Freaking the Hell Out

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I am 10 days away from surgery. This sucks balls. Actually, I wish I HAD balls because none of this would be happening at all. Men have it so easy, I swear. I protest the inequality of gender based body parts!!! I’ll start workin’ on a chant…

My uterus is being evicted and hopefully it will not steal valuable piping on its way out. Uterus and cervix are both going. Leaving ovaries but cysts on them may be removed. We know that I have one intramural golf ball sized fibroid, adenomyosis and ovarian cysts. Often times they find more once in there because the ultrasound can only see so much. So, if there are no other issues and everything goes smoothly, the surgery should take about 2 hours using the DaVinci Robotic method.

The Dr. (the gyno I have had for over a decade) who was to perform my surgery sadly broke his leg and will be out of work for a few months. Because of this, I had to reschedule with the one other Dr. at that hospital who does the DaVinci. I was very freaked out and worried about this. I even took it as a sign that I was not supposed to have this procedure. But I met with the new Dr. and was impressed with the time he spent with me, his patience (let’s face it…I can be quite annoying) and his confidence. I think he may be my first Dr. who is younger than me. That does not thrill me – but purely for vanity reasons.

If you know me, you know I sometimes have a tendency to obsess and panic. Well, my brain has definitely decided to focus on a particular fear and, like a rabid pit bull, will not let go for anything. DVTs/Blood Clots/Pulmonary Embolism. Yep. My brain will not stop worrying about this possibly complication. This is a possibility with any surgery, but more so with abdominal surgery. And I am freaking the fuck out. Dying and leaving Cassidy behind is unfathomable to me. Can’t have it. And every single day – at LEAST once – I think about cancelling. To me, being miserable some times is far better than being dead. But I guess that is a silly way to look at it. At least, that is what they are telling me.

I have always had this fear, but now that I am actually facing the possibility of having it happen – my phobia is through the roof. And what sucks, it really isn’t all that uncommon of a complication. In fact, many surgeons around the country and in other countries give prophylactic  blood thinners to prevent them. Some Drs do and some don’t. Mine do not. It seems as though it is controversial and the medical community doesn’t fully agree on the most appropriate procedures. Some surgeons are more worried about bleeding and others, clots. Personally, having read so many stories, it seems that bleeding complications are far less fatal than pulmonary embolisms. I guess I would rather risk a bleed. So yea. I need to let go of this really soon because it is driving me bonkers.

I have been listening to some pre-surgery guided meditations and it does help. Also just trying to relax as much as possible. This is definitely one of the hardest things I have ever gone through. I have thought and it has been mentioned to me that seeking out spiritual advice may help with my fears – especially about dying. Because I waste far too much time worrying about being dead to actually enjoy living. This needs to change. STAT. I am going to talk to a few people from different spiritual backgrounds and hopefully this may help.

My wonderful MOFO lady friends had a lovely dinner party for me last weekend. It was so nice – soups, salads, bread, wine, deserts and a lot of great support. I am so lucky to have a group of women like them in my life. My husband and mom have also been helpful and will be taking care of me post-op. They are both kind of on the…ummm…less emotional side. So I do hope they can be supportive when I need it most and when I may be difficult to deal with.

It has been a little surprising who has been outwardly supportive (is inwardly supportive even a thing?) and who has not. I am not bothered by it. Some people just aren’t like that. But even the smallest shreds of compassion or warmheartedness have and will mean so much to me for a very long time – likely forever. You just don’t forget shit like that.

Well, that is enough blabbering on and on about shit no one cares about for now. I will talk at ya later.

Lady Parts Go Bye Bye ***TMI and More TMI…Fair Warning***

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What I write below is very personal. Many will also consider it graphic or gross. I am not writing this for entertainment purposes. I am writing this for those who are out there and in the same boat as me…to know they are not alone. I am also writing this for my own cathartic reasons. It helps. And I hope that maybe it will help someone else too.

