Thursday, April 16, 2015

Moving Day!

...not to Texas... yet!

Nope, I've relocated to M Writes About, which is where you'll find me from now on. I figured it would be easiest to just keep the same name, but I did think about changing it to something cooler

Thing is, I'm just not cool, so there. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

I'm Back! (And Why I Was Gone in the First Place)

As you’ll have noticed (I hope… no one likes to go unnoticed!), I’ve been gone since mid-November. I’ve taken a mini-hiatus or two, but I’ve never just vanished without explanation. So here it is, the explanation. If you’re squeamish about medical talk, you might want to stop reading now. Last warning!

My mom almost died. Again. 

Readers from back before my disappearance may remember her bout with E.coli back in September and her diagnosis of Graves’ Disease back in August, so 2014 was a shitty year as far as her health was concerned. Right before Thanksgiving things got worse. 

She went into the hospital on November 22, and the next thing I knew, they were saying she had colon cancer. They rushed her into surgery for an emergency removal of the damaged organ, which resulted in a colostomy. The next day, the doctor said, “It’s definitely cancer.” 

Mom was in ICU, and I was stuck at home with bronchitis, coughing, sneezing, with a raging fever, and not allowed anywhere near her for fear of contaminating her. 

Several days later, we got good news: it wasn’t cancer, after all. It was severe diverticulitis, and the damage to the walls of the large intestine only resembled cancer at first glance. 

But there were problems. Due to massive amounts of infection, my mom also suffered from Myelitis, which is inflammation of the central nervous system. She should have been sitting up and using a standing toilet chair after a week, but she could hardly move let alone sit up without assistance. After a couple of weeks in the hospital, they transferred her to a assisted living facility (that’s a polite way of saying nursing home, not gonna lie) to work with physical therapists while receiving round-the-clock care.

SPN-watching to pass the time while visiting Mom...
For the first couple of months, she was still fighting off the infection, and the outcome looked bleak. We just weren’t seeing the progress we’d hoped we would see. The only bright side was that her diabetes improved thanks to a drastic weight loss — from 238 pounds (her admission weight at the hospital) to 161 pounds, which remains her current weight. But I was worried she might not be coming home for six months. The awful thought that she might never come home occurred to me more than once. 

I stayed overnight a few nights, and my uncle frequently made the nearly two hour round-trip drive, playing Driving Miss Daisy with me wailing in the seat beside him. (Sorry about that!) We ended up eating at the same Mexican restaurant four times (shout out to El Sombrero in Yazoo City; you guys have delicious chile rellenos!) and almost dying because of the shitty weather twice in one week alone! 

weather in Yazoo left much to be desired...
Finally, in February (just in time for my birthday!), she got stronger. We got to take her to try El Sombrero in person instead of bringing food back to the rehab. She came home the first week of March, and just the other day we got the date for her colostomy reversal surgery: May 6. We had previously thought it would’t be reversed until September(!) at the earliest. 

One thing I can say is that anyone in the Jackson area who has friends or family in need of long-term care should absolutely check out Oasis in Yazoo City. If not for Joyce, Sheila, David, and Ryan, I don’t know if Mom would even be home yet. They’re kind, hard-working people who really give a damn about their patients. If you guys ever read this, thank you, thank you, thank you. 

So that’s why I haven’t blogged. I’ve spent the past few months worried sick, and I just had no motivation whatsoever. I’m back now, but I’ve definitely changed as a person. You can expect plenty of product reviews and the like, but there will be less cutesy-kitsch on the blog from now on. I’m just not feeling it anymore. I guess it’s all a part of growing up. People change, and if they’re lucky, they change for the better. 

To everyone who helped me through this, I don’t even know what to say. There aren’t words, so I’ll just say that I love you, and you’re the best. 

Kudos to anyone who’s still reading! Thanks for sticking it out! We’ll be back to fun things very soon, though I have had a crash course in colostomy care and may post my thoughts on that from time to time. Not very glamorous, but it needs to be discussed!

TL;DR: Mom almost died, had emergency surgery, I went batshit crazy with worry, and now I’m back. (And this is not an April Fools joke!)

