Monday, December 24, 2012

you should read this. yes - YOU.

I never really know what exactly may come out of my fingers when I sit down to blog. 

Most bloggers have a plan, they have notes or thoughts already formed for their posts before they even sit down. They have lists... I rarely do that. If I do have a plan or a thought - I forget it by the time I sit down to type it up. Or I forget where I put the list...

But sometimes when I sit down to post, something inspires me & the blogging part of my brain works with my fingers and types out a beautiful, sorrowful, depressing or joyous post. Or maybe my posts are entirely incoherent and it's just that none of you are telling me... But until you tell me differently, I'll say each post is a work of art. It flows like a river and I sit here and watch it unfold on my screen. Almost like a part of me disconnects and I'm on the outside watching.

It may touch someone with my words. Or maybe nobody even reads them anyway...

As I sat down to begin this particular post, it started out a little something like this: 

"I'm working throughout the holidays this year - with only a brief 4 days off for a quick trip to California for some Niece Time before heading back to work on New Year's Eve. I get to ring in the new year at the Behavioral Health hospital - since I work the overnight shift... Should be good times! It feels weird having to work through the holidays, even though I've worked most of the holidays for years - I usually don't have to be away from my family for both Christmas and New Years. 

I just don't feel very Christmas-y this year. 

Maybe one day I'll have a normal job with normal hours. But I doubt it... 

So in an attempt to conger up some Christmas Spirit..."

And then I was going to give you a joyous Christmas song. But instead I ran into this one. It's a favorite of mine. But I'd never really listened to it. I mean, listen - listened to it.




I never read the comments on YouTube videos either. They typically consist of things like "OMG!!!! I AM SO IN LOVE WITH JUSTIN BIEBER!!!" or some other completely ridiculous nonsense I don't care anything about...

But this morning - as I gnawed on a chicken wing for breakfast, unable to get a greasy finger free to click away from YouTube - my eyes fell upon this comment & it stopped me dead in my tracks:


And right at that moment I was overcome by emotions - both good and bad. Good emotions - as I remember how much I cherish being with my loved ones on Christmas.


The past few years I have spent Christmas Eve at my sister's house so that I can be there to see my niece's face when she first sees the presents stacked under the Christmas tree.



Bad emotions: I won't be there tomorrow morning and it feels absolutely terrible. I will be driving home from work - to a house full of sleeping dogs and a sleeping Senior Citizen as most families are sitting down to Christmas breakfast. 

Lake is frozen over
Trees are white with snow
And all around 
Reminders of you
Are everywhere I go



Before my family departed from our South Georgia home - a move that inadvertently changed our lives forever (how could it not?) - I'd spent the past few Christmas Eves at my best friend's house with her & her family. I have no children, Niece wasn't born yet and Christmas tends to lose a bit of it's magic when children aren't around.

It's been over 6 years since I've seen my best friends. The people I love and cherish the most are far away from me - and from each other. Which means I'll never be able to spend my holidays with all of them - together - again. I have my hockey friends here - but we have no hockey. We always celebrate the holidays together now - with hockey.

It's late and morning's in no hurry
But sleep won't set me free
I lie awake and try to recall
How your body felt beside me



Life changes, circumstances change, you have to leave behind people who are important to you. Sometimes the unimaginable happens - you lose a loved one, your parents split up, your world gets flipped over when you least expect it. Lock-outs cancel partial or entire hockey seasons.


When silence gets too hard to handle
And the night too long


And this is how I see you
In the snow on Christmas morning
Love and happiness surround you
As you throw your arms up to the sky
I keep this moment by and by



I cherish those Christmas mornings of the past. Christmas mornings that weren't lacking one of my parents, Christmas mornings when I was able to hug my niece or stay up late watching movies with my best friends. Holiday Hockey. There will be more memories...


Oh, how I miss you now, my love
Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas
Merry Christmas, my love

But today I find it difficult to shake the sadness. I have no kids, no husband, no family of my own. 99.9% of the time that doesn't really bother me too much - to be entirely honest. But at Christmas... My niece is typically a pleasant distraction. I don't have time to think about it, dwell on it, mention it in blog posts... 


I feel stranded sometimes - out here in this desert - not really here but definitely not gone. I may not be able to shake this funk today - or tomorrow. I may just be sad this Christmas. 

But I suppose that's OK. 

Sense of joy fills the air
And I daydream and I stare
Up at the tree and I see
You're a star up there


I have my memories - and my future. 


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Shock & Horror.

I started my 12 Days of Christmas Music postings... but now I don't feel much like posting Christmas music. The news of another mass shooting - this one in an Elementary school in a quiet Connecticut town that hadn't even seen a homicide in 10 years - has drained the Christmas spirit right out of my body. Which is nothing compared to what happened to those children and their teachers, principal & school psychologist. It's nothing compared to what their families will forever be reminded of every time the holiday season rolls around. The senseless loss of a daughter, a son, a wife, sister, brother, mother...

