I'm always so excited for the end of the month so I can share some of the products and other things that I loved from the month of August. I hope that you will take some time to check them out for yourself!
SKIPPY PEANUT BUTTER BITES | $2.88
DIET DR. PEPPER | $4.88 FOR 12 PK
WHEEL OF FORTUNE APP | FREE
EXERCISE BALL | $25.49
Since starting my weight loss journey, I thought it could be a good idea to invest in a nice exercise ball that could possibly serve as my office chair at work. However, I was worried about purchasing one because I didn't want it to pop under my weight (especially at work).
I found the Trideer exercise ball which claimed to have a weight pound limit of 2,200 lbs. I didn't really believe that until I opened it for myself and saw how thick the material was. Jonathan helped me pump it up with the pump that was provided. Although that took a while, I really like the ball and I'm excited to get using it.
FITBIT CHARGE HR | $97.96
SECU FAMILY HOUSE | UP TO $40
If you read my late-posted blog from yesterday, you know that I've been away from my home this week to be with my grandfather and family as he was in the hospital. He ended up in a hospital that was more than an hour away from my family's home, so I ended up having to purchase a hotel room for the first night. However, we were able to stay in the SECU Family House the second night and the experience was phenomenal.
Basically, this house charges up to $40 a night for families to stay in their rooms. The rooms included a full bathroom, two queen beds, and a television as well as a desk and wardrobe area. It looked a lot like a hotel room.
There was also an ice machine, full kitchen, living room area, and laundry room. The house provides meals every now and then and also has a number of games and activities to keep families occupied while their loved ones are in the hospital.
There is also a financial aid option that can bring the payment down to as low as $17 a night, which is great for those who are on a tight budget who want to stay close to their families.
The experience made me want to do something like this in the future to help families who are going through a rough time.
So, those are all of my August 2018 favorites. Let me know below a product, service, or something else from this past month that you enjoyed so we can all share our experiences and hopefully connect one another with great companies and products!
LEGAL: All photos are my own.
If you're an avid reader of this blog, you know that I typically post on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. But this week, I had a family emergency that barred me from being able to post.
When we arrived at the VA, it was difficult to see my Grandy in the state he was in. He was still responsive, but obviously couldn't talk with the ventilator crammed down his throat. He was able to use hand signals to communicate, but he was obviously tired from fighting so hard.
In order for you to understand the prognosis they gave us, I need to tell you about my Grandy and some of the medical conditions he has. Mostly, his problems seemed to be centered around a rare genetic disorder we were all aware that he had: situs inversus.
Situs inversus is a medical condition where the internal organs are reversed. In other words, his heart liver, stomach, and spleen to name a few are all flipped or on the opposite side of his body. This disease is related to another syndrome called Kartageners, which limits the number and function of tiny hairs around the body that work to clear out mucus. Because my Grandy is missing many of these in his lungs, it makes it more difficult for his body to cough up and get rid of mucus and infectious substances.
These syndromes coupled with his pneumonia made my 74-year-old Grandy super sick. It also ended up causing extra stress to his heart and limiting his kidney function. At the time of writing this, they are growing a culture of the bacteria in his lungs to see the best way to treat it. He is breathing on his own now, and they are expecting to remove the ventilator and give him oxygen support. His kidneys are functioning well again, and they are draining some of the fluid collecting in his lungs.
As you can imagine, all of this was very difficult to process emotionally. I had just seen my Grandy weeks before doing so much better and laughing and having a good time while we visited. The VA told us we should probably set up hospice or end-of-life services, or be prepared for him to live the rest of his life on a ventilator. Luckily, he was sent to a bigger hospital that could do more for him.
Here are some of the things I learned when I was a caregiver full time for three days:
IT IS PHYSICALLY EXHAUSTING
Walking around a huge hospital is hard enough. Add sleep deprivation, bad nutrition, and pushing around someone else in a wheel chair and it can get exhausting pretty quickly.
The VA didn't transfer my Grandy until about 10:30 p.m., and the other hospital was about 45 minutes away from the VA, so we were at the other hospital at around 11:30 to midnight. We went to the waiting room, but he wasn't available to be seen until around 2 a.m. Then we had to wait for a doctor to come and ask us questions and tell us the plan. We ended up settling down in a hotel room around 3:45 a.m., but we were set to get up around 8 a.m. so we could try to make it to the hospital at 8:30 a.m. when the doctors were doing their rounds.
