Category Archives: Personal

Sebastian parking bike

Day After Laser Iridotomy on Eye #2 + Questionable Medial Branch Block (Epidural) Results

I am so relieved to be done with medical procedures, for a while at least.  🙂  The last couple of weeks have been quite a medical journey.   I’m glad my sister was in town when I found out about Angle-Closure Glaucoma and had the epidural for my neck done or I would have gone crazy with anxiety and stress.   Thanks Grech.   Just having her here distracted me enough to not be constantly worried about what I was going through.

I had the Laser Iridotomy on my left eye yesterday and while it was pretty uncomfortable – the zapping of the lasers in my eyeball and all, I feel better today than I did the day after they did the right eye last week.  I had an intense headache after the Laser Iridotomy yesterday and slept for a couple of hours.. something I don’t do in the middle of the day hardly ever.  Madelyn asked if the eye surgery was going to take the purpleness out from under my eyes.  Anyone care to recommend an amazing under-eye concealer?

Today I’m struggling with whether or not the epidural (technically referred to as a Medial Branch Block) I had almost two weeks ago, worked.  I HATE to think it didn’t work, but my neck really hurt yesterday.  I was hoping the pain was a result of the stress and anxiety over the Laser Iridotomy I was getting ready for yesterday afternoon, but my neck still hurts today.  I am going to give it a few more days and will call my physical therapist to schedule a dry needling or trigger point massage session if the pain isn’t substantially better by Friday.   The spine surgeon said that if the Medial Branch Block worked this time we would go with Radiofrequency Neurotomy next time which would relieve the pain forever, since a heat lesion is created on the nerves with the goal of interrupting the pain signals to the brain, thus eliminating pain.  Sounds great right.. but I have to feel definite relief from the Medial Branch Block in order to move to the next step so I’m a little frustrated that I might not be getting that relief, putting us back to (almost) square one as far as a treatment plan is concerned.

Meanwhile, I’m excited to be going to my 4th private yoga therapy session tomorrow.  Carolyn, my yoga teacher, has not only taught me yoga poses and stretches that help with my neck pain but she’s also taught me breathing techniques that help with pain and stress.   Nowadays, there’s a good chance my kids will walk into my office and see me with my eyes closed, on the floor, breathing slowly and deeply, unbeknownst to them, creating a happier more relaxed mom.  For the last two weeks I’ve been practicing the pigeon and warrior poses so hopefully I can pull them off without falling on my face tomorrow.  I just realized I can’t drive myself to yoga tomorrow.  Shoot.. I guess I need to stop writing and figure out how I’m going to get to yoga tomorrow.
Sebastian parking bikeTo the right is the photo I chose for how I’m feeling today.

Even though things aren’t always the way we’d like them to be,  it’ll work out if you do your best and make the best of the situation.
It wasn’t an ideal situation but Sebastian parked his bike in this flooded bike rack, it did the job and turned out to be just fine. 🙂
That’s it for today.

I have updates on the dog situation and organization around the house that I’m excited to share in another post so stay tuned. 🙂

– Alicia


Note to readers: When I write posts like this (personal posts), I often don’t proofread it because I will then edit and delete for hours or never actually publish the post.  Run-on sentence and grammatical errors are to be expected. :)

Weekend Recap: Missing My Sister, Glaucoma Diagnosis, and a Chaotic Calendar


My sister, Grechen, left town Thursday after being in Atlanta for a week so I was sad and going through withdrawls Friday, Saturday and Sunday.    I miss her living in Atlanta.  She lives in Dallas – so far away.  While she was in town we didn’t do anything major, like outdoor stuff, because it’s been so darn cold in Atlanta but we got to spend some time alone, sans kids, which was really nice.   Our time alone was mostly spent in the car travel to and from my doctor’s appointments and stores.   I shop more when she’s in town than I do in an entire year I think!  The Friday after she arrived I had an appointment with the Opthamologist during which he informed me that I have Angle-Closure Glaucoma and needed to have Laser Iridotomy on both eyes ASAP.  WHAT?   No one was with me to hear what the doctor was saying and anyone who knows me, knows that I don’t process surprise/unexpected information well.   I was in a bit of a haze.   I spent the rest of Friday and most of the weekend sort of in shock that I have Glaucoma.

