Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Finally! A diagnosis!

       Oh dear (bread and beer| if we were dead | we wouldn't be here) it's been a super long time since I've posted. My b my b. =(

        So much to say and so little time (especially since I'm 'sposed to be catching up with my school work).
To catch you up with what's been going on...:

"Last time on 'The Story of A Girl'..."
She was hurt; she had fallen and she couldn't get up. 
Left to die on the cold tile floor of her bathroom, covered in makeup...
Until...she got up.
Her brand new white bathroom rug was covered in carnage--makeup everywhere.
Her back was bleeding, her ribs aching, her head pounding.

She had been sick for awhile now...
With no explanation for what was causing all of the seemingly unrelated health issues
No explanation until....
She saw a specialist.
This is her story.
This is "The Story of a Girl"
(cue intro music)

          Hehehe. It made me giggle, therefore it has to be funny, because it's not like I'm biased or anything! Lol. Annnyyyywhhooo...I finally found out what's wrong with me, and apparently, has been wrong with me my whole life. Alas, if only my family would have listened to me one of the ba-ba-ba-bazillion times I told them something wasn't right....like the time (one of many) I told my dad that it felt like my hip was popping out of place (of course he responded that wasn't possible); apparently, not only is it possible, it's been happening to me for years! My shoulders are even worse (as are my knees, elbows and wrists); I can pop those babies out of place just by moving normally. Nothing says "I'm an old lady trapped in the body of a 22-year-old college student" quite like having your whole body smell of Bengay and then...snap, crackling, and popping louder than a bowl of Rice Krispies as you kneel down on a kneeler in Church...next to an old lady whose body is much quieter than yours. 

           Damn...I got off track again (typical). Like I said, I've known for years something wasn't right and I didn't think it was a coincidence or just bad luck that I had continuous health issues. I figured it was all related, since the chances of them not being related seemed next to impossible. In the last couple of weeks I've researched some things and guess what, I correctly diagnosed myself with a rare genetic disease. (Of course, my parents thought I was just being a hypochondriac and even now they aren't *quite* believing..."oh 'they' of little faith). I originally suspected I had a condition known as Marfan Syndrome, but after ruling that out it was pretty obvious, to me at least, that I had Ehler-Danlos Syndrome.

        When I met with my geneticist he confirmed it: I have Ehler-Danlos Syndrome or (EDS). It's a pretty rare genetic connective tissue disorder. When I told some of my so-called-"friends" that I'd been diagnosed, they thought it meant it affected my skin...(and also that I was an attention whore and a hypochondriac...as well as some other things that might offend some readers)
So let me clarify, connective tissue is everywhere in the human body. Ever hear of collagen? Yeah, the type of EDS that I was diagnosed with (though I think they got the type wrong) occurs because of "a defect in the synthesis of collagen". This defect affects my joints (the ligaments and tendons around it), my blood vessels, my organs (including my skin), etc. People don't seem to think this is a big deal, but people with EDS are at  a much higher risk for aneurysms (including abdominal aortic aneurysms); this is a common cause of death (among those with EDS) most often seen in a person's 20's and 30's. EDS also affects the heart and the brain (in the brain it can lead to migraines, and POTS...both of which I either have or am suspected of having). As I age I'm most likely going to develop osteoarthritis (if I don't already have it) and osteoporosis. I could list all of the health issues that come along with EDS (like delayed gastric emptying, acid reflux (both of which I have)) but we could be here for a very long time. So suffice it to say: "my shit's fucked up" (pardon my French)

       The great irony is, not only is what I have rare, but among people with EDS, the degree of hypermobility (or range of motion greater than normal) I have in almost all of my joints, as well as the number of joints the disease affects and what joints it affects (notably my spine and neck...and every other major joint) is EXTREMELY rare. So basically I'm a freak among freaks :-p. My sister had come with me to my appointment and she said, "we did't need a doctor to tell us you're special...we've always known you were 'extra special'." It made me laugh. 

     I have mixed feelings about my diagnosis...it's nice to finally have a diagnosis because I can quit searching and now I have resources and a community of support (the Ehler-Danlos National Foundation); it's also allowed me to let go of the past and start living in the present because, honestly, who knows how long I have left; who knows how long anyone has left? I've learned life is too short to worry about hurtful, rude people or makeup for that matter. It's too short to waste any time at all. I contemplated taking a semester off of school but then I realized, I don't want to waste time, even time taking care of my health, because I want to be a doctor and I feel like I'm already racing an hourglass that is far from full. Of course, I've talked about all of the good things; I feel like the bad things are pretty obvious: having an incurable, relatively untreatable genetic disease sucks! I'm going to be in constant pain my whole life, and chances are, it's going to get worse. I don't know how much longer I'm going to be able to pretend I'm a normal healthy college girl; how much longer I can keep faking it. I don't even know how much longer my joints are going to hold up because, right now, I feel like throwing in the towel and getting a wheelchair my hips hurt so badly. 

        I have learned though, well, I suppose I have ALWAYS KNOWN, that someone always has it worse and that complaining does absolutely nothing, except, of course, pissing off my mom and dad. I took care of a man who had what I consider to be the worst disease in the world: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerois (ALS) or Lou Gehrig's Disease. It is the worst way to die, robbed of your ability to walk or move at all, talk, eat, or even breathe unaided, and through it all being in constant pain with seemingly endless muscle spasms. 
And the life expectancy after diagnosis? 1-3 years *typically* after diagnosis, although lately I've heard about quite a few people who died within months of diagnosis. But the man I took care of, Stuart, never complained (he was able to talk by sacrificing some of his air (he used a smaller trach tube even though it meant he could never get enough air)) instead he spent his remaining time on Earth helping others: writing letters with messages of hope, volunteering with the ALS Association, being a mentor to me, etc. 
I'm going to try much harder to live the way he taught me to live. He always told me: "do well my gift" and that's what I'm going to do with whatever time I have been given.

        My plan? Go to class and learn all that I can, work to help those with ALS and their families, make people smile, go to doctors' appointments and physical therapy, become a doctor so I can help people with ALS...I'm going to do well (with a smile on my face).

    (so...don't cry for me...blog readers(?)) 

Thanks for listening. Have a fantabulous day! 

--Jennie the Nerdette 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Help I've Fallen & I Can't Get Up

Dear RRReaders,

    Ouch so the title of my blog post made me chortle (you know those horribly acted Life Alert commercials?Heeeelllpp I've fallen and I can't get up...*extend arm weakly*) and laughing hurt like a bi-atch. (And when I yelled “ow” from the pain of laughing I guess I sounded like a cat because my cat started meowing at me (although that could be because he was concerned because he can always sense when I'm in pain)). 
      Anywho... back to the point...I feel like I should win an award because Tuesday (I think...) I fell and couldn't get up when I attempted to get out of bed to go to the bathroom. I had just woken up after a long Sleeping Beauty-esque sleep.  Picture it: Tempe, Arizona; the day: August 2nd, 2011

          I woke up as I heard “Don’t worry ‘bout a thing ‘cuz every little thing’s gonna be alright” for the umpteenth time. Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds is my mom’s ringtone (every Saturday she’d crank up the Bob and all of us (all 4 kids and my mom and dad) would clean the house top to bottom). I immediately texted her back because I hate phone calls, and I assured her, yes I was alive despite the fact I’d been asleep for 24+ hours. She relayed the message to my dad.

