Monday, April 30, 2012

Weighty Issues

I've battled with weight issues most of my life.  As a preteen I considered myself fat.  I looked at the other girls my age and I thought "They must think I'm a giant."  I was taller than many of the girls and boys in my class, at least I thought I was.  Actually I was probably about the same height as the majority of the girls but then I began to compare different areas of my body to theirs.  I had begun to develop breasts and I had a bigger bottom, I didn't see that on the other girls.  I felt so awkward.  I wanted to be little just like the other girls.  I never seemed to be accepted in their little cliques.  I was the odd girl out.  I felt this way through my teen years on into my twenties and beyond.  Here I am 56 years old and those old feelings came rushing back to me yesterday as I was dressing for church.  I tried on several tops and bottoms until I finally settled on an older skirt and top that luckily slid over my extremely curvaceous body.

I cried and belittled myself; all because I haven't been able to conform to society's idea of the perfect woman.  Media uses mostly women of slim, svelte figures, perfect hair, and perfect make-up to represent the majority of the world when the majority looks more like me, the frumpy grandma.   For years media has inflicted this unreal idea on women and now it's targeting younger audiences.    There's Toddler's & Tiara's, Dance Mom's for example; the young toddlers (as young as age 3) who are being told to exercise and keep fit, no pudgy tummy for their dress or costumes.   What significance did my little tantrum in front of my granddaughter place on outward appearance yesterday?  What are we teaching our young children, especially our young girls by exposing them to media that focuses mainly on outward appearances?  Can you imagine how much more accomplished, confident and successful our girls would be if we placed more emphasis on education, good morals, etiquette, and sensibility if we changed our focus.

I'm ashamed that I am so vain. Unfortunately people judge us by what they see on the outside, (including me.)  What a shame that we all miss the opportunity to truly know others because we are such a visual society.  Perhaps if people began using overweight individuals or individuals who don't quite meet the "beautiful people" standards to promote their products or do public service announcements we could begin to change our younger generation. Why not have these average people tell their own success stories?  Maybe we could begin building a generation of individuals who genuinely care for others

I suppose this has to start with me.  I pledge today to begin seeking the inner beauty in everyone I meet.
How about you? Are you ready to make a difference in the life of others?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Coupons and Freebies

      Today is the beginning of a new routine, blogging instead of scanning the freebie sites.  Yes, I do frequent several of those sites that offer freebies to those of us willing to wade through the undesirable surveys and auto links from one page to another.  My secret is I set up  an additional email account so that it doesn't get mixed in with my private emails and to filter out all of the SPAM (no not that weird meat that comes in a can).  It's JUNK mail in email form. I also use this account for submitting entries to sweepstakes and contests.   For all you skeptics here's my proof that sweepstakes and contests can pay off.  During the past 5 years I've won and received a $25 Walmart gift card, a $50 Visa gift card, tickets to American Idol, 5 gift certificates from Restaurant.com and a basket of Mrs. Fields Cookies, (which I might add were absolutely delicious.)

      I personally like Mozilla Firefox as my internet search engine because there is an add on that let's me know if a website has been voted as trustworthy before I start inputting my name, address and other information on that site.  However at this time I'm using Internet Explorer due to issues with compatibility with programs I'm using.  Below is a list of some of the items I've received FREE over the last couple of years.
shampoos and conditioners (some sample size, some larger)
Olay Body Wash (travel size)
Anti-Aging Face Care products (5 full size-name brands)
Feminine Hygiene products
Laundry Detergent
Coffee singles
Coffee K-cups
Energy bars
Jewelry (bracelets & pins)
Cosmetic bag with varied samples
Ink pens
Coloring Books
Magazines (full subscriptions NO PAYMENTS)
Free KINDLE book and game downloads.
Tea (singles)
Lip gloss

      I have a large plastic container with a lid in my closet and I save up my better freebies over the year.  I use some of the better ones to give as small gifts for Christmas or birthdays.  You might consider doing some freebie-shopping yourself to create a guest packet for your guest bed or bath.  Use the freebies for tokens of appreciation to teachers or neighbors.  Consider donating to individuals in nursing homes or safe shelters for battered women & children.

      Here's a small list to help you get started building your own freebie site database.  I  use several others but they are not given the green light on the Web Of Trust; I simply took a chance on them and have not had any problems.   You'll notice most all of the websites have links to additional freebie sites.  However, keep in mind I am not making any claim as to whether any of the others are safe of unsafe sites so click at your own risk.  Just make sure you have a very good ANTI-VIRUS program in place.