Saturday evening, a couple whose kids Grechen and I grew up with in Florida and some here in Georgia, came to my mom’s house to have dinner and see Grechen whom they hadn’t seen in perhaps 20 years.  We had a good time catching up with them.  Sebastian spent the day at Supercross with a friend so I was kind of bummed he wasn’t there to see everyone but Madelyn was there and was on her best behavior, thank goodness.  My first eye laser procedure was Tuesday at 2:00 so I was pretty anxious all morning.

At some point, twice while she was here actually, Grechen and I went to Whole Foods, a special treat for me because I don’t go out of my 8 mile radius due to time constraints, very often.  I bought the most delicious raspberry thumbprint cookies (here’s a recipe) and tried a new flavor of KeVita Sparkling Probiotic drink, Pomegranate.   Exciting, right?

Despite my concern, I made it through the first Laser Iridotomy just fine last Tuesday.   I get the other eye done tomorrow.  Yay lasers!  😉  I keep thinking I shouldn’t say here how the Laser Iridotomy felt so I don’t scare anyone away from having the procedure done if they need to, but gosh.. I could actually feel the lasers.  My eye was numbed but I had to wait about 30 minutes before the procedure so maybe the numbing medicine wore off?  The feeling of the lasers was just strange at first.. for the first 93 lasers.   I thought we were finished when the doctor and nurse lifted me out of the chair but they were just leading me to the next, more intense, laser.  The doctor said he only had to do 8-10 lasers on the second machine so that was a relief but it was more uncomfortable than the first for sure.

From WebMD: Some people feel a mild but sharp sensation in the eye during this procedure. But there usually is no pain after laser iridotomy.

I will get my eyeglass prescription filled about a week after the second Laser Iridotomy, which is exciting.  I got the prescription in November but thought I could get by with reading glasses.  Clearly that’s not working for me as anything about 15 inches or closer is a bit blurry.   My sister recommended I get glasses from Warby Parker, an online eyeglasses store that also has a brick and mortar store in Atlanta.   Their frames with a basic prescription are just $95!   I’m trying to decide whether to go to the local store, outside my 8-mile radius, to try frames on or to take advantage of their Home Try-On program.  The program allows customers to choose 5 frame styles online and have them delivered to my home to try for 5 days.  Pretty cool, right?

As far as this week is concerned, I am anxious about all that’s on our schedule and the fact that Tim won’t be around much to help with the schedule.  Our carpool group consists of 3 families and I feel like we’re definitely not putting in a fair share this week but that’s because of my eye procedure Tuesday and Tim’s schedule the rest of the week.  With Madelyn being in elementary school and Sebastian in high school, it can be difficult for one parent to pull of transportation to and from for both.  There are millions of single moms that do it though, so who am I to complain?  It’s when the kids activities overlap like his tutoring is from 5-6 while her piano class on the other side of town is also from 5-5:30, that I get overwhelmed.   Granted, that kind of overlapping is not common but even figuring out in my head how to coordinate be at Sebastian’s school to pick he and his carpool buddies up from school at 3:30, with Madelyn in the car who got home at 3:00, who gets car sick easily, and having to get to one of her classes by 4 or 5.. it’s a lot!  There’s no time for downtime, a snack, to do homework, etc.. I NEVER expected to be a parent of kids who are on the go so much.  It’s not for any reason other than they are taking classes or participating in activities that they WANT to do.  But when it comes down to it; getting there, etc.. that’s when the anxiety sets in.

On that note, I’ll end this post and work on streamlining our schedule for this week!  I use my Moleskine weekly notebook but even it gets too cluttered to understand.  For years I used an amazing planner called the Busy Body Book.. I LOVED it. It allowed me to keep everyone’s schedule in columns, for each day but it was discontinued.  I wish Moleskine would come out with a family friendly weekly planner!

Note to readers: When I write posts like this (personal posts), I often don’t proofread it because I will then edit and delete for hours or never actually publish the post.  Run-on sentence and grammatical errors are to be expected. 🙂

The photograph of the flower at the top of this post is one taken by Sebastian at Leu Gardens in Orlando.