          I spent a little more time waking up until the “urgent pressure on my bladder” assured me I could wait no longer to make a much needed bathroom run…exactly 3 feet away from my bed.

So I crawl out from under my little burrow and as I approach the porcelain pedestal, I start feeling funky (ahem, funkier) and my vision starts dancing, going spotty and fading,  and my body starts shaking and twitching and then my body goes numb and I lose all the strength in my body…Crap...I can't lean on my towel bar or I'll rip it out of the wall. I can just picture that happening so vividly. I should try to make it back to bed before I collapse.
 Next thing I know, I’m waking up and, praise the Lord Hallelujah, I didn’t wet myself haha, but no seriously, I wake up sobbing hysterically and my back and ribs and my HEAD are throbbing and I’m covered in makeup (no, not my face, my body….I guess I pulled all my makeup off the counter (when I fell down and I had  just washed my white rug). And the first thing I think is FUCK (pardon my French) my mom is going to kill me…there’s no way I didn’t get another concussion** (see note).

          As I attempt to haul myself up, my back is screaming, so I pull my shirt up and I see big cuts up and down my back. My head starts throbbing…the throbbing morphs into a massive migraine: grab some Zomig, pull cap, insert into nose, pull trigger, toss away, pinch nose, tilt head forward, wait for relief. My ribs are so tender and sore it hurts to breath. As the day wears on it just gets worse.

          Today aka Wednesday (since I haven't been to bed...can't sleep), I can’t touch (or even think about touching) my ribs and there are 2 big lumps on my head. I’m thinking I hit my head on the wall when I went down and then again on the floor.

          I guess I can kiss my dreams of winning Miss America good-bye since I’m pretty sure you need poise for that haha! But no, seriously, I’ve been having this weird shaking dizziness for years and my mom says it’s because I stand up too fast…but nowadays, I can’t stand up fast lol so hmm (*strokes imaginary beard*)!
Who wants to see a picture of my back?
not my most flattering pic
& I didn't feel like taking a pic today of the bruising and bumps

That's All For Now Folks! Keep Reading and Commenting! Muwah!
-<3 RRR

**I had my first head injury (traumatic brain injury)@ age 8 months…then age 8…with multiple concussions in between (age 6, 9 &12, etc)  and a major concussion @ age 17 and then after that @ ages 18, 19, & 20, &22. & Even a slight head bump now has a profound impact.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Health Update

Dear Readers,
If you know me and are close to me in real life, then you probably know I haven't been doing super fabulously health-wise. If you don't know me in real life, well, you're just going to get to know me a whole lot better haha! 

      Have you been waiting with bated breath to find out the results of my fun tests from Wednesday?  I'm guessing you probably weren't lol but I'll pretend, just for a moment, that you were all on the edges of your seats! The whole testing process was as pleasant as can be expected and the staff at the hospital was top-notch!

It was so funny--as I was wheeled into the procedure room and they hooked me  up to "my own private oxygen bar" (as the nurse called it--shower curtain flavor she said) the doctor asked me: "What's been going on?" I, rather stupidly I might add, replied,"Do you mean in general?" The doctor laughed,"Oh yeah, what'd you do last night, what's your favorite TV show, what are your hopes and dreams! Silly, I meant what brought you to my procedure room?"

That definitely lightened the mood and after describing my inability to eat or drink and the constant acid reflux and heartburn I was experiencing despite taking Prilosec twice a day and chugging Maalox like a frat guy chugs cheap beer, they paused to make sure I was aware of the procedure they were doing, etc and then they administered some sedating medication and put a camera down my throat...and up elsewhere! Touchdown for the doctor!!!

When I woke up in the recovery room the first thing I asked the nice nurse as I opened my eyes was: "am I a hypochondriac?"
She looked at me quizzically and responded: "No (dramatic pause) there were some findings. Your father is on his way. You should rest."

Later, when my dad strode into the room, seeming to fill up the whole space with his tall frame and air of authority, my doctor came in with my test results and nifty pictures of my stomach and intestines. She spoke to my dad and my father complimented her on the recovery facilities: “These are way nicer than the ones we have at the hospital.”
 She told my dad how much sedation medication she had given me and my dad gave a low whistle and said to me; "You won't remember any of this or anything you studied before the procedure when you wake up tomorrow, the medicine causes antegrade amnesia." Fabulous, I thought to myself, I could have been relaxing when they ran that IV and gave me those enemas instead of studying. 

Then the doctor and my dad got down to business and my dad reviewed the results. I heard bits and pieces: "scalloping" "intestines""hernia" "motility""more testing"....and then I just slept. When the doctor left the nurse asked if I wanted juice. My dad told me to say yes so I said yes.

As the nurse went to get juice my dad told me: "They won't let you leave until you drink 2 glasses of juice." So even though I was scared to drink the juice (yep...scared. to. drink. juice (hey man acid reflux hurts)) I sucked it up and chugged that juice faster than you can say...chug. Then the nurse told me I could get dressed and my dad took me home and I slept all that day and the next day (after briefly waking up at 3 am and thinking it was 3 pm and getting really scared).

When I was more with it, i looked at the nifty pictures they took and read the results: Hiatal hernia (stomach in my esophogas) and scalloping of my intestines (which could possibly indicate Celiac disease).

                                        Here's a nifty pic of my stomach:

On Friday I met with my GI guy, Dr. Patel, and he said I don't have Celiac Disease (yay!!!!) but during the tests, my stomach didn't move at all and there was still food matter in it (remember I haven't eaten in forever) so he's pretty worried about that. See...your stomach breaks down food by churning (contracting and relaxing) as well as by chemical (acid) means. But they're worried my stomach isn't contracting which means my food is just sitting in my stomach for days on end...but they won't know for sure until they do  more tests (a 7 hour one) and I have to wait until AFTER my class finishes on August 5th because my teacher hates me and won't let me miss any more class!!

But yep, that's what's going on in my tummy tum!!!

Are you asleep and drooling on your computer yet?? ;-)

Well, stay tuned for more fun stuff haha! Tomorrow my dad and I are meeting with my professor (she wants all sorts of medical documentation that she by law can't have so that should be really interesting!!)

But that's all for now folks! Keep reading!!


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Poetry Post

So I finally tackled some of the squalor that has become my condo and as I was cleaning my office I unearthed copies of the poetry magazine from my high school. As I thumbed through issue after issue and read over some of my old work, I realized I haven't written any poetry in eons! Which is downright bizarre considering I have stacks of notebooks filled with my poetry. It used to be my refuge; my solace. So I sat down the other night, slightly sleep-deprived and I wrote some poems. I hope you like them. 

We are Numbers 

We are a series of numbers
Social Security number
Drivers license number
Student ID number
Patient number

You take an exam,
You fill in your number
Your name, irrelevant

You call your doctor
You tell her your patient number
Your name, an afterthought

We are just another number in an endless sea of numbers
Undulating wildly
Ebbing and flowing
But always a number
Just 1 of many



Dreams stay with me like a heavy fog that won't lift
Won't let go
Entangling in my reality
Blurring the lines
Which is which
Each leaking into the next
Reality, Dream, Indiscernible
They become totally, utterly enmeshed
Become one singular entity

What happened
What didn't
What was dreamt
What was done

That once faint  blurred line

So what did you think??