And for what - everyone keeps asking? Why did this young man kill his mother, take her guns & then take to a local elementary school & open fire? Shooting his victims several times each? That's not just murder - that's viscous intent. Viscous, malicious & every other word one could use to describe the unspeakable. Then to escape the consequences of his malicious attack, he turned the gun on himself. Leaving no chance for justice or closure for his victims' families. Everyone has started to point fingers - in search of an explanation:

"He was autistic. That must have caused him to lose it..." It's not likely. Violence isn't a side effect of his particular condition.

"He was withdrawn & strange as a teen. He didn't talk much... Those are the ones you have to worry about..." No - they're not. I'm quiet & withdrawn - always have been. But I have trouble killing a bug. I could never open fire on children. Or adults. Or even animals.

As a professional in the field of behavioral health I want to pull these grieving families aside & tell them to stop looking for the killer's motive. It won't help, it won't bring back their babies, wives or other loved ones lost in this tragedy. Furthermore - there's simply no excuse for it. There's no mental disorder, no past childhood experience, no abuse or neglect that should give a person reason enough to commit so heinous a crime. I want to tell them that I'm deeply sorry - because no one should have to deal with such a horrifying situation. I feel myself absorbing their grief - a side effect of my highly sensitive personality. Tragedies such as these cripple me - however far removed from the situation I may be.

I never want to see another professional football player jumping around after a Superbowl win screaming "WE SHOCKED THE WORLD, BABY!" No. You didn't. You're a professional football player playing on a major league team. Your goal is to win the Superbowl. You train for it relentlessly - day in & day out. Save that phrase for things like this. Things that don't - and hopefully won't - happen every year & be trained for & set as a goal far in advance. Superbowl wins don't shock me. Opening fire on classrooms of 6 year olds shocks me & the entire world.

My niece is 6 years old. I thank my lucky stars, or God, or the Universe - whatever entity controls us all - that she doesn't live in Newtown, Connecticut. I'm grateful that my sister has the ability to keep her home & homeschool her. I'm terrified of sending my future children to school at the risk of this happening again. I'm grateful to my brother-in-law - who is ambitious & hard-working, making it financially possible for my sister to be able to do that. I hope I am as lucky when I have my children.

I'm grateful for the simple fact that today my niece is still alive & well. Because there are aunts today who cannot say the same of their 6 & 7 year old nieces & nephews in Newtown, Connecticut.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

12 Days of Christmas Music 2012

Day 1 - December 14th 2012

Welcome to my 2nd annual 12 Days of Christmas Music!

Music for the Morning

This year, let's start Christmas with Dino... Here are 16 of his greatest - turn it on and let it play. A wonderful way to start your day!





Friday, December 7, 2012

let's get up to speed...

My life - SURPRISE - has been a mixture of strange and crazy lately.

{via}

The biggest news right now is that I've stopped taking my anti-depressants. I've been on Zoloft or some form thereof for the better part of 12 years. I can't really explain why I stopped taking them - because I don't really know. It felt like the right decision. They were clearly not helping - my depression and anxiety have been in a steady upwards climb for the better part of 4 years - with the medication.

I'm struggling at work because being on my feet 8 hours a day is causing far more pain than I can manage. I have to push though it though - because I need to work. When I get home from work I can barely move. My back, hips, feet and every muscle in my body are screaming at me in violent protest.

And exercise - are you kidding me??? There is no exercising. There is just eating, sleeping and working. And binge eating... I've recently realized that I am quite the binge eater and my triggers are numerous and daily. Stress, depression, working, coming home, being at home, being at work, being alone, being with others, etc, etc... All of the above and then some. I'm a nearly 365 day a year binger. There aren't many things that don't make me binge eat. And there are few things in life that make me happy other than sleeping and eating. Everything else causes pain. The food does too ultimately - but not nearly as much as the other parts of life. I feel no shame about it - though I should.

I'm struggling. Just writing this makes me want to go back to bed. With a nice big bowl of Cocoa Pebbles. Believe it or not though, I am better than I was on anti-depressants. I can feel things again - but I'm overly emotional. I think that's because I have 12 years of missed emotions to catch up on. My mood swings are rather violent and unpredictable but I'm learning to control them on my own. I get panicky about things that are small potatoes in the grand scheme of things - but that doesn't make them any less panic-inducing.

How do you handle your stressors? Have you taken anti-depressants in the past or are you currently? 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

2012 Hollywood Dance Recital


For those of you that follow me on Instagram - and/or are on my personal Facebook page - you've probably already seen all these photos from last weekend. If you haven't - you fail as a stalker. 

