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glioblastoma, what not to say to cancer patients

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Today’s Throat Punch is a bit of an emotional express train, but it’s an important one. Because while I fancy myself a bit of a comedic truth-teller most days, some situations require putting the funny-lady shtick aside momentarily. This is that moment. Apparently, we all need a tutorial ( a “What Not to Say to Cancer Patients ” for Dummies” if you will) so people can stop saying stupid AF and insensitive things to cancer warriors; to people we know and love. If you don’t stop hurting the feelings of people already dealing with the hardest moment in their life, I may have to put on my ass-kicking superhero outfit and throat punch you for them. You’ve been warned.

What is Glioblastoma?

We’re talking about cancer in general but glioblastoma, in particular, today -according to Cleveland Clinic, glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common type of malignant (cancerous) brain tumor in adults. Cancer cells in GBM tumors rapidly multiply. The cancer can spread into other areas of the brain as well. Rarely, the cancer spreads outside the brain to other parts of the body.

Glioma tumors like GBM start in glial cells. Glial cells are vital to nerve cell function. GBMs specifically form in glial cells called astrocytes. GBMs are the fastest-growing astrocytoma (tumor that forms in astrocytes). It’s the kind of diagnosis that punches you in the gut and sinks your heart straight through the floor, no matter who you are.

I’ve had more friends than I care to recount bravely fight the cancer monster over the years. I’ve seen it turn vibrant humans into mere shells, ripping away independence, cognitive abilities, and bland normalcies we so casually take for granted each day. Right now, someone I love is facing the kind of diagnosis that knocks you to your knees. She’s one of the bravest and most brilliant women I know and the last thing she needs is to the suffer fools saying stupid ass shit to her online or in person. Thats why I’m writing this because you all need to use your common sense and ask yourself BEFORE you open your mouth, “How would I feel in her situation if someone said what I’m about top ask her?” and then shut your mouth. 

It’s a different kind of nightmare when the thing you’re battling resides in the very home base operating your entire physical existence – your brain. Glioblastoma is quite literally your own body turning against you in one of the cruelest, most insidious ways imaginable.

So if you’ve never been impacted by a loved one facing this reality, trust me – just be quiet and send up some gratitude. Because it’s a hell that vastly exceeds any offense my usual Throaty subjects could ever dish out.

But since we’re being radically candid today, I do have ONE thing I’d like to firmly THROAT PUNCH into submission:

What NOT to Say to Someone Battling Cancer

We’ve all been there – someone we care about gets dealt a world-shattering health prognosis. Glioblastoma, or otherwise. And despite our utterly pure intentions, we WILL say inadvertently awful, cringeworthy things in the aftermath as we grapple with how to act.

Comments that make us smack our foreheads in private, realizing we just barged straight into a fully-body-fazed moment of profound uncomfortable silence.

I’ve been that foot-in-mouth airbag inflater more times than I can count. I’ve also been the recipient of stupid and insensitive comments when I was at one of the hardest moments of my life. We want so badly to provide comfort, to say the “right” thing that’ll take away the suffocating weight, but we often shove our foot directly into the wound instead.

So consider this your official game plan for what to SHUT UP about when supporting someone going through hell:

  • No Comments About Causation, Vice or Fault

“Did you smoke/drink/eat too many processed foods when you were younger?”

No, Karen, they didn’t “do” anything to “cause” this. Cancer is an indiscriminate monster, period. Unless your genuine medical advice was solicited, stop trying to diagnose a way to rationalize the unthinkable.

  • No Platitudes or Toxically Positive BS

“Don’t worry, you’ll get through this! Everything’s gonna be just fine!”

Oh wow, super cool! I didn’t realize this was armageddon allergies and not, you know, a terrifying brain cancer! While positivity has its place, false reassurances often just gaslight away the person’s very visceral fears and struggles. Let them feel how they need to feel.

  • No Narcissistic± Sidetracking

“I once had this cousin who had a scare, and let me tell you…”

For the love of God, STOP. This isn’t your moment to make an irrelevant grand pivot and arrogantly make things about yourself for 28 minutes. Exercise restraint and make this about THEM.

  • No Unsolicited Treatment Instructions

“From what I’ve researched online, you shouldn’t be doing chemo – only natural remedies and a dairy-free juice cleanse!”

Unless “Dr. Facebook School of Health” is an accredited medical dynasty I missed, keep your unqualified treatment recs to yourself. Ask how YOU can best support whatever THEIR medical team suggests.

  • No Weird Existential Probing

“So…do you believe in the afterlife then?”

I CANNOT stress this enough: the name on the Grim Reaper’s ominous guest list is not yours to shortcut RSVP for! Blatantly morbid Qs only amplify fear and discomfort, so shut your literal forever piehole.

…And Above All Else: NO MAKING IT THEIRS

  • “Your/The Cancer…”

This fire-breathing monster FORCED its way into their life uninvited. It was not some assumed decision or claimed identity. It’s simply an unfair, horrific circumstance beyond their control that they’re being outrageously strong in fighting.

So make damn sure you don’t go accidentally making this THEIR personal “thing” to have with possessive language. It’s NOT THEIRS – it’s the disgusting affliction they have the profound audacity to keep rallying against each day. So afford them that vital distinction.

At the end of the day, someone facing a cancer nightmare doesn’t need your wacky armchair expertise or stifling social niceties. They need two very simple human superpowers from you:

  • A stubbornly present supportive ear to listen…

  • And a soul strong enough to look the dragon’s flame straight in the eye alongside them without flinching.

Just show up and BE THERE, through all the scary valleys and occasional picturesque peaks this horrendous road is sure to bring. Let them lead the conversation where they need it to go.

Do NOT co-opt their grief. This.Is.NOT.about.You.

I don’t care how terrible you feel, I know it sucks. but you need to be cool bitch. Hold it together. Only speak affirmations of your unwavering faith in their ability to keep fighting, and that you’ll be their kick in the pants when they need it most:

“I don’t know what’s coming, but I know YOU – and you’re stronger than whatever bull$#%* this thing will throw your way. I’m locked in, strapped in, and not letting go for a second until we’ve kicked cancer’s ass together, side-by-side. Whatever you need from me – whenever you need it – you’ve got it.”

Because at the end of the day, that’s all any of us really needs when facing the abyss:

The validation that we don’t have to be stronger than we’re capable of.

Just strong enough to never have to be stronger ALONE.

So let’s all take a big collective breath and do BETTER at being present for those being swallowed whole by this nightmare.

Say THE right things – or just shut up and SHOW UP with the strongest heart you’ve got. That’s more than enough to start.

Sending all my love and strength to every last warrior still waging this heaviest of battles today, especially my girl, Jill. You are the bravest souls, and you’ve got infinite love, light and support behind you for the hearty fight ahead.

If you know someone going through a cancer struggle, I implore you – check in on them. Ask how you can tangibly lighten any load, no matter how small. Offer to lend an ear without caveats. Stay involved in their journey without forcibly inserting yourself as a hype-person. Send them a meal for the family. Pick up the slack. Drive the kids to school. Do the laundry. Load the dishwasher. It might seem mundane but when you’re going through a life changing struggle, the little things matter. 

And most importantly, if they’re a parent facing this terror…ask what you can do to support their child or children too. The psychic/emotional/physical tolls of this beast impact entire families. Do what you can to ease that unbearable burden in any way they need.

