Saturday, May 19, 2007
Fortunately for us we’re the only ones who witness these moments. Today we’ve had two such moments. The first occurred while we were at the video rental store. We both didn’t realize we walked into the wrong end of the line. Both of us distracted by the ice cream freezer – my pregnant belly focused on having ice cream and her teenage hormones focused on the same; we didn’t realize we were walking the wrong way. We chose our ice cream -- pleased and excited -- then proceeded to get in line… still walking in the wrong direction. It wasn’t until we got to what we thought was the end of the line that we realized we had made our way to the actual end of the line and had started off at the beginning of the line.
We both looked confused, turned around and my daughter tried to blame it on me by saying, “I was just following you!” Yeah, right!
We finally make it home. I’m not going to talk about the pregnant moment I had when I accidentally locked her out of the house because I had to rush in to use the bathroom. Then when I get out of the bathroom I’m surprised the door is closed and locked not realizing she’s on the other side of the door knocking – all the while eating her ice cream, of course.
She decides she needs to get her homework done and one of the things she has to do is interview someone, which she’s going to do over the phone. Luckily, as a freelance writer and editor I have a phone recorder that hooks up to the phone so it makes interviewing someone and reviewing the conversation later a little easier than trying to take notes.
After explaining to her how to use the contraption I tell her she should test it each time to make sure it’s working correctly. Well, she tries to test it and when she listens to her test the recorder is making an awful noise. So, I step in to see what is happening. I get my cell phone to call home and the recorder doesn’t work. I fumble with the cords, checking to see if everything is hooked up correctly and can’t seem to figure out why the thing won’t work.
“I know my recorder didn’t just die,” I exclaim.
Not too long before that I had told my daughter that the recorder would be activated when the phone is turned on so as long as it was set in record mode it would start recording when the phone was picked up.
Using my cell phone, we called the house several times. Finally she says, “Don’t you have to pick up the phone?”
“No, the voicemail picked up… oh….”
Another pregnant moment… and I wonder about her ability to survive in the real world. Hmm, maybe I need to wonder about me!
Thursday, May 17, 2007
It seems fairly easy to be hit with a curveball when you least expect it. I know, for me, I’ll be sailing along – not necessarily with everything going so great – and then all of a sudden it hits me right in the face. I don’t have a glove, a helmet, a “head’s up,” or anything – just a sudden overwhelming disruption of my life as I know it and, sometimes, love it.
You would think I’d be used to it. I’m almost 39 years old and life hasn’t necessarily gone as I’ve planned it. There have been some quite unexpected things. Let me do a little review. Not a major rehashing of the past 39 years, but a small review… just indulge me for a second:
1. I was a senior in high school and I was looking at some college catalogs when my mom said, “College? There’s no money for you to go to college!” Uh, could someone have told me before then? I mean I had been working since I was 14 so instead of buying cute accessories, clothes and magazine subscriptions I could have been saving for my future.
2. After a year of college with no money to continue, I went into the military to – as the recruiter told me – have the great opportunity to travel and get a college education. Uh, could someone have told me that going into the military could mean going to the war? Duh! You may say. But all I know is I didn’t sign up for Saudi Arabia or a four-year stint in Rome, New York, without a chance to go anywhere.
3. Then there was the pregnancy at 21 years old. Don’t gasp and wonder if my oldest child will read this. She knows it was an unexpected pregnancy, but she also knows she’s the light of my life and I wouldn’t trade the experience for the world.
4. And who would have known that when my second child, who was born about 13 years after the first, was 15 months old that I would become pregnant with my third child. Or that before the third one was 2 years old I would become pregnant with the fourth!
Oh, my gosh, the curveballs! Well, as I take a look at the “curveballs” as I’ve been calling them there seems to be a recurring theme. Could I have prevented these curveballs? Here I am in “woe is me” mode and about to give you at least two more curveballs from my memory of 100s, when it dawns on me that I may be looking pretty silly right now.
Although I was still a child, as a senior in high school, had I got my head on straight like so many other high school seniors do and prepared for my future, I would have known that there wasn’t any money for college. Instead of floating through school and barely passing my classes (well, except for the classes I liked that I put my all into and earned “As”), I could have been making the honor roll and earning scholarships to college. That doesn’t excuse anyone else’s contribution – or lack of – but it does put the responsibility back in my hands.
Instead of just blindly going with what the recruiter said, I could have done my own research and asked the right questions, which would have probably led to the true answers of what the purpose of the military is. Then I could have made an educated choice instead of just joining an organization to get out of the small town I currently lived in.
The only thing I can say about number 3 and the unexpected pregnancy is that I shouldn’t have been having sex. Extreme, you say? Well, given the fact that we used a condom and I still got pregnant leads me back to my first instinct and I should have kept my legs closed!!