It has been almost a month since I last spoke about my glorious gynecological issues. As I explained at that time, it looks as though a hysterectomy is in my future. My symptoms are getting worse and I felt so awful last week that I made an urgent visit to my original OB/GYN here in Racine. As soon as he walked through the door, the tears began to stream. Partially because of how awful I felt, partially because of my fear and partially because I felt guilty for going to another Dr. in the past months.

I have been with this Doc for over a decade. He helped me through a cancer scare and some in office and out-patient procedures. He delivered my daughter 9 1/2 years ago. And he has always been very good to me. I decided in that moment that it was indeed time to have this surgery and that it should be preformed by my long-time doc.

When having a hysterectomy there are many options to consider:

Do you keep your cervix? Do you keep your ovaries? If you do not keep your ovaries, will you use hormone replacement therapy? How much recovery time? Possible complications? Hospital stay? Medications? Anesthesia? Surgery duration? Cancer possibilities and pathology? These are just a few.

For me, I will not be keeping my cervix due to past cancer scares – why take the risk of having to have another surgery later. It’s basically just a cancer catcher at this point. And taking it actually makes the surgery easier from what I have read.

I will be keeping my ovaries because the hormones and blood flow provided by the ovaries are very beneficial to a woman’s health. Not to mention, the thought of going into menopause at 39 sounds pretty miserable and depressing. I do have ovarian cysts and since my grandmother had ovarian cancer – I need to be careful. So he will take a good look and biopsy if needed. Because I am keeping my ovaries, some symptoms will likely remain after surgery.

Recovery time really depends on the particular surgery, patient and the extent of the problems in dat der plumbin’. Hopefully, my issues are not extensive. They usually do not know what they are getting into until they get in there for a look. The amount of fibroids, cysts, adenomyosis, endometriosis, the size of the uterus (the more disease, usually the larger the uterus), possible adhesions to other organs, etc…can all play a role in recovery, surgery time, type of surgery, hospital stay and possible complications. There is so much uncertainty when going into a procedure like this. I really won’t know much until I wake up. Scary.

What is expected for me:

Thursday March 20th. I will go in at 11am. Surgery is scheduled for 1pm. I will be put under general anesthesia and intubated. I will be placed onto a table that inverts me backwards so that my feet are higher than my head (this is going to be WONDERFUL for my back and neck issues…sarcasm). I will then be pumped up with carbon dioxide so that there is room to see everything and for the mechanical instruments to move freely. As long as it is an easy enough case – the plan is to use DaVinci Robotic Surgery (you can actually watch video of the DaVinci surgery HERE from the internal doctor’s eye view – if you are not too squeamish). There will be 3-5 incisions. He expects the surgery will be around 2 hours. You can kinda see the set up below. The surgeon is the one at the video game looking console.

After surgery I will go to a recovery area while I wake up. If everything goes well, I will be transferred to a hospital room for an overnight stay. If anything is iffy, I will stay longer. I will be given pain medication and they will probably try to get me drinking and walking that same day. This helps encourage the organs to wake up, helps get rid of some of the gas they pump into ya and also helps protect against blood clots. Chances are, I will be released the next day.

I will have my comfy area all set up and waiting for me at home. I am going to prepare as much as possible. I already ordered some nice new sheets, soft jammies, a robe and comfy undies. I have a whole list of supplies yet to purchase. But I will have everything ready because aside from a little walking every couple of hours – I will not be able to do anything anywhere from a couple of days to a few weeks. Like I said, everyone is different. I will not be able to lift over 5 lbs or drive for 2 weeks, I believe. And bending to do anything will take quite some time. I have known people who feel great after a week and others who still feel crappy after 2 months.  One thing I hear from just about everyone is that the fatigue is just insane. Just have to wait and see. Sucks. Thank God my husband and mom will be here to help a lot of the time.

Apparently, some of the worst pain is the gas they pump into you. I guess it goes into your legs and up to your shoulders and causes a great deal of pain. I will be taking meds to help with this but I guess it really hurts – sometimes even more than the surgery itself. This is a worry of mine because my biggest fear in all of this is developing a blood clot – abdominal surgeries carry a higher risk for this. Dying of a pulmonary embolism has been a fear of mine for many, many years. I have never had a real reason to worry until now. From what I hear, the pain from this gas feels very similar to symptoms of a PE. Knowing me…I will likely be a panicky mess. So, yes. As stupid as it sounds…I am very worried about my having to worry.

