question. As a matter of fact, it had occurred on Sunday as well. Although, on Sunday I was wearing a new bra and thought it might have been too small. After letting the girls free, I felt better so that was that. Until the burning sensation on Tuesday became a little more intense. It got my attention but I still didn’t think anything of it. I was able to walk around, wasn’t short of breath, wasn’t sweaty or clammy or dizzy. The only thing was, it didn’t get better when I laid down (like heartburn usually would), it wasn’t easing after drinking water, and I kind of felt the same burning in my left shoulder for a second and then later in my neck but then it went away. I did have an upset stomach, but wasn’t nauseous in the least. And I felt the need to cough every now and then but so what? All these things I could easily ignore or explain away. And tried to, even though in the back of my mind I was wondering if maybe it was something else. I even thought of calling 911 for a second until I pictured the ambulance screaming down the street and thought about having to make arrangements for someone to pick my kids up at school. For something I was sure was nothing, it didn’t seem like a good idea to me and quickly dismissed it. With my chest still a bit tight, I first picked up my son at his elementary school and then drove to the middle school to retrieve my daughter and her friend. Somewhere in between I decided to text my husband that my chest was tight again and I didn’t feel great. I don’t know why I did that. I think I was looking for validation that it was nothing. Or, I was looking for someone else to make the call so I could blame an overprotective spouse on the embarrassing trip to the ER that produced nothing. Whatever the cause, his response made it clear to me that he wasn’t going to play around. He immediately called me with questions he had obviously pulled up on his computer after most likely searching something like “am I having a heart attack?”. My answers were mostly “no”. Not liking the fact that it had happened just two days earlier too, he left work anyway. By the time he got home, I was in the kitchen opening the mail. Business as usual, right?

Wrong. At the Urgent Care they took me right away. And as I described my “symptoms” to the doctor and answered her questions, her face became more and more serious. Side note: This doctor should NEVER play poker.  She said she was going to send me to a hospital for some blood tests they couldn’t do there because she couldn’t rule out that I had had a cardiac event. But before we left, she had the nurse do an EKG. Approximately 30 seconds after the nurse left the room with the EKG printout the doctor came back into the room swiftly and informed us that she didn’t like the results and that my ride to the ER was going to be infinitely faster than my minivan could take me. Shit got real. Fast.

EMS arrived and were cordial and pleasant. They hooked me up to their EKG machine and compared it to the printout from a few minutes before. Pleasantries were dropped. I heard one of them saying something to my husband about the situation “deteriorating rapidly” while the other one was strapping me onto the stretcher. I remember him stopping, looking me in the eye and telling me, “We’re taking you to the ER, and then you’re going to have a cardiac catheterization today.” I looked at my husband who was being hugged by the nurse. Okaaaayyyy…

This began the totally surreal part of my journey. As we left the parking lot, I saw my husband driving behind us briefly before we pulled away from him, sirens blaring. They had given me baby aspirin at the Urgent Care and I don’t know if that’s why, but I was actually starting to feel better. The tightness was easing and I was baffled as to why everyone seemed to be so panicked. Even as the EMT looked at me and said “Mrs. Sheldon, you are having a heart attack” I was thinking, “Cool. I wonder how long this is going to take. I need to go home and get dinner started.” And that is the scariest part to me. If my husband had not insisted, I would have been cooking dinner, still in denial and (according to the EMT) in big trouble later.

No wonder heart disease is the leading cause of death in women. You always hear it’s different for us. There isn’t going to be that big moment where you clutch your chest and scream for Elizabeth that you’re coming! You most likely will be able to find a reasonable explanation for why you’re feeling the way you’re feeling and at least 4 reasons why you don’t have time to get it checked out. Listen to your bodies! Even though my symptoms weren’t severe, they WERE a little different than anything I had felt before. Being consistently at a 0-1 discomfort level on the 0-10 pain scale as you’re going through a heart attack seems completely RIDICULOUS and doesn’t make any sense to me. But that’s what happened.

Having your blood pressure drop in half suddenly is the weirdest sensation. The EMT had given me nitroglycerin and almost immediately after it had dissolved under my tongue, I felt on the verge of passing out and looked at my feet to see my toes turning blue. I was being whisked out of the ambulance and into the waiting arms of 12-15 ER professionals. One of my nurses later likened it to a pit stop in NASCAR. That was a perfect description. To me, the scene was chaotic, but everybody knew what their job was and performed it effortlessly. Moving me to the hospital gurney, asking me again what happened, taking my family history, removing my clothes, sticking the EKG leads on me, explaining what was going on. Through it all, the cardiologist remarked at how comfortable I seemed. I felt fine, better even. If it wasn’t for them making such a fuss over me I would have been perfect!

My husband arrived, signed some paperwork and I was taken to the cath lab. I felt comforted by the fact that it all seemed routine to the doctors and nurses I encountered there. They  were so good about telling me what was going on and what they were doing. I remembered my manners and made sure to say “Thank you.” after every step they informed me of. The cardiologist bantered easily with me and after hearing that I made cupcakes for a living, gushed “That is so CUTE!”. I laughed and then he assured me that it wasn’t the cupcakes that caused this and that I shouldn’t stop baking. Of course I promised to bring  all of them treats.