For the select few of you who haven't seen them yet, this is my photographic memoir of my niece's annual Dance Recital with Hollywood Dance - which was this past weekend in Lake Elsinore, CA. 

Enjoy... 








My niece performed in 5 numbers this year. I only managed to get good pictures of 4 of the outfits - and a really bad on-stage picture of her outfit for her duet. We were a bit pressed for time during a costume change or two...

(Niece is on the left) They did an adorable little tap dance to "I Want Candy".



Here are their "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" outfits. 

Cute!



And an on-stage shot of their dance:



For ballet, Niece and her class danced to an acoustic version of "Part of Your World" from The Little Mermaid

Below is probably my favorite photo from the entire weekend. It was taken during dress rehearsal - and from the looks of it, Niece (left) is helping Carly (right) with her stage fright. In reality, she had her held down so she could get her attention and ask her a question. HA! 


                                                                              


The cheer routine to "Girlfriend" was the only one Niece (second from the left) was nervous about. The Kid doesn't know the meaning of the word "stage fright" - but she was nervous about the lift she had to do in this routine. She had to hold Brooke (far right) up for about 5 seconds and she was scared to death she was going to drop her. 

Note: she did not drop her. She held her steady through-out both performances and a dress rehearsal. 





This was my favorite number of the entire show. They danced to "Tea Party" from the new Alice in Wonderland movie in the most adorable costumes EVER! 





Here's a few miscellaneous candid shots from the weekend...








Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Not only is today Thanksgiving - it is also the 49th anniversary of the death of a great American president. A president who envisioned a peaceful nation we've yet to realize today. So in remembrance of that president on the anniversary of his death, a quote I think is quote befitting of John Fitzgerald Kennedy:



Saturday, November 10, 2012

Beauty is an attitude.


"Be your own kind of beautiful." ~ Marilyn Monroe


We all like to smell beautiful, feel beautiful & BE beautiful. The perfect scents coupled with the best skin care products can make a girl feel & look like a million bucks. 

My idol - the immortal Marilyn Monroe - taught us that we should all be our own unique kind of beautiful. She is my greatest inspiration in life. Her many complexities, talents & troubles may never be fully understood - but from her life & legacy I learned many important lessons. Not the least of which is that beauty may seem to be skin deep in this superficial world we live in - but when your beauty shines from the inside, it can't be ignored. 

I'd like to introduce you to my new Etsy shop:

To celebrate my Grand Opening, I'm offering free shipping on any order shipped within the Continental United States for a limited time. 

Even the natural beauty of Marilyn Monroe required the right skin care. My products are designed to take the guess work out of beautiful skin. While you're out there conquering the world ladies, you needn't worry about your skin. I've got you covered. You concentrate on your own unique legacy & let my products assist you by taking the guesswork out of perfect skincare. My goal is to help you to feel & look your own unique kind of beautiful. 

This shop is the product of my 8 year quest to formulate the perfect line of natural bath & body products. I don't believe in using pre-made bases for my products. What you purchase here is made by me, from scratch, in my kitchen. As such, you will never find any nasty, dangerous chemicals in my products. I prefer quality over quantity. 

These gentle yet effective products are formulated with only the finest, purest ingredients. My scent oils are researched extensively and the companies I choose to do business with are chosen for their safety & commitment to quality, natural ingredients. 

I use organic ingredients when possible & only purchase organic butters and base oils. I do not test my products on animals. You are getting only the highest quality ingredients when you purchase my products. I hope you love them as much as I do!

Why would you put water in your body butter?

Introducing the first release in my Natural Bath & Body Line, a rich, creamy decadent body butter called Carnival by Be.
Carnival by Be Skin Butter is a sweet scent reminiscent of county fairs in the fall. It is a divine mix of Cotton Candy, Jasmine & Musk. Prepare for compliments! Not only on the extreme softness of your skin - but you'll also smell so good you may develop an entourage of sniffers!

(A fragrance free version is available for you super-sensitive folks. See my store for more information.)

A freshly prepared batch of Carnival by Be Skin Butter

RECOMMENDED USAGE & TIPS:
To get the optimal benefits of this concoction of fabulous butters, I recommend applying it to your full body - concentrating on the rough bits (elbows, heels, cracked skin, etc) immediately after you get out of the bath or shower. The butter will easily melt into your damp, warm skin. It is perfect for dry climates & winter weather and it's a miracle for dry cracked feet, elbows & hands. It will last all day & will also last through several hand washes.


