Grace brings us face-to-face with aging as she relates her experiences, her memories, advice for surviving the aging process...with Grace. This is a place for humor, sharing, and learning as well as what I hope are some entertaining meanderings of my thoughts.

I hope you also enjoy my book reviews, product reviews and giveaways! Click on the tabs to find out more. Hint: We are always looking for more books and products for review.

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Thank you for visiting ~ please come back often & don't forget to follow us here! Our follower friends are our special treasures!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Sunny Days ~ Need Extra Cancer Protection

 
Cancer Never Sleeps!
 
This is not breaking news...nor is it new here.  If you participate in your local Relay For Life, you have no doubt heard this before.  Unfortunately, we seem to need to hear it over and over...we must be ever vigilant!  Especially when we are outdoors with our skin exposed to those harmful UV rays. 
 
I speak from experience. On May 17th I wrote about it here - Sunscreen ~ Bad Burns Can Turn Into Cancer.  Today, I am reminded to mention it again.  So we never forget that cancer takes no vacationsCancer never sleepsCancer never discriminates between old or young.  Those of us of a certain age, who spent our summers outside in sleeveless shirts and shorts, barefoot, or in swimsuits and didn't use sunscreen can tell you that you need to monitor every mole and spot on your body that shows any sign of change. 
 

 
This week I had another (yes, another) skin cancer removed from my leg and a biopsy taken from the bridge of my nose.  A phone call today confirmed my suspicion that the nose spot was a precancerous spot that now must be totally removed - the spot, not the nose, Silly!  I have had about six skin cancers removed and countless suspicious spots frozen off in the last ten years.  I go in to the Dermatologist every six months for a checkup to see if more are showing their ugly selves.

So, please make an appointment to get a full body checkup with your Dermatologist.  Be watchful of any changes to your skin.  It can be a mole that changes shape, a red spot that is irregular in shape, a rough spot that doesn't go away (like the one on my nose and another spot just like it that was removed above it a couple of years ago).  Get them looked at by an expert.  Get them removed if there is any chance they are cancer or precancerous.

Do you have a schedule for skin checkups? Have you had skin cancer?

You are too important to me and your family to ignore this issue.  We are bloggy friends and you mean the world to me...you are my world...my bloggy world.  I care.  So...are you picking up the phone yet? 

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Friday, September 14, 2012

How To Prepare for a Visit To A New Doctor

As I was writing my post for yesterday, it occurred to me that actually, there is something educational or at least helpful that I can share from my life lately.  After all of the doctor visits and test of all sorts, I have a strategy to share!  Yep!  It came to me out of the blue...well, sort of. 

Here is what I have learned over the last two months of dealing with health issues that still have no resolution.  Everyone needs to plan ~ and needs a plan!  That's right - to plan and a plan.

Here's what I know.  In the beginning, all my brain could register was that I was short of breath.  After a few days of intense questioning by nurses, doctors, technicians, I realized I had a few other symptoms that needed to be mentioned.  That hadn't occurred to me right away because, well, breathing is right up there on the list of critical functions of our bodies.  When you have trouble with breathing, you pretty much can cancel all other thoughts.

I began to jot down all symptoms whether they seemed connected or not.  Let the experts connect the dots and put the puzzle together.  The more I was questioned, the more I wanted to know.  So, I also initiated some online research of my symptoms, which led to a list of questions alongside my list of symptoms.  The more I researched my personal situation, the more possibilities I found for diagnosis. 


I took my lists to the doctor visits, and one-by-one, asked my questions and was able to check a few off as answered or not applicable.  My focus was narrowing as I learned the lungs and the heart were both working like they should.  You see how this is working?  It helps to be a part of the process and feel like you are helping to figure things out.  There is less anxiety.

