The Bearded Iris

A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Tag: health

Does a Kegel a day keep the transvaginal mesh away?

I don’t honestly know. I just thought it sounded catchy.

Not that you want anything to sound “catchy” when you’re talking about vaginas, but you get my drift.

Wait.

Can I start over?

(This is why I don’t do more sponsored product reviews.)

Starting over, NOW.

Hello lady friends. Do you or someone you love suffer from urinary incontinence or sexual dysfunction?

Then you might have weakened PC (pubococcygeus) muscles. These muscles are attached to the pelvic bone and act like a hammock, holding in our pelvic organs. The weakening of these muscles is a natural part of aging due to gravity, pregnancy, childbirth, and the axis of evil.

Don’t panic. You’ve got choices.

1.) Spend the rest of your life changing your bulky pee-pee pads or adult diapers every time you laugh or sneeze.

2.) Have surgery and hope the transvaginal mesh they use to hoist up your goodie bag doesn’t get recalled a few years later.

3.) Tone up your PC muscles with a regular Kegel routine.*

4.) There are probably other options, but I only have so many hours a day to devote to my vagina-related research.

I don’t know about you, but I’m totally going for the prize behind door number three, Monty. And I might possibly be the laziest woman on Earth, so that’s saying a lot.

Speaking of sexual dysfunction and laziness, this is my idea of “doing it doggie style.”

Sad but true.

Anyhooo.

I’d like to pause right here and remind you that I’m not a health expert in any way shape or form. Please do your research before embarking on any exercise or treatment program. 

I’ve been doing Kegels and teaching my friends about them for a long time, but I’ve recently suspected that my little “Kegel at stop signs and red lights” trick may not be enough to make a difference in my long-term health. Apparently that’s like doing three sit-ups during a Here Comes Honey Boo Boo commercial break and then going to refill your ice cream bowl.

Sorry, but I take my vagina more seriously than that, and you should too. (Your own vagina, that is—not mine. Thankyouverymuch.)

The folks at The Medical Center for Female Sexuality think Kegels are so important that we should be doing them for a minimum of 5-10 minutes every day! And they’ve created a way to help us do just that.

They sent me a copy of their Kegels Anywhere CD to review and I’ve been using it religiously for about two weeks.

The CD is designed so that you can gradually increase your workout as your PC muscles grow stronger. There is a four-minute Beginner Circuit, two five-minute circuits, and two ten-minute circuits.

Regardless of the amount of time you choose to devote to your daily Kegel workout, you can choose the type of background music to squeeze to: “Piano Dream” or “Smooth Jazz.” Personally, I prefer the “Piano Dream.” The “Smooth Jazz” tracks remind me of Kenny G and I don’t really want to be thinking about him when I’m rhythmically pulsing my lady junk. (No offense, Kenny G.)

The beginning of the CD has a very informative introduction. I think the voice-over artist speaks a little fast, but after you hear her spiel a couple of times, you don’t really need that part anymore.

One word of warning, take it from me and DO NOT listen to the Introduction or “How To Do Kegel Exercises” track in the car if your kids are with you. There’s a part when the speaker explains where the PC muscles are and suggests you can find them by “inserting a finger into your vagina.”

Long story short, Bucket Head is probably telling his Kindergarten teacher things like “My mommy does exercises with her bagina,” and “A bagina is like a pocket! You can stick things IN THERE! You shouldn’t stick things in your penis though. A penis is not a pocket like a bagina.”

(Sadly, that’s not even the weirdest conversation we had all week.)

Like any exercise CD, the voice-over guides you through each routine. The thing I like about it is that I can just follow her lead and not think about timing or repetitions. The five or ten minutes actually flies by and unlike my Jillian Michaels’ DVDs, I’m not looking at the clock and muttering a pox on her the whole time.

I’m pretty excited to report that over the past two weeks I have gradually increased my workout from the four-minute Beginner Circuit to the ten-minute circuit. A couple more weeks of this and I’ll be able to open beer bottles with my lady cave. I just don’t want to bulk up my vag muscles too much; that could lead to my vagizness wearing a muscle-tee at the gym and pounding protein shakes between reps. I draw the line, you know?

Please visit the website of The Medical Center for Female Sexuality for more information about Kegels or to purchase your own Kegels Anywhere CD.

-Leslie

*Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor, and this is a sponsored post. Please do your own independent research before choosing a treatment plan for your aging lady bits. I also will not be held responsible if we find out ten years from now that Kegels are the Anti-Christ. I’m just sharing a potential resource. What you do with that information is up to you. 

Staying Abreast of Alternative Medicine

I’m In The Powder Room today investigating the healing properties of breast milk. Join me, won’t you?

