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Blogging as an Accidental Influencer in the Age of Covid

Once upon a time we could drive to spectacular locales and flash our uncovered smiles all over our blogs or social media.

That time is no longer.

We’re stuck in our houses- and if you’re a covid survivor, like I am- have extreme PTSD and anxiety about socializing, reaching out, the entirety of 2020- everything.

I’ve rediscovered this blog as a therapeutic way to reach out to people, especially those like me, who are shut in with their families and going stir crazy for life again… but unable to do so in this new circumstance we find ourselves in.

I am an accidental influencer… I have been since my daughter was born and I just started posting her photos on Instagram 6 years ago.

I accidentally fell pregnant with the child at age 45, long after most of my peers had stopped having their broods and looked forward to grandkids.

I didn’t know about hashtags and all that- honestly, I am still learning. I just saw that others were tagging the clothes and the things that their kids wore and thought that was ‘the new thing’. 23k plus Instagram followers later, I am still in a kind of confused shock.

At that time, I was a 40 something woman stuck in the house with a baby and reaching out- hoping to find others like me. I was hoping to share our experiences and I found so many like me, which was encouraging and comforting.

The most enjoyable part of being an influencer is not only the free stuff I am able to try out and review- without having to actually leave my home- but also being able to connect with others who are as isolated as we are.

While I am far more successful using my Instagram account as a vehicle for expressing myself and our daily lives, I’ve discovered other ways (which I am hoping to try out soon) to reach a broader influence.

Pinterest has launched a new IG type format, which I think may be a very interesting new facet in the world of social media sharing/influencing:


https://www.engadget.com/pinterest-launches-story-pins-influencers-130047393.html

I enjoy following other influencers as well, like Amy West, whose rise to influencer ‘stardom’ can be seen here:

https://intellifluence.com/blog/amy-west-influencer-spotlight

Personally, I don’t have the ambition to create that level of fabu-bloggery. I’m a loathsome GenX underachiever with very little time on my hands. 

I love ‘checking in’ in between homeschooling and raising my kid and caring for extended family- and staying alive in general.

It is fun glimpsing other people’s lives, even as a lurker. It’s inspiring reading what others have to share- without the social anxiety or the threat of disease… a way for those of us closet introverts to connect with others and grow.

We NEED more people out there with voices, so if you’re interested in becoming an ‘influencer’ as well, start a blog. Tweet. Write. Post on Instagram.

If you’re a Covid or other type of survivor, like I am- share your stories. We all need to feel a little less alone during these scary, sterile times.

We all have something to say and there are many out there, like me, who would love to read your stories.

I wish you all good health and safety during this absolutely mind-boggling horrorshow that is 2020.

Jess



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Rebounder Set Up, New Stability Bar, and Cake the Kitten (plus video) and 10% off!

View this post on Instagram

Cake the kitten went wild when he saw the new rebounder and wouldn’t get off! He likes to bounce around, too- and will often get under the thing while we’re bouncing. He’s a little hellion. LOL.

Since surviving pulmonary embolisms and covid, I have to use a rebounder to keep my hear rate stable and my immune system going smoothly- will be writing more about that on the blog at missmaisieandme.com (I know, I am a tad bit late, but homeschooling this kid has turned into an all day thing this week). We even keep one in our RV at the farm! 

Currently, we’re using a 48” rebounder from @leapsandrebounds, but now we will be putting another smaller 40” rebounder in the RV instead (which should save precious space).

I have a new stabilizer bar for when I get dizzy spells or for when my father, who is older and has essential tremor, needs to use it.

❤️In this post, you can get 10% off Rebounders from @leapsandrebounds! ✔️Follow their page! ✔️use MissMaisie10 at checkout for your discount OR go to this link: ✔️https://leapsandrebounds.com/discount/MissMaisie10 💋🎈💗😘

#rv #rvliving #rvliving #rvexercise #rebounding #rebounder #covid_19 #covid #covidsummer2020 #covidsurvivor #pulmonaryembolism #pulmonaryembolismsurvivor #lupus #essentialtremor #vertigo #leapsandrebounds #healthylifestyle #chronicillness #kitten #kittensofinstagram #kittens #cat #catsofinstagram #catsofinstagram

A post shared by Miss Maisie & Mommy (@missmaisiebabyfashionista) on

It wasn’t a difficult set up, except for the part where the man boinged himself with a bungee… absolutely LOVE the new rebounder and can’t wait to get it into the RV.

(also, to get it out of the little house. I have no room in here for 2 rebounders)

Cake the kitten was RIDICULOUS about the new one. He was bouncing and dancing all over the thing for a solid 2 hours.