There are many possible complications with hysterectomies:

General anaesthetic

It is very rare for serious complications to occur after having a general anaesthetic  (1 in 10,000 anaesthetics given).

Serious complications can include nerve damage, an allergic reaction and death (death is very rare; there is a 1 in 100,000 chance of dying after having a general anaesthetic).

Being fit and healthy before you have an operation reduces your risk of developing complications.

Bleeding

As with all major operations, there is a small risk of heavy bleeding (haemorrhage) after having a hysterectomy.

If you have a haemorrhage, you may need a blood transfusion (where you receive blood from a donor).

Bladder or bowel damage

In rare cases, damage to abdominal organs, such as the bladder or bowel, can occur. This can cause problems, such as infection, incontinence or a frequent need to urinate.

It may be possible to repair any damage during the hysterectomy. You may need a temporary catheter to drain your urine, or a colostomy to collect your bowel movements.

(my own mother actually lost a kidney this way…they nicked it during her hysterectomy about 25 years ago and it died. she didn’t know until many, many years later when she received a CAT scan for back pain. she had to have it removed and that was a rough surgery. but she is very lucky she never became septic with a dead kidney inside for 20 or so years.)

Infection

There is always a risk that an infection will develop after an operation. This could be a urinary tract infection, a chest infection or a vaginal infection. These aren’t usually serious and can be treated with antibiotics.

Thrombosis

A thrombosis is a blood clot that forms in a vein and interferes with blood circulation and the flow of oxygen around the body. The risk of developing blood clots increases after having operations and periods of immobility.

You will be encouraged to start moving around as soon as possible after your operation. You may also be given a blood-thinning medication, such as warfarin, to reduce the risk of clots.

Vaginal problems

If you have a vaginal hysterectomy there is a risk that you will have problems at the top of your vagina where the cervix was removed. This could range from slow wound healing after the operation to prolapse in later years.

Ovary failure

Even if one or both of your ovaries are left intact, they could fail within five years of having your hysterectomy. This is because your ovaries receive some of their blood supply through the womb, which is removed during the operation.

Early menopause

If you have had your ovaries removed, it’s likely that you’ll have menopausal symptoms, such as hot flushes, sweating, vaginal dryness and disturbed sleep, soon after your operation.

This is because the menopause is triggered once you stop producing eggs from your ovaries (ovulating).

This is an important consideration if you’re under the age of 40 because early onset of the menopause can increase your risk of developing brittle bones (osteoporosis). This is because the level of the hormone, oestrogen, decreases during the menopause.

 

Needless to say, all of this info is a lot of digest and deal with and is causing me great anxiety. But with the help of family, friends, a therapist and medication I may just get through this without canceling the whole thing. I am not gonna lie. I have had a couple of panic attacks and have been having some obsessive worry about the whole blood clot thing. But I am really trying to be as positive as I can to get me through this next month.

Leaving Cassidy is an impossible thought for me. I cannot bear it. So I absolutely HAVE to make myself believe that I will be okay. I have my moments where I think that laying in bed sick and miserable for a few more years would be better than the risk of death. But really, what kind of mom would that make me? Not a great one. And we never really know how long we have…I am almost 40 already! I want to live life. And I haven’t done a really terrific job of that. Especially lately. The list of pros and cons is indeed very difficult to reconcile. But I think this is the right thing to do.

So, that is what I have for now. I am scared shitless. And I really hope I can calm down soon.

Stupid Uterus

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I haven’t written in quite a while and a big part of that is because I have been feeling like absolute shit. I’ve been kind of embarrassed to talk about it publicly. But I have realized that is stupid. So, here goes.

For years now, I have been having extremely heavy periods. Heavy to the point where I really cannot leave my house for up to 3 days per month. Even an hour would be too long. It can be difficult to explain why you can’t make it to an event or an appointment. Luckily (sorta), I am not working because I have no idea how that would even happen. Everything has to be planned just right and even that doesn’t really work when my cycle starts to have a mind of its own.