And ERMAHGERD, this picture cracks me up. That was my sweet little Mini-Me, age 4, in her ballerina tutu, attempting to “play mommy” with her newborn brother, Bucket Head.

[photo removed by request of Mini-Me]

Kind of proves the theory that it is not what we say, but what we do that makes the biggest impression with our kids, no? Just something to think about on this glorious Monday. Now go read. Laugh. Re-lactate. Share.

With antibodies and enhanced immunity boosting,
Leslie

What do elephants, braces, poison, and poop have in common?

Is it over yet? This week, I mean? Geez Louise, I thought it would never end. I’m completely spent.

Which reminds me of a joke…

Q: What do you do if you’re stuck inside an elephant?

A: Run around until you’re all pooped out.

Go ahead, share that with the little ones, just give me credit or I’ll hunt you down and give you an atomic wedgie with a side of Texas Pete.

So, yeah, I’m pooped. My family and I have spent the last two weeks taking care of all the appointments we’ve been dodging for that last several months.

Had the carpet cleaners here on Monday. That’s no small feat. All the tidying up and furniture moving alone is more physical work than I’ve probably done since The Pantry Weevil Invasion of 2011.

The cable guy stopped by to have his butt repeatedly sniffed by my dog while he repaired our phone lines.

And, in the past two weeks, we’ve been to see the orthodontist, two dentists, the podiatrist (twice), the pediatrician, the general practitioner, the hair stylist (hi Kristy!), and even a pediatric surgeon (that’s a post for another day).

 

Nature Boy, 12 years old, before and after braces.

 

That’s my boy. Oh my gosh, be still my heart (and not just because of the price tag for those braces). Love that kid. Totally worth it.

But I’ll tell you what, there is nothing like two weeks of solid check writing for co-pays and deductibles and down payments to make you appreciate your health. When Ben Franklin said “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” homeboy wasn’t playing around.

True, prevention is so much easier and cheaper than treating or curing an injury or disease, no question. But let’s face it, we only have control over so much of our lives.

Sometimes, no matter how good of a parent you are, your toddler is going to eat something they shouldn’t. And regardless of the truly outstanding job you did warning the girls in your scout troop of what to do if they come across a bear in the woods, it will not even dawn on you that all those caterpillars the girls are “petting” could be poisonous!

camping with kids? don't pet the caterpillars!

But never fear, my pretties! I have a great tip for you on how to be more prepared the next time you are faced with an accidental poison or allergic reaction related emergency!

I wrote an article for Circle of Moms called “This Mom Hack Could Save Your Child’s Life!” (catchy, right?) and they liked it enough to feature it as one of their RoundUp articles last month, which is very exciting. They changed the title though to “Why I Have Poison Control on Speed Dial,” so, spoiler alert…you already know the punchline.

It hasn’t deterred 103,000+ people from reading it though, which is pretty damn awesome. Hopefully it will save someone’s life. That would make my heart sing.

That is a good one to read all the way to the end, even if you get the whole “oh yeah, I should have Poison Control in my phone” moral of the story bit. I offer some really cool ideas at the end on how you can turn your cell phone contact list into your bitch.

Hey, the more you know.

Well that’s all I’ve got.

Stay healthy, my friends. Use your noodle to be prepared in case of an emergency. And don’t let any elephants eat you (without your consent).

Have a great weekend!

-Leslie (aka “Iris”)

PS – My blog comment section is closed for the summer, but I’m still loitering pretty frequently on Twitter and Facebook if you want to say hello! :)

Tips and Tricks for Getting a Better Night’s Sleep

Are you getting enough sleep?

Me neither.

I have recently developed a terrible habit of hitting my snooze button repeatedly each morning. So far, my record is 6 “snoozes.” Pathetic.

Intuitively, I know this is counterproductive. Repeatedly interrupting my last 45 minutes of sleep is not going to make me feel more rested when I eventually do drag my lazy bones out of bed.

But I’m…just…so…tired.

Why is that?

Experts say that all the time we spend wired into “glowing boxes” is messing with our brain chemistry.

Oh snap. I definitely spend a big chunk of time on the computer and on my cell phone every day. And since you’re here reading this, I’m guessing you do too.

I also have a sick addiction to watching old episodes of Criminal Minds every night. That’s the stuff of nightmares, let me tell you. Now that I know what the term “enucleate” means, I can never unknow it. {Gag.} Hey, I’ll save you the trip. An enucleator is one who removes the eyeballs of his victims. You’re welcome.

“The UNSUB’s profile indicates that he’s an eviscerating anthropophagic enucleator. Oooh, who brought donuts?”