We’re all in this life thing together – let’s start showing up that way for those doing the hardest pushing and shoving against darkness to keep seeing brighter days ahead. 

While you are here, if you want to do some good you can start here:

I don’t ask for much ever but Jill Smokler is one of my dearest friends and favorite people in the world. She is facing one of the most challenging moments in her life.
 
glioblastoma, what not to say to cancer patients,Jill Smokler
To know her is to love her and I f@cking love her… so much. She has made it her mission to help moms and women all over the world; from making them laugh and cry their way through motherhood, to putting Thanksgiving meals on tables for families who otherwise would have none, to helping us Gen Xers and Millennials laugh our way through our perimenopausal rage. She’s always been there for us and it’s time we’re there for her.
 
If you’ve ever enjoyed her stories on Scary Mommy, listened to the She’s Got Issues podcast, sat around a table or a pool under the warm Florida night or had the privilege and honor of knowing her, loving her and being her friend, please donate!
It is our turn to show up for Jill by relieving her of some of the massive financial burden that this fatal disease is causing so she can focus on fighting and being present for her three kids without the added stress of paying for medical expenses, experimental treatments and everything they entail, rehab, and the list goes on.
 
Let’s show Jill that this massive community she has touched is still here and in this fight with her!
Please donate here ( if you can) and please share this fundraiser far and wide!
 
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late ADHD diagnosis in women

I just found out that I’m neurodivergent. I’m “ADHD” official, if you will. I knew it! I tested positive for ADHD, combined type. Yes, I know it’s not a disease but after the 2 day 5 hour in depth evaluation that I just endured…”testing positive” feels about right.  To put it in perspective, most adults with an ADHD diagnosis fall into the inattentive category but this Latina likes her neurodivergence extra spicy so let’s put our whole ass into it. Of course I got a late ADHD diagnosis because I’m never early for anything. But now what? Who even am I? I don’t just have a raging case of ADHD, I no longer tested indicative of any mood disorder. WHAT THE FUCK??? My bipolar 1 diagnosis is now up for debate… 25 years later.

When I was 27-years-old, a routine gynecological visit changed my entire life forever. My life had been ramping up into the fevered pitch of this moment, starting at about the age of 14. I remember thinking to myself, how can I survive this life? At that moment, there was carnage all around me. My “Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde” father was a mean and violent alcoholic when he wasn’t a doting daddy. Maybe he’s bipolar? My mother was a loving and caring mother until she had to emotionally check out just to stay above ground for her 5 children. In our family, it has always been all or nothing. You were, I am… all or nothing. 

We were the collateral damage of the dysfunction of our parents and they were the result of the dysfunction of theirs. I felt nearly completely abandoned at one of the most crucial and pivotal moments of my adolescence. I should have been accustomed  to it; this unrelenting state of fight or flight that had been my constant state of being for as long as I could remember. From about the time I entered kindergarten ( which also happened to coincide with the birth of my parents’ 4th child), I felt like I lived a double life. Bipolar, biracial…it tracks. When I was a little girl, my identity always seemed in question. Identifying as half this and half that, just so as not to offend either parent. 

Looking back, none of us knew what we were doing. We were all just trying to survive our existence; everyone of us was a victim of our circumstances and living the life we were born into as a result of the trauma and ignorance of the previous generation. 

All this to say, I was out of control by the time I was 18 and arrived on campus at Purdue University. It was my first taste of freedom and I was relishing every single moment. I was, quite literally, completely out of control…or at least that’s the way I felt. By the time I saw a psychiatrist, my behavior was so compulsive and manic that a gynecologist noticed it during a brief conversation. That was my life for the next 2 decades. I’d accepted my fate and have been walking a mental health tightrope ever since. 

I devoured every book that I could read about my diagnosis. I even took several graduate level clinical psychology classes. I embraced my diagnosis and became very self-aware about my moods; actively making sure not to do anything to tip the scales in any direction. I’ve been doing this since 2000.

 

I Thought I Was Bipolar, But Turns Out I’m Just ADHD AF

 

But after extensive evaluation from the neuropsychologist, not only do I have a late ADHD diagnosis, my current evaluation did not indicate any mood disorders. Let me say that again…I.DID.NOT.INDICATE.FOR.ANY.MOOD.DISORDERS!!! What does that even mean? To be clear, I’ve never heard of anyone growing out of bipolar. Of course, the neuropsychologist said she’s never encountered anyone who has been non-episodic for 20 years, especially after being weaned off medication. So what does this mean for me?

Since being diagnosed, bipolar has dictated a lot of how I live my life. There are things I’m not supposed to do, drink and eat. This living in a perpetual state of fight or flight and trying not to tip the mood scales is completely exhausting. If I don’t get enough sleep, drink too much caffeine, drink too much alcohol ( which I never do because I thought I spent my 20’s self-medicating and I come from a long line of alcoholics) or get too stressed, I’m always afraid of what the consequences might be. But now they’re telling me, maybe it was all wrong. Maybe it was my raging ADHD all along. I know ( because I studied the DSM when I was first diagnosed) that there is a lot of overlap in symptoms between both diagnoses but this has been two decades of my life spent living my life afraid of going manic again. This was a lifetime ( I was 6 the first time I remember a doctor suggesting that I probably had ADHD) of being untreated. I’ve spent my entire lifetime masking who I really am. 

 

Is Everything I Am Just a Symptom? 

I’m so fucking angry and sad right now. I thought I was going to be relieved, like I was when they diagnosed me with Bipolar 1 because it felt like an answer to what made me feel like a problem. But now, this ADHD diagnosis feels like it undermines my entire existence. I feel like my life could have been so much easier had I known and had the tools to do, be and feel better. 

Looking back, it all makes sense now. The inability to focus or prioritize tasks – I’d have 100 browser tabs open and constantly flit between projects. Constant fidgeting and restlessness. I remember tapping my feet incessantly during class or meetings until someone would give me an annoyed look.

Blurting out whatever was on my mind without a filter. I can’t tell you how many times I overshared personal details or made inappropriate comments because my brain raced ahead of my impulse control.

Impulsive decision-making was the norm for me. Like the time I randomly decided at 5am to get my tongue pierced. Or when I racked up debt in my 20s from spontaneous shopping sprees and vacations.

Struggling to manage my intense emotions was an almost daily battle. I would rapidly cycle through sadness, anger, euphoria, and anxiety without any seeming reason. My emotions always felt SO BIG.

Forgetting everything constantly was so normalized for me. Walked into a room and forgot why I came in there? Yep, every single day without fail. My short-term memory felt like (and still feels) like a sieve but it turns out I’m just always distracted.

These weren’t just personal quirks or flaws – they were textbook signs of ADHD that went undiagnosed for over 40 years.

Suddenly, I am realizing things that I thought were my winning personality are not even me at all but the ADHD. I feel like my life is adding up to a series of traumas and diagnoses that were put upon me to make my life as difficult as possible. At the same time, I feel like I’m one of the lucky ones because I did learn to live with it. I accepted that my life was meant to be hard. Maybe this is why I so completely embrace my parents’ golden rule of “where there is a will, there is always a way”, maybe it’s all because my life has always been not easy. I realized through years of therapy that my ”toxic positivity” is authentic, but it is also one of my many coping mechanisms. Everything I thought was special and original about myself is a result of trauma, diagnoses, neurodivergence and genetics. Am I even who I’ve always thought I was? This is the part that is breaking my brain and my heart. 