In my case, the next step is to see a Rheumatologist.  Since I had never seen one and was not familiar with what they did, I headed for the computer again.  Google is my friend.  I also learned a few things about how to prepare for the initial visit.  Much of what I have just mentioned was on that list, along with common sense things like arrive early and doing your new patient paperwork online if possible, bringing your insurance cards, etc. 
I should also bring my medical records, a list of questions (got that one covered), symptoms described in detail (yep, check!), and not wearing nail polish or too much makeup.  That one surprised me, but she will check my nails and skin for "significant physical findings." 

So back to the "to plan and a plan" idea.  In a nutshell, before seeing a new doctor, or even your old doctor for a new problem, here are some suggestions:
  • Write down all of your symptoms whether you think they are important or not. 
  • Note what you were doing/eating when the symptoms occurred.
  • Make a list of questions to ask.
  • Research your symptoms online or in medical books.
  • Add more questions and/or symptoms now that you are smarter.
  • Follow the common sense tips above and get to your appointment early, with your lists and insurance info handy.  Have your paperwork all filled out and ready to hand over.  Bring all pertinent medical records with you.
Never have I been so prepared for a physician visit, or felt more in control as when I pulled out my lists and insisted on going over the questions.  It helps me stay calm, and it helps them to diagnose the problem or decide who can.

Now, perhaps I can chalk this post up to a little mojo rejuvenation.  Maybe not.  But it felt good to write about something you may be able to use.  Do you have a plan before heading to a doctor appointment?  How do you prepare? 




Be sure enter my new giveaway! This week is my 1st Blogiversary for Grace's blog and I'm celebrating!
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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Whatever Happened to Those "Blog" Moments?

 
Now that this blog is a year old, I have been thinking about a how it was then and how it is now.  When I began blogging, everything I saw or read became a potential target for a blog post. No one was exempt from being blog material.  I loved the feeling.  I'd excitedly shout "I should blog about that!"    Of course, my friends always agreed...they didn't have to sit down at the computer to compose something quirky or catchy!
 
Today, I am in the midst of some health issues and I struggle to see anything as blog fodder.  I can't seem to push myself to get back to my daily blogging routine - yet.  My eyes don't seem to be seeing the humor in things or the educational value of what happens in my life nowadays.
 
Do you ever have this problem?  Is the honeymoon over?  Well, no * it * isn't.  I love blogging.  I just feel icky and am in a funk.  I just wondered if I am the only one fighting this right now.  How do you get yourself out of it?
 
This nonsense post is just my way of staying connected to you all until something "meaty" pops in to my little head!  Let's hope that is reeeaaaal soon!  You shouldn't have to be subjected to my mindless ramblings for long periods of time.



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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Sunday, September 9, 2012

MySurgeryMD ~ Get Help Researching Cosmetic Procedures



Have you ever found yourself wondering if a cosmetic procedure of one type or another would be a good idea?  Don't we all have that one (or several!) particular body part that we would like enhanced or perhaps diminished?  Well, if you are considering such a procedure, I have some research assistance for you!  (You do research these things, right?  If not, you certainly should!)

MySurgeryMD is an educational resource about various types of surgical procedures.  You can choose the type of procedure or the area of your body that it pertains to and find out if this is really the procedure for you.


This site explains what you should consider before making your decision.  The research has already been done for you...so helpful.  The pros and cons are spelled out for you.  The procedure is explained in enough detail that you will know not only how it is done, the risks involved, but also the expected recovery time for most of them. Need to know the cost up front?  This too, is researched for you.  And, perhaps the most important help for you is in locating a surgeon in your area who is experienced in performing the procedure you are considering.

There were body parts such as vision, nose and weight that I checked out while I was exploring the site.  Another was the section on liposuction.  If you are like me, after having five children and not being particularly fit and trim (more like a fluffy Grandma), then I am willing to bet you have dreamed of ridding yourself of some belly fat!  I know I have.  I am not sure I will ever bring myself to doing it, but who knows?  I found  a wealth of information at my fingertips ~ enough to  make an informed decision should I ever wish to pursue this option. 