After seeing 100% blockage in one branch of an artery (my “french fry vein” as later named by my sister-in-law), they placed 2 stents and that was it. Crisis averted and blood flow restored. The doctor said my arteries were all nice and “juicy” and with my age and health, there was no explanation for why I would have had a heart attack. I was labeled an anomaly. Believe me, I’ve never ever wanted to be a storyline for the TV show, House. And it’s not comforting to have the experts shrug their shoulders and say, “I don’t know. Bad genes.”.

After the stents the biggest obstacle was putting pressure on the femoral artery in my groin which they used as the highway to travel to my heart. It being a major artery, they didn’t want me to leak any more than necessary. A plastic device was put into place over the site with an adjustable dome to apply the right amount of pressure to stop the bleeding. I was delivered to CICU and into the capable hands of nurse Kelly. As she was checking me over she noted how thoughtful it was of me to make the shaving process easy for the ER. It was super nice of her to comment on my careful grooming. And it was my first clue that I could maybe start to relax and my smiling and joking around wouldn’t be out of place.

Assisting Kelly was the charge nurse, Rose. Rose was much taller and older than Kelly and wore her hair in a thick grey and blonde Katniss style braid over one shoulder. She was a no-nonsense kind of woman. She oversaw Kelly’s removal of my plastic device (called a FemoStop). However, pressure still needed to be applied to the site until my blood clotted and the artery was sealed. That meant pushing on my groin… HARD for several minutes. Unfortunately Kelly had not eaten her Wheaties that morning so I was oozing much more than they wanted. Insert: Rose. I thought I was uncomfortable when Kelly was pressing on me. Rose kicked it up a notch. As I clutched the sheet on my bed and bit my lip to keep from yelling obscenities, Rose looked down at me and said, “Good thing I used to be a mud wrestler.”. While that did not surprise me in the LEAST, I still asked her if that was true. “Yes, honey. In Myrtle Beach! That’s how I paid my way through nursing school. Little bikini and everything! Chest pushed together to get the boys hot!”  I instantly loved Rose. And as she stood there putting all her weight on my crotch we also learned that she makes her own wine- muscadine and scuppernog. And that she had bought her shirt at Cracker Barrel for 90% off- $1.40. That last bit made me feel a little better about the blood that had spurted out of my artery and onto her abdomen.

When Rose and Kelly finally got me situated, I settled in to try to sleep since it was 11:30 and had been quite a day. Before turning off the light Kelly went over to the calendar on the wall at the end of my bed and ripped off the page to reveal Wednesday, September 18th. It was then I got a little emotional. It made me stop and think. What if things had gone wrong and I wasn’t able to see the next day? Never before had that been such a real possibility. I thought about what I had done that day and asked myself if it was my last day on Earth, would it have been a good one? My husband’s grandmother used to say, “Don’t get caught somewhere you wouldn’t want Jesus to find you.” Would Jesus have been proud of how I conducted myself that day? I had made my kids breakfast, packed their lunches and did the carpool routine. I took our neighbor across the street to middle school because she had missed her bus. I had an eye appointment and picked out new glasses and had seen a friend. Insignificant things but I was okay with that. I hadn’t hurt anybody that I know of and hopefully made a couple of people smile.

Over the next couple of days I had wonderful care in the hands of nurses like James and Amy. I had lots of family and friends visit and admonish me for scaring the shit out of them. And I developed one hell of a bruise in my pelvic region. It was as if Rose (or maybe The Hulk) had punched me in the vagina. My skin was deep purple from one hip to the middle. And every time someone new looked at it they always had the same reaction… *sucking in air* “Ooooooooh. You poor thing.” Maybe. But I consider it a small price to pay. 

I was able to go home on Thursday. Walking into the house I encountered my life interrupted. The linens I had folded still sat in the laundry basket by the chair. The remote was where I left it after turning off New Girl. And there was the mail on the counter- some opened, some still sealed. I am so thankful that it was just that, a brief interruption. And eternally grateful for too many reasons to list here. But most of all, for my husband. If it wasn’t for him, I would have stayed home. When the EMT led me to the stretcher, he called me Cinderella and asked me to hop on board my yellow carriage. If Tuesday was some sort of fairy tale, my husband is my knight in shining armor. He claims he was guided. Of that I have no doubt, Prayers are powerful things and there are a few people upstairs who I know interceded for me. But he is a blessing to me and never fails to look out for me and put me and my happiness first. I feel a moment coming on where everyone will just start telling us to get a room but since my lady parts look like they were worked on by a rookie tattoo artist with an epic case of the shakes, I’ll just say thanks, Ace. I’ll demonstrate my gratitude properly in 2 weeks. Also, your superhero is showing.

So here I sit with metal in my heart to keep it healthy, 4 new prescriptions, and an order from my cardiologist to go to cardiac rehab with the other 80 year olds. I’ve been told my experience has been a wake up call for others. It is shocking when a 41 year old has a heart attack (that still doesn’t sound right). And I hope that it made some people pay attention. But I hope that next week, next month it isn’t forgotten and those who feel they need to make a change truly do. I have been deeply touched by the outpouring of love since this happened. And I want you to know I love and care about all of you and wish nothing but good health and well being for all of us. Cent’anni!

And now I leave you with some visual aids:

Image            Image

 

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There are downsides to looking this fluffy (AKA: “Why women hate me for being curvy”) April 5, 2012

Filed under: Humor,Life,Women — laughingmama @ 2:54 pm
Tags: , , ,

Disclaimer: I am totally NOT serious. I’m not entirely sure Samantha Brick was either. I’m really hoping she wasn’t.