Yep. We are a sleep-deprived nation, and it’s affecting our health.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, short sleep duration is linked with:

  • Increased risk of motor vehicle accidents
  • Increase in body mass index – a greater likelihood of obesity due to an increased appetite caused by sleep deprivation
  • Increased risk of diabetes and heart problems
  • Increased risk for psychiatric conditions including depression and substance abuse
  • Decreased ability to pay attention, react to signals or remember new information
Holy CRAP! Could that many of our issues really be related to not enough shut-eye?
 
Researchers Michael H. Bonnet and Donna L. Arand advise: “There is strong evidence that sufficient shortening or disturbance of the sleep process compromises mood, performance and alertness and can result in injury or death. In this light, the most common-sense ‘do no injury’ medical advice would be to avoid sleep deprivation.Did they say “injury or death”? Shoot…they had me at “obesity.”

I think we all better get some more sleep, people. Most adults should probably aim for about 7-8 hours a night.

Easier said than done, right? Well put down your Organic Whole Milk 3 Pump Vanilla 2 Pump Cinnamon Dolce Iced Frappuccino for two frickin’ minutes and pay attention…if you’re not too sleep-deprived to concentrate, that is. I’ve scoured the Internet for you to find all the best tips and tricks for getting a better night’s sleep!

Disclaimer: if you have a serious sleep disorder like sleep apnea or chronic insomnia, please seek real medical advice. I am not a licensed medical doctor. As if. 

Okay, here we go…

1. Make your bedroom sleep-friendly. That means clutter-free, no extreme temperatures, and no TV or computers. Hey, don’t shoot the messenger.

Bonus points if your bedroom is painted a tranquil, sleep-friendly color from the left side of the color wheel like pale blue or green. Cool colors actually reduce your pulse rate and therefore are more likely to induce restful sleep.

2. Keep your room dark and quiet at night. Buy blackout curtains if necessary. Too much light coming through the windows will mess with your circadian rhythms (natural sleep/wake patterns) and you won’t sleep as soundly.

3. Have a relaxing pre-bedtime ritual. A hot bath, reading a book in bed, listening to relaxing music…these are all good ways to calm the mind and get it ready for sleep. Avoid exercise or electronic time an hour before bed.

4. Establish a routine. Experts agree that it is best for our internal clocks if we go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each morning. I have one friend who puts on her jammies, washes her face, and flosses and brushes her teeth every night at 8:00 PM. She says getting her evening ablutions out of the way early discourages her from late night snacking or falling asleep in front of the TV with her makeup still on. Brilliant!

5. Limit caffeine to mornings only. Caffeine can cause sleep problems up to ten to twelve hours after drinking it. Yowza! Who knew? Consider eliminating caffeine after lunch or cutting back your overall intake. Hey, maybe we won’t need so much joe if we follow all these other tips!

6. Eat low-fat, high fiber foods. And avoiding eating three hours before you go to bed. Dr. Oz has lots of specific recommendations for foods that promote good sleep here.

7. Sleep on your back! Apparently sleeping on your stomach puts a lot of pressure on your internal organs, not to mention the wrinkles it adds to your face. Just don’t sleep on your back if you’re falling-down-drunk. All this beauty sleep won’t mean diddly-squat if you asphyxiate on your own vomit in the middle of the night. Ew!

And speaking of which…

8. Cut back on the hooch. Alcoholic beverages mess with your sleep patterns. Oh sure, a drink (or two) may initially help you fall asleep, but it also causes sleep disturbances later on in the night, resulting in less restful sleep overall. In addition, an alcoholic beverage before bedtime may make it more likely that you will wake up during the night to pee. Unless you’re totally wasted and piss your bed. Never pleasant.

9. Quit smoking. Nicotine is a stimulant, which disrupts sleep. Additionally, sleeping smokers actually experience nicotine withdrawal as the night progresses, making it hard to sleep. As if you needed another reason to quit smoking. Sheesh.

10. Sniff some lavender. Research has proven that a just a few drops of pure lavender essential oil (on a tissue under your pillow or in an aromatherapy diffusor) can help you sleep more soundly and feel more energetic the next day! Sweet! Now THIS, I can do!

11. Don’t let your pets or kids sleep with you. Sorry, co-sleepers. I know, this one’s tough for me too. But experts say that your kids’ and pets’ motion in the middle of the night can affect the quality of your sleep.

And one more, because I do enjoy a happy ending:

12. Have sex. Well what do you know?! I guess my husband is right when he says “Come on! It’s good for you!” Studies show that sex before bed helps relieve stress and release calming hormones that will help you to sleep more soundly. Bom-chicka-wha-whaaa!

Alrighty then, friends. We have our marching orders. Let’s go get some sleep!

-Iris

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