Wednesday, July 29, 2015

TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter -- my contribution to the Twitter trend

‪#‎TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter‬ is trending on Twitter. All of the tweets from thousands of writers sound familiar to me.

When I first started working from home as a writer, people would send their kids over for me to babysit without asking. That pissed me off.

First of all, I have two grown kids, but I'm not the type of person to ask to babysit. Second, when my kids were small, I would've never dreamed of dropping off my kids at another person's house without asking permission first. But that's just me wink emoticon

My contribution to the Twitter trend:

"Since you're not doing anything and you're home all day, can you watch my kids / go out to lunch / run an errand for me / do some research for me since I don't have time / make some phone calls for me, et al?"

Um...NO. I won't do any of those things.
Where did you get the idea that MY time is less valuable than yours and that, since I work from home, I must not have enough of my own projects to keep busy? Yes, I primarily work overnight (by choice), but that doesn't mean that I need you to fill my time during the day.

Questions such as those above are disrespectful and make assumptions about writers and what they do for a living. It's not a hobby. It's been my CAREER since 1997!

Monday, July 27, 2015

What are your favorite tunes for writing & editing?

Added more to my Writing & Editing playlist. If you have any song recommendations for me, let me know. To get an idea of the kind of tunes I prefer for this specific list, go check it out. If you're on Spotify, follow me and I'll return the favor.

Writing & Editing Music

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Fictitious Tits ~ from imagination to reality

Note: Someone on my friends' list said I should make a Fictitious Tits T-shirt, so I did!

Only $17.99 for the regular T-shirt, and $18.99 for the long-sleeved T-shirt.

Orders filled by Teespring & delivered to your door!

Ladies, show us your (fictitious) tits!
Men, support our (fictitious) tits!

The back of the shirt reads: "The creative feminine voice you've always wanted, but never knew you needed!"

Women kick ass. Tweak everyone's interest (get it?) and celebrate sisterhood (or support it) by wearing this unique shirt. Countless women around the world create music, art, writing, fiber arts, and everything in between. Fictitious Tits is a nod to all creative women.

What is Fictitious Tits? It's the name I came up with for a female-centric word and music platform, à la Kathleen Hanna's groups Bikini Kill, Le Tigre, and The Julie Ruin. Kathleen is not only a musician, but she's also a feminist and a writer.

Fictitious Tits needed to exist outside my imagination. Hell, why not? FT will be a combination of spoken word recordings (since I'm a writer) and electronic music with a decidedly female edge. Once I have several cuts, I'll add them to online outlets like iTunes or Spotify.

Your support will help me reach my goals to make Fictitious Tits a reality to publish/perform both spoken word *and* female-driven music.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

[My Lipedema Journey] Visible proof of the benefits of Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) and wearing compression garments


So, this is a big reveal moment for me. I've been hesitant to do so until now, for obvious reasons. I'm posting a photo of how my legs looked BEFORE I began therapy for Lipedema last year, in addition to a pic I took today of how my lower legs look after I've worn compression garments. Both of my lower legs are affected, with the right leg *always* worse than the left for some reason.

Things to remember:
* This is a rare, genetic disease; it is not curable at this time. You can only manage it with therapy and compression garments to keep it from becoming worse.
* This is NOT the same as regular edema.
* This has nothing to do with weight; you can be a size 0 and still have Lipedema. Your legs will look like this, although your body will remain smaller above the waist.
* You cannot get rid of Lipedema by dieting, exercising, or taking medicine (because there is NO cure at this time).
* It's also characterized by bruising and pain/pressure in the affected limb.
* Lipedema was discovered 75 years ago, in 1940.
* 1 in 10 women have Lipedema. Most don't know they have it.
* I'm at Stage 2. The stages go from Stage 1 to Stage 4 -- the latter is where you don't want to be!
* In severe cases, patients lose mobility or may need to have their limbs amputated.

Before beginning therapy for Lipdema in fall of last year.

Today's pic of one of my legs. If I don't put my compression garments on, my legs will begin to fill with lymph fluid and will once again resemble the 1st pic.

I was referred to Penrose Hospital Rehab last year. My physical therapist, Lil, has 20+ years of experience treating those who suffer from Lipedema and Lymphedema. I have been wearing compression garments (from the knee down on both legs) and have gone through Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) therapy. It's made a difference (see photo at right). Now, once I take off my compression stockings, my legs will begin to fill with lymph fluid again and will look more like the pic on the left. 