WORKING FOR OTHERS CAN BE STRESSFUL
As I said, I was traveling with my grandmother who has issues with her memory and it causes her to be somewhat combative when my mom and I tell her to do something so we can get going. I'll give you two examples:
To begin, my grandmother tries to often do things that she just can't do on her own. She walks with a walker. We were loading up the van the other day and trying to hurry so we could get to the hospital on time before they started. She was trying to load heavy bags and her own walker into the car, and she refused to listen. My mom had to pry a bag out of her hand to get her to get into the car.
Another thing that happened was that my grandmother kept having accidents. This is a combination of old age and of her not taking her medicine properly. She had accidents so much so that I had to bring her more than six or seven changes of clothes for only two days. She ended up causing an issue in my Grandy's room and he told us that she needed to go home. I guess that the nurse caught some of the tension and ended up threatening to kick my mom and grandmother out, even though no words were said.
NOT ALL MEDICAL STAFF ARE ACCOMMODATING
The first issue came when my mom tried to speak with the nurse regarding the rule about only two people being allowed in the room. My mom is my Grandy's healthcare power of attorney, so she is the one who is supposed to make decisions and sign off on documents for my Grandy and my grandma. This was decided because my grandma's dementia and how out of her head she gets when she is off her meds. My grandma can't understand what's going on or the risks associated with different procedures, so my mom asked the nurse if all three of us could be back there.
The nurse said it would be find if we were all back there during the doctor's rounds, but she said she was here for my Grandy and didn't want to put up with arguing. She apparently had sensed my mom was angry with my grandma when she had an accident beside his bed, but who wouldn't be. She said she didn't say anything to her. On top of this, I had to be the one there to push my mom around, yet the nurse was still insisting that we only have two people back in the room after the doctors left.
So instead, I asked the nurse if she or someone could come and get us when the doctors came around because, even though she was being difficult, we didn't want to tell my grandmother she couldn't be beside her husband. The nurse answered "that's not my job, I don't have time for that." We had already been there for several days and had witnessed several nurses and doctors coming out to the family waiting room to notify family members of the status of their loved one, so I knew this was a lie.
I was further angered when we walked by a few minutes later and this same nurse was chatting about her day (not patient related) to two other nurses who had stopped by her desk. Another thing that happened was that she knew we wanted to see the doctors and hear the medical plan. Instead of just letting us know they were outside of the room when the respiratory team was with my Grandy, she let them get through their round and mentioned it when my mom asked about an hour later.
Luckily, the head nurse was able to help us for the remainder of our visit, and she claimed she would speak with the nurse about how she handled the situation.
At the risk of making this blog too much longer, I think I will leave it there. Overall, I've found a new appreciation for people who dedicate their lives to taking care of others and their loved ones. I was of course happy to do all that I could because I love my family and I wanted to make sure they could be together.
I hope you will say a prayer for my grandfather in hopes of a speedy recovery! Thanks for reading. Feel free to share your stories about being a caregiver down below!
LEGAL: All photos are my own or taken from Pixabay.com, a creative commons website where attribution for photo use is not required.
I've always been a fan of Aretha Franklin and her voice. Not only could she sing like an angel, she was also bigger than many of the singers of her time, making her a great role model for women who can sing, but aren't a size 2!
I found out about her death during a very busy work day, and I haven't really had a chance to reflect on her life. But, I knew when I had the chance, I didn't want to do what everyone else would do. Instead, I thought it would be great to highlight some of the messages Aretha left behind in her music!
In this blog, I will post a video with a recording of the song (from YouTube) and analyze it's meaning! But first, I wanted to explain who Aretha is and a little bit about her death as a tribute.
THE LIFE OF ARETHA FRANKLIN
her home and Detroit, where she was surrounded by family and friends. She passed away on August 16 from pancreatic cancer, which was seemingly kept away from the public eye.
Respect is probably one of the most famous Aretha Franklin songs to date. But, what does it really mean, and what is the story behind it?
She recorded the song on Valentine's Day in 1967, but that wasn't the first time the song had hit the airwaves. Otis Redding, famous for the song "Dock of the Bay," sang a similar version of the song and it caught Aretha's attention.
