LAFF: Lulabelle’s Guide to Surviving Your First Mammogram…….

**Please note that most of these tips are written for humorous purposes and shouldn’t be taken seriously. To be honest, I’m being overly dramatic and having a mammogram is not all that bad.

One legit tip I can give you is if you are worried about pain, take some tylenol before your appointment.

Also, for some reason they want you to avoid using deodorant or any powder products under your arms on the day of your appointment.

My 3rd tip is to try and schedule your appt for a time where you know your breasts will not be tender due to your cycle. This will most likely cut down on your uncomfortableness with the mammogram process.

My last legit time would be to not wear a bra or wear a soft sports bra to your appt. Your breasts will be a little sore afterwards and an underwire bra could make things a bit more uncomfortable. 

Ok, on to my ridiculous tips. 😛


Guys, I’m getting old.

Specifically I’m around the age that a yearly mammogram is recommended. After thinking I felt something a few weeks ago (doctor didn’t feel anything on the follow up exam) I decided to schedule a mammogram just in case because I’m about to be 40 in a few months and at least once in my life I want to be on time or early for something.

My mammogram was today and I lived through it. As nervous as I was about it, I decided to make a guide to getting through it.

1. Don’t worry about the pain and discomfort. Honestly on a scale of 1 to getting hit in the face with a brick, it’s really not that bad. You’ll be fine.

2. You’ll be shocked and amazed at the way your breast can contort into about 50 different shapes during your mammogram. Those cirque du origami boobs are yours and you should be quite proud of their feats of stretch and foldiness.

3. It’s a good idea to take with you a small spatula because inevitably one of your boobs will become adhered to the imaging surface (especially if you have it done on one of the hottest days of the year like I did, where even in the air conditioning you can feel the heat). And no matter how hard you try, you will not be able to get it elegantly lifted off the tiny table with just your hands. 

The imaging tech tugged so hard, my left boob almost flew up off the imaging surface and hit me in the face. Next time I’m putting a small spatula in my purse. Just in case.

4. Have an uncomfortable anecdote ready to share with the imaging tech as payback for squishing your boobs flat as pancakes. I decided to go with the story of how Chad’s great grandma was treated for breast cancer in the 1920’s with acid.

It definitely got the desired result and made me feel like we were now even. 

I hope these tips helps you prepare for your first or next mammogram. 

Happy weekend, y’all! 😀

 

 

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LAFF: Linoleum Chicken and Broken Tailgates………..

For this week’s LAFF I almost told the story about how the other day when I was deciding what to have for dinner, I opened the freezer and a box of fried chicken jumped off the freezer shelf and landed on the floor with such force that the box split open and the chicken flew out and landed on the floor.

I definitely DID NOT eat it for dinner later.

*Because my mother raised me better than that. 😉

So instead of that story, I’m going to tell you a story about my wheelchair. This is actually part 1 of a 3ish part series on my journey to get another wheelchair.

Enjoy!

This year my manual wheelchair turns 13 years old.

In cat years that is about 63ish. In wheelchair years that is at least 103 and honestly, she sounds like it.

Old Blue, as I like to refer to her, came to be mine after the tragic loss of my old wheelchair.

I say tragic because I lost her in a freak traffic accident, but it’s not what you think.

When I lived in Louisville about 13 years ago, I was using the same chair I had since Jr. High.  I know, that sounds crazy, but it’s true. Back in my 20’s I was still walking with crutches and a walker on a regular basis, so my manual chair didn’t get as much use.  But I did use it to go on errands like grocery shopping.

On this particular day, I asked a neighbor to take me as the store was just up the road a few miles. Her only vehicle was a pickup truck. I didn’t think much of it as she hoisted my chair into the truck and we were on our way.

When we arrived at the store, we got out of the truck and walked to the back to discover my chair was GONE.

How in the world??

Aliens?

The Rapture??

Nope. Turns out that living on the bottom of a hill and putting your chair into a pick up truck with a broken tailgate is a pretty solidly bad idea.

We immediately retraced our steps and the funny thing was, the chair was NO. WHERE. TO. BE. FOUND.

