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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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Endometrial Uterine Lining Biopsy NEGATIVE FOR CANCER! Woohoo!

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Endometrial biopsy of my uterine lining came back negative for cancer!

That being said, they still want to go ahead with the hysterectomy, as I have severe adenomyosis- and they still have to actually biopsy the rest of my tubes and uterus as well, once removed.

I am not looking forward to the 2 month recovery time

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The Decline of My Kishkes, or Retroverted Uteruses & Reproductive Health Scares Part I

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I have a tipped/tilted/retroverted uterus and it can be annoying, to put it mildly

WARNING: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN GRAPHIC AND/OR HILARIOUSLY DISGUSTING DESCRIPTIONS OF DOCTOR’S VISITS, BIOPSIES, RETROVERTED UTERINE ISSUES, AND ADENOMYOSIS/CYSTIC OVARY SYMPTOMS. IF YOU CAN’T BEAR TO READ STUFF LIKE THIS- SPOILER ALERT- GO AWAY NOW.

“Pet Peeve #545:

When ALL your specialists and primary care doctor feel your issues are gynecological, yet your male gyno thinks everyone is wrong and refuses to listen to you OR EVEN TEST YOU until you stick a proverbial foot way up his ass”

This blog started out primarily because of my freakish reproductive system (hint, Maisie).

It is only fitting that I update the trials and tribulations of my nearly 50 year old reproductive organs.

Let me preface this by saying, I am not in menopause and my body doesn’t seem to know it is a-coming. My menstrual cycle is consistently 28-30 days.

I also was born with a retroverted/tilted/ass backwards uterus. Such conditions can worsen over time from childbirth or other uterine issues.


According to Wikipedia, it is defined as:

A retroverted uterus (tilted uterus, tipped uterus) is a uterus that is tilted posteriorly. This is in contrast to the slightly “anteverted” uterus that most women have, which is tipped forward toward the bladder, with the anterior end slightly concave.”

“Tilted posteriorly” means tilted towards your ASS, ie, posterior. Mine is particularly tilted waaaay back, which makes basic bodily functions more difficult over time- more gross details to follow later.

Oddly, I started having some very strange symptoms that became progressively worse in the years after Maisie was born. I went to specialist after specialist to no avail. Gastro docs, urologists, nephrologists, rheumatologists, gynecologists, pain specialists who simply wanted to get me hooked on pain pills, which I refused- nobody could figure out what the hell was wrong with me.

I had lower back pains and kidney infections that did not start out as urinary tract infections- and I’ve never really had bladder infections prior to this, though I’ve had kidney stones before. They kept coming back, no antibiotic seemed to help. My doctor sent me to every specialist she could think of. My bowels stopped working regularly. I had to take massive stool softeners and even that didn’t always help. 

Everything, every test came back normal. I was starting to feel like I was losing my mind, but I KNEW something was wrong.

(for my rant on what I pay for my crazy expensive healthcare insurance, go here)

I KNOW my body and I am pretty much a health nut. I live a Ketogenic lifestyle. I rarely drink and never have been much of a drinker. I don’t ‘party’. I love to cook healthy meals. I work out a lot- I am a FitBit freak and try to get at least 10k-20k steps a day, mostly for the endorphins. The few prescriptions meds I must take, for high blood pressure (another genetic pain in the ass) and GERD, I do religiously. I don’t have depression.

I mean, I HAVE to take care of my health. I had a baby at 45.5 and I want to live to see her grow up. There can be NO room for error at this point. My child needs me to be healthy.

In mid-December 2017, my primary care physician ordered an ultrasound of my pelvic region. The results were complex septated cysts in my left ovary, thickening in my uterus, etc. Complex septated cysts are considered a bit more dangerous than regular ones.

My paternal grandmother died of ovarian cancer at my exact age. Her daughters and one son all carry the BRCA1 mutation. 3 out of the 4 girls had BRCA1 breast cancer. My father was fortunate- he was the only child out of 6 to not have the mutation. Unfortunately, even though I am not a carrier, this still increases my own chances of gynecological cancers.

A MRI was recommended as a follow up. Because we couldn’t get the MRI approved by the insurance company, we had to go with a 6 week follow up ultrasound.

On top of this, I take care of my family- and I mean everyone, including extended family. I am the medical POA for many and the patient advocate for the rest.

I spent months in San Diego this year (and the end of 2017) sleeping in a trauma unit with a family member who was in a catastrophic motorcycle accident- and taking care of them once they were discharged. I only came back to Michigan because of my own health issues.

While in Encinitas, CA, I had my follow up ultrasound at Scripps hospital. It showed no change in the cyst size, but my uterus was getting larger, with new polyps and fibroids and thickening of the uterine walls.