I was diagnosed with a uterine fibroid that continues to grow. I also have ovarian cysts that can sometimes cause pain. Because of the placement and size of the fibroid, it pushes on my bladder making me feel like I have to pee like all of the time.

It has recently been discovered that this bleeding is making me anemic. I didn’t realize it but I have been having symptoms of anemia for quite a long time. I have felt like shit for so long and have never been able to figure out why. My numbers aren’t super low, but apparently my body is extremely sensitive and reacts to the low iron more than I guess it would for others.

I have been exhausted for years. And I have been searching and searching for a reason – but according to docs, all tests are fairly normal. The fatigue has been increasing and as of this past week, I can barely get out of bed. I have also been having horrible headaches for years. I did find out I also have TMJ so that could be the reason, but who knows. In the past year or two I have lost almost all tolerance for alcohol. I get dizzy and nauseated for no apparent reason. And have had heart arrhythmias for years which could also be cause (or exasperated) by anemia. In the past month, a few new symptoms have popped up – itchy skin, freezing cold yet sweaty palms and feet and I have been eating crushed ice by the cupfuls. It’s been very scary and because of that  my anxiety has gone through the roof.

It was suggested a couple years ago by my Gyno that I have a hysterectomy. If you know me at all, you know how afraid I am of any medical procedures – let alone a major surgery. I just decided to live with it until I had no choice. Well, I think my body is finally telling me that I no longer have a choice – at least not a good one.

I got a second opinion from a doctor who works at a facility where I would want to have my surgery. He said hysterectomy or just keep an eye on it with ultrasounds every 6 months. I am not a candidate for alternative treatments. I mean, I could try some – but they likely wouldn’t work and could make things worse. He left it up to me. After this past horrid week, I made an appointment to discuss surgery options and dates.

There are many different types of hysterectomies and I have no idea what he will suggest for me. I DO plan on keeping my ovaries. And I hope to high heaven that I will be able to do so because the thought of taking hormones scares the crap out of me. But I do not know if I will have to be cut open abominably or be able to have it laproscopically or robotically.

For some people, recovery takes a couple weeks. For others it can be a couple months. For some people, pain is minimal and for others, excruciating. Some people have a hospital stay, others go home. And many times, the surgery plan will change dramatically once you are already asleep.

The fear and anxiety I am going through is awful. I am absolutely petrified. My friend, Glenda, told me to write a list of all of my fears so that we can get questions answered and find ways to cross these fears off the list and go into this without so much trepidation. This is my list so far:

  • Dying during surgery – not waking up: General anesthetic is one of the scariest things in the world, closest thing to being dead
  • Dying from complications after surgery: Biggest fear here is blood clots (pulmonary embolism/DVT) or internal bleeding
  • Scary complications during or after surgery: Same as above even if I do not die from them
  • Pain I cannot handle: I have read that some people wake up bawling from so much pain
  • Losing too much blood: This happened when I gave birth and it was a horrible feeling and very scary
  • Having to take hormones: Increased risk of strokes, blood clots, heart attacks – no thanks!!
  • Anxiety about possible bad things happening after surgery (like waiting for a ball to drop): Not being able to handle the anxiety, ugh
  • Not having the help I need after surgery: My mom still works full time and lives an hour away. And I hate asking for help.
  • Bladder/Bowel prolapse: Very possible and does happen…gross
  • Cancer found during surgery: Again, very possible. What if THIS is the reason I have been feeling so awful for so long. Grandmother died from ovarian/uterine cancer in her late 50s.
  • Gain weight: Have heard this is common.
  • Loss of sex drive: I mean, come on. That would suck.
  • Not feeling any better after recovery: The thought that I could go through all of this just to continue to feel poorly…fuck.

Not all of the stories I hear are awful. I do have friends who have gone through this with minimal hardships. Everyone whom I have spoken with is encouraging me to do this. Even my mother (who had her kidney destroyed during her hysterectomy) is begging me to do it.

I have to learn how to manage these fears and just get this done. I cannot go on this way anymore. I just can’t.