It’s very strange and unnerving to lose a piece of you that’s not exactly your body, but at the same time it feels like you broke your legs. And it’s an unfortunate way to learn to not put your wheelchair in a pick up truck with a broken tailgate.

So long story short, I was fortunate enough to be able, after several weeks, to start the process of getting a new chair-at no cost to me. 

And we’ve been through so many adventures together.

I met the love of my life while in this chair.  

She was my “something blue” at my wedding.

We saw a total solar eclipse together. 

I’ve held all my nieces and nephews while sitting in this chair. 

It’s been quite a journey with this chair, but I’m so excited for this next chapter. 

Stay tuned! 

Flying wedding
One of our favorite wedding photos featuring my something blue 🙂

*I guess in this instance, do as I say, not as I do?? 😛

Dear Gov. Ivey………..

Congratulations! Because of you, people from both sides of the aisle are coming together…in criticism of the new anti abortion bill you signed into law this week.

You gotta admit, you have to know you’ve done F’ed up when both Tomi Lahren AND Pat Robertson come out against your policy.

Abortion in and of itself is controversial, but when you unequivocally ignore cases of unwanted pregnancy that happen through rape or incest, you manage to re-traumatize victims in the name of saving a life. Trauma that already leads to depression, anxiety and increased rates of suicide

And while I am pleased that there is an exception when the life of the mother is in danger, I think it’s a good idea to point out that I’ve made the conscious choice to not become pregnant because as a **disabled woman, pregnancy would be harder on my body and I’m terrified of the potential complications that could physically harm or end my life.

But I made that choice. And I can control whether or not to change my mind on that.

Unless I am raped. And live in Alabama. 

So this law really pisses me off.

It further frustrates me when we talk about this law and women like myself are told to “get our tubes tied” if we don’t want to get pregnant by rape.

So instead of, I don’t know, maybe telling men not to become rapists and increasing the punishments for those convicted, we are telling would-be rape victims to prevent getting pregnant by first getting their tubes tied.

Alabama is also set to punish physicians who perform these procedures by giving them sentences that are far greater than the rapists who put their female victims in the position to need an abortion. 

Neat. 

“But Laura, what about that clause about the health of the mother?” 

Well…….

I don’t trust the government to make a logical determination of the risks to my life when at the same time, as a disabled woman, I’ve needed a brand new wheelchair and the “options” available to me (through the government healthcare system we have) returned with a substandard product that would have further disabled my body (stay tuned for my 3-part wheelchair buying experience coming soon 😉 ).

In this case, it should be medical professionals and medical professionals only (one chosen by the women in crisis) who are tasked with determining what is the best course of action for their patient.

Abortion is horrible. But what is worse is taking away the choice of a woman in crisis. 

Full stop. 

**I speak only for myself as a disabled woman, and my views do not necessarily represent the entire disabled community.

LAFF: The One Where Lulabelle DIY’s a Crazy Product She Found on the Internet……

***Trigger Warning: Today’s blog contains talk of babies and a baby related product. If this subject is a trigger for you, click off this blog and enjoy one of my other non baby related posts. 🙂

I found it yesterday. And thought initially it was a joke.

But after finding a link to the website where it can be purchased, I realized it was very much a new thing.

Ladies and gentlemen, FridaBaby has outdone themselves this time with a product dads of toddlers have needed for years. And for $27.99, you can have it.

May I present to you, FridaBalls, the kid proof underwear for dads!!

Honestly I’m still clicking around the website making sure this isn’t an April Fools joke, bu so far it seems legit.

But that price? For ONE pair?? I mean, I guess you could justify that, especially if you have an overly kicky child, but I wondered……Could this be DIY’d?

Well folks, I would say YES!! And as it turns out, this product came out just in time, especially if you have leftover Easter eggs.