I really LOVE the new stabilizer bar. I thought I ordered one for a larger trampoline, but I was mistaken. Keeping it, though. It’s great to have something to hold onto when one is feeling off balance or dizzy.

I got the bar for my dad’s rebounder originally, but it doesn’t fit the 48″ ones (It only fits the smaller ones). It really improves the experience, even for me. It makes me feel safer when I am wobbly. I suffer from vertigo and weird dizziness leftover from being sick still. My dad has essential tremor and balance issues (thanks, Vietnam War). Having a stability bar is a must for those of us with issues such as these.

The bar has 3 height adjustments, with the highest being comfortable enough for someone about 6′ or more.

I really love this new addition to our rebounder, I will probably order a big one for both dad and me.

I haven’t had time to write the lonnnng (and it will be long) PTSD filled trauma surrounding my covid and pulmonary embolism recovery, due to beginning home schooling the kiddo and other weird snafus (like 3 people in my family, including the kitten, injury their right legs/paws).

I am still offering the 10 percent discount from Leaps and Rebounds for any of these purchases if you would like one of these for yourself.

In this post, you can get 10% off Rebounders from www.leapsandrebounds.com

✔️Follow their page at https://www.instagram.com/leapsandrebounds/


✔️use MissMaisie10 at checkout for your discount OR

✔️go to this link:
https://leapsandrebounds.com/discount/MissMaisie10
💋🎈💗



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Aleph Bet Hebrew Skirt Project

We felt well enough to finish sewing her Aleph Bet Hebrew Alphabet skirt (with literal NAPS in between steps), just in case we’re well enough to attend family services tomorrow. She learned the Shema and Oseh Shalom with the other little ones and they’re kicking off a special Friday thing tomorrow.

She also loves (and I mean LOVES) this video of the kids Hebrew Alphabet song- at the rate she is going, we could possibly add Hebrew to her English and Persian and Filipino and smattering of French she knows already:

She also received a “Little Trixie”- a dressmaker’s dummy dressform, whatchamacallit. I call my big one Trixie, so now I guess it’s Trixie Sr.

The kiddie one is by Dritz and it is ADORABLE.  Maisie keeps hugging it like it’s her best friend. The measurements are adjustable to about size 12-14 kids, so this thing should hold up for a long, long time.

Maisie is slim and tall, so the measurements are a bit bigger than her actual girth- but with elastic waistbands and twirly skirts, that doesn’t matter.

All Maisie requests in a skirt are that they twirl and they have cool fabric. I can do this.

Actually, R’s been doing the actual sewing, while I tell him what to do. I prefer draping and design and hand sewing to machine stuff and cutting. To him, using a sewing machine is no different than making things out of wood with tools. He just has to be told how to do it and he does it.

All skirts are lined. I think the next one will only have elastic in the back of the waistband, unless I feel lazy.

I honestly decided to make these because:

1. Well made girl’s skirts are PRICEY

2. We all know how to sew and I would love her to have unique prints and fabrics

3. It helps to teach her to sew and know where her clothes come from and HOW THEY ARE CONSTRUCTED.

I think this is important. I was taught these skills and I want to pass them to her.

4. We love projects! LOL!

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Maisie’s Little Stomach Bug Nearly Felled Us All!

Holy moly! That ‘little bug’ the child brought home from Montessori not only infected her (she actually had the mildest form)- I toppled after, like a tree. I seriously thought I was going to die. It was one of those bugs that involves all ends and orifices (sorry for the TMI), makes one feel like you’ve been beaten with wire hangers by disgruntled 40s film stars.

Not pleasant- and it made me sleep for days.

The rest of the fam thought it was easy-peasy and I was just having some health spell (because Maisie made it look so innocuous)- until THEY were hit with it.

I actually found one older male family member passed out on the floor between the downstairs toilet and the piano room guest bed, where he decided to camp (to be closer to the loo)- he’d been there for 3 hours and too weak to get up!

After frantic texts to my long-suffering, but freaking fantastic doctor, who told me to get 1/2L of liquid into him every 30 min, do his vitals, etc- he survived. He told me he seriously didn’t think he would survive. It scared him- and everyone else.

I spooned soup and dry toast and bagel into everyone… and bleached and scrubbed and washed nasty things I won’t mention.

I also made homemade saffron chicken garlic soup with noodles (and once with wild rice) 2 days running. If you don’t have an Instant Pot, buy one, NOW. It saved our lives. How else can one cook a 4 hour soup in under 30 minutes? Amazing gadget.

R was also hit hard and is still in feeling the effects.  He’s young, he’ll live. Even my dad’s got a touch of it, but he has the sense to hydrate. I have to remind everyone else to keep drinking.