Happy Hunting!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Blessing from a Disability

Past to Present

Three years ago on Tuesday April 27, 2009 I entered the hospital for what would be my 3rd back surgery.  I walked in of my own accord but what transpired next was something I nor any of my family had ever expected.  When I awoke in my room after surgery I was unable to move my legs.  My initial fear; I'm paralyzed.  But within hours I realized I just wanted to know what happened.  My family was distraught.  The next day I went for MRI's on my upper and middle back;  2 days later we still had no answers.  By Sunday  I was having additional MRI's on my lower back where the surgery had taken place.  Ah there's the problem, bones crushing the spinal cord.  My family was by my side day and night.  On Tuesday May 5, 2009, my husband, my mother, my children, my sisters, in-laws, uncles, cousins all began to accumulate in my room as we awaited surgery #4.  Late afternoon arrived and the time had come.  Family members kissed me as I passed the on the stretcher out the door.  

I lay in the pre-op watching minutes tick off the big clock on the wall.  First the nurse gathering information came over, next the anesthesiologist drifted by.  And after almost an hour my surgeon come in.  He marked my hip and talked about bone harvesting, rods and pins.  I think I was a bit shocked, I hadn't realized my surgery would involve so much.  I was awake all the way to the operating room where they immediately began setting up IV's and then the mask with made me feel as if they were trying to suffocate me.  But I lapsed into deep sleep very quickly.  The next several hours (about 7-8hours) were a total blank to me.    I was told that my youngest daughter was frantic at the sight of my face as it was so severely swollen.  She told me it looked like the whites of my eyes were bulging out of my head.  I had blood infusions, drainage tubes, broken veins, blown veins, morphine, Demerol,  and who knows what else.   A few days later I was fitted with a removable torso cast and lower leg braces which I had to wear every time I got out of bed.

   Well, that's really not important. What is important are the events that followed.   I saw the most beautiful angel.  I know most of you will think this is simply the drugs; but I disagree.  Once I saw the angel I had an unusual calm.  It wasn't the kind of angel you see in drawings or paintings, it was more of a white glow, the shape of a long flowing garment and wings that moved in an up and down motion  rather like a child creating a snow angel.  But at that moment I knew why this had all happened.  For several years I had been praying for God to give me patience, to help me relinquish my control issues (rather OCD) and to restore my marriage (which had almost been destroyed).  I had no control over anything except prayer and thoughts so I had to allow others to be in control.  The OCD was very much under control because I had to rely on others to care for me, especially in the most personal ways.  My husband and I learned a greater appreciation and respect for each other.  Also I developed a quick wit, and a better sense of humor.

After two weeks in the Main hospital I was transferred via an ambulance to the smaller hospital with inpatient rehabilitation facilities where I spent about 30 days.  I had to learn to put on my own braces &  torso cast.  I had to learn to transfer from bed to wheelchair. I exercised, and learned to be patient as other. Every time the physical therapists stood me up I passed out.  So I dubbed myself  "Scarlet O'Hara of Rehab.  Eventually I became better at just standing, then taking  a few steps.  There was exercise several times a day.  I eventually was able to walk a few feet with the aid of a walker and therapists.  As the days went by I was able to walk even longer distances.  We even had a bit of a "show off day" when I was able to walk 90 ft with my walker and a spotter.  And the day finally came that I could return home.  I can not begin to tell you the excitement and emotion that was in my heart.  

I spent an additional 3-4 months doing outpatient rehab, trying to build up  my strength so that I could function alone at home.  I am able to walk very short distances without my walker indoors; however outdoors is a different situation.  I use my walker for walking short distances at places such as church (car to door)  from car to house, etc.  On longer outings I use my wheelchair as my standing/ walking duration only lasts about 15-20 minutes.  My left leg is still very weak with nerve damage in the lower portion  and some deep vein thrombosis.  The right leg is okay with only minimal numbness in the right big toe.   

To add insult to injury my husband was fired from his job 25 days after I came home from the hospital.  There was conflict as to whether or not he should have taken more than 3 days leave during my first 2 weeks in the hospital.  Two months later my employer decided that unless I could immediately come back to work full time, full capacity I would need to contact the benefits office.  In other words, I was basically terminated but, offered disability retirement.    But I was okay.  I wasn't frantic as I had been in the past when faced with adversity.  We found a way to get through all of this.

Today, I'm a better, stronger person for having lived through all of the situations I faced.  But most importantly I have a stronger relationship with God.  Because God gave me the strength, the courage and the determination to excel under the life changing event that entered my life.  Most people want to know the name of the doctor who did my surgery but, that's not important.  I don't blame my doctor for the events that took place.  I look at it as a trial that God allowed me to endure to bring me to where I am in life right now. 

I just wanted to share this tidbit of information with you.  I hope you'll come back again because I plan to offer something for almost everyone including the business person, the grandmother, the brokenhearted, the down trodden and the joyful, happy-go-lucky person.