Oh It’s Real Yar Shug

I am not always graceful or dignified. Especially when it comes to handling my body or my medical conditions. Despite being grateful for many things over the last few years, I have never actually thanked my body. In fact I blame it. I have had to grow accustomed to living through pain and discomfort daily or I would never get out of bed each morning.

The last 6 weeks have been a rough time for me medically. After two inpatient hospital admissions my asthma continued to flare at home. I was taking crazy high doses of prednisone and doing breathing treatments at home every 2-3 hours hoping to keep me out of the hospital for a third time. During this time my blood sugars spiked to the point where we had to start me on daily 24 hour insulin. That sucks balls but breathing is more important than sticking myself with a needle daily. Besides, I’m already used to self-administering my IV treatment for my hereditary angioedema so an insulin needle is nothing!

Despite the mega prednisone dose and frequent nebulizer treatments, my breathing kept worsening to the point where I would get so out of breath just walking upstairs or going to the bathroom. I would have to sit down afterwards for several minutes and catch my breath. I couldn’t talk in complete sentences. I started coughing up thick grey and green shit too.

Finding the balance of when it’s time to go to the hospital versus continuing home treatment is not a clear cut decision for me. We have to weigh the risks of exposure to mercaptobenzothiazole, catching some nasty infection from being immunocompromised, or exposure to coronavirus over the potential benefits of treatment the hospital can provide me that I don’t have access to at home like IV magnesium and nebulized epinephrine to open up my airways.

We finally made the decision to go to the hospital for treatment after my doctors told me “You’re playing with fire Amy!” Due to coronavirus restrictions, NO ONE (not even your spouse or family members) is allowed inside the emergency room or hospital with you. I waited 3.5 hours in the emergency room waiting room for a treatment bed despite my breathing status because the hospitals are that overloaded. And I was the priority patient in the waiting room due for the next bed! By the time I was called for a room, the nurse had to assist me and call for help because I had so little air movement in my lungs. I was immediately given nebulized epinephrine, multiple albuterol treatments, IV magnesium, and IV steroids to open my airways. They continued double albuterol treatments every 2 hours and told me I was being admitted to the intermediate care unit just below ICU.

Due to the higher level care room I required, I remained boarded in the emergency room for the next 30 hours because so few of those rooms are available compared to a regular room. I got virtually no sleep and was receiving nebulizer treatments every 2 hours plus IV steroids every 6 hours. I don’t know how anyone could sleep on a stretcher with no pillow anyway.

Over the next few days my breathing began to make slow steady progress. But the high doses of IV steroids made my blood sugars even higher. Now we had to start administering insulin after every meal in addition to the 24 hour insulin I was given each night after dinner. My arm looked like a pin cushion! 😄

As a patient in the hospital they also give you daily shots in the belly to help prevent blood clots. These fuckers sting like hell and often bruise me. The first shot left such a nasty bruise that it looks like a birth mark! The following day it ended up bleeding through my gown so we had to bandage it up for a little while.

Bleeding bruise after shot for preventing blood clots

My doctors originally told me to plan on being in the hospital for one week which I wasn’t thrilled about. But since this was my third admission in 6 weeks I also didn’t want to be discharged too early again only to end up back a fourth time. The hospitals are overloaded with patients and COVID pop up units are occurring all over the hospitals due to the rising numbers of positive patients. This is spreading all of the healthcare workers thin and negatively impacting patient care. My hospital stay was extended by a few additional days because healthcare workers missed scheduled breathing treatments for me multiple times. This caused huge setbacks in my breathing so we had to spend three days in a row rapidly increasing medications and nebulizer treatments to get my respiratory symptoms stable. After a 10 day hospital admission we finally got my breathing stable enough for me to safely come home.

There is no cure or treatment end date I am working towards. My conditions are a permanent part of me. As much as I hate to admit it, they control so much, including my appearance. The pregnant looking belly, swollen distorted face, buffalo humps on my neck and shoulders, the sideburns, my hair thinning and falling out, and bruises everywhere. I certainly do not meet society’s conventional standard of beauty. There’s sort of a pirate quality to my appearance. Oh it’s real “Yar” shug!

Swollen from high dose prednisone

While I know that I don’t always appreciate my body, I am realizing how much I actually ask of it. I push it every day in spite of my diseases and it still continues to recover. So far, no matter what obstacles it faces or appearance changes it goes through, my body continues to allow me to see another day. So today, I am grateful for this new perspective, for the deep breaths I can now take, and for the reminder of what a blessing it is to be alive.