That's all for now folks!
Keep reading!

Monday, June 13, 2011

We Want What We Can't Have

We want what we can't have; it's a fact! If you ever want a 3-year-old boy to eat his food, just use reverse psychology and tell him he can't eat it and watch how fast he eats his dinner.  When we're kids we want each other's toy cars and Barbie dolls, when we're adults, it's each other's boyfriends and spouses. The whole world is filled with toddlers who want what isn't theirs to have.

I am no exception. A lot of times, people will ask me how I have time for a boyfriend. I usually laugh and say I don't. The dad of the little boy and girl I now nanny for asked me the other day, "You're so busy between working and then school in the fall and Quiz Bowl...how do you have time for a love life?" I answered him honestly: "What love life?" This made him laugh but it's true.

I don't date, not that many people try to sway me lol. But every once in a while, I want what I can't have, what I don't really have time for; sometimes I think it would be so fun just to date some guy (and by "some guy" I mean some guy that's "just right"). I mean, I'm in college right? But I have rules for these kinds of things (and no it's not nearly as boring as it sounds); I don't date. I can hang out with a guy. I can have a great time with a guy, but I don't date. Aren't I just the little masochist? Constantly tempting myself but never letting myself get what I want.

As I write this, there's a certain song that's running through my head. You know the one. By the Rolling Stones? You can't always get what you waaant. You can't always get what you wa-ant. You can't always get what you wa-ant, but if you try sometimes well you might find... you get what you neeed oh yeah!  Except, am I getting what I need?

That's all for now folks
Stay tuned for more Randomocity and keep reading!

Oh So Sorry

How long has it been since I've written?
I'm not even sure.
I see I've lost a reader, and I can't blame them! What's the  point in subscribing to a blog that never has new posts!!
I wish I had some super cool excuse like-- "Hey guys sorry I was climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and I didn't have internet soooooo yeah....my bad!"
Unfortunately, I don't have some awesome excuse like that. I'm sorry. Forgive me?

Stay tuned for frequent blog posts though!!! I'm going to be stuck in bed for 5 weeks soo expect lots of fun posts!

That's all for now folks! Keep reading!


Friday, April 15, 2011

A Letter to My High School English Teacher

(Note: I apologize for any *bad* words or any other grievous errors in this post)

I found out today that my beloved English teacher, we shall call her Ms. S, was "let go" by one of my high schools (I went to 3). To say that I am upset about this turn of events is like saying BP spilled a "little" oil in the Gulf.
My two years (more like a year and a half) spent with Ms. S was one of the high points of my junior and senior year of high school; maybe that makes me a nerd, but it's the truth.

The first year (my junior year) at my new school, I was so nervous about failing and my performance anxiety was so bad, especially when it came to my academic performance, that I literally vomited . To this day I still can't eat bananas (Sorry TMI). Fun fact! Any who, I remember I always used to go after class and after school and constantly bombard Ms. S with the same questions over and over about the assignment she had given us; amazingly, she was patient with me and she took the time to make sure I understood everything and tried to reassure me.
You might think this is no big deal, but many a teacher before her had tried and failed to teach me while also actually being nice. Also take into consideration that my own mother once said that I could "drive Mother Teresa to drink." (She does have a point.)

The time she took to help me was worth it, at least to me. I never got anything less than an A on any of her writing assignments (or tests for that matter) and I did some of my best writing in her classes. I also read some of my new favorite books: Tess of the D'Ubervilles <3, Lord of the Flies (minus the whole Piggy dying thing) One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, MacBeth, The Good Earth, etc.

(Oh and who could forget that *fabulous* movie adaptation of Beowulf we got to travel to KC to see in the theaters?)

I honestly think that one of the reasons she may have been let go is because, well, you know that teacher who is really good and ethical, the type of person whose moral compass always points true north and who believes that you "get" the grade you earn? The kind of teacher we need more (not less) of? Well, I think the reason Ms. S was fired was because sometimes the people in power at a school aren't always the people whose moral compasses point true north. (I should know...I graduated a semester early and I actually spent a year in therapy thanks to some rather unethical treatment by the school. Hopefully I'm not scarred for life...but that's a story for another day.) Or maybe they're just idiots. Sorry I know that's not very flowery or even very nice but let's be honest, sometimes, its the gosh darn truth! (Not that I'm bitter or anything!) 

But here's to you Ms. S! The best English teacher I've ever had! Maybe one day Hollywood will make an awesome movie about you featuring a young Katherine Hepburn (because she's classy and well-spoken)!


Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sunday Confessional Pt ?

G'day mates!
Another Sunday, another wasted weekend! And lucky for y'all, another confessional! And away we go!

#1: This is hard to admit but *gulp* but my cat Shnookums aka Choop has a drinking problem.
Unfortunately A.A. is not nearly as welcoming as they claim because when I brought him in they were less than friendly. Jerks.
But no seriously. Choop has kidney failure so he is constantly drinking water. He even has a drinking fountain that purifies the water!

#2: I'm struggling with Arabic this semester. I got an A+ last semester but I honestly think it was just because the teacher loved me. We didn't learn nearly enough and now I'm behind in this semester's class since they all had a different teacher. Ugh

#3: I most likely have Aspergers. I was diagnosed with a NVLD when I was a kid but now my doctor is thinking it's more likely that it's Aspergers which is weird because I totally understand figurative language..you should see me in my Hispanic Literature class!

#4: My dearly departed AWESOME dog KJ was a swimsuit model. Not really, but my sister took a photo of him on the beach near our house in Florida and his hair was all a-flowin' and I thought to myself "if dogs had a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, my dog would totally be on the cover" lol.

#5: I clearly have an unhealthy attachment to my pets lol.

But yep, that's all for now folks!

Keep Reading!

A Clear Winner in Honey-Flavored Greek Yogurt!

Greek Gods' honey-flavored greek yogurt is delish but it has just a few hundred calories too many than I'm willing to spend on something that's sposed to be healthy; and greek yogurt is in fact healthier than its wimpy American counterpart: can you say protein (it's pronounced pro-teen)?!?! I've been trying to eat healithier lately and that's lead me on a quest to find a healthier, but still tasty, variety of honey-flavored Greek yogurt. I know there are tons of reviews out there reviewing other flavors of Greek yogurt, but there are none out there for honey (RACISTS, trust me I've actually checked. So I went to three different grocery stores, I kid you not, and picked up a slew of different brands of yogurt and the results were oh-so-conclusive; but alas, in order to find out who the Big Kahuna is, you'll have to read on!

#4: Oikos
(In VERY last place) Yuck. Just yuck. I am not exaggerating when I say I literally almost vomited when I ate this yogurt. If you've ever had the unfortunate experience of having the stomach flu, then you know what stomach acid tastes like. Well, if you were to mix some yogurt with that and put it in a yogurt container, seal it up, and send it off to the grocery store to be sold for a ridiculous amount of money, you would be the Oikos company, because that is clearly what they did. I did not taste any honey, or any yogurt for that matter, just a horrible very bad no good overpriced blob of stomach acid. Needless to say, I don't recommend this yogurt.

