WebMD Gal Gone Wild!

I am beyond delighted to have the uproarious and talented Stephanie D. Lewis of Once Upon Your Prime as today’s guest author. Her post deals with a subject many chronically ill people deal with on a regular basis: the dangers of searching your symptoms on the internet. Prepare for a hilarious parody of the physician-kind and make sure to check out her bio at the end!

WARNING: If you have any post-baby bladder problems, grab a pad because this post can cause you to laugh hard enough that you may suffer a urinary accident!

The Doctor Is In But I’m Out . . . Of My Mind!

All my adult life I have dealt with a debilitating disorder – – it’s called, “Tell & Show Syndrome.” Someone will TELL me about a new rare disease and WHAM! – – all the signs of it SHOW up throughout my body.

new-girl-might-be-dying-gif

To say I am highly suggestible is an understatement. I can read an article in a woman’s magazine entitled, “10 Symptoms You’re Too Bashful To Discuss With Your Male Doctor (But You Should Before It’s Too Late!)” ~ Immediately I have all 10 plus 4 bonus ones the author wasn’t imaginative enough to think of. Fear and panic overtakes all my shyness. Gimme that doctor right this minute! I might even consider going to second base with him for a second opinion.

webmd-whats-wrong-with-me-kristen-wiig-gif

I do have a regular physician I call several times a week, and I’m sure the nurses give him messages that go like this – –

“That hypochondriac lady (who resembles a highly fatigued Amy Winehouse, minus the tattoos) is on the phone again. Today she’s claiming that when she walks, it feels like thumbtacks/paperclips are poking her feet. Should we advise her to proceed directly to the local office supply store?”

wont respond arrested development

Feeling rather unwelcomed there, I go to my beloved online medical information mecca – – “The Web MD.”

First of all, it never dawns on me that the word “Web” in their name is a subtle symbolic tip-off that I should stay far, far away. Let’s think about this, shall we? Who has webbed feet? Ducks! And what do ducks say? “QUACK!” Hello??

But this doesn’t deter me from typing, “thumbtacks sticking feet” into the symptom-checker box and obtaining a shocking diagnosis. Four shocking diagnoses, actually. One relates to my Brain, one relates to my Heart, another to my Lungs, and the final one to my Stomach. Interestingly, none of the diseases have anything to do with Feet. And all are extremely fatal.

dying ferris bueller

Having gotten C +’s in my Deductive Reasoning classes in high school, I know it isn’t possible that I would be afflicted with ALL four of these maladies. That’s only logical, right? So which one can I safely eliminate?

Next I do what I always do at 2:00 in the morning – – I log onto a hospital patient message board and post about my situation, asking if someone “out there” has ever experienced a symptom like this but everything turned out to be completely fine? I stare for hours at my computer screen waiting for anyone to type a reassuring response. And then it dawns on me. .

The reason nobody can answer my question. . .

Everyone who had this same problem has ALREADY died.

miss j scared

Should I start writing my Obituary or my Last Will and Testament first? And what about guardians for my precious kids! Why, oh why couldn’t my ex-husband and I ever agree on whom to name as caretakers in the event of our deaths?? His sister puts ketchup on eggs, doesn’t believe in orthodontia, and Danielle Steele is her favorite author. So what? I shoulda let all that go.

“Please God,” I bargain, “I know last week I hated this world and said I’d rather be dead than go to the Department of Motor Vehicles to renew my expired driver’s license. But I promise to find gratitude and get a new lease on life – – just please don’t let me expire!”

please leslie knope

There’s nothing left to do. Except find a brand new doctor who hasn’t heard about my “Boy Who Cried Wolf” past. My previous doctors have issued, “WARNING: Circus Side Show Freak” bulletins about me to the medical community at large, so this will be no easy task.

I finally show up on the doorstep of an office in a faraway town. I watch as their “The Doctor is in” sign lights up. I’ve always believed first impressions are important so here is how I fill out the paperwork on the clipboard.