I SAY A LITTLE PRAYER FOR YOU
The song has been featured in several films, including Sister Act with Whoopi Goldberg.
The song isn't originally Franklin's it was sung by Dionne Warwick in 1967. A year later, it is said that Franklin was having fun with the song during rehearsals, but it caught the attention of many and she re-recorded her own rendition of the song.
(YOU MAKE ME FEEL LIKE A) NATURAL WOMAN
Love is one of the most popular song topics among artists of all generations, and Natural Woman is no different.
The song describes how a woman felt before and after her love came into her life. She says "I felt so uninspired" but "you make me feel like a natural woman."
The song has become an anthem of sorts for women everywhere, as it showcases the power of love and its ability to draw out the true power of womanhood!
CHAIN OF FOOLS
While some songs are about love, others are about the opposite: the realization of being fooled into loving someone. Chain of Fools is a powerful and soulful song all about being a link in the chain of fools.
The song is seemingly about a woman who is being cheated by a man she thought she loved. As it turns out, she is only one of several women who have been fooled by the man. This forms the chain of fools.
These are only a few of Aretha's chart-topping hits. I encourage anyone who hasn't heard songs by Aretha to look them up on YouTube and enjoy a day of easy listening!
What's your favorite Aretha Franklin song? Let me know in the comments below!
LEGAL: All photos are from Pixabay.com, a creative commons website that requires no attribution for photos. Video sharing is copyright friendly via YouTube, as the owner will receive all credit via views and ad revenues.
Photo Credit: Netflix
In recent weeks, one of Netflix's newest original series, "Insatiable," has nearly broken the internet. The show follows Patty, a high school student who is overweight, but only in the first episode. It is made clear that Patty was tormented by her classmates for her size, made evident by the chants of "Fatty Patty" as she walked around the school.
But then, a "miracle" happened. Patty stopped at a gas station and got a candy bar. After being turned down by someone in her school who was nice to her, she steps outside to eat her candy, but a homeless man mocks her, telling her she didn't need it as much as he did.
She then punches the guy, and he punches her. Her injuries required her to have her mouth wired shut, and she had to stay on a liquid diet. The result was incredible weight loss that made her classmates and others look at her in a new light. But she swears to get revenge on those who hurt her by becoming a beauty queen.
Here's the trailer:
The trailer gives you a little taste into the series, but several who are defending the show against claims of fat-shaming say that you have to watch the show to know that the whole point is that being skinny doesn't solve all of your problems.
While many fat people didn't want to give this show a chance, I did. I have to admit that I don't take myself too seriously and I don't tend to project myself onto characters easily, but I could see how others do, especially vulnerable teenagers who haven't fully developed emotionally.
GOOD ASPECTS OF THE SHOW
1. IT GETS PEOPLE TALKING
me to deal with because I thought I could trust this person, but it turns out that I couldn't. I felt betrayed and lied to.
2. IT FEATURES A STRONG FEMALE LEAD
I can't deny how much I love the character of Patty. She is determined to shine after years of being put down for her size and what she looked like. I know several of my friends that would feel empowered by someone like Patty, who wants to show up the people who tormented her.
BAD ASPECTS OF INSATIABLE
1. IT POKES FUN AT A SERIOUS TOPIC
And, I know this may come off as harsh, but having body image issues and actually being overweight are two different things. People who have body image issues who are thin do not likely face scrutiny by their entire school. Unless you've truly experienced it, how can you say you understand?
2. IT MAKES FAT PEOPLE LOOK INCAPABLE
Unlike how the show paints the life of a fat person, not everyone cares what the haters say. Eventually, yes, constant bullying will cause harm, but a ton of us really don't care what people have to say to our faces or behind out backs about our size.
I sometimes wish that Patty was as sassy when she was fat as she is now that she is skinny. The truth is, the show paints Patty as incapable of standing up for herself, moving forward in life, finding a boyfriend, or being happy at her size. This isn't true of many who are fat, but is rather a narrative of how skinny people think fat people react to their torment.
3. IN THE CASE OF A MAN...
this pushes the narrative that the only person who would want a fat girl is a lesbian. While I believe that everyone has the choice to live their lives the way they choose, it is really messed up to make it seem as though Patty is unlovable to men at all. If the show were being honest, the strange kids or the other fat guys in school might have some sort of feeling for Patty, and maybe the occasional cool kid.
