Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Where there's a will, there's a way

Chronic fatigue has been added to my list of medical conditions. I didn't even know about it till I went into the patient portal and viewed my medical records. But that's okay because CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!

My response? Hell, tell me something I didn't already know! For most of my life, I didn't have to go to the doctor nearly as much as other people did. In fact, I used to brag about it. I wasn't on any medications (save for birth control) and it wasn't unusual for me to go *YEARS* without a doctor or hospital visit. Except for colds and the flu, nothing of concern was happening with me.

About six years ago, all that changed. The overwhelming stress and pressure of soul-crushing life circumstances tripped switches in my body and, all of a sudden, a whole bunch of health conditions and diseases showed up out of the blue. I thought I was Super Woman, but I wasn't that at all. Let me tell you, adrenal fatigue and chronic fatigue will knock you flat on your ASS and MAKE you take notice.

I firmly believe when you're under near-constant mental duress and crushing stress, your body exhibits problems and conditions in ways you can finally see on the outside. In other words, when you ignore or try to dismiss the internal issues, your body gets your attention in ways you CANNOT continue to ignore.

I haven't had a full-fledged vacation since 2001; I'm way past due for one. I started working a full-time job at age 16. Even before that, by the age of 10, I took on more responsibility than kids my age usually had. The adults around me often acted like children (I loved them, but it's TRUE), so I had to grow up (at least mentally) faster than I would've liked.

At age 11, I began babysitting. Then I worked in the Provost Marshal's office in Mannheim, Germany, before we moved back to the United States. Bit of trivia: that's where I first learned what 'fellatio' meant from the various reports I had to log. *laughs*.

In college, at one point I worked THREE jobs in addition to attending classes – National Supply, Pizza Hut, and the switchboard at Phillips University. I eventually had to drop down to only two because sleep is important, but I carried a full load of classes in addition to those remaining two jobs.

I don't mention any of this for pity or that kind of B.S. I mention it because I have done my fair share – and even more than my fair share – in this lifetime. I'd still rather work than do anything else, if given a choice. Then again, writing and editing are NEVER chores to me. I get to do the kind of work I enjoy!

But I digress (which is normal for me)...

I am a hard worker and have had a lot of shitty things happen in my life. I've had to deal with unmentionable events and circumstances that NOBODY should have to endure. This is why my psychiatrist was surprised I wasn't a drug addict, alcoholic, or had committed suicide by now. I was lucky I didn't fall into any of those traps. However, my life experiences (and mental health issues that run rampant on the maternal side of my birth family) led me to diagnoses in 2006 for PTSD, Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), and Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).

But guess what? I'm still too stubborn to give up. I have dreams, goals, and a butt-ton of ambition. I have persisted and will continue to persist. Nobody should EVER underestimate me. It may take me a while, but I will eventually find a way. I'm a tenacious and determined woman. If I cannot find a way through something, I'll look for ways to keep moving forward by going around, over, under, or any other way I can. I'm not a quitter. If I'm blocked on all sides, I'll simply plow a new path.

Here's my message to YOU: if you're tired, stressed, worn out, or ready to throw in the towel, I hear you. I know what it's like. Getting up every day is a struggle. LIFE can be a struggle! But you can do this. WE can do this. The only constant in life is change. Don't ever give up on your dreams or goals. Don't listen to naysayers or critics. Do your thing! It doesn't matter what they think or what they say. You are the captain of your own ship. Steer it toward the horizon you seek, waving at them as you sail past them!

On my right forearm, I have a big tattoo of the rune Ingwaz (Inguz). It signifies a lot of things, but to me it means, "Where there's a will, there's a way." If you have the will, then you can eventually find a way.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Genetic profile updates -- yes!

Haven't been over to 23andme for a while, so I popped in to see if there were any updates to my genetic profile, and there were! Ongoing discoveries and updates are a couple of the many reasons why I love 23andme.

This time they had a couple of interesting profile updates, including a report that tells me how my genes affect my weight and how far back some of my ancestors from certain countries were and when they showed up in my ancestry.

Turns out I'm predisposed to weighing 11% more due to my genetic makeup.

In addition, my Scandinavian and Italian ancestors go way farther back than do my UK, Irish, French, and German ancestors. Interesting indeed!

I highly recommend 23andme. And hey, if you decide to order your own DNA kit, I'd love it if you'd use my referral code. I'll get a handy credit at Amazon if you do -- and you KNOW how I love eBooks!

Friday, March 17, 2017

From my 7 chromosomes to you, Happy St. Patrick's Day!

From the Irish DNA located on my chromosomes #6,7,8,10,12, 20, and 22, I wish a Happy St. Patrick's Day to those who celebrate it.

