Health During Midlife

Up Close and Personal: The Joys of Turning 50 – The Colonoscopy

Melanie in the waiting roomI turned 50 this past December.  It was one of the best days of my life.  My husband and son showered me with love and affection.  I received phone calls from family and friends, and got lots of Facebook love.  Topping the evening off was dinner out with Tom and one of my BFFs, Peggy and her husband Jimmy.  It was definitely a day to remember.  Leading up to it I was excited, and also pensive.

If I’m lucky, I’ll have lived half or a little over half my life and at some point I’ll probably write about how I’d prefer to spend the next half.  On turning 50, one thing I knew for certain was that I’d hear from the AARP and I’d need to get a colonoscopy.

My husband had one a couple years ago and I knew what to expect.  Drinking lots of liquids and spending a lot of time in the bathroom.  Everyone says the preparation is the worst.  Well, I’m here to say it wasn’t so bad.

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Because I’m a New Mother and Because I Said So

DeAnna's sick childrenI woke up these past several mornings seriously feeling like a truck had run over me.  To make things worse my kids must have felt the same way too, but they can’t articulate what they are feeling. So what their runny noses didn’t say, their screaming did.

It’s one thing to have twins with colds. It is another, I think, to have toddler-twins with colds.  Because trust me – the terrible twos don’t get better when they are sick – they just get worse and it is hard to deal with.

What will the world think of me?  After all, aren’t I the woman that went thru tremendous trials to even have these twins; who cried tears of longing for the day I could even say, “My kids are sick.”  [Read More…]

My Birthing Experience: When I Became A Mom – For Real

theresa turchin and son I

Some mothers will say that they first felt like a mother when they saw an ultrasound of their baby for the very first time, or the moment they heard the baby’s heart beat, maybe even felt the first kick or movement their baby made inside of them.

I love and cherish all those moments. But, the moment I truly felt like a mother came in the hospital, as I was about to give birth to our son…. [Read More…]

To V(accinate) or Not to V(accinate) – That is the Question

I am, by nature, a realist. With a propensity to be pessimistic.
(I think my California “village” can overwhelmingly attest to that.)

About a week ago I found out my son had Chickenpox (Varicella virus). My first thought was how could this happen? My subsequent thoughts involved more hits on Google than a Kardashian.

After too much wine and online research (and a visit to our pediatrician), I realized my son would be fine. My worries, however, continued to swirl. As newer parents with children born after the Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) vaccine debate, we did spread out our son’s vaccines when he was younger. (Our daughter, however, is on schedule.)

This time around, our concern is about what our school aged son may bring home with him each day. My seven-month-old daughter, who is contently and constantly on the receiving end of kisses and squeezes from my 6 year old son, was extremely vulnerable to contracting the virus.

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Spare Some Change? (An Ode to Midlife Mothering)

springSpring Ahead

There is something magical about hearing that first bird tweeting somewhere off in the distance when the snow is still on the ground and you can still see your breath as soon as you walk outside.   I think however it is the annual changing of the clocks that sets our bodies into motion, no matter how long we have sat stagnant, and hibernating.

So while most of us take the change of seasons in stride, what is it about change in general that makes many of us go into either a paralyzed or manic state, dependent upon our primitive reaction to trauma? [Read More…]

Have the Winter Blues? 8 Tips for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Winter 4 (pines)Winter weather is often cold, dark and dreary – with little chance of a break for months. The transition back from the holiday season with its increased activity and social engagement – parties, gift giving, family time, vacations – can be an emotional letdown, bringing on the January blues. For 10% of Americans, this is exacerbated by “SAD,” Seasonal Affective Disorder, triggered by the brain’s response to the reduction in sunlight.

“Sandwiched Boomers” may feel an even greater strain, with extra pressures of caring for growing children and aging parents. If you think you might have SAD, consult your physician for an evaluation. A diagnosis can be made when your mood, energy level and motivation are all down during the winter months. You may be sleeping and eating more than usual, craving carbohydrates – this can lead to weight gain, which is depressing in itself. [Read More…]

How to Create More Intimacy With Your Valentine

red heartFebruary is perfect for cuddling, with the cold weather and longer nights. No wonder it’s known as the month for romance. But does caring for your growing children make you too tired to bring Cupid back into your intimate relationship?

Lucy was on the fast track at work and active in her family, having three children and parents who were declining. Her interest in romance was waning and she was devastated by changes in her body and her psyche. “I have totally lost my libido and I feel as dry as the Sahara desert. In the past, I had been happily led around by my active sex drive – it has been my life force for so long.  Now, I have lost my ballast and my identity. I want to have those feelings again.” [Read More…]

10 Tips for Coping With January Blues

Feeling down in the dumps now that the holidays are over? If you’re hoping for something uplifting on these dreary days and cold nights, you’re not alone. T.S. Eliot, in The Waste Land, said, “April is the cruelest month.”

But studies have found that for the majority of Americans, January is the most depressing month of the year. [Read More…]

Millennials and the Holiday Spirit

Chanukah - ChristmasAlthough it may be the holiday season, as far as presents go that doesn’t mean a whole lot to Millennials. Like so many other issues, they have their own ideas about gift giving. Apparently what they want is cash, mostly to pay down college costs and other debt.

So much for the negative stereotype that those born between 1980 and 2000 are lazy and have a sense of entitlement. Millennials are laboring under a collective $1 trillion in debt from student loans and still struggling to find jobs. Yet a survey of 6,500 members of the so-called ‘Me Generation’ indicates that last year well over half of them made donations to charitable causes and volunteered their time. [Read More…]

Walk the Walk: Five Advocacy Tips for Navigating the Path to Motherhood

pathOne afternoon I took a walk at a beautiful lake surrounded by woods with a main paved path and smaller trails through the woods. I decided to take a wooded trail, but as I moved further from the main path, the trail became less clear. I was afraid of getting lost in the woods. When I looked around me, I realized that some of the trees had blue paint marks on them.

Every few feet stood a tree with another blue mark. By following the marks, I was able to follow the trail through the woods to the main path as it circled around the lake. When I got to the main path again, I wasn’t sure which direction to walk to get back to my car. Luckily, another walker was passing by who pointed me in the right direction. If I had gotten lost, the walk could have been a disaster, but because I had signs to guide me and people to help me when I needed help, it was a wonderful experience. But, it wasn’t only the signs and the fellow walker that made the difference. I used my skills and I wasn’t afraid to ask the fellow traveler for help. I advocated for myself, and I felt confident and positive after my walk.

Navigating your way towards motherhood is a lot like that walk. You are entering unfamiliar territory, and you will have to find your way through. Whether you pursue motherhood the “old fashioned” way, or through assisted reproductive technology, adoption, surrogacy, or some other method, the steps to making informed decisions and to advocating for your needs throughout the process are remarkably [Read More…]

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