Gratitude From A to Z

It’s that time of year where comfort food is king and “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” is playing on the television. People tend to reflect on the past year and express gratitude as they come together with loved ones. But this year will look different around the world as we enter the next wave of this coronavirus pandemic.

About a month ago I read a blog post by Soni from Soni’s thoughts where she listed her favorite things from A-Z. Click here to read her post “My A-Z Fav Things!!!” It inspired me to do a similar post on things I am grateful for since Thanksgiving is right around the corner.

A= Air conditioning Cuz hot humid Maryland weather and hot flashes from the prednisone and hysterectomy make me sweat like nobody’s business and that’s just gross.

B= Blogging community The support and encouragement from bloggers I have met around the world gives me warm fuzzies 🤗💕

C= Charmin ultra soft toilet paper No other toilet paper will do. Period.

D= Delivery people 🎶 They work hard for the money. So hard for it honey. They work hard for the money so you better treat them right! 🎶 Seriously, they’re a lifesaver to me delivering my medical supplies, household items, and clothing to my house so I can remain safe at home.

E=Epipen Why thank you EpiPen for always saving my life during an anaphylactic reaction!

F=Face masks Protecting us from coronavirus, flu, and other illnesses

G= Glenn G has stood by my side throughout out our 16+ years of marriage. We have tested the “in sickness and in health” part of our vows more often than I’d like and I am grateful that he still chooses me as his wife every day.

Classic G and A shenanigans 😄

H= Home Grateful that not only do I have a roof over my head, but that it’s a home safe for me and free from all of my allergies

I= Insurance Not everyone has access to medical or dental insurance. I am EXTREMELY fortunate to have excellent medical and dental insurance coverage.

J= Jackets Protect me from mother nature’s wrath of rain, cold, wind, or snow

K= Kitty love

L= Laboratory scientists Without them your doctor is just guessing at your diagnosis

M= Memories Traveling, going to grandma’s house, all the good shit

N= Nebulizer You help me breathe

O= Orchids Instant smile watching my orchids grow

P=  Pen & paper I like having a backup when technology fails. It has also come in handy when I needed to communicate while on the ventilator and couldn’t speak. I’m not gonna let a tube down my throat stop me from cussing out someone who needs it!

Q= Quiet Who isn’t thankful for quiet time? Besides a youngin.

R= Respiratory Therapists These people bust their hump to help my breathing every time I am at the hospital. They have done everything from nebulizer treatments to assisting with intubating and extubating me. I have really bonded with a few of them over the last couple of years.

S= Showers There is nothing like that first steamy hot shower to clean your ass after being in the hospital or traveling.

T=Teeth I have strong healthy teeth that can chew my food. And food is VERY important to me 😁 Not everyone is fortunate enough to have good teeth.

U= Underwear Specifically clean underwear. No dirty drawers up in here please.

V= Veterinarians They take care of my kitties at all stages of their lives and tell me how adorable they are 😃

Tilly
Savina
Poovey

W= Water I drink it, swim in it, bathe in it, pee and poo in it, wash my clothes and dishes with it, and cook with it. We can’t live without it.

X= Xyzal It’s an antihistamine I take to help control my allergies.

Y=  You! If you are reading this post then you are a part of my life and I am grateful for that!

Z= Zippers They keep our clothes closed so we don’t expose ourselves and flash people.

So what are some things you are grateful for? Share with me your serious, silly, or sentimental thoughts in the comments below!

Stop With This

Soon after we start to utter “mama” or “dada”, we’re taught to say “please” and “thank you,” followed by “I’m sorry.” From an early age, we learn that if we do something wrong, we should apologize for it. Saying you’re sorry is an important step towards mending our wrongs. But there is a point when apologizing for the wrong things becomes counterproductive. It’s important to recognize that not everything is your burden to bear.

Many of us are guilty of saying “I’m sorry” when we don’t need to. This could be when you haven’t done anything wrong or you’re taking responsiblity for a problem that you didn’t even cause or have control over. You might even feel responsible for other people’s mistakes or inappropriate behavior. I know I have found myself saying “Sorry to bother you. I have a question.” Or “I’m sorry. I didn’t hear you. Could you repeat that?” I have apologized to people when they accidentally bump into me. I have even apologized for apologizing. Sound familiar?

Things You Don’t Need To Apologize For:

  • Spilling shit on your shirt
  • Other people’s behavior or choices
  • Having a bad hair day
  • Needing to rock a piss or take a grumper 5 minutes after getting in the car
  • Not responding immediately to messages, emails, or texts
  • Your house being messy
  • Snorting so hard that milk comes out of your nose
  • Barfing and missing the toilet or trash can

Over-apologizing shouldn’t be our first response or gut reaction yet it is for so many of us. It devalues our sincere apologies so we come across as flippant or insincere. These types of inappropriate apologies are actually roundabout ways of criticizing ourselves because we’re essentially saying, “I’m wrong” or “I’m to blame” all the time. Essentially we take the fault for all kinds of things that have nothing to do with us and we end up undermining our genuine apologies.