As for these last three children that I’ve had, well, I really don’t know what to say. I was married so I think it was okay to have sex! We were trying for the second child, the third child… you know, even I’m tired of this conversation. The fact remains that although life may throw a couple of curveballs it’s up to us to take proactive roles in what happens and what doesn’t. I can’t blame anyone, but myself, if life has not turned out the way I want it to. Sure there are others who contribute to or cause certain things to happen, but I have to take full responsibility for everything that has happened in my life.
Whoa, that’s a hard pill to swallow, but one I must swallow nonetheless. I’ll just drink a gigantic glass of water as it goes down. What makes it even harder is a terrible situation I’m in now. I can’t give you all the details, but if you knew them you’d know why I got stuck in “woe is me” mode. For now, let’s just say I’ve had a momentary ah-ha moment. I don’t want to be pessimistic and expect the curveballs, but I will be more realistic. I’ll just take them as they come – catch them, set them up and throw them right back!
Think I’m being too hard on myself? Well, I’ll prove it to you. This is how this bio started originally:
Petula Renee Wright officially began her career in 1993 as a reporter at a Gannett newspaper, the Observer-Dispatch, in Utica, New York. She spent the next couple of years honing her journalistic skills and upon moving to Atlanta in 1995, she began working as an assistant editor for Positive Publications.It’s about me and I’m bored so I can’t expect you to be interested. I’m going to attempt to get through this with a little creativity and zero boredom. Wish me luck and let me know what you think.
Here are the facts:
- I have a bachelor’s degree in journalism.
- I have been a writer and editor for about 14 years.
- I write business profiles, health and fitness articles, book and product reviews, feature articles and web content.
- My editing experience includes magazines, fiction and non-fiction manuscripts as well as creative projects like comic books and, of course, blogging.
- I’ve written for Upscale, Atlanta Woman, New You and Atlanta Good Life magazines as well as several other local and national publications.
On the personal side, I am the mother of four children ages 17, 5, 4 and 1. Within the next 30 days or so my children will be 18, 5, 4 and 2. I don’t know about anyone else, but I have found parenting this multi-generational group of children to be quite a challenge. How many times have you tried to focus on what you’re doing while a teenager gives you updates on their day and their AP level classes while pre-schoolers run around you as a toddler pulls at your hand saying, “Come ‘ear…. Come ‘ear…?”
Well, it does – at the very least – make for an interesting life. And that, my friends, is this woman’s world.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
I know: You’re thinking, “Ewww… how can she even bring that up?” How can I not? It’s been a secret for far too long. I’m starting to wonder if every pregnant woman is walking around as uncomfortable as I am and keeping this big secret – even from her partner. Sure there’s the weight gain and the swollen hands, legs and feet. But we’re used to that – we have PMS. Sure there’s the indigestion and heartburn, but who hasn’t experienced that at some point in their life? The back pain – been there, done that.
How many women – 35 and younger – can actually say, “Oh yes, I have urinary incontinence all the time because of the beach ball pressing down on my bladder. I have to wear panty liners 24 hours every day!”
Not only do I have to wear a panty liner 24 hours a day, but because the baby has always been so low I’ve been wearing them since my second or third month of pregnancy. I’m eight months pregnant now! (Why she’s so low is an entirely different story. Maybe I’ll get into the non-existent abdomen muscles at a later time.) I feel like I should contact the company and demand they make me their national spokesperson. Surely, there’s something else in this for me than just the continual purchasing of a product that I’m extremely tired of looking at.
I’m sure I should be focusing on the miracle of life; as some would like me to. Or maybe I should think about the joy of having a newborn. Hmmmm… sorry, I can’t. All I think about is the gross things that are happening in the southern parts of my body that I was so unprepared for.
I know each pregnancy is different, but after three pregnancies you start to get a little cocky. At least I did. I had no idea I would experience the “pee problem,” as I like to refer to it in my head. I was even further baffled by the itching and burning in an area that you should only speak to your doctor about. Read in a whisper: hemorrhoids.
Of course, that’s TMI like the kids say: Too much information.
One of the things that make this experience so bad is that going without feminine products during pregnancy has always been one of the things I’ve looked forward to the most. Be honest, ladies. Ten whole months without tampons and sanitary napkins is like heaven on earth. The expense alone can break the bank and the freedom (for most women) of not having a monthly cycle is like an extended vacation!
Well, as I near the end of this pregnancy – only about six weeks to go – I pray for a healthy baby, an easy delivery, a quick recovery and an end to the pee problem!
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Around the Web
An article on Charles E. Johnson at SparkPlugPeople.com.
Living with Firbromyalgia for HeathyWomen.org.
Check me out on eHow.
I really enjoy writing book and product reviews here at It's a woman's world!
Random (essay-like) Samples
This is a creative writing sample I submitted to eCopywriters on July 1, 2009.