The other day I was at Dunkin Donuts. After selecting my dozen, the donut man smiled and told me to select one more. “A baker’s dozen” he said with a wink. I was pleased but not shocked. For years my curves have garnered me all kinds of attention. Just the other day I had no more than stepped foot into Ben & Jerry’s when someone handed me a scoop of ice cream… for free! It seems everyone loves me plump, and wants me to stay that way! Take, for example, when I go out on the town – everyone wants to dance with me. Guys constantly come up behind and say that they like the way I “shake that healthy thing”. It happens all the time.

I’m certainly not obese, but I’m of average height and greater than average weight. It’s not my fault that God chose fit to distribute it equally above and below my waist. I’ve got a nice rack. And a juicy booty. You might think I’ve got it made. That my life is perfect and music video producers are knocking down my door for Sir Mix-A-Lot’s latest video. Well, having a large backside isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. People are jealous. And it hurts.

Going out on the town is not always fun. A few Fridays ago I was cornered in the ladies room at a local bar. A tall, slim woman pointed a bony finger at my ample cleavage. “My boyfriend says he thinks you have the cutest dimples.” she angrily told me. “And I don’t think he was talking about the ones on your face!” she spat as she lowered her gaze to my meaty thighs. I was mortified and ran out of the bar crying.

The other day I was walking into the Gap when I overheard these two girls (wearing super skinny jeans) talking. One of them said to the other one, “Oh my God! Becky, look at her butt!” I had to leave the store. I was so embarrassed. Sadly though, the jealousy isn’t confined to strangers. My own friends constantly try to get me to join Weight Watchers or run races with them. I know it’s only because they think if I lose my curves I’ll be less attractive to their husbands. How do I know I’m attractive to their husbands? Because they always come up behind me and smack my butt. “Make it clap!” they demand, but I politely decline out of respect for their wives. I can feel their eyes glaring at me.

But no more is the jealousy more apparent than when I’m out to dinner with my husband, a very handsome man by the way. I’m not afraid to order cheese sticks as an appetizer before my burger with bacon and french fries arrives at the table. I see the other women staring at me as they miserably stab forkfuls of salad. I can tell they wish they were me. “I’m large and in charge!” I want to shout as the waiter brings me my brownie sundae. My curves are here to stay!

Laughing Mama eating ice cream.

Laughing Mama defiantly enjoying some ice cream that will go straight to her hips.

Although, I admit lately I’ve been thinking of joining my friends at Weight Watchers. I’m getting tired of being hated for being voluptuous. For once I’d like to hear the term “motorboat” and know that the men are talking about actual watercraft. And I’d love to have women accept me for who I am and be able to just be “one of the girls” instead of having to rely on THE girls for company on lonely nights. Don’t even get me started on the pain that is a mammogram.

But until the day comes when I can fade into the background of their boring, skinny lives, I will be proud of myself and my curves. Girl, look at this body! I, I, I, I DON’T workout! Suck it!

Even Ryan Reynolds agrees that curvy women are hot!

Even Ryan Reynolds agrees. Don't hate!

 

I’ve Been Told This Is Common (AKA: “I now have proof that I’m naturally fat and lazy”) September 2, 2011

Filed under: Humor,Life,Women — laughingmama @ 12:30 pm
Tags: , ,

Okay, so lately I haven’t been feeling so hot. Not “hot” as in Paris Hilton “That’s hot”, but “hot” as in well – heath wise. Thanks to my husband’s attentive eye and appreciative smile I always feel Paris Hilton “hot”. But lately something’s just been off with me. So after having a perpetual headache for 2 weeks and constant bloodshot eye for over 1 week (neither of which were caused by binge drinking), I schlepped myself to the doctor. I dislike doctors. They hardly ever have any good news, they’re judgmental and the first thing you have to do when you visit them is step on a scale so I pretty much need either an anti-depressant or a quick run to the ABC store afterwards. The only time I halfway enjoyed going to the doctor was after my daughter was born. I had found an unusual lump on my shin and wanted it checked out. There I sat on the examining table with my general practitioner (a fairly handsome guy) running his hand up and down my lower leg. I know it was just routine for him, but my husband and I were still in the midst of our 6 week hiatus from any post-baby fun so this was a hell of a good time for me. The only thing that kept it from being Harlequin Romance perfect was the fact that he diagnosed my leg lump as a “fat deposit”. Yeah, not sexy. But still, there was the leg rubbing. I’d always have that.

Well, since then I have switched to mainly seeing the Nurse Practitioner they have on staff. No, it wasn’t court ordered by my doctor. I just like her a lot and she has really cute shoes. So a few weeks ago I made an appointment to see her and get myself checked out. During my exam she “guesstimated” (because isn’t that what 80% of doctoring really is?) that I had a sinus infection and put me on a steroid, an antibiotic and gave me a script for pain meds to handle my headache. I took the script even though I hate taking medication and never planned on swallowing one pill. Actually, I may keep it in an emergency pouch just like the astronauts supposedly keep a cyanide capsule – only instead of using it in case I get stranded floating around in space, I’d use my pain pill the next time I go to the doctor and they have me step on the scale. Whatever works and quiets the sound of the nurse sliding the miserable weight ten more pounds to the right… right?

