Category Archives: Health

Let’s talk about the measles outbreak in Texas

If you haven’t heard about it, head on over here, but be sure to come back! Read up on the situation? Good. Let’s discuss.

This subject is important to me because Oklahoma has been put on “measles alert” due to our close proximity to Texas. My kids have been immunized so I probably won’t have to worry about it, but Tulsa is a very religious city with several “megachurches” and a lot of people who believe anything they read on Facebook. It could be a real problem.

My personal view on vaccinations is this: there is not enough solid scientific evidence linking vaccines to autism and other problems for me to jump on that bandwagon. Also, my girls have been vaccinated for chicken pox, so they’ll never have to worry about getting them. My chicken pox experience happened in first grade. It’s one of my earliest memories, and it’s full of pain and discomfort. I had chicken pox eve.ry.where. On my eyelids, inside my mouth and nose, in unmentionable places. They were awful, and I remember feeling like I was dying. My girls will never have to go through that thanks to vaccines. So, there’s that.

I realize that vaccines are unnatural, but so is the food that a lot of parents (including me, yes) feed their children. You think GoGurt was on the menu for Grok’s kids? Not so much. Driving isn’t natural. There are a lot of things we do, like going to the hospital when we break a bone, that aren’t natural. But these things improve our quality of life.

The thing that makes me angriest about anti-vaccinators is that they are putting their children at risk because of their religion. I’ve known people who refused medical treatment for a child whose condition could be greatly improved by being treated. It’s just not fair to the child. I can’t imagine doing anything but what’s best for my child. Faith healing, as it’s called, is just plain child abuse in my book.

Do you vaccinate? Why or why not?

He’ll tell you anything to get you into bed…

…and I want to make sure my daughters know it. I’ve discussed the sex talk in previous posts, but I feel the need to elaborate on one important aspect of young women and sex. He will tell you anything to get you into bed. It bears repeating. I’m not saying that all men are scum, or that all men intend to hurt women. Let me be clear; that is not what I’m saying. What I am saying is young men have a high sex drive, and they want to get some. It doesn’t mean they’re bad guys. It’s very natural. But this means that young women need to exert control over their bodies and make decisions that keep them out of harm’s way.

Would you like an example? Sure you would. I warn you, the content may be uncomfortable at times. But these are things that need to be said. In the style of my favorite TV show, The Golden Girls, I’ll tell a story.

Picture it – Oklahoma in the late 1990’s. A girl of only 15, with poor self-esteem and a desire to be broken and humble before her god, is introduced to a handsome older (18-ish) young man. The young man takes her by surprise, showing her attention she’s never gotten before. They begin to date with the permission of the girl’s parents because her parents believe he is an upstanding, church-going young man. Each date they have gets progressively more physical. The young girl, never having been told that a boy might grab her hand and stick it in his pants, doesn’t know what to do. He says he loves her, that it’s ok to touch him. She doesn’t resist because she is afraid the boy won’t love her anymore. In the end, the girl feels incredible guilt and shame from the (very minor) sexual sins she has committed against her god. She shies away from her boyfriend to avoid any sexual contact again. This hurts both the girl and her boyfriend (so she thinks). She begins to cry every night because she is so confused by her physical and emotional conflicts.

One day, another “upstanding,” church-going boy enters her life. This one is about 19 years old, the son of a preacher. She confides in him as a friend, tells him what she’s been through with her boyfriend. He tells her that it’s ok, that she might as well touch him there since she already sinned when she touched her boyfriend there. The girl touches him because her feelings are already in a turmoil and she’s terrified of hurting anyone else at this point.