Religiously Patriotic

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When I hear people speak as though the human race should live their lives by the word of the Bible, I cannot help but be concerned with their mental stability. I mean, really. Is it not a little loony tunes to think that some book written a bagillion years ago should be taken literally and word for word? A book with such ambiguity and symbolism – are we really expected to all interpret it the exact same way?

The Bible Tells Me So:

  • And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you.  Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcase shall ye not touch; they are unclean to you.

Eating ham or playing football? You’re one filthy ass hellbound motherfucker.

  • Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.

You know that tattoo of your deceased mother covering your shoulder-blade? You might want to get some adjoining flames on that to go with your future decor. And that fellatio enhancing tongue piercing? That is double hell for you, dirty birdy.

  • Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard.

Only square-headed people allowed. Everyone in heaven looks exactly like SpongeBob.

  • He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD.

Um. Yea. Screwed in this life and the next. I’d start wearing a cup or living in a bubble if I were you.

  • Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.

Defiled by wizards. (Sigh) I’m just going to leave that one in the rectory.

  • When men strive together one with another, and the wife of the one draweth near for to deliver her husband out of the hand of him that smiteth him, and putteth forth her hand, and taketh him by the secrets Then thou shalt cut off her hand, thine eye shall not pity her.

Because this CLEARLY happens so often. If your husband gets into a scuffle with a drunk neighbor and is getting his ass kicked – don’t even THINK about jumping in to help by attacking the dude’s junk, you violent whore.

  • “And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death.”

Does your man always defend his mother even though she insults you and is probably hiring a hitman to knock you off? Well…DUH! Mere survival, man.

  • Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.

Remarried? You cheatin’ bastard.

  • “Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.

                Nurses, doctors, police officers, fire fighters, all of the football players you drool over every week…                                 DIE, SINNERS, DIE!!!!! (oh, and don’t forget, they’re thugs too)

  • Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

Fuck you.

  • And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you:  They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcases in abomination.

Remember Bubba Gump Shrimp? Run, Forrest, Run!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel:  Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father’s house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you.

Not enough stones in the world…just the Ray-town hoes alone would cause a shortage (and I say HOES affectionately since I’d likely be considered  a member of the club).

Okay, okay. I went on and on. But you get my point, right? Whether you are religious or not, the Bible is old, archaic, out-of-date, barbaric and just does not make sense as a set of rules in our day and age. Common sense, is it not?

I gotta say, I feel much the same way about the Constitution and Bill of Rights. I feel that those who think that those rules and judgments apply today in the same way they did hundreds of years ago are living in fairy tale land. I am reminded of this after every shooting when the 2nd Amendment is echoed as a defense for gun accessibility.

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

How does this translate to anyone with half a brain to mean that any jag off with a little penis can hoard machine guns and rocket launchers?? No. Just, no. And if you think it does, you’re an idiot.

Rules, policies, procedures…everything progresses (or should) with time and growth. When we know better, we should do better. And in most aspects in life – that tends to happen naturally or at least logically. When new medical treatments are discovered, procedures change. When the human race develops new needs, we find ways to meet them.

To think that we should follow – word for word – a set of rules and principles penned over 200 years ago is unrealistic and cumbersome. It is holding us back and it is giving those who want us held back an anchor on which to base their ignorance.

Just like in the Bible – there is a lot of good and well-meaning shit in those documents. Stuff that will hold meaning and reason forever. But we need to get out the red pen and start editing a little more generously. Instead of stapling tea bags to your hats or stomping around claiming to be patriots – how about ya open your eyes and realize it is almost 20-friggin-14. Can we do that, maybe? Huh??

It really makes me think…there isn’t much difference between religion and patriotism. They both have their good points and respectable qualities. But they also both have dangerous and unreasonable aspects. It is a shame, really.

 

Showtime’s ‘Time of Death’ – Ummm WOW.

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If you know me or read my shit, you know I am often overly sensitive. I am empathic and have my own mental issues and because of this, typical life occurrences – even when they are not happening to me directly – affect me more than the “average bear”.