So Why Do We Do It?

1. You’re A People Pleaser You care about the feelings and preferences of other people. You’re don’t want to upset or disappoint them. You may also care a lot about keeping the peace and preventing conflict, so you’re more likely to say “I’m sorry” than is necessary.

2. You Feel Uncomfortable Or Awkward When we meet someone new or are introduced to a new environment, it can take a little while for us to adjust. This can be awkward or uncomfortable so we tend to over-apologize. Sometimes we don’t know what to do or say in a situation so we apologize to try to make ourselves or others feel better.

3. It’s A Bad Habit If you have been over-apologizing for a long time, you may be doing it unconsciously. It’s been reinforced by societal standards or cultural norms and has become an automatic response. We get used to apologizing for doing things wrong, doing things right, or feeling like we’re in someone’s way.

How to stop over-apologizing:

1. Pause Before Apologizing We are primed to react immediately to everything. Stop and assess the situation. Don’t rush and don’t give an apology simply because it’s better for someone else. Before saying you’re sorry, stop and ask yourself “Have I actually done anything wrong here?” If the answer is no, there is no damn reason to apologize! Our apologies are important, but they lose their value when we hand them out willy-nilly. Taking a step back will give you clarity if the apology is actually warranted.

2. Ask Yourself Whether An Apology Is Necessary Did you actually do something wrong? Are you simply falling back on an apology to avoid causing conflict? Or are you taking responsibility for someone else’s fuck up? Are you about to apologize for the right reasons? Or are you trying to take the path toward making someone else happy or comfortable?

3. Rephrase We have a tendency to apologize when needing further clarification or when asking a question. “I’m sorry, can you explain that to me again?” Instead of leading with an apology, we can simply ask the question. “Can you please explain that to me again?” When it comes to letting someone down, we tend to apologize because want to express compassion. “I’m sorry I can’t make it tonight like we planned.” We can replace the unwarranted apologies with statements like “Thank you for understanding.” Or “I hope that we can reschedule.” Just be transparent and upfront.

Of course, there are times when we all need to apologize. Heartfelt apologies can go a long way in dissolving hostility, encouraging forgiveness, and mending damaged relationships. We should apologize when we’ve done something wrong, hurt someone’s feelings, or violated someone’s boundaries. You should always apologize when you truly feel regret and remorse in your heart for actual wrongdoing.

For many of us, over-apologizing has become second nature and a tough habit to break. That being said, it’s something that takes practice to change. You won’t immediately stop over-apologizing, but the more self aware you are about it, the better you will be at recognizing how to correct it.

The Small Joys Tag

I want to thank my sweet blogger friend Brittany from mindbeautysimplicity for nominating me in this tag. 😊 She is a minimalism blogger who is also passionate about supporting other bloggers expand their network. I have really enjoyed getting to know her and her posts are filled with great nuggets of advice on decluttering and living a minimalist lifestyle. You can read her newest post “I Can’t Believe Owning Less Would Lead Me To This” here.

Finding joy in small things is something I have really tried to focus on over the last couple of years. With so much chaos, division, and negativity in the world, it’s easy to lose sight of the precious gifts surrounding us. This time of year is often a time of reflection and gratitude so I think the timing of this tag is just perfect. 😊

Here Are 25 of My Small Joys:

1. Squirrels nut butter It has a funny name but it’s a damn good product! It is mostly used by runners to help prevent chafing. But it also makes my nails grow and helps heal my cuticles and small cuts. It’s made with coconut oil, vitamin E oil, cocoa butter, and beeswax. There is also a vegan option that is made with candelilla wax instead of beeswax.

