I have had 4 mammograms in my life, the last one being about 2 weeks ago. Today I am going for a fifth. That last one, I requested it this past summer due to an unexpected and unexplained bruise that showed up on my right breast one day. I watched it for a few days, then went to see my doctor once I decided it was weird. She didn’t think much of it, advised that since I was taking some anti-inflammatories for a yoga injury (wait for it, I’ll explain in a bit), it was probably just a broken blood vessel. Gave me a requisition to book a mammogram for October, since I had just had a normal one the previous October, and they’re allowed on a schedule. Fine, no problem. If she’s not concerned, then I’m not concerned. So October comes, I book my appointment and tell them why I’m there (my bruised right breast). We do the squishing and they say my Dr. will get the results by the end of the week. On the following Monday they call and say the want to take some additional pictures of my left breast. Left. Huh. They schedule me in for 2 weeks later. No problem. They’re obviously not too concerned if they can wait 2 weeks. Then I get a letter in the mail from the radiology office saying the radiologist wanted some more pictures and my doctor asked them to book me in: mammogram and ultrasound. No problem. I go this afternoon. I’m not worried, not really. HardWorker gets call-backs all the time, has cysts, has to have fluid drained and tested, etc., etc. As a matter of fact, she has a post-mammogram specialist’s appointment this afternoon. I’m not worried for either of us, I’m sure it’s/they’re nothing. I’ll let you know.
I’ve been seeing this link on Facebook lately to an “article” (or two) about why you shouldn’t put up your Christmas lights until after Thanksgiving. I don’t know what the reasons are, I haven’t clicked through to do any reading. I won’t. I think there are many such arguments out there, and they probably aren’t new. Here’s the thing: we are all busy, we all celebrate different things in different ways, and it doesn’t affect you (or anyone else, for that matter) if I put my Christmas lights up in June. Truth is, if I had told you last year what my “real reason” was for not putting up my Christmas lights before Thanksgiving, which we celebrate in October, by the way, it would be that I never took them down. Why can’t we just let people do whatever it is they want to do, particularly with the inconsequential things like Christmas lights or coffee cups? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t agree with Americans having to work right after their Thanksgiving so that someone can pay a supposed rock-bottom price for a new tv/sweater/sofa/whatever (let’s be honest, you guys created that mess), but how about we stop trying to dictate to others what the “correct” way to live is? If people want to decorate their homes for Christmas right after Hallowe’en then let them. If they don’t want to do it until the 1st of December, that’s okay, too. When I was a child, our tree didn’t go up until Christmas Eve. No one ever tried to tell me we were doing it wrong. Different cultures, different times, different customs, different people. We are all different, and yet we are all the same. Let’s be thankful for our differences and work towards living in peace and harmony as humans. No matter what time of year.
So, yoga. You know, I started walking daily (3-5km) after my knee surgery last year. Then I added twice-weekly visits to my personal trainer at her gym (and actually worked out, didn’t just visit). Towards the end of the last school year, I thought I’d add a bit of yoga to my fitness regimen. I had tried it many years ago at the community centre and the instructor just about drove me ’round the bend, so I didn’t pursue it, but I figured I’d be in good hands at a new local yoga studio. I signed up for Beginner 1 and went once a week. At the start of the program, they go around the class and have everyone introduce themselves and say why they are at yoga. Most people have the same goal: to reduce stress and find some balance in their lives; mine wasn’t any different, I wanted to find a way to calm my mind, thereby allowing me to reduce my stress level and even sleep better. I did alright with the yoga poses, never pushing myself past my body’s limits but still working through the flow. (Me while doing yoga, all to myself, of course: Seriously? You want me to bend into a triangle and pull my belly button into my spine while taking a deep inhalation? Exhale? I’m still inhaling from the second-to-last breath! Uh, no. My arms don’t reach that far. Never have, never will. Cramp!! Feeling a little dizzy here. No wonder that breathing technique helps you sleep, it makes you pass out! You know what? David Gray’s Babylon doesn’t really work as yoga music. *with laughter throughout*) At the end of every session, you go into shavasana or corpse pose, close your eyes, and wind down. Well, if I closed my eyes, my mind just went racing through what I still needed to do that night, or what was planned for tomorrow. I wasn’t making any headway on the calming my mind aspect. I was better able to relax if I just looked up at the studio ceiling, although then what was running through my mind sounded like this: “Is the ceiling supposed to look like that? I wonder where that vent goes? Do you think those windows actually open? Wow, it really looks different from this angle!” So, yeah, since it was obviously going so well, I signed up for Beginner 2. Again everyone introduced themselves and explained what their “intention” was. When it was my turn I very honestly said, “I have no idea why I’m here.” Everyone chuckled and we moved on. Just towards the end of the first set of classes, I had started seeing my massage guy every week as apparently yoga was kicking my ass; my back was a mess, my shoulders hurt, my legs were tight. By halfway through the second set of classes, I was having some real pain in my left hip and knee, to the point where I couldn’t walk more than a kilometre without starting to hobble, and then would pretty well be out of commission for the entire day after my walk. It felt like my hip was being pulled out of joint and I couldn’t tell if there was a problem with my knee causing the displacement or if the hip was referring pain down to the knee. I went to my Dr., she ordered x-Rays of both joints, and then we met to discuss the results (which showed everything was fine). I told her how pro-active I’d been with my fitness endeavours, described my pain and where it was (very high in my quad), and at one point she stopped me and asked, “Did you say yoga?” Apparently she has heard of this before, even her own daughter complains of this pain after yoga, and she said to lay off the exercise and prescribed a course of anti-inflammatories. I finished Beginner 2 and haven’t been back. I didn’t need as many pills as thought, and my walking is back up to 5-7km a day, generally pain-free. I’ve since stopped seeing my trainer, lost 5+ pounds throughout the summer just from walking, embarked on and finished Beachbody’s 21 Day Fix (lost another 5+ pounds doing that) and have only had to see my massage guy once in the last 4 months. My conclusion: yoga is evil.