My daughter (9) walked in while I was watching the new Showtime series, Time of Death. She may have noticed tears in my eyes and asked me what I was watching. I told her it was a show about very sick people who are dying. Her reply was the same exact reply most of my friends and family would give, “Why would you want to watch that?!”

Not only am I an emotional person, but, as some of you may know, I have an almost obsessive phobia of death. Much of my anxiety comes from this stupid (sometimes crippling) fear. So, most people who know me would tell me to stop watching stuff like this. But I can’t. And I don’t want to. I watch documentaries and read books about death, dying, afterlife, etc. And while some might think this only perpetuates my fears, it truly does not. It’s kinda like exposure therapy, I suppose. So quit telling me what to watch, damnit! Gesh.

Time of Death is a truly remarkable 6 part series (really hoping there will be more) that follows the end of life for a couple of different people in each episode. And throughout all of the episodes, there is one continuing story that deals with a family whose 48-year-old mother is dying from cancer. During this series, you really get to know this family and their struggles.

Maria was a single mother of 3 children – 2 teenagers and 1 adult daughter. The filmmakers do some brief interviews, but it is mostly just a view into their daily lives – some footage taken with handheld cameras carried by Little, the 25-year-old (very beautiful, strong and intelligent) daughter. During the time of their filming, Maria’s teen children struggled with their dire circumstances by lashing out. And the older daughter had not only the challenge of her mother’s illness and impending death, but also taking on the responsibility of younger siblings.

This family did not hold back. They were honest and raw. And they allowed us to watch; subsequently growing from their experiences. I have such admiration and respect for Little and her mother. And my heart goes out to the kids, whom even though they were making terrible choices, did they best they knew how at the time. They were scared and angry and they simply didn’t know how to process those emotions. And I do not doubt they will live with some regret. I say this due to my own personal experience with my father who died at 46 – after our long estrangement.

I finished watching episode 5 two nights ago and I still cannot get them out of my mind. In that episode, Maria died. And even though everyone watching was expecting that outcome – I mean, obviously – I suppose I wasn’t ready for it quite yet. I wanted her to have more time with her family. Quality time. Without the illness caused by the chemo and radiation. I wanted her to have the chance to have her younger kids come home from foster care before she left this earth. I wanted her to find peace while still here.

But that just isn’t how life plays out much of the time. We don’t all get Hollywood endings with closure and reconciliation. Life can be ugly and gross and full of bullshit. Death, equally so. I suppose it is our job to find the beauty, meaning and essence in both when we can; and cross our fingers and count on others when we can’t.

Below are two clips from the show. And below that is the first full episode. I dare you not to be riveted and emotionally exposed. I dare you not to care about these people and really think about what is TRULY important in your own life.

 

 

 

Free full episode:

British Television: Authentic and Appreciated

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I’ve been watching a lot of British television lately. I have gotten into Call the Midwife and Doc Martin recently. And I am about to start The Thick of It. I have always appreciated the dry, quick wit of our friends from across the pond. And the dramas have a way of making you actually care about the characters. But there is one characteristic of these programs that has really caught my attention and appreciation and is very much in contrast to American television – the casting.

If you turn on TV in America, you will see perfect teeth (likely veneers), size zeros, fake boobs, hair extensions, injected lips and so much makeup you would never recognize the actor without it. And pathetically, I am one of those weak-minded people who fall into the inferiority trap. I watch these shows and it somehow gets into my brain that I am supposed to look the way they do. But since I do not have the money or the balls to have surgery nor the discipline to starve myself – it is simply not possible. Because of this, I go through life feeling…well…ugly.

Cognitively, I know this is irrational. I know why they look the way they do. And I know that Americans have such an obsession with this contrived idea of beauty. Our media is the chicken and the egg. They have convinced a large portion of the public that we need to look a certain way and be a certain size in order to be attractive. And Hollywood perpetuates this by casting roles with actors whom are far from average. And while this happens with male roles, it is far more prevalent with females. We don’t blink when some geeky, short guy gets the “hot” chic. But do we ever see the chunky, average looking gal get the “hot” guy? Very rarely.