2. Hearing the smile in someone’s voice 😊

3. A glowing lantern

4. Kitty teef

5. The word Dookie 💩 You can’t say it without smiling. Go ahead try it. I’ll wait… See what I mean? 😂🤣

6. Being warm and toasty

7. The smell of fresh baked cookies

8. Corny sayings 😏🤓

9. When the car ride music is on point 🎶🎵

10. Watching my orchids bloom

11. Chicken and Waffles 🤤🤗🍗

12. Juicy buttcrack peaches 🍊😂

13. Pickle Rick! How can that silly face not bring you joy?!

Pooltime with G and our inflatable Pickle Rick 😄

14. Watching the sunrise on the beach

Sunrise in Playa Mujeres, Mexico

15. Drinking hot chocolate with marshmallows from my cupcake poot mug 1. Because I am a weirdo who doesn’t drink coffee 🤪 Yet I like the smell of freshly brewed coffee. Go figure 🤷‍♀️ 2. Because anything fart related makes me laugh 😆

16. The look of a freshly made bed

17. The ability to tie my own shoes For years I wasn’t able to bend over and tie my shoes due to hip arthritis pain. After both of my hips were replaced in 2019, I can now bend over and tie my own shoes 🤗

18. Pretty gift wrap

19. Nutella I ❤ Nutella! I put it on my waffles with fresh blueberries and strawberries, dip pretzels in it, or slather it on toast with sliced almonds and bananas 😍

20. Funny names of port a potties 😂🤣 A flush away, Don’s Johns, Bobby’s Pottys, Skid-o-can, Gotugo

If I HAD to use a port a potty, I would choose the pink one 😄

21. Completing my Duolingo French lessons for the day 😃

22. Watching Tilly look at the falling leaves outside

23. My eyelash serum Taking high doses of prednisone daily has caused a lot of my hair to thin and fall out-including my eyelashes. I started using this hypoallergenic eyelash serum a month ago and love how much my eyelashes have grown!

Before eyelash serum
After 1 month of using eyelash serum

24. Funny memes (Especially F bomb memes 🤬😅)

25. My Toms Owl Shoes How freakin’ cute are these owls?!

What small joys are in your life? Share them with me in the comments below 😃 Let’s spread joy not germs this season!

Estrangement

From the outside people saw the appearance of a happy home. But I was portrayed as a selfish, entitled, stubborn girl who decided that she didn’t need her family anymore. It made people uncomfortable and I was a topic of gossip. People would ask if I had “let go of the grudge” and started speaking to my parents again.

What people didn’t realize is that I tried talking to them. I fucking tried to resolve the problems. Not sweep them under the rug, deny, or ignore them. I wanted to FIX the problems. No one comes to a decision like this lightly. For most estranged children, this is a nearly impossible choice to make. A choice that we have agonized over with our friends, loved ones, and in the chaos of our own minds. Often we endure years of pain and disappointment before accepting that we will never have the adult relationship that we want with our parents.

We are taught that relationships with family are the most important relationships we will ever have, and we are conditioned to believe that we should continue these relationships no matter how negatively they impact us. But if your family is being abusive (emotionally or physically) or treating you poorly, should you remain in such a toxic relationship? There are people who will tell you that you should just grin and bear it because they are family. People who will try to shame you for the way you feel. People who will try to convince you that wanting to take care of yourself is selfish and unjustified. But the truth is it’s not healthy to have relationships with people who consistently hurt and mistreat you. Especially when these people continue to disregard your feelings, ignore your boundaries, and refuse to take responsibility for their behavior.

Rarely do you hear the voices of the children so desperate for love, validation, and approval from their parents. The children that long for their parents to take a genuine interest in their lives, without judgment, and support them during every phase of life. My parents’ lack of interest in me was downright hurtful. I never understood why they took such an interest in my brother and sister but not me. The favoritism gnawed away at me and divided our family until I outgrew my own bullshit.

I told my parents about my illnesses and surgeries. Every single time mom would offer to come help me afterwards and then bail at the last minute. I invited my parents to my award ceremonies and college graduation where I was graduating with honors and giving the class speech. They both promised to attend. At the last minute only my mother showed up because she claimed either her or dad had to be with my 16 year old sister. She didn’t look at me as I gave my speech and she left immediately after the ceremony. She didn’t join me or my classmates for dinner afterwards. I visited for the holidays except when it was my turn to work in the hospital. I invited my parents to my home for Christmas when I had to work the holiday. As usual, they tell me they will come so I make arrangements for their visit. Then at the last minute they tell me they’re not coming. When my parents sold the home I grew up in and moved across the country, they didn’t even tell me. I found out through someone else.

When it came time for my wedding dress fitting my mom did not come with me. She told me my sister had a fundraiser at school and she couldn’t be in two places at once. Thankfully my best friend came with me for support. My parents also did not attend my wedding. G and I were planning a church wedding but for a variety of reasons it fell through just 2 months before our scheduled wedding date. So G and I made the decision to get married in St. Thomas since we had already booked and paid for our honeymoon there. We knew and understood that most people would not be able to afford to fly there and attend the wedding, especially on such short notice. In fact only G’s parents attended. We received A LOT of spiteful comments from family about this decision. I was told that I was selfish for not making it possible for my teenage sister to be a bridesmaid when her cousins were in their siblings’ weddings the same year G and I got married.