I was surprised to learn that liposuction is not just for the morbidly obese folks.  It says women like me who are carrying around a mere thirty extra pounds (Gasp!) are also prime candidates.  It was good to know that this procedure is performed on young and old alike.  I feared I may be considered too old as I am pushing seventy - a youngish seventy I like to think!  click here to read more about lipo.


Yes, this is a review, but I honestly found it to be an important resource for all of us - priceless even.  And, it is done in a professional manner and except for the ads on the page, I found no one trying to sell us something.  I highly recommend that you take a minute and check out MySurgeryMD and the blog that they post.  I have already bookmarked it for my personal research.  Both HB (HoneyBunny) and I spend time online looking up medical symptoms, treatments, etc.  This is the perfect addition to our already favorite resources.  I think you may feel the same.  I'd love it if you'd give me your feedback when you do!

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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Hello! Is that really me in the mirror? (Replay)

Toot! Toot!  Hip, Hip Hooray!  Zippity Do Dah!  Today is my 1st Anniversary ~ my Blogiversary!

As part of my celebration, I am going back to my beginning...to the first blog I posted here when you only knew me by "Grace."  And, please enter my Blogiversary Giveaway while you are here!  See the link at the bottom of this post.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

On my thirtieth birthday I began to realize my life was changing.  It was not necessarily for the better, I was thinking.  My car started falling apart, my teeth needed major repair, I had just watched my Uncle die a slow death from cancer and emphysema, I was a pack-&-a-half-a-day smoker and I had no career skills other than waiting tables and bartending.  As well as being a divorced Mom of five little ones who lived with their father and visited on weekends.  It was enough to get me thinking!

My first step was to stop smoking – cold turkey.  That worked.  Next I took care of my teeth, then my car.  It took some time.  Not too long afterward, I changed jobs and started my journey in the business world, ending up in middle management at a major financial company.  I felt better, but my birthday numbers kept getting bigger.  I tried to come up with a way to slow things down.  I never found one.

Turns out that isn’t how the aging process works.  Instead, life just keeps going by faster and faster every year.  How that happens is way beyond my thinking.  By now I have learned to just go with the flow.  It isn’t always easy.  There are smooth places and a lot of bumps in the road to old age. 

These days I am better known as Grandma (and also Mom) who is also a wife, sister, aunt, Red Hat Queen, a volunteer and now a blogger.  Keeping my mind active and staying busy have become more important than ever.  I hope to share my experiences, give some timely advice and toss in some humor as I write this journal of my road trip to old age.  Mind you, I have a ways to go…I am not totally over-the-hill yet.   So, come on along!  I’ll drive and all you need to do is enjoy the ride!

 



Be sure to click here to enter my Giveaway!   Grow Old With Grace and enter my new giveaway! This week is my 1st Blogiversary for Grace's blog and I'm celebrating!
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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wordless Wednesday ~ Arizona Monsoon

This afternoon it has started rumbling outside and I believe we are going to get our usual afternoon monsoon weather!  I found this photo on...where else...Pinterest and thought it was so beautiful.  It was taken in Southeastern Arizona where we do get some outstanding lightening storms!

Source: flickr.com via Pat on Pinterest

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Saturday, September 1, 2012

New Giveaway ~ Blogiversary Celebration!

Holy Cow!  I just can't believe next week will be my one year blogiversary for Grace's blog!  How does time go by so quickly?  It has been so exciting to meet all of you along the way, to go in search of topics to entertain or educate you or just to let you know what's going on in our lives.  I have shared good times and not-so-good and you have been such sweet friends that I can't thank you enough.

So, in celebration, I am hosting a Giveaway for you! 

Blogioversary Celebration Giveaway!

(Placemat not included)
     


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enjoy and thank you again for visiting, commenting, assisting, praying, and so much more during the past year.  You mean the world to me!

Hugs,
Pat (aka)
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