 New Patient Form:

NAME: (circle one) Miss/Mrs./Ms.    I’m divorced so technically it’s “Ms.” But please call me “Miss” as in “Little Miss Menopause.” Although Mr. may be a distinct possibility these days – – can you check my testosterone level?      

AGE:  I just caught a glimpse of you at the reception desk….I could be your mother’s big sister.

REASON FOR TODAY’S VISIT?   Look at me! Isn’t it obvious? I just need the Dr. to confirm how much time I have.

WEIGHT:  Who cares at this point? Just order me a size 8 burial gown. And yes, I’m banking on the fact that loss of appetite will kick in soon with this particular disease.

PROFESSION:  Writer (Pssssst! Hot tip: Publish this New Patient form. Everyone knows a deceased author’s last work commands a high price.)

EVER SKIPPED A PERIOD?  Yes, but I’m working diligently on eliminating my run-on sentences.

WHOM CAN WE THANK FOR REFERRING YOU?  You mean blame?

PERSON TO CALL IN EMERGENCY: Um…my two ex-husbands will deny knowing me. Let’s see….My kids will just ask, “What’s for dinner?” Oh, don’t call the neighbors, they’ll tell you I should have died 7 times by now.  Hmmm, I think you might call Mabel, my hairdresser. But when you say, “Died” – – you better spell it. She’ll think you mean Clairol Nice n’ Easy Deep Burgundy Brown.

I’m interrupted by the Doctor, who calls me in. He listens to my heart and pronounces it steady and strong. I resist the urge to ask when he’s last had his stethoscope calibrated. I describe how I feel (this time likening it to my feet being stabbed with steak knives) but he cuts me off before I can get to the Web MD part.

DR: Have you ever heard of Transient Paresthesia?

ME: Oh no, Doctor! Not that! I don’t even ride a train or bus!

DR: Not “Transit.” Transient, meaning Short-Lived.

ME: Good Lord, you mean I’m gonna go even quicker than I thought?

DR: Where ya headed to?

ME: Aren’t I dying?

DR: We all are. But I think you’re gonna survive this one. Transient Paresthesia = Limbs falling asleep.

As I depart, I glance over my shoulder to see him sketching a big-haired woman with the caption, “BEWARE OF CREATIVE BLOGGER WITH TOO MUCH TIME ON HER HANDS….She needs to be cut off ASAP!!” He then posts it on the WEB MD website!

gaga yes i'm judging you


 About the Guest Author:

Stephanie D. Lewis is a regular contributor for The Huffington Post and her work has been featured on Scary Mommy, The Mid, XO Jane, and Bluntmoms. She pens a humor blog called, “Once Upon Your Prime” and her novel, “Lullabies & Alibis” is available on Amazon. A single mother of six, she declines a full-time nanny/housekeeper but needs a live-in psychiatrist. Follow her on Twitter @missmenopause

 

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Time Out For Mommy!

So far this summer has been off to a roller-coaster of a start! We have grieved the loss of a loved one, celebrated the union of two wonderful people, and were surprised by the early arrival of my best friend’s daughter (to whom I have the honor of being godmother). With all the ups and downs, I’ve decided to take a brief break from the interwebs and invite some of the best and funniest writers I know to help me out in the mean time!

help

The lovely Bianca Jamotte was kind enough to share one of her hilarious pieces from MomCo with you today! Make sure to check out her bio below and let us know what you thought of this real momma’s confession!

Real Mommy Confessions: Finding the Comedy in the Chaos

I have spent much of my life learning to tame my temper. I take after my hotheaded French father, lots of opinions and volume. I’ve wanted to be a mom for as long as I can remember and wished to be as calm and serene as my mom always seemed to be. By the time my husband and I started talking about having babies, I was ready! I had become the woman I wanted to be. I had learned how to express myself without yelling, how to be opinionated without being abrasive. I was going to be a wonderful, loving, gentle, mild-tempered Momma. And I was. For 15 months. Then we had my son and my daughter became a toddler.