I watched the proud parents doting on my classmates at our college graduation and longed to be one of them. I saw emotional parents give their daughters away on their wedding day. But for some of us estranged children this happy picture will never be a reality. We can either be consumed by that longing or accept the reality of the situation. Sometimes you have to let go of the picture you thought would be in order to free yourself from toxic relationships.

After years of trying to repair the relationship with my parents, I finally accepted that it was not possible. I felt a burden lift from my heart . I no longer expected emotional support from my parents. I was free from the longing that maybe this time they will come, maybe this time they will be proud of me, and maybe this time I will be enough.

As I think back on the relationship and those years of pain, I acknowledge this experience has made me who I am today. I strive to live a peaceful life. I trust my instincts and I am becoming more aware of how people and situations affect my well-being.

There are people in my life that want me in theirs. Some have even taken on part of the role of a loving parent. They understand my story and accept me for who I am. They are grateful for what we bring to each other’s lives and we love and support each other no matter what. I cherish these relationships because they are positive and healthy.

People have asked me “Do you hate your parents?” No, I don’t hate them. The truth is I don’t feel any connection to them. In my heart I have forgiven them for the pain they caused me. I have learned that some people can only give us so much, and I am grateful for the lessons my parents have taught me. They taught me respect, independence, honesty, the value of hard work, and good moral values. Had I not let go of the relationship with my parents, I never would have come to this sense of peace and self-love.

The Face Behind Delicate and Brutal

Ahoy my fellow readers! I was recently invited by the lovely blogger Shelly from growingwithspawn to join her in “The face behind the blog tag.” If you don’t know Shelly, she’s a working mom who lovingly calls her daughter “Spawn” and her blog posts are always inspiring and positive. 😊 I am so happy that blogging has connected us together from different parts of the world! Please check out and follow her blog here. Without further ado, I share with you my Delicate and brutal face.

Who am I? My name is Amy and I live on the east coast of the United States in the state of Maryland. I grew up in a rural part of this state but moved to a city suburb for college where I have lived ever since. I have been married to G for over 16 years and we both have a wicked sense of humor! I am a combination of feisty, resilient, cheeky, colorful, and raw honesty. I love cats, chocolate, orchids, hydrangeas, hot showers, and F bombs!

What’s a perfect day? Depends on the season. A perfect spring day for me is walking around local gardens and parks seeing the azaleas in bloom with the sunshine on my face. 🌞 My perfect summer day is spent reading a book by the pool or on the beach with an adult beverage in hand. 🍹 A perfect fall day is driving around with the sunroof open in my truck to look at the brilliant color changes of the leaves on trees while feeling the wind in my hair. 🍁 A perfect winter day for me is watching the snow fall outside, nestled under a heated blanket with a kitty cat on my lap, and drinking hot chocolate with marshmallows from my cupcake “poot” mug.☕🐱

What do I do? Once I became too sick to work, I struggled for a while to find the answer to this question. I always defined this answer by my job as a medical technologist in a hospital blood bank. I would test people’s blood types then find and prepare compatible blood products for patients who required blood transfusions. Most often this included trauma patients, cancer patients, and babies in the neonatal intensive care unit. But since I can no longer work due to my life threatening allergy, severe asthma, and hereditary angioedema, I have had to redefine my answer to “What do you do?” Nowadays I am learning French to try to become fluent, I blog, and I have started getting into baking cookies. 😋🍪 But mostly my days revolve around managing my medical conditions with the hope of staying out of the hospital as much as possible. Some days it’s a struggle and some days it’s a little easier. There is no end date of treatment I am working towards. My conditions don’t define me but they are a part of me. As much as I don’t like it, they do control many parts of my life, including my appearance.

This is G and I in Summer 2017 before I became too sick to work
This is G and I in Summer 2019 (a few months into daily high dose steroid treatments for my medical conditions)
This is a current picture of me (over a year into daily high dose steroid treatments for my medical conditions)

Why do I blog? Throughout my adulthood I have been told that I should write about my life stories. After much encouragement from others, I decided to start a blog as a platform to share the events of my life in my own unique voice. So if you’re curious about me, my health and personal experiences, or just want some humor sprinkled into your day, read on my friends! 😎

Tag You’re It!