– Alicia

Personal: About My Cervical Facet Joint Block Procedure And The Day After

Today is Day 1 after the Cervical Facet Block procedure I had yesterday afternoon.  This procedure was the 2nd I’ve had in hopes of determining if a permanent cauterization of the nerves is necessary or if I need more in-depth surgery to alleviate the back and neck pain that could possibly be a result of a car accident I was in a long time ago.   A Cervical Facet Joint block procedure is done to help determine whether a facet joint is a source of pain. Facet joints are located on the back of the spine, where one vertebra slightly overlaps another. These joints guide and restrict the spines movement.

I was a little nervous about the procedure because it is a step up from the epidural I had done a couple of months ago and I didn’t know what to expect.   I didn’t take meds to prep for my previous procedure but this time around, Dr. surgeon requested that I take anxiety medication, Lorazepam, an hour before the cervical facet block. I’m not a fan of mood altering drugs so I opted to take one pill per the pharmacist’s instruction but there were three pills in the bottle. I took one pill, felt fine, and 30 minutes later, the nurse called my name. The energetic male nurse asked if I was ” feeling good” to which I responded “I feel pretty normal”.   He said “aw, we’ll take you back anyway.”  – What was that supposed to mean?

We got to the room where after being attached to a finger oxygen reader, blood pressure monitor, and thermometer, it became a joke that I must have been trying out for a part on Walking Dead as I had no pulse or blood pressure. I wanted to bust out my best zombie groan but couldn’t muster up the strength given how anxious I was feeling.  A few minutes later a nurse entered the room with a brand new set of vital checking tools and sure enough I had a pulse and decent blood pressure!  Hooray! :).

Cervical Facet Joint and Nerve Block

Then Dr. surgeon comes in and after a formal shake of hands, he asked me how I was feeling to which I replied “fine..just about normal” and he demandingly replied “take the other two pills”. I jokingly asked if my husband was going to have to carry me out of the facility if I took all three pills then my husband chimed in and said maybe the staff would be graced with Alicia’s showtunes performance after all three pills kicked in! Fast forward 30 minutes my knowledge all the pills did was make me tired after the procedure for about 6 hours.

Once I got into the sub-zero degree procedure room, I was asked to slide my tops and bra down and lay on the procedure table. It was much like a masseuse table with a hole where my face could rest. Then..entered two more nurses.  Between the two nurses, they learned my life story in about 3 minutes. Husband’s name, address, phone number, medical record number, etc.  – all of which I answered firmly and abruptly. I quickly learned that they were testing me to see how well the meds had taken effect. I told them that I was fine and to move forward with the procedure when Dr. surgeon jumped in to remind me to take 3 pills at once next time.

Once he started talking and prepping for the procedure I completely understood why 3 well absorbed Lorazepam would have been helpful.

He was asking for needles, writing on my back, tilting a machine this way and that way to make sure he could see the exact areas of the spine he needed to work on. Then the kicker.. “Ok Alicia, I’m going to give you a numbing shot”. Ok doc I said. One shot, two shots, three shots, four.  Five. Ok. What’s going on?  After the 5th shot, one of the nurses told Dr. Surgeon that I should be ready.   Seriously, you just gave me 5 shottttssss.  Yeow!  I felt a big fat needle with some kind of wirey thing attached to it hit my spinal column. Fun!  My hands became one with the table and and if I remember correctly I played some mad tapping tunes for my audience of Dr. Surgeon and nurses.  I was tapping all sorts of tunes on that table including Jeses Loves Me, Roar, and one I made up about getting the F off that table. Luckily no one can decipher my taps except me.

After he made sure to insert plenty of needles and wirey things and twist each of those things to his delight, the procedure was pronounced finished and I was ready to jump off the table and launch out of there like a rocket but ended up being wheeled out in a smooth wheelchair. Sweet!

Fast forward to today, not quite 24 hours after the procedure, I shed a few tears upon waking, took something for pain, and am looking forward to when the injected meds kick in in 6-7 days. You read that right.  It’s all good. I really hope this procedure works and allows me to play with the kids on the floor again, turn my neck independently of my body, do yoga, etc. all those things I haven’t been able to do in years but think I’ve pulled off pretty well.

To top it all off, Madelyn is home sick today, I still have to work, and I have to drive Sebastian 3 hours to a Boy Scout camping trip tonight.

You can learn more about Cervical Facet Block  here

I finish my story by asking WHERE IS MY HEALTHY CLONE?  Anyone?


My Favorite Work From Home Clothes

No, it’s not pajamas. 🙂  Do you have a work from home uniform? I realized today that I do.  I have.. I don’t know.. several pairs of leggings and long tops that make up my work from home uniform.  They are my go-to clothes when I know I’m not leaving the house until the evening.  Even so, sometimes I just put a necklace on and go out in my ‘uniform’.

Only after I’d been working from home for 5 years or so, did I discover that if I actually got dressed I would be more productive, energetic, and happy.  When you work from home it is important to stick to a normal routine of showering, getting dressed, and putting a little makeup on, even if your office is just down the hall.  It’s proven (by me) that when we look good, we feel good.  When we look bad, we feel bad.  Plus wearing pajamas can make you think (even if in your subconscious) that you can get back in bed anytime.

Get out of your pajamas!

On that note, I’d like to share my current work uniform with you.  It’s simple, the pieces are easy to find just about anywhere, and super comfortable, but stylish at the same time.    A couple of accessories, cute shoes, and brushed hair and you could even leave the house in your work ‘uniform’! 😉

Most of the clothes I wear I work from home are from H&M

Most of my ‘work clothes’ are from H&M.  The clothes are cheap, comfortable, available in lots of sizes.. but as to be expected when you pay $24.95 for a sweater, it may not last as long as your favorite $150 sweater.    The good thing about H&M’s prices is that you can buy a lot of things and put together several outfits for the price of one top somewhere else.

Comfortable, stylish work from home clothes

1 – H&M Melange Leggings – $9.95

2 – Oversized Knit Sweater – $24.95

3 – Dylan Muscle Tee with Drawstring – $143 (pricey but it’s a top that can be worn a lot!)

4 – Oversized sweatshirt top – $24.95

5 – Chain Necklace (available in gold and silver) – $5.95

When shopping for leggings keep in mind the thickness of them if you want them to hold ‘stuff’ in.  When I’m feeling particularly good about myself I wear thin leggings but on my off days I wear thicker leggings because they tend to hold ‘stuff’ in better.

Be mindful of others ladies and as Grechen says here, cover your ass when you’re wearing leggings!  Leggings are not to be worn with short tops. 🙂

Alicia, The Mommy Insider blog author

Relax and Enjoy “Me Time” This Fall with a $500 SpaFinder #Giveaway


When summer transitions into fall, which my daughter informed me officially happened Sunday the 22nd, I can almost feel my heart rate slow down and nerves relax.   The cooler, crisper weather has that effect on me.   Don’t get me wrong, I do not have a desire to live any more north than Georgia.. ever.   I’m not trying to freeze myself.   I have no problem admitting that I tend to be a rather uptight person.  Between running my business from home, keeping house, getting the kids to and from everywhere, helping with homework, taking care of myself, making sure the kids bathe and eat, and breathing, I get a little overwhelmed sometimes.

When my first child was about 2 years old, I learned that “me time” was necessary and made me a better mom.  While the first 10 minutes of “me time” didn’t always feel great because I felt so guilty for leaving my son so that I could have ‘me time’, it was the ensuing 50 minutes that changed my mood and my behavior towards myself and my family for the better.

Fast forward 12 years, 1 more child, 11 years of business growth, and general aging, – I barely remember what “me time” feels like.  That’s why I’ve vowed to take ‘me time’ this Fall and this is how I’m going to do it!

How to relax this fall

How I Plan to Relax this Fall

  1. Beautify my flower gardens
  2. Get a massage and pedicure
  3. Read
  4. Play with the kids in the backyard
  5. Work outside – business work.. work on the computer.. you get what I mean can you help find ways to relax this fall. You can find savings now on SpaFinder gift cards!  Make sure to check out’s SpaFinder coupons before scheduling your Spa visit!

Did you know that, founded in 1998, is the 42nd largest website in the U.S.?  They are well equipped and ready to share coupons for every type of service you could need!

How do you plan to relax this fall?

Win A $500 Gift Card!

I am excited to partner with and the bloggers listed below to offer one lucky reader $500 SpaFinder e-Gift Card! You could win $500 to relax to your heart’s content this fall!

Participating Bloggers

Jolly Mom
The Divine Miss Mommy
Dear Crissy
Simply Stacie
In the Kitchen with KP
The Shopping Mama
The Not So Blog
The Mommy Insider
Go Graham Go
Atlanta Green Mom

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