The preacher’s son takes it upon himself to start feeling guilty and tells his father, the preacher. The preacher calls the girl’s parents to explain what transpired. The preacher’s son can’t keep his mouth shut and soon the gossip has spread through their group of mutual friends. This humiliates the girl, causing her to write things in her diary to the tune of, “I’m so alone in the world. I can’t understand what’s going on. Why is this happening to me when I’ve tried to be a good person and follow god’s plan for my life?” The girl becomes depressed, but doesn’t tell her parents because, well, they’re dealing with their own problems. The youth leader starts preaching about abstinence and sin and defiling the body and all the other evils of teenage life. It becomes unbearable, and the girl sinks deeper into her Bible studies and prayer, almost never missing a journal entry at night. The girl is miserable, and she hides it from everyone, pressing the feels deep, down inside and hoping for the second coming of Christ to rescue her from the big, bad world. Yeah, that’s healthy.

The girl’s parents never did talk to her about sex, but they sent the preacher’s daughter to talk to her, embarrassing her further and making her feel like a slut for not even having intercourse! The girl grew up thinking sex was a dirty, sinful act, but an act that is hard to escape. The girl felt shame and guilt for every sexual encounter thereafter, until she grew up and came to her senses about religion.

The moral of the story? He’ll tell you anything to get you into bed. I wish my parents had told me that. I wish they’d told me how to keep myself out of a bad situation. I wish they’d talked to me about sex, period. I may not have listened, but what if I did? What if they planted the seed that kept me from making a bad choice? I’ll talk to my girls about sex. I’ll make sure they understand that, while many men are wonderful, caring humans who will treat them perfectly, there are others who will take advantage of any and all situations in order to get some sexual contact. It doesn’t mean they’re bad, it just means they’re horny teenagers. Teaching abstinence isn’t the answer; sex education is. Respect and self worth are the answers, too. And just talking. Talking about sex is the answer. But ignoring it? That leads to disaster.

Also, religion sucks. That was difficult to type out, but maybe it will help someone out there understand how important it is to talk to kids and teens about sex. Do it. Don’t wait.

So, a little off topic, but…

I want to share some personal stuff with you. I’ve never been healthy. I grew up on processed food, have always had terrible skin, get sick easily, and now that I’ve had two kids, I’m about 70 pounds overweight. I also have a debilitating skin disease called hidradenitis suppurativa (Don’t Google it, you’ll be sorry. Or do Google it if you want to know the pain I must suffer.).

But wait, there’s more! About 6 months my first daughter was born my OBGYN put me on the birth control called Mirena. A few months later, I started experiencing ocular migraines, constant pounding headaches that nothing would ease, and a massive weight gain of about 30 pounds. My eyesight began to deteriorate, and I felt useless because I couldn’t do anything. After seeing a neurologist and having a lumbar puncture (OUCH!) I was diagnosed with intracranial hypertension, or IH. This one, you can Google. It’s not too bad.

So as you can see, I have my share of health problems. I’ve tried counting calories, working out hard core at the gym, and countless other “fad” diets. Of course, nothing worked. So now, I’m 31, overweight, sick all the time, and sick of everything. I was never taught how to be healthy, and I worry that my girls will follow my lead. You know what? Not gonna happen. 

I have dedicated my life to setting a good example for my children in terms of morality, responsibility, education, and love. But health? Not so much. I do not feed my kids junk and sugar. They eat much healthier than I do. They drink very little juice, lots of water, and they eat their green veggies. But I don’t. I love my Starbucks, chocolate, crusty breads, and pasta. But it’s time for all of that to go away. I need to practice what I preach, if you’ll pardon the religious reference.

A couple of months ago, my husband and I started eating primally. (That’s primally, not primarily!) We work out three times a week with a personal trainer. And this week, we’ve started juicing to add a nutritional punch to our diet. So what are the results? Nothing spectacular…yet. But we both feel better, and my hidradenitis suppurativa has been oddly calm. I usually have a couple of flare ups per month, and bad ones, but this month I’ve had only one very mild one.

So the goal is to drink more water (a goal at which I epically fail), continue eating primally and cutting out the processed crap, juicing for health, workout regularly, and be a good example for my girls.

So now you know about my terrible health issues (I told you not to Google it!) and what I’m doing about it. I needed to say this in a very public way to make sure I’m held accountable. Fortunately my husband is all about this and we have each other for support. We can do it!!