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Jan
24
Haralee
My Veins are Shot
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Giving blood is a great thing to do. Donating your healthy blood to blood banks is terrific. When I was in college I started donating blood. I learned then that my veins are not very cooperative. They look good but they roll away from the needle.

Fast forward a few decades and my veins were tested to their limit with chemotherapy. I chose not to have a port inserted because that part of the whole cancer treatment regime was what freaked me out. Subsequently my chemo had to be administered into my veins in my arm. Because of my breast cancer surgeries only one arm could be used. The chemo drugs are very toxic. The nurses who administer wear heavy gloves, and yet this poison went into my veins. My veins did not like it. They rolled, collapsed, burst and generally made life difficult.

As a result of my treatments, the only place that I can get blood out of my body for a blood test is from my hand. It hurts a bit and the top of my hand is all scarred from my many blood tests as a cancer survivor. My doctor went so far as to recommend I wear a medical alert bracelet!  I just can’t bring myself to wear a bracelet that says, “Veins Suck, Use Right Hand” or “Veins Shot, Administer in Right Hand Only”.

Last week I went for my yearly visit to my oncologist.  Before the visit blood is taken. A good friend of mine had breast cancer a year after my diagnosis. We go to the same oncologist and now we schedule our appointments following each other and then go out to celebrate another year of cancer free living. She has her appointment first because her veins are not shot and her time in the lab is brief.

 

I don’t think there is note on my chart about my veins but let’s just say I never get the new oncology tech for the blood draw. I still tell them what size needle to use, which hand, which I make certain is warm, and I already drank about a gallon of water before the visit, all to have a timely and successful blood draw.

 

Anyone else with uncooperative veins?

 

 

Oct
31
Charmaine Coimbra
Bitch!
Family & Relationships
3
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Until sometime in November I don’t think I’ll have much time to craft a fresh blog. Life is presently in the way. (AKA buried in a community fundraiser set for Nov. 2.)  Yesterday I tried cleaning up my e-mail mess on a newer computer (with little success, mind you.) I found this post I wrote on a different blog in 2007. While my thoughts about Hillary Clinton in a possible 2016 presidential run are unformed, the foundation of this piece still rings true.

C. Coimbra photo
C. Coimbra photo

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2007
The Bitch

I’ve been thinking about this Hillary Clinton thing. You know, how she is in a horse race with other Democratic candidates, and how “she’s polarizing,” and how freely men and women call her a bitch.

For clarification, Mrs. Clinton is not my candidate of choice. Not because she’s polarizing or because I don’t believe she’s qualified. She hasn’t sold me on her platform. But I’m proud of her because she has tossed herself into the lion’s den of presidential politics. You go, girl.

But back to this bitch business. I wonder how many times I’ve been called a bitch? Was I a bitch because I have strapped “them” on and wrestled the proverbial bulls? Did I wear the title because I stood for my beliefs? Is it bitchy because I’m the boss and confident with decision making? I don’t know. However, I suspect that because I have refused (or been unable) to act subservient or lesser-than, that the bitch word has likely been attached to certain conversations about me.

Have I ever called another woman a bitch? Guilty as charged. I’ve regretted it every time. What makes me think I have the right to assume that another woman’s crankiness isn’t completely justified? And, yes, there are women who I’ve seen misconstrue power and behave badly—just like our buddies of the opposite sex. But only one in these circumstances is nailed with bitch.

Recently, a wealthy man said that what makes a person whole and successful is compassion. I guess he was simply saying that compassion towards others is good karma. I haven’t the foggiest as to whether it was his compassion that made him wealthy, but at least he brought the single most repetitive precept of Jesus Christ to the forefront, compassion.

I don’t know why these simple rules go unnoticed except that a sage woman once told me, “Charmaine, when you look at others you see them through your own soul first. So if there is darkness in your soul, your vision is unclear.” Don’t believe for a moment that I’ve mastered the art of a clear soul. I’ve an Irish temper that is wise to avoid fueling, and barely an ounce of patience flows through my veins. However, when I hear random shouts of “Bitch!” it makes me mindful of how I can better myself and the world in which I dwell.