What has saved me from losing my mind completely is finally getting honest. I am not calm or serene. My life isn’t always pretty. I tried to make it look that way for a long time, only sharing filtered pictures of smiling my babies on Facebook. Posting status updates about how #blessed I am, but the truth is my car is a mess and everything and everyone is always sticky. Some days I just want to crawl in a ball and cry (and sometimes I do,) but most of the time I try to laugh. I post pictures of my children throwing temper tantrums, and status updates of the hilariously creepy things my daughter says. I make it a point to find the humor in the chaos, and only lose my temper when I truly can’t find anything funny in the situation. I laugh, one of my friends drinks wine, another does cross fit and the mom who submitted this confession, believes in timeouts.

About the Guest Author:

Bianca Jamotte is a Mom, Actress, Award-winning Filmmaker as well as Brooklyn Business Owner and Creator of the independent Original Series, Real Mommy Confessions. Business owners, Bianca and her Husband (who also proudly serves as a FDNY), own and operate the delectable specialty Mac and Cheese Restaurant, Brooklyn MAC, as well as the award-winning Coffee Shop, Cup, which was given the title of ‘Best Espresso’ in Greenpoint. Her most exciting credential for which she is most proud, however, is her job as Mom, which brings on a daily host of challenges and accomplishments, often simultaneously. These include successfully keeping her 2-year old from nosediving off the sofa as well as negotiating with her willful 3.5-year old.

You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, and her site, Real Mommy Confessions.

To Break Or Not To Break

Over the past few months, I’ve had incredible writing opportunities come up and I’m still so blown away by the support you all have shown me and this page. As a mother to a feisty toddler, struggling when chronic illness and an emotionally exhausting job are added to the mix, it should come as no surprise that I felt overextended.

STAT

STAT!

Thankfully I found this amazingly inspiring post by a fellow writer. She puts into words all the thoughts and emotions I was feeling but couldn’t quite express. Hop on over and check out the insightful perspective she offers on the perks of taking a break!

Rejuvenate! Take a Blog Break

Today Would Be Her Due Date

My dear friend, Jasmine, of Emilee Plays | See June Play has graciously chosen to share her premature birth story. Below she writes about her experience on what would have been her youngest daughter’s due date.
She tells beautiful stories through photo essays and today’s story is no different.  

***

Today is my due date.

Today would have been the day I met my daughter, June. Instead, I met her two months ago. Never could I have imagined that I would give birth to a preemie, but I did. I’m not going to lie and say I don’t feel a little bitter about it, or that I don’t wish things could have been different.

I could have done without the NICU stay, the worrying, and the uncertainty. When I start getting completely caught up in my thoughts about this day, I remember: June is two months old, officially a newborn, and set to get her vaccinations on Thursday.

I can breathe a little easier and I can live a lot more with my daughter.

***

shared moment

A shared moment

first look

First look

newborn

A whole new world

Emilee + June

June 1 month

One month

Two months

Two months

On her due date

On her due date

 

Why I Went Without Wi-Fi This Weekend

If you’re anything like me, you have a love/hate relationship with all things internet. On one hand, I need it for legitimate things like work emails and Googling “how many blueberries are too many for a toddler to eat.” On the other hand, I can’t keep up with my social “responsibilities” – making sure to like, comment on, and share every cute baby pic and event invite.

In short? Being plugged-in leaves me feeling burnt-out.

Sometimes it gets to be too much

As the aforementioned GIF states, I decided to quit! Just for a weekend, though. After all, the world needs to know exactly what my meals look like.

Since I had to get up early Saturday morning for a bridal shower three hours away, I decided on Friday night that I was going to keep my internet-ing to a minimum over the weekend. Guys, I’m serious. I really kept it to a minimum!

I didn’t even play Candy Crush.

Aside from snapping an Instagram pic while stuck in traffic, I wasn’t particularly connected on Saturday. It was actually pretty liberating! Instead of making sure I captured moments on camera, I lived them. I left the picture-taking to the experts. One perk of living in 2015? You can bet that someone will be taking and tagging pictures at whatever event you’re attending – so you’re free to unplug.