On a good day when I wake up, my lower legs look about half this size. Some days they look almost normal, save for the band of separation between the calves and my ankles/feet (you can see this band, or shelf, in particular in the right-hand pic). That's one symptom of Lipedema that separates it from Lymphedema, as well as a negative Stemmer's sign.

Since 2011, I've lost 73 pounds using the Weight Watchers points system. I did it to gain energy and feel better -- my husband loves me regardless of how much I may or may not weigh. I did it for me so that I could accomplish more. Even after losing so much weight, my Lipedema is unchanged. It's just as bad as it was before -- that's because DIET AND EXERCISE will not cure this genetic condition. This is not obesity, this affects skinny women, too. It's suspected that it may be an inflammatory disease connected to a hormone disorder, but medical researchers aren't completely sure of what truly causes Lipedema.

If you are unlucky enough to have Lipedema (and secondary Lymphedema, as I have), you're stuck with it, and that totally sucks. It messes with my head and my self-esteem. I will never wear dresses or shorts again. The embarrassment and humiliation I feel is often overwhelming.

But this is the hand I've been dealt, and I'll use it to raise awareness and educate people about this relatively unknown condition. I'm still Bev, I'm still the same me I've ever been, and this is yet another challenge I'll face. Judge me by who I am inside, not by how my Lipedematous legs may look. I'll be okay; it's the women who have Lipedema who don't know they have it or know what it is that concerns me most.

Some women can have Lymph-Sparing Water Assisted Liposuction (WAL) in Europe and parts of the US. The procedure removes the diseased tissue from the legs. Unfortunately, many insurance companies will not cover WAL because they classify it as cosmetic surgery, rather than surgery that will help a person become immobile or possibly face amputation as the disease worsens. As we all know, if insurance companies can avoid paying for surgeries, they will.


Monday, July 13, 2015

What's an uncommon disease some women have, but they may never know about? Lipedema. Time to raise awareness!

This is not about writing per se, but the topic is connected. I've been writing about my journey with this disease on my blogs for nearly a year. I may expand those writings into a non-fiction book. Not sure yet.

Anyway, this is important to me, but even MORE important is spreading the word so women who might be affected can seek diagnosis and treatment.

Only 11% of women have this disease, so it's not common; however, for those who have the disease, it can be devastating -- especially to the psyche. That's where it's hurting me the most, in fact. I'm blessed to have a husband who loves me and is with me every step of the way.

I was diagnosed almost a year ago, thanks to Dr. Boyce & Penrose Hospital Rehab Services. Wish it had happened sooner, but I guess I was lucky to get a diagnosis. NOTE: Lipedema is NOT the same as obesity. You can starve yourself and you will still have Lipedema. It's a genetic disease that's incurable.

Without the Affordable Care Act (ACA), I would've probably never gotten diagnosed or been able to receive treatment and info on how to manage this disease. Thanks, Obama!

According to the article mentioned below, "Lipedema is inherited, and puberty, pregnancy and perimenopause exacerbate the process. Treatment is compression therapy and liposuction."

Lipedema cannot be cured by diet or exercise. Symptoms include bruising, tenderness, swelling, and heaviness in the affected limb(s).

In the article, Dr. Mark Smith said, "Most patients don't even know they have lipedema. I have seen women break down in tears once they receive their diagnosis, because their whole lives they've been told they're fat and they're not exercising; not eating right. Meanwhile, they have a condition that's not as simple as diet and exercise."

'Fat Disease' Puzzles Female Sufferers
 video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Friday, July 3, 2015

[Dream] Yasuldation means...?

The word 'yasuldation' showed up in my dream last night. It is common for various words, names, and phrases to pop up in my dreams. Usually, they're written out, and I read them in my dreams and try to remember what I read afterward.

I woke up and strove to remember the word because I'd never heard of it before. I was curious about whether it was a real word. The answer is no; it's not an actual word. The closest thing I discovered is that 'yasul' is a Korean word that means metallurgy.

I suppose one could say my subconscious loves to make up new words. As a writer, that's exciting and interesting. At least I think so!

The best thing about my dreams is that they're so intense and rich in the images, words, and stories that happen in them. I never know what I'll dream, and each night I go to bed with a sense of anticipation over what adventure awaits during my slumber. Keeps things interesting!

[Dream] Dream Yanni, you just a playa!

Yanni was a real jerk to me in my dream last night, especially when I accidentally spilled the entire contents of my purse into his swimming pool. I guess the high point was when he fondled my breasts and put lotion on them. After that, he was a huge jerk and was bringing naked women and men into his mansion to fool around with them. You're just another player, Dream Yanni!— feeling amused.