 

May
14
Michele
spider and varicose veins
Health & Fitness
2
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what is the best procedure to minimize spider and varicose veins?

Nov
26
VN Editors
Dyspareunia: Is the pain in your head, or your uterus?
Love & Sex
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Dyspareunia, painful sex, is a symptom that can be caused by a wide variety of different conditions. Do you know which one is causing your problem? Is the pain of dyspareunia in your head, or your uterus?

Painful Sex

Sex can become painful for all sorts of reasons, but female dryness may be the most common. Lack of lubrication may be part of a physical problem, like menopause or pregnancy. A change in hormones will quite often affect your personal moisture. Stress and even diet can have an impact on dryness as well. If you’re thinking about pain or stressing about a problem, your body is going to have a hard time creating the moisture it needs to make sex a pleasurable act. Without it, you experience the pain of dyspareunia instead.

Is the pain all in your head because you’re tired, or stressed, or thinking about the Christmas shopping you haven’t done yet? Once you experience female dryness, it’s on your mind. You may be thinking about that problem the next time a chance for intimacy arises, and then the circle repeats.

It’s very common and very natural. But is your dyspareunia really so simple? Sometimes, dyspareunia isn’t caused by what’s going on in your head. Sometimes, the pain is a signal that something may be going on with your uterus.

Physical Ailments

Dyspareunia is almost always a symptom of something else, or a side effect of another condition. Sex isn’t meant to be painful, so you know that something is wrong when it is. Maybe it’s PCS.

Pelvic Congestion Syndrome is difficult to find through traditional testing. This condition relates to large veins in the pelvic region which cause pelvic pain, during sex and at other times. You may also experience urinary tract infections, low back pain and very painful sex if you have this condition. Pay attention to other symptoms you may be having, in addition to dyspareunia, because they may indicate that you have a larger condition that needs to be treated.

Fibroids, non-cancerous tumors in the uterus, can also cause dyspareunia. Many women have fibroids and don’t realize it until they begin experience pain or symptoms (like unusual bleeding). If you’re having pain and can’t pinpoint the cause, an ultrasound can tell you definitely if you have fibroids getting in the way of good sex.

Preventing the Pain

Painful sex isn’t always in the pelvis or even in the mind. Some women suffer from chronic pain due to arthritis, back problems and other conditions. There are many ways to work around pain and still find ways to enjoy sex. If female dryness is causing your dyspareunia, try lubricants or vaginal estrogen cream. If chronic pain is causing the problem, try new positions and different forms of sexual enjoyment.

Don’t decide to live with the pain, or stop enjoying sex because of it. Dyspareunia is a condition that can be defeated. Find out what’s causing it and move on from there.

Jul
15
Marcia R Reich
Surprise! Getting Naked Is Often Easier for midlife women
Love & Sex
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According to a new survey, women say they feel more comfortable undressing in front of men than they do undressing in front of other women. They say that women are too judgmental, where, of course, men are just grateful.” –Robert De Niro

Midlife sex can be complicated—or at least that’s what I thought until I began to do some research. Contrary to what you may think, women feel better at 50 than they do at 40—particularly when it comes to getting naked. At 40, many women feel that they have to look like their 20-year-old sisters (and daughters). Rather than embracing 40, they mourn for 25 and 30 holding an even larger magnifying glass up to what they consider their imperfections. The truth is—the majority of men don’t even know what cellulite is, don’t know where your boobs used to be and absolutely love the feel of soft, touchable flesh.

At 50 women seem to care less what both other women and men think about their bodies and focus on their own pleasure. “I just want to have lots of fun in bed” said a woman I talked to about sex in midlife. “I certainly have lots of flaws and imperfections but what the hell—they don’t stop me from having great sex and great orgasms”.

The consensus among these “older” women is that sex is about experience and feeling and not about looking and seeing. “If a man “sees” something he doesn’t like, he’s welcome to go elsewhere!” says another woman. “I don’t have time to waste on my veins and brown spots!” Amen!