This tag is an open invitation! 😃 I love reading other blogger’s posts and getting to know more about them. Feel free to use the questions above or make up your own. I invite anyone who wants to join in to share pieces of their story with me. 🙂💕

Laughter is the Best Medicine Unless You Have Diarrhea

The last few weeks have been like a ride on a Tilt-A-Whirl. It’s been a series of fast paced, unpredictable, and disorienting experiences. After my hospital stay a few weeks ago for an anaphylactic reaction, my breathing worsened at home after discharge. It got to the point where I was admitted back into the hospital 10 days later. After several days of IV medications and breathing treatments every 2 hours, I was discharged home again. Woot woot! Unfortunately I couldn’t get jiggy with it because the discharge meds weren’t strong enough to keep my breathing under control. So my doctor tripled my prednisone dose with the hope of keeping me out of the hospital. It’s not my favorite plan, but I am grateful that so far this plan seems to be working. But damn, I could do without the insomnia, munchies, and higher blood sugars. Now it’s to the point where I require insulin daily. Mais c’est la vie!

Swollen from all the IV steroids 😑

While in the hospital there isn’t much to do other than stare at the emptiness of those four white walls or watch television. No visitors are allowed to see me due to my compromised immune system from the high doses of prednisone. The medical team knows I am terrible when it comes to bedrest so they turned on my hospital bed alarm and connected me to the heart monitor on the wall. I couldn’t even get up to pee without calling someone. I hate feeling robbed of my independence and being forced to stay on bedrest goes against every fiber of my being. Although the downtime allows my mind to run like a free spirit from one odd topic to the next. And the results always amuse me because I am weird, nerdy, and slightly naughty. 😁 At least I can still laugh at myself! Because laughter is the best medicine…unless you have diarrhea. 💩🤪 So here’s a smattering of what ran through my mind and I hope it tickles your funny bone. 😀

“The finger” Why is it the middle finger? What makes this particular finger so insulting? I think it’s a perfectly good finger. It’s a fine finger. It’s well protected by fingers on each side. It’s easy to show other people. If your middle finger is anything like mine, it’s the tallest captain of them all! When and why did it obtain such a bad reputation?

“Ride a motorcycle” Why do you hear that people drive cars and trucks but ride motorcycles even if they are operating the motorcycle? Does anyone drive a motorcycle or do they all ride? I have heard the motto “Live to ride, Ride to Live” within the motorcycle community, but I have not really heard people say they drive a motorcycle. If you are operating something with an engine aren’t you driving it? A driver’s license (although a different class from operating a car) is required to operate a motorcycle. The semantics of this topic puzzle me.

“Geography endings” When we say people or material goods are from a certain country or continent, why are some locations ending in “an” and others are not? For example:

  • American= from America (USA)
  • Italian= from Italy
  • Costa Rican= from Costa Rica
  • Brazilian= from Brazil
  • Canadian= from Canada
  • Australian= from Australia
  • Nigerian= from Nigeria
  • Indian= from India
  • Norwegian= from Norway
  • Russian= from Russia
  • Korean= from Korea
  • Ethiopian= from Ethiopia

This “an” ending doesn’t seem to be isolated to any particular continent of the world. North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Australia, and Asia all have several countries with this same ending. But Europe, Africa, and Asia seem to be continents with several countries of various endings NOT including “an.” For example:

  • Swiss= from Switzerland
  • Finnish= from Finland
  • French= from France
  • Dutch= from The Netherlands
  • Congolese= from The Congo
  • Filipino= from The Philippines
  • Pakistani= from Pakistan
  • German= from Germany
  • Chinese= from China
  • Swedish= from Sweden
  • Sudanese= from Sudan
  • Turkish= from Turkey

How was it determined which countries get which endings? Is it just an English language thing? Or is this seen in other languages too? I gotta let that one marinate.

“Big ass numbers” Kajillion: how much is it? Is it different than a bazillion? Is it larger or smaller? What about a bajillion? I assume they all exceed a trillion-if they are real numbers. Is there an actual numeric value tied to these words? Or are kajillion, bajillion, and bazillion just made up words for big ass numbers?

“Dinner party” What exactly is a dinner party? Isn’t it just a bunch of people eating a shit ton of food? Not that there’s anything wrong with that. What exactly is the party part of a dinner party? Do people play games at a dinner party? Are there party favors handed out at the end of the night like at a birthday party? Why not just say “Come over for dinner” instead of qualifying it as a dinner party? Don’t we all just want to sit around stuffing our faces like gluttonous pieces of shit instead of being forced to mingle? Who has the energy to party down when you have a food baby or are in a food induced coma?