Looking back, so many struggles in my life make complete sense through an ADHD lens:

  • My feelings of constantly being overwhelmed and burnout as a mom of 2
  • The out-of-control impulsivity in college that led to that initial misdiagnosis
  • Toxic work environments and being labeled “difficult” for missing deadlines
  • Procrastination as a way of life and always needing hard deadlines to perform
  • Endless guilt and shame for perceived personal shortcomings
  • Strained relationships from emotional dysregulation
  • Panic attacks from having too many racing thoughts simultaneously
  • Repeating stories over and over again because I forgot I already shared them
  • The way I can’t watch a movie without asking 100 questions while Googling everything

The list goes on. For so long, I internalized these issues as personal failures instead of hallmark ADHD traits crying out for support and management. I didn’t know.

I thought I was forgetting everything over the past few months due to perimenopause. I accepted my fate. It’s genetics and aging, no one escapes it. I started having panic attacks and my memory has become more unreliable than ever. I literally forget everything, all the time. I even started thinking maybe I’m exhibiting some early signs of dementia. That was terrifying.

Good news is that my memory is great. However, I am very inattentive and always have so many thoughts in my head that I can’t remember them all so my short term memory is always on a lag, if it remembers at all. Forget girl math, I’ve got girl ADHD. Maybe I am perimenopausal but both symptoms I have can be attributed to ADHD. Did you know that being that full-on ADHD can cause panic attacks? Yeah, because you’re anxious about having so many simultaneous thoughts.

But now, armed with this new diagnosis, I finally have the tools and understanding to begin properly treating and working WITH my ADHD brain, not against it. It’s honestly life-changing. But, I’d be lying if I didn’t say it’s been hard to accept. It’s felt like learning that everything I ever knew or believed about myself has been a lie and that’s been massive. 

According to my neuropsychologist, TikTok has everyone self-diagnosing themselves with autism and ADHD. While I don’t think anyone should get their medical advice ( or news) from social media, I do appreciate that it can make some people more self-aware so that they can get help if they need it. However, my doctor told me that if you’re an adult and you think you have ADHD, usually 9 times out of 10, you’ve been told at different times within your life that you might have ADHD. I was told by 6 different doctors ( 5 in the last 3 years) but I’ve been putting out teenage mental health dumpster fires for as long, so my ADHD was not top priority, not until it all got to be too much with Gabs’ depression and CSID diagnosis. That’s when I decided that I needed to know for sure and seek treatment. The process is not fast. 

It took 4 months to get on the schedule for the initial evaluation. Then it took another 3 months to get in for the 3.5 hour evaluation. Then, it took another couple weeks to get my diagnosis. That was in March. I don’t see my psychiatrist for medication until the end of May, then there will be the drug cocktail adjustment period. So from start to finish, it’s probably going to take a year to get to a place of stability. Meanwhile, I am second-guessing every single life decision up until now. 

Was it me or was it my ADHD?

But no more beating myself up when I miss an appointment or make a silly mistake. No more forcing myself into rigid neurotypical boxes and processes I was never meant to fit. With self-knowledge and self-compassion, I can finally create systems and strategies to accommodate how my beautiful neurodivergent mind works. For me, learning to live with my ADHD begins with understanding and forgiveness.

Now, I can lean into my ADHD strengths like hyperfocus, resilience, ability to thrive in chaos, creativity, and passion. I can let go of the internalized ableism that made me feel inadequate and “less than” my entire life.

I’m mourning the young woman I was who suffered for so long without understanding her brilliant ADHD mind. But I’m also rejoicing at finally knowing the truth about myself after a lifetime of masking.

But, now, what? Who am I? I’ve always said that I’m more than my diagnoses but now, everything I thought I was feels like a symptom of ADHD. So if you’re a woman who constantly feels like she’s struggling, masking, using every ounce of energy just to appear “normal,” or just feels “too much”… please get evaluated for ADHD, even if you’re well into adulthood like me.

This diagnosis could be the key to radically transforming your life for the better and embracing your neurodivergent strengths. It was for me…well, I’m in the process of transformation but I’m still very much a work in progress. 

 

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how does miscarriage affect a woman

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Cry. It’s the only thing my body could do when I heard that cruel word – miscarriage. I wanted to scream, to rage against the injustice, but I couldn’t. The words stuck in my throat as an icy fist gripped my heart. All I could do was cry these deep, guttural sobs that seemed to emanate from the core of my soul. How does miscarriage affect a woman? It changes everything about it. 

My unexpected miracle, that little life I never dreamed I deserved, was gone. Snatched away far too soon. Those two bright lines on the pregnancy test had filled me with hope, excitement over the promise of a love like no other. But in an instant, that beautiful promise was shattered, coldly labeled as nothing more than a “miscarriage.”

I shattered right along with it. My heart broke into innumerable pieces as I struggled just to breathe through the anguish. Uncontrollable sobs wracked my body as despair closed in – I had never felt so lost, so utterly and hopelessly broken.

The Devastation No Mother Should Face

We hadn’t shared the joyful news with anyone yet, too petrified of jinxing our fragile happiness. I had seen my sister’s devastation after her miscarriage at 9 weeks. At 10 weeks and 4 days along, I thought I was safe. I wasn’t.

The haunting look on the ultrasound tech’s face said it all before she could speak the words – there was no flickering heartbeat, only a perfect, still little life within me. My world imploded in that moment. Waves of screaming anguish and denial crashed over me, the physical pain indescribable.

How Miscarriage Shatters a Woman

The torment of losing an unborn child is one of the most traumatic, heartbreaking experiences any woman can endure. It leaves you hollowed out and gasping, struggling just to draw your next ragged breath through the searing pain. An icy numbness seizes you as your hands desperately clutch your body, craving the feeling of that life within that’s been so cruelly torn away.

You want the world to stop spinning so you never have to move past this nightmare moment when your deepest hopes and dreams withered before your eyes. The thought of others pitying you, or trying in vain to rationalize your devastation, makes you want to curl deeper inward and shut everyone out.

Just let me be, you want to cry out. Let me feel the full weight of this mountainous loss, this betrayal of everything I’d dared to hope for. Don’t try to placate me – simply allow me to bear the burden of these primal, animalistic screams of grief tearing from the depths of my very soul.

Don’t touch me. Don’t speak empty condolences. Just let me drown in my darkness, my personal hellscape where life makes no sense and all dreams have turned to ashes.

For that tiny life was your promised dream of unconditional love, a blessing you never imagined deserving. And that promise now lies horrifically shattered, leaving you hollowed out, empty, and feeling irreparably betrayed by life itself. Words hold no meaning when every shallow breath reminds you of the indescribable anguish clawing at your lungs.

All you can do is cry.

When the Anguish Never Fully Fades

As you read these words, I was at the hospital having a D&C because I couldn’t fathom carrying my lifeless child within me a moment longer. I should have been joyfully sharing our pregnancy journey, but instead I’m laying bare the most visceral, agonizing loss a mother can endure. Writing it out is the only way I know to keep breathing through this all-consuming pain.