Tied for the #2 spot: Fage and Open Nature:
Fage is a favorite in the Greek yogurt world and I see why: they're product is so creamy it's almost custard-like! Plus it has really honey on the side! My one gripe is that the honey didn't seem to mix well, both physically and taste-wise, with the actual yogurt!
Open Nature is a fairly new brand but I think it's going to wind up with quite the following if for no other reason than their 6 oz container of organic honey-flavored Greek yogurt containing only 140 calories and 16 grams of PROTEIN! 16! That's more than some protein bars! Plus it tastes pretty darn good!

#1: Dannon Greek!
What a surprise huh? I highly highly recommend this yogurt! It is everything I want in my Greek yogurt-- low in calories, high in protein, creamy consistency, delicate honey flavor. It is mmm mmmmmmmm good! I mean day-um! I'm glad I bought 3 of these bad boys on a whim when I was at the grocery store because they are so going to be one of my new breakfast staples!
Also, if you're like me and trying to find a filling breakfast look no further...I have found a great combo: oatmeal with wheat germ, an orange (high in fiber and super high up on the satiety index) and a container of Dannon's Greek yogurt! Nom nom nom nom!

Your welcome lol!

Keep reading

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Monthly Goals!!!

Okey dokey so I'm going to be posting a bunch of posts after this one but I wanted to keep em all separate because that's how I roll ya know??
Any who, research shows that if you tell people what your goals are, you're more likely to follow through and accomplish those goals so what better way than to post em here?
My big goal for this month is something I need YOUR help for: I want to reach 500 page views this month!!! So tell your friends, lovers, neighbors, cats with opposable thumbs, and even that homeless guy down the street to head on over to my site! It'll be a grand ole time!!

Another thing I want to accomplish: I want to lose 7 pounds!

And that's all for now folks!


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I Think I Just Won the Nobel Prize in Medicine...

I'm not normally a two-blog-post-a-day kinda gal but I decided to make an exception just this once.As I was trudging home from my bus stop I had a pretty nifty theory randomly come to me. This always happens to me at random times. I really wish I could just test all of my theories in my basement whenever it struck my fancy (....I also wish I had a basement...)! But anywho yeah, I think my theory might make sense!  Check it:

So I have migraines...a lot. They hurt like crazy and it seems like the medicine never works fast enough! On a side note though, I've found that picturing using a tomato stem remover to gouge out my eye seems to help! It hasn't yet been approved by the FDA but I have my fingers crossed for that patent baby!

As I made my way homeward bound I smelled this horrible tree that just...mehhh! It smells horrible and it's not even pretty! The smell of it gives me migraines. I'm super smell sensitive but only with certain smells. But I realized as I was walking that I have always associated the smell of those curs-ed trees with a bad experience I had awhile back. And then I thought hmm...what if some of my migraines aren't triggered by the actual smell of the tree but of the bad experience I had when the trees were present.

I mean...smell is one of the senses that is most closely linked to memory. You might smell something and immediately you subconsciously think of something that happened eons ago in which the smell was present. Seriously, it does happen.

Anyways, keeping this in mind, what if my brain, rather than actually being affected by a certain chemical or whatever in the plant (or whatever else bothers me...the tree is just an example) my brain is being affected by my mind...a psychosomatic effect in which my subconscious is recalling a painful experience after being triggered by a certain smell. As if my mind has automatically linked a smell with pain but even when the actual pain is not physically present, my mind has been so trained to associating that smell with pain that it "conjures" it up. It's like...well one of my friends did chemo and she told me that even though she was no longer on it and had no reason to be nauseous, every time she went to her old school she would vomit because her body just associated early mornings at this particular building with the nausea and vomiting. I guess that's the theory I'm getting at. A psychosomatic migraine. And, to quote my old paid pal (aka my old therapist), if you "don't believe that psychosomatic illnesses and symptoms are real, you're crazy." Think about it! Have you ever gotten really stressed out and then wound up with "digestion" issues?

I think I might be on to something!

What do you think?!?! Seriously!!! I realllly want to hear what y'all think!!!

That's all for now! I'm going to go take my brand-spanking new migraine meds that I hope do not kill me via serotonin syndrome :-)

Keep reading!


First of all, I owe you all another apology...it's been far too long since I've posted but again: MIDTERMS! Ackkk! Today's post is really random but stay with me here!

For those of you who do not know what this seemingly harmless "phrasette" is, let me explain: there is a community of (primarily) girls on and off the internet who are trying to promote anorexia; they give tips and "thinspo" otherwise known as thinspiration encouraging girls to do all sorts of crazy things in order to get to an unhealthy weight.
There are some people whose pro-ana sites are different; they offer support to girls who are trying to cope with and overcome their eating disorder; unfortunately these types of pro-ana sites are in the minority.
Now that you know the background, here's my rant!!!:

True anorexia is not a trend and it is not a diet; it is a mental and physical illness that never goes away. Every day can be a constant struggle; in my opinion it is similar to alcoholism in that it's something that you have to deal with one day at a time and that is omnipresent, but in a way, I think anorexia is worse because it involves a distorted view of your body and it involves food (or exercise but technically that's different). With alcoholism you can avoid bars and situations in which alcohol is going to be present (that isn't to say that alcohol isn't a major presence in our society but a lot of the temptation can be removed) but this isn't the case with anorexia. Food is something that is always around and is an integral part in not only our culture but also in our survival.

I'm not anorexic but....I've struggled with my eating for quite a while. Few people know this but when I was about 5 years old, maybe a little older, I came to the realization that I would never be the prettiest, the smartest or the most popular girl but I could damn well be the skinniest!! Being on stimulants most of my life made it pretty darn easy too!

Back to the pro-ana thing: a lot of these girls go to these websites asking for tips to become anorexic and it drives me nuts! Like I said before, it's a mental and physical disorder, not a flipping diet! They have no clue what they're getting into either! It affects almost every aspect of your life! The lengths that people go to in order to achieve that oh-so-sexy Auschwitz look are absolutely ridiculous! And the horrible part is that many anorexics know it! They often times know that what they're doing is totally illogical and unhealthy but that desperate need to be skinnier is so overwhelming that they're willing to do whatever it takes to achieve their goal!

However, a lot of the girls doing the posting on these sites are giving advice that has the potential to cause immediate (rather than gradual in the case of anorexia) death: recommending dangerous diet pills that can cause cardiac arrest; telling girls to drink outrageous amounts of water that can lead to dangerous electrolyte imbalances...the list goes on and on!

((Side note: I'm friends with an amazing group of girls who are all recovering from various eating disorders. I try and give them gradual tips to be healthy*er* and to do certain things to try and deal with some of the serious health issues that can arise with eating disorders. I personally think that one of the BIGGEST mistakes that doctors who deal with people with either anorexia or bulimia make is putting them on medications that can cause extreme hunger and a lack of control when it comes to food...leading to sudden and overwhelming weight gain. Yes it's important to get these girls up to a healthy weight, but by doing so so quickly, it makes it almost impossible for the gals to cope! To go from being skinny for most of your life (as in my case) to blowing up like a flippin' big beluga whale just exasperates the problem!! In my opinion, the doctors should gradually get the girls' weight up starting with baby steps! It may sound silly but it can be as simple as suggesting that a girl drinks Powerade Zero to ensure they're getting electrolytes and not causing a dangerous imbalance; or recommending Instant Breakfast, a drink that has very few calories but a lot of crucial vitamins and minerals.))