I do see some out of the ordinary examples once in a while. The Mindy Project is one show that does well at breaking this barrier. And Drop Dead Diva is another. But it is very few and far between.

However, when I watch British programming, it is so refreshing to see regular looking people. All shapes and sizes. Crooked teeth, real breasts, very little makeup…they look like…well, you and me. How fucking fabulous it that? And sure, they have their super beauties too. I mean, those damn hot chics are everywhere. Even in Racine, believe it or not. So we cannot escape them completely. But while watching these shows, we get a much more authentic appearance sample of the actual public.

I don’t know many people from England. But I have to wonder if they have body image issues to the degree that we do. I’d be willing to bet they do not.

The Me Me Me Facebook Game – MY TURN!

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So, I guess I was supposed to come up with 11 secrets nobody knows about me. Well…as you may know…my life is pretty much an open book. What I haven’t already or do not talk about – sure ain’t getting put on a Facebook status. But I came up with a few things that many people probably don’t know (nor would give a shit). And I decided to make it a blog post because…well…I felt like it.

 

1. I don’t know how to use chopsticks and I really am too uncoordinated to pull it off gracefully anyway.

2. I used to eat an entire sleeve of saltines after school almost every day as a young child. When I started to drive, that changed to a half of a loaf of fresh, warm French bread from O&H Bakery.

 

3. Even though I would probably love many different things about it, I am not terribly motivated to travel outside of the U.S.

4. A couple of weeks ago, Charlie brought home a pack of cigarettes. Since then I have been smoking about 2-3 cigarettes a day. I feel like shit about it too…physically and psychologically. I really need to start getting my healthy on…like now.

5. Sometimes I am pretty certain I was supposed to be a cat. And not just because I lick my own butt.

6. I have ten ear piercings. 3 on one ear, 7 on the other. Because I am allergic to nickel, it is very difficult to find matching earrings that are small enough and don’t give me a rash.

7. I admit that I did have a navel ring (P.C.) but I have never had a tramp stamp.

8. I take a bath AND a shower almost every single day.

9. I hate winter with the frozen cold intensity of an ice cream headache. I do not belong here and dream of the day when I can see sunshine and feel warm sand whenever I want.

10. I never learned how to play an instrument and I am pretty torn up about it.

11. Chances are, when you see me in public or at any kind of gathering…I am having anxiety. Some times more than others. Chances are speaking to you makes me nervous even though I am probably enjoying it. I am always worried I will say something stupid, have bad breath or just look ridiculous in just about every conceivable way. So, if I am acting weird…it is because I feel weird.

Hyperbolic Envy for Breakfast

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I never thought I would actually admit this publicly. It is embarrassing and I worry that people I actually like will hold it against me. I mean, really, it makes me sound so petty and unevolved. Kinda humiliating actually. But you know me…it is hard to keep my mouth shut when a thought makes its way into my thick skull.

Anyway…here goes it…

I am jealous of you.

(long belly sigh of relief with a touch of apprehension)

Yea, You. On Facebook. You make me feel those envious feelings with which I have always struggled.

Your constant happiness furrows my forehead. Your successes lead me down the road of inferiority. It’s all your fault that l feel poopy. And I just thought you should know.

Okay, fine. Maybe it’s not ALL your fault. But still…sometimes I do find myself in Poopyville covered in self-pity and resentment after reading my timeline.

I suck, don’t I? I mean, shouldn’t I feel happy for you? Shouldn’t I live a better life knowing that your’s is impeccable and graceful? And it’s not that I want bad things to happen to you. I would, honestly, rather you be content and pleased with your life. Really. Truly.

It’s just that I want that shiny happy life too.

Your kids are flawless. They always get good grades and special admiration from their teachers. I can see from your shared quotes that they say things far beyond their years and are clearly genius and way smarter than my kids. Your children clean their rooms, make you breakfast and never ever drive you to madness.