“Okay, so I have a sinus infection. Can I go now?” I was asking internally. Her fingers probing my neck and the look on her face told me the answer was most likely no. Turns out she also thought she might have felt a “nodule” on my thyroid and ordered an ultrasound of it. Great. Add that to the list of internal organs I’ve had scanned that I never cared to see. As far as I’m concerned, I’m made up of parts only God and my OB-GYN have been privy to and that’s the way (uh-huh, uh-huh) I like it. She explained it’s most likely nothing. I’m sure. But I don’t really care for things that aren’t supposed to be there being there, so I’m reserving judgement. Of course the first thing I do when I get home is get on the internet. What I learned was that thyroid lumps are fairly common – a fact I already knew since two of my friends have had issues with this lovely butterfly shaped gland. Also, “most” nodules are benign and don’t affect your thyroid levels at all. I felt somewhat relieved but being in a position where words like “benign” are bandied about is not thrilling.

I went for my ultrasound a few days later at a very busy radiology practice. The people there amused me. First there was the World War II Veteran who was very proud of his service. He was decked out in a WWII t-shirt and ball cap which was festooned with all sorts of pins and patches. He was there by himself, walked with a cane and in general seemed just plain annoyed. I’m not sure if he was annoyed at the line, annoyed at the forms or possibly annoyed at the chair he was sitting in which I tended to agree with him about. One thing’s for sure though, he was flat out about to lose his shit at some guy who had the audacity to ask him two questions about the war. “Man, would you let me finish what I’m doing here, please???!!!” he shouted as he pointed to the clipboard in his lap. Note to self: Even though WWII vets may advertise that they are vets, it is NOT an invitation to strike up a conversation but instead a warning to shut the fuck up. Once they called me to the back, they ushered me to yet another, gender specific waiting room. We were separated by the rules of anatomy because some people had to change into gowns depending on the test they were having. This is where I met the woman I’ll refer to as “Gotta Go”. Gotta Go had to drink a shit-ton (her words) of fluid so her bladder could be full for her test. The result was she needed to GO! And the nurse was taking her sweet time in calling her back for her test. Once she was finally called, she swooped up her gown, picked up her toddler sized Bojangles cup and disappeared down the hall only to return a few minutes later with a tale of even more indignities. It seems as she was told to roll from one side of the bed to the other, her gown rode up exposing her back side. When the nurse gasped, Gotta Go apparently replied, “What? You ain’t never seen an ass before?”. I love Gotta Go.

All of these people kept my mind off of the fact that I had potentially cancerous growths somewhere in my body. When it was my turn, I was escorted to a dark room and told to lie down. If I think about it, the experience up until then was not unlike the spas I’ve visited. The girl’s waiting room was quite soothing – complete with toile covered overstuffed chairs, classical music and pitchers of water and the “exam” room was dark and a little warm and (if I ignored the scary pieces of medical equipment) mostly inviting. Unlike the spa though, I didn’t start to second guess my decision to leave my panties in the locker in the bathroom. (There was no locker. My panties were on, as were the rest of my clothes. They were only scanning my neck, sicko.) Bringing me back to harsh reality was the sound of the ultrasound tech dispensing copious amounts of lube which then found it’s way onto my neck. She was gentler than I expected but took longer on the right side than the left. It’s amazing how you can try to read so much into seemingly endless minutes worth of keyboard clicks.

And then I was left to wait for days on end until the result was passed from radiologist, to nurse practitioner, where it sat while she was on vacation, to fill in physician’s assistant, to nurse, to me. The result? Not one but two nodules. Yeah, that’s how I roll. If one is good, two is better, right? They were small though and “most likely benign” so they want to do a follow up in 6 months to check their size. Cool. Putting off dealing with something is the name of my game, sister. But blood tests were ordered to make sure my thyroid levels weren’t being affected.

According to the internet, wacky thyroid levels could be the cause of lots of my problems. Headache… check! Heart palpitations… check! Night sweats… ewwww and yep! Moodiness… what are you trying to say, asshole??! Weight gain… cnlcobvoi… oh, sorry. I was trying to type with one hand since I was eating a slice of pizza. Tiredness… *yawn* The list goes on. Of course, all these “symptoms” could be easily explained by other things. But until I knew for sure, my lumpy thyroid seemed like a good scapegoat. And then I got a postcard in the mail from my doctor’s office. I sliced open the taped sides and there in front of me was a whole bunch of numbers and the word “Normal!”. Whew! Right? Right? No. While I will be the very first to say I would never wish for there to be anything wrong with me, and would never want to undergo surgery to remove a faulty thyroid unless it was absolutely necessary, or take pills on a daily basis to keep me “level”, it was kind of nice thinking for 7 days that it was all my thyroid’s fault. My weight gain couldn’t be the result of the pint of Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey that my husband and I would split when we started dating. And surely my love affair with Two Buck Chuck is not to blame! Neither is the aforementioned pizza. No, there in black and blue was the word “normal” which means that I was holding in my hands proof that I am just naturally fat and lazy. Fantastic! I guess it’s time to break out the treadmill once again. And where the hell did I put those pills she gave me? I feel some pain coming on.

 

The Shewee (AKA:”You go (standing up) girl!!”) June 13, 2010

The other day I was innocently surfing Facebook and, while visiting my profile page, noticed an interesting looking ad on the right side. The product in the ad was called “Shewee” and from the picture of it, I surmised that if  I clicked on the ad I would be introduced to a whole new world the likes of which I had never experienced. It was a “Matrix” red pill, blue pill kind of scenario. I could choose to ignore the ad and continue living my life the way I’ve always known it. Or, I could follow the ad down the rabbit hole and come out the other side more knowledgeable but potentially more disturbed. Seeing as it was a Thursday morning and I was bored, I decided to let my fingers do the walking and find out what a Shewee is all about.