I try and tell girls about the consequences of anorexia and bulimia: sometimes the best way to reason with them is to explain that they make look skinnier but that they're burning protein instead of fat and they'll lose their muscle definition; or that it will make their teeth yellow. An appeal to vanity can be an important one!
However eating disorders have SERIOUS consequences: heart failure, organ failure, severe vitamin and mineral deficiencies, lung collapse, internal bleeding, gum diseases, ulcers; the list is endless!!!
Unfortunately, it seems that these potentially life threatening consequences fail to discourage so many girls flocking to these ridiculous pro-ana websites. And those suffering from the devastating diseases of anorexia and bulimia...well they may know the effects but they are literally dying to be thin!

I hope this post was informative and made you think!
For more background info and for an AWESOME read lol, I posted an essay I wrote on eating disorders here so feel free to check that out!

That's all for now my Kool-Aid drinkers!
Keep reading!

My Essay on: Eating Disorders

I wrote this essay my freshman year of college (last fall) on eating disorders and thought I would share it with you all to provide some perspective on my most recent post on pro-ana sites! I'd love to hear your thoughts! (Also, I wrote an essay last spring on the stigma attached to having Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia; the essay is being published in ASU's literary magazine but if y'all are interested in reading it let me know!)
Anywho, here's my essay!

Eating Disorders: Dying to Be Thin
What psychiatric illness affects 10 million people in the United States alone (more than Alzheimer disease and schizophrenia combined) and has the highest premature mortality rate of any psychiatric illness (Sullivan, 1995)? No, it’s not bipolar disorder or even depression; it’s eating disorders, which includes bulimia and anorexia. Millions of adolescents, primarily girls, are affected by an eating disorder. Although many people associate their childhood with happy memories of playing with dolls and worrying about boys, for many adolescent girls their time is consumed by body image concerns and, in some cases, eating disorders. 
“While the most common age of onset is between 14 and 25 years of age, eating disorders occur in a wide range of ages, and are increasingly seen in children as young as 10” (Cavanaugh & Lemberg, 1999). Among girls polled in a far-reaching survey, 50% of girls between the ages of 11 and 13 see themselves as overweight, and 80% of 13-year-olds have attempted to lose weight. (South Carolina Department of Mental Health [SCDMH], 2006). Although dieting isn’t necessarily cause for alarm, in a child as young as 11, it can often be an indicator of the beginning of a long, and often times fatal, battle with an eating disorder.  With the constantly rising number of people suffering from an eating disorder, it is of the utmost importance to recognize both the symptoms and the warning signs of anorexia and bulimia.
Anorexia has four primary symptoms: a resistance to maintaining a healthy body weight, or a weight above the minimum standards; a fear of gaining weight; a denial of weight loss or changing of body shape; and loss of menstruation. Other warning signs include refusal to eat certain groups of foods, development of food rituals, denial of hunger, avoidance of meal times, and rigid exercise (National Eating Disorders Association [NEDA], 2006). Bulimia, on the other hand, has three main symptoms, which include a loss of control over eating accompanied by regular excessive consumption of food, regular use of inappropriate behavior to compensate for overeating (i.e., self-induced vomiting and use of laxatives, diuretics and ipecac), and an overwhelming concern about weight and self-image. Some of the warning signs of bulimia are calluses on the knuckle area (from self-induced vomiting), swelling of the cheeks or jaw area, discoloration of the teeth, a sudden creation of complex schedules to allow time for purging, and excessive trips to the restroom to purge. (NEDA, 2006).
Help for many girls comes too late, with the mortality rate of anorexia nervosa at 5%-20% (Sullivan). Recovery is a long, tedious and often very expensive process that can continue for the anorexic or bulimic person’s entire life. Not taking into consideration the physiologic aspect of treatment, recovery usually begins with intensive in-patient care in an eating disorders treatment facility. Although treatment in an in-patient care facility usually consists of “reprogramming” the people’s dysmorphic views of their body and the way they treat their bodies, their treatment also often includes cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), dialectic behavioral therapy (DBT), group work, pharmacologic therapy, consults with nutritionists, discussions with self-esteem experts, and sometimes art therapy. Several types of drugs are considered a staple in the treatment of eating disorders. These include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as sertraline (Zoloft), fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil) and escitalopram (Lexapro) and antipsychotic agents, such as prochlorperazine (Compazine), quetiapine (Seroquel), risperidone (Risperdal), and olanzapine (Zyprexa) (Mickley, 2007). Most of these medications treat the anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder that are considered to be the primary illness, with the eating disorder being the secondary coping mechanism. Incidentally, most of the antipsychotic medicines also cause extreme weight gain. While in treatment, patients rarely have alone time, or time when they aren’t being watched, since health care professionals usually have to keep constant watch over them to make sure that the patients aren’t purging or reverting to disordered behavior. Despite the fact that in-patient treatment is absolutely necessary and is life saving, many insurance companies refuse to cover the soaring costs. On average, a month of inpatient treatment costs $30,000 (SCDMH), and treatment usually lasting three to six months. Some of the best treatment centers, such as Remuda Ranch in Wickenburg, Arizona, charge up to 1 million dollars. As the cost and numbers of people suffering from eating disorders continue to rise, many people wonder whether the media, and society in general, is to blame.
            When a health crisis of the magnitude of eating disorders occurs, people often want to play the blame game and point their finger at one individual thing such as the media. It is true that the face of the media is changing and is a far cry from the media in the 1950s. Marilyn Monroe, one of the most famous icons of the 1950s, was 5’5, weighed 120 pounds and wore a size 12. Kate Moss, an icon in today’s fashion industry, on the other hand, is 5’7, weighs 101 pounds and wears a size 2. The average model in today’s industry has a minimum height of 5’8 and weighs between 108 and 125 pounds, with 125 being the absolute maximum. According to the Center for Disease Control, however, the average American woman is 5’2.7 and weighs 163 pounds (2002). Also, in the world of competitive sports, lower weight is considered a plus and, in some cases, a necessity. For instance, in ballet the prima ballerinas are often the thinnest as well as the best. So who is to blame? Maybe everyone; maybe no one.
            Whether people choose to blame the media, genetics, preexisting mental illnesses or even their mothers, the one thing that everyone should agree on is that something needs to be done…not next year, next month, or even tomorrow, but now!