It isn’t a secret that I am addicted to skincare and beauty products. Most recently, I’ve written about Advanced RevitaLift ® Deep-Set Wrinkle Repair treatments, the Neutrogena™ pure & free™ baby sunblock lotion and Relastin Eye Silk. I have tried Max Factor’s 2000 Calorie Extreme Lash Plumper and their Vivid Impact Lipcolor. And right now I’m testing the Active Eyelash Technology™ neuLash®.
June/July 2007 issue of New You magazine
Tired of Being Tired
Seven years ago, Stephen Hinton dozed off while driving and crashed into a brick mailbox, narrowly missing a tree. Although his truck was totaled, he walked away from the accident relatively unscathed. During a visit to the doctor shortly thereafter, he discovered he had a sleep disorder.
Hinton was referred to a sleep and electroencephalogram (EEG) diagnostic services center, in which doctors conduct sleep studies that electronically transmit and record specific activities while a patient sleeps. He was diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
Hinton is one of about 12 million Americans who suffer from sleep apnea—a disorder characterized by interruptions in breathing while asleep. There are three types of apnea: central, mixed and obstructive. Hinton suffers from the most common form. According to the American Sleep Apnea Association (ASAA), sleep apnea can affect anyone, but it’s most common in men who are overweight and/or over the age of 40.
OSA is caused by an airway blockage, when the soft tissue at the back of the throat closes during sleep. This can occur several times a night, and when it does, the brain rouses the person and signals him or her to resume breathing. In central sleep apnea, the airway isn’t blocked, but the brain fails to signal breathing. Mixed apnea is a combination of the two.
From his sleep study, Hinton learned his brain had signaled him to breathe approximately 276 times. “The technicians who were monitoring me became so scared that they put a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) device on me after a few hours,” he says. The apparatus involves wearing a mask that is attached to an air blower while asleep.
Other common treatments for sleep apnea include losing weight; avoiding sedative substances such as alcohol and certain medications; using oral appliances to prevent the airway from collapsing; and undergoing surgery to improve the airway. The Pillar Procedure is an alternative treatment for OSA and disruptive snoring. It is minimally invasive and involves placing implants in the soft palate to reduce the vibrations that cause snoring and obstruct the airway.
Pradeep K. Sinha, MD, PhD, FACS, a board certified surgeon at the Atlanta Institute for ENT and Facial Aesthetic Surgery, offers the Pillar Procedure. He says it’s less painful, can be performed quickly, and is the only procedure approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). In fact, the Pillar has been clinically proven to produce results comparable to more aggressive procedures.
"The standard treatment is pretty extensive surgery, where you’re laid up in the hospital and have to take about two weeks off of work,” Dr. Sinha says. But not all sleep apnea sufferers are candidates for surgery. The other alternative is wearing the aforementioned CPAP mask at night, every night, to stop snoring and breathe properly. It works well for those who snore and those with mild sleep apnea, but it is only part of the solution for people with more severe cases.
Hinton says the CPAP worked for him, but he would consider the Pillar Procedure if his doctor recommended it. “Before I got the CPAP, I’d go to bed tired. I’d fall asleep the minute my head hit the pillow, but when I woke up, I would feel just as tired as when I went to bed. Whenever I sat still for a moment, I’d fall asleep,” he says. Now, the only time he feels tired is when he doesn’t get enough sleep.
Sleep apnea can be a serious problem. If left untreated, it can cause high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, heart attack, stroke, memory problems, weight gain, impotency, depression, mood disorders and headaches. It can also lead to job impairment and an increased risk of motor vehicle collisions due to exhaustion.
According to the National Sleep Foundation’s 2005 Sleep in America poll, about 75 percent of those surveyed experience symptoms of a sleep problem a few nights a week, but have never mentioned it to a doctor. If you snore loudly, are overweight, have high blood pressure, feel sleepy during the day, or gasp or stop breathing at night, you may have sleep apnea. If you have any or all of these symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention. “I could have died that day,” Hinton says, referring to the day of his sleep apnea-induced accident. “It’s only because of God’s grace that I missed that tree.”
Sleep apnea is a serious breathing disorder that is characterized by brief interruptions of breathing during sleep. If you experience snoring, gasping for air while asleep, are overweight, have high blood pressure or are frequently tired during the day, seek medical attention immediately. In fact, any sleep disturbances or problems should be mentioned to your doctor.
For more information on sleep disorders and related issues, check out the National Sleep Foundation’s website at SleepFoundation.org.
Although your doctor will most likely recommend a sleep center for you, there is a list of centers in your area at SleepCenters.org, which is provided by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
For a comprehensive overview of sleep apnea, visit the American Sleep Apnea Association’s website at SleepApnea.org.
To reach Dr. Pradeep Sinha at the Atlanta Institute for ENT and Facial Aesthetic Surgery, call 404.257.1589 or visit DrSinha.com.
“It’s a woman’s world” is for me to vent, share and entertain. In the process, I’m hoping it will be a spot for all women – single, married, mothers, whoever – to share, comment and unite. This is your world, a woman’s world. Come, relax and enjoy.