What you’ll need to DIY yourself a pair of kid proof underwear:

1. One pair or boxers or briefs

2. One half of a plastic Easter egg (and size does matter here. Makes sure it fits your um,  stuff)

3. Needle and thread or fabric glue or hot glue (*If using hot glue DO NOT wear the garment during this step).

Take the pair of boxers or briefs and find the pockety hole thing reserved for your “delicate package”. Take half of the Easter egg and place it inside the pockety thing, open side towards you. Then secure it to the boxer or briefs by the method of your choice (**do NOT wear the garment while securing the egg). 

And ba-bam! Instant kid proof anti ball bustin’ underwear!

You’re welcome! 🙂  

*Lulabelle.net is not responsible for injuries acquired if instructions were not followed or if it was decided to drink and DIY

**See first warning.

***It was also brought to my attention during a rough draft reading of this post that I neglected to specify that if you use hot glue or fabric glue, it should go between the outside of the egg and the fabric of the underwear.  While I thought this to be an understood step, I did just point out to not wear the underwear while attaching the egg, so there you go. 😛 

 

 

PSA: The One Where Lulabelle Reminds You About the Importance of Following Directions…….

A few months ago I referenced briefly how this past summer I developed an ulcer on my hip. At the time I was unsure how it happened, but in the months since I’ve connected the dots and figured out why I ended up with a bullet sized hole in my hip.

The TL;DR-I don’t read directions on things I buy that I assume I know how to clean.

Oops!

So today I decided to pass along my knowledge so what happened to me doesn’t happen to you.

You’re welcome!

So, for the entire story, we have to go back to last fall. That was when Chad asked me to find something that we could put down on the bottom of the inside of the tub so he wouldn’t slip and fall in the shower. The first attempt was small stick on grippy strips that Riley immediately pulled up.

Solution #2 was a squishy tub mat from Walmart.

That seemed to stand up against our youngest cat’s claws and teeth.

But there seemed to be a problem.

I wanted to get into the habit of cleaning more in the bathroom, so at least once a week, I cleaned the bathtub and tub mat in the way I’ve always cleaned them-by spraying bathroom cleaner onto it and scrubbing it down with a scrub brush.

It seemed though that the more I scrubbed it, the dirtier it appeared. I couldn’t figure it out, so I tried to wipe it down with another cleaner-no change.

Around the same time I developed a weird red mark on my hip…..That turned into an ulcer.

Months later the question of how this even happened still baffled me. So I went to the free clinic in town and got it cultured. And it came back a week later positive for TWO types of bacteria.

Yep. Overachiever over here. Go me!

After my ulcer was cultured, I went out and bought another tub mat to replace the weirdly dirty looking one we had.

I found one that I was excited to try because it was a micro-fiber one that could be put in the WASHER! How cool! I also noticed it looks suspiciously like the one we had at home. So we bought it and brought it home and I inspected both and gasped!

Ladies and gentlemen, apparently, MICRO FIBER TUB MATS CAN’T BE SCRUBBED WITH A CLEANING BRUSH AND CLEANER!! Apparently what I had been doing for months with our old mat was actually introducing bacteria deep into the mat and that is how my ulcer formed!

Knowledge is power, kids. Hopefully this story will help you not get an infectious ulcer on your hip.

Cheers!

 

To the 2020 Presidential Candidates…….

The following blog post will be short and sweet. Yesterday I posted the following on my Facebook page, but decided it needed a blog post of its own. I’ve never really cared about politics all that much in my life but, as I’m nearing 40, God and the universe has placed it on my heart to cast my vote for the person that not only promises the following, but follows through.

I don’t know who I’ll be voting for this year, but as a person with a disability, I believe that person HAS to offer a comprehensive health care plan that doesn’t fault people for being disabled and will be affordable to all. And will not exclude ANY medical equipment the person needs to have a decent quality of life (including covering a crappier product that is cheaper even when doctors recommend a higher quality product that costs more).

And forgive me if I’m not interested in dissenting arguments at the moment. If you want to offer that, I’d first ask you to think about having a wheelchair, used on a daily basis, so broken half of the brakes don’t work anymore and everyday you are out and about you say a silent prayer that the wheels don’t go flying off and you end up hitting the ground on your bum.