Cavanaugh, C. and Lemberg, R. What we know about eating disorders: facts and 
statistics. In Lemberg, Raymond and Cohn, Leigh (Eds) (1999). Eating Disorders: A
reference sourcebook. Phoenix, AZ: Oryx Press.
Center for Disease Control. (2002). Body Measurement. Retrieved from
Mickley, D. (2004). Medication for anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. Eating Disorders
            Today, 2(4), 1 & 15
National Eating Disorder Association [NEDA]. (2006). Anorexia Nervosa & Bulimia Nervosa.
Retrieved from http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/index.php
South Carolina Department of Mental Health [SCDMH]. (2006). Eating Disorder Statistics.
            Retrieved from http://www.state.sc.us/dmh/anorexia/statistics.htm
Sullivan, P.F. (1995). Mortality in Anorexia Nervosa. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 152,             
       1073-1074. Retrieved from http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/abstract/152/7/1073

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tips on Tuesday: Spring Cleaning Tips

First of all WOAH 39 followers? When did that happen?!?! You all are awesome! I truly value your readership! I kinda feel like Jim Jones: Don't drink the Kool-Aid!

Finally the second installment in my "Tips on Tuesday" series, which hence forth will be called ToT (Tips on Tuesday takes up too much space). But I digress! My dear friend Libby requested that I do a ToT on cleaning since it's that time of the year when the weather has warmed up enough that people might actually brave the outdoors to leave their house and come to yours! I'm pretty darn good at organizing and cleaning if I do say so myself and I've also "discovered" some nifty double-duty items that can help you clean! So hold on tight folks because here. We. Go!!!

If you don't have an organizational system in place, how can you think that you'll be able to keep things clean and tidy all week long? If you're one of those people who starts off with a clean room on Sunday but by the time the following Sunday rolls around, you're surrounded by squalor and chaos, chances are you don't have an organizational system in place! So set one up!

  1. Open bins: I got a bunch of awesome black cloth bins at target and they really help streamline my closet and keep everything in its place! Because they're deep but also open on the top, its perfect for someone who is frequently in a hurry because then you can just toss things in when you're done using them! (If you put things away as you're done using them it saves tons of time in the long run!)
  2. Laundry hamper: I know this sounds silly but it's not what you think! If you're like my lovely former roommate Megan, getting dressed in the morning requires trying on 10 different outfits and then rushing out the door because you're late for class, leaving the carnage of discarded clothes in your wake! Or, if you just don't have time every day to put everything back where it goes (I know sometimes I don't) then try using a laundry hamper! I have 2 of those pop up mesh laundry hampers: 1 for dirty clothes, and 1 for all of the "stuff" that seems to breed and multiply every day! So when I'm in a hurry I just dump all of the "stuff" in the hamper and at the end of the week (or if I have time during the week) I sort and empty it! 
  3. Plastic storage: is great for crafts! I have a cart on wheels and it really keeps things organized! 
It doesn't matter what kind of system you use as long as it works for you! Think outside the box! Make it functional

My closet with the bins on the right and a curtain to divide it from my storage area

Tip: Divide and conquer! I often times get overwhelmed when I'm facing a disaster area aka my messy kitchen, office etc. So what I do is I break the chaos into little sections and focus on one section at a time! 

 Double Duty Items!
  1. Baking soda: it's your friend! Not only can it be used as an exfoliant, but if you have a stained coffee cup you can use it to get rid of the stain! Just place some on a clothe and gently run the stain until *ta-da* it's gone! Another nifty way to use baking soda is as a drain cleaner or a garbage disposal cleaner: Just pour a cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by a generous amount of vinegar. Immediately put a stopper in the drain so that the volcano aka the cleaning solutions can work on the drain...not the sink! (If you have a double sink (like you often see in kitchens, make sure you plug both sides! Wait 20 minutes and then pour extremely hot water down the drain! And now you have a clean and better smelling garbage disposal!! 
  2. Vinegar: in addition to cleaning a garbage disposal and being an awesome for a volcano, vinegar is also great for general cleaning around the house! It is a natural antibacterial but without all those harsh chemicals people so often use! To get great looking hardwood floors, put a small amount in a bucket and then fill with hot water! It cleans the hardwood, disinfects it, and keeps it looking faboulous! Vinegar can also be used if your cat has an accident (ahem Shnookums): just soak up any excess liquid and pour some vinegar on! (If that doesn't work rubbing alcohol is amazing!) Finally, if you have weeds in your yard, you can dilute some vinegar and spray in directly on the weeds and BAM they're gone!!
 Cleaning Products I swear by:
  1. Scotch's Fur Fighter: it really picks up the copious amounts of hair my cats seem to leave behind every where they go! I HIGHLY recommend it!
  2. Magic erasers: I've heard they increase your risk for cancer, but let's be honest: it seems like everything can cause cancer nowadays! Plus they actually work!
  3. Resolve Deep Clean Carpet Powder! It really makes carpet look brand new and smelling great but not overpowering...the next day any smell is gone so if you're picky "fuhget about it"! oh and there's a coupon right now for it (and all of their stain/carpet cleaning products): PowerofResolve.com coupon
  4.  Rubbing alcohol: Great for getting stains out of clothes and for getting kitty vomit out of carpet (I'm pretty sure Sweetie is trying to tell me he has an eating disorder...). Get up as much as you can then pour plenty of rubbing alcohol on the stain. Leave it for about 5 minutes then blot it all up!

So...did these tips help?

That's all for now!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sunday Confessional Pt 1

I mentioned quite awhile ago that I was going to do something called "Sunday Confessional" on Sundays but I slacked off (blame my course load) so this is actually my very first installment! Some of the things I'm going to confess are hard for me to say so I'd appreciate it if y'all tried to be understanding about it all! That being said, these aren't going to be the juiciest of confessions because well, it's the internet and I'd rather not have everyone know all of my deep dark secrets! Anywho....Here. We. Go!

  1. I have OCD. I joke about it now but when I was younger it was so bad that I couldn't sleep, eat, or interact *normally* with people. Luckily for my peers though, it gave them plenty of material to work with for their taunting! Now, I barely notice my OCD!
  2. I think I joke around so much about myself because if I make the jokes, other people can't...think of it as a preemptive strike!
  3. I still sleep with my childhood blanket aka Wooby...but it's for "medicinal purposes." I get really bad migraines and when I get them I become really ridiculously sensitive to smells and my blanket smells neutral...like me so when I get one I crawl into bed in the fetal position and put my blanket over my face to block out all the smells. 
  4. I broke my pinkie sleepwalking on my 8th grade trip to the mountains in Georgia...to make matters worse, I apparently went to everyone's cabin and asked them to take me to the bathroom. I then proceeded to fall down a flight of stairs (or something) down the side of the mountain which our "cabins" were built into and woke up crying in the bathroom! Fabulous!
  5. *Gulp* Despite my own religious beliefs, I sometimes think that the world would be a better place if there was no religion...STAY WITH ME HERE: religion and faith is something that people often are the most passionate about (and I'm not saying that's a bad thing) but so often, religion and faith is also the absence of   logic...religion explains the unexplainable and that can be a problem; when someone is so fervent about their beliefs (that usually defy logic) that they're willing to base their life around it and even willing to die for it...well that can be problematic. I think religion is, and has been, most definitely a component in a lot of conflicts between people and groups throughout time. It's the whole ingroup-outgroup thing and when people believe THAT strongly in something that isn't necessarily  rational...well it can be a mess. (Note: I also think religion can be a wonderful thing that brings people happiness and brings people together peacefully)
  6. I can't stand the song Born This Way by Lady Gaga! Don't hate me! Everytime it comes on the radio I scream "NOOOOOOOOoooo" and then immediately turn the station! Don't get me wrong, I like the message of the song but yikes it's just ugh! It reminds me of something you'd hear during the end credits of some made-for-TV Disney movie. Also, I feel like Lady Gaga is kinda exploiting her audience. It's no secret that a lot of her audience is made up of gay men and now she has a song called Born This Way...not so subtle
  7. Very few people know this but, my third grade teacher (who hated me with a passion) wrote in a report that she thought I was a sociopath. When I first read the report I was so hurt but now, it almost makes me laugh! I mean, if you know anything about me or are close to me then you know I feel things really deeply and that I empathize almost too much! (I also have issues with extreme guilt) When I was about 5 I hung up pictures of starving African children on my wall and went on a hunger strike because I thought me not eating would mean they'd get food. I used to "save" leaves that I saw blowing around in the wind because I felt bad that they were alone and cold so I'd shove them in my backpack and bring them home with me (it drove my mom crazy because at the end of the week when she'd empty my backpack it would be full of crushed leaves). Don't I sound like a sociopath?!