Thankfully you can also *untag* yourself, too

Thankfully you can also *untag* yourself, too

Maybe I’m an oddball here, but sometimes I feel a weird sense of obligation to scroll through my news feed. It’s one half FOMO (“fear of missing out,” in case you didn’t know) and one half politeness. I mean, I know the where the salad fork goes, how to address a letter to an employer, and when to wear white – but what’s the etiquette for socializing online?

I'm assuming this isn't it?

I’m assuming this isn’t it?

I’m often nervous that my inconsistent work schedule prevents me from maintaining valuable relationships in “real life.” In a way, the internet helps me feel like I can stay in touch with just the click of a button. On the flip side, I worry that if I don’t interact enough online, my social life will reap the consequences.

Thankfully my weekend mini-sabbatical didn’t seem to have the negative impact I had feared.

sooo alooone

sooo alooone

In the end, I don’t know how often I’m going to try and disconnect, but the idea isn’t as anxiety-inducing as it once was. I’ve come away feeling like I was more present and involved in real life social situations and less concerned about missed opportunities on social network sites.

So why not take a little weekend web vacation? But, ya know, like, comment on, and share this blog post first…

kthxbai :)

kthxbai 🙂

 

Why I’m “That” Mom

After going to a protest against animal captivity at SeaWorld this weekend, I realized something: I’m really freaking opinionated. Okay, that’s a lie. I’ve always known it. But putting that lovely quality in the framework of motherhood somehow shifted my perspective a little.

It’s not like when you’re in college where it’s cool – and even admirable – to be super outspoken about your beliefs. I’m in Grown Up World now (which sucks, by the way). In Grown Up World, being a little left-of-center can land you in hot water and cause irreparable damage with your boss, your family, OR WORSE, your mommy friends. So here are five reasons why I’m unapologetically “That” Mom.

5.  Because I Really Am Just That Passionate

Okay, I’ll admit it. I’m the person on Facebook who is clogging your news feed with petitions, infographs, and fact-filled rants. I’ve probably lost FB friends because of this, but honestly I count my friends in real life, not in social media. Maybe my opinions rub people the wrong way, but I promise it’s not my intention.

I CAN'T HELP IT!

I CAN’T HELP IT, OKAY?

I’m not posting about a polarizing issue because it’s “trendy” or for some strange sense of self-satisfaction. I’m doing it because I genuinely care about the cause. Animal rights, the LGBT+ community, gender equality – these are all things that are near and dear to my heart, so I get a little fired up about it. But I’d rather be a spicy meatball than a bowl of oatmeal. (Bonus points if you get the Degrassi reference.)

4. Because Parent = Role Model

One of the things that freaked me out the most about becoming a parent was knowing that this tiny human was going to learn from watching me. I guess you could say my lifestyle would fall in the alternative or progressive category. In general, if everyone says “a” then I have a compulsion to yell “b” on principle alone. So what kind of example am I setting with my heretical disposition?

God save us all!

God save us all!

Hopefully my actions will show my child that it’s good to question the status quo, it’s honorable to be a voice for the voiceless, and if you believe something, you need to be able to explain why. Even if I disagree with my son one day over something, it’ll be a proud moment when he challenges me and can back up his reasoning.

3. Because I Won’t Be Young Forever

It’s not just my opinions that cause me to stand out; it’s also my exterior. For those of you who don’t know me in real life, I never have the same hair color for more than a few months. I get a lot of looks and plenty of judgment because of that. Whether it’s a stranger in the supermarket or a more conservative mom at the park, people like to make assumptions about chicks with crazy hair.

Case in point.

Case in point.