**In warmer climates this delicate butter may melt in transit. You can return your butter to a solid form by putting it in the refrigerator until it re-hardens. It will also re-harden after a few hours at room temperature.**

INGREDIENTS:

Here are some of the highlights of my base ingredients:

Organic Unrefined Shea Butter:
When it comes to skin loving & softening ingredients, Shea butter is way ahead of the pack. This 100% natural Shea butter is extracted from wild kernels of Shea tree fruits. It remains in its unrefined state in my butter as the refining process strips it of its beneficial skin-loving nutrients. It helps to protect, soften and regenerate dry, dehydrated or sensitive skin. It is *safe & beneficial for all skin types.

*you should not use Shea butter if you have a known allergy to tree nuts.

Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil:
I have been a coconut oil lover for years. I keep a jar in my bathroom & use it for a number of cosmetic reasons: as a gentle make-up remover (it even gets off waterproof mascara!), as a face lotion & to smooth & condition fly-away hair. It is said to delay wrinkles & sagging skin - helping us to age gracefully. I also use it as an eye cream & have noticed that the elasticity of my skin has improved dramatically with continued use. Coconut oil also helps in treating various skin problems including psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema and other skin conditions. As a body lotion however, I felt it needed a boost. Shea butter was just what it needed.

Sweet Almond Oil:
High in Vitamin E, sweet almond oil is a skin necessity. It hydrates and moisturizes, has been used as a treatment for itchy and dry skin, and may help skin conditions like eczema.



**This lotion contains no preservatives - they are unnecessary as I use no water or other fillers. It has a shelf life of approximately one year. I make your butter when you order it so you will receive only the freshest products. Slight variations in color & texture may occur due this. Some formulations may contain organic, aluminum free corn starch or arrowroot powder to remove some of the greasiness.*** 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

I haven't had much exciting to blog about lately...


My life is relatively crappy at the moment. My main focus right now is on the fact that I am still not feeling very well. So instead of boring you with daily posts on that, I haven't blogged. My allergies are going crazy, I'm having daily headaches that frequently turn into migraines, my back & joints constantly ache & I'm still struggling to pull myself up out of the anemia hole. I have days of feeling "ok" and days of sheer exhaustion for no apparent reason. I frequently run a low grade fever with no known cause. My goal at the moment is to survive my 40 hour work weeks without collapsing. That remains a daily struggle. I wake up, shower, go to work, work, drive home, eat, collapse on the bed, sleep... repeat. Everyday. On my sporadic days off - I sleep. I have little energy for anything else.

A few weeks ago I had my follow-up post-op appointment with my OBGYN. She says that nothing was found during the D & C or Hysteroscopy to indicate why I went through that bleeding hell. I'm not surprised. That's both relieving and frustrating. If there had been some sort of diagnosis, something to treat - I might feel better.I'd have a direction to move in. But where do I go from here? My doctor says I should start taking birth control pills to regulate my cycle. But to me that's nothing but a band-aid. So what am I going to do now? I have no earthly idea... Yesterday I went to my primary care doctor to get him to draw some more blood and do some more tests. I hope that maybe those tests can give me some clue as to why I feel like shit ALL THE TIME

Friday, August 24, 2012

Post-op Report


Well I made it out of the surgery alive. Which I must admit - I was afraid wouldn't happen. I'm overly dramatic, I know. But still, it could happen. Glad it didn't.

What did happen however, is that everything seems to have gone well and I have a follow-up appointment with my OBGYN to discuss her findings and the biopsy results in 2 weeks. I assume she saw nothing of note in there. I'm sure she would've told me had she found a little troll in there terrorizing my uterus.

I think if there were such things as uterine trolls - they'd definitely look like this.
Green with a large club and some sort of loin cloth outfit thing.
Yah...

The Senior Citizen - who accompanied me to the outpatient surgery center - said my doctor showed him before and after pictures of my uterine lining. In full color. I think that was something he could have gone the rest of his life without ever having seen. When I asked what it looked like he said "the before one was really thick. The after one was really thin."

Thanks Father... Hopefully my doctor will have saved those. I'd like to see exactly how much she took out. I'm curious like that. So - I have no new knowledge as of right now as to what is wrong with me. But I'm not bleeding anymore and I can go back to work on Monday.

I do have one nice surgery memento (sike!): an extremely sore throat from the anesthesia tube. Holy crap. If I had known that the pain from that would be worse than the surgery itself... I still would've had the surgery - I just would've been a bit more prepared I guess. I can't eat, can't swallow anything. I'm living on Dunkin Donuts' Orange Coolatta's.



Thursday, August 16, 2012

Blood, Gore & Lady Parts: This post is not for the faint of heart.


Here I sit, confined to my bed, miserable, anemic and feeling like I'm bleeding to death. I have been Googling and searching my University's online library in hopes of finding even one story, or one person who could relate to what I'm going through. I found that person, her name is Holly Bridges and she wrote a book entitled UNHysterectomy.