Armed with this info, I sent the ultrasound results to my primary doctor in Michigan. She felt it was urgent that I come home and get this checked out, since my ‘fancy’ insurance didn’t work in the state of California and my pain and symptoms were worsening by the day.

We set up an appointment for March with a gynecologist and I forwarded all of the info from CA to his office a month ahead of time.

I planned for fly back home to MI in March for my scheduled appointments and be back in CA to take care of my family member after the appointments, as they still could not care for themselves.

It didn’t work out this way.

Little did I know, there was going to be a fight on my hands just to get my MRI and to be taken seriously, as his staff did not put the 2nd ultrasound in my chart…

(to be continued in part 2 with the discovery of adenomyosis, cancer biopsies and testing, and my journey towards hysterectomy)


 

 

 

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I haven’t been able to write or update about my mom, but here are some photos from today…

It is heartbreaking. I have no words. My son and I visited this afternoon.

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Jess- 3 Days Post Cheat Day & 3 lbs Down: Keto Over 40- The Stress & Obese Teen Edition

Down another half pound since Monday morning- 161 lbs or about 3 lbs lost of cheat day weight (half)

11 lbs gone in 16 DAYS- down from 14 lbs in 12 days

Wearing my 26 yr old junior college sweatshirt and it fits!

It’s been a very stressful week. My 3 yr old is sick again with croup, my mother was just moved into assisted living, and other things like stress eating and exercise.

Trying to get my very overweight 19 yr old son with Aspergers into keto and yoga with me- very worried about his health. He is 5’10 and 276 now. Today will be his first day.

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After Cheat Day Updates and 16 Hours With No Power– then a keto dinner

I am 1.5 lbs down from the 5.5-5 lbs I gained after Sunday. I won’t lie, I am a bit disappointed. I weighed in at 162, took 1/4 pack of the ketone drink with my favorite black Organo coffee with ganoderma reishi mushrooms, and went on with my day… which was almost entirely without power/electricity due to a tree falling on power lines 1/2 a mile from my house last night.

We didn’t get our power back until 4 pm today.

It is starting to get chilly outdoors (30s/40s), so temps in my house dipped below 60F most of last night and today. It wasn’t fun, since I currently have a toddler who is sick with croup and fever (again).

I have been rather strict with my keto diet since yesterday. Today’s meal was my favorite standby of roasted beef marrow bones with avocado halves and a salad of arugula, capers, shallots, lemon, and olive oil.

I am hoping tomorrow’s scale is better… but I kind of overate the keto foods tonight at the last minute…  even though I have over an hour of cardio in, some weighted hula hooping, and over 19k steps per fitbit today.

It’s been such a stressful week! I need to keep moving to save my sanity!

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Keto Weight Loss Update! 12 lbs gone is 11 Days! (Pics and video vlog)

There is absolutely no way to make Lularoe leggings look flattering on me, but I am down 12 pounds in 11 days!

I am only 5’4 and a half, maybe, so I am not a tall, lithe person. I am extremely muscular and moderately active at the moment. I have not had the time I usually have to do yoga or get more than 10-12k fitbit steps in lately, so this is mostly from the keto diet and the ketone drink I started drinking less than 2 weeks ago. The drink helped me over the plateau weight I’ve been hovering at for a year.

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A Funny and A Sad Blurb From My Mom…

Went to visit my mom today at the mental health facility.

Her dementia is far more evident now that her bipolar and aggression are under control, and it is sad to realize how much she’s losing. She clutches a piece of paper with my number and my dad’s in her hand all day long.

She was happy to see us- Maisie gave her hugs and kisses. Maisie was allowed in as long as a nurse was there to supervise.

My mom’s odd, frontal temporal lobe, filter lacking sense of humor shone through when I filled her in about the dodgy assisted living home owner guy. I mentioned to her that he’d been insistent that she needed to divorce my dad.

Mom: “What did he say?!”

Me: “He said you needed to divorce dad, he was insisting and asking when this would happen”

Mom: “I don’t remember spending time with him, did I give him a blowjob or something? Why is he asking this??! I don’t remember giving him a blowjob…”

She laughed and then said “Get me out of there, I don’t like that”

A few minutes later, with a straight face, she said:

“You need to tell your dad I want a divorce”… and she was back in her sad dementia loop again.

We could only visit for an hour, as visitation is 7:30-8:30 pm only.

When I got home, she called crying, saying we left too early. She read the sign, then saw the clock and realized we left at the right time.

She was both funny and heartbreaking tonight.

I have a sick pit in my stomach.