Thursday, March 26, 2015

I'm Not Dead!

Just a head’s up, guys…

I’m not actually dead! New content (and an explanation for my prolonged and unintentional hiatus) is coming soon. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Tuna, Trees, and Bill Maher

This Saturday we had a family outing — we went to our new favorite Japanese restaurant, Wasabi, and to see Bill Maher. 

The food was delicious. Wasabi has the best tempura of any Japanese restaurant I have ever tried, and I’ve tried a lot of them in various places. Still, the best thing on the menu has to be the tuna tataki. It was so amazing. They’ve decorated a little early, but the Christmas tree made for such a pretty, bokeh-inspired shot that I can’t complain.

Bill Maher is a love-him-or-hate-him figure, I realize, so you may or may not want to backspace away from the blog right now. I don’t agree with everything he says — who agrees with everything anyone says? — but when I agree, I agree

He was especially hilarious this Saturday, and I think we pleasantly surprised him, too. He said several times “I will be back,” and considering how shocked I was to learn he was coming to Jackson in the first place, I think he actually means it. Alas, photography and filming weren't allowed, so I have no pictures from the show. Oh, well.

All in all, it was a fantastic night. 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Mississippi Burning

Everyone likes to talk about how backwards the state of Mississippi is — and I freely admit I’ve made plenty jokes, too — so it’s nice to be able to brag when I’m impressed. 

Today the Mississippi ag museum — that’s the Agriculture and Forestry Museum to non-residents — lost at least three of its buildings in a fire of unknown origin. Instead of running away from the fire, employees ran toward the buildings to rescue the pigs, horses, and sheep housed there. 

Firemen arrived on the scene to save even more. As of right now, there have been no reported animal deaths. 

Well done, guys!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Splenda In the Grass

I’m a die-hard tea and coffee drinker. I love the stuff. I literally wait for the return of Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte the way religious fanatics await the second coming. Sadly, they have yet to make a sugar-free PSL, but I will happily gulp down a venti as a meal and write it off as an indulgence. 

We all know sugar isn’t the healthiest thing for us if for no other reason than the calories, but recently a study published in Nature claims that no-calorie sweeteners are as bad as sugar. They supposedly cause glucose intolerance, which causes the inability for the sugar taken from the blood stream to properly interact with cells. (Glucose intolerance is also a precursor to Type 2 Diabetes).

Say what now? Basically, the sweeteners were altering the bacteria found in our guts, which affects the metabolism and the ability to process insulin. What does this mean? All of the wacky stuff happening with the bacteria have reportedly made people more intolerant to sugar... so when we eat anything containing sugar, our bodies have trouble digesting it, which could one day lead to Diabeetus.


Not so fast! Here’s the deal. It was one study, and they had an extremely small test group. Additionally, the amount of sweeteners ingested by far exceed normal daily allowances. You would have to drink at least several hundred sodas per day to ingest the same amount of artificial sweetener. 

So the gist of it is the same thing everyone has been saying for years: everything is fine in moderation. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Go Clear

I’ve been sick lately, so, as usual, my skin has been freaking out like nobody’s business. I still have a massive spot right above my cupid’s bow, and wow, that’s a lousy place to have a zit. Smiling, talking, drinking… all ouchy right now! 

I recently finished up another bottle of my Earth Science cleanser, and since I was already broken out, I figured it would be safe to test out the Go Clear Clarifying Cleanser AM/PM. What’s the worst that could happen, right? (Well, I could have broken out worse or had an allergic reaction, but…)

This stuff is genius! It’s improved my skin in a matter of days without stripping my skin and leaving it overly dry. It has tiny little beads, so it also exfoliates, but there aren’t many of them, and they’re very smooth, so they won’t scratch the skin.

The cleanser was given to me by my aunt, so I had to look up the price. It was apparently once stocked by Sephora, but now I can only find it on Amazon. It’s alcohol, oil, lanolin, and propylene glycol free. It also contains no artificial dyes or fragrances. At $26.99, it’s in the same price range as most Origins cleansers, and I’d say it has a comparable performance. 

I’d definitely recommend giving it a try if you have problematic but sensitive skin.