Life After the Big 4-0

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It has been a very long time since my last blog posts, so long that I have turned the big 4-0 since then. I have to say that this monumental turning of age has made me reflect more on my life. I made a firm decision to take better care of myself in the sense of more exercise, cutting out negativity and negative people from my life. Im learning to not take things so … anything and like Elsa says – “Let it go..”  Im seriously liking this upgraded version of me. Plus, I think that having a “toddler” (Raven – 2yr old puppy) running under foot, along with an 11 yr old keeps me pretty busy!

 

These are the things that I have learned so far and have become my life’s mantra’s:

  • It’s OK to say no as long as you learn the art of doing so graciously.
  • Don’t waste time worrying and moaning about stuff you have no control over. Let it go.
  • Listening to someone — really listening — is one of the most important, respectful and rewarding things you can do. The morning after is rarely — if ever — worth the night before.
  • No one gives a crap if you go to the supermarket in sweats without makeup and your unwashed hair in a ponytail on top of your head.
  • Experiences are infinitely more memorable than stuff.
  • Confidence is beautiful and powerful.
  • It will always boggle your mind how some people will exceed the lowest imaginable depth of stupidity, incompetence and nastiness, while others will exceed the highest imaginable pinnacle of kindness, compassion and helpfulness.
  • Don’t live your life by anyone else’s expectations, taste, hopes or dreams.
  • If you rely on others for joy, you will never be joyful yourself.
  • You’ll never regret going out of your way to brighten someone’s day.
  • Being super-busy is not a badge of honor, importance, popularity or success. It’s perfectly OK — and  preferable, actually healthier  — to be not so busy.
  • Most bad behavior and bitterness is rooted in jealousy.
  • What makes you happy isn’t the elixir that will make someone else happy.
  • It’s not always someone else’s fault. Sometimes you have to look in the mirror.
  • You can disagree with someone’s opinions and beliefs, but it doesn’t make them wrong. And it’s probably best just not to go there when it has to do with religion, politics or love.
  • Friendships change over time. Sometimes they have an expiration date and they dissolve into fuzziness. And that’s OK.
  • Eye cream is your friend.
  • Stop waxing poetic about how good it used to be. Stop fantasizing about how good it might be in the future. Savor how good it is right now. Make your moments matter.
  • It’s nice to be thought of and remembered.
  • Sometimes you’ve gotta do stuff just because it’s the right thing to do. Often it’s uncomfortable. Usually it’s inconvenient. But it’s almost always worth it.
  • Elephants don’t belong in the room. Having the tough conversation is ultimately better than living with the energy-sapping misery of resentment or misunderstanding.
  • Some stuff just isn’t meant to be. The sooner you accept it and stop trying to force it to happen, the better off you’ll be.
  • A good night’s sleep is a gift from the heavens and can change everything.
  • People will make time for you if you’re important to them. And they pretty much won’t if you’re not.
  • Don’t let angry people get to you; instead, try to muster some compassion for them.
  • Stop worrying about what everyone else thinks. Stop wasting energy on stuff that isn’t your business. You just do you.
  • Stillness is restorative and healing.
  • Take one day at a time, one step at a time. Break down challenges into small, do-able chunks. It will all get done.
  • Life is what happens while you’re waiting expectantly for the next big thing on the horizon to come to fruition. Savor the everyday.
  • If you push yourself and focus on what’s good rather than wallowing selfishly in the negative, things will almost always improve.
  • Take a risk and have the guts to seize the opportunity, because it may not present itself again

 

Yes, life is tough at times, but that is just times! I can say Im pretty happy these days!! 🙂

 

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THE BIOTIN EFFECT

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So last fall (2016), let’s say September-ish, I made the decision to grow my hair back out. It had been cut in a short, chin length A-frame bob style. Me being the reader and researcher of things and life in general, came across this wonderful vitamin called – Biotin.

Now, what is biotin, you ask? Biotin is in the B-vitamin family. It is widely used for hair growth. I have to say I am a fan. My hair grew 2 inches in one month! :0 No joke! I took biotin from October through the end of December and my hair is now to my shoulders. So probably 6 inches.

Keep in mind, that when I embarked on this adventure, my hair was probably right below my ear lobes. Yup, that short.

I will honestly say that while, this vitamin seemed to be a wonder drug, there were major side effects!! So major that I went on and off this vitamin over the course of usage.