I kept the BRAT diet thing on point. Seemed to work.

R, who is allergic to milk, decided to drink it for his heartburn- when I told him a Zantac would have been more effective- and now he’s back to stomach issues. What can I do?!

I can just say “I told ya so” and make sure they try to follow some sort of sensible thing.

It’s weird- I am frequently sick, so I know how severe this was. It was worse than my emboli, seriously. When you’re out of your mind with fever and in pain, you just pretty much think the the end is near lol. Being the healthiest cat in the house, besides Maisie, was a new one for me- or the first time in the longest time.

C didn’t get it, yet. I hope he never does. He has the heartiest immune system in the house, knock wood.

Maisie seems to be over it. Her appetite returned with a vengeance today.

We felt well enough to finish sewing her Aleph Bet Hebrew Alphabet skirt (with literal NAPS in between steps), just in case we’re well enough to attend family services tomorrow. She learned the Shema and Oseh Shalom with the other little ones and they’re kicking off a special Friday thing tomorrow.

So much for the update- will add more in next post!

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Maisie’s Sick In Bed YouTube Science Videos

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My poor little monkey woke up with a stomach bug. She’s rarely sick, knock wood- and refused to believe there was anything wrong with herself.

She DID have time this morning to want to make math and science vids from her 4 yr old perspective.

#1 tells the difference between googol and Google:

#2 is kind of all about the tastebuds of the tongue…

45282420_10156374768519024_6940241377343045632_n

She’s so cute, even when she’s not feeling well! ❤

 

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(Videos) Maisie’s Science Corner: She Explains How We Hear & How Planes Fly

Four year old Maisie explains “The Bones of the Middle Ear and How We Hear” (and yes, she needs her hair brushed):

And, in this one, she tries to explain how airplanes fly:

I think my kid is stinking cute, super smart, though her English could use some improving (we’re multilingual)- and that EVERY PARENT/HUMAN should watch or let their kids watch Storybots on Netflix. She adores this show and learns SO much.

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Updates on Last Hospital Visit/Pulmonary Embolisms

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at Kalamazoo Hospital- warts and all, no fuckin’ filter. 

Consolidating everything here:

I had a DaVinci Robotic hysterectomy on 12 July- they kept my ovaries (and doc says I may not go into menopause til near 60, as I apparently have abnormally young bits, yikes)- this surgery cured a lot of pain, but caused even worse. I almost died suddenly from blood clots to both lungs which were directly from the surgery, they surmise.

3 Weeks after my initial diagnosis and my embolisms on both sides are exactly the same as they were on August 8, but have not gotten new ones and they haven’t grown- had chest CT at Bronson last night.

Doc believes the first embolism may have occurred on July 27th, as I had an ‘attack’ that I thought was a newfound food allergy- but consistent with PEs.

However, it doesn’t sound like they’ve gotten any smaller, either…

I need to see a cardiologist at Bronson ASAP and have a Holter monitor done to find out what is going on, but they cannot do that In the ER.

They seem to think that my symptoms are because of this PE and I need to take it easy until the cardiologist fits me with a Holter- 

I feel very frustrated that I am basically supposed to be bedridden. The doctor said it was more important for me to hydrate than to move around at this point

Hospital cut me loose last night with a long acting beta blocker (metoprolol)- I am only supposed to take a fraction. He wants mr to start with half at bedtime, but I’ve played this bp med game before. I will do a quarter tonight.

I am waiting for the referral to go through with the cardiology department at Bronson in Kalamazoo, MI- which is 45 min from me, but a better hospital than the one around the corner.

Until then, I am basically supposed to act like a vegetable and keep hydrated.

My resting heart rate is higher daily, no matter what I do. This morning I woke up to it being 83 on avg while flat on back. I am power hydrating. My old avg per fitbit was 69-70. It goes up every day now this week. If I stand, it shoots up to 120-130 minimum.

Took over a dozen sticks, an u/s, and 1.5 hours to get a 20 port IV into me so I could have a CT. The head mosquito vascular nurse said I broke her streak. I’m a horribly terrible poke. LOL. Basically, I am the micropenis of the vein world. That’s a comforting thought. 

However, probably the nicest hospital experience I’ve had in years. Immediate, prompt care- real eye contact. Immediate info and they didn’t hold us hostage for 3 days and keep trying to drug me with hysterical Victorian woman meds.

There you have it.

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Still recovering or holding steady

Went to the ER again, this time in Kalamazoo. CT shows that both pulmonary embolisms have not grown, though they’ve not shrunk yet. I am having tachycardia (high heart rate), even if I walk across the room- so I am bedridden a lot, which is not cool.