I located Holly on the web after finding out about her story through a journal article and shared with her my story. I'd like to share with you that same story. No one talks about irregular menstrual bleeding - menstruation is such a taboo subject in our society. And as Holly's book suggests, far too many people are having unnessecary hysterectomies because there seems to be no other solution to their bleeding problems. Holly shares in her book the options that women have other than that type of invasive surgery and I hope you will read her book if you find yourself in a situation similar to mine - or her's.

I'm joining the fight along with Holly in an attempt to get more information out there. I'm not ashamed of my situation and deserve a proper diagnosis and treatment. Here's an excerpt from the journal article about Holly that I'd like to share with you: 

"Women undergo radical and unnecessary hysterectomies because the silence surrounding menstrual functions means there is no push for better treatments... Women are taught that periods are embarrassing and unmentionable. But this silence hides significant suffering for the one in four women who have abnormal uterine bleeding."

"One study says these women lose an estimated $5,000 a year in wages, supplies and prescription painkillers because of the debilitating and some-times life-threatening condition. Another study cited by Bridges said women with abnormal uterine bleeding "have the same quality of life and level of function as heart attack and stroke victims entering rehabilitation." But "these women are not in rehab or even in hospital. They are at work, on the soccer field, in the grocery store or on the bus, struggling to stay afloat," she says. And most of these women are offered no options but a hysterectomy, which often involves removal of the Fallopian tubes and ovaries and, frequently, deep abdominal cuts." 

(Citation: Page, S. (2012, Apr 23). Author shows alternatives to hysterectomy; in Dr. Sony Singh, Holly Bridges found a non-invasive solution to a debilitating problem. The Vancouver Sun, pp. D.3. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1009424562?accountid=7374)

So here's my story... 

{image via}
I'm 32 years old, have no children and have never been pregnant - though mothering is definitely on my life's "to-do" list. About three years ago I bled for 6 months. My doctors could find nothing abnormal, had no explanation for it what so ever. Maybe I had PCOS - but from my test results it didn't seem likely. My hormone levels were all normal, thyroid; normal, there were no cysts, nothing wrong with my uterus, they saw no cause what so ever for the bleeding. 

I then had a biopsy done and it came back normal too. Which is wonderful, but why couldn't I stop bleeding? I went through several different kinds of medications and treatments in an attempt to stop it. The worst of which were an entire month's worth of birth control pills administered in large dosages over the course of 3 days - that did nothing to even slow the bleeding but did make me constantly nauseated. I missed several days of work due to the amount of blood I was losing and the ill effects of my unsuccessful "treatments". 

My (then) doctor's next brilliant idea was to perform a Dilation & Curettage (or D&C as is it more commonly known) to "clean out" my uterus. Unfortunately, my health insurance at the time was crap and I'd have to pay a co-pay of $5000.00 to have it done. So I was resigned to my fate, I was apparently just going to bleed to death. From my vagina... Luckily, the bleeding finally stopped after I researched online to find some "natural" remedies. I was taking a concoction of roots and berries and everything else I could find in hopes that a natural way would be the answer. I don't know if that is what finally stopped my bleeding, but eventually it did stop. 

The herbs did not however, fix my irregular menstrual cycle. Over the course of the past three years I've been on a menstrual roller coaster. There's no rhyme or reason to my periods - there's no predicting them. The first year following the 6 months of abnormal uterine bleeding, I had a light period every few months. Then they started to get heavier and more painful. It wasn't unusual for me not to have one for up to 6 months at a time. Then the following one would be so awful I couldn't get out of bed. I tried more herbs, some creams, birth control pills, exercise, yoga... but nothing would regulate my cycles. Sometimes I'd just spot for an entire month. Sometimes I'd bleed heavily for 2 or 3 weeks. Sometimes I'd bleed for a day, skip a few days, then bleed some more. Over the past few months they have been slightly more predictable - occurring about every 3 months or so - give or take a month. They lasted anywhere from a week to 4 weeks and were accompanied not only by extreme cramps but also migraine headaches. 

On June 22nd of this year, I had been spotting for a few days and found myself at work sitting in a pool of blood. Without any warning, it had just started gushing out. Humiliated and in terrible pain, I was sent home. The bleeding hasn't stopped since then. I have been bleeding heavily now for 57 days. I am anemic and on medical leave from work because I can't perform my job duties in my present condition. I am on bed rest. This time is far worse than the last time, and I was pretty certain it was the worst thing that had ever happened in my life THEN. Now I feel like I'm disabled. I can't even leave the house. My doctor - God bless her - is far better than the last one I had. We did more blood tests - everything is again normal, normal, normal! Except that I'm anemic. That's not normal. 