To begin with, biotin is a water soluble vitamin, mean YOU MUST DRINK TONS OF H20 when taking this. The water helps with flushing your system. I learned that if you do not drink tons of H20 there is water weight and facial breakouts. And not the nice kinds, not that any break out is nice or pleasant.

So to alleviate all these nasty side effects, I found a cocktail of vitamins that aid in healthy skin! I took a combination of vitamin e, selenium, zinc, and a multi-vitamin. This combination helped greatly. I also took up daily exercise.

My hair has since then grown out, well at least to my shoulders, so I stopped taking the cocktail of vitamins. I do still take a multi-vitamin that includes hair and skin items, only a very low dosage of biotin.

So if you are wondering about BIOTIN or if you are wanting to grow your hair out quickly – there you have it. It also took about a week to see significant results.

 

Where are YOU From

 

So I saw this you tube video on a post on my FB, thanks mom, and I thought that is so incredibly funny and true! Being Filipino, I could so relate.

The video just say’s it all. I don’t know how many times I have had that exact same conversation with our oh-so-called intelligent male population.

I just think its very sad that at this day and age people, mostly the male population, sorry guys, are to blame for this lack of intelligence.  I would think that most people would have an understanding and maybe, just maybe a little knowledge in the whole “our world is a melting pot.”

You would think.

PPCM Awareness

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It was like an episode of “House M.D.” Eight years ago I lay in an ICU bed not knowing if I would ever see the next day let alone have a chance to be a Mommy to my than 2 month old little boy.

I presented with a normal pregnancy, no known complications, as far as we knew at the time. The only oddity, that my OB thought was normal was my weight gain. Keep in mind that normally, I am a pretty small person (low weight and small framed) – on my delivery date I was a whopping 164 lbs. Wow, you say!! Huge – yes!! And my little one weighed in at 9 lbs 12 oz. Ten fingers, ten toes – healthy baby boy.

A fairly non complicated birth as well. He was a week over due, just didn’t want to leave his little water world. I labored for 18 hours and had to have a C-Section for obvious reasons. Even that went well.

Over the next month, I began to present with pneumonia like symptoms. Heavy chest feeling, hard to breath, coughing up mucus, and extreme bloating – so much I looked like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.

Three times to the ER. Each time they sent me home. Did not find anything. On my son’s 2 month check-up the doc asked how I was doing. I told him about the ER visits and about my extreme puffiness, which my OB had chalked up to the epidural and pitocin.

He immediately did an EKG and echo-cardio and admitted me to the hospital. I was told I barely had an ejection fraction, my lungs had filled with fluid, and heart was grossly enlarged. I was the walking dead.

There I spent the next three months on the cardiac wing, in and out of ICU -twice for TIA’s. (a mini stroke). It took the doctors over a month to finally come up with a firm diagnosis for me – Postpartum (Peripartum) Cardiomyopathy (PPCM).

I was told immediately to tie my tubes and to not have anymore children. Now what doctor tells a 29-year-old, first time mom, with a 2 month old this. I got several second opinions and switched cardiologists.

For the next 8 months, I took a very regimented cocktail of heart medications, had blood draws every other week, and saw my cardiologist twice a month. That following December, I was told by my cardiologist that my EF was presenting within normal range and I was able to wean off some of my medications.

I was in the clear. I had survived this, though it was no small feat!!! I feel strongly that my quick recovery had to do greatly with the fact that I have a wonderful, strong support system. My parents were with me every step of the way. They sat by my bedside, prayed for me, and helped care for my little one.

I slowly began the process of weaning off the rest of my medications. In 2011, I was almost off all of my medications; my EF remained in normal range.

In 2012 I got the approval to go off all medications, though I remain on baby aspirin. My latest echocardiogram came back beautiful (2014).

It has been eight years since this horrific incident. Medicine has changed and has moved with the times. PPCM is no longer the mysterious pregnancy disease that women can get. It is still a very, very rare disease to get, however; it is more easily detected and doctors are more aware of it.

I do have the best cardiac and ob team in my area and I have even been given the cautious green light to future children because I made such a quick and fantastic recovery. There is always a chance of recurrence, however; I would be very closely monitored with my team. With today’s medical technology, there is always a hope and a future!!

ppcm survivor