Even now, over a decade later, I can still feel the lump permanently lodged in my throat whenever I think of my Declan – the son I loved with every fiber of my being yet never got to hold, not even for a fleeting moment. His entire existence amounted to morning sickness, wistful daydreams, and countless tears. So much he’ll never experience – sunrises, sunsets, his sisters’ laughter, his dad’s soothing voice at bedtime, my whispers of unconditional love and pride surrounding him.

I’m angry and feel forever cheated, because he’s been gone longer than he was ever here. It will never make sense, this unfathomable cruelty, and I’ll never stop feeling gutted by the gaping wound his absence left behind. Even on my calmest days, the injustice still leaves me wanting to rage at the universe, to throw tantrums and scream at the sheer unfairness of it all. Why them and not us? Why don’t I deserve that happiness too?

This pain ebbs and flows, but it never fully goes away. There’s always that dull yet persistent ache, that sense of missing your own vital organ whenever you see other mothers and sons embracing the futures you’ll never experience. I mask it and pretend I’m okay, but I’m not. Not completely. Miscarriage leaves invisible scars that indelibly change you.

A Call for Compassion and Healing

If you know someone suffering through the unimaginable agony of miscarriage, don’t minimize their pain with platitudes or toxic positivity. Extend a compassionate embrace, a listening ear, and an acknowledgment that their grief is valid and whole. Let them cry, scream, and metabolize their shattering loss however they need to in that moment. Offer your presence, not pity.

Because having a dream, a part of your very soul, ripped away…it leaves a deep wounding that time doesn’t fully heal. We owe it to ourselves and each other to remove the stigma around pregnancy loss and create spaces where women can openly process their breathtaking pain without shame or judgment.

Share stories like mine, or those of your loved ones, to raise awareness. Let other women know they don’t have to suffer in silence and loneliness when their worlds have fallen apart. Validate their anger, their confusion, their soul-deep mourning, and remind them that this sisterhood of survivors has their back.

One compassionate conversation at a time, we can make spaces for healing and grace to coexist with the anguish that consumes us on our darkest days. Because even if we never “move on” from such a shattering loss, surrounding each other with empathy and love can ensure that no woman has to bear miscarriage’s tremendous burden alone.

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How survive the Freshman 15. One girl's honest battle with eating disorders and body image in college. An insiders look into the Gen Z, teenage girl experience.

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Let’s talk about something a lil icky, weight gain. I’m 19-years-old, about to finish my freshman year of university, and medicated. But before I get into all of that, let’s start with some basics. I am 5’10, not nearly as active as when I was ages 10-15, dancing 30 hours a week. I’m busy with work and school, so I usually don’t have time for all 3 meals. I thrive on caffeine and a dream 99% of the time, slaying my classes and trying to be a functional person in my family. But recently when visiting the student clinic for a sinus infection, they took vitals as usual, blood pressure, temperature… and my weight. If I’d never had any predisposition for eating disorders or body image issues, this was enough to set my mind on fire.

Let me tell you, when you are already sick and exhausted the last thing you want to do is be weighed, but we all have to go through it. I try not to look at the scale when being weighed just because I know that I have some struggles with food, weight, and exercise. Now, my lovely, amazing mama tried her damndest due to her own eating disorders to make sure my sister and I grew up body positive, especially in the dance world. That being said, it was just kind of inevitable. Nothing was ever said directly to me, but constantly hearing your standard petite, very thin, best friend constantly be called “fat” or “a whale who eats too much” makes something in your brain flip. It happens just as quickly, if not faster, than turning the light on in your room. You start to think if this is what they think of her, wtf do they think of me? 

This was the beginning of the slow an steady hits to my body image. 

Now, I never really had an “aha” moment but it definitely started around age 12. Seeing myself in tights and a leotard 6 days a week surrounded by mirrors, oof, it was rough, and I never really discussed it with anyone because my best friend wouldn’t understand, she was nowhere near as “fat” as I was, she could only understand the hurtful insults constantly being heard. Picking clothes to wear everyday now that I’m no longer confined by uniforms, is such a nightmare struggle because I hate everything I put on my body. 

I never really brought it up to my mama because she struggled with her own eating disorders and I didn’t want her to feel like she “failed” in a sense that I was feeling this way. When I was 12 that’s when I stopped eating breakfast, just woke up and had my coffee. Lunch consisted of whatever yummy stuff my mom packed for me, because I stopped eating the cafeteria food, and that was enough until 4 or 5 pm-ish when I was home from school/before dance and when I would eat dinner with my family. 

The gradual onset of eating disorders is almost unnoticeable in the beginning,.

Now, enough about the origin story and back to the now. I was still, up until this weighing, only consuming coffee for breakfast and then eating dinner with the family. If there was any snacking it would be either another coffee or a granola bar of some sort. Recently though, I’ve been making small changes like a protein shake for breakfast, along with my beloved coffee, a salad for lunch, and then whatever happens to be on the menu for dinner. I try to move, walking around campus when not working on assignments between classes, but here in the midwest I must suffer from mother nature’s wrath and allergy season (which is all year round for this allergy shot girl). That plays a huge role in my ability to walk outside. I try to do lil 15 minute core routines on youtube but your girl is tired when she gets home, ready to pass out on the couch with my fur baby, Stella. 

Earlier I mentioned being medicated, I suffer from severe anxiety, depression, insomnia, and terrible/excruciating periods. Periods so bad with radiating pain and numbness in my back and legs caused by cramps that are so severe, I sometimes feel bed bound. At the start of the new year I was lucky enough to be put on and start birth control to try and help manage those symptoms, so I’m no longer debilitated during that time of the month. I also would have very irregular periods due to stress and life, that now is being helped as well along with several other things. But even with a low dosage, adding that medication can play a role in weight gain/distribution. I’m also being treated with mental health medications such as gabapentin and prozac, both of those are known to cause little to no weight gain, but with my luck I’m definitely likely to experience that side effect. 

I have to remind myself that I am in control of my actions, reactions and choices.

I decided in March (my birthday month) that I want to make some changes. I want to get in shape and be healthy, because at the end of the day I need to be happy with what I see in the mirror even if it’s not accurate. I feel like there are so many people, women specifically, my age that are experiencing so many changes with moving away for college and balancing work, school, social life, relationships, etc. that many of us neglect simple things like eating healthier and getting our steps in. 

With the help of my wonderful therapist and supportive mama, I’m determined to work on these things and try to make myself happy by making a few lifestyle choice changes i.e. when picking out outfits for class, put some thought into it the night before instead of getting frustrated because I have “nothing” to wear ( which we all know is a lie because my bedroom floor discovered in new clothes), running late just to end up in leggings and a sweatshirt. It’s so exhausting and it makes me feel terrible.

Moms, talk to your daughters. Ask them how they feel about themselves when they stand in front of a mirror. I think there needs to be more discussions being held even though they are uncomfortable, but I know I’m not alone. Don’t stop asking, no matter how many times they roll their eyes or brush you off. My mom talks to us about everything, no matter how uncomfortable it might be. She’s taught me to get comfortable with being uncomfortable so that I can be happier and feel more in control of my own life. You can’t just ignore the hard parts, they don’t go away…they just grow and fester and get more uncomfortable. We just face it together and get through it, hopefully, less traumatized and triggered than if we tried to do it alone. We have to create an environment where our daughters, sisters, mothers and friends feel safe to be vulnerable. Because the truth is, body image struggles are all too common, affecting an estimated 50-80% of women.