Your marriage reflects one of a romance novel. You two always post sweet messages to one another. All of your pictures are kissy kissy. And you never, ever fight. You’ve never even considered couple’s therapy; you’d never need it. In fact, you’re probably teaching your own “How to Have the Perfect Marriage” seminar. You don’t understand how anyone could ever cheat. Divorce is not in your vocabulary and your in-laws love you more than your own family – which is quite the feat since your family thinks you shit gold.

You don’t watch TV. You don’t have time for such drivel. And you have read every book on Oprah’s list and know the classics by heart.

You spend your vacations snorkeling in Hawaii and hiking in Costa Rica. And every holiday you serve food to the homeless.

You run 12 miles a day, when you have a cold. You enter every marathon and 5k within a 20 mile radius. And you’ve lost 8 pounds since Monday. You call yourself “bad” if you add cheese to your quinoa. And you only eat cake on your birthday. You buy all organic and haven’t had meat in 6 years.

You have 3495 friends. They all know you and like everything you post. You’re at a different party every weekend and have a girl’s night out once a week. You’re friends with all of your exes and they fawn over every picture you post. You never have to be alone except when you meditate, which you do 20 minutes each day.

You are a yoga master and can bend in the most unnatural positions. You look great in a bikini after 4 kids and 2 C-sections. Your boobs have never sagged because of your stellar genetics. And you function wonderfully on only 5 hours of sleep. You are wrinkle free and swear it is because you wear sunscreen even in the dark.

You have three degrees, work 10 hours a day and volunteer for every field trip.

You never yell or scream or swear. You live in a place of peace and positivity. You don’t complain or insult. Your self-confidence is genuine and unwavering. You are lovely in every way and when you die, the world will suddenly tilt to one side.

I want to be you. I have no excuses. I have to create the change. And perhaps I will do just that. Right after this 4th fun sized Snickers and episode of Real Housewives.

Let’s Get Some Things Straight (Purple Rayne)

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PictureFact…Divide and Conquer. Workin’ better than ever. They press a few buttons and watch the little people do their work for them. It was a brilliant tactic with labor issues and now it is effective with the Mary Burke take-down  They are sitting back, eating their Vossy popcorn and laughing at the spectacle they have created. 

Instead of looking toward an ultimate common goal, instead of embracing differences, instead of having some patience and open minds – we have turned the guns onto ourselves. And if we don’t get our shit together, once that trigger is pulled, we will see another four years of irreversible TEA Party damage. 

Fact…There will be primaries. Please stop wetting yourselves. As you can see HERE, there are already several registered candidates for the 2014 Governor’s race. 

Can we PLEASE stop this moaning and demand for a primary? There WILL be a primary.

Fact…You can vote for whomever you like. If I hear one more time that the DPW or Progressive’s United or EMILY’s List or Joe Friggin Shmoe on Facebook is forcing you to vote for a particular candidate – I AM GOING TO SCREAM. No one is forcing you to do anything. Nothing is being shoved anywhere. This complaint is reminiscent of the irrational tantrums of a toddler.

Okay, so let’s put it this way: a lot of people watch The Walking Dead. People talk about it everywhere you go. There are memes all over Facebook and it often trends on Twitter. People like it. People talk about it. Let’s say you do not watch it. Therefore you have no interest in those tweets or memes. Are you going to spend your day bitching because other people like something you do not? If you do not eat meat, are you going to demand that restaurants take it off their menus?

You don’t like it? Don’t watch it. Don’t eat it. Don’t vote for it. Quit acting like such a goddamn victim.

See the rest of the story HERE

 

Tanya Bjork: More to Know (from Purple Rayne)

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PictureIn the past of couple of weeks, Tanya Bjork, current advisor for the Burke for Governor campaign, has come under fire from typically Progressive-friendly bloggers and the Facebook peanut gallery. While the right and responsibility to critique and question certainly plays a role not only in journalism, but also in democracy – I have to admit I am quite disheartened by the way this woman has been torn apart in such a public way. 

Tanya has worked tirelessly for over 20 years promoting Progressive causes. Not only has her work been thrown into the battlefield, so has her personal life. From her marriage to ethics – she has been exposed by a one-sided publicly visual microscope. And I thought it was time to open the lens and give another side to the story.

See the rest of the story HERE