This is the exact attitude my former friend had toward me: you won't find a husband or even a boyfriend because you're fat. This is a narrative that the show could have changed, but they decided to run with it to include the stereotypical friend-loves-a-friend-but-she-doesn't-know-it with an LGBTQ twist. I'm not saying that this doesn't happen, but I had still had men who were into me. I'm married!
4. CAST AND CREATOR RESPONSES WERE BOGUS
the character of Patty was born, as well as to me, that any scenes where Patty was heavier don't use her size as a punchline..."
However, if you watched the trailer above, you will have noticed several times Patty's size is used as a punchline, including the opening voiceover where Patty says something like "while other classmates were losing their virginities, I was stuffing another hole," implying fat people aren't attractive enough to be in a relationship with someone.
She goes on to say that Patty had "the same brain, the same sense of humor and style, soul and heart, the same chucks, but felt like she didn't matter to anyone until she was thin."
To me, I see a very different Patty from before and after her weight loss. She changed A LOT. She became more ruthless and I think her humor changed a bit as well.
yourself and a single person being bullied by everyone in their school. Just because you lost a friend doesn't mean your entire school or class is against you. You can't really understand if you haven't experienced it. I'm not saying she hasn't, I'm just saying that her response isn't really clear about what she really experienced as a teenager.
LIFE STORIES FROM A FAT WOMAN
1. I am laughed at sometimes for being in a gym trying to better myself.
2. I remember my brother (who was overweight at the time) and I standing in line for popcorn at a theater and hearing someone speaking about us being fat in Spanish. Little did this person know, we both were nearly fluent in the language and knew what was being said about us.
3. Stores almost always charge more money for sizes that are bigger than a large or an XL.
4. Sizes are different depending on where you go.
5. Sizes that once fit bigger people are now used to make smaller people feel as though they are too big. I.E. a size 16 may now fit someone who used to be a size 10. This makes it harder for big people to know where to shop and what brand will have clothes that will fit them.
6. In middle school, I was fat and had short hair. A boy broke into my locker and stole my purse. He put it in the boy's bathroom, and I was ridiculed because rumors spread that I was going to the men's restroom at school.
7. I was constantly laughed at when I danced at school dances (even though I wasn't doing anything crazy). In fact, I had been dancing at a studio for 8 years before this happened. People laughed because of the way my fat jiggled when I moved.
8. I was embarrassed in front of my entire class because I said that I thought a boy was cute. A "friend" went and told the girl's boyfriend that I liked him and she said "why do you think he would want someone like you?"
9. When I was in college, I had concerns about safety on our campus because someone who wasn't a student was walking on to campus every day. This same person ended up running after my best friend, threatening to kill him. As a project, I had to take a poll about a subject on the campus, and I chose campus safety. One of my friends ran down to the cafeteria to ask some of the students in our class. She came back up and said that one male student said "why is she so concerned, who would want to rape Gabbie?"
I want to clarify and say that I never once made any indication that I was afraid of being sexually assaulted by this person. I was scared of them coming back with a gun (which they talked about) or a knife and hurting people. This comment not only made it seem as if I was unworthy of consensual love, but that no one would touch me no matter what because of my size.
10. I was a drum major in high school. I was just as big then as I am now, and I had torn my meniscus in my knee the year prior after I fell in some liquid in the cafeteria. Needless to say, my knee was bad, and extra weight didn't help. But I was active. I was in marching band, which practiced during the day and after school several times a week.
We had a showcase where we were going to show our show to family members and friends. I asked one of our field equipment people (who wasn't nice) to bring out a step stool so I could get up on the tall podium, but they didn't bring it and refused to go get it. It took me more than 5 minutes to get up on the podium, and my classmates and their families laughed at me. Two girls came over to give me their shoulders to push up on and I eventually got up to where I needed to be. It was terrible and embarrassing, and not even the band director cared.
I am still watching the show, don't get me wrong. As I said, it doesn't really bother me as much as it does other people. I want to give it a chance. It is pretty funny, and I haven't run into a ton of concerning things yet.
I do hope that you will watch the show yourself to see what you think about it. Give it a chance and see if you like the show before swearing it off.
LEGAL: Reproduction for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship or research is not copyright infringement.