To think about how I’ve felt this way about myself since I was 12 years old, makes me sad. Just like my mom when I have my own children I’m gonna do the same things as she did. Make sure my kids are comfortable with their bodies and being naked from birth. I wish more than anything that they never think of themselves how I think of myself. 

7 years, almost ½ of my life, I’ve hated my body and never said anything about it, because I didn’t want to upset my mom, or trigger my sister to think negatively about herself. The average onset age of eating disorders in women is between 12-25. 

Check on the women in your life that are between those ages, ask those older in recovery and ask how they are doing, eating disorders never really go away. It’s a daily battle to make the decision to eat rather than restrict or eliminate meals. This is something I will continue to struggle with for the majority of my life. 

One day, I hope I can genuinely be able to say I love myself, but until then I hope this helps others realize they aren’t alone. These feelings and thoughts, while unkind, are common to think. That’s the problem. Beauty standards are set for us since birth and we spend our whole lives unhappy trying to achieve them. Do the things that make you happy. I hope one day I can too, in the meantime though I’m working to make the changes. Even the Tinkerbell sized ones.

And to any other young woman out there who is battling her own demons when it comes to food, weight, and self-acceptance – you are not alone. I see you, I hear you, and I’m here for you. It’s a daily fight, but you’ve got this. Eat the bread, wear the crop top, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Together, we can break the cycle of body shame and learn to love ourselves, one small step at a time.

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Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Hey there, fellow sleep-deprived mom friend!

So, it’s that time of year again – World Sleep Day. Did you even know that was a thing? Me, neither. Then again, I’ve been a mom for 19 years, so you know, no rest for the wicked and all that. What is World Sleep Day, you ask? It’s a day dedicated to celebrating the elusive phenomenon known as sleep. But let’s be real, as moms, sleep might feel more like a distant memory than something worth celebrating. Between late-night feedings, toddler tantrums, and endless rounds of “just one more story,” and let’s not forget about waiting for teens to get home and then spending hours chatting about what’s going on with them… getting a decent night’s sleep can seem like a far-fetched dream.

Disclosure: Some of the products included in this post were gifted for review purposes but all opinions are my own. 

But fear not, my exhausted, desperately in need of a nap comadre! I’ve got some tips, tricks, and tired laughs to help you make the most of World Sleep Day. So grab your comfiest pajamas and a giant mug of coffee (wine or nightly edible, no judgment here), and let’s dive in!

1. Embrace the Nap Life

Whoever said naps are just for babies clearly never met a sleep-deprived mom. Let’s be real, naps are our love language. So, on World Sleep Day, give yourself permission to indulge in a midday siesta. Whether it’s a power nap in your fully-flat reclinable XL6 FlexiSpot Powerlift Recliner with massage and heat or a full-blown snooze fest in bed, take advantage of any opportunity to catch some z’s. Trust me, the laundry can wait – your sanity cannot. Because if you’re going to spend half your life in bed, you might as well do it in style.

2. Treat Yourself to Some Sleep Accessories

You know what they say: when in doubt, accessorize. And when it comes to sleep, the right accessories can make all the difference. Treat yourself to some cozy new pajamas, invest in a weighted silk sleep stone eye mask (it’s a game changer) or indulge in a luxurious set of PeachSkin Sheets. Because if you’re going to spend half your life in bed, you might as well do it in style. If you want to sleep in comfort ALL.YEAR.LONG. You must get yourself a muslin comfort 365 blanket. It keeps me comfortable no matter what time of the year it is and that is a life changing thing when you are pregnant, perimenopausal, menopausal or a woman in general. It was the one thing I never knew I needed but once I got one, I’m never going back. 

Bonus to sleep like a baby: Add a scrumptious and relaxing pillow mist.

3. Create a Sleep Sanctuary

Turn your bedroom into a sleep sanctuary fit for a queen (or, you know, a tired mom). Dim the lights, set the mood with some soothing essential oils like Alevan Botanica: The Sleep Set , and banish any electronic devices from the premises (yes, even your phone). Creating a calming environment can help signal to your brain that it’s time to unwind and drift off into dreamland. 

Also, a must have for any sleep sanctuary, is Evercool®+ Cooling Sheet Set  and comforter. They’re made with the same game-changing temperature regulating technology and quality, moisture-wicking fabric as the the  Rest Kids Evercool™ Cooling Comforter I’d been using to cool off on hot nights. Only these full-sized sheets and comforter allows hopelessly hormonally challenged hot moms ( and dads) to recharge through a comfortable, cool, dry and restful sleep. Just imagine your body temperature being regulated and you being able to sleep through the night? Now, if the kids would just sleep through the night too.

4. Practice the Art of Saying No

As moms, we have a tendency to take on more than we can handle. But here’s the thing – you can’t pour from an empty cup (or in this case, a tired mom). So, on World Sleep Day (and every day thereafter), practice the fine art of saying no. You don’t have to sacrifice your every waking moment and martyr yourself in the name of motherhood. Whether it’s turning down that last-minute playdate or passing on that committee meeting, prioritize your sleep and sanity above all else.

5. Find the Humor in Sleep Deprivation

Let’s face it, sometimes all you can do is laugh. Whether it’s finding yourself wearing your shirt inside out for the third day in a row or accidentally putting the milk in the pantry instead of the fridge (guilty), finding the humor in sleep deprivation can make the endless nights feel a little less daunting. So go ahead, embrace the chaos, and laugh until you cry (or until you fall asleep standing up, whichever comes first).

6. Seek Support

Remember, you’re not alone in this sleep-deprived journey. Reach out to your fellow mom friends for support, commiseration, and maybe even a much-needed venting session. Sometimes all it takes is knowing that someone else is in the same boat to make the sleepless nights feel a little more bearable.

7. Treat Yourself to Some Self-Care

And last but certainly not least, don’t forget to prioritize self-care. Whether it’s treating yourself to a bubble bath, indulging in your favorite guilty pleasure TV show, or simply taking a few moments to breathe deeply and center yourself, make self-care a non-negotiable part of your daily routine. Because a well-rested mom is a happy mom, and a happy mom is a force to be reckoned with.

Secret bedtime self-care weapon: Therabody SmartGoggles. They not only reduce stress and anxiety, they support restful sleep,  soothe headaches, relieve eye strain, lower your heart rate, increase circulation and ease facial tension.

Share Your Sleep Stories and Tips

Phew, we made it through! Now, here’s where you come in. I want to hear from you! Comment below and share your best sleep deprivation story or your top tip for getting some much-needed and deserved mom sleep this World Sleep Day. Let’s laugh, commiserate, and support each other through the sleepless nights. Together, we’ve got this!

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Understanding The Five Love Languages to Improve Your Relationships

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Ah, love – the great mystery of the human heart. We’ve all been there, swept off our feet by that special someone who makes our heart flutter and our knees weak. But what happens when the honeymoon phase fades, and we realize that our partner’s way of expressing love is completely different from our own? Enter the five love languages – a framework that can help unravel the complexities of relationships and foster deeper connections with our partners. So, grab your favorite latte (or a glass of wine), and let’s dive into the fascinating world of understanding the five love languages.

What Are the Five Love Languages?