(Source: My 23andme DNA ancestry report. Want to get yours? Go here.)

Ruined Memes


Ever find the perfect meme to share, then you realize it's ruined because whoever made it failed at punctuation, grammar, spelling, or capitalization?

We've all been there, and the crew at Ruined Memes is damned tired of it. It's sad to see so many destined-to-be-great memes unceremoniously tossed asunder into the fail pile.

Here at Ruined Memes, we adopt these broken memes so they can live on forever in mediocrity.

Hop on over and enjoy a laugh or two on us!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Coming June 10, 2017: Lippy Legs & All – My Life with Lipedema

Scheduled for June 10, 2017 release.
You can pre-order your copy from the publisher here:


For years, I watched as my calves legs grew larger, bruised easily, and became more painful. Even bumping against a chair or the corner of a wall would send shockwaves of pain through my calves and leave me with huge bluish-purple bruises.

I knew something was wrong, but what could it be? I thought it was a simple case of edema or general swelling, but keeping my legs elevated and taking diuretic pills had no effect. In fact, they only became worse.

In 2014, after several attempts to locate a physician who would help me figure out what was wrong, I was lucky enough to get a diagnosis. I had Lipedema, a genetic disease I'd never heard of before. It's a mystery disease with no known cure thus far.

Not widely discussed, Lipedema is rare and only affects about 11% of women. Few doctors are able to recognize the symptoms, nor have they been exposed to information about the condition and how it relates to the all-important lymphatic system.

LIPPY LEGS & ALL is the story of my life (thus far) with Lipedema. I'll discuss, in detail, what I've learned about the disease, how it's permanently changed me both physically and mentally, and why I'm determined to bring awareness to this condition so women who may suffer from Lipedema can get the essential diagnosis and treatment they deserve.

Without proper diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation, a Lipedema sufferer can face a bleak future of wheelchair-bound immobility or, worse yet, amputation of their limbs. No woman deserves either of those things; if I can cast a wider spotlight on Lipedema through the publication of this book, I will.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Creepy (possibly) past-life stories

Today I read an article about creepy (possibly) past-life stories parents recently shared on an AskReddit feed. Go over and check it out for yourself!

Now lemme add my own creepy kid story. When Britt, my daughter, was three years old, she nonchalantly told me she was a nun in her previous life and she had died in a fire. She's always seemed like an old soul to me. I often go to her for advice and guidance because the way she reasons is way beyond her 24 1/2 years.

Now, at the time Britt told me about her memory, my kids had NEVER been to church, had never been exposed to nuns or knew what they were and what role they played in religion or any of that. Their father was Baptist, but I was firm on having the kids research and explore which path of belief (or non-belief) made sense to them. I wouldn't allow them to be baptized into a religion that they had no idea about simply because one parent wanted it that way. Each person, when he or she is mature and ready enough, should be allowed to decide his or her own structure of belief (or lack thereof).

To this day, I still remember thinking, "Hmmm...that's interesting." She doesn't remember telling me, but I sure as heck remember!

Here's the funny part: when I was a young girl of seven or eight, I wanted to be a nun. I was raised Presbyterian but had always been drawn to the Catholic church. In fact, I had a huge crucifix that hung in my room. It was made out of plaster but painted dark brown so it looked like it was wood. I also believed that nothing should ever sit on top of the bible. And, mind you, after my dad Leo died, our family stopped going to church. My dad was Mormon but then became Presbyterian. I still have his bible from the 1920s.

Many of you know I haven't been Christian since the age of 18 when I became pagan. Yet, to this day, I am drawn to Catholic churches, used to watch the Catholic network on cable, and love to listen to Latin or mass. In addition, I also collect rosaries. None of this makes sense given my belief system that I've followed for nearly 35 years.

I've noticed that lapsed Catholics seem to be drawn to paganism and particularly Wicca. The rituals and such probably appeal to them because of their Catholic background.

I've often wondered if I was Catholic or a nun in a previous life, too. Who knows? Perhaps Britt and I were in the same convent. Life is a huge mystery; so many things are possible.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Daughter of the Celts/Vikings

Yes, I am a proud daughter of the Celts/Vikings.

From the Celts, my ancestors were from Scotland (Clan MacNeil from the Isle of Barra & Clan Fergusson), Wales (9th generation, Mary Molly Daten from Wales), and Ireland.

From the Vikings, my ancestors were from Norway, Finland, and Sweden, with the majority of DNA from Norway.

The Norse raiders came to the Isle of Barra, the home of Clan MacNeil, and procreated with them. So I'm a Scot/Norse lass :).