This time however, an ultrasound showed that my uterus is enlarged and that the uterine lining - despite two months of heavy bleeding - is still twice the size it should be. My doctor put me on Provera - which is Medroxyprogesterone, used to treat irregular vaginal bleeding. The bleeding slowed some while I was on the 10 day cycle of Provera - but didn't even come close to stopping. And to add more excitement - it was accompanied by severe cramping and more migraine headaches. I took my last dose of Provera last Monday and by Tuesday the bleeding was back with a vengeance. It has been steadily increasing since - as have the amounts of blood clots I'm expelling. Which - for those who might not know - feel like constant little mini labor pains when they are on their way out. Back to the doctor I go... 

I'm scheduled to have a D&C next Wednesday, along with a uterine biopsy and hysteroscopy to hopefully identify the cause of this. But in the meantime, I can either lie in bed and bleed or take more Provera and lie in bed with slightly less bleeding but more cramps and migraines. Decisions, decisions... 

The part of this that annoys me the most is that NO ONE can figure out why I won't stop bleeding! My rebellious uterus laughs in the face of the doctors' synthetic hormones. In an act of even more defiance - my uterus is tilted, making access to my cervix extremely painful. My uterus is so sore, I can't wear tampons anymore. I hope this surgery next week provides some answers and relief from this bleeding. People have no idea what this is like. It's debilitating, humiliating, painful and uncontrollable - and it could all quite possibly end in some doctor telling me that the only way to stop it is to remove my internal lady parts - and with them, my hopes of ever having my own children. 

If there are any of you out there who are experiencing similar symptoms - or have in the past, I'd love to hear your comments. 1 in 4 women have irregular menstrual bleeding, as we learned earlier in this post. That means that at least a few of you have experienced it - maybe not to the extent that I have - but I would love to hear your stories. Feel free to leave a comment in the comments section or email me at mcwhorter.heather(at)gmail(dot)com

Monday, August 13, 2012

If you hate blood, this post's not for you.


How is it that no one in the medical profession knows what's wrong with me? With all the technology, scientific advances and education we have these days, why is it that none of these doctors can figure out why I just won't stop bleeding???

That's it. It's official. I have Heather McWhorter's disease.

In a week and 2 days I go have surgery. This *might* stop the bleeding.... The bleeding that has now been going on for 52 days.

Wait... WHAT?!?!

So now I am officially a full blown anemic from all this blood loss. I fainted on Thursday. I came close to doing it again this morning. BECAUSE THEY TOOK MORE BLOOD!

Those doctors keep taking more blood... I don't understand. To a normal person this would be DUMB. My PCP didn't like my OBGYN's test results - so he had to take some blood to test for himself. Today they called to tell me I need to come back in to discuss the results. That's never good.

My OBGYN wanted to test it all again today - even though I just had it done by my PCP before the fainting on Thursday. So now she has me on bed rest until after the surgery. That means no going to work, no exercising and even (gasp) NO SHOPPING! Can you imagine? Glad my Kindle is well stocked.

This blows... 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Green Smoke eCigs


Disclaimer:
*This is not a sponsored post - though I did get stuff for free, it wasn't in exchange for a blog post. It was because I won a contest. I'm writing this post because well... because I just wanna.*

A few weeks back I entered a contest on Pinterest. The website Green Smoke asked us to choose our favorite of their new battery designs on their website and create a pinboard on Pinterest with pictures of them. So I did, not really thinking I'd win - but thinking that their New Orleans Battery was pretty freakin' awesome.  

AmIRight??? Is is not freakin' awesome?


I had never tried any of their products - though I do follow them on Twitter and Facebook because I investigated their products when I was first shopping for vapor cigarettes to replace my regular cigarette smoking habit. Ultimately though, I initially chose Blu eCigs over their's because they were cheaper and seemed to be of similar quality. They also came with a travel case/battery charger that I thought was pretty awesome. 

I was wrong about the similar quality part though. The Blu cig flavor cartridges are slightly better in terms of taste compared to Green Smoke's, but ultimately I ended up spending more on Blu Cigs because I had problems with the charger case. It stopped charging after a month. The company didn't replace it after I complained but I still decided to give it another try - so I bought another one. It did the same exact thing. After 30 days the batteries stopped charging in the case and they wouldn't always hold a charge - even after charging them in the wall or USB charger. Their products ended up being faulty and unreliable - which was a disappointment. 

So last week I get an email informing me that I'd won Green Smoke's little Pinterest contest and that my prize - drum roll please - was a credit for $250 dollars worth of their merchandise! HOLY CRAP! I felt like I'd won the lottery. So I went shoppin'!

One of my favorite things about Green Smoke was their sparkly carrying case. So that went in my shopping cart first. Even though it does not charge the batteries, so far it doesn't matter. The batteries have yet to run out of power on me - I can smoke them for at least 2 days before having to charge them.


Then of course, I got my snazzy New Orleans Designer Battery. My next pick was their Green Smoke Pro Starter Kit - which contains all the necessities:

  • 1 Long Rechargeable Electric Cigarette Battery
  • 1 Short Rechargeable Electric Cigarette Battery
  • 2 Packs of FlavorMax Cartomizers (10 Cartomizers)
  • 1 USB Cigarette
  • 1 USB Charger
  • 1 High Powered Wall Adapter
  • 1 High Powered Car Adapter
  • 1 Green Smoke User Guide and Membership Card



  • Then finally, I picked up some extra cartomizers to try out...


    The verdict is still out on how these eCigs will work long term - but I got them in a matter of days and have already been using them for about 4 days. So far so good. Oh - and I've already lost one of the batteries. The short one... which was also the pink one :( hopefully it will turn up somewhere... I'm also sad that the cartomizers aren't very flavorful - but hopefully Green Smoke will get that part straightened out! 

    Friday, July 20, 2012

    Heather McWhorters Disease

    I like WTF? blog post titles that only tie in to a small portion of the post in it's entirety. That makes the reader have to work to figure out how the title ties into the post. Sometimes it doesn't really. This time it kinda does. Keep reading... 

    Just in case anyone was worried - I was not asphyxiated by a Suicide Asphyxiation Assassin Fly in my sleep last night. So you can all relax, because I'm sure you were worried. His 24 hours must have run out first. I got lucky.

    Today I went to the doctor, for lots of poking and prodding and blood draws. Which I think was a rather stupid thing to do to a possibly anemic person who has already lost too much blood. But I'm no doctor... I've decided to write about this illness and my experiences with it - even though people don't like to read about lady bit problems. But there must be someone out there with the same problem as me. No one seems to be able to figure out why I just won't stop bleeding. But I'm persistent in that "I won't leave you alone until you give me an official diagnosis" kinda way. And if there isn't a diagnosis they can give me, then I'm going down in the history books and will get my very own disease named after me. Something like Heather McWhorters Disease. Hmmm. I don't like it. I'll have to work on the name a bit.

    And here's something far more pleasant than bleeding vaginas...


    Music for the Morning




    Thursday, July 19, 2012

    A house fly is trying to murder me.



    There's a fly in my bedroom. 


    He's a TOTAL asshole. I think he hates me. But I should be the one hating him - it's MY BEDROOM!


    He keeps landing on my forehead so I will smack myself repeatedly in the forehead as I try to kill him. 


    I imagine he's one of those flies that says stuff like "why ya hittin' yourself?" every time he does it. Like an annoying uncle. Or big brother or sister. Because that's exactly the kind of stuff asshole flies would say, right? But only they'd say it in whatever language flies speak. 


    I also suspect that he plans to choke me in my sleep tonight. He's a very condescending fly. 

    Which may be self defense because in all fairness, I was trying to kill him first. But I think there's a statute of limitations on the whole self defense thing. Though statute of limitations might not be the right phrase to use here. I've been watching too many episodes of Drop Dead Diva on NetFlix...


    But my point is that if he waits until I am defenseless to kill me, then it would be premeditated murder. And no one would ever believe that a fly killed me so I'm telling you all now. If I die of asphyxiation in my sleep tonight - check my throat for flies. 


    OH MY GOD HE'S A SUICIDE ASPHYXIATION ASSASSIN! 


    Also - I think that panicking about murderous flies is probably commonplace when you've had abnormally massive amounts of blood loss from your vagina. At least, I hope so. If I die from massive amounts of blood loss, also blame the fly. Even though that part wasn't his fault. 


    But take him to trial quick, I heard somewhere that flies only live 24 hours. 


    But back to the vagina bleeding - that's been going on for exactly 34 days. That's too personal for a blog post? I no longer care. You try bleeding for 34 days and tell me how inappropriate my blog venting is. In fact, you try bleeding constantly for 34 days straight - from anywhere - and not murdering someone. For the last 6 days I have been unable to get out of bed for longer than an hour or so at a time. THAT's what bleeding for 34 days does to you too. And it causes complications with your crazy. As in, it makes your crazy worse.


    Now, if anyone knows how to make vagina bleeding stop, I'm all ears. If not, I'm going to bed to meet my fate with the annoying uncle fly. Remember - check my throat for flies. 

    Tuesday, July 17, 2012

    Blue Skies...

    Music for the Morning

    Sometimes, for no reason at all
    You just have to believe 

    That they're right around the corner
    Those elusive blue skies...

    Maybe they've been there all along...

    You just weren't looking up. 

    Look up, Buttercup.


    {via}


    Sunday, July 8, 2012

    Unique.

    I was laying in bed - which by the way is where I have my best blog post ideas - and came up with a great idea for a blog post. I had it all written out in my head. It was awesome. All about uniqueness.