First things first, let’s break down the five love languages:

  1. Words of Affirmation: This love language involves verbal expressions of love and appreciation, such as compliments, words of encouragement, and affirmations of affection.
  2. Quality Time: For those who speak this love language, nothing says “I love you” like undivided attention and meaningful conversations. Spending quality time together, free from distractions, is essential.
  3. Acts of Service: Actions speak louder than words for individuals who value acts of service. Whether it’s cooking dinner, running errands, or helping with chores, these gestures demonstrate love and thoughtfulness.
  4. Physical Touch: Physical affection is the primary love language for those who crave touch. Hugs, kisses, hand-holding, and other forms of physical contact are essential for feeling loved and connected.
  5. Receiving Gifts: Thoughtful gifts, no matter how big or small, are the key to the heart for individuals who appreciate receiving gifts as expressions of love and thoughtfulness.

How Do You Identify Your Love Language?

Identifying your love language is like uncovering a hidden treasure – it requires self-reflection and honest communication with your partner. Pay attention to how you prefer to express love and how you feel most loved and appreciated in return. Do you light up when your partner gives you a compliment or a thoughtful gift? Or do you crave quality time together, free from distractions? By recognizing your preferences, you can gain insight into your love language.

How Do You Practice the Five Love Languages?

Once you’ve identified your love language, the next step is to put it into practice in your relationship. Here are some tips for expressing each love language:

  1. Words of Affirmation: Send your partner a heartfelt text message expressing your love and appreciation. Leave sticky notes with uplifting messages around the house. Compliment them on their strengths and accomplishments.
  2. Quality Time: Plan regular date nights where you can focus solely on each other. Put away your phones and other distractions and engage in meaningful conversations. Take walks together or enjoy a leisurely meal at a favorite restaurant.
  3. Acts of Service: Take on tasks or chores that your partner dislikes or finds challenging. Cook their favorite meal, run errands for them, or offer to help with household responsibilities without being asked.
  4. Physical Touch: Initiate cuddling sessions, hold hands while watching TV, or give your partner a lingering hug when they least expect it. Physical affection doesn’t always have to be sexual; simple gestures of touch can convey love and affection.
  5. Receiving Gifts: Surprise your partner with thoughtful gifts that reflect their interests and preferences. It’s not about the monetary value; it’s about the thought and effort you put into selecting something meaningful for them.

When Love Languages Clash: Navigating Differences in Relationships

While understanding and speaking the same love language can strengthen a relationship, what happens when two partners’ love languages don’t match up? Conflict can arise when one partner feels unloved or unappreciated because their needs aren’t being met in the way they desire. However, recognizing and respecting each other’s love languages can bridge the gap and foster understanding and compromise. It’s not all about you. The best way to love someone is the way they want to be loved.

Communication is key when navigating differences in love languages. It’s also the key to understanding the five love languages. The Big Guy and I have different love languages but we know that. We might not always understand why the other one wants to be loved the way they do but we love each other that is the meaningful to each other. Discussing your preferences openly and honestly with your partner can help bridge the gap and find common ground; this applies to all things in a relationship. Remember, relationships are all about compromise and finding ways to show love and appreciation that resonate with both partners.

The Language of Love

In the intricate dance of love, understanding and speaking each other’s love language can strengthen bonds and deepen connections in relationships. By recognizing and embracing the unique ways we express and receive love, we can cultivate fulfilling and harmonious partnerships that stand the test of time. So, whether your love language is words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service, physical touch, or receiving gifts, remember to speak it loudly and proudly in your relationship. After all, love is a language that knows no bounds – let’s keep the conversation going. ❤️

What’s your love language? What would you want your partner to know to better understand your love language?

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Battle of the Bugs: Decoding CoVid-19, Influenza, the Common Cold, and RSV

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Lord have mercy, there is so many different illnesses going around and life would be a lot easier if we learned how to decode sickness. It’s just too much. Welcome to the ultimate showdown of the microscopic world – where germs compete for the title of the most unwelcome guest in our bodies. In one corner, we have the heavyweight champion, CoVid-19; in another, the perennial contender, Influenza; lurking in the shadows, the sneaky Common Cold, and last but not least, the underdog with a punch, RSV. Let’s step into the ring and figure out how to tell these contenders apart. 

CoVid-19: The Uninvited Guest with a Sledgehammer Entrance

CoVid-19, the rockstar of viruses, stormed onto the scene in 2019, and it’s been headlining ever since. This bug doesn’t understand personal space, crashing our immune system party with a sledgehammer. It comes with a fever, a cough that sounds like a drum solo, and a loss of taste – the ultimate party pooper move.

Influenza: The Seasonal Showstopper

Influenza, or the flu, is like that annual concert you didn’t really want to attend. It hits you hard, leaves you achy and exhausted, and, worst of all, it keeps coming back every year. With symptoms like a high fever, body aches that feel like you’ve been moshing all night, and a cough that rivals a heavy metal singer’s vocals, the flu is a regular feature on the seasonal illness charts.

The Common Cold: Your Run-of-the-Mill Troublemaker

Ah, the Common Cold – the trickster of the bunch. Sneezing, sniffling, and generally making you feel like you got hit by a feather, the common cold is the jester of viruses. Its symptoms are more annoying than alarming: a runny nose, mild cough, and the occasional throat irritation. It’s like a background noise virus, always there but never stealing the spotlight. Unless its a man cold, that’s an entirely different beast…or so I heard. I don’t really know because I’m not a man. 

RSV: The Silent Striker

RSV, or Respiratory Syncytial Virus, is the dark horse in this competition. It usually goes for the youngest members of the audience, hitting infants and toddlers with a silent but potent punch. RSV comes with symptoms like coughing, sneezing, and difficulty breathing, making it a serious contender for pediatric attention.

Spotting the Differences:

Now that we’ve introduced our contenders, let’s talk about how to tell them apart. Imagine you’re the referee in this viral boxing match.

  • Fever Flare:

    • CoVid-19 and Influenza often come with a high fever, while the Common Cold and RSV usually keep it mild.
  • Coughing Cadence:

    • CoVid-19 boasts a persistent cough that’s hard to ignore.
    • Influenza brings a robust cough, often accompanied by body aches.
    • The Common Cold’s cough is more of an irritating side note.
    • RSV’s cough can be severe, especially in the little ones.
  • Body Aches Amplified:

    • Influenza is the champion of body aches.
    • CoVid-19 follows closely, leaving you feeling like you’ve been hit by a truck.
    • The Common Cold and RSV usually keep body aches on the down-low.
  • Age Preference:

    • CoVid-19 doesn’t discriminate by age.
    • Influenza hits all age groups but tends to favor the young and the old.
    • The Common Cold loves all ages equally.
    • RSV has a soft spot for infants and toddlers.

In the grand arena of viral combat, each contender has its unique moves and preferred audience. While CoVid-19, Influenza, the Common Cold, and RSV might share some symptoms, their differences help us understand which opponent we’re up against. So, next time you feel under the weather, remember this guide – because nothing beats a well-informed immune system! Stay healthy, stay happy, and keep those germs at bay!