But I’m okay with getting those kind of stares. Why? When I’m older I probably won’t be rocking the punk look because I either won’t have the time/energy or I just won’t care as much. So for now, I’m enjoying this freedom of expression. On a touching side-note, I made a deal with one of my developmentally delayed students that I would dye my hair her favorite color (hot pink) if she agreed to try her very best. It worked 😀

2. Because Of That Whole “Birds Of A Feather” Thing

Despite the fact that getting into debates has (unintentionally) burned some bridges with former friends, I’ve also found some of my best friends that way, too. Nothing brings people together like passionately standing up for the same thing. When I speak about polarizing topics on a public platform, people seemingly can’t help but to share their opinion, too.

mindy1mindy 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

For me, I’d rather know exactly what people think about me – good or bad – than to be surrounded by a bunch of potential frenemies. But I’ll tell you one thing, when you do find your tribe, they will stick by you through thick and thin. So I’ll take the occasional hater if it means I get to find some kindred spirits in the process.

1. Because I’m A Free Spirit, Darn It!

At the end of the day I don’t always have a rational reason for why I swim against the current. Sometimes my obstinate nature helps me overcome challenges and sometimes it makes people feel like I’m sandpaper on a sunburn. Yet I don’t really know any other way to be. So far that’s served me pretty well, though.

Yeah, take THAT, life!

I don’t ever want my stubborness to cause difficulties for my son. And I’ve really been trying to make a go of the whole “be diplomatic” thing. For his sake I’m attempting to pick my battles and just let some disagreements go. It’s more important that he has a healthy social life than for me to win an argument that would risk alienating him. I can’t predict the future, but I hope that  if  when I cause my son embarrassment, it’s just because of some really bad dance moves.

 

 

What Summer *Really* Means

In my teens and early twenties, June meant pool parties, cookouts, beach days, and all the action movies and popcorn a gal could handle. Things are just a tad different with a toddler. And by “tad” I mean “EXTREMELY.”

Now life is broken down into BB and AB – meaning life Before Baby and After Baby. Do any of these scenarios sound familiar to you?

Share in the comments below how YOUR summer has changed now that you’re a mom!

*

Beach Day!

BB:

Were we really ever this carefree?

Were we really ever this carefree?

All you carried with you was a towel, wallet, change of clothes, and maybe a phone (depending on what year we’re talking). You really didn’t need to plan before going; it was usually on a whim or just because the forecast was sunny. They were simpler times.

AB:

All that's missing here is the inconsolable crying

All that’s missing here is the inconsolable crying

In addition to the baby bag basics, you need waterproof diapers or backup undies (in case of an accident), more towels than you’ll end up using, various toys, sunscreen, water, snacks, an umbrella (if you’re there for a while), and you’ve already accepted that your car will be sandy for days. I’m not even gonna discuss the meltdowns that could happen while you’re there!

Going to the Movies

BB:

enjoying-movie

“Hey, wanna go see a movie?”

“Yeah! When does it start?”

“Fifteen minutes.”

“Cool. Lemme just grab a hoodie in case it’s chilly in the theater.”

AB:

movie w fam

Disclaimer: The family in this picture does not accurately represent real family movie nights.

 

“Hey, wanna go see a movie?”

“Yeah! When does it start?”

“In about an hour.”

“Crap. We’d never make it. Plus Max is almost ready for lunch. Wanna just watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse again?”

Cook outs & Picnics

BB:

2nd Disclaimer: I never went to a party this cool looking

2nd Disclaimer: I never went to a party this cool looking

AB:

3rd Disclaimer: This is my son and I can't get mad when he plays "archaeologist"

3rd Disclaimer: This is my son and I can’t get mad when he plays “archaeologist”

Whether it’s sticky, watermelon covered hands or the spot in the yard that will never grow grass again because your child is an aspiring archaeologist, outside time is never quite the same with kids. Sure there are boo-boos from outdoor adventures and messy faces covered in God knows what. But guess what? All the “oopsies” make for great memories. Plus, when you’re outside, you can just hose ’em down 😉

*

SO! Did I leave anything off the list? Here’s hoping your summer will be off to an ant-free, nap-filled, smooth start!