Well, let me tell you, it is exactly what you think it might be. A Shewee is a portable urination device which allows women to pee standing up. Ummmm…. what the hell? My first thought was that this must be some type of novelty item, like those squeezable stress balls made to look like boobs. No respectable woman would ever actually use one of these molded plastic “tubes” would they? And if they ever did, where would one use such a thing? And why? And what happens after you’ve used it? For years men have perfected the “shake twice” method of flinging the last remnants of pee away from them. But the Shewee device could not be so easily “cleaned” I imagine. And then you’d do what with it? Put the urine soaked piece of plastic back in your purse? That doesn’t sound very “convenient” to me.

Of course the website espouses all the benefits of owning a Shewee. Among those is this statement: “Travel the world with the comfort of home in your pocket.” That was going a bit far for me. I mean, if that were true then where is my Aloe and Vitamin E toilet paper for sensitive bottoms? And where is the reed diffuser with my absolute favorite scent that smells like Sampaguita, the national flower of the Philippines? And the soft lighting that makes me look 10 years younger? Can the Shewee provide those comforts from my home? I didn’t think so. And the idea of putting the used Shewee in my pocket made me gag worse than the idea of putting it in my purse. If I wanted pee stained pants I’d just skip the Shewee and let the river run. Talk about convenience!

I decided to Google Shewee to see what others were saying about it. What came up were mostly link after link to stores that specialize in outdoor equipment. Hmmmm… okay, I guess I could see where enjoying the outdoors and making wee wee in the woods go hand in hand. I decided to look Shewee up on Facebook since that was where this whole thing started. This was what I was looking for… pictures. Yes! Pictures of women lined up at a “trough” peeing standing up with one hand triumphantly in the air. I was surprised that instead of being disgusted, I actually kind of got a lump in my throat thinking that women’s equality might have taken another big leap forward. Although, I was still not convinced it’s a step that needed to be taken. I read further.

I found out this “trough” was called a “Shewee-inal”- a female urinal. I would have called it a “Her-inal” but maybe that was already trademarked. It looked like this “Shewee-inal” was set up under a big tent at some sort of festival. Again, I surprised myself by understanding the practicality of such a thing. However, I was disappointed that the picture of the outside of the tent showed a long line of women waiting their turn to pee, just like the regular bathrooms. Wouldn’t that be the point of using one of these devices? No more toilet paper nest building or strategic squatting. No more wiping and retucking and zipping and buttoning. Peeing standing up is supposed to be faster, right?  There are hardly ever lines outside of the men’s room. Of course, they don’t have to take a tube out of their pocket, place it correctly, pose for pictures, clean themselves and the device up, and put themselves back together.

Then there’s the picture of a woman who supposedly wrote “Shewee” in the snow with her pee. Priceless! Although, the writing was a bit too neat to be believable. Plus, the letters weren’t connected and to do that you have to have a lot of control. Clearly a woman who hasn’t given birth yet had performed this stunt. Also pictured is a woman squatting in a beautiful African plain. As her pants are around her ankles and she clutches her roll of toilet paper, she is oblivious to the lion stalking her from behind her back. Shewee could make their new slogan, “Shewee, preventing animal attacks around the globe”. That’s an idea I can get behind.

From their Facebook page I also learned that they sponsored Bonita Norris, the youngest British woman ever to climb Mt. Everest. Suddenly I was feeling less like making fun of Shewee and more like embracing it as a symbol of feminine power. (Although I did picture Bonita Norris wearing one of those jumpsuits that race car drivers wear with the sponsor’s patches sewn all over. I imagined the “Shewee” logo placed strategically and appropriately on her crotch.) Even their actual slogan, “Stand up and take control!” makes me feel empowered!  The fact that the company was started by a woman, Samantha Fountain, drove home the point that women can do ANYTHING. Ms. Fountain believed in her idea to liberate women from disgusting toilet seats so deeply that she stopped at nothing to see her dream come true. Now thousands of women worldwide can thank her for their clean bums and relaxed thighs. Her company has boomed and what began as a home based business in England has now grown to include distributors in 19 countries. That’s inspiring.

So too is one of the applications of the Shewee- assisting women confined to bed. I was on bed rest for seven weeks when I was pregnant with my youngest and although most of the time I could get up to use the restroom, there were times right after I had hemorrhaged that they wouldn’t let me move. I made my stomach hurt from “holding it in” just so that I wouldn’t have to use the bed pan. It’s humiliating. Placing a petal shaped cup against me and peeing through a tube into a container or the absorbent pouch Shewee sells would have been a much nicer option. As a matter of fact, I can think of lots of times when having a Shewee would have come in handy. Most recently, when I had to use Squeaky and Jeff’s Port-A-Potty at the NASCAR race in Charlotte.

Other times the Shewee could be a Godsend: camping, hiking, or jogging. You don’t really think about it, but when you’re running in a race with thousands of people, the sparse Port-A-Potties are popular and there’s usually a wait. Nothing makes you loose your motivation for running 13.1 miles more than standing in line to pee. Also, giving urine samples at the doctor’s office would no longer be a messy affair. It takes a lot of coordination to squat, hold a cup at just the right spot and control your stream of pee so that it not only goes in the cup but fills it just enough but not too much. Try coming away from that without getting piss on your hands, arms, underwear, toilet seat, floor, or all of the above. Then try doing it while you’re nine months pregnant. If ever I had penis envy, it was after something like that. Well, be envious no more!

As a matter of fact, I should get one for my daughter’s friend. She and her brother have a designated “pee tree” in their backyard. I imagine it’s a lot harder for her to hit the tree than it is for her brother. I know, I’ve tried. No, not with their pee tree! It was after my friend’s wedding reception. I had had too much to drink and we were on our way to the car. I realized I needed to go right then and it couldn’t wait. I found a suitable bush next to the car and proceeded to squat right there in one of my best dresses. Classy! I don’t know if hiking my skirt up and sticking a tube in my crotch would have been much classier but at least I wouldn’t have mooned her aunt and uncle and that alone would be worth the price of a Shewee. Of course, I’m not going to hold my breath waiting for them to add “drunk late night emergencies” to their list of practical uses on the website.

And speaking of practical, the person that I expected to be most disgusted by the idea of women peeing through a tube- my most practical and level headed neighbor- was unphased. “I’ve known a lot of people on mission trips who use it.” she said. Really? Wow. Well, color me embarrassed. Here I was only thinking of myself and how it could benefit my hiney by not coming into contact with all manner of germs from a public toilet or save me precious minutes at a festival or Disney World. There ARE people who travel to remote parts of the globe helping others who of course don’t have running water (or water at all for that matter) and who only have pee trees. Of course a Shewee would be a suitcase essential in that case.

So here I am with my Shewee pro/con list and to my utter amazement I have more “pro” items than “con” and find myself thinking I should order one. They do come in five different colors, have a handy carrying case (no pee pee in the purse I was happy to discover), an extension tube and gel filled absorbent pouches for when you have no tree or suitable container to speak of (in the car on long trips when your husband refuses to stop, for example). The only thing standing in my way is this word I’ve read in people’s comments: practice. I guess like any new “toy” one must learn how to use it. But I can say with almost 100% certainty that I have never set out to deliberately pee on myself. I had visions of myself standing in front of my toilet at home dribbling and spraying and leaking urine on myself, my clothes and the floor as I perfect the placement of the cup and the aim of the tube. Then I read you should practice in the shower. Ah. That would make more sense. This is all new to me. And it’s not just the physical logistics of using the Shewee, there are also social mores, boundaries, to overcome. For eons women have sat down to pee. It makes me wonder, you can lead a girl to a trough, but can you make her take a leak in it? I for one am surprised to hear myself say that I wouldn’t mind having my very own cute, pink Shewee to find out.

PS- In case you missed it way up there in the third paragraph and want one of your own, this is Shewee’s official website: http://www.shewee.com.

Copyright 2010 by Me

 

Girl, you’ll be a woman soon… (AKA: “Just kill me now… Please, really, kill me.”) February 5, 2010

Filed under: Humor,kids,Life,Women — laughingmama @ 9:25 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

Written January 5, 2010

Preface: To Mary~  If one day, when you’re grown up, you read this, I know you’ll be terribly embarrassed and I’m sorry. However, let me just remind you that I’ve also written about your brother shitting on a boat so get over it.

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My little girl is growing up. No, that particular rite of passage hasn’t happened for her yet, but it has for someone very close to her. It’s only because we haven’t seen this young lady much lately that Mary doesn’t know about it yet. I’m quite sure the next sleepover will be especially informative for her even though I would bet a million dollars this girl’s mother has threatened her with her life if she breathes a word of it to Mary. I think back to what I was like at that age and the things I would talk about with my girlfriends during sleepovers went in this order: 1. Boys 2. Mean teachers or classmates 3. Boys 4. Any changes we had experienced in our bodies until one or all of us tumbled over in a fit of giggling. These topics could only be made more enticing by our mothers telling us NOT to discuss them with anybody. It’s inevitable. I know very soon she’s going to find out all about her friend’s foray into womanhood. And even though she’s only (almost) nine and it pains me beyond belief, I know I should prepare her for what she’s about to hear.

To that end, I went to the bookstore and bought a book that might help me explain it better. I got a few suggestions from people who have ventured down this path before me. I decided on a book entitled “American Girl: The Care and Keeping of You”. I chose this one because it only dealt with puberty and general hygiene issues, and had nothing whatsoever to do with sex education. One step at a time for me, I like to take things slow.

So, I found myself in Borders, in the children’s non-fiction section, searching for this thing I didn’t really want in the first place. I located it on the shelf next to a book that had “Everything you wanted to know about sex!!!” on the back of it. Really? Everything? I certainly pray to God it does not have EVERYTHING an adolescent would want to know about sex in it. I tried to ignore that piece of filth and tentatively picked up my book. I started flipping through a few pages and then stopped when I saw an in-depth analysis on the different types of feminine products available. I felt sick. I closed the book. Maybe I should head to the fiction section and pick up a copy of Judy Blume’s “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” instead. No, I decided to suck it up and stick with the plan. Good, solid, honest information is best, right? Then why did I feel like I was buying porn?

Honestly, I was so embarrassed I had to grab a book for myself just so I could put it on top to cover up the “period” book when I checked out. Sometimes cashiers at bookstores like to get into discussions about what you’re buying and I could just imagine a pervy middle-aged man taking a look at “American Girl: The Care and Keeping of You”, raising his eyebrows at me and saying, “Ooooooh. Does someone have a young lady on the verge of womanhood in their household? Hmmmmm?” Ugh, I felt like the whole store was staring at me as I walked toward the registers. Thankfully, a teenage girl was the next available clerk and she couldn’t have cared less what I was buying. She did, however, ask me if I needed a bag. My eco-conscious mind spoke before the logic center in my brain could process the question. “No, that’s okay.” Crap! Now I had to walk out of the store and through the parking lot with this blinking sign of my daughter’s development in plain sight. I almost went back and asked her for a bag and wondered if I could also ask her to wrap it in brown paper. I swear, I almost wish it were the January issue of Hustler instead. But, I didn’t.

I quickly walked to my car and put the book in a fabric grocery bag I keep in the console. It wasn’t just to hide it from my eyes, but also from Mary’s since I was about to pick her up at faith development at church. So that means I was also hiding it from Drew, God, and Jesus. I prayed that I didn’t get into an accident and had visions of the book flying out of my broken windshield and landing at the feet of a pimply faced boy who had just witnessed the crash and who was now doubled over in laughter.

God took pity on me and I arrived home safely. As the kids were getting ready for bed, I took the book out of the bag and flipped through it again. In the comfort of my own home, I felt like I could find the strength to face whatever may lie beneath the cover. Oh my Lord, there were naked cartoon pictures. Cartoons of girls in various stages of breast development and I don’t even want to describe what else. Suffice it to say, I don’t really remember exactly what my pre-pubescent body looked like but I do NOT remember having what I can only describe as a chia pet between my legs like this cartoon American Girl. Someone got a little carried away with the charcoal pencil if you ask me. The only saving grace in all of this was that my husband was home and, as uncomfortable as these cartoon breasts made me, I was going to revel in his reaction to them.

His look of absolute horror was priceless. There’s a memory and it’s a keeper. He closed his eyes and shook his head in an attempt to erase what he had just seen but no amount of brain bleach is going to scrub away that image anytime soon. I consider it a kind of pay back. I’m the one who will have to sit down with Mary for this mother-daughter heart to heart and discuss things in great detail that are better left unsaid. And knowing Mary, she’ll have lots of questions. He gets to have “the talk” with our son. I imagine it will go something like this: “You’ve got a penis. It gets bigger sometimes and it’s fun to play with. Don’t do it in public. And don’t stick it in a shampoo bottle. Love you, son.” Not fair!

So, just now when he came into the room holding the book open to the cartoon procedure on just HOW to use feminine products and declared it the most disturbing two pages he has ever seen in his entire life did I laugh and clap? Hell yes I did! For what’s the point in having kids and going through milestones if you can’t celebrate them together? That’s why when I talk to Mary I will hug her tightly and tell her it will be okay, that it’s all part of growing up and that it’s something beautiful to be proud of. In reality I know no matter how tactful or gentle I will be, this experience will scar her for life and will always be the stuff of legend in her mind. Much like my mother asking me, “Do you know about things? If not, we can get a book.” I’m actually kind of glad “American Girl: The Care and Keeping of You” was not in publication then.

Copyright 2010 by Me

 

Jazzy Junk… (AKA: “I wanna take a ride on your disco stick”) January 28, 2010

Filed under: Humor,Life,Women — laughingmama @ 2:12 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Disclaimer: This might be TMI, but I don’t care. I’m fascinated and need to talk about it.

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So, yesterday I was innocently checking out Twitter and read something that has changed my life forever. I only follow 21 people on Twitter and mostly they are people I know, people who make me laugh or hot guys. In this instance, it was (the always captivating and hilarious) The Bloggess who provided me with this tidbit of information: there is such a thing as ‘vajazzling’. I was instantly captivated. Apparently after a horrible break-up a friend of Jennifer Love Hewitt’s suggested she wax herself  bald “down there” and bedazzle her “precious lady” with Swarovski crystals to make herself feel better. She took the advice, it did make her feel better and now she’s suggesting that the rest of the female population do the same. I have so many questions. For example, how exactly did this “friend” broach the subject of vajazzling? And how did she get JLH to agree to it? This is how I imagine the conversation going:

JLH: “OMG, I’m just so upset. I can’t believe I’m alone… again.” (sounds of serious sobbing)

friend: “Yeah, that must suck to be you, a gorgeous, wealthy actress with a regular TV series.”

JLH: “It doesn’t take the place of someone who cares about me, loves me. Well hell, at least I don’t have to shave past my knees for a while.” (forced chuckle)

friend: “Oh no, sister!! You’ve got to keep yourself groomed. You never know who’s going to come along and want to get frisky in the back of a taxicab.”

JLH: “You’ve watched too many movies. Or episodes of ‘Blind Date’.”

friend: “Maybe. But all I”m saying is… dress for the man you want, not the TV dinner you’ll end up with if you let yourself go National Geographic. Hell, you might want to even bedazzle that thing. You know… pretty it up a bit.”

JLH: “What??? Are we talking about the same thing?” (sounds of head scratching)

friend: “Yes, honey. I know this place that will glue crystals to it. Can you imagine how sexy you’d feel?”

JLH: “Wow. I’ve never thought of that. That would be cool to see it all sparkly.”

friend: “That’s right! You bling your ears, neck and wrist, why not your vajayjay?”

JLH: “You’re totally right! I’m going to do it!” (girly clapping)

Now if it were me, as soon as my friend suggested that I bedazzle my privates I would have laughed in her face and then conked her on the head with my empty wine bottle. Then, while I was waiting for her to come to, I would have drunk another bottle of wine and then when she woke up we would totally go to the salon to get it done together. So, I guess JLH and I aren’t that dissimilar. She might be a bit nicer to her friends, though.

Another question I have is, if she did it AFTER a break-up, WHO exactly did she do it for? I’m all about doing things for yourself but in this scenario, going out to buy an expensive pair of shoes would have made me feel a hell of a lot better than ripping out my pubic hair and putting glue on the sensitive bare skin that’s left. What JLH did makes me think that there was a bigger plan in play. This would be the perfect act of revenge, wouldn’t it? Imagine your ex stopping by to pick up the last of his things from your place. You could  have conveniently just gotten out of the shower. You answer the door in nothing but a towel. You let him in, point him to a box on the floor and as he bends down to pick it up, you clumsily drop your towel and… KAPOW!!! He gets a face full of Swarovski crystals. I imagine he’d regret ever being an ass to you after he realized you’ve turned porn star. (But not actual porn star because ewww… who wants that? No, I’m talking “innocent” on the outside, crazy, uninhibited, “pretend” porn star on the inside.)

On the other hand, it just might scare him in the way that Lady GaGa scares most men. She looks like she’d be a hell of a good time and up for almost anything, but it might really, really hurt. Same thing with the crystals. Have people forgotten about friction? Do we really need tiny rocks down there getting in the way? And how secure are these things? Do we need to worry about them flying off at any given moment? Will we have to have arguments about who has to sleep in the “shiny spot”? Instead of towels will dustpans have to be kept in the bedside table? And, as one of my friends pointed out, choking hazard!

This seems to be to be the type of thing that might be fun to do once- on a lark. Something to surprise your mate with, to keep things spicy, keep him guessing. But really, no. Is it really necessary to do anything MORE to the downtown area than a bit of landscaping and keeping the street clean? Honestly, I’ve never had a guy say to me, “Well, that’s nice but no thanks. Now, if you had Swarovski crystals glued to it… ” There’s really not much to mess up down there- unless you start talking about adding GLUE. It made me wonder why you would even consider doing this in the first place? I did some investigating and what I found only led to more questions.

Ladies, you’ll be relieved to know that not only can you bedazzle your lady parts, you can also dye them. OMG, why did I start Googling? Yes, it’s true. If you’ve ever thought your vajayjay might be looking a bit old and discolored, there’s now “My New Pink Button” to restore it to its former pink glory. Really??? As if the wrinkles on your face weren’t bad enough, now we have to worry about Pandora’s box showing the years? It seems like a bit of false advertising to me. Not the product, I’m going to take their word for it that it works. I’m talking about the consumer. Especially if used in conjunction with the crystals. Your partner would lift your skirt and get all excited that he has a pretty, shiny new toy but when you get down to business, it feels just like any other one and (in the case of those of us who have had kids) decidedly NOT like it did when it was new and unused.

I also discovered the salon in NYC which started the “vajazzling” craze. It’s a place called “Completely Bare” and they call the crystal application procedure “completely bare with a flair”. Cute. (If cute means WTF?) They also sell at home waxing kits with crystal tattoos so you can flair yourself. You can choose from such shapes as a heart, a butterfly, a starburst and a peace sign. I imagine it’s only a matter of time before it’s not just crystals but cutesy sayings that can be affixed to your nether regions. “I’m the girl your momma warned you about.” You don’t say. God forbid if someone decides that would be an appropriate place to declare their love for the health care plan. “I want THIS covered.” Although, debating politics naked might be fun.

And speaking of politics, for some reason George Washington crept into my head yesterday as I was thinking about all of this. I know, my brain is a mysterious and wonderful place. I don’t think this is exactly what our forefathers had in mind when they separated from the British to found our great nation. Or maybe it is. They did advocate freedom and what could be more liberating than waxing yourself bald and imitating a disco ball? Also, you know those women back then were au naturale so maybe hairless women dripping with crystals is exactly the type of thing George Washington fantasized about. Maybe we were just a late night draft away from saying “…with liberty and vagina crystals for all”. And don’t flame me, I know George Washington didn’t write the Pledge of Allegiance. I also know that, as much as he might have enjoyed them on Martha, he wouldn’t be gluing crystals to himself.

Although, in 2010 it’s totally possible. Did I mention that they have crystals for guys as well? Google told me that too. I can’t remember the website so I apologize for not being able to point you in the right direction if this is something you wish to do to yourself, but somewhere they’re having a Valentine special where men can get a pretty pink heart affixed you know where. Nothing tells your partner “I think you’re something special” quite like that. I have to admit though, I don’t think I’d trust a salon that calls the procedure for male waxing a “sack and crack”. I’m just saying.

Now before you get all uppity with me, I know body modification has been around forever. Even body modification “down there”. I honestly don’t know why vajazzling fascinates me so much. I guess I just never thought of that as an area that needed to be adorned in such a flamboyant way. I’m not Liberace and if you need to put up a f*cking flashing sign that says “Here it is!!!” then maybe you should find a partner that’s more adept. I’m sure it’s fun, but so are sexy panties. Then you take them off, throw them in the corner of the room and pick them up the next morning. No harm, no foul. I will say that all of this has entertained me a limitless amount over the past two days. It got me thinking that this might make for good TV. You know that show, “Pimp My Ride”? Well, instead it could be “Pimp My P…”. Well, you get the idea. I know who would be the perfect host- I heard Jennifer Love Hewitt might know a thing or two about it. Or Martha Stewart, she’s pretty good with a glue gun.

copyright 2010 by Me