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boilermaker love story

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

I met my husband, senior year of college at Purdue University. We met at Harry’s. We had a mutual friend, who’d grown up with him, and really wanted to introduce me to this “great guy” ( just as friends). This was a boilermaker love story from the very start. In case you’re wondering what a boilermaker is, its what Purdue students, athletes and alumni call themselves. I am, in fact, a proud Boilermaker whose heart bleeds black and gold and of all the precious moments I experienced throughout my tenure at my beloved Purdue, our love story is, by far, my favorite.

After weeks of hearing about this guy, she convinced me to leave our LSAT prep class a little early and head to Harry’s for a drink and some popcorn. It was September 29,1997. We walked into Harry’s and there at the back of the bar, surrounded by his friends and talking to the bartender was this massive 6’5” man. There was no way you could miss him.

We made our way through the crowd to where he was and when our mutual friend introduced us, he barely looked in my direction and mumbled, “Hey.” It floated down and landed with a thud. Honestly, I was as unimpressed and disinterested as he seemed to be. All the weeks of hearing what a “great guy” he was only to realize, he was kind of a jerk. No worries, I didn’t even know this guy and I’d never have to see him again.

Eventually, the night progressed to an impromptu after party back at the house he shared with 5 other guys; the infamous 345 Sylvia Street. At that time though, it could have been in another country because I was geographically challenged and had no idea where it was in relation to my apartment on Chauncey.

Within 20 minutes, our mutual friend disappeared with a guy. It happens. I was left alone talking to the guy she introduced me to and his roommate. Honestly, I just wanted to go home because I had a big Astronomy test the next day; I needed sleep.

Our Boilermaker love story had an unlikely beginning

Eventually, around 2 am, I started to freak out a little because I’d been abandoned at this party with guys I barely knew and had absolutely no idea how to get home. The “great guy” offered to walk me home ( which in retrospect is weird because he had a car and it was the middle of the night) with no other option, I took him up on his offer. How bad could it be? I desperately needed to get home. Was I just supposed to live there now?

He immediately told me that he wanted to show me something. All I thought was, omg, this is where my SVU episode begins. He took me to the top of the parking garage and pointed out constellations ( I guess he’d been paying attention when I was talking about my Astronomy exam). Then, unbeknownst to me, we headed in the opposite direction of my apartment taking effectively the longest way home. I was oblivious.

We ended up at the Purdue University soccer fields, lying on the grass as he pointed out more constellations. I wasn’t sure if this guy who completely blew me off when we met earlier that night was super sweet and trying to help me study or super creepy and going to assault me. I had no option, I was lost on campus in the middle of the night with a guy a foot taller than me. I queued up all those karate moves my dad taught me as a kid… just in case this “great guy” got any SVU ideas.

Our love story happened when I least expected it

Then, it happened. My entire life changed when I wasn’t paying attention. As we were lying there, talking about everything and nothing under the stars with the dewy grass beneath us, he started to talk about his grandmother, who’d recently passed. He spoke with such love and reverence when telling me about the woman she was, he got choked up. That break in his voice, shifted my perspective of who I thought he was. To be honest, I realized I thought this great guy was a jerk simply from one interaction that only lasted a couple of minutes.

Eventually, he walked me home and we had our first kiss on my doorstep as the sun was coming up. He told me he loved me 2 weeks later and proposed 4 months later, just a few days shy of our first Valentine’s Day, on the dance floor at WhereElse. 27 years and 2 boilermaker babies later, we’ve been inseparable ever since. I may have flunked my Astronomy exam but I found my forever. When I wasn’t looking, I found everything, I never knew that I always wanted right there on campus.

What was your meet cute story? How did your love story begin?

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Black Ohio Mother, Brittany Watts, Faces Felony Charges After Suffering Miscarriage

Estimated reading time: 0 minutes

In tales from the “what the fuck is going on?” and/ or another episode of “Let’s demonize women for existing,” or “misogyny gone wild” a black mother in Ohio, Brittany Watts, is facing felony charges after suffering a devastating, near fatal miscarriage.

Brittany Watts is facing felony charges for “abuse of a corpse” after suffering a miscarriage at nearly 22 weeks into her pregnancy, on September 22, 2023. Now, her case is headed to trial. The 33-year-old, Watts, is being accused of miscarrying her pregnancy while using the restroom and then flushing the fetal remains down her toilet.  * Newsflash, that’s usually what happens.

According to a GoFundMe page set up to help with mounting legal costs for Watts, “Brittany Watts suffered an agonizing miscarriage in the bathroom of her home in Warren, Ohio on September 22, 2023.

Brittany did nothing to cause her miscarriage. Her doctor had told her that her 21-week pregnancy could not survive, and she would miscarry. When the bleeding and the pain from the impending miscarriage got severe, she did the same thing that many women who miscarry at home do. Brittany went into her bathroom, miscarried into her toilet, and flushed. What happened after that is something that should only happen in Margaret Atwood’s Gilead, and certainly not in the United States of America.

Within hours of Brittany’s admission to the hospital for her life-threatening hemorrhaging, police removed the toilet from Brittany’s home and destroyed it searching for fetal remains. Brittany, a woman with no criminal history, was charged with felony gross abuse of a corpse, even though there is no Ohio law dictating the “proper” disposal method of the remains of a miscarriage. On November 2, Brittany sobbed as she sat in a courtroom listening to police officers describe the details of the most intensely personal moments of her life and then vilify her to the world, all while being recorded by local news media.”

Okay, this is a whole lot of what the actual fuck is going on here. As someone who has suffered a miscarriage (and that is exactly what happens to a woman when she miscarries…she suffers mentally and physically), there are no words to describe the kind of hell a mother endures when she loses her child. This is a deeply personal, painful, and private matter and one in which is difficult to navigate. No one knows what to do in this situation. It happens to you unexpectedly and you try to survive it in the best way you can. Believe me, for the mother, it is almost unbearable.

According to the National Library of Medicine, an estimated 23 million miscarriages occur every year worldwide, translating to 44 pregnancy losses each minute. The pooled risk of miscarriage is 15·3% .  Miscarriages happen to women not because of them, so why does the government and legal system want to punish us for what is already so devastating?

To add insult to such a grievous injury, the Ohio legal system is not only blaming the victim (because that is exactly what any mother who miscarries is) for a medical emergency, a fetus that failed to thrive through no fault of the mother; they are actually bringing women up on felony charges. This is one of the most demented and misogynistic things a society can do.

Watts has gone through one of the most painful and life changing experiences any woman can go through and now she is being demonized and prosecuted for disposing of the biological matter. What the fuck was she supposed to do? Women are not taught proper disposal of our miscarried babies when we watch the movie about menstruation in fifth grade! No one teaches us proper sex education in schools, we are taught abstinence in hushed tones and discouraged from asking any questions. We are told that we are sluts and all kinds of other insults if we dare to even inquire or try to educate ourselves and now, we are even blamed and held legally responsible when our pregnancies miscarry. It’s not bad enough that they list miscarriages on insurance bills as missed abortions and that the government has taken away our right to choose, now, they are actively charging women for being a victim of nature’s cruelest punishment.

I’m tired of men making laws on women’s bodies. Men have no idea what it feels like to live in a woman’s body and to suffer being a female. Because yes, for as much as I love being a woman, our misogynistic society keeps us in shackles and punishes us at will for no reason other than what lies between our legs. We are punished daily, in every aspect of our lives, simply for being born with a vagina.