Sigh, but that's all! I hope you don't all hate me now! I'd love to hear your comments!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Fun Facts Friday: Sleepytime!

In honor of my sleep study tonight, I thought it would be fitting to do a FFF post on sleep! Because who doesn't love sleep?(Other than me of course!?)

  1. The sleepiest animal on the planet is the koala! Followed closely by the sloth, cats, and ME!
  2. 1 in 6 fatal car accidents are the result of one of the driver's fatigue
  3. The effect of being awake for 17 hours straight in terms of performance is equivalent to having a BAC of 0.05!
  4. During the teenage years, the biological sleep pattern shifts toward later times in both going to bed and waking up; it is natural for a teen not to be able to fall asleep until around 11pm or later.
  5. According to researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, "violent dreamers are 50%  more likely to develop a neurological illness [such as Parkinson's Disease or dementia] later in life.
So there ya go!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Come On Get Happy

Happiness doesn't come in a jar or on a hanger; it doesn't come with an automatic transmission, 4 doors, and a leather interior; happiness isn't anything you can buy or get from a store or some trendy boutique. Happiness truly does come from within. If our happiness was contingent upon external circumstances, it would not be our own; it would belong to the products, to the situations that manufactured it.
If you're only happy when life is going your way and people all adore you, what will happen when your so-called friends abandon you and it's been one of those weeks when everything has gone wrong? Life isn't always shiny and bright; sometimes it's one miserable situation after another in a long series of unfortunate events and no pair of designer jeans is going to make it better; YOU have to make it better!

I rarely (if ever) talk about the most important person in my life (no offense Mom and Dad) and maybe I should because he's my inspiration, my best friend, my guardian angel; his name is Stuart and he was the most incredible person I've ever known; he was also one of the happiest. Stuart wasn't some rich guy leading a charmed life though...I met Stuart when his sister posted a help wanted ad for a caregiver for him. The first time I met Stuart, he was lying motionless in his bed, covered by his favorite green blanket and staring at the ceiling; his every breath made possible by the endlessly beeping ventilator forcing air into his lungs via the tube stuck down his trachea. For years Stuart was truly a prisoner in his own body, only he didn't get a fair trial: no judge, no jury, just a devastating disease called Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) that left him unable to move, breathe, or even swallow. He couldn't eat his favorite food or experience the simple pleasure of a hot shower after a long day; and when he had a miserable, pain-filled day, he couldn't even hug someone. Yet Stuart was the happiest, most amazing man I have ever known. He never complained or felt sorry for himself; in fact, he was constantly sending out Thank You cards to anyone and everyone who had made his life better. Instead of focusing on the negative, Stuart was always thinking about the positive! He used to have me open his window on a stormy day so he could smell the rain in the air; he watched old Western movies so he could see all of the beautiful scenery...Stuart was trapped in a dying body for so many years and yet he brought so much life, so much joy to those around him; he did so much from his place in a hospital bed in a small room that he would never leave.

Stuart has made me the happy person that I am today; he saw the very best in me, only the best, and refused to see anything else; he believed in me with all of his heart, and his optimism, his happiness, was infectious. Stuart often said that the long talks and "moments of great joy" that we shared together were in a place where the disease (ALS) could never touch: in his heart.

So I guess my message for all of you loyal readers, is that, in a world driven by consumerism and fueled by chaos, true happiness comes from within.

Keep Reading,

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Tell Me What You Like About Yourself

First and foremost, I'm so sorry it's been such a long time since I've blogged; I had midterms and as much as I love blogging and love all you dearies, my classes have to be top priority! But for neglecting you all for so long I'm sorry-- with meaning (Side Note: When I was about 5 years old I got in trouble for doing who knows what to my sister and my parents demanded that I apologized; so I did; In the snobbiest most sarcastic voice I could muster I said "I'm sorry!" To which my Dad said (and by said I mean screamed) "Jennie, say you're sorry with meaning!" So I did... I said in that same grating voice oozing with sarcasm "I'm sorry with meaning") (Now every time I say I'm sorry--with meaning you'll get the reference!

Anywho, I don't know how many of you have seen a little show called Nip/Tuck but it's terrific drama about plastic surgery and the lives of the surgeons; every episode starts off with the same question posed to their potential client: "Tell me what you don't like about yourself." The answers have ranged from "I don't like my nose" to "my left leg shouldn't be there...please remove it." Regardless of the particular answer, there is always something that a prospective client doesn't like about their physical appearance (obviously...or they wouldn't be there paying an arm and a leg (heheh) to get something fixed).

If you were to ask me what I don't like about my physical appearance, well, let's just say I could write an entire blog devoted solely to aspects of my appearance that I abhor; I could do a different aspect every day and have plenty of material. But that's not the purpose of this post; my purpose in writing this post is to talk about what I actually DO like about my appearance (I hope that doesn't sound too narcissistic...I'm trying to see the good aspects instead of always focusing on the negative ones); and in turn I really want to hear from YOU, my loyal reader! I want to know what things about your appearance you personally like!

So here we go...what I like about my self (physically)
  1. The "beauty mark" on the apple of my left (?) cheek (face cheek...not the butt variety)
  2.  My collar bones when I hunch
  3. The parts of my hip bone that protrude a little....unless I'm laying down in which case it hurts
  4. The way my top lip looks when my mouth is partially open and my chin is tilted upwards
  5. The color of my eyes when I wear turquoise
  6. The natural dip where my bra strap goes (if that makes any sense)
  7. My scars...I know that seems weird to like an obvious flaw but I think they all tell a story and help make me who I am...(and will also help my mother in the event that she has to id my dead body =) I'm so thoughtful)
But yep, there she blows...and by there she blows I mean: There's my list of things I like about my appearance!

Now it's your turn!!!

That's all for now folks!
-Keep Reading


Friday, March 4, 2011

Fun Facts Friday: It's Cat-tastic!!

Nananananana CRAZY CAT WOMAN!!!!

So I've noticed that many-a follower/reader either has a cat or just plain digs them, so I've decided to post some fun facts all about cats wooo hooo! (Did I ever mention that I used to watch Animal Planet growing up...and that I used to take notes on it? Yes I am the epitome of nerddom.)