I used to have to run or workout hard to get to 140 beats per minute- now I can do that walking down two flights of stairs to my kitchen. My resting heart rate is around 81 right now, which is INSANE for me.

I was pretty fit right up til 20 min before my clots (for someone with my genetic and age related crap). I ran, I walked, I was a fitbit freak. I don’t do drugs, I don’t smoke, I rarely drink- but when I do, it is with friends and family- I stopped eating carbs until my surgery. I felt amazing til the hysterectomy… ok, well, I AM a little reclusive by nature. I like just being with my kid and doing stuff quietly. I can’t even do that now.

I was right about the robot trepidation, I guess. They suspect that surgery caused this shite.

I am getting referred to a cardiologist to be put on a Holter monitor- and see a blood specialist about my genetic clotting disorder this week.

I am too stubborn to die. I refuse to leave my little girl. I’ve advocated for patients in the past- it is more difficult to advocate for yourself when you are infirm.

This morning I dreamed of my childhood bestie, Roger. He died about 6 yrs ago, suddenly. Had the same thing the actor John Ritter died from, just fell down and died at not even 40. He’d broken up with his boyfriend some time earlier, but had his room mate living with him at the time, who called the paramedics when he heard it happening.

I dreamed I was in Roger’s old bedroom from when we were teens on Red Arrow Highway in Watervliet. It was empty except for a waterbed and a little dog was hiding under the covers, and I pet it- it was a white small dog, not like the ones he owned that I remember. I had to go in his old closet to get a checkbook and get some of his bills paid- and his old closet was far deeper and larger than it had been. He was nowhere to be found, but I talked to the air and told him his bills were paid, then I saw another old friend (not Rog- and I presume still alive) whom I haven’t seen in over 2 decades- but none of my friends in the house could see him and asked me who the hell I was talking to…

The most comforting thing was seeing my other friend, who I believe is still alive, but lives abroad. It was so real. I put on a brave face to most people and really don’t get into the emotional aspects or fears associated with this crap, but it does scare the shit out of me.

People EXPECT me to be the tough bird, the crutch for them… except for this blog or my other writing outlets, I tend to not let people in. I suspect a lot of folks are like me, IDK.

Life, for me, is stop whining and get the fuck on with it, usually.

I almost died this month, suddenly, from bilateral pulmonary embolisms. I don’t want to die. I REFUSE.

Rog, I love you, but I don’t want to see you anytime soon. Maybe in 40 yrs. XO

My other friend/s. I love you all, too- even the ones I haven’t seen or neglected to reach out to for a million years. Thank you for reading this and I am sorry I have not been updating very often.

 

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Rough morning after 2 weeks of smooth recovery

Been feeling better than anyone could have imagined, with having pulmonary embolisms in both lungs. My lung sounds and functions were clear, my ‘spells’ less so- I felt fantastic… until this morning when I woke abruptly this morning.

I woke up at 6 am, sweating and not able to catch breath. It’s 2 weeks since I was diagnosed with bilateral PEs and I haven’t had a ‘spell’ like this in over a week. I’d been feeling better.

I feel like it burns all the way into the middle of both lungs, hard to catch an inhalation, feel like I have to cough phlegm, but nothing.

My bp is lower than normal 102/80. I woke with tachycardia (fast heart rate) over 120, that went down to the 90s.

I’ve not had spells this bad since the hospital. My pulse ox reads anywhere from 93-98, depending.

I still can’t take a deep breath right now… it’s getting better, but it’s scary nonetheless.

I don’t drink, don’t smoke. I just started getting my steps back up from nil to 7k the last three days. I’m on the ketogenic diet.

When they said recovery is a process with pulmonary embolisms, they were not kidding. I can have relatively normal, excellent days- then BAM! Scary, back to square one.

Some folks in my support group say it takes months to years to recover.

My stubborn self was hoping for WEEKS. I push myself too hard. I am depressed, as much as I can be. Mostly because I don’t like to be idle.

Saw my gynecological oncologist this week and everything in that area is looking great since the hysterectomy. This surgery caused my PEs, btw.

I am too ornery and cantankerous to die. Too much to do… and I have a child to care for.

I refuse to succumb, but if anything happens to me, tell my baby I loved her.

So far, I am told I am lucky to be alive as it is. For this, I am absolutely grateful.

I have so many people I love and have loved. I don’t want to go anywhere.

I want to celebrate being alive. 2018 was rough. I am not the only person in my family to nearly lose their life in a sudden accident this year. We are blessed to be here right now.