    Then I forgot it....

    So I got up , seeing as I couldn't go back to sleep anyway - and tried to start writing it. I was hoping that once I started to write, my memory would be triggered and all my great ideas would come back to me. That didn't happen... because I got distracted by all the crazy shit that came up when I googled the word "unique".

    Like this:



    No, that's not an artist's rendition of a pound of fat - it's a silk hat. Apparently...

    So instead of a deep, intellectual blog post all about the inter-workings of the human psyche, here's more talking animals...



    Thursday, July 5, 2012

    Fully Alive.


    For as long that I can remember I have battled depression, fought and repressed anxiety, and been in constant battle with myself - thus creating my own little personal mental hell. You wouldn't know this unless you knew me really well. You may think you DO know me well - but there are very few people who actually do. I'm careful about who I let in. I like to hide "me". I hide from opening myself up to others, rather well in fact. Those who get too close I often push away. And those who approach me with a genuine interest in knowing me, I frequently attempt to scare off quickly. Some of you persist - and I love you for it... 

    Very few people have been allowed to see who I really am. I knew from a very early age that people were cruel, mean and sometimes down right nasty. I had a hard time deciphering between the good ones and the bad ones - at the time. So I simply avoided them all. Now I am better at deciphering, but I still avoid them all. Old habits die hard I suppose.

    I do this because my conversations - with everyone - inevitably turn to my weight and how I need to lose some of it because it most certainly can't be good for me. You're just concerned for me... right? Like being overweight is a death sentence. (contrary to popular opinion - it's not. fat people live to ripe old ages too. skinny people become diabetics, people who are slim also have knee replacements, hip replacements and any other ailment that is commonly termed a "fat disease".) I've only had two friends in my life who didn't try to change me - but gently encouraged me to be the best person I could be. Two. 

    This past weekend I asked myself a very important question... At what point in my life did I allow someone else's opinion of me to outweigh my own? And who was this person anyway? I can't even remember - I don't know if the person ever even existed or if it was just "society as a whole" that I felt was against me. Because they are. Fat people are second class citizens. We get judged before we say a word. We are labeled as undisciplined, stupid and just plain lazy. But I realized that I actually really like who I am - so why on earth am I hiding? Why am I allowing other people to dictate my happiness?

    It mostly has to do with my weight. 


    Well let me tell you a little story... I've been fat all my life. That's right - I said FAT. We all need to stop being so scared of that word. It is arguably one of the most taboo words in American culture. No one wants to ever become that dreaded word - fat. 

    "Ohhhh my GAWD I ate a cupcake! I better do an extra 30 minutes on the treadmill!"


    No. Eat your goddam cupcake and don't apologize for it.



    Hey... everyone?

    Fat isn't a bad word - it's a descriptive word. Like tall, fair, sharp and new. I reject society's attitude toward me and all the other fat people in the world. I realize that I've managed to put off basically everything important in life until I "lost some weight" because everyone always told me I wouldn't be able to do anything until I "got some of that weight off..."

    Hey - guess what... I've accomplished quite a lot with all this extra weight on and I'm not going to keep waiting to live my life until I reach some unrealistic ideal of myself. 32 years is long enough to wait. I've always been fat, I've never been skinny - but what I have always been is HEALTHY. All of my vitals are normal, I am not a diabetic, or even a borderline diabetic.

    "You'd be such a pretty girl if you just lost a little weight...." I can't tell you how many times I've heard this through-out my life. Guess what... I'm a pretty woman now. And a few extra pounds doesn't change that.

    I can't even really pinpoint the time in my life at which this disordered thinking started. But for some reason last weekend it really hit me like a brick to the head that I was being my own worst enemy. Why on earth would I treat myself that way?


    After much pondering and introspection - I have decided that I don't care anymore.

    Today I end a lifelong battle with myself. Not in the future when I fit into smaller clothes. Not when I finally have the perfect job, the perfect house, the perfect living situation and the perfect family. I start living for me today. Today I start being comfortable in my own skin. I don't remember a time when I wasn't on a diet or planning my next diet. 


    Where has it gotten me?

    Nowhere but fatter.

    So I quit. Today I embrace me. The good AND the bad. 


    And there's plenty of both...



    Who am I?

    I'm whiney, messy, moody and can get a little out of control. I can be selfish and I can be overly generous. I hate to clean and cook - unless I'm in the mood for it - and I'm always late for everything. ALWAYS.

    I'm creative, brilliant, stylish, beautiful, dedicated, fascinating and excellent at writing things that make you feel... My pluses outweigh my minuses but most people don't wait around to see. They judge the outer package.

    Good riddance to all those people. I have finally discovered the truth: I never needed people like you anyway...



    Music for the Morning

     


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