**drops mike……..on foot accidentally and now needs to go to the ER but doesn’t have insurance so just soaks it in Epsom salt and slaps a band-aid on it**

In Defense of Dr. Phil…….When “Outrage Culture”Shifts Focus from the Real Issue……

Yep. I’m going there today.

And yes, I’m just as surprised as you. But here we go.

Two weeks ago Tuesday, Dr. Phil’s daily TV program was titled, “I Swiped Right On My Quadriplegic Boyfriend.” The basic premise of the show was that the girlfriend had become her boyfriend’s full-time care giver because they couldn’t find proper caregivers for him.

And ever since the episode ended, the internet has lost their collective minds over some of the contents of the show.  Specifically over two things that Dr. Phil said:

“You have a choice to make you’ll have to make it today. You can be his caregiver, or you can be his lover, you can’t be both.”
and,
“100 out of 100 times, this won’t work”

Now, knowing what the episode was titled mixed with these statements, one could draw the conclusion that Dr. Phil was pissing on interabled relationships (where one partner is able-bodied while the other is disabled) and declaring that you can’t be a spouse/partner and a full-time caregiver simultaneously. Because “100 out of 100 times, this won’t work.”

Infuriating, right? Makes you want to take your wheelchair down to the TV lot where the show is filmed and “accidentally” run him down.

Except that both of these statements that I’ve seen posted on disability blogs (the first of which appeared on a prominent internet space where disabled writers have a voice but curiously are not paid, all while the site grows in popularity-and where I used to regularly contribute), are taken WILDLY out of context.

And I get it. As a person with a disability, I first saw those clips of the show and those words come out of his mouth and I lost my mind. How dare he say that! I decried him on Facebook, shared the article in several places and almost bought (in bulk) a tee-shirt that said, #100outof100.

Then I took a breath. And decided I needed to watch the episode in its entirety before making a take down response. Because, I reasoned, I like to be fully informed before I take someone down on the internet. 😛

So I decided to seek out and watch the entire episode.

And then I realized, after watching the episode, that instead of writing a take down piece, I would have to write this.

I understand difference of opinion but when the conversation in the disability community shifts away from the truth that those who abuse can be disabled, it takes away from the serious nature of the actual problem and therefore those who are in interabled abusive relationships can’t get the help they need.

Yep.

Turns out the couple featured on the show were in the midst of a toxic relationship. The boyfriend had become a quadriplegic after a racing accident (he was a motorcycle racer) and was still so bitter that he refused to allow anyone in to take care of him full-time besides his girlfriend and would call her names and berate her when he was angry. At one point they mentioned he spit on her in anger.

Meanwhile, the girlfriend was so burnt out from taking care of him full-time on top of the verbal abuse he lobbed at her (she was also losing weight from stress) and THAT is why they were on the show. She would also lash out at him in response to his abuse.

Now back to those inflammatory comments:

After hearing both sides of the issue, Dr. Phil declared to the girlfriend that, “You can be his caregiver or you can be his girlfriend, but you can’t be both.” This only pertained to her situation. She was mentally drowning and needed to make that choice. Dr. Phil in no way implied that everyone in an interabled relationship as a full-time caregiver couldn’t also be a good lover. This advise was for her and her alone.

For the boyfriend, Dr. Phil brought on another interabled couple to help him understand that he can overcome his anger over the accident that landed him in a chair.

Now let’s talk about outrage culture. In this instance, the calls for Dr. Phil to be cancelled and the outrage that he disrespected the entire disability community takes away from the real issue of this couples pain and shedding light on interabled domestic abuse. Which for some reason not a lot of people want to talk about and statistics on abusers who are disabled seemingly don’t even exist. 

However, stats on disabled domestic abuse DOES exist and according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, “police are less likely to respond to reported violence against people with disabilities” (At 70% as opposed to responding to non disabled reporting at 90%)

Based on the above statistic (and the fact that March is domestic violence awareness month), articles and commentaries really missed the mark by not shedding more light on this topic after the Dr. Phil episode aired. 

**If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship you can anonymously call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at: 1-800-799-7233 or go to https://www.thehotline.org/