Women are treated like second class citizens. We constantly have everything we say and do questioned, and that’s when we’re not being completely ignored. W are not even given domain over our own bodies. We are leered at and sexualized at every turn from birth till death. Sex is weaponized against us. Rape is a consequence for existing. We can’t even choose when, where, how or if we want to have children. Do you know what giving birth is like? It is the most painful thing a woman can ever endure. It is so painful that it makes you want to die to escape it.

The act of giving birth is one done out of complete love and sacrifice, and we do it over and over again because of that complete and unconditional love we have for our children. But make no mistake, it is no easy task. It is the most difficult and intense experience any human being can go through.

Imagine choosing that, knowing the full weight of that sacrifice, and choosing it over and over again. Then, imagine losing your pregnancy. The emptiness, the sorrow, the void a mother feels is mind bending. The loss of what might have been, the promise of holding and loving your child is mind breaking. The physical pain, the failure of your body, the failure of your child to thrive…so much loss and all that love with nowhere to go. There is nothing as painful in this world as a full heart and empty arms.

I did not miscarry at home. In fact, my pregnancy was intact. I’m not sure if that would make me more or less of a villain in my miscarriage story. My child no longer had a heartbeat. You don’t know devastation until you’ve heard these words uttered to you. My child, who looked absolutely perfect on an ultrasound, had no heartbeat and my body would not let go of it, so I had to have my pregnancy surgically removed. My other option was that I could have taken a wait and see approach and possibly gone septic and have risked death. It was like going through labor with nothing to show for it in the end but a broken heart. So many women must labor only to go home with empty arms and broken hearts…broken hearts that never heal. I left my child behind at the hospital. My child became biomedical waste. No one asked me what I wanted to do with the remains. I was not offered cremation or burial. There was no counseling offered to me. I simply arrived with a pregnancy and left a mother without a child.

In Watts’ case, the miscarriage happened at home. The fetus’ remains were uncovered by local law enforcement on Sept. 22, per the Warren Police Department, after they removed the toilet from her home and tested it for fetal matter.

Now, Watts faces this felony charge even AFTER a forensic pathologist testified last month that her fetus was not born alive and died before passing through the birth canal; further, he said the fetus ​​was “nonviable because [Watts] had premature ruptured membranes—her water had broken early—and the fetus was too young to be delivered.” Watts’ defense attorney, Tracy Timko, told media last month that her client “learned days before” her miscarriage that this outcome “was inevitable and that the fetus could not survive outside the womb due to gestational age.”

None of this makes sense. None of this vilification of this mother is logical or reasonable. Brittany Watts should not be on trial, Ohio should be on trial for the cruel and unusual punishment of a living, human woman.

What are your thoughts? I am disgusted and flabbergasted but I am not shocked in the least because this is what the world does to women time and time again, throughout history. 

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perimenopausal rage

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Lately, I’ve been a little sensitive, and by “sensitive,” I mean I’ve been wanting to rip my family’s heads off simply for chewing. I’ve wanted to blow up every single place I’ve ever been that has mirrors, food, or clothing. Sometimes, I’ve even cried because I accidentally called my puppy my recently, dearly departed dog’s name. But mostly, I’m really hot, and it makes me cranky. Hot for no f@cking reason – just sitting here minding my own goddamn business, and “poof,” this bitch is on fire. It’s super annoying. Thank you, perimenopausal rage.

I’ve been what I’d consider “moody,” and that’s saying something because I’m f@cking bipolar so I should know. But this is obscene and excessive, even for my dramatic ass.

This is perimenopausal rage.

My point is I thought I was literally having an “episode” (I haven’t had a bad one since my mid-20s), so I consulted my doctors. And no, I am, in fact, not losing my battle with bipolar, but I am losing my battle with estrogen, it seems. To be honest, last year I had a spell of consecutive panic attacks, which is not ordinary for me, so I consulted my OB/GYN and my GP about anxiety and/or the “pause” (menopause if you’re nasty). After checking the hormone levels, I was told it was a false alarm. But this year, when I started having “cold chills,” I again consulted my doctors to see if this was in response to my double ear infections or if midlife had finally caught me in its butchering talons. This year, it was a silent alarm. While my estrogen is normal, my FSH was on the lower end of normal, signaling that I am, in fact, probably perimenopausal insert coffin emoji

I can tell you that getting this news hit me in a way that I had not anticipated. It momentarily made me feel shhh* “old.” Suddenly, I was like, “Oh shit! DO I look as old as my high school Facebook friends? Oh.God.NO!!!!” *** (It’s my inner monologue. God and I are roll dogs; he is not shocked by my sailor vocabulary, neither is my mother.)

My point is that for one moment, I doubted myself. Is this irrefutable evidence that I am closer to old than young? Fuck, do I have to stop wearing what those “what not to wear when you’re over 40” Gen Z fashion writers tell me that I’m not supposed to? Wait! Are my kids now the.boss.of.me???? I’m freaking out.

Who showed up to the party? Mother Fuckin’ hot flash to add fire to this fire.

Uninvited guest: Perimenopausal Rage

My point is that at some time during this mid-life, one surviving ovary post hysterectomy, hormonal imbalanced world, this mom started getting very irritable with everyone. Maybe it’s normal. I’ve been overworked and overwhelmed for a good long time circa 2005. I’ve put everyone else’s feelings, wants, needs, and expectations ahead of mine. I’ve literally been juggling everyone’s everything for almost two decades, and I am so fucking tired. When’s it my turn for someone else to juggle all the things? I don’t remember signing up for this shit when I was born with a vagina.

Look, I know being a woman comes with great power (conjuring up human beings, keeping them alive, raising good humans while dealing with some other woman’s supposed “good human”), and I know that is a great responsibility. But no one told me that I was going to be worked like a donkey until the moment I dropped dead. Why am I the only one who can change toilet paper rolls, do laundry, load the dishwasher, cook dinner, plan vacations, and handle the finances? I didn’t get that memo. The older I get, the more tired I get, and the smaller my threshold for this kind of shit is. As my hormones wax and wane out of balance, the less fucks I give, the less tolerance I have for stupid people, and the more irritable I get, especially dealing with randomly, self-populated hot flashes in this mother fucking surface of the sun heat.

My point is that suddenly, I am filled with rage for no apparent reason, it probably has something to do with being hot unexpectedly whenever my body decides to heat up, and I want to go ham on most living creatures within reach. I can’t change the fact that I’m going through this but I can help myself feel better doing it. Comfort is everything when your hormones are being unpredictable. I was recently gifted an amazing cooling comforter made with the same game-changing temperature regulating technology and quality, moisture-wicking fabric as the adult version, the  Rest Kids Evercool™ Cooling Comforter allows children ( and their hopelessly hormonally challenged hot moms) to recharge through a comfortable, cool, dry and restful sleep. Whenever, I get hot, I just wrap it around my head and neck and I am instantly cooled off. It’s the little blanket, I never knew I needed. It’s truly amazing.  And, it comes in adult-size too.

 

rest cooling comforter

Are you experiencing perimenopausal rage and feeling overwhelmed? You’re not alone! Join our supportive community of women navigating the hormonal rollercoaster of perimenopause. Share your stories, find solace, and learn coping strategies to manage the fury. Together, we can embrace this transition with humor, empathy, and a whole lot of rage-fueled empowerment!

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