“Car floor mats” Why on earth are there carpet floor mats in vehicles? They’re impossible to keep clean or looking good! Shoes track so much disgusting crap from the outside to the inside of the car. It’s impossible to thoroughly vacuum those cheap ass mats too. Kids and pets constantly drop and spill stuff on the floors. The fast food employee didn’t secure the lid on your beverage so on your first sip it spills all over yourself and the floor. 🙄 Great! Now you’ve ruined your outfit and your carpet floor mats. And it’s not even good quality carpet. Why don’t mats that you can wipe or hose down easily just come as a standard purchase with vehicles?

“Words that tickle my pickle”

  • Tenderloin
  • Poot
  • Kumquat
  • Weenie
  • Deep doodoo
  • Hoochie

What words or phrases make you chuckle? Please feel free to share whatever floats your goat in the comments section! We can all benefit from a toothy grin every now and then! 😁

Hallotober Tag Blog Post

Thank you Brittany from mindbeautysimplicity for tagging me in this fun post! 😀🎃🍁 I know how much you love this season and holiday so I hope you are enjoying every moment of it! I always enjoy getting tagged in fun posts like this because it gives the readers some insight about me and it’s an opportunity to put a smile on people’s faces 🙂🤗

These are the rules:

  • Thank the person who tagged you and link to their post
  • Put the rules at the beginning or after the introduction
  • Answer the 13 questions provided
  • You are free to use the tag image somewhere in the post

My Questions:

1. What’s your favorite childhood Halloween memory? I always had a great time trick or treating with my brother when we were kids. We would go all over the neighborhood, just the two of us. When we got home we would dump our orange platic pumpkins full of goodies all over our bedroom floor. We would pig out together and trade candies until we each had our favorites. Ahh..,my heart just melted remembering that ☺

2. What’s your favorite thing about October? The reduction in my electric bill and watching the leaves start to change colors. I find it so fascinating to see these brilliant colors come alive right before my very eyes! 🍃🍂🍁

3. Are you a big celebrator of Halloween? Short answer…no. I don’t have anything against Halloween but as an adult I know I have the luxury of buying candy without having to trick or treat 😏

4. What’s your favorite horror movie? I never got into horror movies. I know I know. 😯 I am definitely a weirdo!

5. Would you rather a cozy night in watching horrors or a big night out in a costume? I will choose a cozy night on the couch with the fireplace roaring while watching movies over a big night out any day of the year. 🔥

6. Which has been your most favorite costume to date? We didn’t have a lot of money growing up so costumes weren’t ever a focus. I danced (ballet, tap dance, and jazz dance) my entire childhood so every Halloween I would wear my dance costume when I went trick or treating.

7. Bobbing for apples or pin the hat on the witch? I think it’s gross to stick my face in a tepid pool of other people’s saliva so I will choose pin the hat on the witch. Plus there’s a good chance that a hat is getting pinned on the witch’s butt so that would make me chuckle 😁

8. How do you celebrate Halloween? I don’t trick nor do I treat. Sad I know. Sometimes I will watch “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown.” We don’t get trick or treaters at our house because we live down a long dark driveway and I am not one who likes costume parties. I’ve had the notion to TP and egg our garbage bag for the night just for shits and giggles. But then I think to myself, “I might want those eggs for breakfast and then I will need that TP afterwards so I better not waste these precious resources.”

9. What’s your favorite Halloween candy? Kit kat. All.Day.Long! 🍫

10. Do you have a favorite trick or treating memory? See my answer to #1

11. What’s your favorite thing about Halloween? Seeing all the jack o lanterns! I just love how creative people are at carving pumpkins. They each have a unique story to tell and seeing them come alive with the flicker of a candle is magical!

12. Scary costume or Silly costume? Silly costume for the win! Why scare someone if you can make them laugh instead?!

13. What are your plans for Halloween this year? Stay home, eat my Halloween Kit Kat, and watch some Halloween episodes of Bob’s burgers and King of the hill. 😄🤪

“No” Is A Complete Sentence

We’ve all been there. Your roommate always eats your Oreo cookies and drinks your soda. Your mother in law snoops through your nightstand. Your father states in front of you on your wedding day that one of the guests is “the most beautiful woman in the room.” 😭 Your sister forgets her wallet when you go out to eat together. Every. Single. Time. Your coworker keeps asking you very personal questions. That creepy guy at the gym always farts as you are doing squats. You feel like they are overstepping boundaries but hey, what can you do about it? 🤷‍♀️

Setting boundaries sometimes means having awkward or painful conversations with people about relationship dynamics that are hurtful to you. The thought of actually having these conversations can elicit anxiety and a great deal of fear within us. Being able to set boundaries around our time, resources, and bodies is an essential skill for maintaining our mental health and building healthy relationships with others. But setting boundaries can also prompt very real and intense discomfort for both the boundary setter and boundary receiver.