1.) There are 33 muscles in a cat's ear alone and can rotate each ear (independently) up to 180 degrees. They can also turn in the direction of a sound 10 times faster than even the best Fido.

2.) Cats can hear better than dogs and humans! Their hearing stops at 65 khz and humans' hearing stops at 20 khz.

3.) Cats purr at the same frequency as an idling diesel engine (26 cycles per second) !!!!

4.) Studies have shown that if a cat falls from the 7th floor of a building it is 30% less likely to survive than if it falls off the 20th floor. Apparently, it takes the cat 8 floors to process what is happening and then relax for impact.

5.) Hebrew folklore believes that cats came about because Noah was afraid that rats might eat all the food on the ark. He prayed to God for help. God responded by making the lion sneeze a giant sneeze -- and out came a little cat!

6.) Both large cats (lions and tigers) and domestic cats react to cat nip...of course there are some cats that just don't dig it.

7.) A falling cat will always right itself in a precise order. First the head will rotate, then the spine will twist and the rear legs will align, then the cat will arch its back to lessen the impact of the landing.

8.) Cats aren't nocturnal they're crepuscular which means they're more active at dawn and dusk...like a shark!

9.) A group of kittens is called a KINDLE!!!

10.) In ancient Egypt, entire families would shave their eyebrows as a sign of mourning when the family cat died

Now wasn't that just the cat's meow hehe

Keep Reading

Thursday, March 3, 2011

And the 7 Facts Blog Award goes to....

ME! Woot Woot Woot Woot (if my two year old niece were here she'd be doing the Woot Woot dance in my honor...I hope!

Anywho, a great gal and a fellow blogger named Whitney at (Un)Motivate(d) Me nominated me for this award.  Her blog is a "twentysomething's blog to find inspiration from a rather uninspiring life" and she writes about a wide range of topics: from products she's tried to ways to stay focused at work. So if you haven't gone and checked out Whitney's blog, you're missing out and you should go do something about that
The rules of the 7 Facts Blog Award are: 
Copy the award picture and add it to your blog 
Thank and link back to the person who tagged you 
Share 7 facts about yourselfPass it on to 15 other bloggers.
So with out any further ado, here are my 7 facts and the 15 bloggers who I want to pass this bad boy torch onto.

1. Job Indecision: Growing up (jeez how many times do I say that in my blog posts lol) when asked what I wanted to be when I "grew up" my answers were always changing. I started out wanting to be a biker (at the ripe 'ol age of 4...I had a Harley-Davidson leather jacket b/c I was a bad ass) then I switched and wanted to be Mother Teresa...upon learning this "fun fact" my mom said "so you want to be a biking nun?" Isn't that a nice lil mental image? Lol. After the nun phase, I wanted to be an actress/model/singer...I had a band (in grade school...we sucked) and I modeled kimonos in Japan (...my dad's friend Julie took pictures of me posing in the hotel room in a kimono). After my stint as a world-renown triple-threat, I decided I wanted to be a veternarian...then a journalist, and now...a doctor, although I've always wanted to be a doctor...I just didn't think I could do it and isn't that ironic? I thought I could be Mother Teresa but I didn't think it was realistic of me to want to be a doctor. But I'm going to do it!

2. I Used to be Black in the 70's: I have no clue what that means but my mom claims that she "used to be black in the 70's;" my mom is fish belly, gleaming white...if you stare at her too long, you'll get snow blindness (heh) so I'm not sure what happened...did she pull a Michael Jackson?  Ironically enough, I have also convinced people that I am black...no joke. I don't even know how many black guys I've convinced that I'm black...The conversation usually goes something like this:
Me: Whatchu talkin bout? Course I'm black!
Black Man: Girl you white.
Me: (expletive) please, just cuz I look white don't mean my daddy ain't black!
Black man: oh! My bad, my bad; I'm sorry girl
Me: Yeah wateva. 
No joke, I have literally had that exact conversation before. 

3. My Favorites: Artists= Salvador Dali and Roy Lichtenstein; Favorite Food= my mom's pasta primavera and Marzetti's ranch veggie dip; Favorite Colors= fluorescent pink, black & white (color scheme for my bedroom), and lime green....and red; Favorite TV Shows= Lie to Me, Bones, House, Family Guy (I watched that show way before all those frat guys grr), and Criminal Minds <3; Favorite Movies=Tristan+Isolde and Life is Beautiful.

4.You (Don't) Know Where I've Been: I've never been to Mexico but I've been to China, Japan, Jamaica (for a mission trip...I built a house, brought clean water and a water purification system to people who needed it, and visited an orphanage), Chile, Canada (doesn't really count as another country because I'm from Minnesota originally); Germany <3, France (barely), Italy, and Spain...I think I got em all.

5. All in the Family: I have a very loving, freakishly tall, quirky family.( We have a picture of Saint Eugene de Mazenoid...aka the Patron Saint of Dysfunctional Families, hanging in our kitchen. ) I have a mom and a dad who are still (usually) happily married, a bonus brother and a "regular" brother, two sisters, and two cats. I'm the baby in the family unfortunately but all us kids are pretty close in age. My bonus brother has 3 adorable kids and a gorgeous wife; my otha brotha is married to a great gal (I'm not sure how much my parents had to pay her for that) and they have 2 beautiful kids. My oldest sister is in med school and  is married to a pretty awesome guy and together they have a clone of me--my niece Annika. Finally my other sister is also in med school and making me look stupid everyday with her utter brilliance.

That's me in the middle doing my Home Alone face.

6. Obsessions: Well I have OCD but that's not what this is about lol...I'm obsessed with Victoria's Secret and Ben & Jerry's Strawberry Cheesecake ice cream (words have not yet been invented to capture the sheer awesomeness that is Strawberry Cheesecake ice cream...when it is legal, I shall marry it) I'm also obsessed with learning facts and making people laugh :-) oh and the Sims 3.

7. Phobias: I don't like calling my fears phobias because, well, my fears are normal. I mean there are people who are afraid of death and public speaking; that's just stupid...we're all going to die one day and chances are pretty good that you're going to have to speak in public. Me, I'm afraid of sharks.Tell me that isn't a rational fear...I dare you! FDR once said: "There's nothing to fear but fear itself." I'm pretty sure he was referring to sharks as "fear itself," I might be wrong but let's face it...I'm not. When I first saw Jaws I was fuh-reaked out! I remember whenever I would have to get out of bed in the middle of the night to go potty I would fear that the pink carpet (really more of a salmon color....it was the 90s) would randomly turn into the ocean and that Jaws would eat me. I always reassured myself though that that wasn't rational...I'd think to myself, "Jennie don't be an idiot; you know sharks don't live in Minnesota...it's too cold." (Notice I didn't say "Jennie don't be an idiot; you know the salmon-colored carpet can't turn into the ocean.") But then....we moved to Florida, less than a mile from the beach and yes sharks could live in Florida...but I didn't let my fears get out of control. Recently however, I moved to my own place in Arizona and when I was cleaning one day you know what I found? A shark's tooth in the middle of the carpeted floor of my bedroom. I fuh-lipped: "OMG the carpet can turn into the ocean...even in a landlocked state like Arizona." 

Now that you know all about me....here are the 15 bloggers who I think deserve this illustrious award: