Sunday, February 13, 2011
Please don't read this blog if you are offended by deeply personal issues such as intimacy.
Ok, I warned you and you are still reading so I'm going to write one of the most gut-wrenching blogss I have written. Any humour used will be to cover my embarrassment as I often use humour when I really don't want to confront real issues.
I've got a sexual hangup! I don't enjoy it and it causes me me great physical pain. I also have very little libido. I also have lived with depression for most of my life and thus, have seen many professionals. Some of which have been fantastic and others...well, lets just say they haven't been the best fit for me.
Through therapy it has come to light that I may (emphasis on MAY) have been touched inappropriately when I was two or three by the son of my parent's friends. Apparently, Mom says (she only admitted this within the past six months) that I had told her that the babysitter had his hands inside my panties. That is all she says she remembers. Doesn't sound like much although I'm sure little children don't make stuff up like that so I'm thinking there is a grain of truth in it.
Anyway, my upbringing was really sheltered. Sex was not discussed at all and teenagers who got pregnant (both of my cousins) were "filthy and dirty for bringing shame to their families". Needless to say, I wasn't sexually active...in fact....I really wasn't interested in boys until I left home to go to university!
Had a serious boyfriend but never would have sex because a) I was afraid and b) I was kinda a religious nut at the time. Yes, I became "saved" and was going to devout my life to missionary work. Funny how my parents were more upset that I had turned relgious as they viewed it as brain-washing. Anyway, I think common sense found me along the way and I realized that the bunch of hypocrites I was hanging around with were probably the most un-Christian like people out there. Hence my claim that I'm not really religious but I've remained spiritual over the years although I don't call any church my own, not really.
Okay, was dumped by boyfriend because his parents didn't think I was educated enough and met John when I quit univesisty because I was so devastated by the breakup. Came home to live. Dated John for 11 years before getting married. Sex was attempted but wasn't pleasant.
Fast forward to several years into our married and sexless life. I was always replaying in my mind how sex was dirty and shameful but as a married woman I was supposed to have sex and get pregnant. Oh, and did I tell you my mom told me at every opportunity that I would make a horrible mother. So, I guess the sex thing was kinda not going to happen with those thoughts rushing through my mind.
I sought help and John went with me. Different things were suggested but it all kept getting blamed on the anti-depressants I was taking. I was told to go home and weigh how important my sexual well-being was compared to my mental well-being. Finally, I got a referral with an outstanding gynecologist and again, I spilled my story. This doctor wanted to rule out any physical cause of my discomfort so he suggested I have minor surgery where they look through your belly in various spots. He also suggested tying my tubes at the time as I was 44 and freaked out about being pregnant at that age and having to go off my medications.
Fast forward several months later. Testing came back that there was no physical reason for my discomfort other than extreme dryness in the vaginal area. So, he prescribed Premarin (an estrogen cream) which is applied internally. Some relief was found but sex was still painful. Did I mention I have the most patient husband on this planet? Next appointment I was given testrosterone but I was very reluctant to take a steroid. I tried it in mid-December until last week when I returned to the doctor for followup. He then tells me this could really cause some nasty side-effects like muscle build up, weight gain, deepening of the voice, and a hairy chin. Oh, the joys.
Oh, to get back to my appointment. I had to see an intern first before my doctor. I had to explain this whole situation to a young man, half my age, and try not to blush. THEN, my doctor came in and I had to repeat it all with not one, but two men watching me. (John was out of town unfortunately). First came the lecture on I would have to contact my mental health doctor (can't spell the p word this morning} to get weaned off the medications as according to them I had to make a choice......I couldn't be mentally balanced and sexually active! It was going to be an either or decision on my part. DUH???
Then comes the lecture about how the vagina is a muscle and like any other muscle has to be kept active before they "shrivel up". At that point, I was blushing like a rose and politely suggested that "a man came up with that solution, didn't they". The two doctors did not find my humour appropriate and I kept thinking to myself "well, how is this for not appropriate, you are telling me my vagina is going to dry up and die"
So, then the doctor pipes up and says "I have these pills in my office which were free samples. I've never tried them or prescribed them but they might help you". I took them and stuffed them in my pocket. Left without making a follow-up appointment (I don't think I'll be going back anytime soon!). Then I darted to Walmart for some frozen veggies on the way home. Walked into Walmart and set off the alarm with the packages of pills in my pocket! Oh dear! I explained and they didn't ask to see the boxes....thank goodness.....
Arrived home and decided to take a glance at what the pills were..............(warning pee now before you read the rest!)..........
The doctor's instructions were to take one tablet 30 minutes before sexual activity....hmmmm......so I put my glasses on to read everything and that is when I saw in big, black letters....for erectile dysfunction only! What the heck? I laughed so hard but then I grew a bit more serious and I thought, and this is the kind of help available to women. Tell them, basically they have to choose between their mental health and the sexual health and that their vagina's were going to shrivel up and die!!! The final blow were the ED pills! So I'm half mad, partly disgusted, a tad bit embarrassed and I feel like a complete fool.
To add a wee bit of humour....anybody know how many points you earn for exercising your vagina? Oh, and I forgot to mention, the idiot intern's question....."is your husband above average size" and I started to say "well he does have about twenty extra pounds........when brain kicked in and I realized that wasn't the size he was talking about........
I know this was a bit personal to blog about and I hope you don't think I'm gross for telling you this. I'm going to discuss my mental health with my doctor but for me it is not a question of deciding which is more important in my life. Without my medications, I would probably be dead but perhaps there are a few changes that can be made so it is not an all or nothing battle.
Thanks again for reading and for your support.
Friday, February 11, 2011
Well, we thought yesterday was a cold one. Today it is just as sunny but even cooler at -23 C (-9 or thereabouts in F) and I am tired of people saying it is too cold to exercise. Honestly, if we used that as an excuse, we would only exercise a few perfect days of the year. So, here is what I do to walk comfortably outdoors.......ahem.......
I start with an inner layer of regular bra and underwear....just in case I'm in an accident....I don't want to show up at the hospital naked and frozen!
Then I add a layer of longjohns which are so very unattractive despite the catalog images we see. To make matters worse, mine are made by Dickie so if I'm found in a snowbank my rescuers are going to say "well, the underwear says Dickie but it looks like a female to me".
Then I pull on a thick pair of socks which go halfway up my calves and are arranged just so over the bottom edge of my longjohns.....don't want any VLJL....or visible longjohn lines showing, now do we. Then I pull a long sleeve t-shirt on which again has to have its tail tucked inside the longjohns as there is nothing worse than a cold wind hitting your lower back. Check for visible shirt lines!
By that time, I am either sweating profusely or have to pee. Somedays it is both! Add two super-excited dogs to the mix and you can see how this is quickly turns into a military operation.
In the porch, I pull on wind pants that are a mile too big but get the job done. Then I layer a fleece jacket under a winter coat. All gets zipped up and strapped on. Next comes the wool hat pulled down over my forehead....much to everyone's amusement but that is where I find the cold wind the most....just above my eyebrows! So I kiss pride goodbye and pull my hat down low.
Boots are next. They have to be warm and comfortable....mine are 15 years old and still serve me beautifully. Finally, I wear wool handknit mittens because I find them warmer than any leather mitt on the market.
By this point, the dogs are jumping all over me and I remember I have to snap on their leashes which requires me to take off my mittens. Usually I end up going out the door with one mitten on and the other in my mouth as I'm struggling to lock the front door and not be pulled down over the front steps by the sled dogs.......didn't know a Pomeranian could be so strong, did you?
Then we pile in the truck which excites them even more and they bark at every living thing and some things like garbage cans that look like humans to them. I drive, half deaf through town to the outskirts and go across a huge bridge to get where we are going. Barking is at fever pitch by this point and I've often thought of opening the truck windows and letting them accidentally jump out.....tsk....tsk....tsk.....especially since I claim to love dogs!!!!
Get where we are going, we all pile out of the truck. Truck gets locked, my nose gets wiped for the first time of many, leashes get removed and my bliss starts. Watching them and hearing nothing but the snow crunching under my feet is wonderful therapy for even the most frazzled minds. Seeing your breath freezing in the air is an added bonus! Head down, I proceed to walk and ignore the numbing cold on my cheekbones. I talk to myself sometimes (did I mention I'm nuts), point out imaginary bunny rabbits to the dogs (just to see them race off into the woods), and generally embrace all that nature has to offer.
Yesterday, I made the discovery that if I got down on the snow about eye-level with my dogs (I discovered this by trying to bend over and realizing I was too padded to actually bend comfortably) the dogs go wild. They think it is a great thing Mommy is doing when in fact I was trying to check Maddy's foot for snow and ice buildup! I took off my mitten which Lou grabbed and took off with. It ended up in more snowbanks and was tossed between the two of them and was quite snowcovered when I retrieved it....but....and you have to love wool for this....it was still dry and warm inside.
After about 40 minutes we end up back at the truck and the barking resumes....so much for tiring them out.......nothing and I mean nothing....tires the vocal cords of my two. Between Maddy's high pitched yelps and Lou's deep bark I don't need a radio...just earplugs.
Back at home, they rush in ahead of me to grab their toys. Meanwhile, I'm still in the porch, trying to peel the layers off of me without sending the snow and ice everywhere. Everything comes off.....yes....everything and dry stuff goes back on. I pee, get dressed in comfy clothes, and let the beasts out to pee in our backgarden because everybody knows they can't stop long enough on their walk/run to do that....heaven forbid!!!!
While I log on to Spark to enter what I walked, they flop down on their beds for a well-deserved rest. Then it is time for me to think about supper.......did I mention that I want to come back as one of my dogs when I die as they are lying on their beds with eyes half-closed but their sniffers are keeping them abreast of what is going on in the kitchen. They could be half dead and in the midst of a good "doggie chasing bunny" dream but if something hits the kitchen floor they have it sniffed, licked and swallowed before I even notice something fell off the counter!
Then its back to their beds where they usually stay until my husband arrives home. He asks if they've been out and they look at him and say, "yes, but we would go again" so off they go on another excursion. Meanwhile, I'm flaked on the chesterfield, trying to muster enough energy to check on supper and there they are racing through the snow....again!
Oh, the joys of owning a dog or two or three! What we don't do for them. I wouldn't have it any other way I'm sure I wouldn't be walking so much if I didn't have them!
Thanks for reading!
Susan (206 pound human) Maddy (10 pound Pomeranian) and Louisa (64 pound Golden Lab/mix)
Thursday, February 10, 2011
T'is a cool one here this morning. A balmy -15 c. with a slight wind and lots of blue skies. A beautiful day all around. I know what some of you southern belles are thinking.....brrrrr...but if you dress for it, anyday can be enjoyed in the great outdoors.
A few days ago, I wrote about walking outdoors and somebody responded that I was only enjoying it because I live in a rural area as opposed to an urban one. While it is true that I do live in a town of about 13,000 I choose not to walk in the slush and icy sidewalks by driving to a great walking area. BUT, if I had to walk in the slush (I was a student once and nobody knows the joys of walking in winter than students) I would dress appropriately. In fact, I would get a funky pair of rubberized boots to keep the damp out and the warmth in.
Anyway, I digress from my blog title! One of my brand new SparkFriends (thanks for adding me REDWEASEL61) wrote an interesting blog about putting off things that bring you joy. The part that really got to me was when she wrote "I got to thinking....about all those people on the Titanic who passed up dessert at dinner that fateful night"!!!
Stop and think about it! How many of us, put off things that we really enjoy until the moment is perfect. We do it all the time! We are going to start exercising when the weather turns nice, we are going to eat better when we get some seasonal produce, we are going to take that trip when we lose weight, we are going to write that letter one of those days.........
On the television show, What Not to Wear they often preach the need to "dress the body you have now and not the one you want". I've started to do this. I've bought a few (emphasis on a few) new pieces and they fit me now. I didn't buy them too big or too small! I'm wearing them now to work. Just yesterday I had somebody compliment me when I was out walking the dogs about how much happier I seem . I really don't think it was about the weight....wearing a puffy down coat cannot do much justice to anybody's figure! According to her, I "radiate peace and happiness".....wow...who knew! Ha! Regardless of the truth, it made me smile and feel so much better about myself.
So, today if you are bogged down with your lifestyle journey step back and think of an award you can give yourself today. You might not have reached a definite goal but you are still part of the journey. Don't get down.....get inspired! Do something outside of your schedule that you enjoy. Make flexibility part of your life. If an opportunity comes your way don't say "I can't" but rather "I think I will" .
Have a good day.....
Tuesday, February 08, 2011
I've got a couple of Spark related questions and I'm hoping you, as my SparkFriends, will rush to answer for me.
For starters, I know I wrote yesterday's blog in jest but, please, how do you know where to take your waist and hip measurements. For your waist is it above or below your belly button. And for hips, does it include the flabby overhang of my lower belly (sorry for the visual!) or should I be measuring lower.
Secondly, how do I send a group e-mail to all of my SparkFriends? I did it once before but for the life of me I can't seem to find where.
Thirdly, my calorie range is between 1300 and 1650 a day. Should this change depending on if I exercise? I exercised yesterday and on Saturday for close to 2 hours and was starved afterwards. Today I've only exercised for 40 minutes and have the same number of calories. I know there is a spot on the fitness tracker/fitness goals to indicate the calories you want to burn but how do I pick a number? Some days I exercise more than others.
Finally, I want to know how I can possibly thank all of you for your support, encouragement and kindness. It really means a lot especially now that my weight seems to have hit a standstill!
Monday, February 07, 2011
As most of you know, I often have a very warped sense of humourand because you know that I don't have too many qualms about sharing the following which I wrote earlier today.
Taking you own body measurements:
1.Find a good measuring tape and by “good” I mean stretched out of shape so that it will be highly inaccurate. That way you can always blame the materials and not your body shape!
2.Pour yourself a good stiff drink in an unbreakable glass and use as little ice as possible. This is in case you feel like flinging the glass and the ice could be considered deadly weapons to those around you.
3.Close your blinds and lock the doors as you don’t want neighbours wondering where you are going to stick that tape measure.
4.Strip down to your prettiest undies and bra. Socks are optional but only if you can stand to look at yourself wearing nothing but underwear and socks…..sort of reminds one of trying on a swimsuit wearing kneehighs!
5.Stand in front of a full-length mirror. Repeat the words “I love myself no matter what the measuring tape says” until you start to believe it or until the alcohol makes your judgment fuzzy.
6.Start at the boobs. Wrap the measuring tape around your back and over your nips. Make sure your bra is substantial enough that you don’t paper cut yourself but not thick enough to throw your measurements totally out of whack.
7.Have another swig and refill your glass if needed….what the heck…refill it anyway!
8.Find your belly button. If this requires you to use a magnifying glass and duct tape to contain the overhang, just skip this step as it is a useless starting point!
9.Look at your torso and find the smallest part…..no, the mole just above your belly button doesn’t count as the smallest part! Actually to find you natural waist the experts tell you to tie a piece of string around your waist, bend over and wherever the string ends up is your waist. I did this and the string ended up on the floor due to my inability to tie a proper knot! Whew, never knew my waist could be THAT small!
10.Now for hips…take the liquor bottle and take a big swig. Look at yourself side on and note where your rearend sticks out the most. Wrap your tape around to the front of your body (mine got lost in the fat folds), hold your gas, and record what you see. I was lucky….I couldn’t see anything over my stomach and we all know “nothing” equals zero so I recorded zero for my hips.
This whole thing was the result of taking my measurements yesterday and laughing so hard while trying to see the measuring tape! I told you before that it doesn't take much to make me laugh at myself but for some reason I found this to be really funny. Good thing I can laugh because the scale actually went up and so did some of my measurements. I'm praying that it is muscle!!!!
Take care and have a great Monday evening!
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