You might be wondering, “How can I set boundaries when I am afraid of hurting someone I care about?” Or “How can I set boundaries while letting the other person know that I genuinely care about their feelings?”

Some boundaries act like shields by protecting us from others’ unwanted behavior. They are verbal expressions of self defense that repel unwanted physical touch or protect our time and resources. Examples include “Don’t touch me like that,” or “No you can’t borrow $20,” or “I can’t volunteer next week.” Typically, they are clear-cut variations on saying “no.”

Some boundaries feel less like self defense and more like letting go. You detach yourself from old habits and relationships that are no longer healthy for you. Imagine a box that is filled with various things belonging to different people. You reach down and pick up only the items belonging to you. Don’t pick up other people’s items because they don’t belong to you. You only carry your stuff out of the box and nobody else’s. Leave behind your mother’s guilt, your sibling’s debt, and your friend’s insecurity. This type of boundary is especially challenging because many of us have become used to carrying everyone’s stuff out of the box. We become so accustomed to assuming the role of caretaker or problem solver for other people, that we don’t provide enough care toward our own health and happiness.

Setting healthy and transparent boundaries includes three steps:

  1. Acknowledge your fear or discomfort around setting the boundary to the recipient
  2. Express the “why” behind the boundary
  3. Communicate a clear, direct boundary to the other person

By vocalizing your fear or discomfort around setting the boundary, you acknowledge that you’re initiating a difficult conversation that can elicit mixed feelings⁠ for both of you. This can also help the recipient understand that you have taken their feelings into account.

By expressing the “why” behind your boundary, you inform the recipient that your boundary is not an attempt to control their behavior. Instead it is an attempt to protect yourself. You can also express your desire for honesty and openness in the relationship, which conveys a genuine intention to keep your relationship healthy.

In order to set boundaries that will allow our relationships to grow in new and healthy ways, we need to face the fear of uncomfortable conversations head on. Ultimately, we can’t control how others will respond to our boundaries. Even if we state them with the utmost compassion, the recipient may still feel hurt, insulted, angry, or confused. And that is okay. It is our responsibility to communicate our needs in our relationships because it is impossible for other people to read our mind. You cannot expect people to give you what you need in a relationship if you stay quiet. If we avoid these crucial conversations, we create conditions in which resentment, anger, and frustration can fester and ultimately explode. This is almost always more devastating to the relationship than the boundary setting conversation would have been in the first place.

You don’t have to pretend to be stoic or flawlessly confident in order to set a healthy transparent boundary. You can say what you need to say by gently, but assertively speaking your mind. You don’t have to accept things that are not okay with you and you don’t have to say yes when you want or need to say no. It is possible to set boundaries without being cruel, tactless, or judgmental. We owe it to ourselves to set boundaries in a compassionate way in order to live a healthy life.

International Mastocytosis and Mast Cell Diseases Awareness Day: October 20th

How many of you have heard of mastocytosis? How about mast cell diseases? Do you know what a mast cell is? Everyone has mast cells. They are part of our immune system and are mostly found in our skin, GI tract, and respiratory tract. These cells contain many chemicals, including histamine. If you have ever had hives from an allergic reaction then your mast cells released histamine. This is why your skin becomes red and itchy. Taking benadryl helps the itching subside because it’s an antihistamine.

Some people have too many mast cells in their body. This is called mastocytosis. There are others whose mast cells are very fragile and open up easily so they release a lot of histamine all at once. These people can suffer from severe life threatening allergic reactions.

I am no stranger to severe allergic reactions due to my own mast cell disorder. I share my story of how severe allergic reactions can be because of International Mastocytosis and Mast Cell Diseases Awareness Day on October 20th. This day aims to raise awareness by highlighting the impact of mast cell diseases in patients’ lives and the importance of research and education. Many patients living with these diseases have a reduced quality of life and are unable to work. Things that are benign to most people (like rubber bands or changes in temperature) are catastrophic to people like me. We need to create change through reasearch leading to improved treatments, education, and understanding.

The color purple was chosen to represent the color of the stain that lab technicians use in their slides. The ribbon has dots to represent the spots, hives, and rashes that mast cell patients experience.

It’s not just enough to fight my own battles everyday. I want to share my story to help educate the world. After all, I wasn’t born to be sugar and spice, silent and submissive. We all have the power to change the world one step at a time. I want a better future for rare disease patients who are fighting to stay alive long enough for research to catch up.

To learn more about mast cells, mastocytosis, and mast cell diseases, please visit tmsforacure.org.